Peron & Lozano roll hard on the climbs to finish with the leaders at Hellas Tour

A hot and hilly opening stage of the International Hellas Tour traversed the ancient Island of Crete from the capital Heraklion to the picturesque port of Chania where a technical finish awaited on the seafront.

Italian sprinter Andrea Peron and Spanish climber David Lozano produced a good showing for Team Novo Nordisk, forming part of an elite reduced group that formed over the climbs and tried in vain to chase down the remnants of the breakaway.

David Lozano:

“I felt a lot better today than in Turkey that’s for sure. It was hot, straight onto a climb and the pace was high from the start, but we did a good job today. The guys supported me and Andrea really well and to be honest everyone in our group thought the breakaway was already caught.”

“We hit 2,900m elevation in 179km and the group of four guys were really moving out front. Andrea and I were in the reduced favorites group and we collaborated well together. When we hit the descent to the finish, it was technical and we thought we would be fighting for the stage result, so to find out at the finish that one guy remained and he won…was a bit deflating. But we’re in good shape and we go again tomorrow.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“That was a good start from us today. The guys followed instructions and worked hard with both Andrea and David right up there with the favorites group.

“The race was split very early because we were straight onto the climbs and I was surprised that one guy from the break managed to stay out front, but that’s the race today and we showed good signs. So that’s what we will carry forward into tomorrow’s stage two.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com


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


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

Astana Qazaqstan Team announces leader’s program – Astana

Astana Qazaqstan Team announces leader’s program

At the first 2022 preseason training camp in Altea, Spain Astana Qazaqstan Team has determined the provisional racing program of the team leaders.

Thus, all Astana Qazaqstan Team leaders will begin their 2022 season in Europe, in Spain or Portugal.

Miguel Angel Lopez, Vincenzo Nibali and David De La Cruz will ride the Giro d’Italia, while Alexey Lutsenko together with Vincenzo Nibali, Miguel Angel Lopez and Gianni Moscon are planning to make part of the team roster at the Tour de France. David De La Cruz is going to lead the team at the Vuelta a España.

Alexey Lutsenko will start his season with Jaen Paraiso Interior and Vuelta a Andalucia. Through Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elit and Paris – Nice he will make his preparation towards the cobbled classics and the Ardennes classic, while the Tour de France will become his biggest goal of the season.

Vincenzo Nibali will wear the Astana Qazaqstan jersey again at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. Tirreno – Adriatico, Milano – Sanremo and Tour of the Alps will make his road towards the Giro d’Italia, while later he may take part in the Tour de France too.

Starting his season with Jaen Paraiso Interior and Vuelta a Andalucia Miguel Angel Lopez will be aiming the Giro d’Italia as the team leader. Also, he can take part in the Tour de France.

Gianni Moscon will lead the team at the Northern Classics. Thus, he will start the season at Volta ao Algarve and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elit and after Tirreno – Adriatico he will concentrate on the cobbles and the Ardennes classics. The Tour de France will be his Grand Tour of the season.

Davide De La Cruz will go into the new season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana followed by UAE Tour and Paris – Nice. At the Giro d’Italia he will support the team leader, while will take the leading role at the Vuelta a España.

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com