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All the action from the Giro di Sicilia, men and women’s Brabantse Pijl, Paris-Camembert and the Sunny King Criterium. Wout van Aert for Roubaix – TOP STORY. Rider news: Wout van Aert will ride Liège and Marcus Burghardt retires. Race news: Paris-Roubaix teams, Tour of Slovenia stages and Sprecher Brewery becomes official craft soda of Tour of America’s Dairyland. Other news: Jan Ullrich raises €40,000 and Tony Martin €35,000 for Ukraine, Plus sneak peek of Jumbo-Visma’s new Tour de France jersey. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***

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TOP STORY: Wout van Aert Training in Spain, Paris-Roubaix Decision on Thursday
On Sunday, Jumbo-Visma announced that it would not take any risks with Wout van Aert. Even if he can’t return to competition within four weeks, the Dutch team will not use him before then. The Belgian champion has meanwhile been spotted in Spain, where he is working on his form, based in Calpe, according to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

Is Van Aert is preparing in Spain for ‘The Hell of the North’ on Sunday? The 27-year-old Belgian recently had to cancel the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race due to a covid infection. Last week he was given the green light to train again and in the meantime Van Aert would be in Spain to work on his condition.

Jumbo-Visma will recon Paris-Roubaix on Thursday and only then will the team make a decision about Van Aert’s participation this year. HLN also writes that if Van Aert makes it to the start, he will race in a domestique role. More news to come…

*** Update ***
A report from Het Laatste Nieuws has been confirmed by Jumbo-Visma, Van Aert’s team. The Dutch team writes on its website that Van Aert is making his comeback in Paris-Roubaix. “We are always extremely careful with the health of our riders after a corona infection,” says sports director Merijn Zeeman. “The medical staff has an important and decisive role in this. We have closely monitored the situation together.”

“A doctor visited Wout for four days to monitor the reactions of the training sessions on his body. He also had very extensive examinations before he resumed his training. At the beginning of the week, the medical staff has decided that he is fully fit and can continue his efforts at a sporting level.”

Van Aert was checked during and after training. “Among other things, on his heart function. Wout’s health is excellent. But after a week of isolation, top form is no longer possible. His run-up to Roubaix is ​​moderate and he will miss Thursday’s reconnaissance. All in all, it’s a far from ideal preparation. Nevertheless, a rider like Wout can play an important role in supporting Christophe Laporte, Mike Teunissen and Nathan Van Hooydonck.”

Roubaix for Wout
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Brabantse Pijl – Men 2022
The 2022 Brabantse Pijl was won by 19 year-old Magnus Sheffield. After a tough edition of more than 205 kilometres, the talented young INEOS Grenadiers’ American was the first to finish in Overijse. In the final he took full advantage of the amount of riders from his team in the leading group of seven.

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Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH) formed the break of the day. They soon had a lead of more than 4 minutes on the INEOS Grenadiers, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and BikeExchange-Jayco led peloton.

The wet conditions did not make it any easier. The men of INEOS Grenadiers started the real action 80 kilometres from the finish. Ben Turner and Magnus Sheffield escaped along with Victor Campenaerts, Alexander Kamp and Giacomo Nizzolo, but Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl reacted quickly. It was Remco Evenepoel who crossed with Dylan Teuns and Tim Wellens. The situation was corrected by AG2R Citroën, after which a new wave of attacks followed. At 63 kilometres from the finish, Robeet and Van Poucke were the last to be caught by a considerably thinned peloton. Ben Turner tried to go solo on the Moskesstraat. Evenepoel and Campenaerts counter-attacked and the peloton exploded. A lead group with Turner, Evenepoel, Campenaerts, Benoît Cosnefroy, Tom Pidcock, Magnus Sheffield, Dylan Teuns, Warren Barguil, Tim Wellens and Robert Stannard formed. They soon had 30 seconds on the peloton, where Israel-Premier Tech was leading the chase. Teuns had a puncture and had to fall back.

Barguil, Evenepoel and Campenaerts ran into problems the penultimate time in Hertstraat. They saw Pidcock, Sheffield, Turner, Cosnefroy, Wellens and Stannard ride away, but managed to rejoin the six at the foot of the difficult Moskesstraat. At Holstheide, Evenepoel then managed to drop Campenaerts and Stannard, leaving seven in the lead. The leading group started the last lap of 22 kilometres with a 1 minute lead. In the peloton there was a crash at the finish line, because the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team car hit a rider as they tried to pass. Julian Alaphilippe was among the riders to fall. Up front it was all hands on deck in the final. After the Hertstraat, Cosnefroy and Sheffield got away, but Evenepoel was able to close the gap in one go. The seven started the last time up Moskesstraat together. Sheffield and Wellens had a slight lead, but Cosnefroy, Evenepoel, Pidcock and Turner quickly followed. For Barguil it looked over, but he managed return.

Behind; Teuns, Xandro Meurisse, Michael Matthews and Andreas Kron, who would later drop out, had counter-attacked, but this was at more than 40 seconds back from the front riders. The winner would come from the front group and so the poker games started. Only 19-year-old Magnus Sheffield snuck away at the ideal moment with 4 kilometres to go. His teammates Pidcock and Turner countered all the moves and the lead went to 13 seconds. Sheffield held his lead all the way to the finish in Overijse. The chase group held off the group with Matthews and Teuns. In the sprint for second place there were some crazy manoeuvres, which annoyed Remco Evenepoel. Cosnefroy crossed the line in second, ahead of Wellens and Barguil. However, Wellens lost his third place due to an illegal deviation in the sprint, but he was reinstated later.

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Race winner, Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers): “I felt really good. I had two other teammates in the breakaway but today it was really bad weather with the rain. Luckily it wasn’t too windy or cold. I just felt unbelievable when I found myself off the front with those last kilometres. I really didn’t expect to be able to hold on, and I really wanted to try to lead out my teammate Ben for the sprint. But I was off the front and I was able to hold on to the finish. It was really gritty out there and you just had to fight the whole way. I just followed a move with (Tim) Wellens. He swung off and I found myself alone. I knew I wanted to press it to try and force the other guys to chase, and let my other teammates sit on. But everyone was just kind of looking at each other because it was the final kilometres. I just went full gas, put it in the biggest gear and just tried to grind my way to the finish. This feels truly just unbelievable. I was able to get a win at Ruta del Sol earlier this season, but to be able to win a one-day, especially in one of these semi classics, is unbelievable. This season has been incredible.”

2nd, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): “I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m happy to be here again today, but on the other, I’m still missing the win. It’s never easy to manoeuvre against a team that has numerical superiority, and they played the game very well. Congratulations to them. In the final, Warren Barguil attacked but I wanted to stay behind Tim Wellens. When I launched my sprint, Wellens drifted. I still managed to get past and take second place. This makes my second podium in two races in this Ardennes classics campaign. I’m certainly happy with my form.”

3rd, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “I want to congratulate Magnus Sheffield as he was really one of the strongest today. We started at a slow speed and I started my sprint by going to the left. At the time I was not aware of that movement, but apparently it was too much. It’s never nice to be declassed, but it certainly wasn’t a conscious move. The most important thing today is that I felt really good.”

Brabantse Pijl – Men Result:
1. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:53:21
2. Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:37
3. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
5. Ben Turner (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:40
6. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:41
7. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
9. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Victorious
10. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:51.

Brabantse Pijl’22

 

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Brabantse Pijl – Women 2022
Demi Vollering won the Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday. After a difficult 141 kilometres from Sint-Pieters-Leeuw to Overijse, the 25-year-old SD Worx rider was the first over the finish-line. Vollering took her revenge for her second place last year, where she was beaten by 0.0004 seconds by Ruth Winder.

The race broke open very early, leaving only a select group of 15 riders up front. From that group, Demi Vollering (SD Worx) and Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon//SRAM) managed to escape at a quiet moment in the race. The Dutch couple opened a gap and went into the last local circuit with a large lead. The chase behind didn’t get going, and DSM’s Juliette Labous counter-attacked solo. Soon after Coryn Labecki put in here own move, but they couldn’t catch the leaders. Labous came within 15 seconds of Vollering and Rooijakkers, but on the Moskesstraat it was Vollering who dropped her fellow escapee with an attack.

At the top of the Moskesstraat, about 10 kilometres from the finish, Vollering had a lead of 25 seconds over Rooijakkers. The SD Worx’s rider extended her lead to over 30 seconds and started the last 30 kilometres with a gap of 45 seconds. Meanwhile, Rooijakkers had been pulled in by a chasing group, which would fight for the lower places. On the last climb of the S-Bocht in Overijse Vollering didn’t slow her effort and had plenty of time to celebrate the victory, her first of the season, after second places in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Amstel Gold Race. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) took second place with a long sprint, ahead of Liane Lippert (DSM).

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Race winner, Demi Vollering (SD Worx): “Obviously there is a lot of pressure. It feels good to win. The last races the team already had a lot of confidence in me, so it is good for me and my teammates that I can finish it. She is a strong rider (Pauliena Rooijakkers). Especially when you look at the way she attacked, while we were at the limit at the time. I couldn’t hesitate there either, because I know she’s strong when she goes solo. She showed signs of fatigue on the Moskesstraat. I went really deep there, but was able to drop her. I am good for the Ardennes classics. I’ve already shown that the legs are okay and that gives me confidence. I thought I could do it, but I’ve never done it in a race. I also had my doubts, but today I felt good and with Anna van der Breggen in the ears… I can learn so much from her. That’s really cool. We were sharp again today.”

Brabantse Pijl – Women Result:
1. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx in 3:38:00
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM at 0:22
3. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
4. Marlen Reusser (Swi) SD Worx at 0:27
5. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 0:44
6. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Canyon//SRAM at 0:58
7. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service at 1:02
8. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx
9. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
10. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco.

Brabantse Pijl’22

 

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Giro di Sicilia 2022
The opening Stage 1 of the Giro di Sicilia was won by Matteo Malucelli. The 28-year-old Italian sprinter, who is competing for the Italian national team, defeated Matteo Moschetti and Filippo Fiorelli in Bagheria. Malucelli is also the overall leader.

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The Giro di Sicilia started on Tuesday with a relatively flat stage, although the route was quite winding and undulating. The short climb to Tindari after 30 kilometres and the short, steep climb to Termini Imerese were the main obstacles on the route. A bunch sprint was expected in Bagheria, given the fast final section to the finish.

Seven riders managed to break away from the peloton to form the early break. Nelson Andrés Soto (Colombia Tierra de Atletas), Guido Draghi (Mg.K Vis-Color for Peace-VPM), Stefano Gandin (Team Corratec), Michael Belleri (Biesse-Carrera), Gabriele Petrelli (Cycling Team Friuli ASD), Francesco Zandri (Work Service Vitalcare Vega) and Alejandro Ropera (EOLO-Kometa) managed a maximum lead of 3 minutes. The teams with sprint ambitions didn’t let the lead get too high. On the only categorised climb of the day to Tindari, Gandin was first to take the KOM jersey. In the following kilometres the lead dissapeared. In the peloton, Trek-Segafredo wanted a bunch sprint. The American team had two possible stage winners: Moschetti and Aberasturi.

With just under 20 kilometres to go, most of the escapees were caught. Petrelli and Belleri tried to stay away as long as possible. The two Italians worked well together, but 5 kilometres from the finish they were pulled in for a bunch sprint after almost 200 kilometres. The Italian national team took the lead ahead of Matteo Malucelli and Trek-Segafredo also tried to get thier sprint train on track. The American team managed to pilot Moschetti well in the last kilometre and the Italian started his sprint in an ideal position. Moschetti made it a long sprint, too long as it turned out, because Malucelli managed to come past to record his second victory of 2022. For Malucelli, this victory in Sicily is a big boost, as the future of his Gazprom-RusVelo team hangs by a thread and at the moment is not allowed to race with a Russian license.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Matteo Malucelli (Nazionale Italiana): “It was a long day, I really needed this win. It’s a difficult period, my teammates and I found ourselves in a difficult situation but this result is a sign that I worked well during the winter and also in this period. I am very happy and we hope it will be a new starting point.”

Giro di Sicilia Stage 1 Result:
1. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Italy in 4:21:36
2. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
4. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Italy
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Italy
6. David Martin (Spa) EOLO-Kometa
7. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Pier-André Coté (Can) Human Powered Health
9. Carloalberto Giordani (Ita) Biesse – Carrera
10. Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Work Service Vitalcare Vega.

Giro di Sicilia Overall After Stage 1:
1. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Italy in 4:21:26
2. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:04
3. Filippo Fiorelli (ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè at 0:06
4. Alejandro Ropero (Spa) EOLO-Kometa at 0:07
5. Michael Belleri (Ita) Biesse-Carrera at 0:09
6. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Italy at 0:10
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Italy
8. David Martin (Spa) EOLO-Kometa
9. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10. Pier-André Coté (Can) Human Powered Health

Sicilia’22 Stage 1:

 

Damiano Caruso won Stage 2 of the Giro di Sicilia. The climber, riding for the Italian national team, finished ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo in an uphill finish. Caruso is now the new overall leader.

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In the opening hour there was a big battle to be part of the ‘break of the day’. In the end nine riders escaped: Mattias Nordal (Biesse-Carrera), Andrés Liber Mancipe (Colombia Tierra de Atletas), Yusuke Kadota (EF Education-NIPPO Devo), Stephen Bassett (Human Powered Health), Giulio Masotto, Stefano Gandin (Corratec) , Alessandro Iacchi (Qhubeka), Federico Burchio (Work Service Vitalcare Vega) and Cristian Rocchetta (Ointment Euromobil Fior).

The lead of the nine was never very large, because the Italian team and EOLO-Kometa kept the pace high in the peloton. On the Enna climb, just under 40 kilometres from the finish, the leading group exploded. Gandin took the most mountain points and stayed out front the longest. The Italian was caught with 7 kilometres to go. In the finalé to Caltanissetta was very explosive, with a final climb of more than 8 kilometres that was divided into two parts. With first five kilometres at 5% up, followed by a short descent and a last kilometre at 5% up again.

