EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
The Tour Down Under has finished and the peloton has moved on to the Vuelta a San Juan. Results and video from Australia and Argentina, plus cyclocross in Hoogerheide and the Kasteelcross. Rudy Pevenage publishes his autobiography – Top Story. Loads of other news: Bad crash for Szymon Sajnok, riders for the Saudi Tour, ZLM Tour and Slag om Norg dates, Paris-Roubaix course, USA Crits, Jumbo-Visma documentary, Bière des Amis for Circus-Wanty and Rohan Dennis impersonates Chris Froome. Monday EUROTRASH time.
TOP STORY: Rudy Pevenage: “UCI informed US Postal in advance about checks”
After years of silence, Rudy Pevenage has published a book about his time as a team manager. In his biography “Der Rudy”, Pevenage talks about the time that he worked Jan Ullrich in an era characterised by doping. However, he doesn’t pull his punches, but he doesn’t name names, although he points the finger at the UCI.
Before becoming a team manager, Pevenage raced from 1976 to 1988. One of his best moments was in 1980, when he wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for nine days. It was the year that Joop Zoetemelk won and according to Pevenage, that final win was partly due to a deal that Peter Post made with Pevenage’s IJsboerke team. “We received one million Belgian francs for our efforts in advance. That money was divided among the riders and the entire staff.”
As a team manager, Pevenage was with Histor-Sigma and La William-Duvel, before Deutsche Telekom and Jan Ullrich. Ullrich and Pevenage had their big success in the Tour of 1997, but after eight years, Ullrich had to leave the German team. At the time Bjarne Riis wanted the big German at CSC, but failed to find the sponsorship money. Team Coast became the big team, but that all ended badly, Ullrich was second in the Tour after Bianchi took over.
In 2004 Ullrich was back in T-Mobile, but Operación Puerto and Dr Fuentes was about to end it all. Ullrich was codenamed “Hijo di Ridicio” by Fuentes, Spanish for “son of Rudy”, but a mistake by Pevenage during the 2006 Giro d’Italia brought the whole case to a head. Ullrich won the time trial in Pontedera, half a minute ahead of Ivan Basso. Pevenage wanted to congratulate Fuentes. “I saw the old Jan again,” Pevenage now looks back. “I was happy, had to share that with Eufemiano, but the phone card was empty and recharging was not possible, you had to identify yourself for that. Because of my enthusiasm I could not wait, I quickly grabbed my own phone and called Fuentes. Not so smart, because he was bugged at the time. They, as in investigative services and the Spanish police, suddenly had my number. It was more than sufficient for those authorities. The net around the doctor closed and Fuentes was arrested in the presence of Manolo Saiz.”
Ullrich was therefore missing in the 2006 Tour, although it took a long time before the German was actually excluded. A request from former UCI chairman Hein Verbruggen to cancel with an excuse was rejected by Pevenage the week before. Only on Saturday – after the team presentation – Ullrich and other riders were taken off the starting list. The affair also meant the end of his career. Pevenage claims to know all the code numbers of the 211 seized blood bags, but does not mention the names of the riders or other athletes who were customers of Fuentes in his book, except that there was also a “prominent Spanish tennis player”.
Ullrich had his successes in an era when doping was commonplace. Pevenage describes in his book that T-Mobile also participated in it and, via drinks cans with double bottoms and blood bags in milk cartons, kept the doping out of sight. “The game had to be played in order not to lose,” said Pevenage.
After the arrival of the whereabouts system, it became more difficult for riders to stay out of sight. “Until we found out that a wealthy American cyclist helped the UCI with the purchase of better and more specific machines. Of course that was worth a return: his team knew where and when the inspectors would turn up,” Pevenage claims.
Johan Bruyneel – team manager of the ‘rich American cyclist’ – has since responded via Twitter. “Rudy, it’s all Lance and me to blame. We have forced you to…”
2006 – The Tour presentation
Santos Tour Down Under 2020
For the second time in three days, Caleb Ewan has proven why he’s earned a reputation as one of the best sprinters of his generation. He is fast, well-supported, and absolutely determined to give his Lotto Soudal team the rewards it came to Australia for: stage wins. He won in Stirling on Wednesday. And he won again in Murray Bridge on Friday’s Stage 4.
The 152.8km stage from the Adelaide suburb of Norwood to Murray Bridge is the longest of the 22nd Santos Tour Down Under and it was contested on the same course as what was used for the mass-participation ride, the Westpac Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser, meaning there were thousands of cyclists clad in the same colour lycra on hand to witness an impressive contest between the two sprinters who have won stages of the TDU this year. Unlike recent years when oppressive heat impacted the number of spectators, conditions were fine, warm but not scorching. Rather, it was the threat of crosswinds on the approach to the finish that made for nervous racing and a few accidents with Australian team pursuit superstar, Kelland O’Brien, one of the riders who lost skin and required X-rays for a suspected fracture to his collarbone.
Other crash victims included Mitch Docker who took a nasty tumble along with a handful of other riders in an incident 7.5km from the line.
The GC favourites and the sprint specialists were all largely unscathed even if some of them had to take evasive action during the rapid approach to Murray Bridge where the speed was up around 60km/h.
There is another sprint expected in 100% Stage 5 when Richie Porte will become the first man in 2020 to wear the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey for more than a day. He lost some of his advantage over the rider ranked second on GC, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) – who is now just three seconds shy of the Tasmanian from Trek-Segafredo.
Although we saw what something of a tradition is early in the stage – i.e. an attack by Astana’s Belgian Laurens De Vreese – the peloton signalled its intent: no escape would be allowed any leeway until after the Ziptrak Sprints were contested. The points may be appealing to a select few who are vying for the sprint jersey, but the real impetus to keep things together until the 40.3km mark was that time bonuses were on offer.
At the first Ziptrak Sprint, at Cudlee Creek (18.1km) it was the runner-up from Ziptrak Stage 1, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) leading the world champion, and team-mate of the race leader Richie Porte, Mads Pedersen over the line. Then came Impey, who earned third place and wiped one second off his deficit to Porte.
Once the bonuses were absorbed, a break was allowed some freedom and again we saw Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team) on the move. He was joined by four others including two from Movistar: Jorge Arcas and Sergio Samitier, as well as James Piccoli (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Laurens De Vreese (Astana).
The five stage leaders worked up a lead of 2:30 together and, as expected, in the kilometre leading to the line for climbing points, Rosskopf set off with an attack to ensure he was first over Lead Prospect Hill. De Vreese, ranked fourth in the Subaru King of the Mountains classification, was second.
Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “It was a very tight corner into the finish, but to be honest I like it when it is a technical finish. I just told my last man, Roger Kluge, to put me on the wheel of Sam Bennett and that’s exactly what he did. I was off the road a bit with one kilometre to go but luckily Roger was still there and he dropped me on the wheel. That’s exactly where I wanted to be on that last corner. We knew there would be a lot of wind once we turned on to the flat part in the second half of the course, but my team was always on the front. I was never in trouble. They did such a good job today. Tomorrow is one of those stages that could go either way. Last time we did this finish, I got dropped on the climbs. So, I hope my legs are better tomorrow.”
Overall leader, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo): “We kind of expected that was going to happen. We threw some guys up there to make it harder for Daryl [Impey]. That’s going to take its toll a little bit on him, but full credit to him. He can mix it with pure sprinters. There are other guys up there sprinting against him, not just Mads [Pedersen] and Kiel [Reijnen]. It’s going to come down to the wire, I’d say. They (the team) were all fantastic. Michel [Ries] was riding on the front from the start, we showed intent that we were going to at least honour the jersey and defend it, not just make the sprinter teams take control. We’ve got a great team here, they’re doing a fantastic job. We lost 3 seconds on the road today, but we did expect that, maybe to even lose a little more time, to be honest. Everybody talks crosswind but it wasn’t really a true crosswind, the wind wasn’t that strong, but it was pretty stressful. That last corner with 150m to go there was a point there I had come around and couldn’t pedal cause there were guys everywhere. It was a funny old day, probably pretty boring to watch, but it wasn’t boring in the peloton. I guess at Victor Harbour historically there’s been a little bit of wind on the road but I think it’s less tomorrow than today. There’s another sketchy little finish there too, there is a hill there before the final and I think that’ll change the dynamics a bit too.”
3rd on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “Coming into the final corner we knew it was going to be technical and I was a bit too far back in the final metres. It’s another podium placing but it’s been hard to get a win this week so far. The team worked really well for me and tomorrow could be another good chance for us to go for a good result.”
4th on the stage, André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation): “It was the second day we rode together as a team to set up a sprint. It was all about that last corner. In the end, it’s not too bad. We have to see the positive things, we are here as a team and we ride together as a team. We ended up fourth, so we will keep fighting. Maybe tomorrow will be even harder.”
6th on the stage, Martin Laas (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The plan was to ride for me today. However, unfortunately I didn’t feel so good at the beginning of the race, and had some pain in my legs. I hoped, that my condition would improve throughout the course of the race, but after the first half of racing, I wasn’t in an ideal situation. After talking with the Sports Director, we decided that we would ride for Erik. Over the final 5km, it was relatively hectic and we were pushed back somewhat. I tried to ride to the front, and was able to make it up there. I had Juraj Sagan and Michael Schwarzmann still with me, but unfortunately we lost contact with each other. I passed through the last corner in sixth place, and it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to win the stage.”
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 4 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:29:08
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
4. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
5. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Sunweb
6. Martin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT
8. Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 4:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo in 13:39:32
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:03
3. Rob Power (Aus) Sunweb at 0:08
4. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:11
5. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:15
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos
9. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos
10. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:23.
TDU’20 stage 4:
Daryl Impey is back in the lead of the Santos Tour Down Under at the end of Stage 5. He did it with grit and determination at the intermediate sprints. Daryl did what he’s done year after year since Richie Porte won the title in 2017. He did it in a way everyone is becoming accustomed to but that doesn’t mean the other teams have an answer to what the South African from the Australian-registered WorldTour team, Mitchelton-Scott, has done so well in January in recent years.
At the first Ziptrak Sprint (at McLaren Flat, 33.8km) he couldn’t overcome the world champion, Porte’s team-mate Mads Pedersen, who earned first place and the three-second time bonus. But the two-second bonus for second meant he was closing in on the virtual lead of GC: just one second separated Porte from Impey – and more was yet to come.
At the second Ziptrak Sprint, Impey was first, propelling him into the virtual lead thanks to the time bonus. And, try and Pedersen did to absorb more bonuses, he crossed the line in Meadows in third place after 56km of racing. It can get complex but the basics is this: time bonuses have often helped seal the title of the Santos Tour Down Under. Again, these extras from the Ziptrak Sprints are having an impact on the final GC result, but that doesn’t mean the pure sprinters – i.e. the guys who know they won’t be able to climb with Porte or Impey on the ramp to the finish on Old Willunga Hill tomorrow – are still also vying for the points on offer.
That’s why Jasper Philipsen, the runner-up on day one, was there to interrupt the GC narrative at the second Ziptrak Sprint. The young Belgian leads the Ziptrak Sprint classification (now with a total of 63pts, well ahead of Impey’s 48 and Caleb Ewan’s 47). Philipsen had a reason to be in the mix. He wants the blue jersey, a prize he seems assured of winning in his second attempt at the TDU…
Meanwhile, however, the men chasing the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey on Sunday were also keen to sprint for the extras on offer. And Impey’s conquests added up to him muscling his way ahead of Porte in the overall rankings. The fifth stage was a race of two parts. The first act, was up until the Ziptrak Sprint points (and crucial time bonuses). Then came the quest to eliminate sprinters like Philipsen and Ewan, and – so the theory goes – give Impey a chance of winning a stage with his puncheur panache, taking the 10-second bonus and giving himself a buffer in advance of the inevitable attack that’s going to come on what is parochially known as Richie Porte Hill (aka. Old Willunga).
No one has beaten Richie Porte on Old Willunga for six years. It has become an iconic climb in Australian cycling and everyone knows how the Tasmanian has won there. For six years in a row, he begins his final surge around the same mark. Just because it’s predictable, however, doesn’t mean there’s a remedy to overcome the phenomenal acceleration Porte has on an incline. Impey can hang tough in such situations, as he did last year, but he needs a buffer because there’s almost an acceptance that Richie will win and in so doing earn a 10-second bonus for his first place.
