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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 16, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Where words fail, music speaks. - Hans Christian Andersen

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Deceuninck-Quick Step reports on Tour of Colombia stage four

Here's the team's post:

A canny attack inside the final kilometer of the action-packed stage 4 caught all the other riders off-guard, allowing Bob Jungels to bolt away and solo to a beautiful victory on the streets of Medellin, where the Tour Colombia returned three days after the opening team time trial. The Liège–Bastogne–Liège and double World TTT Champion expertly negotiated the last corners of the day and arrived with a handful of seconds over the peloton, pulling on the orange jersey, which rewards the overall leader of the race.

“I am happy that the team is going so well and I took my first win in this beautiful country. It surprised me to see this stage described as one for the sprinters, because it included a hard 1.5km climb which we tackled six times, and to make things even more difficult, the breakaway contained some dangerous guys for the GC. But my teammates did a fine job controlling things and gave me the confidence that I could pull it off in the finale, when there weren’t so many fast men left in the group”, Bob said after picking up his 18th pro victory.

Bob Jungels

Bob Jungels (shown in the 2018 Tour de France) is now the GC leader at the Tour of Colombia. Sirotti photo

The tough circuit in Medellin whittled down the bunch to around 50 riders and without any team in firm control, multiple attacks were launched after the breakaway got caught. But it was only under the flamme rouge – when Jungels put in a massive acceleration and powered away, seizing the moment – that the bunch was left without any response and the Luxembourger got to celebrate with his arms in the air, a handful of seconds clear of a group from which Julian Alaphilippe sprinted to third.

“The Tour Colombia leader’s jersey is such a special bonus and it makes me proud to wear it. The plan is to honour it and do our best to defend it, but it will be difficult, because the next stages are very hard and there are many riders who are stronger climbers than me. But I feel good, and as I said, we will give our best.”

Friday’s victory was the sixth one of the season in a UCI race for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who so far have won with four different riders in three countries: Australia, Argentina and Colombia.

Fabio Aru heads a young team in Algarve tour

UAE-Team Emirates sent me this:

Fabio Aru will race his second event of the 2019 season. The UAE Team Emirates called him in to captain a young team in Volta ao Algarve, February 20-24.

Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru (shown in the 2018 Giro d'Italia) is headed to Portugal. Sirotti photo

Sports directors Allan Peiper (Aus) and Bruno Vicino (Ita), with help from Paolo Tiralongo (Ita), will have under their control seven riders:

– Fabio Aru (Ita)
– Simone Consonni (Ita)
– Valerio Conti (Ita)
– Kristijan Durasek (Cro)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)
– Tadej Pogacar (Slo)
– Jasper Philipsen (Bel)

The young UAE Team Emirates averages 24.7 years old but is full of talent, with Conti and Consonni coming off a great showing in Argentina, Petilli climbing well in Mallorca and Philipsen already winning at the start of the season in Australia. Pogacar’s natural talent and Durasek’s experience complete the team roster.

“After the good start in the Mallorca challenge, I expect that I will find even more good feelings to confirm the rise in my condition,” Aru said. “The tour offers stages that should provide a good testing ground. Like always, I’m going to ride with grit and go for it in the stages most suited to my abilities.”

Simon Geschke breaks elbow in Vuelta de Murcia stage one crash 

Geschke's CCC Team sent me this:

15 February 2019, San Javier (ESP): Simon Geschke has been forced to abandon the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia after a crash in the closing kilometers of stage one which left him with a broken right elbow, CCC Team doctor, Dr. Dario Spinelli confirmed.

Simon Geschke

Simon Geschke (shown at the 2018 Tour de France) will be back training a week after his surgery. Sirotti photo

"Simon crashed not far from the finish of today's stage in Spain and he was able to get back on his bike and cross the line. However, he was experiencing a lot of pain in his right arm so, he was immediately taken to hospital for observation. X-Rays revealed that he has sustained a broken right elbow. He will require surgery at home in Germany but providing everything goes to plan, Simon should be able to resume training around one week later. We will continue to monitor Simon's recovery to determine when he will be able to race again," Dr. Spinelli explained.

Geschke is disappointed about being forced to abandon his first race with CCC Team.

"I crashed on a roundabout inside the last ten kilometers of the stage. The rider in front of me went down first and the pace was pretty fast so I just couldn't get around him. I tried but, I hit his bike and then went down. Immediately, I felt like there was something not quite right with my elbow and the X-Ray just confirmed that for me. Of course, I'm very disappointed. I felt like I was in good shape and that I was on track for the spring. I definitely could have imagined a nicer start to my first race with CCC Team," Geschke said.

CCC Team will continue to provide updates on Geschke's recovery.

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