Slow-Mag: Edition - Cycling


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Clarke gets tactics right to take first podium at Amstel Gold Race

Posted: 02:59, 22 Apr 2019

Somewhat lost amidst all the chaos at the Amstel Gold Race, as well as the wonderment at Mathieu van der Poel's performance, was something of a record. Each man on the podium was there for the first time, with Simon Clarke (EF Education First) sprinting to second behind the Dutchman. It was a career-best performance for the Australian, who bettered his previous best of 46th from back in 2013. Clarke went on the attack along with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) late in the race, eventually being swept up by the Van der Poel group, which caught the leaders at the death. "When I saw Mollema go, I knew I wanted to follow," said Clarke on the EF Education First website after the race. "I assumed I was racing for fifth place. Then the group caught us from behind.ADVERTISEMENT "Here I was, flat out, thinking, 'Well, I guess I'm not even going to be finishing in the top 10.' I wasn't aware everything was close together until I saw everyone in front of me with just over a kilometre to go. "It was pretty crazy. And pretty motivating. I knew Van der Poel was the fastest guy, so I got on his wheel." Clarke stuck to Van der Poel's wheel as the Dutch champion made it up to the leaders inside the final 300 metres. It proved a successful tactic, and showed no small amount of nous as well as strength – nobody else had managed to get in that position, after all. You can read more at

Fuglsang and Alaphilippe disagree over Amstel Gold Race finale

Posted: 22:55, 21 Apr 2019

For much of the final 30 kilometres of Amstel Gold Race, there looked to be only one outcome in Berg en Terblijt. With Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), the finale was reminiscent of Strade Bianche, where the duo rode together for the last 20km before the Frenchman triumphed in Siena. While the script bore a resemblance to that of the Italian classic heading to the finish, it was torn up in extraordinary fashion in the closing kilometres. With Alaphilippe thought to have a better sprint, Fuglsang sat back as the duo neared the line. The result was a fatal slowing of the pace which let the chasing groups led by Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) make the catch in the final kilometre. Naturally, both Fuglsang and Alaphilippe had differing opinions on what went down.ADVERTISEMENT “I told him when we went that he had to pull, and that this time I should win instead of him,” Fuglsang joked to Eurosport after the finish. “But it didn’t work out. He didn’t agree and we ended up in third and fourth.” It was another fine result for the Dane, who continued his impressive vein of form to start the season. After winning the Vuelta a Andalucía, taking a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico, and finishing second at Strade Bianche, the podium at Amstel Gold Race is another outstanding result. But missing out on a possible victory inevitably brings disappointment, both in the result and how he got there. You can read more at

Van der Poel revels in unlikely Amstel Gold Race victory

Posted: 22:31, 21 Apr 2019

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) put on a spectacular show at Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, storming to victory in one of the most thrilling finishes to any bike race in recent memory. The final kilometres of the race saw the 24-year old single-handedly led a chase group up to the leaders, bridging a one-minute gap to make the catch in the final 500 metres. He then powered past everybody in the closing metres to take the biggest win of his career so far. It was a barely believable scenario for spectators, but also for Van der Poel himself, who could hardly raise his arms in celebration as he crossed the line.ADVERTISEMENT “I didn’t even have the energy to put my hands in the air,” he told Het Nieuwsblad after the finish. “At three kilometres from the finish, nobody could tell me in what position I was riding in this chaotic final. Not the race radio, nor the team car. “I didn’t believe anymore that I was racing for the win. Only in the finishing straight did I see them all riding up ahead. I played it all or nothing and it became everything.” It’s another chapter in an incredible spring classics debut for Van der Poel. He had already mastered cyclo-cross, and then some. Racing on the road is another matter entirely, but with genes likes his – Adri is his father, Raymond Poulidor his grandfather – his follow up to last season’s glimpses of potential has been, to an extent, predictable. You can read more at

Froome and Nibali play down talk of a Tour of the Alps duel

Posted: 20:28, 21 Apr 2019

Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali watched Mathieu van der Poel win the Amstel Gold Race on a mobile telephone before the team presentation of the Tour of the Alps, seemingly more impressed with the Dutchman’s performance and victory than about their own chances of victory in the hilly five-day stage race that begins in Kufstein, Austria on Monday.  Both Nibali and Froome watched the final kilometres like any rider or racer; looking for their teammates and then admiring Van der Poel’s incredible finish with a smile and an expression of respect. “He’s can win like that because cyclo-cross has given him that explosiveness. When he has to power through the sand or mud in a cyclo-cross race so often it trains him to produce big watts, it’s the benefit of crossing over from the two disciplines. He has trained to go the distance and kept his explosiveness,” Nibali pointed out.ADVERTISEMENT Froome admitted he knew little about Van der Poel but was equally impressed. Froome and Nibali sat side by side at the Tour of the Alps pre-race press conference, before admiring Van der Poel, any spats of the past forgotten due to their mutual respect. They are Grand Tour rivals, having won ten Grand Tour between them and are the big draw of the 2019 Tour of the Alps even if they both played down any expectations of a duel in the Austrian and Italian Alps of the Euroregion. Nibali looking for Giro d’Italia form You can read more at

