Schlagwort-Archive: EF Education First – Drapac p / b Cannondale“

100. Milano-Torino 2019 (1.HC)

Magenta – Torino/Basilica di Superga (179,0 km)
1 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First 4:03:48
2 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team 0:00:00
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton – Scott 0:00:05
4 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:10
5 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama – FDJ 0:00:10
6 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Ineos 0:00:10
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek – Segafredo 0:00:23
8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:33
9 Kevin Rivera Serrano (CRc) Androni Giocattoli Sidermec 0:00:33
10 Enric Mas Nicolau (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick Step 0:00:38
11 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Esp) Astana Pro Team 0:00:38
12 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton – Scott 0:00:38
13 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:40
14 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora – Hansgrohe 0:00:40
15 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Esp) Astana Pro Team 0:00:40
16 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek – Segafredo 0:00:40
17 Victor De La Parte (Esp) CCC Team 0:00:43
18 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora – Hansgrohe 0:00:46
19 Marc Hirschi (SUI) Team Sunweb 0:00:59
20 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Ineos 0:01:11
21 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek – Segafredo 0:01:11
22 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama – FDJ 0:01:11
23 Simon Geschke (GER) CCC Team 0:01:22
24 Emanuel Buchmann (GER) Bora – Hansgrohe 0:01:22
25 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:34

Sep Vanmarcke wins Bretagne Classic-Ouest France

Plouay – Plouay (248,1 km)
1 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First 6:12:23
2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:03
3 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton – Scott 0:00:03
4 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Team Dimension Data 0:00:20
5 Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo – Visma 0:00:20
6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team 0:00:20
7 Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:20
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:22
9 Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick Step 0:00:28
10 Eduard Prades Reverter (Esp) Movistar Team 0:00:28
11 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Merida 0:00:28
12 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkéa – Samsic 0:00:28
13 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama – FDJ 0:00:28
14 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:47

Sep Vanmarcke got his first WorldTour win and 8th career victory this Sunday when he won the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France in Plouay. The Belgian timed his final move to perfection in the final kilometer of the race, allowing him to savor his win at the finish.
The 248-kilometer one day race lived up to its hectic reputation. The peloton split with 80 kilometers to go during an especially hard segment of racing. Both Sep Vanmarcke and teammate Simon Clarke made it into the lead group, but a crash took Clarke out of contention, leaving Sep to go it alone.
Attacks came thick and fast from several riders with 30km to go, but a move including Vanmarcke, Mitchelton-Scott’s Jack Haig, and Lotto Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot 22km from the line proved to be the decisive one.
The trio pulled out a 42 second margin over the chasing group with one lap to go of the finish circuit, and were able to hold them off to the line. “I knew if I survived the last climb at 5km to go, I had a big chance to win,” reflected Vanmarcke.
And survive he did. Right as the three riders passed the one kilometer to go marker, Vanmarcke attacked and pulled away from the other two, who weren’t able to match his power. After building a sizeable gap within the last kilometer there was plenty of time to fit in a celebration before crossing the line.
“I’m super happy about this win,” said Vanmarcke after the finish. “I had to work long and hard and be patient to get a big win like this! I’m proud I could finally do it!”

The victory comes at the perfect time for the EF Education First team — after a tough few days at the Vuelta that saw heavy crashes that forced Rigoberto Urán, Hugh Carthy and Tejay van Garderen to abandon, Vanmarcke’s result brought smiles across the entire team on Sunday evening.
“Sep is a guy who I can see being truly motivated to win because he knows the team needs it to lift everyone’s morale,” said the team’s CEO, Jonathan Vaughters. “It’s a testament to the strength of this organization. Everyone pulls each other up in the bad times. A beautiful thing to be a part of.”
Copyright © 2019 Slipstream Sports Inc., All rights reserved

Crash forces Urán and Carthy to abandon the Vuelta a España

Van Garderen, Higuita, Owen also suffer crashes

Rigoberto Urán and Hugh Carthy were forced to abandon the Vuelta a España during Thursday’s stage six after a large crash that involved multiple teams. Sergio Higuita and Logan Owen were also involved in the crash, though were both able to continue.
Urán and Carthy abandoned the race immediately after the crash and were taken to Hospital General Universitari de Castelló for treatment. Both riders have suffered broken left clavicles and will undergo surgery in the coming days.
“Hugh has broken his left collarbone and will need surgery to repair it. Rigo has also broken his left collarbone, just past the plate that was placed on the bone from the break he suffered in March [at Paris-Nice]. He has also broken his shoulder blade in several places,” said Rick Morgan, the team’s doctor at the Vuelta.
“This has really not been a great day for the team,” EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters plainly stated. “Now the most important thing is that we focus on making sure Rigo and Hugh and the rest of the team are healthy. And we refocus the guys still racing on other objectives.”
The hard luck continued as Tejay van Garderen, who was in the day’s break, later crashed on a descent. The impact to the team as a whole is profound: Owen needed five stitches in his right leg; Higuita has pain in his lower back after his fall; van Garderen suffered heavy road rash on his right side and has significant pain in one of his fingers.

It’s anticipated that Owen and Higuita will continue. Van Garderen, meanwhile, will be assessed in the morning before a decision is made on his continuation. The only riders on the team unscathed Thursday were Mitch Docker, Dani Martinez, and Lawson Craddock.
“We’re going to continue on, but we need a bit of time to recuperate,” said director Juanma Garate. “The moment when Tejay fell I said to the team, ‘Ok guys, to do this we have to do it as a team and we take strength from each other,’ and that’s what we’re going to do. It was a moment that can really demotivate everyone, but they continued on and kept their minds on what they were doing, and they did their best. Tomorrow we will make sure we take care of each other and we take it from there.”

Urán took the view of a rider who’s been in the situation before.
“Today we’ve had a really tough day, there was a crash on a descent on a corner and there were a number of riders who went down, and there was no possibility to avoid the crash,” Urán said. “Us riders we are used to having these crashes so we know what it takes to recuperate from them. There’s no other option, we just have to take some time out and recover to then come back. I’ve learned a lot about this, each time you learn a bit more, you go out there hoping not to crash or at least to not break anything.”

Carthy wished the rest of his team luck in Spain.
“If I look at the work we’ve done this week, we can be happy. The team now can look forward and continue racing. I wish them luck” said Carthy. “I’m all OK – nothing too serious. Could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful for the help from the team and the hospital. I’m looking forward to recovery now.”
Copyright © 2019 Slipstream Sports Inc., All rights reserved.

Tejay van Garderen forced to abandon Tour with broken thumb

American Tejay van Garderen has been forced to withdraw from the Tour de France after breaking his hand in a crash on stage seven.
The incident occurred just outside the start town of Belfort, seven kilometers into the longest stage of the Tour. Van Garderen hit a traffic island causing him to fall heavily on his hand, face, and front of his body. Mike Teunissen of Jumbo-Visma also hit the ground in the incident.

Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer –
“The crash was a result of a personal error,” said van Garderen. “I was looking down at my bike because I saw something caught up in it, like a piece of paper, so I was looking down and I hit a median. I have no one to blame but myself, and I really hope that no one else got hurt because of me.”
Van Garderen’s EF Education First Pro Cycling teammates rallied around him in the aftermath and, after an initial medical inspection, he remounted his bike and rode the rest of the 223-kilometers to the finish into Chalon-sur-Saône, losing contact with the main group only in the last five kilometers.
He received an immediate medical examination at the finish line with the team’s head doctor, Kevin Sprouse, and from the Tour de France’s doctor as well. The two determined van Garderen required an X-ray, which was performed by the race radiologist. The X-ray confirmed that van Garderen had broken his hand.
“After today’s stage, Tejay had his wounds cleaned and bandaged,” Sprouse said. “We then went for an X-ray. In addition to multiple abrasions, it was determined that he has a nondisplaced fracture at the base of his first metacarpal on the left hand. He has been placed in a splint and will not start stage eight.”
“We never want to see a rider leave the Tour like this,” EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “There is a huge amount of work that goes into the preparation for this race, no one wants to be there more than these riders do. After talking with Tejay, our doctor, and race directors this evening, we’re not only concerned about Tejay doing lasting damage to the fractured bone if he were to continue riding, but we are also concerned for the safety of others, too. Full use of your hand is important when racing alongside 180 riders.”
“We will miss having him in the team,” Vaughters added. “He has showed great form coming into the race. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope that he’ll be back racing again soon.”

