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Foto Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 26 Maggio 2019 Ivrea (Italia) Sport Ciclismo Giro d'Italia 2019 - edizione 102- tappa 15 Da Ivrea A Como km 232 Nella foto: durante la tappa. Photo Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse May 26, 2019 Ivrea (Italy) Sport Cycling Giro d'Italia 2019 - 102th edition - stage 15 From Ivrea To Como In the pic: during the race

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The 2019 Giro d’Italia has hit the mountains and the fight for the final prize is not too far off. All the news from Italy, plus the Hammer Series in Stavanger and the OVO Energy Tour Series. No Gavia on Tuesday – Top Story. In other news we have the Giro abandonments, UAE Team Emirates, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Sunweb and Dimension Data to the Tour of Norway, new sponsor for La Vuelta and behind the scenes video at the Giro with the Sunweb team. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.

TOP STORY: No Gavia on Tuesday!!!
The 2019 Giro d’Italia peloton will not climb the mythical Passo Gavia on Tuesday. RCS, the Giro d’Italia made this announcement:

Stage 16 – New Route
Due to the persisting bad weather conditions, and despite the considerable efforts of the administrations of Sondrio and Brescia provinces – who have provided numerous crews working day and night to clear the routes, and who we would like to thank most sincerely – the Organisation Direction would like to inform the teams, press and the public that Stage 16, Lovere-Ponte di Legno, will have a new route.

The start and finish cities remain unchanged. The stage will have a total length of 194 kilometers. The Cima Coppi will be set on Passo Manghen, during Stage 20.

The Director of the Giro d’Italia Mauro Vegni: “As the weather forecast for the coming days predicts further deterioration and the risk of avalanche, we will unfortunately not be able to pass on the Gavia. I would like to begin by thanking the provinces of Sondrio and Brescia and all those who have worked to try to keep the original route open. We have taken this decision tonight to give everyone the chance of organizing themselves in the best way. The new route for Stage 16 will include the ascent of Cevo, a new climb for the Giro, then the passage from the most difficult side of the Aprica, before the descent to Mazzo, where riders will tackle the Mortirolo Pass, and thereafter arrival at Ponte di Legno. The Cima Coppi will be set on Passo Manghen, during Stage 20.”

Giro d’Italia 2019
Cesare Benedetti claimed his first pro victory at the age of 31 on Stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday. The Bora-Hansgrohe out-sprinted the last three breakaway riders on the finishing line. The Italian beat Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) and Irishman Eddie Dunbar (Ineos) with Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) in 4th. Slovenia’s Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) was also in the long break and took over the Maglia Rosa from his team-mate Valerio Conti. Brambilla became the new King of the Mountains, taking over from his room-mate Giulio Ciccone. Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) moved into the lead of the best young rider competition.

First pro win for Cesare Benedetti. His last victory was the Trofeo Edil-C, a non-UCI race, in 2008. He’s the first rider in his 30s to win a stage at the Giro this year. The last rider to win his first Giro stage in his 30s was Chris Froome at Monte Zoncolan last year. Cesare Benedetti is the tenth rider from the Trentino region to win a stage at the Giro, after Francesco Moser (23 victories), Gilberto Simoni (7), Mariano Piccoli (3), Maurizio Fondriest (2), Matteo Trentin, Alessandro Bertolini, Leonardo Bertagnolli, Claudio Michelotto and Marcello Osler. Trentin’s victory was also in Pinerolo three years ago. Jan Polanc hadn’t led a stage race since the 2013 Giro del Friuli (cat. UCI 2.2).

See the Stage 12 PEZ Race Report HERE.

You can read Ed Hood’s Mid-distance Giro Rant HERE.

Stage winner, Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I usually work hard for my teammates and today I had the opportunity to go into the breakaway to try something. We decided before the stage, that if a large breakaway group got away, then I would try to make it in that group. On the climb, I was forced to fall back somewhat, but eventually I was able to make contact with them again. The three riders who got away and rode on the front hesitated a bit and then I took my chance and in the end I was able to cross the line first. It’s a fantastic day for me and I’m very happy. Over the last few days, I was happy for my teammates and their success, and now I can also celebrate the fact that I was also able to take my own win here at the Giro.”

New overall leader, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a great stage today and I achieved my goal. I was aiming for the stage win also, but the others knew I could take the jersey so I had to work extra hard. Myself and Valerio are similar riders and now after two stage wins in previous Giros I get to wear the pink jersey. It’s an absolute dream come true for me so I’ll fight to keep it as long as possible.”

2nd overall, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “Today was a good day for me and the team. After a few relatively quiet days I had to get used to this type of racing again. The Giro is still long; there are still a lot of tough days to come. The team did a great job today and we are looking forward to the next days.”

2nd on the stage, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida): “I missed the win for very little – comments Damiano Caruso, today 2nd after a day in the break – but before the end of the Giro I would like to try again. From the team car they told me to go and collaborate with the other attackers and I’m just sorry that I wasn’t able to give the Team the victory. I gave my best and for today I’m happy with my result. It was a special sprint because we came from behind and when I left I felt a little cramping and I couldn’t do more. I am happy for the stage winner the Italian Cesare Benedetti because he is a great worker and deserves this success.”

3rd on the stage, Eddie Dunbar (Ineos): “I’m a bit disappointed really. I felt like I was one of the strongest there. Not one of the quickest but certainly one of the strongest. I gambled in the finish, with Brambilla and Capecchi there. As they were Italian I thought they would be a bit keener to get to the finish so I gambled on that, but then we got caught by the two guys behind. That’s bike racing. You live and learn. Going into the final climb I didn’t feel super and was worried about what gear I was going to pick. I thought if I started at the back I’d be able to see who was strong. Normally guys, when they feel it on a climb like that, they ease back quickly, so I waited, took in who was strong and thought if I could get to the top two I’d have a chance. I did that, but just came up short. In the end it was who could push the biggest gear. The other guys probably have that experience on me and extra bit of endurance, but it’s a start for me.”

Previous leader, now 3rd overall, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates): “Everything went as planned today. Tactically it was perfect. I think we took everyone by surprise. As for me, I had a wonderful week with some amazing days in pink. I think today I showed I’m a team player and I’m delighted for Polanc because he’s done a lot of work for me in the past week. I’m happy I lost the jersey to him – he deserves it.”

5th on the stage and 4th overall, Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The stage was really fast, we were some good riders in the break and built that unassailable lead over the peloton, before a selection was made on the climb. Then, on the steep climb in Pinerolo, I tried to get away with Brambilla; I pulled, did my part, but there wasn’t the collaboration needed to go all the way, so we got caught. I wanted to win, I was hoping to win, so that’s why I tried something before the sprint. It wasn’t possible, but I am satisfied with my day out front and with the legs I had.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 12 Result:
1. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:41:49
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Eddie Dunbar (Ire) Ineos
4. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
5. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:06
6. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:25
7. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:34
8. Thomas De Gendt (Ita) Lotto Soudal at 0:36
9. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:38.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 12:
1. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 48:49:40
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 4:07
3. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 4:51
4. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:02
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 5:51
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 6:02
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:00
8. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 7:23
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 7:30
10. Hugh John Carthy (GB) EF Education First at 7:33.

Giro stage 12:

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) powered to a solo victory at Ceresole Reale in the GranParadiso park on Stage 13 as he attacked from a breakaway with 5km to go and dropped his last companion Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) 2km before the finish, while Mikel Landa (Movistar) rounded out the podium throughout an attack from the group of favorites. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) arrived with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and remained second overall while Zakarin moved up to third, behind Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) who bravely defended the Maglia Rosa.

Second stage win at the Giro d’Italia for Ilnur Zakarin after stage 11 to Imola in 2015. He also won up a mountain at the Tour de France with stage 17 finishing in Finhaut-Emosson at a dam like lago Serrù in Ceresole Reale. It’s his seventh top 3 in a stage of the Giro with three second places in 2017 and two third places in 2016. It’s the 27th stage victory at the Giro for Russian riders who are just one behind The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Colombia. The three other Russians who have won top mountain finishes before: Egveni Berzin (Campitello Matese in 1994), Pavel Tonkov (4 victories) and Denis Menchov (Alpe di Siusi in 2009). It’s the seventh Maglia Rosa for Slovenians at the Giro this year (Roglic and Polanc), one more than Italians (Conti).

More from stage 13 in the Full PEZ Race Report HERE.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin): “I didn’t have any plan for winning this stage. I went in the breakaway with the aim of making up some time on GC. This win is a little bit of a surprise for me. I just rode the last climb with all the energy and the power I had. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved today. Roglic is really strong. He’s the number one favorite but I’ll try to take the Maglia Rosa in the coming stages.”

Overall leader, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m really happy with today. I knew it was going to be a really hard stage. After the big effort yesterday I felt really tired for the first part of the stage, but by the end everyone was suffering. I kept pushing and I was able to defend the pink jersey.”

2nd on the stage, Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott): “The plan was to be in the break and then after the second last climb to wait for the instructions from the car behind. The plan went well, I was there and I was waiting for the call, but I was also playing for the win and in the end it was close. I didn’t know how they were coming from behind, and the result is with a bitter sweet feeling because I didn’t win, but sometimes it happens like this. On the last climb I was waiting behind Mollema and Zakarin, they were the strongest in the GC and they had to pull. When I saw Zakarin attack, I tried to follow. I caught him with three kilometers to go and thought I might have a chance, but with two kilometers to go he was too strong for me and went on to win.”

3rd on the stage and 8th overall, Mikel Landa (Movistar): “It ended up being so, so hard at the end; I launched an attack from afar, and the altitude and the long effort made me reach the finish pretty much cooked (laughs). I’m really happy with my result, my legs and my team-mates’ fantastic job; I can’t thank them enough for all they did today. I saw some weakness on my rivals, they seemed to be in a pace I could match or improve into that final climb, and so I wanted to give it a try. This gives me morale and confidence to keep going. We’ll continue to attack until our last bit of energy runs out – let’s hope this lasts until Verona. It’s too soon currently to talk about any likely result; the Giro really changes easily from one day to the other, and we must continue on a day-by-day strategy. There’s another really tough stage tomorrow, and we’ll keep on trying. This just gives me confidence about it being possible.”

6th on the stage and 7th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today Davide managed to get into a break with several quality riders, and the plan was that he would try to go for the stage win. It was an interesting stage, with many GC riders losing time but also others gaining time. But there are still several stages left to come and it’s hard to predict what will happen. The last kilometers were very tough. I tried to bridge to the leaders, with the help of Davide, but it wasn’t possible. But there are several stages ahead of us and we’ll of course keep trying.”

8th on the stage and 5th overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a very tough day. I’m ok with my performance and result, seen that it wasn’t a simple stage for sure” Nibali comments “We showed that our team is there to fight. We did an amazing work with the team today and Pozzovivo was impressive.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 13 Result:
1. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin in 5:34:40
2. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:35
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 1:20
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:38
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:45
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:08
7. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:57
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 3:34
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:50.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 13:
1. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 54:28:59
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:25
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:56
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:06
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 4:09
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 4:22
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 4:28
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 5:08
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 7:13
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 7:48.

Giro stage 13:

Richard Carapaz (Movistar) escaped up the colle San Carlo to take his second stage victory in the 102nd Giro d’Italia, ahead of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) at the end of Stage 14. The Ecuadorian also took over from Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) in the lead of the overall classification with an advantage of seven seconds over Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

Third stage win for Richard Carapaz at the Giro after stage 8 to Montevergine di Mercogliano last year and stage 4 to Frascati this year. He’s the only Ecuadorian stage winner at the Corsa Rosa. Ecuador becomes the 27th nation on the list of the Maglia Rosa countries. On May 25, 40 years ago, Giuseppe Saronni took his first Maglia Rosa and kept it till Milan. On May 25, 25 years ago, Evgeni Berzin took his first Maglia Rosa and kept it till Milan. On May 25, 10 years ago, Alberto Contador took his first Maglia Rosa and kept it till Milan. On May 25, one year ago, Chris Froome took his first Maglia Rosa and kept it till Rome.

Stage 14 PEZ Race Report HERE:

Stage winner and overall leader, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): “I can’t even believe it myself. It’s a dream I’ve worked so hard for, an enormous effort for such a long time which is finally paying off now. Today’s strategy was one we had designed thoroughly with the rest of the team; we knew both Mikel and I had good chances to do well, and San Carlo’s slopes suited my characteristics really well. Having two cards to play, it’s quite easier. I saw the place to attack with three kilometers from the end of the ascent, launched an acceleration with everything I had, and was able to keep that speed and open the 30 seconds I held over the climb. It was enough to make our rivals suffer, continue to open those gaps into the last climb and, at the end, even having a shot at the Maglia Rosa. I just can’t believe it, I’m so, so happy!”

2nd on the stage and 9th overall, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I wasn’t able to go with the best guys yesterday and I had to ride the climb at my own pace. I did the same today also but I was closer and I managed to come back through the valley when they were looking at each other later in the race. Keep fighting is the main thing. We still have a long way to go. Of course I know it’s going to be very difficult now, I am not under any illusion about that, especially with how my rivals are going, but we will see how the next few days go. I tried to attack this morning on the very first climb and the big guys wouldn’t let me go, I was marked quite heavily there. I was not expecting to be so heavily marked because I’m so far behind now. I was still a little bit behind where I wanted to be, where most of the action happened, but I will keep plugging away, keep fighting and go from there.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “We tried to make the difference on the hardest climb, the San Carlo – explains Vincenzo Nibali – but we didn’t succeed. With today’s third place I gained 4 seconds and even if I am not many it was important to sprint to reward the work of the whole team. This morning I had no super sensations but then I was fine and so I tried to make selection. Tomorrow another insidious stage and we expect another hard day with the finish line in Como with the same finale of Il Lombardia.”

4th on the stage and overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The guys did a great job today, particularly in the way that they brought me to the last climb. I had three teammates with me, with Pawel and Cesare working particularly hard to bring me into a good position before the last climb. In the end, Davide was there to support me and he put in a very strong effort to keep me with the GC contenders for the first 5km of the climb. It was especially important that he did not over pace me, and I’m very happy that he achieved the perfect balance. Today was a crucial stage, and particularly after yesterday’s tough day in the saddle, I am happy with the way the stage went today.”

Break rider and 10th on the stage, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida): “Today I was feeling very well and I am very satisfied with my stage. Even today there has been battle and we have not pulled back. Now it will always be like this and we will have to take care of every detail and interpret our opponents’ maneuvers in the best possible way.”

Ex-Maglia Rosa, now 7th overall, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates): “On the first climb of the day I was good, but then I struggled. Valerio and I tried hard to limit the gap, but I must say goodbye to the pink jersey. The Giro d’Italia is not over though, we will try to seize future opportunities and achieve some more good results for the team.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 14 Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 4:02:23
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:32
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:54
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
7. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
9. Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 2:01.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 14:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 58:35:34
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:47
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:10
5. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 2:50
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 2:58
7. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 3:29
8. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 4:55
9. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 5:28
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 6:30.

Giro stage 14:

Italy’s Dario Cataldo (Astana), known as “Picasso” for his paintings, claimed a maiden victory at the Giro d’Italia through a 218km breakaway on Stage 15, along with his compatriot Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec). Richard Carapaz (Movistar) retained the Maglia Rosa and extended his lead over Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) who sustained a mechanical in the final part of the stage and a crash in the finalé.

First win at the Giro for Dario Cataldo who has finished second on two previous occasions: stage 11 to L’Aquila in 2010 and stage 14 to Oropa in 2014. He also won stage 16 to Cuitu Negru at the 2012 Vuelta a España. His last victory was stage 4 of the 2014 Settimana Coppi & Bartali (ITT).
Cataldo, aged 34, isn’t the oldest rider to win his first stage at the Giro. Alejandro Valverde was 36 when he claimed stage 16 to Andalo in 2016. Before Carapaz, the last Movistar rider to wear the Maglia Rosa was Nairo Quintana on the closing time trial in 2017. The Colombian lost the Giro to Tom Dumoulin.

See the Full PEZ Stage 15 Race Report with more photos HERE.

Stage winner, Dario Cataldo (Astana): “There were many attacks in the group from the start, and in a moment I attacked together with Mattia Cattaneo. A bit later we realized we are only two in front, we decided to push hard as long as possible to see if we could break away. In the end, the peloton gave us space and we started to work more regular. We worked really well together. Anyway, it was a super long a hard day and despite a big gap we had, the peloton still had a chance to catch us. The last climb Civiglio was a tough one. Cattaneo tried twice to drop me, but every time I had legs to answer. I was afraid of these attacks, but, hopefully, I was able to follow it. I knew I have better chances in sprint, so even he left me to lead out our group inside the final two kilometers, I just did it, because there was no place to play the games since the chasers were close. Anyway, I preferred to launch my sprint from the first position and it worked out perfectly! That’s something amazing to win a stage of the Giro d’Italia! I am so happy! There were many attacks in the group from the start, and in a moment I attacked together with Mattia Cattaneo. A bit later we realized we are only two in front, we decided to push hard as long as possible to see if we could break away. In the end, the peloton gave us space and we started to work more regular. We worked really well together. Anyway, it was a super long a hard day and despite a big gap we had, the peloton still had a chance to catch us. The last climb Civiglio was a tough one. Cattaneo tried twice to drop me, but every time I had legs to answer. I was afraid of these attacks, but, hopefully, I was able to follow it. I knew I have better chances in sprint, so even he left me to lead out our group inside the final two kilometers, I just did it, because there was no place to play the games since the chasers were close. Anyway, I preferred to launch my sprint from the first position and it worked out perfectly! That’s something amazing to win a stage of the Giro d’Italia! I am so happy!”

Race leader and 5th on the stage, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): “[About Primoz Roglic’s mechanical], that’s cycling. One day it happens to a rider, the other day it happens to another one. That’s part of the passion for this sport. I had good legs yesterday. I wasn’t at the front by coincidence. We knew it’d be a difficult day and, most importantly, a tense finish. We felt quite all right when it comes to legs, both my team-mates and myself. Nibali was the one with a stronger will to attack today, driving the pace late into that final climb and also descending quite fast. He really helped splitting the field and we eventually gained some seconds as a result. In my case, I just tried to follow his wheel into the downhill, yet trying not to risk too much to avoid any crashes. After the descent, I was able to bridge back to his wheel, and we were able to gain those seconds against Roglic, which are always good. (Asked about thoughts on Nibali) He’s really strong, one of the most dangerous rivals I’ll face next week, I think we’ll come across each other a lot (laughs). Hopefully we can have a beautiful battle and make the fans enjoy the show. I’m so happy to see everyone in my country supporting me, I send them my love and thank them for staying close to me. Now it’s all about enjoying that final rest day – it will be good for both myself and the team before the upcoming, tough stages in the final week.”

3rd on the stage and 8th overall, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I’m getting better day by day, but really at the end of the day I have nothing to lose now. If I go from far out, they don’t chase me and I can gain some seconds or if I go from far and they catch me, it doesn’t matter because I’m a very long way down so I can try these things. It was only a small breakaway for a long day. Mid way through the stage I was feeling good, Whitey geed me up a bit and the guys did a really great job. No one else wanted to commit to the chase, they were happy for the breakaway to stay away, but the big guys did a really great job into the bottom of the climbs and the rest of the guys were great on the climbs, especially Lucas. It’s his first Grand Tour and he is ripping up climbs for fun.”

6th on the stage and 3rd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “The rhythm was very high and I knew that also my rivals were tired after this tough week. I’ve looked them in the face to understand how they were feeling and then I attacked. I know these roads very well and everybody knows that Civiglio is a very hard climb. When I attacked I saw that there was the chance to gain something. Carapaz showed to feel fine as well and we succeeded in gaining some seconds on Roglic. You have always to try. I met Alberto Contador after the stage and I said to him that he inspired me, because when he was in the peloton he wouldn’t never give in, just like me. You have to fight till the end, because you cannot be satisfied with a second, third, fourth or fifth place… the only thing that counts is the victory.”

