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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. - George S. Patton

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Jumbo-Visma to ride UAE Tour

Here's the team's news release:

At the end of this week, Team Jumbo-Visma travels to the United Arabic Emirates for the UAE Tour. Dylan Groenewegen continues his season in his hunt for more sprint victories. Laurens De Plus went on high altitude and will make his season debut, just like Koen Bouwman and Tony Martin.

Tony Martin

Tony Martin leading the field in stage 10 of the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

The World Tour race contains seven stages, of which four sprint stages. Just like in previous years, there will be a stage finish on the steep Hatta Dam. The finish of the third and fifth stage is on mountain Jebel Hafeet.

Sports director Addy Engels: “During this stage, we will have two important goals: winning sprints with Dylan and a good GC with Laurens. Dylan started his season very well with two victories in Valencia. Compared to that race, we have two more strong riders with Timo and Tony. There’s alway a chance for strong wind, so every stage can be tricky due to the possibility of echelons.”

Geraint Thomas to begin season at Volta ao Algarve

Here's the update from Thomas' Team INEOS:

Welshman Geraint Thomas is set to make his 2020 debut at the Volta ao Algarve tomorrow and, although he isn’t expecting to be challenging for the title, Thomas is hopeful of racing on the front foot as part of a strong Team INEOS lineup.

Ready to help support Rohan Dennis, Michal Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle, he’s pleased to be back on the roads of south Portugal.

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas before the start of stage 18 of the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Thomas said: “I want to get stuck into a good five days of racing. There are a lot of guys in our team who have already done at least a week of racing - Rohan, Dylan, Kwiato - and they’re targeting early races and going really well. I’ll be there to give them a hand and should still be up there but I won’t be going for the win. I’ll be helping the other boys in that regard. It’ll be nice to be affecting a race again.”

Recently back from his now-traditional January training camp in LA, Thomas feels he is in better shape than this time last year, when a longer off-season following his Tour de France win saw him chase form up until he finished third at the Tour de Romandie in May, then second behind teammate Egan Bernal in France.

“I didn’t do too much on the bike over Christmas because I’d had a good seven-week training block before that," continued Thomas. "Then I went to LA on January 1. I had four really good weeks there. I did some good training and it was nice to get away from Europe, in my own little world, my own bubble. It’s all NFL, basketball - and no one really cares about cycling! You can just get on with your thing and I had the family there with me too. I did some good work out there.

“Last year was very different to any other in my career really, coming back from winning the Tour. Usually I start the season quite strongly. This year I’ve not been as intense as normal and it’s a little different these days where the Tour is the sole focus for the whole year but I'm feeling better. I’m not at race weight yet but my power numbers are encouraging. I’m still a lot lighter than this time last year and my numbers are better as well.”

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