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EUROTRASH Thursday: Battles in Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico All the Peloton News

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Race news from Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico with video, results and reports.
Attila Valter “I am not a selfish rider”TOP STORY.
Rider news: Caleb Ewan questions the result of GP Monseré and the race organiser reacts, Domenico Pozzovivo signs with Israel-Premier Tech, Nathan Van Hooydonck annoyed, De Cauwer responds and Matthews waiting for an apology, Evenepoel’s teammate Masnada suffers, the World champ’s TT position, Egan Bernal returns at the end of this month, Niki Terpstra to ride gravel, Lefevere talks Soudal Quick-Step sprinters, Ayuso still suffering from tendinitis and more criticism of Gianni Vermeersch.
Team news: Colnago reacts to Tom Boonen’s unsubstantiated statements and Alex Miles joins Jayco AlUla as lead data scientist.
Race news: Teams for the 2023 Vuelta a España.
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TOP STORY: Attila Valter “I am not a selfish rider”
In conversation with Eurosport Hungary, Attila Valter spoke about the ‘misunderstanding’ between himself and his teammate Tiesj Benoot in last Saturday’s Strade Bianche. Benoot made an angry gesture when Valter closed a gap to the Belgian in the final and seemed to take some competitors with him. “Obviously I didn’t bring the group back,” said Valter. “That would have been amateurish,” continued the Hungarian. “I waited until the rest were tired from the effort on the penultimate gravel sector and when I saw that they were struggling, I jumped alone to the group with Benoot. This was also clearly visible on television.”

“I did not see Tiesj’s hand gesture, but later it became clear that he had misunderstood the situation. I didn’t even think for a second that he thought I brought the group back. Jumbo-Visma is not the team that does such things and I am not that kind of person either. Of course I make mistakes, but this wouldn’t have been a mistake. This would have been selfish on my part.”

Valter acknowledges that he also has ambitions of his own. “But I am not a selfish rider. I was even a little surprised that he thought I would do something like that.” Immediately after the finish there was a discussion between Valter and Benoot, in which the Hungarian said he apologised for his mistakes. Benoot responded that there was nothing to apologise for, that both had made mistakes, and that they would either move on or discuss it on the bus.

Valter and Benoot trained together a lot in Tenerife in the run-up to the season. The Hungarian, new to Jumbo-Visma, says he has a different way of racing than Benoot. “He skipped a few more turns than I did. He wanted to attack from behind and did this very cleverly. In Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne we saw that this worked well. My style is slightly different, more similar to what Madouas and Costa did. We wanted to ride a fast pace on the climbs, while Tiesj and Mohorič tried it with surprise attacks.”

Benoot never asked Valter to sacrifice himself, according to Valter. “He (Benoot) wanted us both on the podium. After the race he told me his vision and I told him mine. The DS’s also shared their thoughts. We had a positive discussion about what we could have done differently. Tiesj even said that this ‘disappointment’ could be a good thing, because if he had won the race, we would not have solved our problems properly.”

According to Valter, racing at Jumbo-Visma is also very different from Groupama-FDJ. “You have to steer an active course and make active decisions. This situation is new to me. When someone has to do the work, many teams look to us to bring back a leading group. My role in the team is also new to me. This was my first race where I was co-leader, next to Tiesj. This also creates pressure.”

Problems at Jumbo:
strade bianche23


Paris-Nice 2023
Mads Pedersen won Stage 2 of Paris-Nice. The Dane of Trek-Segafredo was too fast for Olav Kooij in the bunch sprint, Magnus Cort was third. Pedersen is now the new leader due to bonus seconds.

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After Tim Merlier opened Paris-Nice on Sunday with a sprint victory, there was a chance for revenge on Monday. Between Bazainville and Fontainebleau, the riders had two climbs, but they were not too hard and were far from the finish. A sprint seemed most likely at the end of 163 kilometres.

There was little enthusiasm for an early break. Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) went away on his own. The 26 year-old Dane had a lead of more than 4 minutes on the peloton, where the wind caused some problems with 75 kilometres to go. A few riders were in trouble, but everything came back together. Gregaard’s advantage quickly disappeared. With 54 kilometres to go, the Dane was caught by the peloton. The peloton stayed together, apart from Pierre Latour. The Frenchman, who attacked in the opening stage with Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard, crashed but managed to continue.

It was full speed to the finish, but before the sprinters could fight for the victory, there was an intermediate sprint 13 kilometres from the finish. Pogačar beat Michael Matthews and Vingegaard’s teammate Nathan Van Hooydonck, who was there to try to prevent the Slovenian from taking all bonus seconds. From then on the sprinter’s teams tried to put their lead-out trains at the front. Trek-Segafredo succeeded best. Mads Pedersen managed to finish his team’s work by crossing the line first. He held off Olav Kooij of Jumbo-Visma. Magnus Cort was third. Tim Merlier, yesterday’s winner, and Arnaud De Lie were well down.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “It is nice to start the season well. Paris-Nice is a really nice race so of course it is nice to get a win. It was a hectic sprint with a 10-km stretch and then a roundabout but the team did really well. It was tight in the end, really close. I’m happy that I got it. It’s really nice to have the jersey, I’ve never tried that before in a race like this. It will be nice for the team time trial. We’re here for the GC with Mattias Skelkmjose so it’s really important that we do a really good time trial for him. If he wasn’t here we would just cruise and have a nice time.”

2nd on the stage, Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma): “It was very fast, because of the wind on the back and the slight descent. You know it will get nervous and guys will fight for their position, but honestly, it’s been hectic all day. It was a stage for echelons, but there wasn’t really any wind. Still, it was very nervous. It was difficult to get to the front in the final, but we were in the right position. I came close a few times. Of course it’s a bit frustrating, but on the other hand we didn’t make any mistakes today.”

2nd overall and best young rider, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “Six seconds might not be a lot but it gives me a bit more confidence for tomorrow in the team time trial. We can expect that everybody in the team will give it more than 100%. The shape was good in Spain. It was great. I’ve been doing well so far but we will see how it is in the big mountains. I guess I did my best sprint at that point. I’m really happy I gained a small margin and I can be more relaxed tomorrow because it’s going to be a really tough team time trial. I don’t know the order yet but I think it doesn’t matter, it’s a long time trial and you cannot check the rest of the teams, you just have to focus on yourself, your team and do the job. A few seconds can be really important, you never know. As they say, every second counts.”

8th on the stage, Cees Bol (Astana Qazaqstan): “With one and a half kilometres to go, Martinelli put me on the wheels of Merlier and De Lie. However, we lost positions at the roundabout. I still had good legs and sprint speed, but there was no room to pass.”

KOM; Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X): “It was not really planned but I was slightly disappointed yesterday not to have been able to take the polka-dot so I wanted to finish the work. I managed to break from the bunch and then it was not easy because the peloton raised the tempo at one stage and I had to give it my all to stay at the front. It’s super nice to have a jersey in a race like this but I hope I have a chance to go in another breakaway.”

27th on the stage, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Dstny): “It’s a pity I didn’t get to sprint after the guys’ work” “I was led to the roundabout in perfect position, but I was held up by another rider and I lost a lot of places” “It’s a bit frustrating. But the legs are good, so I remain ambitious for the next few days.”

Paris-Nice Stage 2 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:28:57
2. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
4. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkéa Samsic
5. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco AlUla
7. Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Cees Bol (Ned) Astana Qazaqstan
9. Alexis Renard (Fra) Cofidis
10. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 7:19:35
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:02
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:04
4. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:08
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:10
7. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
9. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:12
10. Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma.

Paris-Nice’23 stage 2:


Jumbo-Visma was the winner of the team time trial Stage 3 of Paris-Nice. The Dutch team lived up to its role of favourite and was 1 second faster than EF Education-EasyPost. Jayco AlUla was third at 4 seconds. UAE Emirates, Tadej Pogačar’s team, lost 23 seconds.

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Stage three of Paris-Nice would see a change on the general classification. The team time trial of 32.2 kilometres, would see every rider get his own time. It was not the time of the fourth rider that counted, but that of the first. The race organisers spoke of an ‘experiment’, although Jumbo-Visma sports director Grischa Niermann wasn’t convinced before the start: “I don’t think it’s of any great added value for this team time trial, on this course.”

Lotto Dstny, the team of Arnaud De Lie and Pascal Eenkhoorn were the first team to start. They recorded a time of 17:30 at the intermediate point after 16.7 kilometres in Montereau, an average speed of 57kph, and had a final time of 34:58. Jayco AlUla posted the first real target time, with a final time of 33:59. UAE Team Emirates conceded 15 seconds to Jayco AlUla at the intermediate point and was able to limit the damage, but everyone was waiting for Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch team recorded 16:53 and was a fraction faster than Jayco AlUla. More importantly, the difference to UAE Team Emirates had already increased to 15 seconds halfway through the stage. It was important for UAE not to lose more time in the second part. The UAE Team Emirates leader, Tadej Pogačar, only one teammate with him in the final. But the two-time Tour winner managed a good final time due to a strong effort in the last kilometre. With a final time of 34:18, UAE only lost 19 seconds to Jayco AlUla. Jumbo-Visma managed to live up to its favourite role with a time of 33:55, 4 seconds faster than Jayco AlUla.

Jumbo leader Jonas Vingegaard managed to take 23 seconds on his rival Pogačar. After Jumbo-Visma had finished, there was still Cofidis, Soudal Quick-Step, EF Education-EasyPost and Trek-Segafredo to cross the line. Of these teams, only EF Education-EasyPost came close to Jumbo-Visma’s top time. The American team was 10 seconds slower than Jumbo-Visma at the first intermediate point, but at the finish the difference was only 1 second in favour of the Dutch team. Magnus Cort took the leader’s jersey, thanks to a very strong final for EF Education-EasyPost. The Dane is now 1 second ahead of Nathan Van Hooydonck on GC. Michael Matthews, Jan Tratnik and Jonas Vingegaard are now at 3 seconds.

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Overall leader, Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost): “I am very happy. You know, you can’t expect to come in yellow, but we were dreaming big today. We have a really strong team for this team time trial, so it is not completely unexpected. The TTT is always a difficult discipline, I quite like the course here. It is not very technical, but there were still some rolling hills, so it was not completely flat. It was all about catching the speed and sitting there doing good turns, and also having some good recoveries in the wheels for your next turn. Obviously, I am very happy. It’s always a bit frustrating, when you are so close to winning, but you don’t get it, especially in a TTT. We still get something out of it with this jersey, but really it is the whole team who did the job. I am just one piece of the whole puzzle here. We all rode well. Otherwise, you can’t do a good team time trial like we did. It is unfortunately quite hard tomorrow, but I will do my best of course!”

2nd overall, Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma): “We went full speed towards the finish to ensure that Jonas, in particular, finished strongly. In the last kilometre, Jonas, Jan, Tobias, and I were left, and we gave it our all.”

5th overall, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “It feels great to have so many strong riders alongside me in this race. You can see that it can be really beneficial in stages like this. We tried to stick together with as many riders as possible for as long as we could. While we don’t get to practice the team time trial as frequently as we would like, you can tell we have mastered this discipline. The time trial went very well, and at the end, we sprinted for every second. We naturally would have preferred to take a little more time, but we gave it our all to secure a solid position in the general classification. The coming mountain stages are going to be decisive. Tomorrow, the first uphill arrival is already a nice test.”

6th overall, Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla): “We just tried to keep it smooth, keep the pace regular and to do that we had all of the ‘fast guys’ all in a row and I was just a passenger, I tried to do what I could but those guys are doing one minute, one minute and a half pulls and I’m doing 20 seconds, so chapeau to the boys. Hopefully this sets us up for the next stages. We’re really happy with our setup now, I think that has shown not just last year, but already straight into this year. In Tirreno as well, Hepburn did a good TT there as well, so hopefully this partnership with Giant continues for a long time.”

9th overall, Kelland O’Brien (Jayco AlUla): “We gave 100% today, we knew we had a good chance, had a great team and we left it all out there on the road, I guess we just have to find four seconds somewhere. The white jersey was never the goal coming here, my job is to do a good job for Michael and for Simon this week. I’m really proud of the boys, it was a great ride, it’s bittersweet to be so close yet so far. It’s an honour to wear the jersey, like I said, it wasn’t the goal, but it’s a special reward today I guess after such a hard effort. The win would have been nice, but we’ll be out there in full force tomorrow.”

10th overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I know we could do better, but I am happy with this performance. We gave everything and I think we got everything out of it. Tim (Wellens) was still a bit tired, he just came back from Strade Bianche. Also, we only got our bikes a few days ago. Still, we did very well and we are now in a good starting position for the next stages. I’m glad we can now relax a bit and sit back, now that we’re not in charge. We need to take advantage of that.”

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “The Danish do pretty well right now. We have the jerseys but the most important thing is to win them at the end of the race, not to hold them during the race. But it’s nice to give it to Magnus, he deserves it. I like the new colour of the green jersey. Of course it’s an icon of cycling they are changing but it’s beautiful. It’s just that you change something that was in cycling forever. The main goal is to give full support for Mattias Skjelmose now. The green jersey is a second goal to have.”

Paris-Nice Stage 3 Result:
1. Jumbo-Visma at 33:55
2. EF Education-EasyPost at 0:01
3. Jayco AlUla at 0:04
4. Groupama-FDJ at 0:14
5. UAE Team Emirates at 0:23
6. BORA-hansgrohe at 0:25
7. Soudal Quick-Step at 0:39
8. Trek-Segafredo at 0:45
9. Bahrain Victorious at 0:47
10. INEOS Grenadiers at 0:48.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 3:
1. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost in 7:53:41
2. Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:03
4. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
6. Simon Yates (GB) Jayco AlUla at 0:07
7. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:08
8. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
9. Kelland O’Brien (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:11
10. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:14.

