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Another exciting weekend of cycle sport with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, men’s and women’s, and the Tour of the Alps – Reports, results and video. Mathieu van der Poel says he’s fresher – TOP STORY. Rider news: Everyone wants Dylan Teuns, hope for Milan Vader, Tim Merlier uncertain for the Giro and Per Strand Hagenes turns pro. Team news from the Tour of Romandie, injuries at AG2R Citroën, DSM 2022 Giro d’Italia roster and Remco Evenepoel supports Ardennes flood victims. Race news: Stelvio for the 2025 Giro d’Italia, TransRockies Gravel Royale registration and teams for the Eschborn-Frankfurt. Plus UCI’s David Lappartient talks Netflix series and Egan Bernal’s best day of his life video. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***

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TOP STORY: Mathieu van der Poel Mentally Fresher after Forced Rest
Mathieu van der Poel didn’t start his spring until late due to a lingering back injury, but once he returned to the peloton, he took wins and podium places, including his second Tour of Flanders victory. The enforced rest has made him mentally fresher, he said in a video report by Sporza at Paris-Roubaix. “Now you notice that sometimes a little rest and a training period can also work out well.”

“Before I started racing again, I was not really enjoying it. I think many people can confirm that,” laughed Van der Poel in the video made by Sammy Neyrinck. “You hear from many cyclists that they only realise how much they love cycling after an injury, and that is correct. I have a lot of fun cycling and training again, that is a big difference. In recent years I have lived a lot from race to race and had few training periods. That was okay, I was behind that myself. But now you notice that sometimes a little rest and a training period can also work out well.”

“I don’t know whether the hunger is even greater, but I do notice that I am a bit fresher mentally. Suffering is just that little bit easier than before,” continues the 27-year-old Dutchman, who admits to having cycled too long with back problems. “That back will remain a focus for the rest of my career, but if I keep doing those exercises and strength training and can solve that … I think I have come out stronger.”

What is striking since his return is that Van der Poel throws a little less with his forces. He seems to be running more economically. That’s right, the Alpecin-Fenix ​​rider admits. “The years pass quickly,” says Van der Poel, who indicates that he is increasingly busy with his honours list. He gives Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne of 2021 as an example, where he attacked early and rode ahead of the pack for miles, but in the end did not win. “Getting ahead of it is fun, but if I race a little smarter, I might win that race. Then he was now on my record.”

“But it has also brought me a lot to race like this. Maybe I wouldn’t have won other races if I had ridden ‘smartly’. It is a trade-off that you have to make, but the level is so high that it has become impossible to race stupidly.”

Now that spring is over for him, Van der Poel is focusing on the Giro d’Italia. In the summer he also rides the Tour de France. “It is not yet 100% certain whether I will do the Dutch National Championships after the Giro. Normally yes. But it may be that after the Giro I first take some rest and then do an internship before the Tour. The Dutch jersey is of course very beautiful, but not my biggest this year. I especially want to show beautiful things in the Giro and the Tour. After that, the focus is on the World champs on the road.”

A fresh Van der Poel:
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Liège-Bastongne-Liège – Men 2022
Remco Evenepoel took over Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s leadership from his teammate Julian Alaphilippe, who crashed out of contention with 62 kilometres to go, and pulled off an amazing solo ride to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège on his maiden participation in La Doyenne. No one could match Evenepoel’s impressive attack at the of top the legendary Côte de la Redoute, and all the attempts to bring him back turned out fruitless. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert’s Quinten Hermans was the quickest in the sprint in the chase group, with Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert third. This the first time Liège-Bastogne-Liège has had a full Belgian podium since 1976.

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Five kilometres into the race, Lotto Soudal’s Sylvain Moniquet first opened up a gap. He was quickly joined by his teammate Harm Vanhoucke, Groupama-FDJ’s Bruno Armirail, Uno-X’s Jacob Madsen and TotalEnergies’ Fabien Doubey. Many groups tried to follow, but failed to do so as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl didn’t give any space to the attackers until kilometre 40, when Pau Miquel (Equipo Kern Pharma), Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies), Marco Tizza, Kenny Molly and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces) managed to go clear and joined the front of the race 17 kilometres later to establish a 11 man break. Sport Vlaanderen’s Gilles de Wilde tried to catch them as well, but failed to bridge and gave up at the top of the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne (km 76,8).

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Jumbo-Visma, Movistar and Bahrain-Victorious took turns at the front of the bunch to keep the breakaway close enough. The maximum lead was 6:30 after 101 kilometres as the race passed Bastogne. The climbs between 165 and 190 kilometres split the break, as Vanhoucke’s pace proved too fast for Miquek, Planckaert, Tizza, Molly and Madsen. Meanwhile, the bunch had cut the gap to 3:00 minutes at the summit of the Côte de la Haute-Levée (187km). On a small descent, going towards the Col du Rosier with 62 kilometres to go, with Bahrain Victorious leading, there was a huge crash in the bunch and 30 riders hit the deck and many were forced to stop. Amongst the most affected, pre-race favourites, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Romain Bardet (DSM) and Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe). The peloton was reduced to 60 riders by the crash, but several groups that had been held up by the crash managed to rejoin. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) all managed to get back in the race.

The Côte de la Redoute (227,7km) was key on the outcome of this edition. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl led the reduced pack on the approach and on the steeper ramps. Near the summit, with just 29 kilometres to go, Remco Evenepoel made good use of the work by his teammates Louis Vervaeke and Mauri Vansevenant to put in an impressive attack, which no one had an answer to. The Belgian went on to catch Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), who by then was the last man standing from the day’s break, with 22 kilometres to go. They began the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons (243,8km) with a 30 second lead on the peloton, where many teams were working to bring the leader back. Evenepoel dropped Armirail early on the climb and started his successful solo ride to victory. The many attacks behind were not good enough to bring his gap down, as he came home with a comfortable 48 seconds on the first chase group.

# See the full PEZ ‘Liège Race Report’ HERE for more photos. #

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Liège’22 winner, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I’m really happy to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège like this. It’s a race I really wanted to win once in my life. To do it on my first participation makes me feel really proud. It wasn’t the plan to take off that early, but I felt really good today. To get the opportunity to win and finish it off on a beautiful way is big and very special. It’s kind of a proof for me that I can win a big race in front of all the big guns. Today I felt the best Remco had come back, and was pedalling on my bike. It was very special to win the race in La Redoute, as it is one of my favourite climbs in road cycling. I’ve sent a message to my first trainer, as we did many training rides here – so this victory is a bit his too! As for this race, it had been hard and nervous, ridden on a really high pace. I started to feel some pain on my legs in La Redoute. I realised everybody had to be suffering quite a bit, that it was the moment to give it a try and then look back to see what the situation was. When I found myself on my own, I decided to go on solo. It’s been a rough Classics period for my team. We got 19 victories ahead of the Classics season, so our 2022 was going well – but then the Classics did not go that well. Yesterday, in the pre-race meeting, our team CEO Patrick Lefevere told us that whatever happened we would remain calm, that this race was not going to be the end of the world. It was a beautiful gesture from Patrick, because reassured us by showing how much he trusts our team and its work.”

