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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, March 18, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. - H. L. Mencken


Dirty Feet: Early days of the Tour de France

Les Woodland's book Dirty Feet: How the Great Unwashed Created the Tour de France 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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Bredene Koksijde Classic team reports

We posted the report from third-place Sam Welsford's Team DSM with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Pascal Ackermann's UAE Team Emirates:

Pascal Ackermann missed out on his third success in the Bredene Koksijde Classic by a matter of centimetres. The rider from UAE Team Emirates was second, behind the winner Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and third place Sam Welsford (Team DSM).

Pascal Ackerman was a very close second.

The Emirati team had worked actively in the final part of the race, trying to tire the bunch by imposing a high pace in the peloton, and then setting a perfect lead-out train for Ackermann in order to launch the German athlete in the best way on the final straight.

Molano set up the perfect lead-out, with Ackermann on his wheel, and he launched his teammate towards the arrival, but the Belgian Thijssen succeeded in completing an impressive manoeuvre and overtook Ackermann in the very final meters of the race.

Ackermann: “The team did a phenomenal job today, I’m disappointed I couldn’t finish it off but Thijssen was the fastest today. The team is riding really well, as we saw yesterday with Molano so I hope we can continue to take this good team spirit and high level into the next races.”

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Tim Merlier's Team Soudal Quick-Step posted this update:

Tim Merlier entered Bredene Koksijde Classic – the race which he won in 2021 – as the red-hot favourite after his devastating sprint at Wednesday’s Nokere Koerse, where he claimed his fifth victory of the season, but an incident that took place one hour before the finish took him out of contention despite featuring in the finale.

A crash in the peloton produced at a moment when they were riding through an exposed section saw Tim hit the ground together with Bert Van Lerberghe. The duo got up and continued the race, helped also by Josef Cerny, who stopped to wait for them, but they faced a tough job, as the bunch kept pushing a big tempo, putting a minute into the chasers. Soudal Quick-Step boys didn’t give up and produced a huge effort – Merlier himself driving the chase at times – that in the end helped the Belgian Champion rejoin the group on the local circuit in Koksijde.

Going under the flamme rouge, Merlier was there in the first 15 positions, but the amount of energy spent while chasing for more than twenty kilometers to return in the peloton took his toll on him, as Tim ran out of steam with 100 meters to go. Victorious in five races this season, the 30-year-old Belgian concluded the race won by Gerben Thijssen (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) as our team’s top finisher.


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Victor Campenaerts out for the Classics after crash at Bredene Koksijde Classic

Campenaerts’ Team Lotto Dstny sent me this bad news:

Due to a crash at the Bredene Koksijde Classic, Lotto Dstny rider Victor Campenaerts has sustained a fracture in one of his lower vertebras. As a consequence, Campenaerts will be out for the rest of the spring Classics, which is unfortunate news for both the rider and his Lotto Dstny team.

Victor Campenaerts racing in 2021. Sirotti photo

Victor Campenaerts: “Of course I am really disappointed to miss the Classics with Lotto Dstny. Everybody saw that we started the season really well and I was really eager to continue this good flow in the upcoming Classics. Unfortunately, I am forced to follow them lying on the couch. I am convinced that my teammates will show some really nice things the next weeks, and from home I will be their biggest fan.”


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