We are just a few days away from the biggest bike race in the World. The 2023 Tour de France starts on Saturday in Bilbao, Spain and every bike fan will be glued to their TV for the next three weeks.
No Tour de France for Greg Van Avermaet – TOP STORY.
Tour de France news: UCI explains Tour covid protocol and Lidl-Trek present their new kit. Team selections: UAE Team Emirates, Movistar, Bahrain Victorious, INEOS Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma, AG2R Citroën, Soudal Quick-Step, Alpecin-Deceuninck, EF EasyPost, Lidl-Trek, BORA-hansgrohe, Cofidis and Arkéa-Samsic. Israel – Premier Tech special Tour de France jersey.
National championships news: Canada, BORA-hansgrohe, UAE Team Emirates, Q36.5, Bahrain Victorious and Intermarché-Circus-Wanty.
Rider news: Peter Sagan loses his driving license and Danny van Poppel extends with BORA-hansgrohe.
Team news: Movistar ready to defend Giro d’Italia Donne title, Jayco AlUla, Canyon//SRAM, SD Worx and DSM line-up for the Giro d’Italia Donne.
‘Kafea esnearekin’, as we say in the Basque Country.
TOP STORY: Van Avermaet ‘Very Disappointed’ After Non-Selection for the Tour
AG2R Citroën has announced its roster for the 2023 Tour de France. Greg Van Avermaet was not amongst the names. The Belgian will not be at the start of La Grande Boucle in his farewell year and is very disappointed. “I do not hide that this is a sour pill to swallow,” he said to Het Nieuwsblad.
The 38 year-old Van Avermaet has started the Tour de France nine times during his career, but there will not be a tenth Tour participation. “I wonder why I have trained so hard in the past few weeks. I really hoped they would take me with them, if only because it would be my last time, my tenth Tour too. Besides, I wasn’t racing badly either, I thought.”
Van Avermaet won the Boucles de l’Aulne in May and rode to a few good places in the Four Days of Dunkirk, but it was not enough for a Tour selection. The two-time stage winner in the Tour did receive an explanation from the team management. “That they needed more climbers. And that they had expected more from my performance at the Critérium du Dauphiné. While I really did everything they asked of me.”
“I didn’t expect my name to be the first on paper, but those three last names that had to be filled in, I had hoped to be there. The Tour selection used to be obvious, since last year I realise that this is no longer the case. But I don’t hide that this is a sour pill to swallow. I had hoped for more respect for what I did in the Tour. And, again, I was riding well after the classics.”
Van Avermaet says he has to ‘process’ the news. “The Tour was still a big goal and that is now gone. Dealing with disappointments is part of the life of a top athlete, but this one is very hard. I’m still too ambitious to get this news. I’m not the type to blow off. I want to finish my career as best as possible and would therefore have liked to have ridden the Tour. But you also have to be able to deal with adversity.”
No Tour for Van Avermaet:
UCI Explains the Covid Precautions for the Tour de France
Face masks, keep your distance and regularly disinfect your hands. It’s all back again in the 2023 Tour de France. After the covid problems in the Giro d’Italia, ASO has decided to bring face masks back. The UCI reports that these planned measures fit within the guidelines they have set.
This year the riders will wear face masks and keep their distance from each other. The covid protocol is not what it used to be, but ASO doesn’t want a repeat of what happened in the Giro. Since the beginning of 2023, the UCI protocol has become less intensive. Now the International Cycling Union has announced that the planned measures for this year’s Tour fit within these guidelines.
ASO wants limited access and an obligation to wear a face mask in certain zones. This applies to riders, staff and any fans. In addition, the organisers asks those involved to keep their distance as much as possible and to regularly disinfect their hands.
Should a rider become infected with the covid virus, confirmed by an antigen test or PCR test, the decision to isolate and remove the person from the race will be taken by the team’s doctor, the covid-19 coordinator of the Tour and the medical director of the UCI. They base this on the result of the test and the available clinical data.
Back to masks at the Tour:
Lidl-Trek Presents their New Kit Before the Tour de France
In Bilbao, Lidl-Trek presented their new kit prior to the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. The jersey contains the well-known colours of red, yellow and blue from the supermarket chain.
Lidl is the new sponsor of the American WorldTour team. The supermarket chain replaces the Segafredo coffee brand and will invest in the cycling team for the next five years. The presentation of the new clothing took place in a Bilbao branch of Lidl.
The clothing has the colours red, blue and yellow from Lidl. On the front of the kit is a red stripe, with Trek written on it. The jerseys of national champions Quinn Simmons (USA) and Mattias Skjelmose (Denmark) were also presented.
UAE Team Emirates Confirm Squad for Tour de France
Pogačar leads experienced line-up
UAE Team Emirates have unveiled the team heading into the Tour de France (1-23 July) which gets underway in the city of Bilbao, Spain for the Grand Depart next Saturday.
The team heads into the 21 stages led by the former two-time champion of the race Tadej Pogačar, with a mix of climbers and flat-terrain experts to support the Slovenian.
The 24 year old will lead the challenge which begins in Bilbao with a 182km road stage before hitting the Pyrenees mountains, moving eastward towards the Alps and finally on to the Champs Elysees in Paris for the ceremonial finish.
Sports Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) and Marco Marcato (Ita). The team is comprised of 8 riders:
Tour de France [2.UWT] – 01-Jul-2023 / 23-Jul-2023
– Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
– Rafal Majka (Pol)
– Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
– Felix Grossschartner (Aus)
– Marc Soler (Spa)
– Matteo Trentin (Ita)
– Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
– Adam Yates (GB).
Tadej Pogačar: “The Tour is one of the biggest events in world sport and we’re very pleased and excited to be a part of it. As a team we have worked so hard to prepare and everything is where it needs to be, we have a very good group. There will be some serious competitors but that will always be the case in the biggest races. We are going there to put on a good show and of course with the aim of victory.”
Movistar Team Heads into Home Grand Départ for 2023 TDF – In First Outing with Iceberg Kit
Telefónica-backed squad – with Enric Mas as GC contenders – takes Bilbao’s start this weekend wearing the Iceberg kit, sustainable and for charity, in its 41st consecutive appearance in the event.
Five days away from the start of the 110th edition of the men’s Tour de France, the Movistar Team confirmed on Monday the eight riders the Telefónica-backed squad will bring to Bilbao’s start on Saturday 1st July.
The squad managed by Eusebio Unzué will line up with Enric Mas, Matteo Jorgenson, Nelson Oliveira, Antonio Pedrero, Ruben Guerreiro, Gregor Mühlberger and two of its Basque members, Gorka Izagirre and Alex Aranburu, who will enjoy the honour of opening a ‘Grande Boucle’ on their home roads.
At this year’s French grandtour, in the Abarca Sports organisation’s 41st consecutive appearance following their debut in 1983, the Movistar Team will be sporting their new Iceberg kit, produced by GOBIK and with sustainable, charity goals.
Mikel Landa Leads Bahrain Victorious Line-Up to Tour de France
Mikel Landa leads the Bahrain Victorious lineup with the 110th edition of the race departing on home roads for the Basque rider. Departing from Bilbao, this year’s edition will have riders take on 3,404 km and over 55,000 vertical meters of climbing across the 21 stages, which only includes a hilly 22km time trial on stage 16.
With only the one time trial, this year’s Tour de France takes the peloton from across the mountains, starting in the Basque Country and the Pyrenees, across to the Alps, Jura and Vosges. With few coastal roads and no cobblestones or dirt roads, it seems a more suited course for the pure climbers.
The 21 stages have been categorised into eight flat stages for the sprinters, which Phil Bauhaus will contest with the support of Nikias Arndt, four hilly stages suited to breakaways, where Fred Wright and Matej Mohoric will look for their opportunities and eight mountain stages where Jack Haig and Wout Poels will support Landa. Pello Bilbao will also keep his eye on the GC and riding home roads for the Grand Depart; he will be highly motivated to aim for another place in the top ten as he did back in 2021.
In contrast to the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France only has two stages over 200km long. However, there will be shorter intense days where the peloton will take on highly challenging mountainous stages. A big day marked for the GC battle is Stage 17 and this year’s Queen Stage. It has over 5,300 vertical meters across the 166km stage. The peloton will face two Cat-1 climbs before taking on the gruelling Hors Category climb, Col de Loze, which is 28.3km long and averages 6%.
With a single time trial, a grand depart in his home country and plenty of climbing, Mikel Landa is looking forward to this edition of the Tour de France: “The depart in the Basque Country is going to be really exciting! I’ve already been feeling the passion and excitement of the fans. They are supporting me already. I think it’s going to be a big celebration of cycling, so I’m really happy to be a part of that.
The key stages start in the Basque country with two hard opening stages, and it will be crucial to be ready, as there could be some gaps already at the finish line.
Looking at my ambitions, I’d love to finish close to the podium in the GC and also look to win a stage, which is also a dream.
This year the team and all of us have been impacted by the loss of our friend and teammate, Gino. We need to look at this for extra motivation and to be at our best every day and try and race for him and honour him.”
Lead Sports director Gorazd Štangelj believes the strong team gives Bahrain Victorious good options across the stages: ”We are coming into this Tour de France with big ambitions, and I believe we have an excellent team to have opportunities across all the stages. We’ve got two highly motivated Basque riders who have the opportunity of racing at a Grand Depart on home roads and a route that suits their style of racing. Landa will be our leader, and Pello will co-lead. We then have Matej and Fred, who can look for their opportunities through breakaways, while Phil will have his chances as there are many stages for the sprinters on paper at this year’s Tour, and he will have a highly experienced lead-out man in Nikias. We then are lucky to have fantastic support in the high mountains with Jack and Wout, and both have the ability to fight for a stage win. Overall, we have a strong lineup, and every rider can take advantage of an opportunity across the stages.”
“This year we have had a challenging lead-up with the tragic loss of our dear friend Gino. We want to ride in his memory and dedicate it to him.”
Today and every day, we ride for you, Gino.
INEOS Grenadiers Announce Exciting 2023 Tour de France Line-Up
The INEOS Grenadiers have confirmed the eight riders who will take on the 110th edition of the Tour de France.
Starting in Bilbao, Spain, on 1 July, the race heads into France on Stage 3, culminating with the iconic Champs-Elysées finish on 23 July.
The 2023 route features one individual time trial, four summit finishes and covers 3,405km over 21 stages.
The INEOS Grenadiers selected for the 2023 Tour de France are:
Rod Ellingworth, Deputy Team Principal: This is a great route and one which will see hard, full-gas racing right from the start. We know anything can happen over three weeks of a Grand Tour and we also know the demands of an event where heat and altitude play a big part.
We’ve selected an exciting group of riders that bring a mix of skills and experience. The strength of this team will lie in the way we take on the race, and how we approach each stage with the options we have.
The whole team’s really thrilled for Egan, and everyone who’s supported him in his return to full fitness. It’s a demonstration of his character and resilience, and the extraordinary effort he’s put into his recovery over the past 18 months. Of course, as a previous winner, he brings invaluable insight and a winning attitude to the group. His grit and determination sum up what we’re all about as a team, and all our riders will benefit from his experience at the Tour.
Tom showed last year what a hugely exciting talent he is and his victory on Alpe d’Huez was just brilliant. We’re looking forward to seeing him progress once again, applying what he learned last year.
In Kwiato, Dani, Castro and Omar we have an abundance of experience and skill – each one of these guys knows what it takes to win at the top level.
For Carlos and Ben, both making their Tour de France debuts, this is a big moment, and one they’re both looking to absorb and embrace. They’re both top quality bike riders, so they’ll certainly be ready to grab any opportunities along the way.
We know there are going to be a lot of new fans watching this year given the success of ‘Unchained’ on Netflix, and whether they’re on the roadside or in their living rooms, we’re looking to give them plenty to cheer about.
Egan Bernal – 26, Colombia: Making my return to the Tour has always been a major goal for me. I’m so excited to be able to experience every kilometre of this race again.
I’m sure many people have followed everything that has happened to me since my accident in January last year, and the journey I’ve been through to overcome the greatest test of my life. Being a part of this year’s Tour team reassures me that I’m on my way to returning to my best.
This race is also an opportunity for me to show my gratitude and commitment to the team that continually supported me throughout, to thank each person who has helped me, from the nurses who took care of me in the hospital, the doctors, my friends, family, teammates and INEOS.
Above all I want to take this opportunity to inspire people and show them that, even if everything seems lost, we can trust in God. Be strong, because life only comes to us once and we must appreciate the second chances we’re given and take advantage of every second.
Tom Pidcock – 23, Great Britain: I’m really excited to be back at the Tour de France for what promises to be another beautiful three weeks.
To win an iconic stage and wear the white jersey in 2022 are lifelong memories, and this year I want to build on that as I continue to progress my career. We’ve got an exciting group of riders and we’ll be looking to race with intent and be tactically smart, as we execute the plans we’ve developed as a team.
As I experienced for the first time last year, the Tour is the toughest race of all, but it’s also the most beautiful and historic – which is what makes it so iconic. The opportunity to tackle it again alongside my teammates and some of the best riders in the world, in front of so many passionate fans, is one that I relish.
Jonathan Castroviejo – 36, Spain: I’m really happy to be selected for the Tour this year, especially as it starts in my home city – and the thought of racing past my house on the first stage is crazy, I’m sure it will be an incredible experience.
I’m feeling in really good shape and hope to be able to help the Team as much as possible, and light up this race.
Daniel Martinez – 27, Colombia: To be a part of this team and ride the Tour de France is always an honour, I’m really motivated to get out there, start racing with my teammates and see what we can do.
I’m feeling good and want to do the best I can for the team, so I can’t wait to get to Bilbao and get going!
Omar Fraile – 32, Spain: To be selected for the Tour de France always feels very special, it’s my favourite time of the year. I love the build up to it and then the excitement of arriving at the Grand Départ. The Tour is always next level!
Competing for this team is also a real honour and the Tour this year is going to be one of the most special, one of the most beautiful, because it starts in the Basque Country, my home.
That is super-motivating to think about, lining up in my town for this team in front of my family and friends. It doesn’t get more special than that.
Michal Kwiatkowski – 33, Poland: To make the team after the setbacks I went through last year is already a huge motivation for me. It will be a challenging edition with a lot of climbing and some very difficult stages.
My hope is to take it day by day, chance by chance and not get too excited early as the first stages are always quite hectic. I will be there for my teammates and if I see a chance for myself, I’ll go for it.
I’m super excited about our team line-up. I’m confident we can stand out on numerous days, with big talents like Egan, Tom, Dani and others driving us forward. This year we have the freedom to be really tactical – to seize opportunities and take calculated risks.
This dynamic might just be the unique advantage we need and perfectly illustrates our all-in mentality.
Carlos Rodriguez – 22, Spain: For me, riding the Tour is an absolute dream come true. Since I was a small boy, I watched the race on TV and always dreamed of riding it one day.
Having the opportunity to do my first Tour de France in this team, with this group of guys, makes it even more special. I can’t wait.
Ben Turner – 24, Great Britain: It’s an absolute dream for me to start the Tour de France. I remember going to watch the start as a kid in Yorkshire so to be here now is incredible. I never thought I’d pin a number on for this race so it will be a moment I’ll always remember.
I’m so grateful to the team for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been working really hard and feel great, and I’m so thankful to the many people who helped me recover from the crash I had at the Dauphine.
I really want to soak up my first Tour – experience every part of it and learn. Mostly I want to give everything I have to support my teammates, and finish in Paris knowing I did my best.
Team Jumbo-Visma presents Tour de France selection full of dreams
Wearing a cycling jersey full of dreams, Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert, Dylan van Baarle, Sepp Kuss, Tiesj Benoot, Christophe Laporte, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Wilco Kelderman will start this Saturday’s Tour de France for Team Jumbo-Visma.
This year’s Tour de France starts in Spain’s Basque Country on 1 July. After last year’s successes, ambitions are big again. Sportive director Merijn Zeeman: “We exceeded our wildest dreams last year with six stage victories, the polka dot jersey, and most importantly, the green and yellow jersey. This year we are dreaming big too. Our ambition is to bring the yellow jersey back to Paris. We have a super strong team led by our leader Jonas Vingegaard, and we believe in our plan. Winning the Giro has been a dream come true for us this season. Our riders are prepared for a double at the Tour.”
Reading book The Vélodrome
The eight selected riders will spend three weeks wearing a star-studded cycling jersey called The Vélodrome. The Efteling and AGU worked together to design the Tour shirt, which emphasises the power of dreams. Each jersey features a personalised starry sky symbolising the riders’ dreams. To inspire young children to follow their dreams, a storybook called “Look, I can do it!” is available. It tells the story of the Velodrome through text and drawings. The booklet contains a QR code that allows the story to be read aloud in several languages by various Team Jumbo-Visma riders, including Vingegaard and Van Aert.
The booklet is a fantastic method to introduce young children to the Tour de France while also inspiring them. It serves as an example of the strength of dreams and serves as a reminder that nothing is too big to accomplish with dedication and perseverance.
Van Aert, who will also be wearing the Tour jersey, knows the importance of having a dream: “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional cyclo-cross rider and win a cyclo-cross race in my hometown, just like my heroes. My dream came true in 2016 when I won the Belgian championship in my hometown of Lille. It inspires me to keep dreaming and pursue my goals.”
Tour de France jersey on sale
The reading book and cycling jersey are both on sale. The pre-order period for Team Jumbo-Visma and AGU’s Tour de France jersey, on which you could have your dreams printed, was a big success. Thousands of people bought the jersey and had their dream printed as a starry sky on the back. The non-personalised Tour de France jersey for adults and children and the “Look, I can do it!” reading booklet can be ordered from the Team Jumbo-Visma webshop.
AG2R Citroën Announces the 8 Riders Selected for the Tour de France 2023
Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, revealed the eight riders who will be at the start of the Tour de France 2023 on July 1st.
Vincent Lavenu: “We will start the Tour de France in Bilbao with great ambitions for our leader Ben O’Connor. His third place in the Critérium du Dauphiné confirms that he is one of the best climbers in the world. With him, we want to achieve the best possible general classification. Ben has already finished fourth in the Tour de France in 2021 and we know he is capable of playing a leading role again. We are convinced that with the sporting level shown in recent weeks, his performance can bring us immense satisfaction over the next three weeks. Three climbers will be around him to support him in the mountains and we know that his teammates will be able to guide him, especially on the flat stages. Obviously, a stage victory will also be one of our objectives. Our team is competitive and consistently able to perform well at the biggest race in the world. We will have to be very attentive from the start of this 110th edition in the Basque Country before returning to the mountains, the best terrain to show our strengths. We will have the privilege of riding for six days on the roads of the Alps that we love so much. This will inevitably be a special moment for the entire AG2R CITROËN TEAM. We want to shine in front of our supporters.”
Vincent Lavenu presents the eight riders who make up the squad at the start of the Tour de France 2023:
25 years old
“Clément is going to race his first Tour de France; he will have a chance to understand the magnitude of the event. He continues to progress, as he proved at the Tour de Suisse where he finished in 11th place after having supported Felix Gall in the mountains. His role will be to accompany Ben O’Connor for as long as possible on the climbs. He is a rider capable of competing with the best climbers, which is why he will be very important to our plan.”
