EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
All the weekend cycling news
Sad news of the passing of Chris Anker Sørensen. The World championships opened with the men’s time trial, but there was also the Tour de Luxembourg, Coppa Sabatini, Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, Memorial Marco Pantani, Primus Classic, Eschborn-Frankfurt, Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais and the Trofeo Matteotti all with video. Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Mark Cavendish close to agreement and double leg fracture for Davide Rebellin. Race news: New date for Paris-Roubaix 2022, Giro di Sicilia route, Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen and Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen canceled. Rider news: Tony Martin retires, contracts for Valgren, Norsgaard, Samitier, Riedmann, Rüegg, Georgi, Koch, Peperkamp, Kramer and Simmons. A very full EUROTRASH Monday.
TOP STORY: Sørensen Killed in Road Accident
Chris Anker Sørensen was tragically killed on Saturday. The 37-year-old ex-pro worked as a commentator for Danish television and was in Belgium for the World championships. During a ride, he was knocked off his bike by a delivery van in Zeebrugge on Saturday. His Danish employer TV2 Sport reported.
Sørensen joined Designa Køkken in 2005 as a stagieire, the team we now know as ColoQuick. After a fourth place at the 2006 European Championship for the Under 23’s in Limburg, he received a trainee contract with Team CSC. A year later, he made his professional debut with the same team. The climber would then stay with the Danish team until the 2015 season, the team was called Tinkoff-Saxo in his last season.
The Dane was a renowned rider in the peloton. He recorded a total of five professional victories, of which the eighth stage in the 2010 Giro d’Italia was undoubtedly his best. In 2015, Sørensen also became Danish road champion. After his last year at Tinkoff-Saxo, he found a new team in Fortuneo-Vital Concept in France. That stay only lasted one year. After two more seasons at Continental level with Riwal, Sørensen retired as a cyclist at the end of 2018.
Sørensen rode the Tour de France five times in his career. His best result was a fourteenth place in the 2012 edition. In the eighteenth stage – a day after finishing second in Bagneres-de-Luchon – he tried to get a newspaper out of his front wheel in the early breakaway. However, he got his fingers caught and lost a lot of blood. Later the two fingers were practically sewn back on. Three days later, he was named most combative rider.
Sørensen was killed on Saturday. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the fatal accident happened on Havenrandweg-Zuid in Zeebrugge, where he was taking a look at the course for Sunday’s time trial. The Danish commentator is said to have been hit by a van, possibly at a bicycle crossing. He died of his injuries later on Saturday. “It is with great sadness that we have heard the news that our colleague Chris has passed away,” announced the director of TV2 Sport, the channel for which Sørensen worked.
RIP Chris Anker Sørensen:
World Championships 2021 Men’s Time Trial
Filippo Ganna kept his time trial rainbow jersey for anther year after a very close battle with Wout van Aert. The Italian came back from an early deficit on the Belgian to win by 5 second. Remco Evenepoel was the early leader and held on for third place.
The TT course was an almost flat 43.3 kilometres on the coast and in the interior of West Flanders. After a minute silence for Chris Anker Sørensen who died in an accident on Saturday, Jurado Lopez was the first rider down the ramp, Italian Matteo Sobrero started second. The young Italian won the national title this year by beating Ganna. Sobrero managed to clock the fastest time at the first intermediate point after 13.8 kilometres with 16:25. Sobrero set the target time, but riders like Brandon McNulty and Max Walscheid were faster. Several riders managed to go under Sobrero’s time, but only when Remco Evenepoel passed through did we get a first indication of what was possible on the flat West-Flemish course. Evenepoel was 7 seconds faster than Edoardo Affini, 11 seconds better than Walscheid and 13 seconds faster than Stefan Bisegger. Cavagna had lost 6 seconds after 13.8 kilometres, but Asgreen managed to set a new top time with 15:41 and was 6 seconds faster than Evenepoel. Küng had an even faster time with 15:37, but Van Aert set a new standard with 15:19. Ganna’s time was 15:26, 7 seconds slower than Van Aert.
Evenepoel had lost his water bottle, but was able to lengthen his lead over Bissegger and Affini at the second intermediate point with 37:17. Evenepoel clocked 48:31 and was almost three quarters of a minute faster than Bissegger, much to the delight of the Belgian fans. Asgreen and Küng both riders lost their power in the second part and had to concede time on Evenepoel. Van Aert was able to continue his effort and was just over half a minute faster than Evenepoel. But Van Aert was far from certain of the World title, as Ganna was able to accelerate towards the second and final intermediate point. At the first intermediate point, the difference between the two was 8 seconds in Van Aert’s favour, but at the second point after 33.3 kilometres the lead of the home favourite was less than 1 second. Ganna had managed to over-turn his loss and we were heading for a nail-biting finalé. Van Aert still managed to get the most out of the last kilometres, but it turned out not to be enough for the World title and Ganna won by 5 seconds.
*** You can read the full ‘PEZ Race Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. ***
2021 World Time Trial champion, Filippo Ganna (Italy): “I already felt that I had good legs this morning. However, I was in much better condition now than a week ago. I decided to schedule a short altitude training camp before the European Championships, but didn’t have super legs at the European Championship itself. I wasn’t sure if I could be in the right form today, but I already felt this morning that I had good legs. There is mutual respect. It would of course be fantastic for them to win in their own country. But sorry, I also had the dream to become World champion. I always want to win and prolong a World title. I have to thank them though, as we push each other.”
2nd, Wout van Aert (Belgium): “There is not much happiness at the moment. I finish a good time trial, but this is the silver medal too much. However, I can’t blame myself. I just got knocked down today by Ganna. He’s even more of a specialist and actually I should be very satisfied rationally, but emotionally… Second place, that’s just a shame. Maybe I should count how many medals I have at home. Or I’d better not do it, because then I won’t be happy. The Belgian public was really fantastic today. It is wonderful to see people along the course all the time during a time trial. Next week (during the road race) we will probably experience the same scenes.”
3rd, Remco Evenepoel (Belgium): “I learned from the previous time trial at the European Championship that pacing is very important. At the European Championship I started too fast and at one point I stopped. We had now mapped out a clear plan and then we implemented it down to the last detail. So I was still able to accelerate in the final. I got the most out of this course. I’m glad I was able to compete again. Today it was important to keep the same pressure on the pedals all the time. There were many long straights. In the last kilometres I was still able to add a few watts. I am really satisfied.”
World Championships 2021 Men’s Time Trial Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Italy) in 47:48
2. Wout van Aert (Belgium) at 0:05
3. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) at 0:43
4. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) at 0:45
5. Stefan Küng (Belgium) at 1:06
6. Tony Martin (Germany) at 1:17
7. Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland) at 1:25
8. Ethan Hayter (Great Britain) 1:26
9. Edoardo Affini (Italy) at 1:48
10. Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia) at 1:52.
Worlds’21 men’s TT:
Tour de Luxembourg 2021
Stage 3 of the Tour de Luxembourg, finishing in Mamer, was won by Sacha Modolo. The Alpecin-Fenix rider was the fastest in the sprint and recorded his first win since the 2018 Ruta del Sol. Marc Hirschi held the overall lead.
After Marc Hirschi’s win on the Côte de Eschdorf, the Tour of Luxembourg continued today with a stage for the fast men. Although a bunch sprint in the streets of Mamer was certainly not a foregone conclusion due to the climbs on the stage. In the first half of the race, the riders encountered the Côte de Kazebierg (3.4km at 3.5%) and the Côte de Beaufort (3.7km at 4.4%), followed in part two of the stage by the Montée the Brouderbur (2.4km at 6.4%) and the Montée de Mariendallerhaff (1.6km at 6.8%).
Six riders tried to set up an early break, but the peloton didn’t give up immediately. Eventually, Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo), Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Philipp Walsleben (Alpecin-Fenix), Ceriel Desal (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) and Jasper de Buyst (Lotto Soudal) and built a nice gap. In the peloton, several teams were prepared to take the lead for a bunch sprint, so that there was never really a big lead. Desal was dropped and the front runners had no intention of being caught. With 30 kilometres to go, TotalEnergies and Rally Cycling were helped by UAE Team Emirates for overall leader Hirschi and Burgos-BH, this took a big bite out of the lead. O’Connor, Kirsch, Van Rooy, Walsleben and De Buyst defended a lead of 1 minute with 20 kilometres to go. Once they hit the local circuit in Mamer, the leading group accelerated and this proved disastrous for De Buyst. On a short climb, which did not count for the mountains classification, the Lotto Soudal rider was dropped. O’Connor, Van Rooy, Kirsch and Walsleben started the last 10 kilometres. The difference to the peloton had now shrunk to 50 seconds, but that was certainly not the end. It could have gone either way in the final, especially because there were some accelerations from the peloton.
