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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The peloton is fighting its way through the desert of the United Arab Emirates, but the action of the weekend will be in the cold and probable rain of Belgium for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Will the Corona Virus upset the season – Top Story. Race news from the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris-Nice, Women’s Strade Bianche, Giro d’Italia and the Tour of America’s Dairyland. Team news from Team Novo Nordisk and the BEAT Cycling Club. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time!

TOP STORY: Milan-San Remo uncertain due to corona virus: “There is no plan B”
RCS Sport, the organiser of Milan-San Remo, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro d’Italia is concerned about the outbreak of the corona virus in Italy. If it is decided that sporting competitions in Milan and Lombardy will be suspended, the Italian races will be at risk.

“We of RCS Sport are also very concerned about the spread of the virus, because the situation in Italy is very problematic,” says RCS Sport boss Mauro Vegni in Dubai, where he is present for the UAE Tour, to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “Our first concerns are Tirreno-Adriatico and above all Milan-San Remo, which are planned within a month. After all, there is no plan B. If the government decides to suspend sporting events in Milan and Lombardy, we have to cancel the matches.”

Since the first edition in 1907, Milan-San Remo has been cancelled three times before in its long history, in 1916, 1944 and 1945. It makes no sense to relocate the start 20 or 50 kilometres, says Vegni. “This race has been going on for 110 years. I hope the peak of the corona virus will decrease. At the moment I cannot say anything about the Giro d’Italia, but it is clear that if the peak does not decrease, there is a risk that the competition will not continue.”

RCS Sport Media Note – Spring Races
Milan, 24 February 2020 – Regarding the three spring bike races – Strade-Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo – RCS Sport reiterates that it is working hard to ensure the smooth running of these events.

To this end, RCS Sport is in constant contact with the appropriate authorities and, in partnership with them, will assess taking all the most suitable measures for carrying out the sporting events.

Races affected:
Tirreno-Adriatico (11-17 March)
Milan-San Remo (March 21)
Giro d’Italia (9-31 May).

Milan San-Remo 2019 – Full Race Highlights by inCycle:

UAE Tour 2020
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) won Stage 2 of the UAE Tour on Monday. At the Hatta Dam he was the first over the finish line. The Australian also took the leader’s jersey from Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who couldn’t hold on in the tough final. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) were second and third on the stage and are in the positions overall.

Two riders who were in the break on the first day, tried again on stage two. Leonardo Tortomasi and Veljko Stojnić of Vini Zabù-KTM went up the road and the peloton let them. Tortomasi is the intermediate sprint leader and Stojnić is the best young rider. Their lead was kept stable for a long time between 3 and 4 minutes. 60 kilometres from the finish the peloton started to increase the pace to keep the lead under 3 minutes. After the second intermediate sprint at 119.3 kilometres, Stojnić fell back to join the peloton, leaving Tortomasi on his own for the final 50 kilometres. Tortomasi’s lead was about 1:30 at this point. Staying ahead against the pack was impossible and he was caught 24 kilometres from the finish.

Several teams got involved in the race at the front, including Chris Froome. It was Movistar who lifted the speed on an uphill section, 10 kilometres from the finish and overall leader, Pascal Ackermann, was dropped. Despite the high speed, Victor Campenaerts attacked from the peloton and was joined by Nicola Conci. After his earlier efforts, Froome was hanging on as the peloton was thinning out.

On the descent to Hatta, Campenaerts and Conci had 20 seconds, but Movistar, Astana and Mitchelton-Scott had started to chase. The two front runners were caught at 3 kilometres. Jumbo-Visma sent Timo Roosen to the front. Astana led the peloton to the last kilometre, where the course would explode. Lotto Soudal stepped up the pace for Caleb Ewan, who also won at the Hatta Dam last year. However, it was Sam Bennett who was the first to start the sprint. Ewan jumped on the wheel of the Irishman, after which an exciting two-way fight ensued. In the end, the Australian sprinter had the advantage on the steep ramp of the short slope. Bennett lost 2 seconds, Arnaud Démare was third at 4 seconds.

Stage winner and overall leader, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “It’s great to win here again one year later. We thought it would be a harder stage this time but due to the absence of the wind it was a pretty straightforward race. My team positioned me perfectly. I wasn’t worried when Sam Bennett went before me because I knew this race was to be won in the last twenty meters. Now I lead the UAE Tour after I led the Santos Tour Down Under early this year. It always feels good leading a stage race even if it might last for only one day.”

4th on the stage, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “It was mainly a relaxed day in the peloton. Obviously with the steep finish at Hatta Dam it made it more complicated in the closing kilometres. It was a finish that suited the really explosive riders and I think I did well. We were all in a great position coming into the bottom and I jumped from the bottom of the climb and ended up just off the podium. I’m feeling good and it bodes well for the rest of the week.”

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today was a really tough day in the saddle. I had some problems with the heat and didn’t feel very well but I still tried to go for a good result. Unfortunately, the pace in the final was too fast for me that’s why I couldn’t keep up with the front group on the long climb ten kilometres before the finish line. When I got dropped, I took it a bit easier to save energy for the upcoming stages. I would like to thank my teammates for supporting me, I’ll do my best to get back on the winning track again.”

UAE Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:18:18
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Rick Zabel (Ger) ISU Nation
6. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.

UAE Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 7:47:19
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
3. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:16
4. Nikolai Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:17
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:19
6. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:20
7. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Rick Zabel (Ger) ISU Nation
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.

UAE Tour’20 stage 2:

On Wednesday in the UAE Tour, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) took a serious step towards the overall victory. Stage 3 finished in Jebel Hafeet and Yates was the best with a strong attack. At the finish, he had a good one-minute lead on second placed Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). The British rider also took over the leader’s jersey from Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).

Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal), Victor Campenaerts (NTT), Stijn Steels (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Umberto Marengo (Vini Zabù-KTM) made up the break of the day. The four had a maximum lead of more than 7 minutes in the desert, but there was never any chance of a win. Thanks to the work of UAE Team Emirates, their advantage got smaller and smaller. The home team also had help from Trek-Segafredo and Mitchelton-Scott. Although the lead group continued to ride well together, they could not prevent them from being caught at the foot of Jebel Hafeet (10.8 kilometres at 5.4%).

CCC took command on the broad roads of the climb. Victor De La Parte had a small gap on the peloton as one rider after the other who had to let go of the peloton. Wout Poels (Bahrain-McLaren) was, surprisingly, one of them. Marhawi Kudus (Astana) went after De La Parte, while the top men kept quiet for a while. Six kilometres from the finish; Adam Yates put in an attack for the first time. The Brit crossed to the CCC rider, with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) on his wheel. De La Parte was immediately in trouble, while Kudus had had already returned to the peloton. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was the main victim of the jump from Yates, the ex-World champion could not keep the pace and was dropped by the large group.

Yates went solo 5 kilometres from the top, as Tadej Pogačar started to come up from behind. He soon got to Lutsenko, who was in pursuit of Yates. The Slovenian left the Kazakh 3 kilometres from the finish hoping to catch the Brit. Yates continued to grind on the big chainring and increased his lead. Pogačar finished at 1:03 to Yates at the finish. Lutsenko would cross the line at 1:30, with Gaudu and Rafal Majka in his wheel. Diego Ulissi crossed the line in 6th, almost 2 minutes back. Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) was also part of the group.

Stage winner and overall leader, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I attacked early because, this race being the first of the season for me, it was hard to know how everyone is going. I just wanted to test the legs. Maybe I attacked too early but in the end I felt good. One minute difference is a lot but we’ll have to do this climb again and maybe my legs will not be so good. I also heard there might be crosswinds tomorrow so I’m still far from the overall victory.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased. There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

5th on the stage and overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “This was the first real test on an uphill finish for me this season and I think I rode a very strong race. Especially in the upper part of the final climb I felt good and I could even attack the group I was riding in. I would like to thank the team for their support, the time gaps are still very small and we will now do everything we can to reach the podium.”

UAE Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:42:33
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:03
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:30
4. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:56
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
10. Edward Dunbar (Irl) Ineos.

UAE Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 12:30:02
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:07
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:35
4. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:40
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 2:06
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
10. Edward Dunbar (Irl) Ineos.

UAE Tour’20 stage 3:

Stage 4 of the UAE Tour was won by Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma). After 173 kilometres, the Jumbo-Visma sprinter won the bunch sprint from Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe). He is the first Dutchman to win a WorldTour race this year. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) kept the leader’s jersey.

It was a flat stage from Zabeel Park to Dubai City Walk, but the strong wind ensured a tough race. Veljko Stojnić (Vini Zabù-KTM) and William Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) immediately went on the attack and it turned out to be a good move. After less than 20 kilometres the lead was already 4:25, this was the signal for the sprinter’s teams to start the chase. The peloton was led by riders from Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal, Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) crashed before the finish, but he managed to return to the peloton, and even when he had to change wheels a little later, it was no problem for him to regain his place.

In the last 20 kilometres, Clarke was solo and the Australian’s lead was 2 minutes, but into the wind to the finish his lead disappeared. The peloton put a few fresh men on the front, while Clarke was doing his best at 30 kilometres per hour.

7 kilometres from the finish Clarke had to give up, after which a bunch sprint was inevitable. Mitchelton-Scott won the fight to be the first into the last corner, but behind, all the big names were ready to go, Groenewegen was among them. The Dutchman was on the wheel of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) for a long time before he jumped at exactly the right moment. In the remaining meters to the finish, no one could pass Groenewegen for him to take his first WorldTour victory of the season.

Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “This is a very good win. I am very pleased. I beat the world’s best sprinters today. This is a really sweet victory. In the first stage I probably had the fastest sprint of all, but I was not well positioned. That meant I had to come from too far. Today it was a totally different sprint. The boys did a perfect lead-out. It was a hectic final, but everyone really had his share in my stage win. They all went flat-out. We decided to move up to the front in the last three kilometres because of the strong headwind. Christoph (Pfingsten) has the eye to put me in the best position for the sprint. Then I perfectly timed my sprint. I am happy that I was able to finish off the team’s work.”

Overall leader, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “Apart from a bit of a fright when I avoided a crash, I had a good day on the bike. We rode at the end for our young sprinter Kaden Groves (6th). I hope to have the same legs tomorrow as yesterday.”

2nd on the stage, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a fast stage with a tail wind for most of the day. The team worked well together and were always by my side. We went for the win and we came very close. The level of sprinters here is very high so I’m pleased with my result and it gives me confidence for the next sprint to know that the form is there.”

3rd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I started my sprint from the 7th position which was maybe a little bit too far behind, that’s why I was blocked in the end. I can still be happy with my form, I’m now looking forward to more sprint finishes here at the UAE Tour.”

UAE Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:16:13
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
6. Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
8. Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
9. Rudy Barbier (Fra) ISU Nation
10. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) NTT.

UAE Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 16:46:15
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:07
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:35
4. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:40
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 2:05
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 2:06
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Edward Dunbar (Irl) Ineos.

UAE Tour’20 stage 4:

Deceuninck – Quick-Step Ready for the Opening Weekend
Both defending champions will be at the start of the season’s first cobbled Classics.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step became the first team in more than three decades to win the two races of the Opening Weekend in the same year. Twenty-four hours after Zdenek Stybar soloed to victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad following a canny attack inside the final kilometres, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels did the same at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, a race shaped by our squad’s move on the slopes of Oude Kwaremont.

Held since 1945, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will run its 75th edition this Saturday, when the Wolfpack will line out in the beautiful city Gent for a 200km journey – peppered by 13 hills, including the iconic Muur-Kapelmuur and Bosberg – that will take them to Ninove. Stybar, who will pin number one on his jersey, will be joined by one of last season’s campaign revelations, Kasper Asgreen, Tim Declercq, Jungels, Iljo Keisse, former Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert and Florian Sénéchal.

On Sunday, the 72nd edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne will put on the table a revamped course that could prove difficult for the sprinters to be in contention at the finish. Despite the flat parcours in the last part of the 201km race, it remains to be seen if the peloton’s fast men will still be in the main group by then, as the route will offer the attackers plenty of opportunities to dispatch them.

Five of the Omloop riders will also be at the start of Sunday’s race, with Dutch Champion Fabio Jakobsen – one of the most in-form sprinters of this start to the season, who comes here after picking up a stage win and the points jersey at the Volta ao Algarve – and Bert Van Lerberghe set to replace Declercq and Sénéchal.

The Opening Weekend brings two important races not just in Belgium, but of the whole cycling calendar, Omloop and Kuurne, which we both won several times. We are going there with a very strong and motivated squad and we are eager to see how our riders will kick off the Classics campaign. For Saturday, we have many cards that we can play, including last year’s winner Styby, depending on how the race will unfold. For Kuurne, we added also Fabio, who has shown a very good condition in Portugal last week, and he’ll be one of our options for a good result,” said sports director Wilfried Peeters, who will lead the team from the car together with Tom Steels and Rik Van Slycke.

29.02 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (BEL) 1.UWT

Kasper Asgreen (DEN), Tim Declercq (BEL), Bob Jungels (LUX), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Zdenek Stybar (CZE).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL), Tom Steels (BEL) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).

01.03 Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (BEL) 1.Pro

Kasper Asgreen (DEN), Fabio Jakobsen (NED), Bob Jungels (LUX), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Bert Van Lerberghe (BEL).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL), Tom Steels (BEL) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans Confident for the Belgian Opening Weekend
The riders of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans did the recon of the final of the Omloop het Nieuwsblad. They rode 85 kilometre between the cobbles of the Paddestraat and the finish-line in Ninove in rainy weather conditions. The line up for Saturday’s Omloop het Nieuwsblad is: Aimé De Gendt, Tom Devriendt, Wesley Kreder, Boy and Danny Van Poppel, Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Loïc Vliegen. This selection of seven riders was accompanied by other teammates for their training ride. The riders are confident for the Belgian opening weekend, after a successful first month of competition.

Boy van Poppel: “The team is strong, so I’m looking forward to the Belgian opening weekend. The second passage on the cobbles of the Haaghoek is very often crucial at the Omloop het Nieuwsblad. We’ll try to protect my brother Danny as good as possible and with as many riders as possible, in case of a bunch sprint finish. But with Tom Devriendt, Aimé De Gendt and Loïc Vliegen we’ve got other strong riders!”

Loïc Vliegen: “My winter preparation went very smooth and the result was visible at my first races in Majorca. I immediately had a good feeling and battled for the win on difficult courses which didn’t really suit me. So I feel ready for Omloop het Nieuwsblad. I hope to perform well during the whole classics period and to achieve good results when possible.”

Hilaire Van der Schueren: “We did everything we could to be ready for the Belgian opening weekend. I’ve seen a good team at the preparation races. On sporting level we’re stronger than last year. But of course we have to take into account elements which are not under our control, like punctures or the car position. We’re motivated to continue our success from our previous races, both at the Belgian races and at the Faun and Drôme Ardèche Classic.”

Sportive direction Omloop het Nieuwsblad:
Steven De Neef and Hilaire Van der Schueren.

Line-up Omloop het Nieuwsblad:
De Gendt Aimé, Devriendt Tom, Kreder Wesley, Van Poppel Boy, Van Poppel Danny, Vanspeybrouck Pieter, Vliegen Loïc.

Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans on the cobbles:

Van Avermaet and Trentin Confident Ahead of Opening Weekend
After two stage races together, Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin are eager to test their partnership at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne at the ‘opening weekend’, which officially marks the start of the Classics season.

Two-time Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Van Avermaet and Trentin, who has two top ten results to his name at both races, will give CCC Team the strength in numbers needed to race aggressively, Sports Director Valerio Piva said.

“We are excited to line up at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with two favourites in Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin. Last year, Greg and Matteo were always present in the finales but they were sometimes isolated without teammates at the end of the race. Having two cards to play puts us in a much better position and will allow the team to race more aggressively than we have in the past. After lining up in Valencia and Algarve, they have had the chance to race together already and both riders are in excellent form. We saw Greg looking strong on the climbs in Algarve and his General Classification result shows that he has great legs after a good altitude block in the winter. Matteo was up there in the sprints and also put in a solid time trial on the final day. Now, it’s time to put the partnership to the test in the Classics,” Piva said.

“We have a strong team lining up in support of Greg and Matteo at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, led by our road captain Michael Schär. Our Belgian trio of Gijs Van Hoecke, Nathan Van Hooydonck, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck train on these roads every day, while Jonas Koch is set to make his debut. At Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Patrick Bevin will have his first real taste of racing on the cobbles with us and we will also bring in Josef Černý, and Łukasz Wiśniowski, who was in the top ten in 2016 and 2018.”

Van Avermaet says everything is coming together well ahead of the Classics. “I’m feeling really good and I think my shape is as good as the last years, if not better, at this point in the season. I was happy with the way I raced at Volta ao Algarve, especially as none of the stages were really suited to me. Although it would have been nice to get a win before opening weekend, the Classics are my big focus in the first half of the year so my season really starts this weekend. I’m looking forward to lining up with Matteo Trentin and I think we can play off each other when it comes to attacking and covering moves in the finale of both races. We have a strong team and if everything goes to plan, I think we can get some nice results this weekend,” Van Avermaet said.

Matteo Trentin is looking forward to making his Classics debut with CCC Team. “Volta ao Algarve was a nice race to fine-tune my form at before the opening weekend. For sure, I am not at 100 percent yet but I feel good and will have the chance to do some good training rides before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Racing together with Greg and both being present in the finales will be an advantage for both of us. In the last years, there is always more or less the same number of guys in the front of the race so having a teammate to work with is always going to be better than being alone. The two races are a bit different and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne probably suits me a bit better but we will take things day by day. The weather, for the moment, doesn’t look so nice so it’s going to be even harder,” Trentin said.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (29 February)
Rider roster:

Jonas Koch (GER), Michael Schär (SUI), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL).

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (1 March)
Rider roster:

Patrick Bevin (NZ), Josef Černý (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL).
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Steve Bauer (CAN).

Van Avermaet on the Muur in 2019:

Wout van Aert opens his Road Season in the Omloop
Wout van Aert will open his road season on Saturday. The Belgian is included in the Jumbo-Visma selection for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Strade Bianche should have been his first road event of the year.

Due to the Corona virus, various Italian races are in danger of being canceled, including Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo. Van Aert has both these events on his program. Jumbo-Visma takes serious account of the scenario that both races are canceled, as stated in a statement on social media. Van Aert was therefore added at the eleventh hour to the selection for the opening classic. “With the participation of Wout in the Omloop, we anticipate the possible cancellation of other competitions in his program.”

Van Aert had the big Italian one-day races Strade Bianche (7 March) and Milan-San Remo (21 March) on his program. GP Industria e Artigianato, the day after Strade Bianche, also fitted in with Van Aert’s preparation for the Flemish spring classics.

Jumbo-Visma for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad:
Wout van Aert (Bel), Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor), Mike Teunissen (Ned), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned), Taco van der Hoorn (Ned), Maarten Wynants (Bel), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned).

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Marc Reef – Team Sunweb coach: “We’re ambitious for the Classics this year and are looking forward to getting things underway after a good preparation period. Our main Classics contenders are just back from high altitude camps so are well prepared and eager to get going with racing. For OHN, Tiesj and Søren will be the guys for the final with the other five guys there to support and bring them into position for the Molenberg, one of the key points in the day where the action normally starts. We want to create as many options as possible in the finale, and go all in for a team result to continue our early season success. We’re looking forward to our first cobbled race of the year this weekend.”

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Tiesj Benoot (BEL), Nico Denz (GER), Nils Eekhoff (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Jasha Sütterlin (GER).

Tiesj Benoot:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Directeur Sportifs: Dominique Arnould and Morgan Lamoisson.

Niki Terpstra:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
The Alpecin-Fenix team ​​has revealed its selection for Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Belga news agency reports that Mathieu van der Poel is supported in the opening classic by Dries De Bondt, Senne Leysen, Kristian Sbaragli, Scott Thwaites, Petr Vakoc and Otto Vergaerde.

“Van der Poel is undeniably our man with number one”, team manager Bart Leysen looks ahead. “He broke off his cyclocross season early to concentrate on the road. In the Tour of the Algarve he deliberately kept aloof. Mathieu is not yet in top condition because his main goals are later in the season. But he will probably not miss anything if the opportunity presents itself.”

This week, Alpecin-Fenix ​​will not be checking-out the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad route. According to Leysen, that is a deliberate choice: “Our riders have been going on for a while and most have already explored the Flemish opening classic individually. There is a good chance that a few riders will also be on the road this week, but our team does not have a really organised exploration.”

Alpecin-Fenix ​​for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad:
Mathieu van der Poel (Ned), Dries De Bondt (Bel), Senne Leysen (Bel), Kristian Sbaragli (Ita), Scott Thwaites (GB), Petr Vakoč (CZ), Otto Vergaerde (Bel).

Van der Poel’s big weekend:

Teuns and Colbrelli Lead Bahrain McLaren in the Opening Weekend
Bahrain-McLaren is counting on Dylan Teuns and Sonny Colbrelli in the Opening Classics Weekend in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Teuns and Colbrelli are assisted in the Omloop by Marcel Sieberg, Heinrich Haussler and Grega Bole. “I am very happy with the start of my season and the form I am in,” Dylan Teuns looks ahead. Last year he was fifth in the Omloop. “I am motivated to start the Opening weekend in Belgium well. These rates give me goosebumps with the large audience.”

The season of Teuns has indeed started well, with a stage win in the time trial of the Ruta del Sol. The climbing specialist was fifth on the overall. Within the team management there is great confidence in Teuns: manager Rod Ellingworth wants to extend his contract.

Bahrain-McLaren for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad:
Grega Bole (Slo), Sonny Colbrelli (Ita), Heinrich Haussler (Aust),
flag-si Luka Pibernik (Slo), Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Dylan Teuns (Bel), Fred Wright (GB).

Bahrain-McLaren for Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne:
Phil Bauhaus (Ger), Grega Bole (Slo), Sonny Colbrelli (Ita), Heinrich Haussler (Aust), Luka Pibernik (Slo), Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Fred Wright (GB).

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (February 29) – Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (March 1)
Three of our riders who are racing on Saturday have already finished in the top ten of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Stijn Vandenbergh took 2nd in 2013 and 4th in 2016, Alexis Gougeard was 5th in 2016, and Oliver Naesen finished 7th in 2017 and 10th in 2019.

Julien Jurdie: “The first Belgian classics arrive with the Omloop Heet Nieuwsblad in the UCI WorldTour and then the next day with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. We are coming to a course that we know by heart, and with high ambitions focused on Oliver Naesen, and indeed the entire AG2R LA MONDIALE team. This opening weekend is hotly awaited by our Flanderian experts. If the forecast stays the same, we will certainly be expecting difficult conditions on the cobblestones. But we are ready for everything, and we hope that this will be the start of a beautiful 2020 campaign that will culminate with Paris-Roubaix.”

Marc Reef – Team Sunweb coach: “We are happy that Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne is back on our calendar. Just like in a lot of the other Flemish races, the Oude Kwaremont will play an important role, alongside the Kluisberg which quickly follows it. The Kluisberg is now at just 50 kilometres to go; the change of parcours will make it harder for any chasing groups to get back to the front of the race or for teams to set up a bunch sprint finish. We’re prepared for different scenarios and we will look to bring Søren into a good position for the Oude Kwaremont and Kluisberg. We also bring in Cees for the race, who has proved he is in good form after his win in Algarve and the guys will work to set him up if the day ends in a bunch sprint finish.”

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Cees Bol (NED), Nico Denz (GER), Nils Eekhoff (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Jasha Sütterlin (GER).

Cees Bol winning in Algarve:

Directeur Sportifs: Dominique Arnould and Morgan Lamoisson.

Niccolo Bonifazio win in the Saudi Tour’20:

Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Ardèche Classic and Drôme Classic
Julian Alaphilippe will lead the line for the Wolfpack at the two French races.

Fresh off a strong ride at the demanding Tour Colombia, Julian Alaphilippe is ready to make his first European outing of the season in just a couple of days, when he’ll line up at the start of the Ardèche Classic (29 February), a 184.4km hilly race which is very likely to be decided on one of the last two climbs: Saint-Romain de Lerps (8.1km, 5.9%) and Val d’Enfer (1.4km, 10.8%).

From there, just twenty-four hours later, he will take on another testing race, the Drôme Classic (203 kilometres), where the quick succession of climbs in the last part of the course – Côte des Roberts (3.9km, 5%), Côte de Grane (1.7km, 5.6%) and Mur d’Alex (1km, 9.3%) – are sure to whittle down the peloton and make a serious selection before the finish in Livron-sur-Drôme.

Top 10 overall at last week’s Volta ao Algarve after an impressive display on the climbs, João Almeida will also be part of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad for the two French races, together with neo-pro Andrea Bagioli, Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns – who earlier this season powered to a memorable victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – Ian Garrison and Mikkel Honoré.

“We are going into the weekend with a good team that will give us several options to be in the mix for a nice result. Of course, Julian is our leader as the parcours suits him perfectly, but we can count also on other guys who have enjoyed a strong start to the season and can be up there. The two races aren’t easy and hardly give you a moment of respite, but we’ve had some good results here in the past and are motivated to try to repeat them and keep the team’s excellent momentum going”, said sports director Davide Bramati.

29.02-Faun-Ardèche Classic (FRA) 1.Pro and 01.03-Royal Bernard Drome Classic (FRA) 1.Pro

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), João Almeida (POR), Andrea Bagioli (ITA), Rémi Cavagna (FRA), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Ian Garrison (USA), Mikkel Honoré (DEN).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA).

Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 – All Eyes on the Climbers
Life is all about innovation and new adventures. And so it is that, in 2020, road cycling’s traditional alpine race will visit the capital of the Massif Central for the first time. There is nonetheless an air of familiarity about the challenge awaiting the peloton on the opening stage of the 72nd edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné, which will be contested on a route towards Lyon that is almost identical to that of the 14th stage of the Tour de France. On the following day, the hilly terrain of Saint-Christo-en-Jarez and its final circuit should ensure that only the most durable of sprinters prevails. The third stage to Saint-Vallier, including a gruelling stretch of over a kilometre at an average gradient of 12%, may see them eliminated entirely in favour of the punchier climbers.

The established tradition of bunch sprint finishes in the Rhône Valley is set to be honoured by the stage to Bourg-de-Péage. However, the Wednesday time trial has been dispensed with in order to avail the overall contenders of the widest array of tactical options. As a result, and for the first time since 1947, participants in this year’s Dauphiné will not ride a single kilometre against the clock. The pure climbers will get their first opportunity to assess the form of their rivals when the race reaches the mountains for the 5th stage, culminating in what Gilles Maignan describes as the rock ‘n’ roll descent of the Côte Maillet. The following day, the peloton will take the chance to familiarise itself with a section of the 17th stage of this year’s Tour, including an ascent of the Col de la Madeleine. However, the real showdown in the mountains is reserved for the weekend, with 4,700 metres of elevation gain to tackle on Saturday alone including climbs up the Col de la Croix Fry in the Aravis and to the ski resort of Bisanne, before a final drag to the altiport of Megève. The final stage will be similarly punishing, leading a scattered peloton up the Côte de Domancy, the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière before embarking on the brutal Côte de Cordon. A true festival of altitude.

Key points:
The Critérium du Dauphiné visits the city of Clermont-Ferrand for the first time at the start of the first stage on May 31st.
Ø With no prologue and no time trial, the 2020 course is not one for the rouleurs. The race is set to be decided on the weekend over a series of alpine climbs, culminating in two stage finishes in Megève.
Ø Savoie Mont Blanc Tourisme has confirmed the continuation of its partnership with the Critérium du Dauphiné and will sponsor the white jersey for three more years.

Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 stages:
Sunday, May 31st – Stage 1 – Clermont-Ferrand (63) > Lyon (69) – 197 km
Monday, June 1th – Stage 2 – Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or (69) > Saint-Christo-en-Jarez (42) – 181 km
Tuesday, June 2nd – Stage 3 – Saint-Chamond (42) > Saint-Vallier (26) – 175,5 km
Wednesday, June 3rd – Stage 4 – Loriol-sur-Drôme (26) > Bourg-de-Péage (26) – 173 km
Thursday, June 4th – Stage 5 – Vienne (38) > Col de Porte (38) – 132,5 km
Friday, June 5th – Stage 6 – Corenc (38) > Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (73) – 156,5 km
Saturday, June 6th – Stage 7 – Ugine (73) > Megève (74) – 156,5 km
Sunday, June 7th – Stage 8 – Megève (74) > Megève (74) – 153 km

Best of Critérium du Dauphiné 2019:

Paris-Nice 2020: Reunion time for Bernal
The memories of the dominating Columbian presence on the stage that finished at the col du Turini and the overall podium of the 2019 edition return when looking at this year’s entry list. Egan Bernal will wear the number 1 with an increased notoriety thanks to his victory in the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana, who has won several races in the South of France in the colours of his new Arkéa-Samsic team, will do his best to resist the pressure from the next generation led by recent Columbian champion Sergio Higuita (who also won his national tour) and Miguel Ángel López, who is also among the likely contenders. The density and quality of the Colombian delegation doesn’t necessarily herald a raid of the top places in the general classification, which are nearly as exposed to a Slovenian rush. 2019 Vuelta winner Primož Roglič rarely comes up short of his goals and has decreed Paris-Nice as the first of his season while Tadej Pogacar who joined him on the podium in Spain (3rd) also imagines doing the same as Bernal in what will be his debut ride in the Tour de France which isn’t much of a pipe dream when you take his wins on the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana into consideration.

Europe’s cycling guard will, however, have some serious candidates on the race to Nice. Julian Alaphilippe is of course thinking of the roads he will ride on in the Saint-Amand-Montrond time-trial, where a very serious hierarchy will be established on day four of the race and where he knows every bit of asphalt. The 2019 Tour standout, who largely shared the headlines with Thibaut Pinot, could once again ride alongside the Groupama-FDJ leader who will be making his Paris-Nice debut. The weekend in the mountains with the La Colmiane climb, as well as the time-trial, correspond to his strengths, which is also the case of Pierre Latour, who this year on Paris-Nice will be the leader of the AG2R squad. The best Spanish chances for a successor to 2018 winner Marc Soler are Enric Mas and Bahrain-McLaren’s Mickel Landa.

Sprinters will have their share of the limelight in half of the stages if the race conditions are suitable. This is in any case what the best of them are hoping for, noting that the detour via the French roads very often proves to pay off in San Remo. Some hard-fought battles are expected among Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Pascal Ackermann, Matteo Trentin, Max Walscheid, Ivan Garcia and Alexander Kristoff.

22 teams, the main participants (as of 26/02):

Mitchelton-Scott: Haig (Aus)

Bahrain-McLaren: Landa, Garcia (Esp), Teuns (Bel)

Deceuninck-Quick Step: Alaphilippe, Cavagna (Fra), Bennett (Irl)
Lotto-Soudal: Ewan (Aus), Wellens, De Gendt (Bel)

AG2R La Mondiale: Latour, Cosnefroy (Fra), Naesen (Bel)
Cofidis: Martin, Edet (Fra)
Groupama-FDJ: Pinot, Madouas (Fra), Küng (Sui)
Total Direct Energie: Terpstra (Ned), Hivert (Fra)
Team Arkea-Samsic: N. Quintana (Col), Barguil (Fra)
Nippo Delko Provenc: Navardauskas, Siskevicius (Ltu)

Bora-Hansgrohe: Ackermann (Ger), Grossschartner (Aut)
Team Sunweb: Hirschi (Che), Eekhoff (Ned), C. Pedersen (Den)

Israel Star-Up Nation: Politt (Ger), Hofstetter (Fra), Van Asbroeck (Bel)

Astana Pro Team: Lopez (Col), Fraile, LL. Sánchez (Esp)

CCC Team: Zakarin (Rus), Trentin (Ita)

South Africa:
NTT Pro Cycling Team: Walscheid (Ger), Valgren (Den), Campenaerts (Bel)

Movistar Team: Mas, Verona (Esp)

The Netherlands:
Team Jumbo-Visma: Roglic (Slo), Bennett (NZ), Gesink (Ned)

United Arab Emirates:
UAE Team Emirates: Pogacar (Slo), Kristoff (Nor), Philipsen (Bel)

United Kingdom:
Team Ineos: Bernal (Col), Amador (Cri), Geoghegan Hart (GB)

United States:
EF Pro Cycling: Higuita (Col), Van Garderen (USA), Nielsen (Den)
Trek-Segafredo: Porte (Aus), M. Pedersen (Den)

Key points:
Defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal leads an ambitious Columbian contingent with Nairo Quintana and Sergio Higuita as serious rivals, but Primož Roglič, who won the Vuelta, and his young countryman Tadej Pogacar also have a shot of adding Slovenia to the list of winning nations on Paris-Nice.

Ø On this particularly competitive 78th edition, 2019 Vélo d’Or winner Julian Alaphilippe will be hosting his rivals before his local fans at Saint-Amand-Montrond for the first major battle of the week where other French riders could also show their strength: Thibaut Pinot and Pierre Latour have the potential to aim for the sharp end of the order.

Ø Caleb Ewan leads an impressive list of sprinters that includes Sam Bennett, Pascal Ackermann and Matteo Trentin.

Strade Bianche Women Elite: 23 Teams at the Start
The 23 teams to participate at the Strade Bianche Women Elite on 7 March are announced today. All 8 UCI Women’s WorldTeams and the best 7 UCI Women’s Continental Teams are expected to start, along with 8 wild cards.

The Strade Bianche Women Elite, organised by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, will be held in Siena, Italy, on 7 March, a few hours before the start of the Men’s race.

It is set to be one of the most spectacular races of the year, a unique event on the global cycling scene thanks both to its special course character including Tuscany’s famous gravel roads, and to the high level of participants.

All 8 UCI Women’s WorldTeams, and the best 7 UCI Women’s Continental Teams are expected to start, along with 8 wild cards.

The 2019 edition was won by Annemiek van Vleuten (who went on to become UCI Road World Champion later in the year in Harrogate, UK) ahead of Annika Langvad and Katarzyna Niewiadoma.


Women’s #StradeBianche 2019:

The First Stage of the Giro d’Italia to Include the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest
In agreement with the Municipality of Budapest, Stage 1 of the 2020 Corsa Rosa will feature Budapest’s Chain Bridge, the oldest bridge of the city, one of the symbols of the Magyar capital.

The use of the bridge was originally excluded due to planned renovation. The postponement of those works gave the opportunity to modify the route, including the passage of the ITT across the bridge.

On a technical level the stage does not change, with the start from Hősök Tere (Heroes’ Square) and finish in the Castle District, and its length remains the same (8.6km).

The Route:
Budapest – Budapest 8.6km (ITT)

A short individual time trial with the first 6km flat and the following 2km uphill. The route goes along wide and mainly straight city streets until it crosses the Széchenyi Chain Bridge before turning around the Buda Castle by crossing the hill in the gallery. Intermediate time is to be taken at the foot of the final climb. The gradient of the first 300m towards the Upper Town exceeds 10% (max 14%) then the climb becomes easier until the finish.

Professional Bike Racing Returns to Greendale and Manitowoc as Part of 12th Annual Tour of America’s Dairyland Multi-Day Road Bike Racing Series
U.S. Largest Competitive Road Race Series Draws Thousands Worldwide and Coast to Coast.

With a growing worldwide reputation and named a “bucket list” event by Bicycling magazine, Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD) presented by Kwik Trip, rolls again through Wisconsin June 18-28, 2020. The 12th annual edition of ToAD, which is the U.S.’s largest multi-day competitive road bike racing series, will see the return of bike racing to Greendale and Manitowoc after more than a decade hiatus.

ToAD features criterium-style bike races daily in different communities. Last year more than 100,000 spectators attended the series which featured more than 5,000 entries from nearly 1,000 racers including professionals, Olympians and amateurs.

About 70 percent came from outside of Wisconsin including 15 countries with Australia sending the largest international contingent of more than two dozen riders, followed by Canada and New Zealand. In the US, racers traveled from 37 states with California and Colorado fielding the most riders from outside the Midwest.

“While exciting events including the USA Triathlon National Championships and Ryder Cup come and go, Tour of America’s Dairyland and the world class race experience we deliver has been a mainstay on the Wisconsin sports tourism calendar for more than a decade,” said Bill Koch, ToAD executive director. “Our host cities eagerly await and plan for the opportunity to show off their communities to the thousands of visiting racers and fans, as well as those who follow those visitors’ social media feeds.”

With the Village of Greendale addition to the ToAD 2020 schedule, cyclists will race through the only Wisconsin city designated as National Historic Landmark. ToAD participants and spectators will find a city rich in heritage with beautiful lush green spaces, boutiques and charming restaurants.

“Greendale is the perfect venue to host bike racing,” said Village Manager Todd K. Michaels. “We’re an active community with parkways, paths and walkways, and our historical downtown area will provide a unique destination for participants and visitors. Past races have been well received and we look forward to welcoming the Greendale Gran Prix as a fun and new event for our local community.”

At the Manitowoc Maritime Classic, racers will start and finish in front of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, one of the finest museums of its kind in the U.S., as ToAD returns to the lakefront city for the first time since the series launched in 2009. Manitowoc is ToAD’s only Northeastern Wisconsin stop. John Brunner, owner of The Fitness Store, founded the Maritime Classic in 1989 and spearheaded its 2020 return along with Mayor Justin Nickels.

“I am excited for ToAD to return to Manitowoc and Northeast Wisconsin! Our focus the past few years has been on revitalising our beautifully historic downtown, located directly on the shores of Lake Michigan and Manitowoc River,” Mayor Nickels said. “Bringing back events like ToAD will be a great way to showcase all the great things happening in our community.”

“Manitowoc’s downtown has come alive with the opening of new restaurants, bars and attractions, as well as new events and festivals. These and other dynamic businesses are bringing people to our downtown area,” Brunner added. “Mayor Nickels and I believe the climate and excitement of Manitowoc’s downtown make it ripe for the spectacle of bicycling racing.”

Aside from a fast racecourse, cyclists can enjoy warm up and cool down rides along the six-mile Mariners Trail which runs directly along Lake Michigan and is the longest stretch of uninterrupted lake view in the state. For riders and fans alike, Manitowoc plans several special race day events including live music.

ToAD host cities typically hold community festivals with a variety of activities and entertainment surrounding the bike races. Besides Greendale and Manitowoc, ToAD cyclists will race in Janesville, Kenosha, East Troy, Grafton, Waukesha, Shorewood, Wauwatosa, and Milwaukee’s Downer Avenue and Bay View neighbourhoods. ToAD estimates the series overall generates more than $2 million in Wisconsin economic impact.

ToAD attracts racers ranging in age from pre-teens to sixties. As hoped, ToAD saw an increase in the number of riders age 40 and older in 2019 with the launch of abbreviated race age and category competitions designed to accommodate work and travel schedules. Based on that success, ToAD will increase the number of category-condensed competitions within its 11-day 2020 schedule.

Registration for ToAD opens Monday, March 2, 2020 at: http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/

Team Novo Nordisk and USA Cycling Track Star Mandy Marquardt Extend Contract
Team Novo Nordisk is proud to announce it is extending its contract with American track standout Mandy Marquardt through the 2020 season.

Team Novo Nordisk is proud to announce it is extending its contract with American track standout Mandy Marquardt through the 2020 season, which takes the relationship between Marquardt and the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team into its 11th year.

“Team Novo Nordisk has been by my side for a decade. Every time I train and race, I feel a sense of purpose because of the impact we are making together around the world,” said Mandy Marquardt. “I am grateful to have the support from a team of people who believe in me, and I feel fortunate to race my bike as my job and I have fun doing what I love.”

Marquardt is slated to represent the United States at the 2020 UCI Track World Championships when it kicks off on Wednesday, February 26th in Berlin, Germany.

“As I head into Worlds, this team provides me with the added value of connecting with the global diabetes community and helping to inspire the world. The phrase “Changing Diabetes” on my jersey is powerful and encourages me to be the best athlete I can be,” explained Marquardt.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 16, the now 28-year-old Marquardt will compete as part of USA Cycling’s 12-athlete team. She will race in the match sprint. This serves as her third UCI Track World Championship appearance.

“I’ve known Mandy for 11 years now and the transformation she’s undergone in the past year to develop into one of the best track athletes in the world is a testament to her hard work and dedication,” said Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland. “In addition to her successes on the track, Mandy serves as one of our most committed ambassadors consistently working with the diabetes community and helping to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes.”

Career highlights include 18-time U.S. National Champion, two-time U.S. National Track Record Holder – 500m Time Trial and Team Sprint (set in 2016), Pan American Track Champion (2017 Team Sprint), five-time Pan American Track medalist (2016 Team Sprint-Bronze, 2017 Keirin-Silver, 2017 500m Time Trial-Bronze, 2018 Team Sprint-Silver, 2019 Sprint-Bronze) and continuous Team USA World Cup member (since 2014). Marquardt has represented the United States at multiple UCI Track World Cups and was named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic ‘Long Team’ for track sprinting.

“Ever since I met her as a teenager, Mandy continues to be one of the most focused athletes that I’ve had the honour of working with. As she continues to deliver outstanding performances on the track, we are immensely proud to have her racing in the Changing Diabetes jersey,” said Phil Southerland. “She is an inspiration to all women with diabetes, and we hope her journey and successes will inspire the next wave of women with diabetes to dream big.”

Since graduating from Penn State Lehigh Valley in 2014, Marquardt has been training full-time for UCI track races, UCI Track World Cups and the Olympic Games. The Olympic lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania and spends part of the year training at the Velo Sports Center in Carson, California. When in Pennsylvania, Marquardt trains with Edge Cycling and is coached by Edge Cycling Director Andrew Harris. She also serves on the Penn State Lehigh Valley Alumni Society Board of Directors. Marquardt remains a Penn State Lehigh Valley cycling coach but has had to take a backseat to prioritise her quest to become an Olympian.

The UCI Track World Championships will be held in Berlin, Germany from February 26 – March 1st.

About Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.

BEAT Cycling Club Begins New Road Season with Great Ambitions
First ProSeries wildcards have arrived: team to start in Scheldeprijs and Baloise Belgium Tour.

On Saturday, BEAT Cycling Club’s road season begins with the Ster van Zwolle. This is the starting signal for an exciting season, especially considering that the BEAT team management has decided to aim for a place in the ProSeries in 2021.

Anyone who has been following BEAT Cycling Club for some time knows that it is no secret: the road team, currently active at the Continental level, has the ambition to start at the Pro Continental level beginning in 2021. This season will be important, so the team has enhanced its lineup with strong riders such as Jan-Willem van Schip and Marten Kooistra and sprinter Bas van der Kooij.

Circled in red
Van Schip is still racing in the track world championships this week, so he will not participate in the first road race of the season, the Ster van Zwolle. He will start his season at the Ronde van Drenthe on March 14. He has also circled the Tour of Belgium and the Dutch championships in red on his calendar. An important highlight for van Schip is, of course, also the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he wants to win medals in the omnium and madison.

Sprint project
With Bas van der Kooij, the road team wants to perform well in the sprints this season, with the goal of increasing the team’s visibility in the races. In recent years, the road team has come up (just) short in races that ended in a sprint. That is why an ambitious sprint project is being developed. Director Geert Broekhuizen said: “The sprint suits us. At BEAT, we have earned our stripes in track sprinting and we have acquired the necessary knowledge in recent years. Together with Theo Bos we will transfer that experience to the road team.”

The entire club is also looking forward to a special goal: reigning Paralympic champion Daniel Abraham has set his sights on the Paralympic time trial and the scratch race and individual pursuit on the track for this summer. Abraham unexpectedly won gold four years ago in Rio on the road.

Great ambitions deserve a corresponding race program. BEAT Cycling Club has worked hard to get beautiful races on the road program. Broekhuizen said: “If you want to participate in races in the new UCI ProSeries this year as a Continental team, you must register for this with the UCI. We have done that successfully. We have since received wildcard invitations to races such as Bredene-Koksijde, the Scheldeprijs, the ZLM Tour and the Tour of Belgium. These are all great opportunities, so a big thank-you to organisers like Golazo, Flanders Classics and Libéma.”

First of all, the Ster van Zwolle is on the program. Team management already has several different scenarios in mind for this race. Various trump cards can be played, both with fast riders who get in a break and with sprinters. Then the team goes via Rucphen and the Ronde van Drenthe to Bredene-Koksijde, and then via the Volta Classic Limburg to the start of the Scheldeprijs.

Daniel Abraham (NED), Luuc Bugter (NED), Yves Coolen (BEL), Nahom Desale (ERI), Marten Kooistra (NED), Adam Lewis (GBR), Alex Mengoulas (NED), Stefano Museeuw (BEL), Guillaume Seye (BEL), Bas van der Kooij (NED), Jan-Willem van Schip (NED).

Egon van Kessel (NED), Wilbert Broekhuizen (NED), Tim Veldt (NED).

Official Statement
The disciplinary commission of the UCI has decided, after reviewing the written observations submitted by the team, to dismiss the referral lodged by the UCI on December 2019 because the relevant conditions for the team to be affected have not been met.

The team agrees with the decision and is glad to know that this case has been resolved logically and coherently.

In addition, the team highlights again its zero tolerance policy against doping and its compliance with all the existing rules and regulations. We will continue to work closely with the relevant regulatory bodies to obtain a clean sport.

This decision reinforces our determination to develop our youth academy in which we have been working for so many years so that our young riders can develop themselves personally and professionally.

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