PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The 2019 Giro d'Italia came to its climax in the Verona Coliseum on Sunday and Ecuador's Richard Carapaz held his lead in the final time trial to make history for the South American country. EUROTRASH catches up with the last stages in Italy and Norway, plus the GP Plumelec-Morbihan. Trouble with fans - Top Story. Other cycling news: Critérium du Dauphiné, Julian Alaphilippe to stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, L'Étape du Tour and inside the Giro last day in the mountains with Sunweb video. Monday espresso time!



TOP STORY: Don't Mess with 'Superman' Lopez!
The fans, I say 'fans' as they were not Tifosi, made the news on Saturday's stage 20. First; Primoz Roglic was given a 10 second time penalty for pushes he received on the final climb of the day. Roglic didn't want to comment on the penalty, but his Jumbo-Visma DS, Addy Engels, clarified things: "I understand the decision and we have to take the penalty. It's shit, but it's also correct. People should cheer, be enthusiastic, but don't touch the riders, please."

Roglic dropped to 4th place at 23 seconds to Mikel Landa at the start of the final individual time trial stage in Verona and as you can read bellow he moved back up to take 3rd place by only 8 seconds.

The second unfortunate (stupid) event involved best young rider, Miguel Angel Lopez, when a 'fan' knocked him off will on the penultimate stage. Lopez was in a chase group just behind the overall leader, Carapaz, Landa and Nibali, before the front group came back together again. A 'fan' was running beside Lopez, but he bumped into another spectator caught the handlebars of Lopez and they both fell. Lopez was quick to pick himself up, but in the heat of the moment slapped the fan, who was still sat on the road, and knocked the hat from his head before remounting to continue the race. Lopez finished 1:49 behind stage winner Pello Bilbao and the other GC men, probably losing around a minute on the riders he had been with at the time of the crash.

The race jury did not penalize the Colombian for his actions, he could have been thrown off the race and fined 200CHF fine. His actions were described as a 'human reaction' and no further action was taken.

After the stage, Lopez commented: "I got knocked to the ground. There should be more respect for the riders. I’m sorry. It was a moment of pure adrenaline and that's how it happened. It’s very unsafe. It’s happened a lot in the Giro, in the Tour, we deserve more respect. I understand that there is a lot of emotion, but we are making huge efforts and then they come and knock you to the ground. What happens if you break something and have to go home? We wanted the victory today, and we got it with Pello. If it hadn't been for what happened, I would have been there, too."

Astana DS Giuseppe Martinelli spoke of the incident: "I think it’s normal that he reacted as he did. He was on the way to winning the stage… I’m only sorry that he didn’t give the spectator some more punishment, he deserved it for what he did. Riders are supposed to respect the fans but the fans are supposed to respect the riders, too."

Vincenzo Nibali could understand how the Colombian felt as his 2018 Tour de France and much of the season was ruined due to a fan: "I’ve nothing against what Lopez did. Something similar happened to me last year at the Tour de France. I came off worse and it took me a long time to recover and my back still sometimes gives me problems."

Don't mess with Superman:




Giro d'Italia 2019
Italy’s Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè) made the 'impossible' happen as he avoided the return of the bunch to cross the finishing line in Santa Maria di Sala ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), the fastest sprinter who settled for second but moved back into the Maglia Ciclamino as Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) was eighth on Stage 18 in the 102nd Giro d’Italia. Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (Movistar) retained the Maglia Rosa for the fifth day.

First win at the Giro d’Italia for Damiano Cima in his first participation. His best previous result was 96th on stage 16 to Ponte di Legno. His only pro win before today was stage 6 of the Tour of China last year. He also won stage 1 and GC in the cat. 2.2 Tour of Xingtai in 2018. Five stage wins by Italian riders, matching the total for last year. And those five stage wins are by five different Italian riders (Fausto Masnada, Cesare Benedetti, Dario Cataldo, Giulio Ciccone and Damiano Cima), just like in 2016 (Diego Ulissi, Gianluca Brambilla, Ciccone, Matteo Trentin and Vincenzo Nibali). Fifth Maglia Rosa for Richard Carapaz, equalling the achievement by Primoz Roglic in the early part of the Giro.

More from Stage 18 in the PEZ Race Report HERE.



Stage winner, Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane): "To give my team visibility throughout breakaways was one of the roles I was assigned by my team. In addition to the visibility, today I delivered the stage victory. It wasn’t easy to make the breakaway today because many riders were playing according to the Maglia Ciclamino. We were three at the front and I thank my breakaway companions for the good cooperation we had. I remained as calm as I could in the last kilometers. I never looked back. I waited as much as possible to give it all in the last few hundred meters."

Overall leader, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): "I’m serene... I’m in my best shape! Joking, but knowing that I was going well, I asked for a pink bike even before I took the Maglia Rosa and it arrived yesterday for my birthday. I’m confident ahead of the last three stages. I feel a lot of emotions because there are a lot of mountains to come. I hope to deal with it the best possible way. I know that my country is paralyzed now because of people watching the Giro."

2nd on the stage and points competition leader, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): "We had counted the points beforehand and we knew that it would be tight. When I took second place in the final sprint, I was disappointed because my teammates supported me all day and worked so hard. They all really did an amazing job. But when we realized that we re-gained the points jersey, it was a special moment for me and the whole team. But I definitely haven't won it outright yet, as there are three more difficult stages to come, which I have to survive. However, at the moment we are very happy to have regained the jersey and we will do our best to keep it."

3rd on the stage, Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates): "Third place is a good result for me and I'm really pleased with it, even if we didn't catch all the break. Even though this is the third week of the Giro I felt good in the sprint. Though it's been a hard race for us - first working for Gaviria, then Conti and Polanc when they were in pink. It's another step in my career as I always hope to be improving as a rider. This result definitely gives me confidence for making the most of the next opportunity I get."

Giro d'Italia Stage 18 Result:
1. Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane in 4:56:04
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
5. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
6. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Sean Bennett (USA) EF Education First
10. Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani-CSF.

Giro d'Italia Overall After Stage 18:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 79:44:22
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:54
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:16
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:03
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 6:17
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 6:48
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 7:13
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 8:21
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 8:59.

Stage 18:



Colombia’s Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) took his third stage win at the Giro d’Italia but the first victory since he was diagnosed with mononucleosis after last year’s Corsa Rosa. He bounced back in style as a winner after several attacks from a breakaway group up the hill to San Martino di Castrozza on Stage 19. Despite a cruel mechanical in a crucial moment, local rider Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) finished second and Portugal’s Amaro Antunes (CCC) was third. Another Colombian fired up the finale as “Superman” Lopez (Astana) rode away from the group of favorites to gain 44 seconds on the five riders who are ahead of him on GC. Race leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar) responded calmly to a late acceleration by Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) ahead of the last mountain stage to the grueling Croce d’Aune.

Third stage win for Esteban Chaves after stage 14 to Corvara in 2016 and stage 6 to Etna in 2018. He’s the only Colombian to have won stages in three different Giro d’Italia. 80th Grand Tour stage win for Colombian riders (29 at the Giro, 19 at the Tour, 32 at the Vuelta). The first one was by Martin Emilio “Cochise” Rodriguez in stage 15 of the Giro in Forte dei Marmi (on the sea side, not in the mountains). It’s the 14th win at the Giro for the Mitchelton-Scott team, previously known as Orica-GreenEdge, in eight seasons of existence, after stage 3 to Horsens (Matt Goss) in 2012, stage 1 in Belfast (team time trial), stage 6 to Montecassino (Michael Matthews) and stage 9 to Sestola (Pieter Weening) in 2014, stage 1 to Sanremo (team time trial) and stage 3 to Sestri Levante (Michael Matthews) in 2015, stage 14 to Corvara (Esteban Chaves) in 2016, stage 7 to Alberobello (Caleb Ewan) in 2017, stage 6 to Etna (Esteban Chaves) in 2018, stage 9 to Gran Sasso d’Italia, stage 11 to Osimo, stage 15 to Sappada (all three by Simon Yates) and stage 20 to Cervinia (Mikel Nieve) in 2018. Sixth Maglia Rosa for Richard Carapaz, just as many as Valerio Conti (Primoz Roglic had five and Jan Polanc had two).

PEZ Stage 19 Race Report HERE.



Stage winner, Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott): "Since I finished second overall in the Giro in 2016, I haven’t only had physical problems but so many other things in my life too. Most importantly, I never gave up. Today it’s a relief. The last uphill is a summary of my difficult years and a summary of life: I’ve attacked many times and believed in myself to make it on the finishing line."

Overall leader, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): "I’ll think of Verona the day we’ll be in Verona. Today’s attack by Miguel Angel Lopez was expected but Mikel Landa is now totally at my service. He said it to me with his own words. I’m not stressed about defending the Maglia Rosa. I’m confident."

2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): "Going to the finish it was definitely a fast climb and therefore it was difficult to make the difference between the Top riders. In the last two kilometers the speed was high and apart from the attack of Miguel Angel Lopez the overall leaders controlled each other. My feelings are good and tomorrow who wants to win the Giro will have to invent something."

3rd on the stage, Amaro Antunes (CCC): "Today, was a good stage for me. Maybe it was my last chance to win a stage here at the Giro d’Italia. In the finale of the stage, I started the climb at a steady and regular pace but, Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) had better legs so, in the end, it was third place for me. I am happy but, of course, the best would be to win the stage. I had an injury before the Giro d’Italia so, I wasn’t able to train well in the month before, so I am happy with my performance and with the team, especially as it is my first Grand Tour. It was hard to bridge back to the front group but, that’s cycling, and cycling is hard. Now, I’m just thinking about recovering ahead of tomorrow’s long and hard stage."

5th on the stage, Pieter Serry (Deceuninck - Quick-Step): "I attacked right from the start, we worked well together, then, on the long climb to the finish, I put in several accelerations until we remained only three guys at the front. I believed in my chances, so that’s why I tried a couple of times, and gave it my all for the team, but Chaves was stronger while I had some cramps as the climb was too hard for me. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with my performance today and happy with how I felt during the Giro and the amount of work I did for the Wolfpack."

6th on the stage, François Bidard (AG2R-La Mondiale): "From the kilometer zero, I was already thinking of the victory. I had my eye on my breakaway opponents, and knew that Chaves did not want to miss out after finishing second behind Nans on the 17th stage. In the end, I tried to bluff them. But ultimately, the strongest were ahead. I gave everything I could. This is my third Giro, and since we no longer have a leader for the general classification, we switched into offensive mode. We are taking every opportunity; after Nans and Nico, it was my turn today. And we weren’t missing by much today. We are seeing the AG2R-La Mondiale team, and the team will try again tomorrow."

