EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
All the latest cycling news
The 2022 season proper has started with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. We have all the reports from Belgium, the UAE Tour, Ardèche & Drôme Classics and the O Gran Camiño. Belgian cycling doctor warns of heart complaints after covid – TOP STORY. Other news: Quick-Step’s ‘off day’ in the Omloop, update on Jarrad Drizners, Wout van Aert’s race program, Jason Kenny retires, Thibaut Pinot to ride Strade Bianche, UCI cancels all races in Russia and Belarus and Pavel Sivakov speaks out against Russian invasion. Race news: Milano-Torino and Amstel Gold Race route. Team news: Dstny and Lotto join forces and Tadej Pogačar inaugurates new youth cycling academy programme. *Stop the war in Ukraine*
TOP STORY: Belgian Cycling Federation Doctor Warns of Heart Complaints After Covid Infection
The Belgian doctor, Kris Van der Mieren, advises cyclists who have been infected with the covid virus to be tested by a sports doctor. “Corona is not over yet,” he said in conversation with Sporza. The doctor mainly points out the dangers of the virus for the heart.
“There is already a lot of scientific material about the influence of corona. Endurance athletes in particular are at risk of complications to their heart muscle (myocarditis) or pericardium (pericarditis),” Van der Mieren stated. “There is danger in both the short and long term. If there is inflammation there, you can get arrhythmias or even heart failure. In the long term, scar tissue can develop, which can lead to heart rhythm disorders or heart failure.”
It was recently announced that Tim Declercq will not be in action this spring due to an inflammation in his pericardium. According to Van der Mieren, there is no one-to-one relationship between such an inflammation and the covid virus, but it is not implausible that the two things are related. “Corona is typically a virus that has a preference for heart muscle tissue,” the doctor explained.
Van der Mieren advises professional cyclists to have an examination by a sports doctor after a covid infection. In addition, the rider must rest. The period of the rest “differs from situation to situation.” The severity of the infection can differ, according to Van der Mieren. “Basically, you should not exercise intensively for a few weeks.”
At Cofidis, they already adhere to the advice to be checked, according to Sander Armée. The Belgian also recently contracted corona and will be tested by his team next week. “I will have a heart check next week. Team Cofidis does this – preventively – for all riders after a corona infection. Only when that result is known and it is good, can I train fully again,” Armée told WielerFlits.
Double covid case, Peter Sagan:
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2022
Wout van Aert added the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to his palmarès. The Jumbo-Visma rider rode away from the other top men on the Bosberg to finish solo in Ninove. Sonny Colbrelli and Greg Van Avermaet sprinted behind Van Aert for the podium places.
Seven riders tried their luck on the 100 kilometre run-in to the ‘full gas’ action. The lead group included Alexander Konychev (BikeExchange), Quintin Jauregui (B&B Hotels), Ruben Apers (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Donovan Grondin (Arkea-Samsic), Juri Hollmann (Movistar), Ben Healy (EF-EasyPost) and Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X). The Dutchman Matthijs Paaschens also wanted to join them, but he couldn’t close the gap which was at a maximum of 9 minutes. The Jumbo-Visma men closed down the gap. Wout van Aert had previously stated that his team would start in the Omloop with ambition and that was obvious. The Dutch team took matters into their own hands and pulled seven minutes off the lead before the final started at the Valkenberg.
The first attacks came from Brent Van Moer, Philippe Gilbert and the young Magnus Sheffield, but they couldn’t get away. The peloton was too keen for that. This unrest was reflected in a number of crashes. Victor Campenaerts, Alessandro Covi and Lawrence Naesen (collarbone fracture) were some of the riders who hit the road. Florian Vermeersch had more success on the Wolvenberg with 50 kilometres to go. Together with Loic Vliegen and Stefan Küng, he quickly crossed towards the leading group – which still had a 35 second lead. That gap rose to 1 minute. It was a matter of waiting for the first attack by one of the big favourites. The attack came on the Berendries, where Tiesj Benoot did some preliminary work for Van Aert by attacking with his team-leader on his wheel. Just before the top, the Belgian champion took over and the gap was made. They could only be followed by Tom Pidcock, Jhonathan Narvaez and Sonny Colbrelli. The leading group was then caught.
Benoot went on the attack again. On the road to the Muur van Geraardsbergen he took a 20 second lead and the group with Van Aert and Pidcock was again caught by the peloton. Benoot managed to survived the Muur, but was caught on the descent. The Bosberg, in a few kilometres, would be the last chance to split the race. Campenaerts and Naesen made a serious attempt just before that Bosberg and started the final climb with a small lead. Their move looked hopeful, until Van Aert opened the throttle himself. No one was able to follow and with a lead of about 10 seconds, he started the final 10 kilometres to Ninove. No team was able to close the gap to Van Aert in those last kilometres and for the first time in his career, Van Aert could add the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to his palmarès.
# More photos in the PEZ race report HERE. #
Race winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Tiesj and I were attacking nicely after the Berendries. I know it’s always quiet before the Bosberg, so I wanted to take an advantage there. At the top, I still had a nice gap, so I decided to go full speed. I gave everything and fortunately, that tactic worked. The wind was a disadvantage, so maybe that’s why it stayed closed for a long time. My teammates deserve big compliments because we controlled the race at all times. And of course, I am delighted to finish first. I’ve had a good preparation, but I didn’t expect it to go so well right away. It’s great that I won this race. I could still do better in terms of race intensity because you need that for classics like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. I want to take that step in Paris-Nice, where we will be at the start again with a strong team.”
2nd, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “I’m happy for the result and also for my condition! The team did some super work in the final stages [of the race]. It’s a good start to the year and looking forward to tomorrow”
3rd, Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën): “I did not expect to achieve this result today. I did a good sprint, I’m very happy. The legs are not yet in top form, but I used my experience to be well placed, which is important in these races. It’s a podium in a UCI WorldTour race. With 4th place for Oliver (Naesen), we are off to a good start in the classics.”
4th, Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën): “We did our best. We always hope for better, but Wout Van Aert was just too strong today. I had to place Greg (Van Avermaet) for the sprint, and I managed to keep his wheel. This 4th place is a small bonus. Two in the top 5, it’s a great day for the team. This is a good start to the classics season and rewards the work we’ve done over the past two years.”
