EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
Another double win weekend for Mathieu van der Poel in Namur and Waaslandcross. Cadel Evans thinks Richie Porte can win the Tour – Top Story. Lots of other cycling news to catch up with: Eros Capecchi to stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, ambitious Jumbo-Visma, Stefan Denifl out-Riccardo Zoidl in, Tour for Thibaut Pinot, Jakub Mareczko to lead CCC in TDU, Classics for Wout van Aert, Classics and Giro for Laurens De Plus, no women’s Tour of Catalonia’19, Julie Leth joins Bigla, Mario Aerts talks Vuelta, UAE Team Emirates new kit, NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè training camp, UAE Tour course, Vuelta’19 details and Christmas greetings from the Giro, Gazprom-RusVelo, Sunweb, Quick-Step and Team Sky. Merry Christmas everyone.
TOP STORY: Cadel Evans on Richie Porte – “He Can Always Win the Tour”
In 2011 Cadel Evans became the first and only Australian to win the Tour de France, and still sees his countryman, Richie Porte, as his successor. “He will have a chance next year”, Evans commented.
Porte has measured himself against Evans: “I hope to have success in July next year. Look at Cadel Evans, he won the Tour at the age of 34. Everything is still possible.” Evans Adds: “Richie must be physically and mentally in top shape. He can certainly win the Tour. Unfortunately, people begin to lose confidence as you get older.”
Porte has not been lucky in the French Grand Tour. In 2016, he finished 5th with BMC, but in the past two editions he has crashed out. The 33-year-old rider hopes to finally score next season with Trek-Segafredo, but as an aspiring Tour de France winner his record isn’t the best, never on the podium and only twice in the top ten:
Porte crashed out in 2017 and 2018:
Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup – Namur 2018
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took his second win of the weekend in Namur on Sunday, his 17th win this season. Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) and Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) filled the lower steps of the podium.
World champion Wout van Aert had a disastrous start at the Citadel of Namur, immediately after the line his foot slipped off pedal, causing him to lose about twenty places giving him a long chase back to the front of the race.
Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) took a lightning fast opening lap. On lap two he was replaced by World Cup leader Toon Aerts, who did not see his closest rival for the overall trophy, Van Aert, return. The pace really took off when Mathieu van der Poel jumped into the lead after 15 minutes and left the rest of the riders in his wake.
Van Aert was chasing at 30 seconds for a few laps, but hen near the end, the world champion had a few problems and to make matters worse had a puncture, which meant he finished at over a minute down on Van der Poel.
Toon Aerts still leads overall, but has keep his eye on the points and the World champion.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “It was very nice to have a good feeling on a heavy course. In the past it has sometimes gone wrong on such tracks. I felt like it in these muddy conditions. I just chose to ride my own pace, because if you race over the limit, it is done quickly. I am amused during the cross, you get morale from that. If something goes well then the other things will go well too. What else do I expect from the World Cup classification? Nothing! In the meantime I am third, but I still drop the race in Pontchâteau. In that period I will go on a training camp in Spain with the team.”
2nd, Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon): “It’s a shame, because I missed my start a couple of times in the previous weeks and I really wanted to be here today. Maybe I was too focused. I finally did a good job at the World Cup. Without that mistake, I might have been second, but in a different way. I still take the same number of points. It was an objective that I had in advance to do a good thing here, so I am still satisfied. Three laps from the end I drove, then I tried to reach the finish without too much effort.”
3rd, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea): “I know Mathieu is not working on that classification, but I have been counting for a few weeks, I now lead with 17 points ahead of Wout van Aert. If in the remaining three races Wout were to be second behind Mathieu and I then finished third, I would have two points left and put in the final victory. And that is one of my objectives this winter. Now Mathieu misses Pontchâteau, that of course changes the matter. In any case, I was not good enough today. Although I have an excuse: Tuesday I got sick, so I cycled 160 kilometers this week. I have stopped that, but during the cross you feel that of course. I exchanged a number of good rounds with a few less good ones.”
Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup – Namur Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:03:37
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon at 1:04
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:50
4. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 2:02
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 2:21
6. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 3:23
7. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 3:30
8. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 3:38
9. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 3:41
10. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 3:50.
Namur’18 podium happy faces:
Soudal Classics Waaslandcross Sint-Niklaas – Belgium 2018
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon Circus) won the Waasland Cross in Sint-Niklaas in the De Ster recreation area on Saturday. The European champion waited over half an hour to distance himself from the others. Quinten Hermans (Telenet-Fidea) was second with Tom Meeusen (Corendon-Circus) in third.