Jack Bauer tried to make the crossing and Nairo Quintana also showed himself briefly, but these attempts were soon nipped in the bud. This played into the hands of the men in front, as the lead had shrunk to 10 seconds with 3 kilometres to go. The remaining escapees were allowed to dream of a stage win, but with a few hundred metres to go it was over. Then it was time to sprint in the streets of Mamer. Alpecin-Fenix tried to pilot their Italian sprinter Sacha Modolo as best he could, but it was Edvald Boasson Hagen who started the sprint. The Norwegian was easily pulled in by Modolo. For the 34-year-old Italian this is his first win in more than three years. In the 2018 Ruta del Sol he won a stage for EF Education, but since then he has had only podium places until today.
Stage winner, Sacha Modolo (Alpecin-Fenix): “I’ve been waiting for this for the last three years. The past few seasons have been very difficult. This win is for my wife Valentina. I would like to call her now in the team bus.” “I really have no words for this. I cannot believe it. I didn’t really have to fight for position in the final, as I can rely on a great team.” “The team was also responsible for a great lead-out today. Sam (Gaze, ed.) managed to drop me off perfectly. In the last 300 meters I started myself. I now hope that my teammates are happy too.”
2nd on the stage, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): “Today’s stage went very well with Ben O’Connor doing a big number in the break that made life hard for the field. It nearly worked out well for him because he was caught only 400 meters from the line. We planned to sprint for Andrea Vendrame but he wasn’t feeling very good, so I was able to play my card. I couldn’t find the opening to aim for better than the podium. It’s a shame but I’m happy to have found good legs after two difficult days following the European Championships.”
Tour de Luxembourg Stage 3 Result:
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:17:47
2. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën
3. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
5. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
6. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën
7. Arne Marit (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
9. Manuel Peñalver Aniorte (Spa) Burgos-BH
10. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Rally Cycling.
Tour de Luxembourg Overall After Stage 3:
1. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates in 12:18:53
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:19
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:23
5. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
6. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 0:33
8. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:35
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
10. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies.
Luxembourg’21 stage 3:
The individual time trial Stage 4 of the Tour de Luxembourg in Dudelange, was won by Mattia Cattaneo. It is the strong Italian’s his first victory for Deceuninck – Quick-Step. His teammate João Almeida finished second and took back the leader’s jersey from Marc Hirschi.
On the fourth day, an individual time trial of more than 25 kilometres was to shape the possible final classification. The time trial consisted of a circuit west of the city of Dudelange, with 290 metres of climbing. After 4 kilometres there was a hill of 400 metres of 10% and at half-way there was also a considerable climb towards the intermediate point at 13.4 kilometres.
Jasper De Buyst, who was on the attack for a whole day on Thursday, was the first rider to start the time trial. Roger Kluge, a teammate of De Buyst at Lotto Soudal, managed to set the first target time of 32:28 and was in the hot-seat for some time. Antonio Tiberi, the World Junior Time Trial Champion in 2019, finished under 32 minutes. With a time of 31:47, the 20-year-old Tiberi briefly held the lead, but Harry Sweeny showed that he could go even faster. The Australian Lotto Soudal neopro had to push hard in the last metres, but turned out to be a few hundredths faster than Tiberi. Sweeny’s time was wiped off the top of the leader board by another Trek-Segafredo rider. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen, who is also 20 years old, was very fast at the only intermediate point and managed to continue his effort in part two. It resulted in a very fast finishing time, with 31:18 he was almost half a minute faster than Sweeny and Tiberi. Bauke Mollema, 11th overall, had ambitions and was not going to hold back. Mollema was going well, but then misjudged a fast corner and crashed. Luckily for Mollema he was able to continue. Before the finish of Mollema Mattia Cattaneo came in. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step Italian, a specialist against the clock, went 25 seconds below the time of Skjelmose Jensen.
Cattaneo looked like he was heading towards his first victory in a time trial, but had to wait for Vincenzo Nibali, Pierre Latour, João Almeida and leader Marc Hirschi to finish. Nibali and Latour came well short to threaten the time of Cattaneo (30:52). Men like Nairo Quintana, David De la Cruz and Thibaut Pinot also finished short of top time of the Italian. Almeida was seen as one of the favourites for the stage victory and didn’t disappoint. Almeida managed to limit the damage to his teammate Cattaneo at the only intermediate point: the difference between the two men was 8 seconds in favor of the Italian. Hirschi was the last rider to pass the timing point. The Swiss rider clocked the 8th intermediate time, but had lost almost 20 seconds to his biggest competitor, Almeida who seemed on his way to the overall lead and also the stage win. At the finish there was only 2 seconds difference after 25.4 kilometres. Almeida lost the stage win to his teammate Cattaneo, but was still satisfied with the outcome of the time trial. Hirschi lost even more ground on Almeida in the last kilometres. He finished 6th with a time of 31:41, but it wasn’t enough to defend the leader’s jersey. Hirschi had to concede 47 seconds on Almeida and that means the Portuguese is once again in the lead of the general classification. With one stage to go, Almeida is the big favourite to win the Tour of Luxembourg.
Stage winner, Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am so happy, because I worked a lot in the time trial and to finally get my first win in the discipline feels amazing. The fact that I did it in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey, in the best season of my career, makes everything even more special. It’s my first time here in Luxembourg and I already liked it here, but now this country has become even more special. I’m delighted with the excellent day the team had.”
Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “First and second for the Wolfpack, it doesn’t get any better than that. I’m delighted to be in yellow again, but also for Mattia, he deserved this victory. I had really good legs today and went all out, especially in the second part of the course. I have a nice margin in the GC now and we will do everything to keep the jersey on the final stage.”
Tour de Luxembourg Stage 4 Result:
1. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 30:52
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:26
4. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:35
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:38
6. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:48
7. Jack Bauer (NZ) BikeExchange at 0:50
8. Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
9. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.
Tour de Luxembourg Overall After Stage 4:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 12:49:51
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:43
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:50
4. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:52
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 1:07
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:21
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:32
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:36
10. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 1:37.
Luxembourg’21 stage 4:
Frenchman David Gaudu won the Final Stage 5 of the Tour de Luxembourg. The Groupama-FDJ rider put in an attack in the final metres to hold Joao Almeida, Pierre Latour and Marc Hirschi off. Almeida took the final overall victory.
The Tour of Luxembourg ended on Saturday with another hilly stage. In the capital, after much climbing in the opening phase, the remaining riders had three local circuits of 11 kilometres, with two sharp climbs.
Joao Almeida would not lose his leader’s jersey again. After winning the opening stage and two second places on stage two and stage four, his lead over nearest competitor Marc Hirschi was 43 seconds.
A break with Ben King, Otto Vergaerde, Morten Hulgaard and Kenny Molly was harmless for the overall. Early on in the 184 kilometre stage, they gained a lead of several minutes. However, when the men in the peloton started to race, their attempt was soon over. In the final kilometres it was Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) who tried to avoid a sprint and attacked. The Swiss rider held out for a few kilometres, but his attack was neutralised 5 kilometres from the finish. In the final uphill sections there were attempts by Nairo Quintana, Oier Lazkano and Benoit Cosnefroy, but they would not succeed in winning the stage. Gaudu’s timing was a lot better: he would take the victory in Luxembourg City, ahead of overall winner Almeida, Latour and Hirschi.
Stage winner, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ): “I knew I had to go all-out in the last kilometre to have a chance of winning, so that’s what I did. When I saw the yellow jersey come back, I was afraid of the same scenario. I continued to give everything and I was able to book a nice victory for me and the team. It is a perfect tour with a nice field of participants. I have really enjoyed it.”
Final overall winner and 2nd on the stage, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “To notch up another stage race after Poland feels amazing, but what made everything more memorable was being with all the guys on the podium to receive the best team trophy. It’s thanks to them that this was possible, this is a team victory, and I am grateful for their effort and incredible work and commitment. We had an incredible week, we were there every single day, fought hard and took two stage victories, so we can be proud of what we achieved. I had good legs in Luxembourg and I hope to carry this form into the last races of the year.”
