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 .

Read on Cycling Tips More Like This


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 ...

Read on Cyclist More Like This


Tour de Yorkshire: McLay leads Great Britain team

Dan McLay (EF Education First) salutes the crowd after having won stage 1 of the 2019 Jayco Herald S

Dan McLay will lead the Great Britain men’s team at next week's Tour de Yorkshire , British Cycling has announced. McLay, who rides for EF Education First , will race in national colours over the four-day event in England and will be joined a young squad that includes Jim Brown, Ethan Hayter, and Joe Nally. British Cycling also announced their team for the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race, which runs on May 3-4, with national road race champion Jess Roberts leading the line. "The Tour de Yorkshire and the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race are both important races on our endurance squads’ calendars as it allows our senior academy riders to race alongside and against the world’s best which is essential for their development,” said British Cycling’s performance director Stephen Park. "For the men, this year’s event coincides with L’Etoile d’Or round of the Nations’ Cup, in which ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


24 things you need to know about the 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

The Spring Classics come to a close this Sunday with Liege-Bastogne-Liege. It’s one of the oldest and most prestigious one-day races on the planet, and a race that’s had quite a shake-up in 2019. In the following preview we tell you everything you need to know about both the men’s and women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The men’s … The post 24 things you need to know about the 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege appeared first on CyclingTips .

Read on Cycling Tips More Like This


Analysis: How the favourites fared at Paris-Roubaix

Supported by Philippe Gilbert and Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Yves Lampaert played the Paris-Roubaix finale perfectly on Sunday to give the Belgian team its second Monument of the season. Twenty-five-year-old Nils Politt delivered a sensational ride for Katusha-Alpecin, a team many have been sleeping on at the Classics since Alexander Kristoff departed. But what about everyone else? What will … The post Analysis: How the favourites fared at Paris-Roubaix appeared first on CyclingTips .

Read on Cycling Tips More Like This


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, ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Tour of Flanders a race too far for Jungels

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at the Tour of Flanders

In the end, it was a race too far, and Bob Jungels ' sunken eyes told their own story when he emerged from the Deceuninck-QuickStep team bus an hour or so after placing 16th at the Tour of Flanders . "I'm dead," he smiled wanly. Although a Ronde debutant, the Luxembourg champion had set out from Antwerp among the favourites for victory after an assured maiden cobbled Classics campaign that yielded victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. All-action displays at the E3 BinckBank Classic and Dwars door Vlaanderen this past week were enough to convince men like Tom Boonen and Johan Museeuw of his credentials as a possible winner, but Jungels' efforts to this point told in the final hour of racing. "I'm really very, very happy that it's over," Jungels admitted. "It was a very hard and very long period. I started in Colombia and I've ridden almost every race for victory, ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Jungels: Confidence is high - I hope I can unleash it at Flanders

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep) takes a solo victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Some riders spend years trying to make it to the top of the Deceuninck-QuickStep hierarchy but Bob Jungels has stormed straight to the front of the line. The Luxembourg champion is a winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège but this spring he has been deployed in the cobbled classics of northern Belgium for the first time in his career. After just five races, he’s being talked about as the leading light for Patrick Lefevere’s team at the Tour of Flanders . None other than Tom Boonen, QuickStep legend and three-time winner of De Ronde, has named the 26-year-old as his favourite for Sunday. Jungels cut a relaxed figure at Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s pre-Tour of Flanders press conference on Friday, held at the headquarters of new sponsor Deceuninck. He wore his leadership status lightly. “All week long there’s a lot of discussion in the media, on TV channels, but, in the end, it’s going to come ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Gilbert: It's never ideal to fall ill before a big objective

Phlippe Gilbert put in a final attack before the sprinters took over at Paris-Nice

The stomach problems that forced Philippe Gilbert ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) to abandon Dwars door Vlaanderen will not prevent him from lining out the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, but the Belgian conceded the illness is likely to impinge on his performance at the Ronde. “It’s ok, but it’s never ideal to fall ill before a big objective,” Gilbert told reporters in Hooglede on Friday. “It’s not a big illness either, but personally I’ve never done a result in a big race when I’ve been ill in the days leading up to it. I don’t know, we’ll see. I’m not putting pressure on myself. There are two nights still to go, and a whole day, so we’ll see.” Gilbert withdrew from Dwars door Vlaanderen with 40 kilometres or so remaining, having been stricken with a gastric issue on the eve of the race. The 36-year-old said that he was not concerned ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Tour of Flanders Preview

A look at the big races on Sunday You can keep your Tours de France and your World Championships. For those of us in the know, there’s no better race than the Tour of Flanders. We’ve got a Sunday in the sun coming up, with two superb races over the cobbles to Oudenaarde. More detail and some predictions below. The Men’s Route There’s really very little I can add to what was outlined last year by Chris. The course is, insofar as it’ll matter, the same as last year. The gory details are here – 17 helligen and 5 sections of “flat” cobbles, 270km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde. What maters? Well, the first named obstacle is the Lippenhovestraat after 87km, and the first hellig is the initial passage of the Oude Kwaremont after 119km. We hit the Muur after 171km, and that’s always fun and is arguably where the race ...

Read on Podium Cafe More Like This


Stuyven: I'm an underdog for Tour of Flanders

Jasper Stuyven attacks near the end of Gent-Wevelgem

Last spring, Trek-Segafredo 's Jasper Stuyven was up there in pretty much every spring Classic, without winning one or claiming a podium finish. It was expected that the 2016 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne winner might kick on in 2019 and start truly challenging for titles, but he has endured a difficult campaign, with time running out to salvage something from it. Stuyven finished 40th at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 79th at Milan-San Remo, and 58th at the E3 BinckBank Classic. Part of a Trek-Segafredo team that misfired badly for those first few races, he and his teammates started to turn things around with John Degenkolb's second place at Gent-Wevelgem last weekend, and, after another solid display at Dwars door Vlaanderen, there's a sense of cautious optimism ahead of the Tour of Flanders . Stuyven's preparation for the Classics campaign was disrupted by illness, but he still feels he's in the shape needed to ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Peter Sagan follows his own path to the Tour of Flanders

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

The emergence of cyclo-cross stars Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel and the collective might of Deceuninck-QuickStep are the storylines that dominate in the build-up to the Tour of Flanders , leaving Peter Sagan in an unusual position ahead of the Ronde: out of the direct glare of the spotlight. One senses that the three-time world champion will not be altogether upset at ceding column inches to some new names this week. Being Peter Sagan – the brand as well as the bike rider – is a heavy burden, after all, and anything that lightens the load, even temporarily, can only be welcomed. For the second successive year, Sagan has elected to stay in Belgium for the week leading up to the Ronde rather than return to his Monaco base. As in 2018, he opted not to line out at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, preferring to put ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Tom Boonen backs Bob Jungels for Tour of Flanders glory

Tom Boonen backs Bob Jungels for Tour of Flanders glory

Joe Robinson 4 Apr 2019 Three-time winner expects Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-QuickStep to dictate race Three-time Tour of Flanders winner Tom Boonen has backed Deceuninck-QuickStep's Bob Jungels as his tip to cross the finish line in Oudenaarde first this Sunday. Speaking on Belgian radio, Boonen highlighted four riders that he believes will shine at Flanders this weekend, and ultimately picked Jungels, the recent winner of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne , as the favourite for the race. 'I expect a lot from Wout van Aert, who can count on the support of his Jumbo-Visma team this year,' Booned said. 'That naturally brings a little more pressure. I am convinced that he can do it and that he can do it now, but whether it is already a prize this year, remains to be seen.' Mathieu [van der Poel] is very busy, but he has to compete as an individual against the strong block of Deceuninck-QuickStep. ...

Read on Cyclist More Like This


Preview: What you should know about the 2019 men’s Tour of Flanders

It’s time for the second Monument of the year and the biggest bike race in cycling-mad Belgium: the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Ahead of Sunday’s 103rd edition of the men’s Tour of Flanders, we bring you up to speed on the course, the climbs and the contenders for what is one of the world’s most important … The post Preview: What you should know about the 2019 men’s Tour of Flanders appeared first on CyclingTips .

Read on Cycling Tips More Like This


Concussion, fractured vertebra for Drucker in Dwars door Vlaanderen crash

Bora-Hansgrohe's Jempy Drucker

Jempy Drucker ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) suffered a concussion and a fractured vertebra in his neck when he crashed in the final corner of Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, according to his team. Drucker was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where doctors diagnosed the injuries. "The fracture looks stable and we hope no operation is needed, but he will be out for many weeks," Bora-Hansgrohe posted on their official Twitter account. Drucker, 32, joined Bora-Hansgrohe this season on a two-year deal after spending four years with the now-defunct BMC Racing Team. The veteran rider from Luxembourg was brought on board to strengthen the team's Classics roster and has already put in 25 race days this year, starting in Spain with the Mallorca Challenge and the Vuelta a Murcia, then moving to Portugal for the Volta ao Algarve. Drucker started the Classics on 'Opening Weekend' with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


The weekly spin: Flanders into Roubaix, pro cycling’s holiest of weeks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s often referred to as Holy Week, the span between the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen in the port city of Antwerp and the finish of Paris-Roubaix in the arena of the Parc Municipal de Sports velodrome in Roubaix. Officially, it’s called Holy Week because these … The post The weekly spin: Flanders into Roubaix, pro cycling’s holiest of weeks appeared first on CyclingTips .

Read on Cycling Tips More Like This


Deceuninck-QuickStep with multiple options at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Deceuninck-QuickStep may have missed out at Gent-Wevelgem at the weekend, but the Belgian team will have plenty of cards to play as they look to resume their run of success at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. Yves Lampaert is expected to leading the way for Deceuninck-QuickStep. He became the first rider to win back to back titles at the one-day race when he took yet a solo victory in Waregem last season. Lampaert will be backed up by Philippe Gilbert, who finished runner-up and helped set Lampaert up for victory in 2017. Both riders have played a support role so far this spring, but Dwars door Vlaanderen will be an opportunity to take advantage of their own opportunities. Zdenek Stybar is absent as he rests up for Sunday's Tour of Flanders. Bob Jungels gives Deceuninck-QuickStep a third option and has shown just how adept he is at taking on new ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Degenkolb leads Trek-Segafredo turnaround at Gent-Wevelgem

John Degenkolb on the Gent-Wevelgem podium after finishing second

It has been a trying start to the year for the Trek-Segafredo team, not least their Classics squad, but they turned things round dramatically at Gent-Wevelgem , where John Degenkolb claimed second place at the end of a day in which all their key riders finally delivered. The Classics campaign got off the worst possible start as riders apologized to team management for their performances at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad at the start of the month. They hardly fared much better at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne the following day and it seemed the poor form had continued into the main cobbled classics period when they made no impact whatsoever at E3 BinckBank on Friday. However, it looked like a different team Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Not only did one rider step up; they all did. All four of their Classics specialists – Degenkolb, Jasper Stuyven, Mads Pedersen, and Edward Theuns – made it into an ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Rowe left with 'no excuses' after E3 BinckBank Classic disappointment

A happy Luke Rowe at the start

Luke Rowe and the rest of the Team Sky squad were left empty-handed after a tough day in the saddle at the E3 BinckBank Classic in Belgium. The Welshman was the team's top finisher, crossing the line in 54th place after Zdenek Stybar continued Deceuninck-QuickStep's Spring dominance with yet another win. Team Sky came into the race on the back of a strong set of one-day results. Owain Doull was second in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, while they had picked up top-ten placings in Milan-San Remo, Bredene Koksijde Classic, and Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne. On Friday, Rowe looked to be in contention until a main group of favourites began attacking on the Paterberg. He was unable to follow as Stybar, Greg Van Avermaet, Bob Jungles, and others opened up the race. Ian Stannard, who had attacked earlier in the race, suffered a puncture just at the wrong moment and later crashed, while Team Sky's ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This


Jungels' long-range attack sets up Stybar for victory at E3 BinckBank

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quickstep)

They say it takes time to bank the experience necessary to be competitive in the cobbled Classics, but Bob Jungels is making a mockery of that notion. After winning Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne at the start of the month, the Luxembourger, riding his debut cobbles campaign, produced another remarkable performance with a long-range solo at E3-BinckBank Classic that effectively teed his teammate Zdenek Stybar up for victory. Jungels, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège last year but looks equally comfortable on the punchier climbs and cobbles of the Flemish Ardennes, attacked with 60 kilometres remaining on Friday. Thirty kilometres later, after catching, dragging and dropping the remnants of the breakaway, he was alone, with the race in pieces behind him. It was a nail-biter, as Jungels, arms folded over his bars in full Cancellara mode, tried to hold onto his advantage over a select group of eight that contained Stybar, with another small group just behind ...

Read on Cycling News More Like This