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Orihuela - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - sfeer - illustratie pictured during the 70th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2.1) - Stage-1 (ITT) from Orihuela to Orihuela (10.2KM) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2019

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Racing has started in earnest on the European mainland. Stage 1 of the Volta a Valenciana and the GP La Marseillaise reports, results and video, plus the Brico Cross. Too much pressure on Belgian young hope Remco Evenepoel – Top Story. Wildcard announcements for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem and the Dwars door Vlaanderen. Chris Froome to ride the Volta a Catalunya and Geraint Thomas to ride Strade Bianche? Contador Wants Mas as leader of his WorldTour team, Arnaud Démare for Giro’19, no Woman’s Tour de France, teams for Limburg and Graeme Obree looks at UCI banned innovations. Loads of EuroTrash Thursday cycling news.

TOP STORY: Tom Boonen’s Warnings over Remco Evenepoel
“Remco is a class rider,” Tom Boonen said about the young Belgian superstar, Remco Evenepoel. “But all that attention is not healthy.” The ex-champ explained to Humo magazine:“When I made my debut with the pros at the age of nineteen, the cock didn’t crow then.”

Evenepoel recently had his baptism with the pros. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider finished 9th overall in the Vuelta a San Juan, and took the Best Young Rider jersey. “I have never seen a better youth rider, but give him time,” is Boonen’s message.

“All that attention is not healthy”, the former World champion continued. “That man is 19 years old. If it goes bad, that will be hard. However, Remco is a class rider: I do not doubt his qualities at all.”

Boonen is also looking at another talented rider: Jasper Philipsen. “Remco is more of a Tour rider, but for the classics I expect a lot from Jasper. He wins a race at the highest level in his debut year,” Boonen is referring stage 5 of the Tour Down Under. “That was somewhat lost in the hype around Remco.”

Remco Evenepoel has his own views on the subject: “The pressure and expectation are not a problem for me because I really don’t care about it. I’ve just started racing and I’m not in very good shape yet. I think my shape is good but hopefully, I can only get better and better.”

The big star – Remco Evenepoel:

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2019
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) won the opening time trial Stage 1 of the Tour of Valencia in Orihuela on Wednesday. On the 10.2 kilometer course, Norway’s national time trial champion was more than five seconds faster than Ion Izagirre (Movistar), who finished in second place. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) was third. Boasson Hagen also took the first leader’s jersey of the five day stage race.

Boasson Hagen was the only rider to get under the 13 minute barrier, with a time of 12:55. Izagirre was a full 5 seconds slower on the flat course that finished with a twisting 0.6 kilometer summit finish to the Seminary of San Miguel.

Of the favorites that were tipped for the final overall classification: Ion Izagirre (2nd), Dylan Teuns (4th) and Alejandro Valverde (8th) put up strong performances. Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) finished 10th at 19 seconds and Geraint Thomas (Sky) was 13th at 20 seconds, limiting the damage. For David De la Cruz, Roman Kreuziger and Luis Léon Sanchez, didn’t do so well. Young English rider, Harry Tanfield (Katusha-Alpecin), finished in 12th position in the same time as Thomas.

Stage winner and overall leader, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “It is great to get a win again, and so early in the new season too. I was happy with how my ride went and the sensations I felt on our new BMC time trial bike. At first I thought it might end up just being a “good” time, but then I started to get nervous when I was still leading and there were only 10 or so riders left. I am happy with this win, it is a nice way for us and for all our new partners to start the year together.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Ion Izagirre Insausti (Astana): “I had a good feeling during the day. It was my first race for Astana and I’m happy with it. I did a lot of work during the winter, trained hard, we worked very well at the training camps, on the TT position as well. So today I felt good and I think I did a good TT. The first part was very fast while the climb was the place to make the difference. I took a good second place, it is a nice result for me and the team at the start of the season. I think with this result I proved I’m ready to fight for the GC in this race.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very pleased with this result. After a long winter and at the beginning of a new season, you never know where you stand with regards to your physical shape. I had a great feeling during the whole time trial, I could keep my pace really well and this third place is a good start. I did not really expect it because the climb was a little too steep for me. But I could manage on power. It is a result that I, and also the team, can continue to build on. Today was a special day. A new team, a new environment, everything is new to me. But I feel very good in this team, the equipment is great and the preparation was perfect.”

4th on the stage and overall, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida): “I’m happy with the performance of today’s time trial. I can be happy with the shape, you know I was guessing how it was seen it was my first race of the season. Now let’s looking forward to the upcoming stages.”

8th, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “My aim for the day was to try and stay near or inside the top 15, so this result is OK, quite good. I’m close to the top contenders and quite satisfied with today’s effort. Let’s go day-by-day and see what happens this week.”

13th, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It was okay I just lacked that strength really at the end. I tried to go out at a solid pace, but I knew starting that last climb I wasn’t going to have the legs to keep this going all the way to the top. It is what it is and I’m pleased, considering the work I’ve done with no top end (training). I could have ridden it a bit better and saved myself for that climb a little bit more. But that was a good hit out and same again for the next few days.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 1 Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 12:55
2. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 0:05
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 0:08
5. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
6. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:11
7. Pello Bilbao Lopez de Armentia (Spa) Astana at 0:12
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:14
9. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida at 0:18
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 0:19.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 1:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data in 12:55
2. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 0:05
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 0:08
5. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
6. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:11
7. Pello Bilbao Lopez de Armentia (Spa) Astana at 0:12
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:14
9. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida at 0:18
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 0:19.

Valencia stage 1:

GP La Marseillaise 2019
Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie) won the 40th edition of the GP la Marseillaise, the French season opening one-day race on Sunday. Romain Combaud (Delko-Marseille Provence) was 2nd with Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel Cycling Academy) in 3rd at 23 seconds.

The riders were presented with a difficult course for the 4th anniversary edition. The 145 kilometer race that starts and finishes in Marseille, crossed the Col du Pas de la Couelle, the Col de l’Espigoulier, the Col des Bastides, the Pas d’Oullier and the Col de la Ginestre.

The race started in the rain, but Romain Combaud, Anthony Turgis, Julien Antomarchi and Morne van Niekerk managed to escape. After 30 kilometers they had over six and a half minutes with Vital Concept-B & B Hôtels setting the pace for the peloton.

At the base of the Pas d’Oullier, the leaders had a lead of three and a half minutes. Combaud and Turgis attacked on the penultimate climb and started the final climb with two and a half minutes. Several teams started to chase, which reduced the margin to a minute and a half as they entered the last 10 kilometers. The lead dropped as they got closer to the finish, but in the end the pair held off the peloton.

Anthony Turgis, who moved from Cofidis for Direct Energie, gave his new employer the victory in his first race. Romain Combaud was second. Van Asbroeck won the bunch sprint for third place.

GP La Marseillaise Result:
1. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Direct Energie in 3:39:47
2. Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence
3. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:23
4. Julien Trarieux (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence
5. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Cofidis
6. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
7. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
10. Aime De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert.


Brico Cross – Maldegem 2019
Mathieu van der Poel gave his rainbow jersey an airing in the Brico Cross in Maldegem on Tuesday. In the penultimate lap, the Dutch cyclo-cross World champion decided the race by overtaking Toon Aerts in the sand using a handy maneuver. Then he rode to the finish undisturbed.

Mathieu van der Poel had the best start and then let his brother David take over. That immediately raised the speed. On the second lap they made a gap together with Michael Vanthourenhout and Eli Iserbyt. Belgian champion Toon Aerts and Lars van der Haar eventually joined them.

Wout van Aert, rode his last cross of this season, had a bad start and had to chase. He would eventually ended in 8th place.

New world champion Mathieu van der Poel wanted to show his rainbow and took the lead on the fifth lap. The race seemed to be over, Michael Vanthourenhout managed to close to the World champion. Lars van der Haar and Toon Aerts also caught the leaders. Aerts then took a small lead on the 7th of 9 laps, which caused Van der Poel to sprint. The Dutchman then took advantage of the sand section and came round Aerts and dropped him.

The battle for victory was over and Van der Poel was able to ride to the finish without being threatened. Vanthourenhout sprinted to 2nd place, ahead of Aerts in 3rd. Van der Haar looked like he might get on the podium, but a fall at the last corner finished his chances and he finished in 4th place.

Brico Cross – Maldegem Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) in 56:37
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) at 0:15
3. Show Aerts (Bel)
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) at 0:25
5. David van der Poel (Ned) at 0:38
6. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) at 0:38
7. Michael Boros (CZ) at 1:10
8. Wout van Aert (Bel) at 1:21
9. Tom Meeusen (Bel) at 1:35
10. Felipe Orts (Spa) at 1:46.

Brico cross’19:

Tour of Flanders 2019 Wildcards
Corendon-Circus and Direct Energie are two of the seven teams that has received a wildcard for the Tour of Flanders. For the Corendon-Circus team, which should include Mathieu van der Poel, it will be the first participation in the Belgian classic. Direct Energie, the team of defending champion Niki Terpstra, didn’t ride last year.

Mathieu van der Poel announced at a press conference in December that the Tour of Flanders was one of the races he wanted to ride in 2019. “I am looking forward to the Tour of Flanders,” Van der Poel said. “That is a monument, that speaks the whole world to the imagination. That is something unique.”

Direct Energie, with Niki Terpstra, also received a Wildcard due to his impressive solo win last year. In addition: Cofidis, Roompot-Charles, Sport Flanders-Baloise, Vital Concept-B & B Hotels and Wanty-Gobert also got the green light for the big Belgian Classic.

Ronde van Vlaanderen Wildcards 2019:
Cofidis (Fra)
Corendon-Circus (Bel)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Roompot-Charles (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Vital Concept-B&B Hotels (Fra)
Wanty-Gobert (Bel).

Ronde van Vlaanderen’19:

Gent-Wevelgem 2019 Wildcards
The organizer of Gent-Wevelgem, Flanders Classics, have announced the Wildcard teams for 2019 via social media. The Corendon-Circus team is one of them, which means World cyclo-cross champion, Mathieu van der Poel, could be on the start line.

The Dutch Roompot-Charles team has done very well and has already received wildcards for WorldTour races: the Tour of Catalonia, Paris-Roubaix, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Binck Bank Classic. The other wildcards for Gent-Wevelgem went to the expected teams; four Belgian teams and two French, all ProContinental teams. This includes Direct Energie, the new team of Niki Terpstra. Gent-Wevelgem will be held on March 31st.

Gent-Wevelgem 2019 (March 31) Wildcards:
Cofidis (Fra)
Corendon-Circus (Bel)
Direct Energy (Fra)
Roompot-Charles (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Wallonie-Bruxelles (Bel)
Wanty-Gobert (Bel).

Last year, the win went to Peter Sagan:

No Roompot-Charles in the 2019 Dwars door Vlaanderen
Roompot-Charles has been doing well on the Wildcard front, but has not been invited to the Dwars door Vlaanderen this year. Corendon-Circus – the team of World cross champion Mathieu van der Poel – will be there.

Roompot-Charles has received invites to Paris-Roubaix, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the E3 BinckBank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem. Corendon-Circus is not the only Belgian team that has received a Wildcard. Sport Flanders-Baloise and Wanty-Gobert will also be on the start line on Wednesday 3rd April. Cofidis, Direct Energy, Vital Concept-B & B Hotels and Israel Cycling Academy will join them.

As Dwars door Vlaanderen is now part of the WorldTour, all eighteen WorldTour teams will also be at the start. Last year, the win went to Yves Lampaert for the second year in a row. The Belgian from Deceuninck – Quick-Step defeated Mike Teunissen and Sep Vanmarcke.

Corendon-Circus will have Van der Poel in their start roster as he announced earlier that he will ride the Belgian classic, but probably not the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where his team has also been invited.

Wildcards for Dwars door Vlaanderen (April 3):
Corendon-Circus (Bel)
Cofidis (Fra)
Direct Energy (Fra)
Israel Cycling Academy (Isr)
Sport-Flanders Baloise (Bel)
Vital Concept-B & B Hotels (Fra)
Wanty-Gobert (Bel).

Dwars door Vlaanderen 2018 won by Yves Lampaert:

Chris Froome to Ride the Volta a Catalunya 2019
Chris Froome will participate in the Tour of Catalonia this year. The organization of the WorldTour has announced that the 33-year-old cyclist – who is aiming for a fifth Tour victory in July – will be at the start of the Catalan stage race.

In 2010, Froome first rode the Catalan race, finishing in 71st place in the final classification, at almost 25 minutes down on winner Joaquím Rodríguez. Froome finished in 6th place in 2014, and 8th two years later. This year he will be competing against, among others, World champion and defending champion Alejandro Valverde, plus Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet.

Froome will start his season next one week in Colombia, where he will participate in the National stage race. “I look forward to it. It’s fun to tackle something different.” In addition to Froome, home favorites Egan Bernal and Iván Ramiro Sosa will ride for the Sky team.

Froome in Catalunya 2016:
Olot - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) - Christopher Froome (Team Sky) pictured during Volta a Catalunya 2016 - stage 2 from Mataro to Olot 178.8 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Thomas to Ride Strade Bianche?
There is still a lot of speculation about on Geraint Thomas’ 2019 schedule. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the British Tour winner is thinking of riding the Strade Bianche and a Giro participation seems far away.

At the beginning of this year, Thomas had decided to think of a different approach towards the Tour. “I definitely want to start in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Perhaps I will also participate in the Amstel Gold and the Flèche Walloon. We are going to see, but I want to race in a few big races anyway.”

In addition to the Ardennes classics, Thomas also has the Tour of the Basque Country in his sights, and now maybe also Strade Bianche… if we can believe the Italian sports-paper. Thomas started his season in the Tour of Valencia yesterday with the individual time trial in Orihuela.

2018 Strade Bianche finalé:

Contador Wants Mas as a Leader of Future WorldTour Team
Alberto Contador would like to have Enric Mas as head of his future WorldTour team. “Sometimes I joke with Mas that we want to stay connected and want to set up a WorldTour team with him as the leader”, the Spanish Grand Tour winner told sports-paper AS. “Our dreams can be turned into reality, but it is not an obsession.”

Mas, second in the 2018 Vuelta, has been named as natural successor to Contador. ‘El Pistolero’ himself agrees. “Because I know that the pressure motivates him, that he has already proven his quality with a podium in the Vuelta and continues to grow.”

The former climber is currently busy with his foundation. “We want to promote cycling from the ground up, make a contribution. When we started, Spanish cycling was at a low point. Many teams and competitions were hit by the crisis. Now we seem to have taken the road up,” Contador said proudly. “Valverde prolongs his career and his successes, and behind him come Mas, Marc Soler and Iván Cortina.”

Contador always had the idea to continue growing to the highest level with his continental team Kometa. “We are ready,” said Contador. “We have everything in order to enter the WorldTour in 2020. We only need to get a sponsor with more economic means.” The Spaniard does not want it to be at the expense of the children he also supports with his foundation.

Enric Mas:

Démare to Giro 2019
Arnaud Démare returns to the Giro d’Italia after two years of absence. The French Groupama-FDJ sprinter will go for stage success.

In his previous two participations in the Giro, Démare did not get better than a second place, achieved in 2016. In the coming Italian Grand Tour, the Frenchman will have to battle Pascal Ackermann, Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan in the hunt for sprint success.

Arnaud Démare:

Prudhomme: “Tour de France for Woman in July is Impossible”
For the time being there will not be a multi-day Tour de France for women at the same time as the men’s race. ASO director Christian Prudhomme calls this option impossible in connection with safety, he told the Bistrot Vélo program.

“I would not know how to organize a second event during the Tour de France”, Prudhomme explains. “We do not know and we would never get permission. It is impossible to do.”

Especially in the area of ​​safety for riders and public it seems a mission impossible. Last season, nearly 30,000 gendarmes, police officers and firefighters were deployed to look after La Grande Boucle. “We organize many other competitions and want to develop women’s cycling, but this is a no. Simply because we do not know how to do that during the Tour de France”, said Prudhomme.

Since 2014 ASO has been organizing the one-day La Course for women, on the course of one of the men’s stages. So, for the time being, there will not be a stage race at the same time as the men’s Tour. This year ‘La Course’ will take place on July 19 in Pau.

La Course 2018:

Seven ProContinental Teams for the Volta Limburg Classic
The UCI 1.1 Volta Limburg Classic will have seven ProContinental teams at the start this year. This is a boost for the race, although there will be no WorldTour teams.

No WorldTour teams might not be such a bad thing. “Of course we are disappointed that no World Tour team has opted for the Volta Limburg Classic. However, the World Tour teams that have appeared at the start in the past two years did not play any significant role in the final,” said course director Roy Packbier.

Over the past two years, the victory went to a ProContinental rider. In 2017 to Marco Canola from Nippo-Vini Fantini and last year to Jan Tratnik from CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Both teams will not be there, along with Roompot-Charles, Wanty-Gobert and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise will be at the start. The Volta Limburg Classic will be held on Saturday, April 6th, the day before the Tour of Flanders.

Participating teams Volta Limburg Classic 2019 (provisional)

Israel Cycling Academy (Isr)
Riwal Readynez (Den)
Roompot-Charles (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Vital Concept-B & B Hotels (Fra)
Wallonie-Bruxelles (Bel)
Wanty-Gobert (Bel).

Alecto (Ned)
BEAT Cycling Club (Ned)
Metec-TKH (Ned)
Monkey Town-à Bloc Ned)
Tarteletto-Isorex (Bel)
Team Sunweb (Ger).

Volta Limburg Classic 2018:

Endura “Banned by the UCI”
It was a good run. First unleashed onto the WorldTour in 2015 at the Vuelta a España, the Surface Silicone Topography (aka SST) technology has been banned by the UCI for use in their competitions – it’s just too fast.

Who better to look at some of the other revolutionary designs that have been banned by the sport’s governing body than Endura’s Disruptor in Chief, Graeme Obree, no stranger to the UCI’s notorious technological whims.


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