2nd on the stage and 4th on the stage, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates): “We had a really good week as a team, with many of us in the mix for victorious and also on GC we showed ourselves to be one of the strongest teams. Personally I’m really happy to take a stage win and also 2nd place on GC so for me it was a really nice week and was good to take my first victory of the season and gives me confidence for the next races.”
Tour de Luxembourg Stage 5 Result:
1. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:40:59
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
4. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
5. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën
6. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
7. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
10. Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.
Tour de Luxembourg Final Overall Result:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 17:20:44
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:46
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:05
4. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:09
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
6. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:17
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:27
8. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 1:43
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:49
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:53.
Luxembourg’21 stage 5:
Coppa Sabatini 2021
Michael Valgren won the Giro della Toscana on Wednesday, and was also the best in the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday. The Danish rider from EF Education-Nippo defeated Sonny Colbrelli in Peccioli after an uphill sprint.
The day after Michael Valgren’s solo effort in the Giro della Toscana, the Tuscan diptych concluded with the 69th edition of the Coppa Sabatini. The 2021 edition started in Peccioli, a Tuscan town about 50 kilometres southwest of Florence, for a 210.8 kilometre long hilly race. It didn’t take long before the break of the day was allowed to go. With Ben Swift (INEOS Grenadiers) and James Whelan (EF Education-Nippo), two WorldTour riders went with Filippo Magli, Ricardo Tosin and Alessandro Fedeli. The peloton let them go and the five escapees had more than 7 minutes on the peloton. As the riders approached the finish in Peccioli, the leading group got smaller and smaller. More than 40 kilometres from the finish a chase group, including Giro della Toscana winner Valgren, European champion Sonny Colbrelli, Gianni Moscon and Lorenzo Rota, jumped away from the peloton and managed to cross. Valgren, Colbrelli and Moscon were amongst the leader, while the men of UAE Team Emirates of favourite Diego Ulissi had to chase. However, UAE Team Emirates got no help and so the lead hovered around 1 minute for a while. On the steep final climb of Peccioli (700m at 11%) the leading group set a strong pace, leaving only six riders at the front of the race: Valgren, his American teammate Neilson Powless, Colbrelli, Antonio Pedrero, Mathieu Burgaudeau and Filippo Baroncini. These six riders started the three short finishing circuit of 12.2 kilometres.
With 9 kilometres to go, EF Education-Nippo sent Powless on the attack. The American, winner of the Clásica San Sebastián, was an ideal teammate for Valgren the previous day by slowing as much as possible the chase group after the attack by the Dane. The roles were reversed and Valgren was the ‘stopper’ in the front group, slowly but surely letting Powless get more time. While Valgren managed to ride away from his pursuers in the Giro della Toscana, Powless had trouble increasing his lead. Powless was caught by the pursuers with 2.5 kilometres to go. Colbrelli and Moscon were at odds with each other, as the INEOS Grenadiers rider put in a strong effort in the final kilometres. Powless was not yet finished, as just before the final climb he tried again and this time he had Moscon with him. Moscon decided to throw his cards on the table with less than 1 kilometre to go, but the Italian was also caught. Valgren was the next to try and only Colbrelli was able to follow his attack and was now the favourite to win the Coppa Sabatini, given his sprinting ability, but in the end it was Valgren who came out on top after a tough duel. The Dane recorded his second win in two days and might now be one of the favourites for the World title.
Race winner, Michael Valgren (EF Education-Nippo): “To beat Sonny Colbrelli in such a way is very nice. I could count on a good Neilson Powless in the final, which saved me some energy. I felt good and then wanted to make the final as tough as possible. This is a great way to win. I am very happy to beat Colbrelli, who is still a big favourite for the World title, in an uphill sprint. That is his thing. We are going to the World championships with a strong team. We hope to win the world title for Denmark.”
2nd, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “I gave it my all today. In the late breakaway group, I always pull at the front. They were in two of the same team, and obviously, Valgren stayed behind. Therefore, in the finale, he has more energy left. I can’t say I’m happy with a second-place result, as I always want to win. Today more than ever, I’m wearing the European Champion jersey and wanted to take the first win with it. Besides that, my teammates, especially Domen Novak and Jonathan Milan, worked hard, and I wanted to repay them with a victory.”
5th, Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I had to be ready to join an important breakaway while my teammates were protecting Andrea Pasqualon. The tactic we had chosen was good, as I accompanied a breakaway which battled for the victory. Our cooperation was good, so it was clear that we were on our way to the win. I’m happy that I was again able to be in the mix for the victory, just like yesterday. Especially because some riders in the front didn’t race yesterday and had fresh legs at the start of this Coppa Sabatini. These two days brought me a lot of confidence for my build up towards the Tour of Lombardia, which is my big goal in the next weeks!”
Coppa Sabatini Result:
1. Michael Valgren Hundahl (Den) EF Education-Nippo in 5:14:20
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:03
3. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:06
4. Filippo Baroncini (Ita) Italy at 0:09
5. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:11
6. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:17
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:33
8. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 0:40
9. Ander Okamika Bengoetxea (Spa) Burgos-BH at 1:25
10. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 1:31.
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen 2021
Jasper Philipsen crossed the line as the winner in the Championship of Flanders. The Alpecin-Fenix Belgian was the fastest in an uncontrolled sprint in Koolskamp, ahead of the fast-finishing Dylan Groenewegen and Martin Laas.
The 105th edition of the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen (Championship of Flanders), also known as Koolskamp Koers, is a 196 kilometre long race, made up of thirteen flat laps of 15.1 kilometres. The race in Koolskamp is the final round of the Bingoal Cycling Cup, now that the Memorial Rik van Steenbergen has been canceled for the second consecutive year.
Seven riders managed to escape and form an early break: Jan-Willem van Schip (BEAT), Corné van Kessel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Milan Paulus (SEG Racing), Valentintabellion (Roubaix Lille Métropole), Samuel Jenner (Team Bridgelane), Ethan Batt (Black Spoke Pro Cycling) and Stephen Bassett of Rally Cycling. The seven escapees were not given much space by the peloton who were looking for a bunch sprint. The lead kept fluctuating around a minute and a half and so there seemed to be no danger for the sprinter’s teams. There was also very little wind, so echelons were unlikely between the villages of Koolskamp, Egem and Pittem. The race continued to ripple a bit on a pleasant summer’s day. Alpecin-Fenix, Jumbo-Visma, Qhubeka NextHash and Deceuninck – Quick-Step alternated at the head of the peloton. At the front, the Frenchman Tafellion was dropped quite early, but not much later we had another escape of seven men. Charlie Quarterman of Trek-Segafredo, managed to cross from the peloton. Quarterman and Van Schip were the big power in the front group in the remainder of the race, but they could not prevent the leading group from being caught by the peloton. With 15 kilometres to go, going into the final lap, the peloton was closing in, although Quaterman and Batt struggled on for a while.
At about 12 kilometres from the finish, the adventure of the last escapees came to an end and the sprinters could prepare for the expected bunch sprint. Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step put their sprint trains to work. With 1.5 kilometres to go, there was a moment of disorganisation and no team was able to take control. A chaotic bunch sprint was the result, but Jasper Philipsen was ideally placed and pushed his wheel over the line first. Groenewegen was on the wheel of Philipsen and finished strongly, but the line came too early for the Dutch sprinter. Laas finished third behind the two top riders, Matteo Moschetti and Niccolò Bonifazio complete the top-5. Fabio Jakobsen, one of the top favourites for the win, was no where to be seen.
Race winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “It’s nice to win here against a number of top sprinters. It’s nice to win, especially because I was out for a while after my early retirement in the Vuelta. We had to wait and see how the legs would feel. It was a bit of a search for the feeling from the start. You always have a bit of uncertainty. However, the team rode very well today. I knew the final would be quite hectic. Everyone was still fresh after a fairly easy race. It’s not that we were all on the sofa, we still had to push the pedals. But today it was more a matter of checking. With that S-curve at the end it was made a bit more difficult for us. I especially didn’t want to get trapped. Luckily I was able to keep myself out of trouble and do my own sprint.”
