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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Sunday, October 5, 2014

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Theo Bos wins l’Eurometropole Stage Three

This came from Team Belkin:

Theo Bos won in the third stage of the Tour de l’Eurometropole today [Saturday] and gave the Belkin Pro Cycling team a farewell gift in the process [Bos will ride for Mtn-Qhubeka in 2015]. In his last race in the team’s green and black colours, he sprinted to victory in the 174-kilometer stage to Middelkerke.

“Super cool! I’m very happy,” Bos said. “During the sprint, I felt I was at the top of my game. I saw two wheels approaching in the end, but fortunately I was able to keep my lead. “I really wanted to do well here. I worked hard to be good, which is, at the end of the season, tough mentally. That’s what makes me extra happy.”

A group of five led the race for a long time, but in the final ten kilometres the attackers were brought to a halt, after which Bos bossed the competition in a mass sprint. His team-mates shared in the festivities afterwards and received compliments.

“Dennis van Winden and Graeme Brown supported me superbly. Dennis dropped me off at the front with one kilometre to go and Graeme put me in an excellent position. After the pack narrowed down to a long line, I was able to focus, wait and jump.

“This is a nice farewell gift. We’re going to celebrate this with the team tonight.”

The focus will quickly shift to Sunday, though. The peloton faces the traditional final stage that runs from Mons to Tournai. After a short run-up, the riders will race eight laps, each one with a climb.

“Our tactic is clear,” said Sports Director Erik Dekker. “We want Theo to remain in the first group so that he can do another good sprint. In the past two years, he has been able to keep up with the first group. We will see what this year will bring.”

Theo Bos

Theo Bos after the 2014 Tour of Poland stage three. Photo ©Sirotti

André Greipel Done for Season

This release came from Greipel's Lotto-Belisol press office:

With sixteen victories and with a provisional lead in number of international wins, André Greipel has ended his season. His season ended yesterday with a victory in the Münsterland Giro [not covered by BikeRaceInfo]. After a few weeks of vacation he will focus on 2015, starting in November. In the 2015 season he wants to do better.

On the German National Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), the German national champion defeated compatriot John Degenkolb and Tom Van Asbroeck in a bunch sprint. The first part of the race was given colour by five riders: Koch, Loef, Buchmann, Oomen and Janorschke chose to breakaway and got an advantage of seven minutes at its peak. The teams of the favourites kept the gap down and everything came together at about 60 kilometers from the finish line. Few moments later there was an attempt from eleven riders, among them Tosh Van der Sande, but also that breakaway didn’t last until the finish line. In a breathtaking sprint André Greipel showed himself a few inches better then John Degenkolb.

André Greipel: “Several teams counted on the sprint. Because we had a rider in each breakaway, we had control over the race. At the end of the race we took our responsibility. I went pretty early, about 250 meters from the finish line, but I could beat Degenkolb. For outsiders I seemed to be close, but in the end the difference was a wheel.”

“Thanks to the good weather there were al lot people along road. Münster has always been the most cycling loving region in Germany and in that way it’s propaganda for the German cycling. Christian Prudhomme was there to represent ASO and looked for possibilities concerning a potential start of the Tour.”

“Those 16 wins are nice and it’s great to be leader of the victory ranking, but if I had the choice I would exchange six to eight wins with one or two in Tour with pleasure.  It’s true that I won a lot of Europe Tour races and a little less in the WorldTour. I try to give it my best where ever I may start for myself and for the team, although I’d like to do better next season.”

“For myself the Münsterland Giro was the last race of the season. I will take some weeks of rest now to recover and to enjoy my family. Starting from the first of November I will focus on 2015.”

Andre Greipel wins 2014 Tour de France stage 6

André Greipel wins 2014 Tour de France stage 6. Photo ©Sirotti

Alberto Contador on Il Lombardia

As I'm assembling this page, Il Lombardia is about half raced. I left in the shameless Specialized plug.

Here's the release from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Tinkoff-Saxo’s captain Alberto Contador is ready for Sunday's Giro di Lombardia. The 254-kilometer race, labeled by the locals as the “Race of the Falling Leaves”, is the final classic of the season and one of the last opportunities to gain World Tour points. Much is at stake, since Alberto Contador currently leads the World Tour, 14 points ahead of Valverde, who will also be at the start in Como.

“My morale is high, but it’s true that I didn’t have the best feeling during Milano-Torino, probably because it was a one-day race and I hadn’t been racing since the Vuelta. Tomorrow I’ll start the race with the ambition of doing my absolute best and we’ll see what happens”, commented the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo.

In Milano-Torino you used the Specialized Tarmac commemorating your victory at the Vuelta and tomorrow you’ll be using it again. Do you like the design?

“I like it very much. You must see it in person to fully appreciate it as well as the design. The more you look at it, the more you like it. It motivates me to ride together with good memories and I hope it can bring me luck during Lombardia and the Tour of Beijing”.

It's the first of the final two races awarding points for the World Tour. Does that motivate you even more? “I’m currently first on the rankings and I would like to finish on the top spot this year, but it wasn’t a goal that I had at the beginning of the year. It has come as a result of a great season, but I’ve gained my points in races that have suited me, while the final two races don’t suit me just as much. I'll give my best and enjoy the races, both in Lombardy and in China, and then I'll take a vacation, which I really need”.

The final part of the race has changed from previous years. Have you had a chance to look at the finish? “The parcours for the Giro di Lombardia is near my home. I went to see the last 100 kilometers. Although the overall race could be harder than the last two years, I believe the last climb to Bergamo is too short and not demanding enough to suit me really well”.

What expectations do you have for tomorrow? “Everything can happen. It’s a 254-kilometer race and you never know, since it’s late in the season and it depends more on current race shape than who the favorites are normally. We have to be attentive to the movements in the race and once we get to the end, we’ll see how much power there’s left. It will be important to look for the right moment to make a move, and if the opportunity arises, we have to seize it”.

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador at this year's Milano-Torino. Photo ©Sirotti

Ag2r Riders for Late Season Italian Races

The Coppa Sabatini, the Giro dell’Emilia and the Gran Premio Beghelli will take place respectively on 9th, 11th and 12th October.

The team roster of the Ag2r-La Mondiale Pro Cycling Team for these competitions:

Directeur sportif: Laurent BIONDI

Domenico Pozzovivo

Domenico Pozzovivo races the 2014 Giro's hilly stage 19. Photo ©Sirotti

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