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The racing is in full flight: Tour de Suisse, Tour of Slovenia, Baloise Belgium Tour and the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge with video. Van Aert to pay €662,000 to Nick Nuyens – TOP STORY. Rider news: Chris Hamilton extends with DSM and Marcel Sieberg plans to retire. Race news: Tour of Austria Canceled and the Para-Cycling Road World Championships. Team news: INEOS Grenadiers extend with Pinarello and Qhubeka ASSOS video competition. Big EUROTRASH read Thursday.

top story
TOP STORY: Van Aert has to pay €662,000 to Nick Nuyens
Nick Nuyens has been found in the right by the Labour Court in Antwerp in the case against Wout van Aert. The latter broke his contract on 17 September 2018 with Sniper Cycling BVBA, the Nuyens team that Van Aert was riding for at the time. Van Aert has to pay Nuyens a severance payment of €662,000.

Nuyens took Van Aert to the labour court in 2018, after Van Aert terminated his then current contract with the Veranda’s-Willems team due to urgent reasons and a breach of trust. Nuyens demanded compensation of 1.1 million euros, but Van Aert was acquitted on 26 November 2019 at the labour court in Mechelen.

The court in Mechelen ruled that there were indeed urgent reasons for dismissal for Van Aert, as a result of which he was acquitted. However, Nuyens could still appeal to the Labour Court in Antwerp. He did that successfully. The termination of the employment contract was declared unfounded.

The problems time-line (thanks to WeilerFlits):
End of 2016:

Nick Nuyens and his then business partner Chris Compagnie took over part of the Crelan-Vastgoedservice cyclocross team. Involved in the deal were: Wout van Aert, Tim Merlier, sports director Niels Albert and sponsor Crelan. A step in the right direction for Van Aert, because Veranda’s Willems-Crelan, as the team was called, would be a ProTeam. Van Aert and Merlier could race a nicer road program than with the continental Vastgoedservice. Nuyens and Compagnie also took over the Veranda’s Willems team. Including sponsor Veranda’s Willems and a number of riders, including Timothy Dupont, Elias Van Breussegem and Dries De Bondt. Stijn Devolder and Huub Duijn bring in some extra experience.

Nov 2017:
After the team’s Felt road bikes had come under fire, a story has surfaced in the Belgian media about far-reaching tensions between Van Aert and Nuyens. They would be bigger than the outside world had previously suspected. The ‘slow’ Felt bikes (road cyclists rode in the classics with cross frames) remained an item, but Van Aert also did not like the logistical approach from the team. “Let’s just say I’m not one hundred percent happy,” Van Aert didn’t want to push the situation to the point yet. According to Nick Nuyens, there was nothing wrong. There were rumours Van Aert had been in contact with Lotto Soudal, but the rider dismissed this. “None of it. I am under contract until the end of 2019.”

July 2018:
After his first successful spring on the road, Van Aert was sought after by a number of WorldTour teams. Although he still had a contract until the end of 2019, it was announced during the Tour de France that he would ride for Team Jumbo from January 1, 2020. He signed a contract for three years. Nuyens also made Van Aert a “hard to refuse” proposal during that period, but the relationship turned out to be too sour by then. Van Aert himself indicated that he could only take a step higher in a WorldTour team. Soon after the announcement, Sniper Cycling, the owner of the Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team, issued a press release saying that Van Aert would terminate his 2019 contract with the team. This was also confirmed by the rider.

August 2018:
Despite the fact that Van Aert was still under contract for another year, Nick Nuyens had not been able to convince main sponsor Veranda’s Willems to extend his partnership and has to look for a new sponsor. On August 1, an official press release was issued from the Irish Aqua Blue Cycling that there would be a merger with Veranda’s Willems-Crelan. This was denied the same day by Nuyens’ team. At the end of August, it leaked that a merger of the team with Roompot-Nationale Loterij was imminent. This news was confirmed by Sniper Cycling. The team would be called Roompot-Crelan, with Wout van Aert as leader for one year (2019). Wout van Aert indicated that he felt used and abused. He does not like a merger with Roompot.

September 2018:
Wout van Aert cuts his contact with Sniper Cycling with immediate effect and that there were facts that had occurred to justify that dismissal. Later we learned that on the one hand this was about “serious shortcomings” and “absolutely inadmissible practices”, in combination with a direct cause. Sniper Cycling is said to have asked Niels Albert to prepare a document about the collaboration with Van Aert, whereby Albert was pressured to put Van Aert in a bad light. From then on it became clear that the alleged fairytale marriage would turn into a tough divorce. Sniper Cycling claimed for damages totalling 1.2 million euros.

Winter 2018-2019
Van Aert finishes the cyclo-cross season with its own sponsors. Afterwards, he moves to Jumbo-Visma, a year earlier than originally planned.

October 2019 lawsuit:
Niels Albert, who wanted to leave the team, stated the following in court: “Nuyens asked why I would stop. He asked me to state in the motivation that the reason was the change in Wout’s character. It had to appear as if Van Aert was the reason for my departure. I told Nick I couldn’t possibly do that because I had three good years with Van Aert.”

