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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. - Francis of Assisi

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BMC headed to GP Kanton Aargau

The team sent me this update:

5 June, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team makes a return to racing in Switzerland this week with GP du Canton d'Argovie [also GP Kanton Aargau] providing the first test on Thursday, June 8. 

Sports Director Jackson Stewart said that BMC Racing Team will be heading to the start line with a motivated eight-rider roster and multiple options.

"We are always excited to race in the home country of our title sponsor, BMC Switzerland and for some of our riders, it is the perfect opportunity to finalize their preparation for the Tour de Suisse. We will mostly look to Silvan Dillier and Stefan Küng to be our primary finishers as they are very familiar with the race but, as a one-day race, and with the depth of our team, we will have a varied race strategy."

Silvan Dillier is looking forward to racing on home soil following his first Grand Tour stage win at the Giro d'Italia. "I came out of the Giro d'Italia feeling in good condition and with a lot of confidence, so I am really looking forward to GP du Canton d'Argovie. I want to put in my best performance possible as the race practically takes place on my doorstep in Gippingen," Dillier explained.

Silvan Dillier

Silvan Dillier winning 2016 Giro d'Italia stage six

GP du Canton d'Argovie (June 8)

Rider Roster: Tom Bohli (SUI), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Stefan Küng (SUI), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Manuel Senni (ITA), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Loïc Vliegen (BEL)

Sports Director: Jackson Stewart (USA)

Critérium du Dauphiné team reports

First, the news from stage two second-place Alexander Kristoff's Katusha-Alpecin team:

It was a flat-out fast sprint in Arlanc for Monday’s stage 2 in the 69th Critérium du Dauphiné, with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Alexander Kristoff in the hunt for a big win. The Norwegian rider came off the wheel of teammate Rick Zabel in perfect position, but FDJ’s Arnaud Démare was just a little faster on the 171k course, taking the win by two bike lengths.

Arnaud Demare

Arnaud Demare nailing the second stage

“I must be happy that I took a second place. The team did a really good job. Zabel got the lead the last kilometer. I felt quite good despite having had a cold which still lingers. My shape was good before I got sick, but today I felt a bit better and my results prove I’m not that sick now,” said team leader Alexander Kristoff.

Lone breakaway rider Alexey Lutsenko was brought back with 3km to go and the sprint trains went to work for the final. KATUSHA ALPECIN came to the front in fine form, with Zabel the last in the lead-out before Kristoff headed for the line. Today’s results bode well for the remaining chances in the 8-day race.

“In the end this was a good result for Alex. He’s been a little bit sick in the days before this race so he doesn’t start with his best condition. He woke up feeling better today. This is why during the day we did not assume any responsibility for the race. The team did a good job, putting up a perfect lead out but in the last meters Démare was just faster. We will try again tomorrow,” said general manager José Azevedo.

The general classification remains the same with Thomas de Gendt of Lotto Soudal still in the lead after Sunday’s breakaway success. He leads by 48-second to Axel Domont of AG2R La Mondiale. Racing resumes tomorrow with stage 3. At 184km, the stage begins in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and ends in Tullins. It could be another chance for the sprinters as the 69th Critérium du Dauphiné continues.

And here's what Team Dimension Data posted:

Stage 2 of the Criterium du Dauphine ended in a mass bunch sprint which Arnaud Demare (FDJ) won from Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Edvald Boasson Hagen finish in 6th place.

The second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine took riders from Saint-Chamond to Erlond and on paper, the stage was touted to be one for the sprinters. 4 riders made up the break of the day but Lotto-Soudal did a good job on keeping the gap within the 4-minute mark. On the only category 2 climb of the day Astana brought the gap down to a minute so their rider, Alexey Lutsenko could jump across the gap.

Lutsenko was eventually able to ride away from his breakaway counterparts but with 30km to go, it was our African Team that came to the front of the peloton to lead the chase. A slight climb with 20km to go was where we were hoping to make life difficult for the sprinters in the group but unfortunately the uphill gradient was just not severe enough. Nevertheless, Jay Thomson and Ben O’Connor kept the pressure on at the front and this saw Lutsenko being caught with 3km to go.

After quick hard pulls by Youcef Reguigui and Serge Pauwels, Scott Thwaites piloted Boasson Hagen into the final kilometer where the other sprint teams who had been anonymous all stage came to the fore. Boasson Hagen looked to latch onto the wheel of Demare in the final few meters but Bouhanni gave our Norwegian Champion a nudge toward the barrier which saw him lose the prime position. As the 2 French sprinters opened the sprint against the barrier, Boasson Hagen had no real way of coming through and had to settle for 6th after a good team performance.

Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider: The guys did really well today. The team rode in front, took control and brought back the guy in the front. Everything was perfect until the final sprint. I was a bit blocked and never got to open up properly because I was in the wrong position. Bouhanni came from the inside and pushed me toward the barrier but that is part of sprinting though, to be in the right position. The guys did really well, I am happy with how they went so we will keep trying and hopefully it all comes together for us.

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