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A most enjoyable Giro d’Italia came to an end in Verona on Sunday with, some might say, a surprise winner in Jai Hindley, but he does have history wit the giro. We wind up the final stages in Italy and the Tour of Norway, plus the Circuit of Wallonie, all with video. Patrick Lefevere talks about Remco Evenepoel’s 6.5 Watts per kilo – TOP STORY. Rider news: Almeida forced from the Giro, Jan Christen to join UAE Team Emirates and Dries De Pooter & Madis Mihkels to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. Team news: Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritime and Gazprom-RusVelo statement on the UCI declarations. *** Don’t forget Ukraine. ***

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TOP STORY: Patrick Lefevere: “6.5 Watts per Kilo does not Suddenly Make Evenepoel a Favourite for the Vuelta”
6.5 Watts per kilo for 27 minutes. Remco Evenepoel, leader of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, has shown his best values ​​ever in the Tour of Norway. He was more than enthusiastic about his achievement. However, his team manager Patrick Lefevere puts the value of the data into perspective.

Mihai Simion, a Romanian cycling follower, wrote about the watts on Twitter and Evenepoel confirmed it. “The values ​​I am kicking here are my best ever.” Simion calculated 6.5 watts per kilo for 27 minutes. That’s reportedly the highest watts per kilogram of body weight the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider has ever put out. It is also the highest watts per kilo of the complete peloton in 2022.

Lefevere has also read that his rider has achieved the best climbing performance of the year. “He kicked 6.5 watts per kilo for half an hour on Thursday, which even Tadej Pogačar would not have done this year. Remco himself also talks about his best values ​​ever.”

However, the team manager puts things into perspective in his column in Het Nieuwsblad. “The data is a point of reference for riders, but it doesn’t make me warm. What is the value of watts per kilo if you do not know the exact weight and do not take into account course tactics, wind direction or the preceding course? I don’t care much about it. Doing better than Tadej Pogačar is beating him in the race. 6.5 watts per kilo does not suddenly make Evenepoel a favourite for the Vuelta.”

In the meantime, Lefevere thinks Evenepoel looks nothing like the rider from a year ago. “The way I now see Remco Evenepoel riding around in the Tour of Norway: unrecognisable. Everyone has already talked extensively about his increased explosiveness – as he now showed it again in the first stage. But I also find the mental metamorphosis striking. Remco rides much more stable, much more zen.”

The team manager takes the third stage as an example. “In the final climb to Gaustatoppen, Luke Plapp and Jay Vine stayed on his wheel on Thursday, without taking over. This had irritated Remco in the past and no doubt it still does now. But I don’t see him gesticulating on the bike anymore. He just rides them off the wheel, the best possible answer. Of course he sometimes falls out of that role, but undeniably he has become more mentally stable.”

Remco Evenepoel Remco with Patrick Lefevere in Liège:
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Giro d’Italia 2022
Stage 18 of the 2022 Giro d’Italia, finishing in Treviso, was won by Dries De Bondt. The Belgian of Alpecin-Fenix stayed ahead of the peloton with fellow escapees Edoardo Affini, Magnus Cort and Davide Gabburo and defeated them in the sprint. This is the third stage victory in this Giro for the Alpecin-Fenix team. Richard Carapaz remains leader with three stages to go.

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The eighteenth stage of the 2022 Giro d’Italia was, on paper, the last chance for the sprinters to go for the victory. The stage between Borgo Valsugana and Treviso had only two categorised climbs, but a bunch sprint was not a certainty. In the third week of a Grand Tour, it is questionable whether the reduced sprinter’s teams are able to control things for their fast-man. It was also the last chance of a stage win for many, considering the next two mountainous days and the final TT.

The stage got underway without João Almeida, the Portuguese UAE Team Emirates leader, 4th overall and leader of the young rider classification, tested positive for the covid virus before the start and was forced to leave the Giro. The battle for the ‘break of the day’ was not long in coming. The first attacks were pulled in by the sprinter’s teams, who didn’t feel like chasing all day. After the first early attacks, four riders were allowed to go up the road by the peloton. Dries de Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) and Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) got together at the head of the race, the sprinter’s teams let them go. However, the four escapees had no real view of the stage victory as the peloton didn’t let them get too far away. The chase work was done by Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Groupama-FDJ, UAE Team Emirates and DSM for Mark Cavendish, Arnaud Démare, Fernando Gaviria and Alberto Dainese. The sprinter’s teams were keen to keep the four within catching distance, so the lead never exceeded 3 minutes. Cort, Affini, De Bondt and Gabburo rode at ‘full gas’ towards the Muro di Ca’ del Poggio (1.1km at 11.3%), the last climb of the day at more than 40 kilometres. De Bondt was the first to get to the top of this vicious climb, and it was still more than 2 minutes before the peloton. The escapees clearly had something left and managed to force the chase to the limit. With an almost completely flat final, the difference between the escape and the peloton was still 2:30. With the stage to Cuneo still in mind, when the escape was only caught in the last 600 metres, the sprinter teams decided to lift the pace. This was necessary because the break were working well together and were not about to give up. In the peloton it was now all hands on deck and this led to a split. Former pink jersey wearer Juan Pedro López, who is still fighting for a top 10 GC place, was caught out and lost a lot of time.

The front group had already crossed the finish line in Treviso once, but still had to complete a circuit of 15 kilometres. The difference to the first peloton was still 1 minute and no matter what the sprinter teams tried, they didn’t come a single step closer to the very strong escapees. Cort, De Bondt, Gabburo and Affini had an excellent chance to win a Giro stage. The peloton was still strong in the finalé, but the escapees stayed out of their grip and started sprinting for the victory. Affini and De Bondt were the fastest and in the end it was the Belgian who managed to push his wheel across the line first. De Bondt, who was often in the attack in this Giro, took his first stage victory in a Grand Tour. For Alpecin-Fenix ​​it is their third victory, after previous victories from Mathieu van der Poel and Stefano Oldani. Cort was third and Gabburo had to settle for fourth place. At 14 seconds Alberto Dainese won the sprint for fifth place, ahead of Démare, Cimolai, Cavendish, Gaviria and Consonni. Carapaz crossed the finish line safely in the peloton and held the lead. His big competitor Jai Hindley had a bit of a fright in the final. The Australian had a puncture, but within 3 kilometres of the finish, so this didn’t affect his overall place.

# See more photos in the full PEZ ‘Stage 18 Race Report’ HERE. #

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Stage winner, Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix): “To be in a breakaway is not easy but then, once at the front, you start thinking of the situation. I knew that three teams, DSM, Quick-Step and Groupama-FDJ wanted a sprint finish. At some point we started to ride slow to be able to accelerate towards the end. Our guess on the reactions of the peloton was right. We conserved as much energy as possible and approached the finale with the gap we wanted to go full to the line. I have a lot of respect for my three breakaway companions because none of us missed a turn today. Nobody gambled and I was the fastest. I live a dream and I’m aware of it.”

Maglia Rosa, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s been one of the fastest days of this Giro although it was supposed to be quiet. But it was nervous all day. The final circuit was also very fast. Moreover, I look at the coming three stages that will be the most important. The gap between Hindley and me aren’t what we expect with three days to go but it is what it is. My two rivals Hindley and Landa have pretty much the same level. A small crash or a puncture like Hindley’s today can ruin everything. I personally don’t know tomorrow’s climbs but through technology and our sport directors, we’re well informed. I like the three last stages and I’m 100% confident.”

2nd on the stage, Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s a pity I couldn’t win the stage. I know I’m not very explosive, so I needed a long sprint to have a chance. I followed my instincts and went full speed at about 250 metres from the finish. Unfortunately, Dries was half a wheel faster, so congratulations to him. As a team, we showed again that we can compete for the win. That’s perhaps the most important thing. We decided to take it easy and see how the peloton would react. Before the climb, we increased our speed, hoping to gain some extra time. That plan worked out well. Then we went to the finish to win the stage.”

9th on the stage, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “Today we had the tough news that Joao would not start so we re-gathered ourselves and set out motivated to aim for the win today. A strong break went away and we worked hard to bring them back. The pace was high but we struggled to control it in the peloton. It’s a pity to come away empty handed but days like this can happen in cycling.”

6th overall, Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “On paper, it looked like an easy stage suited for sprinters, but it was not the case at all. I was actually expecting it, as this was the last chance for non climbers and non time trial specialists. In addition, the whole peloton feels the fatigue after eighteen days of racing. I’m happy that we managed to reach the finish line without time loss, because it wasn’t easy. It was difficult to stay in the front the whole time, without the support of the team this would not have been possible. I want to say thank you to my teammates, who were again perfect today.”

KOM, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma): “I went to the finish relatively easy. I haven’t won the jersey yet. There are still plenty of points to be earned in the coming days, so I will do everything to be in the breakaway tomorrow. Luckily I have very strong teammates who will try to get me in the breakaway.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 18 Result:
1. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 3:21:21
2. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
3. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
4. Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
5. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM at 0:14
6. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Cofidis
8. Mark Cavendish (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
9. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 18:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 76:41:15
2. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:05
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:48
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 6:19
6. Jan Hirt (CZ) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 7:12
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 7:13
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 12:30
9. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 15:10
10. Hugh Carthy EF Education-EasyPost at 17:03

Giro’22 stage 18:

 

Koen Bouwman won Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia 2022 in Santuario di Castelmonte. The Jumbo-Visma climber was the best of five escapees on the final climb, who were left from a leading group of twelve. It was a great day for Bouwman, who also cemented his win in the KOM competition.

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The start of the stage from Marano Lagunare was almost flat which encouraged the attacks. Mathieu van der Poel was one of many who made an attempt to jump away, but none of them worked. After more than 10 kilometres, twelve riders including KOM Koen Bouwman managed to escape. His competitors for the blue jersey, Giulio Ciccone and Diego Rosa were both missing. Bouwman had his teammate Edoardo Affini, who was second on Thursday, with him. Also Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Clément Davy and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Davide Ballerini, Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) made the split.

The peloton gave the leading group more than 11 minutes of a lead, until BORA-hansgrohe took control of the peloton. As a result, the difference fluctuated around 9 minutes for a long time. On the first climb of the day, the Cat. 3 Villanova Grotte, Bouwman took 9 points. Behind; the peloton split on the descent, but the dropped Domenico Pozzovivo was able to return to the favourites group. At the top of the Passo di Tanamea, Bouwman again took 9 points and could secure the mountain jersey on the next climb of the Cat. 1 Kolovrat (10.3km at 9.2%), provided he makes it to Verona. With a lead of 9 minutes, the break, which was now on Slovenian territory, started the Kolovrat climb. Affini sat up, now that he had finished his work for Bouwman. The leading group was considerably thinned on the steep climb, only Schmid, Tonelli, Bouwman, Valter, Vendrame and Cort remained out front. Not much later Cort and Vendrame were dropped from the group on the 14% ramps. Bouwman, Schmid and Valter pushed on, while Tonelli fought to stay on their wheels. Four riders came over the summit, and the Dutchman took the points and assured himself of the final win in the mountains classification.

In the peloton, BORA-hansgrohe set the pace, but Edoardo Zardini was able to escape from the group, but they didn’t get much closer to the break either. At the back of the pack many were unable to hang on. The difference remained between 7 and 8 minutes. On the long descent of the Kolovrat, Vendrame was able to rejoin the front riders, and the five started the final climb to Santuario di Castelmonte (7.1km at 7.8%). Bouwman, Schmid, Valter, Vendrame and Tonelli had a lead of more than 8 minutes at the base of the climb, because BORA-hansgrohe had suddenly stopped chasing, and so they knew they were going to fight for the stage win. It was a long wait for the first attack, partly because the two fast men; Vendrame and Schmid. As a result, there was a lot of poker playing in the final. The first attack came in the last 3 kilometres from Bouwman, Valter reacted. Vendrame had a hard time, but was able to return. A new set of attacks followed, but no one could really make a gap. Not much happened on steep ramps of up to 12%, so the five started the last kilometre together. It turned out to be a sprint finish. Bouwman was the first to start and was the first to take the last corner, 70 metres from the finish. He kept Schmid and Tonelli behind him on the tight bend. Valter and Vendrame made an error of judgment on that last corner and had to brake and were fourth and fifth respectively. After the finish there was a lot of discussion about that last corner. Did Koen Bouwman make an dodgy manoeuvre cutting off Mauro Schmid? The Swiss rider of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl thought so, but the jury decided – after a long deliberation – not. Bouwman was the stage winner.

In the favourites group there was some action on the final climb. Pavel Sivakov thinned out the group with an acceleration with Carapaz in his wheel. It was too fast for Pozzovivo, Juan Pedro López and Alejandro Valverde, and others. It turned out to be the prelude to an attack by Carapaz at 2 kilometres from the finish. However, Jai Hindley and Mikel Landa were immediately on his wheel. The Spaniard then put in his shot, but the pink jersey wearer and the Australian immediately closed the gap. In the final kilometre Carapaz tried a second time, but his competitors didn’t give him an inch. This allowed the other top GC men to pull them back. The sprint was on and Carapaz crossed the finish line ahead of Hindley and Landa. All eyes are now on Saturday’s gruelling mountain stage to Marmolada, with the Cima Coppi on the Passo Pordoi.

