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All the Giro d’Italia news from the last three stages, plus the first day from Hungary with reports and video. Who is Taco van der Hoorn? – TOP STORY. Race news: Slovakia wants Giro d’Italia start. Race news: Sam Bennett back to BORA? CAS rejects André Cardoso’s appeal. Team news: New UCI Team Ranking and Total Direct Energy out of the Circuit de Wallonie due to covid. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Who is Taco van der Hoorn?
In Italy Tim Merlier was relatively unknown, then Taco van der Hoorn came along and won Giro stage 3 and the Italian press wanted to know everything.

They knew that Van der Hoorn can win from an early break, that was obvious from Monday, but why did he leave Jumbo-Visma? “To be clear, I also had a good time at Jumbo-Visma,” Van der Hoorn said at the Giro press conference after his stage win. “I learned what it is like to work for a leader. It was nice to be employed by Wout van Aert. But it is true: at Jumbo-Visma I would have ridden in front of the peloton for Dylan Groenewegen to cancel the breakaway. Now I can go on the offensive myself and try to finish it. However, I already learned that at Roompot, not at Jumbo-Visma.”

“What does it feel like to finally win again after a thousand days? Great, of course. Look, I know I belong in the pro peloton. And that after 200 kilometres I can still cycle quite fast. But I don’t have that many chances of winning. I am not a time trialist, sprinter or climber. The early escape is my only chance. And then you are still dependent on what the peloton does. The success rate is very small anyway, but I think it’s worth trying. I did not expect that I would win a Giro stage that way.”

Van der Hoorn didn’t feel well for the first two days of the Giro. “I have prepared very well. I also completed an altitude training course. Yesterday (Sunday) it really didn’t work out. Afterwards I even called Jan-Willem (van Schip). ‘Just keep doing your thing’, he said. That’s why I absolutely wanted to go on the offensive today. There wouldn’t be an early break without me.”

The victory is also the first of the 2021 season for his team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. “Of course this is important. We were not doing badly though. And the atmosphere in the team is great, but we didn’t manage to finish it once. Until today…”

Does his name have anything to do with Mexican food? “No, my parents named me after a Dutch hockey player, Taco van den Honert. They just thought that was a nice name.”

How did he get into cycling? “I played football, but due to an injury I had to stop. That’s how I ended up on my bike. Initially in small races around the church tower. I loved it immediately. My idol? Sebastian Langeveld. A regional neighbour of mine. I was a member of his fan club.”

Van der Hoorn is also crazy about risotto. “The first part of this stage is the region of the risotto”, it said. Will he celebrate the victory with a big plate? “I can ask our chef, but I just love the Italian cuisine. For me it can also be a pizza later.”

Finally, Van der Hoorn was asked to predict the winner of stage 4 and the overall leader: “I really don’t know. And frankly, I don’t give a shit either. Whether it is Evenepoel or Bernal… No, I really don’t know.”

Happy Taco:


giro 21
Giro d’Italia 2021
Taco van der Hoorn won Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia on Monday. After 190 kilometres the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider was the best of a leading group of eight, and he solo’d the last 9 kilometres. Davide Cimolai sprinted to second place from the peloton 4 seconds after Van der Hoorn. Peter Sagan was third. Filippo Ganna held the pink jersey.

giro 21 st3

Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ), KOM Vincenzo Albanese & Samuele Rivi (both eolo-Kometa), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën), Simon Pellaud & Andrii Ponomar (both Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) made up the break of the day. The eight men took a maximum lead of more than 6 minutes. Lars van den Berg was the best placed rider in the leading group and was the virtual overall leader at one time. BORA-hansgrohe and Alpecin-Fenix ​​were in control of the peloton. On the first climb to Piancanelli, Albanese took more KOM points, but the lead was now only 3 minutes. BORA-hansgrohe caused some sprinters to be dropped on the Castino climb, including Caleb Ewan, Dylan Groenewegen, Tim Merlier and David Dekker. On the fourth category climb the KOM points went to Albanian after a battle with Van den Berg. The peloton was at 2 minutes with 40 kilometres to go.

