EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

World champion, Mads Pedersen, gets his new bike and jersey. Another Dane on the way back? Bjarne Riis – Top Story. Lots of race news from the GP Bruno Beghelli, La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic, Giro dell’Emilia, Tour de l’Eurométropole and the Münsterland Giro. Other cycling news: Mapei boss Giorgio Squinzi dies, Rohan Dennis to Ineos, Paris-Tours preview, rider contracts, Hammer Hong Kong cancelled, Vueltas Valencia and Andalucia in UCI ProSeries, Katusha in 2020, Roompot-Charles stop, Maxime Monfort becomes DS, Ineos new head of performance and Mads Pedersen’s jersey and bike full story. Monday EUROTRASH time!
TOP STORY: Bjarne Riis possible professional team (again)
Bjarne Riis still dreams of returning as a manager with a professional cycling team. Riis, who was at the helm of CSC, Saxo Bank and Tinkoff for many years, and recently Virtu and Waoo, may join a WorldTour or a ProContinental set-up, rumour has it, yet again.

Umbrella organisation Virtu Cycling Group, of which Riis is one of the owners, has given up hunting for a license for a new professional team, says CEO Anders Gram Simonsen in the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. “I cannot go into it any further, except that we are not looking for a license.” But it seems there is still ambition to be part of the professional peloton in the coming season; either WorldTour or ProContinental.

“We still think it makes sense to have a good cycling team next year. We are not yet ready to tell what we are working on and how things are going,” says Simonsen, who is also unable to confirm whether there are plans to take over an existing team. Simonsen does not show his hand in the interview, but that something is going on behind the scenes is reflected in his answers.

During the World championships in Yorkshire, there was a rumour that Riis would somehow collaborate with Dimension Data, the newspaper wrote. Simonsen reiterated: “There are many rumours and in principle we don’t comment on that. It is certain that when we are ready to announce something, we will do the same. There is still a feeling in the group that we have a good team next year. And it won’t be a continental team.”

Riis back in the big time?


GP Bruno Beghelli 2019
Sonny Colbrelli won the GP Bruno Beghelli on Sunday. The Italian Bahrain-Merida sprinter was the best of a leading group of seven after almost 200 kilometres of racing. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) sprinted to second place, ahead of Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott). Last year’s winner, Bauke Mollema, was also in the front group, but he could not defend his title.

Three riders went for the long break. Stepan Kuriyanov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Tommaso Fiaschi (Beltrami TSA-Hopplà-Petroli Firenze) and Emil Dima (Giotti Victoria Palomar) took a maximum lead of 10 minutes, but they were slowly pulled in.

The peloton was led by Bahrain-Merida and UAE Emirates. The climb to Zappolino was the highlight of the local laps in Monteveglio, but this was too hard for Fiaschi, leaving Kuriyanov and Dima out front. It turned out to be an impossible fight for the two, as they were caught 42 kilometres from the finish.

The 80 remaining riders entered the last three local circuits. At the Zappolino, it was George Bennett, Iván Ramiro Sosa and Julien Bernard who attacked the peloton. They were joined by Neilson Powless, Edoardo Affini, Hugo Houle and Gianni Moscon. The seven did not stay away for a long time as the peloton was soon on their tail.

Powless went solo on the final lap, with Bennett, Moscon and Houle behind with a small gap. They were caught and replaced by Guillaume Martin on the last climb of the Zappolino, but the French climber also had no chance. Seven kilometres from the finish, Alejandro Valverde, Sonny Colbrelli, 2018 winner Bauke Mollema, Jack Haig, David Gaudu, Iván Garcia and Guillaume Martin went to fight for the victory. It ended in a sprint, which was won by Colbrelli. This is the second time Colbrelli has won the Beghelli GP, the last time in 2015.

Race winner, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “The tactic in the final with Iván was perfect. Our tactics worked out well because we won. It was a very tough game with many attacks and counterattacks. We decided to take the initiative ourselves and get Iván Garcia to the finish. That succeeded and it also resulted in a victory for me and for the entire team. The tactic in the final with Iván was perfect. We took the race, because the team was in the lead from the start. So I had to pay back my teammates with a nice win.”

GP Bruno Beghelli Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
3. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
7. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First
10. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Beghelli’19:


La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic 2019
Dimitri Claeys won a hard-fought victory in the Famenne Ardenne Classic on Sunday. The Belgian Cofidis rider finished solo after a hectic final. Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles) was second and Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma) third. Future Lotto Soudal DS, Maxime Monfort, said goodbye to the professional peloton.

Mathieu van der Poel decided at the last minute to participate in the Famenne Ardenne Classic, and if MVDP rides, he wants to win. The Corendon-Circus leader decided to make the crossing to the break of the day on his own. He closed the 45 second gap and joined Stan Dewulf (Lotto Soudal), Rein Taaramäe (Total Direct Energy), Jonas Koch (CCC) and Szymon Rekita (Leopard).

The leading group with Van der Poel took a maximum lead of 2 minutes, but the peloton saw the danger in the reigning cyclocross World champion. The chase was mainly in the hands of Jumbo-Visma, with some help from Wanty-Gobert in the hilly part, so the lead dropped to 30 seconds.

The climbs of the Waha and the Côte de Roy proved too hard for Rekita, who was the only one to be dropped from the front group. Timo Roosen then attempted to make the crossing from the peloton, but Van der Poel was told of the move behind and jumped like a rocket from his fellow escapees.

The Dutchman rode solo for a short time and was then joined seven riders: Roosen, Taaramäe, Dewulf, Koch, Tom Van Asbroeck, Aimé De Gendt and Baptiste Planckaert. At the start of the last lap of 24 kilometres around Marche-en-Famenne, there was a general regrouping. Only Planckaert, De Gendt and Van Asbroeck were off the front.

On the last climb of the Côte de Roy the rain started to fall. Rémy Mertz, Baptiste Planckaert, Anthony Turgis and Dimitri Claeys had a lead on the peloton at the top of the Côte de Roy. The chase did not get underway and Lotto Soudal, who had Mertz up front, countered the attacks from the peloton.

There was no response to a move by Timo Roosen 6 kilometres from the finish line, but the Dutchman was unable to close the gap. Claeys, Turgis and Planckaert remained ahead in the final kilometres. When Claeys jumped on the opposite side of the road in the last kilometre, he took a gap and couldn’t be brought back.

The battle for second place was won by Planckaert, who won a game of poker with Turgis. Roosen managed to pass the Frenchman in the final metres, giving him third. Mathieu van der Poel won the sprint from what remained of the peloton ahead of Mike Teunissen.

La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic Result:
1. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis
2. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
3. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
5. Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Steven Lammertink (Ned) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
9. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Famenne Ardenne’19:


Giro dell’Emilia 2019
Primoz Roglic won the Giro dell’Emilia in an impressive manner on Saturday. The Slovenian Jumbo-Visma rider got rid of his competitors as he entered the final kilometre on the final climb to San Luca and crossed the finish line solo. The winner of the Vuelta a España stepped onto the highest step of the podium for the twelfth time this season.

The climb of San Luca, which had to be climbed five times along the way, was familiar territory for Roglic. Earlier this year, he won the Giro d’Italia opening time trial on the steep climb and as a result, he conquered the pink leader’s jersey. For Team Jumbo-Visma, Roglic’s victory is the 49th victory of the season. Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma teammates proved to be very valuable again, because Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss, George Bennett and Antwan Tolhoek in particular showed themselves in the final.

The 29-year-old Slovenian will most likely end his season as the world’s number one, because due to his victory, Roglic strengthened his leading position in the rankings.

Race winner, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “The team did a great job today. We controlled the race from the start. On the local laps, we often participated in the attack and we caught the last attackers. In the end it was up to me to finish it off. To be honest, I didn’t have very good legs today. We can all be very happy with today’s result. This victory would not have been possible without my teammates. The last time I climbed San Luca, I won and today I win again. I think it’s a nice place here. I will start in Tre Valli Varesine next Tuesday, and then finish my season in Il Lombardia.”

Giro dell’Emilia Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 5:08:08
2. Michael Woods (Can) Ef Education First at 0:14
3. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) Ef Education First
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:16
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:23
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
9. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos at 0:27
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:31.

Giro dell’Emilia’19:


Tour de l’Eurométropole 2019
The victory in the Eurométropole Tour went, surprisingly to Piet Allegaert. The 24-year-old Belgian from the Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise team sprinted in ahead of Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) in Tournai. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step team took control of the Eurométropole Tour on Saturday, but finished without the win.

At 70 kilometres from the finish, The Wolfpack was one of the initiators of a split, which caused 30 riders to escape. The favourites were Alvaro José Hodeg, Florian Sénéchal, Oliver Naesen, Jasper Stuyven and Edward Theuns. Mads Pedersen, the world champion, was a notable absentee as he had abandoned from the race. Deceuninck – Quick-Step held the leading group together, looking for a sprint victory from Hodeg. A few escape attempts were pulled back, after which a compact leading group started the last kilometre.

Steimle made a do-or-die attempt to go for the victory, but the German was not given and space. The gap was closed and the peloton went into the last corner. This bend was disaster for Hodeg, who crashed against the fence. The Colombian was taken to hospital by ambulance. In the sprint; all eyes were on Sénéchal and Stuyven, but in the final metres Allegaert surprisingly took a wheel length, the Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise rider stayed ahead of the rest to win the Eurométropole Tour.

Multiple injuries for Hodeg
Following Saturday’s crash in the final kilometre of the Tour de l’Eurometropole, Alvaro Hodeg was taken to the hospital, where it was revealed that he has suffered a left forearm fracture, a right shoulder fracture and two fractured ribs. He will require operation on his shoulder, which will be performed in Belgium, on Sunday. Alvaro will continue to be monitored for signs of concussion overnight, but is in stable and comfortable condition. Now in his second season with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Hodeg has enjoyed an impressive campaign, winning seven races, his most recent victory coming earlier this week, at the Münsterland Giro.

Race winner, Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise): “I cannot express in words how I feel. I am very affected by this victory. I had good legs, our leading group persisted and a sprint was then inevitable. I had the chance to ride on the right side of the road before cutting the last corner. On the left there was a crash that I did not see. I just gave everything to the finish. I am not a real sprinter, but I still beat Sénéchal and Stuyven!”

Tour de l’Eurométropole Result:
1. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 3:47:50
2. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
5. Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Emils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie Bruxelles
7. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
8. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus
9. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
10. Aksel Nõmmela (Est) Wallonie Bruxelles.

Tour de l’Eurométropole’19 – Click for big picture:


Münsterland Giro 2019
Deceuninck – Quick-Step on top again, in one of the last races of the year. Four days after taking part in one of the most brutal World Championships in history, 23-year-old Colombian Alvaro Hodeg clocked up his seventh victory of the season, at the Münsterland Giro, where until today no rider from outside of Europe had triumphed.

The 14th edition of the German race (193.3km) kicked off bathed in sunshine, but turned into a rain-lashed race as kilometres ticked by, with the harsh conditions and cold temperatures leaving their mark over peloton, which lost many riders over the hilly part of the course.

The real action commenced some 80 kilometres from the finish, when a couple of riders exploded away from the others, hoping to decimate the field before a real chase could be organised. Deceuninck – Quick-Step shut down that move, just as they later nullified an attack of Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) thanks to Mikkel Honoré. This series of acceleration spelled the end of the break’s adventure, the quintet getting reeled in long before the local laps in Münster, Germany’s most bike-friendly city.

Once things calmed down and rain abated, the same Honoré took the front together with teammate and countryman Kasper Asgreen, and dully controlled the race, with other teams chipping in as the finish line was getting closer and closer. With 20 kilometres to go, Brian Van Goethem (Lotto-Soudal) launched an attack which ended up putting quite the pressure on the pack, who reeled him in under the flamme rouge.

Piloted by the excellent Jannik Steimle and Florian Sénéchal, Alvaro Hodeg emerged at the front in the driving rain some 500 meters from the line and waited for the last 150 meters to kick out, blasting to the line and delivering a pitch-perfect sprint, which saw him hold off the charge of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hasngrohe) on the slippery roads of Münster.

Race winner, Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We knew the race would be hard on the climbs, because many teams didn’t have a sprinter here and wanted to break the peloton, but the boys protected me throughout the day. It was very cold, and this made it even more difficult, but I didn’t mind racing in the rain, as I like it. Going into the final, I remained focused and asked Florian and Jannik to make sure we’d be in the top 10 positions, and they did a superb job! I was confident and just did my sprint, and I’m glad I could repay the team for their hard work. It’s always special to win a race and I’m happy I could deliver another one for the Wolfpack as the season nears its conclusion.”

2nd Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We had a plan today and I think we could have pulled it off, but the race was made difficult due to the wet and cold weather. The guys rode at the head of the peloton and controlled the race well, and we prepared ourselves as well as possible for the final sprint under the conditions. However, they did a lot of work during the day and we didn’t have enough riders remaining in the end to achieve an optimal position in the finishing straight, and so I had to launch my sprint further back. I was also a bit boxed in and didn’t have a clear path until later on. In the end, I didn’t have enough left in the tank to pull past Hodeg, although it was very close. I’m in good form and so I’m a little disappointed with my second place, but that’s bike racing and you have to take these situations as they come.” – Pascal Ackermann

Münsterland Giro Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:26:38
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
4. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb
6. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Roy Jans (Bel) Corendon-Circus
10. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie.

Münsterland’19:


Mapei Boss Giorgio Squinzi Dies at the Age of 76
Mapei boss Giorgio Squinzi has passed away. The Italian took the initiative in 1993 to set up the cycling team of the same name. Squinzi had been sick for some time and died at the age of 76 in a hospital in Milan.

Squinzi took over the construction company Mapei from his father Rodolfo, who used to be a cyclist and founded Mapei. In 1993 he decided to set up his own cycling team, with Patrick Lefevere as manager. The race kit of the Italian team was particularly striking.

In the ten years that the Mapei team was in the peloton, it won the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España, five times Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders three times. After 2002 Mapei stopped and Lefevere continued with Quick-Step as main sponsor.

Since Mapei was big in cycling, he opted for football. Squinzi decided to become the owner and main sponsor of football club Sassuolo, which, under his leadership, climbed to the highest level of Italy. Mapei didn’t leave cycling altogether and has been a partner of the UCI in rider development and the World championships.

Mapei dominated the Classics:


Team Ineos most likely new team from Rohan Dennis?
Rohan Dennis’ plans for the future is keeping the rumour mills turning. The Australian initially seemed on his way to CCC or Movistar, but now rumours about a possible collaboration with Team Ineos are getting stronger.

Rohan Dennis’ future is still uncertain since Bahrain-Merida announced that his contract was terminated on September 13. After the time trial World champion disappeared from the Tour de France for no apparent reason, he was soon associated with CCC where he would be reunited with team boss Jim Ochowicz, from his BMC period. However, it seems an offer from that team would not have been sufficient. The Australian could count on the interest of several other teams; Team Ineos, Trek-Segafredo and Movistar were also among the main candidates. At the end of last week, the Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported that Movistar’s interest was well advanced and that the team was already busy getting things together. In the meantime, the name of Dimension Data, that is supplied by bicycle manufacturer BMC, was also named.

The pull of Team Ineos sounds strong, as La Gazzetta dello Sport previously mentioned Movistar’s interest, but according to the Italian sportspaper, the team of Tour winner Egan Bernal now seems to be Dennis’ most likely new employer. The newspaper reports this based on sources. In the British WorldTour formation there would be the Australian and Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and newcomer Richard Carapaz, quite a team for the Grand Tours.

Rohan Dennis future:


Paris-Tours 2019: One for the Big Boys
A plethora of different scenarios can unfold in Paris-Tours. The vineyard tracks introduced to the course will be a bit shorter this year (10.7 km versus 12.5 km in 2018), but they will still cause a somewhat… tannic selection in the peloton. While the odds of a bunch sprint on Avenue de Grammont are long, a small sprint featuring a handful of super-tough riders seems just as likely as a solo adventurer taking the win like Søren Kragh Andersen did last year, when he bagged the first edition of the race in its new format. The young Dane will be defending his title wearing race number 1 on his back, with German sprinter Max Walscheid as Sunweb’s plan B. Last year’s runner-up, Niki Terpstra, will be seeking to go one better with the support of his Total Direct Énergie teammate Anthony Turgis, the recent winner of Paris–Chauny. Other teams have also made plans for both scenarios. Groupama–FDJ will be fielding Arnaud Démare (runner-up in 2016) as well as the bronze medallist in the Yorkshire World Championships, Stefan Küng, while Lotto–Soudal will be banking on 2014 winner Jelle Wallays and Adam Blythe, and Cofidis is pinning its hopes on Christophe Laporte and Julien Simon. Other contenders could emerge victorious depending on how the race unfolds, with Bryan Coquard returning to the event after finishing in fifth place in the 2016 edition, 2012 winner Marco Marcato, Paris–Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt and Belgian Oliver Naesen, who just like his teammate Tony Gallopin showed great form in the Worlds.

