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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Volta a Catalunya team reports

We posted the race report from second-place Max Schachmann's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results.

Winner Thomas de Gendt's Lotto-Soudal team sent me this:

The opening stage in the Volta a Catalunya, with start and finish in Calella, contained no less than five climbs. Thomas De Gendt was part of the breakaway, which he finished off with an amazing solo. The Lotto Soudal rider took the stage win two minutes and 38 seconds ahead of the bunch. He is now leader in the general classification, as well as the points and mountains classification. De Gendt recalls on his tremendous victory, which is his fourth ever in Catalonia.

Thomas de Gendt

Thomas de Gendt wins the first stage.

Thomas De Gendt: “I absolutely wanted to be in the breakaway today to aim for the stage win. I tried to take the mountains jersey as well, but I did not want to waste too much energy on this. The peloton quickly brought down our bonus to two minutes, but I did not panic. The hardest part was yet to come, being a short and steep hill. I was riding at a very high pace there, hoping the strongest would survive, but only Luis Maté was able to follow. However, he could not take the lead anymore and he just stayed in my wheel until the next hill, the Coll Formic. Because I knew Maté really was at his limit, I attacked again and he had to let go.”

“From there on I was on my own, but I knew the descent very well due to my experience from the previous editions. I knew what was ahead of me, thus I could anticipate with my watts. Some parts I did at a higher pace than others. It was to my advantage that I have covered the final 40 kilometres already seven times. Each year during the weeks of Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya, I am in great shape. I always look forward to this period. In Paris-Nice my shape went only upwards, so I felt excellent. Because of the calm week that followed, I presumed to perform even better in Catalonia.”

“On the first day, there is no GC leader yet, so then it is difficult to find a team willing to lead the chase. For the sprinters it was a bit too tough today and I responded well to that. On top of that, I think the GC riders will not care too much about me. The two uphill finishes could make me lose fifteen minutes, so it does not really matter that I am two minutes ahead now. Tomorrow I should keep the leader’s jersey, but I suppose I will not be able to follow the top riders on the next day.”

And here's what Michael Matthews' Team Sunweb had to say about the stage:

The opening stage of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya would provide a stern test for the riders in what was dubbed as a “sprint day” but with almost 3000 metres of climbing, it was never going to be an easy day in the saddle. A group of six formed the day’s breakaway and they quickly gained a gap of roughly four minutes over the peloton.

On the penultimate climb of the day, De Gendt dropped the rest of his breakaway companions and forged on alone at the head of the race. The gap to the peloton increased on the descent and once into the final 25 kilometres of the race it stood at 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Despite the efforts of Michael Storer and Chris Hamilton in the chase behind, it wasn’t enough and the peloton had to sprint for third place on the day, as a late attacker held on for second.

Michael Matthews continued his recovery from injury with a strong fourth place finish, in what was only his third full day of racing this year.

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek took positives from the day: “With Michael not having fully recovered from his effort at the weekend, we had hoped that we could hold the breakaway a bit closer, but Michael was on the limit on the climbs. In the end, the gap was too big to bring back. The guys were dedicated to the goal and I’m hoping we can grow into the race; the right focus and intentions are there.”

Matthews added: “It was a hard day for me and I suffered; I felt tired after Milano Sanremo. The team worked well though and I hope to improve in the coming days and get another chance at a good stage result.”

Tomorrow sees the peloton tackle a flatter stage, albeit with a few climbs, between Mataró and Saint Feliu de Guixols, with the day finishing with an uphill drag to the line.

Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de Yorkshire Women's race teams confirmed

The race organizers sent me this release:

With just over five weeks to go until the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire, organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation have confirmed the 38 teams that will be competing between 2-5 May.

The men’s race will see Team Ineos in action for the very first time after changing their name from Team Sky, and they will be joined by fellow UCI WorldTour outfits CCC Team, Team Dimension Data and Team Katusha Alpecin. 

Eight UCI Pro Continental teams will also be on the start list along with seven further British-based squads.

The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race, which takes place on 3-4 May, reads like a who’s who of elite cycling talent with 14 out of the top 15 ranked teams in the world announced on the start list. Among them are Lizzie Deignan’s Trek-Segafredo squad, Boels Dolmans Cycling Team and race debutants Mitchelton Scott.

Four British teams will also be competing, with Drops Cycling, Storey Racing and Brother UK-Tifosi p/b OnForm lining up alongside the Great Britain national team.

A total of 10 teams will be in action across both races for the very first time.

Welcome to Yorkshire Commercial Director Peter Dodd said: “Finalising the teams is always exciting and we’re delighted to have attracted another strong field featuring many of the biggest names in the sport. Teams want to compete at the Tour de Yorkshire because they know they will be guaranteed massive crowds, exciting racing and an electric atmosphere.

“Last year 2.6 million spectators lined the route and the fifth edition will be of added interest to many riders given that the UCI Road World Championships are taking place here in September. With the teams we’ve got coming we will be guaranteed some enthralling racing and we’re looking forward to it immensely.” 

The men’s and women’s team line-ups will be finalised in the fortnight before the race with a number of big-name attendees set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

The full list of teams for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire is as follows:

Four UCI WorldTour teams:
CCC Team (POL), Team Dimension Data (RSA), Team Sky (Ineos) (GBR) and Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI).

Tirreno-Adriatico

Team Cofidis will ride the Tour de Yorkshire. Sirotti photo

Eight UCI Pro Continental teams:
Cofidis, Solutions Credits (FRA), Direct Energie (FRA), Euskadi Basque Country – Murias (ESP), Hagens Berman Axeon (USA), Manzana Postobon Team (COL), Rally UHC Cycling (USA), Riwal Readynez Cycling Team (DEN) and Vital Concept – B&B Hotels (FRA).

Six UCI Continental teams:
Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes (GBR), Madison Genesis (GBR), Ribble Pro Cycling (GBR), Swift Carbon Pro Cycling (GBR), Team Wiggins (GBR) and Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK (GBR),

One national team:
Great Britain Cycling Team (GBR)

The full list of teams for the 2019 Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race is as follows:

Ale Cipollini (ITA), Bigla (DEN), Brother UK Tifosi powered by On Form (GBR), Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (NED), Canyon // Sram Racing (GER), CCC – Liv (NED), Drops Cycling (GBR), FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope (FRA), Great Britain Cycling Team (GBR), Hitec Products – Birk Sport (NOR), Mitchelton Scott (AUS), Movistar Team Women (ESP), Parkhotel Valkenburg (NED), Storey Racing (GBR), Team Sunweb (NED), Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank (USA), Trek-Segafredo (USA), Valcar Cylance Cycling (ITA) and WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team (GER).

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