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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The week's cycling news

Some snow at the Tour of the Alps, but none in Flèche Wallonne – Reports, results and video. Tom Dumoulin to get his Olympic vaccine – TOP STORY. The Amstel finish discussion still goes on, the French autumn calendar getting full and the up to date UCI team rankings. Rider news from Remco Evenepoel, Philippe Gilbert, Ryan Kamp and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. The Tour 21 Team Near £600k with 60 days to go. Coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Tom Dumoulin on the Dutch Olympic Vaccination List
Tom Dumoulin is one of seven road cyclists on the Dutch vaccination list for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. From next Monday, the day after Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the first cyclists to qualify for the Summer Games will be vaccinated, according to WielerFlits.

Last week, it was announced that the Pfizer vaccines will be delivered to Papendal, where the existing vaccination site will be used to inoculate ‘Team NL’ against Covid-19, the Dutch federation announced in a digital press meeting. The RIVM and the GGD have assured NOC & NSF that the vaccination of Olympic athletes has no influence on their vaccination operation. National coach Koos Moerenhout could not confirm the news about the seven riders on the vaccination list. “I cannot make any statements about the vaccination list because it is covered by medical secrecy,” said Moerenhout. “There is also no final selection for Tokyo. I have not written off Tom Dumoulin for the Olympic Games yet. As far as I am concerned, he still has a chance to compete in the road race and time trial. I recently had contact with him and discussed this with him. However, Tom is not yet ready to make a decision about his future. The most important thing is that he takes that decision in peace and that I give him plenty of time for that.”

At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Dumoulin took the silver medal behind Fabian Cancellara in the time trial. Last Sunday Dumoulin was at the Amstel Gold Race where he was a guest of race director Leo van Vliet. Koos Moerenhout can select five riders for the road race, two of whom will ride the time trial. Jan-Willem van Schip is one of those five riders, because in this way the KNWU creates an extra place for the track team in Tokyo. Moerenhout must pick four more riders.

Will we see Tom Dumoulin at the Olympic Games?
dumoulin

 

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Flèche Wallonne Men 2021
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) returned to his winning ways on the Mur de Huy, conquering the Flèche Wallonne for the third time in his career (2018, 19, 21) on Wednesday. The French World Champion edged Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the final metres after a strong attack from the Slovenian in his first ride in the Flèche Wallonne. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished 3rd and claimed a podium spot for the 8th time in Huy.

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The 168 starters rolled out from the Dôme, Spirou Charleroi Bastket Club’s facility without UAE Team Emirates. Last year’s winner Marc Hirschi and Tadej Pogačar, don’t start after two members of the team returned positive to Covid-19 tests.

Attacks went from the gun and it took 19km of hard battle for a group of five riders to get away: Alex Howes (EF Education-Nippo), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto-Soudal), Sander Armée (Qhubeka Assos), Maurits Lammertink (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Julian Mertens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). They are joined by Diego Rosa (Arkéa-Samsic), Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) and Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) after 39 kilometres. The gap reached 5:10 over the first climb of the day, Côte d’Yvoir (51.5km), with Sander Armée leading the break. Riders from INEOSGrenadiers, Movistar, Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step worked together to control the break with a maximum lead of 5:25 at 75 kilometres. The tension increased in the bunch with the Côte de Thon, Côte de Groynne and Côte de Haut-Bois on the menu. Movistar took control on the Côte de Gives and the gap came down to 3:15 as the race entered the final circuit, with 71km to go. The peloton moved closer with the first ascent of the Mur de Huy: 2:25 at the summit with INEOS Grenadiers’ Tom Pidcock and Michal Kwiatkowski near the front. The British squad keeps pushing on the Côte d’Ereffe before Dylan Teuns’ Bahrain Victorious set the pace with 40km to go. A high pace on the penultimate climb of the Mur de Huy saw the race explode. Only Vervaeke, Lammertink, Armée, Moniquet and Howes remained at the front with the lead down to 1:15. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) attacked from the bunch and many riders counter-attack and the peloton was down to 70 riders.