In the absence of Wout van Aert, Toon Aerts, Michael Vanthourenhout and Laurens Sweeck, the day was always going to be Mathieu van der Poels. The European champion took it easy for the first part of the race, letting Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) and Hermans make the pace. Eventually a group of seven, including Dieter Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal), Tom Meeusen, Nicolas Cleppe (Telenet-Fidea) and British top talent Tom Pidcock (TP Racing) broke away.
After 22 minutes of the race Van der Poel made his first move. The Dutchman put the pressure on through the technical zone and only Quinten Hermans could hold him. Hermans also lost a couple of meters on the next lap and it wasn’t long before Van der Poel had around 15 seconds. This was enough for Van der Poel, who made little effort in the second half of the race to coast home for the win. The European champion must have been thinking of Sunday’s World Cup Cross at the Citadel in Namur.
Hermans held on for second place at 13 seconds from Van der Poel. Meeusen was third, but had to deal with a strong riding Pidcock.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon Circus): “There was quite a lot of wind, especially on that second piece. Especially with the heavy cross of tomorrow (in Namur, red) in mind, it was the intention to start a little slower. But if I do not do it, someone else will. So it was still fast. Quinten continued to put good pressure. It was certainly not an easy course, so it was to the end to look for flaws. It was a bit of a scan where the difference could easily be made, but it was quite difficult everywhere. You drove fast against your limit on this course.”
Soudal Classics Waaslandcross Sint-Niklaas Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon Circus in 1:03:41
2. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:14
3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:28
4. Tom Pidcock (GB) TP Racing at 0:42
5. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:45
6. Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:44
7. Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 2:28
8. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 2:59
9. Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 3:20
10. Victor Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 3:58.
Eros Capecchi to Stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Eros Capecchi will race for Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 2019. For a long time it seemed that there was no place for the 32-year-old Italian in the Belgian WorldTour team, he has been with the team of Patrick Lefevere since 2017. Although the team still has to officially confirm the news, teammate Philippe Gilbert congratulated him on his contract extension via Twitter.
Gilbert put a picture on Twitter, where he poses with Capecchi. “Good ride today and great news to still have you on board, Eros”, the Belgian wrote.
Eros Capecchi with Elia Viviani at the TDU’18:
Cheery Christmas for Ambitious Team Jumbo-Visma
The presentation of Team Jumbo-Visma was dedicated to the unveiling of the new team clothing and team logo, to looking back at a successful 2018, to sponsor news and to the presentation of the sports plans. At the headquarters of Jumbo in Veghel, the cyclists and skaters of Team Jumbo-Visma stood side by side, sharing a mission: winning together.
The kick-off of the sporting collaboration between the Dutch supermarket chain and the Norwegian giant in business software also marked the official start of an innovative food policy. Following the example of football club PSV, the cycling team are the first to start working with Jumbo Foodcoach, later the skating team will follow. Foodcoach is an app that offers personalized support in tasty and healthy food choices, specifically tailored to the competition and training schedule.
Foodcoach was developed in close cooperation with the performance staff of Team Jumbo-Visma, including food experts Nancy van der Burg and Professor Asker Jeukendrup. The Jumbo Foodcoach app offers suitable meals. At the push of a button, the ingredients can be added to the shopping list in exact portioning and be delivered to your home via an automatic link toJumbo.com. Jumbo will also provide all meals for cyclists who are ‘on the move’, during training camps or before races.
Richard Plugge, the director of the cycling team, also announced an ambitious development plan, with a training team and a cyclocross structure. “It is a concrete plan”, said Plugge. “It is going to happen, even if it is still being developed and needs to be fleshed out further. All lights are green, especially because Jumbo and Visma support it. It will be deployed in the autumn of 2019 and in 2020.”
“We are very happy with the cooperation with the cycling and skating team”, Jumbo CEO Frits van Eerd said. “It offers us the opportunity to inspire millions of customers to live healthier lives. It also enables us to demonstrate our expertise in the field of healthy eating. Speed skating and cycling are two typical Dutch sports that fit us perfectly because of our company’s Dutch roots with international ambitions.”
Plugge and fellow director Jac Orie of the skating team also presented a major new sponsor: Simpel.NL. Simpel.NL supports both sports. Due to restrictions imposed by the Dutch KNSB ice skating association, the name of the telephone company currently only appears on the cycling attire.
Simpel.NL’s Managing Director Jasper de Rooij: “The athletes of Team Jumbo-Visma know how to ‘connect’people in the Netherlands through their performances. We do so by offering the cheapest telephone subscriptions. But it is even more important that you sometimes put your phone away, go to the gym, get inspired by the performance of Team Jumbo-Visma. We support these top athletes, so that they can enthrall the Netherlands in the years to come as well.”
Besides the aforementioned developments, the presentation was, of course, mainly about the athletes and their sporting ambitions. The cycling team once again aims for at least thirty victories. Last season they won 33 races. For the coming year, the team strives for more ‘qualitative’ big wins, including a podium place in a grand tour. Primoz Roglic, fourth in this year’s Tour, is going to try to win the pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia. In July, he’ll support Steven Kruijswijk in France.
Sportive Director Merijn Zeeman clarifiedthe intentions the team has with regard to the Slovenian: “As soon as we know the starting list, there will undoubtedly be four or five riders who can win the pink jersey. We believe Primoz can do the same. This influences our entire organization. On all possible levels we will do everything in our power to support him in the best way we can. We will look for the best possible helpers. We will look at the course and at the personalities. For all those riders, the buildup of their season is aimed at being as good as possible in the Giro d’Italia.”
“I think that theTour de France’s course suits me well this year”, said Kruijswijk, who ended fifth in this year’s ‘La Grande Boucle’ and fourth in the Vuelta. Before, he also finished fourth in the Giro. “I’m now looking to take the last step, to get on the podium of a grand tour. That’s what I want to go for next year. For me, the podium is the ultimate goal.”
As anticipated, a lot of attention was also paid to the latest addition to the team: Wout van Aert. “I would like to develop myself further. I am someone who is always looking for a new challenge. Last year, I rode well in the classics. The hunger for more has become very big”, the cyclocross world champion expresses his sporting ambitions. These perfectly matched the plan that Zeeman developed for the classics for the short and especially the longer term.
“In recent years we have been getting better and better at sprinting and the classifications. The classics may have been overlooked a bit”, the Sportive Director says. “There, we didn’t have as much quality as we have in sprinting and the classifications. Within our capabilities we started to work with it. In the coming years, it will be one of our main priorities”, he explains. “We will take our time for this.”
“For this we have a very young, talented selection. We managed to get some good reinforcements”, he concludes optimistically.
Team Jumbo-Visma 2019 (27 riders):
Primoz Roglic, Bert Jan Lindeman, Koen Bouwman, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Danny van Poppel, George Bennett, Steven Kruijswijk, Tony Martin, Robert Gesink, Paul Martens, Timo Roosen, Dylan Groenewegen, Lennard Hofstede, Jos van Emden, Laurens de Plus, Neilson Powless, Jonas Vingegaard Rasmussen, Tom Leezer, Floris de Tier, Taco van der Hoorn, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Daan Olivier, Mike Teunissen, Sepp Kuss, Antwan Tolhoek, Wout van Aert, Maarten Wynants.
The 2019 Jumbo-Visma team:
CCC Team and Stefan Denifl Dissolve Contract
CCC Team and Stefan Denifl have mutually agreed to terminate the contract that was to take effect on 01 January 2019. Due to personal reasons, Stefan requested to terminate the contract, which was accepted by CCC Team management. To respect Stefan’s privacy, neither the team nor Stefan will be commenting further. Stefan wishes CCC Team success with the 2019 season, a sentiment reciprocated by CCC Team management who thank Stefan for his openness, wish him well, and hope to see him back in the peloton in the future.
Stefan Denifl stage win in Vuelta’17:
Riccardo Zoidl Returns to the WorldTour with CCC Team
Former Austrian road race champion Riccardo Zoidl is set to return to the WorldTour in 2019 with CCC Team as a late addition to the team’s roster, General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced today.
Zoidl, who previously raced for Trek-Segafredo from 2014 to 2016, joined the team in Denia, Spain for the pre-season training camp.
“We are excited to welcome Riccardo Zoidl to CCC Team in 2019. When a position opened up on our roster, Riccardo was our first choice thanks to his recent results and his previous WorldTour experience. As a former Austrian time trial champion and two-time road race champion, winner of the 2013 Tour of Austria, and more recently, winner of the 2018 Czech Cycling Tour, Riccardo has a solid list of results to his name, as well as four Grand Tour participations,” Ochowicz said.
