Archiv der Kategorie: Weltcup und Klassiker

Liège – Bastogne – Liège – 257 Km


Photo by HERBERT MOOS

1 EVENEPOEL Remco BEL QUICK-STEP ALPHA VINYL TEAM 06:12:38
2 HERMANS Quinten BEL INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 00:48
3 VAN AERT Wout BEL JUMBO – VISMA 00:48
4 MARTINEZ Daniel Felipe COL INEOS GRENADIERS 00:48
5 HIGUITA Sergio Andres COL BORA – HANSGROHE 00:48
6 TEUNS Dylan BEL BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 00:48
7 VALVERDE Alejandro ESP MOVISTAR TEAM 00:48
8 POWLESS Neilson USA EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST 00:48
9 HIRSCHI Marc SUI UAE TEAM EMIRATES 00:48
10 WOODS Michael CAN ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH 00:48
11 HAIG Jack AUS BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 00:48
12 MAS Enric ESP MOVISTAR TEAM 00:48
13 FUGLSANG Jakob DEN ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH 00:48
14 VLASOV Aleksandr RUS BORA – HANSGROHE 00:52
15 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 01:36
16 ARMIRAIL Bruno FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 01:36
17 STANNARD Robert AUS ALPECIN – FENIX 02:30
18 MOLARD Rudy FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 02:30
19 MEURISSE Xandro BEL ALPECIN – FENIX 02:30
20 PACHER Quentin FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 02:30
21 VUILLERMOZ Alexis FRA TOTALENERGIES 02:30
22 ULISSI Diego ITA UAE TEAM EMIRATES 02:30
23 VANSEVENANT Mauri BEL QUICK-STEP ALPHA VINYL TEAM 02:30
24 COSNEFROY Benoit FRA AG2R CITROEN TEAM 02:30
25 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren DEN TEAM DSM 02:30
26 POZZOVIVO Domenico ITA INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 02:30
27 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI Ion ESP COFIDIS 02:30
28 WILSLY Jonas DEN UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 02:30
29 MOLLEMA Bauke NED TREK – SEGAFREDO 02:30
30 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA ASTANA – QAZAQSTAN TEAM 02:30


Photo by HERBERT MOOS

It’s Liège at first sight for Evenepoel

Veni, vidi, Remco. The Belgian rider took over Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s leadership baton from his teammate Julian Alaphilippe, who crashed out of contention with 62 kilometres to go, and pulled off an amazing solo ride to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège on his maiden participation in La Doyenne. No one could match Evenepoel’s impressive attack atop the legendary Côte de la Redoute, and all the attempts to bring him back afterwards turned out fruitless. Intermarché-Wanty Gobert’s Quinten Hermans was the quickest in the sprint of the chase group, with Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert coming home third. It’s the first time Liège-Bastogne-Liège has had a full Belgian podium since 1976.

172 riders took the start on the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège at 10:21 as there were three non-starters: Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma), Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Kamiel Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen). It was five kilometres into the race that Lotto-Soudal’s Sylvain Moniquet first opened up a gap. He was quickly joined by his teammate Harm Vanhoucke, Groupama-FDJ’s Bruno Armirail, Uno-X’s Jacob Madsen and TotalEnergies’ Fabien Doubey. Many groups tried to follow their example, yet failed to do so as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl didn’t grant any leeway to the attackers until kilometer 40, when Pau Miquel (Equipo Kern Pharma), Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies), Marco Tizza, Kenny Molly and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces) managed to go clear and finally reached the front of the race 17 kilometres later to establish a 11-strong breakaway. Meanwhile, Sport Vlaanderen’s Gilles de Wilde tried to counter as well, but failed to bridge back and gave up atop the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne (km 76,8).

A huge crash gave knocked the race into shape
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Jumbo-Visma, Movistar Team and Bahrain Victorious took turns at the helm of the bunch to keep tabs on the breakaway, which registered a maximum gap of 6’30” clocked at kilometer 101, as the race went past Bastogne. The array of climbs between the kilometers 165 and 190 split the break by half, as Vanhoucke’s pace uphill proved too high for Miquek, Planckaert, Tizza, Molly and Madsen. Meanwhile, the bunch cut the gap down to 3’00” atop the Côte de la Haute-Levée (km 187). It was in a small descent on the way to the Col du Rosier (km 201,2), with 62 kilometres to go and Bahrain Victorious leading the way, that a huge crash happened in the bunch, making 30 riders hit the deck and forcing many more to stop. Amongst the most affected, pre-race favourites like Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Romain Bardet (Team DSM) or Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe). The peloton was reduced to 60 riders for a minute, until being reinforced by several groups that had been caught on the wrong side of the cut provoked by the crash. This is how Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) or Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) came back to contention.

Evenepoel’s unmatchable acceleration
As has happened many times in the history of this race, the Côte de la Redoute (km 227,7) was key on the outcome of this edition. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl led the reduced pack both on its approach and its steeper ramps. Near the summit, with just 29 kilometres to go, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) made good use of the work deployed by his teammates Louis Vervaeke and Mauri Vansevenant to put on an impressive acceleration – an no one had an answer to it. The Belgian rider went on to catch Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), who by then was the last man standing from the day’s breakaway, with 22 kilometers to go. They began the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons (km 243,8) with 30” on the pack, where many teams were contributed to keep tabs on the move. Evenepoel dropped Armirail early on the climb and undertook his successful solo raid to victory. The many attacks that happened behind were not good enough to bring his gap down, as he indeed came home with a comfortable 48-second advantage on the first chase group.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes – 142 Km

1 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek NED MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN 03:52:32
2 BROWN Grace AUS FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 00:43
3 VOLLERING Demi NED TEAM SD WORX 00:43
4 MOOLMAN-PASIO Ashleigh RSA TEAM SD WORX 00:43
5 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa ITA TREK – SEGAFREDO 00:43
6 CAVALLI Marta ITA FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 00:47
7 SIERRA CANADILLA Arlenis CUB MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN 01:58
8 LIPPERT Liane GER TEAM DSM 01:58
9 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna POL CANYON // SRAM RACING 01:58
10 SPRATT Amanda AUS TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE-JAYCO 01:58
11 ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena NED CANYON // SRAM RACING 01:58
12 LABOUS Juliette FRA TEAM DSM 02:05
13 GARCIA CAÑELLAS Margarita Victo ESP UAE TEAM ADQ 02:55
14 KOSTER Anouska NED TEAM JUMBO VISMA 02:55
15 PALADIN Soraya ITA CANYON // SRAM RACING 02:55
16 VAN ANROOIJ Shirin NED TREK – SEGAFREDO 02:55
17 SANTESTEBAN GONZALEZ Ane ESP TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE-JAYCO 02:55
18 FISHER-BLACK Niamh NZL TEAM SD WORX 02:55
19 KASTELIJN Yara NED PLANTUR-PURA 02:55
20 MUZIC Evita FRA FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 02:55

Van Vleuten flies again in the Ardennes

After a series of places of 2nd in recent classics, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women) capped off her spring with an impressive one-woman show on the final ascents of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes. Already a winner in the Ardent City in 2019, the Dutch star put the hammer down on the Côte de la Redoute, and eventually went solo on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. The ITT Olympic champion then made the most of her power to hold off her rivals and claim victory ahead of Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx). With a second victory in Liège, Van Vleuten matches Anna van der Breggen’s record (winner in 2017 and 2018) and maintains the Dutch dominance.
Liège Bastogne Liège Femmes 2022 – Stage summary

It’s an early and fast start for the 128 riders setting off from Bastogne at 8:35. Despite some headwinds, the pace is high from the gun, with some early downhill sections. It takes many attempts and 32km of battle for a group of four attackers to make the break with Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (EF Education-Tibco-SVB), Jeanne Korevaar, Quinty Ton (Liv Racing Xstra) and Flora Perkins (Le Col-Wahoo).

