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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Another busy week in the cycling World as the peloton moves on to the Tour Colombia – Reports, results and video. UCI change the rules for transgender riders – Top Story. All the other stuff: André Greipel misses the spring, no comeback for Tom Dumoulin, Andrey Amador to INEOS, SD Worx new sponsor, race news from Murcia, Almería, Paris-Roubaix, Sicilia, Olympia’s Tour, Klasika Primavera, UAE Tour, Amstel Gold and Pologne. Rider news: Jimmy Turgis to retire and Langeveld’s operation. We finish with video from the Movistar team. Sit back, feet up, big EUROTRASH Thursday read.

TOP STORY: New rules for transgenders in cycling
“An important step for the inclusiveness of transgender people in top sport”. With these words, UCI presenter David Lappartient describes the new rules that the International Cycling Union is introducing for transgender people.

In a press release, the UCI announces that there will be a special committee, consisting of three independent experts, who will determine from 1 March 2020 whether an athlete may participate in competitions. The testosterone level is of crucial importance. To be able to participate in women’s competitions as a transgender, the athlete must be able to prove that her testosterone level has been below five nanomoles per litre for the past twelve months. After they have been given the green light to compete, the 5 nmole/l limit remains applicable. The rule at the moment is 10nmol/l.

If an athlete does not meet the new guidelines, penalties can be given: from warnings to exclusions and fines. A UCI medical manager will ensure that the testosterone level is kept under control. They may also decide to exclude an athlete from competitions for a while until the criteria are again met.

Canadian Rachel McKinnon – World masters champion:

Tour Colombia 2.1 2020
In a repeat of last year, the team time trial Stage 1 of the Tour Colombia 2.1 was won by EF Education First. The American team was by far the fastest on the day putting home riders; Sergio Higuita and Daniel Felípe Martinez in top positions after the first day. It was the Ecuadorian Jonathan Klever Caicedo who took the overall lead.

The short team time trial of 16.7 kilometres through the streets of Tunja opened the 2020 Tour Colombia. The home town of the absent Nairo Quintana, was looking forward to a duel between EF, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, UAE Team Emirates and Movistar. The riders of Vini Zabù-KTM had the honour to be the first to roll down the starting ramp. The course was not too technical in the capital of the Boyacá department. The route was almost flat, over wide and straight roads, and there were only five turns. The Italian Vini Zabù-KTM came home with a time of 20:19. Novo Nordisk did not come close to their top time, but the home team of Colombia Tierra de Atletas-GW Bicicletas, with climbers Darwin Atapuma and Hernan Aguirre, was the first team under 20 minutes. The Colombians were more than half a minute faster, but the better teams still had to come.

Movistar was the first WorldTour team to start, but Team Illuminate (19:43), Uno-X (19:33) and Team Medellín (19:23) raised the bar a little higher. The Rally Cycling team managed a new top time (19:00) led by Rob Britton, Nathan Brown and Robin Carpenter. Several teams proved too slow to match the time of Rally Cycling, let alone to improve. Movistar, the team of local favourites Carlos Betancur, Einer Rubio and Diego Alba came close to the time of Rally Cycling, the difference at the finish was only three-seconds in favour of the Canadian team.

With Julian Alaphilippe, Bob Jungels, Mikkel Frølich Honoré and Jannik Steimle, Deceuninck – Quick-Step had the horsepower. The Belgian team clocked the fastest time at the first time point, but two riders were in trouble. The stronger riders had to wait, which allowed Rally Cycling to hope for the win. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had a strong finish and turned out to be considerably faster than Rally Cycling and were also the first to break the 19:00 barrier by 16 seconds. UAE Team Emirates was slightly faster than Rally Cycling.

Ineos and top favourite EF Education First were still to finish. The American formation saw Rigoberto Urán lose contact, the Colombian is recovering after his heavy crash in the Vuelta a España. Urán’s teammates rode a very fast course to clock a time of 18:01. The difference was huge. Deceuninck – Quick-Step in second place was three-quarters of a minute down, while Ineos was at 46 seconds. Jonathan Caicedo will wear the leader’s jersey on stage 2, as the Ecuadorian was the first EF rider to cross the line.

EF Education First team manager, Jonathan Vaughters: “I thought we were going to win, or at least be close to a win. But taking 45 seconds in 17 kilometres is insane! I don’t think I’ve seen such a difference in a team time trial in the last ten years.”

Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First): “It was five months ago that I last pinned a number on my jersey. I was pretty nervous, but I felt ready to race. The team that we have here is of a very high standard and we are achieving a great result here. It is nice to be able to celebrate this victory together. The whole team was very happy after the stage. This means a lot to all of us. We have a lot of respect for this race and we will continue to work hard in the coming days.”

Tour Colombia 2.1 Stage 1 Result:
1. EF Education First in 18:01
2. Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
3. Ineos at 0:46
4. Rally Cycling at 0:59
5. EPM-Scott at 1:00
6. UAE Team Emirates
7. Movistar at 1:02
8. Israel Start Up Nation at 1:21
9. Team Medellin at 1:22
10. Colombia Andina at 1:33.

