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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, April 22, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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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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Tour of the Alps final reports

We posted the stage five report from winner Simon Carr's EF Education-EasyPost team.

Here's the report from GC winner Tao Geoghegan Hart's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Tao Geoghegan Hart wrapped up overall victory at the Tour of the Alps as the INEOS Grenadiers worked hard to control the final stage.

Another day of climbing in the high mountains brought cold temperatures and tricky wet roads in the final, but with the support of his teammates Geoghegan Hart was able to finish safely to secure the GC win by 22 seconds.

Tao Geoghegan Harts takes home the Green Jersey. Sirotti photo

The second stage race success for the Brit after the 2020 Giro d'Italia, the Tour of the Alps was also the scene of Tao's first professional victories back in 2019. Geoghegan Hart laid the foundations for success this year with back to back stage wins to kick off the race, and also won the points jersey after five tough days.

Pavel Sivakov worked hard throughout the event and finished seventh overall, continuing his consistent form this year. Along with Geraint Thomas, Laurens de Plus and Thymen Arensman, Sivakov was part of a committed climbing performance to help control the race from start to finish. Ben Swift and Salvatore Puccio also got through a tremendous amount of work in a true team effort this week.

Wet roads made for a tricky run-in, but Arensman and latterly Thomas stayed cool to help deliver Geoghegan Hart to victory.

Brit Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost) won the stage from the day's 23-man break, while Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) rounded out the final podium places.

Tao Geoghegan Hart:
"Another amazing performance today by the team. We had testing conditions and two tough climbs. I’m super happy and would like to wish Eid Mubarak to everyone around the world celebrating Ramadan today. I want to say thanks to all my friends and family and my team as well.

"It’s not about proving anything it’s about winning the race and we’re super happy to have done that. It’s a beautiful race in a lovely area. A little bit cold in the final today, but it’s been a nice week. We’re all happy with how the five days have gone.

"I’m really happy to have won this Tour of the Alps. I obviously have amazing memories from a few years ago when we were here. It’s nice to write another chapter in the history of this race."

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Here's the report from sixth-place Lennard Kämna's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The last stage of the five-day Tour of the Alps took the peloton from Cavalese to Brunico. Right after the start of the 144.5 km long stage, Passo Lavazè, the hardest climb of the stage, awaited the riders. Both Matteo Fabbro and Florian Lipowitz were part of today’s decisive breakaway and finished in 3rd and 4th behind solo stage winner S. Carr. Lennard Kämna crossed the line within the group containing GC winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, and thereby consolidated 6th overall. With the victory in the team classification, BORA - hansgrohe was able to underline the strong team performance during the week.

“I was part of the first breakaway already but Ineos chased us back. We tried again and eventually were able to go clear. Florian and me worked together very well and there was good commitment in the group. S. Carr was super strong today, we weren’t able to follow but I think we can be happy with the podium today and the race in general.“ Matteo Fabbro

“We can be very happy with our week here at the Tour of the Alps. We worked well together as a team. I'm in good form and I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead. For me, a short recovery phase is now on the agenda before we start fine-tuning ahead of the Giro.” Lennard Kämna

Lennard Kamna winning stage 3. Sirotti photo

“The stage was tailor made for a breakaway, so we definitely wanted to be up there. With Matteo Fabbro and Florian Lipowitz, we had two riders in the decisive group of the day. In the end we weren't quite able to fight for the victory, but we're very happy with Matteo's podium and neo-pro Florian Lipowitz's fourth place. Florian in particular has worked a lot this week, so today's result by the young German can be considered a strong achievement and indication of his talent. All in all, it was a good week for us at the Tour of the Alps: a double win on the third stage, victory in the team classification, a podium on the last stage and 6th overall. Looking at the upcoming weeks, we’re definitely on the right path!” Christian Pömer, Sports Director


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Lotto Dstny's Maxim van Gils looks to Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Maxim Van Gils obtained a top ten place in both the Amstel Gold Race (7th) and Flèche Wallonne (8th). In Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the 23-year-old Belgian wants to deliver one more strong performance before taking a bit of rest.

