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The Critérium du Dauphiné and the Women’s Tour are both in full flight, results and reports plus Ronde van Limburg, all with video. Pinot and Martin react to Nadal injections – TOP STORY. Rider news: Greg LeMond diagnosed with Leukemia, Maxim Van Gils extends with Lotto Soudal, Richard Carapaz focuses on the Vuelta a España, Sep Vanmarcke Changes program, Ben King working on last months as a professional and Antoine Benoist ends career. Team news: DSM to the Giro d’Italia Giovani Under 23. Race news: 2024 Tour de France to start in Florence, not to finish in Paris, no Benelux Tour in 2022 and the RBC GranFondo Whistler. Sad news of the passing of Spanish climber Julio Jiménez. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***

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TOP STORY: Pinot and Martin React to Nadal Injections
After winning Roland Garros for the fourteenth time, tennis player Rafael Nadal revealed he had been given injections during the tournament to numb the pain of a persistent foot injury. Thibaut Pinot responded to this announcement via Twitter. “Today’s heroes…”, the Frenchman tweeted sarcastically. His compatriot Guillaume Martin also expressed his opinion.

Pinot, who previously spoke out about the use of certificates and ketones, responded to a tweet from Nadal himself. In this tweet, the Spanish athlete had argued that it was better not to know how many injections he had received during Roland Garros. Pinot’s comment was followed by two emojis: one with a suspicious face and one with a melting face. The Frenchman did not elaborate further on the matter.

However, the Groupama-FDJ rider later retweeted Clémence Lacour, an investigative journalist, who summarised Pinot’s attitude: “His (Pinots) tweet ironically speaks of ‘the heroes of today’. These heroes choose performance at the expense of their bodies and want to perform despite physical problems so bad that they have to put it to sleep (Nadal foot). Is this the example we want for ourselves and our children?”

Another French rider, Guillaume Martin, discussed the Nadal case in more detail with L’Équipe. “What Nadal did would be impossible in cycling, and I think that’s normal. If you’re sick or injured, you don’t race, you don’t compete. That makes sense to me, for several reasons. First, for the health of the athletes. In the long run I don’t know if it will do well for Nadal’s ankle. In addition, medication, and especially injections, has no healing effect. They can definitely have effects on performance or be twisted to improve performance, so it seems really borderline to me.”

Martin also notices that there is a big cultural difference between, for example, tennis and cycling. “If a cyclist did such a thing, it would be illegal, but even if it didn’t, everyone would fall for it and brand him doped. There is such a cultural background, such clichés about cycling.”

“At the same time, people are praising Nadal because he can suffer so much pain. I believe that Zlatan Ibrahimovic (footballer at AC Milan) also spoke about injections in his knee. They are seen as heroes because they can suffer so much pain, but in reality they are helped by means to be able to do so. And again, that’s really borderline. The winner in cycling, and in the Tour in particular, is systematically accused of doping, even if nothing is wrong.”

Martin sees a great responsibility for riders themselves to determine how far they go. “The UCI rules are, as far as I am concerned, a minimum. There are many things that are allowed, but I forbid myself. It’s a big grey area, twisting certain medications that are normally used for treatment, for example for cancer or multiple sclerosis. I don’t see myself taking such a thing to become a better cyclist, even if it’s allowed.”

“The anti-doping authorities are always one step behind, so I don’t think we should wait for them to take a stand before taking a stand ourselves. It is up to each person to construct their own code of ethics. I accept that sometimes my results are worse because of that code, but nevertheless I stay close to myself and I am happy about that.”

Thanks to WielerFlits for the info.

Pinot and Martin speak out against Nadal:
martin pinot

 

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) enjoyed his most beautiful day on the road to Brives-Charensac, where he won Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné. At 33 years old, the French puncheur bounced back to success in fashion, after a very intense battle against the peloton. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) was the fastest from the bunch, but he was 6th, 5 seconds behind the breakaway riders. Alexis Vuillermoz took the yellow and blue jersey, ahead of Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X) and Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), 2nd and 3rd on the stage. This is the first time Vuillermoz has taken a leader’s jersey, and it is his first victory since 2019, after serious struggles and injuries in the recent years.

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After 18km of battle, five riders manage to open a gap: Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X), Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic), Xandres Vervloesem (Lotto Soudal) and Kevin Vermaerke (DSM). Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) quickly joined them at the front and the gap was 3:20 after 24 kilometres. Wout van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma set the pace in the bunch on the day after the Belgian star’s sprint win in Beauchastel. The breakaway’s lead reached a maximum of 4:40 at 45 kilometres, just ahead of the first categorised climbs of the day.

Vervloesem summited first over the cat-3 climbs of Désaignes (56.2km) and Saint-Agrève (63.5km), but Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) built enough of a lead in the KOM standings on stage 1 to retain the polka-dot jersey if he reached the finish without incidents. Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma) controlled the gap until BikeExchange-Jayco sent Tsgabu Grmay to the front of the bunch halfway through the stage. But EF Education-EasyPost and INEOS Grenadiers up the ante on the main climb of the day, the cat-2 Col de Mézilhac (11.6km at 4.1%), and the Dutch sprinter, Groenewegen, is dropped inside the last 3km of climbing. Vervloesem was also dropped from the breakaway. At the summit (109.8km), the peloton trail by 3:10, and Groenewegen, assisted by his teammates, is 50 seconds further behind. The road keeps rising towards Le Gerbier de Jonc and Trek-Segafredo also start helping with the chase. At the intermediate sprint (124.3km), the gap was down to 1:40, and the Groenewegen group trail by a further 1:40.