The early attackers don’t make it far
The peloton control the gap under 2 minutes on the way to the first ascent of the day, Côte de Mont-le-Soie, to be summited at km 55.3. Flora Perkins is the first rider over the top.
The peloton move closer on the Côte de Wanne (km 63.6) and Team SD Worx set a strong pace on the way to Côte de La Haute-Levée (km 72). The gap is down to 15’’ at the bottom of the ascent. The attackers are reeled in on the climb and Ton is the last breakaway rider to be caught, 500m from the summit.

An impressive counter-attack
A new group of attackers gets away ahead of the ascent of the Col du Rosier with some strong contenders: Marlen Reusser (SD Worx), Sara Martin (Movistar), Leah Thomas (Trek-Segafredo), Soraya Paladin (Canyon//Sram Racing), Evita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange), Leah Kirchmann (Team DSM) and Clara Honsinger (EF Education-Tibco-SVB).
UAE Team ADQ try to organise the chase, but the gap is up to 1’10’’ at Col du Rosier (km 82.6). The attackers push their lead to 1’30’’ on the climb up Côte de Desnié (km 99.5).

Van Vleuten moves on La Redoute
The peloton pick up the pace as the main favourites battle for the front positions ahead of the main ascents of the day. The gap is down to 1’ at the bottom of Côte de La Redoute. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx) light the first fireworks on the ascent, then Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) puts the hammer down.
The Dutch star, winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes in 2019, bridges the gap to the front of the race and keeps pushing. Only Marlen Reusser manages to follow her over the top. But the chasers only trail by 10’’ and a group of 16 favourites get back together with 22.5km to go.

Van Vleuten flies up la Roche-aux-Faucons
Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) immediately counter-attacks and opens a gap of 23’’ at the bottom of the final ascent of the day. Van Vleuten attacks again and goes solo at the front of the race 500m away from the summit of Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Her lead is up to 12’’ over the top, with 13.4km to go to the finish in Liège.
She enters the last 10km with a lead of 20’’. And increases her lead to 30’’ for the last 3km, giving herself all the time necessary to celebrate victory. Grace Brown dominates the sprint for 2nd ahead of Demi Vollering.
@ASO

Liège-Bastogne-Liège : Van Aert is back

Key points:
 The conclusions drawn from the Flèche Wallonne, won by Dylan Teuns ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Aleksandr Vlasov don’t change the prognosis for the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Indeed, the verdict reached atop the Mur de Huy doesn’t affect the chances of Tadej Pogačar defending his title, of Julian Alaphilippe getting the title he has always dreamt of, or of the Spanish rider making a final farewell to the Ardennes.
 But the standouts of the Flèche Wallonne will be joined this weekend by several other contenders who are likely to make a formidable impact: Wout van Aert in his first participation in the Doyenne; Matej Mohorič as a credible candidate for a San Remo-Liège double; Valentin Madouas and Romain Bardet who lengthen the list of French riders who are in a position to excel.

There are some types of races where Tadej Pogačar struggles. On his third attempt at the Flèche Wallonne, the Slovenian Cannibal had to be satisfied with a 12th place finish that maybe exposes one of his rare limitations. But he remains a serious contender to defend his 2021 title on the quai des Ardennes in the Liège city centre. Last year, „Pogi“ made a move in the final metres to beat world champion Julian Alaphilippe in a sprint finish, who could find himself in the same jersey in the same context, despite a career-worst fourth place at the top of the Mur de Huy yesterday. Therefore, it would be a bit hasty to exclude him from the select list of the main favourites based on his performance on the Flèche. It is even more true for Alejandro Valverde, whose slight drop in form 50 meters from the finish line cost him a sixth victory. However, his second-place finish is proof that the four-time winner would still be a fine elder for the Doyenne. With the Flèche Wallonne demonstrating which riders are on form, Dylan Teuns will ride in the spotlight, although the finish on Sunday will be less advantageous for him than the formidable Mur de Huy. It won’t necessarily be the case for Aleksandr Vlasov, who will probably be able to complete the podium as he did on the Flèche. The excellent results of Michael Woods (5th) and Dani Martínez (6th) make them legitimate candidates for the win in Liège. The group of French riders led by Rudy Molard (8th), Warren Barguil (9th) and Alexis Vuillermoz (10th), closely followed by Benoit Cosnefroy (13th), also give them hope for a strong showing in Liège.
The Liège event that closes the spring classics season also attracts some formidable contenders that skipped the Mur de Huy. The most probable rider in this category is Wout van Aert, a cyclo-cross champion that it would be over-simplistic to put in the „Flemish“ box. His victory in the 2021 Amstel Gold Race is a reminder that he has a very favourable „Ardennes“ profile. The Belgian champion has never taken part in the Doyenne, but „Pogi“ has shown that an exceptional newcomer can aim high. His 2nd place on Paris-Roubaix was enough to confirm that his form hadn’t been seriously affected by his Covid troubles. Matej Mohorič, who also finished 5th on Paris-Roubaix, could once again play the role of the Slovenian, who is less expected. He was present in the 2020 final sprint, won by Primož Roglič, and has become even more after finishing fourth, especially with his victory in Milan-San Remo a few weeks ago. As for the French, Valentin Madouas is most likely the leading hope for Groupama-FDJ, whose David Gaudu finished on the podium in 2021 but didn’t compete in the Flèche due to a bout of bronchitis. However, Romain Bardet showed encouraging form at the Tour des Alpes, which could put him back on the same level as his 2018 podium (3rd), or even better. Lastly, Philippe Gilbert has saved himself for his favourite race, which he won in 2011 and on which he will add to his participation record after his 17th and final appearance. It is a statistic that Valverde will not be able to take away from him!

25 teams, the leading riders
Australia
Team BikeExchange-Jayco: Matthews, Schultz (Aus)
Bahrain
Bahrain-Victorious: Teuns (Bel), Mohoric (Slo), Landa (Spa)
Belgium
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team: Alaphilippe (Fra), Evenepoel, Vansevenant (Bel)
Lotto Soudal: Gilbert, Wellens (Bel)
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux: Pozzovivo (Ita), Bakelants (Bel)
Alpecin-Fenix: Vine (Aus)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise: Herregodts (Bel)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB: Paasschens (Ned), Wirtgen (Lux)
France
AG2R Citroën Team: Cosnefroy, Paret-Peintre (Fra), Jungels (Lux)
Groupama-FDJ: Gaudu, Madouas, Molard (Fra)
Cofidis: G.Martin (Fra), Jes.Herrada, I.Izagirre (Spa)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Barguil, Gesbert (Fra), Anacona (Col)
TotalEnergies: Latour, Vuillermoz (Fra)
Germany
BORA-hansgrohe: Higuita (Col), Hindley (Aus), Vlasov
Great Britain
Ineos Grenadiers: Martinez (Col), Kwiatkowski (Pol), Rodriguez (Spa), Pidcock (Gbr)
Israel
Israel-Premier Tech: Woods (Can), Fuglsang (Dan), Impey (Zaf)
Kazakhstan
Astana Qazaqstan Team: Nibali, Moscon (Ita), De la Cruz (Spa), Lutsenko (Kaz)
Norway
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: Johannessen (Nor)
Spain
Movistar Team: Valverde, Mas, Aranburu (Spa)
Equipo Kern Pharma: Adria (Spa)
The Netherlands
Jumbo-Visma: Van Aert, Benoot (Bel), Vingegaard (Den)
Team DSM: Kragh Andersen (Den), Bardet (Fra)
United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Pogacar (Slo), Hirschi (Che), Soler (Spa), Ulissi (Ita)
United States
Trek-Segafredo: Mollema (Ned), Ciccone (Ita)
EF Education-Easypost: Uran (Col), Carr (Gbr), Powless (Usa)

©A.S.O.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes : an ardent summit

Key points:
 Following her victories in the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne Femmes, Marta Cavalli is aiming for a historic treble on Sunday on the roads of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes.
 The Italian rising star will battle again with her compatriot Elisa Longo Borghini, winner in Roubaix, after a spring dominated by transalpine riders.
 The Oranje stars, with Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering leading the way, want to bounce back to the top step of the podium on roads that have often favored them.

Liège, the Ardent City, can also be a land of conquest, redemption or consecration for the pedaling stars gearing up for a last summit in the Spring Classics campaign. On Sunday, some 144 riders are expected to start the 6th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, including the champions who have just shone on the cobblestones of the North and the Ardennes hills.
From Bastogne, where the peloton will set off for 142.5 hilly kilometres, Marta Cavalli will be particularly watched. After a surprise win in the Amstel Gold Race, the Italian impressed in Paris-Roubaix Femmes (5th) and imposed her talent on the slopes of the Mur de Huy. She is moving towards a potential historic triple Amstel-Flèche-Liège, a performance that only Anna van der Breggen has achieved (in 2017).
On the roads of the Ardennes, Cavalli will vie with her compatriot Elisa Longo Borghini, winner in Roubaix, 6th in La Flèche Wallonne Femmes, and 3rd in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes last year. The Italian star will once again enjoy a very strong support in the ranks of Trek-Segafredo, which notably counts on the Dutch powerhouses Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand.
The Oranje are used to shining in Liège, and several of them are expected to be at the forefront on the slopes of La Roche-aux-Faucons. Second in Huy on Wednesday, also second in the Strade Bianche and the Ronde van Vlaanderen earlier this season, Annemiek van Vleuten is looking for a way back to success in Liège, where she won in 2019.
She will have to face the young SD Worx armada, led by defending champion Demi Vollering (3rd in the Flèche), with the support of the experienced Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and the guidance of the young retiree Van der Breggen. Another Dutch star, Marianne Vos is uncertain after missing Paris-Roubaix Women with Zwift following a positive Covid-19 test.

24 teams, the leading riders :
Australia:
Team BikeExchange-Jayco: Amanda Spratt (Aus)
Belgium:
Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport: Denise Betsema (Ned)
Lotto Soudal Ladies: Kyie Waterreus (Ned)
Plantur-Pura: Yara Kastelijn (Ned)
France:
Arkéa Pro Cycling Team: Morgane Coston (Fra)
Cofidis Women Team: Rachel Neylan (Aus)
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope: Marta Cavalli (Ita)
Germany:
Canyon//Sram Racing: Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol), Soraya Paladin (Ita)
Great-Britain:
Le Col-Wahoo: Eider Merino (Esp)
Italy:
Bepink: Silvia Zanardi (Ita)
Valcar-Travel & Service: Olivia Baril (Can)
Luxembourg:
Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch: Nina Berton (Lux)
Norway:
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: Joscelin Lowden (Gbr)
Spain:
Movistar Team Women: Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned)
Switzerland:
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad: Tamara Dronova
The Netherlands:
Liv Racing Xstra: Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)
Parkhotel Valkenburg: Mischa Bredewold (Ned)
Team DSM: Liane Lippert (Ger), Floortje Mackaij (Ned)
Team Jumbo Visma: Marianne Vos (Ned), Anouska Koster (Ned)
Team SD Worx: Demi Vollering (Ned), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Rsa)
The UAE:
UAE Team ADQ: Mavi Garcia (Esp)
The USA:
EF Education-Tibco-SVB: Lauren Stephens (Usa)
Human Powered Health: Barbara Malcotti (Ita)
Trek-Segafredo: Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita), Ellen van Dijk (Ned)

©A.S.O.

La Flèche Wallonne – 202 Km


Photos by HERBERT MOOS


Photo by Plomi

1 TEUNS Dylan BEL BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 04:42:12
2 VALVERDE Alejandro ESP MOVISTAR TEAM 00:02
3 VLASOV Aleksandr RUS BORA – HANSGROHE 00:02
4 ALAPHILIPPE Julian FRA QUICK-STEP ALPHA VINYL TEAM 00:05
5 MARTINEZ Daniel Felipe COL INEOS GRENADIERS 00:07
6 WOODS Michael CAN ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH 00:07
7 ALMEIDA GUERREIRO Ruben Antonio POR EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST 00:07
8 MOLARD Rudy FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 00:07
9 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:07
10 VUILLERMOZ Alexis FRA TOTALENERGIES 00:07
11 BENOOT Tiesj BEL JUMBO – VISMA 00:07
12 POGACAR Tadej SLO UAE TEAM EMIRATES 00:07
13 COSNEFROY Benoit FRA AG2R CITROEN TEAM 00:07
14 SCHULTZ Nicholas AUS TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE-JAYCO 00:07
15 POZZOVIVO Domenico ITA INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 00:07
16 HERRADA Jesus ESP COFIDIS 00:15
17 PACHER Quentin FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 00:17
18 JENSEN Mattias DEN TREK – SEGAFREDO 00:21
19 POWLESS Neilson USA EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST 00:24
20 JOHANNESSEN Tobias Halland NOR UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:24

Aleks Vlasov auf dem Podest beim Flèche Wallonne

Mit dem Start dieses Jahr erstmals in Blegny, im Osten der Ardennen, wies der Frühjahrsklassiker Wallonischer Pfeil auf seiner 202 km langen Strecke elf Steigungen auf. Nach rund 120 Kilometern begannen die Fahrer die erste von drei Schleifen um die Stadt Huy, die die letzten 80 km der Rennstrecke ausmachen, und auf der dreimal die Mauer von Huy gemeistert werden musste. Mit einem durchschnittlichen Steigungsgrad von 9,6 Prozent und Abschnitten von bis zu 19 Prozent hatte die Mur de Huy es in sich. Bei der zweiten Überquerung der Mur gab es nur eine Handvoll Fahrer an der Spitze des Rennens, bevor die letzten Ausreißer 9 km vor dem Ziel eingeholt waren. Ein ziemlich großes Feld nahm die letzten Kilometer dann zusammen in Angriff. Nachdem mehrere Attacken vor dem Finale erfolglos blieben, kam es zur Entscheidung in der steilen Steigung zum Ziel hinauf. 250 Meter vor dem Ziel lancierte Teuns eine Attacke, der nur Valverde und Aleks Vlasov folgen konnten. Am Ende erwies sich Teuns als der Stärkste im Bergaufsprint, während Aleks den dritten Platz einfuhr.

Reaktionen im Ziel
„Ich bin mit meiner ersten Teilnahme am Flèche Wallonne sehr zufrieden. Das Rennen war ziemlich nervös, weil alle um eine gute Position kämpfen wollten. Ich wusste, dass ich den finalen Anstieg so weit vorne wie möglich anfangen musste und im Finale habe ich dann versucht, Valverde zu folgen. Ich habe heute wirklich alles gegeben und am Ende hat es sich gelohnt. Und wer weiß, nach meinem Podestplatz hier werde ich es nächstes Jahr vielleicht nochmals versuchen. Jetzt konzentrieren wir uns auf Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich. Ich bin jetzt gut in Form, also wir werden sehen, was da möglich ist.“ – Aleks Vlasov
„Besonders nach seiner starken Leistung bei der Baskenland-Rundfahrt wussten wir, dass wir mit Aleks Vlasov einen Fahrer haben, der hier mit um den Sieg kämpfen konnte. Wir hatten vier Rookies, unter ihnen auch Aleks, die heute Flèche Wallonne zum ersten Mal gefahren sind. Wir haben uns gestern die Strecke im Detail angeschaut und haben einen klaren Plan formuliert um Aleks 100 Prozent zu unterstützen. Den haben wir auch perfekt umgesetzt. Aleks hat genau das gemacht, was wir vorher besprochen hatten: 300 Meter vor dem Ziel an das Hinterrad von Valverde klemmen und eine gute Position finden. Die anderen sechs Fahrer haben alle einen super Job gemacht. Sie kommen teilweise aus dem Höhentrainingslager, und teilweise aus Verletzung zurück, aber jeder hat seinen Job gemacht. Also als der Sportliche Leiter bin ich mit dem Ergebnis sehr zufrieden.“ – Jens Zemke, Sportlicher Leiter

Teuns upsets Valverde’s last hurrah

Belgian ‘puncheur’ Dylan Teuns won the Flèche Wallonne by timing his effort perfectly to be the quickest up the Mur de Huy, which once again was crucial and definitive on the first of the two Ardennes classics.
The Bahrain Victorious rider defeated Movistar Team’s Alejandro Valverde, who on his final appearance on this race was not able to extend his record victory count from five to six. Third in contention was Bora-Hansgrohe’s Alexander Vlasov, with current World Champion Julian Alaphilippe in fourth place and Ineos Grenadiers’ Daniel Martínez in fifth. It’s the first time a Belgian rider wins the Flèche Wallonne since Philippe Gilbert’s victory in 2011.

173 riders took the start on the 86th edition of the Flèche Wallonne at 11:32 as there were two non-starters, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Andreas Kron (Lotto-Soudal), both sick. Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies) and Ruben Apers (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) staged an attempt to break away that didn’t succeed. It was at kilometer 28 that Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) and the aforementioned Hulgaard managed to go clear. Some minutes later, Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces) countered as the bunch decided to let the group become the breakaway of the day. Wirtgen bridged back atop the Côte des Forges (km 55,1), while Reynders took some further 10 kilometers to regain the head of the race.

Not much leeway for the attackers
The 10-man group managed to build a maximum advantage of 3’15”, clocked 90 kilometers into the race, over the pack, led by UAE Team Emirates, Ineos Grenadiers and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. The nervous approach to the final circuit, which was to be lapped three times, brought the gap down to 1’35” atop the first climb to the Côte d’Ereffe (km 121,3). The climbs began to wear down the riders at the front. Reynders and Wirtgen were dropped in the Côte de Cherave (km 134,1), as were Juul Jensen, Hulgaard and Rolland on the second time up the Côte d’Ereffe (km 152,5). Meanwhile, back in the bunch, pre-race favorite Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) got dropped atop the Mur de Huy (km 139,8). He withdrew from the race soon after.

Victory up for grabs in Huy
As the breakaway got smaller, bigger was the will of the riders on the bunch to attack. We saw several attempts from Intermarché-Wanty Gobert riders, but it was Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost) who took off on the second climb to the Côte de Cherave (km 165,2) and pulled off a successful chase to regain the head of the race with 25 kilometers to go. Carr did not settle with being at the front and decided to attack again while climbing the Côte d’Ereffe (km 183,6), with Ferron on his wheel, leaving the rest of their breakaway companions to be caught by the bunch shortly after. The peloton shut down their move for good with 9 kilometres to go. The last climb to the Côte de Cherave (km 196,4) saw aggression from Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM). The Frenchman got dropped on the way to the Mur de Huy, while the Belgian and the Dane were overtaken by the bunch under the last kilometer banner. Movistar Team set the pace up the Mur de Huy with Carlos Verona and Enric Mas, but in came Dylan Teuns to frustrate the plans of the Spanish team with the powerful acceleration he launched at the 200 meters to go sign.
@ASO

Flèche Wallonne Femmes 2022 – 133km

Cavalli and the Mur are unique


Photos by HERBERT MOOS

1 CAVALLI Marta ITA FDJ NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE 03:38:37
2 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek NED MOVISTAR TEAM 00:00
3 VOLLERING Demi NED TEAM SD WORX 00:10
4 MOOLMAN Ashleigh RSA TEAM SD WORX 00:17
5 GARCÍA Mavi ESP UAE TEAM ADQ 00:21
6 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa ITA TREK – SEGAFREDO 00:30
7 LIPPERT Liane GER TEAM DSM 00:33
8 DOEBEL-HICKOK Kristabel USA EF EDUCATION-TIBCO-SVB 00:37
9 KASTELIJN Yara NED PLANTUR-PURA 00:40
10 SANTESTEBAN Ane ESP TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE – JAYCO 00:42
11 ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena NED CANYON//SRAM RACING 00:46
12 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna POL CANYON//SRAM RACING 00:52
13 VAN ANROOIJ Shirin NED TREK – SEGAFREDO 00:52
14 KOSTER Anouska NED TEAM JUMBO-VISMA 01:01
15 SIERRA Arlenis CUB MOVISTAR TEAM 01:07
16 BARIL Olivia CAN VALCAR – TRAVEL & SERVICE 01:07
17 FISHER-BLACK Niamh NZL TEAM SD WORX 01:07
18 PATIÑO Paula Andrea COL MOVISTAR TEAM 01:07
19 MAGNALDI Erica ITA UAE TEAM ADQ 01:07

Marta Cavalli’s beautiful spring became even more impressive on Wednesday, as the Italian leader from FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope powered to victory on the mighty slopes of the Mur de Huy.

