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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

The mind cannot absorb what the backside cannot endure. – Prince Philip on long sermons


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Tour de Romandie prologue time trial team reports

We posted the report from winner Rohan Dennis' INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the report from 4th-place Rémi Cavagna's Deceuninck-Quick Step team:

Rémi Cavagna finished the prologue of the 74th Tour de Romandie in fourth place, after a strong showing in Oron. Making his first appearance since Amstel Gold Race, the 25-year-old from Clermont-Ferrand was the penultimate rider on the start ramp and had a very strong start, setting the fastest time at the intermediate split.

Remi Cavagna

Rémi Cavagna racing earlier this year at Paris-Nice.

Unfortunately for him, the leg-sapping 800m climb to the finish took its toll and Rémi lost his gains on the brutal ramps, ending the time trial in fourth place, eleven seconds behind Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers), for his third top-10 this year in a stage against the clock, after the ones at Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya. Another Wolfpack member to produce a solid effort was the experienced Mattia Cattaneo, who made it two Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10.

The Tour de Romandie will continue Wednesday afternoon with a stage between Aigle and Martigny, whose hilly profile suits the attackers, although also some of the peloton’s fast men will have a fair chance of fighting for victory, as the last climb comes more than 20 kilometers from the finish.

Here's the report from 8th-place Marc Hirschi's UAE Team Emirates:

UAE Team Emirates had a solid start to the Tour de Romandie with Marc Hirschi claiming 8th place in the opening 4km prologue in Oron, Switzerland.

Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) was the fastest man on the day, completing the short course in 5’26 with Hirschi just 15’’ further back.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis turning in the day's fastest ride. Getty Sport Photos

It bodes well for the Swiss who is seeing a return to form after his 6th place in Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday which was won by his teammate Tadej Pogačar.

Hirschi: “It was super hard because in the first part it was a headwind, and so the last climb to the line seemed to go on forever after riding the first part full gas. I’m pleased with the result and I feel like the form is coming together nicely and I’m looking forward for the rest of the week.”

Tomorrow will see the first road stage in a day peppered with short steep climbs from Aigle to Martigny (168.1km).

Here's the report from Wilco Kelderman's Bora-hansgrohe team:

Coming in at just over 4km, the time trial prologue of the Tour de Romandie would decide who wore the race’s leader’s jersey going into the first road stage tomorrow. Riders made a tour of the town of Oron in western Switzerland with the route making its way around the city center before heading up a hill to the finish. While their time on the course was going to be brief, the GC riders knew that every second could count later in the week.

The first of the BORA-hansgrohe team to hit the road was Juraj Sagan, closely followed by Erik Baška. The team’s GC leader, Wilco Kelderman, posted a strong time at the first checkpoint, and eventually crossed the line with a time of 5:42. The Dutch rider was just a few seconds off the top spot, eventually finishing the day just outside of the top ten in eleventh position.

Wilco Kelderman

Wilco Kelderman racing in the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Coming in close behind was Peter Sagan, the Slovak rider taking a time of 5:48 as the next fastest BORA-hansgrohe rider. With the whole team in safely, the first road stage tomorrow would see the race gently ease its way into the mountainous landscapes the Tour de Romandie is famous for, with some smaller climbs before a predicted sprint finish.

"The parcours was very short today, but it was important to measure my effort to come in with a good time and avoid losing anything against the main GC contenders. I'm pleased with my result and am looking forward to the rest of the race this week." – Wilco Kelderman

"Good opening time-trial in the Tour de Romandie that brought back nice memories from my first year as a professional rider. I gave my best to finish in a good position even if this short course wasn't particularly suited to me. I felt quite well, my condition is improving and I'll chase all opportunities in the next stages." – Peter Sagan

"It was quite a solid performance today. Wilco has put himself into a good position for the upcoming stages, and we're satisfied with the result of the Prologue. Tomorrow we're looking to the sprint, which we hope will be a stage for Peter." – André Schulze, Sports Director

Fotoreporter Sirotti has new Giro d'Italia book out

Here's the announcement:

Sirotti Book

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