2nd, Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This 2nd place kind of feels like a victory. I didn’t realise what I had done until 10 minutes after the race. It is still sinking in, I think. I actually didn’t know for which place we were racing for. I had been just suffering for many kilometres, looking at my stem… and I didn’t know the race situation. I knew Remco was up the road, but little else. It was a pleasant surprise to find out I was second. I was just doing my best to win the sprint of my group. I had been lucky to find myself in a position on which I could just follow Wout [van Aert] as he closed gaps. This Liège-Bastogne-Liège represents a big step up in my career. I always try to do my best and it’s very nice to get a reward like this one. I got emotional after thinking of how much sacrifice and effort I’ve put on the build-up for this race.”

3rd, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “With a bit more luck, I would have finished second today, but I’ve done my best and I can feel proud that I’ve stood on the podium today. The climb to La Redoute has been very fast. When Remco broke away many teams tried to chase him back, but he was too strong. As for me, my strategy was to wait until La Roche-aux-Faucons to see if I could be amongst the best guys there. It’s possible for me to win this race, but only if I am on a super day and all the aspects of the race fall into place in my favour.”

Patrick Lefevere, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boss: “We have always had complete confidence in him. Last night in the meeting I said we had to keep calm. We shouldn’t race nervously. We knew he was good, We already saw it this week in the Flèche Wallonne, where he was able to bring Julian forward three to four times. Alaphilippe couldn’t always follow him, but then he said he was super good. The Tour of the Basque Country is a very different race, because this is a one-day race. If he then has 20 seconds… I think the image of him jumping over the traffic island and where he dropped that French boy says it all. We got hope, but then they started organising with three men from Bahrain Victorious and three from Movistar. Those aren’t crumbs sitting there either. When they turned on the tap full they came to 16 to 17 seconds and we got heart palpitations. But we (Lefevere and Wilfried Peeters) also said: if he hits the top with 15 seconds, they won’t catch him. He also knows every inch of the course here. We have invested in this. And we have always had complete confidence in him, despite the criticism he receives. It is what it is. We knew he could do it, but he still has to do it.”

Romain Bardet (DSM): “It was a nightmare. Tom Pidcock and a Direct Energie rider crashed right in front of me, and I fell on the right side of the road too. But I was okay. As I looked around me, I saw Julian lying five or six meters below. It was an emotional shock, because he was in very bad shape. No one came and he really needed help. It was a real emergency because he couldn’t move and couldn’t breathe. He was conscious, but couldn’t really speak. So I hope he’s doing well. The mechanic came and then the doctor, but the road was completely blocked. Many riders were in bad shape, but nobody saw Julian. You couldn’t see it from the road either. I was really in shock afterwards. The race was over for me. I am especially happy that I have no injuries. Everything can change very quickly in cycling. I felt really good and chose a position with the team, but after that crash the race had little meaning for me anymore. It reminded me of a bad fall in the Tour de France that involved William Bonnet. There were also a lot of riders there at the time and that was also a bad situation.”

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl crash up-date: Following Sunday’s crash at Liège–Bastogne–Liège, we have an update on Ilan Van Wilder and Julian Alaphilippe. During the incident, Ilan has unfortunately suffered a broken jaw, in a crash that saw a mass pile-up in the middle of the peloton, 62 kilometres from the finish. In the same incident, World Champion Julian Alaphilippe suffered two broken ribs, a broken scapula and a hemo pneumothorax. His condition his stable, but will need to be hospitalised for observation. Both will travel by ambulance to Herentals for further examination and treatment.

Liège-Bastongne-Liège – Men Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 6:12:38
2. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:48
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Victorious
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
8. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost
9. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
10. Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech.

Liège’22:

 

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Liège-Bastongne-Liège – Women 2022
After a series of 2nd places in recent Classics, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) capped off her spring with an impressive one-woman show on the final ascents of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Already a winner in 2019, the Dutch star put the hammer down on the Côte de la Redoute, and eventually went solo on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. The Olympic time trial champion then made the most of her power to hold off her rivals and claim victory ahead of Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Demi Vollering (SD Worx). With a second victory in Liège, Van Vleuten matches Anna van der Breggen’s record, winner in 2017 and 2018, and maintains the Dutch dominance.

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Despite a headwind, the pace was high from the gun, with some early downhill sections. It took many attempts and 32 kilometres of battle for a group of four to get a gap: Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (EF Education-Tibco-SVB), Jeanne Korevaar, Quinty Ton (Liv Racing Xstra) and Flora Perkins (Le Col-Wahoo). The peloton held the gap under 2 minutes on the way to the first climb of the day, the Côte de Mont-le-Soie, the summit at 55.3km. Flora Perkins is the first rider over the top. The peloton got closer on the Côte de Wanne (63.6km) as SD Worx set a strong pace going to the Côte de La Haute-Levée (72km). The gap was down to 15 seconds at the bottom of the climb. The attackers were reeled in on the climb and Ton was the last break rider to be caught, 500 meters from the summit.

A new group of attackers got away ahead of the climb of the Col du Rosier with some strong contenders: Marlen Reusser (SD Worx), Sara Martin (Movistar), Leah Thomas (Trek-Segafredo), Soraya Paladin (Canyon//SRAM), Evita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange-Jayco), Leah Kirchmann (DSM) and Clara Honsinger (EF Education-Tibco-SVB). UAE Team ADQ tried to organise the chase, but the gap was up to 1:10 at the Col du Rosier (82.6km). The attackers pushed their lead to 1:30 on the climb up Côte de Desnié (99.5km). The peloton picked up the pace as the main favourites battled for the front positions ahead of the main climbs of the day. The gap was down to 1 minute at the bottom of the Côte de La Redoute. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx) started the action, then Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) put the hammer down.

The Dutch star, winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2019, bridged the gap to the front of the race and kept pushing. Only Marlen Reusser managed to follow her over the top, but the chasers were only at 10 seconds and a group of 16 favourites got back together with 22.5km to go. Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) immediately counter-attacked and opened a gap of 0:23 at the bottom of the final climb of the day. Van Vleuten attacked again and went solo at the front of the race 500m away from the summit of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Her lead was up to 12 seconds over the top, with 13.4km to go to the finish in Liège. She started the final 10K with a lead of 20 seconds and increased her lead to 30 seconds for the last 3 kilometres, giving herself all the time necessary to celebrate the victory. Grace Brown took the sprint for 2nd ahead of Demi Vollering.

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Liège’22 winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “It’s my best spring ever, in terms of results but also if I look at my numbers, the power outputs, also the times on Strava… I was never so fast on Mur de Huy but someone was faster than me. The level is growing and there are more girls able to win. It’s not easy anymore to win and that makes it even better when you do it. Last time, I was able to go solo on La Redoute, but this time I knew it wouldn’t work because the level is much higher now. I destroyed myself on La Redoute, and then I knew there was only one option left: going all out on La Roche-aux-Faucons. It’s quite special that I’m still able to raise my level. My driving force is not the win, it’s seeing small things I can improve, myself, training, tactics, knowledge of the courses… And in my preparation, I still have the eagerness to improve. I also started cycling quite later. At 18, I was still drinking beers and partying. It’s normal that I peak later.”

