EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!


The 2021 season is in full swing with the Tour de La Provence, Clásica de Almería and cyclocross in Eeklo and Brussels – Results, reports and video. Alejandro Valverde talks Vuelta – TOP STORY. The New Zealand road champs, no Giro wildcard for Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome ready for 2021. Race news from Strade Bianche, Gent-Wevelgem and Volta Limburg Classic. Other news: Former Sky Doctor charged with new doping violations, successful surgery for Fabio Jakobsen, community at the centre of Cycling Canada’s strategic plan, ToAd schedule and video from Team Qhubeka ASSOS. Big coffee EUROTRASH Monday.

top story
TOP STORY: Alejandro Valverde Pleased with the Vuelta a España Course
The route of the 2021 Vuelta a España was presented last Thursday afternoon and Alejandro Valverde had his say after. The now 40-year-old Spaniard, in his last year, spoke of a “very beautiful” Vuelta.

The Vuelta has always been a tour for the climbers and 2021 is no different. Seven stages are classified as a mountain stage. There are six flat stages, four stages with medium mountains, two time trials and eight summit finishes. “It is a very nice Vuelta and it will be spectacular,” said Valverde.

The Movistar rider, winner of the three-week race in 2009, mainly looks at the mountain stage with summit finish on the Alto de Velefique. “I know this stage very well. It is close to home and it is also a very difficult climb. We had to brave this col in 2009. It really is a very nice stage.”

The Vuelta does not end this year with a ‘sprint stage’ to the centre of Madrid, but with an individual time trial of 34 kilometres in Santiago de Compostella. “This will mean that we will also have an exciting fight on the final day. It will be a very nice day,” Valverde.

The Murcian will be riding his fifteenth Vuelta a España this year. In 2002 Valverde was at the start of his home tour for the first time and has won twelve stages and been on the final podium seven times, with the highlight being his overall victory in 2009. Last year he finished tenth.

You can see the PEZ Vuelta First Look HERE.

Alejandro Valverde – 2009 Vuelta winner:

Tour de La Provence 2021
Stage 1 of the Tour de La Provence was won by Davide Ballerini. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider out-sprinted Arnaud Démare in with a last metre jump. Nacer Bouhanni was third.

The early escape was formed by Lilian Calmejane who was joined by Delio Fernández. The pair had almost 4 minutes at one point, but Calmejane and Fernández never really had a chance of the stage victory. The peloton was in no hurry for the first hours, but Groupama-FDJ, for Arnaud Démare, made sure that the two leaders were kept within limits and would be caught in plenty of time. On the Montée de Brulat (2.3km at 6.7%) the peloton started to speed up. Rémi Cavagna attacked more than 70 kilometres from the finish. Cavagna was soon caught, but this started the action of the day. Three riders managed to take a gap just after the top of the Montée de Brulat: World champion Julian Alaphilippe, Gianni Moscon and Giulio Ciccone. These three gained a maximum lead of more than a minute, this was the signal for several sprinter’s teams to lift the speed.

The lead fluctuated around 1:30. The men of UAE Team Emirates, Groupama-FDJ and Arkéa-Samsic had to work hard to contain the three leaders. The three continued to work well together and with 10 kilometres to go, the difference was still more than half a minute. Alaphilippe, Moscon and Ciccone’s dream of a stage victory looked to be coming to an end 3 kilometres from the finish line as they only had 10 seconds lead on the peloton. Alaphilippe tried an all-or-nothing attack. Ciccone couldn’t follow, but Moscon managed to hold the World champion’s wheel. It didn’t work and with less than 2 kilometres to go they were caught by the peloton.

Several teams then tried to put their sprint trains on the front, but there was no real organised lead-out. The sprint was finally started by Démare was the first to jump, but the French champion had gone too early and was passed by Ballerini. The Italian gave his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team their first victory of 2021.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I had good legs coming into the race after the training camp, but I didn’t expect anything like this. We have a very strong team for this race and are all extremely motivated, so to get the win on the first day is just great. A big thank you goes to all the guys, because they put in an incredible effort and were pretty special the entire day. The final wasn’t easy. Démare took six meters, but I found the space to come back, as well as the speed I needed to pass him. To win so early, and in front of one of last year’s best sprinters, is good for the confidence and brings me a lot of joy.”

World champion, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We had a plan, and that was to try something after the first 100 kilometres of the stage, so I went with around 70 kilometres to go and got to spend a beautiful day at the front. The legs were good and together with the other two riders I shared the workload at the front. When the gap went over one minute, I still knew it was going to be difficult, but I still gave my best. At the end of the day, I am satisfied with my condition and the way it panned out for us.”

Tour de La Provence Stage 1 Result:
1. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:43:23
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
4. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
5. Matthew Walls (GB) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
9. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de La Provence Overall After Stage 1:
1. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:43:23
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:06
4. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:07
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:09
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:10
9. Matthew Walls (GB) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe.

Provence’21 Stage 1:

Davide Ballerini added Stage 2 of the Tour de La Provence to his opening stage win. On the downhill finish in Manosque, the Italian held off his fellow countryman Giulio Ciccone in the final sprint. Ballerini also kept the leader’s jersey.

Five riders made up the early break: New pro Filippo Conca (Lotto Soudal) teamed up with Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie), Eduard-Michael Grosu (Delko), Samuel Leroux (Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Baptiste Bleier (St Michel-Auber93). Grosu was in 68th place, 10 seconds down on leader Ballerini, the best-placed rider of the break. On the first climb of the day, the Col Grand Caunet after 15.9 kilometres, the leading group had more than 2 minutes. Behind; Ballerini’s teammates at Deceuninck – Quick-Step set the pace in the peloton. The difference to the leading group was kept around 3 minutes on the hilly roads in very wet condition. At the first crossing of the line at 40 kilometres to go, the lead was still 2:20. Conca attacked through the town of Manosque to take a small lead.

