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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Today's Racing

Wednesday will take the Tour de France into the high Alps.

Here's what the riders will face in stage 17:

Stage 17 profile

Stage 17 profile

The Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen (Women's Tour of Thuringia) continues. We're posting complete results for this week-long, important stage race.

And in Belgium the Grand Prix Cerami (1.1) will be run. I've got the start list with back numbers up. I'll get the results posted late morning or early afternoon (Pacific time).

Lovely blog post about Bill McGann

I just had the privilege of being interviewed about my life on bikes by Michael Lander, who runs a cycling blog out of Memphis, Tennessee.

If you are at all curious about the guy who writes most of the content of this site, you might find his blog post interesting, though Mr. Lander was far too kind to me. I am deeply appreciative of being able to participate in his site.

Here's the link to his site.

Bill with Mom and Trike

My first set of wheels, probably 1953. I was hooked. That's my lovely mother and our cat, Michelina.

Cult Energy will be at Tour of Denmark

This came from the team:

Tuesday 4th of August, Cult Energy Pro Cycling will participate in the 25th anniversary edition of Tour of Denmark - Post Danmark Rundt. The stage race contains four regular stages in mostly flat terrain, one hilly stage in and around Vejle and one individual time trial covering 13.6 kilometers.

Cult Energy Pro Cycling enter the race with following riders: Linus Gerdemann, Rasmus Guldhammer, Rasmus Quaade, Martin Mortensen, Michael Reihs, Mads Pedersen, Michael Carbel and Troels Vinther.

For 25-year-old, Rasmus Quaade, the time trial is an obvious goal to pursue and the Danish rider is looking forward to getting back into battle after a fairly disappointing first half of the season:

“Until now, the season hasn’t been kind to me. I’ve been struck by illness and I’ve had the feeling that bad luck has been on my tail throughout the entire spring campaign. After the Danish national championships, I finally parted waysQua with a virus that apparently was the root of my struggle and now I've been able to train properly, I've lost weight and I feel invigorated,” says Quaade.

Rasmus Quaade

Rasmus Quaade

The Danish time trial specialist finished 2nd in the national time trail championships and Quaade has now got his mind set on the Tour of Denmark time trial on August 7th:

“The course suits me perfectly. It’s a regular and flat course where I can really push some watts and it’s a better fit for me than the nationals. However, it’s a bit short. I prefer long, flat time trials where I can use my diesel engine over a longer period of time but naturally, I target the stage win. But honestly, I’m not solely in the race to target one stage. Hopefully, we have a rider in the top-10 and I will take the supporting role for our captain on the other stages. I really hope we'll do well as a team and I'm going to do whatever I can to make things work out the way we plan."

De Marchi, Gilbert return to racing Wednesday

BMC sent me this update:

Santa Rosa, California (USA) - Alessandro De Marchi makes his return to competition Wednesday at Grand Prix Cerami following extended rehabilitation from tendonitis in his left foot.

De Marchi will start the one-day race in Belgium after being sidelined for nearly four months. He last raced at Milan-San Remo on March 22.

"I had not imagined it would be so long," De Marchi said. "But after the first few weeks, I realized recovery would be very long. But the team has been very supportive and has never wanted to force my way back."

Winner of the combativity prize at last year's Tour de France, De Marchi said he has clear expectations for what is possible.

"The main goal of these early races will be to regain feeling with the race pace and to make sure that physically I still feel good and do not have relapses," he said.

Philippe Gilbert will also make a return to racing Wednesday. The double stage winner at the Giro d'Italia has recovered from a small, non-displaced fracture on his lower right leg.

Philippe Gilbert

Look out! Philippe Gilbert is back.

Also joining De Marchi and Gilbert for the 210.8-kilometer race is Loïc Vliegen, who will make his professional debut with the BMC Racing Team after competing for the BMC Development Team the past two seasons.

The rest of the BMC Racing Team's roster consists of Tour of Austria stage winner Rick Zabel, past Slovakian national time trial champion Peter Velits, Dylan Teuns, Jempy Drucker and Marcus Burghardt

Tinkoff-Saxo plans for Tour of Wallonie

Tinkoff-Saxo sent me this note:

Seven riders, coming off the back of a race break, represent Tinkoff-Saxo at Tour de Wallonie in the search for stage wins and a return to race rhythm. With the race taking place in the highly undulating terrain of the Ardennes, the stages present the puncheurs with opportunities to create a difference.

Tinkoff-Saxo is set to embark on this year’s five stage Tour de Wallonie from July 25th to 29th. Team sports director Lars Michaelsen tells that the squad aims to get back into race shape after a stint at the team’s altitude training camp in Livigno.

“It’s a race over five days, which suits the puncheurs of the peloton very well. The GC will probably come down to bonus seconds or time taken in a successful breakaway. I expect that we will see gaps and fragmentation in the bunch on several stages, as the terrain is demanding, which means that it’ll be crucial to stay well-positioned throughout the entire race. Our ambition is to get back into race shape with this squad, as the last races they did were the National Championships in June”, says Lars Michaelsen.

Tinkoff-Saxo lines up Matti Breschel, Pavel Brutt, Nikolay Trusov, Jay McCarthy, Chris Juul-Jensen, Michael Mørkøv and Juraj Sagan.

Pavel Brutt

Pavel Brutt will be on the start line at the Tour de Wallonie

“The guys have been a month away from racing, in the meantime they’ve trained at altitude to prepare for the second part of the season. They need to get back into rhythm, something that is especially important for Breschel, as he even had to skip the nationals. Many of the guys have to be ready for Tour of Denmark and other concurrent races. We are going to take it day by day but we hope to get a rider into the top ten of the GC, while we aim for a stage win”, adds Lars Michaelsen.

Tour de Wallonie consists of five stages in the hilly terrain known from the Ardennes Classics. According to Lars Michaelsen, the parcours will make for a challenging race.

“I think that the first stage will be very important, the profile looks like a saw blade and it will be vital to ride the race from the front. Chris Juul has shown strength and he could potentially do very well if he continues in the same manner as previously. Meanwhile we also have fast guys in the likes of Trusov and McCarthy. The third stage from Bastogne to Namur features an uphill finish on the cobbled roads up to the Citadel, where we’ve seen before that the strongest will do an all out effort to create a selection. The squad is motivated to race and it will be exciting to see how it all pans out”, finishes Lars Michaelsen.

Adam Hansen extends contract

Lotto-Soudal sent this update:

Lotto Soudal is building its team for 2016. Adam Hansen extended his contract with the team and will stay two more years. Hansen has been riding for the team since 2011 and the last years he proved to be a Grand Tour specialist. Since the Vuelta of 2011 he completed every Grand Tour. If he reaches the finish line in Paris safely on Sunday, he’ll equal the record of completing twelve consecutive Grand Tours.

Adam Hansen

Adam Hansen wins a stage at this year's Tour of Norway.

Manager Marc Sergeant: “We absolutely wanted to keep a valuable rider like Adam Hansen in the team. Of course other WorldTour teams would love to welcome someone like him, but Adam knows what to expect of our team and vice versa. There aren’t many better riders in the peloton with his profile. He’s useful to any other rider in the team, and now and then he can take a chance himself. That way he won a stage in Giro and Vuelta the past years; not many riders in the peloton can say that. We are very pleased he’ll stay with our team for the next years. His professionalism is fantastic and he’s an inspiration to all of us, everyone in the group likes him.”

Adam Hansen: “Of course I’m happy. Lotto Soudal shows lots of appreciation for what I do for the team and I feel very good here. I try to do as much as possible for the team and the other riders and I think everyone appreciates my role. And I want to keep on doing it the next years. The Grand Tours? Everyone knows the story. I just love doing it. Some guys prefer the classics, I feel good in the Grand Tours of three weeks. After my stage wins in the Giro and Vuelta a stage win in the Tour would be the top of the bill. But I still have a few years to achieve that.”

Leezer re-signs with LottoNL-Jumbo

Two more years for Leezer:

Tom Leezer extended his contract with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The multifunctional rider signed a new contract that keeps him with the team in 2016 and 2017.

“I’m feeling good in this team,” Tom Leezer said about his contract extension.
“I’m happy with my position in the squad and the cooperation with the other riders and the staff. Everything runs smoothly. “After the spring classics, I wanted to work on continuing our cooperation. They reacted quickly on my question. The team is satisfied and so am I. We all know what I’m capable of, so we made our decision quickly.”

“Tom is one of the mortars who hold the team together,” sports director, Nico Verhoeven said. “He is capable in every kind of race. He is useful in a grand tour and is good in the spring classics, as well. He isn’t a very visible rider, but he’s worth a lot for the team.”

Leezer is riding the Tour de France with Team LottoNL-Jumbo at the moment. In the first ten days, he drove at the front for his captains to ensure they reached the high mountains safely. "We’re doing a good job in the Tour,” he added. “Robert Gesink is riding a great Tour. The first ten days went very good for me, as well. I was able to help our front men those days. I crashed heavily afterwards, which affected my part in the team’s performance."

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary