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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

All the cycling news.

The Giro d’Italia starts on Saturday and we have everything you need to know: Team announcements and who are the possible winners. EUROTRASH Thursday isn’t all Giro, we also have stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta with report, result and video. Plus the up-to-date UCI team ranking, Alejandro Valverde to ride the Tour of Murcia, Emanuel Buchmann extends with BORA-hansgrohe, UAE Team Emirates sign Felix Groß, Matteo Spreafico suspended, Tour of America’s Dairyland calendar of events and la Vuelta 2021 jerseys. Big read – Big coffee!

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TOP STORY: The 2021 Giro d’Italia
There really can only be one TOP STORY with the Giro d’Italia starting on Saturday. All races are meant to be secondary to that French race, but the Giro and the Vuelta have their own unique attractions that the Tour de France can never have. The Giro has always been accepted as the cycling connoisseur’s race and the Tifosi are no casual followers, they know what they are talking about. Then of course there is Italy its self – Mountains, beaches, history, pasta, pizza, ice cream…. the list goes on.

The Giro d’Italia is something special and PEZ will be covering every stage with reports, results and the best photos. Plus there will be the EUROTRASH catch up on Mondays and Thurdays, ‘Race Breakdown’ and ‘Ed’s Rest Day Rants’. Keep it PEZ.

# Don’t miss the ‘PEZ Giro d’Italia Race Preview’ HERE. #

Bring it on!
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Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta 2021
Sam Bennett won the opening Stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve on Wednesday. In Portimão the Irishman from Deceuninck – Quick-Step was the fastest in a bunch sprint. Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) took second place.

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The Volta ao Algarve should have been ridden in February, but due to the corona situation, the race was postponed for three months. After 10 kilometres the break of the day got together: Carlos Canal (the youngest rider in the race at 19), Gustavo César Veloso (the oldest at 41), Jon Irisarri and Hugo Nunes. Initially, César Nicolás Paredes was also there, but after only a few kilometres, the Colombian crashed. Their lead has fluctuated around 3 minutes for a long time, while the sprinter’s teams, BORA-hansgrohe and Deceuninck-Quick-Step, set the pace in the peloton. After 106 kilometres, Irisarri was the first over the climb of Picota, the only climb of the day, the Spanish rider of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA secured the KOM jersey. The peloton had already started to lift the pace, gradually catching the leading group. Andreas Schillinger and Bert Van Lerberghe reduced the gap to the escapees to under 1 minute, where they were left for some time.

With 25 kilometres to go, there was a crash in the peloton. Davide Ballerini, winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, was involved, as were Michael Garrison and Marcelo Salvado, but everyone could continue. A few kilometres further there was another crash, this time Raúl García was the worst affected victim. At 19 kilometres from the finish, the break was caught. The battle for the best positions at the front got fiercer. The teams of the sprinters tried to get their leaders to the last kilometre in the best place possible. In the last 5 kilometres there was yet another crash, including Shane Archbold and Fabio Jakobsen, with others. The control in the peloton was gone for a while, but eventually order was restored. Despite the crash of his teammates, Sam Bennett was brought perfectly to the line, where he held off a strong Danny van Poppel.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I wasn’t sure what the legs would be like after that short break. It was at the limit today, but the team did a great job, even involved in a few falls, they managed to rectify the situation so that we could do great business again. We had to be alert and stay afloat. I just had to rely on my teammates when they came back in the last two kilometres. It was really tough at the end, but luckily I managed to finish it. I’ll definitely try again. But first get through tomorrow. Whether this victory is a confidence boost for the rest of the season? I think so. I haven’t trained much for this race and I still have a lot to do after today’s sensations. It is certainly a confidence boost because I was able to finish the job despite everything.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Danny Van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “After my brother Boy crashed in the end, I didn’t even think I would be able to sprint anymore. The final was really chaotic. I have had the feeling that I didn’t have enough space to sprint already a few times this season so now I decided to start from afar. In the past weeks I have trained a lot on my sprint and I am happy that those training courses are already paying off. But I am a winners type so of course I would have liked to beat Bennett. Although that second place and the familiarity of our team does ease the pain a bit. The day after tomorrow I will once again do everything that’s in my power to win the stage. Tomorrow’s stage will be about survival. There are a few tough climbs and I had quite a bit of trouble with the high temperatures already today. But of course it is equally hot for everyone so I will get over that!”

Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Of course I am disappointed. We did a lot to control the race and I had good legs today. The ascending last straight also suited my qualities, but I simply could not avoid the crash. Two kilometres I had to ride full throttle to get back and then the sprint started before the last corner. There was nothing I could have done differently. It’s a shame, but we just had bad luck.”

Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta Stage 1 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:37:41
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
4. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
5. Iúri Leitão (Por) Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua
6. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Jarrad Drizners (Aus) Hagens Berman Axeon
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Mikel Aristi Gardoki (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta Overall After Stage 1:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:37:41
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
4. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
5. Iúri Leitão (Por) Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua
6. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Jarrad Drizners (Aus) Hagens Berman Axeon
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Mikel Aristi Gardoki (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Algarve stage 1:

 

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Giro d’Italia 2021
With 3 days remaining until the start of the 104th Giro d’Italia, the race’s provisional entry list has been announced. Contenders will start in Turin on Saturday, 8 May, and will battle for the win over 21 stages that cross the Italian peninsula, to finish in Milan, on Sunday, 30 May.

The challenge for the GC
Among the GC specialists hoping to lift the Trofeo Senza Fine is Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), who will be wearing race number 01. Meanwhile, Team BikeExchange will be lining-up a host of riders in support of team captain Simon Yates, who has already shown good form at the Tour of the Alps.

Trek-Segafredo will be hedging its bets with the two-time winner of the Corsa Rosa Vincenzo Nibali, who returns to racing after a wrist injury, and Bauke Mollema, winner of Il Lombardia in 2019, who has also won the Trofeo Laigueglia earlier this year. Team DSM too will have two potential team leaders: Jai Hindley, who finished second on the Milan podium of the 103rd Giro, and Romain Bardet, who has placed on the podium twice at the Tour de France. There will also be two big names for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, with Remco Evenepoel, returning to racing after his accident at Il Lombardia in 2020 and João Almeida, who, last year, wore the Maglia Rosa for 15 days and came fourth in the General Classification. Bahrain Victorious will be at Turin’s Grande Partenza with two riders more than capable of fighting for victory overall: Mikel Landa (three stage wins at the Giro and one podium) and Pello Bilbao, 5th overall last year, and in excellent shape at the Tour of the Alps.

Among those competing for the GC are also the young talent Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana – Premier Tech), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora – Hansgrohe), 4th at the Tour de France in 2019 and Hugh Carthy (EF Education – Nippo), 3rd at La Vuelta a España in 2020; Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), a strong rider who can boast of two Classic Monument results – Il Lombardia (’14) and Liège – Bastogne – Liège (’13) – George Bennett (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Team Qhubeka Assos).

Sprinters
There’s an outstanding number of fast wheels too in this year’s provisional entry list, all competing for stage successes and the iconic Maglia Ciclamino. The list includes three-time World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe), Italian and European Champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos), Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who’s already taken three stage wins at the Giro, Elia Viviani (Cofidis), winner of the Points Classification at the 2018 Corsa Rosa, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), a multiple Grand Tour stage winner who will return to racing after last year’s Tour de Pologne and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), who last year came first at the finish line of the Brussels Cycling Classic and won a sprint at the Tirreno-Adriatico too.

Stage hunters
Many are the contenders for single stage wins at this year’s Corsa Rosa. Among them are Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), winner of two stages and one Maglia Azzurra, Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education – Nippo), who took a stage win and the Maglia Azzurra in 2020; Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers), who recently won two stages at the Tour of the Alps; Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Giro stage winner in 2018; and Giovanni Visconti (Bardiani CSF Faizanè), with two stage wins and a Maglia Azzurra already in his palmarès.

Also at the start line will be Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), who won a stage in 2019; the Spanish champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana – Premier Tech); and UAE Team Emirates’s successful duo of Davide Formolo and Diego Ulissi (with his eight career stage wins at the Giro). As for individual time trials, all eyes are on Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), winner of the previous three ITTs at the Corsa Rosa, Victor Campenaerts (Team Qhubeka Assos), two-time European ITT champion, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), French ITT champion and Jos Van Emden (Jumbo Visma), winner of the final time trial at the 2017 Giro.

