Flèche Wallone 2018
An unexpected breakaway of six riders, including Tanel Kangert, almost made it to the finish. But at the end it all came down to the final climb of Mur de Huy, with Julian Alaphillipe finishing first. Jakob was the first riders of Astana Pro Team to cross the finish line in a 16th place.
" The start of the race was easier than expected, with the expected teams controlling the race right from the start. But when Tanel Kangert took off in the breakaway we hoped he could make it to the finish with that group, because we knew this would be the only way we could race for a victory. At the end it was a pity that he didn't make it and I did my best on the final climb. After all it was a good day and I was feeling good, so now I'm really looking forward to Sunday when we race Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a classic race that suits me better than the past two Ardennes classics. " told Jakob.
Successful Amstel Goldrace 2018
After impressive teamwork during the day, from closing the gap with the breakaway to Jakob attacking several times in the final, it was Michael Valgren who finished it off with his second win of the season.
" It was a good race. I was a little excited to see how I was after a month without racing. But I was really happy with my feeling today. We ended up in the perfect position, together with Michael, to race for the victory and it's great that we could finish it like this. I'm happy for Michael that he won after his second place of a few years ago." said Jakob.
Next up... Flèche Wallone
Bad luck at Paris Nice 2018
This year the luck wasn't on Jakob's side in Paris Nice.
A crash 2,8 km before the finish caused Jakob to lose 1:38 on the 1st stage, which ended his GC hopes.
The team anyway worked hard and Luis Leon Sanchez managed to become the new race leader. They tried everything to defend the yellow jersey. Jakob sacrificed himself helping Luis Leon Sanchez to remain race leader.
On stage 7, a final climb of 16,3 km awaited the riders. Jakob worked hard to help defend the leader's jersey but they were defeated and had to pass it to Simon Yates.
Jakob was anyway very happy with his shape and progress and is looking forward to the upcoming races.
Next up... the ardennes classics which will be help in April.
Vuelta a Andalucia 2018
Jakob finishes 4th overall.
"In general I'm happy with the past few days, at least about the feeling I have on the bike. The whole team has been racing very strong and that is the most important thing as the final result was not what we came for. But we showed that we're there, that we're ready to fight so the spirit is good. Today I felt really good and I raced a good time trial, but somehow it was not enough at the end to challenge the guys on the podium. The numbers were good, the feeling was good, and that's what I'll take with me to the next races. "
Jakob's next race will be Paris Nice which is one of his first big goals in the season.
FIRST RACE - FIRST PODIUM FOR 2018
Jakob started his season very strong, ending on the final podium of the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana.
The 4th stage took the riders over a mountainous route. Pro team Astana tried to launch several attacks in the final climb, Jakob was trying to take the overall victory but the yellow jersey Alejandro Valverde was unbeatable.
" We tried and we were up there in the final. I think we can be happy with the race. It's a good start, this is my first race and i feel my form is ok. We still have some times to work a bit more and to improve for the first big goals of the season but so far everything is running perfectly." said Jakob.
The final 5th stage of the race has been held between Paterna and city center of Valencia and ended in a bunch sprint.
Astana Pro team did a very strong race with Luis Leon Sanchez 2nd and Jakob 3rd overall as well as the victory of the team classification.
" Two Astana riders on the podium in the first race is a very solid result, so i'm happy with my performance and how the team did the race. Now we are sure that we are right where we wanted to be at the start of the season. So we're leaving Valencia in a good mood and with some strong motivation for the upcoming races" said Jakob.
Next up... the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia which will be held on the 10th of February.
On the 2nd stage of the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana, Jakob and his team mate Luis Leon Sanchez did a brave race ending 2nd and 3rd.
The stage took them from Bétera to Albuixech over a hilly route and a hard climb with 30 km to go. The stage was a good first opportunity for the riders to show their strenghts in the early part of the season.
With 2km to the top of the final climb El Garbi, Jakob attacked and was followed by Alejandro Valverde. They passed over the climb together with an advantage of 15 seconds on the main group. A bit later, Luis Leon Sanchez attacked from the chasing group to bridge to the leaders.
" I was first to attack and Valverde came across. He came strong and I realised it could be a good moment to go with him. It was our plan to try something in the final of today's stage so it was a right moment for that After, Luis Leon joined us and i think it was the main reason why we could stay in front until the finish, he was super strong today. Also Luis Leon and Alejandro knew the distance and it was an advantage too. " said Jakob.
The trio worked hard the last 30 km, holding a good advantage of 25-30 seconds to the chasing group of 23 riders. Finally, the 3 leaders came together to the finish to decide the stage victory in a sprint. Alejandro Valverde became the stage winner with Luis Leon 2nd and Jakob 3rd.
" We gave everything we had to the finish line and we managed to get some important seconds for the general classification. We did not win the sprint but it was not easy having a riders like Valverde on the wheel. We can be happy, in the end it was a good day for the team and for the moral." said Jakob
After today's stage Valverde moved in to the leader position of the general classification. Luis Leon Sanchez in 2nd with 4 seconds behind. Jakob is now sitting 3rd Overall with 6 seconds.