In the first difficult part, Colombian Cristian David Rico attacked, but he was caught in time by the troops of the Italian selection. Still, the final was not difficult enough for the pure climbers, because about forty riders remained at the start of the final kilometre. That is why the Italian selection made a long sprint in the service of Damiano Caruso. He was up against Vincenzo Nibali, Kenny Elissonde and Domenico Pozzovivo. Caruso was led out by Alessandro Fedeli and finished off convincingly. Nibali did not come out of his wheel and was second, ahead of Pozzovivo and Elissonde. It is the second consecutive victory for the national selection, after Matteo Malucelli already won the opening stage on Tuesday. The sprinter now hands over the leader’s jersey to his ‘teammate’ Caruso.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Damiano Caruso (Nazionale Italiana): “I am really very excited, for so many reasons. I won in Sicily in the National Team jersey, in a particular situation. I am racing together with some guys who are in a very difficult situation. Now I also have the leader’s jersey, I can’t ask for more. Racing on Etna will be a beautiful emotion, I think it is one of the most beautiful areas in which I have ever trained. As a cycling enthusiast and as a cyclist, I hope that on the last day there will be a great battle between me, Vincenzo and the other riders. Above all, we hope that people can have fun.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan): “I am quite happy with the way the stage was going on and, in general, with my result even if it is just a second place and not a victory. It was clear that Damiano was the favourite today as he is fast in this kind of short uphill. I feel like my form is coming after a big break and an altitude training camp, so it looks pretty good. I want to congratulate Damiano Caruso on this victory, it is good that another Sicilian rider won today. We are good friends, and I am happy for him. Well, it was a nice day spent with my team in a good way and I am looking forward to the next days here at the Giro di Sicilia.”

Giro di Sicilia Stage 2 Result:
1. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Italy in 3:45:18
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
5. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Italy at 0:03
6. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) EOLO-Kometa
7. Nicola Conci (Ita) Italy
8. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli
10. Edgar Andres Pinzon (Col) Colombia Tierra de Atletas-GW Bicicletas-Shimano.

Giro di Sicilia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Italy in 8:06:44
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:04
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:06
4. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè at 0:09
5. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 0:10
6. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Italy at 0:13
7. Nicola Conci (Ita) Italy
8. Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Drone Hopper – Androni Giocattoli
9. Edgar Andres Pinzon (Col) Colombia Tierra de Atletas-GW Bicicletas-Shimano.
10. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) EOLO-Kometa.

Sicilia’22 Stage 2:

 

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Paris-Camembert 2022
The French semi-classic, Paris-Camembert, was won by Anthony Delaplace on Tuesday. The 32-year-old Frenchman was part of an elite group of five riders in the final and managed to escape them at the right time. Valentin Ferron was second, Thibault Ferasse third.

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The Coupe de France continued with Paris-Camembert, the seventh round of the French Cup. The winner traditionally receives his body weight in cheese as first prize. The race started in Pont-Audemer, then via Lisieux and Camembert finished in Livarot-Pays-d’Auge. The riders were faced with numerous climbs, but nothing too hard, a bunch sprint was certainly not a foregone conclusion.

Fredrik Dversnes (Uno-X), Jean Goubert (Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur), Adrien Lagrée (B&B Hotels-KTM), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Evaldas Šiškevičius (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole) made up the early break. These five managed to take a maximum lead of more than 4 minutes on the peloton, which was led by Arkéa-Samsic. The French team had some plans for the final and increased the pace. Several riders tried to cross to the leading group and Eddy Finé, Stanisław Aniołkowski, Anthony Delaplace, Timo Kielich, Antoine Raugel and Paul Ourselin succeeded. The leading group expanded to twelve riders, but this attempt was short-lived. A regrouping followed and there were a few unsuccessful break attempts. An attack by Jimmy Janssens, Geoffrey Bouchard, Valentin Ferron, Thibault Ferasse and Anthony Delaplace looked more likely to succeed and they built up a lead of 30 seconds. This turned out to be enough to stay out of the grasp of the second group. On the last climb of the day, Janssens put the pressure on, but the Belgian couldn’t drop the others of the break. In the flatter kilometres that followed, Delaplace took his chance, but was not allowed to get away either.

Ferron was the next rider to try something and the TotalEnergies rider managed to take a gap in the rainy and treacherous conditions. This seemed like the decisive move, but Ferron was unable to continue his effort and was caught again by a strong Janssens. As Ferron was caught, Delaplace went again. When the Frenchman jumped, his fellow escapees looked at each other and Delaplace was solo with 2 kilometre to go. Delaplace managed to hold the others off for the victory and the cheese prize. Ferron managed to jump away a second time in the last kilometre for second place. Ferrase won the sprint for third place, ahead of Bouchard and Janssens. Forty seconds later, Matis Louvel won the sprint for sixth place, ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Luca Mozzato, Damien Touzé and Alex Zingle.

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Race winner, Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic): “Dividing my forces well may have brought me the win. Often I tend to put in too much effort. In the last twenty kilometres Arnaud Gérard (Arkéa-Samsic DS) told me to be smart, to hold back. For once I listened to him. When Valentin Ferron drove away from the group, he immediately punched a hole and we paused. Then we came back to him and everyone wanted to rest a bit. That was when I attacked. Normally it never happens to me, but everyone behind me just looked at each other. I have a servant role all year round, but today I got my chance in Paris-Camembert. I really wanted to do well in this race. It was my thirteenth participation. I haven’t missed an edition since I turned pro. It’s really nice to win in my home region. I came second in 2016. This is the race in Normandy I still had to win. Now I have a small problem: I once joked that I would end my cycling career if I won Paris-Camembert. But honestly, I don’t want to stop at all!”

Paris-Camembert Result:
1. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa Samsic in 5:12:01
2. Valentin Ferron (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:04
3. Thibault Ferasse (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM at 0:14
4. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën
5. Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
6. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:39
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
8. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
9. Damien Touzé (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis.

Camembert’22:

 

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Schneider and Rodriguez Win 2022 Sunny King Criterium to Lead the American Criterium Cup Series
The 2022 American Criterium Cup kicked off in Anniston, AL with the Sunny King Criterium. It was a chilly day that began at 10am with twenty-one races on a challenging .7-mile course. The final two races of the day set the stage for the 2022 American Criterium Cup series with the pro women’s and men’s races.

Windy conditions for the women’s pro/1/2 race made for an interesting start. Teams had to adjust their strategy and took turns driving the pace at the front for the first half of the race. During the second half, we saw L39ION of Los Angeles push the pace along with Maggie Coles-Lyster of DNA Pro Cycling Team and riders from Colavita-Factor Pro Cycling. In the final uphill straight, Alexis Ryan of L39ION of Los Angeles gave Skylar Schneider the perfect lead out for her sprint finish for the win, followed by Coles-Lyster and Alexis Ryan to complete the podium.

“Anniston is one of our favourite cities to race in and we were really happy to be here,” said Skylar Schneider of L39ION of Los Angeles. “We had to change our original team plan about halfway through the race as the wind was stronger than we anticipated, making a breakaway nearly impossible. It feels great to pull of the win and get to wear the crown!”