Paris-Nice’23 stage 3:


Tadej Pogačar struck in the first mountain stage of Paris-Nice 2023. Jonas Vingegaard was present on the final climb to La Loge des Gardes, but the Dane had no answer to an attack from Pogačar 2 kilometres from the summit finish of Stage 4. The Slovenian had David Gaudu for company. Vingegaard finished in 6th place at 43 seconds.

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After the team time trial won by Jumbo-Visma, the first uphill finish was on Wednesday. The first 100 kilometres were flat and the wind could cause problems.

A leading group of seven riders escaped, including the KOM jersey, Jonas Gregaard of Uno-X. He was accompanied by teammate Anders Skaarseth, Larry Warbasse (AG2R Citroën), Dutch champion Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny), Maurice Ballerstedt (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech). They took a lead of about 5 minutes. With more than 100 kilometres to go, there was movement in the peloton. UAE Team Emirates split the peloton into echelons, but this was short-lived. Groupama-FDJ’s next attempt was more successful, as twelve riders broke away. Tadej Pogačar was ready for it, as was the yellow jersey, Magnus Cort and four Jumbo-Visma riders. The split was closed to the relief of Trek-Segafredo leaders Mads Pedersen and Mattias Skjelmose who had missed the move. The peloton was preparing for a difficult final, with the Côte de Cheval Rigon (5.7km at 3.9%) and the Col du Beaulouis (8.9km at 3.1%) in the last 30 kilometres. This was followed by the final climb to La Loge des Gardes (6.7km at 7.1%).

Eenkhoorn rode away from his breakaway companions on a descent, but dropped back into the leading group before the Cheval Rigon. In the peloton the pace was set by INEOS Grenadiers and UAE Team Emirates, who rode so hard that there were splits. A thinned out peloton started the last 20 kilometres. There were no KOM points on the Col du Beaulouis, but 6, 4 and 2 seconds bonus. Skaarseth was the last escapee to stay ahead of the peloton, but Matthews jumped past to take the 6 seconds. Skaarseth took 4 and Tadej Pogačar took 2 seconds. A large group of favourites were then set for the final climb to La Loge des Gardes. INEOS Grenadiers took the lead, but Clément Champoussin put in the first attack. He was caught by the high pace of UAE rider, Felix Großschartner, who thinned out the group and dropped yellow jersey Cort, Neilson Powless and Maximilian Schachmann and a few others.

The first real attack came with 4.3 kilometres to go: Jonas Vingegaard blasted away with Pogačar on his wheel. However, the Slovenian didn’t help his Danish rival, allowing the others to return. David Gaudu took advantage of this and immediately jumped away for 15 second advantage. The rest looked at each other, allowing Gaudu to take more time. At 2.5 kilometres from the top, Pogačar took his moment. The UAE Team Emirates leader attacked and immediately had a gap on Vingegaard, who had to make every effort to close. With a strong sprint, the Jumbo-Visma leader connected with Pogačar, but the Slovenian jumped again. This was fatal for Vingegaard, who had no answer. In the last 2 kilometres, Pogačar joined Gaudu, after which the two rode together to the top. In the sprint for the stage victory, the two-time Tour winner was the best, ahead of Gaudu. Vingegaard was beaten and had to limit the damage in the final kilometre. He was passed by Gino Mäder and also by Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Kévin Vauquelin. Pogačar took over the overall lead from Cort with his stage victory. He is now 10 seconds ahead of Gaudu and 44 seconds ahead of Vingegaard. Simon Yates is fourth at 56 seconds. The rest follows at more than a minute.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was very nervous all day. It was already hard on the flat parts. It was chaos all day. In the final climb, Felix did a very good job in setting me up for the climb in a perfect place. I had good legs. I knew I could not leave Gaudu too much or I would not win. I was a little surprised (by Jonas Vingegaard). He was first to launch the attack and looked super strong. I did not counter, I waited for a rest. In the end I think he lacked a little bit. It was not in my mind to take the yellow jersey but you don’t say no to the yellow. It’s noice to be back in this colour.”

2nd on the stage and overall, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ): “It was a complicated day today. Really hard. There was lots of wind, tension, nerves. But we did well as a team, we never were in a rush, we even launched an echelon so it was a good day. We saw immediately that Vingegaard’s first attack was not one to be followed. Everybody had the same reaction. We let them do the show and decide who the strongest was. I held there and there was a bit of tail wind so I said to myself: why not? I saw I had nobody in the wheel and a flat section was coming so I tried to hang in there but in the sprint he was stronger than me. I was second again. Second behind Pogacar of course. But that’s it. There won’t be a million chances to beat them in the climbs. I’m happy with my form. It was a first set. This one is done. I will have to stay focused. Arnaud will have a chance to sprint tomorrow.”

3rd on the stage and 5th overall, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious): “Two rocket-ships went past me but I stayed true to my rhythm. After that you’re just in the hurt box until the finish. It was hectic all day, then the 1st three minutes of the climb were full gas and all about surviving. Tadej [Pogačar] attacked but I came back to those guys, breathed for a second, and then decided that if they hadn’t followed David [Gaudu] they also won’t follow me. After that it was just black black black to the finish, trying not to pass out from the pain! I knew I trained well over the winter, so I’m happy with my legs so far here. Hopefully it’s going to be a good rest of the week. I’m just really pleased.”

4th on the stage, Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën): “It’s a very good performance, it’s my best result in the mountains in the UCI WorldTour. I don’t have to blush. This result bodes well for the rest of this Paris-Nice. I was really good all day. My teammates did a great job. Mikaël (Cherel) took control of the front and placed me well. I managed to get away from the chasing group on the flat area in the final. I am really happy with this fourth place. From now on, the goal will be to climb in the general classification to grab another top-10. We know that Saturday, the stage should be reduced to a hill climb towards the Col de la Couillole but Friday and Sunday, there could be more opportunities. Going for a stage victory by the end of this Paris-Nice would be good too.”

Paris-Nice Stage 4 Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 4:01:17
2. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:01
3. Gino Mäder (Sui) Bahrain Victorious at 0:34
4. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:42
5. Kévin Vauquelin (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:43
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:51
8. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Simon Yates (GB) Jayco AlUla
10. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 4:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 11:55:00
2. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:44
4. Simon Yates (GB) Jayco AlUla at 0:56
5. Gino Mäder (Sui) Bahrain Victorious at 1:19
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 1:40
7. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 1:42
9. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:44
10. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Jayco AlUla at 1:54.

Paris-Nice’23 stage 4:


Tirreno-Adriatico 2023
Filippo Ganna won the Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 time trial on Monday. The Italian TT champion clocked the fastest time in Lido di Camaiore, beating Lennard Kämna and Magnus Sheffield. Ganna is also the first leader of the 2023 edition.

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Tirreno-Adriatico started with a flat time trial of 11.5 kilometres in the streets of Lido di Camaiore on the Tyrrhenian coast. Dylan Groenewegen rode in the rain, like the other early starters. Wout van Aert was the seventh rider down the ramp, and according to his DS, Arthur van Dongen, without much ambition. Nico Denz (BORA-hansgrohe), who started before Van Aert, was 5 seconds faster. “I didn’t take any risks,” Van Aert said after he had finished.

