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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 10, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

It is never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot

Tour de France: the Inside Story

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Tour of Poland stage seven reports

We posted the report from final GC winner Pavel Sivakov's Team INEOS with the race results.

Here's the report from stage seven winner Matej Mohoric's Team Bahrain-Merida:

The final stage of Tour de Pologne 2019 started today in Bukovina Resort and went all to way back to the close Bukowina Tatrzanska. It was a very tough one with heartland circled around the Sciana Harnas climb, where the race had its decisive moments.

Matej Mohorič, succeeded to go into the breakaway at 10th kilometre with 11 more riders. How the race unfolded, the Slovenian rider managed to give a harder tempo to his opponents. At the point of 57 km to the finish, Mohorič has stolen a march on the rest of the break by swooping down the descent into Szaflary. He decided to put his head down and kept ongoing. The decisive point was at 20 km to the finish where Matej’s advantage melted from almost 2 minutes up to 30 seconds. But he found all the energy to give another hard push and keep the average advantage of 50 seconds until the finish.

Such a great solo victory of Matej Mohorič!

Matej Mohoric

Matej Mohoric wins the final stage. Sirotti photo.

“We came here with GC ambition, both for me and Pozzovivo. Unfortunately yesterday I didn’t feel well and I dropped. I had only today’s stage in my mind. I faced it with all the left energy after Tour de France and at the start, I was thinking that I wanted to try to take my chance for a stage win if only I could manage to enter the day’s breakaway. I felt good and I tried also to anticipate, attacking with about 60km to go. It was the right move and I managed to take this beautiful win, that I want to dedicate to Bjorg”.

Second-place Neilson Powless' Jumbo-Visma team posted this report:

Neilson Powless has finished second in the final stage of the Tour de Pologne. The American rider from Team Jumbo-Visma was not able to catch the escaped Matej Mohoric. Jonas Vingegaard, who started the stage in the leader’s jersey, could not maintain his leading position.

Neilson Powless

Neilson Powless finishes the final stage of the Tour of Poland. Sirotti photo

Team Jumbo-Visma controlled the stage after a leading group had escaped. At forty kilometres from the finish, both the leading group and the peloton fell apart. Vingegaard was unable to follow the first group, which caused him to lose his leading position in the GC.

Powless was able to quickly flip a switch when it turned out that Vingegaard was having a bad day. “The goal today was to help Jonas win the GC win. Unfortunately, he was not as good as we had hoped for, so I was allowed to go for my own chance. In the final I was able to chase Mohoric, but unfortunately, we didn’t go fast enough. The collaboration was not optimal. I felt good, so it’s a shame I missed the stage win.”

“Until the peloton really started to go full gas, it looked good for us”, sports director Addy Engels said. “Unfortunately, Jonas had to let go of the first group. That is unfortunate, but given his age and yesterday’s performance, it’s not inexplicable. Neilson did well when he was told that he could go for his own chance. His second place is a great result for him and for the team. We can look back on a good sporting week, though overshadowed by the death of Bjorg Lambrecht. That goes beyond everything.”

Here's the update Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me:

Today’s final stage was brutal. If ever there were a parcours for a final fight for the overall, this was it. There was climbing from the first kilometre and for the rest of the day, riders had to cover four first category climbs over two laps of a 66km circuit.

After coming third last year, Davide Formolo knew the course very well and with the Italian champion sitting in seventh overall at the start of the day, the final stage promised to be a day of fighting for every second right from the start. A big group of 14 riders built today’s breakaway and opened up a gap of two minutes, while BORA - hansgrohe climbers Rafal, Davide and Pawel showed yet again a strong performance riding at the front of the reduced bunch.

On the last climb, Pawel attacked and distanced himself with some other riders from the former group. While one rider, who attacked earlier in the race, was able to hold onto his gap and take a solo victory. Pawel crossed the line in a strong 5th place, while teammates Davide Formolo and Rafal Majka finished in the reduced bunch, securing their overall places inside the top 10.  

Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka before the start of stage one. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“Today’s stage was, like every year, brutal and the weather also played a role. The finale was an especially tough one, with many attacks but Davide and Paweł always tried something and attacked a couple of times. We will all do La Vuelta, so this was the perfect preparation for us and I think I can be satisfied with my 9th place overall. As a team, we also took two stage wins and had the yellow jersey for five days. For me personally, being honored as best Polish rider was the icing on the cake of the Tour de Pologne. The team worked  perfectly together every day and even in the bad times we helped each other out.” – Rafal Majka

“I felt good today and as the attacks were flying I thought I try to go with them. The fans in Bukowina were amazing and gave some extra energy. The whole week the fans were amazing here and it made so much fun riding in front of them. Now I am on the way home, relax a little and then La Vuelta is waiting.” – Pawel Poljanski  

Team Deceuninck-Quick step headed to BinckBank Tour

Here's the team's news:

Seventeen stage victories, six secondary classifications and two overall wins have made the BinckBankTour a happy hunting ground over the years for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who’ll go into the 15th edition as firm leader of the World Team Classification, which our outfit tops since the end of March 2017.

Taking place between 12-18 August, the race will give plenty of opportunities to the sprinters in the first half, before shifting its attention to the GC men, who’ll face quite the test on the stage around Houffalize, short (96 kilometers) but punctuated by nine hard climbs. A flat 8.4km-long individual time trial and a leg-sapping stage to Geraardsbergen, which will include several ascents of the legendary Muur-Kapelmuur and Bosberg, will then weigh decisively in the final outcome.

Philippe Gilbert, Bob Jungels and Zdenek Stybar – riders who between them have won four of this year’s seven cobbled Classics – will headline a strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step team that won’t be short of options next week, at the 31st World Tour event of the season.

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert, shown winning Paris-Roubaix this year, will ride the BinckBankTour. Sirotti photo

Joining them for the 15th edition of the BinckBank Tour will be Tim “El Tractor” Declercq, Alvaro Hodeg, who so far this season has amassed five victories, most recent of which came at the Adriatica Ionica Race, the experienced Iljo Keisse, and Le Samyn winner Florian Sénéchal.

“The route isn’t an easy one, but it’s always like this at the BinckBank Tour. The short Ardennes-type stage should be very tough, full gas right from the start, and could end up having quite a big impact on the race, but ultimately, the GC will be played on the final day”, said sports director Tom Steels. “It’s a race that suits us, and in Philippe, Bob and Styby we have three riders who can have a say in the overall standings, while Alvaro will go for the bunch sprints, where he is capable of getting some nice results.”

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