EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
The Tour de France is over for another year and we have a new champion in the shape of Geraint Thomas, but the name on the jersey is the same for the 6th time. We catch up with the Tour with reports, results, video and quotes. What next for Sky – Top Story. Also the GP Pino Cerami and the men and women’s RideLondon Classic. Contract news from Katusha-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, BMC stagieires, Tour of Utah teams and Philippe Gilbert leaves hospital. Big Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: What Next for Sky?
Team Sky have now won eight Grand Tours with three different riders. They can also claim multiple Paris-Nice, Giro del Trentino, Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné, throw in a Tirreno–Adriatico and a Volta a Catalunya. On the one day front the team have two Monuments; Milano-Sanremo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, plus three Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, two Kuurne–Brussel–Kuurne, two E3 Harelbeke and a Strade Bianche and a Clásica de San Sebastián. Pile on that a load of National championships, short stage races, points, young rider and KOM jerseys and other one day races.
So, what is left for them to conquer? You could say they need more Monuments and Classics to complete their palmarès, but why would they change tack form doing what they do best… winning Grand Tours. The biggest races on the calendar. If you can dominate the Tour for six years, equaling teams like Peugeot, Renault-Gitane and Banesto (and a US registered team), that it something to be proud of.
Who will ride the Vuelta a España next month? Can the Sky team put a fifth GT in a row on the list? They now have the added problem of having two Grand Tour winners on the team. 2019 – Giro d’Italia for Geraint Thomas, record equalling 5th Tour de France for Chris Froome and what about the Vuelta a España for Egan Bernal?
The only battle the team will never win is the hearts and minds of ALL the fans, that will never happen.
An emotional Geraint Thomas after the stage 20 time trial:
Tour de France 2018
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) won the bunch gallop ahead of Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) to deliver a 1-2 for French riders in Pau on Stage 18. It’s the second Tour de France victory for the former French champion. Geraint Thomas (Sky) retained the yellow jersey.
The break of the day escaped in the opening kilometers and after a hard first hour the peloton eased up and Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Mathew Hayman and Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott), Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) and Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie) took a lead of 2 minutes. The sprinters team held the five at that gap.
Sep Vanmarcke (Education First-Drapac), Michael Gogl and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) tried to cross to the five men upfront, but the bunch pulled them back. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) crashed around the same time, he had some bad cuts on his left elbow and shoulder, he managed to continue.
Groupama-FDJ, Cofidis and UAE Team Emirates all started a proper chase with 20 kilometers to go at the start of the Cote d’Anos. Simon Clarke (EF Education First-Drapac), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) tried attacks from the bunch, but Sky pulled them all back.
Bora-Hansgrohe chased the leaders down and kept the pace high into the finish town of Pau. Groupama-FDJ, Cofidis and UAE Team Emirates set up their lead-out trains for Arnaud Démare, Christophe Laporte and Alexander Kristoff with Bora still working for Sagan, but the World champion was not feeling up to it after his crash on stage 13. Démare hit the front and held off his countryman for a much welcome win
Stage winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “I’ve been through some difficult moments, but I really wanted to make it to the final sprints and play my cards. I always believed in myself and my chances of winning in this Tour. Winning today, before the final chance on the Champs Elysees is great for my motivation. This is for my wife, my family and my friends. It was a fast sprint after a fast stage. I was well-placed thanks to Jacopo Guarnieri and believed I could win. The team was perfect in the way they set me up. People who know me, know how hard I trained for the Tour de France and this goal. That’s why I’m so happy today.”
Overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It was a solid start and it definitely wasn’t an easy stage. We were on the pedals all day and it was a hot day which made it tough. It was a really fast final too which was a bit stressful so I’m happy to make it through. I try to just think about it day by day. But obviously there’s one more big (mountain) day. It’s the last road stage and we’re expecting a lot of attacks. There’s a lot of climbing and it’s going to be a hard day. We’ve ridden really well as a team so far so we’ll look to keep that going. We’re expecting the worst really – guys trying to go in the early break and attacks maybe on the Tourmalet as well as the final climb and descent. The boys will go all in. We just need to be vigilant, stay on our toes and keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
3rd on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “I didn’t really have the legs in the final kilometer. The team did a lot of work, but unfortunately I did not have the fastest legs and that’s it. I hope in Paris I can win.”
4th on the stage, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “Today I was just trying to find a good wheel and be up there. Reinardt did really well to take me as far as he did, that was very good. After he was gone with his pull it was really hard to accelerate because the speed was already so high and I didn’t have any bigger gears. I don’t think anybody actually changed position that much in the sprint.”
5th on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “You need also to be lucky, you have to choose the best wheel and it can happen to make mistakes. In recent days, I spent a lot and today I was not 100%. Another Top Ten at this Tour, but today I hoped better. I will try again in Paris!”
10th on the stage, Timothy Dupont: “I wanted to do better than a 10th place, but the sprint was very chaotic. I originally had to launch Pasqualon, but we lost each other in the last kilometers. So I decided to take my chances. I was very well placed, but in the last corner a rider closed the door. Then it was impossible to get back in front. It was really nervous and complicated to position yourself well. I am looking forward to Sunday. When I see Champs Elysees, I always think of the camera on the side of the road. I am happy that I am still in the peloton. These three weeks were a huge challenge. A lot of other sprinters are already home. I hope that there will be some strength in my legs on Sunday.”
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It was a pretty hard start that’s for sure and then there were a few attacks afterward but in the end, it was one of the easiest day of this Tour. But, that was also necessary I think. Everyone is tired and for us, it was a good day to recover from our efforts on the stages before. I tried to be in the sprint but in the end, I didn’t want to take too many risks. I still have some nice races to come after the Tour so, on a flat sprint like today, I didn’t want to go for it too much. Overall, it was a good day for the team. Of course, it was without a result but that is not always necessary.”
Tour de France Stage 18 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 3:46:50
2. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
7. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
10. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 18:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 74:21:01
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:59
3. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 2:31
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:47
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:30
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 4:19
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:34
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 5:13
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 6:33
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 9:31.
One year after he became the first Slovenian to win a Tour de France stage when the former ski jumper took the victory in Serre-Chevalier. On Friday’s Stage 19 Primoz Roglic powered away from the leaders on the descent of the Col d’Aubisque for the win and to jump to 3rd overall. Geraint Thomas (Sky) was 2nd and strengthened his overall lead.
Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Tanel Kangert (Astana), Arthur Vichot (Groupama-FDJ), Warren Barguil and Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Samsic), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Andrey Amador and Daniele Bennati (Movistar), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) made the break of the day. The maximum time gap was 5:07 after 39 kilometers. The Sky team was in control most of the time, but Katusha-Alpecin joined them on the front for Zakarin.
On the Tourmalet there was only 12 rider left up front: Yates, Nieve, Alaphilippe, Jungels, Kangert, Barguil, Hardy, G. Izagirre, Amador, Bennati, Slagter, Mollema. Zakarin, Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked on the climb to join the front group on the other side of the Tourmalet.
Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) took over from Sky at the head of the pack to reduce the deficit for his team-mate Primoz Roglic. Kangert crossed the summit of the Col des Bordères in first position 1:30 ahead of the Sky led chase group. On the ascent of the Col d’Aubisque, Landa, Bardet, Zakarin and Majka formed a leading group as Roglic attacked twice from the chasers. He brought Thomas and Dumoulin with him and caught his team-mate Kruijswijk, Chris Froome lost contact with the yellow jersey. With 25km to go, Egan Bernal towed Froome and Dan Martin back to Thomas. Majka crested the Col d’Aubisque in first position, but was caught by the yellow jersey group with 19km to go to the finish line. Roglic attacked on the downhill to gain a gap with 8 kilometers to go and crossed the line 19 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas who extended his lead over all his other rivals.
PEZ Stage 19 report HERE.
Stage winner and 3rd overall, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I’m very happy with this victory, it’s a special feeling to win again in the Tour de France after my stage win last year. This can’t be described in words. It’s just perfect. I felt very good and made optimal use of it. Steven and I kept attacking. In the descent, when I saw that nobody followed me, I just went full throttle. The team was very strong today and I want to thank the team for their efforts. Without my team mates it would have never been possible to win here. I’m already looking forward to the time trial. I’ll do my best to keep my podium position and who knows what else we can do.”
2nd on the stage and overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “I’m really happy to get through that. We expected a hard day but the racing was really on. It was quite stressful at one point when Landa went so early and took a lot of time with Bardet. LottoNL-Jumbo rode hard and it was on all day. It was a quite a fast descent so it was nice to get through that in one piece. I knew all I had to do was follow Tom Dumoulin as I knew he’d be chasing Roglic. It was all under control and the guys rode really well. (Sport Director) Nico (Portal) was really good on the radio and kept us calm. I’m really happy to tick that off. It’s obviously getting closer. One more day and I need to do a good TT now. I’ve got a nice advantage but I’ve still got to be on the ball. It’s never comfortable.”
3rd on the stage and 7th overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I did my best, and I believed in my chance for victory until the end. On the descent, facing Dumoulin and Roglic, who are pure rouleurs, I realized that there was nothing more I could do. This Tour de France never quite smiled on me; I don’t know what more I could have done. It’s disappointing, but sometimes it’s like that. I decided to go on the attack on the Tourmalet. I just wanted to have some fun. It was going to be this stage or never to go to the attack and try to make a big difference. In any case, I loved being an major player in the stage today.”
4th on the stage and 8th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “Today we saw a group of very tired men trying to ride their bikes fast. The whole peloton is exhausted after three weeks of racing, but there was still a lot of attacking and aggression. It was a pity I didn’t get the stage victory, it was always in the back of my mind and that’s why I held on so hard on the climbs. It was a bit dodgy on the downhill with all the mist, but that’s just another dimension of the Tour. Roglic managed to get away on the straight part of the descent [from the Col d’Aubisque] and we just couldn’t pull him back.”
5th on the stage, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today, once again we had a really hard stage. I felt well and I tried again. My legs have been recovering during the last week and I have been attacking a lot and did my best. It’s a pity I missed the win today, but I am also happy about my condition. Today, I was back at my best. In addition to the crashes in the first week, I think the pressure I put on myself for the GC could have been a bit too much. I’d like to thank my teammates for the support they provided and we have Vuelta coming, where we will be with a good squad.”
9th on the stage and 5th overall, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo): “It’s a beautiful day. It was a very tough stage, but as a team, we played it perfectly. Primoz was very strong today and Robert has also done a tremendous job to decrease the gap to the breakaway. The plan was that I would attack at the ascent of the Soulor and see how they would react. Just before the top, Primoz came back. We both tried it a few times. I’m glad he finished it off in a superb way. We’ve won the stage and we’re now third and fifth overall. We can hardly do any better.”
KOM, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step floors): “Coming into the Tour de France, my only goal was to get a stage victory, which was something I was dreaming of for some years now; the KOM jersey wasn’t a priority at that time, but after landing it on my shoulders following the success in Le Grand-Bornand, I began thinking of taking it home. That’s why today, when I led the breakaway group over the top of Tourmalet, which is such a legendary and revered climb, I was so happy. It’s been a really hard and tiring race, but I am extremely satisfied with what I accomplished together with my team and am now looking forward to arriving in Paris after tomorrow’s ITT”
Points leader, World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was probably one of the most painful and difficult days I have ever had in my cycling career. The injuries and the heat made this last mountain stage of the Tour de France seem never ending! I couldn’t have abandoned though, we are so close to Paris, it wouldn’t have been fair to me and the rest of the team. I had to fight. I’d like to thank all my teammates for their sacrifice today, for being there with me all 200km of the stage. This is what teamwork is about!”
