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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

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Loads of racing to keep you enthralled this Monday morning: Gent-Wevelgem, Volta a Catalunya, Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic Harelbeke all with video. Marc Madiot against the dropper post – TOP STORY. Rider news: Sonny Colbrelli back in Italy, Patrick Lefevere on the E3 Harelbeke, Tom Pidcock fit for Gent-Wevelgem, Max Walscheid, Tosh Van der Sande and Lawson Craddock all injured. Team news: Quick-Step – The history of The Wolfpack exhibition. Race news: Budapest awaits the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza and Tartu Maraton events free for Ukrainians. Tony Martin auctions his Olympic medal for Ukraine. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***

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TOP STORY: Marc Madiot Against the Dropper Post: “Forget safety”
Marc Madiot is opposed to the dropper post, the mechanism through which riders can change their saddle position via a button. The French team boss of Groupama-FDJ has vented his feeling to Ouest France after Matej Mohorič’s victory in Milan-Sanremo. “We also have to think about safety, don’t we?” he asks.

“It’s smart of him. It’s spectacular, and that’s what we want,” said 62-year-old Madiot. “I don’t want to play the morale knight either, but Mohorič came very close to crashing several times. What would it have been like if he had ended up in a wheelchair after the descent of the Poggio? If we start encouraging others to do the same, the danger and risk becomes even greater. We also have to think about safety, don’t we? But I feel like we forget that a little too often.”

“I’m a manager and don’t like to call parents that their child is in the hospital. That has happened to me before and I don’t want to experience it again,” the team manager points out once again the dangers in current cycling. The dropper post, which first entered road cycling in Milan-San Remo, is not an improvement in that regard, according to Madiot.

The UCI confirmed after La Primavera that the dropper post is indeed allowed on the road. “The UCI would do well to look into these real issues,” said Madiot. “But they may not be strong enough against the bicycle manufacturers’ lobby.”

Still, the Groupama-FDJ boss cannot prohibit his riders from riding with a dropper post, should anyone ask. “I will have to say yes, because I have no other choice. If the others are doing it, we should be doing it too. But I’m going to regret it a lot, because I feel like we’re drifting. I will never take the initiative myself, because in addition to the safety aspect, I also think that this is not in the DNA of cycling,” says Madiot.

“For me, the essence of cycling is that you go as fast as possible with your own legs and your own body, on a bike that is almost identical to that of your opponent. That should not be forgotten either. But Mohorič’s team has the resources to do this, while there are also many teams that don’t have the opportunity to look for innovations,” explains Madiot. “Of course I am for progress, but I am also for equality.”


Gent-Wevelgem 2022
Gent-Wevelgem 2022 was won by Biniam Girmay. After 249 kilometres between Ypres and Wevelgem, the Eritrean of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was the first across the finish-line. He was the fastest of a leading group of four, ahead of Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Dries Van Gestel (TotalEnergies) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).


The first hour of racing was very fast and it took a long time before the ‘Break of the Day’ formed. Seven riders managed to get away after 30 kilometres: Nikias Arndt (DSM), Lindsay De Vylder (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Alexandr Konychev (BikeExchange-Jayco), Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Lars Saugstad (Uno-X) and Jelle Wallays (Cofidis). They quickly had a 5 minute lead from a Jumbo-Visma controlled peloton.

Alpecin-Fenix, BORA-hansgrohe and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl eventually gave a helping hand to the chase work. In the run-up to De Moeren the peloton became a bit nervous, but the wind played no significant role and the expected echelons didn’t form. More than 100 kilometres from the finish, in the run-up to the first climb of the day, there was chaos with a big crash on a narrow road. The peloton broke into pieces and thus meant a first warning, but not much later everything came together again. A large peloton therefore started Kemmelberg for the first time, where Jhonatan Narváez was missing due to a fall while on the climb. Jumbo-Visma’s attentive racing was also noticeable. The team of leader Wout van Aert ensured that the peloton was already considerably thinned out at 80 kilometres from the finish. The peloton split into pieces, but not much later everything came back together again. A large peloton started Kemmelberg for the first time, although Jhonatan Narváez was missing due to a crash at the bottom of the climb. Jumbo-Visma kept the pressure on for leader Wout van Aert and ensured that the peloton was already thinned out at 80 kilometres from the finish in Wevelgem.

Twenty riders from the peloton, including Matej Mohorič, Dylan van Baarle, Greg Van Avermaet, Victor Campenaerts, Biniam Girmay, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Mike Teunissen, Kasper Asgreen, Arnaud Démare and Edward Theuns, managed to get away. TotalEnergies and BikeExchange-Jayco had missed the move and had to close a 30 second gap. In the three plugstreets, the gravel sections in Hainaut, all the groups came back together. The early break was also pulled in, although Jacobs struggled for a while. Bad luck for Dylan Groenewegen, the Dutch sprinter had a pedal problem on one of the gravel sections and was dropped by the front group. After the last plugstreet the large leading group had a 25 seconds lead on the peloton, where TotalEnergies chased and Jumbo-Visma controlled. It wasn’t fast enough at the front, so a regrouping followed 57 kilometres out. Arjen Livyns attacked on the Monteberg, but was caught on the Kemmelberg. The favourites, led by Asgreen, Van Aert and Mads Pedersen, threw down the gauntlet and Fabio Jakobsen had problems following. Fifteen riders broke away from the rest after the Kemmelberg, but there was no co-operation and so both groups came together again. Last time up the Baneberg, Tiesj Benoot made a move, but it was a compact group that raced towards the final climb of the day: the Kemmelberg from the Ossuaire side. Van Aert attacked and just after the top was joined by Laporte, Benoot, Asgreen, Pedersen, Mohorič, Van Baarle and Søren Kragh Andersen.

The differences were very small, so that a first chasing group with fast men such as Alexander Kristoff, Jasper Philipsen, Démare and Girmay rejoined. A second chasing group, including Tim Merlier, had more trouble making the crossing in the flat final towards Wevelgem, but they eventually succeeded. Laporte, Stuyven, Girmay and Dries Van Gestel had attacked from the front. Rasmus Tiller and Greg Van Avermaet counter-attacked but couldn’t get close and dropped back into the pack at 25 seconds. Groupama-FDJ, Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Movistar were chasing, but the four leaders were taking more time. Laporte, Stuyven, Girmay and Van Gestel started the last 15 kilometres with 30 seconds and extended that lead to 40 seconds. The four looked like they would battle for victory, although there was some poker playing in the last 4 kilometres. Their advantage dropped to less than 20 seconds. Kragh Andersen counter-attacked from the peloton with 2 kilo-meters to go, but he went too late. Laporte, Girmay, Stuyven and Van Gestel sprinted for the win. The Frenchman was forced to the front of the winning group in the last metres, Girmay started the sprint first. The 21-year-old Eritrean managed hold his effort and beat Laporte and Stuyven.

  • See more photos in the full ‘PEZ Race Report’ HERE.
  • wevelgem22

    Race winner, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This historical victory is so important for myself, for my team, for African cycling! Since the E3 Classic, my very first Flemish classic, I fell in love with the cobbles. I didn’t hesitate one moment when the team offered me the chance to conclude my spring with Ghent-Wevelgem this Sunday. Just like on Friday, I heard the many encouragements of the fans. I never imagined ending this day with a victory, because it is so difficult to race the Flemish classics without experience. I want to thank my team for their belief in me. In each race, I can rely on the unconditional support of my teammates. The instructions from the team car were very precious. It was only in the final hundred meters that I started to believe in the victory. I launched my sprint with 250 meter to go, I closed my eyes and I gave all I had left. I don’t realise what happened yet, I just became the first African rider to win a classic!”

    2nd, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma): “I was surprised by Girmay’s move. Maybe I made a mistake. It was close. He took a gap of several metres and it was difficult to close it. Maybe I made a mistake by not starting my sprint earlier. At the moment deception prevails because I felt strong enough to win. My second place on Friday in Harelbeke cannot be compared with this one, as we did win the race as a team. I escaped to put the team in a good position. We wanted to make the race hard, but we weren’t the only ones. Ultimately, we can’t win every game, but you don’t always get such a great chance to win a classic.”

    9th, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a hard race but not hard enough to make a bigger selection. I was hoping we could stay away after the first time we climbed the Kemmelberg, but the peloton caught us back. I did a counterattack but was not successful. The next move went away, and the 4 guys stayed away until the finish. We tried our best. Fred (Wright) was also there in the finale, and we tried to pull in the front of the peloton to try to bring them back, but they were strong and stayed away. I managed to take a top ten result. I’m happy with that, especially because my legs are feeling very good, and it’s a good sign before next week’s Tour of Flanders that will be my next race and big aim.”

    17th, Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën): “It was a tactical race. I’m happy to have played a role in the front today. I only needed ten more meters to make it into the group that ultimately went for the win. There is a small hint of disappointment but that’s how it is sometimes. There are two races left next week to get a great result during these Flanders classics.”