2nd, Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “It’s quite different from my previous podium in Liège. Three years ago, I was chasing behind Lizzie Deignan, and I felt like I was catching back to her, while this time I was in a group, we couldn’t come close to Annemiek [van Vleuten] and I had to sprint for second. I expected to be on the podium maybe earlier this season. It’s a relief to finish my classics with at least one podium place. We’re really confident as a team now. It’s super cool to have Marta [Cavalli] win two races [Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne Femmes] and then me on the podium. Marta is great for the steep climbs, but today in the finale we decided I would be better for the sprint. In the Tour de France, when we have Cecilie as well we’ll be quite a strong team to contend with.”

3rd, Demi Vollering (SD Worx): “I think I cannot be disappointed with so many podiums but of course I wanted to win today. I felt good but it was a bit too hard to follow Annemiek [van Vleuten]. She has a big engine. It was an impressive ride from her. Marlen [Reusser] attacked before La Redoute. We came close, Annemiek made the jump and Marlen was able to follow which was perfect. Then it came back, Grace Brown did a very strong attack and Marlen had to chase. She had a very strong ride today and the whole team was on fire, covering attacks. When Annemiek attacked again, Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio] was on the wheel, and I thought she could follow. But then a gap opened. I really wanted to close it on the climb, because the following dragging part Annemiek is perfect for Annemiek, and then it’s hard to chase on the downhill final section.”

Liège-Bastongne-Liège – Women Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 3:52:32
2. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:43
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
4. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:47
7. Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Movistar at 1:58
8. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
9. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco.

Liège’22:

 

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Tour of the Alps 2022
Stage 4 in the Tour of the Alps was won by Miguel Ángel López. The Astana Qazaqstan Colombian caught escape Thibaut Pinot in the last kilometre in Kals am Grossglockner and passed him for the win. Pinot crossed the line in second, Romain Bardet in third. Pello Bilbao held the overall lead with one stage to go.

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The first climb came after 24 kilometres; the Kartitscher Sattel (7.3km at 5.9%). This second category climb was followed by a long descent to the third category Gailberg Sattel (6.3km at 4.4%). Then there was another long section, up to the foot of the closing Kals am Grossglockner (12.4km at 4.3%, with ramps up to 10%).

For the second day in a row there was a long wait for the right escape. Eventually fifteen riders managed to get away: Andrey Amador, Merhawi Kudus and Natnael Tesfatsion were joined by Jonathan Caicedo, Abner Gonzalez, Thibaut Pinot, Fabio Felline, Nicolas Prodhomme, Unai Iribar, Sebastián Henao, Ben Swift, Anton Palzer, Matteo Fabbro, Igor Arrieta and Omer Goldstein. The peloton let them go and the difference rose to around 2 minutes and calm returned to the group of favourites, although leader Pello Bilbao was involved in a crash. The Spaniard was soon back on his bike and, like Romain Bardet, was able to return to the peloton. Clément Berthet (AG2R Citroën) had to abandon with a broken left collarbone. Bahrain Victorious, Bilbao’s team, rode on the front to the final climb to Kals am Grossglockner, in order to keep the gap with the leading group within limits. The best placed rider in the break, the Eritrean Tesfatsion, was just under 4 minutes behind leader Bilbao on GC. This was reason enough for Bahrain Victorious to set a tight pace. The lead of the fifteen fluctuated around 2 minutes for a long time.

In the kilometres towards the last climb, the peloton got half a minute closer. The front riders started the Kals am Grossglockner with a lead of over 1:30. Goldstein attacked, but the Israel-Premier Tech rider was soon caught by Caicedo. Caicedo and Goldstein were not strong enough to get away from their fellow escapees. Pinot, who was probably the best climber in the leading group, bridged the gap to the two leaders on his own. Pinot then took the lead and rode away from Goldstein. The French climber soon had a gap and looked to be on his way to a long-awaited victory. With a lead of a good 30 seconds on the group of favourites, who had caught the other escapees, Pinot seemed impossible to catch.

Miguel Ángel López jumped after Pinot with just over 3 kilometres to go. Pinot was losing speed and red jersey wearer López got closer and closer. Just before the start of the last kilometre, López was on Pinot and the Astana Qazaqstan rider didn’t want to give the Pinot a moment of rest and immediately went past the Frenchman. López crossed the line first, for his first win of the season, giving Astana a much-needed victory. Pinot had to settle for second place after a day on the attack. Bardet sprinted for a few bonus GC seconds. The difference between leader Bilbao and Bardet, with one stage to go, is barely 2 seconds.

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Stage winner, Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan): “It is a good day for me, but also for the whole team. We were looking for this success and now we get the confidence and motivation for the next goals. It was the only stage with an uphill final and, definitely, I was motivated to try something today. I stayed calmly in the main group while we had Sebastian and Fabio in the break, but when it became clear that it won’t reach the finish, I decided to attack. I made a powerful move, shortly getting a gap to the peloton. But until a moment I still was not sure if I can reach Thibault Pinot or not. He still was far away in front, but with some 2.5 kilometres to go I finally saw him in front, and in that moment I just gave my best to catch him and later to attack again. I lived some good moments at the finish, and I wanted to deliver this success to Astana Qazaqstan Team, my home team where I returned this season and where I got a very warm welcome back. Also, I wanted to dedicate the win to my second child, who we are expecting with my wife soon. Alongside this by this victory I just wanted to remember our great champion Michele Scarponi who left us five years ago. Well, we arrived here with a goal to make the final step in our preparation to the Giro d’Italia, to feel the racing rhythm, to try different tactics and to try to win a stage. I believe we are spending a good week here at the Tour of the Alps, I feel like my form is growing and I am on the right way to the Giro.”

Overall leader, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious): “It was a tough, hard-fought day, but at the Tour of the Alps it’s always like that, and honestly I like it because of that. Tomorrow will be an all-out stage – we’ll have to ride intelligently, but in a short and hard race like Lienz, there will be nowhere to hide. In my opinion, whoever wins tomorrow will take home the green jersey.”

2nd on the stage, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): “It’s frustrating, because a win would have done me good after two difficult years. With my normal level I would have been out of control, that’s what makes it so difficult. I would like to one day to turn the page and be the first to cross the line again. I am angry and sad. I hope one day I can smile again. I feel a lot better. Today was a difficult day, but tomorrow there will be another stage…”

Tour of the Alps Stage 4 Result:
1. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 3:29:04
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:07
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:15
4. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
5. Felix Gall (Aust) AG2R Citroën
6. Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost
7. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM
10. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ.

Tour of the Alps Overall After Stage 4:
1. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious in 15:41:27
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:02
3. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:12
4. Felix Gall (Aust) AG2R Citroën at 0:16
5. Pavel Sivakov (-) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Einer Augusto Rubio (Col) Movistar
7. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM
8. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Michael Storer (Aus) Groupama-FDJ.

Alps’22 stage 4:

 

Thibaut Pinot won the Final Stage 5 of the Tour of the Alps. On the previous day, the French climber fought back tears after being beaten in the last metres by Miguel Ángel López. On Friday he made a successful move. In Lienz he beat his fellow attacker David De la Cruz in the sprint. Romain Bardet seized the overall victory as his teammate, Thymen Arensman took third overall, two seconds behind Michael Storer of Groupama-FDJ in second place.

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The final stage was a short 114.5 kilometres with start and finish in Lienz. The Bannberg had to be climbed from two sides and in the final, 10 kilometres from the finish, there was the climb of the steep climb of the Stronach, a climb of 3.1 kilometres at 12.4%. Despite the short distance there was 2,300 metres of climbing. The weather was also bad for the final stage in the Alps.

