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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The season might be over, but we still have action from the Tour of Guangxi, Chrono des Nations, Japan Cup Criterium and Road Race, plus two cyclo-cross races and the European track championships with video. Wanty-Gobert want UCI clarity for 2020 and Eddy Merckx leaves hospital – Top Story. Other cycling news from the European cross championships, more rider contracts, new trainers for Deceuninck – Quick-Step and GCN breaks the penny farthing World Hour Record. Lot’s to get through today in EUROTRASH Monday.

TOP STORY: Wanty-Gobert to race on the WorldTour or?
One of the last things at stake in the 2019 professional season is coming to an end in China with the Guangxi Tour. Which teams will be on the final podium of the EuropeTour, or division 2 of the bike World? Total Direct Energie will win the trophy. The second place will be fought out between the Belgian Wanty-Gobert team and that of Mathieu Van der Poel’s Corendon-Circus.

Jean-François Bourlart: “If Cofidis joins the WorldTour, will the second place in EuropeTour have the same value?”

After winning for three years in a row, Wanty-Gobert should be satisfied with second place. Yes, but… Team general manager Jean-François Bourlart has doubts about the “reward”: “In fact, we are sure of nothing! The regulations have undergone a small change late last year: The first two teams in The final classification of the 2019 EuropeTour will be invited to all the events of the WorldTour in 2020, including the three Grand Tours, and the third team will be invited to all the classics, but that’s on paper. Now we know that Cofidis have applied to join the WorldTour. The French team meets the points requirements and if the financial conditions are also met, then they will be able to take that step up the ladder. We now have the question of 19 WorldTour Teams: In that case, will the first two teams of the EuropeTour always be automatically selected for the WorldTour program or only the first ranked team? I do not know yet…”

The UCI did not seem to anticipate this case … We should know by early December. In addition to the Cofidis application, two other team’s situations have yet to be debated by the International Cycling Union World Tour Commission: Katusha, which will merge with Israel Cycling Academy and Dimension Data, who could be downgraded to Division 2 due to the lack of results.

So 17, 18 or 19 World Tour teams in 2020? Once the answer is known, Jean-François Bourlart, his staff and obviously his riders will be able to prepare the next season with a little more peace of mind.

Wanty-Gobert should be in all the WorldTour races:

Eddy Merckx Leaves Hospital
Good news for Eddy Merckx: The five-time Tour winner has been allowed to leave the hospital in Dendermonde. The 74-year-old Belgian fell last Sunday during a bike ride with friends. Merckx sustained a major head injury, but ‘the Cannibal’ can now continue to recover at home.

Merckx was cycling with friends when he crashed. The cycling legend was then urgently transferred to the hospital in Dendermonde. Because Merckx wears a pacemaker, no risks were taken and he underwent some examinations. “Eddy is happy that he can go home,” said his wife Claudine Merckx. The most successful cyclist of all time will have to rest a lot in the coming months.

Merckx is not the only Belgian cycling legend who was recently admitted to the hospital. His fellow countryman and great rival Roger De Vlaeminck was admitted to the intensive care unit of the AZ Alma in Eeklo on Saturday with a high fever, but is doing well under the circumstances. It is not yet known when De Vlaeminck can go home.

Merckx in Liège’77:

Gree-Tour of Guangxi 2019
Back to winning ways for Fernando Gaviria, who won Stage 1 of the Tour of Guangxi (WorldTour). The Colombian sprinter from UAE Team Emirates narrowly edged out Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and the silver medalist from Yorkshire, Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) to break his victory dry spell which has lasted since the Tour of Italy. The race was run over a 135.6km course divided into three laps of a 45.5 km circuit with start and finish in Beihai with a relatively flat profile.

Stage winner and overall leader, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “The stage was short but raced all day at a very high pace. The support of my teammates was essential today. They stayed close to me and helped me a lot on the uphill sections. The last climb was still far from the finish so we had time to prepare ourselves for the sprint. We were in a good position coming into the line when all the teams were fighting for position. I found myself on the wheel of a rider from Bahrain-Merida and I had the patience and coolness to wait until the last minute to go. The power in the legs was there to come around for the win.”

2nd, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We wanted to control the stage, and we managed to achieve this. The guys always rode at the front of the peloton and kept the gap to the breakaway within a reasonable distance. Rudi prepared me well for the final sprint, but I might have started slightly a bit too early. As a result, Gaviria was able to overtake me from behind, over the last few metres, and take the win, but it was very close. Having said that, there are still more chances to fight for the stage win here, and now we’ve seen that the team is in good shape, so we’re optimistic about the upcoming days.”

4th, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida): “We expected today as a sprint stage. Wang did a good job at the front to bring the breakaway back. Final lap on the climb there were some attacks. The bunch was split. Sieberg and I were in the front group, and Sibi could bring me on the wheels of Ackermann in the last 1.5 kilometre. I was in a good position, just missing a bit of power in the last 3, 4 hundred meters. The sprint was very fast. I was a bit running out of my gear, of my power. No excuse for that. But I think it is a good start with 4th place. We were suffering a little bit with the warm weather today, but we can improve in the next days.”

19th, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “Despite the travel and my crash at Paris-Tours, I felt good on the bike. On the climb in the last lap I was in the main peloton behind the leading group of 30 riders. Tom Devriendt and Odd Eiking assisted me to reappear in the front. When Campenaerts and Van den Bergh attacked in the final 10 kilometre, there was a moment of doubt. Loïc Vliegen rode in the front, but we were too early. Thus, I was already pumped before the final kilometre. It’s a pity that I was in the front too early and not able to sprint. But two more nice opportunities are awaiting us.”

Tour of Guangxi Stage 1 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 2:53:42
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
5. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb
7. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC
9. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
10. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana.

Tour of Guangxi Overall After Stage 1:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 2:53:42
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
4. Josef Černý (Cze) CCC
5. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
7. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida at 0:10
8. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb
10. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Guangxi’19 stage 1:

Daniel McLay gave his EF Education First team a great goodbye present of a WorldTour success on Stage 2 of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi. In Qinzhou he finished ahead of Pascal Ackermann and Matteo Trentin in a chaotic sprint.

On the second day in Guangxi the peloton faced three local laps around Qinzhou, each of 19 kilometres. Pascal Ackermann beat Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen in a mass sprint here last year. A fast finish was also expected this year, as the 152.3 kilometre course was billiard table flat. Stage 2 is the only one of the six stages where no mountain points could be earned.

The break of the day came early. EF Education First’s Sep Vanmarcke, winner of the Bretagne Classic in September, joined forces with fellow Belgian, Laurens De Vreese and Frenchman Jérôme Cousin and together they took a maximum of 2:30 on the peloton.

In the peloton the pace was initially set by Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates, and later Bora-Hansgrohe for Ackermann. On the local circuits around Qinzhou, Deceuninck – Quick Step (for Davide Martinelli) and Dimension Data (for Jay Robert Thomson) also started to help, which led them to slowly catch the leading group. At the start of the final lap, the break only had 1:30 in hand.

Ten kilometres from the finish, Cousin started playing poker, while the peloton could see them up ahead on the long, wide roads. De Vreese and Vanmarcke didn’t like the tactics of Cousin and kept looking back. Vanmarcke didn’t think they were fast enough and gave a jump. At 7.5 kilometres from the finish line, the Belgian went on a solo hunt for the stage success.

It turned out to be a waste of energy as Vanmarcke was also caught 3 kilometres from the finish. Two hundred meters out; Daniel McLay went hard on the right of the road, away from the others on the left. Pascal Ackermann was trapped and couldn’t keep the British rider from his first WorldTour victory. Ackermann was second for the second day in a row and took the overall lead.

Stage winner, Dan McLay (EF Education First): “This is my most highly regarded stage victory of all time. I’m going to try to build on it next season. First I followed my boys, but in the end I followed my own path. On such broad roads you have to play smart and not put too much effort into the final to prevent someone from passing you.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “After yesterday’s stage, we knew that the team is in good form, and so we were really ready and motivated to fight for the win today. With the help of UAE Team Emirates, we controlled the gap to the break, and always had the race within our grasp. Over the last kilometres, the tempo heated up and the sprint became somewhat chaotic. As sometimes happens in these situations, I was slightly blocked and so wasn’t able to launch my sprint in the way that I had intended. However, with my second place, I take over the lead in the overall standings, as well as the points and youth classifications, so it’s not too bad of a day for us.”

KOM, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “I was confused after the first stage yesterday when walking towards the podium. I wanted to collect the mountain’s jersey, before I was told I was second in the ranking. But it worked out today. I’m looking forward to the hilly stages later this week. I’m discovering China for the first time and I can only be positive about the nice area and the good race organisation!”

7th on the stage and 16th overall, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “I followed my teammates to the back wheel of Pascal Ackermann, however, the final 400 meter were very chaotic. I tried to follow a good line, but never found a gap. I’m happy with the progression since yesterday, but if all goes well, I’m able to get a top 5 this Saturday!”

Tour of Guangxi Stage 2 Result:
1. Daniel McLay (GB) EF Education First in 3:45:04
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
5. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana
6. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC
7. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
10. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy.

Tour of Guangxi Overall After Stage 2:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 6:38:34
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 0:02
3. Daniel McLay (GB) EF Education First
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:04
5. Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie at 0:06
6. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC at 0:08
7. Mikkel Frolich Honore (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana at 0:09
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First
10. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC at 0:12.

Guangxi’19 stage 2:

After two consecutive second places, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) finally managed to win a stage in the Tour of Guangxi. The overall leader was by far the best in Stage 3 with start and finish in Nanning in the sprint from a thinned peloton.

From the start Brian van Goethem (Lotto Soudal), Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data) and Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo) were in the lead. Their plan didn’t work and they were caught 34 kilometres from the finish. Mosca did add points to his KOM jersey.

Mitchelton-Scott took care of the lion’s share of the work in the finalé, but they were only partially rewarded. Team leader Matteo Trentin grabbed a few useful bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint, but he couldn’t take the stage or the overall.

Martin tries, Ackermann wins
The ascent of the Qingxiu Mountain was climbed five times and caused the bunch to split several times. On the last climb, it was Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) who made a good attack, but the 26-year-old Frenchman didn’t really get away and most of the sprinters were still in the main group. In the final kilometres, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) tried to surprise the peloton with a late attack, but their efforts also proved unsuccessful.

Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott) was the first to make the final corner, with Trentin on his wheel. Overall leader Pascal Ackermann made a perfect sprint to take the stage win ahead of Alexandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates). Trentin completed the podium for the third day in a row.

