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Jasper Philipsen wins Grand Prix de Denain from bunch sprint
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) won the 2021 GP de Denain ahead of Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers).
Considered to be a dress rehearsal for Paris-Roubaix, the route 200km covered 12 cobbled sectors totaling in excess of 20km. Teams were testing equipment setups, and 46 riders did not finish.
A break of five got away early in the race and gained a maximum advantage of six minutes, however, Alpecin-Fenix and EF Education-Nippo did the work to bring the escapees back.
At nearly the half-way mark, the lead group took on the first cobbled sector, with a margin that had dwindled to fewer than two minutes. Once this group was arrested, a new break of 11 men escaped, and several times the breakaway’s advantage stretched and contracted.
Sep Vanmarke (Israel Start-Up Nation) went to the front but flatted at 15km to go. Several attempts at attacks were made with Michael Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) was an animator, and stayed away — along with Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën) and Clément Davy (Groupama-FDJ) — from the main bunch until the final kilometer.
Meeus first opened the sprint, but Philipsen launched later and powered through to take the win. Philipsen also won the Championship of Flanders the previous Friday, and also the Eschborn-Frankfurt two days ago.
2021 Grand Prix de Denain
- Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), 4:40:44
- Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), at s.t.
- Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers), at s.t.
Sam Bennett out of worlds road race
Irish sprinter Sam Bennett has withdrawn from the 2021 UCI world championships road stating that the 260km+ road race is a “step too far.”
“It is always an honor to represent Ireland on the international stage. However, unfortunately competing in this year’s world road championships will not be possible,” Bennett said. “I am very happy to be back racing pain-free and with each race, I know my fitness levels and race sharpness are improving. However, at this stage, a grueling 260km+ race is probably a step too far.”
Bennett has been suffering nagging knee injuries throughout the season. He abandoned the European road championships on September 12th, and has been struggling with returning to racing since this past spring.
Bennett and his trade team director Patrick Lefevere have been at odds about his health throughout the season, with Lefever launching invectives at the Deceuninck-Quick-Step sprinter.
Report: Ineos Grenadiers shake-up as Dave Brailsford linked to move up
That’s according to a report in TuttoBici, which does not cite sources, but says Brailsford could leave the helm of the WorldTour team he founded more than a decade ago by season’s end.
The report also stated that current team director Rod Ellingworth will take over as team manager.
Ineos Grenadiers officials did not comment on the report on the Italian website.
The report said Brailsford will be tapped to head up Ineos’s ever-expanding sporting footprint. In addition to owning Ineos Grenadiers, petrochemical company owner Jim Ratcliffe also is diversifying his holdings into sailing, Formula 1, marathon, and European football.
Ellingworth, who’s been Brailsford’s No. 2 since the foundation of the team, will slot into the role of team manager at the WorldTour squad, the report stated.
The report comes as Brailsford has been battling health issues as well as rumors that Egan Bernal could be trying to break his contract with the team and change squads.
Il Lombardia confirms route with 4,500m climbing for 2021
Il Lombardia will be as hilly as ever this October. The final monument of the season is set to pack 4,500m ascent into its 239km trek from Como to Bergamo this fall.
This year will see the race return to its old-style finish in Bergamo after the past four editions were wrapped up in Como. The reversed parcours means that the extra-steep ‘wall’ of the Sormano will be left aside, with the difficulty instead coming from the unrelenting rises and falls of the final 100 kilometers.
“It will be a route without hard climbs like the one in Sormano, but a series of bumps for a total elevation of 4,500 meters,” said RCS sport director Mauro Vegni. “Like every year there will be great champions at the start. This year we have riders of the caliber of Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglič, Remco Evenepoel, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Vincenzi Nibali, and Chris Froome just to name a few who I am sure will put on a show.”
The race will roll out of Como on October 9, one week after the return of Paris-Roubaix.
Cofidis names 10 riders for new women’s team
French WorldTour team Cofidis confirmed 10 riders that will form the core of the team’s women’s squad for 2022.
On Tuesday, 10 names, including Canadian Gabrielle Pilote Fortin, will be among the new arrivals for the start-up squad, and said more names will be forthcoming.
“We will have a team that will allow us to aim for top results in mountain stages, sprints, and the classics,” said team manager Gael Le Bellec. “The number of riders right now is modest, at 10, but this allows us to support them individually and put them in the best position to shine during the races.”
Nous sommes très heureux de vous présenter les 10 premiers noms qui composeront notre équipe féminine 2022. La 11ème cycliste sera annoncée très prochainement. Nous avons déjà hâte de les voir toutes à l'œuvre ! https://t.co/7zbgfK67rE#cofidismyteam #WomenTeam2022 pic.twitter.com/OEfwdsJl9u
— Team Cofidis (@TeamCOFIDIS) September 21, 2021