It was a stormy start as the pace was very high. In the first hour, a large leading group was formed, including David De la Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). In addition, INEOS Grenadiers, Movistar and DSM teams had a man in the break. The attackers, who were not dangerous for the overall classification, were given space by the peloton, where Bahrain-Victorious were in control. On the Assling, an uncategorised climb after the first time up the Bannberg, De la Cruz and Pinot showed themselves as the strongest up front and these two climbers quickly took a gap on the other break riders. De la Cruz and Pinot worked well together and were still together after the second time up the Bannberg. On the wet descent, the Spaniard had the best skills and rode alone for a while. Once at the bottom his French escape companion rejoined. With the peloton more than 12 minutes behind, it looked like a battle on two fronts: one for the stage win and one for the overall classification. On the first uphill metres of the Stronach, Pinot struggled with a mechanical problem, but he was able to rejoin De la Cruz. On the steep climb Pinot tried to get away. Several times he tried to shake De la Cruz off. At first, the Spaniard clung on, but eventually had to let his French companion go. Pinot came over the top of the climb with a 12 second lead.

De la Cruz rode a strong descent and was able to return to Pinot. Both riders started the difficult last kilometre together. They rode side by side into the last 200 metres, then Pinot putting himself on De la Cruz’s wheel. For Pinot, it was his first win since his stage win on the Col du Tourmalet in the 2019 Tour de France. The climb of the Stronach also proved decisive in the battle for the final overall. The peloton quickly thinned out on the steep climb. Overall leader, Bilbao ran into problems and was dropped. The DSM team made a big effort. Romain Bardet, second overall, and Thymen Arensman (7th), crossed the top together with Michael Storer of Groupama-FDJ (10th) and started the descent together. Bilbao was unable to catch them on the descent, so that the DSM men only had to watch out for Storer. Bardet and Arensman had things under control, after which the French climber secured the overall victory. Storer won the sprint, but the DSM riders finished in the same time. Storer finished second and Arensman third overall.

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Stage winner Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ): “Today I knew from the start that it was going to be a very tough day. I had good legs and I love these conditions. It was really important for me to win. I was very disappointed after yesterday. In fact, I was so disappointed and desperate that I had been thinking about this stage since last night. In such a stage with rain and difficult climbs and dangerous descents, I really wanted to be in the leading group. I knew that if I wanted to win the stage, I would have more chances from the leading group, and that’s how it happened. I was with David De la Cruz, who was also very strong. We worked well together and I think the final and the final sprint were really nice. I’m really done with all that (back problems). For me it is now important to continue and win new races. I want to dedicate my victory to the whole world and to all who have supported me. It’s also my dad’s birthday, so it’s a nice present for him.”

Final winner overall and 8th on the stage, Romain Bardet (DSM): “What can I say? It just felt like textbook cycling today, all of the guys rode amazingly well. We wanted to go all-out on that last climb to go for the GC, and the guys positioned us well. We were up there with Thymen and I in a group of there which was a perfect situation for us and we just pushed to the finish. It was such a nice reward to also have the two of us on the final podium in the end. It’s been a great week with the guys!”

2nd overall and 8th on the stage, Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ): “It was a perfect day. We couldn’t hope for more. The last climb reminded me of last year when we rode uphill with Romain (Bardet) and Thymen (Arensman) during a training camp in Austria. To race together again, it was a flashback. It’s unbelievable to come second. There were so many strong guys. We didn’t know at the beginning of the week whether we would go for the classification. However, the first few days gave me confidence and in the end I decided to ride for it.”

2nd on the stage, David de la Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan): “The feeling was really good and after first difficult stages, yesterday and especially today I felt myself much better. Looks like the form is coming and I hope to be ready for the main goal Giro d’Italia. Well, I was fighting for a stage win, but there was 50/50 between me and him with many factors which could impact the result. But today Thibault Pinot was the strongest and I congratulate him. It did not work today, but I hope it could work in a day at the Giro. Now with these good sensations I am heading to the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, while later I will go to Budapest.”

3rd on the stage, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a brutal stage from the beginning. When I made the break, I already spent a lot of energy and on the second climb it was kind of an elimination race. I am still not at my best level, and it wasn’t possible to follow Pinot. But we rode a good tempo in my group as well and in the end, I dropped my companions on the final climb. I think I made a good step this week. I am happy with how things go right now, and I am in a good mood as well, so I am optimistic for the Giro now.”

22nd on the stage and 16th overall, Cian Uijtdebroeks (BORA-hansgrohe): “I tried to make it into the group today but even I tried several times I didn’t make it. When the group went away I focused on the final climb. The pace was already high before we entered the climb, and I was a little too far back in the beginning. Gaps opened immediately and I rode my tempo to get back a little to the front on the last kilometre. It was a super hard day and a brutal final. I think I managed it well though. Again, I wasn’t far back and there were some big names around me. Overall, I think I can be happy with this week, and I know where I did some small mistakes. On this level every bit of energy counts and there are some areas where I still need to be better. But I am young and there is enough time to learn.”

Tour of the Alps Stage 5 Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 3:09:24
2. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:07
3. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:46
4. Igor Arrieta (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma at 2:43
5. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X at 3:26
6. Andrey Amador (CR) INEOS Grenadiers at 8:09
7. Michael Storer (Aus) Groupama-FDJ at 8:36
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
9. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 8:38
10. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 9:15.

Tour of the Alps Final Overall Result:
1. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM in 18:59:29
2. Michael Storer (Aus) Groupama-FDJ at 0:14
3. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:16
4. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:37
5. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:49
6. Felix Gall (Aust) AG2R Citroën at 0:53
7. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:00
8. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:57
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 2:08
10. Pavel Sivakov (-) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:13.

Alps’22 stage 5:

 

bahrain
Lotto Soudal and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Want a Transfer-free Teuns
Dylan Teuns took the first classic victory of his career in Flèche Wallonne last Wednesday. The Belgian, who has an expiring contract with Bahrain-Victorious, could now count on the interest of various other teams, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

“There is a lot of interest,” said Teuns. The Belgian newspaper writes that the 30-year-old rider is, among other things, “emphatically in the picture” with Lotto Soudal, which is looking for a spring leader from their own country. Philippe Gilbert and Tim Wellens have an expiring contracts, so there would be money to recruit Teuns.

In addition, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert are also working on a possible arrival of Teuns. The Belgian has not said anything concrete about his future. “I’m thirty and I want to sign a good contract. That may be for three years, but it doesn’t have to be. I just want to be appreciated. We’ll see what comes out of the bus.”

Teuns has been riding for Bahrain-Victorious since 2019. However, the team had “little enthusiasm” to make him a new proposal, Het Laatste Nieuws wrote. “Teuns would not fit well in philosophy and would be quite ‘quirky’.”

New team for Teuns?
fleche22m

 

jumbo-visma
Hope for a Full Recovery by Milan Vader
Things sound optimistic about Milan Vader’s situation. The family of the Jumbo-Visma cyclist informed PZC.nl that there is good hope for a full recovery.

