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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

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Reports and results from Tirreno-Adriatico and the Nokere Koerse, all with video. Wout van Aert thinks he’s good enough for another Sanremo win – TOP STORY. Milan-Sanremo team news, no E3 or Gent-Wevelgem for Peter Sagan, Amstel Gold Race wildcards, Thibaut Pinot back pain, UCI Team Ranking, Vincenzo Nibali at Astana, Bradley Wiggins wants investigation in to the Richard Freeman case, DS Luca Scinto injured and Fabio Jakobsen is getting married. EUROTRASH Thursday!

top story
TOP STORY: Wout van Aert – Good Enough
Wout van Aert is one of the favourites for Milan-San Remo on Saturday. The Jumbo-Visma rider is happy to repeat his victory of last year, but also realises that his biggest rival is stronger than ever. However, it does not cause him any concern. “If I’m good enough, it doesn’t matter which tactic he uses. Then I must always be able to follow Mathieu van der Poel,” Van Aert explained to Het Nieuwsblad. “I think Milan-San Remo suits us both. Both the Cipressa and the Poggio are an effort of between five and ten minutes. We can do both, just like sprinting.”

Van Aert does not yet know what La Primavera will look like on Saturday, but he does not expect a long attack from Van der Poel this time. “I don’t think we should assume that Mathieu will attack at an unexpected moment in every race. In the Strade Bianche we have seen that he can also race defensively. He kept very aloof, until he made the difference on the last gravel strip. Milan-Sanremo is a special race. The course does not lend itself to breaking open the race at fifty kilometres from the finish. At least, it is less obvious.”

2021 Sanremo win for Wout?
sanremo vanaert

 

nokere koerse
Nokere Koerse 2021
Ludovic Robeet won the Nokere Koerse on Wednesday. The 26-year-old Belgian rode away from Damien Gaudin in the last 2 kilometres. Both were part of the early break.

nokere

The pace was very high from the start, which put several riders into trouble. It also took a while before the break of the day formed. Theo Delacroix and Alexander Kamp tried to get away after 22 kilometres, Adam de Vos and Valentin Ferron tried to join them, but after 10 kilometres they were all caught. 47 kilometres were covered in the first hour and an escape still hadn’t formed. The attack attempt of Anthony Julien (AG2R Citroën), Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal), Thibault Ferasse (B&B Hotels), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal-WB) and Ward Vanhoof (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) after 50 kilometres was more successful. Vanhoof’s teammate, Aaron Van Poucke, and Damien Gaudin (Total Direct Energie) made it across. The group was able to build up a lead of around 4 minutes on the run-up to the four local circuits around Nokere. In the peloton, Uno-X set the pace. After the first local lap, the difference to the escape was reduced to 3 minutes. On the second lap, Edward Theuns made a move. On the Lange Ast, at more than 70 kilometres, the Trek-Segafredo rider attacked, but due to the reaction from Uno-X, he didn’t get away. There was a crash in the peloton which involved Owain Doull.

At the start of last two laps the lead was 2 minutes. Jelle Wallays was the next attacker from the peloton. On the cobblestones of the Herlegemstraat, the Belgian took a small lead, but like Theuns, he was quickly caught again. Just before the next passage of the Lange Ast, Groupama-FDJ lifted the pace, but on the cobblestones of Huisepontweg the action really opened in the peloton. A group of eleven men, including Jasper Philipsen, managed to break free and a second group including Mark Cavendish joined them. Despite the first attacks in the peloton, the eight in the early break were still in the lead. At 30 kilometres from the finish, they started the last lap, with a lead of less than a minute. Behind, a regrouping took place, after which Alpecin-Fenix ​​started to chase the leading group. Just after the Herlegemweg, Lukas Pöstlberger tried to force things a bit, but because they looked at each other a lot, the peloton was able to return. Uno-X, Qhubeka Assos and UAE Team Emirates took up the chase.

When other teams also took the lead, the difference to the break quickly decreased. They started the last passage of the Lange Ast with a 30 second lead. Robeet put in a strong attack on the climb with Gaudin hanging on his wheel. It was quickly over for the others of the break. Vanmarcke accelerated on the Lange Ast and managed to take a gap, but he was caught again. Ethan Hayter and Luca Mozzato counter-attacked and picked up Zoccarato. Mark Cavendish’s chances ended on Huisepontweg when he crashed. Teammate Jannik Steimle hit the deck soon after. Two kilometres out, Robeet put in a long hard effort and rode Gaudin off his the wheel. The Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles rider only had to go up the Nokereberg and stay out of the grasp of the peloton. Gaudin also held off the bunch to finished second. Jordi Meeus won the sprint for third place. The final sprint saw Timothy Dupont crash, but fortunately he was able to get up. For Robeet it was the second victory of his career. Two years ago he won a stage in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.

Jasper Philipsen was moved back in the result. The Belgian Alpecin-Fenix rider was penalised for ‘riding an irregular sprint’ and declassed to 33rd place, the last place in the peloton. Philipsen didn’t cross the line in the first ten and he was subsequently downgraded by the jury, because he had used a shoulder push in the last corner.

nokere koerse

Race winner, Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal WB): “Winning is winning, so I’m happy. Normally I always had to work for our sprinter. In the last lap I had a very good feeling, so I had to try. We still had a bit of a head start and I felt good, so I gave it a try and it worked. I was still comfortable on his wheel and knew I could finish on my own. The weather conditions, well (cold wind and rain), so I was very good. To finish alone after such a long escape was special. I had sore legs a little, but that’s normal isn’t it! We had a very good preseason, so there is a good atmosphere in the team. We are doing well, so I am very happy that I have now also won. You always ride in service and never qualify for victory, this is something different for once “

Nokere Koerse Result:
1. Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal WB in 4:33:37
2. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Total Direct Energie at 0:03
3. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:05
4. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Jake Stewart (GB) Groupama-FDJ
7. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka Assos
8. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X
9. Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation.

Nokere Koerse’21:

 

nokere koerse
Nokere Koerse voor Dames 2021
The SD Worx team continues its 2021 winning streak. On Wednesday, Amy Pieters won the Nokere Koerse, holding off her break companions, Grace Brown and Lisa Klein in the sprint.

nokere

The second edition of this Belgian semi-classic for women was held under very unfavourable weather conditions, and so the peloton stayed together for a long time. Karlijn Swinkels tried to escape in the first part of the race, but she never got very far. The race was looking forward to attacks from the top riders in the last laps. The first attack also turned out to be the right one. 40 kilometres from the finish, Brown took off alone, she was soon joined by Klein and Pieters. The peloton broke into two parts behind Klein, Brown and Pieters, the lead fluctuated around 30 seconds.

In the last lap, the chances for the leading trio seemed to dwindle, as the gap was only 12 seconds, but the peloton stopped chasing. Klein, Brown and Pieters lead extended as they headed towards the finish on the Nokereberg. The Nokereberg would eventually make the race decision. In a sprint, Pieters took the race ahead of Brown and Klein. A few seconds later Lotte Kopecky won the sprint from the peloton.

nokere koerse

Race winner, Amy Pieters (SD Worx): “It was a difficult race. The weather was bad and there was a lot of wind. As a team we were very strong, we have actually been riding all races very well so far. If you get the chance to be in the lead, then you just want to finish it and that worked. Danny Stam, our sports director kept saying ‘stay calm, keep calm’ and that helped me a lot. It was also a very difficult finish. You think you are almost there, but then it is still quite far. But It worked.”

2nd, Grace Brown (BikeExchange): “I felt strong today and can really feel my Classics form building now. The first part of the race was a bit hectic, but as riders started to tire I settled into the peloton a bit better. On the final big lap we had planned to start riding aggressively. Other teams seemed to have the same idea and the peloton split with just 25 or so in the front. I took an opportunity when the pace lulled a little to attack on a small cobbled climb. I realised that it was going to be really hard in those conditions to ride solo, so I was please to be joined by Pieters and Klein. I was feeling strong in the break and maybe did a bit more work than the others. I felt determined for the move to stick! The other two wouldn’t come around me in the final lead-in to the line, so I decided I would just go all out from the bottom of the cobbled climb. Unfortunately Amy Pieters has a really strong finishing kick and was able to come around me. It would have been awesome to win, but I’m happy with how I raced and am feeling confident ahead of some of the bigger Belgian cobble classics.”

Nokere Koerse voor Dames Result:
1. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx in 3:13:53
2. Grace Brown (Aus) BikeExchange
3. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM at 0:04
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing at 0:20
5. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM
6. Jolien D’Hoore (Bel) SD Worx
7. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
8. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar
9. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana
10. Christine Majerus (Lux) SD Worx at 0:23.

Nokere Koerse’21:

 

tirreno
Tirreno Adriatico 2021
Mads Würtz Schmidt won Stage 6, the penultimate stage of the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico. After a stage of 169 kilometres, the Dane was the best rider of an early break. The peloton was looking for a bunch sprint, but they stopped chasing 20 kilometres before the finish.

tirreno

It took a while for the leading group of the day to escape. Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Israel Start-Up Nation), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) and Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo), they had a lead of more than 6 minutes. In the peloton, Alpecin-Fenix ​​and UAE Team Emirates took control, with a bit of help from Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Total Direct Energie and EOLO-Kometa in the last 70 kilometres. Simon Carr hit a traffic sign, but was able to continue. Two local laps before the end, more than 20 kilometres to the finish, the difference was just under 3 minutes.

From that moment on, the six leaders could start to dream of stage success, especially when Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert started to slow the chase in the peloton. As a result, Mikel Landa, who had to change bikes, was able to return to the bunch. Stefan Küng counter-attacked, but that turned out to be pointless. DSM and Astana-Premier Tech also tried to start a chase, but the gap was still more than 2 minutes.

On the final lap there was a climb less than 10 kilometres from the finish, Oliveira tried to thin out the leading group. Liepins was the only victim, so Oliveira, Bakelants, Van Moer, Würtz Schmidt and Velasco would decide the stage victory. The five worked well together until the last 2 kilometres. With a lead of 1:30, the front group hit the final kilometre. It came down to a full on sprint without any games, which was won by Mads Würtz Schmidt ahead of Brent Van Moer and Simone Velasco. Jan Bakelants had to settle for fourth. After a minute, Tim Merlier won the bunch sprint for 7th, beating Davide Ballerini and Elia Viviani. Also in the peloton Tadej Pogačar safely crossed the finish line.

tirreno21 st6

Stage winner, Mads Würtz Schmidt( Israel Start-up Nation): “I knew it was possible to arrive in the breakaway when we started the last lap, at around 45 km, and we had a 4-minute advantage over the group. It’s always hard to arrive in a breakaway, but our group was working well together. I felt super strong and in the finale I felt confident that I could beat them in a sprint.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “The breakaway was so strong that we couldn’t catch them and that made for fast racing. I kept focused all day, watching out for possible attacks. In the last climb I realised the peloton was not well enough organised for a sprint finish. For us, it was a quieter day. I’m glad this stage is over for me. I will time trial tomorrow according to my feelings on the bike. I hope to do a good time trial. Almost every stage race this year includes a time trial, so tomorrow will also be good training for the next races. It’s a different course than at the UAE Tour although it’s another flat one. There are a lot of top specialists, some speed bumps on the route as well. I will need to focus a little bit more on the road. All I want as a result tomorrow is to remain in the leader’s jersey.”

Maglia Ciclamino, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Yesterday was a really hard day. I felt tired this morning so we decided to let the bunch choose whether to chase the breakaway down or not. The front group happened to be really strong. At the end of the day, it was better for my team and myself to take it easy. I’ll give it one more go tomorrow. Filippo Ganna is the big favourite. He has won all the TTs he’s done over the last year. It will be hard to beat him, especially after a hard week of racing every day but I’m looking forward to racing against the clock.”

