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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, May 26, 2016

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

Prejudices are what fools use for reason. - Voltaire

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Giro d'Italia Stage 17 video

Giro d'Italia team reports

Stage winner Roger Kluge's IAM Cycling posted this news:

IAM Cycling celebrated its first victory in a grand tour since joining the pro peloton in January 2013. Roger Kluge out-witted the sprinters by launching his attack with over 500 meters to go to the finish and exploiting a right-hand curve.

“It’s a dream,” the 30 year old Kluge commented just before mounting the podium. “I am filled with so many emotions. To have won just a few days after barely avoiding a time elimination, and then just two days after hearing the team announcement that our adventure together will end at the end of the season is just amazing.”

Roger kluge wins Giro stage 17

Roger Kluge wins Giro stage 17

Roger Kluge collapsed into the arms of his teammates in celebration after this stage which ended with a speed of 43.417 km / h. Kluge was emphatic when thanking his teammates for their work that reeled in the breakaway. “Vegard Stake Laengen did a huge job because without his work, those six would have made it to the finish for the victory. Then we were really trying to place Heinrich Haussler well. But he and I just were not able to stay together. After we passed under the flamme rouge, I managed take the final bend in second position just behind Pozzato. I did not hesitate when following him even if we were still 500 meters away from the finish. I just gave everything and I have no regrets.   I had a strange feeling when I passed Pozzato, as if the field was riding in slow motion. I even had the chance to turn around with 50 meters to go, and then savor my victory.”

Heinrich Haussler was ecstatic when talking about the victory of his friend and roommate: “It really is pure happiness to win this after all the worries we have had since the beginning of the Giro on top of the announcement that the team will end. Roger has earned this because he is a model teammate, and has always been ready to commit himself to the team.”

THE NUMBER: 51 – The number of points the IAM Cycling team earned during the 17th stage, thanks as well to the 15th place of Heinrich Haussler. IAM Cycling, which is still the only Swiss professional team in the World Tour will get up in the morning tomorrow for the ceremonial podium to receive its bonus points for the stage win.

THE BANKROLE: 11,286 – In euros, the amount that IAM Cycling collected on account of its victory with Roger Kluge (€ 11’010) and 15th place for Heinrich Haussler (276 €).

THE MENU OF THE DAY: 240 kilometers between Muggio and Pinerolo Thursday for the 18th stage where Stefan Denifl will have a chance to defend his second place in the best climber’s category. The Austrian has only 3 points ahead of Darwin Atapuma and 11 in front of Giovanni Visconti.

Here's Tinkoff's update:

The Giro’s remaining sprinters and all-rounders could breathe a huge sigh of relief today, as after four mountain stages, it was their chance to take centre stage again. With 196km between them and the finish – and only one fourth category climb, the finale of today’s stage was almost certain to be a bunch sprint. There was no chance of a rest for the GC riders however. Their aim was to stay protected through the day, and to ensure that they didn’t lose any time at the finish as the pace ramped up and the peloton became a risky place to be.

The excitement at the prospect of a relatively flat stage was palpable in the peloton, as the moment the flag dropped, an attempt to break away came. Mirrowing his escape on stage 5 of this year’s race, Pavel Brutt and two others went on the attack and quickly gained a minute on the peloton, which had no obvious desire to bring the escapees back in. This lead grew to two minutes, then four and then to more than five minutes. Pavel and his group were relishing the chance to stretch their legs.

Pavel was pleased to have anticipated the break, but was aware of the control the sprinters’ teams had on the chasing peloton. "It was quite a straightforward day. I tried from the very start to anticipate the move and got away with two riders. However, our breakaway was always controlled by the sprinters’ teams. They kept us tightly under control. We built an advantage of a bit more than five minutes but from there, the peloton steadily closed the gap."

Having crested the Passo Sant’Eusebio, it was a quick downhill before a 75km flat run-in to the finish. After the peloton had cleared the climb, the gap between them and the escapees gradually started to shrink. With less than 30km to the finish, a three-man chasing group split off from the peloton and started trying to reduce the gap. With the gap between the chasers and the breakaway shrinking, the peloton was upping the pace too, and as the chasers neared the town of Mozzanica, just over 20km from the finish, the chasers caught the break, while the pack was just fifteen seconds behind.

With the escape now a six-man group, there was strength in numbers and a will among the members of this group to stay away. Their pace rising, Pavel’s group began to create distance between them and the peloton, soon leading them by twenty-three seconds. While a slim margin, the work ethic in the group was good, with each rider taking turns to hold the peloton away just a little longer.

The ability of the break to stay away so long was impressive on a flat stage like today’s, as Sport Director, Tristan Hoffman explained. "With three guys out there you think it's mission impossible, but when the others came across the peloton had to go full gas to catch them so it was a good try and we're happy with our race.”

After being out front for most of the stage, the chasing group was a welcome addition to the break, even though Pavel knew the chances of staying out weren’t high. “At 20 km to go, we were joined by three more riders but we knew our chances were very slim. Our lead was too small to hold. However, I gave my best and I'm satisfied with my performance. I feel well, despite the natural tiredness that comes after 17 intense stages of the Giro d'Italia."

With 10km to go, the gap had fallen to fifteen seconds again and it seemed increasingly likely that the catch would be made soon. In spite of this, the break had no intention of giving up – and no intention of being caught, managing to hold out just a little longer. With the absence of any proper sprint trains or real organisation in the run to the finish, the chase wasn’t as frenetic as in the earlier stages of the Giro, but with just over a kilometre to go, the catch was made and almost immediately, the final attacks came. The sprinters were just not able to pull it together, and crossed the line just after one of the attackers took the stage win. Rafal Majka was the first Tinkoff rider home – taking 26th with the bunch, and keeping his hold on sixth spot in the GC.

Compared to the spectacle of the mountains, today’s stage could have been dull, especially with the absence of the bigger-name sprinters, but Pavel’s group’s break livened up the day, as Hoffman explained. "In the end it was exciting for a flat stage, and great to see Brutt up there all day. It's good for him too as he's had some days where he's struggled here, so it's good for his morale and will give him and the team a lift in this tough last week. Behind, Rafa came home safe in bunch with the other boys, so no problems today.'

With a profile that resembles that of stage 11 – where a single climb at the end of an otherwise flat stage signalled the start of the GC race – stage 18 is also the Giro’s longest stage, at 240km. Flat for 170km before a few short climbs and then the second category Pramartino, the stage will be won – or lost – on the final climb in the last kilometre. The uncategorised San Maurizio has a 20% ramp that will stop riders like a wall. Hard enough with fresh legs, but with 239km in their legs and two weeks of racing, anything can happen here. Hoffman explains. "Tomorrow is a different story, with a second category climb in the final, then a 20% ramp with 2km to go. If a break goes I'm not sure which team will want to control the race on this long stage, so being in the break will be crucial but then when every team thinks the same it makes for a real fight to get into the break. We will aim to be up there and see what we can do for a stage result."

Giant-Alpecin announces 2016 Tour de France long list

The second Grand Tour of the season is fast approaching and Team Giant-Alpecin will head to this year’s Tour de France with the overall objective of winning a stage. The team will also focus on the development of the whole squad through the experience gained by the riders during this year’s Tour.

The 103rd edition of Le Grande Boucle returns home for the start in the city of Mont-Saint-Michel, the first-ever Grand Départ in the region of Normandy, and it is an opportunity for the sprinters to wear the coveted maillot jaune. The Tour de France will run from Saturday, July 2, to Sunday, July 24, and will cover 3,519km.

Nikias Arndt

Nikias Arndt (shown in 2016 Giro stage 8) is headed to France

“We go to the Tour de France with the aim of winning a stage, and our long-list for this year’s Tour should provide opportunities to achieve this result,” said coach Adriaan Helmantel (NED). “In terms of preparation, we have done video recons of eight stages. This footage will be analysed and used to prepare the guys and determine our tactics. In addition, some riders will train at an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain, to build up their fitness levels. Finally, the last key races for the team before the Tour de France will be the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse and Ster ZLM Toer.”


Nikias Arndt (GER)
Warren Barguil (FRA)
Roy Curvers (NED)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Koen de Kort (NED)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Georg Preidler (AUT)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Laurens ten Dam (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Zico Waeytens (BEL)

Scott issues road bike recall because of seat post trouble

Bike EU posted this important news:

SALT LAKE CITY, USA – Following 11 reports of broken seat posts, Scott issued a voluntary recall of its model year 2016 men’s and women’s road bicycles all assembled with the Syncros 1.0 Carbon Offset 27.2mm.
The bicycles included in the recall are: Addict CX 10 disc, Addict SL, Addict Team Issue, Addict 10, Addict 15, Addict 20, Addict Gravel disc, Solace Premium disc, Solace 10 disc, Frame set Addict 10 (HMF) as well as the frame set Addict CX 10 disc (HMX) mech / Di2.

After-market sales: In addition the Syncros FL1.0 Carbon Offset 27.2mm after-market seatpost of model year 2016 is affected as well, sold as a single part in bike shops.

Click here for the entire article with link to Scott's site containing serial numbers of bikes involved.

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