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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, June 30, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. -Kurt Vonnegut

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Leah Kirchmann wins back-to-back Canadian TT titles

Kirchmann's Team Sunweb sent me this news:

After successfully winning her second Canadian time trial crown last year, Leah Kirchmann was in action today looking to make it back-to-back wins and take her third national title. Awaiting the riders was an out and back course, starting and finishing in the town of Saint-Prosper. Although the roads were straight and not very technical; the parcours offered a challenge due to it’s rolling nature with a long drag up to the turning point and a tricky climb situated not far from the line. Kirchmann started well and was in the lead going through the intermediate checkpoint, before continuing her strong ride and claiming the title once she crossed the finish line.

Leah Kirchamnn

Leah Kirchmann at the 2016 Giro Rosa.

“I am really happy to take my third time trial national championship title,” beamed Kirchmann at the finish. “I paced it very hard in the first five kilometres, maybe a bit too fast, but then I found a good rhythm and could hold a fast pace for the rest of the course. I could see Karol Ann ahead of me on the last climb and really gave everything from there until the line. I was thinking of my mom during the race, because I wanted to give her a nice birthday present!”

Ninth German time trial title for Tony Martin

Martin's Jumbo-Visma team sent me this:

Tony Martin has become German champion time trial for the ninth time in his carreer. The cyclist of Team Jumbo-Visma covered the 35 kilometres long time trial in 39’11. Despite a short delay, he was eighteen seconds faster than number two Nils Politt.

Tony Martin

Tony Martin racing at the 2016 World's. Sirotti photo

For Martin, it’s his first (individual) win of the season. For Team Jumbo-Visma, it’s the 34th victory. Earlier this week, Jos van Emden became Dutch champion time trial and Wout van Aert was the fastest in Belgium.

“It’s a very nice victory”, Martin said. “Beforehand, I knew Politt would be a strong contender, so I had to fight hard. I’m very proud I can wear this jersey for another year. It was my last race before the Tour de France, so this was a good test. I’m going to the Tour with a lot of morale.”

After a few kilometres, Martin had to change bikes because of a mechanical problem. According to sports director Grischa Niermann, his pedal hit the ground in a corner. “That’s why his tube got off and his rear wheel blocked. Thanks to his riding skills he managed to stay on his bike. He changed bikes and our mechanic Dirk pushed him really hard. In the end, he lost fifteen to twenty seconds.”

The bike change didn’t only cost Martin time, but, initially, also some morale. “After two or three kilometres, I found my rhythm again and I became mentally stronger. I fought until the end and I’m very happy with this performance.”

Tadej Pogačar re-signs with UAE Team Emirates

UAE-Team Emirates sent me this release:

UAE Team Emirates are pleased to announce a lengthy contract extension with Pogačar.

Tadej Pogačar, one of the most prominent riders so far in 2019 thanks to his five big results (a stage and the overall classification of the Volta to the Algarve, a stage and the overall classification of the Tour of California; Slovenian time-trial champion), has penned a deal to keep him with UAE Team Emirates for the next four seasons.

Tadej Pogacar

Tadej Pogačar winning stage two of this year's Volta Algarve

The twenty year old Slovenian will wear the UAE jersey through to at least the 2023 season.

Pogačar expressed his delight on signing the new deal: “I am very happy to have had the opportunity to sign an agreement that will keep me with UAE Team Emirates for the foreseeable future. I hope we can develop and progress together in the years ahead. I thank the team for the trust they have placed in me going forward as a cyclist“.

This satisfaction was echoed by CEO of the team, Mauro Gianetti: “It has been great to see Pogačar develop his enormous talent here with us, which he showed glimpses of in 2018 at the Tour de l’Avenir.

"The victories at the Tour of California and the Volta ao Algarve, and his latest strong performances in other big races, means that Tadej is not only a rider for the future  but has proven himself in the big races already. We wanted to build around a strong team of youngsters with potential to grow and form a strong base for the coming years of Team UAE Emirates. Pogačar is without a doubt one of these“.

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