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

The cyclocross season and Mathieu van der Poel are in full swing, but the Top Story has to be the 2019 Tour de France. Rider comments on the French Grand Tour and results from Ruddervoorde and Neerpelt. Other cycling news: Valverde Vélo d'Or, Astana 2018, UAE training camp, Drapac development, rider contracts, Wolfpack book, Le Coq Sportif with Movistar and video of the Sky crossbar challenge. Big EUROTRASH Monday coffee time.



TOP STORY: The Tour de France 2019
The route of next years Tour de France was presented on Thursday. The 2019 route has been designed for a climber, although it might not bring in a home winner it should keep the excitement going till the final Alpine stage 20. There are maybe seven sprint finish possibilities and quite a few hilly days that could suit a break. One team time trial of 28 kilometers on stage 2 and a 'lumpy' individual test of 27 kilometers on stage 13. But the five summit finishes are going sort out the final overall winner.

More Tour de France information HERE and the 'PEZ Full Route Preview' HERE.



What the teams and riders have to say:


2018 Tour winner, Geraint Thomas (Sky): "By the end of this year, I will know which Grand Tour I will ride. First, I have to crawl back on the bike and start training again. It's hard to say when you see it so quickly but I think as ever, it’s tough and I think it will be as exciting as ever. There are some big stages and, obviously, a lot of climbs finishing over 2,000 meters and the medium mountain stages look hard too. It’s going to be a tough race. It will suit the typical Tour specialist, a rider with a strong team around him, there’s a lot of medium mountain stage, and the time trial in Pau will also be crucial. So it will need a well-rounded rider and team to win it. I wouldn't say that any of the summit finishes worry me, but stages like the one to the summit of the Tourmalet and to Val Thorens will be exciting stages. That second one comes after 33 kilometers of climbing and after what is another really challenging day. There are certainly some big, big days where a lot can happen."

Geraint Thomas:




Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): "It’s a very tough route. Of course, more individual time trial kilometers would have been better, so it’s not an ideal course for me, but that was also the case this year. There’s a lot of high climbing and an emphasis on the second half of the Tour, with the Pyrenees and the Alps to be decisive."

Tom Dumoulin in the 2018 Tour:




Chris Froome (Sky): "The high-altitude aspect of the race is going to be a significant factor. Some riders deal with altitude better than others, especially those who were born and live at altitude like Nairo Quintana. Those climbs should really suit him. I think that spending a lot of time at altitude will be one of the main parts of preparing for this Tour. Every year I've had to adapt and this year is no different. I'll do all I can to adapt to it and make sure I'm at my best in the mountains. It's a race I'm really looking forward to preparing for now. It would be the dream for me to go for the fifth Tour de France win. It’s a very different parcours. There are comparatively fewer time trial kilometers compared to recent editions, so that's quite different too. I’ve always enjoyed racing up La Planche des Belles Filles, the first summit finish, and with an added kick at the end of over 20 per cent it will certainly be interesting, and sort out the men from the boys."

Fifth Tour for Froome:
Paris - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Christopher - Chris FROOME (GBR / Team Sky) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 21 from Montgeron to Paris, 103.00 km - foto Poolphoto Benoit Tessier/Cor Vos © 2017



Greg Van Avermaet (BMC - CCC in 2019): "I think that we'll be able to go more on the attack and being attractive in the race but it can also be good for me to have a different strategy. I think that the other guys also have their chances to do something and hopefully they'll take them. I think that we are capable of doing good things. It’s completely different to what we’ve tried to do over the last four or five years, where we came with Richie going for the podium and trying to help him as much as possible. This is done now. I think that Epernay is a good one, then you have a few ones in the Massif Central where I have a chance if I’m in really good shape. I think I have to try and do it there. Then we have the start in Brussels, which is special for me as a Belgian rider. I’m really looking forward to it and you can make some predictions but you always have to take the Tour as it comes. It’s so stressful and so hectic at the beginning that sometimes it can get out of your hands, but hopefully, I can manage to do well and do something."

Van Avermaet in yellow:




Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data): "When you’ve got six or seven sprint opportunities, that's good and that's fair. There's more climbing and probably more altitude meters, but 2018 was near impossible for most sprinters to reach Paris, just with the position of the climbs and the lay-out of the stages. It's hard, there's a lot of climbing meters but we’ve got a few sprint opportunities and there’s a better chance of us reaching Paris next year. It's within our physiological realms, whereas 2018 was not within our physiological realms. It means everything to me, it means everything for every bike rider, even guys who don’t ride the road. Professional track riders at one point or another dreamt of riding the Tour de France. For me it’s everything, it’s my career. It’s the only reason I still ride my bike."

Can Cavendish take more Tour stages:




Tiesj Benoot is looking forward to the Tour's Grand Départ in Brussels
Around noon, the 106th edition of the Tour de France (6 July 2019 – 28 July 2019) was unveiled in Paris. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the first Tour victory of Eddy Merckx, the Grand Départ will be held in Brussels.

The first stage, with start and finish in Brussels, is a sprint stage. The day after, a team time trial of 27 kilometers is scheduled in the Belgian capital. The third stage starts in Binche and takes the riders to Epernay, France. Then the Tour caravan heads further into the Vosges, followed by the Massif Central, the Pyrenees and the Alps.

Tiesj Benoot: "The Grand Départ in Brussels is of course special and I am very much looking forward to it. Two years ago, when the Tour started in Düsseldorf, we also rode in Belgium and that was already impressive. This Tour start will definitely get a lot of people out on the streets and as a Belgian rider in a Belgian team that’s all the more exciting.”

“It was the first time that I came to the Tour presentation. It was impressive with 3,700 people here at Palais des Congrès. The celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the yellow jersey in the presence of fivefold Tour winners Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain gave this presentation an extra nice touch.”

“I really like the hilly stages ahead of the first rest day. That first week is more balanced than last year. That’s good for the riders, but also for the spectators. There are sprints, hilly stages, a mountain stage and a team time trial that first week. There are definitely opportunities for a rider like me, in the stages to Epernay and Colmar for example. Afterwards, the Tour builds up towards the decisive stages in the Alps. In the tough stages it will depend on the tactics of the GC teams if escapees have a chance of winning."


Marc Sergeant, sports manager Lotto Soudal: "The Tour direction obviously wants that the overall winner is determined as late as possible. They want to limit the time gaps between the GC riders as long as possible. There are not much time trial kilometers either. For us that’s not so important. We are going to the Tour with a sprinter."

"There will probably only be two sprints in the first week. On those occasions we want to aim for victory with Caleb Ewan. The sprint opportunities are more spread over the entire Tour. Pretty early there will already be opportunities for riders like Tiesj Benoot, Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens if he would ride the Tour again. In about half of the latest editions, the Tour didn’t start with a time trial. Also this year it starts with a normal stage. Of course we have the ambition to win it. It would be fantastic to do that in Brussels. But we won’t be the only team with that ambition."


Tiesj Benoot on stage 15 of the Tour'17:
Le Puy-en-Velay, - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Tiesj BENOOT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Warren BARGUIL (France / Team Sunweb) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 15 from Laissac-Sévérac l’…glise to Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.50 km - foto VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017



AG2R-La Mondiale
Vincent Lavenu: "It's a beautiful route, balanced, with a lot of mountains, which is certainly not displeasing to us. It will be necessary to be focused from the beginning to the end because the roads of the Vosges as well as the Massif Central can be surprising. The high mountains are on the program, with some of the greatest passes that have written the legend of our sport, and it's really a good thing. Everything that can ignite an aggressive race I like. For us, there are a lot of symbols along the way. Brussels, the city of Eddy Merckx, the brand that will supply us with our bicycles in 2019, Brioude, the home city of Romain Bardet, the passes of Izoard and Galibier, which are the roads of my childhood in the Hautes-Alpes, and beautiful stages in Savoie, our home base, to top things off. This course makes you want to be there."

Romain Bardet: "It's a very beautiful course, quite difficult on paper with very little downtime. Many middle-sized mountains; and any time there are mid-sized mountain stages, they are very tricky with uncertain outcomes. Then there are the very high mountains as well, with those mythical passes: the Izoard, Tourmalet, Galibier and Izeran. Thes important tests at altitude should be able to widen the gap between the favorites. The time trials are placed rather early in the race, which could help unblock the leading positions ahead of the last days, as it happened last year. And happily here is an edition that will pass over my home roads, including a finish in Brioude, the city where I was born. It’s a great reward for the Auvergne region, and all the cycling enthusiasts there. It’s a nice little wink for me too! There is something very special about being able to race at home, which I already had the pleasure of doing two years ago. It looks to be a very nice party."

Pierre Latour: "Many long stages of more than 200 km. Many stages with difficult finishes, and generally a lot of mountain passes. Even so-called transition days remain long and contain traps. It's a course that makes you hungry. There is a risk of upending situations, and some pretty fun things to do. It will be necessary to be vigilant, not to have a jour sans, and if you do, you’ll certainly lose a lot."





Tour de France 2019: Honor to Binche!
The 106th edition of the Tour de France (2.WT, 6-28/07) was presented on Thursday at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. The Grand Départ in Brussels had been announced for some time, but the rest of the route remained unknown until yesterday. After his departure from the European capital La Grande Boucle will honor the city of Binche, home to our main sponsor Wanty, as the city will organize the start of the third stage on Monday 8 July. The peloton then heads for the Vosges, before it crosses France to the Pyrenees, with a first rest day in Albi. The Tour de France will close in the Alps, with the legendary ascent of the Iseran and a final summit finish in Val Thorens, before parading to the Champs Elysées.

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): "The upcoming Tour de France is full of surprises and will not be easy to control. This Tour perfectly suits the baroudeurs, but also the climbers. Guillaume Martin is a pure climber and likes this kind of mountain stages. I am delighted that the city of Binche is being rewarded for its commitment to cycling. The difference between Binche and us is that we are not sure if we will be there. We still have to wait for confirmation. We have been invited for two years as we won the UCI Europe Tour twice. I hope that this will be the case again next year. It would be a logical step towards the reform desired by the UCI."

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director): "This Tour should be less nervous in the first week, even though a flat stage can be tiring. But this route will be more favorable for the climbers, with more summit finishes. This plays in the favor of Bardet, but also of Guillaume Martin. For me personally it will be special to ride through Geraardsbergen and climb the Bosberg, with passage in front of my house. But that will only take a few minutes."

Guillaume Martin (rider): "The layout of this Tour de France is similar to the 2017 edition. The difficulties are distributed more evenly, with more spectacle. For a rider like me and a team like us this offers opportunities, with more stages in the hills on lesser known climbs. In addition we will climb mythical passes for the 100-year jubilee of the yellow jersey. I left the last Tour de France with a bad feeling. I want no revenge, but I want to discover something else in the Tour. I think that a good result lies within my capabilities, so I hope that our team will be invited again. Because Belgium is my second home and there are a lot of attractions along the way, whether it is Alsace, Pau or the Alps."

Yoann Offredo (rider): "I think this Tour de France is very exciting. I do not see any possibility for a team to crush the Tour, because a lot of riders can show themselves in a wide range of stages. This also applies to Wanty-Groupe Gobert. The first week will be interesting, because of the nervousness and crashes there will be opportunities for the breakaway."

Christophe Wanty (Wanty SA): "I want to congratulate the city of Binche, which has long supported cycling. There is, of course, Binche-Chimay-Binche. We had the start of Flèche Wallonne for two years and a beautiful Belgian championship last summer. This is a fair reward for Binche. I hope that the route will now pass Wanty's headquarters, and why not the real start in front of our offices with an immediate attack from a Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider? This is of course determined by an invitation from our team to the Tour de France. We have done everything we could to be invited for a third time, now we are waiting for the organization to choose the wildcards."