# See more photos in the full PEZ ‘Stage 19 Race Report’ HERE. #

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Stage winner and KOM, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma): “In the first category climb in Slovenia, I felt I could drop my breakaway companions but it was too far from the finish. The cooperation in the valley has been good. The final climb was made of steep parts and downs. I knew I had a better sprint than the others. I already had a stage victory so I could gamble a bit. At the end of the day, I’m just happy that I could finish it off. The victory is half mine and half thanks to the work done by Edoardo Affini along with riders from Groupama-FDJ and Quick-Step to keep the breakaway alive. I knew there was a corner at 150 metres, I didn’t know it was that tight. I had to brake and the other riders too. I’m a really honest rider. If I’d made a mistake, I would have said it. I deserve this victory.”

Maglia Rosa and 8th on the stage, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “At the end, I felt good today. It’s important ahead of tomorrow’s stage. I don’t think we’ll finish all three together tomorrow because the scenario should be different in a hard 5km uphill finale but in any case, I prefer to have an advantage of three seconds than no advantage at all. I’d like to win the stage tomorrow but it’s even more important to win the Giro. We’ve lost Richie Porte who felt bad at the beginning of the stage. He did his best but the rhythm was high. It’s a considerable loss but our team is still good and motivated for tomorrow.”

2nd overall and 9th on the stage, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “The guys rode very well in the lead-up to the decisive climb. It wasn’t the ideal stage to really put the hammer down. But we kew that penultimate climb was quite steep and the descent was technical, so we also wanted to be up front to stay out of difficulties. On the climb, I tried to look for opportunities to attack, but eventually it didn’t work out how we wanted it to. I knew the finale was more punchy, which I think suits Carapaz better than it does me. Tomorrow is going to be a big stage, and unquestionably decisive. We’re up for the challenge and it would be a dream scenario to take pink tomorrow.”

6th overall, Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m happy that I managed to keep my position in the provisional classification today, because honestly, I felt tired after yesterday’s stage because of all accelerations and the nervousness. In the end, the doubts weren’t necessary because I had good legs. Usually my condition gets better throughout the third week and it looks like this is confirmed once more this year. Last year, I obtained my best results in both the Giro and the Vuelta in the last stage, by attacking. Tomorrow I’ll probably won’t receive this liberty, I’m aware that my position in the general classification threatens my competitors. No matter what, I’ll start this day in the Dolomites with confidence. We’ll try our best tomorrow, it is the final day with possible big time gaps.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 19 Result:
1. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:32:55
2. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
3. Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè at 0:03
4. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:06
5. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën at 0:10
6. Tobias Bayer Alpecin-Fenix at 2:45
7. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 3:49
8. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 3:56
9. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 19:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 81:18:12
2. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:05
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:53
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 6:22
6. Jan Hirt (CZ) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 7:15
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 8:21
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 12:55
9. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 15:29
10. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 17:10.

Giro’22 stage 19:

 

Alessandro Covi won Stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia with the finish on the top of the Passo Fedaia. The Italian had pulled away from the early break 53 kilometres from the finish. Jai Hindley dropped the overall leader, Richard Carapaz, on the final climb and is now the new pink jersey wearer.

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The climbs of the Passo San Pellegrino, Passo Pordoi and the Passo Fedaia ensured that the penultimate day in the Giro d’Italia was a very tough one. Jai Hindley did everything he could in the final kilometres to take the leader’s jersey from Richard Carapaz and eventually succeeded.

Before any attacks took place, the riders had to ride 150 kilometres through the Alps. A leading group broke away early in the stage and they knew that they would be competing for the stage win. The break of the day included Mathieu van der Poel, who had wanted to save himself for Sunday’s final time trial, Andrea Vendrama, Domen Novak, Lennard Kämna, Edoardo Zardini, Gijs Leemreize, Sam Oomen, Sylvan Moniquet, Antonio Pedrero, Davide Ballerini, Mauri Vansevenant, Thymen Arensman, Giulio Ciccone, Alessandro Covi and Davide Formolo. None of them were a danger to the overall lead. Kämna was the best placed rider at over 42 minutes. The leading group remained intact for a long time on the Passo San Pellegrino, and on most of the Passo Pardoi. Vendrame was the first to be dropped, Van der Poel, Leemreize and Vansevenant followed shortly after Zardini lifted the pace.

Covi would eventually go solo. The Italian started his move at 53 kilometres from the finish. Novak, Kämna, Pedrero, Arensman, Ciccone and Formolo formed a chase group, which lost more and more time. Covi took the Cima Coppi and looked to be well on his way to the stage victory. On the Passo Fedaia he was initially able to defend his lead well, but Novak came after him and was getting closer. However, the Slovenian could not close the last 30 seconds, and the Italian took the stage. All the focus was then on the GC riders. Four kilometres from the finish, Hindley’s first attack finally came, and he closed on his teammate, Kämna, who eased off to wait for his Australian leader. Carapaz was on Hindley’s wheel, but when Kämna put in a strong pull the Ecuadorian was in trouble. Landa couldn’t follow. At first it seemed Carapaz could save his second Giro win, but the INEOS rider had nothing left and had to let Hindley go. The Giro was turned upside down, because by dropping Carapaz, Hindley took over the pink leader’s jersey from the Ecuadorian. Carapaz would eventually 1:25 to the Australian.

# See more photos in the full PEZ ‘Stage 20 Race Report’ HERE. #

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Stage winner, Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates): “Maybe this is karma. In 2019 I had a big disappointment here on the Marmolada because I lost the U23 Giro d’Italia. Today at the same place, I got the best result I could dream of as a professional rider. I had to be in the breakaway to do something today. I couldn’t wait for the last climb, otherwise I would have lost to someone else. That’s why I attacked on the Pordoi and I went flat out in the downhill. With 2’ lead, I managed to stay up front. Mentally, I was only thinking of the sore legs I had and I kept my rhythm as I was close to cramping. I’ve won here but I can’t say that I’m a climber. I know it from when I help Joao Almeida in the climbs.”

Maglia Rosa and 6th on the stage, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “As a team we rode pretty smart race. We tried to take our opportunities without losing too much energy when it wasn’t necessary. Everything was pretty calculated. I knew that if I wanted to do something in the race, it had to be today. I gave it everything. When I heard that Carapaz was struggling a bit, I needed to go full gas and I did. It’s been a bumpy road to get back here after a tough season last year. I didn’t know if I could get the Maglia Rosa again after the tough season I had last year with sicknesses and crashes but now I have it and I’ll die on the road for keeping it tomorrow.”

2nd on the stage, Domen Novak (Bahrain-Victorious): “Second place always feels like a disappointment. I tried my best and put in everything to try and win and was just a bit too short, but this is cycling. Next year I will come and win a stage. The first plan today was to win the stage with Mikel, with the guys pulling behind while I was in the break. On Passo Pordoi, Covi attacked and went at his pace and survived to the finish line. It was before the last climb that the team decided I would go to try win the stage, and I went full to try and catch him.”

