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Innsbruck - Austria - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Rohan DENNIS (Australia / BMC Racing Team) pictured during the World Championships - ITT time trial individual elite men between Hall-Wattens and Innsbruck (52,5 KM) - photo DB/LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

All the time trial news from the World championships in Innsbruck, from the juniors to the elite riders with reports, results and video action. Plus the cyclo-cross World Cup in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Top Story – The 2019 World championships in Yorkshire. In other cycling news: Sunweb riders at the Worlds, Giro d’Italia 2019 big start, 2018 GranPiemonte unveiled, contract news from Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education First-Drapac, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Movistar and Trek-Segafredo. We finish with a video look at the Innsbruck Worlds road course with Paolo Bettini. A very full EUROTRASH bag!

TOP STORY: Full Routes and race Schedule for Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships Announced
The full routes and race schedule for the Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships have been officially unveiled in Innsbruck (Austria).

The racing starts on Saturday 21st September with Para-cycling events before the first UCI World Champions are crowned the following day with the maiden Team Time Trial Mixed Relay. This event will replace the separate men’s and women’s trade team time trials, and will be contested by national teams consisting of three male riders and three female riders. The male athletes will ride first and the women will replace them on the road as soon as the second male rider has crossed the finish line. Final timings will be taken when the second female rider crosses the finish line, with the fastest team declared the winner.

The Yorkshire 2019 programme will continue through until Sunday 29th September with Individual Time Trials and Road Races for Junior (Under 18), Under 23 and Elite male and female riders.

Harrogate will serve as the destination town for every race, with start locations across the county to ensure the Championships reach as many people as possible.

The full race programme is as follows:
Day 1:
Saturday 21 September: Beverley-Tadcaster-Wetherby-Harrogate Circuit – Para-cycling Road Races (C1 Event)
Day 2: Sunday 22 September: Harrogate Circuit – Team Time Trial Mixed Relay – 28km (two circuits)
Day 3: Monday 23 September: Harrogate Circuit – Women Junior Individual Time Trial – 14km (one circuit) and Men Junior Individual Time Trial – 28km (two circuits)
Day 4: Tuesday 24 September: Ripon to Harrogate – Men Under 23 Individual Time Trial – 32.5km (route plus one circuit) and Women Elite Individual Time Trial – 32.5km (route plus one circuit)
Day 5: Wednesday 25 September: Northallerton to Harrogate – Men Elite Individual Time Trial – 54km (route only)
Day 6: Thursday 26 September: Richmond to Harrogate – Men Junior Road Race – 144.5km (route plus three circuits)
Day 7: Friday 27 September: Doncaster to Harrogate – Women Junior Road Race – 91.5km (route only) and Men Under 23 Road Race – 192.5km (route plus three circuits)
Day 8: Saturday 28 September: Bradford to Harrogate – Women Elite Road Race – 149.5km (route plus three circuits)
Day 9: Sunday 29 September: Leeds to Harrogate – Men Elite Road Race – 284.5km (route plus seven circuits)

The 2018 Championships are currently taking place in Innsbruck-Tirol and Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL led a packed presentation of the Yorkshire 2019 event on Wednesday evening. He was joined on stage by UCI President David Lappartient, British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington, and Great Britain riders Alex Dowsett and Hayley Simmonds. Prime Minister Theresa May concluded the presentation via video message, lending the UK Government’s full support.

The Championships are receiving unprecedented financial backing with the UK Government and UK Sport committing £12 million to deliver a truly world-class event. A further £15 million has been allocated to develop entry-level cycling facilities across England. This commitment means that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will deliver a legacy that will transform the sporting fabric of the country.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL said: “It is a great honour to be hosting the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. This will be the most inclusive and diverse Championships ever held and cement Yorkshire’s place as a world-class cycling destination.

“The countdown is now well and truly on and there will be many people in Yorkshire and across Britain who are looking forward to this iconic event. We can promise huge, passionate crowds, stunning scenery and epic racing.

“We have worked hard with the UCI to design a challenging and spectacular range of routes which take in all four corners of the county. We are thrilled to be able to share these routes and are sure they will make for exciting racing.”

UCI President David Lappartient said: “After the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and the consequent creation of the legacy Tour de Yorkshire, this magnificent region has left us in no doubt that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will be a memorable occasion.

“The competitions in Yorkshire will open with the new Team Time Trial Mixed Relay, a UCI initiative that will replace the trade team time trial and will see men and women competing together for their nation. I cannot wait to witness this first-ever Team Time Trial Mixed Relay, which is part of the UCI’s drive to further increase the attractiveness of our Road World Championships, encourage gender equality, and showcase National Federations and their riders.

“In addition, the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will be taking place less than a year out from the Olympic Games, with riders seeking to earn precious qualification points for Tokyo 2020. This will add to the excitement of the racing on the roads of Yorkshire.”

Yorkshire 2019 Chair Chris Pilling said: “We have pledged to deliver an inclusive, innovative and inspiring UCI Road World Championships that brings the world closer. We are therefore enormously excited to be the first host to integrate Para-cycling into the programme and the first host to deliver the brand-new Team Time Trial Mixed Relay.

“These races will help deliver on our pledge and will get the Championships off to a flying start. Every day the riders will visit new places and encounter different challenges in what will be an unforgettable festival of bike racing.”

