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Foto Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 29 Maggio 2019 Commezzadura (Italia) Sport Ciclismo Giro d'Italia 2019 - edizione 102- tappa 17 Da Commezzadura (Val Di Sole) A Anterselva/Antholz - km 181 Nella foto: durante la gara Photo Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse May 29, 2019 Commezzadura (Italy) Sport Cycling Giro d'Italia 2019 - 102th edition - stage 17 From Commezzadura (Val Di Sole) To Anterselva/Antholz In the pic: during the race

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

All the fun of the Giro d’Italia, plus the Tour of Norway sprint-fest in a very full EUROTRASH Thursday. Turns out Bradley Wiggins is a fan of cycling, but he still has a rant – Top Story. Race news form the men and women’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain, teams for La Course by Le Tour de France, Deceuninck – Quick-Step stay with Specialized, Lotto Soudal altitude training and the ‘Wiggo’ rant at Jumbo-Visma video. Need a big coffee today!

TOP STORY: Wiggins: “Refreshing to see a Grand Tour Without Sky Dominance”
Bradley Wiggins is happy that Team Sky, now Team Ineos, is not dominating the current Giro d’Italia. In his podcast the Brit said: “The fearless dominance of Team Sky has dehumanized cycling. That is also the reason why I enjoy this Giro, which causes so many more emotions.” The Tour de France winner was part of the Sky behemoth and you could say he probably wouldn’t have that Tour without the backing he received from Sky. “I’m not a hypocrite. Of course I also benefited from Team Sky’s approach, but you only notice it when you step out of that bubble of the team.”

Maybe now Bradley Wiggins can appreciate the sport as an ‘outsider’ and not from the perspective of a rider… ex-rider, now more like a fan: “I enjoyed the Sunday stage in the Giro with the win by Cataldo and the attack by Nibali. A sample of passionate courses. Passion that cyclists lacked in Grand Tours,” said Wiggins.

Wiggins did not condemn the team for its race tactics, but more their relationship with the fans. Referring to how Sky handled Chris Froome’s winning move in the 2018 Giro: “The first you heard then was team boss Dave Brailsford, who attributed the victory to his supply strategy. But as a fan you want to hear Froome yourself? You saw him cross the finish line and you wanted to know what that meant for him. Brailsford and Team Ineos fall short.”

“It is refreshing to see a Grand Tour that is not dominated by them.” Well don’t hold your breath Wiggo, not long till the Tour!

No mention of the Sky dominance and dehumanization of the 2012 Tour:

Giro d’Italia 2019
Italy’s Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) took a well-deserved victory on Stage 16 in Ponte di Legno in a head to head sprint with Czech rider Jan Hirt (Astana). Hirt wasn’t cooperating with the King of the Mountains at the end as his captain Miguel Angel Lopez attacked from the group of favorites on the descent of the Mortirolo. Eventually, it was a fruitful day for race leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar), and new runner up Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), who gained time over Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) on a wet and cold day in the mountains.

Second stage win for Giulio Ciccone after Stage 10 to Sestola in 2016, then racing for Bardiani-CSF. He’s the tenth rider from the Abruzzo region to win a stage at the Giro d’Italia, Vito Taccone being first among them with eight stage victories. The Mortirolo was the 20th KOM prize won by Giulio Ciccone at the Giro. He’s only one down on Eddy Merckx! Gino Bartali holds the record with 42. Richard Carapaz will celebrate his 26th birthday on May 29 with his third Maglia Rosa.

Full PEZ Stage 16 Race Report HERE.

Stage winner and KOM, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo): “For sure this win is the one that makes me the happiest in my career. Beyond the victory, to have passed the Mortirolo in first position will remain a great memory. It’s such an important and historic climb! My main goal coming to the Giro was a stage win. The King of the Mountain competition is my second goal but I have such a big advantage now that I’ll just try to deal with it the best I can as well as staying close to our GC guy, Bauke Mollema. The Giro is not over. There are other hard stages to come.”

Race leader and 6th on the stage, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): “It’s been a complicated stage because of the course and the weather towards the end. However, they were the same for everyone. It was cold but we’ve all cooperated to reach the finish. Thinking a bit about the closing time trial in Verona, Nibali attacked Roglic. Now we have a clear vision of who is up there on GC but there are still a lot of kilometers to recover any time lost. We can’t say we’re sure of anything yet.”

