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Horrific crash in Poland – TOP STORY. Loads of race reports: Milano-Torino, Tour de Pologne, Route d’Occitanie and the Gran Trittico Lombardo. Race news from Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Wallonia and the Tour de France. Teams announced for Milano-Sanremo, Ventoux Challenge, Tour de l’Ain and the Czech Tour. Rider contract news from Richie Porte, Nils Politt, Daryl Impey, Iván García, Leah Thomas, Edoardo Affini, Anthony Perez, plus signings for AG2R-La Mondiale and Arkéa-Samsic. Young German rider Jan Riedmann dies in road accident and World Bicycle Relief launches global ride to empower women and girls. Big Thursday coffee time!

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top story
TOP STORY: Sprint Crash Puts Jakobsen in Hospital – Groenewegen to Blame?
In the final downhill sprint of the Tour de Pologne stage 1, Jumbo-Visma’s sprinter, Dylan Groenewegen looked to have the win as the peloton hammered towards the finish line. Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck – Quick-Step was on the Dutchman’s right hand side and coming through for the win. Groenewegen moved off his line which pushed Jakobsen into and through the barriers. This also caused a pile up of other riders. You can see the video and read the full race report below.

Fabio Jakobsen’s situation could be life-threatening, according to race doctor Barbara Jerschina who spoke to nazosie.pl. “We did everything we could,” she said. “Working conditions were very difficult. There is very serious brain damage and a broken palate, so there were problems with intubation, but we delivered oxygen to him through tubes. We have maintained vital signs. The heart still worked well and maintained the right pressure.”

Nevertheless, Jakobsen’s situation is very worrying. “He has suffered very serious injuries. The situation is life threatening. He also lost a lot of blood. He’s still alive and he’s with us. Hopefully we win…” Jakobsen was taken to St. Barbara’s Hospital in Sosnowiec, where emergency surgery was performed.

**UPDATE**
Deceuninck – Quick-Step: “Serious, but stable”
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step team released a statement just after midnight. It confirms the earlier statement from the Polish hospital. “Fabio Jakobsen’s situation is serious but at the moment he is stable. Diagnostic test didn’t reveal brain or spinal injury, but because of the gravity of his multiple injuries he is still kept in a comatose condition and has to remain closely monitored in the following days at the Wojewódzki Szpital in Katowice.

Further information will be made available in the course of the coming hours. Meanwhile, we would like to thank you for your heartwarming support.”

Lefevere Angry
Patrick Lefevere is furious with Dylan Groenewegen, who caused the crash with Fabio Jakobsen in the final metres of the first stage in Poland. “They should put that man from Jumbo-Visma in prison,” the Deceuninck – Quick-Step manager said. “I go to court,” he continued. “These actions really cannot be used in cycling. This is a criminal offence.”

The next day (Thursday), Lefevere had not calmed down: “I do not understand the action of Groenewegen, the team will file a complaint with the police of Poland,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws “I am still very angry and stay behind those twitter messages. This was a very dirty action by Groenewegen. Wednesday I saw the images on my phone. Actually, I have already watched that sprint dozens of times. I have no understanding whatsoever for Groenewegen’s action.”

Groenewegen: “Can’t find the words to describe how sorry I am”
Dylan Groenewegen first commented on Twitter about the dramatic incident in the Tour of Poland. The Dutch top sprinter wrote: “I hate what happened yesterday. I can’t find the words to describe how sorry I am for Fabio and others who have fallen or been hit. At the moment, the health of Fabio is the most important thing. I think about him constantly.”

Jumbo-Visma Apologises for Crash
Jumbo-Visma has apologised for the crash that sprinter Dylan Groenewegen caused in the first stage of the Tour of Poland. Fabio Jakobsen, among others, crashed hard due to the manoeuvre of Groenewegen.

The team Tweeted: “Our thoughts go out to Fabio Jakobsen and other people involved in today’s terrible crash in the Tour of Poland. Crashes like these should not happen.”

“We offer our sincere apologies and we will discuss internally what has happened before we may make any further statement. # TDP20”

Second on the Stage Marc Sarreau was Also Injured
His Groupama-FDJ made this statement: “Marc Sarreau suffers an important trauma to the shoulder and also from multiple tearing of the ligaments. He is going to need further medical tests. He is of course not starting tomorrow. Thank you for all the support addressed to Marc.”

UCI statement concerning Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma)
Aug 5, 2020, 20:39 PM

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) strongly condemns the dangerous behaviour of rider Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), who sent Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) into the barriers a few metres from the finish, causing a collective crash at the end of the first stage of the Tour of Poland.

Groenewegen was disqualified from the race by the commissaires’ panel.

The UCI, which considers the behaviour unacceptable, immediately referred the matter to the Disciplinary Commission to request the imposition of sanctions commensurate with the seriousness of the facts.

Our Federation is wholeheartedly with the affected riders.

pologne 2020 st1

torino
Milano-Torino 2020
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) added the 101st Milan-Turin to his palmarés. In the bunch sprint he managed to reward the teamwork of Groupama-FDJ. With his victory, the Frenchman joins an illustrious list of riders who triumphed in both Milan-San Remo and Milan-Turin.

The race organisers had flattened the final part of the race. The double climb to the Basilica of Superga had been removed, so that the one-day race would be more suited to being a preparatory race for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo. From Mesero, the route headed southwest to the Stupinigi hunting palace for the finish. There were a few short climbs along the way, but the last 70 kilometres were almost flat.

torino20

The race was only a few minutes old when the first leading group made its move: Manuele Boaro, Alessandro Tonelli, Davide Villella, Samuele Rivi, Andrea Garosio and Gijs Van Hoecke joined forces. After the first hour, the lead of the six had already increased to more than seven minutes. It was not long before the peloton accelerated.

Around half-way the peloton had narrowed the difference, after which it was kept stable at around three and three and a half minutes. With 60 kilometres to go, the lead went under three minutes due to the sprint teams; BORA-hansgrohe, Deceuninck – Quick Step, Groupama-FDJ and Lotto Soudal. At 45 kilometres the lead was down to two and a half.

At 35 kilometres from the finish, Garosio was the first rider to be dropped by the break. With only 20 kilometres remaining the lead was one minute and a bunch sprint was guaranteed. When the difference was only 30 seconds, Rivi and Boaro attacked. The two Italians rode together for a time and at 11 kilometres from the finish Boaro left Rivi, but a little later they were both caught. Six kilometres from the finish, there was a crash with some street furniture and several riders came down, including Timothy Dupont, Alex Edmondson, Yves Lampaert, Michael Mørkøv and Luca Pacioni.

The men of Lotto Soudal and BORA-hansgrohe pulled the peloton into a long line, then in the final the train of Groupama-FDJ hit the front for Arnaud Démare. The French sprinter didn’t disappoint and rewarded the work of his teammates with a powerful sprint. Caleb Ewan took second, Wout van Aert third. Danny van Poppel finished fifth behind Peter Sagan.

torino demare

Milano-Torino winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “I came here knowing that I’m in good form with a competitive team that’s performing better than ever before. I already realised at Vuelta a Burgos that our training camp had paid off. Winning today is important and it’s a good sign ahead of Milano-Sanremo. As a team, we’re feeling calm and confident. I’m not worried about the new course. I don’t know if [the addition of] Colle di Nava will make it better or worse. It’ll be a discovery for everyone. Teams of six riders only might open the race up or make it even more controlled. In this new situation, racing the first Monument in August, I’ll have to make a move instead of just waiting for the sprint.”

2nd, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “I still don’t like to come second, but I’m happy with how things went for my first race back after five months, especially ahead of Saturday. I was where I wanted to be in the last corner. My team got me in a good position. I just had to sprint for too long.”

3rd, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m satisfied with the result, especially in this strong field of sprinters. I might have been able to do slightly better with better positioning but it’s part of the game. I was tired on Saturday after Strade Bianche but over the last two days, I’ve felt better already. It’s really good to have a race like today’s in the middle of the week. It was super fast without being very windy so it made for very good preparation for Saturday. My confidence is high before Milano-Sanremo.”

5th, Danny van Poppel (Circus-Wanty Gobert): “This 5th place is satisfying. It was a long time since I wasn’t in the mix with the best sprinters anymore. I was able to deliver this performance today, thanks to the ongoing confidence of the team. I was a little nervous, but my teammates worked really well. Also my brother Boy showed during the final kilometres what he does best: bring me into a perfect position. It’s only my second day in Italy, so the heat was difficult to manage. But I expect to acclimatise better during the next days and to be ready for Milan-San Remo. Of course, the course will be a different kettle of fish. I’ll give my all to survive the Poggio, and then everything is possible!”