18th on the stage and 7th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I had better legs today, and in the end, I reached the finish with the group of favorites and was able to defend my position in the general classification. There were no significant changes in the overall standings and I’m satisfied that Davide and I were able to maintain our top ten positions. After one difficult day in the mountains, I’m in good form again, and look with confidence towards the Giro’s final mountain stage tomorrow."

Giro d'Italia Stage 19 Result:
1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:01:31
2. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:10
3. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC at 0:12
4. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:24
5. Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step at 0:32
6. François Bidard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:35
7. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane at 1:02
8. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana at 1:37
9. Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:53
10. Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:33.

Giro d'Italia Overall After Stage 19:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 83:52:22
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:54
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:16
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:03
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 5:33
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 6:48
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 7:17
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 20:06.

Stage 19:



Spain’s Pello Bilbao (Astana) claimed his second stage victory on Stage 20 in the 102nd Giro d’Italia ahead of his compatriot Mikel Landa (Movistar) and King of the Mountains Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) atop the Croce d’Aune - Monte Avena in the last mountain stage. He was a member of the early breakaway that got reeled in by the group of favorites with just 4km to go. But his team-mate Miguel Angel Lopez wasn’t part of it after being involved in an incident with a spectator. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) rode safely home with the same advantage of 1:54 over runner-up Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain - Merida). Third on GC, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) dropped down to fourth and received a 10 second penalty for being pushed by a spectator. He’s 23 seconds down on Landa ahead of the closing 17km Individual Time Trial in Verona.

Second stage win at the Giro this year for Pello Bilbao after Stage 7 to L’Aquila. It’s also the second stage win for a Spanish rider in this Giro. It’s the 112th stage win for Spain in the history of the Corsa Rosa. Before Bilbao, the last Spanish stage winner was Mikel Nieve on stage 20 to Cervinia last year. In three occasions out of 18 up to date, the Maglia Rosa has changed in the closing time trial of the Giro: in 1984, from Laurent Fignon to Francesco Moser (in the Verona Arena, like tomorrow); in 2012, from Joaquim Rodriguez to Ryder Hesjedal (in Milan); in 2017, from Nairo Quintana to Tom Dumoulin (in Milan). Never before has a deficit of 1:54 been recovered on a time trial on the last day – nor has it at the Tour de France.

Stage 20 PEZ Race Report HERE.



Stage winner, Pello Bilbao (Astana): "I was up the road to help Miguel Angel Lopez later. We wanted him to be on the final podium. With 50km to go, I started thinking of the stage win as it would be difficult for the peloton to come across. Towards the end, I thought I’d be faster than the climbers and I knew that Carapaz would work for Mikel Landa to win the stage. When such an opportunity to win a stage occurs, it’s worth trying."

Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): "I’m super happy with the work of the team. Tomorrow, it’ll be mano-a-mano. Nibali’s hug at the finish today was a very beautiful gesture. I’ve seen him very strong today but Mikel [Landa] and I were strong too. I knew Mikel was able to make the final podium, that’s why we dropped Roglic. The other thing we could achieve was the stage win with Mikel. It’s been close."

5th on the stage and 2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): "It was not easy to make the difference because the pink jersey and his team kept the race always controlled, imposing an important rhythm in the first two climbs. In the end, I tried several times to attack but Carapaz showed he deserved first place. I have no regrets in this Giro, every day I tried to interpret the race better and tomorrow I hope to make a good ITT and to confirm my second place. They just told me what happened to Miguel Angel Lopez (crash with a spectator), and once again I want to invite the fans to respect the riders. It is right to incite the runners but remaining on the sides of the road and not touching them or pushing them so that such serious events do not happen again."

6th overall, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): "I am sorry for my emotions, but in the rush of the race, especially, in the final of the queen stage it is hard to control it. It was a bad situation, but, anyway, I am very sad because of the bad security level of the riders during the race. It is a pity I lost my chances today because this incident happened, but, unfortunately, this kind of situations happen regular and this is not good. I’d like to see more respect to the riders, who are doing their best during a cycling race. Today we had a plan to fight for the stage and to improve my position in the general classification. I am happy with Pello Bilbao, who did a great race, winning another stage for our team. I was good as well today, I was trying for several times and in the final I still was there with the best riders. I hoped for more today, but in the end of the day I am happy I could keep the white jersey."

9th on the stage and 7th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): "Everyone expected this to be a tough stage, and it lived up to the expectations. I unfortunately crashed in a corner in the final 10km. It was a shame, because before I crashed I was in a good position with Nibali, Roglic and Carapaz at the top of the climb. Then I had to catch up but surprisingly it was not too difficult, and it only took about half a minute to bridge the gap, but of course this cost energy. I finished in the top ten of the stage, and we were able to defend my seventh position overall. Thanks must go to my teammates for supporting me for as long as they could. We’ve now coming closer to achieving our aims to place a rider in the Top 10, and we just have the time trial to come now."

7th on the stage, Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott): "It’s been a really big day, attacking from the start, in the breakaway giving all that I had and finally I was close. It’s difficult to win when the favorites are playing for the victory but it’s been a good day and you can’t always win, so I am happy to finish off like this."

8th overall, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): "That was about as filthy as you can get. Lucas saved my butt once again, like he has many time this Grand Tour, and Nieve was up the front there, I think it just got pipped in the sprint but after all day in the break, that’s pretty normal to be tired there."

Florian Sénéchal out of the Giro d’Italia. The Frenchman’s adventure at the Corsa Rosa ended just one day before reaching Verona. Sénéchal has been forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia after crashing during the penultimate stage of this year’s race, Feltre – Croce d’Aune. Medical examinations later revealed that the 25-year-old Frenchman – victorious earlier this season at Le Samyn, where he scored his first pro win – has suffered a broken collarbone. Florian, who two days ago, at Santa Maria di Sale, came close to a maiden stage podium in a Grand Tour, will now travel back to Belgium for further examination, after which a plan for his recovery will be made.

Giro d'Italia Stage 20 Result:
1. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana in 5:46:02
2. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
3. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 0:04
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First at 0:15
7. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:25
9. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:44
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida.

Giro d'Italia Overall After Stage 20:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 89:38:28
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:54
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 2:53
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 3:16
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:51
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 7:18
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:28
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 8:01
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 9:11
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 12:50.

Stage 20:



Ecuador's Richard Carapaz (Movistar) won the 102nd Giro d'Italia as he defended his lead with composure to retain an advantage of 1:05 over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) while Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) regained his spot on the podium at the expense of Mikel Landa (Movistar). American rider Chad Haga (Sunweb) won the closing time trial in Verona ahead of Belgians Victor Campenaerts and Thomas De Gendt, both from the Lotto Soudal team.

First WorldTour win for Chad Haga. As a professional, he had only won stage 1 of the Tour of Elk Grove in 2013. He finished 6th on stage 9 to San Marino in this year’s Giro. Richard Carapaz is the first Ecuadorian and the second South American to win the Giro d’Italia after Nairo Quintana in 2014, both riding for Movistar. This decade, five new nations have been added to the tally of overall victories at the Giro d’Italia: Canada (in 2012 with Ryder Hesjedal), Colombia (in 2014 with Quintana), The Netherlands (in 2017 with Tom Dumoulin), Great-Britain (in 2018 with Chris Froome) and now Ecuador. 11th final podium for Vincenzo Nibali in a Grand Tour, just as many as Chris Froome. Only Jacques Anquetil (13), Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault (12) have more. It’s his sixth podium at the Giro d’Italia, on pair with Alfredo Binda, Giovanni Brunero, Anquetil and Francesco Moser. Only Gimondi (9), Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi and Gilberto Simoni (7) have more. Primoz Roglic is the first Slovenian to make the final podium of a Grand Tour. His previous best place was 4th at the 2018 Tour de France.

The full PEZ race report HERE.



Stage winner, Chad Haga (Sunweb): "It was a very fast course, with a lot of technical corners. The climb was very tough to pace, there was no rhythm on it and you had to constantly adjust your effort to the climb. The descent after the climb was very fast and technical. The extended recon I did for that paid off; I watched a video of it around twenty times this morning. After the last TT we knew this one would suit me more, so I’m very thankful for the team allowing me to save myself as much as possible over the last week for today. It’s been a hard Giro for us; we started well but then lost Tom, Rob, Louis and Sam. Since then we have been trying to salvage anything from the race. The win means a lot to me but it also means a lot to the team too, it redeems the Giro for us."

Final overall winner, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): "I don't know what to say - this is a unique feeling. For me, this is the biggest triumph I could have achieved. These are episodes you can't imagine will come for you in life. The same way I dreamt about it, I got it. Now I believe everything is possible. A whole life comes through your mind in such moments: all the hard work you've done, all the sacrifices you endured to achieve your dream. Living this moment makes it all worth it. To be honest, I didn't think the time trial would go that way, but I really struggled like never before in a TT. From the start, and up until the final cobblestone on the straight next to the Arena of Verona, it's been pure suffering. This is a victory I've achieved thanks to my team, which supported me all the way to notching up this huge Giro d'Italia. It goes for them, to everyone who supports me, and for Ecuador, Latin America and everyone around the whole who is happy about this success. Being able to live this moment with my parents, my wife and kids, is even more special, a unique moment I also owe them so much to them for."

2nd overall and 9th on the stage, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): "I have no regrets. I think my Giro was good and the whole team performed well. It was a very tough and intense race. My rivals were really strong and to take the final win, wasn’t easy. He (Carapaz) showed to be in an extraordinary shape and with his team they did an excellent race. The leaders of the various teams controlled each other, especially in the first part of the Giro, but I can’t say we made some mistakes. Carapaz was very strong and we tried to attack him, but without success. He deserved this victory. All in all, I can be satisfied with my Giro, in particular if we consider that less than nine months have passed since my bad injury at the Tour de France… I made a lot of sacrifices and I worked hard and that makes this result even more important."

Points competition winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): "Initially I felt like the underdog but now we can see what I can achieve. I am just happy to be part of this team. I have a lot of friends here and they all did an amazing job on all the stages, be it on the flat or in the mountains. They always motivated me out on the road, and also outside of competition. Everybody worked very hard to get these results and I have to really thank them for all their support. I really wanted to participate in the Giro and when I was selected, the confidence that the team placed in me gave me additional motivation to try even harder to achieve more. In the end we did an amazing job and my thanks goes to everyone in this team."

