The World champs are coming! The Tour of Luxembourg, Grand Prix de Wallonie men and women and the Giro della Toscana – Memorial Alfredo Martini. Israel-Premier Tech threatens the UCI – TOP STORY. Rider news: Remco Evenepoel to fly Business Class to the Worlds, Tadej Pogačar to ride the Worlds TT, Lefevere on the Vuelta victory, Mohorič on the Roglič crash, Unzué has confidence in Mas, investigation in to Jumbo CEO and Niki Terpstra stops. Team news: Movistar and BikeExchange-Jayco signings. Coffee, coffee, coffee.
TOP STORY: Israel-Premier Tech Threatens Lawsuit Against UCI
The promotion/relegation battle in cycling is gradually reaching its climax. A number of WorldTeams are currently engaged in a fierce battle for points. Israel-Premier Tech is struggling with relegation stress. Sylvan Adams, the money man behind the WorldTour team, has threatened legal action against the UCI.
At the end of this season, the top eighteen teams will qualify for a WorldTour license. This ranking is based on UCI points obtained over the past three years. Lotto Soudal, Israel-Premier Tech, EF Education-EasyPost and Movistar are currently fighting for survival. Adams sees it all with dismay and calls on the UCI to take action and let go of the promotion/relegation system. According to Adams, there is a ‘force majeure’, a situation such as war, drought or a hurricane, which makes it impossible for parties to fulfil a certain obligation due to circumstances beyond their control. “A global corona pandemic is the definition of force majeure,” Adams said to Velonews. “And that during the entire period (three years) of the relegation process.”
According to the Israel-Premier Tech boss, there is a “very simple and gallant” solution to the problem: Adams wants to increase the number of WorldTeams from eighteen to twenty. This would put an end to the much-discussed relegation battle. In addition to the current eighteen WorldTeams, there would also be room for Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkéa-Samsic, who are still ProTeam but want to take a step up for next year. Based on their current position in the ranking, they are also eligible.
Previously, there were rumours that the UCI would consider solving the promotion/relegation problem by increasing the number of WorldTeams from eighteen to twenty. However, the UCI quickly denied this in a press release. “Contrary to recent public reporting, no decision has been taken to change the applicable rules.” In addition, they also mentioned that UCI points can be earned until October 18. In November, the WorldTour licenses for the seasons from 2023 to 2025 will be assigned. “And then the ASO can still hand out two wildcards during the Tour de France. Who will be hindered by a WorldTour with twenty teams? Nobody,” Adams stated. “Relegation means death for the teams concerned. It doesn’t matter which teams are relegated, it’s an existential problem. Why do we break something down in cycling instead of building something up? It’s just destructive. I really hope common sense will prevail.”
According to the Canadian/Israeli businessman, important riders, sponsors and other partners will drop out if a team is relegated from the WorldTour. “I don’t see the point of it. The UCI is threatening us and that is harmful. And that while there is a simple solution that does not affect anyone. It’s an elegant way to get out of this mess. Let’s expand the WorldTour from eighteen to twenty teams and there will be no losers.”
Adams has since contacted the UCI and hopes to find a solution via the ‘normal route’. If this does not work, he is willing to go to court and fight it out legally. “If I lose, I’ll take them to court. If I lose my sponsors, it will cost me millions. If I can show that the UCI is not applying its rules consistently, I have a very good case. I just hate lawsuits. Nobody wins in lawsuits, only lawyers.”
WorldTour or court for Israel-Premier Tech:
Skoda Tour Luxembourg 2022
Stage 1 of the 2022 Tour de Luxembourg was won by Valentin Madouas. The French Groupama-FDJ rider escaped in the final on the steep sections of the Kirchberg and then soloed to victory. Second place went to Sjoerd Bax, Clément Berthet was third. Madouas is also the first overall leader.
The start of the first stage was in Luxembourg City, where it also finished after 163.8 kilometres. There were four categorised climbs on the menu with the Montée de Niklosbierg (4.5km at 5.9%), Côte de Bourschied (3.5km at 7.2%), Côte de Eschdorf (3km at 7%) and Côte de Stafelter (1.8km at 7.9%). A few kilometres from the finish, with the 1.6 kilometre long Kirchberg (at 6.3%) there was also an uncategorised climb that could cause problems.
The leading group of the day was formed by six riders: Niklas Eg (Uno-X), Gil Gelders (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Jesús Antonio Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Tom Sexton (Bolton Equities Black Spoke), Justin Wolf (Leopard) and Kasper Viberg Søgaard (Riwal) took a maximum lead of almost 5 minutes. Not much was left of this lead when Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ got involved in the chase. With 60 kilometres to go, the difference was only 1 minute. The peloton then slowed down, as it was still quite far to the finish. The leading group had been reduced to five riders. Soto had to let his fellow escapees go. In the meantime, Harrow, Gelders, Sexton, Wolf and Viberg Søgaard were still riding well together, but it was only a matter of time before they were caught. Trek-Segafredo, Groupama-FDJ and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl had the situation under control with 30 kilometres to go.
