The 2022 Giro d’Italia has kicked-off in Hungary – We have the first three stage reports with video. It’s not all Giro: All the news from the 4 Jours de Dunkerque and the women’s Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol. UCI’s David Lappartient wishes Mathieu van der Poel was French – TOP STORY. Other news: Julian Alaphilippe on his recovery, Elmar Reinders gets WorldTour interest, contract extension for Erik Fetter, the passing of former World champion Harm Ottenbros and special Giro kit for EF Education-EasyPost and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. *** Stop the war in Ukraine ***

TOP STORY: UCI’s David Lappartient: “It’s a shame Mathieu van der Poel didn’t choose France”
David Lappartient is a big fan of Mathieu van der Poel’s way of racing. The UCI president said in conversation with Raymond Kerckhoffs of WielerFlits about the Dutchman who took the pink jersey in the first stage of Giro d’Italia.

“It is a pity for us French that he has opted for Dutch nationality. With a French mother he could also have ridden for France. He also speaks fluent French. We certainly would have welcomed him,” said Lappartient.

Lappartient especially enjoys the style of racing from MvdP. “The great thing about Van der Poel is that he is always there when a heroic fight takes place. He never races from the defensive, but always goes out to make the race himself. That is an attitude that makes cycling so beautiful. It seems as if this new generation is returning to the roots of cycling. They are not counting on the bicycle, but ride with daring and bravado.”

In addition to Van der Poel, the UCI president also praises Tadej Pogačar, Julian Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert. “When they are at the start, you never know what will happen in a race. Nothing is predictable. They colour a lot of races with that. They don’t wait until the last kilometres. It’s a kind of game for them to win races in a big way.”

Van der Poel started stage 2 in the pink jersey, but Lappartient is even more reflective on the yellow jersey that the Dutchman wore last year. “The moment Mathieu won the yellow jersey on the Mûr-de-Bretagne, the leader’s jersey that his grandfather Raymond Poulidor never wore, was also a special moment for all French cycling enthusiasts.”

“It is a shame that Poulidor was not able to witness the success of his grandson himself, as he would have been incredibly proud. On the other hand, you also notice that Mathieu is proud of what his grandfather has achieved. I noticed that in the conversations I had with him.”

Van der Poel, the Dutchman born in Belgium of a french mother:


Giro d’Italia 2022
Mathieu van der Poel won Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia in Visegrád, Hungary. After 195 kilometres, the Alpecin-Fenix leader was the best on the uphill finish of more than five kilometres, he also has the first pink jersey.


The 2022 Giro d’Italia started on Heroes’ Square in Budapest. After a long neutralised zone, the flag was dropped and the first attacks started. Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli immediately put two men up the road. Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani managed to take a gap and no one followed their attack.

The peloton seemed uninterested in a chase and the two men of Gianni Savio got further and further away. The lead of Bais and Tagliani increased to over ten minutes in the first 50 kilometres. As the advantage grew towards 12 minutes, Alpecin-Fenix ​​took the lead in the peloton. The Belgian team had the top favourite with Mathieu van der Poel and took matters into their own hands, as did Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert for Biniam Girmay. Those two teams reduced the lead to around 5 minutes. At the first intermediate sprint, where points could be earned for the Maglia Ciclamino, Giacomo Nizzolo beat Arnaud Démare, Bert Van Lerberghe and Mark Cavendish behind the two escapees. EF Education-EasyPost also started to help with the work for the peloton. The peloton were on the slowest estimated time schedule. At the start of the last hour, the difference to Bais and Tagliani was 1:30 and it was getting less and less. The sprinter’s teams let the Italians struggle on for a bit longer, but 14 kilometres from the finish they were pulled in.

Several trains formed in the run-up to the 5.5 kilometre final climb to Visegrád. There was a small crash which included Harm Vanhoucke. At the foot of the climb, Lotto Soudal for Caleb Ewan were in the lead, while Alpecin-Fenix ​​were also close at hand with Van der Poel. But the other favourites were also not far away. Lawrence Naesen tried to surprise the peloton with an attack 3.5 kilometres from the finish. He managed to grab 9 seconds, as the nervousness in the peloton caused another crash. Lennard Kämna jumped past Naesen and started the last 2 kilometres solo. Girmay’s teammates kept the pace high in the favourites group, from which Arnaud Démare was dropped. Kämna’s 7 second lead under the 1K banner turned out not to be enough. He was caught by Davide Formolo, after which all the top men came to the fore. Caleb Ewan looked to have everything under control, but he was no match for the sprint of Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Girmay. The Dutchman went past the man from Eritrea with some difficulty, but managed to cross the finish line first. On the last slight bend, Ewan crashed, it looked like he touched Girmay’s rear wheel, and lost his third place. Pello Bilbao finished third, ahead of Magnus Cort and a strong Wilco Kelderman. Richard Carapaz, Bauke Mollema and Diego Ulissi also finished in the same time as Van der Poel. Then there was a gap of 4 seconds to the others. With his victory, Van der Poel is the first wearer of the leader’s pink jersey on his debut in the Giro. The purple points jersey and the blue mountain jersey (the final climb was a Cat 4 climb) also went to the Dutchman. The white young rider’s jersey went to Biniam Girmay.