2nd on the stage, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal): "Of course, I am disappointed with second place. Team-wise, we did everything to obtain a good result. Performance manager Kevin De Weert made a thorough analysis of the course and that certainly payed off today with a second and third place. It is a nice team result but I would have preferred to win and an additional twentieth place, for example. It is particularly disappointing because I lost the time trial during the descent, where the shape is not important but taking risks is. But that is of course also a part of cycling. If you lose for example twenty seconds on a climb, it is easier to admit that the other rider was stronger. It is thus frustrating but Chad Haga only rode six seconds slower before the descent started, so he also was really impressive today. The past few stages, I noticed he was saving energy and preparing for this time trial. I carried out the plan to perfection but during the descent, it is about cornering as fast as possible. Of course, I received the perfect information from the team car but the audacity is also an important factor. The many track training sessions in Mexico did not really play into my advantage today. But I prefer to finish runner-up in the closing Giro time trail and breaking the Hour Record to winning and not breaking the record. It is of course difficult to focus on multiple goals but just like in San Marino, I was again close to victory today. Finishing the Giro with two time trial victories would have been nice but the shape is certainly promising towards the Baloise Belgium Tour."

6th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I knew that there could be changes in the overall standings today, and so it was important to put in a good performance in the time trial. In the first, flatter part, I kept some energy in reserve, but on the climb I gave it everything. I had really good legs and was able to overtake Lopez in the general classification. Overall, I think we can be extremely satisfied with three stage victories, as well as the points jersey. I wanted to net a result in the top 5, but can be satisfied with my sixth place too. The whole team worked perfectly together here, supporting Pascal for the sprints, and me in the mountains. The guys did a fantastic job, and that paid off in the end."



Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Result:
1. Chad Haga (USA) Sunweb in 22:07
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:04
3. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:09
5. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC at 0:11
6. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 0:17
8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:20
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:23
10. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:26.

Giro d'Italia Final Overall Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 90:01:47
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:05
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 2:30
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 2:38
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:43
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 6:56
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 7:26
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 7:49
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 8:56
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 12:14.

Giro final Stage 21:




Tour of Norway 2019
Edvald Boasson Hagen soloed to victory on Stage 3 at the Tour of Norway, after a particularly strong team performance. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Sunweb) crossed the line in second with Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) finishing third.

After the early running, a break of three riders escaped and were brought back with around 30km of racing left. From then, Dimension Data impressively stamped their authority on the race. They sat at the front of the bunch, setting a high tempo for the pack, while also working hard to protect Boasson Hagen.

A late attack by Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal) was neutralized and saw the final stretch of racing feature Boasson Hagen, along with Ben Swift, attacking off the front. With the peloton closing in, Boasson Hagen gave one final push and soled to a memorable victory.



Stage winner and overall leader, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): "I just opened up my sprint and hoped for the best... nobody could pass me, so I am really happy with that."

Tour of Norway Stage 3 Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data in 4:25:47
2. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:02
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:03
4. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
5. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
6. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
7. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos
10. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 3:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data in 12:30:03
2. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:07
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:09
4. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
5. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos at 0:11
6. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:12
7. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
8. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team
9. Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:16
10. Jacob Eriksson (Swe) Team Coop.

Stage 3:



22-year-old Edoardo Affini had an incredible ride at the Tour of Norway on Friday's Stage 4, to claim his first ever professional victory for Mitchelton-Scott, after spending the lengthy 224 kilometer stage in the breakaway. The Italian timed his sprint to perfection, powering away from the other five breakaway riders to take the race win and move up to second place overall, on the same time as race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data).

The fourth and longest stage began with a flurry of attacks with many riders trying to get into the day’s breakaway. Rob Stannard jumped away with two others for a short while, but with the peloton on high alert, the trio weren’t allowed any freedom for long. As they were drawn back in, Affini waited in the wheels behind and picked a good move to follow which quickly opened up a gap and established a steady lead over the peloton.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider and his five breakaway companions hovered in front around four-minutes ahead for the majority of the day with Team Dimension-Data, the race leaders, doing most of the controlling. After tackling the two categorized climbs on the route, the pace in the bunch picked up further and the advantage dropped under four-minutes and continued to decrease.

With just 11 kilometers remaining, the breakaway riders fought on ahead and continued to hold a gap, but it was down to just one-minute. It was touch and go if the group would be caught as they made their way around the final lap with a slim advantage of just 25seconds, as they entered the final three-kilometers. Just doing enough, the breakaway group held off the chasers and sprinted it out for the stage victory.

Following on from Esteban Chaves’ stage victory at the Giro d’Italia, the first stage victory for the Australian outfit in this year's edition of the race, the young Italian’s win today in Norway was his first ever victory as a professional rider and his first race win riding in Mitchelton-Scott colors. Affini now also leads the young riders classification and sits in a very promising position heading into the final two stages, with the overall race win within striking distance.



Stage winner and second overall, Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott): "It is my first professional win so I will always remember this day, it is amazing. It was a super hard day, full gas from the start, then I managed to go into the breakaway and we had a really good collaboration. We were able to get a good gap on the bunch but we knew that when they start to chase fast that they can close the gap in just a few kilometers, so I was not really sure if we could stay away. On the last lap the guy from Lotto-Soudal decided to go really hard on the small climb on the circuit and we were a bit split but we managed to come together again and went full gas to fight against the bunch. When we entered the last kilometer I thought maybe it was possible, and when I did the last two corners I just found a good position and I said to myself just go all in and if they catch me it doesn’t matter. I tried everything and in the end I was able to do it so I am really happy. It is a great feeling."