    22nd, Jonas Koch (BORA-hansgrohe): “Another really hard race today! Early in the race I was blocked by a crash unfortunately and had to invest a lot to get back to the bunch again. In the end I was part of the second group that sprinted for 5th but due to cramps I wasn’t able to play a decisive role anymore.”

    Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “We rode a good race and can go home satisfied. I am satisfied with my race. I felt good and the team was very good again. Come on, I had hoped to make more of a difference. So maybe I wasn’t top-notch, but we were at the meeting and protected Christophe’s flight. It’s a shame he didn’t win. That’s not very surprising, but in a big classic it is a surprise. A big chapeau. I don’t think Christophe will be beaten because he is less fast, but he was surprised by Girmay. We rode a good race and can go home satisfied. Perhaps I had hoped for better legs today, but we still have a week.”

    Hilaire Van der Schueren Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux DS: “It’s crazy. When I see how many messages I get… This is great, nobody expected this. We knew we could let him ride here, but it was mainly to gain experience. That was the most important for us. But if you finish it like that, that way… Cheers! Friday too. He was in the right place on the Paterberg. If he knows that climb better – because it was his first time seeing that climb – then maybe he can join others and sprint for third place. But I have to say that with Andrea Pasqualon, Adrien Petit, Alexander Kristoff and Aimé De Gendt we have a good team that can lead him.” Flanders now? “We are not going to do that. Our schedule was made on January 1st and he came here on January 3rd. Then we said: ‘You will go back to Eritrea at the end of March, then you will rest and prepare for the Giro’. He then races in Frankfurt and then the Giro d’Italia. The intention is that he will try to win a stage in the Giro. He won’t be able to handle the top sprinters, that will be too much. But I think if 70 men are on the line, he still has a chance.”

    Gent-Wevelgem Result:
    1. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 5:57:37
    2. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
    3. Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
    4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
    5. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 0:08
    6. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
    7. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
    8. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
    9. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
    10. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.



    Gent-Wevelgem Women 2022
    Elisa Balsamo won the women’s Gent-Wevelgem. The Trek-Segafredo World champion was the fastest in the sprint on the streets of Wevelgem after 159 kilometres. She held off Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), Maria Giulia (Ceratizit-WNT) and Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) in the bunch sprint.

    wevelgem22 w

    Two riders formed the ‘Break of the Day’. Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss) was the initiator and was joined by Anne van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg). They took 3 minutes on the peloton, but that lead diminished as the hills approached. Seventy kilometres from the finish, Van Rooijen and Khatuntseva’s attempt was over.

    Lotte Kopecky tried to split the race for the first time on the Kemmelberg. She rode away with Liane Lippert, Anna Henderson and Kasia Niewiadoma. They were caught by a few pursuers, but that leading group was caught just before the last time up the Baneberg. This was partly due to the work of Ellen van Dijk. On the last climbs nobody could really make any gaps. On the last time on the Kemmelberg, from the Ossuaire side, Grace Brown tried to break away from the thinned peloton. The Australian didn’t get much space, so there was another regrouping. A big peloton started the last 30 kilometres towards Wevelgem. Sprinter, Lorena Wiebes, had crashed on the descent of the Kemmelberg and had to abandon, her DSM team went on the offensive and that resulted in a tactical battle, as more teams wanted to avoid a sprint. Trek-Segafredo just wanted a sprint and so took control.

    More than 10 kilometres from the finish, Niewiadoma instigated a leading group of 13 riders, but that attempt was canceled out by Van Dijk again. It was SD Worx who made various attacks, but Brown made the most impressive move. FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope rider immediately took a gap on the peloton just before the 3 kilometre mark. Van Dijk and Elisa Longo Borghini had to pull hard to catch Brown, Jumbo-Visma also helped. Brown was caught just before 1K. After lead-out work by Marlen Reusser, Lotte Kopecky was the first to start the sprint, but the Belgian champion was passed by Balsamo. The World champion had more speed and was well ahead of Marianne Vos. Third place went to Maria Giulia Confalonieri, who narrowly beat Kopecky.

    wevelgem22 women

    Race winner, Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo): “I’m very happy. Today I won my favourite race. It’s a dream come true and I’m very happy about that. It was a very tough race. In the last kilometres there was a lot of attacks, but my team worked perfectly and closed everything down. The team did a great job. After the last Kemmelberg we decided that we wanted to go for the sprint. Ellen van Dijk, but also Elisa Longo Borghini and Shirin van Anrooij were so, so strong. I want to thank them. It’s a difficult race (Tour of Flanders). Now a week of rest and I need that too.”

    2nd, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma): “The sprint was also difficult. When you arrive with such a large group, it’s hard to time it well, and Balsamo was incredibly fast. I don’t think much went wrong. The team did a great job. We tried to make it a difficult race and position me well in the end. I am satisfied. I would have liked to win, but I had to settle for second place. We will take a good look at the Ronde next week and explore a few things to be ready for next week.”

    Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a big group to check, but there were still four of us. Luckily I had help, but I felt pretty good. It was following the wheels, and I didn’t have to attack myself. In the last three kilometres Grace Brown pulled away and we wanted to close that, but we didn’t have a lot of help. That is not surprising, because Balsamo was the big favourite. This is a lot of fun to do. I rode here just to get a sprint. She (Balsamo) is very grateful and humble and it’s great to work for her, especially when she wins almost every race. It is clear that she is in top form. The Tour of Flanders is more difficult, but who cares? She has already won three times. But we will do everything we can again on Sunday.”

    Gent-Wevelgem Women Result:
    1. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 3:39:15
    2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
    3. Maria Giulia Confalonoieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
    4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx
    5. Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Den) Movistar
    6. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
    7. Susanne Andersen (Nor) Uno-X
    8. Tamara Dronova (Rus) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
    9. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
    10. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.



    Volta a Catalunya 2022
    The Queen Stage 4 of the Tour of Catalunya was won by João Almeida. The Portuguese rider held off Nairo Quintana and Sergio Higuita for the victory after an exciting final. Despite his second place, Quintana took the leader’s jersey. Almeida is second overall in the same time.

    catalunya22 st4

    The stage had three climbs, with the Coll de Boixols (18.4km at 4.3%), Port de la Creu de Perves (13.5km at 4.5%) and the final climb of 15 kilometres at 5.5% to the Boí Taüll ski resort. The finish was just above 2,000 metres, after a stage with more than 3,000 metres of climbing.

    From the start the pace was very high. Many riders tried to escape, but the peloton had no intention of letting the first group go. So it was a compact peloton that started the Coll de Boixols (18.4km at 4.3%), the first climb of the day. On this Coll de Boixols seven riders managed to build a nice lead. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo), Mark Donovan (DSM), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) and Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi) came over the top of the first category climb with a nice gap. Their lead continued to increase and they started the Port de la Creu de Perves with 3 minutes on the peloton. The men of AG2R Citroën managed to take 1 minute off the lead on the climb for leader O’Connor. Herrada was first at the top of the Port de la Creu de Perves.

    Once on the final climb, the leading group exploded. Armirail had something left and went for victory, but the peloton with the GC riders were not far behind. The men of Arkéa-Samsic came forward: the French team had plans for Nairo Quintana, who was 3rd overall. Élie Gesbert rode on the front for his leader Quintana, but went so hard that only leader O’Connor could follow. Gesbert eased off and O’Connor looked back and there was a regrouping. At the back of the now thinned peloton riders were being dropped, the biggest name was Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, winner of the Tour of Catalonia in 2009, 2017 and 2018. At the front of the race; Armirail was now joined by George Bennett who had jumped away. The lead of the two, with 9 kilometres to climb was only 20 seconds. The group of favourites was now led by INEOS Grenadiers.

    It remained close for a long time, but at just 4 kilometres from the top the battle broke out. Richard Carapaz attacked and the Olympic champion was joined by Sergio Higuita. O’Connor was still there, but was lucky that João Almeida took the lead ahead of his teammate Juan Ayuso. The Portuguese rider managed to neutralise the attack of the two South Americans and further thin out the group of favourites, only Higuita, Carapaz and Quintana could follow. It was too fast for O’Connor in the final kilometres, but the Australian kept fighting in the hope of limiting the damage and keeping his leader’s jersey. That turned out to be just too much. Almeida, Quintana and Higuita fought a duel for the stage victory. Quintana seemed to have it in the last hundreds of metres and came first through the last corner, but Almeida had something left and passed the Colombian with a last effort. Second place went to Quintana, Higuita third. Wout Poels was the next rider at the finish, ahead of the Norwegian Tobias Halland Johannessen. Juan Ayuso, Richard Carapaz, Jai Hindley, Carlos Rodriguez and Guillaume Martin completed the top 10. O’Connor lost 23 seconds in the final to stage winner Almeida and lost the leader’s jersey.

    catalunya22 st4

    Stage winner and 2nd overall, Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m super happy. I’ve been working for this for a long time. Today I had some bad luck at the beginning but I felt really good at the end. I was always controlling my effort on the last climb, we had Bennett up the road so it was perfect for us behind as we just had to ride on the wheel. I upped the pace in the last couple of kilometres and sprinted to the victory. There are some hard stages coming up, especially the last one but we are happy with how it’s going for us.”