The five leaders still at the front work well together and enter the last 25km with a lead of 1:35. At the bottom of the final climb, the cat-3 Côte de Rohac, to be summited with 9km to go, the attackers lead by 45 seconds. Trek-Segafredo set a hard pace and the gap came down to 30 seconds at the top, but the attackers maintained their advantage into the last 3km. Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) also participated in the chase, but it’s too late. Olivier Le Gac launched the sprint 300 metres out from the finish line. Alexis Vuillermoz quickly reacted and eventually passed his compatriot just before the line, with Anders Skaarseth squeezing in 2nd place. Wout van Aert is the first from the bunch to cross the line, 5 seconds later. The Belgian star lost his yellow and blue jersey to Vuillermoz.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies): “It’s incredible. After two years of struggles and a pelvic fracture, I could have stopped riding. But I still wanted to come back. I didn’t really believe in it today, but I saw the break was going and the team didn’t have anyone at the front, so I decided to follow because I was in a good position to do so. I wanted to enjoy myself and it paid off. It wasn’t always easy at the front as a lightweight, but I took my turns at the front. I thought we would get caught but we didn’t wait and see, we took our chance and we were right. When you’re at the front, you have to fight until the end. It was a very long sprint, a bit scrappy. When Olivier [Le Gac] attacked, I didn’t think I would come back, but he faded a bit with 50m to go. I went after him and I was afraid someone else would come back from behind, but it worked out. I’ve never worn a distinctive jersey, it will be a bliss even though it may be difficult to keep it tomorrow with the Chastreix-Sancy finish.”

6th on the stage and 4th overall, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “The pace was really high on the last long climb, and we took back a minute, maybe two I think, so I was quite confident we would catch the breakaway but I think everyone was surprised with how fast the last part of the stage was. There were two little kickers in the last 15km but all the rest was a lot of downhill and you don’t make up time in parts like this. The breakaway played it smart, so hats off to them. Green is a nice colour, and hopefully I can wear it more in the next weeks, but for now I’m disappointed. My sprint was really good, so it’s a shame it was for 6th place instead of a victory. As a team, we tried everything but the breakaway was smarter.”

Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “We’ve seen a very controlled race today, INEOS and EF set the pace on the final climb and so dropped most of the sprinters. In the finale we were close to bringing back the breakaway but ultimately they were faster. I felt good and I’m happy with my shape at the moment, bring on the next days!”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Result:
1. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) TotalEnergies in 4:03:34
2. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X
3. Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Kevin Vermaerke (USA) DSM
5. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
6. Wout van Aert (BeL) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
7. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Hugo Page (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Alexandr Riabushenko (-) Astana Qazaqstan.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) TotalEnergies in 8:40:55
2. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X at 0:03
3. Olivier Le Gac Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
5. Kevin Vermaerke (USA) DSM at 0:07
6. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:09
7. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:10
8. Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:11
9. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:12
10. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:13.

Dauphiné’22 stage 2:

 

Wout van Aert thought he had done everything right to claim victory at the Chastreix-Sancy ski resort, as the Belgian star raised his arms to celebrate success he saw David Gaudu pass him right on the finish line of Stage 3. The Frenchman takes this victory after his Spring ambitions were affected by crashes and illness. Second ahead of Victor Lafay, Van Aert took back the yellow and blue jersey he had lost on stage 2 to Alexis Vuillermoz, who was dropped on the final climb. Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma teammates had done most of the work to reel in a strong attack by Pierre Rolland’s B&B Hotels-KTM.

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Four attackers went from the start: Omer Goldstein (Israel-Premier Tech), Jonas Wilsly (Uno-X), Thomas Champion (Cofidis) and Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels-KTM). Alexis Vuillermoz’s TotalEnergies quickly reacted and the gap was held at only 2:30 when Goldstein drops back to the bunch, after 20km of racing.

B&B Hotels-KTM give new life to the battle for the break with a team attack on the first climb of the day, the Cat. 3 Côte de Saint-Vert. Pierre Rolland, KOM leader, attacked with Alexis Gougeard and Miguel Heidemann. At the summit (44.7km), the trio were at 3 minutes, and the peloton at 4:30. An intense chase ensues, until Rolland, Gougeard and Heidemann join the front of the race at 64 kilometres. Behind them, the peloton were at a high pace, and the gap was held stable around 2:30 in the valley leading to the final climbs of the day. As the race entered the last 50km and the road rises, Heidemann, Gougeard and Champion were dropped one by one. Schönberger set the pace and Rolland was first at the top of the Cat. 4 Côte de Besse-en-Chandesse (136.4km).

Jumbo-Visma lift the speed inside the last 30km, and the gap dropped to 1:15 into the last 20km. With 10km to go, the attackers only had 35 seconds. They were caught at the start of the final climb of the day to Chastreix-Sancy. Wilsly is the last attacker to be reeled in, inside the last 5km. Tsgabu Grmay (BikeExchange-Jayco) accelerated with 3.5km to go, Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) immediately counter-attacked and Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) also has a go 1.5km from the finish, but Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglič control every move to try and lead Van Aert to a second stage win in three days, while Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) can’t keep with the high pace and is dropped with 2.5km to go. Van Aert was in a prime position to sprint to victory, despite struggling a bit around the 1km to go mark. He powered ahead of everyone, but he raises his arms just before the line… on his right side, Gaudu makes the most of the situation to take his first Critérium du Dauphiné stage win, ahead of Van Aert and Victor Lafay.

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Stage winner and 2nd overall, David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDj): “I was a bit far behind for the final stretch, I thought I couldn’t do it. Then Kevin Geniets arrived and I followed his wheel. I felt I had strength, I saw Van Aert was going well but I told myself I was gonna get him. And I did it. I’m moved because I had been waiting for a victory like that since the start of the year. I’ve left the doubts behind me, after all the struggles at the beginning of the year. The legs felt good on the climb, that’s good for what’s coming next, especially this week-end.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I feel ashamed because we worked hard all day with the team. And in the end, I lost on my own, so I don’t have words. I saw the Cofidis rider on my left couldn’t make it, so I thought it was good. But I didn’t see David come back with a very strong kick on my right. Tomorrow, I know I can do well in the time-trial. But this afternoon, it was hard to get back to the breakaway, so we worked a lot. I hope it won’t be a problem tomorrow and I’ll have a chance to win.”