After five stages and 718.7km of racing, Impey’s advantage over Porte is just two seconds. The effort by Mitchelton-Scott to isolate the sprinters going over Kerby Hill on the approach to Victor Harbor did split the peloton. It did lure a mix of strong riders to the fore. It did give Daryl a rush of adrenaline and the belief that he might earn some more bonuses in the sprint. But it wasn’t enough to eliminate Porte.
Yes, the race leader is climbing well. No, not even the stunning work by Lucas Hamilton and his Mitchelton-Scott cohort could drop the race leader. Richie Porte is the best climber in the race. But, for a moment, he looked as though he too was prepared to have a crack in the sprint… should it have come to that. But it didn’t. Instead, what happened was that the surge over the climb sapped some of Impey’s strength and, once his group was caught, he didn’t have time to recover enough to take on the pure sprint specialists. What’s that all translate to? Another battle of the lead-out men in advance of the rush to the line. And, this time, there was a chance for another team to celebrate.
Words of advice from Bjarne Riis, the new co-owner of NTT, were delivered in the morning and riders from the South African team paid attention. They were assigned roles, told how to manage the final climb, and encouraged to overcome their fears and take on Ewan and Sam Bennett and his ‘Wolfpack’. They found a solution too. Coming out of the final corner, Ryan Gibbons, NTT’s final lead-out man for sprint specialist Giacomo Nizzolo was fourth wheel. Ahead of him was Nizzolo himself, along with Cofidis’ Simone Consonni and Ewan’s lead-out maestro Roger Kluge. What made the difference for Nizzolo – who’d go on to take a fine victory, the first for the recently renamed NTT team (formerly Dimension Data) – was Gibbons’ tactical decision to allow the trio ahead of him to continue. Knowing that his job was done, Gibbons deliberately sat up and opened a gap that Sam Bennett had to overcome if he were to win.
Stage winner, Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT): “I can’t thank the team enough because today they did a great, great job. It was the plan, if I was a bit dropped, they had to wait for me on the climb and they did it perfectly. Then they also did a perfect lead-out, I was perfectly placed in the final and then I just had to put everything I had left into the pedals and it worked out in the end. I am so happy, this is a good feeling to get the win in our new team colours.”
Overall leader and 10th on the stage, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): “The whole week we’ve been trying to get into the lead here, its achievable to beat Richie [Porte]. Two seconds is going to be really tight and close but we’ve given ourselves the best chance possible, the boys have worked incredibly hard all week and done an amazing job, like I said tomorrow – win, lose or draw we know at the end of the race tomorrow we’ve given it everything. Going for all those intermediate sprints takes its toll, no doubt about it, but can’t think about that, we have to try and be in a position where we can win the race, and if we don’t go for the bonus seconds, there’s no way we can put 30 seconds to Richie tomorrow. So, we have to take the race by the scruff of the neck and we still have Simon Yates in there who also has a very good chance of winning the race so we are in a good position, I think. We were looking forward to today on the climb, we had three guys still there after doing a bunch of work all day, so I think we’ve got the strongest team in the race. I’ll go all in tomorrow, I have to give myself the best chance possible. I think there’s probably one guy on the start list that can follow Richie [Porte] and it’s going to be Simon [Yates], so who knows we could win the stage, we are in a nice position. If we lose tomorrow, we know we did everything and have given ourselves the best chance and we can be proud of that. I would’ve preferred to go harder because then there could’ve been just three of us left. It’s a really select group, we thought maybe 30-40 guys would get over the top, so I think it just shows the depth. I think tomorrow we’ve got a great team to control the race. It’s fantastic to lead the race going into Willunga tomorrow. The boys did a fantastic job. Three seconds up, I don’t know if it’s enough but we’ll know tomorrow. We’ve given ourselves every chance to try to win this bike race, and it’s all up to tomorrow. We did exactly as we planned on the climb. Lucas [Hamilton] set a hell of a tempo up there, there’s only 10 guys left so we had a very select group and I was praying that group would make it to the line, cause I fancied my chances there but like I said, we gave it everything we could. I rode a fantastic race and the sprinters brought it back at the end, but really chuffed with today.”
2nd overall, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo): “Tomorrow it’s all to play for. We expected Mitchelton-SCOTT were going to do that and Mads [Pedersen] did a good job to take some seconds. It’s not a massive deficit tomorrow. Mitchelton were good today, and they exploded it in the final. It’s going to be a hard race tomorrow. That’s it — I think if we can win the stage, we can win the race. I am going to have to have guys up there tomorrow. I was a little bit isolated today, so hopefully tomorrow the boys are on top.”
4th on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “I was a little out of position for the sprint but also I didn’t have the big power today. Laengen set a really good pace for me on the last climb to keep me in the bunch at a pace I could hold. I’m content with holding the sprints jersey but for sure I’m still looking for that first win of the season.”
Break rider, Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Several riders tried to form a breakaway, and in the end I was able to get into the break of the day with three very good riders, Pedersen, Stannard and Cerny. We had quite a lot of headwind and it was hard to ride on the front during the day, but I tried to shelter from the wind behind the others. I also tried my chances at being awarded the most combative rider prize for today’s stage with a little attack that I launched before we were caught by the peloton. It was a good experience to ride in the breakaway in my first WorldTour race.”
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5 Result:
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT in 3:32:45
2. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
6. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) EF Education First
8. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
9. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana
10. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott.
Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 5:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott in 17:12:15
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
3. Rob Power (Aus) Sunweb at 0:09
4. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:13
5. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:16
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:17
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos
9. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos
10. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:25.
TDU’20 stage 5:
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) won the Tour Down Under for the second time in his career. On the famous Final Stage 6 with the finish on the summit of Willunga Hill, he was only beaten by the surprising stage winner, Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal). Porte, who was the overall winner in 2017, took almost half a minute from the other GC men on the final climb.
