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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, May 22, 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 was really too honest a man to be a politician and live. - Socrates

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Latest UCI road rankings

Top 40 riders:

Rank Rider Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter BORA - HANSGROHE 3753
2 FROOME Chris TEAM SKY 3724.43
3 NIBALI Vincenzo BAHRAIN - MERIDA 3132
4 VIVIANI Elia QUICK - STEP FLOORS 2774
5 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC RACING TEAM 2734.57
6 KRISTOFF Alexander UAE TEAM EMIRATES 2627
7 MATTHEWS Michael TEAM SUNWEB 2528
8 DUMOULIN Tom TEAM SUNWEB 2467
9 VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM 2434
10 WELLENS Tim LOTTO SOUDAL 2370
11 BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE 2183
12 LANDA MEANA Mikel MOVISTAR TEAM 2138
13 ALAPHILIPPE Julian QUICK - STEP FLOORS 2045
14 DEMARE Arnaud GROUPAMA - FDJ 2007
15 ULISSI Diego UAE TEAM EMIRATES 1910
16 QUINTANA Nairo MOVISTAR TEAM 1896
17 ROGLIČ Primož TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO 1870
18 MOLLEMA Bauke TREK - SEGAFREDO 1828
19 BERNAL Egan Arley TEAM SKY 1826
20 STUYVEN Jasper TREK - SEGAFREDO 1793
21 URAN Rigoberto TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST 1696
22 ARU Fabio UAE TEAM EMIRATES 1694
23 PINOT Thibaut GROUPAMA - FDJ 1652
24 TRENTIN Matteo MITCHELTON - SCOTT 1648
25 BENOOT Tiesj LOTTO SOUDAL 1605
26 KWIATKOWSKI Michal TEAM SKY 1583.43
27 TERPSTRA Niki QUICK - STEP FLOORS 1580
28 VANMARCKE Sep TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST 1560
29 VALGREN ANDERSEN Michael ASTANA PRO TEAM 1551
30 FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM 1548
31 GREIPEL André LOTTO SOUDAL 1540
32 POZZOVIVO Domenico BAHRAIN - MERIDA 1515
33 VUILLERMOZ Alexis AG2R LA MONDIALE 1514
34 COLBRELLI Sonny BAHRAIN - MERIDA 1482
35 TEUNS Dylan BMC RACING TEAM 1478
36 GILBERT Philippe QUICK - STEP FLOORS 1473
37 ZAKARIN Ilnur TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 1414
38 JUNGELS Bob QUICK - STEP FLOORS 1406
39 GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando QUICK - STEP FLOORS 1405
40 HAGEN Edvald Boasson TEAM DIMENSION DATA 1397

Nations:

Rank Name Points
1 ITALY 15285.57
2 BELGIUM 14410.57
3 FRANCE 12232
4 NETHERLANDS 11372
5 SPAIN 10273
6 COLOMBIA 9824
7 GREAT BRITAIN 8251.76
8 AUSTRALIA 7369.14
9 DENMARK 6515
10 NORWAY 5891
11 GERMANY 5601
12 SLOVENIA 5479.28
13 POLAND 4401.43
14 SLOVAKIA 4232
15 CZECH REPUBLIC 3668
16 SWITZERLAND 3659.17
17 RUSSIAN FEDERATION 3420.33
18 IRELAND 3300
19 PORTUGAL 2889.71
20 LUXEMBOURG 2865
21 SOUTH AFRICA 2734.24
22 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 2678
23 AUSTRIA 2312
24 CANADA 2096
25 NEW ZEALAND 1815.57
26 KAZAKHSTAN 1790.5
27 ERITREA 1672.5
28 UKRAINE 1669
29 BELARUS 1475.43
30 LATVIA 1387
31 ESTONIA 1358
32 JAPAN 1343.01
33 ARGENTINA 1298
34 ALGERIA 1033
35 VENEZUELA 1010
36 IRAN 996
37 RWANDA 988
38 COSTA RICA 931
39 ECUADOR 917.51
40 ROMANIA 868

World Tour Team ranking

Rank Name Points
1 QUICK - STEP FLOORS (QST) 7211
2 BORA - HANSGROHE (BOH) 4452
3 MITCHELTON - SCOTT (MTS) 4440.99
4 BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 4178.99
5 MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 4002
6 TEAM SKY (SKY) 3696.01
7 BAHRAIN - MERIDA (TBM) 3661
8 ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) 3254
9 AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) 3204
10 LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 3041
11 TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ) 2668
12 TREK - SEGAFREDO (TFS) 2508
13 TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST - DRAPAC (EFD) 2499
14 UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAD) 2231
15 TEAM SUNWEB (SUN) 2142
16 GROUPAMA - FDJ (GFC) 1376
17 TEAM DIMENSION DATA (DDD) 1220
18 TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN (TKA) 1076

Chris Froome prepared for final Giro push

Here's the Team Sky post:

Chris Froome is ready to ‘give it everything he’s got’ as he enters the final week of the Giro d’Italia aiming to make up for lost time. Froome trails race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) by 4’52” after losing time to his compatriot on a mountainous stage 15, but is adamant that there is still an opportunity to make ground up on the race favourites, starting with the individual time trial on stage 16.

The 33 year old, who is currently seventh overall, believes Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin is the man to beat in Tuesday’s 34.2 kilometre test, but Froome is optimistic. He said: “If I gain anything on Tom Dumoulin I’ll be very happy. He’s the world champion time triallist, I don’t expect to gain anything on him tomorrow, but let’s see. “I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and I’m certainly not going to expect anything [to be easy] for the rest of this Giro.

“It’s been a brutal race, but it’s also been a beautiful race. This is bike racing at its best and it’s what people want to see. Real edge-of-the-seat stuff and unpredictable racing too. [The gap] is big, especially the way Simon [Yates] has been riding, he hasn’t shown one moment of weakness so far and only seems to be getting stronger. I’m still going to focus on the GC, I’m not going to give up.”

Before Sunday’s setback on stage 15 it was Froome who stood atop the podium, edging Yates in an incredible battle atop Monte Zoncolan, and while Froome believes that the energy expended had a detrimental effect on his performance the following day, he had no regrets. 

Chris Froome

Chris Froome headed for the finish atop the Zoncolan.

He continued: “I think it’s quite clear, Zoncolan was going to be the most iconic climb of the Giro, I’d done the recon and I put absolutely everything I had on that climb. I went super deep on Zoncolan, it was such an amazing experience and it’s [a decision] I don’t regret.

“I don’t regret putting everything on the line that day, it was an incredible experience. The atmosphere on the climb, the thousands of people up there. And just taking a step back, to eight years ago when I first rode Zoncolan where I was almost reliant on the public giving me a push every 20 metres just to get up there, and then to come back here eight years later and win is a moment that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.”

Lotto-Soudal previews Tour of Belgium:

Busy times for Lotto Soudal. This week the team won’t only be racing in Italy and Norway, but also in Belgium. From Wednesday 23 May till Sunday 27 May the Baloise Belgium Tour is scheduled. Except for Lotto Soudal there are only two more WorldTour teams on the start list of this Europe Tour stage race, namely Katusha and Astana.

Herman Frison, DS Lotto Soudal: “There are many races at this time of the season and sometimes it’s necessary to make choices. For us it’s important to ride the Baloise Belgium Tour because we are a Belgian team and because Lotto is one of the partners of the race too. It’s a pity there are so few WorldTour teams, but the Pro Continental teams should definitely not be underestimated. They will be keen on performing well this week.”

Lotto Soudal has a strong team for the Baloise Belgium Tour. André Greipel, who had a successful comeback at 4 Jours de Dunkerque after his collarbone fracture, and last year’s overall winner Jens Keukeleire are two beautiful names on the start list. Jasper De Buyst has sufficiently recovered from his crash after the finish of the fifth stage of 4 Jours de Dunkerque and will be able to do his job in the sprint train.

Herman Frison: “Apart from André Greipel Bryan Coquard and Magnus Cort Nielsen are the main sprinters on the provisional start list. In theory there are three sprint stages: the opening stage with start and finish in Buggenhout, the second stage with the traditional finish on the Wandelaar in Knokke-Heist and the last stage to Tongeren. With Greipel in the team all eyes will be on us, but it won’t be easy to control the sprint stages. If a large group rides away on those flat stages it could be an option to let one of our riders join the break too. The Golden Kilometre in the finale of each stage in line, where bonus seconds can be gained, could also influence the stage result. At that point someone could create a decisive gap. We’ll need to be attentive at that moment. A stage win is our first priority, a good overall result is our second one.”

“The time trial in Bornem on Friday and Saturday’s Ardennes stage will determine the GC. After the time trial we can make a first evaluation to see what is possible for us on GC. The fourth stage with start and finish in Wanze will be the moment of truth for the GC riders. Jelle Vanendert, who was very strong in the Ardennes races this spring, and Jens Keukeleire, who finished third in Ans last year, are our main assets for that stage.”

Jens Keukeleire won the GC of the Baloise Belgium Tour last year with six seconds lead over Rémi Cavagna and eleven seconds lead over Tony Martin. After the Tour de Romandie the Belgian left for Andorra together with Jelle Wallays to prepare for the Baloise Belgium Tour.

Jens Keukeleire: “A few days after the Tour de Romandie Jelle Wallays and I left for Andorra for an altitude training camp and we got back last Thursday. It’s was the fourth consecutive time that I went to Andorra at this time of the season. The weather in the mountains was less good than previous years, but apparently the weather we had was normal for this time of the year and I had just been lucky past years. In the valley the weather was way better. We could do our trainings as planned and did a lot of climbing.”

“It’s great to start with bib number one. Last year I took part in the Baloise Belgium Tour as member of the Belgian national team, now it’s my first season at Lotto Soudal. We have a strong team for this week and I am looking forward to the race. It’s a beautiful course and it’s always fun to race in Belgium.”

“It would be wonderful if I could repeat last year’s performance. Last year I hadn’t started with the ambition to win the GC. In the Ardennes stage I was part of the early break and we remained ahead till the finish, but I also was in a good condition after my altitude training camp. This year the Ardennes stage will again be decisive for GC. It will also be a matter of racing as hard as I can in the time trial. Last year the Kemmelberg already caused a first selection on GC on the second day, this year the first two stages are entirely flat. Maybe the wind could cause a surprise.”

“Last year I conquered the overall victory thanks to the bonus seconds on the last stage and also this year those sprints in the Golden Kilometre could be crucial. Winning the Baloise Belgium Tour often comes down to a few seconds and in the Golden Kilometre nine bonus seconds are up for grabs. I think Magnus Cort Nielsen, who was in Andorra too, will be a main contender this week.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Jasper De Buyst, André Greipel, Jens Keukeleire, Nikolas Maes, Marcel Sieberg, Jelle Vanendert and Jelle Wallays.

Sports directors: Herman Frison and Frederik Willems.

Stages

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