2nd, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “I had a pretty good feeling today, while I’ve been feeling very tired and weak the past few weeks. I had a headache for four weeks. I don’t know if it’s because of the vaccination. I didn’t make any progress in the Benelux Tour either, but now my legs were good again. I’m glad I was able to sprint for the win today. Of course I would have liked to have won today, but I came up just a bit short. I have to congratulate Jasper on this win. Alpecin-Fenix rode hard today. Did something go wrong in the sprint? Not really. Jasper went a little earlier and I arrived just a little too late. That’s just sprinting. There is a small chance of a sprint (in Eschborn-Frankfurt on Sunday), but I will do my best. After Frankfurt I will participate in Paris-Roubaix, Binche-Chimay-Binche and Paris-Tours. A nice program and hopefully we can start the winter well after that.”
3rd, Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe): “The race went as we planned today, we were expecting a small group to breakaway, which was perfect for me so I could stay in the peloton and save my energy for the sprint. In the last 50k’s it was quite stressful and I also punctured two laps before the finish, so that cost me a bit of energy. But the team did a great job and took great care of me. After the lead-out, I launched my sprint but I needed to stop peddling for a second to not risk a crash. Even if that cost me a bit of momentum I am still happy with my third place and about the team’s support today.”
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:11:14
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergie
6. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Wessel Krul (Ned) SEG Racing
8. Martins Pluto (Llat) Abloc CT
9. Nathan Vandepitte (Fra) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
10. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB.
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen’21:
Memorial Marco Pantani 2021
The eighteenth edition of the Memorial Marco Pantani was won by European champion Sonny Colbrelli. The Bahrain Victorious rider turned out to be the fastest from a thinned leading group in Cesenatico. Vincenzo Albanese and Alex Aranburu joined him on the podium.
On Saturday, seven ProTeam riders were in the early break of the Italian one-day race: Davide Bais and Vicente Hernaiz of eolo-Kometa, Davide Dappporto of the Italian national team, Antonio Angulo of Euskaltel-Euskadi, Fabien Doubey of TotalEnergies, Joan Schneiter of Vini Zabu and Filippo Magli and Bardiani. They took a maximum lead of 4 minutes, but that turned out not to be enough in the final hour of the race to compete for victory. Certainly not after the climbers escaped from the pack on the last climb of the day. Initially, twelve riders came to the front, but eventually thirteen more rider joined for the last flat 20 kilometres to the finish. With Alex Aranburu, Kristian Sbaragli, Sonny Colbrelli and Diego Ulissi, there were a number of fast men who wanted to turn it into a sprint in Cesenatico. They succeeded, despite a few attempts by Bais, among others. In the last kilometre Colbrelli was able to finish it. For the 31-year-old Italian it is his fourth victory this month.
Race winner, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “When you ride as a favourite, it’s always complicated. It’s not easy to manage to win, but in the end, I succeeded, and I’m very pleased as it’s a special race, in honour of a beloved champion of cycling. I must admit it was harder than I thought. It was important to take this victory after finished Coppa Sabatini as a runner-up. Now my morale is high ahead of a massive important race as the Worlds.”
Memorial Marco Pantani Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious in 4:50:29
2. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa
3. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar
8. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies
9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec.
Primus Classic 2021
The 2021 Primus Classic was won by Florian Sénéchal. The Frenchman was convincingly the best in Haacht in a sprint of four men. His team Deceuninck – Quick-Step controlled the entire race. Tosh Van der Sande finished second and Jasper Stuyven was third.
Six riders made up the first early break of the day. Robin Juel Skivild, Sébastien van Poppel, Gerben Hijssen, Jan-Willem van Schip, Bernat Font and Romain Combaud managed to create a gap early in the race. Normally in this race, they would be able to stay in the lead until the finalé, after which they would be caught by the favourites in the last race hour. But this was not the case today. 74 kilometres from the end they were taken back. 10 kilometres later, there was another attack by Davide Ballerini, Thymen Arensman, Dimitri Claeys, Michael Gogl, Toms Skujins, Dries De Bondt and Mathijs Paasschens. Their attempt to escape was also short-lived. On the Moskesstraat (500 meters at 7.2%), which will also be part of the World championships course next week, Sep Vanmarcke of the peloton opened the race for the favourites. His attack resulted in the first splits in the peloton. Many more would follow. At 43 kilometres from the finish it was Mathieu van der Poel who put in his first move. Only Alaphilippe could follow him, but the World champion shook his head when the Alpecin-Fenix leader wanted him to come through. With five teammates in the group behind, it was tactically not smart to start a duel now. But for Van der Poel that was no reason to immediately give up and he remained determined to lead, however he was no match for the action behind. His attack had the effect of a bomb in the peloton. The whole field was split into small groups and single riders.
At the front, at 40 kilometres out, a leading group of about 30 riders appeared at the front, many of whom were wearing blue jerseys. Deceuninck – Quick-Step was represented by six riders, including World champion Alaphilippe. Every attack that followed was either initiated by Patrick Lefevere’s men or countered by them. A leading group of 11 men, including 5 Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders, were the first to pass the 25 kilometres to go banner. In addition to Ballerini, Alaphilippe, Senechal, Honore, Stybar, Van der Poel, Nizzolo, Van der Sande, Stuyven, Clarke and Aleotti were part of the group. In the run-up to the Hulstbergstraat, the last climb of the day, Van der Poel was hit by bad luck. With a flat front tire, he was forced to stop. The neutral car quickly gave him a new front wheel, but his chance of winning was gone. On the Hulstbergstraat, another selection was made at the front. Among others, Alaphilippe was surprised by an attack by teammate Honore. Just like Van der Poel, he dropped back into the large chasing group.
Stuyven, Van der Sande, Clarke, Honoré and Sénéchal turned out to have the best legs and stayed away. In the following kilometres, they gathered a lead of just under a minute. At 6.5 kilometres it was Honore who jumped away first. His attack was met with difficulty by Clarke. After being taken back, Senechal cleverly played the team game by attacking in turn. This attempt was also not the final one. In the final kilometres the battle continued, but no one got away. In the last long straight everyone eased on the pedals for a while. Clarke was able to return. But Honore decided to sacrifice himself for his teammate. The Dane started the sprint which was then easily won by the Frenchman Sénéchal. Van der Sande came in second, Stuyven in third place. Van der Poel eventually finished eighth.
Race winner, Florian Senechal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am so happy. The best thing about today is that we won as a team – everyone worked for this to happen and I want to thank them for that. They were all so strong today and had a clear objective in mind, which was to take the victory. It wasn’t easy out there, as it was raced as a classic and had all the ingredients of one: small roads, short climbs, a nervous peloton and many attacks. Mikkel was incredible in the final part of the race as he kept attacking and made the others chase hard behind him. For my side, I targeted the sprint in case he would get caught and I’m delighted I could finish it off. It was the perfect rehearsal for the Worlds, which gives us a lot of confidence for next Sunday.”
8th, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “I had to switch and that’s it. It was pretty good today. I am happy with the progress. With the physiotherapist I notice that the tension is also going off more and more. There is improvement, so. I estimate the chance that I will make it to the World championships is greater than last week, but I want to wait until Sunday before I can say anything about it. My back will definitely hurt after the World championships. I did everything I could to be in optimal shape, but of course the preparation is not optimal. We know what we can do for each other (Wout van Aert) in the race. We are both types who make the race and drive full throttle. Anyway, he’s ready. I think there will be a great world champion.”
Primus Classic Result:
1. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:34:05
2. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka NextHash at 0:04
6. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:00
8. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash
10. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Another victory for Alpecin-Fenix and Jasper Philipsen. The Belgian turned out to be by far the fastest in the WorldTour one-day Eschborn-Frankfurt. The Belgian defeated John Degenkolb and Alexander Kristoff in the streets of Frankfurt.
With one week remaining before the World road championships, the one-day classic Eschborn-Frankfurt was on the program in the WorldTour. The 58th edition had had a fair amount of climbing, but the question was whether the sprinters could be dropped. With more than three thousand meters of climbing over a distance of 187.5 kilometres, Eschborn-Frankfurt certainly did not deserve to be called a sprinter’s race. With Dylan Groenewegen, Phil Bauhaus, Pascal Ackermann, Alexander Kristoff and the soon to retire André Greipel, several top sprinters were at the start.
Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange), Erik Nordsaeter Resell (Uno-X), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo), Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar) and Boris Vallée (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) jumped away and quickly gained a good lead. The five started the 100 kilometres with a lead of 3 minutes. The riders were now in the Taunus Mountains and so it was time to climb. After swallowing up the early break, it remained very restless in the peloton. A strong group of sixteen riders tried to get away, but this attempt was short-lived. Dylan Teuns and Marco Canola also rode off the front for a while, but were also caught. Georg Zimmermann and Christian Scaroni also gave it a try, but it turned out to be wasted energy. In the end there was a compact group at the start of the local circuit in Frankfurt. Dylan Groenewegen, the Jumbo-Visma sprinter had been dropped. Favourites like Michael Matthews, Kristoff, Degenkolb and Philipsen had survived the battle and were ready for a sprint. BikeExchange tried to pilot Matthews as best they could in the final kilometres, but the Australian was out of touch in the final sprint. Philipsen eventually turned out to have the best timing and was able to beat home favourite, Degenkolb, relatively easily. Degenkolb was visibly disappointed after the finish, four-time winner Kristoff had to settle for third.
Race winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “I didn’t think about winning at all during the race. I have no idea how I managed to do it. I was really struggling along the way. I even got cramps in the final laps and I didn’t think about sprinting at all, but because of the adrenaline I was able to participate and when the finish came in sight I still had a jump. I felt empty and tired, but my teammates stayed with me and gave me courage. We then kept fighting and were able to rejoin at some point. Luckily I felt a little better in the final. This is a very important victory. I have taken a big step this season, also towards the coming years. This is another great win.”
4th, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Just like each season, I prepared this period with end of the season classics well with a big training volume and by working for my teammates. This week it was my turn to rely on the fantastic support of the team. Today I could relax in the peloton thanks to the presence of Lorenzo Rota and Georg Zimmermann in the front. I unfortunately punctured with 10 kilometre to go, but my teammates brought me to the front in time for the sprint. This 4th place reflects the efforts I made the previous months and I’m convinced that I’ll be able to realise more nice performances in the next weeks!”
5th, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Actually, the race seemed to be in our favor at one point. We had Matteo in the big group and the race was hard, therefore some sprinters had been in difficulties. But we had to invest a lot to set up a bunch sprint then, and as a result I missed some help in the end. I tried to position myself in front to catch a strong wheel, but I was too far back after the last corner. I couldn’t even launch my sprint because there was no place for me to go. To be honest I am disappointed, even there is nothing we did wrong today.”
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:28:03
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Iván García Cortina (Spa) Movistar
7. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
8. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
10. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious.
Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais 2021
Elia Viviani has been on a roll in recent weeks. The Italian won the GP des Fourmies earlier this month and was fastest in the Grand Prix d’Isbergues on Sunday. The Cofidis rider beat Tim Merlier and Alberto Dainese in a bunch sprint.
The Grand Prix d’Isbergues, a one-day UCI 1.1 of 199 kilometres and in the past usually ended in a bunch sprint. The first half of the race had a few climbs, but nothing seemed to stand in the way of a bunch sprint, given the relatively flat final. It wasn’t surprising, then, that fast men like Tim Merlier, Elia Viviani, Arnaud Démare, Giacomo Nizzolo, Alberto Dainese and Niccolò Bonifazio had taken the trouble to come to the north of France.
The break of the day was formed by five riders, but they didn’t really get much of a lead from the peloton. At one point the difference was 2 minutes, but in the peloton the sprinter’s teams managed to control the situation. The escapees were caught in good time and so the they could prepare for a sprint between the fast men. In the sprint Viviani turned out to be just a bit faster than Merlier and Dainese and so the 32-year-old Italian took his seventh victory of the season. Viviani, who will not race for Cofidis next season, won Cholet-Pays de la Loire, two stages in the Adriatica Ionica Race, two stages in the Tour Poitou-Charentes and the GP de Fourmies.
Race winner, Elia Viviani (Cofidis): “I am very happy with this victory. It is a very good period for me at the moment after the Olympic Games. The morale is high and my condition is really optimal. We feel that the team is very united around me and that makes my job a lot easier. Even today, they did a hell of a job: André Carvalho fought all day, Attillio, Szymon, Jempy, ‘Saba’ and Simone worked hard until the end. Then it was a very fast sprint and Simone helped me to keep pace. At the finish, it’s another victory! From now on, I will have at least four races left that will keep me going. Correspond well to do before the end of the season. I really want to give my best until the end!”
Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis in 4:26:51
2. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
4. Bram Welten (Ned) Arkéa Samsic
5. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Romain Cardis (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
8. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
9. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash.
Trofeo Matteotti 2021
The 74th edition of the Trofeo Matteotti was won by Matteo Trentin. The Italian of UAE Team Emirates was part of a large leading group and beat Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo and Frenchman Valentin Ferron in Pescara. It is Trentin’s first win of the season.
The Trofeo Matteotti starts and finishes in Pescara, over a circuit of 15 kilometres that has to be completed thirteen times for 195 kilometres. The Salita Tiberi (900 meters at 5.1%), Colle Scorrano (600 meters at 5.8%) and the Montesilvano Colle (700 meters at 5.8%) had to be climbed, followed by a short descent towards the finish.
In the first hours, the race was led by a strong group of twelve riders. Samuele Battistella (Italy), Davide Villella and Hector Carretero (Movistar), Matteo Trentin and Alessandro Covi (UAE Emirates), Felix Engelhardt and Matevž Govekar (Tirol KTM), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Jhonatan Restrepo and Natnael Tesfatsion (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Samuele Rivi (eolo-Kometa) and Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè). With 60 kilometres to go, the twelve still had a lead of just under 2 minutes. Trentin, Ferron, Battistella, Villella, Restrepo, Govekar and Zoccarato appeared to have the best legs and dropped the others. The remaining escapees continued to work well together and managed to get more time. Twenty kilometres from the finish, the lead had grown again to more than 2 minutes. With 5 kilometres to go, Trentin felt his moment had come. The timing of the Italian, who was fourth in the Memorial Marco Pantani on Saturday, turned out to be perfect. For 32-year-old Trentin, it is his first victory of 2021, after numerous podium spots. The Italian looks ready for the World road race championships in Leuven next Sunday. Restrepo had to settle for second, Frenchman Ferron finished third.
Race winner, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates): “The race was very tough all day. I wanted to attack on the last lap on the long climb, but Ferron made the first move, so I joined him and then we pulled together. On the last stretch, I attacked again and, when at – 5km I noticed that Ferron was on the limit and Restrepo was coming back to us from behind, I put in one final dig that brought me to the finish. I’m really happy, it was about time that I won a race again.”
Trofeo Matteotti Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 4:40:15
2. Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:21
3. Valentin Ferron (Fra) TotalEnergies
4. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar at 0:51
5. Matevž Govekar (Slo) Tirol KTM Cycling Team at 0:55
6. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Italy
7. Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané
8. Samuele Rivi (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 2:59
9. Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Felix Engelhardt (Ger) Tirol KTM Cycling Team.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step and Mark Cavendish Close to New Agreement
Deceuninck – Quick-Step and sprinter Mark Cavendish have reached an agreement on wages and bonuses for a new contract. Team manager Patrick Lefevere made this known in his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad. “The only point of discussion is what Mark can do after his career.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Cavendish, winner of the green jersey in the Tour de France earlier this summer, have been negotiating a new contract for some time. Lefevere will see the British sprinter next week, when he is in Belgium for the World championships in Flanders. “We have now reached an agreement on wages and bonuses. The only point of contention is what Mark can do after his career. He himself would like to remain involved with our team and for me that is certainly negotiable,” the team manager writes in his column.
It is partly a financial story, Lefevere continued. “What Mark wanted to earn this year, we could spread over two years. But anyway, he doesn’t just want to cash in on a ceremonial function. Mark wants to do something that has meaning. What exactly, I would like to let him introduce himself. In my experience all riders nowadays want to be performance managers, but the problem is that they often take themselves too much as the reference. What worked for you may not necessarily work for someone else.”
Lefevere also sees a management position for Cav. “Mark is someone for whom doors open. In that role he can certainly be of value to our team, although I also say: my main sponsors are fixed until 2027. The secondary sponsors also for two or three years. We don’t have much space there. This year we have not been able to sufficiently play out Mark’s image. He raced on a minimum contract and did not think that was part of the deal. Which I can hardly blame him for. We will also clear the air on that next week.”
Cavendish in blue again next year:
Double Leg Fracture for Davide Rebellin in Memorial Marco Pantani
Davide Rebellin will have to stop racing for the time being. The now 50-year-old Italian suffered a double leg fracture in a crash during the Memorial Marco Pantani on Saturday.
Work Service Marchiol Vega, the continental team that Rebellin is riding for this season, says that the experienced leader has a broken tibia and a broken fibula from the crash. After the crash, Rebellin was immediately taken to hospital in Forlì. The team will monitor Rebellin’s situation.
Rebellin made his debut as a professional cyclist in 1992. This year he has had 34 racing days at UCI level and he also has had decent fitness. He finished twelfth in the Giro dell’Appennino, tenth in the Sibiu Cycling Tour and seventh in the Tour of Romania. He would also ride the Trofeo Matteotti today (Sunday), but logically he misses it because of his injury.
Will this be the end for Davide Rebellin:
Paris-Roubaix is Looking for New Date for 2022, Collision with Amstel Gold Race?
Paris-Roubaix race organiser, ASO, is thinking about the 2022 edition. It turns out that the original date of Sunday 10th April has to be changed due to the French presidential elections.
For the 2022 edition, the organisers, in consultation with the UCI, has set Sunday 10th April as the date. However, the French government has now decided to organise the first round of the presidential elections on that Sunday. According to the guidelines of the French government, no major sporting event (such as Paris-Roubaix) can and should not be organised.
In other words, the Hell of the North Classic has to look for a new date. According to Sporza, ASO is now studying several options and this could be a problem for the Dutch Classic Amstel Gold Race. The Amstel Gold Race is scheduled for Sunday 17th April and a possibility is to organise Paris-Roubaix for women and men on Easter Monday 18th April, the day after the Limburg race.
A second option is Saturday 16 April, one day before the Amstel Gold Race. The women’s race in the morning and the men in the afternoon. There is also an option to organise the women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix on Friday 15th April and to have the men’s race take place a day later. Next year the Classics riders will probably have to make a choice between Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race.
Il Giro di Sicilia Returns: The Island Welcomes its Race Home
The Giro di Sicilia Eolo will take place from 28 September to 1 October over four stages totalling 712 kilometres of riding, with a spectacular race route, high quality riders and beautiful scenery. Vincenzo Nibali, Christopher Froome and Alejandro Valverde are among the names announced to start, with a total of 20 teams of 7 riders each competing.
The Giro di Sicilia Eolo starts once again thanks to an agreement between the Regione Siciliana and RCS Sport, with an edition that promises to be spectacular – both for its race route and for the period of the year in which it takes place, the opening of the autumn season.
On Tuesday 28 September from Avola the next edition of Il Giro di Sicilia begins. The race is home once more after its return in 2019, after 42 years of absence, before the pandemic stopped it again in 2020.
The fascinating sporting event, brought back into the cycling spotlight and onto the international calendar, is one of the oldest and most glorious Italian stage races. It was first held in 1907, even before the birth of the Giro d’Italia. The Giro di Sicilia has animated the Italian cycling scene on several occasions, with moments of celebrity in 1974 (Roger De Vlaeminck’s success) and 1977 (Giuseppe Saronni), as well as the victory of American Brandon McNulty in 2019.
Brendan McNulty in 2019
Nello Musumeci, President of the Regione Siciliana, said: “With the Giro di Sicilia – a competition that is older than the Giro d’Italia – we put our faith in quality cycling with an effective message to promote our island. We aim, in addition to ‘traditional’ tourism, to attract a tourism sector related to sporting excellence. For this reason – as announced today – we are ready to welcome the return of the Giro d’Italia next year. The will of the regional government is to launch, also through such important events, a strong signal of ‘rebirth’ and hope to the thousands of people who are passionate about this historic and popular sport.”
“The pandemic forced us to take a year’s break in 2020, but the Giro di Sicilia is coming back richer than ever, with great champions and athletes ready to bring life to an exciting race. The Musumeci government – says the Councillor for Sport and Tourism, Manlio Messina – strongly believes in international events such as this one, carried out together with a prestigious partner such as RCS Sport. It is the best way to encourage the practice of sport, to promote the best image of Sicily in Italy and around the world and to put our faith in sports tourism, a market segment on which we intend to focus decisively.”
Paolo Bellino, Managing Director and General Manager of RCS Sport said: “This Giro di Sicilia has a very special and in our opinion perfect location in the international calendar. Thanks to the teamwork with the Regione Siciliana we are bringing back this race to its ancient splendour. This year, champions of the calibre of Vincenzo Nibali, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde, with their own unique palmarès, will take their places at the start of the race. Sicily is an extraordinary place and, like its people, it’s rich in its traditions, history and culture. Sicily is the ideal place, in all seasons, for cycling. Images of this great place will be broadcast across 5 continents courtesy of Rai, generating touristic and economic development for the region.”
Stage 1: AVOLA – LICATA 179 KM
Stage 2: SELINUNTE (CASTELVETRANO) – MONDELLO (PALERMO) 173 KM
Stage 3: TERMINI IMERESE – CARONIA 180 KM
Stage 4: SANT’AGATA DI MILITELLO – MASCALI 180 KM
Stage 1 – AVOLA – LICATA
An undulating stage in its first three quarters with a flat finish. The stage departs from the coast for a crossing of the hinterland that leads to the ascent of the only GPM of the day in Ragusa with the passage of Ibla. A long downhill section on mostly straight roads follows to reach the sea at Gela and onto the finish.
The last 10 kilometres run along the coast with slight undulations until Licata where the riders will turn left and then cross the town with a few right angle bends until a final turn that leads onto the slightly uphill finishing straight.
Stage 2 – SELINUNTE – MONDELLO
A stage characterised by a series of “easy” undulations in the first part. It then climbs the Portella della Ginestra, with a series of tough climbs and descents until it reaches the coast after Partinico. The final 30km then begins where the riders will tackle the short but intense GPM of Carini and the subsequent approach to Palermo along challenging roads, some of which are markedly downhill and dotted with roundabouts.
A final section of the stage with a just a few half-curves on an asphalt surface with no particular obstacles to report. The finale takes place on an 8m wide straight stretch on level asphalt road.
Stage 3 – TERMINI IMERESE – CARONIA
A stage that winds through Sicily with an uphill finish. It is a demanding stage in terms of altitude and is characterised by an uninterrupted succession of bends. The roads are of varying width and the surface is sometimes worn. The town crossings may have paved sections of various shapes. After Cerda, the riders will climb the interminable slope of the Forcella di Barfuco through “le Petralie” to reach Geraci Siculo. A very long descent follows before the GPM of Pollina (11km at around 6%) and then a short coastal stretch that leads to the final climb.
The last 3km are uphill at around 6% with higher peaks along a road that twists and turns towards the village. The finale takes place over 300m, on a 6m wide flat asphalt road.
Stage 4 – SANT’AGATA DI MILITELLO – MASCALI
A high mountain stage with an arrival near the sea. It begins with a coastal section and then climbs the Portella Mandrazzi, which leads to the slopes of Etna. There is a short flat stretch to Linguaglossa and Piedimonte Etneo before descending to the sea at Riposto. The riders will pass the finish line for the first time to climb the Sciarra di Scorciavacca climb (one of Etna’s many slopes) from which they will rejoin the previous descent to Piedimonte Etneo. It’s then a quick dive to Fiumefreddo di Sicilia and an arrival in Mascali.
The last few kilometres are practically entirely ‘horizontal’ inside the built-up area of Mascali, with a wide U-turn on two curves that are far apart, leading to the final straight, with a slightly uphill stretch.
The Giro di Sicilia Eolo, 28 September – 1 October (20 teams of 7 riders each): 5 UCI WorldTeams, 8 UCI ProTeams and 7 UCI Continental Teams).
ISRAEL START – UP NATION
TREK – SEGAFREDO
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÉ
CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
EOLO-KOMETA CYCLING TEAM
EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI
AMORE E VITA
D’AMICO UM TOOLS
GIOTTI VICTORIA SAVINI DUE
MG.K VIS VPM
TEAM COLPACK BALLAN
WORK SERVICE – MARCHIOL – DYNATEK
ZALF EUROMOBIL FIOR
Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen Canceled for the Second Year in a Row
The Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen is canceled just like last season. Due to the cancellation, the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen in Koolskamp, was the last round of the Bingoal Cycling Cup.
