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BRILLIANT PELLO BILBAO SPRINTS TO STAGE VICTORY AND THE LEADER’S JERSEY AT TOUR OF THE ALPS

Day 2 of the Tour of the Alps was the Pelli & Pello show, as Sports Director Franco Pelizzotti masterminded a perfect performance from Bahrain Victorious, which was finished off by Pello Bilbao on an uphill finish in Lana.

It is the Spaniard’s 3rd career win at the Tour of the Alps, and means that he wears the green jersey for the first time. A great day was made even better when news came through that Santiago Buitrago had taken the white jersey for the best young rider as well!

There was climbing straight from the start in Primiero/S. Martin di Castrozza – the cat 2 Passo Rolle, on whose slopes a 10 man breakaway formed, including GC danger men Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) & Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers), along with our own Hermann Pernsteiner.

Halfway through the stage the break had around 2’30”, as the main test of the day began: the Passo della Mendola; 16kms at an average gradient of 6.5%. From this moment, our team led the peloton right until the final few metres in Lana – nearly 80kms on the front!

With 30k remaining, Sivakov and Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) were over a minute in front, but Pernsteiner (who had dropped back to join his teammates), Buitrago, Bilbao, and Mikel Landa – who worked like a one-man engine – pulled the Bahrain train closer to the escapees as the kilometres ticked down.

Having been confident of fighting it out between themselves for the win, incredibly the duo in front were caught with 9.6k left, and still the red & orange jerseys dominated on the front.

As the bunch entered the uphill 2 kilometre drag to the line, Bahrain Victorious provided a lead out of which a sprint team would have been proud, leaving Bilbao an uncontested run in, and a chance to raise both arms ‘victorious’.

Tour of the Alps 2022 – 45th Edition – Primiero/S. Martino di Castrozza – Lana 154,1 km – 19/04/2022 – Pello Bilbao (ESP – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Massimo Fulgenzi/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

We worked at our own pace, were super confident, and we always believed. The team did all the work, I just did the last 100metres to put the cherry on the cake. We really demonstrated that cycling is a team sport today,” said the stage winner afterwards.

After a 2nd place yesterday, today’s triumph means Pello takes a 6 second advantage over Romain Bardet into Wednesday’s Queen stage. Meanwhile, 22 year old Colombian Buitrago is also in the top 10, and leads the young riders’ classification.

There is plenty to play for in the next 3 days, and Bilbao, Buitrago, & Bahrain are in pole position:

After being close to victory here a few times, this year I have the responsibility to fight for the jersey. We have a powerful team, with Mikel and Santiago near in the GC too. That’s going to be important because we expect a crazy race like we’ve already seen for the first two stages.

Tour of the Alps 2022 – 45th Edition – 2nd stage Primiero/S. Martino di Castrozza – Lana 154.1km – 19/04/2022 – Pello Bilbao (ESP – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Massimo Fulgenzi/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (stage 3): Ben O’Connor takes the stage and the leader’s jersey

Ben O’Connor : “I knew my form was there”

«I was sick and I had to abandon Paris-Nice, which was one of my early season goals. I approached this week with confidence, though, because I knew that my form was there. Today, I did not expect to finish alone because I believed that other guys would be able to follow me. But I decided to try my luck in the finale and it worked. It was not necessarily a climb that suited me. I like the high mountains. I knew I had to be smart to follow those who would attack.
I know that the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya is a tricky race but, with my teammates, I will try to keep this leader’s jersey until the end.»Ben

The number

2

After Marc Sarreau’s victory on Sunday in Cholet-Pays de Loire, Ben O’Connor’s victory is the second of the 2022 season for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM… and the second in three days.

The news

eight stitches for Nans Peters

The victim of a crash 15 km from the finish on Tuesday in the second stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Nans Peters hit his knee and required eight stitches. He is expected to return to training in the coming days.

