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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. - Ernest Hemingway

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2017 Tour de France route presented

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2017 Tour de France route

Team Sky's World Road Championship report

Elia Viviani made the front group in a dramatic edition of the World Championship road race but couldn't hold on to contest the sprint in Doha. The Italian rode a strong race but as the pace increased in the final five kilometres Viviani was unable to hold on to the front group and Peter Sagan (Slovakia) emerged victorious in a nail-biting sprint finish to retain his world title after a gruelling 257km battle.

Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) had pulled off the Slovakian's wheel to launch his own sprint but had to briefly stop pedalling to get around Michael Matthews (Australia) and he was just pipped to the line by Sagan, with Tom Boonen (Belgium) rounding out the podium.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan earns his second consecutive rainbow jersey

Viviani rolled home in 20th, 14 seconds back, after an intriguing race in Doha. As expected high winds played a major role in proceedings and saw the race blown apart early in the desert.

Luke Rowe (Great Britain) was pivotal in ensuring Cavendish was on the right side of the split but he then punctured and slipped back from the lead group, leaving the Manxman with just one team-mate, Adam Blythe, for support.

Geraint Thomas (Great Britain) also punctured at an inopportune time and he, Ian Stannard (Great Britain), Danny van Poppel (Netherlands) and Rowe all stopped early. Ben Swift (Great Britain) remained in the chase group, led by the German team who weren't represented in the 26-man front bunch, and he eventually rolled home over five minutes back in 49th.

As the race made its way back from the desert onto the Pearl and the 15km finishing circuit it looked like the chase group might catch the front bunch. But, with six men out front, the Belgian team worked hard, and the gap never dipped below a minute, eventually extending out to two and beyond inside the final 50km.

Then it became a tactical battle, but the first attacks weren't launched until 5km to go, when Niki Terpstra (Netherlands) went, quickly followed by Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium). Neither got away, before Terpstra's compatriot Tom Leezer also had a dig, but it all came down to a bunch finish and Sagan timed his effort to perfection.

Teams headed to Abu Dhabi Tour

This update came from BMC:

17 October 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Six BMC Racing Team riders will bring their 2016 season to a close this week when they line up at the four-day stage race Abu Dhabi Tour.

Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said the race presents multiple opportunities for all six riders to try their luck and help produce a strong result for the team. "It has been a busy season for our riders so for this last race of 2016 I think mental strength will be just as important as motivation for producing a good result but we definitely have the right team for the job."

"While we aren't going into the race with a specific leader, we will look to take advantage of any opportunity presented to us and we will be giving every rider the chance to finish the season on a good note," Ledanois commented.

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet at the world road championships

Van Avermaet is looking forward to ending his 2016 season in Abu Dhabi. "It's been a really successful season for me, but a long one, so I'm looking forward to wrapping up the 2016 season with the Abu Dhabi Tour. The four stages aren't necessarily tailored to me but we'll all be trying whatever we can to finish the season off well. This late in the season everyone is tired so anything can happen," Van Avermaet added.

Abu Dhabi Tour (20 - 23 October)

Rider roster: Tom Bohli (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Floris Gerts (NED), Ben Hermans (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL)

Sports Director: Yvon Ledanois (FRA)

And Lampre-Merida sent me this:

One change in LAMPRE-MERIDA's line-up for Abu Dhabi Tour: Luka Pibernik will race instead of Marko Kump, who renounced for personal reasons.

Luka Pibernik

Luka Pibernik in a undated photo

Sports directors Scirea and Mauduit will rely on: Chun Kai Feng, Sacha Modolo, Luka Pibernik, Jan Polanc, Diego Ulissi and the trainee Edward Ravasi.

This is the list of the four stages of the Abu Dhabi Tour 2016:
- 20 October, 1st stage: Adnoc Stage (Madinat Zayed-Madinat Zayed, 147 km)
- 21 October, 2nd stage: Nation Tower Stage (Abu Dhabi-Abu Dhabi, 115 km)
- 22 October, 3rd stage: Strata Stage (Al Ain-Jebel Hafeet, 150 km)
- 23 October, 4th stage: Yas Island Stage (Abu Dhabi-Abu Dhabi, 143 km)

Giant-Alpecin's upcoming racing

The team sent me this news:


On the program for Team Giant-Alpecin this week is the Abu Dhabi Tour, taking place Thursday through Sunday. It will be the team's second participation in this race organized by RCS, the race organizer of the Giro d’Italia, and Velon, the joint business venture of 11 UCI WorldTour cycling teams. The road race covers a total distance of 555km with the first two stages dedicated to sprinters. Stage three is a day for the climbers, which will be decisive for the overall victory. The final stage is on the Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit and a fast finish can be expected.

"We are all looking forward to a great race and it is going to be a fantastic contest, especially after the successful first edition," said coach Mattias Reck (SWE). "It will certainly be a very competitive race given the strong field and it will be important to stay hydrated in these challenging circumstances.

John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb

"The objective for us is to go for stage results with John and he is showing some good form at the moment after his victory at Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. We have strong lead-out capabilities with Koen, Ramon and Zico, who will support him as much as possible in the finale. On paper the sprint preparation will be even more important on the closing stage and it would be extra special for the team to finish the season on a high note."

RACE: Abu Dhabi Tour (2.HC)

DATE: 20-23/10/2016

COACH: Mattias Reck (SWE)

LINE-UP: John Degenkolb (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL), Martijn Tusveld (NED)


Team Giant-Alpecin heads to China for the 11th edition of the Tour of Hainan, which begins this Saturday. The Chinese race features nine stages on a variety of terrain, with distances ranging from 88.3km to 230.2km. This will be the last race of the season for the men's team before they head off for a well-deserved break.

Coach Arthur van Dongen (NED) said: "The main goal is to go for stage results in China. For the flat stages we will prepare the sprints for Max and we will aim for podium finishes. On top of that, we will explore the opportunities in the general classification with Fredrik and Jochem.

"Finally it is the last competitive race for Cheng and it will be a very special race for him and the team in his home country."

RACE: Tour of Hainan (2.HC)

DATE: 22-30/10/2016

COACH: Arthur van Dongen (NED)

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