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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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Today's Racing

Two races today, the third stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey and the first stage of the Tour of Romandie.

The Week's Feature Posting

We've got something a little different for this week. Steve Laner of Velo Jerseys sent me an interesting meditation on rock music and cycle clothing. I think you'll enjoy it.

Tour of Turkey Stage Two Reports

This from Tinkoff-Saxo:

A glitch in the team effort to set up Michael Kolar ahead of the final sprint of stage 2 in Tour of Turkey proved costly, as Tinkoff-Saxo’s sprinter ace approached the finishing straight in a position too far behind to challenge stage winner Mark Cavendish. However, with an explosive effort in the last hundred meters, Kolar managed to make up lost ground finishing 7th.

It was all for the sprinters in today’s stage 2 of Tour of Turkey, where Mark Cavendish proved the fastest for the second day in a row. Tinkoff-Saxo went into the final two kilometers at the front of the speeding bunch, but, according to team DS Nicki Sørensen, made an error by getting boxed in with 1.4km to go.

“The guys were motivated again today and I saw commitment during the stage as well as in the run-in towards the line in Antalya. However, they made an error in the finale, as they got squeezed in and Michael Kolar then had to start the sprint from around 20th position. It was a costly mistake, especially since Michael was strong today. He came fast from behind with 200m to go and overtook a lot of guys”, says Nicki Sørensen and adds about the stage: “Michael’s late burst obviously shows that he has explosiveness right now. Combined with the commitment of the squad, I hope that we’ll be able to improve upon our performances the last two days and achieve a higher placement on the sprinter’s stages to come. I believe it’s feasible considering that Daniele Bennati is performing well as road captain and Pavel Brutt is showing that he’s capable of maintaining a very high speed on the flat at the moment”.

Mark Cavendish wins stage 2

Mark Cavendish wins stage 2

However, there’s zero chance that tomorrow’s treat for the climbers will end up in a bunch sprint. Stage 3 presents the favorites and GC-suitors with a mountainous challenge finishing on top of the 1st category climb to Elmali in 1800m altitude. Nicki Sørensen notes that Tinkoff-Saxo’s young Australian Jay McCarthy will be given the reins on the stage.

“Tomorrow is a totally different stage with a finish 1800m above sea level. The team will support Jay McCarthy but we have several other guys, who will get to test themselves. We’ll see how Jay is shape-wise but as of now, he is our main guy for the GC. Then Kolar, Bennati, Trusov and Juraj Sagan will save themselves for the later flat stages”, finishes Nicki Sørensen.

Mark Cavendish leads the race, while Michael Kolar sits 4th.

Tour de Romandie News

BMC's team roster for Romandie:

The BMC Racing Team's roster for the Tour de Romandie includes UCI world hour record holder Rohan Dennis - who was runner-up in last year's prologue - and Volta Limburg Classic winner Stefan Küng. The six-day WorldTour race in Switzerland begins Tuesday.

Riders: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Campbell Flakemore (AUS), Stefan Küng (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Manuel Senni (ITA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Sport Directors: Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Max Sciandri (ITA)

Sky's riders for Romandie:

Team Sky has confirmed its rider line-up for Tour of Romandie: Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh, Danny Pate, Nicolas Roche, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Elia Viviani

Tinkoff-Saxo's plans for the Tour of Romandie:

Tinkoff-Saxo heads to Switzerland to take on the six day WorldTour stage race Tour de Romandie with a squad mainly consisting of riders from the recent Ardennes Classics squad. With a roster in race shape, the team aims to deliver a strong performance in the GC with team captain Rafal Majka.

About the team ambitions heading into the Swiss race, team sports director Bruno Cenghialta states that Tinkoff-Saxo needs to deploy smart tactical maneuvers during the versatile race in order to support team captain Rafal Majka’s chances in the general classification.

“Rafal Majka is our leader and we will work around him but we will have to adapt our strategy to the prevailing situation. We will see after the first team time-trial how the other strong teams do and we will act according to that. Our aim in this race is for Majka to finish at the top 5 and we need a clever strategy to do that since the absence of very long or very steep climbs isn't the best-case scenario for him”, says Bruno Cenghialta.

Rafal Majka

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Rafal Majka

For Tour de Romandie, Tinkoff-Saxo sends into action Rafal Majka, Robert Kiserlovski, Chris Anker Sorensen, Bruno Pires, Christopher Juul-Jensen, Jesper Hansen, Ivan Rovny and Pawel Poljanski.

During the course of the race, the riders will have to tackle 709.6km of versatile racing with two time-trials, one of them being a TTT, as well as a decisive mountain stage finishing atop the 1st category climb to Champex-Lac. According to Bruno Cenghialta, the overall leadership could very well be decided on the final ITT.

"I would say that the race course fits quite well the type of riders we have in order to have a good result. However, the climbs are neither too hard nor too long, so this race will also be quite fast. We will have to be attentive to race well and take advantage of all the opportunities we might encounter. The parcours is similar to last year's, where everything was decided in the final stage. We saw that the climbs weren't very difficult and it wasn't here that the GC was decided. As a result we have to follow the opportunities when they arise to get the best result”, comments Bruno Cenghialta, who notes that Chris Juul-Jensen and Ivan Rovny could play the part as potential wildcards on breakaway stages. “We have two riders, Chris Juul-Jensen and Ivan Rovny, who are in good form and we could use them in the stages suited for breakaways. That way we can have some outsiders for the team and they have the legs to do that.

“Naturally, one of the crucial days comes on stage 5 with three 1st category climbs while on stages 2 to 4 all climbs are of 2nd and 3rd category. Still, stage 5 isn't a super difficult stage, where Rafal could gain a big advantage, so we have to make sure we reach that day in a good position overall”, finishes Bruno Cenghialta.

Race details

Lampre-Merida's Romandie plans:

After Liege-Bastogne-Liege, most of the athletes from Team Lampre-Merida who took part in the Ardenne Classics moved to Switzerland in order to participate in the Tour de Romandie (28 April-3 May).

The same sport directors who took care of the team in the Ardennes, Mauduit and Pedrazzini, will be once again with Rui Costa, Diego Ulissi, Manuele Mori and Josè Serpa, who'll be joined by Przemyslaw Niemiec, Tsgabu Grmay and Ruben Plaza.
In the first entry list there was Rafael Valls too, but the Spanish rider is suffering from a bruised knee after having been involved in a crash in Liege-Bastogne-Liege: his place will be taken by Matteo Bono, who also raced the Doyenne.

Matteo Bono

Matteo Bono will replace Rafael Valls

In the team staff there will be the doctor De Grandi, the masseurs Capelli, Lima, Napolitano and Santerini, the mechanics Coelho, Pengo and Romanò and the driver Bozzolo.

The course of the race, with the opening team time trial (19,2 km) and the final time trial (17,3 km) and 4 stages full of climbs in the between, won't allow any chance to make mistakes for those riders who'll aim to be in the top part of the overall classification.

The main characteristic of Team Lanpre-Merida will be the high competitiveness for this kind of course, thanks to the presence of Rui Costa (3rd in the 2014 edition), Niemiec, and Ulissi, and of top climbers such as Serpa and Grmay. As additional value, experienced riders such as Bono, Mori and Plaza, who'll be also very useful in the team time trial.

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