The Vuelta a España hits home soil for two stages in the Basque country, plus the Deutschland Tour prologue, and the one-day races Druivenkoers – Overijse and the Egmont Cycling Race with video. David Walsh wants to meet Lance Armstrong – TOP STORY. Rider news: Egan Bernal’s next races, extra training for Mathieu van der Poel and Roger De Vlaeminck crashes on his birthday. Team news: Lotto Soudal won’t let Campenaerts and De Lie go to the Worlds, INEOS left Laurens De Plus out of la Vuelta, Nico Denz signs with BORA-hansgrohe and Andrey Amador joins EF Education-EasyPost. Race news: Maryland Cycling Classic riders. Tim Merlier and Cameron Vandenbroucke are expecting a baby. Get the coffee!
TOP STORY: David Walsh Would Like to Meet Lance Armstrong Again Eighteen Years Later
David Walsh was one of the journalists who, 13 years before the fall of Lance Armstrong, said in the Sunday Times that the American was doping. In those years, the Irish journalist fought a bitter and hard battle with the seven-time Tour de France winner. Walsh would like to speak to Armstrong again, he said in an interview with Dagblad De Limburger.
“The last time I spoke to Armstrong was at that infamous Tour de France press conference in 2004,” Walsh said. “I would like to meet him again, but in private, without media. I have no more questions that are unanswered. We could both do our side of the story. I just don’t think he wants it.”
Walsh is convinced that it hurts Armstrong a lot that all his victories have drawn a line. “If you look up the results, there is only a line through his name. A line that says cheater. Many have messed things up during that period. But because of the villainous way in which he thought he could deal with people, he was punished much harder. Only his name is crossed out. It must be terrible for him.”
Although the average speed in the 2022 Tour de France is higher than in the Armstrong years, Walsh does not believe that the current top players use doping. “Although you never know for sure. I’ve been to the Tour, looked around and had a lot of conversations. A higher speed alone is insufficient proof. There are sufficient explanations for this. The riders at the top are kilos lighter and the pond with countries where people cycle has become much larger. I am not claiming that cycling is completely clean. I do say that it is possible to win the Tour cleanly. Something that was impossible in the EPO period.”
Journalist David Walsh on his crusade to expose Lance Armstrong, who he suspected of doping early in his career on CNN:
Vuelta a España 2022
As soon as la Vuelta hit the first Spanish climbs of the 2022 edition, Primoz Roglič rose to the occasion. The Slovenian dominated the uphill sprint at the end of Stage 4 in Laguardia, on Tuesday, to take his 10th stage win in the Spanish Grand Tour ahead of Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Enric Mas (Movistar). He is also the fourth rider from Jumbo-Visma to take ‘la Roja’ leader’s jersey in the 2022 Vuelta, after Robert Gesink, Mike Teunissen and Edoardo Affini.
On the day after the transfer from the Netherlands to the Basque country, 180 riders started from Vitoria-Gasteiz, facing a hilly 152.5km course towards the uphill finish in Laguardia. The return to Spain and the terrain inspired many attackers. After 5km, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) and Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Premier Tech) were the first riders to escape. Several chasers launched counter-attacks, until four more riders joined them: James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), Jarrad Drizners (Lotto Soudal) and Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
The gap was 2 minutes when BORA-hansgrohe and Jumbo-Visma started to drive the bunch, 15km into the stage. The attackers pushed their lead to a maximum of 3:15 at the top of the first climb of the day, the Cat.2 ascent of Puerto de Opakua (61.9km). Joan Bou was first over the top and took the lead in the KOM. With a very strong pace on a rolling terrain, riders struggle at the front of the race and in the bunch. Ander Okamika was dropped from the breakaway with 73km to go. Jarrad Drizners and Joan Bou suffered the same fate 20km further. The gap to the bunch was already down to under 1 minute. Alexey Lutsenko, James Shaw and Alessandro De Marchi were eventually reeled in 35km from the line. There was a battle for the front positions of the bunch ahead of the Cat.3 climb of the Puerto de Herrera (138km). With the red jersey on his shoulders, Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) pulled the bunch at a high speed towards the climb. He was dropped as they hit the first slopes.
Trek-Segafredo and Jumbo-Visma set the pace on the climb. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) attacked towards the summit and Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was quick to react and to take the 3 bonus seconds at the summit. Riders from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) tried to make the most of the descent towards Laguardia but it all came down to the final uphill kilometre, where Primoz Roglič sprinted to victory ahead of Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo). He also took his 37th red leader’s jersey in the Vuelta a España.
# You can see more the race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 4 Report’ HERE. #
Stage winner and overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “A dream scenario for the team. Today, things were in my favour. The team has my sincere gratitude for that. Everyone has worked hard. The stage win is the finest way to reward that. The Vuelta has only just begun, but I think it’s better to gain seconds now than to ignore them deliberately. I am thrilled with this victory. The entire day the pace was very high. In the final phase, I took my chance to fight for the stage win. Fortunately, I was successful. It’s nice that I have this jersey now, but the big goal remains to get on the highest podium step in Madrid. The atmosphere around the team is very positive. It started with the team time trial victory. We have had some great days. So far, everything is going crescendo. I have recovered completely (from the Tour crash). It doesn’t bother me anymore.”
7th on the stage and 3rd overall, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’m not really satisfied with 7th. Movistar was at the front but it was quite slow at the bottom. It got a bit messy and I lost momentum when Trek went for Mads [Pedersen]. I tried to catch up from there but it was hard to bridge the gap. [Primoz Roglič] has won a lot of stages here and it’s no surprise at all.”
6th on the stage, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “Yeah actually I felt super good today. I was happy to make the sprint, but I still can’t perfect the small sprint. I think I just need to take a bit more confidence and just commit to the line. Because sometimes I just get a bit caught back. But the boys were really good today. I think we were perfect; we were in a good position. We also managed the heat well with lots of water, and so I think we had a good day.”
KOM, Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi): “The idea was to go after the polka-dot jersey today, me and my teammates as well. It was hard to make the break but in the end I got an opportunity. It was a strong breakaway. I didn’t see myself winning against such riders but I felt great in the sprint and I was able to win. I’ve won several KOM standings. The goal will be to defend it for as long as possible, it would be nice to wear it for a few more stages. Let’s see how it goes. It’s the team’s objective, this jersey and also to win a stage. We’ll fight in as many breakaways as possible.”
Points leader, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I managed to get some points from the intermediate. The legs felt good so I’m quite happy with that. We limit our losses on days like this and go for it again when we can.”
10th on the stage, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “The first day in Spain was hot and fast. Jonas and Ryan set a solid pace to control the breakaway so we could fight for the bonus sprint for Sam. After that, we focused on the final uphill sprint. Unfortunately, Sergio was not at his best today, and normally such a finale would have suited him very well. On the finishing straight, I tried to help Wilco as much as possible and in the end we were both in the top 10.”
18th on the stage, Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Taking into account the training days before the Gran Salida in Utrecht, the past week was probably the most flattest in my career. The stages in the Netherlands contained a lot of technical sections through villages so this was quite a challenge for me. I’m happy to be back on hilly terrain, although it was a hard day today. The temperatures were considerably higher and the pace in the peloton was fast from the beginning as we were chasing a strong breakaway. In the end we were one of the only teams to survive with four riders in the final, which is promising for the next days.”
Vuelta a España Stage 4 Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 3:31:05
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar
4. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën
7. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 4:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 11:50:59
2. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 0:13
3. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:26
4. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:27
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:33
8. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:34
10. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:51.
Vuelta’22 stage 4:
Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) won Stage 5 of La Vuelta 22 after an impressive performance on the hills of the Basque Country. The Spaniard was a late addition to the massive breakaway that covered the stage at a furious pace. He eventually went solo on the final climb of the Alto del Vivero and took victory in Bilbao, emulating Igor Anton’s success on the same roads 11 years ago. This is Soler’s 2nd stage win in the Vuelta. Behind him; Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) took the overall lead, only 2 seconds ahead of Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious), 3rd on the stage. The Frenchman took the lead after stage 5 of the 2018 Vuelta and held it for four days.
La Vuelta’22 stayed in the Basque Country for stage 5, a hilly 187.2km challenge from Irun to Bilbao featuring five categorised climbs on iconic roads that have witnessed great moments of cycling. Such terrain inspired the attackers, so much that it took 80km of battles at almost 50kph for the break to get away!
After 74 kilometres, seventeen riders successfully made the break: Vadim Pronskiy (Astana Qazaqstan), Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-EasyPost), Rudy Molard & Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ), Julius Johansen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Alessandro De Marchi & Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech), Kamil Malecki (Lotto Soudal), Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar), Fausto Masnada (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange-Jayco), Nikias Arndt (DSM), Victor Langellotti (Burgos-BH), Roger Adria (Kern Pharma), Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic). As they face the first ascent of the day, the Cat.3 Puerto de Gontzagarigana (summit at 95.6kms), the gap was up to 2 minutes. Rudy Molard was the virtual leader at this point as he only trailed by 58 seconds on GC at the start of the day. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) attacked from the bunch and bridged the gap on the second ascent of the day, up the Balcon de Bizkaia (102.4km). At the summit, Langellotti was first over the top, as he was on the previous climb.
Langellotti also chased the points on the Alto de Morga (125.4km). Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma controled the bunch with a gap of around 5 minutes. Craddock attacked on the first ascent of the Cat.2 Alto del Vivero (144km). Langellotti bridged the gap at the summit and all but secured the polka-dot jersey at the end of the day. Ten more riders join them to battle it out for the stage win: Impey, Molard, Stewart, Pronskiy, Soler, Adria, Muhlberger, Masnada, Arndt and Wright. After the first time through Bilbao, Stewart attacked before the final climb of the Alto del Vivero (173km). He opened a gap of 40 seconds, but Soler caught him 1km from the summit. On the downhill, the Spaniard tried to hold off a group of five chasers: Wright, Molard, Pronskiy, Craddock and Langellotti. Five more chasers return in the final 5km: Muhlberger, Arndt, Adria, Impey and Masnada. But they finish 4 seconds behind Soler. Impey sprints to 2nd and Wright finishes 3rd, taking 4 bonus seconds, making him runner-up to Molard in the overall standings with a gap of 2 seconds.
# You can see more the race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 5 Report’ HERE. #
Stage winner, Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates): “There was a great battle to go on the break, initially I didn’t succeed. Matxin told me that on the uphill I would have the chance to get up to the leaders, I did it and in the final I went for the win, I’m very happy. On the last climb I tried a move and went all the way to the finish.”
Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ): “It’s a big day for me! I was thinking about it since yesterday. I was not so far on GC. I told my teammates it was possible to get the red jersey today and I did it, it feels so good. Jake [Stewart] was so strong today. He pulled for me but at the end he had his chance to attack. In the finale, I was waiting for him because I knew he could win the stage in the sprint. With Soler taking the victory, it was good for me, to get the leader’s jersey while he was taking the time bonus. I was in a perfect position and we have the red… It’s amazing! I just had to follow [Fred Wright]. He was very strong and I know he’s very fast in the sprint. When Nikias Arndt and Daryl Impey came from behind, it was better for me because they are fast. I was stressed until the end. It means a lot to me. Last year, I left the race with a serious accident. I didn’t know if I would be able to return to my best level. And a year later I lead a Grand Tour. I really struggled this winter, I couldn’t do any sport for several weeks. You always have to believe!”
3rd on the stage, 2nd overall and Best Young Rider, Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious): “In my mind, it was the stage win. I really wanted that stage win. That’s why I was staying in the front the whole day. I’m a bit disappointed, but at least I get to wear a nice jersey [the white]. A leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour is pretty special, so I’m happy I got that white jersey. I thought we could bring [Marc Soler] back, to be honest. Fair play to him, he was super strong. I was feeling good on the climb but not good enough to follow him. I thought maybe we could catch him on the descent. Unfortunately not. I know I’ve got a good sprint, and I led the sprint out for a long way! 3rd and the white jersey is not what I wanted, but I can be happy with it.”
KOM and 7th on the stage, Victor Langellotti (Burgos-BH): “I’m very happy, I can’t believe it. Two days ahead, I wasn’t supposed to ride La Vuelta. Today I was in the breakaway. I enjoyed all day long and it’s amazing. I’m very happy with this jersey. I was in a good breakaway and I saw the opportunity to get some points for the KOM standings. On the first climb, I get first, and again on the second, and on the third also… I just gave it all to take more and more points. That was the objective in the break so I’m very happy to have this jersey.”
8th on the stage, Vadim Pronskiy (Astana Qazaqstan): “Well, it took much time for the break to go away, I think 60 or 70 km, and the start of the race was quite hard. But in a moment I saw a group of 10 riders breaking away with a small gap and I decided to try to join them. It worked out and finally I caught that group and found myself in the breakaway of the day. The last climb was not that hard, just the one last km, so it wasn’t easy for me to get away. That’s why I followed other riders and later on, in the descent, there was not any space for me to attack. We didn’t catch Soler any more as there was no good collaboration in our group. It were more “pim pam” individual attacks. Congrats to Soler. In the end we arrived at the finish, I did my best in the sprint and finished 8th. I feel good and surely I am going to try again to try to get a good result.”
Vuelta a España Stage 5 Result:
1. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates in 4:15:23
2. Daryl Impey (SA) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:04
3. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain-Victorious
4. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco
6. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM
7. Victor Langellotti (Pol) Burgos-BH
8. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan
9. Gregor Mühlberger (Aust) Movistar
10. Roger Adrià (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 5:
1. Rudy Molard in Groupama-FDJ in 16:07:22
2. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:02
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM at 1:09
4. Lawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco at 2:27
5. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 4:09
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 4:22
7. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:35
8. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 4:36
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:42.
Vuelta’22 stage 5:
Deutschland Tour 2022
Filippo Ganna is the first leader of the 2022 Deutschland Tour. The INEOS Grenadiers time trial World champion won the 2.6 kilometre prologue in Weimer on Wednesday evening, beating Dutch time trial champion Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) by just under 2 seconds. Home rider Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) finished third.
Adam Yates started early and set a surprisingly fast time in Weimar. He clocked 3:02 at the finish, good for an average speed of 51.4 kph. Yates looked like he would have to give up his place in the hot seat to Olav Kooij, who shot out of the starting blocks and was by far the fastest at the intermediate point. However, the Jumbo-Visma sprinter took too much risk and fell hard on a right turn, which was the end of the story for Kooij.
Not much later, Yates did have to give up his place to a rider from Jumbo-Visma. Not to Lars Boven, who was a second slower than the climber of INEOS Grenadiers, but to Mick van Dijke. The young Dutchman clocked 3:01 and was just second faster than Yates. But Bauke Mollema was next. The Dutch time trial champion was the first rider to go under 3 minutes, with a time of 2:58 minutes and an average of 52.4 kph. Mollema took the hot seat, until it was the turn of World champion Filippo Ganna. The Italian was 1.8 seconds faster than Mollema. Yves Lampaert, the winner of the first Tour de France time trial, conceded 4 seconds on Ganna. This put the Belgian in a provisional fourth place, just behind Mick van Dijke. Only Nils Politt managed to go under the time of Van Dijke and Lampaert. Politt was third, Van Dijke fourth and Lampaert fourth.
Stage winner and overall leader, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “We are back after the Tour, with a nice stage today. It’s going to be a lot of climbing here. We have a good and young team, and we are happy with today. This prologue was very short for my big bike, but we got a nice result. Unfortunately we rode without a time trial bike. That’s a bit crazy, but I tried to do my best on a normal bike, and I succeeded.”
3rd on the stage and overall, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “Actually, I didn’t expect to be that close in the end. I am absolutely happy with the result. The race went by super fast and all the tiredness kicks in after the line. There have been two small waves where you had to push a lot. The last part was slightly downhill; therefore the line was basically already with 600m to go. I am well placed now and that’s a really good starting point for the stages to come.”
Deutschland Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 2:56
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
3. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
4. Mick van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Ben Healy (Irl) EF Education-EasyPost
7. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:06
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
10. Kim Heiduk (Ger) INEOS Grenadiers.
Deutschland Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 2:56
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
3. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
4. Mick van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Ben Healy (Irl) EF Education-EasyPost
7. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:06
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
10. Kim Heiduk (Ger) INEOS Grenadiers.
Deutschland Tour’22 stage 1:
Druivenkoers – Overijse 2022
The 62nd edition of the Druivenkoers was won by the Frenchman Matis Louvel. The 23-year-old Arkea-Samsic rider made his move on the Moskesstraat in Overijse. Just like in the Egmont Cycling Race, Arnaud Démare was in second place, Dries Van Gestel was third.
There were a lot of top riders at the start, Mathieu van der Poel, Biniam Girmay, Jasper Philipsen and Victor Campenaerts and a route based on last year’s World championships with three times over the Smeysberg and Moskesstraat.
The battle for the early break of the day didn’t last very long. After less than 10 minutes of racing, Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Robin Carpenter (Human Powered Health), Kamiel Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies) and Bram Dissel (BEAT Cycling) had escaped. This was the signal for the Alpecin-Deceuninck for Philipsen and Van der Poel to take control of the peloton. At about 55 kilometres from the finish, disaster struck some of the favourites. Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen, the two spearheads of Alpecin-Deceuninck, were suddenly both sidelined. The Dutchman with a flat tyre, and the winner on the Champs-Elysées with mechanical problems. The two quickly returned to the peloton. For Victor Campenaerts the situation was even worse: the man in form crashed. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech) tried on the Moskesstraat, but they didn’t get anywhere. The five escapees continued to hold a minimal lead, only to be caught just before the start of the final lap.
In that last loop, Dries Van Gestel (TotalEnergies) did not wait for the most difficult climbs and chose the Bekestraat. Sprinter Arnaud Démare and teammate Bram Welten (Groupama-FDJ), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Matis Louvel (Arkea-Samsic) quickly followed, leaving teams such as Lotto Soudal, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert under pressure. Girmay tried to set up a chase, but at the Smeysberg the lead was already almost half a minute. Louvel took his chance again on the cobbled Moskesstraat. At the top, his gap on Van Gestel and Démare was still limited, but in the following kilometres the 23-year-old Frenchman expanded that into a reassuring lead. After the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, it is only his second professional victory.