Milano-Torino Result:
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:18:57
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
7. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos.

Milano-Torino’20

pologne
Tour de Pologne 2020
Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) was the first to cross the finish line in the opening Stage 1 of the Tour of Poland, but the final sprint was marred by a horrific crash in which Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was catapulted into the fence at full speed. Groenewegen was blamed for the crash and the Jumbo-Visma rider was disqualified. Jakobsen was given the win, but, as you can read in the TOP STORY, he is in hospital.

Exactly a year ago during the Tour of Poland, Bjorg Lambrecht died after he crashed into a concrete culvert. His passing plunged the cycling world into deep mourning and on Wednesday all social media posts showed that the sport had not forgotten.

Just after the start, four riders attacked. Kamil Małecki and Maciej Paterski, Julius van den Berg and Sam Brand built up a lead of 4:30 by the first intermediate sprint. Jumbo-Visma took control of the peloton for Groenewegen and kept the break within a safe margin.

Around half-way, the difference had narrowed to less than 2 minutes. That was kept stable until the three local laps around Katowice. After the first lap, the lead of the four was just under a minute, while behind Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Jumbo-Visma and BORA-hansgrohe kept the pace high.

Thirty kilometres from the finish, several riders hit the deck, including Jumbo-Visma’s Christoph Pfingsten and Ryan Gibbons. The pursuit of the leading group continued and at 15 kilometres the escape was caught. There were more crashes on the local circuit around Katowice, but a bunch sprint was inevitable.

Ineos led the peloton to the last stage of this opening stage, after which the trains of the sprinters took over in the last two kilometres. In the final phase, Team Sunweb pulled hard for Alberto Dainese with Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen together. BORA then took over for Pascal Ackermann.

In the last 200 metres, Groenewegen started the sprint with Jakobsen in his wheel. The Dutch champion wanted to pass his compatriot on the right, but he left no room: Jakobsen was then catapulted into the fence. Groenewegen was the first to cross the finish line, but just like other riders did not stay upright. A line judge next to the finish was hit hard in the chaos and seriously injured. Groenewegen was subsequently held responsible for the chaos in the final sprint and was disqualified hours after the finish. Jakobsen, who ended up in the barriers in a terrible way, was awarded the victory. But he was in hospital.

pologne 2020 stage 1

The race organisation made this statement early Thursday morning:
Tour de Pologne: Serious Crash Disrupted the First Stage

Dylan Groenewegen disqualified from the race

A serious high-speed crash disrupted the first stage of the Tour de Pologne. In the last 150 metres, Dylan Groenewegen and Fabio Jakobsen were fighting for the victory when the Jumbo-Visma rider deviated from his line causing the crash of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter who fell against the barrier. Many riders who were at the front were involved in the accident.

The UCI has found the behaviour of Dylan Groenewegen unacceptable, and has disqualified the Jumbo-Visma rider, assigning the stage victory to Fabio Jakobsen.

The organisation’s representative, Czeslaw Lang, says: “I followed the situation from the beginning. I have just come back from the Sosnowiec Santa Barbara Hospital. After speaking with the director, I can say that I am somewhat relieved. After seeing the crash, we feared the worst, but now we know that the situation is serious but stabilised. The race official also involved in the accident suffered a head injury but has already regained consciousness and is now in a stable condition. I really want to send a heartfelt thank you to the doctors and hospital staff for their prompt care and assistance and I also very much wish all the athletes involved in the crash a fast recovery.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 1 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (NED) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 4:31:50
2. Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
5. Ryan Gibbons (SA) NTT Pro Cycling
6. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
7. Damien Touzé (Fra) Cofidis
8. Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal
9. Moreno Hofland (Ned) EF Pro Cycling
10. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 1:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 4:31:40
2. Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
3. Kamil Małecki (Pol) CCC
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
6. Ryan Gibbons (SA) NTT Pro Cycling
7. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
8. Damien Touzé (Fra) Cofidis
9. Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal
10. Moreno Hofland (Ned) EF Pro Cycling.

Pologne’20 stage 1 finish (WARNING: don’t watch if you don’t want to the horrific crash:

Route d’Occitanie
Route d’Occitanie 2020
Egan Bernal (Ineos) won the mountain Stage 3 of the La Route d’Occitanie, finishing on the Col de Beyrède. The Colombian rider was the strongest on the final climb finishing ahead of his teammate, Pavel Sivakov by 10 seconds.

After two sprint stages, the riders were presented with a serious mountain stage on Monday. Three serious cols were on the menu; the climbs of the Port de Balès, Peyresourde and Col de Beyrède.

Eight riders attacked early in the race. Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) and Julien Trarieux (NIPPO DELKO) were joined by Colombian Harold Tejada (Astana), Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Georg Zimmermann (CCC). They took a lead of more than 4 minutes. Ineos controlled the pace of the peloton. Sergio Araiz (Kern Pharma) tried to cross, but ended up in no man’s land for a while. An attempt by the Dutchman Jesse de Rooij (Bike Aid) was also unsuccessful.

The leading group would not make it to the end. On the final climb it was a duel between the strongest climbers. The battle was settled in favour of Bernal. He beat teammate Pavel Sivakov. Chris Froome was 34th at over 5 minutes.

bernal

Stage winner and overall leader, Egan Bernal (Ineos) told TeamINEOS.com: “We came here to win the race, we knew we had a good team and we could control the whole race. We were in the front from kilometre zero until the final, we deserved to win the race as we took on the responsibility. The team did a really good job, a really good lead out until the last kilometre and then I attacked in the last part of the climb. It was practically just two Team INEOS riders at the end. Pavel was impressive, I think he has improved his level a lot since last season and he will be a key rider in the Tour de France. I think it is good training for the Tour de France, this has been good for the Tour group and everything went perfectly today. We have not ridden together too much this year, it’s a strange feeling, and we need this time to be together as a group and ride together as a group again. Today was perfect, Dylan, Castro and Andrey did a perfect job and then Chris and Tao and Pavel did a great job too – it was perfect. You arrive here and have trained hard to try and win the race, but you are a little bit nervous as you have the responsibility of the team to get the result. But in the final, when you are there, you are a bit more relaxed as you have the numbers and you’re with the best guys. Now I just need to get through the upcoming races, I won’t have too much stress until the Tour now and I am in good condition and just need to save the legs for the Tour de France.”

Route d’Occitanie Stage 3 Result:
1. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos in 4:36:44
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:10
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:17
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:31
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:05
6. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:09
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 1:11
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:18
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:39
10. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren.

Route d’Occitanie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos in 13:33:57
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:14
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:23
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:41
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:15
6. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:19
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 1:21
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:28
9. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:49
10. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ.

Occitanie stage 3:

Bauke Mollema just missed the win in the final Stage 4 of La Route d’Occitanie on Tuesday. The Trek-Segafredo Dutchman lost out to Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) after a difficult finalé. Egan Bernal (Ineos) was the final overall winner of the French stage race as Team Ineos, were able to defend the leader’s jersey.

The final stage started in Lectoure and ended after 195 kilometres away in Rocamadour with a climb of a good one and a half kilometres, a great finish for the puncheurs, but first the early escape had to be caught.

Fausto Masnada, Filippo Zana, Maxime Can, Christophe Laporte, Antoine Duchesne, Alan Riou, Anthony Turgis, Matteo Malucelli, Julien Trarieux, Georg Zimmermann and Nick van der Lijke managed a maximum lead of 4 minutes. Masnada turned out to have the best legs at the front and the Italian CCC rider decided to go it alone to the finish. The 26-year-old Masnada was the first to start the last steep kilometres. However, he was not strong enough to stay out front.

Miguel Ángel López (Astana) made a move two kilometres from the finish, but was not given any space. In the end Cosnefroy turned out to have the best legs. Mollema finished second, ahead of Thibaut Pinot and Bernal finished fourth to secure the overall victory.

Bernal is on track for the Tour de France. The Team Ineos rider won convincingly yesterday at the Col de Beyrède and is ahead of his team-mate Pavel Sivakov and Aleksandr Vlasov, who played for Astana, in the rankings. Bernal will start another stage race on Friday with the Tour de l’Ain.

Cosnefroy

Stage winner, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “Before the start, I checked this stage. I knew it was a perfect fit for me. Today, the team took control to put me in the best possible position. In the end, all my fantastic teammates did a crazy good job. Romain (Bardet) dropped me off where I needed to, Pierre pushed the pace on the final climb, and
I just had to finish the job. It was chalkboard stuff, you couldn’t imagine it going better. I’m happy to win on this type of course which suits me. Yesterday I was in the breakaway on the mountain stage, but I didn’t feel great. I really wanted to win, and it’s my third win of the season. This is important for the team; it gives everyone a little extra motivation. Collectively, what we have accomplished today gives me more than satisfaction. Despite a very long break, we have quickly regained our cohesiveness.”

