Wout Poels is hoping to start his 2019 season with a bang at the Tour Down Under.
Poels will lead the Team Sky charge in the first race of the campaign and the Dutchman has been working hard over the winter to be ready for 2019’s curtain raiser.
Currently training in Brisbane with teammates Dylan van Baarle and Pavel Sivakov, Wout has been enjoying acclimatising to the Australian summer.
“Normally we would arrive two days before a race but of course with the time difference, plus the fact it’s full summer over here, it made sense to come out here for two weeks before the race starts. It’s good, especially with the weather – it’s important to acclimatise. Today it was 30, 32 degrees, and it’s humid – so we’re sweating a lot!
“I’ve never done the Tour Down Under and I’ve always thought it’s an interesting race to do. I started to think about it last year, spoke to Tim [Kerrison], and I think it’s a nice goal to start the season with.”
Wout, Pavel and Dylan will travel to Adelaide on the 10th of January to meet up with the rest of the team’s Tour Down Under squad.
“You’re never too sure what to expect from the first race of the season,” explained Poels, “but I’ve been training well. The whole winter went to plan. Hopefully we can do something nice at TDU – that’s the goal. We will see.”
After the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Poels will head back to Europe and is likely to tackle the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico, before attacking the Ardennes.
Since winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2016 – Team Sky’s first Monument victory – Poels has not been able to hit the Ardennes at 100%. After being forced to skip them due to a knee injury in 2017, 2018 was only a little better – Amstel Gold was his first race back after breaking his collarbone at Paris-Nice.
“I love racing the Ardennes,” continued Poels, “although it wasn’t the easiest first block back after a broken collarbone last year!
“I always have a few key goals for the season. I’d like to really do well in the Ardennes Classics – that’s important to me – but I always like to do well in all of the races I start.
“Of course I would like to get selected for the Tour again, to support the boys there, but I’ll try to be good everywhere I start.
“People like to have one clear target but I never look at it like that. New year, new season – I have to smash it everywhere!”
Team Sky can confirm that Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will focus their 2019 seasons around the Tour de France, with Egan Bernal set to lead his first Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia.
Froome, who is targeting a record-equalling fifth Tour title, and defending champion Thomas will take to the start line in Brussels on July 6. Bernal, who enjoyed a revelatory first season at WorldTour level, will lead the team at the Giro, starting in Bologna on May 11.
Explaining his decision to target the Tour, Froome said: „It’s been a hard decision to figure out exactly what to do in 2019 and figure out which Grand Tours to focus on, especially having won the Giro last year and having had such an amazing time out there with the team – but for 2019, my number one objective is going to be the Tour de France.
„It was definitely a difficult decision not to go back to the Giro d’Italia and defend the maglia rosa. I’ve got some amazing memories from last year, but I think, with the Tour de France as my main objective, it’s probably better that I skip the Giro d’Italia in 2019.
„I’m getting to the point in my career now where I’m starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind and if I am able to win the Tour de France for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders – only four other people have ever done that – it would just be incredible.“
Thomas also confirmed that he will be targeting the Tour in 2019, as well as eyeing the time trial World Championships which are being held on British soil in Yorkshire.
He said: „The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can. Maybe if I hadn’t have won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100% as well.
„The year will be geared around that, but I’m also looking forward to a slightly different programme as well, and obviously after the Tour, the Worlds in Yorkshire will be massive.
„I think the time trial will be my best chance of getting something out of it. It will be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in the UK and in Yorkshire especially is just unbelievable at the moment. They’re going to be a massive Worlds and it will be great to be a part of that.“
Bernal, 21, is excited about tackling the Giro for the first time – a race close to his heart.
He said: „The Giro is a race that I really, really like. I lived in Italy for three years, so I have a lot of friends there and I really like the Italian fans. I know the roads, I really like the Giro, and I want to do a good race there.“
And the Colombian will start his season on home soil, as defending champion at the Tour Colombia.
„I’m really excited to do the Tour Colombia. It will be the first race with Froomey there so we want to do it well! It’s at home and I want to do a good race for the fans, for my family, and for Colombia. It’s incredible how the fans support us and it’s right at home. It will be good.“
Geraint Thomas revealed his shock at rounding off a fantastic 2018 by being named Sports Personality of the Year.
He finished ahead of Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and third-placed Harry Kane, who was top scorer for England at the 2018 World Cup and Thomas expressed both his delight and surprise at winning the prestigious award.
He said: “I’m over the moon. I’m genuinely shocked. It’s an unbelievable feeling.
„It was down to the public to vote and to have so many to do that for me is super nice. It feels crazy to be honest. The story of it probably added another dimension.
„It’s an unbelievable era for cycling. I feel so lucky to have benefitted from cycling and the boom we’ve had in recent years is brilliant for the sport“
In his acceptance speech Thomas said: „I feel really to have come into cycling at the age I am. I was just going down the local leisure centre going for a swim, then I end up riding a bike.
„I’d like to thank my wife, she deserves this just as much. I’m really lucky to have her and my family.
„As a bike rider, I was always focused on myself, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury] and Billy [Monger], then seeing kids on their bikes back home, you take great pride in winning this.
„It’s been an amazing year for British sport and long may it continue.“
After spending the last week with his new teammates at the team’s training camp in Mallorca, Ivan Ramiro Sosa is excited about his maiden season in the peloton with Team Sky.
Sosa, who completed the team’s roster for the 2019 season when he put pen to paper on a contract earlier this month, continues the team’s strong connection with South American riders, becoming the fifth Colombian rider to sign for Team Sky.
The 21 year old enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018, claiming an impressive overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos, in addition to stage race wins at the Adriatica Ionica Race and Sibiu Cycling Tour – and now he’s targeting more success with Team Sky, as he looks to continue his development at WorldTour level next season, joining an ever-growing group of talented young riders on the team’s roster.
Sosa said: “I am really happy to be here.
“I am here to keep improving as a rider and while it will be a learning process for me during my early days with the team, I believe I will fit into this group well and race to my full potential over the coming years.”
A close friend of Egan Bernal, Sosa is pleased to have a familiar face alongside him at Team Sky, commenting: “Having Egan here is a big boost for me – he is a good friend and someone I know very well.
“Having him and a few other South Americans in the team will be really beneficial for me.”
As well as Bernal, Sosa has got to know the rest of his new team-mates well in Mallorca over the last week or so and he’s been welcomed into the team with open arms.
“Everyone has been really welcoming to me,” he said.
“There is a nice mix of youth and experience within this team and they’ve all helped me settle in.
“Training has been really good and the DS’s and coaches have been great with me too.
“We’re all looking forward to the new season and the chance to build on the team’s successes of 2018.”
Team Sky race coach, Xabier Artetxe, believes Sosa’s arrival presents another exciting addition to the team’s roster, adding: „Ivan is a really strong climber. In the long climbs especially, he’s produced some really good performances, but there is so much more to come from him still.
“He will need time to settle in; to learn how we train; to learn how we race – but he has everything here to keep progressing as a rider. He has the potential to be one of the best climbers in the world.”
Artetxe believes Sosa’s relationship with Bernal will be a huge help to him as he gets used to life at Team Sky, commenting: “He is really close to Egan – they know each other really, really well – and that will help him. Egan is a great example for Sosa. He will help him settle into Team Sky and help him continue to make improvements as a young rider with huge potential.”
Sky has announced this morning that its ownership and sponsorship of Team Sky will end on 31 December 2019. So that means next year will be our last year racing as Team Sky.
This news will no doubt come a surprise to many people but, as you may know, there has been a lot of change at Sky recently. It is the start of a new chapter for the company and sometimes it is inevitable that change brings further change with it. That is what has happened here.
Over the past nine seasons, Sky has backed us all the way, enabling us to achieve some amazing results and inspire millions of people to love our sport. We’d like to thank Sky for all of their support, and in particular the opportunity to help Britain become a cycling nation.
First things first, nothing changes for next year. Sky are fully committed to the end of 2019 and together we have ambitious goals for the season. We all want to close the Team Sky story with the strongest possible finish. We are more motivated as a Team than we have ever been.
In terms of the future, we are open minded. If we can find a new long-term partner to take the Team forward into a new era, then we will do so. And we will be doing everything we can to make that happen over the coming weeks and months. Equally, any future partner would have to be the right partner – one who shares our ethos and buys in to our values.
This news has only just been announced; we can’t predict what will happen from 2020 and there are no guarantees. Whatever happens, we will make sure there is clarity one way or the other about the future of the Team before the Tour de France next July.
Finally, a big thank you to all of our fans. You are, and have always been, the people who are the most important to us and who matter the most. It has been our privilege to race for you. We are proud to have written our pages in the history books and created memories that will never fade.
And rest assured we are not done yet by any means. Right now, the Team is at training camp putting in the hard work to get ready for next season. We can’t wait to see you all out on the road in the New Year.
Race leader Geraint Thomas is focused on ensuring a Team Sky rider stands atop the podium on the Champs-Élysées as he prepares for the final week of the Tour de France.
Speaking on the second rest day before the final block of racing, Thomas holds a 1’39” advantage over second placed teammate Chris Froome, but insists the success of the team is the priority.
He said: “Coming here, it was a dream to be in with a shot of getting a podium and that’s still on the cards which is good, but I’m just trying to keep the same mindset as I have from the start.
“[Sport Director] Nico Portal has the call at the end of the day as he’s the boss, but he asks us [during the race] and he obviously has his opinion and he decides at the end of the day.
“I think it’s been working really well so far and hopefully it can continue. Winning is still not what I’m thinking about, I’m still taking it day by day.”
“It’s all about winning this race and as long as one of us wins – that’s the main thing.”
Froome and Thomas have raced on the same team for over a decade now since being teammates at Barloworld before joining Team Sky and when asked about their relationship, the Welshman revealed what he had learned from riding with the six-time Grand Tour winner.
He added: “We’re good mates and we’ve ridden in the same team together for a few years now, 10 or maybe 11 years, and we’ve generally lived in the same areas too so we’re always training together and we just get on.
“I’ve learned a lot about his mental strength, the ‘never say die’ attitude and how you deal with everything that’s thrown at you in this race – that’s what’s most impressive.”
Following the rest day, the race continues in the Pyrenees with a trio of tough mountainous stages which will be pivotal in deciding the eventual winner of the Tour.
One which stands out above the others is stage 17’s short 65km test which will feature a Moto GP-style grid start with GC contenders all starting at the head of the race, which Thomas expects will cause an exciting spectacle.
He said: “I think it’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be unique for sure. I think we will expect a lot of attacks from the start and a big, big day.
“It’s going to be on the hardest climbs, the final climb finishes at altitude so you can’t get too carried away at the start that’s for sure.
“I’m sure it will be exciting to watch.”
Vor einer begeisterten Menschenmasse im Schlußanstieg der letzten Etappe hat Neuzugang und Zukunftshoffnung Egan Bernal für Team SKY die Gesamtwertung gewonnen.
Die Situation auf dem letzten Kilometer der ca. 20 Kilometer langen Schlußsteigung war äußerst dramatisch. Ein kolombianischer Fahrer des Teams EPM lag aus einer Ausreißergruppe alleine vorne und sah schon wie der sichere Sieger aus. 3 Kilometer vor dem Ziel attackierte Egan Bernal die kleine Favoritengruppe mit Spitzenreiter Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) und Sergio Henao, sehr wahrscheinlich um eine Attacke seines Teamkapitäns Sergio Henao vorzubereiten.
Nur Daniel Martinez, ein Mannschaftskollege von Uran konnte mitgehen, bot aber keine Unterstützung in der Führungsarbeit an. Egan Bernal konnte sich aber an Tao Geoghan Hart, einen Team SKY Fahrer andocken, der vorher in der Ausreßergruppe fuhr und dieser ackerte nun bis zum Umfallen für Bernal bis ca. 1km vor dem Ziel. 400 Meter vor dem Ziel wurde auch der erschöpfte Fahrer von EPM ein- und überholt, und Bernal konnte zu Dayer Quintana (Bruder von Nairo) und Sebastian Henao (Bruder von Sergio Henao SKY) aufschließen, die vorher auch in der Fluchtgruppe gefahren waren. Dayer Quintana (Movistar) zog unwiderstehlich davon und sicherte sich den Etappensieg. Sebastian Henao zog Egan Bernal zur Ziellinie und der knappe Vorsprung vor der näher kommenden Favoritengruppe genügte Egan Bernal um Nairo Quintana mit 9 Sekunden die Gesamtführung zu entreißen. Was für ein spannendes Finale auf dem letzten Kilometer.
