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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The Tour de France is over, but we have the Clásica de San Sebastián this Saturday to look forward to. Results and video from the Tour de Wallonie and the teams have their say on the French Grand Tour. Katusha and Arkéa to get together? – Top Story. A load of other cycling news in the trash: Riders for the Basque Classic, Tour de Pologne news, Omar Fraile re-signs with Astana, Soraya Paladin signs for CCC-Liv, two stagiaires for UAE Team Emirates and Team Novo Nordisk on Colnago till 2021. A full EUROTRASH Thursday!

TOP STORY: Katusha Fusion with Arkéa-Samsic?
It seems that Katusha is about to merge with Arkéa-Samsic. The news was confirmed by WielerFlits through various sources. Katusha owner, Igor Makarov, will remain the owner of the WorldTour license. The team – including Nairo Quintana – will be riding BMC bikes from 1 January.

Makarov has been talking to several parties in recent weeks. Reportedly five or six different teams, one was the Israel Cycling Academy. The Israel team have wanted to move up to the WorldTour for a while. Arkéa-Samsic, which has been particularly active in the transfer market in recent months, has also been in the running all the time.

In the meantime, it seems the decision has been made. The riders who are still under contract with Arkéa-Samsic have received a document, which, provided it is signed, they agree to take the step to the WorldTour. Makarov remains the boss and has applied for a WorldTour license for 2020.

11 + 11
Katusha-Alpecin still has eleven riders on their books, including Nils Politt, Jens Debusschere and Jenthe Biermans, under contract for 2020. At Arkéa-Samsic there are also eleven, including Warren Barguil. According to sources, those numbers also played a role in the final decision. If you merge two teams of twenty-five riders, you could have a numerical problem.

And with those 22 riders under contract, there is still enough room to complete the other transfers, such as Nacer Bouhanni, the brothers Quintana, Winner Anacona, Diego Rosa and Fernando Barceló. It also looks like the team might ride BMC bikes.

The eleven Katusha-Alpecin riders with contracts for 2020: Jens Debusschere, Jenthe Biermans, Enrico Battaglin, Alex Dowsett, Reto Hollestein, Dani Navarro, Nils Politt, Mads Würtz Schmidt, Dmitry Strakhov, Harry Tanfield and Rick Zabel.

The eleven Arkéa-Samsic riders with contracts for 2020: Warren Barguil, Maxime Bouet, Anthony Delaplace, Elie Gesbert, André Greipel (possibly), Thibault Guernalec, Romain Hardy, Laurent Pichon, Alan Riou, Connor Swift and Bram Welten.

Arkéa-Samsic possible signings for 2020: Nacer Bouhanni, Nairo Quintana, Dayer Quintana, Winner Anacona, Diego Rosa and Fernando Barceló. What about Ilnar Zakarin and the others?

The Arkéa-Samsic team management has denied that the deal has gone through.

Arkéa-Katusha in 2020?

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie 2019
The sun made its appearance in the VOO Tour de Wallonie (2.HC, 27-31/07) at the start of Stage 3 in La Roche-en-Ardenne. A trio built an advantage on the peloton towards Signal de Botrange, highest point of Belgium, but their adventure ended after 60 kilometres. A new group of six riders managed to create a gap on the hilly roads on the East Canton Plateau, under control of team Wanty-Gobert. The breakaway was caught before entering Verviers, residence of race leader Loïc Vliegen. The peloton prepared for a bunch sprint during the 30 kilometre local lap. Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy) took the victory, with Timothy Dupont finishing 8th and increasing his lead in the points classification. Loïc Vliegen, 16th at the finish-line, stays leader in the general classification, with two days to go. Wanty-Gobert remains leader in the team classification. The peloton stays in the province of Liège this Tuesday, with a stage between Villers-le-Bouillet and Lierneux.

Overall leader, Loïc Vliegen (Wanty-Gobert): “I experienced all kinds of weather the last couple of weeks: a warm and humid Tokyo, a heatwave when coming home, rain during the past two race days and again heat today. But apparently I endure this alternation pretty well. Many people along the road encouraged me, which helped me to rise above myself today. The team worked really well today, I probably would have lost the jersey without them. The race was very difficult to control, but my teammates were very strong. This gives me confidence for the rest. It is clear that the two last days won’t be easy, but they have confidence in me and I have confidence in them. Of course I knew this stage very well, because I live less than 1 kilometre away from the finish. I raced on my training roads, just like yesterday, which is always pleasant. We stay within the province tomorrow, before the final on the Mur de Thuin on Wednesday. My parents-in-law live there, so I also know these roads quite well. It would be fantastic to finish this off, yesterday’s victory was a first milestone in my career and I hope more will follow. My counter is unlocked, I don’t need to hide it’s good!”

7th on the stage, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “I proposed the team to help my teammates with their work for race leader Loïc, which took me a lot of power. I came out of the final corner second or third, but I caught too much wind before and didn’t have enough power left to realise something nice in this tough sprint. I keep the green points jersey, but most important are our two stage victories and keeping the yellow leader’s jersey in our midst. We’re taking the responsibility for this jersey since three days, so we deserve to have it in our possession.”

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Stage 3 Result:
1. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy in 4:40:43
2. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
4. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
5. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions
9. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels.

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 13:07:54
2. Christopher Lawless (GB) Ineos at 0:12
3. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:13
4. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:18
5. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:19
7. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis at 0:21
8. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:22
9. Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis
10. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Wallonie’19 stage 3:

A six man breakaway, with Arnaud Démare, was formed at the start of Stage 4 of the VOO Tour de Wallonie (2.HC, 27-31/07). The teammates of leader Loïc Vliegen kept their advantage within six minutes, until an acceleration of Vital Concept-B&B Hotels thinned the peloton and reduced the time gap of the escapees. An attentive Loïc Vliegen reacted to attacks from his competitors, while Edward Dunbar (Ineos), last survivor of the breakaway, resisted the peloton until 11 kilometre before the finish in Lierneux. The stage victory was decided in a sprint, despite many breakaway attempts in the finalé. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) won, and Loïc Vliegen keeps the leader’s jersey one day longer thanks to a 32rd place in the sprint. Nobody threatened the leader’s position for green points jersey, which also stays one day longer with Timothy Dupont. One final 190 kilometre stage from Couvin to Thuin is awaiting the Wanty-Gobert duo to defend their leader’s positions.

Overall leader, Loïc Vliegen (Wanty-Gobert): “The six man early breakaway was an ideal situation for us to control, until Vital Concept-B&B Hotels accelerated on the de Côte de Wanne with still 80 kilometre to go and we consequently lost four riders. Yesterday’s stage was hard for our team, today we faced the consequence. Fabien Doubey and Thomas Degand did an excellent job in the final, never giving up. I often reacted to attacks of my closest competitors and showed them my presence. It was not an easy day, and I expect the same situation tomorrow, with the Mur de Thuin as the decisive factor. My teammates and myself will have to recover well!”

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Stage 4 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:26:52
2. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
3. Stijn Steels (Bel) Roompot-Charles
4. Romain Cardis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
5. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus
6. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
9. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Christopher Lawless (GB) Ineos.

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 17:34:46
2. Christopher Lawless (GB) Ineos at 0:12
3. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:13
4. Edward Dunbar (Irl) Ineos at 0:16
5. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:18
6. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions
7. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:19
8. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis at 0:21
9. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:22
10. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Wallonie’19 stage 4:

The Final Stage 5 of the VOO-Tour de Wallonie (2.HC, 27-31/07) was ridden between Couvin and Thuin. The Wanty-Gobert brigade with yellow jersey Loïc Vliegen and green jersey Timothy Dupont set the pace in the peloton, behind six escapees. The race was made hard in the open section in the Namur province, after a hilly start to the stage. The calm returned to the peloton, with an attentive Loïc Vliegen and teammates, going into the two local laps around Thuin. The peloton had the last escapees in sight, meaning expectations about the Mur de Thuin being the decisive factor for the stage and GC win were coming true. They were caught with 3 kilometres to go, before Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) took the victory on top of the Mur de Thuin with a slight advantage on his competitors, with Loïc Vliegen finishing 7th. The young Walloon rider took the win in the general classification, after having celebrated his first pro victory in the second stage of this Tour de Wallonie.

