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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, May 5, 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 believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. - Walt Whitman

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Giro d'Italia stage one team reports

Stage winner Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb sent me this update:

Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin (NED) has secured the stage one victory at the Giro d'Italia, finishing his race against the clock in a time of 12 minutes and two seconds. His efforts also mean that he wears the first Maglia Rosa of the 2018 edition of the race.

Dumoulin said: "It's been quite a cool few days in Israel and today tops it off with the win. I knew that I felt good but you have to see how things go during the race. We've worked really hard over the last few months, so I'm really happy with the win because it confirms that all of the work has paid off. The course was really good for me; it was really technical and I’m good on the corners. I could go full gas, then recover, then go full gas and recover again. It’s nice to be in the Maglia Rosa but it will be hard to keep it for three weeks. We aren’t planning on defending it every day so we will see what we do with that in the coming days.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) added: "We had a really good preparation period and the atmosphere in the team is really good, relaxed and focused which helped us to get the win today. The course here in Jerusalem was quite difficult; they were hard parcours which were constantly up and down with really warm temperatures. Technically Tom did a really good TT and in the end, whilst some guys had problems keeping the pace high, he could continue strong. We are all very happy and proud of this victory."

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin gets 2018's first pink jersey.

Rohan Dennis was a close second-place. His BMC team sent me this:

4 May, Jerusalem (ISR): Rohan Dennis came nail-bitingly close to securing the maglia rosa on day one of the Giro d'Italia in Israel, crossing the line with the second-fastest time in the race against the clock.

Dennis chose to start the 9.7km time trial early and was the 42nd rider to roll down the TAG Heuer start ramp to begin the undulating course in Jerusalem.

With one intermediate checkpoint coming after 5.1km, Dennis made his intentions clear and recorded the fastest provisional time of 6'21" at the checkpoint, before laying everything on the line in the second part of the time trial to cross the line in 12'04".

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis came so close....

Dennis then had a long wait in the hot seat as rider after rider tackled the demanding and technical course, and it was only 2017 Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), the last rider to start, who could beat Dennis' time by stopping the clock in 12'02", two seconds faster.

Jürgen Roelandts was the next best rider for BMC Racing Team in 35th place, 45 seconds behind Dumoulin.

Quotes from the Finish Line

Rohan Dennis:
"It was a technical course. It was hard to get a rhythm and it was challenging. I would have liked the roads to be a bit smoother but you can't have everything. I did everything I could and the only way I can judge how I rode is my position at the end of the day. I was pretty relaxed until the last half an hour of the race. I knew Tom was going to be the big rival today and he proved that by taking the win. There were a few other riders that I was surprised about. There was nothing I could have done better today. I was just beaten by the better guy."

Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
"Rohan did a fantastic ride. I think everything was executed to perfection and it's not like he was beaten by the odd guy. It was by a guy who came into this race wearing number 1, who won the Giro d'Italia last year and who is the World time trial champion. There was nothing we could do. Rohan rode fantastically and held it right up until the last guy. For us, it's a bitter taste because we almost had it and you kind of dream a little bit, but the Giro is long. There are a lot of stages still to come and we are just at the beginning. We are going to look forward and Rohan has another great time trial to come. That's the first thing he told me. So, we're looking ahead and will move forward from here."

Lotto-Soudal's Victor Campenaerts was third. Here's his team's report:

The battle for the first pink jersey of the 101st Giro d’Italia was a huge thriller, with Victor Campenaerts in one of the leading roles. The European time trial champion set the third time.

When Victor left the start ramp at about half past three, Rohan Dennis had already been sitting in the hot seat for a while. The Australian time trial champion had ridden his time trial early in the afternoon. He had covered the course of 9.7 kilometres through the centre of Jerusalem in 12’04”. At the finish Victor Campenaerts was only a few hundredths of seconds slower than Dennis! Only Tom Dumoulin was faster than Dennis, beating his time by two seconds. The Giro winner of 2017 could put on the first pink jersey of this new edition. Tim Wellens finished fifteenth today, 32 seconds down on Dennis.

Victor Campenaerts

Fractions of a second separated Campenaerts and Dennis.

Victor Campenaerts: “Of course I am disappointed after coming so close to victory, especially because the pink jersey was at stake today. That I finished third in the end, makes it a bit more bearable. This result proves that my pink dream was realistic, although I knew beforehand that it wouldn’t be easy. I have earned my place among the time trial specialists.”

“In a time trial like today it all depends on details. In the last downhill part, I felt I couldn’t reach my maximum speed anymore. That’s something every time trialist thinks after a race. But two seconds isn’t a detail, the difference of a few hundredths of seconds with Dennis is.”

“In the next hours my disappointment will disappear, I’m sure. I can be proud of all my efforts of the past months to prepare myself for this day. It ended with a nice third place. The team has put its faith in me and I got the perfect preparation. I am very grateful to the team. The Giro is still long. The time trial on the sixteenth stage should suit me, but of course I had preferred to win today. But congratulations to Tom Dumoulin.”

And here's Bora-hansgrohe's Giro stage one report:

The opening stage of the 101st Giro d´Italia was a 9,7km individual time trial, which saw R. Dennis a long time as the leader of the race, until last rider, T. Dumoulin went up the start ramp and took the win two seconds ahead of Dennis and wears now the Maglia Rosa. The highest-placed BORA - hansgrohe rider was Felix Großschartner, who finished the course 31 seconds behind the stage winner in 14thposition. His teammate Patrick Konrad showed as well a good time trial to finish in 18thplace.

The Stage
The 101stedition of the Giro d´Italia started with an individual time trial of 9,7 kilometres and went through the city of Jerusalem. The route was very wavy with several bends and constantly changing gradients. The Intermediate time checks were taken at 5.1km and 7.3kmand the finale 300 metres ran steeply uphill with gradients peaking 9%, therefore it was a first demanding stage.

The Team Tactics
BORA – hansgrohe started in this Giro d´Italia with two guys for the general classification, Davide Formolo and Patrick Konrad. Therefore, both of them should try to finish the race safely to have a good position in the overall. Felix Großschartner was the man for today´s stage result, a place in the top twenty on this demanding route was the goal for the day.

The Race
The German sprinter Rudi Selig was the first BORA – hansgrohe rider, he left the start ramp at 14:06 and completed the 9,7km course with a time of 13:35. R. Dennis (BMC) was the man who crossed the line with a new best time, he finished the race after 12:04 minutes and was able to keep the hot seat for a long time.

Andreas Schillinger finished the first stage after 13:19 minutes. At 15:34 Cesare Benedetti started out on the course, the clock stopped after 12:56 minutes, his teammate Christoph Pfingsten showed a good performance and had the third best time after the first intermediate time check. He finished the race with a time of 12:46 in 34thplace. In the late afternoon Felix Großschartner left the start house and showed a strong ride, the Austrian rider crossed the line after 12:33 minutes. Ashighest-placed BORA - hansgrohe rider he finished the course 31 seconds behind the stage winner in 14thplace, also Patrick Konrad finished in the top twenty, his time of 12:36 meant 18thplace in the end. The last rider of the German Team was Davide Formolo, Davide showed once again his time trial skills improved and finished in 27thposition, 40 seconds behind the later winner T. Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). Dumoulin was the last rider who went up the road and took the win with a time of 12:02, two seconds ahead of R. Dennis (BMC).

From the Finish Line
“The crowd was amazing today, the whole course was surrounded by fans, which gave kind of extra motivation. I am satisfied with my result but of course the white jersey would have been a nice extra but there are many stages left.” – Felix Großschartner

“The start in Israel was more stressful than expected, but I think it was all worth. Felix showed once again that he has the potential as a GC contender even with his great TT skills. Patrick also finished in the top twenty, which is a great result too, and Davide impressed us with a good 26thplace in a discipline he doesn’t really like. Our GC riders are now in a really good position and we are looking forward to the upcoming sprint stages.” – Christian Pömer, sport director 

Tour de Yorkshire stage two news

We posted the organizer's report on the results page.

Here's what stage winner Magnus Cort Nielsen's Team Astana had to say about the stage:

After an impressive sprint uphill, Magnus Cort won Stage 2 of Tour de Yorkshire. The Danish rider of Astana Pro Team finished in front of Greg van Avermaet and Eduard Prades. Because of the win, he’s also the new leader of the race with 4 seconds advantage on Van Avermaet.

- Today was really hard and it was a tough climb to the finish line. I really had to turn myself inside out during the climb, so I’m really happy with this win. Everyone was riding on their limit on the climb, so I just closed my eyes and went for it, resulting in this win and in the race lead. The team did a great job today, and we will try to defend the leader jersey,- told Magnus Cort.

Magnus Cprt Nielsen

Magnus Cort Nielsen wins Yorkshire Tour stage two.

Stage 2 of Tour de Yorkshire started in Barnsley and finished uphill in Ilkley. The Cote the Cow and Calf was the final climb of the day, with the finish on the top. Clearly a day for the puncheurs in the peloton.

After a breakaway of 6 riders, including Laurens de Vreese who took the maximum amount of points at the KOM of the first climb of the day, the day’s breakaway took off with 4 riders. This breakaway was able to stay in the front of the peloton for almost the whole stage, but with 17 kilometer to go, everything was back together climbing the Old Pool Bank. A reduced peloton remained after this climb, heading for the final climb to the finish.

At the final climb, Magnus Cort waited for the final 50 meters before outsprinting the field, finishing on top of the Cow and Calf climb.

-It was good to see Laurens de Vreese in the first part of the race, and the team did a great job of protecting Magnus Cort for the final. Oscar Gatto was bringing Magnus Cort to the first positions before the final climb. From that point he took the risk and of course he had good legs, which resulted in this fantastic win. So after all a good team performance today, we’re really happy and we will try to defend this position,- said sport director Lars Michaelsen after the finish.

Tom Bohli forced to abandon the Tour de Yorkshire after crash on stage two

Team BMC sent me this bad news:

4 May, 2018, Leeds (GBR): Tom Bohli has been forced to abandon the Tour de Yorkshire after a crash early into stage 2 which left him with multiple contusions, BMC Racing Team doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria confirmed.

"After his crash, Tom was taken to the hospital where he underwent X-rays and a CT scan. Fortunately, everything came back negative so at this point it looks like there are no fractures. However, he does have a lot of contusions and bruises especially on his arms, and he has some pain at the bottom of his back which is making it difficult for him to move at the moment."

"He is going to spend the night under observation at the hospital and hopefully, he will be able to fly back home tomorrow. We will continue to monitor his condition," Dr. Zaccaria explained.

BMC Racing Team will continue to provide updates on Bohli's recovery.

Greg LeMond settles suit with alleged cybersquatters

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this update:

MINNEAPOLIS (BRAIN) — After boths sides reported that they had settled their issues, U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a case that Greg LeMond filed against a father and son who LeMond said were cybersquatting at least 66 web domains related to LeMond's name and his business trademarks.

LeMond filed suit in June last year and a jury trial was recently scheduled for February, 2019. Terms of the settlement were not released.

LeMond had charged that Frederick Harold Stinchfield II and Frederick Harold Stinchfield III registered the domains and were offering them for sale. He demanded $6.6 million in damages and compensation.

The sites were registered in the Stinchfields' names in 2016. The domains include variations on the words LeMond and Grail, which is a trademark LeMond Composites uses for its products. The domains include lemond.news, greglemondgonewild.com, lemondautomotive.com and lemondtechnologies.org, among others. According to whois.icann.org, all those domains are now registered in Greg LeMond's name.

You can read the entire story here.

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