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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. - Will Rogers

Current Racing:

UCI World Tour rankings, March 13

Individual riders:

Rank Prev. Rider Team (Code) Points
1 2 PORTE Richie BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 159
2 3 HENAO Sergio Luis TEAM SKY (SKY) 115
3 1 GERRANS Simon ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) 112
4 - THOMAS Geraint TEAM SKY (SKY) 104
5 - CONTADOR Alberto TINKOFF (TNK) 86
6 4 MCCARTHY Jay TINKOFF (TNK) 68
7 - ZAKARIN Ilnur TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) 66
8 5 WOODS Michael CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM (CPT) 54
9 - IZAGUIRRE Jon MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 51
10 6 FERNANDEZ Ruben MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 40
11 - YATES Simon ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) 31
12 7 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) 30
13 - GALLOPIN Tony LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 21
14 8 VALLS FERRI Rafael LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 21
15 - MATTHEWS Michael ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) 16
16 9 EWAN Caleb ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) 12
17 10 MORABITO Steve FDJ (FDJ) 11
18 - BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) 10
19 15 SWIFT Ben TEAM SKY (SKY) 8
20 11 RENSHAW Mark TEAM DIMENSION DATA (DDD) 8
21 - DEMARE Arnaud FDJ (FDJ) 7
22 14 BEVIN Patrick CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM (CPT) 6
23 - WELLENS Tim LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 6
24 - LUTSENKO Alexey ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) 6
25 - KRISTOFF Alexander TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) 6
26 12 DENNIS Rohan BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 6
27 13 ULISSI Diego LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM) 5
28 - FARIA Rui Alberto LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM) 4
29 - DUMOULIN Tom TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN (TGA) 4
30 - BONIFAZIO Niccolo TREK FACTORY RACING (TFS) 4
31 - THEUNS Edward TREK FACTORY RACING (TFS) 4
32 16 NIZZOLO Giacomo TREK FACTORY RACING (TFS) 4
33 18 WIPPERT Wouter CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM (CPT) 2
34 - GREIPEL André LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 2
35 17 BLYTHE Adam TINKOFF (TNK) 2
36 - HERRADA Jesus MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 1
37 21 WYSS Danilo BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 1
38 - VANMARCKE Sep TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ) 1
39 23 KUMP Marko LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM) 1
40 - CIMOLAI Davide LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM) 1
41 19 VAKOC Petr ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS) 1
42 20 TCATEVICH Aleksei TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) 1
43 22 HOWARD Leigh IAM CYCLING (IAM) 1

Team rankings:

1 3 TEAM SKY (SKY) 227
2 1 ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) 171
3 2 BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 166
4 4 TINKOFF (TNK) 156
5 6 MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 92
6 14 TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) 73
7 5 CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM (CPT) 62
8 8 LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 50
9 7 AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) 40
10 9 FDJ (FDJ) 18
11 12 TREK FACTORY RACING (TFS) 12
12 11 LAMPRE - MERIDA (LAM) 11
13 10 TEAM DIMENSION DATA (DDD) 8
14 - ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) 6
15 - TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN (TGA) 4
16 - TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ) 1
17 13 ETIXX - QUICK STEP (EQS) 1
18 15 IAM CYCLING (IAM) 1

Country rankings:

1 1 AUSTRALIA 367
2 3 SPAIN 199
3 7 GREAT BRITAIN 145
4 2 COLOMBIA 115
5 11 RUSSIA 67
6 4 CANADA 54
7 5 ITALY 44
8 - FRANCE 38
9 6 SWITZERLAND 12
10 - BELGIUM 11
11 8 NEW ZEALAND 6
12 - KAZAKHSTAN 6
13 - NORWAY 6
14 9 NETHERLANDS 6
15 - PORTUGAL 4
16 - GERMANY 2
17 12 SLOVENIA 1
18 10 CZECH REPUBLIC 1

Tirreno-Adriatico stage 6 team reports:

BMC's report was posted on the race page

This from Tinkoff:

Strong Sagan takes second in stage 6 at Tirreno-Adriatico 

Back on the road after the cancellation of stage 5, the World Champion, Peter Sagan, took second in stage 6 after controlling the latter part of the race. In a fast and flat stage, Peter took time from the GC contenders and added to his points total. The Maglia Rossa holder goes into the final time trial third in the GC, just 8 seconds down from the race leader.

After the cancellation of stage 5 due to weather, and the flat and fast route of today’s stage, Tirreno-Adriatico’s last road stage was set to be a thrilling race. The 210km course was flat for much of its length, with only one climb at the start before a few comparatively small and gentle climbs in the finishing circuit in Cepagatti, but with a final short, sharp incline to the finish.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan is the points classification leader

The race started with a breakaway of six riders, but the peloton, with Tinkoff in control, was confident they could pull them back. With 25km to go, as the race entered the final circuit in Cepagatti, the breakaway was caught and the race was on for the finish.