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport said: “This event is going to be one of the highlights of 2019 as the best cyclists in the world go head to head on Yorkshire’s stunning rolling hills. It is fantastic that inclusivity is at the heart of these Championships with a day of world-class para-cycling and the new Team Time Trial Mixed Relay event introduced. We want to encourage everybody to get involved in sport and events such as this can inspire many people to do just that.”

British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington said: “We believe that cycling has the ability to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our society, and the legacy and inspiration that we can harness from next year’s Championships in Yorkshire is another vital step on our journey to transform Britain into a great cycling nation.

“We’re determined to ensure that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire doesn’t just change the lives of those collecting a rainbow jersey, but the lives of the children, families and everyone who discovers – or rediscovers – the simple pleasure of riding a bike as a result.”

Full details on the Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships can be found at: Yorkshire2019.co.uk

World Road Championships 2018

You can see the Elite Men’s Road Race PEZ Preview HERE.

Men’s Time Trial
A multiple winner of time trials in the Grand Tours, Australia’s Rohan Dennis became the World Champion for the first time as he smashed the performances of defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) and Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts who both finished on the same second, at 1:21 down. Dennis, 28, is the second Australian to take the Rainbow Jersey in the Men’s Elite Time Trial after Michael Rogers who claimed three titles in a row from 2003 to 2005. Dennis’ previous best result since turning pro in 2013 was fifth in 2014.

Full World Men’s TT race report with lots of photos HERE:

Interview with Rohan Dennis (Aus):
How does it feel to be World Champion?

“It’s a dream come true to be World Champion. I’ve been chasing this since I was a junior, I’ve never won it in any age group, so to win my first one in seniors is really special. It’s an amazing feeling. There’s a lot of people I have to thank and the first person is my wife. She’s back home and I’m sure she is pretty happy at the moment. Now, I’m just going to enjoy the moment and enjoy the next year in the rainbow jersey and try again next year.”

How did you stay in control knowing you were on the way to winning?
“I was being coached from the car by Brad McGee and he gave me confidence at the top of the climb once Dumoulin came through and I was one minute up, and he just kept me calm. I was considering a bit of a victory salute but I wanted to make sure as you are never sure until Tom crosses the line.”

Did you expect to win with such a big advantage?
“I knew the power that we rode in the team time trial. We lost 19 seconds and I held higher power up the hill than I did in the team time trial. I knew that Tom rode the front of the team time trial and he was pushing pretty hard so I had a fairly god idea of what power I needed to hold. I think I was 35 seconds in front at the bottom and when I got to the top I was fairly confident that I had at least done the same time as him.”

2nd, Tom Dumoulin (Ned): “I arrived on the start line with the goal of being the World Champion again but Rohan [Dennis] was outstanding, that’s my story of the day. It’s been a physical and mental struggle for an hour. I wouldn’t be second if I didn’t fight my way until the finish. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I had a bad time trial in Richmond three years ago and I had my best road race after that, so I’m going in it with an open mind on Sunday.”

3rd, Victor Campenaerts (Bel): “I knew that Tom Dumoulin and Rohan Dennis were one step above me, so the race I was here for was for the third place. Therefore, I have no regret to miss out on the second place by very little. It’s like a victory for me to be on the podium. It makes me super happy. I started believing I could do it when I made the top three of the opening Time Trial of the Giro d’Italia in Jerusalem along with these two guys.”

World Championships Men’s Time Trial Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) in 1:03:45
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) at 1:21
3. Victor Campenaerts (Bel)
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) at 2:04
5. Nelson Oliveira (Por) at 2:14
6. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) at 2:17
7. Tony Martin (Ger) at 2:25
8. Patrick Bevin (NZ) at 2:34
9. Vasil Kiryienka (Belrus) at 3:07
10. Martin Toft Madsen (Den) at 3:23.

Men ITT:

Women’s Time Trial
Annemiek van Vleuten took a back to back World championship, pairing with her first Individual Time Trial World title in Bergen, Norway, last year. Last rider on the road, she edged out her compatriots Anna Van der Breggen and Ellen Van Dijk who held the best times before she bettered them by almost half a minute and one and half minute by the finish line. Never before in the history of this event – that started in 1994 – has one country taken the first three places.

World Women’s TT Champion, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned): “I was totally sure of holding the best time but I got confused and a bit nervous with the GPS timing. I was surprised by the gap when I got to know it eventually, I didn’t expect to win by this much. At the National Championship, I made the mistake of not going out fast, I didn’t want to repeat it here. I went full gas up the climbs, but I still had to push on the descents. The tail wind made it a very fast course with no recovery. I recce’d it four times in May with the national coach and more since I got here on Friday, so I knew every corner. Last year, I knew I was in good shape, but I was a bit more insecure than today, because at the Rio Olympics I was close to winning something really nice and I didn’t finish it off. But I took confidence from last year into this World Championship here today. I’d also like to add a new chapter in my book as an athlete. I’m at the top of my game and we want to win with the Road Race for the Netherlands again on Saturday.”

2nd, Anna van der Breggen (Ned): “It’s nice to have a fully Dutch podium but I’d like to change the order a bit. We were all hoping to be the fastest. I’m happy with my Time Trial. It went really well. I recovered well from the Team Time Trial. I have another chance for the gold medal on Saturday. I’m feeling good, which is necessary ahead of the road race on a difficult course. We’ll be the favorites again. It’s hard to explain why we’re faster than other countries. Personally, I just try to be as good as possible.”

3rd, Ellen van Dijk (Ned): “This has never happened before so it’s great for Dutch cycling but it’s an individual effort so I can’t be completely satisfied with where I stand on the podium. We have different personalities so we prepare for the same event in our own way. Annemiek trains a lot in altitude, many things bring her to her level, but we all have to think of what’s best for ourselves. There are good cycling infrastructures in the Netherlands and good support for women cycling. It’s been going on for many years.”

World Championships Women’s Time Trial Result:
1. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) in 34:25
2. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) at 0:29
3. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) at 1:25
4. Leah Kirchmann (Can) at 1:27
5. Leah Thomas (USA) at 1:32
6. Lucinda Brand (Ned) at 1:43
7. Amber Leone Neben (USA) at 1:48
8. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) at 2:16
9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) at 2:17
10. Tayler Wiles (USA) at 2:31.

Women ITT:

Men’s Junior Time Trial
There was no surprise in the Men’s Junior Time Trial: Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel met his expectations as he smashed the times of his rivals along with Australia’s Luke Plapp who occupied the hot seat up until the favorite crossed the line 1:23 up. The phenomenon rode at an average speed of almost 50km/h on the Junior-limited gear to win a race that is very likely to remain famous in the history of cycling.

World Men’s Junior Champion, Remco Evenepoel (Bel): “I came here to Innsbruck three weeks ago on a recce. I already enjoyed the nice weather and riding with almost no holes in the roads. The climbs are short but pretty steep; that’s what I like. This was one of the nicest courses I have done in my cycling career. I’ve worked very hard to become the World Champion. I had in mind a good power output level that I was able to keep up with. In the last 500 meters, I was told that I could raise my hands up. It’s very nice to celebrate a Time Trial victory before crossing the line… it’s also exceptional for me. It was emotional because two weeks ago, I met with the family of the late Igor Decraene in their village and they said: ‘you’re the only one we want to see winning the World Championship.’ In Belgium, people say that I win ‘with two fingers in the nose’ but it all comes from hard work. Being the new Eddy Merckx is not something I want to hear. I want to be somebody new. I’m the new me.”

2nd, Luke Plapp (Aus): “In Australia, we don’t know how good the Europeans are because we don’t race them. But we knew that Remco [Evenepoel] has already signed for Quick Step. He’s exceptional. I had a good preparation for these Worlds after I won two gold medals at the Track Worlds one month ago – but I didn’t have the power to match Remco.”

3rd, Andrea Piccolo (Ita): “I knew Remco [Evenepoel] from the Trophée Centre-Morbihan in May. I was lucky enough to break away with him before he dropped me. At the European Championships, we had a tactic for winning the road race but it was useless because I rode away from the gun and we didn’t even manage to maintain the gap. It’s a good result to make the podium alongside him and I’m first year Junior so I can hope for more next year.”

World Championships Men’s Junior Time Trial Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) in 33:15
2. Lucas Plapp (Aus) at 1:23
3. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) at 1:37.

Junior Men ITT:

Men’s U23 Time Trial
Being the defending champion, Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg was the hot favorite for the title in the U23 category at the age of only 19. He was way ahead of all his rivals at each intermediate time check, and capped off the performance with a margin of 33 seconds over Belgium’s Brent Van Moer and 38 seconds over his compatriot Mathias Norsgaard Jorgensen who is also not only his training partner, but also his fiancé’s brother.

Men’s U23 TT Champion, Mikkel Bjerg (Den): “The course suited me really well, it was similar to Bergen, shorter but more explosive. We worked with our coach to be able to go really hard on the climbs and recover for being fast on the flat at the end. Mathias [Norsgaard Jorgensen] and I train a lot together. I’m engaged to his sister. A good training environment has paid off today. Normally at the end of the season, it’s hard mentally, but we were able to push each other to perform this late.”

World Championships Men’s U23 Time Trial Result:
1. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) in 32:31
2. Brent Van Moer (Bel) at 0:33
3. Mathias Norsgaard Jorgensen (Den) at 0:38.

U23 Men ITT:

Women’s Junior Time Trial
Rozemarijn Ammerlaan delivered the first gold medal of the week for the Netherlands in the Women Junior Individual Time Trial in Innsbruck-Tirol. She edged out Italy’s Camilla Alessio, who had held the best time for almost an hour. Elynor Backstedt, daughter of the 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt and 1998 British Road Race Champion Megan Hughes, rounded out the podium.

Women’s World Junior TT Champion, Rozemarijn Ammerlaan (Ned): “I’m very proud. Two weeks ago I raced against some of my adversaries, so I knew I was in good shape. It’s great to race as a Dutch rider because you can learn a lot from the Elite champions who are the best in the world. In the summer we came here together to ride the time trial and the road courses. We did some training camps as a team. We get a lot of support which paid off today and I hope to have a good future in the Elite ranks next year.”

World Championship’s Women’s Junior Time Trial Result:
1. Rozemarijn Ammerlaan (Ned) in 27:02
2. Camilla Alessio (Ita) at 0:06
3. Elynor Backstedt (GB) at 0:17.

Junior Women ITT:

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup – Waterloo, Wisconsin 2018
Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) took the opening round of the 2018-19 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup, dropping World champion Wout Van Aert two laps to go of the Waterloo circuit. Van Aert finished 34 seconds down in 2nd place, Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) was 3rd at 51 seconds.

Nine riders made the lead group at the end of the first lap: Wout Van Aert, Laurens Sweeck, Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice), Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal), Corne Van Kessel, Quinten Hermans, Toon Aerts and Jim Aernouts (Telenet Fidea Lions). Van Aert put the pressure on and Aernouts and Vanthourenhout were dropped. Hermans took to the front half-way through lap 3 and dragged the front group 20 seconds clear of the chasers. Soete led on lap 4, dropping his teammate Sweeck, then Iserbyt and Van Kessel lost contact to leave four in the lead.