3rd overall, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious): “We had a small problem 20 kilometres before the finish, but fortunately we survived, and we all together came back to the group. I am satisfied. I am confident for the time trial. This year I think I ride a little bit better with the time trial bike, so I hope to defend my position.”

3rd on the stage, Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo): “Well, it was not bad. I felt good today and was told to try to break away. My legs were in a proper condition and we did a good job to come to the finish ahead of the peloton. I tried my best to win, but it didn’t work out. Thanks to my teammates and the whole team Gazprom-RusVelo, we will keep fighting and trying to claim victories!”

4th on the stage, Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It’s a pity that there’s only one winner at the end of the day, because all of us worked hard for it and did their part of the job. Attacking on the last climb was not a good plan, because there was a head wind in the final 3 kilometre. In case of a sprint, we were evenly matched on paper. It was a strange finish with a chicane 300 meter before the line. I went through the corner in third position and came next to Mads Würtz Schmid, but in the end I just wasn’t fast enough. I motivated my breakaway companions to ignore the pace of the peloton and race full all day. From this morning before the start, I believed it was our only chance. I guess my breakaway companions are happy now about how I managed the breakaway. We definitely didn’t receive a present and I dare to say that there were probably many riders suffering in the peloton as well. After a hard day in front of the race, we were all tired for the final. I think I managed it well, although, still now I’m not convinced which tactics would have been best in the sprint. Of course I was hoping to get more out of this opportunity, but most of all I’m happy that I’ll conclude this Tirreno-Adriatico with a nice performance. On the first day, I was disappointed to miss the mountains jersey, and in the stage towards Prati di Tivo I didn’t succeed a second chance as I missed the breakaway. The parcours of the second stage suited me well, but I felt really bad. But thanks to a good mindset this morning, I managed to create the positive vibes before concluding the race tomorrow!”

Tirreno Adriatico Stage 6 Result:
1. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Israel Start-up Nation in 3:42:09
2. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
4. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar
6. Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:25
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:09
8. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
10. Max Kanter (Ger) DSM.

Tirreno Adriatico Overall After Stage 6:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 26:24:59
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 1:15
3. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 3:00
4. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 3:30
5. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 3:54
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 4:30
7. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:42
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 5:03
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 5:54
10. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 6:58.

Stage 6:

 

Wout van Aert impressively won the Final Stage 7 time trial of the Tirreno-Adriatico. The Jumbo-Visma rider was fastest over the 10.1 kilometres in San Benedetto del Tronto, beating Stefan Küng and World champion Filippo Ganna. Tadej Pogačar finished 4th to take the final overall classification.

tirreno

The first target time was set by Michael Hepburn. The BikeExchange rider came in with a time of 11:33, slightly faster than Sebastian Langeveld and Edoardo Affini. Alberto Bettiol set a new fastest time with 11:24, followed by European champion, Stefan Küng, twelve seconds faster with 11:12. With Küng in the hot seat, it was the turn of the World champion and the top favourite for the stage victory, Filippo Ganna. The Italian was four seconds slower than Küng at the intermediate point. The wearer of the rainbow jersey finished with a time of 11:17, five seconds down. This was Ganna’s first time trial loss since January 2020.

Benjamin Thomas, Küng’s Groupama-FDJ teammate recorded a time of 11:22 for third place at that time. Mathieu van der Poel didn’t try too hard for a time of 12:08. João Almeida, seventh overall, was 5 seconds behind Küng at the intermediate point and 18 seconds behind at the finish. Moreover, Almeida beat Tim Wellens to pass him on the GC. Wout van Aert started the time trial 1:15 behind Pogačar on the overall, so would only be going for the stage win. Van Aert started very strongly, he was 1 second faster than Stefan Küng at the intermediate point and managed to go faster in the second part of the test. He crossed the line with a time of 11:06, six seconds faster than the European champion, to win his second stage of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico. Tadej Pogačar also rode a strong time trial, finishing in 11:18 to secure his overall victory, following his win in the UAE Tour.

tirreno

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very happy with this victory and with my second place in the general classification. This was the ideal scenario for today. We rode around yesterday with this day in mind already. It’s great to end the week like this. I am getting better and better at this discipline every year. Last winter we did a lot to improve our time trial. It gives a lot of confidence that I can win in the first time trial of the year. The field was very strong. Almost all top time trialists were at the start here. I felt very good this week in the Tirreno. This was the first time I went for the GC in a stage race. I am only beaten by the winner of the Tour de France. So I can say it is not a bad start of this experiment. We will try this more often in the future. For now the classics are the main goal. I am looking forward to competing for wins in the various monuments. I know from last year that I recover pretty well after a tough race. That gives me confidence going into Milan-San Remo this Saturday. I will try to defend my title, but I am not the only favourite.”

4th on the stage and final overall winner, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I started the season with high hopes at the UAE tour, which was my first goal. I was in good shape then, and I am in good shape now here too. I did feel some pressure to win, but it’s only the pressure I put on myself.”

3rd overall, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious): “In the past, I have missed out on the final podium at the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia because of the final time trial so I’m very happy to retain my third place today. Before the race, we looked at the start list and there were ten to twenty top riders for the GC so the top three is a good achievement and an encouraging sign for the coming races.”

5th overall, Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a hard ITT, I put in a strong effort and gave it my all. I’m happy with my result and performance in this Tirreno-Adriatico and special thanks go to the entire squad for their amazing job in all stages.”

Most aggressive rider, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “With two stage wins I’m super happy with my week of racing and I’m ready for Milano-Sanremo. The last two days have been enough to recover from my victory on Stage 5 where I pushed my limits. It will be a completely different race on Saturday.”

Tirreno Adriatico Stage 7 Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 11:06
2. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:06
3. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:11
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:12
5. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:16
6. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo at 0:18
7. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:24
8. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:26
9. Michael Hepburn (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:27
10. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ at 0:28.

Tirreno Adriatico Final Overall Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 26:36:17
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 1:03
3. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 3:57
4. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:13
5. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 4:37
6. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:54
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 5:00
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 5:50
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 6:30
10. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 7:45.

Stage 7:

 

sanremo
Milan-San Remo finishes on Via Roma
The finish of Milan-San Remo is next Saturday and will be on the Via Roma, race organiser RCS confirmed to Het Nieuwsblad. Earlier this week, there was still some uncertainty about the finish line of La Primavera.

In addition to RCS, the mayor of San Remo also wanted the finish on the Via Roma, in the centre. On behalf of the municipal council, he managed to convince a few shop owners in the centre of town to temporarily close the shops from 2.30pm. The stores must be closed to prevent crowds from gathering.

Last week there was still some doubt about an arrival on Via Roma. Local media reported that the local prefecture advocated a move to Corso Cavalotti, just outside the centre, because of the corona measures in force. Milan-San Remo finished regularly at that location in the 1990s, but in 2021, due to lack of space, that location is not suitable for the finish of a Classic.

You can read the ‘PEZ MILAN-SANREMO Preview’ HERE.

Via Roma in Sanremo:
sanremo 2020 finish

 

jumbo-visma
Jumbo-Visma Team Around Van Aert for Milan-San Remo
Jumbo-Visma has presented their team to back Wout van Aert to his second victory in Milan-San Remo. The Belgian leader and top favourite will be accompanied by a strong team in “La Primavera”. With Paul Martens, Jos van Emden and Christoph Pfingsten, Van Aert also gets three experienced fast riders. The Italian time trialist Edoardo Affini, who already played a helping role in Tirreno-Adriatico, is also part of the selection of Jumbo-Visma.

Last year, when Van Aert won the sprint against Alaphilippe in San Remo, he received help from Amund Grøndahl Jansen, who has now left, well into the final. Even then he received support from Roosen and Martens.

Jumbo-Visma for Milan-San Remo 2021 (March 20):
Wout van Aert (Bel)
Edoardo Affini (Ita)
Jos van Emden (Ned)
Paul Martens (Ger)
Sam Oomen (Ned)
Christoph Pfingsten (Ger)
Timo Roosen (Ned).

Another Sanremo win for Wout:
sanremo 2020

 

deceuninck
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Milano-Sanremo
Julian Alaphilippe and Sam Bennett headline our squad for the first Monument of the season.

“La Classicissima” schedules its 112th episode this Saturday, one that will have a slightly altered route, with Colle di Giovo set to replace Passo del Turchino, blocked by a landslide. The rest of the route will remain unchanged, which means the peloton will then take on the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta – these three small climbs serving as an appetiser before the Cipressa and Poggio, where the attacks are expected to come in waves. From the top of the Poggio, only six kilometres remain until the finish on the iconic Via Roma, where the winner will be crowned.

Lots of things can be said about Milano-Sanremo, including that Julian Alaphilippe has a special relationship with it. It was here, in 2017, that he took his first Monument podium after the small group he was part of managed to hold off the charging peloton. Two years later, it was another first for the Frenchman on the Via Roma, as he out-sprinted a select field for an unforgettable maiden Monument victory. Then, in a complicated 2020, a season hampered by the pandemic and with just a few days of racing in his legs, he was again on the podium after another blistering attack on the Poggio.

“I love Milano-Sanremo, it’s such a great race and I’m happy to be heading there again. Doing it in the rainbow jersey this year makes it even more special and exciting. My season so far was good, the condition has been improving since my first race of the year and also the confidence is there. We have a strong and very motivated team and we hope to be there when it will matter,” said Julian Alaphilippe ahead of his 14th Monument start.

The UCI World Champion – already victorious this season at Tirreno-Adriatico – will make on Saturday his fifth consecutive appearance at the longest one-day race of the calendar, where he will be joined by another rider who tasted success since the start of the year, Sam Bennett. The man from Carrick-on-Suir has four victories to his name in the last month, all in World Tour races, and will be looking to be in the mix in case the race comes down to a bunch sprint.

Danish Champion Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini – the first Italian in eight years to triumph at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – Tim Declercq, Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar will also be on Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s team for the first Monument of the year.

“In the past couple of years, we have always featured in the finale at Sanremo. We won’t hide the fact that we would like to do it again this Saturday, but at the same time we know that we are not the favourites for this edition. On the other hand, the riders are really keen on doing their best in this first Monument of the season and we’ll just see what happens,” explained sports director Davide Bramati.

20.03 Milano-Sanremo (ITA) 1.UWT
Riders:

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Davide Ballerini (ITA)
Sam Bennett (IRL)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Yves Lampaert (BEL)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA) and Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

sanremo

 

dsm
Milano-Sanremo – MAR 20
Luke Roberts
– Team DSM coach “This Saturday’s Milano-Sanremo will return to a more traditional parcours. The Passo del Turchino will be replaced by the Colle del Giovo, and from there on it will be the familiar course along the coastline. With sunshine and tail winds forecast for the weekend, this year’s race may not be one of the hardest editions but we expect it to make an all the more intense final with the conditions. Our aim for the race will be to force a difficult finale and put Søren into position for a top result, while Romain also offers us a card to play when we reach the final climbs; with the rest of the team riding strongly in support throughout the day.”

DSM Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Nico Denz (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER)
Martijn Tusveld (NED).

Romain Bardet

 

bike exchange
Team BikeExchange Look to Matthews to Deliver their Second Milan – San Remo Victory on Saturday
Third place finisher in 2015, Michael Matthews will lead Team BikeExchange this weekend as they hunt for a second victory in the iconic cycling monument, Milan – San Remo, on Saturday 20th March.

After a strong showing last week in Paris-Nice, his first race of the 2021 season, the 30-year-old Australian has displayed good early season form and will have an impressive Team BikeExchange roster built around him, fully committed to the plan.