5th, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal): “Going into this race, we wouldn’t have signed for fifth place, but given how the race unfolded I am happy with this result. Florian Vermeersch put our team in a comfortable position thanks to his attack. That way, I ended up in a good situation during the final. I didn’t suffer too much from the crash, but I also had to deal with a few punctures and bike changes. However, I realised that I needed to keep my head cool. I knew I was in good shape and riders with good legs automatically come out on top on the Muur. When Wout Van Aert attacked just before the Bosberg, I maybe hesitated a little too long. I tried to react but soon I realised I would not catch him. To avoid my legs to explode, I made the switch and waited for the chasing group. Wout showed he was the best man in the race today. Normally, my sprint isn’t my best weapon but the fact that I still finish fifth shows how hard the race was and how fast Wout rode. As a team we had of course preferred a better result but despite the absence of our leader Wellens, we certainly didn’t do bad today. The atmosphere and team spirit is good and I am sure there is more to come than just a fifth place.”
7th, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates): “Van Aert proved that today he was the strongest, he went when we were all on the limit and there was no way to get back. In the sprint, unfortunately, I didn’t find the right space to be able to be in the front row at the exit of the corner. The sensations were good, even in the most demanding sections, suffering a little only on the Bosberg.”
8th, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I felt that the acceleration of Van Aert on the Bosberg was a key moment, but I attacked just before with Benoot and I needed a couple of seconds to recover before trying to follow Van Aert. Even with the help of some compatriots in the chase he was too strong. The unfortunate crash of Alexander Kristoff gave me an opportunity to sprint for the podium, but I have to admit that I didn’t feel fresh anymore after my efforts. In addition, I also had some cramps in the final as a consequence of my crash in Algarve last week so I have to be satisfied with an eighth place. My presence in the final is a good signal for the next classics. For me it will be the GP Le Samyn, where I finished on the podium last year. This semi classic will be a very nice opportunity for our strong team!”
27th, Nils Politt (BORA-Hansgrohe): “After I became sick at the Volta ao Algarve and couldn’t finish the race, I only had two days on the bike before heading to Belgium and so it was hard to say how I would be feeling today. It looks like I have solid foundations, but today’s race was definitely a shock to the system. However, I’m optimistic that I’ll be back at 100% soon. For the decisive attack I just didn’t have the legs today. Overall we’d have expected a bit more.”
Omlopp Het Nieuwsblad Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:50:48
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:22
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.
Omlopp Het Nieuwsblad Women 2022
Annemiek van Vleuten won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. In the final sprint of the first Classic of the season, she just a little faster than Demi Vollering. The pair had escaped on the Bosberg.
Six riders made the break of the day: Emily Newsom, Svenja Betz, Kylie Waterreus, Fien Delbaere, Anastasia Carbonari and Laura Tomasi had a maximum lead of almost 4 minutes. When the peloton started racing on the Holleweg, their lead disappeared. With 40 kilometres to go they were caught and it was only a matter of time before the first attack came from the favourites. That eventually came from Marlen Reusser on the Leberg. She took Ellen van Dijk and Liane Lippert with her. A little later, Anna Henderson of Jumbo-Visma jumped across. DSM, SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo were happy that they each had a rider in a promising leading group. Seventeen kilometres from the finish, the lead of the four was 1 minute, with the Muur and Bosberg yet to come.
Annemiek van Vleuten took matters into her own hands on that first climb and attacked together with Demi Vollering. Before the Bosberg she caught the leading group, where Henderson had been dropped. The lead group couldn’t react to the next attack from Van Vleuten, again with Vollering. Two Dutch women would fight it out for victory In the last 10 kilometres their lead grew to more than 1 minute. The race would come down to a sprint in Ninove. Van Vleuten started started her long sprint from 700 metres out and Vollering couldn’t get past her.
Race winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “I flew through that bend like a kamikaze. It makes me happy to beat someone who is intrinsically faster than me. But I also get faster after a tough race. That’s the content I have. I saw her come next to me, but I was able to shift up a gear. The ladies who were there were on my list to follow. It was really great that my team kept driving afterwards to keep the gap small, so that we could straighten it out. I don’t get frustrated by things I can’t control. I tried to let her drive by saying that Emma Norsgaard (last year second) was behind us, but she didn’t agree.”
Omlopp Het Nieuwsblad Women Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 3:25:54
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
3. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM at 0:25
4. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Den) Movistar
7. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma
8. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
9. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
10. Julie Leth (Den) Uno-X.
Fabio Jakobsen won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2022. The Dutch leader of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was the first to finish in the streets of Kuurne after an entertaining race of 195 kilometres. The last escapees were only caught in the final metres, but after that Jakobsen was clearly faster than Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic).
Bas Tietema, the popular YouTuber of Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB, started his first Flemish spring race with the pros and got into the early break of the day. The group of seven included Tietema, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Wessel Krul (Human Powered Health), Lluis Mas (Movistar), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco), Arjen Livyns (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) and Jules Hesters (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). The lead of the seven didn’t get too big. The peloton, led by Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Lotto Soudal and the other sprint’s teams, did not allow the advantage to exceed 3 minutes. With just over 100 kilometres to go, the leading group grew to nine. EF Education-EasyPost sent Ben Healy and Julius van den Berg up the road to cross a gap of 2 minutes. Soon after Tietema and Krul were dropped. In the peloton things got serious, as INEOS Grenadiers started to close in on the leaders.
This chase didn’t go all the way, because the leading group – where Van der Hoorn, Van den Berg, Livyns, Mas and Durbridge were left – was given some more space. On Mont Saint-Laurent the peloton was split by an acceleration of Tom Pidcock and on the Kruisberg it was once again INEOS Grenadiers that took the initiative. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl then raced hard on the Hotond with Kasper Asgreen, causing the peloton to break up again. Sixty kilometres from the finish, Jumbo-Visma took over, with Tiesj Benoot’s attack on the Côte de Trieu. It turned out to be the start of a leading group of eighteen men who started the last 50 kilometres with a gap. Benoot had Nathan Van Hooydonck, Christophe Laporte, Tom Pidcock, Jonathan Narvaez, Stefan Küng, Tobias Ludvigsson Matteo Trentin, Damien Touzé, Fred Wright, Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert, Iván García, Kévin Vauquelin, Toms Skujins and early escapees, Van der Hoorn, Livyns and Durbridge with him. The difference to the peloton was 50 seconds and Lotto Soudal, Israel-Premier Tech and Alpecin-Fenix had to close the gap.
The cooperation at the front was not good and there was also a headwind. Part of the leading group was caught 33 kilometres from the line. Twelve others, including Trentin and Laporte held on. But the difference of 30 seconds was closed well before the finish. Laporte, Van der Hoorn and Narvaéz still pushed on. The lead was 15 seconds and then it fluctuated around 10 seconds until the last 3 kilometres. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl meanwhile burnt up their men chasing, but they didn’t get any closer. Jumbo-Visma were disrupting the chase for Laporte. Under the banner for the last kilometre the lead was still 8 seconds, but an ultimate effort by the Trek-Segafredo men ensured that the peloton caught the break in the final straight. With a strong sprint, Fabio Jakobsen shot past the escapees, and also held off the fast finishing Caleb Ewan. Hugo Hofstetter sprinted to third place.