Stage winner and overall leader, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The third stage was harder than it was last year, and the parcours wasn’t necessary one for the sprinters. The plan was to stay with Trentin and be within the first ten riders to get over the last climb. That wasn’t an easy feat, because the ascent was quite hard. I tried to follow Trentin, because we knew he was strong and in the end it was the right decision. We wanted to come here to win a stage, and now we’ve achieved that. After my two second places on the first few stages, I feel less pressure now that I’ve taken a win here. Thanks to the entire team for the great support. I’m happy that I’ve been able to reward their work with this win.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates): “The stage was well suited for my characteristics. The team worked very well to bring back the break in front which was very important and then I managed to get in a good position over the top. In view of the finish I noticed that in the leading group there were still some very fast riders like Trentin and Ackermann, so I immediately tried to take the German wheel and launch myself in the sprint. The Bora-hansgrohe sprinter is just too strong in the sprint , but I’m still happy for the placement. Tomorrow we take on the queen stage, so I’ll see how far I can go in the overall standings.”

Late attacker, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “I didn’t feel great on the penultimate climb. But I didn’t worry, because this is often my case. I prefer a repetition of efforts. The team brought me into a perfect position before the final climbs, therefore I want to thank her. Loïc Vliegen accelerated at the bottom and I’ve taken advantage of my position in the top 5 to attack. I wanted to win some points for the mountain’s classification and exhaust the less good positioned riders. Unfortunately, nobody accompanied me. The climb was not long enough and the descent rather dangerous, so I didn’t take any risks. Everything came back together and I focused on not losing time ahead of the Sunday stage. The stages are quite special, because we have the impression that they are rather easy, but when there’s an acceleration the pace is very high. Everything will be decided on one climb, but taking into account today’s feeling, I can achieve a good result tomorrow. Hopefully it will be an exhausting race!”

Tour of Guangxi Stage 3 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:19:21
2. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb
5. Petr Vakoč (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First
8. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
9. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana.

Tour of Guangxi Overall After Stage 3:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 9:57:45
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:07
3. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates at 0:16
4. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:18
5. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First at 0:19
6. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana at 0:21
8. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:22
9. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb
10. Itamar Einhorn (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy.

Guangxi’19 stage 3:

The Queen Stage 4 in the Tour of Guangxi was won by Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). The Spanish climber sprinted up the final climb to Mashan Nongla Scenic Spot ahead of Daniel Felipe Martínez (EF Education First). Mas took over the leader’s jersey from Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

The Queen Stage from Nanning to Mashan Nongla Scenic Spot was on rough roads, but it was mainly about the final climb of just over 3 kilometres. Ryan Mullen attacked all day. The Irish Trek-Segafredo rider had the ungrateful task of holding a lead of 5 minutes on the peloton on his own. Several WorldTour teams got involved in the chase, which eventually swallowed up the brave Mullen 15 kilometres from the foot of the final climb.

Astana, EF Education First and Deceuninck – Quick-Step led the pack, but once on the final climb, the climbers hit the front. At over two kilometres from the top Rémi Cavagna put in a strong effort off the front. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step French all-rounder and stage winner in the past Vuelta a España, sacrificed himself for his leader Enric Mas, even though the 24-year-old rider had a gap. The road to the summit proved too long for the Frenchman, who was caught and left behind by the better climbers. The next attack was from Antwan Tolhoek who managed to escaped with Mas and the Colombian Martínez.

Tolhoek seemed to have the better jump, but the 25-year-old Dutchman had to match Martínez’s acceleration, as he attacked a few hundred meters from the top. The EF Education First rider turned out to be strong enough to blow Tolhoek off the wheel, but the smart and strong Mas was still there. The Spanish climber – who will ride for Movistar next season – soon made his move.

The promising Mas appeared to have timed it perfectly, as Martínez was no longer able to follow. The aggressive Tolhoek was passed by Diego Rosa, who crossed the line in third place. Tolhoek finished fourth. Mas will have to survive two more stages to take the overall win.

Stage winner and overall leader, Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The team did an amazing work today, protecting me and chasing the break, which at one point had a pretty big gap over the peloton. Thanks to the guys, I was well positioned at the start of the climb and I had Rémi to launch a probing attack and make others work. When he was caught with some 1,700 meters to go, I knew that it was up to me and that all I needed to do was attack and try to make the difference. My season was a solid and consistent one, but truth being told, I was missing a victory, and to get it now, in my last race of the year and my final outing for this fantastic squad, feels really great. There’s still two more stages left, but we will try to defend the jersey and bring it home.”

4th on the stage and overall, Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma): “I don’t see this as a missed opportunity. I did not win, but I did win. It was really a mass sprint to the foot of the climb, however, I was well looked after of by the team. I then decided to wait for the steep kilometre. I then attacked, but Mas and Martínez could follow. I then sat down to see if they had anything left. At 400 meters from the line I went again. I then had to acknowledge my superiors. I waited until the finish. Yet I do not see this as a missed opportunity. I have just taken my chance. I am very satisfied with how I close my season. The team also has a lot of confidence in me for this race.”

5th on the stage and overall, Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hangrohe): “Today, both Max and I wanted to ride for a good result. The team brought us into a good position ahead of the final climb, and up until then, everything went according to plan. However, it became apparent that I wasn’t in such great shape today. Despite that, I tried alongside Max to be up there at the front as best we could, and in the end, we have to be satisfied with 5th place. There are two stages ahead of us for the fast men, but I’ll still try to do something, with there being only a few seconds separating 5th and 7th place, for instance, in the overall standings at the moment.”