Tour Colombia 2.1 Overall After Stage 1:
1. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First in 18:01
2. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First
3. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) EF Education First
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education First
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:09
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 0:46.

Colombia’20 stage 1:

Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) won the Stage 2 of the Tour Colombia in Duitama, he was the fastest in the bunch sprint finish. The Colombian out-sprinted his countryman, Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Itamar Einhorn (Israel Start Up Nation). Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education First) held the overall lead.

Day two was the shortest stage of the race, apart from the team time trial, at 152.4 kilometres from Paipa to Duitama. After only 11.2 kilometres, the riders crossed the finish line for the first time, after which four local laps of approximately 35 kilometres each followed. There were no categorised climbs and so the Ecuadorian Jonathan Klever Caicedo in the orange leader’s jersey was not overly worried for his lead. Ten riders made the break of the day: Aldemar Reyes was the best on GC in 25th place. He was joined by Brayan Sánchez, Matthieu Jeannès, Edison Munoz, Jorge Montenegro, Byron Guamá, Vinicius Rangel, Leandro Velardez, Timoteo Paredes and Martin Urianstad.

The leading group enjoyed a maximum lead of 3 minutes, but the peloton had clearly set its sights on a bunch sprint. Paredes was the first rider to be dropped with a flat tyre. At the start of the last 35 kilometres, only Jeannès, Reyes, Montenegro and Guamá were still out front with only 1 minute in hand. In the peloton, Deceuninck – Quick-Step worked hard with Mikkel Honoré and Bob Jungels, UAE Emirates and Vini Zabù-KTM in the pursuit for their sprinters. When Montenegro was also dropped from the break, the peloton almost had the last three in sight. At that point there was still 25 kilometres to go. There was a lot of nervousness amongst the chasers and there was a crash, Andrés Camilo Ardila was the main victim. After a short delay, all riders were able to ride on.

The peloton did not seem to know what to do with the situation and did not want to catch the break. Reyes was next to be dropped as Lauro Cesar Chaman tried to cross to Jeannès and Guamá, eventually succeeding. The three frontrunners rode for what they were worth, but it was all back together 5 kilometres from the finish.

From then on it was up to the GC teams to take their leaders to the final 3 kilometres, and then to the sprinter’s trains to take over. Jungels worked hard for Álvaro José Hodeg. When the Luxemburger had done his bit, the Colombian still had three teammates to work for him. Hodeg was taken to the launch site perfectly, but it was Juan Sebastián Molano who had the better final lunge to the line.

Stage winner, Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates): “I arrived at this race in excellent condition both mentally and physically. Winning so close to my house and with my family here to see me race is priceless. As for the sprint, we knew that the biggest rival would be Hodeg, but Max led me flawlessly up to 200 meters from the finish and I was able to launch my sprint perfectly. I had the advantage of knowing all the roads really well as they are the one’s I use for training, and adding to this the great work done by my teammates this is what helped seal the win.”

Tour Colombia 2.1 Stage 2 Result:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 3:12:09
2. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Itamar Einhorn (Isr) Israel Start Up Nation
4. Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Edwin Avila (Col) Israel Start Up Nation
6. Bryan Gomez (Col) Equipo Continental Supergiros
7. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
8. Marco Benfatto (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizane
9. Julian David Molano (Col) Colombia
10. Lev Gonov (Rus) Russia.

Tour Colombia 2.1 Overall After Stage 2:
1. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First in 3:30.10
2. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education First
3. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Education First
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Education First
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:09
6. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
7. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos at 0:46
9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos
10. Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos.

Colombia’20 stage 2:

André Greipel Misses Spring Due to Shoulder Injury
Bad luck for André Greipel and his employer Israel Start-Up Nation as the German will have to miss the Spring Classics due to a shoulder injury. Greipel was injured in a training crash and will be out of action for three months.

Greipel crashed during a training ride in the Cologne area. “This is a big disappointment for André and the team,” said team manager Kjell Carlström. “André started the season in the Tour Down Under so well and he proved to be a great leader. This is really bad news, since we saw Ben Hermans and Rory Sutherland drop out earlier.” Carlström added: “It will not be easy to process this.”

André Greipel spoke of the accident. “We gave space to an approaching car. The road was slippery due to the rain and mud and I got off the road and lost my balance. My front wheel slipped away and I crashed into a rock. I initially hoped it wasn’t that bad … “

Greipel, however, appears to be struggling with a serious shoulder injury, which means he cannot race for a few months. According to team doctor Ortwin Schafer, the strong sprinter suffers from a dislocated and broken shoulder. Greipel will undergo some medical tests on Wednesday, but there is a good chance he will have to undergo surgery.

The 37-year-old Greipel started his season in Australia with the Tour Down Under. The former HTC and Lotto Soudal rider finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the Australian stage race. He was also at the start of the Race Torquay and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Greipel was to focus on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

André Greipel in Oz:

Tom Dumoulin Postpones Comeback (again): No Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo
Tom Dumoulin will not be making his return to racing for the time being. The leader of Jumbo-Visma already had to miss the Tour of Valencia due to illness, now he has announced that he will not start in Tirreno-Adriatico from March 11 to 17 and Milan-San Remo on March 21. “We have to postpone my return until I feel one hundred percent,” said Dumoulin.

What exactly is going on with the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner is unknown. Dumoulin will also not go to any training camps for the time being. “This Thursday I would fly to my training camp, but we have to postpone that until I feel 100 percent. We also change my competition program, because I skip Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. That gives me more time to regain my strength.”

“This is a shame, because I felt great and couldn’t wait until the season started. Unfortunately I now have to wait a bit longer,” said Dumoulin. It is not known how long he will be on the side-line and whether the build-up to his main goal, the Tour de France, will be further endangered. Dumoulin also missed a large part of 2019 due to the knee injury, which he sustained in last year’s Giro d’Italia. Last week, after eight months of absence, he was meant to make his comeback in the Tour of Valencia.

Intestinal complaints cause Dumoulin not to feel completely fit at the moment. “The facts are as communicated,” said Jumbo-Visma to NOS. “There is currently no more news. The cause of his intestinal complaints is still being investigated.”

It all started to go wrong at the Giro’19:

Andrey Amador Joins Team INEOS
Team INEOS can confirm the signing of Andrey Amador on a three-year deal.

Amador, 33, has long been admired by the Team and is renowned as one of the sport’s outstanding riders. The Costa Rican is set to make his Team INEOS debut at the UAE Tour. A consummate professional and incredible teammate, Amador has a track record of supporting the best riders in the world while achieving excellent results of his own. Previously a part of two Grand Tour winning lineups – including Richard Carapaz’s 2019 Giro d’Italia win – Amador also has a Giro stage win to his name, and finished fourth in the Italian Grand Tour in 2015.

He arrives after spending the first 11 years of his professional career with the Movistar setup.

Andrey said: “Who wouldn’t be excited to sign with Team INEOS? I’m very happy to be part of this great Team. I have spent all of my sporting career with Movistar and I owe them a lot – but I felt now is the right time in my career to seek some new motivations. This is a new challenge and I will give everything I have for this Team. Everyone can see there is a strong unit at this Team – there is an impressive bunch of riders and staff. I’m excited to be part of this group, joining alongside Richard Carapaz. I’m happy we can continue to ride together after what we were able to do with Movistar at the Giro d’Italia. My aim will be to try to contribute as much as I can in every race. I still have many things I can learn and improve on as a rider, and Team INEOS is the perfect place for me to do this.”

Team INEOS Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “Andrey’s consistent record speaks for itself. He is a rider of the highest calibre and his experience in the sport’s biggest races will be invaluable. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve admired Andrey’s performances over the years. His consistent commitment to Team goals and his ability to race across a wide range of terrain, combined with his upbeat personality is exactly what we seek in a Team INEOS rider. Everyone on the Team is excited to have Andrey join us and we are looking forward to giving him a warm welcome and making great things happen.”

Andrey Amador:

SD Worx New Main Sponsor of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
SD Worx to become the new main sponsor of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team, the best team in women’s cycling.

HR services provider SD Worx has secured the future of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team for the 2021-2024 period. Today, the specialist in payroll and HR signed a four-year contract with the best women’s cycling team in the world during the team presentation day. SD Worx will join the team as a co-sponsor in 2020. From 2021, the women’s team will continue under the name SD Worx Cycling Team.

SD Worx deliberately opted to support women’s cycling. Kobe Verdonck, CEO of SD Worx: “We are delighted and proud to be the main sponsor of the best women’s cycling team in the world. This cooperation is a well-considered choice, as women’s cycling is gaining an increasing amount of attention. What’s more, cycling is an extremely accessible, sustainable sport which is appreciated by a wide international audience and has strong ties to communities. The team is made up of top sportswomen of different nationalities. The level is extremely high, with some of the members preparing to defend their Olympic titles in Tokyo this year. The team reflects the values of SD Worx, too: diversity is high on our agenda and, like us, this international cycling team loves to win and will do everything they can to stay in the lead. Teamwork and strong individual performances are essential. We firmly believe this sponsorship will strengthen our brand awareness among our two target groups – employers and employees both nationally and internationally.”

Motivational enthusiasm
Current sponsors Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping Group had indicated at the World Cycling Championships in Yorkshire in September 2019 that they would cease to sponsor the team after 2020 as they had surpassed their sponsorship goals. The team has been top of the UCI Ranking for five years running, and from 2015 to 2018 four different riders won the individual road world title – that equates to four years in a row.

“The fact that we managed to secure such a fantastic main sponsor for no less than four years within just a few months proves that we have done a great job in recent years”, states General Team Manager Erwin Janssen with satisfaction. “We believe it’s important to maintain an independent women’s team at the highest level. We are one of the few top teams not linked to a male world tour group, which means we can focus entirely on the women’s team. This focus gives us an advantage over other teams. And the investment of a successful company like SD Worx proves that the popularity of women’s cycling has increased enormously in recent years.”