The 23 teams competing, and their key riders:
Ineos Grenadiers: Egan Bernal, Filippo Ganna
AG2R Citroen Team: Tony Gallopin, Andrea Vendrame
Alpecin-Fenix: Tim Merlier, Dries De Bondt
Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec: Jefferson Cepeda, Simon Pellaud
Astana – Premier Tech: Aleksandr Vlasov, Luis Leon Sanchez
Bahrain Victorious: Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao
Bardiani CSF Faizanè: Giovanni Visconti, Enrico Battaglin
Bora – Hansgrohe: Peter Sagan, Emanuel Buchmann
Cofidis: Elia Viviani, Natnael Berhane
Deceuninck – Quick-Step: Remco Evenepoel, João Almeida
EF Education – Nippo: Hugh Carthy, Ruben Guerreiro
Eolo-kometa Cycling Team: Luca Wackermann, Vincenzo Albanese
Groupama – FDJ: Tobias Ludvigsson, Rudy Molard
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux: Jan Hirt, Andrea Pasqualon
Israel Start-Up Nation: Daniel Martin, Alex Dowsett
Jumbo-Visma: George Bennett, Dylan Groenewegen
Lotto Soudal: Caleb Ewan, Thomas De Gendt
Movistar Team: Marc Soler, Dario Cataldo
Team BikeExchange: Simon Yates, Mikel Nieve
Team DSM: Jai Hindley, Romain Bardet
Team Qhubeka Assos: Giacomo Nizzolo, Domenico Pozzovivo
Trek – Segafredo: Vincenzo Nibali, Bauke Mollema
UAE Team Emirates: Davide Formolo, Diego Ulissi

# You can see the ‘PEZ GIRO Race Preview’ HERE. #

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INEOS Grenadiers Confirm 2021 Giro d’Italia Lineup
It’s that time of year again, the first Grand Tour of the season is just around the corner, and although it was only just seven months ago that Italy turned pink for the last edition, we can’t wait to descend upon Turin and start another three week adventure, embracing the ‘Joy of the Giro’.

Egan Bernal will make his debut at la Corsa Rosa, and is excited to be heading to a race that he’s dreamed of racing since a child. Pavel Sivakov will line up alongside his Colombian teammate as joint leader, and they will be supported by a flurry of talented climbers and rouleurs. Bookended by two individual time-trials, there will be the opportunity for our current world time-trial champion, Filippo Ganna, to shine in those rainbow colours.

The team will hold a virtual press conference on Thursday 6th May between 9:30 – 10:30am. Details will be sent out on how to access it in the coming days.

INEOS Grenadiers Giro d’Italia lineup:
Egan Bernal
Pavel Sivakov
Filippo Ganna
Jonathan Castroviejo
Jhonatan Narváez
Salvatore Puccio
Gianni Moscon
Daniel Martínez.

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uae
Giro d’Italia : Team named for first Grand Tour of the season
Formolo leads GC hopes for the 104th Tour of Italy

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UAE Team Emirates have unveiled the team heading into the Giro d’Italia (8-30 May) with an exciting squad starting the race which begins from the city of Turin.

The team will count upon an experienced base of riders for the 21 stages, with an impressive 16 stage victories in total between them at the ‘Corsa Rosa’.
Leading the hopes the General Classification will be Davide Formolo while Fernando Gaviria will lead the group of sprinters.

A key reference point in the team will also be 8 time Giro stage winner Diego Ulissi who is embarking on a successful return to competition after many months on the sideline.

Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita), Marco Marzano (Ita) and Manuele Mori (Ita). The team is comprised of 8 riders:

-Valerio Conti (Ita)
-Alessandro Covi (Ita)
-Joe Dombrowski (USA)
-Davide Formolo (Ita)
-Fernando Gaviria (Col)
-Sebastian Molano (Col)
-Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)
-Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Davide Formolo: “The Giro is a really special race for me. It’s where I had my first professional victory back in 2015 and it’s a race every Italian cyclist dreams of. I’m coming to the Giro from a successful altitude camp in Tenerife and I feel like the condition is good. The opportunity to lead the team is an exciting one. The race is coming very close to my home this year also that is always extra motivation.”

Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager): “We have a very balanced team with a lot of pedigree. Davide Formolo will be our man for the GC: he has been in the top-10 three times at Grand Tours and we believe he can do even better and we’re going to support him in that. Diego Ulissi is a key rider who has 8 stage wins to his name and will have his chances to go for the win on days that suit him. Valerio Conti and Joe Dombrowski both have excellent track records at the Giro and will be key helpers but could see their own opportunities depending how the race unfolds. We know the sprinting level will be high here and we have a block of sprinters led by Fernando Gaviria with Richeze and Molano who will be disputing the flat stages.We have a very promising talent in Alessandro Covi who will make his Grand Tour debut. It’s a very important race for the team and we will aim to be protagonists on every stage.”

 

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Mikel Landa Leads Team Bahrain Victorious’ Line Up at Giro d’Italia
May 8th in Torino marks the start of the 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia, with Mikel Landa leading the team for Bahrain Victorious.

Mikel Landa is a three-time stage winner at the Giro, plus finished on the podium in the GC in 2015 and 4th in 2019. Landa comes into the race in excellent form, finishing on the podium at his last race in Italy, Tirreno Adriatico. Mikel will have a strong support team with the versatility to help across all stages.

The first Grand Tour of the year is one of the key objectives for the season, with the entire team working together in preparation for this race.

The 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia celebrates 90 years of the iconic Maglia Rosa. The riders will take on 3,479.9 kilometres over 21 stages, climbing over 47,000m, starting with a 9km time trial in Turin.

The race for pink will be one of the most challenging editions, with riders taking on parts of the white roads near the course of Strade Bianche on stage 11. One of the highlights will be the iconic finish up the Monte Zoncolan on stage 14, a gruelling 14km climb averaging 8% with parts as high as 27%.

Matej Mohorič and Jan Tratnik will be passing through their home country on Stage 15, as the Giro crosses into Slovenia, which is also where the team’s service course is also based. The Cima Coppi (the title given to the highest peak of the race) at 2239m will feature on the Queen Stage (16) up the Passo Pordoi through the Dolomites, with the total stage climbing over 5,500m. The race will also pass through Switzerland on the penultimate stage, as the riders will take on the climb of Passo San Bernardino, a 6.2% average over 23.7km.

The finale is a flat 30km time trial from Senago to Milano, where the Maglia Rosa will be decided.

Mikel Landa, Team Bahrain Victorious GC rider for Giro d’Italia: “I am pleased with my present shape. After the Tour of Basque Country, I had few rest days, and now, before my sixth Giro d’Italia, I spent few weeks at an altitude training camp in Teide. I had great conditions and worked hard and very well. I’m feeling very good now, and I believe that I’m in perfect shape for the next and my main objective of the season 2021. I’ve always raced and performed quite well on Giro d’Italia. My overall best was 3rd in 2015 and 4th in 2019. I also had two stage wins at Giro 2015. Giro is a race that I know quite well, and I feel very confident with my teammates. I think that we have an outstanding team around me, so I believe it’s going to be a very, very good month.”

Gorazd Štangelj, Head Sports Director: “There is one target, one goal. We’re all in for Mikel Landa, our GC. We are competitive on the flat stages, wind, mid-mountain, and high mountain stages with our roster. Mikel has done a very good block of altitude training after Itzulia together with Gino Mäder, his young teammate. Pello Bilbao has proven his great shape at Itzulia and Tour of Alps. Damiano Caruso has his fine-tuning at Romandie. Matej Mohorič has shown how strong and ready he is at Milano-Sanremo, Catalunya, and Belgium Classics. Jan Tratnik had an excellent performance and result at the ITT in Romandie. Rafa Valls and Yukiya Arashiro are our very experienced riders, and after their last races, they deserve their presence in the TBV roster for the upcoming Giro d’Italia. We are going to Giro104 with big ambitions and the highest goal, to race and take the overall. When we look at the experience of Mikel, Pello and Damiano, who have more than 30 Grand Tours in their legs, and our whole line-up has 32 Giro attendances; we have a legitimate reason to approach this mission of winning the Giro104.”

Alberto Volpi, TBV Sports Director: “I believe in our riders to make great things at this Giro. It is always something special, and every Giro is specific. I see that the hardest and the most critical stages will be the Montalcino stage with dirty roads, the stage of Cortina that will be the most amazing one with the beautiful landscapes and the penultimate stage at Alpe di Motta.”

Franco Pellizotti, TBV Sports Director: “When I look at this year’s Giro and stages, I see that most demanding, important, probably decisive and most challenging stages will be the Montalcino, Sega di Ala, Cortina, Alpe di Mera and Alpe di Motta. I firmly believe that we are coming to Giro104 to achieve great results. We are strong and tactically mature. We are confident in the team. Andiamo ragazzi!”

