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

Pre-race rider comments ahead of the inaugural edition – Team BikeExchange

Two-days before the inaugural edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, where history will be made, as the women’s peloton take on 29.2km of brutal cobbles for the very first time, we caught up with our small but mighty team ahead of their course recon ride. Here’s what they had to say:

Jess Allen
“I am super excited, but also really nervous and a little bit scared to be racing the first every women’s Paris-Roubaix but I think that is to be expected. I am just really excited to see how it goes this weekend; nobody knows how it will play out.

We have done a few recons now, a long one last year and again now. We just have to race our race, try to always be in a good position and take it from there. It will certainly be a unique and memorable day for everyone.”

Teniel Campbell
“It is pretty special to be racing the first ever women’s Roubaix. I can’t wait to hit the cobbles and I know everyone in the peloton is excited about it. I am excited but also nervous because I know it is going to be very hectic but I am sure it will be a beautiful day and special race no matter what happens. 

I am definitely scared about the first sector as I know it is going to be a really big appointment, important to arrive there in good position and everybody will want to be at the front so it will be complete chaos. Also the weather, if it is wet and raining, that will be exciting, I like that.”

Janneke Ensing
“This recon is the first time that I have hit (ridden) these cobbles here. I am not sure how it will be. I am looking forward to it. I am lucky and happy that I can be here and race Paris-Roubaix before I retire. I wasn’t on the list to race Roubaix before, so I don’t know really what to expect, I haven’t don’t many recons of these cobble stones.

When you see the cobbles from my area in Drenthe, they are actually quite the same but here they are just longer. Here it is all about the name of course, I think it will be hard just because of the length and the number of sectors we have in a short distance.”

Sarah Roy
“To be able to race on Saturday is pretty cool. The first women’s Roubaix ever, it is just insane, I am stoked. I am nervous about the cobbles but also the fact that nobody has ever done this race before in the women’s peloton. You just don’t know what to expect, we can expect carnage, but we don’t know what the weather will be like either and that adds another element. 

It is a short run-in on a city circuit before heading to the first sector, only 20-30km before we arrive so it is almost like doing a criterium before running into that sector. My mind hasn’t got past that first sector, if we get there in good position then hopefully the race will unfold well from there.”

Georgia Williams
“I think the lead-in to the first cobble section will be full gas and so important, I expect it to split there and there be crashes and lots of things happening that make the race already then at that point.

I was expecting worse to be honest but after doing the recon today I feel a bit better about it. I think it will be very different on Saturday though with around 120 riders and also the weather can change things a lot.”

We wish the bets of luck to the entire women’s peloton taking to the start line on Saturday. A day that will be remember by many.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com


It was another successful Grand Tour for Team Bahrain Victorious at La Vuelta, as Jack Haig secured a podium place in the GC. Gino Mäder, who worked tremendously hard to help Jack also found himself in the top 5 in GC and wearing the white jersey Santiago de Compostela. The teamwork at the race was also rewarded by winning the Best Team Classification, adding to the tally after winning the same prize at Tour de France.

After the incredible stage 20, it was only a 34km Time Trial to the finish in Santiago de Compostela, separating the riders from solidifying their positions at the start of the day. With Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers) only a minute behind Haig, it was the biggest threat to the podium place for Haig.

Haig put on an impressive display over a challenging parkour with 600m of elevation, defending his lead and securing the third position, finishing 17th on the day, beating Yates. Gino Mader also secured the white jersey and fifth in GC.

Bahrain Victorious came into this race with the goal of a podium place, and in the end, the team finish the final Grand Tour of the season with the podium place in the GC, a stage win, the Best Young rider, and Best Team prize.

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 21th stage Padron – Santiago de Compostela 33,8 km – 05/09/2021 – Primoz Roglic (SLO – Jumbo – Visma) – Enric Mas (ESP – Movistar Team) – Jack Haig (AUS – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Jack Haig commented on his podium finish:” Its incredible, I was just speaking to my wife saying how you always dream of getting on a podium at a Grand Tour, but I really never knew it was possible or not. It’s amazing to move to Bahrain Victorious and then having the crash at Tour, and come here with no expectations, and be third on the podium. I have no words for it, and I want to thank everyone who got me here as it doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not just a years work and there are so many people I’d like to thank along the way that helped me.

I will keep approaching racing the way I do, as long as I’m happy with the right people around me and enjoy it. If you’ve got that, then the results come, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Vuelta Espana 2021 – 76th Edition – 21th stage Padron – Santiago de Compostela 33,8 km – 05/09/2021 – Gino Mader (SUI – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

Gino Mäder was delighted with winning the best young rider: “Wow, it’s unbelievable for me, and the whole thing just fell into my hands yesterday. I was already happy before with my provisional 8th in GC and being amongst the best climbers in this race.

Now I’m sitting here in the white jersey having helped Jack on the podium and I’m a little bit lost for words. In the end it’s a fifth place, and there are a lot of really strong riders. It’s unexpected and maybe a bit too good, and I take it and I hope it’s not my last time in the top 5 in the GC.

Gorazd Štangelj:” We did some really amazing things here. We came here for Mikel after his success at Burgos, but unfortunately had some difficulty. We reacted fast and reset the roles in the team and the guys all did the maximum from the first to the last stage. Let’s look back at how windy it was in the first week which didn’t really suite us, and we struggled a lot on those days but we were able to do a great job with minimum losses. When the mountain stages came we got a victory with Damiano and then we had a good period.

We had a good plan for the next two weeks. I’m really happy for Gino to get this confirmation of his ability and for his future, he can be a GC rider. I was really sorry after Jack’s crash in Tour de France, but he bounced back and did a great job to get on the podium in the GC, which is a beautiful moment for him and the team.”

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

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com


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