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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, April 4, 2019

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Dwars door Vlaanderen team reports

We posted the report from 3rd-place Bob Jungels' Deceuninck-Quick Step team with the race results.

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this race report:

The 74th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen went from Roeselare to Waregem over a distance of 182.2 km. The parcours consisted of a combination of eight difficult cobbled sectors and eleven hellingen. It was only after 50 km that a breakaway of eight riders was able to form, among them the Austrian road champion Lukas Pöstlberger. However, before they hit the Kluisberg, the race was neutralised, which produced some chaos in the main field. Several minutes later, after the route was clear again, Lukas and his breakaway companions were able to re-commence racing with their original advantage in hand.

After around 100 km of relatively flat racing, the climbing began in earnest, and the hellingen followed one after another. A chasing group took the opportunity to attack on the Knokteberg and put down the hammer in pursuit of the leading group. In the meantime, N. Oliveira launched an attack from the breakaway and proceeded to lead the race solo. Over the next few climbs, the advantage of the leaders continued to dwindle, and the chasers were able to successfully bridge the gap. Lukas was the next to put in an attack, this time on the second ascent of the Knokteberg, and he was able to catch up to Oliveira. The Austrian, however, was caught again in a matter of a few kilometres, and the quintet rode together towards Waregem.

Back in the peloton, the riders from Groupama – FDJ rode hard to close the gap, but their efforts had to remain in vain, with the five leading riders working well together to keep the peloton at bay until the finish line. In Waregem it came down to a sprint between the lead group, which M. van der Poel took out. After almost 130 km at the head of the race, Lukas finished in fourth place after an outstanding performance today. Unfortunately, his teammate Jempy Drucker hit the deck in the last corner and had to be taken to hospital. He is conscious, and the team now awaits the results of further examinations.

Mathieu Van der Poel

Matheiu Van der Poel wins ahead of a clearly upset Anthony Turgis. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“Today I felt good. I rode at the front of the race for a long time, and in the end, I waited for the final sprint. In hindsight, I should have probably put in an attack in the last kilometer, because I think I would have had a better chance if I had done that. Earlier, the race was also neutralised. That was a shame, because it took a significant amount of work to make it into the breakaway, and the interruption disrupted the rhythm somewhat.”
– Lukas Pöstlberger

“Lukas put in a strong performance today. He was able to make it into the breakaway group and then also into the leading quintet with Jungels, van der Poel, Benoot and Turgis. Dwars door Vlaanderen is a relatively important race, and achieving a fourth place is a strong result. Unfortunately, Jempy Drucker crashed in the final corner of the race, and he had to be taken to hospital. We hope that he has not sustained any serious injuries.”
– Steffen Radochla, Sport Director 

And here's Lotto-Soudal's race report:

Tiesj Benoot finished fifth in Dwars door Vlaanderen after a strong ride. He showed his excellent shape by attacking various times. Mathieu van der Poel won the race by beating Benoot and the three other escapees in a sprint. The Lotto Soudal rider reacts to his performance, while also looking ahead to the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

Tiesj Benoot: “I have mixed feelings after this race. I am happy about my shape, as I was during the past Classics. It is just a pity that the results are not alike. A fifth place is not what I aimed for today. I wanted a podium spot and unfortunately, that did not work out. I was in the lead of the race on the right moment together with riders like Jungels and van der Poel. It was certainly not easy to attack, because there was a tough headwind in the final kilometres towards the finish. ”

“I waited as long as possible and eventually I was the only one who attempted to get away. When I launched my attack, I was surprised that it was Jungels who caught me back. I speculated that van der Poel would have to take the initiative. Then I realized it would be extremely difficult for me in a five-rider sprint. I am satisfied with my shape at the moment and with my performance, but in the end a bit disappointed about the result. Towards the Tour of Flanders, this is a confirmation of my great shape. The fact that this race is 267 kilometres, is to my advantage. I am surely looking forward to it.”

UAE-Team Emirates headed to GP Miguel Indurain

Here's the team's press release:

The UAE Team Emirates roster lining up at the start of the GP Miguel Indurain on Saturday, 6 April, is a mix of experience and youth.

Cyclists like Tadej Pogačar, Cristian Muñoz, Rui Oliveira and Aleksandr Riabushenko, with an average age of 22, will add sparkle to the solid trio with Sergio Henao, Manuele Mori and Rory Sutherland.

Sergio Henao

Sergio Henao (shown at the 2018 Vuelta) will be riding the GP Miguel Indurain. Sirotti photo.

Neil Stephens (Aus) will direct these seven riders:
– Sergio Henao (Col)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Cristian Muñoz (Col)
– Rui Oliveira (Por)
– Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)

The race will be held in Navarre, starting and finishing in Estella, over 193km with the climbs Alto de Guirguillano, Alto de Lezaun and Alto de Eraul.

Sergio Henao counts two podiums in the GP Miguel Indurain (2nd in 2016 and 3rd in 2017). “I like the race very much, both because it suits my characteristics and because I know the course very well, since it takes place near Pamplona, where I live when I’m in Europe,” he said. “I came close to winning the GP Miguel Indurain twice. It would be great to finally hit the bull’s eye wearing my new team’s jersey. We will have a high-level roster and we can aim for a significant result“.

Team Sunweb previews Volta Limburg

The team sent me this:

Volta Limburg: APR 6

Albert Timmer - Team Sunweb coach:
"Volta Limburg is a tough race; it’s one of the hardest in the Dutch hills and is up there in difficulty with Amstel. With the Development program we have a group of young guys for this demanding race but it will be a good experience for them. We will aim to try and get one or two into the break and see how the race unfolds. With Felix and Martin we also have two riders who can feature in the finale."

Felix Gall (AUT)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Nils Sinschek (GER)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)

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