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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 3, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented. - G. K. Chesterton

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Lotto-Soudal previews Tour of Poland

The team sent me this:

On Saturday 3 August, the 76th edition of the Tour de Pologne starts. The seven-day WorldTour stage race consists of three relatively flat stages and four stages for the climbers. The race is considered as the perfect preparation for the Vuelta, which starts on 24 August. Lotto Soudal will be riding the Tour de Pologne as Lotto Fix ALL, with an adapted shirt.  Tomasz Marczyński, who will race in his own country, looks ahead.

Tomasz Marczynski

Tomasz Marczyński having a very good day at the 2017 Vuelta a España

Tomasz Marczyński: “There are chances for the sprinters on the first three days. The fourth stage is a new one and looks very hard, especially in the finale. I’m going to recon it because it’s not so far from where I live. On the last three days, it’s up to the climbers to show their strength with some hard climbs and a lot of altitude metres.”

“The Tour de Pologne is a very special race for me because it is my home country. There’s even a stage in my hometown, being the first one in Krakau. My family and friends will be there to support me and that’s something you will remember for the rest of your life. They will give me the energy to perform even better.”

“I have been working really hard the last months. In the light of the Tour de Pologne, I’ve spent three weeks at altitude. The initial plan was to ride the Tour of Wallonie, but I had to abandon after the first stage due to sickness. I had a fever, I was vomiting, … I was really feeling bad.”

“I still feel a little weak, but yesterday I went out for an easy two-hour ride and I still have three more days to recover. My condition after the altitude training camp was very good, so I hope I’m not going to lose it because of this period of sickness. Anyway, I will stay motivated.”

“I’m familiar with the Polish roads, so I will guide the young guys and help them as much as possible. With Bjorg, we have someone who has the capacities to aim for the general classification. The Tour de Pologne is full of short and explosive climbs, so that’s perfect for him. I mostly finish around tenth place overall and I think I’m able to do that again. Jelle Wallays and I will try to go in the breakaway several times and Enzo Wouters is there to take on the sprints.”


Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Bjorg Lambrecht, Tomasz Marczyński, Harm Vanhoucke, Jelle Wallays and Enzo Wouters.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Kevin De Weert.

Matteo Trentin to join CCC Team

CCC Team sent me this release:

2 August 2019: European champion Matteo Trentin is set to join CCC Team on a two-year contract from 2020 in a move that will strengthen the team’s Classics and Grand Tour rosters.

The announcement comes on the back of Trentin’s third Tour de France stage victory with the Italian soloing to victory on stage 17, in addition to a further eight top ten results throughout the race.

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin wins Tour stage 17.

CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz acknowledged Trentin’s experience and versatility as key factors behind his signing.

“Matteo Trentin is an exceptional cyclist so we are excited to welcome him to CCC Team for the next two years. Not only will Matteo add strength to our Classics team, where he will ride alongside Greg Van Avermaet, but his versatility as a rider will make him an asset to the team. As we saw in the Tour de France, not only can Matteo sprint, but he can also climb and it was his attack on the final climb on stage 17 that led him to the impressive solo stage win.” Ochowicz said.

“Having raced for the last nine years as a professional, Matteo brings a wealth of experience to the team but he is still only 30 years old so, we believe his best is yet to come. We were looking to boost our Classics team with a rider capable of winning and someone who could work with Greg to give the team multiple cards to play, and Matteo ticks both of those boxes. With 23 career victories to his name, Matteo has already carved out an impressive palmarès and we hope to add to that when he pulls on the CCC Team jersey next year.”

Trentin, who has won stages in all three Grand Tours including a four-win sweep at the Vuelta a España in 2017, is looking forward to joining the team in 2020.

“I wasn’t necessarily looking to change teams but I found myself with a good opportunity to join CCC Team. I know Fabio Baldato and Alessandro De Marchi well, and it was the team Manuel Quinziato raced in until the end of his career, so it is a team I know well. I think I will have more opportunities day by day with CCC Team. In the Classics, Greg Van Avermaet is always up there in every race and I am there more and more so I think we will have more opportunities together racing in the same team, rather than against each other. I’m looking forward to that next year,” Trentin explained.

“I’m still missing a victory, or even a podium, in a big Classic so I would like to achieve that in the next seasons. I would also like to target the sprint jersey in a Grand Tour. I was second in sprint classifications in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, and I think it’s something I can do. Of course, you need to always be up there, but I showed in this Tour de France that I was always there. I think the jersey is something I can achieve and something that would be nice to have once in my career.”

In addition to his Tour de France success this year, Trentin has triumphed with stage wins on Spanish soil at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, all of which were won in the European Championship jersey.

Young American Brandon McNulty joins UAE Team Emirates

The team sent me this news:

Brandon McNulty is one of the most promising talents to emerge from the US in recent years. At just 21 years old, his career has already seen him claim the world junior time trial title in 2016, the silver medal in the 2017 world Under 23 championship time trial and three wins as a professional (TTT prologue of the Tour d’Alsace 2018 and a stage and the GC of the Tour of Sicily in 2019). In 2020 McNulty will add a new chapter to his career, racing for UAE Team Emirates on a three-year contract.

McNulty hails from Phoenix, Arizona (183 cm for 69 kg) and is the latest in a long list of young talent to join the Emirati squad. As well as his time trialling ability he has also proved himself as a strong climber.

General Manager of UAE Team Emirates, Joxean Matxin, welcomes McNulty: “Brandon is a world-class talent, with two key qualities that few riders his age possess: the ability to combine both climbing and time trialling at a high level.
Throughout his career he has demonstrated steady growth and a remarkable consistency in reaching his objectives. Many teams wanted to sign Brandon, and we are very pleased to have secured the opportunity to welcome him into our team“.

How do you feel about joining a World Tour Team?
“My initial feelings about joining the world tour are pure excitement.  I’ve been patient with my development over the last few years, and now I can say that I feel I am ready to make the jump and I’m excited for the challenges to come.
I’d like to thank to my current team, Rally Cycling”.

Why UAE Team Emirates?
“I chose UAE Team Emirates because of their interest in long term development in me as a rider and also the team.  There’s obviously already a very strong crop of young riders on the team already which is exciting for the future“.

What is your main goal for the near future?
“My main goal is to become the best rider that I can be.  If I can do that then I think some nice results will come“.

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