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Arvid de Kleijn wins Dunkirk opener – Human Powered Health


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Dutchman avoids late crash to take his first victory of 2022

Arvid de Kleijn expertly dodged a crash in the closing meters to sprint to opening day victory on stage one of the 4 Days of Dunkirk.

Although the Dutchman came over the line second in Aniche, provisional winner Sam Welsford (Team DSM), was relegated due to an infringement.

“I was just riding afterwards with PA [Pier-André Coté] talking about how we could do better, then I heard that I’d won!” De Kleijn said from France after the finish with understandably mixed feelings. 

With a slight bend before the line, three sprinters went elbow to elbow to the left of the Dutchman bringing two of the riders to the ground as de Kleijn avoided the carnage and swept over ahead of former program neo-pro Jason Tesson (St Michel – Auber 93). 

“The final was hectic. I was a little bit too far back but I found some space at the end and I could get through,” de Kleijn explained of his tactics. “I thought I was second. I didn’t see what happened on the left side because I was too busy on the right.”

The 28-year-year old surfed the wheels perfectly in the finale having been delivered to Aniche by Coté, Colin Joyce, Wessel Krul, Stephen Bassett, Nate Brown and Gage Hecht

“The guys did all they could. We can do a better job in the coming days, we need to fine-tune the sprint train a little bit more but it’s nice to see that all the guys are committed to the plan.” 

After two podiums in Turkey, the win marks de Kleijn’s first victory of the season which means that he donned both the pink leader’s jersey and green points jersey on the podium afterwards.

The 10-second bonus that he picked up at the finish means that he leads the overall general classification by four seconds.

I hope I will be there again, I think I have the speed in the legs.

The race name may be the ‘4 days of Dunkirk’ but there are actually six stages and with a few more sprint days on the cards, de Kleijn has got what could possibly be a fruitful week, off to the best possible start.

Coverage of stage two starts tomorrow on GCN+ at 8 AM CT. 

4 Days of Dunkirk stage 1 result
1 DE KLEIJN Arvid – Human Powered Health 10” 3:31:14
2 TESSON Jason – St Michel – Auber 93 6” ”
3 EEKHOFF Nils – Team DSM 4” ”
4 BARBIER Pierre – B&B Hotels – KTM ”
5 RENARD Alexis – Cofidis ”

4 Days of Dunkirk points standings
1 DE KLEIJN Arvid – Human Powered Health 15
2 TESSON Jason – St Michel – Auber 93 10
3 EEKHOFF Nils – Team DSM 9
4 BARBIER Pierre – B&B Hotels – KTM 7
5 RENARD Alexis – Cofidis 6 

— Oskar Scarsbrook to humanpoweredhealth.com

Tour of the Alps. Miguel Angel Lopez wins atop Grossglockner – Astana

Tour of the Alps. Miguel Angel Lopez wins atop Grossglockner

The leader of Astana Qazaqstan Team Miguel Angel Lopez takes a beautiful solo win atop Kals am Grossglockner at Stage 4 of the Tour of the Alps. Lopez attacked from the peloton with some four kilometers to go; firstly, he caught the only remained rider from the earlier breakaway Thibault Pinot and later after a counterattack he went solo to take his first win of the season.

“It is a good day for me, but also for the whole team. We were looking for this success and now we get the confidence and motivation for the next goals. It was the only stage with an uphill final and, definitely, I was motivated to try something today. I stayed calmly in the main group while we had Sebastian and Fabio in the break, but when it became clear that it won’t reach the finish, I decided to attack. I made a powerful move, shortly getting a gap to the peloton. But until a moment I still was not sure if I can reach Thibault Pinot or not. He still was far away in front, but with some 2.5 kilometers to go I finally saw him in front, and in that moment I just gave my best to catch him and later to attack again”, – said Miguel Angel Lopez.

