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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 14, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again. - Joan Rivers

TDF volume 1

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 1: 1903 - 1975 is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Arctic Race of Norway stage 3 team reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here’s the report from third-place Hugo Houle's Team Israel-Premier Tech:

Israel – Premier Tech put on a strong team performance on the queen stage of Arctic Race of Norway, setting up Hugo Houle and Carl Fredrik Hagen to finish third and fifth on the final climb.

Knowing that the most likely scenario would be a fight between the GC favorites for the stage win, the IPT riders made sure to save their legs for the uphill finish in Skallstuggu. With 5 km to go, the team took control of the peloton, upping the pace to catch the last riders from the early breakaway.

After doing recon of the final climb earlier this year, Hagen did well to pace his efforts on the lower slopes before putting in several attacks on the steep sections, chasing the leading rider, Victor Lafay (Cofidis). In the end, Lafay managed to hold off the attacks to take the win, while the chase group with both Hagen and Houle crossed the line just three seconds down. Krists Neilands finished 14th.

Hugo Houle winning stage 16 of the 2022 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

“Everybody did well today”, sports director Nicki Sørensen said after the stage. “We made a plan last night and they all did their part today. Cole [Kessler] was the first one to work before Sebastian [Berwick] took over to set a hard pace leading into the climb. Simon [Clarke] did the last part and then our three GC guys all did well on the final climb.”

“The goal for today was not only to go for a result on the stage but also to keep three guys in the mix for the general classification ahead of tomorrow’s stage, which may be even harder than the stage today. We managed to do that and I’m very happy with the way everybody performed today. Great work all around!”

In the general classification, Houle is now third overall with Hagen in seventh place and Krists Neilands in 12th place before Sunday’s final stage of the race.

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Here's the Norway race report from Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

Just like the two first stages, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux showed its solid collective strength in the queen stage of the Arctic Race of Norway, which ended on top of the Skallstugu climb (3.8km at 6.5%).

Early breakaway specialist Taco van der Hoorn did what he does best from the start of the stage, keeping suspense high until the final kilometers. As part of a group of four riders he went all out with 15 kilometer to go, resisting until the foot of the final climb.

Sven Erik Bystrøm and Quinten Hermans, the protected riders for the general classification, then battled alongside the best climbers on the irregular slopes of this unknown climb. In the end, the Norwegian rider took fourth place just ahead of Hermans who finished sixth.

Sven Erik Bystrøm riding the first stage of the 2022 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

At the end of this third stage, Bystrøm and Hermans are also fourth and sixth in the provisional classification ten and thirteen seconds behind the leader respectively.

“It was our plan this morning to join the early breakaway, so my teammates in the peloton could fully concentrate on protecting Sven Erik Bystrøm and Quinten Hermans. But things started looking good for us in the lead. My breakaway companions were well positioned in GC, so we kept on working well together. Finally we were caught on the final climb. I feel better and better every day here in the Arctic Race. My competition rhythm is coming back after the Tour de France, I’ll be ready for a series of nice one day races.” - Taco van der Hoorn

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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to race Danmark Rundt

Here’s the team’s announcement:

The route of this year’s Danmark Rundt will be a very testing one. Apart from stages 1 and 3, which will have the sprinters take center stage, all the other days should see the blue jersey contenders in the mix. They should have a first opportunity to create some gaps in the 12.7km individual time trial in Assens, followed forty-eight hours later by an undulating stage comprising seven gravel roads sectors. But the most important day will once again be the one starting and finishing in Vejle, where the hilly terrain and the Kiddesvej climb could turn the GC on its head.

Having won two stages at the previous edition, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will look to be again among the protagonists and leave its mark on the five-day race which is set to get underway next Tuesday. Josef Cerny, Tim Declercq, James Knox, Michael Mørkøv, Tour of Belgium winner Mauro Schmid, Zdenek Stybar – who recently took a solid podium at the Tour of Leuven – and Ethan Vernon will be the seven wolves lining out at the start in Allerød.

James Knox racing in the 2019 Vuelta a España. He will be at the Tour of Denmark. Sirotti photo.

“We will take it day by day, as we don’t have a big favourite for the general classification. In the sprints, Ethan will be guided by Michael, while in the time trial we can go for a good result with Josef and Mauro. On the gravel, Zdenek can do something, but it remains to be seen how things will unfold there; same goes for the final stage in Vejle, where the steep climbs will play a big role in the final outcome. Concerning the overall standings, maybe Mauro can try something, but we need to see first how he has recovered from illness. We will see what is possible, but as mentioned before, the plan is to take it one stage at a time”, said sports director Brian Holm.

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UAE Team Emirates name squad for La Vuelta España

Hee's the team's update:

UAE Team Emirates have named 8 riders for the final Grand Tour of the year – La Vuelta España.

The race will depart from Utrecht, in the Netherlands on 19th August before making its way South to the Spanish mainland and ending in Madrid on the 11 September over a course distance of 3280km.

The team goes into the race with a dynamic squad who will aim to be protagonists across multiple terrains, with Joao Almeida capable of a strong showing in the GC and Pascal Ackermann leading the line in the sprints.

Pascal Ackermann (shown winning stage 4 of the 2022 Tour of Poland) will be at the Vuelta a España. Sirotti photo.

The race will also see the Grand Tour debut of 19 year old Spanish talent Juan Ayuso who will be the youngest rider in the race.

Team Manager Matxin Fernandez (Spa) along with Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo) and Manuele Mori (Ita) will lead the following 8 riders :

La Vuelta ciclista a España [2.UWT] – 19-Aug-2022 / 11-Sep-2022

  • Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
  • Joao Almeida (Por)
  • Juan Ayuso (Spa)
  • Brandon McNulty (USA)
  • Sebastian Molano (Col)
  • Ivo Oliveira (Por)
  • Jan Polanc (Slo)
  • Marc Soler (Spa)

Almeida: “It’s my first Vuelta and I’m really excited to get started. The past few months have not been straightforward and my condition has not been 100%. At Vuelta Burgos it finished on a high-note and it was a good boost for the confidence to take the win on the last day. I felt like a rode myself into that race.

"I’m feeling good again on the bike and with a strong team I think we can do some really nice things at this race.

"It’s hard to say what to expect but I think the objectives can become clearer as the race goes on. It will be a long road from Utrecht to Madrid but I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

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