TOP STORY: The Contracts Start to Fly!
The official transfer season is only meant to start on 1 August, but the rumors have already started, in fact, in some cases the contracts seem to have been signed (allegedly). In a conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Massimo Zanetti, owner of Segafredo, made this statement: “In 2020, Vincenzo Nibali will be riding for Trek-Segafredo.”
“Vincenzo is the best rider in Italy. In fact, he is one of the best riders in the world”, Zanetti said of the 34-year-old ‘Shark of Messina’, who has/will sign a two-year contract. “It has been on my wish list since 2015. I really wanted him and in the end I succeeded.” Nibali has been with the Bahrain-Merida team since its 2017.
Zanetti added: “I notice that all riders nowadays need a family atmosphere in a team. Nibali will find that with us, we will build a good team around him.” Antonio Nibali (brother and teammate), coach Paolo Slongo, masseur Michele Pallini and doctor Emilio Magni will probably move with Nibali.
Quintana Close to Multi-Million Deal with Arkéa-Samsic
The other big ‘rumor’ is that of Nairo Quintana leaving Movistar to join the French ProConti Arkéa-Samsic team. According to El Pais, the Colombian climber is very close to signing a contract with the French team.
It is no secret that Quintana is on the wish list of team boss Emmanuel Hubert. And to seduce 29-year-old Colombian, he has dug deep in his pocket. Quintana could earn an amount of two and a half million euros per year. He would also receive a bonus if he won the Tour de France. According to the Spanish newspaper it is a done deal. Although we still have to wait for confirmation, after all, the transfer may only be announced from 1 August (cough!).
Arkéa-Samsic was chasing Julian Alaphilippe, but the Frenchman extended his contract with his present team; Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Nacer Bouhanni and Alexis Gougeard are also rumored to be on the Arkéa-Samsic shopping list.
All change in the peloton and it’s only June!
Gullegem Koerse 2019
Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) became the first rider in a decade to win Gullegem Koerse twice, after launching a clever attack on the last of the 18 laps of the day and powering away from a strong group which featured teammates Alvaro Hodeg, Fabio Jakobsen and Michael Mørkøv.
The race had been fast and frantic from the very beginning, when eight riders extricated themselves from the peloton and traded pulls in order to build a two-minute advantage over the chasers. The group, where we had both Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar, was joined with six laps to go by twenty-one riders, increasing the number of Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider at the front to five. That allowed the Wolfpack to cover every attack and shape the race to their liking, making sure that they had numerical advantage each time when riders from the leading group were on the move.
Whittled down to twelve men, the elite group entered the last lap with a comfortable gap over the chasers; a lull among the leaders convinced Yves to test the waters with an attack that soon saw the Belgian Champion put some distance into his former companions. That buffer was more than enough for the 28-year-old to arrive alone at the finish and celebrate his first victory since triumphing at the National Championships last year, in Binche.
Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv rounded out the podium on Tuesday afternoon, while Alvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen sprinted from the small bunch to make it four Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10.
Race winner, Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was my last race in Belgium in the beautiful national champion jersey and that’s why this win gives me a lot of joy. It wasn’t easy today, but the team rode a perfect race, always present in the key moves and always with many riders, in order to make sure we had several cards to play. On the last lap, I waited for the others to attack and be reeled in before making my move when I felt it was the best moment to do so. It was a great day for our team and I’m happy that I could bring it home for the Wolfpack.”
Gullegem Koerse Result:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 3:41:33
2. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:04
3. Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:10
4. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:15
5. Fabio JAKOBSEN (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
7. Tuur Deprez (Bel) Cibel
8. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
9. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Corendon-Circus
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale.
A very happy Deceuninck – Quick-Step team at the Gullegem Koerse’19:
Rund um Köln 2019
Baptiste Planckaert took the big win in Köln. The Belgian rider of the Wallonie-Bruxelles team won the one-day classic Rund um Köln in Germany. Planckaert escaped from a large leading group with Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the final, after which he beat the German in the sprint.
The start was fast and a leading group of sixteen managed to break free. Among them Christoph Pfingsten, Nils Politt, Nathan Haas, Thomas Sprengers and Aksel Nõmmela. Roompot-Charles had missed the move and had to chase. However, the three-minute gap was a lot to recover.
