EUROTRASH Fabio Monday!
Young Fabio Aru won a very tough Vuelta a España with a refreshing attacking style, but you have to be impressed/sorry for by Tom Dumoulin. We have all the results, rider quotes and video from Spain. The Tour of Britain and the WorldTour races in Québec and Montréal also feature in today’s very full EUROTRASH Monday along with rider contract and injury news, World Championships schedule and how not to be aero. Large coffee time.
TOP STORY: Fabulous Fabio!
In the end the 2015 Vuelta a España came down to who had the strongest team and that was Astana. Tom Dumoulin fought hard with the team he had, but it was fashioned round the talents of John Degenkolb and not for a GC rider in a very hilly race. Fabio Aru had a very strong team behind him, but his ride in the time trial saved his chances in the overall competition, unlike Joaquim Rodriguez who dashed his chanced in the stage against the clock. In stage 20 the Astana team had a plan and they executed it to the letter and Dumoulin stood little chance against overwhelming odds. Was it a good 2015 Vuelta? Very much so. There was probably only two stages that were not exciting or didn’t have a surprise in the finalé. Did we miss Cavendish, Kittel and Greipel? No, not at all. The race might have been better if it hadn’t lost Sagan, Nibali and Froome, but it also might have been more negative as all the top riders watched each other. Again la Vuelta makes a strong bid as the best Grand Tour of the season. Viva la Vuelta and happy 80th birthday.
Vuelta a España 2015
Nicolas Roche gave Team Sky the victory they were longing for in this Vuelta when he won Stage 18 while Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) held off his main rival to retain the overall lead. Ireland’s Roche beat breakaway companion Haimar Zubeldia (Trek) in a two-man sprint after leaving the escape group on the last climb of the 204km ride from Roa to Riaza. Jose Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) took third place 18 seconds behind while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won the sprint of the favorites’ group to end up fourth, 38 seconds off the pace, as Movistar took over from Sky at the top of the team classification. Overall, Dumoulin still leads Fabio Aru (Astana) by three seconds after the Italian climber repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, attacked on the last climb. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) remains third, 1:15 adrift of Dutchman Dumoulin.
A group of 25 riders formed the day’s breakaway: Roche (Sky), Minard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Atapuma (BMC), Gonçalves & Madrazo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Lemoine & Rollin (Cofidis), Serry (Etixx – Quick-Step), Courteille (FDJ.fr), Pellaud & Reynes (IAM Cycling), Durasek (Lampre-Merida), De Clercq, Hansen & Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Rojas (Movistar), Jim (MTN-Qhubeka), Cardoso (Cannondale-Garmin), Cousin & Gautier (Europcar), Vorganov (Katusha), Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Bennati & Poljanski (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Zubeldia (Trek). De Clerq’s presence in the break, though, was a threat to Meintjes’s 10th place in the GC and his MTN-Qhubeka team controlled the gap, which rose to six minutes. Astana took their share of work with about 50 kilometers to go.
Vicioso launched an attack meant to serve as a launchpad for Rodriguez, who joined him shortly afterwards, but both were calmly reined in by the Astana-led peloton 35km from the finish. On the last climb on the 10 kilometer Puerto de la Quesera, Roche dropped his breakaway companions before being joined by Zubeldia.
At the beginning of the ascent, Aru attacked the group of favorites but Dumoulin managed to stay in his wheel. Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) then jumped away from the red jersey group and was joined by Nieve (Team Sky), Valverde (Movistar) and Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo). But they regrouped and the red jersey pack caught most of the fugitives in the final descent, with only Roche, Zubeldia and Gonçalves staying ahead.
Stage Winner, Nicolas Roche (Sky): “When he caught me we agreed that if we wanted to make it we had to work together. I was expecting he would try to attack with three or four kilometers to go, but we shared the load to get to the finish we had information that there was (Gonçalves) 15 seconds behind. There was no time to mess around. Coming into the last sprint… Haimar is someone who has a lot of experience, I’ve lost a few sprints against him in San Sebastian and other races over the years and even though I’m supposed to be quicker on paper, I thought I might as well control the sprint and keep it a high speed rather than do a start-stop sprint. I’m pretty sure I already have a message by now. We’ve had a great relationship over the years. I really gave 100 per cent this year and ever since we rode together I think he was very supportive of me here, attacking and trying things. I thanked him for letting me attack on the first day and he knew I was in a good shape. It’s really great to be able to make the most of it actually because I don’t have a lot of opportunities. I tried on the first week and the second week happened… It took me a few days to recover. Luckily enough the team gave me a day off yesterday with the time trial. I’m welcoming the end of the season but I also said that there were still four stages to fight for and the team had in mind to fight for it. We did say we were going to focus on stages and try to help as much as possible Nieve to defend his 8th or 9th place and maybe help move him up (in GC). Today the team was very active to go in the breakaway. It was quite difficult because it’s pretty clear that ourselves and Movistar are playing for the team GC and the break is not going to go until there is one of each. We’ve had a few days of misfortune, it was a big blow losing Chris, it was also tough for me to drop out of the GC and to go through three or four days of pain with my hip but we also had some good days. Mikel has done some excellent climbing, we’ve had Boswell finishing third in Andorra, Puccio was also second in a mountain stage, there was a lot of active riding and being aggressive. It was good to see more aggressive racing from Team Sky on the Vuelta. It wasn’t the Vuelta everyone thought of when we arrived but it’s definitely not a bad Vuelta. I came to Team Sky with a role, I was there to give support to Porte in the first part of the year then I had to focus on Chris on the second part and then to have a little bit more of freedom around the Vuelta. We’ve won a lot of races this year, it was great to be part of it. A lot of pressure, different pressure, different roles, there was something that I enjoyed.”
Dave Brailsford (Team Sky manager): “Nicolas came here well prepared, he worked a lot this year. After his crash it was over for him in the GC but he’s recovered well and everybody is happy for him, he’s a super lad. Mikel also rode well. We now have won stages in the three grand tours this season, something we didn’t achieve in 2014. When you’re near the end of a grand tour, especially after riding the Tour de France, the challenge is more mental than physical. Today he made everyone happy.”
2nd on the stage, Haimar Zubeldia (Trek): “Tactically I did everything well. I caught a 25-man breakaway. I timed my move well in the last climb. I had the legs and I caught Roche and then we rode very well. I tried to play with his nerves and beat him in the sprint but he was faster than me. At the beginning of the Vuelta I said I came here to try and win stages.”
Overall leader, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “Aru’s first attack definitely hurt but I always kept his wheel and I was never cracking or was never in real trouble. He also had a bad moment so he also has to be careful with his energy. I think it was a good day. They are trying to isolate me and attack me but I know that if I just stay in Aru’s wheel there is no problem. I think Aru will not be so happy about today so it’s a good thing.”
6th on the stage and 3rd overall, Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha): “Astana locked everything and set the pace until the last climb. We knew it was not a difficult climb for Dumoulin. If they want to win, they will have to attack really, rather than set a high pace.”
4th overall, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I was feeling very down after yesterday’s time trial, but today I was really motivated and I said to myself that I had to try. And I’m mentally much better now than 24 hours ago and this is important and I really hope that I have the same legs on Saturday that I had today. If so, I will go at it – the stage will be really crazy with many attacks but my aim is the podium in Madrid. I tried today, however the riders in the top GC are all quite equal but small differences can mean a lot this late in the race and I’m going to try my best. Today, I followed many of the attacks and I also attacked myself. I managed to get a gap during some of the accelerations but the climb was not hard enough to make a difference between the top riders.”
Arnaud Courteille (FDJ.fr): “I had been fighting for a place in the breakaway for a few days. It was a fast start. I am happy I was in the front but I came up short in the finale. In the last climb I was not as well as in the previous two or three days.”
Break rider, Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka): “It took some time for the break to form today but when it did, I was happy to be up there representing my team. I didn’t really have a great day in the office though, the legs just weren’t there. I hope I can feel better than I felt today in the next few days as we continue to support Louis for the general classification.”
Break rider, Simon Pellaud (IAM Cycling): “Getting into this escape was just a little victory for me at this Tour of Spain, this is a new experience for me, and more importantly, it was in a grand tour. My main goal remains to make it to Madrid on Sunday. But in my head, I always had the desire from the start of the race to be in a breakaway. So now I can say that my purely personal goal has been met. Obviously I am still not at the level to play for a win when I am in groups like this; I just don’t have the ability at the moment.”
