The weekly spin: Meet Tadej Pogacar, future Grand Tour champion

There’s a youth movement happening in pro cycling, and the Amgen Tour of California is the proving ground. Last year, 21-year-old Egan Bernal crowned as the youngest-ever winner of the Amgen Tour. This year, it was 20-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who is nearly a year younger than Bernal. At this rate, we’ll soon have a teenager … The post The weekly spin: Meet Tadej Pogacar, future Grand Tour champion appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Poulidor: Mathieu van der Poel better than his father and grandfather

Raymond Poulidor proud of his grandson Mathieu van der Poel

Much has been said and written about Mathieu van der Poel as he romped through his first Classics campaign and even his grandfather, former rider, Raymond Poulidor has been impressed. The eight-time Tour de France podium finisher says that Van der Poel is even better than himself and his father Adrie. "He has the genes of his father and his grandfather. He is better than we are when you see his palmares," Poulidor told NOS.nl. After dominating the cyclo-cross circuit this past season, and winning his second elite World Championship title, the 24-year-old Dutchman went on to be one of the top spring riders. He has won six times on the road so far this season, including Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race . He was fourth in his Tour of Flanders debut, after coming back from a crash that seemed to rule him out. He ...

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The Classics might be over for another year, but for two 24-year-olds the best is yet to come

The Classics might be over for another year, but for two 24-year-olds the best is yet to come

Daniel Ostanek 2 May 2019 The battle of the Vans this year was just a glimpse of the rivalry we can expect for years to come. Everyone else will be fighting for third Sadly, the Spring Classics are over. The near two-month long jaunt from Merelbeke to Liege, via Siena, Antwerp and a host of other exotic locales, is done, another chapter in the history books as we move on to the stage races of the summer . Plenty of memories linger, of course – battles like Alaphilippe vs Fuglsang, Deceuninck-QuickStep vs the peloton, and Alberto Bettiol vs everybody’s betting slip. But another subplot has been running the whole time, continuing on from the dark days of winter, and only ending in the Ardennes. If you hadn’t guessed already, it’s that of the two young guns – the multi-disciplinarians and longstanding cyclocross rivals, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der ...

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Tour de Yorkshire 2019: Riders to watch

Joe Robinson 1 May 2019 Seven riders to watch at the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire In just five years, the Tour de Yorkshire has proven itself to bea one of the toughest and most exciting stage races in the calendar. Using the hilly Yorkshire Moors and Dales as its canvas, the four-day men's and two-day women's races tour some of the UK's toughest terrain and most spectacular scenery. This year will also have extra spice on Friday as both the men's and women's pelotons take a detour to the city of Harrogate to sample the 15km finishing loop of the UCI World Championships road race this September. With this preview, Yorkshire has managed to attract some of the best riders across both pelotons who not only want to sample the rainbow route but also try some of Yorkshire's world-famous puddings too. Below, Cyclist looks at some of the riders you ...

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The weekly spin: Rating the winners and losers of the 2019 spring classics

It was late in the race, and Julian Alaphilippe, the most successful rider of the spring classics, knew he would not be defending his team’s title at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Though his Deceuninck–Quick-Step teammates had spent the day keeping him sheltered from the wind and setting pace at the front of the peloton, the inclement weather had adversely … The post The weekly spin: Rating the winners and losers of the 2019 spring classics appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Lessons learned from the 2019 Spring Classics

Joe Robinson 29 Apr 2019 Alaphilippe's the world's best rider not called Mathieu, Valverde's getting old and women's cycling coverage is still far behind the men's Jakob Fuglsang's solo victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege marked the end of the Spring Classics and closed the first chapter of the 2019 season. The men's peloton saw 17 races produce seven winning teams and 11 winning riders. Deceuninck-QuickStep dominated with nine of those wins with six different riders. Mathieu van der Poel took four victories to Julian Alaphilippe's four while Zdenek Stybar notched two wins of his own. Dimension Data managed only two top 10s all spring while the second most successful team of the entire period hailed from the ProContinental ranks, in the shape of Van der Poel's Corendon-Circus. The racing at times was thrilling and at other times quite boring, however, it all came together to tell some interesting stories ahead of the ...

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Dates confirmed for 2020 Flanders Classics

Dates confirmed for 2020 Flanders Classics

Jack Elton-Walters 26 Apr 2019 The Classics season is almost over, so we're already looking ahead to 2020 Flanders Classics, the company behind most of the one-day Classics in Flanders, has confirmed the dates of its 2020 races. This year's races may still be fresh in the memory, but with what for many is the best part of the year – that is, the Classics season – coming to a close, it's already time to look ahead to next year's dose of cobbles and bergs. Grand Tours are fine but nothing beats the excitement and drama of the one day races, especially anything involving inappropriate road surfaces . With the overarching control of the racing calendar lying with the UCI and tradition dictating such things as Paris-Roubaix coming one week after the Tour of Flanders, and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne being the second part of an opening weekend kicked off by Omloop Het ...

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Door open for Mathieu van der Poel to lead Netherlands at World Championships

Door open for Mathieu van der Poel to lead Netherlands at World Championships

Joe Robinson 24 Apr 2019 A packed schedule of cross-country mountain biking and cyclocross may hamper Van der Poel riding in Yorkshire Mathieu van der Poel could continue his multi-discipline dominance as the Dutch national team opened the door for him to race the 2019 road race World Championships in Yorkshire . It is yet to be confirmed whether the recent Amstel Gold Race winner would take to the Harrogate startline in September, with Van der Poel scheduled to return to the cross-country mountain bike circuit this summer, ending his road season in the spring. However, Dutch national coach Koos Moerenhout has confirmed to Dutch newspaper AD that the Netherlands would happily pick him despite his lack of road miles due to the course suiting the rider 'perfectly'. 'It’s a course that suits Van der Poel perfectly. It should come as no surprise that I would like to have him ...

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Dutch coach wants Van der Poel at Road World Championships in Yorkshire

Van der Poel collapsed on the ground after his victorious effort

After his stunning Amstel Gold Race victory – and stunning debut spring Classics campaign in general – there's a lot of talk about what Mathieu van der Poel ( Corendon-Circus ) can achieve in his career. In the long-term, there seem to be few limits, but in the short term, there's already a growing suspicion that he could take part in the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire in September and contend for the rainbow jersey. A former world champion on the road as a junior, Van der Poel has focused on cyclo-cross and mountain biking in the early years of his career. With Amstel signalling the end of his first top-level spring on the road, those disciplines form the primary focus of the remainder of his 2019 plans. However, such have been the 24-year-old's performances over the past few weeks – he also won Brabantse Pijl, Dwars door ...

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The weekly spin: Deconstructing Mathieu van der Poel’s improbable Amstel Gold victory

It was one of the most thrilling finishes of a spring classic in modern history. After trailing by one minute with three kilometers remaining, cyclocross world champion Mathieu van der Poel, in his Amstel Gold Race debut, towed a chase group back into contention and improbably caught and passed the leaders with 125 meters remaining. … The post The weekly spin: Deconstructing Mathieu van der Poel’s improbable Amstel Gold victory appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Patrick Verhoest’s Mega-Flanders Galleries!

Bettiol on the Loose

Our Man Patrick on-site at GW, Dwars and De Ronde Our Man Patrick Verhoest was doing his usual thing this spring, attending all of the greatest events on the Classics calendar, and sending us his photos to pass along to you. It wasn’t the greatest season for me in terms of the logistics of posting, but now that the dust has settled on the Flemish races, now is a good time to look back on them thru Patrick’s sharp-eyed view. Gent-Wevelgem Dwars door Vlaanderen Ronde van Vlaanderen All photos by Patrick Verhoest for the Podium Cafe.

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Like father, like son: Mathieu van der Poel's Amstel Gold Race win mirrors Adrie's 1990 triumph

Mathieu van der Poel in disbelief as he crosses the line

The finishing straight of Amstel Gold Race . Two riders in front ready themselves to sprint for the victory, but a group is closing quickly from behind. In the closing metres, the chasers are suddenly upon them, and Van der Poel flashes past to claim the win at the death. Sound familiar? Mathieu van der Poel ’s last-gasp victory at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday was not entirely without precedent. In 1990, his father Adrie triumphed in the Dutch Classic in remarkably similar circumstances. On that occasion, Luc Roosen and Jan Goessens carried a seemingly unassailable lead into the finale in Meerssen but were overhauled at the last by Adrie van der Poel. That triumph proved to be the final Classic victory of the 31-year-old’s career, to sit alongside earlier wins at the Tour of Flanders (1986) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1988). On Sunday, his son Mathieu – still only 24 – ...

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Lefevere highly impressed by Amstel Gold winner Van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) racing at the Tour of Flanders

Deceuninck-QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere says that his riders don't need to change anything when it comes to preparing for the spring Classics – despite having been impressed by this year's Amstel Gold , Brabantse Pijl and Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Mathieu van der Poel , who he calls "a phenomenon". "We don't feel as though we need to do anything differently," Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad when asked if he and his riders needed a new approach to deal with the likes of Van der Poel and Jumbo-Visma star Wout van Aert, who both came to the spring Classics from a winter racing cyclo-cross at the highest level, and have been two of road cycling's biggest stars so far this season. "They're cyclo-cross riders, and have a specific approach. But today, their road season ends," he said after Amstel Gold on Sunday – although Van Aert is also scheduled to ...

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Mathieu Van der Poel wins Amstel Gold Race

Mathieu van der Poel in disbelief as he crosses the line

Mathieu Van der Poel ( Corendon-Circus ) shook his head in disbelief as he crossed the finish line, and so did everyone watching. The simple fact is that the Dutchman won the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. Quite how he did so is another matter entirely. Van der Poel, wearing the Dutch national champion’s jersey on his Amstel debut, was dead and buried with seven kilometers to go. He’d attacked from the main chase group with a handful of others but, a minute down on leaders Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), it looked like any chance of victory had sailed. However, in a remarkable finale - surely the most thrilling in the race’s 54-year history - the Dutchman dragged that small group back up to those chasing in between and then to the front of the race with just 300 metres to go. He hadn’t quite made the ...

