Part of the peloton is preparing for the Giro d’Italia in the Tour de Romandie – We have video, reports and results from the first stages.
Coach Koen Pelgrim sees almost the ‘Best Version’ of Remco Evenepoel leading up to the Giro – TOP STORY.
Rider news: Cavendish, Costa, Simon Yates and Lutsenko abandon the Tour de Romandie, Michał Kwiatkowski suffered concussion in Gent-Wevelgem, Marco Haller in training accident, Carlos Rodríguez can’t race yet, ex-rider Jos Lammertink abused for years and Primoz Roglič makes a comeback… on Twitter.
Team news: Vuelta a Asturias, the prelude to the Giro d’Italia for EOLO KOMETA, Jordan Labrosse Joins the AG2R Citroën, Roxo Racing bolsters roster with Canadian cyclist Nadia Gontova, Cynisca Cycling adds two riders to roster, Anders Foldager to step up with Team Jayco AlUla, next races for DSM and Israel – Premier Tech Giro d’Italia jersey.
Race news: Eschborn-Frankfurt favourites, 2023 Paris to Ancaster Bike Race announcement and ‘No Vayas Por Ahi’ by Roko will be the official tune of the II Vuelta Andalucia for elite women.
Plus Remco Evenepoel’s unforgettable ‘La Doyenne’ video.
TOP STORY: Coach Pelgrim Sees Almost ‘Best Version’ of Evenepoel
Remco Evenepoel impressively took his second victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. The World Champion seems ready for his next big goal: the Giro d’Italia. His coach Koen Pelgrim thinks the same. “He is now close to his best version,” he said in conversation with Sporza.
Pelgrim is confidently looking forward to the first Grand Tour of the season, knowing that his team is perfectly on schedule. “If we were not reassured after his performance on Sunday, we never could be. But that is no guarantee that the Giro will automatically be a success. Most of the work must be done. Putting things right now would be difficult.”
“If I look at his values, I would say that he is now around 100% of his potential. You can still rise above yourself somewhere, but he is now close to the best version of Remco. We especially want to maintain this form and tighten it up a bit. But there will certainly not be much more to add.”
Evenepoel will be staying in hotel Syncrosfera in Denia, Spain, for an altitude room training camp this week. Pelgrim explains why: “In a Grand Tour you have to be in shape for three weeks. That is why we are not too lavish with the intensity in the preparation. We want to keep its base as broad as possible. And we also put the altitude training as close as possible to the Giro. Hopefully he will be as good as possible in the third week.”
Evenepoel will have to compete against Primož Roglič in the Giro, Pelgrim: “We also saw a very strong Roglič racing in Catalonia. He is one of the best Tour riders of recent years and he has a fantastic time trial. So he will be a very difficult opponent. But there are other competitors. Everyone thinks of that conflict, but there is also Geraint Thomas, for example. And there are tour winners at the start. So I don’t think it’s going to be 1-on-1. We will see how the form continues to develop and what happens in the race of course.”
The best Evenepoel:
Tour de Romandie 2023
The Prologue of the 2023 Tour de Romandie was won by Josef Černý. The Czech rider of Soudal Quick-Step surprised the big names in Port-Valais and was just ahead of World time trial champion Tobias Foss and Rémi Cavagna. Černý is also the first leader in the Swiss stage race.
The Tour de Romandie started on Tuesday with a 6.8 kilometre prologue in Le Bouveret. The riders leave the village, which is located on Lake Geneva, and then returned along the Rhône. A fast course with only three corners.
The first rider to start was Jonathan Bögli. The Swiss rider set a final time of 8:59. The first real specialist was Ivo Oliveira. The Portuguese rider of UAE Team Emirates rider raced at an average of 54 kilometres per hour and set the first target time of 7:34. Oliveira took the hot seat, but soon had to give it to Nico Denz. The German of BORA-hansgrohe finished with a time of 7:29, 4 seconds faster than his Portuguese competitor. Bad luck for Rui Costa, due to a mechanical failure he feel on the start ramp. He started with pain in his knee and finished well down. Nikias Arndt posted a time of 7:37 and Nelson Oliveira beat him with 7:35, although they couldn’t match Nico Denz’s time. Denz was eventually dethroned by Josef Černý. The Czech rider of Soudal Quick-Step averaged 55 kph and set a time of 7:25, 4 seconds faster than the German. Top TT riders Matteo Sobrero, Ethan Hayter and Rémi Cavagna were still to start.
Sobrero, last year’s time trial winner in the Giro d’Italia, didn’t come close to Černý. Jayco AlUla’s Italian rider finished at 9 seconds. Joel Suter finished at 5 seconds to Černý’s time. This was also the time of Ethan Hayter, who was the best in the prologue in Lausanne last year and was the big favourite for today. Rémi Cavagna, Tobias Foss and Mikkel Bjerg were next to ride. Cavagna looked to have the beating of his Czech teammate, but was 1 second short of taking the lead. World Champion Foss came even closer, but it was just not fast enough to take the win from Černý. After Foss came in, Černý was safe for the win, as Bjerg and last starter Cian Uijtdebroeks couldn’t get close to the top time. Černý also took the first leader’s jersey.
