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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The 2020 road season is in full swing now with the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Saudi Tour, Etoile de Bessèges and the cyclo-cross in Maldegem – Reports, results and video. Astana didn’t work with Ferrari – Top Story. All the other cycling news of the week: Tour’21 start, Rebellin racing in 2020, Denifl court case, Emiel Verstrynge signs with Tormans, 2020 UEC Road European Champs, Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans on Cube and Giro stage cities turn pink. Thursday EUROTRASH time.

TOP STORY: Astana answer accusations
The Astana team is currently investigating the report in which Jakob Fuglsang is associated with the suspended doping doctor Michele Ferrari, said Sven Jonker, marketing manager at the Kazakh team. This report only contains rumours or assumptions, but no facts or evidence, Jonker informed Het Nieuwsblad. Astana was informed last Tuesday of the report of the anti-doping association CADF, in which Danish and Norwegian journalists were given access, as reported in EUROTRASH Monday. The report states that doping doctor Michele Ferrari, despite his lifelong suspension, still has active contact with riders. Astana riders Jakob Fuglsang and Alexey Lutsenko were mentioned.

“We were called by the Danish and Norwegian journalists on Tuesday who apparently had been given access to the file. They asked for a response, but because the file contains no facts or evidence, but only allegations or rumours, we do not wish to respond to it,” says Jonker. “We haven’t heard from the UCI or CADF since that Tuesday’s call, so I don’t see why we need to take action.” According to him there is no panic within Astana because of the news. The Legal Department is currently reviewing the file, which dates from the summer of 2019.

Astana does not cooperate with suspicious doctors, such as the suspended doping Dr Michele Ferrari. Riders may also not consult doctors from outside. The team said in a statement:

“The team requires all its riders to comply at all times with all obligations regarding the anti-doping rules, including the prohibition to be associated with prohibited individuals or doctors. The team does not work with suspicious doctors, such as Dr. Ferrari. The riders are not authorised to consult physicians from outside the team to perform any activity or prescribe a diet or treatment related to their performance.”

The team points out that its license has been renewed for the year 2020. “This confirms that the team fully complies with all its obligations, including in the area of ​​combating doping in cycling. The team is in contact with the UCI and the CADF to find out more and will cooperate on any matter that can be opened by the CADF or the UCI.” The team reports that no steps have yet been taken against riders who are members of the team. “Astana trusts that if the CADF had any evidence of misconduct by any rider, a disciplinary case would have started immediately in accordance with the anti-doping rules and the World Anti-Doping Code.”

Jakob Fuglsang has also spoken about the story that links him to doping doctor Michele Ferrari. The Danish leader of Astana denies that he has ever met the Italian doctor, he BT.dk. “I deny that I have met Dr. Ferrari. I am not aware of the presence of a report and can confirm that no case has been opened against me by a competent anti-doping authority. I am worried about the rumours spreading in the media in this way,” Fuglsang added.

Doctor Michele Ferrari has also responded to the claims: “I am unfortunately forced to deny the latest media hoax that revolves around me. I have not had any relationship with riders from Astana in the last ten years. I haven’t been to Monaco or Nice for at least twelve years. I have never ridden a scooter or motorcycle in my life, let alone pacing a cyclist.”

Ferrari also denies that he visited the Tour of Catalonia last year. “I have not been physically present at a race since 1994.” “The secret” report “is based on false messages from people with something to gain.” In addition, the doctor denies that he has a base in Lugano, Switzerland: “I have never been there.”

CADF takes no further action against Astana and Ferrari
Anti-doping organisation CADF decided, after consultation, not to send the secret report to the UCI. “The Ferrari accusations make no sense. They are really absurd rumours. You don’t believe that Michele Ferrari can visit the Tour of Catalonia unnoticed?” Said Alexander Vinokourov, the Astana team manager.

CADF say they had been tipped-off about a possible violation of the doping rules. They then called in various bodies to validate the information, but decided not to send the report to the UCI. This means that the international cycling union will not start an investigation into the suggested relationship between the Astana team and the controversial doping Dr. Ferrarri. The CADF regrets that the report was leaked to the press and hopes to find out by means of an investigation how this could have happened.

Jakob Fuglsang never met Dr. Ferrari:

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2020
Stage 1 of the Tour of Valencia finished in a bunch sprint and a success for Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen. The Dutch sprinter took the win in-front of fellow countryman Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in Vila-Real. Groenewegen is also the overall leader in the Spanish race.