22 teams, main contenders (as of 3 October):
South Africa:
Team Dimension Data: Cavendish (GBR), Bak (DEN) and Janse Van Rensburg (RSA)
Germany:
Team Sunweb: Kragh Andersen (DEN) and Walscheid (GER)
Belgium:
Lotto–Soudal: Wallays, Keukeleire (BEL) and Blythe (GBR)
Wanty–Gobert Cycling Team: Vanspeybrouck (BEL) and Dupont (FRA)
Sport Vlaanderen–Baloise: Warlop and Capiot (BEL)
Wallonie Bruxelles: Planckaert and Ista (BEL)
Denmark:
Riwal–Readynez Cycling Team: Eriksson (SWE) and Quaade (DEN)
United Arab Emirates:
UAE Team Emirates: Marcato (ITA) and Bystrøm (NOR)
Spain:
Euskadi Basque Country–Murias: Iturria and Barceló (ESP)
United States:
Rally UHC Cycling: Carpenter and Joyce (USA)
France:
Ag2r–La Mondiale: Gallopin (FRA), Naesen (BEL) and Dillier (SUI)
Groupama–FDJ: Küng (SUI), Démare, Sarreau (FRA) and Guarnieri (ITA)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Laporte and Simon (FRA)
Total Direct Énergie: Terpstra (NED), Gaudin and Turgis (FRA)
Team Arkéa–Samsic: B. Feillu (FRA)
Vital Concept Cycling Club: Coquard (FRA) and Boeckmans (BEL)
Delko–Marseille Provence: Navardauskas and Šiškevičius (LTU)
St. Michel–Auber93: R. Feillu (FRA) and Jakin (EST)
Natura4Ever–Roubaix–Lille Métropole: Antomarchi (FRA) and Vermeulen (BEL)
Israel:
Israel Cycling Academy: Van Asbroeck (BEL) and Dunne (IRL)
Netherlands:
Roompot–Charles: Van Poppel, Asselman and Lammertink (NED)
Russia:
Gazprom–RusVelo: Porsev (RUS)
Switzerland:
Team Katusha–Alpecin: Politt (GER) and Dowsett (GBR).

Key points:
Ø
The 113th edition of Paris-Tours, scheduled to start in Chartres on Sunday 13 October, exerts a magnetic pull on both classics specialists and the hardiest fast men, who will all have a shot at winning the race at the end of the 217 km course designed for 2019.
Ø Pretenders such as Niki Terpstra, Oliver Naesen and Nils Politt can take the fight to defending champion Søren Kragh Andersen on his own terrain, while sprinters such as Mark Cavendish, Arnaud Démare, Christophe Laporte and Bryan Coquard will be banking let their raw speed do the talking… as long as they can hang on until the home straight.

Paris-Tours teaser:


Hollmann, Jorgenson Increase Movistar Team’s Youth Depth
German rouleur – a stagiaire for Katusha last summer – and American stageracer, winner of the points jersey at the Tour de l’Avenir, add their talents to Telefónica-backed squad starting next year.


Juri Hollmann

The Movistar Team announced Friday that Juri Hollmann (Cologne, GER; 1999), a rider for the German Continental outfit Heizomat Rad-Net, and Matteo Jorgenson (Boise, Idaho, USA; 1999), currently in the ranks of the AG2R Chambéry development team, will be part for the next two seasons (2020 + 2021) of the Telefónica-backed squad, thus taking the leap towards the UCI WorldTour.

Jorgenson – aged 20, just like his future team-mate – shone brightly at the Tour de l’Avenir held last August, notching up the Points jersey after big efforts in both the mid-mountain stages early in the race – he finished 3rd in Saint-Julien and Privas (st. 5/6)- and the longer climbs, getting to a virtual podium before the last weekend of the event. Raised as a future pro on French soil during the 2019 season, the 4th-place finisher of the 2019 Ronde de l’Isard hopes to continue learning and growing in the most demanding races of the world.


Matteo Jorgenson

Jorgenson‘s words: “To be given the chance to step up to a squad as successful as the Movistar Team is a huge honour. After a super transformative year, adapting to all that comes with life in Europe, I feel ready to make this jump. I have huge gratitude for Chambéry Cyclisme Formation and AG2R for believing in me, and giving me the platform to succeed this year. By including lots of Spanish .1 and .HC races in their calendar, the Movistar Team allows me to continue developing my race-craft and smooth out my transition to the WorldTour. I’m looking forward to starting my pro career – I couldn’t think of a better place to do it.”

In turn, Hollmann – who, together with Jorgenson, Iñigo Elosegui and Johan Jacobs, took part in the recent World Championships in Yorkshire – will bring his strength on flat courses to a roster where the German – bronze medalist in the 2019 German U23 ITT Champs – will build up on the recent experience earned at top-level courses: he rode for Katusha as a trainee last summer, competing in the Tours of Germany and Britain as well as the Arctic Race of Norway.

Hollmann‘s reaction: “I am very excited to ride for the Movistar Team for the next two years. A childhood dream is coming true! I am motivated to perform at a higher level in a team I have always looked up to. A big thank you to Heizomat Rad-Net for the support during the last two years, and also to Katusha-Alpecin, for giving me the opportunity to ride as a stagiaire in tough races.”

Juri Hollmann:


Francisco Ventoso Set to Continue Mentor Role with CCC Team in 2020
Francisco Ventoso has extended his contract with CCC Team, a move that will see the Spanish rider continue his mentor and road captain role within the Polish team throughout the 2020 season.

General Manager Jim Ochowicz noted that Ventoso’s versatility and experience were key factors for his contract extension. “We are very happy to extend Francisco’s contract beyond the 2019 season. His now 16-year long career as a professional cyclist makes Francisco one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and this season he has once again proved himself to be both an excellent road captain and mentor for the younger riders in our squad,” Ochowicz explained.

“Francisco is an asset to CCC Team and his professionalism and positivity make him a perfect teammate both on and off the bike. Over the next year, Francisco will continue to play an important role in our Classics season as well as at stage races and Grand Tours, where he has enjoyed a lot of success in his career with stage wins at both the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia as well as an impressive 17 Grand Tour participations to his name.”

Francisco Ventoso is motivated to continue working hard going into his 17th season as a professional cyclist. “I am super happy and proud to re-sign with CCC Team for the 2020 season. Next year will be my 17th year as a professional cyclist, that’s much longer than many of the guys who became a pro with me in 2004, and I still feel ready to suffer and work hard in support of my team. I am also really happy with the confidence that Och and our Sports Directors have in me and I need to say thanks to them for that,” Ventoso said.

“I feel really good in this team and after arriving here three years ago, I quickly understood what they needed from me and since then, I have always been ready to help in any situation. I try to do my best in every circumstance, both in and out of racing, and I feel good doing this kind of work. For next season, after a difficult year in terms of our number of victories, I would like to help the team get back onto the road to success and I think we can do that with some really good riders coming in to reinforce our squad.”

Francisco Ventoso:


Valerio Conti stays with UAE Team Emirates for 2020 and 2021
The Italian rider secures his future with the Emirati team.

Having stolen the hearts of cycling fans wearing the pink jersey for six days during the Tour of Italy in 2019 (the highest point of a cycling career that saw him win a stage in the Vuelta España 2016, a stage in the Tour of Japan 2015 the GP Beghelli 2014, besides numerous prominent placements), Valerio Conti made a big step in his young career by confirming his future to UAE Team Emirates under a two-year contract.

His attacking style in races combined with a good level of consistency, make the Italian rider an important player for the Emirati team across many different terrains.

Valerio Conti, 26 years old: “I am very happy to tie my future to UAE Team Emirates. I hope to return in the next two seasons and re-find the good form I had in the first part of 2019. I feel fortunate to be involved in such a project which is growing each year and adding a lot of great riders. This is special, as is the enthusiasm and atmosphere we have in the team.”

Valerio Conti in rosa at the Giro:


Alejandro Osorio Reinforces the Mountain Block of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
A young pearl of international cycling lands on the professional team of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. The Colombian Alejandro Osorio (El Carmen de Viboral, 1998) arrives at the green formation after a complicated first professional campaign, as a result of a fall in the Tour of the Alps in April.

Even with an injured knee, Osorio has been able to leave valuable details of his worth, both before (11th in the competitive Tour de Colombia), and afterwards, with very regular performances in the Italian classics in the last part of the season. The rider from Antioquía not only has good skills in the mountain, but he has also demonstrated his ability in the hilly one day races.

Although in 2020 he will still be an under 23 rider, he already offered a very good level in 2018 in important appointments within this category, winning a mountain stage and finishing sixth in the general classification of the Giro d’Italia or winning the KOM jersey in the Tour de l’Avenir.

Alejandro Osorio: “I was injured this year but I could still do good races. I prefer to think about the future and I am very excited about the next season. Now it’s time to return to Colombia and rest to start working looking forward to this new stage in Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. I have very good references from the team so I am happy to be part of it. I hope to have good legs and health for the next year, to do well all the races wherever I go and to help my teammates.”

Alejandro Osorio:


Rui Costa Renews as Covi Moves up to Pro Ranks
The UAE Team Emirates squad reaches 30 riders.

UAE Team Emirates completes its roster for 2020 with renewal of veteran and signing of young talent.

Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, 32 years old, will race for the next two seasons in the colours of the emirati squad. The 2013 world champion is a key rider in the World Tour line-up, given his ability to compete both in the short stage races and in the classics.

Born in 1986, Rui Costa has achieved 25 wins in his career, including the World Championship in Florence and three stages in the Tour de France.

Another major title was his victory at the Abu Dhabi Tour 2017, which made him one of the most prominent riders amongst Emirati fans.

Rui Costa explained the decision to continue to be a leading rider in the emirati project: “One of my prioritise was that I wanted to have continuity for my future as a rider and I thank UAE Team Emirates for giving me the opportunity to allow me to work with them towards my goals. It is a great boost to know that we have the confidence of the whole team and I am really happy to still be part of the great cycling project which is UAE Team Emirates.”

Having been in the sights of UAE Team Emirates already for some time, Alessandro Covi will enter the professional ranks next season. Born in Borgomanero on 09/28/1998, Covi represented the Italian national team at the recent World Championships, forming part of the breakaway there.
“I can’t wait to face this new cycling challenge. I’m happy to do it at a big team like UAE Team Emirates and alongside great champions,” said Covi. “The team has put a lot of faith in young riders and I think I will be in the best place in order to reach the goal of giving my best.”

UAE Team Emirates 2020 roster:
Andres Camilo Ardila (Col), Fabio Aru (Ita), Mikkel Bjerg (Den), Tom Bohli (Sui), Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor), Valerio Conti (Ita), Rui Costa (Por), Alessandro Covi (Ita), David De La Cruz (Esp), Joseph Dombrowski (USA), Davide Formolo (Ita), Fernando Gaviria (Col), Sergio Henao (Col), Alexander Kristoff (Nor), Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor), Marco Marcato (Ita), Brandon McNulty (USA), Yousif Mirza (UAE), Sebastian Molano (Col), Cristian Muñoz (Col), Ivo Oliveira (Por), Rui Oliveira (Por), Jasper Philipsen (Bel), Tadej Pogačar (Slo), Jan Polanc (Slo), Edward Ravasi (Ita), Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr), Maximiliano Richeze (Arg), Oliviero Troia (Ita), Diego Ulissi (Ita).

