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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

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No Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, but we still have the Itzulia Basque Country and the Scheldeprijs with reports and video. Peter Sagan off to Patrick Lefevere’s team in 2022 – TOP STORY. Other news: Remco Evenepoel signs with Deceuninck – Quick-Step for 5 more years, Peter Sagan to ride the Tour de Romandie, Jake Stewart supports Nacer Bouhanni, Kasper Asgreen has interest from other teams and Julien Vermote signs with Alpecin-Fenix. Sergio Henao, Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ out of races due to covid. Plus the up to date UCI Team Ranking and behind the scenes at the Ronde van Vlaanderen video. EUROTRASH coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Sagan on his way to Deceuninck – Quick-Step?
According to the French paper L’Équipe, there is a good chance that Peter Sagan is in his last months at BORA-hansgrohe. The Slovak’s manager, Giovanni Lombardi, is said to have already spoken with a possible new employer: Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

However, according to Patrick Lefevere, the team manager of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, there has not yet been talks with the ‘camp Sagan’. “Not a word has been said about him yet, so I can’t say anything sensible about it. Whether Sagan would be an interesting rider? Yes, according to my conditions,” quotes Het Nieuwsblad.

L’Équipe went big yesterday with the possible transfer for Sagan to Deceuninck – Quick-Step. If we are to believe the French sports newspaper, there has already been contact between the manager of three-time world champion (ex-pro Lombardi) and the Belgian team. Bicycle manufacturer Specialized has a contract with Sagan and both BORA-hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step ride bikes from Specialized, Sagan has long been one of the biggest ‘shop windows’ of the bike brand. The biggest problem seems to be Sagan’s salary, he reportedly earns five million euros a year.

Sagan is currently in his fifth season with BORA-hansgrohe and the question is whether both parties still see a common future. “If he (referring to Ralph Denk) Thinks he no longer needs me to win matches for the team, I will be the first to try to find a team that really wants me,” Sagan said recently.

sanremo sagan

 

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Itzulia Basque Country 2021
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) won Stage 1 and took the lead in the Tour of the Basque Country. The Slovenian was the best in a difficult time trial of 13.9 kilometres through Bilbao. He beat Brandon McNulty (UAE Emirates) and teammates Jonas Vingegaard and Tobias Foss. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was 5th at 28 seconds.

basque tour

Jumbo-Visma started Primož Roglič early, while Tadej Pogačar was the last to start. There was three hours between the two favourites, and the weather could change considerably. Primož Roglič finished in 17:17, an average speed of 48.2kph over the 13.9 kilometres, setting the top time for everyone to go for. The Jumbo-Visma team was on fire, man-in-form Jonas Vingegaard recorded a time of 17:35, good for the second fastest time. Tobias Foss was third fastest with 17:41.

The first rider to go under Roglič’s time at the intermediate check, after 4.7 kilometres was Brandon McNulty. He was 5 seconds faster than the Slovenian, but lost 7 seconds on the descent and the final climb. Roglič kept his place in the hot seat by two seconds. Adam Yates also looked to be making a bid for a top time, but the INEOS Grenadiers rider lost 28 seconds at the finish. Pogačar, the Slovenian time trial champion, started well and was slightly slower than his teammate McNulty at the intermediate point. Pogačar was 2 seconds faster than Roglič, but on the descent and the final climb the winner of the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico lost time. At the finish the difference was 28 seconds to his Jumbo-Visma rival. Pogačar finished in fifth place in the stage result behind Roglič, McNulty, Vingegaard and Foss. BORA-hansgrohe rider Ide Schelling finished nicely in eighth place.

