BINIAM GIRMAY out sprinted Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix to become the first Eritrean to take a stage at a Giro. In a cruel twist of fate the 22 year old Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux rider was immediately sidelined after taking a cork in the eye from the celebratory Prosecco.
Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay made the best of his duel with Mathieu van der Poel to become the first Eritrean stage winner at the Giro d’Italia, one and half months after he made history in the northern classics, winning Gent-Wevelgem. It was a very competitive stage, heading to Michele Scarponi’s native town of Jesi. Italy’s Vincenzo Albanese rounded off the podium and Juan Pedro Lopez retained the Maglia Rosa.
Biniam Girmay had to skip the post-podium press conference to go to hospital after an incident on stage, however straight after the finish he said: “I started the Giro with the desire to win a stage. Everyone from the team pulled for me today, even the GC riders, Domenico Pozzovivo was amazing at the end. At 600m to go, he said: ‘come’. He pushed me to go and win. I realize I’m making history but it’s thanks to my team and my family. I’m really grateful to them.”
Juan Pedro Lopez, who pulled on the maglia rosa for the eight straight day said in the press conference: “When we passed Filottrano, I started to cry. I didn’t get to know Michele Scarponi but I know his family and there were a lot of emotions. I was lucky enough to meet Biniam Girmay three or four years ago. We’ve maintained a good relationship since then. We also keep in touch via social media. He makes history today. Moreover, he’s a very humble and amicable person. As for myself, I enjoy every day and every kilometre in the Maglia Rosa. I don’t know for how much longer but tomorrow I’m sure I’ll enjoy again.”
Napoli (Procida Capitale Italiana della Cultura), 14 May 2022. Thomas de Gendt invaded Naples today as part of a four man group to seal a second win at a Giro d’Italia. This one on the shores of the bay of Naples could not be much more different from the one he claimed ten years on Stage 20 of the 2012 edition at Passo dello Stelvio.
STAGE RESULTS 1 – Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) – 153 km in 3h32’53’’, average speed 43.122 km/h 2 – Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) s.t. 3 – Jorge Arcas Peña (Movistar Team) s.t.
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION 1 – Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo) 2 – Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 38″ 3 – Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) at 58”
The Lungomare Caracciolo in Napoli, with an impressive crowd on a summer-like day, welcomed the second success in the Corsa Rosa, 10 years after the first one, by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal). The Belgian rider won the sprint between four of the 21 riders who were part of the breakaway that started at the beginning of the stage, pushed on by Mathieu van der Poel.
De Gendt, in the company of Davide Gabburo, Jorge Arcas Peña and his team-mate Harm Vanhoucke, anticipated the other fugitives by attacking 43km from the finish and resisting the return in the final of van der Poel himself, who tried in vain to take the lead in the company of Mauro Schmid and Biniam Girmay.
Among the escapees, Guillaume Martin moved up on GC and now stands in fourth place 1’06” behind the Maglia Rosa Juan Pedro Lopez, who defended the lead despite numerous attacks launched in the final kilometres by Lennard Kämna.
The stage winner, Thomas De Gendt, said in the press conference: “I won races in previous years but I’ve felt it’s become harder and harder to be in the good breakaway. I only managed to do it for the third time this year. There are always good riders up there. Today, again, it was the case with Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Grmay. We also knew that everyone would look at them; normally everyone looks at me. We took advantage of that. I’ve had bad luck and bad shape in the last two years. Today I proved that I’m still able to win races. It was a really nice circuit today – something like a championship but I can only talk about the Belgian championship because I’ve never won the Europeans or the Worlds. I think it’s nice to do it in a Grand Tour. It felt like a classic today. It made for an attractive racing, not exactly what people expected.”
Tomorrow sees the second uphill finish of this Giro d’Italia at the top of the Blockhaus.