Overall winner, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “I was really happy with the result, I think it’s important to win the race, for the team and the morale after the lockdown. The main thing is that I’m feeling really good. I think my preparation is going well and that is the most important thing for me at this race. The finish was really hard, nobody expected a final as tricky as that, but I felt really good and I just tried to do a good effort, the most important thing is to train hard for the Tour so I just tried to go and do my effort and I was with the best riders until the finish line so that is the important thing for me. This morning it was nice to share some time with Nico Portal’s family, they are part of our family and it is nice to see them again and share some time with them. They are like our family and I think Nico is still with us. I’m happy to have this race finished and I feel this racing will really help bring my level up as we head towards the Tour de France. I was really, really happy to get another race in the legs this season, it was the first time for me doing real work in the climbs, so it was nice to have a little hit out, a nice little test and good to be in and amongst the team this week and come away with a fantastic result as well, first and second with Egan and Pavel. It’s great to see after a long break from racing to come back and to have done that. I’m happy to have this race finished and I feel this racing will really help bring my level up as we head towards the Tour de France. It was quite an emotional day remembering Nico, and it’s been an emotional week remembering him, riding on old roads where I would join him quite often on recons and spending time with him and brought back a lot of memories. It was great to see his family this morning and to see how the race paid tribute to him with a minute’s applause with his family.”

2nd on the stage, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “Julien drove strongly in the breakaway, but Ineos gave the escapees little space. Ultimately it would be determined on the ten kilometre long climb, I felt good today. After a long training block and an altitude internship with the team, that is a nice feeling. I am happy that I was able to race well again today.”

Route d’Occitanie Stage 4 Result:
1. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:23:28
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana
6. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:07
7. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
9. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:10
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:12.

Route d’Occitanie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos in 17:57:27
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:19
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:23
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:37
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:09
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 1:26
7. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:29
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 0:01:52
9. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:57
10. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 2:06.

Occitanie stage 4:

Gran Trittico Lombardo 2020
Gran Trittico Lombardo 2020
Gorka Izagirre won the Gran Trittico Lombardo in Northern Italy on Monday. The Astana rider was the first to cross the finish in Varese after a race of just under two hundred kilometres.

The Gran Trittico Lombardo is on the calendar for the first time this year. The first edition was created as a combination of the Italian one-day races; Tre Valli Varesine, Coppa Bernocchi and Coppa Agostoni. The riders were presented with 15 laps of 15.5 kilometres.

After some preliminary attacks, 10 kilometres after the start in Legnano, six riders managed to break away. Quinten Hermans (Circus – Wanty Gobert), Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix), Anton Kuzmin (Gazprom-RusVelo), Raffaele Radice (Sangemini Trevigiani), Matúš Štoček (Beltrami), Davide Baldaccini (Team Colpack Ballan) made up the early break. Štoček lost touch with his fellow escapees.

The peloton remained restless during the fast and rainy opening phase. In a race marred by crashes, Astana leader Alexey Lusetsenko was one of the unlucky riders.

After the lead was over ten minutes, CCC thought it was enough. At the head of the peloton, the orange brigade started to work for leader Greg Van Avermaet. Later Trek-Segafredo took over the work which caused the lead of the now only five up front to steadily decrease.

In the finalé, a new leading group of 14 riders emerged. In addition to Riesebeek and Hermans from the early flight, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos) and Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) were also presented. Gorka Izagirre (Astana) chose to attack and take a half minute lead.

At the finish, the Basque rider had plenty of time to celebrate his victory. Alex Aranburu completed the Astana 1-2 by sprinting to take second place ahead of Greg Van Avermaet.

lombardo

Gran Trittico Lombardo winner, Gorka Izagirre (Astana): “I took the opportunity to attack as we were together, also Alex is a strong guy. I attacked and knew in the downhill they weren’t able to bridge across. The last hill would have been the last chance to close the gap. Everyone is happy that we are back racing. I raced last Saturday at Strade Bianche and today the team gave me an opportunity to try something and it paid off so all in all I am super happy and I want to say thanks to the team!”

2nd, Alex Aranburu (Astana): “Gorka and I started at the same cycling club back home in the Basque Country, so for me, it’s very special to share the podium with him today. After his attack, I sat in the group but they were not able to close the gap. I saved energy for the final sprint and was able to finish second. For sure we will celebrate this success tonight together with the team!”

17th, Jan Bakelants (Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans): “It wasn’t an easy day, because of the heavy rainfall. I’ve never seen this before, it was training caps and dogs, causing enormous splashes and flood. It made the race a lot harder than on paper. I didm’t have a bad feeling, but I expected a little better. At the end, my legs took over control. I wasn’t able to follow the 10 best, so I need to be satisfied with the second group. The rain is not an excuse, because the conditions were the same for everyone. I didm’t race for a long time and maybe it takes a little longer to get the rhythm back at the age of 34. This day was a good training for that’s next. On Wednesday I’ll be at the start of Milano-Torino, in service of our sprinters. We’ve got several cards to play, with Danny Van Poppel, Alfdan De Decker and Timothy Dupont. Afterwards, I hope to be at the start in Milan, with better capabilities!”

Gran Trittico Lombardo Result:
1. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana in 4:41:02
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana at 0:27
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
7. Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:28
9. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC at 0:30
10. Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos at 1:01.

Gran Trittico Lombardo’20:

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Tirreno – Adriatico 2020: Eight Stages – For Every Specialism
The 55th edition of the Race of the Two Seas, 7-14 September, features three stages suitable for sprinters, two on mixed terrain for finisseurs, two in the mountains including an uphill finish in Sarnano-Sassotetto and the classic final time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. The race’s total vertical elevation is 15,000 meters.

The Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO, scheduled from 7 to 14 September, will be a special edition not only because of when it is scheduled on the calendar, but also because it will be raced over eight stages – instead of the usual seven.

Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “We want to say thank you to all the Administrations – in the Regions, Provinces and Municipalities – that have always supported this international event. Through the images distributed all over the world we will once again showcase – both from a landscape, as well as a cultural point of view – all the territories crossed by the race. Together we will give a new sign of restarting the country, always respecting safety, because cycling is a formidable vehicle for launching these restarting messages.”

Stefano Allocchio, Race Director of RCS Sport, who designed this Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO route, underlined how: “Thanks to the eight stages we have been able to make the race a bit harder and to balance the stages for sprinters, for finisseurs and for climbers in addition to the usual final ITT. Despite the change of date, we have found in local administrations the maximum availability that will allow us to organise a top quality Tirreno-Adriatico. We will have almost all the riders who will then participate in the Giro d’Italia in October and we are convinced that, as in recent years, it will be a Race of the Two Seas of the highest level.”

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The podium of the 2019 edition of the Corsa dei Due Mari (Race of the Two Seas) won by Primož Roglič from Adam Yates and Jakob Fuglsang

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

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The Route:
Stage 1 – Lido di Camaiore – Lido di Camaiore (133km)

The first stage is divided into two parts, both in circuits. In the first 90km, the 26km circuit of Monte Pitoro (climbed from the Massarosa side) is tackled three times. After the third passage, the route continues with two almost complete laps of a large circuit of about 19km between Pietrasanta and Lido di Camaiore, which is totally flat.

Stage 2 – Camaiore – Follonica (201km)
A mixed terrain stage, especially in the second part. Starting from Camaiore and progressing through Montemagno, the route reaches Pisa and then the Livornese, leaving the completely flat part and going up to Castellina Marittima (GPM) where it continues south to cross Riparbella and Canneto (TV). Once they have completed the long, mainly downhill stretch that follows, the riders will enter the 20km final circuit characterised by the very short but steep ‘Imostino’ climb.

Stage 3 – Follonica – Saturnia (217km)
Very long and undulating stage. The route crosses the Grosseto area to turn inland to Capalbio. It climbs the Muro (a short and steep climb) di Poggio Murella for the first time (gradient up to 20%) to pass near Saturnia and touching Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano before returning to climb the Muro di Poggio Murella for a second time; from the top there will be less than 9km to the finish. In the final kilometres it’s firstly downhill, then always uphill until the finish with slopes around 6-7%.

Stage 4 – Terni – Cascia (194km)
The first climbing stage. The maximum altitude of the entire Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO is reached on Stage 4 at the Rifugio Perugia GPM, at 1521m. The first part of the stage is almost flat, with undulations and gentle slopes. After Castelsantangelo sul Nera, the very demanding section of the Sibillini Mountains begins. The route climbs up the Forca di Gualdo which leads to the plain of Castelluccio. Wide roads, continually climbing, lead to the ascent to the Rifugio Perugia (the building is located just after the top) and then the descent to the outskirts of Norcia to face the last stretch of Ospedaletto. In the final kilometres it’s initially downhill to the town of Cascia where the road climbs up on a gentle slope.