“We are looking forward to seeing Riccardo return to the highest level in cycling and believe we can help him get back to his best form. Riccardo’s climbing ability will be an asset for the team, particularly at the one-week WorldTour stage races where he will add strength to our rosters. It was a good opportunity to have Riccardo join us at team camp to integrate with his new teammates and get the planning for the 2019 season underway.”
Zoidl, 30, is grateful for the opportunity to join CCC Team and return to the WorldTour level after two years at the Continental level.
“This is one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever had. I was really surprised to get the call and get this spot with CCC Team at the last moment. This is a chance I have to take and I’m really motivated and thankful to get the spot on the team. I will try to show that I deserve to be in the WorldTour again,” Zoidl said.
“In my last years in the WorldTour, I made some mistakes so I think if I move on from that, I can be successful again, whether that is in a team role or with some personal success. I’m just looking forward to racing at the WorldTour level again and will do everything I can for CCC Team.”
In keeping with CCC Team policy, no other details of the contract were released.
Tour for Pinot, But No Ardennes Classics
Thibaut Pinot has announced the races he will ride in the run-up to the Tour de France, but the Groupama-FDJ leader will miss the Ardennes classics in 2019.
Pinot starts his season in France with the Tour La Provence (14-17 February), followed by the Tour du Haut Var (22-24 February). Pinot then moves to Italy for the GP Industria (March 10) and Tirreno-Adriatico (March 13-19). Pinot will not ride in Paris-Nice. After Tirreno-Adriatico he will go to Spain for the Tour of Catalonia. After a gap for training he returns in the Tour de l’Ain (May 24-26). Pinot will put the finishing touches to his Tour de France preparations in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Then on July 6th he will be at the start of the Tour.
Surprisingly Pinot will not participate in the Ardennes classics in 2019. The 28-year-old Frenchman has shown that he can be successful in the hilly one-day Classics in recent years, winning the Tour of Lombardy this year.
Thibaut Pinot program for 2019:
Tour La Provence (14-17 February)
Tour du Haut Var (22-24 February)
GP Industria (10 March)
Tirreno-Adriatico (13-19 March)
Tour of Catalonia (25-31 March)
Tour de l’Ain (24-26 May)
Critérium du Dauphiné (9-16 June)
Tour de France (6-28 July).
Pinot finished off 2018 with the win in Lombardia:
Jakub Mareczko to Lead CCC in the Tour Down Under
The pressure is mainly on Greg Van Avermaet to perform on behalf of the new CCC-team, but Jakub Mareczko will also have to give the Polish team the necessary sprint victories, starting in the Tour Down Under.
Mareczko will be joined by Francisco Ventoso, Patrick Bevin and Polish rider Szymon Sajnok in the Australian WorldTour race. “They can really help me”, says the Italian with Polish roots. “I will be the sprinter in Australia. I hope I can take a stage victory.”
Mareczko has won 40 races since he turned pro for Southeast in 2015, but almost all on Asian soil. “At the moment I do not know how it will go, but I hope to do well. Now in bigger competitions I will have to take on the best sprinters in the World.”
Jakub Mareczko winning stage 6 of the Tour of Hainan’17:
Van Aert for Milan-Sanremo, E3 and Amstel Gold Race
World cyclo-cross champion Wout van Aert will race an extensive spring 2019 program. At the Jumbo-Visma team presentation Van Aert told WielerFlits that after the World cyclo-cross championships in Bogense, Denmark he would ride one more cyclo-cross, the Brico Cross in Maldegem. From then on, he will fully focus on the spring Classics with the Jumbo-Visma team, which he joins on the 1st of March, starting with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Wout van Aert will also be at the start-line of the Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, his first participation in la Primavera. In a change from last year he will include the E3 BinckBank Classic. After Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race he will take a rest period.
Jumbo-Visma new signing – Wout van Aert:
Laurens De Plus: “Race For My Own Account in the Ardennes Classics”
Team-leader Primoz Roglic will count on two Belgians in the Giro d’Italia: Floris De Tier and Laurens De Plus. The latter coming from Quick-Step Floors will gladly sacrifice himself in the Giro for the Slovenian. In the Walloon classics De Plus can race for himself.