Tour of Norway Stage 4 Result:
1. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott in 5:07:30
2. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team
3. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
5. Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:07
7. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
10. Eduard Grosu (Rom) Delko Marseille Provence.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 4:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data in 17:37:40
2. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:07
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:08
5. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team at 0:09
6. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
7. Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos at 0:11
10. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkea Samsic at 0:12

Stage 4:



In what was a dominant sprint display, Alexander Kristoff powered home to claim UAE Team Emirates 15th win of the season. Stage 5 took the riders from Skien to Drammen over 159.7 km, which Kristoff led home ahead of Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Kristoffer Halvorsen (Ineos). Today’s success has propelled Kristoff to the top of the overall race standings, with an advantage of one second over Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and two seconds over Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott). The sprint was dominated by the UAE Team Emirates rider, who timed his sprint perfectly.



Stage winner and overall leader, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): "At 20 km to the finish line, there was a split in the group but the team brought me back, just in time to get the lead-out formation right for the sprint. I started the sprint in the leading positions, and the legs felt good:I’m really happy with the win and to get the yellow jersey is an added bonus. Tomorrow we will try to defend the jersey, it won’t be easy, but we will give it our best shot. I’d like to thank my teammates because they have been fantastic, especially on the climbs and getting me through some of the sketchy moments in the bunch."

Tour of Norway Stage 5 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 3:39:44
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
6. Moreno Hofland (Ned) EF Education First
7. Alex Frame (NZ) Trek-Segafredo
8. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy.

Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 5:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 21:17:22
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 0:01
3. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:02
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos at 0:09
5. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
6. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team at 0:11
7. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:12
8. Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:14.

Stage 5:



Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) won the General Classification of his home tour after taking 3rd place in the sprint on Stage 6 to Hønefoss. The Sprinter came home a fine third place in the final stage from Gran-Hønefoss which over 175.1 km. Winner on the day was Kristoffer Halvorsen (Ineos) with Cees Bol (Sunweb) 2nd, the UAE Team Emirates rider won the overall in Norway’s premier stage race. Kristoff finished first in the overall standings with a three second lead over Halvorsen and five seconds over Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data). Kristoff also took home the win for the points jersey for UAE Team Emirates.



Overall race winner, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): "We started with the responsibility and goal of defending the leadership in the overall standings. The team was totally focused on controlling the race, and then working very well to support me and to stay in the main group. Though I thought I could win the final sprint, two guys came past me, but third place was enough to allow me to win the Tour of Norway. I am very happy, it has been a long time since I won the overall classification of a race."

Tour of Norway Stage 6 Result:
1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos in 4:02:40
2. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
6. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
7. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
8. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb
9. August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
10. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott.

Tour of Norway Final Overall Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 25:19:58
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos at 0:03
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 0:05
4. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
5. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:07
6. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team at 0:15
7. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:16
8. Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 0:17.

Norway final stage 6 - Inside the race by Velon:




Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan 2019
Benoit Cosnefroy won the Plumelec-Morbihan Grand Prix on Saturday. The AG2R-La Mondiale rider was just ahead of Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty-Gobert) on the uphill finish. Many strong riders showed themselves in the ninth race of the Coupe de France. Fabien Doubey, Maxim Cam, and Jérémy Leveau were part of the early break, but they were caught in the last 30 kilometers on the local circuit when Pierre Rolland and Warren Barguil attacked. Their efforts did not last long, as did those of Xandro Meurisse. This was due to the work of AG2R-La Mondiale's Alexis Gougeard and Mikaël Chérel leading the pack. They wanted Benoit Cosnefroy and Clément Venturini to start the last kilometer in the best position. Attacks by Guillaume Martin and Odd Christian Eiking were neutralized in the finalé, after which Cosnefroy was able to take his second victory of the season.

This was Cosnefroy's third professional victory in Plumelec, which was also the seventh for the AG2R-La Mondiale team this season. Benoit Cosnefroy’s victory in Plumelec is the fifth for the AG2R-La Mondiale team in the Breton race in the last seven editions. Before him, Samuel Dumoulin (2013 - 2016) and Alexis Vuillermoz (2015 - 2017) also managed to take the win at the top of the Cote de Cadoudal.



Race winner, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): "We had a great day together. Pierre Latour sacrificed himself very early to ride at the front. In the end, Alexis Gougeard really gave me an armchair ride. It was great. Everyone worked really well. I did not seen the break at the end of the race and I tried my best to manage my efforts. I am very happy to win for a second time this season. I did my first altitude camp recently with the team. I think I recovered well from that, but I did not feel very great sensations. Still, I manage to impose myself today, it's essential! I hope we can continue with this momentum tomorrow at the Boucles de l’Aulne.”

In the general classification for the Coupe de France, Benoît Cosnefroy is third with 100 points. AG2R-La Mondiale are in second place in the team classification with 7

Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Result:
1. Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:35:27
2. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
3. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert
4. Kévin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber93 at 0:03
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
7. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert at 0:05
8. Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
9. Marco Tizza (Ita) Amore & Vita-Prodir
10. Kevin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ at 0:08.