Adam Yates finished at 0:28, Maximilian Schachmann at 0:31, Wilco Kelderman 0:36, Marc Hirschi 0:37, Pello Bilbao 0:38, Jakob Fuglsang 0:39, Mauri Vansevenant 0:43 and Alejandro Valverde lost 0:43. Other climbers like Richard Carapaz, Emanuel Buchmann, Mikel Landa, Sergio Higuita, Michael Woods, Ion Izagirre, Hugh Carthy, Tao Geoghegan Hart, David Gaudu, Enric Mas, Bauke Mollema, Guillaume Martin and Esteban Chaves lost 45 seconds or more on Roglič.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very happy with this victory and with my performance today. It’s always special and beautiful when you win. It was a very good day for us. The time trial here is always tough and I like to race in the Basque Country. The course was a nice challenge with a mix of climbs, descents, fast turns and a steep wall at the end. It is a great start for us, but we will have a tough week ahead of us. The field here is really strong and the next stages are going to be very tough.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates): “It was pretty much a case of going full gas on the first climb, recovering a bit on the descent and then just giving it all on the last kick. I’m really happy with this result. Obviously I got close to the win which would have been amazing , but I gave it my all so no regrets. We’re in a really good situation now with me and Tadej high up on GC and looking forward to the days ahead.”

5th on the stage and overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I am quite happy with my ride and I am confident for the next stages. I set out probably a little bit too hard but I still managed to finish well so the legs are good. In the rankings 28 seconds separate me from the first position, but in a hard race like this things can change quickly and in this region the weather can also be unpredictable so anything can happen. Brandon did a great ride too so we are happy with the team performance.”

8th on the stage and overall, Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe): “After the Tour of Catalunya, I took it as easy as possible, so I was pretty fresh at the start today. The parcours suited me very well, with the two climbs and the long descent, but I honestly didn’t expect to net such a result. Today was the first time that I really rode full throttle in the individual time trial, and of course it’s nice to be rewarded with a top-10 finish.”

Itzulia Basque Country Stage 1 Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 17:17
2. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:02
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:18
4. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:24
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:28
6. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:29
9. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:30
10. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:31.

Itzulia Basque Country Overall After Stage 1:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 17:17
2. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:02
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:18
4. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:24
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:28
6. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:29
9. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:30
10. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:31

Stage 1:

 

Alex Aranburu won Stage 2 of the Tour of the Basque Country on Tuesday. After 155 kilometres, the Astana-Premier Tech Basque crossed the finish line in Sestao solo. Aranburu escaped from an elite group on the descent of the final climb, taking his first victory of the season.

basque21 st2

Martijn Tusveld, Kevin Vermaerke (both DSM), Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Ben Gastauer (AG2R Citroën), Mikel Iturria (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Óscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH) and Jon Irisarri (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) made up the early escape of the day. They soon had a 4 minute lead as Jumbo-Visma and Movistar controlled the peloton. As La Asturiana (7.4km at 6.5%) approached the second category, the lead decreased further and further. The seven started with a half-minute lead to the climb, with the foot 20 kilometres from the finish. Just before that, there was a moment of shock for Wilco Kelderman, who fell but could continue with some scrapes on the hand. Guillaume Martin was also unlucky; he had to change bikes. At La Asturiana it was Cabedo from Burgos-BH who attacked in the leading group. In the peloton, Movistar set the pace, but the first serious acceleration was from David Gaudu and Tadej Pogačar. Richard Carapaz also tried, but he fell on a steep corner. As a result, Gaudu and Pogačar made a gap on the steepest part of the climb. The favourites group, including leader Primož Roglič, kept them in their sights and closed three kilometres before the top.

A second attempt by Pogačar also failed, after which Maximilian Schachmann rode away. Roglič, Brandon McNulty and Sergio Higuita jumped on the twisty part of the climb. The four took 10 seconds, but lost the lead on the descent. Alex Aranburu then attacked from the big elite group. The Basque took more than half a minute and was helped by his teammates, who disturbed the chase. Aranburu had finished 30 seconds behind Roglič in the opening time trial and could be looking at the leader’s jersey. BORA-hansgrohe, EF Education-Nippo and BikeExchange all tried to take the lead for the last steep final kilometre. Aranburu held them all off on the final climb. The favourites group finished at 15 seconds, led in by Omar Fraile, who gave Astana-Premier Tech a one-two finish. Tadej Pogačar crossed the line third. Primož Roglič finished sixth in the same time to keep his leader’s jersey. Aranburu is now second overall, 5 seconds behind Roglič. McNulty, Pogacar and Yates then follow within half a minute.

