The Vuelta a España starts its final week. All results and video from la Vuelta, Tour of Britain, Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta and Sunday’s Maryland Cycling Classic. Primoz Roglič crashes out of la Vuelta – TOP STORY. New sponsor for Qhubeka? Rider news: Robbe Ghys going to Alpecin-Deceuninck, William Junior Lecerf to join the Soudal – Quick-Step devo team and Lilian Calmejane joins Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Team news: Québec and Montréal Classics riders, Maximilian Schachmann ends season with fatigue, Cameron Meyer to retire, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Balen BC to join forces. Plus Rwandan rider Samuel Mugisha goes missing. Get the coffee!
TOP STORY: Primoz Roglič Couldn’t Start Vuelta Stage 17
A bitter pill for Jumbo-Visma: Primož Roglič wasn’t at the start of the seventeenth stage of the Vuelta a España on Wednesday. Second overall, Roglič, crashed hard in the final straight of the sixteenth stage on Tuesday.
Everything was going well for the Slovenian GC rider on the road to Tomares. He made an attack in the last three kilometres, which could only be followed by four other riders. As the sprint started, Roglič looked like he touched the rear wheel of Bahrain’s Fred Wright and crashed hard. The three time Vuelta winner reached the finish line covered and looking quite shocked.
Jumbo-Visma couldn’t say much about Roglič’s injuries in the hours after the crash. “He is battered,” sports director Addy Engels said after the finish. “That is clear, but it is now important to clean all wounds. Then we can see how bad it is now.” However, Roglič appears to be too battered to continue in the 2022 Vuelta.
With the withdrawal of the three-time Vuelta winner, Remco Evenpoel has lost his main adversary. The Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl rider leads the overall after seventeen stages and is 2:01 ahead of Enric Mas, who is now his biggest challenger for the overall victory. Nineteen year-old Juan Ayuso now moves up to third place, at 4:49 on Wednesday morning.
Remco Evenepoel remains calm and still doesn’t look too far ahead. “It may be a different race, but Primož’s withdrawal will not change our tactics and mentality,” he told Sporza before the start of the seventeenth stage. “We have to keep the focus. The Vuelta will only end in Madrid on Sunday. Every day is a new day. It may be a different battle, but it is especially unfortunate for the race, Jumbo-Visma and Primož. I don’t believe the way is open now. We have to stay focused for four more stages and fight for our main goal.”
Vuelta a España 2022
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) won Stage 16 in a five-man sprint after Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) attacked in the streets of Tomares. The Slovenian 3 time winner of la Vuelta opened a gap while Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) suffered a puncture inside the last 3km… but Roglič crashed with 75m to go. Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) and Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe) rounded out the podium of the day with a gap of 8 seconds to the first part of the bunch. Evenepoel retained the red jersey for the 11th stage in a row, the longest run since Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) took his first GC win in 2019.
The final week of the Vueltabegins with a 189.4km from Sanlucar de Barrameda to Tomares. The course was mostly flat but the finish could prove tricky for the sprinters. The stage started with 142 riders, without Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) and Maxim van Gils (Lotto Soudal).
Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH) and Luis Angel Maté (Euskaltel-Euskadi) attacked from the start to quickly make the break. This is Okamika’s fourth day at the front in la Vuelta’22 while Maté is there to deliver on the promise he made ahead of the race to plant one tree in La Sierra Bermeja for every kilometre he spends in breaks. Mads Pedersen’s Trek-Segafredo and Bryan Coquard’s Cofidis took the reins of the bunch to control the gap to under 4 minutes. Into the last 50km, the gap was down to 2 minutes. The duo were eventually caught with 13km to go, after 176km at the front.
Primoz Roglič ignited a crazy finalé with an attack with 2.5km to go. At the same point, Remco Evenepoel suffered a puncture. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe) and Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) followed Roglič’s move. The Danish star powered to victory while Roglič touched Wright’s wheel in the sprint and hit the deck. Evenepoel crosses the line with a gap of 3:10. Since his mechanical happened inside the last 3km, he is classified with the same time as Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), who led the first bunch through the line with a gap of 8 seconds.
# You can see more race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 16 Report’ HERE. #
Stage winner, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “I promised Kirsch the win today. He missed the birth of his daughter yesterday and the whole team worked really hard to give him a second present in a few days, so I had to deliver for Alex. But it was a really tough final. When Primoz went it was really tough to close [the gap]. In the end it was a perfect finale with this little downhill, if we didn’t have it, it definitely would have been harder to win. I am super happy – this win is for Alex and his wife and new baby. I didn’t like this finale at all – it was way too long and hard! Primoz made a good attack and got a good gap. Ackermann was straight on his wheel, he played it well, and I really had to dig deep to close it. I was really on the limit when I came back on their wheels. Pascal wanted me in front of him and on Primoz’s wheel, and luckily we had a slight downhill where I could recover a bit. Primoz went all out to gain some seconds which was lucky for me that he wanted to go that hard all the way to the finish, so I could basically start my sprint with 220 meters to go, I think, just after the roundabout. It’s a pity that Roglič crashed. There were so many spectators making noise that I didn’t hear the crash; I was only focused on sprinting, and I only found out afterward. He hasn’t been lucky this year and I hope it is not too bad so that he can keep fighting for the victory of the Vuelta. It’s a pity stuff like this happens, I don’t know what happened, it was close to the finish line, and I feel really sorry for him.”
Overall leader and Best Young Rider, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I knew I had a puncture because I realised I couldn’t ride my bike properly. I had no idea how far from the finish we were, but they told me in the radio that I was inside the last three kilometres, so there was no reason to panic. It’s a pity, because I wanted to go for the stage win, but at the end of the day I can be content with things.”
2nd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates): “Roglic attacked by surprise with excellent timing and I tried to follow him. I was hoping that only the two of us could go to the finish line, but three other guys joined. My energies were almost exhausted and Pedersen proved superior, I congratulate him. I gave everything to try to win, it wasn’t enough: now there is only the stage in Madrid left to try to win, I will try to be ready.”
3rd on the stage, Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe): “At the beginning, the stage was quite easy, but the finale was anything but, with the steep climb at the end. Roglič went, I was on the wheel of Pedersen and I wanted to close the gap. But I went over the limit in order to bridge over to Roglič. The pace was so high that I wasn’t able to properly recover. I had to go really deep. I can do short powerful climbs fairly well, but it took up a lot of energy, and in the end, I was really à bloc, especially with the heat.”
4th on the stage, Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious): “I don’t know exactly what happened, I think it was a racing incident. I went around Primož as he lost ground. This was of course not on purpose. I hope he’s OK. I was still looking at the footage from the final a few years ago and I thought the sprinters teams would control the pace. But when Primož wants to try something, he is almost unstoppable. It was really impressive. When I was there, I thought: I made it. However, the last kilometre took an eternity and Primož was very strong even on the flat. I was then a bit blocked by Roglič in the sprint, but I couldn’t have won the sprint. I didn’t have the legs to beat Pedersen anyway. Fourth again… It is certainly not bad.”
DS Addy Engels (Jumbo-Visma): “We had the plan to try something today. We didn’t just want to go for the stage today, but the goal was also to get back in the standings. It all worked out well: Primož rode in front with a small group. We don’t even know what happened next. We had television in the team car, but we missed the crash. At first we thought he had just finished in the first group, but then we heard that he had fallen in the last straight. A good plan then falls apart in the last hundreds of meters.” According to the first reports, Roglič has no fractures from his crash, but was badly injured. Engels: “First we have to find out what the exact injuries are. He is battered, that is clear, but now it is important to clean all wounds. Then we can see how bad it is now.”
Vuelta a España Stage 16 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 4:45:29
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
3. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain-Victorious
5. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:08
6. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan
7. Cedric Beullens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
9. Jesús Ezquerra (Spa) Burgos-BH
10. Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 16:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 61:26:26
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:26
3. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:01
4. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 4:49
5. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:16
6. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:24
7. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 7:00
8. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 7:05
9. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 8:57
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 11:36.
Vuelta’22 stage 16:
An eventful finalé of Stage 17 of la Vuelta saw Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost) take the win at Monasterio de Tentudia, ahead of his breakaway companions Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis). The Colombian star completed his treble of Grand Tour stage wins, after previous successes in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. On the uphill finish, Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) was the best of the GC contenders, 9 seconds ahead of Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), who retained the red jersey on a day that began with the withdrawal of Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).
The peloton of la Vuelta faced a new uphill challenges at the end of stage 17 on the summit finish at the Monasterio de Tentudia. The roads went up and down all day, adding up to 2,500m of climbing. 139 riders started from Aracena, without the 3-time defending winner Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), following his crash in Tomares. Filippo Conca (Lotto Soudal) and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) also didn’t start the stage.
Attacks came from the start but a group of 13 only manage to get away after 48.8km. Clément Champoussin, Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroën), Gino Mäder, Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost), Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech), Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange-Jayco), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Elie Gesbert and Simon Guglielmi (Arkea-Samsic) make the break of the day. After such a hard battle for the break, the pace dropped in the bunch. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl controlled the peloton and the gap rose to 7:20 as the attackers entered the last 60km of the stage.
Fred Wright was first through the intermediate sprint in Segura de Leon (133.2km), meaning that Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) will have to wait at least for one more stage to virtually secure the green jersey. The peloton trailed by 6:55. Craddock opened up the battle for the stage win with 19km to go. After a series of attacks and counter-attacks, he faced the final ascent (10.3km at 5% with very irregular slopes) with a lead of 10 seconds. The American had a gap of 25 seconds on his chasers and held on until the last kilometre. As he was caught, Champoussin attacked and Herrada countered, but Urán eventually surges to victory in an eventful finalé. In the GC group, Enric Mas (Movistar) attacked with 3km to go but Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) controlled his Spanish rival. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) eventually managed to open a gap of 9 seconds to Remco Evenepoel, who kept the overall lead for a 12th stage in a row.
# You can see more race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 17 Report’ HERE. #
Stage winner and 9th overall, Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost): “It’s beautiful to win in the Vuelta. I’ve been looking for this for several years because I’d already won at the Tour and the Giro. So as a three-week rider, to win here is very special. It’s not just this year that I was looking for this win, I’ve been looking for it for years, so I’m very happy and I want to thank the team and my family. This win shows that we always have to believe and fight, even if sometimes the results seem far off. The important thing is to get up every day and ride with a good attitude, with happiness and with hope.”
Overall leader and Best Young Rider, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I expected Mas to attack, I knew he would want to see how I reacted, but I felt good, despite not being the easiest of finishes, with some steep gradients in the final part, all this after another fast and nervous stage. The team was very good again today, they set the tempo and protected me until the climb, where Dries brought me in a good position, and all I had to do there was follow the moves. I’m satisfied with how things went, but we have a couple of more difficult days left here and we must keep the same focus.”
2nd overall, Enric Mas (Movistar): “We knew this climb would suit Evenepoel, but I had to try it to see how he would react. Also because I have a nice gap on the riders behind me in the standings. But this wasn’t really the terrain to make a difference. I don’t know what the plan is for tomorrow, but if I have good legs I’ll try again anyway. Together with Saturday’s stage, it is the most important stage to take back some time. We’re going to keep trying and then we’ll see what happens. We have to stay alert and focused, because anything can happen. We saw that yesterday with Primoz Roglic. It is not good for cycling that he fell. He’s a great rider and it’s shit that he’s not here anymore.”
6th on the stage, Clément Champoussin (AG2R Citroën): “It’s a good stage. I made a lot of effort at the start of the race to get into the breakaway. When we finally got free, I felt that I had already spent a lot of bullets. I managed to recover a bit but on the last climb I missed some freshness. I tried to anticipate with an attack a kilometre from the finish. I was hoping they would look at each other but they all reacted quickly. I have no regrets; they were better than me. I feel that the form is there, I’ve been circling a victory since the start of this Vuelta because I have been in several breakaways. There are still great opportunities.”
8th on the stage, Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroën): “This is the first day that I’ve gotten into a breakaway during this Vuelta. I felt good but I didn’t have the legs to follow the best on the last climb. When the start of the stage is flat, it is difficult to know how you’ll feel in the end. Clément (Champoussin) was better than me but we were both beaten by stronger riders. It’s a little frustrating when you spend the whole day up front and there’s no victory at the end, but that’s the sport. In any case, I am happy to have found some good form.”
Vuelta a España Stage 17 Result:
1. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost in 3:42:28
2. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama – FDJ
3. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:02
4. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:15
5. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 0:26
6. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:29
7. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:46
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën at 0:55
9. Élie Gesbert (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 1:09
10. Lawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:30.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 17:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 65:14:05
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:01
3. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 4:51
4. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:20
5. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:33
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 6:51
7. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 7:46
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 9:11
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 9:33
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 11:40.
Vuelta’22 stage 17:
Tour of Britain 2022
Cees Bol claimed his first victory since March 2021 in dramatic style as he pipped Briton Jake Stewart to win Stage 2 of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain in Duns on Monday.
The DSM rider timed both his sprint and bike throw to the line to perfection to claim his first victory in the race, denying Stewart the same achievement in the process by just one-thousandth of a second. Corbin Strong (Israel-Premier Tech) finished third to extend his overall lead and hold the AJ Bell leader’s jersey for another day. The Kiwi rider now has 8 seconds on Stewart, with Omar Fraile (INEOS Grenadiers) on the same time, and also holds the Points jersey with an 8 point advantage.
The race had sparked into action as the peloton took on a trio of late ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the Lammermuir Hills above Duns, with the final riders from the day’s breakaway – Sportsbreaks.com Sprints leader Matt Teggart (Wiv SunGod) and overnight ŠKODA King of the Mountains leader Stephan Bassett (Human Powered Health) – caught just after the summit of Wanside Rigg. INEOS Grenadiers then controlled the race on the narrow roads across the open moorland onto the second climb, with Jacob Scott (Wiv SunGod) jumping away near the top of the second climb of Mainslaughter Law to secure enough points to move into the ŠKODA King of the Mountains jersey that he has won in the past two editions of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain. Scott’s advantage as short lived as Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizanè) went clear on the descent, building a 30-second lead. The Italian was caught approaching the top of the final climb of Hardens Hill, with German champion Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) driving over the top and briefly going clear before Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech) countered.
The Belgian looked to have done enough on the fast descent into Duns but was caught first by Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers), and then as the pair hesitated, a DSM led peloton. DSM put Bol into a good position coming into Duns but as the road gradually rose past the Jim Clark Museum it looked like an inspired late charge from the Great Britain team was going to deliver Stewart to victory, only for the Coventry rider to be denied by the narrowest of margins. For Stewart the result marks a best performance in his home Tour, coming a day after finishing just outside the top ten at Glenshsee. Wiv SunGod hold both the Sportsbreaks.com Sprints and ŠKODA King of the Mountains jerseys with Matt Teggart and Jacob Scott respectively, while fellow British team Saint Piran made a first visit to the AJ Bell Tour of Britain podium as Adam Lewis collected the Adyen Combativity Award.
Stage winner, Cees Bol (DSM): “It was obviously a nice day for me, but it was a pretty hard day. It was not an easy stage and when the final kicked off the first two climbs were on the tailwind sectors and that was actually really hard, I was on the limit of dropping and giving up. I kept fighting and then on the headwind it was a bit easier to stay in the bunch, and then over the top of the last climb my team-mates found me and put me in the best position. From there it was just the last 200 metres all out, fighting through the cramps and throwing the bike.”
Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Corbin Strong (Israel-Premier Tech): “I’m confident as I am sprinting well at the moment. I was there or there abouts but there was some fast guys still there at the finish though, so third was the best I could do today. I’m really happy again, and hopefully it continues. It’s a really nice and pretty humbling experience actually. Having some guys that I’ve grown up watching like Michal Kwiatkowski and Riche Porte congratulate me, it’s a really cool feeling as a young neo-pro being recognised by guys like that. It was a nice day for me and hopefully it continues. It’s going to be really interesting. The Tour of Britain is one of those races that with weather and the unknown nature of the roads, any day it can split to pieces so it’s really hard to tell. I’m in a really privileged situation to have guys like Reto [Hollenstein], [Alex] Dowsett and Mason [Hollyman] to defend the lead and then obvious the experience of Michael [Woods] and Dylan [Teuns] as some cards to play as well.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Jake Stewart (Great Britain): “We can be happy with the work we did, obviously it is disappointing to come away with second but the lads did a really good job and we will take it from here. We had a good day yesterday and a really good day today, and there are still plenty more opportunities to come. We had a plan going into the day with the boys and we executed it really well. We knew where we had to be over those last few climbs. We had Sam [Watson] there to lead us out, we knew it was an uphill sprint with a slight headwind and really, I wanted to come from behind but we found ourselves on the front. I was pretty confident in my long sprint, I’ve always been pretty good over a long distance, but in the end the finish was about five metres too far!”
Tour of Britain Stage 2 Result:
1. Cees Bol (Ned) DSM in 4:08:35
2. Jake Stewart (GB) Great Britain
3. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech
4. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
5. Luke Lamperti (Ita) Trinity Racing
6. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Jim Brown (GB) WiV SunGod
10. Martin Marcellusi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 2:
1. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech in 8:44:58
2. Jake Stewart (GB) Great Britain at 0:08
3. Omar Fraile (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:10
5. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:14
6. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar
7. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè.
Britain’22 Stage 2:
Belgian rider Kamiel Bonneu claimed the biggest victory of his professional career as a four-rider breakaway group ripped up the script on Stage 3 of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain in Sunderland on Tuesday. The 23 year-old Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise rider attacked in the final kilometre to beat Ben Perry (Wiv SunGod), Alexandar Richardson (Saint Piran) and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauce WB) to the line.
There was added drama as Israel-Premier Tech’s Corbin Strong was initially awarded the red AJ Bell leader’s jersey for a third day before the UCI commissaires panel reviewed their decision almost two hours after the conclusion of the stage. As a result, Perry took a 7 second lead over Strong, with Paasschens a further 4 seconds back, and Jake Stewart the highest placed Brit fifth at 15 seconds. The change gives British domestic team Wiv SunGod the lead in the AJ Bell Tour of Britain along with the Sportsbreaks.com Sprints jersey with Matt Teggart and the ŠKODA King of the Mountains jersey with Jacob Scott.
Stage three was tipped to culminate in the first conventional bunch sprint of this year’s race, but the quartet managed to hold off the peloton following a dramatic final 50 kilometres that saw torrential rain sweep the race as it approached Sunderland. But, having broken clear approaching the town of Tow Law following a frantic start to the race, the four riders had a lead of 3:30 going into the final 30 kilometres, which fell dramatically as the co-operation between the quartet subsided. Bonneu’s win came despite the break losing nearly 2 minutes of their advantage in the final 4 kilometres, with a lack of cohesion looking to have cost them the chance of victory with BORA-hansgrohe driving the peloton on through the rain.
Stage winner, Kamiel Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise): “I do like bad weather. I don’t know if that is an advantage but today it wasn’t a disadvantage to like bad weather. I like riding in the rain, so for me it was no problem. We are a small team, we don’t win that much. So it’s always nice to get a win and especially in a stage race like this. I think it’s a really nice stage race – it’s really awesome to win. We discussed at the beginning of the stage that Mathijs and the guy from SunGod, will go back after the third sprint because they were really close in the GC, but then we had such a big gap that they said ‘we’re not going to go back.’ I completely understood them, but Richardson said ‘Okay, if you’re not going to keep your promise then I’m not going to work with you!’ It’s his decision and I don’t mind because I won. It’s crazy (the British spectators),I think if this was in Belgium nobody would be on the streets, but here everybody is on the streets. It’s crazy how many people show up! It’s really nice.”
Tour of Britain Stage 3 Result:
1. Kamiel Bonneu (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 4:05:33
2. Benjamin Perry (Can) WiV SunGod
3. Alexandar Richardson (GB) Saint Piran at 0:02
4. Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at 0:04
5. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:07
6. Jake Stewart (GB) Great Britain
7. Samuel Watson (GB) Great Britain
8. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar
9. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger) DSM
10. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 3:
1. Benjamin Perry (Can) WiV SunGod in 12:50:31
2. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:07
3. Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at 0:11
4. Jake Stewart (GB) Great Britain at 0:15
5. Omar Fraile (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:17
7. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar at 0:21
8. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè.