Denz couldn’t enjoy his first place for long, because Bruno Armirail replaced the German in the hot seat. The Groupama-FDJ rider held the seat for some time time. Strade Bianche winner Tom Pidcock lost almost half a minute. Attila Valter, another top rider on Saturday, lost 48 seconds. Michał Kwiatkowski and Gleb Syritsa were close, but it was Magnus Sheffield who dethroned Armirail. The American was 26 seconds faster than the Frenchman. No one really came close to Sheffield for a while, but some of the GC riders set good times: Jai Hindley, Ben O’Connor, Geoghegan Hart and Aleksandr Vlasov all limited the damage to around 20 seconds. Adam Yates lost 47 seconds. Primoz Roglič was a bit faster than Hindley, O’Connor and the others. The Slovenian of Jumbo-Visma, who was riding his first race of the 2023 season, was 18 seconds slower over the 11.5 kilometres than Sheffield and was initially second. Brandon McNulty, the UAE Team Emirates American, came close to Sheffield, but was 3 seconds slower. Thymen Arensman lost 8 seconds.

Michael Hepburn came a bit closer than the others. The Australian had the best time at the intermediate point, but was 2 seconds short at the finish. Lennard Kämna, second at the same intermediate point, managed to beat Sheffield. He was 3 seconds better than the 20 year-old INEOS Grenadiers rider. Mikel Landa and Guillaume Martin, who punctured, didn’t come close and lost quite a bit of time on the other GC men. Mathieu van der Poel recorded the 10th fastest time, but fell back in the final ranking as others finished. João Almeida and Alexey Lutsenko finished faster than the Dutchman, as did Filippo Ganna. The Italian time trial champion was 9 seconds faster than Michael Hepburn, who now had the best time at the first intermediate point. Ganna, who rode in slightly better conditions, had a 28 second lead over Kämna at the line. Sven Erik Bystrøm, Erik Fetter and Valerio Conti, the last three starters, never came close.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “This is very nice. After so many podiums, a win is very important to me. It’s good for morale. With the Classics in mind, this gives extra motivation. I think he rode great (teammate Magnus Sheffield). He’s also in good shape. We have one of the best teams here, with whom we can show something beautiful. We put in a great performance today. I am very happy for myself and for the team. We give a nice follow-up to Tom’s (Pidcock) victory in the Strade Bianche. It’s good for morale in the Tirreno. We’ll see what the weather is like tomorrow and enjoy the race. I just wanted to ride as fast as possible. Two days ago I didn’t know how I would perform in this time trial, but I gave everything for myself, for the people and the Italian public.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “I didn’t expect such a strong ride today. I am more than happy with my TT. The pacing was actually quite easy as the wind was steady. I kept some energy for the last part and especially my last kilometre was fast. We have to see how my shape will be in the mountains but after today I can be confident for sure. In general, we have a strong GC team here and we want to do well.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s great that Filippo was able to win and I was able to finish on the podium. There were some mixed conditions during the time trial. We had some rain and even some hail, but hopefully things will be better for the rest of the week. My priority here is to support my teammates. But if the opportunity arises, I will definitely go for a stage. I think I have the right form. In the Omloop I was still able to keep up, but in Kuurne I didn’t reach the level of the other guys. I think that shows that I wasn’t quite ready at the time, but the form is coming. It’s a bit like last year: I grow during the Classics period. Hopefully I will be at my best level during the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Last year I achieved a victory (Brabantse Pijl), which had taken some pressure off. I’m still pretty young so I’ve yet to learn how such competitions unfold. But I think I can take confidence from that win. I think I can win a big Classic. That’s what I want to go for. I didn’t expect such a strong performance today. I’m more than happy with my time trial. It was actually pretty easy to schedule the ride as the wind was very even. I had some energy left for the last part. My last kilometre was especially fast. We will see how my form will be in the mountains, but after today I can definitely be confident. Overall we have a strong team for the standings and we want to do well.”

16th on the stage, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “I am happy with the race today. Happy with my ride but also how my body felt. I took a conservative approach on the way out and really pushed on the way back. This course is for sure not ideal for me, totally flat, so I’ll take this result for sure.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 12:28
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:28
3. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:31
4. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:33
5. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:34
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
7. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:41
8. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM
9. Casper Pedersen (Den) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:47
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:48

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 1:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 12:28
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:28
3. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:31
4. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:33
5. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:34
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
7. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:41
8. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM
9. Casper Pedersen (Den) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:47
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:48.

Tirreno-Adriatico’23 Stage 1:


The Second Stage of Tirreno-Adriatico finished in Follonica with a bunch sprint and was won by Fabio Jakobsen. The European champion of Soudal Quick-Step beat Jasper Philipsen and Fernando Gaviria to the line. The Colombian has started a long sprint was passed by Jakobsen and Philipsen.

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The race headed south from Camaiore to Follonica, parallel to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The peloton had to climb the Castellina Marittima (5km at 4%), where there were KOM points on offer for the first time. After a first passage over the finish line in Follonica, there was local lap of 22.1 kilometres. There was small climb of 1.3 km at 6%, 10 kilometres from the finish. This final slope was an ideal place for an attack again to spoil the day for the sprinters. The break of the day consisted of Davide Bais & Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa), Stefano Gandin & Alessandro Iacchi (Corratec) and Roland Thalmann (Tudor). The five were let go by the peloton, and had a maximum lead of 3 minutes. Soudal Quick-Step and Jayco AlUla for sprinters Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen did the pursuit work and didn’t give the escapees much of a lead.

Gandin wanted the first KOM jersey and with the help of his teammate Iacchi, he succeeded. Bais sat up and let himself be caught after the KOM. Iacchi, Gandin, Maestri and Thalmann kept working well together. The leaders were still together at the only intermediate sprint of the day in Canneto. Just like at the KOM in Castellina Marittima, Gandin was first, beating Maestri. This was Gandin’s last effort of the day and he waited for the peloton. With 60 kilometres to go, Iacchi, Maestri and Thalmann had less than 1 minute lead.

With 20 kilometres to go, at the start of the circuit around Follonica, the three escapees were caught. On the last climb to the finish nothing happened and so the peloton could prepare for a bunch sprint. Van Aert, who had said before the start that he was not interested in the sprint, sacrificed himself in the last kilometres for the team. Mathieu van der Poel also did this for his Belgian teammate Jasper Philipsen. Philipsen started the sprint in a good position, but the Belgian was surprised by a very early jump from Fernando Gaviria. The Colombian of Movistar saw a gap and didn’t hesitate and quickly took a few metres lead. Philipsen saw the danger and started his sprint with Jakobsen on his wheel. The European champion had a strong final kick in the legs and kept Philipsen and Gaviria behind him to the line.

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Stage winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step): “Everybody did a great job today and I am grateful for that. I knew the condition was there, and seeing how the team believed in me fuelled my motivation and desire. I knew that if I get a chance I can show how fast I am, and today everything was textbook, from the hard work of the guys to control the escapees and keep me in the front to the perfect lead-out they gave me. When I began sprinting I knew that I had the speed and that I could push it all the way to the line. I am very happy with my first victory in Italy, a country that has a huge love for cycling. What made things even more special is that my parents were here today to see me, I’m glad they could watch me get my 40th win.”

Overall leader, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “I don’t put a number on my back for training, or else I stay at home. I was on a racing mode today but with the aim of taking the less risks possible. I stayed out of trouble and made sure that everything was going well for our GC riders since we don’t have a sprinter for this race. I hope to come out of Tirreno-Adriatico in top shape for the classics and the Giro d’Italia.”

9th on the stage, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was an easy day, and everybody was focused on the finale. When everybody is getting fresh like this into a bunch sprint, it is super hectic. Also today it was really tricky. Nico brought me up once, which was great and on the last kilometre, I had to choose a wheel. In the end I was boxed in on the left and had no chance to start my sprint.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Soudal Quick-Step in 5:06:33
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
3. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Movistar
4. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Circus-Wanty
5. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jayco AlUla
8. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
9. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa Samsic

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 2:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:19:01
2. Lennard Kämna (GER) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:28
3. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:31
4. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:34
5. Thymen Arensman (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:41
7. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM
8. Casper Pedersen (Den) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:47
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:48
10. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan.

Tirreno-Adriatico’23 Stage 2:


Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico 2023 was won by Jasper Philipsen. After a long stage of 216 kilometres, which was shaken up in the final by Jumbo-Visma who tried to split the race with echelons, Philipsen was the fastest in Foligno. Philipsen received a perfect lead-out from Mathieu van der Poel for Alpecin-Deceuninck’s first road win of the year.

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The early break was made up of four riders. EOLO-Kometa had the brothers Mattia Bais and Davide Bais, along with KOM jersey wearer, Stefano Gandin and Alessandro Iacchi. On the long Passo del Lume Spento, the Bais brothers dropped the other fellow escapees. Davide wanted Gandin’s KOM jersey.

The Bais brothers continued to expand their lead over Gandin and Iacchi. Davide Bais took the maximum points on Lume Spento and the La Foce climbs, which put him in the mountains jersey. In the hilly section around La Foce, Gandin and Iacchi were caught by the peloton. The sprinter’s teams: Alpecin-Deceuninck, Soudal Quick-Step and Jayco AlUla were on the front of the peloton all day. They let the Bais brothers sit out front, but eventually caught them 70 kilometres from the finish. In the following kilometres the teams started to position themselves. Jumbo-Visma put the pressure on 10 kilometres before the finish, due to the wind. The race was split into several groups and Jumbo-Visma was on the alert with Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglič, Wilco Kelderman, Dylan van Baarle and Tiesj Benoot. Only about 20 riders could follow.

Julian Alaphilippe, Filippo Ganna, Lennard Kämna, Magnus Sheffield, Jasper Philipsen, Ben O’Connor, Biniam Girmay and Adam Yates and others, managed to get in the front group. The men of Jumbo-Visma continued to lead, but not at full gas. As a result, a group with Mathieu van der Poel was able to join them, but there was a regrouping 4 kilometres from the finish. It was Soudal Quick-Step that wanted to prepare the sprint for Fabio Jakobsen. Tuesday’s stage winner moved up just before the final kilometre, while Philipsen and Van der Poel were well in front. The Alpecin-Deceuninck duo took the lead in the last 500 metres, after which Van der Poel pulled an impressive lead-out. He took Philipsen to the last 150 metres, after which it was easy for the Belgian to finish the job. Phil Bauhaus was second on Philipsen’s wheel, ahead of Biniam Girmay and Matteo Moschetti. Simone Consonni finished fifth and Wout van Aert sixth. Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen couldn’t sprint and didn’t compete for the win. The leader’s jersey remains with Filippo Ganna.

tirreno23 st3

Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “I told Mathieu van der Poel to go as hard as he could in the last corner. He did an incredible job. I think this was the best and hardest lead out I ever had. I just had to focus on the finish line. I can be proud of the team. This is our first victory this year but there was no real pressure as we knew that our start of the season was quite late, me on the opening weekend in Belgium, Mathieu at Strade Bianche. We hadn’t had many chances to win yet, because we tried to keep ourselves as fresh as possible for the coming classics. Tomorrow it’s a stage for Mathieu. I’ll do my best to help him but I cannot promise that I’ll still be with him in the last 200m up the hill.”

Overall leader, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “I had an eye operation so I don’t always see what happens. When the split occurred, I made the mistake to being a bit too far behind. It’s my fault. Had I stayed with my team-mates, I would have spent less energy ahead of tomorrow’s stage. Tomorrow, the uphill finish will be of the same distance as a pursuit but it’s flat on the track. Firstly, I have to recover from today and be the freshest possible to perform.”

2nd on the stage, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “Actually, the split happened just in front of me. I joined my teammates, pulling in the back to bring our captain Mikel Landa back to the front, but then I rested a bit to save my energies so that I could make a good sprint when they came back together. The lead-out was super good, with a difficult finale. After yesterday we saw we all have good legs. We just needed to find each other deeper into the ending. That’s what happened today. Then Pasqualon brought me at the front to Arndt. I was on Philipsen wheels; then he got a strong lead-out from his teammate Van der Poel. Philipsen is one of the fastest guys in the peloton, and he can start a sprint late. Therefore, there was no chance for me to pass him. Anyway, I’m happy with second place. Tomorrow, it’s too hard for the sprinters. I’m targeting the final stage. It would be awesome to repeat what we did last year.”

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “We have always believed in him, because Jasper had given confidence with his sprint yesterday. After that we did it perfectly. Yesterday it was already good, but then we lost each other in the last kilometre. Today it was more twists and turns after Jumbo-Visma made it a difficult final. I like doing it (lead-outs), I know I can do this. But it has to go well and it’s not without danger, but I’m happy if I can do my thing for Jasper. The first victory for the team in 2023? That was mainly in the media. I don’t think anyone would rather win than the riders themselves. Hopefully we are now launched.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck in 5:19:08
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
3. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Circus-Wanty
4. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Q36.5
5. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
6. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
7. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jayco AlUla
9. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Soudal Quick-Step
10. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 3:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 10:38:09
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:28
3. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:30
4. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:34
5. Thymen Arensman (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:41
7. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM
8. Casper Pedersen (Den) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:47
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:48
10. Alexey Lutsenko (KaZ9 Astana Qazaqstan.

Tirreno-Adriatico’23 Stage 3:


Ewan Questions the Result of GP Monseré: “Actually, I Think I Won”
Caleb Ewan had already given his winner’s interview, but in the end Gerben Thijssen was declared the winner of the GP Monseré on Sunday after studying the finish photo. To the dismay of the Australian, who still has his doubts. “I actually think I won,” he said via social media.