Stage winner, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal): “Of course, it feels great to take the win today. It has been a long time since the team rode at my service, all week long, and it is nice to reward them with a victory on the last day. To be honest, I did not feel great today but when we reached the local circuit, I had good sensations again. I have raced on this hill several times in the past, so I knew exactly what to do, but eventually the legs would do the talking. There was quite some wind all day long. So, it was important not to be surprised by possible echelons, but eventually, it wasn’t much of an issue. During the entire stage, the pace was quite high so you would expect a setback from the escapees, but at a certain moment, I was also starting to get worried. Eventually, the advantage went down quite fast at the end. The team did an amazing job in the final phase of the race. First, it was Stan Dewulf who led me to the crucial corner. Then, I found myself in fifth position and I told Nikolas Maes to go full gas; that way I could start the final climb in a perfect position. My experience taught me that I could make the difference on the final gentle slopes towards the finish line. Two years ago, I attacked on the cobbled section myself, but it was Dylan Teuns who counter-attacked and won. Now, I tried it the other way around and that turned out to be the perfect tactic. When I saw that Coquard wasn’t on my wheel anymore, it gave a real boost of course. I knew that the overall victory would be very difficult. To make up 12 seconds in one kilometre is a lot and eventually, I finish second in the general classification. These performances give a lot of confidence towards the Clásica San Sebastián, where I will mainly ride at the service of the team. I think that the adapted course will be a little too hard for me, but I prepared myself really well for those kind of efforts, particularly towards the Vuelta.”

Overall winner, Loïc Vliegen (Wanty-Gobert): “I cherish a lot of memories from the junior and U23 categories, but this is the first time I celebrate as a pro rider. This victory in the Tour de Wallonie is very important for myself, as a Belgian and Walloon rider, and for the team and the sponsors. I rapidly set my sights on this TRW after a short disappointment about my non-selection for the Tour de France. They’ve chosen the best strategy, this is good for the team! Our solid collective permitted us to take the win. We all suffered this week, and we gave even more than other riders by defending the yellow jersey. The atmosphere in the team was special, I don’t only win for myself, but also for my teammates and all staff members. I’m happy to be part of Wanty-Gobert! I’m in good form for more than one month, and I concretised my ambitions this week. Very often they say a first victory is a trigger to make it ‘easier’… I hope I can continue this success!”

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Stage 5 Result:
1. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:37:23
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel at 0:01
3. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:03
4. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
6. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
7. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:04
8. Quinten Hermens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:07
9. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
10. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis.

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Final Overall Result:
1. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 22:12:13
2. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:08
3. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus
4. Christopher Lawless (GB) Ineos at 0:15
5. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels at 0:16
6. Edward Dunbar (Irl) Ineos at 0:19
7. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:21
8. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
10. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:22.

Wallonie’19 stage 5 final podium:

Tour de France 2019
The 2019 Tour de France came to an end in Paris last Sunday, and the general opinion is that it was the best French Grand Tour for many years. Full of excitement and never predictable. Here is what the teams have said:

Celebrate Egan Bernal’s Tour de France Victory
Egan Bernal crossed the line on the famous Champs-Elysées to seal a momentous Tour de France victory.

At just 22 years old, Bernal is the youngest ever winner of the yellow jersey, and the youngest rider to win the Tour in over 100 years.

Victory marks the team’s seventh overall success at the world’s biggest bike race and fifth in a row. It also represents the first Grand Tour victory in the colours of INEOS – now the first trade team to win the race with four different riders.

2018 victor Geraint Thomas finished alongside the maillot jaune to secure an emphatic 1-2 finish, with an eventual winning margin for Bernal of one minute and 11 seconds.

Bernal becomes Colombia’s first-ever Tour de France winner and was roared home by a sea of yellow in Paris – now firmly established as a household name in his homeland. In addition to yellow, he also took home the white young rider’s jersey by a commanding margin of almost 24 minutes.

Bernal and Thomas went into the race as co-leaders and received exceptional support from their Team INEOS team-mates across the three weeks. Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle all gave everything to help write another page in the team’s history.

– Egan Bernal
“I should say thank you to all my team. Thank you G for the opportunity and all the team for the support and believing in me. Today I am the most happy guy in the world. I just won the Tour de France. I can’t believe it.”

– Geraint Thomas
“Two years ago I was here with my arm in a sling, with a broken collarbone and devastated I wasn’t able to ride my bike and two years on, I’m disappointed not to have won a second Tour!”

“I’m proud of how I managed to get myself into good shape. It hasn’t been a smooth run into the Tour or during it really, but this team is incredible and it was a pleasure to be a part of Egan’s first of many [victories] and to be stood on the podium in second is still a big achievement.”

“I’m glad to be going home and closing the front door and switching off. Emotionally, mentally and physically it’s been draining and it’s still enjoyable – it’s the pinnacle of the sport and what you dream of when you were a kid, but at the same time it’s been hard work and I’m looking forward to switching off.”

– Sir Dave Brailsford
“I’ve been over to Colombia a couple of times in the last few years and the Colombians themselves, and where cycling sits in their culture, is unbelievable.”

“To be able to deliver their first ever Tour de France champion is something we’ve spoken about previously. I feel very proud. It’s a privilege to get to work with all these people – fantastic staff, fantastic new owners.”

“Riders who have won this – the calibre of Geraint or of Chris Froome – when those guys realise it’s the moment to support, they do. You don’t have to talk to them. They really understand the sport and they’ve got respect for each other have our guys – we’re a team. And they know that the team needs to win and they’ll put the team in front of themselves. Geraint’s demonstrated that once again like the great champion he is.”

– Nicolas Portal
“It’s incredible. [Egan] was a junior a few years ago and he’s won the Tour de France. I think it’s great for cycling, this year has been a super Tour de France.”

“It’s been a big battle for all the teams. A few people commented that in the last 20-30 years it was the most exciting Tour. For a few days there was a small bunch with a few guys and really small gaps. We’re happy to win this one and to have first and second is incredible.”

1st and 2nd overall:

Four stages wins make 2019 Tour de France most successful ever for Mitchelton-SCOTT
Mitchelton-SCOTT has wrapped up the most successful Tour de France in its eight year history today, claiming four emphatic stage victories on the road to Paris.

The Australian outfit, that had previously won three stages across the last seven years, won each of its four stage victories from breakaways, with 2018 Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates winning two stages and South African Daryl Impey and Italian Matteo Trentin each taking one apiece.

Despite starting the three-week race with general classification ambitions, the eight-man squad regrouped immediately after leader Adam Yates conceded time, before concluding the race with seventh place in the final sprint on the Champs Élysées.

Stage success:
Daryl Impey (Stage 9)

Having contributed to each of Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Tour de France successes – part of the team time trial win in 2013 and leading out Simon Gerrans (2013) and Michael Matthews (2016) – Impey’s stage nine victory was one of the most well-earned in the team’s history.

The South African played his cards in the breakaway to perfection, bridging across to solo leader Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) on the final climb before out-sprinting the Belgian to the line.

Simon Yates (Stage 12)
Having arrived in France to assist his brother Adam and potentially hunt for a stage win, Simon Yates struck gold mid-race with a successful breakaway attempt on stage 12.

The 27-year-old out-sprinted Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team) and Gregor Mühlberger (BORA – hansgrohe) to complete his Grand Tour stage trifecta following his success at the Giro d’Italia (2018) and Vuelta a Espana (2016 and 2018).

Simon Yates (Stage 15)
Simon Yates took his second stage win in four days in Foix, attacking the breakaway on the bottom of the final climb and holding off a fast-closing general classification group.

