The Classics might be over for another year, but for two 24-year-olds the best is yet to come

The Classics might be over for another year, but for two 24-year-olds the best is yet to come

Daniel Ostanek 2 May 2019 The battle of the Vans this year was just a glimpse of the rivalry we can expect for years to come. Everyone else will be fighting for third Sadly, the Spring Classics are over. The near two-month long jaunt from Merelbeke to Liege, via Siena, Antwerp and a host of other exotic locales, is done, another chapter in the history books as we move on to the stage races of the summer . Plenty of memories linger, of course – battles like Alaphilippe vs Fuglsang, Deceuninck-QuickStep vs the peloton, and Alberto Bettiol vs everybody’s betting slip. But another subplot has been running the whole time, continuing on from the dark days of winter, and only ending in the Ardennes. If you hadn’t guessed already, it’s that of the two young guns – the multi-disciplinarians and longstanding cyclocross rivals, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der ...

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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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Lessons learned from the 2019 Spring Classics

Joe Robinson 29 Apr 2019 Alaphilippe's the world's best rider not called Mathieu, Valverde's getting old and women's cycling coverage is still far behind the men's Jakob Fuglsang's solo victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege marked the end of the Spring Classics and closed the first chapter of the 2019 season. The men's peloton saw 17 races produce seven winning teams and 11 winning riders. Deceuninck-QuickStep dominated with nine of those wins with six different riders. Mathieu van der Poel took four victories to Julian Alaphilippe's four while Zdenek Stybar notched two wins of his own. Dimension Data managed only two top 10s all spring while the second most successful team of the entire period hailed from the ProContinental ranks, in the shape of Van der Poel's Corendon-Circus. The racing at times was thrilling and at other times quite boring, however, it all came together to tell some interesting stories ahead of the ...

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Alaphilippe finishes Liege-Bastogne-Liege with no regrets and an 'empty tank'

Julian Alaphilippe in Liège

When Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) finally descended from his team bus after his Liège-Bastogne-Liège defeat, the cheer from waiting fans that went up was almost as big as if he had won. He finished 16th after he faded on the Cote des Roche aux Faucons, and his face was grim when he crossed the line and he jumped over some low-lying barriers after the line to get to the bus as quickly as possible. But despite the disappointment, Alaphilippe took his defeat gracefully, re-emerging from the bus, to spend time signing autographs for young fans. As the Frenchman pointed out to the journalists afterwards, he had much to celebrate about 2019, and if Liège had not worked out as well as he wanted, "many riders would be delighted with what I’ve achieved so far this year. "I have no regrets because I finished this race totally empty, I was ...

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Fuglsang Lights Up Lukewarm Liège

Strongest rider wins in La Doyenne. I’m going to start this review by saying something I feel is kind of obvious: it is insane that this Ardennes classics season, and indeed spring, went the way it did. Who among us can truly say we thought Jakob Fuglsang, who has always been good but in an unspectacular manner, easier to associate with consistency than any other quality, would, at the age of thirty-four, tear through pre-season before finishing at the pointy end of some big stage races and finish, in ascending order, on each step of the podium in the three Ardennes races. He’s not a Greg Van Avermaet type, where you always knew the big win was around the corner, but instead has taken a giant leap this season. Now to deal with something else obvious: it wasn’t a great Liège. The flatter finish was not a panacea, with doomed ...

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Gilbert to attempt first Roubaix-Liege double in 35 years

Philippe Gilbert on the start line at the 2019 Amstel Gold Race

Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) is the big favourite for Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, but his rivals know that they can ill afford to ignore the Belgian squad's second option for La Doyenne on Sunday - Philippe Gilbert. It's fair to say that Philippe Gilbert drew a little less attention than the Frenchman on Friday's pre-race press conference for the team. But the Belgian's recent victory in Paris-Roubaix, as well as his own considerable experience in Liège-Bastogne-Liège – including a victory in 2011 – show that the veteran all-rounder could well have the form and the knowledge to go for a second win. Together with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Gilbert has the most number of finishes - 12 - in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, one more than Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). A victory for Gilbert would make him the first winner of Roubaix and Liège since Sean Kelly in 1984, whilst, for the record, Alaphilippe would ...

