EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
All the latest cycling news
We are halfway through the Giro and it hasn’t been too shabby – Results and video from Italy and Andalucia. Patrick Lefevere not sure about Peter Sagan – TOP STORY. More news from Levefere’s team: Quick-Step to sponsor for six more years, but Deceuninck to stop at the end of 2021. Caleb Ewan on abandoning the Giro, Tom Dumoulin on his return, Tadej Pogačar to ride the Tour of Slovenia, Mitchell Docker and Mathias Frank to retire, David Gaudu Misses Tour du Finistère, Foss, Bouwman and Mørkøv re-sign, AG2R Citroën and Rosti, X2O Badkamers continue cross sponsorship and GP Cerami and ZLM Tour canceled. Cappuccino?
TOP STORY: Lefevere Talks Sagan: “I Don’t Want a Team in My Team”
Patrick Lefevere has responded to a rumour that Peter Sagan would be on his way to Deceuninck – Quick-Step. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Belgian team would have eight million euros ready to sign Sagan, partly thanks to Specialized. “I often don’t even know where journalists get the rumours from,” Lefevere said in an online press meeting.
“They are talking about numbers and salaries that I don’t know about myself. It’s not that I open a drawer here and suddenly find a few million euros,” the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team manager continued. Sagan’s contract with BORA-hansgrohe is finishing and both parties are still talking to each other, but the Slovak may be leaving.
Lefevere thinks that Sagan would fit in his team. “There is always room for good riders at Deceuninck – Quick-Step. We have also proven that we can still let old champions win a lot, look at Philippe Gilbert or Mark Cavendish,” he said.
According to La Gazzetta, an agreement with Sagan involves more than just the three-time world champion himself. Brother Juraj, Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar, a masseur, a press officer and a mechanic would also follow. “But, I don’t want a team in my team,” said Lefevere. “I understand that someone like Sagan would like to bring a few people from his own staff, but I don’t want a separate team within my team.”
Lefevere had good news to report on the rest day of the Giro d’Italia. Sponsor Quick-Step Floors will remain with the team until 2027 (see full story lower down).
Lefevere has had a lot of stars in his teams:
Giro d’Italia 2021
Stage 10 was a sprinter’s day, there were some climbs to get over and a chaotic sprint with twists and turns before the finish line. After a perfect lead-out from his BORA-hansgrohe team, Peter Sagan took the win ahead of Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates). Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) held the overall lead.
A leading group of five escaped early: Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal), Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (eolo-Kometa), Due to the presence of Van der Hoorn the peloton wasn’t too keen on giving them a big lead. Jumbo-Visma controlled the break together with Cofidis, Alpecin-Fenix, Qhubeka Assos and UAE Team Emirates, holding them at around 2 minutes. At the first intermediate sprint of the day, there was some activity at the front between Pellaud and Marengo, who lead in the special intermediate sprint classification. In the peloton, Viviani, Pasqualon and Sagan picked up some more points in the battle for the ciclamino jersey. 60 kilometres from the finish, halfway through the stage, BORA-hansgrohe put the peloton under pressure. The team hoped to drop the pure sprinters to increase the chances for Peter Sagan.
The break was caught 43 kilometres from the finish as Dylan Groenewegen lost contact on the first climb. For Tim Merlier it was too fast on the second climb. Just before the summit, David Dekker and Giacomo Nizzolo also dropped off. The sprinters who did survive the climb were Sagan, Viviani, Gaviria and Davide Cimolai. Israel Start-up Nation also put a man on the front, because Cimolai had survived the climb. Nizzolo followed at half a minute with only Victor Campenaerts in support. The European champion had to do a lot of work himself, but the peloton was far too fast and so Nizzolo and Campenaerts gave up the fight 25 kilometres from the finish. The groups of Merlier and Groenewegen were even further behind.
With 18 kilometres to go to the finish, there was an intermediate sprint with bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds. Rémi Cavagna hit the front for Remco Evenepoel and Filippo Ganna for Egan Bernal. In the end, Jhonatan Narvaez snatched the 3 seconds ahead of Evenepoel, who was second. Bernal was third and saw his Belgian snatch 1 second on the overall. BORA-hansgrohe took over again, but the nervousness remained due to the strong wind. Various trains started their work. Jos van Emden tried to surprise the peloton, but that attempt failed. BORA-hansgrohe had the best lead-out in the twisty finalé for Sagan, while Alpecin-Fenix and UAE Team Emirates were also among the action. Due to a crash there was a split at the front, but that didn’t cause Sagan any problems. The Slovak reacted to an acceleration of Juan Sebastián Molano on the last corner and managed to keep Gaviria behind him in the finishing straight. Cimolai was third, ahead of Stefano Oldani, Gianni Vermeersch and Dries De Bondt. Due to his stage victory, Sagan is the new wearer of the ciclamino jersey.
# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #
Stage winner and points leader, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was a very good day for the team. Big thanks to my teammates for their fantastic effort. We gave our best, everybody worked hard to make it a tough stage. We managed to drop some of the pure sprinters but still, in the finale a few of them were there. When the pace is strong all day, it is easier. In the first stages of this Giro, I had the legs every day, but if the first 150km are easy, it is more difficult for me to beat the pure sprinters if the action is limited to the last 30km. I now have the ciclamino jersey as well but the Giro is still long, we are only halfway through. We’ll see day by day what we can achieve.”
Maglia Rosa Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s been special to wear this Maglia Rosa today. I want this jersey in Milan too but it’s still a long way to go and I’ll have to remain focused for every second of racing. Before the intermediate sprint, I heard the sporting director asking Gianni Moscon and Jhonathan Narvaez to go for it. I took the wheel of Pippo [Ganna] so it was easy to be at the front. I took one second but for sure the Giro will not be won or lost by one second, whereas we’ll talk minutes on the big climbs. I don’t see the Giro as a mental challenge between Remco [Evenepoel] and myself. All the riders who are within a minute on GC are still in contention for the overall victory.”
2nd on the stage, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “Sagan was very strong in the end and he deserved the win today. My condition is good but as a sprinter it’s tough to say you are really happy with a performance unless you win. I’m content that I’m getting closer, my condition is good and I’m hungry to go for that win in the second week.”
3rd on the stage, Davide Cimolai (Israel Strat-up Nation): “After finishing second twice and now third today, I would really have liked to win this one. However, I’m happy to take third after my team did an amazing job after the last climb. Today, I only missed the victory to make it a perfect day. I think there are still two sprint opportunities left and I really hope I can win one of them, especially the one finishing in my region! Now, I’m just looking forward to the rest day and not having to set an alarm in the morning. Maybe I can even have a pizza tonight.”
7th on the stage, Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën): “The final was tortuous and you had to be well-placed. Tony (Gallopin) and Larry (Warbasse) really helped me through that. A crash right at the end forced me to make additional efforts. I finished seventh and I see that the condition is improving across the stages. I hope to post a great performance over the next two weeks of racing.”
Break rider, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I received the mission to go in the breakaway, which I succeeded. In view of the route, there was a chance to maybe resist until the end. But as several teams kept the gap around two minutes, it became very difficult. The pace imposed by Bora on the last climb was too intense for me to stay in contact and be useful to Quinten Hermans in the last 30 kilometres. I tried today, and will try again. I prefer an unsuccessful attempt, which has very little chance of success, than staying in the peloton and having no chance at all.”
KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën): “I had a little trouble falling asleep yesterday. I had a whole backlash of emotions. I think the rest day comes just at the right time for me.”
Giro d’Italia Stage 10 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe in 3:10:56
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
4. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
5. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
6. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
8. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
10. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 10:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 38:30:45
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:01
3. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:14
4. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:37
5. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:44
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 0:45
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:46
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:52
9. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:56
10. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 1:00.
Giro stage 10:
Stage 11 of the Giro on gravel roads didn’t disappoint. There were two battles through the dust to Montalcino. The stage went to Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka Assos) as Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) put time into everyone with a final attack.
Taco van der Hoorn attacked from the gun with Dries De Bondt on his wheel. It turned out to be the start for the ‘break of the day’. Lawrence Naesen, Enrico Battaglin, Francesco Gavazzi, Simon Guglielmi, Roger Kluge, Harm Vanhoucke, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Mauro Schmidt and Alessandro Covi joined them. INEOS Grenadiers allowed the escape to gain a big lead. After 40 kilometres, the lead had already increased to more than 10 minutes. After 92 kilometres, the leading group started the first gravel section, with a lead of almost 15 minutes. Remco Evenepoel lost contact with Bernal and had to chase, although he still had teammates with him. However, the young Belgian was not the only one who had been surprised.
The first bit of gravel also had an impact on the early break, Van der Hoorn and Lindeman were dropped. On the second section the peloton thinned further to about 30 men and again Evenepoel had a difficult time on the white road. Simon Yates was also having problems. George Bennett and Tobias Foss attacked from the peloton. The Jumbo-Visma duo were eventually caught by INEOS Grenadiers, who controlled everything. The remaining escape riders, who still had a lead of about 7 minutes, were surprised by the return of Taco van der Hoorn who had been dropped earlier. Evenepoel ran into problems again on the penultimate section, after which INEOS Grenadiers turned up the gas. João Almeida dropped back from the group to help his team-leader, Evenepoel. On the last section, Belgian champion De Bondt rode away from the leading group together with Covi and Schmid. With 5 minutes on the peloton, they turned onto the asphalt for the last time with 8 kilometres to the finish with the climb of the Passo del Lume Spento.
The difference between Bernal and Evenepoel remained more or less around 1 minute. The Bernal group still consisted of about 15 men, including Aleksandr Vlasov, Giulio Ciccone, Attila Valter, Hugh Carthy and Simon Yates. Evenepoel was behind, just like Damiano Caruso, Dan Martin and Davide Formolo. On the last section of gravel it was too fast for De Bondt at the front, as Covi and Schmid turned out to be the strongest riders of the early break. The two would fight for the stage victory. Schmid was the strongest on the slightly uphill finish in Montalcino. For the GC riders, the final ended in pieces. The Trek-Segafredo duo of Vincenzo Nibali and Giulio Ciccone, couldn’t hang on and Evenepoel’s loss started to get bigger. EF Education-Nippo impressed with Carthy, Alberto Bettiol and Ruben Guerreiro at the front. In the finalé, Bernal dropped the others to cross to Emanuel Buchmann, who had attacked earlier. He then soundly beat the BORA-hansgrohe rider at the finish.
# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #
Stage winner, Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka Assos): “I can’t believe it, it’s my first international win and I would never have expected it to be at a grand tour. I was not even expecting to do a Grand Tour this year, but the team believed in me and I got the chance to do the Giro. It’s an amazing race and it means a lot to me. I started with mountain bike racing when I was younger, and cyclocross and now I also do track. I will go to the Olympics this year. The technical skills from cycle cross and the power from the track have helped me to develop as a rider. We ride for a bigger cause; we ride for bicycles to change lives. We ride for a charity, but everything in our team is high performance. We have a great team spirit. For me, bicycles mean freedom, it means happiness. And that’s why we ride, that’s the reason.”
Maglia Rosa and 11th on the stage, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I enjoyed riding the gravelled roads. It’s hard to find the right balance because you have to ride at the front in order to not crash but to ride at the front also means that you have to take some risks. It’s important to have a strong team to get to the right place. We executed the plan we had this morning. Today we’ve gained some important seconds but we all know how hard the ten remaining stages are. It’s necessary to keep my feet on the ground and keep respecting all the other favourites. After I missed some training sessions due to my back problems before the Giro, I didn’t think I’d go so well at this stage.”
2nd overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech): “First of all I want to thank my teammates for this day, because they provided me with the best possible support. The guys did an amazing job and thanks to that we had a good day on this very difficult stage. Well, I did all I could today and the legs worked pretty well all day long. It is true that with the dust we had on the gravel sections it was not easy to breath, but I managed to pass through it. The group split on the first section, but the team did all possible to close the gap quite fast and later I was always up there in front, following all other favourites. On the last climb I tried to follow the attack of Bernal but it was not easy, however I am pretty satisfied with my performance as I know that the team and me we did our best. I am happy to pass through this stage without any trouble and now I would like to concentrate on the next hard stages as all the big mountains are yet to come.”
3rd overall, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious): “I’m super happy because today was a key stage of this Giro. It was a tough and complicated one. In the end, I felt good, although when Maglia Rosa went, I couldn’t follow him. But I think I did a good race anyway. I want to say a big thank you to the whole team, both staff members and riders. Now it’s time to recover from the stage. Then we will see day by day. We need to keep calm, and at this moment, I want to think only about recovering well.”
2nd on the stage, Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates): “Today when I made it into the breakaway I knew immediately that I felt good. I had a rather unfortunate start to the season with various injuries and the thing I am most happy about is that I am back to feeling good again. In cycling you win and lose, today I lost but I have no regrets: I did my best. It’s a long Giro ahead still, I’ll try again!”
3rd on the stage, Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal): “I am unbelievably disappointed. I really felt I was the strongest rider in the breakaway today, but unfortunately a crash and a bike change at ten kilometres from the finish prevented me from going for the win. I still managed to catch a lot of riders as I launched a furious chase. In the end, I finished just under half a minute behind the winner, but unfortunately I lost a little too much time because of the bike change to go for the stage win. Actually, I was a bit surprised that the peloton gave us such a big lead because I thought this was going to be a stage for the general classification riders. Fortunately for us, it turned out differently. Roger Kluge did a great job and attacked several times so I could save my forces. I really didn’t plan to be in today’s breakaway. Actually, this was the stage I feared the most. In addition to that, I had never ridden on such long gravel sections, not even in training. So I was happy to be part of the front group because I would not have liked to be in the peloton today. Along the way, I also collected some KOM points, maybe they will come in handy later in the race, who knows…”
9th on the stage, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I had already competed in the Strade Bianche in 2019, so I already knew what to expect on the sterrati. I wanted to go in the breakaway today, and once again the plan worked. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time about fifty kilometres from the end, and I lost contact. I came back strongly afterwards, but it was no longer possible to go for the win. I am disappointed because it was a great stage and the group I was in was interesting. I didn’t have the best legs after the rest day. But I have to put things into perspective, as this is only my first Grand Tour, and everything is new for me. Now, I have already moved on. There are still great stages to come, which attract me a lot.”
12th on the stage and 6th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I felt pretty good from the start today and the team positioned me well in the first sector. It was a very tough race and on the gravel sections we went full throttle and I was always in front. On the last climb, I looked at the other riders and thought I’d give it a go. In the end, Egan joined me and we crossed the finish line together. I think that was a really good race and we can hope to continue like this.”
7th overall, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Unfortunately, I lost two minutes. It wasn’t the best day for me. I was suffering a lot on the second sector, then on the third one, when they started sprinting, I felt the legs were pretty empty, that’s why I was in the last position and couldn’t follow. It’s the way my body reacted after eleven days of racing that came after so much time with no racing. I’m thankful to the team and João for the job they did for me today, from the start until the finish. It’s not a good result for me, but I’m still seventh in my first Grand Tour and remain confident, as there’s still a long way to go until Milano.”
Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Result:
1. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Qhubeka Assos in 4:01:55
2. Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:01
3. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:26
4. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:41
5. Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:44
7. Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 1:23
8. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 1:37
9. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 1:43
10. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën at 1:59.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 11:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 42:35:21
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:45
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 1:12
4. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 1:17
5. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 1:22
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:50
7. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:22
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:24
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 2:49
10. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers at 3:15.
Giro stage 11:
Vuelta a Andalucía 2021
The Spanish cyclist Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar) claimed victory in Stage 1 of the 67th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía, starting from Mijas (Málaga) and ending in the Cadiz town of Zahara de la Sierra. The podium was completed by the Venezuelan Alberto Aular, from Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and the South African Daryl Impey, from the Israel start up Nation team.
The departure of this edition of the Tour of Andalusia, after not being able to take place on its usual date in February due to the covid situation, finally did so in the month of May from the town of Mijas, with 117 riders. Soon the head of the race would be defined with a break made up of three riders: Antonio J. Soto, from the Euskaltel team, Rui Oliveira, from UAE Team Emirates and Thomas Sprengers, from Sport Vlaanderen. On the first mountain pass the escape quickly increased their advantage to 3:34. At the only sprint of the day in the Malaga town of Coín, Sprengers led Soto and Oliveira, which makes the Belgian the leader of the sprints competition. The race covered 38km in the first hour of the race and the break had 7 minutes.
On the second mountain pass of the day in Carratraca (Málaga), the order was Oliveira, Soto and Sprengers. The lead was getting smaller and smaller, now at 3:50. From there, the lead dropped from 3 minutes at 82 kilometres and on the climb to Setenil de las Bodegas (Cádiz), the difference was 2:20. Oliveira led over the climb, Soto followed and Sprengers was third. In the last 30 kilometres the leaders began to attack each other and this was the end of the break. Movistar began to pull the peloton, imposing a strong pace. On the last climb, the fourth of the day passing through Zahara de la Sierra, victory would decided by sprint among a group of 20 riders. Gonzalo Serrano would raise his arms first crossing the finish line, repeating the victory of last year. He is also the overall leader ahead Alberto Aular (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Daryl Impey from Israel Start up Nation and INEOS Grenadiers rider, Ethan Hayter. These four have a 3 second advantage over the rest of the favourites.
Stage winner and overall leader, Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar): “I might as well have to come and live here! (Laughs) I don’t know if it’s just coincidence, the heat here… but in the end, it’s two stages in consecutive years. It makes me so proud to be part of the Movistar Team. Having such experienced riders, such as Rojas, and they give a hand to you, who have just come to this team – there couldn’t be a better reward to pay them back for the efforts than a win. It’s difficult to make things better than we did today. I had such good legs, the teamwork was excellent – just as we planned with our DS, ‘Arri’, on the bus. Arri was already here before, checking the routes, and he knew this really well – the Vuelta a Andalucía had also used these roads last years. We knew it, we knew that the little town with 8-9km to go was the place to start pushing. The race was always a little bit up from there, and my team-mates put on a really good pace to try and take the sprinters off the group, which we achieved. I knew that the road narrowed with 2km to go, and there, Rojas further picked up the rhythm, then Héctor was incredible – he left me at the 300, 400m to go mark, which was more or less where we planned to launch it. I raced both the Flanders and Ardennes classics, then I took some rest, because it had been a very demanding few months. Talking with my coach, I knew my legs were good, yet at the first day in Mallorca, I had some cramps and couldn’t perform well – it might have been the first warm day of the season. It doesn’t get all morale off you, but you feel disappointed, because you know you have to take advantage when you’ve got good form. This win goes to all of my team-mates: the staff, carers, mechanics – everybody who supports us and the Movistar Team. Wednesday’s finish is somewhat similar – it’s not the same, it’s quite more difficult, but it suits me well, too. Stage three will be quite different, though: it’s a really hard one, more than 4,000m elevation gain, and having a strong leader as Miguel Ángel, we have to race for him, because I don’t know how far I’ll reach. We know he’s going well, so he has to be the leader. I’ll try and contest again the stage tomorrow – keeping the jersey would be so nice, but for the GC, we should go with Miguel Ángel.”
Vuelta a Andalucía Stage 1 Result:
1. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar in 3:54:25
2. Orluis Alberto Aular Sanabria (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
4. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:03
5. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
9. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar
10. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.
Vuelta a Andalucía Overall After Stage 1:
1. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar in 3:54:25
2. Orluis Alberto Aular Sanabria (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
4. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:03
5. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
9. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar
10. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.
Ruta del Sol’21 stage 1:
British rider, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) won Stage 2 of the Tour of Andalusia/Ruta del Sol in a spectacular finish in the Fortaleza de la Mota in the Jaén town of Alcalá la Real, where he beat Colombian Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) by 7 seconds and took the overall lead by 10 seconds and 13 seconds ahead of Norwegian Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE Team Emirates). Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers) was 4th.
Very early in the stage the break of the day was formed: Antonio Jesús Soto, Rui Oliveira, Tobias Bayer, Aaron Van Poucke, Timo Roosen and Álvaro Cuadros. On the first mountain pass of El Higueral, the first was Álvaro Cuadros, ahead of Rui Oliveira and Timo Roussen with 1:45 on the peloton. Rui Oliveira was determined to take the KOM, crossed the second pass of the day in Rute ahead of Álvaro Cuadros and Roosen with a lead on the peloton of 2:48. Lucena was the only intermediate sprint of the day. Aaron Van Poucke took 3 points, Timo Roosen was second and Antonio Jesús Soto 1 point, equalising sprint leaders Van Poucke and Sprengers.
On the third category Alto del Mojón, Oliveira was first again, followed by Álvaro Cuadros and Tobias Bayer. Passing through Alto de la Hortichuela, the lead was 2:15. Roosen and Álvaro Cuadros were left out front after the crash of the other four escapees. The leading duo began a fierce fight to maintain the advantage of more than 2 minutes to the peloton led by Movistar. The difference was narrowing until 17km from the finish they were caught by the group of favourites. On the second climb to Alto de la Hortichuela, Miguel Ángel López opened hostilities and took Eithan Hayter, Toms Skujings, Antwan Tolhoek, Ilnur Zakarin, Jonathan Lastra, Carlos Rodríguez, José Félix Parra, Sven Bystrøm and Tsgabu Grmay.
Tom Skujins launched an attack and topped the climb first as the others were watching each other. The Latvian the first to enter Alcalá la Real, in Jaén, and looked like he had the win. It was then that Ethan Hayter attacked. ‘Supermán’ López, one of the favourites for the final win, finished second, followed by Sven Bystrøm, Carlos Rodríguez and Julen Amezqueta.
Stage winner and overall leader, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “I didn’t attack or anything. Everyone was just going so hard. It was so steep on the cobbles. I was in a good position – we had Carlos at the front after the longer climb – so I just followed and I kind of just made sure I had position, as I knew it would be hard to follow on the cobbles. And everyone else around me just blew up I think. I blew up as well, but I had a gap so I had the motivation to hang on! The climb was borderline crazy but I guess that’s bike racing sometimes. I guess we put on a show. Today was probably the hardest finish I think. There’s more climbing tomorrow so we’ll see what happens (with the GC). I don’t know what the gap is but I got three seconds yesterday on some people. I could just about get myself across the line, let alone see where everyone else was.”
Vuelta a Andalucía Stage 2 Result:
1. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 5:04:30
2. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 0:07
3. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
4. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:14
5. Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:17
7. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:18
8. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:23
9. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:25
10. Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma.
Vuelta a Andalucía Stage 2 Result:
1. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 8:58:55
2. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 0:10
3. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:13
4. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:20
5. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:21
6. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar at 0:25
8. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:28
9. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:31.
Ruta del Sol’21 stage 2:
Six More Years in the Pro Peloton for Quick-Step
Patrick Lefevere’s team announces its longest ever partnership
Deceuninck – Quick-Step are delighted to announce that our team has agreed a new six-year partnership with Quick-Step, the reference for laminate, wood and vinyl floors. Quick-Step will support the team until 2027.
Quick-Step has been involved in cycling since 1999 and supporting our team since 2003, making it one of the most enduring partners in professional cycling. During this time the team has become one of the most successful and famous in the sport, taking over 800 victories including 99 Grand Tour stages and 20 Monuments, with wins in over 30 different countries, across 5 continents.
Patrick Lefevere was clearly delighted by the deal. “We are very happy to continue our partnership with Quick-Step, who have been at our side for over two decades now. It’s more than your usual sponsor extension; it’s proof that solid relationships exist in cycling, based on trust, mutual respect and shared values. This long-term agreement will allow us to continue striving to improve the quality of our sports performances, to focus on the future and aim remain among the best in the sport. I want to thank the President of Unilin Flooring Ruben Desmet and the entire Quick-Step family for the confidence they have shown to the team and we can’t wait to continue together this incredible journey,” said team CEO Patrick Lefevere.
Patrick’s thoughts were echoed by Mr. Desmet: “The decision to continue our sponsorship is self-evident to us. We continue to grow strongly internationally with our brand. Of course, that has a lot to do with our excellent employees, partners & products, but the many successes of Patrick’s team have certainly increased awareness of our brand among the general public. We also share the same values that drive success – dare to dream and convert those dreams into results. The Wolfpack’s leadership in the peloton is renowned, and its continuous strive for excellence is something that’s in our DNA as well. We strongly believe in cycling and the team. By entering a long-term commitment to provide stability, we are sure that the talent in the team will turn dreams into success,” Desmet concluded.
Deceuninck Stops as Main Sponsor of Deceuninck – Quick-Step
On the day that Quick-Step Floors extends Lefevere team’s sponsorship contract for six years, Deceuninck announced that it will stop being the main sponsor after 2021. “Deceuninck would like to thank the Wolfpack for the many fantastic moments and his inspiring temperament. We wish all members the best in the future,” said a press release.
“When Deceuninck and Patrick Lefevere’s cycling team met in October 2018, the team was in a difficult search for sponsors,” said Francis Van Eeckhout, CEO of Deceuninck Group. “As a cycling enthusiast and entrepreneur, I saw the similarities in strength and reliability between the Wolfpack and our Deceuninck brand. Both ambitious and future-proof.”
“As one Deceuninck team, we have successfully launched our new window and door profiles, Elegant, in Europe. Internally, we find it important to keep the Wolfpack spirit alive and to continue to deliver top products to our customers,” said Van Eeckhout.
Plastics processing company Deceuninck has been the main sponsor of the WorldTour team for the past three seasons. It is not yet known whether another sponsor will join Quick-Step Floors on the jersey.
Ballerini taking one of Deceuninck’s many wins – Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021:
Ewan Responds to Comments About Abandoning the Giro d’Italia
Caleb Ewan has responded via social media to the commotion that arose after his retirement from the Giro d’Italia. The day after his stage victory in Termoli, the Australian left the Italian Grand Tour early due to knee pain, but because he also wants to win in the Tour de France and the Vuelta later in the season, the reason for his withdrawal was questioned.
“Thanks to everyone who wished me well,” Ewan wrote in a short message on social media. “I tried to change some things about my position to get rid of the knee pain I’ve been fighting with since the start of the eighth stage. When the pain is completely gone, I will resume my training in preparation for the Tour.”
Ewan, the stage winner in Cattolica and Termoli would have been one of the contenders on Monday, in Foligno, but now the Australian sprinter has to follow the race on TV. “To be honest, it will be difficult to look at today’s (Monday) sprint and the 13th stage because I felt my best form was coming.”
After the eighth stage, questions were asked about his abandonment. Eddy Merckx accused the Australian in Het Nieuwsblad of a “lack of professionalism and a lack of respect”. According to Merckx, winner of both the Giro and the Tour five times, he should be punished for his abandonment. About the consternation Ewan writes: “To everyone who thinks that I did not respect the race, I want to say: it is a pity that you think that way. If you had all the hard work and dedication during my preparation to honour this competition and perform to the best of your ability, I’m sure you wouldn’t think that way. I am more disappointed than anyone else.”
The end of Caleb Ewan’s 2021 Giro:
Tom Dumoulin On His Return: “At Amstel Gold Race it Really Started to Itch Again”
Tom Dumoulin has commented for the first time on his return to the professional peloton. During a press conference, he looked back on his temporary career break and looked ahead to his big goal this summer: The Olympic Games.
Dumoulin decided to temporarily stop cycling in January, indicating that he was struggling with the high expectations and his existence as a professional cyclist. After a rest period of four months, he announced last Friday that he had decided to return to the peloton.
“In recent years I have gradually lost what I liked and what I want. So much has happened that I hadn’t really given it a place yet,” he looks back on that difficult period in his career. “Life as a top athlete is progressing at full speed. That started to squeeze in such a way that I became physically bad and tired. I was no longer riding well and had little fun on the bike. I didn’t know where that came from. That is why I made that decision to stop for a while at the end of January.” It turned out to be the best decision he could make. The rest period has been good for him, he says. “I first rested a lot. Walked a lot with the dog, dug the garden, walked a lot with friends and acquaintances. And a lot of talking, not necessarily with the aim of finding a solution. In the first period I did not touch the bike, but after a few weeks I started to feel like it again and I gradually started to like it more.”
His unannounced visit to the Amstel Gold Race was ultimately the deciding factor. “It really started to itch again in the Amstel Gold Race. I thought it was really cool there, and discovered that I thought professional cycling was a very cool world. A few days after the Amstel I had an exploratory conversation with Richard Plugge and indicated that the Olympic Games were still in the back of my mind.”
“I also called Koos Moerenhout (Dutch national coach). He said: ‘The door is still open, but the selection is getting closer.’ That was the trigger for me to really get serious about it. Then I quickly made the decision: I want to go for it. I still like to ride a bike, I still ride fast and I have had the Olympic Games like a dream in the back of my mind for five years now. Those three things persuaded me to return. Then I sat with Richard, Merijn Zeeman and Mathieu Heijboer. We decided quickly.”
Dumoulin is currently focusing on the Olympic Games. What he will do next, he will decide in consultation with Jumbo-Visma at a later time.
Tom Dumoulin’s Race Schedule:
Tour of Switzerland (June 6-June 13)
National Time Trial Championships (June 16)
Dutch National Road Cycling (June 20)
Olympic road race (July 24)
Olympic time trial (July 28).
Dumoulin on the way back:
Pogačar set for Tour of Slovenia in pre-Tour de France build-up
Slovenian excited for next targets.
Tadej Pogačar has announced his next appointments as he outlined his upcoming calendar.
The reigning Tour de France champion will train at altitude in Sestriere with his UAE Team Emirates teammates before departing to his homeland where he will race the Tour of Slovenia and the National Championships.
Following this he will be at the Grand Depart in Brittany to defend his Tour de France title which he claimed in 2020, followed by the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Pogačar: “I’m really excited to get back to racing. I have had a busy time since my last race at Liege but I feel good and ready to aim for my next targets. Last time I raced the Tour of Slovenia my teammate Ulissi won it so UAE are the defending champions. I’m pleased to go back there: it’s a race I’d dearly love to win.”
Pogačar looking ahead to the Tour:
Mitchell Docker to Retire at the End of the 2021 Season
Mitchell Docker is putting an end to his cycling career after this season. The 34-year-old Australian, who rides for EF Education-Nippo, announced on social media. He hopes to end his career in Paris-Roubaix.
“All good things must come to an end,” Docker wrote. “I have decided that 2021 will be my last season in the World Tour Peloton. What a blessing in disguise with Paris-Roubaix in October. The perfect race to conclude my professional career.”
Docker, known for his mullet, turned pro with Skil-Shimano in 2009 and raced with then for three seasons. He then moved to Orica GreenEDGE, from 2012 to 2017. He has been racing for EF Education First since 2018. Docker’s palmarès include two professional races, both in 2010. He won a stage in the Delta Tour Zeeland and a stage in La Route du Sud. The faithful domestique never rode the Tour de France. He did start the Giro twice and the Vuelta seven times.
Mitchell Docker – Mullet in Three teams:
David Gaudu Misses Tour du Finistère After Crash
David Gaudu will not participate in the Tour du Finistère on Saturday. The French Groupama-FDJ climber fell during a training run and sustained some scrapes and a bruise. The Tour de France is not in danger for Gaudu.
The 24-year-old rider crashed at high speed. “He then had to slow down and rest for a few days, but he has now resumed training. However, as a precaution, we are not putting him up in the Tour du Finistère,” team doctor Jacky Maillot said in a press release.
Gaudu should be fit in time for the Critérium du Dauphiné (May 30-June 6), an important preparatory race for the Tour de France. In that last race, Gaudu will be the leader for the general classification. The climber is having an excellent season for Groupama-FDJ. This year he won the Faun-Ardèche Classic and the Queen stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. He was also seventh in the Flèche Wallonne and third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
David Gaudu – Vuelta’20 stage win:
Team Jumbo-Visma keeps Foss and Bouwman on board
News from the Giro d’Italia: On the first rest day, Team Jumbo-Visma has announced that it has extended the contracts with Tobias Foss and Koen Bouwman by two and three years respectively. “Tobias is a promising rider who is walking the path of gradual progression, and Koen is developing into one of the pillars of our team”, sportive director Merijn Zeeman says about the duo that is currently performing well in Italy.
“I am really happy with my contract extension”, says the nearly 24-year-old Foss. “Since I joined this team, I have had a great time with nice people. I am in the phase of developing myself and that is why Team Jumbo-Visma is the best team for me. It is a privilege to be part of this team and I’m blessed with that. The knowledge within the staff group is very good. With this team I have good odds to achieve my goals. I want to continue that process and it’s an absolute benefit that I can do this within the same team. I’ve been lucky that I started straight in this team. I am very happy here. We have started something beautiful. Now it is time to continue this and get better every day. I focus on that. We will see where it leads. I have big dreams and goals that I would like to achieve. Over time I would like to become one of the new leaders”, the Norwegian concludes.
“We work together to improve step by step”, adds Zeeman. “Tobias is an exponent of our talent development and we are convinced that he will continue to grow during the upcoming years.”
According to Zeeman, Bouwman is also taking steps. “Koen is developing leadership qualities”, says the sportive director of the Dutch team. “He is very valuable for the leaders, but also has the potential to race offensively and to go for a victory. We are very happy that he will stay with us for at least three more years.”
The same counts for the 27-year-old Dutchman. “In recent years I have always reached a very decent level and I have also become better and better. I can be of value in every race and in every composition of the team. I have been giving everything for this team for the last five, six years and I will continue to do that for at least the next three years”, he says. “I joined the team as a quiet, somewhat shy boy. I have grown in that respect. I can now act as a road captain and those are things for which I am grateful to the team. The team has taken incredible steps in recent years. I am proud to have been able to be part of it and that I continue to be part of it. The level of both riders and staff is getting higher and higher and I must and will go along with that development. Hopefully we can achieve higher goals together than we have already achieved so far.”
Foss and Bouwman stay with Jumbo-Visma:
Mathias Frank to Hang up His Wheels at the End of the Season
Mathias Frank has decided to put an end to his career at the end of the 2021 season. In the coming weeks, he will race at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes Maritimes (May 24), the GP des Kantons Aargau (June 4), the Tour de Suisse (June 6-13) and the Swiss National Championship (June 20). The rest of his program has not yet been defined.
“It’s been a few weeks now that I feel it’s time for me to stop racing. I have been professional for 14 years and the seasons are starting to weigh. These past years I have been living my childhood dream that became a reality. Cycling has allowed me to develop and grow, and to learn to have confidence in myself. I am proud to have managed to take 8th place in the Tour de France in 2015. For me, it was something incredible. With AG2R La Mondiale and AG2R Citroën Team, I have been lucky since 2017 to be part of a team with a deep history, with a caring and family atmosphere that proves that it can still succeed in professional sport. I thank Vincent Lavenu, the staff, and my teammates for their trust and the wonderful shared moments,” Mathias Frank said.
Stage winner La Vuelta a Espana (2016)
2nd Tour de Suisse (2014)
4th Tour de Romandie (2014)
8th Tour de France (2015)
Michael Mørkøv Inks New Deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The best lead-out man in the business adds two years to his contract with the UCI World Team Classification leader.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step and successful sprint lead out trains have become synonymous over the years, with the team becoming famous for delivering their sprinters to victories in a variety of races. And while it is the quick men that takes the headlines, it is often the crucial work of the team that puts them in a great position on the finishing straight that can make the difference.
Like the feint a boxer makes before delivering a knockout punch, or the off the ball run a footballer makes to distract a defender and make space, Michael Mørkøv is often that part before the final part of the move, with the lead-out man perfectly delivering his sprint partner on countless occasions. And it is because of those skills that we are delighted to announce that the Danish rider has agreed to stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step for another two years, until the end of 2023.
“All you can wish for from a job is to feel appreciated by your colleagues. I really feel like I belong in this team and I am delighted to be staying. I have the Olympics this year, which is a big personal goal of mine, but away from that all my targets are team related – my goal is to be able to help my teammates takes as many wins as possible. This has really been a focus of mine for the last couple of years and I thrive on it now and I know where I want to improve”, said the experienced Dane.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was eager to add to the growing number of voices that are proclaiming Mørkøv’s talent: “I have said several times in the past that I think he is the best lead-out man in the world. You can see a pattern across many of our sprint victories in that we have a strong train and Michael is the final part of that. He knows exactly where to be at the right time, he is a calm and collected character, and our road captain in the big races. Having his knowledge and experience, as well as his skills on the bike is vital and I am very happy that he will be with us for two more years.”
To help explain how Michael become so highly regarded, the three-time Danish Road Race Champion told of how he came to find his role.
“Being a lead-out man is something that came as my career evolved over time. When my career started, the team I was with didn’t really have a ‘sprint lead-out’ culture – we had good sprinters and we did a lot of work for them man for man, but we didn’t build up the same formations as we now recognise. Then I moved teams and I started to work in a more recognised way with a sprinter and learned a bit about the role, but it was after I joined Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 2018 that I started to really learn what being a lead-out man meant.”
“The guys really recognised my potential and we started to work on my development in that position. It was a huge thanks to the history and knowledge that the team have about the subject of sprinting, with sports directors like Tom Steels knowing the intricacies of a bunch sprint and how they work. The team have really helped me develop my skills and I really feel that is the right place for me to continue to develop. Also, I am very much aware that my lead-outs and our victories are based on the work that the rest of the team do to deliver us there and I don’t think I could have been anywhere near as successful on a team that did not have such great riders, or a different collective culture.”
Many watch in wonder as to how Michael can be so consistently be in the perfect position almost every time he reaches the finish line, but this is not by accident. “I always try to prepare myself as much as I can before every race, studying things like the parcours, weather conditions, opposition riders and the way in which we think the race will be raced. But at the end of the day, when it comes down to a sprint, it is my instinct that makes the final decisions. It takes quite a bit of preparation, but you have to trust your instinct at moments like that and use the experiences I have from previous races.”
Mørkøv is softly spoken and mild mannered yet his unwavering confidence is perhaps his most important asset: “I have learned to completely trust my instinct. It is an instinct that has developed as I have gained more and more experience over the years, which a massive advantage and means when we reach the important points of the race, I have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen. What works for me really well now is that I am at my highest level physically but also mentally, which added with my experience gives me the skills to navigate the sprints.”
“I am also a calm character which is built into my personality and it helps me just think about the things that I can influence. It means that I can let the race come to me rather than trying to force a situation. It is something that I enjoy trying to work with the younger guys on when we are at races. I still have a moment when we have a win that I get emotional, and I can let out a roar. I saw the video that the team made about the Tour de France last year and I was a bit surprised about how much emotion I showed but I am also a winner myself and I want to win with the team. You should analyse the sprints that we lose most and try and work out what happened, but sometimes I find it too painful, and I really want to watch the ones that we win. If we lose then it is usually because the guys that won are better, but sometimes we lose because of a silly mistake and when we do that we know why and don’t need to over analyse it.”
Michael added to this, when he spoke of how he has enjoyed working with developing sprinters, as well as the more experienced riders, having formed partnerships with a variety of riders over time.
“It is nice when they recognise that, and they come and ask me for help and advice. I remember when I was a young rider and there were a few guys that you would like to approach to get tips from. For me it was people like Stuart O’Grady or Jens Voigt, who I was always trying to approach on a training ride. It makes me feel proud when a young guy approaches me and thinks that I can help them. It could be tactical advice in a race but it could be more general stuff on how do I set myself up us a pro rider, where is the best place to base myself to live, or how do I look after my condition. In the years that I have been with the team we have always had a lot of young and talented guys that develop really well and I enjoy working with them.”
Mørkøv has clearly enjoyed his time with Deceuninck – Quick-Step so far and while he reminisced, he couldn’t help looking to the future: “Up until one or two years ago I used to have one to two lead-outs that jumped out in my memory, but I have to say now I have been involved in quite a few good ones, it becomes harder. I have great memories sprinting with Elia (Viviani), I have great memories with Alvaro (Hodeg) and Fabio (Jakobsen) and obviously with Sam (Bennett). One of the biggest was in Paris last year. The emotion that I have already mentioned was real and when I swore in to a camera, shouting “that was a ******* dream!”, it wasn’t a joke – to win on the Champs-Élysées with the green jersey is still the dream and it was amazing to be part of it. But also, in 2019 to be with Julian in yellow for 14 days was very special.”
“I am so happy to stay with this team for another two years. I like to think that I am a loyal guy and I love to be part of this team, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to stay. I am as motivated now as I was when I was 21 and I look forward to making many more memories in the team. I still get the buzz and excitement whenever I go to a race and I am not quite ready to collect my pension yet”, added Michael.
AG2R Citroën Team and Rosti Together Through 2024
Since 2018, Rosti has been providing cycling clothing to the AG2R Citroën Team. Their loyalty, product development, and high-quality creations have been at the heart of the first four years of our collaboration. The AG2R Citroën Team is proud to extend its commitment to Rosti until the end of the 2024 season.
Vincent Lavenu (Managing Director AG2R Citroën Team): “A cyclist’s outfit is an inseparable element of the rider. It is therefore essential that all the clothing can meet the needs of the professional cyclist on both a technical and aesthetic basis. And our requirements? Rosti has always succeeded in meeting any requests we’ve made since 2018, when we started our partnership. We have worked well together to develop the past two updates to the jerseys, and the riders have always been happy with the results. We especially wanted to make this announcement during the Giro as a sign of respect for the Italian brand. We are very happy to be continuing our collaboration and partnership with Rosti until 2024.”
Giovanni and Maurizio Alborghetti, founders of Rosti: “For Rosti, extending our partnership with the AG2R Citroën Team also means that we renew the challenge: to develop our products and find solutions that enhance the performance and comfort of all cyclists. Our daily routine feels like a race where we are constantly searching for technological innovations and developing the best designs. Having our products used at the highest level of competition allows us to certify the quality of the results obtained thanks to the work done by our team. To be present alongside the AG2R Citroën Team is rewarding and encourages us to develop ever higher quality standards.”
The Rosti company was founded in 1979 in the district of the Brembo River in the province of Bergamo, Italy, and specialises in the manufacture of high-quality cycling clothing. Passion and technical research have been in the genes of the Rosti company for over 40 years. Having developed from a small workshop making wool jerseys, Rosti has moved into creating the most advanced clothing using technical materials in their new facilities with a stylish showroom which opened in 2007. Design, development and performance are the foundation of all Rosti products. The company is constantly striving to meet the needs of teams and athletes (road, track and MTB) reflecting Rosti’s mentality and motivation, synthesised by its history, which can be defined as: “My passion, I feel it on my skin.”
Giovanni Alborghetti, Vincent Lavenu and Maurizio Alborghetti:
X2O Badkamers To Continue Cyclocross Sponsorship
Bathroom giant X2O Badkamers continues to invest longer in cyclocross. The company has decided to intensify its engagement with cross, the company announced in a press release. Not only will it remain title partner of the X2O Badkamers Trophy for at least two more seasons, it will also become the ‘main partner’ of the Ethias Cross.
Anja Vandendriessche, marketing manager X2O Badkamers, calls the investment in cyclocross a great success for the company: “Not in the least because of our big ducks that were often beautiful in the picture and have actually already become an icon in cyclocross. We are already looking forward to the new season. We only hope one thing: to be able to support the riders together with the fans this time as a sponsor!”
Christophe Impens, as Director Cycling at Golazo, organiser of the X2O Badkamers Trofee and the Ethias Cross, is happy to see the bathroom company in cross for longer: “Especially in a season when we could not have spectators, a strong title partner, is for an organiser, literally of vital importance. We are therefore pleased that they remain title partner of the X2O Badkamers Trofee for two more seasons and are also entering the Ethias Cross. The riders will also be delighted to see Duckie, the rubber duck, back in cyclocross and on the podium.”
The overall victory in the X2O Badkamers Trofee went to Eli Iserbyt and Lucinda Brand last year.
Duckie back on the podium:
Grand Prix Cerami Canceled
The organisers of the Grand Prix Cerami has decided no to run the 2021 edition. The race could not take place last year due to the corona crisis. The one-day race was back on the calendar this year on 25 July.
There will be relaxation in Belgium, making it possible to organise events in the summer with 2,500 spectators in the open air. The international cycling union UCI applies strict safety measures around the start and finish places of cycling races.
“It sounds paradoxical, but the relaxation does not correspond to the security measures of the UCI,” the organisers said in a press release. “We have to keep the start and finish zone public-free. In short, we can organise a party, but it is not possible to invite guests.”
“The GP Cerami is a popular cycling festival and it has to stay that way,” the organisers say. The race is now aiming for a return in 2022. The most recent edition in 2019 was won by the French sprinter Bryan Coquard.
Bryan Coquard, the last winner of the GP Cerami:
ZLM Tour Canceled in June – Now in 2022
The organisers of the ZLM Tour sees no opportunity to run the race this year. The Dutch stage race has been postponed by one year for the second season in a row. The ZLM Tour was scheduled for June 9-13, but has been postponed to 2022.
According to organiser Libéma Profcycling, the municipalities were not eager to allow the ZLM Tour to take place, given the uncertainty about the planned relaxation of the corona measures. The tour would start in Kapelle and also have stages with finishes in Goes, Buchten, Valkenburg (on the Cauberg) and Rucphen.
“In total, the ZLM Tour would ride through five different regions, eight different municipalities are starting and/or finishing places and would cross more than thirty different municipalities in total. We must obtain a permit from all these parties to be allowed to ride,” said Niels Geven of the race organisation.
“Within the current measures, there should be no public anywhere along the course. This could be realised at the start and finish locations, but along the route this hard condition could not be guaranteed by anyone, so we do not receive a permit from all parties. This makes it impossible to organise the ZLM Tour this year. ”
Martin de Kok, the general manager of Libéma Profcycling, thinks it is a shame, but he says he, together with main sponsor ZLM Verzekeringen, will ensure the continuity of the race. “We want to be the preparation race for the Tour de France for sprinters. Then we also have to make this happen for teams. By making a decision now, the teams can prepare for the Tour elsewhere. We did what we could and expect them to be back at the start next year.”
ZLM Tour 2019:
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