EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
The Sky team dominated the finalè of Tour stage 11 to put Geraint Thomas in yellow after the stage win and defending champion, Chris Froome to move into 2nd overall. All the reports, results and video from ‘La Grand Bouclé’ and La Course by le Tour. Time out for Mark Cavendish – Top Story. Lots of other cycling news: CCC save BMC, Tour of Britain teams, Tour de Pologne, Lake Garda Classic, signings for LottoNL-Jumbo and Sunweb, Tour of Utah party and Richie Porte talks about his crash.
TOP STORY: Time to Hang up the Wheels for Cav?
Mark Cavendish finished Tuesday’s Tour de France stage 10 to Le Grand Bornand in 159th place in a group of ten at 34:02 along with two of his Dimension Data team mates, Julien Vermote and Mark Renshaw, they made the time cut by 33 seconds. Then on stage 11 he missed the time cut and will not start stage 12. The man from the Isle of Man has not had a great 2018 Tour, with 8th place on stage 8 and 10th on stage 7. These stages, along with stage 1, were days that he would have won in the past.
‘Cav’ has had a terrific career; World champion, points competition winner, thirty Tour de France stages, forty-eight Grand Tour stage wins and a list of wins on the road and track. But the last time he crossed the finish line first was stage 3 of the Dubai Tour earlier this year and in 2017 there was the points classification and a stage in the Abu Dhabi Tour.
When he took his 10th place on stage 7, Cavendish was well placed on the wheels of Peter Sagan and Fernando Gaviria, but sat up and looked around giving up any chance of even finishing in the top 5. Maybe he has softened or doesn’t need the money or to add to his palmarès. Maybe the fire has gone?
Or is it just one season too many?
I’m sure the sales of Beats wireless headphones have gone up in the last week:
Tour de France 2018
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) claimed his first ever Tour de France stage win after he took his first classic earlier this year with the Flèche Wallonne. Stage 10 was the first mountain stage of the 2018 Tour and a change in the overall was expected, but Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) retained the yellow jersey as he escaped with the break and held on to finish 4th and extend his lead to 2:22 on Geraint Thomas (Sky and 3:10 on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
A large group of riders jumped off the front of the main bunch with race leader Van Avermaet, who started the day with a 43-second lead, going on the offensive by reacting quickly and bridging across to the front of the race. The 21-rider strong breakaway began to split approaching the summit of the 11.3km long Col de la Croix Fry, which had an average gradient of 7%, and on the descent a select group of eight riders, including the yellow jersey, was drawn out at the front of the race.
On the early slopes of the brutal hors catégorie Montée du Plateau des Glières, a 6km climb with an average gradient of 11.6% and 1.8km of dirt roads at the top, the leaders were around 30 seconds in front of the chasers from the earlier move while the rest of the field sat more than four minutes back. Nearing the summit of the climb, the Van Avermaet-led front group started to swell once again and, despite an attack on the white gravel roads, which came with less than 90km to go, the 18 leaders remained together and were even able to push their advantage out to over seven minutes on the descent.
On the flatter run into the final two category one climbs, the Col de Romme and the Col de la Columbière the peloton started to slowly eat into the advantage of Van Avermaet and his fellow race leaders. Going onto Colombière, Alaphilippe had a lead of over a minute on his closest chaser and kept extending the advantage on the 7.5km-climb averaging 8.5%, as he continued to add more points to his tally and speed down the descent. With two kilometers to go, the 26-year-old began to smile and wave to the camera, knowing that the maiden Tour de France victory was in his pocket, and came with a bonus, the KOM jersey, which he donned for the first time in his career.
Van Avermaet crossed the line 1:44 behind the stage winner which saw him extend his overall lead out to 2:22 going into another hard day of climbing tomorrow. After his impressive effort, Van Avermaet was also awarded the prize for the Most Combative Rider of the stage.
Stage winner, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “I came close to winning a stage at my debut two years ago and I know it’s not easy to get a stage in the Tour de France, that’s why I am overwhelmed with emotion. It’s really amazing, I can’t even find my words, but I’m thinking about my family and I’m really glad to have made them happy. It’s for sure an amazing day, it couldn’t have been better than this. Taking a stage in the Tour de France has always been a dream and turning it into reality feels extraordinary. It was a hard day, especially in the last 30 kilometers, when I was alone, but that makes this moment even more special and beautiful. It’s an honor to wear the iconic polka dot jersey, but I’m not thinking yet of winning it. I will just take it day by day, while at the same time continuing to help my team and Bob – who is fifth in the overall standings. There’s a long way to go until Paris and we hope to do other beautiful things before we reach it.”