First race of the season 2018
After 2 important trainingcamps in december an january, Jakob will start his season 2018 with the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana.
As a leader for Astana Pro Team, Jakob will try to make the best possible results for the team this year, mainly achieving the general classements.
Tour of Almaty - winner of stage 2
Stage 2 of the Tour of Almaty started at the Halyk Arena in Almaty and finished near the famous speed skating center Medeu.
With more or less 5 km to go, on a steep part of the final climb, Jakob launched a powerful attack. He was able to get an advantage and to keep it until the finish line, taking a nice solo victory.
Come back after broken collarbone
Jakob will start racing again in the Grand prix cycliste de Quebec and Montreal.
His goal is to find back the rhythm, and test his shape for the upcoming races.
Summer of bad luck for Jakob
After having recovered from his Tour de France injuries, Jakob started racing again on a criterium in Herning, Denmark.
Bad fortune appeared to be following him as he got crashed by another rider on the Criterium.
Following a hospital visit, they diagnosed that Jakob fractured his left collarbone which required surgery.
Jakob has been transferred to Herentals in Belgium to have surgery done by Dr. Toon Claes who did a fantastic job.
After some rehabilitation, Jakob recovered very fast and soon started training outside again. The goal was to be able to start racing again in Canada for the Grand prix cycliste de Quebec and Montreal.
Tour de France 2017
Jakob started the Tour de France 2017 as team leader with a great motivation of doing a top 5 classification in general classement. After having won the Critérium du Dauphiné 2017, he was very motivated and confident to do a top classification.
Jakob made is safely through the first week of the Tour and started the second week with a 5th position in general classement. Unfortunately, Jakob got involved in a crash on stage 11 where he injured himself. After closer examinations, they diagnosed fractures in his left elbow and his left wrist.
Jakob decided to keep fighting and managed to finish stage 12. On stage 13, the pain was too strong so that the team decided together with Jakob that he had to abandon the Tour de France to recover from his injuries.
Jakob wins stage 8 and the Overall Classification of the Critérium du Dauphiné
It was a super race by the Astana Pro Team guys at the Critérium du Dauphiné with Jakob at his top performance, winning stage 6, stage 8 and the Overall Classification.
Fabio Aru attacked at 50km to go on the Col de Colombier together with Alejandro Valverde, they were then retaken from the top riders, including Jakob, at the bottom of the last climb.
Race leader Richie Porte found himself well behind a lead group of rivals at the start of the final climb, it was Jakob who surged into contention for yellow on the steep gradients of the race's last mountain.
Jakob jumped clear with Quick-step rider Dan Martin with around 7 km to go, leaving Froome well behind, and then Jakob went solo to take the victory of stage 8. A massive effort in pursuit saw Richie Porte catch back up to and then pass Froome, but the Australian finished 1:15 behind Jakob. Due to the bonus seconds he earned at the finish line, Jakob took the Overall Victory of the Critérium du Dauphiné, with Richie Porte finishing 2nd and Dan Martin 3rd.
"It has been incredible, since the start everyone attacked the yellow jersey, we tried to do the same tactic as BMC, then Richie remained alone and there was a big confusion at the front until Fabio attacked and at the point the other teams had to work to close the gap. I took advantage from this situation and when in the final climb, Dan Martin attacked, I had the legs to follow him and I did. I'm super happy and proud of what i achieved, it's just great. " says Jakob.
Winner of Stage 6 - Critérium du Dauphiné
Everyone in the peloton was waiting for the first important climb of this years Critérium du Dauphiné. It took the riders up the challenging 8,7 km climb Mont du Chat with an average of 10,3 %. Jakob and his teammate Fabio Aru did the most important attacks of the day.
"We knew the climb because we tried it in the days before Dauphiné so we had the right gears on the bike and we could adjust the effort while climbing. Before the start of the climb i asked to my team mate Michael Valgren to bring us to the front and he did an extraordinary job. " said Jakob.
Jakob won the stage as he outsprinted the other 3 GC contenders after trying to escape with 1 km to go. It was a tight victory over Richie Porte.
"There's been a lot of bad luck for our team this year but finally everything seems to come together and be start to be competitive. Luckily it's now right before the Tour the France. To ride like this at the Dauphiné with two other favourites for the Tour is really nice. This victory is for Michele Scarponi but it's also for the entire team who did a great job today." says Jakob.
The new general classification sees Jakob in 3rd position at 1:15 from race leader Richie Porte.
Upcoming Tour de France
Jakob and the whole Pro Team Astana went trough a very hard time with the big loss of their friend and team mate Michele Scarponi. On the Ardenne classic Liege - Bastogne - Liege, all thoughts were with the family of Michele. The riders were racing with Michele in their hearts, as they will do in the future. He will always be in their memory as the most amazing team mate and great friend.
After the Ardenne Classics, Jakob took a planned break off the bike to recover from the races but also from the emotional loss.
He is back in training and full in to preparing for the biggest goals of the season, the upcoming Critérium du Dauphiné as well as the Tour de France.
Soon he will leave for a long Altitude training camp on the popular Teide in Teneriffe where he will continue his preparation.