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Tanner Ward of Best Buddies Racing lined up to defend the crown for the men’s pro/1 race, along with a strong field, including L39ION of Los Angeles, Project Echelon, and the AUTOMATIC | ABUS Racing team to name a few. The men’s race started just as the sun was setting with a crash a few laps in that neutralised the race. After the restart, we saw strong efforts from Best Buddies Racing and Project Echelon to drive the pace, shedding riders off the back. None of the teams could make a breakaway stick, ending in a sprint finish with Alfredo Rodriguez of Best Buddies Racing on the top step, followed by an impressive comeback for Thomas Gibbons of AUTOMATIC | ABUS Racing taking 2nd after getting caught up in the early crash, and Ty Magner of L39ION of Los Angeles in 3rd.

“I am excited to win the first event in the American Criterium Cup for Best Buddies Racing, Mike Hernandez and our Director Thomas Craven have really made this team feel special…like a family”, said Rodriguez of Best Buddies Racing. “I am looking forward to racing the rest of the series and every other race that we can get to during the rest of the season with these guys.”

Women’s Pro/1/2 Sunny King Criterium Top 10:
1. Skylar Schneider, L39ION of Los Angeles
2. Maggie Coles-Lyster, DNA Pro Cycling Team
3. Alexis Ryan, L39ION of Los Angeles
4. Paola Munoz, CWA Racing p/b Goldman Sachs ETFs
5. Diana Penuela, DNA Pro Cycling Team
6. Taylor Kuyk-White, Philly Bike Expo
7. Stephanie Halamek, Philly Bike Expo p/b Velojawn
8. Haley Smith, ATX Wolfpack p/b ProBikeKit
9. Kaitlyn Rauwerda, DNA Pro Cycling Team
10. Rachel Plessing, ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK

Full women’s race results can be found HERE.

Men’s Pro/1/2 Sunny King Criterium Top 10:
1. Alfredo Rodriguez, Best Buddies Racing
2. Thomas Gibbons, AUTOMATIC | ABUS RACING
3. Ty Magner, L39ION of Los Angeles
4. Brandon Feehery, Project Echelon Racing
5. Asa Black, First Internet Bank
6. Kyle Tiesler, Nashville Local Wolfpack
7. Bryan Gomez, Best Buddies Racing
8. Drew Dillman, Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team p/b Athletic Brewing
9. Tim Smith, Alliance St. Louis
10. Ismael Collado Acosta, Rockland Cycling Velo

Full men’s race results can be found HERE.

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Wout van Aert Adds Liège-Bastogne-Liège to Schedule
Wout van Aert will be riding Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Belgian champion has added the Ardennes classic to his program after he had to miss the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race due to a covid infection. A decision will be made on Thursday about his participation in Paris-Roubaix according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

Van Aert has been in Spain for a training camp. The Jumbo-Visma rider feels ready to ride Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, but his team is still cautious. They do not want to take any risk with Van Aert two weeks after catching covid. The team’s medical staff will make the decision whether the winner of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic will be allowed to race in ‘The Hell of the North’.

The week after Roubaix, in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Van Aert will be able to start. Having skipped a few races, he feels mentally and physically fresh enough to extend his spring season. It will be the first time that Van Aert will ride La Doyenne. Primoz Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard and Tiesj Benoot are also on the start list for Jumbo-Visma.

Wout Van Aert Program:
17-04: Paris-Roubaix?
24-04: Liège-Bastogne-Liège
05-06 – 12-05: Criterium Du Dauphine
01-07 – 24-07: Tour de France.

Liège for Wout:
wevelgem22

 

bora 2022
Marcus Burghardt Ends Career
Marcus Burghardt will not return to the peloton. The German, who broke his arm in the 2021 Tour of Poland and then did not race again, has decided to end his career. Burghardt rode for BORA-hansgrohe in the last years of his career. In 2022, he was not under contract anywhere.

Burghardt started his professional career in 2004, with T-Mobile. During his career he mainly rode as a domestique for riders such as Mark Cavendish, Cadel Evans and Peter Sagan, but occasionally he took a big victory. In 2007 he won Gent-Wevelgem, he took a Tour stage a year later and in 2017 he became German champion. He also raced for Team High Road, BMC and BORA-hansgrohe.

While racing for BORA, Burghardt crashed hard during the Tour of Poland. The injuries he sustained made him decide to say goodbye to the pro peloton. The German will remain involved in cycling. “I think it’s time to give something back to the fans. I’ve always had a lot of supporters, who were always there for me,” said Burghardt, who wants to organise a cycling event for fans and friends in September 2022. More information about this event will be released in the coming weeks.

Peter Sagan, who has been able to count on Burghardt’s support for many years at BORA-hansgrohe, has also reacted to the farewell of his former teammate. “Marcus is not only an incredibly good rider, but also exactly the type you want on your team. He is focused and works hard towards his goals. He is funny and always ready to help. Professional cycling needs more people like him.”

Burghardt himself looks back on his career with satisfaction. “When I think back to how it all started – at the age of 10 with a steel frame – and how I managed to reach the biggest cycling race in the world from a small club with a lot of diligence and hard work, I can say that I have more than am satisfied. Looking back, I would do everything the same. I’ve had a perfect career!”

Good-bye Burghardt:
burghardt

 

header roubaix
Paris-Roubaix 2022

You can see the ‘PEZ Paris-Roubaix Preview’ HERE.

More team news as it comes in.

The Stars Align for the Paris-Roubaix Cobbled Sectors
Following Paris–Roubaix race director Thierry Gouvenou and Paris–Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift race director Franck Perque’s most recent reconnaissance of the course on 12th April, the organisers have rated the difficulty of the cobbled sectors in the race based on their length, the unevenness of the cobbles, the overall condition of the sectors and their location. The Trouée d’Arenberg (no. 19), Mons-en-Pévèle (no. 11) and the Carrefour de l’Arbre (no. 4) remain the only sectors with a five-star rating.

Stargazers are usually found with their eyes on the skies and their heads in the clouds. In contrast, those who scan the cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix for places where the riders’ tyres could get stuck in the mud tend to keep their gaze fixed on the ground. The final countdown to the Queen of Classics sees a procession of teams come to soak up the atmosphere and make their first moves —some steadier than others— on the cobblestones awaiting them when the weekend comes. The organisers have traditionally got the ball rolling on the “recce” and invited the media to see what the course looks like. As the conversation often turns to the weather forecast, some also channel their inner road mender to assess the improvement or deterioration of this or that section. This year, the organisers have merely tinkered around the edges of the first few sectors. The Vertain sector (no. 26) is back on the menu in its long version, as is the easier Saulzoir sector (no. 24), where the students of the Raismes Horticultural High School explained the art of paving to their visitors. 94 stars stand between the peloton of Paris–Roubaix and the velodrome, down from 95 last autumn. This change is due to the recent refurbishment of the Hem sector (no. 2), coming as the dessert of a hearty meal.

Meanwhile, the course of Paris–Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift has been stretched by about ten kilometres as a result of the addition of an extra lap of the circuit following the start in Denain. The cobblestones, however, remain unchanged, with 29.2 km spread out over 17 sectors. The women’s course will converge on the men’s one with 85 km to go, starting with the 3.7 km long four-star sector from Hornaing to Wandignies, the very same one that Brit Lizzie Deignan used as a springboard for her victorious solo adventure last year. It will be much harder to catch the favourites unawares this time round.