On lap five Sweeck and Hermans crashed leaving Van Aert and Aerts up front. On lap 7, Aerts attacked and had 10 seconds by the start of lap 8. Aerts led Van Aert by 15 seconds on the final lap with Sweeck at 43 seconds. By the finish line the World champion had lost over 30 seconds on the winner Aerts.

Race winner, Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions): “When you win the first race of the classification you take the jersey. So it’s the first time I’ve ever had the white jersey in my career and so I’m looking forward to next week. On the last lap when I came up the running point pretty good I knew it was almost there for the victory. It was my weakest point, I didn’t know what was wrong there. So coming up on the last lap I knew I had to make no mistakes so I was fine.”

2nd, World champion Wout Van Aert (Belgium): “Of course its mixed feelings, when you’re a three-time world champion everybody expects that you win every race. So do I and yeah it was a pity that I wasn’t able to win. Today Toon was a bit stronger, and in the final three laps I wasn’t able to follow his pace. So he’s a deserved winner and I’m happy that I have a good position now in the World Cup standings.”

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup – Waterloo Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions in 1:02:49
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) at 0:34
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservic at 0:51
4. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:54
5. Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 0:55
6. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:08
7. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 1:14
8. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:27
9. Tim Merlier (Bel) at 1:36
10. Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud at 1:44.

Full race:

World Road Race Preview
Team Sunweb’s coach Koen de Haan (NED) said: “The women’s road race will be a hard 156 kilometer race, with three final laps and a decisive uphill, so is suited to the climbers. Ruth showed her good climbing legs with two stage wins in the Ardeche and Liane also showed she is in good shape with a stage and GC win at the Belgium Tour. The rest of the team have just come out of a good training block and racing period. Our wins at Madrid Challenge were a good boost for morale and all of our riders will go all in for a chance of the rainbow jersey.”

Team Sunweb’s coach Adriaan Helmantel (NED) said: “The road race is a really tough course, definitely the toughest parcours we’ve seen in recent years. The route involves six short laps and a long lap with a really hard climb, totaling 258 kilometers with 4670 meters of elevation gain. We don’t necessarily have the specialists for these kind of parcours but we are sure that our riders will play a part in helping bring a medal home for their native country. Søren, Tom, Wilco and Sam are in great shape after a silver in the TTT and both Chris and Simon will be really valuable support riders for the Australian and German national teams.

“The U23 race is 179.9 kilometers with 2910 meters of elevation gain and steep climbs up to Angerberg and Gnadenwald. We’ve got a good selection of guys that are suited to these parcours such as Jai, who performed really well on the toughest stages of the Vuelta as well as Marc who has good climbing legs. We’re confident that our young guys will put on a good show in Austria, be it in a support or leadership role with their national team.”

UCI Road World Championships
Line-Up Men:

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Sam Oomen (NED).

Line-Up Women:
Lucinda Brand (NED), Ellen van Dijk (NED), Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Juliette Labous (FRA), Liane Lippert (GER), Pernille Mathiesen (DEN), Coryn Rivera (USA), Ruth Winder (USA).

Tom Dumoulin – No TT rainbow, but maybe road champ?

Giro d’Italia 2019: The Big Start and Other Stages in Emilia-Romagna
Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy will host the Big Start of the 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia, which begins on Saturday 11 May.

The Corsa Rosa will begin with an 8.2km Individual Time Trial from the city center to the hilltop San Luca Sanctuary. Stage 2 on Sunday 12 May will start in Bologna and head south. The other stages in the Emilia-Romagna region are from Riccione to San Marino (the only stage to leave Italian soil in 2019) on Sunday 19 May for a 34.7km Individual Time Trial that will also be the so-called ‘Wine Stage’ of the Giro d’Italia. Monday 20 May is a rest day, while on Tuesday 21 May, the 147km Stage 11 runs from Ravenna to Modena and clearly suits the sprinters. On Wednesday 22 May the Giro d’Italia will leave Emilia-Romagna from Carpi and head west.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia will start on Saturday 11 May from the Emilia-Romagna region in the heart of Italy, specifically from the region’s capital Bologna, exactly 25 years after the city last hosted the Big Start in 1994. As part of a wide-reaching agreement between RCS Sport and the Emilia-Romagna region, stages of the Giro d’Italia will visit other parts of the region with starts or finishes in Riccione, Ravenna, Modena and Carpi. The 2019 Giro d’Italia is the 102nd edition of the Italian Grand Tour and will be organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, running between 11 May and 3 June.

The Emilia-Romagna Stages
Stage 1, Saturday 11 May – Bologna-Bologna (San Luca) ITT – 8.2km
This is a short Individual Time Trial with 6km of flat roads followed by 2km of steep climbing. The route covers wide, largely straight, city streets until the foot of the San Luca climb. It lasts 2.1km and has an average gradient of 9.7% with long sections above 10% and the steepest section at 16% in the final kilometer.

Stage 2, Sunday 12 May – The Giro d’Italia leaves Bologna and heads south

Stage 9, Sunday 19 May – Riccione – San Marino (RSM) ITT (Sangiovese Wine Stage) – 34.7km
The Individual Time Trial is divided into two sections: the first is on rolling roads until entering the Republic of San Marino. The second is the climb up to the finish. The stage covers twisting and turning roads for 22km until Faetano. The road then climbs steeply until Fiorentino. From there until the finish, the route includes short climbs and easier sections. It is for power climbers.

Stage 10, Tuesday 21 May – Ravenna – Modena – 147km
The stage is totally flat and crosses the Padania plain of Ravenna and the Bologna area. It passes through Lugo, Massa Lombarda, Granarolo nell’Emilia and Crevalcore. It quickly reaches Modena on flat roads for the expected fast sprint finish.

Stage 11, Wednesday 22 May – Capri towards the west

Stefano Bonaccini, President of Regione Emilia-Romagna said: “It’s going to be a moment of celebration for all of Emilia-Romagna. It’s a dream come true, it’ll be a great way to show off our region that carefully protects its history and heritage but also looks to the future with a sense of constant innovation.

“After recent Big Start outside of Italy, the Giro d’Italia has chosen to start in Bologna in 2019 and with a Time Trial that climbs up to the Madonna di San Luca Sanctuary, that is a symbol of the city and has the world’s longest archway. Other stages will also be held entirely in the Emilia-Romagna region, with stage starts in Bologna and Carpi as the Giro d’Italia visits the villages and cities of the region and reveals our art and culture, with our sense of hospitality and the cheering fans acting as a picture frame as the riders race by.”

Paolo Bellino, Managing Director and Director General of RCS Sport pointed out that “After 25 years and for the second time in its long history, the Giro d’Italia will start from Bologna. The Giro d’Italia is one of the crown jewels of RCS and of the whole country. This edition will be almost all raced within Italy and so gives us an opportunity to show the world the beauty and excellence of the country, starting with the stupendous Emilia-Romagna region. Via the many media that follow the Giro d’Italia, millions of people can enjoy the show, which is far more than just a sporting event. Television coverage extends to 198 countries across five continents.

“The Giro d’Italia is continually developing and growing and is positioning itself amongst the most closely followed global sporting events. We’re sure that yet again the 2019 Giro d’Italia and its partners – the institutions, sponsors and media – will show off the race to the nation.”

Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia said: “This project with the Emilia-Romagna region has come about thanks to our excellent long-term relationship that has seen important stages of the Giro d’Italia start or finish in, or visit the region over the years. Working with regional president Bonaccini, we realized it was time to create something unforgettable with the Big Start in Bologna and other stages that visit different parts of the Emilia-Romagna region, passing from the coast to the mountains via the plains and countryside. Emilia-Romagna has always been a cycling region as well as a center for tourism. It has also produced some of the greatest champions of the sport of cycling. It thoroughly deserves this recognition.

“In a marked difference to recent years, we decided with the Emilia-Romagna region not design three consecutive stages early in the race but to create three very different stages for each day of racing. The start in Bologna with a Time Trial to the San Luca Sanctuary will give an immediate shape to the race for the maglia rosa. The Time Trial stage from Riccione to San Marino is very hard and, as the Wine Stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia, will celebrate the Sangiovese wines. The stage from Ravenna to Modena and then from Carpi the following day will show off parts of Emilia Romagna, especially their history, culture and cuisine.”

The Editor of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Andrea Monti said: “The Giro d’Italia starting in Bologna is special for me. In 2015, with President Bonaccini, we promoted a campaign called “Made in Emilia-Romagna” via a special event and a special edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport; we presented the sporting excellence of the Emilia-Romagna region, from football to basketball and cycling. Now those seeds have grown and have lead to the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia. We’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of our work together in 2019.

“La Gazzetta dello Sport will of course follow its race closely, day after day. I’m sure the Emilia-Romagna region will know how to show the Corsa Rosa its warmth and hospitality. Emilia-Romagna has produced great cycling heroes such as Adorni, Baldini and Pantani, to mention just a few who are closely linked to the Giro d’Italia. They represented their region with pride, making it an icon of Italian sport.”

Paolo Bellino, Stefano Bonaccini, Mauro Vegni and Andrea Monti

Statistical Information
For the second time in its history, the Giro d’Italia will start from Bologna, 25 years after the first Big Start in the city on 22 May 1994. Then the race started with a morning road race stage won by Endrio Leoni followed by a Time Trial won by France’s Armand de las Cuevas.

Riccione hosts a stage start for the sixth time. San Marino will host a stage finish for the 13th time, and the first for 21 years, when Andrea Noè won in 1998.

San Marino will host a finish of a time trial for the eighth time. These are the previous occasions:
1951: won by Giancarlo Astrua
1956: circuit of San Marino won by Dutchman Jan Nolten
1958: won by Charly Gaul
1968: won by Felice Gimondi ahead of race leader Eddy Merckx
1969: won by race leader Eddy Merckx
1979: Giuseppe Saronni won the stage and became the new race leader, holding the maglia rosa to the end of the Giro d’Italia
1987: Roberto Visentini won the stage and took the race lead from teammate Stephen Roche
1997: Pavel Tonkov won the stage and became the new race leader.

2018 Giro winner – Chris Froome (Sky):

Ravenna will host a stage start for the eighth time. In 2005 the stage finished in Rossano Veneto, with Australia’s Robbie McEwen beating Alessandro Petacchi and Stuart O’Grady.

The Giro d’italia returns to Modena for a stage finish after a 34-year absence. The last was the stage from Cecina, won by Daniel Gisiger. This will be the ninth stage finish in Modena in the history of the Giro d’Italia. The first was in 1928 after a start in Pistoia, with Domenico Piemontesi winning the stage.