On the Manera climb, Giacomo Nizzolo was also dropped by the peloton, unlike Fernando Gaviria. In the leading group, the mountain points on Manera went to Pellaud, ahead of Zoccarato and Albanese. Together with Van den Berg and Van der Hoorn, they were the only remaining escapees who held out going in to the last 20 kilometres. In Guarene, the last intermediate sprint of the day was on a un-categorised hill of 2.6km at around 7%. The five leaders had a 1 minute lead, Pellaud and Van der Hoorn were the strongest. They crossed the summit together and took the bonus seconds. Before the top Tony Gallopin and Giulio Ciccone attacked the peloton, but couldn’t catch Pellaud and Van der Hoorn. 10 kilometres from the finish, the two escapees were 25 seconds ahead of Gallopin and Ciccone, and 37 seconds ahead of what was left of peloton with Sagan, Gaviria and Elia Viviani still there. At the front, Van der Hoorn dropped Pellaud 8.8 kilometres from the finish.

Van der Hoorn extended his lead to 1 minute on the peloton, where Cofidis were working for Viviani. Van der Hoorn still had to survive a small climb at 5 kilometres. Behind; Ciccone and Gallopin came within 20 seconds, but the peloton caught them more than 2 kilometres from the finish, while Van der Hoorn was still up the road. With an 18 second lead, Van der Hoorn started the last kilometre and held off the peloton to the line. Four seconds later the sprint in the peloton was won by Davide Cimolai, ahead of Sagan, Viviani and Patrick Bevin. Van der Hoorn’s victory is also the first victory for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert this season.

# You can see the full ‘PEZ Stage 3 Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It is simply amazing! To be honest, I don’t realise I won a stage of the Giro, something I would never have dreamed of. The last km was technical with several left turns. I looked back under the flamme rouge and I thought, ‘What the f*ck, I’m going to make it!’ I took the turn with the necessary caution, then enjoyed the home stretch. Three years ago, I suffered a serious concussion after a crash. I had to hang up my bike for eight months. My career was hanging by a thread then. It was also the case at the end of last season when I was without a contract. But I persisted and I finally received my chance at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The team gave me a great program and I’m happy I could reward them with this victory. I like working with this team, the atmosphere in the group is fantastic. A win took a long time coming for us, and now we have it. We deserved it.”

Maglia Rosa, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “For sure I came to the Giro a little low on confidence after some defeats but I managed to make up for it in Turin. It became a personal goal of mine to retain the Maglia Rosa today. Anyone can think what they want but I’ll be at the disposal of the team tomorrow. I’ve seen Egan Bernal has been very motivated these past two days. I hope the Maglia Rosa will stay with us but if it goes to another team tomorrow we’ll race in a more passive way. Remco Evenepoel has impressed me climbing on a big gear today, I don’t know where he found the energy to do that, hats off to him.”

2nd on the stage, Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-up Nation): “Today, I suffered a lot on the climbs, especially the second last one was hard for me, but I managed to survive it and stay in the group. At the end, I took the responsibility to do the sprint and I’m happy for this second place, beating guys like Sagan, Viviani, and Gaviria. However, at the same time, I’m also disappointed because I lost an opportunity to win a stage in the Giro! For sure we will try again but you can’t turn back time and change what has already.”

3rd on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “I think we had the perfect strategy for today and the team worked very well to execute it. Once again, I’d like to thank all my teammates for their tremendous effort, they worked so hard to try our chance at the stage win. We did the best we could, just the way we do every day. We are a team that always races to win, not settle for second or third.”

KOM, Vincenzo Albanese (eolo-Kometa): “I’m happy. I’m happy because my goal was to enter in the breakaway of the day to defend the blue jersey, and the goal has been achieved. Of course, the dream of winning a stage remains and in the end, seeing that it was one of my breakaway companions who won, left me with a bit of regret. But after yesterday’s and today’s efforts, I was really tired at the end. It’s early days and to have started this Giro like this is definitely a positive thing: having a smile on your face is important for the whole team. I’m fine, and I’ll definitely keep trying from here to the end. Because the goal is always the same: to win a stage. That would be a dream.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 3 Result:
1. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:21:29
2. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:04
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
5. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo
9. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
10. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 3:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 8:51:26
2. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:16
3. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:20
4. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:21
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:26
7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:27
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo at 0:29
9. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:30
10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:32.