Prologue winner and overall leader, Josef Cerny (Soudal Quick-Step): “It was a fast course, but I gave everything and did a strong prologue. It was very close out there, but in the end I was the lucky one. I worked hard in the time trial, had good legs today and a very good bike, and now I’m happy with this win. I wasn’t the favourite. I was hoping for a top 10 or a top 5 before the start, so to get the victory is just fantastic. It gives me a lot of joy to have the yellow jersey in such a prestigious race.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma): “I haven’t had the best weeks. I struggled with stomach flu. It was a tough opener. It was a search for the right rhythm, but I was well coached from the team car. I know that I can compete for the win in a prologue, that always gives extra motivation. Unfortunately it turned out to be just not enough. It’s never nice to lose with such a small difference, but I really gave everything. I am happy with that. There will be another time trial later this week, which suits me even better. It is now important to further improve my form after my period of illness. The most important thing now is to train well for a week and to get into race rhythm. I will not let myself be released on purpose, but the ambitions are – apart from the two time trials – not great.”
4th on the stage and overall, Nico Denz (BORA-hansgrohe): “I knew my shape is good and therefore wanted to give it a go. To be honest, I am also surprised by the result. I had good legs and found a strong rhythm which I was able to hold until the line. When you take the hot seat and wait there for such a long time it is of course not nice to have to leave it in the end, but the others have been clearly faster. Even without the small problem on the last 200m I wouldn’t have taken the win. So for me it is a good feeling to take my first ever top 5 result in a TT on WorldTour level.”
Tour de Romandie Prologue Result:
1. Josef Černý (CZ) Soudal Quick-Step in 7:25
2. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
3. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Soudal Quick-Step
4. Nico Denz (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
5. Joel Suter (Sui) Tudor at 0:05
6. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates at 0:09
8. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Jayco AlUla
9. Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Ethan Vernon (GB) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:10.
Tour de Romandie Overall After the Prologue:
1. Josef Černý (CZ) Soudal Quick-Step in 7:25
2. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
3. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Soudal Quick-Step
4. Nico Denz (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
5. Joel Suter (Sui) Tudor at 0:05
6. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates at 0:09
8. Matteo Sobrero (Por) Jayco AlUla
9. Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Ethan Vernon (GB) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:10.
Stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie was won by Ethan Vernon. After 170 kilometres, the British rider of Soudal Quick-Step was the fastest of the peloton in Vallée de Joux. The pure sprinters had been dropped before the finish. Vernon beat Thibau Nys and Milan Menten into second and third places.
The break of the day formed in two parts and eventually five riders managed to get clear: Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Schär (AG2R Citroën), Dario Lillo and Jan Stöckli (Swiss National team). They took a lead of just over 3 minutes.
Alexey Lutsenko didn’t start due to a positive covid test and Simon Yates abandoned halfway through the stage. INEOS Grenadiers took control of the peloton. On the difficult Mauborget (5.5km at 7.9%) after about 90 kilometres, the British team kept the pace high. At the top the difference to the remaining escapees, was less than 20 seconds and they were caught not much later. INEOS Grenadiers kept the pace high for Ethan Hayter and several sprinters were dropped on the climb. A large group including Fernando Gaviria, Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo was 3 minutes behind. On the final climb of the day, EF Education-EasyPost then set the pace. The Col Mont d’Orzeires (3.8km at 6.9%) caused some fragmentation, but a large peloton remained together for the last 45 flat kilometres to the finish in Vallée de Joux. Soudal Quick-Step and EF Education-EasyPost took the lead ahead of their sprinters; Ethan Vernon and Magnus Cort. Lotto Dstny also came to the front.
At the last intermediate sprint of the day, Jumbo-Visma then set up a train for Tobias Foss win, but there were only points and no bonus seconds to be gained. All eyes then turned to the bunch sprint. Rémi Cavagna tried to get away on his own more than 3 kilometres from the finish. He was brought back after a lot of effort. The sprint preparation was chaotic, because no team had control. Ethan Vernon jumped first and held on for the victory. Thibau Nys was well placed and took second place. Milan Menten was third, ahead of Romain Bardet, who finished fourth. There were problems for the large last group with Gaviria and Viviani as they had been sent the wrong way to Vallée de Joux. The group was allowed to continue, although it was well behind the peloton.
Stage winner and overall leader, Ethan Vernon (Soudal Quick-Step): “It’s the second World Tour success of my career after the one in the Volta a Catalunya last year, and just like back then, it feels great to win at this level. It was difficult on the climbs, as some teams upped the tempo and pushed hard, but I survived thanks to the boys. I am grateful to them, not just for their help there, but also for the mammoth work they put in the entire day. I already had three victories this season before today, but the last of these came two months ago, so it feels good to win again. Leading this race is a bonus, and I will enjoy wearing yellow on Thursday.”
2nd on the stage, Thibau Nys (Trek-Segafredo): “I am quite disappointed, because I had the legs to win. We had a tailwind and it went up slightly, then it is difficult to close a gap in the sprint. The final was a bit tricky to position myself, but I got some good help from the team to get up front. Then it was a matter of choosing the right wheel. I can’t complain about my sprint, because the power was there. I think I missed one or two places to win. But this is nice to start with. It feels double, because I felt really good. Today I felt good on the climb. If I have another day like that tomorrow, it’s promising. But I think I’m going to feel these efforts tomorrow.”
