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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, October 23, 2016

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Recently completed racing:

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Abu Dhabi stage three team reports

Here's Tinkoff's news:

Despite coming into the race unsure of how his form would be, Alberto Contador still managed to race to an impressive fifth place atop the final mountain climb to the line. Jesper Hansen also put in a strong performance, finishing just a few places behind in 10th.

As expected the stage came down to the final climb, with the GC probably being decided too, but the riders had to endure more searing temperatures as well as crosswinds during the stage.

Alberto told us after the stage: “I enjoyed the race today, and I’ve enjoyed these days in this country. The feeling in the legs wasn’t too bad, but I think I lacked a bit of high tempo to the guys in front, but ok, I’m happy, was at the front and it was a good day for the team. Tomorrow is the last day then after this race I can enjoy the off season.”

The race got underway to a fast start and a break of four riders eventually got clear to set the situation at the front of the race. It wasn’t a straight forward race to the bottom of the climb, however, as crosswinds cut into the peloton and split the race into three groups.

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador finishes stage 2. Sirotti photo

The only rider to miss the front group from Tinkoff was Juraj Sagan, who was caught out when back in the cars getting bidons for his teammates. The front two groups eventually came back together but a fast pace was set to the bottom of the climb.

Once the climb had started, the front group soon thinned down and a selection was made with Alberto in a chase group of four behind three individuals. Alberto finished strongly after which Jesper came over the line just over half a minute behind Alberto’s group.

Sport Director Tristan Hoffman added: “The guys did a good race today and Alberto and Jesper rode a strong climb. One moment there was some crosswind and they were at the front, with only Juraj being caught out when getting bidons. But all the other guys were in the front looking after Alberto and Jesper.

“It was full gas to the bottom of the climb with different teams always putting pressure on and then it was a tough climb to the finish."

Tomorrow’s final stage will see an impressive circuit race around the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit, most likely another sprint opportunity for the fast men.

And here's what Lampre-Merida had to say about the Abu Dhabi third stage:

It was climbers' time in the 3rd stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour and Diego Ulissi succeeded in being protagonist among the pure climbers, obtaining the 4th place behind the winner Kangert, Roche (2nd), Debesay (3rd) and preceeding the starts of the great tours Contador (5th) and Nibali (6th).

After two days which had been suitable for the sprinters, the climbers battled in the only one summit arrival of the race, which was on the top of the Jabel Hafeet ascent, 150 km after the start from Al Ain.

The road was completely flat until the approach of the final climb, 10,8 km of ascent with average degree of 5,4% and maximum degree of 11%. A four-rider breakaway (members were Sahlunov, Van Avermaet, O'Loughling and Coledan) led the race until 32 km to the arrival, then Van Avermaet tried a new attack with Lobato and Ventoso, but their action was neutralized in the first part of the final climb.

Verona was the first climber to try an attack on the ascent and he caused the reaction by Ulissi, who was soon followed by Kangert and Roche. Lampre-Merida's rider (whose performance data were brodcasted live on Velon's website) and the Spanish athlete were joined by Bernard, Anacona, Debesay, Pearson, Nibali, Contador and Hansen, while Kangert and Roche succeded in increasing their advantage and they battled for the success: Kangert obtained the victory. Ulissi reached the arrival together with Debesay, who was 3rd, with a gap of 33" to the winner and of 16" to the second place of Roche.

Debesey and Ulissi

Mekseb Debesay finishes third and Ulissi fourth in today's stage. Sirotti photo

Ulissi, who's 3rd in the general classification, at 43" to Kangert and 22" to Roche, commented: "I'm satisfied with the 4th place, especially because I competed at the same level of pure climbers. When we approached the final ascent, I tried to select the group in order to reduce the number of the members, then I set a regular pace which allowed me to be close to obtaining the third place.
I'm happy I'm on the virtual podium of the general classification, I'll be very satisfied if I 'd manage to confirm it also at the end of the final stage".

Wilier-Triestina's Tour of Hainan stage one report:

22/10/2016: The adventure of Wilier Triestina – Southeast in China at the Tour of Hainan starts with the smile of Rafael Andriato.

The Brazilian rider was able to claim the at the sprint the 14th win in this 2016 in a technical final that was made hard by some short climbs and by a lot of turns in the last 3 kms.

Yonder Godoy, Mirko Tedeschi, Giuseppe Fonzi and Cristian Raileanu were a perfect help for their team mate in the last kms and the Jellow Jersey that Andriato will wear tomorrow is a well deserved prize for their job.

Andriato

Rafael Andriato wins the Hainan Tour's first stage

The only bad new is the abandon of Andrea Fedi that was forced to quit after 30 kms because of the exacerbation of the pain in his knee that stopped him for the central part of his season.

Tomorrow the 2nd stage from Xinglong to Haikou will be 230 kms long with a climb at the half of the stage that should avoid another mass sprint.

LottoNL-Jumbo will ride Bianchi in 2017

The team sent me this press release:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo will ride Italy's famous Bianchi bicycles again in 2017. Bianchi will supply the Dutch World Tour Team with four high-end models from the Bianchi Countervail family to provide specific advantages and maximum performance under the various racing conditions: Oltre XR4, Specialissima, Infinito CV and TT Aquila CV.

Bianchi has continued its investment in the World Tour cycling scene by renewing its sponsorship deal with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. In 2017, Dylan Groenewegen already won the Dutch Championship and several sprints on this new bike. In the time trials they will use the CV Aquila, in the cobbled classics the Infinito CV and if the road goes uphill, the ultra-light Specialissima.

"In recent years, we've had a strategic cooperation with Bianchi and the team, especially in the time trials," said General Manager Richard Plugge. "This resulted in two national titles in the time trial, a victory in the Giro and a fifth place in the team time trial at the world championship. We can now structurally compete for top positions in the time trials."

"The climbers' bike Specialissima was used by Steven Kruijswijk during various stages of the Giro. In the last months of the season, the riders were provided with the new Oltre XR4. Robert Gesink won the queen stage in the Vuelta at the Oltre XR4. Together we continue to constantly innovate to take steps in our development.”

"The extension of our relationship with Team LottoNL-Jumbo is the result of our positive experience with their riders and performance staff over the past years: the feedback from the team has greatly contributed to the consistent improvement in our CV models’ performance. We are proud and happy to continue collaborating with them, and to test and further develop our current and new racing products" - Bianchi CEO Bob Ippolito

Four Countervail Bikes: Developed to outperform

Bianchi is one of the few companies in the world capable of supplying its World Tour team with four different carbon racing models, all of them featuring Bianchi's exclusive Countervail® vibration-cancelling technology. Countervail viscoelastic material cancels 80% of road vibrations, leading to maximized control, reduced muscular fatigue and increased rigidity and peak power over long distances.

The Countervail technology was applied to LottoNL-Jumbo’s Bianchi models in various ways to provide specific advantages for different racing conditions:

- Oltre XR4: a top-of-the-line aero bike, it’s designed for maximum aerodynamic advantage and control at high speeds;
- Specialissima: the ultralight frame for GC riders, it’s extra stiff for increased traction and stability at high speeds, and maximum control on the descents
- Infinito CV: the ideal bike for the Classics, it provides remarkable control on uneven surfaces and reduces muscular fatigue;
- Aquila CV: the ultimate time trial machine, it’s designed to increase power output and rider's energy, with maximum control with each pedal stroke

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