    Overall leader and 2nd overall, Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic): “There were quite a few attacks on the final climb, but in the end we were left with the best riders. I couldn’t do more as the other teams were in the majority. Attacking from afar was really pointless. It’s a shame I just can’t finish it. Our strategy? We will try to follow Almeida and if it is possible to collect bonus seconds somewhere, then we will certainly not miss it. I have every confidence in it. I’m in good shape and the motivation is there to do it right.”

    3rd on the stage and overall, Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was a tough stage, right from the beginning. However, Jai and I were supported well by Toni, Martin and Ben, so I’d like to thank them for all their work. We knew that the final climb would be ridden very quickly. Right from the get go, there were several attacks, and I think that Jai and I reacted well to these. In the end, Carapaz tried to launch a move with 3 kilometres remaining, which was controlled by Almeida, who was very strong. In the finale, I tried to sprint as best as I could, but the others were simply stronger. However, I’m still happy with the result today and also that I’ve moved up to third overall.”

    Volta a Catalunya Stage 4 Result:
    1. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates in 4:20:27
    2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
    3. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
    4. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 0:07
    5. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:13
    6. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
    7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
    8. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe
    9. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
    10. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis.

    Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 4:
    1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic in 17:04:53
    2. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
    3. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:06
    4. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:17
    5. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
    6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën
    7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:23
    8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
    9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:26
    10. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:34.

    Catalunya’22 stage 4:


    Ethan Vernon took the Fifth Stage of the Volta a Catalunya on Friday. In Vilanova i la Geltrú, the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was fastest in the bunch sprint. Germany’s Phil Bauhaus crossed the line in second, Dorian Godon in third. João Almeida took a bonus second and now leads the general classification.

    catalunya22 st5

    The fifth stage left the Pyrenees to head towards the Catalan coast and the Mediterranean. With 206.3 kilometres it was the longest stage. The battle for the break of the day broke out early, but it took some time before a group was allowed to get away. In the end, Urko Berrade (Kern Pharma), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural) and Gotzon Martín (Euskaltel) got a gap. Berrade was best overall at 3 minutes down on leader Nairo Quintana, but the break never had more than 5 minutes on the peloton, where BikeExchange-Jayco, Bahrain Victorious and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl controlled things as they wanted a sprint finish. Nicolau was the first over the Coll de Comiols, the only climb of the day after 37 kilometres. Mikel Bizkarra’s KOM jersey was not going to be lost today. In the second half of the race, the peloton accelerated, causing the escapees’ lead to shrink. Uno-X also got involved in the chase, so that at 80 kilometres from the finish the difference with the leading group was only 30 seconds. However, the peloton did not want to catch the escape too early, so the differences increased again.

    The peloton slowed down considerably, so that Berrade, Nicolau and Martín built up a lead of 2 minutes. However, the break was completely under control and they were caught with 20 kilometres to go. There was still an intermediate sprint at 16 kilometres. Tobias Halland Johannessen won three seconds, Rui Costa two and João Almeida one. With that, Almeida overtook leader Quintana in the general classification; both riders were on the same time. After the intermediate sprint, several riders tried to get away, including Hugh Carthy, but everything came together again. On the climb, 6 kilometres from the finish, it was Jan Bakelants who attacked, after that, the climbers Richard Carapaz and Guillaume Martin also made a move. Bahrain Victorious wanted to keep everything together and the pace was very high. Jumbo-Visma’s Rohan Dennis came to the front for the final part of this stage. In the final kilometre, BikeExchange-Jayco took the lead for Kaden Groves, but the run-up to the sprint was hectic, Ilan Van Wilder crashed. The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl GC rider was able to get back on his bike and as the crash was within the last 3 kilometres he was given the same time as the winner. Arkéa Samsic started the sprint for Hugo Hofstetter, but the Frenchman was not in place. It was Ethan Vernan who had the best final jump, ahead of Phil Bauhaus and Dorian Godon.

    catalunya22 st5

    Stage winner, Ethan Vernon (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I had the confidence in myself and knew I had the legs after stage 2, because I wasn’t that far off there despite making some mistakes. It was a fast stage today, with the GC riders splitting the field as they went for the intermediate sprint, but I managed to hang in there with the help of my team. This wouldn’t have been possible without them. Coming into the season, I thought that a win in the second part of the year would be great, so that’s why doing it just three months since turning pro is brilliant, something I would have never dreamed of. I knew there was headwind at the finish, but I could maintain the speed despite opening up early and at 50 metres to go I began believing. To take my first pro victory with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, and on WorldTour level of all the places, is unbelievable.”

    Overall leader, Joāo Almeida (UAE Team Emirates): “It feels good to be leading the race. It was a bit tight in the bonus sprint, but I managed to take the second I needed. Now I’m the GC leader and it’s really nice. I think the final day will see bigger gaps for sure so it’s far from over. We had a plan in case the break was caught early today so we made a train and made a sprint for it. We made a couple of mistakes but in the end it went well. Our approach is going to be the same for the next days, tomorrow is not an easy day but the last stage on the circuit in Barcelona will be most decisive.”

    2nd on the stage, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “Today was an expected bunch sprint, and we took control with Hermann at the start and later with Santi. Our climber team did more than I could expect for a sprint day. It was a technical run-in with many roundabouts and a crash in the last km with a headwind. I tried to stay calm, and it was hard to decide whether to spend energy moving up or staying at the back and finding a gap. In the end, I found a gap, which was a bit too late. My sprint was still pretty good, but unfortunately, it was only enough for second again.”

    3rd on the stage, Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën): “It’s not a victory but I’m happy with the result. This is my second podium in the UCI WorldTour. The day was long but not very difficult. We were active at the start of the stage to get into the breakaway, but it was complicated with the headwind. The last kilometres were winding so I wanted to join in the final sprint. I have no regrets; I couldn’t have done better. My sensations are getting better day by day. Yesterday when we worked to defend Ben (O’Connor)’s leader’s jersey, we rode really well. The last two stages suit me and I hope to do even better than today. Taking a win in the UCI WorldTour is my goal this year. We will also do everything to ensure that Ben gets the best possible place in the general classification on Sunday evening.”

    6th on the stage, Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe): “The team focused its energies on keeping Sergio in a good position. So in the finale, I was all alone. I tried to surf the wheels and ended up taking up a position behind a BikeExchange rider, but after that it was pretty hectic and stressful. In the end, I think I was in a good position and planned to go full throttle in the finale. However, I got a bit boxed in and wasn’t able to launch my sprint as I had hoped. If everything went 100 percent perfect, I think I would have been able to perhaps take the win, but I didn’t have so much luck on my side today. But ultimately it’s a solid result under the circumstances.”

    Volta a Catalunya Stage 5 Result:
    1. Ethan Vernon (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 5:21:17
    2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
    3. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën
    4. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
    5. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
    6. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe
    7. Manuel Peñalver Aniorte (Spa) Burgos-BH
    8. Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
    9. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
    10. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis.

    Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 5:
    1. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates in 22:26:09
    2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 0:01
    3. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:07
    4. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18
    5. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
    6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën
    7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:21
    8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:24
    9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:27
    10. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:35.

    Catalunya’22 stage 5:


    Richard Carapaz won Stage 6 of the Tour of Catalonia. The Ecuadorian was in the lead for most of the day with Sergio Higuita, beating the Colombian in the sprint. Higuita took over the leader’s jersey from João Almeida.

    catalunya22 st6

    On the penultimate day of the Volta a Catalunya, the riders were faced with a 167.6 kilometre stage with 3,000 metres of climbing. Two climbs of Cat 2 and one of Cat 1. The top of the Coll de la Teixeta (5.8km at 4.1%), the last climb of the day, was just under 30 kilometres from the finish.

    The action started on the first climb of the day, the Coll de Les Llebres-Mussara. INEOS Grenadiers pushed hard led by Luke Plapp. GC leader João Almeida ran into problems as second-placed Nairo Quintana rode away from him uphill. In the end it was Richard Carapaz and Sergio Higuita who posed the greatest danger to the UAE Team Emirates leader. The two South Americans got away together and formed a strong tandem for the rest of the stage. The duo gathered a maximum lead of more than 3:50, this put Higuita, third overall at 7 seconds behind Almeida, into the virtual lead. UAE led the pursuit. At first, their work reduced the gap, but later it grew again. At one point Uno-X came to the rescue which made the lead shrink again.

    At the top of the Coll de la Teixeta, the last climb of the day, the two still had about 2 minutes. On the descent, young Juan Ayuso led the chase, but went so fast that the rest of the bunch couldn’t follow, including his leader Almeida, who had difficulty following the better descenders on the wet roads. After the descent the big group got back together. Almeida and the main peloton didn’t get to the two front riders, despite him jumping away from the large group in the last kilometres. The chasers would eventually come in more than 45 seconds from Carapaz and Higuita. In the fight for the win, Higuita seemed to get a gap in the sprint, but Carapaz passed him just on the finish-line. Carapaz for the stage victory and the leader’s jersey for Higuita.

    catalunya22 st6

    Stage winner and 2nd overall, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “We intended to play all or nothing. We worked well together. Higuita was above me in the standings so I knew he would take the lead. Tomorrow it will be all over again. It didn’t always go well, but it is of course fantastic to be able to hit back in this way.”

    Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Sergio Higuita Garcia (BORA-hansgrohe): “We knew that the break would have a good chance today. I started the decisive climb in a good position and was alert when Carapaz and his teammate Plapp made a move. Little by little, riders were dropped, and so finally it was just the two of us at the front. We worked well together. The group behind us tried hard to close the gap, but we knew how to save energy to make it to the finish line. In Cambrils I decided to launch my sprint 100 metres ahead of the line, but Carapaz was that extra bit stronger and won the stage. I’m very happy with my performance today, especially because I’m now going into the last day in the leader’s jersey. But tomorrow will be an explosive stage, so we’ll have to be ready for anything.”

    3rd overall, João Almeida (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was my fault. I started the first climb too far from behind. That’s cycling, sometimes you make mistakes. It was a tough day. We expected it to be a difficult stage, it was a dangerous one. But of course we didn’t expect the attack from both of them (Carapaz and Higuita). I might have had too much air in my tires, so I slipped a bit in the corners. I’m sorry for the riders behind me. That’s why I also told Juan Ayuso to go solo, because he rode good descents. In the end it worked, because he was in the first group, while I was in the second. As a result, the other riders also had to do work. In the end it wasn’t too bad. In a sense we rode the day I think. It makes sense that we had to do the work, we had the leader’s jersey. And we have a good team. If I was with another team, I would have left it up to our team.”

    Volta a Catalunya Stage 6 Result:
    1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:09:19
    2. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
    3. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:48
    4. Simone Velasco (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan
    5. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
    7. Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
    8. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën
    9. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo
    10. Henri Vandenabeele (Bel) DSM.

    Volta a Catalunya Overall After Stage 6:
    1. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe in 26:35:24
    2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
    3. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:52
    4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 0:53
    5. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:08
    6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 1:10
    7. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën
    8. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:13
    9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 1:16
    10. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:27.

    Catalunya’22 stage 6:


    The Final Stage 7 of the Tour of Catalonia, which started and finished in Barcelona, ​​was won by Andrea Bagioli. The Italian of the Quick-Step Alpa Vinyl team was the fastest from an elite group. Sergio Higuita had no problems and took the overall win.


    Barcelona and the Montjuïc have long been the setting for the final short, hilly stage of 140 kilometres. On the road to Cobrera things split into two pelotons. The first group contained the most GC riders, including leader Higuita, Carapaz, Almeida, Ayuso and Ben O’Connor. Nairo Quintana, 4th overall, and Wout Poels, 6th. The men of Arkéa-Samsic had to work for Quintana. It was a bit of a worry for Quintana, but after a hard chase, the race was back together with about 90 kilometres to go. Quintana was up front again, unlike Poels. The Bahrain Victorious climber appeared to have stomach problems and was unable to continue. Twelve riders managed to escape and formed a strong breakaway.

    Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), Michael Storer, Sébastien Reichenbach, Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), Antwan Tolhoek, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) and Henri Vandenabeele (DSM) escaped the group of favourites. However, the peloton did not give up. Uno-X and BORA-hansgrohe took care of the chase work, so that the lead kept fluctuating around 1 minute. With more than five laps to go, Kruijswijk and Pacher decided to jump away from the leading group. The Dutch climber had good legs and took care of most of the work. The group lost more and more time and were almost caught by the peloton. With 30 kilometres ridden, most attackers were caught again, Kruijswijk and Pacher were still 40 seconds ahead, but didn’t look good.

    Four riders saw their chance to counter-attack. Dries Devenyns, who was previously with Kruijswijk and Pacher, went with Oier Lazkano (Movistar), Joe Dombrowski (Astana Qazaqstan) and Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), this attempt was short-lived, also because INEOS Grenadiers were pulling hard in the peloton. At 13 kilometres from the finish, Kruijswijk and Pacher were caught. Carapaz made his move, but leader Higuita was immediately on his wheel, Quintana and Almeida had no answer. The young Johannessen was not impressed by the acceleration of Carapaz and jumped past the Olympic champion. The 22-year-old Norwegian of Uno-X took six riders with him as they made another passage of the Montjuïc. After the descent, the top men on GC mainly looked at each other and Santiago Buitrago took advantage. The Colombian from Bahrain Victorious, who had already won a stage in the Saudi Tour earlier this year, jumped away from the front group and immediately had a good gap.

    Due to the chase after Buitrago there was a regrouping and Quintana and Almeida took advantage of the lull and got back on the important group. Buitrago started the last climb of Montjuïc with a limited lead. It was not enough to stay out of the grasp of the chasers: the young Colombian was passed on the steepest part by Johannessen and a tandem of UAE Team Emirates: Almeida and Juan Ayuso. Ayuso rode at top speed to the top and managed to completely split the group of favourites. Almeida, Higuita, Johannessen, O’Connor and Carapaz were able to follow Quintana also managed to join them eventually. The pace was not too high in the final kilometres and a second group returned, including Andrea Bagioli. The Italian got an unexpected chance to sprint for the win and seized the opportunity. Bagioli turned out to be too fast for Hungarian Attila Valter and Spaniard Fernando Barceló in a sprint of about twenty riders. Sergio Higuita crossed the finish line in ninth place to be the overall winner of the 2022 Tour of Catalonia. Higuita is the fourth Colombian overall winner after Álvaro Mejía (1993), Hernan Buenahora (1998) and Nairo Quintana (2016).


    Stage winner, Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I wanted to try and fight for the victory today, because the laps with that short and steep climb suited me. On top of that, I made sure of not going too hard in the last two days and keeping some energy for this stage, which was tough, with lots of attacks in the last two laps. On the final climb, I was dropped, but managed to come back on the descent just ahead of the flamme rouge and sprint for the win. I wasn’t sure of the victory, because I initially thought there were other riders in front, but seconds after crossing the line I was told by my team and couldn’t believe it. This win, my first in a World Tour race, means a lot to me. It wasn’t the easiest start to the season, with a couple of setbacks, but I continued to believe in myself and the team supported me all the time. We had a good week here, with the wins brought by myself and Ethan, and these results will only feed our confidence for the next races.”

    Final overall winner, Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe): “This win is very special for me because I have never won a WorldTour stage race. I’m of course very happy. I actually didn’t sleep too well the previous night and was a bit tired, but I think the fact that I was leading in the general classification motivated me a lot and that gave me a lot of energy. Today I really raced with my heart. It was a very hard day, but I managed to keep the gap to my competitors. The team did a great job all week and it’s great to finish this race with the overall win. I was expecting a lot of attacks especially from Ayuso, Almeida, Carapaz and Quintana and the moves came as expected, but the team had things under control. I managed to not let Carapaz, who was very strong, escape and secure the win at the end of the day. A big thanks to the whole team for their support throughout the week here in Catalunya.”

    6th overall, Ben O’Connor: “Confirmation that I can ride with the best. I am very happy with my week. In addition to my stage victory, it’s confirmation that I can compete with the best overall in a UCI WorldTour race. To have worn the leader’s jersey for one day was a great experience for me and the team. The guys were top notch. For my part, I’ll remember that it will be necessary to be calmer next time. Of course, I was sad to have lost the jersey after the one stage, but I have no regrets. We did our best every day and this is the best place we could get. I now turn to the Tour de Romandie. After having had to abandon Paris-Nice, I want to get a great result in Romandie as well as the ones to follow. I am hungry for more.”

    Volta a Catalunya Stage 7 Result:
    1. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 3:18:09
    2. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
    3. Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
    4. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
    5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
    6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
    7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
    8. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar
    9. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
    10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers.

    Volta a Catalunya Final Overall Result:
    1. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe in 29:53:33
    2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
    3. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:52
    4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 0:53
    5. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:08
    6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 1:10
    7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:13
    8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 1:16
    9. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:27
    10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma aat 1:55.

    Catalunya’22 stage 7:


    coppi e bartali
    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali 2022
    Ben Tulett won the Queen Stage 3 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, finishing in San Marino. For the 20 year-old British climber it is his first professional victory. INEOS Grenadiers’ Eddie Dunbar, who remains overall leader, finished second.

    coppi e bartali22 st3

    The start and finish of the stage were in San Marino. The stage was 147 kilometres with climbs of the Serra San Marco (12km at 4.3%) early in the race and the Chiesanuova (2.6km at 5.1%) and the ascent to the village of Serravalle (10km at 5.7%), it was a stage for the climbers. The finish line was on the climb to Serravalle, after a 5.7 kilometres at more than 7%. Mathieu van der Poel showed himself early again. The Alpecin-Fenix rider, who says he is mainly here for training, decided in the first kilometres to attack. Van der Poel, together with Rémi Cavagna, Frederik Wandahl and Antonio Tiberi, managed to break away from the peloton, but were quickly caught. This was an ideal moment for seven other riders to make their move: Mattia Cattaneo, Mason Hollyman, Oscar Riesebeek, Andrea Garosio, Tony Gallopin, James Shaw and Edgar Andres Pinzon Villalba. The peloton, with the men of INEOS Grenadiers in a controlling role, let go and the lead quickly increased to more than 2 minutes. Four riders counter-attacked, hoping to make the crossing, but Edoardo Zardini, Antonio Nibali, Luca Covili and Alessandro Monaco initially didn’t get any closer and in the end they managed to join. The leading group now had eleven rider, but once on the local circuit, the leading group completely split up.

