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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, May 22, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Current Racing:

Latest completed racing:

Giro d'Italia stage 15 team reports

Here's what Nairo Quintana's Movistar team had to say:

Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) got on Sunday through arguably his most difficult moment so far in the 2017 Giro d'Italia - and even gained some morale for the final week of racing as he finished 2nd in Bergamo, behind winner Bob Jungels (QST), in a furious 199km stage 15 -covered at almost 47kph average- which witnessed a crash almost ruining the Colombian's chances.

The man from Boyacá slipped off into a turn right through the descent of Miragolo San Salvatore (Cat-2), 33 kilometers from the finish. Quickly helped out by José Joaquín Rojas, who gave him his bike, Quintana completed the downhill just next to the reduced group of favourites. Nairo was later supported by four of his team-mates to make it back for good inside the GC peloton, as he changed the Spaniard's bike for one of his own Canyons. Nairo did not go through any other troubles and, after completing the difficult, cobbled finishing climb of Bergamo Alta (-3 km) within the selected group of contenders, came just short to claiming a surprise victory, taking 6" bonus in the process.

Quintana now sits 2'41" behind race leader Tom Dumoulin (SUN), while Andrey Amador jumps to 9th place (+6'01") as a disgraceful accident took Tanel Kangert (AST) out of the race. The 'Corsa Rosa' will now enjoy its final rest day in the Lombardy mountains before the Queen stage of this Giro resumes racing on Tuesday: 222km from Rovetta to Bormio, over the mythical climbs of the Mortirolo (Cat-1), Stelvio ('Cima Coppi') and Umbrailpass -the Swiss side of the former, also Cat-1- before a descent into the finish.

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana about to start stage 15

Nairo Quintana: “We were lucky to get unscathed through such a difficult momento with the crash, after such difficult descents, with the Bergamo Alta climb made so narrow by the fans... Happily, I could reach the finish without any other problems. Initially, when I got back on my feet after the crash, I was going with another team-mate's bike - that's why we decided to stop again, get mine back and have my team-mates bringing me back to the front of the group without major problems. At the final sprint I tried to go with an 'intelligent' approach, attempting to surprise our rivals, but with such a powerful rider as Jungels, it was difficult to take the win."

And here's race leader Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb's update:

In a fast and hectic stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia, Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin (NED) keeps the pink jersey for a sixth consecutive day.

As the days second breakaway went clear Team Sunweb immediately set up shop at the front of the bunch to take control of their advantage. When the catch was made, the team had positioned Dumoulin perfectly to be able to follow through with a select group of general classification favourites through to the finish. He finishes the day in 8th place and still leads the Giro d'Italia general classification by 2 minutes 41 seconds.

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin signing in before the start of stage 15

After the stage Dumoulin said "Today has shown that there aren't going to be anymore rest days for the GC contenders. I expected today to be a little bit easier but it was a really fast and hectic stage. The breakaway went late and there were lots of attacks in the final. The team stayed calm throughout everything and we were there when we needed to be so it was a good day."

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED) added: "Today was a tricky, fast stage. The speeds averaged 50kph in the first two hours so it was really crazy. The team looked after pink really well and controlled things well on the climbs along with Orica. It was once again great team work and I am proud of the teams efforts today."

Astana's Tanel Kangert crashes out of the Giro and the 2017 season

Astana posted two press releases. Here is the first:

It was a very bad day for the Astana Pro Team at the Giro. Our best positioned man in the GC, the Estonian Tanel Kangert who was 7th this morning, has been forced to retire from the race after a very bad impact on a road sign, at only 7 km to the finish line.

The stage was going pretty well for the Astana Pro Team with Luis Leon Sanchez in the breakaway and only the last steep but short climb to the Boccola on Bergamo and very good chances to play for the victory.

Then an unprotected road sign stake at the exit of a roundabout caused the accident that saw Kangert literally flying over it and breaking his left humerus bone. Obviously he was forced to retire from the race.

Tanel Kangert

Tanel Kangert going deep in Giro stage 14.

In the moment we are publishing this news, Tanel has been transferred to the Poliambulanza hospital of Brescia where soon he will be visited by Professor Terragnoli and later in the evening updates will follow.

Tomorrow there will be the third and last rest day of this Giro d’Italia.

And the second, posted a couple of hours later:

The athlete of the Astana Pro Team Tanel Kangert, who suffered by an accident today at 8 km to the finish line on the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia, he has been visited in the Poliambulanza in Brescia.

The result of the x-rays and the ‘Tac’ examination are: fracture at the humerus bone of the left arm and a dislocation with fracture at the right shoulder. Kangert will be operated tomorrow at 11 am. The prognosis is of 6/7 months for the recovery.

For Tanel Kangert the racing season 2017 is finished.

Lotto-Soudal's final Tour of Norway report & Giro update:

In the final stage of the Tour of Norway the riders covered 155 kilometres from Moss to Oslo. During the local laps of eleven kilometres, the Lotto Soudal riders attacked repeatedly. Tony Gallopin, Sander Armée and Louis Vervaeke tried to get away from the bunch, but due to a strong headwind the peloton caught them every time. In the final stage the course wasn’t difficult enough to decide the race, so the riders had to sprint for the victory again. Tosh Van der Sande rode a strong sprint and finished third. Home rider Edvald Boasson Hagen won the sprint and also the GC. Simon Gerrans became second. Sander Armée finished the Tour of Norway with a nice fourth place on the GC just sixteen seconds behind Boasson Hagen, Tony Gallopin finished tenth at twenty-seven seconds.

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Edvald Boasson Hagen winning the final stage of the Tour of Norway

Marc Wauters, sports director Lotto Soudal: “It’s a shame that we couldn’t finish the Tour of Norway with a stage win. We won the team classification and animated the five-day stage race. Tosh Van der Sande became second twice and Sander Armée finished the queen stage at a nice second place. Sander finished the GC on a well-deserved fourth place. Boasson Hagen and Groenewegen were two big competitors and they each won two stages. This doesn’t leave many opportunities for the other riders.”

“We deserved a victory, this is what you race for, but that doesn’t compare to the positive attitude our riders showed in this five-day stage race. I’m proud of our guys. I witnessed a good vibe and everybody played their part. Our whole team was on the same line. It was an excellent preparation for our guys to the Belgium Tour and the Dauphiné.  “

At the Giro today looked like an ideal breakaway stage: two hundred kilometres from Valdengo to Bergamo. Moreno Hofland was in the attack after fifteen kilometres in an early breakaway of five, but the bunch didn’t let them go. The Dutchman and the four other escapees had to grind eighty kilometres long for every inch, to finally be got caught by the bunch. The first real obstacle of the stage was the Miragolo San Salvatore, at fifty kilometres from the finish. The favourites were on each other’s wheel, so nobody got away. A short hill at four kilometres from the finish could have decided the race, but again nobody could make a difference.

Exceptionally the top favourites had to sprint on a flat road for the victory. Bob Jungels took the stage win, Nairo Quintana became second and Thibaut Pinot third. Maxime Monfort finished forty seconds after the winner and jumps to the sixteenth place on the GC. Adam Hansen, who severely bruised a bone in his right hand in a crash yesterday, finished the stage. Bart De Clercq abandoned the race due to a leg injury. All Giro long he didn’t have the necessary power in his leg.

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