Matteo Trentin (Stage 17)
After seven top-10 places, Trentin finally claimed a long-await stage victory, his third at the Tour de France. Despite being widely considered as the faster rider in the breakaway, Trentin attacked solo ahead of the final climb, removing any risk and soloing downhill to the finish line.

Matt White – Head Sport Director: “A win is a win and it’s been our most successful Tour – four stages at the Tour de France is very impressive.

“The way we’ve going about it has been pleasing as well, from breakaways. Of the six breakaways we were in, we took four stage wins and another one was cancelled so it’s not too bad of a strike rate.

“The most pleasing thing was the way the boys went about their business. Obviously the number one objective when we came in was to support Adam on the general classification. We already had two stage wins when we had to change our tack, but not only did we change tack, we changed tack very successfully and bagged another two wins as well.

“It’s pretty gratifying. Every year, everyone works just as hard. Some years you have good luck and others bad luck. We’ve been on the tail of some bad luck the last couple of years, but this year we’ve had some good luck, but you make your own luck at the same time.”

Simon Yates – Double stage winner:

UAE Team Emirates Reflects on One of the Toughest Tours in Recent History
Cycling is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet and very few races on the professional cycling calendar are as challenging as the Tour de France.

On the 6th July, eight riders from UAE Team Emirates set off to tackle three weeks, 21 stages, five summit finishes and nearly 3,500kms of road racing. It was a Tour designed to test even the most accomplished bike rider and – with 30 categorised climbs, six of which went above 2,000m in the final three mountain stages – it did just that.

UAE Team Emirates headed out to France in good shape. Both GC leader and stage hunter Dan Martin, and fast man Alexander Kristoff were full of confidence, whilst Fabio Aru was looking stronger every day as he fought back from a leg surgery earlier in the season. However, it was not to be UAE Team Emirates’ year. Despite getting two men inside the overall top 20 the team riders was unable to produce the same level of performances that delivered a remarkable two stage wins and an award for most combative rider back in 2018.

After finishing in 18th position, Dan Martin said: “The 2019 Tour de France was definitely the hardest Tour I’ve done. We knew when the route was released that it was going to be tough but the conditions and high level of competition really added to it this year. Every day we had a new challenge – wind, the mountains, forty degree heat and even landslides. It was never boring for sure and we’re glad it’s over now so we can rest up and prepare for the next races.”

Martin is one of the most determined and committed men in the peloton, and he’s a rider that likes it when the going gets tough. This year his form didn’t quite match that of his stellar 2018 performance, but he is already looking to the future. He added: “It’s been a strange Tour for me. Obviously I came in with really good condition and for whatever reason it just didn’t happen, but I am going to work with the team and come back even stronger”

Fabio Aru, who finished just above Martin in 14th spot was able to take a lot of positives from his experience: “During the Tour my performances improved steadily but I was still a bit behind the top GC guys. I consider this a good test, so now I’ll take a short rest and will get ready for my next block of races. Stage 20 was a good stage for me. After three weeks of racing, we went full gas for the whole two hours and I was able to sustain the pace. This is a positive sign for me and will help my progression.”

Whilst it was billed as the highest Tour in history, there were also a good selection of technical flat stages for the fast men to contest, with the competition for sprint wins as fierce as it has ever been. Kristoff managed to earn himself four top 10 finishes, including a second place, where he narrowly missed out on the Stage 4 win to Elia Viviani (Deceuninck Quick-Step). Known as a rider that gets stronger as the Tour goes on, Kristoff was hoping to relive last year’s Champs-Elysées success by taking the final stage in Paris. However, luck was not on his side and the Norwegian powerhouse experienced a mechanical with just 2kms to go.

Another UAE Team Emirates rider, the young up and coming Belgian talent Jasper Philipsen, showed his form after holding his own with some of the world’s best sprinters. He came into the race as Kristoff’s lead-out man and his remarkable efforts were rewarded with three top 10 finishes – an impressive feat for a 21 year old taking part in their first ever Grand Tour, during their WorldTour season debut.

Overall, the 2019 Tour was not only the most open and exciting edition that fans have experienced in recent history, but a race that every single one of the riders and team staff enjoyed. For UAE Team Emirates, it is now onwards and upwards as all eyes focus on their next stage race in Poland. The team heads there with a formidable line up, including both Diego Ulissi and superstar Fernando Gaviria. The Columbian fast man is gunning for a stage win after taking a few months out of racing to recover from a knee injury. Meanwhile, his team mate Ulissi is also looking to take a win on one of the uphill finishes – a finale that always seems to suit his characteristics well.

We rode together in France:

Tour of records for BORA – hansgrohe:
Peter Sagan makes Tour de France history with Maillot Vert number seven while Emanuel Buchmann takes GC fourth.

128km, two categorised climbs and one intermediate sprint was all that separated the peloton from Paris. Rolling out from Rambouillet three weeks after the start of the race in Brussels, the number of points available today meant that there could be no change in the standings for the polka dot and green jerseys, and so the stage would be what has become a ceremonial ride into France’s capital for the race’s finale. Once the riders arrived on the Champs-Élysées though, it was a whole different story, with the sprinters pushing to take the glory after a little more than eight laps of the city circuit in front of the huge crowds on the Tour de France’s final day.

The flag dropped on the sunny afternoon, allowing the peloton to make its way north-east to Paris, the roadsides filled with fans to wave and cheer on the riders. Before the pace went up, it was a chance for everyone in the peloton to remember the past three weeks of racing – if the tan lines and the aching legs weren’t reminders enough. For BORA – hansgrohe, it had been an exceptional race, both individually and as a team. On every single road stage, the BORA – hansgrohe ‘Band of Brothers’ had worked together to protect their GC leader, Emanuel Buchmann, and to get Peter Sagan into position for the sprint finishes, in which he took one on stage 5. Marcus Burghardt was consistently on the front of the peloton to drive the pace on almost every stage, while the team also took the opportunity to jump in the break, with Patrick Konrad, Daniel Oss, Maximilian Schachmann and Lukas Pöstlberger each making an impact in the escape, with Gregor Mühlberger coming close to taking the victory on stage 12. For Emanuel, this was one of the best ever GC performances in the Tour de France for a German rider, and having steadily improved year by year, his fourth position this year was the 26-year-old’s career-best Grand Tour finish. Not content with exceeding his own record for the most days in any classifications jersey and equalling the record for the number of green jerseys won last year, Peter Sagan took a record-breaking seventh Maillot Vert – beating the record of Erik Zabel that had stood for eighteen years.

Setting a lazy pace over the first 40km, the photographers and TV crews had plenty of time to get shots of the jersey winners and their bikes – including Peter Sagan’s special edition Specialized Venge – but while a rider would occasionally push away off the front, the peloton was always together. As the day went on and the sun started dipping lower on the horizon, the country roads gave way to city streets as the race hit Paris. Celebrating one of Paris’ most famous landmarks by passing through the Cour Carrée, Cour Napoléon and by the Louvre Museum, the riders were given a close-up view of the Pyramide du Louvre, before hitting the Place de la Concorde. Here, on familiar territory, the race was on as the eight laps circling the Arc de Triomphe began. Several attempts to break away came as the crowds cheered the racers on, but with the average speed in the bunch 60kmh, this was tough. Finally, a group of four managed to ride off the front, their advantage topping out at thirty seconds, but with so little time to build a lead and the peloton’s pace so high, it was going to be hard to make it last. The escape brought back just before the bell rang to signal the start of the final lap, it was full speed ahead for the finish. The green jersey of Peter Sagan was staying safe in the bunch as they rounded the Arc de Triomphe for the final time and the high speeds stretched out the peloton to the point it was barely together. Coming across the finish line in 10th position on the Champs-Élysées, Peter had already taken the victory today with his record breaking seventh green jersey, while Emanuel Buchmann made it official – crossing the line with the sprinters to confirm BORA – hansgrohe’s best ever Grand Tour GC position.

From the Finish Line
“I need one or two weeks to realise what has happened over the last three weeks. To be one of the top 5 in the Tour de France is unbelievable. I always thought that something like this could be possible but, at the Tour de France, mistakes are not allowed. Thankfully, I made it, even when I was on the limit at the end. This fourth place overall was the optimum; Bernal, Thomas and Kruijswijk were too strong. I need to calm down now to enjoy all these moments. I would be happy if this success motivates young adults and kids to start cycling too and join a club. Furthermore, I want to say thank you to Ralph Denk and BORA-hansgrohe. Together we worked so hard in the last couple of years. Today we can celebrate this hard work.”Emanuel Buchmann.

“To wear the green jersey on the podium of the Champs-Elysées is a privilege and an honour, even more so when it is for a record-breaking seventh time. I’d like to thank everybody in the team, our management, the staff, the sports directors, the riders, we all worked hard to achieve this. We had a very good Tour de France and we showed that each year we progress as a team, we get stronger. However, nothing of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsors that believe in us and have been by our side in the most difficult moments and now in this moment of happiness and glory. I will now take a few days off and then continue to work for the upcoming goals of the final part of the season.”Peter Sagan.

“It was a perfect Tour de France for us. We achieved all our goals, a stage win, the green jersey and we even exceeded them with Emanuel’s fourth place on the GC, as we came into the race looking to have a rider in the top ten. I am so proud for two reasons; Peter has won his seventh Maillot Vert, a record which we helped set up, and Emanuel’s fourth place. He is a rider who grew up in our team and who gently developed together with us. We were already top in the sprints and Classic races and this season we showed that we have also improved in the stage races. This Tour was the perfect proof of that. We will enjoy this success but we won’t rest because we still have a lot of goals and we will do everything to improve. I hope after this success cycling will see a resurgence in popularity in Germany. Cycling would deserve it.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

Another green jersey for Peter Sagan:

In it together
A toast to the staff behind our Tour team.

For the team you see in front of you racing every day in July, there’s an entire team behind them.

Working at dawn filling bottles. Working at dusk, washing bikes.

The team chefs cook all day in the van, and the directors, who make the plans, are on the radios, and leading us day in and out.

Soigneurs massage, cover the feed zones, do the wash, make jokes. Mechanics, ride in the car, under pressure, stand out at night tweaking the shifting, or changing wheels.

The doctors keep us healthy. The comms crew spread the word.

The chiros keep us in line. The bus driver keeps us rolling.

And then there are those at home working tirelessly behind the scenes, and the EFers all over the world. And of course, our fearless leaders.

We’re in this together.

Continue reading here

Tour de France: A full team in Paris
The 106th edition of the Tour de France (2.WT, 6-28/07) was concluded with a traditional 128 kilometre stage from Rambouillet to Paris this Sunday. Yellow jersey and winner of the Tour de France 2019, Egan Bernal, was celebrated with champagne on his way to the French capital. Wanty-Gobert joined the party with a 12th place in the general classification for Guillaume Martin, a 3rd place in the stage to La Planche des belles Filles for Xandro Meurisse and the combativity prize for Aimé De Gendt in the eleventh stage and for Yoann Offredo in the first week.

The last stage victory was decided in a prestigious sprint on the Champs-Elysées after three weeks and 3365.8 kilometre. The four man breakaway couldn’t do anything against the power of the peloton. The Australian rider Caleb Ewan took his third stage victory, with Andrea Pasqualon concluding Wanty-Gobert’s Tour de France with a 13th place. No time gaps were made, so Guillaume Martin and Xandro Meurisse maintained their 12th and 21st place in the final general classification. The team arrives for the third time in a row with a full squad in Paris, a goal close to the heart of general manager Jean-François Bourlart.

Andrea Pasqualon: “My sprint was good today, partly thanks to help from Aimé De Gendt and Xandro Meurisse. My feeling was good and I followed a good wheel. I think it’s normal to feel tired legs, which is probably the same for all sprinters. Even if I only made it once in the top 10, I am satisfied with my Tour de France, because I was often close, with 11th, 12th and 13th places between the best sprinters in the world. Furthermore, I have good memories of three days in the breakaway, which is not always easy in the Tour de France. Moreover, I contributed to the 3rd place of Xandro on La Planche des Belles Filles and to the 12th place of Guillaume in the general classification. I’m very happy that both managed to keep their 21st and 12th position in GC, a good accomplishment for a team like ours!”

Jean-François Bourlart: “We had an exceptional Tour de France, with a Grand Départ in Belgium where we wanted to show a positive image of our project. We showed our jersey by joining breakaways in the previous years. But this year we also battled with the best in difficult stages, the 3rd place of Xandro Meurisse on La Planche des Belles Filles for example. There, one of the revelations of the Tour de France 2019 has shown a part of his potential. He ends 21st in the general classification and first Belgian rider. Furthermore, the 12th place of Guillaume Martin is a fantastic accomplishment. Hilaire Van der Schueren told me this was the best car number entering the Champs-Elysées since the start of his career. This number represents the best rider of the team, Guillaume Martin, and this is exceptional for a team like Wanty-Gobert. We showed ASO that they were right to give us their confidence, that we deserved it, and that we want to come back!”

Wanty-Gobert – In the break every day:

#InsideOut at the Tour de France | A thrilling 21 stages
That’s a wrap on the #TDF2019 and what a month of racing we’ve had! Join us for one last #InsideOut from the race and relive all of the action.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Clasica San Sebastian
The only Spanish World Tour one-day race contains seven leg-sapping ascents jammed in a 226km-long course.

Less than a week from the end of the Tour de France, many of the riders who completed the second Grand Tour of the season will line out for the 39th edition of Clasica San Sebastian, a spectacular race to the taste of climbers and puncheurs alike. Starting and finishing in the charming city that lies on the coast of the Atlantic, the race – which puts on the table a slightly revamped course – should get off to a quiet start before coming to life on the iconic Jaizkibel climb (8.3km, 5.3%), which will make a first selection in the peloton.

With 70 kilometres to go, the riders will take on the Erlaitz, a 3.8km-long ascent averaging 10.6%, that will further whittle down the bunch, while Mendizorrotz could give the cue for some other moves from the field. Despite these hurdles, it’s widely expected that the big and potentially decisive attacks will be launched on the brutal Murgil Tontorra (1.8km, 11.5%), whose steep and gruelling gradients and narrow roads can be used as springboard to victory, especially as the hill tops less than ten kilometres from the finish on the famous Boulevard.

Defending champion and UCI Classification leader Julian Alaphilippe will be at the start, where he’ll come after a tremendous Tour de France during which he ascended to a whole new level after finishing fifth overall, winning two stages and spending 14 days in the yellow jersey. He will be joined for the 39th edition of the Spanish event by Eros Capecchi, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Belgium Tour victor Remco Evenepoel (who will make his first outing in a one-day World Tour race), Mikkel Honoré and Enric Mas.

“Clasica San Sebastian is always a nice and exciting race with a very hard part in the final. Coming just after Le Tour means that many riders are still in form and can target the victory. We have a strong and motivated team, capable of playing several cards, but the plan is to take it one step at a time, see how the race unfolds and hopefully get a nice result at the end of the day”, sports director Wilfried Peeters said.

03.08 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian (ESP) 1.UWT

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Tim Declercq (BEL), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Remco Evenepoel (BEL), Mikkel Honoré (DEN), Enric Mas (ESP).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

Julian Alaphilippe:

Preview Clásica San Sebastián 2019
Only a week has passed since the Tour de France came to an end, but the next World Tour race is already here. On Saturday 3 August, the hilly Clásica San Sebastián is scheduled. Quite some riders who rode the Tour de France will head to the Spanish Basque Country to see their good shape confirmed. Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens are the Lotto Soudal leaders, says sports director Frederik Willems.

