Stage 21 (Final): Paris La Défense -Paris (Champs-Élysées), 115.6km
Paris Champs-Élysées, Sunday, July 24th – Belgian Jasper Philipsen outclassed former Champs-Élysées winners Dylan Groenewegen and Alexander Kristoff to take victory on the final stage of the Tour de France. Behind the hurley burly of the sprint Dane Jonas Vingegaard’s arrived with the other four survivors of Jumbo-Visma to claim his first overall victory at a Grand Tour.
Philipsen’s win was the second of the Tour, the first on Stage 15 (Rodez to Carcassonne) and gave him the title of the the most successful sprinter of the 109th Tour de France and the chance to emulate his childhood hero Tom Boonen who also won his second Tour de France stage in Paris at the age of 24 in 2004. It wasn’t enough to give him the points jersey. That honour went to Wout van Aert who didn’t contest the last sprint in order to be alongside Vingegaard at the line.
Second overall went to Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), 2’43” down with Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) at 7’22”.
Mende, Saturday, July 16th – Michael Matthews won again at the Tour de France five years after the last time. Second at Longwy and Lausanne, he became the second Australian to win a stage after Simon Clarke on stage 5 and the second rider from Team BikeExchange-Jayco to win a stage after Dylan Groenewegen on stage 3. The sprinter from Canberra rode as an attacker to finish solo after the Côte de la Croix-Neuve in Mende while Alberto Bettiol and Thibaut Pinot rounded out the podium.
Young rider leader Pogacar shattered rivals plans with a well crafted ride on the cobbles of Northern France while veteran Australian Simon Clarke took a maiden Tour de France stage victory at age 35.
Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, Wednesday, July 6th – Australia’s Simon Clarke claimed his maiden Tour de France stage victory as the early breakaway survived to the line. The Israel-Premier Tech veteran, aged 35, pipped Taco van der Hoorn on the line while Edvald Boasson Hagen rounded out the podium. Wout van Aert who crashed before the cobbled sector and waited for Jonas took third spot.
The yellow jersey battle took a new twist with a big re-jig at the top of the standings. While Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who had punctured retained the yellow jersey by a margin of 13 seconds over breakaway member Neilson Powless a late attack by Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in the company of Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) saw the UAE rider move into third and extend the gap to rivals such as Vingegaard.
How it happened
Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies), Magnus Cort and Neilson Powless (EF Education-Easypost), Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM) entered the second cobbled sector with an advantage of 3’25”.
Clarke described what it meant to win his first Tour de France stage: “I mean, after winter I had, I had no team and Israel-Premier Tech rang me up. I was given that chance… Today is the reality check that everything can happen if you take the opportunity. The first few days of the Tour, I was looking after the team. But this morning, the team director said: ‘Clarkey, today is a breakaway day!’ The stages I won at La Vuelta and the pink jersey I had at the Giro all came in the first week of the race. So I thought today was maybe the day… But I still can’t believe it. I passed Taco less than 50 meters to go. I gave my bike the biggest throw I could. My stages at La Vuelta came in similar finishes. I chose to sit back and hope for the other guys to crack before. I really had to chase Edvald down. We’ve been sprinting since the last corner. I went as hard as I could until the line. I moved to Europe for racing when I was 16 and I’ll turn 36 on the second rest day of the Tour, so after 20 years, now the dream comes true. Hi to everyone in Australia and thanks for the support through all those years!”
PRO-NOCTIS and WIV SUNGOD crowned sportsbreaks.com Tour Series Champions in Manchester
Report compiled using material supplied by https://tourseries.co.uk/
Three weeks of intense racing saw Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen and Wiv SunGod crowned Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series champions in Manchester city centre on Tuesday night
For the men of Wiv SunGod it was a third series title, following on from wins in 2018 and 2019, while for the Pro-Noctis team of British circuit race champion Jo Tindley it was a first crown, having been narrowly denied in the final event in 2021.
Round 7 (Final) Women’s Event
Second place on the night behind Team Boompods ensured the inaugural title for Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen, a comfortable victory having finished in the top two positions at all seven rounds and held the lead from round one in Guisborough.