Giro stage 3:


The big break of the day went all the way to the finish on Stage 4 and it was UAE Team Emirates’ Joe Dombrowski who won the stage. Alessandro De Marchi came in just behind to take the pink jersey for the Israel Start up Nation. In the favourites group Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa, Aleksandr Vlasov, Hugh Carthy and Giulio Ciccone took time on the others.


A leading group of 25 men emerged after 50 kilometres. The best placed rider off the front was Movistar’s Nelson Oliveira, 32 seconds behind the pink jersey. Six teams had no rider up front: Lotto Soudal, Astana-Premier Tech, INEOS Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma, EF Education-Nippo and BORA-hansgrohe. The break riders were: Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën), Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), Filippo Tagliani & Nicola Venchiarutti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious), Filippo Fiorelli, Filippo Zana & Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Pieter Serry (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Márton Dina & Francesco Gavazzi (eolo-Kometa), Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Quinten Hermans & Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Christopher Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange), Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos), Koen de Kort, Amanuel Ghebreigzabier & Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Valerio Conti, Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates).

The leading group took a 6 minute lead, as Astana-Premier Tech and INEOS Grenadiers started to work in the peloton. Overall leader Filippo Ganna was the man who did the lead work and kept the difference around 5 minutes. On the first climb, the Castello di Carpineti, Francesco Gavazzi took the mountain points, but on the descent three broke away from the leading group: Juul-Jensen, Hermans and Taaramäe quickly had a minute on their pursuers and 6:30 on the peloton, the three leaders started the Montemolino, where they extend their lead. This move made Hermans the virtual pink jersey, followed by Taaramäe at 0:57. Juul-Jensen, at 10:20 overall, left the work to the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert men. Just before the top, on the steepest part of the Montemolino, Hermans was dropped. Taaramäe took the mountain points. The first pursuers managed to make up part of the gap on the climb. The peloton took it easy and came up almost 8 minutes behind. Bahrain Victorious lent a hand and caused splits in the peloton on the wet descent. The leading duo retained their lead of more than a minute on the second group, including Vervaeke, Oliveira, De Marchi, Dombrowski and Mosca. With 1:05, Taaramäe and Juul-Jensen started the final climb to Colle Passerino (4.3km at 9.9%), 6.7 kilometres from the finish. The chasers were getting closer and closer. De Marchi proved to be the strongest and rode his companions off the wheel one by one. Only Dombrowski could follow, after which they joined Taaramäe and Juul-Jensen at 4 kilometres from the finish. Dombrowski then went solo on the steep ramps. De Marchi had to pull out all the stops, but cracked with 3.5 kilometres to go, although the Italian still had the pink jersey to fight for.

Dombrowski had a lead at the top and also took the KOM jersey, he had 2.5 kilometres to ride to Sestola. He kept his lead over De Marchi and took the stage victory. De Marchi finished just behind for the pink jersey. Filippo Fiorelli finished third, ahead of Louis Vervaeke. The peloton of the favourites started too late for the stage victory, but came closer and closer. There was a strong attack from Giulio Ciccone, followed by Mikel Landa and a reaction from Vlasov and Bernal. The Colombian crossed to Landa and Ciccone, Hugh Carthy and Vlasov also joined them. They were chased to the finish by a group with Evenepoel and Yates. The big losers among the GC riders were George Bennett and João Almeida. Bennett lost more than 4 minutes on the rest of the top men.

# You can see the full ‘PEZ Stage 4 Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Joseph Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates): “There are ups and downs in a cycling career, good and difficult moments. I feel like today was a good day for me. This is a nice way to start the Giro. Normally I always feel my best during the last week in the mountains. On paper today it was not the stage that suited me the most, but I have to take my opportunities when they are there. We had a good group and a good gap. I knew some guys were closer to the Maglia Rosa than me. I tried to take advantage of that. It’s hard to say that I’m disappointed to miss out on the Maglia Rosa after winning a stage. Maybe there will be an opportunity to take the lead later on but we also have other goals in the team with Fernando Gaviria and Diego Ulissi for the stage wins and Davide Formolo on GC.”

