EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
All the cycling news from the weekend
Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège was quite stunning, as was the Tour of the Alps – Results, reports and video. Chris Froome still keen on the Tour – TOP STORY. Race news: Teams for the Tour de Romandie, Volta ao Algarve and Challenge Mallorca. New date for Paris-Camembert, La Course by Le Tour de France and the World Press championships. Team news: INEOS Grenadiers Giro riders. Rider news: No vaccine for Remco Evenepoel, Philippe Gilbert to Romandie, no Giro for Alexander Kristoff and Thibaut Pinot. Doping news: Polish Scratch World champion positive and ex-doctor Freeman appeals verdict. Video action behind the scenes at Flèche Wallonne with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Chris Froome Still Hopeful for the Tour
Former Tour winner Chris Froome showed little sign of progress in the Tour of the Alps. The 35-year-old finished in 93rd place on GC. A fifth Tour victory seems to be a difficult ask with two months to go, but he is still keen: “I am still hopeful that my condition will improve.”
In conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: “I love my job. Of course I love to race in front even more like I did in the years before the crash, but I still have a lot of passion. I still enjoy racing, even though I often end up on the other side of the peloton at the moment. In any case, nothing will change in my considerations to continue.”
Froome has a long contract with the Israel Start-Up Nation team, but will there be success? “I still train just as hard and work my hours. Of course they are not the same wattages as before, but I have to believe in my recovery process. I also have to continue to believe that hard work ultimately pays off in results. At the moment I have to be honest and confess that I don’t deserve a place for the Olympic Games with this form. It all depends on my level. If I keep working hard, keep doing the altitude training and leave everything I have to leave, there will come a day when I feel like the old one again.”
Froome in the Alps:
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Men 2021
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) made history with his first Monument win on the roads of Liège-Bastogne-Liège at 22 years old. The Slovenian prodigy is the first winner of the Tour de France to claim the Doyenne in the following Spring since Bernard Hinault’s iconic victory in 1980. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was hoping to be the first French winner since Hinault but he had to settle for second on Sunday, ahead of his compatriot David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ). Pogačar is the youngest winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège since Hinault in 1977.
Laurens Huys and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Loïc Vliegen and Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Sergei Chernetski (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) and Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) broke away from the bunch and had a gap of 2 minutes after 3 kilometres. Julian Alaphilippe’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Primoz Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma started to pull the peloton after 20km of racing. Tadej Pogačar and Marc Hirschi’s UAE Team Emirates joined them and the gap stabilised after hitting a maximum of 10:30 after 26 kilometres. The young Laurens Huys is the first over the top of the first climb of the day, côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne (76km), with a gap to the bunch down to 8:35. The pace increased in the bunch as they turned in Bastogne (100km) and headed back to Liège.
Alejandro Valverde’s Movistar and Michael Woods’ Israel Start-Up Nation also started to help with the chase. The attackers work well together but their lead decreased to 7:25 on the second climb of the day, côte de Saint-Roch (123km). The tension rose with many teams trying to position their leader at the front of the bunch ahead of the next climbs, starting with the côte de Mont-le-Soie. At the summit (95km to go), the gap is down to 5:10. Astana-Premier Tech tried to shake things up on the côte de Stockeu but Movistar and INEOS Grenadiers controlled the bunch. More attacks went on the côte de la Haute-Levée and the Col du Rosier. Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Mark Donovan (DSM) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) eventually managed to jump away from the bunch. With 55km to go, the three chasers were 2 minutes behind the leaders and 1 minute on the bunch. Deceuninck – Quick-Step accelerated ahead of the côte de La Redoute, but INEOS Grenadiers ripped the race apart on the climb. Tao Geoghegan Hart put the hammer down, with Michal Kwiatkowski, Richard Carapaz and Adam Yates following him. Only 9 riders managed to follow them over the top, without Julian Alaphilippe.
Some 40 riders got back together with 30km to go but INEOS Grenadiers kept pushing on the côte des Forges: Yates created a split, Marczyinski and Rota are the last early attackers to be caught, with 23km to go, and Carapaz went solo on the downhill. The Ecuadorian climber had a 20 second gap at the bottom of the final climb, côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Five riders got away in the ascent: David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Woods, Pogacar, Alaphilippe and Valverde. The chasers trail by 20 seconds with 10km to go, but they can’t bridge the gap. Valverde launches the sprint early, with more than 200 metres to go but he can’t hold it to the line. Alaphilippe looks in prime position to claim a second victory this week in the Ardennes until Pogačar edged past him right on the line.
*** Read the full ‘PEZ Race Report’ HERE. ***
Race winner, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I am almost speechless. I really love this race: winning here was a dream of mine and it is incredible to have achieved this goal and finish ahead of these big names . In the sprint I was behind Alaphilippe when he opened-up and I tried to stick with him. I wasn’t sure I would be able to overtake him but, with strength and a bit of luck, I did it. I have won the Tour de France, I have won other high level races and now I have conquered the Liège-Bastogne-Liège: I’m living a cycling dream. Now I will rest, spend some time with my family and then resume my preparation for the Tour de France.”
2nd, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I did a very good race and the same can be said about the team, they rode perfectly today and did a stellar job, controlling everything from the start until the last ascent, and I must say a big thank you to them. After the main group formed over the top of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, we worked well together and managed to open a nice gap on the chasers, which allowed us to focus on the finale. I opened my sprint at the right moment and did everything as I should, but one rider was stronger today and there wasn’t much to do about that, so I don’t have any regrets. Despite not winning the race, I am still happy, because being on the podium of Liège–Bastogne–Liège is always a special moment. Overall, I can be satisfied with my Ardennes campaign.”
