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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 14, 2016

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Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. - John Dewey

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Arctic Race of Norway

Here's the organizer's telling of the third stage's racing:

Full Arctic Race of Norway results are here

Italian prodigy Gianni Moscon of Team Sky made history at Korgfjellet as he rode away from the leading group before the 1-km to go mark to claim his first pro win at the age of 22. With one stage to go in the Arctic Race of Norway, he took over from his team-mate Danny van Poppel to lead the overall ranking with fifteen seconds over Stef Clement from IAM Cycling.

Gianni Moscon

Gianni Moscon wins Arctic Race of Norway stage 3

126 riders started stage 3 in Nesna. Alex Kirsch (Stölting) was the only non-starter but salmon jersey holder Kevin van Melsen who led the King of the Mountains competition after yesterday's breakaway abandoned at km 8 due to sickness (38.5° fever). 20 riders composed an early breakaway, including Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Daniel Oss (BMC), Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Marco Marcato (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) and Sebastian Henao (Sky) but the race situation didn't please Katusha. The Russian team brought them back just before the first intermediate sprint at Utskarpen (km 27.5) where Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) outsprinted race leader Danny van Poppel (Sky) and Youcef Reguigui (Dimension Data).

Four riders went away at km 30: Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling), Matt Brammeier (Dimension Data), Steele von Hoff (One Pro Cycling) and once again Oss who initiated that move. They got a maximum advantage of 2.30 ten kilometers further. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Joker Byggtorget) and Fridtjof Røinås (Sparebanken Sør) tried to bridge the gap but were reeled in with 26km to go while the deficit of the peloton was down to 1.30 with Team Sky and Katusha very active at the front of the bunch.

Right at the beginning of the 8.9km long final climb, Brammeier and Von Hoff got dropped. Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Bjorn Tore Hoem (Joker- Byggtorget) were first to rejoin Howard and Oss with 6km to go. Henao was on the move again 4km before the top. It wasn't steep enough for him to climb like Colombians often do so another Team Sky rider, Norway's Lars-Petter Nordhaug, tried his luck with 3km to go but the decisive move happened while there were 2km remaining as Stef Clement (IAM Cycling), Hoem and Henao got a gap for themselves. Gianni Moscon (Sky) went across and rode away solo with a little more than 1km to go. Like at the very beginning of the race, Gatto and Henao fought for podium places whereas Norwegian up and coming rider Odd Christian Eiking of FDJ, also 22 year old, crossed the line in fifth position. As well as the queen stage, Moscon won the special price of the day: 500 kg of whole salmon – given by Polar Quality. A versatile rider, the u23 Italian champion for road racing last year is tipped as one of the most interesting prospect worldwide. His first pro victory will be remembered.

Gianni Moscon declared: “When you pass the line to win your first pro race, it's an incredible feeling. I'm very happy for this win. I wanted to win today. I knew I have a good shape at the moment. This victory is good for the morale and for the last part of the season. It's the fruit of a great team work today. We chased the breakaway with Katusha. We went full gas on the first climbs. At the end I felt very good. To lead the Arctic Race of Norway is very nice. We've been through beautiful landscapes. It's my first time in Norway but I'll come again. It's a really nice country. It's an important race, very well organized with a lot of big teams taking part. I didn't think about the 500kg of salmon when I was racing but it's a very nice gift. I'm still searching this season what type of rider I am. I think I'm a good rouleur and climber but I don't know exactly which are my favourite courses. Every race I go to, I give my best. I've had this mentality since I started cycling and I want to continue this way.”

Tinkoff and BMC head to the Tour du Limousin

Here's Tinkoff's Limousin release:

Returning to race in France for the first time since securing the second King of the Mountains jersey of his career at the Tour de France, Rafal Majka heads the eight-rider Tinkoff line-up at the four-day Tour du Limousin that's focused on stage results. Tinkoff's three stagiaires from Hopplà-Petroli Firenze will also get their first opportunity to demonstrate their potential in an actual race environment.

Rafal comes to the race having put in a superb ride at the Rio Olympic road race where he took the bronze medal, and will test his legs alongside a team that will look to take their opportunities for the breakaways and stage finishes.

Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka after the Olympic Men's Road Race

All three of Tinkoff’s new stagiaires will line up at the race, with Davide Ballerini, Lorenzo Fortunato and Andrea Montagnoli starting their first race for the WorldTour team. They will be joined by the Russian duo of Pavel Brutt and Evgeny Petrov, together with fast-finishers Erik Baška and Jay McCarthy, the latter coming to the tour from the Arctic Race of Norway.

“The first goal here will be to go for a stage win and then for Rafa we will see how he feels as he’s had a heavy season and a long travel from Rio to come here,” explained Sport Director Tristan Hoffman. “The first two stages look good for Erik and then the last two more for Jay, but we will see how the race develops – everyday there’s a lot of altitude gain, but no big climbs.”

The race gets underway in the department of Haute-Vienne, with a rolling stage that suits a sprint finish. The following three stages suit the puncheurs and fast finishers, with an uphill to the line on stage 3 that could break things up in regards the general classification.

Hoffman continues: “The first two stages have quite flat finishes and then the last two there are small climbs in the last kilometres. It’s a good race for the young guys to go in the breakaways and it’s a hard race to control. Everybody can take his opportunity, and if you’re in the break you can get yourself into a GC situation.

“For the stagiaires it’s a great experience for them to see how we do races like this. They’re joining one of the biggest teams in the world, and it’s also nice for them to race with Rafa too. We’ll give them a warm welcome to the team and they’ll get their chances, and then when it comes to the sprints everyone will support Erik and then Jay for the harder finishes.”

And here's BMC's Limousin news:

13 August 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will be looking for stage wins in France next week when an eight-rider squad lines up at the Tour de Limousin.

Sports Director Jackson Stewart is confident in the form of the riders heading to the four-day stage race. "We will be going into the Tour de Limousin looking for stage wins and from there we will see how the General Classification develops, but I definitely think that we will be able to make a mark and be super competitive with the riders we are taking to the race."

"Alessandro de Marchi should be in great form as he makes his return from Rio plus we will be lining up with many of the same riders form our Tour of Utah squad who showed strong form as well," Stewart said.

Alessandro de Marchi

Alessandro de Marchi

Alessandro de Marchi is looking forward to lining up once again with BMC Racing Team after racing in Rio. "I'm coming out of the Rio road race feeling really happy and positive. I will see how I have recovered from my trip to Rio but my first goal is going to be to enjoy this race from the first to the last day. I am definitely feeling motivated and I am looking to put in some good performances. We have lots of options for stage wins with the team we are taking so I think it will be a great four days of racing," de Marchi added.

Tour de Limousin (16 - 19 August), Rider roster: Tom Bohli (SUI), Alessandro de Marchi (ITA), Taylor Eisenhart (USA), Fabian Lienhard (SUI), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Manuel Senni (ITA), Peter Velits (SVK), Rick Zabel (GER)

Sports Director: Jackson Stewart (USA)

Jos van Emden extends with LottoNL-Jumbo

The team sent me this update:

Jos van Emden extended his contract with Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo for two more years, through 2018. The experienced and still ambitious Dutchman has the support he needs and gives it back to his team-mates. The team say that “he’s key.”

Jos van Emden

Jos van Emden

“I feel great in this team,” Van Emden said. “It’s a comfortable atmosphere and everyone works together very well. It’s a plus I’m familiar with everyone. The riders and the staff know that they can approach me with questions. And already for a long time, I’m working together with a lot of boys in the team. It ensures that we’re able to reach our highest levels in the races. We’re willing to sacrifice for each other. Besides that, I still have a many ambitions in the time trials, and the team supports me perfectly with those via staff and materials.”

“Jos is a key rider in our team,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven added. “He is important in the classic races and in the grand tours, as well. He is able to win himself, too. He proved that in the Eneco Tour and the Ster ZLM Toer already. We’re happy with him signing a new two-years-contract.”

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