Rigoberto Uran und Nairo Quintana belauerten sich zu lange und Team SKY nutzte diese Situation mit ihrem jungen Talent gnadenlos aus.
Alle Fahrer bestätigten nach dem Rennen, dass sie den Funk im Schlußanstieg nicht mehr hören konnten, da die Begeisterung der Massen alles übertönte.
Vor Wochenfrist wurde Egan Bernal auch kolombianischer Zeitfahrmeister auf einem topfebenen Kurs und Sergio Henao gewann den Meistertitel im Straßenrennen. Ein hervorragender Auftakt für das Team SKY in Kolombien.
Absolut faszinierend zu sehen war die Begeisterung der Massen in Kolombien für diese Rennen und ihre lokalen Stars, unglaublich!
1 Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 4:22:11
2 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:00:10
3 Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky
4 Angel Alexander Gil Sanchez (Col) EPM 0:00:14
5 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:18
6 Oscar Sevilla Rivera (Spa) Medellin
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:21
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:22
9 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky
10 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 20:49:03
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:09
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:11
4 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:13
5 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:43
6 Ivan Sosa (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:00:46
7 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:48
8 Aristobulo Cala Cala (Col) Bicicletas Strongman Colombia Coldeportes 0:01:11
9 Danny Alberto Osorio (Col) Orgullo Paisa 0:01:13
10 Rafael Aniba Montiel (Col) Orgullo Paisa 0:01:27
Die 5.Etappe der diesjährigen Tour of Britain fand bei windigen, aber trockenen Bedingungen im Seebad Clacton-on-Sea statt.
Sie führte über die klassiche britische Distanz von 10 Meilen = 16,2 Kilometer.
Die Fahrer hatten nach dem Start starken Rückenwind, was sich aber nach dem Wendepunkt auf dem Rückweg in starken Gegenwind verwandelte.
7.9.17 Tour of Britain, 5. Etappe Tendring Einzelzeitfahren über 16,2km = 10 Meilen weiterlesen
Die dritte und letzte Grand Tour der Saison, Vuelta a España, begann an diesem Samstag mit einem 27,8 km langen Mannschaftszeitfahren. Caja Rural – Seguros RGA beendete die Etappe in 32:13 Minuten, was die sechstbeste Zeit ist, als das spanische Team die Linie überquerte.
Auf dem sehr schnellen Kurs um Ourense, hatten die Teams mit der großen Übersetzung einen klaren Vorteil. Doch trotz vieler Kletterer auf die Etappe zu bringen, Caja Rural – Seguros RGA, begannen ein großer Kampf, um den Tag auf Platz 18 zu beenden. Team Sky gewann die Etappe, die Peter Kennaugh das erste rote Leadertrikot der Vuelta tragen sah.
Sportdirektor Eugenio Goikoetxea: „Das war kein großer Kurs für ein Team wie unseres mit vielen leichten Aufstiegen. Trotzdem denke ich, dass wir uns gut verteidigt haben. Es war keine schlechte Leistung. Jetzt können wir uns auf die morgige Etappe konzentrieren, die die erste richtige Etappe für uns ist. Wir werden versuchen, den frühen Ausreißer zu machen, und wenn es bis zu einem Sprint kommt, hoffen wir, Prades in der “Mischung“ zu haben.
Am Sonntag, geht die Vuelta a España mit einer hügeligen 160,8 km Etappe zu Baiona weiter . Das Ende ist flach, aber ein nicht kategorisierter Aufstieg mit seiner Spitze von nur 10 km von der Linie kann die Dinge ändern.
Photo Gomez Sport
The twentieth Le Tour de Langkawi will feature a prestigious start list when the race will kick off from Malaysia’s legendary island on March 8 for an eight-day journey to Kuala Lumpur via the east coast and Genting Highlands.
For the first time, double Tour de France winners Team Sky (with Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013) will top the list of the participating World Teams alongside returning Orica-GreenEdge, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo.
Auch Sky hat für Tour de Langkawi gemeldet weiterlesen