# More photos in the PEZ race report HERE. #
Race winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I have to thank the entire squad, because we had to catch those three guys in the lead and my teammates did a huge job to close the gap in those nervous final kilometres. The entire race was intense, and especially the last hour was fast and furious. But I was confident in my sprint and that’s why I launched at 300 metres to go and dove into their slipstream. Then it was all the way to the line. Winning is never easy, but we always aim for it and give our best in order to achieve the victory at the end of the day. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is a race that every sprinter wants to have in the palmarès and I am happy I did that today together with the Wolfpack. My mind is also in Eastern Europe, with everyone in Ukraine. There’s a war going on there. In Belgium and the Netherlands we are free to do what we want, go out, watch the race, and just enjoy riding our bikes. But my mind and my heart are with the people there. I hope they get through this.”
2nd, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “We had to spend a lot of energy to reel the remaining escapees back in. Frederik and Cedric did some amazing work at the front, but that way I only had Jasper with me in the final kilometre. Jasper still did a great job, but with just the two of us, it would always be hard to manage such a hectic final. Nevertheless, he guided me through and then I had to do my own thing at the end. I turned that last corner really far back so I knew I needed a really good run to the line to step onto the podium or to get the win. I guess I got lucky coming on the right side of the road, but I lacked the kick to beat Fabio today. My participation at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne was a bit of a last-minute call up, so I wasn’t exactly preparing for this race. But again, I am really happy with where my form is at. Although I suffered as well and the pace was high on the climbs, I always felt pretty comfortable. So I can’t be disappointed with this second place. Now I’m heading to Tirreno-Adriatico to do the ultimate preparations for my first big goal of the season, Milano-Sanremo.”
10th, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “In November we sat around the table with the sports direction, planning an attack in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, because we believed it was possible to survive the hill zone with an early breakaway. The peloton put pressure on us all day, so we had to accelerate in the breakaway if we wanted to stay ahead until the final climb. In the end we were caught by a group of strong riders a little earlier than I was hoping for, but I managed to follow them well on the last difficulties of the day. That I was still able to react to the attack of Narvaez and Laporte after such a long day in the front was an incredible performance. The victory was within reach and that was what I was aiming for. It was such a bummer when the peloton caught us with 50 meter to go, this was a very good opportunity to win a classic. I want to recover well for the GP Le Samyn now, the next Red Cross in my agenda.”
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:32:13
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
4. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkea-Samsic
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
6. Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
7. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
8. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.
Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the UAE Tour 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.
UAE Tour 2022
The Fifth Stage of the UAE Tour was won by Jasper Philipsen. After Michael Kukrle (Gazprom-RusVelo) was caught 3 kilometres from the finish line, Philipsen won the bunch sprint ahead of Olav Kooij. Sam Bennett was third.
Early in the 182 kilometre stage between Ras al Khaimah Corniche and Al Marjan Island, four riders broke away. Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) was joined by three Gazprom-RusVelo riders: Michael Kukrle, Pavel Kochetkov and Dmitry Strakhov, but it didn’t last long. They were caught with just under 130 kilometres to go, after echelons had developed and the pace had shot up. In addition to Tom Dumoulin, Filippo Ganna and his INEOS Grenadiers team missing the move. The Italian, second overall, single-handedly pulled the race back together.
The race came back together just after the first intermediate sprint of the day. Jasper Philipsen had taken the most points here, but overall leader, Pogačar, sprinted in behind him for two bonus seconds, one more than Alexandre Vlasov. Not long after this the break was over and another leading group got away. Almost all of the previous break were in this leading group, only Michael Kurkle was missing, he was replaced by the Colombian Johnatan Cañaveral (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè). The two duos, Gazprom and Bardiani, got less of a lead than the original four. The peloton increased the speed behind and this led to everything coming back together with 55 kilometres to go. It was pretty quiet after that. With about 30 kilometres to go, Kukrle decided to give it another try, this time on his own. The peloton was not too interested and the Czech champion quickly gained a lead of almost 2:30.
The sprinter’s teams did not seem to immediately sense the danger and initially didn’t chase. BikeExchange-Jayco put two riders on the front for Dylan Groenwegen. Later, BORA-hansgrohe came to their rescue, after which INEOS Grenadiers also did their part. As a result, the gap to Kukrle was reduced quite quickly. With 10 kilometres to go, the leader still had just under 1:30. At 7 kilometres from the finish, Tadej Pogačar had a bit of a scare. The peloton was at full speed and the overall leader had a puncture. Thanks to his teammates, he managed to return quickly through the cars. After Kukrle was caught 3 kilometres from the finish, the expected bunch sprint started to form. Sam Bennett was brought to the front by his BORA-hansgrohe teammates. But it was Jasper Philipsen who came out on top. He took the win, ahead of Olav Kooij, the 20-year-old Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma came in second, Bennett was third.
Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “I’m never confident before a race, I only get confident when I cross the finish line and win. The finish line was close to our hotel so we had time to look at it carefully this morning. We did a very good job even though [lead-out man] Jonas [Rickaert] lost his chain. We had to adapt to the situation. Everything went well and I’m super happy to take a second stage win. Tomorrow is another chance to go for a bunch sprint. I’m targeting the wins rather than the points classification.”
Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I think I hit the road on a sharp corner and that’s how I got a flat tyre. At first, it went slow and suddenly it was totally flat and I had to change bike. Why should I have become stressed out? There was nothing I could do about it. I knew the team was strong enough to bring me back. If Max [Richeze] had not helped me to come across to the bunch, maybe he could have brought Pascal [Ackermann] closer to the finish line. Unfortunately, my incident left Pascal almost alone at the end but when something like this happens, we have to adapt to the situation.”
3rd on the stage, Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a pretty stressful day, but in the finale the guys were great. They brought me into a perfect position yet again on the home straight. It was a shame that I didn’t have the legs in the end, but our performance as a team here is really promising. When I’m back in top form, I’m sure we’ll be able to get better results. So overall I’m very happy and we can only improve from here. Thanks again to the guys for their support.”
UAE Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:17:05
2. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
5. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel-Premier Tech
6. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
9. Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar
10. Marc Brustenga (Spa) Trek-Segafredo.
UAE Tour Overall After Stage 5:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 18:19:37
2. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:04
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:14
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Easypost at 0:25
6. Joao Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:30
7. Pello Bilbeo (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:37
8. Oscar Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar at 0:40
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Easypost at 0:42
10. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:43.
