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Three more stunning days in France – Results, reports and video from the Tour. Tom Boonen talks about Remco Evenepoel – TOP STORY. Race news from the Tour de France and the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. 2020 World championships to be in Imola. Tirreno-Adriatico. Chrono des Nations Canceled. Boonen not making a comeback. Contract news from Michael Matthews, Niccolò Bonifazio, Tiesj Benoot, Annemiek van Vleuten and Jumbo-Visma. Deceuninck – Quick-Step listen to Bang & Olufsen. EUROTRASH coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Boonen on Evenepoel: “Deceuninck – Quick-Step does not use tramadol, at least not as long as I was there”
Tom Boonen thinks the question marks over the video of Remco Evenepoel’s crash in Il Lombardia go a bit too far. The images show team DS, Bramati, taking something out of his rider’s back pocket. “Let Remco answer the question himself.”

Irish journalist, Paul Kimmage, one of the biggest critics of Lance Armstrong, also questioned the act that can be seen in the video. In the Irish Independent, he says he saw “some known warning signs” when Evenepoel fell into the ravine and wonders if we can trust the Belgian rider. “That goes too far,” Boonen said in his Het Laatste Nieuws column.

The ex-world champion of 2005, heard about the images for the first time last Saturday. “On my brother’s birthday. I have not seen the video. My dad brought it up. Do you now have to justify every bottle you have in your pockets? Everyone knows that riders eat and drink and that sometimes supplements are taken. I’m talking energy bottles, concentrated Red Bull or something. That’s about nothing.”

Evenepoel has to answer the question himself, he thinks. “Perhaps every rider in the Tour has a bottle with concentrated sugars or something similar in his back pocket. I don’t understand the commotion. Tramadol? A pain reliever that also causes crashes? I can now give you on a piece of paper, signed by me, that they do not use tramadol in Patrick Lefevere’s team. Not as long as I was a rider there.”

Boonen and Evenepoel:
boonen evenepoel

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Tour de France 2020
After a crash on stage 1 and last place in stage 2, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) bounced back to win Stage 3 in a highly contested bunch sprint in Sisteron, beating Irish champion Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and European champion Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling). Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) the yellow jersey.

173 riders took the start of stage 3 near the Allianz Stadium in Nice. Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie) was the first attacker right after flag dropped. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) went across to him, marked by Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) who was riding in protection of Benoît Cosnefroy, the leader of the KOM competition. After only 7km of racing, Naesen sat up and waited for the peloton as his job was done with his team-mate in the right place to fight for the defence of the polka dot jersey. The leading trio reached a maximum advantage of 3 minutes at 11km.

Perez out-sprinted Cosnefroy at the first two cat. 3 climbs of the day: col de Pilon (55km) and col de La Faye (63.5km). With two more points, Perez was mathematically assured of taking the polka dot jersey. They both sat up at 71km and waited for the peloton, leaving Cousin in the lead. This allowed the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team to ease off the speed, they were the only team pacing the peloton, mostly with Tim Declercq and Rémi Cavagna. At 78 kilometres, Cousin recorded his maximum advantage of 4 minutes. Cosnefroy sprinted from the peloton to get one KOM point at the top of the col des Lèques (117.5km). He carried on the move down the hill with his team-mate Nans Peters while Perez punctured and eventually crashed. The Cofidis rider was forced to abandon with a broken collarbone.

Cousin was caught with 16km to go. All sprinters’ teams fought for positioning in the last 10 kilometres. Peter Sagan launched the sprint from far out, but Bennett passed him on the right side of the road and Ewan jumped out off the wheel of the Irish champion to score his fourth Tour de France stage victory after the three he took in his first participation last year.

*** More photos and the full PEZ Race Report HERE. ***

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Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “Unfortunately team Lotto Soudal is down to six riders after the crashes of Phil and John in the opening stage. But everyone stayed motivated. We knew that when everything went right I could win the sprint today. All my teammates gave 110% today and made up for the two guys that were missed. And yeah, it worked! The guys did a great job of keeping me in the front in the final. In the last kilometre I was literally too far forward, so I dropped back into the wheels. That gave me some time to rest the legs a little bit before the final lead-out. Coming from behind was a bit of a risk but I found my way through the barrier and I came with a lot of speed. In the end it worked out perfectly. We knew today was gonna be possibly quite hard. In the end only a little break went up the road and it was quite controlled. We need to take every sprint opportunity we can, because they are pretty rare this year. This is the Tour de France. It is the biggest race and the world, where every rider wants to win at. I am so happy to get another win here. I hope to keep coming back and keep winning. With the caliber of sprinting here it is always gonna be hard to win more stages. But we have some more chances, and we will take them as they come.”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We respected our plan to control the stage with the team all day, defend my jersey and sprint for Sam Bennett. There’s a little bit of a disappointment that he came second but myself being in yellow is pure happiness. It’s another hard stage with an uphill finish tomorrow but I’ll give it all to retain the jersey once again.”

2nd on the stage, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The guys provided a great lead-out, but the headwind was really strong and made it easy from somebody in the back to come off the wheels. I didn’t have the best legs, but I wouldn’t change anything. I think it’s a matter of luck and hope that I’ll have some reasons to smile soon.”

3rd on the stage, Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT): “I’m definitely happy about the commitment of the guys, we did everything we could. Obviously in the final it could have been better for us but it also could have definitely been worse. I had to start the sprint early because I was scared that if I dropped the speed that we would be caught from behind so it was a super long sprint but performance-wise I’m happy and I think that in the team we are really looking forward to the next sprint.”

