Podium for Woods on stage 8 of the Tour de France

Israel Start-Up Nation got its first-ever podium place on a Tour de France stage as Michael Woods finished third on stage 8.

Already at the beginning of the day, Woods had declared that he was eager to seek his chances on this first big day in the mountains. When a big group of riders finally managed to distance the peloton, Woods was quick to join the move and bridge across to the front riders.

Staying attentive at all times, Woods never let any dangerous riders get away and on the steep Col de Romme, the penultimate climb of the day, the strong Canadian decided to go solo and leave everybody else behind.

At the top, Woods had about one minute on the first chase group. However, on the slopes of the final climb, Col de la Colombière, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) managed to come back to the front. Woods hung on for as long as possible but in the last few hundred meters, he had to let go. Teuns went on to win the stage, while Woods finished his courageous day on the bike with an impressive third place in Le Grand-Bornand.

Michael Woods: I knew I was on a good day when we went up the first KOM climb already, and I got a confirmation of that when I was able to bridge across to the front group on the next climb. I’m proud of myself for that one. In the past, I would have given up on that one, but I knew that if I just kept pushing, I would get across and be able to recover.

“After that, I started focusing on both the stage win and the KOM jersey. It was good to have Rik [Verbrugghe, sports director] in my ear, giving me some pointers; to play it conservatively on the first cat 1 and then go after it on the next one. I saw Yates attack on the second cat 1 and I knew that if I countered, I would get a lot of freedom and be able to just ride my own pace.

“On the last climb, I knew that I just had to keep my own tempo not to blow up, so that’s what I did. Teuns came back so fast and I really suffered, trying to hang on. I can’t be disappointed though. I did the best race I possibly could. I covered as many moves as possible early on and I was aggressive. I raced to win and sometimes when you race to win, you’re going to lose, but at least I tried.”

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

Molenaar roza el pódium y se viste con el maillot de mejor joven en Alentejo – BURGOS BH

En una segunda etapa que volvió a resolverse al esprint, tanto Molenaar como Peñalver se metieron en el top-5 y en el caso del holandés, vestirá el maillot del mejor joven de la carrera.

Buena cosecha la que está consiguiendo el conjunto Burgos BH en la Volta ao Alentejo, donde no se baja de las primeras posiciones y hoy volvió a rozar el pódium por partida doble. La etapa dejó marchar una escapada que nunca llegó a tener opciones reales del triunfo. Por detrás, bien colocados para evitar el viento, los ciclistas guardaron fuerzas de cara a la previsible llegada al esprint. Sin llegar a romperse el grupo, la presencia de este factor meteorológico puso en alerta a los corredores que tienen la vista no solo en la disputa de triunfos de etapas, sino en la general.

En efecto, el pelotón llegó compacto a Sines, y allí Alex Molenaar consiguió la cuarta plaza, que le permitió subir al pódium como primer joven de la carrera, mientras que Manuel Peñalver fue quinto y también muestra su progreso de cara a pelear por una victoria que cada vez parece estar más cerca. Al igual que en la primera jornada, el equipo se quedó a un solo escalón del triunfo por escuadras, mostrando la solidez de un bloque rodador que aún dispone de varias oportunidades.

— comunicacion to www.burgosproteam.com

Yevgeniy Fedorov takes Kazakhstan Road Race title, Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov complete the podium – Astana

Yevgeniy Fedorov takes Kazakhstan Road Race title, Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov complete the podium

Astana – Premier Tech dominated the 2021 edition of the Kazakhstan National Championships, taking all three places on the podium in the road race. Yevgeniy Fedorov became the new Kazakh road race champion, while Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov completed the race podium with second and third positions, respectively.

“Well, in the time trial I was really close to a win and I missed just a few seconds. So, coming out to the start of this race I was motivated to fight for a win. I spent a good day on the road, and I liked the route with just one climb over the distance and big and flat roads all the way to the finish. I made my attack with some three laps to go but I never got a big gap so, in the final, the group caught me. However, I still had some energy and in the sprint I just gave what I had in the legs and it was enough for a victory. I am really happy with my win and wearing the Kazakhstan national jersey makes me so proud. Now I will have a short break and then I will go to a training camp together with my team to get ready for the second half of the season”, – said Yevgeniy Fedorov.

Once the early break had been caught back with six laps to go, a new leading group with five Astana – Premier Tech riders went away, opening a one-minute gap to the peloton. With three laps to go, it was Yevgeniy Fedorov who launched a solo attack, gaining a ten-second advantage.