    At the front, Cattaneo appeared to have the strongest legs. The Italian from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl managed to thin out the leading group with a few attacks. With more than three local laps to go, Cattaneo decided to take off on his own and never looked back. The first pursuers lost more and more ground and the peloton also didn’t chase fast enough, so that the lead of Cattaneo was clocked at almost 6 minutes. The Italian was even the virtual leader on the road. However, Cattaneo lost time and saw Garosio, Gallopin and Shaw get across to him. The other attackers had already been caught by the peloton which was now at full speed. As a result, the gap to the leading group became smaller and smaller. The lead of Garosio, Cattaneo, Gallopin and Shaw was only 2 minutes with 20 kilometres to go. Gallopin and Shaw decided to pull themselves inside out one more time on one of the climbs. This turned out to be too much for Cattaneo, who had to let his fellow escapees go. Garosio also had some difficult moments, but the Italian managed to hang on. In the peloton it was now also all hands on deck: due to an acceleration of the pace of the men of INEOS Grenadiers, the peloton was only thirty men. Van der Poel had meanwhile been dropped: the Dutchman decided not to waste a lot of energy unnecessarily.

    In the meantime, in the group of favourites, there was once again a strong push and this certainly did not play into the hands of the escape. At about 10 kilometres from the finish, the last of the break were caught and there would now be a battle between the GC riders. Guy Niv tried to anticipate on the run-up to the final climb, but it didn’t help. It all had to happen on the final climb to Serravalle. Marc Hirschi decided to be the first to try: the Swiss rider from UAE Team Emirates immediately took 20 seconds. With 3 kilometres to climb, there was a counter-attack from leader Eddie Dunbar, Ben Tulett and Simon Carr and the three crossed to Hirschi, leaving four contenders for the stage win. This was the signal for Tulett to jump away and the 20 year-old quickly had a gap. Dunbar, as Tulett’s teammate, stayed put and Carr and Hirschi were unable to close the gap. Tulett took his first victory with the professionals in San Marino and Dunbar came in second. Hirschi had to settle for third place, ahead of Carr and Antonio Tiberi.

    coppi e bartali22 st3

    Stage winner and 2nd overall, Ben Tulett (INEOS Grenadiers): “I still can’t quite believe it. This is really great, especially because I started the year with two bad crashes. I’m very happy to be able to win here now, but also that Eddie was able to keep his leader’s jersey. It is now a matter of defence. We are here with a strong team and we are looking forward to the sporting battle. The last kilometres were really tough. We checked as a team all day long, we did very well. Things exploded in the final. I decided to accelerate with two kilometres to go and continued my effort. There are now two more tough stages. We hope to defend the leader’s jersey, that’s what we’re going for. That’s my big motivation (the Giro d’Italia)”

    Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Leader Dunbar (INEOS Grenadiers): “We rode a very good race as a team. The final climb was on the program four times, so I knew how to pace myself. The strongest riders: We all know how good Marc Hirschi is. If someone like that goes, you have to come along. We played well in the final. That Ben wins the stage is really great. We handled it really well tactically. This is a good starting point for the coming days.”

    3rd on the stage and overall, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates): “It was really hard, as every day has been here at Coppi e Bartali. Myself and Polanc tried to make things difficult for the others on the last laps and then I attacked at the bottom of the last climb. I couldn’t get rid of the Ineos riders who were very strong. I’m happy with 3rd place but the other guys were just too good today. Overall I’m very happy – it’s a long time since I’ve felt so comfortable on the bike, maybe 2 or 3 years. For me it’s more enjoyable to ride like this and I know that getting the operation was the right thing to do.”

    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 3 Result:
    1. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:12:34
    2. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:03
    3. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:05
    4. Simon Carr (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:07
    5. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:12
    6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:25
    7. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
    8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:38
    9. Nicola Conci (Ita) Italy at 0:51
    10. Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli.

    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Overall After Stage 3:
    1. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) INEOS Grenadiers in 12:37:11
    2. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:09
    3. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:24
    4. Simon Carr (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:30
    5. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:45
    6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:48
    7. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
    8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:01
    9. Nicola Conci (Ita) Italy at 1:14
    10. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:18.

    Coppi e Bartali’22 stage 3:


    Mathieu van der Poel won Stage 4 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. In Montecatini Terme, he beat Ethan Hayter and Rémy Mertz in the sprint, having already ridden 60 kilometres on the attack earlier in the stage and had been brought back with 10 kilometres from the finish.

    coppi e bartali22 st4

    The stage consisted of nine local circuits around Montecatini Terme, in which the climb to Vico would be the decider. On the fifth lap, the race made an extra loop over the climb to Goraiolo.

    Early in the stage there was a leading group of six: Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Samuele Rivi (Eolo), Andrea Piras (Beltrami TSA), KOM Andrea Garosio (Biesse), Emil Dima (Giotti Victoria) and Paul Wright (Mg.K Vis) took a maximum of over 3 minutes on the peloton, where it was controlled by Dunbar’s INEOS Grenadiers team. Wirtgen was the best rider on GC at more than 24 minutes down, but the leading group was still kept within limits. In the longer fifth lap around Montecatini Terme, about 70 kilometres from the finish, Mathieu van der Poel counter-attacked. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​leader bridged the 3 minute gap to the six on his own. The leading seven started the last three circuits with a 2 minute lead. After the seventh climb of the Vico, the leading group had thinned out to four men: Van der Poel, Wirtgen, Rivi and Garosio. It was too fast for Piras, Dima and Wright.

    The four leaders slowly lost time on the local circuit around Montecatini Terme. At the start of the last lap of 14 kilometres the difference was only 30 seconds. On the last climb of the Vico, Van der Poel attacked and the Dutchman tried to go alone. However, the peloton, where Israel-Premier Tech was pushing hard, soon had him back in their sights and with 10 kilometres from the finish everything was back together. The peloton had thinned out considerably. Another attack was not long in coming. With 7 kilometres to go, Swiss Mauro Schmid, the winner of the opening stage on Tuesday, and Italian Nicola Conci broke away and took a small lead, but in the last kilometre they were caught, so a sprint would decide the stage. That Van der Poel had already made a lot of effort in his legs apparently did not bother him. In Montecatini Terme the Dutchman had the best final jump.

    coppibartali22 st4

    Stage winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “To be honest I wasn’t expecting it anymore. I had a big gap after the descent of the long climb and then I joined the leading group. It was a nice lead, but they closed it. Then I focused on the sprint. I tried to recover a bit and I felt I still had the legs to do a good sprint. I felt good today and had a good time. This is the way I like to race. Will I never give up? No, at least that’s what I try. I don’t know how tomorrow will go. It remains to be seen how I will feel after this effort.”

    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 4 Result:
    1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:59:49
    2. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
    3. Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
    4. Dion Smith (NZ) BikeExchange-Jayco
    5. Mick van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
    6. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
    7. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
    8. Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel-Premier Tech
    9. Erik Fetter (Hun) Eolo-Kometa
    10. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli.

    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Overall After Stage 4:
    1. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) INEOS Grenadiers in 16:37:00
    2. Ben Tulett (GB) Ineos Grenadiers at 0:09
    3. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:24
    4. Simon Carr (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:30
    5. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:45
    6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:48
    7. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
    8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:01
    9. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers t 1:12
    10. Nicola Conci (Ita) Italy at 1:14.

    Coppi e Bartali’22 stage 4:


    Josef Černý won the Final Stage 5 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. The Czech Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was part of a leading group of eleven who broke away and then went solo on the last climb of the day. Just before the finish he waited for his teammate Rémi Cavagna, who gave the victory to Černý. Eddie Dunbar won overall.

    coppi e bartali22 st5

    The final stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali was not easy. The second half of the race had three climbs of the Mungherino, a climb of 5.3 kilometres at 6.2%. After the top of the last climb, the riders still had 13 kilometres to the finish.

    A large leading group quickly gained a large lead. Eleven riders took a lead of 8 minutes: Josef Černý, Rémi Cavagna (both Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Omer Goldstein (Israel-Premier Tech), Giovanni Carboni (Italy), Frederik Wandahl (BORA-hansgrohe), Fabio Van den Bossche (Alpecin-Fenix), Johan Meens, Tom Paquot (both Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), David Martin (EOLO-Kometa), Jacopo Cortese (Mg.K Vis-Color for Peace-VPM) and Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost). At the start of the difficult, second part of the race – with 80 kilometres to go, the leading group still had a gap of about 8 minutes. On the San Baronto, which preceded the triple climbs of the Mungherino, there was some time loss, but later the lead grew again. This made Černý and Goldstein attack. The two Quick-Steps and the rider from Israel-Premier Tech left their fellow escapees behind. They further extended their lead over both the front chasers and the pack.