The shape is good and the preparation is running perfectly. Jakob will use the Critérium du Dauphiné as a preparation and will try to do a top result in General Classification in Tour de France.
Ardennes Classics 2017
The 52nd edition of the Amstel Goldrace has opened the traditional Ardennes Classics week in the Netherlands. The peloton passed 261km from Maastricht to Berg en Terblijd near Valkenburg. The race was impressively won by the Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert.
Astana Pro Team competed with Michael Valgren and Alexey Lutsenko as team leaders, and Jakob as road captain. Michael Valgren had done a great performance arriving 2nd at the Amstel Goldrace 2016. This year he attacked from the chasing group with a few km to go to try to get a top - 10 classification but he was caught back by the rivals and finished 35th inside a big group. Jakob did his job as a road captain and full filled his roles as a helper.
On Wednesday, April 19th, Astana Pro Team will continue the Ardennes Classic week with la Flèche Wallonne. Jakob will be team leader for that Classic and try to do a Top Classification.
Paris Nice 2017
The prestigious world tour race Paris Nice didn't start at its best for Jakob.
Unexpected high winds and stormy weather caused the peloton to break in many pieces on the 1st stage. Jakob was in the 2nd group with mainly all the other GC contenders until he was unlucky to have a flat tire in a bad moment. This cost him his ambitions for the General Classification of Paris Nice.
The following stages were marked by stormy weather and ended in Sprints. On stage 6 the peloton hit the first mountains with a steep but short finish in Fayence where Jakob finished 6th.
The tactic had changed and he now worked for a stage victory.
Stage 7 was the queens stage of Paris Nice with 3 mountains of category 1 and more than 4000 altitude meters of climbing. The stage finished for a first time on the 15km long col de la Couillole, the highest finish ever in Paris Nice. Jakob was very active and tried to attack several times of the final ascent, having a battle for victory with Richie Porte who ended up winning the stage. Jakob finished 6th on the queens stage.
Stage 8 led the riders over several mountains and the category 1 col d'èze before having the final finish in Nice. Jakob wanted to take his chance and attacked several times on col d'èze but the other contenders wouldn't let him get away.
" I am really happy with these three mountain stages here at the Paris-Nice. Think these stages showed I am where I have to be for now. That makes me happy and I am looking forward towards the Tour de France. To be there in front all three days with all the leaders is important for me, because it shows my stability in the mountains and also that I have legs to try something as well. I am pretty happy with my performance here in France. Now it is time for some recovery, because we had here some really hard stages. And later my next goal will be the Volta a Catalunya " - said Jakob.
He ended Paris-Nice 12th in GC and is hoping for more luck in the upcoming Volta Catalunya where he will give it a new try for GC.
Tour of Oman 2017
Jakob experienced a few good stages at this years Tour of Oman, arriving 3rd in stage 2 and 5th in stage 3.
Jakob was 3rd in GC until the decisive stage 5 finishing on the Green Mountain, where he still missed a bit to stay with the best.
" Of course i would have been happy to keep my 3rd spot in GC and finish it on the podium like last year but it doesn't always work the way you want. It's still early in the season and there are many important races to come. Now I'm back home preparing and training to make sure I'm ready for the upcoming races. "
Jakob's next race will be Paris - Nice.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Jakob moves to 6th Overall after the Queen's stage.
The mountain queen's stage of 180km ended with the hard 4km climb Camins de Penyaglosa and shook the general classification of the race.
Jakob did a strong first race of the season, finishing at 6th place in General classification.
" I am happy with the way I did this race and with the result I was able to obtain. The main thing for me was to check my level after all that work that has been done in winter. I can say that I am satisfied. I believe that I am on the right way in my preparation for
the main part of the season. I was able to ride strong on the final
steep climb of stage 4 after a long and exhausting day and this
proves i worked really well in winter. I still have some work to be
done in the next weeks, but in general everything is going as it was
planned. " says Jakob.
Jakob will now go back home for training and preparation for the
upcoming Tour of Oman.
New season - new sponsors - new goals
The start of the 2017 season is just around the corner. The world tour will kick off in Australia in a little week and Jakob is currently preparing the upcoming season in Calpe, Spain, where the team has its first camp of the year.
There has been a lot of changes in the team from 2016 to 2017. Not only has the team changed about 1/3 of the riders, but basically also all the material.
Astana pro team and Jakob will in 2017 ride on Argon18 bikes, with Giordana cycling clothes, Limar helmets and Sidi cycling shoes.
Jakob's provisorial race program until the Tour de France has been decided, he will start in Spain with the Vuelta Cyclist Comunidad Valenciana from 1st to 5th of February. The rest of his race program you can find under 'RACE PROGRAM'.
Jakob's main goal for the season 2017 will be the Tour de France where he will be the captain for Astana Pro Team.
Olympics Rio 2016
This year's Olympic road race took the riders over hard and challenging 240 kilometers trough Brazil. It was a race full of action with well deserved medal winners. " It was a super hard race, i gave it all and took the right decisions with the amazing help of my two team mates Christopher Juul Jensen and Chris Anker Sörensen. And the luck was on my side that day as well. I am super happy and proud for the silver medal for me and my country. " says the Olympic medallist.