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Alaphilippe: Mathieu van der Poel is a phenomenon

Julian Alaphilippe, Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Wellens on the Brabantse Pijl

Everyone is talking about Mathieu van der Poel , and Julian Alaphilippe is the latest to praise the young Dutchman, describing him as "a phenomenon". Alaphilippe has been the outstanding rider this season with eight victories, including Milan-San Remo, but Van der Poel, the 24-year-old cyclo-cross world champion, has stormed onto the road in his first spring classics campaign, with victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen and fourth place at the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem. The pair went head-to-head at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, where Van der Poel left the more experienced Alaphilippe to win the sprint from the select four-man group. They will lock horns again at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. "I was happy for him," Alaphilippe said ahead of the Dutch Classic. "I do not know him personally, we have not ridden against one another much, but I have followed him a bit because I like cyclo-cross. ...

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Van der Poel courted by major teams but says 'they will have to wait'

Mathieu van der Poel denies Anthony Turgis, takes his first WorldTour win at Dwars door Vlaanderen

After winning Dwars door Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl and impressing in his first Tour of Flanders, Mathieu van der Poel is understandably getting a lot of interest from the sport's top teams. But the Dutch champion says those teams will have to wait since he is under contract with Corendon-Circus through 2023. "There are indeed a few teams that have contacted me," Van der Poel admitted to Sporza.be on Thursday. "A few big teams, although I won't mention names." Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere appears to have expressed interest in both Van der Poel and his cyclo-cross rival Wout Van Aert. "Patrick knows our dad a little, too. So it makes sense that there has been contact," Van der Poel said of his father Adri. "But I have let all the teams know that they have to wait for the time being. I am still under contract until 2023." After a ...

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How Do We Even Talk About Mathieu van der Poel?

Mathieu van der Poel wins Brabantse Pijl

This is a difficult column to write. I don’t know where to start. Maybe with a confession: I am a huge fan of Mathieu van der Poel, whom I first encountered in Louisville in 2013, and adopted as my favorite rider sometime around the time when he stormed on to the elite CX scene the following year, capped with an utterly premature world title. I don’t know why I decided to root for him, but it happens a lot with young Dutch riders. I can’t really explain it. Getty Images Van der Poel in Louisville On that day, van der Poel won his second world junior cyclocross title. By that summer, he added the Dutch and World road titles. I think basically at that point it became clear he was going to be someone special. And so he has. But what? Yesterday van der Poel won De Brabantse Pijl, his ...

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Going for gold: Where your money should be for the Amstel Gold Race

Joe Robinson 18 Apr 2019 Cyclist picks out the best bets for Amstel Gold Race this Sunday The Amstel Gold Race is a different beast these days to what it once was. Until 2017, the entire day centred around the Cauberg. For 260km, the peloton would tour the rolling Limburg countryside, heading up climbs, turning into narrow roads – left, right, left, before hitting the Cauberg. It's a climb that's less than a mile long, not overly steep either, but swamped with local support on race day – mostly Dutch fans packing the roadside, urging the day's strongest riders on to the summit in pursuit of ultimate victory. To win Amstel Gold required you to keep some bullets in the gun for the base of the Cauberg. If you had something left, you could wind it up, put down the hammer and sprint to victory. Just ask Philippe Gilbert, who ...

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Luke Rowe looking to turn Team Sky's classics fortunes around at Paris-Roubaix

Luke Rowe (team Sky)

On the eve of the final race of the 2019 cobbled Classics, Luke Rowe told reporters that Team Sky ’s campaign had not lived up to expectations. However, the Welshman is still determined to turn things around for himself and the team with Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix . Rowe came into the spring classics in strong form with a good showing in the crosswinds of Paris-Nice, but had a difficult return to the cobbles getting his ‘head kicked in’ at E3 BinckBank Classic. There was a promising sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen but the Tour of Flanders did not go to plan. He decided to skip Scheldeprijs while he got himself ready for Paris-Roubaix. “I’ve been in Belgium now for two and a half weeks it has been a long few weeks. We’ve said that we’ve got a strong team and we are looking to come to these races to compete for ...

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Lampaert: The most important thing is that the team wins Paris-Roubaix

Yves Lampaert resplendent in his Belgian champions jersey

Yves Lampaert would love to walk onto the top step of the podium at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday afternoon, but the Belgian champion says that it doesn't matter who wins – provided that it's a Deceuninck-QuickStep rider. Unusually, QuickStep is going into the race without a former champion in their line-up, but they're still not short of contenders. Alongside Lampaert is Zdenek Stybar , who has twice been on the podium, and Philippe Gilbert . They also have last weekend's Tour of Flanders runner-up Kasper Asgreen , who is making his debut at 'The Hell of the North'. "We have good morale and we'll definitely try to win on Sunday. We're motivated," Lampaert said at the team's pre-race press conference. "We can all ride for each other, and the most important thing is that the team wins , and it doesn't matter who it is. "Of course, if I can win, ...

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