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Stage winner and 2nd overall, Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech): “We knew that there would be some movements on the final climb but the downhill was also very important. On the last part of the climb Omar tried and when they counterattacked him, it was my turn to try. I could make a small gap and then I went full gas until the finish. It’s my first victory in a World Tour race. I started well this season but I hadn’t won any races yet. To win at home at Itzulia Basque Country is very special. The team had very good results this year but not a win yet so it’s always nice, even more if it is at home. I try to be a better rider, year after year. This season I had more confidence and experience for the Classics, and yesterday I also did a good time trial. I’ll try to do my best and let’s see where it takes me. There are still a lot of hard stages to come. I have a good position on GC but we also have strong riders in the team to go for it. We’ll see day by day. I never thought about coming to Itzulia and fighting for GC but I feel good and I also felt good yesterday. Let’s see day by day and we’ll see where it takes us.”

6th on the stage and overall leader, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m happy that I still have the yellow jersey. It was a very tough stage. In the beginning some rain, cold and sometimes the roads were very slippery. The race was full throttle all day. On the final climb I felt good and attacked. I was in the lead with a good group, but unfortunately we got caught. I feel good and I am glad I can compete with the best again.”

2nd overall, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a very difficult final. There was a lot of stress in the peloton towards the last climb. It went full throttle in the last hour, but I’m glad how it went. I climb well and surprised myself a bit that I could follow the best, but I think it was a good day. Tadej and I were able to complement each other well. He attacked a few times and so did I. That is a good tactic for us.”

3rd on the stage and 4th overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “Today was a hard day on the bike. The conditions were tough so we focussed on keeping ourselves warm and keeping a good position in the bunch. We started the last climb in a good position and myself and McNulty tried to get away. In the end Hirschi put me in the right place for the sprint and we were able to take some bonus seconds on the line.”

7th on the stage and 6th overall, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I thought that we had a good chance today. However, the roads were wet and slippery and we were all taking precautions to avoid crashing. I was good on the downhill and attacked the group of favourites on the last longer climb. It wasn’t an insane pace but it was nevertheless hard, so I thought that I should just go for it. Ultimately, I lacked that little bit extra in the sprint, but the form is still clearly quite good.”

Break rider and 37th on the stage, Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Interestingly enough, today team’s plan was to have a rider in the breakaway, and for me it was about saving energy for the uphill final that suited me. But I found myself riding really hard in front, in a group of over four riders, so I received the green light to go. The group was strong, we resisted until the last climb, and my legs were really good as I almost made it to the top of La Asturiana with the best. I wanted to take the most out of this day up front, so I went for the KOM points and here I am second in the standings, tied with Schachmann. I am very motivated and this jersey could become a goal, in any case I will not exclude it in the days to come.”

Itzulia Basque Country Stage 2 Result:
1. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech in 3:45:32
2. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:15
3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
4. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
7. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
9. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar.

Itzulia Basque Country Overall After Stage 2:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 4:03:04
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:05
3. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:24
5. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:28
6. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:31
7. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:32
8. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:34
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:40
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 0:42.

Stage 2:

 

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won Stage 3 of the Tour of the Basque Country on Wednesday. On the steep final climb to Ermualde, the Slovenian beat his fellow countryman Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in a two-up sprint. Roglič kept hold of the yellow jersey.

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On the first climb, to Altube, a leading group with six men formed: Mikkel Honoré, Larry Warbasse, Oier Lazkano, Daniel Navarro, Roger Adrià and Gotzon Martín were eventually joined by Felix Gall. Of these seven, Honoré was best placed overall. After two days, the Dane was 26th at 1:25 from leader Roglič. The escape had a maximum lead of 7 minutes, as Roglič’s teammates set the pace. They had help from Israel Start-Up Nation, which had plans with Michael Woods. The lead of the group started to decline. Heading into the tough last 20 kilometres, the peloton split, with Adam Yates missing the move, although he was able to quickly catch the group. With 27 kilometres to race, Lazkano jumped out of the leading group and a little later Honoré did the same. However, it did not take long before the peloton had the attackers in sight and on the climb of the Malkuartu, 12 kilometres from the finish, all escapees were caught. Israel Start-Up Nation, for Woods, set the pace on the climb with ramps of up to 14%. Richard Carapaz, Jakob Fuglsang and Ion Izagirre also hit the front, but there was no attack and so the battle for the stage victory would be on the final climb. Woods and Wilco Kelderman crashed going through the narrow, winding Llodio, both riders lost their chance of the win. Just before the climb, Sergio Higuita, Magnus Cort and Carapaz took a small lead and were joined by Ben O’Connor.

