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Liv Racing closes road season with eleventh place in Ronde van Drenthe – Liv Racing

The 2021 road season is over for Liv Racing. The Ronde van Drenthe (159 kilometres) was the final race of the season on Saturday. The team was unable to keep up with the competition in the deep finale of the one day race, which featured cobbled sections and climbs of the VAMberg. Alison Jackson finished in eleventh place. Lorena Wiebes was the strongest of a front group of seven.

Sports director Eric van den Boom: “We wanted to keep calm in the first few hours of the race in order to save energy for the final. After all, the Ronde van Drenthe is a long, tough race. We did well and were in the race. Unfortunately, there was a crash on the last long cobbled section. Sofia Bertizzolo was involved. Everyone of us came back, we were able to form up for the final. I saw a strong team, I was confident of a good result. But on the last climb of VAMberg, when the decisive breakaway came, we couldn’t keep up with the competition. Fortunately, we can look back on a strong season.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Lotte Kopecky sprints to fourth place in GP du Morbihan Féminin – Liv Racing

After winning La Classique Morbihan (Sofia Bertizzolo) last Friday, Liv Racing was at the start of the 102 kilometre Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin on Saturday. Lotte Kopecky sprinted with a depleted peloton for the win. Our Belgian road champion didn’t come further than fourth place. Italian rider Chiara Consonni took the victory in Grand-Champ.

The race in Brittany (France) started early. Before nine o’clock the riders were already on their bikes, in 5 degrees Celsius and fog. A local, hilly circuit of 14.6 kilometres awaited the riders. This had to be done seven times in total.

“We had agreed to start the race calmly but sharply. The first laps we would not do anything ourselves, but we would anticipate if necessary. Unfortunately we missed out when a group of six riders from strong teams escaped. That forced us to chase,” says team manager Hugo Brenders.

After five laps, the leading group, which had a maximum lead of 1 minute and 45 seconds, was caught up by Liv Racing. In the remaining two laps, attacks rained down. “We wanted to keep Lotte Kopecky as fresh as possible for the sprint. But that was quite difficult. In the final sprint, our best was gone after all our efforts. A second successive victory was unfortunately not possible.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Roy crashes but fights on for 23rd place in a brutal inaugural edition of Paris Roubaix Femmes – Team BikeExchange

Australian champion Sarah Roy enjoyed the first ever edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes today, making it to the velodrome in Roubaix covered in mud from head to toe, despite crashing hard on one of the final cobble sectors, before sprinting to a very well fought 23rd place for Team BikeExchange.

The 116km race saw numerous crashes on the wet and muddy cobblestones, with Lizzie Deignan taking the field by surprise, dominating the race after launching an attack on the very first cobble. The British rider successfully held off the chasers and made it to the velodrome to cross the line as the first ever winner, with a gap of 1 minute 17 seconds over second place Marianne Vos.

Sarah Roy
“They say everyone who rides Roubaix has a story. I had really good legs out there and it was just down to luck. I was positioned well into the sector in the chasing group, maybe around sixth wheel, but then someone just crashed in front of me, and I just came down. It was so slippery, there was so much mud out there and you couldn’t react.

I finished on the back of the chase group there in the end but I could have just stopped right then after the crash and got in the car, my body was hurting but I really wanted to to keep going and finish. I am very happy to finish, it is special.

It is one of those races you just want to nail, so I would like to come back next year and now we all know it better.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director 
“It was as expected, it was carnage. The luck was not on our side today, the legs were good for the riders but we had bad luck with crashes and problems, but with the weather we had today it was to be expected. ”

2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes Results:
1. Lizzie Deignan 2:56:07
2. Marianne Vos +1:17
3. Elisa Longo-Borghini +1:47
23. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) +6:20

Photo courtesy of Getty Images 

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Second place for Itamar Einhorn on stage 2 of Cro Race

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Israeli sprinter, Itamar Einhorn, took second place in the bunch sprint of stage 2 of Cro Race after impeccable teamwork on the final kilometers.

Knowing that today’s stage would be another good chance for the fast men to test their legs, the ISN guys were eager to set up Einhorn for the final sprint. The team worked perfectly to put him in the best possible position and on the final meters, Einhorn came close to taking the win as he crossed the line in second place after Olav Kooij (Team Jumbo-Visma).

With today’s result, Einhorn is now third in general classification before tomorrow’s undulating stage 3.

Itamar Einhorn: “The team did a great job at the beginning of the stage to keep the early breakaway in check. On the hard climb, I suffered a lot and I lost contact with the group with around 300 meters to the top. However, I knew that this was a good chance for me and we chased hard to get back. In the final, the guys did an amazing good job to keep me at the front. I was in a good position and I started my sprint with 200 meters to go and I came very close. To be honest, I didn’t really feel I had a great day today so second place was probably the best I could get.”

In fact, Einhorn’s second place marks a special day for the team as Omer Goldstein also made Top 10 today on stage 2 of Giro di Sicilia, showing the massive progress the Israeli riders have made in recent years.

ISN general manager, Kjell Carlström: “It’s great to see the progress our Israeli riders have made over the last couple of years. To have both Omer and Itamar in the mix, fighting for the top positions in two different European races, really shows how far Israeli cycling has come. This is only the beginning.”

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

Peron avoids crash in the finale and brings home 12th place on Tour of Slovakia stage 2

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“After yesterday disappointment, my motivation was high and I really wanted to do well.”

The legs felt good and I was able to keep the pace and stay in the bunch until the very end. There was a crash in the last curve but thankfully I managed to avoid it and didn’t affect my sprint.” 

A top 10 would have been amazing, but I gave my best.That was a strong group and the 12th place is a good result. I am mostly happy I felt better than the previous days and now I want to stay focused and keep this pace in the two final stages.”

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“It was a hard stage for our guys today. Longer than yesterday, with three categorised climbs and another finale for sprinters. Rain and cold didn’t make it any easier!

Our goal was to protect Andrea and have him ready for the final sprint. He did really well, took some risks and brought home a result that means a lot to us. Bravo Andrea! And now focus is on tomorrow stage.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Devo team storms to second place in Tour of South Bohemia TTT

Date: 09 September 2021 

Race: Tour of South Bohemia(2.2)

Start/Finish: Jindřichův Hradec

Distance: 1,1km

Weather: warm and sunny +25

Course: mostly flat, cobblestone road, technical corners  

Riders: 118

Class: UCI 2,2

Sergey Lagutin 

All the hard work we did in the last 4 month (motorpacing, rotating and paceline training) finally paid off.

We checked the profile the day before the race and also today we got to the start a few hours before the start. All the riders was very motivated for this TTT prologue, they were riding the corners several times (checking all the corners, cobbles, and all different positions). 

We decided that Jan will start first and he will go all out until the first corner, then Vaclav rides all flat, slightly downhill parts and then Filippo all the way until the finish.

They all did a very good job today and everything went perfect. 

We got second place which I hope will make them very motivated and confident for the next stages.

Jan Dunnewind

I felt a bit of pressure before the start because I was doing the first part of the really short TTT. It was really technical so I had to make sure everyone could follow but still go as hard as possible. After this the other guys finished it off on the second part of the course.

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Giacomo Nizzolo sprints to 2nd place at Tour of Britain stage 5

Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) won stage 5 of the Tour of Britain, taking the win just ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka NextHash) with Dan Mclay (Arkea Samsic) in 3rd place.

Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain was a 150km route from Alderely Park to Warrington. After a few initial undulations, the final 80km of the stage was mostly flat which made it a great opportunity for the sprinters.

Team Qhubeka NextHash looked to make the most of this opportunity with the European Champion, Nizzolo one of the favourites for the stage. Five riders formed the early break of the day, but as expected, they were not given much of an advantage.

Nicholas Dlamini, together with a rider from Deceuninck-Quickstep and Israel Start-Up Nation controlled the gap throughout the day. It was then Qhubeka NextHash that took responsibility, adding Mauro Schmid and Sean Bennett to the chase with 25km to go to shut down the break.

The finale was made trickier due to a brief but late downpour which, making the roads quite slippery. Just inside of a kilometer to go, there was a crash right up near the front of the peloton. This created a slight split in the peloton which Nizzolo was caught behind.

Fortunately for Nizzolo, Barbero was there in support to close the gap, but it was still a significant effort required just before kicking to the line. Almost as soon as Nizzolo got dropped off he had to launch his sprint from far to try and pass those that escaped the crash ahead of him before the line arrived.

Nizzolo had the superior speed over the final meters and was able to pass everyone that but Hayter, who just held on to take the stage victory.

Unfortunately, the crash in the last corner was not necessary. We had to come from far with Carlos, he did a great job to close the gap but it did not come for free. When I arrived it was the moment to start the sprint and my legs were already full of lactic acid. I can say I am happy I didn’t crash but at the same time not super happy because I think I had a better chance to play my card. Overall, I am happy, the team did a super job to control the race with Deceuninck and now I look forward to the next goals.

Giacomo Nizzolo

— Damian to teamqhubeka.com

Alexis Renard takes second place on the last day of Tour de Pologne

Israel Start-Up Nation finished off Tour de Pologne with an impressive performance by Alexis Renard who took second place on the stage after the early breakaway managed to hold off the sprinters in a nail-biting finish.

After several strong performances throughout the race, Renard showed off the ISN team colors once again on the final day of racing. The young Frenchman infiltrated a small but strong breakaway early in the stage, which ultimately proved too strong for the peloton to bring back.

On the final kilometer, the sprinters could see the quartet right in front of them but they didn’t manage to catch them before the line. Renard took the wheel of Julius van den Berg (EF Education – Nippo) but despite a strong effort on the final meters, he had to settle for second place.

This is the third podium spot for Renard in the recent month of racing, once more proving to be in incredibly good shape at the moment.

Alexis Renard: “This morning, we talked about the possibilities of a breakaway staying away and Matthias [Brändle] told me that with the tail wind all day, the break could make it all the way. It was a really strong group that got away and we went full gas until the end. During the last lap, I was thinking about how I could take the win. I saw that Van den Berg was the strongest in the group so with 300 meters to go, I pretended to start my sprint. Van den Berg saw that he started his own sprint. I tried to pass him on the final meters but he was too strong. However, I don’t have any regrets.”

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

Hugo Hofstetter sprints to third place in Tour de Pologne

Israel Start-Up Nation got off to a good start in Tour de Pologne as Hugo Hofstetter took third place in the opening stage of the Polish WT race.

With a predominantly flat profile, Monday’s stage was always expected to end in a bunch sprint. However, as the last 500 meters were uphill towards the line, the sprinters had to time their effort perfectly in order to fight for the win.

ISN took the front of the peloton on the final five kilometers, keeping Hofstetter in a good position for the sprint and the fast Frenchman didn’t disappoint.

On the last couple of hundred meters, Hofstetter did well to stay with the pre-race favorites, ultimately crossing the line in third place on the day. With the result, Hofstetter is fourth overall before tomorrow’s stage, which finishes with a 1.5 km incline towards the line.

Hugo Hofstetter: “After the first passage of the finishing line, Norman [Vathra] came to the front and did a really good job. Matthias [Brändle] then did his turn until about 2.5 km to go, keeping me at the front. I managed to save a lot energy for the final thanks to the guys today. In the sprint, I did my best on the very hard finish. Bauhaus [the winner] was really strong and even though I was in his wheel, I still finished behind him so I think the best man won today. I’m still very happy with my performance though and I really want to thank the team for their support!”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

Barbier sprints to fourth place after impressive leadout

Israel Start-Up Nation set up Rudy Barbier perfectly for the final sprint on stage 2 of Arctic Race of Norway with an impeccable leadout.

Knowing that Friday’s stage would be a good opportunity for the sprinters to shine, the ISN guys were the determined to get in the mix. The team helped set the pace in the peloton, bringing back the early breakaway for the expected bunch sprint in Kilpisjärvi (Finland).

At the end, Tom Van Asbroeck and Rick Zabel pulled off an incredible leadout for Rudy Barbier who sprinted to fourth place on the day. The Frenchman was aiming for more but unfortunately, he suffered a hard crash earlier on the stage, which held him back in the sprint.

Tomorrow, the queen stage of Arctic Race of Norway awaits with the uphill finish in Målselv. ISN will be banking on Ben Hermans to fight for a good result.

Sports director, Nicki Sørensen: “It makes me happy to see such a strong team performance as we saw today. Unfortunately, Rudy [Barbier] crashed hard halfway through the stage and landed up in a ditch. Taking that into consideration, I think this was a good result. The leadout was impeccable. Once again, Rick [Zabel] and Tom [Van Asbroeck] show how incredibly good they are at this. Also Guy Sagiv was very impressive today. He pulled a lot yesterday and today he was up there again. He’s really strong at the moment. We didn’t get the win today but I’m still very satisfied with the guys.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com