All the news from an exciting Tour of Flanders, men and women, plus the Volta Limburg Classic and the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain with video. Patrick Lefevere talks about the season so far – TOP STORY. Rider news: Sonny Colbrelli out of hospital, Mathieu van der Poel to ride Amstel Gold Race, Remco Evenepoel on the Classics, Raúl Alarcón loses doping appeal and Valentin Retailleau will turn professional for AG2R Citroën. Race news form the Itzulia Basque Country, Tour Down Under back in 2023 and Netflix and A.S.O. announce a Tour de France docuseries. *** Stop the war in Ukraine ***
Patrick Lefevere: “Remco Evenepoel has improved Wout van Aert’s climbing record”
Patrick Lefevere has written optimistically in his column about Remco Evenepoel, the sick Wout van Aert and about the performance of his team in recent weeks. “The final report of the spring will follow after Liège, I am certainly not a pessimist,” said the Belgian manager in Het Nieuwsblad.
First Lefevere talks about Wout van Aert who could not participate in the Tour of Flanders. “I would really rather have seen it differently. For Wout himself, and because Jumbo-Visma would certainly have checked the race. That responsibility went Alpecin-Fenix and, to a lesser extent, also with us.”
“I don’t think we should present ourselves as beaten dogs after Waregem (Dwars door Vlaanderen). We were certainly not bad.” “Our number of sick riders has now risen to eleven, more than a third of the team. We will not stand at the wailing wall: Israel-Premier Tech does not even have enough riders to start in the Ronde. Painful without further ado,” said the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl manager. “The final report of the spring will follow after Liège. In two weeks, Stybar and Yves Lampaert will also be in Paris-Roubaix. Then we have Remco and World champion Alaphilippe. Few teams have such luxury. I’m pretty sick today, but I’m certainly not a pessimist.”
Lefevere on Evenepoel: “For Milan-Sanremo I did think of Remco this year. We were not very close to the leaders and which also fitted into his program after Tirreno-Adriatico. But with Remco we stick to his planned program: the Tour of the Basque Country, the Brabantse Pijl, the Walloon Pijl and Liège.”
“He has worked well in the past few weeks at altitude training in Tenerife. This is witnessed by Strava-KOM on the climb to Masca. Four kilometres uphill at more than ten percent. Remco improved the climbing record of Michal Kwiatkowski and Wout van Aert by more than a minute. That says absolutely nothing about what he will be able to do in the Ardennes classics, but it does mean that he is at least in shape.”
Remco takes Strava KOM:
Tour of Flanders – Men 2022
Mathieu van der Poel won the Tour of Flanders for the second time. The Alpecin-Fenix rider was with fellow favourite Tadej Pogačar in the final and had the fastest jump after more than 270 kilometres. Dylan van Baarle was second and Valentin Madouas was third with a late chase to the two leaders. Pogačar finished fourth after a spectacular last kilometre.
Without top favourite Wout van Aert, due to covid, the race had last year’s winner Kasper Asgreen, the new top favourite Mathieu van der Poel, Tour winner Tadej Pogačar, Tom Pidcock, Tiesj Benoot and Mads Pedersen to fight it out. After the first neutralised kilometres, the race started in the suburbs of Antwerp and the battle for the early break broke out. Several skirmishes took place in the first hour, but a good break had to be waited for. After more than 20 kilometres, nine riders managed to get together. DSM and EF Education-EasyPost tried to chase for a while, but it was a wasted effort and the peloton let them go. Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal), Lindsay De Vylder (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-G0bert), Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Max Kanter (Movistar), Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels-KTM), Manuele Boaro (Astana Qazaqstan) and Tom Bohli (Cofidis) made up the break that took 5 minutes on the peloton. In the big peloton the chase work was done mostly by Alpecin-Fenix, Jumbo-Visma, INEOS Grenadiers and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. UAE Team Emirates were also involved in the pursuit, but they had the problem of a crash by leader Pogačar. The Slovenian hit the road early in the race, but he was soon back in the peloton. The nine front riders rode at a steady pace to the foot of the first climb of the day after more than 130 kilometres: the Oude Kwaremont.
There were thousands of fans on the Oude Kwaremont, but the pace stayed the same for the break and the bunch, it was still far too far to the finish. The Oude Kwaremont started a series of climbs, with the Kortekeer, Achterberg and Wolvenberg within 10 kilometres. The nervousness in the peloton increased and there were a few crashes, including Piet Allegaert and Tobias Johannessen, but nothing serious. On the Molenberg, the fifth climb of the day, Jumbo-Visma put the pressure on for the first time. It was Nathan van Hooydonck who threw down the gauntlet and the managed to cross to the previously escaped Jonas Koch of BORA-hansgrohe. In the peloton there were several dropped riders due the high pace. Alexander Kristoff, winner of ‘Vlaanderens Mooiste’ in 2015 and the leader of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, had to deal with a mechanical problem, but was able to rejoin thanks to a teammate. Van Hooydonck and Koch worked well together and managed to extend their lead towards the foot of the Berendries to 300 seconds. On the Berendries, the race exploded. Several riders jumped out of the peloton after Van Hooydonck and Koch. Iván García instigated a counter-attack and the Movistar rider was joined by ex-winner Alberto Bettiol, fellow favourite Mads Pedersen, Alex Kirsch, Zdeněk Štybar, Jannik Steimle, Gianni Vermeersch, Mick van Dijke, Oliver Le Gac, Marco Haller and Ben Turner.
This was a very strong group and so alarm bells went off in the peloton. TotalEnergies, Bahrain Victorious and UAE Team Emirates led the pursuit. There was a crash in the peloton. Christophe Laporte and Florian Vermeersch, among others, went down. The French favourite of Jumbo-Visma had a hard job to catch-up as the peloton was full on. The break of the day started climb number nine: Berg Ten Houte. On the Berg Ten Houte, Victor Campenaerts, Van der Poel, Pogačar and Asgreen tried to make the jump to the group with Bettiol and Pedersen, but they didn’t succeed and this played into the hands of the counter-attackers. The lead increased again and the top favourites behind were not prepared to chase for someone else, as a result the difference going to the second pass of the Oude Kwaremont increased to 1:30. An interesting race developed, but with 60 kilometres to go, it was by no means decisive. There was an organised chase in the peloton again. Just before the Oude Kwaremont, the differences between the groups were small. This was the moment for Pogačar to show his power and with Asgreen in his wheel, he rode to the head of the race. Van der Poel didn’t look so sharp on the Oude Kwaremont, but managed to close the gaps at his own pace, as did Pidcock, Stefan Küng and others.
Due to the efforts of Pogačar, the early break were caught and there was now an elite group of about 30 riders. This group was quickly thinned out the first time on the Paterberg. A strong Jan Tratnik and Van der Poel put on the pressure and this ensured a natural selection. Pogačar went with them, but Asgreen had mechanical problems on the Paterberg and lost his top place. In the kilometres between the Paterberg and the Koppenberg, peace returned to the group of favourites. Dylan van Baarle then jumped away and took a gap of about 20 seconds from the first group and was joined by Fred Wright. Van Baarle and Wright had a good lead by the Koppenberg, but all eyes were on Pogačar. The Slovenian forcing the pace again on the Koppenberg, but this time Van der Poel was right on his wheel. The Dutchman even came to the front drive the split with Pogačar and the surprising Valentin Madouas. These three did not look back and eventually crossed to Van Baarle and Wright, and a new leading group of five was born. In the chasing group it soon became clear that the strongest riders had gone on the Koppenberg. With a lead of 45 seconds, Van der Poel, Pogačar, Madouas, Van Baarle and Wright started the third and last climb of the Oude Kwaremont. On the penultimate slope of this Tour of Flanders, Pogačar was the strongest again.
This turned out to be the death of Van Baarle and Wright. The tough Madouas tried to hold on, but the Frenchman couldn’t hang on. We now had two possible winners with Pogačar and Van der Poel. They started the Paterberg together, the last climb of the day. On this steep cobbled slope there was no explosion and so the two rode on to the finish in Oudenaarde. The pursuers seemed beaten. Just like in 2020 and 2021, we would have a sprint of two for the win. Van der Poel and Pogačar rode well together in the last kilometres. They pulled well at the front towards the Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde. In the last kilometre the big poker game started and we were waiting to see who would jump first; Van der Poel or Pogačar. It didn’t happen for a long time and as a result, Madouas and Van Baarle were able to join in the sprint at the last minute. Madouas felt his moment had come and came back at high speed, but was unable to surprise Van der Poel. The Dutchman matched Madouas and sprinted convincingly to his second victory in the Tour of Flanders. Van Baarle finished second in the very tactical final, Madouas was third. Pogačar was the big loser at the finish. The Slovenian was closed in in the hectic sprint and finished off the podium. And the two-time Tour winner was clearly not happy.
*** See the full ‘PEZ Race Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. ***
2022 Tour of Flanders winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “Suddenly they came back very quickly. Then I started my sprint myself. But I was a bit surprised, because I was really only working with Tadej and no longer with those two others (Van Baarle and Madouas). Mainly on the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg where Tadej rode up very quickly. On the Pater I was even on the point of being dropped. After that I really had to recover. I was really on the verge of letting go. But I knew I had to get over that. Then you always have a bit to get to the finish, but it still hurt a lot. I’ve had that situation for three years in a row, so I knew roughly what I had to do. I picked myself up again and did everything I could to win. I worked so hard for this race. For a long time it was uncertain whether I would even make it to the classics. If you can also win the Tour of Flanders after Dwars Door Vlaanderen, it’s incredible that you succeeded! It is certainly a pity that Pogačar does not go on the podium. Perhaps he was the strongest in today’s race. He has been very aggressive. I would have awarded him the podium, even the victory if he had beaten me. Perhaps the advantage of having to sprint here a few times was that I was able to win. Working towards Paris-Roubaix now? Gosh, I’m going to enjoy this one first. There are a lot of people who helped me win here, so I’m going to celebrate this win with them first.”
2nd, Dylan van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers): “I still can’t believe it. I didn’t expect that we would sprint for the win. Madouas and I stayed behind the front riders, to be able to hold off our pursuers. I was confident for the sprint for third place, because after such a long race I don’t lose much power. And suddenly we were able to sprint for a win. Then you have to make decisions in a split second. In the end Mathieu was simply too fast. But I still can’t believe it, actually. I did my sprint and there was simply no room for him (Pogačar). That’s the race, I think. I haven’t seen it yet, but I think I rode a fair sprint. In any case, I didn’t offer my apologies, I didn’t think it was necessary. In any case, it was a fantastic race to ride, they started early again. Credits also to Mathieu. After everything he’s been through this winter, what he’s doing is truly phenomenal. I’m happy for him, but next time I’d like to beat him. I couldn’t join the second time in Oude Kwaremont, when the others started. I had to ride up at my own pace. That’s also the way for me to get this far, otherwise you’ll blow yourself up like Fred Wright did. Then you don’t come back. But I am especially proud of the team. We are already riding a strong series of classics. Tom (Pidcock) was already third in Dwars Door Vlaanderen and Big Ben (Turner) rides astonishingly strong. We wanted to race for a profit today and we did.”
3rd, Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ): “I got cramps in the sprint. I had already lost a bit too much strength along the way. But then I started having cramps, so I had to sit down again. Those are really the details that prevented me from winning the race. I believed in it, because of the high speed I had in the sprint. But the legs said no, so I had to sit down. It was one of my best days on the bike, even though I didn’t win. I was beaten today by riders who were just stronger. In the coming years I hope to beat them, but it is already wonderful to take a podium place in a Monument.”
4th, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a wonderful experience, a wonderful race. The team was perfect in supporting me and all of this contributed to ensuring that I was able to remain alone with Van der Poel leading the race, in an incredible atmosphere. Especially on the Oude Kwaremont, a climb that I really like, I had goosebumps. In the moments immediately following the race, I was not happy, because I was not able to make the sprint as I was closed, but I know well that in cycling this can happen: sometimes you have a clear path, other times you do not find the necessary space. I wasn’t mad at anyone, I was just frustrated with myself. The idea of attacking on the Kwaremont was born from yesterday’s reconnaissance, when we noticed that there was a favourable wind: it is one of the hardest and longest walls and therefore it was a good point for me to give my all. Then I also tried to stretch on the last pass on Paterberg but, despite giving my best, I was unable to pull away from Mathieu: he was really strong today. Will I be back to race the Tour of Flanders? Simple answer, yes.”
6th, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a hard race today, but finally made it in top 10. I was a little bit sad I missed the break with van der Poel and Pogacar. But in the end, I’ve made a nice result, with me and Fred up there in the front, and I think it was good for the team.”
7th, Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s kind of as we expected, being a bit of an elimination race, with more and more guys slowly getting dropped. It was crucial to be in the right place on Kwaremont and I’m happy with where I positioned myself there and followed Dylan van Baarl over the Patenberg getting a decent gap. I was really happy about that as I was going over the Koppenberg ahead of van der Poel and Pogacar which meant I’d go later in the final. I’m just a bit gutted I didn’t have the legs going over the Kwaremont the final time. I did all I could, I raced it really well and it’s shame me and Dylan couldn’t quite come back at the end. But overall I can be really happy with my performance and it’s a sign of good things for the future. Getting a top ten in a monument is pretty special and it was just amazing with the fans. It’s the best race in the world, one of my favourites I’ve ever done.”
10th, Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I didn’t count how many times I died today, but I remember that the last time was with 200 meter to go! I absolutely gave everything to achieve this top ten finish. It was probably the best possible result today, because I just wasn’t strong enough on the Koppenberg to follow the best riders in the race. Before, I lost some energy because of a flat tire, but thanks to the help of Tom Devriendt I came back quickly and started Berg ten Houte in the front. I’m pretty satisfied with my performance and happy that we managed to reach our goal for today.”
16th, Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe): “At the beginning my legs didn’t feel good today. But I know this race, you have to stay calm and just keep on riding. When Jonas and Marco were part of the chasing group we have been in a promising position. But when Pogacar attacked everything turned around. At this point I was relatively far back, but I said to myself: stay focused, ride from climb to climb. On the last 10 kilometres we caught some groups back and, in the end, I contested the sprint for 15th place. I can be happy with my race today. My legs got better towards the end, and I think the result was the optimum today.”
33rd, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal): “I saved my energy until Berg Ten Houte, where I did a first serious effort. The second climb of the Oude Kwaremont was done at a furious pace but I still felt quite good there. Afterwards, it was just a case of following. Together with Tim, I was in a relatively good position but the strongest riders were gone. Then, it became clear that I was running out of energy. Maybe I am still too much of a time trialist to get a good result at the Ronde. As I have said before, I just lack that little endurance to go well in these Monuments.”
43rd, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “I didn’t feel amongst the strongest riders uphill so I needed to anticipate today. That worked out quite well but I met the ‘Man with the Hammer’ during the final Oude Kwaremont and the chance to still take a good result was gone.”
Break rider, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I gave a lot to join the early breakaway and it was all worth it. Covering the Kwaremont for the second time first was a fantastic moment, the rows of spectators really gave me goosebumps. I was hoping to survive a little longer, because the next climb, the Paterberg, was followed by a flat section. I reached the top of the Paterberg alongside Aimé De Gendt and I could help him to get back to the group in front of us with Alexander Kristoff. My role was to anticipate and help our leaders in the final, so we can say that I accomplished my mission!”
Tour of Flanders – Men Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 6:18:30
2. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
5. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:02
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Victorious
7. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:11
8. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:48
9. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.
Tour of Flanders – Women 2022
Lotte Kopecky has, twelve years after the victory of Grace Verbeke, given Belgium another victory in the Tour of Flanders for women. The home favourite was able to crown a strong race from her employer SD Worx and defeated Annemiek van Vleuten in the sprint.
Soon after the start, four riders escaped from the peloton: Clara Honsinger (EF Education-TIBCO SVB), Sofie Van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Olivia Baril (Valcar) and Maria Martins (Le Col Wahoo). Several riders counter-attacked, in vain. The race never eased off, but the four managed to extend their lead to 2 minutes. For Martins and Van Rooijen, after a few cobblestone sections, it was too fast, leaving Honsinger and Baril out front. In the peloton, the pace was set by the teams of Van Vleuten (Movistar), Kopecky (SD Worx) and Vos (Jumbo-Visma). As a result, the lead dissapeared. Before the foot of the Koppenberg, Honsinger and Baril were joined by three riders: Camilla Alessio, Marit Raaijmakers and Maike van der Duin.
These five leaders started the Koppenberg with a lead of just under 2 minutes. On this cobbled slope, the race split open completely. Van Vleuten took command and thinned out the group of favourites. Van Vleuten initiated a strong escape group, including Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering, Marta Bastianelli and Marlen Reusser. A promising attack, but at the hands of Katarzyna Niewiadoma the chasing group was caught. Van der Duin appeared to have the strongest legs in the leading group. The Dutchwoman tried to sing it out on her own, but was called to order again with 25 kilometres to go. A first elite group of about 25 riders started the first steep sections of the Taaienberg. On this climb a first group of 11 riders managed to get away. The top favourites were not happy, but there were still enough strong riders represented. Arlenis Sierra, Christine Majerus, Anna Henderson, Niewiadoma, Brodie Chapman, Marit Raaijmakers, Sofia Bertizzolo, Maria Confalonieri and previous attackers Alessio, Baril and Van der Duin were part of the first group. These riders had 30 seconds at the foot of the last passage of the Oude Kwaremont. The strong Reusser, European time trial champion, completely ripped the front group apart.
The lead over the chasing group, containing the biggest contenders, was considerable and so Van Vleuten had to try something. The Movistar leader, together with Kopecky and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, tried to rectify the situation. Van Vleuten, Kopecky and Van den Broek-Blaak got together in pursuit of Reusser and Chapman and caught them on the Paterberg. Van Vleuten again took care of most of the work, but just couldn’t rid of Kopecky. Kopecky had a teammate at the front with Reusser, while Van Vleuten had to rely on herself. Van den Broek-Blaak decided to jump away, hoping to play out SD Worx’s dominance.
Van Vleuten had no intention of letting Van den Broek-Blaak ride away and was on the rear wheel of Van den Broek-Blaak. Kopecky was attentive and jumped after them, so we had three leaders with 10K to go: Van Vleuten, Kopecky and Van den Broek-Blaak. Van den Broek-Blaak sacrificed himself completely for the faster finishing Kopecky. The Belgian champion lived up to her favourite status in the sprint. Van Vleuten was the first to enter the Minderbroedersstraat, but was passed by Kopecky, who sprinted convincingly to the biggest victory of her career. Earlier this year she won Strade Bianche, she was also too strong for Van Vleuten on that occasion. Van den Broek-Blaak crossed the finish line cheering in third place.
2022 Tour of Flanders winner, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx): “I have to start the interview with a big thank you to all my teammates and especially Chantal. What she has done today is really fantastic. We also had confidence before the start, we were sure of our chances. We were here today with the best possible team at the start and we showed that. In the final we were told to let Annemiek take the lead a bit, but I didn’t think it was the time to gamble. We had to have confidence in my sprint, especially against Annemiek. So I wanted Chantal to keep riding. We had to believe in ourselves today, that we could finish it. I think it just has to sink in for a while. I don’t quite understand it yet. This is really overwhelming. How am I going to celebrate tonight? No idea, hopefully with my teammates. I think with fries and mayo.”
2nd, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “Lotte was really too good today. And I was also a bit of a victim of SD Worx’s numerical superiority. But I am also positively surprised about my own team. Last year I was usually alone in these kinds of races, now I could count on support in the final. Especially Emma (Norsgaard) was very good. It’s nice to have a quick card in reserve. Lotte had another brilliant day. The Paterberg was my last chance to pull away, but she played it well. I was then caught in the grip.”
3rd, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx): “It says a lot about the team spirit. We were all cheering after the finish. Moreover, we were all in the first group during the race. We all rode a very good race. If I had stayed away, Lotte would have been fine with that too. I then found myself in a certain situation and then it was simple. When there were still three of us, I decided to take the lead and sacrifice my chances. I’m happy to be on the podium myself.”
Tour of Flanders – Women Result:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx in 4:11:21
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
3. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx at 0:02
4. Arlenis Sierra Canadilla (Cub) Movistar at 0:40
5. Marlen Reusser (Swi) SD Worx
6. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
8. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
9. Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:42
10. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:10.
Volta Limburg Classic 2022
Arnaud De Lie won the Volta Limburg Classic. Lotto Soudal’s young Belgian sprinter won the sprint from a leading group of six men, which included Tom Dumoulin. The Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma crossed the line in sixth place. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) was second and Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) was third.
The route through the South Limburg Heuvelland and the Belgian Voer region took the riders over 38 climbs, with a total of 3,100 metres of climbing. The finish in Eijsden was cobbled and slightly uphill after 195 kilometres.
In the first 20 kilometres a leading group with six was formed with Elmar Reinders (Riwal), Roel van Sintmaartensdijk (VolkerWessels), Arne Peters (Allinq) and Stijn Appel (ABLOC), Oscar Onley (DSM Development) and Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels). They got a 3 minutes lead, while Jumbo-Visma controlled the pack. The peloton did not allow the escapees much more lead in freezing cold conditions as the riders had to deal with occasional snow showers. Halfway through the race, the peloton started to narrowing the gap. At 79 kilometres from the finish everything was back together. Alpecin-Fenix had taken over control and made the race hard. On the climb of the ‘Koning van Spanje’ the peloton split into pieces, after which Jimmy Janssens rode off the front and was joined by Mathias Bregnhøj.
Since Alpecin-Fenix now had a man in the leading group with Janssens, it was up to the other teams to work in the peloton. Lotto Soudal took on the work, while Janssens’ teammates tried to disrupt the chase. The front riders rode away for a 30 second lead, when the race hit the Gulperberg again. Sixty kilometres to go, Tom Dumoulin showed himself at the front, after which his teammate Rick Pluimers took the lead, although there was no organised chase, allowing Janssens and Bregnhøj to take more time. The next up the Gulperberg, 48 kilometres from the finish, Jumbo-Visma split the peloton and the lead of the break disappeared. The first group were within 10 seconds of Janssens and Bregnhøj, but then eased off and the front pair took more time and riders who were behind the first peloton were able to return. Janssens and Bregnhøj didn’t stay away for long and they were caught at 36 kilometres out. Lotto Soudal then took control. At 28 kilometres from the finish; Gijs Leemreize jumped away and there was a reaction behind the Jumbo-Visma rider, but his attack was of short duration. On the Mheerelindje, at 19 kilometres, Dumoulin started to ride on the front.
Dumoulin’s effort caused a split of six riders. Dumoulin was joined Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal), Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix), Kamiel Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Jacob Eriksson (Riwal). There was no organisation in the chase which helped the break. Five kilometres from the finish, Vliegen tried to get away, but De Lie reacted. The attackers’ lead increased to 1 minute. With 2 kilometres to go Bonneu tried to get away and De Lie reacted again, but the others were also with them. In the end, a sprint would decide the race. De Lie was by far the best on the cobblestones. Oldani was just ahead of Vliegen and Eriksson in the battle for second place. Dumoulin crossed the line in sixth place.
