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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, October 11, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Tour of Turkey stage two team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Sam Bennett's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Alvaro Hodeg's Quick-Step team:

Another fast and furious finale unfolded at the Tour of Turkey, this time in Antalya – the country's largest city on the Mediterranean coast, first settled two millennia ago by the Hellenistic dynasty of the Attalids, and a regular feature on the race since 2008 – where the 150km-long stage 2 concluded.

Quick-Step Floors took again responsibility in the pack, protecting stage 1 winner and overall leader Maximiliano Richeze, and at the same time maintaining a steady pace behind the four escapees, with Tim Declercq, Iljo Keisse and Zdenek Stybar exchanging turns and putting in a hard work which paid dividends with ten kilometers to go, when the quartet got pegged back.

One of the best lead-out riders in the world, Max Richeze navigated through the field with Alvaro Hodeg on his wheel as they approached the final kilometer, after Stybar had previously stretched out the bunch, dropping the Colombian inside the last 150 meters. The 22-year-old neo-pro came out of the Argentinean's wheel and delivered a fine sprint, which at the end of the day saw him take second, behind Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), for his tenth podium of what's been a truly remarkable season.

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett (green jersey) wins Tour of Turkey stage two.

"The team was perfect today, keeping the break under control the whole stage and putting me in a good position for the sprint, so I want to thank them for that. Maybe we came a a bit too early to the front in the sprint, as Bennett was right on my wheel and with the headwind he could same some energy and pass me with 30 meters to go. I'm glad that my legs are good and motivated to try again on the next stages", said Alvaro, the only neo-pro to have won on World Tour level multiple times this year.

And third-place Simoni Consonni's UAE team sent me this:

Simone Consonni rode the right path, worked his way through and showed strong legs: the ingredients needed for a sprint. He shot to third place today in the second stage of the Tour of Turkey, from Alanya to Antalya at 154.1km.

The race arrived in a compact group for the finish in Antalya after the group pulled in the final escape group of four men with 10 km remaining. Consonni found good position to launch his sprint, arriving behind the winner Sam Bennett and Alvaro Hodeg. Bennett took over the overall lead, Consonni sits fourth at 12″.

“I’m quite satisfied with my sprint, I finished on the podium thanks to the good work of my team-mates, they guided me perfectly. Ulissi took me to the last 20km, I then managed to find a perfect position and had sufficiently fresh legs for the sprint,” Consonni said “The sprint was also complicated today, on such wide roads it is not easy to find a super position and defend it, it takes smarts and a bit of luck. After the two third places obtained in the last edition, it’s the third podium that I have in Turkey. I like the race, it offers interesting opportunities to the sprinters. I hope to repay the confidence of the team with a win, even if the competition here is higher compared to the 2017 edition“.

Milano-Torino report from Alejandro Valverde's Team Movistar

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) honoured the rainbow jersey on Wednesday with spectacular attacks on the final section of the Milano-Torino classic (UCI 1.HC), the oldest race in the UCI Europe Tour, over 200km with two decisive climbs to the Basilica di Superga.

The marvel from Murcia created the first big selection in the bunch by himself on the first climb, with two brutal accelerations with just over 20km from the end with left the group down to about thirty riders. Despite ‘Bala’ going further ahead with a move that left only five riders together at the descent -including Miguel Ángel López (AST), David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Rafal Majka (BOH)-, the subsequent regrouping forced the Spaniard to start from scratch at the last climb. Another big move by Valverde helped him bridge back to the earlier attacks on the decisive Superga ascent, ‘Bala’ staying with 2km to go inside the decisive split with the two Groupamas, López and Jakob Fuglsang (AST).

A crash between López and Gaudu with 1.5km remaining helped Pinot open a gap over the Colombian and Valverde, who ultimately struggled to keep the pace yet retained a well-deserved 3rd spot. It’s the 24th podium finish this season -in 80 racing days, with 14 victories and no less than 39 top-ten results, nearly 50% of his competitions in 2018- for the rainbow jersey holder, who will try to put an icing to his excellent 2018 at Saturday’s Il Lombardia.

Thibaut Pinot

Thibaut Pinot wins Milano-Torino. Sirotti photo

REACTION:
Alejandro Valverde: “I’m so happy to get to the podium of this prestigious race. I knew it would be hard to win and, since I was feeling great into the last climb, I tried to make the race explode and enjoy myself. If I really wanted to make a gamble for the outright win, I would have saved some energy for the end, but I came here to enjoy and offer some fireworks. No doubts about Pinot being the strongest today; it was sad, though, to see López crashing, because otherwise he’d have been up there with the Frenchman. Seeing how they both did, a 3rd place is more than good for me. It makes me confident for Saturday. We’ll try to do a good Lombardia; winning is never easy, even less so with such a hard profile and such strong contenders, but my legs felt well today and I hope to find this feeling again on Saturday.”

1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich undergoing substance abuse treatment

Velonews posted this report:

FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Retired German star cyclist Jan Ullrich returns to Europe for more substance abuse treatment after going through detox in Miami and is apologizing to people he hurt in the last several months.

Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, is facing assault allegations linked to three separate incidents. He is seeking help for his drug use, aided in part by former rival Lance Armstrong.

Jan Ullrich

Jan Ullrich won the 1997 Tour de France.

“I learned a lot during the detox phase in Miami,” Ullrich wrote in a letter published by Bild.

“I was surrounded by people with a similar fate and by very good therapists and doctors. I am now aware that I am ill for reasons that I do not want to address today.”

In August, the 44-year-old was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He had been detained for allegedly assaulting a prostitute in a Frankfurt hotel. The incident followed a 24-hour detention in Mallorca, Spain, after he was accused of forcing his way into his neighbor’s home, German actor Til Schweiger, and threatening him.

The cycling community reacted with alarm. Armstrong flew to Germany to offer his help. Ullrich took him up on it and flew to the U.S. Before departing, it was reported he “suddenly assaulted” a man in the security check zone at Hamburg airport.

Ullrich said his troubles began due to a difficult relationship with his ex-wife Sara over their children. He first attended a rehab clinic Bad Brückenau, Germany, and then the one in Miami. Now, he returns for a six-week course.

You can read the entire story here.

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