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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, January 25, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one? - Abraham Lincoln

BikeRaceInfo covered these now completed races:

Coming up:

Giant-Alpecin: medical update on training accident

The team sent me this news:

TDF volume 1

Team Giant-Alpecin reports that Warren Barguil (FRA), Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) and Max Walscheid (GER) have left the hospital in Spain and are currently traveling home.

“Warren is doing relatively well,” said team physician Anko Boelens (NED). “In France he will undergo an additional examination to determine whether surgery is needed on his fractured scaphoid. His recovery will take a minimum of six weeks, after which he can restart his buildup to competition level.

Fredrik has multiple bruised ribs, as well as bruises and scratches all over his body.

Ramon is recovering from cuts on his knee and chin, which have been stitched, and wounds and bruises all over his body.

Max will have additional examinations in Germany on his tibia and thumb, which are fractured. He is expected to need surgery, and his recovery will also take some months.

Chad Haga (USA) and John Degenkolb (GER) are still in the hospital for treatment.

“Chad did well over the night. He had a successful surgery on his neck and chin wounds and is completely approachable. In several days to one week, he will have surgery on his orbital fracture too. Until then, and to recover following the orbital surgery, he will stay in the hospital for treatment.

“After yesterday’s successful surgery on a cut in his upper leg, John had operations on his hand and fractured forearm this morning, which were successful. He will travel to Germany in the next few days for further treatment to his arm and hand. Then he will also start his recovery process. His immediate focus will be on recovery, which will take time, but it’s difficult to make an estimation at this point.”

CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) said: “Obviously yesterday’s accident had a huge impact on the team. The recovery of the riders is the first priority, as well as the emotional processing of the event for those who were there. It is clear that the team has been set back some months. It will certainly take time for the team to return to full strength, but everybody will work hard, dedicated and closely together to get there.”

Tour Down Under team reports

Tour Down Under results and photos

Here's Orica-GreenEdge's news:

ORICA-GreenEDGE has concluded the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under in spectacular style, taking out the final stage and overall title in Adelaide today. 21-year-old sprinter Caleb Ewan delivered for the third time this week by winning the final stage ahead of Mark Renshaw (Team Dimension Data) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).

Meanwhile, 35-year-old former Australian champion Simon Gerrans safely defended his overall lead to become the first rider in history to win four Santos Tour Down Under titles. “This one feels just as good as the first one did,” Gerrans said. “I had to keep my wits about me, I was fully concentrated there for the full 90km but it certainly feels good now that it’s over and done with and I’ve secured the win.”

“It’s a race of such a high caliber these days and it feels like the level of racing increases every year. This fourth one, even though I think it was my largest winning margin, it was still less than ten seconds so it’s a closely fought race.”


Orica-GreenEdge owned the 2016 Tour Down Under

Gerrans congratulated his teammates in Ewan, Michael Hepburn, Luke Durbridge, Michael Albasini, Mathew Hayman and Daryl Impey for their extensive work throughout the week in order to deliver team success.

“Everyone really had to step up to the plate this week with two objectives in the race,” Gerrans said. “Often you see teams that want too much and come away with nothing so it was a bit of a risk but everyone did exactly what was asked of them, and then some.”

“We saw some fantastic riding by Heppy (Hepburn) and Durbo (Durbridge) on the front, Albasini as well. Mat Hayman was protecting us really well in the bunch and Daryl Impey was doing some sensational lead outs both on the hillier stages and on the flat stages. Everybody really lifted their game this week and it’s really nice to be able pay the guys work back with such a successful week.”

ORICA-GreenEDGE leaves the Santos Tour Down Under with the overall title (Gerrans), sprint classification (Gerrans), four out of six stage victories (Ewan – stages 1 & 6, Gerrans – stages 3 & 4) and the People’s Choice Classic (Ewan).

Sport director Matt White said the team’s performance at their only home WorldTour race was an overwhelming success. “We had difficult circumstances this week with a crash but we turned it around and the week was an incredible team effort finished off with some leaders in very good shape,” White said.

“Caleb clearly showed he was the fastest guy here and it’s an exciting sign for things to come this season. And it was no surprise that Simon won but after last season it would have been such a relief for him after all of the hard work that he has done. We were definitely the most complete, motivated and strongest team and we wanted it more than any other team and that’s the difference.”

How it happened: There was no easing off for the final circuit stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, with attacks starting from the gun. Astana Pro Team was the most aggressive early, initiating and putting two riders in the first break of five.

ORICA-GreenEDGE, once again courtesy of Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn, took their position at the head of the peloton to keep any moves in check.