Race winner, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal): “The snowfall, cold and many altitude metres made it a tough day out but with a strong team at the start we targeted the victory today. The team did another tremendous job today, before the race, me and Andreas Kron were indicated as leaders so we made our plan for that. Thomas De Gendt did a great job at the front of the bunch and also Roger Kluge, Rüdiger Selig and Michael Schwarzmann made sure we didn’t waste any energy. With Philippe Gilbert, we also had a good road captain who knew the roads by heart. The four climbs of the Gulperberg was a crucial part of the race today. Maybe you couldn’t win the race there but certainly lose it. In the final we were still well-positioned with me, Andreas and Philippe. Normally, it wasn’t immediately the plan that I would go clear with a small group but we changed tactics a bit. That way we took off with the six of us and I did everything I could to make it a sprint in the end. That I can finish it in this way makes it even more beautiful.”
3rd, Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m happy to conclude my spring with a podium finish, especially because this race was on my training roads. We knew that it would be a hard race on this difficult parcours but the freezing weather conditions made it even more challenging. Baptiste Planckaert and I could rely on an impressive Kévin Van Melsen to keep us in the front of the bunch until the final. I then joined a breakaway of six riders. Arnaud De Lie was among us, I considered him as the fastest rider of the bunch and my main competitor for the victory in this flat last part of the race. I was confident to finish on the podium in case of a sprint and that’s what happened. After 30 days of competition, it is now time to take some rest and come back fresh and in good condition in May.”
6th, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma): “At least I felt a lot better today than last weeks. I was able to participate, make a race and attack. I didn’t have the legs to drive away from everyone, but it’s another step forward. It’s difficult to sprint against him, of course, so I certainly wouldn’t have won that. I still had the legs to sprint to the podium, but I got a flat tire with two kilometres to go. I was still in the lead to be sixth, but I didn’t have a chance to sprint anymore.”
Volta Limburg Classic Result:
1. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 5:04:26
2. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:01
3. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Jacob Eriksson (Swe) Riwal
5. Kamiel Bonneu (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:03
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:12
7. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:00
8. Elmar Reinders (Ned) Riwal
9. Bart Lemmen (Ned) Volkerwessels
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal.
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain 2022
Warren Barguil won the GP Miguel Indurain on Saturday. Arkéa Samsic’s French puncheur was the best from a small group sprint, which formed after the race split 2 kilometres from the finish on the steep last climb. Aleksandr Vlasov was second, Simon Clarke third.
Due to the weather conditions, the organisers had to change the race course. Some climbs couldn’t be ridden and the distance was shortened by 12 kilometres to 192. There was still 2,400 metres of climbing to be done.
It took a while before the break of the day formed, but in the end nine riders got together: Paul Lapeira (AG2R Ciroën), Óscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH), Stephen Bassett (Human Powered Health), Jon Barrenetxea (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Iván Cobo (Kern Pharma), Alex Martin (EOLO-Kometa), Mikel Bizkarra, Txomin Juaristi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Rafal Reis (Glassdrive Q8 Anicolor). They managed to take a 3 minute lead, as Movistar pulled the peloton. At 74 kilometres from the finish, Barrenetxea crashed in the leading group. The 21 year-old rider, winner of the mountains classification in the Ruta del Sol, was busy with his clothing and lost control. The young rider was able to rejoin the break. Movistar were joined by UAE Team Emirates at the front of the peloton as it slowly reeled in the break.
At 43 kilometres from the finish, the difference was only 1 minute when Bassett jumped away. The American was alone for a while, before he was caught again. Meanwhile, the escapees lost Cabedo and Cobo. They wouldn’t make it to the finish and were caught with 20 kilometres to go. In the finalé several riders tried to break away, but in the end a reduced peloton started the climb of the Alto Ibarra, a steep climb of only 700 metres but at more than 10%. Marc Hirschi and Pierre Latour were impressive on the steep climb 2 kilometres from the finish. They both attacked on the climb. On the descent several riders were able to get back to the main group, but in the technical last kilometre a motorbike caused problems as it couldn’t descend as fast as the riders, luckily there were no crashes. A small group sprinted for the win, with Warren Barguil having the best final jump. At the finish he was just ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov, Simon Clarke was third.
Race winner, Warren Barguil (Arkea Samsic): “It was a tight sprint. I was behind but I had the speed. As my father always told me, a sprinter should always sprint. I’m a climber-sprinter, I always have some left over. I am very happy and the team has done very well. I stayed in the pack to save myself. I don’t win much, but this season I have already won twice.”
2nd, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “We didn’t have the best weather conditions today and it was quite a stressful race. It was cold with some snow and rain, which made the race difficult. However, the team did a good job of supporting me and keeping me safe on the last lap. I tried to do something in the last lap before the steep climb and hoped for a small breakaway group, because from a not so big group I have better chances in a sprint. I was very close to winning, which shows that my form is good before the Tour of the Basque Country. So overall we can be satisfied with today’s race.”
3rd, Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech): “Today was a good day. It’s great to collect a few points for the team. Frankly, it was a rough day. Conditions were borderline, especially in the beginning. Fortunately the weather improved and although we were still heavily snowed in, we were still able to race. I was just trying to make the best of it. The course was adjusted and probably suited me better, normally I would have been happy with that. But we were aware that we had to race in the snow and I thought of nothing more than that. I was in the second wheel when the sprint started, so I was a fraction too far ahead. I just tried to stay in the wheel and do the best sprint possible, and unfortunately the race was twenty meters too long. It’s good to be back on the podium. The omens for next weekend (Amstel) are good.”
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain Result:
1. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic in 4:57:49
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Simon Clarke (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech
4. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) TotalEnergies
5. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
7. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Cofidis
8. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
9. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar.
Sonny Colbrelli Discharged from Hospital after Successful Operation
Sonny Colbrelli is returning home today after being discharged from the Cardiology Clinic of the University of Padua, where he was admitted on Saturday 26th March.
The athlete underwent clinical cardiovascular evaluation coordinated by Professor Domenico Corrado, Director of the Genetic Cardiomyopathy and Sports Cardiology Unit of the Azienda Ospedaliera/Università di Padova, an Italian centre of excellence for diagnosing and treating arrhythmogenic heart muscle diseases, following his collapse after the finish of stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya two weeks ago.
