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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it. - W. C. Fields


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Critérium du Dauphiné stage three reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner and GC leader Christophe Laporte's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Christophe Laporte has won the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Wearing the yellow leader's jersey, the Frenchman of Team Jumbo-Visma was the fastest in the bunch sprint. The victory in the streets of Le Coteau was Laporte's 30th as a professional.

Christophe Laporte wins stage three. Sirotti photo

The third stage of the French stage race had two phases. The first part of the stage was challenging for the peloton with the necessary climbing. This changed in the last part of the stage, which was flat. Team Jumbo-Visma rode at the front of the peloton all day and kept the team out of trouble.

In the final kilometres, the black-and-yellow squad kept Jonas Vingegaard at the front. Then it was up to Laporte to position himself for the final sprint. With just a few hundred metres to go, the Frenchman seemed unable to compete for the win, but Laporte managed to manoeuvre himself to the front. The 30-year-old rider outsprinted the pure sprinters to earn his fourth victory of the year. It was the 32nd victory of the season for Team Jumbo-Visma.

"This win comes as a surprise", Laporte admitted. "Before the race, you might have said this finish was only for pure sprinters. But I let the team know that I wanted to go for the win. The main goal was to protect Jonas in the final. Once we had done that, I took my chance and went into the gap. Luckily I had enough speed to win. I am very happy with that. It has been a long time since I aimed for a flat bunch sprint. Thanks to the strength of the team, I was able to focus on a good result in the final. To win for the second time in three days is a great feeling."

Laporte's grip on the yellow jersey has strengthened, thanks to the bonification seconds. However, the Frenchman has no illusions that he will be able to retain the jersey for much longer. "Tomorrow's time trial is usually a bit too long for me. I have a good time trial in my legs, but a time trial of over 30 kilometres is a bit too much. Of course, I will give it my all. You don't just let go of a jersey like that."

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Sam Bennett's Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this Dauphiné report:

At 194km, the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné was the longest of the race. With its topographically more manageable profile, the stage offered a rare chance for the sprinters. A big crash 47km from the finish line caused some chaos in the peloton but luckily all BORA - hansgrohe riders were able to get back on the bike without any serious injuries. In a technical and tricky finale, BORA - hansgrohe set up the sprint perfectly for Sam Bennett. Bennett opened his sprint, crossed the line in 2nd behind stage winner Christophe Laporte but was ultimately relegated by the jury for deviating from his line.

Sam Bennett (far left) was second across the line, but was relegated to 33rd.

“We’re happy that despite several crashes and some chaos in the field, we got all riders across the finish line safely. Patrick Gamper went down but was able to finish the race with minor injuries. They rode a strong race, escorted Jai Hindley well and prepared the sprint perfectly for Sam Bennett. After the race, Sam was relegated for deviating from his line. For sure Sam's relegation is a pity, but of course we accept the jury's decision.” Bernhard Eisel, Sports Director


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Team DSM’s upcoming races

The team sent me this:

ZLM Tour: JUN 7 - 11

Roy Curvers - Team DSM coach
"ZLM Tour starts this year with a prologue followed by four stages that are "on paper" most likely to end up in a bunch sprint. We line-up with a strong sprint squad who will have hunting for a stage win as the highest goal. On paper is not always how it goes in practice though as when you race in the Netherlands and then particular Zeeland; wind is always a danger; so it is up to us to come prepared for multiple scenarios to go for those stage wins."

Sam Welsford (shown winning stage 6 of the 2023 Vuelta San Juan) will start the ZLM Tour.

Line-up:
Tobias Lund Andresen (DEN)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

Dwars door het Hageland: JUN 10

Kelvin Dekker - Team DSM coach
"Dwars door het Hageland is a race with a lot of gravel. We have a team here that loves this kind of racing and that cannot wait to go out on those roads. We’ll see how the race goes and who we can bring into a good situation. Races like this are hard to predict and we need to keep our options open but with Pfeiffer as a finisher option then we have someone that can certainly do well on the uphill drag to the line."

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Daniek Hengeveld (NED)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Elise Uijen (NED)

Tour de Suisse: JUN 11 - 18

Pim Ligthart - Team DSM coach
"We head to Tour de Suisse with a strong team with guys who are fresh from altitude and motivated for some good results. With Romain, we have someone who can take a shot at the general classification; we will take a day-by-day approach to this and look at every stage for our opportunities. The race has everything in it with two TT's, sprints, opportunities for breakaway victories and GC stages. We are ready to compete to take it on."

Line-up:
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Matt Dinham (AUS)
Sean Flynn (GBR)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Giro Next Gen: JUN 11 - 18

Joey van Rhee- Team DSM coach:
"Coming up is the longest stage race of the season for our Development program. From start of the year, this is one of the races that we made the goals of our season. We have four guys who are first year U23 riders so we can learn a lot in what is a tough stage race. The goal for the week is to ride as a group and hunt for day results and support Max as long as possible for the GC, without any pressure on him. The first stage is a time trial and we know Vlad and Enzo will have opportunities to go for a result there. We're looking forward to the race and showing what we can with this young but motivated group that will definitely fight for it each day."

Line-up:
Enzo Leijnse (NED)
Vlad Van Mechelen (BEL)
Max van der Meulen (NED)
Frank Aron Ragilo (EST)
Adam Seeman (CZE)


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Uno-X adds Rema 1000 to its list of sponsors

The team sent me this release:

As the Norwegian-Danish Uno-X Pro Cycling Team heads to the Tour de France, followed by 150 million people in Europe, they will have REMA 1000 on their jerseys.

All the riders on the men's team of Uno-X, and half of the women's team, are from Norway or Denmark. REMA 1000 has over 1000 stores combined in Norway and Denmark. R is REMA 1000's own series of high-quality products sold at a low price.

"Maintaining high quality standards in all facets is essential for delivering a strong performance in the Tour de France, especially when it comes to nutrition. Our professional cyclists will now showcase the REMA 1000 logo and have R-products from REMA 1000 with them on the Tour," says Jens Haugland, General Manager Uno-X Pro Cycling Team.

Uno-X will be at the Tour de France.

Both Uno-X Mobility and REMA 1000 are part of Reitan Retail. CEO Ole Robert Reitan explains that the cycling commitment started as a passion, but is also clearly anchored in business strategy.

"Because professional cycling offers such great exposure value, Uno-X Mobility has cut all traditional marketing budgets. The Tour de France is among the globe's most significant sporting events, and I anticipate an especially high number of fans from Norway and Denmark this year," says Reitan, who will be attending several of the stages in Spain and France this summer.

"When we have a Norwegian-Danish professional team, placing the R-logo on the jersey elegantly links two of our most influential brands within these countries. I also think it contributes to building even greater internal pride. I am certainly very proud of what our teams have achieved," he says.

The products the professional cyclists will use are the same high-quality products at low prices that customers can buy in REMA 1000 stores. The R-series also contains 95 keyhole-marked products for those who wish to eat healthier.

"At REMA 1000, we are proud to contribute to the performance environment in the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team with our R-products. The team's focus on nutrition is at an impressively high level," says Ingvill Måkestad Bovim, Clinical Nutritionist at REMA 1000 Norway.

Uno-X Pro Cycling Team heads to the Tour de France with ambitions to win a stage. The team will now wisely use the month of June, participating in several races such as the Critérium Dauphiné and National Championships. The final decision on the squad for the Tour de France will be made until closer to the Tour.

"It still feels a bit surreal that we're going to the Tour de France, but in a few weeks, we will be at the starting line. It certainly gives us extra inspiration that we will showcase even more of Reitan Retail's brands on the jersey when we go to France,” says Jens Haugland, General Manager of the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team.

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