The final lap began with a crash involving the former winner Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) and Tom Pidcock. They both return to the bunch with 25km to go. Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) led the bunch on the final ascent of the Côte d’Ereffe and cut the lead to 30 seconds. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) jumped away at the bottom of the penultimate climb of the day, the Côte du chemin des Gueuses. Omar Fraile (Astana) and Ilan Van Wilder (DSM) join him but Deceuninck – Quick-Step and INEOS Grenadiers make sure they are caught after the summit, with less than 10km left to race. Lammertink held on for as long as possible at the front, but is eventually caught at the bottom of the Mur de Huy. Primoz Roglič is the first favourite to make a move, 350m from the line. Roglič opened big gap but Julian Alaphilippe caught and passed the Slovenian in the final 100m to win Flèche Wallonne for the third time.

You can read the full ‘PEZ Race Report’ HERE.

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Race winner, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step): “I was very motivated and wanted to show today that I had a strong head, so I gave everything when it mattered. Since the start of the season I haven’t won a lot and even though that didn’t stop me from having fun, I really wanted to raise my arms again. The fact that it happened at this great race, more than one month after my Tirreno win, makes it even more beautiful. The team did a great job today, working tirelessly and protecting me, and I’m really proud of them. I had huge confidence in the guys and was well placed thanks to them when I needed to be. Mikkel dropped me off at the bottom of the Mur in the first positions, and in the end, I knew what I had to do. It’s the legs that make the difference on this hard climb. It wasn’t easy with Roglič out front and Valverde on my wheel, who were both very strong, but I managed to pull it off. Winning in this jersey gives me an amazing feeling, and at the same time, a huge confidence boost. I’m really happy.”

2nd, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Julian was the strongest rider on the climb. He deserved to win. The final climb is really difficult and tough, but it’s one that suits me. I was in a good position and went for it. When you feel that the legs are good, you just have to attack. That is what I did. Unfortunately, I got caught up just before the finish. That’s racing. The defending champion of La Doyenne is already looking forward to the upcoming classics. “I’m looking forward to Liege-Bastogne-Liege. My form is good and I want to show again what I can do. Hopefully I can compete for the podium again.”

3rd, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “For sure I’m in a great condition. I’ve been feeling good since the Volta a Catalunya and I’ve shown it again today. I’m really happy to be so close to the best, Primoz [Roglič] and Julian [Alaphilippe]. I had great legs but I had to make a big effort to get back because I was in a bad position entering the Mur. I’ve been second, I’ve won five times, I had to be third too! I don’t know [if it’s the last time I race the Flèche Wallonne]. I feel great and I don’t know if I’ll continue. On Sunday, we have Liège, and positioning is not so important there, we’ll see how it goes.”

10th, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Tenth place is admittedly not quite the result, that we had hoped for today. I felt ok during the race, and tried to cover all the important attacks over the last kilometres, which cost quite some energy. I was able to be up there in the important move on the final and decisive ascent of the Mur de Huy, but ultimately I was just missing that final kick to be able to fight it out for a top result.”

Last break rider to be caught, Maurits Lammertink (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert): “We really wanted to have someone in the breakaway since Flèche Wallonne is an important race for the team. Loïc Vliegen, Aimé De Gendt and myself were appointed to try and to exactly that today. Eventually it was me who managed to do so. I could feel that I was one of the strongest riders in our group so I tried to attack on my own. Of course, when you’re leading solo so close from the line you get your hopes up and you try to win the race. But the peloton had never allowed us to ride too far away. There was a strong head wind in the final so it was impossible to stay in the front until the end. If I would wait in the pack until the last time Mur de Huy, a top twenty would be my maximum effort so I went all in this breakaway. I gave everything I had so I’m satisfied about my race.”

Flèche Wallonne Men Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 4:36:25
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:06
4. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:08
5. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:11
6. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) BikeExchange
9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16.

Wallonne’21 last lap:

 


Flèche Wallonne Women 2021
Anna van der Breggen won the Flèche Wallonne for the seventh time in a row. After 130 kilometres, the SD Worx World champion was the first to top the Mur de Huy. On the steep final climb, she was the best of an elite group that had escaped on the final circuit. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon/SRAM) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) finished second and third.

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After 20 kilometres, the first attack escaped: Silvia Magri (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Barbara Sniezynska (Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus) gave it their best shot, but it didn’t last long. A few kilometres further on their were two new leaders: Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT) and Femke Gerritse (Parkhotel Valkenburg). They survived the first climbs, but they could not stop Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo), Swiss champion Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) and Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) from taking over. The pushed on to gain 30 seconds. When the three leaders were caught, it was Ruth Winder who launched an attack. The American champion soon gained a good lead which forced SD Worx to chase. Chabbey counter-attacked, but crashed on some gravel at the bottom of the penultimate climb.

