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

Two stages into the 2019 Tour de France and we have all the action and results from Brussels. Plus the Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria and the Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium. Big changes at Lotto Soudal, will Philippe Gilbert jump ship? - Top Story. Other news: Lotto and Soudal extend sponsorship, Bahrain-Merida stay with Rudy Project, Mark Renshaw to retire, new CUBE for Wanty-Gobert, Sunweb and BinckBank, Boonen and Chavanel in Wolfpack Hall of Fame and Vuelta etapa. Monday news/coffee time.



TOP STORY: Gilbert to Lotto Soudal?
It seems that Philippe Gilbert is on his way to the Lotto Soudal team for 2020. According to Het Nieuwsblad, the 37-year-old classic rider could sign a three-year contract with the (other) Belgian WorldTour team. Gilbert now rides for Deceuninck - Quick-Step, but after three seasons seems to be heading for the exit door.

If Gilbert was to switch to Patrick Lefevere's big competitor, he will race for Lotto Soudal until the end of 2022. Lotto Soudal team manager, John Lelangue, has already confirmed that he is having constructive conversations with Gilbert's personal management team, although there is also interested from Ineos, Dimension Data and Cofidis. Gilbert's preference would be Lotto Soudal, as he has previously ridden for the Belgian team. A longer stay with his current Deceuninck - Quick-Step team seems out of the question, as team manager Patrick Lefevere is not prepared to give Gilbert a two-year contract.

It looks like there will be quite a few changes at Lotto Soudal for the coming season. John Degenkolb has already said he will be with them next year. The German will replace Tiesj Benoot, who leaves to go to Sunweb. So what about Victor Campenaerts? The hour record holder was probably going to have to look for a new team, but that was before the main sponsors; the Belgian National Lottery (Lotto) and building manufacturer (Soudal) extended their contracts. It is not known whether this will lead to an extended contract for Campenaerts.

Philippe Gilbert's top moments in 2019:
Paris-Roubaix:


And meeting up with PEZman Alastair Hamilton:




Tour de France 2019
Mike Teunissen smartly substituted his sprinter Dylan Groenewegen to win Stage 1 in Brussels ahead of Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan as he took his responsibilities after the crash of the hot favorite. He puts an end to a 30 years drought for The Netherlands in the yellow jersey!

Four riders in the lead
176 riders took the start of stage 1 in Brussels. Four of them attacked from the gun and made the first breakaway of the 106th Tour de France: Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert) and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin). There was no reaction from the peloton. The maximum time gap was reached after 20km of racing: 3:25, after which the teams of the sprinters, mostly Deceuninck-Quick Step, Jumbo-Visma and Lotto-Soudal, set the steady pace of the peloton. The main goal of the attackers was the King of the Mountain price atop the “muur” de Grammont. Aware of the specificity of the cobbled climb and the ability of the local riders on this terrain, Berhane attacked at the bottom in the very crowded town of Geraardsbergen but Van Avermaet was attentive. In the steep part of the climb, Berhane and Würtz Schmidt couldn’t hold the pace of the two Belgians.

Van Avermaet to wear the polka dot jersey
Van Avermaet passed first in front the famous chapel (km 43.5) and secured the first polka dot jersey of the 2019 Tour de France even though Meurisse crested the Bosberg at the front 4km further. The Olympic champion will wear the polka dot jersey during the team time trial, being the first Belgian to ride in this distinctive jersey on Belgian roads at the Tour de France since Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke in 1980. Van Avermaet sat up and waited for the peloton while his three former breakaway companions were reunited at km 50 with an advantage of 2’40’’ over the pack. The same three teams from the Benelux stabilized the gap around two minutes as the race left Flanders to also visit the Walloon part of the country. The teams of the GC favorites, Ineos, Movistar and Astana, sped up at the head of the peloton before the 1.9km long cobblestones section of Thiméon (km 118). Peter Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team put the hammer down on the pavés. It put an end to the breakaway of Meurisse, Würtz Schmidt and Berhane with 70km to go and split the peloton. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) were at the back for a while. Sagan won the intermediate sprint 69.5km before the end ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Van Avermaet.

Groenewegen crashes, Teunissen takes his turn
As the reunited peloton was slowing down, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) attacked on his own with 59km to go. The Parisian got up to 1:50 lead with 45km remaining. 20km before the end, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) crashed. He made it back to pack with the assistance of four team-mates with 10km to go, just before Rossetto was reeled in. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), the hot favorite for the stage win, crashed 1.5km before the line but his team-mate Mike Teunissen was prompt to substitute him. The winner of the Four Days of Dunkirk followed Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Sagan who looked like he was going to win but the former cyclo-crossman threw his bike on the line to win stage 1 and become the first Dutchman in the yellow jersey since Erik Breukink after the prologue in Luxemburg in the 1989 Tour de France.

