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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, September 29, 2016

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When Mick Jagger said his wrinkles were actually laugh lines, singer George Melly said, "Surely nothing could be that funny."

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Milano-Torino team reports

Here's Astana's report:

"When I saw the winner's trophy this morning on the brochure of the race I thought: when will it be mine?"

With this sentence the Colombian of the Astana Pro Team summed up his victory today in Milano - Torino.

"I'm super happy, I couldn't believe I was winning this beautiful race - continued the young promising rider of the Astana Pro Team - when I took the rider of the Cannondale I thought to stay a bit on his wheel saving energies for the last km... then he attacked me and I was obliged to counter attack him, we did some 'mind games' but then when we turned left for the last km I pushed on the pedals as stronger as possible!".

"I want to dedicate this victory to my team mate Michele Scarponi, fallen down today during the race. I have also to thank my other team mates and my captain Fabio Aru because they teached me many things - concluded Lopez - then of course you need the right legs to win the race but today I can say it has been a victory of the courage and the strategy of a great Team!"

Miguel Lopez

Miguel Angel Lopez wins Milano-Torino

The 22 year old Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez follows in the winners list of the worldwide oldest one day race, the Milano - Torino, his team mate, the Italian Diego Rosa.

Fabio Aru, who has ridden even in support of Lopez in the final, finished 6th on Superga Hill finish.

Cannondale-Drapac had this to say about the race:

Mike Woods animated the finale of Milano-Torino, launching an attack with four kilometers still to race. The Canadian made his move on the final climb to the Basilica at Superga. The initial acceleration saw Woods gain a gap on 10 chasers. Then Miguel Lopez (Astana) bridged across.

“This was my first real two-man duel in a climb of this duration,” said Woods. “It was pretty thrilling to be apart of, and it hurt a ton. I attacked because I had good legs, and I knew it would force other teams to chase and give Rigo[berto Uran] a smooth ride.”

“When Lopez bridged to me we attacked each other several times,” Woods noted. “In retrospect I should have waited far longer to do my final attack; however, I lost a bit of focus and thought we were closer to the finish than we actually were. After making my final attack, we rounded a corner, and I realized we had a lot further to go. This is when I knew I was in trouble.”

Lopez sensed that Woods was under pressure and seized the chance to throw down a final missive. Woods, unable to respond, finished second to Lopez, nine seconds behind the race winner. Uran jumped out of the chase group to round out the podium.

“The team’s plan today was to ride for Rigo,” said Woods. “He has been on great form, and the goal was to try to set him up for the win. I started as a protected rider with the responsibility of following any late attacks that could make it the line.”

“The whole team was great today,” Woods added. “Toms Skujins, Matti Breschel and Kristoffer Skjerping did a great job controlling the race and riding on the front. Kristoffer gave me a great lead-out. Without their support, we wouldn’t have been two-three today.”

Movistar's Daniel Moreno got fourth. Here's their update:

The Movistar Team suffered an unfortunate accident today with two of its riders during Milano-Torino, the oldest race on European soil over 186km between Sesto Ulteriano and the tough ascent towards the Basilica di Superga. 60km from the end of the race, Rubén Fernández hit a pothole and crashed, taking Adriano Malori also down with him as the latter followed his wheel. Always conscious and stable, both the Spaniard and the Italian were moved by ambulance to the Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico in Turin, where further X-rays and checkups confirmed respective collarbone fractures -left for Malori, right for Fernández-. Following convenient immobilization, the two were taken back to the Movistar Team hotel, prior to getting back to their homes in the upcoming hours.

Ahead in the race, the pace stayed high up to the last two climbs, with the Blues featuring notably afterwards. An attack by Javi Moreno, in pursuit of a ten-man escape forming between the two ascents of Superga, was followed by Giovanni Visconti’s acceleration as Javi was caught, the Italian veteran trying to make up the difference to a duo belonging to that previous move: Mike Woods (CDT) and Miguel Ángel López (AST). Despite the excellent legs by Dani Moreno, who jumped strong as he got to the final deviation and 600m at 8% average towards the Basilica, the Spaniard ran out of time to reach down neither the two in front -López coming out as winner- nor Colombian Rigoberto Urán (CDT), who left Dani taking 4th by a mere five seconds.

Lampre-Merida sent me this note:

After the 2nd place in the Tre Valli Varesine, Diego Ulissi obtained the 5th place in the Milano-Torino, which started from Sesto Ulteriano and finished on the Superga hill after 192 km (photo Bettini).

This additional result in the top 5 confirms that the Italian rider is in a good condition and that he can be competitive on various typologies of courses.

The plot of the race turned out to be without suprises: after that Cattaneo and other 10 riders attacked from the bunch at the 11th km and the peloton neutralized their action 7 km later, a breakaway of a trio (De Marchi, Grosu and Kennaugh) led the race until -9 km, having a maximum advantage of 8'40" at -75 km.

When the peloton bridged the gap from the last attacker (Kennaugh) it was formed of 30 riders, Ulissi and Niemiec included and it approached the final climb at a very high pace.

The first attack was the one by Zardini, then it was Woods'turn and finally Miguel Lopez made the winning attack which consented him to reach the arrival for a solo victory, with 9" on Woods.

Behind them, the first chasing group, in which there was Ulissi too, was split in the very final meters and Uran obtained the 3rd place, Moreno the 4th and Ulissi was 5th (+21").

Milano-Torino was for Rui Costa the final test in view of the Il Lombardia, key event for the Portuguese cyclist who was 3rd in Bergamo in the 2025 edition of the Italian classic.

Etixx-Quick Step headed to Giro del Piemonte (Gran Piemonte)

Here's the team's news:

Victorious two weeks ago in the Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem, Fernando Gaviria returns to action at the 100th edition of Gran Piemonte, a race won by some of cycling's biggest champions, from Costante Girardengo to Alfredo Binda and from Gino Bartali to Eddy Merckx. Running from Diano d'Alba to Aglie, the 200km mostly flat course favours the sprinters, but also the finisseurs, who will try to steal the victory on the slightly uphill finish in Piazza del Castello with a late attack.

Fernando Garviria

Fernando Gaviria winning GP Impanis-Van Petegem

Fernando, for whom Gran Piemonte will be one of the final races before flying to Doha for the World Championships, will be joined by Rodrigo Contreras, Laurens De Plus, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Pieter Serry, Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin, last year's runner-up.

Sport director Davide Bramati gave his take on the parcours: "Piemonte is a nice race, with more or less the same final section of last year, which will most likely see a winner emerge from a reduced bunch sprint. A 5km-long climb coming with 28 kilometers to go can split the peloton and provide a launch pad for attacks, but the group can very well come back before the finish. We will try to go for Fernando on Thursday, but we are keeping our options open, depending on what will happen in the final 30 kilometers."

And BMC is going to Il Lombardia

This update came to me from the team:

28 September, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team is set to conclude the UCI WorldTour season by taking a strong eight-rider team to Il Lombardia this Saturday, 1 October.

Sports Director Max Sciandri highlighted the many cards that BMC Racing Team can play at the final Monument race in 2016. "We are going to Il Lombardia with an extremely strong team and as a result of that we don't have one clear leader. We have many cards that we can play and as we have seen in the past, it all comes down to jumping in the right moves. Alessandro De Marchi has showed strong form this week in Italy, as has Ben Hermans and Darwin Atapuma, and Samuel Sánchez is improving day by day," Sciandri explained.

Darwin Atapuma

Darwin Atapuma climbing in stage 8 of this year's Vuelta

"It's a harder course this year with a modified middle section and some tricky climbs thrown in. We'll see what happens on the day and what is the best card to play, but I think we'll be in for excellent racing."

Two-time winner Philippe Gilbert will line up for his tenth appearance at the race. "It's hard to compare the races that I won to this year's Il Lombardia. When I won it was still a nice classic and not so hard. Now it's really hard and you can compare it to a mountain stage at a grand tour. It's really a race for the climbers now with long and steep climbs, whereas before it was more open to anyone. We'll have to see on the day but we're lining up with a strong team," Gilbert said.

Il Lomardia (1 October 2016)

Rider roster: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Dylan Teuns (BEL).

Sports Directors: Max Sciandri (ITA), Valerio Piva (ITA)

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