Archiv der Kategorie: Frühjahrskassiker

2021 ardennes classics

Key points:
 The men and women’s versions of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège have been scheduled for 21 and 25 April, respectively, after returning to their usual slots on the calendar.
 The Flèche Wallonne is bringing back the traditional start in Charleroi, with a course steeped in the history of the race all the way to the final climb up the Mur de Huy, while Liège–Bastogne–Liège will have an extra sting in the tail thanks to the addition of the new Côte de Desnié.
 The women’s two races have also been backloaded by the organisers. The men and women’s courses will converge in the final 90 kilometres in the Flèche Wallonne and the final 80 kilometres on the road to Liège.
 New partners are stepping up to the plate, including AG, Shimano and Decathlon, while Cofidis has renewed its commitment to the ardennes classics.

The newly crowned world champion was the only one left with a bitter taste in his mouth after the exceptional autumn editions of the classics, held at the tail end of the 2020 season. Marc Hirschi and Anna van der Breggen’s wins in the Flèche Wallonne, followed by Primož Roglič and Lizzie Deignan’s victories in Liège–Bastogne–Liège, were in line with the character of the Ardennes classics, coming at the end of gruelling races in which only the strongest and toughest riders stayed in contention until the finish. Six months later, it is time for the pretenders to the crown of the Flèche Wallonne to reset their clocks to the usual dates. The men will roll out of Charleroi, which hosted the start of the race from 1998 to 2012. The road to Huy will follow the traditional east-west trajectory and pit the peloton against the Côte d’Yvoir for the first time, but the Côte de Gives, another addition to the course, is where things will really get serious. Following two 32 km loops with a profile that looks like the serrated edge of a saw blade, the final showdown will take place on the unique Mur de Huy, the ultimate litmus test for punchers. The women’s race will merge onto the course of the men’s race for the final 90 kilometres. Will Anna van der Breggen, the undisputed master of the Chemin des Chapelles, with six victories to her name, be able to extend her dominance on this beefed-up course?

Liège–Bastogne–Liège moved its finish line back downtown in 2019. An audacious solo move earned Jakob Fuglsang the win that year, while last October it was a group of five attackers that vied for victory in a messy sprint. This time round, the home straight on Quai des Ardennes will come after almost 260 kilometres of racing on a course featuring the brand-new Côte de Desnié, a nasty climb (1.6 km at an average gradient of 8%) that comes shortly before the decisive Côte de la Redoute, the point where lactic acid starts to reach agonising levels. The riders will have to leave something in the tank if they want to use the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons as a springboard to try and win the Old Lady. The same holds true for the ladies, who will start this year’s edition in Liège and tackle another gruelling 141 km course: the fifth running of the women’s race will take the peloton to the Côte de Desnié, Col du Rosier and Côte des Forges for the first time.

Three new partners and a renewed commitment
• In 2021, the ardennes classics are delighted to welcome AG on board as the new „Major Partner“ of the four Belgian races. Cycling has been part of AG’s DNA for a long time. Through its partnerships, AG seeks to promote cycling as a sport and as part of everyday life. This partnership is a long-term commitment, running until the end of 2024.
• As announced a month ago, Shimano is now an „Official Partner“. The Japanese firm will leverage its experience and know-how in the field of neutral technical support.
• Decathlon is now an „Official Provider“. Its focus will be on young fans and bicycle safety.
• Finally, Cofidis, which has been at our side since 2012, is extending its commitment to the Ardennes classics as an „Official Partner“.

Amaury Sport Organisation is proud to have the support of all the partners of the ardennes classics and acknowledge their strong commitment.

Paris-Roubaix 2021 team selection

The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have chosen the teams for the first edition, Sunday, April 11th.
In accordance with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) regulations, the nine UCI Women’s WorldTeams automatically entered are:

Alé BTC Ljubljana (Ita)
Canyon / /SRAM Racing (Ger)
FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Liv Racing (Ned)
Movistar Team Women (Esp)
Team BikeExchange (Aus)
Team DSM (Ger)
Team SD Worx (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)

Furthermore, the six following UCI Women’s Continental teams will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix Femmes:

A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling Team (Ita)
Ceratizit – WTN Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank (Usa)
Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita)

The organisers have invited the following teams:

Arkéa Pro Cycling Team (Fra)
Ciclismo Mundial (Bel)
Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (Rus)
Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport – Proximus Continental Team (Bel)
Drops – Le Col supported by Tempur (Gbr)
Hitec Products (Nor)
Jumbo – Visma Women Team (Ned)
NXTG Racing (Ned)
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling (Fra)

2021 PARIS-ROUBAIX: TEAM SELECTION

The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have chosen the teams for the 118th edition, Sunday, April 11th.
In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules, the nineteen UCI WorldTeams are invited:

AG2R Citroën Team (Fra)
Astana – Premier Tech (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Bora – Hansgrohe (Ger)
Cofidis (Fra)
Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Bel)
EF Education – NIPPO (Usa)
Groupama – FDJ (Fra)
Ineos Grenadiers (Gbr)
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux (Bel)
Israel Start-Up Nation (Isr)
Jumbo – Visma (Ned)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Team BikeExchange (Aus)
Team DSM (Ger)
Team Qhubeka Assos (Rsa)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

Furthermore, the two highest ranked UCI ProTeams in 2020, Alpecin – Fenix (Bel) and Team Arkéa – Samsic (Fra), will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix.

The organisers have invited the following teams:

B&B Hotels p/b KTM (Fra)
Bingoal WB (Bel)
Delko (Fra)
Total Direct Energie (Fra)

©A.S.O.

