What's Cool In Road Cycling

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

2020 Giro d’Italia will start in Sicily with fans – Top Story. Plus we have a race to report on – The Slovenian Road Championships. All the weekend’s news: Lefevere nearly with Israel Cycling Academy, Belgium’s first race, Jumbo-Visma on Cervélo, Ineos at the Tour, Terpstra out of hospital, Evenepoel schedule, Astana plans, Jungels to the Tour, Wellens crashes, Belgian and Spanish champs news, Petacchi on the Giro, contract news, Froome update, Gilbert beaten on La Redoute, race and rider news, cyclocross in June and WPCC champs. Philipot and Zoppas pass on. Monday EUROTRASH!

top story
TOP STORY: Giro d’Italia Starts in Sicily With Fans
The Giro d’Italia will run with an audience this autumn. This is the result of a conversation that organiser RCS and the Italian cycling federation had with the minister of sport, Rai Sport reports. However, there are safety measures for the spectators present. In addition, it has been confirmed that the Giro can start on the Island of Sicily.

Race director Mauro Vegni also said that the organisation is writing down solutions for the three stages that would originally be held in Hungary. In addition to an extra stage in Sicily, a stage in the southern region of Basilicata around Matera and an extra mountain stage in the second week are also planned. It is said to be a stage through the Abruzzo, with mountain village Roccaraso as an important possibility.

Earlier it was leaked that the Italian stage race would start with a time trial in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The second stage would then go from Monreale to Agrigento, followed by the third stage with finish on the Etna volcano. The Grande Partenza in Budapest (Hungary) has already been postponed to 2021.

Paolo Bellino, the CEO of RCS, says he has made a proposal with the conditions that cycling will meet when the season resumes. “That proposal takes into account the public, but according to the rules of the decree of the prime minister on June 11, so with social distancing rules. It is a return to normal, although it will not be as we are used to. In any case, it is a step further than a few months ago.”

The cycling union and RCS’s proposal has yet to be approved, but that does not seem to be a problem after a “very productive conversation”. At the end of this month, the Giro d’Italia will present the final route. The tour is scheduled for October 3-25 on the revised calendar.

The fans will be out in Sicily for the Giro:
giro etna

Slovenian National Road Championships 2020
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is the new Slovenian road champion. The leader of Jumbo-Visma was the best on the steep final climb of the national championship, the first major UCI race since the corona virus outbreak. Roglic beat the other favourite, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) by 10 seconds. Bahrain-McLaren’s Matej Mohorič was third at 39 seconds.

The Slovenian pros had to race over a course of 146 kilometres, and it wasn’t long before the first leading group had escaped. Jan Tratnik was the big name among them. The Bahrain-McLaren rider had Matic Groselj (Ljubljana Gusto-Santic), Ziga Horvat (Adria Mobil) and Nik Cemazar (KK Kranj) with him.

The peloton slowly started to chase, but the lead was never very big, fluctuating between 3 and 4 minutes, the race was still on the almost flat local laps. Luka Mezgec, as a sprinter and loner of Mitchelton-Scott had almost no chance on the final climb, was one of the pacesetters of the chase. He looked to be riding for the other loner, Primoz Roglic. Jan Polanc, teammate of Tadej Pogacar, also rode at the front.

With two more local laps to the final climb, Ziga Horvat lost contact with the escapees, after which Matic Groselj was also dropped. The two remaining attackers then started the final climb to Ambrož pod Krvavec (8.3 km at 7.8%) with a minute lead, which they held for a while.

Behind; the peloton soon thinned out to a select group of favourites, including Primoz Roglic, Tadej Pogacar and Matej Mohoric. Janez Brajkovic (Adria Mobil) was also with the leaders. It was clear that Roglic and Pogacar were watching each other as every attack was immediately countered.

The Jumbo-Visma leader managed to shake off his UAE Team Emirates adversary 4 kilometres from the finish, but Pogacar quickly returned to Roglic’s wheel. The two World leaders were evenly matched and were together at the last kilometre. Rogla attacked his younger compatriot for the win. Pogacar second, Mohoric third. In the women’s race, the victory went to Ursa Pintar.


