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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 23, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process. - John F. Kennedy

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


Team INEOS withdraw riders from Italian National Championships after Covid positive

The team sent me this update:

Team INEOS today withdrew its riders from the Italian National Championship as a precautionary measure in line with Covid protocols after Leonardo Basso returned a positive test today. He has been and remains asymptomatic.

Apart from a visit for treatment on his knee at his local medical centre eight days ago, Leonardo has been at home in Asolo with his girlfriend and training alone over the last 10 days.

He tested negative on Tuesday. He has remained at home and did not join the team at their hotel in recent days. However, he carried out the time trial recon with Filippo Ganna yesterday and went on a training ride with him, Salvatore Puccio and Gianni Moscon this morning.

Filipp0 Ganna

Filippo Ganna (shown at the 2019 BinckBank Tour) is one of the four INEOS riders who are now self-isolating. Sirotti photo

In line with protocols all four riders will now self-isolate for 14 days.

Four staff members will also self isolate as they are considered secondary contacts. Although they have been in contact with the riders wearing masks, observing social distancing and other protocols the Team believes this to be a prudent precaution. We will also support Leo with any contact tracing with any friends and family as appropriate over the coming period.

Team Sunweb strengthen sprint group with Cees Bol, Alberto Dainese and Nils Eekhoff renewals

Team Sunweb sent me this:

Team Sunweb are thrilled to announce the contract renewals of three of their sprint talents; Cees Bol, Alberto Dainese and Nils Eekhoff. Bol and Eekhoff have both renewed their contract with the team through to the end of 2022, while Dainese will race in the team's colours until the end of 2023. 

Cees Bol (NED):
A successful first season with the team in 2019 saw Bol take three wins and numerous top tens throughout the year. The Dutchman began 2020 in great fashion taking a commanding win on the uphill drag to the finish in stage three of the Volta ao Algarve before netting two top-five results in the sprints at Paris-Nice before the season was halted. More than just a fast finisher Bol has the power required to stamp on the pedals over the cobbles, as was proven at the start of the year when he made the select group over the top of the Oude Kwaremont at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Building for the future, Bol wants to continue to develop his sprint abilities but also improve over the cobbles, strengthening the team’s strong classics block.

Cees Bol

Cees Bol wins a stage in the 2019 Tour of Norway.

Alberto Dainese (ITA):
A neo-pro with the team in 2020, Italian fast-man Dainese got his first taste of WorldTour racing at the season opener in the Tour Down Under. With a stacked field of strong sprinters, Dainese secured two top ten finishes, including a fifth place on the final day – a sign of things to come. Third at Race Torquay followed before Dainese sprinted to a resounding win at the Herald Sun Tour on day one, opening up his and the team’s winning account for the year, with a powerful finish. Arguably Dainese's most impressive result was yet to come when he sprinted to a great third place on the final day of racing at the Tour de Pologne against some strong WorldTour opposition. Driven to succeed and improve, Dainese’s competitive edge and mentality is more than apparent, with the youngster never truly satisfied unless he is crossing the line with his arms in the air. Looking ahead, Dainese wants to continue to grow with the team and take many more victories in the future.

Nils Eekhoff (NED):
Having made his way through the ranks of Development Team Sunweb, Eekhoff made the step up to the Men’s program in 2020 after a fine 2019 season which saw him take three wins and several other strong results throughout the year. The opening part of 2020 has seen Eekhoff work as a committed teammate, helping in the lead outs, with the young Dutchman part of stage winning squads at both the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice. The former Paris-Roubaix Espoirs winner packs a punch himself and as he’s proven in previous seasons, is more than capable of taking strong results in the sprints and classics too, with his recent impressive second place at Dwars door het Hageland testament to that. Eekhoff is excited to continue to grow within the team and further develop his abilities on the bike.

Barnabás Peák is Hungarian Time Trial Champion

Peák's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this report:

Neo-pro Barnabás Peák won the Hungarian Time Trial Championship, his first victory wearing the Mitchelton-SCOTT colours, today.

The triumph was Peák’s third national title, having won the time trial and road race double in 2018 prior to turning professional.

The 21-year-old won the 38km race in a time of 45:14, one and a half minutes faster than his nearest competitor Attila Valter (CCC Team), who won the silver medal.

Peák will line up in the Hungarian Road Race Championship this Sunday in attempt to repeat his 2018 double.

In Italy, teammate Edoardo Affini rounded out the podium at the Italian Time Trial Championships, finishing behind Filippo Ganna (Team Ineos) and Alessandro De Marchi (CCC Team).

Barnabas Peak:
“The course was really simple, one piece of highway and two laps.  My coach Ben and I planned to approach it steadily, I was pacing myself good, I could even lift the pace a little in the final leg and in the end I was the fastest.

“I knew that I was capable of the performance from the training before, so it was not surprising as such, but it’s a big victory for me for sure.

“I am really happy to win in the Mitchelton-SCOTT colours. Normally when you come into a new place you have to prove your worth, and it’s not a WorldTour win, but it’s a good performance from my side and I hope I made the team proud.

“The plan on Sunday is to try to win and go for the double again.”

2020 Hungarian Time Trial Championship:
1. Barnabás Peák (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 45:14
2. Attila Valter (CCC Team) +1:30
3. Dániel Szalay (Hill Racing) +2:10

Deceuninck-Quick Step to race Bretagne Classic

Here's the team's update:

The last World Tour one-day race of August, Bretagne Classic (248.7 kilometers) will be based again around a circuit, which is different than the traditional one but by no means easier. The three climbs sprinkled over the 13.65km-long lap – Côte du Lézot (1.4km, 3.9%), Monté de Lann Payot (1.3km, 2.6%) and Côte du Pont-Neuf (1.5km 4.2%) – will come in quick succession and are expected to split the peloton and force the riders to dig deep into their resources.

Newly-crowned French ITT Champion Rémi Cavagna, Colombian sprinter Alvaro Hodeg, Iljo Keisse, Florian Sénéchal – who showed a very good condition at the Tour de Wallonie, which he finished in fourth place – Stijn Steels, neo-pro Jannik Steimle and Bert Van Lerberghe are the seven Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders who will be at the start of the hilly French race next Tuesday.

Remi Cavagna

Remi Cavanga (shown winning the 2020 Classic Faun Ardeche) will race the Bretagne Classic.

“Bretagne Classic always has a different parcours, so it is difficult to say which will be the key moments. What we know is that we have to pay attention to the very narrow roads and the wind, which can easily split the peloton. It should be a race of attrition, so it won’t be a surprise if a small group arrives on the last lap. We have several cards to play and we look forward to this appointment”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Geert Van Bondt.

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