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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, April 13, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world - John Muir

Current racing

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


De Brabantse Pijl team reports

Here's BMC's:

Silvan Dillier showed he is on track for the Ardennes Classics with an aggressive display of racing that culminated with eighth place at De Brabantse Pijl. The 197km race, which is seen as a bridging race between the cobbled Classics and the Ardennes, saw the peloton tackle 29 climbs and multiple groups go clear.

Breakaway attempts started soon after the flag dropped at kilometer 0 and eventually five riders went clear, with the peloton sitting up and allowing the group to extend an advantage of more than five minutes.

The pace in the bunch remained steady until the chase started to heat up with 100km to go and 45km later, the breakaway was in their sights. A small group of riders attacked from the bunch and bridged to the breakaway and behind, Dillier was joined with three other riders in pursuit.

The two groups came together with 40km to go to create a 13-rider breakaway.

Dillier’s advantage held around the 20-second mark and with attack after attack playing out on the Schavei, Haggard and Hertstraat climbs, the then-10 rider move was able to stay clear. Despite hitting something on the road which caused his saddle to slip down, Dillier fought on in his new saddle position to stay with the group.

Defending champion Peter Vakoc (Quickstep-Floors) and Tiejs Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) attacked from the peloton and bridged to the breakaway as the approached the Schavei climb for the final time with 1km to go.

Dillier battled to stay with the group and crossed the line in eighth place behind winner Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).

Sonny Colbrelli

Sonny Colbrelli wins the race

Silvan Dillier: “I’m super happy with my form. With around 5km to go, I hit something. I don’t know exactly but we went over some cobbles but I hit a hole and my saddle slipped down. With this new position I started to cramp so my sprint was messed up because my legs were exploding.”

“It’s always hard on this kind of loop. When I did it the first time, Ben Hermans won it from a small group after an early move. So I thought it was important to hit the circuit in a good position and wait a couple of climbs until the selection is made. All of a sudden the late move went with two laps to go and that’s why I forced the speed in the front and attacked over the climb after the finish line.”

“I was in a group with guys who had teammates up the front and they didn’t want to work with me. So, I had to wait until the next cobbled climb as I knew if I kept the pace high enough I could bridge over the cobbles. That’s what happened and then the race was open again for BMC Racing Team and me. It’s a shame that I wasn’t able to do my sprint properly.”

“I’ve had good shape for the last four or five weeks and I’m looking ahead now to Amstel Gold Race. For sure, the goal is to not hide, nor be conservative until you get dropped. The goal is to be aggressive and try to attack, to make the race hard, to be in front. It’s also much more fun to decide what is going on in the race, rather than reacting to other’s moves.”

Jackson Stewart, Sports Director: “It wasn’t a bad day for us today. The plan was to have Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny and Manuel Senni on the look out for early breaks today, and the other five guys to watch the middle section of the race because in this race it can often explode there. Silvan Dillier was one of those guys and then we also had Ben Hermans and Dylan Teuns for the final part of the race. We got caught a bit off guard when the big group formed with 40km to go but Silvan was able to bridge to them and show something.”

“It’s a race that reshuffles a lot but if you get the right combination of riders it can stick. There were a few teams with a couple of riders, and Silvan also did some great work, but we weren’t sure if it would stay away. So, I had some of the guys ready to move from the bunch if it came back together. We had all of our bases covered as you can’t predict this race. The group ended up staying away and Silvan Dillier was in a great position in the final 10km but his seat slipped with about 5km to go and he started to cramp because it was too low. I think this may have cost him a spot on the podium as Silvan has a good sprint for that kind of finale. But, in the end we can take positives from today as a lot of our guys showed they are in good shape.”

And here's Team Quick-Step Floors race report:

Petr Vakoč finished in the top three at Brabantse Pijl for the second year running. After winning the demanding Belgian race last season, the Czech sprinted from a small group at the top of the Schavei climb, notching his first podium of the year.

Petr, who lined out at the start in Leuven with bib number one on his back, was attentive throughout the 200.5km-long race, which had in the spotlight a strong move, containing Quick-Step Floors teammates Laurens De Plus and Dries Devenyns, which took off inside the last 50 kilometers just as the pack was on the breakers' heels.

The peloton chased the group once it snapped the elastic, but they couldn't close the gap despite bringing it down to 12 seconds on the final lap, with around 15 kilometers left. It looked like the riders up the road will contest the victory, but an attack launched by Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) over the top of the race's penultimate hill led to a response of Petr Vakoč, who jumped from the bunch and joined the Belgian in pursuit of the leaders.

Podium

The race podium, that's Vakoc on the left with winner Colbrelli and third-place Tiesj Benoot

Inside the final kilometer, as the road was rising again and the riders were preparing for one last assault of Schavei, the two bridged across and soon Petr made an attempt of getting away, but he was immediately countered by his opponents. After this move was shut down, Dries, who together with Laurens was one of the driving forces of the main group once it emerged from the pack, led out Petr, who opened his sprint with 200 meters to go.