Team Bahrain Victorious line-up:
Yukiya Arashiro / Pello Bilbao / Damiano Caruso / Mikel Landa / Gino Mäder / Matej Mohorič / Rafa Valls / Jan Tratnik

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Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Giro d’Italia
João Almeida and Remco Evenepoel will be in action for the Wolfpack at the first Grand Tour of the season.

Bookended by individual time trials, this year’s Giro d’Italia will start from Torino and finish in Milano, after almost 3500 kilometres. In between, the race will put on the table several opportunities for the sprinters, a stage on Tuscany’s white roads, and a plethora of daunting climbs – Monte Zoncolan, Passo Fedaia, Passo Pordoi, Passo Giau, Passo San Bernardino and Sega di Ala being just a few examples.

In 2020, João Almeida made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro and ended the race as its revelations, after an incredible three weeks, which saw him carry the iconic maglia rosa for 15 consecutive days and conclude fourth overall. Now, the Portuguese will return at the start hoping to be again one of the protagonists, although he acknowledges that the parcours could make for a much different race.

“Last year it was an incredible Giro. The team put in a huge effort in what was an amazing but at the same time hard three weeks. We fought for a good result, and in the end, I finished fourth on the GC. I would like to be up there again, fight for a nice result and keep a good feeling, which is the most important thing. Hopefully, things will go well and we’ll score some nice results. This year, the mountain stages are going to play a more important role in the final outcome, which means consistency will be the key,” said the 22-year-old.

After being forced to postpone his Grand Tour debut last season because of an injury, Remco Evenepoel is now ready to make his first appearance in a three-week race. This will mark his first competitive outing of the season, to which the 21-year-old looks very much forward.

“I’m happy to race again after such a long period, during which I worked hard to be ready for my first Grand Tour. Being my first race since last August means that we’ll need to see how my body will react. We will take it day by day and see how things go. The most important thing is that I am back with my teammates and staff again, which makes me very happy,” said the young Belgian.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s line-up for the 104th edition of the Corsa Rosa will be completed by French ITT Champion Rémi Cavagna, Mikkel Honoré, 2015 stage winner Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Fausto Masnada – who was third at last week’s Tour de Romandie – and Pieter Serry.

“We go to the Giro with a good team after a very beautiful outing at the 2020 edition, when João got to spend 15 unforgettable days in the pink jersey. There will be some difficult stages already in the first week, and we mustn’t forget the Montalcino stage, which will have 35 kilometres of dirt roads. Like every Grand Tour, the last week will be the hardest and the most important, scheduling many brutal climbs. Overall, we expect a tough race, but we are all motivated for it,” explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.

08.05–30.05 Giro d’Italia (ITA) 2.UWT
Riders:

João Almeida (POR)
Rémi Cavagna (FRA)
Remco Evenepoel (BEL)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
James Knox (GBR)
Fausto Masnada (ITA)
Pieter Serry (BEL).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL) & Geert Van Bondt (BEL).

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Giro d’Italia, the Dream can Start

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The Giro d’Italia is a dream. A dream for the children who wait to see it pass by on the road, with the riders who are heroes riding their bicycles. A dream for the fans who see it as the most beautiful moment of the year, a sacred and unmissable appointment. A dream for every cyclist, who lives imagining to ride it. A dream come true, for the Eolo-Kometa: that from Saturday will be part of the wonderful pink circus that will start from Turin to end in Milan on May 30th after 21 stages.

Here they are. Here are the names of the eight riders who will have the honour of defending the colours of the team and the opportunity to live their dream. The Italians Vincenzo Albanese, Edward Ravasi, Francesco Gavazzi, Samuele Rivi, Manuel Belletti, and Lorenzo Fortunato. Then the Hungarian Marton Dina and the British Mark Christian.

21 stages, then. 21 stages, two days of rest, 3479.9 kilometres and 48 thousand meters of elevation gain, two time trials and eight uphill finishes. In the race there will be 23 teams and 184 riders (8 per team). There will be a lot of mountain with a last week that promises to be hard and spectacular, there will be space for the sprinters and there will be land for the day’s exploits. The Eolo-Kometa will be there: day by day. To honour the race, to prove that it deserved the wild card, to excite all those who will watch it run. And that, is a promise.

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dsm
Giro d’Italia MAY 8 – 30
Matt Winston – Team DSM coach: “We go to the Giro d’Italia with a really strong team for what is a tough edition of the race. We’ll face a challenging parcours throughout the event, with the climbing becoming more intense as the race progresses. We’ll take on some gravel roads and testing hilly stages early in the race which we need to be sharp during and remain attentive for. The famous Monte Zoncolan finish on stage 14 preempts the final week which is full of tough mountains, with very demanding back-to-back days on stage 19 and 20 before the potentially decisive final time trial into Milan on the last day of racing. We’ll go all-in for a team GC result and we really need to utilise our collective strength with a complete eight-rider effort to do that. We’ll also keep in mind opportunities in the sprints as we look to grab some day results on the stages that best suit us. We have a nice mixture of riders in the team that should cover all bases and bring a good amount of experience to go for those goals.”

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Nico Denz (GER)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Max Kanter (GER)
Nicholas Roche (IRL)
Michael Storer (AUS).

Jai Hindley animated the 2020 Giro:
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Nizzolo and Pozzovivo head Team Qhubeka ASSOS line-up for 104th Giro d’Italia
Team Qhubeka ASSOS, Africa’s UCI WorldTour outfit, is delighted to announce our line-up for the 2021 Giro d’Italia.

The 104th edition of the iconic event (8-30 May) will see the Italian duo of Giacomo Nizzolo and Domenico Pozzovivo spearhead our efforts in our 6th appearance at the race. Nizzolo, the current European and Italian champion, returns to his home race having last ridden in 2019, and will be looking to add another chapter to his own history with the event. Twice the winner of the points jersey – in 2015 and 2016 – the 31-year-old will be aiming for a first-ever stage victory in his ninth appearance. 2021 has seen the man from Milan in strong, fighting form with ten top-10 finishes, punctuated by victory at Clasica de Almeria along with a strong Classics campaign. The highlight of that being placed second at Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields.

Pozzovivo takes to the start line of the Giro for the 15th time, his 21st Grand Tour, and will be looking to build on the incredibly strong performance he displayed in 2020. After initially fighting it out in the opening two weeks of the race inside the top-10, he faltered slightly in the final week finishing 11th overall on the general classification. A former stage-winner here nearly 10 years ago, and having finished five times inside the top-10 overall, the 38-year-old will be looking to proudly fly the Qhubeka colours in his favourite race. By contrast, there will be two Giro d’Italia debutants in our selection in Germany’s Max Walscheid and exciting young Swiss rider Mauro Schmid. The German makes his bow following on from his first start of the Tour de France in 2020, and will be a crucial support to Nizzolo in the sprint opportunities on offer.

Schmid, who has impressed during the course of 2021, will be tasked with using his rapidly improving racing nous in delivering on team’s daily objectives, a role he will be relishing. Schmid’s joined by compatriot Kilian Frankiny who rode his first Giro d’Italia in 2018 and then followed that up with an excellent ride in 2020. His top result last year was finishing 4th on stage nine, and then placing 5th on stage 17, the day in which former rider Ben O’Connor was victorious. In the support of Nizzolo and Walscheid, in particular, there will be crucial roles played by the experienced duo of Bert-Jan Lindeman, who has twice previously ridden the race, as well as Poland’s Lukasz Wisniowski who lines up for the second time. Our selection is completed by Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts. The time trial specialist will be focused on the opening stage 8.6km route in Torino as well as the traditional closing stage in Milan. In 2020, he was second on the final day, as well as placing second on stage 19. 2020 has seen Campenaerts show his versatility following a strong performance during a debut Classics campaign, and he’ll be a man to pay close attention to over the course of the race.

Throughout 2021 Team Qhubeka ASSOS has had fans announcing our team line-ups via a video submission in whatever way they chose fit. This has been hugely well received and the unique nature of this engagement has brought them, both old and new, right into the heart of our team. For the 104th Giro d’Italia we called upon an extra special set of supporters to make the announcement: step forward Team Qhubeka ASSOS staff members!

These are some of the most important members of our organisation, the people working behind the scenes to enable our team to compete on the world’s biggest stage; who embody the purpose of our team in changing lives through bicycles, in the true spirit of Ubuntu – I am because we are.

You can see that video announcement, here.

