Lefevere: Alaphilippe can win almost anywhere

Patrick Lefevere announces his new multi-year deal with Deceuninck

Julian Alaphilippe ’s triumph at Milan-San Remo may have been the biggest of his career, and the biggest of Deceuninck-Quick Step ’s season so far, but team boss Patrick Lefevere sees much more in the Frenchman’s future. After seeing his team’s plan carried out to perfection on the Poggio on Saturday afternoon, the veteran manager insisted that Alaphilippe can win almost anywhere, ruling out just one race, Paris-Roubaix. "We knew he was strong, but the great thing is that he makes good progress every year," Lefevere said in an interview with Sporza . "Julian wins a bunch sprint in Tirreno-Adriatico – you could call that a surprise, but not in San Remo. And he beats the strongest riders. "It’s become difficult to choose. Julian wins Milan-San Remo, he can compete in the Walloon [Ardennes] classics, and he was king of the mountains at the Tour de France. I think the ...

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Alaphilippe: Winning Milan-San Remo is huge moment in my career

Julian Alaphilippe comes to the realisation that he's won Milan-San Remo

Julian Alaphilippe stopped suddenly after winning Milan-San Remo , overcome with disbelief and emotion but also keen to celebrate the biggest victory of his life with the Deceuninck-Quick Step staff and riders who had helped him win. “It was simply a sensation of joy,” he explained post-race, after having time to savour his victory and start to realise he had won one of the sport’s biggest races, one of the big five Monuments. “It’s difficult to take in but I came here to win; it was my goal and the team goal’s and we did it!” he said. “I went from far out in the sprint but then when I looked left and right, nobody was there. It was an incredible moment, I had to celebrate with my teammates after the line.” Zdenek Štybar, Philippe Gilbert, Elia Viviani and Yves Lampaert crossed the line spread across the road when they ...

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The weekly spin: Breaking down Alaphilippe’s perfect day at Milan-San Remo

It was a who’s who of professional cycling. Barreling down the Poggio, the final climb of Milan-San Remo, was a handful of the top riders in the sport, all in with a shot at winning the first Monument of the season. A few minutes later, that group had swelled to a dozen. There would be … The post The weekly spin: Breaking down Alaphilippe’s perfect day at Milan-San Remo appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Alaphilippe Wins Milan San Remo

Deceuninck Quick-Step Rider Bags His First Monument Julian Alaphilippe won Milan San-Remo on Saturday afternoon, comfortably winning a sprint from a group of ten that went clear over the top of the Poggio. He was joined on the podium by Olivier Naesen and Michal Kwiatkowski. This year’s first monument went according to the script, with a large break given plenty of room on the road and building up a sizable gap. The ten riders, including six Italians and four representatives of Novo Nordisk, were steadily reeled back in as the race hit the coast in perfect weather. Quick Step, UAE, Lotto Soudal and Groupama-FDJ were among the teams working at the front and by the foot of the Cipressa only Fausto Masnada was left in front. Getty Images Masnada was caught on the earliest slopes of the penultimate climb and there were few fireworks on the climb, though a daring ...

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Milano-Sanremo: The ‘Who Will Win’ Piece

Milano-Sanremo is at the same time the most and least predictable race on the calendar. It’s not every race you can work through every single scenario in which the race can be won and coming up with a manageable number - go on, try doing it with E3 Harelbeke - but then again it’s not every race that can be won by Mark Cavendish, then a few years later undergo alterations that make it notably easier, following which it is won by Vincenzo Nibali. I’m not going to go through all the scenarios in which any given rider can win, Andrew did that expertly last year and much of it is still relevant. What I aim to achieve with this preview is to come up with one name and a set of very plausible reasons why they will be the first person to win a Monument classic in 2019. This ...

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Milan-San Remo: Viviani hoping to be Deceuninck-QuickStep's winning option

Elia Viviani wins stage 3 at Tirreno-Adriatico

Deceuninck-QuickStep are arguably the only team that have a real chance of winning this year’s Milan-San Remo in every scenario that might unfold on the Ligurian coast on Saturday afternoon. The Belgian team have Julian Alaphilippe , Zdenek Stybar and Philippe Gilbert for an attacking, aggressive scenario on the Cipressa and Poggio, while Elia Viviani and trusted lead-out man Max Richeze can hide in the peloton and wait for a high-speed sprint up the Via Roma. After their run of early-season success, with 18 victories and domination in one-day races, Milan-San Remo is theirs to lose, but that does not frighten the self-styled 'Wolf Pack'. "We’re perhaps under pressure as a team but we live with pressure. Big riders need pressure to win," Viviani responded. "We play on our strength, we’ve shown that many times in the Classics and we showed in the last sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico, when I waited, ...

