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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, October 15, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know. - W. H. Auden

TDF volume 1

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour of Turkey final team reports

We posted the report from stage six winner Bennett's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results

Third-place Jempy Drucker's BMC team sent me this:

14 October, 2018, Istanbul (TUR): Danilo Wyss was active at the front of the race on stage six of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, making the breakaway in his final race with BMC Racing Team, before Jempy Drucker sprinted to third place in a chaotic finale in Istanbul.

After six stages, Nicholas Roche finished in tenth place overall and a strong showing from BMC Racing Team saw the team win the team classification.

A fast start and battle to make the breakaway on the final stage, featuring 164km of flat terrain with the exception of a category three climb, meant it took more than 50 kilometers for a breakaway to form before Wyss, Louis Vervaeke (Team Sunweb), and Preben Van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) went clear. The leading trio was eventually joined by five more riders to form an eight-rider breakaway with a three-minute advantage inside the final 80 kilometers.

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett wins the final Tour of Turkey stage. Photo: ©Bettiniphoto

With a predicted bunch sprint on the cards, the sprinters' teams started to pull the breakaway back and reduced their advantage to just over one minute with 50 kilometers remaining. As the breakaway emerged from the Eurasia Tunnel, their advantage was down to 35 seconds and with less than 20 kilometers to go, the peloton was determined to bring them back and set that stage for a bunch sprint.

The breakaway split, leaving Wyss and three riders left in front while behind, Wyss' BMC Racing Team teammates began to make their way to the front of the bunch. Wyss and his fellow breakaway riders managed to hold the peloton off until six kilometers to go as they raced through the heart of Istanbul, at which point the bunch regrouped and the sprinters' teams battled for position.

Approaching the flamme rouge, Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) launched a surprise attack and quickly established a large gap which put the peloton on the back foot, scrambling to bring Bennett back inside the final kilometer.

Bennett held on to take the win in the chaotic final, involving a crash in the final corner, and was followed by eventual race winner Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias) and Drucker across the line, five seconds behind. Tom Bohli crossed the line in seventh place, while Roche finished in the bunch to maintain tenth overall, 10 seconds behind Prades.

Solid performances from Frankiny and Bookwalter throughout the week saw them finish in 11th and 12th respectively on the General Classification which secured the team classification win for BMC Racing Team in the team's final European race of the season.

Danilo Wyss
"We had a big fight to make the breakaway at the beginning with more than 50 kilometers of attacks and we all tried to go in the breakaway. In the end, it was quite a good move. We were originally three riders, and then five more joined. We had a small chance to stay away. The sprinters' teams were controlling us quite well but I think Astana Pro Team would have liked us to stay away because of the General Classification. In the end, we tried to stay away as long as possible."

"It's a strange feeling to end the BMC Racing Team chapter after 11 years. I had a great time with the team and a great experience so there is a bit of emotion." 

Jempy Drucker:
"It was like every day, with a really chaotic final kilometer, a big mess. I tried to find my way but I was a bit too far back at the bottom of the last climb and when Bennett went way it was hard to catch him back. I tried to move up but with 500 meters to go, I knew we would be sprinting for second place. I didn't have the legs to go for second but I think to finish on the podium is also a nice way to finish."

"It was important for me to have good form here and go into the off season with good feelings and some nice results. This was a nice way to finish my chapter with BMC Racing Team."

Diego Ulissi's UAE-Team Emirates sent me this final Tour of Turkey update:

Diego Ulissi took eighth place in the sixth and last stage, which covered 164-km from Bursa to Istanbul. However, he unfortunately slips to fourth place in the general classification for the race which he won in 2017.

“As luck would have it, this edition of the Tour of Turkey was defined by the fast tyres, and even though I am not a sprinter, in any case I tried to give it everything I had in order to repeat last year’s success,” saysDiego Ulissi. “Sadly, in the only fraction with a climbing arrival, the head wind didn’t allow for the selection needed to capture valuable seconds in the rankings. The rest of the stages were determined by placements and bonus points, and faster riders than me had the advantage. It’s too bad. Anyway, I am satisfied with the race we rode as UAE Team Emirates.”

Sam Bennet (Bora Hansgrohe) won the final stage with the moves of a true finisseur, beating Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias) who, thanks to bonus points, jumped to the head of the final general classification in front of the previous leader, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). Nathan Hass (Team Katusha) closed out the final podium.

Mitchelton-Scott wins overall Hammer Series title

The team sent me this report:

[Editor's note: BikeRaceInfo doesn't currently report the results of the Hammer Series]

Mitchelton-SCOTT have continued to dominate in the Hammer Series winning the Hammer Sprint event today at the Hammer Hong Kong presented by Sun Hung Kai Properties to give them the overall 2018 Hammer Series title victory.

The overall win comes after a fierce battle with Quick-Step Floors, but wins at Hammer Stavanger and Hammer Hong Kong and second place at Hammer Limburg gave the Australian outfit the victory by 47 points.

Hong Kong Sprint battle:
Mitchelton-SCOTT started off slowly not scoring any points and slipping down the leaderboard early on in the Sprint event.

But, biding their time until the fifth lap, the tables turned as Roger Kluge attacked away from the peloton and crossed the line first to take valuable double points. Luka Mezgec and Matteo Trentin also scored in the same lap, catapulting the team back up to the top of the leaderboard.

Cameron Meyer continued their momentum, attacking away from the group on the approach to the line for the sixth time to take top points again with Mezgec also scoring. After missing out on the next lap, not scoring any points, Quick-Step Floors jumped back up to the top of the leaderboard which created a fierce battle between the two dominant teams.

The short lap of 4.3km with a tough motorway bridge to climb each lap saw the peloton finally shatter into two, with a small group clipping away on the final lap but with Trentin present and sprinting to take more double points on the final lap.

Initially Quick-Step Floors were awarded the Hammer Sprint victory, however two of their riders were disqualified by the commissaires after rejoining the race incorrectly following punctures, and Mitchelton-SCOTT were given top spot.

Hammer Chase
Mitchelton-SCOTT started the five lap chase in first position with a 20second advantage over Quick-Step Floors after their win in the Hammer Sprint and riding smartly, the team paced themselves around the tough five laps.

At one point, Quick-Step Floors reduced the gap down to 13seconds but never got closer and by the time they crossed the finish line, Mitchelton-SCOTT had a clear 18seconds ahead to secure the Hammer Series title.

Inaugural Hammer Series Champions
It wasn’t by chance the team sealed the Hammer victory after their consistent performances throughout the whole series, winning the Hammer Chase, Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint events in Stavanger, followed by the Hammer Sprint victory in Limburg and today a clean sweep of wins at the Hammer Hong Kong.

Matteo Trentin
“It was a really hard race, the points race and then straight away the chase so we didn’t have too much time to recover but it is pretty nice and I actually really like it.

"That is the good thing about the Hammer Series, we can race in the city, we made a circuit in one of the biggest city’s in the world so I think people really enjoyed the show that we put on today.”

Cameron Meyer
“It is a really good way to round out the season. It is an important event for us, it is big in the world of cycling. For us to win the series is really important and to finish it off in such a big city like Hong Kong is really good.

“I am pretty wrecked, we didn’t have much rest between the Hammer Sprint and the Hammer Chase so it is a hard format. It is exciting race and I think the fans enjoy it and the riders really get in to it.

"There’s a lot going on in the race, it is really tough but I think there is a future for this style of racing and I really like it.”

Hammer Sprint results:
1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 996.2 pts
2. Quick-Step Floors 968.7 pts
3. Bora-Hansgrohe 587.8 its

Hammer Chase results:
1. Team Sunweb 27:07
2. Quick-Step Floors +0:09
3. Mitchelton-SCOTT +0:11

Hammer Hong Kong final standings:
1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 100 pts
2. Quick-Step Floors 81 pts
3. Team Sunweb 66 pts

Overall 2018 Hammer Series standings:
1. Mitchelton-SCOTT 281.0 pts
2. Quick-Step Floors 234.1 pts
3. Team Sunweb 152.7 pts

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