9th on the stage and 3rd overall, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious): “Today’s been the last Mountain stage, I’ve not had the best feelings, but I think we worked well. We had Domen on the breakaway, and then we tried to put a hard pace at the back. We suffered all a bit with the tailwind. On the last climb, I did my best. I dropped a bit at the beginning, and then I took my pace and gained some time with Carapaz, which is good but maybe not enough looking to move to second place. But tomorrow is the ITT, and till the last km, this is not finished.”

8th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “After being able to follow the best climbers during the first two weeks of the Giro, I was forced to limit the damage these last couple of days following my crash in the seventeenth stage. Everyone races on the limit during the final week of a Grand Tour, so it’s not easy to recover from the consequences of a crash. Unfortunately, my feeling from before the crash never came back. I’m aware that it’s part of the sport. But despite the pain in my back and my ribs, I never gave up the battle. It is in my nature to give everything to achieve a goal, even when it’s not going according to plan. I’m proud that I managed to end this final mountain stage in eighth place in the general classification. But I stay focused for the time trial. I’m very motivated, because this discipline suits me. Our mechanics did a fantastic effort to make my bike as light as possible. Their devotion is precious, because the time trial is not entirely flat and each gramme counts. I’m now 17 kilometre away from a top ten in my favourite race, four years after my previous top ten!”

Giro d’Italia Stage 20 Result:
1. Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 4:46:34
2. Domen Novak (Slov) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:32
3. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:37
4. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 1:36
5. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 1:50
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:30
7. Gijs Leemreize (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 3:04
8. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 3:19
9. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
10. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 3:39.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 20:
1. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe in 86:07:19
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:25
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:51
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 7:57
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 8:55
6. Jan Hirt (CZ) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 9:07
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 11:18
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 16:04
9. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 17:29
10. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 17:56.

Giro’22 stage 20:

 

Jai Hindley won the 2022 Giro d’Italia, his and Australia’s first Giro overall win. The leader of BORA-hansgrohe captured the pink jersey on the Passo Fedaia on Saturday and held his ground in the Final Stage 21 time trial to Verona on Sunday. Richard Carapaz was second and Mikel Landa third in the final overall. The 17.4 kilometre time trial in Verona was won by Matteo Sobrero, ahead of Thymen Arensman and Mathieu van der Poel.

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Roger Kluge was the first to leave the start house for his individual time trial through Verona of 17.4 kilometres, with the Torricella Massimiliana at halfway, a 4.5 kilometre climb at 4.6%. Pieter Serry was the first rider to finish, as he had passed Kluge on the route.

The early starters had to contend with a wet road surface in some places due to the rain, but Julius van den Berg didn’t let that stop him. With a time of 24:53 he was in the hot-seat. Michael Hepburn set the first proper target time for the stage win with 23:48. Home favourite Edoardo Affini fell short of that time. Magnus Cort was 6 seconds faster than Hepburn. Mauro Schmid was a fraction faster than Cort, but the next best time came from Matteo Sobrero. The Italian time trial champion was 41 seconds faster over the climb and at the finish the difference was 1:16. His final time of 22:24 was the time to beat. Mathieu van der Poel, one of the favourite for this time trial, could not match Sobrero’s time check. He had lost 33 seconds to the Italian halfway through and lost another 6 seconds to Sobrero in the second part. Van der Poel set the second fastest time at that point.

Bauke Mollema rode a good time and Thymen Arensman was also going well. The DSM climber was 14 seconds slower than Sobrero at the halfway point. At the finish he was behind by 23 seconds, and so Arensman was second. Behind Sobrero there were all Dutchmen, with Arensman, Van der Poel and Mollema. Everyone was looking forward to the battle between the favourites on the general classification, who would start every 3 minutes. Jai Hindley defended a 1.25 lead over Richard Carapaz, who had a 26 second margin over Mikel Landa. At the intermediate point, Carapaz and Hindley were almost equally and also in the second part both kept the same pace. Carapaz pulled 8 seconds back, but was unable to make up for the rest of the time. The Ecuadorian finished second overall. Landa was satisfied with a third place on the final podium, more than 3 minutes from Hindley. There was only one change in the top 10: Hugh Carthy took 9th place from Juan Pedro López, who finished 10th. Arnaud Démare, Koen Bouwman and JuanPe López won the points, mountains and young rider classifications.

# See more photos in the full PEZ ‘Final Stage 21 Race Report’ HERE. #

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Stage winner, Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco): “My role after my 4th place in the Budapest ITT consisted in supporting Simon Yates but he had to abandon due to a stupid crash. They my work changed. I tried to break away on the way to Genova but for diverse reasons, I couldn’t find the right feeling. I suffered the heat. I felt better in the third week of racing and I chose to go for the big coup in the time trial rather than try another breakaway. I’ve tried to spend the less energy possible. However, I climbed the Mortirolo close to the GC riders, it meant I had good form and it gave me a great morale for today.”

2022 Giro d’Italia winner, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “I was in the same situation as two years ago after the second last day but I felt more confidence with the course today and the work I had done on my time trialling. I was less nervous than two years ago but there was still a lot of tension there to get the overall win. I had to give everything in the first half of the TT, then see some time check. It was pretty positive news, so I could take the descent easier, which I did but I was still nervous. Coming into the arena knowing that I’d won the Giro was pretty special. After 2020 when I so close to win and it was brutal to lose on last day, it took me a long time to get over that. I learned from previous Grand Tours that you pay for your efforts the next day. Coming to this last week, it was hard to make a difference in the finishes that we had, I knew I had to do it on a decisive day. It wasn’t planned from the start, we adapted to the situation. You need luck on your side too and I had a pretty lucky run. There were some really hard days. I didn’t have a super bad day, the guys gave me the race on a silver platter. Wilco Kelderman and Emanuel Buchmann were also protected at the beginning, it’s not easy to manage three leaders but they looked after me super well. My puncture in Treviso was the scariest moment. It was a really hard day of racing and I wasn’t sure if we were within 3km to go. The Giro has opened a lot of doors for me as a rider. This race opened my mind on what I can do as a pro cyclist. I’ll save the moment for a long time.”

2nd overall and 10th on the stage, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’m happy. It’s been a great Giro. I’ve enjoyed it. Yesterday, I simply had a bad day and it ended up being very bad but I’ll come again to try and win this race, I just don’t know if it’ll be next year or a bit later on.”

3rd overall, Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious): “It feels good to be back on the final podium of the Giro seven years later. In Grand Tours, strategy is difficult for me because of the time bonuses and I’m not a fast rider. The last week of the Giro has been really hard. I couldn’t do more.”

Points Classification winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “It’s extraordinary for me and my team to complete the Giro with three stage wins and the cyclamen jersey. Two years ago, I had to fight for it against Peter Sagan until the very last sprint. I win with a bigger gap this time and the pleasure to celebrate with my family and the crowd, which wasn’t possible in 2020.”