Without the sick Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), the peloton started in the coastal town of Castelló on the first stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana on Wednesday, and it didn’t take long for four riders to escape from the peloton: Cédric Beullens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) with Julen Irizar (Fundación Euskadi-Orbea), Cristian Scaroni (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Diego Sevilla (Kometa-Xstra) soon had 2 minutes in hand. The maximum lead was 3:20 after 60 kilometres. Despite working well together, the four never had a chance of the win. Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma joined forces to limit the lead. Irizar took the intermediate sprint, while Beullens won the first mountain jersey on the Alto de Marianet (3.7 km at 5.5%). From the top of the only categorised climb, there was still more than 80 kilometres to race.

On the rolling Spanish roads the peloton chased down the four leaders and bit by bit they pulled back more and more time from the leaders. 18 kilometres from the finish, only Beullens and Irizar remained off the front and they decided to put everything into holding off the peloton. No matter how hard the two tried, they could not stop the peloton from catching then 10 kilometres from the finish line. In the peloton Lotto Soudal had also joined in the work for John Degenkolb.

A late attempt by Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) was unsuccessful. Jakobsen was brought to the finish comfortably by his lead-out team. The lead-out for Groenewegen did not go as planned and he seemed to be in a hopeless situation when the sprint started. Groenewegen turned out to have timed his effort on the right side of the road. The fast-man from Amsterdam pasted everyone and in the last metre he passed the Dutch champion, Jakobsen, for the win.

Stage winner and overall leader, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “It was very hectic in the final, but I was still in a good position to sprint. In the end I grabbed the first victory for myself and the team, that’s great. The team was very strong today, I have to thank them for the work. Also in the first races there is a lot of pressure on sprinters, so it is great to win the first sprint right away. Two more chances are coming. The form is good and the team is strong, so we will try again.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a hectic final with lots of roundabouts on the run-in. For the sprint I did a good job and was able to get in a good position, maybe even the best position. I got a bit boxed in with 600m to go and was stuck on the wheel of Jakobsen. Third is a good result today and marks a good start to the season. I felt good which is important and will look for chances again this week. I would like to get my first victory of the season sooner rather than later.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:07:40
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
5. Juan Jose Lobato del Valle (Spa) Fundacion Euskadi-Orbea
6. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
8. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
10. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 1:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:07:40
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos at 0:10
5. Juan Jose Lobato del Valle (Spa) Fundacion Euskadi-Orbea
6. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
8. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
10. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Valencia’20 stage 1:

Saudi Tour 2020
Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) won Stage 1 of the new Saudi Tour and is the first overall leader. The Portuguese rider had the best legs in an uphill sprint after a tough echelon stage. Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-McLaren) was second, third was Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic).

It was Bahrain-McLaren put the pressure on 75 kilometres from the line. Mark Cavendish was brought into a good position by his Bahrain-Merida team, because the other sprinters, except Nacer Bouhanni, had been distanced and the British rider had four teammates. Within 20 kilometres, the first group, led by Bahrain-McLaren, had a maximum lead of five minutes. The first echelon had around 25 riders, in addition to Bahrain-McLaren (Phil Bauhaus, Mark Cavendish, Heinrich Haussler and Marcel Sieberg), Rui Costa, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Niki Terpstra, Jens Debusschere and Nacer Bouhanni were some of the top names.

The second echelon seemed to be out of the race when the lead of the first group had risen to a minute, but in the last 30 kilometres the second echelon had the leaders in sight on the long and straight desert roads, but were still at 30 seconds. A regrouping did not take too long, after which almost all the sprinters returned to the front. At the moment of the regrouping, four riders escaped. Bert De Backer, Andreas Kron, Evaldas Siskevicius and Heinrich Haussler went on the hunt for the first victory and the leader’s jersey.

When the four had a 30 second lead, they started to believe in their chances, although that turned out to be false hope and the first stage of the Saudi Tour ended in a sprint, although they were only caught 100 metres from the steep climb to the finish. Rui Costa had the best legs and so took the first stage and overall lead.

Stage winner and overall leader, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “We knew it was going to be a hard stage and that there was going to be a lot of wind, but we did our best to be alert to the conditions. I knew who I had to watch coming into the finish and that 300m was the right time to make my move before the hairpin. It’s a really important win for me and a great start to the season.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-McLaren): “Even though it was completely flat today, I fell on the ground after the finish line. The first 99km was pretty much straight forward, pretty easy, then we got into the crosswinds, and the group just split. I just decided to go. I took three guys with me. We looked good and had 20 seconds in the last km, but the last 600m was really steep uphill, and I just got beat by Rui Costa at the end. But we had a great team spirit, and great team effort for the first race, new team, new colours and I’m really happy with the way the whole team worked. Obviously, we are here to win, we are not here to get second or third. It’s also good for the confidence as we know we have good legs, we are working well together as a team. Hopefully, it will only get better from here on.”