2nd on the stage, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida): “I’m not happy because I would have liked to win, but today Julian Alaphilippe was simply the strongest. On the penultimate climb, there was a moment when I suffered a lot but then I recovered and I started in pursuit. At the top, the French rider had an advantage of over 1:30, I recovered something downhill and on the last ascent I was full gas, but it was too late. I would like to try again, but now we have to focus on Vincenzo because now he is really ahead in the overall and me and my teammates are here at the Tour to help him the much as possible.”
4th on the stage and overall leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It was a hard day but two years ago, I also went into the breakaway in the yellow jersey so, it was super nice for me to spend the day in yellow in the mountains. I was waiting to find the right moment and when the big move went, I decided to give it a go and see how Team Sky reacted and they didn’t. I had to ride really hard to catch the breakaway but once I was there, and we directly took six to seven minutes, I knew it could be a good day for me. I was not thinking about keeping the jersey at the start of the day but you have to read the race situation and that’s what I did. I think I waited for the right moment and got into a big group with guys who were going to try to go for the stage. I was then able to keep the yellow jersey for an extra day. I went really deep today and tomorrow is really a climber’s stage and it will be super hard to keep the jersey. I have no intention of trying to keep it. Today was really the only day that I could do it but I think after tomorrow it will be over.”
5th on the stage, Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data): “It was our plan to have either Tom-Jelte or myself in the break today, in the end we both turned up in the break which really good for us. The break went away on the first climb of the day with 21 riders and they were all really strong guys. Once you make the break that’s the first race of the day done but then it all starts again for the stage, in that select group. It was a really tough stage, I think I did well, I gave everything I had and in the end I think 5th was the place I belonged today. I am pretty happy with that performance.”
7th on the stage and 17th overall, Dan Martin said (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s nice to get the first one out of the way. It’s always a bit nervous after the rest day. I’m pretty happy with that. It was a block head wind (on the final climb), every bone in my body said don’t attack. But I knew if guys were five or ten seconds off the back, by the time we reach the bottom it could be one minute. The next two days are going to be brutal and I’ll see how my legs are – but I expect a lot more attacks tomorrow.”
Break rider, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I had to anticipate, otherwise I would finished 10 minutes down. It is frustrating not to have the legs. If I am in such a break, I have to be able to claim the podium or even a stage victory. Today I was fighting with my bike. I had a hard day. I hope I get better soon, because this was not fun. The explanation can come from my crash on Sunday, since my rib cage was blocked. Now I want to see how my feeling evolves day by day.”
Break rider, Thomas Degand (Wanty Groupe Gobert): “This year I want to show myself in the beautiful mountain stages, which suit me. From the beginning I positioned myself in front and attacked. We were caught, but thanks to the recon I knew that the climb of the 4th category could be decisive. I tried again and we accelerated with 20 riders. On the Croix Fry the group split up and our lead increased. I could return and help Guillaume as well as possible. In the valley I came to supply him and after that I had to let go. I finished the stage quietly. I do not think about tomorrow’s stage , but the Thursday stage. We have to overcome 5000 altitude meters and there is a good chance that a break will leave from the start. I had a lot of fun today, with all the public along the way. That is good for the morale, so I definitely want to be in the break again.”
‘Best Young Rider’ Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s always nice to get the white jersey for the best young rider. Beyond that, I am pleased to have stayed with Romain until the end of the stage. There are still big days waiting for us, the road is still long. Today, our goal was to put some notches in the mountains. It is always difficult to know how the body will react after a rest day. It was really fast, we saw some favorites crack on the Colombière. I think it’s a good day for the AG2R-La Mondiale team. It gives us even more morale.”
Points leader, World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today was the first mountain stage of this year’s Tour, so our main goal was to defend Rafał’s GC chances. Together with Lukas, I went into the breakaway to contest the intermediate sprint. I took the sprint and increased my lead by 20 points. We went back to the peloton to work for Rafał and help him. There are another 11 stages and we will fight for our chances every day.”
Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 4:25:27
2. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:34
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Direct Energie at 1:40
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 1:44
5. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
6. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie at 2:24
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 3:23
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 10:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 40:34:28
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 2:22
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:10
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 3:12
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 3:20
6. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 3:21
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 3:27
10. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:36.
Geraint Thomas (Sky) took the yellow jersey that he wore for four days last year by winning Stage 11 to La Rosière-Espace San Bernardo as he passed breakaway rider Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) in the final 300 meters. Defending champion, Chris Froome (Sky) finished 3rd on the stage and moved into 2nd overall place at 1:25. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) finished 2nd on the stage just ahead of Froome and is now 3rd overall at 1:44.
