BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel The Story of the Tour de France, vol.2 South Salem Cycleworks vintage parts Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycles BiKyle Schwab Cycles Cycle Italia cycling tours Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 18, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. - Francis of Assisi

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Binckbank Tour stage six reports

We posted the organizer's stage-five report with the results

Here's the report from stage winner Filippo Ganna's Team INEOS:

Filippo Ganna sealed an impressive individual time trial victory on stage six of the BinckBank Tour. The Italian national time trial champion recorded a strong time of 9’16” on the 8.3km test around Den Haag.

FilippoGanna

Ganna on his way to winning the stage. Sirotti photo

His compatriot Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott) was closest to Ganna's time, but the Team INEOS rider comfortably won the stage by five seconds.

It is Ganna's third time trial win of the season, with victory in the time trial at Tour de Provence and national championships marking a strong start to his Team INEOS career.

Filippo Ganna:
“It was my first victory in the Italian national jersey today and I was very happy with my performance and my time too.

“Now I will focus on supporting Dylan van Baarle on the final stage, I’m feeling better after a small crash two days ago and I feel better, luckily I didn’t do too much damage, so I can help."

Sam Bennett's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this report:

On the penultimate stage of the BinckBank Tour, the riders tackled a flat and fast individual time trial course of 8.35 km around The Hague on the North Sea coast of the western Netherlands. Because of its short distance, it was not expected that it would produce any great time differences. In the early afternoon, Oscar Gatto was the first BORA - hansgrohe rider to take to the start, followed not long afterwards by Marcus Burghardt.

The wearer of the red points jersey, Sam Bennett, and teammate Jempy Drucker took on the fight against the clock an hour later, with Jay McCarthy and Lukas Pöstlberger rolling off the start ramp as the final riders for the squad from Raubling. T. Bohli, who had covered the course in 9:40 minutes, set one of the earliest best times.

At the end of the race, Sam stopped the clock with a time of 10:17 minutes, while Jempy bettered this time by 11 seconds. The fastest BORA - hansgrohe rider today was Lukas Pöstlberger, who covered the course in 9:51 minutes. With a time of 9:16, F. Ganna of Team INEOS won today’s penultimate stage.

t the end of the day BORA - hansgrohe was not able to place any rider in the top-20, but Sam will head into the final stage of the race with the red points jersey on his shoulders.  

Sam ennett

Sam Bennett in the points leader's red jersey. Sirotti photo

From the finish line:
“I was actually feeling good today, but the data on my powermeter was not quite what I had expected. At the start, it was rather windy but I concentrated myself fully on the race and of course put in my best effort. We have had fantastic team spirit this week and we will go into tomorrow's race fully motivated.” - Lukas Pöstlberger

“We produced a solid performance, but we didn't have any time trial specialists here and so we couldn't expect a top result. Tomorrow we’ll try again with our Classics riders and hope to get a good result on the final stage of the race."- André Schulze, Sports Director

UAE Team Emirates reports on final stage of Vuelta a Burgos

The team sent me this update:

After a strong attack, Rui Costa fell just 300m short of claiming victory as he was overhauled by Ivan Sosa.

With 10km left, the top riders group bridged the gap to a breakaway of 14 riders, including three from UAE Team Emirates (Rory Sutherland, Simone Petilli and Aleksandr Riabushenko); then, Rui Costa jumped clear at 1600 meters from the peak of the Lagunas de Neila’s ascent where the finish line of the fifth and final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos was fought out.

The former world champ managed to gain about ten seconds on a small group of chasers, but this margin was not enough to hold off Sosa on the hardest part of the climb.

The Portuguese rider crossed the finish line 8sec from the Colombian, securing 10th in the GC which Sosa also claimed.

Ivan Sosa

Ivan Sosa finishes the stage alone.

“Today I went very close to winning, but Sosa was very strong and he managed to push on in the hardest part – commented Rui Costa – Practically every day I tried to make the best of my good condition to take a result, and as a team we worked well, unfortunately there was someone there to beat us every time.

Now I have a few weeks to prepare for the Canadian classics with the Quebec GP and the Montreal GP“.

More teams announce their Vuelta a España squads.

Team Sunweb sent me this:

Team Sunweb are pleased to announce the riders that will be racing at this year’s Vuelta a España. The race offers various opportunities for the team throughout the three weeks of action, as they focus on a good GC result and stage success.

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts discussed the race: “The race starts with a 13.4 kilometre team time trial in Torrevieja and we will then race over some familiar roads from our training camps on the Costa Blanca, heading north to the first high mountain stage in Andorra, followed by a 36 kilometre individual time trial in Pau. The race then moves through the Basque Country and Asturias before the final week in central Spain and the finish in Madrid.

“With two time trials and eight hilltop finishes, including the brutal Alto de Los Machucos and Alto de La Cubilla to sort the GC, there looks to be five or six opportunities for sprinters and the rest of the stages will likely go to breakaways or a decimated bunch.

“Our main goal will be to target a good GC result with Wilco. We bring strong support with Nicholas, Australians Robert and Michael, and also all-round talent Martijn, who we are really happy to see on our line-up after a really difficult period recovering from his Paris-Nice crash. Max will be taking aim at stage success in the flat sprints, backed up by Grand Tour debutant Casper and our road captain Nikias.”

Nicolas Roche

Nicolas Roche racing in stage 20 of this year's Tour. Now he's off to the Vuelta. Sirotti photo

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Robert Power (AUS)
Nicholas Roche (IRL)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)
Max Walscheid (GER)

Coaches:
Arthur van Dongen (NED)
Luke Roberts (AUS)

And here's Mitchelton-Scott's Vuelta announcement:

Mitchelton-SCOTT has named its eight-man team for the upcoming La Vuelta a España, the third and final Grand Tour of the season, with a focus on stage wins and general classification possibilities.

Former La Vuelta podium finisher Esteban Chaves (third place in 2016), former La Vuelta stage winner Mikel Nieve (stage 16 in 2010) and recent Tour of Poland two-time stage winner Luka Mezgec provide the Australian outfit with the main ingredients to tackle the 21-day race, that features seven-summit finishes and an interesting course that also lends itself to the opportunity for taking stages wins.

Mitchelton-SCOTT at La Vuelta a España (24-15 Sept):
Sam Bewley - (NZL, 32) 5th La Vuelta appearance
Esteban Chaves - (COL, 29) 5th La Vuelta appearance
Tsgabu Grmay - (ETH 28) 3rd La Vuelta appearance
Damien Howson - (AUS, 27)  4th La Vuelta appearance
Luka Mezgec - (SLO, 31) 3rd La Vuelta appearance
Mikel Nieve - (SPA, 35) 7th La Vuelta appearance
Nick Schultz - (AUS, 24) 3rd La Vuelta appearance
Dion Smith - (NZL, 26) Debut

The squad, built with riders from six different countries, includes Ethiopian time trial champion Tsgabu Grmay, having recently showed his climbing strength at the Tour of Poland, plus New Zealand powerhouse Sam Bewley and Australian climber

Damien Howson, who both played a crucial part in Chaves’ La Vuelta podium finish in 2016.

Fellow Australian Nick Schultz will make his third appearance in the Spanish tour whilst New Zealander Dion Smith makes his debut and adds speed to the ‘exciting’ team line-up.

The Race:
The 2019 La Vuelta a España will cover 3,290.7 kilometres across 21 stages including a team time trial to start and an individual time trial on stage 10.

Seven hill-top finishes characterise the race with a first major test coming on stage nine, a short 94.4kilometre stage, that includes five categorised climbs in Andorra.

The second week is stacked with more climbing including three summit finishes, two of these are back-to-back days on stage 15 and 16 in Asturias with only first category or special category climbs featured.

Despite the abundance of mountains, the sprinters will still have their opportunity with six flat stages scattered throughout the 21-day race, but it will be a case of who can survive well through the challenging terrain.

History:
2018 was one of the biggest highlights in the Australian outfit’s history when Simon Yates secured the first men’s Grand Tour victory for the team at La Vuelta.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates enjoying his 2018 Vuelta win. Sirotti photo

Previous to this, the squad targeted stage wins and La Vuelta has always been a happy hunting ground with 12 stage victories from seven different riders, plus the Mountains Classification jersey (2012 - Simon Clarke) spread throughout the team’s eight-year existence.

Esteban Chaves - Third in 2016
“I feel happy, I feel ready, the course is really good for riders like me. Normally the Vuelta suits me really well, I like the heat and I am happy with the preparation I had in Colombia after the Tour of Slovenia and now I really want to race. I am missing to pin on a number, it is a long time just training.

“I am happy with the team we have, we have a really nice group. Nieve is for sure in good shape, he is a really unbelievable and professional rider and always has a good performance. Also we saw the guys at the Tour Poland, like Luka Mezgec, he was sprinting really fast. The sprints in the Vuelta are a bit different and I think they are good for him.

“After the Giro d’Italia I did a recon of the stage in Andorra, there is a really nice climb and many of the other climbs I know well after living in Andorra for a long time. The individual time trial also looks like a punchy course with enough climbing, not just super flat and that is good for me.

“I also really like to start with a TTT, our team is one team that always puts a lot of effort into that and it is a really nice way to start a Grand Tour.

“The Vuelta is one race that has always treated me well since 2014, it was my first ever Grand Tour. I am excited to start racing, hopefully for all the work we have put in, the Vuelta will be good and that is what excites me.”

Luka Mezgec
“I’m looking forward to the Vuelta, after I didn’t go to the TDF I set my primary goal to be at my best for Vuelta.

“I believe Esteban will be in a great form and that also motivates myself to be there ready to help as long as possible also on the hillier days.

“I’m also looking for some opportunities along the way for myself, Poland showed that I’m in a good form and with a hard sprint stage I will be there to contest for the win. A stage win is my personal goal for this race.

“I love this race when it’s not too hot and it’s definitely not as stressful as some other Grand Tours, the nature is beautiful and the Spanish fans are some of the most passionate fans in the world so that makes this race special.”

Julian Dean - Sport Director
“If you look at the race across three-weeks it is really relentless and already within the first week there’s some real aggressive and hard stages. There’s not really an easy consecutive few days during the whole Vuelta, so the full team has to be ready from the get go. It is going to be a race where strength and vigilance is going to be necessary from anyone who is hoping to contest the overall.

“The GC is an objective for us and we have Esteban Chaves for that, but as well as that we are focusing on stage wins. Luka Mezgec has recently had good results in Poland and we will be looking for opportunities for him. We all know that Mikel Nieve is always up for stage wins and has produced many good results in Grand Tours, so he will also be a focus for us.

“From our whole team’s perspective it is a really exciting combination of guys, if we take Nick Schultz and Dion Smith for example, it is a really great opportunity for them. They’ve probably never been in teams that have been riding for GC before so there’ll be some new experiences for them. Then we’ve also got the very experienced guys like Mikel and Sam Bewley, who will be our captain on the road.”

“Overall, with the amount of metres of climbing, this year is one of the hardest we have seen in recent years for the Vuelta. Andorra is definitely a key stage but also once we get up to Asturias there’s some climbs that we have never done before in the Vuelta, we have been and looked at these and they’re certainly quite tricky and could end up being critical stages.”

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary