Israel Start-Up Nation brings strong, balanced team to Tour de Hongrie

  • Itamar Einhorn starts his 2021-season: ‘Finally’
  • Ben Moshe joins WorldTour-team for first time: ‘Worked for this for long time’.
  • Pridham from Rwanda to Hungary: ‘Great adventure’

Israel Start-Up Nation returns to the Tour de Hongrie. The race that Israel Cycling Academy won in 2019 with Krists Neilands, features the return of Israeli sprinter Itamar Einhorn and the WorldTour-team debut of Yuval Ben Moshe.

Back from knee injury

Einhorn suffered a knee injury at the beginning of the season, so the sprinter took time for his recovery, did some races on the track, and is returning to begin his road competition for the 2021-season in Hungary.

Recovering from the knee injury took Einhorn longer than expected, he says. “However, now I feel like I am ready to race on the road again. This race will be special and I can imagine that I have to get used to the peloton feeling once again.”

“From my experiences on the track over the last few weeks, I do know that I am on the right way,” Einhorn continues. “We are going to Hungary with a number of fast guys, and I am looking forward to racing with them. I see the Tour de Hongrie as a build-up to bigger races yet to come.”

Ben Moshe introduced to WorldTour-team

The Tour de Hongrie also means Yuval Ben Moshe’s WorldTour debut. The Israeli sprinter is excited to get a chance to show himself.

“I am really looking forward to the Tour de Hongrie,” Ben Moshe says. “With the continental riders who are living in Girona, I have been training a lot. We motivate each other, especially when we share each other’s stories about racing.”

Ben Moshe: “Getting the chance to race in the WorldTour-colors is something I have been looking forward to, and worked for, for a long time.”

“For us, as continental team-riders, it is an amazing thing that we can sometimes race with the WorldTour-team,” Ben Moshe says. “We gain experience and I am sure that I will learn a lot during the week in Hungary.”

Mixture of riders

Sports director Dirk Demol says Israel Start-Up Nation has a balanced team. “We bring powerhouses, youngsters, experienced riders, sprinters, and a good climber. There is a large variety in the stages and we will play our cards accordingly.”

Demol will be accompanied by Cherie Pridham. The first female sports director in the WorldTour has a busy racing schedule and traveled straight from the Tour du Rwanda to the Tour de Hongrie.

“Rwanda was a great adventure,” she says, “especially having the community #RacingForChange projects. I am sure the Tour de Hongrie will be a nice race too.”

Israel Start-Up Nation’s line up for Tour de Hongrie:

  • Ben Hermans
  • Rudy Barbier
  • Itamar Einhorn
  • Taj Jones
  • Tom Van Asbroeck
  • Yuval Ben Moshe

Sports directors: Dirk Demol and Cherie Pridham
Tour de Hongrie: 12-16 May

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Clásicas de Navarra 2021 | Movistar Team

Por tercer año consecutivo, Movistar Team tendrá la oportunidad de correr en su tierra, Navarra, también con su plantel femenino. Dos duros recorridos presentan unas Navarra Womens Classics en las que Annemiek van Vleuten, que copó ambas pruebas en 2020, engalanará un bonito cartel de participantes.

Las escaladoras serán las favoritas en la primera fracción (jueves 13), sobre 128 km entre Zudaire y Lekunberri, pasando hasta ocho subidas, todas ellas muy conocidas en la zona: Eraul (3ª), Lezaun (3ª), Arradia (3ª), San Cristóbal (3ª), Guembe (2ª), Goñi (3ª), Zuarrarrate (2ª) y Mugiro (3ª).

El viernes 14 traerá un recorrido más abierto, con 125 km alrededor de Pamplona, influencia del viento, cotas breves y duras -como Tirapu o el muro adoquinado de Artajona- y, sobre todo, El Perdón, juez a una veintena de kilómetros de la llegada.

** Se trata de dos pruebas UCI 1.1, con participación diferente entre sí. En nuestra alineación de esta Guía se incluyen todas las corredoras que viajan a Navarra, aunque los nombres variarán entre un día y otro.