The five remaining escapees were not planning on throw in the towel and continued to work together, but were caught 10 kilometres from the finish. The 19 year-old Gelders, who earlier this year won a stage in the U23 Giro, was the last leader at the foot of the 2 kilometre Côte de Stafelter. Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates continued on this tough climb of 8%. As a result many were dropped, although there was no real selection. With the Kirchberg, the riders were faced with another hard climb. The peloton rode at a fast pace to the foot of the climb, where the race exploded. Groupama-FDJ took the lead and managed to bring Kevin Geniets into position. The Luxembourger attacked and looked like he would get away, but was pulled in. This was the signal for his teammate, Valentin Madouas, to attack. With an impressive display of power, he left everyone behind. The 26year-old Madouas, who won the French one-day race Tour du Doubs last week, started the last flatter kilometres with a lead and stayed out of the grasp of the first pursuers. Sjoerd Bax tried to chase, but was too late to catch up with Madouas.
Stage winner and overall leader, Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ): “I made a gap right away, I had a difficult time afterwards. I had to catch my breath because I gave everything at the top of the climb to get as much of a lead as possible. The last 500 metres were very hard, the legs were full of toxins, but it was enough to join the line. It’s really great. It’s a wonderful day for us, we prepared it well. The whole team did a great job, and the legs are really, really good. My recent victory certainly gave me confidence. Winning is liberating. I recovered well from the Tour du Doubs, where I managed to win despite not having a great day. What gave me confidence was actually to think that I could have won more easily if I had had a good day. Today, I looked at the start-list and I knew that I had to go before the sprint. It’s a great race with good competition, and it’s for sure a good sign for the world championships. Nevertheless, I have a race to finish before going there. We will try to keep the jersey as long as possible. In any case, I might be in a shape that I have never been in during my career.”
3rd on the stage and overall, Clément Berthet (AG2R Citroën): “It is a pleasure to get such a good result after a complicated year. Victory was not far off but Groupama-FDJ raced very smart in the final and Valentin Madouas was strong. We had a great day collectively and it’s good to be rewarded with a podium. Personally, I had great feelings in this stage. It makes me happy to have managed to regain a level like this after my finger fracture on August 3 in the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. This bodes well for the future. We will try to get a stage victory but we will also try to get a good result in the final general classification. Even if the individual time trial (26.1km) will force some bigger time gaps, it is always also a good idea to have taken a few bonus seconds today.”
Skoda Tour Luxembourg Stage 1 Result:
1. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:00:25
2. Sjoerd Bax (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:03
3. Clément Berthet (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:07
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:08
5. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
7. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
8. Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
9. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
10. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Skoda Tour Luxembourg Overall After Stage 1:
1. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:00:15
2. Sjoerd Bax (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:07
3. Clément Berthet (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:13
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18
5. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
7. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
8. Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
9. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
10. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Luxembourg’22 stage 1:
The Second Stage of the Tour de Luxembourg was won by Matteo Trentin on Wednesday. The veteran Italian of UAE Team Emirates was the best sprinter in Junglinster, ahead of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders Florian Sénéchal and Davide Ballerini. Valentin Madouas, who won the opening stage, is still the overall leader.
The leading group of the day was made up of eight men: Tom Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Bastien Tronchon (AG2R Citroën), Cyril Barthe (B&B Hotels-KTM), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Asier Etxeberria (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X), James Fouché (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) and Justin Wolf (Leopard). Their lead was a maximum of 4 minutes. In the peloton, Groupama-FDJ and UAE Team Emirates set the pace, until Alpecin-Deceuninck took command 50 kilometres from the finish on the Col de l’Europe. The Belgian team pulled the peloton into a long thin line and reduced the lead to 30 seconds.
Alpecin-Deceuninck realised that this didn’t have the desired effect, so Groupama-FDJ and UAE Team Emirates took over again. The front riders were able to take a minute back, but Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl also got involved in the chase seven kilometres from the finish. Deep in the final was the Poteau de Kayl (1km at 6.6%). Luc Wirtgen and Dorian Godon put in a serious attack. The Frenchman of AG2R Citroën had the best legs of the two and came over the top solo, although his lead over the others was minimal. On the descent towards the finish in Junglinster, Godon was almost caught, but he didn’t give up. At 1.3 kilometres from the finish, he was caught. In the sprint form a thinned out peloton, UAE Team Emirates and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl were on the front. In a chaotic sprint it was then Trentin who pushed his wheel over the line first. He beat French champion Florian Sénéchal, with his teammate, Davide Ballerini next to him. Axel Laurance was fourth and Mattias Skjelmose fifth.
Stage winner, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a really nice final with a small climb and fast run through the city. We planned to do the climb with a hard but steady tempo with Majka and then focus on the lead-out with Suter, Oliveira and our stagiaire Kluckers. The guys made a really good lead-out and we forced Quickstep to go early and so we were able to come around in the last metres. The time-trial should decide the final GC but we’re focused day by day and making another good stage tomorrow.”
Skoda Tour Luxembourg Stage 2 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 3:51:51
2. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
3. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
4. Axel Laurance (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
5. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
6. Jon Barrenetxea (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Tobias Bayer Alpecin-Deceuninck
8. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
9. Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
10. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates.
Skoda Tour Luxembourg Overall After Stage 2:
1. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 7:52:06
2. Sjoerd Bax (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:07
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:08
4. Bastien Tronchon (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:09
5. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:12
6. Clément Berthet (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:13
7. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:18
8. Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
9. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
10. Jonas Gregaard (Den) Uno-X.
Luxembourg’22 stage 2:
Grand Prix de Wallonie 2022
Mathieu van der Poel was the winner of the GP de Wallonie 2022. The race was decided after almost 200 kilometres of racing on the Citadel of Namur, which was only climbed once in the Walloon Classic. After a long sprint, Van der Poel was first, ahead of Biniam Girmay and Gonzalo Serrano.
It didn’t take too long before the leading group of the day was formed: Johan Meens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Abram Stockman (Saris Rouvy Sauerland), Gianni Marchand (Tarteletto-Isorex), Martin Urianstad (Uno-X) and Maximilien Juillard (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole).
The lead of the five grew to over 3 minutes, but was then kept around 2 minutes by Israel-Premier Tech, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. More than 50 kilometres from the finish, the difference had fallen to less than 1 minute and Dries De Bondt tried to make the race hard for top favourite, Mathieu van der Poel. These were the first skirmishes, but they were not followed up. The Côte d’Ermeton also did not provide any spectacle, so the action would have to come on the Tienne aux Pierres (3.4km at 4.7%) at about 15 kilometres from the finish and the closing climb of the Citadel of Namur (2.2km at 5%).
After Mathieu van der Poel had to change bikes, Biniam Girmay then also had to do the same. The leader of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert changed just in time, because not long after that, the final started. The last early escapees were caught at Tienne aux Pierres, but Ewen Costiou stayed out front for a while. The French stagiaire of Arkéa-Samsic had jumped to the leading group earlier and remained in the lead for the longest. Behind there was many attacks, but a real elite group was unable to get away.
In the final phase Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Girmay also tried to attack, but they mainly looked at each other and decided to wait for the Citadel of Namur. Even before the start of the climb, Costiou was caught. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert took the initiative, while Jasper Philipsen and Dylan Teuns were also well placed. Van der Poel was initially a bit further back, but moved forward on the cobbles. The first attack came from Teuns, who had Gonzalo Serrano on his wheel. They immediately got a gap and kept the pace high. The gap was closed by Loic Vliegen and Van der Poel and the result would come down to the last metres. The Dutchman of Alpecin-Deceuninck finished with a mighty sprint and held off Girmay. Serrano managed to take third, ahead of Israel-Premier Tech teammates Teuns and Corbin Strong. Philipsen could not match the pace of Van der Poel and Girmay in the sprint and finished in sixth place.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “I’m very happy, but didn’t feel great all day. I actually wanted to put on the sprint for Jasper, but I don’t think he felt 100% either. I then closed the last gap (to Dylan Teuns and Gonzalo Serrano) and started sprinting. I didn’t see anyone on my wheel and luckily I was able to continue my sprint to the finish. I didn’t realise it had been so long since a Dutchman won here. I love these finishes. The team has worked a lot today, so I’m happy to finish it. It was really a tough race. In the end, after such a climb, the strongest in the race really wins, and I’m glad it was me.”
2nd, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I can live with this. I could have won, but I lost. The strongest won. I’m happy with today because I was sick in Canada, but the team did a great job. I felt good in the final, but in the last corner I lost Mathieu’s wheel. He was stronger than me in the sprint and I couldn’t get any closer. Then it’s fine to be second. I’m happy for him. He’s very strong and I like him. He rode a good sprint today, so congratulations to him. On the final climb we had everything under control. They did a great job (his team), right up to the finish. But not just today, they’ve been doing that all year. Yes, I’m ready for the World championships.”
Grand Prix de Wallonie Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck in 4:55:26
2. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:01
5. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech
6. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
7. Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
9. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic.
Grisette GP de Wallonie Dames 2022
The Plantur-Pura team had a clean sweep of the podium in Wednesday’s Grisette GP de Wallonie Dames. Julie De Wilde finished 3 seconds clear of her teammates Justine Ghekiere and Yara Kastelijn. Australia’s Rachel Neylan (Cofidis) finished at 5 seconds in fourth place.
Grisette GP de Wallonie Dames Result:
1. Julie De Wilde (Bel) Plantur-Pura in 3:48:31
2. Justine Ghekiere (Bel) Plantur-Pura at 0:03
3. Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Plantur-Pura
4. Rachel Neylan (Aus) Cofidis at 0:05
5. Kirstie Van Haaften (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg at 0:12
6. Nicole Frain (Aus) Parkhotel Valkenburg at 0:14
7. Anya Louw (Aus) AG Insurance-NXTG at 0:17
8. Eva Van Agt (Ned) Le Col-Wahoo at 0:18
9. Quinty Schoens (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
10. Fien Masure (Bel) AG Insurance-NXTG at 0:21.
Giro della Toscana – Memorial Alfredo Martini 2022
Marc Hirschi won the 94th edition of the Giro della Toscana. After almost 200 kilometres, the Swiss rider of UAE Team Emirates was the best of a favourites group of five, who had pulled away on the second climb of Monte Serra. Lorenzo Rota finished in second place.