4th overall, Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a hectic and nervous stage today with quite a lot of wind and narrows, twisty roads. On the last climb I felt really good but in the finale I was blocked a bit and so out of contention for the stage win. Looking at the GC I was able to move up to 4th, which I’m really happy about. Full focus on tomorrow’s ITT now!”

8th overall, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “He (Gaudu) came with speed from behind and had an advantage with that. Besides that, the whole team performed well. The guys were super strong. We have to remember the positive things and look ahead. We’ll see tomorrow how the legs feel. It will be a real challenge and I haven’t ridden such a long time trial in a while. It will be nice.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Result:
1. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:09:38
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
4. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost
5. Kevin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
6. Nick Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious
8. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar
10. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 3:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 12:50:32
2. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:06
3. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:12
4. Patrick Konrad (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
5. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar
6. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Primož Roglič (Slo)Jumbo-Visma
9. Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën.

Dauphiné’22 stage 3:

 

Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) asserted his dominance on Stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, taking victory at La Bâtie d’Urfé 2 seconds ahead of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). The time-trial World champion made the most of the 31.9km long opportunity laid out for him with an impressive speed of almost 54km/h. Second on stage 3 and winner of stage 1, Van Aert dominates the overall 53 seconds ahead of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mattia Cattaneo and his two Jumbo-Visma companions Primoz Roglic at 56 seconds and Jonas Vingegaard at 1:26, with the main mountainous challenges to come.

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The parade of riders was launched by Matthew Walls, 148th and last on the general classification, but the British sprinter was not the first to reach the finish as Dries Van Gestel overtook him and set a reference time of 38:56. Miguel Heidemann and then Mathias Norsgaard Jorgensen succeed him as provisional leaders. Soon after, Luke Durbrige ups the ante quite seriously. Winner of the Dauphiné prologue ten years ago, the Australian completes the course at an average speed of 52.56km/h.

Filippo Ganna quickly showed that he in strong form, already putting 19 seconds between his time and Durbridge’s after 21km. Some 10km further, the margin had swollen to 39 seconds, and it eventually reached 0:53 at the finish. The World champion let his raw power do the talking on a favourable course, almost reaching a 54km/h average over 31.9km to set a time of 35:32. The rival who comes the closest to edge Ganna is his own teammate Ethan Hayter. The British ITT champion trailed by 30 seconds after 21km, and he eventually finishes with a gap of 17 seconds. He was the only rider, at that point, to have been faster than Ganna in the final section. Their INEOS Grenadiers teammates; Tao Geoghegan Hart (37:03) and Michal Kwiatkowski (37:13) also get a spot in the provisional top 10, while Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mattia Cattaneo took the 3rd place away from Durbridge with a time of 36:25, 39 seconds behind Ganna. It was up to the Jumbo-Visma rouleurs to try and turn the tables.

Primoz Roglič set off at 15:46, and Wout van Aert is the last rider to go, 14 minutes later. Their companion Jonas Vingegaard gave them references as he set a time of 36:44. Van Aert was off to a flying start, 10 seconds ahead of Ganna at the first intermediate point and 18 ahead of Roglic, who finished in provisional 4th place at 42 seconds to Ganna. Van Aert is also unable to match the Italian’s pace over the course, eventually losing by a mere 2 seconds. The Belgian increased his overall lead to 53 seconds ahead of Mattia Cattaneo (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), while Roglic moved up to 3rd place overall at 56 seconds with the main mountain stages to come.

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Stage winner, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “Every time we are close. Van Aert is very strong, yesterday he was already really close to victory. He’s a superb athlete and we can only say chapeau to him. It was a pretty good course for me. This morning, when we saw it was raining, I thought it was not gonna be a good day, but luckily the Sun came and we had the same conditions for all the riders. Copenhagen is coming close, but I have to wait and see if I’ll be there.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Two seconds is not a lot, but that makes the difference. I got beaten by the World Champion. I love to win but I have to accept it and I’m happy with my performance. I think I did a really good start, I was really on the limit in the corners and maybe that’s why I had an advantage on Filippo at the first split. On the second part, I thought I had a good pace but he was a lot faster. And on the end I could find my rhythm again, I was catching up with Gaudu and Lafay and that was a little advantage but I came short. I think it was a honest TT and I lost it. I think he’s best time-trialist in the world. If he’s only 2 seconds in front of you after a quite long TT, I think it says something about your shape. I’m really pleased with how everything goes. So far, it’s been a really good Dauphiné for me. I have this nice jersey and I’ll try to enjoy it the next few days.”

Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a long, tough and most of all a pretty flat time trial. I’m still missing some hours on the TT bike this season but I’m happy with my performance today. Ahead of the second part of the Dauphiné I think it’s still an open race for me and I’m looking forward to the mountains.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 35:32
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
4. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:39
5. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:42
6. Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:53
7. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 1:12
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:25
9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:31
10. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:34.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 4:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 13:26:06
2. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:53
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:56
4. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 1:26
5. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:39
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:45
8. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:48
9. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 1:50
10. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 2:00.

Dauphiné’22 stage 4:

 

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Ronde van Limburg 2022
Arnaud De Lie keeps winning for Lotto Soudal. The 20 year-old Belgian was by far the fastest in the bunch sprint in the Ronde van Limburg to take his sixth victory of the season. De Lie was far too strong for Simone Consonni and Danny van Poppel.

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The Tour of Limburg between Hasselt and Tongeren had eighteen climbs and two cobble sections, a tough race. The first climb of the day was the Duivelsberg after about 50 kilometres, followed by a few passages of the Keiberg and the Letenberg and finally three local laps of 24.5 kilometres around Tongeren, climbing Grootloonberg, Kogelstraat, Colenberg and Kolmontberg. The final climb comes 5 kilometres to the finish.

Five riders formed the early break: Jens Schuermans (BEAT), Yentl Vandevelde (Minerva Cycling), Thibault Ferasse (B&B Hotels-KTM), Louis Blouwe (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) and Sander Lemmens (Tarteletto-Isorex). The peloton saw no danger and let the lead increase to 3 minutes. There wasn’t much left of the lead at 30 kilometres from the finish. One after the other of the early break was caught by the peloton. Blauwe was the last man out front, but with just over 20 kilometres to go, the Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB rider was joined by Kamiel Bonneu, who attack from the peloton. The two Belgians managed to stay out front for a while, but were caught by the sprinter’s teams before the last 15 kilometres. The sprinter’s teams started to get ready for the final with the young revelation; Arnaud De Lie, Mark Cavendish, Fernando Gaviria, Sam Bennett and Tim Merlier as the main contenders.

Ten kilometres from the finish there was a crash in the peloton, with Timo Kielich as the main victim. This was a big blow to Tim Merlier as his teammate Kielich would have played an important role in his sprint. The peloton had started the penultimate climb of the day. Here there was an acceleration by Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Philippe Gilbert, but there was no question of a split. The pace was fast to the last passage of the Kolmontberg, at about 4 kilometres from the finish. On this 900 meter climb (at 4%) Alexis Renard of Cofidis tried to go for a surprise, but the Frenchman’s attack turned out to be nothing. His attack ended 3 kilometres from the finish and then it was all hands on deck for the bunch sprint. The last kilometres were marred by a crash with Mark Cavendish and Gerben Thijssen. De Lie stayed out of the danger, but it was BORA-hansgrohe who were in charge in the finalé for Sam Bennett. The Irishman could count on an ideal lead-out in the last meters, but at the right moment he didn’t have the legs to really make it difficult for De Lie. The young Belgian convincingly sped away from his competitors on the uphill finish. De Lie recorded his sixth victory of the season and his third victory in a week. The strong sprinter was also won the GP Marcel Kint at the end of May and the Heistse Pijl last Saturday.

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Race winner, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal): “I like an uphill sprint and it suits me well. The team has worked hard all day. Frederik Frison was very strong, just like my other teammates. I was on Sam Bennett’s wheel and it was not the time to look back. I was really super focused on the BORA-hansgrohe train. It was really super strong. However, I was able to start third at the last corner and then push my effort all the way to the finish. Three out of three… It’s really unbelievable. I had even better legs today than in the Heistse Pijl. That is a good sign in view of the upcoming races.”

3rd, Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe): “Our main goal today was to make sure to do a sprint in the end as we missed out the last days. The race was really hectic in the end and we lost each other sometimes and had to invest to get back together. I think our lead-out was perfect. For me personally it’s kind of mixed feelings today. I would have enjoyed more to take the win with Sam rather than coming in third. But I also didn’t see what happened behind me and just pushed to the line.”

Ronde van Limburg Result:
1. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:40:58
2. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
3. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
8. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
9. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
10. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix.

Limburg’22:

 

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The Womem’s Tour 2022
Clara Copponi started the eighth edition of the Women’s Tour with a victory on Stage 1. The 23-year-old was too fast for Sofia Bertizzolo and Elena Cecchini in a chaotic sprint. Top favourite Lorena Wiebes crashed in the last kilometre and was unable to sprint for the win.

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The riders started with a 142.1km stage between Colchester and Bury St Edmunds on Monday. During the stage there were two intermediate sprints and two climbs where the first mountain points could be earned. The course mainly took place over rolling roads in the run-up to the finish.

Despite several skirmishes in the first kilometres, few riders took the lead in the peloton and so a compact peloton over the flatter roads towards the finish in Bury St Edmunds. With about 70 kilometres to go the attacks started again, but these were soon nipped in the bud. An attack by Danielle Shrosbree was stronger than the previous moves. The 27 year-old rider of CAMS-Basso attacked at about 60 kilometres from the finish and rode off the front for a while. Shrosbree couldn’t do it on her own, although she managed to take a maximum lead of almost 2 minutes. With more than 30 kilometres to go the race was neutralised due to an accident on the course. Shrosbree was allowed to continue after the delay and with 30 kilometres to go was still 1 minute ahead of the pack. This turned out not to be enough to make it to the finish.

Shrosbree was swallowed by the peloton well before the finish, which was looking like a bunch sprint. In the final kilometres several teams tried to get a sprint train going, but no team managed to take the upper hand. In the last kilometre, DSM were piloting top favourite Wiebes perfectly. Charlotte Kool was the first through the penultimate corner, with Wiebes on the wheel, but the two riders went down in the treacherous and slippery final. The French rider, Clara Copponi missed the crash and started the sprint in an ideal position. The 23 year-old FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope rider had enough power to hold on for the victory. Bertizzolo finished in second place, Cecchini was third.

women's tour22 st1

Stage winner and overall leader, Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “Today I feel good, confident. I am excited for the rest of the week. I love England!” How will she defend her lead on stage 2? “Win the sprint, again, I will do my best and we will see day by day. I did my best and I’m so happy. I’m so excited, it’s a great day, it’s my first victory.”

5th on the stage and 9th overall, Alice Barnes (Canyon//SRAM): “My teammates tried to help me and we had aimed to be patient, but I was blocked to get to them, so I made the choice to go alone in the final. I was able to find my way close to the front before the roundabout but I have to admit we’d already been slipping a lot all day on the wet roads and that didn’t give me a lot of confidence. The riders ahead of me took the left-hand corner too hot and crashed. I was able to find my way through and did my best in the final 100m.”

Women’s Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope in 3:40:15
2. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
3. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx
4. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
5. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon//SRAM
6. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7. Ingvild Gåskjenn (Nor) Coop-Hitec
8. Anne Dorthe Ysland (Nor) Uno-X
9. Letizia Borghesi (Ita) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
10. Maike van der Duin (Ned) Le Col-Wahoo.

Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Clara Copponi (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope in 3:40:05
2. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:04
3. Maike van der Duin (Ned) Le Col-Wahoo
4. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx at 0:06
5. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing Xstra at 0:07
6. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 0:08
7. Laura Tomasi (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:09
8. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:10
9. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon//SRAM
10. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.

