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

Can Ritchie Porte swap Suisse yellow for French yellow? It looks like Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Rigoberto Uran are all lining up for the battle in July. All the news from the Tour de Suisse and the OVO Women's Tour, plus the final results form the Tour of Slovenia, Route d'Occitanie and the Under 23 Giro d'Italia all with video. In other cycling news: Tour history with Jules Buysse and information on the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia and Mediofondo Fabio Casartelli. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.

TOP STORY: No Tour for Pinot!
The French Groupama-FDJ team has announced that Thibaut Pinot will not be part of their Tour de France team due to ill-health. Pinot was hospitalized after he struggled to the finish of stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia with a fever and severe dehydration. The Frenchman was later diagnosed with pneumonia.

Thibaut Pinot said in a Groupama-FDJ team press release: "I am extremely disappointed because the Tour de France, the biggest race of the calendar, was a major goal of my season. During the Giro d'Italia, I competed against the best until the end. I wanted to do the same at the Tour de France, I felt ready for it. Unfortunately, I can't be competitive. The decision is now taken, but I'm already motivated and turned to new goals." It is hoped that he will be fit for the Vuelta a España and the World road race in Innsbruck, Austria. Pinot will be replaced by the 2016 Tour de l'Avenir winner, David Gaudu.

Team manager, Marc Madiot, said: "We are obviously disappointed by the absence of Thibaut Pinot because everyone knows his qualities and the ambition we had with him. Arnaud Démare is a sure bet, and the ambitions of the team remain strong. While David Gaudu is certainly young, he has a huge talent and is already doing well. In 2012, Thibaut Pinot was in the same situation and we know what happened. I have great confidence in the collective that we will reveal very soon."

One less hopeful rider for the 2018 Tour de France:
Cervinia - Italië - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Thibaut Pinot (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) pictured during the 101st Giro d’Italia 2018 - stage 20 from Susa to Cervinia (214 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

Tour de Suisse 2018
After three climbs on the stage profile, the breakaway survived all the way to the finish line with Søren Andersen (Sunweb) taking the Stage 6 victory on Thursday. Race leader Richie Porte (BMC) attacked from the GC group of chasers in the final kilometers, to extend his overall lead to 32 seconds over Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen (both Sunweb).

Before the race headed up the first Hors Category climb of the day, the Furkapass, a large breakaway group of 18 riders formed. After tackling the climb, which climbs to 2,429 meters, the breakaway split leaving just 11 riders in front with a 4 minute ahead. On the descent most of the break regrouped. However, over the next climb, the 25 kilometer Klausenpass, the breakaway split again and continued to yo-yo back and forth eventually leaving just six riders at the head of the race.

The distance to the peloton increased out to almost five minutes with just 45 kilometers remaining. It was the race leaders BMC who led the chase throughout the stage, however, with 20 kilometers to go the six leaders battled on hard and maintained an advantage of over three minutes. Coming into the final five kilometers, the road went up again as Porte attacked from the now reduced main bunch and successfully bridged across to the leaders just before the line, to take valuable seconds to extend his lead overall.

Stage 6 in PeloPics.

Gommiswald - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Soren KRAGH ANDERSEN (Danmark / Team Sunweb) pictured during the 82nd Tour de Suisse (2.UWT) stage 6 from Fiesch to Gommiswald 186KM - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner, Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb): "Today was a really special day and I'm super happy with the win. To pay back my team for giving me the chance is a really nice feeling. Our coach from the car told me to do my thing and trust my instinct and when the last attack went I decided to go for it. This win is a relief, it was a really long sprint for me and I managed to stay in front. I've had a lot of opportunities in the past but it never really worked out so I'm super happy that I've finally taken a WorldTour win here."

6th on the stage and overall leader, Richie Porte (BMC): "I think that after the amount of work that the team did for me today, I had to do something. I didn't really expect to take time like that. I wasn't feeling great yesterday but today I had a better day and the team was incredible for me. Each and every one of the guys was really good especially Michi Schär. He rode most of the stage for me. It's good coming into the Tour. The guys put me in a great position and they looked after me so I am happy with how the day went. This is a dress rehearsal for the Tour de France and it really showed today that we are there. It was good to take a little bit more time on some strong time trialists today. Tomorrow on paper is maybe better for me and I am super motivated. Allan Peiper said on the radio 'Richie if you have any gas, you gotta go,' and I actually thought I had hit out a bit too early but when I heard that they were cracking, I dug in a little bit more. It really hurt but it is nice to take some extra time."

2nd on the stage, Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin): "That was an awesome stage! Tour de Suisse is so nice when it’s not raining! I admit I’m a little disappointed to get second today instead of winning. Sunweb played the race tactic perfectly with Michael Matthews in the back, but it always hurts a little more to get beaten by the tactic where a guy sits for the last 30k and we were pushing as hard as we could to actually win the race. Hats off – he’s an awesome rider and this is a big win for him, but what can I say? I put a lot of spirit into today. There was so much strategy today. When Michael Gogl went at 2km I knew it was just too, too hard at that moment. I was hoping Maxim Monfort would hold off a little before he went to close the gap, but when Andersen was able to ride over the top of us, he showed more strength and he was just better in the final. It was all I could do."

3rd on the stage, Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida): "My legs are good, I feel good. I went into a breakaway and unfortunately the other riders in that group were not interested to collaborate for the fight, but I am satisfied with a third place no matter that we didn't make better for the GC."

11th on the stage and 5th overall, Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott): "It was another pretty tough stage with two super long climbs but once the breakaway went, which took a while to go, BMC basically set a hard tempo and we rode the climbs at a relatively solid pace. It wasn't until the last 20km when it started to get interesting in the peloton, fighting into the bottom of the final climb. The boys did a great job of positioning me and looking after me today. I was in a good position and just tried to play it smart and limit my losses on the final climb thinking if it split it may come together again on the flatter part before the finish which it did. I kept fifth place on GC so now I just need to get through tomorrow and then the ITT."