8th on the stage and 4th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today is the first day that we really suffered on these short climbs. It’s not easy after four days of riding full gas all the time but today we still tried not to lose time and keep fighting. We maintained our good place in the GC with my fourth position, and we worked together to achieve this. Davide was strong and waited for me at the top of the decisive climb and we then tried to bridge the gap, we didn’t quite succeed but we can be satisfied with our results.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 15 Result:
1. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana in 5:48:15
2. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
3. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:11
4. Hugh John Carthy (GB) EF Education First
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:36
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 15:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 64:24:00
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:47
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:47
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:35
5. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:15
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:38
7. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 4:12
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 5:24
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 5:48
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 5:55.

Giro stage 15:

Hammer Series 2019 – Stavanger
Team Jumbo-Visma produced a smart tactical performance to win the Hammer Climb at Hammer Stavanger on Friday evening, with Lotto Soudal second and BORA-hansgrohe third. On an exciting final lap, Mike Teunissen took double points to seal victory, with four teams battling for top spot right until the end.

The curtain-raiser to the 2019 Hammer Series had been dominated by BORA-hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett early on, but after a mammoth effort in the first six laps, the Irish sprinter fell back.

The race was 10 laps of the 8.9km circuit with a sharp climb on each passing of the start/finish line. Nathan Van Hooydonck (CCC Team) attacked in the opening kilometers, but it was BORA-hansgrohe who took control.

Oscar Gatto won maximum points on Lap 1, and sprinter Bennett then distanced Filippo Ganna (Team INEOS) to cross the start/finish line first on Lap 2. With double points on offer on Lap 3, a breakaway formed featuring Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) and Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick Step).

But Bennett wasn’t finished, and powered up the climb again, beating the likes of Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal) and Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick Step) with a powerful attack.

The unstoppable Irishman was at it again on Lap 5, leaving Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and Lambrecht in his wake. On Lap 6, Ben Swift (Team INEOS) bravely attacked and looked set to take maximum points but was reeled in by Bennett yet again, and BORA-hansgrohe had amassed an impressive 800 points from six laps.

After that, the importance of teamwork at Hammer Series became clear, as Bennett fell back and Team Jumbo-Visma and Lotto Soudal moved strongly into contention. Teunissen took 100 points on Lap 7, with the ever-consistent Tim Wellens second and Petr Vakoc (Deceuninck – Quick Step) third.

Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) claimed 100 points on Lap 8 and Luka Mezgec edged a tight sprint on Lap 9 to set up a thrilling finish.

Teunissen came past Lucas Eriksson (Riwal Readynez) on the final ascent, to take 200 points and clinch victory for Team Jumbo-Visma with 1065 points. Lotto Soudal were second on 928 points and BORA-hansgrohe were third with 869 points – 700 of which were won by Bennett.

Teunissen said: “Everybody in the team scored a lot of points today and at the end, we were still there with two riders. That was really crucial for our victory today. We managed really well to control the breaks all day long, and that was really important. We didn’t win a lot of sprints, only two, but we were always there.”

BORA-hansgrohe’s Bennett said: “It’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I was meant to go for double points only, but then I found myself in the break, and then I took whatever points I could. I’m completely dead! I’ll try and recover and see what I can do tomorrow.”

An accomplished ride by Belgian outfit Deceuninck – Quick-Step claimed victory in the Hammer Sprint at Hammer Stavanger, with Team Sunweb second and Mitchelton-SCOTT third.

Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC Team) and Michal Golas (Team INEOS) escaped together in the second half of the race, but heavy scoring by Deceuninck – Quick-Step throughout saw them home with 794 points to Sunweb’s 738. Mitchelton-SCOTT scored 620.

After a flat-out start, Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) took maximum points on Lap 1 with the bunch still together. Davide Martinelli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was second and Brenton Jones (Delko Marseille Provence) was third.

A five-man break formed on Lap 2, with Marc Hirschi launching a strong sprint to win it. Eduoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott) was second and Torkil Veyhe (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) third. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal) were the other two riders in the break and mopped up the points accordingly.

That move was reeled in, before Christophe Pfingsten (BORA-hansgrohe) and Evenepoel attacked together on Lap 3, with the BORA-hansgrohe man taking maximum points. Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) took third behind Evenepoel, and the attacks continued on Lap 4, with some of the best sprinters being dropped by a large escape group.

Local favorite Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) stormed to maximum points on Lap 4 with Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) second and Ben Swift (Team INEOS) third.

The action was relentless – as always at Hammer Series – with Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Team Sunweb duking it out at the top of the leaderboard. Team Sunweb soon hit the top thanks to Soren Kragh Andersen winning Lap 5 – Marc Hirschi following him home with a crucial 18.5pts for ninth. Chris Lawless (Team INEOS) was second and Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) third. At the halfway stage, Team Sunweb led by 14 points and it was all to race for.

CCC Team had a quiet start but an impressive sprint win by Lukasz Wisniowski took double points on Lap 6, sending them from 15th to sixth in one go. Petr Vakoc’s second place, meanwhile, put Deceuninck – Quick-Step back at the top, while the impressive Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) was third.

Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) took the win on Lap 7, holding off Tom Scully (EF Education First) and Pascal Eenkhorn (Team Jumbo Visma). With groups now all over the road, Polish duo Wisniowski and Michal Golas (Team INEOS) attacked together, building a healthy lead, and they secured first and second respectively on Lap 8.

