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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, February 17, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France: 2019

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2019: A Year of New Faces is available as an audiobook here. For the Kindle eBook version, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Volta ao Algarve stage one team reports

We posted the report from winner Fabio Jakobsen's Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl team with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Alexander Kristoff's Intermarché-Wanty Gobert team:

The first stage in the Tour of Algarve (2.Pro, 16-10/02) ended after 200 kilometer in a bunch sprint in Lagos this Wednesday.  The victorious sprint train from the Clasica Almeria from last Sunday was present at the start and again protected its leader Alexander Kristoff.

Fabio Jakobsen wins the first stage.

Aimé De Gendt represented Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the lead of the peloton chasing the four riders in the early breakaway. The escapees were caught with 30 kilometer to go and what followed afterwards was a nervous final with several crashes and splits in the peloton because of the crosswinds. But the selection directed by Hilaire Van der Schueren and Aike Visbeek were continuously positioned in the front and avoided the hurdles.

Thanks to the work of his teammates, Kristoff was again one of the contenders for the victory in the final hectometers. The former European champion launched his effort on the left side of the road and even though he was boxed in next to the barriers, the Norwegian rider finished on the podium in a turbulent sprint.

“I received a new important role within the team and this position in the sprint train of Alexander Kristoff gives me a lot of satisfaction. Today we extended our sprint plans with the goal of making the final hard, because we expected damage in the peloton on this parcours and with the presence of a strong wind. As we were well prepared and worked together as a team, we had no problem in the crosswinds and preceded several crashes. But not everything went perfect in the final, as a rider in front of us didn’t follow the sprint train of Fabio Jakobsen on the last roundabout.

"I made a nice effort to bring Alexander back in the slipstream of the leading four riders with 300 meter to go. I saw how he was on his way to second place, until he flirted with a crash against the barriers. This Friday we will again line up with the clear ambition of winning the stage.” - Andrea Pasqualon

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Team Arkea-Samsic posted this short note:

Director Arnaud Gérard: "Warren Barguil and Hugo Hofstetter fell"

Our two riders crashed with twelve kilometres to go, but they did not make it to the finish line in the leading group.

“Warren and Hugo fell in the final of this first stage of the Volta Ao Algarve, without any seriousness for either of them [Ed: They both finished the stage]. The crash happened with twelve kilometres to go and they were stuck because it happened on a small bridge. It was not a good day for us, but that is part of our sport. The race ends on Sunday and we still have good opportunities to get a good result”.

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Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia-Ruta del Sol team reports

We posted the report from Team Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl with the results.

Here's the report from team Bora-hansgrohe:

The Ruta del Sol commenced today in southern Spain with the first and longest stage of the five-day race. 200.7 kilometres from Ubrique to Iznájar, three categorised climbs and a short, final ramp to the finish line awaited the riders. An early breakaway of eight made it to the finish line and fought for the win, where Rune Herregodts had the fastest legs in the finale.

Rune Herregodts wins the stage. Sirotti photo

“Our main task of the day was to support our leader Emanuel Buchmann. As a team we did a good job here, made it to the finish line safely and still have all options for the GC. Congratulations to the breakaway and the winner today! For me it was a bit hard to understand that big teams in the peloton didn’t show real interest in getting the breakaway back, even though they would have had a good chance to take the win today. Tomorrow is going to be an important day for the GC riders.” -  Christian Pömer,  Sports Director

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UAE Team Emirates posted this Algarve and Andalucia report:

Day one of the Vuelta Andalucía saw UAE Team Emirates score a double top-10 on the 200.7km from Ubrique to Iznajar.

Young Alessandro Covi was quickest of the chasing group on the 1.3km finish at 7.2% as the breakaway stayed clear to the line.

The Italian secured 7th place just 31” down on the stage winner Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). Covi’s teammate Matteo Trentin followed closely behind in 7th place.

Covi: “The breakaway got a huge gap and no one team really took control of the race behind. We didn’t quite manage to catch them all but on the final climb I felt strong which is a good sign for the days to come.”

Stage 2 will take the riders from Archidona to Alcalá la Real (150.6km) over an hilly course with 4 categorised climbs.

Today also marked the start of the Volta Algarve with the first stage from Portimao to Lagos (199.1km).

The day saw the sprinters arrive to the line with Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) proving the quickest.

UAE Team Emirates were to the fore with home favourite Rui Oliveira in 5th and Brandon McNulty in 9th.

Unfortunately the team's main sprinter Sebastian Molano was involved in a crash with 38km remaining , sustaining a hit to the head. The Colombian withdrew from the race and awaiting further assessment by the team's medical staff.

Rui Oliveira: “The plan was to work for Molano but unfortunately he got caught up in a crash. It wasn’t the most straightforward day with lots of wind a crashes, it was quite stressful. I did my best to get up in the sprint to save a result and got close to a podium. McNulty will be our man for the GC this week : he got caught behind a crash today but thankfully my brother Ivo dropped back to get him back on. We’re really motivated for the next days here, especially for me racing on home soil.”

Tomorrow in Algarve it will be a day for the climbers on the 182.4km from Albufeira to Foia.

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