Break rider, Timo Roosen (IAM Cycling): “It was really hard with much twisting and turning, up and down roads with bad tarmac. The cooperation in the break wasn’t good either, but I’m happy I was up there. The fact that I was able to do this is a good signal for the future and a real confidence booster.”
Break rider, Vicente Reynes (IAM Cycling): “I knew from the start that a victory would be complicated considering the type of course, but I had to try. The repetition of the climbs and then the final climb at the end, unfortunately, proved to be too much for me today. The pace was just too fast. Now I am thinking of trying to win the race into Madrid, and if the next stages go well, why not also try to produce a winning sprint there.”
Vuelta a España Stage 18 Result:
1. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky in 5:03:59
2. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek
3. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:18
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:38
5. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha
7. Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 18:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin 73:45:13
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:03
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1:15
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 2:22
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:53
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:15
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:30
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 3:46
9. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 4:10
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 6:51.
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) extended his overall lead in the Vuelta to 6 seconds after the Dutchman attacked in the finalé of the Stage 19 won by the classy Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale). Dumoulin made his effort 2 kilometers of the finish on an uphill cobbled section, gaining 3 seconds over Fabio Aru (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2r-La Mondiale) as he crossed the line with Dani Moreno (Katusha) 16:18 behind Gougeard. Gougeard, the strongest of the day’s breakaway, went solo on the last climb and never looked back to beat Nelson Oliveira (Lampe-Merida) by 40 seconds and Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) by 44 seconds.
The group featured Knees (Sky), Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Moinard (BMC), Arroyo & Vilela (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Lemoine (Cofidis), Duarte, Duque & Valencia (Colombia), Bouet (Etixx – Quick-Step), Delage (FDJ.fr), Coppel (IAM Cycling) Oliveira (Lampre-Merida), Monfort & Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Amador & Ventoso (Movistar), Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka), King (Cannondale-Garmin), Engoulvent (Europcar), Machado & Vorganov (Katusha), Brutt (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Irizar (Trek).
Before the halfway mark, Aru, as well as Puccio and Degenkolb, were involved in a crash. All were quickly back on their bikes but Aru called for the medical car and the peloton slowed down, allowing the breakaway’s lead to rise from 13:30 up to 15:40. Dumoulin was held up behind the pile-up and broke his bike as he avoided Degenkolb. The Movistar team piled the pressure in the ascent to the Alto de Paramera but they could not shake off Dumoulin.
Machado was the first to try his luck solo from the breakaway group but he was caught by Gougeard and Duque. The Frenchman went on his own 22km from the finish and Monfort, Amador, Moinard and Machado narrowed the gap to 15 seconds 10 kilometers from the line. Gougeard has a big engine, though, and he accelerated once more to end the chasers’ hopes and claim his maiden stage win on a Grand Tour.
In the pack, Rossetto (Cofidis) crashed but made it back to his bike while Courteille (FDJ.fr), who also hit the deck, was taken to the hospital with a suspected collarbone fracture. With nine kilometers left, Valverde also tried to distance Dumoulin but he was reined in 1.2km from the line.
Stage winner, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale): “Once again it was a fast start and I did not really believe in my chances. I eventually made it into a 24-man group. I first spared myself a little. I had in the back of my mind a few mistakes I made when I was alone in front and was caught not far from the line. I did not panic when Machado attack. I waited the last moment to produce my effort. It’s a bit far from the line indeed. I knew that if I made it to the top with 20 or 30 seconds, I would have a chance. When they narrowed the gap to 15 seconds I had doubts but I told myself ‘now that you are in this situation, you give everything’. I was not sure I’d win until the last moment. In Avila, with the cobbles and the crowd, I could not hear what my sports director Didier Jeannel was telling me. I could not understand a word, it was stressful. It’s the most beautiful victory of my career, the first in a grand tour. I am really happy. For my team, this Vuelta is a success even if Domenico Pozzovivo does not have great sensations. It’s a reward for what we’ve been doing since the start of the season. I can climb well on short ascents now. I lost weight and I realize it’s easier. I climb better and today I was not afraid of the last ascent. There were days when I almost abandoned. I’ve had rough days, being on the verge of pulling out, especially after I was in the breakaway and was reined in 500 meters from the line. The rest day did me good but if I had been told I would win a stage a week later I would not have believed it. I had been better since the time trial in Burgos. I had this stage in mind. It’s a big satisfaction. Since the beginning of season I have not taken part in many World Tour races, only the cobbled classics, which are not easy when you don’t have the experience. I would like to win in the classics and in the grand tour being the aggressive rider that I am. I am not going to change. I need to know how to spare myself a little to be there for the end game.”
Overall leader, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I was in the wheel of Degenkolb and he crashed. I just avoided him but went into the ditch and my bike broke but I had nothing. It’s not nice that Aru crashed but I did not attack because of this I had already in mind (in the morning) that if there’s a chance I’d take it. I knew it was a finish that suited me well, there was a chance and I took it. I don’t know if those three seconds are useful, I will see tomorrow.”
3rd overall, Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha): “Dumoulin is fast. He has been very active in the climbs. He does not get nervous and is very strong. Tomorrow will be a difficult day. Dani Moreno is fine. He is top 10 in the GC and he was the only one who could follow Dumoulin, that means he will surely be a great help for the team. Tomorrow we have to see the weather, because it is not 100 per cent sure we will have a sunny day. It might rain, which would change everything. We have seen a very aggressive Movistar team. I saw the crash, it was a big one. I hope Aru recovers because it would be tough to make it a hard race without him. I don’t have the same sensations as last week. Tomorrow it’s going to be climb after climb, it’s what I like.”
4th overall, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It wasn’t easy on the final part today. We had some crosswind on the descent from the final category two climb towards the finish line and Valverde attacked several times to gain seconds. It meant that the group was dragged out into a long line. We practically finished in the same order as we approached the final uphill section. However, Pawel Poljanski did a very good effort at the front and we caught Valverde on the small climb to Ávila. For sure, it will be even harder tomorrow and we must give it one last push before Madrid”
6th overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “When you have nothing to lose, you try, and try… and try again. We have tried today, why not tomorrow”.
Markel Irizar (Trek): “It’s getting very long, especially for those who come from the Tour. I think the team have been very good. We’ve won three stages and we kept trying. We failed but we still have Madrid, where we will try with Danny (van Poppel). I wanted to attack from far out.”
Blel Kadri (AG2r-La Mondiale): “Alexis won a stage, we’ve got Domenico Pozzovivo well placed in the GC, it’s a good Vuelta for the AG2R-La Mondiale team. Alexis had been in a breakaway three times, the fourth time was the good one. It’s great for him, I’m very happy for this young rider. He’s hugely talented.”
Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis): “The goal was to be in the breakaway. All the teams but the GC outfits were in it. The closer we were getting to the finish the more nervous everyone was getting, you’re telling yourself you’re not going to drag along riders who don’t collaborate. Eventually the group blew up like in a juniors’ race.”
Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin): “Ive been sick for two weeks. We’ve got probably four more of us still fighting this cough. So that’s definitely been tough to sleep and recover between the stages. We’re still fighting, you can’t win if you don’t try.”
Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling): “To be honest, I was not feeling at all well, I think in terms of riding sensations, this has been one of my worst days of the whole race. I responded to various attacks, and I managed to make the break. Throughout the entire stage, I was hoping these terrible feelings would go away so that I would still be able to be strong in the finale. But I can confirm that nothing changed, and I did not feel better with the passing of every kilometer. I have tried nearly every stage to get into a good break, and I think that the accumulation of efforts, added to the natural fatigue just hurt my chances in this break today. And when the rhythm is as tough as it was on this stage, there is just no forgiveness.”
Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I tried to escape several times in the beginning of the stage, but we didn’t get enough space, shortly afterwards, that big group of riders broke away and I wasn’t amongst them. You have to be a little lucky as well, but it was really frustrated. I’m feeling that I took a big step in my development, this Vuelta. Even this week I was doing quite well uphill and I want to prove that another time, tomorrow.”
Vuelta a España Stage 19 Result:
1. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:19:20
2. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida at 0:40
3. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:44
4. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
5. Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha
6. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC
7. Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia at 0:53
8. David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 1:03
9. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 1:17
10. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 19:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 78:20:51
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:06
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1:24
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 2:31
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:02
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:24
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:39
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 3:46
9. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 4:19
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 7:09.
Fabio Aru was poised to win the Vuelta after Astana’s perfectly executed plan ended the hopes of Tom Dumoulin as Ruben Plaza Molina claimed an impressive solo win on home soil in Stage 20. With only tomorrow’s procession to Madrid left, Aru, who was six seconds down at the start, leads Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) by 1:17 and Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) by 1:29 after the Pole attacked with Quintana (Movistar) on the last climb to the Puerto de Cotos. Quintana is fourth (2:02) ahead of Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE, 3:30) as Dumoulin slipped to sixth (3:46). The Giant-Alpecin rider, who had looked solid all week, cracked when Aru attacked in the penultimate climb and the Italian, helped by a few teammates, crushed the pedals to make sure his main rival would not see him again.
An early crash involved Sicard and Rolland (Europcar), Torres (Colombia), Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Danny van Poppel (Trek) but all were quickly back on their bike. Shortly afterwards, Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Le Gac (FDJ.fr), Hansen (Lotto Soudal), Venter (MTN-Qhubeka), Warbasse (IAM Cycling), Navarro (Cofidis) McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo), Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Vorganov (Katusha), Rubiano (Colombia) and Arashiro (Europcar). Le Gac, however, was quickly distanced.
Plaza went solo in the ascent to the Puerto de Navacerrada, the first of four Category-1 climbs. The group were joined by a larger pack to form a 38-man breakaway after Gougeard was dropped: Reza & Elissonde (FDJ.fr), Amador, Visconti & Ventoso (Movistar), Zubeldia (Trek), Quintero & Cano (Colombia), Dombrowski & Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Henao & Roche (Sky), Zeits & Sanchez (Astana), Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Rojas (Movistar), Bilbao & Arroyo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Oliveira & Conti (Lampre-Merida), Losada (Katusha), Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), De Marchi & Moinard (BMC), Verona (Etixx – Quick-Step), Vanendert & De Buyst (Lotto Soudal), as well as Sicard (Europcar).
Dumoulin looked in trouble when Landa and Aru upped the pace on the ascent of the Puerto de la Morcuera and when Aru followed up with an attack, the red jersey was dropped as only Quintana and Majka could follow. Landa, Rodriguez and Chaves made it back to the Aru group right before the summit. Dumoulin and Nieve (Sky), who was helping the Dutchman, could not follow.
Zeits and Sanchez were there to help Aru and Dumoulin and Nieve lost ground, with the Dutchman crossing the line almost four minutes behind Aru. Plaza had long raided his arms, beating fellow fugitives Gonçalves and De Marchi by over a minute.
Stage winner, Rubén Plaza Molina (Lampre-Merida): “There was a moment when we were 10 in front and I heard they were 25 chasing behind. I knew it would be chaos, riders have always failed to collaborate in such big breaks in this Vuelta. So I tried to form a small group but I failed and then I went solo in La Morcuera. It’s an area I know.”
Overall race leader, Fabio Aru (Astana): “I thought that I had to give my best and that’s why we decided to start strong. Vanotti took the start despite breaking his tailbone in a crash yesterday, he could barely walk. We focused to give the maximum and we got this result thanks to the work of the team. He (Dumoulin) has been proving he is very strong since the start of the Vuelta, he’s an outstanding all rounder. He rode a fantastic Vuelta and I’m going to congratulate him. It was a good terrain to attack. My team worked hard and Mikel (Landa) did a great job in this Vuelta, winning the stage and helping the team. When I saw that we only had 25 seconds I wanted to push harder and I saw Andrey (Zeits) and Luis Leon (Sanchez), who worked well to increase the gap.”
“Myself and my team mates were very motivated even after I crashed yesterday. The parcours was not easy today. This morning I could talk to Tiralongo who motivated me, but I never forget that my idol is Alberto Contador, who shows that attacking always pays off eventually. At the beginning we made a small difference and when we saw that Dumoulin was coming back, we eased up a bit to take the time to prepare another attack two kilometers from the summit. We saw he was tired.”
“Yes, it (the time trial) was a very important stage, there were big differences. I was prepared for this stage but I can’t say I was happy with the result although I fared better than during the Giro. I know I must work on that because it’s important on grand tours. The Vuelta was very hard and stressful and it was important to stay as fresh as possible mentally until the last day.”
“Mikel (Landa) proved he is a great rider and a strong candidate for grand tour titles. It’s a bit sad that I won’t be able to ride with him next year because we have a good relationship. He put his ambitions aside for me and it’s not easy for a 25-year-old rider. However he managed to win two stages on the Giro and one stage on the Vuelta.”
“The (Worlds) course does not suit my characteristics. I talked to Davide (Rebellin) and I’m happy that another rider takes my place.”
“You know the relationship we have… (with Tiralongo) He’s a team mate but he’s essentially a friend who tells me when I make mistakes so I can learn. Paolo does not always tell me I’m a champion, he taught me to keep a low profile and my feet on the ground even when I have good results. I have not taken part in the Tour yet and I would love to but that’s something that will be discussed with the team when we set the goals for next year. Vincenzo (Nibali) is a great champion who has won the three grand tours and also got many podium finishes. Who is the leader is not the question, we want to get results, he has goals and I have others. He had to leave the Vuelta but if he had stayed the goal would have been the same: get a good result for the team.”
3rd on the stage, Alessandro De Marchi (BMC): “In the morning, we thought it would be good to try with Amaël and see what would happen. We knew that it could be hard, so it was a good day for a breakaway. With Amaël, we tried to save energy for the last two climbs. He did a good job in the first part of the climb and then I tried to follow Movistar because they were strong. We tried to catch the Lampre guy (Plaza), but it was too late. He was too strong, so to close the gap was too difficult. For me, it is like a victory after what happened in the spring. We have fought every day and every stage. So I think everybody can be happy.”
Diego Rosa (Astana): “We’ve been trying all season to win a Grand Tour and it has finally arrived. We never gave it up for lost, but it was very difficult with withdrawals Paolo (Tiralongo) and Nibali and falling Aru. Today we started convinced. We are a great team and we did a great job. Fabio has been very strong. It has deserved it. It is his moment to win a Grand Tour.”
2nd overall, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha): “We expected a stage where anything could happen. Astana were brave. They went all out to isolate Dumoulin. I was scared I could lose my second place. Majka was very strong and he was helped by Quintana. I have benefited from the help of Astana and Alberto Losada, who’s finishing this Vuelta strongly. If I had been told in Marbella that would finish second like that I would have signed right away. I don’t think I could have done better. But, like the others, if you ask me if I can be second before the start, I reply that I prefer to race and see what happens. It’s not easy for Dumoulin to lose the red jersey on the last day. He should not forget that he is young and that he will have other chances. Next year, I’d like to ride the Tour de France, as well as the Olympics.”
3rd overall, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It feels great because the team always told me it’s not over, even after the time trial. I did everything to make it to the podium today. I want to thank my teammates, my sports directors, my staff because without this team I would not have made it to the podium. (I started to believe the podium was possible0 after I went with Aru and Quintana. After when Quintana went, I had to go and we worked well together, and Jay (McCarthy) waited for me at the top and we went full gas.”
Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Tristan Hoffman: “We wanted to win a stage, reach top 5 and the dream was podium. Rafal was disappointed after the TT but he fought back. It’s fantastic to be part of this, it’s been stressful but we kept fighting.”
4th overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I’m happy. The truth is that I would have been happier if I had reached the podium. As I said a few days ago, I could have gone back home after falling ill. Considering this, ending the Vuelta like this is rewarding. It was almost perfect today. It was what we had discussed at the briefing this morning. After crashing out last year I really wanted to finish this time. I’m pretty happy with fourth.”
5th overall, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE): “Awesome. I’m really happy this is a great reward for all the team’s work. They helped me and this is their reward. The goal for this Vuelta was to finish in the top 10 and now I’m fifth it’s awesome. With the days in red and the two stage wins it’s a great Vuelta for Orica-GreenEDGE.”
6th overall, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “On the previous stages, when Aru attacked I was in his wheel right away. Today I gave him a few meters in the Puerto de la Morcuera and I never recovered. I did not have the form I had the other days. That’s the problem. I narrowed the gap to 10 seconds in the descent and even if I had made it back to the group there, I’m sure I would have been dropped in the following climb. I am very disappointed.”
Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling): “I had the strength to get into the breakaway today. That was a chance to show that I am able to get something accomplished at this Vuelta. I found myself in a group at the front of the race, and there were ten of us. But the rhythm that we pushed turned out to be very hard. A small group of thirty riders joined us on the second climb, and from that moment on, I knew we were in for a long day. When Ruben Plaza attacked, I wouldn’t say it was impossible to follow him, because nothing is impossible, but on the other hand, I have to say that it was very difficult to stay on his wheel. We were 120 kilometers away from the finish, and it seemed totally unrealistic to reach the finish line as the winner, so we let him go naturally. Unfortunately, he got away and never was seen again. But honestly, I don’t think I could have followed him throughout the day if I had followed him. I feel I have turned the corner on this Vuelta. I feel better and better as the days go by, and I think I am getting closer to my real level as a cyclist. I was comfortable on the climbs, and I was also able to do my share of the work in the breakaways. Unfortunately, we will didn’t have the luck to get the victory at the finish.”
George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo): “It was frustrating that I wasn’t able to close the gap,” Bennett added. “It was a hard stage and I did the best I could, but I was hoping that I was able to take more out of this situation. I really wanted to win a stage in this Vuelta, but there are some positive things about my performance in these three weeks. I’ve reached a high level. But the race isn’t over yet. Tom Van Asbroeck will get another chance tomorrow and I want to give everything, another time, to help him.”
Vuelta a España Stage 20 Result:
1. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida in 4:37:05
2. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 1:07
3. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC at 1:08
4. Romain Sicard (Fra) Europcar at 1:29
5. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC at 1:30
6. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx – Quick-Step
7. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky
8. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr at 1:35
9. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:43
10. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin at 2:40.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 20:
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana in 83:01:40
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1:17
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:29
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:02
5. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:30
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 3:46
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 7:10
8. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 7:26
9. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 7:32
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 10:46
Fabio Aru (Astana) claimed his first Grand Tour title when the Italian retained the overall leader’s red jersey in the Vuelta a España after John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) won a bunch sprint in the Final Stage 21st in Madrid. Degenkolb beat Danny Van Poppel (Trek) and Jempy Drucker (BMC).
The Movistar-led peloton entered Madrid and Alejandro Valverde won the intermediate sprint to bag four points and leap-frog fellow Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) in the points classification to secure the green jersey. Just like in 2012.
Six men jumped away from the pack : Pichon (FDJ.fr), Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Visconti (Movistar), Verona (Etixx – Quick-Step) and King (Cannondale-Garmin). The Giant-Alpecin and Trek teams, however, controlled the gap as they were looking to set up a bunch sprint. Three laps from the finish, the fugitives were about to get caught when King tried his luck solo. He failed, just like Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Thomas (Sky) after him.
As expected, the 97.8-km stage ended in a bunch sprint won by Degenkolb after he was perfectly set up by his team. Finishing safe in the peloton, Aru secured the red jersey, the green went to Valverde while the polka dot jersey was won by Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). Rodriguez won the white jersey for the combined classification and Movistar won the teams classification.
Stage winner, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin): “It really means a lot because I had not won a race in a long time and patience is not my biggest strength. I tried hard and this one is really also for my wife and my son back at home because they supported me during the Tour de France and the whole Vuelta, they gave me motivation every day. We hit the bottom yesterday when we lost the jersey so close to the finish but today the team worked really hard to make a great leadout. It was perfect team work and this victory brought back a positive feeling in the team.”
Overall winner, Fabio Aru (Astana): “I feel very happy. I dedicate this victory to the people close to me who helped me win, to all the people who follow me, my family, my girlfriend and all my fans. This motivates me to do better, to train, to live like an athlete, because to reach these results you have to make sacrifices. It motivates me to always do better because in this sport you always have to work. Dumoulin has shown in this Vuelta what a great champion he is. There are others like Pinot, he is also from 1990. It is a great generation. It is an incredible. I hardly found the words on the podium because I was so excited. ”
Mikel Landa (Astana): “I’m very happy. I’m satisfied with my job. We won with Aru. It seemed that with just two days remaining, we had lost La Vuelta but we did not give up, we tried and thanks to all the team we were able to claim that victory. It will be a day to remember for all of us. I’m very happy and very proud.”
White jersey & 2nd overall, Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha): “The last day is usually a party but I guess everyone had their ways. I see it one way, they saw it differently. I can say that I am very happy with my result. A second place in the Vuelta a España is a nice achievement after three super hard and tension-filled weeks of racing with the strongest rivals. I think I had a successful Vuelta – I took second place on the final podium, won an important mountain stage, for one day took the red jersey and won the white jersey. I want to thank my team, all the guys who gave their best to provide me a chance to step up on the podium in Madrid. I am 36 and I’m still among the best of the best. It is a pleasure to know this. I would like to congratulate Fabio Aru with the final victory in the Vuelta. It is a well-deserved and beautiful success.”
3rd overall, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “For me and my team this is a great Vuelta, we really did a very good job. I’m very happy. This is my dream. I have finished third in the Vuelta. The staff is also very happy. I need to learn, I’m only 26 years old. I will try to fight in the future. Maybe in the future I will try to win”.
4th overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I think it is possible to perform well on two successive grand tours. I finished fourth after a bad start. I had a bad day on the Tour de France otherwise I would have been closer to the title. Here in La Vuelta I was sick during the rest day and it cost me later. In spite of that I ended up fourth. I think you can try to achieve the double. The Tour will be the major goal next year. For now we will focus on winning the Tour.”
Green jersey & 7th overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It’s not just for me, the team worked hard throughout La Vuelta. If there is something at stake, you have to dispute it. You have to fight for your place and if a jersey is at stake, you try to take it and that’s what I did. In this Vuelta I’ve got a stage win, I won the points classification and we won the team GC. The season is long but we still have a big goal in two weeks.”
Movistar DS, Eusebio Unzue: “For Alejandro Valverde the green jersey is a reward for his Vuelta. After his crash in the second week, he had to take antibiotics, he suffered a lot. Cycling is about sweat, health and form. It’s also true for Nairo Quintana who had a virus in the second week but he stayed in the race and did not lose time in the stage in Andorra despite being on the verge of abandoning. He did a good third week but there was not enough mountain stages left. He finished well but he could not do better than fourth.”
KOM, Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “I was in the breakaway, it was a good way to show the jersey, it was important for the team. It’s my first grand tour and I came to learn. To feature in five breakaway and to wear the polka dot jersey in Madrid is amazing. This is my year.”
3rd on the stage, Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC): “With 500 meters to go, I was a bit boxed in, but I found some space. When I started my sprint, I was on van Poppel’s wheel. I could still move up and was close for second. Degengkolb was simply the fastest. I can’t say I am totally done. I still feel pretty good, of course, I feel the fatigue but my tank is not totally empty, so that is already a good sign. The third week, there were riders who suffered much more than me. I hope to take a lot of profit from these three weeks.”
14th overall, Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal): “Before the Vuelta I had the ambition to go for top ten. At the end I am fourteenth, a result I can live with. It feels like more was possible though. I crashed in stage eight, and had to recover a few days from it. In the stage to Andorra I lost some minutes because of that, and without the help of Jelle Vanendert and Maxime Monfort that could have even been more time. That day was the hardest of the entire Vuelta, also because it was the toughest stage of all. In the last week I proved that my shape has stayed intact, that I got close to top ten and that I wasn’t less good than guys like Pozzovivo or Meintjes. In the time trial I even took back some minutes. Yesterday, I gained forty seconds on the group Dumoulin/Valverde, and that made I could stay on the fourteenth place and didn’t become seventeenth. The twelfth place was possible. The big breakaways played a role. The day I was in one, MTN and Astana really chased hard to get us back. Other days, like yesterday, that didn’t happen, so other guys could take back time on me. You always think about joining a break to aim for a stage win. Winning a stage would be a dream come true, and sometimes you can gain sufficient time to get a good overall result at the end. That can happen in smaller stage races and Grand Tours. This Vuelta I learnt that a top ten place isn’t an unrealistic ambition. I have to keep that in mind for the future. A stage race of three weeks isn’t a disadvantage for me. The condition stayed quite consistent and I could recover enough during the three weeks. It’s hard to say where that can get me in the future. Of course there are limits. In 2013, I already was on this path, but last year I didn’t have a good season. This season I picked up where I left in 2013 and I want to continue that way in 2016, in the Lotto Soudal team. My contract has been extended with two years and in the future I will of course keep focusing on Grand Tours and one-week stage races.”
