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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, October 14, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle. - Walt Whitman

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Tour of Turkey stage five team reports

We posted the report from stage five winner Alvaro Hodeg's Quick-Stem team with the results

Third-place Nathan Haas' Katusha-Alpecin team posted this update:

Even in mid-October, with the final weeks of racing in the 2018 season, our squad at the Tour of Turkey is focused and driven, and this showed today with Nathan Haas taking 3rd place in the stage 5 sprint finish, moving him up into 2nd overall on general classification.

Lavero Hodeg

Alvaro Hodeg wins stage five.

"Coming into the final we had Maxim, Mads and my left hand man Reto with me: they were all incredible. I was a bit boxed in though coming into the final stretch and had to come from quite far back, but in the end I just went with my instinct and stayed calm- it was a bit uphill on the finish which suits me."  Nathan explained as he finished his lunch and prepared for the 300 kilometre transfer.

The stage was far from quiet before the final, with an intermediate sprint and time bonus being up for grabs just 27 kilometres in.  Team KATUSHA ALPECIN anticipated the heated start and worked together to control the peloton, setting up Haas to contest the intermediate sprint for the time bonus.

"The team did an amazing job keeping the race together for the first 30 kilometres, even our climbing guys got involved, which was really cool, we had the whole team just doing an awesome job. I took 2 seconds in the intermediate sprint, which solidified my 4th on GC.

Tomorrow's 150 kilometre stage finishes in Istanbul with an uphill sprint forecasted for the day, with only one category 3 climb in the first half of the parcours.

"Looking to tomorrow: the intermediate sprint isnt as much as an option as it comes quite late in the stage, but the final is more uphill than today, which does suit a rider of my style.  We are so proud of how we have ridden as a team so far in this race and tomorrow if we can do it again, its just gravy. Most of us conclude our season with this race, so however tomorrow plays out, I think we are all just super happy to have worked so well together and end our 2018 season in this way."

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this Tour of Turkey report:

The penultimate stage of the Tour of Turkey saw another hectic bunch sprint, where A.J. Hodeg took the win. After 45 hard kilometres of racing a group of five riders went up the road and formed the breakaway of the day. In the approach toward the finale, the peloton closed the gap and another bunch sprint was on the cards. BORA – hansgrohe started to form their lead-out for Sam Bennett for the slight uphill finish. The Irish sprinter was not well positioned and which took him out of podium contention, but a strong fourth place was enough to defend his sprint jersey.

From the Finish Line
“Lukas, Jay and all the other guys did once again a fantastic job. In the finale, I chose the wrong side and as Degenkolb passed me, I wasn’t able to overtake him and was out in the wind for a long sprint. Therefore, it wasn’t possible to go for another win or podium. I want to try it tomorrow again and to secure my sprint jersey.” – Sam Bennett

“The team put on another a good performance, as they have the whole week here. The finale was slightly uphill and the wind played a role today. Sam gave his best, but in a bunch sprint, there are happen so many things happening in just a second. He kept his sprint jersey and we will try to bring it home tomorrow.” – Steffen Radochla, sports director

Il Lombardia team reports

We posted the news from third-place Dylan Teuns BMC team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida team:

Como, October 13th – “I’m happy but I wanted to win – commented Vincenzo Nibali after the finish line in Como – it was a shame to have found Pinot with an incredible condition. On the last climb, I felt very tired but I wanted the podium; I found the last energy and I attacked again. It went right”.

”Among the Monuments, Il Lombardia it’s my favorite race. After the crash at the Tour, today’s second place represents my sporting redemption. I wanted to do a great race but the legs were not super and so I ran mostly with my head. Now a little rest and then I will start working for a wonderful next season”.

Thibaut Pinot

Thibaut Pinot wins in Como. Sirotti photo

Ion Izagirre: “It was my last race with the TBM’s jersey and I closed with a good 6th place. We all made a great team performance.  After the Vuelta, I was thinking about going down, but I recovered for the World Championship and even today I was fine”.

Domenico Pozzovivo: “It is a race that I have always liked and in which I often arrive with the first ones. When Vincent attacked we protected him from behind and then he made a “great number”. I am happy with my season in which I have been very continuous, the victory has been missing but I have achieved good results “.

SD Alberto Volpi: “A super day, even if we did not win. Vincenzo has shown to be a great champion even if he was not 100%. Also his teammates made a great job all day long and I think to have three riders in the Top Ten show it fully “.

BMC Racing Team set for Hammer Hong Kong and Tour of Guangxi

The team sent me this:

13 October, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): A well-rounded group of BMC Racing Team riders will bring their 2018 season to a close at the Hammer Series finale, Hammer Hong Kong, this Sunday (14 October) and the last UCI WorldTour stage race of 2018, the Tour of Guangxi, next week (16 - 21 October).

[Editor's note: At this time BikeRaceInfo does not cover either of these races]

Sports Director Jackson Stewart will lead BMC Racing Team in both Hong Kong and China. "I think we are all looking forward to racing in Hong Kong at the Hammer Series decider and it works well that we can combine this with the Tour of Guangxi, the final UCI WorldTour race of the season. We have already had some success in the Hammer Series this year and will go into the final day of racing third on the leaderboard so, with our five selected riders, we will be looking to finish the competition off well," Stewart explained.

"Likewise, at last year's Tour of Guangxi, we had a very motivated roster and saw good performances which we are looking to repeat this year. Although we will be one man down at the final UCI WorldTour race of the season due to some last minute changes, we are still lining up with a strong, competitive and versatile six-rider roster. It has been a long season for many of our guys, and while it is sometimes difficult to maintain form and motivation in late-October, we are looking to have success in our final two races as BMC Racing Team."

Jurgen Roelandts

Jurgen Roelandts at the Giro earlier this year. Sirotti photo

Jürgen Roelandts is looking to make the most out of any bunch sprints in the final race of his 2018 season. "It is a bit hard to know where my shape is at the moment as I was a little sick and I have only done one race over the past month. However, I have done some good training over the last week or so and I think Hammer Hong Kong will be a good way to warm up for some proper sprints in China, however, as a team, we will still be looking to perform well on Sunday," Roelandts said.

"Of course, this is the last race of the year for me and you always want to go into the winter having shown some good late-season form. At last year's Tour of Guangxi, five out of the six stages ended in a bunch sprint so I hope I can make some good results next week. I will see on Sunday how my legs are but I am motivated and I hope that we will see a progressive curve but it's always hard at the end of a long season."

Hammer Hong Kong (14 October):
Rider Roster: Stefan Küng (SUI), Richie Porte (AUS), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL), Miles Scotson (AUS), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL)

Sports Directors: Jackson Stewart (USA), Steve Bauer (CAN)

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Tour of Guangxi (16 - 21 October):
Rider Roster: Stefan Küng (SUI), Richie Porte (AUS), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Miles Scotson (AUS), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL)

Sports Directors: Jackson Stewart (USA), Steve Bauer (CAN)

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