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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Sticky Buns Across America

Les Woodland's book Sticky Buns Across America: Back-roads biking from sea to shining sea 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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Volta a Catalunya stage two team reports

We posted the report from GC leader Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma with the results.

Here is the report from third-place Remco Evenepoel's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Tuesday scheduled the first of the week’s three summit finishes, and Remco Evenepoel was one of the protagonists, just as he had been twenty-four hours before, in Sant Feliu de Guixols. This time, the 23-year-old Belgian took the race into his hands two kilometers from the finish, as the first GC favourite to show his intentions, the move coming as soon as teammate Ilan Van Wilder peeled off the front after some great pace-setting.

The World Champion produced two searing accelerations that brought back the lone leader of the second stage, before opening his sprint some 200 meters from the line. This netted him third – just behind Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), who took the win – and four more bonus seconds that helped Remco cement his spot on the overall podium of the competition.

Remco Evenepoel (on right) finished third.

“I felt good today and had a strong team by my side. The pace pushed by the others on the first part of the climb, where we had the steepest gradients, was quite hard, but I remained calm and focused. I worked a lot in the finale, and maybe I started my sprint a bit early, but on the other hand I can be content with the two attacks I put in these condition. It’s the first time I did it in high altitude, so this is encouraging for the coming stages”, Evenepoel explained before the podium ceremony, where he received the best young rider’s jersey.

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Here's the Catalonia report from Adam Yates' UAE Team Emirates:

Adam Yates was best placed of UAE Team Emirates in 5th place on stage 2 of the Volta Catalunya from Mataro to the HC climb of Vallter (165km).

The British climber suffered abrasions in the final kilometres of stage 1, though recovered well to be amongst the elite climbers on the summit finish won by Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo).

Joao Almeida fought back from a mechanical at -9km to keep his GC hopes alive and take 6th spot on the stage. After swapping bikes he was helped back to the fast-moving leading group by Finn Fisher-Black.

The stage featured a tough hilltop finish.

Marc Soler also put in a strong performance on home roads to finish 11th which sees UAE Team Emirates lead the teams classification.

The Volta Catalunya resumes tomorrow with stage 3 from Olost to La Molina (180km).

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And here’s the Volta Catalunya report from Jai Hindley’s Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Stage 2 of the Volta Catalunya took the peloton over a distance of 164.5km from Mataró towards the Pyrenees and the skiing resort of Vallter. Today’s stage also saw the first of three mountain finishes this week. On the final 22km climb, the day's breakaway was caught by the peloton before the GC favourites got into position. Cian Uijtdebroeks and Jai Hindley made it to the final, steep kilometre within the first group, but weren’t able to follow the decisive attacks of Remco Evenepoel. Hindley and Uijtdebroeks crossed the finish line in 9th and 10th, 15 seconds behind the stage winner Giulio Ciccone. In the overall standings, Hindley currently sits in 7th, with Uijtdebroeks in 9th.

Jai Hindley (shown at the Tour Down Under) finished ninth. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“It was a pretty straightforward day with a hard finish. We expected a controlled race and tried to race somewhat conservatively, with some really hard days coming up. The guys did a great job to keep us out of trouble towards the final climb. In the end it required a really hard effort over the final kilometre, I just couldn’t hold the wheel of the top guys but ultimately wasn’t too far behind. I'm feeling good and am looking forward to the next couple of days here.” Jai Hindley

“I felt good today and for one second even thought about following the attack of Chaves. When Evenepoel attacked, I had to leave a bit of a gap and decided to keep a good rhythm instead of risking blowing up completely. Eventually Jai and me crossed the line together, I think we both put in a solid race and I’m really happy to have taken my first top 10 on the World Tour level.“ Cian Uijtdebroeks

“We rode a bit conservatively, especially at the beginning of the stage, because we didn't see ourselves as the primary favourites for today's finish. The guys did a great job positioning our leaders on the approach to the final climb. The goal was to be in the finale with Jai Hindley and Cian Uijtdebroeks in order to stay within striking distance in the overall standings. Both showed good form and proved that they can be in the mix for the next mountain stages. We’re happy to see that Patrick Konrad recovered well from his crash yesterday, he was able put in some important work for the team again.” Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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Coppi-Bartali Week stage 1 team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Remi Cavagna's Team Soudal Quick-Step with the results.

Here's the report from fourth-place Loe van Belle's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Loe van Belle has finished the first stage of the Coppi e Bartali in fourth place. The 21-year-old rider of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team, who is riding for the main team in the Italian stage race, was able to keep up with the best on the hilly course. In the bunch sprint, only two riders beat him. The stage victory went to Remi Cavagna, who crossed the line solo.

Remi Cavagana gets a great solo win. Sirotti photo

Coppi e Bartali began with a 168-kilometre stage to and from Riccione. After a fast start, five riders managed to break away from the peloton. The quintet built up a seven-minute lead, but it was not enough.

Cavagna picked up speed on the fourth and penultimate climb, and his attack was successful. Team Jumbo-Visma tried to close the gap in the last kilometres, but the Frenchman's lead proved too big. Van Belle sprinted to fourth place, thirty seconds from the stage winner.

"I am definitely happy with the result", Van Belle said. "Before the race, I thought: I'll try to sprint if I can keep up on the climbs. I knew I would be among the peloton's faster riders because the 'big names' would probably not survive the climb. That, fortunately, was the case."

Van Belle claimed that as soon as Cavagna attacked, he was unable to follow. "He quickly developed a sizable gap. The other guys couldn't react, while I tried everything possible to stay in the group. The team rode hard at the front, but Remi was difficult to beat today."

Sports Director Robert Wagner praised the future professional's performance: "Loe did well. He wanted to be in the sprint and finished third."

According to Wagner, there are still plenty of opportunities to get an excellent result in the coming days. "We have a young team that is very strong. The most important thing is to learn and gain experience. If we do everything right, we can compete for wins here."



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