Six front riders coloured the opening hours of the race: Daan Hoeks (Mg.K Vis-Color for Peace-VPM), Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa), Simone Ravanelli (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), Cristián Rodriguez (ToatlEnergies), Edoardo Faresin and Andrea Guerra (Zalf Euromobil Fior). They had a 9 minute lead. Adriano Brogi (Giotti Victoria-Savini Due) and Jan Stöckli (Corratec) counter-attacked, but were unable to join the leading group.
The focus of the race was on the double climb of Monte Serra, a climb of 10.2 kilometres at 7.7%. On the first climb, Rodriguez left his fellow escapees, but the Spaniard was joined on the descent and the valley by some riders from the break and others who had made the jump from the peloton. Gorka Izagirre, Andrii Ponomar and Javier Romo, among others, joined the leading group, which started Monte Serra for the second time with just under 1 minute lead. Ukrainian champion Ponomar rode away from the leading group on the climb, but he had the favourites group on his tale. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert had taken the initiative. At 35 kilometres from the finish, Ponomar was also caught, after which ten favourites remained. Esteban Chaves attacked 4 kilometres from the summit. Only Lorenzo Rota, Daniel Felipe Martinez, Natnael Tesfatsion, Einer Rubio and Marc Hirschi could follow him. Italian champion Filippo Zana was in difficulty and was dropped.
1.5 kilometres from the top, Martínez put in a serious attack that no one could follow. He crossed the Monte Serra 15 seconds ahead of Rota, Chaves, Hirschi and Rubio. On the fast and technical descent, Martínez added a few seconds. With a lead of 30 seconds, the INEOS Grenadiers climber started the last 20 flat kilometres. One against four, but Martínez did his best. Ten kilometres from the finish, he still had 17 seconds, but they could see the Colombian coming into the final. Martínez was caught 5 kilometres out. Five front runners were going to battle for the win. Their lead over the first pursuers had risen to more than 1:30, this offered room for a tactical sprint up front. One kilometre from the finish, Rota, Chaves, Hirschi, Rubio and Martínez did nothing. There was no attack, after which the sprint started 250 metres from the finish. Hirschi proved to be the strongest ahead of Rota and Rubio. It is Hirschi’s third victory of the season, having previously won Per Semper Alfredo and the GP Kanton Aargau.
Race winner, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a beautiful race and the perfect way to comeback to racing. In the climb I suffered a lot and couldn’t follow Martinez but we knew that in the last 20km we could work together and claw him back so we did that. I had good legs for the sprint and knew I could be the fastest so to cross the line first was a huge satisfaction. I’m looking forward to the next few days racing here in Italy.”
2nd, Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I want to thank my teammates for their support today! It is thanks to their work that I could sprint for the victory today. Even though I wanted to win, this second place was probably the best possible result today against a fast rider such as Marc Hirschi. I even reached my personal power record in the sprint with backwind today. My performance was a successful test two days after ending my altitude camp in Livigno and in the approach towards the world championships. Before I leave for Australia, I want to try my best again with the team in the Coppa Sabatini tomorrow, a classic which also suits Andrea Pasqualon very well.”
Giro della Toscana – Memorial Alfredo Martini Result:
1. Marc Hirschi (Sui) UAE Team Emirates in 4:53:30
2. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Einer Augusto Rubio (Col) Movistar
5. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
6. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Movistar at 0:13
7. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
8. Paul Double (GB) Mg.K Vis-Color for Peace-VPM
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
10. Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli.
Remco Evenepoel Will Fly Business Class to the World Championships in Australia
Remco Evenepoel is sure of a business class flight to Australia. On Monday the Vuelta winner started his journey from Madrid to Sydney and then to the World championships city of Wollongong. “Of course we will try to get him to the start as comfortably as possible,” national coach Sven Vanthourenhout told Het Nieuwsblad.
Evenepoel departed from Madrid, and joined the national coach and Yves Lampaert at the stopover in Dubai. A place in the business class had already been booked for the 22-year-old leader of the Belgian team. “For others, we are looking at what is possible. Perhaps Lampaert can get an upgrade in Brussels. In principle, this was foreseen for everyone, but the prices suddenly skyrocketed. And it was no longer possible,” says Vanthourenhout.
“We will shield him and give him rest,” the national coach continued. “His team will also do that after the World championships. The Vuelta will have required a lot of energy, there is no other way. But I am sure that Remco will race with full focus on the World championships. No one knows if he will still be top. But he will do everything in his power.”