3rd overall, Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma): “Our sports director confirmed that five minutes later.” That there were no time bonus at the intermediate sprint. “We had heard that bonus seconds could be won. That went well too, but none of the opposition did anything. It may have looked stupid, but it’s not a big deal. Casper Pedersen told me. We checked with the team DS and after five minutes they confirmed it. We admit our mistake honestly. And if you wear the sprinter’s jersey, you should try it too. Other than that I feel good. I surprised myself today with how I felt, but take it one day at a time.”
Tour de Romandie Stage 1:
1. Ethan Vernon (GB) Soudal Quick-Step in 4:05:34
2. Thibau Nys (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Milan Menten (Bel) Lotto Dstny
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
5. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Nick Schultz (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech
7. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Intermarché-Circus-Wanty
8. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
9. Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck.
Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Ethan Vernon (GB) Soudal Quick-Step in 4:12:59
2. Josef Černý (CZ) Soudal Quick-Step
3. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
4. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Soudal Quick-Step
5. Nico Denz (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
6. Joel Suter (Sui) Tudor at 0:05
7. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Mikkel Bjerg UAE Team Emirates at 0:09
9. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Jayco AlUla
10. Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates.
Romandie’23 stage 1:
Cavendish, Costa, Simon Yates and Lutsenko Abandon the Tour de Romandie
Following Simon Yates, Mark Cavendish and Rui Costa also left the Tour de Romandie on the second day. The British sprinter of Astana Qazaqstan and the Portuguese rider of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty left the race more than 60 kilometres from the finish.
Cavendish was not feeling well, his team announced. For the British champion, the Tour de Romandie was his last preparation race for the Giro d’Italia, which will start a week on Saturday. Earlier, Cavendish’s Astana Qazaqstan teammate, Alexey Lutsenko didn’t start the stage due to a positive covid test.
On Tuesday, on the starting ramp of the prologue, the chainring on the TT bike of Rui Costa came off and he injured his knee, he finished on his road bike, but lost a lot of time. On the first road stage, the Portuguese rider was distanced on the climb.
No more Romandie for Cavendish:
Kwiatkowski Suffered Concussion in Gent-Wevelgem
Michał Kwiatkowski has had a difficult few weeks after a heavy fall in Gent-Wevelgem (26 March). INEOS Grenadiers reported that same day that the Pole had not suffered a concussion, but the former World Champion now says that he did.
“It was one of the hardest Ardennes campaigns I’ve ever done,” Kwiatkowski wrote on Twitter. “I tried to help the team as much as possible, but I never fully recovered after my fall and concussion in Gent-Wevelgem. Now is the time to refocus.”
The 32-year-old Kwiatkowski, who won the Amstel Gold Race last year, made his comeback in the Brabantse Pijl. He was unable to finish that race and also Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In the Amstel Gold Race (72nd) and the Flèche Wallonne (115th) Kwiat did finish.
Kwiatkowski’s crash in Gent-Wevelgem:
Marco Haller in Training Accident
Marco Haller escaped a serious accident while training on Sunday. A pick-up truck crushed the Austrian’s bike, but the rider himself escaped unscathed. “Lucky me,” he said on social media.
Haller looked back on his accident with the Kleine Zeitung. “A pickup stopped in front of oncoming traffic. Suddenly the white reversing lights came on. At the last minute I managed to get off the pedals with my shoes.” The pickup then ran over Haller’s bicycle.
“The driver initially thought he had only hit a branch,” explained the Austrian, who himself managed to escape serious injuries. Still, he feels the need give a warning. “The problem is that something like this can also happen if you don’t take a lot of risks, which was the case now. Imagine this takes place in the city, at a traffic light, and there is a child on a bicycle.”
Haller already has 31 race days in his legs this season. He rode the most important spring Classics in recent weeks. He achieved his best result in Milano-Sanremo, finishing in seventeenth place.
Carlos Rodríguez Can’t Race Yet
Carlos Rodríguez was supposed to take part in the Tour de Romandie this week, but the Spaniard is not part of the final INEOS Grenadiers squad. The 22 year-old rider has experienced a setback in his rehabilitation.
Rodríguez broke his collarbone in a crash in Strade Bianche at the beginning of March and has not raced for INEOS Grenadiers since. The promising Grand Tour rider looked like he would make his comeback in the Tour de Romandie, which started on Tuesday, but he won’t be there.
“After a month full of ups and downs, I am now forced to build in some rest. It’s time to recharge the batteries. There are still many races to come.” It is still unclear when Rodríguez can pin on a number again. The Spaniard is scheduled for the 2023 Tour de France, although the question is whether he can still prepare for the French tour in time.
Rodríguez was a revelation in 2022. He finished seventh in the Vuelta a España, but also had top placings: 2nd in La Route d’Occitanie, 3rd in the Tour of Valencia, 4th in the Ruta del Sol and Tour of Burgos and 5th Il Lombardia. He also won the Spanish road championships and won a stage in the Tour of the Basque Country.
Carlos Rodríguez not ready yet:
Ex-Rider Jos Lammertink Sexually Abused for Years
Former cyclist Jos Lammertink says he was sexually abused for years during his career. The now 65 year-old Lammertink told his story in a series by journalist Gijs Eijsink. “Jos has won a lot, but this trauma dominates his entire career,” Eijsink told RTV Oost.
The abuse mainly took place in the 1970s, before Lammertink turned pro. “He has bottled it up all his life and suffered from it. A lot of trouble”, says Eijsink. “It had to come out at some point. I am now making a series with him about his cycling life and ordinary life. He said he had to tell me something serious and horrible and now is the right time to throw it out.”
When Lammertink started cycling at the age of fourteen, he came under the care of a supervisor. “At first glance, the man seemed like an exemplary figure, but behind that facade a dark secret was hidden,” Lammertink said in conversation with the journalist. “He was the man who sexually abused me for many years. A major trauma that is now half a century old. It was a very heavy burden all these years. It was hell to keep silent about what happened, because I was so terribly ashamed.”
Lammertink was a professional from 1980 to 1990. He won 38 races in that period, including two stages in the Tour of Spain, he also won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 1984 and was Dutch road champion in 1986.
Primoz Roglič Makes a Comeback on Twitter
Primož Roglič has made his comeback… on Twitter. The Slovenian rider of Jumbo-Visma, who is currently preparing for the Giro d’Italia, posted a tweet on Tuesday evening. “Guess who’s back.”
Roglič has been absent from Twitter since February after his account was hacked. The rider then decided to delete his Twitter account, but is now back. The Jumbo-Visma rider still has just under 3,000 followers, but his followers will undoubtedly grow quickly. Before the problems with his old account, Roglič had about 130,000 followers.
Roglič back on Twitter for the Giro:
Vuelta a Asturias, The Prelude to the Giro d’Italia
EOLO KOMETA competes this week in the north of Spain, in what will be its last race before the start of the Giro d’Italia next Saturday, May 6th. The final opportunity to add up successes, to accumulate preparation and to arrive in optimal conditions to the most important event of the season. Everything is ready, the only thing missing is a great result to boost the morale of a team that is motivated and ready to shine.
The Vuelta a Asturias maintains its three traditional stages on a route with a marked profile for climbers, but which also allows the strong cyclists to fight for the stage wins. The first day will start from the capital of the region, Oviedo, looking for the mining area and the finish in Pola de Lena, which includes 181 kilometres of route, five climbs and in particular La Colladona (1st category) as a big obstacle.
The second stage between Candás and Cangas del Narcea will complete 183 kilometres and will have as its judge the ascent to the Alto del Acebo, with a vertiginous final descent. The third and final stage will be 149 kilometres long, with three mountain passes and a beautiful finish in the capital Oviedo reserved for strong cyclists.
EOLO KOMETA will line up a block full of energy in this Vuelta a Asturias. Lorenzo Fortunato, after his great week at the Tour of the Alps where he finished 5th overall; Vincenzo Albanese, who returned in style at the Giro di Sicilia and is looking forward to a stage win before facing the Giro d’Italia; Francesco Gavazzi as road captain, the climbers Álex Martín, Alessandro Fancellu, Fernando Tercero and the all-rounder Diego Sevilla, a real guarantee for the leaders in any competition, will be on the start line.
Lorenzo Fortunato: “We want to win the Vuelta a Asturias, that’s the goal. We’re going to try to continue the good work we did at the Tour of the Alps, and all the work is very good for us, always with our sights set on the Giro d’Italia. There are three demanding stages in Asturias that will help us to be in the best shape for the big event of the year”.
Jesús Hernández, sports director: “What we are looking for in this Vuelta a Asturias is the best result in each of the three stages, to fight for the victory, as well as the overall classification. On both the first and the third day, Albanese will be our rider, while the second day is a very good stage for Fortunato. We want to try to maintain the racing form and the image of Sicily and the Alps. To race together, to protect the rider who will fight for the result every day. Commitment, attitude and confidence to achieve the goals we have set ourselves”.
Lorenzo Fortunato to Asturias:
Jordan Labrosse Joins the AG2R CITROËN TEAM Starting August 1 Through 2025
The thirtieth member for the 2023 season of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, Jordan Labrosse will be the fifteenth rider to have gone through our junior and/or U23 training centre before joining the professional structure, i.e. half of our workforce.
Along with him, Alex Baudin, Geoffrey Bouchard, Benoît Cosnefroy, Pierre Gautherat, Paul Lapeira, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Valentin Paret-Peintre, Nans Peters, Nicolas Prodhomme, Antoine Raugel, Valentin Retailleau, Damien Touzé, Bastien Tronchon, and Clément Venturini have also worn the colours of AG2R CITROËN in their early years.
Jordan Labrosse: “It is a real pride and the obvious choice to join the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. I did not see myself turning professional in another team. After having done my training within the AG2R CITROËN U19 then AG2R CITROËN U23 structures, it was logical for me to continue on this same path. Over the years, I have found a second family with friends from the training centre who I will also find in this team like Bastien Tronchon. I can’t wait for us to race together among the pros. There will be a real emotion to find ourselves both in the peloton. I’m not going to land in an unknown team because I’ve also been a part-time mechanic in the race department at La Motte-Servolex for three years thanks to my dual sports and training course. It will be special to cross now to the other side of the barrier. Before August 1, I want to enhance my record in the amateur ranks. I have targeted several class 2 and of course, the Grand Prix Cours-la-Ville Grand Prix, close to my home, which will also be my last event in the colours of AG2R CITROËN U23. Then, my ambitions will initially be to help my leaders and discover the professional world. I am really impatient and ambitious. Last year, Bastien (Tronchon) proved, by winning a stage at the Vuelta a Burgos, that it is possible to win quickly. I come with a strong desire to perform!”