Despite giving it his all on the flat section at the top of Schavei, the 24-year-old rider of Quick-Step Floors had to be content at the end of the day with second place, behind Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), but ahead of Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal). Also part of that group, Dries Devenyns finished seventh, three places ahead of teammate Laurens De Plus, who rolled over the line six seconds later.

"We had two guys in the front group, so we just kept an eye on them and controlled the others in case they would try an attack in order to close the gap. When Tim went, I followed immediately and we joined the leaders inside the final kilometers. I tried to surprise the group with an attack, but couldn't drop them. Then, Dries did a perfect job leading me out and I was confident in my sprint, but unfortunately there was a stronger rider than me today", said Petr after his runner-up spot in Overijse.

"I won't hide that I'm a bit disappointed, because Brabantse Pijl is my favourite race of the year and I really wanted the victory, but at the same time this give me even more motivation for Amstel Gold Race", concluded the Quick-Step Floors rider after the team's seventh top-3 finish at the Spring Classics.

2017 Giro Rosa route presented

The organizer sent me this report:

GIRO ROSA 2017, THE OFFICIAL ROUTE

The race has been presented this morning at the Car Show Room System Cars in Meda (Monza e Brianza) the edition 28 of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile Elite, which will take place from 29th June to 9th July and is valid as a Women's World Tour Race.

In a very full room (about 500 invited people participated), the curiosity about the new route of the Giro was extremely high, as the Director Giuseppe Rivolta admitted with his brilliant organizing team. Ambrogio Romanò, amateur cyclist and owner of the Ssangyong Showroom System Cars welcomed everybody launching the event as car supplier of the race. "Cycling is my sporting biggest passion and it's a honour for my family and my company to host an event like this, the presentation of the most important women's cycling race."

RAI will be the Official Television of the Giro Rosa: the ten stages will be commented by Stefano Rizzato on Raidue.

Paolo Sangalli, as collaborator of the Italian Nationa Coach of the women teams, commented: "I like this Giro, it hugs Italy from north to south. The riders will fight very much."

The "Big Director" Giuseppe Rivolta presented the ten stages: the route begins with the Team Time Trial from Aquileia to Grado (11.5 kms), which was already officialized. The Stage 2 is still in Friuli, from Zoppola (PN) to Montereale Valcellina (PN), then Veneto hosts the next two stages (San Fior - San Vendemiano and Occhiobello - Occhiobello, with this one which has been named as DeltaPo OutletFamily Stage).  One of the hardest days will be in the Region Marche, where the very tough Individual Time Trial in Sant'Elpidio a Mare will take place and it includes two short but very hard climbs. The sprinters will fight in the next day in Roseto degli Abruzzi but the next stages Isernia - Baronissi and Baronissi - Palinuro include tough climbs which are close to each finish line and have a long distance of more than 140 kilometers. Polla hosts the penultimate stage finish after 122 interesting kilometers but it's Torre del Greco with the Vesuvio to decide who will wear the definitive Pink Jersey.

Some of the athletes who will race the Giro, like the sprinter Barbara Guarischi (winner in 2015 in Lubiana), the former Junior European Champion Anna Trevisi and the bronze medal of Tuscany 2013 World Championships Rossella Ratto.

Some of the strongest, former cyclists like Djamolidine Abdujaparov from Uzbekistan, Evgenij Berzin from Russia and the Italians Claudio Chiappucci and Gilberto Simoni took part with big interest "The girls will run where we fighted some years ago. It will be very interesting to see their sporting achievements. The Giro is always a great fight" - declared "El Diablo Chiappucci at the end of the day.

THE GIRO 2017 STAGES (29TH JUNE - 9TH JULY)

STAGE 1: AQUILEIA - GRADO 11,500 KM (TEAM TIME TRIAL)
STAGE 2: ZOPPOLA - MONTEREALE VALCELLINA 122,250 KM
STAGE 3: SAN FIOR - SAN VENDEMIANO 100,000 KM
STAGE 4: OCCHIOBELLO - OCCHIOBELLO 118,000 KM
STAGE 5: SANT'ELPIDIO A MARE - SANT'ELPIDIO A MARE 12,730 KM INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL
STAGE 6: ROSETO DEGLI ABRUZZI - ROSETO DEGLI ABRUZZI 116,160 KM
STAGE 7: ISERNIA - BARONISSI 141,980 KM
STAGE 8: BARONISSI - CENTOLA (PALINURO) 141,800 KM
STAGE 9: CENTOLA (PALINURO) - POLLA 122,300 KM
STAGE 10: TORRE DEL GRECO - TORRE DEL GRECO 124,000 KM

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