Just before the peloton passed through, several riders crashed, including the Danish road champion Kasper Asgreen and Fabio Aru. This slowed the pace of the peloton. At the front of the race, Conca was taking more time on the break as they climbed the Col de la Mort d’Imbert with 34.1 kilometres to go. That the Italian is a promising rider who has finished 5th in the U23 Giro d’Italia. At 25 kilometres out, Conca was the only rider left ahead of the peloton. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had pulled him back to 1:30 before the last categorised climb, the Col Montfuron. The Italian reached the top first, but on the descent his escape was over. The team of leader Ballerini, led by Zdeněk Štybar, were in charge on the way back to Manosque on the wet descent.

With 10 kilometres to go, the team misjudged a roundabout. Florian Vermeersch of Lotto Soudal and Movistar rider Matteo Jorgenson took advantage of the confusion and attacked. The young duo, both riders are under 22 years-old, made a nice gap in the rain, while the peloton recovered. Jorgenson put his arms on top of the handlebars (prohibited from 1 April), but could not avoid being caught with Vermeersch at 4 kilometres from the finish. Astana and Bahrain Victorious worked on the front of the peloton. At 1.2 kilometres there was a crash with Aleksandr Vlasov and World champion Julian Alaphilippe. In the battle for the stage win, Davide Ballerini started the sprint first. Giulio Ciccone was strong, but the Italian from Deceuninck – Quick-Step held on and secured his second win in a row. Ciccone was second, Alex Aranburu third.


Stage winner and overall leader, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “When you see how this team works, you feel that you have to give your best and fight for the victory until the very last moment. Just look at their effort: they were incredible, the only team to work tirelessly at the front until the final kilometre and keep me up there. The sprint was hard, but I fought until the last ounce of energy and I’m glad I could repay these amazing guys. This win is for the team.”

2nd on the stage, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo): “It wasn’t a tough stage on paper, but it was nervous and the rain made everything difficult. I honestly couldn’t imagine at the start of the stage that I would be so competitive in a final like this. I never even dared to think that I would be so close to victory. However, my feeling kept getting better. Let’s see what the final circuit looks like and then let’s try something, I said to myself. I expected the final climb to be a bit steeper to make a bit more of a difference. Bauke Mollema helped me well in the last two kilometres and kept me out of the crash with Alaphilippe. I was in the perfect position, but the last straight line was too flat. In the final sprint it was then difficult for me to beat Ballerini. When you were that close to success, regrets dominate. But I also want to look at it from the positive side, namely the performance and the feel. This is only my second day of racing this season. Yesterday I already made a great effort and today I took part on a course that does not really suit my characteristics. That gives me moral and confidence. Tomorrow there will also be Mont Ventoux.”

Tour de La Provence Stage 2 Result:
1. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:21:49
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
5. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
9. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de La Provence Overall After Stage 2:
1. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 9:04:52
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:16
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:17
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:19
5. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:20
7. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
9. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën.

Provence’21 Stage 2:

On the slopes of the Mont Ventoux, Iván Sosa grabbed Stage 3 and the overall lead in the Tour de la Provence. The INEOS Grenadiers Colombian attacked from the favourites group just over 3 kilometres from the finish and was not seen again until the Chalet Reynard ski station. Teammate Egan Bernal finished second ahead of World champion Julian Alaphilippe. Wout Poels was fourth.

It took a while for the escape of the day to form. After the first intermediate sprint, six riders escaped: Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal), Jérôme Cousin, Damien Gaudin (both Total Direct Energie), Nicola Bagioli (B&B Hotels), Alessandro Fedeli (Delko), Louis Louvet (St Michel-Auber93). They had a maximum lead of 3 minutes, but they were caught.

The race was all down to the final climb to the Chalet Reynard ski station. Vermeersch kept trying for a long time, but eventually he and Bagioli were pulled back on the final climb. Astana-Premier Tech were first to set the pace, but eventually it was INEOS Grenadiers on the front. Laurens De Plus thinned out the peloton considerably. Less than 5 kilometres from the finish, Iván Sosa made his move. His jump was not answered by anyone and he quickly built up a 20 second lead, which he kept to the finish.

Behind the Colombian, Wout Poels was riding hard for Bahrain Victorious. When Alaphilippe got on the wheel of Bernal, Poels was the only one who could follow. Poels was unable to keep up with the attacks that Bernal and Alaphilippe gave each other and would finish 29 seconds after Sosa. Bernal gave INEOS a one-two team, by dropping the World champion in the last kilometre. The two Colombians are also first and second on the overall. Alaphilippe is third at 21 seconds to Sosa and 19 to Bernal.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Iván Sosa (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a pretty tough stage. I had never ridden here, but it’s quite a tough climb. The whole team has done well along the way and we can be happy with the end result. Our plan was to attack with Bernal or me. I told him that I would attack first to see what I could do. I’m glad I was able to finish it. It is very nice to be able to start the season like this. That gives a lot of motivation for the future.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I am really happy for Iván. This feels just as good as winning yourself. We managed to get through the first two stages without damage and our strategy was to shake things up a bit earlier in the Ventoux stage. The stage went perfectly. How is my condition? I am happy and feel good. My back didn’t hurt very much on Saturday, but I still feel it a bit. That will not just go away and I will have to deal with it this season. However, this second place gives me confidence for the coming races.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am pretty happy with my shape. Today was a good test and I can be content with how I did on a hard climb that commands respect, even though we didn’t go all the way to the summit. The team was incredible in the way it controlled the race, from the beginning until the start of the climb. Having Mauri by my side in the last kilometres helped a lot and I am very proud of the way he rode, he was so strong and impressive and deserves to be eighth overall. We showed again why we are the Wolfpack and, at the end of the day, I have no regrets. It’s a good result, one that gives me confidence for the next goals.”

Tour de La Provence Stage 3 Result:
1. Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:08:14
2. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:15
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:18
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 0:29
5. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:48
6. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
10. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe.

Tour de La Provence Overall After Stage 3:
1. Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 13:13:16
2. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:19
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:21
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 0:39
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:57
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:58
7. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
8. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech.

Provence’21 Stage 3:

Phil Bauhaus won the Final Stage 4 of the Tour de La Provence. The Bahrain Victorious sprinter was the fastest in a bunch sprint in Salon-de-Provence after a stage of more than 160 kilometres. The overall leader, Iván Sosa (INEOS Grenadiers), was in no danger, and so the Colombian took the final overall victory.

Julian Alaphilippe managed to win the first intermediate sprint after 16 kilometres and due to the 3 bonus seconds, the World champion jumped over Egan Bernal in the overall standings and was only 19 seconds down on Sosa. After the sprint the break of the day was formed: Tony Gallopin (AG2R Citroën), Andreas Leknessund (DSM), Jérémy Leveau (Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Lluis Más (Movistar). Control in the peloton was in the hands of INEOS Grenadiers and sprinter teams Groupama-FDJ and Arkéa-Samsic. The break had a maximum 4 minute lead, but after that it was only a matter of time before they were caught. 25 kilometres to go and Más decided to go it alone, but the peloton was only a minute and a half behind.

French time trial champion Rémi Cavagna was on the front of the peloton to bring back the escape. With 10 kilometres to go, Más was caught by Gallopin, Leknessund and Leveau. The peloton was a bit chaotic as various teams tried to keep their sprinters at the front. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had a sprint train for Davide Ballerini as did Arkéa-Samsic for Nacer Bouhanni. In the last 2 kilometres, the break was caught. World champion Alaphilippe hit the front for Ballerini, but the Italian started his sprint too early. He managed to hold off Bouhanni, but was passed by Phil Bauhaus. The German crossed the line to gave Bahrain Victorious their first victory of the season.

Sosa kept his overall lead and Alaphilippe took second place due to the bonus seconds. Egan Bernal finished third. Wout Poels finished in fourth place

bauhaus provence

Stage winner, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a super fast final and the team did very well today. I really wanted to win here. I went all out and was able to pass the others. It is always nice to see the finish. Then you can respond to that. I knew that with 600 meters to go I had to sit on the front. That went really well and in the end I was strong enough to finish it. It’s always good to win as a sprinter, but I’m also happy for the team. It takes some pressure and gives confidence for the coming races.”

Overall winner, Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (INEOS Grenadiers): “Together with the team we arrived in good shape at this race and we are very happy with this victory. We have done a great job throughout this week, which has allowed us to achieve a success that means a lot and that will push us to keep working for the next races. It is a victory that I will remember because it was achieved in front of very good riders. It gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

2nd overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “When I draw the line, I am happy with my form and with how things went for us in this beautiful Tour de La Provence. Our team had an excellent week, we were on the podium on all four days and I took second on my first race of the year, which isn’t too bad. The most beautiful thing was that I got to wear the rainbow jersey in France for the first time this year, it’s a great feeling. Now I will continue my preparation for the Classics season, which I kick off in two weeks’ time at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.”

2nd on the stage and points winner, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It wasn’t easy to be in a good position in the finale, but the team did a great job. I was perfectly positioned by them, with Julian and then Styby delivering a great lead-out, but I just missed a bit in the legs with ten meters to go and that made the difference. On the other hand, it was a memorable week for us and we can be happy with our results – two stage wins, this jersey and Julian’s strong GC – and the strong Wolfpack spirit that helped us enjoy such a strong start to the season.”

Tour de La Provence Stage 4 Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 3:47:01
2. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
4. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Matthew Walls (GB) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
9. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de La Provence Final Overall:
1. Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 17:00:17
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:18
3. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:19
4. Wouter Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 0:39
5. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:57
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:58
8. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech.

Provence’21 Stage 4:

Clásica de Almería 2021
European champion Giacomo Nizzolo won the Clásica de Almería in Spain on Sunday. The Italian Qhubeka Assos rider was the best sprinter in the streets of Roquetas del Mar after 183 kilometres. Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe) finished second and third.

The leading group of the day consisted of Alex Molenaar (Burgos-BH), Davide Bais (EOLO-Kometa), Robbe Ghys (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros-RGA) and Luis Ángel Maté (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Trek-Segafredo) tried to get across to them, but was stranded in between. The peloton were at more than 3 minutes. On the first climb of the day, Ghebreigzab was able to catch the leading group, but 50 kilometres later the break was over. Due to the work of Astana, the early breakaway was pulled back, but this allowed a new group to escape.

Savva Novikov (Kern Pharma), Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Samuele Rivi (EOLO-Kometa) and Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) made up the second break. It was Qhubeka Assos that brought them back 40 kilometres from the finish, so the peloton was all together entered the last circuit around Roquetas del Mar. Deceuninck – Quick-Step led the peloton on the large coastal lap. There was a crash including Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe), Ivan García (Movistar) and Álvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). García was able to get up quickly, but had a big job to rejoin the peloton. There was another crash, this time involving Boy van Poppel. The peloton passed the finish line for the last time 6 kilometres to go.

Mark Cavendish wouldn’t be contesting the sprint as he had been dropped. Deceuninck – Quick-Step led the peloton in the final kilometres, with AG2R Citroën. Florian Sénéchal had the perfect lead-out in to the last hundred meters, but left it too late, leaving Giacomo Nizzolo to win the sprint. Sénéchal managed to finish second, ahead of BORA-hansgrohe sprinter Martin Laas.


Race winner, Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos): “I am really happy about today’s victory and the great job the team did today. From the start we tried to control the race, but the race was a bit strange, kind of on-and-off a few times because of the wind. The final was quite tricky but we managed to have a good position for the sprint, so I am really happy for the team and we look forward to the next one.”

2nd, Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It wasn’t planned that I would do the sprint today, as normally I should have been the last guy in Alvaro’s train. Then Mark too had that problem, so from that moment on it was me who was going to do the sprint. I wasn’t too sure of myself, as I had already lost some energy controlling the race and protecting Alvaro, but I could still produce a good turn of speed and take an unexpected second. I want to thank the guys – Stijn, Tim, Jannik and Bert – who gave me a perfect lead-out, they once again showed how strong this team is.”

3rd, Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe): “I can be pretty happy with a 3rd place in the first race of the season. We actually planned to do the sprint for Jordi, but he was involved in a crash in which I also almost got caught. Since he didn’t come back, we quickly switched to me and the team did a great job to keep me up front and to get me into position. In the last corner I had the perfect rear wheel with Nizzolo, but was a little disturbed by another rider and got a little bit stuck. Nevertheless, I still felt strong enough to launch my sprint and was able to secure the third place.”

