Archiv für den Tag: 20. Dezember 2018

Thomas crowned Sports Personality of the Year

Geraint Thomas revealed his shock at rounding off a fantastic 2018 by being named Sports Personality of the Year.
He finished ahead of Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and third-placed Harry Kane, who was top scorer for England at the 2018 World Cup and Thomas expressed both his delight and surprise at winning the prestigious award.
He said: “I’m over the moon. I’m genuinely shocked. It’s an unbelievable feeling.
„It was down to the public to vote and to have so many to do that for me is super nice. It feels crazy to be honest. The story of it probably added another dimension.
„It’s an unbelievable era for cycling. I feel so lucky to have benefitted from cycling and the boom we’ve had in recent years is brilliant for the sport“

In his acceptance speech Thomas said: „I feel really to have come into cycling at the age I am. I was just going down the local leisure centre going for a swim, then I end up riding a bike.
„I’d like to thank my wife, she deserves this just as much. I’m really lucky to have her and my family.
„As a bike rider, I was always focused on myself, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury] and Billy [Monger], then seeing kids on their bikes back home, you take great pride in winning this.
„It’s been an amazing year for British sport and long may it continue.“
@Team SKY

Sosa settling into Team Sky life

After spending the last week with his new teammates at the team’s training camp in Mallorca, Ivan Ramiro Sosa is excited about his maiden season in the peloton with Team Sky.
Sosa, who completed the team’s roster for the 2019 season when he put pen to paper on a contract earlier this month, continues the team’s strong connection with South American riders, becoming the fifth Colombian rider to sign for Team Sky.

The 21 year old enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018, claiming an impressive overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos, in addition to stage race wins at the Adriatica Ionica Race and Sibiu Cycling Tour – and now he’s targeting more success with Team Sky, as he looks to continue his development at WorldTour level next season, joining an ever-growing group of talented young riders on the team’s roster.
Sosa said: “I am really happy to be here.
“I am here to keep improving as a rider and while it will be a learning process for me during my early days with the team, I believe I will fit into this group well and race to my full potential over the coming years.”
A close friend of Egan Bernal, Sosa is pleased to have a familiar face alongside him at Team Sky, commenting: “Having Egan here is a big boost for me – he is a good friend and someone I know very well.
“Having him and a few other South Americans in the team will be really beneficial for me.”

As well as Bernal, Sosa has got to know the rest of his new team-mates well in Mallorca over the last week or so and he’s been welcomed into the team with open arms.
“Everyone has been really welcoming to me,” he said.
“There is a nice mix of youth and experience within this team and they’ve all helped me settle in.
“Training has been really good and the DS’s and coaches have been great with me too.
“We’re all looking forward to the new season and the chance to build on the team’s successes of 2018.”
Team Sky race coach, Xabier Artetxe, believes Sosa’s arrival presents another exciting addition to the team’s roster, adding: „Ivan is a really strong climber. In the long climbs especially, he’s produced some really good performances, but there is so much more to come from him still.
“He will need time to settle in; to learn how we train; to learn how we race – but he has everything here to keep progressing as a rider. He has the potential to be one of the best climbers in the world.”
Artetxe believes Sosa’s relationship with Bernal will be a huge help to him as he gets used to life at Team Sky, commenting: “He is really close to Egan – they know each other really, really well – and that will help him. Egan is a great example for Sosa. He will help him settle into Team Sky and help him continue to make improvements as a young rider with huge potential.”
@Team SKY