    For GC leader Eddie Dunbar this was a problem as Goldstein was just 7 minutes behind him on GC before the start. The Israeli was in the virtual lead when the front riders started the final climb of the Mungherino. Just before that climb, Julius van den Berg rejoined the front from behind, but the Dutchman would have to help the chase, as Černý attacked. At the top of the climb, with 13 kilometres to go, Černý was 30 seconds ahead of the first chasers, where Van den Berg was dropped again. The peloton was just over 7 minutes behind the leader and Goldstein could forget the overall victory. The stage victory was no longer there for him either, because Černý was well away on the descent to the line. The two teammates crossed the line together. Eddie Dunbar held his ground and was the overall winner.

    coppie bartali22 st5

    Stage winner, Josef Cerny (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “It’s always special when you win like this. It was a copy-paste of last year’s Pais Vasco, where I arrived at the finish together with Mikkel, who took the win, after another day in the breakaway. It has been a hard week of racing here, but we felt good and so we decided to go in the early move. It was a numerous one, but then we attacked and continued in just three. On the penultimate lap I accelerated, and with the other guy not following, I immediately built a nice gap. In the closing kilometres, Rémi dropped him and joined me, which was special and beautiful. You always like sharing the joy with a teammate. It’s my first victory of the season and I would love to add some more. We leave the race with two stage wins and a lot of confidence, having shown the Wolfpack spirit on all the stages.”

    Final overall winner, Eddie Dunbar (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’ve been on the team a few years now and everyone knows how much this means to me, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I knew I could be up there in races, GC-wise and I said ‘once I get a good run I can be good enough to contest these races’. Everything fell into place this week and it’s a relief. The guys did a super job all week – they rode really well. We rode the stage today and controlled it from start to finish, it was great. I was grateful to all of the guys for believing in me and backing me these last few days to stick in there and it’s nice to finally get a win and show how grateful I am to them and all the staff too. We laid down the marker from day one to show we had a strong team and it was a super week for us and also for Ben – he got his first pro win and 2nd on GC. On the really tough days he was always there.”

    3rd overall, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m happy with the podium, it was a hard and aggressive week of racing and we all showed ourselves well as a team. We wanted a stage win and although we came close it wasn’t to be. After my win last weekend this is further motivation and gives me confidence for the races to come.”

    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 5 Result:
    1. Josef Cerny (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 3:56:55
    2. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
    3. Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:14
    4. Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:46
    5. Frederik Wandahl (Den) BORA-hansgrohe at 3:03
    6. Fabio Van Den Bossche (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
    7. Tom Paquot (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
    8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Italy at 3:05
    9. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli at 4:23
    10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

    Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Final Overall Result:
    1. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) INEOS Grenadiers in 20:38:18
    2. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:09
    3. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:24
    4. Simon Carr (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:30
    5. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:45
    6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:48
    7. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:23
    8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:25
    9. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli at 1:38
    10. Nicola Conci (Ita) Italy.

    Coppi e Bartali’22 stage 5:


    de panne women
    Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne Women 2022
    Elisa Balsamo won the Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne. The Trek-Segafredo World champion won the bunch sprint from a thinned down peloton. Lorena Wiebes and Marta Bastianelli joined her on the podium.

    de panne22 women

    The first riders tried to get away from the start. On the second real attempt, Nicole Steigenga (Coop-Hitec Products) was successful. The 24-year-old Dutch rider went out alone, but was soon joined by three pursuers. Hannah Ludwig (Uno-X), Antonia Gröndahl (BCT) and April Tacey (Le Col-Wahoo) got across to her. Belgian, Marith Vanhove (Parkhotel Valkenburg) counter-attacked and joined the leaders. Six riders in the break of the day and the peloton didn’t feel like closing the gap, but the lead didn’t exceed 1 minute. At 75 kilometres from the finish, the break was over. It was a signal for a number of favourites to come to the front of the pack, but there was no real racing. A new leading group including the Belgian riders Senne Knaven (AG Insurance-NXTG), Fien Delbaere (Multum Accountants Ladies), Sara Van de Vel (IBCT) and Danique Braam (Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport) broke away, but they too were soon brought back by the peloton.

    Top favourite Lorena Wiebes of DSM had a puncture, but she soon rejoined the peloton. Going into the final lap, 45 kilometres from the finish, Trek-Segafredo, SD Worx and Movistar were on the front of the peloton. When turning at De Moeren, the riders didn’t seem interested in making it a hard race, but when they saw the change of wind direction, UAE Team ADQ, Trek-Segafredo and SD Worx set the pace, even leaders Lotte Kopecky and Elisa Balsamo lent a hand. The speed went up, but there were no echelons.

    After De Moeren, Alice Sharpe and Mieke Kröger attacked, but their solo moves didn’t come to anything. At 17 kilometres from the finish there was a huge crash involving many riders, the peloton was more than halved. With the thinned out peloton they raced towards the sprint in De Panne. At the front of the pack, SD Worx, Movistar, DSM and UAE Team ADQ were still the leaders. Sanne Cant of Plantur-Pura also contributed. At 2 kilometres from the finish, Anna Trevisi crashed for a while, creating a small split at the front of the pack. Top favourite Lorena Wiebes had to close a gap. In the long final straight, Lotte Kopecky led the sprint for her teammate Lonneke Uneken, but it was Balsamo who was the fastest. The Italian world champion sprinted convincingly to the win.

    de panne 22 w

    Race winner, Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo): “It’s a big surprise for me. It was a very chaotic final, normally I wasn’t supposed to sprint myself. I was normally going to put on the sprint for Chloe (Hosking) but she was involved in a crash. So it’s a big surprise for me that I was able to sprint for the win myself and that I won. Winning in this jersey is always fantastic, it brings a lot of emotions. I want to enjoy my rainbow jersey from day one to the last. What makes it even better that I win here today is the fact that my parents were also here, it’s great that they were able to see this.”

    2nd, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “She isn’t world champion for nothing, she was simply the best today. I just managed to avoid the big crash about ten kilometres from the finish, but they did hit my wheel, so I missed a spoke. It all went very chaotic, because then someone fell just in front of me. Again I was able to avoid the fall, but I had to close a hole. Unfortunately I also lost my lead-out. I got into the wind too fast. It was a very chaotic end, I was actually happy that I could still return to the first group. Balsamo is not world champion for nothing, so I am certainly happy with this second place. It’s nice to fight with her for the win.”

    3rd, Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ): “Too many corners in the final. I actually felt good today. Unfortunately my teammate fell just before the finish. I had to close a gap to the first group and everything went very chaotic. It was a difficult final for us, I thought there were too many corners. The small roads weren’t easy either. My team has worked hard for me today. I got the most out of my sprint and I’m happy with that. The same goes for my condition and actually also for my result. I think it was the highest I could get today.”

    Brugge-De Panne Women Result:
    1. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 3:52:11
    2. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM
    3. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
    4. Lonneke Uneken (Ned) SD Worx
    5. Maria Martins (Por) Le Col Wahoo
    6. Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Den) Movistar
    7. Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel &amp, Service
    8. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon//SRAM
    9. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx at 0:03
    10. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.

    De Panne’22:


    E3 Saxo Bank Classic: Harelbeke – Harelbeke 2022
    Wout van Aert won the E3 Saxo Bank Classic on Friday. The Jumbo-Visma Belgian rode away on the Paterberg, more than 40 kilometres from the finish, with his teammate Christophe Laporte. The two then rode a two-man time trial and held out until the finish. Van Aert crossed the line first.

    E3 22

    The E3 Saxo Bank Classic featured seventeen cobbled climbs this year, a smaller version of the Tour of Flanders. Mathieu van der Poel was missing, but Wout van Aert, Mads Pedersen and defending champion Kasper Asgreen were at the start. 172 riders left Harelbeke for a race of 203.9 kilometres. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange-Jayco) didn’t start. Craddock was unable to race because he fell from the podium shortly before the start.

    After only 4 kilometres the peloton was further thinned out. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Guy Sagiv (Israel-Premier Tech) and Tosh Van der Sande (Jumbo-Visma), and others, were involved in a crash, Sagiv and Van der Sande had to abandon. The pace at the front of the pack was high. As a result, no one really managed to get away during the opening hour, despite several attempts. A group of nine including Lindsay De Vylder, Jenthe Biermans and Mathijs Paasschens managed to take a small gap after about 40 kilometres, but was held up by a closed railway crossing. Because the lead had been small, they were not given a lead when the race was started again. Thirty kilometres later, with about 135 kilometres to go, there was a break by Ryan Mullen, Lukas Pöstlberger (both BORA-hansgrohe), Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies), Jelle Wallays (Cofidis), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Uno-X). For a while there were two pursuers: Sander De Pestel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Tobias Beyer (Alpecin-Fenix), but their chase failed.