UAE Tour’22 stage 5:
Stage 6, the penultimate stage of the 2022 UAE Tour was won by Mathias Vacek. After 180 kilometres, the 19-year-old Czech from Gazprom-Rusvelo was the first to finish near the Expo 2020 in Dubai. He was part of the early break, which held out to the finish. The peloton misjudged the lead of the six leaders.
Johnatan Cañaveral, Alessandro Tonelli (both Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Pavel Kochetkov, Dmitry Strakhov, Mathias Vacek (all Gazprom-RusVelo) and Paul Lapeira (AG2R Citroën) quickly took a 4 minute lead. The sprinter’s teams reduced the difference to 2 minutes and held that gap for a long time. Alpecin-Fenix, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and INEOS Grenadiers started to chase, but they didn’t go too fast. At one point it was only Fausto Masnada in the lead and he couldn’t do much against the six leaders. In the last 15 kilometres other teams in the peloton started to help. Jumbo-Visma put a rider on the front as the difference was still 1:20 with 10 kilometres to go. BORA-hansgrohe also saw the danger of the escape group and started to chase, although it was too late. Cañaveral was dropped from the break.
Five kilometres out, the gap to Tonelli, Lapeira, Kochetkov, Strakhov and Vacek was still 1 minute. An impossible task for the peloton and so the break riders could think of the stage win. Gazprom-RusVelo had three men against the Italian from Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and the Frenchman from AG2R Citroën. Kochetkov kept the pace high, after which Vacek took the sprint. The talented 19 years old Czech held off Lapeira and his teammate Strakhov. Fifteen seconds later Jasper Philipsen won the sprint from the peloton for 6th place, ahead of Dylan Groenewegen and Pascal Ackermann. Tadej Pogačar’s GC lead was not jeopardised.
Stage winner, Mathias Vacek (Gazprom-RusVelo): “Today I went into the breakaway to help my teammates. I also had a goal to try to attack from the breakaway in the final kilometres. On the kilometre 100 we had only a 1-minute advantage. It was hard to imagine that we will make it to the finish. It is unbelievable, I am very happy. We worked really hard and it is an amazing feeling to win! I think we have a great team right now with everyone being ready at their maximum. I would like to thank our team partners for their support!”
Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “We started the stage normally, but it was quite a hard pace all day. The breakaway played the game well and had enough in their legs to push the last 15km and they made it. It’s nice to see the breakaway win, I was surprised. Tomorrow is the most exciting day but it will be the hottest day of the whole week. We’re ready to defend the jersey and we’re not too stressed.”
2nd on the stage, Paul Lapeira (AG2R Citroën): “The breakaway took advantage of the fact that the big teams neutralised each other and so we were able to go all the way. Suddenly, there was a “win” to go for. I made a tactical error. There was a headwind and I should have started the sprint from behind to take advantage of the draft. That’s what the winner did. I’m a little disappointed to come so close to my first victory, especially in a UCI WorldTour race. I know that in hindsight, I will appreciate this performance a little more. For my third race with the pros, it’s not too bad.”
UAE Tour Stage 6 Result:
1. Mathias Vacek (Cze) Gazprom-RusVelo in 3:58:10
2. Paul Lapeira (Fra) AG2R Citroën
3. Dmitry Strakhov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
4. Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizane
5. Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
6. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:15
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
8. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
9. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel-Premier Tech
10. Jonathan Milan (Ita) Bahrain Victorious.
UAE Tour Overall After Stage 6:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 22:16:02
2. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:04
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:14
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Easypost at 0:26
6. Joao Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:30
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:37
8. Oscar Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar at 0:40
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Easypost at 0:42
10. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM at 0:49.
UAE Tour’22 stage 6:
Tadej Pogačar won the Final Stage 7 and the final overall of the UAE Tour. The Slovenian UAE Team Emirates rider won the uphill sprint on the Jebel Hafeet from Adam Yates. Yates was also second overall. Pello Bilbao finished third on the stage and overall.
The final stage in the UAE Tour was tough. The last stage started in Al Ain and first made a loop along various tourist attractions, followed by a long loop through the desert before returning to Green Mubazzarah, where the final climb of Jebel Hafeet began. The gradients were around 8% to 9% with a peak of 11%, three kilometres from the finish. Tadej Pogačar has won on this finish for the past two years.
The escape of the day was quickly formed with: Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix), Clément Davy (Groupama-FDJ), Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech), Michael Schwarzmann (Lotto Soudal), Michael Mørkøv (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Joris Niewenhuis (DSM). The lead fluctuated between 2 and 3 minutes. Nieuwenhuis sat up and returned to the peloton to help its teammates in the final. With 30 kilometres to go there were three teams that took the lead in the peloton. INEOS Grenadiers for Yates, BORA-hansgrohe for Vlasov and UAE Team Emirates for Pogačar. The final climb started with 11 kilometres to go. The lead was then only 1 minute and it was clear that they would be caught. Vermeersch tried to get away from the leading group, but he was caught 8 kilometres from the finish. Behind; Filippo Ganna, second on GC, was dropped from the peloton. Tom Dumoulin also had to let go.
At 4 kilometres from the finish, the first acceleration came in the peloton from Rafael Majka and the group was getting smaller and smaller. With 3 kilometres to go, Yates attacked. It was a good jump from the INEOS rider, but Pogačar was immediately on his wheel. The Slovenian stayed behind him and Pello Bilbao and João Almeida rejoined the two leaders. Almeida set the pace until the last kilometre. Yates accelerated again, Bilbao and Almeida couldn’t hold on. Pogačar quickly took the lead in the sprint and Yates knew he had no chance. Pogačar took the stage and secured his overall victory. Yates was second, Bilbao finished in third place.
Stage and overall winner, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s always a pleasure to win at Jebel Hafeet, especially after such hard work from the team. Firstly, Rafal [Majka] tried to attack. I would have been happy to let him go for the stage win but it was not possible from a long distance so we re-established ourselves. All my teammates pulled very hard. At some point, Adam [Yates] went on the attack and it was one of the hardest attacks I’ve ever experienced. It was really hard. I waited for Joao Almeida and Rafal to come back. Joao counter-attacked to take his chance for the stage win but he was brought back and we focused on the sprint for the win. It worked out well. The UAE Tour is the first goal of the season for us. It’s our home race. It’s important for our sponsors, so we don’t waste our time in the winter and we try to be ready for this race. From now on I’ll try to be in good shape for as long as possible.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers): “Big thanks to all the guys. Today was the last mountain stage and we put a lot of effort into it. We’ve been working hard and well as a team all week, not just for GC but for the sprints too. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it. Today we came up short but not through any lack of effort. On the first attack I went full gas until I couldn’t go any more. I had a look behind and was hoping [Pogacar] wasn’t there – but it’s pretty hard to drop a double Tour de France winner. I tried again right at the end and I still couldn’t get rid of him. On a finish like this he’s pretty quick in a sprint. All in all I think we can be happy with how we’ve raced – there’s plenty to build on. Luke (Plapp) is a young guy but you can see how strong he is. He’s got real potential and you can see how motivated he is. I’m sure he’s got a big future ahead of him.”
3rd on the stage and overall, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s a great pleasure to make the podium of the UAE Tour with those two greats of cycling. It was a surprise for me to come here. I was told to come, just one week beforehand. I had done it twice previously but not at my best. The third time has been the good one. I’ve been here with very young teammates and the way they rode for me today was like they had been doing it for ages. I’m super proud of this team.”
8th on the stage and 4th overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was quite hot and it was a fast stage. On the initial flat part of the course, I tried to save my energy for the finale, as I knew it would be a tough fight in the final climb. I tried to follow the attacks, but in the end I didn’t have the legs to stay with the decisive move. It’s unfortunate that I missed out on a podium place in the GC. But I still think my result was strong overall and we can be pleased with our performance. Thanks to the team for their confidence in me, and my teammates for the support throughout the week.”
Green Jersey winner Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “We got a teammate in the breakaway so it was the best situation for us in the defence of the green jersey. Then for me it was all about finishing well and doing some extra kilometres of training for the next part of the season that will include Paris-Nice and the classics. We can be very happy with two stage wins and the green jersey. We’ve had a great week of racing here in the UAE.”
UAE Tour Stage 7 Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 3:20:24
2. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:01
3. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:05
4. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:15
5. Lucas Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
6. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:30
9. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:53
10. Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma.
UAE Tour Overall After Stage 7:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 25:38:16
2. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:22
3. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:48
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:54
5. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:55
6. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar at 1:17
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 1:24
8. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 1:46
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 1:58.
UAE Tour’22 stage 7:
Faun Ardèche Classic 2022
Brandon McNulty stormed to victory with a solo success for the American at the Faun Ardèche Classic. A classy display by McNulty saw him clinch victory at Faun Ardèche Classic, 1.Pro, 168.8 km, starting and finishing in Guilherand-Granges.
The UAE Team Emirates American crossed the finish line after a solitary escape of 25 km, followed by Mauri Vansevenant (2nd) and Sepp Kuss (3rd) at 45 seconds giving the Emirati team a further joy, after the win the same day in the UAE Tour. McNulty attacked on the most challenging ascent of the day, the Saint Romains de Lerps climb (6.3 km, 7% average gradient, which crested 21 km from the finish). At 25 km to go, McNulty attacked from the group of favourites, taking on the quartet that was leading the race at the time composed of Bruno Armiral of Groupama-FDJ, Mauri Vansevenant of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Sepp Kuss of Jumbo-Visma and Clement Champoussin of AG2R Citroën, and then set off on a solo counterattack.
With teammate Juan Ayuso in control of the situation in the main group, McNulty continued at full speed up the climb, and widening the margin up to 50 seconds on the last short climb of the day, the Cote de Val d’Enfer. In full control in the final 6km towards the finish line, the Emirati rider seized his second success of the season with another solitary win to add to the Trofeo Calvia.
Race winner, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m really happy. It was a tough day, I had an aggressive approach to the race, especially on the last two climbs, launching myself into the attack. My start to the season has been very good so far with some nice results. I knew that I had done quality training and I am pleased to be able to turn this work into victories. It is the second one-day race that I win this year; I am pleased because these are races where I can go all out, but I’m keen to get stuck into the stage races now too.”
Faun Ardèche Classic Result:
1. Brandon Mcnulty (USA) Uae Team Emirates in 4:26:36
2. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:45
3. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
4. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:33
5. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
6. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 1:36
7. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-Fdj at 1:44
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
9. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Totalenergies.
Faun Drôme Classic 2022
The Faun Drôme Classic was won by Jonas Vingegaard. The Danish climber of Jumbo-Visma was the first on the hilly course of more than 191 kilometres with start and finish in Étoile-sur-Rhône. Vingegaard dealt with Juan Ayuso in the final kilometre and held off Guillaume Martin and Benoît Cosnefroy to the line.
The leading group of the day consisted of Asbjørn Hellemose (Trek-Segafredo), Anthon Charmig (Uno-X), Johan Meens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Mathias Bregnhøj (Riwal), Thomas Denis (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Axel Mariault (U Nantes Atlantique). The six got more than 5 minutes on the peloton. In the peloton it was Lotto Soudal, UAE Team Emirates and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert who set the pace. The final was very hilly, with the Col du Devès (4.2km at 4.5%), the Col de la Grande Limite (3.9km at 6.6%), the Côte des Roberts (1.6km at 8.0%), the Côte de Grane (1.7km at 5.5%) and the Mur d’Allex/Plateau de Soulier combination in the last 50 kilometres. Even before those hills started, Meens and Denis had already been dropped from the leading group. The race exploded on the Col de la Grande Limite. Pierre Latour opened the attack and swallowed the leading group, but was outflanked by a tight group with Jonas Vingegaard, Juan Ayuso, Mauri Vansevenant and Victor Lafay. After the descent they joined Quentin Pacher, Lennard Kämna, Quinn Simmons and Sylvain Moniquet.
Vingegaard and UAE Team Emirates talent Ayuso then jumped away from the favourites group on the Côte des Roberts. They extended their lead to 30 seconds on the pursuers, who had become a small peloton just before the last Mur d’Allex. Three riders from that group broke away on the Mur d’Allex: World champion Julian Alaphilippe, Benoît Cosnefroy and Guillaume Martin. However, the French trio did not come any closer to the two leaders. Vingegaard took the initiative. The Dane was clearly the better of Ayuso. This also became apparent in the last uphill kilometre, where Vingegaard dropped the Spaniard with a strong sprint. Behind; Alaphilippe suffered cramps in the last kilometre, forcing him to let Martin and Cosnefroy go. Those two managed to pass Ayuso for second and third place.
Race winner, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “That’s a relief after yesterday, which wasn’t my best day, but today I felt good. There are no high mountains in this area, but it goes up and down all day which makes it tough. I enjoy myself in these races. Things could still be better, but today gives me confidence. It is always important to have a good start to the season. I’m happy with the way I won.”
3rd, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): “We came to race for victory with the team. We got pretty close with this podium. Everyone was driving very hard in front and despite a very good understanding with Julian (Alaphilippe) and Guillaume (Martin), we did not manage to catch him; it was a match among the French! There are no regrets, we did what we could with what we had physically today. I had fun. It’s a very nice course and a nice finish.”
Faun Drôme Classic Result:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma in 4:37:05
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:03
3. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën
4. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:21
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:29
6. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:34
7. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:36
8. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
10. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:38
O Gran Camiño 2022
Spanish ‘Campionissimo’ Alejandro Valverde from Movistar Team overtakes Woods (IPT) at decisive Sarria ITT to take 3rd in the stage, open the palmarès of the new Galician race.
A sensational way to crown a great week all around for the Movistar Team. In the day after they took their victory account to 1,000 with success obtained by Annemiek van Vleuten and Alejandro Valverde in Belgium and Galicia, ‘Bala’ completed four days of splendid teamwork and great individual attitude by notching up on Sunday the first edition of O Gran Camiño, the new international Galician stage race, by taking 3rd in the demanding final ITT in and around Sarria, Lugo.
Only the day’s winner Mark Padun (EFE), eventually third overall, and Jesús Herrada (COF) were quicker than Alejandro on the hilly time trial course, the marvel from Murcia able to bridge the 10-second gap against former leader Michael Woods (IPT) and finish with a 7″ margin overall. In the meantime, Iván Sosa, one of Alejandro’s biggest pieces of support en route to Saturday’s success in Luintra, would take 5th in the GC.
The contribution from Rojas, Oliveira, Izagirre, Serrano and Arcas was also crucial for Valverde to take his 133rd professional victory and the men’s Movistar Team’s third 2022 success, now ‘tied’ with the women’s program, the Eusebio Unzué-led squad enjoying the best face of this sport in recent times.
Overall race winner, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m happy, more than anything, about being able to take this GC to reward the team for their huge work all week. They really rode their hearts out for the last four days, and being able to take the first edition of the race, so well organised and run, is something really beautiful. We claimed the stage win yesterday, I was up there all four days, third in Vigo, second on Friday, also third today together with the GC, and I’m leaving this nice region with so much excitement. I had already talked with race organiser Ezequiel Mosquera before coming here, and he passed on his desire of making this race a great one from the very start. Fans were enthusiastic, routes were excellent and hopefully this event lasts for a long time.”
O Gran Camiño Final Overall Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 12:35:55
2. Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:07
3. Mark Padun (Ukr) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:49
4. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis at 1:55
5. Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Movistar at 1:57
6. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Cofidis at 2:11
7. Igor Arrieta Lizarraga (Spa) Kern Pharma at 2:35
8. Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Kern Pharma at 2:54
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 3:01
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech at 3:04.
O Gran Camiño’22 stage 4 TT:
Patrick Lefevere: ‘Off Day’ Quick-Step in the Omloop
Florian Sénéchal saved the Belgian team’s honour with a ninth place, but Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl failed to play a leading role in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. Team boss Patrick Lefevere also saw that. “We don’t have a team that can fight from the defence,” he concluded in conversation with Sporza.
Sénéchal managed to sprint to a top 10 place at the finish, but it was hard to find the other riders of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in the result. Leaders Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar didn’t beat around the bush afterwards either. “No, we can’t look back on this race really satisfied.” Lefevere is also realistic. “I soon saw the storm coming when Yves Lampaert had to drag at the front of the group.”
“It became clear then that it was not going to be much. We don’t have a team that can fight from the defence. We have to anticipate and we have not done that or we have not been able to do that,” said Lefevere, who does not intend to give his riders a hard time. “Watch out, I’m not going to tear the boys down now. We have unfortunately lost Tim Declercq for a long time. Kasper Asgreen punctured twice today at a very ambitious moment. In addition, he has fallen behind in training after his corona infection. So he’s not great yet.”
“Josef Černý and Iljo Keisse have been in the lead for a long time. That way you don’t have many men left for the final. We never really saw Florian Sénéchal and Zdeněk Štybar in the final picture.”
For Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has Fabio Jakobsen. Lefevere: “If it comes to a sprint there, we obviously have a good chance with Fabio. But the course has been adjusted and the race has become a lot more difficult.”
Not a great Omloop for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:
Medical Update Jarrad Drizners
Jarrad Drizners was involved in a crash on Friday, during the final kilometre of the sixth stage of the UAE Tour. The Australian rider suffered an abdominal trauma. Further examinations will indicate whether he will need surgery. He is stable, conscious and able to speak. A doctor of Lotto Soudal and the doctor of the UAE Tour were with him at the hospital.
Jarrad Drizners in hospital:
Wout van Aert’s Race Program to the Tour de France
Wout van Aert is aiming for the spring classics again this year. The Jumbo-Visma leader won Gent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold Race last year. This year he again has the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in his sights.
Wout van Aert’s 2022 Program:
25-03 E3 Harelbeke
03-04 Tour of Flanders
10-04 Amstel Gold Race
01-07 Tour de France.
So far, so good for Wout:
Jason Kenny Retires to Become Head Coach of British Track Sprinters
Jason Kenny has retired as a track rider. The 33 year-old, who won seven gold and two silver medals at the Olympic Games between 2008 and 2021, will remain active in cycling as he will become the national coach of the British track sprinters.
“A big part of me would like to go even further and try to make it to the Paris Games, so I’m a little bit disappointed that I’m not going to do that,” Kenny told the BBC. “But the opportunity to join British Cycling as a coach may not be there in three years. I thought I better seize the opportunity now.”
Kenny, the most successful British Olympian of all time, won his last gold medal in Tokyo last summer. In the keirin he managed to outwit Harrie Lavreysen by jumping away early. “That keirin Tokyo was special to me. It was a great race. If you could pick one race to finish in, it would always be that one. That also played a role. It will be my last race.”
In the keirin, Kenny was also the best in Rio, at the 2016 Games. In the team sprint, he won gold in Beijing (2008), London (2012) and Rio (2016). The individual sprint resulted in first place in 2012 and 2016. He also has two silver medals as he was second in the individual sprint in Beijing and the team sprint in Tokyo.
Thibaut Pinot to Ride Strade Bianche
Thibaut Pinot has decided at the last minute to change his program. The French climber did not participate in the one-day races Faun-Ardèche Classic and Faun Drôme Classic last weekend, but will be at the start of Strade Bianche next weekend.
The 31-year-old Pinot has ridden the Tuscan ‘white roads’ classic in the past. In 2017, ahead of Tirreno-Adriatico, he competed in Strade Bianche and finished 9th in Siena. Five years later, the Groupama-FDJ rider is making a return.
Pinot is trying to regain his former level this season after injury. The Frenchman started his season with the GP La Marseillaise and then rode the Étoile de Bessèges and the Tour de La Provence. In that first stage race he finished 11th on general classification, in the Tour de La Provence he finished 3rd on the Queen stage to Blausasc.
The climber will stay in Italy after Strade Bianche to ride the Tirreno-Adriatico. His main goal for 2022 is in the summer with the Tour de France.
Thibaut Pinot doesn’t mind a bit of gravel:
UCI Cancels All Races in Russia and Belarus
All cycling races that are on the international calendar for this season in Russia and Belarus have been canceled. The UCI announced on Friday in a statement about the situation in Ukraine.
“The International Cycling Federation is following the development of the situation in Ukraine with concern and strongly condemns the violation of international law and of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” the UCI said in a statement. “It calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and believes that the only way forward is through diplomatic channels.”
The UCI condemns the violation of the Olympic file, which was unanimously approved by the 193 member states of the United Nations on 2 December 2021. “Sport and cycling have often been able to point the way to peace and dialogue. These values should inspire the Russian government to end hostilities and resume dialogue to give a chance for a peaceful solution to this military action.”
The UCI says its thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and the country’s cycling community. “The International Cycling Federation assures them of its full support and affection. As a sign of solidarity with the innocent civilians facing this terrible conflict, the UCI has raised the Ukrainian flag in front of the headquarters of the International Cycling Federation.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called on all international sports federations to reschedule or cancel their sporting events currently planned in Russia and Belarus, whose governments support military action. The UCI has responded to the call, according to the statement. “The UCI wishes to clarify that there will be no UCI event in Russia or Belarus in 2022.”
Mark Padun – Ukraine’s top rider of the moment:
Pavel Sivakov Speaks Out Against Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Pavel Sivakov has commented on the situation in Ukraine in a statement via Twitter. “These were difficult days when you look at everything that is going on right now,” said the Russian INEOS Grenadiers rider.
“First of all I want to say that I am totally against the war and that I cannot understand what is happening in Ukraine. All my thoughts are with the people of Ukraine,” said Sivakov. “In addition, I also want people to understand that most Russians only want peace and have never asked for this, we should not be hated because of our origin.”
The 24-year-old driver is not the first Russian athlete to speak out about the conflict. Tennis players Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev also came with a message. The latter did not sign his name after his semi-final in Dubai, but the message “No war, please” on the camera.
Pavel Sivakov Speaks out:
Milano-Torino 2022 – The Oldest Classic Returns to its Roots
The 103rd edition of the Milano-Torino presented by Eolo will be held on 16 March, three days before the Milano-Sanremo, as it was first scheduled at the beginning of the race’s long history. The Milano-Torino presented by Eolo will start from Magenta (near Milan) and finish in Rivoli (near Turin) after 199km of racing along a route suitable for sprinters. A total of 21 teams will take their place at the start line.
The 103rd edition of the oldest race follows an essentially flat route except for when it crosses the Canavese area, where there are some short ups and downs that are neither long nor steep. The route begins from Magenta and crosses the upper Po Valley on flat roads surrounded by rice paddies, touching Novara and Vercelli in order to get to the Canavese area after Cavaglià, Viverone and Bollengo.
The Canavese area has small ups and downs that continue north of Turin in the area of the Parco della Mandria. At the entrance to Val di Susa, the road becomes substantially flat again until the finish. In the towns crossed by the route, roundabouts, traffic islands and speed bumps are encountered as usual. The last 10 kilometres are practically flat until the finish in Rivoli.
The last 5km follow flat and very wide urban roads, featuring wide roundabouts. The final bend is situated 400m from the finish. The finishing straight is 400m long, and wide (8.5m width), on asphalt.
21 teams (14 WorldTeams and 7 ProTeams) of 7 riders each:
AG2R CITROEN TEAM
ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM
BORA – HANSGROHE
EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST
INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX
ISRAEL – PREMIER TECH
QUICK-STEP ALPHA VINYL TEAM
TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE – JAYCO
TREK – SEGAFREDO
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANE’
DRONE HOPPER – ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI
EOLO-KOMETA CYCLING TEAM
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC
“The Milano-Torino is an undisputed cycling classic and we are proud to see great athletes once again riding their bicycles along the roads of our region,” said the Piedmont Region’s Councillor for Sport, Fabrizio Ricca. “What awaits them is an adrenaline-filled sprinters’ route that will end in the town of Rivoli. There will be 200 kilometres of exceptional sport in an amazing landscape, full of charm, nature and culture. Piedmont proves to be a land full of opportunities for great racing.”
Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, said: “We’ve worked to create different combinations between our cycling races and, at the same time, return to tradition, with Milan as the focal point, hosting the start of the Milano-Torino first and then the Milano-Sanremo. We’re very happy because we’re starting again with a great race and a new route: after crossing the Canavese area, we’ll arrive in beautiful Rivoli, a town with a great history and tradition.”
Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “We wanted to bring back the oldest classic in the world, the Milano-Torino, in spring as it was at the beginning of its long history. This will contribute to further enhance this race which will enter the calendar on March 16 between Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo. This classic, with its unique charm, will thus recover its original identity, as it was in the past.”
Gulperberg Changes Amstel Gold Race Final
In the past, the Eyserbosweg was almost always the starting point for the final of the Amstel Gold Race, which this year will take place on Sunday 10th April. However, the organisers of the Netherlands’ only Classic has changed the final, so that the race could be split open earlier. After the Loorberg at more than 50 kilometres from the finish, the descent of Koning van Spanje follows via narrow roads, after which the riders have to climb the Gulperberg from Gulpen.
“Precisely because you come to a standstill through a right-angled bend and then immediately start on the steep part, this is a difficult climb,” said Amstel race director, Leo van Vliet. The first 150 of the 920 metre climb contains a gradient of more than 17%. The wind almost always blows in the face of the riders halfway through the climb.
Via the descent on the other, the riders then go via the Geuzeweg and Cappucijnenweg over narrow roads to the foot of the Kruisberg. “Otherwise you had to take 3.5 kilometres on the wide provincial road, where the race usually neutralised itself again. Think of the attack that Mathieu van der Poel made in 2019 on the Gulperberg, after which he was overtaken on a large track. Now this place is much more suitable for doing something,” said Van Vliet.
Dstny and Lotto Join Forces to Sponsor UCI WorldTour Cycling Team
Belgian fast-growing technology company Dstny will become the co-title sponsor of the Lotto-Dstny cycling team from 2023. Destiny, which specialises in business communication solutions based on cloud technology, is launching a new logo and European brand identity ‘Dstny’ today, uniting more than ten companies in the group. In the cycling team, Dstny finds the perfect match to increase the awareness of this new brand in Europe. The agreement with the cycling team runs until at least the end of 2024.