Vader had a serious crash two weeks ago in the fifth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, sustaining several fractures and internal injuries. Because it was best for his recovery, he was kept under anaesthesia for a long time. He awoke last Tuesday. Since then he has made strides and doctors are reportedly pleased with what they are seeing. On Friday, his Jumbo-Visma team released an update on his situation for the first time in more than a week. The Dutch WorldTeam reported that his recovery is progressing steadily, thanks to the good care of the medical staff. It was also announced that the rider will be transferred to the Netherlands next week for the next steps in his recovery process.

“He has started his rehabilitation and the prospects are good. People here say that they see from him that he is a top athlete,” his father Patrick Vader, who went to Bilbao after his son’s accident, told the Zeeland newspaper. “Milan even inquired about his teammates immediately after he woke up.” It is not yet known which hospital the rider will be transported to.

Milan Vader recovering:
basque22

 

alpecin fenix
Tim Merlier Uncertain for the Giro Due to Elbow Injury
The participation of Tim Merlier in the Giro d’Italia is in jeopardy. The Belgian sprinter of the Alpecin-Fenix ​team ​sustained an injury to his elbow in Paris-Roubaix. According to Sporza, this injury will not have recovered by the start of the Giro d’Italia. The Grande Partenza will take place in two weeks.

Merlier had a serious crash on the Carrefour de l’Arbre section of Paris-Roubaix. The 29-year-old rider fell hard on his elbow, resulting in a large wound. Nevertheless, the Belgian finished the cobbled race.

After the race, he had surgery on his elbow, the gaping wound on his elbow should close on its own, which will take time. As the Giro start in Budapest is in just two weeks, the Tour of Italy will most likely be too soon. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​team has not yet made any comment on Merlier’s recovery.

Last year the rider from Wortegem-Petegem won a stage in the Giro. In the second stage he beat Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen for his first victory in one of the three Grand Tours. Merlier did not finish the Italian stage race, abandoning on the eleventh stage.

Maybe no Giro for Merlier:
giro

 

jumbo-visma
Talented Strand Hagenes Turns Pro with Team Jumbo-Visma From 2024
Per Strand Hagenes will be part of the World Tour team of Team Jumbo-Visma from 2024. The eighteen-year-old Norwegian is currently in his first season with the Dutch cycling team’s development team and will remain a Jumbo-Visma Development Team rider in 2023 as part of his new contract. Strand Hagenes signs a contract through 2026.

The reigning junior world champion has been a rider of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team since 1 January this year. Strand Hagenes recently got into the spotlight by winning Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux’s final stage and finishing second in the general classification. In addition, the young Norwegian finished third in the Giro del Belvedere last Monday.

Strand Hagenes is happy with the opportunity he gets from Team Jumbo-Visma. “This long-term contract allows me to develop in the same environment for a longer period. That is good for my development and gives me confidence. Hopefully I can continue to grow to be ready for the pro peloton in 2024. Progressing from the Development Team to the professional team at Team Jumbo-Visma is a great perspective. Since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed that this team suits me. My experiences in this environment have been outstanding and it is the perfect place to continue developing myself”, the Norwegian says.

“In addition, I like that I can continue to combine my school with top sport”, the talented rider continues. “That is very important to me and I am grateful to the team and my education that this combination can be made. I am happy to be part of Team Jumbo-Visma for the coming years.”

With Strand Hagenes, Head of Development Robbert de Groot sees the seventh rider transfer from Jumbo-Visma Development Team to the professional branch of manager Richard Plugge’s team. De Groot also sees excellent talent in Strand Hagenes. “Per is a special and talented cyclist. With this long-term programme, we express confidence in him. Together with Per, we will put together an optimal development program to see whether we can fully utilise his potential. We want Per to get acquainted with the pro peloton in phases, starting in 2024. This introduction takes place in training as well as in races. In 2022 and 2023 he will still be a part of the development team. Through the Young Team Jumbo-Visma programme, talented riders like Per can get a taste of the professional team thanks to the integration within that development programme. We are very much looking forward to working with Per in the coming years.”

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman is very pleased to sign Strand Hagenes for a longer period with Team Jumbo-Visma. “After great scouting work by the development team’s staff, Per’s development continues steadily. Our World Tour team currently houses several cycling stars, but we would like to develop a new generation of leaders ourselves. Per belongs to the group of riders who will have the opportunity to grow to that level. We take all the time we need for that so that he can continue to grow quietly within his potential.”

Per Strand Hagenes:
Per Strand Hagenes

 

ag2r cirtoen
Tour de Romandie (April 26 – May 1st)
Ben O’Connor finished in sixth place in the general classification of the Tour de Romandie 2021.

Cyril Dessel: “We are approaching the Tour de Romandie with ambition, united around our leader Ben O’Connor who has shown us some great things since the start of the season. Considering his fourth place in the Tour de France 2022, he is definitely able to compete with the best and this week will give him a great chance to continue to refine his condition and to feel comfortable in his role. The Tour de Romandie offers a unique configuration, at the crossroads between the riders who will be at the Giro and those who are “at the end of the cycle” after the start of the season. It’s a short event, with a prologue and a time trial in which Ben did well last year. He will be well supported with riders of the caliber of Geoffrey Bouchard, Larry Warbasse, Nans Peters and Bob Jungels, capable of accompanying him into the mountains. We are very sorry that Clément Champoussin is injured since he would certainly have been at ease in the hills as well.”

ag2r

 

quick-step-alpha
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to the Tour de Romandie
Our team won eight stages at the previous participations.

For the 75th edition, the Tour de Romandie leader’s jersey will switch from yellow to green, its original colour from the early years of the race. It will be the most important change of the Swiss competition, which will follow a familiar pattern, with individual time trials bookending the event that will start in Lausanne and conclude in Villars.

A hilly first stage to Romont, with a punchy finish, could change the GC leader before a trek around Echallens that the baroudeurs should love. The queen stage will occur on the penultimate day of the World Tour race, when a total of six classified climbs – five of which are first-category – have the potential to create some wide gaps between the green jersey contenders, especially if the weather will be atrocious, which wouldn’t be something uncommon for Romandie. Just like at the past two editions, the race will bring down the curtain with an ITT, albeit an uphill one, which will only complicate matters.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will go to the start with a team featuring Mattia Cattaneo, French Champion Rémi Cavagna – who last year won the final Romandie stage against the clock – Coppi e Bartali stage victors Josef Cerny and Mauro Schmid, Mikkel Honoré, James Knox, and neo-pro Ethan Vernon, one of the youngest riders to score a World Tour victory this season.

“We are traveling to Switzerland with a good squad and we expect an exciting race, one where we will try to grab every opportunity, and there should be a few for us. Rémi will once again target the time trials and he is capable of getting some good results there, but we also have other riders capable of doing something nice next week, so the confidence is high going into the race”, said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Rik Van Slycke.

26.04–01.05 Tour de Romandie (SUI) 2.UWT
Riders:

Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
Rémi Cavagna (FRA)
Josef Cerny (CZE)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
James Knox (GBR)
Mauro Schmid (SUI)
Ethan Vernon (GBR).
Sports Director: Brian Holm (DEN) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Ethan Vernon:
catalunya22 st5

 

uae team
Hirschi and McNulty Headline for Tour de Romandie – Gaviria Makes Awaited Return from Injury
UAE Team Emirates will head to the Tour de Romandie which runs from 26 April- 1 May.
The team goes in with several prospects with Brandon McNulty taking aim at the General Classification while local favourite Marc Hirschi will be extra motivated in front of a home crowd.