6th on the stage and overall, Odd Eiking (Wanty-Gobert): “I felt good today, and didn’t expect to be able to finish in the top 6. Expecting several riders to start their effort too early, I chose to climb at my own pace. I managed my effort well and even found extra strength to pass some riders in the final 300 meter. I gave everything I had and can be satisfied with my performance.”

Tour of Guangxi Stage 4 Result:
1. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:52:53
2. Daniel Felipe Martinez (Col) EF Education First at 0:01
3. Diego Rosa (Ita) Ineos at 0:08
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:12
5. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hangrohe at 0:19
6. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert
7. Carl Frederik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
8. David de la Cruz (Spa) Ineos
9. Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Sunweb at 0:28
10. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana.

Tour of Guangxi Overall After Stage 4:
1. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 13:50:50
2. Daniel Felipe Martinez (Col) EF Education First at 0:05
3. Diego Rosa (Ita) Ineos at 0:14
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:22
5. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hangrohe at 0:29
6. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert
7. Carl Frederik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
8. David de la Cruz (Spa) Ineos
9. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana at 0:37
10. Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Sunweb at 0:38.

Guangxi’19 stage 4:

Chrono des Nations Les Herbiers 2019
Jos van Emden won the Chrono des Nations one-day time trial in France. The Dutch time trial champion of Jumbo-Visma set the fastest time around Les Herbiers with an average speed of 50.4 kilometres per hour. Filippo Ganna (Ineos) finished second, ahead of Van Emden’s teammate Primoz Roglic.

Jos van Emden had the fastest time at the first point, just ahead of Filippo Ganna and 10 seconds on teammate Primoz Roglic. Rasmus Quaade (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) was fastest at the second check point, 13 seconds faster than Van Emden. Ganna and Roglic were already more than half a minute down.

Quaade then blew, putting Van Emden at the top of the table again at the third intermediate point. Ganna and Roglic were still close and followed at about 20 seconds. Dutch champion Van Emden finally put a time of 55:02 on the final result board, the top time for the others to aim for.

Filippo Ganna finished 10 seconds short of Van Emden’s time. Niki Terpstra and Mikkel Bjerg did not come close, as did Martin Toft Madsen, who crashed and had no chance. The only opposition came from Vuelta winner Roglic, who was third at the finish, 19 seconds slower than Van Emden.

The 2019 European road season has come to an end with the Chrono des Nations. But the battle was still on for UCI points at the top of the World Ranking for the ProContinental teams. Niki Terpstra (20 points) and Anthony Turgis (3 points) gave Total Direct Energie a total of 23 points. Xandro Meurisse (5 points) took something for Wanty-Gobert, while Corendon-Circus won 8 points with Jimmy Janssens (5 points) and Otto Vergaerde (3 points).

Race winner, Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m winning my third time trial of the year here. And it was a long time trial as well. I am very happy that I have won my first time trial in my red-white-blue tricolore. And that I am also able to win a time trial on a very hilly course. The fact that Primoz finishes third makes it even more special for the team.”

Chrono des Nations – Les Herbiers Result:
1. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 55:02
2. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos at 0:11
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:19
4. Rasmus Quaade (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team at 0:41
5. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) Hagens Berman Axeon at 0:57
6. Michael Valgren (Den) Dimension Data at 1:18
7. Martin Toft Madsen (Den) BHS-Almeborg-Bornholm
8. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida at 1:28
9. Justin Wolf (Ger) Bike Aid at 1:31
10. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie at 2:12.

Chrono des Nations’19 – Full race:

Japan Cup 2019
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won his last race of the season. The Dutchman proved to be the best in the Japan Cup road race for the second time in his career. Mollema was faster than his fellow escapee, Michael Woods at the end of the 144.2 kilometre race.

The 2019 cycling season finished on Sunday with the Japan Cup. The one-day race has been won in the past by some big names, such as Claudio Chiappucci, Gilberto Simoni, Damiano Cunego and Bauke Mollema. 32-year-old Mollema started as one of the top favourites for the win, especially after his victory in the Tour of Lombardy, but there was big competition from Sonny Colbrelli, Robert Gesink and Michael Woods. The break of the day included Giulio Ciccone, Marco Canola, Koen Bouwman, Francisco Mancebo, James Whelan, Damiano Caruso, Robert Stannard and Iuri Filosi.

These eight joined forces and worked well together, but the lead was limited to just under 2 minutes. Behind; the peloton set up a fast pace, as Ciccone, Bouwman, Canola and Caruso were a danger for the win. It was the men from Jumbo-Visma who took control, causing the peloton to be considerably thinned out.

Woods versus Mollema
The attackers were caught one by one by the chasing group, with Mollema, Woods, Gesink, Dion Smith and two Americans from Jumbo-Visma: Sepp Kuss and Neilson Powless well to the fore. The yellow-black brigade was the only team with several riders at the front, but the Dutch team was unable to react when Woods and Mollema accelerated.

The Canadian and the Dutchman clearly had the best legs, and rode away from the competition, although Gesink tried (in vain) to close the gap. On the long climb of Mt. Kogashiyama Mollema stuck close to Woods, but the EF Education First rider was not strong enough to drop his big rival, so there would be a two-up sprint for the victory.