Last season, the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen, which is named after the former Belgian cyclist Rik Van Steenbergen, was removed from the calendar. At the time, the organisers didn’t want to take any risks with regard to the virus during the corona pandemic. “This is a postponement and not a cancellation,” assured Mayor Kristof Hendrickx van Arendonk at the time. “A race in memory of Rik Van Steenbergen belongs in Arendonk.”
Dries De Bondt was the last winner of the race. In 2019, after 200 kilometres, the Belgian rider was the best of a leading group of four men. His teammate at Corendon-Circus Jimmy Janssens finished second. The two Dutchmen Piotr Havik and Oscar Riesebeek were third and fourth.
Dries De Bondt – Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen winner in 2019:
Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen 2021 Canceled
As you already read, the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen will not take place this year. To make matters worse, the Sluitingsprijs in Putte-Kapellen has also been removed from the national calendar. The race was scheduled for Tuesday, October 12.
The large folk festival that this competition entails every year cannot be conducted correctly according to current COVID guidelines. “In recent years, it regularly happened that there were about 30,000 people along the course. In normal circumstances, you as an organiser are rubbing your hands. Now you could be forced to keep the public out of the start and finish zone, but that is absolutely not an option here.”
The organisers can see no other solution. “The Putte-Kapellen Sluitingsprijs is traditionally one of the most festive competitions on the calendar. If you forbid the audience to come, you are just denying the uniqueness of this competition. And the organisers certainly does not want to see that happen. Hopefully we will all be freed from the health problems as soon as possible and life will resume its normal course. Also in the race.” The organisers hope to run the event on Tuesday 11 October 2022.
Piotr Havik (BEAT) won the last Nationale Sluitingsprijs in 2019:
Tony Martin Calls it a Day After 14 Years in the Pro Peloton
Tony Martin will say goodbye to professional cycling after the World Championships time trial and Mixed Relay in Belgium. The four-time world champion time trial shared this decision today on his website and social media channels. The German rider (36) has told the team management of Team Jumbo-Visma after the Tour de France that he didn’t want to fulfil his one year ongoing contract.
Among the many other victories on Martin’s impressive palmarès are five (individual) stages in the Tour de France, the win in the GC of Paris-Nice and 10 German TT titles. Moreover, ‘Der Panzerwagen’ impressed with thousands of kilometres at the head of the peloton in support of his teammates.
This is the message Martin shared on his channels, just before he started the final preparations for the individual time trial at the World Championships today:
“Today I want to announce that the upcoming time trial and mixed relay World Championships will be the last races in my career. Such a far-reaching decision is of course not easy to make. Cycling has been a large part of my life for a long time, with highs and lows, big successes and losses, crashes and comebacks. What many young riders dream of, I have achieved. In the last few months I have been thinking more about what is to come after cycling. The bad crashes this year have also caused me to question whether I am ready to continue to face the risks that our sport involve. I have decided that I do not want to, especially since race safety has not improved despite the many discussions about courses and barriers. Hopefully the cycling world will listen to the plans presented by my team and other teams.”
“Therefore I want to be fair to myself, my family and all my colleagues and end my career as a pro cyclist. I want to say farewell in a fitting manner at the Worlds TT, which I won four times. I have trained hard for it.”
“I’d like to thank Team Jumbo-Visma for its support the last three years and the opportunity to end my career in this way, as I have wished. I also want to express my deepest thanks to my family, my friends, my fans and all colleagues. Without you I could not have lived my dream and I will never forget you!”
Michael Valgren Extends with Team
“I’ve had a really good first year. I feel at home.”
Michael Valgren is excited to wear pink a while longer. We’re thrilled to announce that the 29-year-old has extended his contract with the team.
EF Education-NIPPO is particularly happy to have Valgren on board after his recent performance at the Giro della Toscana. Valgren rode to victory in Tuscany yesterday and made history at the race as the first Danish rider to win it.
“This was a race for climbers and I’m not really a climber so I had to dig really deep. This was definitely special,” said Valgren.
“I feel like I understand the team and the team understands me. I can’t wait to keep walking down this path,” he said.
The Dane vet had a busy summer. Most recently, he earned himself a spot on Denmark’s Olympic team and traveled to Tokyo. “It was always my dream. I was honoured to represent Denmark there,” said Valgren.
Prior to the Olympics, he took on another massive effort: the Tour de France. Valgren has ridden the Tour six times before, but he said the latest edition was one of his most memorable.
“It was sweet to come into that particular group. Since day one, the communication was so good and super professional. At moments it was so fun,” he said.
As you might have noticed, Valgren is usually sporting a smile — both on and off the bike. He attributes this to the camaraderie he feels like not only with the riders, but also with the team’s support staff and in particular the sport directors on the team. “I work really well with Andreas Klier and he’s been taking good care of me. Ken and Charly have been so helpful too. I’m really grateful for that,” said Valgren.
Someone that Valgren has become particularly close with is Magnus Cort, another fellow Dane and rider at this year’s Tour de France. Cort will also be riding alongside Valgren in 2022.
“Magnus is someone I’ve bonded with and we know each other really well now. We can have really good races together,” said Valgren.
As for now, you can keep your eyes out for Valgren at the Eurométropole Tour. The Classics man is also on the team’s shortlist for the team’s Paris-Roubaix roster.
“I’m looking forward to the many good moments to come with this team. I feel like I understand the team and the team understands me. I can’t wait to keep walking down this path,” said Valgren.
Valgren has had a successful last few weeks:
Norsgaard, Samitier Secure their Future with Movistar Team
Danish rouleur, Spanish climber – two crucial figures for the Telefónica-backed squad’s future – sign new, multi-year deals with Eusebio Unzué’s outfit.
The Movistar Team announced Friday that Mathias Norsgaard (Silkeborg, DEN; 1997) and Sergio Samitier (Barbastro, ESP; 1995) have both signed multi-year contract extensions with the Telefónica-backed squad. The Dane will remain a Blue member until the end of 2023, while the Spaniard will stay with his home WorldTour team until 31 December 2024.
Norsgaard’s new contract is a reward to his big efforts: following two inactivity periods and several operations due to his horrible fractures in the winter of 2019, the Danish youngster was able to get back to where he always wanted to be with an excellent second half of 2021. Other than individual results – 2nd at a stage of the Benelux Tour; 3rd at a tough Danish Champs road race; 4th in the ITT – Mathias showed great teamwork skills, tactical sense and commitment in all kinds of terrains and situations. In just few days’ time, Norsgaard will be able to join his first elite Worlds appearance: he’ll compete for Denmark at the mixed relay, together with – amongst other riders – his sister Emma and her fiancé, and a big friend of Mathias, Mikkel Bjerg (UAD).
In turn, Samitier’s extension helps the Movistar Team secure one of their biggest hopefuls. Despite injuries and incidents – more importantly in 2020 – which have overshadowed his WorldTour career to date, he finished 13th in his maiden Giro d’Italia appearance last year and shone during the last few months in top events like the Tour de Suisse – fighting for the KOM jersey until the very last day – the Settimana Italiana (6th overall) or the Volta a Portugal, 3rd into stage one. The Spaniard was selected as a reserve, and part of the Movistar Team bubble, prior to the Tour de France, which further underlines the Blues’ confidence in Sergio’s potential.
Mathias Norsgaard: “I’m really happy and proud to stay in Movistar Team colours for two more years. The first year was ‘different’, with the pandemic and my injury, so 2021 was my first real, full season with the team. I had some really nice races in the spring, joining the breaks at Milano-Sanremo and the Ronde van Vlaanderen – it gave me so much joy, to be able to be up there in the biggest one-day events in the world, as part of this team. It really made me proud and happy. When I had the chance to re-sign with the Movistar Team, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. It was already fantastic to sign that first contract two years ago, but this extension is just as special. I hope I can continue with the Blues for many more years, because I believe they can develop me in the right direction. I had my chances to pursue my own results this year and I was also given the job and opportunity to develop into a really good team-mate for the leaders in this team, so I hope I can continue as a member of this family in the future.”