De Plus is impressed by the professional approach of things at Jumbo-Visma, De Plus told De Laatste Nieuws at the team presentation. “With even more attention to detail than with Quick-Step Floors, needed to achieve their goals. I am glad that I have taken this step. I needed this for myself, I thought. No harm to my previous team, but maybe they are just too talented for that. Here the realization is getting through that I have to work hard.”
De Plus will play an important role in the mission of the team to win the Giro with Primoz Roglic. “With his explosiveness a rider with his capabilities is able to win a Grand Tour. I am glad to sacrifice myself for that.” In February, De Plus will go on a three-week high-altitude training camp to Tenerife, together with Roglic, Kruijswijk and Tolhoek. His first race will be the UAE Tour, followed by Tirreno Adriatico.
“After altitude training I come into action in the Flèche Walonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I can race for my own account. Also in the second part of the season I will get my chances. It’s nice, by the way, that I already know my program for the whole year. The intention is to further develop me as a Tour rider.”
Laurens De Plus:
No Women’s Tour of Catalonia in 2019
The ‘reVolta’ (Tour of Catalonia for women) will not run in 2019, the race organization has announced. The one-day race in and around Barcelona was planned to run on the same day as Gent-Wevelgem. The Belgian semi-classic is part of the Women’s WorldTour, which means that the Catalan race will not be able to count on a full field. The woman’s race was be held on the same day as the final stage of the men’s race on 31 March 2019.
The Catalan cycling federation FCC and the Spanish cycling federation RFEC have tried to move the ‘reVolta’ on the calendar, but without success. Because of this, the Tour of Catalonia is forced to cancel the race. The organization is now focusing on a return in 2020 which coincides with the centenary of the men’s race.
On Sunday, March the 25th 2018, the first edition of ‘reVolta’ tackled the Montjuic climb and was won by the American rider Lauren Stephens.
Lauren Stephens, winner in 2018:
Julie Leth Joins the Ranks of Bigla Next Year
The former Danish individual time trial and road race champion will become part of Bigla next season. The 26-year-old Dane is also a gifted track rider, having taken out the Madison title at the European Championships this year.
Leth is looking with confidence to her first season with the team. Her decision to sign with the squad was driven by several aspects. As she explains: “I’m really looking forward to joining Bigla. It’s a team that is always ready, willing and able to support its riders to help them reach their goals, and I am convinced that the team will help me achieve my ambitions not only on the road, but also on the track.”
As part of the team, Leth aims not only to achieve her own successes, but also to fully support her teammates. “I have experience as a road captain, and I hope to bring this strength to the team. As a domestique I have been involved in setting up a number of victories in the past, but my recent successes on the track have also motivated me to strive to achieve even more on the road. I would be keen to take on more leadership roles when the opportunity arises, and take the team to new successes next season,” she added.
As Team Manager Thomas Campana explains: “We’ve been interested in signing Julie for quite some time, and so we’re pleased to have her in the team next year. She is the current European Madison champion and will also be racing on the track next season. Julie is ready for the next level and I believe that she still wants to grow. I am convinced that she will be able to achieve solid results for the team, and I am looking forward to working with her and supporting her sportive development as a rider.”
Leth’s strengths lie on the flat roads and in the Classics, and she aims to take her chances at these races next year and ride offensively to net solid results for the team. Another one of her major personal goals has long been to compete in the Olympic games, and she hopes to be able to represent Denmark at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
DS Mario Aerts Shares his First Thoughts on the Vuelta Course
On Monday, the course of the Vuelta 2019 was unveiled. The 74th edition of this Grand Tour will be taking place from 24 August until 15 September. The Vuelta will start with a team time trial in Torrevieja and finish with a sprint stage in the centre of Madrid. Lotto Soudal sports director Mario Aerts went to the presentation and shares his first thoughts.
Mario Aerts: “It will once again be a hard Vuelta, with many elevation meters. There are even less opportunities for sprinters than previous editions. In theory the sprinters get six stages in which they could have a chance to win, but on two of those occasions we’ll have to wait if the finish isn’t too steep. I’m thinking about the stage to Toledo for example. Of course there are some tough mountain stages; the Vuelta is heading to Andorra again. The organization has discovered new climbs, but luckily there aren’t many extremely steep climbs. Good news for our team is the fact that there are sufficient opportunities for breakaway riders to try and win a stage. Unfortunately the Vuelta doesn’t start with an individual time trial, because then Victor Campenaerts might have tried to conquer the first leader’s jersey. In general, I think it’s a beautiful course and it could be exciting for the overall victory until the last weekend.”
Lotto Soudal DS’s Bart Leysen, Mario Aerts and Wim Van Hoolst:
A New Clearer 2019 UAE Team Emirates Jersey
The elegance of the design, with the white’s clarity to enhance the brands and the main sponsors of the team: these are the principle qualities of the new UAE Team Emirates jersey. Champion System produces the new jersey, the team’s official supplier.
The precision of the details offer an added value to all the entire race-wear range, supplied to each individual cyclist in a personalized version, size and with his last name and country’s flag on the back.
The video and photo gallery offer a taste of what the fans will see and support in the upcoming 2019 season.
NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè: Just Finished the Second Training Camp of the New Season
Medical visits, athletic test, technical meeting, official photo and video. 6 days and many activities closed together with the local fans. Next meeting will be in Calpe with the last training camp before the official competitions.
The second training camp of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè team has been closed today in view of the 2019 season. The six days in La Spezia, at the Hotel Il Gabbiano ended with a convivial moment, a dinner open to fans who could discuss cycling, sitting at the table with the #OrangeBlue athletes.
6 Days, Many Activities
Six intense days to set the new season in the best way as possible. Workouts and athletic tests were followed by numerous activities in the afternoons and meetings in the evenings. In addition to the classic early season medical visits carried out at the Casa della Salute in Genoa, nutrition classes with the nutritionist of the team Erica Lombardi. Many moments related to communication with the lesson on social media and communication guidelines edited by the agency Sun-TIMES and the shooting of the video and official photos for the 2019 season. The technical meeting with Cristiano De Rosa has unveiled to the athletes all the technical novelties of the De Rosa bikes supplied to the team for the 2019 season. Equally important are the meetings related to ADAMS and the uniqueness of the #OrangeBlue team: to publish all the data on the biological passport on the official website of the team.
In closing a nice convivial moment open to local fans has closed the last training camp of 2018, with a view on 2019. After the Christmas holidays the team will meet again in Calpe, in Spain from 12 to 19 January for intense training that will finalize the preparation for the first seasonal competitions.
The UAE Tour Inaugural Edition – Route, Jerseys, Teams and Riders Announced
A Team Time Trial on the first day, three stages dedicated to sprinters, one for puncheurs and two for climbers.
All 18 WorldTeams start, with many of the best riders on the planet: the winners of 11 Grand Tours, Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Tom Dumoulin; both the reigning Road and Time Trial World Champions, Alejandro Valverde and Rohan Dennis; and world class sprinters Elia Viviani and Marcel Kittel.
The Red, Green, White and Black jersey are sponsored by Emirates, ADNOC, Nakheel and Abu Dhabi Aviation.
After five successful years as the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour, the brand new, combined, UAE Tour was officially unveiled today at the Yas Marina Circuit. The only WorldTour race in the Middle East, organized by Dubai Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Sharjah Sports Council, in partnership with RCS Sport, is scheduled from 24th February to 2nd March 2019.
The inaugural UAE Tour’s seven stages will embrace all seven United Emirates. The first three stages will be hosted by Abu Dhabi, the fourth by Dubai, Sharjah and Ras-al-Khaimah, the fifth stage crosses Sharjah, Ras-al-Khaimah and Fujairah, the sixth is in Ajman, Umm-al-Quwain and Ras-al-Khaimah, while the final stage sees a return to Dubai. The 2019 UAE Tour has a total distance of 1,090km with a significant elevation gain of around 4,500 meters, mostly concentrated into stages three, four and six.
18 WorldTour teams plus two UCI Professional Continental Teams are set to start. With each team comprising seven riders, a total of 140 athletes will line up at Al Hudayriat Island for the opening stage Team Time Trial. Among them are some of the world’s finest riders including the only two current professionals to have won all three Grand Tours: six-time Grand Tour champion Chris Froome, the Briton – starting a UAE race for the first time – goes head-to-head with his rival the Italian Vincenzo Nibali boasting four Grand Tour titles so far.
Alongside them are such famous names as the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner and former UCI World Time Trial Champion, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin; last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour winner and UCI Road World Champion, the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde; 2018’s most successful rider and Dubai Tour winner, the Italian Elia Viviani; the UCI Time Trial World Champion, Australian Rohan Dennis; and the double Dubai Tour overall champion and winner of stages at all three Grand Tours, the German sprinter Marcel Kittel.
The new race is a mix of technically different stages, open to all kind of riders, with the all-rounders most likely to win the overall General Classification category. It starts on Sunday 24th February in Abu Dhabi’s Al Hudayriat Island with the ADNOC Stage (16km), the very first (and very fast) Team Time Trial opening the Middle East WorldTour race.
The second stage, the Abu Dhabi Stage (184km), will be a tour of the capital, starting in Yas Island and passing through Khalifa Port, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Corniche before finishing at the Big Flag.
The following day, the peloton will start the Al Ain Stage (179km) from the Al Ain UAE University before facing the first UAE Tour peak: the 1,025m Jebel Hafeet, which features a maximum gradient of 11%.
February 27th sees the fourth and longest stage of the UAE Tour, the Dubai Municipality Stage (205km). Its route is a tribute to the classic Dubai Tour “Queen stage”, starting from The Pointe – Palm Jumeirah and finishing with the short, sharp rise of Hatta Dam, climbing 200m on gradients ranging from 12% to a maximum of 17%.
The next day, the Sharjah Stage (181km), runs from Flag Island to Khor Fakkan and is likely to culminate in a bunch sprint.
New features are packed into the sixth day, the RAK Properties Stage (180km), when, for the first time, the peloton will ride among the Jais Mountains. 150km after km 0 in Ajman, the climbers and puncheurs will fight for general classification on the 20km-long uphill finish of Jebel Jais, with its 5% average gradients.
The Grand Finale, on Saturday 2nd March, delivers a spectacular parade entirely in the city of Dubai. The Dubai Stage (145km) starts at Dubai Safari Park and finishes at the City Walk district with what is expected to be a bunch sprint.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary, said: “I’m very glad to unveil such a wonderful race today. It’s the result of years of effort, passion and commitment, and this is definitely what we’ve been striving for. The world’s eyes are on us and we are ready to deliver a world-class sporting spectacle and an unforgettable event. Thanks to the Dubai Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Sharjah Sports Council, and to our sponsors and partners, we’ll meet this challenge in style.”
“We now have a Tour that should challenge every kind of rider, and it involves all seven Emirates! This was always our dream. I am confident we can become an important appointment in the world cycling calendar and keep growing as a sporting event as well as developing the fan base,” said H.E. Saeed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council Secretary General.
“Being part of this world-class project is a milestone for the Sharjah cycling movement. The two stages Sharjah is involved in are really interesting: stage four ends in Hatta and the course is a well established Middle East cycling icon. And I’m sure that the following day’s Sharjah Stage will match up to this very high standard,” said H.E. Eisa Hilal Al Hezami, Sharjah Sports Council General Secretary.
The UAE Tour jerseys will be provided by one of the cycling industry’s leading brands, Castelli, the supplier for both the Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Tours. The four different jerseys are made using a high-tech fabric supplied by SITIP that is both UV-protective and allows for a very rapid rate of heat dissipation. There are four colors, one for each classification, starting with the most prestigious: red, for the leader of the general classification. All four jerseys will be assigned starting from the end of Stage 1.
The UAE Tour Red Jersey is presented on stage by Mohammed Alnahari Alhashmi, Emirates Corporate Sales Manager Dubai
General Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the leader of the General Classification by time.
Mohammed Alnahari Alhashmi, Emirates Corporate Sales Manager Dubai, said: “Emirates is pleased to sponsor the inaugural edition of the UAE Tour, as the Official Sponsor of the race’s Red Jersey, the most prestigious jersey worn throughout the Tour by the leader of the general classification. We believe our support of the UAE Tour over the next few years will boost the UAE’s position as a world-class venue on the global stage of cycling offering a scenic terrain that is unique in its own right. Emirates has been supporting UAE Team Emirates over the last two years, which has drawn attention to the national team as they compete in some of the most prestigious races around the world. Our support with the UAE Tour will also help grow the sport here in the country, and this competition is a great opportunity to connect with cycling enthusiasts in our own home base.”
The UAE Tour Green Jersey is presented on stage by Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, ADNOC Executive Office Director
Points Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter, who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints.
Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, ADNOC Executive Office Director, said: “At ADNOC, we’re always supporting partners and driving initiatives that positively impact the UAE, strengthen the fabric of the Abu Dhabi community and celebrate the pride of our people. Building on the success of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, the UAE Tour enables ADNOC to deepen its support of healthy and active lifestyles, while further solidifying our nation’s position as a globally renowned, multicultural sporting destination, warm in our welcome of those looking for a place of respect, inclusion and tolerance.”