— Kévin Bottin to ag2rcitroenteam.com

Chrétien hits out for KOM jersey in the City of Bridges – Rally Cycling


Rally Cycling’s stagiaire Charles-Étienne Chrétien made his name known at the Giro di Sicilia by taking the lead in the KOM classification on stage 1. The 22-year-old Canadian was part of the day’s breakaway and took maximum points over the only categorized climb at Ragusa Ibla.

“It’s really nice to be in the King of the Mountain’s leader’s jersey,” Chrétien said at the end of his fifth race for the team. “I was patient and let the two other guys start their sprint from far out and stayed on the wheel which paid off and then I just went for it.”

The 8.2-kilometer-long climb came 90km from the finish, so having crested the summit in first, all Chrétien had to do was roll over the line to be in the Maglia Verde Pistacchio. 

The town of Ragusa Ibla is often referred to as “The City of Bridges” and is one of the island’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it also proved to be where the peloton would start to bridge the gap. 

The advantage of the trio began to tumble as UAE-Team Emirates pulled on the front. With a coastal run-in, stage one favoured the sprinters and so it came to pass when Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE-Team Emirates) took the victory in a bunch kick. 

The climber from Amos, Quebec is one of three stagiaires that joined the team in August. With Raphaël Parisella also recently tasting success at the Tour du Doubs, our apprentices are showing that they are raring to prove themselves.

Looking ahead to the challenges to come in Sicily, Chrétien said, “for now I think we have bigger GC objectives so I doubt we will defend the jersey, but we shall see going forward.”

The team in Sicily (L-R) Ben King, Charles-Étienne Chrétien, Kyle Murphy, Gavin Mannion, Keegan Swirbul, Emerson Oronte and Nate Brown

The jersey Chrétien will wear tomorrow is a light shade of green, referencing the color of the island’s famous nuts. Stage 2 is on a rolling parcours and features two categorized tests. The wealth of climbing and the tight ascent and descent at Carini, 24km from the finish, could favor a potential breakaway. 

Catch the action from 7:00 am ET on GCN+ and the Eurosport Player.  

Giro di Sicilia KOM standings
1 Charles-Étienne Chrétien – Rally Cycling 5
2 Matteo Zurlo – Zalf Euromobil Fior 3
3 Jacopo Cortese – M.g.k Vis VPM 2
4 David de la Cruz – UAE-Team Emirates 1

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

JACK HAIG ONTO PODIUM IN GC AS GINO MADER MOVES INTO BEST YOUNG RIDER JERSEY ON PENULTIMATE STAGE OF VUELTA

Following the impressive efforts of Sonny Colbrelli at Tour of Benelux, Jack Haig and Gino Mäder made their way up in the GC at Vuelta as Haig moved onto the podium while Mäder moved into the top 5. Gino Mäder also moved into the white jersey in the best young rider classification ahead of the Vuelta finale, a 33.8km time trial.

While Stage 20, didn’t have any high mountains, it was one that had the potential to shake up the GC covering 202km with over 4,300 vertical meters. An early breakaway formed, which included Mark Padun and 15 other riders. The break had a gap of 11 minutes to the peloton but was quickly slashed by work in the peloton by Ineos Grenadiers. 

On the hardest climb of the day, Alto de Mougás, there were a limited group of riders left, mainly of GC contenders. Attacks started and pressure by Gino Mader saw Lopez (Movistar) who was in third at the start of the day drop along with Egan Bernal, who was leading the best young rider classification. With Jack on the virtual podium, Mark Padun was then called back from the break to help Jack and Gino to the foot of the final climb.

On the final climb Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) a minute behind Jack in the GC, putting the pressure on, with several attacks, however, Jack was able to respond. At the end, Champoussin (AG2R Citroen), a member of the breakaway won the stage and Haig crossed the line in 5th losing no time to Yates, moving him onto the podium ahead of the final stage. Gino Mader’s effort also moved him up from 8th to 5th in the overall and put the white jersey firmly on his shoulders going into tomorrow’s time trial.

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – Sanxenxo – Mos. Castro de Herville 202,2 km – 04/09/2021 – Jack Haig (AUS – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Jack Haig:” The day started off relatively straight forward considering all the other days we’ve had in the Vuelta with the breakaway getting away quite early on with no one in GC, so we had a pretty relaxing ride, until about 100km into the race until the first climbs and Ineos picked up the pace, which I was assuming was to set up Bernal as we were quite close in the fourth position. On the longest climb of the day, there was a rolling plateau where people started to gamble and it just happened to be that Gino and myself were in the perfect position.

I knew that if we wanted to get away, we needed one of the two Movistar riders, which ideally would be Enric and one of the two Ineos riders. It basically meant the group behind didn’t do any chasing. Gino did an awesome job going down the descent and the flatter section until we caught Mark. They both did an awesome ride to the foot of the last climb. I knew Yates was going to attack on the steeper gradients of the climb to get an advantage over me ahead of the TT, but I managed to limit my losses, and now there is a minute between us ahead of tomorrow. It’s a nice position to be in tomorrow, but it’s definitely not safe and done”

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – Sanxenxo – Mos. Castro de Herville 202,2 km – 04/09/2021 – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Gino Mäder:” Today was a crazy day. We had Padun in the breakaway, which in the end really saved our day. In the beginning I was a bit worries as the pace wasn’t really high and Jumbo was looking really strong and had it all under the control. But once Ineos decided to put on the pressure in the race it was full gas, and everyone was on the limit. Then Yates decided to go, it was just full gas. I knew I was here for Jack and I wanted to get him on the podium, and I think we achieved that, and I got a little extra, so it’s been a really nice day.

It wasn’t in my thoughts to get the white jersey and I only thought about taking Jack to the finish and lose as little time as possible. With Bernal’s gap I had to wait a long three minutes for the confirmation of moving into the jersey and so I also get something out of today.”

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

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Woods climbs into the KOM jersey on stage 14 of the Tour

Israel Start-Up Nation has taken the iconic polka dot KOM jersey with Michael Woods after a courageous effort by the Canadian climber on stage 14 of the Tour de France. This is the first ever leader’s jersey for ISN in the the Tour!

With its undulating profile, today’s stage had breakaway written all over it. Therefore, it was no surprise to see a furious fight to make it into the right group at the start of the day. After nearly 100 km of fighting, a group finally managed to get away. Having been attentive near the front the whole time, waiting for the optimal moment, Woods was quick to get up the road and join the leading riders.

“From that moment on, I was trying to play my cards right,” Woods explained afterward. “I didn’t want to spend too much energy fighting Poels for the KOM points, but I also had to take more points than him, which was a difficult task because he’s so strong.”

On the following three categorized climbs, Woods picked up nine KOM points which put him in the virtual lead of the competition.

Unfortunately, on the penultimate descent, Woods suffered a minor crash, which meant he had to expend significant energy chasing back to the front group. Shortly after he made it back, Bauke Mollema [Trek-Segafredo] attacked and soloed away.

At the top of the last climb, Woods put in another strong effort, crossing the line in second place, sealing his move to the top of the ranking in the KOM competition.

“It was a nice feeling, knowing I had taken the jersey, but I was also cursing myself for crashing. I was so disappointed in myself. Still, I knew I was on a really good day and I’m really proud to be riding in the polka dot jersey tomorrow. Especially on familiar roads in Andorra,” Woods said.

In the end, Woods finished fifth on the stage, his second top-5 place in this year’s Tour de France after taking third on stage 8. An impressive result, but – to Woods – only one thing mattered today.

“Growing up, I didn’t know anything about cycling, but I always watched the Tour and I found that the KOM jersey was the coolest jersey of them all. It’s truly a dream come true to be in that jersey now. I hope I can get a good night’s sleep so my body can recover, and I will be able to enjoy it tomorrow.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

De Marchi takes the pink jersey in Giro d’Italia!