On the final rise to the line it was Mollema who had the strength for the win from Woods. It was then a three-quarters of a minute wait for Smith, who managed to get the better of the 43-year-old Mancebo and Kuss for third place. Jumbo-Visma finished with three riders in the first ten, thanks to Powless and Gesink.

Race winner, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “I am super happy with this victory. It was a very difficult race. We didn’t have to chase, and Giulio was the strongest rider in the race. The other teams made it difficult and every lap it went fast. The descent was dangerous too, so you always had to fight for your position. Two laps before the end, when fifteen or twenty riders remained, I decided to try. It was still quite early to go with another twenty kilometres, but Jumbo-Visma was with four men among the last fifteen. They attacked in turn, so I decided to get rid of some of them. I was at ‘full gas’ and only Woods could follow. From then on we worked very well together until the finish. The sprint went really well, because I think I surprised Michael a bit. I rode a good sprint, and this is a great way to close the season after last week’s Lombardy. The atmosphere is always good in Japan with great fans.”

8th, Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma): “We were the strongest team in the race, but tactically we made a mistake. We wanted to attack, so that men like Woods and Mollema had to work early. Steven attacked, but when he was caught back, Sepp attacked and that was no good. He released his teammates, so we lost our advantage. From that moment on we actually went after the facts. That’s a shame, because there could have been more residents. I don’t know if we could have beat Mollema, because he was just very smart and strong.”

Japan Cup Result:
1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 3:41:13
2. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First at 0:01
3. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:44
4. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Matrix Powertag
5. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
6. Hideto Nakane (Jap) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè at 0:52
7. Neilson Powless (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 2:09
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Kenny Molly (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 2:31
10. Orluis Aular (Ven) Matrix Powertag.

Japan Cup’19:

Japan Cup Criterium 2019
Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) won the warm-up criterium for Sunday’s Japan Cup road race in a sprint on Saturday. Theuns beat Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), with Brenton Jones (Team Delko) third.

Race winner, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a really nice criterium with a great atmosphere. There were a lot of people. From the beginning we rode really well at the front as a team. There were some attacks but we always had our teammates on the front and closing them down. In the last few laps I was always focused on Colbrelli’s wheel and in the last corner Fumiyuki came with me and he did a really great lead-out until the finish. It was a really close sprint and I had to use a good jump but in the end I’m super happy because the team did a great job. It’s a great win for the team in Japan.”

Japan Cup Criterium Result:
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Brenton Jones (Aus) Delko Marseille-Provence
4. Yuan Tang Peng (Tai) Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum
5. Daiki Magosaki (Jap) Team Bridgestone Cycling
6. Quinten Kirby (USA) Wildlife Generation CT
7. Ryu Suzuki (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen
8. Keitaro Sawada (Jap) Team Bridgestone Cycling
9. Timothy Guy (Aus) Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum
10. Batuhan Ozgur (Tur) Team Sapura Cycling.

Japan Cup Criterium with Team Novo Nordisk:

Superprestige – De Schorre Boom 2019
Belgian cyclo-cross champion Toon Aerts took his first victory of the season and also the first for his Telenet-Baloise team. Quinten Hermans topped the day for Telenet-Balois with second place and the British rider Tom Pidcock was third.

De Schorre in Boom was transformed into a real mud pool making it a hard combination with Sunday’s World Cup cross in Bern. Due to illness, Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal’s Michael Vanthourenhout was also unable to start. An ideal opportunity for the Telenet-Baloise Lions of Sven Nys to go for a win.

There was a furious start by Quinten Hermans and teammate Corne van Kessel was not going to let a gap go, as a result Toon Aerts, Tim Merlier, Thomas Pidcock and a little later Laurens Sweeck also stayed close. Hermans gave a strong show, but he wasn’t allowed to think about escaping.

After 20 minutes, Laurens Sweeck lifted the pace to cause problems behind, only Belgian champion Toon Aerts and Quinten Hermans were able to hold on. Sweeck probably put a little too much force into his attempt to split the leading group, because when Aerts put in a hard turn 10 minutes later, he had an answer. For half a lap Sweeck limited the difference, but Aerts eventually stretched his lead.

Teammate Quinten Hermans, together with Pidcock, fought for the other places on the podium. Pidcock came back from far behind and seemed to get stronger as the race went on, until an extra acceleration from Hermans. The Limburger sprinted nicely to second place two and also the leader of the Superprestige. A double party for the Telenet-Baloise Lions, which had to wait a long time for the first success.

Race winner, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions):“I can finally take a win today. It may seem that I am not yet at the level that should be, but I always participate for the podium, and if possible for the win. Last week I participated well until the final, but I was frustrated the whole week by bad luck. Then it was long days waiting for the next game, but today I can finally take a win. It is better to let the first race drop a bit because of bad luck and that I will leave nothing behind for the rest, than to cycle around this season to leave Middelkerke points. I expect a very tough cross tomorrow. The cross is not very explosive and fast, so I don’t expect to be at a disadvantage, since many other drivers were also at the start here in Boom. Only Eli Iserbyt may have a small advantage, since he was able to save the most-“

Superprestige – De Schorre Boom Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions in 1:01:42
2. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 0:08
3. Thomas Pidcock (GB) Trinity Racing at 0:17
4. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 0:49
5. Lars Van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 0:51
6. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:25
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Creafin-Fristads at 1:38
8. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Creafin-Fristads at 2:09
9. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:22
10. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 2:34


UCI World Cup Cyclo-Cross – Bern 2019
Eli Iserbyt has added the World Cup cross in Bern to his palmarès. For Iserbyt it is his third consecutive victory in the World Cup after Iowa and Waterloo. The Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal rider dominated the second half of the race and finished ahead of Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions) and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).

World Cup leader Eli Iserbyt, who was fresh as he didn’t ride in Boom, made a blazing start in Bern. Belgian road champion, Tim Merlier was particularly fast at the start, unlike the Belgian cross champion, Toon Aerts, who ended up outside the top 10. So it was up to Aerts and his Telenet-Baloise teammates not to let Iserbyt ride away alone. Quinten Hermans managed to stay with Iserbyt, as did Lars van der Haar and Iserbyt’s teammate Michael Vanthourenhout. They formed the leading quartet after the opening lap.

It was ‘full gas’ for Aerts, second in the World Cup ranking, and with a fast second lap yesterday’s winner in Boom managed to make the leap forward, so we entered the second quarter of the race with five up front. Just before half-way, Iserbyt thought his moment had come to make his move. The Belgian looked a lot more explosive than the other competitors; Aerts and Hermans and soon took 5 seconds. Due to a bike change, he lost it just as quickly, but when he attacked a little later, he immediately retook the 5 seconds again.

Aerts and Hermans did not have an answer, so the answer came from Iserbyt’s teammate Vanthourenhout who jumped after Iserbyt. Iserbyt just gave it a little bit more gas and the 5 seconds became 15 and later more than 30 seconds. Iserbyt was superior by far today.

Vanthourenhout fought a tough battle on the last lap with Aerts and Hermans for the podium. But it was the Belgian champion who finished in second place for the third time. Iserbyt retained the UCI World Cup leader’s jersey.

UCI World Cup Cyclo-Cross – Bern Result:
1. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
2. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
4. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions
5. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Baloise Lions
6. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Baloise Lions
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Creafin-Fristads
8. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
9. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb
10. Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal


The Netherlands Dominate #Eurotrack19
The 2019 edition of the Elite Track European Championships ended this afternoon with a win by the Danish riders Michael Mørkøv and Lasse Norman Hansen in the Men’s Madison.

274 riders (154 men and 120 women) from 25 countries competed in this event, in a 15,000-capacity stadium held over five days, demonstrating the high technical level of this continental race, whose first edition was raced in 2010 and this year was one of the last international meetings before the Tokyo Olympic Games next August.

The Netherlands, host country of this event, came at the top of the medals table with 5 gold medals, 4 silver and 4 bronze, beating France who won 8 medals (5, 1 and 2) and Russia who finished third with 3 gold medals, 2 silver and 1 bronze.

Technically speaking, the performances of some of the biggest names on the international circuit, not just on the track, were incredible. The Road European Champion and Olympic gold medallist in the Omnium in Rio de Janeiro 2016, the Italian Elia Viviani, achieved victory in the Elimination race. Excellent results were also gained by the French riders Benjamin Thomas and Bryan Coquard, respectively winners of gold medals in the Omnium and Points Race, but especially by the Danish quartet who raced the first lap of the Team Pursuit in 3’48”762, 750 thousandths of a second short of the world record.

The Netherlands proved themselves as one of the countries to beat in the Sprint races thanks to success in the Team Sprint with Hoogland (also first in the Sprint), Van den Berg and Lavreysen, who also won the Keirin title and in second place Theo Bos in the KM standing start won by the Frenchman Quentin Lafargue.

In the Women’s events, the host country’s star Kirsten Wild lived up to expectations in these European Championships winning two gold medals in the Elimination and Omnium and the Russian sprinter Anastasiia Voinova once again proved to be one of the riders to beat by winning titles in the Sprint, 500 metres and the Team Sprint (with Ekaterina Rogovaya and Daria Shmeleva). Among the other notable results were the victories by the British quartet in the Team Pursuit Mathilde Gros (France) in Keirin, the Italian Maria Giulia Confalonieri in the Points Race and the Danes Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth in the Madison.

Results #EuroTrack19 – click here.

Euro Madison champs – Julie Leth and Amalie Dideriksen:

Nys and Bramati Back to Silvelle: Cyclo-cross is a Family Business
As Mathieu Van der Poel before, Thibau Nys and Lucia Bramati are following the steps of their fathers Sven and Luca, and they are going to fight for victory in the junior races of Silvelle ’19 European Championships (November 9th and 10th).

Thibau Nys in action with the Belgian National Team

In Silvelle di Trebaseleghe, the Italian location in the Padua’s nearbies hosting the UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships on November 9th and 10th, time seems to have stopped to twenty years ago. In the direction already taken by Mathieu Van der Poel, who is emerging as a champion in every discipline after following the steps of his father Adrie Van der Poel, two more important names of the history of international cyclo-cross, Nys and Bramati, will be part of the first big event of 2019/20 season.

The Nys of today is Thibau, the son of Sven, twice elite World Champion and winner in Silvelle in 1998/1999. The “new” Bramati is Lucia, Luca’s daughter, World Cup and Superprestige winner in 1995/1996 season and twice bronze medalist at the World Championships.

Big expectations surround the new generation, and many people are looking forward to see what they will be able to do at the European Championships. Thibau Nys was bronze last year in Rosmalen (Netherlands) and he will go for the win this year, with four victories already under his belt in this season – the latest in times in Gieten last week, in the first round of Superprestige.

On her side, Lucia Bramati will be racing at home and she will try to take advantage from the knowledge of the route and the local fans’ support, in her quest to leave her mark in the very first Junior Women’s European Championship in the discipline. The talented athlete from Bergamo has good memories of Silvelle from 2017, when she won the Italian National title in the Rookies’ category.

The family passion means that the Bramati family will spend a special day together in a quite unique way, as Luca Bramati will also be in Silvelle as technical commentator for the Italian TV. “These names of champions bring back the memories of the great days of the cyclocross in Silvelle”, Technical Director Mauro Zamprogna explained. “At the time, my father Armando managed to organise in Veneto a round of the Superprestige, hosting it from 1994 to 1999. 20 years later, we are ready to take top-notch cyclo-cross back to our region, with names like Nos and Bramati back to the start, and we hope that also Mathieu Van Der Poel will join this club very soon.”

Silvelle ’19 European Championships’ official presentation will take place on Tuesday October 22nd, in the Regione Veneto headquarter, Palazzo Balbi in Venice.

Lucia Bramati celebrating the Rookie national title in Silvelle with her father Luca:

Ruben Guerreiro “Comes Home” at EF Education First Pro Cycling
For Ruben Guerreiro, joining EF Education First Pro Cycling feels like coming home. Although he is Portuguese, Guerreiro grew up in an American development team, Axeon Hagens Berman. EF Education First Pro Cycling’s American roots, riders and cultures proved attractive for him.
“I developed as a U23 rider with Axeon,” explains Guerreiro. “I learned English with the team. For me this is a homecoming. America is my second country, and I’m really happy to come home to an American team, EF Education First.”

The 25-year-old has shown promise in the one-day races and as a stage hunter and, following his maiden Grand Tour, harbours ambitions in the three-week races.
“I did my first Vuelta this year, and I was surprised with what I could do,” Guerreiro, who finished 17th overall, notes. “I’m really looking forward to continuing to grow as a Grand Tour rider.”

Guerreiro completed his neo-pro seasons, his first two years in the WorldTour with Trek-Segafredo, before moving over to Katusha-Alpecin for a season. His ride at the Vuelta ultimately earned him a spot with EF Education First Pro Cycling.
“Ruben is bold, but he can back it up,” EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters explains. “During contract negotiations, he told me he wouldn’t accept my offer, that he was worth more. He told me to watch the Vuelta the next day and that he’d show me. He didn’t win the stage, but he came second. I was impressed.”

When Guerreiro thinks about world travel, he thinks about the United States first.
“California is a part of the world that I want to go,” he says. “I have been once already for the Amgen Tour of California and something moved me there. I want to go back. I don’t know why. I can’t name it. I just know that I motivated to return and to race well there.”

Guerreiro is excited to share his story with his new EF Education First co-workers.
“I want them to know we don’t just jump on the bike and pedal, pedal, pedal,” he says. “There’s much more to it than that. I want to teach my new co-workers how we prepare every single detail, how we work, how the group around you in the most important thing. I also want them to know that we do so many races around the world and that all the travel gives us experience with different people, different cultures, and that those things, not only cycling, make us who we are.”

Ruben Guerreiro at la Vuelta:

Vasilis Anastopoulos and Franck Alaphilippe Join Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The team have added to the roster of trainers, by bringing on board the two experienced coaches

Following on from another highly successful season, where the Wolfpack have achieved an impressive 66 wins, as well as adding to the riding squad, the team’s management have been looking into how to keep evolving, and have now recruited two of the highest regarded cycling coaches around – Vasilis Anastopoulos and Franck Alaphilippe – who will join our strong group of coaches that includes also Tom Steels and Koen Pelgrim.

The names of Anastopoulos and Alaphilippe are already well regarded amongst cycling fans. Anastopoulos was Greece’s first ever professional cyclist, in a distinguished career that saw him become Greek National Champion an astonishing 17 times. He then studied sports science for four years, with a specialisation in cycling, before receiving an IOC Scholarship to study for a UCI Cycling Diploma – the highest coaching accreditation available in cycling.

Since then, he spent several years as the trainer and general manager of the Greek national team, before taking a role with the successful SEG Racing Academy, where he has overseen the transition to the Elite ranking of 23 riders, including that of our own Fabio Jakobsen. Vasilis describes joining Deceuninck – Quick-Step as “a great honour to be with the best team in the world and I am looking forward to helping the squad achieve their targets, continue winning and join in the Wolfpack spirit.”

The ties with our team do not stop there, with Franck being the cousin of Milano-Sanremo champion Julian Alaphilippe. Hailing from the French city of Bourges, Franck started competitive cycling at the age of 13 and continued racing into his late 20s, before graduating as a coach. From there he went on to the Saint-Amand-Montrond training centre, where he was responsible for the sport and studies of the cadets and juniors. This as well as guiding Julian’s rise to being one of the strongest riders in the world today and coaching several other male and female professional cyclists. On his new role with the team, Franck said: “I will be working hard to help the team remain the best in the world and win the most beautiful races. My dream is to help a rider become World Champion.”

“We have announced a number of rider signings ahead of next season, but the addition of Franck and Vasilis are also very important. We have a fantastic coaching team already, which is reflected in our results from our very successful recent seasons, but in order to stay successful and compete with the best, we have to evolve and keep improving. Both have proven track records in improving riders and getting them in the best possible shape for the most important races. We are all looking forward to working with them and the future success that we are sure they can help us achieve”, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step team training:

Global Cycling Network Breaks the 133-year-old Penny Farthing World Hour Record
GCN Presenter Chris Opie sets yet another World Record at the London-based Velodrome.

The Play Sports Group (PSG) is excited to announce that Global Cycling Network (GCN) presenter Chris Opie is the new holder of the Penny Farthing World Hour Record, having broken the historical mark at Herne Hill Velodrome, London, UK. Opie beat the previous distance, which had stood for 133 years, with the aid of two pace setters: Around-the-World Cycling Record holder Mark Beaumont and fellow GCN Presenter, James Lowsley-Williams.

Riding authentic penny farthing bikes – using technology from the Victorian era – the three riders took to the track on Thursday 10th October to take on the unusual challenge. The team averaged around 35kph – a huge level of effort to hold over 60 minutes and a staggering achievement, with Opie setting the new distance of 35.743km (or 22 miles and 369 yards, as the 19th-Century statisticians would have recorded it).

The previous World Record was set by WA Rowe in 1886 – when Queen Victoria was on the British throne and Grover Cleveland was in his first tenure as President of the United States. Electricity had been invented by this point but most homes wouldn’t have access for another 50 years. Karl Benz had created a motor vehicle with an internal combustion engine – yet the Model T Ford was still nearly 30 years away. It was 105 years after Rowe’s record that the first-ever web page went live on the World Wide Web.

Before the invention of the conventional bicycle form that we still recognise today, penny farthings had a massive wheel at the front, a tiny one at the back, no gears, no suspension, and as the GCN presenters recently learned, it was a wise precaution to employ a support crew even to get on and off of them.

A formidable athlete, Rowe was one of the first great American sporting heroes. He was portrayed on cigarette cards and used sponsored kit: by contemporary standards, he was a professional rider. He first broke the Penny Farthing World Hour on October 1885 with a distance of 20 miles and 1025 yards (33.124km) at the Springfield track in Massachusetts, returning a year later to extend his own record twice at the same meet. His last mark of 22 miles and 150 yards (35.542km), achieved with three pace setters, put the record on the shelf for almost 133 years until the GCN team of Opie, Beaumont and Lowsley-Williams took to their ‘high-wheelers’.

L-R Mark Beaumont, Chris Opie, James Lowsley-Williams

Setting the new Penny Farthing World Hour Record has taken some preparation. In June 2018 Mark Beaumont set a new British record at the World Cycling Revival Festival, also at Herne Hill. The hour challenge may have been shorter than the Around-the-World exploits Beaumont is most famous for, but it proved just as tough and he fell 290 yards – just over a lap – short of Rowe’s.

Beaumont and GCN presenters Opie and Lowsley-Williams joined forces more recently to set the inaugural World Indoor Penny Farthing Hour Record at Derby Velodrome in September 2019.
The three riders each made individual attempts, and it was Opie who went fastest, setting the record by riding a distance of 34.547km (21 miles and 821 yards). Perfect preparation for the ‘outdoor’ ride.

For the record-breaking ride at Herne Hill – a shallow concrete bowl measuring approximately 450m with the steepest banking 18° – the penny farthings were provided by Neil Laughton, Secretary of the Penny Farthing Club, who has also supported the previous attempts. A British Cycling official ran all the hour timings and calculations to adjudicate the ride.

The successful attempt was a team effort with all the three riders working together to achieve record pace. Opie was first across the line, breaking Rowe’s previous record by 200m. This equates to the team riding with a power difference of + 3.9w, and finishing 20 seconds faster.

Around-the-World Cycling Guinness World Record holder Mark Beaumont said:“This World Record has been two years in the making for me, a decade in the making for Neil Laughton and 133 years in the making since William Rowe set down the gauntlet. I have absolutely loved reliving the very earliest history of the cycle sport, realising the grit, power and downright speed of those Victorian heroes.”

New Guinness Indoor World Penny Farthing Hour Record holder Chris Opie said: “It is a really special and unique experience to have ridden and raced these historic contraptions. Without the help and support of Mark and James we wouldn’t have been able to set a new World Record; being part of that team effort is what really set this record apart!”

Neil Laughton, Founder of the Penny Farthing Club, said: “I am immensely proud to have brought penny farthing riding to the attention of GCN’s elite pro riders and facilitated this magnificent hard-won World Record. Mark, James and Chris have returned to Britain a historic sporting record that has been revered in America for 133 years. It’s a phenomenal achievement.”

Simon Wear, Founder and CEO of Play Sports Group, said: “We’re so proud to have broken yet another World Record – on a penny farthing, no less. It’s another great challenge and although the bikes look comical and lots of fun to ride, these guys are incredible athletes and the hard work they put into winning the record cannot be overlooked or outweighed. It was great to have Mark join us once again for this challenge and we can’t wait to see what James, Chris and the other GCN presenters have lined up for more record-breaking achievements.”

Beaumont, Lowsley-Williams and Opie’s Penny Farthing World Hour record attempt is featured in today’s GCN Show. Subscribe here.

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