Wanty-Groupe Gobert in the Tour'17 TTT:




Telenet Superprestige Ruddervoorde 2018
Mathieu van der Poel won yet again, this time the Super prestige cross in Ruddervoorde on Sunday. After less than half a lap, the European champion put in a strong acceleration which the rest had no answer. World champion Wout van Aert had to be happy with second place and Toon Aerts third.

As always the sharp first corner in Ruddervoorde caused problems. Many riders took the start too fast causing a crash, among the fallers was Michael Vanthourenhout and the British top talent Tom Pidcock. Quinten Hermans took the lead, just like Saturday in Neerpelt, but it wasn't long before Mathieu van der Poel made his impressive move. Hermans, Wout van Aert and Toon Aerts couldn't follow the European champions speed and after less than half a lap, Van der Poel had 6 seconds lead and after a lap he had almost 20.

By the halfway point; Van der Poel had extended his lead to half a minute, and with two laps to go he had a minute. Because of the strong headwind there were a lot of echelons, and so a group of about ten riders were going to fight for the places of honor. Van Aert, Aerts and Eli Iserbyt were the strongest. With a lap to go Van Aert put in his attack to take second, but was over 30 seconds down on Van Der Poel.



Telenet Superprestige Ruddervoorde Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:00:14
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) at 0:35
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:42
4. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:45
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 1:00
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus
7. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 1:02
8. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:05
9. Thomas Pidcock (GB) TP Racing at 1:16
10. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 1:19.

Ruddervoorde'18:




Soudal GP Neerpelt 2018
Laurens Sweeck took advantage of the absence of most of the big names to win the GP Neerpelt on Saturday. The Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice rider was stronger than the German Marcel Meisen and David van der Poel.

The top riders; Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, Toon Aerts and Lars van der Haar were not on the start-line of the GP Neerpelt, saving themselves for Sunday's Superprestige in Ruddervoorde. The first real split came after the first quarter of the race. Telenet-Fidea teammates Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel attacked, just as Van Kessel crashed into a corner. Hermans and Van Kessel didn't press on.

A short time later Hermans tried again, but made a mistake which let Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout escape. Vanthourenhout was also in trouble, falling and leaving Sweeck solo up front and in no time he had ten seconds lead.

Behind; the Corendon-Circus riders tried to chase. First Tom Meeusen, then David van der Poel and finally Marcel Meisen tried to close the gap to Sweeck, but the rider from Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice was simply too strong. German champion Meisen got within five seconds of the lone leader, who took his first victory of the season.



Soudal GP Neerpelt Result:
1. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice in 58:02
2. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 0:13
3. David van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus at 0:20
4. Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 0:30
5. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:37
6. Michael Boros (Cze) Creafin-Tuv Sud at 0:40
7. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Lions at 0:46
8. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Lions 0:55
9. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:59
10. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 1:21.

Neerpelt'18:




Valverde Enters the Vélo d’Or legend
World Champion from Movistar Team recognized by international press, 25 years after first winner Miguel Indurain.

A picture for the history books. At the end of the technical meeting held by the Movistar Team in Pamplona this week was crowned by the Blues with two geniuses of bike racing which now share the most prestigious individual prize in the sport: the Vélo d’Or, handed out by Vélo Magazine.

Miguel Indurain, winner in 1992 and 1993, and Alejandro Valverde, the most voted rider by renowned press members in 2018, posed for a picture featuring the two riders who earned these honors while members of Eusebio Unzué’s organization. Two symbols of the legacy and sport of a squad which will fulfill its 40th year of activity in 2019.

Alejandro Valverde receives the Vélo d'Or trophy from Miguel Indurain:




2018 Season for Astana Team: From Podium to Podium
Last Sunday Astana Pro Team has officially closed its 2018 cycling season. The last race of the year became the UCI WorldTour event Gree-Tour of Guangxi, passed by Astana on a very high level: Sergei Chernetskii took a solid third podium place in the final general classification, while Astana won the team classification of the race.

In general, the 2018 season became a very successful for Astana Pro Team. During this year the riders of the team won 33 races and took 62 podium places.

"At the end of this year, we can proudly look back at our achievements. The team has achieved very serious results at the highest level. 95 podiums, including 33 victories - it is very worthy. Over the past two years, Astana has changed a lot, finding a new face. The team got younger, did a few big steps forward, while maintaining its own well-known style. After a period of adaptation that happened in 2017, this season we have demonstrated our potential, our strength. I am very happy that the team has expanded its ambitions, became more active and successful in one-day and classic races; that have grown seriously our Kazakh riders, Alexei Lutsenko, Yevgeniy Gidich, Nikita Stalnov, other guys. It is great that we have returned back to the highest positions on the Grand tours, which has always been and will be our top priority. This year we have a lot of victories, even more podiums. It was a wonderful year, which, however, makes us work even more in order to achieve new heights in the next season," said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Thirty victories the team’s riders won in Astana jerseys, two more wins Alexey Lutsenko took at the Asian Games, representing the National Team of Kazakhstan. Moreno Moser in the colors of the National Team of Italy scored one more success at the Trofeo Laigueglia. Ten of 33 victories were achieved in the UCI WorldTour races.

Among the biggest victories of Astana Pro Team could be named two stages at the Tour de France (Omar Fraile, 14th stage and Magnus Cort, 15th stage), the general classification of the Tour of Oman (Alexey Lutsenko), stage wins at the Critérium du Dauphiné (Pello Bilbao), the Tour de Romandie (Jakob Fuglsang and Omar Fraile), the Itzulia Basque Country (Omar Fraile), the Binck Bank Tour (Magnus Cort) and the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Alexey Lutsenko). It is worth noting two big classics wins of Michael Valgren: the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite and the Amstel Gold Race.

In addition to victories, in 2018 Astana has a number of significant podiums. Two main successes of the Kazakh team in this season are the podiums of Miguel Angel Lopez at the Giro d’Italia (3rd place) and the Vuelta Ciclista a España (3rd place). After a difficult 2017 season, Astana Team managed to regain its position as a Grand tour favorite.

Alongside the Grand tours, the riders of Astana Pro Team marked some strong results in the general classification of prestigious stage races as the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2nd and 3rd places of Luis Leon Sanchez and Jakob Fuglsang), the Dubai Tour (2nd place of Magnus Cort), the Abu Dhabi Tour (3rd place of Miguel Angel Lopez), the Tour of Croatia (3rd place of Yevgeniy Gidich), the Tour de Suisse (2nd place of Jakob Fuglsang), the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (2nd place of Alexey Lutsenko), the Gree-Tour of Guangxi (3rd place of Sergei Chernetskii) and a number of other races.

The riders of Astana Team were competitive in prestigious one-day races as the Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France (2nd place of Michael Valgren) and Milano-Torino (2nd place of Miguel Angel Lopez).

We can say that Astana did not leave the podium from the first to the last race of the season, starting with the 3rd place at a stage of the Santos Tour Down Under in January and finishing with the 3rd place in the overall classification of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi in October.

Indeed, it was a very successful season for Astana Pro Team and as result the Kazakh team took a solid 6th place in the final team ranking of the 2018 UCI WorldTour (7859 points).

Besides, in the final ranking of the 2018 UCI Asia Tour Alexey Lutsenko took the 1st place scoring 6 wins during the season (Tour of Oman, stage of Tour of Austria, stage of Tour of Turkey, road race of Kazakhstan National Championships and two gold medals at Asian Games). Also, largely due to the efforts of Astana Pro Team rider, Kazakhstan won the national ranking of the UCI Asia Tour.

Astana in Oman:




UAE Team Emirates’ Stars Meet Abu Dhabi Cycling Club as Part of UAE Training Camp
A group of lucky cyclists from Abu Dhabi Cycling Club were given the honor of riding alongside UAE Team Emirates’ stars this weekend, as the team hosted a community ride at Al Hudayriat Island cycle track in Abu Dhabi. The Emirati formation joined youngsters and adults in an hour-long ride on Saturday evening to showcase the team’s commitment to the development of cycling in the UAE and highlight their partnership with Abu Dhabi Cycling Club.