5th on the stage and Points Leader, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a pretty messy sprint. In the final three-four kilometres of the stage, we had a terrible headwind and everybody was all over the place, riders were coming to the front then dropping back, it was messy. Thanks to Daniel’s lead-out work we were able to position ourselves well but I think we launched the sprint too early and at about 150 metres from the finish I was overtaken from the right. Still, I’m happy for this green jersey, it’s nice to wear it and I’ll do my best to keep it all the way to Paris.”

7th on the stage, Cees Bol (Sunweb): “Messy sprint like we predicted, for a long time we had the right focus and found space on the left like we said before. Then we made two mistakes which we could not recover from. The order of the lead out changed which was the first mistake and when we had the front we didn’t stay on the barrier like we should. Then I got swamped and didn’t do my sprint.”

4th overall, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s been an exciting start to my first Tour, I’m taking it all in and enjoying it, but staying very focused. Today was a bit more relaxed but tomorrow will be a different story. If the legs are good I will try and do something.”

KOM, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I followed Anthony Pérez for the polka dot jersey. That was fair. He was stronger than me in the sprints up the hills. Now I have mixed feelings. I’m happy to retain the jersey but my thoughts are with Anthony who should have taken it but he crashed out. I also crashed again today and I landed on the same injured parts of my body. It’s not ideal but I can’t complain when I see what happened to Anthony.”

Tour de France Stage 3 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 5:17:42
2. Sam Bennett (Ire) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
5. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
8. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM
10. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 3:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 13:59:17
2. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb at 0:07
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:17
5. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
10. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott.

Stage 3:

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) showed that he is definitely back in top shape after his participation to the Tour de France was in doubt due to the consequences of his crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Slovenian champion took his third Tour de France stage win in Orcières-Merlette after he imposed himself at Serre-Chevalier in 2017 and Laruns in 2018. It’s a Slovenian double like at La Vuelta last year with Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) in second place. Frenchman Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)rounded out the podium while his compatriot Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), fifth on the line, retained the yellow jersey.

172 riders took the start of Stage 4 in Sisteron. Six riders attacked from the gun: Nils Politt and Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mathieu Burgaudeau (Total Direct Energie), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept). There was no reaction from the peloton. Vuillermoz, the highest ranked of the breakaway riders 3:53 down on Alaphilippe, became the virtual Maillot Jaune at km 18 when the maximum time difference of four minutes was recorded. Deceuninck – Quick-Step sent Rémi Cavagna and Tim Declercq to set the pace at the head of the peloton. They never allowed the escapees to dream of a stage victory.

Benoot crashed in a spectacular way but with no consequences except for his bicycle in a downhill with 24km to go. Politt sat up and Burgaudeau got dropped, so Vuillermoz, Neilands and Pacher approached the last 20km in the lead with an advantage of 1:30 over the peloton. Neilands went solo in the côte de St-Léger-les-Mélèzes with 19.5km to go. The Latvian had 35 seconds lead with 10km left in the race. He got reeled in with 7.5km to go at the bottom of the final ascent to Orcières-Merlette. Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) was first to attack with 4.5km to go. The Frenchman rode solo for 600 metres before getting caught.

Jumbo-Visma set a high pace up the hill, mostly with Wout van Aert putting the hammer down. The Belgian rouleur was phenomenal in preparing the terrain for Sepp Kuss to finish the job for Roglic. Pogacar crossed the line in second place while Martin who had tried to anticipate the sprint closed in third place. Fifth on the line, Alaphilippe remains in the lead of the overall ranking after stage 4.

*** More photos and the full PEZ Race Report HERE. ***

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Stage winner and 3rd overall, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a fast and quite difficult stage. The guys always kept me in a good position. Everyone was very strong. In the end I was able to deliver a nice sprint. I am very happy with that. We all arrived safely and we won. We must continue on this path. I feel better every day. In the second stage I already felt that it is all good.”

5th on the stage and overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The main goal of our team was to control the race and keep the jersey. The guys did an amazing job and I’m very proud of them. In the end, I would have liked to win, but the tempo was very high in the closing kilometres and I was a bit on the limit. I’m not disappointed, others were just stronger today. On the other hand, having the yellow jersey makes me very happy and relaxed. Every day I spend in it gives me a lot of joy and satisfaction and I hope my run will continue.”

2nd on the stage, 4th overall and best Young Rider, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “To wear the white jersey in the Tour is a really nice moment for me. I wasn’t sure after I crossed the line if I had taken it or not. Wearing the white in the Vuelta was special but this is even more so. Today’s stage was not so hard but the final part was full gas. Primoz was a bit faster than me in the final but I’m happy with my result. The team is good – De La Cruz is still recovering from his crash but he’s getting better. The motivation is really high in the group.”

3rd on the stage and 5th overall, Guillaume Martin (Cofidis): “It sure didn’t go far but I would have regretted not attacking in the 500 meters. I had to try most over my feelings were very good. After the lockdown, I passed a real turning point, I demonstrated it at the Critérium du Dauphiné and I can feel it again here. Being in the top on the first mountain stage of the Tour de France is very encouraging for the rest of the race.”

7th overall, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s a fantastic day for the team. Primoz showed his class once again. He was really good and he also indicated that he wanted to win. The team was incredibly strong today. You can see that in the lead-out of Wout and Sepp. I didn’t feel really well today. In the end it was a fight to reach the finish line. Fortunately I was able to keep up with the first group. I hope I can improve my level in the coming days.”

KOM, Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s another day spent in this polka dot jersey! I’m very happy to be wearing it again tonight. For me, it was a little more complicated stage today in terms of how I felt after having made some bigger efforts these past days. I tried to work for the team and then get to the finish as smoothly as possible for the battles still to come. The legs were a little harder, but that’s normal. I’m not used to this jersey yet. I haven’t worn it enough! It’s a real source of pride.”

Green jersey, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today it was so-so for me. It’s been a hard stage, I don’t know, it was more of a transfer. I did my sprint, took some points, it’s okay. Will see tomorrow what can I do. I’ve seen the finale and it is okay for me. We’ll see.”

Tour de France Stage 4 Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 4:07:47
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana
7. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Mikel Landa (Fra) Bahrain-McLaren
10. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 4:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 18:07:04
2. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:04
3. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:11
5. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:13
6. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic
10. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana.

Stage 4:

Twenty-four hours after the triumph of his leader Primoz Roglic at Orcières-Merlette, Wout Van Aert grabbed a second consecutive victory for Jumbo-Visma, in Privas on Stage 5. The Belgian, who also tasted victory on the Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, had a free rein today. He did not let the opportunity slip through his fingers and now has two stage wins on the Tour, one year after his victory in Albi, on another windy day. Due to taking a water bottle in the last 20 kilometres, which is not authorised, Julian Alaphilippe was handed a 20 second penalty and lost his Yellow Jersey to Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

The day after the first summit finish on this year’s race, there were no non-starters at the beginning of the stage in Gap. The 172 riders left the administrative centre of the Hautes-Alpes department in bright sunshine and with the desire to spend an easier day in the saddle. Apart from a brief attempt by Kasper Asgreen, a team-mate of the morning’s Yellow Jersey Julian Alaphilippe, after 4 kilometres, nobody put themselves forward to form a breakaway.

The peloton arrived at the intermediate sprint at L’Epine after 48 kilometres in grouped formation. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was the quickest, to provisionally take the Green Jersey from Peter Sagan, who was tied on points this morning with the Irish champion and who took 4th place. The pace remained moderate on the slight downhill incline that took the riders away from the Alps. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, the team of Yellow Jersey Julian Alaphilippe, then Jumbo-Visma, the team of Primoz Roglic, took turns to set the pace at the front of the peloton, without pushing themselves into the red.

Two category 4 climbs needed to be tackled in the finale. Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) made the effort to be the first man to reach the summit each time and reinforced his lead in the Polka Dot Jersey. The Mistral, blowing from the side and then the front, caused limited nervousness in the peloton, restricted to a fall by Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and a puncture for Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers), both of who swiftly re-joined the pack. A move initiated by Ineos-Grenadiers broke the peloton in two but failed to catch any of the favourites out, meaning it all came down to the final sprint. Belgian Wout Van Aert, freed for the day from duties supporting his team leaders Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin, demonstrated his power to taste victory ahead of Dutchman Cees Bol (Sunweb) and Sam Bennett, the new Green Jersey.

*** More photos and the full PEZ Race Report HERE. ***

tdf20 st5 van aert

Stage winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “This is a very nice win. I am very grateful to the team for giving me the chance to go for it today. I am more than happy that I can reward their confidence with this stage win. I only got one chance and I took it. This is really awesome. It was a fairly easy stage, but the finish was still quite difficult. Because there was no breakaway during the stage and the fact that the pace was not too high, a lot of riders were still fresh. Because of the fast last hour and the wind, it got quite hectic in the end. I knew the stage was perfect for me. It was very important to choose position. I was positioned really well in the lead-out of Team Sunweb. I started my sprint when Bol accelerated. It was still very tight, but a few centimetres is enough. I now have my victory, so from tomorrow I will work for Primoz and Tom again. I will do so with great pleasure and happiness.”

Overall leader, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was really calm day, I mean there was no breakaway and we just cruised for the first 100km or so and then it got pretty nervous there in the final, there was a little bit of wind towards the end, a little bit of crosswinds. It’s not the way I imagined taking the jersey, I’m not even sure what’s happened to Julian, I heard he got a time penalty for taking a feed late or something. I don’t think any rider would want to take yellow under these circumstances, I’d prefer to take it with my legs rather than the result of a time penalty. I didn’t even find out until I was in the bus and showered. I feel bad for him. Tomorrow I was looking to try and take the jersey anyway, so I guess we’ll just try and go in with the same tactic, try and win the stage and see what happens.”

2nd on the stage, Cees Bol (Sunweb): “I can’t blame myself, but I’m fed up. Wout van Aert is now simply the best cyclist in the world. My belief in victory has now been strengthened again. It is a dream to win in the Tour de France. If it works again this Tour, it will be again with a good train. They quickly learned from last time (Sisteron). Everyone now dared to rely on each other’s strengths. In today’s cycling, we hardly ever see a four-kilometre train making it to the finish. The pace was so terribly fast that no one could come alongside in an organised manner. Of course it still sucks, but we did very well. I was only pushed over after the finish because photographers wanted to take a snapshot of Wout. I then flipped out. Sorry about that. I hope everyone can understand.”

3rd overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “The opening part of the stage was quite easy but then it got pretty crazy in the finale. It was stressful but the team did a good job of staying around me and keeping me safe. So on my side it was a good day. I’ll see how I am tomorrow on the final climb if I can attack the yellow jersey or not, I’ll see how I feel.”

3rd on the stage and points competition leader, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a really hectic sprint, and to be honest, at three kilometres to go I felt that I didn’t have the legs to sprint anymore. The final was really difficult, I could feel that as we were approaching the line. I was focused today on taking the green jersey and having it and following in the footsteps of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche feels amazing. I am delighted and proud with it and want to enjoy this moment and continue fighting for green.”

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “As expected, the stage finished with a bunch sprint. Today, I lost some points and gained some points as well, so it’s OK. Daniel put me in a good position for the finale, Van Aert did a good sprint and won while I took fourth. The Tour de France is still long and we have the climbing stages coming. I have to be relaxed.”