 

“I lived some good moments at the finish, and I wanted to deliver this success to Astana Qazaqstan Team, my home team where I returned this season and where I got a very warm welcome back. Also, I wanted to dedicate the win to my second child, who we are expecting with my wife soon. Alongside this by this victory I just wanted to remember our great champion Michele Scarponi who left us five years ago”, – continued Miguel Angel.

 

“Well, we arrived here with a goal to make the final step in our preparation to the Giro d’Italia, to feel the racing rhythm, to try different tactics and to try to win a stage. I believe we are spending a good week here at the Tour of the Alps, I feel like my form is growing and I am on the right way to the Giro”, – concluded Lopez.

Astana Qazaqstan Team was very active from the start: firstly, it was David De La Cruz who attacked for several times for a breakaway, and in a moment he found himself in a group of eleven riders. When this group has been caught back, Fabio Felline and Sebastian Henao made another move, which brought them to another group of escapers.

After a crash Fabio Felline came back to the peloton, where he provided some help to Miguel Angel Lopez, while Sebastian Henao still was fighting for a stage win until the final six kilometers, when the peloton neutralized his breakaway.

There was still a rider in front of the race – Thibault Pinot, but he could not resist under a super strong attack of Miguel Angel Lopez, who won today’s Stage 4.

“We had two options for this stage and at the meeting before start we decided that it is better if Miguel Angel stays in the peloton for the final, while some other riders would try to do something in the break. I think our team did a great stage with David De La Cruz and later with Fabio Felline and Sebastian Henao, who worked hard and fought for a stage win. Well, at the end of the day it did not work, but we still had our leader Miguel Angel Lopez, who was ready to attack on the final climb. It was a perfect move; he was unstoppable today. We all are really happy with this long-awaited victory, and it brings us some good motivation and inspiration ahead of the Giro d’Italia”, – said Alexandr Shefer, Sports Director of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Asian Road Cycling Championships. Gleb Brussenskiy wins gold, Daniil Pronskiy and Nicolas Vinokurov complete U23 road race podium – Astana

Asian Road Cycling Championships. Gleb Brussenskiy wins gold, Daniil Pronskiy and Nicolas Vinokurov complete U23 road race podium

Kazakhstan National Team dominated today’s Under23 road race of Asian Road Cycling Championships in Dushanbe, Tajikistan: Gleb Brussenskiy of Astana Qazaqstan Team won the gold medal, while Daniil Pronskiy and Nicolas Vinokurov, both from Astana Qazaqstan Development Team, completed the podium with silver and bronze medals, respectively.

After the early break has been caught back by the peloton, Brussenskiy, Pronskiy and Vinokurov launched a powerful attack on the climb, shortly opening a good gap to the main group. Working well together three riders increased their advantage to five minutes with just 10 km to go and, thus, secured all-Kazakh race podium.

“Well, we were really motivated to do a strong race and to try to win all three medals today. So, from the start our team took control over the race, chasing the break and controlling the attacks. Orken Slamzhanov did a great job today, helping us to keep the break under full control. With three kilometers to the top of the climb we attacked, and it worked out. Nobody could follow us while we were able to open and to keep a good gap. Well, it was a perfect day for us, and everything went according to our plan. The start of the season was not the ideal for me, but I am happy I got a chance to start today and to win this gold medal for Kazakhstan. Also, I am happy with the guys from our team, Daniil and Nicolas, who showed great form today and won silver and bronze medals for our National Team”, – said Gleb Brussenskiy.

 

“I want to congratulate our National Team and Nurlan Smagulov, the president of Kazakhstan Cycling Federation with a solid success! Indeed, our team spend a wonderful day on the road winning all three medals in Under23 race! The team worked really well all day long and on the main climb of the day the guys found a perfect moment to attack – firstly Gleb and Daniil launched a strong move, while later Nicolas was able to join them on the top of the climb with some 70 km to go. There was still a long way to go, but the guys did not give up, pushing hard until the finish. I am proud with our result in this race. Tomorrow we will try our best in Elite road race. It will be a tough challenge, but we will keep on fighting!”- added Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Asian Road Cycling Championships. Yevgeniy Fedorov wins individual time trial – Astana

Asian Road Cycling Championships. Yevgeniy Fedorov wins individual time trial

On the third day of the Asian Road Cycling Championships in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the rider of Astana Qazaqstan Team and the National Team of Kazakhstan Yevgeniy Fedorov won the gold medal in the Elite individual time trial (24 km).

A tough distance with a climb and a few technical corners Fedorov passed in 28 minutes and 45 seconds with an average speed of 50.087 km/h.

“The distance was not easy at all, but together with the coaches we developed a good plan for the race, I managed to properly decompose my forces, and in the end, everything worked out. I gave my best on the distance, and I am happy that this led to a victory and a gold medal for my country. I am very happy to be here at the Asian Championship and to represent Kazakhstan. Three years ago I competed here as Under 23 and now I have the opportunity to race in Elite category, and it’s great that I managed to win again!”, – said Yevgeniy Fedorov.

The race podium was completed by Nariyuki Masuda from Japan and Muradjan Halmuratov from Uzbekistan.

For Yevgeniy Fedorov, 22 years old rider, it is the first victory at Asian Cycling Championships in Elite category. Previously, in 2019 Fedorov won the individual time trial and took silver medal in the road race in Under 23 category.

“This is a great day for our National Team! We won another gold medal for Kazakhstan. Of course, this result was quite expecting, because for many years Kazakhstan has been a recognized leader in cycling in Asia, and we can truly be proud of this fact. Yevgeniy is a talented young athlete with a great future. I congratulate him and all our athletes who are worthily representing our country at this Asian Cycling Championships and I wish a good luck to those who have yet to perform!” – commented Nurlan Smagulov, president of the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation.

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Asian Road Cycling Championships. Fedorov, Gidich and Natarov wins gold in team time trial – Astana

Asian Road Cycling Championships. Fedorov, Gidich and Natarov wins gold in team time trial

Three riders of Astana Qazaqstan Team Yevgeniy Ferodov, Yevgeniy Gidich and Yuriy Natarov competing for the National Team of Kazakhstan won the gold medals in the team time trial at the Asian Road Cycling Championships held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Together with Almaty Cycling Team rider Igor Chzhan three representatives of Astana Qazaqstan Team did an excellent race and showing 53.698 km/h as average speed, finished 24-km-long distance in 26 minutes and 49 seconds.

The first podium of the Asian Road Cycling Championships has been completed by Mongolian (silver medal) and Iranian (bronze medal) National Teams.

“I think that the guys did a great job, well and harmoniously worked out the team race under the guidance of our Sports Director Alexandr Schefer. The whole team was at the highest level and as a result we won a good and we can say expected gold medal. I congratulate our National Team and am proud of today’s result of our riders! Keep it up!” – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Alexey Lutsenko wins Serenissima Gravel – Astana

Alexey Lutsenko wins Serenissima Gravel

Kazakh leader of Astana – Premier Tech Alexey Lutsenko won the premier edition of the 100% gravel one-day race Serenissima Gravel from Lido di Jesolo to Piazzola sul Brenta in Italy.

Lutsenko launched a strong attack with some 70 kilometres to go, shortly opening a gap to the group of chasers, which included teammates Davide Martinelli and Samuele Battistella. Entering the local laps, the Astana – Premier Tech rider increased his advantage to almost two minutes, enough to hold it to the end and to take a beautiful solo victory.

“I am so happy to win this race, because it was a tough challenge and unforgettable experience for me. To win this race is a solid result for me as a rider but also for our team and our sponsor Wilier Triestina. It was the first time I rode the new Rave SLR and this bike immediately brought me a beautiful victory. It was a difficult race with a technical parcours, very narrow roads and so many corners. We had a plan to attack closer to the finish, but in a moment after another corner I found myself in front with a small gap to the group, so I decided to keep on pushing knowing that I had my teammates behind me in the peloton. Well, I think it was one of the toughest races in my life – 3.5 hours of 100% full gas, but I am really happy I finished it with a victory!”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.

Behind him there was a sprint from the chasing group with Riccardo Minali taking second place and Nathan Haas completing the podium with third position. Davide Martinelli finished fourth, while Samuele Batttistella crossed the line in ninth place.

“It was the first experience of this kind of races for everyone, but we came out to the start really motivated to try and to do it in the best possible way. Already in the bus I saw Alexey Lutsenko motivated but also Davide Martinelli was ready to fight in this race as well as Samuele Battistella. We had a bit of bad luck in the beginning of the race with a crash with Fabio Felline involved, but I am sure without this crash Fabio would also stay up there in front in the main group until the finish. It was such a beautiful race, a bit technical and difficult, especially from the start, but still nice and spectacular. Indeed, it was a serious challenge for all the riders and the race was 100% from the start and until the finish line. We can be happy and proud with the performance of Alexey Lutsenko, he did a race of a champion. His powerful solo attack with 70 kilometres to go was so impressive! There were a few strong teams who were pulling hard behind trying to bring him back, but Lutsenko was on fire today, showing his character and power. I am sure it is a new but so nice race which must go on in the next years. It was a pleasure to ride Serenissima Gravel today and I hope this race will get a big future”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana – Premier Tech.

Photo credit: @Serenissima Gravel

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Sonny Colbrelli wins Paris-Roubaix – Team Bahrain

It’s a historical victory for Bahrain Victorious as Sonny Colbrelli took the Queen of the Classics. The most brutal race on the calendar and the most awaited after an absence of more than a year.

At his first appearance at the Paris-Roubaix the reigning European Champion put on an impressive performance across the 55Km of wet and muddy cobblestones, spread over the 257.7km legendary course from Compiègne to the velodrome of Roubaix, where he outsprinted his companions of a late attack Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix).

Paris Roubaix 2021 -118th Edition – Denain – Roubaix 257,7 km – 03/10/2021 – Sonny Colbrelli (ITA – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Etienne Garnier/BettiniPhoto©2021.

Sonny Colbrelli: “It was my first Roubaix, and I can’t still believe I won it. This morning I couldn’t think about a win. I started without any pressure, I just wanted to have fun on a race I always dreamt about. I felt well and better km after km. So I wanted to try to take my opportunity, attacking maybe a bit early, but I learned watching past editions that it was a good moment to try. I worked well with Van der Poel, and I was also lucky not to have any bad luck, any puncture or mechanical. I almost crashed a few times, but I was very focused to stay up. Then I gave everything that I had left to take the win. I’m speechless. I can’t believe I won the Roubaix. I want to dedicate it to my family, the whole team and my fans. It has been a fantastic season for me so far”.

The 118th edition didn’t disappoint those looking for an epic day. After almost twenty years since the last time, it was pouring rain at the start and all along the first half of the course.

Bahrain Victorious team was among the most active, with two riders in the breakaway earlier in the race, Fred Wright and Marco Haller. The experienced Heinrich Haussler also showed how much this race is his favourite one, finishing his 15th Roubaix in tears for the happiness of this team’s success and finishing in the top ten.

Paris Roubaix 2021 -118th Edition – Denain – Roubaix 257,7 km – 03/10/2021 – Sonny Colbrelli (ITA – Bahrain Victorious) – Mathieu Van Der Poel (NED – Alpecin-Fenix) – Florian Vermeersch (BEL – Lotto Soudal) – photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Head of Performance, Roger Hammond: “No words we can say to describe this fantastic achievement for Sonny. The performance he did was outstanding. It was a combination of a lot of hard work of many people in the team. You have to be prepared to face a race like Roubaix taking care of every aspect and the unexpected. Everybody in the team, including the staff members, did everything perfectly and as planned. From the team car, Rolf Aldag and I gave suggestions to Sonny, particularly for the sprint as at Roubaix is not normal. But he was very confident and he took the victory of a lifetime”.

Paris Roubaix 2021 -118th Edition – Denain – Roubaix 257,7 km – 03/10/2021 – Sonny Colbrelli (ITA – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

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

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

STEVIE WILLIAMS WINS CRO RACE QUEEN STAGE AND LEADS GC

Stevie Williams took a solo win and the red jersey on the queen and penultimate stage of Cro race.
Only 137.7 kilometres long, stage 5 was the make or break for the GC, with several teams looking to place themselves in the red jersey ahead of stage 6.

The action started from the beginning in Rabac as Hermann Pernsteiner, and Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) pulled out of the peloton to break. The two of them escaped the main group and won the first mountain goal of the day, the ascent to Gračišće, with Hermann taking the top points. After that, a passing goal in Pazin awaited, and Hermann was the first again.

On the way from Viškovo to Rijeka, Yates and Stevie Williams were joined at the head of the race by Riccardo Zoidl (Felbermayr Simplon Wels) as the trio managed to create a half-minute advantage over a group of about 20 riders. In both Viškovo and Rijeka, Stevie was strongest on through the passing goal. The trio then took advantage of the unorganized chasing group from Rijeka to Opatija and increased their advantage to almost a minute. Despite the chasers eventually closing the gap by 30 seconds, it was not enough to catch the trio out front.

In the final few kilometres, Stevie was able to accelerate away from Yates and Zoidl and solo to victory. Stevie was delighted with the win: “I was afraid after the first passage through Opatija that they would catch me since we did a lot of stages and I was afraid that there was no freshness in my legs. However, somewhere three kilometres to the finish, I realized that I still had a freshness and could still pick up the pace.

My teammates positioned me well on the start of the climb Učka, which started very hard on the bottom. The group gradually got smaller and smaller. As the group, we were very lucky with Hermann’s position and Santiago in the group behind, so it was perfect for me to be with Simon. I was able to use them. I am proud of the way I raced. I am really happy to take this win for the team and myself. I am over the moon now. I am also happy to take the lead GC, and I am expecting a tough race tomorrow. I will give everything, and hopefully, I will come out with the red jersey.”

Satisfied Sports director Franco Pellizotti commented on Stevie’s win: “I am happy for the win but especially because the win goes to Stevie, who has in previous seasons suffered a lot. He succeeded in progress and went through difficult times, and here is the result. I am super happy for him.”

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright CRO race / KL Photo @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

De Kleijn wins La Route Adélie – Rally Cycling


Dutch powerhouse Arvid de Kleijn took his second victory for Rally Cycling at La Route Adélie de Vitré, the 12th round of the Coupe de France. De Kleijn dominated the finale, outsprinting his rivals to open up clear daylight between him and the rest of the field.

“It feels great to be back on the podium,” de Kleijn said afterwards in Vitré. “Like every sprinter, I’ve had some bad luck here and there, so today it was so nice to be back winning a bike race.”

De Kleijn utilised the strength and power of first Adam de Vos and then Colin Joyce to reel the late breakaway rider in before he launched his devastating sprint.

“They put me where I wanted to be in the last kilometer. There were a lot of corners and I went all out with 300 meters to go to catch Emmanuel Morin (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) before the line.”

The race took place in torrential conditions with heavy rain falling on the route for the majority of the laps around the Breton town.

Nickolas Zukowsky spent most of the day out front and played a vital role in the “little gorilla’s” victory. The Canadian was initially in a breakaway of three before the group swelled to seven in the closing stages. 

The team played their tactics perfectly with Zukowksy in the break, as the riders behind did not have to chase. With a proven finisher behind in de Kleijn, Zukowsky just needed to sit on the wheels out front. 

“It was nice to see that he had such great legs,” de Kleijn said about his teammate. “It really was a team effort. For sure I need the legs to win but the team did a great job. It’s a great feeling to have guys riding for me like that, it feels like a family.”

 

It was a confidence boosting victory for the Dutchman who took the top step of the podium at the Tour of Turkey in similarly harsh weather. This time though, the 27-year-old had plenty of time to get his arms in the air.

The team will stay in France for Saturday’s Classic Loire-Atlantique and Paris-Bourges on October 7. With both having favorable parcours for either a strong breakaway rider or a bunch sprinter, there remain plenty of chances as the team begins to close out 2021 in style.

La Route Adélie de Vitré results
1 DE KLEIJN Arvid – Rally Cycling 4:44:23
2 MORIN Emmanuel – Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:02
3 TESSON Jason – St Michel – Auber93 ”
4 REINDERS Elmar – Riwal Cycling Team 0:04
5 GHIRMAY HAILU Biniam – Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux ”
6 FUENTES Ángel – Burgos-BH ”
7 REYNDERS Jens – Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ”
8 ZINGLE Axel  – Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ”
9 BARTHE Cyril – B&B Hotels p/b KTM ”
10 KONGSTAD Tobias – Riwal Cycling Team ”

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

Groves & Yates headline Team BikeExchange at the Tour of Croatia hunting late season wins – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange are in Croatia ready for the six-day CRO race starting on Tuesday, 28th September with Giro d’Italia podium finisher Simon Yates back in action and looking for a high overall showing in the last phase of the 2021 season.

The mixed seven-rider team includes recent Tour of Slovakia prologue winner Kaden Groves, who will give the squad a strong option for the flatter, fast stages and will be supported by Ethiopian rider Tsgabu Grmay, Australian powerhouses Callum Scotson and Michael Hepburn, plus Kazakh climber Andrey Zeits.

Olympic team pursuit bronze medalist, Australian rider Kelland O’Brien, will join Team BikeExchange at the CRO race as as stagiaire rider for the remainder of the 2021 season.

With a varied parcours, the team head into the six-day race with a two-pronged approach, as Yates leads the team’s overall classification ambitions, while fast finisher Groves looks to throw his arms in the air in some of the potential sprint finishes.

Team BikeExchange at the Tour of Croatia:
Kaden Groves (AUS)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Kelland O’Brien (AUS) Stagiaire*
Callum Scotson
Grmay Tsgabu (ETH)
Simon Yates (GBR)
Andrey Zeits (KAZ)

Kaden Groves

“I am really looking forward to the Tour of Croatia, we have a good team which can target both of our goals, the overall and stage wins. My condition is really good and I’m expecting it to be even better now having some race exposure after a long time off racing due to injury. 

Having Kell O’Brian with us in the team is also a big plus, he brings a lot of horsepower and it’ll be a good experience for him to ride with us in this final part of the season as a stagiaire.

It will be my first time racing in Croatia but having looked at the stages I am confident in our team and I am keen to get on the start line.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director
“We are all excited about heading back to CRO Tour. Our last trip resulted in a win for former rider Adam Yates, back in 2019 and this year we head back with similar ambitions.

We have a well-rounded team with Kaden Groves as our fast man and Simon Yates for the tougher, hillier stages. The tour has a bit for everyone, and we are looking to finish off the 2021 season strong.”

2021 Tour of Croatia Race Details:
Tuesday, 28th September: Stage 1, Osijek to Varazdin, 237km
Wednesday, 29th September: Stage 2, Slujn to Otocac, 187km
Thursday, 30th September: Stage 3, Rimosten to Makarska, 167km
Friday, 1st October: Stage 4, Zadar to Crikvenica, 197km
Saturday, 2nd October: Stage 5, Rabac/Labin to Opatija, 137.5km
Sunday, 3rd October: Stage 6, Samobor to Zagreb, 156.5km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com