Race winner, Matis Louvel (Arkéa Samsic): “I’ve already had a good season this year with some nice places of honour in the classics at the start of this season. Then followed the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris Nice and I rode my first Tour. So I knew I had the capacity to win a race like this and I’m glad I did today. In the final I had good legs, but I had to anticipate to avoid the sprint. I feared that I wouldn’t stand a chance against Démare, so I tried it on the Moskesstraat. In the future I would like to do even better in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, yes. Cobblestones are really my thing, but you also have to have a bit of luck in such races”
Druivenkoers – Overijse Result:
1. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkéa Samsic in 4:24:38
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:08
3. Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:13
5. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:14
6. Sandy Dujardin (Fra) TotalEnergies
7. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
10. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Uno-X.
Egmont Cycling Race 2022
Two days after winning Schaal Sels, Lotto Soudal rider Arnaud De Lie has again shown his fast legs, this time in Zottegem. The 20-year-old Belgian sprinted to an impressive victory at the Egmont Cycling Race, which was decided in a bunch sprint after an exciting race on cobbles and short climbs. After an excellent lead-out by Jasper De Buyst, De Lie beat Frenchman Arnaud Démare to the line, taking his ninth victory of the season. Teammate Jasper De Buyst made the Lotto Soudal party complete and finished third.
“In the final local lap, I really was on my limit but when I saw the finish line in the last 200 meters, I gave it my all and that eventually was enough for my ninth win of the season. We wanted to make it a tough race with the team, that is why Florian and Victor attacked, amongst others. For us, it didn’t need to end in a bunch sprint at all cost, but eventually the race situation made it so that it was up to me to finish it off. A first and third place is a nice prove that our tactic worked today”, said Arnaud De Lie.
The course of the Egmont Cycling Race, a 1.1 UCI race, made it with several cobbles and short climbs possible to have an attractive race, and so it happened.
“In the final lap, there were lots of attacks which didn’t make it easier. Also the finish was slightly uphill but Jasper did the perfect job in guiding me into the final 200 meters. I had to dig deep to get this victory but I am really happy to finish it off.”
With his second win in three days, Arnaud De Lie starts the final part of his season really successful. “I just try to win every race where I start: for myself and for the team. At my own request, I won’t go to the U23 World Championships in Australia. With nine pro victories, I don’t have my place in that category anymore. I prefer racing in Belgium and France, where my parents and fans can come and cheer me on.”
Jasper De Buyst rode an almost home race at the Egmont Cycling Race – which he won in 2017 – and finished third after an impressive lead-out. “With a first and third spot, it’s a perfect day for Lotto Soudal. We had a clear plan to make the race hard and protect Arnaud towards a possible final sprint. We executed that plan to perfection end didn’t need to carry the weight of the race. Just before the final cobbled section, a small group rode away but with a tough final kilometre, there never was any panic. We remained calm and finished it off in a beautiful way. My recent places of honour in Circuit Franco-Belge, Tour of Leuven and today make me happy of course. Especially this podium place in my own region gives me a good feeling after a lot of bad luck the past few months.”
Egmont Cycling Race Result:
1. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:32:45
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama – FDJ
3. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
6. Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Bram Welten (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
9. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
10. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis.
Tour of Lombardy First WorldTour Race for Egan Bernal
Egan Bernal returned to the peloton last week after being seriously injured in a training accident in early January. In the PostNord Danmark Rundt he tested his legs in competition for the first time. It looks like the Colombian will be back in action more often in the coming weeks. The Tour of Lombardy is also on his program.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Deutschland Tour is the INEOS Grenadiers GC rider’s next race. It will be his first participation in the race, which started on Wednesday in Weimar and ends in Stuttgart on Sunday. He then has three Italian races with the Giro della Toscana (September 14), where he finished second in 2019, the Coppa Sabatini (September 15) and the Memorial Marco Pantani (September 17).
Next up is the CRO Race. The Croatian stage race starts on September 27 and lasts six days. The Tour of Lombardy (October 8) should be the first WorldTour race for the Colombian since his return to the peloton. He has good memories of the ‘Course of the falling leaves’, where he appears at the start for the fourth time. He was thirteenth in his debut in 2017, twelfth in 2018 and third in 2019.
Egan Bernal to ride Lombardia:
Mathieu van der Poel Trains 65 Kilometres After Racing in the Druivenkoers
For Mathieu van der Poel, the Druivenkoers was not enough. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider, who made his comeback to competition in Overijse, finished the race in 35th place and decided to train for another 65 kilometres after the finish.
Van der Poel didn’t ride the Flemish one-day race for the victory. He had a puncture about 55 kilometres from the finish. MvdP managed to return to the main peloton, but then decided to work to teammate Jasper Philipsen. He eventually sprinted to fourth place, 13 seconds behind the winner Matis Louvel of Arkéa-Samsic. Van der Poel finished 50 seconds behind the French winner.
