Schlagwort-Archive: ASO

TOUR OF OMAN 2023: MAKE IT TWO RACES

Key points:

A new race is born in the Sultanate, the Muscat Classic, on the eve of the 12th edition of the Tour of Oman, featuring 5 stages from 11 to 15 February.
 For the first time in the history of the event, the final stage leads the riders to Jabal Al Akhdhar, on the slopes of the iconic “Green Mountain”, after an ascent of nearly 6km at more than 10%.
 Nine UCI WorldTeams have confirmed their participation and the national team of Oman is making its comeback after a successful first in 2022.

The best habits can always benefit from exciting novelties. Thirteen years after the birth of the Tour of Oman, the Sultanate welcomes a new professional road race to go along the emblematic stage event at the start of the season in the Middle East: the Muscat Classic, stepping into the international calendar as the only 1.1 race organized in Asia.
On the eve of the 12th Tour of Oman, the course explores demanding roads towards Al Bustan, where punchers and sprinters have regularly fought for victory. Peter Sagan, Alexey Lutsenko, Fabian Cancellara and André Greipel are among the stars who already claimed victory there. A one-day event, the Muscat Classic can offer new, even more explosive racing dynamics to crown its first champion on February 10.

New summits and twists
The following day, the Tour of Oman will return with a first stage from Al Rustaq Fort to Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. The course, favouring sprinters, saw Fernando Gaviria take the first leader’s jersey in 2022, before he achieved another success five days later in Muscat. This year, the fast men better shine immediately, otherwise they won’t find any terrain suited to their abilities.
The road already rises on stage 2, towards Qurayyat, where Anthon Charmig displayed his talent in 2022. And the finale will be even tougher the next day, on the irregular slopes of Jabal Haat (4.6km at 8%), before another tough finish on the Yitti hills (stage 4). On this day, the riders will face the longest stage (195.5km), with two climbs inside the last 10 kilometres. After the last summit, there will only be 800 metres left… The end promises to be thrilling.
The contenders for victory will have to catch their breath for the decisive stage of the Tour of Oman 2023. For the first time, the last finish line is set on the slopes of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), the iconic ascent in the area. Who will emerge as the winner after 5.7km of climbing at an average of 10.5%? The race to succeed Jan Hirt will soon begin.

9 UCI WorldTeams
The Muscat Classic and the Tour of Oman 2023 bring together 18 teams, including nine from the World Tour (2 more than in 2022). Six teams from the UCI ProTeams division will also be there, including Lotto Dstny, determined to regain their place in the elite after their recent relegation, and Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, who shined on the Tour of Oman 2022 and are now preparing their first participation in the Tour de France. Asian teams JCL Team Ukyo and Terengganu Polygon will also be there.

Champions from all over the world will battle with the national team of Oman, whose riders ignited several moves for their first participation last year. New opportunities to shine await them around Muscat and across the Sultanate, which now hosts two events.

Muscat Classic, 10.2.23:
Al Mouj Muscat > Al Bustan

2023 stages Tour of Oman:
Stage 1: Al Rustaq Fort > Oman Convention & Exhibition Center (OCEC)
Stage 2: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex > Quarayyat
Stage 3: Al Khobar > Jabal Haat
Stage 4: Izki > Yitti Hills
Stage 5: Samail “Al Feyhaa Resthouse” > Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain)

CRITÉRIUM DU DAUPHINÉ: A VOLCANIC START AMONG THE ‘PUYS’

Key points :
 Proceedings for the 75th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné will be kicked off in Chambon-sur-Lac, at the heart of the Auvergne region’s ancient volcanoes. It will be the second start of the event in the Puy-de-Dôme department following the gathering of the peloton in Clermont-Ferrand in 2020.
 The route of the first stage is 158-km long, beginning and finishing in Chambon-sur-Lac: the surrounding relief will already give observers an indication of who are the riders in form at the time.

The riders take part in the Critérium du Dauphiné to find the answers to all the questions concerning them with a month to go before the Tour de France and, naturally, to achieve prestigious victories likely to boost their confidence. For this date inscribed in their diaries on the first weekend of June, they will find themselves in familiar territory. While Chambon-sur-Lac will be proudly adding its name to the map of the event for the first time, several neighbouring municipalities have recently given the elite riders opportunities to express themselves on a variety of terrains. In 2020, it was in the Puy-de-Dôme department, in Clermont-Ferrand, that Wout van Aert victoriously opened an edition reduced to five stages and moved to August due to the exceptional “Covid year” schedule. The following year in Issoire, Brent Van Moer made a solo breakaway to pick up his finest victory. Finally, in 2022, it was even nearer to the slopes of the Puy de Sancy that David Gaudu surprised Wout van Aert to pip him at the post on the finishing line in Chastreix.

On the programme for 2023, the route of the first stage has been traced out to start and finish at Chambon-sur-Lac, taking in a 158-kilometre expedition among the direct surroundings of the town, spread over four loops. In particular, the first will take the peloton to the ski resort of Mont-Dore, while the second, measuring 23 kilometres and containing three laps of the same circuit, will include obstacles to the sprinters’ ambitions such as the Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle (900 m with an average gradient of 6.7%). In total, there will be 2,860 m of climbing during the day, with the relief of the Auvergne putting the riders to the test from the outset. The visit to Chambon-sur-Lac will also offer the riders a short preview of the 10th stage of the Tour de France 2023, since the peloton will be passing through the municipality midway between Vulcania and Issoire in July.

