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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, August 17, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example. - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


BinckBanck stage four reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this:

The fourth stage was dominated by many attacks and high speed right from the start. Unluckily, BORA – hansgrohe rider Matteo was involved in a crash, he finished the stage but later went to hospital to undergo further examinations. As a result, the BORA – hansgrohe squad focused on Rudi Selig to achieve a good result. The German sprinter did a great job and sprinted to fourth place in a hectic finale. An update on Matteo will be given later on social media.

The Stage
From Blankenberge, a city in West Flanders close to the North Sea, over 166.3km to Ardooie went today’s fourth stage at the Binck Bank Tour. The peloton was faced with a demanding course and a twisting finale with two local circuits. But all in all, another the for the fast men in the peloton.

The Team Tactics
After yesterday’s surprise, as the breakaway made it to the finish, today’s plan was to control the race and a potential break. The German team wanted to deliver Matteo Pelucchi in a good position to finally achieve a podium spot, but during the race the team had to change the plan after Matteo was involved in a crash and suffered a small injury on his hand.

The Race
It was a fast start into today’s stage as after 10km of racing a group of three riders escaped and built up a small gap, but the peloton paid attention and with 85km remaining the group was caught again. At that moment, a new group of five riders, including Jay McCarthy, attacked and tried to distance themselves from the bunch, but the bunch closed the gap after some kilometres. Many riders tried to attack but all attempts failed, therefore the main field headed into the final laps through Ardooie. After Matteo crashed in the first part of the race the team had to switch their focus to Rudi and formed their lead-out for the German sprinter. Approaching the tricky finale, the bunch increased the pace and on the last corner J. Stuyven made the final move and took the stage win with a small gap over the peloton. BORA – hansgrohe rider Rudi Selig sprinted out of the bunch and took yet another strong result as he came in fourth.

Jasper Stuyven

Jasper Stuyven wins BinckBank Tour stage four.

From the Finish Line
“After Matteo crashed, we had a little talk together and decided that I will be the man for the sprint. I tried to save energy until the finale, to fight maybe for the victory. As we arrived in Ardooie, I gave my best and crossed the line in fourth position. A huge thank especially to Jay, Maciej and Juraj, they were amazing in the finale and helped me perfectly.” – Rudi Selig

“Today’s stage along the Belgium coast was windy and super nervous. Therefore, we saw a lot of crashes and unfortunately, Matteo was involved too. Our sprinter crashed was involved in a crash, he finished the stage but later went to hospital to undergo further examinations. We hope that he will be okay. As a result we focused on Rudi, who is normally our lead-out man, and he did very well and finished in fourth place.” – Jens Zemke, sports director

Team Sunweb wins Ladies' Tour of Norway TTT

The team sent me this report:

Team Sunweb raced to victory in the Ladies Tour of Norway Team Time Trial, the latest round of the Women's WorldTour. Already World Champions in the discipline, the team powered around the 24.3km  course to finish in a time of 29'53", 38" faster than the nearest rival.

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: "It was an incredible team performance today. The six riders here made the difference but we have 10 very strong riders who can come in and compete. We could bring in anybody at this moment as everybody works like a machine. After doing the recon twice we saw that it was a difficult TTT which probably made the difference for us. I'm incredibly proud of how we executed it, using the strengths in the downhills and the uphills - that was the key to our success today."

Jack Haig re-signs with Mitchelton-Scott

The team sent me this release:

A successful season to date has seen Australian climber Jack Haig and Mitchelton-SCOTT reach a new deal for the next two seasons, despite a year remaining on his previous contract.

Haig played a crucial role in the team’s performance at the Giro d’Italia earlier this season, which saw them walk away with five stage wins and 13 days in the Maglia Rosa, and he recently finished third overall at the Tour of Utah.

“The progression that Jack has shown the last couple of years has been really exciting for us and we are really happy we can continue our journey with him and his development with the team,” head sport director Matt White said. “We see him as a really integral part of our team moving forward.”

“In some ways, Jack has been performing on a higher level than we had actually planned, so we wanted to reward him for that with a new contract for next year and an additional year on top of that. It’s a win-win for all of us. It’s a reward for him, but we also have the knowledge that the relationship works and that we both want to commit to a longer future together.”

Jack Haig

Jack Haig at the 2017 Tour of Poland

The relationship, which started as a neo-pro and is now locked in until 2020, will see the continued development of the 24-year-old in the Australian outfit’s Grand Tour ambitions, as well as personal progression as a week-long race team leader.

“Part of Jack’s development in the next couple of years will be him targeting some WorldTour week-long races. This year he had targetted the Tour of Suisse and Utah, and we will build it into our plans that he has the opportunity to target more next year.”

Jack Haig:
“It’s nice to be able to not have the stress of the contract year. I obviously had one year left, but the team has said they’d like to have me for an extra year on top of my current contract, which is really nice. It’s nice to have the confidence with the team that they are happy to keep developing me, keep giving me chances, and also giving me time to work for those things.

“The goal I’d like to go into the next two seasons with is trying to take more responsibility in the week-long Tours and having a bit more of a leadership role there. But, I also love working for the two Yates brothers and Esteban so I hope to continue in that role, like I did at this year’s Giro d’Italia, and hopefully help one of them to win a Grand Tour in the next couple of years.

“I looking forward to getting more experience, learning and learning off the three leaders we have at the moment.

“It has been good with the opportunities I had this year. In Suisse, it was after the Giro so I was a little fatigue, but it was good get used to the pressure you put on yourself when you become a leader in a team and have five other guys working for you, it’s something you need to get used to.”

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