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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. - Edmund Burke

Current racing:

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Giro d'Italia stage 10 reports

We posted the report from stage winner Peter Sagan's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results.

Here's the report from GC leader Joao Almeida's Deceuninck-Quick Step team:

João Almeida’s dream Giro d’Italia continued Tuesday afternoon, when the race resumed following a well deserved rest day, with a 177km stage between Lanciano and Tortoleto, which awaited the riders with three hard hills – all featuring punishing double-digit gradients – crammed inside the last 30 kilometers.

Joao Almeida

Joao Almeida is still in pink. Sirotti photo

Deceuninck – Quick-Step were again on top of their game, working ceaselessly at the front of the peloton and protecting the 22-year-old leader of the race, who was put under pressure by Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) on the penultimate climb of stage 10 as the rain began falling and making for some really miserable conditions. Calm and composed, Almeida didn’t panic, as he had still enough teammates with him, who made sure the Spaniard’s gap wouldn’t go over half a minute.

Exuding confidence and a fantastic maturity well beyond his age, João remained tucked in the wheel of James Knox and Fausto Masnada, before launching his move on the last difficulty of the day, one averaging 7.1% over 2.5 kilometers. Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Grand Tour debutant gained a few seconds on the reduced bunch, who split on the excruciating gradients of the climb that was topped with just 11 kilometers to go. This attack narrowed the lead of Bilbao, who was then caught on the descent, after another great effort of Fausto and James, who turned themselves inside out in the service of the maglia rosa.

In the run in to the finish, Almeida himself took over the reins in the small bunch and led the group home – 23 seconds behind Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), who won from the breakaway – and notched up his third top 3 finish since the start of the Giro d’Italia. This solid result netted four bonus seconds that helped him increase his buffer in the general classification, which he will lead for the eighth consecutive day on Wednesday.

“It was a hard day at the office, but I made it with the help of this tremendous team, who rode so hard for me and without whom I wouldn’t be where I am now. I felt good, despite the cold temperatures and the rain, and when Bilbao went, we remained calm and focused, and just did our homework, which concluded in bringing him back in the final kilometers”, said João, who leads the race by 34 seconds. “Third after such a stage is a nice result, it feels good to get another podium at this beautiful race. The four seconds I got on the line isn’t that much, but every second counts and can prove important when all is said and done. I don’t know how far I can go with this pink jersey, I’m just honoured to have it on my shoulders for more than a week and I’ll just continue to take it day by day and see where that takes me.”

Here's the report from second-place Brandon McNulty's UAE-Team Emirates:

It was another ray of sunshine from the young UAE Team Emirates riders on another rainy day at the Giro d’Italia.

After the 3rd place obtained on Sunday by Mikkel Bjerg on the 9th stage of the Corsa Rosa, today it was the turn of twenty-two year old Brandon McNulty. McNulty finished 2nd on the treacherous 10th stage, 177 km from Lanciano to Tortoreto, with the final made particularly tough with five selective climbs before 9 kms of flatland towards the finish.

The stage was won by Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), who foiled the days breakaway before dropping them all to arrive alone at the finish, while all his escape companions were caught and overtaken by the group of the pink jersey, Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

On the finishing straight and with just 3km left to ride, McNulty broke from the group, gaining a few hundred meters that allowed him to get the 2nd place of the day, 19" from the winner and 4" ahead of the pink jersey Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

Brandon McNulty

Brandon McNulty finishes second. Sirotti photo

In the overall standings, the American from UAE Team Emirates now occupies the 13th position at 2’39" from the top.

McNulty: “I got a puncture on one of the steep climbs and I had a long chase back on. It was a reduced group and no one had a teammate so I knew that if I could get a jump on the group then I could stay clear and that’s exactly what happened. I knew I was close to Sagan – the stage win would have been nice but also second place on the stage is incredible.

"Every day is possibly the last day here,so everyone is all-in everyday. We hope to continue but safety is the most important thing for all the riders and also all of Italy .”

The 11th stage, Porto Sant’Elpidio to Rimini (182 km), will offer the sprinters an opportunity and will also prove a test for Fernando Gaviria who was involved in a fall and suffered a severe bruise on his elbow but escaped any fractures.

And here's the report from fourth-place Ben Swift's INEOS Grenadiers:

Ben Swift finished fourth on a tough and memorable 10th stage at the Giro d’Italia.

Swift found himself at the head of the race alongside Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) on the final climb, with a punishing run-in seeing the race split apart.

Dario CAtaldo, Ben Swift

Ben Swift can be seen in the photo of the break, on the left. Sirotti photo

Despite being distanced from eventual stage winner Sagan on the Tortoretto climb, Swift still had the legs to sprint to a top-five finish in the pouring rain.

Tao Geoghegan Hart was also active in the final kilometres, attempting to push clear before finishing in a select lead group. The young Brit continues to move up the general classification, now sitting 14th, 2:45 back.

The INEOS Grenadiers had ridden hard from the drop of the flag, pushing both Swift and Filippo Ganna into the breakaway once it eventually formed following a rapid start. Jhonatan Narvaez and Salvatore Puccio had also been present to cover off counter attacks early on.

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

The squad sent me this update:

Scheldeprijs: OCT 14

Michiel Elijzen - Team Sunweb coach:
"With the change in parcours this year, the race will take place on ten laps of a 17 kilometre long circuit. Normally the race should end in a bunch sprint but that all depends on the weather, with tough conditions reducing the peloton in size as we have seen in previous years. After our win and podium finish with Casper and Joris at Paris-Tours, there is an air of confidence within the team. We go to the race with a strong sprint block and a good lead out, where we're aiming for another nice result as a team."

Cees Bol

Cees Bol (shown at the Tour of the Algarve earlier this year) will race the Scheldeprijs

Cees Bol (NED)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Max Kanter (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)

Ronde van Vlaanderen: OCT 18

Michiel Elijzen - Team Sunweb coach:
"We bring a really strong team to Ronde van Vlaanderen and motivation within the group after Casper and Joris' strong first and third places at Paris-Tours at the weekend. We need to be attentive throughout the day and make sure that we're in any dangerous moves before the finish, getting riders ahead of the race in the pre-final. Tiesj and Søren have both shown recently that they have continued their good form out of the Tour de France and they will aim to be up there fighting at the end of the day. However, in the finale we also want to use our numbers to our advantage like we've done in recent races, so that we have multiple options to play and can race aggressively."

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Cees Bol (NED)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)

Ronde van Vlaanderen: OCT 18

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach:
"The parcours is a bit different than previous years, without the Muur van Geraardsbergen, but the final from Kanarieberg stays the same and like always the weather will play an important part in deciding the day. We arrive at the race with a really strong group that can all challenge for a good result in the right situation. We have good memories of 2017 when we won Ronde van Vlaanderen with Coryn, so we know that if we can play our cards smartly that we can go for a top result again this year."

Alison Jackson (CAN)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Coryn Rivera (NED)

AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne: OCT 20

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach:
"De Panne can go two ways and all that depends on one thing; if there is or isn't strong wind. With a strong wind then we need to be sharp through the whole race and never lose focus, making sure that we look after each other and are always in the right position so that we make any dangerous splits. If there is no wind, then the race is even more likely to come down to a sprint and we'll work to make sure that no strong group gets away. After some good teamwork in Gent Wevelgem where we were really close to catching the front group, we'll once again work together to bring Lorena to the finish as fresh as possible and go for a top result."

Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Anna Henderson (GBR)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Julia Soek (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

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