Mike Teunissen (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I’m feeling satisfied, today was a formality, but I’m glad that I reached Madrid. Three weeks of racing isn’t a piece of cake. The first ten days went quite well, but it got heavier afterwards. I really had to push through in the last week, several times. I felt that I was getting more and more tired, but I made it. Tom, Timo and I improved ourselves uphill. Even in the gruppetto, you have to go very fast on the climbs. We were getting better and better this tour. We had to, because it’s impossible to make it otherwise.”
Vuelta a España Stage 21 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin in 2:34:13
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek
3. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Bel) BMC
4. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
5. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
7. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo.
Vuelta a España Final Overall Result:
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana in 85:36:13
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:57
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:09
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:42
5. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:10
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 3:46
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 06:47
8. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 7:06
9. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 7:12
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 10:26
11. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 11:10
12. David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 13:29
13. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step at 15:26
14. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 16:34
15. Romain Sicard (Fra) Europcar at 16:46
16. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr at 17:07
17. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Europcar at 17:10
18. Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin at 23:31
19. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 36:19
20. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 43:27.
Points: Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar.
KOM: Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.
Combined: Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha.
The final stage 21:
La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta 2015
Before the final stage of the Vuelta came into Madrid, the women’s peloton took on the Madrid Challenge on the finishing circuit used by the men. The Madrid Challenge was fought out over 87 kilometers – 15 laps of 5.8 kilometers. The circuit took in some of the main sights of the center of the Spanish capital city, from the start/finish in the Plaza de Cibeles and the Gran Via, Paseo del Prado, the Plaza Neptuno and back.
Shelley Olds gave her Alé-Cipollini-Galassia team a top class win, out-sprinting Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) and Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products). After many failed breaks, the last escape was caught with 10 kilometers to go and the race was all together at the bell with the sprinters teams readying themselves for the lead-out. Olds punctured but managed to regain the peloton in time to latch onto the Hitec sprint train for Wild. The American came off Wild’s wheel and held off Bronzini all the way to the line.
La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta Result:
1. Shelley Olds (USA) Alé Cipollini in 2:06:21
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda
3. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products
4. Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes-Futuroscope.86
5. Lucy Garner (GB) Liv-Plantur
6. Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
7. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Soudal Ladies
8. Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro-Duo
9. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Alé Cipollini
10. Sheyla Gutiérrez (Spa) Lointek.
La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta:
Tour of Britain 2015
Wout Poels (Sky) won Stage 5, the toughest stage of the Tour of Britain ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) and Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) in 3rd place. Boasson Hagen looked like he had the stage in the bag with meters to go, but the Norwegian faded to allow Poels to take the victory. Boasson Hagen took the overall lead by 1 second.
The break of the day included: Conor Dunne (An Post-Chain Reactions), Mark McNally (Madison Genesis), Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Morgan Kneisky (Raleigh) with sprints leader Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling). Movistar and Sky kept them on a short leash.
Coming into the last kilometers the break fell apart; Morkov, McNally and Williams fought on to be caught with 10 kilometers to go. Ruben Zepuntke (Cannondale-Garmin) was the first to make an attempt, but was soon pulled in to be replaced by Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo). Poels went after him, caught and passed him and headed towards the finish, but Kruijswijk and Boasson Hagen pulled him back. Poels had another try, but this only spurred the Norwegian to make his attack with 1 kilometer to go. Boasson Hagen looked good for the win, but Poels had something left to get past the MTN-Qhubeka rider before the line.
Stage winner and 2nd overall, Wout Poels (Sky): “It was really nice to win and the team have been working really hard today and also in the stages before. I just closed the gap – Boasson Hagen was really strong but it’s a really nice win. It’s pretty nice – especially now I ride for Team Sky on a home race in the UK. The people are great and they really support us. It’s great to win and see all the people. It’s my second victory at the Tour of Britain. I think [last time] it was 2010, my second victory as a pro. Now I’m here again. Hopefully we can take the jersey. It will be difficult but there’s still three days left.”
Overall leader, Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka): “The team did a really good job today, especially Reinardt who rode strong to keep the break within sight. On the last climb there were a lot of attacks and it was really hard. But the climb suited me, so I tried my luck with one kilometer to go. Unfortunately, I faded in the headwind on the last hundred meters and Wout Poels passed me for the win. I’m happy though to take yellow and hope I can hold onto it. It would be nice for the team and Qhubeka to win the Tour of Britain.”
Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling): “I am not happy with myself because the team really gave everything throughout the stage to put me in a good position. Everything went well at the start of the climb, but I just did not have the legs to follow the best. I didn’t manage to hang on in the final kilometers, but I hope we can score a podium or even a victory before the end in London.”
Tour of Britain Stage 5 Result:
1. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky in 4:12:22
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:02
3. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:17
4. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:18
5. Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
8. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 5:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka in 23:02:36
2. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:01
3. Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy at 0:30
4. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:33
5. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS at 0:37
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:38
7. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
10. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo.
Etixx – Quick-Step rider Matteo Trentin, attacking out of an original breakaway with 9.7km remaining and with a 16 second gap, went on to win in a two-up sprint against race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) on Friday, in the 192.7km Stage 6 from Stoke-On-Trent to Nottingham. Owain Doull (Team Wiggins) was 3rd, and Etixx – Quick-Step rider Zdenek Stybar crossed in 4th out of the peloton that finished just 4 seconds down on the duo. Boasson Hagen bridged to Trentin with about 2km left of the stage with the gap at a mere 3 seconds. Boasson Hagen immediately pulled through to the front, and the two expanded their advantage enough to stay away and decide the stage. Boasson Hagen now leads the race by 13 seconds over Wout Poels (Sky).
Etixx – Quick-Step is down to just three riders as Petr Vakoc and Fernando Gaviria both withdrew from the race due to crashes in prior stages, and Mark Cavendish also withdrew from the race on Friday due to a crash. Despite the bad luck so far for the team, Etixx – Quick-Step has won three stages and been on the podium for five out of six stages.
Stage winner, Mateo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This stage was full gas, as basically the whole race has been, from the first kilometer, there as a climb at the beginning. There was a crash involving Cav and other riders, and that caused a split in the peloton. I was in the front group with 40 or 50 riders. When reached the top of the climb we arrived at a field, with crosswinds on the right side. The peloton split into two pieces this time, and riders were attacking and countering all the time. The speed was crazy with all of the attacks. Eventually there was an attack with Styby and other guys. Then when the peloton caught this breakaway, I went away with five other guys, and that became a breakaway. There was a lot of fight in the small peloton, but we collaborated really well. At a little less than 10 kilometers to go they were closing in on us, as we had Izaguirre in the group and he is a threat for the GC. At that point the breakaway stopped collaborating. So, I decided to go alone and give everything. I was hoping once the peloton caught the others, including Izaguirre, they would stop chasing as the overall was no longer at risk. That more or less happened, but then Boasson Hagen attacked and I thought ‘great, now they will catch me for sure.’ But I saw he had a gap to the peloton, so I kept on riding anticipating that he would jump to my wheel. He did, and then I jumped on his wheel. We managed to gain a few seconds. In the finale I launched my sprint from far. I was able to pass him and win. For me, this win is something great. It’s my third victory in 15 days. I feel really good. To be able to go alone like I did and stay away, and then win in a two man sprint, it means a lot for me. I think I still have small room to improve, which can only be a good thing in the next races. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.”
Stef Clement (IAM Cycling): “From my perspective, this was one of the hardest stages of the season, and we were not even able to make a try for the win in the final. The selection was made following a crash that happened shortly after the start. Stefan and I found a place in the best group, and as Sky was riding for Wout Poels, we were able to stay sheltered with the idea of playing our card for the finish. But we never managed to influence the race. It was never possible to strike out alone.”
Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling): “It was a strange stage on hard roads that were always going up and down. We never had a break. We were riding à bloc the whole day, and in the final Boasson Hagen found the resources to attack. Personally, I was already just glad that I had made that front group.”
Tour of Britain Stage 6 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:45:27
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
3. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS at 0:04
4. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale – Garmin
7. Alex Peters (GB) Great Britain
8. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC
9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
10. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 6:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka in 27:47:54
2. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:13
3. Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy at 0:43
4. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS at 0:44
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:51
6. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step
7. Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
10. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo.