More information about Paris-Roubaix Femmes on www.paris-roubaix-femmes.fr/en/
More information about Paris-Rouaix on www.paris-roubaix.fr/en/

GENT – WEVELGEM 2020

Ieper – Wevelgem (232,5 km)
1 Mads Pedersen (Trek)
2 Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck)
3 Matteo Trentin (CCC)
4 Alberto Bettiol (EF)
5 Stefan Küng (Groupama)
6 John Degenkolb (Lotto)
7 Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck)
8 Wout Van Aert (Jumbo)
9 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin)
10 Dylan Teuns (Bahrain)
11 Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck)
12 Luke Rowe (Ineos)

BORA – hansgrohe glücklos bei Gent-Wevelgem
Mit Gent-Wevelgem startet heute die verkürzte Saison der Kopfsteinpflaster-Klassiker. Die Strecke von Ieper nach Welgem führte über 233 Kilometer, wobei auch einige Hellingen zu bewältigen waren. In einer ersten, schnellen Rennstunde setzten sich zuerst sieben Fahrer vom Feld ab und konnten einen Vorsprung von bis zu acht Minuten herausfahren. Im Feld arbeiteten einige Teams, darunter auch BORA – hansgrohe für Pascal Ackermann, einen der Mitfavoriten. Regen und starker Wind machte das Rennen heute extrem schwer und hektisch. Immer wieder kam es zu Stürzen und Lukas Pöstlberger musste leider nach rund 100 km aufgeben. Auch Pascal Ackermann hatte heute kein Glück. Im ersten Anstieg zum Kemelberg hatte er einen Schaltungsdefekt und musste das Rad wechseln. Da die Begleitfahrzeuge am Kemelberg dem Feld aber nicht folgen dürfen, verlor Pascal wertvolle Zeit. Mit der Hilfe von M. Schwarzmann und A. Schillinger versuchte Ackermann noch einmal aufzuschließen, musste aber wenig später erneut das Rad wechseln und war damit aus dem Rennen. Bereits 70 Kilometer vor dem Ziel teilte sich das Feld mehrmals. Zuerst war Jempy Drucker Teil einer etwa 30 Mann Verfolgergruppe, die wenig später zur Spitze des Rennens aufschließen konnte. Nach einer neuerlichen Attacke teilte sich auch das Feld im zweiten Anstieg zum Kemelberg. Leider verpasste BORA – hansgrohe diese entscheidende Gruppe und als an der Spitze das Rennen zusammenlief, fand sich Jempy erneut in der ersten größeren Verfolgergruppe zusammen mit Marcus Burghardt wieder. Am Ende holte M. Pedersen den Sieg, während sich Jempy Drucker noch einmal mit einer Gruppe vom Feld absetzen konnte und das Rennen auf Rang XX beendete.
Reaktionen im Ziel
„Es war brutal heute da draußen. Das Rennen war extrem schnell, aber auch sehr gefährlich. Es gab unzählige Stürze und leider waren da auch ein paar unserer Jungs dabei. Ich habe mich eigentlich ganz gut gefühlt und wollte am Ende vorne dabei sein. Als sich das Feld zum ersten Mal geteilt hat, war ich vorne dabei. Aber danach, als Van Aert am Kemelberg attackierte, war ich nicht gut genug positioniert. Dann gab es keine Chance mehr zurückzukommen, da alle Teams Fahrer vorne hatten. Am Ende nicht das Ergebnis, das ich erhofft hatte, aber zumindest waren meine Beine gut. Das stimmt mich zuversichtlich.“ – Jempy Drucker

„Das ist heute nicht gelaufen, wie wir gehofft hatten. Unser Plan war mit Pascal im Finale noch dabei zu sein, doch das Rennen war heute durch den Wind extrem hart und hektisch. Wir hatten wirklich kein Glück, es gab immer wieder Stürze und Lukas musste leider aufgeben. Pascal hat zwei Mal das Rad wechseln müssen und war daher chancenlos. Wir haben dann versucht, mit Jempy auf Ergebnis zu fahren, allerdings hatte er nicht die nötige Position, um am Kemelberg die entscheidende Attacke mit zu gehen. Danach war das Rennen gelaufen und wir konnten nur noch um die Platzierungen fahren.“ – Steffen Radochla, sportlicher Leiter

Frauen: GENT – WEVELGEM 2020
1 Jolien D’Hoore (Boels)
2 Lotte Kopecky (Lotto)
3 Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit)
4 Sarah Roy (Mitchelton)
5 Marta Cavalli (Valcar)
6 Lauren Stephens (Tibco)
7 Demi Vollering (Parkhotel)
8 Lizzie Deignan (Trek)
9 Amy Pieters (Boels)
10 Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek)

No Paris-Roubaix 2020

At the request of the Préfet du Nord, Préfet des Hauts de France and following the Health Minister Olivier Véran’s announcement yesterday, that placed the Lille Metropolitan area on maximum alert, the 118th edition of Paris-Roubaix (UCI WorldTour) and the 1st edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes (UCI Women’s WorldTour), originally scheduled to take place on the 25th October, will not be organised.
Paris-Roubaix, an incredibly popular event and one that is met with great enthusiasm every year, had already been postponed from its original 12th of April date following the containment measures put in place in spring to fight against the spread of COVID-19.
We would like to warmly thank the communities and event partners who supported us in this postponement as well as those who were, like us, delighted to see the Queen of the Classics even in the autumn.
We will see you on the cobblestones on the 11th April 2021 to celebrate one of the greatest monuments in world cycling.
@ASO

LIÈGE – BASTOGNE – LIÈGE 2020

Liège – Liège (257,0 km / 4375 hm)
1 ROGLIČ Primož (SLO) JUMBO – VISMA 6:32:02
2 HIRSCHI Marc (SUI) TEAM SUNWEB 0:00:00
3 POGAČAR Tadej (SLO) UAE TEAM EMIRATES 0:00:00
4 MOHORIC Matej (SLO) BAHRAIN – MCLAREN 0:00:00
5 ALAPHILIPPE Julian (FRA) DECEUNINCK – QUICK – STEP 0:00:00
6 VAN DER POEL Mathieu (NED) ALPECIN – FENIX 0:00:14
7 WOODS Michael (CAN) EF PRO CYCLING 0:00:14
8 BENOOT Tiesj (BEL) TEAM SUNWEB 0:00:14
9 BARGUIL Warren (FRA) TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 0:00:14
10 KWIATKOWSKI Michal (POL) INEOS GRENADIERS 0:00:14
11 MARTIN Daniel (IRL) ISRAEL START – UP NATION 0:00:14
12 DUMOULIN Tom (NED) JUMBO – VISMA 0:00:14
13 MOLARD Rudy (FRA) GROUPAMA – FDJ 0:00:14
14 MARTIN Guillaume (FRA) COFIDIS 0:00:14
15 URAN Rigoberto (COL) EF PRO CYCLING 0:00:14
16 PORTE Richie (AUS) TREK – SEGAFREDO 0:00:14
17 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka (ESP) ASTANA PRO TEAM 0:00:43
18 COSNEFROY Benoit (FRA) AG2R LA MONDIALE 0:00:58
19 FRAILE MATARRANZ Omar (ESP) ASTANA PRO TEAM 0:00:58
20 MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe (COL) EF PRO CYCLING 0:00:58
21 KÄMNA Lennard (GER) BORA – HANSGROHE 0:00:58

After his crash Primosz Roglic (SLO) is chasing the front group with the help of his team mates, He made it back to the front group but was lacking power in the finale to keep up with the best. Very unlucky for him, he was a podium candidate.
Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer

October 4 th 2020 – 17:29
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won the 106th Liège-Bastogne-Liège with an exhibition of race craft and experience to make the most out of his legs and the circumstances in the final kilometres. Two weeks after a heart-breaking defeat on the Tour de France, the Slovenian got his payback from this amazing sport called cycling. Roglic went clear with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) with 14 kilometres to go, atop the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. They reached together the final straight, where the wearer of the rainbow jersey put out an irregular sprint that got him relegated because it hindered the effort of Pogačar and Hirschi. Still, Roglic was quicker than Alaphilippe and crossed the finish line first as the French rider raised his arms.
175 riders took the start on the 106th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège at 10:24, ready to race over 258 kilometres from Liège to Bastogne and back. It was after nine kilometres that Iñigo Elosegui (Movistar Team), Kobe Goossens (Lotto-Soudal), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Schär (CCC Team), Kenny Molly (Bingoal WB), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Valentin Ferron, Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie) and Gino Mäder (NTT Pro Cycling) went clear. Kamp punctured shortly afterwards and was caught by the peloton, from which Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal WB) counter-attacked. The Dutch rider joined the frontrunners at the kilometre 40, establishing a nine-strong break. The biggest time gap was 5’45”, clocked atop the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne (km 76). Deceuninck-Quick Step, Team Sunweb and Ineos Grenadiers were the teams that devoted more effort to control their advantage.
Crashes before the clashes
The race changed significantly as the riders entered the last 100 kilometres. Crashes took it toll, forcing the withdrawal of pre-race favourites such as Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team) or Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). A crash at the head of the bunch with 85 kilometres to go removed from contention Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-McLaren) and Michael Valgren (NTT Pro Cycling), affecting also Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), amongst many others. The pack was left pattern-less until everyone came back to its par and Trek-Segafredo took the reins. Meanwhile, at the front of the race, a series of attacks left Schär alone, as a sole frontrunner, with 64 kilometres to go. Mäder was the last man able to hold the Swiss’ wheel.
Deceuninck-Quick Step put the hammer down
Deceuninck-Quick Step hit the front of the pack again on the Col du Maquisard (km 210; -48km). The Belgian outfit brought back Schär at the Côte de la Redoute (km 222; -36km). By the summit of this iconic climb there were only 50 riders on the bunch, that was led by Dries Devenyns and Mauri Vansevenant into the Côte des Forges (km 234; -24km), where Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) launched an attack before taking a bow and bidding farewell on his last-ever professional race. Despite an attack by Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), it all came down to the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons (km 243,5; -14,5km).
An eventful outcome
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) upped the pace at the foot of the climb and Alaphilippe took the initiative to force a final selection including himself, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb). The four cooperated without hesitation, with a dozen riders chasing them around 20” behind. Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) attacked from the chase to join the quartet with 500 meters to go, launching the final sprint. Alaphilippe took off 200 meters from the finish and got a clear margin, but his irregular trajectory barred Hirschi and Pogačar from pulling off a clean sprint and he was therefore relegated to 5th place. The rainbow jersey raised his arms, but he was pipped on the finish line by Roglic, undisputed winner of the day.
@ASO

Keine Topplatzierung für BORA – hansgrohe bei Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich

Regnerisches Wetter und viel Wind warteten heute auf das Fahrerfeld bei Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich, dem ältesten der Klassiker im Radsport. Das Tempo im Feld war von Beginn an hoch und es dauerte eine Weile, bevor sich neun Fahrer absetzen konnten. Im Lauf der ersten Rennphase konnte diese Gruppe einen Vorsprung von bis zu fünf Minuten herausfahren, bevor ab Rennkilometer 120 das Tempo im Peloton erhöht wurde. Leider war Jay McCarthy in einen Sturz etwa 100 km vor dem Ziel verwickelt und musste das Rennen aufgeben. Auch Max Schachmann hatte heute einen schlechten Tag und fiel schon vor La Redoute zurück. Dadurch hatte BORA – hansgrohe rund 40 Kilometer vor dem Ziel nur noch Lennard Kämna und Ide Schelling in der Gruppe der Favoriten. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt wurde der letzte der Ausreißer gestellt und auch Ide konnte dem Tempo nicht mehr folgen. Im letzten Anstieg des Tages war Lennard zuerst in guter Position, konnte aber die entscheidende Attacke von Alaphilippe nicht mitgehen und war in der Folge in der zweiten Verfolgergruppe. Den Sieg holte sich am Ende P. Roglic, Kämna erreichte als 21. das Ziel.
Reaktionen im Ziel
„Das war mein erstes Lüttich und ich muss sagen, ich mag das Rennen. An der einen oder anderen Stelle habe ich sicher noch Fehler gemacht, aber ich bin zufrieden. Auf den Leib geschneidert ist mir das Profil nicht, aber es hat Spaß gemacht. Ich war am letzten Anstieg in guter Position, genau wo ich sein musste, aber hatte dann nicht mehr die Beine, um ganz vorne mitzufahren. Ich denke, ich kann mir heute nichts vorwerfen. Jetzt habe ich noch ein Rennen vor mir, dann ist diese spezielle Saison zu Ende.“ – Lennard Kämna

„Wir wollten heute eigentlich um den Sieg mitfahren, aber das hat nicht geklappt, wie wir uns das vorgenommen hatten. Mit Jay haben wir einen wichtigen Mann durch einen Sturz verloren. Dann hatte leider auch Max einen richtig schlechten Tag. Er hat schon früh gesagt, dass heute gar nichts geht, aber wir hatten gehofft, dass er sich vielleicht etwas freifahren kann. Dem war nicht so. Dadurch hatten wir im Finale nur noch Ide und Lennard vorne. Ide ist wieder sehr gut gefahren und hat Lennard unterstützt, wo er nur konnte. Lennard war dann im entscheidenden Moment an der richtigen Stelle, konnte aber die Attacke nicht mitgehen. Da kann man niemand einen Vorwurf machen. Mehr war heute leider nicht für uns drin.“ – Enrico Poitschke, sportlicher Leiter

LIÈGE-BASTOGNE-LIÈGE 2020: INFO WITH ONE DAY TO GO

Key information:
 On the eve of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, all eyes are set on Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman is the main favourite for victory on his maiden race with the rainbow jersey – even more so after Alejandro Valverde’s last-minute withdrawal.
 There is a very long list of outsiders. Those who were up there already in Flèche Wallonne, such as Marc Hirschi, Benoît Cosnefroy, Michael Woods or Michal Kwiatkowski, are obvious names. And then there are those who have travelled to Belgium just for this event – such as Chris Froome, Primoz Roglic or Adam Yates.
 A surprise, late addition to a startlist already packed with talent is Mathieu Van der Poel. Right after winning the BinckBank Tour this very Saturday, the Alpecin-Fenix team confirmed the Dutch rider will take part in La Doyenne.
 The fourth edition of the Women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be held hours before the men’s event, and pretty much on the same roads. Dutch duo Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten are the main favourites for victory on a race that will be broadcasted live across 190 countries.

WILL THE ROCHE-AUX-FAUCONS BE DECIDING AGAIN?
Last year, Liège-Bastogne-Liège went back to holding its finish line in the centre of the Ardennes city after 27 straight years ending with an uphill finish on its suburb Ans. Jakob Fuglsang took advantage of this set-up already in 2019, when he accelerated with 16 kilometres to go, up the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, to later launch his winning attack at its small, follow-up hill, the Côte de Boncelles. “It’s the change we were hoping for,” says route designer Jean-Michel Monin. “In previous years, riders waited until the eleventh hour at the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, 5 kilometres from the finish, to try and break away. The Roche-aux-Faucons is the key climb now, and that forces the favourites to attack earlier and provides for a more exciting finale. This year we can picture an outcome similar to 2019, although I only see one guy capable of pulling out such exploit: that’s Julian Alaphilippe, and only if he is in the same shape he was in Imola. In any case, the 90 final kilometres are very demanding and we can expect a very reduced group to contend for victory in the closing stages of the race.”

ALAPHILIPPE’S RAINBOW SPELL TO BEGIN IN LIÈGE
Last Sunday, Julian Alaphilippe crowned himself UCI World Champion in Imola. Showcasing his recently attained rainbow jersey for the first time, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider will try to finally net victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège after placing 2nd in 2015 and 4th in 2018. Given his current shape and his knowledge of the event, he will be the man to watch – a favourite role reinforced by the last-minute absence of four-time winner Alejandro Valverde. “I’m very happy to honour the rainbow jersey by wearing it for the first time on a race such as La Doyenne,” said Alaphilippe on a virtual press conference. “It’s one of the races I’ve long dreamt of winning, and this is a new chance for it.” It’s not usual for the rainbow jersey to triumph in this race, though. Only 5 out of the 105 editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended with the rainbow jersey raising his arms, with wins by: Ferdi Kübler, in 1952; Rick Van Looy, in 1961; Eddy Merckx, both in 1972 and 1975; and Moreno Argentin in 1987.

HIRSCHI FOR THE DOUBLE
Already victor at Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, Marc Hirschi is going to try and double-up his Ardennes Classic winning tally this Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “We knew he had a big potential, but lately everything seems to be falling into place for him,” says his DS at Team Sunweb, Michiel Elijzen. “Tomorrow it will be a more difficult race to win, though, because there are way more cards and scenarios to play. It’s a longer, more challenging route, and the quality of the field is higher. The weather will play a part, too, as the headwind will make for a slow pace at the beginning, when heading south. Another big factor for the outcome is that no one will want to be a on a breakaway group with Julian Alaphilippe or Marc Hirschi. Deceuninck-Quick Step has multiple riders capable of winning, and we have a good back-up option in Tiesj Benoot. Anyways, it’s hard to predict how the race will pan out.”

BENOÎT COSNEFROY: “IT WILL BE ABOUT WHO PLAYS TACTICS BETTER”
After his aggressive performance in the Tour de France, the runner-up position at Flèche Wallonne went to confirm Benoît Cosnefroy’s prospects as one of the names to follow in professional cycling. Speaking to letour.fr ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the French rider explained: “I love the Classics. It’s the races that suit better my nature and my qualities as a rider. I knew I was capable of getting a result [atop the Mur de Huy], but I needed to actually deliver it.” Well aware of his potential, the AG2R La Mondiale rider will try to make the most out of it in La Doyenne. “I really like Liège because tactics and strategy are a bigger factor than in Flèche. The Roche-aux-Faucons definitely is the climax. I need to be amongst the top four or six riders at its summit. Right after comes the downhill and the flat terrain on the way to Liège, on which it will be about who plays tactics better. Although if Julian Alaphilippe puts the same attack he did last Sunday in Imola, it will be difficult to beat him…”

ROGLIC STARTS OVER
After the disappointing, heart-breaking ending of his Tour de France, Primoz Roglic has cleared his mind and is bound to start a campaign to defend his championship at La Vuelta. The first stop will be his maiden appearance at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. A stage-race man, Roglic found out the joy of one-day racing last autumn in Italy, where he won both the Giro dell’Emilia and the Tre Valle Varesine. His DS Franz Maassen considers we may see him shine tomorrow in Liège, along with his Team Jumbo Visma teammate Tom Dumoulin. “Primoz [Roglic] has the morale and the willingness to race a Monument. The length of the race may suit him. We are sure the Côte de la Redoute will be a key point, but the defining climb will be the Roche-aux-Faucons. Tom [Dumoulin] felt a bit tired at Flèche Wallonne, but it is entirely possible for him to surprise everybody tomorrow.”

