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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 22, 2020

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin

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Ag2r La Mondiale headed to UAE Tour

The team sent me this:

QUENTIN JAUREGUI :  A beautiful race. “I am happy to return to the UAE Tour. I took fourth place in a stage last year, which is my best result at the UCI WorldTour level.

We will have a similar finish this year on the second day. But I was ill after the Etoile de Bessèges and I don’t know if I have had enough time to recover to perform at the same level. But before I left, I was able to train well, so I hope everything will be fine for the race. And then after the UAE Tour, I’m going to head to the Strade Bianche.”

Quentin Jauregui

Quentin Jauregui winning the 2015 GP Somme.

THE NUMBER: 7
Benoît Cosnefroy took 7th place in the first stage of the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var: "I had crazy good legs and a super strong team. We took our responsibilities throughout the stage. I wanted to try everything to win." The Norman who has already won twice this season has six top ten placings in seven days of competition. And Romain Bardet finished 10th for his first race in Europe this season.

THE NEWS: Thomas Damuseau joins the AG2R LA MONDIALE Pro cycling Team.
Thomas Damuseau, 30, joined the AG2R LA MONDIALE team on January 1. Having been a professional cyclist from 2011 to 2015, Damuseau will now be our operational manager. He will notably be in charge of technical relations with partners, the organization of the mechanics, and overseeing our service course.

Chris Froome returns to racing at the UAE Tour

Here's the Team INEOS update:

Chris Froome is ready and excited to take the next step in his rehabilitation when he returns to the peloton at the UAE Tour this week.

Froome has trained consistently across the opening two months of 2020 and is hopeful of playing a support role in the seven-day stage race.

It will be Froome’s first race back since his crash during a recon of stage four at the Criterium du Dauphine in June. He said: “It’s all I’ve thought about for months now - being back racing. It will be a huge relief just to be back in the peloton again. It feels like I’ve been given a second chance to come back to pro racing after a crash like that. I’m definitely not taking that for granted.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome at the start of the first stage of the 2019 Dauphine. Sirotti photo

“The year’s gone incredibly well so far but having said that I do still need to manage expectations. I’m still quite a way off where I was at the Dauphine before the crash. It’s going to take me a while to get back to that shape.”
Froome’s focus has been on building his training volume and strength in his right leg.

He added: “It’s been exciting to see the progress week-on-week. I haven’t done much intensity yet but I’ve been doing a lot of volume - that’s the focus at the moment, trying to build up that base again. I’m still doing some rehab and physio sessions off the bike, but that’s become secondary now.

“It’s been great to be back doing the normal sessions with the guys and actually being able to get through the workload again. I’ve still got to work on the strength of the leg which was injured but that’s already improving quickly.”

And Froome sees the seven-day UAE Tour as the ideal race for his return.

“This is a great way for me to start my season. It’s a race I missed out on last year and I was really hoping to do. It should be a good place for me to test out my legs and get back in the peloton again. Hopefully I can do a job for the team and we can try and get the best result possible.”

Deceuninck-Quick Step reports on stage three of the Volta ao Algarve

We posted the report from stage winner Cees Bol's Team Sunweb with the results.

Here's the Deceuninck-Quick Step report:

Fabio Jakobsen made another step to winning the second distinctive jersey of his career, after sealing another top 3 finish on the last Volta ao Algarve stage which gave the sprinters a second and last opportunity to be in the spotlight, following the one on the opening day.

Cees Bol

Cees Bol winning the stage.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s riders were all employed to set the pace as soon as a breakaway formed, and they did just that while at all times protecting general classification leader Remco Evenepoel, who ended up spending a quiet day in the peloton. The trio up the road were pulled back with more than 20 kilometers to go and the sprinters’ teams stormed to the front, knowing positioning was key on the technical finish in Tavira, which included several roundabouts and tricky corners.

Yves Lampaert and Florian Sénéchal worked hard for Fabio Jakobsen, who launched the sprint down the left-hand side of the road, after rounding the final bend, and concluded in third position, behind Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) and Sacha Modolo (Alpecin-Fenix). This result cemented his lead in the points standings, which the Dutch Champion is firmly in charge of, and ensured that all four Volta ao Algarve distinctive jerseys remained in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team, with the yellow, mountain and youth jerseys being held by Remco Evenepoel.

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