Direct Energie and Arkea-Samsic handed final Tour de France wildcards

Warren Barguil and André Greipel in their 2019 Arkéa Samsic kit

Bryan Coquard, Pierre Rolland and the rest of the Vital Concept-B&B; Hotels team will have to make other plans for July, as the final two wildcard invitations to the 2019 Tour de France went to Direct Energie and Arkea-Samsic . Having unveiled the first two of the four wildcard spots in January to Cofidis and Wanty-Gobert, Tour organisers ASO delayed a decision on the remaining two. It looked like a three-horse race between the remaining top French Pro Continental teams, with Vital Concept, established in 2018, going up against the longer-standing Direct Energie and Arkea-Samsic teams. On Friday, ASO announced that the latter two had been given the nod. In terms of personnel, Jean-René Bernaudeau's Direct Energie team, who used to be home to Thomas Voeckler and are eyeing a move to WorldTour level, bolstered their line-up considerably with the signing of former Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix champion Niki ...

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Terpstra's Direct Energie and Greipel's Arkea-Samsic complete 2019 Tour de France roster

Terpstra's Direct Energie and Greipel's Arkea-Samsic complete 2019 Tour de France roster

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Fast Forward Wheels and Extra UK have agreed on the distribution of FFWD in the UK

For more than ten years, a team of passionate cyclists based out of their head office in Zwolle, the Netherlands, work daily on creating and building the world's best wheels. FFWD's knowledge and experience is purely focussed on wheels, creating a full range of high-end carbon wheels for all cycling disciplines, whether that be road, track, cyclocross or triathlon. By being part of professional teams like Direct Energie (Niki Terpstra) and Arkea-Samsic (Andre Greipel, Warren Barguil), FFWD can count on the highest quality feedback to further develop the products, to ensure they consistently deliver the best performing wheels on the market. "The UK is a strong cycling market which asks for a strong distribution partner. We are confident that Extra UK is the right partner for us to bring the FFWD story to the UK dealers!" says FFWD sales manager Edwin Koopmans. Mark Greshon, head of brands at Extra UK ...

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Total to replace Direct Energie as title sponsor ahead of Paris-Roubaix

Niki Terpstra in his new Direct Energie kit during the reconnaissance

Total is set to replace Direct Energie as the title sponsor of Jean-René Bernaudeau’s ahead of Paris-Roubaix , according to a report in L’Équipe . The French petrochemical giant purchased the Direct Energie company last year, and it is anticipated that its branding will appear on the team’s kit from next month. Although Bernaudeau declined to discuss the matter at Paris-Nice last week, L’Équipe reports that the team’s new identity will be formally unveiled ahead of Paris-Roubaix, which takes place on April 14. In the immediate term, the switch from Direct Energie to Total would see a change in team kit, with Bernaudeau’s squad swapping their current black and yellow garb for a blue jersey with red details. In the longer term, L’Équipe anticipates that the arrival of Total as title sponsor will lead to a significant increase in the team’s budget, which currently stands below €10 million per year. ...

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Flanders Friday: Looking for Clues

Dylan Groenewegen wins in Paris-Nice

Are we learning anything about what’s to come in a couple weeks? Was there any news of the Cobbled Classics this week? I didn’t see any. Most of the reporters are in France or Italy, fussing over the events in front of them. You can read Sporza and get your daily update on Wout Van Aert (was his Strade Bianche ok? Will he owe his old team a bunch of money?) but even I have my limits there. No, there’s nothing. Les Amis are scrubbing the horrible pavé in France and that’s about it. So now is a moment to poke around and see what there is to learn about the individual riders who will contest the great classics around the corner. Does Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico tell us anything about what’s to come? Backing up, the two early spring stage races are must-rides for all the classics guys, from Milano-Sanremo ...

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The Pro-Conti and SSR Corner

Don’t be calling my win at Trofeo Laigueglia merda piccola.

