76th Tour de Pologne, 2019

Pavel Sivakov (INEOS) takes the overall at the Tour de Pologne

Stage 7 :  Bukovina Resort  to Bukowina Tatrzańska  : 153.3km

Pavel Sivakov (INEOS) takes the overall at the Tour de Pologne

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Merida) wrapped up the seven stage Tour of Poland with a solo win on the final stage, 55 seconds ahead of American Neilson Powless (Team Jumbo-Visma) with Gianluca Brambilla (Trek – Segafredo) third at 1’07” with another four breakaway riders further back still.

The gaps mirrored a roller coaster stage that saw the peloton heavily fragmented with finishers stretched out over nearly 20 minutes. The result played into the hands of Sivakov who started the day second overall but moved into top spot after finishing comfortably in the first big group, 2’15” down while overnight leader Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) who had rocketed up the GC 58 places after beating Sivakov and Hindley in a three way sprint on Stage 6, plummeted 25 places after finishing 14’30” down on the day’s winner.

Rounding out the rest of the GC podium were Aussie Hindley (Team Sunweb) at just 2″ back and Italy’s Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) at 12″.

General Classification Results Top 10

1 Sivakov PavelTeam INEOS 26:20:58
2 Hindley JaiTeam Sunweb0:02
3 Ulissi DiegoUAE-Team Emirates0:12
4 Higuita SergioEF Education First0:14
5 Geoghegan Hart TaoTeam INEOS,,
6 Latour PierreAG2R La Mondiale0:15
7 Formolo DavideBORA – hansgrohe0:16
8 Hamilton ChrisTeam Sunweb,,
9 Majka RafałBORA – hansgrohe,,
10 Knox JamesDeceuninck – Quick Step,,

Bjorg Lambrecht dies following crash in the Tour of Poland

Update: The fourth stage of the Tour of Poland has been neutralised and shortened. It will now be 133.9km and one final lap.

22 year old Belgian rider Bjorg Lambrecht has died following a crash in the Tour of Poland. Riding for Lotto-Soudal Lambrecht crashed during the third stage. He was resuscitated at the roadside before being taken by road to hospital after transport by air ambulance was ruled out as too risky. Unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries at hospital.

Bjorg Lambrecht
Copyright: Photo News/Lotto Soudal

The team announced his passing in a tweet this afternoon

Tour de Pologne Official Page

Lotto Soudal Official Page

8th Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (1.UWT)

Viviani avoids big crash to win in London

Elia Viviani stayed ahead of a big crash with 1.4km to go to take the sprint win on the Mall, beating Sam Bennett (Bora Hansgrohe) with Deceuninck – Quick Step teammate Michael Mørkøv taking third.

Elia Viviani (ITA) of Deceuninck-Quick-Step raises his arms in victory after sprinting to win 
the Prudential RideLondon Classic.
Elia Viviani (ITA) of Deceuninck-Quick-Step raises his arms in victory after sprinting to win
the Prudential RideLondon Classic.
Photo: Bob Martin for Prudential RideLondon
ia Viviani (ITA) of Team Deceuninck-Quick-Step sprints to the finish line to win the Prudential RideLondon Classic ahead of Sam Bennett (IRL) of Team Bora-Honsgrohe.
Elia Viviani (ITA) of Team Deceuninck-Quick-Step sprints to the finish line to win the Prudential RideLondon Classic ahead of Sam Bennett (IRL) of Team Bora-Honsgrohe.

Photo: Ben Queenborough for Prudential RideLondon

The win came shortly before the news that Viviani would be transferring to Team Cofidis for 2020.

Race Video (courtesy of RideLondon)

RideLondon Classique 2019

Wiebes wins Classique amid dramatic finishing straight crash and disqualification.

Stage winner Lorena Wiebes (2nd from right) places 2nd ahead of Kirsten Wild before the latter is disqualified for causing the crash in the background.
Copyright: Mark Sharon 2019 (Photographer)

20year old Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) had launched a long sprint almost as soon as the peloton made the final turn in to the Mall, the sun dipping behind Buckingham Palace, after 68km of racing.

As the line loomed Wiebes could have looked left and right and seen nobody. She would not have seen but would surely have heard the scenes of carnage unfold behind her but her resolve was resolutely. Victory was surely hers until, with a couple of metres to go, WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling’s Kirsten Wild popped into sight on her left to take the win by a wheel rim. The agony of losing by such a tiny margin worse than the pain in her lungs, but wait…

Wild has put in an exhibition of the power sprinting that looked set to claim her third win on the Mall, pulling back Wiebes’ seemingly unassailable advantage, but it had come at great cost. In doing so she had deviated off her race line, clipping the front wheel of Alé Cipollini’s Chloe Hosking and putting a couple of dozen riders on the deck.

While Wild was initially declared the winner her own celebrations were non-existent and it soon dawned on riders and fans that something was amiss. A few minutes later it was confirmed that Wild had been relegated to 37th, the back of the group that had contested the sprint and a delighted Wiebes had been awarded the win and the 25,000 Euro first prize. Second spot went to Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance Cycling) one step higher than her third spot in 2018, with 2017 Champion Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) in third.

The crash which occurred after Wild deviated from her line and took out Chloe Hoskings
Copyright: Mark Sharon 2019 (Photographer)

Post-race interview with Lorena Wiebes

Post race interview with Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg)

The victory added a significant result to a nicely developing 2019 palmares, that included the GC at Tour of Chongming Island UCI Women’s WorldTour, and the National Championships Netherlands WE – Road Race where she beat Marianne Vos.

Prudential Ride London 2019 Preview

Classique August3rd and Classic August 4th, London

Kirsten Wild returns to defend Classique title against Marianne Vos and Coryn Riviera. Tour de France rivals Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani amongst the stars battling for honours at the Classic.

Classique 68km – 20 laps of a 3.4km Central London Circuit

Two-time champion Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling) heads a star-studded list of entries for the 2019 Prudential RideLondon Classique – the world’s richest one-day women’s bike race – on Saturday 3 August.

Kirsten Wild winning the 2018 edition of the Classique
Copyright: Mark Sharon (Photographer)

Wild will be up against previous champion Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) and Le Course Marianne Vos (CCC – Liv) who is fresh from winning La Course by Le Tour de France (1.WWT).

Coryn Rivera (Sunweb)
Copyright: Mark Sharon (Photographer)
2018 Classique Podium L-R Marianne Vos, Kirsten Wild, Elisa Balsamo
Copyright: Mark Sharon (photographer)

Classic 1.UWT 169km

Fresh from a hat-trick of stage wins at the Tour de France Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan is looking to extend his palmares with a win in London on Sunday at the Prudential Ride London Classic. His rivals include fellow stage winners Elia Viviani (Deceuninck- Quick Step), Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott).

The line up also includes four former winners of the race, Arnaud Demare (Groupama – FDJ) – who returns for the first time since winning the very first edition of the race in 2013 – Jempy Drucker (BORA-Hansgrohe), Adam Blythe (Lotto Soudal) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates).

Other fast men include Sam Bennett (BORA-Hansgrohe), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), and the reigning Paris-Roubaix champion Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick Step)

Kwiatowksi Skips Home Tour

Team Ineos rider Michel Kwiatowski has announced he will skip the upcoming Tour of Poland.

Hopefully soon I will be able to find a joy from riding my bike and I’m sure that from there on I will win again some big races. “, Kwiatowski on Instagram

The 29 year old, who finished 83rd at this year’s Tour de France stated in an Instagram post:

I’m not a guy who likes to change his plans but unfortunately this is one of those moments. As much as I love Tour de Pologne and cherish memories from last year, I will not participate in this year’s edition. I know now, straight after finishing Tour de France, that recovery, is what my body was suggesting me probably since very long time. So far it wasn’t the season I was dreaming of and this is a good time for reflection and thinking about my preparation, combining heavy racing in 2018 and trying to step up from that in particular. Hopefully soon I will be able to find a joy from riding my bike and I’m sure that from there on I will win again some big races.

Have a great Tour de Pologne everyone! It’s a very difficult decision to miss that amazing feeling of racing in front of Polish fans. I will be watching and hoping my teammates put on a great show.