King of the Mountains, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma): “It means a lot to me to get an award in the arena of Verona. It’s a big achievement for me. Having won two stages is huge but it won’t change my role in the team. I’ll still be a domestique.”

Best young rider, Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo): “I realise today how great it is to take part in the ceremony of the Giro. I do it for the white jersey but I also had the pleasure to wear the Maglia Rosa for ten days, which has been wonderful. I don’t know what my future will be but I take my Giro as a booster for my career.”

4th overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan): “The final day was a tough one and I just tried to do my best on this last day in Verona. I knew the route and I just pushed as hard as possible. I tried to get a regular pace from the start and to keep it to the finish, still trying to manage with my gap to Pello Bilbao and Jan Hirt. Well, it was not easy at all and after finish I feel really tired. But, at the same time the arrival to Arena of Verona was very emotional one and I live some great moments right now feeling a great support from all the people around. I am happy to be here, to finish this race with a nice result, fourth place in the overall standings, and I can say that I am quite happy with it. It was a tough and beautiful Giro d’Italia, I tried to live it day by day with support of the team and all fans, who was cheering for me at the start, during every stage and at the finish. Now it is time for some rest and recovery because the season is not finished yet and there are some more goals ahead in the following months.”

6th overall, Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It was a dream to win a stage in the Giro. I didn’t only make this dream come true, I also finished sixth in the general classification. I rode the race of my life, that’s for sure! I was very concentrated for this time trial. Thanks to my good performance, I finish this Giro only 26 seconds down on fourth place. Not many Czech riders achieved this before me, so I hope that I inspired some compatriots to start riding a bike. Last year, I rediscovered my love for cycling within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and that’s the key to my success. It is important to be surrounded by the right people. A good and nice environment facilitates the road to success. I don’t dare to think about the next step, about what I’m capable of, but those 26 seconds motivate me a lot to come back for more next season!”

8th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Knowing where I come from, I can only be happy with this GC top ten. I was only one step away from the end of my career, as I didn’t have a team before February. But especially because of my accident from two years ago, after which the doctors doubted whether I would ever be able to ride a bike again. Despite this bad luck, the crash in the downhill of the Mortirolo included, I never gave up. Fourteen years after my first top ten, I am still here. I can be proud of this result. Speaking just after the race, I cannot say what this means for my future, but what I know for sure, is that I want to benefit from my good condition to do a good Tour of Switzerland.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 21 Result:
1. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco in 22:24
2. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:23
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:40
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:08
5. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:12
6. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:17
7. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:18
8. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 1:19
9. Michael Hepburn (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:24
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers.

Giro d’Italia Final Overall Result:
1. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe in 86:31:14
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:18
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 3:24
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 9:02
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 9:14
6. Jan Hirt (CZ) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 9:28
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 13:19
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 17:29
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 17:54
10. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 18:40.

Giro’22 stage 21:

 

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Tour of Norway 2022
Remco Evenepoel won the Queen Stage 3 of the Tour of Norway. The rider of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl turned out to be by far the strongest on the final climb to Stavsro (12km at 8.2%). Evenepoel takes over the leader’s jersey from Tobias Halland Johannessen.

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After two exciting stages, the general classification was going to change. This was a serious mountain stage. The first climb (Høgåsen) was 4 kilometres long at an average of 6.5%. Then the Immingfjell (6.3km at 7.5%), but real differences were only expected on the final climb to Stavsro. This 12 kilometre climb had an average gradient of 8.2%, with ramps of up to 16%, which played into the hands of the pure climbers.

Eight riders escaped from the peloton. Ben King (Human Powered Health), Floris De Tier (Alpecin-Fenix), Filippo Fiorelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Mads Kristensen (Coloquick), André Drege (Team Coop), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Vito Braet (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Lucas Eriksson (Riwal Cycling Team) formed the break of the day. The difference to the peloton was more than 3 minutes, but there was no panic in the peloton, as the riders still had three difficult climbs before the finish. On the first of these three climbs – Hogåsen – Braet took full points for the mountains classification with a well-timed sprint, ahead of Nicolau and Drege. The peloton came to the top 2 minutes later. Not much later, the break started the second climb of the day, the difficult Immingfjell. Nicolau was first this time, followed by Fiorelli and Kristensen. However, their lead on the peloton disappeared. The open spaces lent themselves to echelons and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Uno-X and INEOS Grenadiers seized the opportunity. The peloton broke into several parts and a first group of about 40 riders managed to separate themselves on the run-up to the final climb. The early escapees had been caught, although Michel Heßmann wanted to start with a lead on the final climb. The young German of Jumbo-Visma jumped out of the first group, rode away for 2 minutes and started with a nice lead on the 12 kilometre climb.

Heßmann was chased down, especially because the men of EF Education-EasyPost were very active in the favourites group. The American team had plans for Esteban Chaves, although it was Tao Geoghehan Hart who lit the fuse. The British winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia didn’t get away. Chaves was the next to try, but the Colombian was also unable to make any difference. The better climbers turned out to be evenly matched. Jay Vine, the classification man of Alpecin-Fenix, was also unable to shake off his opponents. Evenepoel didn’t seem too concerned. The Belgian patiently waited for his moment, but decided to test the waters for the first time with 6 kilometres to climb. Vine and Luke Plapp managed to hold on, for leader Tobias Halland Johannessen it was too fast. The Norwegian tried to follow Evenepoel, but caught his breath and fell back into a chasing group containing Chaves and Cian Uijtdebroeks. An unleashed Evenepoel had no intention of slowing down. A new attack 5 kilometres from the top proved too powerful for first Plapp and then Vine. Vine was stuck at 10 seconds, but still lost a lot of ground to Evenepoel in the last kilometres. The Belgian rode further and further away in the final kilometres and crossed the finish line with a big lead. Vine managed to limit the loss to 27 seconds, but Plapp had lost more than a minute. Johannessen was at 1:21 at the finish and had to give the leader’s jersey to Evenepoel. Laurens Huys fifth and Uijtdebroeks sixth.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I am happy. It was quite a long day, with headwind in the beginning, then crosswinds which again played a major role, but luckily, I had Kasper with me there, and I want to thank him for his work. Then, on the climb, I didn’t know how far we were from the finish when I made my move, but I felt good and just kept going. I was a bit surprised of how the legs reacted, so I continued to push hard to increase my advantage. It was a long effort, but at the end of the day I am delighted with this victory and the gaps in the GC. Now we’ll try to control the race and see if there will be any other opportunities for us until the end of the week.”

Tour of Norway Stage 3 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:40:07
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:27
3. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:05
4. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:21
5. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:23
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:24
8. Marco Brenner (Ger) DSM at 1:41
9. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:56
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 3:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 11:54:35
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:46
3. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:24
4. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:30
5. Marco Brenner (Ger) DSM at 2:16
6. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:21
7. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech at 2:41
8. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:44
10. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:46.

