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Milano - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during team stage 21 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Monza to Milano ITT, 28.00 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

There can only be one Top Story in EUROTRASH Monday – Tom Dumoulin’s Giro d’Italia winning ride in the final time trial in Milan. We catch-up with all the action from Italy with reports, results, rider quotes and video of the last stages. Not all Giro, we also have the news from the Baloise Belgium Tour. Greg Van Avermaet makes his return to racing and bottles are thrown at the Giro video. Cappuccino anyone?

Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin was expected to win the final time trial, but things can go wrong and you never know, there can be a surprise result after three weeks of racing. The power of the leaders jersey can also affect how rider performs. Many had written Nairo Quintana off and were stating he would lose his podium all together, but he rode a brilliant TT to hold off Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) for a well deserved second place. The Tour de France next for the Colombian.

At the end of the day, Sunday went to the Dutch. Jos Van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) rode the race of his life to beat his National champion, Dumoulin, by 15 seconds. Tom Dumoulin topped off a very difficult week pf racing with his performance against the clock. His team was not the strongest in the Giro, and he had other problems: Toilet stops and annoying his rivals, all of which cost him time, effort and put more stress on his shoulders. Is he a worthy winner of the 100th Giro d’Italia? Yes, just look at the course and who he beat – this year was one of the toughest Grand Tours in recent times.

After the presentation Dumoulin said: “This is incredible, I can’t believe it. Beforehand I knew that I needed to stay calm but I almost couldn’t. I am happy for myself but also happy that so many special people around me were able to share this moment with me and to have the team up on the podium with me really topped it all. It’s been a great atmosphere with the team over the past few weeks and I can’t thank the team enough for all that they have done. All of our hard work has paid off and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Bravo Tom!

Giro d’Italia 2017
Tejay van Garderen claimed his maiden Grand Tour stage win in a strong display of strength and determination to win Stage 18 in a head to head battle with Mikel Landa (Sky).

At just 137km with five categorized climbs, including the uphill finish, stage 18 was a tough battle from kilometer 0.

Joey Rosskopf formed part of the early four-rider breakaway in the opening ten kilometers, but was soon joined by a chase group featuring van Garderen. The junction of the two groups created a group of 17 riders that gained more than two minutes on the Maglia Rosa group.

The race situation stabilized as the breakaway tackled climb after climb and as van Garderen’s group reached the summit of Passo Valparola with 79km to go, the gap remained at two minutes.

Behind, the Maglia Rosa group picked up the chase as race leader Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) started to attack each other which eventually brought the group within 30 seconds of the van Garderen breakaway.

Riders began to drop from the front group and it was just van Garderen, Landa, Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac) and Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) in the lead with 25km to go.

As they reached the banner 10km before the line it was van Garderen and Landa powering on towards the finish line with a margin of 25 seconds on the chasers and 55 seconds on the Maglia Rosa group.

The General Contenders began to attack each other behind which was to the advantage of van Garderen and Landa who held on to their advantage in the final kilometers. The duo began to look at each other in the final kilometer of racing but it was van Garderen who had the power to edge Landa out of the win in Oristei.

Stage 18 race report.

Ortisei - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tejay VAN GARDEREN (USA / BMC Racing Team) - Mikel LANDA MEANA (Spain / Team Sky) pictured during team stage 18 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Moena to Ortisei, 137.00 km - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

The Winner’s Interview with Tejay van Garderen.

Tejay, congratulations on your maiden Grand Tour win! Talk us through the finale.
“Mikel Landa is a very good bike rider. He is a very quick sprinter and I think it got a little bit tactical at the end and I tried to just be patient and not get overly excited. Coming into the last corner, I knew it was downhill and you had to hit it in the first position. I was coming in on the inside and he was going to close on me a little bit so I just thought, ‘I’m not braking’. If we crashed, we crashed but I wasn’t going to brake.”

“It was a hard day. Lots of climbing. I knew all of the climbs. I have done training camps in this area quite often. It was just an amazing feeling. Landa and I got away on a descent right before the finish. We looked around and saw that it was just us and we decided to keep going.”

How does this feel to get your first Grand Tour stage win?
“It is incredible. It feels great. I came here obviously with GC ambitions but that didn’t materialize. I’ve just tried to keep the morale high. I love this area. I knew every inch of the road today and it was almost like training at home.”

You were very emotional at the finish line.
“Yeah, I’m eight years as a professional now and this is my first Grand Tour stage victory. It was emotional just because I’ve had so many trials these past few years. Sometimes things go up and sometimes they go down and today was definitely up and hopefully I keep that trajectory. It feels good. It is good to know that I am still capable of doing a ride like that and now I just have to put it all together into three weeks like I have done in the past and like I know I can do again.”

Does the Giro d’Italia mean something special to you and can it be your goal again in the future?
“Absolutely, I love Italy. I love the Giro d’Italy. At the beginning of my career I used to live in Lucca, in Tuscany, and for several years, I have done altitude camps just up the road and stayed at a hotel with a lovely family who I now know very well. So, this area in particular feels like home to me. I knew every inch of the road today. Italy is very beautiful, the people are passionate and positive. I’m surprised it has taken me this long to do the Giro d’Italia and certainly I will be back.”

2nd on the stage, Mikel Landa (Sky) spoke to TeamSky.com: “I’m very disappointed again – I wanted to win for the team. I’m really proud of them – they did a really nice job again. We have two more days and we will keep trying. The Maglia Azzurra has been a new motivation for me and today we did good work to help keep it until Milan.”

Overall leader, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “I don’t know if I was the strongest today but I was definitely with the few strongest of the day. They attacked me but it didn’t work out. It was good day for me. My rivals launched very strong attacks and it wasn’t easy to close on the Gardena but I was able to. I was never really in trouble. In the finale, I was not completely happy with the situation. With just four kilometers flat or pretty flat till the finish, it would have been good for Nibali, Quintana and me to stay together, that’s why I was frustrated, disappointed and angry at them. At the end it’s a good situation for me. Quintana is the strongest climber here, sometimes I can follow him sometimes not. The watts/kg he developed on the Blockhaus one of the best in recent years. Today at the end of the last climb, I wanted to test my rivals. I saw they were tired. I was still feeling ok, but they weren’t tired enough that I could drop them. Piancavallo tomorrow won’t be the last obstacle. I only know the climb from the book, but there will be two more very hard days coming up, everyone knows them, especially the Monte Grappa on stage 20 is very hard. If I go at my own pace, I don’t lose much, but if I have a bad I could lose a lot.”

10th on the stage and 2nd overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “We had to attack, and the whole team has worked as expected to make my accelerations possible. It was a fast, hard stage, and my team-mates did a great job to liven it up. We tried one way and another, moving off the front several times and playing our cards, but it was not possible to put time on the leader. Dumoulin defended himself well and also found some circumstantial rivals at times, riders who were working for their own interest but happened to favor the leader’s chances. We both finished again with the same time, but one can hope that these hard stages might have had an effect on his legs. I did also try to put some responsibility on his shoulders after the final climb so he chased down the move by Pozzovivo and Pinot – after all, he’s the race leader, even if those attacks were also gaining time on us. As I said before, Dumoulin has proved to be in really great condition. The physical numbers are looking good for me, but to be honest, everyone here is on top of their game, it’s pretty much equal between all of us. There are two days still remaining and we must continue to try, long before the finish if possible, even though Friday’s finish will be quite different. There’s no other thing we can do but putting our pieces together and continue to attack.”

9th overall and ‘Best Young Rider’ Adam Yates (Orica-Scott): “It wasn’t an easy day in the saddle but in the end I took the white jersey, for how long, we will see. We have two mountain stages to go and the time trial, where Bob (Jungels) is obviously much better than me. I need to make some more time in the next two days so we will see what happens. It was only the last climb that I suffered quite a bit but other than that I felt quite strong. Ruben is an animal, he pretty much rode half a stage himself. If he is going as good as he was today, he can win a stage on his own. But it wasn’t just Ruben, the whole team did a good job today. As soon as I said I felt good on the second climb, we got on the front and started given it some welly. Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow and the day after and take it from there.”

Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today was another really big fight but it was good and Patrick and I had the legs to go with the attacks. As Patrick, after the penultimate climb, said he could go alone, I dropped the pace and tried to save my energy for the upcoming stages.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 18 Result:
1. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC in 3:54:04
2. Mikel Landa (Spa) Sky
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:08
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:11
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:24
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:34
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:06
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 18:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb in 80:00:48
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:31
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:12
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 1:36
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:58
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:07
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:17
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 5:48
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 7:06
10. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 7:24.

Giro stage 18:

King of the Mountain, Mikel Landa (Sky) finally took the stage victory he was looking for after narrowly missing out on two previous occasions. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) launched the fight among the favorites but at the Stage 19 end it was Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who took over from Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) as the leader of the General Classification. The top four riders are now within one minute of each other going into the final two stages.

The first break looked like it could be the winner, but a split in the peloton with Quintana and Nibali in the front group and the pink jersey of Dumoulin off the back, they had no chance. On the second climb of the day the groups got back together and calm was restored for a short time until a new lead group was formed. It included: Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Sebastian Henao (Sky), Luis Leon Sanchez and Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-RusVelo). More riders crossed to the leaders and with a disinterested peloton the lead ballooned to 11 minutes.

Sanchez and Rudy Molard (FDJ) attacked from the front group on the final climb, but when they were caught Landa made his move to win by 1:49 from Costa and 1:54 from Pierre Rolland.

Meanwhile back in the GC peloton; Dumoulin was in trouble from the start of the final climb and Quintana and Nibali put the pressure on and gained a minute on the pink jersey putting Quintana in the overall lead. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) escaped to put himself within 10 seconds of Nibali and 53 of Quintana. Dumoulin is now second overall at 38 seconds and Nibali third at 43 seconds.

Is 38 seconds enough time for Quintana to hold off Dumoulin on stage 20 and the final time trial.

Race report HERE.

Stage winner, Mikel Landa (Sky): “Possibly this is my nicest win because it took a lot of effort to stay at the front knowing that the chasers were coming from behind. We lost a friend [Michele Scarponi] just before the Giro so I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to pay tribute to him when I crossed the finishing line. My overall standing in the General Classification doesn’t correspond to what I was hoping for at the Giro but after the crash [on stage 9], I stayed calm and I tried hard to win a stage. My last week of racing confirms that I can try to win a Grand Tour.”

2nd on the stage, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “I had circled today’s stage on my calendar, it was a good course for me and the first part of the race was going to plan. Then the situation changed when the top rider group bridged the gap from the breakaway meaning we had to start all over again to pull away from them. I managed to attack once again and stayed with Landa when he counterattacked on the final climb. I tried to stay with him, but today he was stronger. There is still one more stage that’s suitable for attacks and although I spent a lot of energies today and yesterday, I’ll try to do my best.”

Overall leader, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was a very, very hard day, where all the efforts from Thursday and the stages before ended up paying off. We’ve spent the whole Giro working our hearts out to take the overall win, and we had to keep trying again today. We took a long shot at that descent with most of the team, and also pushed hard into the final climb, initially with a strong relay from Winner Anacona and then with Rojas and José Herrada, who gave all they had at their own moments. The impressive job by the whole team was evident again this time, and I can’t thank them enough and recognize all that they do for me, not only riders but the whole staff, sports directors… We planned a good strategy, we delivered and we were able to make the race leader crack and remain close to the rest of GC contenders. You’ve always got doubts about what wheel should you follow on that final climb. I knew I had to keep an eye especially on Nibali, but sometimes, it’s up to other rivals to leave you behind and create gaps which are really difficult to close. However, you also need to measure your efforts well. Sometimes, a pedal stroke too much means precious seconds that you lose at the end. We just hope to keep this strong line tomorrow and defend ourselves well. The TT on Sunday – well, that’s a final battle, one-to-one, where we must leave everything that we’ve got. There’s a lot of pressure on our shoulders, our rivals are also really strong, but we’ve got the Maglia Rosa at the moment and we will try to defend it with honor. We’ve got a veteran group, we’re consistent, experienced, and I trust my whole group of team-mates to defend ourselves well tomorrow.”

18th overall, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was another hard stage today, at first I was able to join the breakaway but the group with the Maglia Rosa set the pace. After that the race went on fire and several attacks started. My legs weren’t the best for a top ten result today but to be still in the top twenty in the GC makes me really happy and I hope I can hold it until Milan.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 19 Result:
1. Mikel Landa (Spa) Sky in 4:53:00
2. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:49
3. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac at 1:54
4. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 2:12
5. Sebastian Henao (Col) Sky at 3:06
6. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 3:51
7. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana
8. Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina at 5:05
9. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina at 6:44.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 19:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 85:02:40
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:38
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:43
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:53
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:21
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:30
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 2:48
8. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 6:35
9. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 7:03
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 7:37.

Giro stage 19:

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) gave it his all on the Foza climb and down to Asiago on Stage 20, finishing 5th to keep his Maglia Rosa by 38 seconds over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), 43 seconds to Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), and 53 seconds to his biggest threat; Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) before the 29 kilometer time trial to Milan on Sunday.

The 2017 Giro d’Italia will be decided in the 29.3km ITT from Monza to Milan on Sunday. Nairo Quintana fought as hard as he has ever done over the three weeks of racing on the final day of climbing to try and give himself a chance of beating the time trial specialist, Dumoulin. Not forgetting Nibali, Pinot and Zakarin. Stage 20, 190km from Pordenone to Asiago, included the grueling climbs of Monte Grappa (Cat-1) and Foza (Cat-1), the final climb coming 15 kilometers before the finish line.

After the break of the day was caught on the last climb of this 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, Víctor de la Parte and Andrey Amador kept the pace high and their team-leader, Quintana, out of trouble. The first attack came from Nibali, only the GC contenders could match. The ‘Shark’ and Quintano went ahead together 7km from the top, chasing a previous move from Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Zakarin, and later Pinot (FDJ), the trio tried to break the pace of Dumoulin, who always remained at a few seconds’ distance.

Following a fast few kilometers immediately after the summit, which saw the pursuit trio catch Pozzovivo and Zakarin and take a lead of 30 seconds on Dumoulin, Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Yates (Orica-Scott), but the front riders would not co-operate and the lead fell to 10 seconds. Quintana and Nibali put in some strong turns on the front to put the final advantage at 15 as Pinot won the stage.

The gaps for the TT thus remain really short: 39 seconds for Quintana over Nibali; 43 seconds on Pinot; 53 seonds to Dumoulin; 1:15 to Zakarin; and 1:30 over Pozzovivo. A one-on-one fight that will decide the fate of all contenders after three weeks of exhausting efforts.

PEZ race report.