With the first moves neutralised, a duo of Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maarten Tjallingii (Team Lotto Jumbo) rode off the front and with 40km left to race, they had a 30second advantage to the peloton, which was then headed by a number of outfits to reel them back in. With the race back together in the final two laps, teams started to position their lead out trains.

It didn’t go completely to plan for ORICA-GreenEDGE but Ewan showed his class and strength to ride away with the victory. “We got a little bit swamped coming in to get the bell for the last lap,” Ewan said. “Then coming back down the hill past the finish line on the way back I had to dive bomb into the last corner but I got up to the place I wanted to be and once I was there I was fine.”

“A few of my teammates came back up to help me and they did a great job to put me on the wheels I needed to be on and from then on I was feeling alright. Obviously it gives me a lot of confidence going into the season. There’s not the best four or five sprinters in the world here but I felt like I was winning pretty convincingly. I’m another year stronger and I think I can get closer to those best guys now as well.”

ORICA-GreenEDGE will next race in Geelong for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in one week’s time.

Santos Tour Down Under - Stage 6 Results

1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 1:55:02
2. Mark Renshaw (Team Dimension Data) ST
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) ST

Santos Tour Down Under - FINAL General Classification Results

1. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 19:11:33
2. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) +0:09
3. Sergio Luis Henao (Team Sky) +0:11

BMC sent this update:

24, January 2015, Adelaide (AUS): Richie Porte has finished second at the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under, delivering the first podium place for BMC Racing Team at a UCI WorldTour event for the season.

Porte finished nine seconds behind race winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE), which marks his second consecutive year on the podium. "I didn't really expect to be second, that's the honest truth. I lost eight seconds in a bit of a silly move on the stage into Victor Harbor but it didn't really matter in the end. I don't think Simon was beatable, he was incredible here. To come here and be second, and second in the time trial at nationals, I can say that it's been quite a good summer."

For Porte, taking his third straight win on Willunga Hill yesterday was the highlight of the week's racing. "I actually felt better up there this year than I did in past years. I was really happy with how I went. Sergio (Henao) is a fantastic climber and I think Team Sky brought him here to win the race. So to ride him off my wheel like that is a great sign.

Richie Porte

Richie Porte winning on Willunga Hill

"The real racing starts in March with Paris-Nice and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya for me so it's nice to not have done that much training and still come away with a really good result."

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Allan Peiper said the team has started the season well. "I think we can be very, very pleased with the race. We threw everything at Orica-GreenEDGE and to have Richie finish second at nine seconds is nothing to be ashamed of and I think it's a great result for the whole team.

Defending champion Rohan Dennis took home the Tanya Denver award for the best-placed South Australian rider. Dennis said the whole team was brilliant this week. "We've got a great team here. Floris Gerts was a big stand out being in his first WorldTour race. He read the race well, he knew where to be, he knew what he had to do. So that's great to have someone at such a young age and so inexperienced to be able to read the race and not have to be directed.

"It didn't end the way I wanted it to. Obviously I planned to try and win this race again, going back to back, but having Richie come out and win in Willunga yesterday was a great result for the team."

It was not just the first Santos Tour Down Under for Gerts, but also for Alessandro De Marchi. "It was a good week. I think we did almost everything that we planned and the team has done a good job to have walked away with Richie's win on Willunga Hill. Yesterday's win on Willunga was fantastic not only for the team, but also for me. I helped Richie and Rohan a lot on the climb and I think it is a good example of what we can do this season," De Marchi said.

BMC Racing Team will next line up at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on January 31.

Tinkoff sent this release:

McCarthy takes fourth overall and wins young riders classification at Tour Down Under; positive outcome for Tinkoff

Tinkoff's young Australian rider wraps up Tour Down Under in fourth place overall and pulls on the green jersey after having scored his first ever stage victory in a WorldTour race.

Jay McCarthy

Jay McCarthy wins Tour Down Under stage 2

Favorable weather conditions and a huge crowd were the ideal setting for the closing stage of the 2016 Tour Down Under. A 4.5 km long circuit set along the streets of Adelaide was covered 20 times for a total of 90 kilometres.

The group remained compact throughout the race and the short breakaways didn't have any major impact, except for the two intermediate sprints. In the final lap, the teams took the plunge and began an impressive high pressure head-to-head fight ahead of the final sprint.

"From this first race of the year", commented sports director Lars Michaelsen, "I think there are positive notes that can be drawn for Tinkoff, as well as the spirit the team showed these days. We leave this Tour Down Under with a stage victory, a fourth place in the overall standings and a victory in the young riders classification with Jay McCarthy, and none of this would have been possible without the proper dedication that each single team member showed, from the riders to the whole staff. It's always nice to start a season this way."

