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

Two more stages down in the Tour de France, but the next three in the Alps are going to be decisive. All the news from France with disqualifications and abandons, the Adriatica Ionica Race. Transfer rumors - Top Story. Loads of other stuff: GP Cerami and Tour de Wallonie, new jersey for Lotto Soudal, contract news, Deceuninck – Quick-Step with Tour de l’Avenir, Roompot Vakanties stop, la Vuelta in Bilbao, bigger audiences for the Tour de France and Peter Sagan interviews Daniel Oss video. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.



TOP STORY: Some Interesting Transfer Rumors for 2020
The official confirmation is yet to come, but it seems that Brandon McNulty will ride for a WorldTour team next year. UAE Team Emirates is the team according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, from next season. The 21-year-old American gave his team Rally UHC Cycling the victory in the Giro di Sicilia earlier this year.

Charlie Quarterman, the reigning British U23 time trial champion, is on his way to Trek-Segafredo. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Leopard's 20-year-old Briton will make the leap to the WorldTour next year. Quarterman also rode in the U23 Giro d’Italia this year, but had to abandon a few days before the end.

Lotto Soudal will give Belgian climber, Kobe Goossens, the chance to become a professional in 2020. As reported by WielerFlits, Goossens has a verbal agreement with the WorldTour team, although no signatures have been put on a contract, the switch seems to have been done. Goossens has been in the colors of Lotto Soudal since 2018, for the U23 team. He came from Marlux where he rode cyclocross. On the road, the 23-year-old Goossens is known as a climbing talent. This year he showed his talent in the Tour of the Jura, which he won and finished third in the Circuit des Ardennes.

Tour stage 17 winner, Matteo Trentin, may be in CCC colors next season, Tuttobiciweb reports. In the Polish team, the current European champion will become the fast-finisher and an important pawn in the spring classics alongside Greg Van Avermaet. The Italian is currently in his second season with Mitchelton-Scott, and is currently riding in the Tour de France. Previously he had been with Quick-Step for seven seasons.

Due to the possible departure of Matteo Trentin to CCC, a place becomes available at Mitchelton-Scott, which could well be filled by Jens Keukeleire. According to Het Nieuwsblad, the Belgian can stay with his current team, Lotto Soudal, but not under the same conditions. With the Australian team he would be in a familiar environment, due to riding with them from 2012 to 2017.

Andres Camilo Ardila will make the step to the WorldTour next season with Astana, as reported by the French sports newspaper L’Équipe. The 20-year-old Colombian won two stages and the overall in the U23 Giro d’Italia. During the Italian stage race it turned out that several professional teams were showing an interest in the Colombian rider. It became clear that Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Astana, Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè and UAE Team Emirates were talking to him. Currently Astana has three Colombians under contract with Hernando Bohórquez, Rodrigo Contreras and Miguel Ángel López.

Natnael Berhane has extended his contract with Cofidis for two more years. The French team announced this on the second rest day of the Tour de France, which the Eritrean is riding. Last Monday he also received the prize for the 'Most Agresive Rider' after the stage to Albi. "I am very proud that I can continue my career at Cofidis. Hopefully I can help further fuel cycling in Eritrea and the African continent," said Berhane.

At the end of this season, Mark Cavendish's employment with Dimension Data will come to an end. La Gazzetta dello Sport writes that Bahrain-Merida has shown an interest in the British top sprinter. Bahrain-Merida had the Manx Missile on the wish list before, but last year a switch to the team from the Middle East didn't happen. Cavendish would now be reunited in the WorldTour team with Rod Ellingworth, the former performance manager of Team Sky who will strengthen the team at the end of the season.

Cavendish has been riding for Dimension Data since 2016. In his first year for the team, he took four Tour stages, among others, but in recent years the Briton - due to the Epstein-Barr virus - seems to be no longer a top sprinter. His last win was in February 2018, when he won the third stage of the Dubai Tour.

More Transfers to come.

Time to hang up the wheels:




Tour de France 2019
Following the path of Mark Cavendish, the last u26 rider to win at least one stage in each Grand Tour (in 2010), Caleb Ewan won in Nîmes after Toulouse like the Briton in 2008. The Australian out-sprinted Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen despite suffering the heat of southern France on Stage 16. Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey.

Bak, Rossetto, Gougeard, Wisniowski and Ourselin in the lead
163 riders took the start of stage 16. Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) was a non-starter due to back pain. Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) attacked in the first kilometer of racing. They were reinforced by Lukas Wisniowski (CCC), Lars Bak (Dimension Data) and Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie) with 169km yet to be covered. Defending champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos) crashed by himself in the middle of the pack at Cavillargues (km 49) after the maximum time difference of 2:15 was recorded at km 41. The pace of the peloton was set mostly by three teams and three riders: Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) and Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal). Bak was first at the intermediate sprint at Vallérargues with 112km to go. The oldest rider of the peloton also crested the Côte de Saint-Jean-du-Pin, 81km before the end, in first position.

Jakob Fuglsang crashes out
53km before the end, the risk of splits in the peloton because of the wind blowing from the right hand side forced the teams of the GC riders to speed up and the time gap went down to 25 seconds before going back up again. However, it didn’t exceed 50 seconds as the same teams – mostly Jumbo-Visma – kept the situation under control. With 28km remaining, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) crashed in the peloton and pulled out. He was ninth in the overall ranking.

Caleb Ewan, the fastest
With 20km to go, Gougeard, Wisniowski, Ourselin, Rossetto and Bak had 30 seconds lead. Gougeard who initiated the move and kept it alive as long as possible was awarded the prize of most aggressive rider. The breakaway came to an end 2.5km before the finish. Deceuninck-Quick Step perfectly led Elia Viviani out but Caleb Ewan came from behind to pip the Italian on the line and become the first sprinter to win two stage of the Tour de France this year – Julian Alaphilippe and Simon Yates have also won two stages. The Australian was already the first Tour de France debutant to have collected five stage podiums in the first fifteen stages since Peter Sagan in 2012. He was also the youngest rider to have won at least one stage in every Grand Tour since Italy’s Nino Defilippis in 1956. After taking two stages in the Giro d’Italia this year, he has proven at the age of 25 that he’s now one of most consistent sprinters in the world.

See the 'PEZ Stage Report' HERE.



Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): "It was so hot today and I was suffering a lot. I thought about it to get Maxime Monfort off the front because I thought I wouldn’t be able to hang on until the end. On a few climbs, I was really struggling but eventually, I kept the good position. This morning, before the start in Nîmes, we did a recon of the final kilometer with the team, so we knew what to expect. A long home stretch is not always the most easy finish because timing as well as positioning are harder. Jasper De Buyst did a tremendous lead-out and afterwards, I was on the wheel of the other fast guys, so I decided to go early. In the end, it paid off. The fact that my wife and daughter are at the race for the first time, makes it really special. It is incredibly beautiful to celebrate this victory together with them. It was difficult to keep the confidence after some second and third places. I finally got it right in stage eleven. Now, the next sprint chance immediately delivers a second victory, that is just amazing! If I am the best sprinter in this Tour? I think there are some really good sprinters here. Maybe, I proved to be the most consistent one, but in any case, today I showed to be the best."

3rd on the stage, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): "The moment I wanted to start the sprint, Ewan accelerated. As a result, I got boxed in. When I had free space to sprint, it was too short to the finish to get past them. That is a pity, especially because there are so few opportunities. We also went to the front a little too early and of course we’re also missing Wout van Aert. I know that I have the speed, but I should not be surprised by other riders. I would have liked to have won today and I certainly could have done better. Now I will try to survive the Alps and then we will go for it again in Paris."

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step): "There isn’t a proper day to recover at the Tour de France, but I felt good on Monday during the rest day. Today was very warm, but it was the same for everybody and all you can do is deal with it. That’s why I made sure of eating during the stage and drinking a lot. I’m happy that I kept the yellow jersey and I get to wear it for at least another day"

4th on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It felt like we were racing in an oven today... In this flat stage, it was important to make sure again my opponents didn't gain many points in the intermediate sprint and then in the finish, to try to do my best. We rode very well, my teammates did a very good job but unfortunately, I found myself without a lot of space in the final meters. Still, I was able to take fourth on the line and keep a good lead in the points classification."

9th on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): "It was a very hot day and I struggled a bit, but it was the same for everybody. Sven helped me in the final but I got boxed-in and lost a few positions. I don't think I had the legs today anyway. I came into the last straight in a decent position but I missed that bit of energy for the last 400 meters."

10th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert): "We really suffered in the peloton, with more than 40 degrees on the counter. The stage was not difficult based on the profile, but it was due to the heat. It was important to hydrate well, I used more than 20 bottles. Unfortunately, I crashed with 30 kilometer to go. I came down at a higher speed than 50 km/h because of a bottle. Luckily there's not much harm, but it took me more than 10 kilometer to get back to the bunch, which costed me a lot of energy. I was brought back to the front by Backaert and Offredo, they guided me to the front of the bunch in the last 10 kilometer. I followed Kristoff in the sprint, but I lacked power, probably due to the spilled energy after the crash. Maybe I was able to sprint to a top 5 without this. But I'm happy to take my first top 10 in this Tour de France, before starting a last difficult week."

5th overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): "It’s been a very hot day and I noted it, although I must admit that I enjoy this kind of conditions. As far as Geraint Thomas is concerned, he’s fine. He crashed but with no consequence and I don’t think he’ll suffer from it in the coming days. We’re approaching the Alps. The climbs there are longer and steeper. They’re more of the Colombian style of climbing. I’m ready and I feel good. However, we’re in the third week and anything can happen. Team Ineos is solid but other teams will have to handle some responsibilities too."

12the on the stage, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): "It was nice to have Lars out there in front today. Roman, myself and most of the team actually were riding near the front for most of the day. In the final there were a few crashes and we were involved, so I hope all the guys got through them okay. In the sprint, I was actually feeling good but I never really got to open up. I am disappointed in myself to miss such an opportunity but we will keep trying."

Most aggressive rider, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale): "I went in the breakaway to try to win the stage. I'm a little disappointed because since the start of this Tour, the breaks haven’t had that many good opportunities, and that’s a shame. In strength, it's discouraging. The five of us in the break got along well, and we worked well together. The prize for the most combative is a nice compensation, but it was not my goal. If tomorrow I still have the legs, I will try again."

Tour de France Stage 16 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:57:08
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 16:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step in 64:57:32
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:35
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:47
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:50
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 2:02
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:14
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:54
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:00
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:33
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 6:30.

Stage 16:



Matteo Trentin delivered Mitchelton-Scott’s fourth stage victory since Daryl Impey claimed stage 9. Following the example of double stage winner Simon Yates, the Italian escaped from a breakaway group to arrive solo in Gap, fending off the return of Danish prodigy Kasper Asgreen. For the third year in a row, after Peter Sagan in 2017 and Alexander Kristoff in 2018, the European champion came up with a stage win at the Tour de France.

33 riders in the lead
160 riders took the start of Stage 17 at Pont du Gard. Two non-starters: Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Cees Bol (Sunweb). As expected, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was the first rider to try create a breakaway. After 5km of racing, a 34-man leading group was formed in several waves, comprising Daniel Oss and Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Omar Fraile, Gorka Izagirre and Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana), Simon Clarke and Tom Scully (EF Education First), Chris Juul-Jensen and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), Greg van Avermaet and Michael Schär (CCC), Sven Erik Bystrøm, Rui Costa, Sergio Henao and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Bauke Mollema, Toms Skujins and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Natnael Berhane, Jesús Herrada, Anthony Pérez and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), De Gendt and Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Xandro Meurisse and Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert), Edvald Boasson Hagen and Ben King (Dimension Data). A puncture took Cort out of the front group. Having missed the move, Total Direct Energie chased at the head of the peloton before they changed their tactic and sent Anthony Turgis in a counter-attack along with Elie Gesbert from Arkéa-Samsic, the other team that wanted to contest the stage victory but wasn’t represented in the escape. Total Direct Energie resumed chasing but kept losing time until they surrendered while the leaders had covered 51.7km in the first hour of racing.

Matteo Trentin away before the main climb
Deceuninck - Quick-Step took over from Total Direct Energie. Argentine champion Max Richeze and later Yves Lampaert substituted Asgreen in the usual role of bunch driver as the Danish rider was part of the breakaway but they let the deficit exceed 15 minutes. 37km before the end, the first attacks took place in the 33-man leading group. Mollema, Gougeard and Politt were the most active. Oss, Asgreen, Gougeard, Izagirre, Scully, Trentin, Van Avermaet, Stake Laengen, Skujins, Périchon and King managed to go clear with 30km to go. Gougeard got dropped in a non-categorized climb eight kilometers further. Trentin rode away solo before the bottom of the col de la Sentinelle 14km away from Gap. Périchon chased him down up the hill but was overtaken by Asgreen just before the summit. Trentin forged on to stay away and take his third Tour de France stage victory after 2013 (in Lyon) and 2014 (in Nancy). He’s the first Italian to win in Gap since Marco Lietti in 1991. Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey ahead of three Alpine stages.

PEZ 'Tour Stage 17 Race Report' HERE.



Stage winner, Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott): "It was the first real hot day in the tour, you normally have a couple of days like this at the tour and today was the first one. We got a lot of ice and fresh bottles throughout the day so we actually cruised quite well. It was really complicated at the end, with roundabouts and technical parts. When you try to surf the wheels it is always hard to find the right ones, especially when you have 2.5 kilometers straight with a few roundabouts in-between so it was a bit complicated but it was like this. This win is worth two wins because after stage 10 to Albi, I thought my chances to win a stage were today. I had stage 12 to Bagnères-de-Bigorre in mind and it went well because my team-mate Simon Yates won it from our breakaway group. Today was definitely my last possibility before three days that are extremely demanding. My mental helped me win even more than my legs. I would have never imagined to win solo. I attacked two or three times, trying to go solo before the climb bearing in mind that I’m more able to ride at my pace at the front than try and follow people who attack uphill. This solo win has a special taste after two that I got throughout bunch sprints. I was making top 10 in all kind of stages. Finally I won, it’s a great moment."

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step): "Today I had to remain focused and arrive in Gap with the yellow jersey. It’s a huge honor to have it. It’s pure happiness but it’s also a weight to carry. At some stage today, there was tension in the peloton and I tried to calm the situation. I told the other riders to not take any risk because I was not going to attack. Tomorrow is the hardest stage in the Alps. I know my legs will hurt but I’ve never been mentally as strong and motivated as now. I’m here to defend a jersey that I never imagined I’d have at this stage of the Tour de France and I’m looking forward to it."

2nd on the stage, Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step): "I am really happy with the confidence the team gave me today. I felt pretty good and had a fun day in the break. On the Sentinelle, I decided to make my move inside the last kilometer, but at this point in the race there wasn’t too much power left in the legs, which made the gap really difficult to shut down. Second is a nice result, my first Grand Tour stage top 3, and I hope to keep it up in the last days of the Tour, which has been really great for us."

3rd on the stage, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC): "I think I did everything right. I went in the good moves at the right moments and on the climb, I was on my limit so I have to say that there, the others were stronger. I did a good sprint in the end though and I think that winning was impossible so I tried to get the maximum out of the day and I think I did that. It was good to be in the breakaway with two guys, me and Michi, and it's really important to be in the right moves and on the right wheel and that's what I did well today. On the last climb, it was about the legs and I was strong but not strong enough to take the victory. It was really warm today and in the end, I suffered quite a lot because of it but, luckily we had that one rain shower in the middle of the race and that helped to cool us down."

4th on the stage, Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was a big break group, more than 30 riders and during the stage, we discussed what would happen. We were aware that sooner or later, there would be some fight or that someone would like to attack before the last climb. Matteo and I were two of them. I wouldn't say we agreed but we were looking for the right moment to go for it. Initially, ten of us went and then, later on, we were reduced to five. Matteo did the right move and attacked a km before the start of the climb. I thought that in a small group of strong riders such Van Avermaet and Izaguirre we would be able to catch him. I tried to attack and incite the others to follow suit but Trentin was the strongest."

5th on the stage, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida): "Today was a tough and hot stage and at the end I think I took the maximum I could. I’m a bit sad about because I missed the group who left in the last 25km and this was a little mistake of mine. I made a good return on the first attackers and I gave everything was possible to take the best place on the finish line. I won one stage, today 5th and so I can say it’s a really good Tour de France for me. This is the last week and I still don’t feel empty and this is a very good sign. Now the Alps are coming and we will see the fight between the GC contenders but maybe there will be some chances to go in another break. I will see how I’ll recover in the next 16 hours and we will see tomorrow how it goes."

20th on the stage and 13th overall, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): "Two goals motivated me to try the early breakaway today: first, I aimed for a stage victory and second, I wanted to gain time in the general classification. Some big names were present in the breakaway and I knew it would be difficult to get the stage win, but I achieved my second goal. The heat played a major role today, I was happy with the fresh shower. Ik hope it will be less warm the next few days. I didn't start my first Tour de France hoping to achieve a good general classification, but now I am in this position I will try me best to keep it. I only had on bad day until now. The alps are new for me, a true challenge. I will give everything I have and try to limit the damage, I'm really looking forward to it!"

5th overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): "The Tour de France can be won in any of the three coming stages in the Alps. All climbers will try something: Pinot, Landa… We won’t be watching each other. The most difficult is to keep the legs for attacking after 17 days of competition. How we will move as Team Ineos will depend on our feelings. If we don’t have the legs, we won’t be able to do anything interesting. Alaphilippe looks to me like a solid leader. We all thought he’d lose the yellow jersey in the Pyrenees and he didn’t. He still looks very competitive now. He’s one more rival to take into account."

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I had no chance of winning today since I was in the bunch. In the beginning I was controlling Colbrelli, Viviani and Matthews, my rivals for the green jersey, and that’s how I missed the break. As for the rest of the stage, it was pretty warm and a bit uncomfortable until it rained on us. It turned out to be a rest day for me. As for the Alps, it will be hard for everyone and every day."

KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): "Tomorrow it’ll be important. A lot of luck will be needed. If I’m in the breakaway with good legs, it’ll be possible to do something but it certainly won’t be easy. I suffered today but I guess it was the same for everyone. The temperature was very high. I feel good but I have to be exceptionally good tomorrow. There are 90 points up for grabs tomorrow, so the race for the polka dot jersey can go in different directions. I have many rivals."

Tour de France Stage 17 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:21:36
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step at 0:37
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC at 0:41
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
6. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana
7. Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:44
8. Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis at 0:50
9. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
10. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:55.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 17:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step in 69:39:16
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:35
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:47
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:50
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 2:02
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:14
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:54
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:00
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:33
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 6:30.