A small group did managed to make the crossing. Top favorites were Sam Bennett and also Alex Dowsett and Benjamin Declerq. The lead then increased further. In the end, ten riders remained in the lead. Sam Bennett, Christoph Pfingsten, Andreas Schillinger, Nils Politt, Nathan Haas, Clément Carisey, Baptiste Planckaert, Lionel Taminiaux, Jonas Rutsch and Benjamin Perry.
It was too much for Bennett and Haas in the hilly section. The remaining eight went on to fight for the win, as the peloton gave up as they were 7 minutes down from the front runners.
In the streets of Köln; Pfingsten and Planckaert took full advantage of the situation. The others in the escape group left the work to the strong Politt, but the German could not catch the two escaped riders alone. With a 40 second lead, the two entered the 6.2 kilometer final lap. In the sprint; Planckaert was the better man and his teammate, Lionel Taminiaux, completed the podium, sprinting in for third place.
2nd, Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Of course, I wanted to take the win and I was close to, maybe I started my sprint too early, however, I am super happy with my result. We went into today’s race to defend the title. The race saw many attacks and was pretty fast. Shortly before the finish, there was another selection and I was able to go with the other riders. After that, being at the front there was only one option: All or nothing. With my second place, now I am looking forward to my next race, the Critérium du Dauphiné.”
Rund um Köln Result:
1. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles in 4:54:59
2. Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles at 1:26
4. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
7. Clément Carisey (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy at 1:34
8. Jonas Rutsch (Ger) Team Lotto-Kern Haus at 2:17
9. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:55
10. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
Boucles de l’Aulne 2019
Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) soloed to victory in the Boucles de l’Aulne on Sunday. The AG2R-La Mondiale team achieved the Breton double after the victory of Benoît Cosnefroy, the day before, in Plumelec.
With a finish similar to the Grand Prix Plumelec the day before, the Boucles de l’Alder gave the victory to a AG2R-La Mondiale rider. Alexis Gougeard won the race solo, ahead of his teammate Quentin Jauregui and Julien El Fares (Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM). The Frenchman attacked from a group of a dozen riders. This breakaway, which included three AG2R-La Mondiale riders, would fight out the finish as they had built up a big lead on the peloton.
Race winner, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We have had a big weekend with a nice group of friends. And after Benoît’s victory yesterday, I wanted to have fun myself.
Close to the end of the race, the guys in the lead group were all looking at each other and I decided to give it a go. At the time, I was not thinking about the victory, not yet, at least. After a few complicated seasons, I am really enjoying winning races again. I’m taking advantage of the moments. Next week I’ll be starting Critérium du Dauphiné where we will all be gathered around Romain for the general classification. The level will not be the same as these races, but I want to continue with the same state of mind: doing it all for fun!”
2nd, Quentin Jaurégui (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I am happy to finish this Coupe de France weekend this way. Yesterday in Plumelec, I was not at all in the game. I could not breathe. But today, I was having a really good time. I spent the whole day in front with Aurélien. Then Alexis caught our group, and he attacked on his own. All we had to do was just manage the situation behind. I hope to take advantage of my good form next week at the Boucles de la Mayenne.”
In the general classification of the Coupe de France, Benoît Cosnefroy is 3rd (100 points), Quentin Jaurégui 6th (69 points) and Alexis Gougeard 10th (56 points). We are leading the overall team standings with 82 points.
Boucles de l’Aulne Result:
1. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:14:00
2. Quentin Jauregui (FRa) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:09
3. Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
4. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
6. Kevin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
7. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
8. Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 1:14
9. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels at 2:12
10. Thibault Ferasse (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole at 2:14.
Boucles de l’Aulne’19:
GP José Dubois 2019
The GP José Dubois was on the agenda of our team Wanty-Gobert. A selection of thirteen riders was present at the only kermesse in Wallonia of the season, co-organized by our general manager Jean-François Bourlart, in Isières (Ath). The race, which was ridden in a scorching heat, smiled soon to courageous riders. The first attacks of the day were recompensed, because the good breakaway was initially composed of twenty riders, among whom four were from Wanty-Gobert. Vliegen, Vanspeybrouck, Van Melsen and Baugnies were part of a first group, to which Aimé De Gendt was added later. The leading group was reduced during the 160 kilometer race, before a trio under the lead of Jérôme Baugnies escaped during the penultimate lap. The Belgian rider won with a very small advantage in a sprint with three, ahead of Jonas Rickaert and Ylber Sefa. It is the first victory of a Wanty-Gobert representative in this race on home soil.
Race winner, Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Gobert): “It is never easy to race this Grand Prix José Dubois, because our competitors always keep an eye on us. The day was very exhausting, with a suffocating heat and a strong wind. We were always well represented at the front, and we worked well as a team. I felt good in the final and we managed to escape with three. I was afraid of the sprint speed of Rickaert, and finally it was very close. I’m very happy to win this race, on home soil for the team, before I already missed out on this victory. This is excellent for my confidence ahead of the Tour of Luxembourg. I struggled during the first part of the season, after the death of my grandfather last winter. He was my trainer and my mentor, so it was very hard to deal with this loss. But the team always granted me their confidence, even during the most difficult moments. The best is yet to come, because my form is going crescendo.”
GP José Dubois Result:
1. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 3:54:11
2. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Corendon-Circus
3. Ylber Sefa (Alb) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:53
4. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:56
5. Emiel Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Balois at 1:11
6. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus
7. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Hubertus Duyn (Ned) Nederland National team
9. Jonas Goeman (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
10. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Balois.
GP José Dubois’19:
Orlen Nations Grand Prix 2019
Clément Champoussin dons the leader’s jersey in the general classification. The French National team has won the 27-km team time trial from Jurgów to Bukowina Tatrzanska, with a time of 40:17, thus capturing Stage 1 of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix. The Danish National Team took second place on the podium, 24 seconds back. The Belgian National team rounded out the podium in third place, 29 seconds behind the winners.
The 16 national teams participating, in alphabetical order (Austria, Belgium, Belorussia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland) battled on the insidious route for the inaugural team time trial.
The first rider over the finish line for the French National team was Clément Champoussin, who will defend his leadership in tomorrow’s final fraction. His team mates Nicolas Prodhomme and Alan Boileau will be right behind him, with the same time as the winner.
Tomorrow there will be a 113-km in-line race that will conclude this first edition of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix. The starting gate will be located at the Bukovina Resort, while the arrival is set up at Bukowina Tatrzanska. The stage will take place on part of the route that has been the scene of the conclusive stage in the Tour de Pologne for the last several years.
General classification leader, Clément Champoussin: “This team time trial was very beautiful but challenging, with difficult climbs and technical stretches to consider,” says the leader of the general classification, Clément Champoussin. “The road started climbing from the very beginning and from a physical standpoint it was a very demanding test. There were lots of very strong national teams in this first edition of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix and we knew better than to underestimate any of them. In order to win we had to take it to the limit, all the way to the very last meters. My team mates and I were in perfect synch from the get go and this is why we managed to win this first stage. This evening the team will analyze tomorrow’s fraction and we will try to work out a strategy that works best for us. I will do everything it takes to hold on to the leader’s jersey, but we know it won’t be easy.”
Orlen Nations Grand Prix Stage 1 Result:
1. Clément Champoussin (France) in 40:17
2. Nicolas Prodhomme (France)
3. Alan Boileau (France)
4. Lorentz Andreas Kron (Denmark) at 0:24
5. Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark) at 0:24.
At the end of two spectacular and very difficult stages, French rider Nicolas Prodhomme has won the first edition of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix. Denmark’s Andreas Kron is right behind him, having won today’s Stage 2 (Bukovina Resort – Bukowina Tatrzanska 113 Km) but coming in just 9 seconds shy of success in the general classification. Belgium’s Ilan Van Wilder made it to the third step of the final podium, 26 seconds back.
On a spectacular and technical route around Bukowina Tatrzanska, the riders in the race started giving battle from the very first kilometers of the stage. In the first part the group was pulled by the French National Team, which left very little leeway for those riders brave enough to try an attack. Italy’s Alexande Konychev and Poland’s Szmon Krawczyk were the stars of the most significant break of the day, attacking on the second lap of the circuit in Bukowina Tatrzanska. Despite their best efforts, the two got caught by the group with 14 km to go to the finish line. The main event of the day happened at 6 km from the end: the leader of the general classification, Clément Champoussin, was forced to stop for a puncture and thus had to cede the final victory. On the final hills that led to the arrival, Denmark’s Andreas Kron launched the decisive attack, winning with arms raised at the finish line in Bukowina Tatrzanska.