Speaking afterwards Bexy Dew said; “Morale has been really high throughout. We worked really well together and have analysed and talked about each round afterwards and how we can improve as a team. I think that’s what’s made us stronger each round, and we finished on a high today.
“I’m not sure having the jerseys all series added to the pressure. I think it added to the enjoyment and the excitement of the whole thing.”
In the women’s race there was a second win of the series for 17-year-old Emma Jeffers (Jadan – Vive Le Velo), who sprinted home on Deansgate ahead of Sammie Stuart (Team LDN – Brother UK) and Lucy Harris (Team Boompods).
Stuart led through the final corner but on the 150-metre run to the line Jeffers came past to cross the line arms aloft and also take the fastest lap.
“This is the one I was aiming for, and I managed to pull it off,” said Jeffers.
“Pro-Noctis had three girls in the front, and then a Boompods girl attacked. Then Sammie [Stuart] counter attacked coming into the second to last corner. I just held onto Sammie’s wheel and managed to get around her on that last straight and hold it.”
Having taken the overall Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series title with her Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen team, Tindley also added the Freewheel.co.uk Sprints competition, defending a jersey that she also took in 2021.
Wiv SunGod, who also have led the series since the opening event, sealed their title in style with Matt Bostock winning his second round of 2022 by 11.5 seconds at the head of a team 1-2-3.
Stockport-based Bostock broke away mid-race, countering after team-mate Ollie Wood’s solo move had been captured, helping seal the Freewheel.co.uk Sprints competition.
“It was the perfect way to finish, it doesn’t get much better than winning solo as well” said Bostock. “I think as a team we just ripped it up, couldn’t have been any better.
“The atmosphere was amazing, I wish I’d taken it in a bit more, but I was seeing double and my legs were screaming. It was a bit of a blur but the noise and the crowd was just mega.”
At the finish, behind Bostock, Wood and then Matt Gibson led in a 10-rider group, with Harry and Charlie Tanfield in fourth and fifth for Ribble Weldtite, who finished as runners up, four points back from Wiv SunGod, with Wales Racing Academy in third overall.
“The individual results don’t matter as much,” continued Bostock. “Because the team prize is the main thing. But it’s really good to get your hands in the air and I think we’ve won maybe four rounds out of the seven, so it couldn’t be much better.
“It speaks volumes that we’ve had three different winners, and we’ve basically shared them out so that says a lot about how strong of a team we’ve got. It’s almost a shame we couldn’t give everyone a win, because I think everyone’s deserved one. I don’t think we’ve had one bad night.”
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.
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.
The Road Book has put weight back on for the Fourth Edition reflecting a cycling calendar that has bounced back from an eviscerated 2020.
At last we get to review the 2021 edition of The Road Book, the definitive record of the major races of 2021 UCI Road Cycling calendar, following a COVID hit end of year of our own.
The Road book has entered its fourth year. It has put on a good deal of weight and girth over the 2020 edition after COVID regulations put road cycling on a harsh diet. 2021 by comparison is a veritable Jan Ullrich after the off-season of a book this year though it does still show signs of how cycling continued to be impacted by COVID regulations.
Few sports enjoy an almanac as comprehensive as The Road Book, the nearest equivalent is the 158 year old Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, a breeze block of a book with 1500 pages. The Road Book 2021 might have a more ‘conservative’ 800 odd pages but it is jam-packed with detail, carefully edited by Ned Boulting a cycling journalist and TV presenter with an encyclopaedic knowledge of cycling.
In a world that is increasingly online having a cycling resource in the form of an actual hard copy book is a real pleasure. No doubt some will preserve this book in pristine condition but others will cover it with post-it notes and annotations.
The book which focuses primarily on the UCI World Tour and Pro Road season, and does so in rich statistical detail, also includes a section on the Men s and Women’s Olympic road races, The British domestic scene, National Titles and even the Cyclo Cross World Cup. Races are grouped by month. The impact of COVID regulations is illustrated perfectly by January, comprising a solitary race, the 1.1 GP Cycliste de Marseillaise on January 31. Absent are the major Australian season openers. Thereafter though the season almost looks normal.