Cort dropped out on the first metres of the climb, while Mauri Vansevenant tried to make the connection with the three front riders. But in the first 500 metres, UAE Team Emirates brought it all together again. When the slope started to rise, Tadej Pogačar attacked. Carapaz and Roglič responded. Then Carapaz attacked. While everyone on the steep forest path were gritting their teeth, the Ecuadorian grabbed a lead. On a steep section, Pogačar and Roglič closed the gap. They attacked one after another, but no one got away. Adam Yates, Mikel Landa and Vansevenant managed to catch the two at the front. Landa was next to give it a try, but Pogačar and Roglič jumped on his wheel. David Gaudu also joined them. The Frenchman attacked in the last kilometre, but he was no match for Roglič’s power. The yellow jersey made his move at 500 metres from the finish with Pogačar on his wheel. When the road flattened they both sprinted for the line, but it was the UAE Team Emirates leader who crossed the line first. Thanks to the bonuses, Pogačar moved up to second place overall, 20 seconds behind Roglič, still in yellow.

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Stage winner and second overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “In the morning we had gone by car to see the finish and the team manager Matxin had explained the route to me well, so I was aware of the toughness of the climb and I knew that it would be crucial to be in first position on the final crest to launch well into the final meters downhill towards the finish. This success makes me very happy because, after racing here in the Basque Country two years ago, I have always had the ambition to come back and do well : it is a very beautiful race and the enthusiasm of the fans is really amazing. There are still three days of racing, all quite hard. I’m pretty optimistic because the condition is good and the team is racing very well together.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m happy that I’m doing well and that I’m still in the lead. I have to be vigilant for any attacks in the coming days. We have to look at it day by day. The big goal is to win this race. In the end, it doesn’t matter to me if I win with one second or with a five minute difference.”

Itzulia Basque Country Stage 3 Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 4:04:50
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:05
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
6. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:08
7. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:16
8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
9. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18.

Itzulia Basque Country Overall After Stage 3:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 8:07:48
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20
3. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:30
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:54
7. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 1:00
8. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 1:08
9. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:09
10. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Stage 3:

 

scheldeprijs
Scheldeprijs 2021
Jasper Philipsen won the 109th Scheldeprijs on Wednesday. In Schoten, the fast man of Alpecin-Fenix, after a hectic race, beat the Deceuninck – Quick-Step pair of Sam Bennett and Mark Cavendish in the final sprint.

scheldeprijs

Due to the strong wind, the pace was very high. A crash split the peloton and for Kristoffer Halvorsen, Frederik Frison, Ward Vanhoof and Florian Maitre, the race was over. The race continued in echelons and it was only after 43 kilometres that everything came back together. More than 50 kilometres were covered in the first hour. Another crash caused another split in the peloton. The front group consisted of thirteen men, including Pascal Ackermann, Sam Bennett, Danny van Poppel, Giacomo Nizzolo and Jasper Philipsen. Merlier, Alexander Kristoff, Cees Bol, Elia Viviani and Degenkolb were missing from the front. Kristoff and Merlier were in the first chasing group of fifteen riders, along with Florian Sénéchal. Kristoff and Merlier crashed on their way to the circuit around Schoten, and lost their chances. Although Deceuninck – Quick-Step was represented in the front with Sam Bennett and Michael Mørkøv, the team was very keen to have their men Florian Sénechal, Bert Van Lerberghe and Mark Cavendish in the chasing group. Even before the local laps, the first groups came together for a large leading group of thirty men.