Vincent Lavenu: “In recent years, Jordan has shown that he has reached an excellent level as an amateur and even internationally by going for big results abroad. After having passed through the AG2R CITROËN U19 and AG2R CITROËN U23 teams, it is natural that his place is among us. This will be the fifteenth rider from our training program. It is a great source of satisfaction. In collaboration with the training centre, we wanted him to continue his apprenticeship for another six months before joining us from August 1st. Jordan is a rider with a lot of enthusiasm. He has an atypical background and his name has been well known within the squad for several years. His personality was greatly appreciated in the training centre. Training part-time as a mechanic will have provided an important balance for him. He will now focus on being a professional cyclist and I have no doubt that he will be competitive from right away.”
Labrosse in brief
Born 15/09/2002 (20 years old) at Roanne (Loire)
Type of rider: puncheur
Palmarès: Tour de Moselle (+ 1 stage) 2022, Roue d’Or 2022, 2nd Torino-Biella 2023, 3rd Il Piccolo Lombardia 2022….
New to AG2R Citroën Jordan Labrosse:
Roxo Racing bolsters roster with Canadian cyclist Nadia Gontova
Roxo Racing, a Texas based UCI Continental women’s cycling team, is pleased to announce the roster addition of Canadian cyclist Nadia Gontova, who recently won stage 2 of the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Redland, California. Nadia, soon to complete her degree in Integrated Science at University of British Columbia, competed for UBC’s rowing program before focusing on cycling. Gontova cross trained on bicycles and quickly moved through the cycling ranks, earning her Category 1 road license in less than a year. With cycling soon to be Nadia’s sole focus, Roxo is excited to help her realise her cycling potential.
Chann McRae, Roxo Racing DS and Managing Partner noted “Our DS’s and staff have keen eyes for talent. We watched Nadia ride away from the stacked field on the Oak Glen climb at Redlands. Add to that her phenomenal Zwift racing success, it’s an easy call to give athletes like Nadia a chance to progress toward the top level.”
Brendan Quirk, CEO of USA Cycling, added “The signing of Nadia Gontova to Roxo Racing is proof of the upward trajectory of North American road cycling. You’re seeing more and more women come to bike racing from other tough sports like rowing and track, and watching them create opportunities for themselves like this is inspiring to everyone. And no way does this happen without great development-focused teams like Roxo Racing, and marquee races like Redlands.”
Team leadership includes Chann McRae, Scott Warren, Chris Watson, JW Wilson, and Todd Reed. McRae is a former WorldTour team director, for EF, as well as a former WorldTour racer with top finishes as the Worlds, the Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.
Title sponsor Roxo Energy is a Fort Worth-based oil and gas acquisition and development company. Roxo is joined by Auto Wurks, Hapi Water, and Dennett Construction. Suppliers include Arundel, BB Infinite, Castelli, Dynamic Bike Fit, Goodyear, HED Wheels, SRAM, Time Bicycles, and Time Sport Pedals
More info at www.roxoracing.com
Nadia Gontova joins Roxo Racing:
Cynisca Cycling Adds Two Riders to Roster
US-based, UCI Continental Team Cynisca Cycling announces the addition of two new development riders to its team roster. Jess Cygan, 29, and Anna Hicks, 23, will make their debut with the team at the Tour of Gila, April 26-30.
“Cynisca Cycling is happy to have two more developing riders from the USA Cycling talent ID program joining our team,” said Chris Gutowsky, Cynisca’s general manager and team founder. “Jess and Anna both raced strongly for USA Cycling at the Redlands Classic and will be welcome additions for the upcoming Tour of Gila and Joe Martin stage races.”
Jess Cygan began her cycling career after competing in Division I cross-country and track at the College of William & Mary. Following a break from competitive running, Jess took up cycling on the road and gravel and hasn’t looked back. Recent highlights include a 1st at Steamboat Gravel Blue and 3rd at Unbound 100 in 2021 and 4th place at the Boulder Roubaix Road Race in 2022.
“I have been focusing more on more road racing with a goal of earning a spot on a pro road team,” said Jess. “Cynisca is providing a wonderful opportunity for me and other women riders. I’m excited to have a great team to race and connect with.”
Anna Hicks is also new to cycling with some early successes in the sport including finishing 14th in GC this past week at the Redlands Classic race series. She competed in Division I cross country and track at California Polytechnic State University before discovering her talent and love for cycling. In 2022, Anna stood on three podiums at the Collegiate Cycling National Championships, most notably coming in 2nd in the road race, 2nd in cross country short track and 1st in the National collegiate mountain bike team relay.
“Joining Cynisca will help me gain experience and explore my potential,” said Anna. “The team has a such dynamic and strong group of girls.”
The riders were recommended to the team via Cynisca’s partnership with USA Cycling’s women’s development program. Cynisca Cycling is sponsoring the USA Cycling women’s development program for the second year, giving women on the national development team more opportunities to train and race together and in Europe. Both Anna and Jess competed on the USA Cycling Development squad at the Redlands Classic this week.
Kyleigh Spearing, Anna Hicks and Ashley Frye at the Redlands Classic
Departing the Cynisca Cycling team, Maddy Ward has decided to concentrate on gravel racing and no longer race on the road in Europe.
