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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, May 2, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature. - Voltaire

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Team reports on Tour de Romandie stage one

We posted the report from winner Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team with the results.

Here's Bora-hansgrohe's update:

After yesterday’s prologue, the riders had to face the first road stage of the Tour de Romandie today. The parcours took the peloton from Neuchâtel to La Chaux-de-Fonds over a 168.4 km-long course containing five classified climbs. A group of 13 riders, including Maciej Bodnar escaped relatively early in the stage and opened up a two-minute lead over the main bunch. The front group was gone for most of the stage, with Maciej Bodnar putting in a great effort.

As the race headed onto the local lap around the finish area, the gap came down to one minute, when Maciej Bodnar had to pull back as the front group faced the second last climb of the day. With 28 km remaining the breakaway was caught by the peloton and the attacks were flying. As a result, many riders lost contact and only a selected group was able to fight for the stage win. With two riders in this group, BORA – hansgrohe decided to give it a go and Emanuel Buchmann attacked with 25 kilometers to go.

It was a strong ride from Buchmann, pulling out 40 seconds advantage before G. Thomas tried to follow on the last climb. Together with two other riders last year’s Tour de France champion was able to bridge across. But with just 6 km to go, the first chasing group was able to catch up and a sprint had to decide the race. In a fast finish it was Primoz Roglic who took the stage win. Felix Großschartner crossed the line in 9thposition, which puts him into sixth overall. While teammate Emanuel Buchmann finished the day after a great solo try in 11th position, where he is also sitting now in the general classification.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic takes stage one. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“The stage was harder than expected. We had Maciej in the breakaway of the day, which was gone for most of the stage. But we knew already after some kilometres that a sprint finish won’t happen today, the stage was simply too hard for the sprinters. The race was hard and fast, but we had with Emu and Felix two strong cards to play. Emu launched an attack, cause if you never try, you will never know. Shortly before the finish the group caught him, but anyway we finished with both climbers in a good position. I think, we can be satisfied with today’s result. Tomorrow we will support Sam 100%.” – Steffen Radochla, Sports Director

“It was a tough day, everyone was on the limit as we headed into the second last climb. Still, I thought I will give it a try and went on attack. Unfortunately, I hadn’t the best legs for the finale to finish it off, and the other riders were able to bridge across 6 km before of the finish. But that’s cycling, at least I gave it a try.” – Emanuel Buchmann

And here's the update from Team INEOS (Sky):

Geraint Thomas moved up to fourth overall at the Tour de Romandie following a spirited finish to stage one. The Welshman pushed clear on the day’s final climb, dragging David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Woods (EF Education-Drapac) clear off the front.

The trio overhauled lone leader Emmanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) but were caught with five kilometres to go. Undeterred, Thomas launched another move on the finishing straight, heading into the final kilometre solo, before being hauled in by an elite chasing pack.

Eventually crossing the line 20th, Thomas now sits 13 seconds off the lead after a great day of racing.

Earlier Diego Rosa had worked his way into the day’s 13-man break, a key tactical move with a number of top teams featured. Caught with 30km to go, Kenny Elissonde then went on a brief attack on the Col de la Tourne before Thomas hit the front.

Reaction:
"I felt quite good in the final so I thought I’d have a go and test the legs and see how I was. It was pretty good! It was hard with the run in and the headwind. We weren’t working really well together as a group so unfortunately we couldn’t stay away. But it was a good test and I’m happy with how I was going.

"It’s not just about waiting and trying to do something on Saturday. I’ll just take every day as it comes, get stuck in and try to get the best result I can. I’ll try to take an opportunity if it comes." - Geraint Thomas

Eschborn-Frankfurt team reports

We posted the report from winner Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results.

Here's the report from Alexander Kristoff's UAE-Team Emirates:

At the end of a hard-fought sprint, Alexander Kristoff’s crown slipped off in the Eschborn-Frankfurt. After four consecutive successes, the UAE Team Emirates’ cyclist is no longer king in the German WorldTour race. He finished third this time behind winner Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and John Degenkolb (Trek- Segafredo).

PAcal Ackermann

Pascal Ackermann wins in Frankfurt.

An escape group ruled the early hours and was caught by the high-speed group in the last kilometres of a race. Kristoff’s sprint began when he bump against Ackermann at 200 metres out. It forced the Norwegian to reset and move towards the centre of the road. He began his comeback and fought to third place.

“Today my feelings were not perfect, so much so that on the undulating section, I slipped behind a couple of times. I was able to return to the group thanks to the support of Rory Sutherland and Vegar Laengen,” he explained. “On the final circuit, I tried to hold on to the sprint, but I wasn’t particularly brilliant. It was a pity we didn’t manage to prolong the winning streak in this race but for the sensations I had today, the podium is a good result.”

Team Sunweb announces Giro d'Italia squad

Team Sunweb sent me this:

With the Giro d’Italia just around the corner, Team Sunweb confirm the eight-man strong squad that head to Italy to kick off the team’s Grand Tour season.

After a successful past two editions of the race, which saw two podium finishes with both first and second in the general classification, Team Sunweb once again line-up at the Giro with ambitions for the overall classification, selecting a well-rounded group of riders to support their goal.

Team Sunweb’s Giro d’Italia coach Marc Reef discussed the line-up: “This year we look to replicate our successes of the previous years, heading to Italy with the same ambitions and focus for the overall classification. Everybody has an important and specific role in our plan and we have selected what we believe is the strongest configuration of riders to support our primary season goal; to ultimately get Tom into the best possible position to achieve a solid GC result for the team.

Chad Haga

Chad Haga (shown racing the 2016 Dauphine) will be on the line for the 2019 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

“We bring Chad and Louis to guide Tom through the stage’s early difficulties and our young Australian guns for the tougher days. We’ll benefit from Jan’s experience and quality in the hectic and explosive finals and we have Sam, who we expect to grow into the race to bring support on the key stages that come in week two and three.

“Good training and preparation plans mean that we head to Italy in the best possible condition. The guys have had a good few blocks at altitude and some more racing in their legs over the past couple of days. Now we’re all really looking forward to heading to Bologna to kick off our Grand Tour season on what we hope will be a great note.”

Line-up:
Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Chad Haga (USA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Robert Power (AUS)
Louis Vervaeke (BEL)

Coaches:
Michiel Elijzen (NED)
Marc Reef (NED)
Matt Winston (GBR)

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