André Greipel won Stage 7 in the Tour of Britain. He defeated Elia Viviani after a very close sprint. Three escapees went clear after a very fast first hour: Dowsett, Briggs and Cullaigh. Before halfway they got a maximum of nine minutes on the bunch, where Lotto Soudal controlled the race. The gap of the escapees went down and at ten kilometers from the finish they were caught. Sky, IAM and Lotto Soudal were the dominant teams during the preparation of the sprint, but André Greipel was the fastest of the whole bunch.
Stage winner, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “It was a close victory, but the photo finish was clear I think. We took control of the race from the beginning, no other team wanted to help us. When the gap was nine minutes, one rider of IAM also started to pull. Frederik Frison and Sean De Bie kept the peace high so nobody could attack. Pim, Sibi, Jens and I did the preparation and the sprint. I think we deserved the victory, Sky won already three stages. The first stages we wanted to help Jens to a victory, but we had some bad luck. Because the teams started with six riders and some lost already two or three, it’s difficult to control, also because everybody is tired after a hard week. Tomorrow we try again, but not without help from other teams. They predict rain, we’ll see if Jens or I will sprint.”
Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling): “The team really did a great job to put me in a position to be able to play for the win. We were always at the front. When the group formed for the final sprint, I got on Greipel’s wheel and Viviani was there, but it was a fairly technical sprint. I put all my power into my sprint to try and win, but I did not succeed. Nevertheless, I have to be happy with the podium.”
Tour of Britain Stage 7 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 5:14:42
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
3. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
4. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick Step
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS
7. Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy
8. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
9. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 7:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka in 33:02:36
2. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:13
3. Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy at 0:43
4. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS at 0:44
5. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:51
6. Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:59
9. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction at 1:02.
Edvald Boasson Hagen secured the overall win at the Tour of Britain on Sunday when he crossed the line of the Final Stage 8 in London in 4th place. The stage win was awarded to Elia Viviani (Sky). The Italian crossed the line in second place behind André Greipel. Yet the German had crossed Viviani’s line, pushing him towards the barriers. The race commissaires relegated Greipel, giving the Italian his 3rd win this week. Juan Lobato (Movistar) moved up to 2nd, Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step) to 3rd.
The stage in the heart of London was animated be an 8-man break with last year’s overall winner Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin). The group went clear after the first intermediate sprint and stayed away until 10 kilometers to go.
Team MTN-Qhubeka kept control over the race for most of the day, keeping Edvald out of trouble. The Norwegian champion took the overall ahead of Wout Poels (Sky) and Owain Doull (Wiggins). He is the first double winner of the Tour of Britain in the history of the race.
Overall winner, Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka): “The team did a fantastic job today. The pace was quite high from the beginning but we stayed in control for most of the time. When the group went we kept watchful. I’m really happy to win the overall. It has been a fantastic week with good crowds and a good support, also in terms of our 5000 bikes campaign.”
Danilo Wyss (BMC) most aggressive rider: “When I saw it was a technical course, I knew it would be easier in the front. That is why I tried so hard to be in the breakaway, I was surprised I had fresh legs and was feeling really good today.”
6th on the stage, Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling): “The final day was difficult and we rode à bloc throughout the stage. It was beautiful nonetheless to race in this environment, and I received a lot of help from my teammates. I was well placed at the beginning of the last kilometer but then I lost a few places. It was therefore impossible to play for the win.”
Tour of Britain Stage 8 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky in 1:50:16
2. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick Step
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
7. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick Step
8. Graham Briggs (GB) JLT Condor
9. Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Garmin
10. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS.
Tour of Britain Final Overall Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka in 34:52:52
2. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:13
3. Owain Doull (GB) Team WIGGINS at 0:42
4. Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy at 0:43
5. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick Step at 0:51
6. Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:53
9. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:59
10. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction at 1:02.
Final stage 8:
GP Québec 2015
Etixx – Quick-Step’s tactic in the final kilometers worked to perfection, as they attacked or chased down moves incessantly with Julian Alaphilippe, Michal Kwiatkowski, and finally Rigoberto Uran in the 201.6km Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec on Friday. Uran’s attack heading into the last kilometer turned out to be the winner, earning Etixx – Quick-Step its 51st road win of 2015, and the second win for the team on the same day. It is the second victory of the season for the Colombian rider, who is also the Colombian ITT Champion.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec is known for attacks conditioning the race, particularly within the final lap. The race is a 16-lap circuit of 12.6km for a total of 201.6km. It is a course for climbers and skilled descenders, and also includes an uphill finale. The climbs of the race include Cote de la Montagne (375m, 10% average gradient), Cote de la Potasse/Des Glacis (420m at 9% average gradient), Montee de la Fabrique/Des Jardins (190m, 7% average gradient), and Montee du Fort/Saint Louis/Grande Allee (1km, 4% average gradient).
Alaphilippe attacked with 1.9km remaining, before Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) bridged to him. However, the peloton brought both of them back prior to the flamme rouge. There was some disorganization at the front, and that is when Uran accelerated, drifting off the front, and successfully holding off the peloton for the win. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Kwiatkowski also went off the front with 3.6km to go, and eventually they were caught to form a lead group of about 13 riders. However, there was a regrouping with 2.7km remaining.
Race winner, Rigoberto Uran (Etixx – Quick-Step): “For me this is a big relief after a season that was a bit unlucky, with a lot of small problems, but I never gave up. After Le Tour de France I said ‘ok I have to keep the concentration and effort up.’ I worked hard to be ready for this point of the season, and the result is there with a victory. I knew this race well, I was 3rd in 2011. I knew with this parcours that there is a chance to anticipate in the last kilometer, and I did it. I kept going on, gave everything and I won. Now I know for sure the condition is there. On Sunday we have another race, but on paper it is a little less selective than today in Québec so there is less chance for me to do well. But I am confident in my sensations, and also confident in my teammates who arrived with good motivation. These are strong guys who arrived physically ready, and it showed with how we attacked in the final kilometers. After these races in Canada have the UCI World TTT Championship coming up in the next days, and then there is the UCI World Individual Time Trial Championship. So, there is a lot of room to keep doing well for the team. It’d be nice to do well in the TTT. We’ll see, but for now I’d like to enjoy this victory.”
3rd, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): “I tried everything I could, but the circuit was a little bit harder than last year because they pulled out some of the flat sections. I knew the finish was not perfect for me – actually if the finish could have been anywhere else in the parcours it would have been better than where it was. So with that in mind, I’m pretty happy with a third place. Sunday’s climb is too hard for me – the finish is better but the course is heavier so I don’t think I’ll be there. I will use Montréal for training as I look forward to the Worlds. When I think about how I feel before Richmond, I can say I felt better today than I expected. Last year I was not 100% at the Worlds so I hope to be better this time. Today was a good confirmation of my shape.”
5th, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “The plan for the race we had agreed with the sport director Pedrazzini was good and the race confirmed that the choice to pedal in the middle of the bunch for most of the laps was the best one. The course, in fact, was favorable for the chasers when the pace of the bunch would have increased. In the final lap, my legs were still good, also thanks to the support of my teammate I recovered positions and I was in the front of the peloton for the sprint, in which I battled for a place on the podium against very fast riders. Uran deserved the victory, he attacked in the best moment and he had the energies to reach the finish line.”
Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling): “I’m happy with my day because I felt very good from the start. Even the change in temperature from the cool morning to the heat at the end of the race did not bother me. I found myself in an ideal position in spite of the pace that the teams of the favorites set at the foot of the last climb. Unfortunately, I suffered from cramps just before we hit the false flat leading up to the finish. I was blocked, and in these conditions, it was just illusionary to think that I could stay with the group right behind Uran.”
GP Québec Result:
1. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step 5:09:47
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC.
GP Montréal 2015
Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) won a very wet GP Montreal on Sunday, beating breakaway companion Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge). Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) won the bunch sprint for 3rd. Yates and Wellens made a late attack on Mont Royal and kept clear of the chasers to fight out the two-man sprint, with the Belgian getting the better of the Young Brit.
The break of the day was made up of: Silvan Dillier (BMC), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Michael Valgren (Tinkoff-Saxo), Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick-Step), Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). They were joined by Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Jose Herrada (Movistar), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida).