With 7 victories, the cycling season started well for the oldest Belgian WorldTour team. For years, the team has remained true to its philosophy of developing its own Belgian talent, choosing the attack and racing with bravery. Values in which Dstny recognises itself.
“We are therefore very proud to be the new co-title sponsor of the Belgian UCI WorldTour team Lotto-Dstny,” says Dstny-CEO Daan De Wever. “We hope to inspire the team from our similar starting position as ‘challenger’ to think and act strategically-creatively and ‘out of the box’. I am convinced that by joining forces, we can both take the next step in our development. We believe that this sponsorship will put the Dstny brand even stronger on the European map and increase our brand awareness in current and future markets in Europe.”
John Lelangue, General Manager of the cycling team, is delighted with the arrival of Dstny as a new partner. “We are very happy with Dstny’s enthusiasm and strong commitment to be part of our team for the next two years. Our team is going for stage victories in the Tour de France and wins in major classics. This year and in the future. Developing young talent, both men and women, is in our DNA. That is why we invest not only in our WorldTeam, but also in our development and women’s team. Through this partnership Dstny acquires a place in the future and history of Belgian cycling.”
Also thanks to Dstny, it will be possible to train another generation of young Belgian talents. John Lelangue: “Dstny and our cycling team are a perfect match of two Belgian organisations with international ambitions. We can offer them brand awareness on the very highest international cycling stage, while Dstny enables us to further expand our long-term commitment to Belgian cycling.”
Jannie Haek, CEO of the National Lottery, is also looking forward to working with the new partner. “We share with Dstny our Belgian identity and focus on innovation. Dstny is a great example of how Belgian technology companies can grow into strong international players. We are therefore proud that we can contribute to the further development of that success in this way. The National Lottery may have been an established and reliable value for more than eight decades, we continue to innovate constantly and to invest strongly in the digital component of our organisation. It is partly thanks to this business vision that we are able to achieve constant growth, which enables us to support many projects including the cycling team.”
Cycling sponsorship to strengthen European position
The cycling team will ride with the new logo and name Dstny on its jersey from 2023. This new brand identity is an essential next step for Dstny in the management’s growth strategy. With the new branding and cycling sponsorship, Dstny wants to clarify and strengthen its position as a European leader in interactive business communication in the cloud. The group’s mission is to make business communication across various channels as easy as possible for employees and customers of both SMEs and large corporations. The sponsorship of Lotto-Dstny fits perfectly with the transition the company is making from initial challenger in a number of countries, through strong international growth to an ambitious European player.
Daan De Wever: “Just like the cycling team, we believe in giving talent every opportunity, in the importance of a strong partner network, in diversity and in team spirit. We are also united by our Belgian roots and ambition to play on an international level. This immediately felt like a good match. In addition, cycling is also very popular among decision-makers and CEOs in the business world, so it gives us networking and hospitality opportunities to grow even faster.”
More than just a marketing tool
Yana Seel, Chief Business Officer of the team, accompanied the entire process and discovered more and more common ground between Dstny and the cycling team. “Of course, the business component of cycling sponsorship is very important,” she says. “We can give companies global visibility in a sport that is very close to people. But a partnership on this scale goes much further than that: shared vision, values and identity are crucial to the success of a partnership like this. Cycling is emotion. A match on that level too is vital for both the cycling team and the partner.”
A feeling also shared by the National Lottery. “We have had wonderful moments with the cycling team over the years,” concludes Jannie Haek. “This is a long-term project, that much is clear after 37 years. We are grateful to the team for all those wonderful moments and the team is also grateful to us for the support over the years. We are happy that with Dstny we can again welcome Belgian talent in the team, entirely in line with the philosophy of the team.”
From left to right: John Lelangue (General Manager of the UCI WorldTour team), Jannie Haek (CEO National Lottery) and Daan De Wever (CEO Dstny):
Tadej Pogačar Inaugurates New Youth Cycling Academy Programme in UAE with Aldar
Two-time Tour de France [and current UAE Tour] Champion, Tadej Pogacar, today announced his support of a new cycling academy programme that has been developed between UAE Team Emirates and Aldar.
‘The UAE Team Emirates Cycling Academy presented by Aldar’ is initially set to be rolled out across Abu Dhabi-based schools, providing children aged 6 to 11 with a tailored programme of coaching focussed on building confidence and fitness as well as improving bike handling skills in a fun and safe environment. The programme, which supports the UAE’s National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031, will be delivered through three one-hour group sessions, ensuring that all students finish their course with a new-found passion for cycling and being active.
Pogacar and his UAE Tour teammates joined a group of budding young cyclists to launch the programme at a special event hosted at Aldar Square, the company’s new headquarters on Yas Island. 40 children from the community were given a once-in-a-lifetime experience as they met the UAE Team Emirates squad and were taught to ride bikes by some of the best and most accomplished cyclists on the planet.
Tadej Pogačar said: “Cycling has always been my biggest passion, so it’s an honour to be involved in this project. I think it’s a fantastic sport for people of all ages and abilities – especially young children. It’s a great form of exercise, because it helps to increase fitness, muscle strength and flexibility as well as improve mobility. It’s also loads of fun! Watching the kids here today reminds me of when I learned to cycle. It’s a sport that given me so much in life, so I want to give back and to help inspire the next generation of cyclists.”
Salwa Al Maflahi, Director of Sustainability and CSR at Aldar said: “Promoting wellbeing and healthy lifestyles is something we at Aldar are passionate about, so we are thrilled to partner with UAE Team Emirates on this exciting new programme. With initiatives such as this, we hope to encourage young people to engage in a more active lifestyle – and in doing so, cultivate a health-conscious next generation. We also hope that a greater interest in cycling will bring families and friends together to enjoy everything outdoor that Abu Dhabi has to offer.”
Mauro Gianetti, Team CEO said: “From day one, the UAE Team Emirates project has been about more than just winning bike races. Together with our sponsors and partners we have committed to promoting health and wellness and encouraging people across the UAE to use cycling as an enjoyable way to stay active. Our partnership with Aldar has enabled us to advance our Youth Academy ambitions and engage thousands of young people through their schools, academies and communities. It is something I am extremely passionate and excited about growing together”.
The UAE Team Emirates Cycling Academy presented by Aldar will be tailored to the individual ability of each student and cover: Bike Familiarisation; balance, braking and riding coordination, Bike Confidence; cornering and an introduction to changing gears, and Bike Skills; an introduction to group riding, manoeuvring around obstacles and preparation for riding in a safe, friendly and competition environment.
The programme aims to engage over 3,000 students in Abu Dhabi in its first year and expand to schools and communities across the UAE from 2023.
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