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Team BikeExchange women on a high as they return as defending champions for a duo of one-day races in Navarra – Team BikeExchange

After consistent performances, including a stage victory at the recent stage race Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, Team BikeExchange continue their upward trajectory in northern Spain as they line-up for two one-day races, Emakumen Nafarroako Klasikoa and Clásica Féminas de Navarra.

The action kicks off on Thursday with a hilly 128.3km Emakumen Nafarroako Klasikoa, which features eight climbs along the route, all second and third category classified, with Janneke EnsingAne Santesteban and Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage winner Urška Žigart strong options. 

The second day of racing at Clásica Féminas de Navarra is slightly flatter, but still boasts plenty of climbs and with this, the team recruit Brugge De-Panne winner Grace Brown to give some extra firepower over the relentless terrain.

Should the race come down to a sprint, the squad also brings options with recent second place stage finisher in Valencia, Arianna Fidanza, plus Australian champion Sarah Roy, who won the event back in 2019. 

Team BikeExchange return as the defending champions to both races, thanks to Roy’s win in Clasica Navarra but also following on from Annemiek van Vleuten’s victories in the two events in 2020. 

Team BikeExchange at Emakumen Nafarroako Klasikoa 13th:
Teniel Campbell (TTO) 
Janneke Ensing (NED) 
Sarah Roy (AUS) 
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Moniek Tenniglo (NED) 
Urška Žigart (SLO)

Team BikeExchange at Clásica Féminas de Navarra 14th:
Jess Allen (AUS)
Grace Brown (AUS)
Teniel Campbell (TTO) 
Arianna Fidanza (ITA)
Sarah Roy (AUS) 
Moniek Tenniglo (NED) 

Ane Santesteban
“After Valencia stage race and with Urska’s victory everybody is so happy. Every day we raced really well, we raced aggressively, and we were present in every single breakaway. So, this really motivates us for the next races in Spain which are one of my goals of the season. 

I crashed on the third stage and I have some stitches in my leg, but I still have some days to recover before we race again later this week.

Sarah Roy already won Clasica de Navarra in 2019 so she knows how to do it and I think we have a really good team also with Arianna Fidanza and Teniel Campbell also.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“For these two races in Navarra we go in with a strong and very motivated team after our recent success. 

They are both races where we can take opportunities and we will try to follow the same dynamic as we had in Valencia which worked really well.”

2021 Race Details:
Thursday, 13th May: Emakumen Nafarroako Klasikoa, 128.3km
Friday, 14th May: Clásica Féminas de Navarra, 125.8km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Sport

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Team Qhubeka ASSOS and CORE advance to the Next Level in Sports Performance

Team Qhubeka ASSOS works with the Swiss CORE Body Temperature Monitoring technology to take training and racing performance to the next level. 

As a team who has remained on the cutting-edge of technology, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with CORE Body Temperature Monitoring which will gives our athletes and coaches advanced performance insights. While heart rate monitors and power meters are commonplace, core body temperature is vital but has previously been difficult to capture.

Our riders will use the CORE technology which incorporates an advanced sensor to capture accurate core body temperature data which can be used by the riders and our team’s performance coaches optimise training and enable to riders to compete at their best.

Team Principal, Douglas Ryder of Qhubeka ASSOS says, Energy management is crucial in sport, particularly in endurance sport, and understanding its components like accurate core body temperature and dehydration intensity through wearable intelligent devices like CORE will give us a competitive advantage, and help us improve performance.”

Team Qhubeka ASSOS Performance Coach Elliot Lipski says, Integrating CORE into our performance-led, technological and physiologically focussed coaching practices, will aid us in heat training, heat adaptation, as well as health and wellbeing management of our athletes. 

The CORE technology is made by the Zurich-based greenTEG AG who also supply the medical sector and photonics industry with the thermal energy transfer sensors that are used in CORE.

greenTEG AG CEO, Wulf Glatz says, “We were attracted to Team Qhubeka ASSOS because of their sporting achievements and because we identify with the team philosophy. Douglas Ryder and his team have a history of embracing advanced technology on their quest for peak performance and the CORE Body Temperature Monitoring technology fits seamlessly. The new data will assist the riders, coaches and team in closing the gaps. We look forward to working with the team as well as with the team partners ASSOS and VORN on their integrated wearable intelligence for the riders.”

The CORE Body Temperature Monitoring device is a compact unit that clips onto the heart rate monitor strap, it measures live core body temperature metrics and records data directly onto the cycle computer. CORE is built with an advanced, Swiss-made, thermal energy transfer sensor which delivers accurate measurements (0.21ºC). It is the only wearable solution that allows athletes to capture highly accurate core body temperature data without the need for an ingested or inserted thermometer.

About CORE

CORE is made by greenTEG AG in Zurich, a company founded in 2009. greenTEG develops and manufactures thermal sensors for the photonics and medical industry. The CORE Body Temperature monitoring device was developed as an affordable, wearable and convenient solution to accurately measure core body temperature in a non-invasive manner. Released in 2020, CORE has been adopted by prominent athletes, teams and national sporting bodies.

— Jean Smyth to teamqhubeka.com

Van Vleuten y Movistar Team coronan una Setmana Valenciana de ensueño

Segunda vuelta por etapas en siete días

La campeona de Europa de Movistar Team, llevada en volandas por un cuadro ‘telefónico’ excelso, gana con autoridad su primera ronda en tierras españolas con las ‘azules’ tras su éxito en Gandía.

Inquebrantables. Nada ni nada pudo con las Movistar Team en la 5ª edición de la Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (UCI 2.1), disputada durante los últimos cuatro días en las tres provincias levantinas y que tuvo como absolutas protagonistas a las telefónicas, encabezadas por una Annemiek van Vleuten quien, pese a su caída el primer día camino del triunfo en Gandía, comenzó de un modo inmejorable su gira de carreras por España.

Paula Patiño y Alicia González, de nuevo estelares. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

Los 114 km de la última fracción, entre Finestrat y Alicante, fueron controlados a la perfección por un cuadro azul preocupado, fundamentalmente, en proteger la importante ventaja que Van Vleuten conservaba sobre García (ALE, 2ª). Paula Patiño, Alicia González y una estupenda Katrine Aalerud -3ª en la general, su primer podio en una ronda por etapas- se multiplicaron y cubrieron los cortes más peligrosos, quedando solo por delante en meta la escapada Zigart (BEX). Sheyla Gutiérrez, dos veces segunda estos días, firmaba hoy la 3ª posición en el sprint perseguidor.

El podio final para las Movistar Team. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

Es el séptimo triunfo para Movistar Team en 2021 -undécimo para la estructura de Abarca Sports, sumando las cuatro del conjunto masculino- y la segunda vuelta por etapas en solo siete días para las de Pablo Lastras y Sebastián Unzué, que a partir del jueves competirán en casa de su estructura, en las Clásicas de Navarra (UCI 1.1 x2).

DECLARACIONES / Annemiek van Vleuten:

“No ha sido un día tan difícil como esperábamos, pero ha habido que trabajar duro. En mi caso solo tenía que controlar la rueda de Mavi García, y mis compañeras eran quienes se ocupaban de tener las fugas controladas y que no se fuese un grupo peligroso con demasiado tiempo. Un día como hoy también es parte del proceso que estamos siguiendo: saber a quién dejar ir, a quién no… Hemos corrido con inteligencia hoy y tampoco nos hemos cebado persiguiendo para el sprint, había otros equipos con más opciones.

Van Vleuten, durante la 4ª etapa. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

La realidad es que venía aquí a jugar las bazas del resto del equipo, y lo hemos hecho, aunque fuese de otra manera. Nos volvemos a casa con el maillot, pero también con muchas cosas más. Hoy me he enterado que era la primera vez que Paula Patiño, Ali y Katrine defendían un maillot hasta el final. Son experiencias nuevas que les van a hacer crecer: rodar a tope en cabeza de pelotón, cubrir ataques… Seguro que, en cuanto descansen un poco, van a poder aprovechar mucho lo que han aprendido aquí, sobre todo pensando en grandes objetivos que vengan en los próximos años, como un Tour, un Giro…

Aalerud, acompañando a Van Vleuten en el podio. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

He disfrutado mucho, también trabajando, como hice para lanzar a Sheyla estos días. Sacamos muchas conclusiones positivas: el 3º puesto de Katrine, que es su primera vez en un podio internacional; Sheyla, que gana confianza; Paula y Alicia, que nunca habían pasado tanto tiempo liderando un grupo… Esta carrera nos hará más fuertes. Por mi parte he pasado unos días malos con la caída y me van a venir bien estos tres días para recuperar. El ‘timing’ de Navarra me viene muy bien. No es el bloque más importante de carreras en cuanto a forma -mi pico era en Ardenas-, pero quiero aprovechar estos días para volver a estar al 100% y jugar un buen papel en Navarra, en casa del equipo, y en las próximas pruebas en España”.