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb in 4:59:53
2. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:10
3. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:24
4. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:25
5. Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:27
7. Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo at 0:29
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:39
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 22:04:13
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:32
3. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:33
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:41
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:45
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:48
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:52
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:58
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 0:59.

Stage 6:

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) claimed one of his most brilliant wins as a pro in Friday's Stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse. Enormous climbing quality and power, combined with a well-driven Movistar backed squad, saw the Colombian making a 30km attack into the long Arosa climb to open his victory account for the 2018 current season. Quintana moved into second place overall, 17 seconds behind Richie Porte (BMC).

Stage 7 was the last of the true mountain stages, and would be the final opportunity for the climbers to take a stage win, as well as one of the last real opportunities for the GC riders to create some time gaps before the time trial on stage 9. This ambition in the peloton was obvious as a massive 29 riders jumped in the break. The comparatively flat terrain allowed this group to build up a strong advantage, hitting 3:30 at its peak. The stage was quiet until the lower slopes of the Arosa, when attacks from the peloton saw the race really come to life, stringing out the bunch as the pace rose to catch the break. An attack from Nairo Quintana quickly passed the tired remnants of the escapees before merging and creating a new lead group, leaving the yellow jersey down the road.

Porte couldn't bridge back in the final kilometers to Quintana. The Colombian climbed up to 2nd overall at 17 seconds behind Porte, before the last two stages.

More photos in PeloPics.

Arosa - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - AQUINTANA Nairo (COL) of Movistar Team pictured during the 82nd Tour de Suisse (2.UWT) stage 7 from Eschenbach/Atzmännig to Arosa170KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): "I wanted to see what my real form was, and fortunately, I'm feeling great at the moment! The team's work was really good, with everyone taking efforts from the very beginning of the stage and as far as they could. We put Bennati to push at the front of the bunch on the flat before the climb, trying to keep the breakaway close and taking advantage from Víctor's position to bridge back and get further. De la Parte was fundamental up there on the flat between the climbs, pushing as much as he could for as long as possible. And in the end, it was my task - Mikel was also trying to attack the GC group and destroy the pace by BMC, just like I asked him to do."

3rd on the stage and overall leader, Richie Porte (BMC): "That was a long climb and I don't think we ever expected Nairo to go that early but that's racing. I wasn't expecting an attack so early on the bottom of the climb but I had Tejay there with me and then a super Greg Van Avermaet, who did a fantastic job for me. I didn't stress too much and I gave it everything so, hats off to Nairo, he was super strong today and I think he thoroughly deserved the stage win. I lost some time on the GC but I'm still looking forward to the time trial. We've still got to get through tomorrow's stage but I think normally I am not a bad time trialist so, I'm here to try and win this race and I think it is looking good now. I'm happy with where my form is at. I was good yesterday as well and I hope to have the legs that I need for Sunday. I think Andy Rihs would have been very proud of us at his home race. It's obviously sad to have lost Andy this year. He was probably one of the best sponsors cycling has ever seen and it's hard to replace someone like that. He did so much for us all and was a fantastic character. Hans Rihs, his brother, was at the race yesterday and it was nice to see that he still has the same enthusiasm."

2nd on the stage and 6th overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): "We did not expect Quintana would attack so early, practically, at the bottom of the climb. It was still a very long way to the top and I hoped, we could catch him. But, today he was just the strongest. I felt good today and I am happy with my form and with the way I’ve managed to do this stage. Of course, it was a clear goal for me today to try to win the stage and when I joined Richie Porte I did my best to catch Quintana. But we just missed it. Anyway, it was a very good test. I am in a good form, but I hope I can still improve, because the last weeks of the Tour de France are still far away in time."

4th on the stage, Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): "Initially, I thought the group was too big and there wouldn't be much collaboration in it. On the hilly parts it was the case but then in the valley, Sky committed themselves and the group found a rhythm. I knew there was a chance of us going on the final climb but in the first section, I really struggled and had to suffer a lot. When Quintana closed in on us, I had some time to recover on the flat parts and my legs got better. With 3km to go, I thought I could win but I think I still miss that final 3% to reach my peak form, so I wasn't able to follow Quintana in the last 2km. However, this 4th place is a welcome confidence boost and it shows my preparation towards the Tour de France is on the right track. I am very tired right now but very happy as well!!"

5th on the stage and 3rd overall, Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb): "Today was a hard and fast day. The boys did a perfect job in the final to bring me and Sam into a good position. The last steep part of the climb was full gas to the finish. I’m happy with the form I have now after three months of no races."

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Result:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 4:01:39
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:22
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
4. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:38
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
7. Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:50
9. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:59.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 7:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 26:06:10
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:17
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:52
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:53
5. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 1:13
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:28
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 1:31
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:37
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:48
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 2:26.

Stage 7:

After the magnificent victory of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on Friday, the Tour de Suisse reached its final part on Stage 8 in Bellinzona, the venue for the last two stages. On Saturday, the riders completed a journey of 123 flat kilometers. The last chance for the sprinters in the race to take a victory.

The stage began very quietly, eventually the break made their move but the peloton didn't let them get much of an advantage. The break included: Willem Smit (Katusha-Alpecin), Nathan Brown (Education First-Drapac), Edward Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport) and Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie). They took an advantage close to two minutes as the average speed was 43.5 km/h in the first hour of the race. With 45 kilometers to go the difference was down to 1:17.

With 10 kilometers to go the race was bound to end in a sprint as expected. The lead-out was dominated by Quick-Step Floors once again as Fernando Gaviria started the sprint well, but probably to far out. This allowed Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) to come past the Colombian for the victory. Richie Porte (BMC) finished safely in the bunch and will be the last rider to roll down the start ramp for the 34km individual time trial, starting the day with a 17-second advantage over Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and 52 seconds over Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb).

