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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 15, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?... Or does it explode? - Langston Hughes

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage three team reports

We posted the organizer's stage three summary with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Davide Formolo's UAE-Team Emirates:

A long, solitary winning ride gave Davide Formolo his fourth career success with the Italian champion crossing the finish line of stage three of the Criterium del Dauphiné, from Corenc-Saint Martin de Belleville of 157 km, in first position, after cycling for 65 km alone at the head of the race, climbing the Col de la Madeleine and the final Cat 1 ascent.

DAvide Formolo

Davide Formolo enjoys his victory.

Already after 30 km of racing, Formolo had jumped from the peloton in the company of 8 other riders. With the average pace very high (50.3 km/hr after the first hour of racing), the gap to the breakaway hovered at around 5 minutes.

On the slopes of the Col de la Madeleine, Formolo left his breakaway companions, building a maximum lead of 5'50". The UAE Team Emirates rider managed to hold off the chasers to the line to claim victory with 33" on Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).

Good performance also by Tadej Pogačar, who finished 8th with the same time as Roglic: the Slovenian from UAE Team Emirates climbed to 11th place in the general classification (+1'17" from the leader Roglic).

A pleased Davide Formolo also becomes leader in the climbers classification:

“This victory comes after weeks of training at high altitude with the team and after having raced the Strade Bianche and the Milan-Sanremo: today’s success repays the mistake made in Milan Sanremo, when I was a little too far behind on the Poggio to be able to follow Van Aert’s attack.

"Today we went on the break very early, but then, when I saw that the advantage at the foot of the Col de la Madeleine would not allow us to go to the finish, I decided to fight back to try to widen the gap to the group, to give myself as much time as possible.

"I spent a lot of energy in the valley leading to the final climb, also because the heat was tough, so I took the ascent towards the finish line without the certainty of reaching the finish on my own, but finally I managed to achieve this success”.

GC leader Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma had this to say about the stage:

One day after his impressive victory in the Criterium du Dauphiné, Primoz Roglic has again done well in the overall classification. The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma finished in second place in the mountain stage to Saint-Martin-de-Belleville behind stage winner Davide Formolo. With the additional bonification seconds, the Slovenian has extended his lead to fourteen seconds on Thibaut Pinot.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic wins stage two.

In the stage with the Col de la Madeleine along the way, a breakaway of nine riders finally got established after a very fast first hour of racing. They got a maximum lead of about six minutes. Team Jumbo-Visma controlled the stage and was systematically closing in on the leaders. On the final climb, Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk and Sepp Kuss further increased the pace after which Roglic started the sprint of the first chasing group, which finished at half a minute from the Italian. Roglic also took the lead in the points classification from teammate Wout van Aert.

“It was a great day for us”, Roglic said. “It was a tough and fast stage, but we had the stage perfectly under control. The team was again very strong and they kept me out of trouble. For us that leading group was an ideal situation, but we could not give them 15 minutes either because Formolo was still quite close in the standings. The fact that I still managed to take bonification seconds is an extra bonus. The next two days will be very difficult and there is still a lot of climbing to come. The team, but also myself, have to keep their focus. We rely on our own strength and we have proven that we are very strong. So we have a lot of confidence for tomorrow.”

Tom Dumoulin was setting the pace in support of Roglic for half the final climb today. “Yesterday I actually felt better, but then I had a mechanical problem at the foot of the final climb. Today was a good stage to test and try out certain things with an eye on the Tour de France. On the other hand, we also want to win the Dauphiné here. We have a strong team and Primoz has shown to be very strong at the moment. My top shape is certainly not there yet, but it is going in the right direction.”

Fourth-place Emanuel Buchmann's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this:

Widely regarded as a race to test the form riders who have their sights set on the Tour de France, the Criterium du Dauphiné today featured one of Le Tour’s most iconic climbs – the Col de la Madeleine. A little longer than stage 2, at 157km, the day revolved around this climb and the final ascent to the finish line in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and would be a day for the climbers and the GC riders to make their mark.