Stage winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ): “Stage victory is not more important than riding for GC but this is why I’m a bike rider: I fight for winning races and today’s been a good victory to beat the top contenders of the Giro. I feel that together with Nibali and Quintana we cooperated very well – we gave 100% and we weren’t counting our pedal strokes – but once we rejoined with Pozzovivo and Zakarin I knew that they had the stage win in mind, and I did too in the last two kilometers. However, staying 15 seconds ahead of a strong rouleur like Dumoulin means that our cooperation was good. At the start of the Giro in Sardinia I said that I wanted a stage win and a place on the final podium. I’ve done the hardest bit and now there are 30km left I’ll give it all to finish the Giro with no regrets: I’ll fight for the overall victory, but Dumoulin probably remains the favorite. I also remember that Quintana won a time trial at the Route du Sud ahead of Sylvain Chavanel last year. He can defend himself – it’ll be a superb battle as nobody is able to say who will win the Giro and that’s beautiful. Whatever happens tomorrow, I hope to come back to the Giro in the future; I was always convinced this race suits me and this year it’s been better than I could’ve hoped for so far and I have nothing negative to say about my Giro.”

Maglia Rosa, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “The reality of today’s stage is maybe not what it looked like. I gave it all in the leading group; I wanted to gain more time and the riders who were with me had the same intention so gave their all as well. The gap I’ve now got over Tom Dumoulin is not enough but it might be the right one as it’s important to keep strength and motivation. I’ve done some good time trials in the past and I hope tomorrow’s will be even better. It’s unusual to defend the Maglia Rosa on the last day but I’ll give my best. I’m not afraid of the closing time trial: my head says I can win or lose so everything is possible. I’m also not considering that I might not be on the final podium – my only intention is to win the Giro. We came for this challenge with good feelings and although it’s not easy to be at 100% when pursuing two goals but we’ve done well so far with great team work. I wouldn’t change anything I did in the Giro so far – even when we let Thibaut Pinot gain about one minute [in Ortisei]. Coming to a race as a favorite means you need to make some choices but we aren’t machines, we can’t control everything.”

2nd on the stage and 5th overall,Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin): “I am feeling very well and looking forward to tomorrow. I tried to do everything possible today to make a good result.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a complicated stage, very tactical, all of us had little bright days and there was great balance. The pink jersey? Let’s see, tomorrow’s will definitely be a tough day. We did a good race – explains sports director Gorazd Štangelj – and we managed to earn a few seconds in GC. Tomorrow can happen everything, Vincenzo is in a good shape and certainly will do a good time trial.”

4th overall, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “Finally the climbs are gone. I was very happy that I had better legs and I had a good day again. I’m forever grateful for the help in the final from Mollema, Jungels and Yates. The time gaps tomorrow will not be as big as in the last TT, definitely not, so I will just have to fight for every second and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

7th on the stage, 8th overall and Best Young Rider, Adam Yates (Orica-Scott): “Tough day, but at the end we’re still in the top 10 so all good. I was suffering quite a bit on the first climb, the big one. I was dropped with Mollema and a couple of other guys. We managed to get back but I wasn’t expecting the climb to be so hard. In the end, we got over it and I tried to recover a little bit. There were just a few guys that were better than us. In general its all good and today I needed to take some time out of Bob to keep hold of white. 28 seconds isn’t really enough to hold off a TT specialist over 30 kilometers. It’s going to be a tough one but I’m going to do my best. The problem is that it’s 30km, pan flat, slightly downhill even. Maybe if it was a bit more technical or had a few bumps in it then maybe it would be a different story. He’s a big strong boy and he’s probably going to take more than 28 seconds out of me but we’ll see. I’ll try my best and hopefully I can do a god job.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 20 Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ in 4:57:58
2. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:15
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
8. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 20:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 90:00:38
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:39
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:43
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb at 0:53
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:15
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:30
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:03
8. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 6:50
9. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 7:18
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 12:55.

Giro stage 20:

The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, carrying the tagline “Amore Infinito” (endless love), crowned a Dutchman for the first time ever as Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) outclassed Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) who ended up ranked in that order after the thrilling individual time trial from Monza to Milan. The Final Stage 21 was also won by a Dutchman: Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo).

The 100th Giro d’Italia came down to an individual time trial of 29.3 kilometers, starting with a circuit of the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza and finishing on the Piazza Duomo in Milan.

Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) took the hotseat with a time of 33:08 and kept it a long time, to the end in fact. Manuel Quinziato (BMC) had been the fastest to that point with 33:35 and Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) was only 4 seconds off his pace with 33:39. Then the top men on the overall hit the road. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) didn’t do enough to move up from his 5th place. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) was greeted with a cheer as his time was good enough for 2nd on the day, but would he hold off the others for the big win. One man who was very please was Van Emden, it looked very like he would be the stage winner. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was next, a good time but not good enough to put the Frenchman on the podium. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) had hoped for a fairy tale ending to his Giro, it wasn’t to be as he was not fast enough to get ahead of race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) or get near to Dumoulin.

It was the first time the Dutch National was heard at the end of the Giro d’Italia.

Stage 21 race report.

Milano - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during team stage 21 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Monza to Milano ITT, 28.00 km - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I’m the happiest man on earth. I am so happy that I can finally win after all my second places. I have been sitting on the hot seat for a long time and most times, someone else was faster. Finally, I’m the one who can shout how happy I am. I saw at the first intermediate point that I was two seconds faster and at the second intermediate point, I was six seconds faster. I won by four seconds in the second part, while that was my strongest part. I rode a 58-tooth outer ring today and in the back, I had an 11. It even occurred a few times that I wanted to switch even lower but I was already on the 11. Then you know the speed is good.”

Winner of the 100th Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “When I crossed the finish line, everyone congratulated me. I was celebrating my victory but in the tent, I saw there were only three seconds difference between Nairo Quintana and myself. I became angry with everyone who congratulated me. I was super nervous. I’ve had the most nervous moments of my whole life. You’re never sure of winning, you always doubt. I think everybody does. I wasn’t really nervous at breakfast. I was happy with my night before this time trial considering the stress. The recce was good, I had a mattress to relax on at the back of the bus. At lunch I was nervous, my metabolism was really high in the bus. But I could always stay focused. I’ve done a lot of TTs under pressure before. That experience paid a lot today. I’m not the first TT rider who can do well in the mountains. Miguel Indurain is five steps ahead of me. There are guys like Bradley Wiggins, but I don’t want to compare myself to anyone. It’s just an amazing day. I’m really happy. I was never a bad climber. I always had that in me. I never trained in the hills really when I was young. There are no long climbs around Maastricht. But now I do more training camps in the mountains, in Tenerife and Sierra Nevada. I’ve also made a switch mentally. I suffer more now. I didn’t lose much weight, I’m maybe two kilos lighter than I was three years ago. The hardest stage of the Giro was three days ago when they attacked me in downhill. After the intestinal troubles I had, I knew I would have some food problems. The good thing is that on a bad day like that I lost only one minute. I had the experience of losing much more at the Vuelta. I stayed calm and I limited the losses this time. Everything was very quick after the finish so I can’t realize what’s happening in the Netherlands now, but I will always stay the same person. Maybe people will approach me differently, but I really hope I can walk around in Maastricht without being treated like a superhero. I can ride my bike fast but I also want to keep having a normal life. It’s amazing when you see all the names on the [endless] trophy. It’s an honor to be part of this long list of champions. I don’t feel myself like a champion, but I almost feel like it when I see my name on the trophy. It’s very special. Jan Janssen was the first Dutchman to win the Tour and the Vuelta, I’m the first Dutchman to win the Giro. I hope for more in the future but for now I’m just happy to be here. The Giro victory is not going to change my whole life. I hope to stay the same person with the same character. I won a very special race. I didn’t really have childhood heroes. I was around 15 years old when I started to ride and follow cycling. Michael Boogerd was big in the Netherlands at that time, so when I went watching our home race, the Amstel Gold Race with parents, we were cheering for guys like Boogerd.”

2nd overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “A podium finish is not something to be disappointed about. We’re not machines, we can’t do everything we want as we want before a race. Sometimes, you don’t get the prize you want, even when you work hard to accomplish your goals. More in contrary: we’re happy, satisfied about this result. The best thing in this Giro was the great teamwork – I have no words to describe how grateful I am towards the whole Movistar Team. We could have done it better, maybe worse, but we’re on the podium and that’s what counts right now. Dumoulin didn’t look like the main rival for us before the race, yet he bested everyone with excellent TT and mountain performance. He really deserves this victory. We continue to grow, to gain experience. Today’s TT is a big experience, really. There were also mountain stages where I could have done better, but the legs just felt like they did. I went through some illness at a few stages into the final week, days where I could just manage to stay with the GC group. Still, we knew before today’s TT that we needed a bigger advantage heading into the final TT. 70km of time trials are too many when you’ve got to defend yourself against riders like Tom. I think we did a nice job at those, though.”

3rd on the stage, Manuel Quinziato (BMC): “I was waiting for this time trial. It was one of the goals of this Giro d’Italia for me and also one of the reasons I chose to do the Giro this year because it is my last year and it was a chance to wear the Italian National Time Trial jersey. Today, I rode the course like there would be no tomorrow. I’m pretty happy. I can say I really enjoyed this Giro d’Italia. Firstly, the weather was unbelievable. I think this was the first Giro d’Italia in the history without a drop of rain. There was a really good atmosphere within the team. We had some good and bad moments. One was Silvan Dillier’s victory on stage six and the other was the victory of Tejay van Garderen in my home area. This was really great. With two stage wins, I think we can be happy. I think we planted some good seeds for the next races.”

5th on the stage, Joey Rosskopf (BMC): “It was hot. It was the last day of the Giro d’Italia so I felt pretty motivated to go and push the last drops out of my body and legs. I feel more consistent at this Grand Tour for sure. With a top five result today I am super happy. Other than the time trial, I can see subtle improvements. I feel way more consistent and much fresher in the last week than I did last year, so that’s really motivating. That’s why I wanted to push it again today.”

6th on the stage, Jan Bárta (Bora-Hansgrohe): “My goal was to get a top 5 result today, but with this 6th place I am also very happy. The last week was really hard and everybody was already pretty tired. I did a good warm-up this morning and then gave it everything in the race. This is a nice end of the Giro for me.”

10th overall, Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac): “Finally it’s over. It was the goal to be in the top ten, and in end we got it. It was a long Giro with a very hard last week. We had some fun, some efforts, some pain. It’s all normal. I’m very happy. The team was amazing, I didn’t expect much support in the race. I knew I could be good, but I still don’t know my limits. I’m getting better every race. The team helped me a lot for the whole race, and I’m really proud to have their support. Yesterday was tough. I wasn’t feeling good in the stage. When the guys opened the gas, I was really tired. My job was to survive to the finish line. And that’s it. To survive. And I survived, so I’m happy. We had the stage victory with Pierre last week and now my top ten. It’s been really good. Now it’s time to celebrate and enjoy it all.”

16th overall, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I am happy with the 16th place in the GC. This result gives me confidence for the next years. But I think if I had focused even more on the Giro this year, and also considering I was sick a few days after the first rest day, a top ten could have been possible. Still I am happy with my performance the last three weeks here in Italy.”

Points jersey winner, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): “I can’t tell you what it means for me to enjoy such success in my first Grand Tour. To arrive in Milan together with this special team is something really incredible. We proved a fantastic spirit, we were always there at the front, we fought in every single moment and now we are very happy.”

Best Young Rider, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): “The battle for the white jersey was a really nice one. We both had good stages and bad stages, and at the end of the day I am happy for prevailing and winning this classification again. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my team, the boys were there over these weeks and helped me in achieving my goals. We finished this race with all nine riders, and this just shows the quality and depth of our team. It was a very tough Giro and to take the maglia bianca and eighth overall gives me something on which I can build in the future.”

Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-RusVelo): “The race has left a double impression. We had a plenty of goals, but we didn’t manage to complete all of them. That’s why I am not satisfied with the result, but still Giro d’Italia showed what we should work on to forge ahead.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 21 Result:
1. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 33:08
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:15
3. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC at 0:27
4. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky at 0:31
5. Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:35
6. Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:39
7. Georg Preidler (Aut) Sunweb at 0:51
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:54
9. Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:57
10. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 1:02.

Giro d’Italia Final Overall Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb in 90:34:54
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:31
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:40
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 1:17
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:56
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:11
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:41
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 7:04
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 8:10
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 15:17.

Giro stage 21:

Baloise Belgium Tour 2017
Stage 2 of the Baloise Belgium Tour was the longest stage of this edition. Starting in Knokke Heist and finishing in Moorslede. The only difficulties were more than 35 kilometers from the finish, so another massive sprint was expected. However, a small group formed with stage winner, former World cyclo-cross champion, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) and new overall leader and former World road champion, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors).

With almost no time to warm up, four riders jumped from the pack to form the day’s escape: Alexander Leuans (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice), Brian van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis) – leader of the combativity competition. The peloton let them go without much opposition, and after 30 kilometers they had over 5 minutes in hand. At the first intermediate sprint (92km) they had 3:25. Once on the long circuit of 81km, the teams of the favorites began to chase and the lead was down to 1 minute.

They reached the climb of the Schomminkelstraat (1.1 km to 5.5%) with around 30 seconds of an advantage. Making the most of the intermediate section to the Monteberg-Kemmelberg, Katusha-Alpecin and Quick-Step Floors piled on the pressure and the break was caught with 40 kilometers to go.

On the cobbled climb of the Kemmelberg (0.8 km to 7.1%) split the peloton and a leading group of nearly 30 riders formed including Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Naesen (Belgium), Van Aert (Vérandas Willems-Crelan), Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon), Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), Keukeleire (Belgium) and Benoot (Lotto Soudal). With 25 kilometers to go they had built up a 1 minute lead. At the Golden Km sprint 16 kilometers out, the group was down to 13 riders and they still had 1 minute.

In the finishing straight; Quick-Step Floor’s Vermote launched the sprint for Gilbert, but cyclo-cross champion Van der Poel had the speed to hold off Gilbert with Wout van Aert (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) in 3rd. Gilbert, the current Belgian champion, took the overall leader’s red jersey.

Moorslede - België - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -    DER POEL Mathieu (NED) Beobank - Corendon team celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win in front of GILBERT Philippe (BEL) Rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling team pictured during stage 02 of 87th edition of the Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race, with start in Knokke-Heist and finish in Moorslede - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon in 4:43:12
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
3. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Team Belgium
5. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
6. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:03
9. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors in 8:51:57
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan at 0:06
3. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Team Belgium at 0:08
4. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 0:12
5. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:13
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:15
8. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:16
9. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Belgium at 0:18.

Stage 2:

Matthias Brändle rebounded from a disappointing stage two in the Baloise Belgium Tour to capture the victory in the Stage 3 time trial, Friday. It was an especially sweet win for Brändle after he felt he let his team down when he missed the key move that went over the Kemmelberg in Thursday’s race. Coming into the Belgium Tour, Brändle had red-circled the 13.4-kilometer time trial, a discipline he specializes in, and one where he has been seeking victory since the start of the season.

