Lefevere: Keeping Alaphilippe comes down to money

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

Patrick Lefevere has made Julian Alaphilippe a contract offer but the Belgian team boss is still none the wiser as to whether the French rider will stay with Deceuninck-QuickStep beyond 2019. Alaphilippe has been linked with a big-money transfer to Total Direct Energie for 2020, with the French team significantly increasing their budget after Total came on as a sponsor earlier this year. Lefevere has a fight on his hands to keep a number of high-profile riders, with Alaphilippe, Elia Viviani and Enric Mas among those on the transfer market for next year. Alaphilippe, in particular, has enjoyed a remarkable start to the season with eight wins already, including victories in La Flèche Wallonne, Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and two stages in Tirreno-Adriatico. He is currently training for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France , where last year he won two stages and the King of the ...

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The weekly spin: Meet Tadej Pogacar, future Grand Tour champion

There’s a youth movement happening in pro cycling, and the Amgen Tour of California is the proving ground. Last year, 21-year-old Egan Bernal crowned as the youngest-ever winner of the Amgen Tour. This year, it was 20-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who is nearly a year younger than Bernal. At this rate, we’ll soon have a teenager … The post The weekly spin: Meet Tadej Pogacar, future Grand Tour champion appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Van Hooydonck signs contract extension with CCC Team

Nathan Van Hooydonck leads the breakaway

One of Greg Van Avermaet's most-trusted Classics lieutenants, Nathan Van Hooydonck , has signed a contract extension with CCC Team , keeping the Belgian with the team until at least the end of the 2021 season. The 23-year-old joined the WorldTour team's previous guise as BMC in May 2017, having graduated from the BMC Development Team programme, which he'd been part of since 2015. When BMC became CCC Team for the 2019 season, Van Hooydonck continued his association with the Jim Ochowicz-run outfit, and has now been rewarded for his hard work and consistency – particularly as part of Van Avermaet's spring Classics line-up. Although Van Avermaet was unable to replicate his successful season of two years ago, when he won Paris-Roubaix, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem and the E3 Harelbeke, Van Hooydonck rode strongly in support of the Olympic road race champion at this year's Classics, helping his team ...

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Refusing to provide TV coverage, ASO pulls Flèche and Liège out of Women’s WorldTour

Supported by Flèche-Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will not be part of the Women’s WorldTour (WWT) in 2020, as race organizer ASO will not provide the required 45 minutes of live TV coverage from the two events, according to a report in DirectVelo. The President of the UCI’s Road Commission, Tom Van Damme, confirmed the move to DirectVelo on … The post Refusing to provide TV coverage, ASO pulls Flèche and Liège out of Women’s WorldTour appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Roger De Vlaeminck is still racing

Roger De Vlaeminck’s record speaks for itself. In a career spanning nearly two decades he notched up more than 160 victories, not least four Paris-Roubaix titles (the equal record), three wins at Milan-San Remo, six overall titles at Tirreno-Adriatico (with 15 stage wins), and a massive 22 stage victories at the Giro d’Italia. He won … The post Roger De Vlaeminck is still racing appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Lefevere hoping to hold on to Alaphilippe at Deceuninck-QuickStep

Julian Alaphilippe in Liège

Deceuninck-QuickStep team boss Patrick Lefevere says that he hopes he can hold on to star rider Julian Alaphilippe when the Frenchman's contract with the Belgian WorldTour team comes to an end after this season. Lefevere told the Belgian press that the pair have already talked, and that the feeling's mutual that both parties would like to continue to work together, although apparently "not at all costs". "Julian knows what he means to us, and we also know what we mean to him," Lefevere said on Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad 's website, nieuwsblad.be . "But there's a difference between upgrading a contract by tens of thousands of euros versus hundreds of thousands." Over the years, Lefevere has regularly let his star riders leave for new teams if his team's budget won't stretch to a more expensive new contract. Rather than spend most of his money on one rider – as other ...

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Van Aert rules out participating in Yorkshire Worlds

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) suffers

Wout van Aert ( Jumbo-Visma ) has confirmed that he will not participate in the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire in September, preferring instead to ride a full cyclo-cross programme next winter. The three-time cyclo-cross world champion began to segue onto the road in earnest last spring and moved up to WorldTour level with Jumbo-Visma this season. Van Aert placed second at the E3 BinckBank Classic, third at Strade Bianche and 6th at Milan-San Remo, while also catching the eye with a stirring but ill-starred display at Paris-Roubaix. His performances in the cobbled Classics prompted calls for Van Aert to be installed as Belgium’s team leader for the Worlds road race in Yorkshire, which takes place on September 29. Van Aert took the bronze medal in last year’s European Championships in Glasgow but has said that he will not line out for the Belgian national team at the Worlds. ...

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Alberto Contador proves he's still got it at Mallorca 312

Joe Robinson 2 May 2019 The Spaniard average 33.6kmh for the day and took a big KOM en route too Alberto Contador proved he is not getting slow in retirement setting an extremely respectable 9 hour 15 minute time at the Mallorca 312 sportive . The 36-year-old retired at the end of the 2017 season but has yet to fully give up on riding almost as well as he did during his career. Taking on the Mallorcan sportive, the former Tinkoff and Astana rider officially finished 73rd on the day in a time of 10 hours and 14 minutes although his Strava file tells of a much faster ride. To cover the mammoth 312km in just over nine hours, the seven-time Grand Tour winner's Strava post shows he averaged a solid 33.6kmh despite the 4,968m of elevation. The Spaniard also topped out at 83.9kmh on the descent of the Puig ...

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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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Tour de Yorkshire 2019: Riders to watch

Joe Robinson 1 May 2019 Seven riders to watch at the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire In just five years, the Tour de Yorkshire has proven itself to bea one of the toughest and most exciting stage races in the calendar. Using the hilly Yorkshire Moors and Dales as its canvas, the four-day men's and two-day women's races tour some of the UK's toughest terrain and most spectacular scenery. This year will also have extra spice on Friday as both the men's and women's pelotons take a detour to the city of Harrogate to sample the 15km finishing loop of the UCI World Championships road race this September. With this preview, Yorkshire has managed to attract some of the best riders across both pelotons who not only want to sample the rainbow route but also try some of Yorkshire's world-famous puddings too. Below, Cyclist looks at some of the riders you ...

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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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Winners and Losers from the Ardennes

In which I form an opinion from highlight reels So, I’m going to try something here. For reasons outside of my control, I really enjoy the Ardennes classics. For reasons outside of my control, I wasn’t able to watch a single one of them this season (hey, keepers of pro cycling: I have shit to do on Wednesday mornings, get your scheduling together). But, unfortunately, I am tasked with writing a Winners and Losers column for a sequence of races that I didn’t get to watch. Now, this has the potential to be the easiest task in the world. The winners were indeed Mathieu Van Der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang and the losers were literally everyone else, and that should be the self-referential end of the column. But I do have to my advantage highlight reels, results sheets and a list of personal expectations and VDS-hopes-and-dreams that are ...

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Julian Alaphilippe could move to Total Direct Energie on €4m per year deal

Julian Alaphilippe could move to Total Direct Energie on €4m per year deal

Joe Robinson 29 Apr 2019 Frenchman subject to big money offer from ProContinental team in bid to bolster WorldTour bid Julian Alaphilippe's exceptional spring could have earned him a bumper payday as it was reported that French ProContinental team Total Direct Energie are willing to offer him a contract worth €4 million a year. Reported in both French and Italian press over the weekend, Total Direct Energie is in 'pole position' to acquire the talents of the recent winner of Fleche Wallonne who currently rides for Deceuninck-QuickStep . Both reports suggest that the deal would be worth around €4 million per year, among one of the highest yearly salaries in the sport. Alaphilippe has proved his worth as one of the world's best riders with 10 victories already this season. The Frenchman is also the only rider to have won three one-day WorldTour races this season, at Strade Bianche, Fleche ...

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Persistence pays off for Fuglsang, a route change pays off for Liège-Bastogne-Liège

It’s not easy to hold form from Strade Bianche to Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Seven long weeks of racing run between the two marquee one-dayers. Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang was up for the challenge. His victory at “La Doyenne” on Sunday is a story of perseverance, the result of a perennial Grand Tour hopeful finally rewarded for his endurance … The post Persistence pays off for Fuglsang, a route change pays off for Liège-Bastogne-Liège appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Van Vleuten: I committed, gave everything, and did not look back

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) secures solo victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Annemiek van Vleuten ( Mitchelton-Scott ) finished her Spring Classics campaign on a high. After three second places in a row at the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, and La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, the world time trial champion returned to her winning ways at Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes , taking her second victory of 2019 after the Strade Bianche. Van Vleuten put all her eggs in one basket and attacked on the Côte de la Redoute with more than 30km to go. This was a conscious decision, she explained. "I decided today that I wanted to have it in my own hands and just go from the bottom of La Redoute. My team made it hard on the climbs before, I had a great lead-out into the climb and then I just committed. I gave everything I had, did not look back, and continued over the top. And already halfway, before ...

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Van Vleuten solos to victory at Liege

Van Vleuten solos to victory at Liege

After second places at Flanders, Amstel, and Flèche, van Vleuten returns to winning ways with first victory since Strade Bianche. Read the full article at Van Vleuten solos to victory at Liege on VeloNews.com .

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Liege-Bastogne-Liege Preview

La Doyenne of all monument previews Well, it has been an interesting week to be more or less entirely away from the cycling world. I saw and enjoyed the last few minutes of the men’s Amstel Gold, which was special (and entirely bonkers). I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on the Tour of the Alps, which has done wonders to maintain my faith in the future stars of Team Sky/Ineos, and in Fausto Masnada. I didn’t see a minute of Fleche Wallone, which is fine by me. On Sunday, though, I’ll be back to paying attention. With the year’s fourth monument coming up, I’ve picked a good day. Let’s get right into it. Routes and practical information Easter weekend was spectacularly warm and sunny across the UK, and clearly across the Netherlands too. The forecast for Sunday is less good, both in Edinburgh (you don’t care) and Liege ...

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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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Riders turn focus to Yorkshire as leading pros reflect on Spring Classics

Maria David 26 Apr 2019 As we gear up to the climax of Ardennes Classics week in Liege, we look at a few of the on-form riders of the Women’s WorldTour With three tough Classics to tackle – Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone and the upcoming Liege-Bastogne-Liege – this week has been a key moment for the top female professional racers to show their true form and for us to know who to look out for when the women race on the streets of Yorkshire next week, and later this year. In previous seasons there have been clear favourites at the races. Notably two seasons ago Boels-Dolmans was the team to beat, with Anna van der Breggen and then teammate Lizzie Deignan regularly doing a one-two at the Spring Classics . However, this year has seen a changing of the guard, with the UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings and youth rankings being ...

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'Yorkshire roads are like nowhere else' Deignan looks ahead to World Championships

Maria David 26 Apr 2019 Before the climax of Ardennes Classics in Liege, we look at on-form riders Deignan, Bastianelli and Van Vleuten and ahead to Yorkshire 2019 With three tough Classics to tackle – Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone and the upcoming Liege-Bastogne-Liege – this week has been a key moment for the top female professional racers to show their true form and for us to know who to look out for when the women race on the roads of Yorkshire next week, and later this year at the UCI World Championships . In previous seasons there have been clear favourites at the races. Notably two seasons ago, Boels-Dolmans was the team to beat with Anna van der Breggen and then teammate Lizzie Deignan regularly doing a one-two at the Spring Classics . However, this year has seen a changing of the guard, with the UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings and ...

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