EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
Johan Bruyneel having a go at everyone, including Lemond – Top Story. The season will soon be back on and the top riders pick their races. The Italian calendar and race news from TDU, Canada, Germany and Slovenia. Lots of rider news and contracts. Team news from CCC, UAE and Movistar. The Worlds back in the USA and Rudy Pevenage has news on Jan Ullrich. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Johan Bruyneel: “Lemond rode for French teams, the kings of the cortisone…”
In response to the new two-part ESPN documentary about Lance Armstrong, HUMO spoke extensively this week with Johan Bruyneel, the American’s partner in crime at the time. We now know Bruyneel’s vision: “In the 1990s, everyone had access to the same drugs: blood doping and EPO.” This time Greg Lemond and the French teams are being targeted by the Belgian.
The story in HUMO is a candid interview with 55-year-old Bruyneel: “We (Armstrong and Bruyneel) are apparently the big culprits of everything that went wrong in cycling. But explain the difference between me and Bjarne Riis. We raced in the same period. There were no differences regarding doping. Or at least: I never had a hematocrit of 60. We also followed a similar course as a manager. I worked with Ferrari, he with Fuentes. There is only a legal difference.”
Bruyneel means that his colleagues at the time got away with what they did. As for Riis, “The Danish anti-doping agency has respected the prescription of the facts, which means that he can still participate while I have been suspended for life. He is received with open arms. They want him because he is a good manager and he will not make that mistake a second time. But if they want your head, you don’t stand a chance.”
Bruyneel also has a go at the French team managers. Marc Madiot, Vincent Lavenu and Jean-René Bernaudeau. “When I hear them busy I think: do what you want, but be silent about doping. They continue to judge me on my past, but what they have been up to is forgiven, so to speak.” Bruyneel has an anecdote about Madiot as a rider. “I was a neopro and did a foreign tour. I was between the cars trying to get back to the peloton. At that time, the doping control was done through drawing lots that they announced the numbers halfway through the stage via RadioTour. Madiot went down to the car of Cyrille Guimard, heard that he was not being called (to the control), rolled up his sleeve and sat ‘une flechette’, as they said so beautifully, in his upper arm. He rode on and never batted an eye-lid. Those are the men who condemn me and Lance.”
Greg Lemond also comes in for criticism: “I am the only clean winner, he always says. Bullshit of course. He has always raced (except 1988 and 1989) for French teams. Those were the kings of the cortisone. You can’t imagine he never took anything. He has beaten Hinault and Fignon, who admitted to taking. You can’t beat world leaders who have doped without taking something yourself. But … Lemond was the best of his generation, just like Merckx, Hinault, Anquetil, Indurain. And so also Lance Armstrong. We won all those Tours based on talent, vision, strategy and meticulous preparation.”
Bruyneel and Lance:
The Top Ride for the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in 2020
Now that the restart of the new cycling season is approaching, more and more is becoming known about the revised race programs of the team leaders. Some GC riders have changed their schedule, but many still opt for the Tour de France. Dutch website, Wielerflits, have listed which top riders will participate in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España:
Tour de France (August 29-September 20)
Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)
Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic)
Miguel Ángel López (Astana)
Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)
Wout Poels (Bahrain McLaren)
Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe)
Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team)
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)
Rigoberto Urán (EF Pro Cycling)
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ)
Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation)
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)
Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
Enric Mas (Movistar Team)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)
Chris Froome (Team Ineos)
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)
Elia Viviani (Cofidis)
Alexander Kristoff (UAE Emirates)
Giro d’Italia (October 3-25)
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling)
Marc Soler (Movistar Team)
Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos)
Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo)
Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)
Elia Viviani (Cofidis)
Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma)
Vuelta a España (October 20-November 8)
Enric Mas (Movistar Team)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates).
Ineos for all three Grand Tours?
Milan-San Remo on August 15, during Critérium du Dauphiné
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the dates of the Monuments have been rescheduled in Italy. The UCI will announce on Friday that Milan-San Remo will be held on August 15 during the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Milan-San Remo was originally scheduled for August 8, but Italian authorities preferred the Tour of Lombardy to continue on this date. The Primavera would then be ridden two weeks later, on August 22. But today La Gazzetta brings the news that Milan-San Remo will be run on Saturday, August 15: during the Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16).
However, Milan-San Remo will end around 7 p.m., so as to limit the overlap with the Dauphiné for the TV audience. The schedule would allow for the Italian Championship, which may then be held on the weekend of August 22 and 23. The UCI previously explicitly proposed that date to organise national championships. The UCI will publish the final calendar on Friday.
Possible Italian Calendar:
Aug 1: Strade Bianche
Aug 5: Milan-Turin
Aug 8: Tour of Lombardy
Aug 15: Milan-San Remo
Aug 18: Giro dell’Emilia
Aug 20: Gran Piemonte
Aug 22-23: Italian championships
Aug 28: Trofeo Matteotti
Aug 29: Memorial Pantani
Aug 31-September 4: Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali
Sep 5: GP Industria e Artigianato Larciano
Sep 7-14: Tirreno-Adriatico
Sep 16: Giro della Toscana
Sep 17: Coppa Sabatini
Sep 20: Giro dell’Appennino
Sep 22: Regione Lombardia
Oct 3-25: Giro d’Italia.
The road to Sanremo on August the 8th:
2020 Santos Tour Down Under Event Results and 2021 Dates Announced
The Santos Tour Down Under, Australia’s greatest cycling race, has celebrated 2020 with increased visitation and support to the Adelaide Hills communities affected by the devastating bushfires. The message from regional towns was loud and clear; despite the impact of the bushfires, the Adelaide Hills was open for business and welcomed thousands of visitors.
A new race route, hosting the Schwalbe Classic in the heart of the City of Adelaide, increased crowds and welcomed 95,000 fans into the CBD. The day delivered action-packed activities for fans and families including the final leg of the Women’s Schwalbe Stage 4, the City of Adelaide Tour Village, Santos Paracycling Wheel Race, Westpac Mini Tour for Kids and Westpac Family Ride.
In the face of testing times for Australians, 779,362 spectators turned out to cheer on the world’s best cyclists as they raced 1,304 kilometres throughout the state. This year’s event attracted 44,801 event-specific visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled to South Australia just for the Santos Tour Down Under, creating 742 full-time equivalent jobs and generating an economic benefit of $66.4 million.
Hitaf Rasheed, Executive Director, Events South Australia said the Santos Tour Down Under is an event that continues to create jobs and drive visitation. She acknowledged that although the catastrophic bushfires impacted overall results slightly, the crowds who turned out for 2020 race were a true testament to their passion for the event and support for South Australian regions. “In a difficult time for all Australians, we’re really pleased with the outcomes the 2020 event generated. These outcomes should be celebrated by those services and companies who contribute directly to the event. These include hundreds of volunteers, our state emergency services including SAPOL, CFS and SES, our event partners, including our naming rights partner Santos and host councils. We were proud of the role the Santos Tour Down Under was able to play in a very difficult time for South Australia. The Adelaide Hills region featured in six of the ten road stages, with visitors embracing the message to visit and spend, particularly in affected towns.”
The international television broadcast showcased the Santos Tour Down Under and South Australia to 190 territories across five continents and millions of viewers around the globe. The visibility of the event broadcast was vitally important to show the world that South Australia was open for business during the devastating national bushfires.
Kevin Gallagher, Managing Director and CEO, Santos said that as the naming rights sponsor they were pleased to continue to invest in the Santos Tour Down Under, contributing to a successful event for South Australians. “Santos was proud to contribute additional support behind the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under to facilitate a national broadcast for the first time, live-streamed on 7plus, while also encouraging the first Santos Paracycling Wheel Race at the 2020 event. During tough times for our state, the Santos Tour Down Under brought people to SA, created local jobs and provided an important shot in the arm for the local economy. The Santos Tour Down Under is uniquely South Australian and as a South Australian company, Santos looks forward to supporting another edition of the world-class event in 2021.”
The 2021 Santos Tour Down Under is scheduled to be held from 14 – 24 January 2021 with the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under being staged 14 – 17 January 2021.
The Santos Tour Down Under men’s race will start with the Schwalbe Classic on 17 January 2021 and the six stages of road racing will be held 19 – 24 January 2021.
Note: The Santos Tour Down Under is working to deliver a full program for the 2021 race and will monitor the situation as it relates to COVID-19.
Tour Down Under 2020:
Continental Team Wants to Start in WorldTour Races in Québec and Montréal
The Colombian Medellin team, including Óscar Sevilla and Fabio Duarte, has applied for a “special permit” from the UCI to participate in the GP’s of Québec and Montréal. Continental teams don’t normally start in WorldTour races according to UCI rules.
ProTeams, such as the Belgian Alpécin-Fenix, Sport Vlaanderen, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles and Circus-Wanty Gobert, can ride in the WorldTour races via wildcards. Continental teams are not. They can never be invited to races of the highest level by UCI regulations.
But sports director José Julián Velásquez confirmed to Zikloland.com that he has made a request to the International Cycling Union to make an exception and be invited to the Canadian GPs this year. “Many races in the US have been canceled due to the corona pandemic,” said Velásquez. “However, we definitely want to defend our leadership position in the America Tour Ranking. That is why we made this request.”
The Canadian classics are on the agenda for September 11 and 13, overlapping the Tour de France and Tirreno-Adriatico. The UCI may set a precedent.
Oscar Sevilla back in the WorldTour?
BinckBank Tour Visits Vlissingen and Philippine
The shortened BinckBank Tour (September 29-October 3) will visit Vlissingen and Philippine this year, reports Omroep Zeeland. The organisation wants a short time trial in Vlissingen, while Philippine is the starting point of the stage to Aalter in Belgium a day later.