Full 'PEZ Stage 1 Report' HERE.



Stage winner and overall leader, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma): "This is truly bizarre. Unreal. It’s all very special. We worked hard for months to do a sprint with Dylan here. After his crash, we switched plans very quickly. The riders in front of me were struggling to keep their pace and I could only just out-sprint Sagan. The fact that I win a stage by beating these guys in the Tour is amazing. This is what you dream of as a little boy. Now it has happened, it has become reality... I can’t find the words for it."

2nd on the stage and overall, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "As always, the first stage of the Tour de France is hectic. There was an early break of four riders and our guys worked to keep them under control. In a critical point a few km before the intermediate sprint, Bora-Hansgrohe put the hammer down as we entered the pavé section, split the peloton and caught the break, giving me the opportunity to take the full 20 points there. We then kept a strong pace with the final kilometers being nervous with some crashes in the group. I was well positioned for the bunch sprint and in good form. It was a bit unusual as it seemed 300m to the finish everybody was stopped. I accelerated, gave my best but was edged out in a photo finish, by a few centimeters. That's part of the race and the sprints, you can win or lose by a very small margin. The Tour de France has just started, we have three long weeks ahead of us and we will fight in every stage."

4th on the stage and overall, Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data): "The first part of the stage was harder than I thought, with some climbs and cobbles. I was not feeling super but then in the final 30km the feeling was much better. It was a strange sprint, going slightly uphill and the speed dropped at 300m to go so things changed a little. In the end, I got 4th place with good feelings so we are hopeful of doing better in the next day's."

5th on the stage and overall, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): "It was a very tight sprint - explains the Italian rider - that I started following my teammate Ivan Cortina with 600m to go. When I saw Peter Sagan starting I went behind him and at 200 meters from the finish I felt my legs heavy and others riders passed me. I think it's a good start and I'll try again on Monday."

11th and KOM, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC): "I was very motivated to do something on my home soil. It’s probably the only time in my career when the Tour de France includes the Mur, which is close to my home and it’s always special when you get to race in front of your home fans, friends, and family. The Mur itself was very nice, with a lot of people and a great atmosphere but, you still have to go first over the top. It was not as easy as it may have seemed on the TV. Meurisse is a strong rider and I was worried about him. I’m happy that I was able to take the first KOM and get the jersey for at least the next two days. It was good to have a plan and I knew that if I pass the Mur first it will be enough to secure the jersey after the stage and I was focused on that. To be honest, that caused a little bit of stress for me at the start but, everything went well and tomorrow some people may be surprised to see me in a jersey like this. It’s always good to start the Tour with something. A stage win is nice, but the jersey is also special. My goal was to do something in Belgium. I got the jersey which I will try to keep for a few days and then focus on stage wins. We are very motivated for tomorrow’s team time trial and even though it’s not the same team as in the past, I still believe that we have a strong group of riders who specialize in TTT. Winning may be impossible, because of the level of other teams in this race, but finishing in the top five would be a very good result for CCC Team."

2nd on KOM, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): "Even if it's not a shame to be beaten by Van Avermaet on his own terrain, I'm disappointed to miss out on the polkadot jersey. He accelerated gradually on the Muur van Geraardsbergen and I was able to respond, but didn't manage to pass him on the tortuous climb. We share the top position in the mountains classification, but the rules say that the Muur was the decisive climb. On Monday the next mountain points will be distributed, I'll get another chance. I was impressed by the sportive experience during my first ever Tour stage, it was incredible from the start."

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:22:47
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:22:47
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data at 0:10
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour'19 stage 1:



The Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma won Stage 2 as well as stage 1 in Brussels as Mike Teunissen, Steven Kruijswijk, George Bennett, Wout van Aert and Tony Martin outclassed Team Ineos by 20 seconds so Teunissen retained the yellow jersey. They also maintained the long lived tradition of Dutch specialists since the very first team time trial of the Tour de France was won by the Dutch national team in Dieppe in 1955.