POGACAR STILL IN THE MIX
UAE Team Emirates was one of the most relevant outfits at Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne. “We did a great job, indeed – the best we could,” asserts DS Neil Stephens. In the final lap, both Sergio Henao and Rui Costa attacked to set-up a hard course in the benefit of their leader Tadej Pogacar, who could only deliver a 9th place atop the Mur de Huy. “We have to be realistic about Tadej,” Stephens explains. “The Tour de France was obviously very demanding for him, and he hasn’t recovered from it yet for a number of reason. Even if he wanted to perform in Flèche Wallonne and was in the right mindset to do so, he couldn’t do better than 9th. And it’s the same situation for tomorrow. Liège is one of the most beautiful Classics of the year. We have good cards to play, with several very good riders who are perfectly able to crack a top10 but for whom a victory is a tough ask. We expect the race to be decided at the Roche-aux-Faucons. The winner will go clear there – be it solo or in a group.”

FROOME + KWIATO = DOUBLE THREAT FROM INEOS GRENADIERS
It won’t be a first, because he has already participated six times in Liège with the 36th position achieved in 2013 as his best result – but it will be a last. Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be Chris Froome’s final one-day race with Ineos Grenadiers. The four-times winner of the Tour de France will play a domestique role, working for his teammate (and loyal domestique) Michal Kwiatkowski, who has stood twice at the podium of La Doyenne (3rd in both 2014 and 2017). But Ineos Greandiers’ DS, Brett Lancaster, doesn’t rule out the possibility of seeing Froome on a different note. “Chris [Froome] has worked very well over the last few weeks in Andorra and is in very good shape. He is set to work for Michal [Kwiatkowski], but he might be on the offensive if any dangerous break goes early. It’s true Michal is very focused on this Classics campaign. We’ve been discussing it for three months already and he is determined to race all the way to Paris-Roubaix.”

VAN DER BREGGEN AND VAN VLEUTEN SPEARHEAD WOMEN’S LIÈGE
Despite the long tradition of the men’s event, the Women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège is still a relatively young race with only three editions on its record books. The two marquee names of the female peloton in this decade have so far been dominant in this Classic, with two victories under Anna van der Breggen’s name (2017 and 2018) and one under Annemiek van Vleuten’s (2019). Both Dutch cyclists will take part on this 2020 edition with their respective teams Boels Dolmans Cycling Team and Mitchelton Scott, spearheading a field with contenders such as Great Britain’s Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo), Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon // SRAM Racing), Netherlands’ Marianne Vos (CCC Team) or Flèche Wallonne’s runner-ups to Van der Breggen, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Demi Völlering (Parkhotel Valkenburg). The 134-kilometre long route from Bastogne to Liège features five climbs, with the Côte de la Haute-Levée as main addition for this year, and the Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons as final challenges before the rolling run-in to Liège. As happened at last Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, the Women’s Liège Bastogne-Liège will be broadcasted live across 190 countries via 20 TV channels thanks to a 90-minute coverage provided by host broadcaster RTBF.
@ASO

PARIS–ROUBAIX FEMMES: A RITE OF PASSAGE ON THE COBBLESTONES

PARIS–ROUBAIX FEMMES:
A RITE OF PASSAGE ON THE COBBLESTONES

Key points:
 The inaugural edition of the Women’s Paris–Roubaix will be held ahead of the men’s race on Sunday 25 October. The peloton will roll out from Denain at 9:10 am and tackle a 116 km course featuring 29,2 kilometres of cobblestones divided in 17 sectors.
 A provisional live broadcast of the Paris Roubaix Femmes on both general interest channels with large audiences and on sports-dedicated channels in almost 130 territories on 5 continents.
 24 teams representing the world cycling elite have been invited to be part of this momentous event.

Their time has come. The world’s top female cyclists have long watched their male counterparts do battle and get rattled on the cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix with a mix of jealousy and awe. Now, their first foray into the Hell of the North is approaching fast. The town of Denain, in the Nord department, will host the start of the race. The „fun“ starts after 20-odd kilometres, especially when the riders get to Hornaing, where the courses of the two races converge. At that point, 86 kilometres and two sectors with the maximum difficulty rating will stand between them and glory: Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, which have witnessed numerous make-or-break moments for cobble-gobblers over the generations. This year, the ladies will also know how it feels to go head to head on such hellish terrain, which only makes the entrance to Roubaix Velodrome that much sweeter.

Committed Partners
Already a major partner in men’s racing, the Hauts-de-France region is, with its newest collaboration, showing how strongly committed it is to cycling, the cobbles and to the „Reine des Classiques“.
FDJ, who have just renewed their partnership with the „La Course By Le Tour de France avec FDJ“, reinforce their presence in women’s cycling by becoming the official partner of the new race. This partnership has been created as a part of the „Sport pour elles“ program, launched by FDJ in 2016. FDJ-Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Futuroscope cycling team of which it is the major partner will be at the start of this first Paris-Roubaix women.
Amaury Sport Organisation is glad to be able to count on all of the partners of the men’s event for their growing support for the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Women.

Teams selection
In accordance with the Union Cycliste International’s regulations, the eight women’s UCI World Teams automatically entered are:

ALE‘ BTC LJUBLJANA (ITA)
CANYON / /SRAM RACING (GER)
CCC – LIV (POL)
FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE (FRA)
MITCHELTON SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN (ESP)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)

As well as the eight teams already selected, the organisers have extended invitations to the following fifteen teams:

AROMITALIA – BASSO BIKES – VAIANO (ITA)
ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM (KAZ)
BEPINK (ITA)
BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM (NED)
CERATIZIT – WNT PRO CYCLING TEAM (GER)
CHARENTE – MARITIME WOMEN CYCLING (FRA)
COGEAS METTLER LOOK PRO CYCLING TEAM (RUS)
HITEC PRODUCTS – BIRK SPORT (NOR)
LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES (BEL)
PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG (NED)
PAULE KA (SUI)
RALLY CYCLING (USA)
TEAM ARKEA (FRA)
TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK (USA)
VALCAR-TRAVEL & SERVICE (ITA)

RAINBOW ‘PREMIÈRE’ FOR ALAPHILIPPE IN LIÈGE

Key information:
 Julian Alaphilippe will first showcase his recently attained rainbow jersey this Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider comes to La Doyenne in great shape and is an obvious favourite to finally get a victory he was already close to in 2015 (2nd) and 2018 (4th). Four-times winner Alejandro Valverde will be one of the most-renowned rivals for the Frenchman.
 Fresh off his impressive triumph in Flèche Wallonne, Team Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi will try to prolong his winning streak. His companions on Wednesday’s podium, Benoît Cosnefroy and Michael Woods, will also be present in Liège.

By raising his arms last Sunday in Imola, Julian Alaphilippe made history. ‘Loulou’ was the first Frenchman to pull on the rainbow jersey since Laurent Brochard did back in 1997. The Deceuninck-Quick Step cyclist is now poised to set another landmark victory for his country this weekend in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The last Frenchman who managed to write his name in the ‘palmarès’ of La Doyenne was Bernard Hinault in 1980, only months before claiming the rainbow stripes himself in Sallanches.
But history doesn’t come easy. Alaphilippe will contend against a man who knows how to win this race, and has rightfully done so four times already. Former rainbow jersey himself, Alejandro Valverde comes to Liège after narrowly missing top10 in the Tour de France (12th) and delivering at 8th place in the 2020 Imola UCI Road World Championships.
Both Valverde and Alaphilippe were absent at Flèche Wallonne, leaving the path clear for new faces such as Marc Hirschi. His runner-up last Wednesday at the Mur de Huy, Benoît Cosnefroy, defined the Swiss cyclist as “one of strongest riders in the world at this moment.” His stage win at the Tour de France, on which he was awarded the most aggressive rider prize, combines with his bronze medal in Imola and his outstanding triumph this week to tout him as a potential contender at La Doyenne. Cosnefroy himself will be present in Liège too, as will the other man standing in the podium of Flèche Wallonne, Michael Woods, who has already come close to victory in this race (2nd in 2018).
As far as star riders are concerned, is hard to look past the podium of the Champs-Élysées. All the top3 riders of the Tour de France will race Liège-Bastogne-Liège: the Slovenians Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, and the Australian Richie Porte. Between those who shone in Huy, it’s pertinent to highlight Dan Martin (winner of La Doyenne in 2013, as well as 2nd in 2017), Warren Barguil (6th in 2018) and Michal Kwiatkowski (3rd both in 2014 and 2017).

25 teams, main contenders

Australia
Mitchelton-Scott: A.Yates (Uk), Albasini (Swi), Impey (Saf)

Bahrein
Bahrain-McLaren: Landa (Esp), Caruso (Ita), Poels (Ned), Teuns (Bel)

Belgium
Deceuninck-Quick Step: Alaphilippe, Cavagna (Fra), Jungels (Lux)
Lotto-Soudal: Wellens (Bel)
Circus-Wanty Gobert: Bakelants (Bel)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise: E.Planckaert (Bel)
Bingoal WB: Vanendert (Bel)
Alpecin-Fenix: Vakoc (Cze), Vervaeke (Bel)

France
AG2R La Mondiale: Cosnefroy, Vuillermoz (Fra)
Groupama-FDJ: Madouas, Molard (Fra)
Cofidis: G.Martin (Fra), Jes.Herrada (Esp)
Total Direct Energie: Simon, Hivert (Fra)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Barguil (Fra)

Germany
Bora-Hansgrohe: Kämna, Schachmann (Ger)
Team Sunweb : Hirschi (Swi), Benoot (Bel)

Kazakhstan
Astana Pro Team: Fraile, G.Izagirre (Esp)

Netherlands
Jumbo-Visma: Dumoulin (Ned) Roglic (Slo)

Poland
CCC Team: Van Avermaet (Bel), Geschke (Ger), De Marchi (Ita)

South Africa
NTT Pro Cycling Team: Gasparotto (Ita), Kreuziger (Cze)

Spain
Movistar Team: Valverde, Soler (Esp)

United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Pogacar (Slo), Costa (Por), Henao (Col)

United Kingdom
Ineos Grenadiers: Kwiatkowski (Pol), Froome (UK)

United States of America
Trek-Segafredo: Porte (Aus), Skujins (Lat)
EF Pro Cycling: Woods (Can), Martinez, Uran (Col)

La Fleche Wallone 2020

LA FLÈCHE WALLONNE FÉMININE 2020:
Huy – Mur de Huy (124,0 km/2185 hm)
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna (NED) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM 3:17:28
2 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup (DEN) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 0:00:02
3 VOLLERING Demi (NED) PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG 0:00:06
4 DEIGNAN Elizabeth (GBR) TREK – SEGAFREDO 0:00:11
5 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa (ITA) TREK – SEGAFREDO 0:00:11
6 MOOLMAN-PASIO Ashleigh (RSA) CCC – LIV 0:00:11
7 HARVEY Mikayla (NZL) EQUIPE PAULE KA 0:00:11
8 LIPPERT Liane (GER) TEAM SUNWEB 0:00:18
9 VOS Marianne (NED) CCC – LIV 0:00:22
10 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna (POL) CANYON / /SRAM RACING 0:00:22

Huy, Wednesday September 30th 2020 – For the 6th time in a row, Anna van der Breggen conquered the Flèche Wallonne becoming the record holder of the event in front of Marianne Vos. The Dutch rider celebrated in style her World title conquered last saturday in Imola by clinching an impressive victory at the top of the Mur de Huy. Van der Breggen wins this 23rd edition of the race ahead of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Demi Vollering. The Boels Dolmans Cycling Team leader also takes command of the UCI Women’s World Tour.

LA FLÈCHE WALLONNE 2020 (1.UWT): Marc Hirschi triumphiert auf der Mur de Huy

Herve – Mur de Huy (202,0 km / 2935 hm)
1 MARC HIRSCHI (TEAM SUNWEB) 04h 49′ 17“
2 BENOIT COSNEFROY (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 00h 00′ 00“
3 MICHAEL WOODS (EF PRO CYCLING) + 00h 00′ 00“
4 WARREN BARGUIL (TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC) + 00h 00′ 00“
5 DANIEL MARTIN (ISRAEL START-UP NATION) + 00h 00′ 00“
6 MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI (INEOS GRENADIERS) + 00h 00′ 00“
7 PATRICK KONRAD (BORA – HANSGROHE) + 00h 00′ 05“
8 RICHIE PORTE (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 00h 00′ 05“
9 TADEJ POGACAR (UAE TEAM EMIRATES) + 00h 00′ 05“
10 SIMON GESCHKE (CCC TEAM) + 00h 00′ 10“
11 VALENTIN MADOUAS (GROUPAMA – FDJ) + 00h 00′ 10“
12 JELLE VANENDERT (BINGOAL WB) + 00h 00′ 10“
13 DANIEL FELIPE MARTINEZ (EF PRO CYCLING) + 00h 00′ 10“
14 RUDY MOLARD (GROUPAMA – FDJ) + 00h 00′ 10“
15 JESUS HERRADA (COFIDIS) + 00h 00′ 15“
16 WOUTER POELS (BAHRAIN – MCLAREN) + 00h 00′ 18“
17 KRISTS NEILANDS (ISRAEL START-UP NATION) + 00h 00′ 18“
18 NICHOLAS SCHULTZ (MITCHELTON – SCOTT) + 00h 00′ 18“
19 ANDREA BAGIOLI (DECEUNINCK – QUICK – STEP) + 00h 00′ 18“
20 HUGO HOULE (ASTANA PRO TEAM) + 00h 00′ 18“

Huy, Wednesday September 30th 2020 – Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) got today a ground-breaking victory in his maiden participation at the Flèche Wallonne. The Swiss rider overpowered Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) and Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) to become the third youngest winner in the race’s history and the second ever Swiss rider to triumph on this event, joining the legendary Ferdi Kübler, winner in 1951 and 1952. This edition of the Flèche Wallonne followed the race’s usual pattern, with a long breakaway starring most of the day and an uphill sprint in the Mur de Huy determining the outcome.

Patrick Konrad eröffnet mit Rang sieben beim Fleche Wallonne die Ardennen Klassiker für BORA – hansgrohe

Im Regen machte sich das Feld heute auf die 202 km von Herve nach Huy zum Ersten der Ardennen Klassiker 2020, dem Fleche Wallonne. Früh im Rennen setzte sich eine 4-Mann-Gruppe vom Feld ab, die einen Vorsprung von über sieben Minuten herausfahren konnte. Rund 70 km vor dem Ziel machte sich Ide Schelling gemeinsam mit A. De Marchi auf deren Verfolgung. Etwa 20 Kilometer später hatte das Duo um Schelling etwas mehr als zwei Minuten auf das Peloton herausgefahren, während der Abstand zur Spitze immer noch 2:30 betrug. Beim vorletzten Anstieg zur Mur de Huy verlor Ide den Anschluss an De Marchi und wurde wenig später vom Feld gestellt. Dennoch ein starker Auftritt den jungen BORA – hansgrohe Neo-Profis, während an der Spitze die Gruppe ebenfalls auseinanderfiel. Rund 15 km vor dem Ende versuchte R. Uran noch dem Feld zu enteilen, wo auch BORA – hansgrohe mit McCarthy, Kämna und Konrad aktiv wurde, am Ende erreichte die Gruppe der Favoriten aber geschlossen die Mur de Huy. M. Hirschi stellte sich auf den letzten 500m als der Stärkste im Feld heraus. Patrick Konrad erreichte als sehr guter Siebenter das Ziel und stellte damit sein Vorjahresergebnis ein.

Ergebnisse
01 M. Hirschi 4:49:17
02 B. Cosnefroy +0:00
03 M. Woods +0:00

07 P. Konrad +0:05

Reaktionen im Ziel
„Bei Tirreno-Adriatico war ich nach einer Erkrankung noch nicht richtig in Schuss, die letzten Wochen lief mein Training aber sehr gut. Dennoch wusste ich nicht so wirklich, wo ich im Moment stehe. Ich habe zuhause viel trainiert, auch im Regen, das war harte Arbeit. Während dem Rennen habe ich mich recht gut gefühlt, da war dann auch klar, dass wir im Finale auf mich fahren. Die Streckenänderung hat mir auch nicht ganz in die Karten gespielt, denn die Anfahrt zu Mur war etwas leichter als die letzten Jahre. Am Ende hatte ich eine sehr gute Position, aber nicht ganz die Beine, um um den Sieg zu kämpfen. Beim Antritt von Woods hat mir wohl auch noch ein bisschen Rennhärte gefehlt. Aber der 7. Platz ist in jedem Fall ein gutes Ergebnis, mit dem ich zufrieden bin. Es war mir wichtig, vor dem Giro noch meine Form zu testen. Nun kann ich mit Selbstvertrauen nach Italien anreisen.“ – Patrick Konrad