Sporting Director Danny Stam states the team’s aspirations will remain the same in the coming years: to be the number one in the world. “I’m happy our current sponsor Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping Group had the class to indicate early on that they would cease their sponsorship. That gave us the opportunity to find this fantastic new sponsor. SD Worx’s enthusiasm is unrivalled and is highly motivating for everyone in the team. It’s a huge advantage to know that our future is secured up to the end of 2024. We can start building the team of the future and take the necessary steps forward.”

Trentin Headlines CCC Team Roster at Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia
Matteo Trentin will lead CCC Team at the two-day Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia on February 14 and 15, while Patrick Bevin will make his season debut.

Despite the climbing-heavy parcours, Trentin has showed his versatility at the race with fourth place overall at the then one-day race in 2018, and seventh place in 2019 having finished in the top ten on both stages.

“Although Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia consists of two mountain stages, it is not necessarily a race for the pure climbers. As we have seen from previous years, Matteo Trentin is definitely capable of a good result so we have a strong team around him. Our goal is a top five in the General Classification and a stage win. Of course, we are not lining up as the favourites and it won’t be our responsibility to control the race. Instead, we will look to race aggressively and help Matteo get over the climbs and set him up for the finales on both days,” Sports Director Piotr Wadecki explained.

Trentin is hoping to build on his form from Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. “I’m feeling good after racing in Valencia but it was a really hard race considering it was the first race of the season for most riders. I think it was good in terms of testing the legs and getting back into the racing rhythm after the off season so I’m a bit more confident ahead of Murcia as I think I will get better and better with every race I do,” Trentin said.

“They’ve changed the parcours a bit from last year but I think the first stage should be a sprint as it is not so hard. The second stage is quite interesting as the last big climb is still 60 kilometres from the finish so it’s a mix between the last two editions. I think we have a good team for the race and my aim is to improve on my results from Valencia.”

After withdrawing before the start of the Santos Tour Down Under, Bevin has opted to forgo the New Zealand National Championships in order to start his European racing season earlier than planned. “I am lining up at Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia very excited to start my season. I want to slot straight into the team objectives but it is my first race after an extended break from racing. My precautionary withdrawal from the Tour Down Under was extremely frustrating but I appreciate the work the team has done, along with the Olympic Medical Team in New Zealand, to make sure that I am 100 percent fit and healthy to begin my season”

Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia (14-15 February)
Rider roster:

Patrick Bevin (NZ), Josef Černý (CZE), Kamil Małecki (POL), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL).
Sports Director: Piotr Wadecki (POL).

Matteo Trentin:

header uae
Kristoff continues classics build up at Clasica Almería
Norwegian sprinter leads the charge in Andalusia.

UAE Team Emirates will continue their Spanish block of racing with Clasica Almeria (1.Pro) which takes place on February 16th and features no fewer than 8 World Tour teams.

The flat, fast finish should suit the likes of Alexander Kristoff who comes into the race after a successful week for the team in Vuelta Valenciana where Tadej Pogačar claimed the overall race victory.

Sports Director Andrej Hauptman with lead the following 7 riders:
-Tom Bohli (Swi)
-Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
-Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
-Yousif Mirza (UAE)
-Valerio Conti (Ita)
-David de la Cruz (Spa)
-Edward Ravasi (Ita)

Alexander Kristoff: “The season has started well, I had a good week in Valenciana and felt strong throughout the race. Almería is a finish that should suit me well so hopefully I can step up from last week and get closer to the win or maybe even take it. It’s a new race for the team but we know what to expect. The line-up this year looks quite strong and that makes it good preparation heading into the classics.”

Murcia and Clásica de Almería teams for Kometa-Xstra
The season has taken on a cruising speed and the competitive commitments of the Kometa Xstra Cycling Team are uninterrupted. The continental team of the Alberto Contador Foundation will race from Friday to Saturday in the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia, while on Sunday they will travel to Almeria to compete in the Clásica de Almería for the first time in the three years of the team’s existence. The Italian Alessandro Fancellu makes his debut on Murcia soil.

40th Vuelta a Murcia From 14 to 15 February and 33rd Clásica de Almeria 16 February:

Paris-Roubaix 2020: A Tough Start
The first perfectly tarmacked one hundred kilometres of Paris-Roubaix always fulfil the role of wearing the riders down. They weigh down on the legs of both the domestics and leaders, especially those who have forgotten that on leaving Compiègne, the plains of Picardy are never totally flat. However, the handlebars will really start shaking at Troisvilles with the entrance to the first cobbled sector, which will be numbered 30 and, unlike last year, will be covered by the race for the entirety of its 2.2 km. The riders with the least luck will have already suffered a puncture or two before reaching the cobbled sector at Vertain (No. 25), which regulars to the race have often ridden, though never upwards, a direction that has earned it four-star status in the classification of how difficult each cobbled sector is.

