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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, August 1, 2016

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True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. - Kurt Vonnegut

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Peter Sagan to join Bora-Hansgrohe for 2017 season

Here's the team's (currently Bora-Argon 18 but will become Bora-Hansgrohe next season) press release about the world champion's team move:

BORA – hansgrohe signs Peter Sagan.

The World Champion from Slovakia enters a 3-year agreement with the WorldTour newcomer from Raubling After weeks of rumours now it is confirmed that Peter Sagan joins BORA – hansgrohe form 2017 onwards. Together with Peter his brother and National Champion Juraj, as well as Maciej Bodnar, Michael Kolar and Erik Baška signed with the team. The number one of the WorldTour Ranking will therefore be able to count on his closest domestiques also the following years.

PEter Sagan

Peter Sagan wins Tour of Switzerland stage 2

“It is a great honour to welcome one of the most popular cyclist of our time in our team. That’s why we tried to provide familiar surroundings as far as possible. I think Peter’s trust in us prooves that we did a good job the last years and have solid reputation in the peloton. Our partners BORA and hansgrohe are also two big German quality brands. This combination convinced Peter that we are the right team for him and his chase for even more successes the next years. I am very happy and sure that this partnership will be a successful one.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager

“Since we started our sponsorship in cycling our objective was to get to the top of this sport. Peter will help us to achieve this goal. And he will support us to make our vision come true: the end of the extractor hood. We are very happy to welcome Peter Sagan as a new member to our cycling family. He is a real star, who achieved almost everything in cycling by being focused, dedicated and by believing in himself. At BORA we share this approach, self-belief helped us to get to where we stand now. And we are proud to go the next steps together with him.” – Willi Bruckbauer, Owner of BORA

The first goal of the new season for BORA – hansgrohe will be the Classics. Further new signings should also strengthen the roster for Grand Tours. The team will announce more key signings in the coming weeks.

“My goal is a well-balanced roster for the 2017 season. With Peter the Classics will be a big highlight for us. But we also want to play a role in the Grand Tours, therefore we still look for new signings.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager

"The team around Ralph Denk is built around first-rate standards, just like hansgrohe. Doing this claim justice requires a targeted effort on our part to strengthen the team BORA - hansgrohe for the upcoming season; with the signing of Peter Sagan and his confidants, we have taken the first step in the direction of a competitive WorldTeam. We are thrilled about the commitment of Peter Sagan because it corresponds to hansgrohe's claim to become the Number One worldwide. Signing the current number one ranked cyclist in the world for our team, is therefore right and consistent." - Thorsten Klapproth, CEO Hansgrohe SE

Tour of Denmark final team reports

Tinkoff sent this:

Michael Valgren has recorded his second overall victory at the Tour of Denmark, capping off a superb week of racing for Tinkoff at his home tour. With Daniele Bennati’s third place on the final stage bunch sprint, he won the points classification, as Tinkoff also took the team classification, finishing the race with two stage wins, two podiums, and first, fourth and tenth overall.

“We had some suspense today, but we adjusted our strategy along the road and the guys did another great job,” a very happy Sport Director, Lars Michaelsen told us after the finish. “We also win the team classification too which underlines the team effort out here this week, and Benna is also rewarded with the points classification. We didn’t win the stage, but there were plenty of other rewards.”

The 175km final stage already suited a bunch sprint with its largely flat parcours, and ten finish circuits to end the race, but the team still had to be aware of second place on GC, sat at just 12 seconds going into the stage but with enough bonus seconds available to overturn the lead.

After an early fight for the breakaway, six riders pulled clear, suiting Tinkoff and Valgren with no GC threats up the road. However, under pressure from other teams behind in the peloton, the breakaway was closed down ahead of the first intermediate sprint with 111km to race. After a hard fight, Magnus Cort, sitting in second overall, took three bonus seconds, while Bennati and Valgren took two and one respectively, closing the advantage down to just 10 seconds.

A second breakaway soon went clear and this time the chase was unable to bring back the escape ahead of the second sprint, meaning that Cort had to win the stage with a gap over Valgren, as the Tinkoff rider led by over 10 seconds with his time trial advantage, with Valgren having to finish outside of the top 10 – it was leaning in Valgren’s favour.

As the peloton raced around the 10 finishing circuits a bunch sprint was set up with all riders caught with 7km to race. As rain started to fall, the situation became more complicated but the Tinkoff train remained at the front of the bunch with Valgren and Bennati in the wheels. As the sprint unfolded, Bennati pushed hard for the line, just being pipped into third, with Valgren just a bike length behind in fifth, sealing his overall race victory.

Tour of Denmark stage 5 finish

Phil Bauhaus (black racing kit) wins the Tour of Denmark's final stage

“In the morning we tried to have the right break go clear, but other teams agendas were different” Michaelsen continued. “We covered 52km in the first hour, a continuously high speed, and in the end the guys out front ran out of energy, and Cort took the first sprint, so we adapted to the situation.