The leading group crossed the finish for the first time with fifty kilometres to go, with the peloton more than 2 minutes behind. With Ackermann, with four teammates, Bennett, with four teammates, Sarreau, Van Poppel, Bol, Nizzolo and Philipsen at the front, it seemed the winner would be from the first group. In the first lap everyone kept their powder dry and so the difference at the start of the second lap was still 2 minutes. Cofidis and Israel Start-Up Nation didn’t want to just accept the situation and kept putting pressure on from behind. In the second lap, Cofidis and Israel Start-Up Nation, along with Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB and UAE Team Emirates helped the chase. Nevertheless, the leading group, with the men from BORA-hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step, entered the final lap with a lead of 1:40. With a view to the final sprint, those teams stopped anyone getting away, the wind also helped. Piotr Havik opened the final action at 2 kilometres out. Brent Van Moer also tried to escape, but Deceuninck – Quick-Step stopped all the attacks. With just over a kilometre to go, order was restored. Deceuninck – Quick-Step were going to help Bennett to another victory. Alpecin-Fenix had its own train with Dries De Bondt and Jonas Rickaert for Philipsen. The trains rode side-by-side towards the finish, but Bennett became trapped. Philipsen was very strong and managed to hold off the Irishman to the finish. Bennett finished second, his teammate Cavendish took third place. This was Philipsen’s first victory of the season.

scheldeprijs

Race winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “We couldn’t do better today. This is a great victory for me and for the team. I am proud of this. In the beginning we had too much tailwind, so no echelons were created. But at one point the wind was good. This created a small group with almost all fast men. Hardly anyone was surprised. It was a bit unfortunate that Tim crashed out of the race like that. If he hadn’t crashed he would always have been there and we would have a second man here in the sprint. The team wanted to score today anyway.”

4th, Danny Van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Today’s race was very nervous. In Zealand it was echelon time. I was well-positioned and later on I was happy to see that my teammate Jonas Koch was able to join me in the first group. We were both ready for the final. Jonas did an excellent job by dropping me off in a good position for the sprint. Unfortunately I got closed so in the beginning of the sprint, I couldn’t give my all. That’s a shame because I sprinted really fast at the end. Right after the finish line I was a bit disappointed because I had gotten so close to the podium but I quickly realised this was a solid performance, to say the least. Mainly because this is a nice place of honour. This might have been my best spring campaign ever, I rode the finals of GP LE Samyn and Gent-Wevelgem but my results never reflected how good I really was. Now that I finally have this fourth place, I am quite satisfied. I feel Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is the right team for me and I’m glad to give something back to them. Everyone, staff as well as team mates, supports me and that’s not the case in every cycling team.”

6th, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I am disappointed. We have been boxed in on the left side but planned to stay right. I also lost the wheel of Rudi then and in the end I had no chance from where I had to start my sprint. Actually, I was fast on the last meters, but from where I started it wasn’t enough.”

Crash victim, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix): “Annoying, but in the end Philipsen would be drawn. Nice that he finishes it. I couldn’t avoid Kristoff (in the crash). Even though I wouldn’t have sprinted today. At the team meeting this morning it was decided that we would draw the Philipsen card. Had I been there (at the finish), I would do the sprint for him. It’s great that Jasper also finished it.”

Scheldeprijs Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:03:30
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
6. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie.

Scheldeprijs’21

 

deceuninck
Remco Evenepoel signs for five extra years with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The 21-year-old will continue to be a member of the Wolfpack, an important step for the future of the team.

Remco Evenepoel inked a new deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step – the most successful team of the past decade – that will see him sport the squad’s jersey for five more years. Despite turning pro just two years ago, the Belgian has already amassed an eye-catching palmarès that includes the European ITT Championships, Clasica San Sebastian and five stage races. In total, since the beginning of the 2019 season, he claimed 14 victories for the team, breaking several records along the way.

“I feel really honoured to put pen to paper for the next five years. As Patrick told me, this is the longest agreement he has ever signed with a rider. I’m really proud and happy to stay in this wonderful team, where I have already enjoyed a lot of success, and hopefully we can reach our big dreams. I love it here! The environment, the staff, the riders, everything feels so familiar. For me it’s just a dream, again, that comes true. That’s why I feel really, really happy and excited for what the future holds,” a beaming Remco Evenepoel said.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was equally delighted after the new contract was signed: “It’s an important step for the future, for the team. Everybody knows what Remco is capable of and how talented he is. As he said, he’s happy, and one of my most important roles is to keep him happy and to put the right people around him. Because I know from experience, and I think I have some after a small 40 years in the sport, that happy people perform better than unhappy people. We’re glad Remco continues with the Wolfpack, and as he said, we hope we’ll enjoy many more great moments together.”

Things looking good for Evenepoel and Lefevere:
evenepoel

 

bora
Peter Sagan to Ride Tour de Romandie in the Run-up to Giro d’Italia
Peter Sagan will prepare in the Tour de Romandie (April 27-May 2) for the Giro d’Italia (May 8-30), reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Slovak has ridden the Swiss stage race only once before. For his first participation in the Tour de Romandie, we have to go back to his debut year in 2010. Sagan was riding for the Italian Liquigas team and had only just broken through at the very highest level. That year Sagan won the stage to Fleurier and also finished second in the stages to Porrentruy and Châtel.

Sagan was infected with the corona virus earlier this year. The BORA-hansgrohe rider was unable to train and race for several weeks, but started again in Tirreno-Adriatico. He then rode Milan-San Remo, the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of Flanders. In the Italian spring classic, Sagan finished fourth, while he won a stage in the Volta a Catalunya. Sagan had to settle for 15th place in Oudenaarde.

Sagan coming in to form:
sagan

 

groupama
Jake Stewart Supports Nacer Bouhanni
Jake Stewart is fully behind Nacer Bouhanni on social media. The British rider of the Groupama-FDJ team had a run-in with the Frenchman last week in the sprint in Cholet-Pays de la Loire, but now that Bouhanni has received racist threats, Stewart has spoken out. “In this world there is no place for racism,” he wrote.

“Despite the disagreement we recently had, it should be clear that I am now behind Nacer Bouhanni,” said 21-year-old Stewart. “We agree or disagree on certain things, but what we don’t need to ask questions about is racism. The threats and racism directed at Nacer last week is absolutely regrettable. In this world there is no place for racism. I want to say to all so-called ‘fans’ of cycling who wrote these messages that they are not welcome here,” he said on Twitter. On Monday, Bouhanni announced that he will report the racist messages he received on social media after his dangerous manoeuvre in the sprint in the GP Cholet.

Bouhanni’s Arkéa-Samsic team supports its leader and Groupama-FDJ, Bouhanni’s former employer and current team of Jake Stewart, has also expressed its support. “His statements in L’Equipe are important and courageous. We condemn the intolerable and unbearable remarks of which he was the target,” said Groupama-FDJ.

UCI Supports Nacer Bouhanni in Racism Case
The UCI has rallied behind Nacer Bouhanni, who has been confronted with racist reports in recent days after his much-discussed sprint in Cholet-Pays de la Loire. “Nothing justifies the insults he has received,”the governing body wrote.

Bouhanni previously lashed out on social media at racist messages he received as a result of last week’s sprint incident. Arkéa-Samsic, Bouhanni’s team, said in a statement that it regrets the racist insults against their rider and expressed their support for the sprinter. Now the UCI has also spoken out against racism. “The UCI would like to make it clear once again that it participates in the fight against racism. Our federation considers inclusiveness and respect for other people of paramount importance and tries to bring this to the attention through various programs.”

There is still a UCI investigation into Bouhanni action in the sprint of Cholet-Pays de la Loire against Stewart. The disciplinary committee will decide which punishment is appropriate. The Arkéa-Samsic rider apologised, but indicated that there was no intention to cause a crash.

Nacer Bouhanni Drops Out of the Scheldeprijs
Nacer Bouhanni did not participate in the 109th edition of the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday. The French sprinter is not ready to participate in the race after a turbulent week, his team Arkéa-Samsic announced on Twitter.