According to Van Aert’s lawyer, Walter Van Steenbrugge, this amounted to “inciting forgery.” According to Nuyens’ lawyer, Rudi Desmet, “everything was staged to be able to leave early.” However, the labour court followed Van Aert’s version and escaped the monster fine, although Nuyens immediately indicated that he would not stop at that and would appeal to the labour court in Antwerp.

June 2021:
The Labor Court in Antwerp believes that Nuyens cannot be blamed for asking Albert to put this on paper. And it does not consider it proven that Nuyens had unauthorised intentions in doing so. Nor does it establish any undue pressure on Niels Albert. Conclusion: the court decides that Sniper Cycling did not commit any serious mistakes, as a result of which the dismissal for urgent reasons is unjustified and overturns the decision of the labour court in Mechelen. The court found the demanded compensation of 1.2 million euros to be just, but the prize money and entry fees are not taken into account when calculating the compensation. The labor court has sentenced Van Aert to pay 662,404.31 euros.

The court also rejects Sniper Cycling’s claim for compensation for abuse of rights and/or abuse of dismissal law. Sniper claimed that due to Van Aert’s erroneous performance, the team ceased to exist as a ProTeam and that important sponsors left. According to the court, Sniper could not prove damage other than that caused by the dismissal itself. This does not end the case. Van Aert’s adviser Van Steenbrugge responded immediately. “The interpretation of the court deviates 180° from the judgment of the labour court in Mechelen,” said Van Steenbrugge to Het Laatste Nieuws. “What I do not find in the judgment, for example, is that Niels Albert asked for a statement from Van Aert to get rid of the severance payment.”

“That was a false statement in exchange for money. Just imagine an employee discrediting another employee at the behest of his boss, unions would be standing on all barricades if they went unpunished. That is partly what happened here and I miss that in the judgment of the Labour Court. Wout has asked me to investigate the possibilities of going to Cassation. That remedy is still open and I expect that Cassation will have the last word on this.”

Rudi De Smet, Nuyens’ counsel, said that his client is now mainly relieved. “This has completely exonerated Nick Nuyens. It is now clear that he made no mistakes.”

So to be continued?

Wout and Nick:
Sint-Niklaas - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Wout Van Aert, Nick Nuyens pictured during presentation of the Sniper Pro Cycling Team Crelan Willems Veranda’s on December 13, 2016 in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

 

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Tour de Suisse 2021
Mathieu van der Poel won the first road Stage 2 in the Tour de Suisse. The Dutchman beat the German Maximilian Schachmann in Lachen after the two had broken away in the final kilometres. Wout Poels finished third just behind them. Stefan Küng narrowly kept his leader’s jersey.

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Early on, two Swiss and two Canadians escaped from the peloton: Matteo Dal-Cin, Nickolas Zukowsky (Rally Cycling), Claudio Imhof (Swiss Team) and Tom Bohli (Cofidis). Their lead stabilised at six minutes. After the two climbs of the Ghöch and Oberricken, it dropped to 3 minutes. With 30 kilometres to go, the break could think of a stage victory, although the descent of the Oberricken caused some problems. Bohli and Imhof rode away from the two Rally Canadians. In the peloton; BikeExchange worked hard for Matthews, which tore the pack into three parts, leaving around seventy men in the main group. The end for Imhof, who had dropped Bohli, followed quickly. He was caught a few kilometres before the last ascent of the day, the Lichtenstrasse with only 10 kilometres to go.

On the climb Alaphilippe attacked first. The Frenchman caused a split, only Van der Poel, Iván García Cortina, Richard Carapaz, Maximilian Schachmann, Wout Poels, Jakob Fuglsang, Marc Hirschi and Michael Woods were able to follow. In the last kilometres this group fell apart. After an attack by Van der Poel, the Dutchman raced alone for a while. Two kilometres from the finish, Schachmann managed to cross, but Van der Poel had the better legs in Lachen. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​rider even took a second on Schachmann in the final meters. Poels finished third. Leader Küng was dropped on the final climb, but kept the damage limited and kept his leader’s jersey by 1 seconds from Julian Alaphilippe.

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Stage winner and 4th overall, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was a nice stage because of the rain. It reminded me of the classics. I’m really glad I managed to finish it. It was nice to be back on the road. I wanted to win a stage here, because the first days suit me well. That I’m already winning makes me proud. If you see against who I win here, I think this victory is very high. They (his team) had to make the race hard at fifty kilometres from the finish and they did. I am proud of them and would like to thank them.”

Overall leader, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “It was a great day on the roads where I train every day. Every two kilometres I recognised someone. This race makes Swiss riders dream. Today the goal was to defend the jersey. I got a lot of motivation and strength from the jersey today, but I also knew that it was going to be tough on the difficult climb. On the flat I gave everything after that. Only a second ahead is very little. Tomorrow I will have to get everything out of it again. Fortunately, the stage is a lot less difficult than today.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “When we went up the last climb it was really hard. I tried to open a gap with Alaphilippe and shake off van der Poel, but it didn’t quite work out. In the end, van der Poel put in a strong attack, I played poker, but nobody wanted to close the gap and so then I rode by myself to catch up with him. I knew it would be very tough to beat him in a sprint, but I kept riding to take some more seconds for the overall standings.”

8th on the stage and 2nd overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m not really disappointed, because I was at the limit. It was a nice final, but also a tough one. The rain made the roads very slippery. I tried, but on the flat there was a moment of doubt. As a result, two riders were able to pull away and I no longer participate for the stage victory. The form is there. That gives me confidence for the stages to come. Hopefully I can get some good results there as well.”

Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “To be honest, the bad weather didn’t bother me too much. In the last 70 kilometres, the intensity was very high. So to speak, the peloton flew over the last two climbs. The strongman group that broke away on the last climb made the difference on the pedal, and I defended myself in the pursuit. Afterwards, I tried to place myself in the sprint. Given the competition, I must be delighted with my 20th place. The next stage should also suit me, starting with tomorrow’s, because there may be a sprint in a small group, with explosive climbs like today. I would like to thank the team who give me a lot of confidence and allow me to produce performances like today.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:12:30
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:01
3. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 0:04
4. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
5. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:09.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 2:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 4:24:52
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:02
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:06
5. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar at 0:12
6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:13
8. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:25
9. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious at 0:30
10. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:33.

Suisse’21 stage 2:

 

The Stage 3 of the Tour of Switzerland turned out to be just right for Mathieu van der Poel. The Alpecin-Fenix Dutch champion took his second consecutive stage victory after a mighty sprint in Pfaffnau. He also took over the leader’s jersey from Stefan Küng. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) finished second and third in the sprint.

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Not long after the start, the leading group escaped from the peloton. Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), Ben King (Rally) and Claudio Imhof (Swiss team) were joined by Mathias Frank after a hard chase. This was a special stage for the AG2R-Citroën rider, who is in his last WorldTour race, as the race pasted his parents house. The front group got a maximum lead of 6 minutes, but they were kept under control by the peloton. At the start of the local circuit, the quartet were still away as a few crashes in the peloton helped their cause. Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal), Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma) and Johan Jacobs (Movistar) were among the crash victims, but they were all able to continue.

On one of the climbs on the circuit, with about 25 kilometres to go, Van der Poel put on the pressure, Alaphilippe the took over. The rainbow jersey couldn’t stay away long thanks to the work of INEOS Grenadiers, although he caught the last remaining escapee. An entertaining final phase followed, in which Iván Garcia looked to be heading for the win. His attack ended in the last kilometre and the race was going to end in a sprint. Van der Poel jumped hard from Alaphilippe’s wheel, while the World champion closed the door for Michael Matthews and Maximilian Schachmann. For the Dutchman it was easy to finish the job. Thanks to his second stage win in a row, Van der Poel is also the new overall leader in the Tour of Switzerland thanks to the race bonuses. Julian Alaphilippe is at 1 second, as Stefan Küng dropped to third place, 4 seconds behind the new leader.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “Maybe tomorrow is another possibility. I had another good day, I wanted to make the race hard, just like yesterday, but the group was too big. We were left with thirty to forty riders. At the first crossing of the finish I thought the finish should suit me well, so I bet on the sprint. Today was a difficult day. Everyone on the team had to put in a lot of effort and they did it well. I want to defend it as long as possible. Tomorrow might still be a possibility, but in the mountains it’s too hard for me. Tomorrow it’s very similar to the past few days, but they’re not going to make it easy for me. But that third stage win is certainly possible. Someone has to win, so maybe it’s me again…”

2nd overall and 3rd on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m not really disappointed, because I was at the limit. It was a nice final, but also a tough one. The rain made the roads very slippery. I tried, but on the flat there was a moment of doubt. As a result, two riders were able to pull away and I no longer participate for the stage victory. The form is there. That gives me confidence for the stages to come. Hopefully I can get some good results there as well.”

5th on the stage and 4th overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “The stage was harder than expected, and particularly at the end it was really hard going in the reduced group. We had already seen the finale on the penultimate lap and in the sprint I was quite well positioned, yet unfortunately I was a bit boxed in and in the end it was enough for fifth place. But I’m in fourth position overall, only 6 seconds behind the leader, with the really hard stages still ahead of us.”

11th on the stage, Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “After the last climb, which we did at full speed, I quickly noticed that several teams were there in numbers to control the group. From then on, with sports director Steven De Neef, we decided not to attack and to take advantage of the work of the other teams, in order to bet everything on the sprint finish. I managed to squeeze in and end just outside the top 10. I’m happy with the form, the signs are very positive. Tomorrow I think there is a good chance for a similar group to sprint for the win again, despite the climb of Saanenmöser Pass. It is certainly a long climb but not steep enough to create a large selection. Of course, we will see because the riders can make it very hard or not. For my part, I will follow as long as possible and try again to get a result for the team.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 3 Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:24:26
2. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
5. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM
8. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
10. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 3:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 8:49:14
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
4. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:06
5. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:13
6. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
8. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:29
9. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:37
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 0:39.