104th Giro d’Italia line-up [squad numbers]:
Giacomo Nizzolo [33]
Max Walscheid [13]
Mauro Schmid [14]
Bert-Jan Lindeman [02]
Victor Campenaerts [55]
Lukasz Wisniowski [99]
Domenico Pozzovivo [03]
Kilian Frankiny [19]
QUOTES

Gabriele Missaglia – Sports Director: “I can’t wait for our team to tackle the 104th Giro d’Italia. Going through our final preparations sees me really motivated and we will have some exciting plans in the works for the race. We’ve selected a very interesting team, and quite rightly there will be focus and attention on the selection of the European and Italian champion. Speaking with Giacomo, I know he is very motivated and can’t wait to get racing. The racing experience we have through the likes of Lukasz and Bert-Jan will be invaluable, while Kilian showed himself really well last year and this year he will ride in support of Domenico Pozzovivo. For Pozzo, well he’s certainly not getting any younger but we know that he is an incredible fighter, and will show himself and the team to the best of his ability. While in Max and Victor we have guys who not only time trial well but also can play multiple roles across the stages, so I’m excited and optimistic as to what they will offer us. One thing is for certain, our team will be ready to fight. We know the incredible role we play in changing lives and will proudly live up to that in this fantastic event.”

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal: “Despite the challenges that the world continues to face I know that we’ve prepared well for the Giro and that we’ll travel with hopes and dreams looking towards stage wins and a fairly high placing on the general classification. This is an incredibly special event, one that has deep meaning to our team. I was exceptionally proud of our performance here last year in which we won a stage and had Domenico showing true grit in fighting the way he did all the way to Milan.”

Giacomo Nizzolo: “The Giro is one of the most important races of the year for me and especially this year because of the jerseys that I wear; racing on the Italian roads is really special. I’ve been watching this race since I was a kid so it’s always a privilege to be a part of the show. Twice winning the points jersey has been very special and on reflection makes me really happy and proud. This year the goal is to win a stage and then see how I feel over the course of the race. I feel good ahead of the race, ready, and I’ve been training well. I had a good first part of the season where I’ve felt good and had some solid performances so I’m confident that I can perform well. First of all I want to fight and do my best and then we will see what the road will bring. We race for Qhubeka – every single day – and even when not racing this is top of mind. We know how important this is for people that we continue to live the message that bicycles change lives. I’m super proud to wear the European jersey and being the Italian champion with this message on my shoulders. I really hope that the Italian people will appreciate our efforts on the road, these are hugely important reasons for us to be proud ahead of the start of the Giro.”

Domenico Pozzovivo: “Starting a Giro for the 15th time is something I never imagined I could achieve when I started racing. My goal for the race remains a place in the top 10 of the general classification, even if after my most recent surgery I’m still looking to find my best shape. That said, I’ve seen some encouraging good signs from my last races. The Giro is the race I dreamed to race when I was child, and the race where I have achieved my best performances. It’s always a race that gives me incredible motivation. Racing at home for a team with a special purpose means to convey a very important message to people that know and appreciate you, and therefore are very receptive to it.”

Max Walscheid: “I am very happy to complete my selection of Grand Tours after doing the Vuelta and the Tour. I’ll be a key part in the lead-out for Giacomo and I’m very motivated to also take results myself if the opportunity pops up, starting with the time trial on the first day but also during the following weeks of racing, when possible.”

Kilian Frankiny: “I’m really looking forward to the Giro d’Italia this year in what will be my third appearance and I have very good memories of the race. I really love it because in Italy cycling is not just a sport, it’s so much more and the Italians just love it. The fans really come to the roads to cheer, and love it. It’s just a beautiful country with amazing food, stunning scenery, with the ocean and mountains. I really love it. Last year I had two top-five finishes in Roccaraso and then on the Madonna di Campiglio, so I’m really excited to race there again. In Giacomo in the sprints and with Pozzo we have a guy who can feature strongly in the GC ,so I’m looking forward to support them when they need me and I hope that I can fulfil this job. Of course I also hope that perhaps one day I can go in a breakaway (why not?) getting to the finish and hope to be on the top step, not just outside of a podium place. That would really be a dream come true, to win a nice mountain stage at the Giro d’Italia. It’s very special to have the chance to ride this Giro in a purpose-driven, high-performance team. I think it’s really nice that we have in Qhubeka a purpose behind the team, to assist people to develop, and gives us added motivation enabling us to achieve great things together.”

Mauro Schmid: “I am incredibly excited as the Giro is one of the races I watched along the side of the road when I was a kid, and now I will actually be racing in it. This was always a dream of mine and now it is coming true and so I look forward to my first grand tour.”

Victor Campenaerts: “The Giro is coming soon after the Classics which is great. With Pozzo in the GC and Giacomo for the sprints we have great objectives within the team! I had two podium finishes last year and will have an important job for the team this year but perhaps I will have the opportunity to show a bit of myself too depending on how the race goes – who knows!”

Lukasz Wisniowski: “I’m incredibly happy to be back at the Giro, this was the first Grand Tour of my career so I’m excited and cannot wait to race on Italian roads. Unfortunately it will be without fans along the roads but we know how important it is to respect the current situation the world finds itself in and we know that the fans are supporting not only ourselves but all of the teams, and we can’t wait to see them all again in the future. I’m heading to the Giro after a small camp in Tenerife and looking forward to help Giacomo and Domenico achieved good results.”

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lotto soudal
Lotto Soudal targets stage success at 104th Giro d’Italia
Lotto Soudal will be at the start of the 104th Giro d’Italia with the following eight riders: Jasper De Buyst (27), Thomas De Gendt (34), Caleb Ewan (26), Kobe Goossens (25), Roger Kluge (35), Tomasz Marczyński (37), Stefano Oldani (23) and Harm Vanhoucke (23). The Giro starts with an 8-kilometre opening time trial in Turin. After three weeks of racing in Italy, the curtain falls on the Giro with another individual test against the clock towards the city centre of Milan. Sports director Mario Aerts talks us through the Lotto Soudal Giro line-up.

“With these eight riders, we have a mix of experience and youth. We should be able to compete on almost every terrain with this eight-man squad, except for the general classification. The aim is to go for at least one stage win and we also want to show ourselves in the front line,” starts Mario Aerts.

Mario Aerts: “Caleb Ewan is one of the world’s fastest sprinters and already won three Giro stages in the past. This year, there are some five sprint opportunities for Caleb, but at Milan-Sanremo he really impressed uphill. So, depending on the race situation, there could be a few more chances. Of course, we will do everything we can to bring Caleb in the best possible position towards the final sprint. That is why Jasper De Buyst and Roger Kluge are part of the Giro team, because they act as the regular lead-outs for Caleb. In the run-up to the Giro, they have also raced together as much as possible to really work on the automatisms. The sprints at the Giro are often chaotic and quite technical, so we need to give Caleb full support.”

“Due to a crash at Paris-Nice, Kobe Goossens was out for quite a while, but at the Tour de Romandie, he proves to be back at a really good level. He did a great job at the Vuelta last year, which was his first Grand Tour,” continues Mario Aerts. “We give him all the freedom to discover how far he can go in the general classification, but we don’t put any pressure on him. We’ll take it day by day. Harm Vanhoucke already showed his fine climbing legs the last months. Harm won’t go for the overall, but rather aims for a stage win. With a third place atop the Etna last year, this certainly is a realistic goal.”

“In general, the Giro is perfectly suited for stage hunters. Thomas De Gendt needs no introduction and if his legs are good, he will definitely go for a stage win. The Giro also helps him to improve the shape a little more towards the Tour. Tomasz Marczyński showed good form at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and with two stage wins at La Vuelta, he already proved he can finish off an early breakaway. Our Italian Stefano Oldani already showed himself a couple of times at last year’s Giro and is really motivated for three weeks of racing in his home country. He will be part of the sprint preparation for Caleb, but Stefano also has a strong sprint in the legs and can go uphill really well,” concludes Mario Aerts.

Line-up Lotto Soudal Giro d’Italia:
Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Caleb Ewan, Kobe Goossens, Roger Kluge, Tomasz Marczyński, Stefano Oldani and Harm Vanhoucke.

Stage wins for Ewan:
ewan

 

astana 2021
Astana – Premier Tech aiming for the General Classification and stage wins at the Giro d’Italia
Astana – Premier Tech is ready to reveal its roster for the 104th edition of the first Grand Tour of the season, the Giro d’Italia, which is set to start in Turin on May 8th.

With the young and ambitious leader Aleksandr Vlasov (second at Paris-Nice and third at Tour of the Alps this year) and experienced riders, including Spanish champion Luis Leon Sanchez and Gorka Izagirre, the Kazakh-Canadian team is aiming to fight for both the General Classification and stage wins at this year’s edition of the Corsa Rosa.