Clásica de Almería Result:
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos in 4:18:44
2. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Gabriel Cullaigh (GB) Movistar
8. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Damiano Cima (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo.


X2O Badkamers Trofee Men – Brussels 2021
Toon Aerts won the last race in the X2O Badkamers Trofee in Brussels on Sunday. The Baloise Trek rider dropped Quinten Hermans two laps from the finish.

After his victory in Eeklo, Hermans got off to a good start in Brussels and he immediately took the lead. Teammate Corné van Kessel was the only one who could follow. Toon Aerts managed to cross to them on the second lap. Due to Aerts taking a little more risk on the technical sections, he managed to shake off the Tormans duo in the third lap. Behind; Van Kessel had to deal with a flat tyre, causing him to lose time. Niels Vandeputte moved up to third place. Hermans continued his chase and, thanks to a flat tire and problems with Aerts pedals, succeeded in catching the leader. At the end of the 6th lap, Aerts rode away from Hermans after a running section.

Aerts started the final lap with a lead of 15 seconds and wouldn’t lose his lead. He crossed the finish line solo for his fourth victory of the season. Iserbyt finished 6th at 1:02 seconds behind Aerts. It was enough for the Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal rider to secure the overall victory in the X2O Badkamers Trofee. Last year he also won the season long series, which was then called the DVV Trophy.


Race winner, Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek): “It was a treacherous course. I was able to grab the bonus seconds early on, but then I punctured. When Quinten (Hermans) returned, I could do two things: put pressure and grab his wheel, or wait for a lap and see which lines he took. I felt that I was slightly better on the slope. After I punctured, I got a different bike. That was a bit of luck in an accident. After that I went a bit better. Normally, after a good World championships you should be able to continue your form for the rest of the season. But I had done a lot of training after the World champs and then perhaps let in a little too much decompression. In addition, my stomach played up a bit, perhaps because of the stress surrounding the Superprestige, but fortunately I was able to put that behind me. I would very much like to put Oostmalle on my palmarès. It will be different from other years. For me, that is always an atmospheric crossroads close to home. Now it will be quiet in the forest.”

X2O Badkamers Trofee winner, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “I have achieved my goals for this season: grab a jersey, achieve a few nice victories and win a final classification. In the beginning I was quite quickly à bloc. I saw the seconds increase every lap, but luckily my lead over Toon Aerts was big enough. In this way I managed to secure the overall victory relatively easily, but I do feel that it is finished. I race around the limit every cross. This week I’m going to take it easy and try to recharge myself mentally for that last weekend.”

X2O Badkamers Trofee Men – Brussels Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek in 57:45
2. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans CX at 0:20
3. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:36
4. Jens Adams (Bel) Hollebeek Hoeve at 0:42
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:46
6. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:02
7. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek at 1:17
8. Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans CX at 1:29
9. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:38
10. Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers at 1:41.

X2O Badkamers Trofee Men 2020-2021 Final Overall Result:
1. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal in 8:05:31
2. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek at 1:55
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:55.


X2O Badkamers Trofee Women – Brussels 2021
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the eighth and final round of the X2O Badkamers Trofee. The European champion crossed the finish line solo in Brussels. World champion Lucinda Brand was 5th and took the overall victory in the X2O Trofee. Denise Betsema was a very close second.

Anna Kay was the fastest starter on the hard, frozen course in the grounds of Brussels University. The British rider had Denise Betsema and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado behind her. The European champion took control and rode away from the chasing group of Kay, Betsema, Annemarie Worst, Lucinda Brand, Manon Bakker and Fem van Empel. At the start of the third lap, Alvarado’s lead was 20 seconds. She held on to that advantage, while behind there was a battle between Betsema and Brand for the overall victory in the series. The difference was 41 seconds in Brand’s favour.

Betsema put Brand under pressure in the penultimate lap, forcing the world champion to chase. Brand, who also had to let Bakker go in the final, but kept the difference with Betsema around 10 seconds. However, she struggled to keep up the pace due to problems with her pedals and eventually crossed the line fifth, with a big enough lead to take the overall victory in the Trophy. Alvarado no longer had to take any risks due to her large lead and able to celebrate the solo victory. It was the third victory in a row in Brussels for the leader of the Alpecin-Fenix team, meaning she has won every edition of this cross.

brussels 21

Race winner, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix): “Denise suddenly came very close, so I had no choice but to continue. It was still quite tough, because the wind suddenly started. With the hard snow it was sometimes difficult to get into the pedal, that was a bit of a struggle and so it was still exciting. I think Betsema had a match in the battle with Lucinda. She tried to take seconds and got closer to me because of that. I didn’t realise that at first, but after that I saw her riding and I had to keep going. I am happy that I was able to end the season with a victory.”

2nd, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “I’m fed up anyway. I said beforehand: every mistake will be punished. That also applies to equipment, which Lucinda had. It’s a shame for her, but that’s just part of it. But I was oh so close. We kept it incredibly exciting. That makes it very unfortunate. On the other hand, I am also happy with that second place and that I was able to compete until the last metres. Five seconds difference in eight hours of racing. You can’t get much closer. In the final I also came close to Ceylin for the day’s win, but I couldn’t make up for that either.”

X2O Badkamers Trofee winner, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek): “I had a lot of doubts when I crossed the finish line. In itself I rode a fairly good race, but I had fallen hard at the start. I knew I had to approach that part more carefully. But in the final I really couldn’t get my pedals in. Until then I had a lot of confidence in it. On the washboard I was better than Denise, but if you are not in your pedals then you have no chance there. I lost a huge amount of time there. The snow had accumulated in my pedals. It was impossible to get into that. I rode that whole part out of my pedal. I really thought I had lost it, but I am very happy that I still made it. I had a lot of doubts about the finish. I didn’t know exactly.”

X2O Badkamers Trofee Women – Brussels Result:
1. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 40:46
2. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:06
3. Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads at 0:20
4. Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:35
5. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek at 0:37
6. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 0:44
7. Anna Kay (GB) Starcasino CX at 0:59
8. Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Credishop-Fristads at 1:14
9. Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan at 1:23
10. Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Starcasino CX at 1:53.

X2O Badkamers Trofee Women Final Overall:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek in 5:54:19
2. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:05
3. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 3:48.


Ethias Cross Men – Eeklo 2021
Quinten Hermans won the Ethias Cross in Eeklo. The Tormans rider crossed the line after an emotional solo ride. Toon Aerts and Eli Iserbyt completed the podium.

In the first lap Corné van Kessel put the pressure on and at the end of the first lap the Dutchman had a 6 second lead over a group with Daan Soete, Quinten Hermans, Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout and Toon Aerts a little bit further off the pace. The Van Kessel was not gone for good, one lap later he was caught. A second attack did not help him either. A more serious attack came from Quinten Hermans on the third lap, and with success. After four laps, Aerts and Van Kessel followed at 6 seconds, but the Baloise Trek rider could not close the gap. Van Kessel eventually had to allow Aerts to ride away from him, but the damage had already been done by then. We didn’t much of Laurens Sweeck as he made a mistake at the start and had to abandon with a pain in the foot. Lars van der Haar also retired with a groin strain.

Eli Iserbyt came back to join Aerts in the last part of the race, but the duo also couldn’t close the gap to Hermans. Aerts dropped the European champion in the final lap, but Hermans was already celebrating his victory. He made no more mistakes to win his first race of the season, the joy of victory was too much for him in the finish straight.


Race winner, Quinten Hermans (Tormans CX): “I have had a very difficult and dark period. After that crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné, it has not been an easy period. In time I started to accept my disappointment and that is never good. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has always believed in me behind the scenes. I’ve never been more emotional after a race. Even my European and Belgian titles don’t come close. I’ve been falling from disappointment to disappointment for six months, so this really does something to me. Despite going for it 100% until the end of the season, I was hoping to get another big fish. Due to the weather conditions, I had only added this race in Eeklo to my program last minute. This surprise makes it all the better! I had a good feeling before the cross, but I had already had that a few times and then it never came out in the race. Today everything fell into place. The team game with Corné turned out very well today. In the beginning he was in the lead, from the fourth lap I took over. Thanks to the collaboration with a mental coach, and from experience, I learned to race from corner to corner and not look any further. On this extremely slippery course the danger was around every corner, but I managed to stay almost clear. I will enjoy this and will be proud to start my last two cyclocross races of the season, tomorrow in Brussels and a week later in Oostmalle.”

Ethias Cross Men – Eeklo Result:
1. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans CX in 58:35
2. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek at 0:15
3. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:27
4. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Tormans CX at 0:43
5. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:53
6. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:23
7. Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers at 1:25
8. Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek at 1:48
9. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:51
10. Timon Rüegg (Sui) Cross Team Legendre at 1:52.


Ethias Cross Women – Eeklo 2021
The Ethias Cross in Eeklo was perfectly suited to Denise Betsema. At the end of the penultimate lap she put distance into Manon Bakker, who she battled with for a long time.

Inge van der Heijden had the best start on a largely snow-cleared course. Brand, Betsema, Kay and Bakker followed close behind. Betsema, Kay and Bakker were together at the end of the first lap, with Sanne Cant chasing. Kay made a mistake on a grassy corner and lost a handful of seconds and Cant caught her. In the sand section Bakker and Betsema got in each other’s way, allowing Bakker to ride alone for a while, but this didn’t last long. Betsema quickly closed the gap, while Cant and Kay kept pushing.

Cant couldn’t close the last few meters. She seemed to have cracked and had to let the young British rider go. At the end of the fourth lap, the multiple Belgian champion was passed by Lucinda Brand, who hadn’t been seen for a while. The Dutch combine at the front expanded their lead over Kay, Cant and Brand. The duo were attacking each other, but at the start of the last lap it was not clear who was the strongest, although Bakker had made more mistakes and Betsema looked fresher and 5 seconds at the start of the final lap.

In the hilly section Bakker had a chance to catch up, while Betsema struggled to get up a embankment. Bakker also had problems and lost her chance. It meant that Betsema could take her sixth victory of the season. World champion Lucinda Brand wanted her first victory in the rainbow jersey in Eeklo, but that was not going to happen. She did manage to pass Cant and Kay in the last lap to take the final podium place.

eeklo 21

Race winner, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal): “It got slippery every lap. Of course you also get tired. Then such a slope will go well for the entire race, until the last lap … I felt Manon Bakker’s hot breath, then you get nervous and you start making mistakes. Luckily Manon was not fluent either, that was my luck. Otherwise it would have been difficult. I saw that they had some difficulty behind me. You also know that it will be difficult to win if you take Brand to the sprint. It is better to drop her sooner.”

2nd, Manon Bakker (Credishop-Fristads): “On the road I thought I was the strongest. In the penultimate lap Denise accelerated and then I was really on my limit. I had the feeling that I was a little better on the last part, and she made a mistake there too. Then I got hope. The track was on the right and Denise was on the right, so I could only try to get onto it on the left, which wasn’t the right track. That didn’t work and then I slid back. But yes, if I was connected behind Denise, I certainly wouldn’t have won. Normally I would always come second, so I thought, I’ll give it a try and take some risk. I competed for the win until the end, so the joy reigns. I hope I can do that more often next year.”

Ethias Cross Women – Eeklo Result:
1. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal in 42:25
2. Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads at 0:06
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek at 0:28
4. Anna Kay (GB) Starcasino CX at 0:44
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan at 1:05
6. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 1:17
7. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 at 1:26
8. Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Credishop-Fristads
9. Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Starcasino CX at 1:58
10. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Baloise Trek at 2:10.


Bennett New Zealand National Champion
George Bennett is the new New Zealand road cycling champion. It is the first national title for the thirty-year-old cyclist of Team Jumbo-Visma. Earlier this week he already won silver in the time trial.

Bennett previously finished second in the national road championship twice and he also finished second in the time trial on Friday with a 0.7 seconds difference. Today he had to give it his all when a large leading group left the peloton early in the race. From the moment Bennett joined the leading group, he seized every opportunity to attack. “I went hard up the hill a few times, but I felt like everyone was better than me. I told myself to stay calm and weather it out. I just kept going until finally no one came with me”, Bennet says.

Bennett launched the decisive attack eight kilometres from the finish line and soloed to victory with a lead of almost two minutes. “Honestly it has not sunk in yet. I was down and out a week ago and wrote myself off. Then I had a really good TT on Friday and that really picked me up. I have been trying to get this title for ten years. I have always wanted to win this jersey and to be able to wear it with my team all year round in the WorldTour is so special. I am proud to wear that jersey – take it to Europe and represent New Zealand Cycling. That is very special.”

Bennett New Zealand champ:

bike exchange
Williams Double New Zealand Road Race Champion
Georgia Williams has given Team BikeExchange their fifth national title of the season, winning the New Zealand Road Race Championships to double up after her time trial triumph.

It was an aggressive start to the 130km race as Williams attacked early on the opening lap, with only Kate McCarthy (Cabjaks-Castelli Custom) able to follow the 27-year-old. The duo quickly opened up an advantage of over one minute, and despite the gap falling to 40 seconds back to a solo chaser, the pair headed into the finale to battle for victory.

Williams played the final kilometre to perfection, allowing McCarthy to drift to the front, before opening up her sprint in sight of the line, powering to victory and her second national road race title.

Georgia Williams: “I’m so happy, I did have a bit of pressure on my shoulders, but I just had to race smart, I knew I had the legs, so I’m happy to pull it off. It was sort of in the back of my mind that I wanted to go early, just because if I waited too long then the sprinters might have been able to hang on. But I was a little bit surprised and thought maybe it’s too early. But I knew Kate was super strong, so I knew we would be ok. I watched her [McCarthy] race last year and it was so impressive, so when I saw her there, I was like ‘oh my gosh, perfect’, and she was awesome out there, I couldn’t have done it without her today. I thought I could ger her [in the sprint], I wasn’t 100% sure, but I sort of forced her to lead the last 800 metres, so I was confident enough.”

New Zealand Road Race Champ – Georgia Williams. Photo Courtesy of Danielle Ward (Concept78):

No Giro Wildcard for Nairo Quintana
Nairo Quintana can forget his Giro ambitions now that his Arkéa-Samsic team has not received a wildcard for the Giro d’Italia. “I wanted to participate in the Giro, but I respect the organiser’s choice. I will now focus on the Tour,” said the Colombian.

Quintana, who won the Giro in 2014 and was second in 2017, announced earlier this year that he would like to ride the Italian Grand Tour. RCS Sport, the organiser of the Giro d’Italia, decided to hand out its wildcards to three Italian teams: Bardiani CSF Faizanè, EOLO-Kometa and Vini Zabù. Arkéa-Samsic was left out, as was Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec and Gazprom-RusVelo.

“Our team is not part of the WorldTour and is therefore dependent on wildcards,” Quintana told Spaziociclismo. “However, the organisers have decided to hand them out to Italian teams. I want to thank everyone for the support and this is certainly not a mental blow. I keep believing in my dreams. I now focus on other big races, such as the Tour.” The Colombian climber will make his return in the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

Quintana looking forward to the Tour:
tour 20 quintana mollema martin

Chris Froome Rehabilitation Over
Chris Froome has only now really fully recovered from his crash in the Dauphiné, a year and eight months ago. The four-time Tour winner has been preparing for the new season in California in recent months. The UAE Tour will be his first race of 2021.

Froome spent the winter in California, where he combined his road training with exercises at the Red Bull Athlete Performance Center. After last season it turned out that the muscles in his right thigh were weaker than normal as a result of the crash. “We are now noticing that there is balance again and I am working hard to keep it that way. In the meantime, I have shifted the focus more to the bike,” Froome said on the Red Bull website.

For two months he completed a rehabilitation program at the Sports Center in Santa Monica, with extra emphasis on leg exercises. “I am sure that the rehabilitation process is now behind me. However, this will always be a weak spot that I have to keep working on until the end of my career. But given my data on the bike, my left-right balance is now the same as before the fall, maybe even better. This gives me a lot of confidence.”

The UAE Tour, which kicks off Sunday, February 21, will be Froome’s first race since moving from INEOS Grenadiers to Israel Start-Up Nation. The 35-year-old Briton sets the bar high for the new season. He wants to make a bid for a fifth Tour victory, but also has his eye on the Olympic Games. “I would like to go to the Games, although that of course depends on the selection. The sport has also changed significantly in the past two years and many strong young riders are breaking through. It’s going to be difficult, but I’m looking forward to it.”

A new beginning for Froome:
froome israel

strade bianche
Twenty-Three Teams for the Women’s Strade Bianche
The women’s 2021 Strade Bianche will have 23 teams in 2021, RCS Sport announced this week.

The nine Women’s WorldTeams will of course be present on Saturday the 6th of March, with Movistar (the team of last year’s winner, Annemiek van Vleuten), Team SD Worx, Alè BTC Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Team BikeExchange, Liv Racing, Team DSM and Trek-Segafredo. Jumbo-Visma will also be at the start with nine Italian teams along with Parkhotel Valkenburg and Lotto Soudal Ladies.

RCS Sport announced earlier this week that Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani CSF Faizanè, EOLO-Kometa and Vini Zabù would start the race with a wildcard in the men’s edition. The nineteen WorldTour teams have an automatic start, Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Arkéa-Samsic were the two best ProTeams of 2020 were already sure of an invitation.

Teams for the women’s 2021 Strade Bianche:
A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling Team (Ita)
Alè BTC Ljubljana (Ita)
Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano (Ita)
Bepink (Ita)
Born To Win G20 Ambedo (Ita)
Canyon-SRAM (Ger)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
FDJ Nouvelle-aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria (Ita)
Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
Liv Racing (Ned)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Massi Tactic Women Team (Spa)
Movistar (Spa)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA (Ita)
Team BikeExchange (Aus)
Team DSM (Ger)
Team SD Worx (Ned)
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
Top Girls Fassa Bortolo (Ita)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
Valcar-Travel & Service (Ita).

Annemiek van Vleuten at the finish of the 2020 Strade Bianche:
van vleuten

Gent-Wevelgem Wildcards go to Belgian and French ProTeams
Flanders Classics have handed out four wildcards for the men’s edition of Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday 28 March. B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Total Direct Energie have been given the green light.

The nineteen WorldTour teams were already certain to participate in the spring classic, as were the best ProTeams of 2020: Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic. Mads Pedersen won the 82nd edition of Gent-Wevelgem last year. The Danish rider was too strong for Florian Sénéchal and Matteo Trentin after a tough race.

Gent-Wevelgem 2021 teams:
wevelgem 2021

Teams for the Anniversary Gent-Wevelgem
The 10th edition of the women’s Gent-Wevelgem is on the calendar for Sunday 28th March. All the top teams will be present for the anniversary edition of the spring race. With Movistar, Team SD Worx, Alè BTC Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Team BikeExchange, Liv Racing, Team DSM and Trek-Segafredo, all Women’s WorldTeams are at the start. Fifteen continental team will also be at the Menin Gate in Ypres. One of the continental teams is Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team, the team of two-time winner Kirsten Wild and Lisa Brennauer. Other interesting formations are Jumbo-Visma Women Team, with possibly Marianne Vos, Lotto Soudal and Ciclismo Mundial.

Last year, the victory went to Jolien D’hoore. The strong sprinter then defeated Lotte Kopecky and the Brennauer in a sprint from a small group.

Participating teams flag-be Gent-Wevelgem 2021
A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling Team (Ita)
Alè BTC Ljubljana (Ita)
Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire (Bel)
Canyon-SRAM (Ger)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Ciclismo Mundial (Bel)
Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team (Bel)
Drops-Le Col Supported by Tempur (GB)
FDJ Nouvelle-aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Hitec Products (Nor)
Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
Liv Racing (Ned)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Movistar (Spa)
Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies Cycling Team (Bel)
NXTG Racing (Ned)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Team BikeExchange (Aus)
Team DSM (Ger)
Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants (Bel)
Team SD Worx (Ned)
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (UDA)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
Valcar-Travel & Service (Ita).

The Menin Gate in Ieper:

Volta Limburg Classic Postponement to July 18
The Volta Limburg Classic cannot be run this year on Saturday, April 3 due to the current corona measures and the organisers have asked for a new date on the calendar. It will start on Sunday 18 July, on the same day as the final stage of the Tour de France.

The organisers had already decided that the classic, with start and finish in Eijsden, wouldn’t be possible in April. For a new date on the UCI calendar, they will have to wait for approval from the Dutch cycling union and then the UCI. A shift to July 18 also means that the Volta Limburg Classic for men and women will be held on a Sunday. In recent years, the event was scheduled on a Saturday. In addition to the final day of the Tour de France, the Settimana Ciclista Italiana (UCI 2.1), the Giro della Valle d’Aosta (UCI 2.2U, U23) and a few small races are also on the current UCI calendar on 18 July.

“On the one hand, the risk for the organisers is too great,” said Jean Demollin, chairman of the organising committee. “On the other hand, the implementation of all necessary measures, such as keeping out the public and shielding, for example, the team buses in picturesque Eijsden is not feasible for our organisation.”

“We have compared the many calendars and came to the conclusion that Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July might be a suitable date. We have therefore immediately submitted a formal application to both the UCI and the KNWU in connection with the UCI 1.1 race for men and the national race for women on Sunday 18 July,” said race director Roy Packbier. “We can organise our race on Saturday 17 July. We now have to wait for the reactions from UCI and KNWU, but the prospects are good. We hope to have more certainty at the end of March.”

Gerts Floris winning in Limburg:

Former Sky Doctor Charged with New Doping Violations
Richard Freeman, the former doctor of Team Sky and British Cycling, has been accused by the British anti-doping agency UKAD of two new doping violations. The physician had already been charged by the General Medical Council, the British Order of Physicians, for ordering testosterone to treat riders.

According to the BBC, Freeman has been accused by the UKAD of “possessing a prohibited substance” and “manipulating or attempting to manipulate doping controls”. An investigation is currently underway. The doctor is reportedly contradicting the allegations in part and has requested a hearing. A four-year suspension now hangs over him.

The General Medical Council has already accused Freeman of ordering testogel to promote athlete performance. He is also said to have lied to cover up the order and misled an investigation by UKAD. The Briton worked at Team Sky and British Cycling between 2009 and 2015 and has been the focus of multiple controversies.

Dr. Richard Freeman:

Successful Surgery for Fabio Jakobsen
Fabio Jakobsen has undergone another operation, this time on his teeth, the Dutch sprinter from Deceuninck – Quick-Step said via Instagram. The medical procedure was successful and Jakobsen hopes to resume training next week.

Jakobsen posted a photo on social media in which he is cooling his jaw, saying he will have to eat liquid food in the coming period. “The surgeons have drilled implants in my upper and lower jaw and reconstructed the scars in my mouth,” wrote the 24-year-old Dutchman.

“For now a week of rest and let the body do it’s healing. Hopefully next week I can restart training again and build up towards races!” Jakobsen had been on a team training camp in January in Spain, and said that he is increasingly feeling like a professional cyclist.

Fabio Jakobsen after his latest operation:

Community at the Centre of Cycling Canada’s Strategic Plan to 2030
Cycling Canada is excited to officially publish its new 10-year strategic plan to 2030. Formally approved by Cycling Canada’s board in late 2020, the plan outlines a bold and transformative pathway for the organization and the sport in Canada over the next decade.

The strategy is the product of a multi-year process which included consultation and input from key stakeholder groups representing all disciplines and branches of the Canadian cycling community. More than 500 individuals from across the country were invited to participate during the process, which was led by a committee that included representatives from Cycling Canada’s board, staff and provincial partners.

The document sets out a high-level framework which will guide the organization’s direction over the coming decade, including core areas of strategic focus, long-term objectives, and key factors for successful execution.

“We’re thrilled to share this plan and even more excited about moving forward in our efforts to bring it to life,” said Pierre Laflamme, Chair of Cycling Canada’s Board of Directors. “We believe cycling in Canada has enormous potential and we have a unique opportunity to transform a sport and make an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of our country.”

At the heart of the strategy lies a renewed and concerted focus on Community. The top priority for the association over the next decade will be the collective development and delivery of more cohesive programs, campaigns, and resources to encourage participant growth and member engagement across the country.

“Our cycling community is the foundation of our organization and of our sport,” said Cycling Canada Chief Executive Officer Matthew Jeffries. “We all want to see the sport grow, and the starting point for that is a thriving, engaged and connected Canadian cycling community. There is a tremendous collective opportunity to do more to increase our relevance and deliver value for our membership in this regard.”

Supporting and complimenting this community-driven approach will be investments in 3 additional areas of strategic focus – grassroots, events and gracious champions.

A nationally aligned Grassroots cycling program for kids has been in development for over a year now and is already being delivered in certain regions, most notably in British Columbia where it has existed under the iRide brand since 2013. The national program will be branded as “HopOn” and will play a leading role in getting more Canadians on bikes in a safe and inclusive way, ultimately driving the flow of new participants and members into cycling club programs across the country.

The facilitation and delivery of a cohesive and integrated calendar of cycling Events across the country will continue to be a major area of focus for the organization. Exciting and engaging events serve as important platforms for stimulating awareness for the sport, driving participant growth, and engaging the community while also supporting development pathways for Canadian athletes, coaches and officials.

Finally, the organization will continue to allocate significant resources and focus toward development and high performance programming for athletes and coaches with the objective of creating more “Gracious Champions” – athletes who can succeed prolifically on the world’s biggest stages while being virtuous and inspiring ambassadors back to the community at home. An innovative performance framework consisting of 8 key components is included in the plan with the objective of continuing to increase continuity and collaboration across the system and driving better balance and sustainability for athlete development programs across all cycling disciplines.

Critical to success in executing the plan will be national cohesion and focus, particularly as it relates to several new strategic initiatives designed specifically to improve integration, member experience and community engagement. The need for a more holistic and unified approach to building the sport was one of the key themes that emerged throughout all phases of the project.

“It’s an exciting and ambitious plan and it will require great teamwork to make it a reality,” noted Jeffries. “Particularly in the world of sport where our resources are limited, it’s critical that we commit to working closely together towards our common goals. Achieving success that is both holistic and sustainable is the ultimate objective and I’m confident that we have a great plan as well as the right people and partners to get us there.”

“We’d like to thank all of our provincial partners, athletes, coaches, staff, officials, volunteers and other stakeholders who contributed to the development of this plan,” said Laflamme. “And a special thank you to our Strategic Planning team led by Kevin Field for all their hard work, vision and leadership in bringing this initiative to fruition.”


Support the Return to Racing Today, So We Can Ride Again Tomorrow and Preliminary ToAD 2021 Schedule Announced!
As someone who has raced one of the largest road cycling events in the USA, you understand the importance of planning as part of your goal to perform at a high level during your time at ToAD.
Our goal this year, shared by USA Cycling is to ensure that racing comes back as quickly and safely as possible, and then as you have come to expect from us here in America’s Dairyland, to put on a great event over 11 days!

To help ToAD and USA Cycling make that possible, we would appreciate your immediate support to prepare for tomorrow, or whenever your racing returns.

Your continued membership and licensing with USA Cycling helps event organizers like us here at ToAD in the return to racing as we collectively plan for another year of challenges. A critically important step you can take now is to renew or buy your license to maintain and even grow a vibrant race community! We need each other, for without USA Cycling, there is no ToAD and without events like ours, there are not enough licensed racers to help support USAC’s mission, plain and simple.

We all share a common optimism for this season and to calm any worries about participating in races, USA Cycling has instituted a Race License Guarantee, included with your membership. We are proud of our working relationship with USA Cycling as our National Governing Organization (NGO), so our collective support of our sport’s NGO responsible for not only the athletes at the top of the rung, but also looking out for all of us on the lower rungs too is critically important!
So again…

Become a member by 2/28/21 and if you don’t line up at the start of any races in 2021, USA Cycling will extend your Membership and Race License expiration date to June 30th, 2022, no questions asked.



Tour of America’s Dairyland p/b Kwik Trip
As we continue to endure a classic polar vortex here in America’s Dairyland, our hearts, mind and soul are clearly focused on the 12th edition of ToAD June 16-27, 2021! There is much work to be done and our collective battle related to COVID-19 still requires a positive trend line but hope springs eternal and we are locked into welcoming as many of you as possible back here racing this year IF we can provide a safe environment in which to do so! SOOO what, you ask, does ToAD’s daily race calendar look like thus far? Well, how does this look ……

Wednesday, June 16 – Muskego Park
(Juniors only!)

Thursday, June 17 – Janesville
(GRAND opening day!)

Friday, June 18 – East Troy
(Best town square EVER!)

Saturday, June 19 – Grafton
(Our founding race in its 12th year!)

Sunday, June 20 – tba

Monday, June 21 – Manitowoc
(1st year back since 2009!)

Tuesday, June 22 – tba
Wednesday, June 23 – tba

Thursday, June 24 – Brady Street
(Rivals Downer Avenue neighborhood, but with funk!)

Friday, June 25 – Shorewood
(On a Friday now; watch out!)

Saturday, June 26 – Downer Avenue
(THE granddaddy of ToAD; unmatched!)

Sunday, June 27 – Wauwatosa Village
(THE place to be in ‘tosa; seeing is believing!)

Plenty of work ahead of us, but we’re up to the task! To quote our respected friends at Tulsa Tough; “You can make a difference by getting vaccinated and following the three W’s: Wear a mask – Wash your hands – Watch your distance!”


Race For Change – Team Qhubeka ASSOS: Africa’s Only UCI-Registered WorldTour Cycling Team
New colours, new riders, new name. Find out what’s behind Team Qhubeka ASSOS, united in changing lives with bicycles and driving development of the sport’s most technologically advanced equipment.


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