Rui Costa:


Decision Taken to Cancel Hammer Hong Kong
Velon and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), the organiser of Hammer Hong Kong and the mass participation Hong Kong Cyclothon, regret to inform that the decision has been taken not to stage the two events on Sunday, October 13, 2019 because of the ongoing events in Hong Kong.

We have been keeping matters under close review and it has now been decided that the best course of action is to halt preparations and look to 2020 when the Hammer Series and the world’s top professional cyclists will return to the streets of Hong Kong.

Today’s announcement means that Team Jumbo-Visma will be crowned overall Hammer Series Champions of 2019. The Dutch team tops the leaderboard after winning Hammer Stavanger and taking second place overall in Hammer Limburg. Deceuninck – Quick-Step finishes second after their victory in Hammer Limburg, while Team Sunweb ends this year’s Hammer Series in third place overall.

Graham Bartlett, Velon CEO, said: “We’re sorry that the fans won’t get to see the best teams in the world go all-out for overall victory in the Hammer Series in Hong Kong again this year. However, Team Jumbo-Visma were the standout team of this year’s Series and they deserve the title. We are already in the middle of planning next year’s Hammer Series and we look forward to being back in Hong Kong for the big Hammer Series finale in 2020.”

Merijn Zeeman, Team Jumbo-Visma sportive director, said: “It’s a pity Hammer Hong Kong is cancelled, but we’re very happy we will be crowned as overall winners. The Hammer Series came to life for our team more and more in recent years. It’s good to see that it was the same for other teams. We always emphasise ‘winning together’ and winning the Hammer Series is the perfect example.”

Velon and the participating teams are disappointed about the situation but are eager to come back and take on Hammer Hong Kong next year to give the fans the spectacular season finale to the Hammer Series that they deserve.

The results from Hammer Stavanger and Hammer Limburg plus the overall leaderboard can be found here.

Hammer Series Champions:


The VCV Gran Premi Banc Sabadell in the UCI “Pro-Series”
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced the inclusion of the Volta Cyclist Valencian Community Grand Premi Banc Sabadell in the new category of “Pro Series”, after evaluating the request presented by the race organisation led by Angel Casero.

This decision confirms the growth of the Valencian stage race, which was included in the international calendar from 2016, after not being held for eight years. The good organisational level and the participation of the main teams and riders has been fundamental in achieving this objective.

Now being considered a “Pro Series” race, the VCV will have in its next edition more teams of the highest level and riders.

On the other hand, the VCV organisation wishes to thank its sponsors, especially Banc Sabadell, and other collaborators for the support received and share with all and with Valencian cycling fans this excellent news that supports the work carried out during the last four years.

Vuelta a Valencia 2019 stage 1 highlights:


Vuelta Andalucía In the UCI ‘ProSeries’
The 64th edition of the Tour of Andalucia-Ruta del Sol will be held in 2020 between February 19 and 23 and has raised its category to UCI ProSeries, a new category that will be just below the WorldTour, as announced by Deporinter, the company sponsoring the race. This step is an acknowledgment of the International Cycling Union of this race for its upward trajectory, its identity as historical evidence, the quality it offers in the organisation and its routes, its media dissemination and internationalisation to more than 173 countries and the high level of sports participation, informed the organisation today.

In 2020, ProSeries will cover teams that are currently classified as above category and class 1, as well as teams of high strategic importance for the development of cycling, according to the UCI. The first category teams, composed between 27 and 30 riders, will have a three-year license and will qualify for the ProSeries based on the results of their top ten races of all the season. After the creation of this new competition, the International calendar will be broken down into three divisions: the UCI WorldTour, the UCI ProSeries and the UCI Continental Circuits.

Now the Andalusian Cycling Tour will have a solid base to continue developing our sport so that it becomes one of the largest professional disciplines in the world. We want it to be the sport of the 21st century, so Deporinter is in full negotiations with the cities and towns that will house the departure and arrival of each of its stages and in the design of a very attractive and balanced route. As for sports participation, the Vuelta Andalucía is also in talks with the main teams of the national and international scene to congregate one more year the best figures of cycling.

In the last edition, the Andalusian Cycling Tour had a luxury podium, with Jakob Fuglsang as the final winner with seven seconds ahead of Ion Izaguirre (Astana) and followed by Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, who escorted him on the podium. Fuglsang thus obtained his first Vuelta Andalucía win.

• The 66th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía-Ruta del Sol will be held in 2020 between February 19 and 23 and has raised its category to UCI ProSeries, a step before the World Tour.

Vuelta a Andalucía 2019 stage 5:


KATUSHA 2020
After 10 years as the main sponsor and manager of a World Tour Cycling Team, KATUSHA and its cycling apparel brand KATUSHA Sports will continue its strong involvement in professional cycling by partnering with both a men’s and a women’s team.

KATUSHA and Israel Cycling Academy (ICA) have concluded an agreement for the next three cycling seasons. ICA will be managing the team which will include a majority of riders and staff currently under contract with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN. KATUSHA will remain a partner of the new team and as such will continue to provide high-end quality clothing to pro riders as it did for the last three years.

In addition, KATUSHA will shortly announce an exciting partnership with a professional women’s cycling team.

These 2020 partnerships afford KATUSHA Sports an opportunity to continue developing its range, using the pro teams as a focus for research and development. With the pro team as a research “lab” the goal of Katusha Sports will be to be able to offer the best in cutting edge technology, function and style for both the men’s and women’s market.

In the ten years that KATUSHA took part in the World Tour, the team achieved many great accomplishments. 26 National champions jerseys, four monuments (2012 and 2013 Il Lombardia by Joaquim Rodríguez, 2014 Milan–Sanremo and the 2015 Tour of Flanders by Alexander Kristoff) and 28 Grand Tour stages. Over the last two seasons the team suffered many disappointments in terms of results. This coincided with the reduced budget of the team and made it clear that significant changes need to be made in cycling to have a sustainable and successful business model. Igor Makarov, as a member of the UCI Management Committee, will continue working at the highest level of the sport to make sure that significant positive changes are made in the future.

Full details and announcement on the project coming soon.

The high point of 2019 for Katusha-Alpecin – Paris-Roubaix:


Roompot-Charles Cycling Team Will Not Continue in 2020
Roompot – Charles Cycling Team will no longer be seen in professional cycling next season, neither under a different name. After Roompot Vakanties announced they wouldn’t extend their sponsorship deal, multiple efforts were made to find a successor. However, the team management was unable to attract new partners with sufficient financial guarantees.

“We’ve waited as long as possible to send this press release,” says team manager Michael Zijlaard. “After all, you keep hoping that a solution can be found somewhere, even though it seemed less likely by the day. Now, unfortunately, it’s definite. After five exciting years we’re saying goodbye to professional cycling with the team.”

Roompot – Charles Cycling Team and its respective predecessors have always been a team where riders and staff members were given opportunities to develop careers in professional cycling, says team manager Nick Nuyens. “In the past few years, lots of riders were able to show their worth in our team colours. We’re proud that many of them have been able to switch to the WorldTour or other professional teams. Now, several riders and staff members have already found a place for next year. We hope that everyone ends up well, we’ll guide them in their search for a new employer.”

Zijlaard hails the team’s impeccable track record: “Above all, we want to look back positively and take the good memories with us. In addition, it’s not inappropriate to mention that we’ve always had a squeaky clean record with the team. There have never been any significant problems, we’ve always acted correctly and met our financial obligations towards the UCI and other stakeholders. We’ve represented the numerous partners who expressed their faith in our project as well as possible. It was the best way to thank them for their trust.”

In the coming weeks, the last one-day races of the season are scheduled for the Roompot – Charles riders, including the Tacx Pro Classic and Paris – Tours. After the Sluitingsprijs Putte – Kapellen it’s over for the road team. Afterwards, Lars Boom and Sean De Bie will ride a few cyclo-cross races in the Charles CX outfit.

Goodbye Roompot-Charles:


Maxime Monfort Becomes Sports Director at Lotto Soudal
Today, Maxime Monfort will ride his final race as a professional cyclist during the Famenne Ardenne Classic. Monfort will immediately start a new chapter within the world of pro cycling as the 36-year-old Belgian will take on a role of sports director at Lotto Soudal, the team where he spent the last six years of his career.

Maxime Monfort: “Originally, I did not intend to end my professional cycling career this year, but I only received a proposal to renew my contract at the end of August, while at the same time general manager John Lelangue asked me to become a sports director. It came somewhat unexpected, but at that moment, I felt the time was right and besides, the opportunity presented itself. After the Tour de France, I did already think about my future and the idea to retire was already there, independent of the proposition to become sports director. Eventually, it only took two days to make the decision, but I had already put a lot of thought into it.”

“For me, to hang up the bike in my own province, together with my fans and family was a must. That way, I can spend the entire day together with them. Of course, there is the race, but there will also be a moment with the fans, both before and after the race. I want to make my final day as a professional bike rider something really special.”

“Cycling is and will always be my passion. I realised the dream of turning pro, but it was also a personal dream to stay in the world of pro cycling after my career. Now, the opportunity is there, a little earlier than expected, but I have a lot of ideas and I am really looking forward to it. For the past six years, I raced at the Lotto Soudal team, so I know the staff, riders and the way of working. It is nice to start my career as a sports director like that.”

“It certainly won’t be easy to immediately make the switch from pro rider to sports director, but I am 100 percent sure of my decision. For example during the first training camp, it will maybe feel a bit weird to exchange the bike for the car, but I am fully ready.”

“There are a lot of differences between a cyclist and a sports director. It may be the same sector, but it is something completely different. I think there are more benefits to a job as sports director; I don’t have to train anymore and I don’t have to pay attention to what I can or cannot eat. Now, I will be able to enjoy life a little more, but at the same time doing what I love. I am very proud of my career, but the moment has come and I definitely won’t regret it.”

The six sports directors for 2020 are: Mario Aerts, Herman Frison, Maxime Monfort, Kurt Van de Wouwer, Marc Wauters and Frederik Willems. They will report to general manager John Lelangue.

Maxime Monfort
Nationality: Belgian
Date of birth: 14.01.1983 (Bastogne)
Age: 36
Turned pro at Landbouwkrediet – Colnago (2004)

Five pro victories
– 2004: General classification Tour de Luxembourg + victory stage 3
– 2009: Belgian time trial champion (Saint-Ghislain)
– 2010: General classification Bayern Rundfahrt + victory stage 4
Grand Tours

– Twenty participations (5x Giro d’Italia, 7x Tour de France, 8x Vuelta a España)
– Eleven times top twenty GC (4x Giro, 2x Tour, 5x Vuelta)
– Best GC result: 6th Vuelta a España 2011

Maxime Monfort:


Paul Barratt appointed Head of Performance Support and Innovation
Paul Barratt has joined Team INEOS as Head of Performance Support and Innovation. The 37 year old will work closely with Head Coach, Tim Kerrison.

Barratt arrives at the Team from British Cycling, where he held a similar role for two years, having previously been employed as their senior biomechanist.

Speaking of his appointment, Barratt said: “I am delighted to join Team INEOS at what is a really exciting chapter in the Team’s history.”

“It’s the pinnacle of high-performance in professional cycling – a very dynamic, very innovative, forward-thinking organisation – and to come into the Team at a time when it’s re-setting its goals in a bid to continue to move forward is something I’m relishing the opportunity to be part of.”

“The key priority for me in the short-term will be to observe, listen and learn from the performance team, and then ultimately put forward the long-term strategies that I think can best harness science and technology to help the Team progress even further.”

Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, welcomed Barratt’s appointment. He said: “Performance support is obviously critical to our success on the bike. It is an area where we have always excelled as a Team in the past and one where it is clear other teams are now investing significantly for the future. Since our change of ownership we have been harnessing the drive, ambition and ethos of INEOS to look at all areas supporting our performance system to see where we can do better, what we can change and how we can go faster. Being part of INEOS Sport has enabled us to look at different operating models, new performance strategy solutions and the best providers for them. It is an exciting moment to look at how we rebuild every area for the future. We must never accept that just because something has worked in the past it will necessarily do so in the future. The pace of change means there is always room to improve and space to grow.”

“Paul’s appointment marks the first step in this important process for us as a Team. We have been long standing admirers of his approach and innovative thinking from his time with British Cycling over the last decade. He is a world class talent who will now guide and lead this critical work to ensure that the Team INEOS high performance culture and systems get better still. We are excited about the opportunities to continue to push the limits of human performance and being at the cutting edge of making it happen.”

Paul Barratt:


Mads Pedersen’s World Champion Bike and Jersey Revealed
The 23-year-old Dane takes to his first race as World Champion sporting a custom-painted Madone SLR and brand-new Santini rainbow jersey.

When Mads Pedersen crossed the finish line at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships last Sunday, the cheers and shouts amongst the Trek-Segafredo team and its partners were heard around the world: We have a World Champion! For some, the celebrations were the start of a busy week. Mads’ first race was days away, and work was needed to be done, fast.

As soon as Mads crossed the finish line, I started ‘pulling the levers’ internally at Trek HQ in Waterloo.
“As soon as Mads crossed the finish line, I started ‘pulling the levers’ internally at Trek HQ in Waterloo,” said Matt Shriver, Trek-Segafredo’s Technical Director. “First, I put a call to the Trek Race Shop to get the parts organised and pulled from Project One, and specific frames picked for the World Champion. Then I contacted the Creative Director, Brian Lindstrom, at Trek to inform him we need World Champion artwork ASAP!”

A new World Champion Madone SLR was already taking shape minutes after the 23-year-old Dane shocked the cycling world. The distance between Trek’s HQ in Waterloo, USA, and the team’s service course in Belgium created a slightly trickier situation. The new bike needed to be in Mads’ hands by Friday. “On Monday morning, we had a quick meeting to decide what kind of unique bike and details we wanted for our first Elite Men’s World Champion,” continued Shriver. “The artwork was approved, and the Madone frameset went into Project One to be painted.”

By Tuesday afternoon, the Project One World Champion Madone had its new rainbow paint scheme with Trek-Segafredo team logos and a few signature touches – “All or nothing” and “Underdog” evident on the down tube, words that described Mads’ victory. “Then it was back to the Trek Race Shop for final checks and then everything was shipped to Belgium for arrival at the service course by 14:00 Thursday. It was built up by 18:00,” explained Shriver.

At first, I was shocked by the surprise. Then, a bevy of phone calls started.
While Shriver and the gurus at Trek HQ worked feverishly on the custom bike, Leslie Zamboni, the team’s Clothing Product Manager, had her own pressures to deal with. “At first, I was shocked by the surprise,” said Zamboni of Mads’ win. “Then, a bevy of phone calls started.”

“The first point was working with Santini to prepare the design, checking all the rules in placing the logos in the right position, in the right dimension, and in the right colour,” she continued. “Once that was done, the design was sent to the UCI through Matt Shriver. The UCI came back a day after with a request to adjust the space between the Trek-Segafredo logo and the rainbow – a very small adjustment, but it took away another day! So finally, Wednesday morning production could start.”

Four kits tailored to Mads’ measurements were artfully crafted that included a short-sleeve race jersey, a thermal long-sleeve, race bib-short, gloves, and socks – enough to get him through his last three races of the season. “Production worked really fast,” said Zamboni, “but after talking to Matt, we decided that it was safer if I took them personally from Santini to the race. So, Thursday evening, I picked up the clothing at Santini, and Friday morning, I flew from Italy to Belgium with the World Champion kit in my backpack.”

“Yes, it was all a bit stressful,” she added, “but it was super nice to have this stress!”

The bikes and kits arrived at the team’s hotel Friday, one day before Mads’ first race as World Champion, the Tour d’Eurométropole. And like a kid on Christmas Day, Mads wasted no time. “When I got to the hotel this afternoon, I went straight into the truck to see my new bike, and it is absolutely amazing,” he said, “It’s so beautiful with so many details that make it so personal. I took it for a ride, the first one in my new kit, and everybody kept hitting the horn and taking pictures.”

Mads Pedersen won the Tour d’Eurométropole last year, and on Saturday, he debut his new World Champion jersey with race number one, but if there’s a little added weight on his shoulders, he’s not showing it: “This is the best jersey in the peloton. I am so proud and honoured to wear it. I really can’t wait to race tomorrow!”

It was a whirlwind week for those behind the scenes getting Mads outfitted for his first public appearance as World Champion. In the world of professional cycling, it’s not only the riders who need to be fast.


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