For 2021, the 112th edition of the Italian Classic, the riders will complete 299km and see some minor changes to the traditional parcours, with the Turchino replaced by the Colle di Giovo. The climbs are similar; long and rising at shallow gradients and therefore shouldn’t change the dynamic of the race too much. The riders then descend towards the Riviera, re-joining the traditional coastal route in Savona with 112km left to race.

Team BikeExchange at Milan – San Remo:
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Robert Stannard (AUS)

Michael Matthews – 3rd in 2015: “I will arrive at Milan-San Remo after a strong week at Paris-Nice. We had great work from all the team, and it was really good for me, both physically and also mentally to be back with my GreenEDGE teammates. Going to my next challenge of Milan – San Remo, I feel even more motivated to do well and our target is to fight to arrive until the last few meters at the front and play our best chances for victory. It will only be my second race of the 2021 season, but I feel good, and we will give our best shot at this unique and special race.”

Matthew White – Head Sport Director: “It’s a race that we have had success at in the past. We won in our first year as a team in 2012 with Simon Gerrans and then we had a podium finish with Michael Matthews in 2015. One of the reasons why Michael Matthews came back to this team was to target the Monuments and Milan-San Remo is the first one of the year. I believe it’s a race that Michael can win, and I think going into the race, he showed us that he has good form in Paris-Nice and we are certainly aiming to win “SanRemo” on Saturday. We have a really strong and dedicated team to look after Michael. I believe that the new route with the Colle di Giovo instead of the Turchino won’t change the race too much and Milan-Sanremo will remain a very predictable race, especially with the type of riders that are winning at the moment at Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice. I think it’s going to all come down to the Poggio.”

Michael Matthews:
matthews

 

qhubeka
Nizzolo to Lead Team Qhubeka ASSOS at Milan-Sanremo
The reigning European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo will spearhead Team Qhubeka ASSOS’ hopes at Milan-Sanremo on Saturday.

For Africa’s WorldTour team this race is particularly poignant with Gerald Ciolek’s 2013 victory, in epic conditions, catapulting the team onto the global stage.

Nizzolo finished an excellent fifth at La Classicissima (sic) in 2020 and will be hoping for a repeat of a similar level of performance this Saturday, on a day of racing that will cover 299km.

A big thank you to Janice Mueller and her son Luke for announcing our Milan Sanremo lineup, with their unique video.

Milan-Sanremo lineup [squad numbers]:
Giacomo Nizzolo [33]
Victor Campenaerts [55]
Simon Clarke [09]
Michael Gogl [07]
Bert-Jan Lindeman [02]
Emil Vinjebo [34]
Lukasz Wisniowski [99]

Giacomo Nizzolo: “Preparation for Sanremo this year has been good but it hasn’t been perfect because I had a few issues a month ago so that for sure could have made things a bit better. Besides that I feel like I’m improving, getting better and I feel a step higher than two weeks ago, so I’m confident. Last year’s race was special because of being in August but also for me personally it was the first time I started in Milan with good, actually perfect, condition. In some of the previous years I’d always had some problems but last year I can say that I was well set for Sanremo and I felt very good in that period. It was also nice for myself that I proved that I could be there playing for a good result, when I’m in shape. The goal or dream is of course always to win. Realistically if the race takes a good turn for the sprinters then I believe that I can be there to play for a good result, and in a sprint you never know what can happen. But the first thing is to feel good all day long and be there when the race is decided, and hopefully I can sprint in the front group. I’m super-proud to wear the European and Italian champion jersey. For me it’s an extra motivation of course and I also feel an additional responsibility. It gives me a “nice” pressure to perform to my absolute maximum. So I think it’s going to be an incredible feeling to start Milan-Sanremo in this jersey.”

Giacomo Nizzolo:

 

bahrain
Team Bahrain Victorious to the First Monument of the Year: Milano-Sanremo
Spring is coming and the Classicissima too. After the unprecedented last year’s summer edition with a revolutionized course, the Milano-Sanremo returns to its traditions. The 112th edition of the longest one-day race on the WorldTour calendar (299 km) is scheduled for Saturday March 20th. Except for the ascent Colle di Giovo, replacing the Turchino Pass closed due to a landslide, it will maintain its iconic soul, with the fantastic route running alongside the Ligurian coast. The peloton will face a sequence of climbs, including the three Capi (Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta), before the most awaited ascents, the Cipressa and the Poggio, where the race is heating up, until the finish in Via Roma.

The race is one of the most loved by our team, as we have sweet memories of the victory in 2018. Team Bahrain Victorious line-up will include riders that have a special relationship with this race: Heinrich Haussler 2nd in 2009, Sonny Colbrelli who will make his 8th participation and took three top ten results so far, and Matej Mohorič, who was 5th in 2019 and 10th last year: “I am very motivated for Saturday. I will try and make the most out of any opportunities that present in the final and possibly improve my 5th place result from 2019. We also have my teammate Sonny in case it comes back together after Poggio and we will work together in case we are both there for the final sprint.”

The experienced Damiano Caruso, Yukiya Arashiro, Fred Wright and Jan Tratnik – the last two both at their first appearance at this Monument race – round up our 7-man line-up to Milano-Sanremo.

Alberto Volpi, Team Bahrain Victorious Sports Director, shares his thoughts about this race, that he knows very well, having raced it and then managing the strategies on the team car: “Milano-Sanremo is apparently the easiest Monument, but at the same time the most uncertain one. For sure the one with the most thrilling finale. The Poggio and its descent until the final meters in Via Roma is the most adrenaline-filled part in cycling classics. We aim to be there in the mix with our two key riders. We have two players with experience, both in case of a late attack of a reduced group, as Matej Mohorič, or a bunch sprint with Sonny Colbrelli. We have a solid group to support them. Although we are maybe not named among the favourites for this edition and we are competing with some of the strongest riders in the world, we are highly motivated and we will try to have legs, head and bravery to be protagonist. It will be fundamental to save the energies and arrive in the final the freshest as possible, after such a long race.”