# See more photos in the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ HERE. #


Stage winner and overall leader, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “The sprint went as I expected but if I could do it again, I’d position myself differently. It was not ideal and I got boxed in, so I had to go around the bunch. But I stayed calm and I timed my sprint perfectly. I had no energy left to put my hands up in the air. I’m really happy to take the win. I’m used to being the favourite so I was pretty relaxed before the race. Today was a unique opportunity for me to get the Maglia Rosa. A few months ago, I decided to go for the Giro because Stage 1 was something that would really suit me. It’ll be difficult to keep the lead after the time trial. I’ll try but I’m already happy with what I’ve done today.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Yesterday, the team surprised me with t-shirts showing the lettering “Veni, Vidi, Bini”, which reflect our ambition to win in this Tour of Italy. From the first stage, in my first Grand Tour, I was already close to achieve this and I’m very happy about it. I conquered the white jersey at the end of a fantastic collective performance and therefore I want to thank my teammates and staff. Rein Taaramäe, who controlled the breakaway and the rest of the team who protected me from the start and made the final hard. I launched my effort with more than 250 meter to go and I really dug deep. Mathieu van der Poel was the strongest today, but more opportunities are waiting for us.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious): “It was not easy to properly understand how I was feeling today as the stage was going relatively easy. Therefore I didn’t know how I could be during the final climb. I knew today could be a good day for me, and in the last 30 km, I rode focused on my aim. Phil gave me great support, positioning me before the right corner. In the end, I lost the position with a crash at 2 km to go, but happily, I recovered and was ready for the final attack. Taking the 3rd place in the sprint is a good way to start the Giro.”

5th on the stage and overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “Actually, I was caught up behind that crash at the bottom of the climb. I had to dig deep to get back in position and I hit the front just after Lenni was caught. I wanted to carry the momentum even I knew it was quite early. I think we can be really happy with today.”

9th on the stage and overall, Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën): “It was a very difficult first stage. We had to do the final climb à bloc. I was a bit boxed in behind and had to sprint back up. A top 10 to start is a good sign. It will get better and better for the next stages.”

Late attacker, Lawrence Naesen (AG2R Citroën): “My move was not planned. I was going up to help Felix and Andrea but since I had taken the front with some speed, I tried my luck.”

Late attacker, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “We didn’t plan to attack in the final, but when I had a good position, and the pace went down a little I thought it’s a good moment to give it a try. In the end it was longer than I thought to the line, and I blew up. But sensations have been really good, so I can be happy.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 1 Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:35:28
2. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
4. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën at 0:04
10. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 1:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:35:18
2. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:04
3. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:06
4. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:10
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën at 0:14
10. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo.

Giro’22 stage 1:


The Second Stage of the Giro d’Italia, a 9.2 kilometre individual time trial in Budapest, was won by Simon Yates. The Briton completed the technical course faster than the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Dumoulin. Van der Poel remained leader.


The day after his victory in the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia, Mathieu van der Poel defended his pink jersey in the stage 2 individual time trial. The course of the TT was perfect for the Dutchman. In the centre of Budapest, a technical route had been drawn with a finish on Castle Hill (1.3 kilometres at 4.9%). With João Almeida, Magnus Cort, Tobias Foss, Simon Yates and Tom Dumoulin, there were plenty of other possible winners. Everyone had a chance of the stage victory and also of the overall lead.

The first rider to roll down the starting ramp was Harm Vanhoucke, one of the riders involved in yesterday’s crash. Jan Tratnik was also an early starter, he would normally be a dangerous outsider, but yesterday he also hit the asphalt with Vanhoucke. The Slovenian was badly battered, especially his wrist, and didn’t beat the Belgian’s time. Alex Dowsett, the third rider to start, was the fastest for a while. Jos van Emden improved Dowsett’s time. The Dutchman was 4 seconds better than the Israel-Premier Tech rider. Another rider from Jumbo-Visma, Edoardo Affini, went under the time of Van Emden. The Italian took his place in the hot seat, until Lennard Kämna disrupted the Jumbo-Visma’s party. The BORA-hansgrohe rider, who was also at the front in the stage 1 final, set the new top time.

For a long time no one came near Kämna. Thymen Arensman initially looked like he wouldn’t either, because at the first intermediate point he was 8 seconds behind the German, but at the finish he was close. DSM’s talent was half a second short of beating Kämna. Matteo Sobrero put in a fast ride, the Italian champion was 4 seconds better than Kämna. He was also faster than Tobias Foss, who was next to finish. From then on, the top men followed in quick succession as all the riders were at 1 minute intervals. One of the first was Tom Dumoulin, who demolished Sobrero’s time. He was 8 seconds faster than the Italian. But hot on his heels was Simon Yates, beating the Dutchman by 5 seconds. After that, Vincenzo Nibali, Mikel Landa and Romain Bardet also recorded relatively good times, but not winning times. João Almeida outperformed all three, but only took a few seconds from them. Richard Carapaz was also well beaten by Yates. He lost 28 seconds to the Brit over the 9.2 kilometres. Wilco Kelderman limited his losses to 17 seconds. The only rider left who could beat Yates was Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutchman came very close, but eventually had to concede 3 seconds on Yates. Van der Poel kept his pink jersey. Tom Dumoulin finished in third place and also rose to third on GC.

# See more photos in the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ HERE. #


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I just tried to go as fast as possible, I have to thank our partners, Giant and Cadex, we put a lot of work into our equipment this year, and of course it’s paying off. I was never confident, Van der Poel was close as well, but of course you always have that belief that you can win, and eventually I managed to hang on. Today was a 12-minute effort, we still have some much more demanding stages in front of us. But of course, we will celebrate today, it’s one of only two time trials I have ever won and my first ever in a Grand Tour, so we’ll enjoy today, but I think we need to look at the bigger picture.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix): “I rode for keeping the Maglia Rosa. That was the big goal. But to be this close to the victory is more than I expected. It’s a discipline I don’t really spend time on but today’s course suited me. I saw a lot of fans yesterday and today again. I was surprised by how beautiful it is here. I’m happy that I can wear the Maglia Rosa in a normal stage. Tomorrow I will do the lead out for our sprinter Jakub Mareczko. Normally it should be possible for me to keep the Maglia Rosa until the Etna but I think I will lose it [there].”

