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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, June 6, 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

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. - Richard P. Feynman

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage two team reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team:

As the escapees were caught on the final kilometers the race went on fire. The BORA - hansgrohe train led Pascal Ackermann into a perfect position for the finale. The young German sprinter took his chance and flew to his second WorldTour win in this season.

The Stage
The second day at the Critérium du Dauphine was earmarked for the fast wheels in the peloton. The 181km demanding course started with a flat start in the city of Montbrison and finished in Belleville. Five categorized climbs awaited the peloton in the second half of the stage before the riders headed into the finale.

The Team Tactics
BORA – hansgrohe focused, like yesterday, on a sprint finale with their young German rider Pascal Ackermann. The team worked for the Tour de Romandie stage winner to bring him into a good position for the sprint.

The Race
A four-man breakaway escaped relatively early into the 180km stage and built up a gap of six minutes over the peloton. BORA – hansgrohe took the lead of the peloton and worked for their sprinter Pascal Ackermann. The escapees crested the first climbs of the day with a gap of four minutes, but the peloton pulled hard to catch the breakaway. With the gap dropping steadily, the break was caught with 2km remaining and the sprinters showed their talents. They started to organize their lead-out trains to bring their fast men into a good position. BORA - hansgrohe brought the young sprinter into a perfect position, he waited until the final metres, increased the pace and took the stage win in an impressive way, his second WorldTour victory in this season.

Pascal Ackermann

Pascal Ackermann wins stage two. Sirotti photo.

From the Finish Line
"I am more than happy with this victory. After my mistake yesterday, I wanted to make up for it today. I waited until the final metres to start my sprint and gave it all. The team brought me into a perfect position and did a great job today, therefore a huge thank you my teammates for their effort." – Pascal Ackermann

"Pascal took an impressive win today. The whole team did a stellar job and showed a strong lead-out. We are really happy about this victory but now focus on the team time trial and the upcoming mountain stages." – Steffen Radochla, sports director

New GC leader Daryl Impey's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

Yesterday's stage winner Daryl Impey moves into the overall race lead in Criterium du Dauphine after sprinting to third place on today's second stage.

After starting the day in second place overall, two seconds behind the race leader, Impey knew he had the opportunity to take the leader's jersey and went on to do so by taking valuable bonus seconds on the finish line.

The 33-year-old is the first South African rider to wear the Criterium du Dauphine leader's jersey and it is the second time Mitchelton-SCOTT has held the race lead in the French tour.

Daryl Imnpey

Daryl Impey will start stage three in yellow. Sirotti photo

Four riders created the main breakaway of the day on the second, 177kilometre stage from Montbrison to Belleville en Beaujolais. Antoine Duchesne (FDJ), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Vital concepts), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Gobart) and Nikita Stalnov (Astana) worked well together to open up a solid lead, gaining a maximum advantage of over six minutes after the first 50km of racing.

As the race rolled over the third category climbs, the current race leading team, Team Sky, led the gradual chase and caught one of the breakaway riders with 40kilometres to go and two more remaining escapees with 18kilometres reamining.

As the race headed into the final 10kilometres, the pace was high but one breakaway rider still remained in front. Stalnov battled on ahead, making hard work for the Australian outfit.

Fully committed to the plan, Mitchelton-SCOTT sat at the head of the peloton leading the chase with four and finally reeled in the leader with just one kilometre to go.

Impey was able to surf the wheels in the closing few hundred metres to finish in third place and sweep up the bonus seconds he needed to leap-frog Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in the general classification.

Kwiatkowski suffered a fall in the final kilometres and finished behind the peloton, however, with the three kilometre rule in place, the Sky rider remained on the same time as the bunch and finished the day in second place overall behind Impey.

Daryl Impey - Race leader:
"I didn't think I was going to come anywhere close to getting the jersey coming into the Dauphine, so I am really surprising myself here.

"Yesterday I had a great day and today we decided to take the initiative and go for the jersey. We did a lot to bring it back and then I had a good enough sprint to take some bonus seconds.

"We have a great team for the coming team time trial, we have to be the fastest of course to keep the jersey. We have to try to get the biggest margin possible over the other GC guys and we will certainly be giving it our best."

Former GC leader Michal Kwiatkowski's Team Sky had this to say about the stage:

A crash took down Criterium du Dauphine race leader Michal Kwiatkowski ahead of the final kilometre of stage two.

After hitting the deck coming off a roundabout on the run-in, the Pole was able to remount and cross the line in Belleville. Despite the three-kilometre rule ensuring Kwiatkowski didn’t lose time at the finish, third place and accompanying bonus seconds in the sprint saw Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) assume the race lead.

Michal kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski got a little banged up in his fall. Sirotti photo.

Kwiatkowski had looked comfortable across the 181km test, which featured four categorised climbs.

A number of motivated teams helped Team Sky with the pace-setting duties, before late attacks fired. Following the final climb of the day Gianni Moscon followed a move, with three riders off the front briefly before being hauled back.

Ahead of Wednesday’s team time trial Kwiatkowski now sits second overall, two seconds behind Impey, with Moscon retaining third and the young rider jersey, five seconds back.

Geraint Thomas was the first Team Sky rider across the line as part of the bunch sprint, which was won by Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

After the stage Moscon explained how the stage played out. He said: “It’s been a demanding stage again today. Just like yesterday, on paper it looked pretty easy and suitable for a bunch sprint but it’s been hard all day and a group of about 50 riders sprinted for the stage victory.

“Kwiato has been unfortunate to crash. It’s bad luck, but let’s hope he doesn’t have any longer-lasting consequences. It’s true that we’ll be the favourites tomorrow - we have a strong team. But there are others like Quick-Step and Mitchelton-Scott [who are also strong]. We’ll ride flat out like always and hope to live up to expectations.”

Team Sunweb looks at upcoming races

The team sent me this:


Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers (NED): "Our plan at Rund um Köln is to go for the sprint with Max. The race is quite a tough one with some hills in it; we expect some attacks to go clear on the climbs and we will have Nils and Felix marking those moves. We expect the race to come down to a sprint so the guys will work to position Max for the final. He crashed hard at Boucles de la Mayenne but is feeling better and is ready for a good race, along with the rest of the team." 

RACE: Rund um Köln (UCI 1.1)

DATE: 10/06/2018

COACH: Tom Veelers (NED) 

Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Max Kanter (GER)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Florian Stork (GER)
Sergio Tu (TAI)
Jens Vanoverberghe (BEL) 

Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou (DEN): “We line up at the Tour de Suisse with a strong group of riders. With a well-rounded team like this we have different cards to play for day results dependent on the stage parcours. A key stage for us will be the team time trial where we would like to put in a good performance. After a solid training period we're also looking forward to welcoming Wilco back to the race action and we will aim to explore GC possibilities with him. He and Michael have just been on altitude camp in Livigno and their shape is looking very good. With such a strong team here we are motivated for a good week of racing." 

RACE: Tour de Suisse (WT)

DATE: 9-17/06/2018

COACH: Morten Bennekou (DEN) 

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