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Paris-Nice highlights: A tale of two Colombians - Video

Daniel Martinez (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale)

The seventh stage of Paris-Nice was a tale of two Colombians as Daniel Martinez ( EF Education First ) claimed the stage win on the Col de Turini and Egan Bernal ( Team Sky ) stepped into the yellow jersey of race leader. The battles for yellow and for the day’s victory were fought separately as a large 39-man breakaway, which included Martinez, escaped up the road over the stage’s early climbs. The peloton kept them at close quarters initially, holding them at around 2:30 for some time, before letting the rope slack. As the stage reached its denouement, the 39 became just four as Martinez went up against Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis). Each took their turn to try and distance his companions, but it was Martinez’s attack under the flame rouge that did the intended damage. The Colombian took six seconds out ...

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Paris-Nice: Martinez wins on the Col de Turini

It's Daniel Martínez's (EF Education First) first stage victory for the American team

Daniel Martínez ( EF Education First ) won stage 7 of Paris-Nice, triumphing atop the Col de Turini ahead of his compatriot Miguel Ángel Lopez (Astana). Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) finished third, just edging out Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) after a ding-dong battle on the summit finish. The four were the strongest men from a 38-man breakaway, with the quartet forming after Yates and Lopez went on the early slopes of the climb. At various points, Edet, Lopez, Yates and Martínez were alone out front, with the Astana man looking at one point like he’d be on the way to a solo win before a regrouping three kilometres out. Bang under the flamme rouge it was Martínez who laid it all on the line one final time. Lopez went with him, while Yates didn’t have enough to make it across initially. The Brit looked to be making his way up to the ...

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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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Paris-Nice: Stage 5 time trial start times

Michal Kwiatkowski in yellow after stage 4 at Paris-Nice

Paris-Nice continues on Thursday with a 25.5km time trial around Barbentane that should provide greater definition to the overall standings ahead of the tough final three days in southern France. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) carries the yellow jersey into stage 5 and he lies 5 seconds ahead of 2009 winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) in the overall standings. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is third, at 10 seconds, with Egan Bernal (Team Sky) a further second back in fourth place overall. 149 riders remain in Paris-Nice after its wind-buffeted opening half. Julien Vermote (Dimension Data) will be the first man down the start ramp on Thursday, setting off at 13:18 local time. Riders roll off at one-minute intervals thereafter, with the top ten riders on GC setting out at two-minute intervals. Start times to watch out for include Bob Jungels (15:27), Wilco Kelderman (15:31), Nairo Quintana (15:33) and Romain Bardet (15:44). Kwiatkowski ...

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Paris-Nice: Cort wins stage 4 in Pélussin

Magnus Cort wins stage 4 at Paris-Nice

Magnus Cort ( Astana Pro Team ) stole the show to claim stage 4 at Paris-Nice , first surviving from the day's main break before attacking his companions inside the closing stages. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) set off in pursuit of the Astana rider, but he was unable to match the Dane on the long drag to the line in Pélussin and would eventually finish second. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) claimed third, while overnight race leader Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo Visma) cracked during the stage and slipped out of the yellow jersey. "Paris-Nice is one of the biggest stage races we have and it's amazing to win a stage here," Cort said at the finish. "It was not the official plan [to go in the break] but I went and I was feeling good in the first kilometres so I thought why not go in the break. I went in and ...

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Alaphilippe eyes Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo hat-trick

Julian Alaphlippe says he wants to try and win Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo

Buoyed by Deceuninck-QuickStep 's early season run of success and his own victory at Saturday’s Strade Bianche, Julian Alaphilippe has admitted that a hat-trick of victories at Strade Bianche , Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo is possible. Davide Rebellin and Philippe Gilbert are the last two riders to win the Ardennes hat-trick – Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne – while Fabian Cancellara is the only rider to have won all three of the Italian March races, in 2008. Now, Alaphilippe is ready to give it a try, having built his early season around the March races, considering them more important than a second victory at Flèche, which he secured last season. "I don't know. I hope I can do it. I’ll certainly try my best," replied Alaphilippe when Cyclingnews asked about the chances of him completing the Italian Trittico . "Strade Bianche was my first big goal – maybe more ...