Team Bahrain Victorious line-up for Milano-Sanremo:
Yukiya Arashiro, Damiano Caruso, Sonny Colbrelli, Heinrich Haussler, Matej Mohorič, Jan Tratnik, Fred Wright.

bahrain

 

ag2r cirtoen
Milano-Sanremo (March 20th)
The AG2R Citroën team has enjoyed being on the second step of the podium for this first monument of the season twice: once with Alberto Elli in 1997 and once with Oliver Naesen 2019.

Andrea Vendrame: “For an Italian cyclist, Milano-Sanremo is always an important event. For me, it’s the race with the biggest history. Now following in the stride of Tirreno-Adriatico, where I felt that my fitness was really coming good (4th in the first stage), I look forward to being at the start of my second Milano-Sanremo in the space of seven months. We feel that the season is really launching now! Last year (11th), we were racing in full summer conditions and the heat was an important factor. This time we will have more “classic” conditions. We will start with a strong team, and we can accomplish great things.”

ag2r

 

astana 2021
Aranburu and Felline to lead Astana – Premier Tech at the first Monument of the season
Astana – Premier Tech will line up at Milano – Sanremo with a group of motivated and experienced riders, where Basque rider Alex Aranburu and Italian Fabio Felline will spearhead the team for the first Monument of the season.

La Classicissima, also known as La Primavera, is the first of five Monuments on the cycling calendar. With a distance from 298km it is also the longest professional one-day race in cycling.

After sprinting to an impressive seventh place in his debut participation in 2020, Aranburu is relishing a leadership opportunity.

“I am looking forward to racing again at Milano – Sanremo. I have good memories from this race as I took seventh place last year. It’s an absolutely incredible race, a Monument, and it has a huge history. But it is also a nervous race. You need to concentrate the whole day, all 298km you need to be focused. I am proud and it’s an honour to lead the team, so I will try to give my best on Saturday. So far, I feel really good and had a good start to the season at the Opening Weekend in Belgium and also Tirreno – Adriatico went well. We have a good group of riders there and I hope luck will be on our side this weekend. Finishing it off with another top ten result would be amazing for me,” said Alex Aranburu.

Fabio Felline is looking to capitalise on his strong form after finish in fourth place in tough conditions on stage five of Tirreno – Adriatico.

“Milano – Sanremo is one of my favourite races, especially as an Italian rider, and the first Monument of the season is something special. I am coming from Tirreno – Adriatico with some good results and a good feeling. But I am aware that there are so many good riders who are lining up there, so I am realistic and hope to do my best possible race. I will be more than happy if I arrive at the final part, at the Cipressa and Poggio, in the first group with good legs and the power to try and do something then. If the team gives me the go ahead, then of course I will give my best,” said Fabio Felline.

Although originally scheduled to race Milano – Sanremo, Alexey Lutsenko will not be at the start line in order to prioritise his recovery after crashing on the final day of Paris – Nice. Lutsenko was fortunate to not sustain any fractures however with the Belgian Classics in mind, he will forgo Milano – Sanremo to ensure he can recover completely.

“It is the first Monument of the cycling season so, of course, it is something special. It is a pity that Lutsenko cannot be on the start line, but he will come back stronger. With Alex we have a strong motivated leader with us, who showed already in Belgium and most recently in Tirreno – Adriatico that his form is already there. He finished last year in seventh place and the team will support him to aim for another top result in his palmarès on Saturday. We also saw a really strong Fabio Felline in Tirreno – Adriatico so he will give us another card to play. La Primavera is not an easy race, 298km long with some tricky points, so the riders need to be together and concentrate the whole race. As usual, it will all come down to the Cipressa and the Poggio, where a final move will make the difference of winning or losing.” said Sports Director Stefano Zanini.

Rider roster:
Alex Aranburu (ESP), Manuele Boaro (ITA), Fabio Felline (ITA), Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ), Gorka Izagirre (ESP), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Matteo Sobrero (ITA).
Sports Directors: Giuseppe Martinelli (ITA) and Stefano Zanini (ITA).

astana sanremo

 

cofidis
Cofidis Counting on Viviani and Laporte in Milan-San Remo
Cofidis has announced their selection for Milan-San Remo. The French team is counting on fast-finishers Elia Viviani and Christophe Laporte on Saturday. Climber Guillaume Martin is also part of the selection.

Should the 112th edition of Milan-San Remo end in a sprint, then Cofidis has two potential finishers with Viviani and Laporte. Viviani has to hope for a closed race, while Laporte usually comes to the surface after a selective race. The 28-year-old Laporte finished runner-up twice in Paris-Nice. In the sixth stage to Biot he had to let Primož Roglič win after a power sprint uphill and in the final stage he lost out to Magnus Cort. Laporte was successful in the Ètoil du Bessèges earlier this year.

Viviani managed to sprint to several places in the UAE Tour, but in Tirreno-Adriatico was no better than 9th place in the penultimate stage, arriving in Lido di Fermo. The team also has Martin, Anthony Perez, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Fabio Sabatini and Kenneth Vanbilsen.

Cofidis for Milan-San Remo (20 March):
Christophe Laporte (Fra)
Guillaume Martin (Fra)
Anthony Perez (Fra)
Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra)
Fabio Sabatini (Ita)
Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel)
Elia Viviani (Ita).

Viviani – On the way back?
bennett

 

uae
UAE Team Emirates Line-Up for Milan-Sanremo
After a successful start to their Italian racing campaign last week in the Tirreno-Adriatico, the team will head into Milan-San Remo (WT) on Saturday (20/03) with several options. It will be the 112th edition of the Milan–San Remo one-day cycling classic in Northern Italy.

The longest Monument of the year (299km), the race is characterized by its tortuous length, thrilling conclusion and delicate balancing act between sprinters and attackers.

The 7-man squad will be led by team Manager Matxin Fernandez (Spa) and Sports Directors Marco Marzano (Ita) and Manuele Mori (Ita).

