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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. - Henry Ford

Current Racing:

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Nairo Quintana previews Tuesday's Giro d'Italia time trial

Here's the post from Quintana's Movistar team:

As the second rest day of the 2017 Giro d'Italia takes place in Foligno, we bring you quotes from Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), the race's current Maglia Rosa after his won atop the Blockhaus on Sunday. The Colombian spoke to the media presenat the press conference held this afternoon, at the team's hotel in Foligno.

Tuesday’s ITT: “By a matter of physical nature, it’s obvious that I should lose some time tomorrow. We’re facing a strong Tom Dumoulin, a talented specialist; also Thibaut Pinot, who rides well against the clock. They will surely do better on tomorrow’s course than me, though I hope not to lose really much time. I’d of course like to keep the Maglia Rosa, yet we know it’ll be difficult. I wouldn’t dare to say which margin would be enough for me, how much time lost would make me happy. We’ll wait for tomorrow to see how we feel about our performance.”

Foligno’s likely aftermath: “Let’s see how we do on Tuesday and we’ll start building our race strategy immediately after that, and seek for favourable points for us in the upcoming stages to try and beat our rivals. I won’t comment anything about that strategy, otherwise it’d get to our competitors’ ears (smiles). However, what’s clear for us is that we will continue to make our moves on the terrain that favours us, and work as hard as we’ve done so far.”

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana in his new maglia rosa

The three main rivals: “We can never let Nibali loose. He’s a fighter who can attack at almost every point of the race, and we must keep an eye on him at all times. Also, he didn’t really lose that much time at yesterday’s climb. Then there’s Pinot, a strong climber and also a good time trialist, as I said before, and Dumoulin – to be honest, he was excellent today. It wasn’t really a surprise, because he’s performed strong into the mountains many times in the past, but he really did better than I expected. He just kept his own pace and did really well, which was amazing.”

The team: “I’m so lucky to have such a strong squad by my side, everyone’s at 100%. We’ve actually seen how this season has been even more brilliant than the previous ones, which were already great – it might be our best year in the team’s history. It all has been great for us in this Giro, and that makes you proud and boosts your morale for all of the big challenges still to come.”

Team Sky assesses the Giro after bad stage nine crash

Here's the team's posting:

Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa are aiming to fight on at the Giro d'Italia as their recovery continues from a tough stage nine crash. The duo were among six Team Sky riders to go down on the fast run to the foot of the Blockhaus climb on Sunday.

Now, with the benefit of a rest day and further checks from Team Sky's medical staff, both riders are hoping to push onward at the Grand Tour - starting with Tuesday's time trial.

Thomas, who had been lying second overall before the crash, said: "I’m OK and there’s nothing broken. I’ve had a lot worse injuries and I’ll be able to get through it. It’s not ideal but hopefully it’ll be a bit better again tomorrow and I can get stuck in and see what I’ve got.

"There’s still a lot of racing to be done, whether I go for trying to improve my GC position all the way through to Milan, or just try and target a couple of stages. I think just take it day by day at the moment, but certainly go 100% tomorrow (in the time trial)."

eraint thomas

Geraint Thomas just after stage nine finsihed

Landa finished the first-category climb in pain on Sunday, and after a rest-day scan the Basque star is hoping to ease himself back into the race. He confirmed: "I feel not so bad. I was a little bit scared of how I would feel when I woke up this morning, but I felt better than yesterday so this is a good sign. I will see how I feel again tomorrow morning, but I had a scan and that looks good so for sure I will try to continue.

"If I am able I want to find a new motivation and try to use this good condition that I have."

UAE Team Emirates looks back on Tour of California stage one

The Tour of California opened with a 167.5km loop through Sacramento and back, it was little windy day. The stage was led by 4 riders which attacked in the first part of the course, but the bunch could not miss the chance to give to the sprinters opportunity, so the breakaway was neutralized at 9 km to go.

The best sprinters of the group battled in a very fast final part of the race, l’UAE Team Emirates target was to support Marco Kump in view of the sprint, the Slovenia sprinter finished in eighth place that was won by Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) on Sagan and Viviani.

Marcel Kittel

Marcel Kittel wins stage one

Marko Kump: “Team worked good together so we were in front all the time. In the laps it was important to stay in front because of many corners. Unfortunately we got lost before the last lap(-3 km to arrival) then Simone Consonni and I had to do big effort to came back to the front before last km.

"In the end, I lost too much on that effort so I wasn’t able to do a good sprint. I’m sure that we will be fighting for top results in next days.”

Lotto-Soudal previews the upcoming Tour of Norway

The team sent me this:

While the Giro d’Italia runs at full speed another interesting race will take place in northern Europe. From May 17 till May 21 the Tour of Norway is scheduled. The seventh edition of the stage race will take the riders in five stages trough the southern part of Norway. Sprinters, punchers and climbers all get a chance. The five-day stage race is part of the UCI Europe Tour in the category 2.HC.

Lotto Soudal wants to conquer the Norwegian roads with Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Tony Gallopin, James Callum Shaw, Tosh Van der Sande and Louis Vervaeke. Sports director Marc Wauters looks ahead to the race.

Sports director Marc Wauters: “There are some Lotto Soudal riders who will restart competition after a rest period, like Tony Gallopin, Kris Boeckmans and Louis Vervaeke. At training they are giving excellent signs but in competition it’s still different. I see several opportunities for Gallopin. That doesn’t mean that he is our only leader. All riders are getting carte blanche.”

“Tosh Van der Sande and especially Sander Armée are in a really good shape. Hopefully that will give a boost to the other riders in the team. It’s just an absolute joy to watch Sander racing at the moment. I definitely believe that he can win a stage in Norway. Louis Vervaeke didn’t have a smooth spring, but now he can start the second part of his season.”

"It’s mainly an undulating course. I think that just a handful of seconds will decide the winner of the GC. The finales of the stages are on a local circuit and in that case there’s always more control over the race. In the first stages there are some hills, but these hills are no huge obstacles. The third day is a tough one. The riders will three times have to cover a climb of 2.5 kilometres with an average gradient of 9.3%. The next day is a big chance for sprinters like Van der Sande or Boeckmans. The last day is another hilly stage."

"Attacking and showing ourselves is the main goal for the Tour of Norway. If we can celebrate our aggressive attitude with a victory or a nice GC I will go home with a satisfied feeling. We want to maintain the positive flow that Greipel started with his stage win in the Giro d’Italia."

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Tony Gallopin, James Callum Shaw, Tosh Van der Sande and Louis Vervaeke.

Sports director: Marc Wauters


BMC Racing Team welcomes Nathan Van Hooydonck to UCI WorldTour ranks

BMC sent me this release:

15 May, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Nathan Van Hooydonck, 21, is set to make the transition from BMC Development Team to BMC Racing Team at the end of May when he lines up at the Tour de Luxembourg.

Van Hooydonck, who has raced for BMC Development Team since 2015, will be the eighth rider to step up to the UCI WorldTour level with BMC Racing Team.

"Rather than join us for the start of the 2017 season, we wanted to give Nathan Van Hooydonck some extra time to mature as a rider and we feel this is the right time to welcome him to BMC Racing Team. We have enjoyed the most successful Classics season in our team's history this year and we are always on the look out for up and coming talent to join our ranks. Van Hooydonck has showed great talent in his two full seasons with BMC Development Team, including his U23 Belgian National Road Race championship and multiple podium results at stage and one-day races," BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

"Van Hooydonck's transition to BMC Racing Team is a testament to the success of BMC Development in identifying and nurturing young talent. We have seen great success from the seven riders who have joined us over the last few years and we look forward to continuing this tradition."

Van Hooydonck is excited to step up and race at the Tour de Luxembourg for the first time with his new team.

"I can't describe my excitement really. This had been the goal I have worked for my whole life. This is a dream come true! Joining BMC Racing Ream means that I will be amongst the best riders in the WorldTour, so I will try to keep my eyes and ears open to learn as much as possible," Van Hooydonck said.

"BMC Development Team does a great job of preparing riders for the professional ranks. When you have a certain amount of talent, it will develop really well in BMC Development Team. I hope to show BMC Racing Team that they made the right choice by giving me the chance to step up and I want to show the fans what I'm capable of."

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