EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
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The racing just never stops… Tour de Suisse, Baloise Belgium Tour, Slovenia Tour and the men’s and women’s Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge. Chris Froome didn’t start the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge – TOP STORY. Rider news: Romain Bardet will ride the Tour, Jumbo-Visma hopes that Rohan Dennis will recover for the Tour de France, Nairo Quintana ready to return, UAE Team Emirates interested in Wellens, but not Quintana, Lilian Calmejane going to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Arnaud De Lie stays with Lotto Soudal and Elmar Reinders signs for BikeExchange-Jayco. *** Don’t forget Ukraine. ***
TOP STORY: Chris Froome Didn’t Start the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge
Chris Froome did not participate in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge on Tuesday. The 37-year-old Briton was scheduled for the race up the famous mountain climb, but Froome had to abandon the Critérium du Dauphiné last weekend due to illness.
Froome is apparently not yet fit enough to pin a number on again and was not part of the final selection of his Israel-Premier Tech team. The four-time Tour winner had to withdraw from the Critérium du Dauphiné on Saturday, on the advice of his team’s medical staff. “I was really looking forward to the last two stages, but I don’t feel 100 percent.”
“It’s disappointing to leave the race early, but I’ve made good progress and don’t want to throw myself back at this important part of the season,” Froome said. The British Tour winner hopes to be at the start of the Tour de France in two weeks time, but Froome is not a certainty and therefore has to put himself in the spotlight with the team management. The fact that Froome couldn’t participate in the Mont Ventoux Challenge is a big blow to his Tour hopes.
Michael Woods was the Israel-Premier Tech team leader in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, but he and Carl Frederik Hagen, Omer Goldstein, Cole Kessler, Guy Niv and James Piccoli didn’t manage to put a man in the top ten.
Will Froome go to the Tour?
Tour de Suisse 2022
Andreas Leknessund won Stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse on Monday. The promising Norwegian of DSM was part of the early break in the stage to Aesch. He broke away on the last climb of the day and then soloed to the stage victory. Stephen Williams held the overall lead.
After the surprising victory of Stephen Williams on stage 1, the Tour of Switzerland continued with another tough stage. Küsnacht was the departure point for the second stage to Aesch in the Jura. The route climbed the Gempen (5.4km at 4.6%), the Eichenberg (3.0km at 7.4%) and the Chall pass (6.3km at 6.3%). From the top of the last pass there was 13.8 kilometres of mainly descending to the finish. The victory should go to a puncheurs again.
After a nervous start, eight riders managed to get away and set up an early break. They were: Michael Schär (AG2R Citroën), Leonardo Basso (Astana Qazaqstan), Andreas Leknessund (DSM), Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost), Joel Sutter (UAE Team Emirates), Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) and Matteo Badilatti (Groupama-FDJ). Home riders; Claudio Imhof and Simon Vitzthum (Swiss National Team) managed to cross a gap of two minutes. The leading group quickly increased the gap to 4 minutes. In the peloton, the men of Bahrain-Victorious, for race leader Williams, decided to do the chase work. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl also put Tim Declercq on the front. There appeared to be little interest in the stage win, because the lead kept getting bigger and with just over 50 kilometres ridden, the difference was almost 6 minutes. The nine escapees, Vizthum had been dropped, seemed to be on their way to the finish.
At one point, BORA-hansgrohe and INEOS Grenadiers decided to help in the pursuit. Andreas Leknessund of DSM was the best placed rider in the leading group – 31st at 1:01 from leader Williams – and was able to do a great job with a view to a possible overall victory. The peloton sensed the danger in time and so there was a strong acceleration towards the foot of the Eichenberg. The front riders started this 3 kilometre climb with a lead of just under 4 minutes, at more than 7%. On this difficult slope the leading group exploded, partly due to Holmes. Leknessund, Holmes, Burgaudeau, Rutsch, Badilatti and Schär turned out to have the strongest legs and were left at the front. These riders then moved on to the last climb of the day, the more than 6 kilometre long Challpas. The remaining escapees still had a view of the stage victory, although their lead had shrunk to about 2 minutes with 20 kilometres to go. Leknessund decided to go solo 18 kilometres from the finish.
The 23 year-old Norwegian proved to be the strongest climber and managed to drop his fellow escapees. In the peloton Alpecin-Fenix took the lead for their fast-man Stefano Oldani. The Belgian team did everything it could to bring things together for a bunch sprint. That was the plan, but the thinned out peloton didn’t come closer to the strong Leknessund and he held onto his lead and started the descent of the Chall Pass first. Leknessund came down unscathed and started the last 10, mainly flat, kilometres with a 1 minute lead on Rutsch and Schär. The large group, still led by the men of Alpecin-Fenix, were at a minute and a half. The versatile rider recorded the biggest victory of his young career in Aesch. For the DSM team it is the 4th victory of the year. More than half a minute after Leknessund’s victory, Alberto Bettiol won the sprint for second place, although the Italian assumed he had crossed the line first. Michael Matthews was third. Stephen Williams finished in the bunch to keep his overall lead. Leknessund was only 7 seconds short of the double.
