©Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia: Evenepoel, the twist of fate

 Remco Evenepoel was forced to say goodbye to the first Grand Tour of the season after a routine test carried out before the first rest day came back positive for Covid-19. His Soudal-Quick Step team made the announcement on Sunday evening, a few hours after Evenepoel’s victory in the stage 9 time trial, retaking the pink jersey as a bonus.

“I am really sorry to leave the race,” Evenepoel, the current world champion said in a press release. “As part of team protocol, I had a routine test, which unfortunately came back positive. My experience here has been really special and I was looking forward to competing over the next two weeks. I cannot thank the staff and the riders enough who have sacrificed so much to prepare for the Giro. I will cheer for them over the next two weeks.”

Evenepoel had had a thunderous start to the Giro, winning the inaugural time trial, before crashing twice on Wednesday during the fifth stage and being dropped by Roglic on Saturday. In the meantime, the native of Herentals had relinquished his pink jersey to Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), who escaped in the successful breakaway towards Lago Laceno during the 4th stage where Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) won the day.

In the general classification, the Belgian was 45 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas, who will be the virtual leader of the race this Tuesday after the first rest day of this 106th edition, and 47 seconds ahead of Roglic. Enough to redistribute the cards when the high mountains arrive this week, with in particular finish at Crans Montana.

 Stages won by:  Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Milan (Bahrain-Victorious) ; Matthews (Team Jayco AlUla) ; Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) ; Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) ; Bais (EOLO-Kometa) ; Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) ; Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step).


Bretagne Ladies Tour Ceratizit: Brown calm as a bomb

After winning the Tour Down Under at the start of the season, Grace Brown added a new race to her prize list by winning the Bratagne Ladies Tour Ceratizit. At the top of the general classification after her victory in the time trial, the Australian from FDJ-Suez did not hesitate to succeed her teammate Vittoria Guazzini who was the winner in 2022. Despite the attempts of 2nd place rider Coralie Demay (St Michel-Mavic-Auber 93) during the last stage, Brown did not waver before winning the 17th victory of her career. “Winning a stage race is great,” Brown said. “It is a team effort, something you can never do alone. Even if there were not many of us here, we controlled well. We wanted to take charge of the race once we had the leader’s jersey and make sure that no one who was a threat in the general classification got too much time. We worked very well even though there were only three of us. This situation was not a handicap. Frankly, it gave the impression that there were more than three of us.” 

The results: 1. Brown (FDJ-Suez) ; 2. Demay (St Michel-Mavic-Auber 93) ; 3. Vigilia (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo)…

Stages won by: Lach (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) ; Fortin (Cofidis Women Team) ; Brown (FDJ-Suez) ; Pikulik (Human Powered Health) ; Fortin (Cofidis Women Team). 


Grand Prix Herning: Nosgaard’s huge performance

 Fifty-five kilometers alone. This is what Mathias Norsgaard faced in order to win his second victory in the professional peloton. The Dane from Movistar beat his compatriots Rasmus Bogh Wallin (Restaurant Suri-Carl Ras) and Michael Valgren (Danish selection). “I had good legs. I just had to take advantage of it,” the 26-year-old Norsgaard explained. “I’m really relieved finally to get my first victory in a road race. This is another important step in my long journey to build my professional career.”


The results: 1. Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar) ; 2. Rasmus Bogh Wallin (Restaurant Suri-Carl Ras) ; 3. Michael Valgren (sélection danoise)…


Upcoming races: 

Until 28 May: Giro d’Italia, https://www.giroditalia.it/fr/
16-21 May: 4 jours de Dunkerque, https://www.4joursdedunkerque.com/
 May: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas, https://www.vueltaburgos.com/feminas/
18 May: Circuit de Wallonie, https://lecircuitdewallonie.be/
20 May: Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic, https://veenendaal-veenendaal.nl/
21 May: Rund um Köln, https://www.rundumkoeln.de/