CYCLING Previews: Back to work for the men’s World Tour in Spain, Poland and London; there’s a ride for women, too

Another win coming for Colombian star climber (and Tour de France winner) Egan Bernal?

One of the most engaging editions of the Tour de France in years is now in the record books, but after three weeks of one event dominating the UCI World Tour, the circuit has three events this week, headlined by the Clasica de San Sebastian:

39th Clasica Ciclista de San Sebastian in Spain

Want more Tour de France drama? The Clasica delivers this Saturday, with Tour winner Egan Bernal (COL) looking for his third World Tour win in a row – he took the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France – against his main protagonist, Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) who won last year. The returning medalists:

● Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) ~ winner in 2018
● Alejandro Valverde (ESP) ~ winner in 2008-14; second in 2013; third in 2015-16
● Bauke Mollema (NED) ~ winner in 2014-16
● Tony Gallopin (FRA) ~ winner in 2013; second in 2016-17
● Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP) ~ winner in 2010
● Roman Kreuziger (CZE) ~ second in 2009; third in 2013
● Adam Yates (GBR) ~ winner in 2015
● Greg Avermaet (BEL) ~ second in 2011 but disqualified
● Anthony Roux (FRA) ~ third in 2018

In addition to winner Bernal and fifth-placer Alaphilippe, Tour sixth-placer Mikel Landa (ESP) is in, along with Valverde, who finished ninth.

The route is made for climbers – like Bernal – with two category one climbs and three category two climbs, but Alaphilippe would point out that all of them have steep descents, at which he is the best in the world.

Look for results here.

8th Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic in Great Britain

This is a loop-course race in London on Sunday, with five modest climbs, so it should come down to a sprinter’s finish. There are nine returning medalists:

● Jempy Drucker (LUX) ~ winner in 2015
● Alexander Kristoff (NOR) ~ winner in 2017
● Adam Blythe (GBR) ~ winner in 2014
● Arnaud Demare (FRA) ~ winner in 2013
● Mike Teunissen (NED) ~ second in 2015
● Mark Renshaw (AUS) ~ second in 2016
● Elia Viviani (ITA) ~ second in 2018
● Michael Matthews (AUS) ~ third in 2016-17
● Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) ~ third in 2018

Teunissen and Viviani both won stages during the Tour de France. Look for results here.

76th Tour de Pologne

The Tour de France was 21 stages, now comes the venerable Tour of Poland, with seven stages – three flat stages and four hilly stages – starting Krakow and finishing in Bukowina Tatrzariska. The returning medal winners include:

● Rafal Majka (POL) ~ winner in 2014; second in 2017
● Ion Izaguirre (ESP) ~ winner in 2015; second in 2013-14
● Marek Rutkiweicz (POL) ~ third in 2002
● Robert Gesink (NED) ~ second in 2007

Look for results here.

4th Prudential RideLondon Classique

The UCI Women’s World Tour has been quiet, with one race in the last three weeks, but will have five races in the month of August. It starts in London on a flat, loop course made for sprinters. The amazing thing about this race is that all of the medal winners in its first three years are in for 2019:

● Kirsten Wild (NED) ~ winner in 2016-18
Coryn Rivera (USA) ~ winner in 2017
● Nina Kessler (NED) ~ second in 2016
● Marianne Vos (NED) ~ second in 2018
● Leah Kirchmann (CAN) ~ third in 2016
● Lotta Lepisto (FIN) ~ second in 2017
● Lisa Brennauer (GER) ~ second in 2017
● Elisa Balsamo (ITA) ~ second in 2018

There are a lot of other sprinters lurking in the start list, including Chloe Hosking (AUS), Chantal Blaak (NED), Jolien D’Hoore (BEL), Amalie Dideriksen (DEN), Lotte Kopecky (BEL) and Marta Bastianelli (ITA).

Look for results here.