Stage 5 – Norcia – Sassotetto (202km)
This very demanding stage features many climbs including three classified GPMs. The route initially climbs the Forca di Ancarano (not classified as GPM) to enter the Sibillini mountains. After Visso it goes up to the Santuario di Macereto (Sanctuary of Macereto) preceded by the Santa Margherita hill. Once in Polverina, a sequence of ascents and descents begins that give riders no letup until the finish. The climbs of San Ginesio, Gualdo and Penna San Giovanni all feature before the final ascent to Sassotetto from Sarnano: 14.2km at a 5.8% average gradient, peaking at 12%. The last kilometres of the stage coincide with the final climb to Sassotetto. It’s a fairly constant gradient between 6 and 7% with some peaks over 10% and featuring long straights and hairpin bends. The slope softens close to the finish line.

Stage 6 – Castelfidardo – Senigallia (175km)
With mixed terrain stage in the first part and then flat, Stage 6 is not the most demanding. From Numana, the route passes through the outskirts of Ancona, then Offagna, Jesi and Ostra to arrive in Senigallia where it will cover four laps of a circuit that’s around 16km. Completely flat, it’s on wide and well-paved city streets and the neighbouring countryside on wide roads with sometimes worn surfaces. The final 3km are entirely in the town, with the last curve at 1000m from the finish.

Stage 7 – Pieve Torina – Loreto (181km)
Stage 7 is the stage of the Muri (short and steep climbs). They are all concentrated in the three laps of the circuit that each face the ascent of Loreto – which is the finish line, as well as being passed twice on the route. These circuits also include three ascents of the Recanati (v.Paolina Leopardi). Descending from the Sibillini Mountains the route passes through Camerino and to reach the valley of the Potenza river, and faces the Montefano and Osimo climbs before entering that final 25km circuit that features both the Loreto and the Recanati climbs. The last kilometres are all uphill with slopes around 10%.

Stage 8 – San Benedetto del Tronto (ITT – 10km)
The 10,050m individual time trial is raced on the same route that has featured since 2015. The starting platform is located in viale Tamerici (Riva sud) from where the route proceeds towards Porto d’Ascoli along the sea. From Piazza Salvo d’Acquisto (intermediate timekeeping – km 4.7) it continues for about 750m before going up to San Benedetto del Tronto where the race ends on the traditional finish line in viale Buozzi.

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22 Teams at the Start of the VOO Tour de Wallonie 2020
Organised in 2020, a few days before the big start of the Tour de France, the VOO Tour de Wallonie is proud to announce an exceptional sports field! 22 teams of 7 riders make up the peloton of the 41st “TRW”: 9 UCI World Teams, 9 UCI Pro Teams, 4 UCI Continental Teams … The TRW 2020 will be the launching pad for the Grande Boucle rescheduled in August-September due to of the coronavirus crisis!

The stages of the VOO Tour of Wallonia 2020
08/16. Soignies – Templeuve
08/17. Frasnes-Lez-Anvaing – Wavre
08/18. Montzen – Visé
08/19. Blegny – Erezée.

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Tour start in Copenhagen postponed to 2022
The start of the Tour de France in Denmark has been postponed by one year, from 2021 to 2022. The Danish organisation and Mayor Frank Jensen of Copenhagen confirmed on Wednesday. This will be the first time that the Tour de France starts in Denmark.

Originally, the Tour de France was to start on July 2 in Copenhagen next year and stay in Denmark for a total of three days. But when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed to 2021 and the Olympic road race would overlap with the Tour, ASO and UCI wanted to start the Gran Départ a week early, June 25. Copenhagen could not meet the wish, because the city also has the European Football Championship during the same period.

Days of negotiations with the Tour organisation followed and an agreement has now been reached on a Danish Tour start in 2022. The Tour de France will now start on 1 July 2022 in Copenhagen. “I am happy that we managed to secure a Danish Tour start in 2022. Many of us were looking forward to seeing the Tour de France in Denmark next year, and now we unfortunately have to wait a little longer,” said Mayor Jensen.

“But on the other hand, the Danes can now look forward to an even bigger yellow folk festival in 2022, when the Tour is not squeezed by the European Football and Olympic Games and hopefully we have the corona virus under control,” added Jensen. “I would like to thank all parties, not least Trade Minister Simon Kollerup, ASO and Christian Prudhomme for helping to find a good solution.”

The Danish organisation does not expect any changes for the three stages and fully supports the postponement of the five stages involved.

Tour de France 2020, now 2022:

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111th Milano-Sanremo: Provisional Entry List Announced
An updated route but with the traditional last 36km, including the Cipressa and Poggio.
27 teams of 6 riders each to start

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Julian Alaphilippe wins the 2019 Milano-Sanremo

DOWNLOAD: Provisional Entry List HERE.

The Provisional Entry List is announced today for the 111th Milano-Sanremo presented by Vittoria on Saturday 8 August. Last year’s winner, Julian Alaphilippe will see many other champions alongside him, such as previous “La Classicissima” winners Vincenzo Nibali (2018), Michał Kwiatkowski (2017), Arnaud Demare (2016, and winner of this week’s Milano-Torino presented by EOLO) and Alexander Kristoff (2014); along with such names as Wout van Aert (winner of 2020 Strade Bianche EOLO), Caleb Ewan (runner-up, 2020 Milano-Torino presented by EOLO), Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet, Elia Viviani, Alberto Bettiol, Michael Woods, Fernando Gaviria, Sam Bennett and Mathieu van der Poel, amongst many others.

THE TEAMS
19 UCI WorldTeams, 2 qualified by ranking position and 6 wild cards (27 teams of 6 riders each).

UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
COFIDIS (FRA)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 2
TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE (FRA)
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL)

WILD CARDS – 6
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC (FRA)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA)

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The Route
After 110 years the Milano-Sanremo presented by Vittoria changes route and meets the sea only in Imperia after crossing the Po Valley and the Apennines further west than usual. After leaving Milan, it crosses the Lomellina on flat, wide and straight roads. After Alessandria, the race crosses the Monferrato and then passes through the Langhe before facing the first long challenge of the day, the ascent of Niella Belbo. The slopes are gentle, but there are, especially in the initial part of the climb, steep sections and the ascent is almost 20km long (average gradient of 3%). After Ceva begins the long and easy ascent to Colle di Nava (3.9km and a gradient of 3% in the final part of the climb), followed by the fast dive on Pieve di Teco, then on to reach Imperia. The ascent and descent are both on wide roads while the crossing of Langhe and Monferrato has narrow sections. In Imperia the race returns to the classic route to tackle the Cipressa (first climbed in 1982) from San Lorenzo al Mare and shortly afterwards, the Poggio di Sanremo (first climbed in 1961).

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Final km
Following the Cipressa (5.6km with an average gradient of 4.1%) is a very fast and challenging descent which takes riders back to the SS 1 Aurelia. At 9km from the finish, the ascent of Poggio di Sanremo begins (3.7km long with an average gradient of less than 4% and a maximum of 8% in the segment shortly before the crest of the climb). The road is slightly narrower, with four hairpin turns in the first 2km. The descent is extremely technical, on asphalt roads, narrow at points and with a succession of hairpins, twists and turns as far as the junctions with the SS 1 Aurelia. The final part of the descent enters urban Sanremo. The last bend, leading into the home straight, is 750m from the finish line.

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deceuninck
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Milano-Sanremo
The revised 299km route could lead to a more demanding and aggressive race Saturday afternoon.

Milano-Sanremo has changed its parcours several times throughout the years since its inception, taking on new roads or adding new climbs to make things more exciting and give also the attackers a chance in a race that has seen the sprinters take the spotlight on countless occasions. This year, for its 111th edition, after leaving Milan, the peloton will head towards Lomellina and Alessandria, avoid Passo del Turchino and take on the Niella Belbo and the Colle di Nava instead, the latter being topped with just 70 kilometers to go.

From Imperia, the race – which won’t include the three Capi – will return to its original route to face the Cipressa (5.6km, 4.1%) and the Poggio (3.7km, 3.7%), where last year Julian Alaphilippe launched a stinging attack that made an important and decisive selection – a 10-man group from which he emerged victorious on the Via Roma. The defending champion is again at the start, accompanied by a very strong squad consisting of Kasper Asgreen, Irish Champion Sam Bennett, Tim Declercq, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels and Zdenek Stybar, a top 10 finisher at the race in 2014.

