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Goms - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Illustration of the peloton climbing the Nufenenpass pictured during Tour de Suisse 2019 - 83rd Edition - stage 9 from Goms to Goms (144.4KM) - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2019

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The Tour de Suisse and the ZLM Tour both finished on Sunday – We catch up with results, quotes and video. Plus Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl and the European Games road race. Alejandero Valverde is back – Top Story. In other news: Chun Kai Feng keeps his National TT champion title, no Tour for Tom Dumoulin, AG2R-La Mondiale Tour riders, Mathieu van der Poel to ride OVO Energy Tour of Britain, Arctic Race teams, Mavi García injured, two more years for Stybar, Kristoff and Bystrøm new contracts, Jonas Rutsch to EF Education First and Critérium du Dauphiné 2019 stats. Monday coffee!

TOP STORY: Valverde Back on Track: “But it was not easy”
Alejandro Valverde was heavily attacked on Saturday by the Colombians, Iván Ramiro Sosa and Rigoberto Urán, in the Queen stage of La Route d’Occitanie. The World champion, however, managed to catch the two attackers using his strength and experience, putting him well on the way to a new overall victory in a stage race. “But it was not easy, far from”, Valverde said afterwards.

Valverde looked fit in the final kilometer, but the Spaniard once again demonstrated that he is a master of time. “We knew that the last eight hundred meters were enormously steep, with four hundred meters at 13%. When I saw Sosa and Urán accelerate, I thought to myself: Wait, it will be difficult to keep up that pace.”

“I decided to adjust and control my speed a little, so that I could give everything one more time. I believed in myself, but I knew it was going to be difficult. They were two strong rivals,” said Valverde. At the line he had to give way to Sosa, who was his superior in the sprint.

Fortunately for Valverde, it was enough to keep his leader’s jersey. The 39-year-old Movistar leader started the final stage with an 8 second lead over the 18 year-old Colombian, Sosa. “However, the final stage is not easy,” Valverde continued. “We race on a difficult circuit, with quite a few steep strips. I hope to keep the leader’s jersey, in order to thank my teammates for all the hard work,” concluded Valverde. The World champion fought off the Colombians, Sosa and Urán, to take his 24th overall victory in a multi-day stage race.

Alejandro Valverde Tweeted: “Etapa dura de montaña and Pirineos. Otro día para dar las gracias a los @Movistar_Team por su trabajo desde salida. Por ellos tocaba pelear y mantener este jersey de líder. (Hard mountain stage in the Pyrenees. Another day to thank @Movistar_Team for their work since the start. For them I was up to fight and keep this leader’s jersey.)”

At the finish of the final stage of the 2019 Route d’Occitanie; Alejandro Valverde beat Ivan Sosa (Ineos) by 8 seconds and Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) by 17. The World champion said: “All in all, I’m so happy with this result. As I said a couple of days ago, it really shows that the rest and preparations I’ve had for the past two months after my injury has been just what I needed. Now we move on to the Spanish Championships and, most importantly, the Tour de France. My goal, as I’ve already stated, is supporting Nairo and Mikel so the team does the best possible job at the Tour. I won’t be the team leader by any means – my goal is to support them 100% and enjoy wearing the rainbow jersey at the Tour. Should I have to lose some time in the early stages to favor their chances, I’ll be glad to. It’ll surely help us opt to some good results later on, be more free to move during the race.”

Curse of the Rainbow jersey? No….

Tour de Suisse 2019
Antwan Tolhoek won Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse on Thursday. The 25-year-old Dutchman attacked out of a large leading group on the Flumserberg and climbed to his first victory as a professional cyclist. For Team Jumbo-Visma it is already the twenty-eighth victory of the season. Earlier today, Dylan Groenewegen won the first stage in the ZLM Tour.

The stage with start in Einsiedeln was the first real mountain stage in the Swiss WorldTour stage race. After 25 kilometers, the decisive breakaway comprising 24 riders got established, including Team Jumbo-Visma’s Tolhoek and Bert-Jan Lindeman. The latter also rode a very strong race. He ensured that the leading group stayed together until the Flumserberg. Tolhoek attacked a few times, but the decisive attack came in the last three kilometers. The Dutch climber held off a charge by Egan Bernal.

Stage winner, Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma): “This is a very special feeling. Three years ago I won the mountain jersey in this race and now I have won my first professional race at WorldTour level here: an indescribable feeling. Also my compliments to the team and the way we raced. We are with only five riders, but we continue to fight every day. Bert-Jan was very strong today and he proved to be invaluable for me by constantly pulling in front of the group. I heard on the radio that Bernal was coming. Last year, I got beaten by him in California. I didn’t want that to happen again.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “I went full gas in the final and I think that’s a really good result for us. The plan this morning was to try to take yellow. We did it. The final was really, really good for me. I have a really good team around me and they were going really fast. So for me it was better to wait and just do one really strong attack. I’m happy with this. We knew that with this big breakaway it would be really hard to win the stage but the most important thing was to take the yellow jersey. It means a lot to me. My last race was back in March, at Catalunya. To come back and race somewhere like this, a WorldTour race, is really important. It gives me a lot of confidence for the future. I think we did really well and now we need to control the race tomorrow. We will play our cards. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the race. Rohan Dennis, second on GC, is a really strong rider. I will lose time to him in the time trial and he is climbing really well. We will try our best. It’s really good training for the Tour and all I’m doing now is working towards that. We are enjoying the race.”