Stage winner and 4th overall, Andreas Leknessund (DSM): “I don’t have much to say, it’s unbelievable, I’m really happy to have taken the win for the team. It was full gas all day. The hardest part was on the last climb and we felt that if I could get the gap over the peloton then we could make it to the line. In the final kilometres I was suffering but also could enjoy it. We came here for stage wins and now we have one, so for the rest of the days I will try to follow and see, but to be aggressive still and go in the breakaway again will be nice so we can go for another top result.”
2nd on the stage, Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost): “I didn’t know there was another rider ahead. My radio stopped working and I was completely focused on the sprint. I was very lucky to win the sprint against guys like Trentin and Matthews. Tomorrow my friends will laugh with me again.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Result:
1. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM in 4:46:22
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:38
3. Michael Matthews (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
4. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM
7. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
8. Edoardo Zambanini (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies
10. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 2:
1. Stephen Williams (GB) Bahrain-Victorious in 9:03:41
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
4. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM at 0:07
5. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
6. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan
7. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
8. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe.
Suisse’22 stage 2:
Peter Sagan won the Third Stage of the Tour de Suisse. In Grenchen, the three-time World champion started the sprint first and held out until the finish. Bryan Coquard was close second and Alexander Kristoff had to settle for third place. Bahrain-Victorious’s Stephen Williams kept the overall lead.
In this stage there was again a lot of climbing, but at the finish there were nevertheless opportunities for the sprinters. At the start of the stage there was a leading group of six: Manuele Boaro (Astana Qazaqstan), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost), Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal), KOM Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Joey Rosskopf (Human Powered Health) and Mathias Reutimann (Switzerland National Team). They took 3 minutes from the pack, where the teams of leader Stephen Williams (Bahrain-Victorious) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) initially checked their progress.
The peloton didn’t want to give the group too much of a lead and kept the difference stable for a long time at around 2 or 3 minutes. Simmons did a good job for the KOM on the Côte de Bouvier and the climb of Bellelay by coming first. After that, the difference between the escapees and the peloton slowly but surely dropped to under 2 minutes. On the third climb of the day, to Vauffelin, the leading group fell apart. First Boaro had to let go and a little later Reutimann was gone. Bissegger then tried to go alone for a while, but Gilbert, Simmons and Rosskopf were able to re-catch him. Simmons also won the third mountain sprint of the day. With 30 kilometres to go the difference had shrunk to under 1 minute and Bissegger tried again solo. The Swiss rider had a nice gap on the descent to Grenchen, where the finish-line was crossed for the first time with 24 kilometres to go. He had a lead on the peloton of 1 minute. Bissegger fought for what he was worth, but 17 kilometres from the finish, the climb of Lommiswil was still to come. It turned out to be too much for Bissegger, who only had a 10 second lead at the top. Everything was together and the run-in to the final sprint could begin. At 11 kilometres from the finish there was still an intermediate sprint where Geraint Thomas, 16th on the general classification, and Maximilian Schachmann took three and two bonus seconds.
At 4 kilometres from the finish there was a crash in the peloton, involving several riders. Schachmann, Domenico Pozzovivo, Alexey Lutsenko and several Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders fell, Remco Evenepoel reached the finish-line with the peloton. At the front the race continued, but the nervousness was high. In the last kilometre, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert paved the way for Alexander Kristoff. It was Peter Sagan who started the sprint from behind the Belgian team. The TotalEnergies rider held on well and crossed the finish-line first. It was his 18th victory in the Tour of Switzerland. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) was close and took second place from Kristoff, who finished third.
Stage winner, Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies): “It was difficult to get back into the race rhythm after my illness. I was without racing for several months. Something like that takes time. Whether this victory is more beautiful than others? It’s just a stage win. I’m happy with it, I’m happy for the team. I really have to thank the team. They did a great job. They have been in the lead with a few other teams all day. In the end I made it and I’m happy about that. It’s nice to be back.”
3rd on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Today was probably my best opportunity to sprint in this Tour de Suisse, which is particularly hilly. This is why the team sacrificed for me and did a perfect job from the start to the finish. Unfortunately it was not a perfect day for me, because in addition to the heat and the many climbs, Georg Zimmermann and I crashed in the beginning of the stage. But I’m satisfied that I was in the mix for the win despite these obstacles. I’m grateful for what my teammates did for me today, they brought me to the front in the technical final, which contained for example a lot of road furniture. Afterwards, Andrea Pasqualon launched me perfectly. Of course I’m disappointed that I wasn’t rewarded with a victory, but I have to admit that Peter Sagan was stronger today. I have a good feeling and I’m convinced that this Tour de Suisse will be beneficial for the next couple of weeks.”