Hirschi: “We’ve had a great season so far as a team and we want to continue that here this week. It’s a race I know quite well and the team is motivated to do a strong performance. I would love to take a victory and we also have McNulty here who can do a strong GC ride. We’re looking forward to it.”

Fernando Gaviria makes his return to racing after a broken collarbone during Opening Weekend, with Colombian focused on coming back strong for the Giro d’Italia.

Gaviria: “It was a tough couple of months but the sensations in the last weeks in training were good. I had a strong start to the year with wins at Tour of Oman so I know although I lost a lot that I’m not too far away from good shape. Tour de Romandie will be a hard test but a good step to get ready for the Giro d’Italia which I want to prepare well.”

The team will also compete at the Eschborn-Frankfurt in Germany on May 1, where Pascal Ackermann and Gaviria will aim to be up in the sprint. Ackermann will participate pending a medical check for a suspected muscular injury which he sustained in Paris-Roubaix.

The team will be guided by Sports Directors Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) and Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) over the six days in Romandie, while Manuele Mori will take charge at Eschborn-Frankfurt.

uae

Tour de Romandie [2.UWT] – 26-Apr-2022 / 01-May-2022:
-Juan Ayuso (Spa)
-Finn Fisher Black (NZ)
-Fernando Gaviria (Col)
-Marc Hirschi (Swi)
-Brandon McNulty (USA)
-Ivo Oliveira (Por)
-Jan Polanc (Slo)

Eschborn-Frankfurt [1.UWT] – 01-May-2022:
-Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
-Alexys Brunel (Fra)
-Fernando Gaviria (Col)
-Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
-Maximilano Richeze (Arg)
-Joel Suter (Swi)
-Oliviero Troia (Ita).

uae

 

wanty
Preview Romandie – R. Taaramäe: “The team is hungry for victories”
From Tuesday to Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will race in Switzerland on the occasion of the Tour de Romandie (2.UWT, 26/04-1/05). The stage race starts with a prologue, followed by four bunch races and a final uphill time trial.

On Tuesday, the race will start with a technical individual and flat exercise of 5.1 kilometer in the centre of Lausanne. The next day, the first bunch race starts along the Lake of Neuchâtel, before joining the hilly circuit of 47 kilometer around Romont, where a short uphill finish is waiting for the riders.

On Thursday, the stage around Echallens gets close to 1000 meter of altitude thanks to the ascent of La Praz (6.7km at 4.6%) halfway through the stage. A particularly hilly stage follows the next day on a parcours of 165 kilometer, composed of several different loops around Valbroye. A difficult final contains the ascents of Dompierre (3.6km at 5%) and Sédeilles (4.5km at 4.4%).

For the weekend the Tour heads to the south of the region with first the queen stage on Saturday. After the start in Aigle, not less than three climbs of first category have to be covered before reaching the foot of the final climb, which exists of three parts and brings the riders to an altitude of 1600 meter in Val d’Anniviers. On Sunday, an individual time trial of 15.8 kilometer with the climb towards Villars (10.2km at 8.1%) will decide on the general classification.

Two days after his 35th birthday, Rein Taaramäe will participate in the Tour for the seventh time. The Estonian rider revealed his qualities in this race in 2009 by finishing third in the general classification. Last year, he won the combativity award after his breakaway in the second stage. Louis Meintjes recently finished third in the Tour of Sicily and returns to the race after last year’s twentieth place in the general classification.

Alongside them, Quinten Hermans pursues his race schedule after his historical podium in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Also Baptiste Planckaert showed himself in La Doyenne and will accompany Théo Delacroix, Laurens Huys and Julius Johansen who make their debut in the race just like Hermans, under the direction of Steven De Neef, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Bart Wellens.

Rein Taaramäe: “It was in this race that, in my third season as a professional rider, I achieved my first important result on World Tour level by sprinting for the victory in the queen stage with Roman Kreuziger and finishing the week in third place. Thanks to this precious memory I’m always looking forward to return to Switzerland. The team achieved many good results in Romandie and we cherish the ambition to add a first succes. Personally, I want to play a major role in at least one stage by racing aggressively and chase a stage win. Within our team we can also rely on Quinten Hermans, who has really shown the past weeks that he has the abilities to fight for the win in World Tour races. He’s very fast in a sprint after a hard race, so we will surround both him and our climber Louis Meintjes with the whole team this week. My preparation went very smooth, for the second time this year I trained for three weeks in Rwanda. In my opinion it is the perfect training location at this time of the year thanks to the guaranteed good weather and the fantastic and calm roads. In the Tour of Oman I really benefited from my first altitude camp and I’m convinced that I will line up with a similar form this Tuesday.”

Line up:
Théo Delacroix
Quinten Hermans
Laurens Huys
Julius Johansen
Louis Meintjes
Baptiste Planckaert
Rein Taaramäe.
Sports Directors: Steven De Neef, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Bart Wellens.

Rein Taaramäe to Romandie:
Rein Taaramäe

 

bahrain
Bahrain Victorious to Tour de Romandie
Bahrain Victorious will compete in their 10th stage race of the season this week at the 75th Tour de Romandie in Switzerland. It’s the final stage race before the Giro d’Italia, and is often seen as a good reference point for performance at the Tour de France later in the year.
Bahrain Victorious are sending a strong line-up of 7 riders, including Luis Léon Sánchez – double stage winner in 2012, who is back at the race for the 1st time since 2016.

At last year’s edition Sonny Colbrelli won stage 2 and the Points Classification, but this time the focus will be more on the GC, with leader Damiano Caruso, fresh from victory at the Giro di Sicilia. The Italian finished 9th last year and will be using Romandie to sharpen up ahead of his first Grand Tour of the season.

The 5 days present a real variety of parcours, starting with a short prologue in Lausanne followed by 3 rolling stages offering opportunities for puncheurs, sprinters, and movements in the GC battle. The Queen stage is on Saturday, and sees over 4000m of ascending by way of 5 category 1 climbs before a summit finish at Zinal. The overall classification will be decided on May 1st with a 15.8km uphill time trial.

Neil Stephens, lead Sports Director summarises the task facing the riders: “It’s a fantastic and really demanding race, not only because of the mountainous terrain but also the weather can be quite challenging at times. It’s up and down throughout the week, and the uphill time trial really suits us”

Along with the experience of Caruso & Sánchez, reigning Danish, European & World U23 time trial champion Johan Price-Pejtersen will be hoping to continue his development, having made his Paris-Roubaix debut last week.

Two more riders are previous winners in Switzerland: Hermann Pernsteiner, whose last victory was in Lugano, and 25 year old Gino Mader, who will be racing on home roads. Mader had something of a breakthrough season in 2021, winning stages at the Giro & the Tour de Suisse, as well as the Youth Classification at the Vuelta a España.

The selection is rounded off with Stephen Williams, starting his 3rd Romandie, and the team’s spring superstar Dylan Teuns. Sunday saw the Belgian achieve his 5th top 10 in the April classics as he sprinted to 6th at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, just 4 days after winning La Flèche Wallonne.

