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Groenewegen & Groves lead Team BikeExchange-Jayco sprint train in Veenendaal & Köln – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Sprint stars Dylan Groenewegen and Kaden Groves will lead Team BikeExchange-Jayco this weekend as the fast finishers go on the hunt for victories at two one-day races, the Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic and Rund um Köln.
 
Alongside Groenewegen and Groves will be a young and hungry lead out train, with Campbell Stewart, Kelland O’Brien and Alexander Konychev returning to action, while new Zealander’s Sam Bewley and Dion Smith will provide valuable experience to the seven-rider line-up.
 
Tomorrow’s Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic is a race of 197.9km in the Netherlands, while on Sunday the squad will move to Germany for Rund um Köln, for another 199.3km of racing.
 
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Dylan Groenewegen (NED)
Kaden Groves (AUS)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Kelland O’Brien (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Campbell Stewart (NZL)
 
Dylan Groenewegen:
“It was great being back with the team at the Tour of Hungary after a long training block. We came home with a strong stage victory in the second to last day which gave us a lot of confidence for the future.
 
It’s never easy to come back into races after an ‘off’ period, but now we will have an intense period of races, and this will be really helpful to get back on the right track for our big goals of the season. This weekend should be good racing as the competition is high and we have a strong team.”
 
Tristan Hoffman – Sport Director:
“After a stage victory in Hungary with Dylan, we are happy to be back racing so soon to keep the excitement going. Dylan proved to be in great form and if we help him to be in the right position, not many riders can beat him in the final metres.
 
At Veenendaal we will try again with him. On the other hand, at Rund um Koln, we might evaluate to play both of our best cards there. After a period of break, Kaden Groves will be back racing and with the great performances he had at the beginning of the season, he could also be a valid option on Sunday.
 
We have a strong line up to support Dylan and Kaden during the weekend, with young talents that are growing in the team and have the capability to support them against the highest competitors.”
 
Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic – Race Details:
Saturday, 21st May: Veenendaal – Veenendaal (197.9km)
 
Rund um Köln – Race Details:
Sunday, 22nd May: Köln – Köln (199.3km)
 
Photo: Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Spratt & Santesteban lead Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the first Women’s WorldTour stage race of the season – Itzulia  – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Team BikeExchange-Jayco women are ready to switch their attention to the stage racing phase of the season, kicking off with the three-day WorldTour race Itzulia on Friday.
 
After a busy few days with two second places finishes, Ane Santesteban is back for more and looking for a strong result in her ‘home’ race, and will line-up with a mixed squad ready to tackle the three-day event.
 
Alongside the 31-year-old will be third place finisher at the Navarra Women’s Classic Kristen Faulkner and Australian climber Amanda Spratt who returns the fold after strong performances at the Ardennes.
 
Giving the team further options, after hardwork in the last three races in northern Spain, will be Slovenian Urska Zigart, New Zealander Georgia Williams and Singapore’s Chelsie Tan

Racing begins tomorrow with a fairly short 106km stage and the peloton ready to tackle more than 1,900m of altitude gain each day.
 
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up at Itzulia:
Kristen Faulkner (USA) 
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Chelsie Tan (SNG)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Urska Zigart (SLO)

Amanda Spratt 
“I had a nice break after Liege. It was a very steep and fast road back to fitness and race intensity after my surgery, so I felt like I definitely needed the break to let all the work soak in and now I’m ready to go again!
 
I love racing in Spain and even more so in the Basque Country. It’s where I took my first WorldTour victory in 2018 so I have great memories. The racing here is always hard with many climbs, descents and not much flat in between. Stage three in particular, which is a carbon copy of the San Sebastián Classic, I see it as a really hard stage with the steep climb right before the finish. 
 
These are home roads for Ane and I know she is so motivated for these races which she has been targeting. I’m looking forward to supporting her and racing well as a team. It’s been great following the team from afar in these first races in Spain. You can see they are racing really well together, and I feel like a win is coming soon.”
 
Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas (Sport Director)
“We’ve seen in these past three races here in Spain that the riders are in great shape, they’ve been controlling the racing and working really well together, and we’ve had multiple podium finishes and it feels like we are so close to getting a win.
 
This will be the first stage race for the riders, and it will be a hard races with really strong competition and everybody knows the roads in this area are really hard and steep, so it will be a tough race but we are ready. Spratty comes in to join the team for Itzulia after her strong ride in Liege, so we have some really good options and everybody is excited to get this stage race underway.”

2022 Itzulia Race Details:
Friday, 13th May: Stage 1, Vitoria-Gasteiz to Bastida, 106km – 1,905m
Saturday, 14th May: Stage 2, Ermua to Mallabia, 118km – 2,129km
Sunday, 15th May: Stage 3, San Sebastian to San Sebastian, 140km 2,131m
 
 Photo: Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Tour de la Provence. Samuele Battistella takes the lead in the best young rider classification – Astana

Tour de la Provence. Samuele Battistella takes the lead in the best young rider classification

The first normal stage of the Tour de la Provence (Istres – Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 151.8 km) has been impacted a lot by the cross wind, which provoked echelons in the middle part of the distance. Finally, a group of some 20 riders broke away from the peloton to make the decisive move and, thus, to play the stage win.

Astana’s Samuele Battistella, yesterday fourth in the prologue, once again showed his good form at the beginning of the season, taking a nice fifth place at the stage and moving into the lead in the best young rider classification.

“Actually we knew that the weather forecast was predicting a strong cross wind during the stage, so we were quite ready to this situation and to the echelons. My teammates helped me really well, in the right moment they moved me up in front to a good position, so I was able to join the leading group and to stay there until the end. Unfortunately, Leonardo Basso in a moment was almost involved in a crash and thus he could not join me in front. At the end of the day I was able to sprint for a good fifth place and I am quite satisfied with this result. Also, I am happy with the best young rider jersey, it is a good start of the season for me”, – said Samuele Battistella.

 

“Indeed, our team worked very well today as we expected that the wind will be a key factor today. Artyom Zakharov and Gleb Brussenskiy did a great work on the first part of the distance, supporting Samuele Battistella and Michele Gazzoli. Later there was a dangerous situation and Leonardo Basso was almost crashed but, fortunately, escaped to crash. However, there was a split in the group right on that moment and he and Michele Gazzoli found themselves in the second group. It’s a pity because Michele could do a good sprint in the final, anyway we still had Samuele Battistella there and he spent another strong day on the bike”, – added Dmitriy Fofonov, team Sports Director.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Alexandr Shefer returns to Astana Qazaqstan Team as Lead Sports Director – Astana

Alexandr Shefer returns to Astana Qazaqstan Team as Lead Sports Director

Kazakh specialist and one of the most experienced and successful directors in team Astana history Alexandr Shefer is set to return to Astana Qazaqstan Team as Lead Sports Director in the upcoming season of 2022.

During the last season Alexandr Shafer was collaborating with the Russian UCI ProTeam Gazprom – Rusvelo. Despite a valid contract for 2022, the teams have reached a mutual agreement about return of Alexandr Shefer to Astana Qazaqstan Team.

“I am really happy to reunite with Astana Qazaqstan Team after a year outside the project. I feel myself full of energy and inspiration ahead of the new season. I am grateful to the management of Gazprom – Rusvelo for the time I spent in this team, for the new experience I got there and for understanding and flexibility in the question of my return to Astana Qazaqstan Team. I really appreciate it. Well, the new season is coming, and the team will change a lot for the upcoming year, it is going to set the new ambitious goals and I am really looking forward to start working again side by side with Alexandr Vinokurov and all my teammates and colleagues I know for a long time”, – said Alexandr Shefer.

 

“I am happy to see Alexandr, one of the key directors for Astana, coming back. The preparation towards the new season is in full progress and a lot of work is going to be done for the team to get ready for the new challenges and the new goals. I am sure that arrival of Alexandr Shefer will strengthen our Sports Director group and will help the team to come back on the winning way”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Aleksandr Vlasov and Alexey Lutsenko to lead the team at Il Lombardia – Astana

Aleksandr Vlasov and Alexey Lutsenko to lead the team at Il Lombardia

Astana – Premier Tech heads to Il Lombardia, known as the Race of the Falling Leaves, with a strong team captained by Aleksandr Vlasov and Alexey Lutsenko.

The route for the final Monument of the year will see a change compared to last year, where Jakob Fuglsang took an impressive win while teammate Aleksandr Vlasov took a strong third place. 239 brutal kilometres from Como to Bergamo await the riders, where Alexey Lutsenko will take on the race for the first time in his career.

