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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, October 21, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. - Thomas Merton

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Tour of Guangxi stage four reports

We posted the report from stage winner Enric Mas' Deceuninck-Quick Step team with the results

Here's the report from third-place Diego Rosa's Team INEOS:

Diego Rosa put in an impressive ride to take third place on the queen stage of the Tour of Guangxi.

Riding his last race for the team, the Italian dug deep on the tough final climb, riding out of the pack and across the gap inside the final kilometre of stage four.

Crossing the line just eight seconds behind stage winner Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Rosa also holds third on the general classification, 14 seconds back with two stages to go.

Enric Mas

Enric Mas wins stage four.

David de la Cruz was also up there in a select lead group, finishing in eighth place amongst a small group of riders, 19 seconds back.

The Team INEOS duo were placed into a great position by their teammates with 4km to go, at which point the bunch detonated on the early slopes of the climb.

And here's the update from fourth-place Antwan Tolhoek's Jumbo-Visma team:

Antwan Tolhoek has finished just outside the podium in the fourth stage of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi. The 25-year-old climber of Team Jumbo-Visma went on the attack when he entered the final kilometre on the steep final climb, but eventually came too short for the victory and finished in fourth place.

A leading group was caught well before the finish, after which the peloton raced at high speed to the foot of the final climb. Tolhoek was kept in front by his teammates of Team Jumbo-Visma. Due to his fourth place, Tolhoek moved up to the fourth place in the rankings.

“I have to compliment my teammates for the hard work”, Tolhoek said. “I waited until the last kilometre before I attacked. I tried to take advantage of the fact that I was not regarded the favourite. Up to the last two hundred metres, I battled for the win with Mas and Martínez. Unfortunately, when they started, I had already shot my bolt. I am very happy with the confidence of the team and I’ll keep fighting for the next chance.”

Sports director Addy Engels valued Tolhoek’s results. “A finish like this, with a very steep last mile, doesn’t lie. In such case, the fourth place is a good and nice result. I also have to compliment the other boys. They delivered perfect work today by putting Antwan in a good position.”

And here's the report from Martijn Tusveld's Team Sunweb:

Today saw the queen stage of the Tour of Guangxi with an uphill finish to Nongla. It was the same finish climb that proved decisive in the 2018 edition of the race. However, this year the organisers extended the climb by another kilometre, ensuring for an even tougher finale.

In another case of déjà-vu, the stage started in familiar fashion with a breakaway of three riders establishing itself at the head of the race on the flat roads. The break worked well together and extended their gap before splitting up in the final 50 kilometres of action. With the time gap at over five minutes, it resulted in a fast finale with the peloton catching the remnants of the breakaway with 15 kilometres remaining.

On the flat run in to the climb there was a big fight within the peloton for position and the team rode well as a unit to move protected rider Martijn Tusveld up the bunch. Coming onto the climb the team led through the first corner, delivering Tusveld in a great position. Attacks flew from the bottom of the ascent but proceedings settled down and a strong pace was set as the bunch crossed what was last year’s finish line, with Tusveld still present in the reduced group. As the gradient increased in the final kilometre, the attacks started once again and Tusveld rode at his own rhythm, ending the day with a strong ninth place on the stage. It is a result that sees him move up to tenth on GC with two stages remaining.

“Today was the main deciding day for the GC with a hard uphill finish,” explained Tusveld after the stage. “I was protected by the team the whole day and they delivered me in a perfect position going onto the final climb. From there on it was a full gas effort and I am happy to have finished in ninth place; that was the best I could do today. Also I am really happy that the team gave me a chance to go for a good result and it was great to get the confidence from the whole team today.”
Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “The team goal today was to bring Martijn into a good position for the climb. The guys did a good job at that and delivered him in a great position. It was all down to power and strength from that moment on and I think Martijn battled really well; managing to finish ninth on the stage. It’s nice to see him also to move up into the top ten on GC after today. Overall it was a good stage for the team.”

Brent Bookwalter signs for another year with Mitchelton-Scott

Here's the team's press release:

American Brent Bookwalter will ride another season with Mitchelton-SCOTT, having battled bravely through a difficult opening season with the squad in 2019.

After making the move to join Mitchelton-SCOTT after 11 seasons with his former team, Bookwalter has suffered a year of bad luck with untimely illnesses, crashes and injuries.

But with the initial adaption period complete, 2020 opens up the opportunity for the 35-year-old to show exactly what attracted the team to him - a wealth of experience and leadership for their younger leaders.

Brent Bookwalter

Brent Bookwalter having a good day at the 2017 Tour of Utah.

Brent Bookwalter:
“In some ways it’s been a long season, I think I underestimated the challenge of change but I maybe also underestimated the positivity, inspiration and invigoration it also brought.  I was a little smacked in the face with the change after being in the same place for so long but it was a breath of fresh air to help find my best self.

“I didn’t check off all the boxes or finish all of the business that I set out to do this season but it’s given me some perspective on what it takes to be a cyclist at the top level. It has made me realise I have been really fortunate over 10 years to have been really consistent and really healthy and this year was one of my least healthy or productive seasons. That said, there’s still moments I look back on and I’m proud of.

“I’m coming out of the season better than when I went in, on different levels than I would have expected.

“At this point of my career I’m pretty open in terms of race program, it’s more about how I can best utilise my experience and my skills to contribute to this team in the most impactful way possible. The little taste I got of doing that with Simon and Adam this year in the GC races and it’s something I’d like to continue doing.” 

Matt White – Head Sports Director:
“Brent has, by his standards, had a year he probably wants to forget. He has had some illnesses and untimely injuries, but he is an experienced campaigner and we brought him to the team because we see the value in his experience and his leadership.

“The reason he is staying is because we know things happen in a career and in a season, but we know how hard he is working and we know the value to the team he can be.”

Brent Bookwalter
Date of Birth: 16th February 1984
Nationality: North American
Place of birth: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Turned Pro: 2008
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2019

Team Bahrain-Merida comments on Japan Cup road race:

A challenging edition of Japan Cup saw Yukiya Arashiro as Team Bahrain Merida best-placed rider in Utsunomiya, crossing the finish line in 13th place.

Bauke Mollema

Bauke Mollema wins the 2019 Japan Cup Road Race.

“We missed a top ten result, but according to how the race unfolded, we can be satisfied with our boys’ race” Team Bahrain Merida Sports Director Franco Pellizotti commented “It turned out to be a tough one due to the very fast pace kept by strong riders. In particular, Jumbo Visma guys made the race very hard, when there were still 4 laps to go. Our Sonny Colbrelli did his best to stay with the first group, but he couldn’t keep their pace on a demanding course and he dropped with two laps to go. Woods and Mollema showed to be in very good shape, staying at the front in the finale and contesting the win in a two-up sprint, with the Dutch rider attacking in final ascent and taking it”.

The day before riders warmed-up with a Criterium for fast men. Sonny Colbrelli sprinted to second place, but it was a close one. Theuns won it by just 3mm”.

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