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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, October 13, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run. - Rudyard Kipling

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Trek-Segafredo reports on Tour of Turkey stage three:

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) hoped the final climb of stage three at the Presidential Tour of Turkey would be the undoing of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), but the Irishman held strong and sprinted to his third win in three days.

Despite a change of tactics, Theuns was unable to come around Bennett and settled as runner-up again, although this time he was left a little more frustrated after feeling more hopeful with the much harder finale.

"In the end, I think we as a team could make it hard, but United (Arab) Emirates could make it hard, and they did, but Bennett was climbing also pretty good, so I just tried to save as much power on the climb as I could for the sprint," explained Theuns. "In the end, he was still there, and today I tried another tactic, I tried to take his wheel. I wanted to try and come from there, but when he goes, he just takes one and a half meters on me. In the second acceleration, I can come back a little bit, but he's just far more explosive than I am. It's not easy to beat him.

"I am a little bit more [frustrated than yesterday] because I hoped today maybe we could get over the climb without him, but it didn't work, his climbing is also pretty good because I think we were only left with 20 guys at the top, or maybe 30. So that means he's also climbing pretty good. He's the fastest of the bunch here, and I think I am the second fastest, so we are one and two again. Yeah, you cannot say a lot about it."

For the start of stage three, Trek-Segafredo also played different tactics, sending Greg Daniel up the road in a three-man breakaway, leaving the duty of chasing to other teams and giving the team a welcomed day off from the fatiguing grind.

In the final 25 kilometers, Daniel dropped his two breakaway companions on the penultimate climb and made a solo bid for glory, but the ensuing non-technical downhill tipped the advantage heavily to the chasing peloton.

Theuns said: "Yeah it was actually pretty good; in the beginning, the guys from Bora-Hansgrohe said they did not want to pull, and we for sure didn't haven't pull because Greg was there. And if the peloton would have kept going at the pace we did in the first 20 or 30 kilometers than maybe he had a good chance, but (United Arab) Emirates started to ride pretty fast, and Bora (Hansgrohe) helped. I think he did a pretty strong job because he stayed in front alone for a really long time and in the bunch, we were riding hard. In the end, it's a pity for him that he couldn't win anything there."

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett wins again.

With 10 kilometers remaining Daniel was swept up by the bunch, and Trek-Segafredo – already lined up in anticipation of plan B – switched their focus to Theuns and the inevitable bunch finish. "It happens sometimes for a sprint it's better to hold one side of the road because then there is less pushing and stuff like that," clarified Theuns on why the team was lined at the front beside the other chasing teams. "I mean the team did a super job there: (Marco) Coledan and (Eugenio) Alafaci were there, [and] with two working they kept us in the front and then me and (Jarlinson) Pantano could stay in the line really easy, so that was really good to go into the final climb.

"Yeah, the team is working super strong but it is hard to get a sprint victory against Bennett because he is just faster than me now."

UAE Team Emirates sent me this Tour of Turkey report:

Simone Consonni wanted a podium in this Tour of Turkey, and today he achieved his goal.

“I have to thank my team mates, who set me up to take on the climb in the leading positions,” says the young sprinter from UAE team Emirates. “Then the group broke up in two sections and I had to catch up to make it back to the head of the race. Before the final straight stretch I hit a couple of curves at the limit to make it back to the first positions, then in the sprint I seized the podium.”

For the third consecutive time, the stage went to Ireland’s Sam Bennet (Bora-Hansgrhoe), who once again beat out Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) in the final sprint. The sprinter from Bora maintains his lead in the general classification, ahead of Theuns and Consonni. Ulissi remains in fifth place.

Tomorrow the fourth stage will cover 205.3 km from Marmaris to Selcuk.

Jan Bakelants medical update

Jan's Ag2r team sent me this news:

After his heavy fall at the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday, October 7, Jan Bakelants was immediately taken to the St. Anna Hospital in Como (Italy) for examination by the doctors who took care of him in collaboration with medical service team

AG2R LA MONDIALE, led by Dr. Eric Bouvat, diagnosed fractures of seven ribs, two dorsal vertebrae (D8, D10) and two lumbar vertebrae (L1 and L3) that required placement in intensive care. Jan must undergo an urgent operation in Belgium to consolidate the fractures of the L3 vertebrae.

Because, among other things, of a hemothorax, it was unfortunately impossible to transfer him to Belgium during the last few days. His condition is now stabilized and allows his transfer this afternoon, Thursday 12 October, to the hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven (Belgium).

Yesterday, a medical team chartered by Mondial Assistance arrived in Como to help during this move.

Jan should be operated on Friday, October 13th in Leuven by a specialist surgeon.

Jan Bakelants

Jan Bakelants in better days, winning a stage in the 2016 Tour of the Mediterranean.

Jan's parents, his companion Daphne and his daughter Julia have been with him since Monday, October 9.

Jan and his family were shocked by the accident and are now relieved by his return to Belgium and his next operation before his beginning a long rehabilitation.

Orica-Scott re-signs Alexandra Manly

The team sent me this release:

UCI Women’s WorldTour team ORICA-SCOTT has confirmed the re-signing of the talented Australian road and track starlet Alexandra Manly for the upcoming 2018 season.

A successful 2017 saw Manly win bronze and silver medals in the madison and the team pursuit for Australia at the track world championships in Hong-Kong whilst continuing to grow into a strong supporting role in the team’s successes on the road.

The 21-year-old started the season strongly by winning both the U23 time trial and road race titles at the national championships before settling into a consistent run of performances that was highlighted by third place on the opening stage team time trial at the Giro Rosa.

“I’m thrilled to be heading back to ORICA-SCOTT for my third season in Europe,” said Manly. “I have had some fantastic opportunities over the past couple of years and have developed some really good relationships with my teammates who have become like a family to me. I have big goals for the upcoming years and I am excited and thankful to be given the chance to chase my dreams with ORICA-SCOTT.”

Sport director Gene Bates spoke of Manly’s continued growth within the team and her targets for 2018. “Alex has been a fantastic recruit for ORICA-SCOTT,” said Bates. “And again in 2017 we have seen a huge transformation in her maturity and contributions to the team. A stand out event for Alex this year was the Giro Rosa, where she was a key member of the team that supported Annemiek van Vleuten to third overall.”

“Next season Alex will continue to focus on both road and track commitments with her first major objective for 2018 coming at the track world championships in Holland. We really look forward to seeing Alex back in Europe racing in ORICA-SCOTT colours and we are excited about the upcoming season.”

Alexandra Manly

Date of Birth: 28 February 1996 (21)
Nationality: Australian
Place of birth: Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Turned Pro: 2015
Joined ORICA-SCOTT: 2015

Top results at ORICA-SCOTT:

- 1st U23 National Championship Australia - Time Trial
- 1st U23 National Championship Australia - Road Race
- 3rd Giro d'Italia Internazionale Feminile - Stage 1 (TTT)


- Two-time junior track World Champion – (Individual and Team Pursuit)

Show Manager on Interbike 2017: ‘It Could Have Been Worse’

Bike Europe sent me this piece:

LAS VEGAS, USA – Interbike was staged for the final time in Las Vegas last September and marked the end of an era. It was not a happy end as show manager Pat Hus pointed out that “the demo and expo were definitely smaller than last year, which is disappointing but trade shows are truly a reflection of their industry.”

For 2018 Interbike has set its sights on its new home in Reno Tahoe to boost the event after years of discussions with the industry. However, Pat Hus’ comment on the “difficult business climate of the US bicycle industry over the past two to three years” is not most promising. “We feared that it could have been much worse based on all the general business climate of the bike industry, but the good news is that people showed up and people seemed very positive,” Hus said.

“When revenues constrict in any business, marketing spend is the first place that tends to get reduced. Still, the brands that had a presence at the show and the retailers that made the trip are to be praised for investing in the event during a down market – and from many of the conversations that I had with both, the choice to attend was the right one. Feedback on the move to Reno Tahoe was also very positive and we have exceeded our expectations on contracts received already for 2018.”

You can read the entire story here.

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