“For the second sprint it worked out that the break stayed away and took the bonifications there so with Valgren’s gap in the TT even if Cort won the bunch sprint Valgren would still win the overall. In the end Valgren took fifth, showing his strength, and Benna took third, to win the points jersey, ending a really good week here for the team.”

Here's LottoNL-Jumbo's Tour of Denmark report:

LottoNL-Jumbo rider Moreno Hofland finished second in the final stage of the Post Danmark Rundt Nord today. The 175-kilometre stage was won by Phil Bauhaus of team Bora - Argon 18 and the overall classification by Michael Valgren of Team Tinkoff.

The flat stage had a super fast start with plenty of breakaways. Finally, Tom Leezer escaped and formed a strong leading group of seven that included the Dutch riders Lars Boom (Team Astana) and Brian Van Goethem (Team Roompot). The leaders took up to one and a half minutes. With Tom Leezer in the breakaway, the race went according to plan for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.

"We were twice in the escape with Tom. So we could save six riders for the final. Today we played the card for Hofland in a bunch sprint," said Sports Director Jan Boven after the finish. "The race went as we had imagined. With two local circuits to go, we took matters in hand and put the sprint train on the front. Everything went well until the last corner. Moreno started the sprint a bit too early with Bauhaus in his wheel. He edged out Moreno on the line."

The sprint train of LottoNL-Jumbo over took the last two remaining riders in the break of the day, Lars Boom (Team Astana) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani - Valvole), and drove through the last curve before the finish.

"Unfortunately, I did not win! Everything went fine until the last corner, “ said Moreno Hofland. "Dennis went full on from the corner, but Tom Van Asbroeck thought he wasn’t strong enough to keep the speed and went a little too early for him. I had to start my sprint too early. Bauhaus brought up the speed and sprinted off of my rear wheel. I could hold him for a second, but he was still just a little faster. I am satisfied with the sprint train, the only thing we still need to work on is timing. That’s the important last piece of the sprint train, but I think we did a great race today."

RideLondon-Surrey Classic

Here's Dimension Data's post:

You can read Etixx-Quick Step's report here on the race's results page.

The Ride London Classic came to an end with an exciting sprint finish which Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep) won. Mark Renshaw was able to net another good result for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka by finishing a close 2nd. 3rd place went to Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange).

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen wins 2016 RideLondon

The riders were welcomed by some warm British weather as the 202km classic got underway in London this afternoon. After a number of early attacks, eventually 6 riders were able to go clear from the peloton. As they rode ahead to a 3-minute lead, the race was making its way toward the hills in the Surrey countryside.

Just before the climbing began, the race was neutralised for close on 30 minutes. A crash in the cycle sportif which was taking place ahead of the main race being the reason. Racing got underway once again and then it was not long until things started to get heated.

Team Sky, as the favourite local team, began to make an impression on the race by upping the tempo on the positive gradients. With 90km to go, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) put in a stinging attack which ripped the peloton apart. Thomas kept the pressure on as teammate, Ian Stannard and Patrick Bevin (Cannondale) rode across to the early break.

With 45km to go, Thomas attacked the break as the peloton was trying to get organised some 3-minutes behind. Our African Team were able to regroup in the peloton and we proceeded to combine well with Orica-BikeExchange and Etixx-Quickstep in leading the chase. Nic Dougall was our rider doing some good work at this point in the race.

As the remnants of the chase were caught with around 9km to go, Thomas had 30″ to play with but today, it would prove to be too little. A 70 rider peloton came charging through Trafalgar Square and a sprint finish would decide the race. Our African Team had Tyler Farrar, Jay Thomson and Matt Brammeier helping to position Renshaw for the final before he found the wheel of Matthews in the final kilometer.

Renshaw was able to come off the wheel of Matthews and launched a powerful sprint in pursuit of victory. Boonen was the rider who got the timing just right though as he was able to come passed Renshaw in the final 30 meters of the race to take a good win. Renshaw followed the Belgian home to take an excellent 2nd place for our African Team.

Mark Renshaw – Rider: "The race was really fast from the start. Team Sky set a hard tempo all day, of course setting it up for Geraint Thomas to attack. We missed that move and 20 guys got away so we were quite lucky to come back into the race there. With a few a sprint teams working to make it a sprint, like Orica and Etixx, we were quite fortunate to come back into it for the sprint as well. In the final 5km Tyler Farrar helped me a lot, he put me in the perfect position for the final. I started my sprint from 200 meters and as soon as I moved Tom Boonen came through with much more speed. There was no chance really to beat him, once I opened the door next to the barrier for him. I am happy with 2nd though as it’s the first race back after the Tour."

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