Sagan took the intermediate sprint at 23km, looking strong, with nobody in the rest of the peloton able to challenge him. A moment later, Peter went on the attack, with Bennati and Gatto in tow. Quickly creating a sizeable gap, the peloton tried to pull in the break, but with the bunch strung out, there was a strong chance the break would stick. With the peloton within touching distance, the breakaway went again.

On the team’s tactics today, Sport Director, Lars Michaelsen, was happy the break stayed away. “It was a big solid team effort – starting to pull from 60km to go, then coming up to the bonus sprint we put the pressure down and created the split. It's a bit against what normally happens - putting a bonus sprint in the last 25km and having a team drill through the bonus sprint and carry on.”

With the break safely away and the peloton with no chance of challenging for the finish, Oscar Gatto handed off to his team leader, who looked set to take the win with a strong sprint effort. With a long drag to the finish, Peter took second – narrowly missing the win.

On the stage’s outcome, Michaelsen was supportive of how the team worked together. “Today we were really riding to win the stage but we also wanted to defend the points jersey. I must give my compliments to the team – they executed the plan nearly to perfection but in some situations there's not a lot you can do. Today's display from the team was a true show of professional racing and we can be proud of that.”

After the race, Peter was pleased with his and the team’s performance. “It was a lot of work for my team today. I’m very happy with my ride for the intermediate sprint – we did well. Etixx-Quick Step tried to help us – they were working on the front a lot and also Michael Kwiatkowski was working well. For the final the group was behind us – I had to start to do my sprint and I tried to do my best. Thank you again to my team.”

Looking back at how the race unfolded, Daniele Bennati gave some insight into the final 25km. “We did a really good job, deciding to go for the bonus sprint and then go full gas. Etixx-Quick Step had the same idea as us so it was a good decision, but in the end we can be a bit disappointed with the result as Van Avermaet was fresher after.”

Asked about his form over the race, Sagan was confident the season was shaping up well. “These are the first races – I’m looking forward. I’m fully motivated. A race is a race and I want to be at the front and I want to do my best, for myself and for the team. I have to try, and I want to do my best. I wasn’t disappointed with second because we did a good ride and I was happy how the race went – we were in the final breakaway, I took some points, some seconds in front of the other GC riders, and that’s enough. I stepped up in the GC so it’s a good result.”

The road race is over – but tomorrow’s individual time trial may yet decide the race’s outcome. The 10.05km route in San Benedetto Del Tronto is pan flat and fast, taking place over an ‘out and back’ course. There is still the chance to take all-important seconds from the race leader.

The Maglia Rossa holder was already looking forward to the ITT. “We’ll see how it’s going tomorrow. Everything is possible and I’ll try to do my best.” With the race outcome still in the balance, Michaelsen was supportive of Peter’s chances in the time trial. “Peter has a lot of fuel in him now after today. We can't predict what will happen tomorrow but we'll go full gas.”

Here's the news from Lampre-Merida:

Federico Zurlo was once again one of the fighting protagonists of Tirreno-Adriatico.

The young tealented rider from Lampre-Merida, who had been already in the main breakaway of the 2nd stage of the Two Seas Race, attacked also in the 6th stage, which started from Castelraimondo and finished in Cepagatti (210 km).

Zurlo escaped from the bunch together with Vilela, Mihaylov, Pirazzi, Agnoli and Selvaggi after 10 km in the race, at the end of a long series of attack attempts: their advantage on the bunch was constantly on 5', but the peloton could control the attackers also thanks to the flat course.

The breakway was neutralized at 20 km to the arrival, just before the big of the overall classification battled for the bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint which corresponded with the first passage on the finish line in Cepagatti: 8 riders could escape from the peloton, no Lampre-Merida athletes were among the members of this little group.

At 10 km to go, Ulissi and Valverde tried to bridge the gap to the head of the race, but their attempt failed for few meters.

In the approach of the arrival, the breakaway was reduced to 4 members (Stybar, Van Avermaet, Sagan and Kwiatkowski): Van Avermaet obtained the victory and he became the new leader of the overall classification. The peloton reached the arrival 7" later and, in the sprint, Modolo obtained the 7th place.

Tirreno-Adriatio will end with 7th stage, 10 km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

"Our main goal for the first part of the race was the presence of one of our riders in the breakaway: we achieve this target thanks to Zurlo, however it is necessary to point out the fact that also Conti, Cattaneo and Niemiec tried several times to escape from the bunch in the early kilometers - sports director Maini explained - In the final part of the stage, Ulissi missed for few meters the reunification with the head group and it was a pity because he could have compete for an interesting result".

Lotto-Soudal rider injury update

The team sent sent this:

André Greipel abandoned Paris-Nice during the fifth stage. Greipel has a rib injury, which he incurred during a crash in the Volta ao Algarve. The German had too many troubles in the ‘Race to the Sun’, despite a third place in stage four. Further examinations and a scan in the hospital of Herentals concluded that he has three broken ribs which need further recovery and so Greipel won’t be able to race for at least ten days.