Suisse’21 stage 3:

 

Stefan Bissegger won Stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse. The promising Swiss rider from EF Education-Nippo was part of an escape and then beat Benjamin Thomas and Joey Rosskopf at the finish. Mathieu van der Poel held the yellow leader’s jersey.

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With two-time stage winner Mathieu van der Poel in the leader’s jersey, the peloton of the Tour of Switzerland was slowly but surely preparing for the bigger climbs. In today’s stage, the riders had to climb the Saanenmöster in the finalé, a climb of 7.5 kilometres at 4.4%. From the top there was about 10 kilometres down to the finish at the local airport in Gstaad. A difficult stage, but certainly not too much for the man in yellow.

It took a while before a leading group escaped from the peloton due to the speed, but eventually six riders managed to get away. Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo Visma) was joined by Marcus Burghardt (BORA-hansgrohe), Simon Pellaud (Swiss team), Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Jelle Wallays of Cofidis. The difference was just under 2 minutes. However, the break was soon swallowed up again and the next attack attempt by 22 riders was short-lived. Not much later it was the turn of Joey Rosskopf (Rally Cycling), Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ) and Joel Suter (Swiss National team) to take a gap. Stefan Bissegger of EF Education-Nippo sensed the danger and managed join them with a quick chase. Bissegger, Rosskopf, Thomas and Suter worked well together and the difference with 80 kilometres to go increased to almost 4 minutes. The lead kept growing and the gap at 40 kilometres from the finish was 6 minutes. In the peloton it was up to Cofidis and Movistar to chase as Alpecin-Fenix were uninterested.

Van der Poel was not really interested in a third consecutive stage win and the Movistar men decided to stop chasing at one point, giving the leading group a big chance. Rosskopf, Thomas, Suter and Bissegger would be fighting for the win. Bissegger could also go for the yellow leader’s jersey, as the Swiss time trial specialist was 8 minutes from the overall lead. The escapees started with an almost eight minute lead at the foot of the main climb of the day: the Saanenmöster. Home rider Suter was the first to drop out of the leading group, but Thomas, Bissegger and Rosskopf proved to be evenly matched. These front runners started to look at each other, and Suter almost caught them. Just before the top there was another attack and this turned out to be the death blow for Suter. Thomas, Rosskopf and Bissegger started the descent together. On the wet descent of the Saanenmöster there was another attempt by Thomas and Bissegger twice and on the flat Rosskopf tried it with a big acceleration, but a sprint would decide the stage win. Rosskopf was the first to start the sprint, but it was Bissegger who raced to victory in his home country. Thomas had to settle for second place, ahead of Rosskopf. Suter crossed the line in fourth. Five minutes later the first riders of the thinned out peloton crossed the finish line. Van der Poel was in the first group and held the yellow leader’s jersey for another day.

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Stage winner, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo): “Finally I have success in my own country. I was already so close in the prologue time trial (second behind Stefan Küng) but then also had bad luck with the weather conditions. I could see that I was the best descender and so went for it, but I misjudged a corner and almost crashed. This is my most beautiful victory. First of all, it is a road race and not a time trial, but of course it is much nicer to win for your own people.”

4th overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today we wanted to finish safely and of course not lose any time in the GC. The team also tried to put someone in the break and potentially race for the win, but it didn’t work out in the end. I actually felt pretty good and even though it rained at times towards the end, we all finished well.”

6th on the stage, Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (UAE Team Emirates): “Today was certainly a complicated race. The team did a good job with De la Cruz and Troia helping me navigate me down the descent which could have been dangerous given the rain. In the final, Gibbons led out the sprint in the best possible way and I gave everything I had.”

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux left the Tour de Suisse, Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager): “The decision to withdraw was not easy to take, but we want to be cautious and protect the race bubble after one team member tested positive yesterday even if the rest of the group were all negative. Our priority is riders’ and staff members’ health so we decided to withdraw from Tour de Suisse in consultation with the race organiser. We will keep monitoring the team’s health and focus on the next goals.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Result:
1. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo in 3:46:21
2. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Joey Rosskopf (USA) Rally Cycling
4. Joel Suter (Swi) Switzerland at 0:23
5. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 5:16
6. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 5:16
7. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 5:16
8. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 5:16
9. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious at 5:16
10. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 5:16.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 4:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 12:40:51
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
4. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:06
5. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:13
6. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
8. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:29
9. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:37
10. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo at 0:38.

Suisse’21 stage 4:

 

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Tour of Slovenia 2021
Stage 1 of the Tour of Slovenia was won by Phil Bauhaus. After an ideal lead-out from his teammates from Bahrain Victorious, the German narrowly held off Spaniard Jon Aberasturi in the final sprint. Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) was third.

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The Tour of Slovenia is the final preparation race for the Tour de France for Tour champion Tadej Pogačar. The UAE Emirates rider, also the top favourite for the overall victory in his home race, was the biggest star at the start in Ptuj. The Tour of Slovenia started with a sprint-friendly stage in the northeast of the country, finishing in Rogaška Slatina. A lot of riders were eager to show themselves from the start and so it took a while before the early break got away from the peloton. It was after 50 kilometres that Luca Covilli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Jonas Hvideberg (Uno-X), Dmitry Strakhov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Aritz Bagües (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Antonio Angulo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Jacob Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod) and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) managed to get a nice lead. In the peloton UAE Emirates and Bahrain Victorious controlled the difference which fluctuated around 2 minutes. The seven leaders worked well together and managed to stay out of the grip of the chasing peloton for a long time, but were caught in the final. A bunch sprint seemed to be on the cards, although Kristijan Koren tried to surprise the sprinter’s teams with a late attack.

The Slovenian’s attack was short-lived. In the last kilometres there was a lot of fighting to get into the last kilometre in a good position. With 3 kilometres to go there was a crash in the peloton, which thinned the group considerably. Bahrain Victorious was unaffected by the crash and managed to set their German sprinter Phil Bauhaus perfectly for the last 200 meters. Bauhaus jumped at the right time, but Jon Aberasturi proved to be a tough customer in the final sprint. The Spaniard from Caja Rural-Seguros RGA came close, but Bauhaus was the first to push his wheel across the line. This is the fourth victory of the season for the 26-year-old Bauhaus, after a stage win in the Tour de La Provence and two stages in the Tour of Hungary. The Bahrain Victorious rider is also the first leader in the Tour of Slovenia.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “I’m really proud of this victory. Our goal was to sprint today. It was a really fast final. The team raced fantastically all day. We controlled the race and were leading the entire time. I was finally able to start my sprint with two hundred meters to go. The condition has been very good the last few weeks. In addition, the team has confidence in me as a sprinter. That I’m winning here now… I couldn’t be happier.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a nervous start with a few crashes, Trentin had a hard one but thankfully he’s ok. We planned to do a sprint with him but with his crash we decided that I would sprint. The guys did an amazing job in the finish for me and I had good legs. It was amazing to have champions like Tadej and Diego working for me and I appreciate it. I look forward to paying them back this week.It’s my first podium since I joined the team and I hope for many more.”

Tour of Slovenia Stage 1 Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 3:33:45
2. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
4. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
5. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Alex Edmondson (Aus) BikeExchange
7. Alan Banaszek (Pol) Mazowsze Serce Polski
8. Ryan Christensen (NZ) Canyon DHB Sungod
9. Matthew Bostock (GB) Canyon DHB Sungod
10. Mikel Alonso Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Tour of Slovenia Overall After Stage 1:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 3:33:35
2. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:04
3. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:06
4. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X at 0:07
5. Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Nor) Uno-X
6. Matthew Bostock (GB) Canyon DHB Sungod at 0:08
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:09
8. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB at 0:10
9. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Alex Edmondson (Aus) BikeExchange.

Slovenia’21 stage 1:

 


Baloise Belgium Tour 2021
Robbe Ghys won the opening Stage 1 of the Baloise Belgium Tour. The 24-year-old rider of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise was the strongest sprinter of a group of three at the end of a 175 kilometre stage from Beveren to Maarkedal. Remco Evenepoel came in second, but took the overall lead.

belgium tour

There was an early break of eight riders: Ghys, Tom Wirtgen (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles), Thijs Aerts (Baloise-Trek Lions), Youri Havik and Jan-Willem van Schip (both Beat Cycling). They were joined by Arne Marit (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Gianni Marchand (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Julien Van den Brande (Tarteletto-Isorex), and the leading group grew to eight riders. The peloton did not let the leaders get too far away. The maximum lead was not much more than 3 minutes. The decision would come during the three finishing circuits of 15.5 kilometres, which included the climbs of Fortstraat, Ellestraat and Berg ten Houte. During the second passage over Berg ten Houte, the race exploded. At the initiative of Remco Evenepoel, and a chasing group was formed, including Victor Campenaerts, Caleb Ewan and Ide Schelling. Two laps before the finish, Evenepoel again put in an attack. After this new acceleration, only Campenaerts could follow. Ghys and Van Schip were now the only survivors at the head of the race. During the climb of the Ellestraat, with 22 kilometres to go, Evenepoel and Campenaerts joined the two leaders. In the peloton, Philippe Gilbert started to chase the Evenepoel group with Davide Ballerini. Ballerini gave up and was soon followed by Gilbert.

At the front of the race, Van Schip had been replaced by Marchand. The three escapees were happy that they could follow the wheel of Evenepoel. Evenepoel took the full 9 bonus seconds at the Golden Kilometre. The lead of the Evenepoel group had grown to 30 seconds with 10 kilometres to go. At the head of the chasing peloton, Alpecin-Fenix ​​tried to reduce the difference for sprinter Jasper Philipsen. Campenaerts had to drop out due to cramp. Early escapees Ghys and Marchard bravely held onto Evenepoel’s wheel over the last climb of Berg Ten Houte, the battle for the stage victory would be between the three. Philippe Gilbert tried to make the crossing from behind, but came too late. Marchand was the first to start the sprint, but was caught by Evenepoel. Ghys had the strongest final sprint. Ghys, who will soon be at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, recorded his first road victory in his career. Due to the bonuses, Evenepoel will wear the leader’s jersey in the 11.2. kilometre time trial in Knokke-Heist.

belgium tour

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Robbe Ghys (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise): “The plan was to have a good day anyway. I raced past my own door, so I had motivation to show myself, but I would never have dreamed that it would end this way. We had a good relationship in the leading group. They were all smart guys and we took long turns. This way we could save ourselves for the final. I wanted to put myself in the spotlight for a while and suddenly I saw Remco (Evenepoel) coming. I really didn’t expect that. Then I was told to hold his wheel in hopes of staying ahead. I knew I could finish it in the sprint. He went really fast, but I was instructed to stay on the wheel. That may not be the nicest way, but it had to be because I was in the cramps. I almost missed a bend in the gravel and almost fell. Then I had a very hard time. But I knew when I was over the cobblestones, I’d stand a chance. Fortunately he didn’t continue on the cobblestones, because otherwise I would have been dropped. To be able to win on this course with this field of participants, that is a dream come true.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Today was a very hot and hard stage, with some technical and nervous local laps where the race came to life and where you didn’t have any proper moment of respite. The team did a great job and I am grateful to them, as we were in the right place at the right moment. When we saw there were some splits and that the others were suffering, we decided to do something, so I attacked and it worked out well. The goal was to gain as much time as possible on the chasers and we can be content with the way it panned out, as it’s a perfect start for us.”

Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal): “We were leading the pack with other teams in order to catch the early break. I was a bit too far back when Evenepoel and Campenaerts attacked. After that I tried to make the crossing, but got stuck at fifteen seconds and was unable to close the gap. I had actually thought that several teams would get involved in the chase, but that was not the case. In the end we were unable to catch up with the front group. I think there is still a lot that can be done for the general classification. All in all, I’m pretty happy with today.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Robbie Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 4:05:15
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Tartoletto-Isorex
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:28
5. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise-Trek Lions
7. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Intermarche-Wanty Gobert Matériaux
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Pascal Eennkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Be) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:05:00
2. Robbie Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:05
3. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Tartoletto-Isorex at 0:08
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:28
5. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise-Trek Lions
7. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Intermarche-Wanty Gobert Matériaux
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Pascal Eennkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma

Baloise Belgium Tour’21 stage 1:

 

ventoux
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge 2021
Colombian’s unstoppable attack with 12km left gives him victory at ‘Giant of Provence’, the Blues’ 19th success in 2021, ninth for the men’s team, as Mas joins him on podium with 3rd place.

ventoux

The Movistar Team’s two main references for the upcoming 2021 Tour de France, Miguel Ángel López and Enric Mas, completed their preparations with an impressive display at the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges (UCI 1.1), held on Thursday over a tough course of 153km with 4,400m of climbing, featuring two final climbs of the ‘Giant of Provence’.

The great work from Mathias Norsgaard, Lluís Mas and Juri Hollmann to control the peloton into the early climbs allowed the Movistar leaders reaching the final 21km uphill fresh and calm, with a seven-man breakaway. Quentin Pacher (BBK), as last survivor, kept on a short leash. The Frenchman was indeed caught by López, who was protected by Verona and Pedrero early into the climb and then tried a long-range move, 12km away from the summit, to start creating impressive gaps, which reached two and a half minutes at the top. Behind, Mas initially marked every move in pursuit of his team-mate and then sought to pick up the pace and try to make it onto the podium, he ultimately got 3rd spot, behind Óscar Rodríguez (APT) and López. Today’s victory by ‘Superman’ increases the Movistar Team’s 2021 win tally to 19, nine obtained by the men’s squad.

ventoux

Race winner, Miguel Ángel López (Movistar): “So happy about the win! We obviously were tipped by many as favourites to do well and go for the win, both myself and Enric, but our team-mates were fantastic and made things quite easier. It was a magnificent job by them – and we had to try and pay them back for those efforts, so why not go for a nice victory! An easy one? It’s never easy, not at all – it was such a long climb for me! It was difficult for everybody, especially considering that the first Ventoux climb was covered at great speed and we tackled the second one at a strong pace. That also made it easier for me to attack from afar, as the rivals were a bit more tired. As I said, I’m really happy and, overall, satisfied to complete my Tour de France preparations with this success.”

Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge Result:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar in4:30:04
2. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 2:26
3. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:33
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 3:30
5. Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Total Direct Energie
6. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 4:02
7. Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo at 4:45
8. Simon Carr (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 5:41
9. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar at 5:48
10. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 6:10.

Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge’21:

 

dsm
Team DSM Extend Contract with Chris Hamilton Until 2023
Off the back of a strong performance at the Giro d’Italia, Team DSM are delighted to announce that they have extended their cooperation with Chris Hamilton until the end of 2023.