3rd on the stage and overall, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma): “I think I had a good time trial in itself, but not one where I thought: this is the greatest ever, and this is definitely a win. It shows. The twists and turns were difficult, but I can do that. I didn’t ride great corners. Some corners I was happy with, some less so. But everyone will be. In the end I just didn’t have enough left on the last climb to really accelerate. You go from corner to corner. In the end you have to pace a bit, and hope you have some left for the last climb. In the end I still had reasonable legs there, but not the legs to make the difference. That was the goal, so that sucks. Anyway, my feeling is good, but just not good enough.”

4th on the stage, 5th overall and Maglia Bianca, Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I’ve worked really hard for this TT with the team, especially during the winter to prepare everything. I’m happy with our results. It’s a bit of a surprise that Simon [Yates] won. I already did a good time trial at the end of the Giro last year. Today’s course suited my characteristics even more. I don’t know if I’ll defend the Maglia Bianca. We’ll see on Mount Etna. The team’s plan is to stay with Simon and protect him.”

7th on the stage and 4th overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “I did feel quite good and can be happy with the result. After the crash in Liege I wasn’t on the bike a couple of days last week so the preparation for this wasn’t good. You also never know with the knee, but if you can push like that in the race all seems to be fine. All signs are quite promising, but my approach is still to take it day by day. I still need to get some confidence back.”

8th on the stage, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “I didn’t expect a time like this to be honest. I wanted to push today but didn’t take too much risk in the corners. The course was hard and basically it was all out from the start. Even I suffered on the last climb, the crowds have been great and really pushed me towards the line. It’s good to see I have the power to push big gears, today was another boost in confidence for me.”

Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Today I experienced why Grand Tours are so special! It was a nice feeling, and I felt proud, to wear the white jersey in this time trial, especially thanks to the presence of all these fans. I gave everything. The headwind in the beginning made it hard from the start and then we still had to climb to the finish. I’m happy that I was able to limit the damage compared to the time trial specialists. After two satisfying stages I’m looking forward to the third one tomorrow. It is relatively flat so it will probably end in a bunch sprint. With the team we’re aiming to conclude our Hungarian stay with a good result.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 2 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco in 11:50
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:03
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:13
5. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:17
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:18
10. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:47:11
2. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:11
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:16
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:24
5. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
6. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:25
7. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:28
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:29
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Giro’22 stage 2:


The Third Stage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 was won by Mark Cavendish. After a flat stage of 201 kilometres, finishing in Balatonfüred, the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was the fastest in the bunch sprint. Mathieu van der Poel remains in the pink jersey and will wear it on Tuesday in Sicilia after the rest day.


As normal on a sprinter’s stage, there was a short battle to be in the early break. Shortly after the starting gun, three riders broke away from the peloton, including Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli’s Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani. These two had formed the break in the opening stage to Visegrád. This time they had Samuele Rivi of EOLO-Kometa for company. The peloton was quite happy to give the three more than 5 minutes lead, but Alpecin-Fenix ​​started to chase after 50 kilometres. The team of pink jersey Mathieu van der Poel reduced the difference to under 3 minutes fairly quickly. The first abandonment of the Giro: Jan Tratnik suffered too much from his wrist after his crash on the opening day and had to stop.

The lead fluctuated between 2 and 3 minutes for a long time. Alpecin-Fenix, Lotto Soudal, Groupama-FDJ and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl were at the front of the pack. They were working for their sprinters Caleb Ewan, Arnaud Démare and Mark Cavendish. With more than 40 kilometres to go to the finish there was some action. Rivi attacked in the leading group and managed to drop Tagliani. Bais was able to follow Rivi’s wheel, leaving us with two men in the lead. The EOLO-Kometa rider then made another attempt, but was unable to prevent the escape coming to an end 28 kilometres from the finish. The peloton then rode on at a steady pace. On the only climb of the day, Pascal Eenkhoorn and Rick Zabel sprinted for the points. The Jumbo-Visma rider beat the German, so that they now both have 5 points in the mountains classification. Zabel will wear the mountain jersey, as he is higher on the general classification.

Eenkhoorn decided to continue on his own after the KOM sprint. He briefly had an 11 second lead, but the peloton pulled him in 6 kilometres from the finish. Then it was time for the sprint trains to sort them selves out. Alpecin-Fenix, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Groupama-FDJ pushed their way to the front. Mark Cavendish was brought perfectly into the last kilometre. The pink jersey of Van der Poel also near the front in the service of Jakub Mareczko, but the Italian was not on the Dutchman’s wheel. On the other side of the road, Cavendish started his sprint from far out, after good preparatory work by Michael Mørkøv. The Briton made a long sprint and kept Arnaud Démare and Fernando Gaviria behind him by nearly a bike length, to record his 16th stage win in the Giro d’Italia. Démare and Gaviria were second and third. Behind that Biniam Girmay managed to take fourth place. Edward Theuns was in sixth place, finishing ahead of top favourite Caleb Ewan, who is suffering from poorly placed in the final kilometre and sprinted to eighth place.

# See more photos in the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ HERE. #

giro22 st3

Stage winner, Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I am very happy! We really wanted to do good in the first bunch sprint, and that’s exactly what we did. I’m so delighted with this great victory, 14 years after my first one here and nine years since my last success in this amazing race that I love so much. The boys were phenomenal today, the way they protected me and controlled the peloton was just outstanding. I knew I had to deliver with such a fantastic team around me and I’m content I could do it. Everyone was so committed today. In the sprint, things were hectic, but Michael remained super cool all the time. Then I had to go long in the end, with 300 meters left, but I had the legs to do that and I’m happy I could hang on for that long.”

Overall leader, Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “I didn’t really try to sprint myself. We did a good lead out as a team. Unfortunately our sprinter Jakub Mareczko got boxed in. I think he did a very good job. I’ve enjoyed riding in the Maglia Rosa. I’m happy to take it to Italy. It depends how the race goes now but I’ll try to take some more stage wins. Normally it’s impossible for to me to keep the jersey on Mount Etna but I’ll see how it feels.”

2nd on the stage, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “I am disappointed. We are in the Giro and I am disappointed with this second place, because we are here to win. There are other opportunities coming and I am physically fine.”

3rd on the stage, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a hard and very fast sprint. We fought to win it and did our best to be up there. The team did a great job to keep me at the front. We’ll look to the next opportunities, we’re happy with today and how it went but we are also focussed on going for a win in the chances to come.”

4th on the stage, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “In an almost entirely flat stage like today, I can be satisfied with fourth place. The final was difficult and the positioning battle was tough. But my teammates did a fantastic job once more to keep me in the front positions during this fast finish. It is thanks to Barnabás, Aimé and Loïc that I could start the sprint in a perfect position. I felt good and I wanted to give everything to cross the line first, but I was surrounded by other sprinters and no gaps opened up. In addition to my fourth place, I also won some points for the ciclamino jersey in the intermediate sprint, because I’m not far behind Mathieu van der Poel in the points classification. I want to get well through these three weeks so you never know, maybe I can continue the battle for this distinctive jersey!”

Giro d’Italia Stage 3 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:56:39
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
4. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
8. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
9. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
10. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Victorious.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 3:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 9:43:50
2. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:11
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:16
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:24
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Ben Tulett (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:28
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:29
10. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Giro’22 stage 3:


4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France 2022
Philippe Gilbert hasn’t forgotten how to win. The almost 40-year-old rider of Lotto Soudal, who is in his final year, recorded a victory for the first time in almost three years on Stage 3 of the Four Days of Dunkirk. Gilbert defeated Julien Simon and Pierre Barbier on an uphill finish. Arvid de Kleijn took the overall lead back.


After two relatively flat stages, the riders were faced with quite a bit of climbing on day three. The third stage was hard for the sprinters. After three not too difficult climbss, the race was set on rolling roads, where the riders had to complete four local laps. At the end of each lap, the riders had the Mont-Saint-Éloi (0.6km at 4.3%). The finish was also at the top of the same climb.

Alex Colman attacked early and was joined by Samuel Leroux. The peloton let go and Colman and Leroux’s lead increased to 3 minutes. Frenchman Kevin Besson counter-attacked and the rider from Nice Métropole Côte Azur proved strong enough to cross. In the peloton, the work was done by DSM and Alpecin-Fenix, reducing the lead of the three leaders. Colman was there to collect points for the KOM. The lead with 40 kilometres to go was 2:30. Alpecin-Fenix ​​decided 30 kilometres from the finish to pull the peloton into a long line, hoping to drop the sprinters and initiate a difficult final. Several riders tried to jump away, but they were unable to split the group. There was a crash with 15 kilometres to go, just before the last passage of the finish. Gerben Thijssen was caught with the fallers, but all the riders were able to continue. The three in the break were trying to hold off the bunch, but not for long.

Colman, Leroux and Besson were caught by the peloton, led by Niki Terpstra, with 7 kilometres to go. At 1.5 kilometres from the finish, the Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole team took command with their sprint train for Thomas Boudat, but the Frenchman wasn’t involved in the sprint. Philippe Gilbert, who will be celebrating his 40th birthday in a month’s time, was well placed in the last hundred metres and had enough punch. The Lotto Soudal rider, who is in his last year as a pro, managed to out-sprint the competition by several bike lengths. This is Gilbert’s first victory since September 2019. Tesson crossed the line in second and it looked like he would retain the leader’s jersey. However, the young Frenchman from St Michel-Auber93 was disqualified after the finish because he had sat behind the car too long after a puncture earlier in the stage. As a result, he had to give the leader’s jersey to the Dutchman Arvid de Kleijn, the winner of stage 1.


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Philippe Gilbert: “We are here with a strong team and we were aiming for a good overall result and stage wins with Arnaud De Lie, amongst others. Unfortunately he was forced to abandon in stage one so we had to adapt our racing strategy a bit. And so it was done. The team rode a perfect race today and I was able to finish it off at the end. This victory comes with a lot of emotions, it’s been a while since I took a win. But I clearly haven’t forgotten how to throw my arms in the air. Everything is still to play for. Tomorrow we might get another bunch sprint but Saturday’s stage on and around Mont Cassel will be crucial. I know the climb from Gent-Wevelgem and it will obviously be a hard day. But with six Lotto Soudal riders still within ten seconds on GC, we still have several cards to play.”

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Stage 3 Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:22:14
2. Jason Tesson (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
3. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
4. Pierre Barbier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
5. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
6. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
7. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis.

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Overall After Stage 3:
1. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Human Powered Health in 11:57:43
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Samuel Leroux (Fra) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole at 0:01
4. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:04
5. Evaldas Šiškevičius (Lit) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole
6. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole at 0:06
7. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
8. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
9. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:07.

