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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 16, 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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Tour de France stage 16 team reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Lennard Kamna's Bora-hansgrohe team:

After the second and final rest day, it was straight back into the climbing on stage 16. From the drop of the flag at the start of this 164km stage, riders were climbing and making their way up a fourth category climb – one of five categorised ascents of the day. While the summit finish was only third category, the first category climb immediately preceding it was going to decide who was going to be ready to challenge for the win.

After a few attempts to break way fell flat, with 131km to go, the move of the day managed to split off from the peloton with fifteen riders – including Daniel Oss and Lennard Kämna – making their way up the road, with more riders adding to their number shortly afterwards. Their lead going out to more than thirteen minutes, it seemed there would be no chance of the peloton catching them on such a rugged stage. The two second category climbs midway through the day made it tough for the escapees and several dropped off, with Daniel returning to the bunch after his hard work in the break had helped build an insurmountable lead over the peloton.

The tough first category Monté de Saint-Nizer-du-Moucherotte was on the horizon, and Lennard went ahead with four others in pursuit of the win. When the attacks came, the young German rider responded well, before going on the attack on the summit of the first category climb with 20km to go, quickly building a lead of thirty seconds with 10km to go and then a minute with 5km left. Having picked the perfect time to get in the break and the perfect time to go on the attack, Lennard drew the best day of his career so far to a close, with his third day in the break finally delivering the first Tour de France stage win he so richly deserved.

Lennard Roglic

Lennard Kamna enjoys his win. Alex Broadway photo

From the Finish Line:
"I'm feeling great right now, this stage victory at the Tour de France made it an absolutely awesome day! It was a fight right from the start and I knew I had to make it to the finish alone. When I saw Carapaz slowing down I said to myself it was the moment to go. I attacked and went on until the finish. This victory is also a very big relief for me and the team, I still cannot believe it. The step forward I made this year is huge and I'm so blessed to win today." – Lennard Kämna

"We were really focused on this stage and our goal from the start was to have especially Lennard and Max in a bigger breakaway group, together with, hopefully, some helpers. A second goal was to get some points with Peter and get very aggressive from early on. It wasn't easy but everybody gave their best. We were in a good situation, Lennard and Daniel were in the front group. Daniel did an amazing job, he worked the whole time while we saved Lennard for the important climb. There, the strategy was to follow the best riders and attack because we were aware we couldn't win in a sprint. Everything went according to plan and Lennard took the stage win." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

"I'm extremely happy today for Lennard and the whole team. Lennard had great results as a younger rider, but then struggled a bit when he became professional. However, thanks to BORA-hansgrohe's work, he's back on track, he's steadily improving and I'm very happy about that. This is a brilliant moment for him and, of course, our team." - Ralph Denk, Team Manager

Here's the update from stage sixteen second-place Richard Carapaz's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Richard Carapaz finished second after putting in a battling performance in the breakaway on stage 16, which was won by Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), with Pavel Sivakov fourth. 

Richard Carapaz

Richard Carapaz (shown winning Tour of Poland stage 3 earlier this year) was second at Tour stage 16.

Carapaz attacked on the penultimate climb of the day, distancing a select group of riders who were the remnants of a large break which had formed in the early part of the stage. 

Kamna was the only rider able to respond to the Ecuadorian's accelerations as they crested the category one Montée de Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte, and then was able to distance Carapaz on the descent and hold him off to take the stage win.

Sivakov then rounded off a strong ride with a well-timed attack from the first chase group to cross the line fourth, before Carapaz was named 'most combative rider' of the day.

Earlier, the INEOS Grenadiers had set the tone in the early stages, attacking from kilometre zero to put four riders in the break with Carapaz, Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo and Dylan van Baarle all making the selection.

However, teams in the peloton deemed the break too large to go and the initial escapees were pegged back with several of the sprinters' teams eyeing the intermediate sprint bonuses.

They were unable to stop the second wave forming as Carapaz and Amador joined an initial group of 15 before Sivakov fought to join them - allowing the Grenadiers to work together until the penultimate climb when Carapaz's attack split the remaining riders before taking on Kamna in the final kilometres.

Richard Carapaz:
“I don’t feel disappointed for not having won today. We’re very happy with the work we’ve done. We can’t always win. Lennard Kämna was the strongest today. I did my best. I couldn’t do more.

"It’s a well-deserved triumph for him, and for me it means a lot to come second in a Tour de France stage. We have important days ahead of us. To win a stage would be the best for the team. We wake up every day with this dream and we hope to make it true.”

Pavel Sivakov:
“It was a really really hard start it was really hectic it was a straight away from maybe 5km of starting the race. We all knew it was a day for the breakaway and we managed to put three guys in the break.

"Obviously it’s a bit disappointing to finish second, I don’t know if we could have managed it differently but it was a good day, at least we tried, we showed that we don’t give up, we lost the GC but we’re still there to win stages and already today we showed it. We’ll keep doing that for the last week.

“Today personally was a pretty good day for me, but I was not 100% and Richie was going really well and first I thought he won, actually when I crossed the line, so it’s a bit disappointing, but that’s how it is. We’ll keep fighting, for now the most important thing is the team spirit.”

Here's what GC leader Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team posted:

Primoz Roglic continues to lead the general classification after the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France. In the stage to Villard-de-Lans, the Slovenian leader of Team Jumbo-Visma was kept in the front all day by his team and reacted quickly to the attacks of Tadej Pogacar in the last two kilometres. He eventually crossed the line almost seventeen minutes behind stage winner Lennard Kämna

Primoz Roglic

Will Roglic be in yellow after Wendesday's Queesn stage? Sirotti photo

In the stage from La Tour-du-Pin the pace was high from the start. After a very fast first hour, a large leading group was given the space to fight for the stage victory. Behind the breakaway, Team Jumbo-Visma controlled the stage. The yellow and black formation never got into any problems and neutralized a few attacks without any problems.

“Today was a great day for us”, Roglic said. “We had the stage under control and we retained the yellow jersey. The team did a fantastic job again by keeping me out of trouble. Also kudos to the team for the way in which they countered Tadej.”

Tom Dumoulin had expected the attack from Pogacar. “I think he wants to make the most out of it this week and take every opportunity to make it difficult for us. But we had it under control. We still have the yellow jersey and the team is very strong. We have great confidence for tomorrow and the days beyond.”

Birthday boy Wout van Aert did a lot of work for his leader in the final. “It was a controlled stage, but one with a tough final. The stage went as we expected. Although it took a while before we could let a breakaway escape. The points classification continues to play a role in this. When that breakaway finally had been established, we soon had the stage under control. We wanted to force as little as possible, knowing what is yet to come. Although we still had to stay focused and sharp when Guillaume Martin and Pogacar attacked.”

Tomorrow the Tour de France continues with the queen stage to the top of the Col de la Loze. “Tomorrow will be a very tough day”, Roglic looked ahead. “We are heading to the highest point in this Tour. It is a very steep final climb. A kind of goat path. We certainly expect the necessary attacks, but if you have the right legs, anything is possible. The team is very strong and we will do our best to defend the yellow. We will fight for every second. We have to focus on ourselves and on our own plan. That is the only thing we can control. It will be a big fight from start to finish. We are ready for that.”

Here's what Green Jersey Sam Bennett's Deceuninck-Quick Step team had to report:

Julian Alaphilippe promised on the last rest day of the race that he will go on the attack in the third week and the Frenchman remained true to his word, being among the first to make their intentions known after rolling out of the neutral zone in La Tour-du-Pin. Despite this first attack being brought to heel, Alaphilippe continued to insist together with other riders and eked out a 20-second advantage.

This 40-man group wasn’t to the peloton’s liking, who pushed hard for the race to come back, but this didn’t prevent Julian from putting in another strong dig, on the fast run-in to the intermediate sprint, which was followed by other riders, who in the end managed to get clear. Once the chasers’ pace abated, the escapees carved out a huge 17-minute advantage and began thinking of the stage win, which was decided on the penultimate climb of the day, Montée de Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte (11.1km, 6.8%).

Alaphilippe was very active there, setting the pace, launching a brace of attacks and shutting down an acceleration of Richard Carapaz (Ineos), who made his move from a select four-man group, some three kilometers from the top. This effort took its toll inside one kilometer to go to the summit, as the Ecuardorian and Lennard Kamna (Bora-hansgrohe) rode away, the latter grabbing the win in Villard-de-Lans.

Tenth at the finish, where he racked up his fourth top 10 at this edition, Julian took us through the first Alpine stage: “I gave everything I had, but it was hard in the final and there wasn’t much I could do. It’s a pity, but I was beaten by stronger riders. The stage was again fast and the fight for the breakaway really intense, and when those attacks came, I was a bit on my limit. We will see if I’ll get any other opportunities to fight for victory this week.”

Sam ennett

Sam Bennett is still in green. Sirotti photo

Sam Bennett started the week clad in the green jersey and was in the spotlight for the first 40 kilometers, until the breakaway formed, as he was permanently attacked by his closest rival in the points classification. Exuding calmness and confidence, the Irishman responded to this wave of attacks and even had several attempts of igniting a break, showing everyone that he’s ready to fight until the last ounce of energy to clinch the jersey.

With the day’s move featuring almost two dozen riders, there were no more points left for the bunch at the intermediate sprint in Saint-Joseph-de-Rivière, which means that Bennett – who will sport the green jersey for the ninth time in his career on Wednesday – keeps his 45-point lead in the classification.

“It was an ok day. I expected a tough start, but in the end it was fine. I carefully dosed my effort, which was important, especially as this Tour is so hard, and tracked down all the moves ahead of the sprint. It’s nice to continue in the green jersey and I’m getting more optimistic, but there’s still a lot of work to do”, Sam said at the finish.

And here's the report from team Astana:

With the queen stage to the Col de la Loze coming tomorrow, today the peloton spent quite a calm day at stage 16 from La-Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans (164 km). However, the start of the stage was an intense one with a lot of attacks on the first climb of the day. Many riders tried to go in a breakaway and, after many attempts, a big group went away.

The breakaway opened a big gap and, in the end of the day, played the stage win: Lennard Kamna attacked his companions in the breakaway on the penultimate climb of the day to take a solo win ahead of Richard Carapaz.

The peloton finished 16 minutes 48 seconds later: Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez launched an attack inside the last 300 meters to cross the finish line on the first position in front of all other race contenders.

- Our plan was to protect Miguel Angel Lopez today and the team did a very good job. On the last big climb we had Hugo Houle, Luis Leon Sanchez and Gorka Izagirre, who supported our leader really well. Everything went by plan and we can be happy with this stage. Tomorrow we will have a very important and difficult stage in the Alps, we will try our best to help Miguel Angel to reach the maximum possible result, - said Dmitriy Fofonov.

However, the general classification of the Tour de France did not change: Primoz Roglic still wears the yellow jersey, Miguel Angel Lopez is 4th, 1 minute 45 seconds behind the race leader.

Stage 17, the queen stage of the Tour de France will be held tomorrow: the riders will ride a 170-km-long distance from Grenoble to the top of Col de la Loze in Méribel.

Amund Grøndahl Jensen moves to Mitchelton-SCOTT for 2021

The team sent me this release:

Former Norwegian champion Amund Grøndahl Jansen will join Mitchelton-SCOTT from 2021, bolstering the team's ‘engine room’ and one-day Classics options.

Grøndahl Jansen, who is currently riding the Tour de France with race leaders Team Jumbo Visma, joins the Australian outfit on a two-year deal that will see him support the team’s ambitions as well as seize greater opportunities for himself.

The 26-year-old, who has top-five finishes at RideLondon and Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France, has greater ambition for one-day success, particularly in the cobbled classics.

Amund Grøndahl Jansen:
“It’s a good looking team from the outside and I’m curious to see how it is as a rider. It looks like there is a good atmosphere with friendly riders, it’s more like a family, and it’s always one of the teams that performs the best, so for sure it’s a professional team.

“For me personally, I would like to achieve results in the cobbled Classics in the spring, that’s my big goal for the coming two years, and for the rest of the season I want to perform and help other riders to get results.

“I am already beginning to know my way around the races, knowing when to spend energy and save energy, especially in the cobbled classics, but also in stage races. I can survive longer than the real sprinters in the hard races and I can still sprint fairly OK, so that’s how I think I will get my results.”

Matt White - Head Sport Director:
“Amund is a big, strong rider and comes to us with a lot of experience with three Tour de France appearances with Jumbo Visma at just 26 years of age.

“He will certainly bolster our engine room and will complement our roster across both Grand Tours and Classics.  He is a complete rider, with a great turn of speed and will also be getting his own opportunities throughout the season to add to our victory tally.”

Armund Grøndahl Jansen
Date of Birth: 11th February 1994
Nationality: Norwegian
Joins Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2021
New Contract: 2021-2022

Top Results:
- 1st 2019 Norwegian champion (road race)
- 5th 2019 RideLondon-Surrey Classic
- 5th 2019 Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France

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