Saudi Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Rui Costa (Por) UAE-Team Emirates in 3:52:12
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-McLaren
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
4. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM
5. Carlos Barbero (Spa) NTT
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren
7. Andreas Kron (Den) Riwal-Readynez
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie
9. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM.

Saudi Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Rui Costa (Por) UAE-Team Emirates in 3:52:02
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:01
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic at 0:06
4. Andreas Kron (Den) Riwal-Readynez at 0:09
5. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM at 0:10
6. Carlos Barbero (Spa) NTT
7. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie
9. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM.

Saudi’20 stage 1:

A day after crashing hard during the opening stage of the Saudi Tour, Niccoló Bonifazio hit back in style. The Italian powered to the line on Stage 2 in impressive style to claim his first win of the season in Al Bujairi. In a final bunched sprint the Total Direct Energie rider beat Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-McLaren) and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) to the line. Finishing in the pack, Rui Costa keeps the overall leader’s Green jersey with three days to go.

After yesterday’s opening stage, the 118 remaining riders of the inaugural Saudi Tour gathered by the splendid Sadus Castle for the start of stage 2. The riders took off at 11:22 for a 187-km stage heading back south-east towards Riyadh.

As soon as the first kilometre, four riders broke away: Van Melsen (Circus-Wanty Gobert), Fuentes (Burgos-BH), Holler (Bike AID) and Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). Their advantage increased very rapidly from 1:40 at km 5 to 3:15 at 30km. The first two intermediate active sprints were claimed by Fuentes while the pack reached 75km with a 3:45 time deficit. That was just after Mark Cavendish (Bahrain-McLaren) recovered from a 10-man crash and moved back into the peloton.

The gap carried on growing and reached 5:25 at the third sprint where Fuentes again conquered the most points, comforting his lead in the Most Active Rider classification. But from then on teams UAE Emirates, Arkea-Samsic and Bahrain-McLaren moved to the front of the pack and started chasing. With 25kms to go, the gap had dropped to 1:10. The front four were eventually caught with 12kms remaining.

The pack remained bunched all the way to the final straight situated in Al Bujairi close to where heavy-weight boxing World champion Anthony Joshua won his rematch against Andy Ruiz last December and where the Dakar rally bivouac settled for its rest day in January. On the slightly uphill straight, Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) remained on the wheel of Haussler before powering to the line. The Italian competing in his first race of the season beat Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-McLaren) and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea Samsic) to the line.

Comfortably established in the pack, yesterday’s winner Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) keeps his overall leader’s Green jersey while Nacer Bouhanni takes command of the points classification (red jersey) and Andreas Kron remains the best young rider.

Overall leader, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “We keep the leader’s jersey after today’s stage! I thank to all my team mates the extraordinary work to protect me, as well as our team staff for providing us all the conditions we need. We only have to do our best. Feeling sad about the crash during the stage of the mate from NTT, which led to the accidental crash of other riders. I would like to clarify that it was Van Rensberg who accidentally came to my side and my gesture was to protect myself from crash. After the stage, Van Rensburg came personally to our bus to clarify that this situation happened due to a team mate touch him and his gesture is really appreciated. Everything is clear to both of us and hope it’s also to everybody.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-McLaren): “In the beginning, unfortunately, Sieberg and Mark were involved in the big crash just in front of us, so the team decided to go for me for the sprint, and then we rode really good in the final. Haussler decided to give it a go and tried to attack, anticipate the sprint, but Bonifazio jumped across. I did win the sprint, but if you win the sprint, you also want to be the winner.”

Saudi Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie 4:32:31
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:02
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
4. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
5. Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM
6. Orluis Aular (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Imerio Cima (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
8. August Jensen (Nor) Riwal-Readynez
9. Julien Trarieux (Fra) Nippo-Delko-One Provence
10. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Terengganu Inc. TSG.

Saudi Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates in 8:24:35
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-McLarren at 0:01
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic at 0:02
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:04
5. Andreas Kron (Den) Riwal-Readynez at 0:09
6. Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM at 0:10
7. Carlos Barbero (Spa) NTT
8. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Lucas Carsttensen (Ger) Bike Aid.