Britain’22 Stage 3:
Movistar Team’s Gonzalo Serrano moved in to the lead of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain after winning a dramatic Stage 4 between Redcar and Duncombe Park, Helmsley, on Wednesday. Serrano pipped home favourite Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech) and a second INEOS rider – Spaniard Omar Fraile – to the victory after the quartet broke clear over the climb of Newgate Bank with 8.4 kilometres remaining. In addition to becoming the first Spaniard to win a stage of the UK’s leading cycle race in 10 years, Serrano moved into the AJ Bell leader’s jersey, with both Pidcock and Fraile trailing by seven seconds.
Serrano’s win is his seventh top ten finish from the past eleven AJ Bell Tour of Britain stages with the 28-year-old from Madrid having never finished worse than 21st in his two participations in the race. The Movistar team had worked hard with all their five remaining riders on the front of the diminished peloton after the action had burst into life on the ŠKODA King of the Mountains climb of Carlton Bank. Fraile set the initial pace, setting up Pidcock’s attack with Oscar Onley (DSM) Teuns, Italian champion Filippo Zana (Bardiani CSF Faizanè) and Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) following. A second surge towards the top of the fan-lined climb took Pidcock, Onley, and Teuns clear with the trio building a lead of 45 seconds. Movistar, TRINITY Racing, and Great Britain’s Jake Stewart then pulled the bunch hard along Bilsdale towards the final uncategorised climb of Newgate Bank, making the junction on the lower slopes with Serrano then able to jump clear to claim the bonus seconds at the Sportsbreaks.com sprint at the summit.
Pidcock fought hard to take his wheel with Teuns and then Fraile following to make up the quartet that would contest the finish in Duncombe Park. Turning into the grounds of the park it was Fraile who picked up the pack on the drag up to the line with Serrano again able to hold off the charging Pidcock. Overnight leader Ben Perry (Wiv SunGod) dropped to fourth overall on the same time as Pidcock and Fraile, with Israel-Premier Tech duo Teuns and Corbin Strong sitting next at 10 and 14 seconds in arrears. As well as losing the red AJ Bell leader’s jersey, Wiv SunGod’s Jacob Scott also shed the ŠKODA King of the Mountains jersey to Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB rider Mathijs Paasschens. The team keep hold of the Sportsbreaks.com Sprints jersey while INEOS Grenadiers rider Magnus Sheffield won the stage four Adyen Combativity Award after an early breakaway with Saint Piran’s Harry Birchill as the race passed along the Yorkshire coast.
Stage winner and overall leader, Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar): “Today was a crazy day. Very, very aggressive but my team was with me for company, it was a difficult day, but they worked strongly to close down the breakaway in the last kilometres. Pidcock and Fraile are very strong, and in Britain, this race is very important for INEOS but I attacked in the last climb, and in the sprint I thought I can win.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Thomas Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers): “We tried several times and with being the home team there is a bit of pressure and expectation for us to make the race. Which makes it all that much that harder to win, but I think we did pretty well. It was a bit disappointing but yeah what can I say.”
Tour of Britain Stage 4 Result:
1. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar in 3:40:38
2. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
4. Omar Fraile (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:01
5. Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB in 0:13
6. Samuel Watson (GB) Great Britain
7. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Jack Rootkin-Gray (GB) Saint Piran
10. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 4:
1. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar in 16:31:15
2. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:07
3. Omar Fraile (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Benjamin Perry (Can) WiV SunGod
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:10
6. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:14
7. Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at 0:18
8. Jake Stewart (GB) Great Britain at 0:22
9. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:24
10. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:28.
Britain’22 Stage 4:
Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2022
The team time trial on the opening Stage 1 of the Ceratizit Challenge was won by Trek-Segafredo. The American team clocked the fastest time on the 19.9 kilometre course around Marina de Cudeyo. Top favourite Annemiek van Vleuten lost 25 seconds with her Movistar team.
The first target was set by Uno-X, who finished in a time of 25:14. Ceratizit-WNT was then the first team to go under 25 minutes. Their time was wiped off the table by BikeExchange-Jayco. The Australian team clocked 23:37 and was good for an average of 50.5 km/h.
Jumbo-Visma lost 55 seconds to BikeExchange-Jayco. Canyon-SRAM also had to settle for a time loss of nearly a minute, as did DSM. The FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope train fared much better and finished five seconds off the top time. The fastest time was improved by Trek-Segafredo. With 23:31, the American team was 6 seconds faster than BikeExchange-Jayco. This was too fast for SD Worx, who lost 23 seconds to Trek-Segafredo.
Also for Annemiek van Vleuten’s Movistar, the time of Trek-Segafredo was impossible to get near. The top favourite’s Spanish team eventually conceded 25 seconds to the winning time. That was good for the fifth fastest time, still behind BikeExchange-Jayco second, FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope third and SD Worx fourth. The first leader’s jersey went to Elisa Longo Borghini. The Italian rider crossed the finish line first for Trek-Segafredo and took the purple jersey.
1st team on the stage, Overall leader Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo): “I feel really happy because it was another team victory. We had a good plan and the team did really well. I have to thank the entire staff of Trek-Segafredo and all the girls because they were really committed today. We knew we were generally strong compared to the others, there was not one team that was standing over the others, so we knew we would be competitive today. We tried our best to start fast and finish fast. We will enjoy the jersey with the team tonight – every time you win you need to enjoy it and tomorrow is another day. It’s a hard one and there are really strong riders here and I know I am in good shape, but I never underestimate my rivals – I have a lot of respect for them. It’s a discipline that Trek-Segafredo really likes, and we were really motivated for today. There’s no secret, it takes a lot of commitment. We did a lot of work at the Mapei Sport Center with the positioning this winter. It has made a difference as you can see each rider has improved a lot with this their time trials this season. It’s a discipline we really like and As the women’s team it’s a discipline we really like because you need a good synergy and we have that. My ambitions for this for race are to race free and see where my limits are this week. Tomorrow is a very hard stage and I just want to cherish this moment now with my teammates and we will think about Stage2 tomorrow morning. Of course, I will try to defend the leader’s jersey. I am honoured to wear it as it does not happen often, so I will definitely try and defend it.”
2nd team on the stage, 7th overall Kristen Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I was really surprised by how great it felt today. We hadn’t actually ridden all together in a TTT, so it was amazing and quite impressive how smooth the entire race went. We knew we had a headwind going out and a tailwind coming back, so we tried to take some shorter pulls going out and then really push it on the way back. I think we executed the team strategy really well, and we ended up second overall. We’re always going for the win, but it was close and I think we showed the strength we have, and now we can play a little bit defensively in the next few days and put the pressure on the other teams to chase any attacks.”
Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 1 Result:
1. Trek-Segafredo in 23:31
2. BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:06
3. FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 0:11
4. SD Worx at 0:23
5. Movistar at 0:25
6. DSM at 0:44
7. Canyon//SRAM at 0:59
8. Jumbo-Visma at 1:01
9. Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling at 1:21
10. UAE Team ADQ at 1:28.
Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 1:
1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 23:31
2. Elynor Bäckstedt (GB) Trek-Segafredo
3. Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
4. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Georgia Williams (NZ) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:06
6. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
7. Kristen Faulkner (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco
8. Ane Santesteban (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco
9. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
10. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 0:11.
Ceratizit Challenge’22 stage 1:
Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare 2022
In a last-minute shoot out involving four heavy-hitter world-class riders, Belgian cyclist Sep Vanmarcke of Team Israel-Premier Tech, used his Classics savvy to win the first-ever Maryland Cycling Classic supported by UnitedHealthcare in Baltimore, Md. America’s top-ranked professional road cycling race took riders through a tough, hilly 121.7-mile (196 kilometre) course starting at Kelly Benefits in Sparks, Md. and finishing along East Pratt Street and Market Place in Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor District in front of thousands of cheering fans.
It was clear in the final circuit that one of the four riders in the lead group would take the top step of the podium with lots of jockeying for position in the last lap. EF Education-EasyPost rider Andrea Piccolo (ITA), managed to bridge to the finish to help Neilson Powless (USA), the top American finisher in this year’s Tour de France, take the victory, but was outsmarted by Vanmarcke in the last 750-metre straightaway. The Belgian timed his attack perfectly to overtake Nickolas Zukowsky (CAN) of Human Powered Health, who came second, while Powless of EF Education-EasyPost was nudged into third place.
A group of approximately twenty-five riders got away early, making a big break roughly 10 miles into the race. The riders, including Zukowsky, Quinn Simmons (USA), Powless, Vanmarcke, and Piccolo dominated the breakaway. Despite several chase attempts, including one solo effort by Michael Matthews (AUS) of BikeExchange-Jayco, the lead group managed to stay away. The riders took a chance pushing the pace so early, considering the heat, but the break turned out to be the decisive move of the day. The group was eventually whittled to 11, including 10 WorldTour riders and Human Powered Health’s Zukowsky. 110 cyclists from 16 teams traversed the unrelenting rolling terrain with few level gradients to relax on a winding outer circuit that routed close to the Pennsylvania state line and featured the historic Sagamore Farms. The upper course was defined by Prettyboy Reservoir with the course ascending and descending around the 80-square-mile body of water. The inner loop around the reservoir featured lush, tree-covered roads with short punchy climbs but nothing overly long, an ideal mix for attacks and breakaway attempts. American Quinn Simmons won the KOM and fell off on the finishing circuits but was a dominate player in the race after following up on a great performance in July’s Tour de France.
After 75 miles, the riders raced south on Falls Road, the only straight section of the course, into the heart of central Baltimore for a multi-lap circuit finale. In a complete contrast to the roads of Baltimore County, the 7.5-mile city circuit featured 19 turns and a deceivingly tough elevation gain of 234-feet per lap. Historic and modern Baltimore was showcased to viewers and fans around the world as the four circuit laps routed through the skyscrapers of the Inner Harbor and Harbor East business districts, as well as the neighborhoods of Little Italy, Fells Point, Old Town, Mount Vernon, circling the Greenmount West neighborhood and diverse shops along Broadway. The final 3-kilometres (less than two miles) featured a descent down St. Paul Street onto East Pratt for a flat, fast finish.
Race winner, Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech): “I’m feeling relieved. It has been a long time since I won a race as I was sick and injured and this win puts me back on track. It was hard to get back to a good level in the last few months and two weeks ago, I had bruised ribs so I had to take some time off and miss a few key races. I was really disappointed so this is a nice way to get back. It was more difficult than we expected. The first 120 kilometres were super tough but because of the heat and the long day in the breakaway, the final was also really hard. We knew there were rolling hills but it was one after another all day and it was really demanding. Also, we got away with 25 riders after 10 kilometres and this made it a really hard race. EF sped it up after 60 or 70 kilometres and split it, so we were 12 in front. One by one, everyone was getting tired and I could feel it in the final. But I knew I had to be in everything as it would split again. I was hoping to win with the team today. We had the plan to go to the sprint today but Giacomo didn’t get in the breakaway so together, I think we played a good tactical game. I’m super proud to win here in America. It has been a while since we raced here so to be back winning here is super nice.”
2nd, Nickolas Zukowsky (Human Powered Health): “I just gave everything I had today, the team rode awesome. You know it’s our home race and we haven’t raced here in quite a while so it’s sick to be back. It was so much fun, the team was super hyped to be here. The crowds, everyone cheering for us, we were insanely motivated.”
3rd, Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost): “It’s been a little over three years since I raced in the States so it’s pretty awesome to be back. It’s been really nice to have an American event at this level back in the States providing a platform for inspiration for American fans and upcoming future riders, young kids and also teams that don’t necessarily always get an opportunity to race against WorldTour riders. It’s also a really nice opportunity for them to show themselves.”
8th, Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo): “It was my first time racing in an American race at this level. It was an amazing crowd out there and we really wanted to put on a show. It’s great to be racing in the states again and hearing your name.”
Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare Result:
1. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech in 4:34:45
2. Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Human Powered Health
3. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost
4. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:01
5. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:06
6. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:06
7. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
8. Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo at 1:11
9. Alexandre Balmer (Sui) BikeExchange-Jayco
10. Róbigzon Leandro Oyola (Col) Medellin-EPM.
Swiss Multinational New Team Sponsor for Doug Ryder, Nibali Advisor
Doug Ryder, former general manager of Dimension Data and NextHash, is said to be busy behind the scenes with another upgrade for his squad Qhubeka. According to the Italian Tuttobiciweb website, Ryder has found a Swiss multinational as the main sponsor for the next five years.
Qhubeka is currently racing as a continental team, but Ryder would like to turn that back into a ProTeam with a new backer. In 2021, Qhubeka NextHash lost its WorldTour license after the team struggled with a lack of financial support. Ryder was unable to find a new title sponsor, so the squad became a continental team and all the big names left. Giacomolo Nizzolo, Domenico Pozzovivo and Victor Campenaerts, among others.
Ryder, however, refused to throw in the towel. In 2022, his team is still racing around in the peloton, as Team Qhubeka. A new step up, from a Continental team to a ProTeam, therefore seems to be the next step. A Swiss multinational would be working with Ryder for the next five years, although the South African does not want to say anything about the future of his team for the time being.
If we are to believe Tuttobiciweb, a well-known name will act as advisor to the team next year. It concerns Vincenzo Nibali, who is currently working on his last weeks as a professional cyclist. The winner of the Giro d’Italia (2013 and 2016), Tour de France (2014) and Vuelta a España (2010) is an ambassador for the Italian sports brand Q36.5, which would also be a sponsor.
New sponsor for Doug Ryder:
Robbe Ghys Happy Going to Alpecin-Deceuninck
The news is now final: Robbe Ghys is moving from Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise to Alpecin-Deceuninck. The 25-year-old Belgian will combine road and track with the Roodhooft brothers team.
At the beginning of August, it looked like Ghys would be racing for the DSM team, but Alpecin-Deceuninck has his signature. Other interested parties included Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Israel-Premier Tech. Ghys has signed for three seasons with his new team. “The Belgian character of the team has been an important factor in my decision to sign,” Ghys said in a press release.
“That and of course the very professional way of working. I believe in this project and I hope to grow even further as a cyclist within Alpecin-Deceuninck. That I can develop as a lead out rider. The fact that I can sign a three-year contract gives me a lot of confidence. It is great that I will have the opportunity to prepare well for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. Only after the Games will I fully focus on road cycling.”
At the European track championship in Munich, Robbe Ghys took two medals. Due to his transfer to Alpecin-Deceuninck, he will become a teammate of Fabio Van Den Bossche, who is the other candidate for the Olympics in Paris ’24. Last year he won a stage in the Baloise Belgium Tour and this season he was 9th in the GP Denain and 15th in Gent-Wevelgem.
Robbe Ghys to Alpecin-Deceuninck:
William Junior Lecerf to join the Soudal – Quick-Step Devo Team in 2023
The Belgian is looking forward to racing for our development squad next year
The newest member of the Soudal – Quick-Step Development Team is William Junior Lecerf. The 19-year-old got his cycling genes from his father and started in the sport at the age of seven. In those years, he had his eyes on mountain biking, after which he combined cyclo-cross and road – and that helped him develop his bike skills – but after making the transition to U23 he focused entirely on the road.
Lecerf, who hails from Kluisbergen, enjoyed a solid 2022 season, taking an impressive fourth place overall at an incredibly tough edition of the Girobio and a top 10 in the U23 version of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Having put in several strong displays in the mountains, William Junior is excited to join the Devo Team next year: “I’m really happy, I always looked up to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl as one of the best teams in the world. Now I will join their Development Team, which is a great step in my career. Everything will be organised in the best way possible there and I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Tour de l’Avenir was another race, after the Giro, where I did well”, Lecerf continued. “We won with the Belgian national team and I also had the white jersey for one day. This is the biggest race in the U23 category and I’m happy I could play a role there. A crash cost me a good general classification, but in the last stages I could climb with the best in the GC and I did some work for the team, so overall I had a good outing.”
“Next year I hope to become a bit stronger and to make another step. I would like to be up there more in the fight for victory. This season was already good, but of course I want to continue my development. I want to play a role in the big races and grow as a climber. My biggest dream would be to win a stage in a Grand Tour one day. I don’t know yet if I’m complete enough to play a role in the general classification, but I can recover well and that’s important in stage races or Grand Tours. I know I still have some work to do to become better in time trials, but we have top material from Specialized in the Devo Team so I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to experience that.”
Manager Bart Roosens is delighted to welcome William Junior in the team: “It’s been two years since I’ve been following Junior Lecerf. He is one of the best Belgian climbers and still has a lot of possibilities to grow as a rider. I’m certain he will show beautiful things again next year and we will support him in the best way possible and try to take another step together.”
William Junior Lecerf:
Lilian Calmejane joins Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
Frenchman Lilian Calmejane (29 year old), double Grand Tour stage winner, will represent Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux during the next two seasons. He thus signed his first contract with a team abroad.
Lilian Calmejane made an interesting entry in the pro peloton by winning a stage from the breakaway in the Tour of Spain 2016 on the final climb towards San Andrés de Teixido. He repeated this stunt the next season in the Tour de France on the Station des Rousses, a couple of months after winning the polkadot jersey in Paris-Nice.
The allround rider with aggressive racing style also won the Étoile de Bessèges, the Settimana internazionale Coppi e Bartali and the Circuit de la Sarthe thanks to solo stage victories and French cup races such as the Drôme Classic (2018), Paris-Camembert (2018) and the Faun-Ardèche Classic (2019).
Lilian Calmejane: “I’m very happy to join Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert! I was charmed by the confidence that the team kept on showing in my capabilities for a long time, I had to grab this opportunity with both hands. From our first meetings, there was a clear idea about which race programme would enable me to shine. The team observes the qualities of the riders and employs them to favour success for each of them. I like this vision. My last victory is three years ago already. I’ve always had a winning mentality and I’m pleased with the team’s support in my ambition to return on the top step of the podium. What also motivâtes me, is the continuous progression of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. I remember well our battle for the title of best Pro Continental team a couple of years ago. Since then, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux confirmed its position in the World Tour, climbing to fifth place in the UCI world ranking this season. The dynamics are incredible and I’m convinced that it’s just the beginning. I followed how the team continued increasing investment in terms of training, equipment, nutrition etc. to improve each detail. I will leave my comfort zone, just like Adrien Petit did by joining a foreign team for the first time. I can’t wait for this challenge in a Belgian environment, where people breathe cycling.”
Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager): “Lilian Calmejane built an impressive palmarès thanks to his allround characteristics and race intelligence. His experience will undoubtedly be an added value for our team, I’m thinking of our extended race programme on French soil. He’ll be an asset in the finals of difficult races and he has proven that he can perform with regularity all season long. He has chosen to join us aiming to make a step forward, in a new environment. He has a clear idea about which details can nurture this progression, for example in terms of equipment or nutrition. We also share the idea that he has a progression margin. We’re looking forward to start our collaboration, which will hopefully lead to a success story!”
Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec and Montréal (September 9th and 11th)
Aurélien Paret-Peintre: “After having to abandon the Tour de France ahead of the 16th stage, I took the time to breathe and recover from the Covid-19. My return to racing started well with a top-10 (10th) in the general classification of the Tour Poitou-Charentes (August 23-26) and an aggressive race during the Bretagne Classic (August 28). I remain very motivated for the end of the season races which are coming and in particular for the Grands Prix Quebec and Montreal. These are two really beautiful races from a sporting but also an organisational point of view. I had the chance to do them in 2019 and I was able to see the incredible enthusiasm of the fans. This support is a pleasure to see and I think that after two years of not having the races, the fans will be even more supportive! We will go to Canada with ambition and a solid and balanced team around Benoît (Cosnefroy) and Greg (Van Avermaet). I hope we will get a podium before returning to Europe where a good week of racing in Italy will end the season.”
The number: 9
In eight participations in the Grands Prix Cycliste de Québec et de Montréal, Greg Van Avermaet has been on the podium nine times. He won the Montreal Grand Prix twice (2016 and 2019) and took 3rd place once (2018). He finished 2nd in the Grand Prix de Québec four times (2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018) and 3rd twice (2013 and 2019).
Bahrain Victorious Set for Canada
The two Canadian World Tour races are back after being cancelled due to the pandemic for the past two seasons. It’s the 11th time Canada will be hosting the Grand Prix Cycliste du Montreal and Quebec.
Bahrain Victorious was on the podium in Montreal in 2018 with Sonny Colbrelli and a year later with Ivan Cortina. This year, Pello Bilbao will lead the line-up off the back of an impressive Deutschland Tour where he finished runner-up in the GC and took the final stage win. He will be taking on some of cycling’s biggest stars in Tadej Pogacar (UAE), Wout Van Aert (Jumbo), and Geraint Thomas (Ineos).
The Grand Prix Cycliste du Quebec takes place on the 9th of September. It is a city circuit of 16 laps that see riders climb 2,976 vertical metres over the 201km route. Two days later, Montreal hosts the second of the races, which provides a tougher test with 4,842 vertical metres over the 221km course, consisting of 18 laps of a 12.3km circuit.
Sports Director Neil Stephens hopes to challenge the podium with a strong line-up: “It’s a very exciting group going to the Canada races. Firstly it’s Quebec, a very punchy race with shorter but hard climbs, which always comes down to a select sprint group, and Montreal with more meters of climbing which should be a harder race. We are going to those races with a mixture of young and experienced riders – Matez Govekar, an exciting rider, he already won his first pro bike race. He’s going to learn about those races as those are the races he can potentially win in the future, but at this stage, he’s here to serve his leaders, also learn from the leaders, and now who knows, if it comes down to the select group, he might have his chance in the finish.”
“The team will be well supported by Jonathan Milan, who is going great, and Jan Tratnik and Hermann Pernsteiner in both of these races. Tratnik put in an impressive performance at the Bretagne classic while Pernsteiner did a fantastic job supporting Pello in Germany, so both are showing good form. Damiano Caruso showed that he’s far better than we expected. He worked well in Bretagne 10 days ago, and he’s ready to go to support the team. The first race (Quebec) really suits Matej Mohoric. He’ll try to look after himself to get to the finish, and if he’s good to go for the result, he’ll be there to go, but otherwise, he’ll look after Pello Bilbao. That is Quebec, we’ll try to do the best result, but Montreal is a different story – it really suits Pello Bilbao, 100% we are going for the podium with him. He’s very motivated. He’ll be doing Quebec to try things out, he gets a decent result there normally, but it’s a podium finish in Montreal we are aiming for.”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to GPCQM
The two Canadian races are back on the calendar after a two-year hiatus.
The peloton travels this week to North America, for two events that have always delivered plenty of spectacle and emotion since being created more than a decade ago. First race, scheduled on Friday, is the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, which will see the peloton cover 16 laps of a 12.6km circuit that includes four demanding climbs: Côte de la Montagne (375m, 10%), Côte de la Potasse (420m, 9%), Montée de la Fabrique (190m, 7%) and Montée du Fort (1000m, 4%), the last of these being where the winner has emerged at most of the past editions.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, the bunch will take on the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal (219.6 kilometres), another race run on a local circuit, this time 12.3 kilometres in length, similar to the one used at the World Championships won by Eddy Merckx in 1974; Côte Camillien-Houde (1800m, 8%), Côte de Polytechnique (780 m, 6%) and Avenue du Parc (560m, 4%) are the day’s three difficulties, which should shake up the peloton and be used by the riders as springboard to victory.
One of the most successful teams of the season – with 40 victories, a dozen of which came at World Tour level – Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be present at the start of the two Canadian races with a strong seven-man squad consisting of Andrea Bagioli, Josef Cerny, Mikkel Honoré, James Knox, Belgium Tour winner Mauro Schmid, neo-pro Stan Van Tricht and Mauri Vansevenant.
“We have a good team for the two races. Mauri and James come after a strong outing at the Deutschland Tour, where they underlined the form they have at the moment. Andrea, Mikkel and Mauro are other solid cards to play, while Josef and Stan, who is getting better and better, can control things if needed. The races aren’t easy, but we will give our best to get a good result”, said sports director Wilfried Peeters.
09.09 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (CAN) 1.UWT
Andrea Bagioli (ITA)
Josef Cerny (CZE)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
James Knox (GBR)
Mauro Schmid (SUI)
Stan Van Tricht (BEL)
Mauri Vansevenant (BEL).
Sports Director Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
11.09 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (CAN) 1.UWT
Andrea Bagioli (ITA)
Josef Cerny (CZE)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
James Knox (GBR)
Mauro Schmid (SUI)
Stan Van Tricht (BEL)
Mauri Vansevenant (BEL).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
Andrea Bagioli to the Canadian Classics:
Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec – SEP 09
Luke Roberts – Team DSM coach: “After a two year absence we’re looking forward to racing on Canadian soil again at Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec. Taking on the traditional circuit around the Parc des Champs-de-Bataille; the main focal points along the route are the short but sharp climbs on the latter half of the circuit – which suit the puncheur type riders. We arrive with a strong team that gives us options to play throughout the day; depending on how hard the race is made by the peloton as we head towards the dragging kick to the line, where normally the race is decided in a reduced sprint.”
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Martijn Tusveld (NED).
Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal – SEP 11
Luke Roberts – Team DSM coach: “The second race of our Canadian double-header, Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal takes place on a slightly harder parcours than its Quebec counterpart. The ascent at the beginning of the circuit, the Côte Camillien-Houde, is almost two kilometres long and averages eight percent – which gives the purer climbers a chance to go on the attack alongside the puncheurs. Depending on how aggressively the day is approached by the bunch, a strong group can go clear to compete for the win in the finale or we could also see another larger reduced sprint finish. As a team, we have a variety of cards to play throughout the day so we can react to what we expect to be a dynamic race situation.”
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Martijn Tusveld (NED).
Romain Bardet going to Canada:
Preview Canada – A first One on American Soil
For the first time in its history, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will race on the American continent, on the occasion of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (9/09) and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (11/09), two Canadian World Tour classics. After two years of absence because of the pandemic, the events return with their traditional urban and hilly circuit of 12 kilometre.
On Friday, sixteen laps have to be accomplished in the capital Québec, with each one containing the Côte de la Montagne (375m), the Côte de la Potasse (420m at 9%) and the Montée de la Fabrique (190m at 7%) which leads to the finish in the Grande Allée Ouest. This totals to a little more than 200 kilometre and almost 3000 meters of climbing.
Two days later, the University of Montréal will be the decor for the race of 221.4 kilometre, in which almost 4700 meters of climbing have to be covered. The circuit will be repeated eighteen times and contains the Côte de Camilien-Houde (1.8km at 8%), the Côte de Polytechnique (780m at 6%) and the Boulevard du Mont-Royal (800m at 4%). Just like in Québec, the 500 last meters are uphill.
A selection of seven riders will represent the Belgian World Team for these two classics under the direction of Aike Visbeek. Théo Delacroix, Biniam Girmay, Andrea Pasqualon and Georg Zimmermann will make their debut on Canadian soil. Sven Erik Bystrøm, Baptiste Planckaert and Loïc Vliegen participates at least one time.
Biniam Girmay: “This Tuesday we travelled from Paris with the team to fly to Canada. It will be my first time on American soil, it’s going to be exciting. We’ll be there three days in advance to prepare. We’ll do the course recon and I’ll probably watch images of the previous editions. The difficulty of the races will be similar to my two last races, the Bretagne Classic – Ouest France and the Tour du Doubs, in which we had to cover more than 3000 climbing meters. I felt very good and managed to follow the strongest riders. In the Tour du Doubs the final was even harder than before with the addition of a climb before Le Larmont in the last 20 kilometres. I hope I can pursue my good series of results in Canada and in the GP de Wallonie, my last races before the World Championships in Australia.”
Sven Erik Bystrøm
Sports Director: Aike Visbeek.
Biniam Girmay to Canada:
Maximilian Schachmann Ends Season Prematurely with Fatigue Syndrome
Following medical examinations, Schachmann was diagnosed with fatigue syndrome. As such, a joint decision was made that Max should make use of an early and longer break, in order to start the 2023 season fully recovered.
“I thank the team for their support during this difficult time for me. There is no other therapy than rest, so I will now be taking a longer break. This will give me the opportunity to get back to full health and come back at what is a normal level for me. Of course, I would also like to thank my teammates who will now have to compensate for my absence at races. My goal is to be able to thank everyone with good performances in the coming season.” – Maximilian Schachmann.
“Max has had a difficult phase since the Olympics last year. He was just not stable enough to put down an appropriate foundation in training, there were repeated health setbacks. Of course, he was able to display his class at times, like at the Tour de Suisse, but then there were also crashes. Now we know that Max requires a break to fully recover. He will of course receive that necessary break. Just as we try to carefully build up young riders, our philosophy is also about balancing the right amount of pressure on established riders in order to achieve long-term success together. Accordingly, sometimes one must make tough decisions in order to live up to this philosophy. Max is without question a winning rider and an important pillar in our team. It is also hard as a team manager to see a top rider such as Max struggling like that. There is no point ramming one’s head against the wall, so to speak. For Max, this means he will now head into his season break. Once he has recovered properly, we would like to start preparing for 2023 early and are currently targeting a start to the season in Australia.” – Ralph Denk.
Maximilian Schachmann ends season:
Cameron Meyer Ready to Move Onto the Next Chapter Concluding his 13-year Career
Four-time Australian champion Cameron Meyer has announced his retirement from professional cycling, ending a long and successful career on both the road and the track. The Australian rider spent nine-years with GreenEDGE Cycling, joining the squad in its first season in 2012, and has been a key member of the team, playing an important role in many victories, whilst also achieving many special race wins himself.
Having competed in no less than 10 Grand Tours, Cameron has shown his diversity as a rider over the years, with an incredible list of palmarès including nine World titles on the track, four Commonwealth Games titles, plus a Tour de France TTT and Giro d’Italia TTT stage win.
In the more recent years, Cameron has been a rider that the younger team members look up to with his natural ability to guide and mentor. The rider from Western Australia will be greatly missed in the team and the WorldTour peloton, but with a bright future ahead, with new goals and challenges waiting for him, we are pleased to see ‘Cam’ take the next step and wish him the best of luck in his next endeavours.
Cameron Meyer: “It’s certainly been a wild ride and a journey I look back on with the happiest of memories. I cannot thank Gerry and Val Ryan enough for allowing me so many fantastic years as a member of the GreenEdge Team. I am very excited for the next chapter in my life and wish this team all the very best of success in the future.”
Congratulations on a fantastic career Cam. Good luck with the next chapter!
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Balen BC to Join Forces
Our team will form a partnership with Balen BC, with a view to helping some of the best junior riders to fulfil their potential
After recently announcing that the Soudal Quick-Step Devo team will join the Wolfpack fold from 2023, the latest development is aimed at setting up an even wider foundation that can help talented riders build towards a potential future with the development team and even the World Tour team.
Having been founded in 1948, Balen BC has become part of one of the most famous paths for young riders to make it to the top of the cycling pyramid. Over the years the team cohort has included a young Tom Boonen and Remco Evenepoel, who currently leads La Vuelta a España, with both going on to become members of the Wolfpack. Our current sports director Wilfred Peeters also learnt his trade with the team, before moving on to be a long-serving member of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
While there will not be a rebrand of Balen BC, the partnership with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, which will be starting in February 2023, will see the two work closely together to identify the best young riding talent and help nurture their talent. They will share a wealth of cycling knowledge and ideas, with the aim of helping their development as riders and young people, as well as building a sustainable talent stream to feed both the development and World Tour Teams.
Speaking of the partnership, Jef Robert of Balen BC said: “As the manager of Balen Bicycle club I’m honoured and proud about being part of the Wolfpack. We are one of the leading youth teams in Belgium and in Europe, and we lead the peloton with our youth development program. Year after year, Balen Bicycle Club is one of the most significant suppliers of the professional teams. Starting at the age of eight we let the young talents discover the world of cycling, we learn and motivate them to grow and finally give them a massive support in getting an entrance ticket for the World Tour teams.”
Rober continued: “Being a part of the Wolfpack will boost our organisation and is a huge reward for the team leaders, sports directors, employees, and volunteers of Balen BC. Joining the Wolfpack will take the progress of our teams to another level and will open even more doors to the biggest international races where we can gain even more experience. Both teams have a comparable DNA, sharing characteristics such as team spirit, hard work, bike smart and try to win races! Today, we are convinced that this cooperation will lead us to a massive number of glorious victories creating new champions. We are already looking forward to February 2023.”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl CEO Patrick Lefevere was equally delighted with this partnership: “We have had a great relationship with Balen BC and Jef over the years, without ever formalising it. Their track record of consistently identifying and developing young and talented riders speaks for itself. We have been very fortunate that they have helped both Remco and Tom during their younger days, who then became two of our most famous riders. This partnership will hopefully lead to us uncovering some more of the best young riders around, and together we can give them a platform on which they can shine.”
Rwandan Rider Samuel Mugisha Missing in United States
Samuel Mugisha has been reported missing by his team ProTouch. The Rwandan cyclist was due to start on Sunday in the Maryland Cycling Classic, but has not been seen since his arrival at the airport in the United States.
“Mugisha arrived in the United States as scheduled on Wednesday, August 31,” his team wrote on social media. “There he arranged his own transport and did not take the transfer bus to the hotel.”
“However, the rider never arrived at the hotel and did not show up for the race on Sunday. That is why the team and the competition organisers have reported missing to the American authorities.”
Mugisha has been riding with the South African ProTouch team since the end of last year. Before that, he rode for the Dimension Data and Qhubeka training team.
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