KATUSHA ALPECIN choses BMW as official car partner

Swiss WorldTour team KATUSHA ALPECIN will cooperate for the next three years with BMW. The official handing-over of the keys happened last Friday evening at the 2019 team presentation of KATUSHA ALPECIN in Koblenz, Germany. Leasing company Alphabet is providing the fleet of 14 BMWs, including 12 of the 518d Touring and 2 BMW X3 models.
General Manager José Azevedo: “We are happy in this partnership with BMW. It is nice to work with this prestigious and innovative brand, but there is more to this partnership. This car offers us safety and comfort and that is, of course, important in the often very hectic circumstances of a cycling race. Safety is our absolute number one priority, but comfort is a close second. Most notably our mechanics will appreciate the roomy space. Sometimes we sit more than seven to eight hours in the car. After the races we can take our riders back to the hotel in real comfort, as post-race recovery begins the minute the race is over.”
Eddy Haesendonck, President and CEO of BMW Group Belux, is also enthusiastic about the partnership. “The dynamics of KATUSHA ALPECIN cycling team match perfectly with the dynamic performances of our BMWs. Moreover, the BMW Touring and BMW X3 offer the necessary luxury and comfort that riders and support staff need and deserve.”
With their 4 brands – BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad – BMW Group is the number one producer of premium cars and motorbikes. In 2017, BMW Group sold 2,463,500 autos and 164,000 bikes worldwide.
During the cycling season, KATUSHA ALPECIN and BMW Group Belux will partner on events together, both in and out of races and look forward to the winning combination of solid racing results and a successful partnership in the years to come.
Image (from the left): Tom Van Assche (Corporate Sales Manager BMW Group Belux), Erwin Neuville (Business Manager Corporate Sales BMW Group Belux), José Azevedo (General Manager TKA), Ilnur Zakarin and Marcel Kittel
All used images need to be signed always with the mandatory photo credits: ©TKA/Kathrin Schafbauer
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96


The official route for La Vuelta 19 was today announced at the ADDA auditorium in Alicante. The 74th edition of the Spanish race will take place between August 24th and September 15th 2019, setting out from Salinas de Torrevieja and ending in Madrid. With a distance of 3,272.2 km, the competition includes eight uphill finishes, five of which are new. The presentation was attended by representatives from the international peloton, including last year’s podium: Simon Yates, Enric Mas and Miguel Ángel López; but also national cycling stars such as Alejandro Valverde, the new world champion.
On Wednesday December 19th Unipublic announced the route for La Vuelta 19, which will be held between August 24th and September 15th 2019. The Spanish race will start at Salinas de Torrevieja with a team time trial, the first of three stages to take place on the Costa Blanca. Once on its way, the peloton will depart the province of Alicante and head to Valencia, Teruel, Castellón, Tarragona and Barcelona. The general classification will start to take shape during these initial stages, which include several sprints and new uphill finishes that will begin to set the top riders apart.
La Vuelta 19 will experience an initial turning before the first rest day, during one of its queen stages. The spectacular mountain stage in the Principality of Andorra includes a chain of some of the harshest mountain passes in Andorra and a new ascent to Coll d’Engolasters with a 4 km sterrato track link section. The race then crosses the border to France, returning to the Peninsula via Navarre, the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias, where it will visit some familiar peaks and also some new ones for this year, such as Santuario del Acebo or Alto de La Cubilla, to the delight of mountain climbers.

During its final week, the race moves to the Central System, alternating between Castile–La Mancha, Castile and León and the Community of Madrid. With a ‘leg-breaking’ final in the Gredos and Guadarrama mountains, traversing La Vuelta’s mythical mountain passes such as La Morcuera, which brought us a heart-stopping finish during La Vuelta 15 when Fabio Aru took the red jersey from Tom Dumoulin during stage 20.
“It’s going to be a hard but very interesting Vuelta, with surprises, intrigue and emotion guaranteed. Short but intense stages, including innovation and new and unprecedented ascents. The Vuelta brand is what it is, and we will never give it up, to the contrary, we seek to strengthen it”, stated Javier Guillén, La Vuelta’s General Manager.

The leader’s red jersey celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. In 2010 Vincenzo Nibali became the first winner of the Spanish grand tour to wear the red jersey, which replaced the gold jersey last worn by Alejandro Valverde. “Red is associated with success, passion, and Spain and is now firmly associated with the unparalleled spectacle that is our race”, explained Javier Guillén. The list of riders to have worn the red jersey atop the final podium of La Vuelta includes names such as Fabio Aru, Vicenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador, Chris Froome or Simon Yates, the last to join this select club.
Laura Cueto