BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel The Story of the Tour de France, vol.2 South Salem Cycleworks vintage parts Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycles BiKyle Schwab Cycles Cycle Italia cycling tours Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. – H. L. Mencken

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Vuelta a España stage eight team reports

Stage winner Nikias Arndt's Team Sunweb sent me this report:

The penultimate day of racing before the first rest day saw the peloton take on a testing stage, with a difficult climb cresting with only 30 kilometres left in the day. With it being a tricky finale that on paper appeared too hard for the sprinters but too easy for the GC riders, it looked to be a good day to be in the breakaway. As a result, there was a fierce battle in the opening 25 kilometres before a large group of 21 riders broke clear, with Nikias Arndt and Martijn Tusveld in there for the team.

Initially their gap was held at roughly four minutes as the stage stood in the balance, but as the peloton headed towards the categorised climb, the gap was out to six minutes with 40 kilometres to go. It was on that climb that the pace increased, with those stronger on the ascents looking to drop the faster riders. Tusveld rode strongly and maintained contact with the group on the climb, with Arndt digging deep and fighting back onto the group just as the descent started.

It was at that point that the rain started to pour down, making the descent a bit more treacherous. Tusveld sensed an opportunity and managed to break clear with two others, allowing Arndt to sit in the wheels behind and save energy. Entering the final five kilometres Tusveld’s group was about to be caught before he counter attacked and got a gap. Unfortunately, he slid out around a roundabout but managed to get back onto the bike ok and finish the stage. Arndt stayed attentive at the front of the breakaway and followed the attacks as they made their way to the finish in Igualada. On the uphill drag to the line Arndt timed his sprint perfectly on his Cervelo S5, producing a powerful kick and winning the stage by a couple of bike lengths.

Nikias Arndt

Nikias Arndt wins stage eight. Sirotti photo

“It’s amazing,” beamed Arndt at the finish. “Yesterday I said I wanted to go in the breakaway today but to be there and to take the win is unbelievable; I’m super happy. Martijn helped me really well and the team worked great together. I think we played it very smart, with Martijn in the break who could attack while I sat back and waited for the sprint. It was good that he was up front in the closing kilometres so I could save some energy. In the finale I was just following all of the attacks and stayed in the game. I felt really good and I knew I was fast enough to win the sprint from the break, so I had to keep it together. It’s definitely one of my best days in my career so far.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts added: “Today it looked like a nice day for a breakaway. We had three cards we wanted to play with Martijn, Casper and Nikias all feeling quite good, and all ready to try for the breakaway. As the big group of 21 riders went away we managed to get both Nikias and Martijn in there which was a big advantage for us as we headed towards the final. Martijn was able to go on the attack and keep the pace high, which kept things under control behind and gave Nikias a smooth run towards the finish. Unfortunately, Martijn had a small crash but it was then pretty much set up for Nikias. He had great legs in the final and ended up winning the sprint for the victory comfortably in the end. We’re all really happy here and a huge credit to the work these guys have done for the first week. They’ve kept their fighting spirit despite some setbacks in the past couple of days and it has paid off really nicely for us today.”

Here's the report from GC second-place Dylan Teuns' Team Bahrain-Merida:

Igualada (Spain) August 31th– There is no doubt that this is an exciting edition of La Vuelta a España. Team Bahrain Merida team showed its colours once again with a strong performance of Dylan Teuns on stage 8 (Valls-Igualada, 166.9km).

On the paper, a day for attackers and the Belgian rider didn’t miss the breakaway of the day. A large 21-man group, including strong riders, that worked well together and it was clear almost soon that the break would make it today.

The peloton – led by the team of the red jersey – couldn’t control the escapees that gained enough time to overturn the overall ranking again. Teuns was looking for the stage win, but on a very wet finale, he could only sprint to 6th place.

Dylan Teuns

Dylan Teuns before the start of stage seven. Sirotti photo

“To make it more successful for me I needed a different parcours” Dylan commented “I had a little bit tired legs from the past two days and I gave everything anyway, but it was not possible to make the difference somewhere. That small hill at the last km was maybe a good opportunity, but with this weather it was not possible for me, because I couldn’t put the power on the bike due to the road was very slippery. I tried to make a difference to anticipate the sprint but with rain here in Spain the roads are so slippery and dangerous”.

Tomorrow’s stage will be a short, but a very hard one, with challenging climbs in Andorra. Finish at 2.500m and rain is forecast. One of the crucial day of this year’s edition.

And here's the report from Rafal Majka's Bora-hansgrohe team:

The last stage in Spain before the race heads to Andorra, was one which could end in a reduced bunch sprint or with the breakaway managing once again to stay away until the line. At one o’clock stage 8 took off from Valls in very hot temperatures of 35 degrees and went over 166 hilly kilometres to Igualada. The only categorized climb was 30 kilometres ahead of the finish line.

Right after the peloton started today’s stage, attacks were flying and a large group of 21 riders pulled away. All BORA – hansgrohe riders remained in the main field, saving energy for tomorrow’s tough stage. As expected, the breakaway was able to hold their advantage over plenty of kilometres.

The race headed into the finale as it started to rain and the attacks out of the breakaway started. After several attacks, no one was able to open up a gap over the remaining breakaway riders and in the end, the stage came down to a small bunch sprint to the line. Nine minutes later all BORA - hansgrohe riders crossed the line safely in the reduced bunch.

After today’s stage the race sees a new race leader and Rafał Majka now sits in 8th place.

Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka (shown at this year's Tour of Poland) is now 8th in the Vuelta's GC. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“We knew that maybe a reduced bunch sprint or, which was more obvious, a breakaway would make it to the finish. Ahead of tomorrow’s tough stage we took it easy to save energy for tomorrow.” - Patxi Villa, Sports Director

“After the breakaway of the day was made we stayed together in the peloton and with the rain in the finale we rode safely to avoid any crashes. Tomorrow will be a very tough stage in the mountains of Andorra, therefore we will relax now.” - Rafał Majka

Kasper Asgreen wins Deutschland Tour stage three

Here's the report from Asgreen's Deceuninck-Quick Step team:

A rider destined for big things ever since bursting onto the scene in 2018, Kasper Asgreen continued his remarkable season in his first stage race since completing the Tour de France, the Deutschland Tour, which on Saturday scheduled a hilly 189km stage between Göttingen and Eisenach.

Kasper Asgreen

Kasper Asgreen at this year's Tour of Switzerland. Sirotti photo

“We made a plan today, followed it and did our job perfectly. We set out this morning with the goal of taking the victory, so we placed one rider in the front so we didn’t have to work in the pack, then we kept a hard pace in the last hour and especially on the climbs, before making the decisive move. Being able to deliver the win after such a fantastic team effort makes me very happy”, an ecstatic Kasper said after picking up his third victory of 2019, one which helped Deceuninck – Quick-Step move into the team classification lead at the Deutschland Tour.

But long before Kasper hit the spotlight, it was Julian Alaphilippe who animated the day, as part of a three-man break that got to stay at the front for 150 kilometers. Julian’s presence there forced the other teams to work hard behind them and cut the four-minute deficit before the business end of the race, where the Wolfpack made use of their numerical advantage and put the hammer down, splitting the peloton with the likes of Remco Evenepoel and Enric Mas.

Our squad’s impetus whittled down the bunch to just 25 men over the top of the Hohe Sonne climb, where several riders tried to open a gap only to get reeled in by the same Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders, whose amazing selfless work rate ended up playing a huge role in the final outcome. When Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) powered ahead, Kasper Asgreen went after him as soon as he sensed a lull in the group, caught the Belgian and traded turns with him in the closing kilometers, before easily outsprinting him with 150 meters to go and putting on his palmares another impressive victory.

It was the 58th UCI win of the season for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who has a fair chance of ending the year again atop the team victory standings, as it did in each of the past seven seasons, and Kasper explained what’s the main ingredient behind this astounding success: “Our team spirit is something really special. It comes down to everybody, not just the riders, but also the staff, everybody in the whole organisation. Every race we do is important to us, we take every single one seriously, and work all the time together for our goals. At the end of the day, this makes the difference and helps us win so many races. It doesn’t matter who takes the victory, as long as one of our guys crosses the line with his arms in the air.”

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary