Schlagwort-Archive: ASO

Every date on the cyclosportive calendar

Key points:
 14 March 2020 / Paris–Nice Challenge: start the season under the sunny skies of Nice
 11 April 2020 / Paris–Roubaix Challenge: tackle the fabled cobblestones of the North
 25 April 2020 / Liège–Bastogne–Liège Challenge: test your legs on the climbs of the Ardennes with La Doyenne

The exact same roads, gripping stories waiting to be told, the same joy, the same pain and a shared challenge: making it over the line. These three great cyclosportive events (Paris–Nice Challenge, Paris–Roubaix Challenge and Liège–Bastogne–Liège Challenge) plunge amateurs into the same sea of emotions as the pro riders just 24 hours before them.

The show gets on the road with the Paris–Nice Challenge in southern France on 14 March 2020. This cyclosportive takes amateurs to the sunny French Riviera and shows them what it feels like to be a pro rider, pitting them against a course around the Nice hinterland and setting a magical stage for their celebrations on the Promenade des Anglais. Registration is now open on time to for the Paris–Nice Challenge

After nursing their sore legs, amateur riders will face the fabled cobblestones of the Paris–Roubaix Challenge on 11 April 2020. It is a unique opportunity for cyclo-tourists to discover the sectors of the Queen of Classics and sample some local produce after taming the fearsome Trouée d’Arenberg and the equally famous Carrefour de l’Arbre. Registration is now open on time to for Paris–Roubaix Challenge

After catching a breath, the amateurs will continue the cyclosportive season on the legendary roads of Liège–Bastogne–Liège Challenge on 25 April 2020. La Doyenne will bring the trilogy to a close with a course featuring the leg-breaking Côte de La Redoute. Registration is now open for Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge

Celebrating the 30th Étape du Tour de France with its first visit to Nice
The 30th edition of the Étape du Tour de France will be held in Nice on 5 July 2020. Just a week after the pro peloton blasts down these roads, the amateurs will tackle the 177 km long stage 2 of the Tour de France, starting and finishing in Nice. It is both the first loop course and the first coastal route in the history of the Étape du Tour de France. However, the 16,000 amateur riders expected to take part in the race will rise up to over 1,500 metres above the sea on two occasions, one on the Col de la Colmiane and the other on the Col de Turini.
Find out more on letapedutour.com

L’Étape by Le Tour de France
L’Étape by Le Tour de France is an international series of cyclosportive events that give participants the chance to live the Tour de France experience. It takes the Tour de France format global (routes closed to traffic, KOM and sprint classifications, high safety and support standards and the possibility of riding alongside former Tour champions). It is also a weekend during which cycling lovers get to savour the unique atmosphere of the Tour de France (Village draped in the colours of the Tour, Museum, Tour de France winners on-site). Several L’Étape by Le Tour de France events are scheduled for 2020 in 12 countries: France, Thailand, China, Mexico, Finland, Morocco, Australia, California, Colombia, Brazil, England and Indonesia
Find out more on letapebyletourdefrance.com

Pressekonferenz Deutschland Tour in Nürnberg

Bei der heutigen Pressekonferenz waren auch Fabian Wegmann (sportlicher Leiter D-Tour), John Degenkolb (noch TREK, in 2020 Lotto Soudal) und Andi Schillinger (BORA-hansgrohe) dabei.
Alle drei haben gute sportliche Erinnerungen an den ca. 5km langen Rundkurs um die malerische Nürnberger Altstadt.
Fabian Wegmann gewann 2007 das Altstadtrennen auf dramatische Weise als Solist, das jagende Feld war an der Ziellinie 10 Meter hinter ihm…obwohl er in der Nacht zuvor eine anstrengende Anreise von der Polen-Rundfahrt hatte.

Der Oberpfälzer Andi Schillinger gewann das Altstadtrennen 2012 für sein Net- App Team, er ist Gründungsmitglied bei BORA-hansgrohe und hat vor kurzem für weitere 2 Jahre dort unterschrieben.

Und auch John Degenkolb hat in Nürnberg und Bayern schon durch Siege geglänzt, in 2001 gewann er in der Schüler U13 Klasse das Rennen am Altstadtring und später in seiner Profikarriere gelangen ihm 3 Siege in der Bayern-Rundfahrt. Er ist in Gera geboren, verbrachte aber seine Jugend und die Anfänge im Radsport in der Gegend um Weißenburg. Er freut sich sehr, dass die D-Tour in 2020 im Frankenland endet und er hofft auf zahlreiche Unterstützung am Straßenrad. Er setzt auf eine Sprintankunft am 23.8.20 in Nürnberg und hofft, dass ihn sein neues Team gesund und mit starker Mannschaft für die D-Tour nominieren wird.

Ob es zu dieser Sprintankunft kommen wird, ist noch sehr unklar, da bislang weder die Anzahl der Runden am Altstadtring noch der Streckenverlauf und der Startort der Schlußetappe bekannt sind. Man könne mit ca. 5 Zielrunden rechnen, das wäre wohl auch der Wunsch der Profis, um sich vor der hoffentlich großen Zuschauerkulisse zu zeigen. Fabian Wegmann machte deutlich, dass das bisherige Prinzip der anspruchsvollen, welligen Etappen der D-Tour auch in 2020 fortgesetzt werden wird. Dies lässt auf einen lebendigen Rennverlauf hoffen.
Der Startort der diesjährigen D-Tour wird in ca. 4 Wochen bekannt gegeben.

Das Jedermann Rennen wird in Nürnberg am Schlusstag gestartet. Es bietet 2 Streckenlängen von ca. 60km und 120km Länge und wird in die Umgebung Nürnbergs führen, mit dem Zieleinlauf am Altstadtring, genauso wie bei den Profis.
Ab heute kann man sich auf der Internetseite der Deutschland Tour dafür anmelden.
https://www.deutschland-tour.com/de/home
Dort kann man auch aktiv bei der Gestaltung der Etappen mitwirken und seine Tipps für interessante Orte und Streckenabschnitte abgeben. Deutschland – Deine Tour!

„Als Finalort steht Nürnberg ganz besonders im Fokus. Die weltbesten Profis werden vor unserer malerischen Altstadt-Kulisse um den Gesamtsieg kämpfen und tausende Hobbypsortler erfahren die Region“, erklärte Nürnbergs Sportbürgermeister Gsell.
Und zwischen den Zeilen deutete er auch an, dass diese Veranstaltung wohl nicht jährlich, aber doch in absehbarer Zeit wiederum in Nürnberg als Zielort der D-Tour stattfinden könnte.

Text/Fotos
Gerhard Plomitzer
www.plomi.smugmug.com

Großes Finale der Deutschland Tour 2020 in Nürnberg

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Die dritte Ausgabe der Deutschland Tour führt nach Nürnberg.
Am 23. August 2020 feiert Deutschlands größtes Radsportfestival sein Finale in der bayerischen Stadt. Nach vier Etappen wird in Nürnberg unter den weltbesten Profis der Gesamtsieger der Deutschland Tour 2020 gekürt. Neben den Elitefahrern werden am Finaltag mehr als 3.000 Hobbyradsportler auf den Straßen Mittelfrankens erwartet, die auf zwei Strecken mit Start und Ziel in Nürnberg die Atmosphäre der Deutschland Tour erleben. Die Anmeldung zur Jedermann Tour 2020 ist auf www.deutschland-tour.com möglich.
Nachdem die neue Deutschland Tour mit den vergangenen beiden Ausgaben bereits die Hälfte der Bundesländer besucht hat, macht sie 2020 erstmals Station im Freistaat Bayern. Mit Nürnberg trifft die Deutschland Tour auf eine radsportbegeisterte Region. Hier ist der Radsport eine Kernsportart mit langer Tradition. Die fränkische Metropole ist Bundes- und Landesleistungszentrum für den Radsport.

Der Nürnberger Sportbürgermeister, Dr. Klemens Gsell, sagt: „Nürnberg freut sich auf die Deutschland Tour. Als Finalort steht Nürnberg ganz besonders im Fokus. Die weltbesten Profis werden vor unserer malerischen Altstadt-Kulisse um den Gesamtsieg kämpfen und tausende Hobbysportler erfahren die Region. Nürnberg und sein Publikum werden der gesamten Deutschland Tour einen großartigen Rahmen bieten und unsere große Begeisterung für den Radsport zeigen.“


John Degenkolb, Fabian Wegmann (Sportl. Leiter D-Tour), Dr. Klemens Gsell (Sportbürgermeister Nbg.), Matthias Pietsch (Projektleiter D-Tour) und Andi Schillinger (BORA-hansgrohe)

Claude Rach, Geschäftsführer der Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Radsports, dem deutschen Tochterunternehmen des Rennveranstalters A.S.O.: „Mit Nürnberg feiert die Deutschland Tour 2020 ihr großes Finale in einer Radsport-Hochburg, die Tradition mit der Zukunft verknüpft. Hier steht der Radsport im Fokus, hier werden Talente von morgen gefördert. Der 23. August wird in Nürnberg ein Radsporttag für Alle – ein Tag, den die Fans mitgestalten.“
Unter www.deutschland-tour.com können Fans ab sofort ihre Ideen für das Nürnberger Finale der Deutschland Tour 2020 einreichen. Von Wünschen zum Verlauf der Profi-Strecke über Highlights für die Teilnehmer der Jedermann Tour bis zu touristischen Besonderheiten, die in die weltweite TV-Übertragung einfließen sollen, kann die Deutschland Tour 2020 mitgestaltet werden.

Fabian Wegmann, Sportlicher Leiter der Deutschland Tour: „Der Weg nach Nürnberg bietet uns das ideale Terrain für ein spannendes Finale. Das wellige Profil in Franken ist nicht zu schwer, aber trotzdem anspruchsvoll. Wir freuen uns wieder auf viele Insidertipps der Fans, um das Rennen bis zum Schluss offen zu halten und dann den Zuschauern in Nürnberg großen Sport zu bieten.“

JEDERMANN TOUR MIT 3.000 HOBBYRADSPORTLERN IN NÜRNBERG
Neben dem Finale der Profis wird in Nürnberg auch die Jedermann Tour für die Hobbyradsportler ausgetragen. Vom Einsteiger bis zum ambitionierten Rennradfahrer werden mehr als 3.000 Teilnehmer erwartet, die auf zwei Strecken die Region um Nürnberg entdecken und ihre Tour mit der gleichen Zieldurchfahrt, wie die Profis beenden. Um das Profi-Erlebnis perfekt zu machen, erhält jeder Teilnehmer ein kostenfreies Trikot im exklusiven Design von Santini Cycling Wear, dem offiziellen Ausstatter der Deutschland Tour. Über das Design 2020 wird ab sofort auf den Social-Media-Kanälen der Deutschland Tour abgestimmt.
Das ganztägige Erlebnis rund um das Fahrrad wird in Nürnberg mit einem vielfältigen Rahmenprogramm abgerundet. Am 23. August können sich die Besucher auch auf die Expo Tour freuen, eine große Fahrradmesse mit interessantem Bühnenprogramm und Attraktionen zum Mitmachen. Die kinder+Sport mini tour bietet für die Kleinsten unter anderem eine Fahrrad-Erlebniswelt, Laufradrennen und eine Bike Parade. Bei der Ride Tour können in Nürnberg autofreie Straßen auf einem abgesperrten Kurs erlebt werden – entspanntes Fahrradfahren frei von jeglichem Verkehr.

Pressebüro Deutschland Tour | Sandra Schmitz | +49 160 973 89898 | sandra@flessnerschmitz.com | www.cycling-pr.com
Fotos: Gerhard Plomitzer – www.plomi.smugmug.com

2019 TdF ŠKODA SHANGHAI CRITERIUM: Pocket rocket Ewan crowned prince of Shanghai

Shanghai (China) – Saturday, November 16th 2019 – Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto–Soudal) claimed the third edition of the Tour de France Škoda Shanghai Criterium in a three-way sprint against Italian Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT), the silver medallist in the road race at the recent Worlds, and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo–Visma), third overall in the 2019 Tour de France, who took the remaining steps on the podium in this same order. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain–Merida) was rewarded for his kick at the four intermediate sprints with the green jersey, while Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), took the combativity prize clad in the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. 25-year-old Caleb Ewan also won the best young rider’s white jersey as well as the team classification together with teammates Adam Blythe, Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens!

Key points:
 On the eve of the third edition of the Tour de France Škoda Shanghai Criterium, the Tour de France riders got a crash course in Chinese cuisine and put their reflexes to the test in front of a swarm of eager fans.
 Team Ineos’s young climber Egan Bernal, who became the first Colombian to claim the Yellow Jersey earlier this year, will spring into action almost at the crack of dawn for an amateur time trial in which fans will get to see how they fare against their idol clad in his famous Jersey.
 The main race will consist of 17 laps of the 3.6 km circuit, with 28 Chinese cyclists ready to take the fight to the likes of Ewan, Trentin, Nibali and Kruijswijk.

Caleb Ewan: „It’s always fun to race in a big city!“

Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer – www.plomi.smugmug.com
„It feels great to be back in China!“, chirped the affable rider from Down Under —and winner of stage 21 of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées— as he defied jet lag this morning, five years after taking part in the Tour of Beijing. „The roads are in good condition and the organisation is perfect.“ The 25-year-old sprinter landed in Shanghai yesterday and put his spare time to good use by checking out the breath-taking view of the Bund from the Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, perched on the 58th floor of a building in the bustling Pudong district. Panoramic photos in hand, he described the enormity of this megalopolis with as many contrasts as skyscrapers. „I love the special atmosphere of big cities. On these circuits, fans get to see the peloton blast past several times, in contrast to the courses of traditional races, which are more of a ‚blink and you’ll miss it‘ affair.“ Turning to Chinese fans, he added: „I have no idea whether they know as much about cycling as European fans, but their interest in the sport is growing. There weren’t so many cyclists in the streets in 2014!“ The Lotto–Soudal rider will be flanked by teammates Thomas De Gendt, Adam Blythe and Tim Wellens, who will also be taking part in this race like no other.

Steven Kruijswijk: „I like the idea of getting to know a new culture“
After finishing third overall in the Grande Boucle in July, the 32-year-old Dutchman pounced on the opportunity to enter a race that feels like stage 22 of the Tour de France: „I think it’s an amazing experience to be able to ride in such a vast city!“ The Jumbo–Visma man, a rider who likes to fly under the radar while racking up Grand Tour starts —17 so far— rose with the sun to go for a ride around a city that is usually known for its congested streets. „You need to wake up early to get an accurate picture of Shanghai“, he says adamantly. „Robert [Gesink] and I went around a few parks with 50-odd cycling enthusiasts who came especially to ride at our sides!“ After wrapping up their ride, the duo were invited to a 100% local breakfast in an old-town café known for its numerous regional specialities. It was an opportunity to enter uncharted gastronomical territory, as exemplified by their curious and mischievous tone: „You never really know what you’re tasting.“