Fedorov pushed hard in front of the race but could not get more than 15 seconds to the group of chasers. At the finish, he was finally caught back by the group but was able to do a great sprint, winning the race and becoming the new national champion ahead of Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov.

Kazakhstan National Championships, road race, 160 km. Petropavlovsk.

Top-3: 1. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana – Premier Tech); 2. Yevgeniy Gidich (Astana – Premier Tech); 3. Artyom Zakharov (Astana – Premier Tech).

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

Kudus and Pronskiy round out Adriatica Ionica Podium – Astana

Kudus and Pronskiy round out Adriatica Ionica Podium

Merhawi Kudus and Vadim Pronskiy defended their General Classification podium positions on the final day of racing at Adriatica Ionica Race, finishing in second and third place respectively.

The three-day race wrapped up with a tough stage featuring 15 kilometres of gravel roads but ultimately came down to a bunch sprint with Elia Viviani taking the win and Kudus and Pronskiy finishing safely in the bunch, while Davide Martinelli sprinted to an impressive third place.

The General Classification of the race was decided on the Cimma Grappa climb on stage 2 where Lorenzo Fortunato just edged Kudus and Pronskiy out of the stage win and race lead.

Pronskiy came into the race in solid form after making his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia and came away as the winner of the best young rider classification.

“Well, I think it was a good stage for me and thanks to my teammates I passed it without problem. At the Giro I got some valuable experience on the gravel roads and today I used this experience to ride the stage intelligently. I always tried to stay in front and to keep the race under control and I succeeded. in the end, it was not possible to change something in the General Classification, however I am quite happy with my first podium as a professional rider and with the white jersey of the best young rider. Honestly, before the race I was really motivated to fight for a victory on this race and yesterday I did my best to win. I missed just 200 metres to reach my goal. I am sure that it is just the beginning for me and next time I will get it. So, it was a good race and a good result and now I will keep on training to get ready for the Olympic Games,” said Pronskiy.

Kudus takes confidence from his result ahead of the Eritrean national championships next week.

“Today’s race was quite hard with the gravel as we had six sections but we had a strong team to protect Vadim Pronskiy and myself, with Nikita and Davide. For me it was a good experience as it was the second time racing on gravel but fortunately there were no problems and we made it safely through. We were in the front with the team the whole time and protected second and third on GC. I’m happy with my form and I’m looking forward to the national championships in Eritrea next week,” added Kudus.

Race Profile

Adriatica Ionica Race

Stage 3: Ferrara > Comacchio (149.5km)

Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (Italy), 2. Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabù), 3. Davide Martinelli (Astana – Premier Tech)

Top 3 on GC: 1. Lorenzo Fortunato (EOLO-Kometa), 2. Merhawi Kudus (Astana – Premier Tech), 3. Vadim Pronskiy (Astana – Premier Tech)

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com

Jakob Fuglsang returns to the Tour de Suisse podium in third overall – Astana

Jakob Fuglsang returns to the Tour de Suisse podium in third overall

Jakob Fuglsang fought until the finish line on the eighth and final stage of the Tour de Suisse, where he crossed the line in ninth place to move back onto the General Classification podium.

‘After yesterday’s not so good day, I was fully motivated to try something today to make it onto the podium or end this week with a stage win. On the last ascent, I heard that Schachmann had a gap and therefore I knew I need to go all in and just gave all I had in the final last kilometres. The week was a mixed one, the mountain stages went quite good with almost a stage win, but the time trial days were, let’s say, not my best ones. I am happy with my podium spot and it shows me that I am on the right path towards my next big objective, which is the Olympic Games. Now I am heading home for the Nationals Championship and then the Tour de France so there are some important races coming up and I think I am heading in a good direction,” said Jakob Fuglsang.

The last day of the Tour de Suisse was this year’s queen stage with riders facing more than 160 brutal kilometres with two category one climbs and the iconic HC climb, the Gotthardpass.

Right from the start, Astana – Premier Tech was active at the front of the race with Basque rider Omar Fraile, who showed incredible form throughout the race, representing the Kazakh-Canadian team for many kilometres in the breakaway.

Approaching the final climb of the day, the breakaway fell apart and Fraile went back to help his teammates in positioning Fuglsang for the decisive part of the stage.

The Danish rider was motivated and dug deep to drop a few of his opponents on the final climb while on the descent, he was able to open a gap to his rivals, who were ahead of him in the General Classification at the start of the day. Fuglsang pushed hard on the run into the finish trying to bridge to the leading duo and eventually crossed the line in the reduced GC group with enough of an advantage to see him round out the podium, one minute 15 seconds behind winner Richard Carapaz.

