Astana – Premier Tech finishes 2021 season with a stunning win by Samuele Battistella – Astana

Astana – Premier Tech finishes 2021 season with a stunning win by Samuele Battistella

It was the perfect way to wrap up a challenging 2021 season as Samuele Battistella soloed to glory in Bassano del Grappa after a stunning performance riding many kilometres at the front of the race.

The last race of the 2021 season took the riders over 200km from Venice to Bassano del Grappa with the second part of the race featuring a punchy circuit before crossing the finish line.

The Astana – Premier Tech riders showed an amazing display of teamwork, controlling the race from kilometre zero. As the race headed towards the last laps of the circuit, Samuele Battistella paid attention to the moves at the front which saw him lead the race with two other riders. Meanwhile Alexey Lutsenko took control of the pace in the chasing group.

At the front, Matteo Trentin touched wheels with Battistella and hit the deck, which meant Samuele Battistella led the race solo with less than 20 kilometres to go. The chasing group pushed hard trying to close the gap but Battistella put the hammer down and rode an absolute fantastic race to wrap up the season with a win, and was able to celebrate as he had a five-second gap over his opponents.

Teammate Alexey Lutsenko rounded out a great end of the season with sprinting to a top five finish.

I feel sorry for Trentin, we worked well together and when he touched my wheels we had only 15 kilometres left. I asked Martino (Giuseppe Martinelli) what we should do then and he said I should ride my rhythm up the climb towards the finish. From there on I never looked back and gave everything I had. It is my first victory as a professional and it feels like a rebirth as the season started not in the way I wanted as I struggled with health issues. The last days I worked for Alexey and today he worked for me as a return. The last kilometres were on home soil, I train here a lot and the fans were amazing and pushed me. Also, a huge thanks to my team, it was pure teamwork. The plan was that I start and Alexey would finish it off but at the end we changed and I went ahead with Luts also taking a top result. It is the perfect way to finish our season. – Samuele Battistella

What should I say, it has been a wonderful week. Already on Friday, when Lutsenko took the win, it was pure joy but today’s win was just perfect. Today, I bet on Battistella to win, even if we weren’t riding for him and he needed to work but you could see the previous days that he was getting stronger and stronger. I am so happy for the team and it was the best way to finish the season and also to take these emotions into the off season, already being motivated for the upcoming one. I hope this victory will be a good sign for 2022. – Giuseppe Martinelli



Photo credit: ©Gettysport

— nadine Pfeffer to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Peron finishes 21st in a fast final sprint at the GP de Fourmies

Head Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“With two really challenging races behind us, we came at the GP de Fourmies with hanger for a good result.”

“This Grand Prix is a race that suits sprinters, and our strategy was to have the team working for Andrea and have him battling with the leaders in the final sprint.”

“Andrea did a great job in the last kilometres keeping the pace and staying at the front. Too bad he lost a few positions in the final meters, but he still brought home a good result and the one we needed to keep the morale up for the upcoming two final races of this season.”

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“After crashing in Besancon last week, I felt pretty sore and couldn’t train to my max this week.”

“Today’s parcour suits me and I felt good. The guys did a great job helping me to keep a good position. I gave my best and overall I’m happy with the result.”

“Now we have only two races left and hopefully today’s result will be an extra motivation for a good finale of the 2021 season.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com


It was another successful Grand Tour for Team Bahrain Victorious at La Vuelta, as Jack Haig secured a podium place in the GC. Gino Mäder, who worked tremendously hard to help Jack also found himself in the top 5 in GC and wearing the white jersey Santiago de Compostela. The teamwork at the race was also rewarded by winning the Best Team Classification, adding to the tally after winning the same prize at Tour de France.

After the incredible stage 20, it was only a 34km Time Trial to the finish in Santiago de Compostela, separating the riders from solidifying their positions at the start of the day. With Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers) only a minute behind Haig, it was the biggest threat to the podium place for Haig.

Haig put on an impressive display over a challenging parkour with 600m of elevation, defending his lead and securing the third position, finishing 17th on the day, beating Yates. Gino Mader also secured the white jersey and fifth in GC.

Bahrain Victorious came into this race with the goal of a podium place, and in the end, the team finish the final Grand Tour of the season with the podium place in the GC, a stage win, the Best Young rider, and Best Team prize.

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 21th stage Padron – Santiago de Compostela 33,8 km – 05/09/2021 – Primoz Roglic (SLO – Jumbo – Visma) – Enric Mas (ESP – Movistar Team) – Jack Haig (AUS – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Jack Haig commented on his podium finish:” Its incredible, I was just speaking to my wife saying how you always dream of getting on a podium at a Grand Tour, but I really never knew it was possible or not. It’s amazing to move to Bahrain Victorious and then having the crash at Tour, and come here with no expectations, and be third on the podium. I have no words for it, and I want to thank everyone who got me here as it doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not just a years work and there are so many people I’d like to thank along the way that helped me.

I will keep approaching racing the way I do, as long as I’m happy with the right people around me and enjoy it. If you’ve got that, then the results come, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 21th stage Padron – Santiago de Compostela 33,8 km – 05/09/2021 – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Gino Mäder was delighted with winning the best young rider: “Wow, it’s unbelievable for me, and the whole thing just fell into my hands yesterday. I was already happy before with my provisional 8th in GC and being amongst the best climbers in this race.

Now I’m sitting here in the white jersey having helped Jack on the podium and I’m a little bit lost for words. In the end it’s a fifth place, and there are a lot of really strong riders. It’s unexpected and maybe a bit too good, and I take it and I hope it’s not my last time in the top 5 in the GC.

Gorazd Štangelj:” We did some really amazing things here. We came here for Mikel after his success at Burgos, but unfortunately had some difficulty. We reacted fast and reset the roles in the team and the guys all did the maximum from the first to the last stage. Let’s look back at how windy it was in the first week which didn’t really suite us, and we struggled a lot on those days but we were able to do a great job with minimum losses. When the mountain stages came we got a victory with Damiano and then we had a good period.

We had a good plan for the next two weeks. I’m really happy for Gino to get this confirmation of his ability and for his future, he can be a GC rider. I was really sorry after Jack’s crash in Tour de France, but he bounced back and did a great job to get on the podium in the GC, which is a beautiful moment for him and the team.”

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Hermans finishes top-20 overall in Dauphiné

Israel Start-Up Nation showed strong team spirit on the final stage of Critérium du Dauphiné, which ultimately saw Ben Hermans finishing 19th in the general classification.

Despite its length of 147 km, Sunday’s mountainous stage 9 had no less than six categorized climbs, including the feared Col de Joux Plane, which was crested just 17 km from the finish.

The ISN riders were very eager to make the morning break and they tried several times to get up the road. Early on, Mads Würtz Schmidt managed to get into a strong group but unfortunately, the Dane crashed on a descent and had to abandon the race. Würtz Schmidt suffered a concussion and was taken to hospital for observation and exams. He was later released to go home to rest.

After the crash, a big group of over 20 riders managed to distance the pack, and they quickly opened up a gap of five minutes. However, determined to do well today, ISN went to the front of the peloton to take control. Reto Hollenstein upped the pace significantly and took nearly two minutes of the gap off the break, bringing them within striking distance.

On Col de Joux Plane, Hermans played his card and attacked from the reduced peloton. Unfortunately, the group didn’t give the strong Belgian much of a leash. Ultimately, the early break made it all the way, while Hermans had to settle for 23rd place on the day and 19th overall.

Ben Hermans: “I believe I can be happy with this top-20. I had hoped for a little bit more, especially with the legs I had in the first six days, but during the weekend, I didn’t have the same high power. In any case, I’m happy with the result because if you look at top-20 overall there are only strong riders. Also, the team rode really well all week, always working together, which was great.”

Chris Froome: “For me personally, it was good to get some hard racing like this in the legs. This is exactly what I was missing and exactly what I need to help push me up to the next level. I definitely felt like I was settling into the race as the race went on, and as we got into the higher mountains, I definitely felt better today as well. I’m not up there with the front guys yet but if I look back just a month, to my last race in Romandie, there has definitely been a strong progression.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

Woods finishes fifth overall in Tour de Romandie

After a week of impressive performances, Israel Start-Up Nation finished off this year’s Tour de Romandie with a fifth place overall for Michael Woods.

Sunday, Tour de Romandie concluded with an undulating time trial in Fribourg. Leading the race overall after winning yesterday’s queen stage, Woods took on the challenging course wearing the yellow jersey. However, being up against time trial specialists like Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, Woods knew it would be a tall order to keep the lead.

On the wet roads, the strong Canadian fought admirably to limit his losses, ultimately seeing him cross the line in 28th place on the day. Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick Step) took the win, while Thomas (INEOS) won overall.

Looking back at the race, the ISN riders can be very content with their performances. In addition to Woods’ stage win in the mountains, Patrick Bevin finished third and second in the two bunch sprints earlier in the race.

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com