© Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol: Tadej Pogacar starts with a bang

He makes a little more history. Tadej Pogacar won the 2023 edition of the Vuelta a Andalucia. Winning three out of five stages, the Slovenian crushed this 79th edition, becoming the first Slovenian to put his name on the list of winners of the Iberian event.
By taking the general classification more than a minute ahead of Mikel Landa (Bahrain – Victorious), the double winner of the Tour de France already has five victories this season (51 in career, at barely 24 years old). “The result is a little surprising, yes, but I knew that my form was good”, he explained Sunday evening. “I felt very strong in this race and I hope to be strong in the next ones as well. In any case, I want to continue the season as I started it!”

The results: 1. Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) ; 2. Landa (Bahrain – Victorious) ; 3. Buitrago (Bahrain – Victorious)…

Stages won by: Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Wellens (UAE Team Emirates), Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Fraile (INEOS Grenadiers).


Tour of Oman: Jorgenson by a second

Matteo Jorgenson did not have time to savor his stage victory at the Tour of Oman. Having taken the leader’s red jersey after his win at the top of Jabal Hatt during the third stage, the American of Movistar remained under threat from the Belgian Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal-Quick Step) until the end of the race.

Finally, the 23-year-old climber managed to keep a second of margin between him and Vansevenant, who broke away to win the last stage at the top of Green Mountain. However, Vansevenant did not win by enough of a gap to grab the overall lead. “It was a really difficult final”, admitted the American Jorgenson at the finish. “I may have seemed to ride with a lot of confidence, but I was secretly very nervous before the start. I’m still quite strong and I really had to push my limits on the climb. No one can imagine how special this victory is. Two days ago I won my first professional victory and now I have won the overall at a stage race, it’s crazy!”

Long in the fight with the leading duo, the French Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) finished third on the stage and completed the final podium of the Tour of Oman.

The results: 1. Jorgenson (Movistar) ; 2. Vansevenant (Soudal – Quick Step) ; 3. Bouchard (AG2R Citroën)…

Stages won by: Merlier (Soudal – Quick Step), Herrada (Cofidis), Jorgenson (Movistar), Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) ; Vansevenant (Soudal – Quick Step).


Setmana Ciclista – Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines : Ghekiere surprises everyone

A surprise winner at the Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines. At the end of a breathtaking fourth and final stage, Justine Ghekiere surprised everyone to win the final general classification. The AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step rider stole the leader’s jersey by just one second from her teammate, South African Ashleigh Moolman.
Everything was decided on the last day, between Tavernes de la Valldigna and Gandia. Present in the morning breakaway, Ghekiere placed herself at the head of the race on the ascent of the Alto de Barx along with Elise Uijen (Team DSM). Though the 19-year-old Uijen finally won the sprint for the stage Ghekiere took enough time, thanks to the bonus seconds, to secure the first victory of her professional career. “I was not expecting that at all. It’s just crazy to win the general classification. When I went into the breakaway, I was aiming for the mountain jersey. But I’m even happier to go home with the yellow jersey”, she said.

The results: 1. Ghekiere (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step) ; 2. Moolman (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step) ; 3. Spratt (Trek-Segafredo)…

Stages won by: Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), Moolman (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step), Uijen (Team DSM).


Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var: Vauquelin, the blossoming of a talent

Kévin Vauquelin finally has his first victory as a pro. Highly visible since the start of the season, the rider from Arkéa-Samsic won the first general classification of his career among professionals at the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var. Leader at the end of the first stage where he soloed in the last kilometer to win the stage, the 21-year-old rider was able to keep his yellow leader’s jersey by resisting the threat of Aurélien Paret-Peintre during the last stage. By winning alone in the streets of Vence, the AG2R Citroën climber secured the first victory for his team in the process but missed taking the top step on the final podium by seven seconds. The American Neilson Powless (EF Education – Easy Post) completed the top-3, third at ten seconds. The third stage went to Paret-Peintre solo. “When I arrived here, I wanted to do well in the overall, and at least win a stage. It started much better than expected”, said Vauquelin, who will be one to watch during the next Paris-Nice (March 5-12).

The results: 1. Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic) ; 2. Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) ; 3. Powless (EF Education – Easy Post)…

Stages won by: Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic), Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo), Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën).


Tour du Rwanda: Vernon keeps up the momentum

Already victorious this season in Mallorca, Ethan Vernon (Soudal-QuickStep) won in a sprint during the first stage of the Tour du Rwanda, in Rwamagana on Sunday. At the end of a stage designed for sprinters (the rest of the menu will be more mountainous), the Briton showed his power in the last few hundred meters to win ahead of the Frenchman Émilien Jeannière (TotalEnergies) and the Eritrean Henok Mulubrhan (Green Project-Bardiani). “It was a perfect day for me. The last corner before the final straight was tight and that’s where I made the difference. As we had been there four times before on the final circuit, I knew that was where everything could be decided”, Vernon explained.
The Tour du Rwanda continues until February 26.


Upcoming races:

Now until 26/02 : Tour du Rwanda, http://www.tourdurwanda.rw/ 
From the 20 to 26/02 : UAE Tour, https://www.theuaetour.com/ 
25/02 : Faun Ardèche Classic, https://boucles-drome-ardeche.fr/ 
25/02 : Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, https://www.omloophetnieuwsblad.be/nl/wedstrijd/elite-mannen/wedstrijdinfo 
26/02 : Faun Drôme Classic, https://boucles-drome-ardeche.fr/ 
26/02 : Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, https://www.kuurne-brussel-kuurne.be/