A big group dominated most of the stage. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) went with the early move to collect more points for the green jersey then sat up and waited for the peloton. Stage 10 winner and KOM, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), took more mountain points and then paid for his efforts and was dropped by the shrinking escape. Behind; Alejandro Valverde attacked the peloton to join his Movistar teammate, Mark Soler, and become virtual overall leader, but the move eventually failed and Valverde lost 3 minutes by the end of the day.
It was on the 17.6km long final climb of the day, which had an average gradient of 5.8% and a middle section with ramps of over 9%, that the GC battle started to heat up as the front group split. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) went solo inside the final 10 kilometers. Behind him the GC men had been moping up the remainder of the break and attacking each other until there was only a handful of them left. Geraint Thomas (Sky) jumped away to join Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Damiano Caruso (BMC) as the others in the chase group attacked each other.
At the flamme rouge, the gap to Nieve had shrunk to just 20 seconds and this allowed Thomas to make his ultimately decisive move, passing Nieve in the closing meters to take the stage win. Froome jumped across to the Dumoulin group to finish 3rd and move into 2nd place.
Stage 11 PEZ Race Report HERE.
Stage winner and overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It’s unreal I didn’t expect it at all. We were low on numbers so it was more instinct [to attack] so we didn’t get caught having to ride – I saw a little gap. I committed to going across to Dumoulin and I was able to sit on of course, as Froome was coming across and I could see Frosty [Mikel Nieve] and he’s a good mate, it’s a shame you know, but I had to go for the win. I knew there was a good chance [of going into yellow] but I didn’t know how everyone else was going to ride. Wearing the yellow jersey is a massive honor. I managed to do it last year and to do it two years in a row is really nice. We were expecting attacks and when they go, it’s never nice to see them going away but we had confidence in each other and rode really well.”
2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “The attack was improvised, we went on intuition. Søren [Kragh Andersen] was in the break and he is a madman in the downhills. I told him to go at the front and go fast, but not take any risks and suddenly we had a gap. He did such an amazing job, the whole team were brilliant today. I had a lot of guys with me for the whole day which was great. I actually learned to ski in this village when I was a little kid. My uncle rented a house here and the whole family came. This spring he passed away, just two weeks after my aunty also passed away. So my dad lost his brother and sister within two weeks of each other. Today I really wanted to perform well for them and I hope that I did them proud. I’ll keep doing my best every day. Today I had a good day, maybe tomorrow I pay for it but I’m happy with today.”
3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Chris Froome (Sky): “Amazing position for us, I don’t think we quite expected that going into today’s stage. I think initially everybody thought Alpe d’Huez would be the more decisive and it very well still could be. It puts us in a fantastic position going into tomorrow’s stage. I think it was a spur of the moment thing but it made sense, it was perfect. We didn’t even have to talk, it was the right thing for Geraint to do and push on there. I let the wheel go because I knew it would put the onus on the rest of the guys to chase.”
4th on the stage and 18th overall, Damiano Caruso (BMC): “I was really motivated this morning and wanted to go in the breakaway. I was able to do that and then, we went ‘à bloc’ all day. On the last climb, I tried to do my best but the GC guys caught us almost at the top of the climb. For me, it is not a victory but for sure, it is a good sign and it shows that I am in good shape. So, if I feel good tomorrow I can maybe try to go in another breakaway or take an easy day and wait for another occasion. I finished 13th here at the Dauphiné and fourth today so maybe next time I will win this stage. I knew the stage really well and I knew what to expect this morning so, it was a little advantage for me. It was a different race today and with a higher level than in June so, I am happy and I think the team is happy too.”
6th on the stage and 10th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a really good opportunity. I was coming up fast from behind so I thought I’d give it a go. I knew that on that last 4km everyone would be looking at each other and not really riding and if I was able to get a gap I’d have a good chance of pulling some time back. So all in all I’m really happy with it. I was pretty tired at the end, but considering how I’ve been feeling, I think today was a really good operation. After the crash I hadn’t really been thinking about the GC, I’ve just been doing my best every day and we’ll just have to wait and see the results at the end of the Tour. Any day a rider can have a bad day and lose time. If I hadn’t crashed I’d be in a really nice position today, maybe fourth overall, I’m loving the mountains. The last two days have been great. This is the race you think about all year – these mountains and these crowds there’s just no feeling like it.”