Stephens concludes, “We’re looking forward to very demanding but very beautiful race in Romandie”

The Tour de Romandie starts at 1500 CET on Tuesday April 26th with a 5.1km time trial in Lausanne.

bahrain

 

bikeexchange jayco
Matteo Sobrero Leads Versatile Team BikeExchange-Jayco Squad Ready to Tackle Tour de Romandie
Team BikeExchange-Jayco will head to Switzerland for the Tour de Romandie with a versatile and punchy squad on the hunt for stage wins and a strong general classification showing.

Matteo Sobrero will ramp up his Giro d’Italia preparations at the five-day race, while Kiwi Dion Smith will give the team options in any potential fast finishes. Dutch climber Jan Maas will line up fresh off the back of his Ardennes Classics campaign, as will Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay.

New Zealander Sam Bewley and Italian Kevin Colleoni are both back in stage racing action after the Tour of Turkey, with Amund Grøndahl Jansen completing the squad as he returns to the fold following illness.

The Swiss race is bookended by time trials, with a short 5km prologue kicking things off and a 15.8km race against the clock on the final day. The stages in between feature rolling terrain and the Queen Stage on the penultimate day, which features five Cat.1 climbs and a summit finish.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Kevin Colleoni (ITA)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR)
Jan Maas (NED)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Matteo Sobrero (ITA)

Matteo Sobrero: “I think the Tour de Romandie is a good point to start for the Giro, I don’t know exactly how my shape and my condition is after an altitude training camp, but I had good feelings in the training camp, so I’m looking forward to some results and I will try to ride for the GC. The first time trial is a prologue, it’s probably a little too fast for me and short, I’m a small guy, a light guy, but the last stage, the uphill time trial is something that I never did before in a WorldTour race, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Mat Hayman (Sport Director): “The first three stages of Romandie, after the 5km prologue, are undulating and having Dion there, we have someone who is punchy for those stages. Then looking at the GC, Sobrero is getting ready for the Giro, he’s just come down from an altitude camp and he’ll be looking to test himself in both the TTs and the mountain stage.”

Matteo Sobrero:
sobrero

 

ag2r cirtoen
Clément Champoussin and Clément Berthet
The victim of an undisplaced fracture of the lower end of the right radius on Wednesday during the third stage of the Tour des Alpes, Clément Champoussin will undergo additional examinations in a few days to determine the duration of his unavailability.
He will be replaced by Lawrence Naesen at the Tour de Romandie.
Clément Berthet fractured his left collarbone during the 4th stage of the Tour des Alpes. Additional tests will determine whether surgery is necessary.

Clément Champoussin out:
vuelta21st20

 

dsm
Team DSM Reveal 2022 Giro d’Italia Roster
With the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia in Budapest just two weeks away, Team DSM confirm their eight-rider strong roster that will take on La Corsa Rosa and its beautiful countryside, challenging climbs and daring descents.

An exciting opening three days of racing lays ahead of the team in Hungary: with a mixed bag of terrain including a punchy hill-top finish, a short but sharp time trial and an expected sprint finale. Returning to Italy and the south of the country, the peloton is immediately faced with an explosive finale atop Etna, which will help to set the tone throughout the race as it snakes its way north. Brutally steep leg-sapping climbs, medium-mountain stages that entice attacks and a testing time trial to finish all should make for three weeks of hard racing. Looking to build on a good campaign in 2021 which saw the team take a GC top ten alongside numerous stage podiums, the team will once again go to the race in search of a good GC result, combining that goal with the hunt for stage success.

Building on recent form and momentum through well designed training and other specialist areas, including early season racing and altitude training, Team DSM’s Giro d’Italia block are ready to take their distinctive two-striped jersey adorned in Royal DSM’s vibrant blue for its second trip around Italy, on a quest for a strong placing in the general classification.

Team DSM’s Giro d’Italia coach Matt Winston said: “We’re looking forward to another Giro d’Italia and we go to the race with a well-balanced team where we can cover all bases. Our main focus will be on the GC with Romain as our finisher, and we have guys in great condition to support that goal. Team camps, high altitude training and solid racing preparation bring together a strong, motivated, and committed team. Next to that, we will go for the sprints with Alberto and Cees, who together have some serious firepower that we’ll be looking to build on in the race. We are fully focused and ready to fight from the opening day, where we can already expect some exciting and interesting action in the peloton. Morale amongst the team is good and we’re all super motivated to give our best and showcase our Team DSM jersey in Italy and bring home some top results.”

Full line-up:
Thymen Arensman
Romain Bardet
Cees Bol
Romain Combaud
Alberto Dainese
Nico Denz
Chris Hamilton
Martijn Tusveld.

Roman Bardet to the Giro with DSM:
vuelta21st14

 

quick-step-alpha
Remco Evenepoel Supports Ardennes Flood Victims
The supporters club of Remco Evenepoel visited the town of Pepinster on Thursday, where they handed over a cheque for €5000, raised to help those affected by the floods that devastated the area last summer.

Due to his preparations for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Remco was unable to attend in person, and was instead represented by his father Patrick and members of the supporters club. They met several local residents and were able to see the devastation caused. Large areas of the town still remain uninhabitable, with many families living in temporary accommodation. The money was raised with the support of Remco, who has never hidden his affection for the Ardennes region where he often trains. He hopes this can help local people to rebuild their lives.

With a video message Remco tried to show also a bit his presence to the people of Pepinster – as he was sad he couldn’t be there in person – in which he expressed his sincere support: “I’m very happy that I can help you with this support. I hope you can start life again in a good way with a lot of happiness and joy. I’m with you with all my heart. I wish you the best in the future and good luck with everything!”

Everyone at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl would like to congratulate Remco and the supporters club in their efforts, and join them in wishing the people of Pepinster the very best for the future.

ardennes

 

giro22
Stelvio Makes a Bid for the Final Stage Finish of the 2025 Giro d’Italia
There is a chance that the final stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2025 will finish on the Stelvio. Massimo Sertori, an alderman in the Lombardy region, has confirmed that there is a bid with Giro organiser RCS Sport.

The news was announced during a presentation for this years Giro stage to Aprica, with passages of the Mortirolo and Santa Cristina. “In 2025, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Stelvio road,” Sertori told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I have also been in contact with the governor of the Alto Adige region, Arno Kompatscher. We officially ask Mauro Vegni (Giro boss) whether the last stage of the Giro can finish at the top of the Stelvio,” said Sertori, who also wants to seize the moment to host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The Stelvio, from Prato, is 24.7 kilometres long with an average gradient of 7.5%. The top is at an altitude of 2,758 metres. The climb was last included in the Giro d’Italia route in 2020. Wilco Kelderman won the pink jersey on that stage.

Stelvio in the 2025 Giro:
stelvio

 

transrockies
TransRockies Gravel Royale Looks Ahead To Successful Inaugural Event Registration Spots Are Still Available For The Inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale
As the summer race season approaches, TransRockies Race Series, the global leader in adventure stage races, is looking forward to a successful inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale gravel stage race August 22-25, 2022. Initially set for August 2021, COVID-19 restrictions canceled all events in British Columbia’s Interior. The gravel stage race will now debut in August 2022, and there are still registration spots available for interested riders.

transrockies

The TransRockies Gravel Royale course kicks off at Panorama Mountain Resort and tours some of the most scenic and challenging gravel routes in British Columbia. The route will also visit Nipika Mountain Resort and the Village of Canal Flats before finishing in the City of Fernie. The four-day stage race will cover 375 km (233 miles) and around 7,000 m (23,000 ft) of climbing.