They embarked on a two-man team time trial and built a gap of around 20” before the Lap 9 sprint, which Golas won although they did not contest, but kept working well together. Deceuninck – Quick-Step still led the standings by 66 points with a lap to go.

After working brilliantly together, Golas and Wisniowski had clearly agreed that it was every man for himself on the double-points Lap 10. Golas got the jump on his friend, but Wisniowski responded and eventually powered over the finish line to take 200.

It all means that Team Jumbo-Visma are in control ahead of Sunday’s Hammer Chase with a total of 1494 points after the first two days of racing. Team Sunweb are second, on 1357 points, while Mitchelton-SCOTT have 1341 in third place.

Peter Vakoc (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was amazing, we got a lot of points in the first part of the race, then we had to keep an eye on the teams close to us. It was a super hard race, maybe harder than yesterday, but we’re so happy that we won. It feels amazing to be back. Now for the second part of the season I have goals to fight for results. I am super happy that I am back at my former level and it’s great to win a race with the team.”

Team Jumbo-Visma led from start to finish in Sunday’s Hammer Chase to seal victory at Hammer Stavanger, while CCC Team won the Hammer Chase.

Starting with a 30” advantage, the five-man selection of Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Dylan Groenewegen, Pascal Eenkhorn, Jonas Vingegaard and Mike Teunissen rode flawlessly over three laps of the 16.3km circuit to maintain the gap to Team Sunweb, their closest rivals for the overall title.

Team Sunweb rode strongly and made some inroads in the closing kilometers but finished 17” down on Team Jumbo-Visma, partly because the victors had time to celebrate on the finish straight.

It was CCC Team who recorded the fastest time on the day in 53’43”, with Team INEOS second-fastest, 19” down, and Team Sunweb third best, 1’09” back. The Polish team went on a superb charge in the second half of the race, battling for the final place on the Hammer Chase podium with Team INEOS and Mitchelton-Scott.

Last year’s champions Mitchelton-SCOTT, who produced a masterclass here last year, endured a more challenging day as an early mechanical for Alexander Edmondson held up their progress, allowing Deceuninck – Quick-Step to storm past.

But while the racing behind them was fierce, Team Jumbo-Visma never loosened their grip on the Hammer Stavanger crown. Victory in Friday’s Hammer Climb, sixth in Saturday’s Hammer Sprint, and fifth in the Hammer Chase was enough to seal the title.

Earlier on in the Runner-Up Group, it was EF Pro Cycling who went fastest, to secure ninth place overall at Hammer Stavanger and fourth in the Hammer Chase.

The American team raced around the course in 55’59”, pushed all the way by a stunning ride from Riwal Readynez Cycling Team, who finished just six seconds down. UAE Team Emirates, having started first, eventually finished third in a time of 56’39”.

The next installment of Hammer Series racing is coming up soon at Hammer Limburg, 7-9 June.

Team Jumbo-Visma DS, Frans Maassen: “I’m very proud. I hoped for this but we also knew it wasn’t going to be easy. On paper, we didn’t have our best time trialists here but the riders were really motivated and they started out very fast in the first 10 km. I’m proud of how we raced these three days at Hammer Stavanger. The guys gave their all they fought for every meter. It was really great to see this team spirit. It’s also very nice to win here in Norway for our sponsor Visma.”

Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes and Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm take 2019 OVO Energy Tour Series titles
Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes and Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm took the men’s and women’s OVO Energy Tour Series titles as the 2019 Series reached its climax at the historic Brooklands location in Surrey.

As the Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes team made history by becoming the first team in a decade of the OVO Energy Tour Series to retain their overall title, there was an extra fairytale to the finish, with local rider Rory Towsend taking his first ever individual victory, just a couple of miles from his family home in Addlestone.

Townsend out sprinted Chris Latham (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK) and Jacob Hennessy (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) as the trio came to the line together after a fast paced race, that had seen the champions in waiting attacking from the flag.

That pace, around a technical 1.5 kilometer circuit on the former Brooklands airfield, saw Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes immediately putting title rivals Madison Genesis into trouble with only Tom Moses and Jon Mould from the latter able to hang with the pace.

With Madison Genesis finishing fourth on the night, Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes finished with a fourth point advantage, flattering what had been a tightly fought contest from Round One in Redditch throughout. Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK took third overall, just ahead of fellow UCI Continental team Ribble Pro Cycling.

In the earlier women’s race the pace had been similarly high, with British Circuit Race Champion Anna Henderson claiming her second win of the seven race Series, beating Campinense Velo Performance rider Elizabeth Bennett after the two riders broke away.

Team Breeze, reduced to three riders pre-race after a training crash on Friday, put up a valiant effort to defend their title, winning on the night but that ultimately not being enough to overturn Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm, for whom 2019 was their first overall success in the OVO Energy Tour Series.

Both the riders entering the final round in the Eisberg Points Jerseys retained their prizes, with Team Breeze’s Jess Roberts comfortably winner the women’s crown from Jo Tindley (Campinense Velo Performance).

Nine years on from having won the Eisberg Points Jersey in the OVO Energy Tour Series, Steve Lampier once again won the title, now riding for the Saint Piran team he co-owns, who were making their Series debuts in 2019. The Cornish team also took home the trophy for top non-UCI team, having finished the Series in fifth overall, ahead of fellow non-UCI team Bikestrong KTM.