Woman’s Tour’22 stage 1:

 

Lorena Wiebes of the DSM team won Stage 2 of the Women’s Tour. In Harlow, the Dutch rider was in a class of her own in the bunch sprint. Barbara Guarischi finished second and Shari Bossuyt was third. Clara Copponi kept the overall lead, but Maike van der Duin is now only at 3 seconds.

woman's tour22 st2

After Clara Copponi’s stage win in the opening stage to Bury St Edmunds, the riders had more climbing in the second stage. After the start in Harlow, the route over lumpy roads to the intermediate sprints in Great Dunmow and High Easter. In the last 20 kilometres there were two Cat. 3 climbs: Toot Hill and Stonards Hill.

Maike van der Duin of Le Col-Wahoo, 3rd overall, won the first intermediate sprint ahead of 4th placed Elena Cecchini (SD Worx) and overall leader Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine). In the second sprint, Copponi beat Van der Duin and Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ), 2nd overall, and so she limited the damage she had received in the first sprint.

Gladys Verhulst (Le Col-Wahoo), winner of Veenendaal-Veenendaal, was first over the top of Toot Hill and then attacked on the way to Stonards Hill with Lily Williams (Human Powered Health). They held the lead until after the second climb, meanwhile there was a massive crash in the peloton which caused splits. Everything came back together for the final and Verhulst and Williams were caught in the last kilometre. Then it was up to the sprinter’s teams to position their leaders as best as possible. Trek-Segafredo started the final sprint, after which DSM took over the control. Lorena Wiebes got an ideal lead-out from her teammates to eventually sprint away from the rest of the peloton.

womens tour22 st2

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Lorena Wiebes (DSM):“Today was not a really hard stage and there was quite a good speed in the bunch. We had no problems today, we were good together in the front at the intermediate sprints and over the QOMs. At six kilometres to go there was a crash and only Franzi and I were in the small peloton after it but luckily Megan and Charlotte came back. We were a bit stuck in the middle of the road before the sprint so I found my own way out a bit and in the last straight the girls found me again and we did a really nice lead out; they set me up perfectly. We can be super proud of ourselves and we’re looking forward to the next stages now.”

Attacker, Sammie Stuart (CAMS-Basso): “I didn’t expect it to pan out like that really. I’m mega happy winning that award today. It was hot out there, so it was very hard, and I was certainly on my own out there because my comms had broken as well so I had no information coming in – all I had was the board each time the motorbike came past. It was difficult but enjoyable. We have come here to see what we can do, and I think we are proving ourselves as a team. Dani [Shrosbree] won the award yesterday, I’ve won it today, so I think we have put CAM-Basso up there with the rest of the teams.”

Women’s Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 2:19:05
2. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar
3. Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon//SRAM
4. Marjolein Van ‘t Geloof (Ned) Le Col-Wahoo
5. Coryn Labecki (USA) Jumbo-Visma
6. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
8. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
9. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx
10. Chloe Hosking (Sus) Trek-Segafredo.

Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope in 5:59:06
2. Maike van der Duin (Ned) Le Col-Wahoo at 0:03
3. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM at 0:04
4. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:07
5. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx at 0:08
6. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar
7. Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon//SRAM at 0:10
8. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing Xstra at 0:11
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 0:12
10. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:14.

Woman’s Tour’22 stage 2:

 

The Third Stage of the Women’s Tour was won by Lorena Wiebes on Wednesday. After a hilly stage of almost 108 kilometres to Gloucester, the DSM sprinter was the fastest from the bunch. Alexandra Manly (BikeExchange-Jayco) was second and Coryn Labecki (Jumbo-Visma) third. Wiebes is also the new overall leader.

women's tour22 st3

Riejanne Markus attacked early in the stage. The Jumbo-Visma rider was ahead of the peloton for a long time, but she received help 50 kilometres before the finish. Christine Majerus (SD Worx) and Gladys Verhulst (Le Col-Wahoo) managed to cross to her. Other counter-attacks were less successful, including one from Elynior Bäckstedt.

The trio in the lead had just under 1 minute with an hour to go. With that, Markus, Majerus and Verhulst rode on to the climb of Speech House (1,3km at 6.9%) at more than 25 kilometres from the finish. Of the front runners, Markus and Majerus managed to hold out the longest, but they were caught on the steep ramp of Speech House. The peloton split into several pieces there. Sixteen riders managed to get away, but there was little co-operation. With Alexandra Manly, Shari Bossuyt and Coryn Labecki there were several fast riders, but no team took matters into their own hands. The chasing group, including Lorena Wiebes, was able to return in the last 10 kilometres.

There were a few more attacks in the finalé, but DSM, BikeExchange-Jayco, Jumbo-Visma and Canyon//SRAM kept control. On the wet roads in Gloucester, Wiebes was dropped off at the front of the pack by British champion Pfeiffer Georgi, after which the Dutch rider completed the sprint expertly. Manly and Labecki (nee Rivera) finished second and third. The fourth place was for the Belgian Bossuyt. Wiebes took her second victory in a row in the British tour. Because the French leader Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) had missed the split and finished more than 3 minutes behind, Wiebes is also the new leader. Her lead over Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) in 2nd place is 13 seconds.

women's tour22 st3

Stage winner and overall leader, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “Today was a hard stage, with attacks from the beginning of the race. The girls did a great job reacting to them all. On the first climbs we were in good position and Leah and Franzi kept the pace up because of the breakaway. On the second last climb I was with Charlotte and Pfeiffer in the second group but when we started the last climb they brought it back to the first group. The peloton then split again and Megan and I ended up in the group of chasers. Megan did a really strong effort to bring me back to the lead group and things then slowed. In the last five kilometres Pfeiffer and Megan came back to the front and did a great lead out in finale and I’m really happy to finish it off for them. I’m really proud of the girls again and all the work they did today. We will go all-in tomorrow to try and make it three.”

2nd on the stage, Alex Manly (BikeExchange-Jayco): “To get second to Lorena, I’m pretty happy with that, she’s the fastest person in the world. Georgia and Kristen did an amazing lead out, and I was then able to surf the wheels after that. It was a good day for the team, everyone played a good part and we’re really happy. I was pretty happy to be there [in the group of 18], we had Kristen and I knew that we had it covered if anybody went, but also we wanted to see if Kristen could get away, because she’s really, really strong. It was good to be there and have it covered if it stayed away and we had Georgia in the group behind coming back, so it was a good situation for us. It was a good stage, there was a lot more action, I think people wanted to drop Lorena, but it didn’t happen in the end. Now we’ll just see how it goes for the rest of the race and take it day by day.”

Women’s Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 2:51:27
2. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
3. Coryn Labecki (USA) Jumbo-Visma
4. Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon//SRAM
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
7. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
8. Tereza Neumanova (CZ) Liv Racing Xstra
9. Ingvild Gåskjenn (Nor) Coop-Hitec
10. Letizia Borghesi (Ita) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB.

Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 8:50:27
2. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:13
3. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
4. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx at 0:14
5. Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon//SRAM at 0:16
6. Coryn Labecki (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon//SRAM at 0:17
8. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 0:18
9. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx
10. Christine Majerus (Ned) SD Worx.

Woman’s Tour’22 stage 3:

 

lemond
Greg LeMond Diagnosed with Leukemia
Greg LeMond announced on his website that he has been diagnosed with leukemia. The 60 year-old American, winner of two World championships and the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990, added that it is treatable and non-life-threatening.

LeMond had been suffering from fatigue for a few weeks, after which he had himself examined. After a number of tests and a bone marrow biopsy performed last week, he was diagnosed last Friday. Fortunately, it is a type of cancer that is treatable, and it is a type of leukemia that is not life-threatening or disabling.

“Nobody ever wants to hear the word cancer, but admittedly, it’s a relief to know why I felt so bad. In a few weeks I should be feeling better and in the near future my daily schedule will be only slightly adjusted. I was told that I should be rehabilitating in a few months. The long-term prognosis is very favourable,” said the three-time Tour winner.

greg lemond

 

lotto
Maxim Van Gils Extends His Stay at Lotto Soudal
Maxim Van Gils continues his career at Lotto Soudal. The 22-year-old winner of the Saudi Tour has extended his contract by two years, until the end of 2024. “I think I still have a large growth margin and I can’t imagine a better place than here to continue my development.”

Van Gils has been part of Lotto Soudal since 2018. He is, as many young, Belgian pro riders, a product of the Lotto Soudal Development Team. “During all those years in the team, first in the U23’s, later in the WorldTour, I was always able to progress”, Van Gils says. “The team has always believed in me and helped me to further develop myself. The atmosphere in this team is great, both amongst riders and staff. I feel at home here.”

With his stage and overall victory in the Saudi Tour, Van Gils got his first and second win during his second year at the pros. He also showed himself during famous Classics as Clásica San Sebastián, Milano-Sanremo and the Amstel Gold Race. Because of his results, but also his professional attitude, his ambition and his young age, Lotto Soudal was eager to renew Van Gils’ contract.

“Young, talented, Belgian riders like Maxim Van Gils belong at Lotto Soudal”, comments CEO John Lelangue. “He has already shown at his young age that he is capable of winning races at pro level. That first victory is an important step in the career of any rider. We believe that we will be able to guide Maxim Van Gils step by step to an even higher level.” Van Gils agrees with Lelangue’s words. “I think I still have a lot of growth margin and I can’t imagine a better place than here to continue my development.”

Van Gils hopes to further develop himself in one-day races on hilly terrain and one-week stage races. “I would like to improve on my current strong points”, says Van Gils. “I want to compete for the victory in difficult one-day races and see how far I can go in shorter stage races. Also, in the grand tours I hope to be able to go for breakaways and fight for stage victories. I have a good sprint and want to put myself in situations where I can use it more often.”

“We have great confidence in the qualities and potential of Maxim Van Gils”, ends John Lelangue. “He fits perfectly within our team and the plans we have for the future. Together with him, we look towards that future with great enthusiasm.”

Maxim Van Gils with Lotto till 2024:
saudi tour22 st4

 

ineos
Richard Carapaz Focuses on Vuelta a España After Giro
Richard Carapaz will not appear at the start of the 2022 Tour de France as expected. The Ecuadorian climber hopes to take a shot at the overall victory in the Vuelta a España in the autumn, he told Ciclismo a Fondo.

The 29-year-old Carapaz was co-leader in the Tour de France last year, but will not participate in the French tour this season. The reigning Olympic road champion is fully focused on the final Grand Tour of the season: the Vuelta a España. The Spanish tour starts on Friday, August 19th in the Netherlands, with a team time trial in Utrecht.

Carapaz, second in the Giro d’Italia, will be staying in his home country of Ecuador for the next month. Here he can continue to work on his fitness at altitude and prepare for the Vuelta. “In the run-up to the Vuelta I may also take part in a smaller stage race, such as the Tour of Poland. That’s an option. After the Vuelta I hope to end my season with some autumn classics.”

In the upcoming Tour, INEOS Grenadiers is counting on a team with several strong riders. The British team has several contenders in the ranks with Adam Yates, Geraint Thomas and Daniel Felipe Martínez. “At the moment Adam Yates is the leader for the Tour. I’m number two,” said Martínez last week. “There is also Geraint Thomas, who has already won the race and knows the race well. Those are our three cards.”

Richard Carapaz to the Vuelta:
giro22st20

 

israel premier
Sep Vanmarcke Changed Program Due to Relegation Battle
Israel-Premier Tech has been in the WorldTour relegation zone for some time and so the team has had to make certain choices. The team decided to change the program of Sep Vanmarcke. No Tour de France, but more Belgian one-day races. “Where I can score points myself or help a teammate in the final,” explained Vanmarcke to Het Nieuwsblad.