Imagen portada (c): Photo Gomez Sport

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Urška Žigart attacks to take a spectacular debut victory for Team BikeExchange on the final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – Team BikeExchange

Slovenian rider Urška Žigart gave Team BikeExchange something to celebrate on today’s final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, attacking to take her first victory of the 2021 season in impressive style, with a strong and convincing solo move, with teammate Arianna Fidanza winning the bunch sprint behind for second place.

After some bad luck with crashes yesterday, Team BikeExchange started the final stage on the offensive, sending Teniel Campbell into an early move, which headed in hot pursuit of an early solo escapee, Nadine Gill. Campbell’s move was eventually brought back yet the squad remained attentive, and it was up to 24-year-old Zigart to take the next opportunity.

Ahead of the penultimate climb of the day, with more than 70km still to race, the Slovenian attacked away from the bunch and quickly bridged across to the sole leader Gill. The duo worked together to increase their advantage out to more than three and a half minutes before Zigart launched away from her breakaway companion with 25km remaining.  

Pushing on with every pedal stroke over the undulating terrain, the new 2021 signing was able to hold on to take a classy debut victory for the team, holding off the chasers by a slim margin of five seconds, wrapping up a successful four-days of racing in Valencia.

Urška Žigart – Stage 4 winner
“When I was about six kilometers to the finish, the gap was coming down really fast because they were preparing for the sprint from the back. At that time, I was thinking I am not going to make it, they’re going too fast, and I had a headwind, but my director was yelling in my ear to push through and telling me I can do it and to believe and I made it so I am very happy.

We wanted a bit more with the GC but that was more or less decided on the first day. We were really happy with Arianna taking third place two days ago and of course today we took first place and second place, so to have one-two on such a hard stage it is really good, and we can go ahead into the next week of Spanish races very confident.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“It was an amazing day and finally we had a bit of luck. The team rode awesomely and Urška took her opportunity, a move that doesn’t happen so often but when it happens it feels the best. 
With Arianna in second place, it proves one more time what she is capable of. It has been an amazing week where we can take lots of confidence in to the next races we have here in Spain.”

2021 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage 4 results:
1. Urška Žigart (Team BikeExchange) 3:30:13
2. Arianna Fidanza (Team BikeExchange) +0:05
3. Sheyla Gutierrez +0:05

Final General Classification Results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 13:18:57
2. Mavi Garcia +2:16
3. Katrine Aalerud +2:30
11. Janneke Ensing +2:37

Photo courtesy of Bettini Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Team Novo Novo Nordisk Budapest bound with Tour de Hongrie up next

Team Novo Nordisk is set to back to the Tour de Hongrie next week, carrying some bittersweet memories of 2020 after Spanish climber David Lozano’s near miss in the red king of the mountain’s jersey.

The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team took the race head on a year ago with Lozano claiming the mountains jersey on the opening stage and holding it all the way to the last day of racing only to miss out by one point and a time difference technicality.

While the heartache and disappointment may have passed, the memory lingers and Lozano alongside former Hungarian champion Peter Kusztor and puncheur Charles Planet will be looking to get in the mix again at the five-day race.

“For sure it’s something I think about from time to time,” began Lozano. “To win a jersey is a big deal and to come so close was really hard to take at the time, but we moved on as a team and need to use the memory and to a certain extent the frustration to motivate us this time around. It will be hard up against so many WorldTour teams this year, but we will try our best!”

After some strong performances in the breakaway at Milan – San Remo and in the sprints at the Tour of Turkey, Andrea Peron is on form and completes the line-up alongside French sprinter Mehdi Benhamouda and Brit Sam Brand.

“We love racing at the Tour de Hongrie,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “And after our strong performance there last year we are keen to reach that level again this time around, especially in a special year like 2021.”

“Charles, David and Peter both know what it takes to be up there in this race and with Andrea and Mehdi also achieving some good results lately we feel like we have some good options for this race. It will be hard, there’s a very strong field of competition here and stage four in particular will be brutal, but we are well prepared, focused on the task in hand and working towards our goals.”

Five days of challenging racing awaits with stage four’s Queen Stage the kicker, topping out at 3,221 meters of elevation over 204 kilometers and certainly set to be the deciding day. A short and fast criterium in Budapest closes proceedings, providing one last chance of glory for the sprinters.

“I always enjoy racing at my home race,” concluded Kusztor. “It’s something special and every year the Tour de Hongrie shows that we have some beautiful countryside to race across and the parcours always gets more interesting and more challenging.”

“I am feeling good after a solid block of racing recently at the Tour of Turkey and La Vuelta Asturias and we have been working well together as a team. We will see how it goes next week, but it would be great if we can perform as we did in 2020.”

Team Novo Nordisk at the Tour of Hungary, May 12th – 16th:

Mehdi Benhamouda (FRA, 26)

Sam Brand (GBR, 30)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Charles Planet (FRA, 27)


Wednesday May 12th, Stage 1: Siofok – Kaposvar, 173km (1280m)

Thursday May 13th, Stage 2: Balatonfured – Nagykanizsa, 183km (1648m)

Friday May 14th, Stage 3: Veszprem – Tata, 142km (1585m)

Saturday May 15th, Stage 4: Balassagyarmat – Gyongyos-Kekesteto, 204km (3221m)

Sunday May 16th, Stage 5: Budapest – Budapest, 92km (220m)

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Fidanza sprints to her first podium of the season on stage two in Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – Team BikeExchange

An aggressive Team BikeExchange were rewarded with a strong third place for Arianna Fidanza as stage two of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana came down to a bunch sprint.
The team were active throughout the 130km stage with Spaniard Ane Santesteban forcing an early break before being joined by teammate Urška Žigart in a counterattacking move. However, the group was soon brought back and despite several attacks, only one rider managed to escape.
The lone attacker established an advantage of more than three minutes as riders continued to attack the peloton behind, but with 30km remaining the chasing bunch were closing in. New Zealand champion Georgia Williams was tasked with leading the chase and the race eventually came back together with five kilometres remaining.
26-year-old Fidanza was positioned well for the sprint and took a strong third place, her first podium of the season, behind a photo finish with the victory going to Sandra Alonso.
Ariana Fidanza
“The sprint was nervous so I decided to start my sprint at 300 metres to go but it was too early because there was headwind into the finish straight.

In the end I am happy because it’s a good result and I am happy that today I had the chance to have a go for a result myself and for the team as they gave me confidence and trust.

The team was strong all day today, we always were together, racing well and tried to do our best. It was a hard race with some climbs and also with warm weather.

This is my first podium of the season for Team BikeExchange and this gives me confidence for the next races where I’ll continue to try to do my best, help my teammates and race well as a team.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“Today was a great result for Arianna without any doubt and also a very strong ride by the whole team, we raced aggressively all day and had all riders in several moves.
Arianna has just shown a bit of what she is capable of and I am confident we’ll see more soon.”

2021 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage 2 results:
1. Sandra Alonso 3:42:59
2. Sheyla Gutierrez ST
3. Arianna Fidanza (Team BikeExchange) ST
General Classification after stage 2:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 7:03:51
2. Mavi Garcia +2:10
3. Katrine Aalerud +2:27
12. Janneke Ensing +2:31

 Photo – Setmana Ciclista Valenciana/Vicent Brava

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Movistar Team inspecciona la Flecha Valona, primera cita en las Ardenas

Movistar Team inspecciona la Flecha Valona, primera cita en las Ardenas — Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Vuelven Los Pulsadores de Movistar Team: Emma Norsgaard vs. Annemiek van Vleuten

Vuelven Los Pulsadores de Movistar Team: Emma Norsgaard vs. Annemiek van Vleuten — Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com