Brändle recorded a time of 15:40, 14 seconds faster than Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Wout Van Aert (Veranda’s Willems Crelan). Van Aert’s ride put the World cyclo-cross champion in the overall lead, 10 seconds ahead of Martin, the World time trial champion and 11 seconds in front of Brändle.

Beveren - Belgium  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Matthias BRANDLE (Austria / Team Trek Segafredo) pictured during stage 03 of 87th edition of the Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race, a 13,4 km individual time trial with start in Beveren and finish in Beveren on May 26, 2017 in Beveren, Belgium, 26/05/2017  - photo GvG/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Matthias Brändle (Trek-Segafredo): “Yesterday I had a pretty bad day, and I am sorry to my team because they worked hard for me, but I just didn’t have the legs to follow on the Kemmelberg. So I am happy today that I could give the team a win. I waited so long for this victory. In January, I thought I could win, it didn’t happen, and then the same in Andalusia and Tirreno. Now it finally happens! With my legs of today, I feel I can beat everybody. For me, the goal here was to do a good TT and maybe go for the GC if I have the legs, but yesterday I felt on the climb I was not ready yet,” explained Brändle. “I just came from an altitude camp in Tenerife, and we could not do a lot of intensity and only worked on endurance. But for the effort like today, I had fresh legs; I could do a super good power. I think it was one of my best ones this year. I felt good; it was always fast. I knew it would be hard in the first part with the headwind and I knew I had to give everything there and then try to hold on for the rest. It was painful from the beginning, but I knew it had to be painful to win. During the TT I thought about it all the time: now is a second, now again is a second, now again… I came to this team because they have so much experience with the TT,” he said. “The mechanics did an awesome job: after some changes over the past months, they have now found the perfect set-up for the bike, and I feel now I am the fastest ever. I wanted to make the next step forward with this team, and I think today I did well – I have the fastest bike, the best trainers, and I beat the World Champion, so I think I can be happy.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo in 15:40
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:14
3. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
5. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:21
6. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:22
7. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:30
8. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 0:33
9. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Belgium at 0:34
10. Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:38.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan in 9:07:57
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:10
3. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo at 0:11
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:19
5. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:24
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:25
7. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:32
8. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:35
9. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:39
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:40.

Stage 3:

Team Katusha-Alpecin’s Maurits Lammertink took a strong sprint victory in a 2-man battle in Saturday’s Stage 4 of the Baloise Belgium Tour, out-kicking his rival to win in Ans, a familiar finish as the final in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It was the Dutch rider’s first win for the team and marks the eighth of the 2017 season for Katusha-Alpecin. Teammate Tony Martin also performed well, taking ninth on the stage and sitting in third place on GC at 0:05 behind race leader Rémi Cavagna of Quick-Step Floors. The stage was 167.8k and took place under hot conditions at 34C. Second place went to Trek-Segafredo’s Ruben Guerreiro, both on the same time of 4:09:50 (40.299 km/h).

The win for Lammertink validates his hard work after a devastating crash last season. He holds sixth place on the classification at 0:34. The final stage of racing takes place on Sunday, 169.6 kilometers from Tienen to Tongeren.

Ans - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -    LAMMERTINK Maurits (NED) Rider of Team Katusha - Alpecin celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win in front of GUERREIRO Ruben (POR) Rider of Trek - Segafredo pictured during stage 04 of 87th edition of the Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race, with start and finish in Ans on May 27, 2017  - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and 6th overall, Maurits Lammertink (Katusha-Alpecin): “This is a really, really big surprise. After racing in Yorkshire I had some rest and only did some training. The first few days here I was not super, but today I had good legs and I’m happy with the victory today. We planned to go in the big groups today, so on the first climb when the original group was caught back, Tony told me to go. When I looked back at the top, we had a nice group, including (teammate) Rein Taaramäe. We worked well together and made a nice advantage. At one point I realized how good I felt and thought I could try for the victory. I waited for my moment to go, the guy from Trek came with me and I was strongest in the sprint. In the classics I missed something, maybe from last year’s big crash in the Tour of Switzerland. It was so hard to come back from that, over three months without racing, but I’ve been working hard and now I hope I have my good form back.”

9th on the stage and 3rd overall, Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin): “To be honest I wasn’t sure if I had the condition today so my goal was to look for wheels to follow. In the end things were not so bad, in fact they were good. I came here with intensive training and I’ve had this from the first day. Every day I feel better and better. Today I felt really good. It’s a pity I miss five-seconds to the lead. But I am happy with my condition and will continue my build-up for the Tour de France. I feel I’m going in the right way and feel no panic here about not having the lead. We had a nice stage victory here today and we have 2 riders in the top 10. Everything is OK and I’m still on my way to the Tour de France.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin in 4:09:50
2. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
3. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Belgium at 0:05
4. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
5. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Belgium at 0:31
6. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Belgium
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 13:18:23
2. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Belgium at 0:01
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:05
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:14
5. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:34
6. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:35
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Belgium at 0:36
9. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo at 0:46
10. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan at 0:52.

Stage 4:

The Final Stage 5 in the Baloise Belgium Tour was scheduled today, taking the riders from Tienen to Tongeren. The race started at a very high pace and the first breakaway was only formed after fifty kilometers. This group was reeled in at thirty kilometers from the finish and shortly afterwards, a new group, with Tiesj Benoot, escaped the peloton. This breakaway was caught after a few kilometers and the peloton was heading for a bunch sprint. With three kilometers to go, Lotto Soudal formed their sprint train to guide Jens Debusschere perfectly to the finish line. No other team managed to get alongside the Lotto Soudal train and Jens Debusschere came from behind his lead-out, Jürgen Roelandts, to win the final stage in the Baloise Belgium Tour. He beat Coen Vermeltfoort and Boy van Poppel. Jens Debusschere won the points jersey.

Tongeren - Belgium  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  KEUKELEIRE Jens (BEL) Rider of Orica - Scott Team celebrates pictured during stage 05 of 87th edition of the Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race, with start in Tienen and finish in Tongeren on May 28, 2017 in Tongeren, Belgium  - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

2nd overall, Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors): “The team did an excellent job today and I’m very grateful for that. We sent a rider in the escape, and that was the perfect situation for us, as we could stay calm in the peloton. Unfortunately for us, the Belgian National Team controlled things and Keukeleire made use of his speed to get those seconds he needed. I won’t hide the fact that I’m a bit sad, but I’m also trying to see the bright side of things: to finish on the podium of such an important race just five months into my debut pro season makes me happy and gives me confidence for the next months.”

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal): “The Belgian team did most of the work during today’s stage. We came to the front when we got to the sprint. I want to thank everyone for his support. It was a perfect sprint. The past week we showed ourselves. Wednesday, Coquard was faster than me, but today I could finish off the work of the team. The Belgium Tour is an important race for our team, so it is wonderful that we could win a stage. When I started the second part of my season I was thinking: it would be nice to win a stage at 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Belgium Tour and Tour de Suisse. So far, so good (laughs). It will be more difficult to win a stage in Switzerland, but I will do my very best. I feel very fresh at the moment.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 3:41:25
2. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
3. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
4. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Aaron Gate (NZ) Aqua Blue Sport
7. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis
10. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon.

Baloise Belgium Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Belgium in 16:59:42
2. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:06
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:11
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:12
5. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:38
6. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:40
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Belgium at 0:42
9. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo at 0:52
10. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan at 0:58.

Final stage 5:

Van Avermaet Returns to Racing at Skoda Tour de Luxembourg
After a month of recovery following the most-successful Classics campaign of his career, Greg Van Avermaet will return to the start line at the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg from May 31 to June 4.

Van Avermaet will be joined by Luxembourger Jempy Drucker, who won the prologue in 2016 and wore the leader’s jersey for two stages, Sports Director Steve Bauer said.

“The up and down hilly terrain of Luxembourg suits an all round rider who can race in front and be ready to fight and win seconds at intermediate sprints and the finish. Jempy Drucker will certainly be motivated on home soil and given the race suits him, he will be our main leader. Of course, the race is also very well-suited to Greg Van Avermaet and although he is looking more long term towards the Tour de France, I expect he will also be motivated for a good result,” Bauer explained.

“It would be great if we can win the prologue again and inspire the team for the next four days. Given the prologue is the same as in 2016, Drucker will surely be a favorite. We have a well-balanced roster and half of our team is coming from California so they should be in great form.”

Van Avermaet will use the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg as the start of a slow build up for the next block of racing.

“After one month off racing, I’m looking forward to lining up at the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg. The plan was to have an easy month of training in May following such a busy Classics season and now I will start to slowly build up towards the Tour de France. When you don’t race for a while it’s hard to know how the form is, but the five stages will give me a chance to get back into the racing rhythm and I’ll take things day by day,” Van Avermaet said.

Drucker will make the most of his only chance to race on home soil this season. “It was really special to win the prologue last year and wear the leader’s jersey for the first two stages. Of course, there is always extra motivation to do well when you race in front of family and friends and I would love to win the prologue again. I think we have a really strong team for the race and hopefully we can come away with some nice results,” Drucker added.

Skoda Tour de Luxembourg (31 May – 4 June)

Rider Roster:
Jempy Drucker (LUX), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Floris Gerts (NED), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Loïc Vliegen (BEL).
Sports Directors: Steve Bauer (CAN), Allan Peiper (AUS).

Greg Van Avermaet:
Roubaix - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) Step - Floors) pictured during the 115th Paris-Roubaix (1.UWT) - foto PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 017

Giro d’Italia 2017 Stage 19 – Alafaci throws water bottle at Sutherland
After three weeks of torture, everyone is getting tired and tempers are beginning to fray… enough of my home life! The riders on the Italian Grand Tour are getting a little nervous and this is when people do things they wouldn’t normally. Here Eugeno Alafaci throws his bidon at Movistar’s Rory Sutherland, but the big Australian just puts his arm around Alafaci and all was forgiven. Except the race jury saw it differently and fined him 200 Swiss Francs and gave him a 1 minute penalty.

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