20th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I was bad, there is not much to explain. I never saw the battle at the front of the race. I did not feel well from the start of the stage. I was dropped at the foot of the Tourmalet. I had a bad day. I am disappointed and I am not going to enjoy this. There is not much to be gained tomorrow.”
Damiano Caruso (BMC): “I felt good today. But at the end, the tempo was so high that I couldn’t follow. However, for me, it was a normal day. I tried to test myself in the third week. But it was hard and at the end, I am happy that Paris is around the corner as I am ready to rest a little. For me, the time trial is not a priority. Instead, I am looking forward to Sunday and riding onto the Champs-Élysées. It’s always a nice experience.”
Tour de France Stage 19 Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 5:28:17
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:19
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
8. Chris Froome (GB) Sky
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:31
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 79:49:31
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 2:05
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:24
4. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 2:37
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 4:37
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:40
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 0:05:15
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 6:39
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 10:26
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 11:49.
World champion Tom Dumoulin took his second time trial victory in the Tour de France on Stage 20 to retain his second place overall behind Geraint Thomas (Sky) who finished third in the Basque country while his Sky teammate, Chris Froome, came second by 1 second and deprived Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) of third on GC.
The first man on the road was Lawson Craddock (Education First-Drapac) who has been last on GC since his heavy crash on stage 1. Jay Thompson (Dimension Data), Amund Groendahl Jansen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) set new best times on the line until Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott) clocked in 42:15 to post the best time. The Australian remained on the hot seat for one hour and fourty-eight minutes. Marc Soler (Movistar) was first to better his time, by only five hundredth of a second. Soren Kragh (Sunweb) was next to set a significant time at the average speed of 44.6km/h. The Dane didn’t last long in the lead as Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) rode one second faster.
In the fight for the top 10 positions on GC, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) moved to ninth and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) to tenth. Designated the ‘Super Combative’ of the 2018 Tour de France, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) eighth. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) rode 1:16 faster than Mikel Landa (Movistar) to pass him in sixth position. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) comfortably retained his first top 5 but no LottoNL-Jumbo rider would make the top 3. Chris Froome showed he was keen to climb onto the final podium for the sixth time after finishing second in 2012 and winning in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He was faster than Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic at the two check points: by 2 seconds on both occasions over the Dutchman, and by 30 seconds and 49 seconds over Roglic.
Geraint Thomas led the race at the two check points: 14 and 13 seconds ahead of Froome. But he didn’t go as fast as the other favorites in the third part. Dumoulin powered to victory at the end. The Dutchman won over Froome by one second. Thomas comfortably secured his lead overall on the eve of the conclusive stage on the Champs-Elysées.
Stage winner, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “That was crazy! I can’t believe it. I still thought Froome was one second ahead when I crossed line. It has been an amazing last day, I was so nervous. I had such a hard time yesterday, but today it has just been great to take the stage win.”
3rd on the stage and overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “I don’t know what to say, it’s just overwhelming. I didn’t think about it at all but… I’ve won the Tour man! I felt good, I felt strong, I felt really good actually and I was pushing a bit hard on the corners and [Sport Director] Nico Portal told me to relax, take it easy and just make sure I win the Tour. And that’s what I did – it’s overwhelming. I thought I could beat the guys here, but to do it on the biggest stage of all, over three weeks. That’s insane. Last time I cried was when I got married, I don’t know what’s happened to me.”
6th overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “Unlike other years, there was less stake on this penultimate day. I decided to do this chrono all-out. I’m happy to finish it this way. Last year, I was fighting for the yellow jersey. Today, I used my experience to step back and approach things in another way. After two successive podiums, I knew really nothing was to be gained today. But that’s not cycling; it’s just not that simple. I am happy with my mindset. The body responded, now it is time to figure out how to do better. I think I have been progressing the whole season, but I realize that this has not been reflected in this Tour. That’s the paradox of this edition.”
8th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “I honestly can’t believe I’ve been given the super combativity prize. I really wanted to be on the podium in Paris but I didn’t think I’d do it this way – especially as I haven’t taken the prize on any of the stages. But it’s an honor and I’m speechless. It’s been an incredibly memorable Tour for me. It means so much, especially taking the first ever stage victory for UAE Team Emirates. Part of the reason I came to the team was to help create a legacy. It has been the mission of the team from the very beginning to bring cycling to the people of the UAE and to inspire the next generation of cyclists. That’s always been a passion of mine so it’s great to know that the cycling community has been glued to the TV watching us perform in France. It’s just unbelievable.”
Best Young Rider and 13th overall, Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I have accumulated jerseys for best young rider in many stage races, but I was missing the one from the Tour de France. I am happy to complete my collection. It was not the number one goal at the start, but it’s a big satisfaction to finish like this. I did not manage to stay with the best in the final of the biggest stages, I was always in the second group. This was my third Grand Tour, and it’s the first time I can finish unscathed. I still remember last year when I left a puddle of myself on the road, so today I did not want to take any risks.”
12th on the stage, Stefan Küng (BMC): “It was really, really hard. We are in the Basque Country and when you look at the other races that are held here like Tour of Basque Country and San Sebastian, it’s always light, punchy climbers who are up there. So, I guess it’s also a course for them today and that’s not quite my type of rider. Anyway, I gave it all I had and I think I couldn’t have gone any faster today so I’m pretty happy. In the end, there is not much you can do and you just do your own thing and try to go as fast as possible. At the end of the Tour de France, it is always pretty difficult and yesterday with the neutral, we were six and a half hours on the bike so for sure it’s not the same when you are going into a time trial fresh. But, compared to last year I felt better today so I take it as a step in the right direction.”
21st overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I am not looking for excuses, but my rib fracture certainly did not help during this Tour. This was certainly not the only reason for my lesser feeling during the past weeks. I probably started this Tour with a certain level of fatigue. My first week did not go as planned, because I was the victim of a split in the pack and a lot of lost time after a crash. What I remember is that my goal of finishing top 15 has not been achieved. I cannot make a positive assessment of this Tour. But I am not going to grumble, it was not all negative in this Tour. I was able to show myself, despite the lesser feeling in the three breakaways. One of those three reached the finish, after which I finished an honorable 12th. This year brought me new experiences again. I am only 25 years old, this is my second grand tour and two days ago I was still in battle for the top 15. I miss my goal, but it was not impossible to finish top 15! After this time trial I fall out of top 20. If I go for a top 15, the top 20 does not have much value anymore. So 20th or 21st? It does not change that much for me.”
Green jersey, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m happy to finish this time-trial and I look forward to tomorrow’s last stage of the Tour de France. I’m slowly getting better but it still hurts a lot and I need to recover for the upcoming races.”
Tour de France Stage 20 Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb in 40:52
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 0:01
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:14
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 0:50
5. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:51
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:52
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:02
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:12
9. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar
10. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:23.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 20:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 80:30:37
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:51
3. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 2:24
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:22
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 6:08
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 6:57
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 07:37
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 09:05
9. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 12:37
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 14:18.
Stage 21 followed the usual patern of the Tour de France final stage, but in the end, European champion Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) won on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. This was Kristoff’s third Tour victory after two stages in 2014. Geraint Thomas (Sky) finished safely in the peloton to claim his first Grand Tour overall victory. Tom Dumoulin (Sky) was 2nd and four time Tour winner, Chris Froome (Sky) was 3rd.
After the usual champagne, flag waving and photographs for Team Sky, the race wound its way towards the center of Paris. Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) was allowed to ride away for a lap of honor due to his 18th and last Tour de France and his end of season retirement. Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Taylor Phinney (Education First-Drapac), Michael Schär (BMC), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) rode away from the pack with 52km to go.
Groupama-FDJ and Bora-Hansgrohe were the most active teams behind the escape as the lead reached 40 seconds with 20 kilometers to go. The break was over 6km before the finish, Politt was the last man to be caught on bell lap. Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) attacked 2.5km before the line to force the other sprinters’ teams to chase. Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe) countered but Belgian champion Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step floors) was the last man to try and stay out front. He was eventually pulled in as the sprint started with 250 meters to go. Trek-Segafredo was working for stage 9 winner John Degenkolb, but Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) was the fastest of the remaining sprinters while stage 18 winner Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) rounded out the stage podium. Geraint Thomas crossed the finish line hand-in-hand with his Sky teammate Chris Froome.
Stage winner, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “I’ve dreamt about this victory for many years. I’ve been close before but I’ve never managed to beat the faster guys like Greipel, Kittel and Cavendish. But today they were not here – they are out after the mountains. So today I was the fastest and I am super happy. It’s a dream come true. I was a bit far back after the roundabout, but I was with Ferrari who led me to the front. Then I saw that Trek were giving a really good lead out and I managed to get on their wheel. I got a good start and was able to pass John (Degenkolb), but it was still far out and I had to push. Thankfully nobody managed to come close to me in the last 20m and I knew I would win. I am just so happy I was able to do it.”
Tour de France Overall winner, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “I got into cycling because of this race. I remember running home from school to watch the Tour de France and the dream was always just to be a part of it. That came through 11 years ago back in 2007. Now I’m here, stood in the yellow jersey. It’s incredible and it’s a dream come true. To everyone back home, kids and the Maindy Flyers, just dream big. If people tell you it can’t be done, if you believe in yourself and work hard just keep going. You’re going to have knocks and downs. But keep believing, anything is possible and with hard work everything pays off in the end. Thanks for all the support!”
2nd overall, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “Before today, the Tour de France was already a success for us and it was more than we had all hoped for. To finish second here is really special and I’m genuinely really happy with the result. If someone told me that after such a hard Giro I would be on the podium at the Tour de France, I would have immediately signed for it. We came into the race really open, of course we were going for the GC but not specifically the podium so I’m super happy with the outcome and proud of what me and the team have achieved here.”
3rd overall, Chris Froome (Sky): “It’s amazing and quite emotional standing on the podium with G, being such a good mate. We’ve been teammates for 10 years, so to stand on that podium with him on the top step of the Tour de France – it’s amazing to see how far he’s come and I’m incredibly proud of him. I’ve had a good run now with three Grand Tour victories in the last three I’ve done, and to be on the podium here again. It’s been tough work and I’m really glad to be able to take a break now. My wife Michelle is expecting a baby any day now and I’m really looking forward to spending some time with the family now.”
9th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “To sprint top 10 on Champs Elysees was one of my goals this year. It is very beautiful here, especially because it is after three weeks of hard stages. For sure the legs were tired after all the climbs and the stress. It was a very fast sprint. Timo and me were in the front in the last kilometer. Top 10 between guys as Sagan and Colbrelli is not bad. I am happy to finish my second Tour. Yesterday I had a problem with the gendarmerie before the start of my ITT. I started more than 4 minutes 30 seconds late. I was panicking for a moment in my head, but I managed to arrive in time! Another goal is reached by finishing with the whole team of 8 riders here in Paris. I saw Hilaire and Jean-François being very happy. Personally I am glad that I could finish seven times top 10 here!”
8th overall and Most Combative Rider, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m not sure if I jinxed myself before this edition by saying that my ambition was to get through without crashing and having bad luck because it happened again. That said, I race the way I race and I still think a podium is possible I just need to piece that perfect performance together. It isn’t all about bad luck, it’s about being in the right place at the right time and I think you make your own good luck a lot of the time. You learn every year you ride the Tour and I’ll take those lessons to next year because I want to end up standing on that podium on merit.”
Points competition winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m so happy to wear the Maillot Vert on the Champs-Elysées for the sixth time. It’s such a great feeling, especially after the four very difficult days that followed my crash. It was tough but here I am! I’d like to thank all the BORA-hansgrohe riders, staff and sponsors for their help in making this a reality. Thank you!”
KOM, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “It’s very difficult to describe how I feel today, because I have never imagined that I will ride one day on the Champs-Élysées with the polka dot jersey on my shoulders. It’s been three incredible weeks with the team and I have enjoyed many beautiful moments, from my first ever Tour de France stage victory to winning the Col du Tourmalet, which was when I began realizing that I will take this jersey home. I am so happy and grateful to this extraordinary squad for their trust, support and confidence. I will never forget this race”
One time overall leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “The goal was to win the team time trial and that’s what we did. Getting yellow was a nice gift from this and to keep it was long as possible was great. Overall, it was a nice Tour de France. I had some nice results but of course, coming second in Roubaix was a bit disappointing but I’m happy with how the race went. It was a really nice experience.”
Tour de France Stage 21 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 2:46:36
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
6. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal.
Tour de France Final Overall:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 83:17:13
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:51
3. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 2:24
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:22
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 6:08
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 6:57
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 7:37
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 9:05
9. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 12:37
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 14:18.
Prudential RideLondon Classic 2018
After a crash with 80km to go, the BORA-Hansgrohe train worked hard for their leader Pascal Ackermann. In the finale, the young German Champion waited until the perfect moment and sprinted to his third WorldTour victory of the season and took the win ahead of Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).
The race started at 14:00 on wet streets and after some kilometers of racing six riders pulled away and built the breakaway of the day, while Bora-hansgrohe stayed in the peloton. With 50km to go; Jay McCarthy and Peter Kennaugh launched an attack and formed a new breakaway with 5 others, however it came all back together with 10km to go. The Bora-hansgrohe train started to form for their leader Pascal Ackermann. Rudi Selig and Christoph Pfingsten brought the German Champion into a perfect position, Pascal waited for the perfect moment and started his sprint to take his third 2018 WorldTour victory.
Race winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today was a hard race, the rain made the course really dangerous I crashed with 80km to go and had to change my bike. As we came into the finale, Rudi and Pfingsti bought me into a perfect position, I waited and started my sprint and finished it off with my third WorldTour victory in this season. I am more than happy.”
RideLondon Classic Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:20:10
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
5. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Sunweb
7. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Ned) BMC
8. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
9. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi-Polkowice
10. Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.
Prudential RideLondon Classique 2018
The Prudential RideLondon Classique ended in an expected bunch sprint on Saturday. With the winner earning 25,000 Euros, the race is the biggest prize purse in women’s cycling. The race is also known for its iconic route. The peloton started on The Mall in St James’s Park and went up Constitution Hill before turning at the top to come down and on to Birdcage Walk. Kirsten Wild (Wiggle-High5) won the race to become the first rider to do so for the second time.
Race winner, Kirsten Wild (Ned) Wiggle-High5): “It was a really hectic final. We decided to group at the front with the whole team on the last lap, and we did quite well, staying on the left side and out of the trouble. Then in the last 2km I was with Lisa Brennauer, who brought me to the front. On the finishing straight, I had to be aware of the headwind and could not start my sprint too early. That was the biggest challenge for me, but a gap opened and I could pick my own line. When Marianne Vos attacked, I followed her, and I just won!”
5th, Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla): “I’m disappointed I didn’t make it to the podium like last year. The course was a little different this year. There was a lot of wind today which made the sprint a gamble. There was a headwind, so I was waiting and didn’t want to go too early. I was surfing different wheels and didn’t want to get boxed in but the finish line came quickly all of a sudden. The team did a good job in controlling the race and did their best. We only started with five riders due to the injuries but for the most part, we showed ourselves at the front and gained some good exposure again.”
6th, Coryn Rivera (Sunweb): “London is always a hectic race, and we made some mistakes in the heat of the moment. The last lap was super chaotic but Floortje, Leah, and Lucinda were able to still pull off a great lead-out for me in the final kilometer. I am sad to not have done better for the girls but in this sport you lose more than you win. We take some learning points to the next races and I am still proud of how we adjusted to the situation. It is great for us to bring home the team classification win for the second year in a row, too.”
Prudential RideLondon Classique Result:
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Wiggle-High5 in 1:29:51
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling
3. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-PBM
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale-Cipollini
5. Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo-Bigla
6. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
7. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
9. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon-Sram Racing
10. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans.
RideLondon by Wiggle-High5:
Grand Prix Pino Cerami 2018
The Belgian one-day race saw Bora-Hansgrohe rider Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the breakaway of the day. As the race headed into the finale, the advantage decreased to 15 seconds, but Bora-Hansgrohe rider Peter Kennaugh launched a late attack and took the win ahead of Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
The Belgian one-day race took the riders from Saint-Ghislain to Frameries over 200km. The riders scaled five climbs, one of them was the Geraardsbergen climb. The finish line went uphill with an average gradient of 8%.
The break was formed by 5 riders, including Bora-Hansgrohe rider Peter Kennaugh, who managed to establish themselves as the escapee group of the day after some kilometers of racing. Their maximum advantage hovered around the 3-minute mark. In the last 50km, terrible weather conditions made the race very difficult, but Peter Kennaugh was still in the leading breakaway. The race faced the last lap, as Bora-Hansgrohe rider Kennaugh took control over the group and with a late attack he took the win ahead of Baugnies. Teammate Alex Saramotins came fourth with Benjamin Declercq (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) in third.
Race winner, Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m so happy to win here today, my legs felt good from the start and I also think the heat helped me after I had spent the last 3 weeks in Sierra Nevada with team mate Jay McCarthy, so we were well acclimatized. I don’t think anyone expected me to win out of the original break and neither did I! But I still felt really fresh coming into the last 20 km, so I always believed. I’m so happy to pay everyone, who had been patient with me earlier on in the year back with this victory and hope it can be the sign of things to come for the rest of the year. I also thank my family my coach Dan Lorang and the team. I look forward to London now, where I can try my luck again and we also have Jay and Ackes, who are both in great form.”