Overall winner, Nicolas Prodhomme (France): “I’m happy for my victory and that of the team, even though today wasn’t so great because my team mate and leader of the GC Clement Champoussin got a puncture just a few kilometers from the finish line and so he had to surrender the final victory. We worked hard all day long and everything seemed to be under control up until this unfortunate episode.”
Stage winner, Andreas Kron (Denmark): “Today’s stage was really very hard and I am elated that I managed to win this fraction. I gave it everything I had up to the very last meters but unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture the leader’s jersey. However, I still get the immense satisfaction of having won the stage.”
Race organizer, Czeslaw Lang: “In this first edition of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix we managed to finish a project that we had in mind, an event with two gripping and spectacular stages. It was really nice to see these young athletes give battle from the start to the finish, with attacks and counter attacks right up until the last kilometers. I’d like to thank the Bukovina Resort and all our partners for having supported this event, especially the title sponsor Orlen. I can already confirm that we will be back in 2020 for the second edition of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix.”
Orlen Nations Grand Prix Stage 2 Result:
1. Andrea Kron (Denmark) in 02:59:28
2. Ethan Hayter (Great Britain) at 0:12
3. Ilan Van Wilder (Belgium) at 0:12
4. Daniel Savini (Italy) at 0:12
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Belgium) at 0:12.
Orlen Nations Grand Prix Final Overall Result:
1. Nicolas Prodhomme (France) in 3:40:00
2. Andrea Kron (Denmark) at 0:09
3. Ilan Van Wilder (Belgium) at 0:26
4. Mauri Vansevenant (Belgium) at 0:26
5. Unai Cuadrado Ruiz De Gauna (Spain) at 0:27.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Critérium du Dauphiné
Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert are ready to kick-start the second half of their season at the French World Tour race.
Running between 9-16 June, the 71st edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné starts with two hilly stages perfectly suited to the baroudeurs, before smiling to the sprinters on the roads to Riom and Voroin. In between, a 26.1km individual time trial held over an undulating parcours will reshuffle the general classification, with the leg to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne acting as a warm-up for the weekend’s big showdown, which features Montée de Pipay (19km, 6.9%) and the Côte des Rives (8.5km, 6.2%) – Montée de Champéry (5.5km, 4.2%) combo.
UCI World Individual Classification leader Julian Alaphilippe will restart his so far incredible season at his home race following a break he took after a spectacular spring campaign which counted nine successes, including Milano-Sanremo, Strade Bianche and Flèche Wallonne. A stage victor at last year’s edition, Julian will be joined on the start line by another Monument and Dauphiné stage winner, Philippe Gilbert, who is making his sixth appearance at the race.
Also on Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s seven-man team will be Tour of California stage winner Rémi Cavagna, Belgian powerhouse Tim Declercq, Colombian sprinter Alvaro Hodeg – who last week took a stage victory at the Tour of Norway – Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke champion Zdenek Stybar and countryman Petr Vakoc, who is debuting at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
“Dauphiné is more than just a test for the Tour de France, it’s a great and spectacular race in its own right, which this season continues the trend of the past years, putting on the table a hard course favoring the climbers”, explained sports director Brian Holm. “We go there with a balanced squad headlined by our two Monument winners – Julian and Philippe – who have recently completed an altitude training camp, but the depth of the team gives us the possibility to fight for a good result also with other riders. The summer starts here and the Wolfpack are prepared to leave their mark over as many races as possible.”
09.06–16.06 Critérium du Dauphiné (FRA) 2.UWT
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Rémi Cavagna (FRA), Tim Declercq (BEL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Petr Vakoc (CZE).