Norway’22 stage 3:

 

Marco Haller surprisingly won Stage 4 of the Tour of Norway. The experienced Austrian, riding for BORA-hansgrohe, beat Ethan Vernon and Alexander Kristoff in a stage of 232 kilometres finishing in Kristiansand. Remco Evenepoel remains leader in the general classification.

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The leading group of the day consisted of Shane Archbold (BORA-hansgrohe), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Kamiel Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Frederik Muff (ColoQuick), André Drege (Coop) and Lucas Eriksson (Riwal ). The six were harmless on the overall and were allowed to go by the peloton.

Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Trek-Segafredo, EF Education-EasyPost and INEOS Grenadiers led the chase. The difficult part of the stage was at the end, because once in the finish town of Kristianstand there were two circuits, including the climb to Gimlekollen (1km at 6%). Thirteen kilometres before the finish, the early break was caught. Only the Belgian Bonneu survived, but he was also eventually caught. The last time in Gimlekollen, 6 kilometres from the finish, overall leader Remco Evenepoel was the first to the top. Behind him the pack had broken into two.

Nathan Van Hooydonck escaped from that front peloton more than 3 kilometres from the finish, but in the final kilometre the Jumbo-Visma rider was caught. Chaos reigned in the sprint that followed. The pace went all out and there was some pushing and pulling. In the end Haller made it a long sprint. He was too quick for Ethan Vernon and Alexander Kristoff. Mike Teunissen fourth and Tom Van Asbroeck finished fifth.

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Stage winner, Marco Haller (BORA-hansgrohe): “I am so happy, and this is a huge relief! I knew that I got the performance but this spring nothing came together. A huge thank you to my wife for always supporting me. But also to my coach Heli Dollinger, because we made a good plan together after the spring and that clearly pays off now. I had good legs the whole week, but it is unbelievable to be on the top of the podium – I think after seven years – on this level again. Also Frederik and Ide have contributed a lot to this victory and in general I think we all at BORA-hansgrohe are surfing on a wave of success at the moment. This feeling is amazing.”

Tour of Norway Stage 4 Result:
1. Marco Haller (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe in 5:02:21
2. Ethan Vernon (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
7. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
8. Martijn Budding (Ned) Riwal Cycling Team
9. Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 4:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 16:56:56
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:46
3. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:24
4. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:30
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:21
6. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:41
7. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:44
8. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:46
9. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 2:47
10. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Israel-Premier Tech at 3:05.

Norway’22 stage 4:

 

Remco Evenepoel won again in the Tour of Norway on Stage 5. In Sandnes, early escapee, Ben Healy was caught late in the stage, after which Evenepoel turned out to be the fastest from a group of favourites.

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The 181 kilometre stage to Sandnes turned out to be exciting, due to the break early in the stage. Twenty riders made up the front group, including top riders such as Michael Valgren, Kasper Asgreen and Remi Cavagna. However, they didn’t leave their mark on the race. The Irishman Healy attacked 47 kilometres from the finish. He started the last 10 kilometres with more than 1 minute on the peloton. That turned out not to be enough to win the stage.

On the last climb at 3.6 kilometres out, Jay Vine almost closed the gap, after which Healy was caught with 1 kilometre from the finish. Evenepoel then sprinted to victory ahead of Tobias Halland Johannessen and Luke Plapp. For Evenepoel this is his third victory in Norway this week.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “It was a tricky day because of the strong headwind. We didn’t initially focus on the stage win, but on being in the breakaway, because we knew that a huge group would go away. Behind, Josef was amazing in the headwind, he was super strong, and deserves an extra cake at dinner this evening. On the local circuit, we rode away from the peloton, there was a small group and we pressed on so that the chasers wouldn’t bridge across. Coming out of the last corner, I just launched my sprint and I can tell you I was surprised to take the victory this way. I worked hard and improved in the sprints, and I’m happy I could add another notch to my belt. It feels different to win like this, and I’m content with the way things panned out today and with having the orange jersey on my shoulders with only one stage to go.”

Tour of Norway Stage 5 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:53:33
2. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X
3. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Ben Healy (Irl) EF Education-EasyPost
6. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
10. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 5:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 21:50:19
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:56
3. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:30
4. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:34
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:36
6. Magnus Sheffield (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:51
7. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:54
8. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:56
9. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 3:02
10. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Israel-Premier Tech at 3:20.

Norway’22 stage 5:

 

Remco Evenepoel won the final overall of the Tour of Norway. The top place of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was in no danger in the Final Stage 6 to Stavanger. The final stage was won by home rider Alexander Kristoff of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.

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After half an hour of racing, the leading group of the day managed to escape: Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix), Robbe Ghys (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost), Corbin Strong (Israel-Premier Tech), Louis Bendixen (Coop), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Joshua Gudnitz (ColoQuick) made up the split.

They were allowed a maximum of 5 minutes from the peloton. Several teams, including Jumbo-Visma and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, tried to cause echelons 70 kilometres from the finish. The peloton split, but it soon came back together. Riwal and Trek-Segafredo then controled the peloton. Fifty kilometres from the finish there was a big crash in the peloton during an echelon attempt. Yellow jersey Remco Evenepoel avoided the carnage, but Tobias Halland Johannessen, his brother Anders, Mike Teunissen and Mads Pedersen were involved. After a chase, they were able to return to the large group. The final consisted of two local circuits of 17 kilometres around Stavanger, including the Grisabakken (0.6km at 7.7%). From the summit for the last time it was still more than 7 kilometres to the finish. The leading group started the last two laps with an advantage of 2:30. Trek-Segafredo had a hard time closing the gap, after which Uno-X and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert also helped.

Because Jumbo-Visma and INEOS Grenadiers also started to work, the peloton were only at 25 seconds the last time on the Grisabakken. Vermeersch and Strong struggled, but the thinned peloton was just behind them at the crest of the climb. Timo Roosen tried to avoid a sprint by attacking on the descent. The Dutch champion joined Strong and Vermeersch, but they were caught again in the last 2 kilometres. A sprint would make the decision in the battle for the stage victory. Ethan Vernon got an excellent lead-out from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, but in the sprint it was Alexander Kristoff who took the win. The Stavanger rider took the victory in his home town. Vernon was second and Pedersen finished third. Evenepoel was the best in the final standings after taking power on the Queen stage. He was on the final podium with Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) and Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers).

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Stage winner, Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The stage almost passed in front of my house today, I’m so happy to take the win here in Stavanger! I don’t only know the final because the roads are familiar to me, but also because I already won a couple of times here. But last year I didn’t manage to take the victory and that’s why my happiness is even greater today. Because of a strong tailwind it was important to be early in the front. It was a tough battle for the right wheel. Especially Mads Pedersen and I fought side by side in the final metres. But in the end I was the fastest and I could conclude this race in the best way!”