Maglia Rosa and 2nd on the stage, Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-up Nation): “With my way of racing, many attacks haven’t paid off in the past but I don’t think that I have made mistakes in the eleven years of my career. At the end of the day, it’s important to never give up. The Maglia Rosa is what all kids dream of. I never really thought I’d get it as I was never anywhere near close to it before. I don’t know exactly why but I started thinking about it two days ago and it happened today. I understood from the first few kilometres that it would be a big battle and not an easy breakaway of three or four riders. It was the right situation that could create opportunities and that’s how things went as planned. Beyond the Maglia Rosa, it’s even more gratifying to hear that many people are happy with what you have done.”

9th on the stage and 14th overall, Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Quinten Hermans was very strong today, and with 2 men in front we were in an ideal situation. Together, we attacked at the top of Castello di Carpineti. The idea was to make the difference far from the finish, knowing that the rest of the stage was up and down nonstop. We kept up the pace as much as possible, in view of a stage win or even the pink jersey. Although I narrowly missed the reward, I collected valuable points in the mountain classification, which could become an objective. I enjoyed this day, and the bad weather was not to displease me because I love the rain. But more importantly, what I like is to attack. We will be back for more.”

16th on the stage and 8th overall, Remco Evenepoe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The final in particular was really tough. I felt that I had not done this for a long time, those short and intense efforts. I also didn’t want to follow the favourites and explode afterwards. I chose to limit the damage and it worked out well, I think. Nothing to complain about. The team mates have also done their job well by assisting me as long as possible. Only my body still has to get used to these circumstances. But I am satisfied.”

14th on the stage and 15 overall, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious): “It was all day up and down, and the weather also made the race difficult. In the end, I look at my rivals, and I didn’t see looking good faces around me, so I tried. After the stage, I can smile, but 20 km before the finish line, I didn’t smile at all. I hope to recover a bit, and then we will have to face a challenging stage again, tomorrow and further on.”

25th on the stage and 20th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Qhubeka Assos): “It was a hard stage because of the weather; five hours in the rain while the last 100km was all up and down and so you needed to be very focused throughout the stage to not make any mistakes in positioning, it was quite hard for me to hold my position in these conditions. The feeling was not so bad but finally in the last kilometre when the GC guys, the best riders attacked, I just had to manage my own pace and I lost a few seconds. I think I can expect more in the next few days, my shape is not too bad and I think with the bad weather it (performance) was okay today. We’ve just started this race and there are a lot of climbs in this first week, so we’ll try to improve.”

24th on the stage, Andrea Vendrame AG2R Citroën): “The conditions were really difficult with rain all day and a lot of climbing. I’m happy to have gotten into the breakaway, it will be necessary to try again.”

Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a really hard day, even more so with the rain from start to finish. The team did a very good job supporting me throughout the stage and Felix was with me in the finale. I wasn’t able to follow the first group that went off in the final 500 metres of the last climb and lost some seconds. We knew in advance that this stage wasn’t perfect for me but the Giro is still long.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 4 Result:
1. Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates in 4:58:38
2. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:13
3. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané at 0:27
4. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:29
5. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
6. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:44
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 0:49
8. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:57
9. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 1:33
10. Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) BikeExchange at 1:36.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 4:
1. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation in 13:50:44
2. Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:22
3. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:42
4. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:48
5. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 1:00
6. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 1:15
7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:24
8. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:28
9. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo at 1:37
10. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 1:38.

Giro stage 4:


Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) won Stage 5 in Cattolica on Wednesday. He finished ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos) and Elia Viviani (Cofidis). Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start up Nation) held the overall lead.


From the start, Androni’s Filippo Tagliani attacked and Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) jumped on his wheel. Behind them the peloton was not too interested. The leaders had a gap of 5 minutes, but as they got closer to Imola, the speed suddenly increased in the peloton. At the intermediate sprint. Tagliani beat Marengo, while behind them in the peloton Gaviria was ahead of Viviani, Merlier, Sagan, Nizzolo and Pasqualon.

