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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves? --Robin Williams

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

May 24 - 26: Tour de l'Ain

Latest completed racing:


Giro d'Italia stage 10 team reports

We posted the organizer's and 2nd-place Elia Viviani's Deceuninck-Quick Step team's reports with the results

Here's the report from third-place Rudi Selig's Bora-hansgrohe team:

After the first rest day of the Giro d’Italia, the riders had to take on a short and flat stage of 145 km. The tenth stage from Ravenna to Modena at the edge of the Po valley, offered no topographical difficulties and with a 2km long straight and completely flat final stretch, the parcours offered up a firework for the sprinters.

Right from the start two riders escaped and quickly carved out an advantage of 4 minutes over the field. The peloton however did not allow the elastic to stretch too far and the lead of 4 minutes shrank quickly. BORA - hansgrohe’s Cesare Benedetti came to the front of the field to make the tempo and the advantage of the leading duo reduced to around 2 minutes by the second half of the stage. At the intermediate sprint with 45 km to the finish, Pascal Ackermann took additional bonus points in the sprint classification.

With 30 km to go, the field caught up with the leading escapees and the peloton rolled together towards Modena. The sprinter teams and a few teams of the general classification contenders then moved up to the front. In the final phase, Lotto - Soudal took the lead while BORA - hansgrohe attempted to position Pascal for the final sprint. After Francisco Ventoso attacked with 1500m to go, a crash occurred back in the field around 500m later. Pascal hit the deck and sustained several abrasions and contusions but was able to complete the stage. A group of 20 remaining riders, including Rudi Selig, sprinted towards the finish line, which Arnaud Démare crossed first ahead of Elia Viviani. Rudi managed to take a strong third place while Pascal defended his points jersey. There were no changes in the general classification, with Davide Formolo still lying in 17th place, and teammate Rafal Majka sitting in 18th position overall.

Pacal Ackermann

Pascal Ackermann was quite a bit worse for the wear. Sirotti photo

From the finish line:
“I recovered on the first rest day and had good legs again. We wanted to play a bit of poker on the stage, so that more pressure would be on the other sprinter teams. During the last 5 km, we came to the front. At the 1000m to go mark, everything went by so fast, so I don’t really know what happened, and I could not react in time. The crash was heavy, and I sustained a few abrasions and contusions, but thankfully I can continue to ride. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, but these are the demands of a Grand Tour, and you just have to take such setbacks as they come.”
- Pascal Ackermann

“We didn’t have a lot of luck today. We were still tucked away in the peloton with 50km remaining, to save our energy, and then we came further up in the main field afterwards. We then came right to the front with Pascal and Schwarzi and at the 1 kilometre mark it got quite tight, and I had to brake. I heard the crash and turned around where I saw that he was on the ground. I wasn’t quite sure if I should stop or ride on. I then tried for the sprint, but it’s tough to get a result against Démare or Viviani. I can’t really be so happy because Pascal was in good form. It’s annoying, but it can happen.”
- Rudi Selig

“Of course we are in shock after Pascal’s heavy crash, where he was somehow lucky in his misfortune. According to the first statements of our team doctor, nothing is broken and he escaped with extensive abrasions and bruises on his right side. It was a pity that Pascal wasn’t able to take part in the sprint for the win, as he also lost valuable points in the battle for the Maglia Ciclamino. Congratulations to Rudi Selig, our lead-out man who was able to take out third place. That was a strong performance. "
- Christian Poemer, Sports Director

Here's the report from GC leader Valerio Conti's UAE-Team Emirates:

UAE Team Emirates’ Valerio Conti continues to hold onto the Pink Jersey, with the Italian remaining top of the General Classification (GC) standings after today’s Stage 10.

Valerio Conti

Valerio Conti at the start of stage ten. Sirotti photo.

With riders returning refreshed after Monday’s rest day, they were greeted with a relatively simple 145km route from Ravenna to Modena, that was almost completely flat. The peloton bided their time, easing themselves back into racing, knowing that a breakaway had little chance of seeing it out to the finish line. But there was chaos in the closing kilometre as a crash at the 800m mark took out a number of riders, including UAE Team Emirates’ Simone Consonni.

