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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, August 30, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Vuelta a España stage six team reports

Here's the report from new GC leader Dylan Teuns' Bahrain-Merida team:

Ares del Maestrat (Spain), August 29th– Team Bahrain Merida celebrate the first-ever leader’s jersey on a Grand Tour. It happens at the Vuelta a España, where for Dylan Teuns takes the overall lead today.

Dylan Teuns

Dylan Teuns is the new red jersey. Sirotti photo

A little unexpected maybe, but a well-deserved leader’s jersey for the Belgian rider, who missed out the win on stage 6th (Mora de Rubielos-Ares del Maestrat, 198.9km) – finishing second behind José Herrada – but he moved into the red jersey.

“It was a goal in this Vuelta” he explains “I started to realise that it was possible to get the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. Yesterday I was disappointed about not being in the breakaway, but I still kept going on the climb so as not to lose too much time and it was all in the plan actually”.

Dylan was part of the 11-man group breakaway of the day and he was very active in the finale, trying to attack to take also today’s stage win: “I knew a 3-4 minute climb is my speciality, like the Ardennes, and with about 4km to go I just went full gas, with the hope that nobody would stay in the wheel, but there was one guy who could follow. He didn’t want to pass me and to do a turn, and then I didn’t have the punch anymore. I gave everything for the jersey today. Also for the victory, but in the end, one guy was smarter or stronger”.

Another brilliant result for Teuns, who took 2 wins with Bahrain Merida so far: at the Dauphiné – wearing also the yellow jersey for two days – and above all at Le Tour de France. It happened at stage 6 too. A happy coincidence for him and the team.

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this:

Today was the second of three consecutive summit finishes at this year’s Vuelta a España and, as the riders headed into stage 6, almost 200 kilometres and three categorized climbs before the final climb, Puerto de Ares, awaited them. The only intermediate sprint of the day came after 140 kilometers.

Attacks were flying as soon as the flag dropped but it took almost 60 kilometres until a strong group of 11 riders established the day’s break. Among them was BORA – hansgrohe rider Pawel Poljanski, while all other BORA – hansgrohe riders remained in the main bunch around two minutes behind.

Unfortunately, with 65km to go a big crash saw several riders go down, including Davide Formolo and although the Italian Champion was able to finish today’s stage his GC hopes were gone.

Meanwhile, the race stayed unchanged until the breakaway came to the final climb of the day as two riders tried to distance themselves from their breakaway companions. Pawel Poljanski, who is on a roll, followed the attack, and together with his former breakaway mates, he was able to close the gap shortly before the line. At this moment, two other riders broke clear and were able to take the win and second place. BORA – hansgrohe rider Pawel Poljanski crossed the line in a strong 6th place after being at the front of the race the many kilometres.

Rafal Majka finished some minutes behind the stage winner and ranks in 9th place in the overall, while teammate Sam Bennett still leads the points classification

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is still the points leader. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“Today was the second mountain stage and I felt really good. As the attacks started I thought if a bigger group will make it, I will try to go with them. It took quite a while but then we were 11 riders and it worked out. As the final attacks on the last ascent started, I wasn’t able to follow, however, I am satisfied with my result today and tomorrow will be another chance for us.” – Pawel Poljanski

“Second day in the mountains. The final climb was not as steep as the one yesterday but the stage was with 200km really long. We had Pawel in the breakaway of the day, which took a long time to be established. However, Pawel showed a great performance at the front. Unfortunately, Davide went down as a big crash happened in the peloton. He was able to finish the stage, but all hopes for a good GC result are gone. It is hard but that is cycling. Tomorrow will be a hard day, we focus on Rafał and try to defend the green jersey for another day.” - Patxi Vila, Sports Director

Nicholas Roche forced to abandon the Vuelta a España following crash

This bad news came from Team Sunweb:

Roche, who held the Maillot Rojo leader’s jersey for three days, fell heavily at around the 100 kilometre mark on the stage from Mora de Rubielos to Ares del Maestrat.

Nicolas Roche

Nicolas Roche in the red jersey a few days ago.

He was taken to hospital in Castellón for treatment, which included a dozen stitches to his forearm and despite a lot of road rash, was cleared of any major injury.

Further checks will be undertaken to check for further injury.

Team doctor Camiel Aldershof explained: “Nico was involved in a big crash. First analysis showed no major injuries fortunately. However he did require 10-12 stitches on his left forearm and has a bruised right quadricep which will be managed by a compression bandage. Nico will get further checks when he’s home to ensure there are no other issues.”

Nicholas Roche: “There’s not much to say. I think this is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had in my career. I’d worked so hard to get back to this level and it was a new opportunity to show that I was at this level again.
There’s nothing broken which is the good point. I have some stitches in my forearm and pain in my quadriceps which is why I could not continue.”

Coach Luke Roberts added: “It was quite a high speed all day today and unfortunately on one of the downhills there was quite a big crash involving almost all our riders. Nico had to abandon the race at that point and he was taken to hospital. It’s really bad luck to have lost Nico today.”

Crash forces Rigoberto Urán and Hugh Carthy to abandon the Vuelta a España

RF Education First sent this sad report:

Rigoberto Urán and Hugh Carthy were forced to abandon the Vuelta a España during Thursday’s stage six after a large crash that involved multiple teams. Sergio Higuita and Logan Owen were also involved in the crash, though were both able to continue.

Rigoberto Uran

Rigoberto Uran in July, during the Tour de France team presentations. Sirotti photo

Urán and Carthy abandoned the race immediately after the crash and were taken to Hospital General Universitari de Castelló for treatment. Both riders have suffered broken left clavicles and will undergo surgery in the coming days.

“Hugh has broken his left collarbone and will need surgery to repair it. Rigo has also broken his left collarbone, just past the plate that was placed on the bone from the break he suffered in March [at Paris-Nice]. He has also broken his shoulder blade in several places,” said Rick Morgan, the team’s doctor at the Vuelta.

“This has really not been a great day for the team,” EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters plainly stated. “Now the most important thing is that we focus on making sure Rigo and Hugh and the rest of the team are healthy. And we refocus the guys still racing on other objectives.”

The hard luck continued as Tejay van Garderen, who was in the day’s break, later crashed on a descent. The impact to the team as a whole is profound: Owen needed five stitches in his right leg; Higuita has pain in his lower back after his fall; van Garderen suffered heavy road rash on his right side and has significant pain in one of his fingers.

It’s anticipated that Owen and Higuita will continue. Van Garderen, meanwhile, will be assessed in the morning before a decision is made on his continuation. The only riders on the team unscathed Thursday were Mitch Docker, Dani Martinez, and Lawson Craddock.

“We’re going to continue on, but we need a bit of time to recuperate,” said director Juanma Garate. “The moment when Tejay fell I said to the team, ‘Ok guys, to do this we have to do it as a team and we take strength from each other,’ and that’s what we’re going to do. It was a moment that can really demotivate everyone, but they continued on and kept their minds on what they were doing, and they did their best. Tomorrow we will make sure we take care of each other and we take it from there.”

Urán took the view of a rider who’s been in the situation before. “Today we’ve had a really tough day, there was a crash on a descent on a corner and there were a number of riders who went down, and there was no possibility to avoid the crash,” Urán said. “Us riders we are used to having these crashes so we know what it takes to recuperate from them. There’s no other option, we just have to take some time out and recover to then come back. I’ve learned a lot about this, each time you learn a bit more, you go out there hoping not to crash or at least to not break anything.”

Carthy wished the rest of his team luck in Spain. “If I look at the work we’ve done this week, we can be happy. The team now can look forward and continue racing. I wish them luck” said Carthy. “I’m all OK - nothing too serious. Could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful for the help from the team and the hospital. I’m looking forward to recovery now.”

Victor De la Parte sustains multiple fractures in Vuelta a España crash

CCC Team sent me this bad news:

29 August 2019, Ares del Maestrat (ESP): After a strong start to the Vuelta a España, Víctor de la Parte was forced to abandon the race due to injuries sustained in a crash that happened midway through stage six.

De la Parte was one of many riders who crashed with around 90 kilometers remaining and was immediately taken to hospital where X-rays confirmed a fractured scapula and rib on his left side.

The Spaniard, who was sitting in 13th place overall, only two minutes back, was showing good form in his debut at the Vuelta a España, helping CCC Team take sixth place in the opening Team Time Trial and showing good legs on the first uphill finishes of the race.

Due to the nature of his injuries and the timing of the crash, de la Parte will end his season prematurely in order to focus on his recovery.

Update from CCC Team doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria: “Víctor was involved in a crash which took down a big group of riders. He was riding in the middle of the bunch when it happened and there was not much he could do to avoid the riders who fell in front of him. He was immediately taken to hospital where X-rays revealed a fractured scapula and rib on his left side.”

“Fortunately, the scapular fracture will not require surgery but, he will require around 40 days of rest before getting back to training. Due to the time of the year, with only two months of the season left, we will advise him to be patient, take things slowly and focus on recovery so that he is healthy and ready for the next season.”

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