22 teams of 8 riders each took part in stage 2, a 27.6km long team time trial in and around Brussels, from the Royal Palace to the Atomium. Last in the teams classification after stage 1, Team Ineos got the ball rolling and set a reference time of 13:59 at Bois de la Cambre (km 13.2), 21:11 at Schaerbeek (km 20.1) and 29:18 on the finishing line at an average speed of 56.5km/h. Even though David Gaudu slipped in the last curve, Thibaut Pinot’s Groupama-FDJ bettered Astana by 9 seconds on the finishing line as Jakob Fuglsang didn’t suffer much after his spectacular crash the day before. The time of Katusha-Alpecin at the first check point came as a shock as Alex Dowsett dragged his team-mates to a faster time than Ineos (by 3 seconds). It was confirmed by the second one (by 2 seconds). But 6 seconds were missing on the finishing line for the Swiss-registered squad to beat the British outfit.

Last on the road, first at the end
Ineos was still leading after half of the teams completed the course. Sunweb equalled Katusha-Alpecin’s time 6 seconds adrift. Deceuninck-Quick Step was close to dethrone the leaders but their fourth man wasn’t able to hold onto Julian Alaphilippe’s slipstream at the end. Eight tenth of a second were missing for the Belgian squad. However, as soon as Jumbo-Visma hit the road, they were clearly one class above all other stage contenders. They were ahead at all time checks and clocked a faster time than Ineos by 20 seconds. It’s the first time since 2001 (Stuart O’Grady’s Crédit Agricole) that a yellow jersey holder wins the team time trial. Teunissen is the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey for two days in a row since Teun van Vliet in 1988. Panasonic was the last Dutch team to win the team time trial at the Tour de France.

Full 'PEZ Stage 2 Report' HERE.



Winning team and overall leader, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma): "Today, everything came together. You can see that everything is possible if you are in a flow. We maintained our speed and everyone worked very well. The boys were all very strong. Our big goal was to win the team time trial. We succeeded and that is simply amazing. The fact that I won yesterday was very nice, but winning as a team is actually even better. We haven’t won here with eight, but with about one hundred people. This is the reward for all the hard work that we put into this the past few weeks, months and even years, with the right people in the right positions. Holding on to the yellow is a nice bonus. Now I can enjoy the yellow jersey for a whole day tomorrow."

Winning team and 3rd overall, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): "I was not focused on my position in the GC today. The fact that I am gaining time on my competitors here is a nice bonus. We came here to win the team time trial and we succeeded in that. Wout, Mike and Tony were the team’s engines. All went well today, the pace was good and everyone did their job. We went really fast. We have started the Tour well and hopefully we can keep this flow in the coming days and weeks to achieve even more."

2nd team and 7th overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): "I think we did a really good TTT and it was really nice to be in the hot seat. We took some time on some good GC riders today so it was perfect for us. I felt really good in the stage - the feeling was better than last year in the TTT. I can be happy with that because I'm not a specialist and I was doing the TT with some strong guys. It was difficult but I felt good. I'm happy to be through these first two stages. In a Grand Tour you have to go day by day. I'm already thinking about tomorrow."

Winning team and 8th overall, Geraint Thomas (Ineos) "It was quite good going off first as your judgment on how the ride went isn’t skewed by the result, but I felt it was good. Looking at GC, it’s a good performance, but obviously we wanted to win. I think 20 seconds [to Jumbo-Visma] is a big enough gap to know a few mistakes didn’t cost us the stage win. It was a positive day for sure. I have no injury issues, I was going pretty slow when I hit the barriers yesterday - I'm absolutely fine."

12th team, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I had a crash yesterday and felt a bit of pain in the evening but it was already much better this morning and didn't have any effect on my performance in the race today. I think we had a solid time-trial, probably not the best but still, we didn't lose much time. My aim is to finish in Paris in the GC top ten and I think I have the margin to achieve it if everything goes smoothly and I don't suffer from something unexpected."

14th team, Michael Valgren (Dimension Data): "It was 30 minutes of hell out there but actually, I think it went really well for us. We haven't done much focused TTT training together as a group but we had a plan today and we executed that plan well."

Tour de France Stage 2 Result:
1. Jumbo-Visma (Ned) in 28:57
2. Ineos (GB) at 0:20
3. Deceuninck - Quick Step (Bel) 0:21
4. Katusha Alpecin (Swi) at 0:26
5. Sunweb (Ger)
6. EF Education First (US) at 0:28
7. CCC (Pol) at 0:31
8. Groupama-FDJ (Fra) at 0:32
9. Bahrain-Merida (Bah) at 0:36
10. Astana (Kaz) at 0:41.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:51:34
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
5. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos at 0:30
7. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos
9. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step at 0:31.

Tour'19 stage 2 - onboard cameras:




Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria 2019
A short 2.5 kilometer prologue in Wels opened the Tour of Austria (2.1, 06-12/07). The German rider Jannik Steimle was the fastest, ahead of Matthias Brändle and Pieter Vanspeybrouck and is the first leader in this seven day race.

Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Wanty-Gobert): "It is a good feeling to finally reach a place of honor for myself after a long period without. I'm feeling better since the Dunkirk Four Day, after a mediocre spring campaign. Short efforts like this suit me well, I was looking forward to this prologue. Even if I knew that it would be difficult to make the Tour de France selection, I felt disappointed to not be part of it. But I soon changed focus to this Tour of Austria. This was a very hard race last year, this edition seeming a bit easier, there should be some possibilities for me in the upcoming two stages."

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Prologue Result:
1. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Team Vorarlberg Santic in 2:50
2. Matthias Brändle (Aust) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:01
3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert at 0:03
4. Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:04
5. Emīls Liepins (Lat) Wallonie-Bruxelles
6. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC at 0:05
7. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Patrick Gamper (Aust) Tirol KTM at 0:06
9. Łukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC
10. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Overall After The Prologue:
1. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Team Vorarlberg Santic in 2:50
2. Matthias Brändle (Aust) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:01
3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert at 0:03
4. Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:04
5. Emīls Liepins (Lat) Wallonie-Bruxelles
6. Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC at 0:05
7. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Patrick Gamper (Aust) Tirol-KTM at 0:06
9. Łukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC
10. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data.

Stage winner, Jannik Steimle (Team Vorarlberg Santic):



Having come close so many times to victory at sprints in Spanish races and even made the GC podium of a stagerace in the Vuelta a Madrid, Carlos Barbero (Movistar) was finally able to open his victory account in 2019 on Sunday as he finished off a sensational effort from the whole Movistar Team on Stage 1 of the Tour of Austria, 138km from Grieskirchen to Freistadt.

Carlos Betancur and Jaime Castrillo worked hard right from the start to keep under control the main moves in the stage, the last of which - Scott Davies (Dimension Data) into a solo attempt - was caught on a hilly final circuit. Against a selected peloton of barely 60 riders, Barbero took advantage of his finishing speed to claim his 17th pro victory, as well as the seventeenth success for the Movistar Team in the current season.

The squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena also had six of its riders in the main group, remaining fully in contention of a race which will feature another chance for the fast-men at Wiener Neustadt (177km) on Monday, before tackling the big mountains of this year's Österreich-Rundfahrt.



Carlos Barbero (Movistar): "I was feeling strong after the Spanish Championships and the last few races, and so I hoped I could enjoy some chances to seek for a good result in Austria. As soon as that early break got a gap, my team-mates took the lead of the front group - it was great to see them trusting my chances so much. It was a bit of a chaotic run-in to the finish, yet I was able to find a good position, seek for my sprinting distance and take this one for my team-mates. Even if I had already been able to raise my arms in victory this season, this is the one that no one will take out of my hands. This finally gives me the confidence and calmness to go for me, and the reason you work so hard and take care of yourself every season. It's the reward for these long months without a win. The next goal? Hopefully taking advantage of the upcoming chances and then, in the mountains, support my team-mates as they did for me today."

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Wanty-Gobert): "It was not an easy stage. We arrive with a group of 70 riders for the sprint. I felt good in the climbs, and the team worked well. Tom Devriendt brought me into an excellent position in the last kilometer, finishing his job with 300 meters to go. It is a pity, it was so close and I missed out on wearing the leader's jersey. I'm disappointed, but tomorrow and on Thursday, two more opportunities for sprint finishes are awaiting us, and conquering the leader's jersey this Tuesday. Why also not take advantage of the time gaps after the first mountain stage to break away, gain a big advantage and battle for the win."

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Stage 1 Result:
1. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar in 3:16:00
2. Emīls Liepins (Lat) Wallonie-Bruxelles
3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
4. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
5. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Team Vorarlberg Santic
6. Romain Hardy (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
7. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
8. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data
9. Daniel Auer (Aust) Maloja Pushbikers
10. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 1:
1. Emīls Liepins (Lat) Wallonie-Bruxelles in 3:18:48
2. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert at 0:01
3. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 0:02
4. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar at 0:04
5. Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:06
6. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert at 0:07
7. Patrick Gamper (Aust) Tirol-KTM at 0:08
8. Łukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data
10. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC.