The agitated crossing of the Cambrésis and South Valenciennes areas will also reacquaint the riders with the section at the hamlet of Buat (No. 24), first ridden in 2005 and not visited since 2016. When they leave this cobbled lane that winds upwards for more than a kilometre, they will have thirty kilometres to prepare themselves for the challenge of the Trouée Arenberg (after 160 km), where there is often a radical cull among the riders, just like on the other five-star classed sectors of Mons-en-Pévèle (209.5 km) and the Carrefour de l’Arbre (240.5 km). Among the favourites still in the reckoning after this formidable sequence, perhaps John Degenkolb will find extra motivation on the section of Hornaing in Wandignies (No. 17, after 175.5 km). The second German winner of the Queen of the Classics, after Joseph Fischer in the inaugural edition in 1896, was visiting this morning, invited by the Friends of Paris-Roubaix for the inauguration of a plaque bearing his name. Perhaps it might bring him good luck…

Key points:
For the 118th edition, which will start in Compiègne on Sunday 12th April at 11:00, the route will measure 259 kilometres, with 55 kilometres of cobbles split into 30 different cobbled sectors (compared with 54.5 km and 29 sections in 2019).

Ø The modifications made this year will see the race return to several rural roads it has occasionally visited in the past and which could spice up the initial battles on the cobbles, with a comeback for the upward sloped sector at the hamlet of Buat.

Paris-Roubaix Challenge – Saturday, April, 11th
24 hours before the elite race, some 7,000 amateur riders will measure themselves on this legendary spring classic and its fabled cobblestone sectors. Three distances are on offer to cyclists, in order to accommodate all the preparation levels: 70, 145 and 172 kms. Every rider will find an appropriate legend.
Information and registration on www.parisroubaixchallenge.com and timeto.com.

Paris-Roubaix Challenge in figures:
11th edition of Paris-Roubaix Challenge
· 7,000 participants
· 3 routes of 70 km, 145 km and 172 km
· 67 nationalities at the start.


Il Giro di Sicilia Returns, 1 to 4 April
The route of Il Giro di Sicilia – organised by the Sicilian Region and RCS Sport – has been presented, with four stages on the island that will host three stages of the next Giro d’Italia (from 12 to 14 May) and the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia 2021. The event’s host broadcaster, Rai Television, will produce 2 hours of live streaming daily to more than 100 connected countries worldwide. Expected to start: the 2019 winner Brandon McNulty; the 2014 Giro d’Italia winner, Nairo Quintana; the Italian Road Champion, Davide Formolo and the Sicilian, Giovanni Visconti.

The route of Il Giro di Sicilia 2020 was presented on Monday at the Sicilian Region Pavilion at Milan’s BIT expo. The four stages from 1 to 4 April include a start from Syracuse and finishes in Licata, Mondello (Palermo), Caronia and Mascali, and feature the ascent of Mount Etna from the Piano Provenzana side, the same that will be climbed by the Giro d’Italia in 2020. Other stage starts are from Selinunte (Castelvetrano), Termini Imerese and Sant’Agata di Militello on the island that will host the Grande Partenza of the 2021 Corsa Rosa.

From left: Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport, Manlio Messina, Councilor for Tourism and Sport of the Sicilian Region and Mauro Vegni, Cycling Director of RCS Sport

Stage 1 – SIRACUSA – LICATA (194km)

The first three-quarters of the stage are wavy, followed by a flat finale. After starting from the coast the route crosses the hinterland before facing the only KOM climb of the day in Ragusa on the way to Ibla. A long section follows, descending mainly on straight roads until reaching the sea at Gela and continuing towards the finish.

Stage 2 – SELINUNTE – MONDELLO (141km)
The stage is characterised by a series of ‘easy’ undulations in the first part before the last 30km where the short but intense KOM climb of Carini is tackled. The route then approaches Palermo along challenging roads, in part markedly downhill, dotted with roundabouts.

This stage winds through the interior of Sicily and presents an uphill finish. Its wavy undulations follow an uninterrupted succession of bends on roads with variable widths, some with worn surfaces, while the city crossings feature paved sections with various shapes. After Cerda the road tackles the long climb towards “le Petralie” and Geraci Siculo where a very long descent begins, preceding the KOM climb of Pollina (11km at about 6%) and then the short coastal stretch that leads to the final climb, with the last 3km at approximately 6%.

This high mountain stage has its finish near the sea. Starting on a coastal stretch, the route then climbs the Favoscuro Pass which leads to the slopes of Mount Etna. Next it follows a short, flat stretch to Linguaglossa to tackle the climb of Piano Provenzana, deviating, 2km from the summit (a stage finish in the 2020 Giro d’Italia), towards Milo – with a KOM climb near Rifugio Citelli. A very long descent of almost 30km follows with some technical and demanding sections within the villages and towns.

Nello Musumeci, President of the Sicilian Region, said: “For the second consecutive year the prestigious cycling competition, Il Giro di Sicilia, will take place on the island. My government wanted to continue the collaborative relationship with the RCS Sport group for an initiative that aims to project our region to an international level. We are convinced that the unique and inspirational routes with incomparable architectural beauties, together with the passion for a popular sport with such a long tradition such as cycling, can reach new audiences to produce increased international awareness for the region. In addition to Il Giro di Sicilia, the Giro d’Italia will also return this year with three stages that, in mid-May, will cross the island from west to east. And we’re eagerly anticipating 2021, when the prestigious Corsa Rosa will start right from our region. The best of Sicily is on display!”

Manlio Messina, Councilor for Tourism and Sport of the Sicilian Region, said: “Thanks to the intuition of President Musumeci, we are here today to present a great event, Il Giro di Sicilia, which is also linked to the three stages of the Giro d’Italia this year and to the Grande Partenza of the Corsa Rosa 2021. As the Sicilian Region we have decided to focus on these great events: the fact that these races are broadcast in over 100 countries around the world with 2 hours of live streaming from Rai, is a formidable vehicle for promoting our region. I invite everyone to join in and follow the race on the roads or on TV. These international cycling events allow us to showcase our whole territory and contribute to the development of tourism in our beautiful Sicily.”

Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport, said: “In partnership with the Sicilian Region together we have done a great job to bring the Giro d’Italia back to this island and Il Giro di Sicilia to the international cycling calendar. For this year’s edition, Rai will produce 2 hours of live streaming daily. Fans from over 100 countries will be able to appreciate the beauty of the island through the images of an international level race that will help promote tourism, contributing to Sicily’s economy.”

Mauro Vegni, Cycling Director of RCS Sport, said: “Thanks to the work done together with the Sicilian Region, Sicily has now become a cornerstone of international cycling. In addition to Il Giro di Sicilia, this year we will have three stages of the Giro d’Italia on the island and in 2021 the Grande Partenza of the Corsa Rosa will be from Sicily. Some of the biggest names in international cycling will be at the start of the 2020 edition of Il Giro di Sicilia, including the winner of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, Nairo Quintana. We are bringing Il Giro di Sicilia back to its former glory and we want to continue on this path.”

Olympia’s Tour 2020 Route
The Olympia Tour has announced the stages for the 2020 edition. This year, the Olympia’s Tour starts with a team time trial in Hardenberg. Hardenberg is a regular town in the Dutch stage race in recent years, which this year returns to the international calendar. Race organiser Thijs Rondhuis is happy with the race route: “Due to the shift from October to March, we only had four months to put together a stage route. I am proud that this has succeeded with a very beautiful and varied course.”

“With the team time trial in Hardenberg, teams can immediately show what they are worth in terms of strength this week. With the VAM-Berg we have a selective stage where the riders can decide for themselves whether they will make a difference. The stages in the municipalities of Steenwijkerland, Beuningen and Berkelland go through beautiful scenic areas and guarantee the echelon stages that characterise the Olympia’s Tour. Together with the stage municipalities, committees, the police and the participants, we have the climbs and the flat where we want it.”

Olympia’s Tour 2020 (18-22 March) stages:
Stage 1: TTT Hardenberg – Hardenberg (9.8 km)
Stage 2: Wijster – VAM-Berg (167 km)
Stage 3: Blokzijl – Steenwijkerwold (143 km)
Stage 4: Beuningen – Beuningen (137 km)
Stage 5: Borculo – Borculo (161 km).

Olympia’s Tour 2019 Col du VAM:

Klasika Primavera Deleted from Cycling Calendar
The 66th edition of the Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta will not be held this year. The organisation of the race, which was on the calendar for April 12, has insufficient volunteers to organise the race, the Amorebieta Cycling Society said in a press statement.

The organiser called on younger volunteers to support the competition. “There has been no generation change within the organising committee. This means that there is not enough manpower to carry out a project of this size,” Iñigo Larrucea wrote on behalf of the board in a statement. In the coming months, new board members will be sought to be able to continue the race in the future.

By canceling the race, the Colombian Carlos Betancur will remain the last winner of the Basque one-day race for the time being. In Amorebieta he won the sprint from his countryman Carlos Quinterto and his Spanish teammate Eduard Prades.

Betancur 2029 winner:

2020 UAE Tour – Route changes
Stage routes for the upcoming UAE Tour have been modified due to development and road upgrades.

As part of ongoing development and road upgrades, the Technical Committee of the 2020 UAE Tour, the one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East, have made modifications to the route stages that will ensure a varied and balanced character to the seven-stage event for all riders.

Stage 1 – DUBAI SILICON OASIS STAGE – The Pointe – Dubai Silicon Oasis (148km)
A mainly desert stage with some sections in the city of Dubai. After starting from Palm Jumeirah / The Pointe, the route continues towards the Al Qudra area (with its cycle path), followed by a desert section before returning to the town shortly ahead of the finish. It’s ridden on wide, well-paved roads, with the potential for sand in windy conditions.

Stage 2 – DUBAI MUNICIPALITY STAGE – Hatta – Hatta Dam (168km)
The stage starts from Hatta (Heritage Village) and crosses the Hajar Mountains and the surrounding desert on wide, straight roads with continuous undulations. After the turning point in Fujairah the route returns towards Hatta. Beyond Munay, the route turns to Huwaylat and from there to Hatta Fort. In that stretch the route overcomes two short climbs with slopes around 10% and a series of fords in concrete. In its finale the route crosses Hatta before the challenging climb of Hatta Dam which reaches 17%.