Frederik Willems: “For the first time in a while, the course has been slightly adapted, compared to previous years. In the past, the peloton had to climb the Jaizkibel and the Arkale each lap. Now, the Arkale has been removed and the Jaizkibel is only climbed once. Instead, some new hills make their appearance, with the Murgil-Tontorra, the steep climb with gradients up to 22 percent – probably as the decisive climb. In the past, this hill was only faced once, now two times. That could possibly change the race.”

“I expect that the same big names will battle it out. It are almost always the riders who have good legs in the Tour de France, who ride well at the Clásica San Sebastián. In my opinion, those riders are sufficiently recovered and will make the race, but we always have to await whether there will be a surprise.”

“Until the first time the Murgil-Tontorra, we will try to move along and to be protected at the front with riders like Tosh Van der Sande or Jelle Vanendert. When the finale approaches, Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens will need to take control, because they are our leaders. The rest of the team will support them as best they can and will try to prevent us from having to race defensively.”

“Usually, a puncher with good descending skills wins the race. Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens also have those qualities. They both know the descent and even possible wet roads should not prevent them from being at the front. Our goal is to have at least one of the two in the decisive group that will sprint for the victory.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal:
Tiesj Benoot, Jens Keukeleire, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sports director: Frederik Willems.

Tosh Van der Sande – Wallonia stage 5 winner:

Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian
Michiel Elijzen – Team Sunweb coach: “The organisers have changed the route for this year’s race ever so slightly but the finish climb is still, as always, the focal point. We are really motivated to go for a good result here and have a strong configuration of riders to go for it. We’ll look to set up Nicholas up for the tough finale who showed just how determined he is in the Tour. We will also bring neo-pro U23 world champion Marc, who is fresh from altitude camp, into position as we continue his development at the WorldTour level.”

Jan Bakelants (BEL), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Marc Hirschi (SWI), Nicholas Roche (IRL), Florian Stork (GER), Louis Vervaeke (BEL).

Nicholas Roche – Tour stage 9:

Team UAE Emirates Gear up for the Clasica San Sebastian
Six nations represented in the Emirati squad.

UAE Team Emirates will take part in the Clasica San Sebastian (WT), which takes place on Saturday, August 3, with a good mix of riders from all over the world.

Sport directors Joxean Matxin (Esp) and Neil Stephens (Aus) will manage seven cyclists from six different countries:
– Rui Costa (Por)
– Daniel Martin (Irl)
– Sebastian Molano (Col)
– Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
– Jan Polanc (Slo)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)

The route of the Basque race will run over 227,3 km, featuring no less than seven categorised climbs on a notoriously strenuous course which concludes in the heart of the city of San Sebastian.

Tadej Pogačar: “San Sebastian will be my first race after a training block, I’m coming back to racing feeling confident and ready to test myself against top competition, which we will no doubt be up against. I have worked hard over the past weeks, and I’m eager to see if this race will suit me well.”

Clasica San Sebastian
On Saturday the UCI World Tour continues with the Clasica San Sebastian taking place in San Sebastian. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be at the start of the 226km hilly classic.

The traditional Clasica San Sebastian once again takes place as the first World Tour race post the Tour de France. Several Tour de France top contenders are expected to try and squeeze out the last bit of their July form at the Basque Country one-day classic.

Roman Kreuziger, who was our best placed rider at the Tour in 16th, will lead our team at Clasica San Sebastian. There are 7 key climbs along the 226km route, the final climb being 2km in length with an average gradient of 11% and peaking just 9km from the line in San Sebastian.

Danilo Wyss, who was climbing strongly at last week’s Adriatica Ionica Race, will also lineup in San Sebastian together with Louis Meintjes, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Nic Dlamini and Scott Davies.

“San Sebastian is a really nice race. This year the parcour looks quite a bit harder than previous years because we will do the steep climb in the final twice now. I feel my condition is good after Adriatica Ionica Race, so I am looking forward to this tough challenge on Saturday.”Danilo Wyss.

Dylan Teuns Won’t be Racing in San Sebastian
Dylan Teuns was involved in a minor home accident today. The unfortunate event happened to Team Bahrain Merida rider while gardening with his garden tractor this morning at his house in Halen.

Dylan suffered a facial wound, that required 15 stitches in his forehead. Due to this and bashed up face, unfortunately, he will miss the upcoming ‘Clasica San Sebastian’.

All of us at Team Bahrain Merida wish him a speedy recovery!

Dylan Teuns on the way to winning Tour stage 6:

Bahrain-Merida line-up for Clásica de San Sebastián
Exciting climbing challenge is ahead of Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team riders – the hilly classic Clásica de San Sebastián. The 39thedition of this one-day race will be held on Saturday, 3rd of August.

It’s always hard to pick up pace after challenging and great races as this year’s Tour de France certainly was. But our team is more than ready for new cycling trials. One of them is already very close – a 227,3 kilometers steep climbing challenge of Clásica de San Sebastián.

The race will be played out in the steep hills of the beautiful and scenic Basque Country and as the organizers stated on the official web page – it’s a perfect race for punchers with downhill skills.

Mark Padun will be the leader of Bahrain-Merida line-up. He is fully aware of the difficulties that the seven climbs present – especially Jaikibel and the wall-like Murgil, which will be the hardest obstacles of the race. But his recent result shows he is in great shape and therefore more than prepared to take on such a challenge.

Sports director, Alberto Volpi, is also optimistic before the race: “With young Padun we have a strong leader. He has proved his shape in recent races – he won the Adriatica Ionica Race. This certainly shows that we can be optimistic about the upcoming Clasica de San Sebastian and can definitely expect an interesting race.”

The full Bahrain-Merida lineup for this year’s Clásica de San Sebastián:
Ivan Garcia Cortina, Mark Padun, Valerio Agnoli, Grega Bole, Andrea Garosio, Antonio Nibali and Meiyin Wang.

CCC Team Rosters Announced For Clásica de San Sebastián and Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic
Greg Van Avermaet will headline CCC Team’s Clásica de San Sebastián roster on Saturday (3 August) before the Polish UCI WorldTour team lines up with a well-rounded squad at the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic on Sunday (4 August).

Sports Director Fabio Baldato will be at the helm in Spain with Steve Bauer behind the wheel of the team car in the British capital.

“Clásica de San Sebastián has changed this year and it looks like the final will be harder with a steep climb added after the Jaizkibel and then we will go up the final climb two times, instead of just one. I still think, however, that this is a good race for Greg, who was performing really well in the mountains during the last week of the Tour, and we will go there to support him. As well as Greg, Joey Rosskopf is coming here after the Tour but, there will also be a lot of other really strong guys on the start line with three weeks of racing in their legs. We are happy to see Patrick Bevin make his return to racing on Saturday after his crash and overall I think all the riders on our roster are in good shape. We are confident but, we don’t feel any pressure to control the race. We will look to do a recon of the new parcours to get an idea of what that might do to the race but, overall, I am sure that as a group we can do something nice,” Baldato said.

“The Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic has adjusted the parcours from previous editions and decided to include five ascents of Box Hill, which I think will be where a selection is made. Our CCC Team rider roster will need to be attentive early to ensure we are in any important breakaways. Most of our riders competing this weekend have raced here previously and this experience will be valuable. After the final climb up Box Hill, it could be a smaller group that heads to the sprint in London so, we will need to be well-represented in the final 40 kilometers to aim for a good result,” Bauer explained.

Van Avermaet will be returning to the start line of the Spanish UCI WorldTour one-day race after finishing in the top five multiple times.

“I was happy with my form at the Tour de France and I had some nice results so, I’m motivated about lining up at the Clásica de San Sebastián and will be looking to do another good race here. There have been some changes to the course this year so, we will see what effect that has on the outcome but overall, I think the style of racing here is one that I like and it suits me. You never know how your body will recover after the Tour so I’m not putting too much pressure on myself but, if my shape is good, another top ten finish would be great,” Van Avermaet said.

Bevin is happy to be back racing after an unfortunate crash saw him forced to abandon the Tour de France.

“Of course I was disappointed with how my Tour de France ended but, I am happy with my recovery so far after the crash and it will be good to start racing again. I had to have two weeks off the bike because of my ribs so, I don’t have any personal objectives here. Instead, I will be lining up to see what I can do to help the team,” Bevin added.

Jonas Koch, who finished in the top ten at last year’s edition of the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic, is motivated ahead of the British UCI WorldTour one-day race.

“I’m feeling really good heading into this race. After the Tour of Austria, I went to an altitude camp and now, I‘m looking forward to getting back into race mode. This will be the third time that I have raced the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic and it is a race I like a lot, especially the finale in the center of London. After finishing in the top ten last year, and a successful Tour of Austria, I‘m really looking forward to Sunday and I‘m very motivated,” Koch said.

Clásica de San Sebastián (3 August)
Rider Roster:

Will Barta (USA), Patrick Bevin (NZL), Josef Černý (CZE), Víctor de la Parte (ESP), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT)
Sports Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA)

Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic (4 August)
Rider Roster:

Jonas Koch (GER), Michael Schär (SUI), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)
Sports Director: Steve Bauer (CAN

Greg Van Avermaet for the Clásica de San Sebastián:

Total-Direct Energie team for RideLondon

Deceuninck – Quick-Step to RideLondon – Surrey Classic
Riders who between them have won close to twenty races this season will make up our squad for Sunday’s race.

Britain’s only World Tour event has seen a number of changes for this year’s edition, from the start of the race, moved to Bushy Park, and the total distance – which has been shortened to 167 kilometers – to the difficulty of the course, very likely to play even more against the sprinters now that the peloton will tackle Box Hill (2.5km, 5%) on five occasions, last time with some 50 kilometers left to the finish.

Runner-up at the previous edition, Elia Viviani comes at the start having completed his set of Grand Tour stage wins at the Tour de France and will be once again among the top contenders if the race ends in a bunch sprint on The Mall, as was the case in the last three years.

Victorious on two stages and the points classification at the Adriatica Ionica Race, Alvaro Hodeg is set to make his debut at the RideLondon – Surrey Classic, where Deceuninck – Quick-Step will rely also on Paris-Roubaix reigning champion Philippe Gilbert, Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv and Zdenek Stybar, a winner of both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke in 2019.

“The race will be different this year, because we go up the Box Hill two more times, and the bunch could get shattered to pieces there. We will try to control the race as much as possible with Iljo and Davide, and in case there will be a regrouping and a mass gallop, we have both Elia and Alvaro, who’ll be supported by Michael. If not, Philippe and Zdenek, who is returning to competition, are our guys for a good result on Sunday”, said sports director Klaas Lodewyck.

04.08 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (GBR) 1.UWT

Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Michael Mørkøv (DEN), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Elia Viviani (ITA).
Sports Director Klaas Lodewyck (BEL).

Hodeg and Gilbert in Adriatico:

Kristoff Goes in Search of Glory in London
Team of strongmen assembled by UAE Team Emirates for the Prudential Ride London Classic.

Simone Pedrazzini (Sui), sports director of UAE Team Emirates, will bring a squad of seven riders who will aim to hit the big target in the British World Tour race, the Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classic (August 4th).

All eyes will be on Alexander Kristoff, a former winner in the English capital back in 2017.
The Norwegian will be able to count on the speed and experience of Roberto Ferrari and also on the strength of his compatriot Sven Erik Bystrøm.

They will be supported by a strong group of riders to affront the shortened course as for 2019 the race distance will be reduced to 169 km. The start has been moved from central London to Bushy Park and will cover five laps of the circuit including the climb to Box Hill before the finish at The Mall, but in the opposite direction to previous editions.

“The Prudential Ride London is a race that I really like, I won in the British capital last time that I participated in the race in 2017” – highlighted Alexander Kristoff“for this year, the route has been made more challenging: it can be a favourable change for me, as with my good form a harder race can allow me to have a better chance in the sprint finish”.

The seven riders competing in London will be:
– Tom Bohli (Sui)
– Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor)
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
– Marco Marcato (Ita)
– Rui Oliveira (Por)
– Oliviero Troia (Ita)

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
On Sunday Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be in London, for the only British World Tour race of the season, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

This year’s RideLondon-Surrey Classic will have a changed route, with the famous Box Hill being taken on no less than 5 times. The “tougher” route will make for an interesting race as the pure sprinters will find it difficult to stay with the punchier riders, despite the still mostly flat final 50km to the line.

Last year’s 3rd place finisher, Giacomo Nizzolo, will be at the start for us together with Ryan Gibbons and Mark Renshaw, giving us a couple of cards to play in different possible sprint finish scenarios.

There will certainly be some action on the gradients of Box Hill though, and this is where we will rely on the strength of Tom Jelte-Slagter, Jay Thomson, Julien Vermote and Rasmus Tiller.

“It will be good to race RideLondon again. I did the race two years ago in my neo pro year and afterwards, I thought it is the type of race that could suit my abilities. The route is different now though, it’s probably more difficult so it will be interesting to see how the peloton race it. I still think with so many sprinters starting, the race could unfold similarly to what it has in the past. A selection after Box Hill with a few climbing type sprinters pushing to stay clear but being chased by smaller groups with sprinters that have been dropped. Hopefully we have good legs on the day and find ourselves doing more of the pushing than the chasing.”Ryan Gibbons.

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic – Men
Matt Winston – Team Sunweb coach: “With a change to the usual course that there has been in the past few years, we go to London with a strong team that will look to support Michael in the finale of the race. The five laps up box hill will make for a challenging day in the saddle but it is one that we believe we are ready for. Nikias, Lennard and Michael all arrive in good shape from the Tour and a couple of the others just back from an altitude block, really eager to go for it in London. We’ve got a good team here so we’ll go all in for a top result.”

Nikias Arndt (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), Lennard Kämna (GER), Michael Matthews (AUS), Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Martijn Tusveld (NED).

Michael Matthews – Tour stage 8:

Prudential RideLondon Classique – Women
Nicholas Marche – Team Sunweb coach: “RideLondon takes place on a circuit in central London, with riders taking on 20 laps of 3.4 kilometres. Although the route has changed ever so slightly for this year, it still looks like it favours a big bunch sprint finish. Coryn will be our sprinter for the race, and the team will work to position her well throughout the day and set her up for the finish. There is a good atmosphere in the team after the good results at the Giro Rosa and La Course, and with one win under our belt from this race already, we are looking forward to going for it again.”

Susanne Andersen (NOR), Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR), Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Coryn Rivera (USA), Julia Soek (NED).

Coryn Rivera:

It’s a Date with the Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour From August 3 to 9
The next stage race on the UCI World Tour calendar is the Tour de Pologne. There are seven stages on the schedule. The Grand Depart will set off from Krakow, the historic and cultural capital of Poland, on Saturday, August 3, and the final finish line will be in Bukowina Tatrzanska, after plenty of climbs in the heart of the Tatra Mountains, on Friday, August 9. In between there will be great sprints, spectacular climbing arrivals and lots of terrain conducive to breaks. In 2019, the Tour de Pologne will once again be the most important annual sports event in Poland and the most prestigious cycling race in all of Eastern Europe, the only race of its kind in this geographic area that is part of the UCI World Tour calendar.

Following is a list of the seven stages:
Stage 1: 3/08 Kraków – Kraków / 132 km
Stage 2: 4/08 Tarnowskie Góry – Katowice / 153 km
Stage 3: 5/08 Stadion Slaski, Chorzów – Zabrze / 150,5 km
Stage 4: 6/08 Jaworzno – Slaskie, Kocierz / 173 km
Stage 5: 7/08 Kopalnia Soli „Wieliczka” – Bielsko-Biala / 154 km
Stage 6: 8/08 Malopolska, Zakopane – Koscielisko / 160 km
stage 7: 9/08 BUKOVINA Resort – Bukowina Tatrzanska / 153 km
Total: 1075,5 km

Strong TBM Ready for the Polish Challenge
The 76th edition of Tour de Pologne will take place between 3rd and 09th of August for the total distance of just over 1000 km.

Taking the riders on a journey of more than 1000 km from the historic city of Kraków to Bukowina Tatrzańska near the southern border with Slovakia, this year’s Polish national tour holds particular significance: celebrating the centenary of Polish Olympism. Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team is heading Poland with a strong team, focused to make the highest possible classification in GC and take their chances on each particular stage.

Vladimir Miholjević, TBM Sports director is focused, ambitious and optimistic prior to the exciting week in Poland: “Tour de Pologne is always a very dynamic race where is important to keep focus all the time. Final circuits bring extra stress for the riders, but also a situation where somebody can lose the opportunity for GC result or, on the other hand, achieve it.

We are coming with a good and motivated team. Two of our riders coming directly from the Tour de France and encouraging is that Matej Mohorič and Jan Tratnik showed great condition in the last stages of the tour. On the other hand, we have guys who are coming from a good training period or optimum racing schedule last week. So there is no excuse.

On the sprinters’ stages 1, 2 and 3 we will try to use the ability of Matej Mohorič and bring him in a good position to do a top result. TBM will be also on disposition to protect all the time Domenico Pozzovivo and prepare the terrain for him in stages 4, 5, 6 and 7 where we have the goal to play for GC top 3. Matej Mohorič will be our 2nd GC leader. Domen Novak, Jan Tratnik and Hermann Pernsteiner will have key roles to support our GC duo in decisive moments.”

TBM lineup for Tour de Pologne 2019:
Chun Kai Feng / Matej Mohorič / Domen Novak / Hermann Pernsteiner / Luka Pibernik / Domenico Pozzovivo / Jan Tratnik.

Lotto Soudal Becomes Lotto Fix ALL for Tour de Pologne
Lotto Soudal will be riding the 76th Tour de Pologne as Lotto Fix ALL, with an adapted shirt. It is already the fourth time that this temporary change will take place. Name sponsor Soudal – who recently extended its contract until the end of 2022 – and producer of Fix ALL now chose for the Tour de Pologne after earlier campaigns in Paris-Nice and the Giro d’Italia. During the Tour de Pologne, Soudal will organise several activations, online as well as in the stores.

Dirk Coorevits, CEO Soudal: “This year, we chose for the Tour de Pologne since this country is one of the most important markets for Soudal. We also have a production facility there and Fix ALL is globally one of our strongest brands. During the past Fix ALL editions, the team won a stage each time and we hope for the same result of course. We wish the team best of luck!”

Lotto Fix ALL for Pologne:

Tour de Pologne (August 3rd-9th)
Third in 2013 and winner of a stage, Christophe Riblon is the only rider from the AG2R-La Mondiale team to have stood on the podium at the Tour de Pologne since the race first entered UCI WorldTour circuit in 2005.

Silvan Dillier: “Following my fractured clavicle at the Sierra Nevada training camp in May, I was able to return to competition at the end of June at the Swiss Championships. Since I did not participate in the Tour de France, I took advantage of the month of July to train in Switzerland, and particularly at altitude. I think I have good feelings and form, now it is time to make use of that in a race. After the Tour de Wallonie, I will have a good block of races. The Tour de Pologne is a great event, I will start to try my luck on the stages. It will be my first race back at the UCI WorldTour level since the Tour de Suisse. I will then wear the Swiss jersey at the European Championships. I should then participate in the Vuelta for the second time in my career (after 2016). I want to win a stage there as well, but also to prepare for Worlds, which will be the last big goal of my season.”

UAE Team Emirates’ Fernando Gaviria Returns to Racing at the Tour of Poland
The second of this year’s Grand Tours – the Tour de France – may have ended, but the racing season is still very much alive for UAE Team Emirates as they send a squad packed full of exciting Italian talent to back up their star sprinter Fernando Gaviria at the Tour of Poland (3-9 August). Gaviria returns to racing after a prolonged absence due to a knee problem and will be looking for success in the sprint finishes, along with Diego Ulissi who is also targeting stage victories.

The team will be guided across the seven stage tour by Sports Directors Marco Marzano and Bruno Vicino.
Fernando GAVIRIA (Colombia)
Diego ULISSI (Italy)
Simone CONSONNI (Italy)
Valerio CONTI (Italy)
Manuele MORI (Italy)
Simone PETILLI (Italy)
Edward RAVASI (Italy)

Gaviria said: “The Tour de Poland will be a significant event for me, since it will mark the return to racing after the forced stop due to knee problems. I’m looking forward to savouring the atmosphere of the race and I’m curious to see what level I can sustain having recently done a block at altitude.”

Ulissi added: “Taking part in the Tour de Pologne is always a pleasure and it’s a race that motivates me. I’m going here with the goal of fighting for a stage win. The route this year will be particularly challenging, to be in with a shot we will need to be consistent everyday.”

CCC Team to Make History at the Tour de Pologne as First Polish UCI WorldTour Team
CCC Team will make history at the Tour de Pologne as the first Polish UCI WorldTour team to take part in the biggest cycling race in Poland, with a seven-man roster motivated to go for both the General Classification and stage victories.

Sports Director Piotr Wadecki believes the team’s line-up is well suited to the seven-day race and ready to perform on the flat and mountainous stages.

“We are very excited to race in front of the Polish fans, on our home roads and to represent our sponsor CCC in the most prestigious race in Poland. As the first Polish WorldTour team, we want to bring excitement to our supporters so, we will look to race aggressively, aiming for stage wins and keeping an eye on the General Classification. I believe we have a well-rounded line-up with opportunists, climbers, and sprinters who are capable of delivering a good result,” Wadecki explained.

“We are bringing three Polish riders to the race, who will be very motivated to do well on home soil. Kamil Gradek and Łukasz Owsian will be looking for opportunities in the breakaways while, Szymon Sajnok will try to go for the sprints in the first part of the race together with Jakub Mareczko, who has Polish roots. Serge Pauwels and Simon Geschke are coming out of the Tour de France and we saw that they were improving as the race went on so, they should be in good form and ready to battle for the overall. Amaro Antunes hasn’t raced since the Giro d’Italia but, he has had a solid block of training and will try to use his fresh legs on the mountain stages, which should suit him well.”

Sajnok, who will make his Tour de Pologne debut, is excited for the opportunity to race in front of his home fans. “I’ve been preparing very hard for the Tour de Pologne, which is one of my biggest, if not the most important goal of the year. I’ve heard great things about the atmosphere and how the race is organised, therefore I’m even more excited to participate and showcase myself. It’s a dream of mine to win a stage here and I know I’m capable of doing that. The first three stages should suit me and I’m very motivated. I feel good after the Belgian races and I think that my altitude training in Livigno paid off. I will be fighting hard to proudly represent a Polish team at our home race,” Sajnok said.

Geschke, who just finished the Tour de France, is ready for another challenge. “I’m actually still feeling good after the Tour de France and I’m excited to return to the Tour de Pologne, after taking part in this race in 2012. As a member of CCC Team, I look forward to participating in the team’s home race and I’m sure it will be a nice experience. I’m going there to have a strong week and hope to be in very good shape with the load of the Tour de France in my legs. I’ve seen in the past that some riders go very well at the Tour de Pologne after racing for three weeks in France. However, it can also go the opposite way, so I’m also being careful about not having too high expectations,” Geschke explained.

Tour de Pologne (3-8 August)
Rider roster:
Amaro Antunes (POR), Simon Geschke (GER), Kamil Gradek (POL), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Łukasz Owsian (POL), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Szymon Sajnok (POL).
Sports Directors: Piotr Wadecki (POL), Gabriele Missaglia (ITA).