7th on the stage, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis): “I felt much more comfortable than Tuesday. We worked to get away in a good breakaway and not have to make unnecessary efforts to attack in the final. We had Julien Simon with us and Anthony Perez was dedicated to us before finishing at his own pace. With Dany Navarro we lost contact with the lead after the fall of Mathias Frank. We managed to come back after an attack on the ultimate climb, but Nieve accelerated as soon as we arrived. But if we did not play the win it’s because Valverde dropped us and Dumoulin followed. Otherwise I think there would have been a battle between the survivors of this breakaway for the win.”
Break rider and 19th overall, Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data): “I knew there would be a big acceleration from behind at some point today. I was in the virtual yellow jersey for a while, as I was last year, so I guess I can add another jersey to my virtual closet now. No but it was good to be up there again and also picked up some more King of the Mountains points so maybe that can become an objective.”
19th on the stage and 24th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I tried to anticipate once more. Not because I had the legs, but because of my race insight. I knew the course and knew where I had to anticipate. I did not feel too strong, but accelerated on the right moment. I was dropped on the first climb, while a lot of non-climbers stayed in front. I was able to return in the descent, but that was not too good for the morale. On Col du Pré I was dropped again, but I could return in the descent once more. We were 12 in the front group, but because of Mathias Frank’s crash in the Roselend descent our group was split up climbed La Rosière as fast as possible. I hoped to be caught on the less steep part of the climb with 5km to go. I was able to follow Latour in the end. I thought of the white jersey on the final climb, because the gap was quite big. But I hope I will find my good legs again soon. Tomorrow I expect a battle between the favorites on Alpe d’Huez. I will see how the legs react on Madeleine, because the fatigue is getting bigger.”
Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Unfortunately, the two crashes on the stage to Roubaix have affected me a lot more than expected. I simply haven’t recovered well and I miss a lot of power compared to last week. It’s a shame because of all the dedicated effort the whole team put to prepare for this race. Yet, there is nothing we can do now. I need to recover first and then we‘ll see what we can still get out of this Tour.”
Overall leader at the start of stage 11, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It will be strange to go back to my normal jersey. I like this jersey and I like my bike but tomorrow it is back to normal. These were great days at the Tour de France, I’m happy with how I raced with the yellow jersey and for me, it was one of the nicest moments of my career that’s for sure. It was super hard today. I felt like I didn’t have great legs but you still have to do the parcours, and even just doing the parcours was pretty hard.”
Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today, we had our second, hard, mountain stage at the Tour and our plan, like yesterday, was for all of us to work for Rafal. I attacked early and went on the break to ensure again the full points at the intermediate sprint. My lead in the points classification has increased but we still have ten more stages where anything can happen, so we need to fight every day.”
Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 3:29:36
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:20
3. Chris Froome (GB) Sky
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:22
5. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 0:27
7. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:57
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:59
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 11:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 44:06:16
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:25
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:44
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 2:14
5. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:23
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:40
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 2:56
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:58
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:16
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates.
La Course by le Tour de France with FDJ 2018
Annemiek van Vleuten took a nail-biting victory in La Course by le Tour de France powered by FDJ, pipping Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen right on the line. The Mitchelton–Scott leader chased the winner of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège for 15 kilometers after being dropped in the final push to the top of the Col de la Colombière. Van Vleuten claimed La Course for the second time ahead of fellow Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen, while South Africa’s Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo–Bigla) came in third.
Only 48hours after sealing the first Grand Tour victory in the history of Mitchelton-Scott, Giro Rosa champion Annemiek van Vleuten did it again, taking a spectacular last-minute win at La Course by Le Tour de France.
The world time trial champion was part of a strong favorites group on the final climb up the Col de la Colombiere alongside teammate and Giro Rosa green jersey winner Amanda Spratt and Mitchelton-SCOTT duo tried a tactical one-two which succeeded in reducing the group further.
Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) went next and pushed on to lead into the descent with Van Vleuten chasing. The final kilometer was dramatic as Van Vleuten dug in, shaking off the tiredness from the Giro Rosa with every pedal stroke, gaining on Van der Breggen and passing her meters before the line to take an incredible win.
Four climbs characterized the 118 kilometer course from the scenic shores of Lake Annecy through the French Alps, close to the Swiss border and the first splits started to show on the first of these the Col de Bluffy.
Over the top of the next climb, the Cote de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt and five riders broke clear with a couple of chasers in between and gained over two minutes on the peloton with 50 kilometers left to race.
As the field sped along the valley floor towards the final climbs of the Col de Romme and the iconic Col de la Colombiere the gap started to reduce and on the early slopes of the Romme the favorites group formed and only two riders remained out front.
Spratt and Van Vleuten were side by side in that group as they started the Colombiere and Cecile Ludwig (Cervelo-Bigla) around a minute ahead, attack after attack thinned out the group inside the closing 20 kilometers and Van Vleuten was part of a strong trio chasing down Ludwig towards the summit.
Van der Breggen and Asheligh Moolman (Cervelo-Bigla) followed every move of Van Vlueten and the trio passed Ludwig before the summit. Van der Breggen attacked immediately and gained a slight advantage going into the descent towards the finish.
Van Vleuten produced a remarkable pursuit on the downhill and caught her compatriot just before the line to take another memorable victory.
La Course winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was unbelievable. With 300 meters to go I still thought I would get second and then I saw her dying. To win like this…it was a tough ride, but beautiful. The gap going into the descent was really small and Anna is also a really good descender, but I always keep believing and keep on thinking that anything is possible and never give up. That was really important today. This win is really beautiful, the second time at La Course and especially coming only two days after winning the Giro Rosa, but to win this race in this way is really special and high up on my list of memorable wins.”
3rd, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla): “Every girl can be proud of that performance today, it was an amazing show from the team. That was a courageous attack by Cille and it caught everyone off guard. We’re all happy with the podium and the way we executed the race is getting such a good response. I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t reward the team with a win but for us, it’s all about the development of our athletes and Cille has taken another step up this year and we’ve shown we’re successful in developing brave riders. Maybe we don’t win all the races but we make a show.”
4th, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervelo-Bigla): “This has been one of the best days of my life. There was so much Danish support out there and I saw banners with my name on it, it felt like a dream leading the race and getting that crowd support. We did so well as a team. Coming from the Giro, we only had one night rest but we got up today and went full gas. The attention at this race is on another level so to show how good women’s cycling is was just perfect.”
La Course by le Tour de France with FDJ Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott in 3:20:43
2. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0:01
3. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla at 1:22
4. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla at 1:58
5. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam at 2:19
6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing
7. Katharine Hall (USA) Unitedhealthcare at 2:22
8. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Ane Santesteban (Spa) Ale-Cipollini at 2:24
10. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) BePink.
CCC to Become Title Sponsor of Continuum Sports in 2019
The future of Continuum Sports, currently operating as BMC Racing Team, was confirmed on the first rest day of the Tour de France with the news that Polish shoe and bag company CCC will become title sponsor in 2019.
CCC owner and president Dariusz Milek joined BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz at stage 9 of the Tour de France to sign the partnership and confirm current Tour de France race leader and 2016 Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet as the team’s marquee rider.
Milek, whose company CCC has been a sponsor at the UCI Professional Continental level since 2006, is excited to see CCC join the UCI WorldTour in a move that will see the brand’s visibility increase on a global scale.
“I am excited to see CCC partner with Continuum Sports and reach the highest level of cycling. We have been looking for an opportunity to join the WorldTour and this was the perfect chance to partner with a well established and respected team, with Greg Van Avermaet as team leader,” Milek said.
For Ochowicz, the partnership with CCC represents an opportunity to begin a new and exciting chapter in the WorldTour for Continuum Sports.
“It is no secret that we have been looking for a new title sponsor for 2019 and we are excited to be here today at the biggest cycling race in the World to announce CCC as the title sponsor of Continuum Sports from 2019 onwards. CCC president Dariusz Milek shares the same passion for cycling as our organization and together we can continue to build on the team’s existing success,” Ochowicz explained.
“To also be able to announce that current Tour de France race leader Greg Van Avermaet has renewed his contract beyond the 2018 season in an exciting way to begin this relationship. We have seen Greg develop into one of the best riders in the World and we are delighted to retain him as the team’s star rider in 2019. We have a busy few months ahead of us as we begin to plan for the next season so I am looking forward to welcoming CCC as title sponsor.”
Van Avermaet is motivated to continue his career with Continuum Sports after already achieving multiple career highlights with the organization.
“I’m really happy to be able to announce my plans for the future, especially today when I can still say that I am the leader of the Tour de France. I have spent eight years with the team and have had so many good moments over those years so it’s exciting to know that we will continue together. To have a team more or less focused on me and the Classics is a unique opportunity and I’m looking forward to next season with CCC as title sponsor. I think everyone will be happy to learn that the team is continuing, for the sake of the riders and staff but also for the sport of cycling,” Van Avermaet said.
In keeping with team policy, no other details of the partnership were released.
Final Teams Confirmed for 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain
The final list of teams for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain (2 – 9 September) has today been confirmed, including the identity of the four British UCI Continental teams that have qualified for the UK’s most prestigious cycle race.
JLT Condor, ONE Pro Cycling, Madison Genesis and Canyon Eisberg will join the list of the world’s top teams and riders in the eight-day event that gets underway in Carmarthenshire on Sunday 2 September.
The first of those to qualify, JLT Condor, have competed in every edition of the Tour since 2007 and have twice had riders claim the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey. Canyon Eisberg are the reigning OVO Energy Tour Series champions, and feature Commonwealth Games medalists Charlie and Harry Tanfield in their line-up, while Madison Genesis hit the headlines at the end of June when 22-year-old Connor Swift claimed the British road race title.
ONE Pro Cycling return to the race for fourth year running, having won the race’s SKODA King of the Mountains and Sprints jerseys courtesy of Pete Williams in their debut 2015 season.
“Having fought hard throughout the season to qualify for the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, I am delighted to welcome Canyon Eisberg, JLT Condor, Madison Genesis and ONE Pro Cycling back to the race,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.
“These four teams are extremely worthy in their place in the UK’s most prestigious cycle race and, as the likes of Harry Tanfield and Connor Swift have already proved this season, our domestic teams can more than hold their own against the world’s biggest and best teams. I have no doubt that they’ll be in the thick of the action across all eight days in September.”
Also confirmed for the race are Team Sunweb, who will be one of 11 UCI WorldTour teams racing in Britain’s this September. The German squad last appeared in the race in 2016 when Tom Dumoulin finished third overall.
In total 13 teams who are currently competing in the Tour de France will be racing in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, including all the UCI WorldTour teams plus UCI ProContinental squads Direct Energie and Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
Two further UCI ProContinental teams will take part: Aqua Blue Sport from Ireland, who make their race debut, and Italy’s Bardiani-CSF, who have previously won two stages in Britain’s most prestigious race.
A Great Britain national team will once again compete in the event, showcasing the very best talent from the next generation of British cycling stars.
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: “With eleven UCI WorldTour teams confirmed for the race, this is a golden opportunity for our young riders to compete as a national team against some of the world’s best riders.
“The calibre of this year’s teams highlights the importance of the Tour of Britain in the racing calendar and we’re proud that some of the most high-profile athletes of our sport will be competing once again on British roads.
“We anticipate that the mounting excitement around this event will help to encourage the next generation of cyclists and we hope that people are left feeling inspired to take to the saddle.”
Thibaut Pinot and Davide Formolo will be at the Tour de Pologne
The list of top riders for the start of the 2018 Polish stage race is getting longer.
Several important names continue to enrich the start list for the 75° Tour de Pologne, which is being held from August 4 – 10, 2018. Now, even Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) will be at the start of this edition marking 90 years of this Polish stage race, which this year will also feature celebrations for the Centennial of National Independence.
The French rider had a great spring, winning the Tour of the Alps. After that he showed up to the start of the Giro d’Italia with the ambition and determination to vie for the maglia rosa or at least the final podium. He had a fantastic Giro all the way to the last mountain stage with arrival in Cervinia, on the second-to-last day of the race.
But it was the very last mountains that cost Pinot dearly, forcing him to give up his dream of the pink podium after a terrible day. Even though he hung in there, managing to cross the finish line in Cervinia escorted by his team mates, all the extreme effort and fatigue had caught up with the rider after three grueling weeks of racing, obliging him to withdraw from the race and miss making it to the final stage in Rome.
“We are very happy to welcome this rider to the roads of Poland. The Giro was very hard and Pinot didn’t ever hold back, showing off excellent moves in all the mountain stages. As an ex-rider I can assure you that if this guy pulled out on the eve of the last stage of a major tour, he must have really been shattered, otherwise you don’t just throw away three weeks of so much sacrifice and hard work. His results show that he is definitely a great rider who can compete for victory in the major tours; his achievements include third place in the final classification in the 2014 Tour de France, where he has also managed to win two stages in his career. What’s important is that Pinot has recovered well from the problems that afflicted him in the Giro, and I hope that in Poland he can find stimulus, motivation and new objectives to aim for. The route for the Tour de Pologne, especially on the last two days, features several stages suited to his skills,” explains General Director for the Tour de Pologne, Czeslaw Lang.
Another important rider who we’ll see in action at the Tour de Pologne is Davide Formolo. The Italian rider from team Bora – Hansgrohe also had a great Giro d’Italia, ending up in tenth place in the general classification. In his previous participation in Poland, in 2016, Formolo left his mark, coming in second in the challenging stage with arrival in Zakopane, which was made even harder that year by bad weather. He eventually closed out the final classification, which was won by Belgian Tim Wellens, in fourth place.
These names have joined the list of top riders already announced previously, which includes: winner of the 2017 TDP Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team), Fabio Aru (UAE – Team Emirates), the pair from team Mitchelton-Scott, Simon Yates and Matteo Trentin and winner of the 2012 TDP Moreno Moser (Astana Pro Team).
Lake Garda Classic Joins the Women’s Cycling Calendar
On Tuesday September 18th in Arco (Trentino, Northern Italy), a new one-day women’s race places in the calendar as dress rehearsal ahead of the UCI Worlds in Innsbruck.
Women’s cycling is on the rise, with an increasing number of fans, events, teams and investors, and a new Italian event is now finding a spot in the ladies’ calendar. On Tuesday September 18th, the Garda Trentino’s landscapes will provide a charming setting to the 1st Women’s Lake Garda Classic, with start and finish in Arco (Trento, Northern Italy), where organizing company G.S. Alto Garda is based.
Charted by the organizing committee, with the advice of Italian National Team Manager Dino Salvoldi, the course features an in-line stretch of 48,9 Km, including the Passo San Udalrico climb (mt. 584), ahead of the final 10,8-Km circuit in Arco to be repeated 4 times. The athletes will have the opportunity to test themselves over a 92,3-Km overall distance, just a few days before the UCI Road World Championships’ weekend, in Innsbruck (Austria).
“After 40 years of activity in men’s professional cycling, the time to face a new challenge in the women’s sport has come” G.S. Alto Garda President Giacomo Santini explained. “The evolution of women’s cycling has been really fast, with many Men’s World Tour Teams now founding their own women’s squad, that was impressive”.
Garda Trentino’s roads await the Women’s Lake Garda Classic premiere on September 18th:
Bennett and Tolhoek extend contract at Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Team LottoNL-Jumbo announces that George Bennett and Antwan Tolhoek will be part of the Dutch World Tour squad for the upcoming seasons as well. Bennett (28) has signed for another three years and Tolhoek (24) for another two years.
“The team has faith in me”, Tolhoek says. “I have been working with my trainer Grischa Niermann for four years now. Our cooperation is going well and he’s important for me. As a team, we are evolving and I am too. I’m perfectly happy here and I’m showing that on the bike. I like the staff and my teammates. That’s important too.”
Tolhoek is currently riding the Tour, after he missed the Giro due to a knee injury. “You see, there’s always sunshine after the rain”, he says. Richard Plugge, general manager of Team LottoNL-Jumbo, concurs with his youngster. “Antwan is currently showing that it was the right decision to extend his contract. We recognized his potential early on. He’s an exceptional rider and he’s a fast learner. We wanted to extend his contract to ensure that Antwan will be riding for us in the future as well. It’s part of our development plan.”
Bennett joined the team in 2015 and will stay for at least another three years. This season, he ended eighth in the Tour of Italy, after having won the Tour of California last year. With Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Bennett will continue to focus on his development in the grand tours.
“I’ve come a long way as a cyclist since joining Team LottoNL-Jumbo. It’s been a result of a lot of hard work from the staff and riders. The whole team has put a lot of faith in my abilities and we share the same vision for the future. I’m excited about taking the next steps with the team and seeing how far I can go as a GC rider in the world’s biggest races. I feel at home here and feel that I’m in the best place to get the most out of myself.”
Cees Bol to Join Sunweb, Stagiairies for 2018 Announced
Team Sunweb are pleased to announce that Cees Bol (NED) joins their WorldTour program, after completing the remainder of the 2018 season as a stagiaire. Development Team Sunweb’s Nils Eekhoff (NED) joins Bol as a stagiaire, alongside the already announced U23 German road race champion Max Kanter (GER) who also makes the step up to the WorldTour in 2019.
Coming over from SEG Racing Academy, Bol joins Team Sunweb as a stagiaire before joining the WorldTour program for 2019 and 2020. His palmarès are extensive, with wins at Flèche Ardennaise, Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste, a GC win at Olympia’s Tour, amongst tens of top 10 results through his five years riding on the continental scene. The 22-year-old joins the team with a focus on the classics and sprints, alongside continued development.
Cees Bol said: “I’m really happy to make the step to the WorldTour. I think Team Sunweb is the perfect place for me to develop myself, especially in the sprints and classics. I’m really looking forward to joining the team and will work hard to make it a success.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) said: “Cees showed, after a tough last year being injured, his mentality to be able to come back strong and to show his potential and consistency in all of his races, even those with the professionals. We have the trust and belief that within our way of working and culture we can make the next steps and continue this line up. He will get a role in our classic group, be part of our sprint train and in his development will also have chances to sprint himself.”
