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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

We finish up the 2019 WorldTour with the Tour of Guangxi and the UCI talk WT future. Mario Cipollini heart operation due to court case – Top Story. 2020 Giro d’Italia presentation and UAE Tour news. Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Greg Van Avermaet top the 2019 rankings. More rider contract news, Elia Viviani rides the London ‘6 Days’ and Joris Nieuwenhuis’ cyclocross program. All the cycling news in EUROTRASH.

TOP STORY: Mario Cipollini has heart operation after ex-wife’s court accusations
Italian website, sport.ilgazzettino.it, reported on Tuesday that the ‘Lion King’, Mario Cipollini, collapsed after the hearing against him for violence against his ex-wife, and was hospitalised for heart problems. ‘Super Mario’ has had the heart problem for a long time, a tachycardia, which he had during his pro cycling career. The website quote the newspaper Novella 2000, which is following the case.

Cipollini’s ex-wife, Sabrina Landucci said: “Mario aimed a gun at my head during an argument.”

Cipollini felt ill after the hearing in the court of Lucca, and is currently hospitalised in Ancona, where he had stent surgery and heart ablation. The former cyclist was put under severe stress due to legal matters, where the 2002 Zolder World champion is accused of repeated violence against Sabrina Landucci, his ex-wife. During the case, Sabrina Landucci accused Cipollini of being violent and pointing a loaded gun at her. The trial began following the woman’s complaint in 2017, that the cycling champion would show up at the gym where she works, insulting her and holding her, first, up against a wall and then against a shop window in the sports centre hall.

Cipollini and Landucci were married in 1993 and have two daughters. The marriage ended in a Lucca court in 2006, when the couple separated by mutual consent. Despite the separation, based on what was reported by his ex-wife and told in court, Mario Cipollini continued to go to places frequented by Landucci, attacking her both physically and verbally.

After the operation, Cipollini is said to be stable and said that it was caused by a moment of extreme stress due to the judicial facts, against which he rejects all the accusations vociferously.

Monte Carlo’02: Mario and Sabrina Cipollini with their daughters:

Gree-Tour of Guangxi 2019
Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) won the penultimate Stage 5 of the Tour of Guangxi on Monday. In the town of Guilin, after 212.2 kilometres, the Colombian was too fast for Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) in a bunch sprint.

Four men escaped on the longest stage of the Chinese WorldTour race from the start in Liuzhou. Jay Thompson (Dimension Data), Taco van der Hoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) and Roy Goldstein (Israel Cycling Academy) had to fight the peloton for a while, but in the end they were allowed their freedom. The quartet took a maximum lead of 5 minutes, but Deceuninck – Quick Step, Bora-Hansgrohe, Sunweb and Mitchelton-Scott ensured that the lead was limited.

The break never had a chance of a win, there were still a few prizes on the way. Goldstein won the first intermediate sprint, while Mullen took the KOM points on the first climb. At the top of the climb, the lead had already dropped to 2:20, but after the summit the peloton eased off a little. The following sprint and mountain prize had the same winners as the hilly section of the stage began.

The climbs were too much for the Israeli, who had to let go the front group. Mullen was first on the penultimate climb, making him a serious threat to Guillaume Martin, leader for the KOM. The peloton, however, was not far away and the leading group would soon be caught.

Mullen was the last to be caught, and overall leader Enric Mas was forced into action on the last climb of the day. Daniel Martinez tried an attack on Mas on the climb, but it wasn’t more than a short effort, the Spaniard closed the gap quickly. With one more stage to go, Mas was in pole position to give Deceuninck – Quick-Step a farewell present of the last WorldTour race of the year.

Wanty-Gobert’s KOM leader, Martin, had to compete with Tomasz Marczyński for the mountain points. The Lotto Soudal rider was the first to the line, ahead of Martin, making the Polish rider the new leader in the mountain classification. The pace acceleration on the climb also ensured that the peloton was in pieces. It looked like Matteo Trentin would be the man for the win, as he was by far the fastest man in the leading group of twelve, including: Mas, Martin, Marczyński, Martinez, David De La Cruz, Rosa, Rémi Cavagna, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Antwan Tolhoek, Martijn Tusveld and Davide Ballerini.

Trentin would be disappointed as a lot of the fast men used the descent and the remaining kilometres to the finish in Guilin to get back to the front group. Gaviria was among them and he convincingly took his second sprint victory in the 2019 Tour of Guangxi. Ackermann did what he could, but he got no closer than the rear wheel of the Colombian. Trentin was third.

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “My teammates had a huge part to play in this victory. I’m very happy with my performance today: It’s never easy, at the end of the season, racing in races over 200 km, as happened today. I felt good all day long, and I kept climbing hard trying to stay close to the main group and then caught back up to the leaders thanks to the support of the team. In the sprint, I was able to start from a good position and had great legs so I could pull off the win.”

2nd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I was able to get over the last climb together with Felix and Max, but it wasn’t necessarily an easy feat. Over the last kilometres, the team worked very well together. The guys rode at the front of the peloton to keep the pace high ahead of the sprint. In the finale, I followed the wheel of Gaviria. That wasn’t necessarily a bad choice, but today he had the faster turn of speed in the end, and I wasn’t able to pull past him. We now have three second places at this race, and while we obviously were riding for the win today, the result is ok.”

4th on the stage, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida): “Today was a long day. 3 climbs in the end and some teams decided to go full gas. Luckily I could stay with the sprinters. It was also very good fighting spirit from Sieberg to come back in the last 10km. He could position me good on the last corner with 1.5km to go then until the last km. Everyone tried his best. I was on Trentin’s wheel, and that was good. I was also not fast enough to pass him in the sprint. We have one more chance tomorrow. I am very sure that if we do everything good, I can do even better than today.”

5th on the stage, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “It’s been a long day, but a rather calm one until the mountain zone. The race was controlled until an acceleration on the second climb, 40 kilometre before the finish. I was distanced on the last climb, and thought I would come back during the downhill. But at the bottom I realised that the peloton was far ahead. I was the only rider of the team and only four or five men were working to get back. Knowing that there was no breakaway, there was a possibility of coming back. We joined the peloton with 10 kilometre to go, giving me some time to recover. I chose for Ackermann’s wheel, who started his sprint with 300 meter to go. Unfortunately I didn’t really have the legs to sprint anymore. Gaviria and Bauhaus came from the back, so this 5th place was the best result possible given the circumstances. I hope to conclude the season with another top 5 this Tuesday.”

Tour of Guangxi Stage 5 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 5:13:42
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
5. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
6. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
7. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb
8. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
10. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Tour of Guangxi Overall After Stage 5:
1. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 19:04:32
2. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Education First at 0:05
3. Diego Rosa (Ita) Ineos at 0:14
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:22
5. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 0:29
6. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert
8. David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Ineos
9. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana at 0:37
10. Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Sunweb at 0:38.

Guangxi’19 stage 5:

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the Final Stage 6 of the Tour of Guangxi ahead of Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) and Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma) in another mass sprint. Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) made sure of the overall win, despite a fall in the final kilometre.

The peloton was hit by bad weather as it rained for the final WorldTour race in 2019, but that didn’t bother Wang Meiyin, who chose to attack from the start. There was a reaction to his first jump, but a second acceleration was allowed to succeed. He was joined by Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal), Jay Thomson (Dimension Data), Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energy) and Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Gobert).

The group of five raced away at an average of 45 kilometres per hour and they divided the prizes among themselves. Behind the leading group, the peloton were ready for a bunch sprint and pulled them in, in good time for the finalé. Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) made a bold attempt in the last kilometre, but this didn’t surprise the fast men. A crash on the last corner made sure that only five men could claim the victory.

Kragh Andersen was caught by Timo Roosen, who started his sprint 300 metres from the finish with Molano, Rüdiger Selig, Ackermann and Jakub Mareczko on his wheel. Winning the stage turned out to be a piece of cake for the German champion as he jumped past Molano in the last 25 metres at full speed taking the victory for the second time this week.

One of the victims of the crash in the final kilometre was overall leader Enric Mas. The three-kilometre rule meant he didn’t have to worry about the final win, the first stage race in his palmarés.

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “This is the first time that I’ve been able to end my season with a win. It wasn’t necessarily an easy stage, with the tempo on the way back to Guilin being really high. The teamwork from the guys today was fantastic. In the final corner, I slipped somewhat, but was able to find my position in the sprint train relatively quickly. This is a great stage win, and the entire team deserved it. We wanted to win at least one stage here, and we’ve more than achieved our goal.”

Overall winner, Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Winning the Tour of Guangxi, my last race with the Wolfpack, is something special that I will always remember. I’m delighted to take what is the maiden GC victory of my career and say goodbye to this fantastic team – who believed in me and gave me the chance to turn pro three years ago – in such a manner. I’ve learned a lot over these past seasons, made significant progress and I am extremely grateful for the time spent here, as it’s been a memorable run stacked with beautiful moments. This win wouldn’t have been possible without my extraordinary teammates, who gave their all and protected me this week. They are an incredible group, whom I am happy to call friends”

2nd on the stage, Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE-Team Emirates): “I was focused on the task of launching the sprint for Gaviria. Along with Ferrari and our other teammates we fought to be in the top positions, but there was the fall and on the radio they told me to go for it. I did my best to try and get a good result, second place satisfies me, it’s a nice way to end the season.”

3rd overall, Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma): “I want to come back stronger next year. Today I actually had the least feeling of the entire week, I could have sprinted here more often, but now it worked out well. This sprint also suited me better than all those high-speed sprints. Bert-Jan Lindeman and Taco van der Hoorn did a great job. As a result, I was in perfect position and I was the first of the sprinters to take the last turn. I could ride to the escaped Sunweb rider (Asbjørn Kragh Andersen) and take some speed with me. When you see the finish, you always hope to finish it, but Ackermann is definitely faster in such a sprint. I hoped for a good late season. In the Belgian races I felt really good and I could also ride into some good results. I had hoped to win another race, but after I finish third here today I will go into the winter with a good feeling. That is the intention. But first rest and build a party. I’m going on vacation to Costa Rica with my girlfriend to take it easy. After that we will rebuild quietly and hopefully I will be completely back next year.”

6th overall, Odd Eiking (Wanty-Gobert): “It was a fast day, and I stayed well positioned in the final hoping to gain a position in the general classification. Knowing that between 5th and 8th place we all had the same time gap, the sum of the results would be decisive. With the rain, I had to stay in the front and avoid the crashes. I managed to do this and climbed to 6th in the general classification, which is my best result in a World Tour stage race so far. I’m very happy to end on a high note, because honestly, I didn’t expect to achieve such a good result.”

Break rider, Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Gobert): “I succeeded the assignment of joining the breakaway today, after unsuccessful attempts earlier this week. I felt good, even with the fatigue growing after twelve race days and transfers in thirteen days. I managed my effort badly, and spent too much energy halfway through the race, for which I had to pay in the final 5 kilometre. We started to believe after the last climb, however, the large roads were unfavourable for the breakaway. But I’m happy to conclude the year with a good feeling.”