Van Garderen will be sorely missed from the Tour team over the next two weeks, as the race tackles the Pyrenees and the Alps; not only as one of Rigoberto Uran’s support riders, but as an incredibly valued teammate.
„All I’m thinking about now is the disappointment, less for myself and more for the team,“ said van Garderen. „Rigo and Woods, they both have a big chance to podium, to win stages, even to win the whole damn Tour. I would have loved to have been a part of that, to contribute to that, but unfortunately, as all cyclists have become accustomed to saying, these things happen.”

EF Education First names Tour de France team

2017 Tour runner-up Rigoberto Uran headlines a united, motivated team

Alberto Bettiol. Simon Clarke. Tejay van Garderen. Tanel Kangert. Sebastian Langeveld. Tom Scully. Rigoberto Uran. Mike Woods.

Our Tour de France team is set and ready to roll this weekend in Belgium, with eight riders from eight different countries. The Tour is the sport’s biggest race and one of its most beautiful. Millions of people stand on the roads in July, and millions and millions more turn on their TVs and watch back at home. It’s the race people grow up watching.
And it’s finally here.
“Our specific ambitions we will leave to ourselves. As giving it away wouldn’t be any fun,” says team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “And we’re all about having a bit of fun.”

Alex Howes takes dream win at US National Road Championships

During pre-season training camp every year, the riders are asked a series of questions – one is always about ambitions for the upcoming season. Every year, Alex Howes has named the same goal: to win the US National Road Championships. On Sunday, in Knoxville, Tennessee, Howes achieved his decade-long ambition.
“It was absolutely surreal crossing the line,” Howes said. “I’ve dreamt of this for so long, and it was way better than I had ever imagined it could be. Having my wife, my father, my dog there, my mom on Skype, being surrounded by friends…it was amazing. I am so humbled and amazed at how many people seem genuinely happy I won.”

The collective happiness is a product of who Howes is and what he stands for. The 31-year-old grew up in argyle. He’s raced for every iteration of EF Education First Pro Cycling, beginning as a junior cyclist out of Golden, Colorado, and has spent the duration of his career, 13 seasons, with the team – save one year that team boss Jonathan Vaughters farmed him out to a French team to “toughen him up a bit.”
In his tenure with the team, Howes has become known as a thinker, a pragmatist, a do-it-yourself-er, a loyal friend and a generous teammate. He spends off-seasons exploring the Wild West in his pick-up truck, his canoe or (of course) on his bike. He’s embraced mountain living in Nederland, 3,000 feet above Boulder.
“I’ve shown over the years that I’m one of the best one-day racers in the States, and with Nationals being the top one-day race in the US, it has always been my goal,” said Howes. “To be close so many times, the pressure and disappointment grew exponentially with each loss. Waiting this long makes it all the sweeter.”

Howes and his EF Education First Pro Cycling teammates Sean Bennett, Nate Brown, and Logan Owen made their intentions known from kilometer zero of the 190-kilometer circuit race.
“We were aggressive straightaway as a team,” said Howes. “I got the sense that the larger squads out on the road were looking to ride a more traditional race, but with everyone on our team firing on all cylinders early, I thought, ‘You know what? Screw it. If the other teams want to win, they’re going to have to come get me,’ and I went full-send on lap four. That set the tone for the whole day.”
The move by Howes drew out defending champion Jonny Brown (Hagens Berman Axeon), Robin Carpenter (Rally UHC), Gage Hecht (Aevolo) and Oliver Flautt (Dauner Akkon). The quintet spent several laps out front before a reduced bunch bridged across to the leaders.
A flurry of activity followed, with the EF Education First pink always on the front foot of the action. It was a move by Howes with three laps left, an attack up the circuit’s steepest climb, that proved most decisive.
Howes was joined up the road by Stephen Bassett (First Internet Bank) and Nielson Powless (Jumbo-Visma). The trio worked well together, maintaining a 50-second advantage during the penultimate lap and across the start-finish line in downtown Knoxville as they heard the bell signaling a single lap left to race.
“I was cooked in the final,” said Howes. “I had been cramping for the last 70-kilometers, and I wasn’t able to follow the hard accelerations coming from Bassett and Powless. When I was dropped on the highway, I was almost sure it was over. I actually had a nightmare about that very moment last night – one where I was dropped and never came back. But, back to real life, I knew we were all toast, so I told myself to keep digging.”
He dug, countering an attack by Basset inside the final kilometer, gapping Basset with the line in sight.
“I didn’t really believe I was going to win until I was 50 meters from the line,” said Howes.
Last July, Howes was sidelined with illness, his career hanging in limbo.
“I was in a pretty dark place this time last year,” said Howes. “I was struggling with an undiagnosed thyroid, fighting my body, thinking of hanging it up. I was depressed and scared, wasting away. To come back and win the jersey a year later? This is bliss. Pure satisfaction.”
Howes expects to showcase the stars and stripes in early August.
“I think my next race is Tour of Utah,” he said. “It’s only right to debut the jersey on home soil.”

Jonas Rutsch to join WorldTour with EF Education First Pro Cycling

Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer
U23 Gent-Wevelgem winner Jonas Rutsch will join the WorldTour with EF Education First Pro Cycling. The 22-year-old is the team’s first neo-pro signing for the 2020 season.
“The rise to the WorldTour means that I have reached a career goal already,” said Rutsch. “I have worked towards this since I was a little boy. It was always my dream to become a professional cyclist. I have invested a lot of time and hard work, and I’m really happy to make it to the top level.”
“The kid is a machine,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “A well-tuned machine, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator.”
Rutsch’s resume gave him options for the upcoming season. In addition to his competitive Classics results, the German was the only rider on a Continental team to crack the Tour of Luxembourg general classification top ten.
EF Education First’s atmosphere proved attractive to him.
“The team brings a lightness into the world of cycling,” he said. “The team is ambitious and cool with a good direction. It’s an exciting team to follow and I’m excited to explore the world with the team.
“To me, explore the world means discovering new places with amazing people to gain experiences that will broaden my horizons,” Rutsch added. “That can be perfectly pursued while riding for this team.”
Rutsch admits the “tough one-day races” are his favorites, and that is greatest ambitions lies over the cobbled terrain.
“I have always been tall and strong,” he said. “I can use my power in these races.”
“He’s a big rider that seems to climb well and go over cobbles well – and from what I’ve seen, he handles pressure well, too,” said Vaughters. “I think he’s going to be a great Classics rider. I mean, he won Gent-Wevelgem, and I believe is a future Paris-Roubaix winner.”

Bennett, Breschel, Brown, Caicedo, Carthy, Dombrowski, Kangert, and Modolo named to EF Education First Giro d’Italia squad

„There’s an old saying that applies to me: you can’t lose the game if you don’t play the game.“ -William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
Here we are, ready to play the game as the first Grand Tour of the year is charged and ready to take to the stage. The curtain will raise on the 102nd Giro d’Italia this Saturday in Bologna, where a 21-stage drama will commence. The power of the iconic pink leader’s jersey driving them along through cities, past seas, up and down mountains to their final destination: Verona. The rider quickest against the three-week clock will stand head held high crowned by a roaring crowd within Verona’s amphitheatre.
Italy has immense pride in its aptitude to conserve tradition. The Giro itself has proven innovative over the years offering an antidote to, say, the Tour de France, but the race always comes down to the traditional arena of the Alps and Dolomites mountains. For riders, staff, and fans, the Giro feels like a celebration of Italy, from road to table.
EF Education First Pro Cycling Team sport director Fabrizio Guidi, an Italian who now calls Switzerland home, gets right to the point when asked about the high points of Italian dining.
“Tignanello wine and fiorentina are good together, but I think my favourite wine is Sassicaia and my favourite dish is Catalana di Scampi — but they don’t go together,” Guidi says. “Scampi has to be eaten with a white wine.”
“I did the Giro two or three years ago with [Alberto] Bettiol and Fabrizio and in one of the stages around Florence they basically got this special delivery for us of Fiorentina from, according to them, the best butcher in Italy,” says Joe Dombrowski. “There’s this knowledge and pride around the food in Italy that I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere else in the world.”
Life in Italy follows a long-ago written script. Like the romance that plays out between Romeo and Juliet, passion has a twine that twists its way through society. Foods and wines must fall together like lovers in each other’s arms; design and architecture are fertilized by craftsmanship and beauty; flamboyance is the pillar of language and fashion.
So when it comes to a bike race, one that’s more than 100 years old, it embodies all this with tradition being its beating heart. It’s a race that the nation has grown up watching, an occasion for family get togethers.
„I grew up with the Giro, watching it on TV with my father and my uncle and brother. We had one TV and we would meet as a family and watch it together,” Guidi explains. “Some of us would support one rider, some would support another. As a child it was fascinating to see the energy that people put into watching this sport.”
Its personality is different in comparison to cycling’s other heartlands, like France and Belgium Guidi says, “In Belgium you are strong if you can ride hard on the cobbles. Here in Italy everyone loves the one who can survive on the mountain.”
Sticking to tradition, this year’s race has back-loaded the mountain stages into the third and final week.
“The last week of the Giro is always the big crescendo, but the geography of Italy and the way the race is designed means it’s much more varied. It’s not like in the Tour de France where you have blocks of flat days and then you arrive in the Pyrenees and then the Alps. In Italy there can be something hiding behind every corner,” sport director Charly Wegelius says.
This year’s Giro d’Italia has a total of three time trials, giving the riders who aren’t as strong in the mountains the chance to claw some time back. But as a consequence of this those missing kilometers have to be made up elsewhere. This year there will be nine stages that exceed 200 kilometers in length. Stage 16 serves up an eye-popping 5,000m (16,400 feet) of vertical elevation over 226 (140 miles) kilometers, where the double act of Passo Gavia at 2,618m (8,589 feet) and Mortirolo at 1,854m (6,100 feet) will soften riders’ legs to clay.
“I have the impression that it’s more of a classic Giro, in that there’s long stages and some really big mountain stages in terms of the amount of climbing. The second half of a Grand Tour, the narrative is completely different, guys start to get tired, there’s just this sense of apathy and when you have that it turns into opportunities for the opportunists,” Dombrowski says, his thirst for the mountains quite obvious.
Being the Grand Tour that takes place in spring can mean the weather can be unpredictable. It’s not unheard of for the peloton to race between walls of snow at the top of climbs. Descents down mountains after monster efforts climbing up them can chill riders to the core, adding another layer of complexity to keeping it all together. Everything is scripted to be unpredictable.
„I think the race reflects the best things about Italy to be honest, a lot of passion, a lot of color, all kinds of unexpected things going on. Odd things can happen in this race. That’s a bit of a rarity in pro cycling at the moment. In 2010 there was a 56 rider breakaway that got 40 minutes on the peloton, which is unheard of generally in cycling,” Wegelius reflects, a pang of lust towards a race that he rarely works nowadays.
There’s something about this race, it embraces you, taking you on a journey it doesn’t want you to forget.
If what Shakespeare wrote for that famous love story in Verona is true, ‘Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,’ then the passion for a bike race is made from the grimaces of pain fighting for pink.

Flandern-Rundfahrt – Die ‚Ronde‘

1 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First 6:18:49
2 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:14
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:17
4 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus
5 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
7 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
11 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
12 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
13 Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
14 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma
15 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First
16 Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep
17 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
18 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:24
19 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:19
20 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:58
Mit 270,1 Kilometern präsentierte sich die Ronde heute um rund 20 km länger als in den letzten Jahren. Durch insgesamt 17 Hellingen und 13 Kopfsteinpflasterpassagen war die Strecke gewohnt anspruchsvoll, wobei zu erwarten war, dass die Entscheidung beim dritten Anstieg zum Oude Kwaremont (2,2 km, max. 11,6 %), bzw. dem darauffolgenden Paterberg (360 m, max. 20,3 %) fallen würde. Beim Start in Antwerpen zeigte sich das Wetter von seiner besten Seite, 15 Grad und Sonnenschein begleitete das Fahrerfeld auf den ersten Kilometern in Richtung Südosten, wobei heute von Beginn an Attacke auf Attacke folgte. Nach rund 20 km konnten sich dann vier Fahrer vom Feld absetzen, dort hielten aber vor allem die kleineren Teams, die die Gruppe verpasst hatten, das Tempo zuerst weiter hoch. Erst weitere 20 Kilometer später ließ das Feld die Gruppe endgültig ziehen und der Vorsprung entwickelte sich nun rasch in Richtung neun Minuten. Mit Jumbo-Visma und Deceuninck – Quick Step übernahmen zwei Teams im Feld noch vor der Zieldurchfahrt in Oudenaarde Verantwortung, und zogen das Tempo an. Vor dem ersten Anstieg des Tages waren noch 150 km zurückzulegen und der Abstand zwischen Spitze und Feld war auf unter fünf Minuten gesunken. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt zeigte sich auch BORA – hansgrohe immer wieder vorne im Peloton, denn von nun an war es wichtig, eine gute Position zu verteidigen. An der Kapelmuur machte man im Feld zum ersten Mal ernst und die Hauptgruppe teilte sich. Mit Peter Sagan, Daniel Oss und Lukas Pöstlberger hatte BORA – hansgrohe drei Fahrer vorne, die wenig später die frühe Spitzengruppe eingeholt hatten. Einige der Mitfavoriten verpassten diese Vorentscheidung, und an der Spitze entbrannte nun ein harter Schlagabtausch. Zuerst setzten sich vier Mann, darunter Lukas Pöstlberger, ab, doch als die Gruppe wieder gestellt wurde, zögerte man vorne, und das bereits abgeschlagene Feld konnte ebenfalls aufschließen. Am zweiten Anstieg zum Oude Kwaremont setzten sich zwei Fahrer ab, während dahinter das Feld nun merklich kleiner wurde, und am Paterberg zuerst K. Asgreen bzw. wenig später D. van Barle zum Spitzenduo aufschließen konnten. Ein Fahrer fiel zurück und S. Vanmarcke konnte mit Asgreen und van Baarle etwa 30 Sekunden Vorsprung herausfahren. Dahinter hatte Peter Sagan nur noch Daniel Oss an seiner Seite. Wie erwartet kam es zum Showdown in der letzten Auffahrt zum Kwaremont. Die Favoriten machten nun ernst und A. Bettiol setzte die entscheidende Attacke. Dahinter folgte eine 15-Mann-Verfolgergruppe in der auch Sagan vertreten war. Einige Male versuchte Peter sich noch abzusetzen, doch alle Versuche wurden neutralisiert. Bettiol verteidigte seinen Vorsprung bis zum Ende und holte einen beeindruckenden Solosieg. Im Sprint um die Plätze musste sich Sagan heute ebenfalls geschlagen geben und erreichte letztlich als 11. das Ziel in Oudenaarde.
Reaktionen im Ziel
„Das war heute ein hartes und spannendes Rennen. Trotz der Anstrengung macht es Spaß hier zu fahren, weil die Atmosphäre einfach unglaublich ist. Ich muss mich bei meinen Teamkollegen bedanken, denn sie haben 100 % gegeben, um mich zu unterstützen. Ich konnte viel Kraft sparen, am Ende war ich vorne, konnte aber die Attacke von Bettiol nicht mitgehen. Auch im Sprint hat mir der letzte Punch heute gefehlt.“ – Peter Sagan

„Das Team hat bis zur zweiten Passage des Kwaremont einen sehr guten Job gemacht. Peter konnte wichtige Energie sparen, da er perfekt flankiert war. Er selbst ist aber auch ein schlaues Rennen gefahren, hat nie ein Korn verschwendet. Als am Ende die Entscheidung fiel, war er aber nicht perfekt platziert und man konnte schon sehen, dass er nicht den besten Tag hatte. Er war dann dennoch in der Verfolgergruppe und hatte damit immer noch alle Chancen. Bettiol war aber auf den letzten Kilometern sehr stark, und Peter im Sprint letztlich noch eingebaut. Da war heute nicht mehr drin.“ – Enrico Poitschke, sportlicher Leiter

Woods renews with EF Education First

Mike Woods was working at a running-shoes store in Ottawa, Canada when he began to borrow his dad’s bike. He was one of the best runners in the country, but he’d injured himself by overtraining. And so he had some time on his hands. He needed to do something. Anything.
Riding, turns out, proved cathartic. And talent doesn’t just go away.
Friends convinced him to try his hand at bike racing, and Woods soon discovered an innate talent. Local race wins earned him a spot on Canada’s national team for Tour de Beauce. His performance at Canada’s oldest stage race garnered him a UCI continental team contract two years after he first picked up a bike.
Three years later, in 2016, Woods was pulling on argyle, making the leap up to the WorldTour.
EF Education First Pro Cycling is thrilled to announce Woods has signed a multi-year extension with the team.
“The direction of the team, the idea of exploring the world — it all really meshes with what I believe in,” said Woods. “I feel very fortunate to be on a team that values what I naturally value – education, exploration, community.
“Riders can be themselves on this team,” added Woods. “They can be individuals. They can speak their minds. It makes for a fun environment, an interesting environment. I have good friends on this team because of how Jonathan Vaughters has chosen to build the roster. It’s an interesting group of guys not just on the bike but off the bike as well. I could go on for ages about how great this team is, how great the guys are. I’m really happy here, and I’m super stoked to stay.”
Woods enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, finishing second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, winning his first Grand Tour stage at the Vuelta a España and taking the bronze medal at the 2018 Road World Championships in Austria.

It was after that Vuelta stage that more people would come to understand both Woods’ talent and his story: Woods publicly dedicated that emotional victory to a stillborn son, Hunter, he and wife Elly had lost two months prior.
“There were so many people on side of the road today just screaming my name. My director Juanma [Garate] was on the radio and in the last 500m he said, do this for your family,” Woods said that day, tears welling up in his eyes. “I wanted to win so bad for him, and I did … I did.”

Woods was lovingly dubbed the “Rook” when he came onboard. He proved a quick study.
“I came to the team not knowing who I was as a cyclist and what I was capable of,” Woods said. “I didn’t fit the typical neo-pro role. I’m lucky to have had the directors and team managers believe in me.
“I had no experience in the WorldTour when I joined the team, but JV said I could win an Ardennes Classic,” added Woods. “Knowing what I know now, that was a bold prediction for him to make about me at the time. I had not shown anything that truly indicated I could win a Classic – but he was right. I haven’t won one yet, but with the results I got last year, these are races we know I can win.”
Standing on the top step of the podium at one of the Ardennes races is high among Woods’ future ambitions. He hopes to start the 2019 Tour de France, and he’s excited about the opportunities on offer at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I really want to try to win some big races now,” said Woods. “I’m starting to figure out how to win in the WorldTour. That doesn’t mean I’m going to win every race, have success in every race. I know I will have some big failures […] but I’m much more consistent now. I have a better understanding of my fitness and can better predict how I will perform.”
Since joining the team in 2016, sport director Juanma Garate has worked closely with Woods.
“I have to laugh when you ask me about Mike’s future because I have said the same sentence to him over and over since his first month with the team,” said Garate. “I always repeat to him ‘You don’t know what your limit is.’ It was true then, and it’s still true now. He doesn’t know. We don’t know. He’s kind of a new rider with the maturity of a 31-year-old. He’s progressing all the time.“
A latecomer to professional cycling, Woods played hockey growing up before finding success in running. He set the Canadian junior record in the mile (3:57:48) and the 3km (7:58:55). Both records still stand today. Woods earned a track scholarship to the University of Michigan, competed for the Canadian national team and harbored ambitions of becoming one of the world’s best milers.
Running’s loss quickly became cycling’s gain.
“We had our eyes on Mike for a long time before we actually signed him. His talent was clear based on his running, but it’s a rare runner who can figure out the bike handling and nuance of bike racing,” said EF Education First CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “But at Tour of Utah in 2015, I felt he had a certain extra determination to get over those hurdles. He was a gut feeling signing. I’m so happy to see him progress so far.”
“Performance wise, the sky’s the limit for Mike,” Vaughters added. “That’s exciting for the team. But beyond that, he’s just a fantastic person to have on the team. Mike Woods is all heart. He gives all he’s got to his teammates. And I couldn’t be happier to have him on the team.”
Both the team and Woods are growing together.
“I’m really pleased with the progression of the team since I joined it,” said Woods. “I had a lot of fun the first year, but it’s nothing compared to the kind of fun I’m having now. As an organization, the team is far more organized, far more focused, far more clear in its goals. I’m really proud to be a part of this team, especially now with the partnership with EF.
“I’m hoping the team’s approach and my performances over the last year will inspire more kids to get on bikes and more fans to cheer for a Canadian kicking it in the WorldTour.”
Text: EF Education First
Fotos: Gerhard Plomitzer –

Martinez climbs to Paris-Nice queen stage win

Part of a young crop of Colombian talent shaping the narrative of the still-young season, Dani Martinez has managed to fly under the radar – until today.
The 22-year-old took his third victory of the season on Saturday, and the biggest of his flourishing career. In the final kilometer of the queen stage of Paris-Nice, Martinez rode compatriot Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) off his wheel to win atop Col du Turini.
“I am very excited about this victory,” said Martinez. “It’s a special day for me. Paris-Nice is one of the great races in the world.”

The seventh stage of the Paris-Nice covered 181 kilometers between Nice and the race’s eventual finish at the top of Col de Turini. Despite its popularity with Monaco- and Nice-based professional cyclists, the Col de Turini, 14.9-kilometers long with an average gradient of 7.3%, is a new inclusion in Paris-Nice. The summit finish was the sixth climb of the mountainous day.
A group of 39 riders split off from the peloton on the Côte de Gourdon, the stages second categorized climb. Martinez represented EF Education First Pro Cycling in the selection. With the best-placed rider more than two minutes down on the general classification, the breakaway’s chances looked promising.
“Dani and the whole group were highly motivated to confirm the excellent results of the TT also in the mountains,” said head sport director Charley Wegelius. “The size and make up of the big break that formed were ideal for him.“
Thirty kilometers from the finish, the breakaway maintained a six-minute advantage over the peloton.
Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and Lopez were the first to launch attacks on the lower slopes of the Col de Turini. Martinez marked the moves as the breakaway group exploded in his wake. Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) joined the party up front, making it a four-man fight for glory.
An uneasy cooperation between the leading quartet gave way to a round of attacks with the finish line looming. All four frontrunners spent brief stints of time alone up front at various points in the final five kilometers.
“I was controlling Lopez and Yates,” said Martinez. “I didn’t want them to surprise me.”
“It was a tough fight,” said EF Education First CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “Dani was tactically very astute. His ride was gutsy.”
Martinez upped the pace under the flamme rouge, drawing out Lopez as Yates and Edet were distanced. Lopez rode back to Martinez’s wheel only to fall off the pace again at the 500-meter mark. Although Lopez was able to claw his way back once more, Martinez powered away again in the final 100 meters, crossing the finish four-seconds ahead of Lopez.
“I was tired, but I gave everything I had left in the last kilometer,” said Martinez. “I was more afraid that Simon Yates would return because he won the time trial and is in great form.”
“Dani managed his energy and his nerves perfectly all day,” said Wegelius. “In the end, he showed his class with a great win.”
Martinez’s victory is the sixth for EF Education First this season and the third for Martinez, who won the Colombian national time trial title and was part of the Tour of Colombia team time trial victory.
“The win was highly deserved for all the riders and staff,” said Wegelius. “It was a true team effort today.”
Paris-Nice concludes with a short, sharp stage on Sunday. The 110-kilometer route covers five categorized climbs before a steep drop into Nice. Identical to last season’s Paris-Nice finale, Sunday’s stage eight should deliver drama and excitement.
EF Education First Pro Cycling