A large leading group of 26 rider formed the leading group of the day. Among the escapees was KOM, Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Jumbo-Visma) and the final stage winner Holmes. Their maximum lead would peak towards 5 minutes. In the peloton it was all hands on deck to make up the gap. World champion Mads Pedersen along with Jumbo-Visma did a lot of the chase work. On the run-up to the first ascent of Willunga Hill, the peloton was half a minute down on the leaders at the foot of the 3.7-kilometre climb. The leading group was split into two by the climb and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) made an unsuccessful attempt to cross to the leading group from the pack.
At the foot of the second and last climb of Willunga Hill the difference had shrunk. The early break was shattered; Jonas Rutsch (EF Education First), Luke Rowe (Ineos) and Michael Storer (Sunweb) were out front. Behind in the peloton; overall leader Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) could not follow the pace.
The peloton was placed by Dutchman Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma), but Porte took matters into his own hands one kilometre from the line. The Tasmanian put in a powerful move to catch the leaders, only Holmes was able to keep on fighting.
The Trek-Segafredo leader seemed on his way to a double victory – Stage and overall, but at 150 metres, Holmes took his chance with a last acceleration. The 26-year-old WorldTour rookie caused a big surprise by taking the win on Willunga Hill. For Porte it was still a party with another overall victory in the Tour Down Under.
Stage winner, Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal): “I was always waiting, waiting, waiting for the sprint but slowly I realised they were all on the limit, then Richie came but I did not panic. All I thought was It’s great, he’s not gonna slow down and he’s just gonna take me to the finish, as he was obviously riding his own race for the GC. All I had to do was beat him and that was quite simple. As a team we had no real plan for this stage. Team Director Herman Frison gave us all a free role. So, I went in the breakaway. Also Jonathan Dibben was in the break and he did a perfect team job. I sat on, and he didn’t miss one turn all day. I’ve been trying my hardest to ride well in the GC but I couldn’t handle the speed and a sort of danger in the bunch. So, I really didn’t do well the first days. Even last night I was saying to my parents, who are here these days, that this job is maybe even not for me. Today is a bit of a turnaround. I’ve never really raced up a climb. I’ve been stuck in Britain for the last six years, which is not a bad thing. This is my second hilltop finish this week, and it seems to suit me. This will give the team a lot of confidence in me. Up to now I felt they didn’t know me very well. I am the new person in the team and they gave me the first easy job in the stages. From now on, maybe I can ask sometimes to ride for me in some stages. Short stage races were on my original plan and maybe a Grand Tour. Either the Giro or the Vuelta. I have to do something much better than today to go to the Tour de France…”
Final overall winner and 2nd on the stage, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a little bit panic stations there in the middle, you know we had to do the ride for the whole day, AG2R-La Mondiale also helped us to understand with Mitchelton-Scott why they played that tactic, and I mean credit to them because they’ve been awesome all week but I think my team today were absolutely fantastic. Yeah look I mean it has been an incredible week, you know people are quick to single out Mads Pedersen because I guess because he’s the world champ and he’s here helping me but everyone’s been incredible, you know they all played their part and today everybody’s fantastic.”
6th on the stage and 2nd overall, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “At the beginning of the week I was hoping and aiming for a final placement in the top 10. Finishing second here can only make me happy. From the start I always had good legs and felt good also thanks to the help of the team who worked perfectly throughout the whole Tour Down Under. No one today expected a stage like this, but we were good at being present in the breakaway. In the end, the team did a great job putting me in the front where I wanted to be so I was able to push as I wanted.”
KOM, Joey Rosskopf (CCC): “The jersey is a really good reward because it took a lot of work to get it, a lot of days in the breakaway. You set out with a goal and you start chipping away at it from day one and to be able to actually achieve it, it’s always super rewarding. Nothing is guaranteed. At the start of the stage we were really unsure because it could have played out like yesterday with the GC guys already hitting it really hard over the climb the first time and one of them taking all of the points. So, to have such a big breakaway with so many strong guys like that was the ideal scenario. I’m sure there was a lot of arguing going on behind about who was going to chase because it must have taken a big commitment to bring a breakaway that big back. So, for us, it was an ideal scenario to even make it to the first climb like that. In the very first team meeting we had, especially after we lost Paddy Bevin, we were looking around and started to asses what other opportunities we could take advantage of. In the build up to the race, we were all in for GC with Paddy because he was super last year and we were defending his lead for a few days. We pictured that coming into it with no other goals. We had to re-asses and the KOM jersey was one thing we could take advantage of, especially here because it is more or a breakaway jersey than a pure climbers’ jersey so, it was within our grasp. It could have been anyone in the first day or two, whoever got in the breakaway and started chipping away. I always love to get out in front of the race but after a few days of dong it, especially this early in the season without a couple of stage races in the legs, I was starting to wonder if I was really the guy to be able to do this every single day. You never know in January how you are going to respond.”
Sprints winner, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “Wearing the blue jersey at the end of such a race is a great feeling. Again today the team worked at its best in a stage different from what we expected, and Diego’s second place in the General is proof of this.”
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 6 Result:
1. Matthew Holmes (GB) Lotto Soudal in 3:24:54
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:03
3. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana at 0:04
4. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:07
5. Michael Storer (Aus) Sunweb
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos
9. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos
10. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:23.
Santos Tour Down Under Final Overall Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo in 20:37:08
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:25
3. Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos
5. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos
6. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:30
7. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:37
8. George Bennett (NZ) Team Jumbo-Visma at 0:46
9. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:52
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:54
TDU’20 final stage 6:
Vuelta a San Juan Internacional 2020
Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-Up Nation) won Stage 1 and is the first leader of the 2020 Vuelta a San Juan. The French sprinter was the first over the finish line in San Juan after 163 kilometres. The favourites started the sprint too early and missed out. A big crash more than 3 kilometres from the finish took a large group out of contention, with Remco Evenepoel in the middle of it.
Of an original leading group of eleven, seven remained in the finalé. Daniel Juarez (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima), Andrea Di Renzo (Vini Zabù-KTM), Vinicius Rangel (Selection Brazil), Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Filippo Zaccanti (Bardiani-CSF), Iker Ballarin (Fundación Euskadi) and César Paredes (Medellin) did not get much room from the peloton, which was looking for a bunch sprint.
Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates took on the chase work for Peter Sagan (birthday today) and Fernando Gaviria. Deceuninck – Quick-Step were also near the front for Álvaro José Hodeg. The advantage of the leading group declined steadily. With 50 kilometres to go it was less than a minute. Mattia Bais was the last man to be caught at 36 kilometres out.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step had Pieter Serry on the front to protect GC man, Remco Evenepoel, and also to get the sprint train going. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec was also looking out for their fast-finishing Manuel Belletti.
The crash hit well before the three-kilometre sign. A Cofidis rider crashed near the front of the peloton and stopped a large part of the peloton. Because the fall occurred more than three kilometres from the finish, the 3-kilometre rule did not apply. Remco Evenepoel was one of the people involved and lost time, but physically he was OK.
The sprint was then chaotic. Bora-Hansgrohe put Sagan on the wheel of Hodeg, who then started the sprint early. He couldn’t keep it going to the finish and was passed by Sagan and Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates), but the finish was just after a slight turn that they hadn’t expected.
Rudy Barbier came through the front group and pushed his wheel over the line first. Manuel Belletti was second, ahead of home rider Tomas Contte. Molano, Hodeg and Sagan were fourth, fifth and sixth.
A few hours after the finish, the organisation announced that all riders who crashed 3.4 kilometres from the finish will be classified at the same time. “After looking at the images that show that the fall was caused by a spectator who touched the handlebars of a rider, the race jury decided that all riders who were currently in the peloton were given the same time.”
4th, Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a complicated stage. In the end the team made the best of the situation. 3.4km from the line there was a big crash which had us looking around to see who was affected and so we were a little unorganised coming into the finish.”
9th, Fernando Gaviria Rendon (UAE Team Emirates): “The stage went well, none of team has crashed which is always good. We worked to try and win the stage but there was confusion in the end after the crash. Tomorrow is another good stage for us and an opportunity to go for the win so we will be hoping for a good result.”
Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Stage 1 Result:
1. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation in 3:45:14
2. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
3. Tomas Contte (Arg) Municipalidad de Pocito
4. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Roman Maikin (Rus) Russia
8. Luca Wackermann (Ita) Vini Zabu’ KTM
9. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
10. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis.
Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Overall After Stage 1:
1. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation in 3:45:04
2. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:04
3. Tomas Contte (Arg) Municipalidad de Pocito at 0:06
4. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
5. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Roman Maikin (Rus) Russia
8. Luca Wackermann (Ita) Vini Zabu’ KTM
9. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
10. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis.
San Juan’20 stage 1:
Sajnok Sustains Multiple Fractures in Tour Down Under Crash
Szymon Sajnok sustained multiple fractures in a crash on stage four of the Santos Tour Down Under which will sideline the Polish rider for the coming weeks.
X-Rays performed at the Calvary Wakefield Hospital in Adelaide revealed two fractures in the right wrist, a fractured right radius, and a small lower lumbar fracture (L5), CCC Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa explained.
“Szymon Sajnok crashed on stage four of the Santos Tour Down Under. His condition was monitored on Friday night and as he was experiencing more pain in his right wrist on Saturday morning, he was unable to line up on stage five. Szymon was taken to the Calvary Wakefield Hospital in Adelaide where X-Rays confirmed two fractures in the right wrist, a fractured right radius, and a small lower lumbar fracture (L5),” Dr Testa said.
“Szymon will return to Poland on Sunday evening to commence his recovery and after some further scans, we will determine whether surgery is required however, at this stage, it is unlikely. Szymon will wear a cast on his right hand and arm to stabilise the wrist fractures but he should be able to start riding on the home trainer in the next few days. We will continue to monitor Szymon’s recovery and make an assessment regarding his return to racing as soon as possible.”
Sajnok is disappointed to cut his Australian racing block short.
“It’s obviously disappointing to crash out of the Tour Down Under as I was feeling better with every stage. I am hoping to bounce back quickly and resume my season without too much of a disruption. Luckily, my injuries are not too bad and I can get back on the bike on the trainer soon and not lose too much of the fitness I have built up here in Australia. Of course, the crash could have been much worse so I am lucky,” Sajnok said.
CCC Team will continue to provide updates on Sajnok’s recovery and return to racing.
Szymon Sajnok in the 2020 TDU:
UCI Cyclocross World Cup – GP Adrie van der Poel Hoogerheide 2020
For the fifth time in his career, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won his ‘home’ Cyclocross World Cup in Hoogerheide. The World champion only needed one attack in the sixth lap to shake off the rest in the GP Adrie van der Poel. Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) finished second and secured (without winning a round) the overall victory in the World Cup.
Mathieu van der Poel managed to get on top of his father’s home course in no time. The World champion wanted to prevent from being bothered by his competitors. The only rider who could follow Van der Poel was Toon Aerts, the leader in the World Cup. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) did not have a good start and had to fight back from the behind. Wout van Aert also, despite a poor starting position, joined the front group in the first lap. Because Van der Poel and Aerts could not immediately make a difference, after one lap a large group came across start-finish line. The World champion then dropped into the group. The pace was not very high, so that lesser riders could connect from the back. It then became more of a kind of road race.
On the fifth lap, Aerts put some pressure on, pulling the leading group onto a line. Pidcock (Trinity) and Iserbyt were immediately on his wheel, followed by a group with Van der Poel and Van Aert. Aerts couldn’t take a gap, one lap later Van der Poel did with a big and impressive attack. Iserbyt and Aerts were the only followers, with a chase group including Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Wout van Aert, Joris Nieuwenhuis (Sunweb) and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions), and some others. This group would be fighting for fourth place.
For Toon Aerts it was important to finish on the podium and he succeeded with second place, so that he won the UCI Cyclocross World Cup overall. A nice €30,000 euros in his bank account. Aerts also won the World Cup last season.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “I am very satisfied with this weekend. It feels really good to win here, I know a lot of people here who come to watch, which always gives an extra boost. I am very satisfied with this weekend, I have been training a lot on my specific acceleration in the last period and I have shown that I am at the right level in the run-up to the World Championship.”
8th, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am satisfied with the weekend. I did not have an ideal week, because I was slightly ill for three days, so it is good. Normally I benefit from a long final, but I tired myself by going a lap before. In the final I would have preferred to be first or second in the group. But it is what it is. There is a lot in the top 10 behind Mathieu. When I see Mathieu racing in recent weeks, there is less and less doubt about it. In the beginning there was still some hope, but now he seems to be riding around as he did last year. If there is a race on a track where riders have never been before, I think that not much rain is needed to make it difficult. I don’t know if it will be a fast course. I would rather have a heavier circuit. Then the differences are a bit clearer, but given the situation, the course is not that important to me.”
Final UCI World Cup Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) – 577 points
2. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) – 531 points
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) – 492 points.
UCI Cyclocross World Cup – GP Adrie van der Poel Hoogerheide Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 1:04:39
2. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions at 0:38
3. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:43
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:49
5. Tim Merlier (Bel) Creaefin-Fristads at 0:50
6. Lars Van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions
7. Thomas Pidcock (GB) Trinity Racing at 0:52
8. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:53
9. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:59
10. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Tormans at 1:05.
Kasteelcross – Zonnebeke 2020
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won the Kasteelcross in Zonnebeke on Saturday. Halfway through the race he rode away from the competition and soloed the remainder of the race. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Jens Adams (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) filled the other podium places.
The day before the last World Cup race in Hoogerheide, some top riders didn’t start, preferring to rest for Sunday’s race. No Toon Aerts, Michael Vanthourenhout or Laurens Sweeck to go for the win. Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel were there, they made their comeback to racing after a training camps in Spain. At the start it was business as usual: Van der Poel continued firmly and ended up again off the front.
That the World champion would win was already certain at the start. Yet it took a while for the World champion to shake off his opponents. A leading group of five were in control soon after the start: Van der Poel, Van Aert, Jens Adams, Wietse Bosmans and Eli Iserbyt. They all worked hard in the mist of West Flanders, but nobody could take the lead. Van der Poel hit the ground on a tricky slope, but that was not a problem.
A little beyond halfway and the time had come and Van der Poel took a gap on the competition. Wout van Aert was able to stay the closest, but with the exception of bad luck the victory was never for the Belgian. Van der Poel finished the job nicely and will be confident for the World Cup in Hoogerheide and the World championships in Dübendorf.
Behind: Wout van Aert also kept the pressure on the pedals, a good half minute behind MvdP he took to his first podium place of the season. Jens Adams was third, for his first podium place.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It went better than I expected. I was quite happy with the feeling today. In Benicàssim we could not have gone outside for three days and I still wanted to do my endurance training. I flew home because I saw that it was going to be dry there. I did train longer than the last camp, with a serious training on Thursday. I also worked the second part of the camp a little more specifically on the cross than in the previous ones. It was a bit of a search for the right lines between all the wheels, but when I could ride my own lines I was quite satisfied with my cross.”
2nd, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I trained very hard for seven days and was able to work many hours. That was perfect. This week I wanted to do a little more cross-training, but that has now become a rest week. We would go home on Monday, but we were stuck at the airport all day. We had to take the train to Madrid to get home the next day. I got up a bit sick on Wednesday morning. A little flu, stomach upset, cold and no energy; I think an accumulation of fatigue. At first I tried to train, but that didn’t really work. Thursday I did not train at all and yesterday I rode a bit on the rollers. I have decided to take part in the race to warm up for tomorrow (World Cup Hoogerheide) and next week (World Championships in Dübendorf). I came here with a scared heart, but I think it was a good choice. It was actually not too bad. I had a more pleasant feeling than during previous races. I can handle the basic pace better. I could not answer Mathieu’s acceleration, but nobody can do that at the moment. After that I was able to race to second place quite easily, so I’m happy. The intention was to be fresh at the start of a cross for the first time this weekend, but due to that illness that was not a hundred percent successful. Now I will head to the World Championship without long training sessions. I want to ride my best cross of the year there. I think it’s a surprise for everyone. You don’t see anything on such a plan. It will have to wait until we get there to get a picture of it. I did trust today. I hope to make a slightly better start than today, because I am in the third or fourth row. I hope to have a bit more luck at the start.”
Kasteelcross – Zonnebeke Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 1:01:06
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:35
3. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:15
4. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) SpotIT-Isorex at 1:28
5. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:32
6. David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:47
7. Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Cyclocross Team Teika-Gsport-BH
8. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Creafin-Fristads at 2:43
9. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers
10. Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions at 3:16.
Bouhanni and Cavendish Back to Work on the Saudi Tour
A new territory is ready to welcome the elite of cycling with the first edition of the Saudi Tour to be held from Tuesday, February 4th until Saturday, February 8th. Over five stages set between the skyscrapers of the capital Riyadh and the Arabian desert, the route aims to highlight the cultural history and the modernity of the Kingdom, outlined by its sporting facilities.
The 1st stage will start in front of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee headquarters, where the country’s sports federations are hosted. The riders will get a first taste of the desert while riding on leg-sapping roads leading to an uphill finish in Jaww.
The 2nd stage, the longest, will bring more spectacular views with a start next to Sadus Castle, a first loop on open roads that could lead to echelons and a finish on the modern Riyadh Turky Road.
The 3rd stage, from the King Saud University to Al Bujairi, may be the most challenging with a demanding circuit and a total of nine climbs. The riders will be on the edge again as they ride into the desert the next day and tackle a 5-km climb with a gradient around 5% in Qiddiya, where the 2020 Dakar also finishes. Eventually, the 5th stage will start in front of the Princess Nourah University and finish at the Masmak fort after travelling through Riyadh, in the shadow of the skyscrapers.
Each stage will feature several intermediate sprints, on the flat or atop climbs, and the participants will score points in a single classification rewarding the most aggressive rider of the Saudi Tour. These sprints may also influence the race for the overall victory with time bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds up for grabs in the last intermediate sprint of the day, set inside the last 25 kilometres.
Ø The 1st edition of the Saudi Tour, which will take place between 4th and 8th February, offers a programme combining desert scenery and skyscrapers, with five stages around the capital Riyadh.
Ø The alternation between flat profiles and more undulating stages promises for battles between sprinters, interspersed with exploits by punchers or even breakaway specialists.
Ø Among the specialists of the final straight, the Saudi Tour will be hosting the return to business of Mark Cavendish in his new colours of the Bahrein-McLaren team, whilst Nacer Bouhanni will be trying on his Arkea-Samsic jersey for the first time. As regards attacks from far out, a watchful eye will have to be kept on Niki Terpstra, Enrico Gasparotto, Rui Costa or also Angel Madrazo, all of whom will be eager to try their luck.
18 Teams: The Main Participants
Bahrein – Bahrain-McLaren: Cavendish (GB), Bauhaus (Ger)
Belgium – Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles: Vanendert, Planckaert (Bel), Circus-Wanty Gobert: Offredo (Fra)
Denmark – Riwal Readynez Cycling Team: Havik (NL)
France – Arkea-Samsic: Bouhanni (Fra), McLay (GB), B&B Hotels-Vital Concept: Debusschere (Bel), Nippo Delko One Provence: Navardauskas (Lit), Total Direct Energie: Terpstra (NL), Bonifazio (Ita), Gaudin (Fra).
Germany – Bike Aid: Carstensen (Ger).
Great Britain – Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling: Lampier (GB).
Kazakhstan – Astana Pro Team: De Vreese (Bel).
Malaysia – Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team: Reguigui (Alg).
Russia – Gazprom-RusVelo: Chernetskii (Rus).
South Africa – NTT Pro Cycling: Gasparotto (Swi), Kreuziger (Cz), R.Janse van Rensburg (SA).
Spain – Burgos-BH: Madrazo (Spa), Caja Rural-Seguros RGA: Malucelli (Ita).
United Arab Emirates – UAE-Team Emirates: Costa (Por), Conti (Ita).
USA – Rally Cycling: De Vos (Can).
More information about Saudi Tour on: www.thesauditour.com/en
ZLM Tour and Slag om Norg Change Dates
Another two Dutch UCI races have been moved on the international cycling calendar. The ZLM Tour will be held a week earlier than initially announced and the Slag om Norg fifteen days earlier.
The ZLM Tour, upgraded from .1 course to the UCI ProSeries, is now being run from 27 to 31 May and will be included in the Whitsun weekend. “This offers more opportunities for spectators to come and watch one of the stages,” explained Martin de Kok of organiser Libéma Profcycling. “Due to the loss of the Tour of Norway, we had the opportunity to bring the ZLM Tour forward for a week. One of the advantages of this is that we can better guarantee the safety of the riders during the race.”
The new date is more favourable than other major competitions, such as the Giro d’Italia, Tour of Switzerland and Critérium du Dauphiné, he adds. “We hope to get even more teams and famous riders from the WorldTour to the start. This also fits in with our ambition to grow into the preparation race in the run-up to the Tour de France and La Vuelta.” Last year Mike Teunissen won the overall victory and his Jumbo-Visma team won four of the five stages.
The Slag om Norg was initially on the calendar for Sunday, August 16, but has been moved to Saturday, August 1. These are not the only changes to the UCI calendar that had been previously announced. The Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic already relocated from August to May, the Liberation Round of Drenthe is held a day earlier due to cutbacks by the police and Olympia’s Tour returns to the international calendar. The Hammer Series Limburg just disappeared: the competition was the victim of the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the subsequent calendar changes.
Dutch UCI races for elite men in 2020:
February 29: Craft Ster van Zwolle (1.2)
March 8: Dorpenomloop Rucphen (1.2)
March 14: Bevrijdingsronde van Drenthe (1.1)
March 18 – March 22: Olympia’s Tour (2.2)
April 4: Volta Limburg Classic (1.1)
April 18: Arno Wallaard Memorial (1.2)
April 19: Amstel Gold Race (1.UWT)
April 25: PWZ Zuidenveld Tour (1.2)
May 2: Ronde van Overijssel (1.2)
May 9: Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic (1.1)
27 May – 31 May: ZLM Tour (2.Pro)
28 June: Midden-Brabant Poort Omloop (1.2)
August 1: Slag om Norg (1.1)
August 31 – September 6: BinckBank Tour (2.UWT)
October 10: Tacx Pro Classic (1.1)
ZLM Tour’19 final podium:
Paris-Roubaix Finalé Same as Last Year
The Paris-Roubaix course has not changed much from last year. The last 120 kilometres are identical to last season’s edition, where Philippe Gilbert triumphed in the Vélodrome. Organiser, ASO has added 500 metres of cobblestone near the start.
“The idea is to change something every year to visit all the cobblestone lanes of the region. There are a total of 55 kilometres of cobblestones on the course,” course designer Thierry Gouvenou told the AFP news agency. The extra cobblestones are located after entering Troisville, where the peloton hits the cobbles for the first time in the Hell of the North Classic.
Pavé Secteur John Degenkolb
From Quérénaing, which was the 7th of 29 cobblestone sections last year, nothing will change in the Paris-Roubaix race route. In total the distance is 258 kilometres, that was 257.5 kilometres last year. Also, according to Voix du Nord, on 10 February the cobblestone sector near Wandignies will be named after John Degenkolb, the 2015 winner.
The wildcards for Paris-Roubaix were handed out earlier this week. The most striking was that for Alpecin-Fenix, allowing Mathieu van der Poel to make his debut in the 2020 Hell of the North. Paris-Roubaix will be held this year on Sunday 12 April.
Paris–Roubaix 2019 highlights by NBC Sports:
2020 USA CRITS Calendar showcases the best of American criterium racing
2020 marks the 14th year of the USA CRITS Series, the premiere cycling series in the United States. Criteriums are the most spectator-friendly and enduring form of bicycle racing in America. USA CRITS brings forward a team concept and the ability for fans to engage with the sport through live streaming of each event.
The 2020 Series season will once again feature Birmingham, Alabama at the Birmingham Hammerfest fuelled by BOLT24. The Hammerfest provides a pre-season showcase for USA CRITS D1 Teams as well as amateur racers. On Friday prior to the racing, D1 Teams will assemble to produce the season’s media content. Saturday features a D1 Team race format that is the pilot model for future USA CRITS events. On Sunday, fans can join D1 Teams and former Olympian Frankie Andreu, on a supported training ride.
