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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Tirreno-Adriatico stage seven final team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Victor Campenaerts' Lotto-Soudal team with the results.

Here's the report from GC winner Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team:

Primoz Roglic has taken the overall victory in Tirreno-Adriatico. The Slovenian leader of Team Jumbo-Visma managed to make up 25 seconds on Adam Yates in a blistering time trial. He eventually won the general classification with a margin of less than one second.

Primnoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic on his way to winning Tirreno-Adriatico. Sirotti photo

For Roglic, it is his second consecutive final victory in a WorldTour stage race. Last month, he already won the UAE Tour. For the Slovenian it is his third victory of the season, the eighth for Team Jumbo-Visma.

In the ten kilometre long time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, time trial specialist Jos van Emden finished third. The Dutchman finished on the podium for the third consecutive year. He finished second in the two previous years. Roglic finished eleventh.

Roglic was more than happy with his victory. “I cannot describe and express my feelings. This is incredibly beautiful. It was very exciting and the difference is very small. It was really close. But sometimes you have to be lucky. I gave everything I had. There was a lot of headwind and I tried to make the difference in the second part. That worked out. I have to thank the whole team. This would have never been possible without my teammates. They were all very strong. I am proud of what we have shown again as a team this week. It was a very tough week and we rode really fast in every stage. This is a huge boost for me and the team in the run-up to the goals that are yet to come. In particular the Giro.”

Van Emden was happy with his teammate's overall victory, but would have liked to win the time trial. “This time trial was my main goal this spring. I did not feel that my time trial was good enough for the win, but feelings can deceive sometimes. In the end it was not a bad time trial. I proved that I am among the best in this discipline. I really want to have this time trial on my palmarès, so I’m going to try again next season.”

Second-placed Adam Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this report:

It was heartbreak for Adam Yates as he lost the leader’s jersey by less than a single second to Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) after a brave effort in the final stage time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.

The Brit began the 10.05km course with a buffer of 25 seconds over his nearest rival, but the advantage proved not to be enough to fend off time trial specialist Roglic, despite reducing the gap between the pair to 26 seconds, down from 36 in 2018.

Adam Yates

Adam Yates couldn't find that last fraction of a second. Sirotti photo

The final stage result means that Yates finishes the seven-stage race second overall after Mitchelton-SCOTT held the jersey all week, having won the opening team time trial.

Former race leader Michael Hepburn was the first off the start ramp for Mitchelton-SCOTT and the Australian set the third fastest time of the early runners as he crossed the line.

The TT was the first opportunity for Luke Durbridge to show off his Australian champion’s skinsuit and the 27-year-old set the eighth fastest time across the line, eventually finishing 13th on the stage.

All eyes then turned to the top two in the overall classification, with Roglic setting off two minutes ahead of Yates knowing he needed to claw back 25 seconds on the race leader.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT man was seven seconds down on his rival at the first time split and as he passed under the flamme rouge it was clear it was going to be tight at the finish.

But unfortunately it wasn’t enough despite a valiant effort from Yates to fend off Roglic, with the racing ending with a second place overall after four stages in the leader’s jersey.

Adam Yates:
“It was a hard TT, I’ve done this TT many times and I always lose a chunk of time and it was close, but it wasn’t enough, that’s how it goes, that’s bike racing.”

“I did the best I could, I said yesterday that 25 seconds isn’t really enough. But I did a good TT, I’ll have to look back but I think the power was good and I held my position for as long as I could. There wasn’t much more I could do, the strongest man won, but for sure next year I’ll be back and hopefully I can comeback stronger.”

“This is the first big goal of the season, and I got pretty close, next up I’ve got some more big races, I’ve got Catalunya and Basque Country next, so the form is good, the condition is good and a few days to recover now before Catalunya.”

Matt White (Sports Director):
“Adam has done a great time trial to finish off, he’s not a time trial specialists and to only lose that amount of time on some of the best guys in the world, it’s a solid ride.”

“No one likes to lose by that margin, but it is what it is and there’s a lot of positives that we can take from this week.”

“One is obviously the team time trial, the way we won that and beat the best teams in the world there, secondly the way the boys have ridden in support of Adam and the way Adam has ridden as a leader in a race that didn’t suit his characteristics.”

“The team in general have had a great work load this week and it certainly bodes well for what’s coming up, with Milan San-Remo, the first part of the Belgian classics and for Adam and Brent going to Catalunya.”

