© Unipublic / Charly Lopez

La Vuelta Femenina: Van Vleuten, victory by a hair

First and second place were separated by nine small seconds. Less dominant but still as resilient, Annemiek van Vleuten won her third consecutive La Vuelta Femenina by pushing herself to the limit to maintain a slim lead over her Dutch compatriot Demi Vollering.

At 40, the world champion on the Movistar team, who notably won the three Grand Tours (France, Italy, Spain) and the world title last year, adds to her exceptional record before retiring at the end of this season. This was a success taken, however, in pain. While she had a 1 minute and 11 second lead in the general classification on the morning of the last stage over Demi Vollering, the Dutchwoman almost lost everything during the final ascent of 12.5 km at an average speed of 6.9%. to the incredible natural theater of the lakes of Covadonga. But she hung on to limit the damage after being dropped five kilometers from the goal by Vollering (SD Worx), who escaped to win her second stage in this Vuelta, with the Italian Gaia Realini (Trek- Segafredo), who took second on the stage and third overall.

At the top, in thick fog, Annemiek van Vleuten ultimately kept a small nine-second lead over Demi Vollering, who has had an exceptional season so far, after having notably achieved the hat-trick in the Ardennes. “I am super happy and very tired,” van Vleuten said at the finish. “I didn’t have my best day, I may have felt the efforts of Saturday, but I fought until the end, and I didn’t give up. The team was great on Sunday, it’s really a team victory.”

The results: 1. Van Vleuten (Movistar Team) ; Vollering (Team SD Worx) ; 3. Realini (Trek-Segafredo)…

Stages won by: Team Jumbo-Visma ; Kool (Team DSM) ; Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma) ; Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma) ; Vollering (Team SD Worx) ; Realini (Trek-Segafredo) ; Vollering (Team SD Worx).


Carpathian Couriers Race in memory of Wacław Felczak: Glivar overturns everything

The 2023 edition of the Carpathian Couriers Race in memory of Waclaw Felczak kept the suspense alive since everything was decided during the final stage with the victory of Gal Glivar (national team of Slovenia). Winner of the queen stage, which took place between Iwonicz Zdroj and Rymanow Zdroj (83.5 km), the Slovenian won the general classification as a result. He succeeds the 2022 winner Croatian Fran Miholjevic’s , who is now racing with the Bahrain – Victorious team. The final podium was completed by the Italians Giulio Pellizzari (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and Davide De Cassan (Cycling Team Friuli ASD). Having been in the leader’s jersey before this last day of racing, the Lithuanian Aivaras Mikutis (Tudor Pro Cycling Team U23) ultimately fell to seventh place.

The results: 1. Glivar (Slovénie) ; 2. Pellizzari (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) ; 3. De Cassan (Cycling Team Friuli ASD)…

Stages won by: Cycling Team Friuli ASD ; Mouris (Scorpions Racing Team). ; Glivar (Slovénie) ; Bruttomesso (Cycling Team Friuli ASD) ; Glivar (Slovénie).


Giro d’Italia: Evenepoel, the first boss

He immediately lived up to his status as top favorite. A brilliant winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège on April 23, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) dominated the opening time trial of the Giro, in Abruzzo, to pull on the pink jersey for the first time in his career as leader of the race. Above all, the world champion immediately sent a strong signal to his rivals by gaining significant time on them in barely 20 kilometers. The contenders João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), 3rd at 29 seconds and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers), 4th at 40 seconds, placed themselves well but could not follow the pace set by the Belgian prodigy. The same goes for Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), designated as one of the big favorites for the final victory. He ultimately took 6th losing 43 seconds to the leader.

With this authoritative victory, Remco Evenepoel, 23, winner of the Vuelta last summer, took the lead in the Giro that will have its first summit finish this Tuesday at Lago Laceno. “The goal is to have the pink jersey in Rome. But I want to enjoy every moment with this jersey, probably until Tuesday, he warned Monday. For three days, I was even able to meet my wife Oumi on the side of the road and clap her hand. She knows, since last winter, that this pink jersey in Rome is my goal for the year. On Monday, she went back to Belgium, so I made the necessary arrangements before! (laughs)”

Stages won by: Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Milan (Bahrain-Victorious) ; Matthews (Team Jayco AlUla).


Grand Prix du Morbihan : De Lie, more than a sprinter

Arnaud De Lie won the Grand Prix du Morbihan. The sprinter from the Lotto Dstny team beat the Frenchman Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ) and the Norwegian champion Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) in a strongman’s sprint.

De Lie, 21, took the fourth victory of his season, the thirteenth of his career.

After 65 kilometers and a breakaway of a group of six riders, the peloton entered the local circuit, where it completed five long laps and six short laps. The regrouping took place about fifty kilometers from the finish, and the consistent attempts of the attackers did not bear fruit.

The Lotto Dstny team, at the service of its sprinter, took control of the peloton as they approached the last climb of the Côte de Cadoudal. The punchers no longer had the opportunity to anticipate the sprint, De Lie slipped into Rasmus Tiller’s slipstream before overtaking the Norwegian to claim victory ahead of Romain Grégoire. As a result, De Lie succeeds Frenchman Julien Simon on the list of winners. “I’m really proud of this success,” De Lie said. “We know that it’s not the real sprinters who win here. It proves that I’m not just a sprinter. I was à bloc for the whole climb but when I saw the line I was still able to accelerate. In the end, I don’t know how I pushed so hard; it must not have looked like much (smiles).”

The women’s race was won in the morning by Australian Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez), ahead of French Cédrine Kerbaol (CERATIZIT-WNT) and Poland’s Dominika Wlodarczyk (MAT Atom Deweloper Wroclaw). 

The results: 1. De Lie (Lotto-Dstny) ; 2. Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ) ; 3. Tiller (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team)… 


Tro Bro Léon: Nizzolo outkicks De Lie

At the end of a grueling 204 km race, Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel – Premier Tech) won by half a wheel ahead of Arnaud De Lie (Lotto – Dstny) at the finish line of the Tro Bro Leon, to succeed defending champion Hugo Hofstetter as the winner.

The Italian had however failed to follow the decisive attack, launched in the ribin 26 by the Frenchman Eddy Finé (Cofidis), 8 km from the finish. Only four riders accompanied the Frenchman to take the lead: Rasmus Tiller (Uno X), Nils Eekhoff (DSM), Clément Venturini (AG2R Citroën) and Arnaud De Lie, the favorite of the event.

While the quintet took turns without fully committing, Nizzolo bridged up to the leaders along with Laurent Pichon (Arkéa – Samsic) with less than 3 km to go to the line. He then hovered quietly in the group, leaving a vigilant De Lie to pounce on the anticipated attacks.

The Belgian may regret a slight collision with Pichon at the start of the sprint launched by Venturini. But Giacomo Nizzolo launched his sprint at the right time to overhaul De Lie and post the first victory of his season. Nils Eekhoff completed the podium, which did not include a French rider. 

The results: 1. Nizzolo (Israel – Premier Tech) ; 2. De Lie (Lotto Dstny) ; 3. Eekhoff (Team DSM)…


Upcoming races:

Until 28 May: Giro d’Italia, https://www.giroditalia.it/

 9 – 13 May: Bretagne Ladies Tour Ceratizit, https://tbfo.bzh/

13 May: Grand Prix Herning, https://gpherning.com/en