Sports Director: Brian Holm (DEN) and Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
Philippe Gilbert and Julian Alaphilippe:
AG2R-La Mondiale for the Critérium du Dauphiné
AG2R-La Mondiale manager, Vincent Lavenu: “The Critérium du Dauphiné is an important time in our season, and we are approaching it, of course, with ambitions. The whole team feels very attached to this race; it’s linked to our culture, our history, its place in the history and legends of cycling, as well as our own results here. We are still three weeks away from the Tour de France, but we have always felt it is important to be successful at this race. This year again, we will be motivated to come with an undisputed leader, Romain Bardet, who has climbed twice onto the final podium (2nd in 2016, 3rd in 2018), and remains capable of climbing there. We also come with other talented riders who have the ability to seize the opportunities that will arise, and go for stage wins. The team is in shape, and the backbone of the Dauphiné group has recently completed an excellent altitude camp in Sierra Nevada (May 15-31). They were well supervised by a highly trained staff and invested a lot in the efforts. We know that by optimizing the preparation of all our riders, we are giving ourselves the best possible chance to fulfill our greatest ambitions.”
Sunweb to Critérium du Dauphiné
Aike Visbeek – Team Sunweb coach: “Critérium du Dauphiné presents a challenging course throughout the race with a particularly difficult final stage. Our main focus will be stage success and we aim to achieve that by riding both offensively and attentively throughout the week. The early stages will be contested by Joris and Capser, who are both in great shape with some solid results in recent races. If all continues according to plan, Tom will make his return to racing at the Dauphiné after injuring his knee at the Giro d’Italia. His recovery has been slower than we hoped for and he will undergo a final MRI scan tomorrow [Thursday], as a final check before he heads to France. Then he will use Dauphiné to get back into racing rhythm for bigger goals in July. We’ll take a day-by-day approach, taking no risk and with no focus on the GC. Alongside Tom we also have Martijn back from injury which is great, and Robert fully recovered, after his Giro was also ended early after a crash.”
Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Robert Power (AUS), Florian Stork (GER), Martijn Tusveld (NED).
Tom Dumoulin Back after his Giro crash:
Fabio Aru Returns to Competition After his Operation
The Sardinian climber will participate in the GP Lugano on June 9.
“I’ve followed the prescribed rehabilitation program to recuperate physical strength after the surgery. I’ve had nothing but good sensations and I haven’t encountered any problems,” says Fabio Aru. “In light of this and in agreement with the medical and technical staff, we have decided that it will be useful to participate in the GP Lugano to try out my racing rhythm.
After that we will evaluate the situation to see what our next step should be.”
UAE Team Emirates will have plenty of strong members lining up for the start of the 185.6-km race next June 9. In fact, after the surgery to his iliac artery, Aru will be accompanied by Pogačar (in his first race after his success in the Tour of California) and Polanc (who has spent two days in the maglia rosa at the Giro d’Italia), in addition to Diego Ulissi.
Here is the complete formation being led by coach Rubens Bertogliati (Sui):
– Fabio Aru (Ita)
– Tom Bohli (Sui)
– Marco Marcato (Ita)
– Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
– Jan Polanc (Slo)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
– Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Trio of Stage Winners Return to the OVO Energy Women’s Tour
A trio of former stage winners in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will line-up when the sixth edition of the race gets underway in Suffolk on Monday 10 June, as former World Champion Amalie Dideriksen, Jolien d’Hoore (both Boels Dolmans) and Lotta Lepistö (Trek Segafredo) all return to the race where they have enjoyed success.
Dideriksen, the 2016 World Road Race Champion and current Danish national champion, won Stage Four of the 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Worcester last June.
Her Boels Dolmans teammate Jolien d’Hoore is a triple stage winner in the race. The Belgian took her first victory in Clacton in 2015, going on to win the final stage of the 2017 race in London and 2018’s opening stage in Suffolk.
Lepistö, the current Finnish road race champion, won the final stage of the 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, her second stage victory following success in Kettering in 2016.
The trio are added to the provisional line-up that already includes all five previous winners of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour – Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo), Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM Racing), Lisa Brennauer (WNT ROTOR Pro Cycling) and Marianne Vos (CCC Liv).
All 15 of the world’s top teams from the start of season UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings have accepted their invitations to the event, and will be joined by British team Drops to complete the 16-team, 96-rider field for the race that gets underway in Beccles, Suffolk, on Monday 10 June.
The 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour expands to six stages, covering 790 kilometers of racing and over 8,400 meters of ascent, with two tough stages in Mid and South Wales concluding the race on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June.
Bjorg Lambrecht Extends Contract by Two Years!
Bjorg Lambrecht has extended his contract with two seasons. The 22-year-old Belgian signed a new deal and will stay at Lotto Soudal at least till the end of 2021. Lambrecht turned pro in 2018 after he was part of the Lotto Soudal U23 team.
Last year, Lambrecht immediately showed himself during his first year in the pro peloton. He celebrated a first professional victory in the final Tour des Fjords stage and later that year, he got a taste of the Grand Tours as he started in the Vuelta. This spring, the Belgian puncher impressed during the Ardennes Classics with top ten results in Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne.
Bjorg Lambrecht: “It was not a difficult decision to stay at Lotto Soudal. I feel at home with the team. The past two years, I have always been given the opportunities I hoped to get. Right from the start, I received a nice race schedule and in some races, I could even start as the co-leader. That would not be the case in other teams.”
“The coming years, I want to further develop myself in the one-day and stage races. The team has already taught me a lot and they also fully support me. With the future in mind, Lotto Soudal is thus the perfect team for me. Thanks to, amongst others, Tiesj Benoot, Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert I took a nice step forward in terms of physical strength and tactical insight. I hope to confirm my nice performances in the Classics and make further progress in the one-week stage races. Especially the Tour of the Basque Country is a race which suits me very well. At the moment, I lack just that little bit for a top result but that will be the main goal for the future.”
“Sunday, I will start in my first Critérium du Dauphiné. I don’t have many expectations just yet. The shape is not great yet, but it is also not bad. My main objectives are a bit later in the season, with the Tour de Pologne and the Vuelta a España.”
Marc Sergeant, sports manager at Lotto Soudal, is of course delighted with the two-year contract extension of Lambrecht.
Marc Sergeant: “When you team up with a rider, for me it is important to also continue that engagement. In the case of Bjorg, it already became clear last year that it would succeed. We gave Bjorg – always in a careful way – the chance to become a fully-fledged pro. That approach definitely paid off with amongst others wonderful results in the past Ardennes Classics. Within the team, we cherish Bjorg. Although only aged 22, we have known each other for quite a while. For Bjorg, Lotto Soudal is a familiar environment.”
“Besides for example Benoot and Wellens, we have plenty of other riders who came from the project within Lotto Soudal to develop young talents. That is mainly the merit of Kurt Van de Wouwer, head of the U23 team. We notice that young riders choose for Lotto Soudal more often because they see a clear road to the pro peloton at our team.”
“We will approach the next two years with Bjorg in a similar way. In the beginning of the season, we will let him slowly build up towards the Tour of the Basque Country, a race which suits him really well. During his first year as a pro, he immediately performed amongst the world’s best riders. This year, there was a wonderful sequel during the Ardennes Classics. Let us target a victory in the future.”
Sam Oomen Forced to End Season to Undergo Surgery
Sam Oomen is forced to end his season early after being diagnosed with Iliac Artery Flow Limitation to his left groin. After numerous conservative treatments have been tried but with no prevail, Oomen will now undergo surgery to treat the problem permanently. The surgery is scheduled to take place in six weeks, after he has sufficiently recovered from the hip fracture he sustained at the Giro d’Italia.
Team Sunweb physician Camiel Aldershof provides further explanation: “Sam has been diagnosed with Iliac Artery Flow Limitation in his left leg. He was suffering a loss of power in his leg and in pain as a result, leading us to investigate the reasons behind over the past months. In an attempt to solve the issues we tried numerous treatments such as physical and manual therapy, alongside adjusting his position on the bike. Throughout the process he was still able to get some good results which gave us confidence towards his late call up for his role at the Giro, but after all of our conservative methods of treatment were to no prevail, we decided that surgery would be the only option to permanently solve the issue. It will take him a relatively long time to recover, and we already consider this season to be over to give him sufficient time to do so.”
Sam Oomen said: “I found out just before the Giro that I was suffering from Iliac Artery Limitation, which answered some questions that I had been having over the last couple of months about my left leg. I was still able to train well, and do decent races like in Tirreno and Algarve, but during TT’s, key moments and real high intensity efforts I suffered a lot; my leg simply wasn’t working as it should. My season is done which is mentally a big setback but the fact that the cause of the suffering has been found and hopefully will be solved is a relief. Sometimes you need to take one step back to be able to make two forward and I hope thats what I’m going to do now.”