Break rider, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost): “I knew the last part, so I knew where to try it. The breakaway didn’t function so well anymore, the speed dropped and I had to try. I tried twice and got lost. It was close, and half a minute or a minute more would have been enough. It is what it is. If you don’t try, you don’t win. My form is not bad, as everyone could see. It’s going well, hopefully it will go even better in the Tour.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Slov) TotalEnergies in 4:28:38
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Movistar
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Cees Bol (Ned) DSM
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 3:
1. Stephen Williams (GB) Bahrain-Victorious in 13:32:19
2. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
3. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM at 0:07
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
10. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers.
Suisse’22 stage 3:
The Fourth Stage of the Tour de Suisse went to Daryl Impey. The 37 year-old Israel-Premier Tech South African was the best at the end of the 190km stage, with a tricky finish in Brunnen. He beat Michael Matthews and Søren Kragh Andersen in the sprint from a thinned peloton. Stephen Williams held the overall lead after some problems staying with the pace.
The stage to Brunnen had a final circuit of 60 kilometres with the steep climb of Sattel (3km at 8.5%), 15 kilometres from the finish. Jan Maas, Jay Vine, Kasper Asgreen and Frederik Wandahl were not at the start. Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal), Markus Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) attacked early. They got more than 5 minutes ahead of Bahrain-Victorious and INEOS Grenadiers, who set the pace for the peloton. As the final approached, that difference was reduced to under 2 minutes and at the foot of the Sattel climb the escapees were caught. Holmes and Janssens struggled on a bit, but the curtain fell for them too at 17 kilometres from the finish.
The pace in the peloton was too high for the yellow jersey of Stephen Williams, but he managed to return to the favourite group just before the summit. From there, Sébastien Reichenbach rode away at top of the Sattel. The Swiss rider of Groupama-FDJ did not get very far, because EF Education-EasyPost started to chase. Reichenbach was caught and so a thinned out peloton sprinted in the streets of Brunnen. The EF train for Alberto Bettiol did an excellent job, but the Italian couldn’t finish it. Daryl Impey came was the fastest in the group, he narrowly beat a fast finishing Michael Matthews. Søren Kragh Andersen was third, Bettiol fourth and Tom Pidcock fifth. Yellow jersey Williams crossed the finish line in the peloton and retained his lead on GC. Andreas Kron and Geraint Thomas follow at 6 and 7 seconds.
Stage winner, Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech): “I needed that. I may be old but I’ve still got it. I saw a flash of blue to my left and didn’t want to take my hands off the bars to celebrate. My last victory was a long time ago when I think about it. The team has gone through a bit of a rough patch this year with sickness and trying to get points so to get the victory today in such a prestigious race is good motivation for us and hopefully it is a start of good things to come. I was kind of staying on Bettiol’s wheel and then a couple of guys jumped in front in the last corner and I actually thought I was out of position. But on a long straight like that I just thought I would chance it and hopefully it would open up. I saw the left hand open up with 300 meters to go and I took my chance and had the legs to go to the end. It’s a huge moment for me because I have come through so many difficulties since the crash last year when I broke my pelvis. The last couple of days I have been chickening out in the sprints and putting the brakes on and not being involved. Today, to have the confidence to go for the victory again was already a huge thing for me but to pull off the win is massive so I’m really stoked about that.”
2nd on the stage, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I’m very disappointed in myself, I made a big mistake in the final corner, a lot of guys passed me, but not all sprinters. Then I had to come back past them again in the final straight to the finish. I had to start my sprint really early, I think with around 400 or 500 to go to get back to actually fight for the victory. I had really good speed, I had really good legs, but just made a silly mistake through the final corner. I fought really hard to get over the final climb, I had a teammate with me to pace me over the very top and bring me into the sprint, but I was just bombarded into the final corner and unfortunately, I couldn’t launch my sprint like the way I wanted to.”
7th on the stage, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was again a very hot day. We knew it was very important to head onto the last climb right up front and Marco positioned us perfectly there. Then we just had to stay in front. I then tried to position Alex as well as possible so that we could avoid any crashes as well as react to important attacks. In the end, I tried to contest the sprint. Overall, I’m feeling much better now compared to the first few days back from altitude, and I think Max is also doing okay after his crash yesterday.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Result:
1. Daryl Impey (SA) Israel-Premier Tech in 4:14:09
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
3. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM
4. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
5. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Movistar
7. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 4:
1. Stephen Williams (GB) Bahrain-Victorious in 17:46:28
2. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:07
4. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM
5. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
6. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
7. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers.
Suisse’22 stage 4:
Baloise Belgium Tour 2022
Mads Pedersen won Stage 1 of the Baloise Belgium Tour. The Trek-Segafredo leader was the best in Maarkedal after a difficult stage of 165 kilometres. Pedersen won the sprint from a group of about 20 riders and is the first overall leader. Tim Wellens and Jasper Philipsen finished second and third.
The first stage of this Tour of Belgium was planned for the GC riders. The Leberg, the Berendries and Tenbosse were early in the stage and the circuit around Maarkedal was also very hilly. In that 20 kilometre lap, which had to be ridden four times, were the Ellestraat (1km at 5.7%), the Fortstraat (900m at 3.5%) and the more famous Berg Ten Houte (1.1km at 5.8%).
Taco van der Hoorn tried to slip into the break of the day, but his attempt with Aaron Gate had little success. Jorre Debaele (Minerva), Gianni Marchand & Kobe Vanoverschelde (Tarteletto-Isorex), Nick van der Meer (VolkerWessels) and Luke Mudgway (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) eventually escaped. They got more than 2 minutes on the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Trek-Segafredo led peloton. Mathijs Paasschens counter-attacked, but he ended up stuck between the break and the peloton. The pace in the peloton went up on the circuit, and the Dutchman was caught. It was narrow and nervous, causing crashes and splits. At 70 kilometres from the finish; Mauro Schmid, Mads Pedersen and Quinten Hermans attacked and they immediately took 45 seconds. The peloton got closer and exploded the first time up the Berg ten Houte. Fabio Jakobsen, and others, could forget the stage victory. Schmid, Pedersen and Hermans were then caught by the thinned peloton. Mark Donovan escaped and started the second time up Berg ten Houte with a lead, which he extended to 1 minute after the climb.
The peloton was waited until the last laps. Several groups tried to get away, including Victor Campenaerts, Dries De Bondt, Oscar Riesebeek, Lorenzo Rota and Florian Sénéchal. But, going into the last lap a large group was still together. Kenneth Van Rooy made a frantic attempt to stay out of the hands of the group, but he was caught 10 kilometres before the finish. The Golden Kilometre had returned to the race schedule. Mads Pedersen captured a total of 6 seconds, as did Mauro Schmid. Yves Lampaert in turn picked up 3 bonuses. Not long after that, it was time for Berg ten Houte for the last time. Sénéchal and Pedersen picked up the pace to thinned out the group. About 20 riders remained and headed for the uphill finish in Maarkedal. Jasper Philipsen tried to surprise the others, but he was no match for a strong Mads Pedersen. The Dane won by bike lengths ahead of Tim Wellens and Philipsen.
Stage winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a very tough stage, and it was also one of the hottest days of the year. Normally I’m not that good in the heat. This was a really classic stage, and then the heat kicked in. That made it very difficult. The final was very tough with that climb 2.5 kilometres from the finish. And the sprint was also difficult. Jasper Philipsen started early. He immediately opened a gap, but luckily he stopped and I was able to get over him. I am proud of the team, they have done a good job. So it’s nice to give them a win. The shape is what it should be. It’s looking good towards the Tour, but for now I’m focusing on this race. I hope to win some more here. That first yellow jersey is one of my goals in the Tour. That would be a dream, but I also know it will be difficult.”
Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:49:35
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Robbe Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
8. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
9. Julian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM.
Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 1
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:49:19
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:08
3. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:10
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:12
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:13
6. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:16
7. Robbe Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
10. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis.
Belgium Tour’22 stage 1:
Slovenia Tour 2022
Rafał Majka won the opening Stage 1 of the Slovenia Tour. The Polish climber of UAE Team Emirates was the first to finish after 164.7 kilometres, he had already been working hard before the finish with his leader Tadej Pogačar and Domen Novak. The men of UAE Team Emirates were then able to use their numbers for the win. Majka is also the first overall leader.
On the first day of the Slovenia Tour was a fairly lumpy stage, with the Zadlog (3.3km at 10.8%), the Strmec (3.4km at 6.2% ) and the Razdtro (7.6km at 6.7%) on the menu. After that last climb there was 14 kilometres to go to the finish.
Alex Tolio (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Luca Chirico (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), Nik Cemazar, Kristijan Koren (Adria Mobil), Tomasz Budzinski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski) and Nícolas Sessler (Global 6) made up the break of the day. They got away after several attack attempts failed. The break was caught 62 kilometres before the finish, just before the Zadlog climb. This was due to the work of Bahrain-Victorious. Jan Tratnik’s pace was enough to split the peloton. Only an elite group remained, from which top favourite Tadej Pogačar tried to get away. Only his UAE teammate Rafal Majka and Domen Novak (Bahrain-Victorious) could follow him. Sean Bennett (China Glory) tried briefly, but was unable to hang on, this also happened to Matej Mohorič. They had to chase on the Strmec, but they were already 40 seconds from the front riders. On the descent and down the valley towards the Razdtro, the two couldn’t get closer to Pogačar, Majka and Novak.
