Monthly Archives: April 2019

Team Sky reveal special one-off kit ahead of unofficial debut as Team Ineos

Team Ineos revealed their one-off kit on Twitter.

Team Sky revealed their one-off Team Ineos kit on their Twitter account on Monday.

Team Sky have released a one-off kit for their unofficial debut as Team Ineos at the Tour de Romandie.

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas will lead the team in the design, before the official new kit is launched at the Tour de Yorkshire from 2-5 May.

The staggered launch has been planned to abide by rules that prevent teams from changing names mid-race.

The Tour de Romandie, in Switzerland, overlaps with the Yorkshire event, running from 30 April until 5 May.

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, also bars teams from competing in separate races under different names at the same time.

Because of the overlap between the two events, Team Sky had to rebrand themselves in time for the start of the Tour de Romandie if they wanted to compete under the Ineos name in Yorkshire – and so launch their official new kit at a UK race.

The team will wear a black kit featuring a white Ineos logo on the front in Switzerland, before revealing a new design and colours in Yorkshire on 1 May.

Chemicals firm Ineos, owned by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, confirmed its takeover of the team last month.

Broadcaster Sky said in December it would end its decade-long commitment at the end of 2019, during which time the team have won eight Grand Tours.

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Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Jakob Fuglsang claims biggest win of his career

Danish cyclist Jakob Fugslang points to the sky in celebration after winning the 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Jakob Fuglsang finished off a strong Ardennes classic campaign with an impressive win in Liege

Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang claimed the biggest win of his career with a solo victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day classic in Belgium.

The Astana rider dropped his rivals on the last climb with 13km to go and stayed away, despite nearly crashing on a wet descent in the final 5km.

Italy’s Davide Formolo finished second, with Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann third and Britain’s Adam Yates fourth.

“That slide was a scary moment,” said Fuglsang, 34.

“But it gave me a bit of adrenaline for the last part. It’s an amazing feeling.”

It is the first ‘monument’ victory of Fuglsang’s career. The five monuments are cycling’s oldest and most prestigious one-day races, with Il Lombardia the only one remaining this season on 12 October.

Fuglsang finished on the podium in all three of this year’s Ardennes Classics, having also taken third at Amstel Gold Race on 21 April and second at Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday.

In the women’s race, Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten, 36, claimed her first Liege-Bastogne-Liege title in dominant fashion, beating compatriot Floortje Mackaij by one minute 39 seconds.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan finished seventh in a group four seconds further back, having made her return to cycling following the birth of her first child at the start of the Ardennes campaign earlier this month.

Fuglsang goes three-two-one

After being caught out by a stunning late surge by Mathieu van der Poel at Amstel Gold and outmuscled by Julian Alaphilippe at Fleche Wallonne, Fuglsang won the biggest race of the three Ardennes classics with a superbly-timed attack.

With the race having all come back together on the final climb of the Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons, the Dane kicked and was joined by Canada’s Michael Woods, who finished second last year, and Formolo.

Fuglsang shed Woods and then Formolo as he drove on, reaching the summit alone and building up an advantage of 20 seconds, only to nearly fall.

Taking a tight inside line round a corner, Fuglsang’s back wheel slid out but he showed superb bike-handling skills to keep himself upright before powering on to the finish of the 256km race.

Formolo trailed 27 seconds back, while a group containing Schachmann, Yates and Woods arrived 30 seconds later.

Dutchman Wout Poels was the highest-placed Team Sky rider in 10th in the British outfit’s final race under Sky sponsorship before becoming Team Ineos at the Tour de Romandie from Tuesday.

Men’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege results

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana) 6hrs 37mins 37secs

2. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +27secs

3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +57secs

4. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

5. Michael Woods (Can/EF Education-First)

Van Vleuten takes dominant win


Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten celebrates after winning the 2019 women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege

The women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege started in 2017, with Anna van der Breggen winning the first two editions.

The race ran 138.5km from Bastogne to Liege, despite the name, with Van Vleuten making her decisive move on the penultimate climb of the Cote de la Redoute at 32km to go.

The world time trial champion took the summit with a 25-second advantage and continued to add to her lead all the way to the line, while Mackaij made a surprise late attack to take second.

It was also a third straight podium for Van Vleuten in the Ardennes classics, having finished second at Amstel Gold and Fleche Wallonne as she continues to have an impressive season after recovering from a severe knee injury sustained at the 2018 World Championships.

“This was really high on my list and to finish off my spring with another win and three second places after my knee injury, I’m super happy,” she said.

Women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege results

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned/Mitchelton-Scott) 3hrs 42mins 10secs

2. Floortje Mackaij (Ned/Sunweb) +1min 39secs

3. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Valkenburg) +1min 43secs

4. Soraya Paladin (Ita/Ale Cipollini) Same time

5. Lucinda Brand (Ned/Sunweb)

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Tour de Yorkshire: Mark Cavendish to compete in 2019 edition

Mark Cavendish in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire

Cavendish has been struggling for form after returning from a lay-off caused by the Epstein Barr Virus

Britain’s Mark Cavendish will race in the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire, which begins in Doncaster on Thursday, as he continues his return from illness.

Last month, Cavendish, 33, withdrew from Paris-Nice and then missed Milan-San Remo, two months after he had returned to cycling after being laid low by the Epstein Barr Virus.

“I’m really excited,” said Cavendish.

“I really enjoyed the tough but beautiful parcours [route] last year as I rode the race for the first time.”

The Manx rider added: “I look forward to seeing what’s in store for us in the 2019 edition.

“Over and above the racing though, it always blows my mind to see the incredible support of the fans. With some of my family in Yorkshire, it makes it so special and I can’t wait to see them all again.”

He will be joined in Yorkshire by Dimension Data team-mates Nic Dlamini, Bernhard Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Rasmus Tiller.

Cavendish – who has won 30 Tour de France stages – made his Tour de Yorkshire debut in 2018. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome and Marcel Kittel will also compete this year.

Otley’s Lizzie Deignan will race on home soil in the women’s race having returned to cycling earlier this month following the birth of her daughter.

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Sivakov wins Tour of the Alps to give Team Sky final stage race success

Team Sky

Sivakov becomes the first Russian to win the race

Team Sky’s Pavel Sivakov secured the Tour of the Alps title, with team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart second, in the British outfit’s final stage race before becoming Team Ineos.

Russian Sivakov claimed his first race win by 27 seconds over Geoghegan Hart.

The 21-year-old withstood a long-range attack from Fausto Masnada, who took the stage win in Bolzano, Italy.

“This isn’t just my victory, it’s our victory,” Sivakov said.

Team Sky dominated the five-day race, with Geoghegan Hart winning two stages and Sivakov one as both prospects took their first professional victories this week.

However, Chris Froome, who is trying to hit top form in time for the start of his bid for a fifth Tour de France title when the race starts on 6 July in Brussels, struggled early in the race and shifted into a support role.

Italy’s Masnada started the final stage three minutes 37 seconds back on Sivakov but got in the breakaway and moved into the virtual overall lead on the 147.8km.

Froome paced the group of favourites up the San Genesio climb to bring down Masnada’s advantage before handing over to Geoghegan Hart.

Vincenzo Nibali, who finished third overall, then made a series of attacks, with Sivakov responding each time.

Geoghegan Hart helped Sivakov gain on leading pair Masnada and Carlos Quintero on the descent into Bolzano to ensure the Russian would not lose his overall lead.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider Masnada kicked clear of Quintero with 1.5km to go to secure his second stage win of the race.

Ineos, a chemicals firm owned by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, take over from Sky as sponsor for the Tour de Romandie, starting on 30 April, before the new team’s official launch at the Tour de Yorkshire on 2 May.

The team’s final race as Team Sky will be the one-day ‘monument’ classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.

Stage five result

1. Fausto Masnada (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) 4hrs 02mins 06secs

2. Carlos Quintero (Col/Manzana Postobon) +7secs

3. Simone Velasco (Ita/Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM) +1min 31secs

4. Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana) Same time

5. Rolan Thalmann (Swi/Team Vorarlberg Santic) +1mins 33secs

6. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) 2mins 14secs

7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) Same time

8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Gioccattoli-Sidermec)

9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky)

10. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Team Sky)

Final general classification

1. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Team Sky) 18hrs 58mins

2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) +27secs

3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +33secs

4. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) +1min 03secs

5. Fausto Masnada (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) +1min 13secs

6. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 46secs

7. Jan Hirt (Cze/Astana) +2mins 03secs

8. Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana) +2mins 58secs

9. Roland Thalmann (Swi/Team Vorarlberg Santic) +3mins 14secs

10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo) +4mins 27secs

11. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +4mins 57secs

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Geoghegan Hart sprints to second Alps stage win

Team Sky's Tao Geoghegan Hart celebrates winning stage four of the Tour of the Alps

Tao Geoghegan Hart sprinted clear of Vincenzo Nibali (right) on the home straight in Cles

Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart claimed his second win at the Tour of the Alps by outsprinting Vincenzo Nibali from a select group on stage four in Italy.

Geoghegan Hart, 24, moved into second overall, 27 seconds down on Team Sky team-mate Pavel Sivakov, who finished fourth on Thursday in Cles.

Chris Froome finished fifth after helping Geoghegan Hart and Sivakov counter earlier attacks by Nibali.

Hart took his first senior win on stage one and finished second on stage three.

The five-day race concludes with a mountainous 147.8km stage to Bolzano on Friday.

Froome is trying to hit top form in time for the start of his bid for a fifth Tour de France title when the race starts on 6 July in Brussels, but struggled early on in the race and said he is now riding in support of Geoghegan Hart and Sivakov, 21.

The 33-year-old twice brought back Nibali on the final major climb of the Passo Predaia before the Italian finally dropped everyone except Geoghegan Hart, Sivakov and Rafal Majka with around 21km to go.

Those four stayed clear until the finish, with Geoghegan Hart launching his sprint first and Nibali unable to come round him, while Majka took third.

Froome led the chasing group home four seconds behind and is now ninth overall, two minutes 34 seconds back on Sivakov.

Stage four result

1. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) 3hrs 26mins 32secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) Same time

3. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe)

4. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Team Sky)

5. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +4secs

6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) Same time

7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo)

8. Hubert Dupont (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale)

9. Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa/Euskadi Basque Country-Murias)

10. Jan Hirt (Cze/Astana)

General classification after stage four

1. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Team Sky) 14hrs 53mins 40secs

2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) +27secs

3. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +31secs

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +33secs

5. Jan Hirt (Cze/Astana) +48secs

6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) +1min 03secs

7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo) +2mins 04secs

8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita/Bardiani CSF) +2mins 30secs

9. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +2mins 34secs

10. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana) +2mins 39secs

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