“It will be a different Milano-Sanremo, that’s for sure. The parcours is changed, it takes place in August when the temperatures are higher and we’ll race it in six, which will make the race difficult to control. This time, we won’t start as favourites, we saw since the restart of the season that many other riders are in good condition and should be in the mix in the business end of the race, but we are motivated to come out of it with a good result and for that we’ll give everything,” said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.

08.08 Milano-Sanremo (ITA) 1.UWT
Riders:

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Sam Bennett (IRL)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Bob Jungels (LUX)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE)
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA), Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

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bahrain
Bahrain-McLaren Announce Line Up for the Iconic Milano-Sanremo
The longest classic of the year is coming after being rescheduled to Saturday 8th August.

Although this year’s edition of the Milano-Sanremo won’t be called ‘La Primavera’ – as it moved from spring to summer – it still earns the title of ‘La Classicissima’ at 299km long. The route has also changed for this year’s race, but it will include the final 36km of the traditional course, and therefore the iconic ‘Cipressa’ and ‘Poggio’ climbs.

Sonny Colbrelli will lead the Team Bahrain McLaren squad at a race he has always dreamed of winning and his the recent stage victory at the Route d’Occitanie proves he’s in good shape. “I’m feeling good, and racing in France has set me up nicely for Milano-Sanremo. I can rely on the support of a strong team, and this gives me a lot of confidence going into the race.” says Sonny Colbrelli.

The 6-rider roster also includes Damiano Caruso – who also took a recent win at the Circuito de Getxo – Dylan Teuns, Matej Mohorič, Ivan Garcia Cortina and Marco Haller.

Franco Pellizotti, Team Bahrain McLaren Sports Director, says: “This is an unprecedented route. The big climbs to get onto the coastal road are much closer to the end of the race than the Turchino Pass in previous editions which will make the race much harder. It is the longest classic of the year, and even if the elevation is not difficult, you need to be able to save as much energy as possible for the finale.

Given the heat in Italy in these past weeks, it will be even more difficult for a large group to reach the sprint for the line. It will be essential to take the Cipressa in a strong position knowing that you also have one less rider throughout the race.

To win Milan-Sanremo we have to ride together all day and get our leader Sonny Colbrelli to the end with as much energy as possible.”

Team Bahrain McLaren line-up for ‘Milano-Sanremo’: Damiano Caruso, Sonny Colbrelli, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Marco Haller, Matej Mohorič, Dylan Teuns.

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Milano-San Remo – Pasqualon: “A mythical race for Italians”
Milan-San Remo (1.WT, 8/08) opens the monuments season, but will have to renounce the name ‘Primavera’ this year. The Italian classic will start on Saturday morning from Milan for 299 kilometer in the direction of the Ligurian coast, towards San Remo. The peloton won’t cross the famous Capi, neither the Turchino, but will reach the traditional final from Imperia with the Cipressa and the Poggio inlands via de Colle di Nava. Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans participates for the first time in its history to the Classicissima with a selection of six riders. The selection is composed by Italian rider Andrea Pasqualon, Dutch rider Danny Van Poppel and Belgian riders Jan Bakelants, Aimé De Gendt, Xandro Meurisse and Loïc Vliegen and directed by Hilaire Van der Schueren and Steven De Neef.

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director): “The decrease from seven to six riders made it quite difficult to make a selection. We had a dozen candidates in our team. Finally, Timothy Dupont isn’t part of it, because he suffers from back pain since his crash in Milano-Torino yesterday. It’s a pity, because I wanted him to discover this classic. It will be for a next time.”

“Our group can achieve a good result. A 300 kilometer race is always special, although I think that the new course without the Capo and the Turchino is less hard. The heat will also play an important role, because the riders will be on the bike for more than seven hours. I’ve got some ideas already, but the preceding races weren’t enough to have a clear image about who’s going to be there in the final. So we’ll have to wait and see who feels best during the race.”

Andrea Pasqualon: “Milano-San Remo is a special event for all Italians, because it is really part of the history of our country. In addition, there are not many classics suited for sprinters, it’s the unique monument in reach of sprinters, even though certain climbers like Alaphilippe and Nibali won it already. Anyway, it will certainly be an open race, especially this year after the modification of the course. I ‘ve done the recon of the final 70 kilometer, which are very technical. Indeed, the Capi disappeared, but the descent of the Colle di Nava is fast and followed by a steep climb towards Lungo Mare. The downhill before the Cipressa is again very fast and technical. The race will probably break open there.”

“I’ve chosen to skip the Strade Bianche and Milano-Torino in order to prepare this race in the best possible way, at the Route d’Occitanie. I feel very good, and I’m ready to assume my responsibilities as a team captain. I’ve done this race already twice, and I want to grab this opportunity to go for a result. I hope to come across the Poggio with the best, then we’ll see! I’m secretly dreaming about the victory, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it to participate! Indeed, we’ll only be six at the start, but this year is exceptional and we have to accept that. We are here with a nice team, with Danny Van Poppel who has shown in Milan-Turin that he’s fast and on good form. Also boys like Vliegen and Meurisse can play a role in the final with their puncher/climber profile. In any case, we’ll have to anticipate the final and accompany the attacks because it won’t be easy to control!”

Andrea Pasqualon:
Andrea Pasqualon

ntt
NTT Pro Cycling set for Milano-Sanremo
The first monument of the UCI cycling season is upon us as Milano-Sanremo takes place this Saturday, 8th of August. NTT Pro Cycling will line up for the famous Italian classic, which is usually held in the early Spring, with our in-form Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo leading our 6-rider team.

The 2020 edition of Milano-Sanremo will go down into the history books as one of the most unique editions of the event, ever. A change of date from March to August, due to the reshuffling of the racing calendar, poses numerous different challenges for the World Tour peloton.

The usual threat of cold rain and snow can be forgotten as concerns will now be around racing over 300km through the heat of Italian summer. The parcour has also been changed significantly with only the final 36km of the race being that of the familiar route along the coast.

Teams have also been reduced to just 6-riders, allowing the race organizers to invite two additional wild card teams to the race this year, resulting in 27 teams being at the start line tomorrow.

Despite the numerous changes, the key focal points of the race will likely remain around the climbs of Cipressa and the Poggio, before the winner is crowned on one of the most famous finish lines in cycling, the Via Roma.

NTT Pro Cycling lines up for this special race, one that always reminds us of how our South African team burst onto the professional cycling scene back in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won, with in-form Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo leading our team.

Nizzolo will be joined by Michael Valgren, Max Walscheid, Michael Gogl, Roman Kreuziger and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Giacomo Nizzolo – NTT Pro Cycling: “We are ready for Milano-Sanremo. It is going to be a tough and long race, the longest of the year in fact. It’s also going to be hot tomorrow, but NTT Pro Cycling is prepared, motivated and looking forward to a having a good race.”

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sunweb
Milano-Sanremo – AUG 8
Marc Reef – Team Sunweb coach: “Milano-Sanremo will have a different character now the Turchino, coastline and Capi are no longer on the parcours. We will have to see what kind of influence it will have on the day, but normally the race will be decided on the Cipressa and Poggio. Teams arriving with only six riders could make the race more open and we need to be ready to cover dangerous moves at any moment. We have a strong line-up with Michael as our leader who will do his first race since the season pause, and together with Tiesj and Søren we are ready for all possible scenarios.”

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Cees Bol (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER).

Michael Matthews for Sanremo:
Michael Matthews

uae
UAE Tem Emirates to Milano-Sanremo
The first of the season’s monuments – the name given to five of cycling’s most prestigious one day races – will see UAE Team Emirates take on a 299km route from Milan all the way down to the Italian coastal town of Sanremo. The race will culminate with its traditional finale featuring the iconic climbs of the Cipressa and the Poggio before a fast, but technical 5km decent down to the line; a finish that could suit the team’s sprinter Fernando Gaviria.

Fernando Gaviria said: “The victory in Burgos was a great boost for both the team and for my confidence and shows my condition is good. We expect a bigger challenge at Milan-Sanremo and the competition will be strong. This is one of my favourite races and if it finishes in a sprint I know I can be one of the favourites”

Gaviria will go into battle with a star studded squad that has additional options for the race including Alexander Kristoff, Tadej Pogacar and David Formolo, along with lead out man Max Richeze and rouleur Oliviero Troia.

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ag2r
AG2R-La Mondiale for Milan-San Remo
AG2R La Mondiale has its selection for Milan-San Remo on paper. The French formation counts on three Belgian riders in Northern Italy. The leader is Oliver Naesen, who finished second last year.

Naesen is joined by his two-year-younger brother Lawrence, the 36-year-old veteran Stijn Vandenbergh, the Italian Andrea Vendrame and the American Larry Warbasse. Julien Duval is the only Frenchman in the selection. Teams may only compete with six instead of the usual seven riders this Saturday.

