@ Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya: Roglic wins the first round against Evenepoel

They fought hard for seven days! Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel engaged in a thrilling duel over seven days on the roads of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. The Slovenian and the Belgian, racing against each other for the first time this season, were on the attack almost every day. And it was finally the leader of the Jumbo-Visma who emerged victorious from the duel this Sunday after yet another exciting stage. 

Though the world champion from the Soudal-Quick Step won the stage, Roglic secured the 18th general classification victory of his career and added another prestigious race to his collection. “It was a difficult week and I expected an equally difficult final day today. But the team was great, they kept me in a good position. I had good legs so I was able to follow Remco. Overall the week has been excellent, now we can celebrate,” a satisfied Roglic explained.

The two men will now meet again at the Giro d’Italia (May 6-28).

The results: 1. Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) ; 2. Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; 3. Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)…

Stages won by:  Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step), Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step), Groves (Alpecin- Deceuninck), Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Groves (Alpecin- Deceuninck), Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step).


Classic Brugge De Panne: Philipsen at the end of a suspenseful race

In pouring rain and squalls, Belgian Jasper Philipsen won the Classic Bruges De Panne, in a four-way duel in the final. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider took the victory in front of Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) with Yves Lampaert (Soudal-Quick Step) taking 3rd after having led out the sprint. Philipsen posted its third success this season.

The results: 1. Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; 2. Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) ; 3. Lampaert (Soudal-Quick Step)…


Classic Brugge De Panne femmes : Georgi puts on a show

Pfeiffer Georgi took the women’s event in Bruges – De Panne. The Briton won ahead of the Italian Elisa Balsamo and the Dutch Lorena Wiebes. At 22, she posted her first success in a WorldTour event, the greatest victory of her young career. The DSM rider escaped seven kilometers from the line to win more than a minute ahead of the rest of the competitors. “My team came with the plan to race aggressively. To finish the job like this is fantastic. My legs were quite tired, but I gave it my all until the finish line,” Georgi said.

The results: 1. Georgi (Team DSM) ; 2. Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) ; 3. Wiebes (Team SD Worx)…


E3 Saxo Bank Classic: Van Aert, king of the fantastic three

As expected, this battle kept all its promises. And it was Wout van Aert who won it, on home soil, during the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. After shadowing his rivals during the last 20 kilometers, the Belgian made the difference in the final sprint to overtake the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, respectively second and third.

The three men, who distinguished themselves on the Harelbeke, broke away from the peloton 43 kilometers from the finish and were never caught, after repeated attacks on the climbs, punctuated by cobblestone sectors. “Very important races for me are coming. The legs are good,” van Aert explained. “The races I love the most are coming now. I will be confident when I start. A good period is coming.”

The results: 1. Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) ; 2. Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; 3. Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)…


Gent – Wevelgem: Laporte with van Aert’s blessing

The Frenchman Christophe Laporte posted the greatest success of his career by winning Gent-Wevelgem with the blessing of his leader Wout van Aert. The two Jumbo Visma riders escaped together fifty kilometers from the finish on the second ascent of Kemmelberg. In difficult weather conditions, on winding and wet Flanders roads, they quickly created a significant gap. “We had the plan to accelerate on the Kemmelberg. We did it and we ended up together,” Laporte explained. “After that, all that was left to do was give everything till we reached the line. Wout asked me if I wanted to win. He knew the answer. It’s incredible. He was stronger than me today. I owe him this victory… It was a childhood dream for me to win a classic after a stage of the Tour de France.”

Second last year behind the Eritrean Biniam Girmay, Christophe Laporte joins Philippe Gaumont (1997), Bernard Hinault (1977) and Jacques Anquetil (1964) as a French winner of the event.

The results: 1. Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) ; 2. Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) ; 3. Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech)…


Gent-Wevelgem dames: Reusser goes solo

Marlen Reusser (Team SD Worx) won Gent-Wevelgem. Starting 40 kilometers from the finish, the Swiss finished 2’42 ahead of her closest pursuer, the American Megan Jastrad (Team DSM). Jastrad beat Dutchwoman Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma) in the bunch sprint for the remaining podium places. “Team SD Worx is so strong. It’s special when you feel the full confidence of your team and can win in such a way. Since Lorena (Wiebes) has joined the team, that allows us to race more freely,” explained Reusser, who is a double European time trial champion. “My attack? It was not an attack. I just accelerated, but I got a gap right away so I kept the same pace to see what would happen. My lead quickly increased, after which I decided to go full speed ahead. It was not a difficult decision to make because I was the first card to play, there were five others behind me. The fact that I could ride alone in front for 45 kilometers was only possible because the SD Worx team was so strongly represented in the peloton. I’m already looking forward to the Tour of Flanders.”

The results: 1. Reusser (Team SD Worx) ; 2. Jastrab (Team DSM) ; 3. Van der Duin (Canyon/SRAM Racing)…


Roue TourangelleTownsend a surprise winner

Irish champion Rory Townsend won La Roue Tourangelle. Though Townsend (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) was on the attack on the penultimate climb of the very hilly course, he still had reserved enough strength to sprint a peloton of around forty men. He finished ahead of Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Pierre Barbier (U Nantes Atlantique).

The results: 1. Townsen (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) ; 2. Thijssen (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) ; 3. Barbier (CIC U Nantes Atlantique)…


Races to come:

29 March: Dwars door Vlaanderen, https://www.ddvl.eu/nl/wedstrijd/elite-mannen/wedstrijdinfo

31 March: La Route Adélie de Vitré, https://routeadelievitre.com/

1 April: Gran Premio Miguel Indurain, http://www.clubciclistaestella.com

1 April: Volta Limburg Classic, https://www.voltalimburgclassic.nl/nl/

2 April: Ronde van Vlaanderen, https://www.rondevanvlaanderen.be/fr