Winder’s lead fell very quickly on the penultimate climb, partly thanks to attacks by Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten. Marianne Vos fell victim to the attack of the Movistar leader. In her stars and stripes outfit, Winder continued her solo, as the peloton didn’t get the chase organised. Her lead was rising again, so the chase had to get in control. Vollering took the lead towards the steep final climb of the nine-member group of pursuers. She sacrificed her chances for Van der Breggen at the bottom of the Chemin des Chapelles. One by one the riders had to drop out. Only Katarzyna Niewadioma was still there at 150 metres from the line, but Van der Breggen put in her winning acceleration which turned out to be enough for a seventh consecutive victory.

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Race winner, Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx): “I am very happy that I was able to finish it for the team. It was a tough race from the start, the pace was high on the climbs. We made some tactical mistakes during the race, so we had to chase. But the team did a great job of solving everything. Demi almost closed the gap with Ruth Winder just before the Wall, which is fantastic. If you make such a decision as young riders, it says a lot about your future. I am very happy that I was able to finish it for the team. This was perhaps the most difficult of all. We had to chase a lot and we weren’t in control the entire race. For me there was also a bit more pressure because the girls worked so hard for me. I had to give everything on the Wall. It was a great fight with Kasia. She was really strong. I am therefore very happy to win this one. It is a crazy thought that this is my last Flèche Wallonne. But next year I won’t bother the other girls anymore (laughs). I am happy to finish it off with seven victories in a row. Winning in Liège-Bastogne-Liège would be nice, but the current course is a little less for me. We will certainly try, but first I will enjoy this victory.”

Flèche Wallonne Women Result:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 3:28:27
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon/SRAM
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
5. Mavi García (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana
6. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM
7. Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo
8. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
9. Amanda Spratt (Aus) BikeExchange
10. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx.

Wallonne’21:

 

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Tour of the Alps 2021
Gianni Moscon won Stage 1 of the Tour of the Alps on Monday. The INEOS Grenadiers Italian was the best at the finish in Innsbruck after 140 kilometres. Moscon beat Idar Andersen (Uno-X) after a late attack and laso took the overall lead.

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Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) was the instigator of the attack of the day, he was joined by Máron Dina (EOLO-Kometa) and Felix Engelhardt (Tirol-KTM). They managed a lead of 5 minutes on the peloton, where Astana-Premier Tech led the chase. After 50 kilometres, the race crossed the Brenner Pass, due to the altitude and the cold it snowed a little, but that didn’t stop De Marchi from taking the KOM points. On the descent to Innsbruck, Astana-Premier Tech cut the lead. With a lead of 1:30, the break started the finish circuit of about 17 kilometres around Innsbruck, which had to be ridden twice, with the 3rd Cat Axams climb. De Marchi first dropped Engelhardt and later Dina. The experienced Italian kept his lead of one and a half minutes, although it quickly disappeared at the foot of the Axams for the second time, 21 kilometres from the finish. Karel Vacek made the first attack, followed by an attack by Hugh Carthy. That acceleration was of little use, as did the pinpricks that followed. At nineteen kilometres before the finish, De Marchi was caught by Sergio Martín and Atilla Valter, although the differences remained small. At the top of Axams, the thinned out peloton was again drawn to a long line.

In the absence of top sprinters, several teams tried to attack in the finalé. On the descent to Innsbruck, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Matthias Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo), Santiago Umba (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Daniel Savini (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) managed to escape from the peloton. No team started the chase, so the break took 20 seconds. AG2R Citroën, INEOS Grenadiers and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA decided to pull them back. The four escapees were caught more than 3 kilometres before the finish. At this point Gianni Moscon put in a hard attack. In the technical final through the centre of Innsbruck, Moscon gained a 6 second gap. With 1K to go he was joined by the young Norwegian Idar Andersen (Uno-X). In the sprint it was Moscon who was the fastest, ahead of Andersen. The peloton was led in by Alexandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates) just 1 second later.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Gianni Moscon (INEOS Grenadiers): “There’s no better way to get back racing after two months away due to an injury. I’ve lived in Innsbruck for three years and so I was really motivated to try to win at home. It gave me that bit extra that made the difference. Knowing the roads was an advantage, especially psychologically. I knew what was coming and knew how to judge my effort. Of course you need the legs too and it worked out perfectly. The battle for the GC will be hard because some of the best climbers in the world are here as they get ready for the Giro d’Italia. We’ll try to defend the lead, but I know I might struggle. I just want to enjoy doing the second stage in the leader’s jersey.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates): “When I saw the stage profile I knew that it suited me very well. I put everything into the final sprint but unfortunately there were two riders who we couldn’t bring back, though we came very close. I’m happy with the condition and will look for another opportunity this week.”

5th on the stage and overall, Nick Schultz (BikeExchange): “It was a bit of a surprise to have a go today, this week we are here primarily to use it as a building block and become a well drilled unit for the Giro d’Italia so the main objective was to keep Yates safe. Then in the final, once that was ticked off, I had the opportunity to go for the sprint.”

Tour of the Alps Stage 1 Result:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 3:29:24
2. Idar Andersen (Nor) Uno-X Pro
3. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
9. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Qhubeka Assos.

Tour of the Alps Overall After Stage 1:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 3:29:14
2. Idar Andersen (Nor) Uno-X Pro at 0:04
3. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:10
5. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
9. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Qhubeka Assos.

Stage 1:

 

Simon Yates seized power in Stage 2 of the Tour of the Alps. The leader of the BikeExchange team won the 121 kilometre mountain stage to Feichten im Kaunertal after a long solo. He also took over the leader’s jersey from Gianni Moscon. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) finished second.

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An early escape attempt failed on the streets of Innsbruck, but soon after, six riders succeeded: Reuben Thompson (Groupama-FDJ), Mathias Vacek (Gazprom-RusVelo), Davide Bais (EOLO-Kometa), Morgen Hulgaard (Uno-X), Felix Engelhardt (Tirol-KTM) and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Qhubeka Assos). INEOS Grenadiers led the chase in the peloton for GC leader Gianni Moscon. On the first real climb of the day, the Gachenblick, the peloton caught the first of the breakaway. Janse van Rensburg had to let the other five go on to the second category climb. The difference between the leading group and the peloton was about 2:30 at the top of the Gachenblick. Thompson won the KOM and managed to get away with Bais on the descent. At the start of the Kaunergrat climb, 29 kilometres from the finish, Arkéa-Samsic raised the pace for Nairo Quintana, ending the escape attempt by the New Zealander and the Italian. Soon after, Quintana made his move, breaking the favourites group apart. INEOS Grenadiers tried to finish the race with Pavel Sivakov and Daniel Martínez, but Simon Yates was watching them.

The British leader of BikeExchange accelerated himself and only had Quintana, Sivakov and Hugh Carthy with him. Quintana and Carthy had to drop out at 2 kilometres from the top, because the pace of Yates was too high. Sivakov also cracked, after which the Russian fell back into the group with Carthy and Quintana. The three crossed the top of the Kaunergrat half a minute behind Yates, but lost even more time in the descent. At the foot of the final climb to Feichten im Kaunertal (not categorised but tough) the difference was 50 seconds and another group joined the trio of Sivakov, Carthy and Quintana. The collaboration was not good, but Sivakov, Jai Hindley, Aleksandr Vlasov, Jefferson Cepeda and Daniel Martin tried to chase. Yates kept a good lead of around 40 seconds, in which Sivakov showed himself the best rider. Yates crossed the finish line with a convincing lead, followed by Sivakov at 41 seconds, defending his 2019 title in the Tour of the Alps. The next group of Martin, Vlasov and Cepeda followed at 1 minute, while Hindley and Carthy crossed the finish line 15 seconds later. Yates now has a lead of 45 seconds on Sivakov and 1:04 minutes on Martin.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “I tried really hard; it was a very tough climb. Those guys were not easy to get rid of, I tried several times and that really took it out of me for the valley road to the finish. I enjoy these (shorter) stages, we race from the start rather than messing around for 150km and then racing only for the final. It was a good day for us, my first win of the year so I am very happy. So far so good but there’s still a lot of very hard stages to come so we will see what we can do in the next few days.”

Tour of the Alps Stage 2 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 3:17:42
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:41
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:58
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 1:17
7. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
8. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:42
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
10. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo.