The three started the final climb with a minute lead. Mohorič could no longer keep up with Bennett’s pace and fell back to the thinned peloton, the American also ended up back with the chasers. EOLO-Kometa led the chase, but they were already at 1:30. This was also the difference at the top of the climb. In the last flat kilometres towards the finish in Postojna, Pogačar and Majka were working as Novak sat on. They would be fighting for the stage win. The men from UAE Team Emirates tried to wear out Novak. This was for Majka, who jumped away just before the last kilometre. Novak, who had Pogačar in his wheel, struggled to close the gap, so Majka had the stage victory. Novak was second 2 seconds later, Pogačar third.
Stage winner and overall leader, Rafał Majka (UAE Team Emirates): “We were a bit surprised the action kicked off from so far out. On the 2nd category climb, the pace went up a lot and Tadej asked to accelerate, we shelled out the group and then went off on the attack. We managed to get to the finish line: it was a long breakaway, but we had good legs thanks to the good training we did in Livigno. I thank the whole team for their trust and support, with a special mention for Tadej: as always, he was the strongest today too, but he told me I could try to win. I am happy with the result, now we will concentrate to look for new stage successes and to support Pogačar in the general classification.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Domen Novak (Bahrain-Victorious): “In the start I had good feelings. But since yesterday I crashed in training I was afraid I would have some consequences, but it was not so. It’s hard to race against two riders, especially if they are from the same team. One is always attacking. I tried, and I’m happy with my result. Tadej and Rafa (UAE) were dictating a strong pace, but I think I could follow them on the climbs. I’m not sure how strong Tadej is, but I could follow Majka. Tadej made a move on the end, I covered and then tried to follow Majka as well, but I couldn’t do it anymore.”
3rd on the stage and overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a demanding stage, also due to the heat. The race exploded uphill under the strong pace of Bahrain-Victorious: at that point, Majka, Novak and I were in the lead of the race. I worked hard with Rafal to make sure we made it to the line. In the last kilometres we were all close to limit, I tried a stretch and Novak finished, at which point Majka launched the winning attack. I am very happy for my teammates success and for the fact that tomorrow he will be able to wear the leaders jersey. For the first day in this Tour de Slovenia, we could not have asked for better, we will continue to fight in the next stages as well.”
Slovenia Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Rafał Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates in 4:02:10
2. Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:02
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
4. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) EOLO-Kometa at 0:48
5. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco
6. Nicola Conci (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain-Victorious
8. Fernando Barceló (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
10. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan.
Slovenia Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Rafał Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates in 4:02:00
2. Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:06
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:08
4. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) EOLO-Kometa at 0:58
5. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco
6. Nicola Conci (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain-Victorious
8. Fernando Barceló (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
10. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan.
Slovenia Tour’22 stage 1:
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge 2022
Ruben Guerreiro won the men’s Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge. In the climb over the iconic Mont Ventoux, the Portuguese rider of EF Education-EasyPost broke away from the others with 11 kilometres to go to finish solo on the Giant of Provence.
The 4th edition of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge had the double climb of the Giant of Provence, first via Sault, then via Bédoin. At the start of the race, a leading group of five got away: Alexandr Riabushenko (Astana Qazaqstan), Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën), Alan Jousseaume (TotalEnergies), Victor Koretzky (B&B Hotels-KTM) and Nicolas Debeaumarché (St Michel-Auber93) joined forces and had more than 3 minutes on the peloton, where an alliance was formed between Cofidis, Movistar, Israel-Premier Tech, Uno-X and EF Education-EasyPost. On the first ascent of Mont Ventoux, the leading group lost ground to the peloton, which was considerably thinned out by Israel-Premier Tech in particular. At the top the difference had fallen to 1:30. On the descent, the leaders were again able to take more time. On the Col de la Madeleine, not to be confused with the climb in the Alps, Debeaumarché had to let the other four attackers go. Going to the last time up the Ventoux, Movistar slowly but surely closed the gap on the escapees.
At the foot of the climb, the difference had been reduced to 1 minute. In the first kilometres of the climb, Riabushenko attacked and only Jousseaume, third in the Ronde de l’Isard in 2020, was able to follow. It didn’t take long before Riabushenko was left alone in the lead. The 2016 European U23 champion started the last 14 kilometres solo. With 11 kilometres to go, the final really started. There were several attacks from the peloton and Riabushenko was caught as Ruben Guerreiro of EF-EasyPost took the lead alone. Behind him, Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), Guerreiro’s teammate Esteban Chaves and Cristián Rodríguez (TotalEnergies) were together. Rodríguez was dropped and Storer tried to cross to Guerreiro. Of course he couldn’t count on Chaves’ support. Initially Guerreiro lost some of his lead, but he was then able to pull away again. The Portuguese rider was 35 seconds ahead of Storer and Chaves when passed the ski station Chalet Reynard where the bare last six kilometres to the top of the Ventoux began. He had no problems from then on and after 153 kilometres, he secured the victory. Chaves completed the success for EF Education-EasyPost by jumping away from Storer and making it a 1-2.
