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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Bicycle History

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Remco Evenepoel wins Gullegem Koerse

Here’s the report from Evenepoel’s Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Remco Evenepoel took his fifth victory in the space of just one week, just two days after completing the Tour of Norway, where he prevailed in the general classification after a trio of stage victories. Back in his home country for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s last outing of the month, the 22-year-old attacked from the off at the flat Gullegem Koerse together with Stijn Steels, before being joined by two other riders on the second of the day’s 18 laps.

Remco Evenepoel wins the Gullegem Koerse. Photo: Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl

Some 20-odd kilometers later, the group swelled to 17 men, as attacks kept coming from the peloton, and the newly-formed move increased its lead to three minutes halfway through the race. At that point, it became pretty much clear they wouldn’t be brought back anymore, especially as the peloton began fragmenting in the last five laps.

Then, just ahead of the closing ten kilometers of Tuesday’s action-packed kermesse, Remco launched one of his trademark attacks and used his superior time trial skills to instantly open a 15-second gap which he carried all the way to the finish, where he had plenty of time to celebrate the team’s eighth victory in Gullegem Koerse.

“We went into the break quite early. I can’t say this was the plan, but it turned out well. The race was hard with all those tricky corners, we rode full gas all the time, and it was good when the others joined us, because it meant I could conserve some energy. With a couple of laps to go, a cat-and-mouse game began, as some riders attacked, while others stayed at the back.”

“Then the speed went up again, and a group of seven I was part of rode clear with four laps remaining. I noticed everybody was on their limit, so before the last lap I decided to have a go and launch an all-out attack which I could finish off. I am happy with my fifth win in seven days, it’s been a great week, and I now look forward to recovering a bit before my next race”, a smiling Remco said.

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Bauke Mollema re-ups with Trek-Segafredo

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Bauke Mollema, who recently finished his 20th Grand Tour, has chosen to once again entrust the next part of his illustrious career to Trek-Segafredo, a team where he feels most at “home”.

“It’s been eight years now with the Team and I have felt really happy here since the very beginning and I still can’t imagine being anywhere else. I am really looking forward to staying with this team for the next few years. I’ve said it many times before, but it’s become like a family to me,” explained Mollema.

Bauke Mollema finishing 2022 Giro stage fifteen. Sirotti photo

“I know all the staff very well, all the riders of course, and the sponsors. We work really closely with our sponsors and especially the people at Trek. As riders, part of our job is also to help Trek develop and improve products not just for us but for the company as well. It’s maybe a little bit of a different relationship and more intense than in other teams, but I also really like that side of things here.”

As well as achieving race victories together, Mollema is also proud of the successful relationship he has built with the Team.

“I have had a few really nice race highlights here, Il Lombardia, my two Tour stages, and San Sebastián are at the top of that list. Fighting for the GC at the Tour de France in 2015, and finishing 7th, is also a good memory. The same goes for the 2016 Tour when I was close to the podium until I crashed right in the last days and my Giro d’Italia of 2019. What I like most is the wonderful partnership I have with the Team. I have some freedom here, which is important to me as a rider,” said Mollema.

“The Team is super professional, the sponsors are super professional and provide us with the best products but still, I think I am someone who is quite independent. After being a pro rider for so many years, I know what to do and the team really trusts me. They give me the space I need when training at home but also know that when I turn up to any race I am in good form and ready. It’s nice to also have some influence in the races that I like to ride and to work with the Sports Directors to make a plan to get the best out of me.”

Mollema’s changing role in the peloton has been well documented and it’s one that he has comfortably transitioned into.

“As everyone knows, my role has changed a little bit in the last years, and it will probably change more over the next few years. When I came to this team it was mainly as a GC rider, targeting the Tour in particular. After doing that for many years, I started to focus on one day races and more recently, hunting stages in Grand Tours. I like that role and maybe, at this moment in my career, it fits me a bit better than going for the GC,” explained Mollema.

“Now, we have young riders who are better able than me to go for the GC in Grand Tours and I see another part of my role as acting as somewhat of a mentor for them. I have a lot of experience that I hope to be able to share with them and advice that I can give to help them in the future.”

For General Manager Luca Guercilena it was an easy decision to offer Mollema the opportunity to continue his career with Trek-Segafredo for four more years.

“There was no question about keeping Bauke in the Team, he has become a key member of the Trek-Segafredo family. To have him with us for the next chapter of his career, gives me confidence that the main pillars of our team will continue to hold us up at top of the cycling world,” said Guercilena.

The Dutchman is currently in his eighth year with Trek-Segafredo and over that time he has played a key role in the success of the Team with victories including Il Lombardia, Donostia San Sebastián Klasikoa as well as stages at the Tour de France.

“Bauke is one of the best professional riders we’ve seen in years. He is a real fighter; a true racer and he is constantly setting a good example for the new generation. He is one of the captains of our team and I believe he can help make our team grow even stronger,” Guercilena continued.

“His racing role in the Team will be unchanged, targeting one-day races and stage hunting where I am sure he will continue to have success.”

Is this the final chapter for Mollema? He’s not ruling anything out with his love and passion for the sport still as strong as it was when he first turned professional in 2008.

“I would really like to finish my career in this team. After this contract, I will have been here 12 years already and so that’s already a really long time. I am happy with the confidence the team and the sponsors have shown in me with such a long contract. I don’t think that happens a lot for riders of my age,” explained Mollema.

“At the moment, it’s quite likely this will be my last contract but who knows what I will be thinking after four years. I’ve always said that I still feel quite young. I’ve been a professional for 15 years, but I still really like what I do. I like to train hard. I like to race. I like to be competitive and get the best out of my body, I am constantly trying to improve and setting new goals for myself, even now.”


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Team DSM’s upcoming racing

The squad sent me this schedule:

Heistse Pijl - JUN 4

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach:
“Heistse Pijl is a typically aggressive Belgian classic with a lot of attacks and breakaways, but most of the time it is traditionally decided in some sort of sprint finish. However, we want to race as offensive block and with good communication so that we never miss the important breaks if and when they do form. If it all comes down to a sprint in the finale then we will go for Patrick as our finisher, and fight for a good result."

Line-up:
Joost Brinkman (NED)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Bart Hordijk (NED)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Joris Reinderink (NED)
Pepijn Reinderink (NED)

Critérium du Dauphiné - JUN 5 - 12

Pim Ligthart - Team DSM coach
"WorldTour stage racing continues for us at the Critérium du Dauphiné which as usual takes place on a very hard course without a real flat stage. We have some stages that could end in reduced sprints, days that look good for the attackers, big days in the mountains and an individual time trial. We go to the race with a young and very motivated group, with the goal of chasing day results. This means we will ride aggressively throughout the week and try to take any opportunity that presents itself to us."

 

Line-up:
Marco Brenner (GER)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Women's Tour: JUN 6 - 11

Albert Timmer - Team DSM coach:
"After a successful three days at RideLondon Classique, we continue our block of racing in the UK at the Women's Tour. We head to the race with two strong and fast finishers in the form of Lorena and Charlotte, and we have a few sprint opportunities that we are looking forward to with them. In the harder stages, we can look for our options to go into the breakaway and on the attack, looking to ride an open race as we look to do the best we can on the hilly days and mountain-top finish."

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Ronde van Limburg - JUN 6

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"Ronde van Limburg takes place over some hilly terrain with a few cobblestone sections, but with a flatter finale. As in previous races, we want to ride with an offensive block in Limburg, but with Nikias and Casper in the line-up we can also play the card to wait until the final sprint, with both of them as finishing options for us. Normally, the day is decided in a reduced bunch sprint, because of the cobblestone section close to the finish where the finale starts, so positioning of the guys up to that section will be crucial. It is a nice opportunity for our Development program riders to learn to race like this in combination with the two more experienced guys."

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Joost Brinkman (NED)
Bart Hordijk (NED)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Joris Reinderink (NED)
Pepijn Reinderink (NED)


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Major German retailer switches from Specialized to Giant

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MUNICH (BRAIN) — Alpha Bikes, which has operated a Specialized concept store here since 2008, is switching to Giant bikes at the store in July. The retailer said Specialized's new consumer-direct strategy led to the change.

"After 24 years of working together, we are now parting ways," said owners Gerhard Wagner and Daniel Ciasto in a release this week, translated from German by Google Translate and edited for clarity by BRAIN. The business dates to 1992. The Munich location is likely the first Specialized concept store in Germany and remained one of the largest Specialized outlets in the country.

“The industry has changed rapidly in recent years. We try to always be one step ahead. That has always distinguished us," the owners said. "We have our position on the market through our competence and our high standards achieved. Our customers know that at all times they come to us with requests and service issues. That defines us as a company. And that's exactly what we're seeing now Specialized no longer guarantees."

You can read the entire story here.

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