While his early season form seemed very solid with a 3rd spot at both the Milan San-Remo and the Paris-Nice in March Kwiatowski and even a second place on the Stage 2 Individual Time Trial at the Tour his form was notably below par as the race progressed. He was being conistently dopped on the climbs and slumped to 135th spot in the second ITT on Stage 13.

Fans will be hoping he will finds a return to form that will see him competing at the World Championships in Yorkshire taking place from 22 – 29 September.


Le Tour 2019: Stage 21

Rambouillet to Paris, 128km

Bernal seals the overall as Ewan reigns on the Champs Elyees

Egan Bernal became the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France. The 22 year old finished the 106th edition of the race 1’11” ahead of INEOS teammate, and defending champion, Geraint Thomas, with Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) third at 1’31”.

Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) who held the race lead for fourteen days, including 11 consecutively, finished fifth overall behind Emanuel Buchmann (BORA – hansgrohe).

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) wins on the Champs Elyees, ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Vista) Niccolò Bonifazio (Team Total Direct Energie)
Copyright: ASo/Alex Broadway

Bernal at 22 years and 196 days became the youngest rider to win in the last 100 years and third youngest winner in the race history, after Henri Cornet (19 years and 352 days) in 1904 and François Faber (22 years 187 days) in 1909.

Stage 21 Video Summary (courtesy of ASO)

Stage 21 Results and Final General Classification

Le Tour 2019: Stage 20

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne  to  Tignes   59.5km (shortened due to landslides on Cormet de Roseland)

The Shark strikes again. Nibali takes the win on shortened final mountain stage

Bahrain Merida’s Vicenzo Nibali soloed to his first stage win since taking the overall back in 2014. Egan Bernal confirms his ascendancy to the Tour throne.

Tour de France 2019 – 27/07/2019 – Etape 20 – Albertville / Val Thorens (59,5 km) – Stage winner Vincenzo NIBALI (BAHRAIN MERIDA)
Copyright: A.S.O. Alex BROADWAY

Nibali had not visited the top step of a Tour de France podium since 2014 but in a show of renewed strength he struck out alone on the long climb to Val Thorens to win by 10″ over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with Mikel Landa third at 14″.

The Sicilian was part of a group that attacked early in a stage shortened to 59.5 kilometres after landslides forced the omission of the Cormet de Roseland from the day’s tests.

Just behind were Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, the latter graciously congratulating the Colombian as they reached the line, the job almost done head of the largely ceremonial Parisian stage 21.

Tour de France 2019 – 27/07/2019 – Etape 20 – Albertville / Val Thorens (59,5 km) – Egan BERNAL and Geraint THOMAS (TEAM INEOS)
Copyright: A.S.O. Alex BROADWAY

Champion-in-waiting Egan Bernal described his feelings ahead of the official ceremony in Paris

“We’re now close to making it official. There’s one stage left, but normally if everything goes well, I can say that I’ve won my first Tour. 

“The last climb has been very hard. Jumbo-Visma rode hard to make the podium. We were in a comfortable situation and I felt really well. I’m happy. 

“It’s incredible to think that I have won my first Tour. I just want to get to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and after I’ll be calmer. Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour – I feel this is not only my triumph but the triumph of a whole country. We already had the Giro, La Vuelta, but the Tour was missing and it’s a great honour to think that I’m the one achieving this. My dad couldn’t talk at first but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. 

“We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. As a kid, you think “how cool it would be to be there one day”, but it looked so far away. Here we are and I’m very emotional.”

Stage 20 Summary Video (copyright ASO)

Stage 20 results and GC

Le Tour 2019: Stage 19

All Hail Egan Bernal. French hopes dashed as race lead changes hands as hailstorm descends on final climb.

Team Ineos’s Columbian climbing prodigy takes over the lead of Tour de France from Alaphillpe after a hailstorm of apocalyptic proportions cuts off the road to Tignes and forces the annulment of Stage 19. The drama capped a day that saw Thibaut Pinot forced to abandon with a muscle injury.

While the race was hotting up on the slopes of the Col d’Iseran a massive hailstorm 30km ahead had turned the landscape white and rendered the road to the finish at Tignes impassable. Reacting quickly officials led by Race Director Christian Prudhomme made the decision to stop the race for rider safety.

The situation was soon relayed via time managers and race officials to riders including Bernal and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who were descending towards Val d’Isere with a lead of over two minutes on the yellow jersey. Reactions ranged from anger to frustration, disbelief to resignation. Alaphillipe who was descending like a madman clawing back time looked a picture of despair.

Tour de France 2019 – 26/07/2019 – Etape 19 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Tignes (126,5 km) – Julian ALAPHILIPPE (DECEUNINCK – QUICK – STEP)
Copyright: A.S.O. /Alex BROADWAY

While details needed to be ironed out it was quickly decided that General Classification standings would be based on the time gaps at the top of the Col D’Iseran, placing Bernal firmly in the lead. It was also decided that there would be no stage winner, leaving Simon Yates ruing the missed opportunity to fight for a hattrick of wins.

Tour de France 2019 – 26/07/2019 – Etape 19 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Tignes (126,5 km)
Copyright: ASO/Thomas MAHEUX

The new Maillot Jaune, Egan Bernal explained his feelings at moving into the race lead:

“To be honest, I didn’t know what was happening. I’ve been told in the radio that the race was finished and I said ‘no I want to keep going’. There were talking to me in English and I was not sure. Only after I stopped and my director told me that I was in yellow, I felt relieved.

“It’s incredible. I can’t believe it. I want to ride full gas tomorrow and then arrive to Paris and once I cross the line, I’ll start believing this is true. There’s one hard stage remaining. It’s a short one. I’ll give it all on the road. To become the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France would be amazing.”

Outgoing champion Geraint Thomas expressed some regrets at the turn of events:

“If was a funny one because if we’d known [about the cancellation] beforehand it would have been more of a race to the top of that last climb. But it’s one of those things. It’s out of everyone’s control. 

“It’s all ifs and buts. The main thing is that we’ve got the jersey in the team now and we’re in a great position. We just have to go in there and finish the job off tomorrow now.  “Going into the last stage Egan’s in yellow. The main thing is he finishes the job. For sure he’ll have a decent advantage over everyone else. I fully support him now. He’s been incredible from the start and he’s a phenomenal talent.”

Pinot Abandons

Thibaut Pinot was France’s Plan B for ending its 34 year long wait for a Tour de France win if ‘Plan Alaphillipe’ faltered but fate had other plans. The Groupama-FDJ rider had sustained a serious muscular injury a couple of days before after striking his handlebar while avoiding a crash.

Despite his team doctor’s efforts and making it through Stage 18 it all proved too much and on the climb of the Montée d’Aussois about 40 kilometres into the race Pinot abandoned coming to a stop in tears supported by his teammate William Bonnet.

More story to come

Stage 19 Summary video (Copyright ASO)

General Classification after Stage 19

Le Tour 2019: Stage 18

Quintana bags a win for starving Movistar. Alaphillipe keeps France’s hopes alive with demon descending skills. Bernal slips ahead of Thomas to make it a Fiesta for Columbia.

With a devastating attack on the slopes of the Galibier, Nairo Quintana singlehandedly salvaged what had been a disastrous tour for Movistar. The Columbian made easy work of the climb, attacking from a small group of breakaway riders 7.5 kilometres from the 2642m summit, before descending under gathering rain clouds to the finish in Valloire.

Tour de France 2019 – 25/07/2019 – Etape 18 : Embrun / Valloire (208 km)
A.S.O. Pauline BALLET

Such was the power and hunger of Quintana it would be another 1’35” before Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) arrived at the line followed by Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) at 2’28”, the pair leaving it far too late to catch up.

Back in the yellow jersey group Egan Bernal was putting his own Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas under pressure in an attempt to do the same to race leader Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck – Quick Step). It looked like it was going to work.

Tour de France 2019 – 25/07/2019 – Etape 18 : Embrun / Valloire (208 km)
A.S.O. Pauline BALLET

Stage 18 Video Summary (courtesy of ASO)

Stage 18 Summary (Copyright ASO)

Tour de France 2019 Etape 18 – Embrun / Valloire (208 km) – L’Izoard, la Casse Deserte
Copyright: A.S.O. Pauline BALLET

Stage 18 Results