“After two years of planning, we can’t wait to bring the legendary TransRockies stage race experience to the gravel community,” said Aaron McConnell, President of TransRockies. “This part of British Columbia is so perfect for a wilderness gravel experience.”

As of April 1st, a negative covid test is no longer required for fully vaccinated visitors to Canada, making the Gravel Royale even more accessible for riders coming from the United States and other parts of the world. Daily direct flights into Calgary International Airport are available from 85 destinations in 15 countries, including Denver, San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and many more.

Continuing in 2022, TransRockies Gravel Royale will offer alternative options for riders, including a two-day “Ante Up” ride and a three-day E-Bike “Poker Ride.” The shorter options are ideal for riders who are looking to dip their toes into the stage race experience.

The stages of Gravel Royale will take riders on secluded gravel roads through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, traditional home to the Ktunaxa Nation Indigenous people. Riders will experience vast mountain views, native wildlife and winding stretches of gravel in this difficult, but achievable challenge. The extensive network of well maintained fire roads in the region guarantee great riding and racing conditions.

transrockies

After each stage, participants can anticipate a relaxing, fun and memorable time at camp. After 20 years, TransRockies has perfected their camp hospitality and provides all of the amenities riders could need. The TransRockies team transports gear/luggage, sets up tents at each stage, provides showers and prepares meals. Each night, massage and athletic therapy stations are available along with mechanical support and a bike wash for participants. With all TransRockies stage races, the Chillville will make an appearance at Gravel Royale and will be equipped with music, snacks and a nice campfire for riders to socialise and hang out with other participants.

“People hang out for hours after the races and just hang out and talk about their day and celebrate the things that went well and laugh about the things that didn’t go so well,” said pro mountain biker Emma Maaranen. “It’s pretty incredible. I haven’t been to races like that in years and years that have such a community feel to them.”

Don’t hesitate to register for TransRockies Gravel Royale! There are still spots available, however the event may sell out. Registration includes meals, tent camping, luggage transport, among other amenities. Registration link here.

For additional information on the stages, locations and registration, please visit transrockiesgravelroyale.com or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

transrockies

 

frankfurt
Big Names Aiming for the German Classic Trophy
Back at the traditional date, Eschborn-Frankfurt is attracting big names. On May 1st, the entire podium of last year’s 60th edition will meet again. Jasper Philipsen already sprinted to three wins this season and will go for the title again with full confidence. Likewise, local hero John Degenkolb and serial winner Alexander Kristoff want to get the trophy back.

The new team of four-time winner Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux) has several options on the Taunus course. After a strong showing at Paris-Roubaix, Kristoff will confidently target a fifth win at one of his favourite races. German youngster Georg Zimmermann, who was caught just short of the finish last year, and Biniam Girmay are also part of the squad. The 21-year-old is set to return to racing in Eschborn after he wrote cycling history a few weeks ago.

John Degenkolb will be joined by several German colleagues in his new team DSM. With Nico Denz, he can rely on experienced classic quality, Niklas Märkl supports the local hero as a young, fast rider. The German WorldTour team, BORA-hansgrohe, is counting on the sprinter squad around Danny van Poppel and Sam Bennett as well as Nils Politt. The Tour of Germany winner is the team’s option for an aggressive race in the Taunus.

Pascal Ackermann, on the other hand, will focus on the sprint in Frankfurt. In 2019, he could enjoy the cheers of the fans in front of the Alte Oper in the champion’s jersey. After switching to UAE Team Emirates, Ackermann wants to build on that success. Teammate Fernando Gaviria will make his comeback on May 1st after breaking his collarbone during the opening weekend of the classics season. With Rick Zabel and former European champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel – Premier Tech) or Hugo Hofstetter (Team Arkéa – Samsic), other sprinters will enter the fight for important WorldTour points.

Springboard for the offspring
In addition to the established names, the German Classic also writes stories for the next generation. Jonas Rutsch (EF Education – EasyPost) is making his debut in the elite edition of his home race. Rutsch finished on the podium on each of the U17, U19 and U23 races – now the long-awaited start with the pros follows. He celebrates this premiere together with teammate Georg Steinhauser, who finished third in the junior edition of Eschborn-Frankfurt in 2018. At that time, Niklas Larsen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) won the U23 race. He’ll join the youngsters starting in the WorldTour edition on May 1st.

Bike classic atmosphere without restrictions
The traditional date also sees the return of fans to the 2022 race. Everywhere along the route, fans are allowed without restrictions. At the start in Eschborn, at the iconic climbs of the Taunus and in the finish area in Frankfurt’s city centre, visitors may again enjoy a typical German Classic after a two-year break. Besides the fans, more than 6,000 participants are expected for the ŠKODA Velotour, one of Germany’s largest amateur events. The anticipation of riding on the same closed streets as the WorldTour pros is great. Riders can select from three courses, ranging from a flat 40km version to a 100km distance with all the hills included. Last-minute entries can be booked until April 28th on the website.

2021 winner Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix):
frankfurt21

 

uci
David Lappartient Hopes UAE Team Emirates Will Still Co-Operate on Netflix Series
UCI president David Lappartient hopes that UAE Team Emirates will still participate in the Netflix documentary series about the Tour de France. Tour organiser ASO and eight teams, including Jumbo-Visma, INEOS Grenadiers and Alpecin-Fenix, have pledged their co-operation. “It would be better for the series if UAE Emirates with two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogačar would also participate in this,” said Lappartient in a one-on-one interview with WielerFlits.

The series will have eight episodes, which will air in early 2023. The series will resemble that of the successful documentary Formula 1: Drive to Survive, also from Netflix. The American streaming service wants to portray the cycling world in the same way and give sports enthusiasts a unique look behind the scenes, in this case the Tour de France.

“In the beginning it was intended that UAE Emirates would also participate in this, but I do not know the exact reason why they left this project. I have not discussed this with team manager Mauro Gianetti yet, but I would be happy if they reconsider this decision,” said Lappartient.

The UCI president calls it a missed opportunity for the team with sponsorship money from the Emirates. “UAE Emirates is one of the most important teams in the pack with INEOS Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma. The argument of Pogačars’ team not to participate in this is that they have enough publicity and that they mainly want to keep the peace around the team. I think they are missing an opportunity to make cycling more popular across the board.”

“See how the Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’ has given Formula 1 a huge boost worldwide,” continued Lappartient. “This Tour de France docuseries offers an opportunity to win a new audience for cycling. As an important team, you also have a certain responsibility to promote your sport. It is better for the fans when Pogacar also has a leading role in this Netflix series. He is not only the winner of the last two Tour de Frances, but also one of the most important ambassadors our sport knows today. Nevertheless, I am convinced that even without UAE Emirates it will be a very nice series and that this will be the storytelling about cycling that we are looking for.”

David Lappartient talks Netflix:
David Lappartient talking to Larry Warbasse

 

ineos
Egan Bernal: The Best Day of my Life | INEOS Grenadiers behind the scenes
We’re on this journey together… Go behind the scenes of Egan Bernal’s emotional return to the bike in our latest video.

 


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