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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, August 9, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

If earth was on the line in a tennis match, the man you want serving to save humankind would be Ricardo Alonso [Pancho] Gonzales. – Sports Illustrated

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Tour of Poland stage six reports

We posted the report from third-place Jai Hindley's Team Sunweb with the results.

Winner & new GC leader Jonas Vingegaard's Jumbo-Visma team sent me this:

Jonas Vingegaard has achieved his first victory as a professional cyclist. During the sixth stage of the Tour of Pologne he outsprinted Pavel Sivakov and Jai Hindley. The young Danish rider from Team Jumbo-Visma also took the lead in the GC. As a result, he’ll start the final stage in the yellow leader’s jersey.

Jonas Vingegaard

The stage belongs to Jonas Vingegaard. Sirotti photo

Together with Antwan Tolhoek, Vingegaard was part of a reduced, front running peloton during the final. The last fifteen kilometres the Danish climber forced the pace. In the sprint he was way ahead of his fellow escapees. Vingegaard awarded Team Jumbo-Visma with the 40th victory of the season. He is the ninth rider in the team of manager Richard Plugge who has taken an individual victory this season.

“It was a very tough stage”, sports director Sierk Jan de Haan said. “We were present in front the entire stage. We communicated well and we showed initiative. With Antwan and Jonas we were able to perform well on the steep climbs. It was no surprise that Jonas went along, because he was one of the strongest men of this stage.”

The winner was very happy with his first victory as a professional. “It still hasn’t sunk in. It’s great. The boys worked well today. When my group returned to the group of Antwan, I still felt good. Therefore, I chose to attack. I knew that I had a good chance in the sprint, but the fact that I managed to finish it off, is fantastic. Tomorrow I will try to defend the jersey. It will be a difficult stage, just like today’s. I dedicate this victory to Bjorg Lambrecht. Cycling is in mourning and it is unreal to lose a colleague like that. This way I honour Bjorg.”

New second-place Pavel Sivakov's Team INEOS posted this report:

Pavel Sivakov jumped up to second place overall at the Tour of Poland after an attacking performance from Team INEOS on stage six.

The team were on the offensive from the very start of the day, with Sivakov making his way into a late move on the run into Koscielisko. In the three-up sprint the Team INEOS rider was narrowly edged out by Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). Sivakov now sits just four seconds off the race lead ahead of the final day.

A relentless climbing course saw the peloton splintered, with Ben Swift seizing the opportunity to attack in the closing stages. The British champion opened out a gap in excess of 40 seconds on the penultimate climb, but was hauled back as attacks fired behind.

Tao Geoghegan Hart finished eighth on the day in a group shortly behind Sivakov, with the Brit among those looking to enliven the race. Part of an early move which also included Vasil Kiryienka and Salvatore Puccio, Geoghegan Hart now sits just 20 seconds off yellow with one stage to go.

Rafal Majka's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this Tour of Poland report:

The penultimate stage of the Tour de Pologne was a decisive day for the general classification. The parcours took the peloton from Zakopne over 160 kilometres and seven categorized climbs to the finish in Koscielisko, close to the city of Zakopane.

From the drop of the flag the race saw many attempts to form a breakaway but it took more than 40 kilometers until a group of four riders pulled away. After the first climbs of the day, Pascal Ackermann and teammate Rudi Selig stopped racing, due to their upcoming goals at the European Road Race Championships. Meanwhile, GC contender Rafal Majka and Davide Formolo stayed at the first positions of the peloton and showed an excellent form in the mountains.

As the race headed into the final 35 kilometres, the breakway fell apart and Davide Formolo and Rafal Majka went with some other riders on the attack. On the last climb the race went on fire as several attacks were launched. Davide Formolo and Rafal Majka were always in a comfortable position in the first group, while three riders were out at the front of the race. In the last kilometres the leading trio was able to hold on a 10 seconds advantage to win the stage, while Rafal Majka finished in a strong fifth place in the first chasing group, with teammate Davide Formolo crossing the line in seventh place.

Today’s stage has shaken up the GC and both BORA - hansgrohe guys moved into the top ten. Formolo now sits in 7th place and Majka, who is the best Polish rider, is currently ninth.

From the Finish line:
“Today was the first of two mountain stages and attacks were flying right from the start. But Davide and me were able to bridge across as the breakaway fell apart. We managed to always stay in a good position and finished inside the top-10 to also moved up into the top ten in the GC. I think this is also a good sign ahead of La Vuelta. Tomorrow will be a decisive day and the overall also can see some changes again, therefore we will give our best. – Rafał Majka

“It was an extreme hard and fast race today, with attacks right from the beginning of the stage. We also went on the attack with Davide, Cece and Pawel. As the day’s break went up the roads, we waited until the finale. Then, when we headed into the finale, attacks were flying again. Also, Davide gave it a try but at the end of the day, the strongest has won. Davide and Rafał are in the top ten in the overall classification now, just some seconds behind the leader, therefore everything is still possible.”  – Steffen Radochla, Sports Director

Enric Mas moves from Deceuninck-Quick Step to Team Movistar

Here's Movistar's announcement:

The Movistar Team confirmed Thursday that Enric Mas has signed a contract for the next three years with the outfit managed by Eusebio Unzué.

Enric Mas

Enric Mas winning stage 20 of the 2018 Vuelta. Sirotti photo

Mas’ arrival to the Movistar Team unites the most renowned Spanish team at the Grand Tours in history with the country’s best hopeful for stage races. 2nd overall in the 2018 Vuelta a España, a race he crowned in style with a superb victory atop La Gallina (st. 20), the Balearic allrounder debuted in the Tour de France in 2019 with a notable performance, wearing the white jersey as leader of the Young Riders’ competition and supporting Julian Alaphilippe through the final week of racing.

Raised as a top sportsman in the ranks of the Fundación Contador team (until 2015) and the development (2016) and pro (2017-2019) squads from Deceuninck-Quick Step, Mas, 24, will have a chance at the Movistar Team to seek for the biggest goals at one-week stageraces and Grand Tours, his biggest strength.

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