Tour of the Alps Overall After Stage 2:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 6:46:56
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:45
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:04
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:08
5. Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 1:27
7. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
8. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange at 1:52
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious.

Stage 2:

 

Stage 3: Gianni Moscon (INEOS Grenadiers) took his second stage victory in the Tour of the Alps. In Naturns he beat Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) with whom he was part of the early break. Behind them, Michael Storer (BikeExchange) finished third. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) kept the leaders green jersey.

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After a day in Austria, the Tour of the Alps crossed the border into Italy again in the third stage. From the start the road went up almost immediately to the Piller Sattel pass, which took the riders to an altitude of 1,559 metres. From the intermediate sprint after 54 kilometres, the course became increasingly difficult with the climbs of the Reschenpass and the Frinig. This was followed by a technical descent to the foot of the Tarres. This 3.4 kilometre climb with some steep ramps offered opportunities for attackers. Uno-X had to deal with a positive corona case in the team, so didn’t start the stage. From the start several riders tried to get away. The break of the day started on the Piller Sattel, with Gianni Moscon, the winner of the opening stage, Thibaut Pinot, Antonio Nibali, Harold Tejada, the BORA-hansgrohe couple Matteo Fabbro and Felix Großschartner, Tejay van Garderen, Alessandro De Marchi, Hermann Pernsteiner, AG2R Citroën riders François Bidard and Tony Gallopin, Michael Storer and a duo from EOLO-Kometa, Edward Ravasi and Mark Christian.

Pinot was dropped due to a puncture, but Luis León Sánchez managed to cross along with Reuben Thompson. The lead fluctuated around two minutes for a long time. On the Frinig several riders had to let go of the early break, this left the strongest men in front with Moscon, Nibali, Sánchez, Fabbro, Großschartner, Van Garderen, De Marchi, Pernsteiner, Bidard and Storer. In the peloton, Simon Yates’ BikeExchange team and Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè set the pace. In the run-up to the Tarres, Pavel Sivakov, second overall, crashed, but was able to return to the peloton. With 20 kilometres to go, the leading group started the final climb. Pernsteiner started the action, but Moscon was able to answer. The Italian then rode away and had Storer, Fabbro and Großschartner with him. From the peloton, Pello Bilbao accelerated to join the dropped early break riders Nibali, Sánchez, De Marchi, Pernsteiner and Bidard. With Bilbao, the pursuers got closer and closer to the leading group. At 10 kilometres from the finish, the difference was 30 seconds, kilometres further the six had the four in front. Nevertheless, Moscon, Fabbro, Großscharnter and Storer would compete for the victory. Moscon and Großschartner had the fastest legs in the winding streets of Naturns, with the Italian just ahead of the Austrian for his second stage victory. Storer was third, ahead of Fabbro. In the general classification, Yates remained in the lead. The Briton defends a 45 second lead over Sivakov, in second place. Bilbao made a nice jump thanks to his move. The Spaniard is now third at 1:04.

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Stage winner, Gianni Moscon (INEOS Grenadiers): “On Monday I broke the ice in Innsbruck, now I have regained my confidence and feeling with victory,” Moscon commented after the race. “The stage was clearly suited for long-run breakaways, with its challenging profile. In the final kilometres we were down to four and insisted in our action until the finish: it worked out well. Dreaming of a hat-trick in my Trentino might seem too much right now: tomorrow we are expected by a hard and important stage, and we are ready to stand by Pavel Sivakov, hoping that hoping that his fall will leave no significant aftermath.”

Overall leader, Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “Today we were able to control the race, the team did a great job, and I was able to save some energy for tomorrow. Tomorrow it will be a very demanding stage, Sivakov is looking strong, and Bilbao has also got closer in the standings today, moving to third place. So far, I am really enjoying this Tour of the Alps: we race in a beautiful area, on fantastic roads and so far the weather has also been better than expected: let’s hope to continue like this.”

2nd on the stage, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “We really wanted to hit back today. After a long training block at altitude sometimes your performance is a little inconsistent, and maybe that was the problem yesterday. Anyway, there is no excuse, and we haven’t been there. But today we rode aggressive from the beginning. I was part of the group then together with Matteo, but the group didn’t really go well and both of us invested a lot because we really wanted to stay out there today. On the last climb it was up to the legs and we both made the split. But because the chasing group was that close there was no room for attacks and there was also headwind to the finish. In the sprint I had the speed, but I couldn’t overtake Gianni in this twisty inrun. He was smart to go from the front. But I am happy anyway, today was important, I can be confident now looking into the next stages and upcoming weeks.”

8th on the stage and 3rd overall, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious): “When I knew that my teammate was not going to win the stage, as he lost contact with the breakaway companions, I decided to try. Theoretically, today was a day to wait and save energy for tomorrow, but I saw a good opportunity. In the end, it was a perfect move. I could make a big step in the front, recovering the time that I lost yesterday. I want to say thank you to all the team, especially Pernsteiner, who worked to support me in the last km, and it was crucial, after a hard stage with a high pace.”

Tour of the Alps Stage 3 Result:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:04:25
2. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Michael Storer (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:01
4. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Francois Bidard (Fra) AG2R Citroën
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
9. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Victorious at 0:13.

Tour of the Alps Overall After Stage 3:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 10:52:10
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:45
3. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 1:04
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:08
6. Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni-Sidermec
7. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 1:27
8. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 1:52
10. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange.

Stage 3:

 

amstel
UCI: “Millimetres Were the Difference Between Van Aert and Pidcock”
People are still talking about the final sprint of the Amstel Gold Race. Was Wout van Aert the first to cross the line, or was it Tom Pidcock? After viewing the photo finish, Van Aert was declared as the winner, but why that long uncertainty?

UCI commissar, Jempi Jooren, who specialises in setting up the photo finish equipment, explained to Het Laatste Nieuws why it took so long for the winner of the Amstel Gold Race to be announced. “The finish line consists of a white line of 32 centimetres wide, followed by a black line of four centimetres and then another white line of 32 centimetres. The finish line is the perpendicular to the end of the first 32 centimetre white line. That line is drawn perpendicular to the front of the wheel crossing the finish line.”

It is very important that the equipment is set up perfectly, he said. “So that no discussion is possible. You can place the photo finish a bit however you want. It is not a calibrated device, it is constantly manipulated. You can juggle with the situation. I supervised the installation of the photo finish for fifteen years. That really has to be done with millimetre precision.”

On the television images it seemed as if Pidcock had won the Amstel Gold Race. “The cameras of the NOS or the VRT have a kind of wide-angle lens, which often gives a distorted image. I also thought that Pidcock won, I put my hand in the fire for that. But the photo finish showed that it was different. The difference should be a few millimetres, maybe it was an inch. A photo finish works with pixels. You cannot see a difference of less than a millimetre on those pixels. Sometimes it is really right. And then it is also the same.”

Ultimately, time should be taken to study the finish photo and identify a winner, says Jooren. The result will not be official until the riders have been given the opportunity to view the finish photo.

The evidence:
amstel

 

france
The French Autumn Calendar is Getting Very Full
The French autumn is getting more and more crowded. Some spring race that couldn’t take place due to the corona crisis have been moved to October. The rescheduling of Paris-Roubaix has also caused some extra changes. The Paris-Roubaix men’s race has been given a new date on Sunday 3 October. Bad news for the Tour de Vendée, which was already in that place on the calendar. That one-day race is now being moved to Saturday, October 9, the day before Paris-Tours on October 10.

The following weekend, 16 and 17 October, the Grand Prix du Morbihan had been moved to October 16 and Boucles de l’Aulne has now also been moved. That race is scheduled for October 17. That same day, Chrono des Nations will also be held.

roubaix

 

uci
UCI Team Ranking
The UCI has announced a new update to the 2021 Team Ranking this week. Little has changed in the top of the rankings, although leader Deceuninck – Quick-Step has INEOS Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma getting closer. Last week, the difference between Deceuninck – Quick-Step and INEOS was about 1,500 points, but now the Belgian team has ‘only’ a 900 point lead. INEOS and Jumbo both scored well in the Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race, thanks to Tom Pidcock and Wout van Aert. Alpecin-Fenix ​​and UAE Team Emirates are still fourth and fifth, but BORA-hansgrohe jumps from ninth to sixth. Trek-Segafredo, Bahrain Victorious and AG2R Citroën drop a place compared to last week.

Movistar has moved from nineteenth to fifth, thanks to Alejandro Valverde.

UCI Team Ranking (on April 20, 2021):
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 5,584 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 4,649 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 4,500 points
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,409 points
5. UAE Team Emirates – 3,325 points
6. BORA-hansgrohe – 2,923 points
7. Trek-Segafredo – 2,891 points
8. Bahrain Victorious – 2,654 points
9. AG2R Citroën – 2,562 points
10. Astana-Premier Tech – 2,242 points
11. Team BikeExchange – 2,177 points
12. Groupama-FDJ – 2,135 points
13. Qhubeka ASSOS – 1,854 points
14. Israel Start-Up Nation – 1,804 points
15. Movistar – 1,737 points
16. Lotto Soudal – 1,685 points
17. Cofidis – 1,486 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,354 points
19. Total Direct Energy – 1,281 points
20. Team DSM – 1,003 points
22. EF Education-Nippo – 958 points
24. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 756 points

Alpecin-Fenix ​​remains the top ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The Belgian team has again extended its lead on the French ProTeams Arkéa-Samsic and Total Direct Energie. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB and Delko are falling even further behind.

Best five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on April 20, 2021):
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,409 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,354 points
19. Total Direct Energy – 1,281 points
21. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 964 points
23. Delko – 828 points.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step still in the lead:
basque

 

deceuninck
Remco Evenepoel: “Still have some work to do for the Giro”
Just three weeks before the start of the Giro d’Italia, Remco Evenepoel has given an update about his comeback. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider is currently preparing for his season debut in the Sierra Nevada. “I still have some work to do to prepare myself for the start of the Giro. I am now doing my last training camp here in the Sierra Nevada,” Evenepoel said on social media. “It has been three great weeks with Fausto Masnada and João Almeida. It’s great to discover a new place and the weather was good. We only had two days of rain, so we were lucky. A three-hour training ride was scheduled. On my own, because those other two guys had to do a corona test for their upcoming races. Fausto will ride the Tour de Romandie and João will start in Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” he explained. “I still have some work to do, but in the end I’m just happy to be able to cycle and that’s the most important thing.”

On Wednesday Evenepoel flew back to Belgium, where he will do another time trial test on the track in Gent. The focus is on the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia and the Olympic time trial.

Remco Evenepoel coming back to form:
evenepoel

 

lotto soudal
Philippe Gilbert Will Retire at the End of 2022
As expected, Philippe Gilbert will hang his bike up at the end of next year. His contract with Lotto Soudal also ends in 2022. The Valkenburg World champion spoke to the RTBF radio station VivaCité.

Gilbert had previously mentioned 2022 as his possibly final season as he is then 40 years old. “At some point you have to stop. My career has lasted twenty years and there is more to life than just cycling. In my life I have made many sacrifices and now it is time to enjoy, for example, my family,” he said.

In the interview he also spoke of the difficult past weeks, in which he skipped the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race. “I needed a physical and mental break, but now I’m fine again. I was able to train well and I am happy that I can return to the Flèche Wallonne. I would also have liked to ride the Amstel Gold Race, but that was still too early in my training schedule. I have had two serious knee injuries and underestimated the effect on my body. I paid the toll for the many miles I drove despite the enormous pain in my knee. I was in a lot of pain for months and now my body said stop. The decision to take a break was the right one. I hope to return with a better feeling,” said Gilbert.

Without pressure, Gilbert will start this week in the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “Physically I am not bad, but I am aware that I have missed preparatory races as the Basque Country. Most of all, I want to have fun and try to get as far as possible. Without pressure I may be able to race freely. I hope to be there in the finals of these beautiful classics.”

A couple of years more for Philippe:
gilbert

 

pauwels
Ryan Kamp With Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal Till the End of 2023
Ryan Kamp has extended his contract with cyclocross team Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal. The 20-year-old from Brabant, U23 World champion and reigning U23 European champion, will remain with manager Jurgen Mettepenningen’s team until the end of 2023. “I can continue to work on my development without stress, while the leaders take the pressure off for me,” said Kamp.

“I feel at home at Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal. It clicks very well with the team management, and it’s nice that I don’t really get any pressure on my shoulders yet. Last season, several professional races went so well that I will mainly ride with the elite next winter. That seems the best for my development as a rider. I will probably still ride the World Cup and championships with the U23.”

Manager Mettepenningen is also happy with the contract extension. “Ryan was the revelation of the past two seasons, and that with a lot of regularity, without lows. I prefer to see such guys who perform at a good level all winter long. Ryan is already the best U23 rider of his generation, but he also has what it takes to make our professional team even stronger. He can slowly continue to grow in the shadow of Eli Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout, and emerge from their shadow at the appropriate time to carry the plow himself.”

Ryan Kamp – U23 World and Euro champ:
eurocross 20

 

alpecin fenix
Alpecin-Fenix ​​Signs Guillaume Van Keirsbulck
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck is still a professional cyclist. The 30-year-old rider was without a team after CCC ended last season, but Alpecin-Fenix ​​offered him a contract. Alpecin-Fenix ​​has had to contend with several injuries in recent weeks, so an extra rider in the team certainly doesn’t hurt.

“In any case, I am and will remain very motivated. I am certainly not finished cycling yet. Incidentally, I do not necessarily have to return to the WorldTour. Also in a ProTeam I can certainly prove that I still have my place in the peloton,” Van Keirsbulck said last December. Earlier, the Belgian ProTeam also picked up Julien Vermote. He was also without a team after he did not receive a new contract from Cofidis. “I haven’t finished cycling yet,” Vermote said when he got the new contract. “I continued to take care of myself, I continued to train, I continued to do training camps.”

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck in CCC last year:
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck

 

the tour
The Tour 21 Team Near £600k With 60 Days To Go
A team of 25 amateur cyclists will begin riding the full 21 stages of the 2021 Tour de France route, one week ahead of the professionals in exactly 60 days. The Tour 21, which takes place from Saturday 19th June – Sunday 11th July, aims to raise in excess of £1,000,000 for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia and the team are halfway to their fundraising total after recently surpassing £560,000.

Cure Leukaemia, which was announced as the first ever official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK for the next three years, recorded a £1,500,000 fundraising shortfall in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and The Tour 21 team, which was increased from 20 to 25 riders after this event’s postponement last summer, aim to help the charity address this shortfall in funding by completing all 3,384km of the world’s most famous and prestigious professional cycling event.

All funds raised by The Tour 21 team will be invested in the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which has been solely funded by Cure Leukaemia since January 2020. TAP is a network of specialist research nurses at 12 blood cancer centres located in the UK’s biggest cities and a facilitatory hub based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This network enables accelerated setup and delivery of potentially life-saving blood cancer clinical trials to run giving patients from a UK catchment area of over 20 million people access to treatments not currently available through standard care.

Leading the team on his final Tour de France challenge is ex-England footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas, 56, who said: “We all know that this event will be gruelling and will test us to the limits both physically and mentally but the reason we are doing it is to raise over £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia to claw back the £1,500,000 fundraising shortfall the charity suffered. However tough the challenge is for us it is nothing compared to what blood cancer patients have to go through and I know that from personal experience. I am delighted that, as a team, we have reached the halfway mark with our fundraising, but we must keep our foot down now to ensure we can set off from Brittany on June 19th knowing that we have exceeded £1,000,000 to sustain the TAP network and give hope to the 38,000 people diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK each year.”

Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin continued: “It is fantastic to see The Tour 21 team reaching £500,000 raised this far out from the start of the event but after such a challenging year in 2020. With a range of sponsorships opportunities still available for this event including the jersey, team bus and comprehensive video content of the whole 21 stage event, it would be great if companies worldwide could support Geoff and the team surpass their fundraising target. With this being Geoff’s final major cycling challenge, we encourage everyone who has supported him over the years can do so once again to ensure he can hang up his cleats knowing this team has made a huge impact for blood cancer patients across the UK.”

● Cycling event, The Tour 21, which will see 25 amateur cyclists riding the full 2021 Tour de France route one week ahead of the professionals, has now raised over £560,000 with 60 days until the event
● The event aims to raise over £1,000,000 for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia, the first ever official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK.
● This is the only charity event of its kind with an official partnership with the Tour de France in the UK.
● The team will be led by former England footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas and it will be his final Tour de France challenge.
● Jersey sponsorship opportunities for this event and registration for The Tour 21 in 2022 and 2023 are available via www.thetour21.com.
A new YouTube channel for The Tour 21 has been launched HERE
● Watch the ‘Tour 21 Launch’ video presented by Rebecca Charlton here:

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