Nils Eekhoff, winner of the 2017 Paris-Roubaix makes the step up to stagiaire after a steady and consistent performance during his time on Team Sunweb’s Development Program. A strong time trialist, he has taken a bundle of top results such as 2nd at the U23 national time trial championships, a prologue win at the Istrian Spring Trophy alongside top 10 finishes on the road at Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux and Boucles de la Mayenne.
Nils Eekhoff said: “I’m happy with the opportunity to learn from and ride with the pros from our team. I look forward to the races I’ll do and will give my all to be an added value to the team. I think this is a great next step for my development and a challenge that I’m really looking forward to.”
Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert (GER) said: “Nils has shown his abilities since joining the team. He has developed on a physical level, but also on a personal level and we believe that his time as a stagiaire will give him the opportunity to continue this development on a new and much more intensive level. He will play a support role with a sole focus on learning, and we’re confident that this is the perfect next step for his development.”
Kickoff Party in Cedar City Offers Live Music and Team Presentation to Begin Weeklong Festival of Activities for Tour of Utah
Prior to the first pedal strokes by the celebrated professional cycling teams competing in the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, spectators will be treated to a Tour of Utah Kickoff Party in Cedar City on Saturday, Aug. 4. Throughout the weeklong, internationally sanctioned stage race on Aug. 6-12, a full schedule of complimentary festival activities will be provided daily for spectators at each host community.
Admission is free for all seven days of racing, making the Tour of Utah one of the most unique professional sports in the world. The Tour of Utah is a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour and one of the premier events for professional cycling teams in North America. It is also a significant event for USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour. A complete listing of host communities, race details and festival activities can be found on individual stage pages at the Tour’s web site at www.tourofutah.com/stages.
Cedar City will host the Tour of Utah for a fourth time, serving as the race headquarters for the overall start festivities and playing host to the second day of racing with the start/finish of Stage 1 on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Saturday’s Tour of Utah Kickoff Party will take place at the Ashton Family Greenshow Commons on the campus of Southern Utah University (200 W. University Boulevard). The Greenshow Commons, used nightly by the Utah Shakespeare Festival performers, provides a grassy hill for seating and a wooden stage for entertainment. Cycling fans are invited to meet and greet the more than 120 professional cyclists competing in this year’s Tour during the Kickoff Party, which begins with live music by Wilhelm and games on the lawn at 3:30 p.m.
For those who would like the Kickoff Party VIP Experience on Saturday, tickets will be available online in July. The VIP Experience Package provides an exclusive private viewing area along with light refreshments. The VIP area is adjacent to the stage, with opportunities to meet select athletes.
During the seven full days of racing, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will deliver daily spectator activities for race starts and finishes. These community celebrations are held at the nine host venues and include the Papa John’s Autograph Alley and Rider Sign-In, Kids’ Sprint to the Finish Bike Races presented by University of Utah Health, and the KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo. In addition, online voting will return for the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite award jersey.
One hour prior to the race start each day, the Papa John’s Rider Sign-In and Autograph Alley will permit fans to interact with the world’s best cyclists for photographs and signatures. Spectators will be allowed to interact with the professional athletes as they walk along Autograph Alley to the Sign-In stage. Race announcers will interview athletes from the stage, providing insights before the high-speed action commences.
Finish line areas during race week will feature the KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo. This year is unique in that five host venues — St. George, Cedar City, Payson City, Salt Lake City and Park City — will have both the race start and finish lines, which will offer the expo experience for the entire day. The KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo delivers an array of interactive exhibits, official Tour merchandise, vendors, and live entertainment, including a jumbo television screen to watch the race live throughout the course.
The Kids’ Sprint to the Finish Bike Races presented by University of Utah Health are recreational bicycle races for children ages five to 12. This is an opportunity for children to ride their own bicycles on part of the course used by the pros. Complimentary registration is available at the University of Utah Health information tent in the KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo. Races will be held at six venues, using a section of the Tour of Utah race course. All participating children are required to bring their own bicycles and helmets. Details about expo locations, start/finish areas and race times will be available on the Tour of Utah website.
Beginning Aug. 6 with the Prologue in St. George, fans can cast daily ballots at TourofUtah.com to select the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite rider. Six athletes will be nominated each day in various categories, such as a best climber or most promising rookie. The athletes who receive the most votes each day for a specific category will be recognized as the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite.
The Tour of Utah will start on Aug. 6 in St. George for the first time with a Prologue, and conclude seven days later in Park City. Additional host venues are Cedar City, Payson City, Antelope Island State Park, Layton City, Salt Lake City, Canyons Village, and Snowbird Resort.
Richie Porte – The Day After
Richie Porte crashed out of the 2018 Tour de France on the road to Roubaix. The team caught up with Richie the day after he was diagnosed with a broken collar bone.
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