Tour of Guangxi Stage 6 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:38:10
2. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE-Team Emirates
3. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC
6. Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Daniel McLay (GB) EF Education First
9. Hamish Schreurs (NZ) Israel Cycling Academy
10. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb.

Tour of Guangxi Final Overall Result:
1. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 22:42:42
2. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) EF Education First at 0:05
3. Diego Rosa (Ita) Ineos at 0:14
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:22
5. Felix Großschartner (Aust) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:29
6. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert
7. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
8. David de la Cruz (Spa) Ineos
9. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana at 0:37
10. Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Sunweb at 0:38.

Guangxi’19 final stage 6:

103rd Giro d’Italia Presentation – Where to Watch it on TV and On-Line on 24 October
The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz, and triple UCI Road World Champion Peter Sagan, together with the Giro d’Italia Director Mauro Vegni, will be on stage to analyse and comment on next year’s course. The presentation will be live streamed on Thursday 24 October on giroditalia.it and on the Facebook page of the Corsa Rosa from 4:50pm CEST.

Giro’19 winner Richard Carapaz

The Giro d’Italia 2020 will be presented on Thursday 24 October from 4:50pm CEST in the Rai studios in Milan. The route of the 103rd edition, starting on 9 May 2019 from Budapest, Hungary, will be unveiled in the presence of the last Giro d’Italia winner, Richard Carapaz, and Peter Sagan, three-time UCI Road World Champion, as well as representatives of the teams, sponsors, media and other institutions.

The presentation of “The toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place!” will be available to watch via live streaming on www.giroditalia.it and on the Facebook page of the Corsa Rosa. In Italy, the presentation will be also broadcast live on Rai 2 and on www.raiplay.it.

The official video promo of the 2020 Giro d’Italia:

2020 UAE Tour Dates, and Exciting New Start and Finish, Unveiled
The seven-day UAE Tour – the one and only WorldTour event in the Middle East – will start in Dubai, finish in Abu Dhabi and race through all seven Emirates, building on last year’s incredibly successful first edition

The 2020 UAE Tour – the one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East – will take place 23rd to 29th February, starting in Dubai and finishing in Abu Dhabi

UAE Tour race organisers, the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Sports Councils, along with RCS Sport, have announced the dates for the second edition of the one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East – 23rd to 29th February 2020, as ratified by cycle sport’s world governing body, the UCI.

The announcement, made in the presence of H.E. Saeed Mohammed Hareb – General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council; H.E. Aref Al Awani – General Secretary, Abu Dhabi Sports Council; H.E. Issa Hilal Al Hazami – General Secretary, Sharjah Sports Council; and Mr Osama Al Shafar – President of the UAE Cycling Federation, follows the hugely successful first edition of the UAE Tour, raced in February 2019. Audi Al Nabooda were also unveiled as the official car of the UAE Tour.

The inaugural UAE Tour featured the highest quality field of competitors, produced a tremendously entertaining sporting spectacle watched keenly across the globe in more than 200 territories, and brought together full and enthusiastic involvement from the United Arab Emirates’ public, businesses and other organisations.

The 2nd edition of the WorldTour cycling race will retain many of the first event’s finest characteristics, and build upon this with even greater public involvement and a new route that will see the riders start with a dramatic send-off in Dubai before the intense competition culminates a week later in Abu Dhabi. Along the way the race will visit seven Emirates – Dubai, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras-Al-Khaimah, Umm-Al-Quwain, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – showcasing the natural landscapes and other beautiful aspects of the whole UAE.

The iconic Abu Dhabi skyline – where the UAE Tour race will finish in 2020

The first edition was won by Primož Roglič – the immensely talented Slovenian rider claiming victory in his first ever seven-day WorldTour stage race, and who went on to replicate that form in claiming his first GrandTour title at September’s Vuelta a España. All 18 WorldTour teams were represented at the 2019 UAE Tour, with 140 riders competing and ranking amongst them such elite talent as former World Champions Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) and Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) along with other Grand Tour winners including Tom Dumoulin (Giro d’Italia – Team Sunweb) and Vincenzo Nibali (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España – Bahrain-Merida) and a global roster of top class riders such as Mark Cavendish, Caleb Ewan, Fernando Gaviria, Dan Martin, Tony Martin, Richie Porte and Elia Viviani.

The 2020 UAE Tour will attract teams and riders of the same matchless calibre, with start lists to be announced closer to the event. While the full route details are yet to be unveiled, the 2nd UAE Tour will feature a balanced course, ideal for all-round General Classification riders while still presenting opportunities for sprinters and time trial specialists to fight for stage wins.

Along with the world’s finest athletes fighting it out, the UAE Tour has inspired competitive cycling in many UAE citizens, and in bringing many visitors to the region, with more than 1,000 riders taking part in the four UAE Tour Challenges, demonstrating that the UAE is a leading cycling destination, not just for professionals but also for enthusiasts. Other important community involvement included an Educational Project, presented by Mubadala, an initiative through which over 2,000 students have learned about the benefits of cycling and road safety.

Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) powers to the stage win at Jebel Jais that helped him claim the honour of overall winner at the 2019 UAE Tour

H.E. Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council General Secretary, said: “The UAE Tour is the only UCI WorldTour race in the Middle East and demonstrates perfectly how together we can host an elite sporting event and with it showcase our region to the world. It was an amazing accomplishment to be a part of the team staging the first UAE Tour and we know that for the second edition we have made developments to make it even more exciting.”