Dunkerque’22 stage 3:


The Fourth Stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk was won by Lionel Taminiaux on Friday. The Alpecin-Fenix Belgian ​​was after almost 175 kilometres just faster than Stanislaw Aniolkowski of Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB. Gerben Thijssen finished third. Evadas Siskevicius took the leader’s jersey from Arvid de Kleijn due to the bonus seconds.


There were many attacks from the gun. Alexandre Delettre (Cofidis) and Evaldas Siskevicius (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole) were the only ones who managed to get away, but they were caught halfway through the stage. Then a new leading group of four formed on the Predefin climb. Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Alex Colman (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Jonathan Couanon (Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur) and Léo Danès (U Nantes Atlantique) broke away from the peloton and took 4 minutes. It was too fast for KOM Colman, leaving the other three for the last 25 kilometres.

For Robeet, Couanon and Danès it was an impossible mission to stay away from the pack. They were caught 8 kilometres from the finish, after which it was up to the sprinters. After a chaotic sprint, Lionel Taminiaux of Alpecin-Fenix ​​was the first to cross the finish line. The difference with Stanislaw Aniolkowski was narrow and it needed the photo finish to split them. Gerben Thijssen finished third and took important bonuses in the battle for the general classification; he seemed to be the new leader, but that honour went to Evaldas Siskevicius. The Lithuanian had taken enough points in the break to be one second ahead of Thijssen. With Arvid de Kleijn (5th), Bram Welten (6th) and Nils Eekhoff (9th).


4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Stage 4 Result:
1. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:01:54
2. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
3. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies
5. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Human Powered Health
6. Bram Welten (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
7. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (SA) Lotto Soudal
8. Jules Hesters (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
10. Mihkel Räim (Est) Burgos-BH.

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Overall After Stage 4:
1. Evaldas Šiškevičius (Lit) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole in 15:59:36
2. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:01
3. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Human Powered Health
4. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Samuel Leroux (Fra) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole at 0:02
7. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at 0:03
8. Alexandre Delettre (Fra) Cofidis at 0:06
9. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM at 0:07
10. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole.

Dunkerque’22 stage 4:


Stage 5 of the 4 Days of Dunkerque was won by Gianni Vermeersch. In the sprint from a select group, the Belgian trumped Oliver Naesen and Jake Stewart. Philippe Gilbert finished fourth and took the overall lead.


The course of stage 5 was more difficult than the previous stages. On the finishing circuit, which had to be ridden seven times, there were two short cobblestone sections and the Mont Cassel. This hill was climbed from two sides: one time via the Avenue Achille Samyn (3km at 4.3%), the other time via the Rue du Tambour (2.7km at 4.5%). The finish-line was 1 kilometre after the Rue du Tambour.

With Siskevicius as GC leader, the riders started from Roubaix. Siskevicius’ team, Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole, controlled the peloton. Eventually six riders escaped: Max Poole (DSM Development), Maurice Ballerstedt (Alpecin-Fenix), Louis Blouwe (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Andréa Mifsud (Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur), Leo Danès (U Nantes Atlantique) and Alex Colman built up a 6 minute lead. Around 70 kilometres from the finish, four riders made the jump from the peloton. Michael Gogl, Stéphane Rossetto, Matthieu Ladagnous and Jake Stewart made the crossing. Danès and Colman were dropped, after which Stewart fell back.

Ballerstedt was also dropped when the leading group started the last 40 kilometres with just over a minute in hand. In the end, the gap grew, but as Dimitri Claeys (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Samuel Watson (Groupama-FDJ) mounted a counter-attack, the gap narrowed again. In the end, Watson was the one who, after connecting with the front riders, pushed through on his own. However, he was brought back. On the last climb of Mont Cassel there was an attack by Philippe Gilbert, Thursday’s winner. Together with Oliver Naesen and Gianni Vermeersch he opened up a gap on the others. In the short descent a few riders got back, including Stewart, but Vermeersch finished it off in the sprint. Gilbert took over the overall lead from Siskevicius, who had been distanced earlier.


Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal): “I’m happy to move into the race lead, but to be honest I am a little disappointed to miss the podium today and the bonification seconds that come with it.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën): “We knew it would be a difficult and a decisive stage. For me, it was the goal of the week. Since the first stage, lots of people have gained bonus seconds, but we have had no luck there. It was therefore necessary to play an important card. Second in the stage, second overall, it is not quite what we wanted, but there is great satisfaction all the same because the whole team raced just right. The guys worked very hard especially Damien Touzé who has entered the top 10 as well. Tomorrow, there are still possibilities but it won’t be easy because it’s going to come down to bonus seconds, and you can’t make a mistake. In Paris-Roubaix, I was in great shape but I was unlucky. Here, I’m getting started again, the legs are good, and that’s very good for the rest of the season.”

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Stage 5 Result:
1. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:39:56
2. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
3. Jake Stewart (GB) Groupama-FDJ
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
6. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Damien Touzé (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:08
8. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
9. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
10. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies.

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Overall After Stage 5:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 20:39:33
2. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën at 0:04
3. Jake Stewart (GB) Groupama-FDJ at 0:05
4. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:10
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:14
7. Romain Cardis (Fra) St Michel-Auber93 at 0:16
8. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:17
9. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:18
10. Damien Touzé (Fra) AG2R Citroën.

Dunkerque’22 stage 5:


Gerben Thijssen won the Final Stage 6 of the Four Days of Dunkerque on Sunday. The sprinter of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was the fastest in a restless bunch sprint after 183 kilometres, taking his first professional victory. The final overall win went to Philippe Gilbert who didn’t have any problems on the last stage.