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Paris-Nice: Stage 2 race highlights – Video

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) kept the leader's red jersey

Dylan Groenewegen ( Jumbo-Visma ) continued his winning streak by taking victory on a chaotic stage 2 of Paris-Nice . The Dutchman beat Bahrain-Merida's Ivan Garcia Cortina and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) after a frantic day of racing in which the peloton split several times due to crosswinds and crashes. In the end, an eight-man break moved clear of the peloton inside the final kilometres, with Team Sky best represented through Luke Rowe, Egan Bernal and Michal Kwiatkowski. While a number of GC riders faltered in the conditions – and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) both crashed – Groenewegen kept himself in contention before unleashing an unstoppable sprint to solidify his position as the race leader after two stages. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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Paris-Nice: Groenewegen wins stage 2

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 2 of Paris-Nice.

Dylan Groenewegen ( Jumbo-Visma ) survived another dramatic day to make it two wins out of two at Paris-Nice . The race leader gave it everything to stay out in the front group to beat Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in Bellegarde on stage 2. With his second win, Groenewegen keeps hold of the overall race lead for at least another day. He leads Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) by 12 seconds after the Polish rider came back from a puncture to make it into a select leading group, with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) another second behind in third place overall. "Our team did a very good job, putting me in a great position. It was very hard, and there were just seven of us left at the end, and then I saw the line – but I was waiting and waiting. [Matteo] Trentin was going, and I ...

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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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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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Van Avermaet: I expected a lot from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) sprints to second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was the first major test for Greg Van Avermaet and for his new CCC outfit. The 33-year-old Belgian rider was asked a lot whether his new team would be strong enough to support him at the Spring Classics, and halfway through the race on Saturday afternoon, the CCC team was confronted with a lot of problems when a large elite group rode away without any of their riders in it. Van Avermaet will have been pleased to see that his teammates had enough in their tank to turn the situation around in a 20km-long pursuit. The Olympic champion was then ever-present when the race kicked off on the cobbles of Mater where Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) accelerated and he was up there, too, when the Jumbo-Visma team forced the pace at the narrow cobbled Molenberg climb. On the Elverenberg-Vossenhol, Van Avermaet helped to force the decisive move shortly ...

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Zdenek Stybar outfoxes rivals to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Supported by Zdenek Stybar played off the strength of his adversaries and used a perfectly time attack in the final kilometres to win his first Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The post Zdenek Stybar outfoxes rivals to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Teams ride the cobbles in preparation for Opening Weekend – Gallery

Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep) pre-rides Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Teams have arrived in Belgium and are hitting the cobbles in preparation for 'Opening Weekend' at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday. Greg Van Avermaet's CCC Team has been seen bouncing along on top of the cobbles this week, as well as riders from Direct Energie, Team Sunweb, Jumbo-Visma and more. Familiar faces on the cobbles include Lars Boom and Niki Terpstra, both of whom are in new kits this year, and the ever-present Deceuninck-QuickStep armada that includes Philippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar and Bob Jungels. Deceuninck-QuickStep also presented their Omloop and Kuurne rosters to media inside the Museum van de Weilsport Bar in Roeselare. The team roster for Omloop includes Yves Lampaert, Tim Declercq, Philippe Gilbert, Iljo Keisse, Bob Jungels, Florian Sénéchal and Zdeněk Štybar. For Kuurne, the team will sub in sprinter Fabio Jakobsen and Kasper Asgreen for Gilbert and Declercq. You can read more ...

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Caleb Ewan climbs to victory; Evenepoel’s crash; Gilbert looks to Classics – Daily News Digest

Supported by Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today: Caleb Ewan climbs to victory in the UAE, Remco Evenepoel has a nasty tumble, there’s another contender for the World Hour Record, and Philippe Gilbert is hoping for some Classics success in 2019. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest. Story of the … The post Caleb Ewan climbs to victory; Evenepoel’s crash; Gilbert looks to Classics – Daily News Digest appeared first on CyclingTips .

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