Maxim Van Gils winning stage four of the 2022 Saudi Tour.

Van Gils started his Ardennes campaign with a little doubt as he got ill after Volta Limburg Classic and wasn’t able to train for a while. As a precaution, he skipped Brabantse Pijl and returned to racing at the Amstel.

With success. He managed to take a 7th place and was the first Belgian at the Amstel, while teammate Andreas Kron sprinted to 4th place. Also at the Flèche Wallonne, the youngster of Lotto Dstny did well with an 8th place. “Maybe with a better positioning at the foot of the Mur de Huy, something more would have been possible”, he told after the race, “but okay, this was my first participation. I’ll learn from this.”

Also on Sunday, Van Gils is making his debut, this time at La Doyenne. He will be accompanied by Andreas Kron, Liam Slock, Mathijs Paasschens, Lennert Van Eetvelt, Sylvain Moniquet and Harry Sweeny. “I don’t really know what to expect”, he’s being honest, “it is going to be a totally different race compared to Flèche Wallonne. This is one of the toughest races of the year, a real war of attrition and the legs will do all the talking.”

Van Gils believes in his team. “We will start with a strong team and have already delivered some nice performances. Maybe this race suits Andreas (Kron) and Lennert (Van Eetvelt) a little more so I will probably ride at the service of the team, but of course the race situation could still change a lot. No matter what: I’m going to go all in one last time, it’s the last race of the spring and a Monument, then you just want to leave it all out on the road one more time.”

Furthermore, there’s the factor Remco Evenepoel. “Honestly? I’m looking forward to race together with him”, he concludes, “besides, you also have Tadej Pogacar who’s racing at a really high level. It will be a nice battle, but a big challenge to follow them, but it’s one I’m glad to take on.”


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Team Jayco-AlUla previews Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Liège–Bastogne–Liège - Men: Belgium, Sunday 23rd April

Matteo Sobrero:
“I’m really looking forward to Liège, and the last race of these Ardennes classics. In Amstel we had a lot of bad luck, I was there fighting for a good result, but I had a problem with the bike, then Flèche I was also there, and it was a really explosive finish in the end.

"Liège is a longer race, and the course is different to the other races, it’s harder. I’ve never raced here before, so the recon is important, but I’m really motivated for Sunday to give my best and finish this week with a strong result.”

Pieter Weening (Sport Director):
“Sobrero will be our main guy again and we will try to protect him as much as possible to give him a chance in the final so he can go after a result. In Amstel he was a little bit unlucky after making the selection, but I also think Liège will suit him really well.

"Liège is one of the hardest classics there is and in the end you need to have good legs, it all depends on the legs. The last 100km of racing is really hard, we start with the Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levèe, it is really, really hard.

"It will be important to be well-positioned with Matteo going into the bottom of the Wanne where the racing really starts and then in the end it will all depend on how he is feeling after the boys have tried to protect him for as long as possible."

Liège–Bastogne–Liège - Women: Belgium, Sunday 23rd April

Kristen Faulkner:
“Liège-Bastogne- Liège is my favourite race all year. It’s a course that suits me and my form is good, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do as a team on Sunday.

Kristen Faulkner in 2022

"I imagine the aggressive racing and the course will make for a difficult race, which will thin out the bunch and leave a selection at the end. I suspect that a select group will probably contest the finish, but that could come from either attrition or a late attack.”

Shawn Clarke (Sport Director):
“We didn’t get much out of Flèche Wallonne, which is unfortunate because the team raced super well together, so there’s a lot of positives we can take from that and we’re going into Liège as a unified team.

We’ll be working for Ane and Kristen on Sunday and with the teamwork we saw at Flèche and Amstel already, I think we’ve got a really good shot of getting a result. It didn’t go our way at Flèche, but we are all-in for Liège!”

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