H.E. Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary, said: “The inaugural UAE Tour was a roaring success due to the exceptional teamwork of all the Emirates. Together, we planned and delivered a world class event. But 2019 was just the beginning. The next step is to be more confident and consistent and to further involve the local community and to encourage more cycling fans from all over the world to join us.”

H.E. Issa Hilal Al Hazami, Sharjah Sports Council General Secretary, said: “Along with our colleagues in the other Sports Councils, we, the Sharjah Sports Council, are proud of the new route which will show the beauty of all seven Emirates to cycle racing fans and other viewers right around the world, as well as the new initiatives in the 2020 UAE Tour that will make next year’s event even more thrilling. We are proud to be a team and grow the race together.”

H.E Osama Al Shafar, President of the UAE Cycling Federation, said: “The UAE Tour debut was really impressive, in terms of the quality of the competitors and the excitement of the racing itself, and in terms of the global exposure generated by television and the other media outlets. It was an amazing accomplishment to host an intense race with all 18 UCI WorldTeams. As the Cycling Federation, this WorldTour race represents the season’s highlight and we look forward to attracting even more riders and fans in 2020.”

Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “The reception of the first edition of the UAE Tour was highly positive, from riders and teams, from the viewers, the sponsors and from broadcasters worldwide. So we are delighted to share with you what we have been working on together since the end of last year’s race in preparation for 2020, with our new start and finish locations. I would like to thank our partners, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Sports Council for their confidence.”

More details on the 2020 UAE Tour – the only WorldTour race in the Middle East on next year’s calendar – will be announced in the coming months, including the official jerseys and the complete route.

Wearing the Rainbow Stripes of World Champion, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) thrilled spectators and the world’s media as he won the sprint in Jebel Hafeet on Stage 3 of the 2019 UAE Tour:

UCI boss Lappartient: “After 2022 18 teams in the WorldTour”
“A press release will be sent from the UCI announcing the composition of the WorldTour peloton in 2020, which ProContinental team is assured of participating in all WorldTour races and which team is sure to be in the classics,” said UCI chairman David Lappartient in China to Dutch website WielerFlits.

During the UCI Cycling Gala in Guillin, China, Lappartient explained the situation to the Dutch website: “Tomorrow a communiqué will be coming from the UCI with clarification,” Lappartient said. “We are still waiting for the final ranking of this season. Who can become WorldTour? Teams that meet all criteria. Of course the sporting ones (who have enough points in the past three years), but also the administrative, financial (bank guarantee) and ethical criteria. The license committee decides on that.”

According to the reports from the last months, Cofidis is making the move to the WorldTour.
Lappartient: “I can’t make a statement about that for now. I only know that, with regard to the sporting aspect, Cofidis certainly meets the criteria. But as I say, the license committee decides whether the other requirements are met.”

That means there would be a nineteenth WorldTour team. So why does the UCI suddenly deviate from the proposed eighteen teams? Lappartient: “It is true that eighteen was the maximum, but in February we added an addendum to the regulations that when an existing WorldTour team finishes 19th or 20th in the final ranking, it should still be possible for that team to have a new WorldTour license for three years. But the PCC (Professional Cycling Council) has also stipulated that after 2022 we will again go to eighteen teams.” But surely that means there will be at least 19 WorldTour teams in the next three years? Lappartient: “18 or 19. But that will become clear in the press release. Please wait.”

As for the ProContinental teams: Total Direct Energie and Wanty-Gobert are first and second in the final ranking. What does that actually mean to them? Lappatient: “If there are 19 WorldTour teams and your calculation is correct, Total Direct Energie will receive starting rights in all WorldTour competitions and Wanty-Gobert will be assured of participation in the classics. We have to make sure that the organisers still have two wildcards left. On the other hand, this is a first step in giving rights to the teams from the second division.”

Let’s hope the press release clears it all up.

UCI’s Lappartient in China this week:

Wanty-Gobert Ahead of Corendon-Circus in the UCI ranking
Wanty-Gobert has finished ahead of Corendon-Circus in the UCI EuropeTour ranking. Wanty-Gobert finished behind Total Direct Energie in second place, which gives the team a guaranteed ‘wildcard’ for all one-day races in the WorldTour.

It is still uncertain whether Wanty-Gobert is also entitled to a guaranteed ‘wildcard’ for the Grand Tours and multi-day WorldTour races. The UCI reform plans state that with 18 WorldTour teams (as is currently the case), the two best ProContinental teams of the previous year will receive a guaranteed ‘wildcard’ for all WorldTour competitions, but it looks like next year there are more than eighteen teams in possession of a WorldTour license.

If more than eighteen teams are admitted to the WorldTour, the guaranteed wildcard for the Grand Tours and the other WorldTour stage races for Wanty-Gobert will not happen. The UCI will eventually announce which teams will receive a WorldTour license. There was meant to be a press release on Wednesday, but nothing was sent out.

EuropeTour 2019 Result
1. Total Direct Energy (5152.67 points)
2. Wanty-Gobert (5086 points)
3. Corendon-Circus (4898 points).

Wanty-Gobert still don’t know which races they will ride in 2020:

Deceuninck – Quick-Step – Best Team in the World for the Second Straight Year
CEO Patrick Lefevere made an analysis of the spectacular campaign that has just concluded

2019 was again a vintage season that didn’t show at any point signs of abating for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who enjoyed another monster of a year, retaining its incredible power to astonish and asserting its authority over a plethora of races. Between January and October, the squad continuously earned plaudits and added to its astounding palmarès, which now numbers 745 UCI victories since the team’s inception, back in 2003.

This outstanding campaign, throughout which the Wolfpack produced an eye-catching display of tactics and collective strength, featured spectacular victories in Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix, 8 Grand Tour stage wins, and an unforgettable 14-day spell in the Tour de France yellow jersey – all dazzling performances that have put us again at the top of the UCI World Team Classification when the line was drawn in October.

“We are very proud of this success, as it wasn’t an easy one. During the season, we had a large buffer over the other teams, but that advantage was sliced towards the end, which on the other hand motivated us even more. We aren’t a Grand Tour-orientated team, and that’s were the most points are, so sealing the win in the standings with such a huge haul of points makes this triumph even more remarkable. Rankings don’t normally lie, and a team that wins from January until October truly is the best one in the world”, a happy Patrick Lefevere said.

When you rack up close to 70 UCI wins in 38 different races, it’s always a difficult task to make a top of the best victories, but Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s CEO had three favourite moments this year: “It’s obviously not easy to pick out just a few, but if I were to name some, I’d say Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix and the 14 days in yellow at Le Tour. What was the most impressive about the latter was that everybody fought hard to keep it for as long as possible once it landed on Julian’s shoulders for the second time, in Saint-Étienne; that’s the beauty of the Wolfpack, we always stick together, give everything and try to push ourselves, knowing we will be rewarded for this.”

“Maybe it seems easy when you look at the numbers, but it’s never easy, I can tell you that. We work hard every single day to reach our goals and we combine quality with quantity, as both are equally important. At the same time, we give chances to everybody. The young guys exceeded the expectations this year, contributing to our long list of victory and settling into the team, which – with the risk of repeating myself – gives opportunities to every single guy”, Patrick Lefevere continued. “Many from the outside have said in the past that if you come here, then you won’t win because of the others, but look at what happened this year: 16 of our riders have won a race, which is really extraordinary when you think about it. It’s not the first time that so many riders tasted success in a season with us, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”

Consistency Sees Van Avermaet Top the UCI One Day Race World Ranking
Greg Van Avermaet has wrapped up the 2019 season as the leader of the UCI One Day Race World Ranking, a testament to the Belgian’s consistency throughout the season. Van Avermaet accumulated 2350 points at 15 races throughout the season, which included his victory at Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal and another four podium results at WorldTour one-day races.

CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz acknowledged the importance of Van Avermaet’s result in the inaugural year of the ranking. “Greg Van Avermaet is one of the best and most consistent Classics riders in the world and finishing the season at the top of the UCI One Day Race World Ranking proves that. Greg is a fighter and every time he lines up at the start line, he’s lining up to fight until the finish line. Greg may not have secured a big win in the Spring Classics this year but he was up there in almost every race and his convincing lead in this ranking over some riders who won multiple one-day races is an acknowledgement of this,” Ochowicz said. “Greg’s win in Montreal was an important one for Greg, the team, and our sponsors, but it’s easy to forget a rider’s result if they are not standing on the top step. Greg delivered some great performances with second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, and third place at E3 BinckBank Classic and Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec.”

Van Avermaet finished the season 276 points ahead of Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and 503 points ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). “I’ve always said that I am not a rider who wins twenty races a year but I am always up there in every race and hopefully, I can get a few really nice wins throughout the year. I missed a big win during the Classics this year which was disappointing but these are really hard races to win and it’s not enough to just have the legs, you also need everything to go right and a bit of luck. I think if I had won one of the Classics, my season would look very different. That’s why I was so happy to win in Montreal. After coming close to a big win throughout the year, it was a good reminder that I’m still capable of winning,” Van Avermaet explained.

“I’m happy to finish the season at the top of the UCI One Day Race World Ranking. I think it shows what kind of rider I am and my ability to contest most of the one-day races in the calendar. I’m motivated to continue like this in 2020 and convert some of those podium places into victories.”

Greg Van Avermaet wins in Montreal:

Team Jumbo-Visma Extends with ‘King of Victories’ Groenewegen
On the day that Dylan Groenewegen has mathematically been confirmed as this year’s most successful professional cyclist, Team Jumbo-Visma announced that the sprinter will also be competing for the yellow-black formation in the coming four seasons. A verbal agreement, concluded this summer, has now been formalised.

Groenewegen has been on the team of CEO Richard Plugge since 2016. During the past years, he developed into a world class sprinter with victories in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Paris-Nice, the one-day WT race Bruges-De Panne and four stage victories in the Tour de France. With fifteen victories on his tally, he is the most successful pro rider in the world this year.

“I’m now 26 years old, so I’m still getting stronger”, Groenewegen expresses his expectations in a video on the Team Jumbo-Visma website. “I joined the team at the age of 22. Since then, I have improved a lot. This happened to every rider who joined the team. We started at zero and look where we are now. I am where I want to be and the team is where it wants to be. This team is doing very well. When I indicate things that can be improved, they will be examined and the people in the team will start working on them. That’s the deciding factor for me to stay here.”

Groenewegen mentions the development of the helmet, clothing and bicycle, with the cycling team cooperating closely with Lazer, Agu and Bianchi. “Everything is taken into consideration for me to be able to sprint as fast as possible. This gets better every year. Of course you also have a look at other teams, but I really feel at home here. We have reached a good agreement. I have what I want here. So why change teams? Trust in each other is very important. I feel the confidence the team has in me and I think the team feels the confidence I have in them. The guys around me are doing great. Looking at this year, you can see that I have a super train around me. I’m sure that by staying here, I’ll continue to grow. I would like to take on that challenge with the team.”