Highlights of the OVO Energy Tour Series are screened on ITV4 and broadcast around the world. Action from the Brooklands men’s race will be aired at 23:00 on Monday 27 May with highlights of the women’s race aired at 23:00 on Wednesday 29 May with both programs also available on demand via the ITV Hub catch up service.

ITV4 will also screen a wrap up program of the best of the action from the entire OVO Energy Tour Series at 07:00 on Saturday 1 June, which will be available throughout June on the ITV Hub catch up service.

James Knox Leaves the Giro d’Italia
The 23-year-old Brit calls it a race after 12 stages.

Due to an injury that he sustained after his accident in stage 4 (Orbetello – Frascati), Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s medical staff have decided that Grand Tour debutant James Knox should stop the Giro d’Italia, as the injury he picked up last Tuesday isn’t healing as expected and the team don’t want to risk incurring further injury.

“I have been struggling with this knee injury, but we were still hoping I could make some kind of recovery on the flat stages and the rest day; unfortunately, today was the first real test on the climbs, and taking into account how I felt and what’s still to come, we decided to call it a race”, James explained.

“Despite this, it’s been really great to be here, part of the team, and to live this experience. I am of course pretty disappointed, as the crashes on stage 3 and 4 ruined the fun for me and put me on survival mode, but I hope to return to the Giro d’Italia in the near future, because it’s such a great race.”

In the next days, James will go for a precautionary MRI scan in Belgium to make sure there will be no further complications, following which a decision on his program for the second part of the season will be taken.

James Knox:
Calpe - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - KNOX James (GBR) Rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling team pictured during a team training prior to the official team presentation of the Quick-Step Floors Pro cycling team 2018 at the Hotel Suitopia on January 09, 2018 in Calpe, Spain - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

Louis Vervaeke Abandons Giro d’Italia on stage 13
Team Sunweb’s run of poor luck continues at the Giro d’Italia as Louis Vervaeke is forced to abandon the race. Having been on the attack earlier in the Giro during stage eight, Vervaeke felt completely empty during today’s stage and climbed off the bike before the last ascent of the day.

Vervaeke had this to say: “I feel completely empty, like I will wake up sick tomorrow. I wasn’t able to take on any food or drink during the stage and just had nothing left in my legs. I’m disappointed because the team was riding well and we were looking forward to the opportunities in the final half of the race.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “It’s a real shame for Louis and the team that he had to abandon because he was riding really strongly at this Giro. During the stage he felt totally empty and wasn’t able to continue. We will continue to fight with the five guys that are left and look for more opportunities throughout the rest of the race.”

Louis Vervaeke in the stage 5 break:

Sam Oomen abandons Giro d’Italia on stage 14
Team Sunweb’s difficult Giro d’Italia continues as Sam Oomen leaves the race on its 14th day after a crash on a descent early on in the stage. Already suffering from an earlier crash on stage six, Oomen has had a challenging few days trying to overcome various aches and pains. The crash today amplified his injuries, with Oomen no longer able to continue in the race.

Oomen said: “The injuries from the crash last week were still bothering me but I really wanted to continue and try to see it through. I was on the ground for a while after the crash and could hardly get up. I couldn’t stand on my right leg anymore and I knew it was over. I’m really disappointed to leave the Giro like this, this isn’t what I came here for. But it is what it is.”

Team Sunweb physician Stephan Jacolino continued: “Sam came down pretty hard today with the impact of the fall making it really difficult for him to stand on his right leg anymore. He has sustained multiple bruises and cuts across his body, along with the other injuries already bothering him from his crash last week. The results of both crashes meant that continuing just wasn’t possible anymore as he was in too much pain.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “Circumstances have meant that Sam wasn’t able to continue today. Today’s crash coupled with last weeks incident have meant that it was too much to go on. It’s been a very difficult few weeks for us and we are of course disappointed, but that’s bike racing. We’ll keep trying with the guys we have left and try to make the most of our time here.”

Update (26/05/19): Sam was experiencing a lot of pain so yesterday evening was taken to the hospital for x-rays.
Team Sunweb physician Stephan Jacolino updates: “The x-rays have revealed a fracture to Sam’s right hip bone. Normally a fracture like that will take around six weeks of recovery time and once back in the Netherlands, Sam will have additional checks.”

Sam Oomen:

UAE Team Emirates to the Tour of Norway
Bystrøm and Kristoff head the team roster for the Scandinavian race

The UAE Team Emirates remains in Norway and, after the Hammer Series in Stavanger, will participate from in the Tour of Norway. The 2.HC race runs from May 28 to June 2.

Six riders will wear the Emirates team colors:
– Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor)
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Bel)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)

Sports Director Simone Pedrazzini (Sui), “The Tour of Norway will offer stages every day with tough elevations: there will be no massive climbs, but many hard ramps that will make the finishes less predictable.