The section for each race has at least the top-20 results while those for bigger races include a re-cap of the major events with daily results and re-cap of each stage for the major tours.
There is much more to the Almanac than tables of results though with the compilers slipping in articles by winners of a Road Book Rider of the Year Awards, along with little Easter Eggs throughout the book. Some are very quirky such as the charts tracking the Dominant Kit Colours on page 73.
A very useful and large section in the latter half covers the Men’s and Women’s World Tour and Pro Continental Teams.
It’s not all stats though. The mid-section comprises a selection of great race pictures of the greats in action.
In summary The Road Book is an invaluable record of each unique season, enjoyable and accessible, though reading glasses are vital for those of a certain age. It is hard to imagine not having it, especially given the strange times we are enduring. Vive Cyclisme, Vive la Road Book.
According to the French newspaper Le Parisien “The famous cycling race cannot be run on the scheduled date due to the worsening health situation in Hauts-de-France”.
Scheduled for April 11, the race was planned to be run within a ‘bubble’ but over recent days the belief the race would have to be postponed until later in the year were growing stronger as the COVID epidemic was scene to be growing in the North of France to levels above the national average. This comes after the event was cancelled in 2020.
Despite plans put forward by race organisers ASO which included the santitary bubble, and the closure of high density crowd areas such as the Trouée d’Arenberg, on Tuesday the Ministries of Sports and Health expressed reluctance to devote resources to a bike race, even one as significant as Paris-Roubaix. While evidence of meaningful outdoor infection remains scant most authorities across Europe have opted to heavily restrict spectator presence and a featurr of Paris-Roubaix is the intense close proximity of fans to riders along the narrow course.
Previously the race had only been cancelled due to war and even then organisers still managed to run it during World War 2 in 1943 and 1944 durng German occupation.
Le Parisien reports that the orgnaisers are hoping to use the newly extended UCI season to find another race date possiblty in October. Normally the season would finish on 19 october but it the UCI has extended it to 31 October and that weekend offers a possiblility that a postponement won’t turn into a cancellation.
The delay means 2019 winner Phillipe Gilbert enjoys a few more months as champion.
Trek-Saegrafredo’s Jasper Stuyven was not the Belgian pundits were expecting to cross the line first on The Via Roma in San Remo, but it is Stuyven nonetheless who became the winner of the 112th Milano-San Remo, La Primavera, just holding off Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and 2020 winner Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma).
How the finish Unfolded
Much of the day had been the preserve of a group of eight riders who went away with just three kilometres of the 299km race covered and comprising Filippo Tagliani, Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen (Movistar Team), Nicola Conci (Trek – Segafredo), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF Faizane’) and Taco Van Der Hoorn (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux).
Behind them life in the biunch was largely uneventful, excepting crash when Team Arkéa Samsic teammate Thibault Guernalec took down Nacer Bouhanni on a corner after hitting some rutted road surface. Bouhanni was more angry than hurt and easily managed to rejoin the peloton.
The break enjoyed a lead that went above five minutes but it was never going to last and it was Van Der Hoorn the last rider to be reeled in by the peloton on the Cipressa climb, 24km before the finish.
The Cipressa may have done for the break and broken up the peloton but it was still a very large group that reached he foot of the Poggio and started the climb amongst the ramshackled green houses. The speed of the climbing meant that thought of attack was largey futile, though Alaphilipe did attempt one, so it came to the descent to create separation.
One surprise survivor of the relentless pressure was Caleb Ewan. If it came to a bunch sprint it was Ewan the odds one favourite. Tim Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers then pushed descent speeds hard hoping to rule sprinters out of contention but it was still a high density group that was approaching the foot.
It was then with two kilometres left while the favourites looked and schemed their solution to the issue of a bunch sprint that Stuyvens said ‘adios’. The only man who could match his pace was Soren Kragh Andersen (team DSM).
The gap was closing down rapidly but Stuyvens raced on to hold off a de facto bunch sprint which was unsurprisingly won by Ewan, with Wout van Aert third, and Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel in fourth and fifth place respectively.