27 years old / 13 professional victories
20th on a stage (2021) and wore the King of the Mountains jersey for 15 days (2020)
“We know that Benoît is capable of competing with the best riders in the world. He has already proven it by winning great classics like the GP de Québec last year and the Bretagne Classic in 2021. Many of the stages at the Tour have profiles that fit his qualities as a puncheur. Benoît is a rider who knows how to unite and motivate his teammates, which makes him a valuable element in the life of the team.”
25 years old / 1 professional victory
Best result: 17th on a stage (2022)
“Stan is a rider who follows the instructions to the letter and who is at the service of the collective. He does very valuable behind-the-scenes work, like what he did on the Tour de Suisse when Felix won the stage. On that occasion, he was present in the breakaway to offer support when Felix needed it, and it worked perfectly. He is able to sacrifice himself for his leaders and also knows how to guide them during the flat stage to avoid all hazards.”
25 years old / 1 professional victory
“This will be Felix’s first participation in the Tour de France, where he certainly wants to give the best of himself. He is a climber who continues to improve his level, as confirmed by his stage victory in the Tour de Suisse and his very fine Tour of the Alps this past April. He will be there to stay with Ben O’Connor in the mountains but also to seize his chance and try to win stages.”
32 year old / 5 professional victories
Best result: 4th on a stage (2019)
“Oliver will be Ben O’Connor’s guardian angel for the flat stages. Indeed, he is the type of rider who reassures the leaders who place their trust in him. In addition, he showed us at the Critérium du Dauphiné, that he was indeed back in form and with a very good sporting level. His great sense of humour is also a valuable asset to the group.”
27 years old / 7 professional victories
Best results: 4th in the general classification (2021) and a stage victory (2021)
“Ben O’Connor will be our leader at the start of this Tour de France. He is in very good physical and mental condition. His third place in the Critérium du Dauphiné showed that he is evolving at a very high level. His preparation was optimal with a training camp in Sierra Nevada, and he had the chance to do some reconnaissance of the stages for this 110th edition over the past few days. All the lights are green to achieve the best possible general classification!”
29 years old / 3 professional victories
Best result: a stage victory (2020)
“We are counting on Nans to fight in the breakaways when the opportunity arises. He is a very solid rider who likes to be involved in breaks as he has shown us by winning a stage in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia in past years, as well as at the Trofeo Laigueglia this season. He will also be very valuable to accompany and protect our leader in strategic moments.”
27 years old / 3 professional victories
Best results: 15th in the general classification (2021) and 7th on a stage (2021)
“Aurélien has taken new steps to a higher sporting level by having already won twice at the start of the season. His stage victory and his 15th place in the Giro confirmed all his talent. He arrives at the start of the Tour de France confident and very motivated after having recovered very well from his first part of the season. He will put himself at the service of Ben and will also try to seize his chance when the opportunity arises. We know that the start of the 14th stage in Annemasse will be a special moment for him since he will be at home. His knowledge of the Alpine passes will also be valuable for the whole team.”
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM has won nine stages in the last ten editions of the Tour de France. In 2022, Bob Jungels won the 9th stage in Châtel. Ben O’Connor raised his arms during the 9th stage in Tignes in 2021. Nans Peters won the 8th stage in Loudenvielle in 2020. Romain Bardet won three stages: the 12th stage in Peyragudes in 2017, the 19th in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc in 2016 and the 18th stage in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in 2015. The same year, Alexis Vuillermoz won the 8th stage at the top of Mûr-de-Bretagne. Blel Kadri shone in 2014 during the 8th stage in Gérardmer. Finally, Christophe Riblon won the 18th stage on Alpe d’Huez in 2013.
Soudal Quick-Step to the Tour de France
Julian Alaphilippe makes his comeback at the Grande Boucle, where he has left an indelible mark on at the previous appearances
The Tour de France is just a couple of days away, and Soudal Quick-Step – who has won 49 stages here – is ready for it. Featuring four summit finishes, a short but demanding individual time trial, stages in all five mountain ranges of the country, as well as at least five opportunities for the sprinters, Le Tour will cover 3404 kilometres between Bilbao – host of the Grand Départ for the first time in history – and Paris.
Winner of the KOM standings in 2018, fifth overall in 2019 after an unforgettable 14-day spell in the yellow jersey and victorious in six stages, Julian Alaphilippe is excited to head together with Soudal Quick-Step to the start of the 110th edition of the Grande Boucle, where he returns for the first time since 2021.
“I’m looking forward to the Tour de France, it’s always an exciting period of the year. I went on a recon of the start in Bilbao, and I can tell you it will be a beautiful and hard weekend. At the beginning of the month I did a solid Dauphiné, where I felt in good shape, got a win and took pleasure in riding, and the preparations went well. The Tour is a truly huge adventure, every day you have to fight together with the team, and has a really special atmosphere, with all the people along the roads. I’m ready for Le Tour”, said Julian ahead of his eighth Grand Tour start.
Joining him in Bilbao, home of one of the only three La Liga teams to have always played in Spain’s first tier since their inception, will be European Champion Fabio Jakobsen – a stage winner at his debut in the race last year – Danish ITT Champion Kasper Asgreen, French ITT Champion Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Yves Lampaert and Michael Mørkøv, one of the best lead-out men in the business.
“Julian and Fabio are our two leaders. Julian will try to go for a stage win, as he has some nice opportunities over the three weeks of the race, while Fabio will rely on Michael to guide him in the sprints, but also on the likes of Kasper and Yves, who can keep the speed high in the bunch finishes.”
“Rémi, who can go in some breakaways, and Dries will be the two men at the side of Julian, while Tim can work on all terrains, especially to control the breakaway, but equally important, he can also help Fabio in the mountains together with the other guys. Looking over our team, we can see a group that has a lot of ambition and motivation, so we hope for a nice Tour de France”, explained sports director Tom Steels.
01.07–23.07 Tour de France (FRA) 2.UWT
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Rémi Cavagna (FRA)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Fabio Jakobsen (NED)
Yves Lampaert (BEL)
Michael Mørkøv (DEN)
Sports Directors: Davide Bramati (ITA), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Wilfried Peeters (BEL) & Tom Steels (BEL).
Julian Alaphilippe back to the Tour:
Alpecin-Deceuninck Team for Van der Poel and Philipsen
Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen will be counting on Søren Kragh Andersen, Quinten Hermans and Ramon Sinkeldam in the Tour. The team announced during a Zwift ride.
Van der Poel and Philipsen are the clear leaders of Alpecin-Deceuninck. Van der Poel is preparing for his third Tour. On his Tour debut in 2021, he managed to win on the Mûr-de-Bretagne. In addition, he wore the yellow jersey for six days that year. Last year’s Tour ended in a disappointment. The Dutchman turned out to be unready, after a tough Giro d’Italia and abandoned on the eleventh stage.
This year, Van der Poel hopes to take some revenge, and the signs are good. The 28 year-old won the Baloise Belgium Tour in the run-up to the Tour de France. Last Sunday, Van der Poel made a shot at the Dutch title, but was defeated by a tactically strong Jumbo-Visma. However, the all-rounder with the bronze medal.
Van der Poel will be given the freedom to do his thing, but MvdP has already indicated that he wants to help his teammate Philipsen in the sprints. Philipsen wants to go for the green jersey. “I have already indicated that I would like to go for it, but we will have to see for ourselves at the moment whether that is feasible,” said Philipsen.
With Van der Poel, Jonas Rickaert and Ramon Sinkeldam, he has a strong sprint train and can look forward to the sprint stages with confidence. Quinten Hermans will make his Tour debut this year. Last season he was left at home by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Silvan Dillier, Michael Gogl and Søren Kragh Andersen, who won two stages in the 2020 Tour, complete the team.
Alpecin-Deceuninck for Tour de France:
Soren Kragh Andersen
Mathieu van der Poel
Van der Poel at the Tour:
Our Tour de France Eight
Richard Carapaz. Rigoberto Uran. Neilson Powless. Alberto Bettiol. Magnus Cort. James Shaw. Andrey Amador. Esteban Chaves. Those eight riders will take the start of the Tour de France in Bilbao on July 1 ready to take the fight to the world’s greatest bike race.
The team has a layered set of objectives and ways to achieve them. Some, like stages, are obvious goals of every team. But so often teams plan and the Tour de France laughs. Its 3,405 kilometres over serpentine roads and through teeming masses of fans are as predictable as mountain weather. Hence our lineup — it’s a team built to adapt and capitalise over a mixture of terrain and circumstance. It’s a team of racers, first and foremost.
Some fit into boxes as a climber, a breakaway man. And some don’t. We’re going to attack the race. The Tour is often a showcase of muscle and a sheer test of firepower. But there are nuances and cracks in the race this team is built to explore, and races within the race take shape.
“This Tour, this route — it’s challenging to predict, especially given the early days in Bilbao. You know certain guys will be strong, sure. I’m excited about the team we’re sending because it’s so dynamic and flexible,” said Jonathan Vaughters, team CEO. “Richard, we know what he’s capable of, and we also know he’s great at reading a race and reacting. He’s tremendously exciting for us. We will support him in his exploits, and we’re also keeping our options open when it comes to attacking the race. Powless — he rode more kilometres than anyone in the breaks last year I think, and we hope he takes the next step this year. Magnus is a stage winner. Rigo, also a stage winner… on a single speed, no less. On paper, this is a great team. I’m excited to see how the race takes shape and how the whole team, riders and staff, come together to meet the challenge of the Tour.”
Hear from each of our riders below:
Alberto Bettiol: It is going to be really tough. We have a super high quality team. Of course, the big name is going to be Richard because he is a champion, so he deserves to be our captain, but we also have Rigo and Neilson, riders who are in great shape right now and then we have a lot of options for one-day stages: me and Magnus and Neilson. It is a strong team, a really expert team with a lot of experience. We will try to do what we can.
My ambition will be to try to win a stage. That is for sure, because last year I was so close. It would be nice to win a stage in the Tour de France. I worked really hard. I had to adapt my season to arrive in the best shape for the Tour de France, by doing the Giro d’Italia, to be more ready. I also want to show to the Italian fans that I will be ready for the world championships, which is two weeks after Paris. For me this year, the Tour de France is an extra motivation for the new date of the world championships.
The Tour de France is for me special, a special race. It is one of the biggest events in sport on the planet. Every year, the Tour de France is one of the main goals for me and for this team for sure, so we and I have to give 100%, even more, because to win a stage in the Tour de France means a lot for a bike rider, for a team, for all of the staff that work together for three, four, five months and they all wait for this month when the Tour de France happens.
Andrey Amador: I feel really good and motivated. I’ve made huge sacrifices to be able to be in the shape I am in physically. It had been awhile since I was last this strong.
It is very exciting to return to the Tour de France after two years of not racing it. The Tour de France for any cyclist is a dream and will remain so. There are always some nerves, but also over the years you know what you are facing and how to cope with the day to day. I always think that a great Tour has to go day by day. It’s normal that over 21 days, there are good days and some not so good days.
My goal is clear, to provide as much support as possible to the team. One of my duties is to ride out of my skin for this team that has trusted me and I will do so. We will see how things unfold over the days and how best to manage things.
It’s a great joy to be named to our Tour squad and to give my 100% commitment to arrive in my best condition. I want to give back to the team for the trust they have placed in me. I will give everything I have for the team, my teammates and the people who have always been supporting me.
Esteban Chaves: I heard the news that I would be on the Tour team and it is pretty exciting. After more than a decade of being a professional, hearing the news made me pumped. That means it is important and that means that I care about it and that I am still dreaming. The Tour de France is my dream. After I hung up with the DS and he had told me that I would do the Tour de France, I called my parents and I said this time you need to come, because I want you in Paris with me. They have never been. And it is a dream. It is where everything started for me, sitting on the couch, watching the Tour de France on television and just dreaming about being there and I am part of this now. I am actually living the dream. It is exciting. It is scary. It is a lot of emotions at the same time.
It is a big responsibility as well, and I am looking forward to it. We have worked really hard, with all the people around: the team, my family, my wife. Every single one is a little bit of this. And because of all of these people, so all of you guys, I can be a part of the team. Everybody works and we are looking forward to doing everything really well and playing the cards really well and making the dream come true.
We have a really nice and strong team. We can do a really nice GC. There is a lot of climbing this year: 14 stages are really tough, hard. And we can play the cards for stage wins with different riders, of course myself will be one of the riders to do that with the climbs. We can chase the mountain jersey. Why not? Why not?!
James Shaw: Who would have thought, eh? The Tour de France. What a bike race. I didn’t really know what to make of it. The whole thing came about at the Dauphiné when I was riding better than I have ever ridden and it obviously didn’t go unnoticed. Our DS Charly pulled me over on the last day and he said, look, we’ll put you on the long list.
We’ll send you home to prepare. Don’t do Ventoux Challenge. Go home and get ready and prepare as if you are going to go and I thought, is he pulling my leg? He said he is considering me, but is it a serious consideration and stuff? So I was like oh, don’t build yourself up too much. So I prepared as if I was going to go. I put everything into it, the best recovery I could have done, that sort of jazz. And then he rang me and said we’ll crack on with it, we’ll do it. So I thought, oh, this is actually going to happen. I was a bit sort of taken aback by it. I didn’t really know what to do.
I am a bit nervous. I am a bit scared. It is obvious from the guys who are going that I am there to be the best teammate I can. We have got a hell of a roster. Starting on that start line is going to be incredible. Personally, Paris is something that I have on my mind. I want to make it all the way to, but along the way I want to make sure I am doing the job that I am going there to do and be there for the guys and Carapaz and all the boys get what they need and I can get to that finish line on wherever and whatever day and I can get on that bus knowing that I gave it everything for Neilson or whoever that job was for that day. I am in the best shape I have ever been in. I think now is the moment, now is the time to do it as well, so I am super excited.
I have this attitude in life that there are two people that you have got to make proud and they are the eight-year-old version of yourself and the eighty-year-old version of yourself.
As long as the eight-year-old version of you looks up to you at the minute and thinks yeah, that guy is who I want to be and the eighty-year-old version of you looks back at you and says yeah, that is the person that I wanted to be, then it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks or feels. I think the eight-year-old version of James would be blown away right now.
Magnus Cort: I am excited as always. It is not my first Tour de France, but it is still by far the biggest race, and no matter how many times I have been there, it is a race I am excited to go for and also nervous about. We’ll see how things are going and how things will be with the team and how things will be for myself.
For the most part, my role will be to support the team and especially Carapaz. My role will be to be a good teammate, but I hope there will be a day or two where I can find opportunities for myself as well. There are a small handful of stages that could maybe suit me from a breakaway, but I don’t want to say yet which ones!
Neilson Powless: We’re getting close. I’m ready to head to Bilbao.
I think that the prep that I have done has brought me to the right level of fitness at exactly the right time. I am really confident that I got the peak right this year and hopefully I can show that in the Tour.
Obviously if I could win a stage, that would be incredible. That would be my Tour made if that happens, but if we have Richie or Rigo up in GC and we can get someone on the podium that would be incredible as well. I am going to have to be pretty fluid with it, with what my goals are going to be, because depending on what position we are going to be in with the team it is going to change. If we have someone going for GC, I could have a really satisfying Tour helping to get them on the podium but if it looks like we have a bit more freedom, winning a stage would be incredible.
We have riders who are willing to take chances to get a really amazing result. We are definitely bringing a squad of racers and that is really exciting. It is guys that are punchy, can attack, are not afraid to attack and hopefully we can use that to our advantage and be at the front of the race throughout the Tour.
Richard Carapaz: I’m excited for the Tour to finally get underway. I’m training for it and I’ve been away from home for a long time and I am ready for it to start, really.
This race has been the primary goal that I set for myself in October of last year and I have been working towards it. In the end, I always want to do things in the best way and now that we are at the gates of the Tour, physically I feel good. I am very well prepared and above all I have a great eagerness to start. I hope that everything turns out in the best way and that I can be there ready for everything.
It is a very tough Tour route this year. From the first days in the Basque Country it will be complicated but I also really like some of the stages. We are bringing a team that can get a nice result and that’s what we’re hoping for.
This is a team with a lot of experience. There are guys who have done several Grand Tours, who have a lot of experience and above all, they have a lot of talent. I think it’s going to be a team that’s going to be up to the task of meeting the objectives that we’ve set for ourselves. It’s going to be a nice adventure with them.
Rigoberto Urán: I feel great, I am very happy that the Tour is about to start. It’s a race that I love. Obviously once you are there you get a little nervous and excited but I’m very happy to be part of this Tour team.
This will be my tenth Tour de France. Having a lot of experience at the Tour helps a lot. I am able to share with the team some of my experience, some happiness. Obviously every Tour is special, every Tour is hard, and experience is important but the legs are the most important.
For me the Tour de France means everything. It’s the biggest race. Every kid’s dream is to ride the Tour once. It’s always an honour to ride it, but also to ride in EF colours. I’ve already finished many Tours and that’s why I have to take advantage of every moment and every opportunity.
Carapaz to lead EF:
Skjelmose, Pedersen and Ciccone Eye-Catchers at Lidl-Trek
Trek-Segafredo, which will be called Lidl-Trek from June 30, has announced its selection for the Tour de France. The team is counting on Mads Pedersen, Mattias Skjelmose and Giulio Ciccone in the Tour.
The team also consists of Jasper Stuyven, Alex Kirsch, Juan Pedro Lopez, Tony Gallopin and Quinn Simmons, who will race in the Stars and Stripes of American road champion.
Pedersen contested the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. The Dane dropped out early, but already had a stage victory in his pocket. His compatriot Skjelmose recently won the Tour of Switzerland and even more recently became national champion. Ciccone was, from the early break, the best in the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Italian, who was supposed to ride the Giro instead of the Tour, but missed his home tour due to a covid infection, is aiming for stage success and the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France.
Lidl-Trek for Tour de France:
Juan Pedro Lopez
Mattias Skjelmose had great form in Switzerland:
Hindley Leads BORA-hansgrohe in the Tour
BORA-hansgrohe has revealed their selection for the Tour de France. After his Giro victory in 2022, debutant Jai Hindley is going for a result in the final classification of the Tour. As far as sprints are concerned, Jordi Meeus has been preferred over Sam Bennett. The Belgian has Danny van Poppel as lead-out man.
Hindley rode the Critérium du Dauphiné as his last preparation race for the Tour de France. The Australian finished fourth, behind Jonas Vingegaard, Adam Yates and Ben O’Connor. The 27 year-old climber will make his debut in the Tour de France, having already ridden the Giro d’Italia four times and the Vuelta a España twice. Hindley was on the podium twice in the Giro. In 2020 he was second, in 2022 he won.
The BORA-hansgrohe sprint train will consist of Nils Politt, Marco Haller, Danny van Poppel and Jordi Meeus, who has been chosen over Sam Bennett. The 24 year-old Meeus has had one victory this year, in the Circuit de Charleroi Wallonie, but has taken many podium places. He recently finished second in the Heistse Pijl and third in the Brussels Cycling Classic.
BORA-hansgrohe had already confirmed the participation of seven riders. The final rider, a climber, would be determined after the national championship weekend. The choice went to Patrick Konrad, who finished fourth in the Austrian championship. Hindley can also count on the support of Bob Jungels and Emanuel Buchmann, who is the new German road champion.
BORA-hansgrohe for Tour de France:
Danny Van Poppel
Jai Hindley – Top man for BORA-hansgrohe in the Tour:
Cofidis For the Tour’23
Cofidis has now also revealed the eight riders who will start in Bilbao. The team will rely on Guillaume Martin, Ion Izagirre and Bryan Coquard.
Team manager Cédric Vasseur looks ahead to the upcoming Tour de France in a press release. “It is always difficult to come to a final selection. Choices have to be made and we have looked at the form of the riders and whether they complement each other well. This is why we are bringing Anthony Perez, Simon Geschke and Victor Lafay to the Tour, in addition to the previously selected riders.”
Cofidis decided to release the first five Tour names more than a week ago, with sprinter Bryan Coquard, climbers Ion Izagirre and Guillaume Martin and youngsters Axel Zingle and Alexis Renard.
“Guillaume is our GC leader, while we will play Bryan in the sprint stages. Ion, Anthony and Victor will be chasing a stage victory. Simon is our road captain and for Axel and Alexis this is a great journey of discovery”, Vasseur outlined.
Cofidis for Tour de France:
One of the Cofidis leaders – Guillaume Martin:
Barguil Leads Arkéa-Samsic, No Bouhanni
Arkéa-Samsic has announced its selection for the Tour de France. The top name is probably Warren Barguil. French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, is missing from the team selection.
Bouhanni’s absence is no surprise, as the Frenchman is not having a good season. The 32 year-old sprinter, whose contract finishes, recorded a lot of DNFs this year and also had quite a few crashes. The last time Bouhanni competed in the Tour was in 2021, as he was unable to start last year due to a bad crash in the Tour of Turkey.
Cristian Rodríguez and Élie Gesbert are also not selected. Rodríguez has been in excellent shape in recent weeks in the Giro dell’Appennino (2nd), the CIC Mont-Ventoux (4th) and the Route d’Occitanie (2nd), but is focusing on the Vuelta a España. Gesbert also seems to be on the schedule for the Tour of Spain.
Now that Bouhanni is not there, the flat stages will mainly focus on the fast Italian Luca Mozzato. The 25 year-old sprinted to five top 10 finishes in his first Tour last year, with B&B Hotels-KTM. The Belgian Jenthe Biermans can act as a sprint lead-out, but also has the speed to place himself in a sprint.
In the high mountains it is mainly Warren Barguil. The 31-year-old Frenchman, winner of the polka dot jersey in 2017, rode the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. In the Italian race he had a few places of honour and so is out for revenge in his home race. Clément Champoussin and Matis Louvel complete the selection.
Arkéa-Samsic for the Tour de France:
Arkéa banking on Barguil:
Israel – Premier Tech Celebrates Israel with Special Tour de France Jersey
Israel – Premier Tech will line up at the Tour de France in a special edition jersey to shine the spotlight on Israeli tourism on the global cycling stage.
The design is inspired by the Israel National Trail, the walking and bike trail that runs from Kibbutz Dan in the North to Eilat in the South and showcases Israel’s most exotic landscapes. The Trail covers more than one thousand kilometres of terrain and is marked by three stripes; white representing Mt Hermon in the north, blue representing Israel’s coastline, and orange representing the desert in the south.
The special edition jersey, designed by Élie Desgreniers of Premier Tech and produced by EKOÏ, adopts the colours of the Trail markings and features the Trail map on the front of the jersey to create a fresh and striking design which is set to stand out in the peloton.
Sylvan Adams, IPT owner: “Since moving to Israel, I have taken on the role of ‘Self-appointed ambassador, at large, for Israel’. With our jersey displaying the Israel National Trail, I am hoping that this special path, that links up many of Israel’s truly exceptional attractions, will generate interest amongst the hundreds of millions of cycling fans around the world that tune into the Tour, leading to actual tourist visits to Israel. They won’t be disappointed, as Israel is a marvel of ancient and modern, both the cradle of civilisation, and cutting edge healthcare, technology, agriculture, and environmental science.”
“I consider our entire team and each of our riders to be ambassadors for the home country. To that end, we host an annual team bonding and tourism camp to introduce Israel to our team. Finally, I wish to thank the Israeli Ministries of Tourism and Culture and Sport for their confidence and support.”
Mike Woods: “I think the jersey looks really cool and we’re going to be turning heads at the Tour. I think it’s a really special kit and the Israel Trail inspired theme is something pretty interesting to me in particular as I have visited Israel already and thought the country was very cool. I had a really good time there, and just being able to explore the region was really interesting, not just from a fun perspective but also culturally, so I’m really looking forward to going back in the fall.”
Ido Shavit, Cycling Academy CEO: “Our Tour de France jersey is a celebration of Israeli tourism and by focusing on the Israel Trail, which runs through the heart of the country, Israel – Premier Tech will shine the spotlight on the extraordinary and diverse landscapes and must-see destinations in Israel. From Masada to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Negev Desert, we are inviting our fans to explore Israel throughout the Tour de France, where we hope our riders will stand out in this special jersey.”
New jersey for the Tour:
2023 Canadian Road Championships (Elite/JR/Para) Pack in the Action
Canada’s brightest junior, elite and para talents converged in Edmonton, AB, from June 23-26 for their chance at one of 30 coveted titles at the 2023 Canadian Road Championships.
Individual Time Trials Set the Tone
Competition kicked off with the individual time trials on June 23, which saw a balance of returning and new Canadian Champions.
Maple leaf jerseys were awarded to eight para athletes, including Jessica Law in the women’s C1-5 category; Paralympian Michael Sametz (Team Alberta) in the men’s C1-5 category; Paralympian Shelley Gautier (Team Ontario) in the women’s T1-2 category; and Martin Duif in the women and men’s H1-2 category.
Lowell Taylor (Team Alberta), competing in the men’s B category, added another national title to his 2023 collection after winning the first-ever para Canadian Esports Champion title in February. Carla Shibley (Team Alberta) returned to take the crown in the women’s B category for a second year, and Équipe du Quebec’s Louis Albert Corriveau Jolin and Paralympian Charles Moreau improved on their second-place finishes from 2022 to win the Men T1-2 and Women & Men H3-5 categories, respectively.
Lowell Taylor and pilot Ed Veal top the Para Men B Time Trial podium.
The Juniors saw 2023 Canadian Track Champion Nora Linton (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step U19 Team) claim the women’s time trial title, while Matthew Ney (Red Truck Racing P/B Mosaic Homes) was first to stop the clock for the men. U23 men’s gold went to Michael Leonard (INEOS Grenadiers), while the women’s top spot went to Ngaire Barraclough for the second year running.
The Elite podium saw defending champions Paula Findlay and Derek Gee (Israel – Premier Tech), a month off of his impressive performance at the Giro d’Italia, successfully maintain their titles.
“This is really important to me, I put all my focus on this,” said Olympic triathlete Findlay of the win in front of her hometown crown. “Last year, I didn’t know what to expect and this year, I think I was a little more prepared with training for it specifically… I just race in triathlons so kind of learning still but it was really hard but also fun. I love this kind of racing where I can just go hard, cross the line and be done and not do a run so it was a good, hard day.”
Hometown Heroes Put on a Show in Road Races
The following day featured the Para and Junior road races. After conquering the time trials, Sametz (Men MC1-3), Duif (Men MH1-2), Gautier (Women WT1), Taylor (Men MB) and Shibley (Women WB) found themselves winning back-to-back titles in their respective road race categories. They were joined in the history books by Men MC4 Champion Piotr Czyzowicz (Équipe du Quebec), who reclaimed the title after his win in 2021, and Men MT1-2 Champion, Paralympian Nathan Clement.
Joey Desjardins, who won the men’s MH3-5 category, commented, “Winning the national title in the road race reinforces all the hard work I put in over the nine years since my first attendance at nationals. It’s a good feeling to trust in one’s ability and to take it home!”
Ethan Powell (Team Ontario) led the way for Junior men, building off of his winning experience at the 2023 Canadian Track Championships. Alexandra Volstad (Team Alberta), who also has Canadian Track Championships to her name from 2022, took home top honours for the women riding alongside teammates from her province: “The team was huge, they’re my best friends and I love racing with them locally so it feels pretty special to race with them at the national level.”
Alexandra Volstad wins the Junior women’s road race.
Track star Sarah Van Dam (DNA Pro Cycling Team) finished first in the women’s U23; her counterpart on the men’s side was Philippe Jacob (Team Ecoflo Chronos).
Elite athletes had their shot at a national road race title on June 25. For the men, it was Nickolas Zukowsky (Q36.5 Pro Cycling) who emerged victorious, while Alison Jackson (EF Education – TIBCO – SVB), winner of Paris-Roubaix Femmes earlier this year, captured the maple leaf jersey for the women. She said, “We don’t have so many races in my home province and to have all my family here, it’s definitely a special feeling. I’m just really happy to get to represent Canada with this jersey all year. When you can put on a great show and a great bike race for your friends, family and fans, that’s what it’s all about.”
Final Push in the Criterium
Four days of hard racing for Juniors and Elites concluded on June 26 with the criterium. Linton asserted her dominance in the Junior women’s category, while the men’s title went to 2023 Canadian Esports Champion, Patrick Harris (Ignite Junior Cycling).
Elite athletes closed the event, with Holly Simonson (LA Sweat) and Alec Cowan (Legion of LA) taking home the final two gold medals in the women’s and men’s races, respectively. Both riders had made it onto the 2022 criterium podium, but 2023 saw them earn the top step for the first time.
Alec Cowan gives his all to take home the Elite men’s criterium title.
The full list of results can be found here. Next up on the Canadian Championships calendar is the Canadian Road Championships for Masters and the Canadian BMX Championships, which will both be held from June 29-July 2 in Quebec. The full calendar of national events can be found on the Cycling Canada website.
Nine Medals for BORA – hansgrohe on National Championships Weekend
In Germany, the Road Race Championships took place on a tough 215km circuit between Donaueschingen and Bad Dürrheim. With a solo escape over 75km, Emanuel Buchmann secured the jersey for the second time in his career. Nico Denz took second and Maximilian Schachmann placed third, making for an all BORA – hansgrohe podium.
Friday, Nils Politt took the jersey of the German champion in the time trial, with Maximilian Schachmann finishing third.
In Austria, victory in the time trial went to Patrick Gamper, who also secured the silver medal in the road race. At the championships in Ireland, Ryan Mullen took the victory in the time trial, with Sam Bennett finishing third in the road race.
Result: Road Race (Germany)
01 E. Buchmann 5:04:43
02 N. Denz +1:03
03 M. Schachmann +1:26
Result: Time Trial (Germany)
01 N. Politt 38:52
02 M. Heidemann +0:11
03 M. Schachmann +0:15
Result: Time Trial (Austria)
01 P. Gamper 24:24
02 F. Ritzinger +0:02
03 M. Vermeulen +0:06
Result: Time Trial (Ireland)
01 R. Mullen 37:04
02 B. Healy +0:08
03 G. Peden +0:34
From the Finish Line:
“I’m extremely happy today! In recent years it hasn’t always been easy, but the title now definitely gives me tailwind and confidence. My form seems to be very good, I’m now looking forward to the Tour de France in the champion’s jersey.” – Emanuel Buchmann
“I had a really good day, the race timing and rhythm were perfect – it was definitely one of my best time trials. I’m very happy with how it went, I was close a few times in the past, yet it was never quite enough.” – Nils Politt.
“I’m very happy to have won the title! I had been trying for a while and came close several times. It’s my home race, I’ve been racing here since I was a teenager, so I knew the course well. In the end it was pretty close, but luckily it was enough for the jersey this year.” – Patrick Gamper.
“I’m really pleased to have won the time trial title. To be honest, I was a little bit nervous as I wasn’t quite sure if my form was where it needed to be. It was a bit tricky to gauge in terms of pacing, and in the end I just went full gas and hung on. Ultimately it paid off, only by eight seconds, but it was still enough to take the win, and I’m really happy to be able to wear the jersey again.” – Ryan Mullen.
“We are very pleased with our total of nine medals this championship weekend. The German Championship in particular showed that our numerical advantage helped us a lot to dominate the race. Emanuel Buchmann proved with his long solo escape that his form is definitely right up there ahead of the Tour de France. Congratulations also to Nils Politt, Ryan Mullen and Patrick Gamper for the time trial titles.” – Rolf Aldag, Sports Director.
UAE Team Emirates Dominate National Championships with Hirschi, Oliveira and Pogačar Crowned Champions
Three gold medals for Emirati squad
UAE Team Emirates had a day to remember as three of its riders clinched victories in their respective national championships. Ivo Oliveira, Marc Hirschi, and Tadej Pogačar all put in great performances to take home national road titles.
Ivo Oliveira, the talented Portuguese rider, was first to strike as he demonstrated his prowess by securing the Portuguese National Championship title with his twin brother Rui Oliveira close behind in 2nd place.
Oliveira: “It was a really hard race and we were marked really closely. After 5km I went in the breakaway and did 170km as a small group. The decisive move was at 70km to go when Rui attacked and then when they pulled him back I went full gas on the climb. It was super special to win here and to have the jersey for a year. Massive thanks to my teammates Rui and Joao and all my team for believing in me.”
Another triumph came shortly after from Swiss talent Marc Hirschi, who was victorious in the Swiss National Championships.
Hirschi: “I’m really happy and proud to take this title. It was a hard fought race but I could use my kick to get away in the final and make the difference. Today I had all day in my mind someone special who we lost recently. I dedicate this win to my friend Gino.”
Last but certainly not least, Tadej Pogačar, the two-time Tour de France champion, once again demonstrated his extraordinary talent by taking the Slovenian National Championship to add to his time-trial title secured earlier in the week.
Pogačar: “The team and I decided to make a selection at the very beginning of the race to reduce the bunch a bit. It became quite selective and the World Tour riders came to the front. When I attacked it was still a long way to go. Every kilometre Luka (Mezgec) and I asked ourselves if this was wise just the two of us but we collaborated well. In the end we succeeded and I am very happy for this victory. It’s a nice boost ahead of the Tour next week.”
The victories of Oliveira, Hirschi, and Pogačar in their respective national championships highlight the exceptional diverse talent within UAE Team Emirates.
Juan Ayuso came close to making it a fourth national title as he took silver in the Spanish Championships in Madrid.
Looking ahead, the team will now turn their attention to the Tour de France which begins in Bilbao on Monday.
Swiss NC results
1.Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) 3:40:43
2.Antoine Debons (Philippe Wagner cycling) +1’’
3.Simon Pellaud (Tudor Pro Cycling) +2’’
Portuguese NC results
1.Ivo Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) 4:16:19
2.Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) +1’06’’
3.Luis Gomes (Kelly/Simoldes) +1’15’’
Slovenian NC results
1.Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 3:51:12
2.Luka Mezgec (Jayco-Alula) +38’’
3.Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) +4’56’’
Pogačar Slovenian champion:
Nick Zukowsky Wins the Canadian Elite Men’s Road National Championship
Nick Zukowsky won the 2023 Canadian Elite Men’s Road National Championship title this Sunday, June 25th in Edmonton, Canada. It was the first victory as a pro for the 25-year-old, who earlier in the week claimed the runner-up place in the Canadian Elite Men’s TT race.
The 216km race consisted of 20 laps of an urban circuit in Edmonton and was marred by an early crash that took out several riders. After multiple attacks a group of 12 riders eventually broke clear, amongst them Zukowksy, who had been racing attentive and featuring in multiple moves. Going into lap 5 a chase group that included Derek Gee bridged across and the lead pack grew to 20 riders.
After an attritional four laps, 10 riders, including Zukowsky, found themselves at the front with a gap of around 40 seconds on a chase group that included Gee and defending champion Pier-André Côté. The decisive move happened with four laps to go, around 40km to the finish, when Zukowsky attacked with two other riders.
Fresh off a great Tour de Suisse performance, a race where he wore the KOM jersey for two stages, Zukowsky launched the winning move in the final lap to claim an emphatic solo victory in 4h52, 18 seconds ahead of Philippe Jacob who took the U23 title.
“I’m really, really happy with this win. It wasn’t easy being out there by myself in such a competitive field of riders. I was really aggressive and went in a lot of breakaways. It was a long race, 216km, and being used to racing those distances in Europe I took advantage of that. With four laps to go, around 40km to go, I made a really strong attack and got away with two other riders. I dropped the last one near the finish and won solo, which was insane! I’m incredibly happy and looking forward to wearing the Canadian national champion jersey throughout the next year. I can’t wait to see the design Q36.5 comes up with,” said Zukowsky after the win.
It was the first victory as a pro and the first Elite National Champion title for 25-year-old Zukowsky who also took the silver in the Canadian Elite Men’s TT race.
This is the first National Champion title for Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. However, earlier in the year, 20-year-old Travis Stedman, from Q36.5 Continental Team, won the South African Elite Men’s Road National Championship.
Nickolas Zukowsky winning the 2023 Canadian Elite Men’s Road National Championship:
Eight Medal Tally for Bahrain Victorious Over Nationals Week
Bahrain Victorious riders won 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals at the National Championships this week, and all of them dedicated their successes to the memory of Gino Mäder.
The sweetest and most hard-fought was probably also the latest: just before 7pm on Sunday 25th Fred Wright crossed the finish line solo in Saltburn Bank in the UK to become British champion.
The 24-year-old rider, who was one of several attackers in the finale, and dropped his last two rivals, James Knox (Soudal – Quick Step) and Stephen Williams (Israel Premier Tech) up Brotton climb to claim his first title after finishing second two years ago. It was also his much sought-after debut professional win.
“I still can’t believe it, to be honest”, Wright commented after dedicating his triumph to his late teammate Gino Mäder. “I’m so pleased to get that first win – it’s like a monkey off my back really, and to be able to wear the national stripes for the next year is so, so special. And for the rest of my career, I’ll have a little GB logo on my jersey as well.”
“It was such a hard course with a lot of short, steep climbs, but my legs were exactly where they need to be before the tour. On top of that, to be able to dedicate a victory to Gino, it was an emotional one as well. What a day, what a day!”
Wright’s outstanding shape had also brought him a silver medal. On Tuesday, he was on the podium of the British national Time Trial, setting the second fastest time behind Joshua Tarling (Ineos Grenadiers).
Alongside the British Champion’s jersey, the Bahrain roster will see the Serbian jersey again, as Dušan Rajovic made it 3 in a row and 5 in total at the National Road Championships in Serbia: “It’s the third time in a row. I am happy that the jersey will stay on my shoulders for one more year and keep my beautiful custom Merida in the WorldTour peloton”.
From road race to time trial, the other rider who retained his National title is Fran Miholjević, who won the Croatian National ITT on Thursday.
“I’m proud to have defended my ITT national title!” said Miholjević after his win. “It was a hot day and difficult to find my rhythm, but I did a good time trial and a good performance, and I’m happy to wear the jersey for one more year!”
Two medals were won in Poland by Filip Maciejuk, who took a brilliant second place in the road race, and Kamil Gradek, who claimed the bronze medal in the time trial, with his teammate Filip in 4th.
Bahrain celebrated two more bronze medals: in Japan, Yukiya Arashiro took third in the Time Trial, and in Slovenia, Matej Mohorič crossed the line in 3rd place ahead of his teammate Matevz Govekar. Tadej Pogačar (UAE), the world number 1, won the race.
It was a very successful ‘Nationals week’ for the team, and we look forward to seeing our riders wear their home countries’ colours with pride alongside the Team Bahrain Victorious logo for the coming year. Congratulations to all who performed so well representing themselves & the team; and of course, riding for Gino.
GB Championship podium:
Valter and Hagenes Win National Titles in Hungary and Norway
Attila Valter has won the Hungarian national championship for the second time. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma finished solo after a prolonged attack and now has both Hungarian jerseys after winning the time trial earlier in the week. Per Strand Hagenes took the Norwegian U23 title.
“I rode almost the whole race alone”, a proud Valter said. He kept Márton Dina two and a half minutes behind. “When the group behind me started to speed up, I could also accelerate. My last companion was dropped at that point. The group behind me thought I would collapse towards the end, but I was able to keep a good pace throughout the race. It’s extraordinary to win both the time trial and the road race.”
Valter knew it was not going to be an easy race. “It’s always difficult to race a national championship without your teammates. I think I was smart and showed that I have made progress. The average speed was four kilometres per hour higher than last year. I have gained much experience at Team Jumbo-Visma this season, and I have noticed that I have more power. I am happy about that.”
In Norway, the U23s and professionals raced at the same time. Hagenes finished ninth overall, the first U23 rider to do so. He was satisfied. “It was a nice race. Uno-X had 15 riders at the start, so Johannes Staune-Mittet and I knew it would be tough. At the beginning, we tried to put some pressure on the favourites. Unfortunately, I crashed six laps from the end, and it took a lot of energy to get back.”
“After the crash, we shifted our focus from the overall to the U23 championship because the competition was too strong”, the nineteen-year-old Strand Hagenes continued. “Luckily, we managed to take the jersey. Hopefully, Johannes and I will be strong enough next year to win the professional category.”
For Valter it was his second victory of the season, for Hagenes his fourth. After this weekend and with the Dutch and Hungarian titles with the pros, the counter of the WorldTour team stands at 42 victories, for the Development Team at ten.
Valter takes the Hungarian title:
Eight Medals for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty
During the weekend of national championships, eight medals were won by the riders of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and Circus-ReUz-Technord, a record for the structure.
After the successes of Rein Taaramäe (Estonia) and Aklilu Arefayne (Eritrea) during the week, the Dutch young woman Lauren Molengraaf added a bronze medal in the junior race on Saturday morning.
Later that day, Francesco Busatto offered Circus-ReUz-Technord a prestigious title by becoming Italian champion U23 in the road race, in a sprint with two ahead of Luca Cretti. After two brilliant successes in Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 and the Orlen Nations Grand Prix, the future rider of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty achieved the first ever national road title for the team directed by Kévin van Melsen.
In the pro category, Lorenzo Rota flirted with the title, as he became vice champion of Italy for the second consecutive year in a row on the challenging circuit in Comano Terme. From a leading group of four with 40 kilometres to go, the rider from Bergamo left all his breakaway companions behind on the Cravasto climb (5.6km at 5%). Even though he was caught by six chasers, he sprinted to second place behind Simone Velasco after nine laps or 227 kilometre in the heat.
In Eritrea, Aklilu Arefayne realised an impressive performance at the age of only nineteen. The rider of Circus-ReUz-Technord chased the breakaway during the whole race until he managed to join the leaders in the final and sprint for the title. As he crossed the finish line of the elite race in fifth place, he added the bronze medal in the U23 category to his gold (U23) and bronze (elite) in the time trial.
The seven times winner of the national time trial championship in Estonia, Rein Taaramäe, also won the bronze medal in the road race of the Baltic Championship, a race in which all riders from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia race for their national titles. The climber was present in the breakaway all day this Sunday and finished as third rider from Estonia. His teammate Madis Mihkels won the sprint for fifth place in the first chasing group.
The World Team finished in the top ten in three other countries this Sunday. Against the numbers of Uno-X, with eight riders in the top ten, Sven Erik Bystrøm almost managed to win a medal by finishing fourth in Norway. Mike Teunissen punctured on a crucial moment in the race with around 20 kilometer to go and finished tenth in The Netherlands. In Germany, Georg Zimmermann obtained his fifth top ten in six participations by crossing the line in eighth place.
In the race for the Belgian title, a contingent of twelve riders of the Walloon structure was present to defend the chances of Gerben Thijssen. By sending Baptiste Planckaert and then Aimé De Gendt and Dries De Pooter on the attack in the hill zone around Kemmel, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty didn’t have to take responsibility in the peloton until the local laps. Despite the efforts of the group, a breakaway managed to escape in the final 20 kilometer. Thijssen won the sprint of the peloton and finished eleventh.
Francesco Busatto: “In the Giro Next Gen I didn’t manage to realise my dream of winning a stage. But this title of Italian champion changes everything. This is incredible. The parcours was very difficult, but not insurmountable for a rider with my characteristics. As I only had Alessio Delle Vedove as a teammate, a pure sprinter, and didn’t feel fully recovered of the Giro Next Gen yet, I focused on following attacks in the beginning of the race. That’s how I got in the lead with a group of ten riders. The situation was not ideal for me, as other teams were well represented. I saw that my competitors started to suffer, so I benefited from that to accelerate on the climb with two laps to go. Luca Cretti and me quickly made a difference so we worked well together until the finish, where I won the title in a sprint. I will now start a rest and training period and I can’t wait to wear my new kit in my last races in the U23 category. I want to feel which emotions it brings. This title makes me dream of my professional debut, I have the ambition to race with Lorenzo Rota for the title in the elite category from next year.”
Lorenzo Rota: “For the first time in months, I finally had the good feeling I have been working for so hard. This inspired me to adopt audacious tactics and try with an early attack. Even though unfortunately not many riders followed me, we managed to resist well to the chasers. I reached the top of the final climb alone, 20 seconds ahead of six chasers. Maintaining the gap was impossible because of the headwind after the top. Once I was caught, I followed the group to give everything in the sprint, which resulted in second place. In contrary to last year, when I had the feeling I didn’t achieve the best possible result, I have given everything this time so I have to be satisfied with this silver medal. After the race, I called Francesco Busatto to congratulate him with his title in the U23 category. I’m very proud and happy for my young teammate and I’m already looking forward to race for the title with him next year. Now I will take some rest and train for my return in competition in the Tour de Wallonie. I have the ambition to conquer a selection in the national team for the World Championship in Glasgow.”
Rein Taaramäe: “I was very well prepared for the time trial with the Critérium du Dauphiné in the legs and then taking some time to do specific training sessions on the time trial bike. I also received a lot of support of the team with my equipment, for example to study the optimal pressure of my Continental GP5000 TT tires. I had good legs and managed to win my seventh title with an advantage of 2 minutes. The road race of the Baltic championships is always a very open race because not one team has a numerical superiority and we race for three different titles. Madis and I established a plan because we really wanted him to win the title. Usually there is an early breakaway. We wanted to make it difficult for the other sprinters, so I joined the group. The rhythm was very high, everyone was tired in the final. In the leading group we averaged 47 kilometer per hour. That’s why the peloton never managed to come back. It is a pity that our plan didn’t work out but I’m happy that I offered the team a second medal.”
Peter Sagan Loses his Driving License for Three Months After a Drunken Scooter Ride
Peter Sagan has been sentenced by the court of Monaco to a three months suspended prison sentence and has lost his driving license for three months, Monaco Matin reports. The Slovak sprinter of TotalEnergies was arrested on the scooter on the morning of May 12. The alcohol content in his blood exceeded the legal limit.
The early time of the offence suggests that Sagan had a fun party the night before. The Slovak confirmed it. According to Sagan, he had been out until three the night before and had an appointment with a friend the next morning. When he got up he was still drunk. Nevertheless, he decided to get on the scooter.
The Public Prosecution Service points out that the well-known sprinter has an exemplary record and that the court must take this into account. Sagan will start the Tour de France on July 1.
No more drunk scootering for Sagan:
Danny van Poppel Extends with BORA – hansgrohe
The 29-year-old Dutchman will remain with BORA – hansgrohe for the long term. In recent years, Danny van Poppel has proven that he is one of the best lead-out riders in the peloton, and he will continue to play this role in the team.
Danny remarks about the extension: “I am very happy and also proud that I’ve been able to extend my contract with BORA – hansgrohe. I have ridden for different teams in the past, but I finally feel that I have found the perfect team, both for me as a rider and as a person. My teammates and the team staff provide me with an excellent environment. I’m also grateful that the team has given me the chance to develop as a lead-out rider, and I think I’m now at a very high level thanks to that trust. I can’t wait to continue on this path together with the team.”
Team Manager Ralph Denk comments, “Danny has become a permanent fixture in our team. Currently, he is likely the best lead-out rider in the peloton, but for us he is also an important all-rounder and a leader. Many of our riders can benefit from his experience and with him in the lead-out, every sprinter becomes better. So there was no question that we wanted to keep Danny at BORA – hansgrohe and I am glad that we have achieved this. This extension is an important cornerstone of our squad planning for the coming years.”
Van Poppel to stay with BORA-hansgrohe:
Movistar Team Ready to Defend Title at 2023 Giro d’Italia Donne
Telefónica-backed squad with last year’s winner Van Vleuten, Lippert as biggest names in strong roster for Italian grandtour (Friday 30th June – Sunday 9th July)
The early days of July bring a dual Grand Tour challenge for the Movistar Team. Together with the men’s Tour de France, which starts from Bilbao on Saturday -the Telefónica-backed squad having already announced their lineup-, comes the 34th edition of the Giro d’Italia Donne (UCI WWT), departing on Friday from Chianciano Terme (Siena, Tuscany) with an individual time trial.
Three-time winner and 2022 title holder Annemiek van Vleuten spearheads a strong Blue lineup, which also includes Liane Lippert, Paula Patiño, Floortje Mackaij, Sara Martín, Aude Biannic and Sheyla Gutiérrez. Jorge Sanz and Jürgen Roelandts will be the sports directors for the Sebastián Unzué-
With no long, combined ascents yet always on tough terrain, the Giro Donne 2023 will offer, together with the short ITT opener (4km) in Chianciano, four decisive, mid-mountain stages. Saturday 1st July (stage two) will see the riders take on the Passo della Colla (Cat-2) before the finish in Marradi; on Tuesday 4th (stage five), 2,500 meters of elevation gain will be covered in just 105km; and on the 5th and 6th (stages six / seven), two consecutive hill-top finishes to Canelli and Alassio will decide the GC outcome.
Team Jayco AlUla Line-Up for the Giro d’Italia Donne with Strength in Depth
Team Jayco AlUla has named its ‘complete’ squad for the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, starting on Friday, 30th June in Chianciano.
Basque rider Ane Santesteban will lead the the well-rounded seven-rider team in the general classification fight alongside a young and hungry support group, eager to take their opportunities in Italy.
Italian sprinter Letizia Paternoster will start her first ever Giro d’Italia on home roads, with the 23-year-old excited to take her chance in the fast finishes throughout the nine days of racing.
Australian all-rounder Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Norwegian climber Ingvild Gåskjenn will also make their Giro debuts, with the duo set to be key players across the varied terrain.
Letizia Paternoster: “For the first time in my career, I will be at the start of the women’s Giro d’Italia. There are still a few days to go, but I am already very excited about the idea.
I think I have prepared well, including a training period at high altitude in Livigno, and I feel I have good conditioning and for sure very high morale! Looking at this year’s course, I saw that it won’t be easy for us sprinters but there will certainly be opportunities.”
Fight for Pink
The first Maglia Rosa of the 2023 edition will be decided with a short and flat prologue and the team lines up for the opening day in Chianciano with fond memories after taking the pink jersey on day one in 2022.
Georgia Baker took second place that day, and the Australian will be back in action on Italian roads, looking for another strong start, as she takes on her second Giro Donne.
Brent Copeland – General Manager: “Once again the time has come for the women’s Giro d’Italia. We still have in mind last year’s successful edition with the first pink jersey in Cagliari and victory on the Queen Stage.
We will be at the start with a tested and well-balanced team that will certainly be able to achieve results on Italian roads. Our thanks go as always to all our sponsors and partners and particularly to our team owner Gerry Ryan, for the extraordinary support he continuously shows towards the team.”
The opening road stages feature a number of categorised climbs where in-form Slovenian time trial champion Urška Žigart will look to show her prowess on the ascents.
Nina Kessler will provide vital experience, with the Dutch rider able to provide valuable knowledge for her young and hungry teammates.
Martin Vestby – Sport Director: “We are really excited about the Giro this year and our riders are looking forward to an interesting course with stages that can give opportunities to multiple rider types.
Ane Santesteban, who has a lot of experience having raced the Giro Donne nine times already, will be our GC hope with a strong team supporting her ambitions. We have seen some strong performances in the recent races and there are multiple options for stage results that suit our complete team.”
Team Jayco AlUla at the 2023 Giro d’Italia Donne:
Georgia Baker (AUS) – 2nd appearance
Ingvild Gåskjenn (NOR) – 1st appearance
Nina Kessler (NED) – 4th appearance
Letizia Paternoster (ITA) – 1st appearance
Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS) – 1st appearance
Ane Santesteban (ESP) – 10th appearance
Urška Žigart (SLO) – 4th appearance
Team Jayco AlUla’s Team Stats:
Youngest rider: Letizia Paternoster (23)
Oldest rider: Nina Kessler (34)
Giro Donne debutants: Gåskjenn, Roseman-Gannon & Paternoster (3x)
Most Giro d’Italia appearances: Ane Santesteban (9x)
Canyon//SRAM Racing’s all-rounder squad for the Giro d’Italia Donne
Canyon//SRAM Racing lines up for the 34th edition of the Giro d’Italia Donne with a strong roster of all-rounders. Fresh from national titles on the road and time trial, Chloé Dygert will join Australian rider Neve Bradbury, who last year finished tenth on the general classification. The pair will race alongside the experience of Soraya Paladin, Pauliena Rooijakkers and Sarah Roy, and the 20-year-old rising star Antonia Niedermaier, who makes her Giro debut. The seven-rider squad is led by road captain Tiffany Cromwell, herself a three-time stage winner in 2012, 2016 and 2019.
This year’s edition covers a mix of terrain in nine stages over ten days, starting with a short 4km ITT stage in Chianciano Terme on Friday, 30 June. With undulating stages and a blend of sprint and uphill finishes, the general classification will be battled every day from Toscana to Sardegna. The queen stage, on paper, is the fifth stage, with the peloton racing up Pian del Lupo, titled the Cima Coppi (highest peak of the Giro). The category one climb comes early in the stage, with still close to 80km to the finish line. Stage 7 in Liguria is set to also light up the eyes of the climbers with over 2000m of elevation for the 110km, including an uphill finish in Alassio.
Cromwell says, “I’m looking forward to my 14th Giro. It wasn’t on my calendar last year, which was one of the first times in my career I haven’t raced in Italy in July. Racing in Sardinia for the last two stages will be new territory for me, and I’m excited to see what it’s like. As a team, we’re looking forward to the different opportunities each stage brings and taking chances when they are there. We have a strong team for all types of terrain, and I think we can challenge on every stage for victories and for the overall GC.”
Dygert says, “I’m excited to race my first Giro! I feel blessed to have won both national titles, and I’m looking forward to wearing the new stars and stripe kit this week in Italy. My main focus is on preparing as best I can for the world championships in August, and the Giro is going to help me do that. We have a strong team here, with a mix of strengths, and we aim to win stages and go for the GC.”
Team SD Worx heading to Giro Donne with Multiple Goals
“We have a nice mix of experience and talent at the start”
In the Giro Donne, Team SD Worx wants to continue the good performances of the first months of this season. Lorena Wiebes, Niamh Fisher-Black, Blanka Vas, Elena Cecchini, Barbara Guarischi, Femke Markus and Anna Shackley will be at the start in Italy. The goals are multiple. Team SD Worx not only wants to go for stage wins but, with Niamh Fisher-Black, also hopes for a good overall ranking. “We will be able to race freely. Hopefully that will result in at least one stage win,” says team manager Anna van der Breggen.
Anna van der Breggen: “Coming to the start with several goals”
“In the Giro Donne we are not starting with one outspoken leading rider,” says team director Anna van der Breggen. “Of course we are aiming for stage wins with Lorena Wiebes and we hope Niamh Fisher-Black can ride a good general classification. But everyone will be able to go their own chance. That allows us to race freely. Elena Cecchini, Barbara Guarischi, Femke Markus and Blanka Vas can go their own way by sliding along in a group at the front. If it comes together again, we always have Lorena Wiebes behind it. For Anna Shackley, it will be a matter of getting back racing rhythm after a long knee injury. Niamh Fisher-Black can also aim for a stage, but her primary scope will be a good classification.”
“Not having Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky or Marlen Reusser at the start means a chance for those young girls to assess course situations themselves and help determine the race. You learn a lot from working for a leader, but in their development it is also good that they get chances for themselves for once and have to work together to achieve that goal. It’s an interesting mix at the start.”
Lorena Wiebes: “I am aiming for stage win”
“I have good experiences with the Giro Donne. I already won two stages in 2021, I like the atmosphere and the food is good. I’m going to Italy with a lot of motivation. I am aiming for stage wins. Even the prologue is already a goal of mine, although especially Sunday and Monday’s stage are marked in red. That is where the chances for a sprint are highest. I get a lot of confidence from the Dutch championships. The legs were good.”
“My first six months at Team SD Worx are over and I like it a lot. It almost feels like I’ve been here longer. I’ve already made a lot of progress with this team and I’m already looking forward to the rest of the season. With the Tour, hopefully the World Championship and the European Championship coming up, there are still important goals for me. I therefore need this Giro, combined with a training block, to be ready for what is yet to come.”
Niamh Fisher-Black: “I am aiming for a good final classification”
“I really wanted to ride the Giro. This stage race is best suited to me. It is always a challenging course with quite a lot of altimeters,” says Niamh Fisher-Black. “After my stage win in the Tour of Switzerland, I feel I have made strides the past weeks. For my development, it is important that now, for the first time, I also really make a goal of a final classification in a big tour myself.Last year I finished fifth in the Giro, having finished ninth the year before. I learnt a lot there. Not only physically, but also mentally. Now I want to start in the Giro with the pressure of being the spearhead for the GC on behalf of the team.”
“We are coming to the start with a nice team. We have a lot of different cards to play. It will be a matter of finding a good balance between the different goals.”
Giro d’Italia Donne – JUN 30 – JUL 09
Kelvin Dekker – Team DSM coach: “After a strong start to our season where we’ve rode aggressively and smartly as a group, riding to our strengths, we’re excited to head to the Giro d’Italia Donne and show ourselves on nine tough days of racing. For the race we have three goals: to go for the best possible GC result with Juliette as our finisher; hunt stage success in the sprints with Megan as our fast finisher; and to continue that aggressive and smart approach so we can create opportunities for ourselves on the other stages. We come into the event after some solid recent blocks of racing and training and are looking forward to showing ourselves in Italy. We expect it to be a tough race and there is a mix of challenging terrain throughout the event. Therefore, we need to be switched on as a team right from the beginning to get the most out of ourselves and each other.”
Francesca Barale (ITA)
Eleonora Ciabocco (ITA)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Becky Storrie (GBR)
Megan Jastrab to the Giro:
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