10 May 2022: Stage 4 (172km) Etna-Nicolosi (Rif. Sapienza).
Europe’s largest volcano was the scene of a titanic duel between Lennard Kämna of BORA – hansgrohe and Juan Pedro López of Trek – Segafredo over the last few kilometres of a stage which saw a break hold off the peloton. It was Kamna who took the stage honours while Lopez, whose bike-handling failed him on the final turn, took enough time to become the new Maglia Rosa.
How it happened:
Faced with the epic ascent of Mount Etna at the conclusion of the day’s stage the peloton took a relaxed approach when 14 men broke away early leaving themselves with over 160km to go. The 14 breakaway members comprised:
Valerio Conti (Astana Qazaqstan), Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe), Davide Villella, Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), Rein Taaramae (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo), Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix), Diego Andrés Camargo (EF Education-EasyPost), Erik Fetter (Eolo-Kometa), Alexander Cataford (Israel-PremierTech) and Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën).
The break took advantage of the peloton’s apathy and pulled out a 8’10” gap.
With 30km to go, and still enjoying a 6′ gap, the unity of the break ended with Oldani making a bold bid for glory. It looked solid too. With 12km to go he had a lead of 1’03”. Then Lopez attacked.
The Spanish rider caught and passed Oldani within 2km and things began to look exciting not just at a Stage level on for the GC.
With 8km t0 go Kämna made an appearance at the front of a small group with Vansevenant and Moniquet that represented the last of the break. His pace was too high though and at 6.5km to go he was riding solo in pursuit of Lopez. the peloton was now clawing back time and was 4’20” adrift.
There was another shift in positions behind with Taaramae accelerating to become third man on the road. With 2.5km to go Kämna had caught Lopez and the two were spotted in conversation. Whether it was something to do with how they intended to divide up the spoils it seemed to not have been resolved as the two were in a desperate duel coming into the final bend at 200m with Lopez on Kämna‘s wheel.
All became moot for the Stage win as Lopez made a mess of the turn and immediately lost 5 meters on the German who came across the line to take a first Giro stage win, and the sixth win of his career.
Lopez was visibly annoyed at the outcome and even in the interviews had to be reminded he was the new Maglia Rosa. He had started the day in 47th spot at 1’12” but with the peloton still adrift and arriving 2’37” later he now had 39″ over Kämna but 1’42” over Simon Yates and 2’06” back to Richard Carapaz and Romain Bardet.
Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo): “I worked hard all day to take the Maglia Rosa. I attacked in the toughest part of the climb but Kämna was able to come back at -3. I tried to fight for the victory but it was really difficult to win. I’m really happy to have the Maglia Rosa, I don’t know how long I’ll keep it but I’ll enjoy it“.
Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe): “It was a very hard day, especially the final climb. I thought it was over when Lopez was marked at 30″. When I caught him it was probably a tacit deal, stage to me and Maglia Rosa to him. I’m happy to have won a stage, it takes a lot of pressure off the team too“.
Wiv SunGod and Pro-Noctis take the honours at the opening round of Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series in Guisborough.
Round 1 Women’s Event
Pro – Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen also produced a fine start in Guisborough as British circuit race champion Jo Tindley and Lucy Ellmore finished second and third in the women’s race.
Tindley and eventual individual winner Sophie Lewis (CAMS – Basso) also broke away in the early laps, before Ellmore produced a fine effort to bridge across to the leaders.
Despite leading out the sprint, Tindley could only place second here for the second year running, as promising track talent Lewis pipped her to the line. Behind, Sammie Stuart (Team Brother UK – LDN) broke away from the peloton to finish fourth.
Corinne Side was Pro – Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen’s third-ranked finisher in 12th as Rick Lister’s team started strongly in the series once again.
“The first round is always the one that you never really know how it’s going to go,” said Tindley. “You’ve done all this training but you don’t know how everyone else is going and so much could happen within one race. So, it’s really good to get the first one out of the way, we just work for the rest of them really.
“It’s a new circuit for round two [in Guisborough], so I think we will be defending more than anything, and just seeing how it goes. We’ll try to keep an eye on things!”