With 107 kilometres to go, the two escapees were caught. The teams of the GC riders came to the front in order not to be surprised by echelons due to the changing wind. With 68 kilometres to go, Simon Pellaud jumped from the peloton and Davide Gabburo went with him, and the race again had two escapees from Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec and Bardiani-CSF. The peloton left them to it and took the opportunity for a bathroom break. Pellaud and Gabburo managed a lead of more than a minute, but the sprinter teams prevented the duo from taking too much time. The lead fluctuated for some time around the minute mark. 24 kilometres from the finish, Alexis Gougeard jump across to the two front riders, as they entered the tourist town of Rimini. Pavel Sivakov crashed at high speed and couldn’t get back to the peloton.

With 9 kilometres to go there was another crash, this time Filippo Fiorelli hit the tarmac with Kobe Goossens. And in the last four kilometres Joe Dombrowski ran into a signalman and took Mikel Landa with him to the road surface. The Spanish rider finished the stage in an ambulance. The break was caught 2 kilometres from the finish. Lotto Soudal and BORA-hansgrohe led the peloton into the last kilometre. Elia Viviani jumped first, but it was Giacomo Nizzolo who looked to have the best move. The European champion again missed the win, as Caleb Ewan was the first to cross the line with an explosive final jump.

# You can see the full ‘PEZ Stage 5 Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “After the disappointment of missing out on the first sprint opportunity, this victory gives me great satisfaction. There was quite some pressure on myself and the team to get a good result today, so this win kind of feels like a relief. I wanted it so badly and to finish off the superb teamwork really is a great feeling. In my mission to win a stage in every Grand Tour this year, I can now tick off a stage at the Giro. But of course, I’m always hungry for more. This gives me and the whole team a confidence boost for the stages to come. The final twenty kilometres were quite technical with a lot of roundabouts and narrow roads. But my teammates really did a great job and always kept me in the best position possible. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to start the sprint so fresh. We knew we had to be in front and both Jasper and Roger guided me perfectly through the many corners. That way, I could save a lot of energy towards the final sprint, which ensured that I could launch my sprint, still feeling quite fresh. Such technical finals really suit me. As he showed his fast legs during the first sprint stage, I went for Tim Merlier’s wheel in the run-up to the sprint. For a moment, I was afraid to get boxed in, but luckily I could find a small gap and was able to launch my sprint. I felt there was still a lot of power in the legs and I think that I showed that I was the fastest today.”

Maglia Rosa, Alessandro De Marchi Israel Start up Nation): “It was an unforgettable evening for everyone in the team yesterday after I took the Maglia Rosa. In addition to the messages on my phone, the compliments I received today from staff, riders and everyone involved in the Giro d’Italia this morning really meant a lot to me. It’s pretty simple tomorrow: I’ll fight until the end. I’ll pay attention to make sure no one dangerous in the GC gets away. I’m ready to do my best. Wearing the Maglia Rosa is demanding but it’s a light weight to carry considering how nice it is to bear these responsibilities.”

2nd on the stage and Maglia Ciclamino, Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos): “Today the final was quite technical and I think I did a good sprint but yet again came up again against somebody just stronger than me on the day, hopefully the victory will come the next time. As a team we did great today, we had a good plan, and we tried to make it happen. In the finale I asked the guys just to stay around me as I knew that in the corners I could take care of myself and everybody did exactly what I asked. I’m really proud of them and with this attitude we can really look forward to the next sprint. This sort of result speaks to the teamwork in our camp and the great spirit we have in wanting to fight for one another. I want to thank all of the fans of the team for their support. I really hope to give them a stage victory the next time.”

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “As expected, it was a day for the pure sprinters with quite technical and tricky final kilometres. The team did again an excellent job, Felix and Daniel were brilliant in the last kilometre. I was in a good position and had a strong pace when I was getting ready for the final push but the rider in front of me slowed down, so I didn’t have the best speed in the final meters.”

7th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “On paper you would think that this was an easy stage but the final was certainly that easy. In the last fifteen kilometres there were many roundabouts and a few dangerous turns. On our right side there was also a bit of wind but not enough to cause any trouble. We did a good job with the team all day long. We stayed together well and moved up to the front with seven kilometres to go. The last two kilometres I was working for Riccardo Minali, we stayed close to each other. My intention was to put him in perfect position for the last 500 meters. But when I kept him out of the wind 1,5 kilometre from the end, he lost me. I was in Peter Sagan’s wheel when Valerio Piva shouted in my ear that I had to sprint myself. But at that moment I had already lost most of my energy riding in the wind during the preparation of the sprint. I did my best, but against such strong sprinters you need your legs to be fresh.”

Late attacker, Alexis Gougeard AG2R Citroën): “After the hard stage yesterday, it feels good to get back at the front of the race. Even though the stage was designed to go to the sprinters, you have to try your luck, otherwise it’s just no fun.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 5 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:07:01
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Manuel Belletti (Ita) eolo-Kometa
10. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 5:
1. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation in 17:57:45
2. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:42
3. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:48
4. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 1:00
5. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 1:15
6. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:24
7. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:28
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo at 1:37
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 1:38
10. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:39.

Giro stage 5:


Tour de Hongrie 2021
The opening stage of the 42nd Tour de Hongrie, held today between Siófok and Kaposvár, came down to a bunch sprint in which German rider Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) edged out Italian Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabù) and Belgian Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe) to take his second win of the season and don the first leader’s yellow jersey.


130 riders took the start of the 42nd edition of the Tour de Hongrie in Siófok, a spa town on the shores of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. The mechanics’ decision to inflate the tubular tyres of the bicycles somewhat less than usual in response to the ominous skies proved to be a smart move as the first drops started to fall right before the neutralised start of the 173 km inaugural stage. The road was already soaked by the time Spaniard Diego Pablo Sevilla (Eolo–Kometa) and Slovenian Aljaž Omrzel (Adria Mobil) formed the first breakaway of the day.

However, the duo was reeled in before the first intermediate sprint, 12.6 km into the stage, where Edward Theuns (Trek–Segafredo) claimed the three-second time bonus ahead of Taj Jones (Israel Start-Up Nation), who took two seconds, and Alan Banaszek (Mazowsze–Serce Polski), who got one.

A three-man group opened up a gap in the approach to Igal, the only categorised climb on today’s menu. It was Diego Pablo Sevilla rolling the dice again, this time with the 20-year-old Belgian track specialist Fabio Van den Bossche (Sport Vlaanderen–Baloise), who featured in an escape in the Tour of Flanders, and Pole Patryk Stosz (Voster ATS Team), the winner of the mountains classification in the 2018 Tour de Hongrie. Now riding on dry roads, Stosz was the first rider over the top of the category 3 Igal climb, 47.5 km into the stage — good enough for the victor of the 2020 Tour of Bulgaria to secure the first best climber’s jersey at the end of the opening stage.

The gap peaked at 3:30 and, despite the high pace (with an average speed of 43.5 km/h after two hours of racing), it had dwindled to just 2:16 by km 90. The N-shaped course headed back to the shores of Lake Balaton for the second intermediate sprint with 71 km to go. A voracious Stosz took first place here too, ahead of Sevilla and Van den Bossche. By this point, the teams of sprinters Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabù) and Mikhel Räim (Mazowsze–Serce Polski) had cut their margin over the peloton to 1:30. The Slovakian national champion, Peter Sagan’s brother Juraj (BORA-hansgrohe), added more fuel to the fire a bit later.

The gap remained stable until 30 kilometres before the line, where the escapees had to screech to a halt due to a closed level crossing and lost half of their advantage in the process.

In the first passage of the finish line, 17 km before the finish, Stosz again let his raw speed do the talking to claim the third and final intermediate sprint ahead of Sevilla and Van den Bossche. The Belgian upped the stakes with a solo attack with 10 km to go, while his two fellow breakaways called it a day, but he too was brought back into the fold 7.2 km before the finish. A bunch sprint was now inevitable.

Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) came out on top in the mad dash to the line thanks to his ultra-fast sprint and his tactical acumen, biding his time until the final 100 metres to protect himself from the slight headwind until the last possible moment. The German, who had already opened his season account in the Tour de la Provence in February, beat Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabù), the winner of all three flat stages in last year’s Tour de Hongrie, while Belgian Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe) took the bottom step of the podium. Bauhaus also pulled on the first leader’s yellow jersey with four seconds to spare over Mareczko and Stosz, who owes his third place overall to the six bonus seconds gained in the intermediate sprints.


Stage winner and overall leader, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a controlled race, and everyone expected the bunch sprint. We were really good together, and we executed our goals well. In the last corner, with 1.2km to go, I needed to be in front, and I made my way up to the front, and I could fight for the good wheels. I felt really good, and I still had a lot of power for the sprint to go for the win. It’s good news for the team following the bad news from the Giro with Mikel. I hope it gives everyone morale for the next days for the guys at the Giro, and it’s important for our team in general.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today we had a typical sprint stage with a very fast beginning and a small breakaway group, which was controlled by the peloton. Fur us it was just a waiting game till the final kilometres. The team did an amazing job to bring me into position and we had a strong lead-out. Maybe the timing was a little bit early but that is the risk of a sprint. I am super happy with the performance of the team but I believe I could have done better than third so we are hungry for more and I want to try again tomorrow.”

Tour de Hongrie Stage 1 Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 3:54:22
2. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabú Brado KTM
3. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
5. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
6. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange
7. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Niklas Larsen (Den) Uno-X
9. Erlend Blikra (Nor) Uno-X
10. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM.

Tour de Hongrie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 3:54:22
2. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabú Brado KTM at 0:04
3. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:06
5. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
6. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:07
7. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:08
8. Niklas Larsen (Den) Uno-X
9. Erlend Blikra (Nor) Uno-X at 0:09
10. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM at 0:10.

Hungary’21 stage 1:


giro 21
Slovakia Interested in Giro d’Italia Start
It looks like the Giro d’Italia might start in Slovakia in the next few years. According to the local newspaper Il Messaggero, talks have already been held in recent days between Giro race organiser RCS Sport and the Slovak embassy in Italy about a possible Grande Partenza.

“A delegation from the Slovak embassy in Italy has been in contact with the people of RCS Sport in recent days, with the aim of bringing the Giro to the country of three-time World champion Peter Sagan,” reported Il Messaggero, although there is no concrete plan on the table yet.

Due to the current corona crisis, the question is whether Slovakia can organise a Grande Partenza in 2022. It is also unclear whether the Tour of Italy will go to Hungary in the near future. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, had to scrap the Grande Partenza in 2020 due to covid-19.

And then there is also the interest from the Czech Republic to organise the start of the Giro. The first talks between the organisers of the Italian Grand Tour and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic about a Giro start have already been held. Last year they discussed the possibility of organising the start in 2022 in the Czech capital Prague.

Pink roads in Slovakia?
giro20 st5 start


Bennett Back to BORA?
Dutch website, WielerFlits, reported that sprinter Sam Bennett will return to BORA-hansgrohe at the end of the 2021 season. The Irishman previously rode for Ralph Denk’s team for six years. Jai ​​Hindley is also said to be close to an agreement with the German cycling team. Earlier it became clear that Hindley will leave Team DSM at the end of the season.

On Sunday, team manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed that Bennett would leave Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad after this season, after making the switch 2020 from BORA-hansgrohe to Deceuninck – Quick-Step from 2020. He managed to win 14 races and the green jersey in the Tour de France. He has already taken 7 victories this season.

According to Lefevere, the financial demands from the Bennett camp are too great. “He doesn’t want to leave, but I don’t have as much money as certain guys.” According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the German sprinter Pascal Ackermann will leave BORA-hansgrohe. Chances are he will ride for UAE Team Emirates next season. Bennett wasn’t happy in his last year at BORA-hansgrohe, when he was only the team’s third sprinter.

Bennett returning to BORA?


CAS rejects André Cardoso’s Appeal
The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has dismissed André Cardoso’s appeal against his four-year doping suspension, the UCI announced.