AG2R-La Mondiale for Milan-San Remo (August 8):
Lawrence Naesen (Bel)
Julien Duval (Fra)
Oliver Naesen (Bel)
Larry Warbasse (US)
Andea Vendrame (Ita)
Stijn Vandenberg (Bel).

Oliver Naesen:
naesen

ccc
Van Avermaet and Trentin give CCC Team multiple options at Milano – Sanremo
Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin will team up to co-lead CCC Team at the first Monument of the season, Milano – Sanremo, this Saturday 8 August.

The duo, who have both finished in the top ten on two occasions respectively, will be supported by the versatile team of Alessandro De Marchi, Fausto Masnada, Jonas Koch, and Michael Schär.

CCC Team Sports Director Valerio Piva expects a unique edition of La Primavera. “I think we could see a very different Milano – Sanremo for a number of reasons. Firstly, we are talking about a race in August so the temperatures will be much higher than they usually are in March, and most riders only have a handful of race days in the legs in the past week so a 300-kilometer race is going to be very demanding. As usual, I think the Cipressa will be the crucial point of the race but having one less rider per team can make it harder to control.”

“We have two very strong leaders in Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin and we have seen them working well together at the early Classics so we have two excellent cards to play. Alessandro De Marchi and Fausto Masnada are in great shape and can play a big role on the climbs, likewise with Jonas Koch and Michael Schär, who can drive the pace on the flat terrain. We are confident in the team to deliver a good result on Saturday.”

Greg Van Avermaet will line up on the back of two top ten results at his first races back; Strade Bianche and Gran Trittico Lombardo. “It has been a pretty tough start to racing again with Strade Bianche and Gran Trittico Lombardo but despite the two races being completely different in terms of weather and parcours, I was happy with my results even though it was a big shock to the system. I always look forward to Milano – Sanremo and I think we are lining up with a really strong team. I’ve had a few days to recover now and my legs are feeling good so I’m excited to see what we do as a team this Saturday.”

Matteo Trentin is looking forward to tackling the new parcours. “I’m feeling good. My first race at Vuelta a Burgos was good preparation and I am quite confident ahead of the race. There is a new parcours so it will be a surprise for everyone plus we are normally used to racing Milano – Sanremo in the Classics block and now we find ourselves with a 300-kilometer race without many race days in the legs. Without many tests to see how the condition is it will be a really interesting race. I really like the new parcours to be honest. It gives some more “pepper on the table’ in the finale.”

Milano – Sanremo – 8 August
Rider roster:

Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jonas Koch (GER), Fausto Masnada (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Matteo Trentin:
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ag2r
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges (August 6th)
Mikaël Cherel: “After racing in the Pyrenees on the roads through the Occitanie region, we will once again take to competing over legendary cycling routes. As we can already see from the first races, the level is very high now that the season has restarted, and everyone wants to do well. Of course, everyone wants to shine in an event like this, especially since it will be very difficult with the double ascent of Ventoux, first to Chalet Reynard and then to the top. AG2R-La Mondiale will field a great team. Last year Romain (Bardet) came close to winning, so it would be nice to grab the victory this time at the top.”

First race for Jullien Anthony. Jullien will be the first of our three stagiaires to start a professional event with our squad. The two other stagiaires, from Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, are Simon Verger and Antoine Raugel.

**Latest News** Still suffering from bruises to his left elbow following his crash during the 2nd stage of the Route d’Occitanie on August 2nd, Romain Bardet has been forced to withdraw from the CIC – Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge tomorrow. He will not be replaced.
His next race will be the Criterium du Dauphiné (August 12-16).

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deceuninck
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour de l’Ain
A young six-man team will take on the French stage race.

This month’s calendar is packed with races and will see our team try to increase its victory tally on several fronts – Classics, stage races and National Championships – before the big rendez-vous of the season, the Tour de France. But until then, the Wolfpack will make a return to the Hexagon for the 32nd edition of the Tour de l’Ain, which puts on the table a very demanding parcours.

Stage 1, taking place between Montréal-la-Cluse and Ceyzeria, is a rolling one and should come down to a mass gallop, but the up-and-down terrain in the closing kilometres could very well work in the favour of those hoping to give the sprinters the slip. Col de Montgriffon (12.5km, 4.1%), Col des Pezières (3.9km, 6.5%), Col de Cuvillat (3.4km, 7.4%), Côte de Giro (7.6km, 6.2%), and Col de Menthières (9.1km, 6.3%) will shake up the general classification one day later, before a final stage that will hit the climax on the daunting Grand Colombier, which averages 7.1% over 17.3 kilometres.

The revelation of last week’s Vuelta a Burgos, which he finished on the overall podium, João Almeida will be on the start line as part of a very young Deceuninck – Quick-Step team, which will also include Grand Tour stage winner Rémi Cavagna, Colombian speedster Alvaro Hodeg, lead-out man Bert Van Lerberghe and neo-pros Andrea Bagioli and Mauri Vansevenant, the 21-year-old Belgian who will make his debut for our squad.

“We are happy to be racing again, every race we do now after this long break is a bonus considering all that’s happening. Tour de l’Ain has short stages but a hard course and it will be a good opportunity to see João again in the mix; he had a very impressive ride at the Vuelta a Burgos last week and can now go for another strong result. The team comprises many young guys, but we are motivated and will try to make the most out of it as we always do”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Rik Van Slycke.

07.08–09.08 Tour de l’Ain (FRA) 2.1
Riders:

João Almeida (POR)
Andrea Bagioli (ITA)
Rémi Cavagna (FRA)
Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL)
Bert Van Lerberghe (BEL)
Mauri Vansevenant (BEL).
Sports Director: Geert Van Bondt (BEL) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).

deceuninck

ag2r
Tour de l’Ain (August 7th-9th)
A stagiaire with our team last year where he notably took 9th place at the Gran Piemonte,
Clément Champoussin officially joined the team on April 1st. During the Tour de l’Ain, he will take part in his first professional race officially as a member of the AG2R-La Mondiale team.

Nans Peters: “After weeks of training I’m happy to be back on the road to race. The Tour de l’Ain is the first professional stage race in which I participated when I was still an amateur. I have good memories of this race where notably I finished 4th overall (2015) and where I had the chance to play for the win at the end of the third stage in 2018 (2nd). It’s always a pleasure to race near home. I know that the level at the start will be very high and the course will be difficult, but it will be up to us to be aggressive and to try our luck.”

ag2r


The Jura Massif and a High Level Tour de l’Ain, New Test for the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team
32nd Tour de l’Ain From 7 to 9 August

A stage, on Sunday, to decide a race. The Jura Massif is looking particularly bright in the Tour de l’Ain, the race that is devoted to its orographic difficulties. In an atypical 2020, with the race located in a privileged position in the calendar that has still required some adaptation of dates, the organisation modified the route initially planned to dispute a day very similar to the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France 2020. The stage in l’Ain will be one of the key days of the next round. A praise to the Jura massif with the passes through the Montée de la Selle de Fromentelle (11 km at 8.5%), the Col de la Biche (6.4 km at 8.9%) and the final climb to the Grand Colombier.

kometa

uae
Teams Announced for French Races
UAE Team Emirates aim to continue promising season restart.

UAE Team Emirates will send a squad to France to race the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge [1.Pro] on 6 August followed by a stage race, the Tour de l’Ain [2.Pro] which runs from 7-9 August.

The teams will be led by Andrej Hauptman (Slo) and Allan Peiper (Aus).

Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge:
Fabio Aru (Ita)
Camilo Ardila (Col)
Joe Dombrowski (USA)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Edward Ravasi (Ita)
Cristian Muñoz (Ita)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor).

uae

Tour de l’Ain:
Fabio Aru (Ita)
Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Valerio Conti (Ita)
Joe Dombrowski (USA)
Aleksander Riabushenko (Bel)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)

Fabio Aru: “To be back racing again is a great feeling. A top-10 at Burgos shows that the condition is pretty good, but I am still building towards my top level. In France the goal will be to continue building form towards the big goals like Lombardía and eventually the Tour de France.”

uae

sunweb
Tour de l’Ain – AUG 6-9
Matt Winston – Team Sunweb coach: “We’re really looking forward to getting back racing; it’s the first race back for all the guys on the squad since the break and Thymen also makes his debut for us. We have a nice balanced team with young guys, going to the race focusing on the hilly stages, where we will look towards day results. We have options to play and there are a couple of interesting stages where we can make a nice plan and look to bring riders into the finish. We also want to support Sam, as well as giving our young GC talents the opportunity to go for those stage victories.”

Line-up:
Thymen Arensman (NED)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Robert Power (AUS)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)
Ilan Van Wilder (BEL).

Sam Oomen:
Oomen

bahrain
Bahrain-McLaren Riders Excited for Czech Tour
The Czech Tour 2020 will take place from 6th to 9th August. The opening stage will be the 18km Team Time Trial on the streets of the small town of Uničov. This year’s edition of the Czech race also includes three more undulating stages around the Olomoucký and Moravian-Slesian region.

Sports Director Tim Harris: “The Czech Tour is a tough race with a very demanding hilly route. We have an excellent physical condition and several riders who can get good results starting from Jan Tratnik (3rd overall in 2017), Grega Bole, Yukiya Arashiro and Luka Pibernik. It will also be a very special moment for Stephen Williams, who returns to competitions after almost a year and a half since the last race. His goal will be to find again the feeling with the race.”

Line up for Czech Tour:
Yukiya Arashiro/ Domen Novak / Luka Pibernik / Grega Bole / Jan Tratnik / Stephen Williams

bahrain

ntt
Victor Campenaerts Headlines NTT Pro Cycling Czech Tour Lineup
The Czech Tour will get underway on Thursday, 6 August, starting with a team time trial. The race comprises of 4 stages in total, ending on Sunday 9 August.

Victor Campenaerts will headline the NTT Pro Cycling lineup at the Czech Tour, as the Belgian gets his 2020 racing season back on track after the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to all racing since March this year.

Campenaerts will be joined by teammates Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Jay Thomson, Nic Dlamini, Andreas Stokbro, Michael Carbel and Matteo Sobrero for the 4-stage race.

The opening team time trial covers a distance of 18km, and so a strong team performance will lay the foundations for anyone hoping to mount a challenge for the general classification.

However, the difference can easily be made on the following three stages as an undulating terrain on each of the respective stages will encourage constant attacking.

Victor Campenaerts – NTT Pro Cycling: “I am looking forward to getting back to racing and to getting back to being with the team, and also to be racing with the team, which is always slightly different than just being on training camp with each other. We have a team well suited to an attacking style of racing and the Czech Tour parcour will give opportunities to aggressive riding, so I am keen to be aggressive and hopefully we can win a stage.”

ntt

sunweb
Czech Tour – AUG 6-9
Michiel Elijzen – Team Sunweb coach: “For the Czech Tour we want to focus on day results; with a TTT, a sprint stage and two harder stages we have a balanced team to go for results on every day of racing. The second stage should end in a sprint and we’ll work to set up Max for the finish on that day, while the last two stages are suited to a breakaway or a finale with a select group of riders coming to the line together. We have had some good weeks training at altitude together in Kühtai so everyone is excited to get back racing and should be at a good level.”

Line-up:
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nico Denz (GER)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Chad Haga (USA)
Max Kanter (GER)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Michael Storer (AUS).

Chad Haga:
Haga

trek segafredo
Richie Porte to Join Ineos in 2021?
Richie Porte seems on his way to Team Ineos. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Australian is said to be leaving Trek-Segafredo for Team Ineos next season.

Earlier, Porte – who’s contract is expiring with Trek – was linked to Israel Start-Up Nation. There he could be reunited with Chris Froome. Porte, 35, previously rode for Team Sky, the predecessor of the Ineos squad, between 2012 and 2015.

Porte is currently racing for Trek-Segafredo in the South of France in the Route d’Occitanie. Earlier this year, he won the Tour Down Under.

Richie Porte:

bora
BORA – hansgrohe Signs Nils Politt
The 26-year-old rider from Cologne has signed a contract for the next three years and will reinforce BORA – hansgrohe’s Classics squad, as well as shine as an all-rounder.

“It’s great that this has finally worked out. We have been interested in Nils previously, that’s certainly no secret. I think that the consistent path that BORA – hansgrohe has been following was ultimately part of what convinced him. As a German top team, we’d of course like to have all the top German riders under contract, but we are still looking for international talent. Our goal is not to become a German national team, but rather to win the WorldTour. Nils will of course be vital in strengthening our Classics squad, but we still also see a lot of potential in him generally as a rider. We want to fully develop this potential over the coming years, as we have already done with riders such as Pascal, Emu and Max.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

“I’m really very happy. In a way, it’s like being reunited with my friends from the early days, and that made the decision quite easy for me. I’ve known several of the riders in the team for a number of years and I’m looking forward to racing with them. For the Classics, we’ll have an enormously strong team next year, and that’s also a new situation for me. Over the past few years, I have been more of a lone warrior, so to speak, in those races. Tactically, this will definitely provide us with a vast array of opportunities. What Ralph Denk has achieved over the past few years is incredibly impressive. BORA – hansgrohe is one of the very top squads and I hope that I can develop further as a rider within the team.”Nils Politt.

Nils Politt in Roubaix:
politt

mitchelton
Impey Chooses Chris Froome and Israel Start-Up Nation
Daryl Impey could have extended his contract with Mitchelton-Scott, but the 35-year-old South African accepted the offer he received from Israel Start-Up Nation. He will be Chris Froome’s teammate for the next two years.

“I feel I have to step out of my comfort zone after nine years with the same team,” said Impey in the Israel Start-Up Nation press release. “I thank Michelton-Scott for the friendship, the great memories and the successes we had together, but I want to make a fresh start. Although I have to admit, it was not an obvious decision.”

“But it feels like a great challenge to work with a new team, with renewed energy and new ambitions. I will be given the opportunity here to take on a leadership role and become more responsible. Here I can pass on my experience that I have gained over the last decade to the young people.”

The team management sees an important role for Impey. “He can go for his own results, but he also becomes important in supporting Chris Froome,” says manager Kjell Carlstrom. “In addition, he does indeed bring a wealth of experience. He can certainly become our road captain in the Tour de France, in which we want to make history.”

Impey also started his career alongside Chris Froome at Barloworld (2008-2009). And the fact that Froome is coming to ISN has played an important role in his decision. “You don’t always get the chance to race with one of the greatest in our sport. When Chris called me and told me he trusted me and wanted me by his side, I felt he meant it. I know he can still win the Tour. The idea that I can play an important role in this is fantastic.”

Daryl Impey – Tour stage win:
impey

bahrain
Iván García Confirms Departure from Bahrain McLaren
Iván García will not ride for Bahrain McLaren next season. The Spaniard does not yet want to say where exactly his future lies, he told sports newspaper AS of his move.

The 24-year-old García will announce this month which team he will ride for in 2021. Several teams are interested in the fast-man, who has a preference for the spring classics. The rider hopes to make a decision before the Tour de France, he announced at the beginning of July to the Spanish website, Biciciclismo.

“Together with my managers Egoi Martínez and Ángel Edo I talked to teams and we looked at the different possibilities,” said García, who was previously linked to Movistar. The rider responded to the transfer rumour. “I like that some journalists know more about me than I do.”

García made his debut for Bahrain-Merida in 2017 and took two wins for the WorldTour team. In 2019 he won a stage in the Tour of California, this season he beat Peter Sagan for a stage win in Paris-Nice.

Iván García – Paris-Nice stage 3 win:
cortina nice

jumbo-visma
Affini Strengthens Team Jumbo-Visma Selection
Edoardo Affini is a new addition to Team Jumbo-Visma for next year. The twenty-four-year-old Italian signs for three seasons with the Dutch World Tour team.

Affini is in his second year as a professional cyclist with Mitchelton-Scott and will transfer to Team Jumbo-Visma in 2021. The Italian won the bronze medal at the European time trial championship in Alkmaar last year. Affini is the third new rider for Team Jumbo-Visma, after Gijs Leemreize and David Dekker were previously contracted.

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman sees an important role for Affini in the selection. “We always like to add a rider like Affini to our team. Edoardo will assist Wout van Aert in the classics and he will get a place in the sprint train of Dylan Groenewegen. In addition, he is a talented time trialist. The team will certainly help him to get even better in that discipline. We think that with our guidance he can develop into a world class time trial rider.”

Edoardo Affini is happy with his transfer. “When Team Jumbo-Visma called, I knew this was a great opportunity. This is a good step for me. The conversations with the team showed that they have a lot of confidence in me. I can develop well here and that is very important to me. There are a number of very experienced riders from whom I can learn a lot. I’m in my second year as a pro, but this season is of course very special. Hopefully from next season on I will experience great moments in the shirt of Team Jumbo-Visma.”

Edoardo Affini:
affini

ag2r
Stan Dewulf and Gijs Van Hoecke Sign for Two Years
Belgians Stan Dewulf (Lotto Soudal), 22, and Gijs Van Hoecke (Team CCC), 28, have signed up for two years beginning on January 1, 2021, with the AG2R-La Mondiale team which will become AG2R Citroën Team on that date.