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) lost the Yellow Jersey due to taking a water bottle in the last 20 kilometres: “It’s the race officials’ decision, that’s just how it is. I didn’t realise at all that it was unauthorised. It was a very long and boring stage, with a very nervous finish. We tried to stay concentrated to keep the Yellow Jersey and win the stage with Sam (Bennett), but he did take the Green Jersey, which is good news. It’s not a problem – I’ll pick myself up again tomorrow and we’ll forget about it.”

Tour de France Stage 5 Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:21:22
2. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
3. Sam Bennett (Ire) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM
8. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
9. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 5:
1. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 22:28:30
2. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma at 0:03
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:07
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:09
5. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:13
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Stage 5:

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Kooij opens Coppi e Bartali with Stage Win
Olav Kooij has won the opening stage of Coppi e Bartali. The 18-year-old rider of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team was the fastest in the bunch sprint and is the first leader in the Italian stage race.

Kooij took his fourth victory of the season, having won GP Kranj, Trofej Porec and Trofej Umag earlier this season. For Jumbo-Visma Development Team it is the sixth season victory.

“It was a hectic final”, Kooij said. “There was a roundabout at seven hundred and fifty metres. That was a crucial point, but I was positioned well thanks to my teammates. I started to sprint at two hundred metres from the finish. I immediately felt that I had the legs to win. This stage race has a very strong participant field. With several World Tour teams at the start, this is a high level victory. I am very happy that I have started this race with a victory.”

Olav Kooij stage 1a win:
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Deceuninck – Quick-Step wins Coppi e Bartali TTT
Mikkel Honoré leads the Italian race after the opening day.

Our team racked up its 30th victory of the season in style, thanks to a superb collective effort, on stage 1b of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. After a quiet opening stage in the morning, the race scheduled a team time trial in the afternoon, and our squad – comprising João Almeida, Andrea Bagioli, Mikkel Honoré, James Knox, Pieter Serry and Mauri Vansevenant – recorded a quality display on the 13.3km-long course.

Despite being among the early starters and having a very young line-up, the Wolfpack put in a flying ride and averaged a stunning 54.95km/h, covering the route in 14:32, the fastest provisional result at the finish by quite a margin. When all was said and done at the end of the day, eight seconds separated Deceuninck – Quick-Step from Ineos Grenadiers, who concluded the stage as runner-up, with Bora-hansgrohe being a further three seconds adrift.

First rider over the line was Mikkel Honoré. The 23-year-old, who is only into his second pro season, took to the podium three times: to celebrate the stage success with his teammates and then to receive the white and orange jerseys, which reward the general classification leader and the best young rider of the race. It was a special moment for Mikkel, who tops the overall standings at a race for the first time in his career – a result that he was quick to underline wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the team.

“We wanted so much to win this stage, but when we heard that all the other squads had finished and we still had the best time, it surprised us a bit. We gave 110% and displayed an incredible team spirit and a huge amount of ambition. Everything went perfect today, our Specialized bikes were superb and I can tell you that I’ve never done such a good TTT as a whole team. This performance was truly amazing, even more impressive considering we are a team of light guys, and this only proved that when you work as a real squad, you can achieve anything.”

“It means a lot to lead a stage race for the first time in my career and I owe it to the Wolfpack. I got to wear a distinctive jersey also last year, in China, but it wasn’t mine, as the GC leader was topping also the youth classification, so the latter jersey landed on my shoulders. We’ll continue to do our best over the next few days and go for more nice results here in Italy”, a delighted Mikkel explained.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step win stage 1b:
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Bagioli Shines in Sogliano al Rubicone
The Italian takes the leader’s jersey after a powerful attack inside the last kilometre of Wednesday’s stage.

Another day at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, another victory for Deceuninck – Quick-Step. After smashing Tuesday’s team time trial in Gatteo a Mare and propelling Mikkel Honoré to the top of the general classification, the Wolfpack enjoyed another success, this time netted by neo-pro Andrea Bagioli, who showed a clean pair of wheels to the rest behind and surged to his second victory in four weeks.

Pieter Serry and Mauri Vansevenant took over the front of the bunch as the race rolled out from Riccione working tirelessly and holding the five-man breakaway on a short leash, before deciding to reel them in with less than 20 kilometres to go. On the penultimate lap of the local circuit in Sogliano al Rubicone, Honoré leaped away from the now reduced peloton and took Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo) with him for company, but their action was a short-lived one, as the others reacted almost immediately.

Into the business end of the stage, on the flat run-in to the second-to-last climb, João Almeida punctured and had to chase hard, while at the front the fight for victory was beginning to take shape after a series of strong accelerations. A short but viciously steep cobbled climb with some double-digit gradients at times eventually caused cracks in the group, from where Andrea Bagioli shook everyone off his slipstream and powered to victory. A handful of seconds later, Almeida crossed the line after a remarkable comeback, which put him into third overall.

“It’s incredible, two victories in two days for our team makes it a perfect start to the race, something we could have only dreamed of. Our strategy was to keep the break in check and the guys did a perfect job, I can’t stress enough how important the team was in today’s result. The climb was very steep, but I like this type of ascents, so I just remained calm on the last climb when the tempo went up and made my move with 150 meters from the finish.”

“At the beginning of August, I took my first pro victory and topped the Tour de l’Ain GC for a day, but today also feels special, because everything happened in my home country”, continued Bagioli, who now leads the overall, points and youth classifications at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. “We are two days away from the conclusion of the race and I hope to enjoy more good moments with this fantastic team.”