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Teams recon Liege-Bastogne-Liege climbs - Gallery

Greg Van Avermaet and the CCC Team on the Liege route

With the final Monument of the Spring Classics up for grabs Sunday at Liege-Bastogne-Liege , the top teams and riders were out on course taking the opportunity for one last chance to recon the most important and iconic parts of the course. Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert were on course with their Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates, as were Jakob Fuglsang and Astana , the foils for Alaphilippe so far during the Frenchman's phenomenal spring. Greg Van Avermaet and his CCC Team were taking in the route on Friday, alongside Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol and the EF Education First team. Four-time Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner and world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took in parts of the course, while Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) put in several good digs on the prominent climbs. Adam Yates was also on hand with Mitchelton-Scott. Other teams out on Friday reconnoitering the route included Jumbo-Visma, Dimension Data, ...

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A guide to everything you need to know about the 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Joe Robinson 26 Apr 2019 On Sunday, the 2019 Spring Classics come to an end with Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Here's all you need to know about the Old Lady's 2019 outing Words Joe Robinson This Sunday will see the close of the 2019 pro cycling calendar's first chapter. Liege-Bastogne-Liege is the last of the Spring Classics and tailends a scintillating period of racing that started all the way back in early March on the cobbles of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Like all exciting moments in your life, the Spring Classics campaign goes quickly. In six weeks we have rattled through 11 one-day WorldTour races across four different countries with even more semi-Classics sprinkled in between. It's not long now till all of our focus will be turning to the beautiful chaos of the Giro d'Italia but before then its La Doyenne , the Old Lady that is Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The oldest Monument there is, ...

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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 .

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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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Gilbert: We have several trump cards for Amstel Gold Race

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

Last weekend, Philippe Gilbert won Paris-Roubaix after an impressive display of strength both from him and his Deceuninck-Quick Step team. Ahead of Amstel Gold Race , the Belgian has said that there could be more of the same to come on Sunday. During the closing stages of the ‘Hell of the north’, Gilbert had teammate Yves Lampaert for company in the lead group, while Zdenek Štybar and Florian Senechal disrupted the chase. Gilbert heads into Amstel, which he has won four times, alongside Julian Alaphilippe, arguably the stand-out rider of the "It’s a nice race. It suits me," said Gilbert at his team’s pre-race press conference in Lanaken. “I’m still fresh enough and still focused on what’s coming. We’re going for it. “We’ll do it like in the cobbled classics. We start with several trump cards. It offers advantages over the other teams, and it also gives us confidence.” Gilbert ...

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Deceuninck-QuickStep take flush hand into Amstel Gold Race

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

Deceuninck-QuickStep will once again head into a weekend Classic with a stacked hand on Sunday at Amstel Gold Race , where the Belgian team will ride in support of Julian Alaphilippe and four-time winner Philippe Gilbert in search of the team's 10th one-day race win this year. Alaphilippe has had a phenomenal season so far with eight wins, including Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo. Gilbert, who won Amstel previously in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017, has two wins so far this year, including Paris-Roubaix last week. “We come here with two leaders," said Deceuninck-QuickStep director Geert Van Bondt, "Julian, who tested his legs on Wednesday at Brabantse , and Philippe, who skipped the race to recover after Paris-Roubaix and feels good, so we can look to Amstel with confidence." Alaphilippe and Gilbert will be backed in the 265.7km race by a proven Classics roster that includes Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, ...

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Van Avermaet: Amstel Gold Race is my last chance to get a good result this spring

CCC Team's Greg van Avermaet looks ready for Paris-Roubaix

Greg Van Avermaet ( CCC Team ) has ridden consistently well so far through the Spring Classics, but the two-time winner at Omloop Het Niewsblad, 2017 Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem and E3 Harelbeke has come up empty so far in 2019 with just one chance remaining to put a check in the win column at a Classic. The 33-year-old Belgian will line up Sunday for Amstel Gold Race with a strong squad backing him and a high motivation to improve on his Amstel-best of fifth in 2015. "Amstel Gold Race is my last chance to get a good result this spring," he said. "I was really disappointed after Paris-Roubaix, knowing that I had the legs for a better result so, I am motivated to line up at Amstel Gold Race and turn things around. I have had good legs throughout the classics, and although I am missing a big result, I think ...

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Gilbert’s Roubaix win, a new Hour Record: Weekly News Digest

Supported by It’s okay to admit it – sometimes you’re just too busy to stay up to date on every bit of news from the world of cycling. Need a recap of the week’s biggest happenings? No problem. The final Daily News Digest of the week will be a Weekly News Digest, with highlights from the headlines of … The post Gilbert’s Roubaix win, a new Hour Record: Weekly News Digest appeared first on CyclingTips .

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11spd: Kit from Mission Workshop and 7Mesh, wheels from Crankbrothers, Specialized’s Venge and more

Specialized Venge S-Works, Mission Workshop The Sans jacket, Bedrock Bikepacking Moab bag and 7Mesh

This week’s best new bikes and gear

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The CyclingTips Weekly Quiz: #7

Another week, another riveting classic – and plenty more besides. So here’s what we’ve been up to at CyclingTips this week: Neal Rogers’ ‘Weekly Spin’ column this week took a look at Philippe Gilbert’s impressive Paris–Roubaix win, while Dane Cash gave a post-race assessment of how the pre-race favourites fared. photo gallery of Paris–Roubaix. Caley … The post The CyclingTips Weekly Quiz: #7 appeared first on CyclingTips .

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How Do We Even Talk About Mathieu van der Poel?

Mathieu van der Poel wins Brabantse Pijl

This is a difficult column to write. I don’t know where to start. Maybe with a confession: I am a huge fan of Mathieu van der Poel, whom I first encountered in Louisville in 2013, and adopted as my favorite rider sometime around the time when he stormed on to the elite CX scene the following year, capped with an utterly premature world title. I don’t know why I decided to root for him, but it happens a lot with young Dutch riders. I can’t really explain it. Getty Images Van der Poel in Louisville On that day, van der Poel won his second world junior cyclocross title. By that summer, he added the Dutch and World road titles. I think basically at that point it became clear he was going to be someone special. And so he has. But what? Yesterday van der Poel won De Brabantse Pijl, his ...

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Going for gold: Where your money should be for the Amstel Gold Race

Joe Robinson 18 Apr 2019 Cyclist picks out the best bets for Amstel Gold Race this Sunday The Amstel Gold Race is a different beast these days to what it once was. Until 2017, the entire day centred around the Cauberg. For 260km, the peloton would tour the rolling Limburg countryside, heading up climbs, turning into narrow roads – left, right, left, before hitting the Cauberg. It's a climb that's less than a mile long, not overly steep either, but swamped with local support on race day – mostly Dutch fans packing the roadside, urging the day's strongest riders on to the summit in pursuit of ultimate victory. To win Amstel Gold required you to keep some bullets in the gun for the base of the Cauberg. If you had something left, you could wind it up, put down the hammer and sprint to victory. Just ask Philippe Gilbert, who ...

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28 things you need to know about the 2019 Amstel Gold Race

The cobbled classics are done and it’s time now for the Ardennes Classics, starting with the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday. Ahead of this Dutch one-day race, we bring you up to speed on all you need to know about both the men’s WorldTour event and the Women’s WorldTour event. The basics Amstel Gold is … The post 28 things you need to know about the 2019 Amstel Gold Race appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Paris-Roubaix review - Podcast

The final podium – Lampaert, Gilbert and Politt (L-R)

In the latest episode of the Cyclingnews podcast we bring you analysis from the 2019 edition of Paris-Roubaix in which Philippe Gilbert ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) claimed his second Monument in three years ahead of Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and teammate Yves Lampaert. As well as debating the efforts of the riders on the podium, we hear from Alexander Kristoff, Greg Van Avermaet, Luke Rowe, Marco Haller, Dirk Demol and Heinrich Haussler. The key move was made by Politt after the second feed zone and he was joined by Gilbert and a group contained Wout Van Aert, Peter Sagan, Sep Vanmarcke and Lampaert. By the time the race hit the final sectors of cobbles, there were just five riders left before Politt attacked at Gruson with just under 15km to go, and only Gilbert could follow. Sponsor message You can read more at

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