Tour de France teams for 2019 — Complete startlist plus the favourites

Theuns and Dupont at Tour de France 2018

Who are the ones to watch?

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Fuglsang to spearhead Astana GC hopes at the Tour de France

Fuglsang to spearhead Astana GC hopes at the Tour de France

Astana will arrive at the Grand Départ of the 2019 Tour de France with Jakob Fuglsang as its general classification leader, supported by Alexey Lutsenko, Gorka Izagirre, Pello Bilbao, Magnus Cort, Luis Leon Sanchez, Omar Fraile, and Hugo Houle.

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Fuglsang backed by 'strong and experienced' Astana team at Tour de France

Jakob Fuglsang on the final Dauphine podium

Critérium du Dauphiné winner Jakob Fuglsang will lead a strong Astana team at the Tour de France, with Alexey Lutsensko, Pello Bilbao and Gorka Izagirre among the supporting cast. The eight-man roster is completed by Canada's Hugo Houle, Omar Fraile, Magnus Cort and Luis Leon Sanchez, giving the Kazakhstani team options for stage victories. "With this strong and experienced team, we are ready to fight for the best possible result," Astana manager Dmitriy Fofonov said in a statement released by the team. Although Fuglsang’s best-ever placing in a Grand Tour remains his 7th place on the 2013 Tour de France, he has added his name to the list of favourites for this year’s race after a remarkable sequence of performances and results so far in 2019. Fuglsang soloed to victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April and finished on the podium at Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Tirreno-Adriatico. The ...

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The weekly spin: Jakob Fuglsang’s last, best chance to win the Tour de France

Can a veteran rider well into his thirties who has never stood on a Grand Tour podium win the Tour de France? It happened last year with Geraint Thomas — another rider who had not historically been the strongest climber nor time trialist, but was always capable at both — and it could well happen … The post The weekly spin: Jakob Fuglsang’s last, best chance to win the Tour de France appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Alaphilippe wins Dauphine stage 6 as Yates keeps overall lead

Supported by Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, France, June 14, 2019 (AFP) – Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe powered to victory in the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Friday, edging out Gregor Muehlberger in a photo finish after a long breakaway. The 27-year-old claimed his 10th victory of the season, having also won the one-day Milan-San Remo, Fleche Wallonne and … The post Alaphilippe wins Dauphine stage 6 as Yates keeps overall lead appeared first on CyclingTips .

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'So far, so good' for Adam Yates at Criterium du Dauphine

Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates finishes just ahead of Chris Froome (Team Ineos) on stage 2 of the 201

Mitchelton-Scott 's Tour de France hope, Adam Yates , kept pace with the main contenders on stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Monday, while teammate Jack Haig was able to infiltrate the day's main breakaway. Yates – who will lead the Australian WorldTour team at the Tour next month – was able to stay with the GC contenders on the final climb of the Côte-de-Saint-Victor-sur-Arlanc. Although the group couldn't catch the day's winner Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) and breakaway companion Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert), Yates finished in the company of Chris Froome (Team Ineos), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Groupama-FDJ's Thibaut Pinot to take 10th place on the stage and is also now 10th overall, 24 seconds behind current race leader Teuns. Haig, meanwhile – returning from a knee injury – was able to take the pressure off his teammates by featuring in the day's main breakaway, alongside such big names ...

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Power analysis: Mathieu van der Poel’s insane Amstel Gold

A look at the incredible power figures pushed by Mathieu van der Poel on his way to one of the most stunning finishes ever witnessed in pro road cycling The post Power analysis: Mathieu van der Poel’s insane Amstel Gold appeared first on CyclingTips .

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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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van der Poel in disbelief

First Dutch winner comes from nowhere to take sprint In the most shocking finish at a northern classic in ages, Corendon’s Mathieu van der Poel came from nearly a minute behind race leaders Jakob Fuglsang and Julian Alaphilippe with three kilometers remaining, only to regroup in the final 300 meters as the race leaders played cat-and-mouse, and then punishing them for their tactics with a powerful sprint to the line that sent the home crowd into complete delirium. Van der Poel and his small group came into sight of the leaders just as Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski had joined the Fuglsang-Alaphilippe break, which moments earlier seemed absolutely assured of victory. But two became three, and with everyone on his wheel at the 600 meter sign van der Poel simply pounded the pedals to close on the leaders, disregarding the group glued to his wheel, and powered his way to the line ...

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Crashes and crosswinds batter Paris-Nice again

Crosswinds caused splits on the Paris-Nice peloton

The record books will state that Dylan Groenewegen won stage 2 of the 2019 Paris-Nice in a reduced bunch sprint with the remnants of the main field finishing just a few seconds behind but that one fact does not do the race justice after another epic day of crosswinds and echelon racing that saw the action never let up for even a single moment of the 165km stage. By the time Groenewegen made his way to the podium to collect his second bouquet of the race and the yellow jersey, stragglers were still crossing the line in ones and twos, some of them with the jerseys ripped from a day that saw numerous crashes and several abandons, including Mark Cavendish, Louis Meintjes, Rigoberto Uran, Warren Barguil and last year's third-place finisher Gorka Izagirre. The race has yet to reach a time trial or an uphill finish yet has seen back-to-back ...

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Paris-Nice 2019: Who are the favourites and who will win?

Joe Robinson 8 Mar 2019 From Colombian talent to Northern grit, here are the riders to watch at Paris-Nice Paris-Nice has had a stroke of luck this year. With rival Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico deciding to ignore the Apennine mountain range in favour of a mixture of flat and rolling stages, any climber looking to get some early-season miles in their legs has opted to race in France. As a result, the field for the 2019 edition of the 'Race to the Sun' is one of the strongest for years, with plenty of punchy, one-week experts and high-ticket Grand Tour performers all fancying their chances of taking victory on the French Rivera in just over a week's time. It's no secret that the two most explosive days of racing should come on Stages 6 and 7. Stage 6 is the race's only true mountain-top finish as the peloton heads to ...

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Flying Too Close to the Sun: Paris - Nice Preview

Race to the sun, my ass.

There’s always a discussion around this time about which is the better race-- Paris - Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico-- as the peloton gets split between the two races. The consensus view is usually that TA is the better race-- it gets the better riders and has the better route. Here’s the thing, though. Anyone that still believes that has not been watching PN during the last three years. Each of the last three years has been a barn burner of a race, easily in contention for best week long stage race of the year as well as race day of the year and probably only losing out on those honors due to its placement on the calendar-- before the spring classics and all of the grand tours cloud our collective memories. 2016 saw Geraint Thomas take the GC victory over Alberto Contador by a mere 4 seconds and saw a vintage ...

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Clarke just one second short of overall win in Provence

Clarke just one second short of overall win in Provence

Aussie Simon Clarke finished second on the final stage of the Tour de La Provence behind John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) to sit on equal time with race leader Gorka Izagirre, losing the race on count back by just one second.

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Lutsenko stamps early authority on Tour of Oman - Stage 2 highlights

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) wins stage 3 of the Tour of Oman

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) laid down the foundations for the defence of his Tour of Oman title on Sunday, taking victory in Al Bustan on stage 2 . The Kazakh rider took a clear victory over stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) on the uphill stretch to the line after he launched a solo attack in the hilly final kilometres of the race. Lutsenko’s win continued a strong run of form for the Astana team across the globe, with Gorka Izagirre taking overall victory at the Tour de la Provence, Miguel Angel Lopez’s home success at the Tour Colombia 2.1 and Luis Leon Sanchez and Pello Bilbao’s back to back wins at the Vuelta Murcia. Astana put their cards on the table in the latter part of the stage in Oman, working with CCC Team to pull back the main attack of the day before reeling in a late ...

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Gorka Izagirre wins 2019 Tour de La Provence

Gorka Izagirre (Astana) leads the overall GC at La Provence

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) won the final stage at the Tour de La Provence, dominating a small group sprint ahead of Simon Clarke (EF Education First) and Anthony Maldonado (St Michel-Auber 93). The dwindled field caught two breakaway riders, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky), inside the final kilometre before setting up for the final sprint. Gorka Izagirre (Astana) secured the overall title after leading the race since winning stage 2. You can read more at

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Prades wins Tour de la Provence stage 2

Eduard Prades on stage

Eduard Prades (Movistar) won stage 2 of the Tour de la Provence, pipping Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) in a sprint to the line in La Ciotat. Gorka Izagirre (Astana) came across the line to take third place and move into the race lead. Following an aggressive finale to the stage, that included a first category climb in the final 20 kilometres and a long descent to the line, a small group arrived at the line. Prades came from midway down the group to beat Gallopin, who was fading after starting his sprint early. More to come... You can read more at

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Offseason Capsule: Astana

Another middling season for the pyjama-clad team We pretty well have a formula for Astana year on year these days. 2018 followed that formula, but with an unexpected injection of classics excellence early in the year. That bug has been fixed and normal service will resume in 2019. What we said last year I had a memory that the comments on my Astana capsule picked up on how little love I gave to a Valgren-led cobbles squad. Not so, that came with my first cobbles ranking . I was down on the cobbles team and missed Valgren’s great year (though he was on my list of potential hilly-classics winners, fortunately). I am pleased that I gave praise to Bilbao, who proved a valuable lieutenant in the hills, and that I was more positive about Lopez than Fuglsang, who performed in line with my luke-warm preparation. Was I overboard on Lopez? ...

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Gorka Izagirre escapes with stitches after high-speed cyclo-cross crash

Gorka Izagirre joined Astana over the winter

Gorka Izagirre ’s tenure with the Astana team almost got off to the worst possible start when the Spanish road race champion came a cropper at high speed during a cyclo-cross race, taking his younger brother Ion with him. Fortunately for them and their new team, both the brothers did not suffer significant injury, though Gorka needed four stitches in his eyebrow as a result of the crash. The Izagirre brothers were riding in Astana blue for the first time since switching to the team from Bahrain-Merida over the winter. They were tuning up for the forthcoming road season at a cyclo-cross event in the Basque town of Ormaiztegi. Gorka Izagirre was sitting in second place at the time of the crash with his brother following close behind in third. Video footage shows that the accident happened as Izagirre transitioned from a high-speed, muddy downhill section onto a bridge. As ...

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Video: A Bridge Too Far? Izagirre brothers in spectacular cyclo-cross crash

Izagirre brothers CX crash (via Tiwtter).PNG

Crash in Spain’s Basque region almost sends Gorka over parapet Ion comes down afterwards

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Astana present 2019 roster in Spain – Gallery

Team manager Alexandr Vinokourov talks through his Astana team's goals for 2019

The Astana Pro Team have presented their 2019 roster during their training camp in Altea, Spain, where team manager Alexandr Vinokourov said the team's goal for the season was to improve on what was already considered to have been a very successful 2018 campaign. While the team has had to say goodbye to riders including strong one-day specialist Oscar Gatto and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Amstel Gold winner Michael Valgren, who's headed for Dimension Data for 2019 , the team has brought in a number of new riders, including the talented Izagirre brothers , Ion and Gorka, Davide Ballerini – who won this year's Memorial Marco Pantani – and Eritrean road race champion Merhawi Kudus , who joins from Dimension Data. Including Valgren's wins at Nieuwsblad and Amstel, Astana took 33 race wins in 2018, with Alexey Lutsenko taking the Tour of Oman title , three stage wins at the ...

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