Saudi’20 stage 2:

Etoile de Bessèges 2020
Alexys Brunel (Groupama-FDJ) took the win in Stage 1 of the Etoile de Bessèges on Wednesday. 4 kilometres from the finish on the Côte de la Tour, the Groupama-FDJ rider attacked and in the finalé he narrowly held off Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Edward Planckaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

On the opening day, the peloton rode 141 kilometres through the Bellegarde region, where the finish was on the Côte de la Tour. Three riders made the early break: Belgian track rider Lindsay De Vylder was joined by Frenchman Samy Aurignac and Spaniard Ibon Ruiz. In the first 15 kilometres they had almost 4 minutes on the peloton, but the chasers suddenly accelerated and took a big bite out of the lead. For a moment the time difference remained stable around 2 minutes, but after 45 kilometres everything was back together.

The wind was strong and that resulted in echelons at 90 kilometres from the line. The peloton split. Eventually the peloton regrouped and more and more riders could reconnect, then Lilian Calmejane tried to shake things up by attacking. The Frenchman was not given any space, but the pace had been raised and the peloton split again. Pierre Latour of AG2R-La Mondiale had missed the boat and there was still about 50 kilometres to go. Calmejane attacked again at 30 kilometres from the finish and again 7 kilometres further on, but again and again the rider from Total Direct Energie was caught.

A front group of about 30 riders started the final 15 kilometres. On the penultimate climb of the Côte de la Tour (third of fourth), 9 kilometres from the finish, Benoît attacked Cosnefroy, but the decisive attack came from Alexey Brunel.

After Simon Clarke and Sebastian Langeveld had already made a futile shot at the stage victory on behalf of EF Education First, the French rider from Groupama-FDJ rode away 4 kilometres from the finish. He took a small lead that proved to be enough for his first victory. A few seconds after Benoît, Cosnefroy and Edward Planckaert were second and third.

2nd, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I had Clément Venturini with me in the final, and we had to make some decisions. We couldn’t follow Alexys when he went. But I thought I would try to make the difference in the final climb and catch back up to him, but that was not possible. I really thank my team after such a day. Echelons like that are not my favourite exercise, and without my team, I could not have finished in second place today. They saved me quite a few times. It’s definitely this kind of day that we especially see the importance of a strong team. The hardest part of the race is yet to come, and it’s always better to be ahead of the game after a crazy stage like this one today.”

Etoile de Bessèges Stage 1 Result:
1. Alexys Brunel (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 3:20:43
2. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:01
3. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:03
4. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo at 0:05
5. Scott Thwaites (GB) Fenix-Alpecin at 0:08
6. Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
7. Sean De Bie (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
8. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC
9. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
10. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie at 0:11.

Etoile de Bessèges Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alexys Brunel (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 3:20:32
2. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:03
3. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:10
4. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo at 0:16
5. Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ at 0:17
6. Scott Thwaites (GB) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:19
7. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC
8. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept-KTM
10. Flavien Maurelet (Fra) St Michel-Auber at 0:24.

Bessèges’20 Stage 1:

Ethias Cyclo-cross Maldegem 2020
Eli Iserbyt won Wednesday’s Parkcross Maldegem, penultimate race of the Ethias Cross series. Just after half way he managed to take the lead on a sandy section. Teammate Michael Vanthourenhout got close, but Iserbyt held on for the win.

Quinten Hermans had the best start and had Lars van der Haar on his wheel. David van der Poel, Laurens Sweeck and Eli Iserbyt were not far behind. Hermans continued to push hard in the first two and a half laps, but the rest did hold back. It was only in the third of the ten laps that Michael Vanthourenhout took the lead in the race. From that moment on, the riders of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal and Tormans determined the race with Vanthourenhout, Iserbyt, Hermans and Corné van Kessel. On lap five they attacked. A lap later Iserbyt jumped away from the other three with a strong move through the sand. He kicked hard, while teammate Vanthourenhout helped him gain a good lead.

At the start of the 8th lap, Iserbyt had 8 seconds and seemed to be on his way to his ninth win of the season. In the final laps; Vanthourenhout started to come back, so Iserbyt could not make any mistakes. He didn’t have any problems and so took the victory.

