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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Il Lombardia is Sunday

Il Lombardia, formerly know as the Giro di Lombardia, or Tour of Lombardy, is Sunday, October 5. I've got the startlist with rider numbers, race map and profile posted.

This note about Il Lombardia came from Lotto-Belisol:

The last one day race on WorldTour level is scheduled for this Sunday: the Giro di Lombardia. The autumn classic is often being rode in rainy conditions. Also this year’s edition seems to be a wet one. This race has the fitting nickname: the race of the falling leaves (la corsa delle foglie morte).

The Giro di Lombardia is the last monument among the classics. For some riders it’s a second chance for the missed opportunity in the world championships, a last chance to give (some more) colour to their season. The bucket list of favourites is more or less the same like the one in Ponferrada.

Lotto Belisol starts with a strong team. Tony Gallopin showed his good shape with a sixth place in Ponferrada, and with Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert we have got two strong one day riders. Sports director Bart Leysen is hopeful towards Sunday to have a good result.

Sports director Bart Leysen: “We’re going to Lombardy to get a good result. The route has changed again, the organisation chooses the route of a few years ago. The route in combination with the heavy weather conditions could make it hard race. Motivation is always an important factor in Lombardy. Some riders participate in this race just because their team has selected them, others are at the start with motivation. Those last will the riders striving for the victory. The riders that were good in Ponferrada, will be in the front on Sunday too.”

“In the first place we’ve got Tony Gallopin, who is strong in the harder one day races, which he proved in the Ponferrada. Also youngster Louis Vervaeke is willing to show himself. Tim Wellens should be good on this route too, although he had a though season. And Jelle Vanendert aims this year for the one day races, so Lombardy fits in that category.”

Race data:
Start: Como 10:25h
Finish: Bergamo: 17:07h
Distance: 254 kilometers
Winner 2013: Joaquin Rodriguez

Selection Lotto Belisol: Bart De Clercq, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke, Tim Wellens.

Pim Ligthart

Pim Ligthart at this year's Amstel Gold Race. Photo ©Sirotti

Tour de l'Eurométropole

The Tour de l'Eurométropole continues through Sunday, the 5th. As of this morning, Arnaud Demare is in the lead, having won two stages in a row.

This note from Team Belkin arrived this morning:

Belkin Pro Cycling team rider Theo Bos sprinted to third in the Eurometropole Tour stage two. The 171- kilometre stage to Newport was won by Arnaud Démare of team FDJ. The stage started furiously, the riders covering 50 kilometers in the first hour. 

"It was very hard in the beginning of the race,” said Sports Director Erik Dekker after the finish. “There was a large group ahead, but the team of Arnaud Démare closed the gap. Four kilometers from the Kemmel, it all came together. However, it remained restless. When FDJ kept riding in front it was obvious that a bunch sprint would follow." 

Along the way, bonus seconds were up for grabs, which should help decide the Eurometropole Tour overall. "Normally, I do not participate in intermediate sprints, but I did today and it worked out well," said Theo Bos in Middelkerke. "I like that game for seconds and it suits me. I grabbed the necessary seconds. In the last five kilometers, we rode in the lead. It was very hectic and there were a lot of crashes. Fortunately, we were not involved. The sprint train functioned very well today." 

Bos won four seconds in the intermediate sprints and by finishing third, he gained four more seconds for the GC. The gain of eight seconds means the sprinter Team Belkin will move up in the overall standings. 

"Every second counts. I was surprised that Theo went along sprinting in the intermediate sprints, but every second counts here," Erik Dekker continued. "Theo won a sprint and was again third and finished third in the stage so he takes eight seconds and moves up into third at the overall standings. The bonus seconds will play an important role also in tomorrow's stage." 

The Eurometropole Tour continues tomorrow with a 174-kilometre stage from Blankenberge to Middelkerke.

Theo Bos

Theo Bos wins stage three of this year's Tour of Poland. Photo ©Sirotti

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