The 30 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix:
30: Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96,3 – 2,2 km) ***
29: Viesly to Quiévy (km 102,8 – 1,8 km) ***
28: Quiévy to Saint-Python (km 105,4 – 3,7 km) ****
27: Saint-Python (km 110,1 – 1,5 km) **
26: Vertain to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon (km 117,9 – 2,3 km) ***
25: Haussy (km 123,7 – 0,8 km) **
24: Saulzoir to Verchain-Maugré (km 130,6 – 1,2 km) **
23: Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing (km 134,9 – 1,6 km) ***
22: Quérénaing to Maing (km 137,6 – 2,5 km) ***
21: Maing to Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (km 140,7 – 1,6 km) ***
20: Haveluy to Wallers (km 153,7 – 2,5 km) ****
19: Trouée d’Arenberg (km 161,9 – 2,3 km) *****
18: Wallers to Hélesmes (km 167,9 – 1,6 km) ***
17: Hornaing to Wandignies (km 174,7 – 3,7 km) **** (first sector of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift)
16: Warlaing to Brillon (km 182,2 – 2,4 km) ***
15: Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (km 185,6 – 2,4 km) ****
14: Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies (km 192 – 1,4 km) ***
13: Orchies (km 197 – 1,7 km) ***
12: Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (km 203,1 – 2,7 km) ****
11: Mons-en-Pévèle (km 208,6 – 3 km) *****
10: Mérignies to Avelin (km 214,6 – 0,7 km) **
9: Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (km 218 – 1,4 km) ***
8: Templeuve – L’Epinette (km 223,4 – 0,2 km) *
8: Templeuve – Moulin-de-Vertain (km 223,9 – 0,5 km) **
7: Cysoing to Bourghelles (km 230,3 – 1,3 km) ***
6: Bourghelles to Wannehain (km 232,8 – 1,1 km) ***
5: Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 237,3 – 1,8 km) ****
4: Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 240 – 2,1 km) *****
3: Gruson (km 242,3 – 1,1 km) **
2: Willems to Hem (km 249 – 1,4 km) **
1: Roubaix – Espace Charles Crupelandt (km 255,8 – 0,3 km) *

Key points:
Ø
On Sunday 17th April, the peloton of the 119th edition will battle it out on a 257.2 km course with 54.8 km of cobbles spread out over 30 sectors, the first of which comes 160 km from the line. Each sector is rated on a scale from one to five stars.
Ø Meanwhile, the second edition of Paris–Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, which will be held one day earlier on Saturday 16 April, features 29.2 km of cobblestones. The last 84 km of the men’s and women’s races are identical.

More information about Paris-Roubaix on paris-roubaix.fr and Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift on paris-roubaix-femmes.fr.

roubaix 22 men

 

sd
Team SD Worx Looks Forward to Paris-Roubaix with Confidence
On Saturday the second edition of Paris-Roubaix will take place. In the Hell of the North, Team SD Worx once again has several cards to play. “Paris-Roubaix is very high on our wish list,” say Christine Majerus and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak.

Lotte Kopecky stays motivated for Paris-Roubaix after double win. “Everything that comes with it, is extra.” The Belgian champion is confident, and relaxed. No wonder, as the 2022 season is so far a dream year for Lotte Kopecky. Beforehand, the 26-year-old Belgian champion hoped to win one classic, but in the meantime the Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders are already on her palmares. Paris-Roubaix is also still on her wish list. “But that doesn’t have to be this year. If I can do something for my teammates, I’ll do it with pleasure.”

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dsm
Paris-Roubaix Femmes – APR 16
Huub Duijn – Team DSM coach: “We are all looking forward to Paris Roubaix Femmes. The first edition last year was a crazy day out, with really challenging weather conditions but this year it looks to be of a more ‘normal’ edition with dry weather. Nonetheless, it will still be a tough day out in the saddle with the demanding parcours. As we have a strong squad with lots of possibilities, we will look to ride as a strong block as a team, following each other up on the attacks that are going and aim to get ourselves into a good position for the finale.”

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Elise Uijen (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED).

Paris-Roubaix – APR 17
Phil West – Team DSM coach: “It’s hard not to be excited about coming back to Paris Roubaix this year. Last year we experienced an epic race in epic conditions and while it doesn’t look like we’ll have the same weather as last year, the pavé will definitely have something exciting in-store again. Solid teamwork is essential in this race and it will be super important that we are sharp as a unit together in our positioning work before each sector, when we want to bring John into the best possible position to contest the final.”

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Nico Denz (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN).

Nikias Arndt to Roubaix:
flanders22

 

wanty
Paris-Roubaix – A Team That is “Prepared and Determined” to Shine on the Track
Only six months after the previous edition in dreadful weather, the peloton prepares for a new battle on the roads of Hell of North on Easter Sunday 17th of April. The 257.2 kilometer parcours of this 116th edition of Paris-Roubaix (2.UWT) contains 54.8 kilometer of cobbles divided in 30 sections, with the first one occurring after a little less than 100 kilometer.

So it will be a little over two hours after the start in Compiègne that the peloton will start the first cobble section between Troisvilles and Inchy (section 30, 2200m). Following a trajectory close to the roads of the GP de Denain, where Adrien Petit finished third one month ago, the peloton will reach the Trouée d’Arenberg (section 19, 2300m), the first of three five starred sections.

A rapid succession of the cobble sections brings the riders to the second section in this most difficult category in Mons-en-Pévèle (section 11, 3000m), which announces the final 50 kilometer. On the way to the velodrome of Roubaix, ten other sections have to be accomplished, among which Carrefour de l’Arbre (section 4, 2100m) with 17 kilometer to go, Hem (section 2, 1400m) with 8 kilometer to go and a last one of 300 meter before entering the track.

Thanks to an attack on the cobbles ten days ago, Alexander Kristoff added the Scheldeprijs to his palmares for the second time after an impressive solo effort. The Norwegian rider will line up for Paris-Roubaix for the twelfth time (9th in 2013, 10th in 2015 and 14th in 2021), or one participation more than his teammate Adrien Petit (9th in 2017, 10th in 2016, 15th in 2019) from Arras.

Alongside them, Italian rider Andrea Pasqualon (12th Dwars door Vlaanderen, 14th Ghent-Wevelgem) will discover the Hell of North at the age of 34. Belgian rider Baptiste Planckaert, 19th at his debut in 2021, will be accompanied by Tom Devriendt and Kévin Van Melsen and Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn. For the third Monument of the season, the selection of the Belgian World Team will race under the direction of Aike Visbeek, Hilaire van der Schueren, Steven De Neef and Bart Wellens.

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager): “With Ghent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix was one of the main goals of of spring classics campaign for both the team and Alexander Kristoff. We invested a lot in the preparation of this Monument, both regarding material and the composition of the team around our Norwegian leader. Thanks to the collaboration of our solid partners CUBE Bikes, NEWMEN, Continental and Effetto Mariposa, we could realize many tests for several months. The riders contributed and shared their opinion, so they are confident about the material with which they will conquer the rough pavement this Sunday.”

“Our classics specialists raced a lot together this season and achieved fantastic successes. You can see the good chemistry between them and thanks to our victories we can participate in Paris-Roubaix without pressure, which is an advantage in these kind of races with a very nervous character. So I consider this Paris-Roubaix as a huge opportunity for our team, for our leader Alexander Kristoff, as I know that he has good chances to shine in this race. He can rely on a fantastic and well-prepared team, we are determined to make our colors shine on the velodrome.”

Line up:
Tom Devriendt
Alexander Kristoff
Andrea Pasqualon
Adrien Petit
Baptiste Planckaert
Taco van der Hoorn
Kévin Van Melsen.

Sports Directors:
Aike Visbeek
Steven De Neef
Hilaire Van der Schueren
Bart Wellens.

wanty

 

bikeexchange jayco
Small but Mighty Team BikeExchange-Jayco Squads to Tackle Paris-Roubaix
Team BikeExchange-Jayco men and women’s squad will line-up for an action-packed cobble weekend with two small but mighty teams, ready to take on the ‘Hell of the North’.

After getting their first taste for the cobbles in 2021, the women are back with a team of four riders, due to various unfortunate illness and injuries, but with motivation as high as ever for the iconic second edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes. Ready for the 124km route, which covers 17 knarly cobbles sections, are Australian’s Jessica Allen and Ruby-Roseman-Gannon, Trinidad and Tobago’s Teniel Campbell and experienced Dutch rider Nina Kessler.

The following day, the men’s team will get their chance with Luke Durbridge leading the squad, lining-up for his eighth attempt along with the experienced Luka Mezgec and Jack Bauer, while Jan Maas and Alexandre Balmer will make their debut outings.

Like always, the men’s race features no less than 30 rough cobble sectors along the relentless 257km route before the final sprint showdown in Roubaix velodrome.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Jess Allen (AUS)
Teniel Campbell (TTO)
Nina Kessler (NED)
Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS)

Alexandre Balmer (SUI)
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Jan Maas (NED)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)

Teniel Campbell: “I’m pretty excited to be back at Roubaix and I’m more relaxed after seeing the course last year. I think being there in the final would be a success for me and just leaving everything out there. The first cobbled sector will be the hardest because everyone is going to be fighting for good position, so that’s when the fight is going to start, leading into that, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Alejandro González-Tablas (Sport Director):
“We’re ready for the second edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, it was good to experience the race last year and the riders are always very motivated to start this race. We have a small team for tomorrow, but it’s a unique race and everyone is ready to give 100%. No matter what happens the riders will get another good experience, racing over these cobbles is special and we’re really looking forward to seeing what the girls can do. It’s going to be a hard race and they will need some luck, but they’re ready.”

Luke Durbridge: “I am looking forward to lining-up for my eighth Roubaix. As a group we’ve had some ups and downs through this classics period, but we’ve had some good results with Groenewegen and Matthews and for me personally, I felt like I have got better through the classics. This is one of my favourite races. I just really want to be a part of the race, that’s either in a breakaway or in the final and just race aggressively. You get rewarded in this race for being off the front and it will be a big fight but it is such a great race. It is hell but it is enjoyable, and we have five guys here that are really rearing to go and excited and we have two very experienced Roubaix champions in the car and hopefully we can finish off with a bang.”

Mat Hayman (Sport Director) 2016 winner: “We would love to be here with seven guys 100% fit and healthy, ready to race but that isn’t really a reality but the guys we have got here are really motivated for this race. We’ve got a couple of young guys who haven’t done this race before, they’ve tried the Roubaix cobbles in recon and now they can’t wait to start, and I am looking froward to working with them here. We have three older guys who have been here many times before and really all know the race well and in particular Durbridge and Bauer. They really like to focus on Paris-Roubaix and it is something they live for every year so we will be supporting them as much as we can on Sunday. It is always a very special race for us.”

Luka Mezgec:
Luka Mezgec

 

bahrain
Bahrain Victorious to the Epic Monument Paris-Roubaix
After last year’s unprecedented autumn edition, Paris-Roubaix returns to its traditional during Spring on Easter Sunday (17th April).

The 257.2 km course also follows tradition, featuring 54.8 km of cobbles spread out over 30 sectors. The sectors are rated on a scale from one to five stars, with the maximum assigned only to The Trouée d’Arenberg (no. 19), Mons-en-Pévèle (no. 11) and the Carrefour de l’Arbre (no. 4). Just a slight change affects the route in the sectors from 23 to 24 (118 km-135 km), and with the weather expected to be dry, it may look different to last year’s edition.

After the jubilation at the finish in 2021 for Sonny Colbrelli and Bahrain Victorious, sadly, this year, the Queen of the Classics will start without the King.

“We will also ride for Sonny!” say the Sports Directors Enrico Poitschke and Michal Golas: “We will ask the guys to give their best, ride together as a team and never give up. The aim remains to try to win the race. Matej Mohorič will be our leader. He’s motivated and not at his first experience on the cobbles. The key is to stay in a good position and try to follow early attacks. He will also be ready to attack at the right moment. Each rider in the team will support him in each race phase.

We have strong riders for such an epic race, such as the experienced Jasha Sütterlin, who will help, especially in the second part of the race, and Fred Wright, who, despite his young age, has shown a good attitude in the North Classics and last year at Roubaix. Matej will also count on Dylan Teuns at his debut in the race. Yukiya Arashiro, a true helper when needed, and the young Johan Price-Pejtersen are also debutants. Not a debut for Chun Kai Feng, who rounds out our lineup”.

Matej Mohorič will return to Paris-Roubaix for the third time, after his first appearance in 2019 and the last edition of the race, where he rode in a supporting role: “Paris-Roubaix is one of the biggest races there is in cycling. It was an unforgettable experience last year with Sonny taking the monumental win in an epic edition with rain and mud over the cobblestones. This year, it will be different without him, and we miss him a lot. The weather will be dry so the race will be different. I think my condition is still there. I was just short of being able to join the front selection in Amstel Gold Race, but fortunately, there are no climbs on Sunday where I could struggle, just a couple of cobblestones to make the selection between who will write the history this year and the rest. We will do our best to fight for the win because this truly is a race where anything can happen!”

Sonny Colbrelli won’t be the only big absentee for the team, as Roubaix fanatic Heinrich Haussler also misses out due to injury.

Unfortunately, Haussler crashed in a training ride before the Tour of Flanders and is suffering from a knee injury. After returning home, he underwent an MRI and will undergo surgery today. Following surgery Haussler is expected to be back on the bike in two weeks.

bahrain

 

quick-step-alpha
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to Paris-Roubaix
Our team is ready for the last cobbled Monument of the season.

The “Queen of the Classics” is waiting for its suitors, and just like Portia, it will be awash with them this Sunday, when the riders lining-up in Compiègne for the 119th edition will battle the pavé and the dust for a chance at eternal glory in the iconic Roubaix velodrome. The 257.2km parcours contains 54.8 kilometers of rough cobblestones spread out over 30 sectors, the first of which – Troisvilles to Inchy – will be tackled after almost 100 kilometers, marking the real start of the race.

But it will be later, on the five-star rated Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre – the most feared cobblestone sectors of the day – that the major shake-ups are expected to come, although these won’t be the only opportunities for the contenders to try and make the difference.

Victorious in Paris-Roubaix six times since 2005, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be present at the start with a strong team comprising seven riders who between them have a total of over 30 participations in the race and three podiums: Kasper Asgreen, a top 10 finisher just last week at Amstel Gold Race, last year’s Omloop winner Davide Ballerini, Tim Declercq, Yves Lampaert – third here in 2019 – Florian Sénéchal, Jannik Steimle and Zdenek Stybar, runner-up at the 2015 and 2017 editions.

“We have big hopes for Paris-Roubaix, which we will start with a good team. It will be the final northern classic of this spring and we go there with confidence, motivation and the same fighting spirit, hoping luck will be on our side this time. We aim for a good result Sunday afternoon, when we’ll rely on several riders to try and make the difference”, said sports director Tom Steels.

17.04 Paris-Roubaix (FRA) 1.UWT
Riders:

Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Davide Ballerini (ITA)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Yves Lampaert (BEL)
Florian Sénéchal (FRA)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL), Tom Steels (BEL) & Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Is Kasper Asgreen the Quick-Step man for Roubaix:
flanders22

 

ag2r cirtoen
Paris-Roubaix (April 17th)
Antoine Raugel will participate for the first time in Paris-Roubaix. Greg Van Avermaet and Michaël Schär are racing Paris-Roubaix for the twelfth time. The Belgian rider has always finished in the Roubaix velodrome.

Vincent Lavenu: “Paris-Roubaix is the last of the cobbled classics. We hope it will be favourable to us because so far we have not lived up to our hopes despite Greg van Avermaet’s third place and Oliver Naesen’s fourth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. We have the desire, and we have talented riders. We intend to make our mark on the occasion because our classics group has great potential. Like many teams, several of our riders have fallen ill in recent weeks and have struggled to recover, like Oliver Naesen. Paris-Roubaix remains a race like no other where you need to be successful. Benoît Cosnefroy’s excellent second place at the Amstel Gold Race showed us the way.”

ag2r

 

uae team
UAE Team Emirates for Paris-Roubaix
After a hugely successful start to the year for UAE Team Emirates, the team slowly makes the transition from the Flanders Classics to the Ardennes in Belgium, starting with De Brabantse Pijl (13 April) before heading across the French border for the legendary race labelled ‘The Hell of the North’: Paris-Roubaix (17 April).

Matteo Trentin will go into both races as team captain with the in-form Marc Hirschi hotly tipped for De Brabantse Pijl after his recent top-10 at Amstel Gold.

Trentin: “My shape is back close to where it needs to be and I think as a team we can be competitive in these next races. Amstel was a really hard race but we can take a lot of positives from it. Marc Hirschi has shown he is back close to his top level so I think for Brabantse Pijl the goal will be for us to be there deep in the final and play our cards. For Paris-Roubaix we all know it’s really a test of attrition and can be quite unpredictable so we’ll aim to be aggressive.”

Sports Director Aart Vierhouten (Ned) will be joined by Fabio Baldato (Ita) and Marco Marcato (Ita) for Paris-Roubaix.

Paris-Roubaix [1.UWT] – 17-Apr-2022:
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Alexys Brunel (Fra)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Sebastian Molano (Col)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Oliviero Troia (Ita).

uae

 

slovenia
28th Edition of Tour of Slovenia Will be Intense Till the Last Metres
Tour of Slovenia will take place from 15th to 19th June 2022, it will have 5 stages and in total 791,4 kilometres long route with total altitude gain of 9152 meters. The competition on the race will be strong, with total of 21 teams, 4 of them from the World Tour ranks: UAE Team Emirates, Astana – Qazaqstan, Bahrain Victorious & Team BikeExchange. Details of the Slovenian tour – part of the UCI ProSeries – were revealed today in Ljubljana, in the office building of Krka d.d.

Tour of Slovenia will have five stages, with some destinations that will host the race for the first time in history:

S1: Nova Gorica – Postojna, 164,4 km,
S2: Ptuj – Rogaška Slatina, 174,1 km,
S3: Žalec – Celje, 144,2 km,
S4: Laško – Velika planina, 152,4 km,
S5: Vrhnika – Novo mesto, 156,3 km.

The route of the race will be challenging till the very last meter as the last stage has a new finish with a climb to Trška gora just before the last kilometres of the race and finish line in Novo mesto. The race has one first category climb, this is 8,2 kilometers long finish climb to Velika planina on stage 4. As always, the race is very diverse and technically hard, so only a most complete rider will be able to answer to all of the challenges and the competition, and take home the green jersey.

The race will get harder with each of the stages. First two days are perfect for fast riders, then the race for the overall standings really begins. Stage 3 already has two categorised climbs, with main battle for the green jersey happening on the last climb of the stage 4. Fight for Green will be likely decided on that stage, but last day can still offer surprises.
Organisers will once again host a BEST venue challenge. Criteria for the competition are innovation with activation and promotion of the destination, involvement of the local community, sustainable aspect and activities on websites and on social medias.

In a way the race will not end when crossing the finish line in Novo mesto, the young riders will also get their chance with the second edition of Kids Tour of Slovenia. In 2021 close to 300 young riders from 8 European countries entered the race and we expect similar numbers in 2022. The race will take place from 1st to 3rd July.

Matej Mohorič, team Bahrain Victorious: “Tour of Slovenia route is more diverse as we’re used to in the past years. Only one stage is fully to the likes of sprinters, the rest of them are much more diverse. I’m looking forward to this race, also because of the local fans, for sure there will be a lot of them. It’s always the best to race in front of the home crowds and I’m sure the Slovenian riders will attend the race in large numbers. I hope that our team will fight for the top spots on the race. It’s good that the race changes a little bit, for example the new stage with the finish climb to Velika planina is very interesting. I also like the profile of the last stage with the climb to Trška gora, it’s going to be interesting as well. I like this kind of finish, it reminds me on the last part of Milan – Sanremo.”

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Ilona Stermecki, M.Sc., Acting Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board: “Slovenia is globally recognised also due to the big sports events, Tour of Slovenia is also among them. Slovenian Tourist Board is partner of the race for the fifth consecutive year as the event offers great opportunity to show beauty of Slovenia and its destinations that are visited by the race route. Slovenian Tourist Board will have a campaign with 238 television ads on Eurosport channels, 3,2 million ads displayed on Eurosport.com, content about Slovenia on the web sites and posts on the social medias of this media giant. The race will have 10 hours of live broadcast on Eurosport 1 and Television Slovenia, so we again expect a strong media attention from all parts of the world, which is a great opportunity to promote Slovenia as a perfect destination for active holiday in the environmentally sustainable country, hence the deeper meaning of the Fight for Green slogan. We at Slovenian Tourist Board see cycling as one of the key products of the active experiences and that is why it takes a big role in the main, two-year promotion of active outdoor experiences and sport tourism. We’re proud to have Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič, two of the best cyclists in the world, among our ambassadors of Slovenian tourism and they help us promote Slovenia as a land of active break and top athletes.”

Mojca Novak, President of organising committee of the Tour of Slovenia and President of Adria Mobil Cycling Team: “28th edition of the Tour of Slovenia is upon us and it’s my great pleasure that we’ll once again support some of the best cyclists on our roads. The growth of cycling in Slovenia is exponential in the last years and it seems like the whole scene gain more traction on the wings of our champions. We’re excited and proud when looking at the current UCI standings and seeing Slovenia on the top of the leaderboard. And all of us who have somehow contributed our stone to the mosaic of this extraordinary cycling success can be proud of this achievement.”