Race winner, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “Many turns and accelerations. Only the beams were not really good for me. I knew that the first half would be very difficult, because I had actually done nothing for two days after the World championships. That is why I am glad that after half of the cross I was able to race away fairly easily with the help of Michael. I was not sure what was going on behind me. You didn’t see the pursuers on many points. That’s why I just wanted to ride at a good pace. In the penultimate lap I saw that Michael really kept on pushing, but the rest always stayed behind him. Then it was important for me to keep the pace really high. A win is always good. I don’t think many riders can say that they have won this year. This is my ninth victory, so I’m very happy with that.”

Ethias Cyclo-cross Maldegem Result:
1. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) in 1:01:12
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) at 0:10
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) at 0:13
4. Corné van Kessel (Ned) at 0:13
5. Lars van der Haar (Ned) at 0:19
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) at 0:24
7. Quinten Hermans (Bel) at 0:32
8. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) at 0:42
9. David van der Poel (Ned) at 0:48
10. Ryan Kamp (Ned) at 0:56.


No Dumoulin in Valencia 2020
Tom Dumoulin did not start in the Tour of Valencia on Wednesday. The Dutchman became ill in Spain and returned home to recover. Paul Martens replaces Dumoulin in the Jumbo-Visma team.

Dumoulin announced the problem on his Instagram. “The team has just left for a training here in Valencia, but unfortunately without me. I fell ill last night and will go home to recover there,” he said. “This is not the way I wanted to start my season, but we have to be wise.”

“If you don’t feel well, it’s better not to race. I came to Spain to work on my condition, not to break it off. I hope to be back soon”, concluded the 29-year-old rider.

The Tour of Valencia should have been Tom Dumoulin’s first race in almost eight months, after knee problems in the Criterium du Dauphiné last year. Tirreno-Adriatico should be the next race Dumoulin will starts.

Not much luck for Dumoulin since the 2019 Giro:

Tour de France 2021: Three Stages to Find True North
The Tour de France has explored all sorts of coasts, from beaches, harbours and cliffs to rocky inlets, dykes and bays. In 2021, the peloton of the Grande Boucle will discover a Nordic variant, the fjords, when it rolls out of Vejle for stage 3, held in the southern part of the Jutland peninsula. The hometown of 1977 Ballon d’Or winner Allan Simonsen also hosted the unveiling of the profiles of the Danish stages of the 108th edition. The opening act of the Grande Boucle, a 13 km romp through the streets of Copenhagen, is tailored to the most explosive riders in the field. Although the pancake-flat course opens the door to record-high average speeds, one of the few times that the riders will have to hit the brakes will come 4 km before the line, where the Little Mermaid will watch them negotiate a tight corner. The next day, the stage starting in Roskilde, the old capital of the country, promises a fierce battle among the classics specialists, who will face a windswept 18 km section of bridges while crossing the Great Belt in the run-in to Nyborg. Finally, the 182 kilometre stage to Sønderborg that will wrap up the Danish adventure will be a fjordfest along the coast, with the sprinters itching to pounce on what will likely be the first bunch sprint of the race.

The Danish stages of the 2021 Tour de France:
Stage 1: Copenhagen (individual time trial), 13 km
Stage 2: Roskilde > Nyborg, 199 km
Stage 3: Vejle > Sønderborg, 182 km

Christian Prudhomme, director of Tour de France: “The first few days of the Tour de France often set the tone and atmosphere of a race that develops into whatever the riders want to make of it over the following three weeks. It is an exciting prospect to think that in July 2021 we will be applying the final touches to the start in the heart of a city that breathes and lives cycling. The first three stages will showcase the landscapes of Denmark and give rise to a wide range of scenarios in which power riders, echelon experts and sprinters will all get a chance to shine — a compendium of bicycle racing on flat terrain.”

Dansk Metal, new local partner. The Danish trade union Dansk Metal, for those who work in industries of engineering, mechanics and IT, becomes the 2021 Grand Départ’s first Danish partner as an Official Fan. “We are very pleased that we have entered into this sponsorship. There is no doubt that the beginning of the Grand Boucle in Denmark will be a huge experience for a lot of Danes and we want at Dansk Metal to contribute to that,” says Danish Metal Vice President René Nielsen.

Key points:
On 3 July 2021, the Tour de France will venture farther north than ever before when it reaches the 70-kilometre mark in the second Danish stage, from Roskilde to Nyborg.
Ø The profiles of the first three stages were unveiled this morning in Vejle, another town that will host the 108th edition of the race. The show will get on the road in the capital of the country, Copenhagen, which is known as the most cycling-friendly city on Earth.