Riders taking part included: UAE National Champion Yousif Mirza, Norwegian National Champion Vegard Stake Laengen, former Italian National Champion Fabio Aru and Tour de France stage winners Alexander Kristoff and Dan Martin. Also on show were the team’s recent signings, Portuguese twins Ivo and Rui Oliveira, Colombian Sergio Henao and Belgian, Jasper Philipsen.



Commenting on the ride, Yousif Mirza said: “I always like to ride with cyclists here in the UAE and it means even more being able to do it alongside my teammates. It is important we are seen as an influence for these youngsters and give them something to aspire to.”



Former Italian National Champion, Fabio Aru added: “We always enjoy coming to the UAE, meeting fans and seeing how cycling is developing here. The ambition is to make cycling one of the most participated in sports in the region and it’s great to be here and see how the team is helping shape that movement.”

Following the ride, UAE Team Emirates took the opportunity to head into the desert and take in some of the UAE’s stunning scenery.





After 2018 Season, Drapac to Concentrate on Development Team
Michael Drapac’s holistic development team to work closely with EF Pro Cycling organization.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Michael Drapac will concentrate his sponsorship and sporting efforts on his Australian-based holistic development team.

Drapac Capital Partners came on board as a title sponsor and part owner of the team in 2016 just prior to the Tour de France and has been an important partner since. In tandem with his WorldTour involvement, Drapac has also grown a strong, unique development program that places equal priority on sport and education — a sustainable way of working with budding athletes. In order to be on the development team, riders must also be enrolled in university or a recognized educational facility. The development team then works with the riders to create schedules that work for both school and sport.

“I’m proud that my philosophy on athlete development has had a positive influence on EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale, and that the team will continue to support the wellbeing program in the future,” Drapac said. “It is my hope that in five years’ time all WorldTour athletes would have the opportunity be exposed to holistic development in some way throughout their career.”

The EF Pro Cycling organization has already tapped some of the talent from the Drapac development program, in signing James Whelan to a three-year deal after the young Aussie won the U-23 Flanders race in 2018, and Cyrus Monk has ridden as a stagiaire on for the past two seasons. It’s a trend the team will look to continue.

“Working with Michael and the rest of the Drapac team has been a great experience. I very much admire the Drapac approach in the development of young athletes, allowing them to focus on sport and competition while still making space for academic and intellectual development. I’m excited to have James on the team next season, and I’m confident we’ll work together in the seasons to come to bring young riders into the World Tour the right way,” EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “And our entire organization thanks the Drapac group for their sponsorship and belief in our approach as well.”

Drapac is excited to continue his philosophy on athlete wellbeing with EF through the development team. “James Whelan is hopefully the first of many talented Australian riders to be guided into the World Tour through the development team pathway,” Drapac noted.





Talented Belgian Jasper Philipsen joins UAE Team Emirates
UAE Team Emirates will build its young riders group with the most talented of them all, Jasper Philipsen. The 20-year-old Belgian, courted by many other teams, sighed a two-year contract with the Emirates formation after seeing the plan to develop his career.

Born in Mol, March 2, 1998, Philipsen debuted in this season in professional cycling with Team Hagens Berman Axeon. He racked up victories and places. He took his first among the professional ranks at the Salt Lake City stage at the Tour of Utah (HC-ranked).

In the Under 23 ranks beforehand, he won two stages in the Giro d’Italia (one in 2017 and one this year), the Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux in 2017 and 2018, the 2017 Paris-Tour, and a stage in the 2017 Tour Alsace. He placed runner up in the 2017 Tour of Flanders.

His strength, speed and natural talent will allow him the possibility to be competitive in many races, including the northern classics.

"It’s a great honor to join UAE Team Emirates, I’m sure that this team will be the best possible way for me to develop my young career," Philipsen said. "I sensed right away the faith that the whole team has in me, I think I’ll be able to benefit a lot from this team project to show my best in the next years."

Jasper Philipsen:




Celebrating 25 Years with Latexco & #TheWolfpack Book Launch
A splendid day in Belgium celebrating Latexco’s 25 years of sponsorship and meeting hundreds of fans at the ‘The Wolfpack: 365 days on the road’ book launch.

The 2018 season has offered Quick-Step Floors - winner of 73 races across 22 different countries and 5 continents - plenty of reasons to smile throughout what has been a record-breaking year and just a few days after being crowned as champions of the UCI World Tour Team Classification, for the first time in the history of Quick-Step Floors, our outfit had yet another great reason to celebrate.



This time in Tielt, Belgium, where Latexco, one of the team’s most trusted sponsors, had invited friends and the media to celebrate their 25 years of sponsorship in the stunning surroundings of the Latexco Academy, which also formed venue for the presentation of the new exclusive photo book ‘The Wolfpack: 365 days on the road’.



In the presence of Team CEO Mr Patrick Lefevere, all the riders of Quick-Step Floors - who are gathered these days in Belgium for the first meeting ahead of the 2019 season - team photographer Sigfrid Eggers and publisher Kannibaal, Luc and Carole Maes - the shareholders of Latexco - took the stage to welcome a packed hall and speak about their appreciation of the sport and the company's long-lasting commitment to Mr Lefevere: "It’s been a truly incredible year for the team and to have been part of it gives us great pleasure. We have been by the side of Patrick Lefevere for a quarter of a century, supporting his projects in cycling and celebrating together with him and his teams many extraordinary moments. It is not just a sponsorship, it is a deal for life and a part of our corporate philosophy, which makes us proud members of the Wolfpack."

"It makes me a proud and happy man to have had Latexco - always led by the Maes family - with me for 25 years now. It shows that we are a house of trust, made up of special bonds. Latexco have played a great part in our success throughout the years. The fact that we today are able to present a fantastic and unique book to all our fans it's also thanks to them," Mr Lefevere added.

The day didn’t end there as our team had a special treat in store for all fans in the area who were invited to a unique autograph session with the entire Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team. Even before the riders could arrive to the Shamrock Hotel, which hosted the event, hundreds of happy fans had already lined up, excitedly waiting to get their hands on one of the first copies of the new ‘The Wolfpack: 365 days on the road’ books and have it signed by their favorite riders, whom they got a chance to meet in person and chat with - a true fan moment.





Le Coq Sportif Becomes Movistar Team's Newest Partner
The french sport brand, historically related to cycling, has signed an agreement with the Telefónica-backed squad to be the sponsor of its lifestyle equipment.

Le coq sportif’s savoir faire and the long relationship with cycling and the Tour de France have made of the French firm the new sponsor of the lifestyle equipment of the Spanish cycling squad, Movistar Team.

Recognized for the expertise and quality of their products, le coq sportif and Movistar Team are associated in this unique and special project in which the French sport firm will be its official supplier, proposing a range of products for both the cycling team and its followers.

The garments stand out for their blue details, reflecting the personality of both brands. After its return to cycling in 2012, to tennis in 2014, to football in 2015, to rugby in 2016 and its arrival to F1 and as new partner of the French rugby national team and federation in 2018, le coq sportif maintains its historic relationship with sport by concluding this new agreement with the cycling team.



The Movistar Team is the longest-running and most successful cycling team in the history of the UCI WorldTour, the highest category of international cycling which includes the 18 best teams in the world. It consists of 25 riders, in addition to the 12 women who make up their female team. Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa have been the leaders for this season 2018. In addition, a broad technical staff completes a team of more than seventy professionals who will be fulfilling their 40th consecutive year of activity in 2019.

Currently, around 200 people work in the Aube region, in France, manufacturing the brand's textile products. This French savoir faire and the proximity of the production centres make as a result high quality products. The raw materials are knitted and dyed in Troyes, part of the production is assembled in Romilly-sur-Seine and most of it is assembled in the Mediterranean basin, in Marrakech, Morocco.





Team Sky October Camp - Crossbar Challenge
With October camp taking place at St George’s Park – the home of England Football – we thought it was only right to test out the footballing skills of our riders! Who will hit the crossbar first?








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