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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Curiosity is the lust of the mind. - Thomas Hobbes

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour of Guangxi stage five reports

We posted the report from stage winner Fernando Gaviria's UAE-Team Emirates with the results

Here's the report from second-place Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team:

Today’s penultimate stage was the longest of this year's race, featuring a 212.2 km-long course from Liuzhou to Guilin. It was a challenging stage, with four classified climbs dotting the parcours.

Fairly soon after the start, a quartet managed to escape and ride out an advantage of over three minutes after 20 km of racing. The gap increased to around 5 minutes until BORA - hansgrohe combined forces at the head of the peloton with Deceuninck - Quickstep and Mitchelton - SCOTT to chase down the leaders in earnest. Ahead of the last three climbs, which came in quick succession over a distance of around 30 km, the advantage stood at slightly over one minute.

On the last ascent, it was finally over for the breakaway, and a small group of riders decided to launch an attack, however they were soon caught by a chase group containing Pascal Ackermann, Max Schachmann and Felix Großschartner. A few kilometres later, everything came back together, and BORA - hansgrohe, with Shane Archbold, controlled the race to keep the tempo high ahead of the finale.

Over the last two kilometres, the sprint train of the squad from Raubling came into formation in a bid to launch Pascal Ackermann to a second stage win. Yet as Gaviria launched his sprint over the final few hundred metres, Pascal was unable to overtake him and finished second behind the Colombian rider. With his third second place of this year’s race, however, our German sprinter retains his lead in the points classification.

Matteo Trentin

Ferando Gaviria is the day's fastest rider.

From the finish line:
“I was able to get over the last climb together with Felix and Max, but it wasn’t necessarily an easy feat. Over the last kilometres, the team worked very well together. The guys rode at the front of the peloton to keep the pace high ahead of the sprint. In the finale, I followed the wheel of Gaviria. That wasn’t necessarily a bad choice, but today he had the faster turn of speed in the end, and I wasn’t able to pull past him. We now have three second places at this race, and while we obviously were riding for the win today, the result is ok.” - Pascal Ackermann

“We controlled the race with the aim of getting a good result with Pascal. Today there was a four-man group which escaped, and was able to get an advantage of 5 minutes maximum. We were part of the chase effort, together with Mitchelton - SCOTT and Sunweb, and ahead of the climbs, the gap became quite small so we didn’t need to invest so much energy into the pace setting. At that point, we concentrated on bringing the guys into a good position on the last two ascents, and they did that very effectively. After the final climb, a group of 11 riders managed to escape, followed by a chase group of 8 riders, including Pascal. However, it all came back together again, and we ended up with all of our riders at the front of a field of about 80 riders in the last 10 km. Everything went quite well, but in the finale, Gaviria was simply the fastest. All in all, a good performance from the guys, and we’ll have yet another chance for a stage win tomorrow.” - Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director 

And here's the report from third place Matteo Trentin's Mitchleton-Scott team:

Italian Matteo Trentin sprinted to his fourth third place finish in five stages as the penultimate day of the Tour of Gunagxi ended in another sprint finale.

Trentin was in the mix once again on the same stage he triumphed on 12 months ago, but the 30-year-old was out-paced by the pure sprinters in the field as he crossed the line in third.

It was a routine start to proceedings as a four-rider breakaway established itself in the early kilometres. The escapees were allowed a maximum advantage of five-minutes before the sprint teams, with the help of Mitchelton-SCOTT, began to reel them back in.

The race burst into life over the final climb of the day as the remains of the break were caught following some strong pace making from Australian duo Nick Schultz and Alex Edmondson. A counter attack was soon launched as three riders initially forged clear before a select group formed over the summit.

Trentin was distanced over the top but made his way to the front and into a small leading group on the descent. However, the peloton quickly reeled the attackers back in and the numbers continued to swell at the head of the race with another sprint finish on the cards.

Neo-pro Callum Scotson was tasked with keeping Trentin safe in the closing kilometres as the sprint teams began to organise themselves. Trentin fought his way onto Pascal Ackermann’s (BORA – hansgrohe) wheel as the kick for the line opened up, but it was Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) who outsprinted them all to take the win.

Matteo Trentin:
"I have to say it’s quite annoying being third again, especially when the team rode good as they did today. The group I was in after the climb was good but nobody was really willing to ride."

"Tomorrow is the last chance of the season. I’m hoping to get those two spots better to finish with a bang."

Matt Wilson (Sports Director):
“The plan for today was to make it as hard as possible on the climbs and see if we could get rid of the other sprinters. It played out that Matteo got away in a group of 12, but it was unfortunate that the others didn’t want to work, there was nothing to achieve for the other guys.”

“So it all came back together and we had a sprint, we were hoping it would be a bit more selective than it was. But it’s another third, Matteo has been very, very consistent and we look to tomorrow for one last chance.”

Team Jumbo-Visma extends with Dylan Groenewegen

Jumbo-Visma sent me this news:

On the day that Dylan Groenewegen has mathematically been confirmed as this year’s most successful professional cyclist, Team Jumbo-Visma announced that the sprinter will also be competing for the yellow-black formation in the coming four seasons. A verbal agreement, concluded this summer, has now been formalised.

Dylan Groenewegen

Dylan Groenewegen wins stage seven of the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Groenewegen has been on the team of CEO Richard Plugge since 2016. During the past years, he developed into a world class sprinter with victories in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Paris-Nice, the one-day WT race Bruges-De Panne and four stage victories in the Tour de France. With fifteen victories on his tally, he is the most successful pro rider in the world this year.

“I’m now 26 years old, so I’m still getting stronger”, Groenewegen expresses his expectations in a video on the Team Jumbo-Visma website. “I joined the team at the age of 22. Since then, I have improved a lot. This happened to every rider who joined the team. We started at zero and look where we are now. I am where I want to be and the team is where it wants to be. This team is doing very well. When I indicate things that can be improved, they will be examined and the people in the team will start working on them. That’s the deciding factor for me to stay here.”

Groenewegen mentions the development of the helmet, clothing and bicycle, with the cycling team cooperating closely with Lazer, Agu and Bianchi. “Everything is taken into consideration for me to be able to sprint as fast as possible. This gets better every year. Of course you also have a look at other teams, but I really feel at home here. We have reached a good agreement. I have what I want here. So why change teams? Trust in each other is very important. I feel the confidence the team has in me and I think the team feels the confidence I have in them. The guys around me are doing great. Looking at this year, you can see that I have a super train around me. I’m sure that by staying here, I’ll continue to grow. I would like to take on that challenge with the team.”

Bardiani-CSF completes 2020 team roster

The team sent me this update:

Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè has reached an agreement with Vincenzo Albanese, Mirco Maestri and Alessandro Tonelli for the renewal of the contract for next season, closing the 2020 roster to twenty riders.

Vincenzo Albanese

Vincenzo Albanese wins the 2016 Trofeo Matteotti

For Albanese next season will be the fourth with the #GreenTeam. Although still young (23 years in November), he already boasts an appearance at Giro d'Italia and a wealth of experience enviable for his age.

For Maestri will be the fifth year with the Reverberi family, to whom he has presented three victories (stage and final classification at Tour of Rhodes in 2018 plus a stage at Tour of China in early September) and, last March, the points jersey at Tirreno-Adriatico.

On the eve of the sixth year as professional, Tonelli becomes the "veteran" of Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè. After a terrible crash at Tour of Qinghai Lake at the end of July, which ended his season, he is working hard to be ready since January.

"For three different reasons everyone deserved the contract renewal," explains team manager Roberto Reverberi. "Albanese has the potential to be a winning rider and together we will work to make 2020 an opportunity for a relaunch. Maestri embodies the forward spirit of our team and we expect confirmation. Tonelli will be our team man, a fundamental element to amalgamate a new group".


In addition to Albanese, Maestri and Tonelli, the 2020 roster will include also the seven riders who were already under contract - Giovanni Carboni, Luca Covili, Umberto Orsini, Alessandro Pessot, Francesco Romano, Daniel Savini and Manuel Senni. At the end the tenth new signings - Marco Benfatto, Iuri Filosi, Giovanni Lonardi, Matteo Pelucchi, Filippo Zaccanti and the neo-professionals Nicolas Dalla Valle, Filippo Fiorelli, Fabio Mazzucco, Alessandro Monaco and Filippo Zana.

"We wanted to carry out a deep renewal and we are convinced that we have built a competitive and well equipped team" adds Reverberi. "We want 2020 to be a year of relaunching and full of satisfaction. We have included experienced and winning riders, such as Pelucchi and Benfatto, who together boast over 40 successes, and a group of solid athletes with growth prospects. Without forgetting those who were already with us.”

"Although the average age of the team has risen slightly, it remains a young group. The five neo-professionals are an evidence, in addition to the four U23 Albanese, Covili, Savini and Romano. The #GreenTeam project is and always remains our priority" concludes Reverberi.

Kamil Małecki to step up to the WorldTour with CCC Team in 2020 

CCC Team sent me this release:

21 October 2019: After five years with CCC Development Team (formerly CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Kamil Małecki will step up to the WorldTour level with CCC Team as the team’s fifth Polish rider in the 2020 roster.

23-year-old Małecki, who claimed a stage win and won the General Classification on home soil at this year’s CCC Tour - Grody Piastowskie and 27th Baltyk - Karkonosze Tour, will join the team on a one-year deal.

“Kamil Małecki has impressed at quite a few of the smaller races in the CCC Development Team race program this year and with a number of years experience at the Professional Continental and Continental levels, we feel he is ready to step up to WorldTour racing with CCC Team. Kamil will have the chance to learn the ropes from some of our more experienced riders which will help him to continue to develop as a rider,” CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained.

“As well as winning stages and the General Classification at some of the Polish 2.2 races, including the CCC-sponsored CCC Tour - Grody Piastowskie, Kamil also showed his potential in the classics, just missing the top ten at Volta Limburg. We are looking forward to seeing what Kamil can do with us next year.”

Małecki is excited to reach this point in his career. “I am really excited to be part of CCC Team and race at the WorldTour level. It is a dream come true for me. I feel really proud that I will represent the first Polish WorldTour team in cycling. It’s hard for me to describe in words but it is an amazing feeling to know I have reached this phase in my career,” Małecki said.

“In the next year, I would like to continue to develop and progress as a rider and do my best to be a strong rider for the team and play my part in helping the team at all of my races. I will make the most of this opportunity.”

Małecki and Michał Paluta, who will also graduate from CCC Development Team, will join fellow countrymen Łukasz Wiśniowski, Kamil Gradek, and Szymon Sajnok in CCC Team’s 2020 roster.

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