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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, May 4, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine

Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

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Team reports on Tour de Romandie stage three

We posted the report from GC leader Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team with the results.

Here's the Romandie report from Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The peloton paid special attention to today’s breakaway after Stefan Küng surprised the bunch a little bit yesterday, taking the win out of a leading group. Attacks were flying right from the start in Romont, also BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Sam Bennett was on the move on today’s 160 kilometers tough stage. However, the Irish sprinter was caught after some minutes, as a group of seven riders pulled away from the bunch.

Two riders dropped from the leading group and one was able to bridge across, as the race headed towards the third of four categorised climbs. Therefore, the peloton held the six riders at the front on a tight leash, allowing them only around a one-minute gap on today’s stage with an elevation of more than 2700 meters. After 130km of racing, BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Sam Bennett stopped racing, after he tried to attack earlier in the race and knowing the upcoming stages won’t offer any more chances for the sprinters.

As the race passed the 17km to go mark, the peloton caught the breakaway and the BORA – hansgrohe squad brought their climbers Emanuel Buchmann and Felix Großschartner into position for the final climb of the day. On the decisive ascent up to the finish, both put in a great effort, pulling in the first rows of the race. Avoiding a crash on the last corner, Felix and Emanuel were able to stay in contention for the stage win. On a tough final uphill stretch David Goudu proved to be the strongest today, while both BORA – hansgrohe leaders finished inside the top ten. Großschartner crossed the line in fifth place, teammate Buchmann in seventh. With this result both moved up in the general classification ahead of tomorrow’s queen stage, Felix to fourth and Emu to tenth place overall.

DAvid Gaudu

David Gaudu wins stage three. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
"It was a tough stage today, the profile said it should be a sprint stage, but especially the final climb up to the finish line showed, that it was for sure too hard for any of the sprinters in the bunch. Nevertheless, our two GC contenders showed a great performance and did everything right today. On the final corner, Emu had to run around a crash, that did cost him 3 seconds. Still, a fifth and seventh place, but also now fourth and tenth in the GC are very good results. Tomorrow will be this year’s queen stage with an elevation of more than 3000 meters. We will support our two GC contenders and try to retain or better the placings we have achieved so far." - Steffen Radochla, Sports Director

"After the Tour of Turkey, I took a rest, therefore I was feeling good and fresh as I came to Tour de Romandie. On the first stage I went quite deep, therefore I had to recover yesterday. Today I felt really good and of course I wanted to fight for a stage win. However, tomorrow is the queen stage, and we will go for Emanuel and for me too, we will see what happens." - Felix Großschartner 

UAE-Team Emirates sent me this Romandie Tour report:

In the third stage of the Tour of Romandie, starting and finishing in Romont at 160 kilometers, former world champion Rui Costa finishes in second place.  He tried in the sprint, but was bettered by the young Frenchman David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ) who won his first season victory. But it was yet another good finish for the Portuguese cyclist who now sits in third place in the classification at 8" from leader Roglic and 6" from Gaudu.

“I hesitated for a moment and Gaudu took it,” said Rui Costa. “I was in a good position but I didn’t make up my mind because I was waiting for someone to go.  Unfortunately my indecision went in favour of the strong Frenchman who did a great sprint.  I would have preferred to bring home the success, but at least I can see that my condition is good, and this will be very important in view of the big stage tomorrow.”

Tomorrow the queen stage of this edition, from Lucens to Torgon, covers 176 kilometres for a total of 3456 metres climbing. Above all, the final 11.6 kilometers uphill should define the general classification before the final individual time trial.

Lorena Wiebes wins opening stage of Women's Tour de Yorkshire

The organizer sent me this report:

Lorena Wiebes produced a stunning sprint to win the opening stage of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race in Bedale. The 20-year-old Dutchwomen was thrust into position brilliantly by her Parkhotel Valkenburg team-mates in the closing stages and then opened up her sprint early as the riders raced along Market Place. Despite facing some stiff opposition as the finish line beckoned, Wiebes held on and took her third victory of the season with a few bike lengths to spare.

Lorena Wiebes

Lorena Wiebes wins the first stage. SWPix photo.

Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) and Yorkshire’s own Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo) were just some of the star names who were given a rousing reception in Barnsley at the start of the stage, and the peloton continued to be cheered along vociferously as they took on their 132km trek to Bedale.

The first intermediate sprint in Pontefract had already been contested before the first breakaway riders moved clear, with Lizzie Banks (Bigla) outclimbing Leah Dixon (Brother Tifosi p/b OnForm) on the Cote de Lindley to earn herself a spell in the best climber’s jersey sponsored by LNER.

Another four riders would join that duo as they entered the same Harrogate circuit that will feature on the UCI Road World Championships in September, with Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope) winning the second intermediate sprint on Parliament Street.

Dixon’s efforts in the breakaway were rewarded with her being voted into the most active rider jersey sponsored by Dimension Data as the peloton stepped up their chase.

Everything came back together inside the last 5km and that was when the sprinters worked their way to the fore. Wiebes sat on the wheel of Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans) as the action entered Bedale and then passed the Luxembourg champion on the closing straight to wrap up a well-timed and well-executed success. 

That victory meant that Wiebes took control of the blue leader’s jersey sponsored by Yorkshire Bank and bonus seconds accrued at the line saw her open a three-second lead at the top of the general classification over second-placed Majerus.

Wiebes also tops the points classification but Majerus will wear the green jersey sponsored by Asda on Saturday as she also sits second in that competition.

Kitchen, meanwhile, received her height in beer once she’d crossed the finish line as it was she who outsprinted Maria Confalonieri (Valcar Cylance Cycling) on the Black Sheep Straight in North Stainley.

Brief Results
1              Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg         3:35:24  
2              Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans                   
3              Alison Jackson (Can) Tibco Silicon Valley                 
4              Roxane Fournier (Fra) Movistare Team Women                  
5              Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling
General Classification after stage one
1              Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg         3:35:24  
2              Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans   +3          
3              Alison Jackson (Can) Tibco Silicon Valley +6          
4              Roxane Fournier (Fra) Movistare Team Women  +7
5              Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling     

Team Sunweb and Janneke Ensing are part ways

Team Sunweb sent me this:

Team Sunweb and Janneke Ensing are parting ways, with La Flèche Wallonne Féminine being the 32-year-old’s last race for the team. The pair mutually agreed to end their agreement after the cooperation on both sides did not match expectations. Both Team Sunweb and Ensing separate on good terms.

Ensing said: “After some talks with the team we decided that going separate ways is the best option for both sides. Initially it looked like this could be a good fit for me, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I’m pleased that we can part on good terms and now look forward to the next chapter.”

Hans Timmermans, Team Sunweb coach said: “It has become clear that the cooperation has not lived up to expectations on both sides and after extensive talks, there is a mutual belief that parting ways is the best option moving forward. Everyone should work in an environment that is suited to them, so giving Janneke the opportunity to pursue her career elsewhere can only be the right decision. We’re thankful to her for her efforts and time with the team, and sincerely wish her all the best with what’s next.”

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