Philippine is the start and finish of the Omloop van de Braakman, while Vlissingen has been on the route of the Tacx Pro Classic in recent years. On Wednesday September 30 there is a short time trial on the program in Vlissingen.
A day later the riders start from Philippine for a stage into Belgium. Next Thursday, the final plans will be announced and the contracts signed at a press conference in Vlissingen. The BinckBank Tour also finished in Hulst in Zeeland last year. If the BinckBank Tour funs in a few months, the race will be the first major event to be held in Zeeland during the corona crisis.
Filippo Ganna won stage 6 in Den Haag (8.35km) ITT in 2019:
No 2020 Eschborn-Frankfurt Alternative Date
Eschborn-Frankfurt will not run in the second half of the season. The organisation of the German WorldTour one-day race, which was canceled on May 1 due to the corona virus, concluded that a new date later in the year is not feasible.
“We hoped to focus on autumn at the end of May. But the current circumstances do not allow a big event like Eschborn-Frankfurt after August 31,” said the organisation. In 2015, the race did not run, after the German police foiled a planned terrorist attack on the course and the event was canceled due to security reasons.
Pascal Ackermann remains the most recent winner of the race for the time being. A year ago, the fast man, in his German championship jersey at the time, was the best in the bunch sprint:
Slovenian Championship to Run on June 21
This month, a new Slovenian cycling champion will be crowned. On June 21, the Slovenian title, with an uphill finish, will be fought in the region of Cerklje na Gorenjskem. Whether Primoz Roglič is participating is not yet known.
According to the Slovenian cycling federation KZS, several national top riders are at the start, such as top talent Tadej Pogačar and Vuelta winner Primoz Roglič. Roglič’s participation in the championship has not yet been confirmed.
The continuation of the championship of Slovenia means that for the first time since March 15, GP de la Patagonia in Chile, an official UCI race will be held. In addition to the men’s title battle, the elite women and U23 men and women will also compete on the same day.
The 146-kilometre race for the elite men consists of seven local laps, followed by a 5-kilometre climb at 8.0% towards Ambrož pod Krvavec. Among the men, Domen Novak (Bahrain-McLaren) is the current road champion of the Central European country. The time trial championship is scheduled for June 28 and Tadej Pogačar will defend his title.
2019 champion – Domen Novak:
Live Racing, Health and Well-Being First: Colorado Classic Plans for ‘Made for TV’ Model for August Race
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation today released an initial statement sharing their intention to continue their August race with a revised format, a ‘Made for TV Streaming’ model.
With a new race model that limits the gathering of crowds and prioritises the safety of riders, host communities and staff, the race organisers feel optimistic that America’s premier all-women’s professional road cycling race could successfully continue August 27-30, 2020 — pending the appropriate approvals from the State, county and city health departments.
“An event cancellation or postponement was explored, but as a last resort. And while it would be the easiest thing to do, we feel a strong commitment and promise to the athletes, the communities and our partners. Our decision to move forward with the modified model aligns with our mission of ongoing support and advancement for women’s cycling. We feel that the athletes need something positive to work towards and we want to be that glimmer of hope for both the peloton and the citizens of the communities in which we race,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of the RPM Events Group, LLC.
“The infrastructure around this year’s race will be scaled back but our top priority is to create an opportunity for world-class competition in an environment that best supports and focuses on the health and well being of riders and staff. We are working closely with State and City organisations, health authorities, and the sports governing bodies to create protocols and processes that ensure the health and safety for everyone.”
Diaz continued, “this is nothing that any of us have ever experienced in our lifetime, so creating a well thought out plan takes time and collaboration. We have been working tirelessly to develop a model that we hope will inform and inspire other event promoters to apply to their events.”
The innovative live streaming model that was developed last year was a huge asset for the athletes and worldwide spectators, and now during this time of crisis, the Colorado Classic has taken the opportunity to further enhance and innovate this broadcast. The event will provide free, start-to-finish coverage distributed by dozens of outlets world-wide with some new features such as immersive point-of-view cameras, Zoom watch parties, super-fan simulcasts, guest commentator drop-ins and behind-the-scenes coverage of pre and post-race activities.
The biggest visible change to the 2020 event will be the elimination of all on-site ancillary activities, Start/Finish Expo Festivals, and the race hospitality tents and services. This decision was made in accordance with social distancing mandates to dissuade crowd gathering and was heavily circulated and discussed amongst partners and host communities.
“The Colorado Classic is working diligently within the public health orders to have this race,” said Rose Abello, Tourism Director at Snowmass Tourism. “We are looking forward to welcoming the best female riders from all over the world to Snowmass and look forward to cheering for them via live stream just as enthusiastically as we would have in person at the finish line.”
Additionally, race organisers are revising some of the race routes and start/finish locations to minimise the impact on its local host communities and the need for public safety officials. In exploring more alternate venues and courses in and around Denver, Red Rocks Park has emerged as an exciting potential venue. This iconic location offers not only stunning scenery and a controllable event site but also a challenging course profile that could help decide the overall race on the final day.