Earlier this week, Wout van Aert complained about the expensive tickets to Australia. The Jumbo-Visma rider, who flew to Australia from Canada, said he would initially have to pay €3,500 for an upgrade to business class, but that this has increased to €8,000 for a one-way ticket.
Tadej Pogačar to Ride the World Time Trial in Wollongong
Tadej Pogačar will do the double at the World Championships. The Slovenian confirmed after his victory in the GP de Montréal that, in addition to the road race in Wollongong, he will also contest the World Time Trial Championship.
In Montréal, Pogačar showed that he is traveling to Australia in top form. Just like Wout van Aert, who does skip the time trial championship, the UAE Team Emirates rider flew to Sydney on Monday.
“The form seems to be in order in time for the World champs. I hope for a good day. It’s a different course than today,” said Pogačar, comparing the World championships with the GP Montréal. “Due to the length of the race, it will nevertheless be tough. In any case, I will board the plane to Australia with great confidence.”
Pogačar will ride the individual time trial next Sunday, September 18. Last year he made his debut in the World time trial championships for pros. In Bruges, Pogačar finished 10th, almost 2 minutes behind World champion Filippo Ganna.
Pogačar for the TT Worlds:
Lefevere After Vuelta Victory: “According to Many, We Could Only Win Classics”
Patrick Lefevere is delighted with Remco Evenepoel’s victory in the Vuelta a España. “I enjoy it inside. I’m not that exuberant, but I like to blame people,” said the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team boss in the talk show De Afspraak on VRT. He was referring to the idea that his team would not be able to score in the Grand Tour.
“According to many, the Quick-Step team could only win classics, but apparently people only have a memory of 48 hours,” said Lefevere. “We already came second in the Vuelta with Mas (in 2018) and we lost the Giro due to a mistake by the commissioners when Urán was three minutes ahead and lost his jersey (in 2014). We have done more than what we have shown in the past three weeks. People always forget that.”
Lefevere also responded to the doubts there were about Evenepoel. “There has been a lot of doubt about Remco’s capabilities by the outside world. I don’t think people really understand what it means to fall ten metres down a ravine. A broken pelvis in several places, and also the mental aspect. That little guy was barely over 20 years old. After that, he wanted to rehabilitate a little too quickly. Some are his fault and some are ours. After which he had a repercussion, which lasted six months to a year.”
Will Evenepoel be able to recharge for the World championships in Wollongong, where he will ride both the time trial and the road race. “Either there is decompression at the World champs, or he does a Philippe Gilbert and continues at this level until the Tour of Lombardy,” Lefevere thinks. “When you are in such a condition, anything is possible. He was very relaxed on Sunday evening. He is so strong in his head that I suspect he will be top in the World championships as well.”
Lefevere on Evenepoel:
Mohorič on That Vuelta Crash: “Roglič Deviated From his Line”
The crash of Primož Roglič in the final week of the Vuelta a España has kept people talking in recent days. The Slovenian GC rider pointed the finger at Fred Wright after his crash. However, Matej Mohorič, a teammate of Wright with Bahrain Victorious, made it clear what he thinks to Velonews. “Roglič deviated from his line.”
A week ago, Roglič crashed in the last hundreds of metres of the sixteenth stage to Tomares, after which he had to abandon the race. According to Jumbo-Visma and Roglič, only one person was responsible for the crash. “Not everyone saw it correctly. The crash was not caused by a bad road or a lack of safety but by a rider’s behaviour. I don’t have eyes on my back. Otherwise, I would have run wide. Wright came from behind and rode the handlebars out of my hands before I knew it.” said the three-time Vuelta winner.
Wright indicated that he was disappointed in Roglič’s statements and his Bahrain Victorious team reacted even more sharply to the statement by Roglič and Jumbo-Visma. Mohorič is also clear and critical of his compatriot. “We know that Roglič often falls, this is not the first time. He clearly deviated from his line. He didn’t look over his shoulder to see if anyone was there and then swerves. I watched three or four different videos. I don’t really need to say more. I also don’t think it’s very nice to make such a statement to Fred.”
According to Mohorič, his compatriot should especially put his hand on his own heart. “I have respect for everyone, but some riders are just more eager when it comes to pushing for position gain. I think if you ask the rest of the pack, everyone will say Primož is more willing to push than Fred.”
The final kilometre of stage 16:
Unzué has Confidence in Mas, Again
Eusebio Unzué, Movistar’s team boss, was strict with Enric Mas after the Tour de France. Mas would not have the ability to lead a team. After a disappointing Tour he then finished second in the Vuelta a España and Unzué didn’t miss his performance.
Unzué still had an unflattering opinion of Mas after the finish of the Tour in Paris. “His mental block during the Tour is not normal. But it did help us, because it’s clear that at 27 years old he still doesn’t have the ability to lead a team. He is not yet ready to take on the responsibility of a team, and the dreams of a country. We also have to be patient with that.”
Mas received a sporting and mental blow in the Tour, but managed to take revenge in the Vuelta a España. Although the Spanish climber had to recognise his superior in Remco Evenepoel in the battle for the overall victory, he did finish second in the final classification. He was also runner-up in his home tour in 2018 and 2021.