Where we discuss all things shit small Welcome to what I hope will be a bi-weekly column on the pro-conti ranks and upcoming shit small races. I had a lot of fun last season previewing the SSRs that don’t get a lot of coverage in the SSSRSSP (Shawn’s Shit Small Race Shit Small Preview) series and want to continue highlighting these races and what’s happening in the pro-conti (and continental) ranks without necessarily doing a big preview for each race. WITHER SSR RACING? I’ve now spent approximately 2,326 hours writing about vds, 47,248 hours conducting vds drafts, 2.2 x 10 22nd power years researching my vds team, and today, while watching Le Samyn, and then wondering why Florian Senechal only scored 100 points for his first professional victory, was the first time that I realized that Ursula lowered the categories downward for many of the SSR races. All of these ...

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Flanders Friday: Frituur Feature

Just when you thought things could not get more delicious... If you’ve ever been to the Podium Cafe, you know that it shares a space with its soulmate operation, the Podium Frituur. Sure, not every bar needs a source of freshly-made frites in house, but we like to keep it first class here, and if our (possibly imagined) Belgian Cred is going to survive any scrutiny, good frites are the key. Now, I’m not one to lecture anyone on how to make the perfect frite; I do OK but I live in the US where the standards are set by McDonalds. We’re working on it. Hell, if I were a top frite chef, I’d be filthy rich because every US city is crawling with people who would love to throw down $5 on some hot, crispy frites at 2am on a Saturday night, if only they could find some. But ...

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Time to draw breath

A rare day without racing allows us to take stock of the year so far A midweek pot-luck today, as we draw breath after a start to the FSA-DS season that took in the inaugural UAE Tour, two hilly races in France, Opening Weekend and Le Samyn. There’s no attempt below to be comprehensive, just a few of my thoughts coming out of the first bout of races, with a few diversions for other matters arising. The Joy of Teammates My wish for all of you is that you have someone who’ll do for you in life what Tim Declercq will do for the Deceuninck Quick-Step team in a bike race. Namely, put everything they have on the line in pursuit of your success. His ride in the finale of Le Samyn was the most visible part of Quick Step’s tactical success in the opening three classics, but it was ...

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The weekly spin: A conversation with E3 organizers about that poster

Two women, nearly nude, covered in body paint and wrapped around one another to form the figure of a frog. The tagline: “Who shall crown himself prince in Harelbeke?” What is this, you ask? What does it mean? And what does it have to do with bike racing? It was the visual campaign for the … The post The weekly spin: A conversation with E3 organizers about that poster appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Senechal wins Le Samyn

Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins Le Samyn 2019

Florian Sénéchal continued Deceuninck-QuickStep’s streak of success in the early Belgian races, winning the Le Samyn race with a well-executed sprint finish after a tactical and aggressive race. It was the Frenchman’s first professional victory and the 14th victory of the 2019 season for Deceuninck-QuickStep. Sénéchal was part of the decisive 10-rider attack that formed on the last lap and then won the sprint after teammate Tim Declercq was pulled back in sight of the line. Lars Boom (Roompot-Charles) stated the sprint early but Sénéchal was able to match his speed and come past him before the finish line. Aimé De Gendt (Wanty-Groupe-Gobert) finished second, with Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) third after trying to split the group in the final kilometres. Zdenek Stybar won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and then Bob Jungels won Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. Deceuninck-QuickStep opted to rest its bigger name riders during the week, giving Sénéchal ...

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Live coverage of Le Samyn and Strade Bianche this week on Cyclingnews

Florian Senechal works the front of Le Samyn for Quick-Step

After the so-called 'Opening Weekend' of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne , the 2019 Classics campaign continues this week with Le Samyn on Tuesday and Strade Bianche on Saturday. Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of both races. Following the opening weekend in the Flanders region of northern Belgium, Le Samyn takes us south into the Wallonia region but features similar terrain, with plenty of cobblestones and short climbs on offer. Le Samyn does not have the same stature as the opening weekend or the bigger one-day races later in the spring but still serves up the same style of unpredictable racing, often in tough weather conditions. Strong winds and rain are indeed expected. This year there are just three WorldTour teams on the start line, with AG2R La Mondiale joining the two big Belgian teams Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal. Deceuninck-QuickStep dominated here last year with a one-two with Niki ...

