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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, February 4, 2016

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

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. - Denis Waitley

Racing today:

John Degenkolb will miss the Spring Classics

Well pooo! Giant-Alpecin rider John Degenkolb, who was part of the big training camp crash in Spain when the team was hit by a wrong-way driver, will not be ready to race the Spring Classics. Healing will take longer than originally thought.

Degenkolb had a remarkable 2015 spring. The German rider won both Milano-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix.

John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb wins Paris-Roubaix in 2015

Here's a machine translation of his Facebook posting (I should have paid more attention in Mr. Kamp's German classes, sorry):

It's coming. The healing process is running fortunately and as expected, very well. The cut on your thigh is already largely to again. And yesterday I was sitting already the first time on the role, in order to get the circulation going.

The damaged finger is the most serious injury, the healing must for several weeks. But the wound care is here in Hamburg at a very high level. And What Rehab And Physiotherapy Treatment is concerned, there is nothing here. I am really very happy with the service.

Nevertheless, the consequence is that I am not very likely in the classics will make the start. The injuries would me from the current viewpoint, though not fundamentally to prevent a start. But through the trainings failure I wouldn't be on the level, on the competitive I usually move. My ambition, and who knows, know that I only want to be there again, if I could have a top-placing race this season. So I take advantage of the time my dear, all the injuries to let completely heal.

Your Dege

Garfoot takes the solo win on stage two of Ladies Tour Of Qatar

This report came to me from Orica-AIS:

Santos Women’s Tour champion Katrin Garfoot has attacked emphatically with a little over one kilometre to go on stage two of the Ladies Tour Of Qatar to take a solo victory in fine style in the Middle East today. Garfoot held off the chasing field for a 13 second victory ahead of Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) and Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5), continuing the incredible start to the season for ORICA-AIS and giving the team it’s tenth win so far this year.

Katrin Garfoot

Katrin Garfoot at the 2014 World Championships

“I’m pretty stoked to take the win today – after a windy and quite stressful stage,” explained a happy Garfoot. “With 25km to go I made it into a group of about eleven riders where Gracie (Elvin) was and we managed to work well together taking turns. It broke up with about six kilometres to go and I managed to stay at the front as it dropped to about four riders. “

“I kept going and turned around with maybe two kilometres left and couldn’t believe I was alone.”

Sports director Martin Barras reaffirmed the positivity. “It was a stunning ride from Katrin today, being able to back up the good work from the team and doing it from the front is excellent.” Barras said. “Taking the win and the lead in the general classification is a great reward for the hard work we put in today.”

“We still have some good cards to play here, like Gracie who was excellent today and with aggression being the best form of defense we hope to continue riding well to maintain our lead.”

How it happened: An overcast and windy start to the second stage saw a slower tempo over the first 30km than day one with an early breakaway attempt caught as the first intermediate sprint approached.

As the headwind became a crosswind towards the halfway point a second group of riders broke away including two time Australian road race champion Gracie Elvin, who worked tirelessly today. As the group passed the 60km mark the gap had increased to two minutes and thirty seconds. Meanwhile at the back of the peloton a puncture for stage one winner Kirsten Wild left the general classification wide open.

With the wind changing direction without ever letting up the time gap of the breakaway began to decrease as the second intermediate sprint loomed on the horizon. Elvin used the momentum from the breakaway to take third place in the sprint behind the experienced Shelley Olds.

With 40km to go a large breakaway group got clear and the pace went up a notch or two as the riders displayed excellent technical ability when battling the aggressive crosswinds. The group split in two in the final kilometres which led to the first attack by Garfoot who was followed by Elisa Lamborghini (Wiggle Honda). The move didn’t hold but the pace remained high approaching the finish.

Garfoot attacked again from a group of four riders with a little over two kilometres to go and using her formidable time trial skills powered away to the stage victory and the overall lead in the general classification. With two more stages to go ORICA-AIS now have two riders in the general classification top ten with Garfoot leading the race by 17seconds and Elvin in sixth position.Tomorrow’s third stage from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal stands at 112km and the team will be hoping for more of the same as they prepare to defend the gold jersey.

Ladies Tour Of Qatar – Stage 2 Results:
1. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-AIS) 3:07:13
2. Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) 0:00:13
3. Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5)

Ladies Tour Of Qatar – GC after Stage 2:
1. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-AIS) 5:26:07
2. Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) 0:00:17
3. Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5)

Lampre-Merida reports on the Dubai Tour

The team sent me this note:

LAMPRE-MERIDA began its participation in the third edition of the Dubai Tour, obtaining a place in the top 5 thanks to Sacha Modolo, who was 4th in the final massive sprint.

Marcel kittel wins Dubai stage 1

Marcel Kittel wins Dubai stage 1

The stage started in Dubai and the bunch reached the Indian Ocean coast in Fujairah after 173 km, covering flat roads which were interrupted only by the mild hills of Haijar Mountains at 20 km to the arrival. The arrival was at the end of the second lap of a 6.6 km final circuit.

After about 25 km the race was characterized by many attacks and several breakaway attempts, finally 6 riders (Vliegen, Mortensen, Planet, Haddi, Soler and Rubio) succeeded to escape from the bunch and they reached a top advantage of 4'.

The chase of the peloton became strong in the last 30 km, thanks to the efforts of the Dimension Data of Cavendish, which neutralized the breakaway at 12 km to go, opening the battle for the final massive sprint in Fujairah.

On the long straights of the final circuit, Ferrari led out Modolo, who could enter in the last kilometer just behind the head of the bunch: the Italian sprinter raised the speed at 400 mt to go in order to jump on Cavendish's wheel and then he sprinted, obtaining 4th place, being preceded by the winner Kittel, by Cavendish (2nd) and by Nizzolo (3rd).

"Modolo spent a good winter and he performed proper trainings: we received the confirmation in today stage, since Sacha obtained a good result at his first seasonal competition and against top sprinters - sport director Marzano explained - In the first part of the stage we tried to attack, especially Feng, but the speed of the peloton was too high, near 50 km/h. Tomorrow Modolo will have another chance and it will be interesting to see if he'll be even stronger than today".

Modolo is satisfied, even if he'd like to do better: "At 400 meters to go, I made a first sprint to follow Cavendish's wheel, but we still were a little bit to far from Kittel: when Marcel started the sprint, his advantage was too large and he deserved the victory.

"My progression was good, I had good feelings and my legs had enough power.
These are interesting feedbacks in view of the next races."

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