© Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse: Skelmose in Mäder’s honor

Following the death of Gino Mäder, after his crash during the 5th stage, no one really had their minds on cycling at the Tour de Suisse. But since the race had to come to completion, in memory of the late Bahrain-Victorious rider, it also needed a winner. And it was finally the Dane Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek-Segafredo) who won the general classification of the event ahead of Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step).

Although this is his first overall victory in a WorldTour-classified stage race, the promising Danish climber obviously did not overflow with joy at the finish of the 8th stage. Second in the final time trial between St. Gallen and Abtwil (25 km), Skjelmose held his nerve in what is not his favorite discipline to resist being overtaken by his two pursuers. At 22, he took the sixth professional victory of his career, two weeks before the Tour de France, during which he is expected to be the leader of the Lidl-Trek team.

Since the crash of Gino Mäder during the descent of the Albula Pass on Thursday, the Tour de Suisse has shifted into another atmosphere. Found motionless in the water and resuscitated on the spot, the Swiss died the next day in a Chur hospital. The strong emotion aroused by this tragedy led to the neutralization of stage 6, which turned into a commemorative procession in his memory, in agreement with his family.

Friday evening, while the rest of the race was essentially on hold, the organization announced that the Tour de Suisse would go to its end “in consultation with Gino Mäder’s family” and “after consulting the teams and riders as well as all the staff of the Tour de Suisse.”

It is therefore by finishing that the Tour de Suisse wanted to honor the memory of Màder, who was a native of the canton of St. Gallen. The organization had also decided to freeze the timing of Saturday’s stage 25 km from the finish, at the top of the last climb of the day. This did not prevent Remco Evenepoel from escaping alone 17 km from the finish to win the stage. He didn’t take the yellow race leader’s jersey at the end, but he showed his class by honoring Mäder, pointing index finger skyward. 

The results: 1. Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) ; 2. Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) ; 3. Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step)…

Stages won by: Küng (Groupama-FDJ) ; Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) ; Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) ; Gall (AG2R Citroën Team) ; Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) ; Étape neutralisée après le décès de Gino Mäder ; Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates).


CIC Mont Ventoux: Martinez gets his first win in style

At only 19 years old, Lenny Martinez found himself a luxury setting to win the first victory of his young professional career: the Groupama-FDJ climber, son of Miguel (Olympic and world mountain bike champion in 2000) took the victory at the CIC Mont Ventoux. The race was forced to be extensively shortened (by 55 km with only one ascent of the mythical pass instead of the planned double ascent) because of the risk of severe thunderstorms.

Martinez, a protégé of Marc Madiot’s and 18th in the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, became the first Frenchman to win this event, crossing the line one second ahead of a group of three riders made up of Michael Woods (Israel Premier Tech), Simon Carr (Education First) and Cristian Rodriguez (Arkéa-Samsic). “I am the first Frenchman to win here? I didn’t know that,” Martinez said. “That’s great. For a climber like me, it’s the highest pass in France so it’s symbolic. I thought the shortening of the race would put me at a disadvantage since the climb was less steep. We managed to adapt.”

The results: 1. Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) ; 2. Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) ; 3. Simon Carr (EF Education-Easy Post)…


Baloise Belgium: Tour Van der Poel is gaining momentum ahead of the Tour de France

Mathieu van der Poel won the fifth stage race of his career. The Dutchman won the general classification of the Tour of Belgium after the last stage was won by Fabio Jakobsen in the streets of Brussels.

Winner of the fourth stage the day before on a very hilly course in the Belgian Ardennes, the leader of the Alpecin-Deceuninck team perfectly managed his advantage of 40 seconds in the general classification. He finished in the overall ahead of Soren Waerenskjold (Uno-X Pro Cycling) while Casper Pedersen (Soudal-Quick Step) completed the podium, 53 seconds behind.

“I wasn’t at my peak a week ago. I was just coming back from a training camp, and I lacked freshness. But I feel that the form is on the right track for the Tour de France,” said a happy van der Poel, the winner of Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix this season. His last overall victory in a road stage race was in September 2020, at the BinckBank Tour.

The results: 1. Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; 2. Waerenskjold (Uno-X Pro Cycling) ; 3. Pedersen (Soudal-Quick Step)…

Stages won by: Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; Jakobsen (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Waerenskjold (Uno-X Pro Cycling) ; Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; Jakobsen (Soudal-Quick Step). 


Tour of Slovenia: Zana and the Jayco-AlUla take it all

The Jayco-AlUla won just about everything at the Tour of Slovenia in 2023. After the two initial victories of Dylan Groenewegen and that of Jesus David Pena on Saturday, Filippo Zana finished the work of his team by winning the general classification.

The Italian finished second in the fifth and final stage between Vrhnika and Novo Mesto behind Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious), a sufficient result to stay in the lead of the general classification, 18 seconds ahead of the Slovenian.

The two men made the difference in the last ten kilometers. Mohoric attacked in the Trska Gora (1.7 km at 9.8%) and only Zana was able to follow him. In difficulty against the power of the Slovenian, the rider from Jayco-AlUla resisted until the finish line so as not to lose time on his opponent.

Teammate of Gino Mäder, who died after a terrible crash in the Tour de Suisse, Mohoric paid tribute to the Swiss after the finish. “We all rode together as a team for Gino,” he said. “We wanted to give it our all. I obviously dedicate this victory to my friend Gino. I think he would be happy for us.”

Overall winner, Filippo Zana succeeds Tadej Pogacar as the winner of the event. The Slovenian had largely dominated his home race last year, ahead of his teammate Rafal Majka in the overall.

The results: 1. Zana (Jayco AlUla) ; 2. Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) ; 3. Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)…

Stages won by: Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla) ; Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla) ; Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) ; Pena (Jayco AlUla) ; Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious).


Route d’Occitanie : Woods confirms his good form 

Canadian Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech), winner of the queen stage in the Pyrenees, perfectly managed his lead on Sunday during the last stage to win the Route d’Occitanie for the second consecutive year.

Woods is the first rider since Alejandro Valverde (2018 and 2019) to achieve the double. He finished ahead of the Spaniard Cristian Rodriguez and the German Georg Steinhauser, the best young rider in the event. “I am very proud, very happy to win here again. I’m even happier than I was the first time because my family is here. I understand the record is three. We’ll see, hopefully I can match it.”

Franco-British Simon Carr (EF-Education), who grew up in Occitania, won at the end of the fourth and final stage of this 47th edition of the race.

The results: 1. Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) ; 2. Rodriguez (Arkéa-Samsic) ; 3. Steinhausser (EF Education-Easy Post)…

Stages won by: Van den Berg (EF Education-Easy Post) ; Tesson (TotalEnergies) ; Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) ; Carr (EF Education-Easy Post).


Upcoming races

National championships (individual time trials on Wednesday and road races Saturday and Sunday)