Kwiatkowski was the strong man in the group and at one point went solo before they were all caught. The next important split included: Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Louis Vervaeke (Lotto Soudal) and Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Christopher Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Andriy Grivko (Astana), they built up a lead of 2 minutes with 4 laps to go. Orica-GreenEDGE chased them down to be caught on the last lap. On the last climb of Mont Royal, Yates attacked and was joined by Wellens. Bakelants, Bardet, Costa and Kelderman were casing at 12 seconds with the peloton at 20 seconds at 3 K’s out. With the chasers on their heels Wellens took the win from Yates.
Race winner, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “This victory eases the pain in the legs, but it has been a very tough race. It was a fast race right from the beginning and because of the weather conditions and the amount of altitude metres the race shouldn’t be underestimated. In the first part of the race I was already part of a group of fourteen. For a moment I thought that group could get far, but when I heard that Lotto.nl – Jumbo and AG2R were setting the pace in the peloton, I took a step back. The breakaway with Louis Vervaeke made we could stay relaxed and while the peloton kept getting smaller, we were left with four. There wasn’t much time to talk, but I saw that Tiesj was at the front as well and Tony was already very good in Québec.”
“In the last lap the legs have to do the work. I attacked on the climb, got in front with Yates, but we had to go full so the chasers wouldn’t catch us. When we entered the last kilometre I knew we would stay ahead, but I thought Yates was faster. I tried to keep up a high pace, Yates started sprinting, but I could counter and pass him by pretty easily. I got the victory due to the fact that the last hectometres were uphill I guess.”
“Now we head to Richmond to prepare for the World Championships team time trial. I think that all riders in our team here are in a good shape, that should be good for the Worlds. Then I will ride Lombardia. The pressure has gone now, but the motivation to make something of the end of the season is still big.”
2nd, Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE): “Wellens was super strong, and all the way in toward the finish he was doing the most work and giving the biggest turns. He wasn’t just the strongest at the finish but also from the top of the last climb. I’m happy with second and I’ll come back next year to try and do one better.”
Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “We rode all day à bloc in very difficult conditions. It was tough, but it was the same for everyone. I tried to escape a few times with strong riders, but always in vain. The team struggled to help me, and in the end I had just Reto and Dries at my side. By the finish, I was missing just that little something extra to be able to follow the best.”
Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling): “The conditions were pretty extreme. We rode all day in the rain at a very high tempo. The road was slippery and I tried my best to protect Mathias, and help him get close to be able to play for the win.”
GP Montréal Result:
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 5:20:09
2. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE
3. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 0:02
4. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:04
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:05
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:09
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin.
2015 World Championships Schedule for Richmond
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Richmond 2015 Organizing Committee have today announced the 2015 UCI Road World Championships schedule and course modifications of the eight-day event that will take place from 19 to 27 September 2015 in Richmond, Virginia, in the United-States.
The UCI, organizer and TV broadcasters have discussed the past few months to agree the best time schedule of the event. Parties have been able to take into account impact on businesses and residents while ensuring European visibility of the event. The competition program for the twelve races is the following:
DATE – EVENT – START TIME (GMT) – DISTANCE (KM)
Sept. 19 – Team Time Trial Training – 13.00
Sept. 19 – Time Trial Circuit Training – 17.00
Sept. 20 – Team Time Trial (Women) – 15.30 – 38.8
Sept. 20 – Team Time Trial (Men) – 17.30 – 38.8
Sept. 21 – Individual Time Trial (Women Juniors) – 14.00 – 15
Sept. 21 – Individual Time Trial (Men Under 23) – 15.30 – 30
Sept. 22 – Individual Time Trial (Men Juniors) – 13.30 – 30
Sept. 22 – Individual Time Trial (Women Elite) – 17.30 – 30
Sept. 23 – Individual Time Trial (Men Elite) – 17.00 – 53
Sept. 24 – Road Race Training – 14.00
Sept. 25 – Road Race (Women Juniors) – 14.00 – 64.8
Sept. 25 – Road Race (Men Under 23) – 16.45 – 162
Sept. 26 – Road Race (Men Juniors) – 13.00 – 129.6
Sept. 26 – Road Race (Women Elite) – 17.00 – 129.6
Sept. 27 – Road Race (Men Elite) – 13.00 – 259.2
About the Road Race course, some modifications have been made in order to provide a challenging circuit to riders while ensuring minimum impact on commuter traffic flow:
The grueling 23rd Street climb, which had been reserved only for the Men Elite and Women Elite, now will be included in all four Road Races, including the U23 and Junior events;
A slight modification has been made to the Road Race course in downtown Richmond, with racers now turning left at Main and Belvidere streets to head to Broad Street before returning to Main Street at 2nd Street.
Concerning the Team Time Trials course, the start venue has been changed from Rocketts Landing in Henrico County near Richmond’s downtown to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico County just north of Richmond. The shift showcases one of Richmond’s iconic landmarks along with the Richmond National Battlefield Park, already featuring in the original course.
UCI President Brian Cookson commented: “The announcement of the race schedule and the adjustment of the courses represent a new milestone on the way to the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. I would like to thank the organizer for working in an extremely constructive manner to accommodate the concerns of the riders, the fans and the residents alike. With only seven months to go, we can feel that Richmond is buzzing with anticipation for an event that we all believe will be unforgettable.”
Richmond 2015 CEO Tim Miller said: “We’ve been able to incorporate many of the things we learned from the official test event, the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, which was held last spring, in order to provide the best experience for racers, fans and Central Virginians alike. We spent the past few months working with the UCI on finalizing the schedule and tweaking the courses. We can’t wait to showcase Richmond to the world and for the world to experience everything Richmond has to offer.”
2014 World Champs:
Good News for Kris Boeckmans
Lotto Soudal is very happy to announce that Kris Boeckmans is no longer kept in an induced coma and that the recovery is evolving positively. After the ECMO treatment was stopped and the drain was removed from the thorax, the past 48 hours the tracheal cannula in the trachea was taken away, the external oxygen supply and the anesthesia in function of the induced coma were phased out and stopped.
Aforementioned steps have passed without complications, that’s why Kris has awakened out of his coma. The attending doctors took a detailed scan of the whole body, just as a matter of control and to trace possible hidden injuries. No other injuries then the ones mentioned before, were detected.
This positive evaluation made it possible for Kris to talk with his family and the doctors. He remains at the intensive care unit for further observation. One of these days, Kris will be repatriated with a medical flight, accompanied by a doctor and the required equipment. Afterwards he will be brought to a Belgian hospital for further recovery. The rib fractures will have to heal in a natural way. Also the lung injuries will need their time to evolve. The facial fractures will be treated surgically after a thorough analysis in Belgium.
Gerts And Teuns Recovering After Britain Crash
The BMC Racing Team lost Floris Gerts and Dylan Teuns to a crash Saturday at the Aviva Tour of Britain while Taylor Phinney withdrew from the race before the start. The crash with Gerts and Teuns happened as the race diverted onto a runway at Wattisham Airfield for an intermediate sprint in the 224.1-kilometer race, the longest of the eight-day event. “I hit a hole and lost hold of my handlebars because it was a really big hole,” Teuns said. “I totally lost control so I did not have a chance. I just went to the ground.”
Teuns landed on his head, as did Gerts, BMC Racing Team Dr. Scott Major said. “Because of the concern about a head injury, we took them to the hospital as a precaution,” Dr. Major said. “Neurologically, both riders are fine. But we are going to have them under close observation the next 24 hours.”
Teuns was the more seriously injured of the two with abrasions on his left side and a large gash to his left elbow. X-rays on the elbow were negative, but Teuns did require some stitches to help close the wound, Dr. Major said.
Phinney did not start due to fatigue. “It has been a hard race with long stages and long transfers,” Dr. Major said. “Coming back from such a long layoff and injury and competing in his third straight stage race, we felt it was important for his worlds’ preparation to get some much-needed rest and recovery.”
Stefan Küng, who joins Danilo Wyss as the only two BMC Racing Team riders remaining in the race, also crashed Saturday in a separate incident. But the world individual pursuit champion was not seriously hurt. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said it was unfortunate to lose Teuns – who had been sitting fifth overall – and Gerts, a stagiaire who had been as high as third place overall earlier in the week. “Dylan was enjoying a good result for a young guy,” Baldato said. “Now we will arrive in London with two guys. Fortunately, it looks like the injuries are not too bad. That is the only good thing.”
