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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. - Henry David Thoreau


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.

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Pirelli recalls P ZERO Race TLR tires because of bead defect

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this important notice:

Pirelli is recalling its P ZERO Race TLR tires because the bead can unseat from the rim, creating a fall hazard.

About 14,500 — 550 in Canada — tires size 28-622 are affected. The tires have either yellow, white, red, or gold branding on the sidewalls. The model name, number, tire ID, and production date code also are on the sidewalls. A table on the Pirelli website and in a recall notice helps identify affected SKUs.

Pirelli has received one report of rapid air loss, resulting in a minor injury.

You can read the entire story here.

Here is a link to the official Pirelli recall notice.

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Team dsm-firmenich's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen: SEP 15

Roy Curvers - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"The Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen is a typical Belgian race with a lot of corners and open areas that can be interesting for echelons. On paper, there is a big chance for a bunch sprint where we have a good card to play with Casper as our finisher. Yet, in September the weather can also create a harder race which we also should not be afraid of. With our classic core at this race we definitely also have chances to fight for a result in harder circumstances too."

Line-up:
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Casper van Uden (NED)

Fabio Jakobsen won the 2022 edition of the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen

Tour de Romandie Féminin: SEP 15 - 17

Albert Timmer - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"This year's edition of the Tour de Romandie will again feature three tough days of racing, with two challenging hilly days and one real mountain day to decide the general classification. Our goal will be to look after Juliette as our GC finisher, while also making the race hard every day. We will look for options to send riders on the road in the breakaway to contribute to that goal."

Line-up:
Eleonora Ciabocco (ITA)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Eglantine Rayer (FRA)
Becky Storrie (GBR)
Nienke Vinke (NED)

Super 8 Classic: SEP 16

Roy Curvers - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"The Super 8 Classic has all the ingredients for a hard race. The short Flemish hills in the Ardennes always trigger the bunch to open up the race. With our classics group, we aim to race on the offensive and with Sam, we have a really fast guy behind as our sprint finisher, whose card we can play in case a big group comes back together in the final."

Line-up:
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Frank van den Broek (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

Grote Prijs Rik van Looy: SEP 20

Bennie Lambregts - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"At the GP Rik van Looij, we want to continue working on the foundations of the way of working within our team. Nice steps have been taken in the last races and now we want to further build on this and make the next steps in the process. We have a nice young group that is motivated to race as a team. When we show the same teamwork as in the last races, we have some nice cards to play in the final and the results will come."

Line-up:
Dylan Hicks (GBR)
Milan Kadlec (CZE)
Axel Källberg (FIN)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Frank Ragilo (EST)
Adam Seeman (CZE)
Max van der Meulen (NED)


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Team Groupama-FDJ reports on the Grand Prix de Montréal

Here’s the team’s post:

A week after his prestigious victory in the Bretagne Classic, Valentin Madouas was again among the main contenders in a WorldTour Classic on Sunday. In the Grand Prix de Montréal, the second round of the Canadian’s races, the French champion used his resistance to remain in contention for the podium until the end. On the line, he eventually took fourth place of the day, twelve seconds behind winner Adam Yates, and scored his fourth top-5 of the season in a one-day WorldTour race. Quentin Pacher also entered the top-20 (19th) after an excellent overall team performance.

It was Adam Yates who won the 2023 Grand Prix de Montréal

Two days after the Grand Prix de Québec, a different kind of rider was expected in Montreal. The circuit, much more demanding and including the climb of Camillien-Houde (2.3 km at 6.2%), left little chance for a sprint finish. The route also suited Valentin Madouas more, after the Frenchman proved in shape 48 hours earlier without being able to get away from the peloton. In addition to the huge elevation gain (4000m), the peloton also faced tough weather conditions at the start on Sunday.

“We knew that the rain was going to last an hour or so, so we needed to be very focused at the start in case a big breakaway went”, explained Sébastien Joly. “In the end, only Florian Vermeersch got away.” The Belgian led the way for most of the day while the peloton kept him at a reasonable distance. “The race was starting to be too calm in the back, we talked a bit with Valentin, and we thought to revitalize it”, added Sébastien. “We started doing so with Jake and Lada, who did a good job, then other teams came to help us.” The gap quickly closed with the leader, who was caught more than fifty kilometres from the finish. “Lars then did a whole lap on his own, and he did a very good job,” continued the sports director. “It was a bit of a waiting race”, added Valentin. “The guys did a very, very good job of trying to make it harder and then UAE Team Emirates took over, and we just had to try to follow and wait for the race to open up in the last two laps”.


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Following a fast pace with three laps to go, the peloton was reduced to around forty riders, then to just thirty or so a lap later. At the beginning of the last 12.5-circuit, Valentin Madouas and Quentin Pacher were still in the leading group. “In the final, we saw the same scenario as last year,” said Sébastien. “It went even faster, and we only found the ten best riders, including Valentin. Quentin wasn’t far too.” In the Camillien-Houde climb, the French champion was unable to follow the first two competitors, but he proved to be among the strongest right behind. “I missed a little something when Yates and Sivakov attacked in the climb,” added Valentin. “I stayed with the group then I tried to make my effort on the next hill. Unfortunately, we only came back at 3-4 seconds, then it became very tactical”.

“They looked at each other a bit, as it often happens in this situation”, said Sébastien. “Valentin played it smart and I thought he was going to make the jump in the climb of the University. On this kind of final, you usually have one shot. He put it there, then it came down to the legs anyway”. In the lead, the Sivakov-Yates duo managed to keep a small lead while the counterattacks kept on coming behind. Despite previous efforts, Valentin Madouas found the energy to catch the first chasing group in the last two kilometres.

Entering the final straight, he could no longer aim for victory, but the podium of the day was still very much in reach. “I tried and managed to close the gap to fight for third place,” said the man from Brest. “I was in a group of five, and I knew that Aranburu was very fast so I took his wheel. I waited for him to crack, but he never did.” After a nail-biting sprint, the French champion therefore took fourth place in Montreal, twelve seconds behind the winner Adam Yates.

“It was a very hard and very tiring race”, he said in the evening. “We really felt all the metres of climbing in the last three laps. The weather also made the race harder, but we wanted a hard race. I missed a little something and I’m disappointed not to finish on the podium for the guys who did a very good job, but we’ll be back.” After being second on the Strade Bianche, fifth Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a winner on the Bretagne Classic, the Frenchman added another major performance at the highest level on Sunday. “He managed to fight with the best and finished well with 4th place”, concluded Sébastien. “We’re a bit disappointed because it would have been great to finish on the podium in such a race, but after his victory in Plouay, he showed that he had recovered and that he’s on track for the end of the season. He was really in the mix and showed once again how solid he is”.

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