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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, April 28, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure. - Jane Austen

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Team Sky's Tour de Romandie Stage 2 report:

Team Sky emerged without issue through a grueling stage two at the Tour of Romandie as the weather provided the day’s main talking point. Tough conditions continued to follow the Swiss race, with pouring rain, sleet and snow buffeting the peloton during a weather-shortened test.

At the finish in Bulle it was the day’s breakaway that contested the victory, with Stefan Kung (BMC Racing) besting Andriy Grivko (Astana) in a two-up sprint.

Stefan Kumg

Stefan Kung wins the stage

Team Sky put David Lopez to the fore to help monitor the gap to the men up the road, but with designated sprinter Elia Viviani distanced in appalling conditions, the riders reverted to finishing safely in the peloton.

Chris Froome, Owain Doull, Pete Kennaugh and Gianni Moscon all crossed the line together in a frozen peloton, 20 seconds behind Kung. Also in the group, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) did enough to hold onto the yellow jersey ahead of more selective stages to come.

Snow up high meant the stage started at kilometre 22 in Aigle, removing the opening descent down from Champery. Kung, Grivko, Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty Groupe Goubert) made up the break, with the quartet digging deep to carve out a winning edge.

After the stage Sport Director Nico Portal put the day's conditions into perspective. He told "The guys started in dry weather but when we climbed up the weather changed quickly. First we had rain, which transitioned into snow. The temperature dropped to two degrees and it was like this until the finish.

"The bunch started to get really cold with 50km to go after the first long descent. When you're wet you get cold and it's hard to warm up. So you could see guys one by one being dropped.

"Kiry was struggling in these conditions and Elia too. Ian did a fantastic job from the beginning of the stage pulling and he eventually dropped back too. With Elia not at the front we just concentrated on crossing the line in the bunch. It was a really hard, hard stage. Chapeau to all the guys.

"Tomorrow will be another challenge again. We expect even worse conditions but we are glad to come through today."

Sander Armee is KOM at Tour de Romandie

This news came from Lotto-Soudal:

Sander Armée is the new owner of the KOM jersey at Tour de Romandie after he was part of a breakaway for the second day in a row. Last year, Sander won the KOM classification in Romandie.

The second stage was shortened by almost 25 kilometres because of the grizzly weather conditions. The stage now started in Aigle and finished 136.5 kilometres further in Bulle. There were three official climbs on the course, with a maximal of eighteen KOM points to be gained. After yesterday, Sander Armée was second on the KOM classification, three points down on Simon Yates. Today, Sander formed a front group together with Grivko, Küng and Veuchelen. The Lotto Soudal rider was the first to reach the top on all three climbs and therefore he is the new owner of the KOM jersey.

The four escapees had a maximal lead of 5'40". 25 kilometres from the end, the peloton was still more than three minutes behind. Five kilometres further, Sander was distanced. When Grivko accelerated with four kilometres to go, Veuchelen got dropped. In a two-man sprint Küng beat Grivko. Twenty seconds later, Colbrelli won the peloton sprint for the third place. Tosh Van der Sande got seventh today.

Sander Armée: "In general, I can cope well with the cold, but today I was soaking wet because of the rain. Thirty kilometres from the end it started bothering me. It was not useful to put on an extra rain jacket, as the finale was coming up. At one point it went blank and I was trembling all over my body. A pity, because two escapees remained ahead till the finish."

"Before the stage, it was my goal to conquer the KOM jersey. Once our break had a comfortable lead, I started dreaming of more. We rode away from the bunch quite soon after the start. There were a few chasers, but we didn't wait for them. We had quickly found a good rhythm. Yesterday, I had to sprint for the KOM points, today it was important for all of us that we kept smoothly cooperating. I did some more work on the climbs and the others didn't battle for the KOM points."

"It's possible that a GC rider gains a lot of KOM points on Saturday. If that is Simon Yates, who picked up 24 points yesterday, it's a threat. If I want to be sure to take the jersey home I will need to take some more points. I came to Romandie to race aggressively and it's nice that this gets me to wear the KOM jersey tomorrow."

Team Sunweb announces Giro d'Italia squad

The team sent me this news:

The 100th anniversary edition of the Giro d'Italia is fast approaching and German Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their final selection for this special edition of the race.