Since turning professional with the team in 2017, Hamilton has steadily progressed year-by-year, growing as an athlete both on and off the bike. Racing in different tactical roles and regularly an excellent part of the climbing support block, Hamilton is more than happy to take on whatever role is needed at that race to contribute to bringing home the best possible results for the team; which is an incredibly valuable characteristic. Furthermore, when given the role to be the finisher on behalf of the team he has shown his quality and class on the bike, with sixth place on GC at the 2019 Tour Down Under where he also won the white jersey, alongside eighth on GC at the Tour de Pologne that year as well, testament to that. He was an integral member of the team’s solid seventh place finish on GC at this year’s Giro d’Italia, where he also claimed his best result as a pro; a well-fought and richly deserved second place over a testing parcours from the breakaway.

Chris Hamilton said: “It was a pretty easy decision for me when I was given the opportunity to extend with the team. The past four and a half years have been great, and the support has always been really good here. It’s both a highly ambitious, as well as a nice environment that I work well in and I’m looking forward to the coming two years ahead with the team.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “We’re really happy to continue and extend our contract with Chris. As a team, we really like the way that we cooperate and we have a very good working relationship. Chris brings added value to the team both on and off the bike, and we are confident that this trend will continue in the upcoming years together. He is an excellent team player who is fully committed to our goals and he always brings a nice atmosphere to a group. We are confident that Chris is capable of continuing to contribute to bring home nice results for the team, both in an important support role and also in the role as finisher on some occasions, and together we will build on the strong foundations that we have in place to do that.”

Chris Hamilton:
giro

 

bahrain
Marcel Sieberg Plans to Retire at the End of 2021 Seasons After 17 Years in Pro Peloton
After a distinguished, 17 years long career in cycling, Marcel Sieberg has decided to retire at the end of this season. Marcel has been an integral part of Team Bahrain Victorious since 2019.

Looking back on his career, Marcel has competed in nine Tour de France and is a top ten finisher in arguably the most challenging one day race, Paris-Roubaix.

More notably, Marcel Sieberg will be remembered for his excellent positioning as a key lead-out man. At Lotto-Soudal, Marcel was an integral part of over 100 wins of Andre Greipel. During his time in Team Bahrain, Marcel has played a vital role in Phil Bauhaus’ stage wins at the Saudi Tour in 2020 and, more recently, his two stage wins at Tour de Hongrie. He also was a leader to the younger riders in the group, passing on his experience and leading them through the cobbled classics, helping the team achieve results. His good spirits at dinner, on the bus, during training and racing was felt across the team in both the good and bad times cycling inevitably brings.

Turning 40 next year, Sieberg has decided to focus on the next chapter in his life: “I’ve been cycling for 30 years. It started as a hobby as a young boy and ended as my profession for the past 17 years. Travelling around the world and competing in the most iconic races has been an amazing experience.

Along the way, I’ve met great people and made unforgettable memories. These have been good times! I want to thank every partner, staff member, teammate, and all the other people I’ve had the chance to work with and meet throughout my career.

All this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my fantastic family. Growing up, my parents brought me into cycling and spent every weekend on the road with my sister and me… Later my wonderful wife. Without her, it wouldn’t have been possible to compete in my sport like this.

Cycling is my life, and I’m excited to see where the next challenges lie. I’d love to share my experience and passion with the cycling world and to share the joy of the success of new champions.”

Phil Bauhaus commented on his experience racing with Marcel: “For me, it’s been super nice and special to race with Sieberg in the same team for three years. To get his support in sprints and also learn from his experience. He was racing for many years at the highest level in sprints, with Greipel winning Tour de France stages and winning more or less every race.

I’ve known him for a longer time, as he is living in the town where I grew up. When I was young, I never imagined I would be riding with him in the same team, making it something special and really amazing. I’m really thankful and something I will miss in the future.”

Marcel Sieberg:
Marcel Sieberg

 

austria
2021 Tour of Austria Canceled
The Tour of Austria will not take place in 2021. Due to the economic risk, the Austrian Cycling Federation ÖRV has decided not to organise the 2.PRO competition until next year.

Initially, the Österreich Rundfahrt was scheduled from June 26 to July 1, but a new date was released a few weeks ago. The race was postponed to the end of August and starts in September, but now organisers of the event say it is completely unfeasible. In a communiqué, the national association indicates that corona measures have led to a significant increase in costs, while some sponsors have asked for a reduction in the sponsor contribution.

The cycling association also indicated that they hope to be able to organise the Österreich Rundfahrt again in 2022. The last edition took place in 2019.

No Tour of Austria in 2021:

 

para cycling
Para-Cycling Road World Championships
World Championships in Cascais starts with Italian gold

The Para-Cycling Road World Championships started today, at the Estoril Circuit, in Cascais, with a victory for Italy in the only race of the day, the team relay.

The Italian trio had the mission of defending the title that they have won in the previous edition and they succeeded, despite the big efforts from the Spanish team. Diego Colombari and Luca Mazzone repeated their presence in the transalpine line-up, with Paolo Cecchetto replacing Alexandro Zanardi, who suffered a serious accident and is absent from the competition. This prevented him from revalidating the 2019 titles.

para cycling

The fight with the Spanish line-up was close. The team, consisting of Israel Rider, Sergio Garrote and Luis Miguel García-Marquina, kept fighting for most of the 17.8 kilometres of a race in which each paracyclist completed three laps around a 1900-metre perimeter.

In the final stage, the Italians pulled the strings of their favouritism and came out on top for an uncontested solitary victory. Spain was second, 17 seconds behind. Germany, who had fallen behind during the central phase of the race, recovered their positions and took Annika Zeyen, Bernd Jeffre and Vico Merklein to the podium, 38 seconds behind the winners.

The race was preceded by the Opening Ceremony, in which the cycling schools from the Lisbon Cycling Association area participated. Artur Lopes, representing the International Cycling Union, Sandro Araújo, Director of Organisation, José Manuel Lourenço, President of the Portuguese Paralympic Committee, Frederico Nunes, Town Councillor of Cascais and the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities, Ana Sofia Antunes, also participated.

Portugals’ National Day will be very busy with the first time trial finals, to be held between 10am and 1.20pm and between 2pm and 6.25pm. Seven Portuguese will be in action. The first to compete, in C2, will be Telmo Pinão, at 10h19. Bernardo Vieira, in C1, will start at 11h24. Manuel Ferreira, at 14.23, and Hélder Maximino, at 14.29, will compete in C5. Paulo Teixeira, at 3.30pm, will be representing Portugal in C4 and the duo Ana Silva/Isabel Caetano will start in the B class, at 4.46pm.

para cycling

 

ineos grenadier
INEOS Grenadiers Extend Long-Standing Partnership with Pinarello
The INEOS Grenadiers will continue to race on Pinarello bikes for the next four seasons, extending their successful and longest standing partnership beyond 15 years.

Since 2010, the team has raced 17 different models of Pinarello in the world’s biggest events. Six new evolutions of the iconic Dogma frame have also been supplemented by additional lightweight versions in the high mountains. Following in the footsteps of the Graal, the Bolide time trial bike broke new ground and that success has been further bolstered by the Evo version. The team’s Classics aspirations have been furthered by a series of cobbled-focused frames, with the K8 and K10 featuring suspension variants, right up to the full suspension Dogma FS.

Richie Porte’s win at the 2021 Criterium du Dauphine made it 393 victories in total on Pinarellos, which is every single win by the team and all 12 of its Grand Tours, including seven Tours de France and most recently the 2021 Giro d’Italia, won by Egan Bernal.

ineos

INEOS Grenadiers Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We have been racing on Pinarello bikes since our inception and it has always been a partnership grounded in a shared love of racing and innovation.

“Pinarello is a company with a unique place in our sport. They have a deep respect for the heritage of cycling, but they combine it with a desire to remain at the cutting edge of technology and engineering.

“The sport has changed a lot over the years and Fausto and the team have been a big part of our journey for over a decade supporting the team with the very best in bike technology. We have experienced a lot but it still feels as exciting now as when we first started out, and we are proud to continue racing together for many years to come.”

Fausto Pinarello said: “The INEOS Grenadiers are world-class bike racers, who love racing. They continue to push for excellence in everything they do. This dedication, professionalism and joy of racing is what enables the riders to race like they do and achieve the results we see at the world’s biggest races, aboard our bikes.

“At Pinarello we have strived to constantly develop our flagship race bike to keep the INEOS Grenadiers at the head of the peloton. That commitment to having the best-possible equipment started with the Dogma 60.1, right through to the Dogma F12 of recent years. The same evolution has followed in the cobbled classics and also in our time trial bikes. To see Filippo Ganna take the team’s 50th Grand Tour stage victory in Milan on the Bolide Evo was yet another proud moment for everyone at Pinarello.”

Antonio Dus, Pinarello CEO added: “We are linked to INEOS Grenadiers in two respects. The victories have always represented the true spirit of Pinarello but above all we thank them for the magnificent example of team work and passion which for us at Pinarello is a source of great inspiration in our daily work.”

ineos

 

qhubeka
Guess Our TdF Team and You Could Feature in Our Official Team Announcement Video!!!
2021 has seen Team Qhubeka ASSOS do something bold and new as we’ve asked our fans to announce our race line-ups. We’ve been blown away by these submissions; their authenticity and creativity, highlighting the deep connection between our team and supporters.

Each video has embraced the true spirit of Ubuntu- I am because we are.

So, for the 2021 Tour de France we’re now calling on our fans to go a step further and to guess our final 8-rider line-up for Le Grande Boucle!

What do you have to do:
Look at the route, look at our squad – then send us a video revealing the eight riders you think will make our Tour de France selection and justify your selection of each rider. Tell us why you selected that particular rider, which stages would suit him, what qualities of theirs would be useful and/or what role or purpose they would fulfil in the squad – if you simply just “love” a rider, that is a good enough reason too! We can’t wait to see what you are able to come up with!

Filming Instructions:
– Show your support in your Team Qhubeka ASSOS and Qhubeka gear
– Film in a (relatively) quiet place
– Include and #BicyclesChangeLives
– Film in landscape orientation
– Be as creative as you like
– Be sure to say your name & where you are from

*Submissions must be sent by the 12th of June.
**By submitting your video, you give us permission to use your submission or part of, on our social media channels/marketing collateral.

Upload Your Video Here

qhubeka


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