-Davide Formolo (Ita)
-Max Richeze (Arg)
-Fernando Gaviria (Col)
-Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
-Matteo Trentin (Ita)
-Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor)
-Alessandro Covi (Ita)

Alexander Kristoff: “It will be a hard race for sure. Like always you’ll have riders who will attack on the Cipressa and the Poggio and then the rest of us who want to arrive in a sprint. For us, we have options for both scenarios so we will see how the race develops and play our cards on the day.”

uae

 

bora
Peter Sagan to Ride Catalonia Not E3 Classic and Gent-Wevelgem
Peter Sagan will start in the Volta a Catalunya next week, the organisers of the Spanish stage race announced via social media. Due to his participation in Catalonia, the BORA-hansgrohe leader will miss the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, the E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem.

Sagan started his season in Tirreno-Adriatico, after he was infected with the corona virus earlier this year and had to stop training. This weekend, Sagan may be at the start of Milan-San Remo, a race that he has never won. He did manage to finish second twice. He was on the provisional start lists of the E3 Saxo Bank Classic (March 26) and Gent-Wevelgem (March 28), but those races coincide with the Tour of Catalonia (March 22-28). For the triple World champion, it will be his first participation in the seven-day Volta a Catalunya, as he has always preferred the Flemish classics in the run-up to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Peter Sagan has given an explanation for his choice for the Volta a Catalunya. “I haven’t raced for fourteen days because of my corona infection, so I just miss the miles in my legs,” said Sagan.

The Slovak made his first race kilometres in Tirreno-Adriatico, but he was fairly invisible. He is therefore tempering his ambitions for Milan-San Remo. “I have not yet won that race, even when I was in top form. But anything can happen, that’s the beauty of Milan-San Remo. Only I will clearly not be the favourite,” Sagan told Bici.news.

Sagan witnessed a battle between Tadej Pogačar, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert in Tirreno-Adriatico. “Pogačar is very strong and I have to be honest that Van der Poel also impresses me. He is not someone who talks a lot in the peloton, but I have a better relationship with him than with Van Aert,” said Sagan, who had to struggle with the Belgian in the bunch sprint to Poitiers in the last Tour. “And then there is Remco Evenepoel. He is the one who most resembles me in character. He talks just as much as I do,” Sagan compares himself to the talent of Deceuninck – Quick-Step. “I will return in the Flemish spring, after I missed those races last year. However, I have chosen to ride the Volta a Catalunya, which means that I will not be in the E3 Classic and Gent-Wevelgem. But in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix I hope to be in better shape than now,” he explained.

Sagan is also already thinking about the Grand Tours. “If I don’t have any health problems or if something happens to the corona crisis, then the Giro d’Italia is my first goal. Last year I booked my only victory in the season, so I can’t forget that,” he says. “So I will return to the Giro and then I will also go to the Tour, although there are still a few question marks about that.”

Because the Olympic Games are also on the program of the three-time World champion. “What is certain is that I want to go to Tokyo, because I have not raced the national championship in two years and I think Slovakia deserves to represent them. We still have to decide whether I will finish the Tour and then fly to Japan, or whether I will go that way sooner,” said Sagan.

No Wevelgem for Sagan:
wevelgem

 


Amstel Gold Race Wildcards
The Amstel Gold Race has issued six wildcards for April 18, 2021. Alpecin-Fenix won the last edition in 2019 with Mathieu van der Poel, is automatically invited as the winner of the Europe Tour 2020. Arkéa-Samsic was already assured of a wild card. The other wildcards went to the Belgian teams Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Bingoal-WB, the Russian Gazprom-RusVelo and Uno-X. The Norwegian team has impressed in several Belgian one-day races in recent weeks, including a podium place in Le Samyn.

In addition to these six ProTeams, all nineteen WorldTour teams have to participate in the Amstel Gold Race. The WorldTour Classic announced last week that it run despite the corona measures. In 2019, the wildcards of the Dutch Classic went to Corendon-Circus, Roompot-Charles, Bardiani-CSF, Israel Cycling Academy, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Vital Concept-B&B Hotels and Wanty-Gobert. Last year the Amstel Gold Race was canceled.

Wildcards Amstel Gold Race 2021:
Alpecin-Fenix (Bel)
Arkéa-Samsic (Fra)
Bingoal-WB (Bel)
Gazprom-RusVelo (Rus)
Sport Flanders-Baloise (Bel)
Uno-X (Nor).

Can Van der Poel repeat?
amstel19

 

groupama
Thibaut Pinot Still has Back Pain
Thibaut Pinot is still struggling with his back in Tirreno-Adriatico. The Groupama-FDJ rider has not been able to follow the best riders in Italy and will have more medical tests after the Italian stage race. “We hope to solve the problem after,” DS Sébastien Joly told L’Équipe. “We are going to take stock after follow-up research. We want to delve even deeper into certain matters.” Pinot has been struggling with back problems since the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2020.

The 30-year-old climber started the new season with fresh courage after a long rest period, but in the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var he suffered again with his back. Pinot hoped to gain some rhythm and confidence in his recovery in Tirreno-Adriatico, but this seems to be working for the Frenchman. The question now is what Pinot’s preparation will look like for the Giro d’Italia. The first Grand Tour of the season starts in less than two months and is a main goal for the Groupama-FDJ leader. “It is currently too early to plan his competition schedule. We don’t know now whether he has to drive a lot or a little,” said Joly.

Pinot has been struggling with his back for a while, but Joly still sees a combative leader. “Thibaut still sees it, even if it is not an easy situation. He is cheerful and fits perfectly within the group. He is certainly not taken aback yet, otherwise it would be very complicated. The form is good, but his lower back still has some problems.”

Pinot still suffering:
tour20 pinot

 

uci
UCI Team Ranking
On Tuesday, March 16, the UCI released an update to the 2021 Team Ranking. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is still well in the lead with more than 2,500 points. Astana-Premier Tech, BORA-hansgrohe and Jumbo-Visma are new in the top 10 due to their performance in Paris-Nice.