    The leading group had about 2 minutes when they hit the hilly section, which started with La Houppe at 116 kilometres from the finish. The gap remained stable on the Kanarieberg, the Oude Kruisberg and the Knokteberg, but the peloton accelerated on the Hotond. Towards the Kortekeer, Dries De Bondt made a move. Jumbo-Visma accelerated towards the Taaienberg and De Bondt was caught. On the Taaienberg, Van Aert picked up the pace himself, this split the peloton: at the back many were dropped and at the front seven riders got away. In addition to three Jumbo-Visma riders: Wout van Aert, Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot, there was Stefan Küng, Jasper Stuyven, Kasper Asgreen and the winner of Milan-San Remo, Matej Mohorič.

    INEOS Grenadiers had missed the move and had to do the work behind. Initially they lost ground on the seven, who made contact with the remaining six upfront. Paasschens had already been dropped. On the Berg ten Stene, thirteen men were together at 70 kilometres from the finish. Here Benoot attacked, which meant that all original escapees, with the exception of Oss, were dropped and 8 riders headed for the Eikenberg. On the Eikenberg Jhonatan Narváez tried to jump from group two to group one. In addition to Narváez, Dylan van Baarle, Florian Sénéchal, Davide Ballerini, Biniam Girmay Hailu, Anthony Turgis, Michael Gogl, Valentin Madouas and eventually Rasmus Tiller and Mike Teunissen were also able to make the connection at the front. Oss and Ballerini couldn’t keep up, so we started the last 50 kilometres with 15 riders in front.

    The race seemed to calm down for a while, but after Sénéchal dropped out at the front due to a puncture, there were new developments on the Paterberg. With 40 kilometres to go, Van Aert, with teammate Laporte on his wheel, made a big gap on the rest of the leading group. On the Oude Kwaremont, the Frenchman had to pull out all the stops to keep up with his leader, but after that it was a two-man time trial. Initially, the difference between the two in front and the eight behind, was limited, but after the Karnemelkbeekstraat, the penultimate climb, the gap got bigger and bigger. At the foot of the Tiegemberg, the duo had 1:15. The gap continued to rise on the flat last kilometres to Harelbeke. Laporte, who had a stage win in Paris-Nice, gave his leader the victory. Behind the two leaders, in the battle for third place, it took until Harelbeke before an attack was made. Küng was the first to try. His attempt failed, but after Van Baarle, Mohorič and again Van Baarle tried, the Swiss went again in the last kilometre. Küng was third, ahead of Mohorič and Girmay.

    E3 22

    Race winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I want to thank everyone on the team. It was an impressive team performance. The plan was that Christophe and I could keep calm until the Paterberg. We succeeded thanks to the hard work of the other guys. They helped us a lot. Only at the top of the Paterberg I realised that Christophe and I had a gap. We got into an easy situation. We didn’t have to hesitate and could ride full speed. At first, we had to fight to get a lead, but when we started the Karnemelkbeekstraat with a lead, I knew the chasers would have a hard time. And we also had Tiesj in the group. There was no discussion about who was going to win. I thank Christophe for giving me this victory. It means a lot to me. I am proud of the team because this is how we want to win. By racing like this, we create the best chance for everyone to win. From the Karnemelkbeekstraat, I tried to enjoy it, but there was also hard pedalling. I had goosebumps on the podium with so many supporters. They had been absent for so long. It was extraordinary being able to experience this again.”

    2nd, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma): “The team worked very well all day. It’s a pity we lost Tosh, but I hope he still watched us on television with some satisfaction. We had a plan to be in front on the Taaienberg, which worked out well with Tiesj, Wout and me. A second important point was the Paterberg. Wout went full steam ahead and I was on the limit. I couldn’t follow, but he waited at the top. It was still far, so we had to ride well together. Wout gave me the victory in Paris-Nice, but he was the strongest today. He deserved to win here. It is incredible to experience this. The people along the route were fantastic. Especially with Wout as Belgian champion, the crowd supported us everywhere. I tried to enjoy the last kilometre, but I was exhausted. I’m looking forward to watching the TV footage.”

    4th, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious): “Every race has to be held, certainly in Flanders. Every mistake can be punished. No, I’m not immediately surprised by Van Aert’s victory, he was already there in the Omloop and was also one of the trendsetters in Milan-San Remo. He is one step higher than the rest. I am a bit more surprised by the collective performance of Jumbo-Visma. In the chasing group, nobody had the legs to get Laporte and Van Aert back. My teammates set me off well at the foot of the Taaienberg. Then it was up to me. Unfortunately I had some difficult moments in the pre-final, but as the race progressed, it got better and I found my good legs again. I took another shot at a podium place, but Stefan Küng was too quick for me. Ah, it could have been better, but I’m not too disappointed either. Towards the Ronde van Vlaanderen, we have to think about a different strategy to – Fighting Visma. By the way, there is not only Wout van Aert, but also Mathieu van der Poel. They have proven to be great champions before and deserve that status. But a race must always be run, especially here in Flanders. A small mistake can pay dearly. It won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible either.”

    5th, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “People were screaming my name everywhere, I felt like at home! It was a fantastic race, but incredibly difficult. Races with short and steep hills suit me really well, but I didn’t ride on cobbles since the world championships in Leuven last September. I never rode on the Paterberg or the Kwaremont before. Positioning was crucial and without any knowledge of the course it wasn’t easy for me. I came here to gain experience and thanks to my teammates I was able to follow the moves on the key moments and achieve a top five. I will be at the start of Ghent-Wevelgem this Sunday, before returning to Eritrea to prepare the Tour of Italy, my first Grand Tour. The programme we established enabled me to take a victory and achieve nice results in races of the highest level, so I’m convinced that we are on the right way. I loved the cobbles and it is my dream to add more classics like these in my programme in the future!”

    17th, Marco Haller (BORA-hansgrohe): “You can really feel the tension towards the highlights of the classics season in the peloton, the racing is just super hard at the moment. I wasn’t able to follow every single attack but felt good all day and so Im not unhappy with 17th today. After the Covid infection in February I’m happy to be where I am right now and also want to thank the team for the nice race schedule to get back in shape. It’s a life sign from my side and when we’re improving like this during the next weeks, we’re also able to go for top-10 results again.”

    E3 Saxo Bank Classic: Harelbeke – Harelbeke Result:
    1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:38:04
    2. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
    3. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:35
    4. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 1:36
    5. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
    6. Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
    7. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    8. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers
    9. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
    10. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

    E3 Harelbeke’22:


    Sonny Colbrelli Transferred to Italy
    Sonny Colbrelli returned to Italy after being transferred from the Hospital Universitari de Girona on Saturday.

    Given the stable clinical conditions, Sonny Colbrelli was given clearance to travel to Italy. The athlete, who collapsed shortly after finishing stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya, was given immediate emergency care and then transported to the hospital to undergo examinations and investigate the cause of the unstable cardiac arrhythmia that required defibrillation.

    Further examinations will be carried out in the upcoming days in an Italian centre of excellence for the diagnosis and therapy of cardiovascular diseases. Until then, everybody at Team Bahrain Victorious wishes Sonny a quick recovery surrounded by the love of his family.

    Colbrelli back in Italy:


    Patrick Lefevere on the E3 Harelbeke
    The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team has won the E3 Saxo Bank Classic for the past three years. On Friday, the team had to settle for tenth place. It came as no surprise to manager Patrick Lefevere.

    In his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad, Lefevere says: “This was not good, not fun, not at the level we are used to from our team. Although I immediately noticed: it wasn’t surprising to me either. I’m not going to repeat the list of sick people, but there are just too many at the moment. To put it bluntly, we should have organised an orgy in December instead of a super-covid-safe training camp. Then everyone would have gotten sick by then. That plays a part in Jumbo-Visma’s dominance: they had their misery then, we have them now.”

    According to the team manager, it is not all doom and gloom in his team and he is optimistic. “We’re not going to be too gloomy either. Florian Sénéchal had a puncture just before the Paterberg: a worse moment is hard to imagine, especially if you have to count on Shimano’s neutral car for breakdown. But there is little wrong with Florian’s legs.”

    In the classics, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl is still below par, but beyond that, the team regularly picks up victories. “We have already won 15 races this season. Only UAE Emirates does better.”

    No win for Quick-Step in the 2022 E3:


    Tom Pidcock Fit For Gent-Wevelgem
    Tom Pidcock was at the start of Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, the week before the Tour of Flanders. This will be his first race since Milan-Sanremo, where he had to stop early due to a stomach problem.

    “He is fine and has trained well. He recovered quite quickly after Milan-San Remo,” said Rod Ellingworth, the INEOS Grenadiers team manager at the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. Pidcock was one of the favourites for Sanremo, but was unable to climb the Capo Berta with the bunch and soon after abandoned the race. “I think he’s looking forward to the classics.”

    Earlier this week, sports director Kurt Bogaerts said that Pidcock would undergo a blood test to determine the cause of his stomach problem. According to Ellingworth, the problems in San Remo are unrelated to what caused the British rider to miss Strade Bianche. “No, he trained well for that. I think it was something we couldn’t really put our finger on, he just had bad guts. So we’re not 100% sure, but he seems fine now.”

    The team manager expressed confidence that the cyclo-cross World champion would be back in the peloton on Sunday. “Someone like Tom will always be working on targets and he has quite a few things he wants to tick off this year, so I’m sure he’ll be back this week. He is supposed to race, so keep your fingers crossed that he is there. I’ll say it like that, but it seems to be coming from all sides at the moment.”

    Referring to the cases of illness that have plagued the peloton in recent weeks. “We see a lot of people in the pack getting things and getting sick. I think we’re doing the maximum we can, but it seems a lot of people are getting sick. I saw that Jumbo-Visma started the Volta a Catalunya with six riders, Jack Haig left the race and I think many riders did not start yesterday in Coppi e Bartali because of something similar.”

    Pidcock out of Sanremo, but back in the peloton:


    Max Walscheid in Intensive Care After Being Hit by Car
    Max Walscheid was hit by a car during training on Thursday. According to his Cofidis team, it was a particularly hard collision. The German rider, who has shown good form in recent weeks, did not lose consciousness in the accident and did not sustain any serious injuries. He is currently under observation in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Neuwied and will miss the upcoming races.

    Walscheid was hit by a car near his home in Franken. He was not unconscious, but had numerous bruises. He was taken by helicopter to the emergency room of the Marie Klinikum St. Elisabeth in Neuwied and put in intensive care, where he was monitored by the medical staff of Cofidis. The German sprinter, winner of the Grand Prix de Denain, will not be in action in the coming races.

    According to Walscheid, the accident could have been much worse. “The first thing that comes to mind is that I was incredibly lucky to have survived this accident. Even though we haven’t done all the x-rays yet, I haven’t broken any bones. I was just doing a classic training ride after Brugge-De Panne. I rode on a quiet road, under perfect conditions. Luckily I wasn’t riding so fast. A car was coming from the opposite direction. He suddenly turned to the right and drove into me.”

    The German rider had no time to react and was hit from the front. “I flew over the car and landed a few meters away, luckily in a ditch and not on the tarmac. My bike was completely destroyed and was ten metres away. People quickly came to help me, as did the ambulance service and the police. I was then taken to the hospital and admitted to the emergency room where they did a full body scan. Although they found no fractures, I had to stay overnight for observation.”

    Walscheid is being further examined. His head, breathing and electrocardiogram are to be checked. “I still can’t believe I made it through without much more serious injuries. It’s just a mystery. At the same time, it’s very difficult because I felt really good in the race, I had good results and had the potential to achieve even more. But today I’d rather be happy to be alive,” he said on his team’s website.

    Walscheid: Glad to be alive:


    Tosh Van der Sande Out With Elbow Fracture
    For Tosh Van der Sande, the E3 Saxo Bank Classic didn’t turn out well. After a crash early in the race, he suffered an elbow fracture, as a result of which his spring is now over. “Mentally this is tough.”

    Van der Sande, one of Wout van Aert’s important riders, crashed in the first hours of the Flemish classic. “Someone in front of me slammed right into a pole. I couldn’t avoid that anymore and my bike flew away from under me,” he said the Jumbo-Visma website. “I landed right on my elbow. I first hoped to be able to go further, so I asked for a new bike. But I couldn’t support anymore, so racing was no longer an option.”

    Van der Sande was then taken to hospital and it turned out that he had suffered an elbow fracture and an operation followed. “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices and now they’re for nothing. The pain will pass, but mentally it is heavy. I’ve worked hard for it and riding in this team is definitely a dream. It’s a shame it won’t be for this classic campaign anymore. But my season is not over yet and I will focus on next goals.”

    No spring Classics for Tosh Van der Sande:
    e3 22


    bikeexchange jayco
    Lawson Craddock Hand Fracture Before the Start of E3 Saxo Bank Classic
    Lawson Craddock suffered a broken hand in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, before the race had started. His team, Team BikeExchange-Jayco, confirmed via social media.

    Craddock had an unfortunate fall after the team presentation, when leaving the starting podium. As a result, the 30-year-old American was unable to start the race. An X-ray revealed a fracture in the fifth metacarpal bone of his right hand. He will now return home to recover and rehabilitate, his team said in a brief statement.

    Craddock out before the start of the E3:


    Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Cycling Team – 20 Years of Passion – The History of The Wolfpack
    A unique temporary exhibition looking back on two decades of Quick-Step.


    This year, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team celebrates its 20th anniversary, filled with a lot of special moments… over 860 UCI victories in the past two decades, including 108 Grand Tour stages, 20 Monuments, 64 national titles, 16 world titles, 2 European titles, 2 World Cups and 1 Olympic title. To mark this milestone, the team opened a temporary exhibition in cooperation with Quick-Step Floors and the KOERS Museum in the Belgium village of Roeselare.

    Through 20 stages in the museum – that will include unique interviews, top bikes, trophies and lots of memorabilia – you will get to discover the rich history of our cycling team.


    Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, is extremely proud to look back on the 20 years with the team: “I can only be grateful walking through the museum and reliving all those special moments. When you win, you celebrate, but the next day you already work towards the next race and the next goal. All our achievements have come thanks to the hard work of both riders and staff, and at the same time, support and confidence of our sponsors. I hope that with this expo we can give every fan a special look back on the past 20 years of the team.”

    Also Quick-Step Floors, long-time partner of the team, helped make this spectacular expo possible.

    You can visit the exhibition until 29th May at the KOERS Museum in Belgium (Polenplein 15, 8800 Roeselare).

  • More info, HERE.
  • quick-step


    Budapest Awaits 2022 Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza
    The countdown in the Hungarian capital has been unveiled, placed in Heroes’ Square in Budapest, where the first stage of the Corsa Rosa will start on May 6


    The countdown to the Grande Partenza of the 105th Giro d’Italia, which will start on May 6 from Budapest (Hungary), has begun.

    A special Tissot countdown was inaugurated this morning in Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square) in Budapest, in the exact place where the first stage of the 2022 Corsa Rosa will start.

    The Grande Partenza of the 105th Giro d’Italia will feature three stages in Hungary. It begins on Friday, May 6 with the Budapest-Visegrád stage (195km). Then, on Saturday May 7, a 9.2 km individual time trial through the heart of Budapest. The last stage in Hungary will take place on Sunday May 8 from Kaposvár to Balatonfüred (201km), on the shores of Balaton Lake and is likely to be one for the sprinters. Both the first and the second stages will start from Heroes’ Square. The riders will then transfer to Italy and, on Monday 9, the Corsa Rosa will observe its first rest day.



    Tartu Maraton Events Free for Ukrainians
    The organising team of the Club Tartu Maraton has decided that in this season the participation in the Klassik series is free for Ukrainians.


    According to Indrek Kelk, the chief organiser of the Club Tartu Maraton events, the organizing team wants to help people who are suffering from the ongoing war. “We believe that a healthy, active lifestyle and exercising in the fresh air is one of the key things you can do for your physical and mental health. It is known that in difficult times you have to return to the basics, and that is enough sleep, food and regular exercise. We feel that we want to help and the thing we can do is allow Ukrainians to participate in our events for free,” explains Kelk.

    The Klassic series includes 5 events during the year. The 48th Tartu Maraton was held on 20th of February. The next in the series are: 40. Tartu Forest Marathon (May 8th), Tartu Rattaralli (May 29th), Tartu MTB Marathon (September 18th) and Tartu City Marathon (October 1st). There will also be children’s races the day before the main events. The events can be found from HERE.

    Adults and children from Ukraine can take part in all of the above-mentioned events free of charge. To do this, you must indicate Ukraine as the country of registration and show an identity document when taking out the start materials. Registration can be done from HERE.

    All sports fans who want to help the Ukrainians can take part in the charity event Ukraine Charity Loppet, organized by Worldloppet (of which the Tartu Maraton is also a member). People from all over the world can take part, choosing the sport and distance that suits them. The virtual Loppet started on March 10th and 340 people participated in the first week and collected a total of almost 9000 euros. The money will be donated 100% to the Ukrainian Red Cross. All those who wish, can take part in the charity event until April 30th. Read more from HERE.

    Tartu Rattaralli in 2019:


    Tony Martin Auctions His Olympic Medal for Ukraine Charity
    Everyday I see this terrible pictures from Ukraine in TV and it feels so wrong to sit on the couch and accept this situation! I pay my deepest respect to everybody who helps the people that need to be protected the most: the Ukrainian kids and their familys.

    I also want to do my small part and help. That’s why I decided to donate my olympic silver medal from London 2012 to raise money for #rtlwirhelfenkindern. It’s not easy to separate me from my biggest trophy I could win in my career but considering the fact that millions of people lost almost everything, it is something I really want to do! Yesterday the auction started #unitedcharity.

    Please check the link https://www.unitedcharity.de/Auktionen/Tony-Martin-Olympiasilber?fbclid=IwAR1er6Fna3MtieP8CSHsqok0mOM7tpRYnzOxA4wp0dyKsosJyOAN81zT2no

    I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people of Ukraine will get back their peace and freedom very soon

    tony martin


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