Bellinzona - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - DEMARE Arnaud (FRA) of FDJ, GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando (COL) of Quick - Step Floors, KRISTOFF Alexander (NOR) of UAE Team Emirates, SAGAN Peter (SVK) of Bora - Hansgrohe pictured during the 82nd Tour de Suisse (2.UWT) stage 8 from Bellinzona to Bellinzona 123KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

Overall leader, Richie Porte (BMC): "That was such a nervous and stressful stage. It looked like today went without any problems but that's thanks to my fantastic team here. BMC Racing Team has been great all week and today was another impressive display from them to put me in a good position in the hectic finish. It was one of those days where you are just happy to get it over and done with. The race has gone really well so far but it's not over until it's over. Nairo Quintana had a fantastic day yesterday and I think he could easily have another good day tomorrow, likewise with Wilco Kelderman. You can't underestimate either of them so, if I am here tomorrow in the yellow jersey, I will be super happy. I have to be positive though and things have been going well so far so fingers crossed. Stefan is in another league to everyone going into tomorrow. In the team time trial, he made the difference for us. Here's an incredible engine and he did another fantastic job today. I think he is the big favorite for tomorrow. For me, after having my crash last year, I think I had a good Santos Tour Down Under but the season has not been so super since so to be here and to be time trialling for the win on the last day of the Tour de Suisse is a dream come true."

3rd on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): "I’m a little upset. Troia and Ferrari worked well to bring me in the best spot. Above all Ferrari. In the final meters, he set me up on the wheel of Démare, but when the Frenchman began his sprint, I could not accelerate like I wanted."

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I think we did everything we could do today. Once again, my teammates were fantastic from start to finish and pulled hard all day to keep the race under control. In the sprint, I finished fourth and while, of course, a victory would have been nice, it was too difficult. Quite often, these sprints are much more complicated than how they look. I'm satisfied with my form right now and I'll keep working hard for the coming races."

Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 2:41:17
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Peter Sagan (Slo) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
7. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
8. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
10. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 8:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 28:47:17
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:17
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:52
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step at 0:53
5. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 1:13
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:28
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 1:31
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Astana at 1:37
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin) at 1:48
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 2:26.

Stage 8:

The most successful Tour de Suisse in BMC Racing Team's history came to an end with Richie Porte sealing the overall victory in his debut at the race, and Swiss time trial champion Stefan Küng smashing the individual time trial to take the Final Stage 9 win.

In an historic race for the team, BMC Racing Team started with the win in the team time trial last Saturday, finished things off with the individual time trial win today, and in an incredible display of teamwork, led the race from start to finish, first with Küng in yellow for four days and then Porte.

After eight stages, the General Classification battle came down to the 34.1km race against the clock with Porte starting the day with a 17-second lead over Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and 52 seconds in front of Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb).

Küng started the day as one of the stage favorites and made his intentions clear by setting the second-fastest time at the 19.7km intermediate time check, one second behind teammate Tejay van Garderen, before coming home to smash the previous best time by 19 seconds to stop the clock with 39:44. Küng had time in the hot seat to cool down and with it becoming unlikely that anyone would better his time, the Swiss champion was able to sit back and watch the General Classification battle unfold out on the road.Despite the flat terrain, Porte quickly settled into a good rhythm and by the second intermediate check point the Australian had already put 38 seconds into Quintana and 14 seconds into Kelderman.

Like Küng, Porte came home strong and crossed the line in Bellizona with 40:48 on the clock, finishing in 14th place on the day, which was more than enough to secure his maiden Tour de Suisse overall victory. The time trial reshuffled the podium with Porte eventually finishing 1:02 over Jacob Fulgsang (Astana Pro Team) and 1:12 in front of Quintana.

More photos from stage 9 in PeloPics.

Bellinzona - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - PORTE Richie (AUS) of BMC Racing Team pictured during the 82nd Tour de Suisse (2.UWT) stage 9 from Bellinzona to Bellinzona 34KM - ITT - Time Trial Indidual - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2018

Race winner Richie Porte (BMC):
Congratulations! Is this the biggest win of your career?

"I'd say so. I've won at races like Paris-Nice, Volta Catalunya and Tour de Romandie but this race is so special and to come here after the passing of Andy Rihs earlier in the season and win his home Tour is a massive satisfaction. I dedicate this win to Andy."

What does your performance here mean for you?
"This was a big goal. Let's not beat around the bush. It's a very important race and I think it's disrespectful to say it's a 'lead in' race for the Tour de France as it means a lot to win it. It's such a prestigious race. So, I think going forward into the Tour de France, it's a good sign to win here. It would have been nice to have won a stage here and maybe if the breakaway hadn't stayed away on Thursday's stage, I would have won one but, at the end of the day, to win the General Classification was the big goal and I'm still happy with the victory. I'm ready for the Tour de France. I did a good race here. I'm not at the top of my form just yet so I am excited for July."

What was the week like for the team defending the race lead from start to finish?
"It hasn't been an easy week but the guys did a fantastic job. We really had our work cut out for us and we didn't get a lot of help from the other teams. I was a little bit worried coming into today about guys like Kelderman but I'm happy with the time we put into them at the start of the race. I think it was a fantastic week."

And what's next after this race?
"Before this race, I hadn't raced since Tour de Romandie. I was at home for the birth of my son two weeks ago and I've only had one night at home with him so, I think it's great for me to get to go home for a bit of time before a training camp and then hopefully I'll be better at the Tour de France."

Stage winner Stefan Küng (BMC):
Congratulations! Talk us through the time trial course and how you are feeling after it?

"It wasn't an easy course. It had some quite technical bits and a bit of up and down so, you had to pace it really well. I was saving a little bit for the end because I knew that you could make up or lose a lot of time there. I'm pretty happy with how I paced it. Obviously, it was a hard one for everyone after a hard Tour de Suisse in hot conditions but I am happy with my ride and it's nice to take the win at home."

Can it get any better than being the Swiss National TT champion winning a time trial at the Tour de Suisse?
"No, I don't think so. I'm really proud to wear this jersey here at home. The guys from ASSOS have done a good job designing it so, winning at home is special. It can't get any better and I think this Tour de Suisse as a whole, couldn't have been better for our team with the TTT win at the beginning and spending the whole week in yellow with Richie pulling off the overall win. It makes us really proud. It's a pity that Andy isn't with us to experience this moment but he was here in our hearts throughout the whole week and maybe that is what made the difference."

4th on the stage, Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I'm happy with the result today, I feel my legs getting stronger. It was a nice time-trial with a course I liked. I was a bit more conservative in the first part and then made up, pushing harder. I’m still working hard to be in good form for the Tour de France, but first, I'll race in the Polish National Championship, next Friday."

8th on the stage and 2nd overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): "This is a great result, which brings me a lot of confidence ahead of the Tour de France. I won the Critérium du Dauphiné last year and now I am second at the Tour de Suisse. This says me I am on a right way. In today’s TT I just gave my all and everything went perfect. I worked a lot on my TT skills this year and now this work pays off. I am really happy to be on the podium. That’s true, we did not have really good team time trial at the beginning of the race, but stage by stage we could improve as a team and the final podium is a nice award for all of us. In the next days I will do a recon of a few stages of the Tour and later will continue my preparation."

4th overall and best young rider, Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors): "I am really happy about this result. The Tour de Suisse – which was one of my goals this season – was a tough race with many great riders at the start, so to finish fourth overall, so close to the podium, and to take home a jersey gives me a huge boost of confidence for the second part of the season. I also want to thank to my teammates, because without their help it wouldn’t have been possible. I know I’ve improved a lot since joining Quick-Step Floors and seeing that all the hard work paid off motivates me even more for my future appointments. We’ll see where I will go from here, but the plan is to carry this form into the next races with the hope of getting other good results for the team."

Tour de Suisse Stage 9 Result:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC at 39:44
2. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:19
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:23
4. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:26
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
6. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky at 0:37
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:38
9. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb at 0:44
10. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:46.

Tour de Suisse Final Overall Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 29:28:05
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:02
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:12
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:20
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 1:21
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:47
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 1:52
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:59
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 2:27
10. Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:41.

Full race highlights:

OVO Energy Women's Tour 2018
Coryn Rivera took a thrilling Stage 2 victory in Daventry at the end of the second stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, out-sprinting Marianne Vos to also move into the overall race lead.

The Californian rider for Team Sunweb survived the double ascent of the SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb of Newnham Hill on the outskirts of Daventry to pip Vos and move into a 15-second lead ahead of day three in Warwickshire.

Briton Dani Rowe (WaowDeals Pro Cycling) sits second, with her team-mate Vos a further second in arrears. A further thirteen riders are all within 23 seconds of Rivera on GC with three days of racing remaining.

After a long solo breakaway by Maaike Boogaard (BTC City Ljubljana) had been reeled in by the peloton, the first ascent of Newnham Hill saw a group of four, containing last year’s winner Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM), Vos, Rowe and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle HIGH5), go clear with 35 kilometers remaining.

Having contested the day’s final intermediate Eisberg Sprint on the first passage of the finish line in Daventry – won by Rowe – the group were pulled back as Team Sunweb, and in particular Floortje Mackaij, worked hard for Rivera.

Daventry  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Coryn Rivera (USA / Sunweb) - Marianne Vos (Netherlands / WaowDeals Pro Cycling)  pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 2 from Rushden to Daventry  -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2018

"We weren’t represented so did have to do something but we didn’t panic", said Rivera afterwards of that elite but short-lived breakaway that preceded her first victory in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

"I just communicated to Floortje, who was riding really well today, to help me pace it. Then as we got closer to the top I was able to bridge across to the climbers in the front group. Luckily we already had Ellen [Van Dijk] in there and so I just communicated to her to just drive it."

Van Dijk's pace setting on the three-kilometer run back to Daventry from the final climb kept the front group of 18 riders together and warded off any further attacks, setting up a thrilling finish. Rivera’s tighter line through the curving finish funnel, combined with a fantastic bike throw, gave her the win over Vos.

Second placed overall Rowe continues to lead the Adnams Best British Rider classification while Rivera moves into the Breast Cancer Care Points Jersey and Eisberg Sprints Jersey. Thanks to her performances on Newnham Hill, Wiggle HIGH5’s Elisa Longo Borghini takes the lead in the SKODA Queen of the Mountains classification with a 10-point advantage over erstwhile leader Christine Majerus.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb in 4:08:06
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling
3. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
4. Danielle Rowe (GB) Waowdeals Pro Cycling
5. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM
7. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar-PBM
8. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
9. Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops
10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb in 7:22:22
2. Danielle Rowe (GB) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:15
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:16
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0:17
5. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans at 0:19
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:21
7. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 0:23
8. Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar-PBM
10. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM.

Stage 2:

Sarah Roy sprinted to victory in Royal Leamington Spa at the end of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s longest stage, heading home Giorgia Bronzini and Marianne Vos at the finish of the Stage 3 of the race.

Fourth place for overnight leader Coryn Rivera (Sunweb), combined with time bonuses taken at the intermediate Eisberg Sprints in Kenilworth and Wellesbourne, extended her lead by one second, with Vos now second on general classification at 16 seconds thanks to her finish time bonus.

Dani Rowe (WaowDeals Pro Cycling) remains the top Brit in third overall and wears the Adnams Best British Rider jersey, four seconds behind team-mate Vos, while Rivera continues to hold both the Eisberg Sprints and Breast Cancer Care Points jerseys.

Roy, who won a stage at Chesterfield during the 2017 race put her success down to the work of her team, and their thorough preparation.

Royal Leamington Spa  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Roy Sarah (Australia / Mitchelton Scott) pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 3 from Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa  -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2018

"In the final kilometer I was really well looked after," said the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider. "Any important parts of the race we try to research beforehand and we talk about it a lot, and we go and look at on Google Street View, so we were really well researched today and I was really well prepared. I think that helped.

"I wasn’t confident coming over the climbs today, I didn’t have a great day yesterday so I really tried to turn it around today. You saw it, I was a little bit overwhelmed at the finish there and had a few tears.

"My team have given me the opportunity today and I thought I’m going to take this one and give it all I’ve got. You’ve seen them work their butts off out there covering all their attacks and I was just super thankful for their work out there today, so to pull it off is the nicest feeling."

Sunshine and warm temperatures welcomed the OVO Energy Women’s Tour to Warwickshire for the third time, with large crowds cheering the riders off from the centre of Atherstone on the 150 kilometer leg.

A fast start to the stage saw the racing stay together until the first Eisberg Sprint at Kenilsworth, with Rivera taking the honors from Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans)

A break containing Ann-Sophie Duyck (Cervélo-Bigla) and Vita Heine (Team Hitec Products-BIRK Sport) soon went clear, eventually being caught just before the top of the day’s second SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb at Burton Dassett Country Park.

The regrouping at the front brought 35 riders together to contest the fast run back to Royal Leamington Spa, which was marked by a flurry of attacks from a multitude of teams and riders, in particular the Canyon//SRAM squad of defending champion Kasia Niewiadoma, but no cohesive move could stay away.

Coming through the sweeping left hander into the 400-meter finishing straight alongside Jephson Gardens it was Vos who led out the sprint, but Roy and Bronzini who came past on the long run to the line. Rivera took fourth, Roxanne Fournier fifth, and Rowe top Brit in 10th.

Speaking afterwards having retained her OVO Energy Green Jersey for a second day, Team Sunweb’s Rivera said: "For sure it was not easy out there. The girls were really strong today and we had five other than over the last climb so we were just covering attacks. They are trying to make it hard for us."

For Rivera, an accomplished stage and one-day race winner, her previous overall stage race success came in April 2016 in the USA, meaning that leading a week long UCI Women’s WorldTour event sees her move into new territory.

"It’s pretty special, I don’t see myself as a general classification rider so it’s a different mindset I have to put in my head but it is really special to be wearing it and having all the girls believing in me, but it is quite a responsibility. It’s nice to be over half way, but still anything can happen and we have to be on our toes."

Elisa Longo Borghini picked up maximum points on the second SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb to extend her lead in the climber’s jersey to 13 points over Niewiadoma.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 3:55:09
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling
4. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
5. Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar-PBM at 0:02
8. Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops
9. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
10. Danielle Rowe (GB) Waowdeals Pro Cycling.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb in 11:17:27
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:16
3. Danielle Rowe (GB) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:20
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0:23
5. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:27
7. Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops 0:00:29
8. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar-PBM
10. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM.

Stage 3:

Former World Road Race Champion Amalie Dideriksen sprinted to victory on Stage 4 alongside the banks of the River Severn in Worcester, as Stage Four of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour from Evesham culminated in a nail-biting finish.

A trio of riders, including Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig – who at one point was the virtual OVO Energy Green Jersey – were eventually caught on the outskirts of Worcester with seven kilometers remaining. Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) and Audrey Cordon Ragot (Wiggle HIGH5) had joined early attacker Charlotte Becker (Hitec Products-BIRK Sport) just after the opening SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb at Snowshill on the edge of the Cotswolds.

The catch set up a fast finale, with the race heading past the world-famous cathedral and across the Severn, with Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans) sprinting to a clear victory ahead of Lotta Lepsstö (Cervélo-Bigla) and Marianne Vos (WaowDeals Pro Cycling).

Worcester  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark / Boels Dolmans) - Lepisto Lotta  (Finland / Cervelo Bigla)  pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 4 from Evesham to Worcester  -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2018

"We knew everyone was going to be a little tired coming into the sprint but with about 30kms to go we decided that it’d be me we’d ride for," explained the delighted Dideriksen, who won the World title in Qatar in 2016. "The girls did an amazing lead-out and, you have to be patient in the end but still go before everyone else comes from behind. So I’m really happy I could pull it off."

"You always want to prove that you are there as a rider but, we have a strong team here at this race and we all believe in each other and, although we haven’t won until today I think we’ve raced some good stages. But obviously I’m really happy that I got another chance today, and having shown I have good form with my fifth place in the opening stage, with today’s stage suiting me a little better the team believed in me and gave me a really good lead out."

Vos’ third place, and the ensuing time bonus, edged the Dutchwoman a second closer to overall leader Coryn Rivera (Sunweb), who retains the OVO Energy Green Jersey for a third day going into the race’s Welsh finale.

"There was a really good stretch of cross tailwind and the girls did a great job and strung the field out with Boels Dolmans," said Rivera. "It made the race hard and it was all about controlling the break from that point on."

Rivera sits 14 seconds ahead of Vos, with her WaowDeals team-mate and Adnams Best British Rider Dani Rowe third overall at 22 seconds, despite being among a small group of riders caught up in a crash inside the final three kilometers.

Four further riders sit within 30 seconds of the lead going into the final stage, predicted to be the toughest of the 2018 race as the OVO Energy Women’s Tour heads to North Wales for the first time.

"Tomorrow is going to be a hard day," added Rivera. "Lots of climbers and Boels and Canyon [//SRAM], I’m anticipating, will make it difficult. As long as we stay together, there is a long way to the finish line after that last climb. Team work will be the most important thing tomorrow."

Ludwig, who tried breaking clear from the breakaway group in the closing kilometers, added: "It was a hard day in the office but it was a lot of fun.

"We tried something today and maybe we didn’t fully succeed but it was super cool. Even though we get caught, it was cool that Lotta could finish it off with a podium. The whole team rode so well and day by day we are coming together and uniting as a group."