3rd, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ): “I came here to do better than my 6th place in 2019. I saw in the Flèche Wallonne my legs were good. It’s been a hard day and I’m just delighted to be on the podium with great champions like Pogacar and Alaphilippe. I followed the wheels up the Roche-aux-Faucons. It was really difficult. I went all-in, I knew it was a make-or-break situation. Valverde went from pretty far. I was coming back, coming back… And when I saw I’d be on the podium, I started cramping. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the most beautiful classic to me. I hope I’ll come back to challenge for the win.”
4th, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I would have liked to be on the podium, winning would have been even better, but we have to accept this result and be happy with it. I think we did a good job. We competed as a team with the top favourites and competed for the victory until the last metres. I want to thank the whole team for their efforts. They were there all the time, in the pursuit and also in the breaks that followed. Carlos Verona put me off well and that allowed me to survive the selection at Roche-aux-Faucons, but I had all the pressure on my shoulders in the sprint, that’s why I held the front as long as possible.”
9th, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I felt good today, but the end result was not precisely what I had hoped for. I missed the jump into the decisive group and in the final phase we simply weren’t able to close the gap. It was a pity that the others in my group weren’t willing to put enough effort into the chase. When the group in front only had a 10-second lead, I really tried to bring them back, but no one else wanted to ride.”
10th, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious): “Today we were going well with Jack, I think he was following the attacks in the final, and I put all my effort on the last climb. Unfortunately, I was unable to follow the first group, and then we didn’t manage to close the gap before the finish. I tried to sprint for the remaining places, and I pulled off 10th place, which is okay. We came for more, but I think my shape is good ahead of the Giro with Mikel. We have good ambitions in the GC and also to look for opportunities to win a stage.”
13th, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I didn’t have the best legs and couldn’t follow the best. For me it was too slow from the start and too fast at the end. It was a bit slow at the start due to the headwind. That made it go full throttle in the final, but I didn’t have the best legs and therefore couldn’t follow the best. It’s difficult to draw conclusions from this, I always try to do my best. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. I am happy with my spring. When I look at the results, I was always at the appointment. I always competed for the win. Now I deserve some rest. First I take some rest and then I go on altitude training camps. That’s the plan.”
Break rider, Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It was the team’s plan to join the early breakaway. We had hoped to be more than 7, to be honest. It was a hard day on this tough course. There was a lot of wind but we worked together well in the breakaway. I felt that I was one of the strongest, it’s too bad that I get those cramps in the Côte des Forges. But I have absolutely no regrets. In Liège it is always difficult to resist very far in the breakaway. Lorenzo and I started attacking from La Redoute, and we knew that resisting this far would be a great achievement. Today I had a great time in my favourite race. Despite the covid measures, I heard many people cheer for us. I want to thank them all for that! Because my allergies are really bothering me, an early attempt was my best option. I’m happy with our effort today.”
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Men Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 6:39:26
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:07
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:09
10. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious.
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Women 2021
After helping her SD Worx team mate Anna Van der Breggen to win a seventh Flèche Wallonne last Wednesday, the roles were reversed in the 5th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège with the World Champion leading out Demi Vollering to her first big success. At 24 years of age, the Dutch rider triumphed in Liège after out-sprinting her compatriot Annemiek Van Vleuten and Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini.
Despite a few attempts, the pack had to wait until kilometre 9 to see Luxemburg’s Faber (ASC) break away. She was caught by Zanardi (BPK), they had a 1 minute lead as they entered the village of Houffalize (19,5km). Going through Vielsalm (46km) they had a maximum lead of 3:25. Trek-Segafredo and Movistar started putting the pressure on to lift the pace in the chase. At the top of the Côte de Wanne, Faber made it first to the summit with a 10 second lead over Zanardi and 40 seconds on a bunch of around 100 riders. The escapees were eventually caught after 62 kilometres going up the second climb of the day: the Côte de la Haute-Levée. On the following climb: the Col du Rosier, in the race course for the first time, Chapman (FDJ) managed to pull away. The Australian was rapidly joined by six other riders: Fisher-Black (SDW), Wiles (TFS), Kennedy (BEX), Koster (JVW), Chabbey (CSR), Thomas (MOV). The group led by Koster reached the summit with a 15 second advantage over the peloton. On the long descent, the front seven become six after Kennedy crashed and had to retire from the race. The lead group was finally caught at 80kms. Once again, Fisher-Black gave it a go and rode off on the Côte de Desnié. The young New-Zealander reached the summit with a slim 10 second advantage over the pack but was later caught at km 102. There was more action on the famous Côte de la Redoute when Moolman-Pasio (SDW) shook up the peloton. The South-African crossed the top alongside Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ) with a lead of 5 seconds on Brand (TFS) and 10 seconds over a group including World Champion, Van der Breggen (SDW) and European Champion Van Vleuten (MOV). The front two were caught by Brand on the descent. At the top of the Côte des Forges, they had a 30 second advance but failed to work together and were caught at 120 km.
In the final difficulty of the day, the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, Van der Breggen first and then Van Vleuten tried to escape. Eventually a group of five remained at the front including Van der Breggen, Vollering (SDW), Longo Borghini (TFS), Newiadoma (CSR) and Van Vleuten. They would never be caught. Perfectly led out by her team mate and recent winner of La Flèche Wallonne, Demi Vollering took her first big success of her young career by beating to the line Van Vleuten and Longo Borghini. After having claimed the Giro Dell’Emilia back in 2019 and finished second in Amstel Gold Race just a week ago, the new SD Worx recruit conquered Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a bright future with bigger responsibilities when her leader Anna Van der Breggen retires at the end of this season. In the new standings of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, Elisa Longo Borghini took the lead from Marianne Vos, who was sixth in Liège, and will now wear the purple jersey while the blue jersey for the best young rider remains on the shoulders of Maria Novolodskaya (MNX).
Race winner, Demi Vollering (SD Worx): “This is really great. It’s a dream come true. It’s really great that Anna was in the lead for me. We have a really great team and I am so grateful. The fact that I can finish like this is really unbelievably beautiful. Anna actually provided a lead-out in the last ten kilometres. At one point we were away with a group on the last climb, but Marianne Vos managed to return again. However, it is better not to drive with her to the finish line. In other words, I was happy when the group exploded again. I really like this game. I was already third here two years ago. It is really a dream to win this race now.”
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Women Result:
1. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx in 3:54:31
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx at 0:02
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx
8. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
9. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:59
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) BikeExchange.
Tour of the Alps 2021
Pello Bilbao won the penultimate Stage 4 of the Tour of the Alps, finishing in Pieve di Bono. The Bahrain Victorious rider managed to stay ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov and Simon Yates after an exciting final. Yates now has a firmer grasp on the overall lead.
From the start several riders tried to get away and Chris Froome turned out to be particularly aggressive. The Israel Start-Up Nation rider failed to make it in to the break of the day on Wednesday, but the four-time Tour winner was one of the instigators of a leading group of nine attackers. With Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Trek-Segafredo), Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious), Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën), Nicolas Roche (DSM), Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) and Márton Dina (EOLO-Kometa) managed to go with Froome on the flanks of the Passo Castrin. The difference with the peloton quickly increased to 3 minutes. Großschartner, 18th overall at 2:26, was the best placed rider. For a short time, the Austrian was virtual leader, but BikeExchange quickly took back some of the lead. On the Passo Campo, the first KOM climb, the Hungarian Dina was first ahead of Froome and Großschartner. The group of favourites came over the top of the climb 2 minutes later, 70 kilometres from the finish. In the relatively flat kilometres to the climb of Boniprati, the difference was reduced to 1 minute and so Yates had little to fear from Großschartner. The early break were swallowed up before the final climb and the race proper was on.
Nairo Quintana let his teammates set the pace. Winner Anacona managed to thin out the group in the first kilometres of the Boniprati, but then it was up to the INEOS Grenadiers men to take control. They put on the pressure for Pavel Sivakov, but the race was still waiting for a serious attack. With more than 4 kilometres to climb, Hugh Carthy decided to put in an attack, his acceleration turned out to be the death knell for Sivakov. The number two on the standings and the closest to Yates exploded completely and had to let the others go. Yates closed the last gap to Carthy, with Nairo Quintana, Pello Bilbao, Daniel Martin, Jai Hindley and Aleksandr Vlasov on his wheel. The latter was the next rider to try something on the steep Boniprati, but the Russian was soon passed by Yates and Martin. These three riders turned out to have the best legs, followed at a short distance by Carthy and Bilbao and a little further a struggling Hindley, Jefferson Cepeda and Quintana. Yates and Vlasov eventually dropped Martin.
On the flat final kilometres to the top of the Boniprati, Yates and Vlasov were together with about 10 seconds on Martin and the chasing Bilbao with the 6 kilometre long descent to the finish in Pieve di Bono. On this fast and at times dangerous descent, Martin crashed in an attempt to keep up with the better descender Bilbao. The Irishman was soon back on the bike, but lost precious seconds. Bilbao continued to take it to the limit and managed to close the last gap on front runners Yates and Vlasov. The Basque decided not to hesitate and immediately took the lead and put the other two under pressure, but Yates and Vlasov managed to catch him just before the final sprint. In the sprint Bilbao managed to beat Vlasov and Yates. Yates did very well in the battle for the overall victory. Nairo Quintana crossed the line in fourth ahead of Cepeda and Carthy.
Stage winner and second overall, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious): “I knew before the start that it was a perfect final for a rider with my abilities. You shouldn’t ride these kind of descents every day. It is not possible to take that much risk every day, but I knew I could return after the last climb. It is a perfect race, also for the spectators. I really like these kind of stages. You shouldn’t just have good legs. It is also possible to race in other, more tactical, ways. As a cyclist I also want to make a race. This victory belongs to Michele (Scarponi), who has always been special to us.”
3rd on the stage and overall leader, Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “It was a very hard start, and the boys did a very good job to control the race. We rode behind the breakaway to keep them at a close enough gap in the final so we could try to go for the stage win. Ineos decided to ride on the front, they basically did our job for us so we didn’t need to ride on the final climb. It wasn’t an easy climb, but I was ok and once I saw Sivakov wasn’t ok I had to try something to try and increase the gap on the GC. I tried to stay safe on the descent, so it was difficult to stay away from Bilbao. He is an excellent descender. From a general classification point of view it was a good day. Anything can happen but we will try our best tomorrow and see from there.”
10th on the stage, Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe): “I tried to go for a result in the end, but it wasn’t enough today for the first group. I didn’t have the best legs after yesterday’s effort in the break and Ineos was pulling incredibly hard on the last climb. I knew I had to go early to have a chance, but it wasn’t possible with this high pace. When I was dropped, I found my rhythm and also didn’t risk too much in the technical downhill.”
Break rider, Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation): “I wanted to test my legs today, I really enjoyed it. It was the 2018 Giro d’Italia since I was once again in a leading group. The flight group was created after a difficult passage after many riders tried to jump away. It’s just a shame that we never managed to get a big lead. However, it was a good experience to race from the front again. I feel that the condition is slowly moving in the right direction. I am quite happy with how the legs feel now.”
Tour of the Alps Stage 4 Result:
1. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious in 4:39:42
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 0:58
5. Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 1:06
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
7. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 1:16
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:22.
Tour of the Alps Overall After Stage 4:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 15:31:48
2. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:58
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:06
4. Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 2:18
5. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:37
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 2:54
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 3:12
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
10. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange at 3:36.
Felix Großschartner won the Final Stage 5 of the Tour of the Alps. The Austrian was in the early break for the third day in a row on Friday and managed to take the day’s victory. He crossed the line solo in Riva del Garda. Simon Yates secured his overall victory.
After a fairly flat 20 kilometres, the route climbed the Selle Giudicarie, the Passo Duron and the Passo del Ballino. The stage ended with two circuits of 22.2 kilometres around the finish in Riva del Garda, on Lake Garda. The eight and a half kilometre ascent to Lago di Tenno was the killer on the circuit.
On the Selle Giudicarie, the first climb, the break of the day came about in steps. Vadim Pronskiy, Felix Großschartner, Tejay van Garderen, Alessandro De Marchi, Dan Martin, Tony Gallopin, Nicolas Roche and Michael Storer joined forces and Thibaut Pinot and Matteo Fabbro joined them. A little later, Iván Ramiro Sosa, Nick Schultz, Hermann Pernsteiner and Julen Amezqueta, and François Bidard and Georg Steinhauser. Both BORA-hansgrohe, with Fabbro and Großschartner. Israel Start-Up Nation (De Marchi and Martin) and AG2R Citroën (Bidard and Gallopin) had two men at the front of the race. Schultz, teammate of leader Yates, was the best-placed rider in the leading group, in 10th place. With Fabbro (13th) and Martin (14th), two riders from the top-15 were in the break, so the lead never exceeded 3 minutes. After the Passo Doron, the second climb, the difference started to decrease and around halfway point the leading group was only 1:30 ahead. On the Lago di Tenno, on the first circuit, the leading group fell apart and Pinot, Großschartner, De Marchi, Gallopin, Roche, Amezqueta and Steinhauser turned out to be the strongest.
On the second climb of the Lago di Tenno, Großschartner attacked from the leading group. With Yates’ teammates at the front of the peloton, there was a crash on the Lago di Tenno, involving Harold Tejada and Fabio Felline. BikeExchange had everything under control, even when Nairo Quintana and Ruben Guerreiro tried to escape just before the top of the climb. Großschartner maintained his lead on the climb and started the descent to Riva del Garda with a margin of 1 minute. Alessandro De Marchi and Nicolas Roche counter-attacked, but the BORA-hansgrohe rider was no longer catchable and after 120.9 kilometres he took the victory. Simon Yates crossed the line in with the other favourites to secure the overall win. Yates must now be one of the favourites for the Giro d’Italia.
Stage winner, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “To win is always great, to win close to Austria is even better. After stage two I said to myself just try your best day by day, and that’s what I did. It didn’t work out two times but I stayed positive and the reward came with the win today. We planned again to go into the break and that worked out well. On the last climb I had the best legs and just went for it. To win from such a strong field two weeks ahead of the Giro is special and a great boost in confidence.”
Final overall winner: Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “I am really happy it was a fantastic result, the guys did an amazing job, not just today but all week and we really gelled as a team. They controlled at the start then rode all day and in the final they were fantastic again. It was a short day and there wasn’t much action for the general classification, but it was still a hard day with a lot of stress in the peloton and with the fast descent here to the finish, it was always nervous. I feel good, now we just need to look after ourselves, try not to get sick, try not to get injured and try to arrive to the Giro d’Italia in the best possible shape.”
Second overall, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious): “We can all be proud and happy with the final result. We achieved our goals that were one stage victory and the GC podium. Today was just the day to defend it in this tricky and risky final. We wanted to try to be in the breakaway and fight for the stage. But it was difficult today. Anyway, Pernsteiner was super once more in the breakaway. I can only praise each one of my teammates. It’s been a pleasure to race with them and for them, and everything has been really nice here. A great experience, and now we’re ready for the Giro.”
Tour of the Alps Stage 5 Result:
1. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe in 3:03:38
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) DSM at 0:34
3. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
4. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:40
5. Alejandro Osorio Carvajal (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
7. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
9. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
10. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
Tour of the Alps Final Overall Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 18:36:06
2. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:58
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:06
4. Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 2:25
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 2:37
6. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers at 2:44
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic at 2:54
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 3:12
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
10. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange at 3:36.
Hamilton to Lead Experienced Team BikeExchange Line-Up at the Tour de Romandie
Lucas Hamilton will look to further his general classification development as Team BikeExchange head to Switzerland for the Tour de Romandie on Tuesday.
Hamilton will lead the team’s GC ambitions as the 25-year-old continues to build into a leadership role following strong performances at both Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya. Climbers Brent Bookwalter, Tsgabu Grmay and Damien Howson will be key support in the mountains for Hamilton during the six stages.
New Zealander Dion Smith gives the squad options for the fast finishes while fellow countryman Sam Bewley and Australian Alexander Edmondson will provide the horsepower.
The race is bookended by two time trials, with a short 4km prologue to kick things off before the race heads into the mountains. Stage four is set for a general classification showdown with the summit finish to Thyon before the final day 16km TT.
Team BikeExchange at 2021 Tour de Romandie:
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Alexander Edmondson (AUS)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Damien Howson (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Lucas Hamilton: “After Paris-Nice and Catalunya where we had some really good racing as a team, I am looking forward to more of the same in Romandie. I am still developing my skills as a GC rider and I am gaining as much experience as possible before my next Grand Tour. We have a really strong team for Romandie with various options for each day and we’re going into it with high expectations. This is my second time at Romandie, I really enjoyed it last time and I remember how tough it was, but I have good memories. I am happy to have another chance to race here, I love the area and it’s another good opportunity ahead of my goals later in the season. I have studied the stages and the mountain days will be very solid and obviously key for GC, but also the two TT days will be important, particularly the final stage. I spent the last few weeks at home in Andorra training at altitude and I feel good, but of course until we go racing, we don’t really know how my form will be.”
Julian Dean – Sport Director: “We are entering Tour de Romandie in a particular part of the season where most of the riders are ending their first intense part of the season and will soon begin their preparation for future key races. We are very motivated, and we will go to Romandie to achieve the best results possible. We will focus on Lucas Hamilton for the GC, with the aim to at least finish in the top-10 overall. The key day for the GC will be the stage four summit finish, so hopefully Lucas can be in the mix there. We also have Dion Smith in good form and he’s an option should any of the stages come down to a sprint finish. We have a solid team that is capable of supporting both Lucas and Dion throughout the tour.”
Lucas Hamilton to lead in Romandie:
Team Announced for Tour de Romandie
UAE Team Emirates will turn their focus to the Tour de Romandie (27 April – 2nd May) as the Emirati squad goes in search of their next victory of the 2021 campaign.
Veterans’ Rui Costa and David De La Cruz will go in as the main prospects for the General Classification while Hirschi and Ulissi will look for stage options. Costa was 2nd to Primoz Roglic at Romandie in 2019 and has an outstanding track record at the five-day event which takes place in the French-speaking Swiss province of Romandie.
Sports Directors Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) and Simone Pedrazzini (Ita) will lead the team of 7 riders:
-Alessandro Covi (Ita)
-David De La Cruz (Spa)
-Rui Costa (Por)
-Marc Hirschi (Swi)
-Cristian Muñoz (Col)
-Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)
-Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Marc Hirschi: “I’m excited for the Tour de Romandie: to race at home in Switzerland is always really nice. Since I started last month I have had some good racing in my legs now and I’m looking forward to testing myself. If the condition is good I hope to be up challenging for stage wins. We have a really strong team here so I think we can do something good as a group.”
Bahrain Victorious Set for Tour de Romandie
The 74th edition of the Tour de Romandie starts on 27th April with a first stage prologue of 4km in Oron. It then sees the peloton taking on 12,500 vertical meters over 680 kilometres across the following five stages of racing, making it one of the most challenging editions of the six-day race.
The second stage of 168.1 kilometres from Aigle to Martigny takes on a circuit of four laps that features two category 3 climbs. Stage 3 is 165.7 km long from La Neuveville. The riders take on five category 2 climbs before a final category 1 climb up the La Vue-des-Alpes and then descend down to the finish in Saint-Imier. Stage 4 starts and finishes in Estavayer, featuring seven category 3 climbs over 168.7 kilometres. The queen stage(stage 5) has three category 1 climbs starting in Sion and finishing 161 kilometres later, with a summit finish on Thyon 2000. The race concludes with a 16.2 km ITT in Fribourg.
Sports Director Rolf Aldag shared the team goals ahead of the race: “The Tour de Romandie has two time trials, so it’s important to focus on that for different reasons. Firstly, Jan Tratnik historically won the prologue, so we think we have a fair chance with him. Also, with the GC ambitions, we have to make sure we get the best possible outcome of that prologue and TT on stage 6. So we’ll be doing the recon of the TT on Monday to really be prepared mentally.
There will also be two sprint stages, potentially with one having a hill in the final that suits Sonny Colbrelli, who’s been in good form lately. For the GC ambition, we have Caruso, who can do great in this style of racing in the mountains. We’ve also got Jack Haig, who is always good to stay with the best on the climbs. Specifically, Stage 4 is something we can target with Haig, Caruso, Pernsteiner and Williams.
We’ve got an overall plan to ride offensive and aggressive to make other people’s lives hard because our riders’ quality is really high. We are really motivated and looking forward to a great race.”
Ion Izagirre eyes General Classification podium at Tour de Romandie
On the back of his stage win at Itzulia Basque Country, Ion Izagirre will lead Astana – Premier Tech at the next WorldTour stage race, the Tour de Romandie, targeting the General Classification.
The former stage winner is looking to repeat his success at the six-day stage race, building on his three previous top ten finishes in the General Classification.
“The Tour de Romandie is a race I really like. The six stages of racing, including two time trials, suit me really well. The objective is to do a good result in the General Classification. We have the prologue and the final time trial, and two of the four stages in between are really hard. I hope to do a good race and be on the podium, so we’ll see how the race goes day by day,” – said Ion Izagirre.
The Kazakh – Canadian team brings a diverse team to the hilly race with Kazakh road race champion Alexey Lutsenko set to contest the punchy stages.
“First of all I am looking forward to racing on Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and hope for a good result for the team and also that I achieve a good result there. Afterwards, I am going to take part at Tour de Romandie, which will be the final half of the first half of the season before having a break and altitude camp ahead of the second half of my season. It is a nice stage race where I last raced in 2016. I return now with the aim of getting at least one stage win. In general, I feel pretty good and also the last few Ardennes Classics races have gone quite well,” – adds Alexey Lutsenko.
Ion Izagirre and Lutsenko are joined by Gorka Izagirre and Javier Romo, Italians Manuele Boaro and Davide Martinelli, and Colombian Rodrigo Contreras, giving Astana – Premier Tech depth for all racing conditions.
“We are lining up at Tour de Romandie with a strong leader Ion Izagirre and a motivated team to support him for the General Classification. Ion has had a great start to the season with third overall at Paris-Nice and then winning a stage at Itzulia Basque Country, so he is coming into Tour de Romandie with good form, after a short break at home. The line-up is always very strong at Tour de Romandie so we will play the cards we have for both the General Classification and stage wins, as we also have Alexey Lutsenko who can animate the stages. After his crash at Paris-Nice, Alexey has regained his form at the Ardennes and is in good shape for the race. We have a versatile rider roster for all terrain so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do at the race,” – Team Performance Manager Dmitriy Fofonov explains.
Tour de Romandie (27 April – 2 May)
Manuele Boaro (ITA), Rodrigo Contreras (COL), Gorka Izagirre (ESP), Ion Izagirre (ESP), Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Javier Romo (ESP).
Sports Directors: Dmitriy Fofonov (KAZ), Sergey Yakovlev (KAZ).
Miguel Ángel López Makes his Debut for Movistar in the Tour de Romandie
Movistar has announced its team for the Tour de Romandie starting on Tuesday. Marc Soler, the intended leader for the Giro d’Italia, leads the team, while Miguel Ángel López makes his racing debut for 2021.
For López it will be his first race since the Giro d’Italia, which he had to leave on the opening day after a crash. The Colombian suffered no fractures, but he sustained a deep wound that required surgery. He was also unable to ride for two and a half months due to the aftermath of his crash. The Giro was his last appearance for Astana, because after six seasons he moved to Movistar during the winter.
López got off to a false start with his new team due to a positive corona test, he had to skip the training camp in Almería and postpone his planned start to the season. The Tour de Romandie will be his first race next week. According to the team’s plans, the Colombian climber will do both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España this year. In both Grand Tours he shares the lead with Enric Mas.
Movistar team for the 2021 Tour de Romandie:
Dario Cataldo (Ita)
Johan Jacobs (Swi)
Miguel Ángel López (Col)
Mathias Norsgaard (Den)
Marc Soler (Spa)
Albert Torres (Spa)
Davide Villella (Ita).
López back in Europe:
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour de Romandie
The event will take place between 27 April-2 May
A short but testing prologue will kick off proceedings at the Tour de Romandie, another race that returns on the calendar after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic. Twenty-four hours later, a hilly course between Aigle and Martigny will favour the puncheurs and bring more changes to the general classification, a tasty appetiser before the stage to Saint-Imier, where the yellow jersey contenders are expected to come to the fore.
Another up-and-down route, this time around Estavayer, should make for some more spectacular racing ahead of a weekend where there will be no hiding. A summit finish on Thyon 2000, after a day totalling over 4000 meters of vertical climbing, and an individual time trial featuring a cobbled climb and a demanding uphill drag to the finish will make up for some important gaps and decide the winner of the 74th Tour de Romandie.
“The Tour de Romandie is one of the hardest week-long stage races out there, with a lot of climbing and usually bad weather that can play an important role in the outcome, but we want to be prominent and get some strong results next week. We have three national time trial champions on the squad and they have what it takes to be up there in the two stages against the clock, although it should be noted that both time trials are very demanding and contain plenty of hurdles. Fausto is back from altitude training and we are curious to see what he can do in the general classification, while Dries, Mattia and Iljo bring in a lot of experience and will be there to support our ambitions,” said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Geert Van Bondt.
UCI World Team Classification leader Deceuninck – Quick-Step will go to the start of the season’s 17th WorldTour event with a solid team comprising:
Seven WorldTeams in the Rescheduled Volta ao Algarve
The Volta ao Algarve (2.Pro) was cancelled in February due to the corona pandemic, but the organisers managed to move the race to May 5-9. Twenty-five teams will participate in the postponed stage race.
With Deceuninck – Quick-Step, INEOS Grenadiers, UAE Team Emirates, BORA-hansgrohe, AG2R Citroën, Groupama-FDJ and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, seven WorldTeams will be at the start. There will also be eight ProTeams taking part: Four Spanish ProTeams Burgos-BH, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Equipo Kern Pharma and Euskaltel-Euskadi, the French teams Delko and Arkéa-Samsic, the American Rally Cycling and Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB from Belgium. Ten continental teams: Antarte-Feirense, Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel, Efapel, Kelly-Simoldes-UDO, LA Alumínios-LA Sport, Louletano-Loulé Concelho, Rádio Popular-Boavista , Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua, W52-FC Porto and Hagens Berman Axeon.
Last year, the overall victory went to Remco Evenepoel, ahead of Maximilian Schachmann and Miguel Ángel López.
Evenepoel on the attack in Algarve 2020:
Paris-Camembert Finds a New Date
Paris-Camembert has been given a new date on the UCI calendar. The French semi-classic, originally scheduled for April 13, is now scheduled for June 15.
“It was out of the question for us that the only professional race in Normandie would be canceled,” said the delighted race director Guy Brien in a press release. “This new date is ideal for us. The race is now after the Route d’Occitanie, but before the French time trial championship.”
Dorian Godon is the last Paris-Camembert winner. The AG2R Citroën rider held off Maurits Lammertink last year to win his weight in Camembert: 73 kilos.
Maurits Lammertink: Also a winner of beer:
Six WorldTeams in Challenge Mallorca
The postponed Challenge Mallorca will start on May 13th. The organisers of the Spanish race has attracted six WorldTeams: UAE Team Emirates, Movistar, Israel-Start-Up Nation, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Qhubeka Assos and Cofidis.
In addition ten ProTeams, five continental teams and two national teams will also participate. Among them: Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè, Burgos-BH, B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Equipo Kern Pharma, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Gazprom-RusVelo, Rally Cycling, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Arkéa-Samsic. BEAT, the Dutch continental team, was on the start list in January, but not now. “Given the double and busy schedule in May and June, we have decided not to go. During that period we will be riding the Circuit de Wallonie, Tro-Bro Léon, Omloop van het Hageland, Elfstedenronde, Tour of Belgium and the Dutch championships,” said Geert Broekhuizen.
The Challenge Mallorca consists of four one-day races in 2021: the Trofeo Ses Salines (13 May), the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (14 May), Trofeo Andratx (15 May) and the Trofeo Palma (16 May).
Matteo Moschetti winning the Challenge Mallorca – Trofeo Ses Salines 2020:
La Course by Le Tour de France Avec FDJ: Rendezvous on June 26th
The 8th edition of La Course by le Tour de France avec FDJ, welcoming every year the elite of the UCI Women’s WorldTour on the route of a stage of the Tour de France, was initially set to be raced between Saint-Brieuc and Mûr-de-Bretagne on Sunday, June 27th. Following a change of date for the second round of the French departmental and regional elections, the organisers adapt the schedule of the race in order to affect as little as possible the access to the polling stations for the citizens living in the area. La Course by le Tour de France avec FDJ has thus been moved to Saturday, June 26th and the women will battle it out between Brest and Landerneau, like the male’s peloton, but on a 107.4km route. The new course offers similar characteristics to the previous one, with a 14-km hilly finish circuit to be covered three times before the finish atop the côte de la Fosse aux Loups. With a total elevation of 1,800m, the challenges of the day should favour the punchiest riders, like the finish at Mûr-de-Bretagne would have.
All informations about La Course by Le Tour de France on: lacoursebyletourdefrance.com
Marta Cavalli in the UCI Women’s WorldTour best young rider’s jersey after La Course by Le Tour de France in Pau:
WPCC – The Road Race
The 21st edition of the World Press Cycling Championship will take place from August 19th – 22nd in Vejle, Denmark, the location that will host one of the stages of the Grand Départ for Tour de France 2022.
The event will be organized as in previous editions on three competitions: sprint, time trial and road race.
The road race will be held on Sunday August 22nd, starting and finishing in the village of Egtved, approx. 20 kms from the centre of Vejle.
The route is a slope with a distance of 13,1 km and an ascent of 101 meters. Max gradient: 8,6%.
Women and M3 (men 60 years and over) completes the route five times – total distance: 65,5 kms.
M1 (men 21-44 years old) and M2 (men 45-59 years old) completes the route seven times – total distance: 91,7 kms.
Register for the championship at https://wpcc2021.dk/, where you will also find all the information on competitions and how to organize your stay.
Looking forward to seeing you in Vejle in August!
INEOS Grenadiers Giro Selection
In a little over two weeks, the 104th Giro d’Italia will start in Turin. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, INEOS Grenadiers has already picked its roster and team leader, Egan Bernal, can count on a very strong team.
Bernal will make his debut in the Italian tour this year. The rider was scheduled for the Giro two years ago, but crashed the week before La Corsa Rosa and had to withdraw due to a broken collarbone. Bernal then focused on the Tour de France and became the first Colombian to win the French race. Bernal is preparing for the Giro in Colombia and can count on a strong train in the mountain stages, led by Pavel Sivakov, Ivan Sosa and Daniel Felipe Martínez. Sivakov finished ninth in the Giro two years ago. It is also possible the Russian climber can also be a second leader.
World time trial champion Filippo Ganna, man-in-form Gianni Moscon, Jonathan Castroviejo and Salvatore Puccio are also part of the final Giro selection, according to the Italian sports newspaper. Ganna was one of the revelations last season with four stage victories. Moscon impressed last week in the Tour of the Alps winning two stages.
INEOS Grenadiers team for Giro d’Italia (May 8-30):
Egan Bernal (Col)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa)
Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Gianni Moscon (Ita)
Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col)
Salvatore Puccio (Ita)
Pavel Sivakov (Rus)
Ivan Sosa (Col).
Bernal in Italy:
No Covid Vaccine Before the Giro for Evenepoel
Remco Evenepoel will not be vaccinated against the covid-19 before the start of the Giro d’Italia (May 8). The Belgian does not want to take unnecessary risks in the run-up to the first Grand Tour of his career, team doctor Philip Jansen told Het Laatste Nieuws.
All Olympic and Paralympic athletes will soon be vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine through the BOIC (the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee). Evenepoel eligible for an injection, but will not accept the invitation two weeks before the start of the Giro. Jansen, a doctor with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, explained why Evenepoel will miss the vaccine for the time being. “To start with, Remco already has a huge number of antibodies in the body. He already had those last year and they have remained sky high. It is not clear to us exactly when a seroconversion (change of blood values from seronegative to seropositive) took place. Remco has never been ill either, but of course we see antibodies appear more often in people who experienced the virus asymptomatic.”
There is another important reason. “It is just too short a time until the start of the Giro. After everything that went wrong and what he has already been through, it would be a shame if we suddenly had to downshift just before his return to competition.” Jansen is referring to the possible side effects of the vaccine and the possible impact on Evenepoel’s condition. “I highly recommend a vaccination for all our riders, but for Remco it’s just ‘bad timing’. With a view to the Games, we will certainly have it done, but not a week and a half before the Giro. After the Giro, yes, even with pleasure. In the hope that that opportunity will still be offered to us. Because I know how difficult it is to reschedule such a vaccination.”