The first few attacks were brought in quickly, the peloton eager to control the race from the outset, but they couldn’t hold back Daniel Oss, who led a group of nine away from the bunch after nearly 30km of racing, building their lead to 3:30. This group splintered on the lower slopes of the Madeleine, leaving only two up front and Daniel re-joining the peloton, the break actually extending its lead with the smaller numbers to six minutes. This gap reduced as the GC group descended the Madeleine and geared up for the finale, as the now solo leader hit the 9% slopes of the day’s last climb.

Three BORA-hansgrohe riders – Emanuel Buchmann, Gregor Mühlberger and Lennard Kämna – were in the bunch, and as the lone leader – UAE Emirates’ Formolo – took to the upper slopes, Lennard went on the attack, this increase in pace forcing the massively reduced peloton to up the pace, stretching out and forcing riders to drop off the back. The stage win went to the breakaway, but behind him the GC riders were still fighting. Brought back in in the final kilometre, Lennard handed over to Emu, who stayed with the late attacks, pushing on hard and sprinting to take fourth position, while increasing the time gap between himself and GC fourth.

From the Finish Line:
"It was a really good race from the team. In the finale, we were in an excellent position for the last climb. Gregor stayed all the time with me and in the end, Lennard attacked, a move that got everybody in trouble. From that point, the pace was really fast and in the sprint finish, I got fourth. I think it is a good result and I'm happy with it." – Emanuel Buchmann

"Once again, it was good race from the whole team. Like yesterday, our strategy in the first part of the stage was to either let a small breakaway go or if a bigger group formed to have a man there. That's why Daniel Oss went in the nine-man break while the rest of the squad stayed with Emu. The break was split at the start of the Col de la Madeleine but that didn't worry us. In the descent from the Madeleine and in the final climb, Emu was always well-positioned and protected. With about 6km to go, we saw that the gap to Formolo wasn't so big and we thought we could move to close it. Lennard was feeling strong and took a shot at it. He was able to build a margin over the selective bunch but Formolo managed to hold on. Still, the result of that move was to put pressure on the group. In the finale, Emu was third in the sprint and kept his third spot in the GC." – Enrico Poitschke, Sport Director

Team Sunweb signs American racer Kevin Vermaerke

Team Sunweb sent me this announcement:

Team Sunweb are delighted to announce that they have signed 19-year-old Kevin Vermaerke on a three-year deal, until the end of 2023. The young American will compete in a select few races as a stagiaire for the remainder of 2020 before making the step to the WorldTour program.

A talented climber, Vermaerke had a good final year as a junior in 2018 where he picked up strong results at the Tour du Pays Vaud and Saarland Trofeo, before ending his season with an impressive eighth place on the challenging parcours at the Innsbruck World Championships. Making the step up to U23-level in 2019, Vermaerke immediately made his mark with a fantastic win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a three-up sprint – a hugely impressive result for a rider who was competing in his first race at that level. Vermaerke continued to develop in 2019 with good showings at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Utah and Lillehammer GP. After joining the team’s camp last December, Vermaerke is looking forward to riding alongside the team next year, continuing his development.

On joining Team Sunweb Vermaerke said: “Taking the step up to the WorldTour is something I have been dreaming about and working towards since I first started cycling. Team Sunweb invited me out to their December training camp in Calpe last year and I really liked the impressions I got from the team. I felt welcomed at the camp and could see how organised and professional the team is. Team Sunweb has really invested in young talent in the past few years and I am really looking forward to joining this group and seeing what we can do together over the coming seasons. I think Team Sunweb will be the perfect place to continue my development and discover what type of rider I can become.”
Team Sunweb’s head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Kevin has impressed us for a while with his results and showed his professionalism when joining our training camp. As a first-year U23 rider he took an extraordinary win at Liège-Bastogne-Liége, highlighting his abilities as a puncheur and capability in the hilly Ardennes. Those are the types of races we believe he can excel at in the future and with our team of experts, trainers and coaches, we’ll work towards those goals. At the recent Tour de l’Ain he proved he can go well on the longer climbs so we’ll also aim to improve his all-around abilities and identify where his real potential is.”

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