As of today, State approval to host the event has not yet been granted but conditions are changing daily. The race organisers are targeting an early July date for the next update release of information and will provide more details to the media at that time.
To learn more about the Colorado Classic, visit www.coloradoclassic.com or follow @coloradoclassicpro on Instagram and Facebook.
Cyclassics Hamburg and UCI are Still Discussing a New Date
Whether the German one-day Cyclassics Hamburg will continue in the second part of the season is still not certain. A new date for the ‘Jedermannrennen’ (the public ride) had already been found on October 3, but it is still unclear whether the professional race will also be held.
“At the moment we are still in talks with the UCI about the running of the WorldTour race,” the organisation of the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg said in a press release. So apparently it is still under discussion whether the professional event, which would actually be held on August 16, is being held. In addition, the Giro d’Italia will start on the weekend of 3 and 4 October and the BinckBank Tour and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are also planned.
Last year, Elia Viviani made history by winning the German WorldTour race for a third time. With that, he became the sole record holder. The Italian sprinter beat Caleb Ewan and Giacomo Nizzolo.
Viviani winning the 2019 Cyclassics Hamburg:
Bernard Hinault: “Team Ineos Has a Problem”
Chris Froome hopes to write history in a few months by winning the Tour de France for a fifth time. However, the Team Ineos rider will have to share the lead with Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas. “It is a problem they have created at Ineos themselves,” said Bernard Hinault.
The Frenchman – who won the Tour de France five times in the 70s and 80s – was looking ahead to the 2020 edition of the Tour with AD. Hinault mainly looks at Team Ineos. “They have attracted the best riders to win the Tour every year. They want to win all three Tours.”
“It is up to the team management to make decisions, but they have not done that in the past. The decision about the leadership will have to made in the mountains.” Bernal recently indicated that he will not just put his own ambitions aside. “Even though I’m still young, I’m not going to waste an opportunity to win the Tour de France.”
Hinault: “It is a problem they created themselves.” The Frenchman expects a lot from Bernal, but refuses to write off Froome. “I still think Froome has it in him. Bernal is the rider of the future, Froome has to wait for the Tour. He then has to decide on his future: leave or stay with Team Ineos?”
“He’s better off going to another team if he doesn’t win the Tour this year because of the lack of support. Then he has to go to a team where he is certain to be the only leader for the Tour.”
Hinault thinks Froome could win the Tour:
Gianni Moscon Will Not Ride a Grand Tour This Year
Gianni Moscon will not contest a three week tour this year, the Italian told SpazioCiclismo. The Team Ineos rider will focus on the cobbled classics and can therefore not participate in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. “And the Tour de France is not an option,” said Moscon.
The 26-year-old rider hopes to shine in October in races such as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and perhaps also the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. One problem: these races overlap on the calendar with the Giro and Vuelta. “So I can’t participate in the Giro, because I focus on the classics.”
In theory, racing the Tour de France (August 29-September 20) was an option, but then Moscon must work for leaders Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. “There is not enough time between the Tour and the Classics. Team Ineos is completely going for a Tour victory and then it is impossible to spare yourself as a rider.”
Moscon is starting his season in his own country with the Tuscan gravel classic Strade Bianche. However, the rider first goes to a training camp near Tyrol. “I have been doing this for several years and I like it very much.” At the beginning of this year, Moscon rode the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, the Tour de la Provence, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Quintana and Barguil to Ride Dauphiné before Tour
Arkéa-Samsic has chosen to have Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil both ride the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of the Tour de France. Quintana resumes the season in the Tour de l’Ain. This is in contrast to Barguil, who will ride the Route d’Occitanie in early August.
The team leaders will work differently towards the main goal, and for a reason. “With Arkéa-Samsic, we want to win the Europe Tour standings this year,” said manager Emmanuel Hubert. “With our leaders in the Tour de l’Ain and the Route d’Occitanie, that is a great opportunity to score points. Through that ranking we can open doors to the WorldTour races of 2021.”
“The Critérium du Dauphiné serves as a dress rehearsal for us on the Tour de France. It is the ideal preparation for the Tour, even if the race has been shortened this year,” Hubert continues. “Nairo and Warren have already raced together this year and in the Dauphiné they can refine their automatisms even more. It is no longer a secret that Nairo wants to be on the final stage of the Tour de France this year. We start with great ambitions, but also remain modest because we know that the level is always very high. We will not underestimate any competitor or team.”
Nairo Quintana Race Schedule:
Tour de l’Ain (7-9 August)
Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16)
Tour de France (August 29-September 20)
Warren Barguil Race Schedule:
Route d’Occitanie (August 1-4)
Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16)
Tour de France (August 29-September 20).
Barguil on the way to the Tour:
Greg Van Avermaet Hopes for New Sponsor: But Open to Offers
Now that it is official that the CCC team will lose their main sponsor, several teams have already made offers to leader Greg Van Avermaet. The Belgian leader is very popular, he said on an online press conference. “I hope Ochowicz finds a new sponsor, but I am also open to a transfer,” said Van Avermaet.