2nd, Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “We came into the final with a strong breakaway. Bakelants was one of the riders who made a strong impression. In the local laps our lead on the peloton never exceeded 30 seconds. Bora had two riders in front with Saramotins and Kennaugh. Kennaugh accelerated in the final and there was a little slow down behind him. On the uphill finish I started my sprint early, and on the line I just finish in his wheel. Two years ago I became second in the same way, then with Wallays as the winner. I am hard to beat on this finish. At the beginning of the race it was very hot. Then it cooled down due to a thunderstorm, what made it dangerous for a moment. This achievement gives hope for Tour de Wallonie, although there is now only one day of recuperation before the opening stage, in which I will stay calm. On Sunday I would like to show something at the Citadel of Namur.”
Grand Prix Pino Cerami Result:
1. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:46:36
2. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
3. Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:02
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
Dowsett, Haller and Hollenstein Re-sign with Katusha-Alpecin
Team Katusha-Alpecin have reached agreements with three returning riders, Alex Dowsett, Reto Hollenstein and Marco Haller.
British rider Dowsett, age 29, came to the team this season and has made himself at home with Katusha-Alpecin.
General Manager José Azevedo: “Alex has signed with us for another two years. He just came to us this year and is such a good time trialist but he can also be important for us in the lead-out for our sprinters. We also like what we see in his interactions within the group. He’s new but has fit in really well with the team. We’ve signed him with the idea that he can win races and this year he was close in some time trials. We expect victories from him in the future, especially in the time trials and we will continue to work with him on this point. We believe in him and that he can win.”
Also re-signing for two years is Swiss rider Reto Hollenstein, age 32.
GM Azevedo: “Reto is a very important rider to us in the group. He always sacrifices for the leaders and gives us his maximum. He always comes prepared to his races in good shape. He never looks for anything for himself – he’s always working for the interests of the team above everything else. It’s important to have these riders in the team with the type of mentality that he is willing to give us everything.”
Despite suffering multiple fractures of the left knee in April when a car hit him during a training ride, Marco Haller has worked hard to come back from his crash and will resume racing soon. He has penned a one-year contract extension with Katusha-Alpecin.
Azevedo shows dedication and belief in the 27-year old Austrian: “Marco suffered a bad accident earlier this year, but has been part of our group for seven years on this team. He turned professional with this team. He’s always been an important rider both in and out of the race and we always believe in Marco. It’s at these bad moments in his life and career that he needs to know that the team appreciates everything he’s done over the past years. We don’t sign him to pay him back for what he’s done in previous years but because we want Marco in the team. He’s an important rider for us, especially for Marcel Kittel in the sprints. He’s the leader inside the lead-out group. Everything we want to impart to our young riders is shown by example from Marco. He’s professional, always brings a good attitude, and we never had doubts about him after his crash. We called him many times during his recovery so he could feel the support of his team. We don’t expect any results from him this year but we are confident in him and this is why we have re-signed him for another year.”
Gesink Extends Contract for Three Years with Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Robert Gesink will also be part of Team LottoNL-Jumbo for the next three seasons. Since 2007, the 32-year-old Dutchman has been a professional cyclist for the team, previously known as Rabobank. “His palmarès proves what an excellent rider he is. During the current Tour de France he shows that once again. It’s obvious that we would like to keep such a rider for a longer period”, manager Richard Plugge of the Dutch World Tour team explains the contract extension.
Plugge foresees a slightly different role for the climber in the coming years. “He is developing more and more as a team player who assists the youngsters as a road captain, but also the team leaders. He is too good to play a supporting role only. He will also get opportunities to go for his own success.”
Gesink is happy with this role. “It is nice that I can do this for another few years. I’m ready for this new role. I don’t need to change teams for such an impulse. With Team LottoNL-Jumbo, I have been on a journey as a family for years. We are a group of comrades”, Gesink says.
Therefore, he calls a longer stay with the team ‘a logical step’. “If you look at the riders, the sponsors and the available knowledge, we have everything we need to become one of the leading teams. I am happy to be able to contribute my experience and thus be able to fulfill a certain role. I have to grow into this role, but I certainly like it.”
BMC Racing Team Welcomes Alexander Evans and Freddy Ovett as Stagiaires
Alexander Evans and Freddy Ovett will join BMC Racing Team as stagiaires from August 1 with the Australian duo set to make their debut at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Evans, 21, and Ovett, 24, will gain valuable experience at the WorldTour level, BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “We are pleased to welcome Alexander Evans and Freddy Ovett as stagiaires this year. They will have a diverse race program with us and will be able to learn from some of the most experienced riders in the peloton, starting with the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, which will be a great learning curve for both riders,” Ochowicz said.
“Both Alexander and Freddy impressed this year at the Herald Sun Tour so we are excited to see what they can do in the upcoming races. We obviously have a strong connection to Australian riders so it is good to welcome some young talent to BMC Racing Team to race alongside some of Australia’s most well known riders; Rohan Dennis, Simon Gerrans, Richie Porte, and Miles Scotson.”
For Alexander Evans, the opportunity to join BMC Racing Team as a stagiaire is an important step in his career. “I’m looking forward to being around some of the best professionals in pro cycling and learning as much as possible, not just from the riders but all of the people that make up the team. This will be the first time I’m in a team with dedicated performance coaches, soigneurs, and mechanics and I think it will be a great experience. I hope to learn as much as I can about the tactics and plans during a race from the more experienced guys and I’m very much looking forward to taking part in some of the races in my program, especially those that go uphill,” Evans said.
“To be given the chance to be part of BMC Racing Team as a stagiaire and ride in the same colors as Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans, Miles Scotson and Rohan Dennis is really a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Freddy Ovett is excited to gain experience at the WorldTour level with BMC Racing Team. “Joining BMC Racing Team for the last half of the year is quite simply a dream come true. It’s a team I’ve been very fond of since I started cycling and I’m very humbled to be given this opportunity by the team. I’m looking forward to meeting all the staff and riders and beginning my journey of understanding how to be a successful professional at the highest level. It’s exciting to be a part of one of cycling’s biggest professional teams and I’m looking to learn as much as possible within this time period,” Ovett said.