Stage winner, Carlos Barbero (Movistar):




2019 US National Criterium Champion Travis McCabe Sprints to Win Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium
Kendall Ryan Wins Ladner Criterium Women’s Race for the Second Straight Year.

The Tour de Delta Ladner Criterium featured a bit of everything to see in a criterium bike race. The large crowd in the traditional fishing village of Ladner saw a two-rider breakaway which looked like it might stick, thrilling crashes, and an exhilarating sprint to the finish line. At the end of the bedlam, US National Criterium champion Travis McCabe stood tall, edging past Kiwi Campbell Stewart on the last straightaway to claim the title in the 60-lap, 54 kilometer race.

"It was a pretty chaotic race, there were crashes on so many laps, it was a lot of fighting and a lot of hard racing the entire time. The German riders up front were just monsters so I think you saw the strong teams committing - the teams who thought they could win. Us, New Zealand, Elevate-KHS... we timed it to perfection,” the 30-year-old from Denver, Colorado explained. “We've got our lead out down, we dialed it in and I think it showed - it was really a pitch perfect race for us. My teammate Emile (Jean) dropped me off in perfect position and I had the legs to finish. It's great to win here."

It was a gritty race that saw riders contact each other at times and really attack aggressively to try for the win. It’s something McCabe wasn’t surprised by. "When it comes into the finish, everyone's going at much higher speeds and not everyone can win, so you have teams like ourselves - I'm the designated sprinter trying to win against five other teams with designated sprinters. It just ends up like one sprint after another sprint after another sprint until there's no one left."

Stewart, who is a four-time junior track world champion, stayed clear of the crashes and was quick to throw praise at his teammates for getting him on the podium. "The guys did a great job, we had Tom Sexton and Jordan Kerby on the front all day just dropping off with a few of the other teams. It was a controlled race to a certain extent up at the front, but there was a bit of chaos off the back."



There were several crashes, including one with 18 laps to go that saw the race stopped. At the time, Ed Veal of Real Deal Racing and independent German rider Leon Echtermann had a breakaway with a 15 second lead. At one point, the gap was as much as 30 seconds. The stoppage may have helped the peloton and halted Veal and Echtermann’s rhythm. "For us it might have been a nice little rest to stop and then go again. It just means we had to think of a different strategy to make sure that we got the rest,” described Campbell. “I know a couple of guys off the front were strong, but we've got some diesels here on the team and they worked it out really well, but just couldn't get on the line."

In third place was Samuel Bassetti from Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling. It’s the second straight podium for the Santa Rosa, California resident at BC Superweek after he was second in Friday’s Tour de Delta North Delta Criterium to kick off the nine race, ten day series.

Sunday brings the prestigious White Spot | Delta Road Race, which is an opportunity for teams like McCabe’s Floyd’s Pro Cycling squad to gain valuable UCI points. "We came here with the expectation to win, but the road race is a 115 mile race, it's going to be different tactics," he said. "For us, we want to give opportunities to all of our riders, we're not going to ride the front all day because we can't do that. It'll be aggressive racing on our side and if it comes down to a sprint, we've got me, so it's sort of a win- win scenario."



Women's Race
If Kendall Ryan felt any fatigue after flying to Vancouver for BC Superweek, she certainly didn’t show it. The three-time US national champion arrived the afternoon of the Tour de Delta’s Ladner Criterium and decided to give it a go. “I decided 'What the hell?', I'm here two hours early and just wanted to hop in with my teammates and have some fun,” said Ryan, who rides for Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank.

Canadian National Criterium Champion Allison Beveridge also made up part of a stacked women’s field and finished second behind Ryan. Her presence was certainly felt by the other riders, despite the Calgary native downplaying the significance of having a target on her back. "I just tried to have some fun out there. There wasn't a ton of pressure, I kind of sat on the back of Tibco's lead out," said Beveridge, who was part of the 2016 Canadian Olympic team in Rio which won bronze in the team pursuit, setting a national record in the process.

Ryan knew all too well that Beveridge would push for a spot on the podium. “Allison is pretty modest, she's one of the people I was looking out for in the sprint,” the Ventura, California native explained. “I just decided to ride myself into the race and save my legs for the road race, it's a big one. My teammates just had some fun getting the primes and they led me out flawlessly and all I have to do is thank them." Ryan won all three races at the Tour de Delta and reached the podium six times during BC Superweek in 2018.



Kiwi rider Georgia Danford came third – and like Beveridge – is also racing BC Superweek without a team. "I was conscious that I was a one-man band without any teammates to help drag stuff back so just in case, I saved a little bit for the end," said the native of Sadringham, New Zealand. "There were some awesome lead out trains going, I thought I'd just jump on the back of that. It was an awesome race and a lot of fun to be out there."

Saturday’s race was affected by a large crash a half a lap in as a group of riders misjudged one of the early corners and the race was restarted. It caused the circuit to be shortened from 50 laps to 45 and the distance from 45 kilometers to 40.5. The riders now turn their attention to Sunday’s White Spot | Delta Road Race - it’s big for all the teams. "UCI points on the line for us, we're always gunning for those," said Ryan. "It's one of my favorite courses, really flowy with lots of room for tactics and hard racing. We're looking forward to it and we're going to give it our all."

BC Superweek and the $40,000 Tour de Delta continues Sunday with British Columbia’s only UCI 1.2 road race – the White Spot | Delta Road Race in Tsawwassen. The women race at 9:30 am while the men take the course at 1 pm. Live streaming of the race is available at tourdedelta.ca.

BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $140,000 in prize money with nine races over ten days. BC Superweek runs from July 5 – 14 and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 5 - 7), New West Grand Prix (July 9), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 10), Giro di Burnaby presented by Appia Development (July 11), PoCo Grand Prix presented by Dominion Lending Centres (July 12), and Tour de White Rock presented by Landmark Premiere Properties (July 13 - 14).





Lotto and Soudal Extend Until 2022!
More than a year and a half before the end of the current commitment, Lotto and Soudal have already decided to prolong its sponsoring partnership till the end of 2022. The continuation of this collaboration can safely be labeled as innovative. Through the increased financial input by Soudal, both partners become equal. In concrete terms, it means this equal partnership will immediately start at the Tour de France and will be expressed in changing shirts. In the Belgian races, the team will be at the start with a Lotto Soudal shirt, in all the non-Belgian races with a Soudal Lotto shirt, and this will apply to the WorldTour team, the Ladies team and the development team. The greater part of the races takes place abroad, but with a majority of Belgian male and female riders, the for both sponsors important Belgian anchorage will remain assured.

John Lelangue, general manager Lotto Soudal: “I am of course very pleased to be able to announce - two days before the Grand Départ of de Tour de France in Brussels - that both our name sponsors have extended their engagement till the end of 2022. As is natural in a good partnership, we carried out an evaluation at all levels and we discussed our ambitions the past few months, from which a new agreement emerged.”

“Soudal has decided to increase its investment and as such bringing it to the same level as Lotto. As of today, we thus have two equal name sponsors, which will be visible on our shirts. We keep riding with Lotto Soudal on our shirts during the Belgian races, but in the non-Belgian races – as of the start of the Tour – there will be Soudal Lotto on our shirts. This is innovative and inventive. Our official name remains Lotto Soudal. In addition, the team cars, team buses, merchandising and other carriers of visibility will carry the name Soudal Lotto.”


Jannie Haek: managing director Nationale Loterij: “Lotto and Soudal, that is a profitable collaboration, which is why we decided to continue to work together. Our project represents continuity. Lotto is the most popular game in Belgium, a typical broad Belgian brand, close to the people, among which many cycling fans. Lotto is historically ‘the pacemaker of the races’. Soudal is a Belgian company with international interests and worldwide ambition. The extension of the partnership is a win for all three parties: Lotto, Soudal and the team. We want to move up a gear from today.”

Vic Swerts: founder, owner and chairman of Soudal: “We want to create additional opportunities for the future. That is why we increased our input in the team. At the time, we did not enter the cycling project for the short term. The past years, we have come to understand that the partnership is profitable and that our international objectives match with the cycling sport and with the values of the team. That is why we will continue until 2022. But at Soudal, we always aim higher. We want to reflect ambition, always do better and further commit to an advanced professionalism.”





Team Bahrain Merida Extends Sponsorship Deal with Rudy Project Until 2023
Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team is delighted to announce the long-term extension of our partnership with our official helmet and eyewear partner Rudy Project, designer and manufacturer of world leading technical sports helmets and eyewear.

“We have believed in the Team Bahrain Merida project since the very beginning. Indeed, we were the first partner to commit to the team back in 2016.” Said Cristiano Barbazza, Rudy Project President and CEO. "Rudy Project is proud that Team Bahrain Merida has become one of the key players in the elite World Tour and now we’re greatly enthused that McLaren has joined this long-term project. Rudy Project shares with McLaren a commitment to excellence. Both of our brands have a constant focus in developing products, technologies and innovations that can elevate performance in sports. This partnership opens the way for exciting future collaborations."

Team Bahrain Merida riders at the Tour the France are wearing the state-of-the-art Rudy Project Defender sunglasses, Spectrum Helmets and the all new disrupting aero helmet named The Wing.

John Allert, Managing Director of Pro Cycling at McLaren said, "We are delighted that Rudy Project has committed to Team Bahrain Merida for the long-term. Cristiano Barbazza and his talented team have demonstrated that they’re as committed to performance as the rest of our team and partners. Rudy Project combines genuine innovation in product design with a contemporary, cutting edge aesthetic that gives our riders the best available – and helps make them look fantastic. This renewed partnership now provides an opportunity for an exciting technical collaboration."





Announcement: Mark Renshaw
After 16 years, I’m proud to announce that 2019 will be my final year as a professional road cyclist. Looking back on my career it’s very gratifying to note the individual successes, as well as being a major component in victories for my team mates. Being a key part of these victories has certainly been a career highlight and motivated me to perfect the role of a lead out rider.

Looking back, I have had a very fulfilling career as a professional cyclist both on the track and road. During this time, I have been particularly lucky to have had many family members and friends that have had to make great sacrifices for me to succeed. To them, I can’t thank you enough. Your support and encouragement has meant that I have always strived to perform at my highest level be it for my trade teams or representing my country.

I would like to thank all of the sponsors, staff and riders that have been a part of the professional teams I have ridden for: Fdjeux.com, Credit Agricole, HTC-Highroad, Rabobank, Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. I have been extremely fortunate enough to work alongside some great people in each of these teams who have shaped me into the rider I am very proud to be today. The friendships that have been formed during this time will last a lifetime.

Some of my best memories were my first victory in the French Cup race, Tro-Bro Leon. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders at that moment in my career, while winning a stage and the general classification in the Tour of Qatar are memories that make me smile thinking back over my career. Other great memories were the moments I was riding for team mates and their success, finishing second on the Champs Elysees to my team mate Mark Cavendish in the 2009 Tour de France was unforgettable.

I’m not riding this year’s Tour de France but this was planned from early on in the year. It’s a race that has played a massive part in my career and in my eyes is the greatest sporting event in the world. I have been fortunate enough to be selected 10 times and have loved every moment of the Tour. I can’t wait to watch what promises to be an exciting race and am fully supporting Team Dimension Data as they continue to bring the Qhubeka story to the world stage.

I’m trusting 2020 and beyond will allow me to stay within the sport in some way but also provide an opportunity to chase some other passions that have had to be pushed aside, while also being able to relax with family and friends. I am most looking forward to being able to spend more time being a dad to Will, Olly and Maggie and giving my wife Kristina some extra support.

I am looking forward to enjoying the remaining races of 2019 with the goal of performing to my absolute maximum as we continue to chase good results for the Team Dimension Data. I know that we will share many laughs and enjoy the final few months of the season with my current team mates and staff.

I know it’s the right time to step away from racing, my body and mind won’t allow me to perform and compete to the level that’s required for a race like the Tour de France . I am very fortunate to be able to make the decision to finish this chapter of my life on my terms, and I’m hugely excited about my future ventures.

Mark.





Wanty-Gobert presents: New CUBE Litening C:68X PRO
CUBE presented its brand new Litening C :68X series in the approach to the Tour de France, the biggest race of the calendar. The eight selected Wanty-Gobert riders for the Tour de France received the honor to present their CUBE Litening C :68 PRO and new BBB Maestro helmet to the press during the press conference in the Espace de Wallonie in Brussels this Thursday. Afterwards they showed their black machines to the public during their ride through Brussels towards the presentation stage on La Grand Place.

When every second counts, having access to the best material is of a great importance. More than 100 hours of wind tunnel tests prove that the newly redesigned frame saves 30 Watts more than the predecessor models. The aerodynamic design integrates frame, fork, stem, handlebar and seat post into a structure that's as efficient through the air as possible, even in crosswinds. The disc brakes reduce the front surface even more. The new high-end C:68X carbon combines a low weight less than 980 grams with rigidity and comfort on the highest level. More information about the new Litening C :68X series can be found on the CUBE website: www.cube.eu/litening

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): "A team is a technical laboratory and the Tour the France is a fantastic showcase. We are pleased to be able to work with dynamic partners. The new BBB Maestro helmets and CUBE Litening C :68X PRO bikes which will be used by our riders during this Tour de France are real innovations. The new bikes are extremely rigid for flat stages, there's a 30 Watt gain compared to their predecessors."





Team Sunweb Partners up with BinckBank
Team Sunweb and BinckBank are proud to announce a strategic partnership, commencing from July 5th. As part of this innovative partnership, BinckBank will provide financial expertise, adding to Team Sunweb riders’ development.

The new Keep Challenging Center is given more and more shape with this partnership. The Keep Challenging Center – Home of Team Sunweb – is a campus combining a living environment and high-end elite sports support to optimize athlete development, cooperation and ultimately bringing the team performance to a higher level. Part of the young riders’ development is the financial theme, where BinckBank joins the curriculum with their financial expertise. This becomes an increasingly relevant topic, with promising talents turning into future stars in only a few years’ time, and requiring the financial expertise to support that transition.

Jon Thissen, Head of Marketing and Sales at BinckBank, said: “With Team Sunweb we share the passion and love for cycling, people and innovations. Cycling fits with our mission and we trust it brings people freedom and independence. This partnership with Team Sunweb is the next step of our involvement in cycling and through this partnership we bring fan engagement to the next level. We love to share our financial expertise with young talented and promising riders to support and develop them in their financial management during the various steps in their career.”

Jan Wermink, Head of Business Strategy at Team Sunweb, said: “We are delighted to share this innovative partnership with BinckBank. BinckBank is an undisputed frontrunner in the market of online broking and has won many awards over the years. With their mission to help people achieving goals and independency, we share great ambitions with BinckBank. We look forward to our cooperation in the coming years.”





Boonen and Chavanel Inducted into the Wolfpack Hall of Fame
The two former Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders were honored in Brussels for their remarkable achievements.

Most successful cobbled Classics rider in history and one of the most accomplished riders of all time, Tom Boonen is as of today a member of the Wolfpack Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in recognition for his astonishing career, which saw him win over 100 pro races in the unmistakable colors of Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Between 2003 and 2017, “Tornado Tom” became World Champion, triumphed three times at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and scored four memorable wins at Paris-Roubaix, to which he added a plethora of other one-day races, several Grand Tour stages and the prestigious Tour de France green jersey.


Boonen and Lefevere

“I’m really happy to be here on the day the Tour de France starts from my country. I have great memories from Le Tour, where I took some nice stage wins and the points jersey together with this team. The Wolfpack spirit was already part of the squad since back then and I owe many of my wins to it, that’s why being one of the first to get this beautiful trophy makes me very proud”, Tom Boonen said at the team’s VIP Hospitality area in Brussels.

The most Flemish of all the foreign riders to have sported the jersey of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Sylvain Chavanel joined Tom Boonen in the Wolfpack Hall of Fame, just as he did on the road in many of the races the two of them wrote history. A member of the Wolfpack between 2009 and 2013, Chavanel rode to 13 wins, the most famous of which came at the 2010 Tour de France, when he took two superb stage victories (Spa and Station des Rousses) and enjoyed some unforgettable days in yellow before capping it off with the Super Combativity award in Paris.

“It’s a huge honor to be here. When Patrick called to let me know that he wants me to be part of this team, it was something great. I spent five beautiful years with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, won at the Tour de France and brought my contribution to the team’s success, and now, seeing how everyone considers me the most Flemish of the non-Flemish riders, gives me great pride. I want to thank the sponsors and fans who came here today. I’m not a material guy, but this is an award I will always cherish and which will have a special place in my living room”, an emotional Sylvain Chavanel said.

Boonen and Chavanel:




Third Edition of the eTAPA: The Gastronomic Competition That Gives La Vuelta Flavor
La Vuelta fans will, once again, choose the official tapa of La Vuelta 19 through a gastronomic competition that will be in its 3rd edition this year: La eTapa. The winner will get to enjoy a VIP experience in one of the Spanish tour’s stages and his/her dish will be served at the Punto de Encuentro (VIP area in the departure zone) during the 21 stages that make up La Vuelta 19.

To participate in the competition, you must register through the following link. Once registered, contestants must design a recipe that can be prepared in less than 10 minutes and that includes no more than five ingredients out of the over 15 permitted elements. Among these products are vegetables, meat and fish, allowing for the creation of endless different recipes.

Once the tapas have been designed, those registered will have to try to promote them on social media so that they obtain the most votes from La Vuelta fans. A jury consisting of the directors of La Vuelta will have the final vote and will chose the winning eTapa among the three most voted by users.

The recipes may be presented from the 4th – 24th of July and the winning tapa will be announced on Monday, the 29th of July, through La Vuelta’s social platforms.

More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com








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