@ASO

THE ROUTE OF LA VUELTA 23

The official presentation of the route of La Vuelta 23 was held at the Palau de la Música Catalana on Tuesday. The Spanish tour’s 78th edition will take off from Barcelona on Saturday, the 26th of August and will conclude in Madrid on the 17th of September. Its 21 stages will include 12 unprecedented departures and eight unprecedented finish-lines, all while visiting nine autonomous communities and three countries: Spain, Andorra and France. The cyclists will face ten high-altitude finales, five of which are new to La Vuelta, two time trials, seven mountains stages, six mid-mountain stages, four flat stages and two flat stages with high-altitude finales.

VE23_Mapa Recorrido 1080x1080px

Unipublic has presented, on Tuesday the 10th of January, the route of La Vuelta 23, that will take place between the 26th of August and the 17th of September. For the second time in its history, the Spanish tour will take off from Barcelona. The city will host an urban team time trial as its first stage and the second stage will depart from Mataró and arrive in Barcelona once again, in front of the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium.

Following the two first finish-lines in Barcelona, the peloton will then head to Andorra from Súria in order to experience the race’s first mountain stage. The Principality will host La Vuelta 23’s first unprecedented high-altitude finale with a climb of Arinsal. The riders will sleep in Andorra before heading South from Andorra La Vella towards Tarragona in order to conclude the race’s initial Catalan and Andorran journey.

The Autonomous Community of Valencia will be the star of the next phase of La Vuelta. The riders will ride through the Province of Castellón in a mid-mountain stage between Morella and Burriana. The Castellón locality of La Vall d’Uixó will be the starting point for the next stage, heading to Teruel, with the final climb up to the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre as the day’s main attraction. The race’s first flat stage will take place on the 7th day, with a finale that will benefit the sprinters at Oliva. The peloton will then bid farewell to the Autonomous Community of Valencia with a finale along the Costa Blanca, on a summit that is already well-known to the riders: Xorret de Catí.

As a final challenge to end the week before the rest day, the Region of Murcia will put the riders to the test with a stage beginning in the coast, in Cartagena, heading inland towards the finish-line in Caravaca de la Cruz.

The second week of competing will begin in the Province of Valladolid with a 25-kilometre individual time trial. The peloton will then continue its route towards Castilla y León’s West, in order to visit the Laguna Negra in Vinuesa. Zaragoza will provide sprinters will a final opportunity before heading to the Pyrenees for two challenging mountain stages: Aubisque and Tourmalet first, and Issarbe, Larrau and Larra-Belagua on the second day – two stages that will play a deciding role within the race. Pamplona and Lekunberri will host the stage before the second and final rest day.

The demanding nature of the race will not diminish in the last week of racing as, following the unprecedented high-altitude finale in Bejes, will be La Vuelta’s great colossus: L’Angliru. The Principality of Asturias will, once again, be the judge of the race with its unprecedented high-altitude finale in Cruz de Linares, as was the case in 2022 with the Colláu Fancuaya. The Castilian wind may play an important role on the way to Íscar, giving sprinters their opportunity before arriving in Madrid. The second-last linear stage will be held in the Guadarrama Basin in a “classic” stage format, featuring 10 3rd category climbs that will determine La Vuelta’s final overall winner before the traditional final stage in Madrid.

BARCELONA, A CITY THAT LOVES SPORTS

Barcelona will be an exceptional host for the grand departure of La Vuelta 23. “When we looked at Barcelona, we took into account four essential pillars that define the city and fit in perfectly with La Vuelta’s own philosophy: sports, sustainability, tradition and innovation. As a large cycling event, those four characteristics are extremely important to us,” assured Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta.

LA VUELTA DE LOS COLOSOS
Mountains will play an important role in La Vuelta’s 78th edition. Familiar summits such as Angliru, Xorret de Catí and Javalambre will feature along with unprecedented summits such as Larrau, Larra-Belagua, Cruz de Linares and one of cycling’s most mythical summits: the Tourmalet. “Mountains are a part of La Vuelta’s DNA and will make the 2023 edition very exciting, yet again,” said Guillén. “The Tourmalet will be a landmark in the history of our race and will be this year’s great colossus, along with the Angliru. We continue searching for new summits in order to showcase great cycling and it is in this search that we discovered new finales at Larra-Belagua, Cruz de Linares and Bejes, and such mountain passes as Larrau and Issarbe,” explains the race’s General Director.

Etappen der VUELTA 23:
1. Etappe, 26. August: Barcelona – Barcelona, 14,6 km, MZF
2. Etappe, 27. August: Mataró – Barcelona, 181,3 km
3. Etappe, 28. August: Súria – Arinsal/Andorra, 158,5 km
4. Etappe, 29. August: Andorra – Tarragona, 183,4 km
5. Etappe: 30. August: Morella – Burriana, 185,7 km
6. Etappe, 31. August: La Vall d’Uixó – Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre, 181,3 km
7. Etappe, 1. September: Utiel – Oliva, 188.8 km
8. Etappe, 2. September: Dénia – Xorret de Cati, 164,8 km
9. Etappe, 3. September: Cartagena – Caravaca de la Cruz, 180,9 km

1. Ruhetag, 4. September

10. Etappe, 5. September: Valladolid – Valladolid, 25 km, EZF
11. Etappe, 6. September: Lerma – La Lagruna Negra, 163,2 km
12. Etappe, 7. September: Ólvega – Zaragoza, 165,4 km
13. Etappe, 8. September: Formigal – Col du Tourmalet, 134,7 km
14. Etappe, 9. September: Sauveterre-de-Béarn – Larra-Belagua, 161,7 km
15. Etappe, 10. September: Pamplona – Lekunberri, 156,5 km

2. Ruhetag, 11. September

16. Etappe, 13. September: Liencres Playa – Bejes, 119,7 km
17. Etappe, 14. September: Ribadesella – Alto de L’Angliru, 122,6 km
18. Etappe, 15. September: Pola de Allande – La Cruz de Linares, 178,9 km
19. Etappe, 16. September: La Baneza – Iscar, 177 km
20. Etappe, 16. September: Manzanares El Real – Guadarrama, 208,4 km
21. Etappe, 17. September: Hippodromo de la Zarzuela – Madrid, 101 km

Saudi Tour 2023

Key points:
• The third edition of the Saudi Tour, a 2.1 stage race on the UCI calendar sanctioned by the Saudi Arabia Cycling Federation, will feature five stages, suitable for sprinters, explosive riders and climbers, from January 30 to February 3rd.
• The route, located in the north-west of the country around the wonders of AlUla, returns to the Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid and showcases other World Heritage Sites recently designated by UNESCO.

For the second year running, the Saudi Tour, of which this is the third edition after a successful launch in 2020, is concentrated in the region of AlUla, an increasingly popular tourist destination in Saudi Arabia strongly linked to cycling. In 2022, the peloton rode through Hegra – the first place in Saudi Arabia designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (in 2008) – on a 7.5km stretch of an eight meters wide graveled road, just before Caleb Ewan’s win at Winter Park.

Early season races in the Middle East (since the turn of the 21st century) have built a reputation for themselves as a sprinter’s paradise. In fact, Dylan Groenewegen won the other two flat stages last year, but the Saudi Tour showed that in five days, all types of cyclists could find a way to express themselves. The event therefore returns to the Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid, where Maxim Van Gils had sealed his final victory. The final consists of a 2,8km long ascent at 12% with a section at 22% preceding 7km on a plateau offering a lunar landscape. This steep route led to a wonderful fight where the 2022 Giro stage Winner, Santiago Buitrago was beautifully trapped by the young Belgian.

At the end of stage 3, the 2023 Saudi Tour also returns to Abu Rakah where the Colombian from Bahrain Victorious had preceded Andrea Bagioli. “But it is not the same finale, the approach to this one is less steep”, warns technical director Jean-Marc Marino. The new course features a 1.5km slope at an average of 8.5% followed by a flat kilometer to finish. It’s a puncher’s affair.

Once the difficulties on the route were established, the course designers could then focus on showcasing the local sceneries: “the general desire is to highlight all the sites of the AlUla region designated by UNESCO”, Marino informs. It is also an archaeological site that has been inhabited for over 200,000 years. Listed as a World Heritage Site since the end of 2022, it features rock formations resembling kites.

The old Al Manshiyah train station, refurbished and recently reopened to the public, also listed as “Heritage Site”, will host the start of stage 3 while Maraya, on the program for the last two days, represents the other novelty of the route. Its concert hall, a masterpiece of engineering amidst sandstone cliffs, is recognized as the world’s largest building covered with mirrors. It will mark the finishing point of this third Saudi Tour, on a newly asphalted road with the last 500 meters at an average gradient of 6%. After the sprinters, the punchy climbers, the climbers and possibly the echelons’ experts (if the wind is part of the game), a punchy sprinter should have the last word on this final stage.

The stages of the 2023 Saudi Tour:
Stage 1, Monday, January 30th: AlUla International Airport – Khaybar, 180,5km
Stage 2, Tuesday, January 31st: Winter Park – Shalal Sijlyat Rocks, 184 km
Stage 3, Wednesday, February 1st: Al Manshiyah Train Station – Abu Rakah, 159,2 km
Stage 4, Thursday, February 2nd: Maraya – Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid, 163,4 km
Stage 5, Friday, February 3rd: AlUla Old Town – Maraya, 142,9 km

The 16 teams selected

7 UCI WorldTeams
Astana Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Cofidis (Fra)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
Team DSM (Ned)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

6 UCI ProTeams
Bingoal WB (Bel)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (Esp)
Human Powered Health (Usa)
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team (Sui)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor)
Team Corratec (Ita)

With these 13 teams, 3 more are selected
Saudi Arabian Cycling Federation (Sau)
Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team (Mas)
JCL Team Ukyo (Jap)

TOUR DE FRANCE 2023 : THE 22 TEAMS

Key points:
 The peloton of the 110th edition of the Tour de France will include 22 teams at the start in the Basque country on 1st July 2023.
 18 UCI WorldTeams and 4 UCI ProTeams, with one unprecedented participation.
Details of the selection:

18 teams UCI WorldTeams:

• AG2R Citroën Team (Fra)
• Alpecin Deceuninck (Bel)
• Astana QazaQstan Team (Kaz)
• Bora-Hansgrohe (Deu)
• EF Education-Easypost (Usa)
• Groupama-FDJ (Fra)
• Ineos Grenadiers (Gbr)
• Intermarché-Circus-Wanty (Bel)
• Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
• Movistar Team (Esp)
• Soudal Quick-Step (Bel)
• Team Arkea-Samsic (Fra)
• Team Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
• Team Cofidis (Fra)
• Team DSM (Ned)
• Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
• Trek-Segafredo (Usa)
• UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

4 teams UCI Proteams:

The two teams qualified by right:
• Lotto dstny (Bel)
• TotalEnergies (Fra)

The two teams invited by the organiser:
• Israel-Premier Tech (Isr)
• Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor)

©A.S.O.

