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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. - John Dewey

Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

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Cycling Heroes

Before we move on to the day's news, I know you'll enjoy David L. Stanley's reading of Les Woodland's Cycling Heroes. Give the image a click to learn more.

Sunweb's Laurens ten Dam fractures his collarbone

Here's the quick note from the team:

Sunweb's Laurens ten Dam has fractured his left collarbone whilst racing in Surhuistervven yesterday, following a collision with a rider on a corner. Laurens is unable to race Clasica San Sebastain and will be replaced by Edward Theuns.

Team Sunweb physician Anko Boelens said: “Laurens has fractured his left collarbone whilst racing yesterday. He will undergo surgery tomorrow to ensure the best outcome and the quickest recovery. Within a week we expect that he will be able to resume training on the rollers, and if all goes to plan he should be back racing within six weeks.

Laurens ten Dam

Laurens ten Dam after a hard 2018 Giro d'Italia stage. Sirotti photo

Laurens ten Dam said: “I’m of course really disappointed with the injury. I was looking forward to racing again at CSS after such a successful Tour, so it’s a shame to be taken out by such an injury. Now I’ll focus on my recovery before looking to get back on the bike.”

While we're at it, here's Sunweb's report on Tour of Denmark stage one

Team Sunweb lined up at the Tour of Denmark today, with their three stagiaires Nils Eekhoff, Max Kanter and Cees Bol competing with the WorldTour program for the first time this season. The day opened with a four rider breakaway going clear, taking a four minute advantage over the peloton. With a fast finish in mind for their youngsters, Team Sunweb remained tucked in the bunch to bring their sprinters to the line for the final.

The four riders stayed out front until the race reached it’s local laps and the race was declared back together with 17 kilometres to go. Attacks came, but no rider could make a move stick and the race stayed together for a bunch kick to the line. Team Sunweb brought U23 German champion Max Kanter into position for the sprint, where he followed a late attack to the line to take 3rd. His efforts see him take the lead in the young rider competition.

Lasse Norman Hansen

Lasse Norman Hansen wins the first Tour of Denmark stage.

Max said: “A break went quite fast and then the race was controlled throughout. The guys kept me in a good and safe position, so that I could save energy for the final. On the local lap it was really nervous and we needed some time to adapt to each other as this was the first time riding together in this group. As each lap went on things got much better between us and on the last lap the guys positioned me well before the short, punchy climb and afterwards I still had Nils to position me. The winner made a strong move 1.5 kilometres before the finish and made it to the line. I got second in the sprint and third overall. I think we can already show today that there is a lot of potential in our group between the experienced guys and the young stagiaires.”

Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou said: “Tour of Denmark, stage one was a long 218 kilometre stage. In the end it came down to a sprint on a semi-hard local lap. Max Kanter finished 3rd and by that is also in white jersey, which is a good start for us here in Denmark. We can find improvements directly and we look forward to implementing those into tomorrow’s stage.”

Sniper Cycling [Veranda's Willems–Crelan] denies Aqua Blue Sport takeover after Irish team announces deal

Cycling Weekly posted this news:

The Irish team [Aqua Blue Sport] deleted their tweet and press release announcing Wout van Aert would ride for the team in 2019. Belgian team Veranda's Willems–Crelan’s parent company, Sniper Cycling, has denied that it has agreed a deal to be acquired by Irish team and online retailer, Aqua Blue Sport.

Aqua Blue announced on Wednesday afternoon that the team would merge with Vérandas Willems–Crelan for 2019 and would even have Wout van Aert riding for them through the 2019 season, before he reportedly joins WorldTour squad LottoNL-Jumbo. The announcement was later taken down from the Aqua Blue Sport website and social media pages.

Sniper Cycling’s team co-owner and general manager Nick Nuyens was also announced as joining the team management.

On Tuesday evening however, Sniper Cycling posted a statement on Twitter that there had been no agreement reached, however the two teams were discussing a “possible collaboration.”

“We dissociate ourselves expressly from all communication that has been published today regarding the supposed acquisition of our team by Aqua Blue Sport,” the statement read.

“We can confirm that Sniper Cycling and Aqua Blue Sport are currently holding talks to look into possible collaboration from 2019 onwards. Out of respect to all parties involved, we will currently refrain from further comments.”

In the original press release, which quoted Nuyens, Aqua Blue Sport also said they were hoping to announce a number of other high-profile signings along with van Aert, who would compete in both cyclocross and on the road for the team.

You can read the entire Cycling Weekly piece here.

Here's the Veranda's Willems-Crelan Twitter page.

Van Avermaet to lead BMC at Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian

The team sent me this:

1 August, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Greg Van Avermaet will be back in action this weekend after a successful Tour de France campaign as he leads BMC Racing Team's Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian roster.

Sports Director Allan Peiper said that BMC Racing Team will be lining up with a strong group of riders in support of Van Avermaet. "Greg will lead our team in San Sebastian. It's a race where he has featured prominently every year and coming into it from the Tour de France, he will have the legs to compete for the top place," Peiper explained.

"We'll have a strong team around Greg on Saturday, including Simon Gerrans and Michael Schär who are also coming out of the Tour de France. I think everyone will be ready to support Greg to go for a good result."

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet in stage 16 of this year's Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Van Avermaet is coming into the UCI WorldTour one-day race in good shape after showing strong form at the Tour de France. "I was happy with my form at the Tour de France and I had some nice results so, I'm going into the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian feeling motivated to do a good race. It's a challenging course but I like it and that style suits me so if my shape is good, another top ten finish would be great," Van Avermaet said.

Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian (4 August)

Rider Roster: Patrick Bevin (NZL), Simon Gerrans (AUS), Michael Schär (SUI), Miles Scotson (AUS), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP), Loïc Vliegen (BEL)

Sports Director: Allan Peiper (AUS)

And here's the Clasica San Sebastian preview from UAE-Team Emirates

Many of the riders who stood out as major players in the Tour de France will meet again for the Clasica San Sebastian (4 August), as they set out on another mission to capture a prestigious result in a World Tour race.

Under the leadership of Joxean Matxin (Spain), UAE Team Emirates will come to the race with these 7 riders:
– Kristijan Durasek (Croatia)
– Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)
– Daniel Martin (Ireland)
– Manuele Mori (Italy)
– Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Belarus)
– Diego Ulissi (Italy)

These were Matxin’s thoughts as he looks forward to the race: “For lots of riders the Clasica San Sebastian is an opportunity to take advantage of the physical conditioning they’ve gained at the Tour de France. Our line-up will be made up of two riders who have raced in the Grande Boucle: Daniel Martin, who was always brilliant and combative in France; and Kristijan Durasek, who was constant on French climbs.

duego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi winning a stage in the 2017 Tour of Turkey.

"Ulissi has the skills to be an important rider in this race and recently in London he proved to be in top form. The competition is going to be fierce; it will be essential to make it to the final in a good position and with enough energy left to spend on what, in these last few years, has turned out to be the crucial part of the route: the climb on Murgil Tontorra, coming off the back with 8 km to go to the finish line”.

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