The iconic climb, Ghisallo, will be the first ascent to tackle before hitting Roncola, Berbenno, Dossena, Zambla Altan and Passo di Ganda before reaching the finish line in Bergamo.

Last year Vlasov rounded out the podium and is looking forward to this year’s route:

“I have really good memories of Il Lombardia. Taking third in a Monument is something special and last year it was an incredible race. This year, we are back to the normal date, not like last year where we rode it in August. So, at least, the weather will not be as hot as last year and now, we have the route changed from Como to Bergamo. I am looking forward to it but the race has a really strong start list, we will see what will happen but I am motivated to give my best to reach yet another good result”.

Sports Director Stefano Zanini sees the second part of the race as the decisive one:

“The first 90 kilometres shouldn’t be a problem, we go over the Ghisallo from the other side than last year but then the second part of the race, after Lecco will be brutal. The decisive moment will be for sure on the last two climbs as then with 30 kilometres to go, the course runs towards the finish line on a fast but not technical road. Of course, we miss Jakob but that’s cycling. Nevertheless, Aleksandr showed incredible form last year and also Alexey is currently in a good shape”. 

Rider roster: Manuele Boaro (ITA), Samuele Battistella (ITA), Rodrigo Contreras (COL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ), Matteo Sobrero (ITA), Aleksandr Vlasov (RUS).

Sports directors: Giuseppe Martinelli (ITA), Stefano Zanini (ITA).

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Carpenter wins Britain stage 2, seizes race lead – Rally Cycling

A daring solo move with 30km to go saw Robin Carpenter blow away the breakaway and outrun the peloton, to claim his first European race win. 

Not only did he secure the stage honors[2], Carpenter also finished with enough time on the peloton to go into the blue overall leader’s jersey. 

“I was feeling really good almost all day, then the last 15km were super tough. I didn’t have a whole lot left in the tank, but I knew I had a big gap. I just had to keep it steady and make sure I didn’t explode.”

Carpenter attacked the descents into Exeter with relish[3], but he found the tank almost dry by the time he reached the city.

“I was falling apart at the end but I made sure to be falling apart by myself.”[4]

— Tom Owen to rallycycling.com

WOODS TO LEAD TEAM ISN IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE

Israel Start-Up Nation Lineup for the Tour de France 2021

Rider: Mike Woods

Role: Leader

Goals: GC and stage victories 

We call him Woodsy, and we fell in love with him the moment he arrived. And what’s not to love? Woods was all we expected and much more. He quickly became one of our brightest stars with his winning mentality and mode of attacking, he delivered victories and came so close many other times. 

Head sports director, Rik Verbrugghe:

“The thing with Mike is that before joining us, he was always the second rider. The one to work for a leader. Joining ISN, we allowed him to lead, and he proved to us that he is, indeed, a natural leader.

His success in the Classics, the Tour de Romandie, and the Tour de Suisse gave him – and us – the confidence that he can play the role in the greatest cycling race of all, the Tour.

“I expect him to fight for stage wins and be there in the GC hunt as he did in the Tour de Suisse. The team’s primary focus will be to protect Woodsy and provide all the support he will need.”

Mike Woods: 

“I am really excited to represent Israel Start-Up Nation in the Tour de France, especially in a team leader role. I had an opportunity to lead a team in a Grand Tour, but never at the Tour de France. I am honored to be given this position, especially considering the quality of the team we have.

“My main goals and priorities are clear: stage wins first and try to go high on the general classification. We want to do well on the GC, no doubt, most important thing for me is the stage wins. That’s the main focus.

“I am looking forward to taking on the GC role in the team. I love racing GC. It’s really challenging and doing it on Tour is more challenging, more intense, and much more stressful. But the way I am riding these days, I am up to the challenge. And with the team that we have, we will be a force to be reckoned with.

“I think I’m in a good spot right now. I learned some excellent lessons in the Tour de Suisse that we just finished yesterday, where I was able to fight for stage wins and finished fifth overall. I think we’re going to use those lessons going into this Grand Tour. I’m excited about it, I believe there are some excellent opportunities for us – not just for me but for the team, and I’m looking forward to starting up in Bretagne.”

Tour de Suisse 2021 – 85th Edition – 8th stage Andermatt – Andermatt 159,5 km – 13/06/2021 – Passo del Gottardo – Michael Woods (NZL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

— Tsadok to israelcyclingacademy.com