The UAE Tour White Jersey is presented on stage by Aqil Kazim, Nakheel Chief Commercial Officer
Young Rider Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the best young rider born after 1st January 1994 in the overall classification (U25), the name to watch out for in the future.
Aqil Kazim, Nakheel Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Our sponsorship of the White Jersey for UAE Tour 2019 follows four consecutive years as a Stage Sponsor of the Dubai Tour, and highlights our commitment to supporting this world class event. One of the most prestigious competitions in the global sporting calendar, it is a unique platform from which to showcase the UAE and its world-famous landmarks to millions of spectators, whether they are watching live on the course or through media across the globe. The UAE Tour takes in some of the country’s most beautiful, iconic locations, including our own flagship development, Palm Jumeirah. We are honored and proud to be on board, and wish the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports Councils, RCS Sport and all of the competitors every success with the UAE Tour.”
The UAE Tour Black Jersey is presented on stage by Arwa Al Kindi, Abu Dhabi Aviation Board Member
Intermediate Sprint Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the rider who gained more Intermediate Sprint Points than any other rider.
Sponsor: Abu Dhabi Aviation
His Excellency Nader Ahmed Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation, said: “It’s a privilege to be part of the 2019 UAE Tour. Abu Dhabi Aviation always aims to support sports and athletes, and has been taking part in these events for a number of years. Abu Dhabi is witnessing a significant shift in the international championships it’s hosting, which comes from the directives of HH President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and HH Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, may god bless them both.”
Official Sponsors of the 2019 UAE Tour
Alongside the “Top Sponsors” of the four jerseys (Emirates, ADNOC, Nakheel, Abu Dhabi Aviation) gratitude is expressed towards these other brands who are supporting the 2019 UAE Tour:
The “Stage Sponsors” are ADNOC, Dubai Municipality, Sharjah Sports Council, RAK Properties, while the “Host Broadcaster” will be Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Dubai Sports.
The “Official Partners” are Yas Island, Audi Al Nabooda, Castelli, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Tag Heuer, Oakley. The “Official Supporters” for the 2019 edition are Wolfis Bike Shop, Cycle Hub, Yas Cycle.
This year the UAE Tour’s Official Fan Zone will be shared between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at City Walk and Yas Mall, respectively. As usual, the Fan Zones will be dedicated to sponsors, entertainment activities, street food and large screens for following the race action live. More information and details about the UAE Tour Fan Zones will follow in a dedicated press release. The UAE Tour’s promotional activities include the UAE Tour Challenge – an enhanced formula based on the successful Abu Dhabi Tour Challenge – and the already established children’s Educational Project.
The 2019 UAE Tour Challenge
The updated format of the amateurs-only championship will consist of four cycling races scheduled between January and March. The amateurs can follow in the footsteps of their favorite riders as they compete on the very same stretches of roads.
The UAE Tour Challenge’s first race will be held in Abu Dhabi, at Al Hudayriat Island – the new leisure and entertainment destination which offers two different cycle path loops of 5 and 10km. The 16km Individual Time Trial (ITT) is scheduled here for Friday 25 January.
The second race is planned for the following week (Friday 1 February) in the environs of the city of Al Ain. The course is a tribute to the classic Abu Dhabi Tour “Queen stage” with the finish line at 1025m above sea level after 11km of climbing featuring maximum gradients of 11%. There is a choice of two distances: 47km and 67km.
The third stage is scheduled two weeks later, Wednesday 13th February, in Dubai, and its details will be unveiled soon.
The last day will see the amateurs face the highest mountain of the UAE territory, Jebel Jais. The course, hosted entirely by Ras Al Khaimah, consists of 46km racing, following a 13km neutralized warm-up, where participants will ride all together until the km 0. Then the challenge will start with 25km of flat course followed by 21km of climbing.
Just like the pros, the amateur racers will compete in three different classifications: by time, by points and UAE National category by time. Each classification leader will wear a special jersey. Time: a red jersey; for Points, it’s green; for the UAE National category, the leader has a white jersey.
UAE Tour route video:
The 2018 Team Sky Christmas Video
It’s the last training ride before Christmas in Mallorca and the team are feeling festive… Merry Christmas from everyone at Team Sky!
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