Proudly riding with the stars of the Classics
At Tacx, we are involved with many pro teams. It’s in helping them achieve their goals that we hone our creative potential as we continue to strive to deliver the best cycling experience possible. We provide smart trainers, bottles and the firm clamping Ciro bottle cage to our partner teams. What better way to test our products than on some of the most epic races on the calendar? And what a season it was – with three of our partner teams winning 11 of the 14 races, and loading the podiums from beginning to end. Here’s how the races were won.
OMLOOP HET NIEUWSBLAD
The 2019 Classics season got underway with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Flanders. It was a race that didn’t disappoint as our partner teams got off to winning ways. It was Zdenek Stybar from Deceuninck-QuickStep who prevailed in the end. He was part of a 5-man break that decided the honours, beating the hard-chasing Greg Van Avermaet into second place.
Staying in Flanders, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne took place on the last Sunday of February. It was another victory for our partner teams as Bob Jungels secured the second straight victory for Deceuninck-QuickStep. He powered clear from the break with 16km remaining and held them off in what was an impressive display of strength from the Luxemburger.
Week 3 of Classics season saw us switch from the lumps and bumps on the roads of Flanders to the Strade Bianche of Tuscany. The iconic Italian race always attracts major interest from the top riders. However, despite their best collective efforts, there was no stopping Deceuninck-QuickStep on the day. This time it was the turn of Julian Alaphilippe who kicked of his Classics campaign in style. He crossed the line covered in dust after out-maneuvering Jakob Fuglsang of Astana in the closing stages.
Staying in italy, it was Deceuninck-QuickStep who continued their dominant Classics campaign at Milan San Remo. Julian Alaphilippe took another victory having launched an attack over the top of the Poggio. He took some quick men with him, but the ever astute tactician timed his sprint perfectly, and crossed the line first after covering the epic 291km in 6hrs 40mins.
As Classics season returned to Flanders, it was Zdenek Stybar who gave Deceuninck-QuickStep yet another victory in what has been a dominant spring campaign for them. Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Bob Jungles broke away with 60km to go with a select group. But when pulled back with 7km remaining, it was Stybar who took control. Clearly the strongest coming into the final stretch he got the jump on Greg Van Avermaet and surged through for the win.
Deceuninck-QuickStep’s sensational spring run came to an end when Alexander Kristoff took victory at Gent-Wevelgem. In the final 30km a large group came together, and it was apparent we were destined for a bunch sprint.
It was a rare off day for our partner teams. However, that didn’t stop
Deceuninck-QuickStep from trying. The trio of Štybar, Lampaert and Gilbert worked tirelessly for sprinter Elia Viviani, but alas he didn’t have the legs in the final sprint on what was a grueling day out.
DWARS DOOR VLAANDEREN
Back in Flanders and it was another good day for our partner teams. Anthony Turgis from Direct Energie came ever so close to edging our Mathieu van der Poel in the final sprint. They were part of a 5 man break that worked well together all day. Coming into the finishing straight it was Turgis who attacked first. His effort was well timed but sadly he lacked the finishing power and was passed by a rampant Van der Poel close to the line.
TOUR OF FLANDERS
It was another great day for our partner teams at the Tour of Flanders. Alberto Bettiol from EF Education took his first ever victory as a professional in what was a fine solo win. He went on the attack on the final climb of the Oude Kwaremont with 17km remaining. He dug deep and held off many big-name chasers in those painful final kilometres to record his first victory. And what a stage to do it on!
Deceuninck-QuickStep were again back to winning ways at Scheldeprijs. Fabio Jakobsen ran out the winner in what was a dominant display from Deceuninck-QuickStep in the final stages. With some superb teamwork they dropped him off 200 metres from the finish where his perfectly-timed kick saw him fend off the rest with ease.
A two-man break stormed into the velodrome after 250km on the dirt roads and cobbles. It was Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Philippe Gilbert who took victory from Nils Politt from Team Katusha-Alpecin. With the top 8 riders all forming part of our partner teams, it was a fantastic day for us at Tacx! The Ciro bottle cages proved to be worth their weight in gold as they held a firm clamp over the arduous cobble sections!
Mathieu van der Poel took his second victory of the Classics campaign at Brabantse Pijl. He took victory in the sprint ahead of Julian Alaphilippe from Deceuninck-QuickStep, the best placed of our partner teams. Alaphilippe looked great all day, but was comfortably beaten by the tactically astute Van der Poel and his immense power.
In Limburg it was again Mathieu van der Poel who took victory in one of the most astounding finishes in living memory. Just when it seemed that he had long since burned his last match, he somehow over-hauled a group of riders to the finish before sprinting for victory himself.
As far as our partner teams are concerned, Simon Clarke of EF Education First and Jakob Fuglsang of Astana Pro Team finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. It doesn’t bare thinking just how much power would have been required to pass Van der Poel. However they can hold their heads high after what was an epic days racing that produced a worthy winner.
Just how long will it be before Deceuninck-QuickStep sign Mathieu van der Poel?
The mid-week classic in Wallonia produced another electric finish up the Mur de Huy. For our partner teams it was another one-two. Julian Alaphilippe from Deceuninck-QuickStep took victory narrowly from Jakob Fuglsang of Astana Pro Team. The two escaped on the Mur, 300 metres from the top and battled it out between them. Winning by mere inches, it was Alaphilippe who timed his effort to perfection to clinch a fantasic victory.
In what has been a fascinating spring campaign, it was Jakob Fuglsang who took victory in the final race of Classics season. After escaping on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, he’d later drop his compatriots and cross the line comfortably for a fine solo victory. Bora-Hansgrohe rounded out the podium positions making it a great day for our partner teams.
DONE AND DUSTED
Of our partner teams, it was Deceuninck-QuickStep, Astana and EF Education who all took memorable victories throughout the spring. As some of these big names now take a well-deserved rest, the season continues to build with a very different type of racing on the horizon. One where the giants who were slowly building their form throughout the spring will finally unleash their potential.
Roll on the Giro!