Simon Geschke had a hard Tour de France:

Omar Fraile to Continue with Astana Pro Team
The 29-year-old Spanish rider Omar Fraile has signed a new two-year agreement with the Kazakh Astana Pro Team. Thus, Fraile will continue defending the Astana colours in 2020 and 2021.

“It’s great that I signed a new contract for two years at Astana Pro Team, because this team really feels like a family where I want to stay part of. This feeling, combined with the professional staff and the excellent materials, made it an easy decision for me to sign the contract. I’m looking forward to keep racing with the attractive mentality of the team and I’m proud to keep defending the colours of Astana. I want to thank the management for the faith they have in me and the main sponsor Samruk-Kazyna for the trust in our team,” said Omar Fraile.

Omar Fraile has joined Astana Pro Team in 2018 and since that time he reached some noticeable results. Thus, in 2018 he won the stages at the Tour de France, the Tour de Romandie and the Itzulia Basque Country.

The current season has been overshadowed by a few hard crashes. However, Fraile was able to finish 5th at the Vuelta a Murcia and 11th at the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain. In the same time, Fraile provided some great support to his teammates, helping Ion Izagirre to win the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana and the Itzulia Basque Country and helping Jakob Fuglsang to get a fantastic win at the Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“No doubt, that Omar Fraile is one of the most valuable riders in our team. He proved it last year, taking a few nice victories, he confirmed it this season, not only trying to get some personal results but also helping his teammates to reach important victories. Indeed, this year two bad crashes did not allow yet Omar to fight for a high personal result, but he did a good Tour de France and since we still have many races ahead of us, I am sure, he will find a way to the glory. I am happy that Omar stays in our team for two more seasons, I believe that he will have many great moments in the next years,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, the general manager of Astana Pro Team.

Omar Fraile – Tour’18 stage win:

Soraya Paladin signs for CCC-Liv
CCC-Liv is ambitious and shifts up another gear coming season. The team is strengthened with Soraya Paladin (26), the current number 8 in the UCI Women’s WorldTour ranking. By engaging the Italian, the orange formation wants to be even more dominant in the finals.

“I am extremely pleased with the contract with CCC-Liv. For me it is a big step and I just can’t wait to race with the women who already achieved many successes in the big races. Undoubtedly, I can still learn a lot from top-ranking riders like Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Marianne Vos. The manner of racing at CCC-Liv appeals to me. There is always a close-knit team that launches the attack as one block. In my opinion that’s the key for success”, says Soraya Paladin. “The ambitions appeal to me and I am happy that I may be part of this team starting next year. My purpose is to develop myself further as a rider and to contribute to the success.”

“We have had Soraya in our sights for some time. This whole season she is constantly reaching a high level in big races. She was in the top five in the Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège, but also finished closely in stages and overall standings in major races like the Emakumeen Bira, Giro Rosa and Tour of Valencia. Soraya is an enrichment for the team. With her we can even be more prominent in the finals”, says Eric van den Boom, general manager and team owner of CCC-Liv.

Top season
So far, CCC-Liv is having a top season. Marianne Vos won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, achieved a double strike on the last day of the Tour of Yorkshire, sprinted to victory in a stage in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, won four stages in the Giro Rosa and last week rode to the victory in La Course after fabulous teamwork. The Polish Marta Lach won a stage in a clever way in the Festival Elsy Jacobs. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio became national champion in South Africa and achieved a series of top rankings. Yesterday, she won the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa. The Polish shoe and bag giant CCC and women bike brand Liv will also remain the major sponsors of the team in 2020.

Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) out-sprints Soraya Paladin (Ale-Cipollini) in the Tour de Yorkshire stage 2 in Scarborough:

UAE Team Emirates Bolsters Squad with Two Stagiaires
From 1 August 2019 UAE Team Emirates will bolster their youth by taking on two stagiaires: South African Matthew Beers and Italian Nicolas Dalla Valle.

The two athletes have been chosen by the team management in accordance with both the technical and performance staff, and will be eligible to wear the colours of UAE Team Emirates in both .HC and .1 category races, with their exact program still to be defined.

Matthew Beers, born in Cape Town (South Africa), 01/10/1994, began racing in the competitively five years ago, and has since gone on to develop into a complete rider, winning over 20 races across multiple disciplines in his native South Africa.

Nicolas Dalla Valle was born on 13/09/1997 in Cittadella (Italy). Currently racing at Continental level with the Tyrol Team, the young fast-man is divided between the road (12 wins in his career, in addition to the recent second place in the Italian U-23 road Championship) and also competing on the track (he was a member of the national Under-23 Team pursuit team).

Team Novo Nordisk and Colnago Extend Partnership Through 2021
Renowned Italian bike manufacturer and the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team extend contract making Colnago the team’s official bike sponsor through the 2021 season

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, and renowned Italian bike manufacturer, Colnago, announced Wednesday the extension of Colnago serving as the team’s official bike sponsor through the 2021 season. Team Novo Nordisk first raced on Colnago bikes in 2013, its first professional season, and has continuously raced on the iconic Italian brand since 2016.

“When you race against the best in the sport, you need the top, most reliable equipment. Colnago is one of the most respected bike brands in the world, which they achieved through their outstanding quality and lengthy winning history,” said Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “We use the Concept and C64 both built to withstand the demands of the hardest races. You can fully trust these bikes on any terrain thanks to their high-quality carbon fibre and cutting-edge aero design. This makes a bike that’s stiff, light and phenomenally responsive. Thanks Maestro Colnago for letting us use the most desirable bikes in the world for the coming years.”

Team Novo Nordisk’s men’s professional team currently races on Colnago’s C64 and Concept bikes on the road and the K-Zero during time trials. For the 2020 season, the team will transition exclusively over to the C64s for the road.

“For more than 50 years, Colnago has been one of the most innovative brands in bike racing and with the C64, they have crafted the lightest, fastest and most comfortable bike in the pro peloton,” said Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland. “Colnago’s iconic bikes have empowered Team Novo Nordisk athletes and the more than 437 million people living with diabetes to get outside and chase their dreams, and we look forward to keep sharing our mission to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. All of us at Team Novo Nordisk are honoured to ride Ernesto’s bikes.”

The team has had its most successful season to date with Andrea Peron (ITA) sprinting to eighth place on Stage 7 of the Tour of California, the team’s best finish at a World Tour race in its seven-year history.

“We are proud and happy to continue working with Team Novo Nordisk,” said Ernesto Colnago, Founder of Colnago. “Since the beginning, we have been passionate to support Team Novo Nordisk and its healthy values around sport and exercise. We are eager to watch the team continue to grow and want to send the best of luck to all the riders and staff.”

Additional standouts from the 2019 season include David Lozano (ESP) taking fifth on Stage 4 of the Tour du Rwanda and going on to finish sixth overall, Charles Planet (FRA) powering to fourth in the Tour of Estonia Prologue, and Peron earning third on Stage 1, fourth on Stage 2 and eighth overall at the Tour of Estonia. Additionally, Planet wore the Intermediate Sprint Jersey four consecutive days at the UAE Tour and earned the Most Aggressive Rider jersey following a late-race solo attack on the opening stage of the Tour of California. Finally, Lozano won the overall KOM jersey at the Tour of Taiyuan after wearing the jersey from Stage 2 until the end of the six-day Chinese race.

Since 1954, Colnago has been a world leader in innovative bike design. For over 65 years, Colnago has pushed the boundaries in cycling manufacturing and is known for its stiffer, faster and lighter race bikes.In 51 years of sponsorships, the first with Molteni in 1968, Colnago has worked with more than 200 professional teams and more than 5,000 athletes.

About Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.

About Colnago
Colnago is an Italian company established by Ernesto Colnago in 1954. During the last 65 years, Colnago has sponsored some of the best riders in the world. Eddy Merckx and the Molteni team, the Mapei armada and Rabobank are just some of the teams that have ridden Colnago bikes.

David Lozano and Colnago:

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