Overall winner, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “Overall, it was a very good week for the team. We can be proud of ourselves, of the way we rode, of the Wolfpack spirit we put on display every single time and of how we always believed in ourselves. It was my first race since Liège–Bastogne–Liège, so I didn’t know how I would fare, but I returned at a high level, which is encouraging as we kick off the second part of the season and my road to the Vuelta a España.”

Tour of Norway Stage 6 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 3:28:52
2. Ethan Vernon (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
4. Timo Kielich (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
6. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Jenno Berckmoes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Niklas Märkl (Ger) DSM
10. Martijn Budding (Ned) Riwal.

Tour of Norway Final Overall Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 25:19:11
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:56
3. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:30
4. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:34
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:36
6. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:51
7. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:54
8. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:56
9. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 3:02
10. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Israel-Premier Tech at 3:20.

Norway’22 final stage 6:

 

wallonie
Circuit de Wallonie 2022
On Thursday, Andrea Pasqualon took the tenth success of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux by winning Circuit de Wallonie (1.1) with a powerful sprint, concluding a exemplary collective performance.

The WorldTeam took its responsibilities on home soil, on a parcours which crossed Binche before reaching the local circuit in the neighbourhood of Charleroi. The team chased the early breakaway and stayed in front of the peloton, avoiding trouble in the crosswinds halfway through the race. On the selective local circuit, which had to be covered three times, a peloton of only 50 riders headed towards the finish in Mont-sur-Marchienne. Pasqualon was launched by five teammates towards the final 1000 metres. The Italian rider first left Philippe Gilbert behind, and then Axel Zingle in the final 50 metres to obtain his first victory in three years, his seventh in the colours of the Walloon team.

wallonie22

Race winner, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “My last victory was three years ago already, that’s why this win feels so good! Sacrificing for my teammates gives me a lot of satisfaction, but I was also very hungry for a victory myself. Today was a perfect opportunity, as the course suited me really well and passed in front of so many partners of the team. It was like a home race for us. So this victory is not only important for myself, but also for everyone involved in Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. I am part of this family for six years already, I want to thank Jean-François Bourlart and all partners for their confidence. Also my teammates believed in my chances and helped me a lot today. First, in the nervous beginning with crosswinds after Binche and then in the hilly final. They brought me to an excellent position in the final kilometres, so I could react to the attack of Axel Zingle. I felt that it was the right moment and I followed the slipstream of Philippe Gilbert. Zingle was my target and thanks to a perfect timing, I managed to pass him in the final meters. It was a fantastic moment. After a couple of classics and the recon of the cobble stage of the next Tour de France, I will continue the altitude camp I started last month with the team in Andorra to prepare my next goals. Collectively we’re particularly strong during this period of the year and I follow the performances of my teammates in the Tour of Italy very closely. I’m very happy that we can add this new victory to our succes.”

Circuit de Wallonie Result:
1. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:22:39
2. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:03
4. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergies
5. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
6. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
8. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Lennert Teugels (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
10. Sandy Dujardin (Fra) TotalEnergies.

Wallonie’22:

 

uae team
Almeida forced to Retire from Giro d’Italia
The Portuguese, who suffered flu symptoms during the night, tested positive for Covid.

All the other members of the team, staff and riders, are negative.

“Almeida woke up last night from persistent pain in his throat and the test gave a positive result. We observe strict rules of prevention and, in addition to sanitising the environments which the team uses each day (cars, buses, hotel rooms, etc.), we keep the athletes themselves in single rooms in order to limit very close contacts. However, despite these precautions they clearly do not provide 100% shelter as we have seen,” said Michele De Grandi, UAE Team Emirates doctor at the Giro d’Italia.

Mauro Gianetti, Team Principal: “We are obviously deeply upset because Joao and the supporting team were doing an excellent race. Our goals were the podium of the Giro and the white jersey as best young rider and we were fighting to win them both. It is bad news, but this is the reality we have been living every day for two years. We have to accept it and look forward. Now the most important thing is that Joao recovers as soon as possible.”

Almeida out of the Giro:
Joao Almeida

 

uae team
Young Talent Jan Christen to Join UAE Team Emirates
Swiss teenager pens long-term deal with Emirati squad
UAE Team Emirates have agreed a deal with 17-year old Jan Christen who will develop within the UAE team structure until at least 2027.

Christen hails from Aargau, Switzerland and has tasted his fair share of success in his short career so far, with National titles across several categories both on the road and off-road. He is the Swiss champion on the track, in cyclo-cross, time trial and also in the mountain bike discipline. He is also the current Junior World Cyclocross Champion which he won in Fayetteville, USA.

Christen already has strong ties to the Emirati squad and currently competes within the structure of Tadej Pogačar through the ‘Pogi Team’, where he will continue to race and develop, with the aim to make the step-up to the professional team in the coming years.

The purpose of the ‘Pogi Team’ is around developing young men into upstanding members of society, as well as having fun on the bike. The team already has more than 150 riders, and the recent sponsorship by the UAE means that Pogi Team has the opportunity to further grow within the sport. Pogi Team will act as a feeder / scouting program across Slovenia and Europe, further broadening UAE Team Emirates’ talent pool and opportunities afforded to aspiring cyclists.

Mauro Gianetti (Team Principal & CEO): “We are very excited and pleased to welcome Jan into the team. He is a huge talent and we believe he has the right attitude and qualities to fit very well in our team. He will first focus on completing his studies and progressing gradually through to the professional ranks. We have no fixed time-frame for this step and it is something we will not rush.”

“Jan is still very young and we will be giving him all the help he needs and keep the pressure off his young shoulders. Jan comes from a good family who I have known for many years and has a great coach and mentor in Bruno Diethelm who we will continue to work closely with. We want to see him continue to develop both as a rider and as a person.”

Jan Christen: “I am thrilled to be signing with UAE Team Emirates. I’ve already had quite a lot of contact with the team and from the first moment everyone has been very friendly and welcoming.”

“I would say I’m quite an all-round rider, I enjoy all disciplines and love testing myself whether it’s on the road, track or off-road. Both CX and mountain biking are very close to my heart and I hope to continue combining them over the coming years with the team. My first goal is to just keep enjoying my cycling and keep learning and progressing. At UAE I feel like I’m at the right place to do that.”

Jan Christen:
Jan Christen

 

wanty
Young Talents De Pooter and Mihkels show themselves
Young riders Dries De Pooter and Madis Mihkels, who will join Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux as trainees this summer before turning pro, distinguished themselves in the beginning of 2022 in the colours of their respective teams Hagens Berman Axeon and Team Ampler – Tartu2024.

Belgian rider De Pooter (19) finished tenth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 in April. He also concluded the Circuit des Ardennes (12th) and the Tour de Bretagne (15th) in the top 15 and finished seven times in the top ten in both sprint and hilly races.