Only four days after she came 5th of Paris-Roubaix, the winner of Amstel Gold Race got the best of Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) to become the second Italian winner of La Flèche Wallonne Femmes, whose first conqueror, Cavalli’s compatriot Fabiana Luperini, returned to the event and followed the race from the car of the event director François Lemarchand before joining Cavalli on the podium. At 24 years old, she succeeds Anna van der Breggen, winner of the past 7 editions, now a sports director for Team SD Worx and Demi Vollering (3rd).

Flèche Wallonne Femmes 2022 – Last KM
It’s an early start for the 128 women lining up in Huy to take on 133.4km, including three ascents of the Mur de Huy, a first on the occasion of the 25th edition of La Flèche Wallonne Femmes. After a handful of attempts in the first part of the race, Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Xstra) is the first attacker to get away from the bunch. Anastasia Carbonari (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Kylie Waterreus (Lotto Soudal Ladies) join her at the front 10km later, while the peloton trail by 30“.

Not much of a gap for the first attackers
More riders try to make the break, and three attackers successfully do so: Federica Piergiovanni (Valcar-Travel & Service), Pauline Allin (Arké Pro Cycling Team) and Silvia Zanardi (Bepink). The gap to the peloton is up to 52’’ at km 50, as they get closer to the first ascent of the Côte de Cherave (summit at km 65.4).
The attackers reach the bottom of the climb with a lead of 1’50’’. Zanardi leads the way to the summit, and the gap to the bunch is down to 1’10’’. The Italian rider also sets the pace on the first ascent up Mur de Huy (km 71.1). Waterreus can’t keep up with her pace, while the intensity picks up in the peloton, bringing the gap down to 45’’ at the summit.

An impressive counter-attack
The five leaders manage to build a bigger advantage after the summit (1’30’’), but more attackers try to get away from the bunch on the way to Côte d’Ereffe. A group of 10 are eventually able to go free and bridge the gap to Ragusa, Carbonari, Piergiovanni, Allin and Zanardi at km 95: Anna Shackley (SD Worx), Alena Amialiusik, Elise Chabbey (Canyon//Sram), Leah Thomas (Trek-Segafredo), Jelena Eric (Movistar), Esmée Peperkamp (Team DSM), Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange-Jayco), Anouska Koster (Jumbo-Visma), Krista Doebel-Hickock (EF Education-Tibco-SVB), and Yara Kastelijn (Plantur-Pura).
They open a gap of 2 minutes on the next ascent of Côte de Cherave (km 96.5). Marta Cavalli’s FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope react to bring the gap down to 1’45’’ atop the penultimate ascent of the Mur de Huy (31.2km to go), and 1’25’’ as the race enters the last 25km.

Van Vleuten tries to break Cavalli
Eric drops down from the breakaway to the bunch to participate in the chase behind her nine former companions. The attackers are only 20’’ away with 10km to go. They’re eventually caught as SD Worx put the hammer down on the final ascent up Côte de Cherave, just before the final 5km.

Some 15 riders get back together on the way to Huy. Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) has two teammates to set her up, and the Dutch star sets a strong pace on the steepest slopes, as she tries to drop all her rivals with 400m to go. Cavalli is the only one who can follow Van Vleuten… And she even has enough strength to move past her just at the summit.
© A.S.O.

Paris – Roubaix 257 Km

1 VAN BAARLE Dylan NED INEOS GRENADIERS 05:37:00
2 VAN AERT Wout BEL JUMBO – VISMA 01:47
3 KÜNG Stefan SUI GROUPAMA – FDJ 01:47
4 DEVRIENDT Tom BEL INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 01:47
5 MOHORIC Matej SLO BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS 01:47
6 PETIT Adrien FRA INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 02:27
7 STUYVEN Jasper BEL TREK – SEGAFREDO 02:27
8 PICHON Laurent FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 02:27
9 VAN DER POEL Mathieu NED ALPECIN – FENIX 02:34
10 LAMPAERT Yves BEL QUICK-STEP ALPHA VINYL TEAM 02:59
11 TURNER Ben GBR INEOS GRENADIERS 04:30
12 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 04:33
13 SENECHAL Florian FRA QUICK-STEP ALPHA VINYL TEAM 04:36
14 MEEUS Jordi BEL BORA – HANSGROHE 04:47
15 LOUVEL Matis FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 04:47
16 VAN DER HOORN Taco NED INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 04:47
17 VAN AVERMAET Greg BEL AG2R CITROEN TEAM 04:47
18 DEGENKOLB John GER TEAM DSM 04:47
19 PASQUALON Andrea ITA INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 04:47
20 TEUNISSEN Mike NED JUMBO – VISMA 04:47
21 BISSEGGER Stefan SUI EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST 04:47
22 POLITT Nils GER BORA – HANSGROHE 04:47
23 PLANCKAERT Baptiste BEL INTERMARCHE – WANTY – GOBERT MATERIAUX 04:47
24 VAN GESTEL Dries BEL TOTALENERGIES 04:47
25 GARCIA CORTINA Ivan ESP MOVISTAR TEAM 04:47
26 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume BEL ALPECIN – FENIX 04:47
27 SKAARSETH Anders NOR UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 04:47
28 LE GAC Olivier FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 04:47
29 JØRGENSEN Mathias DEN MOVISTAR TEAM 04:47
30 GILBERT Philippe BEL LOTTO SOUDAL 04:47
31 SWIFT Connor GBR TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 04:47
32 ROBEET Ludovic BEL BINGOAL PAUWELS SAUCES WB 04:47
33 VANHOOF Ward BEL SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE 04:47
34 MADOUAS Valentin FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 04:47
35 GANNA Filippo ITA INEOS GRENADIERS 04:47
36 BIERMANS Jenthe BEL ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH 04:47
37 VAN HOOYDONCK Nathan BEL JUMBO – VISMA 06:58
38 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald NOR TOTALENERGIES 07:00
39 NIEUWENHUIS Joris NED TEAM DSM 07:00
40 MERLIER Tim BEL ALPECIN – FENIX 07:02

14. Rang für Jordi Meeus im Velodrom von Roubaix

Auch in diesem Jahr sorgte Paris-Roubaix bei seiner 119. Auflage für die erwartete Dramatik. Nachdem sich zu Beginn trotz vieler Angriffe keine Gruppe absetzen konnte, teilte sich das Feld nach etwa 50 Kilometer in zwei Teile, wobei Nils Politt, Marco Haller und Jordi Meeus den Sprung in die erste Gruppe schafften. Mit 1:20 Vorsprung ging es auf die ersten Pavé-Abschnitte, wo sich auch die ersten Stürze ereigneten. Als sich zuerst fünf Fahrer aus der Spitze etwa 120 km vor dem Ziel lösen konnten, setzte Nils Politt mit C. Swift noch vor dem Sektor Arenberg zur Verfolgung an. Während dahinter die Gruppen wieder zusammenliefen, wurde wenig später auch Nils wieder eingeholt. Nach einem weiteren Split im Feld waren Nils und Jordi zunächst noch bei den Favoriten dabei, eine Tempoverschärfung später fielen aber beide zurück. Während vorne D. Van Baarle die entscheidende Attacke setzte, konnten Jordi und Nils gegen Ende des Rennes noch einige Fahrer einholen. Am Ende holte Jordi den Sieg im Sprint seiner Gruppe und landete damit auf Rang 14.
Von der Ziellinie
„Es war eigentlich immer Vollgas und gab kaum Zeit nachzudenken. Es war gut in der Gruppe vorne zu sein, aber ich muss ehrlich sein, als Van Aert und Van der Poel wieder zu uns aufschlossen und danach attackiert haben, hatte ich einfach nicht die Beine zu folgen. Nach den ganzen Krankheiten bin ich mit dem Rennen aber zufrieden, es war solide. Natürlich wollten wir als Team mehr, aber am Ende haben wir noch das Beste rausgeholt. Der Sprint war sehr speziell hier im Velodrom. Ich war zwar etwas eingebaut, aber dann trotzdem noch vorne. Mit dem 14. Rang bin ich zufrieden.“ – Jordi Meeus

„Am Anfang haben wir alles richtig gemacht und waren zu dritt in der großen Gruppe. Ich hatte eigentlich auch ganz gute Beine. Vor Arenberg bin ich losgefahren, um dem Stress aus dem Weg zu gehen. Danach war ich bei den Favoriten. Leider hat vor mir Van Avermaet ein Loch gelassen, als Van Aert losfährt. Dann haben wir kurz gezögert und die Lücke war da. Das ist ärgerlich, denn es wäre schon etwas mehr drin gewesen.“ – Nils Politt

„Wenn man sieht, wie wir die Klassiker begonnen haben, dann war das heute ordentlich. Wir haben zu Beginn alles richtig gemacht und waren mit den richtigen Leuten vorne dabei. Leider waren wir dann schnell mal nach einem Sturz hinten dran und mussten ein Loch zufahren, das hat schon mal ein paar Körner gekostet. Die Gruppe mit Mohoric haben wir leider verpasst, allerdings ist Nils danach losgefahren. Als die Favoriten dann Ernst gemacht haben, waren wir nicht aufmerksam genug. Zum Ende hin haben wir noch gut gekämpft und der 14. Rang von Jordi ist ok. Er ist ein junger Fahrer und kann bei diesem Rennen in Zukunft viel erreichen. Unser Rennen heute war sicher nicht perfekt, aber die Leistung der Jungs geht in Ordnung.“ – Torsten Schmidt, sportlicher Leiter

Van Baarle seals first Roubaix victory for Ineos Grenadiers

Ineos Grenadiers triumphed today at Paris-Roubaix after completing an excellent team race that was sealed by its Classics leader Dylan van Baarle with an impressive solo effort.
The Dutchman launched his winning move with 19 kilometres to go, at the Camphin-en-Pévèle cobbled sector, overpowering his breakaway companions Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Tom Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl). Second and third into the finish line came Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), who rode the whole day on the back foot after Ineos had split the race before the cobbles were even in sight.

The frantic racing favored an incredible average speed of 45,8 km/h in what turned out to be the fastest-ever edition of Paris-Roubaix – and the maiden victory for Ineos Grenadiers (and its previous incarnation, Team Sky) at the Hell of the North.

169 riders took the start on the 119th edition of Paris-Roubaix at 11:15, off to ride 257,2 kilometres between Compiègne and the Vélodrome André Pétrieux in Roubaix. It was a hectic start, with no less than 48,8 kilometres covered in the first hour of racing, during which many riders tried (and failed) to establish a breakaway. It was at kilometre 47 that the bunch got split in two groups. Ineos Grenadiers led the charge at the front, along with EF Education-EasyPost, Bora-Hansgrohe, Bahrain Victorious and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, while many favourites were caught off guard and forced to chase. Amongst them, two out of the three podium finishers from 2021, Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), along with marquee riders like Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Kasper Asgreen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Jumbo-Visma duo Christophe Laporte and Wout van Aert.

Enter the cobbles
The gap between the two groups reached 1’15” after 60 kilometres of racing, and was held around that mark until the first cobbled sector, 36 kilometres later. With cobbles came chaos: Pedersen and Asgreen crashed behind right before sector 30 (Troisvilles to Inchy, km 96,3), while at the front it was Ineos Grenadiers’ Filippo Ganna who punctured at sector 29 (Viesly to Quiévy, km 102,8), hampering his team’s efforts to dominate the race. The real carnage, though, came at sector 27 (Saint-Python, km 110,1), when a huge crash took down most of the front group, leaving Niki Terpstra (TotalEnergies) alone in the lead. The Dutchman was brought back at sector 25 (Haussy, km 123,7) by most of his former breakaway companions. The gap between the two main groups was still around one minute.

La fuga de la fuga
A courageous solo attack by Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen) at sector 24 (Saulzoir to Verchain-Maugré, km 130,6) was shut down by a puncture. Soon after, at kilometer 146, five riders broke away from the breakaway: Davide Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Casper Pedersen (Team DSM), Tom Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic). This led to disagreements that spelt the end for the initial skirmish. After a breathless 105-kilometer long chase, the first bunch was brought back by the second one at kilometer 152, just ahead of sector 20 (Haveluy to Wallers, km 153,7).

A favorites group is established
The Trouée d’Arenberg (km 161,9 – 2,3 km), cobbled sector number 19, took its toll on Ballerini and Pedersen, who got dropped from the front group as the gap for Mohoric, Devriendt and Pichon increased beyond the two minutes. Only 50 riders survived in the main bunch at sector 14 (Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies, km 192). Into sector 13 (Orchies, km 197), Jumbo-Visma’s Nathan Van Hooydonck sped things up with his leader Wout van Aert on his wheel. Out of this move came the 12-strong favorites group that would play out for victory along with the three cyclists who were up the road. The favorites group contained: Mathieu van der Poel, Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Ben Turner, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Adrien Petit, Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).