Unzúe has seen this and puts his hope in his compatriot, especially now that Alejandro Valverde will hang his bike up. “It is not an option for us to focus on multiple leaders, but we are confident that Enric will assert himself as a leader,” Unzúe said in conversation with Cyclism’Actu. “The squad will be built around him. We will also be welcoming four or five new faces.”
Unzué also spoke about Mas during the Vuelta. “Enric showed himself this Vuelta as a real guy. He is not a spectacular rider, but he is very consistent. He has what it takes to compete with the top riders and that’s very important,” he said to Marca. With his good performances in the Vuelta, Mas also did his team Movistar a service in the fight against relegation.
A much better Mas in la Vuelta:
Jumbo Responds to Raid on CEO Van Eerd: “Investigation Does Not Focus on Company”
The Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the police raided the house of Frits van Eerd, the CEO of Jumbo Supermarkets, on Tuesday morning as part of a large-scale money laundering investigation. Jumbo has now stated in a response that the investigation is aimed at Van Eerd and not at the company.
“Jumbo has taken note of an investigation that is currently being conducted by the FIOD. We understand that the investigation does not focus on Jumbo. However, questions are being asked of Frits van Eerd in the context of the investigation,” they say. The raid on Van Eerd, who with his company is, among other things, the main sponsor of the Jumbo-Visma cycling team, was carried out on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service Northern Netherlands, a spokesperson confirms.
The raid on Van Eerd’s villa appears to be part of a joint investigation by the FIOD, the police, the Functional Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Northern Netherlands Public Prosecutor’s Office. Earlier on Tuesday, a 58-year-old man from Aa en Hunze was arrested as the main suspect on suspicion of involvement in laundering large amounts of money and goods and VAT fraud.
In addition, eight people have been arrested, from the provinces of Drenthe and North Brabant. They are involved in money laundering. It is still unclear whether these arrests are related to the raid on Van Eerd’s house and whether the CEO of Jumbo Supermarkets himself has also been arrested. The Public Prosecution Service will provide more information at a later date.
The investigation focuses specifically on various money laundering constructions in which money and goods have been laundered, the Public Prosecution Service said in a press release. “This laundering was done through real estate transactions, car trading, unexplained cash deposits and sponsorship contracts in motocross sport. In addition, there is a suspicion of VAT fraud in the car trade.”
Jumbo boss Frits van Eerd:
Niki Terpstra Will Stop At the End of This Season
Niki Terpstra is in his last weeks as a professional cyclist. The 38-year-old Classic specialist will end his career after this season, he announced via his social media.
After a sixteen-year professional career, the experienced rider from North Holland is ready for a new challenge. “Despite opportunities to continue, it is time to close this beautiful chapter and focus on new goals on and off the bike. As an 8-year-old I could not have imagined becoming part of the pro peloton. That I would win monuments such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders is still difficult for me and my family to comprehend,” he said proudly.
“It has been a career with extreme highs and lows. And with the people who have always supported me – family, friends, and fans – we can look back with immense pride on what we have accomplished. I still think cycling is fantastic, so I will definitely continue to do that. But, in a different way.”
With victories in Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, Terpstra was one of the most successful Dutch cyclists of his generation. He also became Dutch road champion three times, twice won Dwars door Vlaanderen and Le Samyn and was successful in the E3 Harelbeke, Eneco Tour, Tour of Qatar and the Tour de Wallonie. As a rider of the Quick-Step team, he became World champion in the team time trial four times.
Terpstra started his professional career in 2007 with Team Milram and switched to Quick-Step after four seasons. In the team of Patrick Lefevere, he achieved his greatest successes and grew into an important worker. In the Classics he was usually one of the leaders, and with success.
In 2018 he experienced perhaps the best season of his career with a win in the E3 Harelbeke and the Tour of Flanders. At the end of that year, he decided to leave Quick-Step for Total Direct Energie. Terpstra was the leader for the Classics, but was never able to shine in the French team due to some serious crashes and injuries.
Flanders: One of Terpstra’s biggest wins:
Floortje Mackaij adds more power to 2023 Movistar Team roster
Dutchwoman, part of her national Wollongong Worlds squad next week, set to bring Blues her multi-talent quality starting next year
Another big headline for the Movistar Team’s 2023 ‘mercato’ lands on Tuesday as the Giro, Tour-winning squad will rely from next year on the services of skilled allrounder Floortje Mackaij (Woerden, NED; 1995). She joins from Team DSM on a two-year contract, through the end of 2024.
Mackaij has already spent the better part of a decade as one of the most valuable allrounders in the WorldTour, with great punch, ability to excel at both the mountains and the flat, full of experience – nine years in the UCI peloton despite being just 26 – and enormous consistency. In 2022, she’s got herself to the podium at Hageland and Drentse Acht (3rd at both), and finished near the top at races as different as Paris-Roubaix, the Tour de Suisse (6th at both) or the Itzulia (8th).