Race winner, Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-EasyPost): “It is great to have such a win. I attacked after everyone did such great work. Everyone was a part of this victory. Esteban was just behind. It is special to have this victory. We needed it. It is a big mountain, but the team worked a lot and believed in me. I am really glad to win on this climb. Now we are ready for what’s next. I hope to be in the Tour selection. This spring we had bad luck, but we kept training and were persistent. I believed that I could win and the team always helped me. We were struggling a little bit with illness, but now it is fine. We are here and we can win.”
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge Result:
1. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost in 4:32:35
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:53
3. Michael Storer (Aus) Groupama-FDJ at 1:28
4. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 2:00
5. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 2:15
6. Cristián Rodríguez (Spa) TotalEnergies at 2:28
7. Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar at 2:30
8. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan at 2:55
9. Roger Adrià (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma at 3:08
10. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 3:14.
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge – Women 2022
Marta Cavalli is the first winner of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges for women. The 24-year-old rider of FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope was clearly the strongest on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. Clara Koppenburg was second, ahead of Évita Muzic and Pauliena Rooijakkers.
In the first edition of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges for women, there were four climbs over a distance of 100 kilometres. After the Col de la Madeleine, not the Alpine one, Col de la Gabelle and Gorge de la Nesque, it was time for the Mont Ventoux. The summit was at just under 1,900 metres after a climb of 23.3 kilometres at 5%, with quite a few ramps.
In the first hours, attention was mainly focused on two attacking groups. Rachel Neylan (Cofidis) and Neve Bradbury (Canyon//SRAM) held the lead the longest, but were caught on the Mont Ventoux by a thinned group of favourites. It was now a matter of waiting for an attack from Cavalli, Rooijakkers or Muzic. Cavalli eventually turned out to have the strongest climbing legs and went on the attack. The Italian was away and rode further and further away from her closest chasers. Clara Koppenburg was the only rider to react to Cavalli’s attack, but had to acknowledge the superiority of the Italian. Cavalli eventually crossed the finish-line with 40 seconds in hand to recorded her third victory of the season, she also won the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne in the spring. This was the first race for Cavalli since a crash in the Tour of Burgos three weeks ago. She was joined on podium by Koppenburg and Muzic. Music had passed a tired Rooijakkers on the final slopes.
Race winner, Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “We had prepared this race well and I had the opportunity to study it several times, especially with the passages of the Tour de France. I was in training last week, but I was already thinking about today’s race and my head was already in Mont Ventoux. I would really like to thank the organisation that allowed us to do a race like this. I think that today we did a very good job with the team. We controlled all the climbs, we were always in front and we had planned the last kilometres. If I felt good, I could attack, and that’s what I did,” she said. “The last kilometres seemed quite long to me because we were still at high altitude, but I felt good, and I found the good feelings I had had in the mountain course. I am very happy with this victory, and I am very happy to offer the team another first place.”
3rd, Évita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “It was a bit of a perfect day today for the team, with a victory, a podium, and collective work throughout the race. I think we had a perfect team race. We are more used to running without radios, but I think we communicated well together. We didn’t panic, we had a girl in the breakaway (Jade Wiel) it was perfect, then the girls rode as hard as they could all the way up, doing a perfect job to put Marta in the best place. I knew very well that she was the best in the race, and I had enormous confidence in her to go for the win. Once she attacked, it was every man for himself. I preferred to manage my climb because in the surges I still have a little trouble. I am happy with this performance, and to be able to finish on the podium with my blue, white, and red jersey, which I will soon be putting back into play in the French championships.”
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge – Women Result:
1. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope in 3:19:01
2. Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cofidis at 0:41
3. Évita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:53
4. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Canyon//SRAM at 1:17
5. Kim Cadzow (NZ) Torelli-Cayman Islands-Scimitar at 1:32
6. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon//SRAM at 1:55
7. Yuliia Biriukova (Ukr) Arkéa at 2:16
8. Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 2:22
9. Morgane Coston (Fra) Arkéa at 2:33
10. Špela Kern (Slo) Massi-Tactic at 3:21.
Romain Bardet Will Ride the 2022 Tour
Romain Bardet will be at the start of the Tour de France next month, the French climber of DSM announced via social media. It will be his first appearance in the Tour since 2020.