Tour de France 2021 – Route 3D for the 3 stages of Grand Départ:

Another Year for Rebellin
Davide Rebellin will be part of the peleton in 2020. The 48-year-old Italian seemed on his way to a continental Cambodian team, but now remains with another continental team, Meridiana Kamen. “We are very happy with the arrival of Davide,” the team manager told SpazioCiclismo.

The former winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne and the Amstel Gold Race allegedly held talks with the continental Cambodia Cycling Academy, but in the end couldn’t agree terms. It now appears that the Italian classic specialist has signed a contract with Meridiana Kamen, a Croatian team with a continental license. Rebellin is not the only Italian in the (modest) team, as Matteo Rabottini also rides for the team. The 32-year-old Rabottini once won a stage in the Giro d’Italia, but was caught doping, just like Rebellin.

“We know Davide well and it is an important rider for the team. He will help the young riders with his wealth of experience, but he is also capable of performing himself”, the team said. Rebellin made his debut in 1992 as a professional in the kit of GB-MG Maglificio and was ninth in the Tour of Lombardy that year. Rebellin also raced for Meridiana Kamen for several months last year. He rode for the Croatian team in the Tour of Slovenia and some Italian one-day races. The highly experienced Italian first raced for Meridiana Kamen in 2012, but he soon left for the Polish CCC Polsat Polkowice team.

Rebellin in Lombardia’15:

Denifl in Court
Stefan Denifl has confirmed in the Innsbruck court that he used blood doping during his career. The Austrian was part of Operation Aderlass, with Dr Mark Schmidt. “I am not a criminal,” said Denifl in court.

“I wanted to reach my old level, but I couldn’t do it without doping,” said the suspended Tyrol rider. Denifl also said that professional cycling requires a performance that is not normally required. In addition, teams would be aware of the practices of cheaters. Denifl felt compelled to participate with the other dopers. “I could not have received a contract without doping,” he said.

The trial against Denifl started on Monday. Denifl has to appear in court because he has been charged with doping in addition to blood transfusions, also growth hormones and commercial sports fraud. Denifl reportedly earned half a million euros, with which he also financed his doping practices. Since the use and trade in doping is prohibited in Austria, he is also suspected of a financial offense. He is facing possible imprisonment.

The UCI suspended Denifl for four years as a result of its involvement in Operation Aderlass. In addition, results between 2014 and 2019 have been canceled.

Stefan Denifl – Vuelta’17 stage 17 winner:

Emiel Verstrynge Signs with Tormans Cyclo Cross Team for his Birthday
Bronze medal winner at the World Championships Emiel Verstrynge has a new reason to celebrate. The Flemish cyclocross rider is 18 years old today, on February 4th, and signed a three year contract with Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. Verstrynge, riding for CT Keukens Buysse, has shown regularity within the junior category. The bronze medal winner at the Belgian and World Championships living in Maldegem also finished on the podium at the World Cup in Nommay. He finished 4th in Koksijde and 6th in Heusden-Zolder. Verstrynge will make his debut in the U23 category in September in the colours of Tormans Cyclo Cross.

Emiel Verstrynge: “I’m very happy with this great opportunity and stepping stone. At the international Championships with the national team I got into touch with Quinten Hermans and I’m looking forward to start learning from him. My new teammates will help me to start my first year in the U23 category. In this professional environment I can continue my development.”

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): “We keep implementing the same approach: recruiting and developing young talents. We follow these dynamics on the road, and we keep the same reasoning for cyclocross. We already signed a contract with Thomas Mein, and Emiel Verstrynge will join him. He showed in the junior category that he was part of the best riders of his generation, in Belgium and on the international level. I’m convinced that Emiel will continue his progress in the colours of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. Thanks to our new cyclocross project, we offer him the possibility to grow without pressure by giving him a contract until February 2023.”

Happy birthday Emiel Verstrynge:

Trentino 2020, two days of inspection with UEC, Eurovision and Rai
UEC (European Cycling Union) and TV production managers will be in Trento for a two-day technical inspection, seven months before the start of the 2020 UEC Road European Championships, to be held from September 9th to 13th.

With seven months to go to the 2020 UEC Road European Championships – Trentino 2020, to be held from September 9th to 13th, it’s time for inspections in Trento as an international delegation comes to check the work in progress. Trentino 2020 Organizing Committee have scheduled with members of the UEC (European Cycling Union), Eurovision and Rai a visit for technical and organisational briefings on February 4th-5th, to be carried out either on the routes and the start and finish areas.

Headed by Trento Monte Bondone Valle dei Laghi Tourist Board and Trentino Marketing in collaboration with City of Trento and Trento Eventi Sport, the Trentino 2020 Organizing Committee will welcome the representatives of the European Federation (the Vice-President Agata Lang, the General Secretary Enrico Dalla Casa, the Media Officer Stefano Bertolotti and the Technical Delegate Marco Minervino) as well as Eurovision’s Franck Reynaud and Alejandro Sanchez, in charge of the TV production and the international distribution in cooperation with Rai (Radio Televisione Italiana).

All the races will move from the beautiful Piazza Duomo in the centre of Trento, while the time trials will start from the MUSE – Sciences Museum in Trento. Eurovision will broadcast “live” the whole event airing the first three days by streaming and the last two on TV, extending the visibility in over 60 European countries.
Here is the complete 2020 UEC Road European Championships schedule:

Wednesday September 9th, 2020
• Junior Women Individual Time Trial
• Junior Men Individual Time Trial
• Team relay (Men/Women Team Time Trial)

Thursday September 10th, 2020
• Elite Women Individual Time Trial
• Under 23 Women Individual Time Trial
• Under 23 Men Individual Time Trial
• Elite Men Individual Time Trial

Friday September 11th, 2020
• Junior Women Road Race
• Junior Men Road Race
• Under 23 Women Road Race

Saturday September 12th, 2020
• Under 23 Men Road Race
• Elite Women Road Race

Sunday September 13th, 2020
• Elite Men Road Race.

The beautiful Piazza Duomo will be the finish area of the road races at 2020 UEC Road European Championships – Trentino 2020:

The Riders of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans and the Tormans Cyclo Cross Team Continue with CUBE Bikes for the Next Three Seasons
Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans and CUBE Bikes extended their partnership for three years. The German bike manufacturer supplies the bikes of the UCI Pro Team since 2015. The riders of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans will use the CUBE Litening C:68X and the Aerium TT bike in 2020. The cyclocross riders ride the CUBE Cross Race C:62.

The Litening C:68X combines a low weight, stiffness, efficacy and comfort. The bike was launched at the Tour de France 2019 and was recognised to have become as efficient and aerodynamic as possible. The combination of the high-end C:68X carbon with the Advanced Twin Mould production technology gives the engineers the ability to add or remove precise quantities of carbon to create the perfect blend of characteristics.

Just like the Litening C:68X, the Aerium TT was thoroughly tested en studied, resulting in an incredibly light and unbelievably efficient time trial frame.

The Cross Race C:62 was developed for cyclocross racers with mud running through their veins. The extremely stiff frame is light and responsive. The geometry provides sharp, nimble handling. It’s made for riders with a winning mentality!

Jean-François Bourlart (général manager): “A bike is the principal work tool for our riders, so it’s essential to rely on a loyal and solid partner. We established a true collaboration with CUBE Bikes five years ago. Since our start together, we’ve been working closely together to develop new road and time trial bikes. We will do the same for the cyclocross bikes now. I’m very happy to be able to rely on the know-how and on the expertise in research and in development of CUBE Bikes during the three next seasons.”

Marcus Pürner (general director CUBE Bikes): “We are proud to sponsor a team at the level of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. The feedback we get from the riders already was and will directly be used in the development of our new bikes. The input from professional athletes is of great importance to help our engineers bring the highest quality to our customers. We are therefore looking forward to the ongoing partnership.”

Jan Bakelants: “My first impression of the CUBE Litening C68:X and the Aerium TT is excellent. We can be happy to rely on partners investing in our team and CUBE Bikes is one of them. Their engineers listen to us and react with changes when it’s necessary. One of the innovations is the integrated handlebar: the design is very elegant, no cables are visible, making the bike very aerodynamic.”

Danny Van Poppel: “I’m very happy with my new bikes. The design of the CUBE Litening C68:X is very elegant, of both the black bike and the bike in team colours. The frame is stiff and combines well with the integrated handlebar, a dream bike for each sprinter! I can develop all my power! Moreover, I’m discovering the use of disc brakes, adding even more advantages. CUBE Bikes is one of the only brands applying disc brakes on the time trial bikes. I can’t wait for my first prologue on my Aerium TT!”

Quinten Hermans: “I’m happy with my CUBE Cross Race C:62! I’m well adapted to the new bike now. The frame is stiff and all power I develop after a corner is transformed into an acceleration. The nervosity of the frame makes the bike wanting to go faster!”