“I just knew I had to try, all or nothing. I prefer to do this than gamble for the sprint and finish in 5th or 10th place, so I prefer to go all-in. Most of the time it’s nothing; sometimes it’s all, and today it was all. It’s incredible. I don’t realize [what I’ve done] yet. I am just incredibly happy”, said Stuyven
Frenchman Julian Alaphillipe is the 2020 Elite Men’s road race World Champion after taking a solo win in Imola. The 28 year old is the first French World Champion since Laurent Brochard in 1997.
Alaphillipe took the win after launching a solo attack on the last Cima Gallisterna climb crossing the line 24 seconds ahead of Belgian Wout Van Aert with Swiss Marc Hirschi edging Pole Michel Kwiatowski by a wheel rim to claim the bronze.
The new holder of the rainbow stripes, added to a palmares that includes Milano San Remo, Strade Bianchi and five stages of the Tour de France, said:
“For this moment it’s really hard to say something. I want to say ‘thank-you’ to all my teammates who really believed in me today. Everybody did a great job. It was a dream of my career. Sometimes, I was so close, and I was never on the podium. I came here with a lot of ambition and it’s just a dream day for me.”
The 258.2 km race featured nine laps of a circuit that the ladies had already tested and proved a tough challenge the previous day. Each 28.8km lap featured two climbs, Mazzolano (2.8km at an average gradient of 5.9%, with a maximum of 13%) and the Cima Gallisterna (2.7km at 6.4%, 14% max.) whose summit is placed 12km from the finish line. There was hardly a respite between the two summits and with 550 metres of ascent each lap, the day offered 5000 metres of climbing.
Representing 43 countries 174 riders started the race at 10am from the Autodromo and almost immediately there was a seven man break. Jonas Koch (Germany), Torstein Traeen (Norway), Marco Friedrich (Austria), Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Yukiya Arashiro (Japan), Eduard-Michael Grosu (Romania) and Alfredo Ulises Castillo Soto (Mexico) with the latter three their countries sole representatives.
One lap down and the break had gained 5’54’’ on the main group led by the Slovenian, Swiss and Belgium national teams. The gap between attackers and peloton fluctuated during the first part of the race: 6’34’’ after the second lap, 5’07’’ after lap three, 7’07’’ at the end of the fourth and 5’41’’ after lap five. By now Friedrich and Grosu had been distanced by the breakaway group.
During the sixth lap the complexion of the race was changing fast as the main group increased its pace. The break had disintegrated leaving Jonas Koch and Torstein Traeen out in front with Arashiro bravely flying the flag for Japan in no-man’s-land. 2’37’’ behind him the bunch was in one long line driven by Denmark national team.
The breakaway finally ended with 68km to go, just after the seventh passage on Cima Gallisterna thanks to a powerful acceleration by the French national team.
Slovenian hopeful, 2020 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, gave his country a pause when he had to go for a bike change but promptly got back into the favourites’ Gruppo Compatto of around 50 riders. The next lap he was off the front making a daring attack on Cima Gallisterna about the same distance from the line as Anna van der Breggen did for her win the day before.
Chased by Belgium, Pogačar gained 10 seconds with 40km to go and then increased his advantage to 25 seconds with one lap remaining. It wasn’t enough though as he was caught by Dutchman Tom Dumoulin and then all the main group on the Mazzolano ascent.
After a day staying quiet in the bunch the Italian national team attacked with Damiano Caruso and then with Vincenzo Nibali with 20km to go hoping to make the World Championship a home win.
The day had taken its toll and after 240km the field had been culled ruthlessly ahead of the last Cima Gallisterna climb. Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet pushed hard on the first part of the ascent, then it was the turn of the Swiss Marc Hirschi and 2014 UCI World Champion Michał Kwiatkowski from Poland.
It was Frenchman Alaphilippe who finally seized the day, chased by Hirschi, Giro di Lombardia winner Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark), Van Aert, Primož Roglič (Slovenia) and Kwiatkowski. With 5km to go, Alaphilippe had taken a 12-second advantage and pushed full gas until the end, claiming his first UCI World title in front of Van Aert and Hirschi, 23 years after Laurent Brochard in San Sebastián, Spain.