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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Binckbank Tour stage two reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results

Stage two winner Sam Bennett's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this:

The second stage of the BinckBank Tour featured a flat 169.1 km-long course that took the riders from the Belgian coastal city of Blankenberg to the West Flemish town of Ardooie and was, like yesterday, a stage for the fast finishers. Just like on Monday, rain and wind made racing more challenging. However, aside from five cobbled sectors, the route did not present any significant topographical challenges.

The stage featured a Golden Kilometre once again, which provided the riders the opportunity to gain further valuable sprint points. The breakaway of the day formed fairly early and was able to carve out an advantage of almost three minutes before the teams of the sprinters, among them BORA-hansgrohe, took up the chase in earnest. The squad from Raubling led the main field for a significant amount of time to control the tempo, and the distance to the front group dwindled to less than a minute with 30km of road left.

The sprinters’ teams had a good chance to contest the win today, and weren’t prepared to let this opportunity slip through their fingers, so it was only a matter of time before the breakaway was caught. With 10km to go, the peloton had the escapees in their sight and it was not long before they were caught.

In the finale, Sam positioned himself on D. Groenewegen's wheel and when the Irish champion swung out from behind, he launched his sprint and was able to secure the win, his second at this year's BinckBank Tour. With that, he was also also able to extend his lead in the general classification and maintain first place in the points competition.   

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett makes it two in a row. Sirotti photo

From the finish line:
“I can’t believe that I won for a second time here. After 70 km, my legs weren’t feeling the best, and so I was a bit surprised to have pulled it off today. The guys supported me very well and kept me towards the front and in an energy-saving position. In the end, I still had the legs to sprint over the line first. I’m really happy with this win and if possible, I’d like to go for another stage victory here. We’ve had a lot of success here so far, and we’re in good form, so we’ll see what’s possible.” – Sam Bennett

“It was hard going, to make the race culminate in a mass sprint. The six riders from the breakaway really made the peloton work in order to make the catch, and they were caught only 3 km ahead of the finish. From this perspective, the team deserves a particularly special mention today, as we were able to not only take the win, but also defend the green leader’s jersey. Sam is in outstanding form, and the team really deserves a lot of praise for its performance today.” – Jens Zemke, Sports Director

And here's the report from second-place Jasper Philipsen's UAE-Team Emirates:

Stage 2 of the Binckbank Tour (169.1 km from Blankenberge to Ardooie) saw Jasper Philipsen come home in 2nd place, bettered only by a flying Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe), winner of stage 1.

The peloton made the catch of the six escapees with 5km to go, with UAE Team Emirates leading out Philipsen on the run-in with the help of Marcato and Molano who were at the head of the lead group. Philipsen made the initial burst and opened a sizeable gap over his rivals with only Bennett able to latch-on to the Belgian’s wheel who came in ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo- Visma).

Philipsen is now in 5th place in the overall standings, 14 ” from Bennett. The 3rd stage, 166.9 kilometers with start and finish in Aalter, Belgium offers another chance for the sprinters.

“We knew that the end would be treacherous, with many technical parts in the final 1500 meters, but we moved very well as a team – said Philipsen – My teammates did a great job to get me through it and set me up well for the sprint.
Molano was gearing up to launch the sprint but had a mechanical problem and I ended up on my own and ended up getting past by Bennett who was coming fast from behind “

Domenico Pozzovivo badly injured in training accident

Here's the post from Pozzovivo's Bahrain-Merida team:

Monday, 12th August  – Team Bahrain Merida rider Domenico Pozzovivo has been seriously injured in a training accident. The Italian rider was training on the roads around Cosenza, Italy, when he was involved in a collision with a car. He was immediately taken by ambulance to Annunziata Hospital in Cosenza for treatment.

The 36-year-old Italian rider is in intensive care, and although stable and conscious has suffered multiple bone fractures requiring surgery.

More updates will be released following his surgery.

Domenico Pozzovivo

Domenico Pozzovivo at the 2019 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Jonas Koch extends with CCC Team beyond 2019

CCC Team sent me this release:

August 13, 2019: Jonas Koch has re-signed with CCC Team for the 2020 and 2021 seasons after showing his potential in his first year at WorldTour level.

Despite being a late addition to CCC Team's 2019 rider roster, 26-year old Koch has shown his talent and promise during the first part of the season.

“We are pleased to announce that we have extended Jonas Koch’s contract until the end of the 2021 season. Although Jonas was a late call-up to the team, we have been happy with how he has progressed so far with us and he has already shown that he has the talent to race both for a leader and for his own results," Ochowicz explained.

"Jonas has performed well for the team at a number of one-day races this year, including the Ardennes Classics, and we also saw that he has the potential to grow in this style of racing with a top ten finish at Halle Ingooigem. Jonas has also showed that he has a strong sprint, finishing inside the top ten on the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné before a consistent performance at this year's Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt-Tour of Austria saw him win the Points Classification and wear the leader's jersey for one stage. Jonas still has a long future ahead of him and we are looking forward to helping him develop further over the next two years and seeing what he can do."

Koch is looking forward to spending the next couple of years with CCC Team after learning a lot in his first year with the Polish team. "I'm really happy to be staying with CCC Team for 2020 and 2021 as it was a huge joy to step up to the WorldTour with the team this year. My experience so far has been great, I have learned a lot and I am really thankful to CCC Team for giving me the opportunity to extend my contract with them," Koch said.

"I feel great in this team, the environment is very professional and that is something that motivates me a lot. Plus, another big reason for me wanting to stay is that I feel like it is the right place for me to develop and perform well at the highest level of cycling. Over the next two years, I would, of course, like to continue to support the team's captains to the best of my ability but, another big goal of mine is to continue my own progression and try to make the most of any opportunities that come my way."

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