3rd on the stage and 8th overall, François Bidard (AG2R-La Mondiale): “Today you had to be smart and not be fooled. During the last climb, I thought back to the 19th stage of the Giro when I was in the breakaway (6th at the finish). I knew how to manage my climb without cooking myself. I knew that Rui Costa liked this kind of climb and we got back together. Then when Bernal passed us, I gave everything to try to follow. Today, I do not win, but I’m happy with my day. I have recovered from the Giro, I’m stringing together big efforts, and I see that I still have beautiful things to do.”

5th on the stage and 7th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a relatively short stage, but with an explosive finish on a steep climb. It was important for me to recover positions and I achieved my goal. There are still two mountain stages and I will try to recover again.”

2nd overall, Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida): “The start was a little bit stressful and quite wet and, after the break left, we stay out of troubles. On the last climb, me and Domenico we were in a good position and basically just left to us to suffer away to the top the best it was possible. Tomorrow, I will try to make the same of today. The climbs are longer and I hope to stay with the GC contenders before the last time trial. If I could stay with Bernal I could get the jersey back and put myself in a good position, at least, to get a podium. It would be great.”

10th on the stage and 3rd overall, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “First mountain stage at the Tour de Suisse today but also first serious test for my form and my legs after a long training period. Although the stage was short, the pace was intense from the start. I felt good and my legs were responding very well until the final kilometer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to follow Bernal’s late attack but I held on to my rhythm and finished ahead of the other GC contenders. I look forward to tomorrow!”

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 2:43:34
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 0:17
3. François Bidard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:24
4. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 0:29
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:31
6. Patrick Bevin (NZ) CCC at 0:38
7. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:44
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Switzerland at 0:46
10. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 18:40:18
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:12
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:29
4. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 0:35
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:41
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:50
8. François Bidard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:58
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:07
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb.

Suisse’19 stage 6:

Egan Bernal (Ineos) launched a late attack to claim an emphatic victory on Stage 7 and extend his overall lead at the Tour de Suisse. The Colombian was able to watch as his Ineos team-mates set a searing pace up to and onto the slopes of the famed Gotthard Pass, before timing his launch to perfection on the cobbled finalé.

Winning the stage by 23 seconds, Bernal extended his grip on the yellow jersey to 41 seconds ahead of the decisive final weekend of racing. Chief rival Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) held on well to finish third ahead of Saturday’s time trial.

Team Ineos put in a superb team performance, with Luke Rowe and Owain Doull getting through a huge amount of work on the flat, keeping the pace high in the valley up to the final climb. Ben Swift then upped the pace, wrestling back control from Movistar, before Kenny Elissonde and Jonathan Castroviejo took it up. With the break caught Bernal put in a stinging acceleration, overhauling the attack of Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), with victory also ensuring he pulls on the mountain and young rider jerseys.

Stage winner and overall leader, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “I’m really happy for the win today. I won last year in the TT at the Tour of Romandie, so it’s nice to win again in Switzerland. It was difficult to know because you never know how well your opponents are going but I felt really good. I said to the guys and like always they did a fantastic job. I won the stage for them and it feels really nice. My team-mates were full gas and it was really hard to stay with them in the wheels. But I tried to stay calm and in the final it was the best decision. We made a good pace and at the end everyone went full gas. Dennis is the world champion in the TT. For sure tomorrow I will lose time to him. I hope to not lose too much time, but we have another mountain stage on Sunday. We will do our best and control what we can control.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida): “Me and Rohan did our best and we have recovered precious time on the other GC rivals. The last climb was not too steep but difficult because of the cobbles in the finale. I am even more optimistic about my chances in this Tour de Suisse and I hope to do a good time trial tomorrow and after give everything in the Queen Stage on Sunday.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida): “It has been a very hard race and the team was really very good to put me and Domenico in the best position before Gotthard Pass. I was not feeling great but I wanted to repay my teammates for the trust they placed in me and the only way was to do my best. I haven’t lost much from Bernal and tomorrow I’ll try to get the jersey back.”

4th on the stage and 3rd overall, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We knew the stage would be decided in the finale to San Gottardo. I was well protected, I managed to save energy all day and I was really fresh and ready at the bottom of the final climb. It was a very, very hard ascent and I gave it my all! We’ll see tomorrow with the ITT how the race plays out.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 5:37:40
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:23
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
4. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:34
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:40
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:50
9. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb at 1:03
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 7:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 24:17:48
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:41
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:13
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:17
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 1:19
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:07
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 2:20
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb at 2:23
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:26.

Suisse’19 stage 7:

Yves Lampaert became the 14th different Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider to get a victory this season after blitzing the 19.2km course around Goms and breaking the sub 22-minute barrier for an outstanding time of 21:58. The 28-year-old Belgian rolled down the ramp long before the general classification favorites and showcased his ITT capabilities, displaying great composure as he went fastest through the intermediate point, before comfortably slotting into the hot seat at the finish.

Minutes later, the 2017 Belgian ITT National Champion was joined on the provisional podium of stage 8 by teammate and former owner of the best young rider jersey Kasper Asgreen, who was just 5 seconds off the pace as he continued to impress en route to scoring another strong result at World Tour level.

Being an early starter meant that Yves had to wait for several hours to see if he’ll get his maiden World Tour individual time trial victory, but it was all worth it, as nobody could get close to his outstanding time. The double Dwars door Vlaanderen victor ended up taking to the podium, where he celebrated Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 41st victory since the month of January.

Asgreen made it a Deceuninck – Quick-Step 1-2, but he wasn’t the last of the team’s riders to impress on Saturday afternoon. Enric Mas – the squad’s highest-ranked rider in the overall standings – started the day in seventh place and posted a time of 23:12, which elevated him a position ahead of the final leg.

Scheduled around the same picturesque town of Goms, the ninth stage of the Tour de Suisse will be a mountainous one, set to feature three energy-sapping climbs: Nufenenpass, Gotthardpass and Furkapass, the last of these being topped with just 26 kilometers to go.

Stage winner, Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I didn’t expect it, because before the start I thought I didn’t have the best feelings, but I just gave it my all and rode full gas. To beat so many riders, so many specialists of the discipline, including the World Champion, it’s just incredible and feeds my confidence ahead of next week’s Nationals. It’s my first World Tour ITT win and it’s just crazy. I’m surprised, but at the same time, so, so happy.”

Overall leader and 11th on the stage, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “It’s for sure a surprise for me to be here in the yellow jersey. This morning I thought that maybe I would lose yellow and now I’m still here. I was in a fight for this jersey with the world time trial champion so I should be happy with the performance. In a left-hand corner I almost fell and I was a little bit scared because I took the corner really fast. It was a risk but I think that I took a couple of seconds in the corner. Tomorrow I think we should just try to keep the jersey, not do anything crazy. There’s one day to go. If Bahrain want to win the race they will try something but we just need to keep hold of it.”

3rd overall, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I think I had a solid performance even if this wasn’t one of my best time trials. I didn’t have to go very deep in order to defend my podium position but I now have to focus on tomorrow, the last day of the Tour de Suisse. It will be a really big and decisive one.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Result:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 21:59
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:05
3. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:10
4. Tom Scully (NZ) EF Education First at 0:13
5. Patrick Bevin (NZ) CCC
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:19
7. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:20
8. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:32
9. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb at 0:34
10. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:36.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 8:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 24:40:24
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:22
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:46
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:54
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 1:55
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:43
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:53
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 2:56
9. Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar at 3:17
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb.

Suisse’19 stage 8:

Egan Bernal (Ineos) put in an assured ride on the Final Stage 9 of the Tour de Suisse to confirm overall victory. The Colombian was comfortably able to follow a late attack from chief rival Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) on the Furkapass and remained glued to the Australian’s wheel to cross the line third in Goms – securing a 19-second GC win.

Once again Team Ineos put up a staunch defense of the yellow jersey, with Luke Rowe and Ben Swift riding hard to keep the race together as attacks began on the first climb of the day. Swift put in a tireless performance as the GC group wore down, with Jonathan Castroviejo and Kenny Elissonde hanging on to provide support on the second ascent of the Gotthard Pass in three days.

Bernal negotiated the final descent without issue and chalked up another major result in his young career. The win also marked the team’s first overall success at the Tour de Suisse, while Bernal picked up the young rider jersey for good measure. Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) was the first man to attack on the opening climb of the stage, and he never looked back. The Brit opened up his lead to just over 2 minutes on the opening climb and extended his lead on the subsequent climbs gaining up to 4 minutes with 50 kilometers to go. Carthy held off the pack and had plenty of time to savor the moment and tap the EF Education First logo on his chest, as he won by more than a minute. He was mobbed by Sep and Ken Vanmarcke at the finish line, as the result washed over him. All told, he was on the front of the race for 98km.

Stage winner and KOM, Hugh Carthy (EF Education First): “On the first climb I knew the legs, body and head were good. It was just a time trial – the same for everybody – just one effort per climb. You just have to believe you can do it. Two days ago on the stage to San Gottardo I was terrible. My head, legs and body were tired, and I just wanted to be on holiday and finish the first part of the season. Yesterday in the time trial the legs were better. Today I had one last chance and I wanted to finish on a high before the holidays. It’s still sinking in, but for me, the staff, and my teammates, it’s a happy moment.”

Final overall winner, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “It’s one of the biggest races that I’ve won. I’m really happy and it gives me a lot of confidence for the next races. Just before the race I had a big crash and I could not go to the Giro. So to come here and to win is really nice for me and the team.”

2nd overall and on the stage, Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida): “It has been a good Tour de Suisse. I really didn’t expect to come here and get second overall. Moreover, a stage win and with Egan Bernal on the front on the Queen stage, taking a second place, was more than I’ve planned to do. But I have to say that a lot of work was done behind the scenes and even today. Today the team worked together with team Ineos and it looked like we were working with them, but we had a plan to try to take the win today and do everything was possible to do. But unfortunately, Bernal was too strong this week. Anyway, taking second overall, we can be really proud of that.”

3rd overall and 9th on the stage, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m really happy to be on the podium of the Tour de Suisse, it’s the result of a solid effort by everybody during these nine stages. The team did an excellent job today, especially by controlling the attacks in the first part of the stage as well as the breakaway that could have put my GC placement in danger. This allowed me to be in a good position in the final climb, together with the main contenders, and secure my spot. Thanks, everybody, it is a good feeling being on the podium and I now look forward to the Tour de France.”

4th overall and 7th on the stage, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal): “Of course, we wanted to try and have a shot at the overall podium today, but with such a hard stage in front of us, the legs would do all the talking. With the finish after the descent, I needed to take some advantage but eventually, holding on to fourth place was the highest possible thing today. During the ascent of the Furkapass, I was close to my limit and racing defensively was the only option. Otherwise, I would have certainly still tried something today. In the first part of the race, teams like Team Ineos and Bahrain-Merida controlled the race and during the first two climbs, I felt that the pace could still be increased. For a moment, there was a little panic as I punctured on the Gotthardpass but luckily, I was able to get back to the group of favorites thanks to a quick wheel change. That was a crucial thing with the descent in sight. Of course, I am really satisfied with my performances in the Tour de Suisse. Before the race, I never thought I would have been able to finish fourth overall. With the feeling I had during the final week of training in the Sierra Nevada, I hoped to obtain a place inside the top ten, but it’s always difficult to say so after two months without racing. Finishing eight seconds from the podium maybe is a pity, but I am also only one second ahead of the fifth rider on the general classification. This performance gives me a lot of confidence towards the Belgian Championships and the Tour de France. It is nice to see the good shape confirmed with a nice result. A stage win remains the ambition for the Tour de France. A Grand Tour is something different to a one-week stage race, so we don’t need to adapt the goals.”

8th on the stage and 7th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida): “We achieved great results as a team this week. I have only a regret, because my good performance was spoiled by the mechanicals issue I had during the time trial yesterday and on the first day I was the only GC contender to ride under heavy rain, losing several decisive seconds. Otherwise I think I could get easily the top five overall.”

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m happy with my performance in this year’s Tour de Suisse. I extended my stage win record in this race to 17, I got my eighth points classification jersey and I felt that my form has been where it should have at this time of the year. On top of that, Patrick is third overall, so congratulations to him and the whole team for this result. My focus will now turn to the Slovak National Championship next weekend and then, of course, one of the main goals of the season, the Tour de France.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 9 Result:
1. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education First in 3:01:49
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 1:02
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
4. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:52
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar at 2:15
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana.

Tour de Suisse Final Overall Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 27:43:10
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:19
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:04
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 3:12
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 3:13
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 3:48
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 4:14
8. Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar at 4:35
9. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:53
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb at 5:27.

Suisse’19 final stage 9:

ZLM Tour 2019
Team Jumbo-Visma has started the ZLM Tour with a first, second and third place in the Prologue result. Jos van Emden won the 6.8 kilometers prologue in a wet Yerseke with a time of 7.54:47 and was two seconds faster than his teammates Mike Teunissen and Tony Martin. They joined Van Emden on the podium in second and third place respectively. Van Emden is also the first overall leader.

For Van Emden, it is his first individual victory of the season after winning the team time trial in the UAE Tour earlier this year. It is the twenty-sixth victory of Team Jumbo-Visma this year.

Stage winner and overall leader, Jos Van Emden (Jumbo-Visma): “This is what I needed. It is already two years ago, in the Giro, that I had won for the last time. The feeling was really good and I had to go to the limit. Mike had set a very fast time which meant that I couldn’t make any mistakes and that I had to ride just a little faster than him all the time. Because Tony started after me, I wasn’t really convinced that I would win either. But if you do get beaten then preferably by a teammate. It’s fantastic that we took the entire podium. For the remainder of the week we have a good starting position and several cards to play. I have GC ambitions, but the most important thing is that someone of our team wins the race.”

ZLM Tour Prologue Result:
1. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 7:54
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
4. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:04
5. Maximilian Richard Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb at 0:06
6. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:08
7. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:11
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:14
9. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:16
10. Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:18.

ZLM Tour Overall After the Prologue:
1. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 7:54
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
4. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha Alpecin at 0:04
5. Maximilian Richard Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb at 0:06
6. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:08
7. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:11
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:14
9. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:16
10. Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:18.

ZLM’19 Prologue:

Dylan Groenewegen won Stage 1 of the ZLM Tour. The Jumbo-Visma rider sprinted sovereignly to victory in Heinkenszand despite a crash in the last ten kilometers. His teammate Jos van Emden retains the overall lead. Groenewegen leads the points classification. For Groenewegen it is his ninth victory of the season and it is Team Jumbo Visma’s twenty-seventh.

The stage, that started in Bredene in Belgium, initially seemed under control by the Jumbo-Visma team. A leading group of four got a maximum of three minutes and it all seemed to go well for the team of Nico Verhoeven. In ’s Heerenhoek, Groenewegen crashed hard. With the help of his teammates he was able to return quickly and reward the work of his team.

Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a textbook sprint, but I would rather not have crashed, but that is part of cycling. Luckily I only have some superficial wounds, nothing serious. The team worked very hard today for both the sprint and the classification. I have to thank the boys, because we had to ride really fast to get back to the front. We did it at the right time and I was able to finish it off nicely for them. That is extra beautiful. This is a confirmation that after a hard altitude block we are heading in the right direction towards the Tour. The ZLM Tour is a great race to further fine-tune the lead-out.”

ZLM Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:20:37
2. Emils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie Bruxelles
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Boris Vallee (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
6. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Daniel Lopez Parada (Spa) Burgos-BH
8. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel.

ZLM Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:28:31
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
4. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:04
5. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb at 0:06
6. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:08
7. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:11
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:13
9. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:14
10. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:16.

ZLM’19 stage 1:

After having won the first stage, Dylan Groenewegen has also won the Stage 2. In Buchten, the Dutchman sprinted to another victory and gave himself a nice present for his 26th birthday. Lead-out Mike Teunissen finished third and took over the yellow leader’s jersey from teammate Jos van Emden through 4 bonus seconds. For Groenewegen, it is his tenth victory of the season, the twenty-ninth for Team Jumbo-Visma.

A leading group of four riders took a maximum margin of four minutes and were taken back in the last five kilometers by Jumbo-Visma. Groenewegen was perfectly brought into position by his team, after which Mike Teunissen pulled through and paved the way for Groenewegen.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “Winning is always nice. After my crash yesterday, I was not feeling great. The team did a perfect job and brought me in a good position for the sprint. They had the stage perfectly under control. The lead-out was perfect and that gives me confidence for the Tour. The goal is to fine-tune the lead-out and this is the ideal race for that.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma): “Today’s lead-out was of great class. People might say that this race is not of WorldTour level, but that is what makes it so difficult. The whole peloton wants to surprise you. Therefore you have to make sure that you don’t get boxed in. We constantly stayed together as a team. I started the sprint and I saw that there was a big gap, so I continued the sprint myself. Of course I would like to win the ZLM Tour, but the most important thing is that someone of the team wins.”

ZLM Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 3:43:47
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Jens Debuscherre (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Boris Vallee (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
6. Bas van der Kooij (Ned) Alecto Cyclingteam
7. Emils Liepins (Lat) One Pro Cycling
8. Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Roompot-Charles
9. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb.

ZLM Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 8:12:16
2. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
4. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:06
5. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb
6. Cees Bol (Ned) SEG Racing Academy at 0:07
7. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:13
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:16
9. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
10. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:18.

ZLM’19 stage 2 podium:

Amund Grøndahl Jansen won Stage 3 of the ZLM Tour on Saturday. The Norwegian from Jumbo-Visma surprised everyone with a late attack and soloed to his first victory as a professional cyclist. His teammate Mike Teunissen won the sprint of the chasing group and finished second. Due to time bonuses, Teunissen increased his leading position in the overall classification. Dylan Groenewegen retains his points jersey.

It is the fourth consecutive stage victory of Team Jumbo-Visma in the ZLM Tour after the previous stage victories of Jos van Emden and Groenewegen (2x). For Team Jumbo-Visma it is the thirtieth win of 2019.

Team Jumbo-Visma controlled the stage from Buchten to Landgraaf all the way and reeled in the early breakaway before the Eyserbosweg. On the Eyserbosweg, Jansen attacked and subsequently, the Norwegian was joined by about ten riders, including Teunissen. Jansen surprised with an attack under the bow of the final kilometer and saw his combative racing rewarded with the victory. Shortly before that, the stage had been shortened by ten kilometers for safety reasons.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Jumbo-Visma): “I have been racing on a high level for a long time and I have been close to a win several times. It was to be expected that this was going to happen someday. And today it worked out. I am very happy with this victory. It was a tough stage with many climbs. In the end, Mike and I were in the leading group and we could sit and wait a bit because Dylan was in the chasing group behind us. For a long time we speculated whether we had to wait for Dylan or continue to pull. In the end, the jury of the race made the decision a little easier for us. Then I started to attack and Mike could wait for his sprint. Tomorrow, we will be dedicated to go all out again for a sprint with Dylan. Mike is his last lead-out, so normally it won’t be a problem for him to secure the overall win.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma): “Finishing first and second is a very good result. The fact that I have extended my lead in the overall ranking makes it even better. The feeling is good and my shape is only getting better. After my overall win in Dunkerque, it is already the second stage race in which I have competed for the overall win. I am very happy with that.”

ZLM Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma in 3:55:14
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
4. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot-Charles
5. Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot-Charles
6. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Sunweb
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles at 0:09
10. Bas van der Kooij (Ned) Monkey Town-A Block at 0:35.

ZLM Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 12:07:23
2. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:15
3. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:16
4. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:25
5. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Sunweb at 0:32
6. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot-Charles at 0:39
7. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:44
8. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:46
9. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:47
10. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:48.

ZLM’19 stage 3: Overall leader Mike Teunissen No. 13:

Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) held onto the general classification for the final overall win of the ZLM Tour. The leader’s jersey was never in danger during the Final Stage 4 of the Dutch stage race. Teunissen’s teammate Amund Jansen finished second on GC.

For Teunissen, it’s his fourth win of the season. At the beginning of May, he won two stages and the general classification of the Four Days of Dunkirk. For Team Jumbo-Visma, it’s the 31st win of the year.

During the stage from Eindhoven to Tilburg, three riders escaped. Jumbo-Visma kept the gap small and led the chase. In the final, a few other riders tried to escape, but were caught immediately. In the final hundred meters, Dylan Groenewegen started his sprint well, but he missed some sprint power to finish third behind Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Maximilian Walscheid (Sunweb).

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “It was hard to win here. This was my last race before the Tour and it is good that I could still win in the run-up to that important goal. I had tired legs after yesterday, but luckily it was enough to win today. In the last hundreds of meters I was in his wheel (Groenewegen). I know that once he’s up to speed, He’s hard to beat. I could save some energy on his wheel in his slipstream and luckily came off fast. All in all I am satisfied with my sprint. I needed my shape this week. I’m glad I could still win, because this was my last chance. Fortunately I was able to close the race with a win.”

Final overall winner, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s a nice achievement for me personally. In general, I prepare the sprint for Dylan. Sometimes, I get my own chance, so I grabbed it with both hands. I’m very happy that I’ve won and that I can add this stage race to my victory tally. We wanted to win the stage today. We had to work really hard and too early on and everyone needed to put in an effort. That’s why Dylan wasn’t brought in perfect position. It’s a pity. It would have been really nice if we could have won five out of five stages, but it can’t spoil the fun with regards to my yellow jersey.”

3rd on the stage, 7th overall and points winner, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “We rode super as a team. I’m really happy with that. I’ve won two times, Jos and Amund both took a stage and Mike the yellow jersey. So we can’t complain, I think. Because of my crash on the second day, I had a disturbed sleep. That’s why I was tired. For now, we’ll slow down and take some rest. After that, I’ll be back in business.”

ZLM Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:53:24
2. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel
5. Emils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie Bruxelles
6. Cameron Scott (Aus) Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
7. Bas van der Kooij (Ned) Monkey Town-A Block
8. Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Roompot-Charles
9. Daniel Lopez Parada (Spa) Burgos-BH
10. Manuel Peñalver Aniorte (Spa) Burgos-BH.

ZLM Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 16:00:47
2. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
3. Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:16
4. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:25
5. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Sunweb at 0:32
6. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot-Charles at 0:39
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:43
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:44
9. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:46
10. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:48.

ZLM’19 final podium:

Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl 2019
Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) blasted to his third victory of the season – following the stage wins picked up at the Tour Colombia and Tour of Norway – at the end of Saturday’s 196.4km-long Heistse Pijl, netting the team’s first win since 2014 at the Belgian event, which was run between Turnhout and Heist op den Berg.

The fairly flat course of the 49th edition, containing just a few hiccups on the local circuit which the peloton covered several times, was animated by a six-men breakaway who took off from the gun and carved out a 7 minute advantage that Deceuninck – Quick-Step controlled and trimmed to under 3 minutes by the time they entered the first lap.

A high pace in the bunch and several attacks split the peloton inside the final 30 kilometers of the race, when twenty men – including a strong delegation of the Wolfpack – made the selection, infiltrating in the main group sitting some 40 seconds behind the survivors of the breakaway. For a moment, it looked like the move would stick, but a regrouping took place 15 kilometers from the finish and the bunch set off in pursuit of the riders up the road, who got caught only under the flamme rouge.

Brought into position by Davide Martinelli, Hodeg waited for the others to hit first and measured his sprint perfectly, kicking out with 150 meters to go and bursting clear of the rest of the favorites for a comfortable win over Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) and Rory Townsend (Canyon-DHB p/b Bloor Homes).

Race winner, Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The team was fantastic and took responsibility right from the start. We knew we had to do this, so we pulled hard behind that dangerous breakaway and even upped the tempo on the local laps, splitting the field. I was there with two of our guys, who made sure of protecting me, and played my cards right even after it all came back together. In the end, all I needed to do was open my sprint and take this nice victory, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of these amazing guys.”

2nd, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “Today we thought that the race could finish in a sprint, but three laps from the end, on the cobblestone climb, we were in a group with me and Troia. In the final there were so many attacks, with the group behind getting very close but we were able to hang on to the finish line. Today I felt good, with good legs, but unfortunately Hodeg was just faster than me. No regrets, it was a good second place.”

Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:19:45
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
3. Rory Townsend (Ire) Canyon-DHB
4. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus
5. Guillaume Seye (Bel) Beat Cycling Club
6. Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Corendon-Circus
7. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
8. Jan Willem Van Schip (Ned) Roompot-Charles
9. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:03
10. Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels.

Heistse Pijl’19:

European Games – Road Race 2019
Italy’s Davide Ballerini took the title in the men’s road race at the European Games. On the last cobblestone climb the Italian attacked to decided the race. Alo Jakin from Estonia won the sprint for second place, Austrian Daniel Auer was third.

The men’s race was contested on a relatively flat course in Minsk, Belarus. The competition was animated by early escapes by Jan Andrej Cully, Jan Petelin and Branislau Samoilau. The three leaders took more than 5 minutes on the peloton, but that was not enough to surprise the other countries.

On the penultimate lap a group of seven riders rode away and took 20 seconds. The group persisted, even though the attackers had only 12 seconds as they entered the final lap. Davide Ballerini saw his chance in the final kilometers and rode away from the leading group. The rider from Astana was never taken back and gave Italy the Gold medal. Luis Leon Sanchez was the last winner of the European Games road race held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015.

The Europeam Games are held every four years and is a multi-sport event, much like the Olympic Games, not to be confused with the European Championships, which are held every year, and will take place from 7 to 11 August 2019 in Alkmaar, the Netherlands.

European Games – Road Race Result:
1. Davide Ballerini (Italy) in 4:10:04
2. Alo Jakin (Estonia) at 0:16
3. Daniel Auer (Austria)
4. Alexandr Riabushenko (Belarus)
5. Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine) at 0:25
6. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands) at 0:41
7. Scott Thwaites (Great Britain)
8. Robin Froidevaux (Switzerland)
9. Jan Bárta (Czech Republic)
10. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) at 0:45.

European Games podium:

Chun Kai Feng Keeps his National TT Champion Title
At the first day of Chinese Taipei National Championships, Chun Kai Feng defended his TT champion title by 23 seconds ahead of Chi Hao Wu (Action Cycling Team) and 1:02 ahead of Yuan Tang Peng (Ljubljana Gusto Santic).

“It’s great to defend this jersey, but actually, I am not at my best condition. I felt pretty well from Tour de Taiwan, Asian Championships to Tour de Romandie. However, my training program was forced to change because of the crash and hand injury in Romandie.”

“We do have many promising rider in Taiwan who gained their experience during the season, so we will see in the road race tomorrow.” Feng would try his best winning himself another title in road race, with some precious points for World Championship. Also, these points would be crucial for the qualification for Tokyo Olympics.

Tom Dumoulin Out of the Tour de France
Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin is to miss the Tour de France after a physically challenging run up to the race means that he is unable to be in the best possible shape to tackle three hard weeks of racing in France.

Throughout various ups and downs, hope prevailed, but the decision is now made to give the 28-year-old the time he needs to recover from what’s been a very difficult period.

Tom Dumoulin said: “The last month has been extremely difficult overall, and with the setbacks in the knee recovery. After what happened at the Giro I really wanted to go for it in the Tour, but this week I realized it’s just not realistic for my level to be there in time. I’ve tried so hard to get there but I really have to listen to my body and release myself from chasing an unrealistic goal.”

Team Sunweb physician Anko Boelens explained: “Tom was really eager to be ready in time for the Tour and he tried all he could, but now the conclusion is that it’s simply not possible. We trusted in the process of rest, recuperation and a gradual return to racing but like in any recovery, there have been setbacks. Time isn’t on our side anymore to cater for setbacks so to give Tom the time he needs to get back to complete fitness can only be the right decision. Despite his strong will and ambition to race the TDF it’s better to let this goal go this year in favor of optimum recovery.”

2019, not Tom’s year:

AG2R-La Mondiale Selects First 7 Riders for the 2019 Tour de France
During a press briefing this Thursday morning at the AG2R-La Mondiale headquarters, Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale cycling team, announced the names of the first seven riders who have been selected to take part in the 2019 Tour de France wearing the colors of the Group:

Romain Bardet
Mikaël Cherel
Benoit Cosnefroy
Mathias Frank
Tony Gallopin
Pierre Latour
Oliver Naesen

The eighth rider will be named after the National Championships on June 30th.

Vincent Lavenu: “We must live up to the expectations of the public, the media, and partners who like to see the French teams shine. In the recent past, we have been able to demonstrate our ability to play a leading role at the Grande Boucle with 3 podiums, a victory in the team standings, a white jersey, multiple stage wins and many exciting attacks. We have built a strong, motivated and dynamic team around our leader, Romain Bardet. We will approach the Tour de France with humility in view of the scope of the event, but also with ambition, and the seriousness to be able to influence the race at all times. We hope to have more success than in 2018. Last year, after only a few days, we lost 3 riders who were forced to abandon due to injuries.”

André Renaudin, General Manager of AG2R-La Mondiale: “Vincent Lavenu has put together a very good team for the Tour de France 2019; all riders are united, supportive,
and hardworking. Their ability to ride outside themselves and their stamina impresses me.
All of AG2R-La Mondiale’s members are behind them at every stage with tremendous enthusiasm.”

AG2R-La Mondiale for the 2019 Tour de France:

Mathieu van der Poel to Ride OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Mathieu van der Poel, the world’s hottest cycling talent, will ride the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the first time in September.

The 24-year-old Dutchman will lead his Corendon-Circus team at Britain’s most prestigious race (7 – 14 September) as the final part of his key preparations for success at the UCI World Road Race Championships in the UK later the same month.

Van der Poel has been one of the standout names of the 2019 cycling season so far, taking five victories on the road, including the prestigious Amstel Gold Race in April, as well as becoming World, European and Dutch cyclo-cross champion.

It will be the debut of both van der Poel and his Belgian Corendon-Circus UCI ProContinental team in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

Commenting on the news, Mathieu van der Poel, who is also the current Dutch road race champion said: “I’m happy to go to the Worlds and to have the occasion to get to know the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in the weeks before. I’m really happy that the organizer gives our team the chance to participate for the first time and at the same time helps me preparing for the Worlds in the best possible way.

“Of course, we’ll study the roadbook in order to decide in which stages we will try to go for a stage win.”

Victory in the Amstel Gold Race came during a thrilling Spring Classics campaign that also saw van der Poel win the Dwars van Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl single day World Tour races, and finish fourth in the legendary Tour of Flanders.

He recently continued his breakout season by taking his first ever UCI mountain bike World Cup victory in mid-May.

Commenting on van der Poel’s participation, OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said, “We are excited that Mathieu, his team and the Dutch federation have identified the OVO Energy Tour of Britain as a key part of his road calendar in 2019 and look forward to welcoming him to the race.

“Like many I was thrilled to see his performance in the Amstel Gold Race this Spring, and am delighted that British fans will now get to see this amazing talent in action first hand. The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is held in tremendous regard by the sport’s top teams and riders and we look forward to more exciting announcements before September.”

Van der Poel is the son of double Tour de France stage winner and 1996 World Cyclo-Cross Champion Adri, while his Grandfather is eight-time Tour de France podium finisher and cycling great Raymond Poulidor.

Mathieu will be hoping to emulate the success of his father, who won stage five of the 1991 Kellogg’s Tour – the Tour of Britain’s predecessor – in Leeds.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain begins in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday 7 September, finishing eight days later on Deansgate in the heart of Manchester city centre on Saturday 14 September.

ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights program of the best of the action.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.

Mathieu van der Poel:

Arctic Race of Norway 2019: Eight Tour de France Teams Selected
The seventh edition of the Arctic Race of Norway gives pride of place to the Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands and their splendid landscapes. For four days, these far-northern lands will become a real cycling archipelago and an exceptional stage for 20 outfits from all over the world.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon–Circus) will attempt once more to win stages on the northernmost race in the world, hopping from one island to the next. It will be a real challenge, with no fewer than eight Tour de France teams scheduled to start the Arctic Race of Norway on 15 August: Astana Pro Team, Team Dimension Data, Team Katusha–Alpecin, Team Jumbo–Visma, Cofidis, Team Arkéa Samsic, Total Direct Énergie and Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team.

