Cycling World mourns Portal

The cycling world is mourning the loss of Nicolas Portal, the former pro and director of Team Ineos who died at his Andorran home yesterday of a heart attack.

Nicolas Portal: 1979-2020
Photo: Team Ineos

Team Ineos announced Portal’s passing in a tweet on Tuesday 3 March:

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Evenepoel crowned champion at Vuelta San Juan

Vuelta San Juan, 26 Jan – 2 Feb 2020

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA – FEBRUARY 02: Podium / Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team White Leader Jersey / Celebration / Trophy / during the 38th Vuelta a San Juan International 2020, Stage 7 a 141,3km stage from San Juan to San Juan / @vueltasanjuanok / #VueltaSJ / on February 02, 2020 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Maximiliano Blanco/Getty Images)

20 year old prodigy Remco Evenepoel ended a week long party to celebrate his birthday with a nice addition to his rapidly growing palmares, which before the start of the season counted five victories, including Clasica San Sebastian and the European ITT Championship.

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Porte wins 22nd Santos Tour Down Under

Trek Segafredo’s Richie Porte has won his second Santos Tour Down Under, just missing out on the stage win atop Willunga Hill after victory went to Brit Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal).

WILLUNGA HILL, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Richie Porte of Australia and Team Trek-Segafredo celebrates victory at the Santos tour Down Under (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
WILLUNGA HILL, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Richie Porte of Australia and Team Trek-Segafredo celebrates victory at the Santos tour Down Under (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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Winder is the winner at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under

Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo Women) took her first GC win since 2017 with victory at the Women’s Santos Tour Down Under.

Ruth Winder wins the 2020 Women’s Santos Tour Down Under
Photo: Women’s Santos Tour Down Under

The 26 year old American, born in Keighly, Yorkshire, took the four-stage race by five seconds over Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) with new Aussie Champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) just a second adrift.

Winder, who is also the American National Champion, went into the final Adelaide stage as race leader after giving Trek-Seagfredo its first 2020 win on stage three (Nairne to Stirling, 109.1km).

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Australian National Road Race Championships

Spratt and Meyer take the elite honours at the Australian National Road Race Championships in Ballarat

Amanda Spratt and Cameron Meyer gave Mitchelton-SCOTT its first elite double at the Australian National Road Race Championships since 2014 when Simon Gerrans and Gracie Elvin took the honours.

 Mitchelton-SCOTT's Amanda Spratt wins the 2020 Australian Nats
Mitchelton-SCOTT‘s Amanda Spratt wins the 2020 Australian Nats
Photo: Hikari Media

Report to follow

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Tour of Britain 2020

Cornwall announced as the Grand Depart for the 2020 Tour of Britain

Cornwall is the setting for the Grand Depart of the 2020 Tour of Britain which takes place on 6 September with a 175km stage from Penzance to Bodmin. This Southwest extremity of the British Isles is both beautiful and rugged and the route will trace a zig-zag through some of its most iconic sites and places made famous by TV series like Poldark will form the backdrop for a different type of drama.

From Cornwall the race will make its way north to finish eight days later in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on Sunday 13 September. So far race organisers, who are yet to reveal a title sponsor after OVO Energy pulled out after three years in the role, have unveiled just three stages, the Grand Depart, Stage two from Sherford to Exeter in Devon and the finale in Aberdeen.

Official Tour of Britain website here

Tour de France 2020 Route Unveiled

Packed with mountains the 2020 Tour de France is aimed to leave the peloton shaken and stirred.

The route of the 2020 Tour de France was unveiled today in Paris in front of a packed auditorium at the Palais des Congrés.

With the usual rumours doing the rounds the course was expected to be designed to further create uncertainty and disrupt the dominance of the GC teams. The presentation certainly proved that was exactly what the organisers had in mind – starting on the French Riviera in Nice it includes 3470km, 29 cols, bookended with mountain stages, the latter an altitude finish TT.

Stages of the Tour de France 2020

DateEtapeKm
27/061. Nice Moyen Pays – Nice156
 
28/062. Nice Haut Pays – Nice187
 
29/063. Nice-Sisteron198
 
30/064. Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette157
 
01/075. Gap-Privas183
 
02/076. Le Teil – Mont Aigoual191
 
03/077. Millau-Lavaur168
 
04/078. Cazères-sur-Garonne – Loudenvielle140
 
05/079. Pau-Laruns154
 
06/07Charente-Maritimes (jour de repos) 
 
07/0710. Le Château d’Oléron – Saint-Martin-de-Ré170
 
08/0711. Châtelaillon-Plage – Poitiers167
 
09/0712. Chauvigny-Sarran218
 
10/0713. Châtel-Guyon – Puy-Mary191
 
11/0714. Clermont-Ferrand – Lyon197
 
12/0715. Lyon – Grand Colombier175
 
13/07Isère (jour de repos) 
 
14/0716. La Tour-du-Pin – Villard-de-Lans164
 
15/0717. Grenoble-Col de la Loze168
 
16/0718. Méribel – La-Roche-sur-Foron168
 
17/0719. Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole160
 
18/0720. Lure – La Planche des belles filles (clm)36
 
19/0721. Mantes-la-Jolie – Paris122
 

2019 UCI World Road Championships – Men’s Elite Road Race

Mads Pedersen wins the elite men’s World Championships road race

With torrential rain and winds returning to Yorkshire it was going to be day that pushed the best cyclists in the world to their limits. The strongest proved to be Mads Pedersen who survived the ultimate test to give Denmark its first male winner at the UCI World Championship.

Dane Mads Pedersen wins three-man sprint for the World Championship
Picture SWpix.com

At the end of a cold, wet and unbelievable grueling 262 kilometers, Pedersen showed he was the strongest, beating Matteo Trentin (Italy/Mitchelton-Scott) and Stefan Küng Switzerland/Groupama – FDJ.

“It’s unbelievable. I didn’t expect this when we started this morning. It was an unbelievable day,” said Pedersen struggling to comprehend his feat.

“The team plan was to get me out in the early final (laps) and then (teammates) Valgren and Fuglsang would come from behind. But in the end, they didn’t follow van der Poel and Trentin when they came to my group. From there on it was just survive, survive, survive and then hope for the best in the sprint,” he explained.

The days cold wet conditions saw many of the strongest riders struggling, and a relentless process of attrition saw the peloton started splitting into fragments with many long given up any ambition greater than making it home upright.

The Danish rider had worked his way into an elite group in the last 50km and was one of only three riders still in contention on the very last drag up Parliament Street, Trentin and van der Poel . Van der Poel despite being a strong favourite faltered and t was Trentin who kicked off the sprint for victory. Pederesen had reserves of power and proved the fastest finisher passing the Italian before throwing his arms aloft in triumph to take the rainbow stripes. Tenacious Trentin meanwhile, clung on for second place on the podium with Switzerland’s Stefan Kung crossing the line two seconds back in third.

2019 UCI Road World Championships – Men’s Elite Road Race – Yorkshire, England – Giovanni Visconti of Italy.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com
2019 UCI Road World Championships – Men’s Elite Road Race – Yorkshire, England – Matteo Trentin of Italy, Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Stefan Kung of Switzerland on the podium after the Men’s Elite Road Race.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“I just hoped that when I saw the finish line, all the pain would be gone, and I could do a good sprint. It’s six and a half hours on the bike so everyone is on the limit and so anything could happen in that sprint,” said Pedersen.

“You had to be focused all day and stay in the front all the time. But it’s one of the last races of the season, so it’s all about keeping that focus for six and a half hours and don’t have any bad luck and hope for the best. This is every rider’s dream to wear this jersey – for me to do it now? It’s unbelievable.”

Men’s Elite Road Race Results:

2019 UCI World Road Championships – Women’s Elite Road Race

Van Vleuten solos to Gold in Women’s Elite Road Race

Annemiek van Vleuten turned the women’s elite road race into a 100km time trial to take the rainbow jersey for the Netherlands. Second spot went to teammate and defending champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team) with Australia’s Amanda Spratt taking bronze.

2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Elite Road Race – Yorkshire, England – Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands wins the Women’s Elite Road Race.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

In front of massive crowds enjoying a day off from the inclement weather the 36 year old Mitchelton-Scott Pro took off on the Lofthouse climb to spend the next three hours holding off a determined pursuit that never really looked like making the catch.

2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Elite Road Race – Yorkshire, England – Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands attacks.

Picture by Pauline Ballet/SWpix.com

Her lead held to around the two minute mark over the closing 30 km and despite determined efforts by several strong riders including 2015 Champion Brit Lizzie Deignan, who is from Yorkshire, Anna van der Breggen and champion from the Individual Time Trial American Chloe Dygert-Owen to take back some time her lead bent but did not break.

2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Elite Road Race – Yorkshire, England – The Netherlands ride up Norwood Edge.