Alongside Vlasov, Sanchez and Izagirre, the Astana – Premier Tech roster is completed by Fabio Felline, Harold Tejada, Matteo Sobrero, Vadim Pronskiy, and Samuele Battistella.

“Aleksandr Vlasov is our leader in this race, and he is going to fight for a high place in the General Classification of the Giro d’Italia. The team is ready to provide him with the best possible support. We saw his form coming up on a very good level at the Tour of the Alps, so I am pretty sure he can be one of the favourites of this Giro. At the very least, he will try to do his best. But, at the same time we understand that we have very strong and experienced riders who can fight for a stage win. To start with, I am talking about Luis Leon Sanchez and Gorka Izagirre. These are the riders who know how to win stages at the Grand Tours, they both are in good form and really motivated to deliver a good result for the team. Of course, the General Classification is our main objective at this race, but we also know that we have riders who can win in almost all kinds of terrain: Fabio Felline and Samuele Battistella could win a sprint from a reduced peloton, and Matteo Sobrero already showed his potential in time trial races, so we are expecting a strong start from him in Torino. Well, we are heading to another very hard edition of the Giro d’Italia and many really strong teams and their leaders are coming here, but I am sure that Astana – Premier Tech is ready for this challenge and we are going to do our best to achieve a good result at this race,” – says Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director.

The Giro d’Italia starts in Torino with a short and fast individual time trial and ends in Milan with another time trial, which will reveal the name of the new winner of the Corsa Rosa. After withdrawing from his debut Giro last year due to the health problem on the second stage of the race, Aleksandr Vlasov looks forward to get a fresh start with new ambitious goals.

“After I had to quit the Giro in 2020 really early after just two stages, I feel like I still have unfinished business in Italy, and I am looking forward to making a complete debut at this amazing race which I really love. It is my dream to ride the Giro d’Italia from the start to the finish and to show my best in every stage. I am feeling pretty well and optimistic at the start of the race and I am aiming to do my maximum in the General Classification. But, at the same time I understand that there are a lot of strong and experienced riders in the start list of the race and the fight will be a tough one. So, I am planning to move through the race day by day, with support from the team, and trying to avoid unnecessary risks on the flat stages and to do my best in the mountains. And then, we will see where I can find myself in Milan,” – says Aleksandr Vlasov.

Giro d’Italia 2021, 21 stages, Turin – Milan, 8 – 30 May.
Rider roster:

Samuele Battistella (ITA), Fabio Felline (ITA), Gorka Izagirre (ESP), Vadim Pronskiy (KAZ), Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP), Matteo Sobrero (ITA), Harold Tejada (COL), Aleksandr Vlasov (RUS).
Sports directors: Giuseppe Martinelli (ITA), Bruno Cenghialta (ITA), Stefano Zanini (ITA).

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bike exchange
All eyes on pink as Simon Yates leads Team BikeExchange’s charge at the Giro d’Italia
Team BikeExchange named its eight-rider Giro d’Italia squad today, built around Briton Simon Yates, who returns with high ambitions of adding a second Grand Tour title to his list of growing palmarès.

Yates, who finished eighth overall in 2019 and spent 13 days in the Maglia Rosa in 2018, has experience in challenging for a Grand Tour title, having won the 2018 Vuelta a España and finished seventh overall at the 2017 Tour de France.

The Team BikeExchange leader will line-up for this year’s edition, older and wiser, with confidence in his preparation, after recently dominating the five-day Tour of the Alps.

Team BikeExchange at the 2021 Giro d’Italia:
Michael Hepburn (AUS) 6th appearance
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN) 6th appearance
Tanel Kangert (EST) 9th appearance
Cameron Meyer (AUS) 6th appearance
Mikel Nieve (SPA) 7th appearance
Nick Schultz (AUS) Debut appearance
Callum Scotson (AUS) Debut appearance
Simon Yates (GBR) 4th appearance

The 28-year-old will be supported in the high mountains by experienced Grand Tour riders in Spanish stage winner Mikel Nieve and Estonian Tanel Kangert. While diverse domestiques Dane Chris Juul-Jensen, Australian champion Cameron Meyer and compatriot Michael Hepburn bring the horsepower to guide their British leader through the challenging three-week tour.

The team will also line-up with two talented Australian debutants in 24-year-old Callum Scotson and 26-year-old Nick Schultz, providing balance and rejuvenating the eight-man squad.

The Course
Bookended by individual time trials, the 2021 edition begins in Turin before the first summit finish on stage four in Sestola in the Apennines.

The second week of the race will offer several exciting moments, starting with stage nine which has a gravel hilltop finish, stage 11 which is a Strade Bianche-like stage on the unpaved roads between Perugia and Montalcino, and then stage 14 which boasts a summit finish on the brutal climb of Zoncolan.

The race, as always, will be decided in the third week by the alpine mountain stages before the definitive conclusion in Milan, after 3479 kilometres of racing, with a flat individual time trial.

Simon Yates: “The Giro d’Italia is a race that I really enjoy. I hope this year I can have clear run and a good go at fighting for the win and we have a very strong team to try to do that. I like so many things about the Giro; the parcours, the food, the fans. I really enjoy racing in Italy, it is a great place to be a bike racer. This year the route looks very hard, of course there are some differences to the previous years that I have raced at the Giro d’Italia. It is bookended with two time trials and time trials are not my speciality, so we will try to limit the losses there. There will also be a couple of stages with gravel roads, one stage with a long section of gravel and another with around one and a half kilometres of gravel on a climb to the finish, so it is going to be a testing race as always. The Giro d’Italia is never easy. The team we have for the race is most of the team that we had at the Tour of the Alps and we really gelled well together there. We have been working very well and everybody is just looking forward to getting the race started now.”

Brent Copeland – General Manager: “We go into this year’s Giro d’Italia with even more ambition than in the past due to the unfortunate exclusion from the 2020 edition of the race. The Giro d’Italia has always been a special race for Team BikeExchange and both the riders and staff have worked remarkably hard at getting to this event in the best condition possible, which inspires us even more so to put on some exciting racing. We are forever grateful to all our sponsors and partners and in particular to Gerry Ryan for the extraordinary support during these challenging times, and a special mention also to the race organisers RCS who have done a fantastic job at getting the event organised in the safest and healthiest way possible. We wish everyone an enjoyable three weeks of racing and look forward to seeing you on the road.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director: “This year’s race certainly has some traditional aspects, with a backend heavy parcour and some of the most brutal climbs in the world of pro cycling. The month of May can also dish up some surprises on the weather front. These are aspects we see year in, year out, but the difference for me is the obstacles that we will see prior, like the gravel stages. One of these stages has a gravel summit finish and the other one has more than 30km of gravel sectors; it’s basically a mini Strade Bianche but tougher and more technical. There’s no surprise that we have put a lot of effort into preparing for this year’s Giro d’Italia, Simon is one of the favourites going into the race and we are relishing the challenge. We have built a team around him which has a very good balance of experience and youth and I know the entire team is excited about going up against the best riders in the world as we support our leader to the maximum in this year’s edition.”

Team BikeExchange – Giro d’Italia Team Stats:
Youngest rider: Callum Scotson (24)
Oldest rider: Mikel Nieve (36)
Giro d’Italia debutants: Callum Scotson & Nick Schultz
Most Giro d’Italia appearances: Tanel Kangert (9)
Total Giro d’Italia appearances: 28

2021 Giro d’Italia Race Details:
Saturday, 8th May – Sunday, 30th May – Turin to Milan, 3479km

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androni
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec Team for the Giro
Gianni Savio has revealed his team’s Giro selection. The Italian team, which only got the green light after Vini Zabù handed in its wild card, sends a youthful team to the first Grand Tour of the season.

29-year-old Argentinian Eduardo Sepúlveda is the oldest member of the selection. Simon Pellaud (28) is also the only rider in the team who is older than 25. Andrii Ponomar will be by far the youngest participant in the Tour of Italy in recent years. When the Giro starts next Saturday in Turin, he will be 18 years, 8 months and 3 days old. In comparison: Remco Evenepoel (21 years, 3 months and 14 days) the second youngest rider.

