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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 18, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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BinckBank Tour stage 5 team reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here's the race update Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me:

After some kilometres of racing, four riders escaped and built up an advantage of more than four minutes. Like two days ago, the breakaway was able to hold on the gap until the finish line.  BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Matteo Pelucchi finished stage 5 of the Binck Bank Tour in sixth place, some seconds behind the breakaway riders.          

The Stage
Today the longest stage in this year’s edition of the Binck Bank Tour awaited the riders. The fifth stage took the peloton from Sint-Pieters-Leeuw over 204.4km to Lanaken. Once again, on paper, it was a course that favors the bunch sprint, but we said that about the last two stages as well. Like in the previous days, the riders had to tackle three laps of a 10,3km circuit around Lanaken.

The Team Tactics
The BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Matteo Pelucchi recovered well from his crash yesterday, therefore he was again the man for the sprint. Once again Daniel Oss and Rudi Selig were the lead-out men for the Italian sprinter.

The Race
After some kilometres of racing, a group of four riders formed the breakaway of the day and built up a maximum gap of four minutes. BORA – hansgrohe stayed in the peloton and tried with the other team to close the gap. The breakaway was gone for most of the stage, with 30km to go onto the local laps the four escapees had still a two-minute gap over the peloton, therefore everyone knew, once again the breakaway will make it to the finish. It was M. Cort (Team Astana) who took the stage win ahead of J. Van den Berg. BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Matteo Pelucchi sprinted out of the bunch and took sixth place, some seconds behind the stage winner.

Magnus Cort

Magnus Cort wins the stage. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line
“This year’s Binck Bank Tour has its own rules. Again, a breakaway made it to the finish line. It happened also in stage 3, therefore we should have known it. We tried to close the gap together with the leader teams. Matteo finished in a good sixth place. Tomorrow will be a demanding stage.” – Jens Zemke, sports director  

“I recovered well from yesterday’s crash, therefore I wanted to go for a good stage result today. But again, the breakaway made it and, in the finale, I tried to make the best out of it and sprinted out of the bunch.” – Matteo Pelucchi 

UAE-Team Emirates to race for Alexander Kristoff at Cyclassics Hamburg

The team sent me this:

UAE Team Emirates is going to Germany for the 23rd edition of the Hamburg Classic on Sunday, August 19.

The Emirati formation will be participating with a squadron built around Alexander Kristoff, who already won here in 2014 and who has always figured among the top 5 finishers in the last five editions.

“I’ve achieved lots of good results in the last editions of the Hamburg Classic and I really know how to manage this race,” explains the Norwegian.“We have a strong team and we’re well prepared; I will definitely be gunning for another top placement.”

Alexander Kristoff

Alexander Kristoff will be racing in Hamburg Sunday.

So it should all come down to a final sprint, with Bono and Marcato ready to handle the pre-sprint phases and a nice bunch of fast athletes who can set Kristoff up for a perfect launch on the final backstretch.

Here are the seven riders who are ready to represent UAE Team Emirates under the orders of DS Mario Scirea (Italy):

-Matteo Bono (Italy)
-Simone Consonni (Italy)
-Roberto Ferrari (Italy)
-Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
-Marco Marcato (Italy)
-Rory Sutherland (Australia)
-Oliviero Troia (Italy)

Lotto-Soudal previews Hamburg Classic

Here's their update:

On the 19th of August, Lotto Soudal will line up at the 22nd edition of the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg. André Greipel already won the German WorldTour Classic in 2015 and is keen on winning it again this year. Therefore, Lotto Soudal will be at the starting line with one main objective: helping André Greipel to take the day’s honors in his homeland. 

Andre Greipel

André Greipel wins in Hamburg in 2015.

The course of the Cyclassics Hamburg is 216.4 kilometres long and mainly flat - with the exception of the famous Waseberg, which will be climbed three times. The 700-meter-long climb with an average gradient of 10% will split up the main bunch, but won’t be tough enough to keep the top sprinters from contesting the race. Fast men like Greipel, Viviani and Ewan managed to win previous editions, one by one names of strong sprinters.

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “The winner of the Cyclassics Hamburg will probably be a sprinter again, but one with a big engine. Besides Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, and the Prudential Ride London, this race is the only  WorldTour Classic that can be won by sprinters. The Waseberg must be tackled three times and is a crucial element in the race. The position of the climb in the third and final lap is not that far from the finish line, meaning you still need to have enough power to sprint for victory at the end. Sometimes, a few riders try to escape at the final passage, but they mostly don’t manage to stay away till the finish. Most of the time, we see a couple dozen of riders coming back together to sprint for victory.”

“If you look at the list of previous winners, you see names of sprinters with a big engine. And André has that kind of necessary power. With Lars Bak, Jasper De Buyst, Adam Hansen, Moreno Hofland, Marcel Sieberg and a strong Tiesj Benoot, we have a team that can support André properly and position him well in the finale. Especially in the final three kilometres, we’ll need to be at the front as those kilometres are very chaotic. And, of course, you still need to survive those 200 kilometres before.”

“Tiesj Benoot will be riding the only race between his crash in the Tour de France and his participation in the Vuelta. We’ll have to wait and see how well his shape is, but he might anticipate to some big names or riders from teams without any sprinter trying to escape. Yet, the race will probably finish in a bunch sprint, so André Greipel is our leading man. He intentionally participated at the Tour de Pologne, and didn’t start at the BinckBank Tour to focus on the Cyclassics Hamburg. He is extremely motivated to perform strongly in his home country.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Moreno Hofland and Marcel Sieberg. 

Sports director: Bart Leysen.

US National Time Trial Champion Joey Rosskopf re-signs with Continuum Sports

Team BMC sent me this release:

17 August, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Two-time US national time trial champion Joey Rosskopf is the latest rider to extend his contract with Continuum Sports after four successful years with team, currently operating as BMC Racing Team.

Rosskopf joined BMC Racing Team in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength in that time, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

"Joey Rosskopf is an incredibly talented rider who often flies under the radar because of his selflessness and professionalism when it comes to supporting his teammates. He has played a key domestique role at stage races and Grand Tours over the years and can also make the most of his own opportunities. Joey's time trialling has come a long way in the last four years and as we have seen, he is now one of the team's best time trialists with two national titles to his name and most recently, second in the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah prologue. Joey has also played an important role in many of our team time trial victories over the years," Ochowicz said.

Joey Rosskopf

Joey Rosskopf. Sirotti photo

"At 28-years-old, Joey is still young and has the potential to keep developing as a rider so it is a pleasure to re-sign Joey for the 2019 season when Polish company CCC becomes title sponsor."

Rosskopf acknowledged the team's support as a key factor in extending his contract. "In my four years with BMC Racing Team, the team management has shown an incredible amount of patience and dedication in helping me find my most productive role within the team. Their support has enabled me to constantly continue improving as a bike racer, and I have faith that I can continue on this steady trajectory with their guidance. With that in mind, it was an easy decision to renew with the Continuum Sports organization," Rosskopf explained.

"Obviously in 2019 there will be some big changes in appearance, riders, and staff with CCC coming on board. To me, it seems like it will be a really exciting mix between our established, proven management structure and a lot of new faces. I am really looking forward to participating in the creation and successful execution of this 'new look' team in 2019 and beyond."

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