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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, February 20, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Haut Var stage two news

We posted the report from stage winner Tim Wellens' Team Lotto Soudal with the results.

Trek-Segafredo posted this:

Bauke Mollema and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier shared the work in a tough finish climb to finish 4th and 6th and place the Team in a good position for the final stage Sunday.

Trek-Segafredo came into the three-day race donning race number 1 after taking the 2021 win (Gianluca Brambilla) and Bauke Mollema (3rd in 2021) was motivated for more. However, an on-form Nairo Quintana stamped his name as the rider to beat in 2022 with a searing acceleration at the bottom of Col d’Eze that put everyone in the hurt locker.

Tim Wellens eventually caught back Quintana with two flat kilometers remaining and out-kicked the Colombian climber for the win.

Tim Wellens takes the second stage.

Behind, Mollema and Ghebreigzabhier worked together in a group of four, arriving nearly a half minute behind. In the sprint, Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) jumped early taking the final podium placing.

“I hoped for a little bit more, it was a pity to not take the 3rd place in the end. I think Wellens and Quintana were too strong, and then Madouas came from behind in the sprint and surprised me a bit, and it was a pity to lose one second to him because otherwise I would have been 3rd in GC also,” explained Bauke.

“It was a hard day. Amanuel was super strong and we worked really well together. We tried to come back on the last climb, but we didn’t manage to sprint for the victory. It’s a special climb – some steep parts, then more flat, and then the last 6-7 kms were false flat up, false flat down – and coming after a hard day with a lot of climbing already.

“I think the legs were okay and I am missing just a little bit to fight for the victory. But I am improving and getting a little bit better and tomorrow’s another hard stage – even harder I think than today. It will be again full gas racing I expect, and Amanuel and me are in good position in the GC, so who knows [what will happen]. Last year Brambi won the final stage and GC so there’s still lots that can happen tomorrow.”

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Volta ao Algarve stage four team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Remco Evenepoel's Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl team with the results.

Here's Team Jumbo-Visma's report:

Thanks to the fourth place in the time trial Tobias Foss has climbed to sixth place in the general classification of the Volta ao Algarve. In the 32 kilometre time trial he lost a minute and eleven seconds to stage winner Remco Evenepoel. The Norwegian of Team Jumbo-Visma showed that he has a good form early in the season.

Remco Evenepoel was the day's fastest rider.

Earlier, German U23 champion Michel Hessmann, Johannes Staune-Mittet and Robert Gesink had already ridden a worthy time trial. The trio finished in the top thirty in the time trial that took the riders from Vila Real de Santo António to Tavira in ideal race conditions.

Foss had an unfortunate crash earlier this week in the second stage’s final. The Norwegian time trial champion showed that he would not give up in one of his favourite disciplines. “I would have preferred to be here at the start without having crashed, but that’s what happened to me. I put my mind at rest and tried to make the best of this time trial. In addition, I was able to race without pain.”

The 24-year-old multifunctional rider will focus on several smaller tours at the beginning of this season, eventually heading for the Giro d’Italia. Foss has been very diligent recently and has put a lot of energy into his development. “Today’s performance is a confirmation for me that the training of the past winter is paying off”, Foss said. “This time trial was a nice test for the rest of the year. In the past I have sometimes been inconsistent in this discipline. That is something I am still working on. Today I showed again that I have a good time trial at my disposal. I look back on this with a good feeling.”

The Volta ao Algarve ends tomorrow with a tricky 173km stage.

Ethan Hayter's INEOS Grenadiers posted this report:

Ethan Hayter produced another impressive time trial effort at the Volta ao Algarve to move up to second place overall.

The British champion set the third fastest time across the long, 32.2-kilometre course, setting him up well ahead of the final day.

Hayter sits 1:06 off leader Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), and 19 seconds ahead of third-placed Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates).

It was a good day for the Grenadiers, with three riders inside the top times. Daniel Martinez set the seventh best time, moving up to fourth on the GC, while 11th for Dylan van Baarle now sees him in ninth overall.

The Grenadiers were also in action at Ruta del Sol, with Carlos Rodriguez continuing his climb up the GC to sixth. The Spaniard forced his way into a select break as the race split early, and now sits just 12 seconds off new race leader Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious).

Ethan Hayter:
"I had quite a tough day actually out there. I think with the last few days, missing a bit of base training and doing two stage races in a row – I’ve been getting better, but I had heavy legs today. I kind of struggled to really get the effort out – like when you’ve not got much more in your legs but you’re not breathing hard at some stages. Then with the sun in my eyes at the end I didn’t really want to take any risks. Third is pretty good.

"The long time trials suit me. The British nationals I did a lot more power for 20 more minutes. I enjoy these long time trials with some kicks in them but I didn’t quite have the legs today, which is kind of expected."

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Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia-Ruta del Sol stage 4 team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Wout Poel's Team Bahrain Victorious with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Alexey Lutsenko's Astana Qazaqstan team:

The recent winner of the Clásica Jaén Alexey Lutsenko was close to his second success, this time in Stage 4 of the Vuelta a Andalucia. Together with Wout Poels Lutsenko arrived to the finish in Baza but in a sprint head-to-head the Kazakh rider couldn’t overpass Poels, finishing second.

Wout Poels was the winner in Valencia.

“In the end I just missed some energy in the legs. It was a very intense stage and we all had to work a lot to keep the gap to the peloton. Also, after my win at the Clásica Jaén all these days I did not feel that good and, definitely, I missed some freshness at the finish. However, it was a good try to bring the team another victory”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.

Stage 4 of 167.4 km has exploded with many attacks already at the first climb of the day. Finally, a group of 15 riders, including Alexey Lutsenko, Miguel Angel Lopez and Harold Tejada went away clear, opening a gap to the race leader Alessandro Covi.

“There were many attacks on the first climb and in a moment I decided to follow a group of riders and Harold Tejada also was up there, while in a few seconds Miguel Angel Lopez joined us as well. I came in front to pull the group and to open a gap to the peloton and it worked well. Later, we worked really hard all together in our group to keep the advantage. It was a tough race, but together with Harold and Miguel Angel we stayed together in the group and step by step our advantage was growing up. With some 15 kilometers to go I saw a few riders attacking from our group. In a moment when we caught them back I decided to attack and only Poels was able to follow me. We opened a small gap, so I thought it could be a chance to fight for a stage win. But, at the end of the day I finished second”, – continued Lutsenko.

After today’s stage Wout Poels became the new race leader, while Miguel Angel Lopez still keeps his second position, 10 seconds behind Poels.

“Tomorrow we have the final stage with an uphill finish. So, tomorrow me and all our team will ride 100% for Miguel Angel to help him to win the General Classification. It won’t be easy as there are many strong climbers here in the peloton, but we are motivated to do our best for our team leader”, – concluded Alexey Lutsenko.

Astana Qazaqstan Team still leads the team classification of the race.

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Team Bora-hansgrohe posted this report:

The fourth and penultimate stage of the Ruta del Sol in Andalusia took the peloton over a distance of 164.7 kilometres from Cúllar Vega to Baza. Right from the start, it was all the way up towards the main climb of the day. A breakaway containing the GC favourites formed on the first climb. BORA - hansgrohe wasn't able to make the jump into the decisive group of the day. Frederik Wandahl, Emanuel Buchmann and Lennard Kämna were ultimately unable to close the gap to the first group in the end. It was W. Poels who took the win in Baza.

From the Finish Line:
"I’ve launched an early attack on the first climb but got caught back again. To follow the decisive attack of the day I didn’t have the legs anymore. From this point on the race was pretty much over as most of the strong guys made it to the first group. We were trying hard to close the gap but didn’t have a chance eventually.“- Lennard Kämna

"Our goal today was to make the jump in the breakaway and go for the stage win. In addition to this we were planning to move up in the GC a bit with Emanuel Buchmann. Unfortunately none of our riders was able to follow the decisive attack at the end of the first climb today. Ultimately not the end of the world but still a bit of a disappointment for us and we definitely have to analyze this stage. Especially with Emanuel Buchmann and Lennard Kämna we’re still in an early stage of the build up for the main goals of this season."- Christian Pömer,  Sports Director

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