“There are many teams that are interested. My performance is still there and I was the best one-day rider in the UCI ranking last season. That reassures me for next year” Van Avermaet has been working for team boss Jim Ochowicz since 2011. The team started as BMC, before switching to CCC in 2019.
“I will certainly race for a nice team. Many teams are interested,” he laughs when asked about the interest of Belgian teams. “It also has to be placed in the budget. It is not that simple. It is also quite early, but we will see. It is then Plan-B, if no sponsors are found in a short time.”
Van Avermaet is therefore open to a transfer, but does not want to draw conclusions too quickly. He gives Ochowicz the benefit of the doubt. “It’s not a normal year. The transfer window is out of balance, as the season restarts later. It is difficult to provide certainty about the future. Some contracts are being signed, but everything still has to get going. I have to wait for the right moment.”
“I will not leave the team immediately,” says Van Avermaet. “I keep myself available for a while. There may be a new sponsor, and I hope so too. I have been racing for this team for ten years and it would be a shame to lose this. Let’s hope there are sponsors who are interested.”
The second part of the season starts for Van Avermaet on August 1 in Strade Bianche. Last weekend it became clear that racing will happen in Belgium in July, but the CCC leader will skip that. He prefers an altitude training camp that month. “Especially the big races are going to be important to me,” said Van Avermaet, who will most likely ride the Tour of Poland after Strade Bianche.
What future for Greg Van Avermaet?
Nicolas Roche is Looking Forward to Reuniting with Bardet
Nicolas Roche is open to the possible arrival of Romain Bardet at Team Sunweb. The Irishman remembers the French rider from their period at AG2R-La Mondiale and he is looking forward to a reunion.
“I don’t have the information, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Iwan Spekenbrink (manager of Team Sunweb) approaches him,” said the experienced climber in the French sports newspaper L’Équipe. “I think Romain will be charmed by the organisation, which is top-notch. The obsession with details at Team Ineos is well known. Less is known about Sunweb because we never won the Tour but it is really true. I would love to have Romain there, I consider him a friend.”
Bardet has been linked to Sunweb since last week. The team have already made a proposal to him. His agent admitted that his client is about to change contract. “But nothing has been completed,” he said. “Not with Sunweb, nor with other teams. It is quite easy to write down the names of teams where he could go. Those are teams with a strong ethic, although you can never be 100% sure of all riders.”
Trek-Segafredo and Mitchelton-Scott have also been previously associated with Bardet. The French rider has been riding for AG2R-La Mondiale since 2012. Bardet won three stages stage in the Tour de France and in 2016 he was second and 2017 third overall.
Roche in Vuelta red:
Marianne Vos’ Team is in The Dark
It has been confirmed that CCC is withdrawing as the main sponsor of the team of Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin. But does the shoe manufacturer also withdraw as title partner of CCC-Liv? “We cannot answer that at the moment,” said the team of Marianne Vos.
To be clear, the men’s team led by Jim Ochowicz and the women’s team with leaders Marianne Vos and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, are two separate entities with only one thing in common: they share the same sponsor. Whether the Polish shoe manufacturer is also withdrawing from them, they do not yet know at CCC-Liv.
“It is still too early to say which of our main sponsors and sub sponsors will be featured on our shirts in 2021,” spokesman Rik Booltink told WielerFlits. “I would like to answer yes or no to the question of whether CCC will remain on board with us or not, but I cannot (yet) do that at the moment… We are seeing a positive development in sponsorship and are convinced that our team will emerge strongly from this crisis. Since the team was founded twelve years ago, we have been a leader at the highest level. We want to continue to do that, even after 2020.”
CCC-Liv resumes racing in July with the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa (July 23) and the Clasica Femenina Navarra (July 24).
Unknown future for the CCC-Liv team:
Vincenzo Nibali Makes Good Fitness Test
Vincenzo Nibali is on track for the second part of the season. This week, Trek-Segafredo’s intended Giro leader took a fitness test and the team says the first results are promising.
Nibali and Elisa Longo Borghini from the Trek-Segafredo women’s team underwent the fitness test at the Mapei Sport research centre in Olgiate Olana, in the Italian region of Lombardy. The first results of the physiological tests are promising, sports director Paolo Slongo said on the team website. “This is good in relation to the goals we want to achieve in the coming months.”
The tests show that during the lockdown months, Nibali and Longo Borghini’s workouts provided an excellent fitness base. Slongo: “Vincenzo has values very similar to those of March during Paris-Nice, as if time had stood still. He has done an excellent job of keeping in shape. He is where he needs to be to get to his top shape. Elisa’s test was also very good. Her condition is already well advanced.”
“With the right preparation, especially in July, we are optimistic that we can be competitive from the very first race,” adds Head of Performance Josu Larrazabal. The intention is to test all Italian riders of Trek-Segafredo in the coming weeks.
