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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Van Aert continues to impress with sixth at Milan-San Remo

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)

The Via Roma in San Remo played host to cycling's superstars on Saturday afternoon, with the likes of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) all bested by the indomitable Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at Milan-San Remo . And within that star-studded elite group was also Wout van Aert ( Team Jumbo-Visma ) – the 24-year-old three-time cyclo-cross world champion in only his third road race of the season. The Belgian finished sixth, taking another outstanding result after his third place at Strade Bianche two weeks ago. At 291km, Milan-San Remo was the longest race Van Aert had ever ridden, but he has already shown that he knows his way around these mammoth road races. Last year saw him debut at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, finishing in ninth and 13th place, respectively. He was on the podium at the late-season European Championships road ...

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Valverde so near and yet so far at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde 's seventh place at Milan-San Remo , which came as having been part of the 12-man lead group, was the Movistar rider's best finish yet at La Classicissima – a race that continues to elude and frustrate the world champion. It was a case of so near, and yet so far: the 38-year-old Spaniard was right where he needed to be on the Via Roma, but was never really a challenger to 26-year-old winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), whose greater concerns as the line approached were AG2R's Oliver Naesen, 2017 Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and former world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). "It's been a spectacular Milan-San Remo, both because of the high level of racing and the great weather," Valverde said on the Movistar website. "Being up there with the top contenders and finishing with the first group, after 20 days with no racing, is something ...

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Peter Sagan and Specialized's latest collaboration is Chasing Rainbows

Peter Sagan and Specialized's latest collaboration is Chasing Rainbows

Specialized and three-time UCI World Road Race Champion Peter Sagan have announced the third run of top-of-the range bikes, helmets and shoes in the Sagan Collection. The latest limited-edition collection is entitled Chasing Rainbows and, says Specialized, the colour schemes reflect the two sides of the six-time Tour de France green jersey winner. Specialized founder Mike Sinyard on the power of the bicycle How to watch the Spring Classics Specialized and Sagan team up again According to Specialized, the Overexposed side of the collection shows the Bora-Hansgrohe rider's "…star of the show side, with loud silvers and rainbows. Underexposed represents his 'below the radar' side with blacks, greys and rainbows." The Chasing Rainbows collection follows on from the first Sagan Collection — launched just before the Tour of Flanders in March 2018 — and the follow up which arrived at the start of last year's Tour de France . Specialized ...

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Are the routes of the Monuments growing stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Are the Monuments going stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Are the routes of the Monuments going stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Balancing tradition and change: Are the routes of the Monuments going stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Relive the 2018 Spring Classics with THE HOLY WEEK

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix in the Roubaix Velodrome

The Spring Classics are in full swing after 'opening weekend' in February and with the first of the five Monuments, Milan-San Remo , just around the corner. Why not relive last year's cobbled Classics with Cyclingnews ' premier film THE HOLY WEEK, which is on special offer until Paris-Roubaix held on April 14. You can now download to buy for just $2.49, while 72-hour rentals are available at $1.99. The Holy Week details two iconic Monuments beginning with the 2018 Tour of Flanders won by Niki Terpstra and culminating at the 2018 Paris-Roubaix won by Peter Sagan in the Roubaix velodrome. The film is not just a highlight of the race winners but is developed through the eyes of the riders, team staff and the devoted roadside fans. Cyclingnews went behind the scenes to capture the essence of the cobbled classics, and the emotions of one of the most compelling ...

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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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Van der Poel to continue Spring Classics campaign despite nasty crash at Nokere Koerse

Van der Poel to continue Spring Classics campaign despite nasty crash at Nokere Koerse

Joe Robinson 21 Mar 2019 High-speed collision in bunch sprint on cobbles sees Dutchman taken to hospital Mathieu van der Poel says he will continue his Spring Classics campaign as planned despite a nasty crash in the finale of Nokere Koerse yesterday. The cyclocross World Champion had earmarked a selection of Belgian one-day Classics to ride this year, including Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, as he looks to he steps up his focus on road racing this season. Yesterday saw the start of this campaign at the Nokere Koerse. Van Der Poel was an active presesnce for most of the race and was contesting the final sprint when he was caught in a high-speed collision with Team Sunweb's Max Walscheid on the cobbled climb leading to the finish line. Big win for @TeamSunweb 's @ceesbol1995 at #NokereKoerse %uD83D%uDC4F Well wishes to those riders caught up in the crash at ...

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Valverde and Landa headline Movistar at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

World champion Alejandro Valverde headlines Movistar ’s team for Milan-San Remo , while Mikel Landa will make his comeback from injury at La Classicissima on Saturday. Landa sustained a broken collarbone in a crash during his first race of the season, the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx at the Challenge Mallorca in January. He has been side-lined ever since, but will ride Milan-San Remo before staying in Italy to tackle next week’s Settimana Coppi e Bartali. The Basque rider is also expected to line out at the Tour of the Basque Country next month. Landa has stated his intention to ride both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2019. Milan-San Remo was a relatively late addition to Valverde’s racing programme, and he will then line out at the Volta a Catalunya, which gets underway 48 hours later. The Spaniard last appeared at Milan-San Remo in 2016, when ...

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D'hoore undergoes surgery for broken collarbone after Drentse 8 crash

Jolien D'hoore wins Women's WorldTour round at Driedaagse De Panne

Jolien D'hoore ( Boels Dolmans ) will undergo surgery to repair a broken collarbone sustained in a crash at the Drenthe Acht van Westerveld over the weekend. The Classics specialist could be forced to skip a portion of the upcoming block of one-day races to recover from the injury. "This is hard to accept, with all the nice races coming up," D'hoore wrote in a post on Twitter. D'hoore crashed on a descent roughly 60km into the race, more popularly known as Drentse 8. It has been speculated that a gust of wind caused her and Lotta Lepistö (Trek-Segafredo) to crash. D'hoore was immediately taken to hospital, where X-rays showed the broken collarbone. She has returned to Belgium and underwent surgery on Saturday, reported Nieuwsblad.be . Boels Dolmans announced in October that they had signed D'hoore for the 2019 season . She joined the team having spent one year with ...

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Van der Breggen and Langvad dominate early stages at Cape Epic

Anna van der Breggen and Annika Langvad compete in the 2019 Cape Epic

Anna van der Breggen and Annika Langvad are off to a winning start at Cape Epic in South Africa after claiming both the prologue and the first stage of the world-class mountain bike stage race that runs from March 17-24. The Boels Dolmans teammates, racing under Investec-songo-Specialized at Cape Epic, announced they would participate in the event together in January. Van der Breggen is the current road world champion and Langvad is a former five-time marathon world champion, and was the cross-country world champion in 2016. She has won Cape Epic four times and is the defending champion. They prepared for Cape Epic at the Sunshine Cup earlier this winter. Van der Breggen is relatively new to mountain biking having only just competed in her first World Cup last year. Langvad said she was pleased to race it this year with Van der Breggen. "Riding with Anna during the Cape ...

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Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters

The early season is always full of fast finishes. Where do the sport's top sprinters stand? The post Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Irizar: I knew early on that I wasn't going to be a winner

Markel Irizar (Trek - Segafredo) leads the breakaway during stage 13 at the Giro d'Italia

Trek-Segafredo 's Markel Irizar will retire at the end of this season following a 16-year career in which he has dedicated his talents to helping some of the sport’s biggest names achieve their dreams. Professional cycling is made up of leaders and helpers, and Irizar told Cyclingnews that he realised early on in his career that he would not belong to the former. Irizar has two victories on his palmarès: a stage of the 2010 Tour du Poitou-Charentes and the overall title at the 2011 Vuelta a Andalucía. However, he attributes his long career to making the early decision to sacrifice his own ambitions and become a domestique. "I think you understand that if you're not a big talent then you are not going to be a 'killer'," Irizar told Cyclingnews . "There are some things that you should do if you want to survive. I understood from the very ...

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Photo gallery: Strade Bianche, road cycling’s sixth Monument?

Is it time we added Strade Bianche to the exclusive list of road cycling’s Monuments? Is it time we put it on the same lofty pedestal occupied by Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardia? There’s little doubt Strade Bianche has grown to become one of cycling’s most loved races, and … The post Photo gallery: Strade Bianche, road cycling’s sixth Monument? appeared first on CyclingTips .

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The weekly spin: Alaphilippe, Van Vleuten conquer white roads of Strade Bianche

A pair of first-time champions emerged at Strade Bianche Saturday, though neither could be considered a surprise winner. After 184km of racing, including 63km across white gravel roads, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) got the better of Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to take the victory in the historic Piazza del Campo in Siena. Former world cyclocross … The post The weekly spin: Alaphilippe, Van Vleuten conquer white roads of Strade Bianche appeared first on CyclingTips .

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The changing face of pro cycling team sponsorship

The changing face of pro cycling team sponsorship

Nick Busca 8 Mar 2019 Name changes and early closures are common occurrences for cycling teams, but some are looking at better ways of retaining key sponsors When Team Sky announced the termination of its team sponsorship in December, it was only half-newsworthy. There had already been plenty of rumours around the impending end of the most successful team of the decade. Besides, cycling history is full of 'now-defunct teams'; teams change names and investors as often as snakes shed their skin. The real news and most urgent questions at the time were: Will they be able to secure a new backer before the end of season? And will they be able to match their previous budget of £35 million per year? It now seems that Team Sky may have found a new sponsor for next year . But how hard is it actually to secure a sponsorship in cycling ...

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Paris-Nice 2019: Who are the favourites and who will win?

Joe Robinson 8 Mar 2019 From Colombian talent to Northern grit, here are the riders to watch at Paris-Nice Paris-Nice has had a stroke of luck this year. With rival Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico deciding to ignore the Apennine mountain range in favour of a mixture of flat and rolling stages, any climber looking to get some early-season miles in their legs has opted to race in France. As a result, the field for the 2019 edition of the 'Race to the Sun' is one of the strongest for years, with plenty of punchy, one-week experts and high-ticket Grand Tour performers all fancying their chances of taking victory on the French Rivera in just over a week's time. It's no secret that the two most explosive days of racing should come on Stages 6 and 7. Stage 6 is the race's only true mountain-top finish as the peloton heads to ...

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