The quality of Mackaij is further underlined as she’s been called up for the stacked Dutch national team – led by her future team-mate Annemiek van Vleuten – in the World Championships’ road race in Wollongong, Australia next week.
Floortje Mackaij: “I am really looking forward to join the Movistar Team in 2023. I’ve got the feeling that I’m more than ready for a big change. After a decade with Team DSM, and its previous iterations, it’s time for something new. As a rider, I know I still can improve a lot, and want to focus more and more on the classics, hilly stage races and time trials. With the 2023 roster the Movistar Team will have, I know we can set our sights on a lot of amazing goals and hopefully become one of the best WorldTour teams, if not the best. Another fun fact for me about this new adventure will be staying teammates with Liane, which is so great! We know each other for more than six years now, so it feels great to join her to the ‘Blue squadra’. ¡Qué ganas de empezar la nueva temporada con el Movistar Team! (Literal words in Spanish from her: ‘I’m so excited to start the new season with the Movistar Team!’)”
Sebastián Unzué: “Floortje is a rider I feel we haven’t seen her maximum potential yet. She’s got extraordinary allround skills, while I also feel she’s got nice room for improvement. She’s one who has been near the front at tough classics, like Roubaix or Drenthe, while also showing this year, as we’ve seen in the WorldTour stage-races in Spain or the Tour of Scandinavia, that she can be up there in the mountains. She’s also an incredibly consistent rider, always keeping the same level, and one of our goals for the future is helping her winning races. When it comes to teamwork, she’s going to be an absolutely key asset when we go with Annemiek, or Emma / Arlenis at other moments of the season, to the big races. One of her strongest values is her race-craft and ability to read how things are going to pan out — she’s like a sports director on the bike, which is crucial for us. Despite being still young, she’s got strong experience, having raced in the WWT peloton since age 18.”
“Floortje’s always been part of the same organisation, which speaks loads about her character and loyalty, and coming here will surely be a positive chance for her, which can help her grow a step further. She’s got an open personality, she’s proactive and tries to make things easier for everyone. It’s the same as with Liane, whom she will share this adventure with next year. We will do our best for her to feel comfortable here. Annemiek knows her perfectly and believes, just like we do, that there’s more in her, that she can progress, evolve. And racing with her will allow her taking huge experience out of it.”
Connor Swift Joins INEOS Grenadiers From 2023
Connor Swift, the former British road race champion, will become an INEOS Grenadier in 2023 after signing a two-year deal with the team.
The experienced 26-year-old from Yorkshire, who won the British national road title in 2018, will be stepping up to race for a WorldTour team for the first time and joining his cousin Ben Swift at the Grenadiers.
Swift’s versatility has seen him complete the last three editions of the Tour de France while simultaneously proving his quality in one-day racing, including an impressive victory at Tro-Bro Leon in 2021.
Swift’s signing will bolster the Grenadier’s Classics squad while at the same time adding further support to the team’s general classification ambitions, both in one-week stage races and at Grand Tours.
Connor Swift said: “I am super excited to be joining the INEOS Grenadiers. The way the team is evolving at the minute, with the next wave of young guys coming through and the dynamic approach to racing, is really refreshing and it will be special to be a part of the journey.
“This is a team I have always looked up to with many riders who have inspired me. To be pulling on that INEOS jersey next season, taking that step up and getting stuck into the races with these guys is something I am really looking forward to.”
Deputy Team Principal Rod Ellingworth said: “It’s great to have Connor join the Grenadiers at such a critical point in his development. He’s already shown his talent in some big races so he’ll add significant depth to the team and I am confident he’ll be an excellent fit for the team and our ambitions for the future. His path to this point of his career has been a consistent progression and if he maintains that upward trajectory then I have no doubt that we will see some great racing from him.”
Dion Smith Returns to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
The New Zealander Dion Smith, who rode for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 2017 and 2018, signed a contract with the Walloon team for the next two seasons.
The polkadot jersey wearer in the Tour de France 2018, for three days, became the first New Zealander to wear a distinctive jersey at the Tour and is still the only rider of team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux who managed to do this.
During the summer of 2020, he made an interesting debut in Milano-Sanremo as he took sixth place, one month before his first professional victory in the Coppa Sabatini ahead of his former teammate Andrea Pasqualon.
Smith is a fast rider who can survive on hilly courses, finishing second this year in Per Sempre Alfredo, Ordiziako Klasika and the opening stage of the Vuelta Castilla y León.
Dion Smith: “When I joined the World Tour peloton in 2019, saying goodbye to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux never felt definitive. The team has made a lot of steps since then. After four seasons in the same environment, this is a good moment for me to reignite my hunger by returning to my former stable. For them to want me back shows they still believe I have something to give and this motivates me. With the Performance Cel we discussed the ambition of the team and which role I can play in this strategy. The proposal was really what I was looking for and it excited me. The program will be specific to my abilities. I look forward to working with familiar faces and meeting new ones. Six years ago I was warmly welcomed in this family and I expect it to be the same this time. My two participations at the Tour de France are very good memories, so it would be a dream to return in the kit of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.”
Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager): “Dion Smith progressed step by step in his career, so his DNA fits perfectly with the one of the team. His return is a new boost for his career. He has the profile we were looking for, his all-round qualities enable him to play an important role in a wide range of races. He can reinforce our team in the finals of Ardennes classics, cobble classics and also stage races. He acquired a lot of experience alongside world class riders and has a professional attitude, a dreamed profile to surround riders like Biniam Girmay or Lorenzo Rota with. Dion also has fast legs himself, which he’ll be able to show from January already to make the colours of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux shine. I can’t wait to see him guiding the team in our first participation in the Australian opening races!”
More Contract Renewals: Colleoni, Grøndahl Jansen & Maas Sign Up For More
It is a busy period for Team BikeExchange-Jayco with various new rider signings plus multiple contract renewals and with this, the squad is pleased to confirm the contract extensions of three more riders – Kevin Colleoni, Amund Grøndahl Jansen and Jan Maas.
Young Italian climber Kevin Colleoni joined the team as a neo-pro last season and has been following an upward trajectory, learning and developing into a consistent WorldTour rider. The 22-year-old had a stand-out performance this season finishing on the podium at the Saska Tour. Team BikeExchange-Jayco believe there is still a lot of potential inside the Italian and the squad is happy to continue to work with Colleoni through the 2023 season.
Norwegian powerhouse Amund Grøndahl Jansen has also put pen to paper to confirm his commitment for a further season, having joined the Australian outfit back in 2021. The 28-year-old has been a key player in many of the big races, assisting the team to success like at this year’s Tour de France and will continue to play an important role in the team’s “engine room” throughout 2023.
Finally, 26-year-old Jan Maas has enjoyed his first taste of the WorldTour peloton in 2022 as he made the step up, joining the team in January, and has proven to be an all-round contributor in many races across the calendar both on and off the bike. Having quickly settled into the WorldTour bunch, it has been clear to see that Maas has a lot to give his teammates and Team BikeExchange-Jayco is pleased to see him continue for two more seasons.
Brent Copeland – General Manager: “It has been a pleasure to renew the contracts of these three riders and it was important for us as a team to keep riders that have worked so well over the past season and to keep continuity and consistency within our squad. Some of them, especially Amund, hasn’t been so lucky due to various unfortunate injuries, but we hope that the bad luck is now behind him.
Kevin, Amund and Jan are all very different riders, but all have the same vision and goals, to assist the team in the best ways they can while also continuing to develop themselves as riders. Kevin really showed us what he is capable of this season with his strong results in Czech, while Amund and Jan both selflessly sacrificed themselves in the biggest races on the calendar for their teammates. It is great for us to continue working with these riders into the 2023 season.”
Kevin Colleoni: “I’m happy to re-sign with the Team BikeExchange-Jayco. I felt very good riding with the team the last two years and with a new contract for 2023, I hope to repay them in the best possible way. I have been learning a lot in my first years in the WorldTour peloton, it has been very interesting and challenging and I am sure I will continue to learn more next year.”
Amund Grøndahl Jansen: “I’m happy the team still has faith in me despite a challenging first period of 2021 and 2022. I feel very at home and it’s great knowing they believe in my capabilities, so I am happy to continue into 2023. I hope to get my career properly back on track over the next years and contribute with both my own results and helping other riders score victories, especially Dylan, as I’m a part of his sprint preparation.”
Jan Maas: “It is great for me to continue with Team BikeExchange-Jayco, I am very happy about it. It is just a right fit, the Aussie mentality has a lot of similarities to the Dutch and from the first training camp and race, it felt like family. It is a very nice group of people and I had already some great moments with them on and off the bike. We race always with a plan and determination which I really like and that motivates me. For the next two years I hope to develop in a way that I can be the best version of myself which can lead to many great success’s together with the team. I am also happy to celebrate the fact that I have been selected to represent the Netherlands at the coming World Championships after a strong season with the team.”
Date of Birth: 11th November 1999 (22)
Joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2021
New Contract: 2023
3rd Saska Tour Overall (2022)
3rd Giro Ciclistico d’Italia (2020)
4th Tour of Oman Stage (2022)
4th Saska Tour Stage (2022)
5th Saska Tour Stage (2022)
7th Saska Tour Stage (2022)
7th Tour of Oman Overall (2022)
11th Tour of Turkey Stage (2022)
9th Tour of Hungary Overall (2022)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen
Date of Birth: 11th February 1994 (28)
Joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2019
New Contract: 2023
1st ZLM Tour Stage (2019)
1st Tour de Gironde Overall (2016)
2nd Four days of Dunkerque Overall (2019)
5th Bretagne Classic Ouest France (2019)
5th Prudential RideLondon Surrey Classic (2019)
2nd ZLM Tour (2019)
Date of Birth: 19th February 1996 (26)
Joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2022
New Contract: 2023 & 2024
6th Tour du Doubs (2020)
3rd Tour de la Mirabelle Overall (2021)
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