“At this moment I want to thank all of the clubs and club staff that believed, endured and gave their time and knowledge to came to this moment when Slovenia is the best cycling country in the world. As a president of the Cycling club Adria Mobil, organiser of the Tour of Slovenia and a club with 50-years long tradition, I know how challenging this line of work is, especially when talking about a club with so many top results in the racing arena and also in the areas of development and organisation. The club and the race have grown and developed with years and I’m proud to be part of the successful cycling story that was made possible thanks to hard work, extensive knowledge and experiences, but mostly thanks to unbending sports spirit. Thanks to cooperation with all of the partners and destinations the race will be again done in a way to make us all proud. I want to sincerely thank all of our sponsors that believe in us, all supporters, cyclists and the whole staff that makes sure that the race runs smoothly. Having a strong hearth is as important as having strong legs, and you prove that with each of the editions.”

Matjaž Leskovar, Senior Police Inspector at Traffic Police Division: “The Slovenian Police is a regular companion of the Tour of Slovenia. We have great relationship with the organisers, which is vital for the successful event. We’re there to provide safety, and the safety is one thing that is always harder to secure, especially on the cycling races. We have to protect more than 800 kilometers of roads and provide security for both cyclists and other attendees of the race. We also provide special training to our officers, to make sure that the race will run smoothy. This is done in partnership with Slovenian cycling federation, and in this particular case we’ll have 28 officers on the motorbikes. I appeal to everyone to be tolerant on the roads and to follow instructions from the police and marshals. If the race isn’t safe, we’ll not get good cyclists and teams, but they will always return to a safe race.”

Bogdan Fink, race director: “Five new stages of Tour of Slovenia are ahead of us. We’ll start on Wednesday in Nova gorica, with first kilometers taking place in Italy on the route of Giro, and finish on Sunday on a traditional location in Novo mesto, but with a small twist. The stages are diverse and will visit big part of Slovenia. I’m glad to see some of the best riders on the race. There will be many top riders, but I want to expose Matej Mohorič, winner of the Monument Milan – Sanremo, and Tadej Pogačar, leading cyclists on the UCI rankings. I want to say thanks to all of the destinations, sponsors, donators and fans. Big thanks also go to everybody on the OC for their hard work and for helping to create this yearly spectacle. See you on 15th June!”

  • You will find full info about the stages and team on www.tourofslovenia.si
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    sprecker
    Sprecher Brewery Becomes Official Craft Soda of Tour of America’s Dairyland
    Award-winning root beer will be the podium drink for Wisconsin bike race’s junior champions series for summer 2022.

    Sprecher Brewery and Tour of America’s Dairyland announced their partnership today to provide award-winning Root Beer for the popular series of road cycling races returning to southeastern Wisconsin.

    Sprecher Root Beer will be distributed to the top three winners in each age group at the ToAD’s Jones Family Juniors Series, which takes place June 22-26. Junior cyclists range from 9-18 years old and will be honoured in 12 separate awards ceremonies daily for each of the 5 days of racing.

    Sprecher Brewery, located in Glendale, Wisconsin, continues its commitment the local community through its partnership with ToAD. In addition, Sprecher’s civic involvement includes partnering with the Milwaukee County’s Traveling Beer Garden Series, sponsoring the Milwaukee Mile and the ARCA Menard’s racing series and serving as the title sponsor of the Root Beer Bash at Bayshore Town Center on August 6th.

    “Sprecher is proud to launch this partnership with Tour of America’s Dairyland, an iconic cycling series that deserves an iconic beverage,” said Sharad Chadha, CEO of Sprecher. “We know that our Root Beer will be the perfect beverage not only for the cycling champions, but anyone in the summer crowds enjoying the series.”

    “Our tour could not have had the success without the amazing volunteers, host communities and local business sponsors like Sprecher Brewery,” ToAD executive director Bill Koch said. “We’re excited to serve up Sprecher root beer on the podium as the perfect finish line reward.”

    Summer races include the Downer Classic along with popular neighbourhood locations Brady Street, Bay View, Shorewood, the Wauwatosa Village and more.

    Tour of America’s Dairyland began in 2009 and has grown into the country’s largest competitive road cycling series with 11 days of competition. The races draw more than 1,100 professional and amateur athletes from around the world, with an average of 450 cyclists per day.

    The 2022 ToAD schedule is as follows:
    June 16: Janesville
    June 17: East Troy
    June 18: Grafton
    June 19 – Manitowoc
    June 20: Bay View (Milwaukee)
    June 21 – West Allis
    June 22 – Mount Pleasant
    June 23: Brady Street (Milwaukee)
    June 24: Shorewood
    June 25: Downer Avenue (Milwaukee)
    June 26: Wauwatosa Village

  • For more information, see tourofamericasdairyland.com and SprecherBrewery.com.
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    germany
    Jan Ullrich Raises More Than €40,000 for Children in Ukraine
    Jan Ullrich has raised more than 40 thousand euros to help children in Ukraine with the auction of one of his racing bikes from the 1998 Tour de France.

    Ullrich announced last month that he wanted to raise money for the Ein Herz für Kinder campaign, an international organisation that launched a relief campaign for children and women in Ukraine due to the attack by Russian forces. The German ex-rider decided to auction an autographed racing bike from the Tour de France of 1998. “The terrible war in Ukraine and the unimaginable suffering of the people are terrifying the whole world. We are all in shock, my heart is bleeding too,” he said in a video message.

    Meanwhile, Ullrich has announced that the auction of his bike from the Tour has raised more than 40 thousand euros for children in Ukraine affected by the war. “Thank you to everyone who took part in the fundraising campaign and made an offer for the special edition of my 1998 bicycle,” said the now 48-year-old German.

    Tour bike for Ukraine:
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    germany
    Tony Martin Gets Auctioned Olympic Medal Back
    Tony Martin’s silver Olympic medal has been auctioned for €35,000. The former professional cyclist was so affected by the war in Ukraine he made his silver medal from the 2012 Games available for auction. The buyer decided to return the medal to Martin.

    Martin drew attention to the auction on social media last month. “Every day I see the terrible images of Ukraine on television and it feels so wrong to sit on the couch and accept this situation. I express my deepest respect to everyone who helps the people who need to be protected most: the Ukrainian children and their families. I also want to contribute and help.”

    Martin decided to donate his medal for second place in the time trial at the 2012 London Games to raise money for the Ukraine aid program of the RTL – Wir helfen Kindern foundation. This foundation offers help to children in need and now specifically in Ukraine.

    The German company Fitline won the auction with a bid of €31,000 and decided to round up the amount to €35,000, but also returned the medal to Martin. “We have the utmost respect for Tony’s commitment to the children in Ukraine,” manager Torsten Weber told Bild. “It was natural for us that we would return the medal, because it belongs to Tony.”

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    jumbo-visma
    Sneak Peek: A Glimpse Of Our New Tour de France Jersey
    On Thursday we will release our new Tour de France jersey: The Masterpiece. Inspired by three Dutch Masters: Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer.

    You can be the first to purchase this limited edition. You really don’t want to miss this Masterpiece, so keep an eye on your inbox during the early hours tomorrow morning.

    Curious to see a glimpse already? Check the video below:

     


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