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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 27, 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

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it. - Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Team Bahrain-Merida reports on Giro della Toscana

Here's the report from Vincenzo Nibali's and Sonny Colbrelli's team

“I was feeling good – comments Vincenzo Nibali who came back racing today two weeks after the end of Vuelta – and in line with my teammates, I decided to attack on the last climb”.

“I knew Stephen Cummings was very strong at sprint, but I wanted to try the same. I’m happy with my performance that makes me look confident to the Giro di Lombardia the next October 7th. “

The Italian champion was the protagonist of an attack with nearly 40km to go along with three other riders. The attackers gained about a minute advantage over the peloton and they were thus played the final victory on the Pontedera’s finish line. British Cummings beat Colombian Egan Bernal and Belgian Frederik Backaert with our captain in 4th position.

Good race also for Sonny Colbrelli, who arrived last night from Bergen’s World Champs, who won the bunch sprint closing in 5th place. “I felt a bit tired, but kilometer after kilometer I was getting better. A good result in view of the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday. “

Stephen Cummings

Stephen Cumming wins the sprint. Nibali is on the far left.

Tomorrow Giro della Toscana’s second and final stage from Lajatico to Volterra of 164 km. Insidious trail between the sea and the Pisan hills with the double ascension to the medieval center of Volterra.

Fabio Sabatini calls it a season

Here's the report from his Quick-Step Floors team:

Fabio Sabatini will not race anymore this season, after picking up an injury while out training. The 32-year-old hit the mirror of a stationary bike, an incident which unfortunately resulted in a fracture on the metacarpal head 5 of his right hand. Fabio, who this year was again instrumental in many of the victories collected by Quick-Step Floors, will have to observe a resting period of up to four weeks before returning to training.

"I'm sad, because this is not the way I wanted to end my season and I was still motivated to help the team in the few races left this year, but I have to take things as they are. On the plus side, there's no need of surgery, which means I'll be fully recovered by December, when we will kick off our training camp", said Sabatini, whose last outing in the Quick-Step Floors jersey was at the Primus Classic.

Gracie Elvin extends with Orica-Scott for another two years

The team sent me this release:

UCI Women’s WorldTour team ORICA-SCOTT is happy to confirm the re-signing of two-time Australian champion Gracie Elvin for a further two seasons, tying the 28-year-old to the team until the end of 2019.

This year has seen Elvin continue her progression through the professional ranks with stand out results in the Spring Classics that include second places at both the Tour of Flanders and Dwars door Vlaanderen.

“I’m really happy with my decision to stay with the team for the next two seasons,” said Elvin. “I have thought a lot about what is important to me both professionally and personally, and my instincts have always told me to stay.”

“Whilst I’m at home here, I never feel complacent in my role and love that the riders and staff are always pushing me to be my best self. I have full trust in everyone involved and know that I can always dedicate myself to just riding my bike and not worry about peripheral problems. Having our director Gene Bates as my coach for the last 12months has also been invaluable and taken me to a new level of ability.”

Gracie Elvin

Gracie Elvin

Sport director Bates praised Elvin’s leadership qualities and his happiness at her decision to stay. “We are very happy that Gracie has chosen to stay with the ORICA-SCOTT family in 2018,” said Bates. “Gracie has continued her steady progression throughout the season and this year in particular she has really demonstrated her talent in some of the hardest Classics on the calendar.”

“Gracie’s commitment and leadership within the team are important qualities and certainly something that we are looking forward to having for the next two seasons.”

Elvin has been with the team since 2013 and the supportive environment has clearly paid dividends.

“We have cultivated a strong positive culture within this team and it’s something I value highly,” continued Elvin. “Everyone here has supported my dreams from the start and this year I was really able to chase them with the confidence that the team was 100% behind me. I don’t think that my performances, especially at Flanders would have happened without that.”

“Above all I know that I am valued both in and off the bike and the team has ensured that I have a sustainable pathway to keep improving in a great environment. It’s been fantastic to see every rider get stronger and I’m excited to see what we can all achieve together next season.

“I would like to thank Gerry Ryan for his long standing support of Australian women’s cycling and for making sure this team keeps moving forward. He is not just keeping the team afloat, but making sure riders like myself can call this a career rather than hobby. I can’t wait to turn our appreciation into some world class performances.”

Gracie Elvin

Date of Birth: 31 October 1988 (28)
Nationality: Australian
Place of birth: Canberra, Australia
Turned Pro: 2012

Key results:

- 2nd Ronde van Vlaanderen
- 2nd Dwars door Vlaanderen

- 1st Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik
- 1st Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic - General Classification
- 2nd Ronde van Drenthe

- 1st Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik
- 1st Internationale Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen - Stage 3b

- 1st National Championship Australia – Road Race

- 1st National Championship Australia – Road Race

Team Sunweb adds two riders to its women's program

The team sent me this update:

Team Sunweb are pleased to announce that Ruth Winder (USA) and Pernille Mathiesen (DEN) will join their Women's Program for the upcoming 2018 season, both having signed a one-year contract with the team.

Both talents complete Team Sunweb's impressive women's roster for the coming season, which over the years continues to go from strength to strength. The UK-born Winder has collected a bundle of strong results and is known for her aggressive racing style, a common trait of Team Sunweb's women's program. Amongst these strong results this season she finished 2nd at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, 3rd at the American national championships, won two stages at Tour de Feminin alongside both the general classification and points jersey. Most recently she finished in an impressive 2nd place in the GC at the Lotto Belgium Tour. Mathiesen is an up-and-coming talent and at just 19 years old she has already demonstrated her huge potential. This year she placed 4th in the Danish national road race championships and 2nd in the time trial. After these strong results she went on to win the double at the U23 European championships, taking the victory on both the road and in the time trial.

Winder said: "I'm really excited to join the team and race full time in Europe. This is a team full of strong riders and I'm looking forward to learning from all of my team mates. I feel like I am developing more and more as a climber and hope that this brings added value to the team. I have always admired Team Sunweb for their professional structure and the way they race. They go into a race with a clear plan and always have a good time on the bike, and at the same time achieve their goals, which is the perfect combination."

Mathiesen said: "I joined the team's German Talent Days twice, once as a junior and then again after I stepped up to elite level, so feel like I already have a good idea of how they work and about the atmosphere in the team. I have always considered Team Sunweb as the dream team, the team that I would absolutely love to ride for so that it's actually happening is amazing for me. There are so many strong riders that I can learn a lot from and the professional environment is perfect for me to develop into a better rider."

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said of Winder joining: "Since the beginning of the season we have followed races from across the ocean and Ruth's name was one that was always present. We saw her race for the first time at the Tour of California and immediately knew that she would be a rider that would fit into our team. She rides aggressively, likes to attack, has a big engine and is a complete all-round talent. Her focus and ambition are very clear and we're confident that she is a rider that will easily adapt to racing in the European peloton. We will work together to develop her capabilities as a world class rider, with a focus on the classics season where she will be one of our final riders with the designated team leader."

Speaking of Mathiesen joining, Timmermans added: "We have known Pernille for a few years now after she has attended our German Talent Days on two occasions. After her dominant performance at the Euros we knew that she was ready to make the step into our team. Together we have already identified her strengths and weaknesses, and we have already seen some improvements with these points over the past few months which demonstrates her ability to work to our approach. At just 19 years old we see that she shares similar qualities to Ellen [van Dijk] and in this environment we envisage her continuing in the same successful path as Ellen has done throughout her career. Her strength in time trials is evident and she will play a key role in our spring classics campaign, as well as being a real asset to our lead-out throughout the year."

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