For Bardet it will be his second Grand Tour of the year. Last month, the winner of the Tour of the Alps also competed in the Giro d’Italia, where he had to stop due to sickness in the second week. At the time, he was in fourth place on the general classification. “Really happy to announce that I will be at the start of the Tour de France with Team DSM. I can’t wait to be at the Grand Départ in Copenhagen in a few weeks.”
For Bardet it will be his ninth participation in the Tour de France, after he started eight years in a row between 2013 and 2020. In 2016 (second) and 2017 (third), he took the podium twice in Paris. He has so far had three stage wins.
Jumbo-Visma Hopes that Rohan Dennis Will Recover for the Tour de France
Two-time World time trial champion Rohan Dennis was presented in January by the Jumbo-Visma team as one of the certainties for the Tour team. However, the Australian has been struggling with stomach and intestinal problems in recent weeks, so the Dutch team first wants to wait for the Tour of Switzerland to see if Dennis actually improves before he is sure of a Tour ticket.
In the first stage of the Tour of Switzerland Dennis came in at 12:17 from stage winner Stephen Williams. Under tropical conditions his intestinal problems recurred and he even had to get off the bike in the final to look for a ‘discreet place’. Two weeks ago he had to leave the altitude training camp on Sierra Nevada because of stomach problems.
Initially Dennis was supposed to ride the Critérium du Dauphiné, but his program was adjusted towards the Tour of Switzerland. “We had already made that choice before because the course in Switzerland suits Dennis better,” said team DS Merijn Zeeman. “We assume that Rohan will fully recover in Switzerland and are confident that he will reach his level towards the Tour.”
At the beginning of June, Jumbo-Visma announced that only Primož Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert are sure of a Tour ticket. With this, Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss and Rohan Dennis were removed from the list of certainties.
“We have seen this year that we are balancing on a thin line. In terms of injuries and corona infections, it has regularly happened for certain races that we were unable to draw up the selection we had in mind. That is why it is important to have a broader selection, so that everyone is optimally prepared if one or more riders were to drop out,” sports director Grischa Niermann told WielerFlits in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Maybe no Tour for Rohan Dennis:
Nairo Quintana Ready for Return in Route d’Occitanie
In recent days, many teams have announced their selections for the Route d’Occitanie (16-20 June). Arkéa-Samsic is counting on Nairo Quintana, who returns to the race after his crash in the Tour of Turkey. “I feel good physically. I have fully recovered from my crash,” said the Colombian on the team website.
Quintana nit the asphalt on the second stage of the Tour of Turkey. The days after he stayed on the race and in stage four he even took fourth place, but during the fifth stage he abandoned. Quintana also had to miss the Vuelta Asturias, but now returns to the peloton. “The Route d’Occitantie is a race that I know well and that I like,” said the Arkéa-Samsic climber.
“I’ve already won here twice”, Quintana had victories in 2012 and 2016, when the stage race was still known as La Route du Sud. “We are leaving with a strong and motivated team. These days in the southwest and the Pyrenees allow us to work hard and prepare for the upcoming Tour de France. I am motivated to participate again.”
That also has to do with the stage schedule, explains Quintana. Two stages can end in a sprint, the other two are more suitable for the climbers. “In general, the profile appeals to me. Mainly because of the mountain stage that the organisers have mapped out (Saturday’s queen stage to Les Angles), which makes it possible to get used to the high mountains with a view to the Tour de France. It will also be a test, and of course I hope I feel good and do well.”
Quintana, who won the Tour de la Provence and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var this spring, will face some strong opponents in the south of France. Movistar will have Alejandro Valverde and Iván Ramiro Sosa. Cofidis brings Jesús Herrada to the start, while Pavel Sivakov and Carlos Rodríguez lead INEOS Grenadiers. Arnaud Démare and Elia Viviani are the big sprinters participating.
Quintana racing again in the Route d’Occitanie:
UAE Team Emirates Confirms Interest in Wellens, but Not Much in Quintana
It was rumoured that Nairo Quintana, whose contract with Arkéa-Samsic expires after this season, would make the switch to UAE Team Emirates in 2023. UAE manager Mauro Gianetti confirms Quintana has been offered to his team, but his interest in the Colombian is low. “He’s a very good rider, but he’s not the rider we’re looking for,” Gianetti told VeloNews. In the same conversation, the Swiss confirmed that he is interested in Tim Wellens.
UAE Team Emirates already has three GC riders with Tadej Pogačar, João Almeida and Juan Ayuso. Gianetti wants to strengthen the team in other areas. “We have our classification leaders and they are young. We believe in that group, so that’s a real problem for us regarding Nairo. He is a very good rider, but with Tadej, Ayuso and Almeida…”
“We want to strengthen the team in other areas, such as the classics and the sprints. Maybe there are other good riders to help us in the stage races. These are the areas we look at. We are calm, but we are in the market and we have made an offer to some riders. We are not under any pressure.”