Danish talent Anders Foldager to step up to WorldTour level in 2024 with Team Jayco AlUla
Team Jayco AlUla is pleased to confirm the signing of Danish talent Anders Foldager on a two-year contract. Foldager experienced the team environment back in 2022 when he raced as a stagiaire for the second half of the season with the squad, demonstrating his raw ability, huge potential and great nature, fitting into the team naturally.
Following on from his stagiaire experience, Foldager has continued to race in the U23 ranks, developing all areas as a young 21-year-old, preparing himself further for the leap up to the WorldTour peloton, which he will make with GreenEDGE Cycling next season.
The Dane has continued to display his strength and progression, scoring multiple victories already this season in Italy at the GP Industria & Commercio and Memorial Polese.
With a huge engine and a great ability to suffer through the demanding races over tough terrain, Team Jayco AlUla believe Foldager will be a big name in the future and a valuable asset to the team and its vision for 2024 and beyond.
Brent Copeland – General Manager: “When Foldager joined us in 2022 for the second half of the season, he immediately slotted into the team really well and we could see then that he would be a great addition. He is still very young but very mature for his age and his ability is clear; he has already enjoyed a lot of victories at U23 level and we believe it is a good time for him to step up. We see a lot of potential in Foldager and we feel that he will be able to manage now at WorldTour level. We believe he will be able to learn a lot from being in a WorldTour team environment and we want to help him to grow and develop with us, with our strong vision for the future.”
Anders Foldager: “It is a dream come true for me to be switching to join Team Jayco AlUla in 2024. I have always wanted to be a professional cyclist and now that it can happen at the highest level is fantastic. Last year as a trainee with GreenEDGE, I learnt a lot about the team and their way of doing things. I found it very educational, and I could easily see myself on the team. There was a good atmosphere and a very professional approach to everything. As a rider, I am a puncheur. I like the shorter climbs where explosiveness is crucial and then I have a good sprint, especially in smaller groups after a hard race. So in the future I hope to be able to do well in race types with shorter climbs, for example in the Ardennes Classics. I hope to get a good start in the team next year, I know in the first year that I can gain a lot of experience and learn how to behave in the professional WorldTour peloton.”
Date of Birth: 27th July 2002 (21)
Joins GreenEDGE Cycling: 2024 & 2025
1st GP Industria & Commercio (2023)
1st Memorial Polese (2023)
3rd Per Sempre Alfredo (2023)
2nd Ruota d’Oro (2022)
2nd Giro ciclistico d’Italia stage (2022)
La Vuelta Femenina – MAY 01 – 07
Albert Timmer – Team DSM coach: “La Vuelta Femenina marks the first big stage race of the year for our Women’s program after a successful first part of the season. The race has an interesting parcours with really different stages. Our goal will be to focus on the general classification with Juliette, who had some great performances last year. In the sprints, Charlotte will be our finisher and we hope to bring her into the sprints fresh and as well-positioned as possible. We have a strong team and we are confident that we can bring home some great results.”
Francesca Barale (ITA)
Léa Curinier (FRA)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Maeve Plouffe (AUS)
Elise Uijen (NED).
Eschborn-Frankfurt – MAY 01
Luke Roberts – Team DSM coach: “This year’s Eschborn-Frankfurt sees a change to the course to make it more challenging. With two passages of the Feldberg, it gives a chance for the stronger climbers to open up a gap on the sprinters that have mostly dominated this race in the past. After the second passage, we expect an exciting chase to see which of the fast men can bring themselves back into contention. We will be aiming to keep a bigger group together for a sprint where we have multiple options.”
John Degenkolb (GER)
Sean Flynn (GBR)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Lorenzo Milesi (ITA)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Florian Stork (GER).
John Degenkolb to Frankfurt:
Israel – Premier Tech Celebrates Vini Fantini with Giro d’Italia Jersey
With the cycling world set to descend on Abruzzo, the home of Vini Fantini, for the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza next week, Israel – Premier Tech unveils a special edition jersey to celebrate the team’s partnership with the iconic Italian winery.
Vini Fantini is located in the heart of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG, where the vineyards slide from the hills to the sea to create a unique and exceptional microclimate. For the second time in the history of the partnership, the team will race the Italian Grand Tour with a jersey dedicated to Vini Fantini, this time drawing inspiration from the Fantini brand identity and the picturesque backdrop of Abruzzo.
“Vini Fantini is an important part of the Israel – Premier Tech family so, as we did in 2021, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate our partnership at the Giro d’Italia, particularly with the Grande Partenza in Abruzzo. When our riders race against the clock on stage 1, they will cross the finish line in Ortona, where the Fantini Group factory and headquarters are located, in what will be a special moment for Fantini and Valentino Sciotti. We are proud to put the spotlight on Vini Fantini throughout the Giro d’Italia, and also appreciate the excellent collaboration between the team, Premier Tech, EKOÏ, and Vini Fantini to create such a beautiful jersey,” says IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström.
The bold jersey was designed by Élie Desgreniers from Premier Tech. “We looked at a variety of ideas but it was the Fantini logo and bottle branding with the circular dot and line formation of the logo that really drew my eye, and this was the inspiration for the jersey design,” explains Desgreniers.
In addition to the patterns, Israel – Premier Tech’s core blue identity is paired with a rich wine red and complemented with the sea blue tones of the right shoulder, which pay tribute to the importance of the Abruzzo coastline in Fantini’s terroir and serve as additional visibility in the peloton.
“We are deeply grateful to the team and sponsors for dedicating a special jersey to us at a race, such as the Giro d’Italia, which is very important for us especially this year where the first stage will take place in our region, in our city of Ortona,” says Fantini owner Valentino Sciotti. “We are so proud to be part of this team that shares our same values. Our wish is to see one of our athletes wearing this jersey on the podium celebrating an important victory at this Giro d’Italia.”
Produced by EKOÏ, the jersey matches perfectly with the team’s bib shorts and as a contrast to the team’s 2023 jersey, favours block colours, and bold, clean lines which create a striking look set to stand out in the peloton.
“Appreciating premium and aesthetically pleasing products, we are proud to have worked on the design of this jersey. From a technical point of view, the jersey features innovations in fit and aerodynamics and I am convinced that the kit will not go unnoticed in the peloton thanks to its elegance. EKOÏ rises to a challenge and we jumped at the chance to quickly bring this jersey to life which I believe is a superb collaboration with this great team!” adds Stéphane Rosetto, EKOÏ Sponsorship Manager.
Israel – Premier Tech Giro d’Italia jersey:
German Classic Stars Meet New Challengers
May 1 will be a reunion of all active German classic winners. No less than five riders are aiming again for another title at Eschborn-Frankfurt. John Degenkolb (2011 winner), Alexander Kristoff (2014-2018), Pascal Ackermann (2019), Jasper Philipsen (2021) and Sam Bennett (2022) want to cheer again in front of the Alte Oper. Whether the course update of the Sport Director Fabian Wegmann (2009, 2010) will suit them or a new name will enter the list of winners of the German WorldTour race remains open.
One thing is already certain: Eschborn-Frankfurt 2023 will have a noticeably more classic character. The 200-kilometre classic distance will be reached again and there will be more altitude. The focus of the course update is the Feldberg. The highest mountain in the Taunus region will be climbed twice this year, as it must be conquered again halfway into the race – plus from the more difficult, southwestern ascent. After the pros already have the second crossing of the Mammolshainer in their legs, it goes directly on for them over the Billtalhöhe to the Feldberg.
With the new climbing part and a shorter route from the last Mammolshainer climb to the finish, the chances of success for Taunus attacks increase. This route update and previously offensively ridden spring classics guarantee excitement on May 1.
Defending Champion in Focus
As many as five german classic winners are at the start in Eschborn. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) comes out of a three-week break from racing with momentum. With victories at the WorldTour classic in De Panne and at the Scheldeprijs, as well as a 2nd place at Paris-Roubaix, the 25-year-old is one of the stars of the spring.
For John Degenkolb (Team DSM), too, it was a special week of classics in top form. The disappointment of Roubaix will no longer play a role in the home race. Fans can look forward to a “local hero” who will continue to actively shape the German classic in his 13th professional season. In his 1st professional year there was the home victory – perhaps the 13 in two weeks brings luck. Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) has also set his sights high. With great experience, the German classic series winner has also celebrated a successful start to the season in his new team. However, the veteran looks at the new Feldberg climb with respect and hopes to be able to fend off attacks.
Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) was the last German to celebrate in Frankfurt. The 29-year-old is still waiting for his first win of the season and would like to give a finetuning on the German classic before his start at the Giro d’Italia. For defending champion Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe), the season has been a roller coaster so far. Starting the year with a win and good stage sprints, the classics weeks fell through. Motivated by the start number 1, Eschborn-Frankfurt should become a successful racing comeback.
Is a New German Classic Name Riding into the Spotlight?
The only German team in the UCI WorldTour, BORA – hansgrohe, will go into the home race with the defending champion as well as German champion Nils Politt and Max Schachmann. Both can handle the new demands in the Taunus and make the race very selective.
Also, for Jonas Rutsch (EF Education – EasyPost) the more demanding course could pay off. The 2nd of the U23 German classic of 2018 wants to be on the podium in Frankfurt after a very good spring also in the pros. Last year he unsuccessfully sought an early decision in the Taunus, now there are new opportunities.
With Max Walscheid (Cofidis) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty), other Germans have announced their participation. The 29-year-old Walscheid still has a score to settle with the German classic. He was only once at the start in Eschborn but could not finish the race in 2018. After his strong 8th place at Paris-Roubaix, he now comes to the Taunus with confidence. Zimmermann will celebrate his German classic hat trick on May 1. After serving his sprint captains in the previous two years and successfully piloting them to or near the podium, the extra altitude might now suit the winner of the Deutschland Tour junior classification.
Arnaud de Lie (Lotto Dstny) could steal the show from the German fans’ favourites. The top talent, who is only 21 years old, already made an impression at his German classic premiere last year, when sprinting straight to 7th place. With this result, three victories this season and a successful classics campaign under his belt, the end-fast Belgian is no longer considered an underdog.
“There is no clear trend to be seen in the teams’ preliminary rider nominations. Pure sprinters are just as much part of it as the mountain-proof and classics-tested names. I’m curious to see how the riders take to the new course. A look back at the spring classics shows that many races were very open and early attacks often brought a preliminary decision or even the decision. We have prepared the right course for this – now it is up to the attack-minded riders to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Fabian Wegmann, Sport Director of Eschborn-Frankfurt.