Impressive display of resilience by Matej Mohoric
At sector 12 (Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée, km 203,1), an acceleration by Van Baarle took Trentin, Van der Hoorn and Van Keirsbulck out of contention. Into sector 11 (Mons-en-Pévèle, km 208,6), Pichon got dropped from the break due to a puncture and Sénéchal lost contact to the favorites group. Right out of sector 9 (Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin, km 218), Mohoric suffered a puncture and left Devriendt alone in the lead. After many attacks, Mohoric broke clear from the favorites again, along with Lampaert, with 29 kilometers to go. Behind, Van Baarle gradually brought himself back to their wheel. The three, along with Devriendt, conformed a 4-strong group at the head of the race, while Van Aert and Küng undertook a duo chase behind.

The moment the race was won
Van Baarle waited until sector 5 (Camphin-en-Pévèle, km 237,3) to launch what would become his winning move. Mohoric and Lampaert initially tried to counter, but failed to regain his wheel. Furthermore, the Belgian crashed at sector 2 (Willems to Hem, km 249) after touching a spectator and losing his balance. Meanwhile, Mohoric was caught by Van Aert, Küng and Devriendt, who had managed to keep up with the pace of both powerhouses. On the velodrome, they sprinted for the remaining places of the podium. The main one was Van Baarle’s, and Ineos Grenadiers’, by his and their own right.

Paris-Roubaix Féminin – 125 Km

1 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa ITA TREK-SEGAFREDO 03:10:54
2 KOPECKY Lotte BEL TEAM SD WORX 00:23
3 BRAND Lucinda NED TREK-SEGAFREDO 00:23
4 CHABBEY Elise SUI CANYON//SRAM RACING 00:23
5 CAVALLI Marta ITA FDJ-NOUVELLE AQUITAINE-FUTUROSCOPE 00:23
6 MACKAIJ Floortje NED TEAM DSM 00:23
7 VAN DIJK Ellen NED TREK-SEGAFREDO 00:23
8 VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK Chantal NED TEAM SD WORX 00:32
9 GEORGI Pfeiffer GBR TEAM DSM 02:22
10 ALONSO DOMINGUEZ Sandra ESP CERATIZIT-WNT PRO CYCLING 02:22
11 NORSGAARD Emma DEN MOVISTAR TEAM 02:22
12 BROWN Grace AUS FDJ-NOUVELLE AQUITAINE-FUTUROSCOPE 02:22
13 JACKSON Alison CAN LIV RACING XSTRA 02:54
14 BEEKHUIS Teuntje NED TEAM JUMBO-VISMA 02:54
15 BASTIANELLI Marta ITA UAE TEAM ADQ 02:54

Longo Borghini and Trek-Segafredo rule the cobbles

After Lizzie Deignan’s inaugural one-woman-show, Trek-Segafredo imposed their collective strength in the 2nd edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift until Elisa Longo Borghini went solo to claim victory in the André Pétrieux velodrome.

Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand lit the first matches on the cobbles for the American squad before the Italian Champion launched her decisive move with 34km to go, to claim another major success in the classics, after the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Strade Bianche, GP de Plouay… Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) dominated the sprint for 2nd, ahead of Lucinda Brand, and Ellen van Dijk joined her Trek-Segafredo partners in the top 10 (7th).

The 139-woman peloton roll from Denain with beautiful weather conditions but without Meava Squiban (Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime) and the Dutch icon Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), who returned a positive test to Covid-19 hours before the start.

Attacks and tension ahead of the cobbles
The opening circuit in Denain, with 4 laps to cover, sees early attackers launch an intense battle for the breakaway. Gaia Masetti (AG Insurance-NXTG Team), Leonie Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Amalie Lutro (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Katie Clouse (Human Powered Health) are the first riders to manage to get away. Tanja Erath (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) makes it a 5-woman group at the front at km 6.
More riders try to join them but the peloton control the counter-attacks. The attackers exit Denain with a lead of 1’40’’. The gap increases to a maximum of 1’55’’ at km 32. But Trek-Segafredo up the pace as they get closer to the cobbles.

First skirmishes
The gap is done to 1’10’’ as the peloton hit the sector from Hornaing to Wandignies (4*). At the front, Bos and Klouse are dropped by their breakaway companions. The bunch explodes with Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) setting a strong pace on the cobbles.
The race of attrition is on, and Trek-Segafredo are willing to make the selection, but they quickly lose two cards on the third sector of the day. Van Dijk suffers a puncture. Then Chloe Hosking crashes on the side of the cobbles. Meanwhile, Erath goes solo at the front, with a gap of 20’’ to the bunch with 69km to go.
The German attacker is eventually reeled in with 61km to go, just ahead of the Orchies sector, where Chantal van den Broek-Blaak ups the pace for Team SD Worx, whose leader Lotte Kopecky won the Ronde van Vlaanderen a couple of weeks ago.

Kopecky goes from far
Van Dijk returns to the bunch just ahead of sector 12, from Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (4*). But Kopecky immediately attacks. Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) is the first to react, and Lucinda Brand joins them at the front, while her Trek-Segafredo partner Elisa Balsamo suffers a mechanical. She is then disqualified as the jury of commissaires rules the World Champion had an irregular return after her mechanical.
The three leaders increase their lead to 20’’ on the first 5* sector of the day, Mons-en-Pévèle, with 46km to go. Emma Norsgaard’s Movistar lead the chase, and the attackers are reeled with 33km to go, on the cobbles of Templeuve (sector 8).
Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) immediately launches a counter-attack. She enters the last 30km with a lead of 30’’. She survives a near miss on the cobbles of Camphin-en-Pévèle and enters Carrefour de l’Arbre (17km to go) with a gap of 25’’.

Another 1-3 for Trek-Segafredo
Kopecky puts the hammer down in pursuit. Only Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and two riders from Trek-Segafredo, Brand and Van Dijk. The Belgian champion doesn’t manage to get closer than 20’’ behind Longo Borghini, who keeps setting a strong pace at the front.
The gap is back up to 40’’ when the chasers are joined by Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx), Floorte Mackaij (Team DSM) and Elise Chabbey (Canyon//Sram Racing) with 12km to go. This support is not enough to get back to Elisa Longo Borghini.
The Italian champion savours her triumph in the velodrome, eventually claiming victory 23’’ ahead of Kopecky. Brand finishes 3rd, repeating Trek-Segafredo’s 1-3 from 2021.
@ASO

PARIS-ROUBAIX 2022: INFO WITH ONE DAY TO GO

Key points:
 170 riders will start the 119th edition of Paris-Roubaix tomorrow, right in front of the Château de Compiègne, three years after the race’s last Spring edition. The sun is expected to greet the riders as they head for a 257,2-kilometer ride that includes 54,8 km worth of cobblestones.

 The much-anticipated duel between Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert might catch some eyes tomorrow, even though the Belgian rider’s build-up for the Hell of the North has been hindered by Covid-19.
 Ineos Grenadiers have arguably been the most powerful team of the Classics season and is lining up quite a packed squad, with ITT world champion Filippo Ganna as the leader on paper … and many cards to play like Dylan van Baarle, Michal Kwiatkowski and American young gun Magnus Sheffield, who comes to Roubaix fresh off winning De Brabantse Pijl.
 Many outsiders will try to upset the favorites by making it into the break, as several underdogs did indeed manage to do over the last few editions. Amongst them we find Groupama-FDJ’s Stefan Küng and Valentin Madouas, and also Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen, who will try to emulate what his female teammate Elisa Longo Borghini did at Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift on the eve of the men’s race.

WARM WEATHER … AND SOME WIND
Over at the team presentation held on Saturday, the weather forecast for tomorrow’s race was by far the most widely discussed topic. After last year’s cold, rainy edition, sunshine is expected to cast over the peloton all the way from Compiègne to Roubaix. The temperatures, however, will remain around the 20ºC and won’t reach those 27ºC we experienced back in 2007, when Stuart O’Grady triumphed on Summer-like conditions. Most riders are happy with the promise of a blue sky, but some aren’t. Par example, Bahrain Victorious’ Matej Mohoric. “I would have preferred some rain in order for the race to be more demanding skills-wise,” he asserts, while Greg van Avermaet echoes the peloton’s general feeling that it will be “nice” to race on warm weather: “It’s the one there was when I won in 2017 so yeah, I love this weather.” Another factor that will come into play is the wind, which will blow from the east. According to race director Thierry Gouvenou, this will favor the attackers. “There will be tailwind at the exit of the hardest cobbled sectors. Therefore, it will be harder for the groups to come back together. Riders shall not miss the cuts.”

WVA vs MVDP: an anticipated duel
The rivalry between Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel has long become a fixture to some of the most exciting races of the cycling season, both on the road and on the fields – but it is yet to be staged to its bigger extend on Northern France’s cobblestones. It’s only last year that we first saw both riders starting Paris-Roubaix. The Dutchman managed to sprint for the win and cross the finish line on 3rd place, while the Belgian fell out of contention due to some bad luck with 70 kilometers to go and had to settle with 7th. As for this year, Van Aert is on the back foot after catching Covid-19 as recently as two weeks ago. “I’m here with a big question mark over my shoulders,” says the Jumbo-Visma rider. “I feel good right now, but it’s hard to say what my current level is. I’m just happy to be on the start line, as I didn’t want to miss this beautiful race. But this year it will be more difficult than ever for me.” On the other side, Van der Poel shows a remarkable confidence on his possibilities. “I’ve felt in good shape these last few weeks,” asserts Alpecin-Fenix’s leader. “My goal is to win, as it always is.” Will this much-anticipated duel on the Hell of the North take place tomorrow?

Strength in numbers for Ineos Grenadiers
Ineos Grenadiers has long been deemed as a stage-race team, yet this season it has proven its prowess on one-day races time and again. Last Sunday, Poland’s Michael Kwiatkowski won his second Amstel Gold Race, while on Wednesday it was USA’s Magnus Sheffield who raised his arms in victory at De Brabantse Pijl. Both of them will take the start tomorrow along with Netherland’s Dylan van Baarle, who stood second at the podium of the Tour de Flanders two weekends ago. “I love all the Classics, but Roubaix is the most special one for me,” says the Dutchman. “We are in a good place, as we have shown these last few weeks that we are able to play a major role on these races.” Italy’s Filippo Ganna is touted as the team’s leader, yet the promising Magnus Sheffield does also catch some eyes too. And not only because the American is just 19 years old and thus the youngest rider of this year’s race – also because of his power and his recent victory in Belgium. “I am still on shock after that,” he admits. “It’s crazy to think I’m already racing the professional Paris-Roubaix, only three years after participating on the junior version. Sometimes I have to remember myself where I am in order to enjoy the moment I’m living. This race is not a playground, though. It separates men from boys. My role will be to remain in contention for as long as possible, supporting our leaders. We want to have strength in numbers on the final kilometres.”

Stefan Küng: “I dream of victory”
Groupama-FDJ has long relied on Arnaud Démare as its leader for Paris-Roubaix. This year, though, there is a new kid on the block to carry the French hopes on his shoulders: Valentin Madouas, who scored an excellent 3rd place on the Tour of Flanders and will debut tomorrow in the Hell of the North. “I feel very good, duly recovered from Amstel Gold Race,” says Madouas. “I asked to line up in Roubaix right after my podium in Flanders because I felt my legs were relatively fresh. I’ve been granted a free role by my team, which has some other cards to play.” Amongst those, Switzerland’s Stefan Küng, who has also delivered some remarkable results this year (5th at Tour of Flanders, 8th at Amstel Gold Race) and approaches tomorrow’s appointment with optimism. “This is the climax of the Classics season,” he affirms. “I dream of victory. I hope for my legs to be up to the task while my eyes follow the moves of the two biggest favorites, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.”

Secrets and successes of the Roubaix break
“Paris-Roubaix is the most beautiful race to go on the breakaway,” said Silvan Dillier on an interview with L’Équipe. Alpecin-Fenix’s Swiss national champion did indeed feature on the break of the 2018 edition and that enabled him to cross the finish line second… as Bora-Hansgrohe’s Nils Politt did on the following edition, and as Lotto-Soudal’s Florian Vermeersch did last year. Furthermore, in 2016, Australia’s Matthew Hayman set the foundations for his win by making it into the day’s breakaway. “This might sound too obvious, but Paris-Roubaix does not start on the cobbled sectors,” asserts Sebastian Langeveld, road captain for EF Education-EasyPost, who has taken part on 13 editions of the race. “Depending on the wind, the breakaway group that might go away on the tarmac has a great chance of getting pretty far into the race. As for tomorrow, I expect the first two hours of racing to be very fast and for a relatively big group to get up the road, as there will be tailwinds that sometimes will blow from the sides.” Another rider with some expertise to share on this domain is Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Tim Declercq, a powerhouse that has featured in the breakaways of four out of the last six editions of the event. “My role at the races is usually to be at the front of the bunch, trying to let go a break that is easy to control,” explains ‘El Tractor’. “This task is way more difficult at Paris-Roubaix, because the roads we ride at the start are very wide and there are attacks right and left – and also from the back of the bunch. I try to follow as many guys possible, as that way it is easier to make it into the front group… But usually, by the time the break is established, I have spent so much energy that I devote myself to working for a teammate that is up there too and has better legs than me.”

Double act for Trek-Segafredo ?
Trek-Segafredo women’s team put on an excellent show on Saturday at Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, with Elisa Longo Borghini taking the win from a solo break while her teammates Ellen Van Dijk and Lucinda Brand frustrated every attempt from their rivals to counter the Italian national champion’s long-range attack. Brand even landed a podium placing to buckle up the act. Now it’s time for their male counterparts to try and emulate their feats. “This is not just ‘one of the objectives’ of my season – it is ‘the’ key objective of my season,” says Denmark’s Mads Pedersen, spearhead of Trek-Segafredo’s bid. “My shape has been very good these past few weeks, so I hope to be on the mix and racing for the win tomorrow. I don’t think I’m the biggest favorite at the start line – just one of the them. I want to do my own race while watching out for the strong guys, but I am aware that this is a tough, open race, where surprise contenders usually come along.”