Astana-Premier Tech is the biggest climber. Aleksandr Vlasov and Ion Izagirre finished second and third in Paris-Nice and the Kazakhstan team climbed from sixteenth to sixth place. BORA-hansgrohe is seventh after Maximilian Schachmann’s overall victory. Jumbo-Visma did lose an almost certain overall victory, but they did win three stages. Partly because of this, the Dutch team is now ninth with 1,051 points. All nineteen WorldTour teams are currently in the top 23. Alpecin-Fenix ​​(tenth), Arkéa-Samsic (seventeenth), Terengganu (nineteenth) and Total Direct Energie (twentieth) are the only non-WT teams left in between.

Alpecin-Fenix ​​is ​​still the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. Mathieu van der Poel earned 145 points for his team due to his stage victories in Tirreno-Adriatico and his second place on the second stage. The difference with the second ProTeam, Arkéa-Samsic, is more than 300 points.

UCI Team Ranking * (March 16, 2021):
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 2,501 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 1,586 points
3. Trek-Segafredo – 1,464 points
4. UAE Team Emirates – 1,304 points
5. AG2R Citroën – 1,224 points
6. Astana-Premier Tech – 1,197 points
7. BORA-hansgrohe – 1,186 points
8. Bahrain Victorious – 1,139 points
9. Jumbo-Visma – 1,051 points
10. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 927 points
11. Groupama-FDJ – 911 points
12. Israel Start-Up Nation – 901 points
13. BikeExchange – 738 points
14. Qhubeka Assos – 731 points
15. EF Education-Nippo – 622 points
16. Lotto Soudal – 608 points
17. Arkéa-Samsic – 603 points
18. Cofidis – 542 points
19. Terengganu – 423 points
20. Total Direct Energy – 409 points
21. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 404 points
22. Team DSM – 390 points
23. Movistar – 373 points,

Best five ProTeams on UCI Team Ranking * (on March 16, 2021):
10. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 927 points
17. Arkéa-Samsic – 603 points
20. Total Direct Energy – 409 points
25. Bingoal-WB – 322 points
26. Delko – 253 points.

* Does not include points for the individual time trial and the final classification in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step still top of the UCI ranking:
alaphilippe

 

astana 2021
Martinelli Wants Vincenzo Nibali at Astana
Giuseppe Martinelli has always loved Vincenzo Nibali. In La Gazzetta dello Sport, the general manager of Astana-Premier Tech makes an appeal to the Italian to end his career with the Kazakh team.

Nibali achieved his greatest success at Astana. He won the Giro d’Italia in 2013 and 2016 and the Tour de France in 2014. Next year he will end his contract with Trek-Segafredo. “If I still get the chance to sign him, I will not fail to do so,” said Martinelli. “I would therefore also like him to end his career with me. I still love him. In the four years that he raced at Astana, we’ve never had a disagreement. He came when he was already a champion, but we still had common ground.”

The Sicilian has indicated that he wants to continue for another year after 2021. “He will not come to win the Giro d’Italia,” said the Italian. “But to end his career with pleasure.”

Giuseppe Martinelli:
Giuseppe Martinelli

 

sky
Wiggins: “There should be another investigation”
Bradley Wiggins seeks clarification on the Richard Freeman case. Freeman, the former Team Sky and British Cycling team doctor, was recently found guilty of ordering doping (testosterone) for the purpose of treating riders. “Something else is going on and someone knows something,” said Wiggins.

The MTSP (Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service) ruled that Freeman ordered thirty sachets of Testogel in 2011, “knowing or believing that it would be administered to an athlete to improve athletic performance. The motive for your action was to cover things up,” the judge concluded last Friday. A shocked Freeman once again emphasised that he was not a doping doctor and INEOS Grenadiers (previously Team Sky) issued a statement after the ruling. “The team does not believe that any of our riders have ever used testosterone patches or any other banned substance. So far there has been no evidence that this has ever happened.”

Wiggins is also part of the story of his former employer, he said in his recurring podcast for Eurosport. “I don’t know anyone with common sense who would use that as doping during that period, given the many doping tests at that time. For example, I was tested 56 times. The product could also serve a staff member, a female athlete or someone from another sport.” The ex-Team Sky rider is in the dark, but according to the Tour winner of 2012, everything has to be sorted out to the bottom. “There is something more going on here and someone knows about it. Freeman has now been found guilty, with the addition that it was “maybe” for a rider. I don’t know what’s going on, but this urgently needs further investigation.”

Freeman, who previously pleaded guilty to 18 of the 22 charges, faces a four-year suspension and the loss of his medical license. There are also two charges from the British anti-doping agency UKAD. The hearing continues.

Wiggings wants it all investigated in a jiffy:
wiggins

 

zabu ktm
DS Luca Scinto Injured in Collision with Car
Luca Scinto, sports director at Vini Zabù, was injured on Tuesday while on a bike ride through the Tuscan San Baronto. The Italian couldn’t avoid a car that had come to a stop right in front of him. After the accident, he was taken to hospital, where his injuries to the knee and his mouth were stitched.

“I was cycling and putting on a jacket in San Baronto when a car passed me. The car then stopped in the middle of the road because the driver wanted to talk to a friend,” Scinto told TuttoBICI. “I had my head down to fasten my zipper and couldn’t avoid a collision. Thanks to my helmet, it all turned out better in the end. If I hadn’t had that, it could have ended much worse.”

Luca Scinto:
coffee

 

deceuninck
Fabio Jakobsen Getting Married
Fabio Jakobsen is getting married to his girlfriend Delore. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider announced on his social media. Jakobsen and his girlfriend have been together for several years. In Spain, where the Dutchman is preparing for his return to the peloton, he proposed to her. After a new jaw operation in February, the Dutchman announced in March that he “saw light at the end of the tunnel.”

Fabio and Delore:
Fabio Jakobsen

 

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