We can count on a good group for the sprints, with Ferrari and Bystrøm supporting Kristoff. Mori and Riabushenko will have to be ready to cover possible moves from afar. Sutherland will be called on for his experience.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour of Norway
Our squad, leader of the UCI World Team Ranking, will be at the start of the race for the first time since it was created

Following a successful outing in Norway last week, at the Hammer Stavanger, the team will continue its Scandinavian campaign at the Tour of Norway. The five riders who took a beautiful win and a top 10 overall at the inaugural Hammer Series event of the season – Remco Evenepoel, Alvaro Hodeg, Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli and Petr Vakoc – will be joined for the six-day event by powerhouse Tim Declercq, who comes from California, where he helped Deceuninck – Quick-Step notch up three victories.

The ninth edition of the race will cover almost 1100 kilometers, traverse some familiar roads and include a wide range of terrain, from flat to hilly. On paper, the first four days should favour the sprinters, although crosswinds could very well make their appearance and wreak havoc in the bunch before the final two stages, which will take in several nasty climbs stacked in a row, that are sure to turn the race into a highly selective one and deliver an important shake-up of the general classification.

“We come to the start after a very solid display at the Hammer Series and we hope to continue our good form at the beautiful Tour of Norway. The stages aren’t easy, but the boys are motivated and will have their chances. This roster is a mix of youth and experience which gives us many cards to play, from riding for a bunch sprint to going on the attack, and we are keen on getting the most out of every opportunity and putting up a strong fight”, sports director Tom Steels said ahead of the race taking place between 28 May-2 June.

28.05–02.06 Tour of Norway (NOR) 2.HC

Tim Declercq (BEL), Remco Evenepoel (BEL), Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Petr Vakoc (CZE).
Sports Director: Tom Steels (BEL).

Tour of Norway
Arthur van Dongen – Team Sunweb coach: “Tour of Norway is a nice race with a good mix of terrain and different stages. We bring a young team to the race and aim to work on the development of the riders with Roy as captain, using his experience to guide the team throughout the race. For the sprints the team will work for Cees, who is in good form after his strong win in California. We’ll also look to position Marc up there in the GC and will aim for a good result there.”

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN), Cees Bol (NED), Roy Curvers (NED), Marc Hirschi (SWI), Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED), Florian Stork (GER).

Cees Bol winning the 2019 Danilith Nokere Koerse:

Tour of Norway Line Up
There’s a distinct Scandinavian flavour to our line up for the Tour of Norway including local favourite, Edvald Boasson Hagen, and exciting neo-pro Rasmus Tiller all selected. Danish star Michael Valgren, whose last outing was at Eschborn-Frankfurt, makes his return to the fold along with the hugely experienced duo of Steve Cummings and Julien Vermote. While our other neo-pro, Gino Mader, who impressed on his debut with us at the Vuelta a San Juan but missed out for an extended period with injury, completes our line up.

The six-stage race gets underway in Stavanger on Tuesday and follows on from the exciting opening event of the Hammer series. The race takes in some of the most scenic terrain in world cycling, before drawing to a close in Hønefoss, just north-east of Oslo.

“I’m really looking forward to race the Tour of Norway now. I hope that my legs are going to be good now after some really intense racing in the Hammer series following a good training block. Which, hopefully is just what I needed before we hit this very exciting event. The support that myself and other Norwegian riders receive all over the world when we race is fantastic so to be able to ride at home is extra special for us, and something that I’m really looking forward to.”Edvald Boasson Hagen.

“I am really excited for the upcoming Tour of Norway, we have a great team selected and we will be looking to make an impact in this beautiful race. This is a really special event not just for the likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen and Rasmus Tiller, having the opportunity to race in front of their home fans, but also for me as a DS. A number of our riders selected are coming off the back of some significant training blocks, with their next goals for the season in sight, so it’s going to be good to see how they perform.”Gino Van Oudenhove.

Caser, New Official Sponsor of La Vuelta
Unipublic, organizer of La Vuelta, and Caser have signed a sponsorship agreement for the next three years. It will commence with La Vuelta 19, which will take place from the 24th of August until the 15th of September, departing from the Salinas de Torrevieja, right in the heart of the Costa Blanca, and arriving in Madrid.

With this sponsorship, the insurer will have different brand visibility platforms along the route. It will also be present in the caravan that accompanies the competition and will participate in the various activities that will take place in the numerous entertainment areas surrounding the event.

Javier Guillén, General Director of Unipublic, and Fernando de Lorenzo, General Secretary of Caser, signed the agreement at the insurer’s headquarters in Madrid on the 20th of May. Fernando de Lorenzo highlighted the “race’s trajectory and professionalism, its relevance in the international cycling calendar and its importance as a platform to increase Caser’s visibility”. Javier Guillén thanked “Caser’s commitment with sports in general, and with La Vuelta in particular, as a consolidated brand and leader in its sector, which inspires us with the confidence and security to embark on this journey together”.

Caser is a Spanish insurance group with over 75 years’ experience. The company offers a wide range of solutions for all areas: home, automobile, health or life, among others. Its activity is characterized for being client-focused, for the quality of its service and for the professionalism of its distribution lines.

More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com.

Fernando de Lorenzo and Javier Guillén:

#InsideOut at the Giro d’Italia – Staff Documentary
From mechanics to soigneurs, coaches to communications and medical staff; it takes one big team to keep the wheels turning! Get comfortable and join us #InsideOut on week 2 of the Giro with the team behind the team!

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