"Obviously, I'm very pleased with the outcome at Tour Down Under", says Jay McCarthy, "the guys were awesome all week. I finished just off the podium in the overall classification but I can be satisfied with my performance and I have to thank the team for this opportunity and the support they gave me."

"We raced a very good Tour Down Under", says sports director Sean Yates, "only in yesterday's stage to Willunga Hill we didn't have any rider in the top 5, so, from a team point of view, we had quite a good performance with a young and always motivated team, especially after the victory at Stirling, which raised everyone's spirits. The guys proved to be strong also as a team, and when you have all this you can do many good things, which is what they did this week."

"Today our plan was to try and win the intermediate sprints with Jay, but after all this week's efforts, especially yesterday, he didn't succeed. Whereas for the final sprint Adam Blythe had to do everything by himself starting from behind and catching up to take fourth place. So once again, the whole team did a good job and as far as Jay McCarthy is concerned I think that after this performance, he will perform at another level in the rest of the year", concluded Yates.

Racing for Tinkoff concludes in Argentina on Sunday as well and then the season heads over to the UAE for the  Dubai Tour, taking place from the 3rd to the 6th of February.

Tour de San Luis team reports

Tour de San Luis results

I got this news from Tinkoff:

Tinkoff squad on a good track after conclusion of Tour de San Luis

Tinkoff's sport directors had positive comments on this first competition of the year which allowed to assess the form of its riders. Team leaders at the Argentinean race, Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka, have positively evaluated their performance in view of the season's main goals.

A 119 km final stage which started and finished in San Luis, concluded the tenth edition of Tour San Luis. It took the peloton to the parcours only climb, 15 km from the start and then to a flat street circuit that was circled five times. Tinkoff's squad worked hard to keep the race under control, bring back the breakaway and safely position Peter Sagan for the fast bunch sprint. The world champion was squeezed out in the closing meters of the finale by  Elia Viviani and Jakub Mareczko, with the latter taking the stage victory in a close photo finish, while Sagan came in fourth.

Patxi Vila, leading sport director of Tinkoff in Argentina had a positive overall assessment of the team's performance. "Today the team did a great job in the morning to keep the race under control and arrive all together in the sprint, which was very, very fast. However, looking back at the whole week the assessment is positive, we put several kilometers of the race in our legs with good weather conditions and without any injuries, as we are one of the few teams that was not affected by the falls in the previous days".

"Peter Sagan proved his good form with two fourth and one second place. Likewise Majka raced a good Tour de San Luis, especially if we consider he was competing against South American riders who are used to this heat and to whom this is a race which means a lot. The physical condition ahead of the Giro d'Italia seems to be fine, we are on a good track. Anyway, the whole team worked well, Trusov, Hansen, Poljanski and Bodnar supported the two team leaders in the best possible way  and in view of the upcoming races, it's very important they already have this race in their legs", concluded Vila.

Peter Sagan, in his first race of the season wearing the rainbow jersey, commented on the team's performance. "Today we worked well, we would have liked to end with a win but I'm afraid that was not possible. Anyway, I'm glad that in today's bunch sprint there were no crashes considering it was very fast. The final outcome of this Tour de San Luis is good.  I am satisfied with how the week went in view of the upcoming big goals of the season".

Here's the release from Lampre-Merida:

Ilia Koshevoy will come back to Europe from Argentina with the important 5th place in the final general classification of the Tour de San Luis. This result was achieved especially thanks to the impressive performances by the Byelorussian rider in the two summit arrivals of the South American race (5th at Cerro el Amago in the 4th stage and 4th in Merlo in the 6th stage).

For LAMPRE-MERIDA's rider this is the first top 5 in a stages race in his career: this goal is even more important considering that the fight for the overall classification victory saw the South American climber as protagonists. The race was won by Dyer Quintana, the gap of Koshevoy was 1'42".

The young blue-fuchsia-green rider had no problem to defend the 5th place in the final stage, 119,6 km of easy course with start and arrival in San Luis, which finished in a massive sprint won by Mareczko and in which the duo of sprinters from LAMPRE-MERIDA Cimolai-Ferrari could not realize a quality performance. The first rider from sports director Maini's team to cross the arrival was Mohoric, 17th.

The greatest satisfaction for LAMPRE-MERIDA in Argentina came from Koshevoy, but also the good performances by Mohoric, the 11th place of Ferrari in the 2nd stage and the 7th position of Cimolai in the 5th stage were valuable too.


Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary