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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, August 3, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

Deceuninck-Quick Step to race Tour de Pologne

Here's the team's update:

The 77th edition of the Tour de Pologne (5-9 August), despite consisting of just five stages, will give opportunities to almost everyone: sprinters, climbers and puncheurs. The first World Tour stage race in five months will start from Chorzow and conclude in Krakow, one of the oldest cities in the country. Despite lacking an individual time trial for the fourth consecutive year, the route will provide plenty of challenging terrain for the yellow jersey favourites to make the difference, one of which will be the traditional finish at Bukowina Tatrzanska.

Remco Evenepoel

Remco Evenpoel winning stage three of the Vuelta a Burgos

Fresh off his outstanding success at the Vuelta a Burgos, where he became the youngest winner in the history of the race, Remco Evenepoel will now line-up for his first World Tour event of the season, supported by Mattia Cattaneo, Dries Devenyns and James Knox. On the flat stages, our team will look to Fabio Jakobsen, whose fine form carried him to three wins before the season was halted in early spring. The 23-year-old Dutch Champion, making his second consecutive appearance at the Tour de Pologne, will rely in the bunch gallops on Davide Ballerini and Florian Sénéchal, who will round out our team for next week’s race.

“We start again with a very strong and motivated squad. Fabio is our man for the sprints, he’s excited to be back racing, and we’re confident he is capable of getting a good result, while with Remco we will go again for the GC. Everyone saw what he did in Burgos and he will have a nice support also here and an excellent road captain in Dries. We’ll just take one stage at a time and see what happens”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck.

Mitchelton-Scott ready for Tour of Poland

Here's the team's news release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT will have ‘all bases covered’ when they line up with a talent-packed squad for the Tour de Pologne this week.

Returning after winning two stages at last year’s edition, Slovenian Luka Mezgec leads the charge on the flatter stages with former South African champion Daryl Impey to also be given opportunities.

Luka Mezgec

Luka Mezgec winning stage five of the 2019 Tour of Poland. Sirotti photo

On the climbing front, Colombian Esteban Chaves lines up following a fourth place overall at Vuelta a Burgos last week along with teammates Simon Yates and Mikel Nieve. 2020 recruit Andrey Zeits adds to the climbing trio in his first race back after the extended break.

Mitchelton-SCOTT line-up for Tour de Pologne (5 – 9 August):
Sam Bewley (NZL, 33)
Esteban Chaves (COL, 30)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 35)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 32)
Mikel Nieve (SPA, 36)
Simon Yates (GBR, 27)
Andrey Zeits (KAZ, 33)

The Course:
Traditionally a week-long race, the Tour of Poland is shortened to five stages in the revamped 2020 WorldTour calendar, containing sprint opportunities on stages one, two and five.

Stages three and four are more difficult, with the former featuring seven climbs before an uphill drag to the line. The major general classification shake up likely to come on stage four, with a climb to finish in Bukowina Tatrzanska.

The Past:
The Tour of Poland has been a happy hunting ground for Mitchelton-SCOTT, with the team taking five stage victories in the past three years.

Mezgec took two stage wins last year, whilst Yates won a stage on his way to second overall in 2018. The team’s second best general classification result was by Pieter Weening who won the title in 2013.

Luka Mezgec:
“After last year’s success in Poland I’m looking forward to go there again.

“I have a good month of altitude training behind me so now I’m just really excited to go back racing and I really hope that majority of the races on the current calendar will happen.

“I’m curious about how I will respond back to racing after such a long break, but I did everything possible to be ready for the next two months.”

Esteban Chaves:
"I had a good time in Burgos, it was a good start in this performace in my first race back and that gave me lot of confidence for the work done and for the rest of the season, we need to keeping working without rushing.

"It gave me confidence for the races that are coming, you now know how is your performance is in comparison to the other guys and also you know what is good and what you are missing, and we have plenty time for work in that.

"Stages three and four will be the improtant for us. Se can play really well with the climers but they are more hilly and punchy rather than pure mountains. More day of racing in the legs is good for me, especially for the goals after Poland."

Mathew Hayman – Sport Director:
“I think we’ve got all bases covered. We’re coming in with Luka Mezgec who won two stages in Poland last year, and we’re using a couple of the same finishes, so obviously he’ll be keen to get back to racing and on the flatter days we will be looking after Luka whilst Daryl Impey will also get opportunities as well.

“We’ve got a pretty hit squad of climbers with Chaves, Yates and Nieve coming out of Burgos and showing good form there, as well as Zeits coming in for his first race back.  It was pretty encouraging what we saw in Burgos, the guys were riding really well and riding well as a team and just excited to get back to racing.

“We’re racing in the same areas we’ve done in the past; a different course but the same types of stages. There’s two hilly stages, I wouldn’t call them mountain stages, so we’ll be looking for opportunities on those two days, stages three and four, to see if we can go for a good GC result too.” 

2020 Tour of Poland - Race Details:
Wednesday, 5 August: Stage 1, Silesian Stadium to Katowice, 195.8km
Thursday, 6 August: Stage 2, Opole to Zabrze, 151.5km
Friday, 7 August: Stage 3, Wadowice to Bielsko-Biala, 203.1km
Saturday, 8 August: Stage 4, Bukovina Resort to Bukowina Tatrzanska, 173km
Sunday, 9 August: Stage 5, Zakopane to Krakow, 188km

INEOS DS Gabriel Rasch confident ahead of Route d'Occitanie GC test

Here's the update from Rasch's Team INEOS:

Sport Director Gabriel Rasch is pleased with how Team INEOS have approached their return to racing at La Route d'Occitanie and believes the team are well-placed to win their first stage race of the season.

Following two flat stages to suit the sprinters, stage three will be a mountainous test featuring a trio of category one climbs, culminating in the summit finish atop Col de Beyrède which should prove decisive.

All of the General Classification contenders are on the same time heading into Monday’s Pyrenean stage, with Egan Bernal currently 12th overall, and Rasch is confident the team can take the initiative and control the race.

He told “I think the first two days were mainly about staying safe and protecting our climbers and Egan, so all good so far. Tomorrow is a GC day, so for us it is a big day and we’re going to ride the race how we want.

Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal winning the 2019 Gran Piemonte. Sirotti photo

“We’ll probably want to ride hard at some point, a hard race would suit us and here we have a team to do it, we can dictate the pace and make it ‘our race’.

“It is a long time since we last raced and now both the riders and the staff are getting back into the swing of things after two days racing and I think tomorrow will be a good test for us as a team to communicate, have a good plan and execute.

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