In two weeks, Evenepoel hopes to be completely ready for the Tour of Italy. The 21-year-old rider has just completed an altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada and will soon leave for a mini training camp in the Ardennes. A time trial test has also been planned in the Eddy Merckx Cycling Centre in Gent.
Philippe Gilbert Rides Tour de Romandie, No Four Days of Dunkirk
Philippe Gilbert should have ridden the Four Days of Dunkirk from 4 to 9 May. Now that it has been canceled the multi-champion has been looking for an alternative. The Tour de Romandie, held next week, will fit the bill.
“The Tour de Romandie (April 27 – May 2) starts with a prologue of four kilometres and ends with a time trial. In between there are four stages with a route that Philippe can cover,” said Lotto Soudal manager John Lelangue to Het Laatste Nieuws. “It seems like a good idea for him to ride it.”
Gilbert took a break after Gent-Wevelgem to give body and mind some rest, he resumed the competition on Wednesday in the Flèche Wallonne. Gilbert said last week that “my next big goal is the Tour de France.”
The Tour for Gilbert?
No Giro for Kristoff
Alexander Kristoff is still sticking to his original plan of ridding the Tour de France this year. At the beginning of this month, the Norwegian thought about skipping the Tour and doing the Giro d’Italia. Kristoff announced to Norwegian media at the beginning of April that he may be riding the Giro d’Italia. The Norwegian would be an option for the Italian tour after UAE’s intended sprint leader, Fernando Gaviria, suffered a wrist fracture in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. Participation in the Giro would mean that a 33-year-old rider would not ride the Tour de France.
“It was great to be part of the winning team last year, but it will be a tough battle to be selected again. To sacrifice a strong helper for a sprinter who may only be lucky for a day – I don’t know if I would. But I’m not the one who makes the decisions. I like to be available when I get the chance,” said Kristoff.
Three weeks later, Kristoff confirmed to Eurosport that he is sticking to his original plan. There will not be an Italian trip, but a ninth participation in the Tour de France. Allan Peiper, UAE Team Emirates sports director for the Tour, reportedly wanted the Norwegian rider in his selection. “It is quite certain that it will be the Tour,” confirmed Kristoff.
If he does miss the Tour selection due to injury or some other reason, the Vuelta a España is the alternative. “If it doesn’t turn out to be the Tour, I’ll get enough freedom for the Vuelta. That would also be great in view of the World championship, which will be held three weeks later.”
Kristoff with Pogačar at the Tour:
No Giro for Pinot
Thibaut Pinot will not participate in the Giro d’Italia this year, Eurosport reports, “based on sources within his team Groupama-FDJ.” The French climber, active in the Tour of the Alps this week, is still suffering with his back.
30-year-old Pinot recently underwent surgery on his back, but his situation does not seem to be improving. The Groupama-FDJ leader hoped for improvement in the Tour of the Alps, an important preparatory race towards the Giro d’Italia. However, he is already more than 13 minutes behind after three stages. The Giro d’Italia was a main target for Pinot this year, but a lingering back injury forced Pinot and his team, Groupama-FDJ, back to the drawing board. “We have seen that he still has pain in his back after the operation and treatment,” sports director Philippe Mauduit concluded on Tuesday.
Pinot also complained of persistent back pain last year, as a result of which he was unable to reach his usual level in the Tour de France and had to give up early in the Vuelta a España. This season he only managed to achieve a good result in the Faun-Ardèche Classic, where he finished eighth.
Polish Scratch World Champion Positive for EPO
Track cyclist Adrian Tekliński is looking at a four-year suspension. The Pole, who was World champion in the scratch race in 2017, was caught using EPO in an out-of-competition test by the Polish anti-doping agency POLADA, according to WP SportoweFakty.
The POLADA chairman confirms that an investigation is ongoing against 31-year-old Tekliński for violation of doping rules. The track cyclist also has European Championship medals to his name. In 2015 (bronze) and 2016 (silver) at the European championships on the track. He is also a multiple Polish champion.
Mountain biker Jarosław Wołosiuk was also caught using EPO in 2020 during the cross country championship last August. He is also faced with a hefty punishment.
Former Sky physician Freeman Appeals Verdict
Richard Freeman, the former Team Sky and British Cycling Federation doctor, is appealing the medical tribunal’s ruling that he has been struck-off the official register of doctors. Freeman wants to clear his name.
Freeman was found guilty in March of ordering the banned doping substance testosterone during the time he was with Team Sky and the British Cycling Federation. The medical tribunal ruled that he would lose his license, which meant that he could no longer practice his profession. The Guardian reported that Freeman is appealing the ruling to clear his name. His legal entourage may put forward 15 grounds of appeal, questioning evidence and the decision of the medical tribunal. The hearing is reportedly due no earlier than November or December.
The Medical Defence Union, paid for Freeman’s defence, decided not to fund the appeal. His attorney, Mary O’Rourke, continues to defend him on a no-win no-fee basis. Her expenses will be reimbursed by the General Medical Council, if the appeal is successful.
Freeman appeals decision:
Behind the scenes at Flèche Wallonne
Julian Alaphilippe delivered another blistering performance on the gruelling slopes of the Mur de Huy, surging to victory in Flèche Wallonne for the third time in his career. What made this win more special than the previous ones was that Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Frenchman did it while wearing the iconic rainbow jersey, a feat few riders have achieved in the race’s history.
Relive that unforgettable day with our behind-the-scenes video, which features some spectacular pre-race and post-race footage that will bring a big smile on your face.
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