„Wir wollten mit Patrick auf das Finale warten und mit Lennard auf den letzten 30 km aktiv sein. Zuvor ist Ide noch in eine Verfolgergruppe gegangen, das war nicht geplant, aber sicher kein Nachteil. Nach der vorletzten Auffahrt zu Mur war Lennard immer vorne im Feld, aber es ging keine Gruppe. Uran hatte alleine keine Chance, da haben Jay und Lennard dann auf den letzten 10 km Patrick in Position gehalten. Der war am Ende vorne dabei und Rang sieben ist ein sehr gutes Ergebnis. Wir können also zufrieden sein und Patrick weiß nun auch, dass seine Form für den Giro stimmt.“ – André Schulze, sportlicher Leiter

La Flèche Wallone 2020: Info with one day to go

Key information:
 We are set to live an extraordinary edition of the Flèche Wallonne tomorrow. For the first time ever, the race will be held in autumn… right after the Tour de France and the World Championships! The defending champion and new tenant of the rainbow jersey Julian Alaphilippe has chosen to skip the race in order to focus on Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) seems to be the wheel to follow, with another Grande Boucle podium man like Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) as a fellow favourite.
 Contention will be wide open, with a field full of outsiders for victory. Many riders come to Belgium after shining at both the Tour de France and the World Championships, such as Marc Hirschi, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa or Tom Dumoulin. It will be an exciting race up the Mur de Huy… and an early breakaway can’t be ruled out either.

JEAN-MICHEL MONIN: “ALL GUNS BLAZING IN THE MUR DE HUY”
The 84th edition of the Flèche Wallonne is starting from Herve, a village 15 kilometres east from Liège. The peloton will then ride across the Wallonia countryside to later reach Huy, where it will enter a 32-kilometre circuit due to be ridden three times. The route around Huy has been slightly revamped to avoid the Côte de Cherave, unavailable due to construction works and replaced by the Côte du Chemin des Gueuses. This new climb, 1,8-kilometre long with an average gradient of 6,5%, will play the same role as the Côte de Cherave according to race director Jean-Michel Monin. “It’s a road we normally faced on the other sense, as a descent, but on this case it will challenge the bunch 10 kilometres before the finish atop the Mur de Huy. It isn’t a launching pad for attackers, but rather a spot to narrow down the peloton. Chemin des Guuses is a softer climb compared to Cherave, but it can still blow many cyclists away. The top favourites will anyway be contending in the Mur – all guns will be blazing there. As every year, the strongest rider will triumph on the finish line.”

MARC HIRSCHI, A DEBUTANT ON A MISSION
After being one of the stars of the recent Tour de France and with the bronze medal of the Imola 2020 UCI Road World Championships hanging around his neck, Swiss rider Marc Hirschi is one of the marquee names on the startlist of the Flèche Wallonne despite this being its maiden appearance on this race. “I think a top5 is a realistic goal for Marc [Hirschi], but if he is on a good day he can even deliver a podium performance,” says Team Sunweb’s DS Michiel Elijzen. “He is one of the best riders on the world on short, steep climbs like Huy.” The Dutch coach identifies “Tadej Pogačar or Michal Kwiatkowski” as the top contenders for victory. “Normally Flèche Wallonne ends in an uphill sprint with a reduced peloton, and I think that won’t change this year. The sole factor that could alter this is the weather, and it looks fine for tomorrow. Therefore, most teams will focus on giving their leader the best possible shot on the Mur de Huy – although I think we will see more attacks before the final climb than in previous years.”

BAHRAIN-MCLAREN EXPECTS “UNCERTAIN RACE”
One of the teams lining up a powerful squad on this Flèche Wallonne is Bahrain-McLaren. The British-based team comes with three riders fresh off the Tour de France such as Mikel Landa, Wout Poels and Matej Mohoric, and a former Flèche Wallonne podium finisher as Dylan Teuns to round up the outfit. “We don’t know yet how are we going to play the cards we have – it will depend on how the race unfolds,” says DS Xavier Florencio. “Mikel Landa is in good shape after being 4th in the Tour de France and contending in the Worlds. We are unsure of Dylan Teuns’ shape, although we know he had a good race at Tirreno-Adriatico and that Flèche Wallonne perfectly fits his abilities as a rider. We can’t foresee which team will control the race, and therefore expect the competition to be a bit different, more uncertain compared to previous editions. We don’t think the bunch will make to Huy in one piece.”

TEAM DUTY FOR TOM DUMOULIN
Over his nine years on the elite level of the sport, Tom Dumoulin has only taken part once in the Flèche Wallonne, placing 21st in 2014. This Wednesday, the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia will be on the start line of Herve on team duty with an eye on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where he will race alongside Primoz Roglic. “We don’t know what role Tom Dumoulin can play tomorrow,” says his DS at Jumbo-Visma, Franz Maassen. “We have to see whether he is fully recovered from the Worlds, but normally this will only be a training race for him ahead of Sunday’s event.” The Dutch squad will back the chances of youngsters Lennard Hofstede and Jonas Vingegaard. “I think this Flèche Wallonne will be more or less ridden the same way it usually is, with a bunch getting to the foot of final climb and an uphill sprint for the win. Although many riders are tired after the Tour de France and the World Championships, this won’t affect how the race pans out.”
@ASO

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2020

Kuurne – Kuurne (201,0 km)
1 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick Step 4:47:18
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling Team 0:00:03
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:03
4 Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick Step 0:00:03
5 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek – Segafredo 0:00:03
6 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:03
7 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain – McLaren 0:00:03
8 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos 0:00:03
9 Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie 0:00:03
10 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar Team 0:00:03
11 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:03
12 Fabian Lienhard (SUI) Groupama – FDJ 0:00:03
13 Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:00:03
14 Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton – Scott 0:00:03
15 Eduard Prades Reverter (Esp) Movistar Team 0:00:03
16 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora – Hansgrohe 0:00:03
17 Damien Touzé (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:03
18 John Degenkolb (GER) Lotto Soudal 0:00:03