Based on the results of the clinical evaluation, in agreement with the team medical staff, Sonny Colbrelli has been through a successful intervention of subcutaneous defibrillator (ICD) implantation on Thursday.
Professor Domenico Corrado said: “In Padova, the athlete underwent comprehensive clinical, genetic and imaging evaluation to identify the cause of the arrhythmia that led to cardiac arrest and the most appropriate therapy. The decision to implant a life-saving device has been shared by Colbrelli who received a subcutaneous ICD. The device works to correct the rhythm of the heart if it’s needed in extreme cases”.
Sonny Colbrelli will continue the rehabilitation at home to guarantee privacy and peace for him and his family. Everybody at Team Bahrain Victorious encourages everyone to respect our athlete’s privacy and wishes him a prompt recovery.
Sonny Colbrelli discharged from hospital:
Mathieu van der Poel Will Ride the Amstel Gold Race
Mathieu van der Poel has added the Amstel Gold Race to his program. The 27 year-old Dutchman announced after Milan-Sanremo that he wanted to ride the Dutch Classic, but his team at first held off. According to WielerFlits the winner of the Tour of Flanders will start the Amstel.
“We will first see how he digests Dwars Door Vlaanderen and the Ronde van Vlaanderen,” team manager, Christoph Roodhooft said last week. “The Tour (of Flanders) is of a very different nature in terms of course in relation to the load on the body than, for example, Milan-Sanremo. The Tour of Flanders is much more gruelling. We will wait for his reaction to that race first. Then we look further. In the case of Mathieu van der Poel, we can always free up a place in the selection for the Amstel Gold Race.”
The Dutchman said after the Tour of Flanders that he would also be at the start of the Netherlands’ largest one-day race. After that, he will race Paris-Roubaix. The Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are out of the question. After the Hell of the North, Van der Poel is preparing for the Giro d’Italia. This summer, MvdP will also ride the Tour de France again. He intends to complete both Grand Tours. In autumn, the World championships in Australia are on his probable list.
Van der Poel’s Program:
03-04 Tour of Flanders
10-04 Amstel Gold Race
06-05 – 29-05 Giro d’Italia
01-07 – 24-07 Tour de France
More wins for Van der Poel?
Remco Evenepoel On Bad Results in the Classics
Remco Evenepoel was a viewer of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday afternoon, in his hotel room in Spain. The 22 year-old Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider will participate in the Tour of the Basque Country from Monday. On Sunday afternoon he spoke via Zoom with some Belgian media, where he followed the race on a second screen.
For the Basque Country, Evenepoel commented on the bad classics spring that his team has had. “For a team like ours, going to Classics as an underdog is never fun. That’s not just for us. If you dominate every year and this season you are struggling in those same races to get results, then that is a new situation. We have to deal with that. I just hope the guys from our Classics squad are mentally strong enough to deal with it and still make the best of it.”
The youngster himself will try to make the most of this year’s Ardennes classics. “That’s why I find it difficult to talk about the Flemish classics, because I ride a completely different program. I don’t think I feel the disappointment and deception of the races in Flanders. The races I rode myself were quite successful – except for Tirreno-Adriatico perhaps. Now my big appointments are coming up. I am very focused on the Ardennes classics. We have a strong team. Julian Alaphilippe is gradually getting into great shape and together we hope to give something back.”
Remco looking forward to the Ardennes Classics:
Raúl Alarcón Loses Appeal Against Four-Year Suspension
Raúl Alarcón will remain suspended until October 2023. The Spanish rider and his team W52-FC Porto appealed last year against the four-year suspension by the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal, but lost the case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the sentence, according to the Spanish newspaper A Bola.
According to the UCI, Alarcón is guilty of “using prohibited methods and/or using prohibited substances”, which is inferred from abnormal values in the biological passport. “The profile shows clear characteristics of blood transfusions or other manipulations at different times. We conclude that it is very likely that a prohibited substance or method has been used, and very unlikely that the data in the passport has a different cause.”
Alarcón has always denied all allegations and appealed last April. However, CAS has now ruled in favour of the UCI and ruled that the Spanish rider is guilty. This means that Alarcón has been suspended retroactively to October 20, 2023. Since the abnormal readings occurred during or before the 2015 Tour de Portugal, 2017 and 2018, the start of the penalty has been set for July 28, 2015.
The 36-year-old Spaniard also loses all his victories in the period before the UCI provisionally suspended him in 2019. Two overall victories in the Volta a Portugal (2017 and 2018) and one in the Vuelta Asturias (2017) have been removed from his palmarès. In 2007, Alarcón made his professional debut with Saunier Duval. He then dropped down to continental level. He then rode with various Portuguese teams such as Efapel and Louletano. Since 2015, he was under contract with W52, which joined with football team FC Porto.
Four years stand for Raúl Alarcón:
Valentin Retailleau Will Turn Professional with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM on August 1
Valentin Retailleau, a member of the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM, the reigning French U23 Champion and 3rd in Gent-Wevelgem U23 on Sunday, March 27, will turn professional with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM on August 1 with a contract through 2024. He had been a stagiaire in the AG2R CITROËN TEAM from August to October 2021.
Valentin Retailleau: “I am very happy to turn professional with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. After six years in their training program, it is an accomplishment. I thank the team for the trust it has placed in me for all these years and at least until 2024. My time as a stagiaire with the team from August to October 2021 went very well and we managed to reach an agreement for me to join the team in August 2022. This allows me to finish my studies (a bachelor’s degree in business school) before devoting myself full-time to cycling.
I can’t wait to meet up with my old friends from the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM and get to know my new teammates. I want to learn as much as possible from those who have more experience so I can continue to progress.”
Vincent Lavenu: “Given his exemplary career in recent years within our training program, Valentin (Retailleau) rightfully has his place within the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. In parallel with his university studies, he was able to progress athletically and obtained excellent results such as his title of U23 French Champion and his recent third place at the U23 Gent-Wevelgem. Valentin has a very interesting puncheur’s profile. And we have already seen his talent and his ability to blend into the group during his time as a stagiaire last year. The signing of this contract once again pays tribute to the work carried out by our two training programs and to the overall concept, namely, moving into the professionals while still having the chance to complete a university degree.”
Born 18 June 2000 (21 years old)
Originally from Oradour-sur-Glane (Haute-Vienne), lives in Chambéry (Savoie)
U23 Champion of France in 2021
Winner of the first stage and third in the general classification of the Tour de Bretagne (2.2) in 2021
3rd U23 Gent-Wevelgem in 2022.
Valentin Retailleau will be the 30th rider on the 2022 squad for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. After Clément Champoussin, Benoît Cosnefroy, Anthony Jullien, Paul Lapeira, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Valentin Paret-Peintre, Nans Peters, Nicolas Prodhomme and Antoine Raugel, Valentin Retailleau will be the 10th rider from the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM, i.e. a third of the 2022 squad. With Geoffrey Bouchard, Paul Lapeira, Valentin Paret-Peintre, Nans Peters, Antoine Raugel, Damien Touzé and Clément Venturini, Valentin Retailleau will be the 8th rider from the AG2R CITROËN U19. In total, he is the twenty-fifth rider from the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM to join the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. The first was Blaise Sonnery in 2007.
Valentin Retailleau, pure product of the training program. Valentin Retailleau has been part of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM since 2017. He spent two seasons with the AG2R CITROËN U19 TEAM (2017-2018) and has been with the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM for four years (2019 to 2022).
Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Itzulia Basque Country 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Ready for Itzulia opportunities
Team BikeExchange-Jayco lines up a seven-rider roster for the 2022 edition of Itzulia Basque Country, as the Australian outfit heads to northern Spain prepared to take up the challenge of hunting stages.
One for the climbers, the team is well-equipped for the demands of the race with Lucas Hamilton, Tanel Kangert and Nick Schultz all ready for what the race will throw at riders. Jesús David Peña will also make his WorldTour debut with the team.
Tsgabu Grmay and Jan Maas will be alert to any chances of breakaways, and Jack Bauer returns to action following a two-month injury lay-off.
The WorldTour race, famous for its stunning scenery, passionate fans and demanding parcours, will be an intense six days, kicking off with a 7.5km individual time trial, followed by five stages packed with rolling terrain. The final stage, from Eibar to Arrate, will be the queen stage and will make for an entertaining finale.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Jan Maas (NED)
Jesús David Peña (COL)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Nick Schultz: “I’m really looking forward to getting back into racing at Itzulia Basque Country. I’ve had quite a few mishaps since the start of the year, so personally I’d just really like to get through the race and build form without having any bad luck, illness or injury hitting me. I’m also looking forward to being back with the team and chasing good results, whether that’s with myself or with other riders on the team. It’ll be great to be back in the bunch and to be in one of the best areas for cycling in Spain, with the fans. The roads there lend themselves to aggressive and exciting racing.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director: “We’re heading to Basque Country looking for opportunities wherever they may present themselves. This is a real chance for some of our guys who don’t often get the opportunity to ride for individual results to really have a go at riding for themselves, and we’ll be ready to go for it as a team. It’s also a chance to test ourselves and go up against some of the best stage racers in the world, and of course the Basque fans always give us an amazing welcome. Jack Bauer’s back after a couple of months out with injury, so it’ll be great to see him back in action too.”
Nick Schultz to the Basque Country:
UAE Team Emirates for the Basque Country
Team heads to Northern Spain for hilly tests
UAE Team Emirates will set their sights on the Tour of the Basque Country (4-9 April). A highly experienced team of climbers come together for the ‘Itzulia’, one of the most fiercely contested hilly races of the calendar.
The team will be overseen by Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) alongside Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo) and Fabrizio Guidi (Ita).
Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager): “We’re coming into GP Indurain and La Itzulia with very strong squads. Between Covid and other illnesses we’ve had to make a few last-minute changes but with the depth of talent in our squad we have been able to put together two very competitive teams. McNulty, Ayuso and Fisher-Black have unfortunately been ruled out of the Basque Country through illness and injury so we decided they would rest but we are fortunate to have very strong riders to step in. La Itzulia is a very demanding race as we’ve seen in previous years and the level of competitors is always extremely high. Nevertheless we have a team packed with talent and proven winners and our aim will as always to be aggressive, to animate the race and to fight for victories.”
Itzulia Basque Country [2.UWT] – 04-Apr-2022 / 09-Apr-2022:
George Bennett (NZ)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Jan Polanc (Slo)
Davide Formolo (Ita)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Rafal Majka (Pol)
Marc Soler (Spa)
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to Itzulia Basque Country
The hard but spectacular World Tour stage is scheduled between 4-9 April.
The 61st edition of the Itzulia Basque Country kicks off with an individual time trial taking place over a rolling 7.5km course in charming Hondarribia. The prologue contains three unclassified climbs, some of which have double-digit gradients, and will establish an initial pecking order before two stages favouring a late attack, as both feature a small hill in the closing kilometres that can be easily used as springboard to victory.
Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital city of the Basque Country, will host the start of the fourth stage, one that is perfect for a breakaway. The battle between the overall contenders is expected to heat up on the penultimate day, when a highly selective route consisting of eight ascents will shake up the standings and set up the show for a brutal final stage, between Eibar and Arrate. The last of these climbs, averaging a gruesome 8.8% over 4.5 kilometres, is the cherry on the top of this complicated route that can turn the general classification on its head.
Rainbow jersey Julian Alaphilippe, who in 2018 became the first Frenchman in more than nine decades to take back-to-back stage victories at Itzulia, will return at the start after three years together with a team that will also include French Champion Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, Remco Evenepoel – a winner this season at the Volta ao Algarve, who will make his debut at the race – James Knox, Mauri Vansevenant and Louis Vervaeke.
