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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 7, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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

Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic? - Lily Tomlin

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Martin Laas wins second stage of Arctic Race of Norway

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from Laas' Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The second day of racing took the peloton over 177.6 km from Nordkjosbotn to Kilpisjärvi. It was the first time in the history of the race that the peloton made a detour to Finland. After an undulating start and flat middle section, the final 40 km, which were almost constantly uphill, the course featured two ascents, before the riders reached the finish.

Despite the climbs, the stage was one for the fast men, who ultimately fought it out for the day's win. A 5-rider strong breakaway dominated much of the day, yet with the sprinters' teams pulling at the front of the field over the final third of race proceedings, the last of the leaders were caught with only 2km remaining. In the finale, Martin Laas launched his sprint from quite far back, but was able to pull past his opponents at the last minute and take the win in a photo finish.

Martin Laas

Martin Laas wins the second stage.

From the Finish Line:
"I'm really pleased to have been able to take the win here, particularly when one considers how many good sprinters there are in the field. The finale was slightly tricky, there was headwind, it was slightly downhill, and at 5km to the finish I had some cramps. However, with the help of my team, we were able to pull off our plan. Rudi brought me into position and then I followed some wheels, and in the final 150m I launched my sprint. I believed I could pass Kristoff, but in the end it was really close. Thanks to the team for their support and the strong lead-out." - Martin Laas

"Our goal was to support Martin for the sprint. We invested everything into this and didn't want to let a big group get away at the start. Ultimately, a strong 5-man group broke free from the field and defended their lead quite strongly, but in due course, we put Juraj onto the chase. It was a very strong team effort, and in the end the guys set up the sprint for Martin as best as possible. It was a great win by him and of course we are very pleased with it." - Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

Mark Cavendish to race Tour of Denmark

Here’s the news release from Cavendish’s Team Deceuninck-Quick Step:

Mark Cavendish is ready to pin on a number again, three weeks after writing history at the Tour de France. The Manxman, who signed off one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of the sport last month, when he won four stages and the iconic green jersey on the equally iconic Champs-Élysées – in the process tying Eddy Merckx for most wins at Le Tour – will race next week the Danmark Rundt for the first time in eight years.

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish wins 2021 Tour de France stage 13. ASO photo

Joining Cavendish in Struer, from where the 30th edition will roll out with a completely flat stage along the coast, will be Shane Archbold, Belgium Tour winner Remco Evenepoel – who is making his debut at the event – experienced road captain Iljo Keisse, National ITT Champion Yves Lampaert, lead-out master Michael Mørkøv and Jannik Steimle.

“It’s an interesting course this year, with some sprint opportunities, a hard stage 3 in Vejle with a lot of hills and the final day individual time trial, which has the potential of deciding the general classification. Mark has a strong team for the sprints, where he’ll try to be in the mix, while Remco and Yves can go for a good result on the stage against the clock in Frederiksberg. We would like to notch up a victory next week, while for the overall we will just take it one day at a time and see how things go”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Brian Holm.

Anna Henderson remains with Team Jumbo-Visma Women through 2024

The team sent me this update:

Anna Henderson has extended her contract at Team Jumbo-Visma Women. The British talent, who won her first professional victory last week, will commit to the Dutch team until at least the end of 2024.

Henderson already had a contract until the end of 2022, but that commitment has been extended. The 22-year-old rider is having a strong season. During the spring classics, she proved to be an indispensable rider in the finals for leader Marianne Vos, among others. In addition, she also went for her own chances in a number of races. She finished third in the Baloise Ladies Tour and recently she won two stages and the final classification in Tour de Belle Isle and Terre - Kreiz Breizh.

Henderson is looking forward to the coming years with the black and yellow formation: "I am super excited to spend the next three years in a really good environment and with people who really believe in me. I have already learned a lot this season. Tour de Belle is the highlight of this season so far for me, considering my first pro win and the way the team performed there. Gent-Wevelgem was also an important moment for the team and me. That race was a big step in the development of us as a team. I hope I can help Team Jumbo-Visma to become the best team in the world. With this team I want to reach the top. That is the goal.

Team manager Esra Tromp is proud and delighted to connect Henderson to the team for longer. "In the past few months Anna has made a huge development, which we are all very proud of. Anna is a very nice rider to work with. Her positive attitude, inquisitive nature and drive are wonderful to see and very inspiring. I am very happy that we will continue to work with Anna on our common goals in the coming years."

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