Jumbo-Visma dominates Gent-Wevelgem; Ineos reigns in Catalunya: Daily News

by Matt de Neef


Hi there CyclingTips readers,

Fair to say it was another big weekend of road racing in Europe. In Belgium, Jumbo-Visma left Gent-Wevelgem with plenty to celebrate, while Ineos-Grenadiers had the same feeling in Spain as they departed the Volta a Catalunya. You’ll find all this and more in the latest edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest.

Have a great week!

Matt de Neef
Managing Editor


What’s news?

Wout van Aert sprints to Gent-Wevelgem win

Belgian powerhouse Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) added another top one-day race to his palmares on Sunday with victory at Gent-Wevelgem.

Van Aert comfortably won the sprint from a lead group of seven; the remnants of a much larger breakaway that came together in the crosswinds with around 175 km of racing still to go. The group thinned out over a series of climbs leaving just a select few to contest the sprint.

“This victory counts so much to me, it being my first home road race win,” Van Aert said. “This sets me up nicely and I can go into the Tour of Flanders next week with lots of confidence.”

Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) sprinted to second ahead of Matteo Trentin (UAE-Team Emirates).

Top five

1. VAN AERT Wout (Jumbo-Visma)
2. NIZZOLO Giacomo (Qhubeka-Assos)
3. TRENTIN Matteo (UAE-Team Emirates)
4. COLBRELLI Sonny (Bahrain Victorious)
5. MATTHEWS Michael (BikeExchange)

You can read more at CyclingTips.

Marianne Vos dashes to Gent-Wevelgem win

Speaking of Jumbo-Visma riders adding to their already impressive palmares, it was Marianne Vos who took out the women’s Gent-Wevelgem a few hours after Van Aert’s win.

There was a series of promising moves in the back half of the Women’s WorldTour race but it was ultimately a group of 43 that came back together with just 300 metres to go to contest the sprint.

Vos kicked just as the last of the attackers were caught, and held on for an impressive victory ahead of Lotte Kopecky (Liv) and Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT). Interestingly, Kopecky and Brennauer finished second and third respectively last year as well (behind Jolien d’Hoore). Meanwhile Vos’ win was the first-ever victory for the Jumbo-Visma women’s team.

“I have to let it all sink in for a while – this is a fantastic feeling,” Vos said. “It felt like I went too early, but fortunately the tailwind was in my favour. I’m extremely happy that I was able to finish it.”

Top five

1. VOS Marianne (Jumbo-Visma)
2. KOPECKY Lotte (Liv Racing) st
3. BRENNAUER Lisa (Ceratizit-WNT) st
4. BALSAMO Elisa (Valcar-Travel & Service) st
5. BASTIANELLI Marta (Alé BTC Ljubljana) st

You can read more at CyclingTips.

Ineos sweeps the podium at the Volta a Catalunya

The seven-stage Volta a Catalunya came to a close on Sunday too and it was the Ineos Grenadiers that took home the spoils. The British team didn’t just win overall with new recruit Adam Yates – the team swept the podium with Richie Porte second and Geraint Thomas third.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won Saturday’s penultimate stage in what was his first victory of the year, while the final stage went the way of serial aggressor Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) who, you guessed it, won solo from the breakaway.

Yates, Porte and Thomas all held firm in the bunch in the final days to secure a dominant clean sweep at one of the toughest stage races on the calendar.

Top five, GC

1. YATES Adam (Ineos Grenadiers) 26:16:41
2. PORTE Richie (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:45
3. THOMAS Geraint (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:49
4. VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar) 1:03
5. KELDERMAN Wilco (Bora-Hansgrohe) st

Nacer Bouhanni disqualified for dangerous sprint

Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) was disqualified from the Cholet-Pays de la Loire on Sunday for a dangerous sprint. The Frenchman swung left in the final kick, pushing Englishman Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) into the barriers. Thankfully Stewart was able to stay upright, but lost his chance of a high placing as a result of the incident.

Stewart later retweeted a video of the incident, with a pointed message for Bouhanni.

The French UCI 1.1 race was also significant for the fact it was won by Elia Viviani (Cofidis). The victory is the Italian’s first since joining Cofidis in January 2020.

Jonas Vingegaard wins Coppi e Bartali

Jumbo-Visma had more to celebrate this weekend than two wins at Gent-Wevelgem. Over in Italy, Jonas Vingegaard was riding to his first stage-race victory since joining the pro ranks.

The 24-year-old Dane won two stages, both of them uphill finishes, to take and then secure his overall lead. His compatriot Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was second overall while Australia’s Nick Schultz (BikeExchange) was third overall after three consecutive third-place finishes to conclude the six-stage race.

Top five, GC

1. VINGEGAARD Jonas (Jumbo-Visma) 19:03:47
2. HONORÉ Mikkel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 0:22
3. SCHULTZ Nick (BikeExchange) 0:32
4. HAYTER Ethan (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:36
5. ROMO Javier (Astana-Premier Tech) 0:39

Trek-Segafredo and Bora-Hansgrohe sidelined by COVID

Defending champion Mads Pedersen and his entire Trek-Segafredo team were forced to sit out Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem after a COVID positive within the team camp. Bora-Hansgrohe, too, missed the race after rider Matt Walls’ COVID positive which also forced the team from the E3 Saxo Bank Classic on Friday.

They aren’t the only teams affected by COVID in the past week. Lotto-Soudal announced on Sunday that Steff Cras had tested positive on the final day of the Volta a Catalunya. Meanwhile Spanish ProTeam Equipo Kern Pharma withdrew from Catalunya a few days earlier after two team members tested positive for COVID.

Sam Bennett’s big lunch

Gent-Wevelgem didn’t quite end the way Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wanted it to. The Irishman was well placed in the lead group coming into the final 35 km, but then he was spotted at the back of that bunch, vomiting.

Initial suggestions were that Bennett might have been ill, but the Tour de France green jersey winner said later he simply over-ate.

“I made a stupid mistake; I ate too much,” Bennett said. “I wanted to fill up my reserves of energy as much as possible and I stuffed myself. It wasn’t a great idea. The combination of lactic acid and a too-full stomach meant I vomited. Then I knew that my legs were spent because I had no energy left. I imploded in the final 15km with my race over.”

Bennett ended up finishing in 55th place.

Coming up …

After a busy weekend of racing, there’s a bit of a lull for the next couple days. We don’t have long to wait until the next big race though: Dwars door Vlaanderen will be raced on Wednesday. This Belgian one-day is a UCI 1.1 race for the women, and a WorldTour race for the men. After that, it’s all about ‘De Ronde’. The Tour of Flanders is coming up on Sunday (WorldTour for women and men) and is sure to provide another thrilling day of entertainment.

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