Nacer Bouhanni:
bouhanni

 

deceuninck
Asgreen Wants to Extend Despite Interest from Other Teams
Kasper Asgreen will most likely sign a new contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. The winner of the Tour of Flanders, who is out of his contract with Patrick Lefevere, has not yet done so and is therefore on the ‘want list’ of other teams. “It’s no secret that there is interest from other teams,” he told Feltet.dk.

“This is good timing,” said Asgreen with a smile and a wink about his victory on Sunday. He knows that his victory in ‘Flanders Most Beautiful’ gives him a better starting position for the negotiations. “There has been a bit of talk in recent weeks and another conversation will follow shortly.”

Asgreen hopes to stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. “You have to weigh up the pros and cons, but I am very happy to be here now and I would like to continue here. Our collaboration has been successful so far, so why would you want to change that?”

The fact that the Danish champion had not yet renewed his contract was at his own request. “I told Patrick that I would rather wait until after Paris-Roubaix to sign up. We could talk about it before, but the final signature would not be signed until later,” said Asgreen. Now that Paris-Roubaix has been postponed, he expects news soon.

Winning Flanders must help the contract discussions:
asgreen

 

alpecin fenix
Julien Vermote Signs with Alpecin-Fenix
Julien Vermote’s cycling career looked to be at an end, but the Belgian has found a new team for 2021. The 31-year-old has signed a contract with Alpecin-Fenix ​​until the end of December, with an option for another year, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

Vermote rode for Quick-Step and Dimension Data in the past and last year was with Cofidis, but had to leave after only one season. Vermote was looking at having to end his career with no contract on the horizon. The experienced rider remained optimistic and kept his fitness up. In early January, despite his situation, he went to Calpe in Spain for a training internship. The Belgian had not set a deadline for himself in his search for a new team. “I am still convinced that I can be of value. I can still mean something for a team. I have not finished yet. I still like cycling, I am physically fit and I am only 31 years old,” Vermote said at the beginning of this year. Alpecin-Fenix ​​has finally decided to give Vermote another chance at the highest level.

Mathieu van der Poel’s team will ride a full WorldTour program for the first time this year and the Roodhooft brothers see Vermote as an ideal reinforcement, according to Het Nieuwsblad. “I race where they select me. I am eager and ready for the service. I trained intensively all this time,” a happy Vermote told Sporza. “Of course I’m going to miss some race kilometres in the beginning, but I remain very ambitious and want to continue to prove myself in the peloton. And Alpecin-Fenix ​​is ​​also an ambitious team. A perfect match. It took a long time, but I have always had high hopes.”

New team for Vermote:
Julien Vermote

 

qhubeka
Sergio Henao Couldn’t Start the Tour of the Basque Country
The Qhubeka Assos team had to start the Tour of the Basque Country with only six men. Sergio Henao was removed from the start list after he had been in contact with someone who had tested positive for the corona virus. Henao has undergone a PCR test and it was negative. The 33-year-old Colombian also shows no symptoms. Nevertheless, after talks with the medical staff, the team decided to keep out of the race as a precaution.

Henao has been successful in the Tour of the Basque Country in the past. He finished on the podium in 2013, 2015 and 2016. In 2017 he rode to eighth place and in 2019, he was fourteenth.

Sergio Henao in Paris-Nice’21:
henao

 

trek segafredo
Trek-Segafredo Not in Scheldeprijs
Trek-Segafredo has taken the men’s team out of the Scheldeprijs because of the positive corona cases that came to light last week. It is a precautionary measure, the team said. Trek-Segafredo had to miss Gent-Wevelgem after two positive corona cases within the team. As a result, Mads Pedersen was unable to defend his 2020 victory. The team also nearly couldn’t start Dwars door Vlaanderen, but for that race permission was eventually given. Edward Theuns didn’t start, but after two PCR tests he had negative results.

The American team also started in the Tour of Flanders with Jasper Stuyven taking fourth place. On Monday, in a short press release, the team announced that it was withdrawing its men’s team for the Scheldeprijs, which was on Wednesday. Matteo Moschetti, Koen de Kort, Jakob Egholm, Alex Kirsch, Emils Liepins, Ryan Mullen and Kiel Reijnen were on the provisional start list. “Because of the positive corona cases that came to light last week, we have decided to withdraw our men’s team as a precaution for the Scheldeprijs. The team will stay at home isolation for extra safety for a week before our return to the Brabantse Pijl.” The hilly classic from Leuven to Overijse is on the calendar for Wednesday 14 April.

No Moschetti at the Scheldeprijs:
alfredo

 

groupama
Groupama-FDJ Not at Scheldeprijs After Positive Corona Test
The Groupama-FDJ team did not start the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday. After a positive corona test within the French WorldTour team, they have withdrawn from the Flemish race.

No Scheldeprijs for Arnaud Démare:
demare

 

uci
UCI Team Ranking
The UCI has issued a new update to the Team Rankings for 2021 on Tuesday 6 April. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is still in the lead, but there are some changes in the top-10.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s lead has increased, thanks to Kasper Asgreen. The strong Dane won the Tour of Flanders with last Sunday and managed to collect a lot of points for his team. INEOS Grenadiers are still second and Jumbo-Visma remains third in the standings. Alpecin-Fenix ​​had a very productive week. The Belgian team didn’t win in Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders, but Van der Poel, Tim Merlier and Gianni Vermeersch managed to collect many points and the team jumped from seventh to fourth place.

AG2R Citroën went from ninth to seventh and Astana-Premier Tech from twelfth to tenth. UAE Team Emirates from fourth to sixth, BORA-hansgrohe from sixth to eightth and Bahrain Victorious from eighth to ninth. All dropping some places compared to last week.

UCI Team Ranking (on April 6, 2021):
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 5,046 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 3,704 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 3,066 points
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 2,874 points
5. Trek-Segafredo – 2,827 points
6. UAE Team Emirates – 2,735 points
7. AG2R Citroën – 2,437 points
8. BORA-hansgrohe – 2,361 points
9. Bahrain Victorious – 2,230 points
10. Astana-Premier Tech – 1,857 points
11. Israel Start-Up Nation – 1,781 points
12. Team BikeExchange – 1,752 points
13. Qhubeka Assos – 1,725 ​​points
14. Lotto Soudal – 1,547 points
15. Groupama-FDJ – 1,521 points
16. Cofidis – 1,248 points
17. Total Direct Energy – 1,219 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,137 points
19. Movistar – 1,058 points
20. Team DSM – 911 points
21. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 857 points
22. EF Education-Nippo – 826 points
24. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 599 points.

Alpecin-Fenix ​​is ​​still the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The lead over Total Direct Energie and Arkéa-Samsic is big, although the question is whether the team can maintain the lead. Van der Poel will start his mountain bike campaign after a short rest period, and will not gather any points in the coming weeks. According to UCI rules, the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking 2021 must be given a wildcard for every WorldTour event in 2022, including the three Grand Tours. The team that finishes second will receive an invitation for all one-day races on the WorldTour.

Best five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on April 6, 2021):
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 2,874 points
17. Total Direct Energy – 1,219 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,137 points
21. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 857 points
23. B&B Hotels p/b KTM – 611 points.

Many points for Van der Poel:
van der poel

 

deceuninck
Behind the Scenes at Ronde van Vlaanderen
Overcome with emotion, Kasper Asgreen and Julian Alaphilippe talked about Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s unforgettable Easter Sunday.

One of the biggest races of the year concluded with an elegant victory of Kasper Asgreen, who wrote history for the Wolfpack by becoming just the second Dane ever to conquer Flanders. The 26-year-old rode flawlessly the entire day, was in all the major moves and after six hard hours still had enough left to deliver a powerful sprint, and with it, our team’s 20th triumph in a Monument.

Sunday’s win was filled with powerful emotions and touching scenes – from the ones shown by Kasper right after the finish to those of World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, who couldn’t hide his heartfelt joy when congratulating his teammate and talking about his monumental day.

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