© ASO / Maxime Delobel


Tour of the Alps: Geoghegan Hart from start to finish

In the green leader’s jersey after his victory on the first stage in Alpbach, then after increasing his lead on the second day by winning the stage into Ritten, Tao Geoghegan Hart had a peaceful week at the Tour of the Alps. The INEOS Grenadiers climber took advantage of the work of his team to out-class the competition and win the second stage race of his career after the Giro in 2020. It’s a good omen ahead of the Giro d’Italia, which will start in 15 days (May 6-28). “The team again put in an incredible performance. I am very happy. I didn’t come here to prove anything; I wanted to win the race,” Geoghegan Hart said. “We are very happy. It’s a great race, in a very beautiful region. It was really a great week.”

The results : 1. Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) ; 2. Carthy (EF Education-Easy Post) ; 3. Haig (Bahrain-Victorious)…

Stages won by: : Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) ; Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) ; Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) ; Mülberger (Movistar).


La Flèche Wallonne men’s: Pogacar, of course

He was the big favorite, he did not fail. Tadej Pogacar won his first Flèche Wallonne, at the top of the Mur de Huy. Already the winner of the Amstel Gold Race four days earlier, the Slovenian, once again was untouchable, and added another glorious line to his record. He made his move after an attack from Romain Bardet (9th), one of the three French in the Top 10 with Victor Lafay (6th) and Warren Barguil (10th). 

Pogacar then hammered the pedals with all his power in the final part of the incredibly steep wall (1.3 km at 9.6% on average) to finish ahead of the Dane Mattias Skjelmose and the Spaniard Mikel Landa.

This victory reinforces the incredible start to the season native Pogacar, from Komenda, has had. Before triumphing in Huy, the double winner of the Tour de France (2020 and 2021) notably won the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, Paris-Nice, the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race. He now has twelve successes in eighteen days of competition in 2023, a phenomenal ratio. 

“I’m happy to be in such great shape, I’m making the most of these moments. Every race is different. Winning never gets boring,” he smiled.

The results : 1. Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) ; 2. Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) ; 3. Landa (Bahrain-Victorious)…


La Flèche Wallonne women’s: Vollering, the other cannibal

It’s not just Tadej Pogacar who put the competition to the sword in the classics campaign. The impressive Demi Vollering won at the top of the Mur de Huy to conquer the Flèche Wallonne. The SD Worx cyclist took the lead on the last climb of the day, never letting go and posting her fourth victory of the season. After the Strade Bianche, A Travers la Flandre, the Amstel Gold Race and now the Flèche Wallonne, she also posted two second places in the Tour of Flanders and the Flèche Brabançonne. The 26-year-old Dutch rider proved to be among the strongest in all of these classics.

“I didn’t feel very good on the road,” she admitted after the finish. “I was so stressed, because I’ve already finished third in the Flèche Wallonne twice. I feared it would happen again today, but my teammates believed in me. It was very important. They helped me focus during the race, to keep faith and to keep a cool head. I can’t praise our teamwork enough.”

The results: 1. Vollering (SD Worx) ; 2. Lippert (Movistar) ; 3. Realini (Trek-Segafredo)…


Liège-Bastogne-Liège men’s: Evenepoel laughs, Pogacar cries

Remco Evenepoel won solo and without a rival in his second Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday following the abandonment of Tadej Pogacar, the victim of a crash where he fractured his left wrist with just over two months to go to the Tour de France.

The long-awaited duel between the two phenomena was as a result brutally aborted when the Slovenian hit the deck at high speed after only 85 kilometers of racing. The Dane Mikkel Honoré, who suffered a double puncture just in front of Pogacar on a slight descent, crashed first, taking down Pogacar.

Transported to the hospital, Pogacar, who was aiming for the hat-trick in the Ardennes classics, was operated on in the wake of a fractured left scaphoid.

With the Slovenian out of the race, Evenepoel had the field free to crush the competition. And he made the difference exactly in the same place as last year, in the last part of the Côte de la Redoute, about thirty kilometers from the finish.

The world champion placed an attack that only Tom Pidcock could briefly follow. But the Briton quickly paid for his effort, victim of a hunger knock. The world champion then flew away alone. “It’s wonderful to do two out of two. Winning this great race with this beautiful jersey is just magical,” he said.

The results: 1. Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; 2. Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) ; 3. Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious)…


Liège-Bastogne-Liège women’s: Vollering scores the Ardennes hat-trick!

By beating the Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) in the sprint, the Dutch Demi Vollering (SD Worx) achieved the feat of winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège after winning the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Walloon. The huge favorite, the Dutch champion definitely built her victory in the climb of the côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, 12 kilometers from the finish in Liège, after placing a powerful attack after which only the Italian of the Trek-Segafredo team could answer. 

In a final two-up sprint, Vollering left no opening for her Italian rival and won for the second time in her career in Liège, achieving a historic hat-trick in the Ardennes classics, which only had happened once before with her compatriot Anna van der Breggen. 

“It’s incredible, I can’t believe it,” Vollering said, visibly moved. “I’m so grateful for my teammates and I’m super proud. I am very happy with this victory. I really wanted to win today, so I could do the treble. It’s not every year that we have the opportunity to do this. I think this victory in Liège is the best of the three. Why? Because it was also the most difficult. On the one hand, I wanted to achieve the hat-trick so badly and on the other hand, almost everyone was marking me in the race.”

The results: 1. Vollering (SD Worx) ; 2. Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) ; 3. Reusser (SD Worx)…


Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic: Lamperti shines in the rain

A daunting edition. The Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic, already renowned for its challenging course, was made even more complicated by wet conditions and mud on some sections. At the end of the 183.5 kilometer race, it was the young American Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing) who won the sprint among the few survivors. The recent Circuit des Ardennes stage winner finished ahead of Belgian Tijl De Decker (Lotto Dstny Development Team) and Briton James Mckay (Cycling Sheffield).

The results:  1. Lamperti (Trinity Racing) ; 2. De Decker (Lotto Dstny Development) ; 3. Mckay (Cycling Sheffield)… 


Races to come :

25 April – 1st May : Tour de Bretagne, https://www.tourdebretagne.bzh/

25 – 30 April : Tour de Romandie, https://www.tourderomandie.ch/

28 April  – 2nd May : Carpathian Couriers Race in memory of Wacław Felczak, https://www.facebook.com/KarpackiWyscigKurierow/

28 – 30 April : Vuelta Asturias Julio Alvarez Mendo, https://lavueltina.com/