Sergio Samitier: “Having Eusebio and the Movistar Team giving me the chance to re-sign for three more years really shows they’ve got faith and confidence in what I can do, and I want to pay them back for that support in the long term by becoming the best rider I can be. I would like to get myself back into a more ambitious role, just as I competed when I was an amateur; be a crucial rider for the team at the most important races of the season; and hopefully take on leading roles whenever is needed in the next few years. Should the team ask me to pick up the pace in a mountain stage and reduce the field – I can do that. And if I have to be the leader, as it was the case for me at the Settimana Italiana this year, be up there or maybe even aim at victory. Simply put, to continue growing. I feel like the upcoming three years are the ‘day of reckoning’ for me, and I must go chase strong results. In that respect, I feel quite at ease in this team – it’s our home squad, the main reference, the team you’ve always followed as a kit, and having them putting that much faith in you and giving you those three years is really beautiful. I really value strongly that Spaniards like me continue to be given a chance here, having the team gamble on us locals – it’s great for us.”
Team Jumbo-Visma Women attracts two talents with Riedmann and Rüegg
German Linda Riedmann and Swiss Noemi Rüegg will strengthen the Team Jumbo Visma Women selection in 2022. The young talents both sign for two years with the Dutch formation.
The 18-year-old Riedmann, brand new European junior champion, is looking forward to the switch. “It feels like a great opportunity to develop myself and learn from experienced riders. The step to the elite class is a big one, but I am confident that this team can guide me in the right way. It is a very professional environment with a family atmosphere. At the first test training I immediately felt at home and at ease. My recent victory at the EC has given me extra confidence for next season. I am looking forward to being part of the team and competing for victories together.”
The 20-year-old Rüegg comes from cyclocross. This season she finished on the podium among the elite women at the Swiss National Championships and she won the youth classification at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. “It’s a dream come true to ride with this team. I can still learn so much there in terms of race preparation, tactics, nutrition and equipment. I’m going to do everything I can to keep growing and contribute to the team goals. My strength is my punch. I love it when it goes up and down all day. I want to get the best out of myself, keep developing and it would be nice to be able to compete for wins in the World Tour peloton one day.”
At Team Jumbo-Visma, talent recognition and talent development go hand in hand with top sport. Team manager Esra Tromp is therefore very enthusiastic about the young assets and has great confidence in the development of both riders. “Linda and Noemi are still young, but have enormous potential. The next two years will be about learning. Linda will make the transition from the juniors to the elite peloton next year. That will undoubtedly be a big step and as a team we will guide her carefully. Noemi stood out to us because of her attacking way of racing. Her technical skills from the cross and her guts will take her far in a professional environment. There is still a lot of room for development for both riders. This season we have seen some of our current riders make great strides. We are very proud of that. For Linda and Noemi we see that possibility as well.”
Euro champ – Linda Riedmann:
Team DSM Extend Contracts with Pfeiffer Georgi, Franziska Koch and Esmée Peperkamp
Building on a strong 2021 season with numerous successes, Team DSM reinforce their Women’s program with contract extensions for Pfeiffer Georgi, Franziska Koch and Esmée Peperkamp. Peperkamp will stay with the team until at least the end of 2022, while Georgi and Koch will race in the team’s colours through the 2023 season.
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Still only 20-years-old, Georgi has been with the team upon turning professional in 2019 and has steadily grown as an athlete on and off the bike since then. Learning from those around in her in her opening two years, 2021 has seen some breakthrough performances from the Brit as either part of the team’s lead out train, or when she’s had the chance to go for results as the designated finisher. This was apparent at the recent Simac Ladies Tour where Georgi rode impressively to claim a brilliant sixth place on GC and take home the best young rider’s jersey – impressive results at the highest level of the sport, the Women’s World Tour. Full of confidence and in great form, Georgi took her maiden professional victory at La Choralis Fourmies Féminine after an incredible ride by the team throughout the day on the attack.
Georgi said: “I’m really looking forward to the next two years with Team DSM as there’s always been a strong focus on my long-term development and I’m excited to see how I can continue to grow as a rider with the team. I hope to be part of more victories together, whether that is for myself or any of my teammates and think that I can continue working and developing to become a strong classics and lead out rider.”
Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Pfeiffer has made really big steps on and off the bike since she’s joined the team. In the last three years since then she has really come out of her shell. The character and personality she has is really important for us as a team. On the bike, Pfeiffer can read races well, which is something that seems to come naturally to her. She’s taken big steps this year in her performances with some good results combined with great teamwork, and she continues to develop in a good way. A good all-round rider who can cope with hard classic-style days in the saddle, we want to keep Pfeiffer’s development broad so that we can help her grow into the best possible version of herself.”
Franziska Koch (GER)
Having turned professional with the team in August of 2019, Koch immediately burst onto the scene taking a spectacular stage win at the Boels Ladies Tour after an impressive sprint from the day’s late breakaway. Still only 21 years old, Koch has developed season-by-season with the team, proving to be a versatile rider who is strong on the flat but can also handle the short and punchy climbs. A team player, she’s also happy to dig in to help the team’s goals and brings that enthusiasm to off the bike.
Koch said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time with Team DSM so far and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey with them. I see a lot of potential to continue my development as rider, but also as person in the team, so I am really looking forward to keep on going with the team and making the next steps in my career here.”
Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna: “Franziska is a talented rider who has already developed and made steps within our team, and we still see a lot of possibilities that she can continue to grow with us over the coming years. A resilient character, Franziska has a brilliant mentality and attitude, and we think that will help take her to the next higher level with the team. She brings a great atmosphere to the group and is happy to get stuck in to help the rest of the team, and we’ve seen that come to fruition with Franziska part of some great results and wins this year. Off the bike, Franziska is also very smart and she’s good in social situations, with the ability to read people well and say the right thing at the right time to help motivate or encourage her teammates, something that’s very important. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue our journey with her.”
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Starting the sport of cycling relatively late, Peperkamp has found her feet well after joining Team DSM at the beginning of 2021 and has proven to be a valuable team member in her professional career so far. Often found working selflessly at the front of the peloton, helping to chase back the day’s breakaway and setting up the team’s finisher, Peperkamp has settled into the team well while she hones and fine tunes her skills with the help of the team’s experts and coaches. Looking ahead, Peperkamp aims to continue to develop her abilities on the bike with the team.
Peperkamp said: “I am very happy to extend my contract with Team DSM. When I joined the girls at the start of this year, I got a warm welcome and they helped me to get used to my new life as a pro cyclist very quickly. I like the environment in the team, created by all the people with a lot of knowledge and experience who are dedicated to improving themselves and others, with the main goal to achieve the best possible team effort. The first part of my season was difficult because I had a lot of crashes and got some injuries as a result. Luckily the team helped me to get fit again, so I could play a role in a lot of great results. For next year I want to keep improving my overall level, time trialling, and my positioning in the peloton during races. I am very grateful to be a part of Team DSM for another year.”
Team DSM coach Rudi Kemna continued: “Esmée started the sport late, but she has developed very well and after joining us at the start of the season, she’s taken another big step. Esmée has a great attitude and she’s always open to listen to advice and work hard to support the team’s ambitions. She has a lot of potential physically but is still a relatively raw talent due to having only started competing in races a few years ago. We want to continue working with her and we believe that with the help of all of the experts in the team, then we can help to unlock that potential as she gains more and more experience of racing in the peloton.”
Kramer and Simmons Sign with Jumbo-Visma Development Team
Jumbo-Visma Development Team has strengthened its ranks for the next two years with Dutch rider Jesse Kramer and American rider Colby Simmons. Both riders are currently competing in the junior category and will make their debut in the U23 peloton next year.
For seventeen-year-old Kramer, his transfer is a dream come true. “At the beginning of this season I didn’t expect that I would get this opportunity. When I was approached, I did not hesitate for long and said yes. In this place I can learn a lot. The guidance in terms of training, equipment and nutrition is very good here. I would like to take advantage of that to become a better rider and develop myself.”
Current U.S. junior champion Simmons is happy with the opportunity he is getting with the Dutch development team. “I’m really looking forward to joining a team that can help me in my development as a cyclist. I think Jumbo-Visma Development Team is a perfect stepping stone for my further career and am grateful that I can prove myself here.”
Head of Development Robbert de Groot sees the two talents as welcome reinforcements for the U23 team. “We think these guys fit well in our team. They are two calm guys and together we will work on their development. Because there have been few races, we have been very careful in our choice of these two riders. With both riders we think they have a lot of potential. In which direction that is, the future will tell. We are not going to put a stamp on them and they will get plenty of opportunities to develop.”
Kramer and Simmons are new riders number four and five for the Team Jumbo-Visma Development Team, after Tijmen Graat, Per Strand Hagenes and Axandre Van Petegem were previously announced.
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