“We played our last card today to get Jakob on the podium and I’m happy we were able to do it. Jakob worked hard in the lead up to the race, he arrived here in good condition and he demonstrated a good level in the mountains. He came close to a stage win and unfortunately, just missed out with second place on stage five. He did a great race and everything he has done this week will help him to arrive at the Tour de France in top condition. The team worked really well for Jakob and I’m happy with how we raced this week,” added Bruno Cenghialta, Astana – Premier Tech Sports Director.

Tour de Suisse

Stage 8: Andermatt > Andermatt (159.5km)

Top 3: 1. Gino Mäder (Bahrain – Victorious), 2. Michael Wood (Israel Start-Up Nation), 3. Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick Step)

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 9. Jakob Fuglsang, 23. Hugo Houle, 31. Stefan De Bod

Top 3 on GC: 1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers), 2. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education – Nippo), 3. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana – Premier Tech)

Photo: Getty Images

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com

Alexey Lutsenko impresses with maiden Criterium du Dauphine podium – Astana

Alexey Lutsenko impresses with maiden Criterium du Dauphine podium

Alexey Lutsenko battled to successfully defend his podium place at the Criterium du Dauphine on a brutal day in the mountains, finishing second overall to secure his first WorldTour podium this year.

The Kazakh champion and stage four time trial winner finished 17 seconds behind winner Richie Porte while Ion Izagirre, after a brilliant display of teamwork, finished in seventh place, 38 seconds behind.

“I am really happy to be on the podium. To finish second overall and win a stage is a really good result for me so I can be happy. As I said yesterday, there are a lot of big champions here at the race so to be on the podium with two of them; Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas is something special. The team did great work all week and I really have to thank them, especially Ion in the last two days as he helped me a lot to stay on the podium. Today was a really hard stage and it was a big fight until the end so I am really happy that I could stay up there and finish it off today. Now I will rest and recover and then it’s all in for the Tour de France,” said Lutsenko.

Mark Padun took a second consecutive stage win while behind, the General Classification battle played out on the sixth and final climb and descent, where Izagirre and Lutsenko showed their descending skills to gap Porte. After coming back together at the bottom of the descent, the Astana – Premier Tech duo didn’t give up and attacked multiple times on the uncategorized climb to the finish line in Les Gets.

In the end, the group finished together and Lutsenko and Izagirre maintained their GC positions after the mountainous stage, which featured almost 4000 meters of elevation.

Izagirre takes confidence from his performance as he fine tunes his preparation for the Tour de France.

“In the end I think we can be happy with the work done by all of us, really. There are a lot of positives to take away from the race. We won a stage with Lutsenko, we finished other stages with second place and third place with me and Alex. The team worked well and in the end we finished it off with the podium with Lutsenko. So we can leave this race happy and look forward to the Tour,” said Izagirre.

Team Performance Manager echoed Izagirre’s sentiments, praising the team’s work throughout the race which included Aranburu sprinting to four top ten results.

“The team raced really well all week and they can be proud of their performance. We showed we were some of the strongest in the race so we can be happy finishing with a stage win, and first and second on the time trial, and then second overall with Alexey. It was not an easy race, especially these last days. We fought as hard as we could until the end and the team did their maximum. Ion Izagirre showed he is in great form and did amazing work for Alexey, ” added Fofonov.

Race Profile
Criterium du Dauphine
Stage 8: La Léchère-Les-Bains > Les Gets (147km)
Top 3: 1. Mark Padun (Bahrain – Victorious), 2. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma), 3. Patrick Konrad (BORA – hansgrohe)
Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 7. Alexey Lutsenko, 13. Ion Izagirre, 34. Oscar Rodriguez
Top 3 on GC: 1. Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers), 2. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana – Premier Tech), 3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers)
Astana – Premier Tech top 3 on GC: 2. Alexey Lutsenko, 7. Ion Izagirre, 50. Oscar Rodriguez

Photo: Getty Images

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com

Lutsenko battles to stay on the podium at Criterium du Dauphine – Astana

Lutsenko battles to stay on the podium at Criterium du Dauphine

A gutsy ride from Alexey Lutsenko on Criterium du Dauphine stage seven saw the race leader fight hard to keep his yellow jersey, crossing the line in tenth place to move into second on the General Classification.

After a brilliant display of teamwork on the summit finish to La Plagne, Ion Izagirre sits in seventh overall with the race still wide open with one stage remaining.

“Today was a really hard mountain stage. The team did amazing work today and especially Ion did great work for me in the last 10 kilometres. When I look around and see all of the big GC riders who are here, big champions like Thomas and Porte, I know how hard it is. I gave everything I could today and in the end, just missed 20 or so seconds. Tomorrow is the last stage and I will give my maximum for the GC. To finish on the podium would be a great result for me and for the team so I will do everything I can. But I am happy with the way I have raced here so far. My legs are good and it’s a good sign ahead of the Tour de France,” said Lutsenko.

With four climbs on the menu, it was a battle to make the breakaway with attack after attack pulled back as the peloton set a blistering pace until a group finally managed to get away after 70 kilometres of racing.

Lutsenko and Izagirre’s teammates took responsibility for the chase with the blue train lined out at the front of the bunch on the early climbs. The breakaway started to fracture in the last 50 kilometres and at the base of the 17-kilometre final climb, the General Classification group was less than two minutes behind.

The key attacks came from the GC group inside the final eight kilometres when four riders made a move on the steep ascent. Lutsenko responded to various counter attacks and Izagirre dug deep to pace the chase group behind and limit time loss as much as possible.

In the end, it was Mark Padun who claimed the stage while Richie Porte’s attack saw the Australian move into the race lead. Lutsenko battled to the line, finishing 26 seconds after Porte, to move into second overall with 17 seconds separating the two ahead of the eighth and final stage.

After working hard on the climb, Izagirre was able to fight back to finish just 13 seconds behind Lutsenko which sees him trail Porte by 38 seconds overall.

Stage 8 sees the peloton tackle six categorized climbs before an uphill finish in Les Gets to crown the winner of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Race Profile

Criterium du Dauphine

Stage 7: Saint-Martin-Le-Vinoux > La Plagne (171.1km)

Top 3: 1. Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), 2. Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers), 3. MigUel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team)

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 10. Alexey Lutsenko, 16. Ion Izagirre, 66. Oscar Rodriguez

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com

Astana – Premier Tech targets Tour de Suisse podium – Astana

Astana – Premier Tech targets Tour de Suisse podium

Astana – Premier Tech is heading to Switzerland aiming for a podium spot with leader Jakob Fuglsang when the eight-stage race gets underway on Sunday.

The Danish rider will return to the race for the first time since 2018, when he finished second overall.

“After my result in 2018, it is nice to return to the Tour de Suisse, a race I have good memories from. I finished second overall in 2018 and it would be great to repeat it with another podium spot and maybe a stage win”, – says Jakob Fuglsang.

After altitude training camp in Tenerife for the final preparation ahead of the Tour de France, the 2020 Il Lombardia winner feels ready to start the second part of the season.

“I have been in Teide and had a good altitude camp with our Tour de France line up and I’m feeling good after some weeks of intense training sessions. The eight-stage race will kick off my second part of the season and I hope to put in a good performance. We will see how my legs are coming from a race break and altitude camp”, – adds Fuglsang.

Sports Director Bruno Cenghialta returns to racing after guiding the Giro d’Italia squad to a fourth place overall and is confident in the Kazakh-Canadian team at the Tour de Suisse.

“We are coming to Switzerland with a strong line-up. Jakob Fuglsang, Hugo Houle, Omar Fraile, Stefan De Bod and Manuele Boaro are coming straight from our altitude camp in Teide, where they had an intense but good training period. We only have good memories of the Tour de Suisse, Jakob finished second overall in 2018 and with Lopez we were able to win this race in 2016”, – says Bruno Cenghialta.

As every year, the eight-day WorldTour race is also the final test for the upcoming biggest Grand Tour on the race calendar, the Tour de France.

“We are aiming for another podium spot this year, which won´t be easy as, like every year, the best of the best are lining up at this race as it is the final test ahead of the Tour de France”, – adds Cenghialta.

The 84th edition will again be a battle between the best climbers, tackling climbs and passes like the Gotthardpasses, Oberricken or Oberalppass on their way from Frauenfeld to Andermatt with two individual time trials on stages 1 and 7.

Tour de Suisse, 6 – 13 June.

Rider roster: Manuele Boaro (ITA), Stefan De Bod (RSA), Omar Fraile (ESP), Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Yevgeniy Gidich (KAZ), Hugo Houle (CAN), Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (DEN).

Sports Directors: Bruno Cenghialta (ITA), Sergey Yakovlev (KAZ).

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com