“BMC Racing Team’s connection with Australian riders was obviously a massive drawcard to me. Having met Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans a few times in the past and being mates with Miles Scotson and Rohan Dennis, there was a direct connection with the team and I believe this will make my transition into the team a lot easier. I’m hoping that at the end of this stagiaire period I can honestly say I did everything I could in my power to help the team achieve good results. In addition to that, I’m looking to learn as much as possible from both the staff and riders about the world of professional cycling at the highest level, and in general enjoy the whole experience and have fun with it, as that is after all why we ride a bike.”
PEZ spoke to Freddy Ovett earlier this year:
Star-Studded Rosters Announced for 14th Edition of Tour of Utah Professional Stage Race
Teams to Bring 121 Riders Representing 20 Countries for Southern Utah Start on Aug. 6
Two past Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah champions are among the star-studded field of 121 athletes representing 20 countries announced today on the preliminary rosters for the 17 men’s teams expected to compete in the 14th edition of “America’s Toughest Stage Race.” Starting Monday, Aug. 6, in St. George and finishing on Sunday, Aug. 12, in Park City, the internationally-sanctioned stage race boasts 31 riders with Grand Tour experience and 25 riders who have won national championships.
The Grand Tours of professional cycling — Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España — are the ultimate tests of endurance, each spanning three weeks of racing. Among the athletes who have competed in these Grand Tours, 13 riders have competed in all three races over their careers, and 11 have competed in two of the events. Twelve riders in the Tour of Utah field most recently competed in the 2018 Giro d’Italia.
Among the Tour of Utah alumni returning to compete in this year’s race include eight stage winners and seven classification jersey winners, including two General Classification champions. Canadian Rob Britton will lead Rally Cycling to defend his 2017 overall title. American climber Joe Dombrowski, who captured the overall G.C. crown in 2015, returns with EF Education First-Drapac presented by Cannondale.
American Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team has both a stage win (2017) and a Utah Sports Commission Sprint classification jersey (2015) on his resume. His stage win came on a mountaintop finish at Snowbasin Resort. He is also one of the prominent riders who has competed in all three Grand Tours.
“I always enjoy and appreciate when the Tour of Utah has a prologue or a non-uphill time trial, because it rounds out the race,” said Bookwalter about the time trial stage to begin race week in St. George. “By adding in a prologue, it balances out the race a bit and forces the climbers to be in their best form in the race against the clock. The classic Salt Lake City circuit is one of my favorite stages of the Tour of Utah because it brings us back into the city and in front of the great crowds that line the course.” Bookwalter finished second last year at the Salt Lake City stage.
Taylor “TJ” Eisenhart of Holowesko-Citadel presented by Arapahoe Resources is the only rider who is a Utah native. His best finish in the Tour of Utah was seventh overall in 2016. He finished 11th on G.C. last year.
“I am super excited to be back down south racing in Cedar City, and very excited about this year’s course,” said Eisenhart, who grew up in the Lehi area of Utah. “The climb over Brian Head up to Cedar Breaks is definitely not an easy climb. The climb has some very difficult pitches, and then adding into the mix the high altitude. It will be a very hard opening stage. It’s awesome that the Tour of Utah has always loved including the stellar climb Mount Nebo. The last time I raced it at Utah was 2016. That day was a super special day for me. It was my first pro race, and the first race where my family truly was able to watch me race.”
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free for all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. This year’s Tour of Utah is one of only two men’s professional stage races graded 2.HC on the UCI America Tour. The contest is also part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour. The course covers 548 miles of racing and 43,780 feet of elevation gain for the seven days. The longest day will be Stage 3, recently extended by 10 miles to a total of 116.8 miles (188 kilometers), which will start at Antelope Island State Park in northern Utah, pass through Hill Air Force Base and finish in Layton City. All course maps are available at tourofutah.com.
TEAMS – 2018 LARRY H. MILLER TOUR OF UTAH
BMC Racing Team (USA)
EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (USA)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands)
UCI Pro Continental
Hagens Berman Axeon (USA)
Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources (USA)
Israel Cycling Academy (Israel)
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini (Italy)
Rally Cycling (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
303 Project (USA)
Aevolo Cycling (USA)
Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling (USA)
Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Maxxis (USA)
mobius BridgeLane (Australia) *
Silber Pro Cycling (Canada)
* added in July 2018, replacing Bardiani CSF
BMC Racing Team has won the overall team classification the past two years and returns with another solid roster. Joining Bookwalter is Joe Rosskopf (USA), the reigning U.S. Pro Individual Time Trial national champion. Rosskopf finished sixth overall in the 2016 Tour of Utah. Making his first appearance in Utah in seven years is Tejay van Garderen. Currently racing in the Tour de France, van Garderen won a time trial stage in Utah in 2011. Swiss rider Tom Bohli is a two-time U23 silver medalist in the time trial.
In addition to Dombrowki, Team EF Education First-Drapac presented by Cannondale will feature Canadian Michael Woods, who won Stage 5 of the 2015 Tour of Utah and finished the week second on G.C. American standouts are Nate Brown and Alex Howes. Brown, a former U.S. U23 ITT champion, wore the King of the Mountains classification jersey at two stages of last year’s Tour de France. Howes, who has ridden all three Grand Tours, was the Best Young Rider at the 2009 Tour of Utah.
Mitchelton-Scott, Australia’s only UCI WorldTour squad, last competed in Utah in 2013 as Orica-GreenEDGE. The roster includes former Australian junior road race champion, Lucas Hamilton, and fellow Aussie Cameron Meyer, who finished second on G.C. at this year’s Herald Sun Tour.