Carpi will host a stage start for the second time after the first in 1998.

Giro d’Italia 2018 best of:

2018 GranPiemonte Unveiled: A “Royal” Race
The race will start in Racconigi and end in Stupinigi, passing many of the former King of Italy’s great houses along its 191km route. The last two editions have been won by Italian riders: Giacomo Nizzolo (2016) and Fabio Aru (2017 – Italian National Championship).

The 102nd GranPiemonte NamedSport, organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport with the support of Regione Piemonte, will be held on Thursday 11 October, starting from Racconigi and finishing in Stupinigi after 191 kilometers. This edition of the race features a course that will pass by many of the great houses of the Savoia family, the former Kings of Italy, in Racconigi, Pralormo, Agliè, Venaria Reale, Rivoli and Stupinigi. The route has been specifically designed to celebrate these important monuments, which are amongst the region’s highlights.

The route is mainly flat with some climbs and descents around Turin. From the start at Racconigi the route goes up part of the Superga hill from Chieri towards Chivasso – on regular roads, sometimes twisty and featuring short climbs and descents – and then becoming flat up until Agliè. The feed zone around the middle of the course (km 89-92) in Ozegna is followed by another flat section through Venaria Reale and Rivoli. Here the roads, in the city centers, have more bends and undulations, with some narrow points. After Rivoli the route runs on wider roads until the finish straight in Stupinigi.

Final kilometers
The last 5km are mostly flat, with a very slight uphill section. The roads are medium width and feature a series of roundabouts. The final straight is 1km long.

Valerio Oderda, Mayor of Racconigi, Mauro Vegni, Giovanni Maria Ferraris and Diego Sarno, Head of Sport, Nichelino (Stupinigi)

Mauro Vegni, Head of Cycling at RCS Sport, said: “We enjoy a special relationship with Regione Piemonte and Mr Ferraris; two great partners with whom we continue to working closely after having relaunched this wonderful and historic race together. Following the 2017 edition, that was held as the Italian National Championship and won by Fabio Aru, this year we wanted to celebrate some of the region’s rich Italian heritage, providing additional interest on top of the amazing sporting event itself. Racconigi, Pralormo, Agliè, Venaria Reale, Rivoli and Stupinigi will all show their art and history to the world, because with each of our events we want to showcase in a unique way the beauties of the territories that we race through.”

Fabio Aru in 2017:

Giovanni Maria Ferraris, Head of Sport for Regione Piemonte, said: “This race brings the honor of great cycling tradition to our region, with a special edition that will pay homage to our Savoia heritage. By shining the spotlight on this combination of cycling and our territory, we are creating a unique mix of history, culture and passion… Piedmont at its best.”

102nd GranPiemonte – Thursday 11 October (18 teams of seven riders each: 12 UCI WorldTeams and 6 UCI Professional Continental Teams).

GranPiemonte Italian National champs in 2017:

Aimé De Gendt and Alfdan De Decker Sign for Two Years
Wanty-Groupe Gobert can count on the talented riders Aimé De Gendt and Alfdan De Decker over the next two seasons. The 24-year-old Aimé De Gendt rode for Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise for the past three years. He already rode a strong road campaign over the past weeks. He finished second after Jérôme Baugnies in the GP Stad Zottegem. He won the kermesse in Haaltert at the end of August and finished fourth in the Primus Classic. Earlier this year he rode top 10 at the Belgian Championships in Binche, finished 11th in the Tour of Luxembourg and showed strong legs in the breakaway of the Tour of Flanders.

Alfdan De Decker, member of Lotto Soudal U23, was the past weeks one of our three trainees, until a collarbone fracture forced him to stop competition. The only 22-year-old rider from Wommelgem won Brussels-Opwijk this year, as well as two stages in the Solidarnosc Race and he finished 2nd in the GP Criquielion. As a trainee he showed his fast legs by finishing second in Schaal Sels behind Timothy Dupont. A few days later he crowned himself the winner with a resounding victory in the Geraardsbergen kermesse.

Aimé De Gendt: “I am happy to be able to sign with Wanty-Groupe Gobert. After three years at Sport Vlaanderen I want to take another step. Above all I want to become stronger in general. That is my main goal for the next two years. Every year I make progress and I hope to be able to continue that line with Wanty-Groupe Gobert.”

“I am a type of rider for a wide range of races. That is an advantage, but sometimes also plays to my disadvantage. Tough races suit me, as I showed in the final of the past GP Impanis. I can certainly stand my ground in the spring classics as well. So that is certainly an objective for next year.”

“At Wanty-Groupe Gobert I find some riders who I know well. I used to ride in the same team as Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Tom Devriendt. Jérôme Baugnies is from the same region as me and Frederik Backaert is a member of our training group the Mattentaartentrappers.”

Alfdan De Decker: “It was a nice internship period. I ended up in a team that worked well, which gave motivation and satisfaction. It is nice that I was able to convince the team management fairly quickly. I think the déclic really came after my second place in Schaal Sels and the victory in Geraardsbergen.”

“Unfortunately, the internship period came to an end too soon because of my crash in the fourth stage of the Olympia’s Tour mid-September. I broke my collarbone in three places. The recovery is going fairly well, but I cannot yet pick a date of my comeback in training. In the beginning of October I am heading for a check-up, then I will know more. At the moment I am already taking my rest period a little earlier. Probably I will also start my preparation for the new season a little earlier than in the past years.”

“I hope to become stronger over the next year, especially in terms of depth. Switching from the U23 to the pros won’t be easy. As a neo pro I look forward to learn from fast riders like Timothy Dupont or Andrea Pasqualon. Maybe then I can aim for a result myself halfway through the season.”

Aimé De Gendt and Alfdan De Decker:

Konrad, Mühlberger, Pöstlberger and Großschartner extend with BORA – hansgrohe
All Austrians extend their contracts with BORA – hansgrohe until the end of 2020. Their development in the past was more than promising and the team is happy to continue this successful story with them in the future.

“All our Austrians developed really well in the last years. They matured to key performers of our team, and we are happy to continue this successful relationship with them. Especially Patrick – with his 7th place at the Giro – had a real breakthrough in 2018 and deserves a leader roll in 2019. With Lukas we keep on planning in direction of the Classics, while Gregor is a true allrounder with lots of potentials. Felix was the first season with us and he had a strong spring with a 10th place at Paris-Nice. He still needs some time to develop and we wanted to send a signal that he will get this time at BORA – hansgrohe.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager

“My season so far was almost perfect, the Giro was a true highlight. I stepped up to become a Grand Tour contender and the team played a key role in this process. Ralph Denk gave me the chance to develop step by step, without any pressure. I am happy that we can keep on progressing in the future together. I feel great support from the team, the environment is highly professional. BORA – hansgrohe is the perfect team for me.”Patrick Konrad.

“It’s always nice to extend an agreement early, it gives you the opportunity to focus on cycling. At BORA – hansgrohe also the young riders get their chances. This is key in terms of development. I think with my Tour Tour de France debut and my first WorldTour win, I fulfilled all expectations. But I want to keep on progressing, and to do so, a strong and dedicated team is key. BORA – hansgrohe is both. Nevertheless, there is always room for jokes and we have lots of fun, especially between us Austrians in the team.”Gregor Mühlberger.

“My spring was frustrating. But from the national championships onwards all went pretty well. I took my second title in the road race and was selected for the Tour de France. All the time the team was supporting me, and I could feel their trust. I am happy we agreed early about a contract extension. I still want to grow as a rider and take on more responsibility in the future at BORA – hansgrohe.”Lukas Pöstlberger.

“I felt really comfortable at BORA – hansgrohe from the beginning. We have a great spirit in the team and I am really happy to have already extended my contract with them. To feel their trust gives me lots of confidence. 2018 was my first full season at WorldTour level, I achieved some strong results and did a good Giro. But I still need to work on consistency. BORA – hansgrohe supplies the perfect environment for that next step in my career.”Felix Großschartner.

Gregor Mühlberger – Stage 6 win in the Brinckbank Tour’18:

Jonathan Caicedo joins #PinkArgyle in 2019
Jonathan Caicedo makes the move to the WorldTour with EF Pro Cycling in 2019. The Ecuadorian won Vuelta Colombia last month and finished second in Vuelta Asturias.

“This is a new stage in my sporting life,” said Caicedo. “I have to thank EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale for the opportunity they have provided. This is the most important step I have made professionally.”

“Caicedo is our wild card bet,” said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “I started observing him after his breakthrough result at Vuelta Asturias. He got second to Richard Carapaz (Movistar), who went on to finish in fourth place at the Giro. That’s the result that caught my attention. Caicedo’s win in Vuelta Colombia, while not a UCI race anymore but is still every bit as hard, sealed the deal for me. He knows how to win a race at high altitude, low altitude. The harder, the better.”

“My great pride is winning Vuelta Colombia,” said Caicedo. “It told me I have the capacity for big things.”

Vaughter expects that Caicedo will start his first Grand Tour in his first season in #PinkArgyle. “Likely he’ll race the Giro or Vuelta,” said Vaughters. “He’ll probably start his season at Oro y Paz and work toward the Giro. That would be my guess. He’s a good time trialist, and he’s a good climber. He has a fair little sprint on him, too. I think he’s a guy for riding general classification in mountainous stage races.”

Caicedo has raced for South American continental teams for the last four years. He most recently spent a single season at Medellin, the Colombian team that hails from future teammate’s Rigoberto Uran’s hometown. He joins the team on the recommendation from Carapaz. The Giro stage winner vouched for the 25-year-old.

“I don’t know much about Ecuadorian cycling,” said Vaughters. “Carapaz recommended him and called himself Caicedo’s biggest fan. They grew up racing together. We have a really great reputation in South America,” Vaughters added. “We have guys from South America that want to come to our team, and we’re happy to give the guys that really enjoy our team spirit an opportunity to be a part of it.”

Caicedo is excited not only to join a new team but also a new company. “I want my new EF co-workers to know that I’m proud to be a part of something bigger than a cycling team,” said Caicedo. “I’m focused on the bike. Away from the bike, I’m like anyone else with hopes and dreams. I’m sociable with people, and I hope I’m recognized as a humble person.”

Jonathan Caicedo:

Jon Aberasturi and Matteo Malucelli sign with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
The Spaniard Jon Aberasturi (1989) and the Italian Matteo Malucelli (1993) have become the first two signings of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA for the upcoming season. Both coincide in their great skills for the massive arrivals and in having added valuable triumphs throughout 2018.

The Basque sprinter lands in the green squad with eleven victories as a professional, including the first stage of the last Vuelta a Aragón. Aberasturi spent one season in the World Tour with Euskaltel-Euskadi, then he completed two good years in Asia with Team Ukyo before returning to Europe with Euskadi-Murias, collecting honor places in many races and showing his skills as a sprinter in the Tour of Spain.

Like Aberasturi, Malucelli was also the fastest in one stage of the last Vuelta a Aragón, one of the seven victories that shape his successful 2018 all around the world (France, Romania, Venezuela or China). This young sprinter born in Forlí, lands in the Navarrese squad after two good seasons in Androni Giocattoli and two previous years in two Continental teams, where he already achieved a stage victory in the Tour of Portugal.

Jon Aberasturi: “2018 has been a year to prove that I could also play a key role in Europe and I have fulfilled it. Its been a good season, although I expected to have more victories. I have chosen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA because it is a team with history, that can give me the consolidation as a sprinter. Next year, I want to take another step, and with people who can be around me in the end I hope to achieve it. My goal is to bring some victories to the team and the way to get them is to keep a good level throughout the year. I do not mark any race in particular, but I would look forward to winning a one day race.”

Matteo Malucelli: “I have chosen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA because I believe it is the right team to continue my growth as a cyclist and I hope to find here the environment to continue improving, so I am very happy with my choice. I have got 7 victories and 16 podiums thanks to my speed. I want to keep this role and, at the same time, to work to improve my climbing skills. I will try to give my best, especially in the races that best suit to my characteristics, bringing victories to Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.”

Sheyla Gutiérrez to Strengthen Movistar Team’s Roster in 2019
Rioja native, 24, returns to Spain next year with Telefónica-backed squad after resounding performances in past few years.

The Movistar Team confirmed Wednesday that Sheyla Gutiérrez (Varea, Logroño, ESP; 1994) has signed a contract for next season with the Blue outfit, and will be a member of Eusebio Unzué’s organization in its second year in the women’s peloton.

Affectionately known as ‘La Leona’ (‘The Lion’), Gutiérrez has brought Spanish women’s cycling some of its most remarkable performances during her six years in the pro scene, three with Lointek (2013-2015) plus another three with American squad Cylance Pro Cycling (2016-2018). In the last two years, Sheyla has achieved most of her international success, including a stage win in the Giro Rosa (2017), the Belgian classic Le Samyn (2017), two UCI stageraces in China -the Tour of Zhoushan Island and the Panorama Guizhou Road Race, both in 2018- and the 2017 Spanish Road Race Championships in Soria, as well as the 2015 GP Morbihan while still riding for Lointek.

Hit by a car while training in early June conditioned her health for the second half of the 2018 season. However, Gutiérrez did not stop shining, as she wore the QOM jersey in the Giro Rosa after coming just 500 meters short for a breakaway victory on stage two of the Italian Grand Tour. Out of racing since late July as a long-term consequence of that incident, the Rioja native, a powerful rouleur, one for the Northern classics, with great top speed and enormous tolerance to pain, will seek to further improve her level by the side of DS Jorge Sanz.

Sheyla Gutiérrez:

Anna Plichta Joins Trek Women’s Team
Anna Plichta is currently riding for Boels–Dolmans and will add strong climbing legs and experience to the Trek team beginning in 2019. Anna, 26, was a late addition to Boels–Dolmans in 2018 – a team presently second in UCI world rankings – and has shined brilliantly in a supporting role for the team’s leaders.

Anna was a relative latecomer to cycling. She began in mountain biking but did not like the technical downhills. At the age of 16, she tried road cycling and placed second in her first race, and finding out she was pretty good at it, kept at it. But it was hard. Juniors in Poland race with the elites and the DNFs (did not finish) started to add up. So, at eighteen, she decided to stop and focus on her studies.

For a year and a half, Anna didn’t race and then suddenly took up the sport again, preparing for and racing the National Championships. She did not win but rode a solid race and crossed the line in fifth position – a very decent result after her time away.

The biggest amateur team in Poland offered her a contract, and a year later she landed on the UCI team BTC City Ljubljana. In 2017, she joined WM3 Pro Cycling, the team of her compatriot and rising star Kasia Niewiadoma and multiple World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos, but what seemed like a great opportunity turned into a season of crashes and sickness for Anna.

When the team morphed into WaowDeals Pro Cycling for 2018, Anna signed with Belgium team Lensworld-Kuota, but the team lost its title sponsor and folded at the end of October and only a last-minute deal from Boels–Dolmans saved her 2018 season.

On Boels-Dolmans, Anna’s ambitions were solely team focused, a role she excelled at, but as a rider who is still reaching her prime, and with a few respectable podium results in the last few years, including twice reaching the podium in the Tour de Feminin (Czech Republic) with a second in 2016 and third in 2015, she rightfully has not given up on a few personal goals.

Anna Plichta: “I am super excited with all what is coming next season. The team looks incredibly professional, so I’m very motivated to be part of it. For the next year, I believe we can achieve a lot as a team, and I hope it is also possible I will succeed. There are a lot of chances, and if we are racing aggressively, as I like the most, good results will follow.”

The 2019 Trek Women’s team:
Lizzie Deignan (GBR), Lotta Lepistö (FIN), Letizia Paternoster (ITA), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (FRA), Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), Trixi Worrack (GER), Ellen van Dijk (NED), Anna Plichta (POL), Tayler Wiles (USA), Abi Van Twisk (GBR), Ruth Winder (USA), Lauretta Hanson (AUS).

Anna Plichta in the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2018:

Paolo Bettini Talks Worlds’18 in Innsbruck
Ahead of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships at Innsbruck, Paolo Bettini has his say on the course for Eurosport.

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