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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame! - William Butler Yeats

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Things go wrong at Tre Valli Varesine as some riders go off-course

Here's the report from Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Today saw the 99th edition of the one-day race Tre Valli Varesine. The 197km-long parcours between Saronno and Varese was quite demanding, consisting of several ascents, the last of which came around 1000m ahead of the finish. The terrain then flattened out in the run-in to the finish line.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic wins Tre Valli Varesine. Sirotti photo

Already early in the proceedings, a group of six riders distanced themselves from the peloton, but they were never allowed a lead of more than 3 minutes. After 70 km in the saddle, their gap had been halved due to the tempo that was being set in the peloton by BORA - hansgrohe and Jumbo Visma, and with 50km remaining, the field was only a minute behind the two remaining leaders.

The last two laps around Saronno saw a series of attacks from the main field and eventually a small group containing the Italian champion Davide Formolo was able to break free, but the chasers could not hold off the charging field and it all came back together again.

Shortly afterwards L. Sanchez attacked, and Davide along with a few other riders attempted to follow, but the chasing group with the Italian BORA - hansgrohe rider took a wrong turn and lost valuable time. They were therefore no longer able to contest the decisive stage of the race.

Over the last 10 km, a new chasing group, which included Rafał Majka, formed from behind and set after the lone Spaniard at the head of the race, however, with less than 500 m to the finish line, he was ultimately caught.

In the finishing straight, Primoz Roglič was able to attack from the chasing group to cross the finish first, while Rafał reached the line with the remaining chasers ahead of the main field.

From the finish line:
“It’s a shame that the group with Davide went the wrong way, because he is very motivated for the Italian races this week. I was in the group behind him, but after this incident, we became the first chasing group, and we tried to bridge the gap to Sanchez, which we were eventually able to do. In the end, the race was decided in a sprint from a group of around 25 riders, but when Roglic attacked, no one was able to follow him. He was simply too strong. That being said, the most important race for us is Il Lombardia on Saturday, and it’s encouraging to see that our riders are in good form at the moment. We’ll also use the upcoming races as preparation for that.” - Rafal Majka

“It looked promising for us around 15 to 20 kilometres ahead of the finish, with Davide Formolo in the 14-rider leading group. Unfortunately, they were led the wrong way by a moto and as a result, his group ended up falling behind the main field. Afterwards, we had Rafal Majka in the reduced main field, who was ultimately able to take 15th position from a group of around 25 riders at the finish. When a race is run over different laps on the same course, the chance of a mishap increases, like we saw today. It’s a shame that it happened like this, because with Davide in the Italian champion’s kit, we had expected somewhat more at Tre Valli Varese.” - Jens Zemke, Sports Director

Mikel Nieve to continue racing for Mitchelton-Scott

The team sent me this:

Basque rider Mikel Nieve will continue to ride for Mitchelton-SCOTT for the next two seasons having relished in his role with the team since joining in 2018.

Nieve moved to Mitchelton-SCOTT from Team Sky with a wealth of Grand Tour experience, an asset that continues to deliver great benefits to the team’s general classification leaders.

As well as supporting the likes of Esteban Chaves, Simon and Adam Yates, the 35-year-old has also added to his own palmares; including a stage win at the 2018 Giro d’Italia and a top-10 overall at this year’s La Vuelta a Espana – the sixth top-10 at a Grand Tour in his career.

Mikel Nieve

Mikel Nieve racing in the 2018 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Mikel Nieve:
“I enjoy it here. It was a big change and last year I started pretty late racing and I missed a lot of days with the team because of one crash.  This year, I have had a full year and now I have more confidence with everyone and I feel really good here.

“Last year was nice at the Giro with Simon and this year I have also enjoyed it all with the guys. I think over the next two years it will be the same role for me for at the Grand Tours - I have already quite a lot of experience there so I hope I can be important for the team in the important races and support them as best I can.

“We have a really good climbing group now and it’s also really exciting to see young riders like Lucas (Hamilton) growing up and to help them is really nice for me.”

Matt White – Head Sports Director:
“Mikel has been very reliable these two years he has been with us and we would obviously love to continue that relationship for as long as he wants to keep racing.

“He has a wealth of experience. He has been there before, obviously with Sky as part of their winning Tour de France and Grand Tour winning teams, and because we’ve got a young group here it’s great to have a guy with so much experience. He leads by example, he a very very solid guy.”

Mikel Nieve
Date of Birth: 26 May 1984 (35)
Nationality: Basque
Turned Pro: 2009
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2018

2019 Season Highlights:
- 10th La Vuelta a Espana – Overall
- 2nd Giro d’Italia – Stage 13

Team Deceuninck-Quick Step reports on Binche-Chimay-Binche

Rain, wind, cobbles, and a tricky circuit – Binche-Chimay-Binche is a spring Classic in the autumn, and this year delivered again in terms of spectacle and excitement, to which the Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders had a large contribution.

198.6 kilometers in length, the race began in earnest 80 kilometers from the finish, when following a series of skirmishes, twelve riders broke clear. Pieter Serry, who impressed this season with his amazing work-rate and selfless commitment for the Wolfpack, was part of that move that managed to stay in the lead until the final circuit in Binche, where they got overhauled by a sizeable bunch keen on not missing out on this opportunity.

Tom van asbroeck

Tom Van Asbroeck wins in Binche. Bettini photo

Florian Sénéchal responded present for Deceuninck – Quick-Step when things heated up and the group split to pieces on the local laps, being extremely active as he chased down moves and launched several of his own, two of which came inside three kilometers to go, on Rue de la Pépinière and under the flamme rouge. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old Frenchman, both attacks were pulled back and the 32nd edition of Binche-Chimay-Binche came down to a reduced bunch won by Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel Cycling Academy).

Seventh on the line, Florian took his sixth top 10 finish in a one-day race this season, following the ones in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Le Samyn, Paris-Roubaix, Bretagne Classic, and Tour de l’Eurométropole, thus confirming that 2019 is his best year since turning pro.

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