Dylan Groenewegen top winner of 2019:

Strakhov and Chernetskiy Will Join Gazprom — RusVelo
Dmitry Strakhov and Sergey Chernetskiy will join the Russian cycling team Gazprom — RusVelo in 2020.

The 24-year-old Dmitry Strakhov has already four professional victories in his cycling career. This season he was competing for the Team Katusha Alpecin and had an impressive calendar with 70 racing days in total and a Grand Tour debut at Giro d’Italia.

General Manager of Gazprom — RusVelo Renat Khamidulin on a newcomer: “We’ve been in touch with Dmitry Strakhov in the past, but he made a quite understandable and obvious decision — he joined the World Tour team. Theoretically, he should have signed the neo-pro contract with his team which by the UCI regulations has to be minimum for two years, but something went not as planned. In a nutshell, Dmitry ended up in an unpleasant situation and we decided to support him. We’ve signed a one-year agreement with an option for extension. It is very tough for any athlete, even a very talented one to get used to a professional level, you need time and dedication. We’ve analysed and discussed previous seasons and our plans for the nearest future. The crucial thing is that Dmitry has talent and desire for cycling sport. The rest is always a result of hard work and professionalism”.

The 29-year-old Sergey Chernetskiy is an experienced rider, who was competing in the World Tour for several seasons (Team Katusha and Astana Pro Team). In 2018 Sergey won the general classification at Arctic Race of Norway, which is among his five pro victories. This season Sergey represented the colours of the Spanish team Caja Rural – Seguros RGA.

“Sergey Chernetskiy is a well-known rider for the Russian cycling fans as well as for the international audience. I remember that we had a conversation with him during the training camp for the Olympic Games in Rio back in 2016. And now our paths crossed again. Taking into consideration the fact that there was only one place left in the team we had to carefully think and make our decision. We assume that Sergey has to apply some changes to his training plan and race calendar in order to once again demonstrate what he’s capable of. I am certain Sergey’s experience will be valuable for our younger riders and we will definitely give him a leading role during some of the races.

Dmitry Strakhov and Sergey Chernetskiy are in the Russian national team for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, so we will do everything for their convenient development and preparation, as the Olympic Games are vital for the team Gazprom —RusVelo”Renat Khamidulin.

Renat Khamidulin with Dmitry Strakhov:

The Colombian Climber Jhojan García Will be in Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
The new roster of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA continues to take shape with the arrival of Jhojan García (Fusagasugá, 1998), another young Under 23 value that has already left signs of his quality in his three years in the category. The Colombian rider has stood out especially in the mountains, where he has achieved his best results so far.

García finished eighth the general classification of the last Tour de l’Avenir, one of the most important races of the U23 calendar, finishing sixth the ITT in Méribel. In Spain he has also accumulated interesting performances this season, such as the 10th place in the Vuelta a Asturias or the triumph in the young classification of the Vuelta a Madrid. In addition, he is the current runner-up Colombian Under 23, both on the road race and ITT.

Jhojan García: “I am very happy to sign for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, very grateful to be able to ride the next season in Europe. It is a team that has a great infrastructure and schedule. I was able to coincide with them in several races and I always looked at their attitude. In addition, it is a team with a lot of history.”

“For my part, I hope to show that I can be with the best, try to win any race and help my teammates to do it . It will be very important to make a good beginning of the season, so that the team is taken into account for La Vuelta and, why not, as a personal objective I would like to participate in this race. Anyway, the team has a great calendar in Europe. I will try to give my best wherever I go. Now I will rest for a few weeks in Colombia and start preparing the new season very motivated.”

Kamil Małecki to Step up to the WorldTour with CCC Team in 2020
After five years with CCC Development Team (formerly CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Kamil Małecki will step up to the WorldTour level with CCC Team as the team’s fifth Polish rider in the 2020 roster.

23-year-old Małecki, who claimed a stage win and won the General Classification on home soil at this year’s CCC Tour – Grody Piastowskie and 27th Baltyk – Karkonosze Tour, will join the team on a one-year deal.

“Kamil Małecki has impressed at quite a few of the smaller races in the CCC Development Team race program this year and with a number of years experience at the Professional Continental and Continental levels, we feel he is ready to step up to WorldTour racing with CCC Team. Kamil will have the chance to learn the ropes from some of our more experienced riders which will help him to continue to develop as a rider,” CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained.

“As well as winning stages and the General Classification at some of the Polish 2.2 races, including the CCC-sponsored CCC Tour – Grody Piastowskie, Kamil also showed his potential in the classics, just missing the top ten at Volta Limburg. We are looking forward to seeing what Kamil can do with us next year.”

Kamil Małecki is excited to reach this point in his career. “I am really excited to be part of CCC Team and race at the WorldTour level. It is a dream come true for me. I feel really proud that I will represent the first Polish WorldTour team in cycling. It’s hard for me to describe in words but it is an amazing feeling to know I have reached this phase in my career,” Małecki said.

“In the next year, I would like to continue to develop and progress as a rider and do my best to be a strong rider for the team and play my part in helping the team at all of my races. I will make the most of this opportunity.”

Małecki and Michał Paluta, who will also graduate from CCC Development Team, will join fellow countrymen Łukasz Wiśniowski, Kamil Gradek, and Szymon Sajnok in CCC Team’s 2020 roster.

Kamil Małecki:

Vasil Kiryienka and Sebastian Henao extend with Team INEOS
Kiryienka extends for 2020 season

Vasil Kiryienka is motivated to continue his cycling career after signing a new deal for the 2020 season. The Belarusian underwent treatment in March for a cardiac anomaly but worked diligently to make a racing comeback at the Tour de Romandie at the end of April – the team’s first race as Team INEOS. The 2015 world time trial champion completed an impressive return to the peloton by winning gold on home roads at the European Games time trial, in addition to riding the Vuelta a España.

On his new deal, Vasil Kiryienka confirmed: “I am very happy to have signed a contract for another year. Having spent the last seven seasons in an international team led by Sir Dave Brailsford, I have gained invaluable life experience. I have been lucky to learn the habits and lifestyles of people from all over the world, and it is a pleasure to share a hotel room and work with them. The leaders in this team have the ability to unite people of different backgrounds and characters to achieve one common goal. This always helps me to go out there and give my maximum. The current season was not easy for me. It was hard to realise that there were some physiological changes in my body that might not allow me to continue to do what I love. But thanks to the support from the team my condition returned to normal. A special thanks to the team doctor Iñigo Sarriegui for the work on my recovery. It was nice to see the positive reaction of some riders in the peloton to my return to racing. These moments helped me cheer up and win the European Games time trial. I am happy to continue in the team. This whole set up gives me the opportunity to feel happy when my teammates succeed, or go for my own chance to win if it occurs. I am grateful for the opportunity to be an example for my children.”

Coach Xabier Artetxe has developed a close relationship with Kiryienka and is pleased to see the Belarusian maintain his motivation and secure a new contract. He explained: “Kiry is a great example for the young riders – to see someone who has been a world champion and one of the best support riders in the world. He’s done almost everything, competing in numerous Grand Tours successes, but he keeps the same motivation to continue. He’s a 38-year-old rider and he’s motivated to train every day, to ride the bike, compete in Grand Tours and the very best races. Given he’s in the latter part of his career and with the health issue he had, the easiest thing for him would have been to retire, but Kiry is really motivated to continue racing. He wants to do more years on the bike.”

Vasil Kiryienka:
Doha - Qatar - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Vasil Kiryienka (Russia / Team Sky) pictured during ITT men Time Trial Individual of the UCI Road World Championships 2016 in Qatar - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Henao happy to continue with Team INEOS
Sebastian Henao is looking forward to spending a further two seasons with Team INEOS as he continues to develop amongst his ‘second family’. The 26-year-old Colombian joined the team back in 2014, and during the subsequent six seasons he’s grown into a dependable and experienced professional. 2019 saw Henao tackle two Grand Tours in a single season for the first time, a key point in his development as a support rider.

On signing a new two-year deal Sebastian Henao confirmed: “I’m very excited to be able to continue with this great team. Ever since my first season I have felt like home here – it’s like my second family. All of the team, riders and staff, are incredible to work with and I have learned a lot in my last six years here. I favour week-long races and especially the Grand Tours. I want to keep developing and improving my skills in these races. I have more experience now and I’m able to contribute even more to help the team and give my all.”

Henao’s coach Xabier Artetxe has seen him develop first-hand and explains there are new levels he can reach in the coming seasons. He said: “Sebastian has become a really good support rider and he feels comfortable doing this job for the big leaders in the team. He continues to develop in this role and he’s a solid rider in the mid-mountains. He’s gained more and more experience with each season, including in big races like the Giro and Paris-Nice. The Sport Directors and leaders all trust him, and after doing two Grand Tours this season he’s at a key point in his career. He’s in a great environment where he can continue to improve and be solid throughout a season.”

Sebastian Henao:

Deceuninck – Quick-Step Add Ian Garrison to 2020 Roster
The 21-year-old USA National ITT Champion will move to the World Tour from Hagens Berman Axeon

Ian Garrison signed a two-year contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which he will join next year after catching the eye of the team with a series of impressive performances over the past seasons. Garrison’s speciality is against the clock, a discipline at which he showed promise in as long ago as 2016, when he took bronze at the Junior World Championships.

His prowess against the clock was again on display in June of this year, when he became both USA National ITT Champion and U23 Champion, taking victory in the Elite race ahead of several experienced World Tour level riders. This performance was followed up by a silver medal at the U23 World Championships in Yorkshire last month, which rounded out a solid season that saw him come runner-up also at Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux.

Speaking of his move to the team, Ian Garrison said: “I am really excited! It is an incredible opportunity to ride with a squad of this level. It is something that I have always dreamed of, as I have been a fan of the Wolfpack for a long time and watched them race, so I am excited to be a part of it and learn. I am still young at 21 and I want to have a long career and seeing the progress that Deceuninck – Quick-Step have helped other young riders make is a big part of my decision and trusting in that they can get the best from me.”

“I grew up riding my bike – my parents didn’t race, but ride bikes (they have a tandem), so growing up we rode for fun. Through enjoying sports, I brought some competitiveness to it and then through cyclo-cross and the velodrome in Atlanta I got introduced to racing. I just loved watching the Tour de France in the summer, so I knew all about Deceuninck – Quick-Step and what a special team they are, and now I’m over the moon knowing I will pull on their jersey in the next two years! At the same time, I want to say a big thanks to everyone at Hagens Berman Axeon for believing in me and helping me become a better rider!”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was clearly delighted with the signing of Ian Garrison: “I am very happy to add another young and talented rider to our roster. We are always on the lookout for riders who have potential that we can help to develop, and while Ian has already shown that he can compete with the best, we hope that we can help him become even stronger. To win the Elite ITT title at such a young age is proof of the fact that he already has the talent and commitment to make it, and we are looking forward to working with him.”