One of the riders who maybe joining the Middle East squad next season is Tim Wellens. Transfers are not allowed to be announced before August 1, but UAE Team Emirates would be in pole position for the Belgian. “I’ve read about us and Tim Wellens. I know a lot of teams are interested in him and so are we. He’s a good rider and he’s one of the riders we would like on our team. We are waiting and still discussing. Other teams are interested. Let’s see if we can get it.”
A rider who may then leave Gianetti’s team is Fernando Gaviria. The Colombian’s contract expires at the end of this year and he has had few successes in recent years. “Gaviria’s contract expires at the end of this season. At the moment we have not started the negotiations yet. That’s something we’re going to look at in the coming months.”
Gaviria leaving UAE?
Lilian Calmejane On the Way to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
Lilian Calmejane will probably ride for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert next year, Het Nieuwsblad reports. The 29-year-old Frenchman is currently in his second season with AG2R Citroën, but his contract is expiring at the end of the year.
Calmejane, who is known as a race attacker, is said to have reached an oral agreement with the team of Jean-François Bourlart, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Aike Visbeek, but it is still a while to wait for the confirmation of the transfer: according to the regulations of the UCI, transfers may only be announced from 1 August.
Late bloomer, Calmejane only turned pro at a relatively late age, after he made his debut as a professional cyclist in 2016 at the age of 23. The Frenchman spent the early years of his career with Direct Energie and made his final breakthrough in the 2016 Vuelta a España. Calmejane won the fourth stage to San Andrés de Teixido in the Spanish tour.
In his second professional year, the Frenchman proved to be a winner, with overall victories in the Étoile de Bessèges, the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and the Circuit de la Sarthe. His biggest victory also dates back to 2017: five years ago he also won a Tour stage finishing in Station des Rousses. In recent years, however, he has been less successful: for his last victory we have to go back three years.
Calmejane to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert?
Arnaud De Lie Verbally Agrees with Lotto Soudal on Contract Extension
Arnaud De Lie is probably going to have a longer stay with Lotto Soudal. The sprinter, who has a contract with the Belgian team until the end of 2023, is about to extend his contract for a year under improved conditions, Het Nieuwsblad reports. According to the Flemish newspaper, there is already an oral agreement and the signatures will follow next week.
De Lie is one of the seasons revelations. The 20 year-old rider, who made his debut as a pro this year, already has six victories to his name in 2022. He was the best in the Trofeo Playa de Palma-Palma, the Volta Limburg Classic and four one-day races in Belgium. John Lelangue, CEO at Lotto Soudal, would like to keep De Lie a little longer. However, De Lie did not simply take the first offer, he waited and agreed with the latest improved offer.
Lotto Soudal will lose Philippe Gilbert and Tim Wellens at the end of this season, but behind the scenes the team is already busy recruiting riders. In addition to De Lie, Thomas De Gendt and Sylvain Moniquet will soon also extend until 2024, according to Het Nieuwsblad. Sébastien Grignard, whose contract expires at the end of this year, will also probably stay until the end of 2024 and already has a verbal agreement.
Arnaud De Lie to stay with Lotto Soudal till 2024:
Elmar Reinders Signs for BikeExchange-Jayco for Two Years
The 30-year-old Dutchman from the Danish Riwal team is having a strong season at Continental level and professional teams have also noticed it. Now, BikeExchange-Jayco has signed him up for the next two seasons, according to WielerFlits.
This season, the rider from Emmen won the Visit Fryslân Elfstedenrace Race and the Arno Wallaard Memorial in harsh weather conditions, as well as stages in the Tour de Bretagne, Circuit des Ardennes and Olympia’s Tour. In the Olympia’s stage race he also took the lead, but bad luck in the final stage cost him the overall victory. Only ex-world champion Mads Pedersen could beat him in the Danish Fyen Rundt. Although all these races are at the UCI .2 level, Reinders has proven himself in recent years.
It is not the first time that the experienced baroudeur has been in possession of a professional contract. After a number of strong years at the conti level in the Netherlands, Reinders made his professional debut in 2017 at Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij. He remained there until the team folded at the end of 2019. The Dutchman – who works without an agent – then signed with Riwal-Securitas, but that too ceased to exist a year later after they were unable to arrange the finances in time. Riwal then made a new start at Continental level.
Since then Reinders has been riding for the orange shirts, where Sebastian Andersen now holds sway. He is the son of Trek-Segafredo team DS Kim and together with director Mogens Tveskov he wants to apply for a ProTeam license with Riwal before 2023. Reinders himself previously indicated that he was really enjoying himself with the Danish team, but he cannot be kept for a longer stay. BikeExchange-Jayco has tempted him for a two-year contract, which means that Reinders is sure of a professional contract until the end of 2024. There were more WorldTour teams in the market for him.
Elmar Reinders goes pro:
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