Ten events across the United States will make up the 2020 USA CRITS points calendar, landing in many of the country’s major cycling markets. The Colavita #racefororange will kick off racing for the 2nd year in El Paso, Texas at the Sun City Crit. The Series then ventures back east to Spartanburg, South Carolina and the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium followed by the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium in Athens, Georgia. Both events are USA CRITS back-to-back points races and will also serve as the kick-off the annual Speed Week in the Southeast.
The middle of the season features two of America’s most dynamic cycling events. The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic in Winston-Salem, North Carolina which includes a music festival over Memorial Weekend. Winston-Salem also hosts America’s only single-day UCI road race for men and women held on Memorial Day. The Saturday criterium has been labeled the hardest of the Series as international UCI teams coming for the road race get a taste of American criterium racing. Saint Francis Tulsa Tough in Tulsa, Oklahoma is a racer favourite and closes out the middle of the season with three days of racing and the Friday USA CRITS showcase held in the Blue Dome district.
The western swing of four back to back races has proven a brutal test for teams as these events decide who is in control headed into the finals. ASWD Boise Twilight kicks off the set and will also serve as the final event for challenged athletes before the Tokyo Olympics. Boise will also feature America’s only UCI time trial event, the Chrono Kristin Armstrong, on Friday. The Salt Lake Criterium returns for the 2nd year racing through the middle of The Gateway, a unique open-air commercial development. Next up is the Toyota San Rafael Sunset Criterium, celebrating 20 years and its prominence as California’s largest criterium. The western events wrap up with the Audi Denver Littleton Twilight Criterium. The Denver area boasts one of the strongest regional cycling communities in the country and draws one of the largest crowds of the Series.
The Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic in West Chester, Pennsylvania will play host to the final event of the Series. The conclusion of the Series will determine the final standings for leaders’ jerseys and team competitions in this vibrant downtown setting. “The Benchmark” which attracts thousands of fans, serves as a benchmark for American criterium racing and its new date as the Finals.
USA CRITS will again be partnering with USA Cycling to promote the Series. As part of this partnership, the top four USA CRITS Series D1 Teams on the Colavita Leaderboard after Tulsa will be given automatic invites to USAC’s June National Championships in Knoxville.
Twenty-one teams, including both of last year’s champions, have committed to joining the D1 ranks and racing across the national calendar. “A major goal of the Series has been sustainability. Seeing a dynamic increase in D1 Team participation and 100% of our 2019 calendar returning points to great progress being made for the sport,” said Scott Morris, USA CRITS Director of Development.
Combined, the Series will have over $240,000 available to teams as they compete for the D1 Team overall competition and three leaders’ jerseys. Each event scores the top four riders from each team based on laps led, in race sprints, and final event finish placement. New for 2020 will be a final prime at each event known as the Give Back Prime. This prime will allow fans to better engage the sport and support racers while also giving back to a local Ronald McDonald House in each market.
All 2020 USA CRITS events will be streamed live for free. This exciting change comes thanks to increased support from events and sponsors. “We are expecting well over one million live event views for 2020,” said Morris. “This is great for our teams, events and sponsors.” All events will be available on USACRITS.tv which will be going through a transformation to allow viewers to support efforts to grow the sport and gain access to 2020 Series replays and over 70 previous events. Additional details on a new viewing format and access to video-on-demand content will be made available in February.
USA CRITS – Partnering toward a sustainable, watchable, team-based format for the sport of criterium racing in America.
About USA CRITS
Now in its 14th year, the USA CRITS is the premiere cycling series in the United States. USA CRITS was developed to feature criterium racers and to offer watchable venues giving team and riders the ability to excel in this most American discipline of cycling. The events that form the USA CRITS Series have the ideals that have made criterium racing an American legacy: challenging courses that showcase arts and entertainment districts, a large and growing base of spectators, broad community support, and strong marketing opportunities for partners.
Watch the Documentary ‘La Familia’ Now
2019 was a great year for the team and in particular Primoz Roglic. During the Vuelta a España, our embedded camera team followed our riders and staff closely for almost four weeks. The result: a unique look behind the scenes and unique material. Under the watchful eye of his wife and newborn baby, Primoz managed to win the first grand tour for the team. The one hour documentary ‘La Familia’ is a must-see for every cycling fan!
Bière des Amis 0,0%, new convivial partner of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans
Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans can rely on a new convivial partner in 2020. Bière des Amis 0,0%, 100% blond beer, will support all convivial moments of the Belgian cycling team in 2020. This non alcohol beer is perfect for the recovery of athletes and will also be shared with friends of the team in a 5,8% version throughout the whole year. With guests, with partners and with fans, Bière des Amis, to share without moderation! No matter the time or place, there’s always a good opportunity to take some time to share a beer with friends. The blond beer with high fermentation was imagined following a recipe of craft character beer. The 100% Belgian beer exists in a 5,8% alcohol version, but also in a 0,0% version, thanks to a unique de-alcoholisation process. On thing in common? The size of the bottles: 33cl not to share, and 66cl to share with friends!
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans): “Our team is always distinguished by its convivial and family aspects. After the first sips of Bière des Amis I knew it was a perfect match. It was proven scientifically that beer without alcohol has benefits for the recovery of athletes, because there’s a combination of the nutritional qualities of beer and the absence of the negative effects of alcohol. The Bière des Amis will be shared throughout the whole year with friends of the team: guests, partners and fans, just like at our team presentation in Spain.”
Philippe Stassen (director Bière des Amis): “The feeling of belonging to the team and friendship is stronger within Circus – Wanty Gobert – Tormans than in any other team in the peloton! The intense relation binding the riders and staff is part of the DNA of the team, both when winning or loosing. Always together, stronger together… This is the reason why a partnership with Bière des Amis 0,0% was an evidence: we share the same values. We want to grow, stage after stage, with a team. But what counts most is the warm and friendly atmosphere. And as you know already: no matter the time or place, there’s always a good reason to share a beer with friends.”
Dennis does Froome!
World time rial champion, Rohan Dennis, has perfected his impression of Tour winner and teammate Chris Froome. Not bad!
— Bas Tietema (@BasTietema) January 25, 2020
The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.