In the second part of the season, Nibali focuses on a good classification in the Giro d’Italia, which starts on October 3. In the Italian Tour he has fellow countryman Giulio Ciccone by his side. “A schedule full of races awaits us in just three months. We have to do everything to get ready. I focus on a mainly Italian program in which the Giro is central. I am also waiting for news about the World championships,” Nibali said.
Nibali looking good in the lab tests:
Movistar Team Defines Goals for 2020 Season Reboot
Marc Soler to race the Giro d’Italia, share his opening events of the ‘new season’ with Mas; Enric to line up at Tour de France & Vuelta a España alongside Alejandro Valverde.
• The Telefónica-backed squad’s general manager, Eusebio Unzué, and the main references of the Blue outfit – Valverde, Soler y Mas – spoke to the media at a virtual press conference held few weeks before their provisional restart event: the Vuelta a Burgos, July 28th – August 1st (pending authorisation).
• The Strade Bianche (Aug 1), with both men’s and women’s events, will be the first WorldTour stop for the Movistar Team, whose women’s outfit could debut at the Navarra Classics (July 23/24) and the Durango-Durango (26), should the right conditions be met.
The Movistar Team looks with hope towards the restart of their racing activities in 2020, as it presented, through a virtual press conference, the main details of their plans for the Blues’ men’s team in the remainder of the year. The Telefónica-backed squad’s general manager, Eusebio Unzué, confirmed Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde will race both the Tour de France (August 29th – September 20th) and the Vuelta a España (October 20th – November 8th), while also announcing Marc Soler will be making his debut in the Giro de Italia, 3rd – 25th October.
The three Grand Tours are the core of a calendar compressed into just 100 days, set to start, should health care authorities enable the organisers, at the Vuelta a Burgos, July 28th – August 1st. Four days earlier, the women’s Movistar Team will be resuming their calendar (if so permitted) at the Navarra Classics, 23rd / 24th July, and the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, July 26th. Both rosters – which will be sharing their first UCI WorldTour event back at Strade Bianche, August 1st – would complete their their 2020 season at the same place: Madrid, end of both the Vuelta a España and the revamped women’s La Vuelta Challenge.
At the event, conducted by sports channel #Vamos presenter Mónica Marchante and broadcast live on YouTube, Telefónica’s Director of Brand, Partnerships and Media, Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, underlined “the extra efforts” made by the company “to increase their support to sportspeople, teams and the reach of sport itself.” part of their commitment “with Spanish sports, both as a partner and as a TV network through Movistar+”. The executive also congratulated the team on “sharing their riders’ experiences with the fans during lockdown and supporting several relief efforts,” as well as praising their support of the documentary ‘The Least Expected Day’, an unfiltered view on the daily work of a top cycling team.
Eusebio Unzué commented on the chance for “Enric, together with Alejandro, to keep gaining experience in the Grand Tours and getting adapted to our team. On the other hand, Marc has deserved this chance to lead a team in a three-week stagerace through his efforts in the past few years, and will be the sole leader in a Giro he’ll find a strong supporting team at.” Soler showed himself “confident about this opportunity in the Giro, and willing to do my best and be in Italy with a great team by my side. Eusebio offered me that chance, I liked the idea and I hope to bring the team a good result.”
In turn, Valverde considers he’ll start the new season “with as much excitement as I had ten years ago. These will be two Grand Tours very different for everyone – the Tour de France, with all circumstances surrounding it, will be a different one, and we’ll try to take advantage. The Vuelta will be entirely held in the north of Spain, probably with cold and bad weather, yet it will be the same for everybody. It’s a special year, with big efforts in such a short span, and I like that challenge.” Enric Mas said he feels “so much excited about this dual challenge, Tour and Vuelta, and even more thrilled to have Alejandro alongside for the two. He’s always there, he’s one to follow, and I’ll learn a lot from him. These have been rough months for everybody, yet thanks to Telefónica’s support, we’ve been able to go to bed everyday calm about our jobs, our chances, and now think about our return with full confidence.”
UAE Team Emirates Re-Shuffle for Grand Tour Ambitions
As the 2020 calendar takes shape the Emirati team has announced the core riders to make-up the three Grand Tours.
Each line-up has mixed goals with a good balance of climbers, sprinters and versatile stage-hunters. The full squad listings are yet to be confirmed, but should become clear in the coming weeks.
Tour de France: Fabio Aru (Ita), Tadej Pogačar (Slo), Davide Formolo (Ita), David De la Cruz (Esp), Alexander Kristoff (Nor).
Giro d’Italia: Fernando Gaviria (Col), Maximiliano Richeze (Arg), Sebastian Molano (Col), Brandon McNulty (USA), Joe Dombrowski (USA), Valerio Conti (Ita), Diego Ulissi (Ita).
Vuelta España: David De la Cruz (Esp), Davide Formolo (Ita), Fabio Aru (Ita), Jasper Philipsen (Bel), Rui Costa (Por).