Lotto Dstny’s sprinter shared some photos on Twitter, which do cast some doubt. “Show me a photo that clearly shows that Gerben is the winner, that would really make me feel better,” Ewan points out.

Ewan was declared the winner immediately after the finish and was interviewed, but the jury, after studying the finish photo, changed their earlier result and so the Belgian Gerben Thijssen was announced winner. Ewan had to settle for second place, not for the first time this season.

Sam Welsford, who crossed the line third in the GP Monseré, said via Twitter: “WTF, you clearly won this.” And some of Ewan’s teammates have also spoken out. “The UCI should review this,” wrote Thomas De Gendt. Rüdiger Selig has a question. “UCI, can you explain this to me?” he wrote on Instagram.



GP Monseré: “Responsibility for the Photo Finish Lies with the Belgian Cycling Union and UCI”
Gerben Thijssen was eventually awarded the victory of the Grand Prix Monseré on Sunday, but runner-up Caleb Ewan still wonders whether he is not the actual winner. No finish photo has been released that clearly shows that the Belgian crossed the line first. The organisers of the one-day event has received many messages about this, but stated that it is not responsible for the unclear finish photo.

“Yesterday, Sunday 5 March, our Grand Prix Monseré had a beautiful finale and denouement. As organisers, we are also happy with our podium, which exudes quality and class,” the message on the official site of the event begins. “Understandably, a lot of attention afterwards went to the photo finish to determine the winner. As the organiser we have no responsibility for the organisation of this finish line and the finish photo. This task should be done by the Belgian cycling federation and the UCI.”

The organisation has a different task. “Our mission as an organiser is as a priority to offer a safe circuit where, in memory of Jean-Pierre Monseré, we want to give cycling talents the chance to shine.”

In conversation with Sporza, the organising committee added: “The fact that it was so close between Gerben Thijssen and Caleb Ewan is a race situation that nobody can do anything about. That was also the reason why the podium ceremony took so long. The jury did everything in their power to select the right winner in good conscience.”

Very close:
gp monsere23


IPT Welcomes Domenico Pozzovivo in Last-Minute Deal
They say age is just a number and Domenico Pozzovivo is out to prove that to be true in 2023, joining Israel – Premier Tech in a last-minute deal to become the team’s 30th rider.

The 40-year-old Italian is the epitome of motivation and determination having trained throughout the off season in the hope of finding a team and now, having signed with IPT, is set to make his debut at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.

“I am pleased to welcome Domenico to our team. Despite his advanced age, he has proven that he has a lot left in the tank. He will strengthen our team in the Giro and the Italian classics. We are excited for Domenico’s 2023 campaign! Welcome to IPT,” says IPT owner Sylvan Adams.

IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström emphasised Pozzovivo’s strengths in fighting for the General Classification at stage races as a key factor in his signing. “Looking ahead to our Grand Tour and stage race ambitions this year, we believe Domenico Pozzovivo can strengthen our GC prospects, particularly at the Giro d’Italia. He is a proven fighter and a rider who can achieve solid GC results whilst racing independently. He is the ultimate professional and it is a pleasure to have him join IPT and hit the ground running on home soil at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali,” adds Carlström.

The 2023 season marks Pozzovivo’s 19th season as a pro rider, during which time he has won stages at the Giro d’Italia, Tour de Suisse, and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and as recently as 2022, finished eighth overall at the Giro d’Italia.

“It is a great achievement to join a team that is happy to repay these hard and difficult months of training without a team but at the same time, it is a starting point to build up to a very good season. Starting a little bit later than usual but with the same motivation,” explains Pozzovivo.

With 16 Giro d’Italia participations to his name, Pozzovivo is set to line up again at La Corsa Rosa but it isn’t his only goal this season.

“For sure, the Giro d’Italia is one of the main goals of the season and for me, to be in top-ten is the goal. I think it is a very important result, also considering my age, and also what has happened in my career in terms of accidents and recovering. But, the Giro is not the only goal for the season. I think I can be present in the GC in some of the important one-week races during the season and also, be in good condition for the last classics in Italy, especially Il Lombardia which is a race that suits me a lot. I want to thank the IPT management for believing in me, and especially Valentino Sciotti from Fantini who pushed me to joined the team and convinced the management of my qualities.”



Van Hooydonck Reacts to De Cauwer Comments
Nathan Van Hooydonck has reacted strongly after a comment from José De Cauwer. The Belgian VRT commentator stated that Van Hooydonck had to be careful, after Van Hooydonck seemed to bump into Michael Matthews in the second stage of Paris-Nice. The Jumbo-Visma rider said that he was not to blame.

The incident between Van Hooydonck and Matthews took place 14 kilometres from the finish in Fontainebleau. The riders were coming an intermediate sprint, where bonus seconds were on offer. Van Hooydonck tried unsuccessfully to prevent Tadej Pogačar from taking the full bonus and moving further ahead of Jumbo-Visma leader Jonas Vingegaard. The Belgian came into contact with Matthews, who just managed to stay upright.

“Don’t get too aggressive,” De Cauwer said on Sporza. “You have to be careful with that. You really shouldn’t do that, the VAR is watching.” This led to the reaction from Van Hooydonck on Twitter. “I was pushed myself, couldn’t move. I don’t think José has raced for a long time or needs glasses.”

Van Hooydonck in Paris-Nice:
paris-nice23 st2


De Cauwer responds to Van Hooydonck’s criticism
“I don’t think Jose has raced for a long time or needs glasses.” Nathan Van Hooydonck was clearly not very happy with José De Cauwer’s criticism of him.

The cycling commentator of the VRT stated on Monday during the broadcast of the second stage of Paris-Nice that Van Hooydonck had to be careful, after the latter seemed to give a hard push to Michael Matthews. The Jumbo rider then responded that he was not to blame. “I was pushed myself, couldn’t move. I don’t think José has raced for a long time or needs glasses,” was his reaction on Twitter.

Co-commentator Renaat Schotte shared a photo of De Cauwer wearing huge ski goggles. The former cyclist, team manager and national coach also returned to the incident in the broadcast. “I would like to apologise a little to Van Hooydonck. He got a light push himself and we had not seen that.”

“But I don’t want to turn it into a holy customer now either. He is very fanatical. A fantastic rider to have in the team, but he should not go to far. It’s true, I haven’t raced in a long time. I have to agree completely with him on that. But I certainly don’t need glasses, I had my eyes misunderstanding. But I do have glasses now,” De Cauwer said, referring to his ski goggles.

de cauwer


Matthews is Waiting for an Apology from Van Hooydonck
Michael Matthews believes that Nathan Van Hooydonck should apologise for his action in the final of the second stage of Paris-Nice. The Jumbo-Visma rider seemed to give a hard push to the Australian. Van Hooydonck already responded that he was not to blame, but Matthews disagrees.

The incident between Van Hooydonck and Matthews took place about 14 kilometres from the finish in Fontainebleau. The riders were heading to an intermediate sprint when the Belgian came into contact with Matthews, who barely managed to stay upright. After the team time trial, Matthews came back to the incident in conversation with Het Nieuwsblad. “This is not what we want to show on television. To young children and people in general who watch cycling. It certainly wasn’t okay, I hope he knows what he did wrong and won’t do it again. Fortunately, I can steer quite well and if it was in the peloton, you would have seen a domino effect.”

“I think he said something on the internet, like he apologised, but I’m still waiting for that. I would appreciate it.” Matthews believes that the UCI should intervene more. “If you can always get away with excuses, then this will happen. We have to show respect to each other as riders. A light contact is always possible, but this was really unnecessary. I, unexpectedly, flew to the other side of the road,” said Matthews.

And Van Hooydonck? He told his story to Het Laaste Nieuws. “You can see on the images that I get a push from a UAE Emirates rider on the left. Of course he wanted me off Pogačar’s wheel. He freaked out. I just couldn’t move, was completely off balance. You see I was a little lost. I looked and thought, what happens now? I am then portrayed as someone with aggression problems, while that is not the case at all.”

“Pushing and pulling is not my thing at all. I just need a little space and then I can ride. I’ve texted Michael Matthews because I didn’t see him after the finish, but when I see him I’ll just tell him exactly how it happened. As a sprinter, he will understand that.”


soudal quick-step
Evenepoel’s Teammate Masnada Suffers on Altitude Training Camp
While Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard are currently competing against each other in Paris-Nice, World champion Remco Evenepoel is on the Spanish island of Tenerife for a training camp. And there he hurt his teammates in training.

Evenepoel is in full preparation for the Giro d’Italia, his first real main goal of 2023, and so he demands the utmost from himself and his teammates in Tenerife. Fausto Masnada, one of his domestiques in the Giro, suffered on Sunday on the wheel of his leader. “It was supposed to be an ‘easy ride’,” said the Italian on Instagram.

Evenepoel, who was the best in the UAE Tour last month, will be back in competition in two weeks. The Belgian will make his appearance later this month in the Tour of Catalonia (20-26 March).

Masnada: ‘It was supposed to be an easy ride’


soudal quick-step
Remco Evenepoel Jokes About Time Trial Position
Remco Evenepoel is currently on the Spanish island of Tenerife, where he continues to work on his form for the Giro d’Italia at altitude on Mt. Teide. The Belgian has been training on his time trial bike, and this has not gone unnoticed by some fellow cyclists.

Evenepoel regularly trains in his time trial position on Tenerife. The reigning world champion on the road posted a video on social media, made by his teammate Fausto Masnada. Dylan van Baarle (Jumbo-Visma) couldn’t resist reacting. “If you look for your nose, it is between your hands.” Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers), also commented: “How do your wrists smell?”

Evenepoel responded jokingly: “I sprayed a little perfume on it beforehand. Sauvage-Dior really good! Should try mate.”


Egan Bernal Will Return at the End of This Month
Egan Bernal will be back in the peloton this month, the Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The Colombian of INEOS Grenadiers has been struggling with a knee injury in recent weeks, but is now back in training.

The 2019 Tour winner started the season promisingly with a fourth place in the Queen stage of the Vuelta a San Juan, but Bernal also suffered a knee injury in the Argentinian stage race due to a crash. The climber had to leave the Vuelta a San Juan early and also couldn’t ride the Ruta del Sol and Paris-Nice.

Bernal is now back on the bike and according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, a comeback will not be long in coming. It is still unclear in which race the 26 year-old rider will start, but there are two possible races: The Tour of Catalonia (20-26 March) and the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (21-25 March).

Bernal hopes to get back to his old level this season, after a very serious training accident and a long rehabilitation. The tour rider doesn’t have to worry about his future as he still has a contract with INEOS Grenadiers until the end of 2026.

Bernal back again soon:


Niki Terpstra to Ride Gravel with Felt
Niki Terpstra is going to start gravel racing this year and will race on the American brand Felt. “After so many years in the professional road peloton, I wanted to take on a new challenge,” Terpstra announced via Instagram.

Terpstra finished his long and successful professional career last year, but that doesn’t mean that the 38 year-old has completely finished with cycling. The winner of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders will be on the start-line of gravel races and will be riding an American bike, Felt.

“As I gained more experience and cycling technology evolved, it became clear to me that gravel racing was my next step.” Terpstra already has experience with gravel racing, as last year he won a round of the UCI Gravel World Series in Millau, France.

“The partnership allows Terpstra to bring his road dominance to the gravel scene,” said Felt. Terpstra will ride FELT Breed Carbon.

Niki Terpstra, the latest retired pro to turn to gravel:
Roubaix - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Niki TERPSTRA (Netherlands / Team Quick - Step Floors) - Sep VANMARCKE (Belgium / Team EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale) pictured during the 116th UCI World Tour Paris - Roubaix cycling race with start in Compiegne and finish at the Velodrome Andre-Petrieux in Roubaix on April 08, 2018 in Roubaix, France, 8/04/18 - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2018


soudal quick-step
Lefevere on the Soudal Quick-Step Sprinters Merlier and Jakobsen
Fabio Jakobsen should be going to the 2023 Tour de France as the sprint leader of Soudal Quick-Step, but newcomer Tim Merlier is putting the pressure on. The Belgian champion has already been successful four times this season. “But I don’t want to participate in those games of the press that you read here and there,” team boss Patrick Lefevere said to the Belga News Agency.

Merlier was successful this season in the Saudi Tour, UAE Tour (twice) and Paris-Nice, while Jakobsen took his second victory of 2023 in Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday. Much to the satisfaction of Lefevere. “Whether I have the fastest sprinters in the world? Well, hopefully, but we’re still early in the year. Fabio was not satisfied with his sprint a few times and it did not turn out the way he wanted. Anyway, the season is still long, we already have a lot of victories, so I can be satisfied.”

Lefevere emphasises the importance of two good sprinters within a team. “I don’t want to participate in those games of the press that you read here and there. That Fabio is out of contract and Merlier is bound to us even longer. And that, now that the Remco card is being drawn with the team, one of them might disappear next year. The press tells me what to do, but I don’t participate. I need two good sprinters.”

“People quickly forget, but we have had more than one sprinter in the team for many years, way back in time Tom Steels and Jan Svorada. There are 275 race days per year, the Tour has only 21 stages. You don’t just need a sprinter for the Tour. They don’t disturb each other. Fabio is here, Tim is in Paris-Nice, they are not going to race together.”

Still, the big question is who will be at the start of the Tour de France in the summer. Jakobsen should be the sprint leader for Soudal Quick-Step, although Lefevere is still cautious. “There are twelve candidates for the Tour. We’ll see and it will be a natural selection, as is always the case in our team. This year will be no different. We will decide who can go to the Tour after the Dauphiné and the Tour of Switzerland.”

Who will go to the Tour?
merlier jakobsen


Ayuso Still Suffering from Tendinitis
Juan Ayuso has not yet raced this season due to tendinitis and his team don’t know when the young Spaniard will be back in action. The 20 year-old is still suffering from his tendon problem and will (probably) not start the Tour of Catalonia and the Tour of the Basque Country.

Ayuso, third in last year’s Vuelta a España, should have made his 2023 debut in the Tour of Valencia at the beginning of February. “But he had a bit of tendonitis,” Joxean ‘Matxin’ Fernandez, UAE Team Emirates sports manager, said at the time. “We didn’t want to rush him again. Juan feels good and we are sure he will soon be ready to start his season.”

It is now a month and a half later, but Ayuso’s situation is still hopeless. “Juan is still in discomfort. He trains, but when the intensity increases he is in pain again. We don’t know exactly what’s wrong with him,” Matxin told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

“The expectation was that the inflammation would disappear quickly, but that is not the case,” Matxin continued. “The plan was that he could start in the Volta a Catalunya (March 20-26), but that is no longer an option. And we cannot guarantee that he will make it to the Tour of the Basque Country (April 3-8).”

Juan Ayuso still out of action:


More Criticism of Gianni Vermeersch After Strade Bianche
Gianni Vermeersch has again been making enemies in the peloton. The Belgian lost his temper last Saturday after the finish of Strade Bianche and pushed James Shaw of EF Education-EasyPost after he couldn’t get through. Some colleagues in the peloton have reacted very critically via social media.

Images circulating on Twitter show how Vermeersch pushes Shaw away in a not nice way to make room. The Brit then pointed out to him that they were standing in front of a camera (Eurosport) and that Vermeersch’s action had not gone unnoticed.

Jos van Emden soon responded, who had already clashed with Vermeersch in the Giro d’Italia. “James Shaw is my new best friend. James, did he ask you if you want to ruin his career?” The Jumbo-Visma rider refers to a statement that Vermeersch allegedly made in a telephone conversation with Van Emden, shortly after their in the 2021 Giro.

Van Emden’s tweet has had quite a lot of support from the peloton. Alex Kirsch, Matteo Jorgenson, Tom Paquot, Rémy Mertz, Milan Menten, Owain Doull, Loïc Vliegen, Dries De Pooter, Tim Wellens, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Geoffrey Bouchard, Michael Valgren, Guillaume Boivin and Tobias Ludvigsson, among others, decided to like the tweet.

Vliegen goes further, with the caption: “No respect during the race, but not even afterwards…” It is not the first time that Vermeersch has been shown less than positive in the news. In the past, he not only had issues with Van Emden, but also with Remco Evenepoel and Sven Nys.


Colnago Reacts To Tom Boonen’s Unsubstantiated Statements
One of the world’s leaders in high performance bikes extends an invitation to former World Champion Tom Boonen and his podcast colleagues to join a ride and a public conversation around data. The media questioned the competitiveness of the bikes Colnago provides to two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar and his UAE Team Emirates colleagues.

Colnago, one of the most winning brands in professional cycling, has responded to criticism that four-time Paris-Roubaix winner Tom Boonen and other guests levelled on the Wielerclub Wattage podcast last week.

Colnago responded to Boonen’s off-the-cuff comments by offering to bring, at its expense, the Belgian and his colleagues to ride and test the V4Rs bikes used by Colnago’s sponsored teams around the company’s Italian headquarters, followed by a public conversation about the podcast’s data that allowed them to identify the 2km/h difference in performances with other brands as reported by the podcast, in comparison with the data provided by Colnago on the bike’s white paper, available since its launch on the Colnago website’s homepage.

The ride and the public conversation, if the invite is accepted, will happen in the days before the Milano-Sanremo Spring Classic on March 18th.

“The performances of UAE Team Emirates are a highest level priority of Colnago. Consequently, we have invested millions of euros and a lot of time in developing their bikes,” said Colnago CEO Nicola Rosin. “We work hand-in-hand with UAE Team Emirates and UAE Team ADQ, first to understand the demands they have for our bikes and then to ensure that what we are delivering is the absolute best available. We are of course in contact with the teams on a daily basis and, we have not heard a single complaint about the competitiveness of our bikes. In fact, they are ecstatic about the equipment we have provided thus far.”

With the invite out to Boonen and colleagues, Colnago awaits a response from the former champion.

Wielerclub Wattage


Alex Miles joins Team Jayco AlUla as Lead Data Scientist
Team Jayco AlUla is delighted to announce the appointment of Alex Miles in the newly-created role of Lead Data Scientist.

Alex joins the team with immediate effect, as the team expands its performance group to include this important position in its pursuit of excellence.

Brent Copeland, General Manager: “Cycling is continuously evolving, and it is evolving at an incredibly high rate. As an organisation we are constantly looking for improvements, together with the performance group, we agreed to add an important sector in our structure. We are extremely pleased to have such a well prepared and knowledgeable person such as Alex, who we really trust with what he has shown and provided to us.

We are confident that this important step in this direction will be important for our future to improve our recruitment system as well as achieve higher results. We want to welcome Alex as new Lead Data Scientist and wish him all the best at GreenEDGE Cycling. His abilities and knowhow will be valuable to us in the upcoming seasons.”

Alex Miles, Lead Data Scientist: “I am thrilled to be joining Team Jayco AlUla as Lead Data Scientist. In the pursuit of performance gains, the team is very open to trying new things. This is the perfect environment for a data scientist, providing ample opportunity to experiment and explore different avenues.

Teams are opening their eyes to the benefits of data analytics. Aside from recent developments in physiological testing and biometrics-tracking, data insights can also help to inform scouting and tactical decision-making.

I aim to add an extra ‘voice’ to Team Jayco AlUla’s performance management – one backed by unbiased, data-driven methodology. I will work closely with the team’s performance staff, using their abundance of experience and expertise to guide data projects and help Team Jayco AlUla achieve its ultimate goal – win bicycle races!”

uae tour23


La Vuelta 23: Teams Selection
The organisers of La Vuelta have chosen the teams that will take part in the 78th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour. La Vuelta 23 will start on Saturday the 26th of August and finish on Sunday the 17th of September.

In accordance with UCI rules, the following 18 UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:

  • AG2R Citroen Team (FRA)
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck (BEL)
  • Astana Qazaqstan Team (KAZ)
  • Bahrain Victorious (BRN)
  • Bora – Hansgrohe (GER)
  • Cofidis (FRA)
  • EF Education – Easypost (USA)
  • Groupama – FDJ (FRA)
  • Ineos Grenadiers (GBR)
  • Intermarché – Circus – Wanty (BEL)
  • Jumbo-Visma (NED)
  • Movistar Team (ESP)
  • Soudal Quick-Step (BEL)
  • Team Arkea – Samsic (FRA)
  • Team DSM (NED)
  • Team Jayco Alula (AUS)
  • Trek – Segafredo (USA)
  • UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
  • Furthermore, Lotto Dstny (BEL) and TotalEnergies (FRA), leaders in the 2022 classification of UCI ProTeams will take part by right in La Vuelta 23.

    In addition to these 20 teams, the organisers have awarded the following wildcards:

  • Burgos-BH (ESP)
  • Caja misunderstanding RGA (ESP)
  • vuelta23


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