4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “It had to be the Queen stage of this Giro – explains Vincenzo Nibali – but without Gavia it was the same a very demanding stage conditioned by the bad weather especially from the Mortirolo to the finish in Ponte di Legno. Damiano and I collaborated with Carapaz and Mikel Landa to earn as much as possible on Roglic. Now we have to invent something to try to take the pink jersey but it won’t be easy because Carapaz is proving to be a very solid rider.”

21st on the stage and 6th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I lost time today and I don’t quite know what went wrong, but I had bad legs on the Mortirolo. I hope that it is just one bad day, and there are more stages yet to come. Michael Schwarzmann did a very good job, and Davide Formolo supported me extremely well on the Mortirolo. We tried to make up time in the descent, however we eventually weren’t able to do that successfully. It was a hard day in the saddle, and I think that everyone suffered out there. Now we will have to see how we fare tomorrow.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Result:
1. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 5:36:24
2. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana
3. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 1:20
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:41
5. Hugh John Carthy (GB) EF Education First
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
8. Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:49
10. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 2:03.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 16:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 70:02:05
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:47
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:09
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:15
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:00
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 5:40
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 6:17
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 6:46
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 7:51
10. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 8:06.

Giro stage 16:

Frenchman Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale), who was the best young rider at the halfway stage of the Giro, soloed to victory from 16km to go on Stage 17 to Anterselva. Big name riders Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) and Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) rounded out the podium. Race leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar) extended his lead by seven seconds over arch-rivals Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) who now have fourth placed Mikel Landa closer to them on GC as the Movistar Team showed some superiority on the day following the Mortirolo stage.

First pro win for Nans Peters. It’s also his first international victory since the Tour du Valromey in the junior category. It’s the 66th French stage victory at the Giro d’Italia. The first one was also the first win by a non-Italian rider, Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq, on stage 2 of the second edition in 1910. It’s the third win for AG2R La Mondiale at the Giro d’Italia after stage 9 to Termoli with Tomas Vaitkus in 2006 and stage 11 to Castelfidardo with John Gadret in 2011. The French squad hadn’t won on the WorldTour since stage 12 of the Vuelta a España with Alexandre Geniez at Faro de Estaca de Bares on 6 September 2018. Richard Carapaz is the sixth man to ride in the Maglia Rosa on his birthday after Giordano Cottur (twice) on 23 May 1948 and 1949, Roberto Visentini on 2 June 1986 (the day he won the Giro overall), Evgeni Berzin on 3 June 1994, Paolo Savoldelli on 7 May 2006 and Svein Tuft on 9 May 2014.

See more at the Full PEZ Stage Report HERE.

Stage winner, Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s amazing. I haven’t realized it yet. I have now won my first victory among the pros, and in a Grand Tour. It’s magical. Eight of us escaped on the first climb. I ended up in a group with a bunch of big names, but I didn’t let myself get too excited. I did my best to stay fresh for the final kilometers. And then I really focused at the end. I attacked only once with about 15 kilometers to go to the finish, and then I managed my effort well. With 1.5 kilometers to go to the line, I realized it was going to be enough. I could hear Arturas in my hear telling me that there was no one within sight of me behind. The team had a difficult day yesterday. This win give us the chance to continue on a good note.”

Overall leader, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): “I saw Miguel Angel Lopez attacking and I took his wheel to profit from his action. We took a small advantage. Those seven seconds help me for the closing time trial in Verona. My lead now is significant but, by Sunday, if I can increase it, it would be even more comfortable. It would be nice to be two riders from Movistar, Mikel Landa and I, on the final podium.”

2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “In these cases we can only say that it was not a right day. Since the morning, I have felt I have no great feelings. I lost a few seconds from Carapaz but we have limited the damage.”

2nd on the stage, Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott): “Second is good but also you have this strange taste in your mouth. But anyway, we will continue to try until the end of the Giro. It’s beautiful but it’s a lot of suffering as well. I am not 100% in my best shape but I have to try and I believe in myself. I dropped in the second last climb but I just kept riding, kept believing, I’m got back in the group and I played my cards. The first objective for the stages to go is of course to keep Simon as high as possible on the general classification. And, Mikel (Nieve), (Lucas) Hamilton and myself to look to go in breakaways, like we did today, to be there to drop back if Simon needs or try for the stage ourselves.”

3rd on the stage, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Yesterday was a tough day and we didn’t know what would be possible today. We wanted to try and get into the breakaway because there was a good chance that they might succeed. I was able to get into the break and we carved out a considerable advantage to the main field. In the end it became clear that the winner of todays’ stage would come from the group of escapees and I wanted to give my best to have a chance. In the end it wasn’t enough and I could not catch up to the sole leader but I am still happy with third place.”

7th on the stage, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates): “I was aiming to get a good result for the team. Unfortunately I’ve been suffering with physical problems for the last few days which hampered my pedaling a bit, so despite the effort I couldn’t take the win. It was a big fight for the breakaway but I made it. The final climb was extremely selective and everyone is really tired now.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Result:
1. Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale in 4:41:34
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:34
3. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:51
4. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First at 2:02
7. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 2:08
8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Chris Hamilton (Aus) Sunweb at 2:22
10. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 2:34.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 17:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 74:48:18
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:54
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:16
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:03
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 6:17
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 6:48
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 7:13
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 8:21
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 8:59.

Giro stage 17:

Tour of Norway 2019
Awaiting the riders on Stage 1 of the Tour of Norway was a 168 kilometer route from Stavanger to Egersund. There were no big climbs as such, but the middle of the stage featured several small kickers and rolling terrain. With the final circuit mostly flat, it looked set to be a day for the sprinters.

A break of four riders escaped early into the stage and quickly gained a gap of over seven minutes on the peloton. Behind in the bunch, the sprint teams were always in control and the gap was slowly whittled down over the remainder of the day. The breakaway put up a tenacious fight but they were ultimately caught within the final five kilometers of the stage. With the sprint teams fighting for position, Team Sunweb did well to move Cees Bol up near the front of the peloton, keeping him out of trouble. Coming into the finish Bol timed his effort perfectly into the headwind, launching with a powerful kick to the line and taking the stage win.

Stage winner and overall leader, Cees Bol (Sunweb): “Today was a nice stage; it was quite easy and well controlled throughout the day. It was then pretty hectic with a tailwind towards the last kilometer but the guys did a really good job all day to protect me and keep me in a safe position. We lost each other a little on the run in but we came back together and they brought me to the front of the peloton inside the last kilometer. It was a headwind finish so I waited for the right moment to start my sprint. I’m really happy to open the Tour of Norway like this.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a bit of a hectic final because I lost my teammates wheel at 3km to go. We were at the front early so I tried to drift back but lost the good wheels in the process. In the final 50m Cees Bol managed to overtake me in the sprint so I finished third, but I’m happy I managed to get a top 3 because I has been sick the past few weeks. So I hope to get another good result in the next few days.”

Tour of Norway Stage 1 Result:
1. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb in 3:55:12
2. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos
6. Moreno Hofland (Ned) EF Education First
7. Trond Håkon Trondsen (Nor) Team Coop
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 1:
1. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb in 3:55:02
2. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:04
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Jacob Eriksson (Swe) Team Coop at 0:09
5. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:10
6. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos
7. Moreno Hofland (Ned) EF Education First
8. Trond Håkon Trondsen (Nor) Team Coop
9. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
10. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Norway stage 1:

Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) had to wait more than three months to put his arms in the air again, but that made his victory at the Tour of Norway even more special, at the end of a Stage 2 (Kvinesdal – Mandal, 174 kilometers) which had the same ingredients as the previous day: a furious chase behind the breakaway, a late catch and a mad dash to the line. Alvaro mastered this perfectly with the help of a bullet-proof team that guided him through the technical final kilometer, coming out on top on Wednesday afternoon.

After being pulled into position by an excellent Davide Martinelli, Hodeg came off the Italian’s wheel with 200 meters to go and unleashed a brutal acceleration, fending off home riders Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Ineos), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and surging to his second success of the season, following the one he claimed on the second day of the Tour Colombia in February.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I was searching for this win for quite some time now and finally getting it feels so special. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates, who did a tremendous job the entire day, chasing the escapees and protecting me. We knew that the last corner was the most important and made sure of entering first there, before opening my sprint. It wasn’t easy, especially as the stage was hard and many teams were interested in fighting for the win, but we pulled it off and that gives us more confidence for the rest of the race.”