Stan Dewulf: “After five years with Lotto Soudal, I am ready to start a new stage in my career! I still have to improve my French, but I am very enthusiastic! I quickly got hooked by the team’s project and know I still have a lot to learn about the classics. I think my temperament is similar to Oliver’s. I’m here to do the best I can but keep my feet on the ground. I won Paris-Roubaix in the U23 category and that is the race that continues to make me dream. I really want to shine there. You either worship the race, or you hate it. I fall into the first category.”

In brief:
Belgian
Born 20/12/1997, 22 years old
Professional since 2019
Winner Paris-Roubaix U23 (2018), 2nd at the Tour de Bretagne (2018), 6th Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 (2018).

dewulf
Stan Dewulf off to AG2R

Gijs Van Hoecke: “I know Oliver very well; we were almost neighbours at one time. We raced together as juniors but also at Topsport. I am very happy to join him and his brother Lawrence and bring my experience in the classics. AG2R-La Mondiale is a team with a great and long history. And the arrival of a sponsor like Citroën next year is great news. I live on the Ronde Van Vlaanderen course, so that is the race that makes me dream. I don’t think I could win it, but I would do anything to help one of the leaders win.”

In brief:
Belgian
Born 12/11/1991, 28 years old
Professional since 2012
6th Tour de Slovaquie (2019), 18th BinckBank Tour (2018).

Vincent Lavenu: “Stan is one of the greatest Belgian hopes for the classics and signing him will further strengthen our ambitions in this area. He won Paris-Roubaix U23 in 2018, which proves his skills. For Gijs, Oliver Naesen wanted a rider to protect him in strategic moments in the classics. Gijs is a perfect example of a rider who excels at that sort of job, and he is willing to give everything to protect his leader. He will be a hugely valuable teammate.”

Gijs Van Hoecke:
Gijs Van Hoecke

paule ka
Leah Thomas extends with Équipe Paule Ka
We are pleased to announce that Leah Thomas will be continuing with Équipe Paule Ka, after having signed a contract extension with the team. The rider from the United States has produced impressive results since joining us last year, including taking the overall win at the Women’s Tour of Scotland, the Pan American ITT Championships, and the Chrono des Nations, as well as stage wins at the Women’s Tour of Scotland and this year’s Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Most recently, she also took third place at Strade Bianche this past weekend.

With such an impressive progression in results, as well as an affinity with the team’s tactical racing style, inking a contract extension was a logical conclusion for the 31-year-old rider.

Leah Thomas remarks: “I am really excited to stay with Équipe Paule Ka. We have a very special group, both on and off the bike, and our aggressive racing tactics fit my strengths as a rider. I know this is the right place for me to continue to develop and improve, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the continued success of the team. I am very grateful to Paule Ka for coming on board for the next four years. Stability is key to developing a good program and I’m excited about what we can build together in the future. I love that the team is about development, that each day we work together to become better than the day before, and I think with that type of mindset, we will be a huge force within the peloton.”

Team Owner, Thomas Campana, reflects on this re-signing: “We are delighted to extend Leah’s contract. She is a rider who routinely makes important contributions to our team, both on and off the bike. Over the past 1.5 years since she joined us, she has grown immensely as a rider, with her podium place in Strade Bianche this past weekend demonstrating the potential which she possesses. It will be exciting to see what else she can achieve along this path, and it is great that riders such as her are able to make significant sportive developments as part of our team. We’re looking forward to continuing to facilitate such improvements in her career and helping her to achieve her full potential on the bike.”

Leah Thomas:
thomas

cofidis
Anthony Perez Extends Contract with Cofidis
Anthony Perez will race for the next two seasons for Cofidis. The 29-year-old rider has been riding for the French formation since 2016. Perez won the opening stage of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var this year.

Perez, who will start the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge on Thursday, is a happy man. “I am happy that I will also be part of the team next year. We have now joined the WorldTour and it is important to get even better and get the most out of it. Fortunately, we have two charismatic leaders with Elia Viviani and Guillaume Martin.”

“It is really great to race with these riders. I hope to book the necessary victories myself, although I also like to race in the service of other riders. Think of the most recent edition of Paris-Nice, when I had the task of helping Nicolas Edet in his battle for the mountain jersey. I also had to assist Martin as well as possible in the mountains.”

Team manager Cédric Vasseur praises his rider. “Anthony is a very versatile rider and a model team mate. He has made tremendous progress in recent years and we would like to guide him further.”

Anthony Perez stage win in Luxembourg’17:
Wiltz-Diekirch - Luxembourg - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Anthony Perez (FRA / COFIDIS) takes the stage, 16 VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL / BMC RACING TEAM) finished 2nd., 57 MEURISSE Xandro (BEL / WANTY - GROUPE GOBERT) pictured during Skoda Tour de Luxembourg stage 3 from Eschweile to Wiltz-Diekirch - photo Cor Vos © 2017

arkea
Arkéa-Samsic Extends Five Contracts Until the End of 2021
Emmanuel Hubert, team manager at Arkéa-Samsic, announced five contract extensions on Tuesday: Maxime Bouet, Anthony Delaplace, Romain Hardy, Laurent Pichon and Alan Riou will all stay one more year with the ProTeam.

Hubert calls Maxime Bouet (33) one of the best helpers of the team. “And one that can work a hundred percent for its leaders. Moreover, he is always in a good mood. Not unimportant in the group either,” he said. Anthony Delaplace (30) is a valuable and loyal rider to the manager. “As an attacker he will one day find an opening that will give him the success he deserves.”

Romain Hardy (31) won a stage last year in the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc. “A very complete rider,” Hubert calls him. “He can climb, he is fast in a small group and able to give himself fully to the collective when needed.” Laurent Pichon (34, inset photo) is the trustee of Nacer Bouhanni. “Both next to and in the race. Laurent is a winner to get the sprint train on track.”

Alan Riou (23), the only non-thirty-something in the five to extend his contract for a year. “A young guy who makes progress every season,” said Hubert. “No noise maker and his professional seriousness is praised by everyone. We have already seen him make progress at the beginning of this year and this was confirmed again this week during la Route d’Occitanie.”

With the five extensions, Arkéa-Samsic already has 21 riders under contract for 2021.

Five staying with Arkéa-Samsic:
quintana

black
German Talent dies After Collision
In Germany, the talented cyclist Jan Riedmann died in a road accident. 17-year-old Riedmann was hit by a car that did not give him priority at a crossing during a training ride on Saturday.

Riedmann rode for Team Auto Eder Bayern, the junior feeder team of BORA-hansgrohe. The BORA-hansgrohe riders will wear black ribbons on Saturday in Milan-San Remo.

Jan Riedmann:
riedmann

bicycle relief
Pedal to Empower – World Bicycle Relief Launches Global Ride to Empower Women and Girls

● Cyclists of all levels around the world come together to ride on September 12th

● One goal: Empower women and girls in our backyards and across the globe through the power of bicycles

● Proceeds to benefit international NGO World Bicycle Belief that provides bicycles to girls in rural developing regions to overcome barriers

International NGO World Bicycle Relief (WBR) launches a new global DIY ride to bring together riders of all places, levels, and backgrounds to achieve one common goal: empowering women and girls across the globe. Proceeds to benefit WBR programs to tackle gender inequality through helping girls and women better access education and healthcare through the humble bicycle.

How Pedal to Empower works
Pedal to Empower is open to riders of all abilities, whether you ride around your neighborhood as a family, up a mountain, or on your indoor trainer. Before the event, registrants receive access to a Pedal to Empower app and a virtual Adventure Kit with tools and props to inspire riders along the way. WBR has partnered with route planning app and website Komoot to help users map out the perfect ride.

The challenge is $25 for US residents to enter, and free for other countries. Participants will earn exciting incentives for the different amounts of money they raise.

Registration is now open at www.pedaltoempower.com.

Tackling gender inequality through bikes
Whilst many this year have been able to discover and enjoy the benefits and freedom of cycling, WBR has been continuing their work to get bikes into the hands of those who need them most.

In rural developing communities, distance and lack of mobility constrain access to critical services and opportunities. For women and girls, a bike can help unlock a quality education, well-paid employment, reproductive healthcare, and property rights. By giving a girl a way to get to school safely, for example, a bike can enable them to stay in attendance, receive an education and break the cycle of poverty.

WBR CEO, Dave Neiswander, said: “We’re truly excited to be able to announce Pedal to Empower today, having been inspired not only by the mass uptake in cycling in the previous few months, but by seeing how we can collectively make a difference in the world even in challenging times. We’re looking forward to seeing people all around the world participate on September 12.”

empower

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