Israel-Premier Tech is still heading for relegation. At the end of this year there will be promotion and relegation in the WorldTour. The first eighteen teams on the UCI Team Ranking will then receive a WorldTour license for the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons. Israel-Premier Tech, the team of Chris Froome, Jakob Fuglsang, Giacomo Nizzolo and Vanmarcke, needs to score more points.

Within the team there is also the realisation that it pays to use the strong riders in one-day races. For example, a win in a 1.1 race yields twice as many points as, for example, a stage win in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Wout van Aert received sixty points on Saturday after his victory in the opening stage in the Dauphiné, whereas Arnaud De Lie took 125 points for his victory in the Ronde van Limburg.

Vanmarcke can agree with the current points system. “You may find it a weird twist, but this is pretty okay. In one-day races, there can always be a fresh, fresh team. In stage races you have to do it with the same riders all the time. If one is much better, it is easier to score. Then the gap with the many winners becomes even wider. It’s good as it is, it also ensures that the smaller competitions get the attention and field of participants they deserve.”

Vanmarcke is clear: the points are indeed very important for the teams. “A sports director who is at the back of the standings with his team and says it doesn’t affect race tactics is a liar. It’s really trying to collect points everywhere. That is why my program has been changed and the Tour has been canceled for more Belgian work, where I can score points myself or help a teammate in the final, such as preparing the sprint for Giacomo Nizzolo in the Heistse Pijl. That work is more useful than riding the Tour, where there might be one stage that suits me.”

Sep Vanmarcke:
Vanmarcke

 

human powered health
Ben King Working on Last Months as a Professional Cyclist
Ben King will hang his bike on the hook at the end of this season. The 33-year-old American, who is currently still playing for Human Powered Health, has announced this via social media. King has also appeared in the past for RadioShack, Garmin Sharp and Team Dimension Data, among others.

“I never thought cycling would take me this far. I now have a partner, son and a first daughter on the way. I still love racing, but I also want to spend more time with the family at the same time. I’m really looking forward to that. I also want to challenge myself outside of cycling, to engage in other interests. It’s a lot to process and put into place, but I believe the best is yet to come. I look forward to new opportunities.”

King started his pro career in 2011 with RadioShack, riding for them for three years. King also rode for several years for Garmin-Sharp, what we know today as EF Education-EasyPost, and Team Dimension Data. At the end of 2020 he signed a contract with the current Human Powered Health. Today, King is mainly active as a road captain and mentor of the younger talents within the American team.

King managed to win several races during his career. He became American road champion in 2010 and has stage victories in the Critérium International and the Tour of California to his name. He experienced his best weeks as a cyclist four years ago, during the Vuelta a España. King won two mountain stages. In stage four in the Sierra de la Alfaguara he defeated Nikita Stalnov, in stage nine to La Covatilla Bauke Mollema.

Ben King’s last months as a pro:
king

 

france
Antoine Benoist Ends Career
Antoine Benoist has decided to give up competitive cycling at the age of only 22. The Frenchman announced his comeback to cyclo-cross earlier this year, but has to slow down due to persistent health problems.

Benoist announced in January that he would return to cyclo-cross. The young Frenchman, who previously raced for Alpecin-Fenix, retired at the end of 2020 due to problems with his recovery, resulting from an underproduction of certain hormones. “I was forced to stop cycling for a long time, had to slow down all sports activities and take a rest due to a health problem that had dragged on for years.”

However, the problems seemed to have gone and Benoist was able to focus on a career as a cyclo-cross rider again. However, this did not last long. “I’m getting out of cycling. This feels like a failure, a slap in the face, but that’s life. However, I am determined to get back up and come out of this better,” Benoist said on Instagram. The rider says he is also relieved, now that he has made the announcement.

Benoist has also learned a lot from his time as a cyclist. “Cycling has given me so much. It is a great school for life. I have learned something every day. It was a matter of working, fighting, suffering, questioning myself, asking questions, thinking, getting back up and so on. I fought to the end, but you get to a point where you find you can’t go on like this.”

In his time as a junior and Under 23, Benoist was one of the better riders of his age. He became French champion in the youth categories several times, won the Fiuggi World Cup for juniors in 2017 and was still the best in the GP Sven Nys in 2020 among the U23s. He also won a bronze medal in 2018 at the European Under 23 Championships in Rosmalen, behind Eli Isberbyt and Tom Pidcock.

Antoine Benoist:
Antoine Benoist

 

dsm
DSM Race Preview
Giro d’Italia Giovani Under 23 – JUN 11 – 18
Boris Zimine – Team DSM coach: “The Baby Giro is one of the toughest races on the calendar for the U23 peloton and is a race that everyone in our Development program is looking forward to. We start the race with the main goal of hunting for day results. Casper is our finisher for the flat stages, and with Hannes, Max, Oscar, and Lorenzo, we have a solid block for the climbing stages. With good teamwork and commitment, we believe that we can achieve really good stage results throughout the week. Being sharp on the basics and our way of working will be the main focus, and we’re all looking forward to a great week in Italy.”

Line-up:
Lorenzo Milesi (ITA)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Max Poole (GBR)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Hannes Wilksch (GER).

Oscar Onley to the U23 Giro:
onley

 

tdf
2024 Tour de France to Start in Florence, Maybe Not Finish in Paris
The Tour de France will start in Italy for the first time in its history in 2024, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italian sports-paper, thinks the Grand Départ will take place in Florence. La Gazzetta dello Sport also writes that the Tour de France, which has always finished in Paris since the first edition, may end in Nice in 2024, because of the Olympic Games, which will also be held in Paris in 2024.

The 111th edition of the Tour de France will start on June 29 in Piazzale Michelangelo, in the historic centre of Florence, say La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Tour would also remain in Italy in the following days, until the border is crossed on day four. The first stage, which starts in the region of Gino Bartali and Gastone Nencini, finishes in Rimini, where Marco Pantani died in 2004. The next day the stage starts in Cesenatico, Pantani’s birthplace.

The finish is in Bologna that day, after climbing some four to five kilometre long hills south of the city. Then there is another all-Italian stage from Modena to Piacenza, through the Apennines. On Tuesday 2 July, a course would be set for France, from Pinerolo, the place where Fausto Coppi completed a historic solo in the 1949 Tour.

The rest of the route of the 2022 Tour is not yet known, but La Gazzetta dello Sport knows that the finish may not be in Paris. Nice would be the final destination on Sunday 21 July. The reason is its proximity to the Olympic Games, which take place in Paris and last from July 26 to August 11. So the start is five days after the Tour ends. Two such popular and gigantic events so close together on the calendar would not be possible, also for security reasons.

No Paris finish in 2024?
tdf21st21

 

benelux
No Benelux Tour This Year
The Benelux Tour has been canceled this year. The next edition will be in 2023, the organisers announced in a press release on Tuesday. They speak of a “necessary decision and the only solution to avoid problems”. The race through the Netherlands and Belgium was scheduled to run between Monday 29th August and Sunday 4th September.

The overcrowded calendar has caused problems, the organising committee said in the communiqué. “This year, the Dutch police cannot vouch for the guidance by the National Unit for the route in the Netherlands. For the Benelux Tour, which attaches great importance to safety, racing without the necessary police assistance is downright dangerous and not an option,” the statement read.

“Planning the finish times and the associated TV broadcasts also creates insoluble problems. The broadcasting times of other races at that time would force the organisation to foresee finish times that would become uninteresting for supporters and invited guests on the spot and TV viewers and would saddle the teams with impossible starting times or times of transfers.”

Christophe Impens (Golazo) calls the shift of the Benelux Tour to 2023 thinks it’s a great pity for cycling fans. “Just like it is for our team that has been preparing for months. But it is a necessary decision and the only solution to avoid problems. All parties involved will only benefit from the fact that we can work on a better and stronger Benelux Tour for the coming years.”

Together with the UCI and the two national cycling federations, Belgian Cycling and the KNWU, the organiser is looking for a better date in 2023. The Benelux Tour was won by Sonny Colbrelli last season. The Italian took the blue leader’s jersey on the penultimate day and secured the overall victory a day later in the final stage to Geraardsbergen.

Sonny Colbrelli was the last winner of the Benelux Tour:
romandie

 

Want To Become An INSIDER?
whistler22

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE DOING NEXT WEEKEND

With RBC GranFondo Whistler established over 12 years ago and having become one of the most lauded events in North America, we’re giving you the rare chance to become an Insider at our event kitchen’s newest concoction and test offering: XFONDO Whistler on Sat June 18th.

This is not a style of event you’ve seen before. Taking on 4 types of terrain: road, gravel, dirt and trail, we’re doing away with the corporate sheen and bringing together good people to whoop at trees on some of the best riding you’ve never experienced. After, we drink beer and share stories.

What’s an Insider you say? More on that in a minute…

whistler

Let’s talk cycling for a hot second.

If you’re a roadie, this event is for you. If you’re a gravel dirtbag, this event is for you. If you like hanging around cool people, this event is for you.

Course-wise, we’ve hand picked some of the most effective terrain in BC for getting grown adults to coo like a blitheful three-year-old.

A classic gravel event, this is not. This is wild BC. You’ve got the choice of two distances at the Year 1 test:
“Longer” 60k
“Shorter” 42k

Finish that, and then we’re on to the party.

Need a steed? We recommend bringing a gravel bike. Rent from Arbutus Routes before they’re all gone.

whistler22

Okay, back to this Insider business.

Brand new types of cycling events don’t come around very often. We want you as the cycling community to be at the very heart and genesis of this event.

You to come up with honorary names for notorious sections on course. You to have your say in what type of party the post-ride celebration becomes. You to bring your BC vibes and chisel away at this baby so that our provincial neighbours come to join us with disbelieving eyes.

Strictly limited to 200 early adopters, an entry into XFONDO Whistler, Sat June 18th gives you Insider access and influence over the future direction of these biking shindigs. We think you get the gist of what we’re saying.

Last 34 spots remaining. Be a friend to yourself and register now.

whistler22

Got a good picture of what XFONDO is all about? Think again.

Over the past weeks and months our website has been getting a boatload of new updates and paintjobs as we continue to add and expand everything that’s coming your way.

Learn about:

So what are you waiting for? Seize the opportunity and become an Insider today (last 34 slots remaining!).

whistler22

whistler

 

spain
Julio Jiménez, runner-up of the Tour de France, Passes Away
Known as “The Watchmaker of Ávila” Julio Jiménez won five stages of the Tour and came second twice in the 1960s. The cyclist from Avila, Julio Jiménez, 87, died on Wednesday morning at the Nuestra Señora de Sonsoles de Ávila hospital after failing to survive the injuries he suffered in a traffic accident last Tuesday. Two other octogenarians were also injured in the accident, when the vehicle in which they were traveling collided with a wall.

Jiménez, popularly known as “The Watchmaker of Ávila”, took five victories in the Tour de France between 1959 and 1969, added to that four stages in the Giro d’Italia and another three in the Vuelta a España. Jiménez stood out as a great climber and he won the mountain jersey three times in both the Tour and the Vuelta.

After his death, one of the first reactions was from the president of the Provincial Council of Ávila, Carlos García, who in a press release expressed his condolences, on behalf of the government and the workers of the province, to the relatives and cycling friends.

García affirmed that Jiménez “will always be a reference in sport from Avila and Spain,” since “his record speaks for itself to classify him as one of the greats of cycling in a few years in which cycling was forged as a heroic and exciting sport.” He also highlighted his “human quality, his affability and his camaraderie, both in competition and in his personal life,” characteristics that “made him even more special.”

“The memory of Julio Jiménez, training and competing on the climbs of the province of Ávila, will be perpetual and will be an example for current and future generations of cyclists that this land has always given,” said the president of the Ávila Provincial Council.

D.E.P. Campéon.

It is usually forgotten that Julio Jiménez won the stage on the Mont Ventoux the day Tom Simpson died:
jimenez poulidor

 


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