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 2 Result:
1. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:21:58
2. Jhonatan Narváez (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:01
3. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Mauro Finetto (Ita) NIPPO DELKO One Provence at 0:06
6. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:09
8. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
9. Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling
10. Luca Wackermann (Ita) Vini Zabù-KTM.

Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Overall After Stage 2:
1. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 6:44:46
2. Jhonatan Narváez (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:13
3. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:16
4. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:29
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:30
6. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Iván Ramiro Sosa (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:34
8. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:41
9. Merhawi Kudus (Erit) Astana at 0:42
10. Mauro Finetto (Ita) NIPPO DELKO One Provence at 0:46.

Andrea Bagioli:
coppi bagnoli

worlds
2020 World Championships on the Imola F1 Circuit
Since the Swiss government cancelled the World championships, there has been a lot of speculation on where they might take place. Tuscany was mentioned, Brittany came into the picture, La Planche des Belles Filles too. Even Drenthe showed some interest, but in the end they will be held in Imola. The UCI has just announced that the world championships will be held on and around the F1 Circuit from 24 to 27 September. Elite men and women only, time trial and road race.

It was on August 12 that the UCI sent out a press release announcing the cancellation of the World Championships in Aigle/Martigny. After the decisions of the Swiss government, the organisers found it impossible to organise a large-scale event in full corona crisis. The UCI said that they were working hard on an alternative. The UCI went looking for a place in Europe where there is a similar course to the one in Aigle and Martigny could be found: Mountainous, in other words, in order to please the riders who had already made the World Champs a goal. September 1 was the target date to come out with the new location.

So it is Imola. It will be a shortened World Champs, from 24 to 27 September. The program will be limited to only two categories: Women’s and men’s elite, with four races in total; two time trials and two road races. The time trials on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 September, the women’s road race on Saturday 26 September and the elite men on Sunday 27 September.

Imola was the host city for the World Championships in 1968, 31-year-old Vittorio Adorni destroyed the assembled competition that year. The Belgian Herman Van Springel took silver, although almost ten minutes behind, only 19 riders finished. The Dutch Keetie van Oosten-Hage won the rainbow jersey for the ladies. The F1 Circuit has already hosted the Giro d’Italia several times.

All races will start on the Imola F1 Circuit. The road races run through the Romagna and, according to La Gazetta, will pass through Cesenatico, in honour of Marco Pantani. But that was not confirmed in the UCI press release.

There will be a lot of climbing. The Tre Monti, among others, is included in the course. The men will cover 259.2km with a total of almost 5000 vertical metres, while the ladies will have to cover 144km, good for 2750 vertical metres. The circuit (28.8 km) will be the same for the men (9 laps) and women (5 laps) and will include two difficult climbs, 3 km in total with an average gradient of 10% and sections of 14%. The time trial course of 32 kilometres is predominantly flat.

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) in the Giro d’Italia 2018 – Stage 12 from Osimo to Imola:
imola wellens

quick step
Tom Boonen: “Plans for a comeback were concrete, until corona came”
Tom Boonen discussed his comeback plans in Vive le Vélo. They were indeed real, he said. “I wondered how difficult it would be to get up to scratch at 40.”

“Wasn’t this just to scare the press?” Presenter Vannieuwkerke asked Boonen in the talk show. Not at all,” he said fiercely. “Although it went very stupid. I myself had not yet realised that I could or would like to make a comeback. But then they said to me: if you are going to train anyway, why not make a comeback right away? Suddenly it was booming and there were concrete plans.”

“I was triggered and wondered how difficult or easy it would be to get back to that level, because I am turning 40 this year. I thought maybe I want to do that. But then it was mid-March and suddenly there was corona and then everything came to a standstill.” The plans have now been put away for good. Boonen indicated that he had barely cycled in recent months.

Tommeke in his last Ronde – 2017:
boonen

tirreno
Big Names Expected to Ride 2020 Tirreno-Adriatico
The 55th edition of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’, will see the likes of Froome, Thomas, V. Nibali, Ciccone, Fuglsang, Vlasov, S. Yates, Majka, Ackermann, Matthews, Gaviria and van der Poel compete over eight stages from 7-14 September.
25 teams of 7 riders each to start.

The 2020 Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO, organised by RCS Sport and scheduled from 7 to 14 September, will be raced over eight stages, featuring three stages suitable for sprinters, two on mixed terrain for finisseurs, two in the mountains including an uphill finish in Sarnano-Sassotetto and the classic final time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. The race’s total vertical elevation is 15,000 meters.

The Teams at the Start:
25 teams of 7 riders each, 19 UCI WorldTeams, 1 qualified by ranking and 5 wild cards.

UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA) – DILLIER, VENDRAME
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ) – FUGLSANG, VLASOV
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN) – TEUNS, CAVENDISH
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER) – MAJKA, ACKERMANN
CCC TEAM (POL) – BARTA, BEVIN
COFIDIS (FRA) – HERRADA, MATE
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL) – BALLERINI, KNOX
EF PRO CYCLING (USA) – WOODS, CLARKE
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA) – ROUX, BRUNEL
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR) – BRÄNDLE, CIMOLAI
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL) – HANSEN, GOOSSENS
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS) – YATES S., AFFINI
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP) – VILLELLA, CARRETERO
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA) – MEINTJES, BATTISTELLA
TEAM INEOS (GBR) – FROOME, THOMAS
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED) – TEUNISSEN, VAN EMDEN
TEAM SUNWEB (GER) – MATTHEWS, KELDERMAN
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA) – NIBALI V., CICCONE
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE) – GAVIRIA, MCNULTY
QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 1

TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE (FRA) – TERPSTRA, GAUDIN

WILD CARD – 5
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL) – VAN DER POEL, MERLIER
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA) – BAGIOLI, RIVERA SERRANO
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA) – CARBONI, PELUCCHI
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS) – CANOLA, CIMA
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA) – VISCONTI, WACKERMANN

Roll of Honour:
2019 Primož Roglič; 2018 Michał Kwiatkowski; 2017 Nairo Quintana; 2016 Greg Van Avermaet; 2015 Nairo Quintana; 2014 Alberto Contador; 2013 Vincenzo Nibali; 2012 Vincenzo Nibali; 2011 Cadel Evans; 2010 Stefano Garzelli.

tirreno

sunweb
Tirreno-Adriatico – SEP 7 – 14
Luke Roberts – Team Sunweb coach: “This year’s Tirreno-Adriatico takes place over eight days, with a real mixed bag of terrain and interesting stages. There are some pure sprints, more difficult reduced sprints, a mountain-top finish and a time trial; so there are lots of opportunities throughout the race. Our main goal will be to get a good GC result with Wilco, so the mountain top finish and individual time trial will be very important. Alberto will be our option for the pure flat sprints and he’s very motivated to ride on his home roads. Michael has shown that he’s in great form just now with his recent win at the Bretagne Classic and he’ll be our protected rider for those more rolling, difficult finishes. Chris, Jai, Martijn and Sam will all arrive at the race from our altitude camp in Kühtai, and will ride in support of the other guys, aiming to set them up as best as possible for the finish on each stage of the race.”

Line-up:
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Martijn Tusveld (NED).

Wilco Kelderman:
kelderman


Chrono des Nations Canceled
The 39th edition of the time trial with start and finish in Les Herbiers, France, will be canceled and postponed to October 2021.

Of course covid-19 is the cause. “Unfortunately, the situation has still not improved,” reports the organisers website. “In these terrifying times, we have had to decide with tears in our eyes to cancel all our events. The future is still far too uncertain. We will be back in October 2021!”

Last year the victory in Les Herbiers went to Jos van Emden. The time trial specialist took it, surprisingly, from two other specialists. Filippo Ganna and Primoz Roglič were second and third.

Jos van Emden in the 2019 Chrono des Nations:
Jos van Emden

mitchelton
Matthews Returns ‘Home’ to Mitchelton-Scott
Eight-time Grand Tour stage winner and 2017 Tour de France green jersey champion Michael Matthews will return ‘home’ to Mitchelton-SCOTT next season. After four years with Team Sunweb, the recent Bretagne Classic winner has signed a new two-year contract that will see the 29-year-old reunited with the Australian team until 2022. A complete package, ‘Bling’ has 35 individual professional career victories, including 18 during his time in GreenEDGE Cycling colours between 2013 and 2016. A two-time podium placer at Milan-San Remo, including in 2020, Matthews will be a serious contender for monument and one-day Classics success, as well as adding stage winning capabilities to the Mitchelton-Scott outfit.

Michael Matthews: “I saw a moment where it just felt right. As a sprinter and as a rider you feel moments like this and sometimes you just have to go with instinct. The opportunity was there to come back and you have to take them when they are there. At this moment in my career it just felt right, and the team has welcomed me back with open arms which is really special. I’m definitely happy to be coming back, I have some amazing memories from GreenEDGE. Gerry Ryan supported me through my under-19, under-23 days and also in helping me turn professional, so it just feels like coming home. I want to get my own results, but also to be a part of the team that has GC goals as well. We will have Simon Yates that can win the biggest Grand Tour’s in the world and I would love to be part of that and there’s some young guys coming through, to help them progress too. I wouldn’t put it down to one particular race or result to make the next two years successful, but I want to progress as a rider and as a teammate, and enjoy races.”

Gerry Ryan – Mitchelton-SCOTT Team Owner: “I have followed Michael’s journey from an aspiring junior to the world-class rider he is today and to witness the transition, both on and off the bike, has been incredibly satisfying for me. Michael is a one-of-a-kind rider and has given this organisation some of our most spectacular victories on the world’s biggest stage, including the Tour de France. We couldn’t be happier to have him back home, this is where he belongs.”

Brent Copeland – Mitchelton-SCOTT General Manager: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Michael to the team. First and foremost a big thanks to Gerry for making this agreement become a reality, Michael’s presence in the team helps us come full circle with the team roster that we have been working meticulously on in the past few months together with Darach McQuaid and Matthew White as well as with the team’s technical staff. He is a rider who brings a huge amount of excitement to racing as well as being a true personality that fits in exceptionally well with the team culture. We are sure the Australian and worldwide fans are just as excited as we are about the return of Michael and we are looking forward to a solid future ahead of us.”

Michael Matthews back with GreenEDGE:
matthews

total
Niccolò Bonifazio: Two More Years at Total Direct Energie
Niccolò Bonifazio will stay with Total Direct Energie for two more years, until the end of 2022. Earlier, the French ProTeam also reported the contract extensions of their other leaders, Niki Terpstra and Anthony Turgis.

Bonifazio had an agreement until the end of next year, but that agreement was extended for another year. “I’ve been here for two years now and I’m enjoying myself,” said the 26-year-old Italian sprinter in a message from the team. “I am very well surrounded here.”

Since joining the French team, Bonifazio has been a race winner nine times. This spring he won the fifth stage of Paris-Nice, but the Italian has a higher goal: he wants to achieve a stage win in a Grand Tour as quickly as possible. “The entire team will work to achieve this goal.”

Niccolò Bonifazio – Paris-Nice stage 5:
bonifazio

sunweb
Team Sunweb Renew Contract with Tiesj Benoot Until the End of 2022
After joining Team Sunweb at the start of 2020, Benoot immediately found his feet in the team, impressing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad where he rode strongly to help teammate Søren Kragh Andersen to third place on the day.

It was at Paris-Nice, otherwise known as the Race to the Sun, where Benoot really shone for the first time in the team’s colours. Third on the opening stage after a daring attack, stage six into Apt saw a fantastic team performance with multiple attacks utilising all of the team’s strength. Benoot went on to round off their work perfectly with a magnificent win, crossing the line solo but with the strength of the team behind him. The final day of racing there would see him once again climb with the best, claiming second on the stage, a result that was mirrored in the overall classification – his best ever GC finish in a WorldTour stage race. After just one season and the match between team and rider clear, a new contract until the end of 2022 has been agreed.

“All of the things I expected from the team last year before I joined came true,” explained Tiesj Benoot. “I’m happy with how things worked at the start of the season and how things continue to go between us – it’s a nice fit. I’m really looking forward to having a more long-term project with the team and that’s why we renewed my contract. It’s also nice to feel that the team has confidence in me and I’m looking forward to continuing to make more nice races and get good results together.”

Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “It’s Tiesj’s first year in the team and we are happy with how things have been going. With such a good fit, we wanted to give ourselves more time to continue working in this way together with additional years to his existing contract. His strong early season results with a stage win at Paris-Nice and second on GC show that we have gelled well together so far. He is a really talented rider and we see his strengths in going for results in the Flemish and Wallonie classics, as part of our strong classics block. On top of this, we want to develop Tiesj and see where his limits are as a GC rider in the future, working with our team of experts on his climbing and TT ability.”

Tiesj Benoot:
Tiesj Benoot

movistar
Annemiek van Vleuten Joins the Movistar Team as Blues enter a whole new dimension
World’s best rider for the last three seasons signs two-year deal (2021-22) with Telefónica-backed squad; Dutchwoman adds her polyvalent, unbeatable talent to the organisation managed by Eusebio Unzué.

The Movistar Team is extremely proud to announce Monday that Annemiek van Vleuten (Wageningen, NED; 1982), the reigning World Road Race Champion, has signed a contract for the next two seasons (2021-22) with the Spanish women’s outfit led by Sebastián Unzué.

With Van Vleuten’s signing, the squad sponsored by Telefónica takes a decisive step forward in its goal to become a reference in the UCI Women’s WorldTour peloton, with the same ambition they’ve displayed for the past decades as a men’s team. The Dutchwoman, who conquered the rainbow jersey in Yorkshire last year with a solo attack of more than 100km and also claimed the ITT world title in 2017 and 2018 – she also won the European Championships’ road race in Plouay last Thursday – has dominated several of the most prestigious international events in the past few years.

Back-to-back GC victories with her current team, Mitchelton-Scott, at the Giro Rosa (2018-19), the longest, most demanding stagerace in the calendar; a solo win in the 2019 Liège-Bastogne-Liège; four ITT national titles and one Dutch road race championship; the 2011 Ronde van Vlaanderen; and two wins in La Course by Le TDF (2017-18) are some other triumphs in Van Vleuten’s endless palmarès, with more than 70 UCI victories. A rider able to dominate in the mountains, own the time trials and show her commitment and strength over all different kinds of one-day races.

Annemiek van Vleuten: “My history with the Movistar Team goes back to many years ago. I got to know the team better as I shared training rides with them during my altitude camps in Sierra Nevada (Spain), back in 2014. I really liked the experience; it felt like a ‘Spanish family’ for me, I felt really welcomed by them as they were the first professional men’s team that invited me to join them in endurance training. The atmosphere with them was so relaxing: no stress on the training, waiting for me after the climbs, and also every evening, staying together after dinner, even playing table tennis with Alejandro Valverde! (laughs).”

“With regards to the women’s team, it feels the same – I look at them like a great group of girls, with the same culture as what I saw in Sierra Nevada. It’s a project that attracts me, as much as I’m looking forward to working with head of performance Patxi Vila. I’m really looking forward to improve together with the whole team, and enthusiastic about what lies ahead with them. I hope they can help me becoming even faster, also on the TT bike, in combination with Canyon, which looks like a high-end bike to me.”

“I’m not the youngest in the team anymore, but I’m super ambitious, and want to perform well for this team. I’m not thinking about the end of my career yet – I’m thinking about how to improve. I hope joining this team, this new environment, can help me find new energy. Other than performance, I see this as an opportunity to join a group full of great talents, young girls that, after these three years of growth for the project, can benefit from those small things, advices, that a rider like me can possibly give them to take the next step. I like to work with young athletes, and helping them and supporting Spanish cycling really is a goal for me as I join this team.”

“For sure I’d like to win races with the team, but I’m not a person that wants to chase every race for herself. The feeling that comes at a finish with seeing a team-mate winning after helping her out is priceless, even more than winning yourself. I hope we can also profit from everyone keeping an eye on me, so we can help team-mates go for the win.”

“And when it comes to Latin culture: yes, I already feel like I have some Latino blood inside of me! I really feel at home when I go to southern Europe. The mentality of Spanish people, with good sense of humour, makes for an environment that helps you feel at home, and usually makes you ride stronger. It’s about working hard, but also having good fun. A happy cyclist performs better!”

Sebastián Unzué: “There is one Movistar Team before and one after Annemiek’s arrival, certainly. It’s been already three years of hard work from everyone involved in this project to set a solid, ambitious foundation, a team that aims at big goals, and her signing is a decisive boost to attain that objective. I want to thank Annemiek for the enthusiasm she’s shown for this team and the confidence she’s put on our project since day one.”