The confirmation of the participation of Team Sunweb's first riders came in early January at the team's launch in Germany, and the team has since explained the different approach they will take for this years race. Looking to explore their GC chances, the team have selected a strong and experienced line-up to chase its goals throughout the race, including riders from its German core who will be crucial to the team's ambitions for the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia.

Speaking about Team Sunweb’s line-up for the Giro, coach Aike Visbeek (NED) explained: "After a good period of preparation and training, we are feeling super motivated for a great 100th anniversary edition of the race with the line-up that we have selected. We've just returned from the team's high altitude camp in Tenerife and we've done video recons to prepare our riders and get familiar with the key sections of the course.

"Phil makes his Grand Tour debut with us at the Giro and we will focus on the development of him getting a free role on the flat sprinter's stages to go for a stage result. On these stages we will have a common goal to protect Tom [Dumoulin] and also bring Phil into the final in good shape.

Rom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin (leading this group at the 2017 Strade Bianche) will start the Giro d'Italia

"It will be a tough three weeks. For the difficult stages we have Simon, Georg, Sindre and Chad to support Tom, whereas Laurens and Wilco will be the last guys to go through deeper into the finale. Laurens brings a wealth of experience and Wilco has himself achieved a top 10 here in the past. Tom [Stamsnijder] is an engine that can help us out both on the hills and flat.“

RACE: Giro d'Italia (WT)

DATE: 05-28/05/2017

COACH: Aike Visbeek (NED)

Phil Bauhaus (GER)
Laurens ten Dam (NED)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Georg Preidler (AUT)
Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)

Also, the team sent me this bad news about Warren Barguil:

Following medical examinations after crashing out of the Tour de Romandie on stage 2 today, it has been confirmed that Warren Barguil (FRA) has suffered a fracture of his pelvis.

The unfortunate news comes after a fall during the tough stage hit by snow and heavy rain in Switzerland where Barguil fell and was unable to continue. The French rider fractured his iliac crest.

Explaining more about the injury, Team Sunweb’s Team Physician, Anko Boelens (NED), said: "Warren has a fracture of the left iliac crest. The fracture is only slightly displaced. As far we can judge now surgery will not be needed, but this will be rechecked after a few days.

"As soon as pain permits Warren can start walking again, this is usually after one week. Riding on rollers is possible after approximately three weeks. From there on we will have to see when he is able to be competitive again.“

Barguil will stay in Switzerland for a few days before returning home to France. Further details on the recovery process will follow. In the meantime we wish Barguil a strong recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the bike in due course.

Drucker Set to Lead BMC Racing Team at Eschborn-Frankfurt Rund um den Finanzplatz

BMC sent me this release:

27. April 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team is backing Jempy Drucker at the traditional sprinters’ race, Eschborn-Frankfurt Rund um den Finanzplatz this Monday, May 1.

Sports Director Valerio Piva said the UCI WorldTour one-day race presents an opportunity for all seven riders at the start line.

“Eschborn-Frankfurt Rund um den Finanzplatz almost always comes down to a large group sprinting for the win and if this is the race situation on Monday, we will work for Jempy Drucker. However, without a big leader in our ranks all of our riders will have the opportunity to jump in a breakaway and try their luck if an opportunity arises. Half of the team will go on to race at the Giro d’Italia so it is their last chance to fine tune their preparation for the Grand Tour,” Piva said.

Drucker is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself in the sprint after a busy Classics season. “I have only raced Eschborn-Frankfurt Rund um den Finanzplatz once and I didn’t finish so it’s not a race I remember very well. However, I know that it mostly comes down to a reduced bunch sprint so it should suit me well as I am looking to get my chance in the sprints now that the Classics are over. I had five days off my bike after Paris-Roubaix and I am building up towards the second part of the season. As it is my first race back again, I don’t really know what to expect, but I have trained well and I am looking forward to pinning a number on my jersey again,” Drucker said.

Rider roster: Tom Bohli (SUI), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Manuel Senni (ITA), Francisco Ventoso (ESP), Loïc Vliegen (BEL).

Sports Director: Valerio Piva (ITA)

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