Tour of Norway Stage 2 Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:09:18
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
5. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
6. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Roompot-Charles.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 2:
1. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb in 8:04:20
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos at 0:04
4. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
5. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:05
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
8. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
9. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team
10. Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:09

Overall leader, Cees Bol:

Defending Champion Returns to OVO Energy Women’s Tour
Defending OVO Energy Women’s Tour champion Coryn Rivera will return to Britain’s leading women’s race in June, alongside all four other previous winners of the event, including 2016 champion Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo).

Team Sunweb’s Rivera will take the number one placard having sealed overall victory last June at Colwyn Bay in North Wales, in doing so becoming the first non-European winner.

Lining up alongside her in Stowmarket on Monday 10 June will be the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s first champion Marianne Vos (CCC Liv), who is the most decorated rider in the history of the race, having won five stages and four jerseys since 2014.

2015 winner Lisa Brennauer (WNT ROTOR Pro Cycling) will continue her record of having participated in every edition of the race, while 2017 victor Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) completes the famous five.

Niewiadoma memorably won the opening stage of the 2017 race in Northamptonshire, giving her an unassailable lead, later crediting her victory to the inspiration message from Laura Hunter on the pink ribbon provided by official charity partner Breast Cancer Care.

Deignan’s victory in 2016 is so far the only overall win in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour for a British rider. The former World Champion returns to the race after a year’s absence for maternity leave.

Further announcements about the star riders who will complete the 96-rider field will be announced next week.

The 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour expands to six stages, covering 790 kilometers of racing and over 8,400 meters of ascent, with two tough stages in Mid and South Wales concluding the race on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June.

The race will also include a hill-top finish for the first time, coming on Stage Four (Thursday 13 June) in Warwickshire on Thursday 13 June with riders tackling the 1.2 kilometer, 5% average gradient climb of Burton Dassett Country Park on three occasions during the stage.

Once more the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will offer prize money parity with the men’s Tour of Britain, thanks to award winning independent energy supplier OVO Energy, the title sponsors for a third edition of the race.

In addition to the OVO Energy Green Jersey of race leader, riders will also compete for the Breast Cancer Care Points Jersey, Eisberg Sprints Jersey and SKODA Queen of the Mountains Jersey. British riders will vie for the HSBC UK British Cycling Best British Rider Jersey, supporting British Cycling’s #OneInAMillion campaign to get a million more women cycling by 2020.

ITV4 will screen highlights from every stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, with programs broadcasting at 20:00 in the UK and available on demand via the ITV Hub catch up service.

All 15 of the world’s top teams from the start of season UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings have accepted their invitations to the event, and will be joined by British team Drops to complete the 16-team, 96-rider field for the race that gets underway in Beccles, Suffolk, on Monday 10 June.

Launched in 2014 by SweetSpot Group, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is widely regarded as the world’s leading international stage race for women. The race attracts 300,000 roadside spectators, in addition to a worldwide television and online audience of nearly five million people.

Last year’s edition provided an £7.8 million economic boost to the economy, with 87 per cent of visitors to the race describing it as “very enjoyable”.

The Stages:
· Stage One, Monday 10 June, Beccles to Stowmarket, 157.6km
· Stage Two, Tuesday 11 June, the Kent Cyclopark Stage, 62.5km
· Stage Three, Wednesday 12 June, Henley-on-Thames to Blenheim Palace, 145.1km
· Stage Four, Thursday 13 June, Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park, 158.9km
· Stage Five, Friday 14 June, Llandrindod Wells to Builth Wells, 140km
· Stage Six, Saturday 15 June, Carmarthen to Pembrey Country Park, 125.9km

The Teams:
· Alé Cipollini (Italy)
· Bigla Pro Cycling (Switzerland)
· Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Netherlands)
· Canyon//SRAM Racing (Germany)
· CCC – Liv (Netherlands)
· Drops (Great Britain)
· FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope (France)
· Mitchelton-SCOTT (Australia)
· Movistar Team (Spain)
· Parkhotel Valkenburg (Netherlands)
· Team Sunweb (Netherlands)
· Team VIRTU Cycling (Denmark)
· Trek-Segafredo (USA)
· Valcar Cylance Cycling (Italy)
· WNT-ROTOR Pro Cycling (Germany).

Follow the OVO Energy Women’s Tour on Twitter (#OVOWT), Facebook, Instagram or via the event’s official website at womenstour.co.uk.

La Course by Le Tour de France 2019 avec FDJ: Teams Selection
In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following fifteen UCI Women’s WorldTour are automatically invited to the race:

In addition to these fifteen teams, the organizers have awarded the five following wildcards:

All information about La Course by Le Tour de France on www.lacoursebyletourdefrance.com/en/

La Course 2018:

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Route and Manchester Finish Announced
Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, will return to Manchester city centre for the first time in 15 years this September as Greater Manchester hosts the final stage of the eight day race with a route that takes in all ten of the city’s boroughs.

Beginning in George Square Glasgow on Saturday 7 September, the eight day race will take the world’s top teams and riders across a 1,250-kilometer route through the south of Scotland, England’s North East and North West and the Heart of England before the overall finale for the first time in Manchester on Saturday 14 September.

Across the eight stages riders will tackle uphill finishes at in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, Kendal in Cumbria and Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire.

“This year’s race is a quintessentially British affair, combining the short and sharp climbs we’re famed for with finishes for the world’s best sprinters and hopefully a few surprises along the way,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.

“But more than ever this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain route has been designed with spectators in mind. From visiting three iconic cities and including uphill finishes that are guaranteed to create drama using finishing circuits, this year’s race will play a big role in helping Britain become a great cycling nation.”

Commenting on the announcement, British Cycling Chief Executive Julie Harrington said, “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain goes from strength to strength each year and has captured the hearts and minds of the nation to become a staple in the British sporting calendar. So of course, this year’s edition will be extra special to us as Greater Manchester will not only welcome the race for the first time in 15 years, but host the final stage of the race.

“We share with all our event partners a determination that these events should not only showcase the very best of cycling at the highest level but provide necessary inspiration for people across Great Britain to get out on their bikes.

“The start of this legacy will be felt most keenly in our great city just 24 hours later, as HSBC UK Let’s Ride, our big-city, closed road family cycling festival rides into Manchester on Sunday 15 September.”

Leading independent energy company OVO Energy will be title sponsors of the Tour of Britain for a third successive year, alongside their support for May’s Tour Series town and city centre races and June’s UCI Women’s WorldTour Women’s Tour stage race.

Adrian Letts, CEO of Retail, OVO Energy, said: “We’re incredibly excited for this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain to begin, bringing fans and spectators across the country unparalleled access to watch the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorsteps. This is our third year sponsoring the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and we’re thrilled to see an amazing route featured, ready to challenge the cyclists and entertain spectators.”

Stage One will take the race from Glasgow city centre Kirkcudbright in Dumfries & Galloway, with the region hosting the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the 10th time. At 201 kilometers the opening day will be the longest of the 2019 race.

For the first time Scotland hosts the opening pair of stages, with Stage Two taking place entirely within the Scottish Borders, starting and finishing on the cobbled Market Square in Kelso on Sunday 8 September.

Two stages then take place in England’s North East, the first of which is a North of Tyne stage from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Monday 9 September before Stage Four begins just across the River Tyne in Gateshead. The stages mark 10 years since the OVO Energy Tour of Britain last visited Newcastle and Gateshead.

From Gateshead riders will cross the Pennines and through the Yorkshire Dales National Park on Tuesday 10 September in a 171-kilometer stage containing almost 3,000 meters of climbing. The stage finish will be on the 500 meters, 11% average climb of Beast Banks in the South Lakeland town of Kendal, which hosts a finish of the race for a fourth time.

Action resumes on Wednesday 11 September as the OVO Energy Tour of Britain returns to Merseyside for the first time in five years with Wirral hosting Stage Five. The leg will start and finish in Birkenhead Park and include a finishing circuit, making it one of the most spectator friendly of the whole Tour.

Riders will then do battle in a stage entirely within Worcestershire for the first time on Thursday 12 September, one that will help shape who succeeds Julian Alaphillipe as the winner of the OVO Energy Green Jersey.

The penultimate stage of the race is in Warwickshire with a 186.5-kilometer route from historic Warwick finishing with three ascents of the 1.4-kilometer, 4.9% average gradient climb of Burton Dassett. The stage will take in two laps of a 12.5-kilometer finishing circuit ensuring an exciting and action packed finale.

Saturday 14 September will see a stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain finish in Manchester city centre for the first time since the inaugural edition of the modern Tour in 2004, with Deansgate hosting the finale of Stage Eight. The final day of racing will see the peloton taking on a 165-kilometer route starting in Altrincham that includes almost 2,000 meters of climbing, including the famous climb of the Rake at Ramsbottom and passes through all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome the Tour of Britain back to Greater Manchester as one of the biggest races in the calendar. Manchester is the home of British Cycling with some of the UK’s top riders based locally, so it seems fitting that the final stage of this incredible race returns to the region in September.”

Each road stage will feature three intermediate Eisberg Sprints, sponsored by the UK’s number one alcohol-free wine, with points counting towards the Eisberg Sprints jersey, while official car partner SKODA UK continue their sponsorship of the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey.

ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights program of the best of the action.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.

The Stages:
Stage 1, Saturday 7 September, Glasgow to Kirkcudbright, 201.5km
Stage 2, Sunday 8 September, The Scottish Borders Stage, 166.4km
Stage 3, Monday 9 September, Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 182.2km
Stage 4,Tuesday 10 September, Gateshead to Kendal, 171.5km
Stage 5, Wednesday 11 September, The Wirral Stage, 174km
Stage 6, Thursday 12 September, The Worcestershire Stage, TBA
Stage 7, Friday 13 September, Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park, 186.5km
Stage 8, Saturday 14 September, Altrincham to Manchester, 165km

Follow the OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Twitter (#OVOToB), Facebook, Instagram or via the event’s official website at tourofbritain.co.uk.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step Renew Agreement with Specialized
The world’s No1 team will use the California-based Specialized bikes and equipment for two more years

Following our existing successful partnership, the renewal of the long-standing agreement will mean that Deceuninck – Quick-Step can combine its wealth of experience with Specialized’s thirst and drive for innovation, to ensure that we stay at the forefront of the development of cycling technology, not just with its bikes, but also in its market-leading range of helmet, which our riders will also continue to use.

Speaking of the agreement, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “We are very happy to announce that we have signed for two more years with Specialized. Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Specialized have had a long and beautiful history together, and having a company which listens to, embraces, and builds bikes and equipment to the needs of us and our riders is one of the keys to our success. We have no doubt we are racing the best bikes in the world and the support that we continually receive from them is unrivaled. They always take on board our thoughts and feedback and use it to develop equipment that is at the cutting edge of cycling technology. We look forward to enjoying many more memorable victories together!”

This was echoed by Scott Jackson, Specialized Road Sports Marketing Manager: “We have been very honored to be partners with Deceuninck – Quick-Step and for so many years. Not only has the team achieved iconic victories on Specialized bikes, they have also been a key part of our development process for our bikes and equipment. As we look to the future of our company and our sport, we look to Patrick and his team to be key partners for success.”

Patrick Lefevere and Scott Jackson:

Benoot, Monfort, Wallays and Keukeleire at Altitude Training Camp in Sierra Nevada
While the Giro is still in full swing, some other Lotto Soudal riders are already focusing on the races in the months to come. Tiesj Benoot, Maxime Monfort, Jelle Wallays and Jens Keukeleire are now on an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in southern Spain. Tiesj Benoot gives a little insight into his daily schedule.

Tiesj Benoot: “I am here to improve my shape towards the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France. The Sierra Nevada is ideal for that because of the good weather conditions, the altitude of 2,200 meters and the nice roads, so I like it here. Our training rides vary from short and intensive ones to long and easier ones. Of course that includes a lot of kilometers uphill. The typical daily routine for us is as follows: get up, eat, train, eat, rest, eat and sleep. In between, we look at the Giro and I also brought some books with me to prepare for my exam. Sometimes we go to the gym to do exercises. I really enjoy the serenity here. I will stay here until 9 June together with Maxime Monfort, while Jens Keukeleire and Jelle Wallays will return home on 5 June.”

“In the Tour de Suisse, I want to regain my good feeling, because I haven’t raced since Paris-Roubaix, which is two months ago. I hope to battle for a stage win in the Tour de France. I also aim for a nice result in the Belgian national championships, but it is difficult to really make a goal of that as it is always a special race. This year, the road Nationals will take place in my home town Ghent. Obviously, I would love to conquer the national jersey but the flat course in the finale won’t make it easy for me.”

Tiesj Benoot:

Bradley Wiggins’ FURIOUS Rant About Lack of Support for Roglič
Unlike Bradley Wiggins calm statement on his old Sky team (see TOP STORY), the ex-tour rider had a furious rant after watching Jumbo-Visma DS Addy Engels’ interview following Primož Roglič’s struggles in Stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia.

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