Plumelec'19:




Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Dames 2019
This Saturday, Bigla participated at the ninth edition of the Grand Prix Plumelec-Morbihan in Brittany in north-western France. The 108km long course with start and finish in the small town of Plumelec took the riders initially over five laps of 13.9km each, followed by five more laps of 7.7km each. At the end of each round a 10 per cent steep ramp awaited the peloton, making this parcours rather challenging. Initial attacks off the front were neutralized by the peloton and after 50km the field travelled together again. Elizabeth Banks and a breakaway companion were able to break free on the second last round and carved out a small advantage but a chasing group of about 20 riders led by Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig were hard on their heels. On the final round the Danish rider was able to forge ahead and cross the line first. Leah Thomas with an incredible effort won the mountain classification and the team also took the team classification.



Race winner, Cecilie Uttrup (Bigla): “This was a fantastic win. And we have also won the team classification and Leah took the mountain classification, this is terrific. I am very happy. This was a crazy team effort and we worked so well together. We were pulling at the front the whole time. It feels so good to finish off this super team effort with a win. We can be so proud of our efforts as a whole team and it is time now to celebrate.”

Bigla team manager, Thomas Campana: "We have won this race two times before and our goal was to win it again. This was only possible with a strong team effort. We went early for the QOM with Leah which kept the team concentrated. On the second last round we could launch Lizzy one more time, which put a lot of pressure on the field as they had to chase her down because she was a real threat for the win. At the end of the day, we knew the final climb and we made it hard. Cilie eventually took the win and this was extremely important for the team. This is the second UCI win within a week and it shows that this young team is on the right path."

Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Dames Result:
1. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla Pro Cycling Team in 2:56:05
2. Margarita Victo Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Movistar
3. Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Movistar
4. Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling
5. Stine Borgli (Nor) Norway at 0:04
6. Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Parkhotel Valkenburg
7. Julie Van de Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Urska Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
9. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano.

Plumelec'19 Dames:




Critérium du Dauphiné 2019: Battle Royal
Barring any surprises, everyone knows what awaits the victor of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Four times in the last six years, the winner has gone on to stand on the top step of the podium of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées. Chris Froome followed this path in three of his four Tour wins so far… and intends to tread it again in his bid to become a member of the five-time winners' club by the end of July. The Brit has been far less prolific in 2019 than in previous seasons (with no victories so far), while the heightened aspirations of other riders in the recently renamed Ineos team further complicate the matter. A new win here would go a long way towards bolstering "Froomey" as a credible contender, but on the roads between Aurillac and Champéry he will come up against many pretenders who already know what it is to stand on the podium and are also eager to make an impression in the Alps. Another former winner, Jakob Fuglsang, has got even stronger since 2017, with a series of rock-solid performances during the classics campaign culminating in victory in Liège–Bastogne–Liège. The Dane's show of strength in Belgium will make him a marked man in the mountains, especially for Richie Porte, who saw Fuglsang snatch overall victory from him with an eleventh-hour move two years ago. Although the rider from Down Under has struggled in previous seasons, he seemed in his element in the Tour of California (fourth) and could bring down the hammer in the stage 4 time trial around Roanne if he gets his mojo back.

After surviving the tricky roads of the Cantal department and limiting the damage in the race against the clock, climbers will finally get their chance to shine in the last three stages. Romain Bardet and Dan Martin, for example, have both finished on the podium twice, while Adam Yates came in second last year. However, the regular Dauphiné crowd will be facing top-notch rivals who are returning to the race this year. Thibaut Pinot laid the groundwork for his comeback with victory in the Tour de l'Ain, while Nairo Quintana went toe to toe with Egan Bernal in Paris–Nice and proved himself a credible contender for his first appearance since 2012, when he took the stage to Morzine. Time for a great comeback story.

22 teams, main contenders (as of 31 May):

Australia

Mitchelton–Scott: A. Yates (GBR) and Impey (RSA)

Bahrain
Bahrain–Merida: Colbrelli (ITA) and Teuns (BEL)

Belgium
Deceuninck–Quick-Step: Alaphilippe (FRA), Gilbert (BEL), Hodeg (COL) and Štybar (CZE)
Lotto–Soudal: Marczyński (POL) and Lambrecht (BEL)
Wanty–Gobert Cycling Team: G. Martin (FRA) and Eiking (NOR)

France
Ag2r–La Mondiale: Bardet, Geniez (FRA) and Naesen (BEL)
Groupama–FDJ: Pinot, Gaudu, Molard (FRA) and Reichenbach (CHE)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Bouhanni (FRA) and Atapuma (COL)
Team Arkéa–Samsic: Barguil (FRA) and Greipel (DEU)
Vital Concept–B&B Hotels: Rolland and Pacher (FRA)

Germany
Team Sunweb: Fröhlinger (DEU) and C. Pedersen (DEN)
Bora–Hansgrohe: Bennett (IRL), Großschartner (AUT), Buchmann and Schachmann (DEU)

Kazakhstan
Astana Pro Team: Fuglsang, Cort Nielsen (DEN), G. Izagirre, I. Izagirre (ESP) and Lutsenko (KAZ)

Netherlands
Team Jumbo–Visma: Kruijswijk (NLD) and Van Aert (BEL)

Poland
CCC Team: De Marchi (ITA), Pauwels (BEL) and Ten Dam (NLD)

South Africa
Team Dimension Data: Boasson Hagen (NOR) and Cummings (GBR)