“Annemiek is the ideal person to lead this project, one who depicts perfectly many of the sporting and human values this team has always wanted to instil amongst its members. I admire her work ethic, her consistency, her honesty, her team spirit, her commitment. Her mentality fits to perfection into the way this group has always worked, and for our entire roster, both riders and staff, her arrival will be a huge step forward for us. I’ve always believed that great riders grow up better when having great examples by their side, great leaders, and our young talents will enjoy the best reflection of what it’s needed to succeed, with Annemiek being, undoubtedly, the best rider in the world.”

“The approach of our team from a competitive standpoint in the next few years will drastically change with Annemiek’s signing. Her biggest sporting greatness is that she’s arguably the only rider who, in my opinion, can go for any race in the calendar with a real chance to win. It’s a great challenge for the team, and a big motivation. It makes us hope we can aim high and go for the win, or doing well, in the most relevant events of the season.”

Annemiek van Vleuten:
van vleuten

jumbo-visma
Jumbo-Visma Extends with a Quartet of Riders
Pascal Eenkhoorn, Timo Roosen, Lennard Hofstede and Christoph Pfingsten will also ride in the Team Jumbo-Visma jersey next season. The four riders have extended their contract with the Dutch World Tour formation. Moreover, Paul Martens and Maarten Wynants will extend their long careers by half a season and will retire as professional cyclists in the course of 2021.

Eenkhoorn, riding his third season as a cyclist for Team Jumbo-Visma, has so far won two races in the yellow and black jersey. In the coming years he hopes to take further steps in his development. “Within this team I can develop step by step. I have a nice race program. The goal is and remains to win races, both individually and with the team. I am very happy that I will also be riding with this Dutch, attractive and close-knit team for the next two years.”

Just like Eenkhoorn, Roosen has also extended his contract by two years. The 27-year-old Roosen has been with the team since 2015 and is enjoying himself there. “The fact that I will also be riding for Team Jumbo-Visma in the coming years, feels great. Both parties are pleased and hopefully we can continue the upward trend of recent years in the coming period.”

Hofstede, who has been part of Team Jumbo-Visma since 2019, is very happy with his contract extension. “This team feels like a close-knit family and the values of the team are very much in line with my personality. I want to continue to develop myself in the upcoming years. I hope to take a step in riding uphill, among other things. That is why I am in the right place with this team. Thanks to Team Jumbo-Visma I can get the best out of myself.” Hofstede has also extended his contract for two years.

Christoph Pfingsten will also stay longer with manager Richard Plugge’s team. The German joined Team Jumbo-Visma this year and he has extended his contract for one year. “From the start I was well integrated into this group. I don’t just get along with the riders, but also with the staff members. That is very important to me. I have a very good feeling with this team”, the German says.

Experienced riders are preparing for final races
In the first half of 2021, Paul Martens and Maarten Wynants can be seen as cyclists in the Team Jumbo-Visma jersey for the last time. The two veterans of Team Jumbo-Visma will quit as pro cyclists during the season.

Paul Martens intended to end his career this season, but the loss of a large part of the cycling calendar made him decide to extend his career. “It was a conscious choice to consider this year my last. However, the corona crisis made me doubt. I reconsidered my decision to quit so that I can end my career in a dignified way. I am very happy that the team gave me the opportunity to continue for half a season. I look forward to, hopefully, being able to ride the most beautiful races such as the Ardennes Classics and the Giro two more times. In this way I can end my career in a beautiful way”, the 36-year-old German said, who has been with Team Jumbo-Visma and its predecessors since 2008.

Maarten Wynants will pin on a bib number for the last time in Paris-Roubaix in 2021. After that, the experienced rider will play a role as sports director at Team Jumbo-Visma. “Paris-Roubaix will be my last race. In principle, this was already possible in October this year, thanks to the new calendar, but I want to say goodbye after a normal, full spring season. After Paris-Roubaix I get into the car as sports director. The intention is that I learn the trade with the Development Team and then continue to grow. I will also do some smaller professional races, but the Tour de France is not there immediately. At the moment I try to convey my many years of experience through my role as a road captain. Even when I have stopped as an active cyclist, I want to pass on that experience to riders.”

These extended contracts complete the selection of Team Jumbo-Visma for the upcoming season. It was previously announced that Tom Leezer will end his cycling career after this season. Taco van der Hoorn and Bert-Jan Lindeman will also no longer be part of Team Jumbo-Visma next year.

jumbo-visma

deceuninck
Bang & Olufsen Extends its Partnership with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Danish luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen continues as Official Team Partner of one of the world’s most successful cycling squads.

Since 2017, Deceuninck – Quick-Step have been using Bang & Olufsen products during races for clear team communication. The renowned audio brand, founded in 1925 in northwest Denmark, focuses on high performance ear- and headphones as well speakers and screen solutions and the company have recently launched its BeoplayE8 Sport earphone.

deceuninck B+O

Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, SVP of Product Management & Brand Collaborations at Bang & Olufsen, says the company is proud to continue supplying the team with high quality audio solutions: “We are very pleased to continue the partnership with Deceuninck – Quick-Step as Official Sound Partner. At Bang & Olufsen, we know that music plays an important role for both training and restitution no matter if you are the world’s best cycling team or everyday consumers.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere is also delighted to continue to work with Bang & Olufsen: “We share Bang & Olufsen’s passion for excellence and performance and I am very pleased to continue our partnership. Music is an important element in the life of our riders who use it for motivation before the start and to relax after the end of a competition. We also insist that our riders use Bang & Olufsen ear pieces to communicate during races, as being able to use products of such great quality can only help boost our performance.”

deceuninck B+O

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