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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, October 11, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. - William Arthur Ward

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Gran Piemonte race reports

We posted the report from winner Egan Bernal's Team INEOS with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Nans Peters' Ag2r-La Mondiale team:

Nans Peters : "I have reached a new level. The two riders ahead of me were just too strong, I knew that I had to be patient and I managed as well as possible to do my climb. It's nice to fight for the win with riders of this caliber! My season ends tonight, and I knew we had to give everything. I have good memories from Italy this year (winner of the 17th stage of the Giro), but the highlight for my third professional season is that I have reached a new level. I am progressing, and I hope that it will continue next year.”

Mathias Frank finished 6th after attacking four kilometers from the finish. Clément Champoussin, a stagiaire with our team who will turn professional next year with us on August 1st, took his first top ten among professionals with ninth place.

This was the last race for Hubert Dupont: After 1199 days of racing and 182,961 kilometers (source ProCyclingStats), Hubert Dupont has ended his professional career today: "It was a really fun day. I have raced a lot in this region, and with it being a RCS race, I felt like I was at the Giro, which feels like home! A lot of memories came flooding back! My career is over, but I will not stop riding with friends! But just for fun from now on!”

Hubert Dupont

Hubert Dupont racing in 2018. Sirotti photo

Fifth-place Dan Martin's UAE-Team Emirates sent me this:

Daniel Martin put in a strong ride in the 2019 edition of Gran Piemonte on a tough parcours. The arrival at the Sanctuary of Oropa saw the Irishman bag 5th place with victory going to the Colombian Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) ahead of his compatriot Ivan Sosa.

Egan bernal

Egan Bernal wins at the Santuario di Oropa. Sirotti photo

The winner of the Tour de France made the winning move just under 2km from the finish, after team-mate Sosa had reduced the leading group to a select few. At the time of Bernal’s attack, Martin had lost a few meters,but still held on to secure a place in the top 5.

Martin: “My legs were really good today but Bernal was so strong. I crashed early on: my front wheel went from under me on one of the corners and I came down. It wasn’t ideal but I’m okay. We’re going into Lombardia relaxed, Ulissi is going really well too so we have a strong team.”

Australian time trial champion Grace Brown to ride another season with Mitchelton-Scott in 2020

The team sent me this:

Mitchelton-SCOTT are pleased to announce that Australian time trial champion Grace Brown will remain with the Australian outfit in 2020 after enjoying her first professional road season in Europe with the team.

Brown, who is fairly new to the sport, showed her huge potential on the road as she made her debut in a number of WorldTour races with consistent and strong performances.

The 27-year-old will head into 2020 with more experience and understanding, ready to take her own opportunities whilst continuing to also be an important support rider for the team, which includes road world champion Annemiek van Vleuten.

Grace Brown

Grace Brown winning a stage at the Tour Down Under

Grace Brown:
“I’m pretty satisfied with this season. I think I achieved more than I expected at the start of the year and so with some experience now of racing in Europe for a year, I am really happy to continue next year.

“I think I have a really good understanding of the team and with what I have done this year I have a good platform to now set some higher goals for 2020 and try and achieve those.

“I’d like to focus on the Belgian classics more next year and maybe try to have a race or two where I get an opportunity to get a personal result and be a part of those key team goals as a domestique as well.

“We will of course have Annemiek in the world champion's jersey next year, she’s always been our top rider so I think we’ll race the same regardless of her being in the jersey and we all work really well around her. It will be interesting to see next year how it will be with our new climbing strength, I think it will change the dynamic of the team and be really positive.”

Martin Vestby - Sport Director:
“Grace has proved that she is strong enough to win races both in the time trial and also on the road after winning a stage at the Tour Down Under. She has already shown this year she is very capable but has had some bad luck this year with some nasty crashes.

“It was her first full season in Europe and of course there were a lot of new races where she has gained a lot of experience and she has stayed over in Europe for the whole season for the first time.

“She has improved a lot and learnt a lot and also seen which races suit her best. I am sure that she will take a big step next year with all the experience she has gained and with a more balanced race schedule and hopefully less bad luck.”

Grace Brown
Date of birth: 7th July 1992 (27)
Nationality: Australia
Place of birth: Camperdown
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2019

Deceuninck-Quick Step to race Il Lombardia

Here's the team's update:

Two-time winner Philippe Gilbert headlines our squad for the season’s final Monument.

One of the few foreign riders to have triumphed at Il Lombardia multiple times (2009 and 2010), Philippe Gilbert will end his season at “The Race of the Falling Leaves”, which the Paris-Roubaix reigning champion is set to race for the 11th time in his career on Saturday, when the peloton will travel from Bergamo to Como, the picturesque town that gets to host the finish of the year’s fifth Monument for the 35th time in history.

Philippe

Philippe Gilbert wins Tour of Lombardy (Il Lombardia) in 2010. Sirotti photo

Colle Gallo, Colle Brianza, Madonna del Ghisallo, Colma di Sormano – with its excruciating 27% gradients – Civiglio, and San Fermo della Battaglia (which returns after two years) are the six climbs dotting the 243km-long course that will gradually thin out the peloton and provide the terrain for attacks at the 113th running of the race, which the Wolfpack will once again start as leader of the UCI World Team Classification.

Tenth at Milano-Torino on Wednesday, a strong and morale-boosting result that came one month after his last race, Enric Mas will be another rider who could play an important role on Saturday, part of a solid Deceuninck – Quick-Step line-up which will include also Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, James Knox – who is making his debut in a Monument – and Petr Vakoč.

“We won two Monuments this year – Sanremo and Roubaix – and we are very motivated to end our European season with another strong performance in Lombardia, a beautiful race where we’ve tasted success several times”, said sports director Davide Bramati. “The route doesn’t bring anything new, which means it’s the same tough parcours that will end up making a serious selection by the time we’ll approach the last climb, the Battaglia, which should be decisive, as was the case so many times in the past.”

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