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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented. - G. K. Chesterton

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BinckBank tour stage two reports

We posted the organizer's report with the stage results.

Stage winner Stefan Küng's BMC team sent me this:

14 August, 2018, Venray (NED): For the second consecutive year Stefan Küng proved that he is one of the best time trialists in the world on the stage 2 time trial at Binck Bank Tour, stopping the clock an impressive 14 seconds ahead of the next-placed rider to secure victory and move into the leader’s jersey.

Küng came into stage 2 as one of the pre-race favorites and was able show his impressive speed and strength out on the day’s completely flat 12.7km course. The reigning Swiss national time trial champion settled into his rhythm quickly and powered around the course before clocking a time of 14’11” on the line.

After a tense wait in the hot seat, Küng’s time remained unshaken and in the end, it proved to be more than enough to secure the stage win and the green leader’s jersey.

Miles Scotson started his effort early in Venray and after a solid ride, he posted the eighth-fastest time of the day, crossing the line in 14’33”.

Stefan Kung

Stefan Küng on his winning ride. Sirotti photo

Interview with Stefan Küng:

Congratulations, Stefan! How did you feel out on the course today?

“I was really on it from the first meter. I had a perfect strategy in my mind. I had a good look at the parcours and I really knew how I wanted to pace it and execute it. Instead of just riding a course, I was on it from the first meter and really attacked the course. That's probably what made the difference. When I compare it to Glasgow where Campanaerts won, he was second today, it was such a different feeling. There I had the impression that I was on a training ride, mentally I just couldn't get into the zone where you want to be. So, I analyzed the race in Glasgow and wanted to do better. I'm really happy it worked out like this.”

“I really felt like I was riding a good time trial and I only had a reference time back to Miles and so, I knew I was on track but I still had to really go for it right until the end as the last few time trials we have seen have all been pretty close.”

You won today’s stage by 14 seconds. Were you surprised about that when you crossed the line?

“When I heard the time at the finish, I was pretty happy. I felt like I couldn’t have gone any faster and I also had the impression that I didn’t lose any seconds on any part of the parcours.”

“I’m not surprised but it’s nice to win by such a big margin. If I remember correctly I won by four seconds last year but in the end, you just have to focus on your own performance and go as hard as possible to be as fast as possible and you can’t think about anyone else. As a time trialist, you can really feel when you are doing a good run and I felt like that from the first meter today.”

“Over such a short time trial 15 seconds is quite a lot. In the end, I gave it all I had and it really showed that I was the best one out there today and that’s always a nice feeling.”

And looking ahead to the rest of the race?

“There are not so many opportunities for a rider of my type in the General Classification at stage races but this course looks pretty good for me. For sure, there will be some hard days, especially in Limburg and around Geraadsbergen but the goal is to defend this jersey as long as possible.”

“The race is far from over but I feel pretty confident. I’m in the leader’s jersey now so it is the responsibility of the other contenders to try and make time up on me. It will be hard to defend the jersey as there is a lot of good riders here. I have had experience of being in a leader’s jersey at Tour de Suisse this year and here last year so, I know what it feels like and I know what I have to do better now. We have a good team and I am motivated and feel like I am in good shape. I also feel like I have improved on my skills overall since last year not just time trialling.”

Quotes From the Finish Line

Miles Scotson:
“I felt really good. I didn't make any big mistakes around the corners. I think maybe I underestimated my ability a bit and with the pacing strategy we had, because I came home really fast. It would have been good to go out a big quicker but at the same time, it was still a solid ride so I have to be satisfied. A top ten result is a good result.”

Greg Van Avermaet:
“I was pretty happy with the feelings on the bike. I'm not a time trial specialist, also the course was maybe not the best for me, but I tried to do my best as always. I'm pretty happy with my time so we'll see how my legs go in the next days.”

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this stage two update:

After a fast first day at the Binck Bank Tour, the high speeds continued as riders hit the road for a 12.7km Individual Time Trial. It was BORA – hansgrohe rider and Tour de France stage winner Maciej Bodnar who came in as the fastest BORA-hansgrohe rider, taking 9th place with a time of 14:34, 23 seconds behind the winner S. Küng.

The Stage
The second stage of the Binck Bank Tour saw a 12.7km Individual Time Trial through the city of Venray. The course was short but offered some undulating sections with tricky corners.

The Team Tactics
The German squad had with Tour de France stage winner Maciej Bodnar and Daniel Oss, who won 2014 and 2015 the World Championships in the team Time Trial, two specialists in their row. Therefore, the team focused on these two to achieve a good stage result.

The Race
The first BORA - hansgrohe rider to leave the starthouse was Daniel Oss. The World Champion in the team Time Trial put in a solid performance but with 4km to go, he had a puncture and lost important time. Tour de France stage winner Maciej Bodnar went up the road some minutes later, and finished the course after 14:34 minutes, in 9th place at the end of the stage.

The next riders who took on the course were Gregor Mühlberger, Juraj Sagan and Jay McCarthy. The young Austrian rider stopped the clock 46 seconds behind later stage winner S.Küng. As the best BORA – hansgrohe rider in the GC, was Matteo Pelucchi who completed the course with a time of 16:32.

From the Finish Line
"I felt quite good today and wanted to put in a good performance but a flat tire shortly before the finish stopped me, therefore I lost time.” – Daniel Oss

"My legs felt good and I wanted to defend my second place from last year. Maybe I started too conservative and lost at this point some seconds but all in all it was okay. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose, that’s cycling but I am satisfied that I found my rhythm and I feel good for the upcoming stages.”– Maciej Bodnar

"The course was very technical with lot of speedbumps and corners. Unfortunately, Daniel had a puncture, he lost important seconds for the fight for the GC. Maciej looked strong and had a solid ride, but there were stronger competitors on the day.” – Jens Zemke, sports director

Team Dimension Data to ride Arctic Race of Norway, Mark Cavendish won't be there

Here's the team's post:

Bernie Eisel makes his return to Arctic Race of Norway where he surprised all, not least himself, in capturing the King of the Mountains category in 2017. Eisel’s season has been disrupted by injury but he made a racing return at the Grand Prix Cerami, followed by the RideLondon-Surrey Classic and then the Tour de Pologne. Last year his prize, 500kg of the finest Norwegian salmon, saw the Austrian’s already sky-popularity soar to even greater heights among his teammates.

Our line-up also includes Mekseb Debesay, most recently in action at Tour de Wallonie, and Jacques Janse van Rensburg who’s ridden the Giro d’Italia, Tour of the Alps and Tour of Austria, among other races this year so far. Both will be looking at taking their chances on the hilly parcours.

Dylan Teuns

Dylan Teuns (shown winning stage four) won the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway.

Joining them will be two of our recently announced stagiaires, Kent Main and Connor Swift. Main, 22, joins us from our continental team as he looks to make his mark on the World Tour.

While we’re delighted to have the British Champion, Connor Swift, represent us for the 1st time. Swift claimed the national title in July for his Madison Genesis team, as he beat a high-class field in Northumberland, soloing to victory.

Mark Cavendish will not be participating as he continues his recovery that saw him advised to miss out on the recent European Championships in Glasgow. An update on Mark’s return to racing will be given in due course.

The 4-stage race gets underway in Vadsø and features hilly outings across all of those with the final effort the 145.5km stage from Kvalsund to Alta.

Bernie Eisel – Rider:
"I’m really looking forward to heading back to Norway, I was included last-minute for this race but I’m super-happy. I haven’t raced that much this year so I’m very excited to be going back there, and discover more of Norway, especially here in the north near the Russian border.

"Of course winning the KOM jersey last year wasn’t expected but I won’t be defending that this year. I’m just happy to be back on the bike and back in Norway.

"It’s a great race, a little more adventurous. I’ve done all the races in Europe and going that far north is always really exciting for me. Let’s hope the weather is as nice as last year but it’s also nice there when it rains."

Our line-up:
Bernie Eisel
Connor Swift
Jacques Janse van Rensburg
Kent Main
Mekseb Debesay

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