Lefevere: Keeping Alaphilippe comes down to money

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) attends a press conference on April 19 ahead of the Amstel

Patrick Lefevere has made Julian Alaphilippe a contract offer but the Belgian team boss is still none the wiser as to whether the French rider will stay with Deceuninck-QuickStep beyond 2019. Alaphilippe has been linked with a big-money transfer to Total Direct Energie for 2020, with the French team significantly increasing their budget after Total came on as a sponsor earlier this year. Lefevere has a fight on his hands to keep a number of high-profile riders, with Alaphilippe, Elia Viviani and Enric Mas among those on the transfer market for next year. Alaphilippe, in particular, has enjoyed a remarkable start to the season with eight wins already, including victories in La Flèche Wallonne, Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and two stages in Tirreno-Adriatico. He is currently training for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France , where last year he won two stages and the King of the ...

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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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Lizzie Deignan on an upward trajectory to Yorkshire World Championships

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) still smiling after climbing to the finish on Mt. Baldy, where she f

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) is on a steep, upward trajectory to being back at the top of her game after taking time off from the sport to give birth to her first baby. Upon the conclusion of the Tour of California , she told Cyclingnews that she felt optimistic about her form as she builds towards her goal of winning a second rainbow jersey at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire in September. "I’m feeling good, positive and optimistic," Deignan said. "I’m finding myself in no man’s land a bit - not quite good enough in the sprints and not quite good enough on the climbs. I think my strength has always been as an all-rounder, so I need to get that little bit of level back again, and I’m confident that I can get that back." Deignan raced with Boels Dolmans for five seasons until she announced last March ...

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Team of the Week: Normal Service Is Resumed Edition

Anna van der Breggen

The week in women’s racing Races A WWT stage race in the USA ( Tour of California, WWT 11 ), and an aspirational Spanish one ( Vuelta a Burgos ). Coverage Highlights. With decent amounts of action. (Don’t worry ‘atmosphere in the team parking’ fans, there’s a bit of that too.) Cali . Burgos . Well-intentioned social media of varying degrees of usefulness/ hilarity . (TotW is harsh: it’s not entirely their fault connectivity in the California mountains isn’t up to Luxembourg standards.) Riders Anna van der Breggen [2]: To near universal cheers attacked lone leader Olga Zabelinskaya with 5km to go on stage one of the Tour of California , then soloed home into a stiff headwind for the win. It was no surprise when she (along with Katie Hall) emerged from the no-signal fog towards the top of Mount Baldy the next day. Back to dominance, and rider ...

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Amgen Women’s Race: Moolman-Pasio third overall after vertebral compression injury

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio wheels her bike away

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) had targeted the Ardennes classics and the mountainous Tour of California Women’s Race – but a crash in the final sprint at Amstel Gold Race forced a change in priorities upon her. “I crashed hard in the sprint for eighth. I launched my sprint and got switched, so I went from full speed to nothing and hit my back hard. I tried not to make much of it because Flèche Wallonne was two days away and that was my goal. It started to materialise that it was more serious than what I wanted to accept, to be honest,” she told Cyclingnews . Flèche Wallonne is always a big goal for Moolman-Pasio , and after a second place in 2018 she was eager to line up and race. She finished seventh. Four days later she had to abandon Liège-Bastogne-Liège and finally went for a check-up of her injury. ...

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Astana's Bilbao wins Stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia as Conti holds pink

Astana's Bilbao wins Stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia as Conti holds pink

Joe Robinson 17 May 2019 The breakaway makes it for the second day in a row as the General Classification riders hold station Pello Bilbao took advantage of a napping breakaway to win Stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia to L'Aquila as the Valerio Conti held on to the Maglia Rosa. Bilbao attacked with 1.3km on the day's final climb managing to shake off his fellow breakaway riders. Tony Gallopin took the sprint for second ahead of Davide Formolo. It marked a second consecutive day in which the breakaway took the stage honours as the race's big General Classification favourites all finished together. UAE-Team Emirates rider Valerio Conti managed to hold onto the Maglia Rosa after a testing stage that saw his team riding at the front all day. The race will now head into its second weekend with Stage 8 taking the peloton on a lumpy 239km journey along ...

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Astana's Bilbao wins Stage 7 of the Giro as Conti holds pink

Astana's Bilbao wins Stage 7 of the Giro as Conti holds pink

Joe Robinson 17 May 2019 The breakaway makes it for the second day in a row as the General Classification riders hold station Pello Bilbao took advantage of a napping breakaway to win Stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia to L'Aquila as the Valerio Conti held on to the Maglia Rosa. Bilbao attacked with 1.3km on the day's final climb managing to shake off his fellow breakaway riders. Tony Gallopin took the sprint for second ahead of Davide Formolo. It marked a second consecutive day in which the breakaway took the stage honours as the race's big General Classification favourites all finished together. UAE-Team Emirates rider Valerio Conti managed to hold onto the Maglia Rosa after a testing stage that saw his team riding at the front all day. The race will now head into its second weekend with Stage 8 taking the peloton on a lumpy 239km journey along ...

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Giro d'Italia 2019: Astana's Bilbao wins Stage 7 as Conti holds pink

Giro d'Italia 2019: Astana's Bilbao wins Stage 7 as Conti holds pink

Joe Robinson 17 May 2019 The breakaway makes it for the second day in a row as the General Classification riders hold station Pello Bilbao took advantage of a napping breakaway to win Stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia to L'Aquila as the Valerio Conti held on to the Maglia Rosa. Bilbao attacked with 1.3km on the day's final climb managing to shake off his fellow breakaway riders. Tony Gallopin took the sprint for second ahead of Davide Formolo. It marked a second consecutive day in which the breakaway took the stage honours as the race's big General Classification favourites all finished together. UAE-Team Emirates rider Valerio Conti managed to hold onto the Maglia Rosa after a testing stage that saw his team riding at the front all day. The race will now head into its second weekend with Stage 8 taking the peloton on a lumpy 239km journey along ...

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ASO bins Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne from Women's WorldTour after refusing TV coverage

ASO bins Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne from Women's WorldTour after refusing TV coverage

Joe Robinson 17 May 2019 Races will drop down to second-tier events in big blow for women's cycling Women's cycling took another blow yesterday as race organiser ASO confirmed it would be pulling Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne from the Women's WorldTour after refusing to provide live televised coverage of the events. According to reports by DirectVelo , ASO, which also looks after the men's Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix, is unwilling to provide the necessary 45 minutes of live television coverage. The UCI, cycling's governing body, demands this limited coverage in order for a women's race to qualify for WorldTour status as well as video highlights and online race information. However, as confirmed by the president of the UCI's Road Commission, Tom Van Damme, ASO and Walloon broadcaster RTBF are unable to meet these requirements. 'One of the conditions for being in the Women’s WorldTour is the guarantee of live ...

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Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege likely out of 2020 Women's WorldTour

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) wins La Fleche Wallonne

La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes could be missing from the Women's WorldTour in 2020, after the organisers and broadcasters of the two races, the ASO and RTBF, refused to provide the 45 minutes of live television coverage mandated under incoming UCI reforms. Reigning world champion and five-time Flèche Wallonne winner Anna van der Breggen told Cyclingnews that if race organisers like ASO aren't willing to be part of the development of women's cycling than they shouldn't be part of the Women's WorldTour. "There's still a chance to have a broadcast and if ASO don’t do it then they will take out their races [from the Women’s WorldTour]," van der Breggen told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 1 of the Tour of California Women's Race on Thursday. "I think that's a good thing because we would like to have our races broadcast. We deserve a broadcast and those ...

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Peter Sagan finding Tour de France legs in California

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the leader's jersey after winning the opening stage of the 2019 To

Peter Sagan 's struggle with an early-season illness that led to sub-par performances in the spring Classics could be turning around at the Tour of California . The former triple road race world champion is preparing to win a seventh green jersey at this year's Tour de France . Bora-Hansgrohe director Jan Valach says the team back Sagan entirely, and believe that his stage victory in Sacramento on Sunday was exactly the morale-boost that both he and the team needed. "Yes, we're very happy with that win because it was important for Peter and for Bora-Hansgrohe," Valach told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2, a 214.5km mountain stage to South Lake Tahoe, on Monday. "I'm also happy for him that he has come back with this victory, and that he can continue on like this into the season. In the spring, he was sick, and then he found it ...

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Lefevere hoping to hold on to Alaphilippe at Deceuninck-QuickStep

Julian Alaphilippe in Liège

Deceuninck-QuickStep team boss Patrick Lefevere says that he hopes he can hold on to star rider Julian Alaphilippe when the Frenchman's contract with the Belgian WorldTour team comes to an end after this season. Lefevere told the Belgian press that the pair have already talked, and that the feeling's mutual that both parties would like to continue to work together, although apparently "not at all costs". "Julian knows what he means to us, and we also know what we mean to him," Lefevere said on Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad 's website, nieuwsblad.be . "But there's a difference between upgrading a contract by tens of thousands of euros versus hundreds of thousands." Over the years, Lefevere has regularly let his star riders leave for new teams if his team's budget won't stretch to a more expensive new contract. Rather than spend most of his money on one rider – as other ...

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Oss, Schachmann to back Sagan at Tour of California

Peter Sagan shows off his new nameplate

Bora-Hansgrohe have revealed the six riders who will back Peter Sagan at the Amgen Tour of California from May 12-18, with strongman Daniel Oss and recent Ardennes revelation Max Schachmann leading the charge to back the 'King of California' as Sagan hopes to add to his record 16 stage wins. Also on Bora-Hansgrohe's roster for the seven-day WorldTour race are Juraj Sagan, Erik Baska, Oscar Gatto and recent Tour of Turkey overall winner Felix Grossschartner. Sagan has had a slow start to his season so far, with his only win coming during a stage at the season-opening Tour Down Under in January. Since then, the three-time world champion has come close in the spring Classics, but has just missed out on landing on the podium. Following a short break after abandoning Flèche Wallonne and choosing to skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Sagan travelled to California on May 4 to prepare for the race ...

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Deignan headlines Tour of California Women's Race

Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) won the most active rider jersey

Lizzie Deignan will headline Trek-Segafredo 's roster at the Tour of California Women's Race , which starts May 16 in Ventura and finishes two days later in Pasadena. The former world champion just returned to competition in April, seven months after the birth of her first child, and will be one of the most anticipated riders on the well-attended start line in Ventura next Thursday. Deignan will line up with a strong team of six riders - announced in a post on Twitter by Trek-Segafredo - that includes Tayler Wiles, Ruth Winder, Lotta Lepistö, Trixi Worrack and Lauretta Hanson. Worrack is a former overall winner of the Tour of California Women's Race, securing victory in the 2015 edition ahead of Leah Kirchmann and Lauren Komanski. More recently, Wiles finished second overall behind Katie Hall in last year's edition. Deignan returned to competition at the Ardennes Classics, competing in Amstel Gold ...

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Inside Rally-UHC’s European campaign

Inside Rally-UHC’s European campaign

The North American squad netted wins in Italy and Great Britain, and started Belgium's La Flèche Wallonne. Read the full article at Inside Rally-UHC’s European campaign on VeloNews.com .

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Valverde's Giro d'Italia participation in doubt after training crash

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) lacked his usual spark on the Mur de Huy.

Alejandro Valverde 's participation in the Giro d'Italia is in doubt as a result of the training crash that ultimately forced him to abandon Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. Scans taken in Murcia on Monday revealed that the world champion had sustained a bone edema in the sacrum. "Alejandro Valverde underwent scans in Murcia on Monday to examine the area damaged by his crash during a training ride last Thursday, prior to Liège-Bastogne-Liège," read a statement from his Movistar team on Tuesday. "The checkups confirmed bone edema in his sacrum. Giro appearance depends on his recovery evolution." Valverde has had a relatively subdued spring in the rainbow jersey of world champion, with just one victory to his name to date, a stage of the UAE Tour in February. He caught the eye with 8th place in his Tour of Flanders debut, but endured a trying Ardennes campaign. After placing an anonymous 66th ...

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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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Women’s Team of the Week: Bumper Ardennes Edition

Races Stretching out a week to the best part of a fortnight, we have Amstel Gold Race (WWT7), Brabantse Pijl and EPZ Omloop van Borsele . Oh, and two minor untelevised races somewhere in Belgium ( WWT8 and WWT9 ). Coverage Do we have to? Yes, yes, we do. Due credit to Amstel Gold Race and Brabantse Pijl for providing the kind of coverage we’ve come to expect so far this season. As for ASO , their blank refusal to show Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège—two WWT races—live, despite evidently having the resources to do so, is, in TotW’s view, embarrassing , out of touch , chauvinistic , sad and increasingly inexplicable . Which is probably why ASO seem to have no explanation to offer . Riders Annemiek van Vleuten [2]: TotW is reluctant to award Rider of the Week for a performance no one actually saw, but thanks, ironically enough, ...

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Persistence pays off for Fuglsang, a route change pays off for Liège-Bastogne-Liège

It’s not easy to hold form from Strade Bianche to Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Seven long weeks of racing run between the two marquee one-dayers. Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang was up for the challenge. His victory at “La Doyenne” on Sunday is a story of perseverance, the result of a perennial Grand Tour hopeful finally rewarded for his endurance … The post Persistence pays off for Fuglsang, a route change pays off for Liège-Bastogne-Liège appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Van Vleuten: I committed, gave everything, and did not look back

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) secures solo victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Annemiek van Vleuten ( Mitchelton-Scott ) finished her Spring Classics campaign on a high. After three second places in a row at the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, and La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, the world time trial champion returned to her winning ways at Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes , taking her second victory of 2019 after the Strade Bianche. Van Vleuten put all her eggs in one basket and attacked on the Côte de la Redoute with more than 30km to go. This was a conscious decision, she explained. "I decided today that I wanted to have it in my own hands and just go from the bottom of La Redoute. My team made it hard on the climbs before, I had a great lead-out into the climb and then I just committed. I gave everything I had, did not look back, and continued over the top. And already halfway, before ...

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