CAS confirmed that Cardoso had violated anti-doping rules and upheld the four-year suspension imposed on him by the UCI in November 2018. The Portuguese rider, who raced for Garmin Sharpe, Cannondale and Trek-Segafredo, tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in June 2017.

It was also confirmed that the violation had been established “on the basis of the investigation results and supporting expert evidence.” The UCI said in a press release that it is satisfied with the decision. “This reflects the UCI’s determination to prosecute doping violations in sports and the UCI’s commitment to protecting clean athletes.”

Finally, the UCI reports that Cardoso has filed a lawsuit with the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to annul the CAS ruling. “Mr Cardoso’s suspension will remain in effect pending the outcome of that case, unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise.” Cardoso’s suspension expires on Saturday, June 26.

André Cardoso:
There always seems to be a doping scandal the week before the Tour de France. André Cardoso has been suspended by the Trek-Segafredo team due to a positive test for EPO in an out-of-competition test earlier in June. Cardoso denies taking any banned substance and has asked for his 'B' sample be tested. Cardoso only joined Trek-Segafredo this year after four years with Slipstream teams (Garmin-Sharp/Cannondale-Drapac) and three years with Caja Rural previously. Pic:CorVos/PezCyclingNews.


UCI Team Ranking
The UCI has issued a new update team ranking this week. Nothing much has changed at the top of the rankings. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is still in the lead, ahead of INEOS Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma. The difference between Deceuninck – Quick-Step and INEOS Grenadiers is just under five hundred points. Jumbo-Visma is third, ahead of UAE Team Emirates, Alpecin-Fenix, BORA-hansgrohe, Bahrain Victorious, Trek-Segafredo, AG2R Citroën and Team BikeExchange.

Israel Start-Up Nation, Arkéa-Samsic and Total Direct Energie have moved up. Groupama-FDJ, Qhubeka ASSOS and Cofidis go down.

UCI Team Ranking (on May 11, 2021):
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 6,719 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 6,229 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 4,970 points
4. UAE Team Emirates – 4,045 points
5. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,703 points
6. BORA-hansgrohe – 3,381 points
7. Bahrain Victorious flag bra – 3,194 points
8. Trek-Segafredo – 3,143 points
9. AG2R Citroën – 2,872 points
10. Team BikeExchange – 2,774 points
11. Movistar – 2,737 points
12. Astana-Premier Tech – 2,698 points
13. Israel Start-Up Nation – 2,630 points
14. Groupama-FDJ – 2,613 points
15. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,950 points
16. Qhubeka ASSOS – 1,936 points
17. Lotto Soudal – 1,713 points
18. Total Direct Energy – 1,635 points
19. Cofidis – 1,610 points
20. Team DSM – 1,308 points
21. EF Education-Nippo – 1,212 points
22. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 1,010 points
23. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 941 points.

Alpecin-Fenix ​​remains the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The Belgian team is now on 3,703 points. The difference with Arkéa-Samsic has become slightly smaller. Total Direct Energie, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces-WB and Delko are further behind.

Best five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on May 11, 2021):
5. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,703 points
15. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,950 points
18. Total Direct Energy – 1,635 points
22. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 1,010 points
24. Delko – 887 points.

Deceuninck still in the lead:


Total Direct Energy Out of the Circuit de Wallonie Due to Covid
Total Direct Energie will not be at the start of the Circuit de Wallonie today (Thursday). After a positive covid test within the team, the French team has decided not to participate in the event.

The team of Jean-René Bernaudeau managed to won the last edition of the Circuit de Wallonie two years ago. In 2019 Thomas Boudat was the best and with Niki Terpstra (third) and Anthony Turgis (fifth), three riders from Total Direct Energie finished in the top 5. This year the team should have been: Sprinter Niccolò Bonifazio, the also Chris Lawless, Florian Maitre, Adrien Petit, Geoffrey Soupe, speed rider Damien Gaudin and Jérémy Cabot.

The Circuit de Wallonie gives many rider of ProTeam level a top class event, for weeks there were hardly any races in Belgium at the level below the WorldTour.

No Soupe in Wallonie:


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