Sam Oomen leading the break on Giro’19 stage 6:
Lotto Soudal Welcomes Brent Van Moer to the WorldTour Team!
One month earlier than initially planned, the 21-year-old Brent Van Moer trades the Lotto Soudal U23 division for the WorldTour team. Van Moer signed a two-year professional contract and makes his debut in the Hammer Series Limburg (7 – 9 June) and will later take part in the Baloise Belgium Tour (12 – 16 June).
Van Moer already showed his talent in the past few years. The reigning Belgian U23 champion against the clock took the silver medal during the time trial World Championships in Innsbruck last year. Also in the Classics, Van Moer already caught attention with some nice results. The young Belgian was runner-up in the U23 edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a race he already won in the junior ranks. Just like in 2018, Van Moer finished – despite bad luck in the finale – sixth in Paris-Roubaix U23 this year. Of course, Brent Van Moer is looking forward to joining the WorldTour outfit.
Brent Van Moer: “Of course, it is an exciting feeling to turn pro. But Lotto Soudal is already a familiar environment and I will encounter a lot of Belgian riders. Also, I already know some guys with whom I worked within the U23 team.”
“My strengths are in the time trials and the Classics. Therefore, Lotto Soudal is the perfect environment to further develop myself in those areas. Especially what concerns time trialing, I already worked with Kevin De Weert at the national team. So it is nice that he is now part of Lotto Soudal as the performance manager. Of course, I hope to learn a lot from Victor Campenaerts, one of the world’s best time trialists. Strong and experienced riders like Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens can teach me a lot about the Classics. In the future, races like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders should really suit me thanks to the level of difficulty and my big engine.”
“We have to wait and see a bit how fluent everything goes. In the U23 category, I was able to perform at the highest level but with the pros, everything is just a little different. I hope to take some steps in the time trial area but I certainly don’t want to leave the Classics aside in favor of the work against the clock. I want to get a taste of everything during my first years as a pro.”
“My first race for Lotto Soudal will be the Hammer Series Limburg. I don’t really know what to expect but it will mainly be about learning from the big guys. During the Baloise Belgium Tour, especially in the time trial, it will be interesting to compete against some of the best like Victor Campenaerts. Then I will soon know how much work I have ahead of me.”
Brent Van Moer:
Team Novo Nordisk Celebrates Second Annual World Bicycle Day at United Nations
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues to use the bike as a platform to advocate for the diabetes community.
Team Novo Nordisk headlined the United Nations Second Annual World Bicycle Day on June 3rd. The event celebrated the versatility, reliability and sustainability of the bicycle, and Team Novo Nordisk used the opportunity to share its mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes.
The special event was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in the North Lawn Park and included keynote speakers from the United Nations, Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland, Founder of World Bicycle Day Dr. Leszek Sibilski and Team Novo Nordisk athletes Brais Dacal and Becky Furuta. The event was co-organized by Canada, Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Liechtenstein and Turkmenistan.
“To be at the United Nations and work together towards a common goal is a dream come true,” said Southerland. “Exercise is the billion-dollar drug that never gets prescribed, and it’s a big step that the UN is using the bike as part of its strategy to achieve success with its Sustainable Development Goals.”
Southerland concluded the event with a call to action. He requested that the United Nations global leaders help mobilize funding so that all governments had the resources available to allow for equal access to care.
United Nations ambassadors who attended and spoke at the event included Aksoltan Ataeva, Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the United Nations on behalf of the Steering Committee of the WBD, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, (on behalf of the Secretary General), and Juliette Mayabella Passer, Director of International Center for Transport Diplomacy, USA.
About Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.
#InsideOut at the Giro d’Italia – A win that’s more than just a win
A tough three weeks in Italy are concluded with an incredible victory in the final TT, as Chad Haga is crowned the stage winner in Verona. From the recon, to inside the race car, right through to the moment he’d sealed the deal, join Sunweb #InsideOut with Chad Haga at the Giro d’Italia.
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