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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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Deceuninck-Quick Step reports of Tour Colombia stage one

We aren't tracking this race, but we will be posting team reports as the race progresses.

Here's the report from team Deceuninck-Quick Step:

The second-largest city of Colombia and capital of the Antioquia department, Medellin welcomed the peloton for the opening day of the Tour Colombia, a 14km-long team time trial held over a slightly undulating course and contested by the riders on normal bikes.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step came to the start with a balanced squad – comprising Julian Alaphilippe, Alvaro Hodeg, Luxembourg ITT Champion Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, Maximiliano Richeze and Petr Vakoč – and were the first World Tour team to go down the ramp, averaging over 55km/h and posting a new best time at the finish, 15:13, significantly improving the result of provisional leaders Team Medellin.

EF Education first

EF Education First wn the first stage. Don't know what gearing the tiny guy on the left used.

Eventually, our team concluded the day as runner-up, only a handful of seconds behind EF Education, but their impressive ride garnered a trip to the podium for Alvaro Hodeg, who leads the U23 standings. The young Colombian, who recently has inked a new deal with our outfit which will keep him in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey through 2021, was emotional to stand in front of his countrymen in Medellin, the same city where he moved alone at a young age, many years ago, to pursue his cycling career.

2019 Paris-Roubaix route announced

Complete results for every edition of Paris-Roubaix

Here's the organizer's news release:

February 12th 2019 - 14:15: On 14 April, the riders of the 117th edition of Paris–Roubaix will roll out of Compiègne and tackle a course of the same length (257km) and with the same amount of cobblestones (54.5km) as last year's. A few adjustments have been made to the early sectors, starting in Troisvilles (96.5km), while the Trouée d'Arenberg has been shortened by 100 metres… without touching a single cobblestone!

2019 Paris-Roubaix map

Map of the 2019 Paris-Roubaix

Cobble-gobblers are familiar with the whirring sound of their wheels on the cobblestones of Roubaix, which start to rattle their bicycles about 100km into the race, right after the village of Troisvilles. Eagle-eyed observers will realise that the first cobbled sector is a bit shorter this time round (0.9km versus 2.2km in 2018). Although the peloton will be focused on this sequence, and it may have even started the war of attrition by this time, the second sector (no. 28, from Briastre to Viesly) will provide an opportunity for the riders to honour the memory of Michael Goolaert as they ride past the stele marking the location where he suffered a cardiac arrest last year. The effort will then enter the Cambrésis region, heading due east so that the peloton tackles the Quiévy (no. 26), Saint-Python (no. 25) and Vertain (no. 24) in the opposite direction compared to 2018. The Vertain sector is back in the race for the first time since 2017.

From the moment the riders enter the Valenciennes area (sector no. 23), the course of the Queen of Classics remains unchanged all the way to Roubaix Velodrome. However, the official map is not exactly the same. More accurate measurements taken during reconnoitring shortened the Trouée d'Arenberg (no. 19) from 2,400 to 2,300 metres… without touching a single cobblestone! The first five-star sector, where the fight between the pretenders to the crown enters a decisive phase, remains as tough as ever. Anyone who is not in the lead group at the end of the sector can wave goodbye to victory in Roubaix. Later on, the Mons-en-Pévèle (no. 11) and Carrefour de l'Arbre (no. 4) five-star sectors will set the scene for further attacks and dramatic twists.

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