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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught. - Honore de Balzac

Current Racing:

Latest completed racing:


Chris Froome hit by car while on training ride

BBC.com posted this:

Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome claims he was "rammed" by a car driver while out training in southern France - but says he "wasn't hurt".

The Briton, who rides for Team Sky, posted a picture on Twitter of his damaged bike and reported the incident to local police.

"Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement!" the 31-year-old wrote.

"Thankfully I'm okay. Bike totalled. Driver kept going!"

Here's Froome's tweet:

Frrome tweet

Rohan Dennis forced to abandon Giro d'Italia

BMC sent me this bad news:

09 May, 2017, Mount Etna (ITA): Rohan Dennis was forced to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia halfway through stage 4 as a result of his crash on stage 3.

Dennis crashed in the final 10km of the stage on Sunday, landing hard on his right side and suffering a jarred neck and multiple superficial abrasions.

After the first rest day on Monday, Dennis lined up for stage 4 despite not having recovered from his injuries. The extent of Dennis' injuries became apparent during the stage after a fast opening hour of racing and after being dropped, Dennis withdrew 78km into the 181km stage.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis at this year's Tour of Provence

BMC Racing Team doctor, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini explained the ongoing nature of Dennis' injuries. "After the crash on Sunday, Rohan had a strong headache but yesterday, it seemed that everything was mostly resolved. Last night, he began to experience further headaches and started to feel nauseas. Unfortunately, this morning the feelings hadn't subsided but we made the decision for Rohan to try and make it through today's stage. Rohan continued to feel unwell during the stage and consequently made the decision to withdraw. We have discussed internally with BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa and Rohan will undergo some tests to determine whether there is an underlying issue as a result of the crash. At this stage, Rohan will take some time off the bike to recover and depending on the result of the tests, he could be back training in ten days."

After months of hard work, Dennis is disappointed to withdraw from the centenary edition of the Giro d'Italia. "I basically just tried to stay positive and think maybe I'll come good. It was probably around the hour mark when I spoke to Max Sciandri in the car and I said 'Look I'm going to try and get to the feed zone and I think that might be my limit today but we'll see how it goes there'. But I got dropped on the long climb when the peloton was riding easy and Valerio Piva in the second race car just said 'get in the car, it's not worth it'.

"The wounds aren't an issue. It was the nausea and lethargic, no energy feeling. My head had been hurting and I was hoping that some exercise would change that feeling but I started to feel worse. I'm disappointed, of course. I think I feel worse for the people who have helped me prepare. My coach came all the way from America to spend a week with me away from his family before the Tour of the Alps, to prepare for the Giro d'Italia. Those sort of things I feel bad about, even if I didn't have any control of it. When you abandon you have the feeling it was for nothing. My priority now is to recover and get healthy, and then concentrate on the rest of the season which is far from over."

Javier Moreno eliminated from Giro d’Italia

Here's the statement from Moreno's Bahrain-Merida team:

Catania, Tuesday 9th May 2017 – During the 4th stage of Giro d’Italia, in the heat of the battle for position, our rider Javier Moreno pushed Team Sky rider Diego Rosa which caused him to crash. For this act, our rider received an expulsion from the race.

We at Team Bahrain Merida, support and respect the decision from UCI, and on behalf of Javier Moreno we apologize to Diego Rosa and Team Sky.

“My teammates and me were all in the line coming to the final climb, team Sky came up on the left and Rosa wanted to get onto my teammates wheel in front of me. When he realized I was resisting, he aggravated me to which I reacted by pushing him, unfortunately causing him to crash. I want to apologize for my reaction and make it clear that it was not my intention for him to crash. I apologize to him and Team Sky, as well as to my teammates and sponsors,” said Javier Moreno.

Our GM Brent Copeland, who was present at the race said: “This was unfortunate situation which happened during a tense moment of the race, however Javier’s act is not acceptable.  On behalf of team Bahrain Merida we apologize to those involved.”