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Deceuninck-QuickStep rest big names for Le Samyn

Remi Cavagna (Quick Step Floors) was the last to be caught

After winning both races during the so-called 'opening weekend' of the Classics season in Belgium, Deceuninck-QuickStep are resting their biggest names for Tuesday's Le Samy n race. Niki Terpstra won the cobbled semi-classic for Patrick Lefevere's team 12 months ago, with Philippe Gilbert finishing second, after they'd come away from the opening weekend empty-handed. However, with Zdenek Stybar winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and Bob Jungels claiming Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, Tuesday will be a chance for the younger riders to show what they can do. Florian Sénéchal, who was sixth at Kuurne on Sunday and third at Le Samyn three years ago, is set to lead the line. The 25-year-old, who is becoming an important part of QuickStep's Classics arsenal, is the only rider in the seven-man line-up to have ridden both races at the weekend. Belgian domestique Tim Declercq, who often puts in the hard yards in the ...

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Jungels doubles up for Deceuninck-QuickStep with Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne victory

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

Bob Jungels doubled up for Deceuninck-QuickStep on his Opening Weekend debut after a solo victory in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne followed Zdenek Stybar's win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad a day earlier. The Luxembourg national champion - road race and time trial - came to the first cobbled races of 2019 with the intention of learning the ropes from his teammates in an experienced Classics squad with a view of eventually filling the void left by Niki Terpstra after his departure to Direct Energie in the off season. A 16th place finish on Saturday likely would've sufficed for the debutant at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad but a strong showing as the race kicked off at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne brought Jungels back into contention after a split on the Kwaremont. Another split soon after saw Jungels in a group of five riders leading and was held as the race came into the laps of Kuurne and Kortrijk. A ...

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Terpstra's experience pays with a podium in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie)

If anyone knows the futility of taking on a full-strength Deceuninck-QuickStep in a straight up fight it's Niki Terpstra . The Dutchman rode for Patrick Lefevere's team for eight years and enjoyed Classics success with wins in Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Rather than take on his old team at their own game in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne , Terpstra displayed both patience and cunning, eventually netting third behind his former teammate Bob Jungels and Team Sky's Owain Doull. The result marked Terpstra's best result since moving from Lefevere's stable to Direct Energie at the end of last season in one of the most surprising switches in recent years. On Sunday, when Deceuninck-QuickStep turned up the heat on the Oude Kwaremont and then rallied with Jungels breaking clear with the winning move, Terpstra perhaps wisely saved his powder for the latter stages of the race. In previous years, he would have perhaps ...

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Doull left speechless after second in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Owain Doull (Team Sky) second at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Owain Doull ( Team Sky ) secured his best-ever result on the road with second place behind Bob Jungels in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne . The British rider was aggressive throughout the one-day race and eventually broke away with three riders inside the final few kilometres. Although Jungles was already too far up the road and took a solo win, Doull launched a sprint from 350 metres out and held off Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner Niki Terpstra for second place. "It's been a good day," Doull told Cyclingnews . "I'm speechless. You always want to step up and be in the active end of these races. You believe you can do it but until you do, you just don't know. I'm a bit in shock to be honest. It's the biggest result of my road career so far, without a doubt." Doull came into the Opening Weekend with decent form after ...

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Electrifying Ride from Jungels Turns Opening Weekend to Wolfpack Weekend

Bob Jungels’ outstanding win in Kuurne. It is a rare treat when the strongest guy in a race just decides to go out and win it, even if that race doesn’t suit him, and that is without doubt what happened today as Jungels ate up the metres on the Kluisberg, dragging away a group of Oliver Naesen, Sebastian Langeveld and the Astana duo of Davide Ballerini and Magnus Cort, who had been in the day’s breakaway, from a split that had already formed. A long chase ensued, as the chase group followed the leaders and the peloton followed the chase group. The chase, populated heavily with Quick Step riders, never looked like an efficient force which may have had a hand in Michelton-Scott’s decision to ride hard on the front of the peloton in order to catch the chase group, despite it containing their leader Matteo Trentin, who I’m going ...

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Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

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

Bob Jungels completed an Opening Weekend double for Deceuninck-QuickStep as he soloed to victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, 24 hours after his teammate Zdenek Stybar annexed Omloop Het Nieuwsblad . The Luxembourg champion powered away from the decisive break with 16 kilometres remaining and he employed his qualities as a rouleur to hold off the chasing peloton and land victory. Owain Doull (Team Sky) clipped away to take second place ahead of Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie), seven seconds down. Winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège a year ago, Jungels was seconded to Deceuninck-QuickStep’s cobbled Classics unit this season and he produced a remarkably accomplished display in what was only the second Flemish Classic of his career after his 16th place at Omloop on Saturday. Jungels does, of course, have some pedigree on the pavé, having won the under-23 Paris-Roubaix in 2012, and he showcased those skills to force the winning move on the flat stretch ...

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Bob Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne solo to crown perfect weekend for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Bob Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne solo to crown perfect weekend for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Joe Robinson 3 Mar 2019 A powerful performance from Jungels who used time trialling ability to win solo in Kuurne Deceuninck-QuickStep doubled up on the opening weekend of the Spring Classics as Bob Jungels produced an extraordinary solo performance to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Jungels was the race's strongest rider, escaping a small group 16km away from the line, holding off a rampaging peloton to an impressive win. Britain's Owain Doull impressed to win the sprint for second as Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) rolled over the line in third. Jungels victory came as a result of the QuickStep team lacking a sprinter. With this in mind, their powerful team used the early climbs and crosswinds to cause havoc in the peloton, with Jungels eventually finishing off the work of his team in style, alone. This sees the Deceuninck-QuickStep team finish the opening weekend of the Classics with victory in both Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and ...

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Gaudin: Terpstra is a born leader

Niki Terpstra in his new Direct Energie kit during the reconnaissance

Niki Terpstra has insisted he is very satisfied with how things are going at Direct Energie , and it seems the feeling's mutual, with Damien Gaudin describing the Dutchman as a "born leader" who has breathed new life into the second-division French team in the build-up to the spring classics and especially this weekend's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Terpstra won the Tour of Flanders, E3-Harelbeke and Le Samyn in a glittering spring campaign last year, but raised eyebrows when he left the all-conquering QuickStep for the Professional Continental outfit. Formerly only one 'option' in a star-studded line-up, Terpstra is now the leader and talisman at a team that has little pedigree in the Classics of northern Belgium and France. Many have questioned what Direct Energie can give him, and whether they are capable of supporting him adequately, but it's also worth looking at what he brings to them. "For sure this ...

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Flanders Friday: Frogs and Wolves Edition

A daring poster, and a baffling Omloop squad This week in the minutiae of the classics... I know everyone is saying it’s Omloop/KBK Weekend, and of course it is. Everybody likes to start geeking out on the Cobbles as of Saturday morning. But there’s geeking out on the cobbles, and then there’s looking past the Omloop because it’s Le Samyn Tuesday coming up! Le Samyn happens just south of Ronse in the quiet, lovely spaces of northern Wallonia , where the languages meet but really you’re still more or less in the Flemish Ardennes. It’s the third act of the early-season trilogy of cobbled races, separate from Nokere Koerse, Driedaagse De Panne and the Ham Sandwich. You can draw conclusions from Saturday’s results, but personally I’d give it til Tuesday before we can say that things are really shaping up. Le Samyn went to Niki Terpstra last year, so as ...

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