BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel Tour de France: The Inside Story Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycle Italia cycling tours Cycles BiKyle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks vintage parts Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, March 26, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm. - Calvin Coolidge

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Gent-Wevelgem team reports

We posted winner Peter Sagan's Team Bora-hansgrohe report on the race results page.

Second-place Elia Viviani's Quick-Step team had this to say about the race:

Cycling is a tough sport, more than what TV images let people discover. It's a sport made up of hard work, sacrifices, sweat, ups and downs and defeats, all elements that when are put together result in a victory which brings joy and glory. When this doesn't happen, it all turns into a hard pill to swallow which after the initial disappointment motivates the rider to start again from scratch and put the pieces of the puzzle together in pursuit of that much desired win.

Most recently, Elia Viviani was the one to find himself in this unwanted situation, after sprinting to second place at 80th edition of Gent-Wevelgem (250.8 kilometers), a race on which Quick-Step Floors left again their mark after upping the tempo on the last ascent of the Kemmelberg, the race's iconic climb, and splitting the field as four of our riders made the cut together with 15 other men, setting off in pursuit of the leading group, which at that point was more than a minute clear.

After reeling them in, Philippe Gilbert, Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar dutifully marshaled the group and brought back every single attack, as they continued to increase the gap on the chasers. Even when some riders threw in a last-minute ditch, our team was there and responded immediately, making sure the race ended in a bunch sprint.

Boxed in with 250 meters to go, Viviani eventually found some space to squeeze himself between Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education) and the barriers and launched a devastating sprint, by far the most powerful of all the victory contenders, coming up short for half a bike as he let his anger come out before bursting into tears into one of the most emotional images this season's racing has produced.

Gent-Wevelgem sprint

Peter Sagan leads Elia Viviani across the line

Second behind Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), Elia couldn't hide his huge disappointment and sadness after Sunday's result: "We were aggressive, we were focused at all times, we had four riders in the group and we controlled everything so it came down to a bunch. Philippe did some huge turns and tracked down the attacks, Yves brought me near the front, while Styby put me on Demare's wheel, of whom I knew I can surpass, but unfortunately I got a bit boxed in and lost two seconds when I came around Vanmarcke, and that turned out to be decisive, because afterwards it became impossible to gain those ten meters I lost."

"We were confident we could win, the guys were fantastic, and having missed on this opportunity makes me extremely sad. Gent-Wevelgem is one of my career goals, a race I've always dreamt of winning, so it was only natural to have that reaction after crossing the line in second. This is the most disappointing loss of my career and I cried at the finish because I knew I could have won. I really wanted the victory and I know it's a missed opportunity and I'm incredibly sad, but that's cycling. All I can do is continue working and believing", said Elia after his best ever result in a cobbled Classic, one which together with Zdenek Stybar's eighth place in Wevelgem helped Quick-Step Floors return to the top of the World Tour team classification after 11 of this season's 37 events.

Here's the Lotto-Soudal report:

Jens Debusschere sprinted to the fifth place in Ghent-Wevelgem today. Lotto Soudal was very active all day long and animated the race: Frederik Frison was part of the early breakaway and Jelle Wallays attacked in between the two ascents of the Kemmelberg.

An hour after the start in Deinze a front group of six was established, including Frederik Frison. They built up a gap of more than ten minutes, until FDJ decided to raise the pace in the bunch. By the time of the first ascent of the Kemmelberg, with 75 kilometres to go, the riders got more nervous. In the section of the gravel roads, the Plugstreets, BMC took control of the bunch and the peloton split. De Buyst, Debusschere, Sieberg and Wallays were part of the first group.

Next it was Jelle Wallays who accelerated a few times. Together with Kirsch, Kuznetsov and Vermote Wallays bridged to the front when the gap had been reduced to one and a half minutes. Just after the Baneberg the two groups melted together. That was with less than forty kilometres to go. Frison and three other members of the early break were distanced on the Kemmelberg. In the background the bunch split again. An elite group with Debusschere joined the leaders with 25 kilometres to go. A few kilometres further Wallays was distanced, after Frison had already been dropped earlier. There were a few attacks in the last kilometres, but with no luck. Jens Debusschere waited for the sprint. Peter Sagan was the fastest in Wevelgem. He beat Elia Viviani and Arnaud Démare. Debusschere finished fifth.

Jens DEbusschere

Jens Debusschere was riding to win when the race started in Deinze.

Jens Debusschere: “I wanted to aim for victory today, although I knew it wouldn’t be easy with sprinters such as Démare, Groenewegen, Sagan and Viviani. In the sprint I took the wheel of Démare, but he chose a gap that I couldn’t go through anymore. There was a headwind in the last straight line, so you had to make sure no to come to the front too early. When looking back on the sprint, I maybe should have taken more initiative but I missed some confidence. Let this be a lesson for the future. Nonetheless, finishing fifth in Ghent-Wevelgem is a good result.”

“I felt good all day long and was riding attentively at the front on the Plugstreets. I also survived the second ascent of the Kemmelberg very well. I bridged to the front with a nice group of 25 riders. Frison and Wallays had done an excellent job by going in the attack. The rest of us only needed to be attentive on the crucial points. I had told that I wanted to be good from Milan-Sanremo till Dwars door Vlaanderen. We had bad luck in Sanremo, but today I set a good result. If everything had gone perfectly I might have conquered a podium spot. Wednesday I want to achieve another good result in Dwars door Vlaanderen, maybe I can win like in 2016.”

Frederik Frison: “We had planned to send a rider in the early breakaway because we didn’t have one leader, but several riders with opportunities. We had to try long before the peloton would let us go. At first we only got a few seconds lead, it was only after 35 kilometres that the bunch started to take it slow and that we got a large gap. I am glad that I could help the team. It was a strong breakaway and we worked together really well. I wanted to stay at the front until the second ascent of the Kemmelberg and I did. After the bad luck I had last year, with a fractured pelvis and glandular fever, this feels so good.”

Volta a Catalunya final reports

We posted the report from GC winner Alejandro Valverde's Movistar team with the race results.

Here's the report from stage winner Simon Yate's Mitchelton-Scott team:

British climber Simon Yates claimed a solo victory today in Barcelona on the final stage of Volta Ciclista Catalunya after great teamwork from Mitchelton-SCOTT throughout the race.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates wins the final stage

On tough finishing circuits around Montjuic, Mitchelton-SCOTT had numbers at the front all day, which set up Yates in a good position to launch his final move and take the stage win.

Impey bridges
It wasn’t until the race entered the finishing circuits in Montjuic when the first breakaway of the day stuck. Eight-riders were finally able to jump ahead of the peloton and held a 30second advantage for the first lap.

Shortly after Daryl Impey bridged across to the group, and worked hard around the tough hilly lap, the advantage slowly increased to 40seconds, but with Movistar chasing hard behind, they weren’t given much freedom.

No surrender
With 35kilometres to go the breakaway of nine-riders were almost swallowed up by the peloton, but unwilling to give up, Impey attacked again and took three of the original breakaway riders with him and tried to keep a gap ahead of the bunch.

Yates launched from the bunch and across to Impey’s group which swelled back to seven riders with four laps to go.

Changes at the front
Attacks started from the peloton and the front of the race continued to change. Race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) jumped away from the reduced peloton as Impey and Yates were swallowed up and Carlos Verona followed, and found himself in the new front group with 18kilometres to go it.

Marc Soler (Movistar), Pierre Latour (AG2R), Verona and Yates eventually led the race in the final two laps with Verona pulling hard to make sure the group wasn’t caught.

In the perfect moment on the final lap, Yates was able to jump away and cross the line solo to take another victory this season. The 25-year-old moved in to fourth place overall after second place on the general classification, Egar Bernad (Team Sky), took a fall on the final descent and was unable to finish the race.

Simon Yates- Stage 7 winner and 4th overall
“It was very difficult and very fast from the beginning and the breakaway didn’t go until very late. I wasn’t sure if I could match the really fast guys here so I decided to try and go early and it paid off.”

“I came here with big ambitions and I wanted to try and finish on the podium but came a little bit short with fourth in the end. We kept trying everyday and laid it on the line even with the sprints for Impey and we can be proud of that.”

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this Catalonia Tour summary:

The final stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya was dominated by many attacks and ended with a solo victory for S. Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). BORA – hansgrohe worked for Jay McCarthy, who crossed the line in 5th place on the final stage of the 98th Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

The Stage
The race travelled to Barcelona for the final stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Stage 7 took the peloton over a 154km course with the traditional Montjuic circuit. They tackled the 200m hill averaging 5% eight times, last of the ascents came in the final five kilometres.

The Team Tactics
The final stage was a stage for BORA – hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy. The Australian knew the final laps from last year´s edition, as he was in the breakaway for many kilometres. Therefore, the German team supported him as best as possible to go for another good stage result.  

The Race
The race started at midday and after two hours of racing the peloton was still together. With 45km remaining a group of nine riders launched an attack and distanced themselves from the peloton with some seconds gap but 33km before the finish, five riders were back in the pack. BORA – hansgrohe stayed in front of the first chasing group and worked for Jay McCarthy.

The race changed 15km before the finish line, as a new quartet attacked and went up the road. BORA – hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy was represented in the first chasing group some seconds behind the breakaway. With 4km remaining, S. Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) launched an attack out of the break and was able to take the stage win ahead of M. Soler (Team Movistar). BORA – hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy finished some seconds behind in the chasing group and took fifth place.

From the Finish Line
“It was a tough race today, many attacks and a high pace right from the beginning. There were a lot of crashes due to the wet roads, but luckily our riders weren´t involved. The team did a strong ride and worked for Jay. He was in the first chasing group, we thought maybe they can close the gap but the pace was high at the front. He took fifth place, which is a good result for the final stage. Of course, in the GC we planned to achieve more but what can you do.” – Jens Zemke, sports director

“I felt good today, I am happy that I finished fifth place of course it would have been nice to take another podium result today but I feel my form is coming along well for the upcoming races.” – Jay McCarthy 

Trek-Segafredo reports on the Bartali-Coppi Week

The report from GC winner Diego Rosa's Team Sky is posted with the race results.

Bauke Mollema came to Italy to find back good sensations after he had been fighting an infection in the last weeks, including during Paris-Nice where he was left wondering what had happened to his early season form.  Blood tests after Paris-Nice revealed poor blood values and Mollema was unable to train at his usual level in the past weeks.

It was not decided until the last minute that Mollema would take the start in Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and he came to the four-day race to find back his race form, not with any big expectations.

However, after claiming the stage win in the uphill finish of stage two, and successfully finishing with the reduced peloton in a windy and stressful stage three, Mollema found himself seven seconds behind race leader Diego Rosa (Sky).

Diego Rosa

Diego Rosa riding to final victory.

The final day time trial was an opportunity for Mollema to take the overall win, but Rosa proved too strong in the 12.5-kilometer race against the clock, finishing in second place, 14 seconds quicker than Mollema.

After the race, Mollema commented: The TT was good but not enough for the GC win. When I started this race it was all about getting the good feelings again and GC was not a big goal. I took a stage win and definitely found the good feelings again. I even came close to winning the GC, but Diego Rosa was a little too strong today. Anyway, very happy with the week!

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary