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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 29, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? - James Thurber

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Teams Deceuninck-Quick Step & Astana report on stage two of the Tour Poitou Charantes

We posted the report from stage two winner Arnaud Démare's Groupama FDJ team with the results.

Here's the Deceuninck-Quick Step update:

Stage 2 of the race (Royan – Echiré, 186.3 kilometers) was the last clear opportunity for sprinters to etch their name on the winners’ list at this edition of Tour Poitou-Charentes, so it didn’t come as a surprise that they all sent delegates at the front of the peloton to control the gap of the three escapees: Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Damien Gaudin (Total Direct Energie) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R).

Arnaud Demare

Arnaud Démare wins stage two.

Sitting just ten seconds behind the overall leader, the trio were allowed only a three-minute gap that the bunch easily kept in check before reeling them in with a shade over ten kilometers left. The sprint was won by Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), who retained the white jersey with two days to go, while Bert Van Lerberghe was Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s first rider home after Alvaro Hodeg was boxed in just as he was preparing to launch his sprint.

Tour Poitou-Charentes will continue Saturday with two half stages from Chasseneuil-du-Poitou to Jaunay-Marigny: one suited to the attackers in the morning and a rolling individual time trial in the afternoon.

And Astana posted this report:

The second stage of French stage race started today in Royan and finished in Échiré after 186.3 km of racing. Another flat stage of Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine finished with an expected massive sprint won by French rider Arnaud Démare, Italian rider of Astana Pro Team Davide Martinelli closed Top 10.

Laurens De Vreese spent day in the breakaway with two other riders, taking maximum advantage of 4 minutes, and was caught by the peloton at 30 km to the finish.

Thanks to earned bonifications in the day breakaway, Laurens climbs to the 5th place at the general classification of the race, which is still lead by Arnaud Démare.

– Today was a quite fast stage. Our Laurens de Vreese worked all day in the breakaway, starting from the first kilometers and until the 30 km to the finish. The breakaway group earned maximum advantage of 4 minutes, but peloton didn’t let them go, as sprinters teams were controlling the race. In addition, there was a very strong side wind during the whole day, so the group pulled very hard, everyone was afraid of attacks and tried to be in the front. In the end, the group remained compact, there were some little gaps, but almost all the riders came together. At the final it was expected bunch sprint, where Davide Martinelli finished in the top ten. The guys feel good, we will try new chances, - commented sports director Sergey Yakovlev after the finish.

Double weekend for NTT Pro cycling

Here's the team's update:

NTT Pro Cycling fans will be spoiled for choice this weekend as not only does the Tour de France gets underway tomorrow, but this weekend our South African UCI World Team will also race the Trofeo Matteoti and Memorial Marco Pantani.

Tomorrow’s Trofeo Matteoti will once again take place over a circuit course in Pescara, totaling 193km. The race will suit the punchy riders in the peloton, as constant undulations will lend itself well to the short explosive attackers.

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin wins the 2019 edition of the Trofeo Matteoti.

On Sunday, the Memorial Marco Pantani will cover 199km, from Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole to Cesenatico. A couple of climbs midway in the race will soften the legs, but the flat run into the finishing town will keep the sprinters in with a shout.

NTT Pro Cycling is delighted to have Carlos Barbero and Shotaro Iribe back in action, after recovering from injury. Barbero and Iribe will be joined by Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Samuele Battistella, Ben King and Danilo Wyss for both Italian races.

Ag2r-Citroen to continue through 2025

The team sent me this release:

AG2R LA MONDIALE and CITROËN announced today that their commitment to Vincent Lavenu's team will extend until 2025.


We'll be seeing the Ag2r team for years to come. Sirotti photo

Beginning in 2021, the team will have a budget of 23 million euros dedicated to its new sports project. Support for the athletes will be reinforced, as well as their training and retraining. Emphasis will also be placed on performance management and technological aspects.

To meet very high-level sporting ambitions, Oliver Naesen, Benoît Cosnefroy, Greg Van Avermaet and Bob Jungels will form the solid core of a team aiming to be among the best in the peloton, particularly in the classics. We will continue our recruitment strategy in 2022.

The new team will be called AG2R CITROËN TEAM, which is a name that was not chosen at random!

Its acronym ACT appropriately spells out the word "act" in English. And we will ACT to:

Share great ambitions in terms of performance;
Support young hopefuls through the training program;
Help develop the culture of “clean cycling” for healthy and responsible performance. The partnership advocates the practice of cycling in line with ethical rules and in particular those of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), of which the AG2R LA MONDIALE cycling team has been a founding member since 2007;

The AG2R CITROËN TEAM will carry the new UCI code: ACT.

Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the cycling team:
“We are proud to begin writing a new chapter in the history of our team called the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. We worked hand in hand with our title partner
AG2R LA MONDIALE to find a co-partner of excellence.
CITROËN has proven to be the ideal teammate for the team's rise to power. We can't wait to start this collaboration rich in sharing.”

André Renaudin, Managing Director of AG2R LA MONDIALE
"AG2R LA MONDIALE is very happy to extend its commitment with the cycling team led by Vincent Lavenu until 2025. We are proud that CITROËN, an iconic and popular brand, is joining us to share the emotions that we have been experiencing with the team for more than 20 years.

We are driven by the same human values, performance and boldness, and we look forward to writing new pages of this beautiful story together.”

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