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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. - Dalai Lama

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Tour of Britain stage two news

We posted the report from stage winner Cameron Meyer's Mitchelton-Scott team with the results.

Here's the organizer's stage two report:

Commonwealth Games time trial champion Cameron Meyer took victory in Stage Two of the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain after sprinting to win from a day-long breakaway in Barnstaple, Devon on Monday.

The Australian rider, who last claimed a road race victory in February 2015, beat breakaway companion Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) after the pair had been a part of the stage’s five-man escape group that went clear in the opening 15 kilometres following the start in Cranbrook, one of England’s newest towns.

Cameron Meyer

Cameron Meyer wins Tour of Britain stage two.

However Tonelli’s six-second time bonus on the line plus advantage over a strong chasing group containing the likes of Wout Poels (Team Sky), Primoz Roglic (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Quick-Step Floors duo Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels just behind means he moves into the OVO Energy Green Jersey. “It was always going to be close,” said Meyer of the thrilling finale. “I heard that the gap was one minute with 10 kilometres to go, and that there was a strong group of favourites coming fast from behind, so I wanted to push on. It’s been a few years since I rode in this race, but I remember getting caught twice inside final kilometre. I didn’t want déjà vu to happen again.

“I was pretty confident that with my track background that I could negotiate a sprint against whoever I had to go up against. Coming into the finish, I got the Italian [Tonelli] to go up to the 500m to go mark – I knew I had him covered from there.”

Despite sitting level on time with Tonelli in the OVO Energy Green Jersey classification, Meyer played down his chances of claiming overall victory in London on Sunday. He added: “The favourites’ group are within seconds on GC, and I’m not going to be able to go up the climbs as fast as them. I’ve ticked off a major accomplishment – to get my win for the season on the road – so that’s fantastic. I can’t see me wearing the leader’s jersey at the end of week.”

Italian Tonelli, whose sole professional victory to date came in this year’s Tour of Croatia, spoke of his joy at claiming the OVO Energy Green Jersey. “I went in the breakaway and that was my job for today – the jersey is a special prize,” he said. “I pushed hard in the final kilometres as my DS told me that I could get the Green Jersey – and here I am.

“When we arrived at the top of the last climb and we had a minute gap, Cam Meyer and I pushed hard to get to the finish. It was close – the other riders were coming quickly behind us!”

Those other riders contained a fine mixture of top names, including Roglic, Alaphilippe, Jungels and Poels, who all now sit 12 seconds off the lead.  Top Brit and recipient of the Adnams Best British Rider Award in front of huge crowds in Barnstaple was Hugh Carthy of Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale.

The Lancastrian is 10th overall, three seconds ahead of British trio Scott Davies, Scott Thwaites (Team Dimension Data) and Ethan Hayter (Great Britain cycling team), with Davies also holding the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey and winning the HIGH5 Combativity Award for Stage Two after also being a part of the race-winning breakaway.

Fellow escapee Matthew Teggart (Team WIGGINS) takes over the Eisberg Sprints Jersey while Meyer moves into the lead of the Wahoo Points Jersey.
Stage Three sees the OVO Energy Tour of Britain return to Bristol, with an out-and-back, 128-kilometre leg that starts and finishes on Ladies Mile at Clifton Down.  The short, sharp stage features a number of climbs, including the iconic ascent of Cheddar Gorge, while the twin climbs of Providence Lane and Rownham Hill in the closing 10 kilometres are likely to again shape the overall battle for the OVO Energy Green Jersey.

Daniel Martin quits Vuelta

Martin's UAE-Team Emirates sent me this update:

Daniel Martin  will not start stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana, due to the imminent arrival of Dan and Jess (Dan’s wife) twins.

UAE Team Emirates’ rider explained: “After consultation with the team and doctors in Andorra, we have come to the decision it is best for me to travel home to Andorra in order to support my wife with the imminent arrival of our twin girls. 
This Vuelta has been a great experience to race in as a teammate to this strong and young team, and to be able to offer my full support to Fabio. Although the race didn’t produce the results that I expected, I really enjoyed acting as a road captain to this young group.

"But the time has now come, slightly earlier than we anticipated, to head home and to support my wife in this incredibly exciting period of our lives.

"I have to say thank you to my teammates for their support and understanding, as it is not easy to leave them behind. I would also like to offer a big thank you to the team management for being so supportive and allowing me the opportunity to race this Vuelta a Espana even with the knowledge that I could be called home at any moment”

Dan MArtin

Dan Martin climbing Alpe d'Huez in the 2018b Tour de France. Sirotti photo

UAE Team Emirates wish the best to Daniel and to Jess for this important goal.

Bora-hansgrohe signs Jempy Drucker and Oscar Gatto

The team sent me this release:

Drucker and Gatto have signed two-year contracts with the German-based squad and are going to strengthen the Classics group around Peter Sagan. Both are highly experienced in the northern classic races and thereby bring more options into the BORA – hansgrohe’s roster. 

Je,py Drucker

Jempy Drucker at the 2018 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

“After the first talks I had with BORA - hansgrohe, I immediately had a good feeling with joining them. I like the way they’ve developed over the past few years to one of the best teams in the world. Therefore, I am really looking forward to joining the BORA - hansgrohe family.

"First of all I will be there to strengthen the Classics group around Peter Sagan, so that will be one of my main goals in the upcoming season. I love these races and I am very motivated to team up with him and my former teammates Daniel Oss and Marcus Burghardt. On a personal note, I also hope I still can progress as a rider in this team and help them to become even more successful in the future.” – Jempy Drucker

“BORA – hansgrohe has become one of the biggest teams in cycling, and the way they act is very impressive and was one of the reasons why I wanted to join them. I am also happy to meet some former teammates like Peter and Rafal. For me this change also means a new challenge, new structures, new staff, but my role remains the same. I will be there to fully support the team and help them to reach their goals in the upcoming seasons.” – Oscar Gatto

Team Sunweb's upcoming races

The squad sent me this schedule for Setember 3 - 11:

GRAND PRIX CYCLISTE DE QUÉBEC (WT)
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen (NED): "We head to Canada with a strong selection to compete for a top result with Michael. After a good few last races and a solid result here last year we're looking forward to another good race in Québec. Riders will complete 16 laps of a hilly circuit with a punchy climb to the finish in Old Québec. We've got a solid team to support our goal with Søren, Sam and Nikias expected to be there into the final, and Roy, Chad and Tom there for support during the earlier parts of the race. Michael finished 3rd here last year and we will be looking to match that result again for 2018." 

RACE: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (WT)

DATE: 07/09/2018

COACH: Arthur van Dongen (NED) 

LINE-UP
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Chad Haga (USA)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED) 

Roy Curvers

Roy Curvers will be racing both the Montreal and Quebec races. Sirotti photo

GRAND PRIX CYCLISTE DE MONTRÉAL (WT)
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen (NED): "Just a few days after Québec we have another difficult race in Montréal. Once again Michael will be our leader and Søren, Sam and Nikias will be the guys to support him on the final laps. The parcours consist of 16 loops around a 12.2 kilometre city centre circuit with some demanding climbs along the way. We'll be searching for a podium spot with Michael, with the course suiting him well." 

RACE: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (WT)

DATE: 09/09/2018

COACH: Arthur van Dongen (NED) 

LINE-UP
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Chad Haga (USA)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED) 

OLYMPIA'S TOUR (UCI 2.2U)
Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers (NED): "At Olympia's Tour we aim to go for a good GC result with Jarno. We proved that this is a race where we can be successful after winning a stage here with Jarno last year. Alongside this we will also go for results in the sprints with Max. We've got a good lead-out with our road captain Joris, alongside Niklas. We're hoping that Niklas is back feeling better after a hard crash in Brussels at the weekend. Martin and Leon will support the team watching the breaks and looking after Jarno and Max during the stage." 

RACE: Olympia's Tour (UCI 2.2U)

DATE: 11-16/09/2018

COACH: Tom Veelers (NED) 

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