“Itzulia is a hard event, one of the most difficult stage races of the whole season. At the same time, it’s an important step towards the Ardennes. We have a strong and motivated squad at the start of this edition, and we plan to take it day by day and see how things go in terms of general classification. We hope to have a good week and get some nice results to boost our confidence ahead of the Classics”, said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Klaas Lodewyck.
Alaphilippe to the Itzulia:
Bahrain Victorious to Itzulia Basque Country
Team Bahrain Victorious lineup for both Basque races in the following days is a leader of the Itzulia Pello Bilbao and his teammates Yukiya Arashiro, Gino Mader, Domen Novak, Hermann Pernsteiner, Luis Leon Sanchez and Edoardo Zambanini.
On Monday 4th of April, the riders will be taking on the 61st edition of Itzulia 2022 in the quaint town of Hondarribia, running over six stages ending at the picturesque Arrate sanctuary.The six days of racing consists of a combined total of 882.2 km. Every stage has its quirks and features, such as stage 2 from Leitza to Viana being the longest at 207.92 km and over 2,600 vertical metres, demanding a lot of endurance from the riders. While stage 5 will see the riders take on 3,485 vertical metres with a steep ramp up to the finish of 10.5% in Mallabia. Itzulia will conclude with the Eibar – Arrate queen stage, where the leaders will have a chance to shine and show their cycling prowess. The race has a lot to offer, ranging from challenging climbs and scenic views to many breakaway opportunities and fierce competition for a lead position in a peloton.
Sports director Neil Stephens commented on plans before GP Indurain and Itzulia races: “We are going with the same team on both races. In Itzulia we will go with Pello Bilbao as the sole leader in the race. We have high expectations of the general classification. We would like to win this race. It starts with the time trial, which suits Pello’s capabilities and various specials over the race. A lot of short, challenging climbs. Pello is in great shape and very motivated, and we are looking to try to win the Tour of The Basque race. Other riders will be his support and don’t have individual goals at the race.”
Itzulia Basque Country (April 4-9)
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM has been on the podium once in the Itzulia Basque Country. Jean-Christophe Péraud finished 3rd in Itzulia Basque Country in 2014.
Paul Lapeira: “I am very satisfied with my start to the season (especially 2nd in the sixth stage of the UAE Tour and 4th in the Classic Loire-Atlantique). In addition to seeing myself progress, things are going very well in the team, I have been well integrated.
I have never raced in Spain, but I know they are tough races with a lot of strong competition. In any case, you have to go through it so you can continue to progress.
We will bring a competitive team including Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Clément Champoussin. After having had my chance in the last rounds of the Coupe de France, I will enjoy returning to playing a team role. This will be beneficial to me for future rounds of the Coupe de France and in particular Paris-Camembert, which will take place soon and is close to my heart since I’m Norman.”
Five of the seven riders entered in the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain and the Itzulia Basque Country come from the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM, the training program for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM: Clément Champoussin, Paul Lapeira, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Valentin Paret-Peintre and Nicolas Prodhomme. Paul Lapeira and Valentin Paret-Peintre also rode for the AG2R CITROËN U19 TEAM.
Tour Down Under Makes a Comeback in 2023
The Tour Down Under will return to the race calendar in 2023, the organisers announced via Twitter. The Australian stage race could not take place in both 2021 and 2022 due to the covid virus. The race will run from January 13 to 22 in 2023.
The Santos Tour Down Under will consist of ten days of racing. The tour is known as the season opener, but has been canceled for the past two years due to corona. In 2020, when the last edition went ahead, Richie Porte managed to grab the GC in his home country. Caleb Ewan also started his season by winning two stages.
Stuart O’Grady, race director of the Tour Down Under, is very happy with the news. “I can say with great enthusiasm that we are ready to host the best Australian cycling race again. The cycling peloton returns to the south of Australia. We can’t wait to welcome you back,” O’Grady is currently in Europe himself to speak with several teams about their participation in the stage race. The race will run from January 13 to 22.
TDU back in 2023:
Netflix and A.S.O., in Partnership with France Télévisions, Announce a Docuseries on the Tour de France 2022
Netflix is partnering with A.S.O. to create a documentary series on the Tour de France 2022, with the participation of France Télévisions. Produced by Quadbox, a joint venture between QUAD and Box to box Films (Drive to Survive), the series will follow the journey of 8 teams taking part in the most difficult cycling race.
Consisting of 8 episodes of 45 minutes, the series will follow as closely as possible all the actors of the Tour de France, from cyclists to team managers to understand the multiple stakes of a race that has become a true international symbol, broadcasted in 190 territories. The backstages of eight iconic teams will be unveiled, from the preparation phase to the finish line: AG2R Citroën Team, Alpecin-Fenix, BORA-hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ cycling Team, Ineos Grenadiers, Team Jumbo-Visma and Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
Filming will run from March to July 2022 for a release on Netflix in the first semester of 2023. In addition, France Télévisions will broadcast a 52′ documentary a few days before the start of the Tour de France 2023.
Dolores Emile, Manager, EMEA Unscripted & Doc Series (France) at Netflix: “We are very proud to unveil new aspects of the emblematic Tour de France. This is a unique opportunity to dive into the stories of its inspiring characters!”
Yann Le Moënner, Managing Director of A.S.O.: “We are proud of this partnership with Netflix, France Télévisions and the Tour de France teams, which will offer fans a unique immersion behind the scenes. Through a narrative approach, which is additive to the competition itself, the public will be able to discover how the Tour de France represents the ultimate challenge for the competitors ; in particular in terms of suffering, pushing their limits and team spirit. This project is part of our overall ambition to make our sport more accessible and meet an even wider audience.”
Laurent-Eric Le Lay, Sports Director at France Télévisions: “As the historic partner and broadcaster of the Tour de France, we are delighted to participate in this project which will allow everyone to experience part of the daily life of champions and teams. It is additive to what we do every year during the race and we believe that it will attract an even larger audience to this beautiful event.”
More Tour TV:
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