Gilbert: We have several trump cards for Amstel Gold Race

Posted: 13:23, 21 Apr 2019

Last weekend, Philippe Gilbert won Paris-Roubaix after an impressive display of strength both from him and his Deceuninck-Quick Step team. Ahead of Amstel Gold Race, the Belgian has said that there could be more of the same to come on Sunday. During the closing stages of the ‘Hell of the north’, Gilbert had teammate Yves Lampaert for company in the lead group, while Zdenek Štybar and Florian Senechal disrupted the chase. Gilbert heads into Amstel, which he has won four times, alongside Julian Alaphilippe, arguably the stand-out rider of the ADVERTISEMENT "It’s a nice race. It suits me," said Gilbert at his team’s pre-race press conference in Lanaken. “I’m still fresh enough and still focused on what’s coming. We’re going for it. “We’ll do it like in the cobbled classics. We start with several trump cards. It offers advantages over the other teams, and it also gives us confidence.” Gilbert and Štybar may have made the headlines, but with Bob Jungels, Kasper Asgreen and Florian Sénéchal all stepping up, there was a sense that Deceuninck-Quick Step could call on anybody during the cobbled classics. You can read more at

Wellens amazed by Van der Poel but confident for Amstel Gold Race

Posted: 12:00, 21 Apr 2019

With Tim Wellens in good form to start the season, Lotto-Soudal are among the teams looking for a strong result at Amstel Gold Race. The Belgian took third at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, and named the men he finished with as the main favourites for the first in the Ardennes trilogy, picking out Corendon-Circus phenom Mathieu van der Poel for particular analysis. Wellens finished behind the 24-year-old and Julian Alaphilippe at Wednesday’s race. The duo are among most people’s favourites at Amstel, with Wellens saying that even his own grandmother sees the Dutchman as near-unbeatable. "A few days ago I was with my grandmother, just before Brabantse Pijl," Wellens said in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad. "She asked ‘is Van der Poel riding? Yes? Oh, then it’s for second place.’ADVERTISEMENT "I had to laugh a lot about that, but it will be true every now and then; every race in which Van der Poel participates, he rides to win." There are other favourites too, of course. In a pre-race team statement, Wellens named his companions in the lead group at Brabantse Pijl as the top favourites. He sees a wider field of contenders at Sunday’s race, though. "Van der Poel, Alaphilippe and Matthews are of course again among the favourites," he said, "but that list will be extended with [Peter] Sagan, [Greg] Van Avermaet, [Alejandro] Valverde and the strong team of Astana. You can read more at

Evenepoel impresses on Tour of Turkey summit finish

Posted: 10:00, 21 Apr 2019

Remco Evenepoel may be just four months into his pro career, but the 19-year-old sensation is already showing the talent and aggression that saw him jump straight from the juniors to the big show. The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider put in his most impressive performance yet on stage 5 of the Tour of Turkey. Five kilometres from the top of the snow-capped summit finish at Kartepe, he was on the attack, eventually taking fourth at the finish. “It was a very hard day and and an extremely tough and steep climb with punishing double-digit gradients,” said Evenepoel in a post-race team statement. “Add to this also the cold temperatures, the headwind and the snow, and you get a really, really hard stage.ADVERTISEMENT “Actually, it was the first time in my career that I raced in such terrible conditions, and I’m happy with how I managed to overcome this day of suffering.” The finishing climb was arguably the toughest of the 2019 calendar so far, measuring in at 12km at an average of 9.1 per cent – and that was after four kilometres were cut off thanks to the UCI’s Extreme Weather Protocol. So it was all the more impressive to see Evenepoel battling it out with the likes of Valerio Conti and eventual stage winner Felix Großschartner on the ‘snowy hill’. Conti kicked off the festivities, before Evenepoel countered with 5km to go, later trying a solo attack before he was caught. You can read more at

Alaphilippe: Mathieu van der Poel is a phenomenon

Posted: 19:25, 20 Apr 2019

Everyone is talking about Mathieu van der Poel, and Julian Alaphilippe is the latest to praise the young Dutchman, describing him as "a phenomenon".  Alaphilippe has been the outstanding rider this season with eight victories, including Milan-San Remo, but Van der Poel, the 24-year-old cyclo-cross world champion, has stormed onto the road in his first spring classics campaign, with victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen and fourth place at the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem. The pair went head-to-head at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, where Van der Poel left the more experienced Alaphilippe to win the sprint from the select four-man group. They will lock horns again at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. ADVERTISEMENT "I was happy for him," Alaphilippe said ahead of the Dutch Classic. "I do not know him personally, we have not ridden against one another much, but I have followed him a bit because I like cyclo-cross. It's a pleasure to see him doing well in 'cross and now doing it as well on the road. What he's doing is a good thing for cycling." Ahead of the spring, Van der Poel's director at the Corendon-Circus team said the Classics would be a 'playground' for Van der Poel, and indeed he has not been shy to attack and open the race from distance, despite his inexperience. At Brabantse Pijl he but in a couple of big attacks way out, and still had the strength to make the final selection and then win the sprint from it.  "I love his way of racing. He is a phenomenon. More than a 'crosser, he's someone who can do everything well. I'm happy he's now also on the road," Alaphilippe said.  You can read more at

'A big loss' - Eddy Merckx pays tribute to Patrick Sercu

Posted: 14:00, 20 Apr 2019

Eddy Merckx has paid tribute to his old six-day partner, Patrick Sercu, who died on Friday, describing him as "a fantastic guy and a good man".  Merckx and Sercu formed a legendary partnership on the track, winning 15 six-day events together.  Sercu's death was announced by his son, Christophe, on Friday, who explained that his father's health "had been unstable for several years and had deteriorated sharply in recent weeks". Sercu died at the age of 74. ADVERTISEMENT "He was a friend I had known since I was 16 or 17. This is a big loss for me," Merckx told Belgian broadcaster Sporza.  "Our partnership goes back a long way - from the 1960's on the Brussels velodrome. We were rivals at first, then we became teammates. Together, we won 15 six-day races, including the Gent Six in 1965. They are wonderful memories. "He was a fantastic guy, a good man. He was honest, did not beat around the bush, and always looked for compromise. I appreciated that in him and that is why I rode with him for so long." You can read more at

Dan Martin skips Amstel to focus on Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Posted: 12:52, 20 Apr 2019

Dan Martin will skip Amstel Gold Race on Sunday before returning to lead the line for UAE Team Emirates at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.  Martin, a former winner of Liège and a multiple podium finisher at Flèche, has never fared quite so well at Amstel. In seven participations, he has finished the race just twice.  This year, he will skip the Dutch Classic to focus on the races the following Wednesday and Sunday. After a disappointing Ardennes Classics campaign in his first season with UAE Team Emirates, the Irishman will be out to put that right. ADVERTISEMENT Martin, who won Liège in 2013, has never cracked Flèche, finishing on the podium three times behind Alejandro Valverde, and a further two times in the top six. Prior to his difficult start to life at UAE, he finished runner-up at both Flèche and Liège - after a DNF at Amstel - in his final season with QuickStep.  Martin has had a solid start to the season but showcased his growing form with second overall at the recent Tour of the Basque Country.  In Martin's absence, UAE Team Emirates will be led at Amstel by former world champion Rui Costa, alongside puncheur Diego Ulissi, new signing Sergio Henao, and young sensation Tadej Pogacar. Costa is a perennial presence in the Ardennes, while Henao adds another dimension with a runner-up and fourth place at Flèche to his name, along with two top 10's apiece at Liège and Amstel.  You can read more at

Provisional date for Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020

Posted: 13:19, 14 Mar 2019

The provisional date for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour is set for 8 March 2020.

Emphatic double for Investec-Songo-Specialized at Cape Town Cycle Tour

Posted: 12:40, 10 Mar 2019

 Media Release Immediate Release? Emphatic double for Investec-Songo-Specialized at Cape Town Cycle Tour (Cape Town, 10 March 2019) Cherise Willeit (Investec-Songo-Specialized) made an emphatic return to road racing by

Cool Weather Ensures Big Smiles at the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge

Posted: 20:20, 02 Mar 2019

(Stellenbosch, 2 March 2019) Cloudy skies, which gave way to drizzle by mid-morning, did not dampen the mood at the

Exclusive start location for 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour Women’s Elite Invitational race

Posted: 13:44, 21 Feb 2019

(Cape Town, 21 February) Following a highly successful trial run in 2018, the 2019 edition of the Cape Town Cycle

Substitution entries for Cape Town Cycle Tour

Posted: 13:10, 19 Feb 2019

MEDIA RELEASE For Immediate Release Substitution entries for Cape Town Cycle Tour opening soon! (Cape Town, 15 February 2019) The

Race day nutrition strategies for the Cape Town Cycle Tour

Posted: 13:07, 19 Feb 2019

Making the right nutrition choices on race day will help ensure you have enough energy to complete your ride, and

Three nutrition strategies for diabetic athletes tackling the Cape Town Cycle Tour

Posted: 12:18, 25 Jan 2019

Thanks to various studies and much intense research, the past decade has seen a remarkable increase in the scientific understanding

Entries open for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour Junior

Posted: 12:08, 25 Jan 2019

Mini cyclists! Are you ready? This one is just for you… The annual Cape Town Cycle Tour Junior will be

Corporate Entries

Posted: 19:11, 14 Oct 2018

Tough times don’t last. Tough teams do. It’s a proven team-building strategy: have everyone endure a fun, yet challenging task.

Riding for charity

Posted: 19:03, 14 Oct 2018

The Cape Town Cycle Tour injects some R500-million into the Western Cape economy every year. The charitable surplus generated by

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