From Hungary to Milan, Giro Stage Cities Turn Pink
With 100 days to go to the start of the 103rd edition of the Giro d’Italia, the host cities celebrate their link with the Corsa Rosa by illuminating their landmarks in pink.

Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere), Budapest, from where the inaugural ITT of the 103rd Giro d’Italia will start

From Budapest to Milan, the stage cities of the 103rd Giro d’Italia, which starts on 9 May in the Hungarian Capital, have turned their major landmarks pink. Last night, with 100 days to go to the start of the Corsa Rosa, many important squares, monuments, roads, and special locations have been illuminated in pink.

The Giro d’Italia, organised by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport, will start from Budapest (Hungary) on 9 May and finish in Milan on 31 May. Hungary will host the 14th start from abroad for the Giro d’Italia; the first from an Eastern European country.

The Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The city will host the final stage of the Corsa Rosa for the 78th time

Stage by stage, the monuments which have turned pink to celebrate the Giro:
● Stage 1 – 09/05/2020 – Budapest – Budapest (ITT): Hősök tere
● Stage 2 – 10/05/2020 – Budapest – Győr: Jedlik-híd bridge in Győr
● Stage 3 – 11/05/2020 – Székesfehérvár – Nagykanizsa: the Townhall of Székesfehérvár and the Viewpoint of Nagykanizsa
● Stage 4 – 12/05/2020 – Monreale – Agrigento: the Cathedral of Monreale and the Temple of Hercules, located in the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento
● Stage 5 – 13/05/2020 – Enna – Etna: the Torre di Federico in Enna and the Townhall of Linguaglossa, (Piano Provenzana, Etna)
● Stage 6 – 14/05/2020 – Catania – Villafranca Tirrena: the balcony of the Palazzo dell’Elefante in Catania and the Castle of Bauso in Villafranca Tirrena
● Stage 7 – 15/05/2020 – Mileto – Camigliatello Silano: the Cathedral of Mileto and the San Francesco di Paola Sanctuary in Camigliatello Silano
● Stage 8 – 16/05/2020 – Castrovillari – Brindisi: the Aragonese Castle of Castrovillari and the Roman Columns of Brindisi
● Stage 9 – 17/05/2002 – Giovinazzo – Vieste: the Fountain of the Tritons in Giovinazzo and Pizzomunno La Falesia in Vieste
● Stage 10 – 19/05/2020 – San Salvo – Tortoreto Lido: the Fountain of Glass in San Salvo Villa Comunale and the Fontana della Sirena at Tortoreto Lido
● Stage 11 – 20/05/2020 – Porto Sant’Elpidio – Rimini: the Torre dell’Orologio in Porto Sant’Elpidio and Castel Sismondo in Rimini
● Stage 12 – 21/05/2020 – Cesenatico – Cesenatico: Porto Canale in Cesenatico
● Stage 13 – 22/05/2020 – Cervia – Monselice: San Michele Tower in Cervia and Colle della Rocca in Monselice
● Stage 14 – 24/05/2020 – Conegliano – Valdobbiadene (ITT): the Castel of Conegliano and the Villa dei Cedri in Valdobbiadene
● Stage 15 – 24/05/2020 – Base Aerea Rivolto – Piancavallo: hangars with airplanes at the Rivolto Air Base and the Palace Menegozzi in Piancavallo
● Stage 16 – 26/05/2020 – Udine – San Daniele del Friuli: the Loggia di San Giovanni of Udine and San Michele Arcangelo Cathedral in San Daniele del Friuli
● Stage 17 – 27/05/2020 – Bassano del Grappa – Madonna di Campiglio: the Church of San Giovanni in Bassano and Canalone Miramonti (3Tre), Madonna di Campiglio
● Stage 18 – 28/05/2020 – Pinzolo – Laghi di Cancano: Canalone Miramonti (3Tre) and the Torri di Fraele
● Stage 19 – 29/05/2020 – Morbegno – Asti: the Torri di Fraele and the Monument to Vittorio Alfieri
● Stage 20 – 30/05/2020 – Alba – Sestriere: the Torri Medievali of Alba and the Albero della Vita (Sestriere)
● Stage 21 – 31/05/2020 – Cernusco sul Naviglio – Milano (ITT): Villa Greppi in Cernusco sul Naviglio and the Teatro alla Scala of Milano

The Temple of Hercules, Agrigento, where the first Italian stage of the Corsa Rosa will finish:

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