Just 10 riders managed to escape the chaos to contest the bunched sprint finish, which was eventually won by Arnaud Demare (Groupama – FDJ).

Commenting on the result, Valerio Conti said: “Today’s stage was quite straightforward. The sprinters teams led the bunch so my teammates and I didn’t have to waste too much energy. We were aiming to get Consonni up for the sprint but he got caught up in a crash at the end, but luckily he’s okay and it is nothing too serious.”

Stage 11 will be another day for the sprinters, with a 221km flat route from Carpi to Novi Ligure. Should Valerio Conti retain the Pink Jersey, he and his UAE Team Emirates will be hoping to hold out for a full week in the GC’s top spot.

Team Sunweb's upcoming races

The team sent me this schedule:

Hammer Stavanger: MAY 24-26

Arthur van Dongen - Team Sunweb coach:
"Hammer Series is a really important race for us as a team and after finishing second here last year, we’re even more motivated and hungry to take the win this year. The kick off in Stavanger later this week will be a tough first test, but we’ve got a great team to hopefully bring us a solid result. We aim to be in a strong position after the Climb and the Sprint, ultimately going for the top result in the Chase on the final day. Our huge motivator is the thought of doing it completely as a team, and getting to stand on the podium all together as one."

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Max Walscheid (GER)

Max Walscheid

Max Walscheid (shown at the 2017 Tour of Denmark) will be riding the Hammer Stavanger. Cor Vos photo

Tour de l'Ain: MAY 24-26

Albert Timmer - Team Sunweb coach:
"Tour de l'Ain is a tough and exciting race, with a varied parcours. The level of competition is strong but we bring a motivated team and we want to show ourselves well throughout the race, and we're confident of doing that. The opening stage could end in a sprint and we'll work to set up Marius for that. Whereas, the second and third stages will be really hard with a lot of climbing and Felix will be our leader. The team will work to protect him throughout the three days and set him up for the tougher stages."

Line-up:
Felix Gall (AUT)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Martin Salmon (GER)

Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour: MAY 28-JUN 2

Nicolas Marche - Team Sunweb coach:
"We go to the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour with a lot of ambition as a team, with the main goal of the week to win a stage. The route looks really exciting, with a lot of different terrain and several stages that are constantly up or down. It should make for some aggressive racing and as always we aim to be one of the more active teams. We bring a strong team to the race and have several cards to play for good results on the stages, depending on how each day is raced."

Line-up:
Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Lucinda Brand (NED)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Pernille Mathiesen (DEN)
Coryn Rivera (USA)

Tolhoek, Kuss and Bouwman extend contracts with Team Jumbo-Visma

The team sent me this:

Team Jumbo-Visma has extended the contracts of three riders who are currently riding the Giro d’Italia. Antwan Tolhoek (25), Koen Bouwman (25) and Sepp Kuss (24) will all ride for the team of general manager Richard Plugge until 2021. In Italy, the trio is riding for the team’s leader Primoz Roglic, who’s now second in the general classification.

Koen Bouwman

Koen Bouwman will ride for Jumbo-Visma until 2021. Sirotti photo

“I feel at home in this team”, Bouwman explains his contract extension. “Since the first race I rode as a professional, I have been part of this team.” Just like Bouwman, Kuss never considered to change teams. “They gave each one of us the confidence that we can make the steps to develop”, the American said. “It’s a really fair team. It makes sense to stay with that progression.”

Tolhoek agrees. “Everyone has been riding here for a long time already. That’s for a good reason. In this team, people work to make everyone better. That’s why I think we all want to stay. This results in us occasionally standing out. We hope to do that more often in the future”, the Dutchman, who rode the Vuelta and Tour before, said.

Plugge is happy with the contract extension of his pupils. “They’ve developed here and they’re showing amazing things. They are growing into sidekicks for one of the biggest contenders here in the Giro d’Italia. I think it’s very cool that this has grown so much in our organisation.”

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