“I also want to know where I stand. I mainly spent a lot of time in the gym and for the rest I tried to do something about my base for two weeks. But not very intensively yet. I’m trying to get that right now with the races,” said Van der Poel.
More training for Van der Poel:
Roger De Vlaeminck Breaks Three Ribs and Collarbone On His Birthday
Roger De Vlaeminck turns 75 today, but Le Gitan probably imagined his birthday differently. Yesterday, the four-time winner of Paris-Roubaix broke three ribs and his collarbone. The result of a collision while cycling with his family.
De Vlaeminck collided with an other group of cyclists on a canal path, but managed to keep upright, he told Het Nieuwsblad. “I almost never fell in my career. Not this time either. But I was only a hundred metres further and I immediately felt that it was completely wrong: very sore.”
In the hospital, De Vlaeminck was told that he had broken three ribs. “Now I’m completely wrapped up here. Everything looks blue and hurts. Especially my ribs. I can hardly breathe properly and I can’t laugh either. It could also have ended much worse. I am still alive. And at my age you don’t have big plans for your birthday anymore.” The ‘Gypsy’ added: “I’ve never broken anything in my entire career and now I’ve broken three bones in one go!” During the 17 years of his career, not the shadow of a fracture for the Belgian.
“I saw the group coming from afar and I positioned myself on the right side of the track,” the quadruple winner of the Hell of the North described the accident. But the crash was inevitable. The former champion, who turned 75 on Wednesday, August 24, was hospitalised and will wear a splint “for several weeks”.
Four time Paris-Roubaix winner – Roger De Vlaeminck:
Lotto Soudal Doesn’t let Campenaerts and De Lie Go to the World Championships
Victor Campenaerts and Arnaud De Lie will not be seen at the World Championships in Wollongong. Lotto Soudal will not let both riders travel to Australia, because they have to score points elsewhere in the battle against relegation, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. Caleb Ewan is allowed to contest the World champs in his own country.
Campenaerts had a chance to be selected for the road race on September 25, De Lie could have a full team around him in the U23 race on September 23, but that’s not going to happen. Lotto Soudal needs the two riders in races such as the Gooikse Pijl (18 September), the Grand Prix d’Isbergues (18 September) and the Omloop van het Houtland (21 September). Traveling to Australia would prevent participation in those races. John Lelangue has explicitly asked national coach Sven Vanthourenhout not to select Lotto Soudal riders. That does not mean that no riders of the Belgian team will participate in Wollongong. If the Germans Rudiger Selig and Michael Schwarzmann are selected, they are allowed to go. They are not in the top ten at Lotto Soudal in terms of number of points in 2022, and cannot directly boost the team’s points total.
Caleb Ewan is in that top ten, fourth in the team, but still gets the chance to compete for the World title in his own country. Lotto Soudal hopes that Ewan will take points at the World championships. The winner of the road race in Wollongong earns 600 points. De Lie could only achieve 200 points if he took the U23 title for Belgium.
Lotto Soudal is currently nineteenth in the UCI ranking over three years with 13352 points. Movistar, which is eighteenth and has the last safe place (at the moment), has a lead of 640 points on the Belgian team.
Campenaerts not going to Wollongong:
INEOS Left Laurens De Plus Out of la Vuelta
Laurens De Plus appeared to be getting ready for the Vuelta a España, but in the end he was dropped from the selection by his INEOS Grenadiers team. On the side of experienced men such as Richard Carapaz, the team had no fewer than four riders in their early twenties ride their first Grand Tour.
Team manager Rod Ellingworth explained in conversation with Het Nieuwsblad why the team did not take the 26-year-old Belgian climber to the Vuelta, which started last Friday in Utrecht. “Laurens is good, but not yet at the top level. He was disappointed when he heard about it, but he took it well.”
The squad had Ethan Hayter, Luke Plapp, Carlos Rodríguez and Ben Turner debut in a Grand Tour. “It’s not that we chose Luke Plapp based on the team time trial. Laurens is very all-round and certainly had his value in that. We do want to give young riders a taste of a Grand Tour. So now we’re taking Luke, Carlos Rodríguez and Ben Turner.”
Ellingworth regretted that he had to disappoint De Plus, who still has an ongoing contract. “But he will get a nice program this fall in which he can show himself.” Before the INEOS Grenadiers squad was announced, De Plus had fallen hard during a training round. The rider was hit from behind, crashed to the ground and sustained injuries to his arm and leg. Last year he was sidelined for months due to physical problems.
Laurens De Plus:
Nico Denz Signs with BORA – hansgrohe
With this change, Denz aims to fulfil the dream of being there for a Grand Tour victory.
“I have to say, as a German rider it’s special to be part of the biggest German team. I had been looking at BORA – hansgrohe for a while, if you can put it that way, but until now the right moment just hadn’t come along. But now it has, and I’m very happy about that. I know a lot of the guys and I think that also makes the change that extra bit smoother. I think it’s also clear that I wasn’t signed to be a leader. However, I am sure that I can strengthen the team with my skills and experience. I think I’m very versatile, and as a rider I’m not above performing any tasks on the road for the team. An absolute dream of mine would be to win a Grand Tour together with the team in the coming years.” – Nico Denz.
“Nico has now already proven over many years in the peloton that he is an extremely reliable rider. At the Tour de Suisse, he once again showed that he can also win. We signed him due to his reliability, but with any helper in the team, it’s certainly no disadvantage if you know that he also has what it takes to win. A mix of experience and versatility makes Nico a rider who can bring extra depth to any squad. We think he’s a very good reinforcement and we know that we’ll be able to use him anywhere, from Flanders to a Grand Tour.” – Rolf Aldag, Sports Director.
Nico Denz to BORA-hansgrohe:
Andrey Amador Joins EF Education-EasyPost in 2023
EF Education-EasyPost are delighted to have signed Andrey Amador to the team. The Costa Rican, who has worn the Giro d’Italia’s coveted maglia rosa, adds experience to the roster.
Next year will mark Andrey’s 14th season racing at the WorldTour level and in that time, he has experienced the peaks and valleys of our sport, giving him a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on.
“I define myself as a rider who can give support in the best and worst moments,” Andrey says. ”If I have something, then I give it all and I give my best for the team. I sacrifice myself. Not only that, but I will aim for everything that I can reach.”
Over his career, Andrey has reached for plenty and his results show it, ranging from his 2008 win at the Tour de l’Avenir to wearing the leader’s jersey at his favourite race, the Giro d’Italia.
“The Giro is a big thing for me and I love it. I fought for a podium spot in 2015 and one year later I finally could wear the maglia rosa. That same day my parents came to Europe to watch the race. They took a rental car, and we were all together, my parents and girlfriend, so this was a wonderful moment. It deeply touched me and seeing myself battling for a podium spot and getting the jersey was a thing of beauty.”
Having known several EF Education-EasyPost riders over the years, he knew this was the right team for him.
“I’ve always been in touch with the riders, and I’m always hearing such good things about the team. Also, I loved watching Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes riding La Ruta de los Conquistadores. I just see this as a big team with so many countries represented,” Andrey says.
Team CEO, Jonathan Vaughters, says Andrey fills a valuable role within the roster. “Amador is an anchor rider, meaning he anchors the team in terms of getting the hard work done. He is incredibly experienced. He has been top-ten in multiple grand tours. He is a very capable rider with a big engine in this part of his career. So what he is bringing to us is experience. He has still got this big engine, but he is an experienced helper that for such a young and constantly evolving team that is really repositioning itself in a big way for 2023, he brings stability and experience and the ability to teach a group of younger riders, when we have a very large group of Spanish-speaking young riders for next year that are going to need mentorship. He is a mentor.”
Given that Andrey credits two Costa Rican former cyclists with giving him the inspiration and support to pursue his goal of turning professional himself, he views the opportunity to mentor his new teammates a grand responsibility and an honour.
At 35-years-old, Andrey is as motivated as ever to continue racing.
“I want to come back to my real level, and I’m very confident I will do that. I am ready to help the team, to give my best for my teammate or our leader and give the team what they need in the best possible way. I want to be a rider who they can rely on.”
When Andrey needs to unwind, he grabs his fishing pole and heads to the coast.
“The sea, fishing. I love it. Going to the sea and feeling the sand on my feet, this just makes me feel good. And when the season finishes, I like to go there and the time just flies away. I can easily be there for six or seven hours. But if I’m honest with you, my bike is my everything. I’m not the type of rider who says, ‘I’m going to disconnect for a month’ and then doesn’t touch his bike. Never! It’s my life. Not only my occupation, but also my life.”
Today, Andrey still finds the same joy in riding that he first discovered as a kid in Costa Rica when he and his brother joined their local bike shop for mountain bike rides.
“Riding my bike. It’s my life, my passion.”
And we love to see it. Welcome to the team, Andrey!
Andrey Amador to EF:
Maryland Cycling Classic Announces Preliminary Riders Featuring Tour de France Stage Winners and Rising American Stars
Michael Matthews, Dylan Groenewegen, Neilson Powless, Quinn Simmons and U.S. National Champion Kyle Murphy Among Top Riders Planned to Race Labor Day Weekend
Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s dynamic duo of sprinters Michael Matthews of Australia and Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands, both stage winners at this year’s Tour de France, and young American stars Neilson Powless of team EF Education-EasyPost and Quinn Simmons of team Trek-Segafredo, as well as current U.S. National Champion Kyle Murphy of team Human Powered Health, headline the initial list of riders slated to race at the upcoming Maryland Cycling Classic supported by UnitedHealthcare, on September 4, 2022.
The Maryland Cycling Classic is the top-ranked one-day professional cycling race in America and will feature 16 teams of seven cyclists per team. Each team is registered and licensed under a country name but may have athletes representing various nations. The Maryland Cycling Classic is set to host athletes from over 20 countries, including Tour de France winners, Olympians and current and former National Champions. The composition of teams and riders will include a unique blend of World Tour (top level), Pro Tour and Continental teams from nine countries, highlighted by clubs from four continents (North and South America, Africa, and Europe).
For the past several years, Matthews has been one of the most consistent one-day Classics riders on the world circuit, while Groenewegen has proven to be one of the fastest sprinters.
“I am excited to be racing again in America, it has been a while since I have raced there,” said Matthews, who finished 2nd overall at the 2015 World Championships, which were in Richmond, Va. “My last race in the United States was at the World Championship, and I am looking forward to meeting our American fans again. We have a strong team going there, and looking at the course, it seems to be set up for different type of racing. We’ll have to see how the race will evolve. It’s going to be exciting, and I can’t wait for this race to begin!”
California-native Powless was America’s top overall finisher in this year’s Tour de France, in 13th. He was also America’s top finisher at last year’s World Championships, finishing in 5th. Simmons lit the Tour de France on fire on several stages this year, and, at age 21 proved he’s entering a prime-time position for his American-based team.
“I’ve never been to Baltimore, so it’ll be a new experience for me,” said Powless, the first native American Indian to race in the Tour de France. “I really like the east coast and excited to see what it has to offer. It’s really special that we can race in America this year. I didn’t get to race nationals because of the timing with the Tour de France, so, I’m really excited to race in America for my first time in 2022. I’m happy that it’s in a new place. I’m looking forward to the inaugural edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic and I think we have a really strong team. Hopefully we can put on a good show for the fans in America.”
Several additional American stars will be on display, highlighted by Human Powered Health’s Robin Carpenter, a Philadelphia, Pa.-native who has stage wins at USA Pro Challenge, Tour of Utah, and Tour of Britain and was overall champion in the 2016 Tour of Alberta (Canada) and Colin Joyce of the U.S., who has career stage wins at Tour of Alberta, Tour of Denmark and Tour of Norway; as well as former road national champion-turned-Gravel Racing-star Alex Howes of EF Education-EasyPost. Howes has won stages at the USA Pro Challenge and Tour of Alberta and is an American fan favourite.
Among the international notables: Israel-Premier Tech’s sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy, a stage winner at last year’s Giro d’Italia and Sep Vanmarcke of Belgium, one of the top one-day Classics riders on the world circuit for the past decade, whose last win in North America was eight years ago at the Tour of Alberta; Trek-Segafredo’s Tony Gallopin of France, who has won stages at both the Tour de France and Tour of Spain, and Latvia’s Toms Skujins, who won three stages of the Tour of California and always races well in America; Human Powered Health’s sprinter Arvid de Kleijn of the Netherlands and current Canadian National Champion Pier-André Côté; 2022 Tour of Colombia champion Fabio Duarte of Colombia and the ageless Oscar Sevilla, 45, of Spain, a top 10 finisher in all three Grand Tours (France, Italy, and Spain); Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s Damien Howson of Australia, a former U23 World Champion in the Time Trial and 4th place finisher in the 2018 Colorado Classic; former Canadian National Champion Matteo Dal-Cin of the Toronto Hustle; and young Dutch sprinter Marijn Van Den Berg of EF Education-EasyPost, a two-time stage winner at France’s Tour de l’Avenir in 2021.
Among the other notable Americans: USA National Team members Scott McGill of Fallston, Maryland, who won two stages recently at the Tour of Portugal and Tyler Stites of Arizona, who was second at the U.S. National Championships and winner of the Redlands Bicycle Classic earlier this spring; Sean Quinn of California and team EF Education-EasyPost; California’s Tyler Williams and Ty Magner of Georgia, a former Tour of Utah stage winner of L39ION of Los Angeles; and ’21 U23 National Champion in the time trial, Michael Garrison, of team Hagens Berman Axeon .
For updated information or to volunteer, please visit www.marylandcyclingclassic.us.
Tim Merlier and Cameron Vandenbroucke are Expecting a Baby
The Alpecin-Deceuninck sprinter, Tim Merlier will be a father. His girlfriend Cameron Vandenbroucke, the daughter of the late Frank Vandenbroucke, announced on Instagram that she is pregnant. She is due in February. “Our best secret. See you in February,” Vandenbroucke wrote with a photo of herself and Merlier, on which she shows a photo of a scan.
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