The elite race starts on May 1 at 12:05 p.m. in Eschborn. After the neutral start, 203.8 kilometres have to be completed. After a first finish in Frankfurt at race kilometre 15, the peloton heads into the Taunus Mountains. It will first go on the usual route over the Feldberg (KM 46.5) and then via Eppstein for the first time over the Mammolshainer Stich (KM 92). After the second Mammolshainer crossing (KM 107.9), the route leads over the Billtalhöhe to the southwestern ascent of the Feldberg (KM 117.8). Via Kittelhöhe and Glashütten, the Mammolshainer (KM 167.8) will be approached again before the final to Frankfurt. After the riders in the finale have passed the finish once, the final lap is rung in.
2023 Paris to Ancaster Bike Race
Hosting the Canadian Gravel Championships
The highly anticipated Paris to Ancaster Race, which was awarded the honour of hosting the inaugural Canadian Gravel Championships, is set to take place on April 30th, 2023. This iconic event brings together over 3200 cycling enthusiasts and pros from across Canada and beyond for an exhilarating day of competition and camaraderie. The race is not only known for its exciting competition, but also for its festive atmosphere and community spirit. Spectators can expect to witness thrilling finishes, cheer on their favourite riders, and experience the excitement of a true cycling spectacle.
As the host of the 2023 Canadian Gravel Championships, the Paris to Ancaster Race holds special significance for the cycling community, with top riders vying for the coveted title. The event also offers a platform for showcasing the growing popularity of gravel cycling as a dynamic and inclusive discipline within the broader cycling world. The race has expanded and runs through three regions, Hamilton, Brant County, and Waterloo.
What: Paris to Ancaster Bike Race 2023, Canadian Gravel Championships
Who: Over 3200 registered participants, with previous P2A winners and international cycling stars such as Mike Van den Ham, Ruby West, Maghalie Rochette, Evan Russell, Adam Roberge, Cody Scott, Taschia Piciga, and Siobhen Kelly.
When: April 30th, 2023, winners are expected to cross the finish line around 11:30AM and are available for interviews. Race directors John Thorpe and Tim Farrar will also be present on race day and available for media interviews.
Where: Ancaster Community Centre, 385 Jerseyville Rd W, Ancaster, ON L9G 3L5
For more information contact Clarissa Dela Fuente ([email protected]) or Glenn Marshall ([email protected])
‘No Vayas Por Ahi’ by Roko Will be the Official Tune of the II Vuelta Andalucia Elite Women
The singer ROKO will be in charge of the tune in the 2nd Edition of the Andalusian round that will be held from May 31 to June 4.
The Vuelta a Andalucía Elite Women 2023 already has an official song. It will be the song “NO VAYAS POR AHÍ” by the singer ROKO. The agreement was signed last week with the representatives of M2 MUSIC GROUP. It will be the tune of the race from its start in the town of Alcalá la Real, province of Jaén, precisely the singer’s hometown, on May 31 until its outcome on June 4 in a town in Cádiz that has yet to be revealed. Rocio Pérez, artistically known as Roko, is a singer, songwriter and actress at 33 years old, although she has been immersed in the world of music since she was 8 years old.
His first performance was at the age of 14 at a charity gala. He studied at the IES Alfonso XII and at the end of high school he graduated in Musical Interpretation at the Superior School of Dramatic Art in Malaga. At the age of 22 he became part of the first edition of “El número uno” where he had the opportunity to share the stage with great artists and where he managed to rank second. Shortly after, Roko participated in the second edition of “Tu cara me suena”, which he won. In 2014, Roko’s first album titled “3,2,1: Roko” came out, in which songs such as “Luz” or “Así de bien” stand out.
Roko currently performs multiple artistic actions, among which stand out the composition of musical themes that we can hear in different films, a dubbing actress in films and series, different musical theatre works and of course the launch of her current musical project that we can listen to in the main music platforms.
For Enrique González, Marketing Director of the Vuelta a Andalucía Elite Women, the choice of Roko represents a great commitment to Andalusian singers and groups with a presence at an international event like this, as well as integrating culture into this sporting event, which which is a pride for our organisation and is one of our purposes year after year.
Roko is proud that this organisation wants to have his music and the message of this song. That he wants to express precisely that each one has his own path and the ability to take the reins of his life. In Roko‘s words: “It is a message of empowerment and strength that connects perfectly with the development of the women’s section in this sport. Which is gaining more and more strength and importance. I hope everyone can relate to this song, find inspiration and enjoy seeing so much talent and dedication from these elite athletes.”
She finds her inspiration in the capacity that human beings have to improve ourselves, to learn while we live and the emotions that we can generate in other beings. Believe and feel that there is a lot in common between sport and music, since we make our passion our way of life. And that courage and perseverance are values that make us grow in both disciplines.
Her influences are the union of the common points between the Latin American and Mediterranean roots, which make this proposal a language that until now we had not enjoyed from the artist.
Remco Evenepoel’s Unforgettable ‘La Doyenne’
The expectations around him were sky-high, but Remco Evenepoel was impervious to pressure and delivered in style.
The World Champion won cycling’s oldest Monument – Liège–Bastogne–Liège – for the second consecutive year, capping off his Soudal Quick-Step teammates’ immense work on a rainy day in Belgium, at the end of which the rainbow shined brightly.
Watch now this video featuring some exclusive interviews and footage of our riders celebrating the squad’s 22nd Monument victory!
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