Picture by Pauline Ballet/SWpix.com

As the race neared the circuits of Harrogate and Van Vleuten grasp on gold became increasingly certain it turned into a competition for the silver and bronze out of a group of just four riders, van der Breggen , Spratt, Elisa Borghini of Italy and Dygert-Owen. When the race entered its third and final 14 km lap of Harrogate just van der Breggen and Spratt remained in contention. Van der Breggen proved the stronger dropping Spratt on a small hill to take silver 2’15” behind her compatriot, with Spratt taking bronze at 2’28”. Borghini took fourth, Dygert-Owen fifth with Marianne Vos leading home the peloton 5’20” after the winner.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 28/09/2019 – Cycling – 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Elite Road Race – Yorkshire, England – Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands, Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands and Amanda Spratt of Australia on the podium after the Women’s Elite Road Race.

Netherlands rider Annemiek van Vleuten said: “That was crazy. I knew the climb was really far from the finish but once I’d attacked my coach told me to keep riding hard and I was lucky I had really good legs. It was definitely not planned but I’d trained so hard for this – put in so many hours on the bike – and I thought ‘if anyone can do this, it’s you’. As I was riding I was thinking ‘maybe I could make history today’, and if it didn’t work out I knew Anna [van der Breggen] was in a great position behind.

“So many emotions, my mother was here, that’s really special for me. It was such a big dream for me to be world champion, I’ve been world champion in the time trial, but on the road you can wear it so much more often.

“It was only towards the end that I dared to believe, and I was being cheered on by so many fans. The crowds in Bradford were huge at the start and I had so much encouragement out on the course as well. British fans are amazing and I want to thank them all for helping make this win so amazing.”

86th World Championships Women’s Elite Road Race Results:

2019 UCI World Road Championships

Men’s U23 and Women’s Elite Individual time Trials

BJERG AND DYGERT find gold in the rain and wind

Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com – 24/09/2019 – Cycling – 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial – Ripon – Harrogate, Yorkshire, England – Chloe Dygert of the United States of America.

Heavy rain and roads mimicking lakes couldn’t dampen the action on the third day of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships with Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark) and Chloé Dygert Owen (USA) taking victory in the Under-23 Men’s and Elite Women’s 30.3km Individual Time Trials.

Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial

The USA’s Chloé Dygert Owen had almost nothing left in the tank as she crossed the line completing the 30.3 km course in a time of 42:11.570. The 22 year old who rides professionally for Sho – Air TWENTY20 had to be helped off her bike before slumping to the soaking wet tarmac after arriving 3’15” faster than the the previous pace setter Lucinda Brand. The results were all the more remarkable for being achieved in conditions that were near-apocaplyptic and had forced the race to be delayed by almost an hour.

Nobody really threatened the time. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands/Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team), adrift by 1:32 took silver while Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands/Mitchelton-Scott) took bronze.

USA rider Chloé Dygert Owen said: “It’s always special to wear the rainbow stripes and I worked really hard for this. I had a concussion which forced me to miss last year’s Championships so I prepared specifically for this one and to win is really special.

“Being here in Yorkshire is really cool and it’s a really neat place to be. I’ll enjoy this moment tonight but I’ll be competing in the road race on Saturday so it’ll be back to work tomorrow.”

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 24/09/2019 – Cycling – 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial – Ripon – Harrogate, Yorkshire, England – Anna van der Breggen of The Netherlands, Chloe Dygert of the United States of America and Annemiek van Vleuten of The Netherlands on the podium after the Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial.

Results:


Men’s U23 Individual Time Trial

The U23 Men had to endure heavy rain and flooded roads in their morning event. which saw riders skidding into puddles the size of ponds. this did not faze Mikkel Bjerg. The Dane was the final rider down the start ramp and produced a time-trialling masterclass as he navigated his way successfully through the tricky parcours.

The 20 year old was fastest at the 14.2km split and consolidated his advantage to claim victory by a 26.45sec cushion over USA’s Ian Garrison. It was Bjerg’s third successive triumph in the Men’s Under-23 Individual Time Trial event and he seemingly has the world at his feet as he prepares to turn professional in 2020. 

Denmark rider Mikkel Bjerg said: “Today was really, really crazy and they were very difficult conditions out there today. I was told to hold my handlebars tight, keep looking ahead of me, and go full gas through the water. I didn’t have any slips or slides so I am over the moon to have pulled off this third victory.”

Johan Price-Pejtersen crashes in the rain
U23 Mens and Womens Elite 32km ITT Route