  • “Never give up” pays off
  • The dream of every Italian cyclist – De Marchi takes lead in Giro d’Italia
  • Second on the stage, and first in GC

Never give up. Never give up. Alessandro De Marchi put his heart and soul into those words on stage 4 of Giro d’Italia, taking the pink leader’s jersey after an incredible performance.

“Last night, I looked at the GC and saw that I was still 12th overall. I joked with my sports director Claudio Cozzi that I would try to take the jersey tomorrow and look what happened!

“When the three riders got away on the descent and quickly opened up a big gap, I thought that it might be over. But luckily, we started to take back time on them and at the bottom of the last climb, I knew that it would be possible to catch them. Dombrowski was very strong and I just did my best to stay close to him and secure the pink jersey. When I crossed the line, I still wasn’t sure if I had made it but then I saw my team coming to me smiling and I realized what had happened.

“It’s an incredible feeling. I have been waiting 10 years for this. To wear the pink jersey is the dream of every cyclist, especially the Italian riders. Now I just want to celebrate with my teammates and enjoy my day in pink tomorrow!”

He never gave up on the stage. He joined the break group. When the climbing started, he didn’t give up. When two others of the group broke off, he steadily and doggedly stayed in the chase. Even a puncture with 32 km to go didn’t discourage him.

He didn’t give up when Dombrowski pulled away and went on to win the stage. Alessandro had his eye on the larger prize.

There were tears in his eyes as he proudly stood on the podium in his pink jersey – a childhood dream come true.

“You did an amazing, amazing ride. You are very deserving to wear the Maglia Rosa!” said proud team owner Sylvan Adams. “We are making history with our first leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour, – a spectacular achievement that I knew we could do.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

Israel Start-Up Nation launches special jersey for the Giro d’Italia

Patrick Bevin: “I like this one. I think it’s a really cool design. It’s a nice gesture to change the kit for our Italian sponsor Vini Fantini while racing the Giro. I really think it looks great!”

Valentino Sciotti, President of Fantini Group: “We thank Sylvan [Adams, co-owner], Ron [Baron, co-owner] and the whole team for this beautiful gift. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to be under the spotlight in the most important race in Italy. We will live this moment with immense joy and as a further incentive to love this sport even more.”

Aviad Izrael, Founder and Director of Jinga: “Wine, Italy and cycling – three things we all love! The Giro-Fantini project is one of our all-time favorite projects. The sweet blend of wine with the ISN colors, items that were carefully developed with feedback from the best riders in the world, and of course it was a lot of fun at the design table! We are excited to introduce this limited-edition set for the cycling world to enjoy. Good ride, good wine, good times.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

De Marchi takes third place and the KOM jersey

Israel Start-Up Nation finished off Tour of the Alps with an impressive team performance which saw Alessandro De Marchi take third place on the final stage as well as win the blue KOM jersey.

From the start of the day, the team tactic was clear: help De Marchi take back the king of the mountains jersey by getting first over the top of the first categorized climb. As said as done. The team took control of the stage right from the beginning, making sure no dangerous break got up the road without De Marchi in it.

On the first ascent, Dan Martin went to the front to set a furious pace, which left just a handful of riders – including De Marchi – on his wheel; and at the top of Passo Duran, De Marchi crossed the line first assuring he would win the KOM classification as long as he finished the stage.

However, De Marchi was interested in more than just making it to the finish line. When the front group split up on a descent, De Marchi was quick to react and follow the move, now eying a potential stage win.

Unfortunately, the peloton was never far behind and as the gap began to come down to under a minute, the riders at the front started attacking each other. Ultimately, Felix Großschartner (BORA – Hansgrohe) managed to get away to take the win, while De Marchi did well to finish third on the stage after a hectic chase. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) won the race overall with Martin in 15th place.

Alessandro De Marchi: “First of all, I must say thank you to the team and especially Dan Martin who really helped me today. After I took the KOM points, we started focusing on the stage win. Originally, I wanted to help Dan win the stage but, on a descent, the group split up and I was lucky I was in the right place to follow the move. On the final climb, Großschartner went away and I started chasing with Roche. Actually, I must also say thanks to Roche. The two of us really worked well together, even when the peloton was closing in on us. It was a great collaboration. In general, it was a great day. We took back the KOM jersey and made podium at the end. I think we can be happy with this week of racing.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

De Marchi on the attack to take back the KOM jersey

Israel Start-Up Nation was in the mix again on stage 3 of Tour of the Alps with Alessandro De Marchi putting on an impressive performance to take fifth place on the stage and gain back the blue KOM jersey.

Already before the start of the stage, De Marchi had indicated that he was eager to get up the road and fight for the stage win today. The strong Italian put in multiple attacks in the opening kilometers but the peloton wasn’t content with letting him go. However, De Marchi wasn’t going to stop trying and after another hard effort, he managed to get away with a strong group of over 10 riders.

On the first categorized climb of the day, De Marchi had no problems taking the maximum points at the top, bringing him back into the lead of the KOM classification. However, on the final steep ascent, the breakaway split up, leaving just four riders at the front. Once again, De Marchi kept his cool and didn’t give up.

Working hard to come back, the chase group came very close to bridging across but at the end, De Marchi had to settle for fifth place, crossing the line just a few seconds after the winner, Gianni Moscon (INEOS).

ISN team leader Dan Martin finished safely within the peloton and he’s now fourth in the general classification. Unfortunately, Ben Hermans had to abandon the race due to stomach problems.

Alessandro De Marchi: “Today, I woke up to some very bad news from my home region. A young girl I know had been involved in an accident while she was out training on her bike. I was very motivated to ride for her today and I think this gave me a bit of extra strength when I really needed it on the climbs today. This one was for you, Silvia!”

“Looking at my condition, I’m still not at my best level, but I can feel that I’m on the right path. At the end, we almost closed the gap to the front group, we just lacked a little bit. Anyway, I’m happy with my performance today. I got the KOM jersey back and we’ll see how long I can keep it for. We still have two very hard days left here.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

De Marchi takes the KOM jersey on stage 1 of Tour of the Alps

As the riders headed towards the local loop in the finishing town of Innsbruck, the peloton upped the pace quite significantly, bringing the gap down to under two minutes. De Marchi needed only to take one more KOM point on the last climb to secure the jersey, but with one kilometer to go, the Italian decided to leave his breakaway companions behind and go solo. Once again, he took maximum points at the top of the climb and he started to eye a possible stage win as well.

However, as De Marchi took on the final 20 km, more teams started to work in the peloton and, ultimately, it all came back together again. In the end, Gianni Moscon (INEOS) took the win with a late attack, while the peloton crossed the line just a few seconds down with Goldstein doing well to take 15th place.

Alessandro De Marchi: “The idea was to see if I could make it into the breakaway and use this stage as a small test to see how my shape was after my recent altitude training camp. With only three guys at the front, we knew from the beginning that it would be really difficult to make it all the way but you never know. I have learned that you can never give up from the start. There is always a chance so you have to go for it and see what happens. It didn’t work out today but it was important for me to be up there and go for it, also mentally. All in all, I think this was a good day and a good start of the race. There are so many strong climbers here, so it won’t be easy to keep the KOM jersey, but we will see what happens in the next days.”

Omer Goldstein: “I think this was a good day for me. I like the cold weather more than the warm weather and I really didn’t mind the snow during the stage. At the end, I was waiting for a team do start a leadout but it never happened and suddenly it was too late. I tried to take a good position but unfortunately, I got boxed in a little and had to settle for 15th place. I felt good today though.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com