The break of the day consisted of Alexis Renard (Cofidis), Fabian Lienhard (Groupama-FDJ), Robert Stannard (Alpecin-Fenix), Gilles De Wilde (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Juraj Sagan (TotalEnergies), Joris Delbove (St Michel-Auber 93) and Léo Danès (U Nantes Atlantique). Frenchman Delbove was the best rider on GC at 49 seconds behind Gilbert.

Delbove was the virtual leader for a long time, as the lead hovered around 3 minutes. Lotto Soudal and AG2R Citroën led in the peloton, on the race route to Dunkirk. There were eight circuits of 9 kilometres in the final. Once on the circuit, Stannard was the first escapee to be caught, after which Sagan and Danès were also unable to stay with the pace at the front. The five remaining escapees held out against the chasing peloton, where Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB were also helping the chase. The difference was 30 seconds for a long time and the peloton had to work hard to pull them in.

But a bunch sprint would come. At 7 kilometres from the finish, De Wilde was the last escapee to be caught. TotalEnergies rider Maciej Bodnar made an attempt in the last 2 kilometres to avoid a sprint. In the technical final he was unable to stay away. In the chaotic sprint that followed, it was Gerben Thijssen who started early. He was able to continue his effort and held off Hugo Hofstetter and Lorrenzo Manzin. Lionel Taminiaux, stage winner earlier this week, took fourth place. Philippe Gilbert stayed out of trouble in the final and took the overall victory. Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën) and Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) joined Gilbert on the podium.

dunkerque22 st6

Stage winner, Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Thanks to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux I’m a winner again! This victory means so much to me, after two seasons during which I went through hard times both physically and mentally. Since my arrival here, I feel stronger than ever before and race after race I gain confidence. Because of small errors I didn’t manage to win, even though I felt that I had the capabilities to do so. Thanks to the hours of analysing our sprints with the sports directors, my training Ioannis Tamouridis and my lead out Boy van Poppel, we managed to create the perfect scenario today. My teammates brought me into a perfect position and I launched my sprint with 300 meter to go. It was far, but I didn’t hesitate and nobody managed to come out of my slipstream. I’m very grateful for the confidence I receive from the team and I want to show this real Gerben Thijssen a lot more in the future!”

Final overall winner, Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal): “After the disappointment of missing out on yesterday’s stage (when Gilbert finished 4th but did take the leader’s jersey), I am very happy with this overall win. I had some stress in the beginning, because there was a tricky local circuit in the final, with a lot of turns and a constant battle for position. It makes me very happy. I have had two difficult years with a lot of troubles and tough times, but I want to end my career on the highest level. I have never forgotten what you have to do to get there. The Classics were difficult for me, because I was never able to do my training as planned, due to illness. Here, in better weather and in a shorter race, I was able to get the win. Thanks also to the great team over here. First I am getting married, later this month. But for the races afterwards I am very ambitious. I want to win some more.”

2nd overall, Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën): “I knew it was going to be difficult to overtake Philippe Gilbert in the general classification. The bonus seconds he won with his victory in the third stage gave him the advantage he needed to have these four seconds ahead of me. Today, it was going too fast to hope to overtake him. Philippe has one of the finest records in the history of cycling and I am still proud to finish alongside him on the podium at the end of these Four Days of Dunkirk. The top 3 was the goal of the week. It is therefore a great satisfaction for my return to racing after the classics.”

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Stage 6 Result:
1. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:20:53
2. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
3. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies
4. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Pierre Barbier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
6. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
7. Jason Tesson (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
8. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
9. Niklas Märkl (Ger) DSM
10. Jake Stewart (GB) Groupama-FDJ.

4 Jours de Dunkerque/Grand Prix des Hauts de France Final Overall Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 25:00:26
2. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën at 0:04
3. Jake Stewart (GB) Groupama-FDJ at 0:05
4. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:10
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:12
7. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:13
8. Romain Cardis (Fra) St Michel-Auber93 at 0:16
9. Damien Touzé (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:18
10. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM.

Dunkerque’22 stage 6:


Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022
The Movistar Team dominated the Ruta del Sol Vuelta a Andalucía Elite for women from start to finish. The telephone team won the three stages and the overall of the inaugural edition of the Andalusian race thanks to an excellent collective performance. On Stage 3 it was Serbian champion Jelena Erić who raised her arms at the Castellar de la Frontera finish line, with her teammate Arlenis Sierra in second and Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon//SRAM) in third. Sierra, winner of the previous stages in Arenas and Mijas, took the final GC ahead of Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ), while Bauernfeind completed the podium. García had the consolation of winning the mountains classification, while the German Corinna Lechner (Massi-Tactic) won the sprints prize.


A peloton of 82 riders started Thursday’s third stage from the Malaga town of Fuengirola. The race had to be stopped on the recommendation of the police due to several traffic accidents that occurred on the route. The riders had to go in their teams’ vehicles to the Estepona Fairgrounds, at kilometre 57 of the stage, from where the race started again with 82 kilometres to go. There were two tough climbs: Puerto de la Cruz (Cat 2, 78.4km) and Puerto “Hacho de Gaucín” (Cat 1, 99.7km).

After a few initial unsuccessful attempts, the battle began on the first slopes of the first climb of the day. Antri Christoforou (Farto-BTC) went solo in search of the Mountain points, but her move was annulled and in the end it was Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ) who led a bunch reduced to just 30 riders. On the second climb; Garcia, supported by her teammate Erica Magnaldi, managed to drop her main rival for the general classification, Arlenis Sierra (Movistar). The Italian was the first over the top of the climb, but Sierra wasn’t too far behind due to the solid work of her teammates.

The intermediate sprint in San Pablo de Buceite (112.9km) marked the change of tone of the race. The terrain went from hilly to flat which brought a tense peace. Sara Martín (Movistar) took the sprint, escaping alone with a few seconds over a group where three of her teammates were covering, Paula Patiño, Jelena Eric and Arlenis Sierra; plus García and Magnaldi; the British rider Becky Storie (CAMS-Basso); and the Germans Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon//SRAM) and Nadine Gill (Sopela). Martín was caught and Christoforou came up to give a group of a dozen riders who would fight for victory at the Castellar de la Frontera finish line. García and Magnaldi put in two late attacks, but the Movistar team knew how to dominate the leading group until the very last kilometre to achieve their third stage victory and finish off the overall victory of Arlenis Sierra. Jelena Erić won the uphill sprint from her team leader Sierra to finish a perfect stage and race for the Movistar team.


Stage winner, Jelena Eric (Movistar): “It was a triumph as a result of the team’s work, which leaves us all super happy. The Movistar Team have maintained calm throughout the entire stage. The calm that Arlenis shows gives us a lot of confidence and, without stress, things go better. Our goal today was to reach the last kilometres as compact as possible to do a good job for Arlenis [Sierra] and to be able to play our tricks in the sprint as well as possible. We were looking for me to enter the last corner first to launch the sprint and for Arlenis to finish off. However, Mavi [Garcia] and [Erica] Magnaldi surprised us with their attacks and forced us to improvise. I liked this first edition of the Ruta del Sol Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía Elite Women very much and it seemed very tough.”

2nd on the stage and overall winner, Arlenis Sierra (Movistar): “I want to thank God for the strength he has given me and my team in general, cyclists and technicians, for their work. The race was quite tough today. I had a cool head to keep control of the situation and finally everything went as planned. I am very happy for the victory of my teammate Jelena [Eric]. We decided before the finish line that we would try to get her to win and I’ve been cheering her on from behind in the last few metres. That she was first at the finish line makes me feel very proud. This Ruta del Sol Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía Elite Women is going to be a very nice memory for me. I hope that this race will be held every year so that I can participate.”

8th on the stage and 2nd overall, Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ): “For me, this stage has been the hardest of all. As the route shortened, it seemed that it could be easier, but it was the opposite: a short but very intense effort. We had approached the race in a different way and, when the initial section was eliminated, I found myself alone very soon with my teammate Erica [Magnaldi] against four Movistar. It was very hard to keep up the attack pattern to fight for victory and in the end we had to make do with what we already had. Still, I am satisfied. When you give everything you have, you can’t ask for more. Both my teammate and I have left our skin. It has been a very beautiful Ruta del Sol Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía Elite Women. Over the years, this rice will acquire a great level. We hope to be able to come to the next editions.”

Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol Stage 3 Result:
1. Jelena Erić (Serb) Movistar in 2:19:58
2. Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Movistar
3. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Ger) Canyon//SRAM
4. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:02
5. Antri Christoforou (Cyp) Farto-BTC
6. Nadine Michaela Gill (Ger) Sopela
7. Paula Andrea Patiño (Col) Movistar
8. Mavi García (Spa) UAE Team ADQ at 0:04
9. Sara Martín (Spa) Movistar
10. Becky Storrie (GB) CAMS-Basso.

Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia Ruta Del Sol Final Overall Result:
1. Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Movistar in 8:41:56
2. Mavi García (Spa) UAE Team ADQ at 0:04
3. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Ger) Canyon//SRAM at 0:15
4. Paula Andrea Patiño (Col) Movistar at 0:17
5. Nadine Michaela Gill (Ger) Sopela at 0:19
6. Antri Christoforou (Cyp) Farto-BTC at 1:24
7. Sara Martín (Spa) Movistar at 1:39
8. Becky Storrie (GB) CAMS-Basso at 1:41
9. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:44
10. Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar at 4:19.

Andalucia’22 stage 3:


Julian Alaphilippe: “Recovery is going well, everything is going in the right direction”
Julian Alaphilippe has spoken on social media about his serious crash in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “The next visits to the doctor will determine the rest of my season.”

“Hello everyone, after a few important days, I’m happy to bring you some news. My recovery is going well and I also have less pain. I can also breathe better, everything is going in the right direction,” said Alaphilippe, who broke his ribs and shoulder blade in the crash. “I hope this hard crash will soon be a bad memory.”

The two-time World champion also thanks everyone for the support he has received. “I wanted to thank you for your many messages of support that have touched me very much in the past 10 days.” It is still unclear when Alaphilippe will return to competition. “The next visits to the doctor will determine the rest of my season.”

“I’m already motivated for what’s to come and to be able to race back for you. Right now I’m enjoying my family as much as possible,” he concluded.

Terrible crash for Alaphilippe in Liège:


Elmar Reinders gets WorldTour Interest
Elmar Reinders has told Drenthe Sport in a video report that he is talking to a WorldTour team. The Riwal rider owes this to his strong season, Reinders has had five wins already this year. “The coming weeks will show whether I can still make the step.”

The Visit Friesland Eleven Cities Race, a stage in the Olympia’s Tour, the opening stage in the Circuit des Ardennes, the Arno Wellaard Memorial and a stage in the Tour de Bretagne, are the Dutchman’s five victories in 2022. “What can I do now that I couldn’t do two years ago? I am now only happy with first place.”

“In addition, I have not had any bad luck this winter and for the first time I trained in a more scientific way,” he told Drenthe Sport. That way of working has clearly worked for Reinders. A step higher, currently the 30-year-old rider is riding at Continental level, is therefore certainly not out of the question. “I definitely want to ride at a higher level if that opportunity comes. I think it’s great to be able to ride a Grand Tour in my career.”

Reinders was then asked whether that was still possible at the age of thirty: “The coming weeks will show that. We are talking. The interest from the WorldTour has come from my victories this season.”

Elmar Reinders winning stage 3 of the Olympia’s Tour 2022:
olympia's tour 22


Erik Fetter and EOLO-KOMETA Two More Years Together “We will grow again.”
Erik Fetter and EOLO-KOMETA, two more years together: and there was no better time, and no better place to announce it. On the day of the Great Start in his home town of Budapest, the Hungarian rider binds until 2024 with the team that made him grow up: a sign of the common will to continue on that path made of steps forward and mutual trust, started three years ago and still far from its conclusion.

Ivan Basso, Sport Manager EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “Confirming a talented young rider who has been with us for many years is an important signal, it means that we are working well. Because the goal of our team is to enhance the talent of our boys respecting the time, to generate future champions and keep them with us. The confirmation of Erik goes exactly in this direction”.

Fran Contador, General Manager EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “I’m very happy with this announcement, and I’m glad it comes here in Budapest at the start of the Giro. Erik is a guy who came to us three years ago, coming from our Under 23: and his growth path is exactly what we imagine when we think about our project.”

Erik Fetter: “I’m here in Budapest, I’m about to start the Giro d’Italia: I’m living the biggest thing of my life, and it’s hard to imagine something more. And instead, here comes this announcement to make everything even more beautiful: here, in front of my people. How exciting. EOLO-KOMETA gave me all: it gave me the chance to become a professional cyclist and to live this fairy tale, now I have to give something back to them. Maybe, starting from these days. It was easy to say yes: I immediately understood that they believe in me, and that they want me to grow up to become a great rider. We will grow together”.

Fran Contador, Erik Fetter and Ivan Basso:


holland dutch
Former World Champion Harm Ottenbros Passes On
Harm Ottenbros died in his sleep at the age of 78, NOS has announced. Ottenbros was World road champion in 1969.

Ottenbros, who was born in 1943 in Alkmaar, was a professional cyclist for ten years, from 1967 to 1976. He started his professional career Willem II-Gazelle and continued to ride for that team for four years. During that time he won two stages in the Tour of Switzerland, after which he surprisingly became World champion in 1969. In Zolder he escaped with the Belgian, Julien Stevens and then beat him in the sprint.

In his rainbow jersey, Ottenbros managed to win once, a stage in the Tour of Luxembourg. Afterwards he struggled with injuries and didn’t race so much for the rest of his career. After the 1976 season, he retired disillusioned.

# See a full obituary by Ed Hood on PEZ HERE. #

Harm Ottenbros


Our new Giro d’Italia kit
A special kit for a special race.


The Giro d’Italia’s Maglia Rosa is so iconic, we’ve switched out our traditional pink colours for some fresh threads. Check out this year’s changeout kit courtesy of Rapha. It’s only fitting that one of the most beautiful races of the year gets a special jersey to go with it.



Giro d’Italia – IWG reveals its special Giro kit
From this Friday, the riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will wear a special jersey in the Tour of Italy. The new kit produced by Nalini honours Sicilian partner Vini Zabù. The logo of the Sicilian winery will appear in a blue band on the breast of the eight riders between the title partners, in addition to its usual place on the left side of the bib shorts.

Vigneti Zabù is the Sicilian winery part of Fantini Group. The winery is located in the heart is the wine region: Sambuca di Sicilia, in The province of Agrigento. An extraordinary area untouched by factories and rich in oenology history with ancient vineyards of over 60 years old, Sambuca di Sicilia is a land of generations of vintners. With bright skies and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Arancio. Vigneti Zabù works in the area to preserve the nature and ensuring the highest quality of the grapes.

It is via Sicily that the 105th edition of the Giro d’Italia reaches the Italian mainland after the opening in Hungary. The fourth stage brings the riders from coastal city Avola to the top of the Etna at 1900 meters of altitude, after which the Sicilian two day stay is concluded with a stage suited for sprinters between Catania and Messina. One day after the second rest day the riders will start their second week in Pescara, which is only a stone’s throw away from the Vini Fantini headquarters in Ortona.


Lorenzo Rota: “I’m really looking forward to pin a number on for the first time since Milano-Sanremo and this on a brand new jersey! I’m very happy to bring the logo of Vini Zabù in the spotlights during the next three weeks. I don’t want to wait for this until our arrival on Sicily, because I want to give the best of myself each day without thinking too much about the following days. I established a strong relationship with the Sciotti family since I was riding for a team with Vini Zabù as title partner. The family is highly involved in the cycling world, I had the opportunity to visit the Vini Fantini winery in Abruzzo and I noticed that their activities were driven by passion. It is with this same passion that we will give the best of ourselves in this Giro.”

Valentino Sciotti (Fantini Group): “After 14 year of sponsoring in the cycling world, the Giro d’Italia stays our most important and anticipated event. To see that the team designed, with supreme tact, a jersey which highlights our Sicilian Cantina is of great importance for us. This shows once more that we started a partnership that is meant to last and to develop over time. I’m not only talking about highlighting our brand during the Giro, but also and especially about sending a very strong team which, I’m convinced, will delight all Sicilian fans and lovers of our wines!”



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