Wonton workshop
Rave ravioli or pasta la vista? Gathered around a masterful chef from Guangdong, a province in south-east China, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain–Merida), Tim Wellens (Lotto–Soudal), Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and Koen Bowman (Jumbo–Visma) learned to make wonton (dumplings similar to ravioli) in front of an audience of Chinese influencers late in the morning. One of them, 2018 FIFA World Cup presenter Rachel Liu, lent a hand to those who felt like fish out of water in the kitchen: „The way we make dumplings varies from one region to the next. In my village back in Sichuan, we like to shape them like birds.“ Some apprentices were bewildered by the highly technical method. After wearing the polka-dot jersey for a fortnight in the last Tour de France, Tim Wellens faced an entirely different kind of mountain: „I’m no good at cooking… But I am great at eating!“ Nibali was the first to tackle the challenge one day after his 35th birthday on 14 November, a special date that the Italian shares with another Tour de France champion, Bernard Hinault. A smile crosses the face of the Shark from Messina as he adds with a touch of national pride: „I love the diversity of Chinese cuisine, but nothing —nothing— can compare to a good pasta dish!“

A whiff of July in the middle of November
The third edition of the Criterium will feature the cream of the crop of the international peloton. The new whiz kid of world cycling and youngest Tour de France champion since the war, Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), will clash with Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo–Visma), third in the Grande Boucle at 1′31″, as well as pocket rocket Caleb Ewan (Lotto–Soudal), who racked up three stage wins in his Tour debut, Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT), the 2019 European champion and silver medallist in the recent Worlds in Harrogate, and Bahrain–Merida leader Vincenzo Nibali, whose list of victories speaks for itself. These men, the five stars on the official poster of the Asian race, will soon go head to head in a summer atmosphere opposite the China Art Museum, the majestic pavilion built for the Expo 2010 Shanghai China.
@ASO

Deutschland Tour endet am 23.8.2020 im Zielort Nürnberg!

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Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer – www.plomi.smugmug.com

Die Deutschland Tour 2020 findet vom 20.8. bis 23.8.2020 statt und wird am Schlußtag im Zielort Nürnberg enden.
Im Rahmen der Rundfahrt findet am Finaltag, Sonntag den 23. August, für die Hobbyradsportler die Jedermann Tour 2020 statt.
Näheres hierzu wird am Dienstag, den 19.11.2019, bei einer Pressekonferenz bekanntgegeben.

Die Deutschland Tour ist vom Weltradsportverband UCI in die neue UCI ProSeries aufgenommen worden. Die ProSeries vereint zukünftig die weltweit besten Rennen unterhalb der WorldTour. Diese Einordnung ist eine Wertschätzung für die Deutschland Tour, die bereits in diesem Jahr eine Rekordzahl von 15 Mannschaften aus der WorldTour und viele der weltbesten Profis angezogen hat. Deutschlands größtes Radsportfestival verbleibt in der zweiten Augusthälfte und wird im kommenden Jahr vom 20. bis 23. August ausgetragen. Nachdem die neue Deutschland Tour mit ihren ersten beiden Austragungen bereits die Hälfte aller Bundesländer besucht hat, wird das Rennen in 2020 neue radsportbegeisterte Regionen besuchen.

Raymond „Poupou“ Poulidor mit 83 Jahren gestorben

Der beliebte Raymond Poulidor, einer der berühmtesten Veteranen des französischen Radsports, ist tot. Der dreifache Gesamtzweite der Tour de France starb gestern im Alter von 83 Jahren in seiner Heimatregion Limousin, nachdem er vor zwei Monaten wegen allgemeiner Erschöpfung ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert worden war. Der von seinen Landsleuten liebevoll „Poupou“ genannte Poulidor war Berufsradfahrer von 1960 bis 1977, zunächst bei Mercier-BP-Hutchinson, dann bei Gan-Mercier. Er erlangte Berühmtheit vor allem durch die Tatsache, dass er insgesamt achtmal auf dem Tour-de-France-Podium stand, die Frankreichrundfahrt aber nie gewinnen oder auch nur einen Tag das Gelbe Trikot tragen konnte. Gerade deswegen überstieg die Beliebheit des „ewigen Zweiten“ die seiner erfolgreichen Konkurrenten Jacques Anquetil oder später Eddy Merckx, zumindest in seinem Heimatland.

Poulidors größte Erfolge waren der Sieg bei Mailand-Sanremo 1961, bei der Flèche Wallonne 1963 sowie der Vuelta-Gesamtsieg 1964. Außerdem konnte er das Critérium du Dauphiné und Paris-Nizza je 2x gewinnen (1966/1969, 1972/1973) und sieben Tour-Etappensiege einfahren. Bei der Straßenrad-WM trat er mehrfach an, aber er kam über einen zweiten Platz (1974 hinter Merckx) und drei Bronzemedaillen (1961, 1964, 1966) nicht hinaus. Bis ins fortgeschrittene Alter arbeitete Poulidor als Botschafter des Tour-Sponsors Credit Lyonnais und war auch Gast bei der TdF 2019 in Brüssel. Er besuchte oft die Radcross-Rennen, an denen seine Enkelsöhne Mathieu und David van der Poel teilnahmen. Der Radcross-Welt- und Europameister und sein Bruder zeigten sich über den Tod ihres Großvaters tief betroffen.
RIP Poupou!


Text und Fotos:
Gerhard Plomitzer – www.plomi.smugmug.com

2020 ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY: the race heads to Finland for the first time

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Key points:
 The 8th edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will be held on 6–9 August 2020.
 For the first time, the world’s northernmost race will venture outside Norway, with the finish to stage two taking place in the town of Kilpisjärvi in Finland.
 The first two days will offer the sprinters the opportunity to show their prowess. The general classification will then be decided over the course of the weekend stages, with a summit finish in Målselv on Saturday and a climb to the line in Harstad on Sunday.

Every year, the Arctic Race of Norway delights cycling fans by delivering unpredictable racing that often maintains the suspense until the dying moments. Last year, the general classification was still up for grabs as the first riders crossed the finish line on the final stage. Ultimately, Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko (Team Astana) won the seventh edition of the Arctic Race by a second, ahead of French national champion Warren Barguil (Team Arkéa-Samsic). Elsewhere, Dutch puncheur-sprinter Mathieu Van Der Poel (Corendon-Circus), riding in preparation for the World Championships in Yorkshire, won his third stage in two years. Should he choose to return next year, the Dutchman is sure to find the 2020 route through the region of Troms to his liking once more.

For the first time in its eight editions, the Arctic Race of Norway will start in Tromsø, Northern Norway’s most iconic city and the finishing point for the 2014 and 2017 editions. The first stage, on Thursday 6 August, will take the riders southwards to complete a loop before leading back to the city. Before reaching the final circuit, the peloton will pass Ishavskatedralen (the Arctic Cathedral) before crossing from mainland to island via the Tromsø Bridge. The riders will then perform two laps of an 8.5 km circuit. A categorised climb (1.2 km at 8%) with 2.5 km to go will stretch the peloton out before it reaches the finish line, where the victorious rider will write his name into the history books alongside those of Alexander Kristoff and Dylan Teuns, the two previous winners in Tromsø.

On the second day of racing, the Arctic Race will visit Nordkjosbotn for the first time. On a day of firsts, the riders will then make the Arctic Race’s inaugural foray outside Norway, with the last 12 km taking place in Finland. Earlier in the stage, the riders will skirt the Storfjord before entering a valley that steadily climbs to 500 m of altitude at Kilpisjärvi. Despite four categorised climbs, this 172 km stage should be one for the sprinters.

The third day will have an air of déjà vu about it. Running from Finnsnes to Målselv, the 184.5 km route scheduled for stage three is almost identical to the one undertaken on 15 August 2015, during the third edition of the race. The only difference is that the peloton will ride the first loop on the island of Senja in the opposite direction to four years ago, when Belgium’s Ben Hermans emerged victorious. In 2020, this queen stage will offer five opportunities for the riders to collect climbing points, including the final ascent to a summit finish at the ski resort of Målselv (3.7 km at 7.8%). The battle for general classification places should play out on the climbs leading to the “Alpine Village”.

While the public may see the final stage of the Tour de France as nothing more than a stroll in the park for its participants, the same cannot be said for the Arctic Race. The fourth stage, 161 km of racing between Gratangen and Harstad, is tailor-made for the puncheurs. Gratangen will welcome the race for the first time. Taking place against a stunning backdrop of fjords, the first part of the final stage will see the riders scale three categorised climbs. The race will then conclude with an 8.5 km circuit in Harstad, which was also the setting for the climax to the very first edition of the race, won by local favourite Thor Hushovd. Fellow countryman Alexander Kristoff would also go on to win the first stage there in 2015. The 2020 winner will have to successfully negotiate two climbs up the hill of Novkollen (1.4 km at 6%), before proving his strength on a final ramp to the finish line (700 m at 8.5%).

Route of the 2020 Arctic Race of Norway:
 Thursday 6th August, stage 1: Tromsø – Tromsø, 166km
 Friday 7th August, stage 2: Nordkjosbotn – Storfjord / Kilpisjärvi, 172km
 Saturday 8th August, stage 3: Finnsnes – Målselv, 184,5km
 Sunday 9th August, stage 4: Gratangen – Harstad, 161km

The Arctic Race of Norway shines the spotlight on the stars of tomorrow
In 2020, the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race junior competition will again give 120 talented young riders from Norway and another five countries the opportunity to race on the same course as the pro cyclists. Backed by Equinor, the major sponsor of the ARN, as well as the Norwegian Cycling Federation, it has grown to become one of the major fixtures on the junior calendar. Kristoffer Halvorsen, the winner of the first edition of the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race, held in Harstad in 2013, became U23 world champion in 2016 and went on to join Ineos two years later.

Thor Hushovd, world champion and event ambassador: „The eighth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will again be a spectacular race that goes down to the wire. I am delighted to go back to Harstad, where I won the general classification in the inaugural edition. The 2020 edition also has new things in store, including a stage finish in Kilpisjärvi, Finland. Both this stage and the previous one in Tromsø are tailored to sprinters, but punchy climbers will take centre stage from then on. If one thing is certain, it is that our landscapes will again leave riders and TV viewers filled with awe.“
@ASO

SAUDI TOUR: ACT I

Key points:
 The first edition of the Saudi Tour, a new race that will kick-off the cycling season and the Middle Eastern swing, will take place in 100 days. This 2.1 category race registered in the UCI calendar by the Saudi Arabian Cycling Federation will be held from 4-8 February.
 The race will be organised by Amaury Sport Organisation whose teams have designed a star-shaped course around Riyadh, the Saudi capital, at the heart of beautiful landscapes.

