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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half. - Gore Vidal

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Adam Yates to join twin Simon Yates at Vuelta a Espana

The Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

A change in programs will see Adam Yates line up next to twin Simon Yates for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Vuelta a Espana later this month.

Whilst the final Grand Tour of the season was an identified target for Simon, Adam’s inclusion was a decision of recent weeks and one with a long-term focus.

“We discussed post Tour de France the idea to race Adam as well,” sport director Julian Dean said. “Obviously the Tour de France wasn’t what we’d hoped for Adam, but what it did highlight is that there are some things to work on, with him but also for the whole team in general.”

“The idea is to continue the development of Adam and Simon by taking them both to the Vuelta, giving them another Grand Tour experience and trying to target the areas that we haven't got right, including getting some consistency across the three weeks.”

The pair, who recently extended their contracts with the Australian WorldTour team for another two years, will have different roles at the three-week race but one key performance indicator - progression. “The objective still stays the same,” Dean said. “Simon will be our designated leader and Adam will be going purely in a support role of Simon in the big picture.”

“We want to get them through the first week as well as possible and look at the back end of the race; the stages in Asturias and Andorra are really going to be where the results are made.

“Obviously we'd still like to aim for a podium at the Vuelta. That would be a great outcome for us, but if we look back at the past Grand Tours we’ve done these last two years, we’ve got some work to do and our overall objective is to make a good progression throughout the whole race.

“Our key performance indicator will be that we have come into the key period and Simon is able to maintain or if not gain position in those last ten days, whether that be from 15th to eighth or eighth to fifth. As long as we get that progression, that’s really what we are aiming for. I think if we do that, the results will come for themselves, it’s just a matter of being patient and learning from what we have done in the past couple of years.”

Adam Yates

Adam Yates

Adam Yates:
“The Vuelta a Espana wasn’t originally on my program but together with the management we came to the decision that doing the Vuelta after the Tour would be another good chance to get some experience in riding multiple Grand Tours in one year.

“It’s pretty difficult to replicate the fatigue of a Grand Tour in training so the opportunity of riding the Vuelta without the stress of riding GC will be a good step towards gaining more experience not just in racing over three weeks but also in following all the routines and day-to-day stuff that goes on in a Grand Tour.

“So far the recovery after the Tour has been going really well and things are looking good. I took a few days away from the bike and since then I’ve been slowly getting back into the routine.”

Simon Yates

Simon Yates after stage 17 of the 2018 Giro d'Italia

Simon Yates:
“I’m looking forward to racing the Vuelta this year. I have been slowly building towards this for the second part of the year and I hope to arrive in great shape. At Poland last week I was getting better with each stage so I’m looking forward to starting.”

“My preparation has been very different to the Giro d’Italia because like a few guys that will line up in Spain, I have one eye on the world championships later this year so it will be interesting to see how my body responds but as always I’ll give it my all to achieve a great result.”

Bora-hansgrohe reports on first stage of BinckBank Tour

The team sent me this update:

The opening stage of the 14th Binck Bank Tour was dominated by a six-man breakaway, which was gone for most of the day. Under pouring rain, the peloton closed the gap with 15km remaining and the expected bunch sprint was set up. BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Matteo Pelucchi avoided a crash on the last kilometre and had restart his sprint. The Italian sprinter crossed the line in seventh place, while F. Jakobsen took the stage win ahead of M. Kittel and C. Ewan.

Fabio Jakobsen

Fabio Jakobsen wins stage one of the BinckBank Tour

The Stage
Today, the 14th edition of the Binck Bank Tour started in Heerenveen and took the riders over 177km to Bolsward, where the peloton had to face three laps. While the terrain itself didn’t feature any challenges for the riders, without any climbs to trouble the peloton, it would be the weather conditions, which would make the race difficult and an expected bunch sprint dangerous.

The Team Tactics
The German team brought several fast men to the Netherlands, among their leader Matteo Pelucchi, who achieved several good results this season. He was joined by Maciej Bodnar and Daniel Oss, who showed great form in this year’s Tour de France. The German sprinter Rudi Selig should be the last lead-out man for BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Pelucchi.

The Race
Directly after the start, a group of six riders formed the breakaway of the day with a maximum gap of four minutes. The BORA – hansgrohe squad stayed in the main and tried to keep their advantage low and with the gap dropping steadily, it was all back together with 15km remaining. Pouring rain made things more complicated in the final hours, while approaching the final circuit, the teams started slowly to form their lead-out. At that moment, a crash in the peloton provided both excitement for the viewers and disappointment for the teams who were involved but all were able to get back on the bike having managed to avoid any injuries. But BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Matteo Pelucchi had to start his sprint again, therefore he wasn’t able to fight for the victory. The Italian sprinter came in seventh, while F. Jakobsen took the stage win ahead of M. Kittel and C. Ewan.

From the Finish Line
“I felt good today but there was a crash with 1km to go. Luckily, I wasn’t involved but I had to start my sprint again, therefore I lost some time and wasn’t able to finish on the podium. However, there are some sprint stages left in this year’s Binck Bank Tour.” – Matteo Pelucchi

“It was a very nervous opening stage, the weather conditions with rain, wind and a course directly at the sea made the race restless and difficult. Our plan was to support Matteo, to achieve a good stage result. In the finale, the team brought him into a good position, he stayed on the wheels of Groenewegen, but with 1km to go, he avoided a crash in the bunch but was able to finished inside the top-ten in 7th position.” – Jens Zemke, sports director 

Will Barta graduates to the World Tour in 2019 with Continuum Sports

Team BMC sent me this release:

13 August, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): American rider Will Barta is set to join the WorldTour ranks in 2019 having signed with Continuum Sports after four years with Hagens Berman Axeon.

The 22-year-old has impressed at the U23 level and already gained valuable WorldTour experience at the AMGEN Tour of California, General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained. "We are very pleased to announce Will Barta as the latest rider to join Continuum Sports in 2019. Over the years we have welcomed many young riders in their neo pro years and Will certainly represents the next generation of American cycling talent. One of Will's breakthrough results during his time with Hagens Berman Axeon was fourth overall at the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2017 and with our focus on the classics, Will caught our attention." Ochowicz said.

"Will has also proved his strength in time trials with second place at the U23 national time trial in 2017, and second place in the Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux time trial this year which was enough to see him finish in third on the General Classification. We are looking forward to seeing Will continue to develop with us and learn from some of the most experienced riders in the peloton."

Barta has been dreaming of the chance to turn professional and is relishing the opportunity to do so with Continuum Sports, which will be sponsored by Polish company CCC in 2019. "I've always been a big fan of BMC Racing Team. I started getting into cycling around the time Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011 and to see how the whole team fought was really cool, so ever since then I have been a big fan. It's a dream come true to join the team," Barta said.

"The races I look forward to most are the Ardennes classics. I really enjoyed that type of racing at the U23 level and in the last few years I have become a better climber. I've really worked hard on the longer climbs so I'm looking forward to seeing how I can do in stage races as well. Time trialling is also something I like and have done quite well at. I like the aspect of it being just you out there and you can see from the team's results that time trials are a big focus so that's definitely attractive for me, to be able to learn from the best. To have the opportunity to learn from a champion like Greg Van Avermaet and the older guys in the team will be amazing and I can't wait."

Team Sunweb's upcoming races

The team sent me this preview:

LADIES TOUR OF NORWAY (WWT)
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED): "First we have the TTT which after a good result in Sweden, we're really looking forward to. As the world champions we will go full gas and hope to be on the podium again. Then we have the road race where a lot will depend on the weather. The local laps are really technical so if it rains, we believe there could be some gaps and if not then we expect it will be difficult to get away. The parcours go up and down all of the time so it will be a tough few days racing. Coryn will be our card to play for the sprints and we have a very strong support team next to her. If one day a breakaway goes with Lucinda, Leah or Floortje in, we will still be in a good situation." 

Coryn Rovera

Coryn Rivera

RACE: Ladies Tour of Norway (WWT)

DATE: 16-19/08/2018

COACH: Hans Timmermans (NED) 

LINE-UP
Lucinda Brand (NED)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Ruth Winder (USA) 

EUROEYES CYCLASSICS (WT)
Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou (DEN): "Back racing on home soil for the team, we line up at EuroEyes Cyclassics really motivated for a good race. We expect the outcome to be a sprint, but it's also a possibility that a pre-final attack could make it to the finish line. We are confident that with our line-up we can cover both outcomes, but we would like things come down to a sprint where we will look for a result with Nikias. With a line-up that covers all bases, we're motivated and have the belief that a good result is possible." 

RACE: EuroEyes Cyclassics (WT)

DATE: 19/08/2018

COACH: Morten Bennekou (DEN) 

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