Stage 17:




Tony Martin and Luke Rowe Thrown Off the Tour de France
Both riders were disqualified from the Tour de France, fined CHF 1000 and docked 50 UCI points under the UCI rule that prohibits "assault, intimidation, insults, threats, improper conduct [including pulling the jersey or saddle of another rider, blow with the helmet, knee, elbow, shoulder, foot or hand etc], behavior that is indecent or that endangers others." Both teams have appealed the decision.

The riders from Jumbo-Visma and Ineos got into trouble during the climb of the Col de la Sentinelle. Images from the race show Martin on the right-hand side of the road and Rowe trying to come past him, but it looks like German cuts him off. The Welshman could barely keep his bike straight and avoid a collision with the public, then Rowe seemed to lash out at Martin. After reviewing the images, it was decided to exclude both riders from further participation.

Statement from Tony Martin and Luke Rowe (Team INEOS) about the race incident during the seventeenth stage of the Tour de France and the appeal:




Medical Update Jakob Fuglsang
Due to a crash in stage 16 of the Tour de France, Jakob Fuglsang had to abandon the race and was brought to the organizations medical truck. The results of the examinations: Heavy contusions and abrasions of his hand, arms, and knees. Radiography showed no fractures. There will follow more examinations in the next days to decide the expected time of recovery.

“I’m really disappointed about leaving the Tour de France this way, but there was too much pain to continue. Somebody crashed in front of me and there was no way to avoid it, so I crashed over my handlebar. My hand directly swallowed up and I could barely stand on my feet, I directly knew my Tour would finish here. I was very motivated for the final week and I was ready to battle for a higher position in the GC. That this has to be the way of missing out on this battle, is just very disappointing. Now all the focus will be on recovering, both physically as mentally, because the Tour was a big goal after my wins in Liége and the Dauphiné.” – Jakob Fuglsang.

It's not been a good Tour for Jakob:




Astana Also Loose Luis León Sánchez
Astana has to continue the Tour de France with one rider less. After the loss of leader Jakob Fuglsang, Luis León Sánchez also has to stop due to a back injury.

The 35-year-old rider has been struggling with a back injury for several days. "Inspection has shown that my back injury will only recover with rest. My goal was to help Jacob for two more days, but after he dropped out earlier today, it is no longer useful to continue. I am disappointed that the Tour must end like this," Sánchez said.

Luis León Sánchez on stage 14:




Cees Bol leaves Tour de France after stage 16
As a precaution, Cees Bol will not start stage 17 of the Tour de France tomorrow. The team has taken a day by day approach to monitor the first year pro’s condition and with some big mountain stages to come in the Alps, the decision has been made to not rush things and exceed Bol’s limits.

Speaking of the decision Cees Bol said: “Of course it’s with mixed feelings that I leave the race but I think it’s the right thing to do. Upfront we made the plan to take a day by day approach to avoid exceeding the limits. Until the first rest day I coped pretty well and together we fought for some nice results. I took on the Pyrenees with both the rest day and still today’s sprint opportunity for the team in the back of my head. After a talk we decided that with the tough stages coming up this is the moment to pull out. The Tour was a great experience for me and can’t be compared to anything else in cycling. I hope I will be back for more.”

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek added: “The goal with Cees was primarily to make the next step in his development as a rider and not to reach Paris at all costs. He is still a first year pro in his first grand tour, and we want to protect him from overreaching. Cees had a great Tour. We were really in the race battling for stage results and this will be very beneficial for the next steps in his career. With the difficult days ahead of us we planned to make a decision after today’s stage. We decided that it is the right moment for Cees to go home so that he is not overreaching, and that he can recover and work towards his next goals in the last part of the season.”

Cees Bol on stage 12:




Wilco Kelderman leaves Tour de France after stage 15
Suffering from lower back problems, Wilco Kelderman is forced to abandon the Tour de France after the race’s 15th stage.

“Over the last few days Wilco has been experiencing back pain and some stiffness,” explained Team Sunweb physician Anko Boelens. “The pain has begun to intensify as the race progresses and consequently he can’t push the watts on the pedals. Coming back from injury (neck fracture, Catalunya) has proved demanding on Wilco’s body and the intensity of it shouldn't be underestimated. Rather than push it and search for the limit, it’s best for Wilco to head home to recover and have further treatment so he can look to the next part of the season.”

Wilco Kelderman said: “It’s super disappointing to leave the race like this, especially with some good stages in the mountains coming up. Sometimes the body doesn’t react completely as you want it to after a difficult period with injury. I’ll head home now to take time to recover and set new goals.”

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “We’re sad to see Wilco head home, but his health of course comes first. He’s had a good two weeks of racing after a heavy crash which needed a long recovery period. Now he can focus on rest, treatment and his next races. Our focus remains the same; keep fighting for that top stage result.”

Wilco Kelderman:




Adriatica Ionica Race 2019
Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida) won the opening stage of the Italian Adriatica Ionica Race, a criterium of 67.5 kilometers through Mestre. The race did not count for the general classification.

The start and finish were at Corso del Popolo, the central square of Mestre. The riders then went through the old town nineteen times. As expected, the race came down to a sprint finish and Phil Bauhaus was the fastest. The German from Bahrain Merida beat Álvaro José Hodeg (Deceuninck - Quick-Step). Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) finished in third place.

Tomorrow there should be time differences as the riders race from Favaro Veneto to Grado. On the course there are no less than six unpaved sections in the last 80 kilometers. These sections caused a lot of chaos in the peloton last year, which broke into several pieces. It resulted in a sprint of more than forty riders with Elia Viviani as the winner.



Stage winner, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida): "It’s always special to take the first win for the team. I waited until now, but I've always believed in myself. The lead-out was perfect today. My teammates Sieberg and Haussler did a really good job to put me in a good position in the last laps and in particular in the last corner and then I’ve just had to take a nice one."

Adriatica Ionica Race Stage 1 Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida in 1:43:36
2. Alvaro Jose Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First
4. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
5. Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First
6. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Roompot-Charles
7. Frølich Mikkel Hinore (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
8. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Rui Filipe Alves Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step.

Win for Bauhaus:




Preview GP Cerami and Tour de Wallonie
While the Tour de France is coming to an end, another part of the Lotto Soudal team goes to the French speaking part of Belgium to participate in the GP Pino Cerami and the Tour de Wallonie. On Tuesday 25 July, the GP Pino Cerami takes place and on Saturday 27 July the Tour de Wallonie - a five-day Europe Tour stage race through the Walloon hills – starts. Sports director Bart Leysen looks ahead.

GP Pino Cerami
Bart Leysen:
“Tuesday we start again with the GP Pino Cerami. For many riders, that’s the first race of the second part of the season. This race can be compared to the GP Le Samyn, because it’s also not that hard. There are some little hills, but mostly a big group heads to the finish line. The GP Pino Cerami is something for riders who are extremely motivated and who already have good legs. With Enzo Wouters and Gerben Thijssen, who by the way rides his first race as a pro, we have two fast men in our team. If it would come to a group sprint, we certainly got the right arms to fight with.”

“We always try to get the best possible result. We appear at the start with only one goal and that is winning. I will make sure that riders who feel good that day will get as much support as possible. There’s not really one man in particular considered to be the leader. It will rather be a matter of having a fast rider left in the finale.”


Tour de Wallonie
Bart Leysen:
“The Tour de Wallonie consist of five stages of which the first one, in my opinion, is the hardest. That’s a stage through the Flemish Ardennes in which the riders have to conquer Hameau des Papins, Côte de Beau Site and the Kruisberg. I expect an immediate first selection there. The fourth stage to Lierneux is also one for the riders who are aiming for the overall win.”

“As for our team I rather think about the general classification than about stage wins. Tosh Van der Sande can handle that classification and he also has fast legs. Furthermore, we also have riders like Jelle Vanendert and Tomasz Marczyński who are in full preparation for the upcoming races. Another factor is that the race is in Belgium, so there won’t be any lack of motivation. The Wallonian region is becoming increasingly popular and the Tour de Wallonie isn’t considered as a small race anymore.”

“We have a team to race aggressively. We might not have the best finishers and that’s why we love to make the race as hard as possible. On the one hand the good results of our colleagues at the Tour de France take away the pressure, but on the other hand it pushes us more to perform equally well.”

Line up Lotto Soudal GP Cerami:
Frederik Frison, Nikolas Maes, Rémy Mertz, Gerben Thijssen, Jelle Vanendert, Brian van Goethem and Enzo Wouters.

Line up Lotto Soudal Tour de Wallonie:
Stan Dewulf, Frederik Frison, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczyński, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Brent Van Moer.
Sports director: Bart Leysen.

Tosh Van der Sande:




Grand Prix Cérami (July 25th) – Tour de Wallonie (July 27th-31st)
Dorian Godon: "After the French Championship, I took a few days off. It was very refreshing and it allowed me to resume training even more motivated. We had a good training camp at Vaujany en Oisans. We were very well taken care of, the riding conditions were perfect,
and the whole team atmosphere was really great all week. I didn’t even notice the kilometers rolling by. Before this camp with the team, I had already been accumulating some kilometers in the mountains. This gives you the chance to get a change of training terrain and avoid getting fed up. After a month without having raced, I cannot wait to get back. The two Belgian events always offer a good level of competition, so it will be interesting to gauge my own state of form. I should also be participating in the Vuelta a España, my first Grand Tour, at the end of August. I am very motivated to do well there."


After training last week in Vaujany en Oisans, Julien Duval extended his stay in the mountains and took the opportunity to participate in l’Etape du Tour de France. At the finish line at Val - Thorens, he took 14th.

Three stagiaires from the CCF
Clément Champoussin (21), the American Matteo Jorgenson (20), and Anthony Jullien (21), all members of the Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, will be stagiaires with the professionals of the AG2R-La Mondiale team beginning August 1st.






Cerami GP: Demarbaix: "Starting the final straight towards the end of the season off right"
The start of the 53th edition of the GP Cerami (1.1, 25/07) will be given in Saint-Ghislain this Thursday. The riders leave Place Albert Elisabeth at noon in the direction of the Borinage region for the 209.1 kilometer race in honor of Pino Cerami. The race continues to the south of the Hainaut province before turning back towards the three local laps in finish city Frameries. The parcours and the sloping finish-line are appreciated by the sprinters, however, a victorious breakaway is not excluded.

Sprinter Timothy Dupont is accompanied by teammates Jérôme Baugnies, Alfdan De Decker, Tom Devriendt, Wesley Kreder, Boris Vallée and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. Next to sprinter Timothy Dupont, Loïc Vliegen and Fabien Doubey will lead the team to success. They will be supported by road captain Thomas Degand.

Sébastien Demarbaix, sports director: "The Tour de France comes to an end this weekend, which means we reach the final straight towards the end of the season. Many riders are making their comeback in competition in the Cerami GP and the Tour de Wallonie, after a period of three weeks without competition. The riders have been training at altitude or at home to prepare for the last part of the season, it remains to be seen who comes out best. We want to do at least as good as the podium spot from Jérôme Baugnies in the Cerami GP last year. The parcours suits the sprinters even more this year, without the Muur van Geraardsbergen. Although, I expect an exhausting elimination race ending in a reduced bunch sprint, because of the hot weather circumstances. Tom Devriendt and Jérôme Baugnies are our pawns to anticipate and to make sure their teammates can fully devote themselves to supporting Timothy Dupont."

"The start of the Tour de Wallonie follows two days later, where we aim for a stage victory and a good general classification. In the first stage we want to score with sprinter Timothy Dupont, afterwards we have to wait until the end of the second stage to have a better idea of the form of our leaders for the general classification. It remains to be seen who comes out best of the long training period, I expect that Loïc Vliegen and Fabien Doubey will be capable of fulfilling our wishes. Both showed their good form last Sunday in the pre-olympic Test-Event by finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Also Thomas Degand is able to perform well after a good Tour of Austria. The team showed good performances there, that is the stage victory with Tom Devriendt, and I'm looking forward to continue this success!"


GP Cerami: 25/07 209,1km Saint-Ghislain - Frameries
Selection:

Jérôme Baugnies, Alfdan De Decker, Tom Devriendt, Timothy Dupont, Wesley Kreder, Boris Vallée, Pieter Vanspeybrouck.
Sportive direction: Sébastien Demarbaix and Jean-Marc Rossignol.

Jérôme Baugnies:




G&V Energy Group Extends its Collaboration Until 2022!
Following the earlier announcement that main sponsors Lotto and Soudal will continue together till the end of 2022, co-sponsor G&V Energy Group also prolonged its agreement for the same duration.