Spain
Movistar Team: Quintana (COL) and Erviti (ESP)

Switzerland
Team Katusha-Alpecin: Politt (DEU)

United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Martin (IRL) and Sutherland (AUS)

United Kingdom
Team Ineos: Froome (GBR), Kwiatkowski (POL), Moscon (ITA) and Poels (NLD)

United States
EF Education First: Van Garderen (USA), Woods (CAN) and Bettiol (ITA)
Trek–Segafredo: Porte (AUS), Skujiņš (LAT)

Key points:
Ø
The 71st edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné, which will get going in Aurillac (Cantal) on 9 June and come to an end in the Swiss town of Champéry after eight days of racing, will start with favorable terrain for punchers such as Julien Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert and then transition to sprinter-friendly stages for the likes of Nacer Bouhanni, André Greipel, Álvaro Hodeg and Sam Bennett.

Ø Once the race gets to the Alps, the pretenders to the crown and future Tour de France podium contenders will duke it out in a clash of titans. Three-time Dauphiné winner Chris Froome will face opposition from the usual suspects, including Jakob Fuglsang, Romain Bardet, Dan Martin and Richie Porte, as well as riders such as Thibaut Pinot and Nairo Quintana, who are coming back to the race with even loftier ambitions.

Dauphiné rough roads:




Julian Alaphilippe at Home with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The UCI Individual Classification leader has extended his contract with the team.

Julian Alaphilippe put pen to paper and signed a new agreement with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, that will see him ride for our team – with which he turned pro at the beginning of 2014 – through 2021.

This season has been an astonishing one for Alaphilippe, who took his maiden Monument at the 110th Milano-Sanremo, after out-sprinting an elite group on the iconic Via Roma, a triumph to which he added eight more wins in the space of just three months: Strade Bianche, Flèche Wallonne, and stages at the Vuelta a San Juan, Tour Colombia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

“This is the team which gave me the chance to turn pro six years ago and where I feel at home. It’s my second family and I am very grateful for all the support I have received over the years as part of the amazing Wolfpack. I had also other offers, but my priority was always to ink a new deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, because this squad has a unique spirit and winning mentality which make up for a perfect environment to develop. I’m happy I could sign this contract before the second part of the season, which I am ready to kick off at the Critérium du Dauphiné, next week”, said the reigning Tour de France KOM champion, Julian Alaphilippe.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere couldn’t hide his delight at having retained the services of the 26-year-old Frenchman, who has notched up 27 wins since turning pro: “Julian is part of our incredible family and signing a new contract with him was one of our top priorities. We took him aboard when he was very young as part of our policy to invest in the up-and-coming talents, which we carefully nurture to become great riders. Julian is one of these riders, but he’s more than just a champion – capable of winning a wide range of races – he is also a nice and charismatic person, and we are extremely happy that he’ll continue to sport the team colors over the next two seasons, when we hope to enjoy many other beautiful and memorable victories together.”

Julian Alaphilippe:




The Étape du Tour de France Gunning for Val Thorens!
On 21 July, 16,000 riders will have the same objective, that of finishing the 135 kms between Albertville and Val Thorens. With multiple ambitions, a unique experience, that of getting an idea of what it is like on the Tour by riding on the roads of stage 20 of the Grande Boucle in the same conditions as the pros.

Key points:
Ø
An acclaimed event with 16,000 participants
Ø A chance to experience the magic of the Tour de France
Ø The official application is available on Android and iOS to prepare properly

An uphill challenge
The countdown has begun and the Étape du Tour de France returns to the delight of cycling enthusiasts. For edition 29, the cyclosportive race of reference will plunge the entrants and public into the heart of the Tour de France. The amateur riders will have the privilege of stepping into the cycling shoes of the pros to complete the stage featuring the 3 climbs and 4,563m of elevation gain that will lead them to highest altitude finish in the history of the Étape du Tour de France, at Val Thorens. In addition to riding on the same roads as the pros, the riders will discover all the elements specific to cycling’s biggest race: a friendly atmosphere with El Diablo at the village before the start of the race, closed roads for the entire 135kms, a timed stage and a finish in front of a massive crowd of enthusiastic spectators. In other words, the participants will breathe, sweat, and fully experience the Tour de France.

A Tour de France for everyone
The Étape du Tour has no equal. As evidence of the popularity of this event, this year it sold out in just a few hours. Each participant will find his or her source of motivation. Quite often, those who take part in this race comeback for more. It is the case of Greg, who is participating for the fourth consecutive time. “The Étape du Tour de France is an event apart for foreigners. You really get the feeling of being a rider in the Tour de France and my childhood memories watching TV return. Once on the saddle, competition and performance take over. I hope to do better than last year!”

This cyclosportive event is open to all enthusiasts, and this edition is also the occasion for each rider to challenge themselves as Lucas, who will take part for the first time, explains: “It was the Étape du Tour de France that encouraged me to purchase a bike. This is quite a challenge for me as my country is not the best place to train for mountains. I look forward to discovering the atmosphere and to test myself in the same conditions as the pros. I train whenever I have the time thanks to the training program and the application.”

Discover the app on Android and IOS.

Discover the training plan here

More information on l’Étape du Tour www.letapedutour.com

Étape du Tour de France:




#InsideOut at the Giro d'Italia - The Last Day in the Mountains
The Sunweb team go behind the scenes on the last mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday.








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