Ian Garrison in the men’s Worlds19 U23 TT:

Christoph Pfingsten Completes Jumbo-Visma 2020 Team
Jumbo-Visma strengthens the team with Christoph Pfingsten. De Telegraaf reports that the 31-year-old German makes the switch from Bora-Hansgrohe.

According to the Dutch newspaper, Pfingsten has been recruited to support Dylan Groenewegen and Wout van Aert in the sprints and the spring classics respectively. Pfingsten previously rode for the Dutch teams Van Vliet and De Rijke, so should fit in well.

The arrival of the German would mean that Jumbo-Visma has 27 riders signed for next season. Pfingsten is the fourth newcomer along with Tom Dumoulin, Chris Harper and Tobias Foss.

Jumbo-Visma 2020 team Line-up:
Wout van Aert (Bel), George Bennett (NZ), Koen Bouwman (Ned), Laurens De Plus (Bel), Tom Dumoulin (Ned), Pacal Eenkhoorn (Ned), Jos van Emden (Ned), Tobias Foss (Nor), Robert Gesink (Ned), Dylan Groenewegen (Ned), Chris Harper (Aus), Taco van der Hoorn (Ned), Lennard Hofstede (Ned), Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor), Steven Kruijswijk (Ned), Sepp Kuss (USA), Tom Leezer (Ned), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned), Paul Martens (Ger), Tony Martin (Ger), Christoph Pfingsten (Ger), Primož Roglič (Slo), Timo Roosen (Ger), Mike Teunissen (Ned), Antwan Tolhoek (Ned), Jonas Vingegaard (Den), Maarten Wynants (Bel).

Christoph Pfingsten:

Team Jumbo-Visma Welcomes Coach Van Dongen
The coaching staff of Team Jumbo-Visma will be expanded with Arthur van Dongen. The 51-year-old Dutchman worked as sports director at Team Sunweb for the past four seasons. The former rider has an excellent track record at both the highest level and the development level and is known as a passionate and enthusiastic coach.

At Team Jumbo-Visma, Van Dongen will meet numerous old acquaintances, such as Grischa Niermann, Sierk-Jan de Haan and Mathieu Heijboer with whom he previously worked together as sports director.

Several riders of his new team Van Dongen already guided before, such as Timo Roosen, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Mike Teunissen, Lennard Hofstede, Antwan Tolhoek and Tom Dumoulin. When Dylan Groenewegen won the Tour of Flanders as an espoir of the Dutch national team, Van Dongen was the coach as well.

“It’s nice to make the switch to Team Jumbo-Visma”, Van Dongen says. “I am happy with the transfer and I am looking forward to working at Team Jumbo-Visma. At Team Sunweb I was able to make the step to the professional level and I perfectly could have stayed longer, but I’ve been offered a challenging opportunity at Team Jumbo-Visma and I am looking forward to taking it.”

The arrival of Van Dongen is not connected to the transfer of Tom Dumoulin, who also exchanges Sunweb for Team Jumbo-Visma.

Arthur van Dongen:

Viviani to Race Six Days of London
The Italian isn’t ready yet to draw the curtain over his great season.

Recently crowned European Champion in the Elimination Race, Elia Viviani will continue his odyssey on the track this fall at the 26th edition of the Six Days of London, which schedules dozens of spectacular races (from the Madison to the team time trial) between 22-27 October in the Lee Valley Velopark.

In the entire history of the prestigious event, there hasn’t been an Italian team to come out on top of the overall classification, just two to finish on the podium, back in the ‘50s, but Elia is confident that together with countryman Simone Consonni he can fight for victory, although the 30-year-old Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider is aware that they will face a stiff competition from the other 15 pairs at the start.

“It’s always fun to race a six-day event. In the past couple of years, I couldn’t find a spot for London in my calendar, but now I’m here for the first time in my career and I hope to have lots of fun out there together with Simone”, Elia said. “I know the velodrome from the 2012 Olympics and 2016 World Championships, and I can’t say I have good memories from these past experiences, but I hope this will change now. Many big names will be there and it’s not going to be easy, but we are confident we can get a good result as we continue our preparation towards Tokyo.”

Euro road champion, Elia Viviani:

Joris Nieuwenhuis’ November and December cyclocross Program Announced
“November and December are months where I hope to see more improvements,” explained Nieuwenhuis. “It has been rough going so far but everything is where we expect it to be at this early stage in the season. The main goal for the next two months is to be more consistent: I want to show myself at the front of races and stay there. In December I will also go on training camp with the team where I will focus more on endurance. There are some races in December that suit me well, Namur and Zolder, so I am looking forward to competing at both of them and hopefully getting good results there. Overall though, I want to step up again by making small improvements and showing myself with the best.”

Team Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna added: “Joris has had a solid start to his cyclocross season and he’s steadily progressing each race. After his road season he’s at where we expected him to be and we’re hoping that in the next few months he will continue to improve and pick up a selection of good results.”

Race Program:
Ruddervoorde Superprestige – 03/11/2019
European Championships – 10/11/2019
Tabor World Cup – 16/11/2019
Koksijde World Cup – 24/11/2019
Zonhoven Superprestige – 08/12/2019
Namur World Cup – 22/12/2019
Zolder World Cup – 26/12/2019
Diegem Superprestige – 29/12/2019.

Joris Nieuwenhuis:

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