Estonian rider Mihkels (18), who took fourteenth place in Ghent-Wevelgem U23, finished nine times in the top ten, for example a second place in the Tour du Loir et Cher which he concluded in sixth place. The bronze medallist at the Junior World Championships In Leuven started his national tour this Thursday with a fifth place in the prologue through the streets of Talinn.

Dries De Pooter: “Thanks to the close contacts with the direction of the World Team and the riders since my period as a trainee last summer, I feel already very familiar with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. During this period as a trainee, I realised that the World Tour was a big step for an 18 year old. Thanks to the experience I acquired as a trainee and during the most prestigious U23 races included in my programme this spring, I’m convinced that my preparation for this important step is ideal.”

“The sports direction follows my evolution closely and they came to several races, which gives me a lot of confidence. I learn a lot from their advice, for example in terms of nutrition during stage races. The last couple of weeks my efforts were rewarded with good results and I hope that I can benefit from my good form for a long time now to win a prestigious race. Paris-Roubaix was one of my main goals this spring, but unfortunately the event was again not organised for my category this year. It is a dream to race on those famous cobbles one day and to make the colours of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux shine, just like my future teammates did last month. Their success motivates me a lot to follow in their footsteps and confirms that I’ve chosen the right team!”

Dries De Pooter:
Dries De Pooter:

Madis Mihkels: “The performances of my future teammates from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux are pure class and I can’t wait to join them this summer! I can be satisfied about my first steps as an U23 rider in the continental circuit. I already noticed to what extent this experience will be important for my step up to the pro ranks. In the junior category I was often among the strongest riders and I didn’t have to think about tactics. Now, a lot more comes into play and the preparation has to be meticulous.”

“Each race I make progression on a tactical level, I learn from the advice of the staff of Team Ampler Tartu2024 and from the regular contacts with Pieter Vanspeybrouck and my future trainer Ioannis Tamouridis. I obtained second place in the Tour du Loir et Cher by winning the sprint of the peloton and this makes me believe even more in my capabilities to win. I was really looking forward to the Tour of Estonia, with two stages in my city Tartu. A cobble climb will decide on the victory and I’ve covered this one at least a hundred times in training already!”

Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Sports Director): “I’m happy to see that Dries De Pooter and Madis Mihkels performed well this spring. Both obtained several good results in nice races. With a good follow-up, advice and devotion, they’re getting closer to the victory. The work of the sports direction of the World Team and of their continental teams complements each other perfectly. Their teams are well structured and we give them an introduction to what’s waiting for them starting from this summer.”

“Despite their young age, they do races up to 200 kilometre. So I underline the importance of following the advice of our sports dietitian. But in our weekly contacts we mainly analyse their performances and talk about race preparation. For example, we work on the positioning in the sprint with Madis. Working with these young riders gives me a lot of satisfaction, because we’re building the future of our World Team!”

Madis Mihkels:
Madis Mihkels:

 

ag2r cirtoen
Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritime (May 31)

Valentin Paret-Peintre: “The Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritime is a great one-day race with three cols on the program, including the magnificent final climb to the Col de Valberg. We have an AG2R CITROËN TEAM that works very well together, with several riders just having finished the altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada. The objective will be at least to podium, and definitely we’ll look for the victory. I can’t wait for Tuesday to be a player in this race. I recently competed in the Tour de Romandie which was my first WorldTour race. It was a very rewarding experience to be alongside Ben O’Connor. This type of event allows me to progress physically, I can’t wait to see the benefits of these efforts for my upcoming goals.”

During a training camp in Sierra Nevada for 20 days, Aurélien Paret-Peintre completed 73 hours of cycling, covering 2,100 kilometres and 41,000 meters of elevation gain.

Clément Champoussin returns to competition
Clément Champoussin will return to racing during the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritime following the positive opinion given by the medical service of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. He has not raced since his crash during the third stage of the Tour of the Alps on April 20, where he suffered a nondisplaced fracture of the lower end of the right radius.

ag2r

 

gazprom
Gazprom-RusVelo Statement Regarding the Declarations of UCI and the Genuine Situation
Following the statement published by the UCI on its official website on 24.05.2022, Gazprom-RusVelo team would like to clarify the key points by addressing the specific questions: Why?

As with the decision taken on 01.03.2022, the UCI subjectively determined the elimination of a cycling team with a ten-year history which resulted in the loss of work for 52 people.

Why did UCI President Mr. Lappartient ignored the proposal presented by the team on 28.02.2022, which stated the willingness to compete in a neutral uniform, under the Swiss registration and with a new name without national references?

Why UCI Management Committee ignored the proposals from the team which at the moment already got familiar with the recommendations published by the International Olympic Committee?

Why UCI intentionally failed with its decision on the Olympic principles of integration, brotherhood and equality of which it claims to be a leader and a benchmark?

Why in order to readmit the team in the UCI ProTeam category, UCI requested the team to find a new sponsor but in fact disallowed the team from chances in finding it, denying the team participation (in neutral jerseys, Swiss registration and new name) in about 15 days of World Tour races? The races the team was already invited in March alone.

Why UCI always claims to worry about the economic coverage of the salaries of the riders, however at the same time UCI proposed to register the team as a Continental team in order to significantly underpay the athletes or not to pay them at all and thus reduce costs for the team (and remove the team from competitions of greater prestige and visibility)?

Why do riders who have invested a lifetime to reach their place in professional cycling have to give up on the pursuit of well-deserved compensation and the prestige of participating in almost 40 days of confirmed World Tour races?

Why UCI and its president Mr. Lappartient, on the contrary to what they claim, have not yet responded concretely to the proposals also made by the CPA and AIGCP on 04.04.2022?

Why UCI and its president Mr. Lappartient exclude the riders of Gazprom-RusVelo team from the last meeting organised by them with all the professional riders from the peloton, promising that there would be a personal and dedicated meeting with them, but never (at least to date) kept their word?

Why does UCI, in its press release dated 24.5.2022, remind riders (who already know well) of the existence of a bank guarantee that can cover three months of their salary? Maybe to try to turn the riders against their team or to give them a sop and wash their hands of it?

Why did not UCI allow the riders to continue competing and as excuse used that there was no budget, ignoring the fact that there was the bank guarantee?

Why today do the athletes of Gazprom-RusVelo team still have to struggle to find a solution to the injustice they have suffered (certainly not from their team) that the majority of their cycling mates from other teams understand, whereas UCI did not present any transparent and comprehensible solution to help the athletes?

Why there is no clarity for at least one of the stated-above questions in the recent UCI statement?

A big thank you to CPA and these riders in the peloton, with their “Why?” bands on the wrists, they understand and support Gazprom-RusVelo athletes in such an unfair situation.

No good news for the riders:
gazprom rusvelo

 


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