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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, September 24, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

Governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it. - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


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Tour de Luxembourg stage four team reports

We posted the report from GC leader Marc Hirschi's UAE team Emirates with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Victor Campenaerts' Team Lotto Dstny:

Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) has won the fourth stage in the Tour of Luxembourg (2.Pro). He was the fastest in the 23.9 km time trial in and around Pétange, edging out Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) by just a second.

The former world hour record holder traveled to the Tour of Luxembourg with big ambition and aimed for a good general classification. However, he had a total off day on Friday and lost the chance of a good result. “Yesterday was a big disappointment for me,” says Campenaerts, “because I really wanted to do well here. The run-up to this race was not easy for me. My uncle, my godfather actually, Bob died just before the start of this race. It was very unexpected and, therefore, difficult for me and my father. He told me that there was no better way to honour him than to go to Luxembourg and win a for him. So I am very happy that I was able to take this time trial victory with Bob in my head.”

Victor Campenaerts at the 2023 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

The difference with the American Brandon McNulty was less than one second. “It was very exciting at the end,” laughs Victor, “and it makes this victory even nicer because it was so close. Cycling is entertainment and winning by just one second makes it even more special.”

Last time Victor Campenaerts was able to cheer in a time trial was in the Tirreno-Adriatico in 2019. “I focused less on it in recent years,” says Victor, “but of course I still have that experience and I was particularly focused on this time trial. My girlfriend Nel has supported me very hard in recent months and I am very happy to take this victory, for her and especially for Bob.”

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Fifth-place Ilan Van Wilder's Soudal Quick-Step team posted this report:

Ilan Van Wilder confirmed again his prowess against the clock on the penultimate day of the race, which scheduled a demanding 23.9km individual time trial held in Pétange. Eighth overall at the start of the day, Ilan was the last Soudal Quick-Step rider to roll down the ramp, and didn’t need too much time to show what he is capable of, going fourth-fastest through the only checkpoint of the stage.

The Belgian increased the speed in the second part of the course, which was mainly downhill, and this was reflected in his result at the end of the day, a strong sixth – just four seconds off the podium of this ITT won by Victor Campenaers (Lotto-Dstny). His solid display helped Van Wilder jump three places in the standings, which means he will start the final day of the competition in fifth position.

Ilan Van Wilder time trialing at the 2021 Dauphine. Sirotti photo

“I didn’t start too fast as I knew the last part, the descent, was where the wind would play an important role. I did a good time trial but I feel like I don’t have that top form from the Deutschland Tour as it has already been a long season. Normally I can really make the difference on the hills but now I was a bit more limited there, but I still had good legs and could put together a nice time trial. I’m satisfied with today and my season so far, and maybe I can add a good general classification spot to that on Sunday”, said the 23-year-old.


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Sixth-place Koen Bouwman’s Jumbo-Visma team posted this Luxembourg Tour report:

Koen Bouwman has finished sixth in the time trial at the Tour de Luxembourg. The 29-year-old Dutchman of Team Jumbo-Visma climbed to seventh in the general classification the day before the final stage. The stage win went to Victor Campenaerts.

Koen Bouwman at the end of the 2022 Giro d'Italia after winning the mountains classificaton. Sirotti photo

The riders faced an individual time trial of around 24 kilometres. In the streets of Pétange, Tiesj Benoot, who was 10th in the general classification before the start, had a difficult day and finished 33rd.

"Koen rode a flawless time trial”, sports director Maarten Wynants said. "He was aiming for a good result, and he certainly achieved that. Campenaerts and Brandon McNulty stood out, but he can be satisfied with his performance. With Tiesj, we had hoped for a bit more, but a bad day can happen.”

In the penultimate stage, Bouwman moved to seventh place in the general classification, forty seconds behind leader Marc Hirschi. "There are still a lot of possibilities as far as the general classification is concerned”, Wynants continued. "Besides the fact that UAE Team Emirates has four riders in the top six, I expect an open battle on the final day. That should present opportunities for us.”


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Bahrain Victorious re-signs Yukiya Arashiro, Santiago Buitrago and Damiano Caruso

Here’s the team’s news release:

Bahrain Victorious is delighted to announce the contract extensions of Yukiya Arashiro, Santiago Buitrago and Damiano Caruso.

The Japanese cycling star Yukiya Arashiro joined the team in 2017, the inaugural season. Next year will be his 8th season with us: “I’m thrilled to continue working with a team that properly evaluates my work as a helper and respects my career.

Professional racing has entered a new stage and is taking on a different dimension than in the past, but I believe that I still have something to contribute and that there are tasks which suit me the best, so I will continue to focus on each race one by one. I can’t wait to add one more racing season and enjoy one more year in the WorldTour.”

Yukiya Arashiro at the 2020 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

The young Columbian talent Santiago Buitrago, who turned pro with Bahrain Victorious in 2020, will stay on with the team for another two years and look to develop on his outstanding results that include two stage victories at the Giro d’Italia, a 3rd place in the Monument Liège-Bastogne-Liège, plus two wins at Saudi Tour and Vuelta Burgos: “I’m very pleased to extend my contract with the team. In the past four seasons, the team greatly helped me grow. I want to continue believing in the project that the team has with me. I hope I can keep giving the team as many successes as possible to repay the team’s trust in myself and achieve the targets together.”

Damiano Caruso will also continue with the team till 2025. Caruso has been integral to the team’s success over his five seasons and continues to prove himself as a GC contender. The experienced Italian climber has claimed two GrandTour stage wins, a 2nd place in the overall at the Giro d’Italia in 2021 and, more recently, 4th at the 2023 edition of the Giro d’Italia: “This extension of one year more is pure formality. We neither needed to discuss the option of staying or not with the team. I feel part of a project beyond the job of a professional rider because I feel part of a family that gratifies me as an athlete and person: mutual feeling with the management that extended my contract until 2025.

I like thinking that Bahrain Victorious may be the team with which I will end my professional career as a cyclist.”

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