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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, October 3, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. - e. e. cummings


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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to race the Münsterland Giro

Here's the team's update:

Despite being a young race, the Münsterland Giro has witnessed three Wolfpack victories so far, netted by Tom Boonen (2015), Alvaro Hodeg (2019) and Mark Cavendish (2021). The most recent of these came after a day of attrition, with heavy rain, strong winds and cold temperatures that split the peloton in pieces, leaving only a small group in contention, from which the current British Champion prevailed.

Mark Cavendish wins the 2021 edition.

This time around at the start for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be European Champion and best sprinter of the season Fabio Jakobsen, who will be surrounded by a strong team featuring Josef Cerny – who played a big role in last year’s win – experienced lead-out man Michael Mørkøv, Jannik Steimle, Zdenek Stybar, Bert Van Lerberghe and Ethan Vernon.

“We expect a fast race that this year will come down to a bunch sprint. We have Fabio for this and he will rely on a strong team that will try to bring him in the best position for the finale. It’s one of our last outings of the season, but we have the same motivation and confidence as before, and we hope to be up there”, said sports director Wilfried Peeters.

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Team BikeExchange-Jayco in busy block of one-day races through Germany, Belgium & France

Here’s the team’s news:

Team BikeExchange-Jayco heads into an intense week of racing, with a block of four races taking place in Germany, Belgium and France, to which the team takes a strong group of riders targeting top results as the season reaches its climax.

First up is Sparkassen Münsterland Giro, where Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen will lead, before the hop across to Belgium for Binche – Chimay – Binche the following day where the team will take a more opportunistic approach.

Dylan Groenewegen (shown at the 2022 Tour de France) has a busy late season schedule. Sirotti photo

Groenewegen will then join back up with the squad in France for Paris-Bourges and in Belgium for the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen, where he’ll again be the designated rider for the Australian outfit’s ambitions after four close podium placings in recent weeks, as the team aims high in this final stretch of the 2022 campaign.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco line-up:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Anders Foldager (DEN) – Stagiaire rider, Binche & Paris Bourges only
Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – Münsterland. Paris Bourges & Rik Van Steenbergen only
Alex Konychev (ITA)
Jan Maas (NED) – Binche & Paris Bourges only
Luka Mezgec (SLO) – Münsterland & Rik Van Steenbergen only
Elmar Reinders (NED)
Campbell Stewart (NZL) – Münsterland only

Dylan Groenewegen:
“It’s a busy end to the season and we’ve shown good form in recent races, but have missed out on the kind of result we want and which our efforts have deserved.

"Now we have a chance to finish strong and we’ll be targeting big results across these races. I’m looking forward to giving it everything over the next week and with the team we have I’m confident we can have something to celebrate.”

Tristan Hoffman (Sport Director):
“Münsterland is a real sprinters’ race, so all the focus will be on Dylan. I believe after the recent races that Dylan is really motivated to get the victory there, so we’ll be all in for him.

"Then we have Binche, where there’ll be a difficult finish with a cobblestone climb just before finish. It’s an open race for us, we won’t start with one leader, we will take our chance to go in the breakaway and ride
aggressively.

"At Paris-Bourges there are some smaller climbs, where the focus will be on Dylan and trying to get the bunch sprint lined up and leading him out. There are some tricky parts of the race, so we’ll need to pay attention. Then we have Rik Van Steenbergen, which is a typical sprinters’ race with some local laps. It’s totally flat, and again there we’ll focus on the bunch sprint and trying to get Dylan into a position to go for the win.”


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UAE Team Emirates gear up for late season classics

Here’s the team’s schedule:

UAE Team Emirates enter the final chapter of the season with a packed calendar of racing across many countries: continuing in Italy with the Coppa Bernocchi (3 Oct) and Tre Valli Varesine (4 Oct) with another block of riders taking on the Sparkassen Munsterland Giro (3 Oct) and the Binche-Chimay-Binche (4 Oct) in Germany and Belgium respectively.

Tadej Pogačar leads the line at Tre Valli Varesine in a squad which features an ensemble of climbing talent warming-up ahead of Il Lombardia where the Slovenian will hope to defend his title from 2021 where he claimed a memorable victory into Bergamo.

Tadej Pogacar winning Il Lombardia in 2021. Sirotti photo

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and Binche-Chimay-Binche will be races for the sprinters with Pascal Ackermann heading up the team in both events.

The teams in Italy will be overseen by Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita) and Marco Marzano (Ita), while Aart Vierhouten (Ned) will guide the squad in Germany and Belgium.

Coppa Bernocchi – GP BPM [1.Pro] – 03-Oct-2022
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Arthur Kluckers (Lux)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Jan Polanc (Slo)

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro [1.Pro] – 03-Oct-2022
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Kasper Andersen (Den)
Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Felix Gross (Ger)
Oliver Knight (GB)
Joel Suter (Swi)
Oliviero Troia (Ita)

Tre Valli Varesine [1.Pro] – 04-Oct-2022
Joao Almeida (Por)
George Bennett (NZ)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Davide Formolo (Ita)
Rafal Majka (Pol)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Binche – Chimay – Binche / Mémorial FVDB [1.1] – 04-Oct-2022
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Kasper Andersen (Den)
Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Fernando Gaviria (Col)
Oliver Knight (GB)
Joel Suter (Swi)
Oliviero Troia (Ita)


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Matej Mohorič wins CRO race

Here’s the report from Mohorič’s Team Bahrain Victorious:

Bahrain Victorious takes the CRO Race General Classification for the second consecutive year, as Matej Mohorič sprinted to second place on the final stage 6.

Ahead of the conclusive day (166 km from Sveta Nedelja to Zagreb), Matej Mohorič was second in the general classification, 8 seconds behind the leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo Visma) and with the same time as Oscar Onley (DSM) 3rd.

CRO race winner Matej Mohorič (shown at the 2021 Tour de France). ASO photo

Having nothing to lose from the start, TBV riders gave everything to try to overtake the GC leader and win the red jersey after winning it with Stevie Williams in 2021.

The first attempt to retrieve seconds was successful as Mohorič won the first intermediate sprint, ahead of Onley (DSM) and Jonathan Milan, and took three bonus seconds, bringing the virtual gap in the GC down to only 5 seconds.

Jumbo Visma reacted by placing one rider in the 5-man day’s breakaway to avoid Mohorič taking more precious seconds from their leader. But the breakaway was caught back with 10 km to go, and the next attack of the green jersey Guerin (Team Voralberg) for KOM points was also neutralised.

As expected, seeing the short gap among GC contenders, the race could still be decided on the last day, where riders had also to face a technical and hilly circuit with cobbles in the town of Zagreb. TBV riders perfectly controlled the finale, with Jonathan Milan leading out Matej Mohorič to sprint to second place behind Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers).

Thanks to these precious bonus seconds, our Slovenian rider took the General Classification with only one second over Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 2nd and 7 seconds ahead of Oscar Onley (Team DSM) 3rd:

“It looks almost impossible on paper to get enough bonification seconds to win overall, but my team was fantastic today. Bahrain Victorious did perfect work the whole day, controlling the race from the start. It was hard, as many attacks were coming. But we immediately win the first bonification sprint with Jonathan in third and me. Then Milan did a perfect lead-out in the final, so I could bring home second place even though I am not a pure sprinter. I’m very grateful to my team for this. I think more than half the victory is that. I would never make it without them. I didn’t do it by myself, and Team Bahrain Victorious did it. It was a perfect day for us”.

Besides the red jersey, Bahrain Victorious also secured the points classification with Jonathan Milan, winning this edition’s blue jersey. Today’s results are wrapping up a very successful week for the team, with two victories and a podium result on each stage.

“We controlled this race from start to finish”, Bahrain Victorious Sports Director Gorazd Stangelj commented. “What could be better? We won two stages, the GC and the blue jersey. We fought all week, didn’t have much help, and did most of the job.

"I knew that this race would be decided on the bonus seconds. So it was something we took care of collecting bonuses throughout the week.

"We worked a lot, and the team was super strong, not only on paper but also on the field. What to say? I’m super happy. Probably someone not, but this is cycling. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose only for one second; this time, we were the luckiest”.

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