With the creation of the Saudi Tour, a new challenge will be presented next February which will open a Middle Eastern chapter that will continue with the Tour of Oman. The world’s top riders will compete on the Riyadh city capital of Saudi Arabia roads during this new five-stage race. The size and diversity of the Saudi territory make it possible to plan new routes each year to discover a different region as well as offer cyclists varied profiles, providing several types of riders opportunities to standout.
For the 2020 edition, the exploration of the country begins in its capital Riyadh, whose region in the broad sense will be visited by the peloton. The five-stage race will be run in a desert and canyon scenery as well as urban circuits at the heart of modernity. The small hills near Riyadh will allow for alternating between stages for sprinters and more rugged courses for punchers. On roads often exposed to the wind, the ability to cope with crosswinds will be an important asset for the teams that will look to dominate the race. On the Saudi Tour, the Flemish classic-style riders will be the ones to beat.
Sabah Al-Kraidees, President of the Saudi Cycling Federation: “It is an honour for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Cycling Federation to host an international sporting event of this magnitude. The Saudi Tour is a great opportunity to publicise the country’s varied territories and historic sites and to let visitors discover our sense of hospitality. For this first edition, world-class riders from around the world will ride on the surrounding roads of the capital, Riyadh. This initiative fits perfectly with the ambition of Saudi Arabia to promote the Kingdom beyond its borders while promoting sport and especially cycling.”
Yann Le Moenner, A.S.O. CEO: “For several years, the cycling seasons have enjoyed highlights from around the world. We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demand at the beginning of the year. The creation of the Saudi Tour and its sustainable installation in the calendar is part of this movement. This new race both represents an exciting organisational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders and a nice opportunity for the television viewers who follow the race to discover new landscapes. This is also for us an occasion to contribute to the development of cycling across the Kingdom”.
Press contact
Fabrice Tiano
+33 (0) 6.33.86.28.64
@ASO

Arashiro, emperor of Saitama

October 27 th 2019 – 09:58
Kriterium (59,5 km)
1 61 ARASHIRO Yukiya 00″ TDF JPN
2 1 BERNAL Egan INS COL
3 21 ROGLIC Primoz TJV SLO
4 44 MEZGEC Luka 05″ MTS SLO
5 84 UCHIMA Kohei 06″ UKO JPN
6 41 TRENTIN Matteo MTS ITA
7 11 BARDET Romain ALM FRA
8 31 FUGLSANG Jakob 09″ AST DEN
9 14 NAESEN Oliver 11″ ALM BEL
10 3 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan 14″ INS ESP

Several days after the coronation of Emperor Naruhito, Yukiya Arashiro achieved a crowning moment in his career by winning in front of his home crowds on the Tour de France Saitama Criterium. The victory must have been even sweeter since in the run-up to the finish he resisted the duo made up of Yellow Jersey Egan Bernal and Vuelta Red Jersey winner Primoz Roglic.Beforehand in the main race, Matteo Trentin and Romain Bardet stood out, respectively claiming the green and polka dot jerseys, whilst the very lively Jakob Fuglsang was designated the most combative rider on this unofficial “22nd stage”.
JAPAN’S KINGS OF THE SPRINT
Sprint aficionados enjoyed a rare formula in Saitama, with four qualification races to reach the final, contested on a rolling start, 800 metres from the finishing line. In the first heat, Oliver Naesen proved to be a bit too cocky when attacking 500 metres from the line and was caught and passed by Japan’s Saya Kuroeda. However, this technique worked for Michal Kwiatkowski, in a tough heat where he had to count on his power to avoid a direct confrontation at the line with Matteo Trentin. The third heat was completely different, in which the duel between Anthony Turgis and Kakeru Omae went the Frenchman’s way right at the very end: “I think my experience helped me to beat him,” explained the relieved Total-Direct Energie rider. The fourth ticket for the final was a two-way battle between a Japanese pair, since Jakob Fuglsang was evidently not confident in his finishing skills against the duo of Watanabe and Sawada, who crossed the line in that order. In the final, “Kwiato” again tried to shake off his competitors with an acceleration 500 metres from the line, but this time was lacking the strength to hold out against his two Japanese rivals. The duel was won by Saya Kuroeda, the only rider of the day to put in a faultless performance.

CALL HIM MISTER AMBASSADOR
A career as an elite sprinter can open doors to all sorts of opportunities. Marcel Kittel, who this summer decided to definitively leave the saddle at the age of 31 years old, has not had to wait for long to slip into a new role. The German colossus, a regular at the Saitama Criterium since his initial participation in 2013 after winning his first four stages on the Tour de France, has been invited this year as an ambassador. This is a natural role for him in light of the affection he has for the end of season race that he won in 2014: “I’ve always had a wonderful welcome here and everybody has been able to see just how touched I have been each time by the acclaim of the crowds”. Kittel can also look back with particular fondness on the 14 stages he won on the Tour de France as he draws the final curtain on his time as a pro rider: “I have had a fine career. The highlights are obviously those victories on the Tour de France, as well as having had the opportunity to wear the Yellow Jersey. As a sprinter, I always dreamed about tasting victory on the Champs-Elysées”. Such memories are not holding Kittel back from looking forward, starting with his life as a young father which will commence in the forthcoming weeks: “It’s a new chapter that’s going to begin for me. I will be spending more time with my family and I will soon be starting studies in economics”.
@ASO

2019 TOUR DE FRANCE SAITAMA CRITERIUM: INFO WITH ONE DAY TO GO

Key points:
 The riders on the Tour de France Saitama Criterium enjoyed a day’s relaxation on the eve of the three races on the programme for the 7th edition. In different guises to their usual outfits, Michal Kwiatkowski was particularly convincing at karate, whilst Primoz Roglic revealed to the crowd at the Super Arena Saitama that he has a particularly skilful right foot.
 However, tomorrow it will be question of pedal power separating the winners from the rest of the pack, especially in the 59.5-km main race (with 17 laps of a 3.5-km circuit). Beforehand, the team-time trial and sprint competition will already have produced some of the day’s winners.

A TEAM-TIME TRIAL TO KICK PROCEEDINGS OFF
To open the programme, tomorrow morning on its 3.1-km route, the Criterium circuit will host a team race against the clock in which the riders will set off in groups of three. The fourth rider in each team will be taking part in a two-legged sprint competition: the winners of the four qualification races will take part in a four-rider final. For each of these races, the sprinters will set off behind a derny that will set the pace before peeling off 800 metres from the line, at which point the titanic battles will commence

K IS FOR KWIATO… AND KARATE
After reconnoitring the route of the time-trial at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Michal Kwiatkowski showed a certain amount of skill in another discipline that has been additionally included in the Olympic programme for next year. The Polish rider was invited to take part in a karate lesson given by the leading pupils at the Saitama Sakae High School alongside Lilian Calmejane, Marcel Kittel, Matteo Trentin and Yukiya Arashiro, initially displaying the most determination and announcing that his kimono made him “feel stronger”. Indeed, thanks to his level of concentration, he put in the most credible performance, whilst the German sprinter and Calmejane found themselves hampered by a strange affliction of confusing their left and right hands! Although all the novices then successfully passed the exam involving breaking a plank (made of polystyrene, of course), Kwiato did not refrain from reminding those present that, once he had passed the initiation, he felt ready to honour the black belt knotted around his waist, with a bold “bring me a real wooden plank, please!”

FEET ARE NOT JUST FOR PEDALLING!
Egan Bernal, Romain Bardet, Primoz Roglic and Jakob Fuglsang enjoyed a brand-new experience when they tried out a session of foot-darts, which involves hitting a giant target not with darts but with a football. In theory, the safe bet to win should have been Romain Bardet, the only man present to have played before, at the Vieille Brioude football club, or perhaps Egan Bernal, whose football version of the Yellow Jersey made it almost look like Angel di Maria had put on a Colombian football top by mistake. However, even though both of them got very close to the 50-point bullseye at the centre of the target which would have given them victory, Primoz Roglic combined talent with success to score a triple 19, demonstrating that he was right to have accepted this last minute invitation in Saitama. In the end, the winner of the Vuelta beat the winner of the Tour de France in the final classification, which may not necessarily be the case when they climb back onto their bikes.

Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer
FROOME COMPETING IN THE TIME-TRIAL ONLY
The four-time winner of the Tour de France, who fell heavily on the most recent edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné will be back on his bike again tomorrow but only to take part in the team time trial, in the company of his Ineos team-mates Egan Bernal and Jonathan Castroviejo. With his physical rehabilitation work still underway, the British rider has preferred to miss out on the pack race, which he won in 2013 during the first edition of the Japanese race: “At the moment, I’m capable of getting on the bike and riding, but not racing within the pack. If I have to follow the changes in rhythm or kick after bends, I just won’t be able to keep the pace. I still need to build up my strength to reach that level”.

25 JAPANESE RIDERS IN THE PACK
The Japanese delegation, which tomorrow will be competing alongside the 24 riders from the Tour de France teams in the main race, welcomed a special guest: Yukiya Arashiro, who has participated seven times in the Tour de France and has finished the 12 grand tours in total that he has started. At the age of 35 years old, the pioneer of Japanese cycling on the international scene should be able to hold his own against his country’s young emerging riders, including, for example, Shotaro Iribe from the Shimano Racing team, who recently beat him in a two man sprint for the title of Japanese champion. The Ukyo team, led by 2017 Japanese champion Yusuke Hatanaka and his counterpart in the young riders category, Kosuke Takeyama, will also be jerseys worth watching in the pack (in red and black). As for the time-trial, the Bridgestone Cycling team is expected to make it difficult for the elite squads, given that they have several track specialists capable of demonstrating their explosive power on the dynamic format on the programme
@ASO

TdF 2020 – Every mountain range on the map

Key points:
 The route of the 2020 Tour de France, which will take place between 27 June and 19 July, was unveiled this morning at the Palais des Congrès in Paris in front of 4,000 spectators, including defending champion Egan Bernal and four-time winner Chris Winner, as well as the leading contenders for top placings.
 Its defining characteristic is the inclusion of all the mountain ranges in France. The spread-out, varied and exceptionally steep climbs will give ambitious climbers one opportunity after another throughout the race, from the finish at Orcières-Merlette to the time trial on La Planche des Belles Filles, not to mention the Puy Mary, the Grand Colombier and the Col de la Loze, overhanging Méribel.

The Tour de France visiting five different mountain ranges is something that only happens once in a blue moon. It will be the first time that the route features mountain stages from the second day of racing until the eve of the finish in Paris, over a period of no fewer than 20 days. The stage between two islands and the ascent of the Grand Colombier from almost the bottom to the top, with a summit finish at the top of the Pyramide du Bugey, are also unprecedented. Whatever happens in stage 15 or in the exceptional time trial on La Planche des Belles Filles could decide who takes the yellow jersey all the way to Paris. If the riders in the 107th edition are feeling as bold and inspired as in July this year, we are likely to see a race in which the top of the classification changes virtually every day and the pretenders to the crown will have to take matters into their own hands early on.

The route has been designed to favour aggressive riders with the ability to jump out of the peloton with ease, starting with the stage to Orcières-Merlette, which will lead to small time gaps but provide valuable insights. If a non-conformist mood takes hold of the peloton, the ascent to the Col de la Lusette en route to Mont Aigoual and the first finish atop the Puy Mary may well do as much damage as the Pyrenean stages to Loudenvielle and Laruns. Meanwhile, the Alpine sequence signals a foray into uncharted territory, including the fearsome road to the Col de la Loze, overhanging Méribel, from which none can hide.

On paper, the eight mountain stages on the menu should decide who takes the spoils, but even flat and hilly stages will be riddled with pitfalls. Coastal winds could throw the peloton into disarray on the road to the fortified town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, just like the Suc au May climb, the hectic finish through the streets of Lyon and the rugged terrain of the Vercors Massif on the way to Villard-de-Lans. Although the route favours attackers, sprinters will also get opportunities to shine from the first day to the last.
Sprinters take centre stage in La Course by le Tour de France powered by FDJ
The seventh edition of La Course by le Tour de France powered by FDJ will take the world’s elite back to the Champs-Élysées, where it all began with Marianne Vos sprinting to the win in 2014. Starting in 2016, the race moved on to pastures new to give other types of riders their day in the sun: Annemiek van Vleuten triumphed in the race against the clock and in the mountains, followed by a circuit for punchers in Pau last July that was dominated by none other than unflappable Marianne Vos. The next round will take place over 13 laps of the historical 90 km circuit around Paris.
Celebrating the 30th Étape du Tour de France with the first visit to Nice
The 30th edition of the Étape du Tour de France will be held in Nice on 5 July 2020. Just a week after the pro peloton burns through, the amateurs will tackle the 177 km long second stage of the Tour de France, starting and finishing in Nice. It is both the first loop course and the first coastal route in the history of the Étape du Tour de France. However, the 16,000 cyclo-tourists expected to take part in the race will ride up to 1,500 metres above the sea on two occasions, on the Col de la Colmiane and on the Col de Turini. Registration opens at timeto.com at 4 pm on 21 October.
@ASO

Die Strecke der Tour de France 2020 wurde heute in Paris vorgestellt. Die 107. Ausgabe der Rundfahrt, die vom 27. Juni bis 19 Juli stattfindet, wird mit einem Grand Depart in Nizza eingeleitet. Die 21 Etappen beinhalten 29 kategorisierte Anstiege mit sechs Bergankünften. Mit der ersten Bergetappe schon am zweiten Tag und der letzten erst am vorletzten Tag wird diese Ausgabe der Frankreich-Rundfahrt besonders anspruchsvoll.

Team-Manager Ralph Denk meinte über die Strecke: „Im Detail lässt sich die Strecke natürlich noch nicht einschätzen, aber es scheint, als wäre die Tour 2020 etwas für Kletterer. Schon zu Beginn geht es in die Berge, das heißt, man muss von Tag eins weg schon sehr gut in Form sein, und muss diese bis zum Bergzeitfahren auf der 20. Etappe halten. Das ist eine besondere Herausforderung. Ich denke, auch die Etappe nach dem ersten Ruhetag kann Veränderungen bringen. Nach dem Ruhetag haben manche Fahrer generell Probleme, wenn da Windkanten an der Küste aufgehen, verliert der eine oder andere vielleicht mehr Zeit als auf einer Bergetappe. Die Entscheidung fällt sicherlich erst nach Planche des Belles Filles. Da muss man noch Körner haben, um im Zeitfahren auf den letzten Kilometern um Sekunden zu kämpfen. Nachdem wir dort nahe an der deutschen Grenze sind, hoffe ich natürlich, dass dort auch viele deutsche Fans kommen, um Emu zu unterstützen. Alles in allem denke ich, die Strecke müsste Emu liegen. Es gibt nur ein Zeitfahren, und das führt auf einen Berg. Es gilt von Beginn an fokussiert zu sein, das kann er. Und es gibt sehr viele Bergetappen, das kommt ihm als Kletterer schon mal grundsätzlich entgegen. Ohne Mannschaftszeitfahren ist die Teamzusammenstellung vielleicht auch etwas einfacher für uns als in diesem Jahr.“ – Ralph Denk, Team-Manager
@BORA-hansgrohe