Giro d'Italia stage 4 team reports:

Team Quick-Step Floors had a good day at the Giro. Here's their news:

On Mount Etna's 50th anniversary in the Giro d'Italia, Bob Jungels rode himself into the maglia rosa, which he sported for three days at the previous edition, taking the jersey from the shoulders of teammate Fernando Gaviria, who pulled at the front of the peloton and set the tempo ahead of the day's final climb, thus repaying the team for their work on Sunday, when he sprinted to his maiden Grand Tour victory.

Jungels, who won the white jersey at the 2016 edition of the Corsa Rosa, rolled over the line together with the other GC contenders, on a stage made difficult by the headwind which blew hard in the closing kilometers of the iconic ascent in southern Italy, making the attacks of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) or Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) futile.

In the final kilometers of the 17.9km-long climb which impressed with its lunar landscapes, the favourites stayed together and arrived half a minute behind Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), who won from the original four-man break of the stage. Thanks to the seconds on the road snatched two days ago, when Quick-Step Floors split the peloton in the crosswinds, Bob (seventh on Mount Etna) moved into the maglia rosa, which he'll wear for the fourth time in his career.

Bob Jungels

Bob Jungels enjoying his time in the maglia rosa

"I feel pretty much the same like last year, when I also took the jersey from a teammate. I did an intelligent race, staying focused and not riding in the headwind, which made everything super difficult today. The Giro is still long and many things will happen for sure, as all the favourites are at a good level, but I don't want to think of these things now, I just want to live the moment and this special day", said Jungels, who claimed also the white jersey, which was passed by the same Fernando Gaviria.

These weren't the only highlights of the day for Quick-Step Floors, who rode at the front of the bunch from kilometer zero until the bottom of Etna; the squad's impressive effort garnered another trip to the podium, to receive the Fast Team and Super Team prizes.

One of the only two Luxembourgers to lead the Giro d'Italia standings since the race was created back in 1909, Bob has conquered the maglia rosa at the age of 23 and 24, just as countryman Charly Gaul, and will now carry it into Wednesday's stage, which will present the sprinters with another opportunity.

"I'm progressing with each year, I am motivated to do well and I'm also very happy of having such a strong team around, a team which protects me all the time. I am overwhelmed to wear again the pink jersey. The race is already a success for us and everything else that will come in the next stages between now and Milan will be a bonus", concluded Bob.

Here's what UAE Team Ermirates sent me:

UAE Team Emirates’ climber Jan Polanc won stage four, the first of the mountain stages, solo at the 100th Giro d’Italia. Polanc also claimed the Blue Jersey (Maglia Azzurra) and will wear it on Wednesday May 10, 2017 as the leader in the mountains classification.

The Slovenian climber, who had previously claimed a stage win in the 2015 Giro, had recently undergone altitude training on Mount Etna in preparation alongside teammates Rui Costa and Simone Petilli.

Jan Polanc

Jan Polanc wins Giro stage 4

“I am elated and so happy” said the 25-year old UAE Team Emirates’ rider Jan Polanc who had just celebrated his birthday on May 2. “Today’s stage was very demanding and the climb was challenging, especially after having been in the front of the peloton for most of the stage. Towards the end I was exhausted however was determined to give it everything I had. I would like to thank the team, management and sponsors for their unwavering support. I underwent altitude training on Mount Etna back in March and April and it feels nice to be back here with a victory. I will proudly wear the Maglia Azzura and hope I can retain it for the remainder of the Giro. After 2015, to repeat the victory on the first mountain stage, it’s incredible for me – I’m really happy.”

The fifth stage of the three-week long race starts in Pedara and takes in 159 km finishing in Messina. After the start in Pedara the road soon becomes hilly as riders reach the first climb – the Formazzo, 824 metres high with a maximum gradient of 4.9%. The second half of the route is flat with an intermediate sprint for riders to earn points for the Sprinter’s Jersey.

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