Mauro Gianetti (Team Principal): “We are cautious but also optimistic. The solidarity within the team has been a great asset throughout this period and we aim to carry that forward as we move back to racing. A huge amount of work has been done by the team behind the scenes along with the help of our sponsors to ensure a viable safety protocol for when the racing returns. The prospect of racing again soon is an exciting one for the team, the sponsors and also for the fans. The riders themselves are more motivated than ever with this new calendar.”
New horizons for UAE:
CCC Team Focused on Returning to Racing in 2020
Preparations are underway for CCC Team’s return to racing with riders heading to altitude in July ahead of the team’s first race, the Vuelta a Burgos, from July 28 to August 1.
President Jim Ochowicz said the team is busy finalising the revised race calendar and preparing for the four-month racing block. “We are now less than two months out from our first race back, the Vuelta a Burgos, so we are busy putting our race calendar together and planning our rider roster selections for what will be a busy racing block from the end of July to November. Our service course in Belgium will be reopening in mid-June and with most of the European travel restrictions set to ease in the next month, some of our riders will begin altitude training in various parts of Europe. At this stage, we will be covering the full WorldTour schedule with some additional one day and stage races so we will likely be running two to three race programs throughout the four month period. We will be in a position to share our race calendar and key rider goals in the coming weeks as we finalise our plans,” Ochowicz explained.
Ochowicz said a strong 2020 season once racing resumes is the team’s first priority. “Our first priority is returning to the start line and achieving the season goals we set out in December. The racing calendar may be more condensed now but we are more motivated than ever to achieve the key wins we outlined for 2020; a Monument win, a WorldTour one day win, a WorldTour stage race win, and a stage victory at each of the three Grand Tours. Every race day is an opportunity for our riders and it is clear that strong performances in the early races are going to be instrumental in securing the team’s long term future.”
“Looking ahead to the 2021 season, CCC will no longer be the title sponsor so we are now actively looking for a new title sponsor. We are in an unprecedented time but we are confident there are companies that want to invest in cycling, especially given the global rise in popularity of bike riding in recent months. Under the Continuum Sports ownership and license, we have grown from a US Continental Team in 2007 to one of the biggest WorldTour teams in the peloton in recent years and we have every intention of continuing under new title sponsorship.”
Jim Ochowicz is ready for the ‘new’ season:
Benoit Cosnefroy Extends his Contract Until 2023
Benoit Cosnefroy (24) has extended his contract with the AG2R-LA MONDIALE team for three years, until the end of the 2023 season. Following Geoffrey Bouchard (2 years), Dorian Godon (2 years), Oliver Naesen (3 years), Aurélien Paret Peintre (2 years) and Alexis Vuillermoz (1 year), he is the sixth rider to extend his contract.
Benoit Cosnefroy joined the AG2R-LA MONDIALE team on August 1, 2017. He won the GP Isbergues, his first professional victory, on September 17, five days before becoming UCI U23 Road World Champion.
Benoit Cosnefroy: “Extending my contract with the AG2R-LA MONDIALE team means that I am choosing continuity and ambition. Getting a three-year contract is a great sign of trust from the team’s management and its partners. The whole project is motivating. I feel a real expectation around me. It’s a pressure that pleases and motivates me. The communication between everyone is very good with an interesting exchange of perspectives. I now want to win a one-day UCI WorldTour race and my dream would be to win an Ardennes classic. Today, I’m looking forward to returning to the racing season. There’s a kind of elation to think that everything will be condensed into a few months and that there will be great things still to achieve.
I really want to raise my arms in victory again.”
Vincent Lavenu: “We are very pleased to extend our contract with Benoit Cosnefroy, especially for three years. It was an important goal. He is a talented rider, who was trained at Chambéry Cyclisme Formation. He is not afraid to express his ambitions. We are ready to accompany and help him to achieve his objectives.”
Benoit Cosnefroy extends his contract:
Rudy Molard Extends Contract by Four Years
Rudy Molard has signed a renewed contract, which will bind him to Groupama-FDJ until the end of 2024. Seventh in Paris-Nice wants to race for his own opportunities in the coming years and help leader Thibaut Pinot to successes.
Molard (30) is in his fourth season with Groupama-FDJ and will continue racing under the wings of manager Marc Madiot in the coming years. The French climber was surprised to be presented with a four-year deal. “In cycling, four-year contracts are rare, virtually nonexistent. With this they showed how much confidence they have in me and my potential. It therefore strengthened my choice to stay with the team.”
He wants to repay the confidence in the coming years. “I love my role in the team and that’s why I didn’t want to leave. In some races I get my chance as a leader and the rest of the time I am the teammate of Thibaut Pinot and we go for victories in the biggest races. The pressure to perform myself but also to be in top shape when I’m at Thibaut’s side really makes me better. I wanted to keep that balance and that was also offered to me.”
Molard is the fifth rider in a short time to extend his contract with Groupama-FDJ by several years. Last week it was announced that leader Pinot and also Stefan Küng, David Gaudu and Arnaud Démare had renewed their contracts until the end of 2023.
Win for Molard in Paris-Nice 2018 stage 3:
PDX Cycling Worlds Collecting Signatures to Bring UCI World Championships Back to America
The UCI Road World Championships are one of the most exciting events in cycling, with top pros and amateurs racing for glory on the same course. Unlike other marquee events in cycling, Worlds move from nation to nation each year. It’s been five years since the last US Worlds, in Richmond Virginia, and the nonprofit PDX Cycling Worlds group is working to bring the event back to US soil before the end of the decade and using the opportunity to build increased enthusiasm for road racing in this country.
After more than a year of local meetings, there is strong support within the Portland and Oregon communities for hosting UCI Worlds. Organisers have also enlisted the support of numerous former pros, including Axel Merckx, who is involved in road course design, and others with UCI and USAC administrative experience. With demonstrated support across the racing, business and political communities, organisers are turning to the grass roots as they continue to build momentum.
With an estimated 150m core cyclists living in the Western US and Canada, organisers are now looking to build a showing of cycling community support for the future event. They have begun a petition drive with the intention of gathering 30,000 signatures to deliver to municipalities and organising bodies, and ask for the signature of all riders who would like to see the UCI World Championships return to the US.
They ask that your readers and followers show their support by adding their names to the petition: https://www.pdxcyclingworlds.com/#Sign
More on The Numbers of UCI Road Cycling Worlds:
On-site Spectators – Organisers are projecting a minimum of 225,000 individual spectators to be lining the course for the Men’s & Women’s Elite road races, including more than 30,000 individuals coming from out of state.
To give some perspective – 30,000 is just .01% of the number of spectators that watched the Tours of Calif, Tour of Utah and Colorado Classic in their heyday, and it’s just .002% of the number of Core Cyclists (riding at least 25 times per year) in the Western US and Canada.
Global TV Spectators – The Yorkshire’19 worlds were watched by over 329M people in 124 countries. Organisers feel that with advancements in streaming technology, drones, on-board cameras, shared rider-data and more, we will easily exceed those Yorkshire numbers.
Economic Impact – Initial analysis, leveraging the methodology from Oregon ’21, and the economic impact reports from Richmond (2015), Bergen (2017), Innsbruck (2018), Yorkshire (2019), and Tour de Yorkshire (2018), indicate an economic impact of over $100M in the four years leading up to, and including the races. PDX Cycling Worlds has commissioned an Economic Impact Study from Dean Runyan Associates, who conduct the Tourism Economic Impact Studies for 12 states across the country. Hosting this event will pay huge dividends for the tourism, hotel, restaurant, bike and other industries in the state, and can start having an impact 3-4 years before the event.
About PDX Cycling Worlds:
PDX Cycling Worlds is an Oregon-based 501c3 with a goal of donating proceeds to programs around the state that inspire and enable girls, women, youth, and people of colour to become cyclists – for their health, for the environment, and for fun. The opportunity is bigger than a bike race – It’s about bringing the community together, re-energising the bike-movement, providing a lasting economic boost, and showcasing the state to millions of people around the world, which will contribute to tourism, business development and future athletic events.
More info: https://www.pdxcyclingworlds.com/
Rudy Pevenage: “Jan Ullrich is doing well again”
Jan Ullrich’s situation has improved considerably, according to his former sports director Rudy Pevenage. The former top German rider was admitted to a rehab clinic in 2018 because of a drink and drug problem. “He recently sent me a photo. He is doing well,” said Pevenage to the German Sportbuzzer.
At the beginning of this year, Pevenage presented the book “Der Rudy” in which he spoke about his time as a team manager. It included his role in the doping use of his rider Ullrich. After the book was published, Pevenage did not speak to Ullrich for a month. “But in March we talked about it and Jan said he trusts me. He recently sent me a photo. He is doing well. I am still his grandfather.” laughed the Belgian. “Everything is back to normal.”
“Two or three years ago I was with Jan in Mallorca almost every week. He then had a very difficult period. He had problems with his knee, with his wife, and he didn’t dare to see his children again,” said Pevenage. “Now he’s back with his friends in Freiburg and he’s doing well. Jan never had a fight. He was loved in the pack, unlike Lance Armstrong.”
“Jan only had a problem,” said his former sports director. “It was written up in Germany and then destroyed by the newspapers. He is still a hero in Belgium and Italy. Everywhere I go people ask for Jan. But in Germany he has been forgotten.”
Pevenage thinks Ullrich should be out in the public again. The German himself indicated that he also wanted that. “But he still needs time for that,” says Pevenage. “He has to make that decision himself. I would like to help him and know other people who would like to do that. Everyone deserves a second chance. Jan has done nothing bad. He was able to win the Tour three times, became world champion twice and is an Olympic champion. He is a star.”
Pevenage and Ullrich at the 2006 Tour de France:
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