CAMS – Basso finished second on the day to leave Guisborough with just a one-point deficit in the overall standings, with Team Boompods taking third.
“It’s given me a lot of confidence [going into the next few races],” said Lewis. “It’s nice that we’re in a good place for the rest of the series.
“It was a really good race and I’m really pleased with how it went. I knew that last year about five riders went clear pretty early on, so I knew I had to be up there right from the start. I did feel a bit out numbered but I did what I needed to do.”
After a disastrous start to the series here in 2021, the first men’s race of this year’s event couldn’t have gone any better for Wiv SunGod, as Thomas Mein and Matthew Bostock broke clear on lap one and almost lapped the entire field.
Mein, the reigning British cyclo-cross champion, took his first individual series win ahead of Bostock after the pair delivered an unforgettable victory salute. Impressively, only 0.001s separated the duo across the line, making it the closest-ever finish in series history.
Behind, Matthew Gibson placed fifth in the rain-affected race to seal the team win for Tim Elverson’s squad.
Wales Racing Academy impressed en route to finishing second on the day, ahead of TEKKERZ, TRINITY Racing and Saint Piran.
Although local rider Harry Tanfield led the peloton home in third respectively, defending men’s champions Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling only finished sixth in the team result.
“We went on the first lap and just kept on going,” said Mein. “It was pretty much game over for everyone else when we got away, so that’s a bit of a dream scenario.
“Getting away with team-mates doesn’t happen often, so you’ve just got to make the most of those chances.
“It couldn’t have gone any better to be honest, so now we’ve got to carry on doing that for the rest of the series.”
Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series leaders Wiv SunGod and Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen extended their overall advantage following the Galashiels event on Wednesday (4 May) evening.
Both teams took the all-important team victory on the night in round two as the series visited the Scottish Borders for the first time.
This was a historic night in the 13-year history of the Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series as the women’s race followed the men’s race for the first time.
Sunshine and two super quick races greeted Britain’s best men’s and women’s teams to the centre of Galashiels, with Scottish men’s rugby union head coach Gregor Townsend flagging both races away.
Round 2 Men’s Race
In the opening men’s race it was Wiv SunGod rider Jim Brown who took his first individual win in the Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series. Brown and teammate Matthew Bostock had been at the forefront from the start, driving the pace around the short circuit to stretch the peloton, and drag a select group of riders clear as a crash split the peloton behind.
The evening then turned into a duel between Wiv SunGod and defending champions Ribble Weldtite with the pair of teams taking four of the top five spots. Dividing them was 17-year-old Noah Hobbs of Tekkerz, in fourth, who also took the fastest lap.
“I’m buzzing! Taking the one-two in both rounds is really good and we’d like to continue that if we can,” said Brown (Wiv SunGod).
“We’ve got a good team, you know. We’ve got five really strong riders, so we can just get to the front and make it hard for everyone else.
“In the first five minutes we started putting the hammer down and the race split into a group of about 15. After that there were a lot of moves going, but I managed to slip away in the final and take the win.”
Wiv SunGod now hold a three point lead over the Wales Racing Academy at the top of the standings, whereas in the women’s series Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen have a six point margin over Torelli – Cayman Islands – Scimitar and Team Boompods.
Taking the women’s individual win was Megan Barker (CAMS – Basso), who has won three of the last four races held. Barker however was isolated in the front group dominated by Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen, but did enough to head Emma Jeffers (Jadan – Vive Le Velo) and Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen) in the final sprint.
“It was pretty tough for me personally,” said Barker afterwards. “I think we had quite a difficult night as a team, so I ended up quite isolated in that front group with the full Pro – Noctis team attacking me like five times every lap!
“We just had to go for the individual win tonight so I just had to really stick at it, follow the wheels, not touch the wind as much as I could. I kind of was looking at the finish line every lap and figuring where I wanted to step out into the wind [and start my sprint].”
Speaking after defending both the Freewheel.co.uk Sprints jersey and with her Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen team mates the yellow Freewheel.co.uk leaders’ jerseys, Jo Tindley said;
“It was really interesting actually [to see the men racing first]. They do race differently to us and they are going to be faster but it was interesting to see just how they attacked. They literally strung out on the first lap and how it all formed for through the bunch. So we got a good impression of how it would be for us.
“We were aware that the other teams were going to go out hitting it hard after [round one in Guisborough], so we just waited to see how it played out. It just stayed fast; it was a fast night, it was full on.”
Milton Keynes, 25 April 2022: ŠKODA UK, in partnership with Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, has confirmed three new female riders to join the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy, which is now it its fourth year.
Alex Morrice from Guildford, Surrey, Katie-Ann Elliston from Southend-On-Sea, Essex and Maia Forde from Tooting, London, will develop their cycling skills under the mentorship of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey
The three women were selected from 90 applicants who took part in a testing day at the Lee Valley Velo Park at the end of March. The tests at the Lee Valley Velodrome included a series of Wattbike challenges followed by laps of the outdoor closed circuit to assess bike handling skills and straight-line speed.
Dame Sarah Storey, Academy Principal, described how applicants were tested to their limits as part of the process:
“I was so impressed with the level of all the riders taking part, their commitment, and the way they gelled together as a group. The tests were a six second peak power test, a three-minute maximal test then a 12-minute aerobic test, followed by two laps on the outdoor track. The riders all performed very well and gave absolutely everything – that there were so many riders slumped over their bikes at the end is testament to that!
“Congratulations to all the riders that took part in the testing day but ultimately three riders stood out for me and I’m excited to be working closely with Maia, Alex and Katie-Ann this year through the Academy programme.”
Dame Sarah gave her feedback on each of three women:
Alex Morrice (22) from Guildford, Surrey is a Physics and Chemistry student at the University of Bath.
“Alex posted four outstanding test results which far exceeded my expectations for someone who has been cycling for less than a year. Her focus and drive were evident from the moment she walked into the testing day.”
Katie-Ann Elliston (19) from Southend-On-Sea, Essex is a Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation student at the University of Derby and member of Southend Wheelers.
“Katie-Ann was first tested in 2021 and returned to re-apply this year. Her tests significantly improved, and I was incredibly impressed by how she had applied the recommendations made to her last summer. The willingness to learn, improve and progress further radiated from her in every test, and I can’t wait to support her over the coming months.”
Maia Forde (23) from Tooting, London is a Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner and is a member of the Black Cyclists Network.
“Maia was a joy to meet and test at the event at Lee Valley and although she had only been cycling since last summer it is clear she’s been working hard to bring herself up to speed on everything to do with the sport.
“Her tests were impressive and the combination of her determination and natural talent was very exciting to watch. I am really looking forward to supporting Maia and helping her further develop her skills both on and off the bike.”
The three new riders join three existing Academy riders, Maddi Aldam-Gates, Gwyneth Parry and Olivia French, who were selected for the programme in 2021.
Ineos Grenadiers‘ Dylan van Baarle capped a superb day of team work to take a solo win in Roubaix. The Dutchman launched his decisive move with 19 kilometres to go, on the Camphin-en-Pévèle cobbled sector, dropping his breakaway companions Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Tom Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
The first 47 kilometres featured numerous unsuccessful attacks, doomed by hard riding by Ineos Grendadiers. The pace resulted in the bunch split into two groups, thee first featuring Ineos, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Bora-Hansgrohe, and the second led by Trek-Segafredo and Alpecin-Fenix.
The split saw some big names distanced including, Alexandre Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal), Christophe Laporte, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Iván García Cortina (Movistar Team) or Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).
With 72km raced and the first cobbled section looming the gap between the two pelotons is staying around 1’15”. At 96km they finally hit the cobbles and its bone-shaking wake-up for many but not for the likes of the race’s youngest competitor, the 19 year-old American Magnus Sheffield riding for Ineos Grenadiers as they force the pace at the front of group one. Three years ago he took part in the junior version.
The opening secteurs see a flurry of crashes, Swiss Champion Dillier goes down in the second group, then Felix Gross (UAE Team Emirates) and Leonardo Basso (Astana Qazaqstan) hit the deck. Then just at the beginning of the Saint-Python (km 110,1 – 1,5 km) ** cobbled sector, a huge crash happens, hindering most of the riders in the front group.
At 110km raced tThe winner of the 2014 edition of Paris-Roubaix Niki Terpstra of TotalEnergies finds himself alone at the front of the race. Out of the Saint-Python (km 110,1 – 1,5 km) ** cobbled sector he has 10” over the small group following him.
The small group, led by Filippo Ganna, becomes quite a substantial group comprising imo Roosen, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Filippo Ganna, Ben Turner, Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Davide Ballerini, Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal, Jannik Steimle (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Maciej Bodnar, Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM), Sebastian Langeveld, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost), Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates), Max Kanter (Movistar Team) and Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen).
At km 117 Terpstra has 25″ over the Ganna group, 40″ over a second group with Van der Poel group at over 1’30”.
Ganna’s group finally reel in Terpstra and by the Haussy (km 123,7 – 0,8 km) ** cobbled sector, there is a group of 18 riders at the front: Timo Roosen, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Filippo Ganna, Ben Turner, Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) Davide Ballerini, Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal, Jannik Steimle (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Maciej Bodnar, Daniel Oss, Niki Terpstra (TotalEnergies), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM), Sebastian Langeveld, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost), Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates), Max Kanter (Movistar Team), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen).
A flurry of short brutal secteurs see further crashes. including a second by Dillier. It also sees a courageous attack by Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen), who accelerates at the beginning of the Saulzoir to Verchain-Maugré (km 130,6 – 1,2 km) ** cobbled sector. It lasts only about seven kilometres but his team will have been pleased about the publicity.
A mechanical for Van Baarle, who was riding on the Ganna group, means a change bikes. It’s quick but he is still caught by the second group led by Groupama-FDJ.
At the front as the race lead hits the midway point of the Trouée d’Arenberg (km 161,9 – 2,3 km) * cobbled sector ridden Ganna is putting on quite a show. He has attacked at the front of the bunch with Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers), Jasper Stuyven (Groupama-FDJ) and an Intermarché-Wanty Gobert rider in pursuit of Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe). The attacks stutters and is caught by the bunch
At the Hornaing to Wandignies (km 174,7 – 3,7 km) **** cobbled sector the race lead is occupied by Davide Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Casper Pedersen (Team DSM), Tom Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic).
A sector 15, Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (km 185,6 – 2,4 km) **** this group has 2’20” on the peloton which has briefly remerged though much reduced in size.
Ineos Grenadiers lead the remains of the bunch into the Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies (km 192 – 1,4 km) *** cobbled sector with Michal Kwiatkowski on the ffront, with Ben Turner and Dylan van Baarle on his wheel. Ganna though has been dropped his mammoth efforts to drive the Ineos tank successful but exhausting.
With over 200km raced it’s a three man lead group comprising Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Tom Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic), chased by 12 men, Mathieu van der Poel, Guillaume van Keirlsbuck (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Ben Turner, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Adrien Petit, Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).
Midway through the Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (km 203,1 – 2,7 km) **** cobbled sector Van Baarle launches his attack. Up ahead Pichon has a mechanical and loses contact with the his fellow leaders. Next to have a problem is Matej Mohoric. The Slovenian national champion has had to stop right out of the Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (km 218 – 1,4 km) *** cobbled sector in order to get a new rear wheel. It leaves Devriendt is now alone up front.
At the the 232km mark a new front group has emerged with Mohoric linking up Dylan van Baarle and Lampaert to snag Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) +40” Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic) Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Adrien Petit (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert).
On the Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 237,3 – 1,8 km) ****, Van Baarle manages to open a gap of 50m over Mohoric and Lampaert… and to eliminate Devriendt altogether. At Willems to Hem (km 249 – 1,4 km) **, van Baarle has further increased his gap, up to 50” over Lampaert and Mohoric and 1’10” over Van Aert and Küng, who have caught Devriendt.
Lampaert who was chasing hard suddenly found his race hopes in tatters when he clipped a clapping spectator and catapulted himself across the cobbles. He was up and chasing quickly but never managed to get back in contention and is been caught by Van der Poel, Stuyven, Petit and Pichon, who trail two minutes behind Van Baarle.
Baarle never looks like being caught and could probably have suffered a bike change if need be. Fortunately the last few kilometres are uneventful and he is able to enter the velodrome stadium and enjoy sole occupancy completing his victory lap before a quartetof Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Devriendt and Mohoric arrived 1’47” later to fight over the remaining podium places with van Aert and Kung successful.
Post race interview with Dylan Van Baarle:
How to do you feel like to be the winner of Paris Roubaix?
It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it when I got on the velodrome. I looked at the other side to see if there were some other guys but I was completely alone#. When the DS came next to me I really started believing it. It’s been crazy.
Is the race you wanted to win?
It’s a Monument so of course I want to win a Monument. To be second on Flanders and winning Roubaix I am lost for words.
Was the plan always for the entire team to be on the front from the beginning?
It was not planned at all but it turned out like this. We were super focused from the gun. We wanted to be on the front foot and for other teams to chase. I knew from that moment things would change and we would use less energy than everyone else. We were a bot unlucky. I had a puncture and I think everyone had something but we just kept going and this result is amazing.
When you took off was that planned?
No, but we wanted to make the race hard before the second feed zone and that’s what we did. Afterwards we felt strong enough to ride for me. I can’t thank the team enough.
This is the first win at Roubaix for Ineos or Sky
It’s been a great Spring Classics season so far. We have to enjoy this. We have worked so hard for it over the last couple of years. We have had some bad luck but now everything is going in the right direction. The whole team is lifting on that.
Stefan Kung expressed his delight at makiong the podium after a early hiccup:
“It was a really hard and tactical race today. To react all the time was not easy. I had had to stop for a nature break and that’s why I was behind when the peloton split after 47k. By the time the group were organised to chase, the first bunch had a minute over us. After going through all that happened today, it is nice to be at least on the podium. This is a big achievement at my favourite race“
The frantic racing resulted in an incredible average speed of 45,8 km/h making it the fastest-ever edition of Paris-Roubaix – and the maiden victory for Ineos Grenadiers (including its previous incarnation, Team Sky) at the Hell of the North.
Sanremo, 19 March 2022 – Matej Mohoric took a spectacular win in the 113th Milano-Sanremo riding away from the group of favourites on the descent of the Poggio. Mohoric became the first Slovenian to win La Classicissima after pushing his descent to the limit with his unprecedented use of the ‘dropper’ seat post .
In second spot was Frenchman Anthony Turgis who had also escaped on the descent while Mathieu van der Poel, who was roped in as a substitute for a sick teammate, outsprinted the rest of the contenders to take third spot on the podium.
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, Matej Mohoric said: “I’ve been thinking about this race for the whole winter. I’ve worked on being in good shape for Milano-Sanremo even though I got sick in February and I crashed at Strade Bianche. I never stopped believing I could win. My plan was to do my best descent and risk it a little bit. I went full gas. It’s amazing to win Milano-Sanremo!”
165 riders took the start in Milan with Australian Robert Stannard (Alpecin-Fenix) the only non-starter. Eight riders, Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Filippo Tagliani and Ricardo Alejandro Zurita (Drone Hopper – Androni Giocattoli) Samuele Rivi and Diego Pablo Sevilla (EOLO-Kometa, Filippo Conca (Lotto Soudal), made an immediate break which persisted for most of the day.
At 45 km covered the break has a lead of 5’10” covering the first hour at an average speed of 45.7 km/h (28.4 mph). The gap continued to grow reaching 7’00” after 173km. The peloton then started pushing hte pace but the break still enjoyed 5’40” with 75km to go (km 218).
At the approach to Capo Berta Zaharov, Tagliani and Zurita are the first to throw in the towel. Next is Conca on the climb leaving four riders to push on. Back in the bunch Peter Sagan (Total Energies) has to change his bike after a mechanical problem and never gets back into contention.
The Cipressa at 270.5km raced scythes through the break’s gap cutting it to 42″ and leaving Tonelli and Rivi out front with Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) driving the peloton.
Tonelli and Rivi are finally caught by the bunch at the foot of the Poggio. Tadej Pogačar of UAE Emirates is the first of the favourites to launch an attack but Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) reels him straight back in. The Slovenian stays on the front though and pushes the pace to the point he, Kragh Anderson, Mathieu van der Poel and Van Aert have a few seconds over the peloton.
It’s Mohoric who gets clear and gains 5″ by the time the road levels out. At the flamme rouge he is still riding solo but Turgis is gaining but not fast enough to thwart Mohoric’s quest for victory.
The winning margin though is only 2″ to Turgis, Van der Poel, Michael Matthews, Pogačar, Pedersen, Kragh Andersen and Van Aert. It’s 5″ then to Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious) and 11″ to Arnaud Demarre (Groupama-FDJ) and a small bunch of eight with the fractured peloton spread out over the next 21 minutes.
The winner Matej Mohoric, said: “We had a plan through the whole winter to use a seat post experienced in mountain-biking, but much lighter. Since the Poggio has a very technical descent, it suits me, so I was open to the idea, but I wanted to try it first in training. I was surprised how fast I could go. Therefore I was looking forward to the race. I crashed behind Julian Alaphilippe at Strade Bianche. I hurt my knee very badly. A ligament was inflamed. But I’m very stubborn. I didn’t give up. I was finally able to do some proper training on Wednesday and I was always telling myself that the other guys were also having problems like sickness. On the downhill of the Poggio, I was super focused the whole time. I went off-road when I attacked but I jumped back on the road. The second time I slipped both wheels and I lost lot of time there as well. On the flat I dropped my chain on last corner. Maybe I pushed too much and I should have kept some energy but I’m glad I could pull it off.”
Matej Mohoric is the first Slovenian winner of Milano-Sanremo. This is his 16th pro victory but only his second one-day race triumph after the 2018 GP Larciano, also in Italy. His win adds to a stage win in each of the three Grand Tours.
Runner-up Anthony Turgis said: “To climb on the box at the podium ceremony is already a good thing. But once again, first place was in reach. I’m a little bit disappointed but it’s a reward for the day of the team. Peter Sagan got a mechanical so some riders were asked to wait to bring him back. Then the race was very hard and a group was formed with the strongest riders. Milano-Sanremo is a superb race. The more we get close to the finish, the harder it is. I hope I can win one day.”
Third placed Mathieu Van der Poel said: “Even if I was not supposed to race, I’m still disappointed. Maybe the big favorites were in the sprint for third place, it’s a pity we couldn’t sprint for the victory today. Milano-Sanremo is a very difficult race to win. Suddenly, Mohoric had a gap. I didn’t expect he would. There was Pogacar on his wheel. We all know that Matej can do quick descents but I thought the group was big enough to close the gap. He deserves the win as well. There was also a lack of cooperation behind. We were three riders with Pedersen and Van Aert who really tried to close the gap. We need one or two teammates to close it for us. I hope I’ll come back for winning but I’m getting older and this is a missed chance again.”
Belgian Champ storms home first on Siena’s Piazza del Campo
Siena, 5 March 2022 – Lotte Kopecky (Team Sd Worx) has won the eighth edition of Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo, 136km from Siena to Siena (Piazza del Campo). The Belgian rider crossed the finish line in the historic square just ahead of Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women). Third place went to Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Team Sd Worx) at 10″.
Saturday’s Strade Bianche double header delivered two first time winners with Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky taking the win in the Women’s Elite race, before Slovenian super star Tadej Pogacar followed up in the men’s event.
It came down to a duel in the Women Elite event, with Kopecky and pre-race favourite Annemiek van Vleuten neck and neck up the last drag along the Via Santa Catarina before Kopecky edged van Vleuten on the line.
Speaking seconds after the finish, a victorious Lotte Kopecky said: “I cannot believe I just won! It was a great team effort from the whole Team Sd Worx. I knew I had teammates behind me that had my back. I had a good feeling in the finale, I tried to follow Annemiek Van Vleuten and I just kept pushing until the last corner, I knew I had to be first on the last corner, I was prepared for the sprint. It is the biggest victory of my career”
Milton Keynes, 31 January 2022: ŠKODA UK, in partnership with Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, has announced that it is recruiting three new female riders to the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy. Applications are now open until Monday 28February.
The ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy offers young female riders the opportunity to gain invaluable experience thanks to ŠKODA’s sponsorship of some of cycling’s biggest events and mentorship from Academy Principal, Dame Sarah Storey.
ŠKODA is committed to furthering the opportunities for female riders and the aim of the year-long, inclusive programme is to provide ambitious cyclists, aged between 18-24, with a chance to learn and develop a clear direction within the sport so that they can maximise their potential.
Successful applicants will be contacted by mid-March to be invited to the second stage of the process. A testing day will take place on Monday 28 March at the Lee Valley VeloPark where the selected riders will be put through their paces by Dame Sarah Storey and other ŠKODA ambassadors.
Dame Sarah will decide who will join the prestigious ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy after carefully analysing the results of a series of tests that will include a peak power test, a three-minute maximal test and a 12-minute steady state challenge. The riders will also complete laps of the outdoor closed circuit to assess their bike handling skills and straight-line speed.
The 2022 Academy programme, designed to sit alongside each rider’s existing club or team activity, provides the opportunity to experience the life of a professional rider with on and off bike experiences throughout the year.
Dame Sarah Storey’s mentorship will include planning and bespoke advice on racing, training and career progression beyond the Academy. Additional social media and media training will be available alongside a sport psychology programme developed exclusively for the Academy.
Ride experiences, dictated by COVID rules at the time, will take place during ŠKODA sponsored events that include the Women’s Tour (June), Tour de France (July) and Tour of Britain (September). A further British Cycling experience day is scheduled for October.
Dame Sarah Storey commented: “I’m delighted to be able to recruit three new riders to the ŠKODA Academy for this the fourth year since its inception. The now annual programme will enable ambitious young women to further develop their skills both on and off the bike via a series of events. Whether you are already racing at a regional or national level or have just taken up cycling, this is a fantastic opportunity to join a unique and inspiring programme, where you not only get to travel and witness some of the world’s best riders in action, but you will also learn more about how to maximise your opportunities alongside school, university, and other responsibilities in life.
“I’ve had so much fun supporting ŠKODA riders over the past three years and I’m always incredibly proud to see them go on to achieve the next step in their career as happened with four riders from the 2021 programme.”
The recruitment schedule is as follows:
31 January Application window opens
28February Application window closes
Mid-March Shortlisted riders invited to testing day by mid-March
28March Testing Day
1 April Selections made and riders contacted
w/c 4 April New riders announced
The three new riders will join three existing Academy riders, Maddi Aldam-Gates, Gwyneth Parry and Olivia French, who were selected for the programme last year.
Academy rider, Olivia French comments: “I cannot emphasise enough how important the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy has been in developing my performance on the bike. Behind the scenes ride experiences at some of the biggest events alongside learning from Dame Sarah Storey, a cycling legend, have been invaluable for me. If you’re a young female cyclist with a passion for the sport, then I wholeheartedly recommend that you try out. Apply now!”
ŠKODA started life as a bicycle company in 1895 and the brand continues to honour its heritage. In tandem with its headline sponsorship of key events in the cycling calendar, ŠKODA is championing gender equality in the professional tour series.