Two-time Tour of Utah stage winner (2015, ’16) Kiel Reijnen (USA) is part of the Trek-Segafredo roster that includes seven riders from five countries. He will be joined by three former national champions — Laurent Didier, ITT for Luxembourg; Michel Ries, Junior ITT for Luxembourg; and Greg Rast, two-time road race for Switzerland.
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo brings two Americans who have excelled in Utah. Neilson Powless, last year’s U.S. U23 ITT titleholder, won the Best Young Rider classification and finished fourth overall at the 2017 Tour of Utah. Sepp Kuss finished second on last year’s Stage 2 and finished ninth on G.C.
Among these rising stars of the peloton for Hagens Berman Axeon are Americans Jonny Brown and Sean Bennett. Brown, brother of Nate, is the reigning USA Cycling Professional Road National Champion. Bennett is a stage winner at this year’s Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, the “baby Giro” for U23 riders, and was named the Best Young Rider at the 2018 Tour of the Gila in New Mexico.
Holowesko-Citadel presented by Arapahoe Resources has riders from five countries on its roster to support Eisenhart. Andrei Krasilnikau is a two-time road race national champion from Belarus. Cuban Ruben Companioni, who finished second on a Tour of Utah stage in 2016, captured the G.C. title at this year’s Joe Martin Stage Race.
Israel Cycling Academy returns to Utah for a second year. The team competed as a wild card entry in May’s Giro d’Italia with three of those riders coming to Utah — Ben Hermans (BEL), Rubén Plaza (ESP), and Guy Sagiv (ISR). Former Colombian road race champion Edwin Avila Vanegas is a featured climber.
Nippo-Vini Fantini brings a squad with one Japanese and six Italian riders. Sho Hatsuyama is a former road race champion of Japan, and won the KOM at last year’s Tour of Japan. Former Italian Road Race national champion Ivan Santaromita is also a veteran of all three Grand Tours.
Rally Cycling is led by the defending G.C. champion of the Tour of Utah, Britton, who is fifth overall in the PRT national standings. Two Americans returning on the roster are 2017 Utah stage winner Ty Magner, and 2017 Tour of Alberta champion Evan Huffman.
The UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team has participated in every edition of the Tour of Utah, and is the top-ranked PRT men’s team. Two riders have won stages at the Tour of Utah, Lachlan Norris (AUS) and Travis McCabe (USA). Norris won Stage 7 in Park City in 2015, and finished sixth overall that year. McCabe, the 2017 U.S. Pro Criterium champion, won stages at the 2017 and 2016 Tour of Utah. He also claimed the Utah Sports Commission Sprint classification jersey last year.
New UCI Continental team, 303 Project, features Flavio de Luna, a former Mexican ITT national champion. He finished in the Top 20 of the G.C. in Utah in 2015. Teammate Griffin Easter (USA) captured a stage win at the 2018 Tour De Beauce.
All the riders for Aevolo Cycling are under the age of 23 and qualify for the Best Young Rider classification. The current ITT national champion for Mexico, Luis Villalobos Hernandez, is riding for Aevolo Cycling. At 20 years of age, he will also compete for the Best Young Rider designation. Another 20-year-old rider to watch is Gage Hecht, who was fifth in this year’s U.S. Pro ITT national championships.
With more than 40 wins so far in 2018, Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling has battled UnitedHealthcare as the top PRT team this season. The team will be led by Canadian James Piccoli, who finished 10th overall at last year’s Tour of Utah. Most recently, Piccoli won the G.C. title at the 2018 Tour de Beauce. American Sam Bassetti won the sprint classification at the 2018 Joe Martin Stage Race.
Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS returns to Utah for a ninth year. The team will feature American Jacob Rathe, who climbed into the Utah Office of Tourism KOM classification title last year. He won the bronze medal at the 2018 U.S. Pro ITT nationals. Mexican Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto placed second in his country’s road race championship this year. Australian Lionel Mawditt was third on G.C. at the Joe Martin Stage Race.
Australian-based mobius BridgeLane was added to the Tour of Utah lineup earlier this month, replacing Bardiani-CSF. A UCI Continental team, mobius BridgeLane features American Russell Finsterwald, who earned a mountain bike national championship in short track cross-country in 2015. The team will bring two riders who finished in the Top 10 at the Oceania Continental Road Race Championships, Connor Brown (NZL) and Conor Murtagh (AUS).
Silber Pro Cycling stockpiles an all-Canadian roster for a return to Utah. Having recently swept the podiums in the U23 ITT and criterium disciplines at the 2018 Canadian Road Championships, Silber will bring several of these performers. Nicolas Zukowsky won the Criterium title and Adam Roberge took the U23 ITT title. Pier-André Côté, who finished with bronze in the crit championships, won two stages at this year’s Tour de Beauce.
More information at: tourofutah.com.
Philippe Gilbert Leaves Hospital
The Belgian hopes to return to racing before the end of the season.
Twenty-four hours after battling a knee injury on his way to finishing stage 16 of the Tour de France despite crashing on the descent of Col de Portet-d’Aspet, Philippe Gilbert returned to Belgium, at the Herentals Hospital, together with the doctor of Quick-Step Floors, for a series of further examinations on his left leg.
The tests underwent by the 36-year-old – whose exploits in the Pyrenees were rewarded with the most combative rider prize – confirmed the initial diagnosis, which requires four weeks off the bike and a conservative therapy due to the good position of the patella fracture he sustained.
Since Tuesday afternoon, Philippe was flooded with messages on social media from fans from all over the world and was overwhelmed by these and the best wishes he received, which helped him overcome the tough moment he faces.
“I want to say a big thank to everybody, it’s truly unbelievable how many fantastic supporters I have. You know, when you are winning and are riding on a high wave, you sometimes don’t realize how important your fans are, but I got to see that after this scary moment, having received heartwarming messages from Europe, Japan or the United States, and for that I am extremely grateful. These motivate me to fight and hopefully come back before the end of the season”, said Philippe, who on Friday left the hospital and returned home.
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