Jurgen Van den Broeck and Nils Politt join Team Katusha
Team Katusha, number 1 in the UCI WorldTour rankings, is happy to announce two signings for next season. On September 10th Belgian rider Jurgen Van den Broeck signed a contract for the 2016 season. Also, the German U23 road champion Nils Politt signed an agreement for two years with an ambitious Team Katusha.
Jurgen Van den Broeck (32) is the current Belgian time trial champion and a specialist of Grand Tours. Van den Broeck finished 3rd (2010) and 4th (2012) overall in the Tour de France. Also in the Giro d’Italia (6th in 2008) and the Vuelta a España (8th in 2011) he finished in the top ten.
“After nine years in the same team it was time to move. I missed the confidence of the team in me. At the same time there was a concrete interest from Team Katusha. Already in 2013, in the period of my knee problems, Viacheslav Ekimov and José Azevedo asked me regularly about my health problem. They encouraged me not to give up. They were, and still are, convinced I will once again reach the highest level. When they asked me some time ago to join Katusha, I felt it immediately as a grand honor. I know Ekimov and Azevedo from the period when I was a neo professional. They were experienced riders and I learned so much from them. In whatever Grand Tour(s) I will start next year, I will give my maximum – for myself and for the old or young teammates. I will start again with the ambition of a junior rider,” said Jurgen Van den Broeck.
As a junior rider Van den Broeck became World Champion in the time trial. On September 23rd Van den Broeck will start in the World Championships time trial (Richmond, USA). In Richmond he will meet Nils Politt who will participate in the U23 road World Championships.
Nils Politt (21) is one of the best German U23 riders of 2015. He impressed Team Katusha’s management during last Bayern Rundfahrt where he finished 6th amid all WorldTour riders. For Team Stölting he won the German U23 Road Championships and finished 2nd in the national Time Trial Championships. In 2014 he won the German U23 Time Trial title.
“I am so happy that Team Katusha wanted me in their team. Several months ago they showed interest in me. I love the Belgian and French classic races. I look forward to helping Alexander Kristoff in the coming seasons. I am sure I will learn a lot in this team. I will need to work a lot but I will sacrifice myself with pleasure for the team. My first acquaintance with the team will be the Tour Eurométropole at the end of September. I will start there as a Katusha trainee. I look forward to it,” said Nils Politt.
“It was never easier for us to find riders motivated to join our team as this year. Being the current leader of the UCI WorldTour ranking helps a lot, but also the atmosphere in the team was never better than in 2015. With Nils and Jurgen we have again two new strong riders in the team. The palmarès of Jurgen Van den Broeck tell us enough about his capacities but I remember Jurgen from his first years as a pro rider and he is still the same: one hundred percent professional and prepared to be a team player. He will surprise us again. I hope Nils can do the same. Maybe already in Richmond, just as Sven Erik Bystrøm did last year. Why not?” concluded General Manager Viacheslav Ekimov.
LottoNL-Jumbo signs Twan Castelijns
Team LottoNL-Jumbo signed 26-year-old Dutchman Twan Castelijns for the next two years. “Twan made a lot of progress this year, despite the fact that he is a little bit older,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. “He showed that he’s still getting stronger and that he can be valuable to our team. During his internship, he made a good impression and proved to be a worthy team-mate.”
Twan Castelijns: “I didn’t expect to become a pro anymore,” Castelijns said after already racing for the team in recent months as a trainee. During my internship with the team, I rode some good races and got the chance to see how the team works. I liked what I saw. I’m looking forward to racing at World Tour-level.”
Castelijns primarily wants to learn during his first year with the team. “At the amateur level, I always was a good all-round rider. I can do well in echelons, on cobblestones and on hills, and I can ride a reasonable time trial. “At pro level, I want to discover my speciality and learn as much as possible. I want to show that this is the right move and develop into a strong pro rider.”
Zubeldia and Boy Van Poppel extend with Trek Factory Racing
Trek Factory Racing is pleased to announce it has signed Haimar Zubeldia and Boy Van Poppel to one-year contract extensions. Haimar Zubeldia finished five times in the top eight of the Tour de France. The Spanish rider from the Basque Country brings a wealth of stage racing experience to the entire team.
Zubeldia: “I’m very happy with this contract extension. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine myself racing for another team. This is my second family and renewing with Trek is all what I wanted.”
Thirty-eight-year old Zubeldia showed aggressive racing at the Vuelta of España, coming within reach of a stage victory on stage 15 and again in stage 18 where he finished second. “Of course, I’m not the youngest anymore, I know that, but I believe I can still do meaningful work for the team. These last couple of days in the breakaway in the Vuelta were very nice, but the management of the team and I shook hands well before that,” says Zubeldia. “I wasn’t at my usual level at the Tour de France due to a stomach virus and I asked the team to change my program and race the Vuelta. I didn’t want to ride to the season’s end with that bitter taste of the Tour in my mouth. I wanted to prove my value and show the team that they can count on me.”
General Manager Luca Guercilena: “Haimar is a five-star pro. He has perfect awareness of his body and knows how he needs to train. He has so much experience in stage racing, so it wasn’t a question if we had a spot for him in the team for 2016. He will be a key rider in our preparation for the Tour de France 2016.”
Zubeldia will enter his 19th season as a pro. Zubeldia: “I always said I didn’t want to sign a contract anticipating that it was my last one – that’s not how I want to do it, not how I see my retirement. It would make me lose my focus. I want to ride next year with the same attitude as always, being professional and enjoying what I do. So will it be my last season, I couldn’t tell you.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Boy Van Poppel, in addition to being an outstanding locomotive and lead-out man for TFR’s sprinters, has been propping up the Classics team since joining the team in 2014.
Boy Van Poppel: “I feel really good in this team and I am very happy to stay on board. The team has a lot of confidence in me and they know where my qualities lie. I have really taken pleasure in working for Fabian Cancellara in the Classics, aside from my lead-out for Danny (Van Poppel), Giacomo (Nizzolo) or Jasper (Stuyven). In my previous team, I rode the Classics also, but mostly to be part of the early breakaways. In Trek Factory Racing, I have discovered something that I like a lot, and that I’m good at.”
Van Poppel’s 2015 season took a decisive turn in an ungodly edition of Ghent-Wevelgem when road dirt entered his eye and he had to fight a lasting eye infection for several weeks.
Van Poppel: “I don’t know why, but that took a lot of energy out of me. I’ve been struggling to be back at my best since then. I am looking forward to the off-season now to push the reset button and prepare for 2016. I feel that I can still become a better rider.”
General Manager Luca Guercilena: “Boy is a very valuable rider for our team. He has a key role in our sprint ambitions, of course, but he has also become a certitude in our Northern campaign. On both accounts, it’s because he’s very good at reading a race and positioning. He’s very loyal to the team and we’re happy to re-sign him.”
South Africa: MTN – Qhubeka
Germany: Bora-Argon 18, Team Giant – Alpecin.
Belgium: Lotto Soudal, Etixx – Quick Step, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Wanty – Groupe Gobert.
United States: BMC Racing Team, Team Novo Nordisk, Trek Factory Racing.
France: AG2R La Mondiale, Auber 93, Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits, FDJ, Equipe Cycliste de l’Armée de Terre, Roubaix Lille Métropole, Team Europcar, Team Marseille 13 kTM.
Netherlands: Roompot Oranje Peloton, Team Lotto-NL Jumbo.
Russia: Tinkoff – Saxo.
Switzerland: IAM Cycling.
Team Novo Nordisk invited to Paris-Tours
Team Novo Nordisk has received an invitation to Paris-Tours, which will mark the team’s second appearance at an ASO race this year. The team is excited to return to France for the historic one-day race on October 11.
Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland and General Manager Vassili Davidenko below:
Team Novo Nordisk CEO Phil Southerland: “One of Team Novo Nordisk’s major goals since the start of the season was to receive an invitation to Paris-Tours. Our committed staff and dedicated riders have already made 2015 our most successful season to date and we will come to Paris-Tours ready to fight for more results. On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank ASO for inviting us to race at Paris-Tours as it will allow us to reach even more people around the world and show what may be possible with diabetes.”
Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko: “Paris-Tours is one of the oldest bike races in the world. It has been one of our goals all season to participate in this iconic race. We want to thank the ASO for this opportunity. Our riders are ready to race and aim to add to the excitement that is Paris-Tours.”
Team Novo Nordisk is Racing With Diabetes:
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