Jefferson Cepeda will be one of the riders to look to within the team. The talent from Ecuador recently finished fourth in the Tour of the Alps, ahead of Jai Hindley and Pavel Sivakov. He is a serious contender for a stage win and the mountains classification. The aggressive Simon Pellaud is also a rider who must be considered capable of winning a stage.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec took two classifications in the last Giro. Simon Pellaud was the winner of the intermediate sprint classification, and his teammate Mattia Bais won the Fuga Bianchi for the best breakaway. A stage win is again one of the main goals of the team this year.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec for Giro d’Italia 2021:
Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu)
Simon Pellaud (Swi)
Andrii Ponomar (Ukr)
Simone Ravanelli (Ita)
Eduardo Sepúlveda (Arg)
Filippo Tagliani (Ita)
Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri)
Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita).

Jefferson Cepeda is in form:
Jefferson Cepeda

 

ag2r cirtoen
Laurent Biondi presents the riders who will be present in Turin on May 8th

The number : 24,375
This is the average age of our riders at the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia. We bring a young team with three first-timers on the roads of the Giro with Clément Champoussin, Lawrence Naesen and Alexis Gougeard all racing their first Giro.

L’info
Fourteenth Grand Tour for Gallopin
Tony Gallopin, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday at this year’s Giro, is currently preparing to start his 14th Grand Tour. During his career he won a stage of the Tour de France and has worn the yellow jersey (2014). He has also taken victory at a stage of the Vuelta (2019).

François Bidard
29 years old
5th participation
Best results:
30th GC and 6th in a stage (2019)
“François knows the Giro well and he will be a valuable asset for those who are preparing to discover the race. At ease in the mountains, he can slip into a breakaway to aim for a stage victory. He is an important part of the team especially during those the difficult times everyone faces in a three week race.”

Geoffrey Bouchard
29 years old
2nd participation
Best results :
55th GC and 7th in a stage (2020)
“Though Geoffrey turned pro pretty late, he has already won the King of the Mountains jersey at the Vuelta in 2019, which was his first Grand Tour. He is coming to the Giro in excellent condition, as he already proved recently at the Tour des Alpes (11th). He can certainly look to take a stage victory and finish high in the general classification.”

Clément Champoussin
22 years old
1st participation
“After racing the Vuelta last year, which had just 18 stages, Clément will continue his Grand Tour education on the roads of the Giro. He is going to the race without a specific objective in the general classification, even if he will be among the protected riders. We have already seen at the beginning of the season that he has very good qualities and the temperament to win at the professional level.”

Tony Gallopin
32 years old
3rd participation
13 victories as a pro
Best results:
2nd in a stage (2019)
“Tony had a series of health problems last year. But after a good winter, we have already seen him at the front on some races, including the UAE Tour. He’s a rider with a lot of experience, a good road captain, and he is definitely still capable of doing great things. After taking stages at the Tour de France and La Vuelta, he dreams of a victory at the Giro.”

Alexis Gougeard
28 years old
1st participation
11 victories as a pro
“Though he has been a professional since 2014, Alexis will be riding the Giro for the first time. He has a lot of experience racing Grand Tours and has already taken a stage win at the Vuelta. He is a generous rider who never shies away from joining the breaks. He can definitely win a stage and he is excellent at protecting the best-placed riders.”

Lawrence Naesen (Bel)
28 years old
1st participation
“Lawrence is about to participate in his first three week race. An expert at racing the northern classics, he will be very useful for the team during those nervous flatter stages where it is important to protect our leaders. This first Grand Tour in his career should allow him to build a foundation for the future.”

Andrea Vendrame (Ita)
26 years old
4th participation
2 victories as a pro
Best results:
50th GC (2020) and 2nd in a stage (2019);
“Andrea is still young but he has already raced the Giro three times. He came very close to the victory in 2019. Last year at the Giro, he was often among the top five sprinters in the pack, but he is also comfortable climbing as well. He is always very motivated to do well at his national tour.”

Larry Warbasse
30 years old
4th participation
2 victories as a pro
Best results:
17th GC and 5th in a stage (2020)
“Larry lived for a while in Italy and has a strong attachment to this country. Last year, he succeeded in having a beautiful Giro finishing in 17th place overall. He will be keen to repeat this kind of performance. In the past, he has proved that he is able to win at the WorldTour level, so why not again at this Giro?”

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movistar
Movistar Team Announces 2021 Giro Lineup
Telefónica-backed squad with good motivation after victories in Romandie + Asturias; brings Marc Soler as designated GC contender at Torino’s start on Saturday.

The Movistar Team confirmed Monday the eight names that Eusebio Unzué’s squad will bring to the start of the 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia, first three-week stage race of the 2021 calendar (Saturday 8th – Sunday 30th May).

Chente García Acosta and Maximilian Sciandri will conduct the Telefónica-backed squad’s roster in Italy, featuring Marc Soler (ESP), Matteo Jorgenson (USA), Einer Rubio (COL), Nelson Oliveira (POR), Dario Cataldo (ITA), Albert Torres (ESP), Davide Villella (ITA) and Antonio Pedrero (ESP).

Soler, who won a stage at the recent Tour de Romandie – and finished in 4th place overall – will lead a group that comes into the start will great motivation after their performances in Switzerland and the Vuelta a Asturias, where Pedrero and Rubio made it into the top places (2nd and 5th, respectively).

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header intermarche wanty
Giro d’Italia – V. Piva: “Leave our fingerprint on this race”
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will compete in the Giro d’Italia (2.UWT) for the first time ever, beginning from Saturday May 8th and until Sunday May 30th. The 2021 edition of the Corsa Rosa will start from the Piazza Castello in Turin, and after twenty-one stages will reach the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, host of this year’s closing ceremonies.

The only two time trials of the 104th edition will be contested in the first and last stages, both individual time trials. The first of the seven summit finishes is scheduled on stage 6, with a finale atop San Giacomo (Ascoli). After the first rest day, a special stage 11 features gravel roads between Perugia and Montalcino, made famous by the Strade Bianche, which the organisation called ‘The Wine Stage’. The mythical Monte Zoncolan will welcome the peloton on stage 14, followed two days later by the Queen stage of this year’s parcours. Over 5,700 meters of elevation, climbing the famous Passo Fedaia, Passo Pordoi and Passo Giau. Of the last five stages after the second rest day, three are devoted to summit finishes in alpine territory, including the Sega di Ala for the first time ever.

For the first Giro in its history, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will line-up with the Belgian Quinten Hermans, 14th in the Flèche Wallonne and revelation of the start of the season. The Czech Jan Hirt (12th in 2017), will be one of the most experienced figures of the group, along with the Italian Simone Petilli (recently 18th in the Tour de Romandie) and the Estonian Rein Taaramäe (stage winner in 2016). Fast men Riccardo Minali and Andrea Pasqualon will both make their debut on their home race. Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn, who stood out this season for his long breakaways, as well as compatriot Wesley Kreder will take part in a three-week race for the first time in their careers. These eight riders will be led by sports directors Valerio Piva and Steven De Neef.

Andrea Pasqualon: “After eleven years as a professional rider, my dream will finally come true. I’m in perfect shape as I am about to embark on my first Giro. All the efforts of altitude training in Sierra Nevada with our trainer Frederik Veuchelen will be of great benefit for in negotiating these three weeks. I just left a particularly hilly Tour de Romandie, where I was able to regain the racing rhythm and achieve a top 5. I will now ride in my country, and for the team that had already offered me the chance to compete in the Tour de France three times. I have singled out five or six stages where I have a chance of winning. These are stages with climbs, and where the challenge will be to survive in order to sprint in a small group. I have complete confidence in our selection, balanced and capable to fight on all fronts. I am convinced that these three weeks will be unforgettable for our team!”

Valerio Piva (sports director): “Having participated in around twenty editions of the Giro as a rider and sports director, I am always thrilled to be back on these roads that I know well. I am also happy because we are going there with a very solid roster. We have many strengths which we can rely on. I am convinced that Quinten Hermans has the ability to win a stage. Jan Hirt has shown he can compete with the best climbers in the world over three weeks, which is why he will be our man for the general classification. We will also rely on the synergy of Wesley Kreder and Riccardo Minali on the flat stages, so that the latter can play his card in the sprints. We also have Andrea Pasqualon, who will be able to sprint as well in the more difficult stages. He has shown in Romandie that he can hold up for a long time in the climbs, without losing his speed. Simone Petilli and Rein Taaramäe, who also performed well in Romandie, will enjoy a free role. I want to see them in the breakaways, just like Taco van der Hoorn. Taco is a pure attacker who will be able to fully express himself. Its big engine will also allow him to help on the flat stages. We intend to leave our fingerprint on this race, throughout the three weeks of racing. With these eight warriors, we have plenty of arguments. They will ride without fear, even if for some it is their first Grand Tour.”

The selection:
Quinten Hermans
Jan Hirt
Wesley Kreder
Riccardo Minali
Andrea Pasqualon
Simone Petilli
Rein Taaramäe
Taco van der Hoorn.
Sports directors: Valerio Piva & Staven De Neef.

wanty

 

cofidis
Cofidis Team for the Giro
Cofidis will be at the start of the Giro d’Italia with Elia Viviani on Saturday. With the Italian sprinter, the French formation is aiming for stage victories. The team will also count on escapes on selective stages.

The now 32-year-old Viviani, in his second season at Cofidis, will be relied on by the team for sprint victories. The fast Italian has managed to take five stage victories in his home tour in the past, but has not won in the Giro since his departure from Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Viviani only captured his first victory for Cofidis earlier this year. That victory came in Cholet-Pays de la Loire, more than a month ago. Viviani has sprinted to some podium places this season in the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne. In the run-up to the Giro, he rode the Tour de Romandie.

“I did everything I could to be ready for the Giro,” Viviani said. “My main goal is a stage win. I dream of the stage with finish in Verona, but I also hope to be able to win earlier. I am very happy that Attilio, Fabio Sabatini and Simone Consonni are also there. That gives me a lot of confidence.”

Viviani can count on the support of his brother Attilio, Simone Consonni and his regular lead-out rider Fabio Sabatini in the final of flat stages. With Attilio Viviani and Consonni, Cofidis still has a second and third sprinter, should the oldest Viviani not be able to sprint. In the tougher stages it is up to Nicolas Edet, Victor Lafay, Rémy Rochas and Natnael Berhane to make the action. Edet has won the KOM in the Vuelta a España and could possibly take a shot at the blue mountain jersey in the Giro.

Cofidis for Giro d’Italia 2021 (8-30 May):
Natnael Berhane (Eri)
Simone Consonni (Ita)
Nicolas Edet (Fra)
Victor Lafay (Fra)
Rémy Rochas (Fra)
Fabio Sabatini (Ita)
Attilio Viviani (Ita)
Elia Viviani (Ita).

Can Viviani take a Giro stage:
viviani

 

groupama
Groupama-FDJ Team for the 2021 Giro
Groupama-FDJ has announced its eight-man squad for the Giro d’Italia. After Thibaut Pinot dropped out, the French team goes to Turin without a true leader. The young Dutchman Lars van den Berg is Pinot’s replacement. The 22-year-old Van den Berg will ride a Grand Tour in his first year as a professional. “On the last day of the Tour of the Alps I heard that I would go to the Giro,” the all-rounder said.

Thibaut Pinot was the designated leader of Groupama-FDJ, but due to a lingering back injury, he has to miss the Italian tour. Van den Berg hopes for a good result in the coming weeks. “The goal is to get into a breakaway once and then I hope I can stay away and take a result.” Groupama-FDJ doesn’t take a sprinter to Italy. The team mainly focuses on the transition and mountain stages. Matteo Badilatti, Rudy Molard, Sébastien Reichenbach and the promising Attila Valter are the climbers.

Groupama-FDJ for Giro d’Italia 2021:
Matteo Badilatti (Swi)
Lars van den Berg (Ned)
Antoine Duchesne (Can)
Simon Guglielmi (Fra)
Rudy Molard (Fra)
Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi)
Romain Seigle (Fra)
Attila Valter (Hun).

The young Lars van den Berg to ride his first GT:
Lars van den Berg

 

uci
UCI Team Ranking
The UCI has updated the 2021 Team Ranking this week. Little has changed at the top of the standings, although INEOS Grenadiers are catching up with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

The difference between the two teams after the Tour de Romandie is now only 500 points, instead of 1,500 points last week. The British team collected a lot of points in Romandie thanks to Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, first and second in the Swiss tour. Jumbo-Visma is still in third place with 4,950 points, ahead of UAE Team Emirates and Alpecin-Fenix. Bahrain Victorious and AG2R Citroën move up one place as Trek-Segafredo and Team BikeExchange drop in the ranking. Alejandro Valverde took a lot of points for Movistar in recent weeks as did Marc Soler in Romandie last week. The Spanish team rose from 14th to 11th.

UCI Team Ranking (on May 4, 2021):
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 6,517 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 6,000 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 4,950 points
4. UAE Emirates – 4,042 points
5. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,603 points
6. BORA-hansgrohe – 3,354 points
7. Bahrain Victorious flag bra – 3,194 points
8. Trek-Segafredo – 3,143 points
9. AG2R Citroën – 2,867 points
10. Team BikeExchange – 2,774 points
11. Movistar – 2,737 points
12. Astana-Premier Tech – 2,698 points
13. Groupama-FDJ – 2,613 points
14. Israel Start-Up Nation – 2,584 points
15. Qhubeka ASSOS – 1,896 points
16. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,764 points
17. Lotto Soudal – 1,713 points
18. Cofidis – 1,578 points
19. Total Direct Energy – 1,441 points
20. Team DSM – 1,308 points
21. EF Education-Nippo – 1,212 points
23. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 868 points.

Alpecin-Fenix ​​remains the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The Belgian team of Mathieu van der Poel, Jasper Philipsen and Tim Merlier now has 3,603 points. The difference with the closest team, Arkéa-Samsic, is almost two thousand points. Total Direct Energie, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces-WB and Delko follow.

Best five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on May 4, 2021)
5. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,603 points
16. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,764 points
19. Total Direct Energy – 1,441 points
22. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 1,007 points
24. Delko – 857 points.

Cavagna took points in Romandie:
romandie

 

movistar
Alejandro Valverde Aiming for Victory in the Tour of Murcia
Alejandro Valverde will be at the start of the Tour of Murcia this year, the Movistar team told Spanish sports-paper AS. The local 41-year-old Spaniard hopes to win the race for a sixth time.

Valverde won his home race in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2017. The Tour of Murcia, a one-day race again this year, will be held on Sunday 23 May. Last year, the victory went to the Belgian Xandro Meurisse, who now rides for Alpecin-Fenix. Raised in Murcia and still living in the city in southeastern Spain, Valverde is once again one of the top favourites for victory this year. The Spaniard can look back on an excellent spring, with a fourth place in the Volta a Catalunya. The World champion of Innsbruck then won the GP Miguel Induraín, followed by a seventh place in the Tour of the Basque Country. He also took fifth in the Amstel Gold Race, third in Flèche Wallonne and fourth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Home winner in Murcia 1997:
Vuelta A Murcia 2017 ,Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) gana la Vuelta a Murcia

 

bora
Emanuel Buchmann and BORA – hansgrohe Extend Until 2024
The German climbing specialist from Ravensburg will stay with Ralph Denk’s team until at least the end of 2024. This opens the way for another attempt to make the Tour de France podium.

“I’m happy that we’ll be able to make it to at least 10 years together. But seriously, for me BORA – hansgrohe is still the perfect team. Last year was quite difficult for me, and it’s in difficult times, and not necessarily in the good times, that it becomes noticeable whether a partnership still harmonises. The support that I received showed me that I am in the right team. What Ralph Denk and Dan Lorang made possible ahead of the Tour was great, even if it didn’t ultimately lead to success. I feel very comfortable and we still have a big common goal, the Tour de France podium, which we will now continue to work towards. I would also like to thank Willi Bruckbauer (the owner of BORA) for his commitment and the passion he brings to the team. He and Ralph Denk have supported me for years and it’s great that we’re able to continue to work together towards our goals.”Emanuel Buchmann.

“Emanuel has been a fixture in our team since 2015. He has improved year on year, as he is an incredibly meticulous worker. Last year we experienced a setback, but that only serves to make us stronger. I think Emu’s best years are still ahead of him and I’m confident that he can prove this with a strong Giro. I hope that next year’s Tour course will suit his abilities a little better, then we’ll set our sights on the Tour podium again.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

Emanuel Buchmann:
basque

 

uae
UAE Team Emirates Sign Young German Talent Felix Groß
22-year old joins Emirati squad on 3-year deal

UAE Team Emirates and Felix Groß have put pen to paper on a deal which will see him in the colours of UAE Team Emirates for the next three years.

Felix Groß: “I have almost no words, I am really, really happy. The chance to ride in a such great team is something I wouldn’t have thought possible. I’ve been on the track for many years now, and I believe I can be very successful on the road as well. I feel like I’m in the right place and I am looking forward to wearing the UAE Team Emirates jersey next year.”

Groß, who currently races on the road at Continental level, has predominantly competed on the track in the junior and under-23 categories. His most notable success came recently in 2020 where he won gold medals in both the Individual Pursuit and the Kilometre TT events, as well as a bronze medal in the Men’s Team Pursuit at the European under-23 Track Championships in Fiorenzuola d’Arda in Italy.

“My first contact with the team was after my success at Fiorenzuola. What came out of it, the participation at the camp in Abu Dhabi in January, various tests, talks – the hope that the big dream would come true: a spot in the WorldTour. And now it has come true. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. And that maybe I can take some of the strengths I’ve developed on the track with me onto the road. At the beginning, of course, there’s a lot of learning and gaining experience. I’m excited about what this year will bring, the chance to go on a journey with UAE Team Emirates, I’m incredibly excited. However, firstly, along with the support of the German Cycling Federation, I will be putting all my focus on the Olympic Games.”

The German will join the team later in 2021 as a stagaire after the Olympic Games where he will represent his nation.

Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager): “Felix is a young, talented rider who is a top-class rider on the track and we hope to help him make the transition to the road. We had him with us at the early season team camp in Abu Dhabi and he impressed us a lot and is a rider who has a great attitude. We see great potential in him and we are excited for him to join us at the end of the year as a stagaire after the Olympics.”

Felix Groß with UAE:
grob

 

zabu ktm
Matteo Spreafico Suspended for Three Years
During the last Giro d’Italia, Matteo Spreafico returned two positive tests in doping controls. The UCI has announced a three-year suspension. The positive tests for the 27-year-old Spreafico were taken on 15 and 16 October, on the twelfth and thirteenth stage of the 2020 Tour of Italy. He was found positive for the drug enobosarm, also called ostarine, a drug that has the same effect as anabolic steroids.

Spreafico’s suspension took effect on October 22, 2020. The Italian is not allowed to compete until October 21, 2023. His results will also be canceled during the 2020 Giro. He will retain his stage and overall victory in the 2018 Tour of Venezuela – the only professional successes for Spreafico.

Matteo Spreafico:
Matteo Spreafico

 

toad
Tour of America’s Dairyland Presented By Kwik Trip
2021 Calendar of Events Wednesday, June 16 – Sunday, June 27, 2021

Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Kwik Trip is thrilled to announce our 2021 calendar of events with race registration to open soon! This has been a labor of love in working closely with our host organisers, their community partners and many health departments to build this calendar while offering a safe event and racing environment for all! To think we’re racing for 11 days with just one off day amidst everything that has been going on around us is nothing short of miraculous and we are ever so thankful for the monumental efforts to get the necessary permits & FINALLY stage the 12th edition of ToAD!

2021 ToAD Calendar of Events:
Wed 6/16: Milwaukee Mile (juniors only)
Thurs 6/17: Janesville
Fri 6/18: Janesville
Sat 6/19: Grafton
Sun 6/20: REST DAY; Happy Father’s Day!
Mon 6/21: Manitowoc
Tues 6/22: Manitowoc
Wed 6/23: tba
Thurs 6/24: Milwaukee Mile
Fri 6/25: Shorewood
Sat 6/26: Washington Highlands neighborhood (Wauwatosa)
Sun 6/27: Wauwatosa Village

We will also be offering the following Omnium series over the course of our 11 days:
10-day series categories:
P/1/2 women
Cat 4/N men
Cat 3/4 men
Cat 2/3 men
P/1/2 men

5-day series categories:
Cat 3/4/N women
Cat 3/4 women
Cat 2/3 women
Masters’ 40/50+ (part of USA Masters CUP)
Masters’ 50/60+ (part of USA Masters CUP)

4-day series category:
Associated Bank Handcycle Classic p/b Body Mechanics
Jones Family Junior Series (5 races/4 days)

As you’ve likely noted, we will be missing one of our favourite and longstanding races this year, the Otto Wenz Café Hollander Downer Classic along with a few other new venues, but in a good faith effort, they all assure us they will be back in 2022!

For now, we say THANK YOU to the communities of Janesville, Manitowoc, and Wauwatosa for hosting not one, but TWO days of racing! Without those commitments, this would have ended like 2020! Our mission is still clear; to stage a SAFE, FUN and ENGAGING series for all who intend to race, sponsor or spectate and we ask all of you to help us attain that goal!

Cannot wait to see you in June!

toad

 


Santini and Unipublic Introducing La Vuelta 21 Jerseys
The four official Santini jerseys that will be worn by the La Vuelta 21 champions were unveiled today in Madrid. Aside from the leader jerseys, which are made from recycled fabrics, five special kits celebrating five of the Spanish race’s most iconic stages and the two official CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta jerseys were also presented.

vuelta20st18

Santini Cycling Wear and Unipublic presented the four official leader jerseys for La Vuelta 21 today at the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela in the Spanish capital. Also unveiled were five Santini kits dedicated to five of the highlights of the Iberian race. Additionally, two further jerseys, which will be worn by the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta women’s champions, were presented on the same occasion.

“The partnership between ourselves and the prestigious Spanish race, which has endured for five years now, is something we are particularly proud of,” commented Paola Santini, marketing manager Santini Cycling Wear. “Because it confirms our unwavering commitment to pro cycling and dressing great champions.”

The official jerseys for the 2021 event will be made in Santini’s factory in Bergamo (Italy) using recycled fabrics: Ecofabric RECY by Corno, an environmentally friendly fabric spun from recycled yarn recovered from materials that have been used or discarded in the environment, and Sitip’s Native – Ecoknit which, once again, is made from recycled fibres and yarn without the use of polluting chemicals. The aim being, of course, to reduce the consumption of natural resources and reliance on non-renewable energies.

The leader jerseys are: La Roja (red jersey) sponsored by Carrefour for the overall race leader, the points leader, on the other hand, will sport the green jersey with the Škoda logo. The white jersey Fenie Energia-branded jersey will go to the best young rider and the polka dot jersey sponsored by Loterías y Apuestas del Estado will be donned by the King of the Mountains.

The women in the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta will also be wearing Santini and the official jerseys for this 7th edition were displayed today during the presentation at the Madrid race track.

The general manager of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén celebrated “five years of profitable and mutual collaboration. The jerseys are the hallmark of any cycling stage race and for La Vuelta it is a pride and a joy to be equipped by Santini, one of the most efficient and prestigious brands in the market and probably the most stylish one!”

Special La Vuelta 21 Kits
In addition to the official jerseys, Santini also makes several special kits dedicated to the La Vuelta’s most iconic stages each year. The five kits include a jersey, bib shorts, socks, cap and gloves as well as a cotton t-shirt.

The Burgos kit celebrates the first stage of the race during which competitors will compete in an individual time trial in the city of Burgos: the jersey’s design was inspired by the rose window that adorns the southern façade of the majestic 13th century Cathedral of Santa Maria. The entire kit and the cotton t-shirt are in the red and white of the flag of Autonomous Community of Castile and León and will feature the number 01 to reference the first stage of the race.

Stage 7 of La Vuelta 21 starts from Gandía and ends in Balcón de Alicante. The route will take competitors through the spectacular forests of the regions of Valencia and Alicante which have also inspired the mainly green Alicante kit. The back and sleeve of the jersey also features the words Estima la Natura (“Love the Nature”), also sported by the sculpture atop the Balcón de Alicante.

The mast at the top of Pico Villuercas, the finish line of the Extremadura stage, is the main motif of the kit celebrating that stage. The radio mast for the now-abandoned military base features on both the back and sleeve of the jersey. Its colours are inspired by the flag of the Extremadura region.

However, the most iconic stage of the 2021 edition is the 18th which ends at the top of Altu d’El Gamoniteiru after a gruelling 15-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 9.69%, peaks of 17%, and a total elevation gain of 1,465m. The peak is at an altitude of 1,791 m and it is this figure that gives its name to the Santini kit dedicated to the stage. All of the items in the kit are in a navy/blue colour combination to reference the sky above the peak. Red and white striped details are a nod to the antennas on the peak. The back of the jersey is adorned with a crown with the hairpins of the gruelling climb. The number 18 is also featured in the kit as a reminder that it is the 18th stage.

In honour of the last stage of La Vuelta 21, which finishes in the historic city of Santiago de Compostela, Santini has made the blue and yellow Galicia kit which features the shell motif, the symbol of the famous Way of Saint James, on the back and sleeves of the jersey. It is also a reference to the Jubilee Year of Saint James, patron saint of Galicia and Spain.

To coordinate with the kits, Santini also presents three must-haves for cyclists: a windproof jacket and a vest with a multi-coloured cap with a fun lined pattern.

Replicas of the leader jerseys and the five special kits can be purchased online from the Santini website (www.santinicycling.com), from the official La Vuelta store, from Ciclos Cabello, in Cordoba (www.cicloscabello.com) and select specialist cycling shops worldwide.

 

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