Stage 3 – THE EMIRATES STAGE – Al Qudra Cycle Track – Jebel Hafeet (184km)
Stage 3 connects Dubai with Abu Dhabi. After departing from Al Qudra the route crosses the desert on long straights until reaching Al Ain, where it passes many of the city’s symbolic places, including some sections in common with Stage 5. The route continues up to Green Mubazzarah to begin the final ascent of Jebel Hafeet, with its 10km and slopes mainly around 8-9%, peaking at 11% 3km from the finish.

Stage 4 – EMIRATES NBD STAGE – Zabeel Park – Dubai City Walk (173km)
The popular walkway through Dubai’s streets now also becomes a favourite racing route. After departing from Zabeel Park this stage joins sections of the classic route with the familiar crossing of Mushrif Park and Motor City before facing the finish in City Walk. Stage 4 is one for the fastest wheels.

Stage 5 – AL AIN STAGE – Al Ain – Jebel Hafeet (162km)
The UAE Tour’s mountain stage. A classic stage that featured regularly on the former Abu Dhabi Tour, it offers a familiar route around Al Ain taking in many of the symbolic places (Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili, Al Ain Oasis) up to Green Mubazzarah where the final climb of Jebel Hafeet (10km) begins.

Stage 6 – ADNOC STAGE – Al Ruwais – Al Mirfa (158km)
The desert stage. Starting from Al Ruwais the route travels the entire E11 road which runs between the sea and the edge of the desert. The first part of the route is practically straight for almost 60km before entering the final 18.9km circuit of Al Mirfa which is to be completed three times.

Stage 7 – ABU DHABI STAGE – Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi Breakwater (127km)
The final stage, around the city of Abu Dhabi, follows a classic route from the Abu Dhabi Tour. After departing Al Maryah Island the first part of the route is along the road connecting to Yas Island. Next, from Yas Marina, it runs to Al Raha, passes the Great Mosque and returns through Khalifa City to Yas Marina. The route takes in Saadiyat Island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Corniche before arriving in Abu Dhabi Breakwater for the sprint finish.

Five Extra Teams in the Amstel Gold Race for Women
In two months time, 23 teams will be at the start of the fourth edition of the Amstel Gold Race for women. Five more teams than last year. Canyon-SRAM and Boels Dolmans, the teams of the previous winners Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak are again present. Thirteen teams were automatically given places on the start-line for the Women’s WorldTour race. In addition, Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, race director, also announced eight wildcards.

Cogeas Mettler Look, Multum Accountants-LSK, Biehler Krush, NXTG Racing, Hitec Products-Birk Sport, Astana, CAMS-Tifosi and Chevalmeire are new to the race. Tibco-SVB was not invited. The Amstel Gold Race will also pay 10,000 euros more in starting money to the various teams this year. The prize money paid out by the competition is higher than the UCI regulations.

The Amstel Gold Race makes an extra contribution to the development of women’s cycling, the organisation said in a press release. “Women’s cycling is becoming more and more professional and the neighbourhood is contributing to this by appreciating the ladies at world level,” said Zijlaard-van Moorsel. “The women’s race is (partly) driven on the same beautiful course as the men and in addition I am committed to a good organisation, realistic prizes and starting money and not to mention sufficient media attention.”

The Amstel Gold Race for women is scheduled for Sunday, April 19.

Amstel Gold Race women’s teams 2020
Alé BTC Ljubljana (Ita), Canyon / SRAM Racing (Ger), CCC – Liv (Pol), FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra), Movistar (Spa), Mitchelton Scott (Aus), Sunweb (Ger), Trek – Segafredo (US), Boels Dolmans (Ned), Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned), Ceratizit – WNT (Ger), Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita), Bigla – Katusha (Sui), Lotto Soudal (Bel), Cogeas Mettler Look (Rus).

Multum Accountants – LSK (Bel), Biehler Krush (Ned), Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport (Bel), NXTG Racing (Ned), Hitec Products – Birk Sport (Nor), Astana (Kaz), CAMS – Tifosi (GB), Chevalmeire (Bel).

2019 Amstel Gold:

2020 Tour de Pologne Wild Cards: The first one goes to Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk inspires millions of people around the world with their message
Warsaw, February 11th – The wait is finally over. The first wild card for the 2020 Tour de Pologne has officially been assigned to Team Novo Nordisk. For years, this squad has been associating professional sports to a truly special project.

The group was originally formed with the aim of being the first team in the world made up entirely of diabetic athletes. They decided to take on the ambitious mission to show that diabetes does not have to be an obstacle to pursuing your dreams and achieving your goals. By sharing their experiences and stories of their daily lives, the riders have become a source of inspiration for the 430 million people who live with this disease. Their program promotes the fundamental values of cycling, where determination is the real key to accomplishment.

CEO and co-founder of the team, Phil Southerland, says he is honoured that the Lang Team is still supporting their project, which will provide their platform with international exposure during the race. “We do not take this wild card lightly,” he added. “And we will arrive ready to light up the race and show the world what is possible when you have diabetes. In 2020 this will not change, and we will approach this event with the same drive and motivation as always.”

General Manager Vassili Davidenko feels the same. He says: “For our team and sponsors, we feel the continued support from the Tour de Pologne shows a recognition of our growth and a belief in our team’s unique message. Year after year, our project continues to grow, and we will show our appreciation by lining up with our best squad and racing aggressively at an event that suits the skills of our team. The route is really diverse and has something for every type of rider, meaning there will be lots of opportunities for us over the seven stages. With the squad we have, we will be looking to make the most of these opportunities, taking every chance we get to prove ourselves and building on the success we had at last year’s race.”

Czeslaw Lang explained his choice by saying, “It’s now the fifth time in a row that we invite the novo Nordisk Team. This is a unique team that combines high sports performance with noble goals under the leadership of their Vice President Vassili Davidenko. During the previous editions of the Tour de Pologne, the Novo Nordisk Team riders have made a very good impression. The best example is Charles Planet, who last year won the Lotto Most Active Rider classification and was the leader of the Tauron Best Climber classification for four stages.” But the boss also pointed out the importance of the values that motivate the entire team. “Inspiration and support for all people with diabetes is a message that should be promoted in Poland and around the world.”

Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet:

Jimmy Turgis Forced to Retire with Heart Ailment
French rider from the B&B HOTELS – VITAL CONCEPT P/B KTM has been diagnosed with the same disease as his younger brother Tanguy, who retired one year ago. Jimmy, 28, has to stop high intensity sport practice after having been a cyclist for his whole life.
“I underwent advanced exams last year and this winter again, explains the cobblestones and cyclo-cross specialist. The results are clear and undeniable: I have to stop racing. This retirement comes earlier than expected but my team and I won’t take any risk. I’m surrounded and supported by a strong family who went through the same event when Tanguy had to end his career.”

Meanwhile Tanguy has just completed his degree to become a sport director, Jimmy doesn’t know yet what the future holds for him. Graduated in sports science before turning professional in cycling, Jimmy is an authentic gentleman, a young dad and a so much reliable worker. Jérôme Pineau, the B&B HOTELS – VITAL CONCEPT P/B KTM’s Team Manager aims to support his rider as much as the team can. “This news is very sad for our whole team as Jimmy was a true team player, sharing his knowledge and being a model for many of our young riders. We’ll be there for him like we’ve been standing by Tanguy since his retirement. The only good thing here is that we managed to diagnose Jimmy’s cardiac issue before something happens. Life goes on and Jimmy is aware that it’s the most important.”

Langeveld Optimistic After Surgery
Sebastian Langeveld had surgery over the weekend to repair a broken right collarbone he sustained in a crash Friday, Feb. 7. The surgery went to plan, and now the Dutchman sets his sights on rest and recovery.

Langeveld crashed during the third stage of Étoile de Bessèges, when a rider lost control in front of him on a descent.

“The operation went very well. There’s nothing special to report,” Langeveld said Monday. “I just have to see when my body feels OK to go on the trainer again. After that, the next step is the road. It could be a week, it could be two weeks. We just have to see how the recovery will go. For now, I just have to relax and give my body the time it needs.”

The team’s head of medicine, Dr. Kevin Sprouse, echoed Langeveld. “At this point, Sebastian will feel it out day by day and start to return to training as he’s ready and progress from there. Every surgery, every injury, is individual,” Sprouse noted.

Langeveld’s ultimate aim is to race the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. “I’m very positive about doing the classics. It’s not ideal, but it’s one of those circumstances you don’t have an influence on in the whole preparation. I trained all winter for Flanders and Roubaix; this is just one of those things you’ve got to handle. Now it’s a collarbone, but it could have been the flu, or something else,” Langeveld said. “With the team behind me, with EF behind me, with Jonathan Vaughters as a coach, we can tackle this to make a very good plan.”

Sebastian Langeveld in Wevelgem’19:

Following the Blues, Ep. 1 – Challenge Mallorca
Movistar Team launches a series of short videos on the Telefónica-backed squad’s men’s and women’s teams throughout the 2020 season, giving a voice to all of its members.

Few weeks after kicking off its 41st season in the peloton, the Movistar Team is launching its series ‘Following the Blues’. The first instalment is a behind-the-scenes look to their riders’ first week of European competition in 2020, with the Challenge Mallorca at its centre.

Marc Soler’s victory at the Trofeo Pollença – Port d’Andratx; the debut of Enric Mas; the training rides of the Telefónica-backed squad around Mallorca; or the aero / material testing carried out at the Velòdrom Illes Balears are all part of a collection of personal experiences, beautiful footage and top racing moments alongside the Blue outfit.

The series will feature both the men’s and women’s programs from the Movistar Team indistinctly, aims to give a voice to staff members as much as the riders, and hopes to become a channel for the squad’s top sponsors to present some of their most advanced technologies.

The videos published during the season will remain available at the Movistar Team’s YouTube channel.

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