Slovenian National Champion, Primoz Roglic Jumbo-Visma: “That I immediately take the victory here in my first race of the season feels very good. It was a tough race with a very tough final climb. Considering the spring, Tadej was the favourite and it was certainly not easy to beat him. I had explored the climb well, so I knew where to start. I am certainly not yet in top form, but I am already looking forward to the coming races. I also want to thank the team for making the effort to guide me in Slovenia. That means a lot to me. It is wonderful that the situation is now so good that we can finally race again and do what we are good at. I am therefore very happy that I was able to immediately take the national title.”

Slovenian National Road Championships 2020 Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 3:30:54
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
3. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:39
4. Janez Brajkovič (Slov) Adria Mobil at 0:53
5. Domen Novak (Slov) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:13
6. Jan Polanc (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 1:34
7. Nik Čemažar at 1:39
8. Jan Tratnik (Slov) Bahrain-McLaren at 2:17
9. Matej Mugerli (Slov) Continental Team Sport.Land. Niederösterreich at 2:27
10. Grega Bole (Slov) Bahrain-McLaren at 2:54.

Slovenian champs:

Patrick Lefevere Was Nearly With Israel Cycling Academy
It came close to the point where Patrick Lefevere made a deal with the then Quick-Step Floors team in 2018 with Sylvan Adams, the major sponsor of the Israel Cycling Academy. “There was agreement on the amount of the acquisition, on the bicycle manufacturer, on the riders and the team management.”

“I was looking for a sponsor, he wanted to make the step to the World Tour,” Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad about his conversations with Adams two years ago in a hotel in London. “We were very close to a deal. Not to say it was as good as done. I could stay on board for another three years under the agreement. But it never came to a real deal because of Deceuninck’s interest. It was only because we still found a sponsor with Deceuninck that the project was canceled.” A year later, Israel Cycling Academy merged with Katusha and the team joined the WorldTour.

What about Chris Froome?
Lefevere himself has also heard rumours of the possible move by Froome to Adams’s team in August, but surprise, he does not worry about that. “I got to know Israel sponsor Sylvan Adams as a very ambitious man. With the financial scope to realise his plans. I don’t have any inside information, but I am sure the Israeli pockets are deep enough to complete that transition.”

Patrick Lefevere:

Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Lotto Soudal Will Start in the First Belgian Race
On July 5, cycling will restart in Belgium with the GP Vermarc Sport in Rotselaar. Clothing sponsor Vermarc Sport has taken the initiative, together with “Het vliegend viel Rotselaar”, to breathe new life into the race after the corona break. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Lotto Soudal and Alpecin-Fenix, among others, will be on the start line.

The 160 kilometre route will be of ten local laps of 15 kilometres, followed by a final lap of 10 kilometres. A maximum of 175 riders can participate, from pros to elites without contract. The Vermarc Sport headquarters in Wezemaal (Rotselaar municipality) is the starting point, finishing in the centre of Wezemaal.

No more than 200 spectators may enter the start and finish zones, and in those parts, the rule of social distancing must be kept. Mayor Jelle Wouters of Rotselaar has approved the national race, as have his colleagues from Aarschot, Holsbeek, Cycling Flanders and the police forces. This week the finishing touches are still being made by the organisation.

“Now that we are slowly getting out of the lockdown, we feel that the need for competition among the Belgian elite riders is enormous,” says Marc Verbeeck, CEO at Vermarc Sport. “Of course with the necessary security measures and subject to further developments regarding the corona virus.”

There are also races in Zolder and Wortegem on 3 and 5 July, but these are exhibition events. “But we are the first real pro race, with support vehicles, prize money and all the trimmings,” said Verbeeck to Gazet van Antwerpen. He calls the “GP Vermarc Sport” a carnival race that will remain on the calendar in the coming years.