Mavi García Injured in Training Crash
Spanish climber from Movistar Team sustains left collarbone fracture after falling down during a Giro Rosa-preparation ride in Sierra Nevada; has already undergone surgery in Pamplona on Thursday.

An unfortunate incident on Wednesday has left one of the Movistar Team’s best riders out of activity. Mavi García suffered a crash during one of his training rides in Sierra Nevada, where she was currently preparing – together with some of her team-mates – for the next big goal of her 2019 season: the Giro Rosa, which starts on Friday 5th July.

The Mallorca native fell down against her left shoulder and, most importantly, her head, the latter blow mitigated by the helmet she wore. Transferred to a hospital in Granada, the preliminary checkups – she was also scanned to rule out any cranial injuries – confirmed a broken collarbone. Mavi flew to Pamplona on Thursday, where she’s underwent surgery that afternoon to repair the area damaged by the crash with internal fixation.

Mavi García:

Zdenek Stybar Agrees Two-Year Contract Extension
The Czech rider became the latest to commit his future to Deceuninck – Quick-Step
24-Jun-2019: Zdenek Stybar has signed a new agreement with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which will see him ride with the UCI World Team Ranking leaders until the end of the 2021 season. This deal will also see him celebrate 10 years with the squad, a time during which he scored 17 victories, including a stage win at both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, and three Classics: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Strade Bianche.

His victories though do not tell the full story of Stybar’s time with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, where his contribution to the team effort cannot be underestimated. As well as being part of many of the successful Spring Classics campaigns for which he has now become synonymous, he has often played an important part in many sprint lead-out trains that have delivered a plethora of victories in recent years.

Now 33, the first ever Czech rider to win a cobbled Classic tasted victory as recently as March, when he added E3 Harelbeke to his palmarès, and is looking for more success during the span of his new deal: “Extending my contract means a lot to me. I have a great relationship with everybody in the team and I’m happy that they always believed in me. They are like a second family and it’s a real pleasure to be staying for two more years. I am hoping that these will be the best two years of my career and I will be really happy to be spending them with the Wolfpack and mark a decade – a third of my life – with this amazing squad.”

Sharing in the excitement of the deal was Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere: “Keeping hold of Zdenek means a lot to us. He is one of our experienced riders, who can do everything and whose contribution can be seen in many of the team’s results throughout a season. He is a winner and has the instinct and knowledge of how to take victories, which is always happy to share with our younger guys. And the tireless and selfless work that he does for others is immense. That’s the kind of attitude we value.”

Stybar in Strade Bianche’19:

Kristoff and Bystrøm Put Pen to Paper on New Deals
UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff and Sven Erik Bystrøm have both committed a further two years to UAE Team Emirates and will now ride for the team until the end of the 2021 UC WorldTour season.

Kristoff has been one of the stand-out performers since joining the team in 2018, picking up five wins in his debut season including the final stage of the 2018 Tour de France. This season has seen another fine return, with the former European Champion picking up four race victories; his most recent at the GP du canton d’Argovie.

Commenting on the extension, Kristoff said: “I’m happy to have renewed for another two years. I feel at home here and the atmosphere in the team is great. I hope that the next two years will bring good things both for me and for the team.”

UAE Team Emirates CEO, Mauro Gianetti added: “We are setting out an important growth path for the team, but big projects need strong roots and we really wanted to renew both Kristoff and Bystrøm. Alexander has achieved very important results and we believe he has plenty more ahead of him. Sven is an under-23 World Champion and a great prospect.”

Bystrøm, Gianetti and Kristoff:

Jonas Rutsch to Join WorldTour with EF Education First Pro Cycling
U23 Gent-Wevelgem winner Jonas Rutsch will join the WorldTour with EF Education First Pro Cycling. The 22-year-old is the team’s first neo-pro signing for the 2020 season.

“The rise to the WorldTour means that I have reached a career goal already,” said Jonas Rutsch. “I have worked towards this since I was a little boy. It was always my dream to become a professional cyclist. I have invested a lot of time and hard work, and I’m really happy to make it to the top level.”

“The kid is a machine,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “A well-tuned machine, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator.”

Rutsch’s resume gave him options for the upcoming season. In addition to his competitive Classics results, the German was the only rider on a Continental team to crack the Tour of Luxembourg general classification top ten.

EF Education First’s atmosphere proved attractive to him. “The team brings a lightness into the world of cycling,” he said. “The team is ambitious and cool with a good direction. It’s an exciting team to follow and I’m excited to explore the world with the team. To me, explore the world means discovering new places with amazing people to gain experiences that will broaden my horizons,” Rutsch added. “That can be perfectly pursued while riding for this team.”

Rutsch admits the “tough one-day races” are his favorites, and that is greatest ambitions lies over the cobbled terrain. “I have always been tall and strong,” he said. “I can use my power in these races. He’s a big rider that seems to climb well and go over cobbles well – and from what I’ve seen, he handles pressure well, too,” said Vaughters. “I think he’s going to be a great Classics rider. I mean, he won Gent-Wevelgem, and I believe is a future Paris-Roubaix winner.”

Jonas Rutsch:

Critérium du Dauphiné 2019: Key figures:

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