PARIS-NICE 2023: A BALANCED MENU FOR A 90TH ANNIVERSARY

Key points:

 For the 14th consecutive year, Paris-Nice will start from the Yvelines department. La Verrière takes over from Mantes-la-Ville where the race started last year.
 A team time trial (32.2 km in Dampierre-en-Burly) is on the race menu for the first time in 30 years.
 Paris-Nice returns to its highest summit, the Col de la Couillole (1,678m), six years after Richie Porte won the stage there in 2017 while Sergio Henao seized the overall lead.
 The 6.7km, 7.1% climb to La Loge des Gardes in the Allier region, the closest winter sports resort to Paris, is unprecedented.
For twenty-three years now, nearly a quarter of its existence, François Lemarchand – with the helping hand of Yannick Talabardon – has designed the race signalling the return of spring – Paris-Nice. He certainly put his stamp on the first major stage race of the cycling calendar. And this personal touch is obviously to be found in the course of this special edition as Paris-Nice celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. It can be summed up in two words: variety and balance. “In the twenty years since I took over the management of Paris-Nice from Laurent Fignon, the sporting level has risen considerably. We had to find suitable playing fields for a new generation of riders,” the race director said.

The Race to the Sun, once seen as a preparation race for classics of Grand Tours, has become a major objective crowning versatile riders, as was the case for Primoz Roglic last year. “My objective is to design an all-round course for an all-round rider,” François Lemarchand explained. As a result, the contenders to take over from Primoz Roglic – who is expected to leave his team leader spot on this Paris-Nice to last year’s Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard – have much to look forward to. There will be something for everyone from the start in La Verrière on Sunday 5 March to the finish on the Promenade des Anglais a week later.

The big novelty of this edition is the return of a team time trial, thirty years after an ONCE team victory in 1993 in Roanne. The decision was imposed by the terrain in Dampierre-en-Burly, which was perfectly suited for such an effort, but also by the desire to do something different: instead of being taken on the third or fourth finishing rider, the times in this TTT will be registered on the first rider of each team across the line. This should force each team to adopt the best strategy to lead out their leader in the final stretch, which is not unlike team sprint events on the track. The innovation should also stop a whole team sweeping the top GC standings, while the hierarchy is likely to be reshuffled the next day, when the peloton will change gear to tackle a new climb.

La Loge des Gardes, in the Allier department, is probably the closest winter sports resort to Paris (390 km) and the climb leading to it is certainly the hardest within this radius around the French capital. With its 6,7 km length and its 7,1% average slope, this very promising climb should sort out the general classification ahead of the weekend’s showdown.

The main course of this 81st Race to the Sun will be on Saturday’s menu with Col de la Couillole, at the top of which Richie Porte won in 2017 while Sergio Henao took the leader’s jersey. At an altitude of 1,678 m, the pass is still the highest one ever climbed in Paris-Nice and it could once again crown the future winner, unless the Sunday finale on the heights of Nice, via Col d’Eze, offers once again a breathtaking suspense, forcing the leaders to rely on their best support to triumph on the Promenade des Anglais.

Sprinters and aggressive finishers have not been forgotten. Depending on the race conditions, the first could find suitable terrain – unless there are echelons – in the first two stages finishing in La Verrière and Fontainebleau, but also in stage 5, which ends in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. Breakaway specialists, who can set their sights on the Loge des Gardes, will be particularly spoiled on Friday between Tourves and La Colle-sur-Loup, a stage with no lull and an elevation of 2,750 m, a perfect foretaste of the weekend ahead.

 Paris-Nice 2023 stages

Sunday, March 5th, stage 1: La Verrière > La Verrière, 169,4 km
Monday, March 6th, stage 2: Bazainville > Fontainebleau, 163,7 km
Tuesday, March 7th, stage 3: Dampierre-en-Burly > Dampierre-en-Burly (T.T.T), 32,2 km
Wednesday, March 8th, stage 4: Saint-Amand-Montrond > La Loge des Gardes, 164,7 km
Thursday, March 9th, stage 5: Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise > Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, 212,4 km
Friday, March 10th, stage 6: Tourves > La-Colle-sur-Loup, 197,4 km
Saturday, March 11st, stage 7: Nice > Col de la Couillole, 142,9 km
Sunday, March 12nd, stage 8: Nice > Nice, 118,4 km

 22 teams selected

In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following eighteen UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:

AG2R Citroën Team (Fra)
Alpecin-Deceuninck (Bel)
Astana Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Bora – Hansgrohe (Ger)
Cofidis (Fra)
EF Education – Easypost (Usa)
Groupama – FDJ (Fra)
INEOS Grenadiers (Gbr)
Intermarché – Circus – Wanty (Bel)
Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Soudal Quick-Step (Bel)
Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
Team Arkea – Samsic (Fra)
Team DSM (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

Furthermore, the first two teams in the 2022 classification of UCI ProTeams will take part by right in Paris-Nice 2023.
Lotto Dstny (Bel)
TotalEnergies (Fra)

The organisers have invited the following teams:
Israel – Premier Tech (Isr)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor)

2024 GRAND DÉPART TdF: FIRST TIME’S A CHARM FOR ITALY

Key points:
 Christian Prudhomme appeared on Rai’s TG Sport show to launch the official countdown to the Grand Départ of the 2024 Tour de France. The first start of the race from Italy will come 100 years after Ottavio Bottecchia first took the trophy to the other side of the Alps.
 The show will get on the road on 29 June with the opening stage from Florence to Rimini, on the shores of the Adriatic in Emilia-Romagna, followed by a romp from Cesenatico to Bologna and a cross-country trek to Piedmont, where the peloton will finish off its Italian job in Turin on 1 July.

The Tour de France weaves stories between nations. The chapter set to begin in 2024 with the first Italian Grand Départ is an addition written in golden letters to a long-running epic filled with heroics, twists of fate, auspicious race incidents and anecdotes etched in the minds of cycling lovers and fans of every generation. After all, the earliest pioneer, Maurice Garin, who hailed from the Aosta Valley, had only held a French passport for two years by the time he won the inaugural edition of the Tour in 1903. While the triumphant campaigns of extraordinary champions, ranging from Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi to Marco Pantani and Vincenzo Nibali, have marked the century between Ottavio Bottecchia’s maiden victory and the start of the Tour in Florence in June 2024, the Italians have been among the most creative riders in the peloton, always ready to put on a show on every terrain. Even though he never made a concerted effort to survive until the final showdown on the Champs-Élysées, Mario Cipollini became one of the most prolific stage winners of the 1990s, while Claudio Chiappucci claimed the polka-dot jersey twice (1991 and 1992). In more recent years, it was Fabio Aru who flew the flag for his country by winning on La Planche des Belles Filles in 2017 while clad in his national champion’s jersey.

In 2024, the programme for the first three stages offers a majestic panorama of the Italian cities and countryside while opening the hostilities with an exceptional sporting challenge. After leaving the gorgeous Florence, the trek through Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna leading to the seaside finale in Rimini will pit the peloton against a total altitude gain of 3,700 metres from day one — fortune will really favour the bold. Along the way, the San Marino climb will add the microstate to the list of 14 countries that have hosted the Grande Boucle. The next day, starting from the station in Cesenatico, the final resting place of Marco Pantani, the riders will tuck into another hefty serving of climbs on the road to Bologna, where punchers have long traded blows on the ascent to San Luca in the Giro dell’Emilia-Romagna. It will then be time for the super-speedsters of the peloton to step on the gas pedal in Turin, the capital of Piedmont, which has also become a prestigious sprint finish from all the Giro d’Italia stage finishes it has hosted.

The first three stages of the 2024 Tour de France:

. Saturday, 29 June — Stage 1: Florence > Rimini, 205 km
. Sunday, 30 June — Stage 2: Cesenatico > Bologna, 200 km
. Monday, 1 July – Stage 3: Piacenza > Turin, 225 km

Barcelona’s Olympic Port will host the official depart of La Vuelta 23

• The 78th edition of the race will depart from the Barcelona’s Olympic Port on the 26th of August and Mataró will host the departure of the second stage.
• Besides hosting the Official Departure, Barcelona will also provide the setting for the race’s official promotional video and for the team presentation.
• During that time, the city will be the global cycling epicentre, which will increase its international exposure, thus earning it an international reputation as a global sports capital.

Unipublic and the Barcelona City Council have revealed the route of the two first stages of La Vuelta 23. The event, presented by RTVE’s journalist Carlos de Andrés, featured the attendance of Jaume Collboni, the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona; David Escudé, Sports Councillor for the Barcelona City Council; David Bote, Mayor of Mataró; ex cyclists Roberto Heras, Joaquín ‘Purito’ Rodríguez and Melcior Mauri, Fernando Escartín, technical director of La Vuelta and Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta.
La Vuelta 23 will take off from Barcelona on the 26th of August. It will be the second time in the race’s history that Catalonia’s capital hosts an Official Departure, having already done so back in 1962. The city will host one departure and two arrivals during its two first stages, namely: a team time trial and a mid-mountain stage. Mataró will host the departure of the second stage.
Jaume Collboni, the city’s Deputy Mayor, points out that: “Barcelona is a city that loves sports, particularly cycling. To have La Vuelta return to Barcelona after 60 years is wonderful news, not only because it gives us the chance to experience an important sporting event, but because it proves to us, once again, what a driving force sports truly is to our city’s economy. La Vuelta 23 will be an opportunity for us to showcase our city’s cultural, social and artistic wealth. We want people to leave their homes and come and join us in this cycling celebration, and to participate in the passion and spirit of this great sporting event.”
David Escudé, Sports Councillor, states that: “La Vuelta’s arrival in the city of Barcelona will offer all our residents the opportunity to be part of an elite cycling competition. The recovery of such an emblematic route, which includes Montjuic, is an opportunity to watch the best teams cover a distance of 14 kilometres right through the city centre, which is a truly unique, spectacular opportunity. This sporting scene will feature one of the world’s best backdrops: our city streets.”

STAGE 1 | BARCELONA > BARCELONA | 14.6 KM
The first stage of La Vuelta 23 will take off on Saturday afternoon, and will consist of a team time trial through the streets of Barcelona. This 14-kilometre route will leave from the area surrounding the Olympic Port and will showcase some of the city’s most emblematic locations through a quick, technical circuit that will mark small differences among the teams of the aspiring general classification leaders.
Departure: Playa del Somorrostro

Route: Calle de la Marina , Plaza dels Voluntaris Olímpics (Besòs side), Calle de la Marina, Calle de Ramon Turró, Calle de Sardenya (in the opposite direction), Calle de Pujades (in the opposite direction), Paseo de Pujades (road closest to the sea, in the opposite direction), Paseo Lluís Companys (road on the Besós side), Paseo de Sant Joan (road on the Besós side), Calle de Casp, Calle de Lepant, Calle de Sancho d’Àvila, Calle de Badajoz, Avenida Diagonal, Calle de Cristòfol de Moura, Calle de Bac de Roda, Calle d’Aragó, Calle de Lepant (in the opposite direction), Calle de Mallorca, Avenida Diagonal (central road), Calle Roselló (in the opposite direction), Paseo de Gràcia, Calle d’Aragó, Calle Tarragona, Plaza d’Espanya (on the Llobregat side with lane separations).
Arrival: Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina.

STAGE 2 | MATARÓ > BARCELONA | 181.3 KM
The second stage of the 2023 edition will take off from Mataró and conclude in Barcelona, at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium. The 181.3 km route will feature two climbs: Coll de Sant Bartomeu (3rd category) and Coll d’Estenalles (2nd category). The race will also cross Villanova del Vallés, the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, as it passes through Montmeló, Sabadell, Manresa, Castellbell and Vilar, Molins de Rei and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, among other localities. The emblematic Montjuic climb will determine the stage winner.
Route through Barcelona: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Plaza d’Espanya, Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina, Avenida de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Calle el Polvorí, Túnel de la Foixarda, Camino de la Foixarda, Calle de la Foixarda, Avenida dels Montanyans, Calle Mirador del Palau Nacional, Paseo de Santa Madrona, Avenida Miramar, Calle de Torreforta, Carretera de Montjuïc, Calle del Castell, Paseo del Migdia, Calle del Foc, Calle Jocs del 92 (separated), Avenida de l’Estadi.

MEDIA IMPACT
During that time, the city will be the global cycling epicentre, which will increase its international exposure, thus earning it an international reputation as a global sports capital. Each year, La Vuelta broadcasts live on 18 stations (RTVE and Eurosport are the official Spanish stations) and is present in 190 countries. Over 1,000 journalists, from 28 nationalities and 298 media outlets, were present to cover the race’s previous edition.
Javier Guillén, the General Director of La Vuelta, stated that “the race’s Official Departure will be just one of the many moments in which Barcelona will take centre stage throughout the year. The city will also be the setting of other important events related to La Vuelta, starting with the official route presentation, that will take place in the Palau de la Música Catalana on the 10th of January. There, we will discover all the details of the 21 stages that make up this edition.” Likewise, the streets of Barcelona will also provide the setting for the race’s official promotional video – a video that will be shown on the various RTVE channels, coinciding with the start of the Tour de France 2023. Also, just a few days before the start of La Vuelta, Barcelona will host the Team Presentation.
During its 21 states and for around a week before the race officially begins, the event mobilises a travelling caravan of almost 3,000 people, which includes the organisation staff, the riders, the team personnel and journalists, among others.

LA VUELTA AND BARCELONA, BIKING TOGETHER
La Vuelta and Barcelona bike together for sustainability. Cycling is a sport that is very closely linked to the environment. For this reason, La Vuelta continues to implement and improve measures to reduce its environmental impact upon the natural areas through which it passes. Bicycles are very important to Barcelona – one of the cities where they are most-commonly used as a means of transport. Its green areas invite you to discover the city on two wheels through its many bike lanes. La Ronda Verde is a circuit that acts as a cycling vertebral axis consisting of 70 kilometres of bike lanes that connect Barcelona’s metropolitan area and extend through such natural areas as the Barcelona coastline, the Besòs River Park or Montjuïc Mountain, which is hugely emblematic in the world of cycling and will feature prominently in this edition’s second stage.

Women’s Cycling Grand Prix Stuttgart & Region

Premiere für neues Frauen-Radrennen in Stuttgart und Region

Stuttgart und die Region Stuttgart setzen ein Zeichen im Frauensport. Mit dem Women’s Cycling Grand Prix Stuttgart & Region wird das einzige Eintagesrennen Deutschlands für Profi-Radsportlerinnen geschaffen. Die Premiere des neuen Radsport-Klassikers, der von der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart und dem Verband Region Stuttgart gemeinsam gefördert wird, findet am 16. Juli 2023 statt. Die mehrfache Weltmeisterin und Olympiasiegerin Lisa Brennauer wird Sportliche Leiterin des Rennens – ihr erstes Engagement, nachdem sie ihre aktive Laufbahn als eine der erfolgreichsten deutschen Radsportlerinnen gerade beendet hat.

Stuttgart und die Region waren Gastgeber der Deutschland Tour 2018 und 2022 und der Deutschen Meisterschaft 2021 im Spitzensport sowie der Jedermann Tour und dem Brezel Race als damit verbundene Breitensport-Events. Mit dem Women’s Cycling Grand Prix ist nun der nächste Radsport-Meilenstein in Baden-Württemberg geplant – ein Rennen exklusiv für Profiradsportlerinnen. Mit der Premiere setzen die Landeshauptstadt und der Verband Region Stuttgart auf den aufstrebenden Frauenradsport. Zusammen mit den bisherigen Events zeigt das neue Engagement die Bandbreite des Sports.

„Der Women’s Cycling Grand Prix wird ein Leuchtturm im Sportkalender 2023 von Stuttgart und der SportRegion. Mit dem neuen Rennen unterstützen wir gezielt den Frauenradsport und bieten eine Bühne, die in Deutschland einzigartig ist. Dazu setzen wir die Kombination aus attraktivem Breiten- und hochklassigem Spitzensport fort, um wieder viele Fahrradbegeisterte selbst in Bewegung zu bringen“, sagt Daniela Klein, Amtsleiterin Amt für Sport und Bewegung der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart sowie Vorstandsmitglied der SportRegion Stuttgart.

„Die erfolgreichen Events der vergangenen Jahre in der Region Stuttgart haben die große Anziehungskraft des Radsports gezeigt. Es freut mich besonders, dass wir im kommenden Sommer den Fokus auf den Frauensport legen und für viele internationale Fahrerinnen als auch tausende Hobbysportler und -sportlerinnen wieder ein guter Gastgeber sein dürfen. Das sportbegeisterte Publikum bekommt wieder ein fantastisches, spannendes Erlebnis mit der Kombination von Spitzen- und Breitensport“, sagt Thomas S. Bopp, Vorsitzender Verband Region Stuttgart.

Für Sonntag, 16. Juli 2023, hat der Weltradsportverband UCI den Klassiker im internationalen Radsport-Kalender eingetragen. Zur Erstaustragung des Women’s Cycling Grand Prix werden 120 Fahrerinnen erwartet. Sie starten in der Region Stuttgart. Der Kurs führt durch die Landkreise Ludwigsburg und Böblingen und spart nicht an Herausforderungen. Bis zum Zieleinlauf in Stuttgart werden die Radsportlerinnen rund 125 Kilometer absolvieren. Die Radsportfans können sich hier noch auf drei Zielrunden freuen.

Lisa Brennauer wird Sportliche Leiterin des Women’s Cycling Grand Prix


Plomi Foto

Als Sportliche Leiterin wird Lisa Brennauer ihre umfangreiche Rennerfahrung in die Streckenplanung einbringen, um den Fahrerinnen einen anspruchsvollen, abwechslungsreichen und sicheren Renntag zu präsentieren. Nur vier Monate nach dem Karriereende kennt die 34-Jährige die aktuellen Wünsche der Teams und Fahrerinnen aus erster Hand.
„Es ist unglaublich spannend, jetzt auf die andere Seite zu wechseln und den Radsport aus anderer Perspektive kennenzulernen. Ich freue mich, meine Erfahrung beim Women’s Cycling Grand Prix einzubringen und so den Frauenradsport zu fördern, denn das neue Rennen kann ein wichtiger Schritt für die Zukunft unseres Sports sein“, sagt Lisa Brennauer.

Brezel Race & Grand Prix – ein erstklassiger Radsport-Sonntag in Stuttgart und Region
Um das Radsport-Erlebnis in Stuttgart und der Region Stuttgart am 16. Juli zu einem Sonntag für alle Radbegeisterten zu gestalten, findet neben dem Profi-Rennen auch das beliebte Brezel Race statt. Jedefrau und Jedermann haben Gelegenheit, auf einer kurzen und einer langen Strecke selbst auf das Rennrad zu steigen. Nachdem sie auf gesperrten Straßen durch Stuttgart und die Region ‚gebrezelt‘ sind, können sie die tolle Atmosphäre am gleichen Zielort wie die Profis genießen und hier die Entscheidung der Profi-Fahrerinnen live verfolgen.

Rechtzeitig zu den Feiertagen ist auf www.brezelrace.de die Anmeldung geöffnet. Für Rennrad-Fans bietet sich der Startplatz auch als überraschendes Geschenk an. Schnell sein lohnt sich vor Weihnachten besonders, denn die ersten 1.000 Teilnehmenden bekommen sogar ein Trikot gratis zu ihrem Startplatz.

Der Radsport-Sonntag wird von der Freunde Eventagentur veranstaltet. „Gemeinsam mit der Stadt Stuttgart und der Region haben wir in den vergangenen Jahren tolle Radsport-Events auf die Beine gestellt und es freut mich sehr, dass nun auch wieder die Frauen zum Zug kommen. In Kombination mit dem Brezel Race werden wir am 16. Juli ein großes Radsportfest feiern“, sagt Albrecht Röder, Geschäftsführer der Freunde Eventagentur.

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY IN NORTH CAPE

Key points:
 For the tenth anniversary of the Arctic Race of Norway, which will take place from 17 to 20 August, the world’s most northerly cycling race is returning to the North Cape. The favourites will compete over four stages, all of which will be north of the Arctic Circle.
 From Kautokeino, a cultural centre of the Sami people and a town hosting the riders for the first time, the race will cross Troms og Finnmark over four days with a sumptuous fourth and final stage from Kvalsund, which hosted the start of the last day in 2018, to North Cape. With this iconic finish, the Arctic Race is reviving its history and celebrating ten years of existence.

The county of Troms og Finnmark will take centre stage in the 2023 edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, with all four stages traversing the region after starting in the Sami town of Kautokeino on 17 August and finishing in North Cape on 20 August. According to Thor Hushovd, ambassador of the race : “It could be a very open competition for the overall win this year. A sprinter with good climbing legs can win, but so can a typical explosive climber. This makes it difficult to predict a winner. The race will be open, and several riders will probably see an opportunity to pull this off. This increases the entertainment value because it often leads to an offensive ride with many attacks.”

Following a 2022 edition held entirely below the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Race of Norway returns to its roots by heading north. The route of the opening stage from Kautokeino to Alta could be one for the sprinters. Those in the know will remember that in 2018, a certain Mathieu Van der Poel easily won the stage. The plans of the fastest men could, nevertheless, be thwarted by daring riders in the new 15 km finishing circuit.

The pure sprinters will also appreciate stage two and its finish in Hammerfest, where, unlike in the 2014 and 2018 editions, they will have to climb a 1.7 km climb with a 4% gradient before the finish line. This climb will probably give ideas to the punchers who were left hungry after stage one. As the main partner of the Arctic Race of Norway, Equinor is linked closely to Hammerfest, where the Norwegian company has been developing Europe’s largest liquefied natural gas production site since 2007. The Nordic city will also host the start of stage three, which will delight its 10,000 residents.

The climbers will be in the spotlight on stage three, heading towards Havøysund for a new finish. The last hundred kilometres of this stage will follow a road parallel to the one of the North Cape in a breathtaking scenery typical of the Norwegian North. The riders will ride along several fjords before ascending two climbs listed in the mountain classification, the Kirkedalen summit (4.1 km at 5.2%) and the Selvika summit (2.6 km at 5.4%). These two passes will allow the mountain specialists to demonstrate their skills. An initial selection will come before the climb heading to the finish line and its 10% average gradient over 2.2 km. „Just outside the village, we found this climb that leads to the plateau hosting the finish. The typical Arctic landscape and the 360° panorama are breathtaking,“ describes Yannick Talabardon, the event’s technical director. „The passages of more than 10% will allow the fittest riders to show their strength after an undulating second half of the stage.“

As in 2014, Europe’s most northerly point and majestic setting will be part of this edition. That year, Norwegian rider Lars Petter Nordhaug won by attacking in the final three kilometres of the stage after a battle on the last climb with six kilometres to go. For its tenth anniversary, the Arctic Race returns to the symbolic site of the North Cape with the finish of the last stage. The two classified climbs in the last 25 kilometres and a windy final stretch, which are conducive to bordures promise a non-stop battle to the finish line for the stage win and the general classification.

Thor Hushovd predict an epic ending to this anniversary edition of the Arctic Race of Norway: “The last stage runs along some of the most beautiful Norway has to offer in terms of brutal and magnificent nature. However, the last 25 kilometers towards Nordkapp will be tough. Here, the best climbers will surely attack and give all that is left of their strength after four hard stages, and the overall race will certainly not be decided before the finish on the Nordkapp plateau.”

The stages of the 2023 Arctic Race of Norway:

 Thursday 17 August, Stage 1: Kautokeino – Alta (171km)
 Friday 18 August, Stage 2: Alta – Hammerfest (153km)
 Saturday 19 August, Stage 3: Hammerfest – Havøysund (167km)
 Sunday 20 August, Stage 4: Kvalsund – Cap Nord (171km)

© A.S.O.

Strecken-Update für den Radklassiker: Eschborn-Frankfurt erhält neues Profil und wird anspruchsvoller

Sechs Monate vor dem 1. Mai schärft das WorldTour-Rennen sein Klassikerprofil. Mit mehr Höhenmetern und dem Comeback der 200-Kilometer-Distanz wird der Radklassiker anspruchsvoller. Angriffslustige Fahrer rücken wieder in den Fokus von Eschborn-Frankfurt, der Rennausgang wird offener. Im Zentrum der Neuerungen steht der Feldberg, der gleich zweimal bezwungen werden muss.

3000 Höhenmeter verteilt auf 202 Kilometern – so lauten die puren Streckenfakten des Radklassiker 2023. Ein Blick auf das Profil verrät es: Der höchste Berg des Taunus wird das Rennen am 1. Mai prägen.

Nach dem Start in Eschborn und einer ersten Zielpassage in Frankfurt stellt der Feldberg traditionell nach 46,5 Rennkilometern die erste Schwierigkeit des Tages. Erstmals drückt er im kommenden Jahr aber auch der zweiten Rennhälfte seinen Stempel auf. Bei Kilometer 116,6 muss er erneut bezwungen werden – und dazu noch von der schwereren, südwestlichen Auffahrt. Nachdem die Profis die zweite Überquerung des Mammolshainer bereits in den Beinen haben, geht es für sie direkt weiter über die Billtalhöhe bis auf den Feldberg.

Diese neue anspruchsvolle Klettersequenz werden angriffslustige Klassikerspezialisten nutzen, um den Sprintern den Feiertag schwer zu machen. „Es ist zehn Jahre her, dass die Fans eine kleine Gruppe oder einen Solosieger bejubeln konnten. Um das Rennen wieder offener zu gestalten, haben wir neue Taunus-Herausforderungen gefunden. Der zweite Anstieg zum Feldberg kann den Unterscheid machen! Mit dem Mammolshainer gibt es jetzt genau zur Halbzeit mehr als 15 Kilometer anspruchsvolles Klettern. Eine perfekte Rampe, um das Feld zu teilen“, sagt Fabian Wegmann, Sportlicher Leiter von Eschborn-Frankfurt.

Neben der zweiten Feldberg-Passage kommen mit den Anstiegen zur Kittelhütte und nach Glashütten, die auch jeweils zweimal befahren werden, weitere Zacken in das Streckenprofil. Zusammen mit den drei Überquerungen des Mammolshainer Stich, aber auch den Kopfsteinpflaster-Passagen in der Eppsteiner Altstadt, wird im Taunus eine Vorentscheidung für den Radklassiker 2023 erwartet.

Die Erfolgsaussichten für diese Taunus-Attacken steigen, denn den Verfolgern bleibt jetzt weniger Zeit bis zum Ziel. Nur noch 35 Kilometer sind nach dem letzten Mammolshainer-Anstieg bis vor die Alte Oper zurückzulegen. Nach zwei Zielpassagen werden tausende Fans in der Frankfurter City den Gewinner der Radklassiker-Trophäe 2023 feiern.