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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, May 1, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it. - James A. Baldwin

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour de Romandie final team reports

Here's the update from Lotto-Soudal:

Sticky Buns Across America

The final stage of the Tour de Romandie was an eighteen kilometres long individual time trial in Lausanne. Early on in the race, Thomas De Gendt set the provisional best time and so he could take place in the hot seat. Primož Roglic realised a very strong time of 24’58” and won the last stage. Richie Porte finished second at eight seconds from Roglic, but he became the winner of the GC. Tejay Van Garderen got third. Maxime Monfort finished 27th as the first Lotto Soudal rider at 1’20” from Roglic.

There was a lot of wait-and-see during this edition of the Tour de Romandie without too much fireworks from the big guns, but Sander Armée and Thomas De Gendt animated the stages. For six days, Lotto Soudal entertained the Tour de Romandie. This attacking and aggressive mindset was rewarded with the KOM jersey for Sander Armée.

Sander Armée: "I’m feeling pretty fresh actually. That means the shape is good. Today in the individual time trial I still had some great legs, but mentally I wasn’t there. When you win the KOM classification you’re on a high, so I was less concentrated. The KOM jersey wasn’t the big goal for this race. To attack and ride aggressively was. In the first stage I took a lot of points for the KOM classification. This was when I decided to go for it. “

“I think the Tour de Romandie was a success. We animated the stages and we took home the KOM jersey. A stage win would have completed the picture, but with a bit of luck I will succeed in the next edition. We were given a lot of freedom and this was fun racing. Yesterday was a special moment, escaping with two teammates made it really enjoyable.”

LottoNL-Jumbo sent me this:

Primoz Roglic took his fourth victory of the season in the Tour de Romandie's final time trial today. In the nearly 18-kilometre stage around Lausanne, Switzerland, he topped all of his competitors and did enough to take third place in the final classification.

LottoNL-Jumbo's Victor Campenaerts set a first fast time, but had to leave the hot seat when others topped his time. Also Jurgen Van den Broeck, Alexey Vermeulen and Koen Bouwman showed themselves very well.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic turning the big gear

Team leader Roglic started the day in sixth place overall, but soon it became clear that he was on the way to a top ranking. At the first intermediate point he was six seconds faster than Tejay van Garderen (BMC). That trend continued for the Slovenian champion time trial in the descent to finish in a time of 24.58. The eventual winner of the general classification, Richie Porte (BMC), appeared dangerous by going quicker at the intermediate point. However, he fell short by eight seconds at the finish line thanks to the phenomenal technique of Roglic in the descent.

Roglic: "I am very pleased with this result. We wanted to go for a good classification from the start of this race and we worked hard with the team every day. Yesterday unfortunately I lost precious seconds, which meant that classification win was out of sight. Still, I had a lot of confidence in a good result today, which meant a wonderful victory."

And here's what Chris Froome's Team Sky had to say:

Chris Froome finished off the Tour de Romandie with ninth place in the final stage time trial. The Brit clocked a time of 25 minutes and 44 seconds over the tough, 17.8-kilometre course in Lausanne. That effort was 46 seconds back on an impressive winning benchmark set by Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Roglic took the win by eight seconds on the day, but attention behind turned to the general classification battle, as Richie Porte and Simon Yates went head to head for the yellow jersey.

Yates (Orica-Scott) headed into the stage with a slender lead, but in the end it was Porte (BMC Racing) who pulled out a big ride, taking overall victory by 21 seconds. Roglic jumped up the GC to finish third, 26 seconds back.

Froome also elevated himself up the leaderboard to complete the race in 18th place, with some useful kilometres in the bag as he continues to build towards the Tour de France in July.

After crossing the line Froome said: “If I look at the objective that I came here with – obviously to get a good week of racing to take me on in terms of my preparation towards the Tour – I’m really happy to have got through the week, first of all upright, secondly without getting too cold in quite difficult conditions here.

“Of course I would like to have been up there yesterday on the queen stage. Truth is I got to the final climb and just didn’t have it. There’s a lot of work for me still to do ahead of the Tour de France, but I’m confident I know how to get the job done.”

Vasil Kiryienka and David Lopez were the next Team Sky riders home on the day, in 56th and 59th places respectively.

Team Dimension Data's Tour de Yorkshire report:

Serge Pauwels won the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire with teammate Omar Fraile securing 2nd, after what was a brilliant display of teamwork by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka today. With the final stage results, our African Team also secured 1st and 2nd overall at the Tour de Yorkshire.

Pauwels and Fraile

Serge Pauwels and Omar Fraile win Yorkshire stage three in style

The final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire started with a 7-rider break going clear early on. The peloton allowed the gap to grow to 4-minutes with Bernhard Eisel, our African Team captain, controlling affairs from the main group together with our young Australian, Ben O’Connor. Kristian Sbaragli was tasked with looking after our two leaders for the day, Fraile and Pauwels.

Eisel seemed to have an endless supply of energy as he rode on the front right up until 25km to go, pulling off just as the early break of the day was caught. Scott Thwaites then took over, using his local knowledge to drive the peloton into the first of four climbs.  After Thwaites led all the way up the Cote de Deepcar climb, the peloton had shattered to contain only 45 riders. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, O’Connor, Fraile and Pauwels had all benefited from Thwaites strong pull.

Janse van Rensburg then showed his fine form and attacked twice on the Cote de Wigtwizzle to further split the group. Coming into the penultimate climb of the race, our South African put in one last effort and provided a springboard for Pauwels to launch an attack. Over the summit and Pauwels had 30 seconds on the now 8 rider chase group, but Fraile was marking their every move.

BMC Racing pegged the gap back down to just 10 seconds but they were not able to reach our Belgian before the top of the final climb, which peaked with 6km to go. As riders then tried one by one, to jump across to Pauwels, Fraile followed everything until the chasers had nothing left to give. Our Basque rider then saw his opportunity to bridge across to Pauwels which he did with an incredible acceleration.

Our 2 African Team riders then rode the final kilometer together, in front of the massive Yorkshire crowd, to complete a fantastic team effort. 1st and 2nd on the stage also placed Pauwels and Fraile 1st and 2nd in the overall classification while Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka unsurprisingly, won the team’s classification as well.

Serge Pauwels – Rider:

The team was incredibly good today. The guys looked after us so well and controlled the race all day, it was then up to Omar and myself to be up there in the final. I had to pick my moment carefully and then when I went, Omar and Jacques did a fantastic job behind me. Omar then came across to me in the final kilometer. He has been a fantastic roommate to me this week and he is great guy. Basically, he gave me the victory today which makes him a great person. I didn’t know at the time how much work he was doing for me because when I got the gap my sports director, Roger Hammond, told me I was not allowed to look behind me one more time. So, for the last 10km I pretty much did a time trial and only in the last kilometer I saw an ENVE wheel next to me, so I thought they had all caught me but it was only Omar. I have always wanted to win a race and now I have won two at the same but really, this is a team victory.

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