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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, February 4, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. - Isaac Newton

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Team Sky's Herald Sun Tour closing report

Here's Sky's final update on the 2019 race:

Dylan van Baarle claimed a popular overall victory at Herald Sun Tour on the day Kristoffer Halvorsen took his first win for the team

Protected by his Team Sky teammates throughout 21 laps around the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens, Van Baarle played a key role in the final lead-out, dragging Halvorsen and final man Owain Doull into position heading into the final kilometre.

The win perfectly capped off a dominant week for Team Sky, with Van Baarle making sure of a 24-second race win – the Dutchman’s first overall stage race victory since the 2014 Tour of Britain.

Team Sky set the pace for much of the final stage, keeping the day’s breakaway in check. Kenny Elissonde got through a lot of work and was rewarded with seventh place overall. One place further back, Pavel Sivakov cemented another top-10 finish, and with it the young riders’ jersey. With Team Sky also taking the team prize and Christian Knees winning the climbs classification, it represented a superb group performance and a great end to our time Down Under.
Reaction

Kristoffer Halvorsen

Kristoffer Halvorsen takes the final stage.

- Dylan van Baarle
“I’m really happy I could win here. I have to thank the whole team. They did a really really good job today and also with Kristoffer winning the stage it’s incredible. It’s been a great trip down to Australia and I’m happy it finished off this way.

“Of course you think about it but when a plan comes together it’s super nice. This is a really fantastic race at Herald Sun Tour and I enjoy it here a lot. I’m looking forward to coming back!”

- Kristoffer Halvorsen
“It was really good to get the win. We’ve got a strong team here and today they showed how strong they are. It’s just unbelievable. We weren’t worried about the break because we have guys like Luke and Kneesy in the team. They know exactly what to do and they are really strong. Luke knows everything. You just need to follow him and you know you are in the best place in the peloton at the right time.

“It’s been a good day!”

Bora-hansgrohe reports on the Mallorca Challenge final stage

Here's the team's news:

Today’s final race in Mallorca was finally one for the sprinters in the peloton. Even a group of four riders did breakaway early, it was never in doubt that today would come down to a sprint royal. Already with 40k to go the break was caught. The final laps in Palma saw some excitement when another trio tried to fool the fast men with a last attempt. They were able to hang on a 20 second lead until the last 5 kilometers. But when the lead-out trains were at full speed, also this break did come to an end soon.

BORA – hansgrohe was working for Rudi Selig on the last 15 kilometers. The team found a good position at the head of the bunch, delivering a strong effort to put Rudi behind M. Kittel on the last 1000m. But when Kittel accelerated, several riders tried to catch his wheel which unfortunately blocked Rudi’s way to the line. He took sixth place in the end, while Kittel proved to be the fastest today.

Marcel kittel

Marcel Kittel was the day's fastest rider.

"I still felt good in the end, that’s why I told the boys I want to go for the sprint. My legs were ok, even I couldn’t train optimal the last days. The team delivered me perfectly. I was on the wheel of Kittel, but on the last 200m there was suddenly no way for me to go. Still I am happy with my performance and the result in the end.” – Rudi Selig

"The race developed as expected. It was clear from the beginning that this would be a sprint finish. We wanted to try something on the last climb and maybe drop some of the sprinters. But it was headwind and there was no chance to make any difference. In the end the boys did an excellent job to deliver Rudi in a good position. Unfortunately, he was blocked and couldn’t show his full speed. But these things happen, we still can be happy. A lot of good sprinters were here today, and to go home with a fifth place is nothing to complain about.” – André Schulze, Sport Director

Deceuninck-Quick Step reports on the Vuelta a San Juan's penultimate stage

I got this too late to post in yesterday's news:

On paper, it should have been an easy day at the Vuelta a San Juan, but the reality on the road showed once again that the beauty of cycling resides in the fact that it’s impossible to predict 100% what will happen in a race.

A flat 153km-long course with a short uphill drag to the finish – this is what was on store for Saturday’s Vuelta a San Juan stage 6, which took place on a loop starting and finishing on Autodromo El Villicum. A four-man break animated the day from the opening kilometers, carving out a maximum lead of five minutes, which began to really worry the peloton inside the final 25 kilometers of the day, when the escapees still held a three-minute lead.

Despite the furious chase, all that the bunch could do was reduce the deficit to under a minute by the time they entered the circuit which was to be covered twice. The strong crosswinds, the rain and the rise to the line made for a very chaotic finale, which saw the pack split into several groups. From one of these, Maximiliano Richeze and Julian Alaphilippe sprinted to a top 10 finish, a handful of seconds behind winner Nicolas Tivani (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima).

Nicolas Tivani

It was Nicolas Tivani who took stage six.

Neo-pro Remco Evenepoel overcome all the traps that made the last kilometers of Saturday’s stage harder than expected and concluded safely in the main bunch, keeping the green jersey he’s been wearing since stage 3 of the Vuelta a San Juan. All that stands now between the 19-year-old – ninth in the general classification – and his first important result is a flat 141.3km-long stage around San Juan, scheduled Sunday afternoon.

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