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this report:

In San Benedetto del Tronto, it was all about speed today. On the final stage of the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico, the outcome of the GC race was still not confirmed, but it would be hard to gain any significant time gaps on today’s individual time-trial. The pan flat 10.05km course would be fast – made even faster by the straightforward course – with little to trouble riders other than a few turns on the out and back route. Today would be a day for pure speed, and this was apparent from the times being posted, with riders coming home in a little over eleven minutes.

Maciej Bodnar – BORA-hansgrohe’s time trial specialist – was the first of the team to hit the road, jumping into the provisional top ten, but his time of 11:50 wasn’t quite enough to keep him there, finishing the day in 24th spot. For the remainder of the team, it was a chance to check their form and reflect on their performance over a hard race, before heading off to the Classics. While the team hadn’t brought home any victories, Rafał Majka and Oscar Gatto had shown grit and determination in continuing to push hard after they were brought down by a pedestrian in the opening Team Time Trial, while the team had worked well in the later stages, with Marcus Burghardt and Daniel Oss showing their strength both by jumping in the breaks as well as being able to drive the pace hard, while Davide Formolo and Peter Sagan had posted some strong top-five finishes. 

From the Finish Line:
"I don't think it was a bad performance if we take into consideration how much I suffered in the last five days. My shape is more or less there, I wasn't feeling very well but I wasn't feeling bad either. Something was missing of course but on the other hand, I wasn't expecting to perform much better today after these pretty hard five days." – Maciej Bodnar

"Today, Maciej Bodnar didn't have the power we would have expected from him. He has been building his form in the previous races and here at the Tirreno-Adriatico to come stronger for the classics but in this time-trial he was far from his potential." – Patxi Vila, Sports Director 

Team Sky to become Team INEOS

Team Sky sent me this news release:

Sky and 21st Century Fox have agreed the sale of Team Sky to INEOS. INEOS will become the sole owners of Tour Racing Limited (the team’s holding company) from 1 May this year and will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners.

The launch of Team INEOS will take place at the Tour de Yorkshire which starts in Doncaster on 2 May.

Team Sky

Come May, Team Sky will be Team INEOS. Sirotti photo.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman and Chief Executive of INEOS, said: “Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world. Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments. INEOS is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team.”

Jeremy Darroch, Sky Group CEO, said: "We are pleased that the team’s future has been secured under new ownership. This brings to a close Sky’s decade-long involvement with cycling, which has created unprecedented success and inspired millions more people to cycle regularly. I’d like to thank all members of Team Sky, past and present, for their contribution to our journey together. We wish the team and INEOS all the best for the future and look forward to watching the next chapter in the story.”

Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal, said: “Today’s announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans, and for the sport more widely. It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future. In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike. It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team INEOS. I would like to personally thank Jeremy Darroch, who over a decade ago had the vision to back us when others thought we were crazy. His support for the team through thick and thin has been remarkable and everyone at Team Sky thanks him for all he has done for our sport.”

The practicalities of the transfer are subject to further discussion with the Union Cycliste Internationale.

Rossignol Group restructures Time Sport

Bike Europe sent me this news:

SAINT-JEAN-DE-MOIRANS, France – Rossignol Group SA, the French outdoor company, announces the restructuring of Time Sport, the premium road bike brand bought by the group in February 2016. The management has decided to cut jobs and to relocate production.

The Rossignol Group has chosen to transform Time Sport after three years of unprofitability. A plan has been set up “To optimize production and to improve the integration of Time Sport in the Group’s bike division bringing it together with Rossignol and Felt,” is pointed out in a company statement. It also underlines that “Time Sport bikes will continue to be designed and assembled in France.” The significance of this statement is in the fact Rossignol is speaking of assembly and not manufacturing as until now.

Regarding the difficulties of Time Sport, the management says that the number of production sites (Nevers and Voreppe in France as well as Gajary in Slovakia) is one of the biggest problems. It brings too much costs and with that a loss in competitiveness in a highly competitive premium bike market, argues Rossignol.

As a result, the Voreppe (Isère) Time facility – where the premium bikes are partly manufactured – is at the forefront of the restructuring plans. It mentions 29 jobs of the 43 total that are to be cut. The Rossignol Group statement also talks about a complete shutdown of the Voreppe facility. Instead the French outdoor company is to concentrate its activities in its Gajary, Slovakia production site as well as in Nevers, France where Time Sport produces its pedal range.

You can read the entire article here.

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