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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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Today's Racing

Today is the fourth stage of Critérium du Dauphiné. It's 228 kilometers going from Anneyron-Porte de DrômArdèche to Sisteron. It has two fourth and one third category climb. The last ascent, the third category Côte de la Marquise, comes with thirteen kilometers to go. Might be interesting.

Critérium du Dauphiné news

This is from stage winner BMC:

Montagny, France - The BMC Racing Team set the fastest time early in Tuesday's team time trial at the Critérium du Dauphine. But the reigning world team time trial champions had to wait more than an hour for 18 other teams to finish before celebrating the victory that also earned Rohan Dennis the race lead.

The BMC Racing Team was four seconds better than runner-up Astana Pro Team and five seconds faster than Movistar Team over the 24.5-kilometer course that started in Roanne and finished in Montagny. The BMC Racing Team's riders averaged 49 kilometers an hour on board their BMC timemachine TM01s.

Four riders from the BMC Racing Team's gold medal squad at the world championships in Spain last fall were part of the winning effort again: Dennis, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Tejay van Garderen. Joining them was Joey Rosskopf, Samuel Sánchez, Michael Schär and Dylan Teuns.


BMC turned in the best time of the day.

"Since we knew Rohan was our strongest guy, we had him set the pace and then it was up to the rest of us to decide how long of pulls we could do at that pace," van Garderen said. "We aimed for the winning pace and told the guys if you can hold it, you deserve to be there. If you can't hold it, then you are going to get dropped. We finished with the minimum amount of guys, but we had the best time."

This is Dennis's second time in the lead at the Dauphiné. Two years ago, he won an individual time trial to don the maillot jaune. Being first across the finish line did not come by design, he said.

"We didn't actually talk about who would go over the line first," the former world hour record holder said. "It was just whoever got there first. Tejay took over with 500 meters to go and I saw Dylan was just off the wheel. So I backed off and paced him back on. I just came at Tejay and Daniel and Joey and went past them, wanting to help them get to the line as quickly as possible."

Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said winning the stage completed the BMC Racing Team's No. 1 goal heading into the race. "It is important, not just for the Dauphiné, but also for the Tour de France," he said. "It is very important for the morale. I think the guys have confidence now for the Tour. I think it is a good, good moment to win this team time trial."

Van Garderen, who is now into second overall behind Dennis, said the performance was as much about making a statement as it was about winning. "When you are world champion in this event, you have to take it seriously every time," he said. "You definitely get nostalgic. But you are also out there to prove a point. We are world champions and we went out to show them why."

Notes: Tuesday's victory was the BMC Racing Team's 13th of the season ... Dennis was also the race leader at the Santos Tour Down Under on the way to winning that race overall in January ... Wednesday's stage, at 228 kilometers, is the longest of the eight-day race that finishes Sunday.

Tinkoff-Saxo was at the Dauphiné and here's their report:

With a team mainly composed of climbers, Tinkoff-Saxo had to incur a time loss of 1’30” on the 24.5km team time trial in Critérium du Dauphiné, which was won by BMC. With the pre-race ambition of finishing well in the GC with Robert Kiserlovski, the squad knew that the fight against the clock posed an obstacle. Team DS Patxi Vila now directs his attention to the stages in the mountains.

Elaborating on the 24.5km TTT, Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director Patxi Vila notes that despite a homogenous effort, the team didn’t have the required top speed on the parcours.


Tinkoff-Saxo at the Dauphiné

“Unfortunately, this wasn't a good result and we aren't happy with it. Our aim was to lose no more than 50-60 seconds in today's TTT and the 90-second deficit we got wasn't satisfactory. We don't have any TT-specialist in the squad here, all our riders are climbers but still we were hoping for a better result. We didn't find our form in the first half of the race, where we lost 57 seconds while in the second part the guys rode better and lost 30 seconds. They didn't reach their pace fast”, says Patxi Vila and adds: “I don't think there was much more we could do, since five riders crossed the line together. If you have 6-7 that finish together you can always think that one of them could have given more and could have performed better. We had our five fastest riders finishing together. It simply wasn't our day today”.

Tuesday’s TTT took the teams from Roanne to Montagny on a 24.5km parcours with several sections of moderate uphill gradients. Stage 3 was eventually won by BMC four seconds ahead of Astana. Tinkoff-Saxo finished 20th.

Starting Thursday, Critérium du Dauphiné enters the mountainous second part of the race with four demanding stages in the French Alps. Despite strong competition, Vila asserts that the squad will enter more favorable terrain.

“This deficit of 1:30 minutes now leaves the door open to other tactical choices and options, such as breakaways. We will stick to the overall plan to try positioning Kiserlovski for the GC and we still have a number of very difficult mountain stages ahead. He feels in very good shape and we will see whether he can be at the front on the climbs. We also have to keep in mind his form ahead of the Tour de France and see what we can achieve day by day”, finishes Patxi Vila.

And Lampre-Merida had this to say about the Dauphiné third stage:

The 3rd stage of the Critèrium du Dauphinè was a team time trial on a 24.5 km course from Roanne to Montagny.

The road didn't have hills, but many bends whose approach became fundamental for realizing a top performance.

Lampre-Merida took part in the team time trial with 7 riders, because on Monday evening Sacha Modolo left France for Italy in order to take care of the health conditions of a relative.