Racing back on in Belgium on July the 5th:

Jumbo-Visma On Cervélo in 2021
Jumbo-Visma is at the moment racing on Bianchi bikes, but according to Algemeen Dagblad, the Dutch WorldTour team will be riding Cervélo in 2021. Bike manufacturer Cervélo supplies Team Sunweb at the moment.

In 2014, the then Belkin team partnered with the Italian bicycle manufacturer Bianchi after riding Giant. Since then, the team has recorded many victories, including stage wins in the Tour de France, some top stage races and a victory in the Vuelta a España.

“In the five years that we have now worked together, we have succeeded in developing further. We have grown together. Both as a team, with achievements and emerging talent, and with the Bianchis we ride on. We provide the input to improve the bikes. Innovation is the basis for both of us,” team manager Plugge said in 2018.

Now the collaboration between Jumbo-Visma and Bianchi seems to be coming to an end. The successful WorldTour team looks to be going to Cervélo in 2021. Cervélo is still connected to Team Sunweb, although a spokesman for that team told AD that there is a possibility that Cervélo will sponsor both teams next year.

No Bianchi’s with Jumbo-Visma:
jumbo bianchi

Will Team Ineos Start with Three Leaders?
Egan Bernal, Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas: who will be the leader of Team Ineos in the 2020 Tour de France? “It is a situation we have never been in before,” sports director Servais Knaven told NOS.

23-year-old Bernal hopes to win the Tour de France for a second consecutive time this year, but may have to share the lead with Thomas, winner of “La Grande Boucle” two years ago, and four-time Tour winner Froome. “It is quite a puzzle,” said Knaven.

“We have always done well with two leaders, but three leaders is a different story. The question is whether we will start with three leaders. We may start with two leaders and a protected rider. Let’s first look at the level of the riders. That is currently very difficult to estimate.”

Dylan van Baarle, who is on a training camp with Froome, thinks the four-time Tour winner will stay with Ineos. He spoke to AD: “In the end, I don’t know exactly what is going on behind the scenes with him, but that’s what he says to us.”

For several weeks there has been a rumour that Froome wants to leave Team Ineos. Last week he was linked to Israel Start-Up Nation, which wants him to transfer in August and ride as leader in the Tour de France.

“Of course that’s what it’s all about, because it’s in the news all time. But as far as I know, he just stays and wants to ride the Tour with Ineos. In the end, I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with him either, but that’s what he says to us,” said the Dutchman. He calls a possible departure from the leader strange. “And I don’t think it’s going to happen and he’s not going to go early.”

Bernal, Thomas or Froome?

Terpstra Leaves Hospital
Niki Terpstra crashed heavily during a training ride last Tuesday, but he left hospital on Sunday. “The recovery is going better than expected,” his wife Ramona told De Telegraaf.

Terpstra crashed on the dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad and was rushed to hospital. The Total Direct Energie classics specialist sustained a collapsed lung, a concussion, some broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

Terpstra was initially in intensive care, but was transferred to an ordinary department of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam on Wednesday. The winner of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix will recover in about three months, according to the Total Direct Energie team.

Terpstra, 36, can now start his rehabilitation at home. It is unknown when the Dutchman can race again for his French team and whether he can regain his previous form.


Remco Evenepoel Has Schedule Up To the European Championships
According to Het Laatste Nieuws, Remco Evenepoel will resume the season in the Tour of Burgos. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider will also make an appearance in three other races in August.

The Tour of Burgos (July 28-August 1), a five-day stage race in the north of Spain, will probably have twelve WorldTour teams on the start line, including Jumbo-Visma, Team Ineos and thus Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Several leaders have confirmed recently that they will start in the climbers race.

Evenepoel will participate in the Tour of Poland (August 5-9) after the Tour of Burgos. Less than a week after the final stage of the Polish stage race, the Belgian will ride the Tour of Lombardy. Evenepoel will participate in the European championships at the end of August, which may take place in Plouay.

The 20-year-old rider focuses his season mainly on the Giro d’Italia (October 3-25). “A Grand Tour is currently important for my development,” said Evenepoel, he also hopes for a strong debut in a three-week stage race.

Euro TT champ, Evenepoel:

López via French Races to Tour, Fuglsang via Italy and Poland to Giro
Astana has revealed the programs of Miguel Ángel López and Jakob Fuglsang. López opts for a French program leading up to the Tour de France, while Fuglsang completes a largely Italian program up to and including the Giro d’Italia.

López will be seen for the first time in the Route d’Occitanie (August 1-4). He then rides the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (August 6) and the Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16) before making his debut as a leader in the Tour de France.

For Fuglsang, the second part of the season starts on August 1 in Strade Bianche, after which he starts for the first time in the Tour of Poland (August 5-9). He then returns to Italy for Gran Piemonte (August 12), the Tour of Lombardy (August 15) and Tirreno-Adriatico (September 7-13). He then focuses on the leadership in the Giro d’Italia, which starts on October 3.

Alexey Lutsenko is Astana’s third spearhead this autumn. He opts for a Classics restart in Italy (Strade Bianche, Gran Trittico Lombardo, Milan-Turin, Milan-San Remo) and then rides the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Giro dell’Emilia and the Tour de France.

Astana previously announced that it will divide the selection into two fixed training groups. López is working towards the restart in the Sierra Nevada and there he receives support from his Colombian teammates and teammates who live in Spain. The rest of the team will train with Fuglsang in the Italian Dolomites.

López on his way to the Tour:

Bob Jungels Focuses on Tour de France and Classics
Bob Jungels is ready for the restart of the season. The Luxembourger of Deceuninck – Quick-Step starts his season with Strade Bianche, followed by Milan-San Remo and the Critérium du Dauphiné, according to various media.

The 27-year-old Jungels will then go to Nice in the south of France to start in the Tour de France. The all-rounder – winner of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last year – will probably participate in the World championships in Aigle and Martigny after the Tour. Jungels skips the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

As a former winner, the Luxembourger focuses on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, while he will participate in the Walloon Arrow a few days before ‘La Doyenne’. Furthermore, Jungels has circled the Amstel Gold Race, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in red in his cycling agenda. These races are held in October. Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, Jungels rode the Tour Colombia 2.1, the opening Classics; Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Paris-Nice. He finished 15th in the French stage race.

Jungels in the 2019 E3:

lotto soudal
Tim Wellens Crashes Into a Ravine
Tim Wellens crashed into a ravine on a mountain bike ride in the south of France on Wednesday. The 29-year-old Limburger got off with some of abrasions. “Fortunately, my brother Yannick and Jasper Stuyven were there to help me.”

The Monaco resident Lotto Soudal rider was on his mountain bike near Sospel (25 kilometres north of Monaco), accompanied by brother Yannick and colleague Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). It went wrong on a technical uphill section.

“I suddenly had to put my foot on the ground,” Wellens told Het Belang van Limburg. “One problem: there was no ground next to the path. And so I immediately plunged into the ravine, a few meters deeper. Except for some abrasions, the physical damage seems to be not too bad.”

Wellens wrote on his Facebook page: “Crashed yesterday with the mountain bike, luckily Jasper Stuyven & my brother Yannick Wellens were there to help! Only bruises & scratches, so all ok! Thx for all the kind messages!”


Belgian Championships to Include the Muur van Geraadsbergen
The Muur van Geraardsbergen is missing from the Tour of Flanders this year, but will make an appearance in a bike race. The organisers of the Belgian championships has decided to include the cobblestone climb in the course. In Geraardsbergen people were surprised and shocked that the Muur was not in the Tour of Flanders, but the Mayor of Geraardsbergen, Guido De Padt, will welcome the best Belgian cyclists on the flanks of the Muur on Tuesday 22 September.

The start of the Belgian championship’s race is in Halle and the finish is in Anzegem. The National title race will take place two days after the final stage of the Tour de France.

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) hopes to defend his title:

Jaén Province to Host Spanish Championship This Year
The Spanish championships will take place this year from 21 to 23 August in the Province of Jaén, the Spanish cycling federation announced. The Elite riders will have several local laps between Úbeda and Baeza.

The plans of the Spanish cycling federation have now been approved by the UCI. This means that riders like Alejandro Valverde, Luis León Sánchez and Iván García will be able to compete for the Spanish title at the end of August. The Elite men’s race, if the health situation allows, will be on Sunday, August 23. The championships start two days earlier with different the time trials in and around the town of Cazorla. On the weekend of August 22 and 23, in addition to the Elite men, the U23 riders and Elite women will also compete for national titles on the road.

Alejandro Valverde was crowned Spanish road champion for the third time in his career last year. The Movistar rider managed to cross the line in his home region of Murcia, ahead of Luis León Sánchez (also from Murcia) and Jesús Herrada.

Spanish National champ:

Petacchi Likes the Giro in Autumn
Alessandro Petacchi thinks it’s a choice to move the Giro d’Italia to October, the former top sprinter told Tuttobiciweb. “It is not a major problem. October has never been a very cold month in recent years.”

“On the other hand, we have had a very rainy month in May in recent years,” said Petacchi, who has 22 Giro stages in his palmarès. “In my opinion, the move to autumn is not a bad choice. It is interesting to see how riders react to a Grand Tour, without the races that they have in a normal season. That will have a major impact on the results.”

“The UCI has set a new calendar to save the season, which is encouraging, stimulating and a big step forward,” said AleJet. “It is essential that the most important events can be organised. Especially the Tour de France, which we know is the most important race of our sport. It is not easy to put so many races in three months, but it has to be in light of the emergency we are living in.”

Petacchi thinks the riders who want to peak early will have a hard time. “After so many months without a race, it will be difficult to compete immediately in Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Lombardy. These are very tough physically and mentally, and without proper preparation they can be even more difficult.”

“This June will be very important for the first races. Nobody will leave anything to chance, especially the riders who have an expiring contract. It will not be easy for them to be noticed. There are few opportunities to stand out, also because many races are run simultaneously on the shortened calendar,” said Petacchi.

A happy AleJet?

Transfer Not the Reason De Plus isn’t in the Tour de France
Laurens De Plus is not in the Tour de France selection of Jumbo-Visma is partly due to injury, but according to Het Nieuwsblad it is also due to his wish to change team. The 24-year-old climber does not want to extend his expiring contract and is about to sign with another team – Team Ineos and Movistar have been mentioned. Jumbo-Visma denies that this is the reason for leaving De Plus at home.

Jumbo-Visma announced the news on Wednesday that De Plus will not be part of the eight-man Tour team in autumn, because of persistent stomach problems since the UAE Tour. His place in the selection is taken by intended Giro leader George Bennett. De Plus takes over from Bennett in the Italian Tour, as leader or in a free role.

Jumbo-Visma told WielerFlits that a possible transfer for Laurens De Plus is not the reason for the Belgian not riding the Tour de France, but because he had to delay his training. Jumbo-Visma is also in talks with De Plus to extend its expiring contract.

De Plus won stage 7 of the 2019 BinckBank Tour:
de plus

nippo delko
Nippo-Delko One Provence Signs 22-Year-Old Delettre
Alexandre Delettre makes his professional debut next season for Nippo-Delko One Provence. The 22-year-old Frenchman comes from Vélo Club Villefranche-Beaujolais. He was already an stagieire at Delko Marseille Provence.

Delettre earned his stagieire place in late 2019 by winning the Grand Prix de Cherves and the championship of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region at the amateur level. During his time with Delko Marseille Provence he took fourth in La Polynormande.

For Delettre, becoming a pro is a dream come true. “The team is expanding and growing every year. That makes you want to belong to the project and succeed. What I especially want is to help the team and achieve results,” he said. Team manager Philippe Lannes is happy with the arrival of Delettre. “His involvement fits very well with the identity of the team. He can achieve good results very quickly in the Coupe de France.”

New rider for Nippo Delko:
nippo delko

lotto soudal
Gilbert Beaten by Leemreize on La Redoute
Philippe Gilbert looked to have set the bar very high when he clocked the fastest time on La Redoute on Strava this week. Barely a few days later, the Lotto Soudal rider had to give up his record to Gijs Leemreize, who was even faster.

Gilbert shared on his social media a screenshot of Strava with his fast time, which he set on La Redoute this week. 4 minutes and 25 seconds, the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2011 was no less than 17 seconds faster than Romain Bardet, who was the fastest since his recon of the La Doyenne route last year.

Gilbert could only enjoy his lead for a short time, because on Friday Gijs Leemreize climbed the famous slope at Remouchamps even faster. The 20-year-old Dutchman from the Jumbo-Visma training team stopped the clock after 4 minutes and 22 seconds, good for an average of 21.2 kilometres per hour.

“Hey Philippe Gilbert, that KOM was yours for a short time,” Jumbo-Visma Academy teased Gilbert on social media. Robert Gesink had also noticed the top time of his young team mate. “Hahaha, class little one!” Leemreize was having a good start to the 2020 season before the covid-19 crisis, in February he finished 33rd in the Tour de La Provence.

Big Stars Choose Tour de Pologne
This week has some good news for Polish fans. Our best mountain rider Rafal Majka and the world’s leading sprinter Pascal Ackermann announced that they will start in the Tour de Pologne in August. These will be Bora-Hansgrohe’s team leaders and Astana will send a strong team with Jakob Fuglsang and Ion Izagirre.

“When Majka starts in the Tour de Pologne, there is always something going on, right?” Rafal Majka – the 2014 winner laughs. The home race will be his first start in the UCI World Tour after the coronavirus outbreak. “I want to be strong in Poland. After such a long break, there is no question of looking about being in good form. When I come to my home country, I always want to fight for a victory.”

Rafal Majka:

Pascal Ackermann will be at the Tour de Pologne for the third time in a row. The German sprinter quickly became the leading figure in the world peloton. In 2018 he won the stages in Krakow and Katowice, a year later he repeated the victory in Krakow and had success in Zabrze. “I like to start in Poland very much. People are extremely nice and the race is well organised. I have great memories from here” says the German sprinter.

It will be the first Tour de Pologne for Jakob Fuglsang from Astana. His cycling CV is very impressive. The Olympic runner-up from Rio reached for his first trophy a year ago when he won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He also became a specialist in weekly races. He won the Criterium du Dauphine and Vuelta a Andalucia twice. “I’m very motivated. I will come to Tour de Pologne for the first time, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about this race. This will be my second start in the resumed season, but the first stage race. I can’t wait” says Fuglsang, 35. In the fight for the victory in the general classification, support will be very strong. Astana also includes Ion Izagirre as the winner of the 2015 Tour de Pologne.

The 77th edition of our national race will start on August 5.

Jakob Fuglsang:

Meeting Between RCS Sport, The Italian Minister of Sport and the Italian Cycling Federation
A meeting between RCS Sport, the President of the Italian Cycling Federation Renato Di Rocco and the Italian Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora took place this morning in Rome at the Ministry of Sport, also attended by the Italian National Cycling Team Manager Davide Cassani and the Director of the Office for Sport Giuseppe Pierro.

Following the meeting’s conclusion, Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport and Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia, commented: “The meeting with Minister Spadafora was very productive. We have submitted a protocol for the restart of cycling races that outlines all measures required to minimise the epidemiological risk to the organisation and its execution of events. The Minister appreciated the concerted effort of RCS Sport and the Italian Cycling Federation for the creation of this document, written in compliance with the D.P.C.M. (Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana – Decree of the President of the Italian Republic’s Council of Ministers) and issued on 11-06-2020. Over the coming days, the document and its contents will be analysed to understand the measures to be implemented in the organisation of RCS Sport events.”

Giuseppe Pierro, Director of the Office for Sport, Renato Di Rocco, President of the Italian Cycling Federation, Mauro Vegni, Giro d’Italia Director, Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, Italian Minister of Sport and Davide Cassani, CT Italian National Cycling Team:

AG2R-La Mondiale Riders’ Return to Racing Schedule
Laurent Biondi Sports manager: “The entire crew of sports directors and coaches have worked together to establish a schedule that is as consistent as possible. We know it will be very dense packed and with no real break until the finish of the Vuelta, which ends on November 8. This new schedule will also allow a rider like Oliver Naesen to discover the Strade Bianche and Milan Turin, before defending his podium of last year at Milan San Remo. It also gives someone like Romain Bardet the opportunity to race on the roads of the Tour d’Occitanie, which he has not attended since 2013. Then there is the chance to take on the Walloon classics after the Tour de France and the Worlds. The whole team is very motivated and by the time we resume racing, we hope that the pandemic infection numbers will continue to decrease. It will be an unprecedented season and we are all looking forward to returning to competition.”


Each Rider’s Return Races:
Route Occitanie (August 1-4)
CIC Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (August 6)
Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16)

Tour de l’Ain (August 7-9)
Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16)
Tour de France (August 29 – September 20)

Route Occitanie (August 1-4)
CIC Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (August 6)
Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16)

Stade Bianche (August 1)
Milan-Turin (August 5)
Milan – San Remo (August 8)

François BIDARD
Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

Stade Bianche (August 1)

Route Occitanie (August 1-4)

Route Occitanie (August 1-4)

Stade Bianche (August 1)

Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

Julien DUVAL
Milan-Turin (August 5)

Mathias FRANK
Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

Route Occitanie (August 1-4)

CIC Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (August 6)

Alexandre GENIEZ
Route Occitanie (August 1-4)

Dorian GODON
Strade Bianche (August 1)

Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

CIC Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (August 6)

Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

Lawrence NAESEN
Stade Bianche (August 1)

Tour de l’Ain (August 7-9)

Tour de l’Ain (August 7-9)

Tour de Pologne (August 5-9)

Milan-Turin (August 5)

Stade Bianche (August 1)

Route Occitanie (August 1-4)

Route Occitanie (August 1-4)

Stade Bianche (August 1).

Training Camps
Five training camps are on the program for the riders:
June 23-29 Chambon sur Lignon (Haute-Loire).
July 1-10 Vaujany (Oisans).
July 13-23 Vaujany (Oisans).
July 8-23 Col du Lautaret (Hautes-Alpes).
July 12-26. Val d’Isère (Savoy).

Though subject to further calendar changes, the AG2R-La Mondiale team will have participated in 38 events by the end of the 2020 season.

ag2r-la mondiale

Julian Alaphilippe scouts Ronde van Vlaanderen route
Our team concluded the three-day training camp by doing a recon of the race’s last 150 kilometres Thursday afternoon.


After heavy rain cut short Wednesday’s training, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders went out again on the course of the Ronde van Vlaanderen – which is due to take place on October 18 – for a four-hour ride that included all the iconic climbs: Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Eikenberg and Koppenberg.

Among those taking their Specialized bikes for a spin was also Julian Alaphilippe, last season’s Velo d’Or recipient. The 28-year-old winner of Milano-Sanremo is set to make his debut in the race four months from now and got a taste of the cobbles and hills that have contributed to the ever-lasting appeal and legend of Flanders.

“I was very happy to see again my teammates, sports directors and the rest of the staff during these three days. You could see and feel how happy everyone was to be here. At the end of the day, the Wolfpack is still the Wolfpack, and that’s one of the things that matter the most.”


“Doing a recon of Flanders was exciting, and although it was my first time here, I learned many things, got a lot of advice – like for example, from Dries, who lives not far from the Oude Kwaremont, a hill that we climbed a couple of times today – and had a great opportunity to take on this legendary route! Everybody knows that De Ronde is an iconic race and to discover it is a challenge for me. Having this goal of being on the start line this year motivates me a lot and makes me eager to be there in four months’ time. I don’t know how I will perform, but what I do know is that I’ll work hard for my condition, so I can do my best here.”

For Deceuninck – Quick-Step trainer Koen Pelgrim, the camp wasn’t just about assessing the riders’ condition after this long break that was forced upon them in March and training on the cobbled Classics’ parcours, but also about cementing the closely knit dynamic between the riders, that has become such a defining trait of the team.


“I’m happy with the past few days. It’s been good for the riders. They had fun, it was nice to see that the Wolfpack vibe was still there. During the training rides it wasn’t always just two by two, there was some competition between the guys, and this led to a great atmosphere. It was a welcome change from the past months, in which they had to train mostly alone.”

“We did a long recon of Gent-Wevelgem and twice the final part of the Ronde van Vlaanderen. There have been some changes to the parcours, so it was useful to go and have a look. That was more important than having structured training sessions. With the various climbs and cobbled sections that we tackled, all with a different gradient or difficulty, that would also be kind of hard. We know that Julian is very strong on shorter climbs, but cobbled climbs aren’t the same. It was good for him to take on the Flemish cobbled climbs with his teammates. Now the guys will have a calm couple of days after which they will start training again towards our next training camp in Val di Fassa (Passo San Pellegrino). There it will be more essential to organise structured training days and get everyone ready for the restart of the season”, concluded Koen Pelgrim.


alpecin fenix
Van der Poel In The Battle of Balenberg
On Sunday Sporza broadcast the Battle of Balenberg. An event in which eleven cyclo-cross riders, including Annemarie Worst and Mathieu van der Poel, compete in three parts.

There are points to be earned on each part. The cyclo-cross rider with the most points eventually wins the Battle of Balenberg. The first is a trial course, in which a technical course of 400 meters must be completed as quickly as possible. Then there is a sand strip, where one has to get as high as possible. It ends with a time trial of 1.68 kilometres. There are double points to be earned in this section.

Among the men, Mathieu van der Poel, Eli Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck, Thibau Nys and Toon Aerts are on the start. Annemarie Worst, Sanne Cant, Laura Verdonschot, Ellen Van Loy, Denise Betsema and Shirin van Anrooij will make an appearance among the women.

Result on Thursday.

Cross in June?
van der poel

World Press Cycling Championship 2021 – 2022 – 2023
The decision to cancel the WPCC in Veijle this year was painful but fortunately next year we will finally be able to compete in this pleasant Danish city. The 2021 World championship will be held in fact in the same location and will be an even more beautiful edition.

The next calendar of the World Press Cycling Championship is then
2021 – Veijle (Denmark)
2022 – Nürburgring (Germany)
2023 – St. Anton am Arlberg (Austria)

For this year there remains an opportunity to compete (not as a World championship but as guests) with the 71st Italian road championship and the 28th Italian time trial championship which will be held in Senigallia from 16 to 18 October and which will be open to all foreign journalists who wish to participate. For information on these championships write to [email protected].


Former Cyclist Fabrice Philipot Passes Away
French former cyclist Fabrice Philipot has died at the age of 54, his family announced. Miguel Indurain’s former teammate was a professional cyclist from 1988 to 1994. Philipot achieved many results in his short career as a professional cyclist. He finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège behind Sean Kelly in 1989 and finished fourth in the Critérium du Dauphiné-Libéré in the same year. He also won a stage in the GP du Midi-Libre that season.

Philipot also rode well in the grand Tours, he won the young rider classification in the Tour in 1989 and in 1990 he was 14th in the Tour de France 13th in the Giro d’Italia. The Frenchman made his debut in the peloton with Toshiba, after which he ended up at Banesto via Castorama-Raleigh. Philipot raced from 1991 to 1993 alongside Indurain. After a season with Chazal-MBK-König, he ended his career in 1994.

Piero Zoppas
Former cyclist “Piero” Zoppas (86) died in Italy. He was active in the peloton for different teams between 1960 and 1966. In 1964 Zoppas won a stage in the Giro d’Italia in Ravenna.

Anderson, Delgado, Philipot and Kelly:
Sean Kelly. foto Cor Vos©


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