Marcel Sieberg was able to train well after his illness and he’ll participate in Nokere Koerse.

Jelle Wallays crashed during the Volta ao Algarve. He didn’t race last week so he could fully recover. He’ll also participate in Nokere Koerse.

Jens Debusschere suffers a rib injury, which he incurred during a crash in Strade Bianche. Debusschere is riding in Tirreno-Adriatico, there he’ll lay the further basis for the Spring Classics. He doesn't have too much pain anymore

Jens Debusschere

Jens Debusschere winning in 2015

Greg Henderson has a perineal injury and won’t be able to race the following weeks.

Stig Broeckx carefully started to train last week on his indoor training system after he was hit by a motor driver during Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. He had among other a fractured collarbone and a rib injury. During the coming week, Broeckx will try to train on the road again.

BMC headed to Nokere Koerse

BMC sent this release:

14, March 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will continue the Belgian racing season at Nokere Koerse this Wednesday, 16 March.

BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper, who will act as Sports Director, said the 199.5km one-day race is a chance for the younger riders to show their form. "We're bringing a young team to Nokere Koerse as it really is a race where anybody can make the most of a good opportunity. It's also a chance for these riders to gain more experience in Classics-style racing," Peiper said. 

Nokere Koerse will see Floris Gerts return to racing after fracturing his ribs at Le Samyn in early March. "I'm not going in with any real expectations but instead see this as a good chance to ease back into racing after my crash at Le Samyn. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and racing again."

Nokere Koerse (16 Mar), Rider Roster:  Tom Bohli (SUI), Floris Gerts (NED), Manuel Senni (ITA), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Loïc Vliegen (BEL), Rick Zabel (GER)

Sports Director: Allan Peiper (AUS)

Lotto-Soudal's & Liv-Plantur's upcoming races

This update came from the team:

RACE PREVIEW: MARCH 14 - 22 

MILANO-SANREMO (WT): The first of the 'monuments' falls this Saturday with the infamous one-day classic, Milano-Sanremo in Italy. The race route features the classic hills with the key points of the race being once again the Cipressa and the Poggio, before descending down into Sanremo after 291km of racing.

Unfortunately, the winner of last year's edition John Degenkolb will not take part as he is still recovering from the training accident in Spain.

Coach Marc Reef (NED) explained: "We have a strong line-up for Saturday with a few guys who are capable of handling the tough finale that Milano-Sanremo traditionally offers. We don't have the clear favorite for the victory and our goal will be to get the best possible result by keeping Simon and Tom [Dumoulin] well-protected for as long as possible."

RACE: Milano-Sanremo (WT)

DATE: 19/03/2016

COACH: Marc Reef (NED) 

LINE-UP: Nikias Arndt (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL)

TROFEO ALFREDO BINDA (WWT): Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Sunday is the third race of the Women's WorldTour. Floortje Mackaij (NED) currently holds the youth jersey after the Ronde van Drenthe race where both herself and Leah Kirchmann (CAN) finished in the top 10.

"Trofeo Alfredo Binda is a hard race with lots of climbs in the final part," said coach Dirk Reuling (NED). "There will be a strong field of riders competing in Italy since the race is part of the WorldTour series.

"We will focus on a good result with Leah and bring her as fresh as possible into the finale. Leah last weekend got the first victory for the team and we will be aiming for more success in the coming weeks. In Strade Bianche, she climbed already very well and if she can remain in contact with the first group we will be aiming for a sprint and with a slightly uphill finish, it can be to her advantage."  

RACE: Trofeo Alfredo Binda (WWT)

DATE: 20/03/2016

COACH: Dirk Reuling (NED) 

LINE-UP: Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Riejanne Markus (NED), Rozanne Slik (NED), Carlee Taylor (AUS), Molly Weaver (GBR)

VOLTA CICLISTA A CATALUNYA (WT): Team Giant-Alpecin heads to Spain next Monday for the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Over the seven road stages, there are opportunities for the sprinters, climbers and attacking opportunists and Team Giant-Alpecin will challenge on all fronts.

The week long WorldTour race will see Warren Barguil (FRA) return to racing for the first time since the accident and the team is very pleased to have him back in the line-up.

Coach Morten Bennekou (DEN) said: "We saw at Paris-Nice that Tom is heading into the right direction and he is showing a good level at the moment. If there is an opportunity in the general classification we will go for it, but without any immediate pressure.

"Warren had a good recovery period and he will carefully continue to build up his fitness level. For the sprint stages, we will try and set up Nikias in a good position to challenge for a stage result." 

RACE: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (WT)

DATE: 21-27/03/2016

COACH: Morten Bennekou (DEN) 

LINE-UP: Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Georg Preidler (AUT)

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