Despite this, the athletes of the sport directors Mauduit and Scirea succeded in being in the best 10 teams, coming in 8th. They covered the course in 30'45", 47" more than the winning team, BMC (TTT world champion).


Lampre-Merida ride the team time trial

The blue-fuchsia-green riders rode Merida Warp TT's, wearing the Champion System speedsuits and the Suomy GT-R helmets.

In the overall classification, Rui Costa is 29th at 48" to the new leader Dennis (same gap for Oliveira, Valls, Plaza and Serpa)

"The riders realized a very good performance at their best level in this kind of speciality and on this kind of course, also considering that Sacha was not with us - the sport director Mauduit explained - We wanted to check our limits in the TTT in view of the same kind of race we'll face soon in the Tour de France. Today was our last rehearsal before the TTT we'll face in the Grande Boucle. Our riders were great and they succeded in recording a positive time".

BMC for GP Kanton Aargau

The Swiss race starts Thursday, June 11:

The BMC Racing Team's seven-man roster for GP Kanton Aargau includes a pair of past runners-up - Silvan Dillier (2014) and Ben Hermans (2009) - as well as recent Baloise Belgium Tour winner Greg Van Avermaet. The 181.5-kilometer race takes place Thursday in Switzerland.

Riders: Marcus Burghardt (GER), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Ben Hermans (BEL), Manuel Senni (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI), Rick Zabel (GER).

Sport Director: Jackson Stewart (USA)

Tinkoff-Saxo's Tour de France Kit

I guess my posting this will amount to an ad for Sportful. Well, here's the press release:

Tinkoff-Saxo's nine riders will tackle the season's landmark race wearing a kit by Sportful that blends the team's colors with those of its popular camouflage training kit.

With less than a month left until the start of the world's most famous and prestigious cycling race,  Tinkoff-Saxo and its partner Sportful are pleased to present a kit that will certainly stand out as the peloton rides through France in the month July.

Given the overwhelming success of the innovative camo training kit that Tinkoff Saxo presented last December and its widespread use by amateur cyclists around the world, it seemed only natural that some of its elements would be incorporated in the sleek new kit that Tinkoff-Saxo riders will don at the Tour de France. 

While the kit our nine-strong squad, spearheaded by our leader Alberto Contador, will wear in France retains the traditional yellow and blue colors of the team, grey, in the form of camo patterns, and black take a more prominent place on the shirt, bib shorts and socks. As Contador stated, "I really like the Tour de France kit. It's a nice combination of this season's racing kit and the one we started using in our training camp in Gran Canaria last December. I like its colors and, hopefully, so will our fans."  

Tinkoff-SAxo TDF kit

Tinkoff-Saxo's TDF kit

Tinkoff-Saxo's training and racing kits are a result of the very strong and close partnership between Sportful and the team, and the continuous feedback provided by its riders.  Whether it is suggestions for new products, adjustments to little things like zips, seam placement or seatpad preference, every small detail is taken into account for the design, not just of team clothing but the whole Sportful collection.

A limited release of the Tour de France kit will go on sale starting June 15th.

Emma Johansson wins in Spain

ORICA-AIS sent this news:

Emma Johansson has sprinted to an impressive victory in Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria. The Swedish ORICA-AIS rider claimed her first win this season in Spain, leaving Rabo-Liv’s Kasia Niewiadoma behind her.

The 110 kilometres long circuit race knows a difficult and demanding parcourse with many climbs. The race started off fast, and remained so throughout the day. The ORICA-AIS ladies rode strongly in the front to control the race, and to support Emma Johansson as well as possible.

Emma Johansson is extremely pleased to obtain her first victory this season: “I’m very, very happy with this win! I was feeling great today and I’ve been waiting for this victory, it’s my first this season.

“I’ve had a bit of a rough spring time, and I think it’s the same for the whole team, though we worked really hard. I think we made it pretty clear last weekend that we’re back on track, where we belong. The victory today just shows that we have a strong enough team to perform well for the rest of the season.

“The girls have really been working so well and everything is going our way now. I’m just really happy! This is the place where I signed my first contract as a rider, ten years ago. It’s just really special coming back here, and then to finally win this race as well is amazing.  I’m really happy and I really appreciate the girls backing me up so well: racing so hard, and putting me in a position where I can finish it off in a good way.

“I’m really looking forward to the start of Euskal Emakumeen Bira tomorrow. A lot of my friends live here so it’s a bit of a home coming feeling. You never really know what you can expect here, and it’s going to be a pretty tough few days of racing, but with the way the team is going right now, we’re definitely very motivated.”

Emma johansson

Emma Johansson

Sports director Gene Bates: “This victory is excellent, we’re feeling really good! It was quite a small field, but a really strong one. We knew it was going to be a tough race, but we started with a strong team plan and they really executed that perfectly.

“On the first of the final two climbs, we still had five out of our six riders in the front group. Emma, Valentina Scandolara and Amanda Spratt got away on a descent with some other riders, which was a brilliant piece of tactical riding. Towards the end, Emma was strong enough to ride away on the final climb and proved to be the strongest in the sprint.

“This win is motivating for the whole week. It’s the first really hard climbs race of the year, and after the way things worked out today, the girls are pretty confident for the rest of the week.”

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