The Belgian company has been connected to the team since 2012, first as a fuel partner but since 2013 also as partner of a first, and later a second team bus. As of 2016, the CAPS logo - the multi-brand petrol card of G&V Energy Group - featured on the right shoulder of the team’s outfit.



With the extension and the enlargement of the partnership, the ‘Caps Fuel Card’ logo will be displayed on the back of the bib short, as of next season.

Xavier Dewulf, CEO of G&V Energy Group: “As an avid fan of cycling, we are delighted to prolong our collaboration with the Lotto Soudal team, which is very dear to us, till the end of 2022. We can identify with the team, as is reflected through our own values: Belgian, dynamic and innovative! Supporting a cycling team is for us a positive way to strengthen the brand awareness of our CAPS Fuel Card. In the meantime, our petrol card has become an international service card which strongly responds to the sustainability aspect, among them natural gas (L-CNG) and electric fueling. Furthermore, with our rechargeable CAPS Mobility Card, we respond to mobility solutions within the HR of companies. The position switch of our logo from the shoulder to the back of the bib is, from a marketing point of view, a dream come true.”

John Lelangue, general manager Lotto Soudal: “The story of our partnership is one of continuity. G&V Energy Group has grown to a structural partner of Lotto Soudal, with the magnificent team busses as the signboard; we travelled a beautiful path so far and I am happy that CEO Xavier Dewulf and his team at G&V Energy Group support our ambitions for the coming years. Within the partnership, they will further focus on their multi-brand petrol card ‘CAPS’, through which they have a big potential reach.”

G&V Energy Group is a young and dynamic Belgian company, active on the market of fuel stations with a strong focus on sustainability. Thanks to the acquisitions of the Esso fuel stations in the regions of Brussels-Henegouwen and Flanders, the company became the biggest independent player on the Belgian market. Currently, G&V manages over 200 fuel stations under the brand names G&V, Esso, Shell and ENORA (CNG) and 24 shops (XL ROC). Another important pillar within the group is the multi-brand Caps Fuel Card providing customers an online platform that allows them to manage their fleet administration easily and enables them to reduce their tax and excise administration. Thanks to the cooperation with partner networks, G&V offers its customers a network of over 2,000 locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France. In 2018, the consolidated turnover of the group accounted to 960 million euros. Additional info: caps.be - g-v.be.

Xavier De Wulf, CEO Energygroup, Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens and John Lelangue, General Manager of Lotto Soudal presenting the new shirt for the 2020 season on the second rest day of the 2019 Tour de France:




James Knox Extends Stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The British rider reached a new agreement, keeping him with our team until 2021.

Now in his second year in the World Tour, young and promising climber James Knox has agreed a contract extension that will see him ride for Deceuninck – Quick-Step – the most successful squad in the peloton and UCI World Team Ranking leader – for a further two years.

After a steady transition in 2018, where he took sixth place overall at the Tour de Wallonie, James has continued his adaptation to riding with a World Tour team, chalking up impressive placings in the classifications at both UAE Tour (8TH) and Tour de Romandie (14th). This earned him a start in his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, which was unfortunately cut short by a knee injury.

Speaking of his new deal, James Knox said: “I’m so chuffed to be resigning for two more years with Deceuninck – Quick-Step and it’s also a bit of a relief to know Patrick and the team are happy with what I’ve done so far! It was a dream come true when I joined the team in 2018 and honestly, it’s been even better than expected. What the team has achieved whilst I’ve been here has been truly staggering and to be a small part of some of those victories is more than I could have ever imagined.”

James also talked of his personal goals for the next seasons: “I’d like to think I’m making steady progress, and most of that is down to the team, learning from the best in the business, getting my own chances to race and just being taken care of brilliantly on all fronts. This year has been another step forward with some nice results to back up how I finished last season, and hopefully more to come for the rest of the year. We’ll see what the next two seasons bring, I’m still young and just hoping I can continue progressing for now, but I wouldn’t mind chalking up a Deceuninck – Quick-Step win for myself.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere also expressed his satisfaction at retaining the services of the talented 23-year-old climber: “It is a great pleasure to come to an agreement with James. He has adapted to racing at World Tour level and continued to progress, especially during the early races this season. He is always looking to learn and progress and we were very keen for him to continue that progression with us for the foreseeable future.”

James Knox:




Movistar Team Retains Core of its Roster for 2020
Telefónica-backed squad announces two-year extension for two of its TDF riders -Amador and Oliveira, half of its Giro-winning team, Rojas, Pedrero, Carretero, Lluís Mas- and one of its home-grown powerhouses, Jorge Arcas.



The Movistar Team is working hard to underpin the foundations of its 41st season in the top tier of cycling. The squad managed by Eusebio Unzué confirmed on Monday it has signed two-year contract extensions with seven of its 2019 riders: Andrey Amador, Jorge Arcas, Héctor Carretero, Lluís Mas, Nelson Oliveira, Antonio Pedrero and José Joaquín Rojas. All of them will remain in Blue colors at least through the end of the 2021 season.

The contract renewals include two of the riders from the lineup currently leading the teams’ classification of the Tour de France. Amador, a world-class allrounder with no less than 11 years of successful career with the Abarca Sports organization, and Oliveira, one of the most remarkable time trialists in the WorldTour with a decade of professional experience, will stay as part of the Movistar Team for the next two years.

The list also includes four of the riders -other than Amador- which conquered the 2019 Giro d’Italia: Mas, full of commitment and attitude in his Maiden Blue season, Pedrero -always taking a step forward in Grand Tours, Carretero- author of a brilliant GT debut- and Rojas, who will fulfill no less than his 14th season with the Movistar Team in 2020. The list is completed by Spaniard Jorge Arcas, who will continue to offer its talent as rouleur to the home WorldTour outfit as he covers his fifth pro season next year.





Gerben Thijssen Makes Pro Debut for Lotto Soudal at GP Cerami
On Thursday 25 July, Gerben Thijssen will make his pro debut for Lotto Soudal at the GP Cerami. The 21-year-old Belgian was already part of the Lotto Soudal U23 team and will now join the WorldTour outfit.

Thijssen already obtained some major results, both as a road and as a track cyclist. He became the Belgian U23 champion last year and already won the GP Sint-Niklaas and the Memorial Philippe Van Coningsloo. The Belgian took stage wins at ‘A Travers les Hauts de France’ and the Tour d’Eure-et-Loire. At only 19 years of age, the promising sprinter conquered the gold medal in the pro elimination race at the European track championships. This month, Thijssen took silver in the team pursuit at the U23 European championships in Ghent.

Gerben Thijssen: “Of course, I eagerly look forward to my first race as a pro. After the bad luck at the beginning of the season, it is important for me to make the transition now. Initially, I would already turn pro in January, but eventually I am happy with the decision to take the step only now. That way, I was able to learn some more at the U23 category and also to win some races as well, which is always good for the morale. Now, I get the chance to prove myself during two and a half years. Lotto Soudal was an obvious choice. The team always supported me really well and as a first year U23, I could already join the training camp. There never was any doubt and I think it is for me the right choice to make.”

“I will start without many expectations on Thursday; gaining experience, as much as possible, prevails. I think that I will have to prove myself in those kind of races and I hope to succeed. I prepared myself for the upcoming races with a training camp in Spain. After a period of track racing, the focus was primarily on endurance training, an essential aspect of road cycling, of course.”

“I have been a pure sprinter in the youth categories and I also hope to develop into that kind of rider in the pro ranks. To become teammates with Caleb Ewan is something I really look forward to. As an U23 rider, I always got my own chances as a sprinter and I haven’t been teammates with another really fast guy, something I regret. Now, with the pros, that will be different and I think I can learn a great deal from a rider like Ewan. The RideLondon Classic will normally be our first race together, it will for example be interesting to see how he makes his way through the peloton.”

“In any case, the focus will mainly be on the road, but I use track cycling to improve as a road cyclist and to sharpen my speed. For a sprinter, it is important to stay quick and riding on the track is my way to do so. To grow, step by step, is the goal and my ultimate dream is to become a top sprinter. Together with the necessary guidance, we will do everything to make that dream come true.”


Gerben Thijssen - A Travers Les Hauts de France - stage 2:




Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team Up with Tour de l’Avenir
The Wolfpack will support the development of youth cycling at the biggest U23 stage race in the world.

Tour de l’Avenir and Deceuninck – Quick-Step are happy to announce that starting from this year, our team will become the official partner of the prestigious event that since its inception, in 1961, has proved to be a springboard for many riders at the beginning of their career.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step has a rich and impressive tradition when it comes to scouting and investing in emerging young talents – Julian Alaphilippe, Enric Mas, Florian Sénéchal and Petr Vakoc being just some of the riders discovered and promoted by us in the past couple of years – and for that very reason we decided to accept the proposition of Philippe Colliou, Tour de l’Avenir’s director, and start a partnership with the most important U23 race in the world.

The collaboration is set to kick off this year, when members of the team’s staff will attend the general briefing of the 56th edition in the presence of all the riders. This will be backed by a strong collaboration on social media to promote the race, its ethos, values and vocation as stepping stone to the professional world of cycling.

Set to take place in August, this year’s edition will be just the first step of a multi-year agreement that will see Deceuninck – Quick-Step provide logistical support in 2020 to a selection of young riders that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to be on the start line of the Tour de l’Avenir.

“The commitment of Patrick Lefevere and his team confirms the interest and goodwill of cycling sport stakeholders towards the Tour de l’Avenir, which has unearthed so many champions since its creation in 1961 and is, even today, an important step for young talents, from all continents, on their way to the top level. Giving them the opportunity to succeed is our common guideline”, said Philippe Colliou, the race director of the Tour de l’Avenir.

“When Philippe Colliou approached us, we immediately accepted his invitation”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere. “Cycling isn’t just about winning races, but also about how you use your position to help the sport develop, and our team has an important role in the structure that is pro cycling. That’s why we accepted to give our support to the race, help it grow and become stronger one step at a time, and help as much as possible the next generation of riders.”

Tour de France overall leader Julian Alaphilippe – first Frenchman in 34 years to earn more than 10 yellow jerseys at a single edition – also shared his thoughts on this new and exciting partnership between our team and the race that has a special place in his heart: “I love the Tour de l’Avenir and I’m very glad that our team will support this beautiful event and the riders of tomorrow over the next couple of years. In 2013, I won a stage and the green jersey at L’Avenir, and the race proved to be an important step in my career, which I hope will be the case also for many other young riders.”

The 56th Tour de l’Avenir will take place between 15-25 August, from Aquitaine to the Alps.

www.tourdelavenir.com





Roompot Vakanties to End Sponsorship After 2019
Roompot Vakanties will no longer be involved in professional cycling next year. The Dutch chain of holiday parks will end its sponsorship of the team in 2020, after five years. The team management of Roompot - Charles Cycling Team want to express their gratitude to Roompot Vakanties for five beautiful seasons.

The decision not to continue as main sponsor of Roompot – Charles Cycling Team was announced by Roompot Vakanties to the team management on Monday, July 22. It’s a policy choice unrelated to performances, to results or to our partnership of the past years, which is deemed successful and satisfactory by both parties.

As a cycling team we can regret that choice, but above all we are grateful for the many years of support and confidence in our project. We knew from the start of the current season there would be a chance that the one-year contracts of sponsors and riders wouldn’t all be extended. It’s inherent to the business model of cycling and we must respect those choices.

Even though time is against us, the team management is now focusing on the search for a new main sponsor, which is crucial for the continued existence of the team. At the same time, we must be realistic and transparent, first of all towards our riders and employees. We certainly don’t want to prevent them from continuing their career elsewhere when given the opportunity. On the contrary, in the coming months they will get plenty of opportunities to prove their worth. In the remainder of season 2019, we’ll do everything we can to complete our Roompot period in a positive manner and to live up to the reputation we have built in recent years.

Communication Roompot Vakanties:
"The objectives of Roompot Vakanties with the cycling team have all been achieved, with the exception of ‘riding a Grand Tour’. The team thus contributed to the international brand recognition of Roompot. The Roompot management speak of an excellent cooperation with the team management during that entire sponsor period and the parties involved will certainly stay in contact. Roompot expressly wishes to thank all riders, team members and the entire cycling world and all its fans for five wonderful years."

Jesper Asselman stage 1 Tour de Yorkshire 2019:




The 13th Stage of La Vuelta 19 Will Depart from San Mamés, Bilbao
The peloton of La Vuelta will pass through the inside of the Athletic Club’s stadium at the start of the race’s 13th stage that will depart from Bilbao, the only city that will host both a departure and an arrival in La Vuelta 19.

San Mamés and the Athletic Club will, once again, share in their fans’ passion for cycling and, on the 6th of September, will host the 13th stage of La Vuelta 19 that will depart from Bilbao and end at Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega. The departure is sure to be spectacular as the riders will not only take off from the esplanade that leads to the stadium, but will also ride around the field during the neutralized start.

In the 33rd La Vuelta departure from Bilbao, fans will be able to see their idols up close at San Mamés, thus repeating the experience of the Itzulia Basque Country 2017. Later, the peloton will enter the stadium through the parking and ride around the field once following the Race Director’s car, accompanied by two Shimano technical assistance motorbikes. The riders will leave through the San Mamés parking door and will re-join the neutralized route through different streets of the Vizcaya capital until they take the N-634 to Sodupe in order to finish at the Cantabrian mountain pass of Los Machucos (HC climb) 167 kilometers later.

A Historical Relationship
La Vuelta features the support of the Bilbao City Council once again, in this new edition of the Spanish tour. A city, committed with sports in general and with cycling in particular, that has hosted La Vuelta (as a starting or finish line) a total of 74 times, thus reaffirming the commitment of the Basque passion for this competition.

The relationship of San Mamés and the Athletic Club with the world of cycling has been a close one for almost a century. During the 1920s, the team had its own cycling division, in which prestigious riders such as Federico Ezquerra wore the white jersey with the red stripe that identified this division for 5 years. The team was also one of the driving forces behind the Itzulia Basque Country. San Mamés stadium has actually already been the luxurious setting for two La Vuelta stage finales. The first was in 1960, with a partial triumph for the edition’s final winner, Franz de Mulder; and the other was in 1962, in a stage that determined the victory of German rider Rudi Altig.

More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com





Eurovision Sport and A.S.O. Report Climbing Audiences for the Tour de France
As the competition grows fiercer and fiercer between national cycling heroes from various European countries, including France (Alaphilippe, Pinot), UK (Thomas), Netherlands (Kruijswijk), Germany (Buchmann), Spain (Landa, Valverde) and Denmark (Fuglsang), European fans have been watching the leaders on their national media platforms during the weekend, as well as on Eurosport throughout Europe, resulting in strong ratings:

- Over 2m average viewers in Italy on RAI (RAI 2) on Saturday with a 20.2% market share
- Audience peaks on Saturday of 2m in Spain on TVE (La1) and 2.3m in Italy on RAI (RAI2)
- In Germany ARD** recorded average viewers of 1.5m (Saturday) and 1.7m (Sunday)
- Over 1m average viewers in the Netherlands on NOS (NPO1) on Saturday and Sunday, with market shares above 56% over the weekend
- In Denmark, a 66.6% market share was reported for TV2 on Saturday and a 56.9% market share on Sunday with a 0.7m peak audience
- Belgium’s VRT saw a 1m peak audience on Saturday on EEN, with a market share of 59.4%

From the start of the 2019 Tour de France in Belgium, to the Pyrenees via Toulouse, audience performance has seen an increase, most notably in Belgium (Flemish and French) and Italy. In these 3 markets the top average audiences have exceeding those in 2018 on VRT (+13.0%), RTBF (+23.8%) and RAI (+17.6%).

For stage 1 held in Brussels, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first Tour de France victory, RTBF (French Belgium) beat its best average of 2018, with 326,000 viewers tuning into on La Une, corresponding to 49% market share.

Frédéric Sanz, Head of Cycling Eurovision Sport, says, “We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with A.S.O. and it is exciting to see such a historic event as the Tour de France attracting high audiences via the unrivaled exposure delivered by the EBU Members. The race continues to captivate the imagination year after year, with these figures proving its enduring appeal to sports fans across Europe.”

Julien Goupil, Media Director A.S.O. says, “It is great to see such high audience interest in this year’s Tour de France. The coverage from EBU Member broadcasters is second-to-none and brings audiences right into the heart of this grueling challenge. On the digital side, both EBU members’ and Tour de France own platforms and social media channels are enjoying substantial consumption growth of their key metrics.

“Through our partnership with Eurovision Sport and also thanks to the strong domestic performances on France Television (average audiences of 3.4m with 5.5m average viewers on 20th July, with a peak at 7m), we are able to offer the Tour de France to wide audiences. With approximately 2 minutes splitting the top 6 Leaders and still the Alps stages to come, all the ingredients are there for a thrilling spectacle for cycling fans.”

Key points:
Ø
The Tour de France is captivating sports fans this year with high audience figures reported from EBU Member broadcasters.
Ø The 2019 Tour de France is being hailed as one of the most exciting editions since the end of 1980s, with particular excitement during the two Pyrenees stages on Saturday 20 July (Tarbes – Tourmalet Barèges) and Sunday 21 July (Limoux – Foix Prat d’Albis).

Eurovision Sport is a division of the European Broadcasting Union.
(*) Markets measured includes Belgium French, Belgium Flemish, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain; Source: Nielsen Sports and local official Television Audience Measurement.

(**) France Televisions and ARD are not part of Eurovision Sport’s contract with A.S.O. and hold individual agreements for the Tour de France.





Osmo Presents: Peter Sagan Interviewing Teammate Daniel Oss
Bora-Hansgrohe Riders Reveal Secrets of Wheelie Training and The Best Pizza in Italy.

OSMO presents Peter Sagan interviewing Daniel Oss on a NorCal training ride. Follow along as the two ride Bolinas Road and reminisce about their start together in the pro peloton, discuss their favorite jams to listen to while riding, and the similarities between Tarantino movies and bike racing.

Sagan has been using Osmo Nutrition drinks for hydration and recovery since 2013, before he was personally sponsored by the brand. He famously continued to order Osmo products on his own, as his Osmo hydration regimen eliminated his previous problems with on-bike cramping during races, and soon enough Osmo and Sagan began working together directly.

In addition to sponsoring Sagan himself, the partnership has extended into supporting his current Bora-Hansgrohe team. Daniel Oss joined Bora in 2018, rejoining his former teammate Sagan for the first time since their days racing on the Liquigas team in the early 2010s.









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