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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. - Henry David Thoreau

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Giro d'Italia stage ten team reports

Here's the report from new maglia rosa Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb:

Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin (NED) took the victory at stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia, with an advantage that awards the German formation of Team Sunweb with the Maglia Rosa for the second consecutive year.

After an impressive performance on the gruelling ascent of the Blockhaus on Sunday, Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin started the individual time trial today as one of the pre-race favourites. Dumoulin got off to a powerful start on his Giant Trinity reaching the first intermediate checkpoint 18 seconds quicker than the fastest time set. The Dutch time trial champion made every pedal stroke look easy as he continued to fly along the course, using every millimetre of the road as he went. Upon arrival at the second intermediate time-check, Dumoulin clocked in 36 seconds faster than his closest stage rival at 33 minutes and 24 seconds, showing that Team Sunweb's scientific approach to this discipline including the time spent in the wind tunnel at TU Delft University made a massive difference today. Dumoulin's powerful time trial was a force to be reckoned with and after a furious sprint to the line, he finished the stage with a time of 50 minutes and 37 seconds, an impressive 49 seconds faster than his predecessor. The stage victory means that Dumoulin goes into the lead in the general classification with a lead of 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin is the new maglia rosa

After his victory Dumoulin said: "Before I started the stage I actually didn't have a good feeling but now I see the result I realise that wasn't the case. Today I didn't give up, I fought with myself until the end and gave it all that I had. Its nice to go into the mountains with a good advantage but like the Vuelta showed me, you can loose everything in one day. We have some really tough stages coming up and it's still a long way to go."

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED) said: "Tom did a splendid time trial, he had a tremendous amount of pressure and there were a lot of expectations. The whole day went really smoothly and we are all incredibly proud. This is a great moment for the team, and to have the jersey for two years in a row makes it extra special. We are looking forward to doing the jersey proud tomorrow."

Geraint Thomas turned in a great ride. Here's his Team Sky's report:

Geraint Thomas powered back to within touching distance of the Giro d’Italia top 10, with a rousing second place on the stage 10 time trial. The Welshman bounced back from the disappointment of Sunday’s crash, recording an impressive time of 51 minutes and 26 seconds across an undulating 39.8-kilometre course.

The confidence-boosting ride saw Thomas put significant time into a number of general classification rivals, and moved him to just 14 seconds of the overall top 10 once more.

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas rode himself back into the Giro.

Vasil Kiryienka also backed up his team-mate with a strong ride, good enough for fifth on the day despite a crash on a dusty penultimate corner. The former world champion’s front wheel slid out, but the Belarusian was able to cross the line without issue in Montefalco.

The stage saw a dominant performance from Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), as the Dutchman went fastest through all intermediate splits to win the stage by 49 seconds, and pull on the maglia rosa.

With overnight leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) losing almost three minutes out on course, Dumoulin now leads the Giro by 2:23 over the Colombian. Thomas sits 11th, 5:33 back but closing in on the top 10.

Team Sky riders enjoyed fantastic fan support as the race resumed from a rest day, with Mikel Landa another rider to dust himself off following Sunday’s heartbreaking pile-up. He finished 38th on the day, six places back on team-mate Salvatore Puccio, who rode well on familiar local roads.

After warming down Thomas put his impressive performance into perspective, telling TeamSky.com: “I’m lucky to still be in the race really. It was just about giving it everything today and seeing what happened. The legs are pretty good but my arm is still sore. I’m happy with how it went.

“It’s easy to think about what could have been. You’ve just got to forget about that and what’s been is done. There’s a lot of racing still left. I’m not going to give up and I’m going to fight all the way. We’ll see where that puts me.”

Thomas was also full of praise for the fans on the roadside, adding: “You expect support off the Brits and the Welsh fans back home which I love, but I seemed to get a lot of support off the Italian and Spanish fans today. That’s really encouraging as they don’t have to support me. It’s great to have cheers out there and it definitely spurs you on.

“I want to take it day by day now and hopefully I can recover over the next three stages. Tomorrow is a super hard day, then we’ve got two flat days. So hopefully I can recover. It’s a hell of a task now but we’ll see how it goes.”

The stage was also encouraging for Landa, who was happy to be back in action following a rest day scan. He explained: “My legs didn’t feel too bad. I felt better than yesterday. During the stage I was able to really focus on the time trial and the race again. It was a nice feeling.

“There was some nice support out there from the fans. I think people realised that I did not give up, and it was really nice to hear the support.”

And here's the update UAE Team Emirates sent me:

Stage 10 saw UAE Team Emirates tackles the longest of the Giro d’Italia’s two Time Trials – a 39.8 km test from Foligno to Montefalco with Jan Polanc placing 15th. The stage was won by Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) making him the new maglia rosa.

Jan Polanc

Jan Polanc riding to 15th place

Commenting on the first Time Trial at the 100th Giro, winner of the stage four UAE Team Emirates’ Jan Polanc said: “I felt really good during the Time Trial and I’m quite happy with my performance. I don’t usually take part in a Time Trial with the aim of competing against the top riders of the General Classification. However I’m very pleased with today and feel I have succeeded in achieving a great result.  My performance was better than many riders who will be contesting the final victory. I would like to thank the team’s trainers and give some credit to the performance of my Colnago K.one bike“.

Toms Skujins out of Amgen Tour of California due to concussion

Cannondale-Drapac sent me this bad news:

Latvian Toms Skujins took a heavy fall while riding in the breakaway during the Amgen Tour of California’s second stage on Monday. Skujins, a two-time Amgen Tour of California stage winner, sustained a concussion, a left collarbone fracture, and road rash. Medical evaluation is ongoing. Cannondale-Drapac will provide updates should new information become available.

“I’m feeling all right,” Skujins said Monday night. “I’m really bummed, of course. Besides that, I’m healthy. I’m good. We’ll assess with the team doctors and figure things out moving forward. Thank you to all the messages from my fans and my friends — but I won’t be able to answer them because I shouldn’t be looking at my phone.”

Sport director Tom Southam: “Toms' crash obviously had a huge impact on us today. It was a high-speed crash and unfortunately it happened at a time when the race was fragmented, which delays information and makes these situations extremely hard. Toms instinctively continued riding but it was clear that he couldn’t go on. It’s a blow for the team and for his own ambitions but that was a serious fall, and racing can take a back seat while he heals.”

Skujins is now in the team’s internal concussion protocol, meaning he will work closely with medical staff while following a “return to play” program that puts his health above all else. Racing, for example, is off the table for six days, minimum.

“Our internal concussion program is designed to slow things down and give the rider time to recover properly,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “Concussion recovery varies from person to person and from day to day. We’ll evaluate Toms daily and he’ll need to pass a cognitive test before he returns to hard training or racing. His health is the most important thing to all of us.”

Trek Bicycle acquires U.S. bike retail chain

Bike Europe sent me this very important industry news:

WATERLOO, USA – Trek Bicycle has reached an agreement to acquire bike shop chain Bike Line located in the Philadelphia-area. Trek is purchasing twelve of the sixteen locations Bike Line currently operates. Why the remaining four shops are not included in the deal and Trek’s total investment remained undisclosed.
“Trek’s plan is to build on Bike Line’s foundation and will include a deep focus on customer service, product selection, employee education and development, and an increased commitment to local cycling advocacy”, said a Trek spokesman. “Trek has been available at Bike Line shops for over thirty years.”

Trek’s is certainly not the first bicycle brand to take-over of a retail chain but in line with the trend for manufacturers as an alternative or additional route to their own direct-to-consumer investments as Bike Europe reported last year.

You can read the entire story here.

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