Thanks to her consistent finishing Vos takes over the Breast Cancer Care Points Jersey with a four-point lead over Rivera, with the latter also continuing to lead the Eisberg Sprints Jersey.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Wlggle-HIGH5) holds a 15-point lead in the SKODA Queen of the Mountains category, and needs just a solitary point from the final stage to claim the climber’s jersey.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans at 3:31:19
2. Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo-Bigla
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale-Cipollini
5. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling
6. Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar PBM
7. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Cervelo-Bigla
8. Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Neah Evans (GB) Storey Racing
10. Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb in 14:48:44
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:14
3. Danielle Rowe (GB) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:22
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0:25
5. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:29
7. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 0:30
8. Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops at 0:31
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar PBM
10. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM.

Stage 4:

Coryn Rivera was crowned overall winner of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Colwyn Bay as Britain’s five-day UCI Women’s WorldTour event came to a close on the North Wales coast.

Rivera (Sunweb) held on to her overnight lead, reduced to 11 seconds by WaowDeal Pro Cycling’s Marianne Vos thanks to time bonuses, on the 122-kilometer Stage 5 from Dolgellau won by Cervélo Bigla’s Lotta Lepistö in a bunch sprint from Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Pro Cycling) and Vos.

Colwyn Bay - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Lepisto Lotta (Finland / Cervelo Bigla) pictured during Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 5 from Dolgellau to Colwyn Bay - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2018

"Being in the leader’s jersey is all about being in control, having everything cool and under control," said Rivera following her first UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race victory. "The girls and I did really well at that. We set a really good pace on the climbs, there were a few attacks but eventually they came back.

"I'm really proud to have taken the win, the jersey belongs to the whole team."

Commenting on the victory for Team Sunweb, coach Hans Timmermans added: "We can be super proud of the team. What they showed today and through the whole week is outstanding. They controlled the whole race and paced on the climbs; they were so strong that no one could attack. It's really amazing and the win can only be for the whole team, they were super strong and executed the plan to perfection in the end."

The stage once again boiled down to a sprint, albeit from a significantly reduced peloton, with Finnish national champion Lepistö coming out on top. Marta Bastianelli and Roxane Fournier placed fourth and fifth in the finish alongside Porth Eirias.

A number of riders had tried to escape in early moves as the race headed through Gwynedd in overcast conditions but none were a significant threat to the overall lead of Rivera, as Team Sunweb continued to control the race.

Lucinda Brand of the Dutch team led the race over the first SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb at Bwlch-y-Maen, with former World Road Race Champion Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini) leading the race over the main climb at Nant Gwynant below Snowdon.

A select group of five, containing Rivera, Sunweb team-mate Brand, Amy Pieters, last year’s winner Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) and SKODA Queen of the Mountains Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle HIGH5) went clear with 20 kilometers remaining, but were reeled in with 10 kilometres remaining by in the WaowDeals team of Vos and Dani Rowe, who had missed the move.

"Today there was nothing to lose," said Lepistö following her second OVO Energy Women’s Tour win – her previous victory came in 2016’s final stage into Kettering. "We gave everything on the road and ended up with the victory, so I’m even more happy than yesterday. There was a strong wind. It was hectic final because no one really wanted to be in the front and use their best power."

Finishing third overall - her best ever finishing position in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour - and the Adnams Best British Rider was Dani Rowe, whose WaowDeals Pro Cycling team took the team prize in the race.

"I feel really proud to be a part of this team. It’s been a really special week," said Rowe who was suffering the effects of injury following a Stage Four crash on Saturday. "I was suffering out the saddle so I just tried to conserve as much energy as possible, riding on the drops up the climb to be as aero as possible and stay in contact with the bunch. After that I got more and more confident that I would be there at the finish. Marianne went for the intermediate sprint to help defend my third place from the two Boels [Dolmans] girls who were just three seconds behind me.

"I had my doubts [getting over the two SKODA Queen of the Mountain climbs], but my team and team-mates didn’t. They believed in me. When I survived the two climbs there was a big chance that it would end in the sprint so I tried to focus on it and try my best."

In addition to the overall title, Rivera also took the Eisberg Sprints Jersey, while Vos kept hold of the Breast Cancer Care Points Jersey that she took on Stage Four. Longo Borghini confirmed her hold on the SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbers’ jersey, with Maaike Boogaard (BTC City Ljubljana) taking the race’s Overall Combativity Award.

Speaking after the stage finish, Councillor Louise Emery, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: "What a fantastic finish to the UK’s leading international stage-race for women, congratulations to Lotta Lepistö on winning the Welsh stage, and to Coryn Rivera on winning the 2018 Tour. Today once again highlights Conwy County is the right environment for great events, which are a Corporate Priority as laid out in the Events Strategy 2018-2022. Congratulations to race organizers SweetSpot again on the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and thank you for the worldwide media coverage."

OVO Energy Women's Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo-Bigla in 3:03:55
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling
4. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale-Cipollini
5. Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Wiggle-High5
7. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott
8. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
9. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
10. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM.

OVO Energy Women's Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb in 17:52:36
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:11
3. Danielle Rowe (GB) Waowdeals Pro Cycling at 0:25
4. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans at 0:27
5. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0:28
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:32
7. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 0:33
8. Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops at 0:34
9. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM
10. Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling.

#InsideValcar - OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2018 (Stage 5):

Tour of Slovenia 2018
Primoz Roglic has won the Tour of Slovenia for the second time in his career. The 28-year-old Slovenian did this in style by winning the queen stage and the concluding time trial in Nove Mesto. For Roglic, who already won the Tour of Slovenia in 2015, it’s his seventh victory of the season. As a result, he increased Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s victory tally to nineteen in 2018.

Roglic, who will start his second Tour de France in a month, was outstanding in the twenty-one kilometer long hilly time trial. He was about thirty seconds faster than Jan Tratnik. Due to his time trial victory, LottoNL-Jumbo will head home with three stage wins and the overall win.

Overall winner, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo): "The result is perfect. I’m very happy that I’ve been able to win here for my home crowd. But this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my teammates and fans. My fans were great all week. This victory is also for them. It’s been a week I’ll never forget. For me, the Tour of Slovenia has been an ideal race in the build-up to the Tour de France”, Roglic continued. “The Tour begins in three weeks and this race was perfect to get the intensity back in the legs. The upcoming weeks will mainly consist of training and resting and hopefully I’m ready for the Tour. But for now, I’ll enjoy my victory."

2nd overall, Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac): "I’m happy, the most important for me is the Tour, but before the Tour, I have good legs to finish second, win a stage in Slovenia and also do a good time trial today. I’m so happy to know everything is where it needs to be. Between now and the Tour, I do more of the same, I want to have good training. We have one small training camp in Girona focused on the team time trial. Then it’s Tour time."

Tour of Slovenia Final Overall Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 15:18:13
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:50
3. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida at 2:14
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) Ljubljana Gusto Xaurum at 2:16
5. Michael Storer (Aus) Sunweb at 2:18
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:21
7. Josef Cerny (Cze) Elkov-Author at 3:09
8. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Adria Mobil at 3:15
10. Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 3:16.

Tour of Slovenia stage 5:

Route d'Occitanie 2018
Alejandro Valverde left a brilliant impression in the 2018 Route d'Occitanie, where the Blues' legend was an absolute protagonist during a final weekend full of mountains in the French event. The last 70 kilometers of Sunday's stage four - including the Pic de Nore (Cat-1) midway through, with only ten riders together at its top - were a celebration of Murcia's finest, with 'Bala' in a breakaway with neighbor and friend Luis León Sánchez (Astana) which lasted until the very finishing straight.

The two spaniards, which held a gap even exceeding two minutes over a disorganized peloton, full of attacks, later struggled due to the pacing by Groupama-FDJ, AG2R La Mondiale and Sky in the finale, with many little hills and strong winds becoming a serious burden. The duo's slim advantage had them taking strong turns until the sprint, where Alejandro overtook 'Luisle' and powered towards a finish line he went 10 meters short to reach ahead of eventual victor Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ).

Valverde, 2nd in the end, still took his 119th pro victory with the GC - fourth of the season, after Valencia, Abu Dhabi and Catalunya - which improves the Movistar Team's account up to 22 and leaves Alejandro now just one success short (96 wins since joining the team in 2005) from beating the Abarca Sports organization's record, held by Miguel Indurain.

Race winner, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): "It was a very tough final stage, and we riders played a big part on it, I guess. 'Luisle' went on the attack after the descent, I followed him and in the following kilometers I kept taking turns because I couldn't let him just pull on his own if we stood a chance for the stage win. At the final little climbs he was struggling a bit and I was pulling off the gas so we could stay together for as long as possible, to have a bigger chance to win, but they really closed the gap from behind and my sprint was too late, launching it from 200 meters to go. In the end, Roux got past few meters before the end. We must still remain happy, because after all, we won the overall classification. That's a confirmation I did things right for the past month, even if I missed the Tour de Suisse due to illness. I feel like the whole team, as well as myself, did a brilliant job. The goals were more than accomplished - we came here just with a will to get ready for July and, after that, seeking for some wins, and we achieved both."

Route d'Occitanie Final Overall Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 18:25:34
2. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:14
3. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 0:20
4. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:22
5. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 1:24
6. Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:27
8. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:50
9. Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana Postobon at 2:07
10. Georg Preidler (Aut) Groupama-FDJ at 2:08.

Route d'Occitanie stage 4:

Under 23 Giro d'Italia 2018
On Saturday 16 of June the final stage of one of the most prestigious and toughest races among U23 riders — Giro d’Italia U23 took place. Russian rider competing for the team Gazprom — RusVelo Alexander Vlasov took a victory in the general classification.

The 2018’s edition had ten racing days from 7 to 16 of June and featured a plenty of mountains with some of the most iconic climbs in the world of cycling. The fight for the leader’s pink jersey was truly spectacular and unpredictable throughout the whole contest.

In the concluding stages Alexander Vlasov made it to top five in the general classification and was constantly forging ahead in decreasing the gap. After the first half-stage of 72,8 kilometres on the final racing day Alexander Vlasov became the race leader. The Russian was starting the evening’s ITT in the leader’s pink jersey and that did not affect his confidence. That’s what Alexander said about his victory: “That’s a great feeling to win at such an incredible and tough race. I had no doubt that I am able to do it, because our team made everything possible for this victory and I was in great shape. I am more than happy that for the second year in a row the victory at Giro d’Italia U23 goes to a Russian rider. This demonstrates that we are able to compete on the highest level and confront the strongest teams. I want to thank Gazprom — RusVelo and my teammates, who supported me throughout the whole race!”

Giro d'Italia U23 Final Overall Result:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) in 29:57:42
2. João Almeida (Por) Hagens Berman Axeon at 0:46
3. Robert Stannaerd (Aus) Mitchelton-BikeExchange at 0:52
4. Mark Donovan (GB) Team Wiggins at 1:03
5. Stephen Williams (GB) SEG Racing Academy at 1:56
6. Alejandro Osorio Carvajal (Col) at 1:57
7. Cristian Camilo Muños Lancheros (Col) at 3:22
8. Alessandro Covi (Ita) at 6:28
9. Michel Ries (Lux) Polartec Kometa at 6:14
10. Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana City at 6:35.

Giro d'Italia U23 Final:

The Achievement of a Lifetime: Jules Buysse
Far behind riders of the stature of Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Mark Cavendish, in the history of the Tour de France there have been almost three hundred men who only got a fleeting taste of glory. As the countdown to the start of the race on 7 July continues, is retracing the steps of 10 champions who clinched a single stage win. On the 1926 Tour de France, Belgium’s Jules Buysse won the opening stage of the edition dominated later by his big brother Lucien Buysse. One of the most demanding in the history of cycling…

It wasn’t a Tour like any other. For its 20th edition, the Tour and its 126 riders headed to Paris, but then they boarded a train at Gare de Lyon for the voyage to Evian for the first start in the history of the race outside Paris. On this day, water wasn’t just coming from the famous mountain source; the spa resort was under a downpour when the peloton gathered at two in the morning for an opening stage of 373 kilometres to Mulhouse. Two-time defending Tour winner, Ottavio Bottecchia was the pre-race favorite in the Automoto-Hutchinson team where among his team mates was the runner-up from the previous year, Lucien Buysse. But between Evian and Mulhouse, it was his 24-year old brother, Jules Buysse, who stole the headlines. In top form, the Belgian rider easily maintained the pace of the leaders and was in the leading group of five riders when Bottecchia, “The Bricklayer from Friuli” was dropped following three punctures, losing a significant amount of time. Later, Jules Buysse took advantage of the problems of the last rider on his wheel, Joseph Pé, to continue his solitary ride to victory… over 161 kilometres.

5,745 kilometres
At the conclusion of this day spent in the Jura and Alsace mountains, Jules Buysse donned the first Yellow Jersey of the 1926 edition, and the consequences were already imposing for his adversaries. The group of his first pursuers arrived in Mulhouse 13 minutes adrift, but it was even worse for the favorites. Lucien Buysse was at 25 minutes, Bottecchia was at 34 and Luxembourg’s Nicolas Frantz was 50 minutes down from the leader. And it was only the beginning. Two days later, the young Buysse was beaten soundly by his compatriot Gustave van Slembrouck, but the longest Tour in history at 5,745 kilometres, wasn’t finished delivering surprises. In the Pyrenees, the peloton experienced one of its cruelest days on the road from Bayonne to Luchon. This time, it was really the “the convicts of the road” that attacked on the Aubisque, Tourmalet and the Peyresourde in terrible weather conditions. In accordance with family tradition, Lucien Buysse put in a solo attack after 180 kilometres. There were only 143 more to ride. At Luchon, the gaps recorded were enormous and Bottecchia, who wasn’t at his best physically, retired like a large number of the riders. 54 from 76 finished the stage and several took a bus… without paying! The Yellow Jersey was now Lucien’s and he wore it wall the way to the Parc des Princes in Paris. This was the Buysse year.

More information on

Registration is Open for the 2018 Gran Fondo Il Lombardia – Featuring the Ghisallo, Sormano and Civiglio Climbs. Enel Will be the Presenting Sponsor
The Gran Fondo Il Lombardia 2018 will take place on Sunday, October 14. Starting from Como, it features three iconic climbs: the Ghisallo, the Sormano with Muro and Colma and finally, the Civiglio. Registration is open on

​The three main climbs of the spectacular 2018 Gran Fondo Il Lombardia are the Madonna del Ghisallo, the Sormano with Muro and Colma and the Civiglio – the climb that decided the last edition of Il Lombardia won by Vincenzo Nibali – before the finish line after 101.3km. For riders who decide not to face the Colma di Somano, there's an alternative course running to 103.6km. Registrations are open on Enel, a partner sponsor in all RCS Sport's pro cycling races, will be the Presenting Sponsor.

Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Start: Como (CO), viale Vittorio Veneto (7.30am)
Finish: Civiglio (CO), via dei Patrioti
Technical Area, Headquarters and bibs collection: Como (CO), viale Puecher

Gran Fondo Il Lombardia - 101.3km
Gran Fondo Il Lombardia / option without the Colma di Sormano - 103.6km


Cost includes:
Race Bib, Frame Number, Timekeeping, Official Race Kit, Technical Gadget as part of the Race Kit, Course Monitoring, Mechanical Assistance (spare parts not included), Race Medical Assistance (7 ambulances, 1 medical car, 4 doctors and 20 nurses), 3 Feeding Stations along the course, Broom Wagon Service, Pasta Party at the technical area, Showers at the Giuseppe Sinigaglia Stadium.

Mediofondo "Fabio Casartelli", Three Routes, a Unique Feeling
The Mediofondo “Fabio Casartelli” 20th edition to be held on July 15 in Albese con Cassano (Como, Italy) shall present three different routes dedicated either to competitive and 4fun riders.

Just one month to go to the Mediofondo “Fabio Casartelli” whose 20th edition to be held on July 15, 2018 in Albese con Cassano (Como, Northern Italy). Either competitive and 4fun riders and families from Italy and abroad will join the event alongside former or current pro’ riders, including Casartelli’s friends and old-teammates.

The “Fabio Casartelli” Foundation has planned three different routes. The short route runs 58 km: the first half goes through Como’s hinterland wavy roads and the exciting overviw of Como Lake after 31 km marking 10 km to Onno downhill, a 5 km medium-level uphill ahead of the final false flat. The short route coincides with Randonnee one, dedicated to families to whom official registration is not required.

The medium route first part is equal to the short one, followed by 20 km of wavy roads around the Como Lake and the demanding Ghisallo climb includes 12 km of hard ascent spaced with 2 km of flat, up to the Ghisallo little church that comes ahead of the 10-km false flat stretch.

The long route features a 1.575 meter overall altitude throughout 114 km demanding course among Onno, Colma and the two “Tour of Lombardia” iconic climbs - the Bellagio-Ghisallo and the Wall of Sormano (optional free choice) – where a time trial ascent intrigue the best competitors.

There’s still time to enter. The Mediofondo’s registration fee is 35 € from until June 30th, 2018; 40 € from July 1st to July 14th, 2018; 50 € on July 15th, 2018 (click here). The fee includes race pack, technical and medical assistance, pasta-party voucher and insurance coverage: all what you need for a pleasant day in sports.


The Ghisallo little church is one of Mediofondo "Fabio Casartelli" key-points:

The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone:

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Page.


Related Stories