BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter See our youtube channel Melanoma: It started with a freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames Neugent Cycling Wheels Peaks Coaching: work with a coach! Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter


Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 8, 2021

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2020 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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

I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren't any rules, how could you break them? - Leo Durocher

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Cancelled & postponed races:

Latest completed racing:

Vuelta a Burgos final reports

We posted the report from stage winner Hugh Carthy's EF Education-Nippo team with the results.

GC winner Mikel Landa's Bahrain Victorious team posted this report:

Mikel Landa made his return in great style after crashing out of the Giro by winning Vuelta Burgos. His 6th place finish on the final stage moved him into the lead in the GC, while teammate Mark Padun climbed the rankings and placed 3rd overall.

Burgos Podium

The final GC podium, from left: Fabio Aru (2nd), Mikel Landa (1st) & Mark Padun (3rd)

The team also made it on the podium as the best team overall, showing the team’s strength moving into the final Grand Tour of the season. Unfortunately, Buitrago could not hold on to the best young rider jersey but showed his potential throughout the race.

It was an attack from Mark Padun from the GC group, which shook things up and helping Landa move up ahead of Bardet (Team DSM).

Mikel Landa; “It’s very good to be on the top of the podium again after the crash and injury. We started the stage with the goal of a stage win. We tried to do it hard on the last climb. The stage win is really hard, we tried with Mark and with Santiago also, at the end we kept the GC with us, and we are happy for the result. We have a really strong team here, and we tried to do our best. Now I am feeling very good before Vuelta a Espana. I knew my legs still need some weeks more to be in the best shape. Day by day, I think we are approaching our goal.”

Mark Padun; “It’s quite a nice week for the team and for me first of all. We are not in the first position of the stages, but two riders in the Top 3 of the general classification is an amazing result, and also the team classification. I am quite happy to be part of this team. I started this race not having the best legs possible, but day by day, it’s been growing, and today it’s actually quite good.”

Niel Stephens, DS, shared his thoughts right after the stage “With the GC win here in Vuelta a Burgos, it’s a great way to finish the work Mikel has put in after his crash. He’s working really hard for the past few months. The team has worked really hard this week. And today, we not only win the team classification, to win the general classification, it’s a fantastic way to finish it off. Great work by all the staff and riders here in Team Bahrain Victorious.We are looking forward to a great Vuelta a Espana as well.”

Here's the report from GC second-place Fabio Aru's Qhubeka-NextHash team:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 7, 2021/ -- Hugh Carthy (EF Education Nippo) won the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos but it was Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) that won the race overall, with Fabio Aru (Team Qhubeka NextHash) ( taking 2nd and Mark Padun (Bahrain-Victorious) finishing 3rd.

Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru racing in the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Team Qhubeka NextHash took to the start of the final Vuelta a Burgos stage without Domenico Pozzovivo and Sander Armee, this was after both riders crashed during yesterday's stage. Armee is expected to make a rapid recovery from his injuries but Pozzovivo suffered a fracture of the knee.

It was heart-breaking to see Pozzovivo leave the race while in such excellent form and his Vuelta a Espana challenge now lost too, before it even began, but with Fabio Aru starting the final stage in 4th overall our South African team still had a lot to race for and our 4 remaining riders delivered in a big way.

The final 146km stage finished up the 12km climb to Lagunas de Neila, well-known for its brutal gradients over the last 3km to the line. An early break did animate the first part of the race, but it was always going to be caught on the climb and the stage & GC would be decided by the strongest climbers.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Bert-Jan Lindeman and Dylan Sunderland did a fine job looking after Fabio Aru right up until about the 7km to go marker for Team Qhubeka NextHash. Team Bahrain Victorious then set the pace coming into the hardest part of the climb, and this put the race leader, Romain Bardet (Team DSM) into difficulty.

Aru was riding strong in the wheels of Bahrain though, as the group quickly whittled down to just the top 20 climbers in the race. Padun was the first of the GC men to make a move, but Ineos Grenadiers gave chase with Egan Bernal and Pavel Sivakov.

Riders were aptly greeted with a "Welcome to Hell" sign painted on the road as they began the final steep 3km stretch. From here it was very much, every man for himself. There were numerous attacks and surges in pace, but Aru rode an intelligent final climb with a top GC placing his goal. Always in the top 10 positions on the road, Aru fought all the way to the line, taking 8th place on the stage just 38 seconds after Carthy had won.

Aru's brilliant performance ensured he climbed up to 2nd place overall, behind race winner Landa. A great result for Aru and also Team Qhubeka NextHash after a difficult last 24 hours for the team.

Fabio Aru:
"I am really sorry about the crashes over the last few days in our team. On the 2nd day Emil (Vinjebo) crashed and broke his collarbone, now he will miss the Vuelta. Yesterday also, Pozzo (Domenico Pozzovivo), he broke his knee, this is really terrible for us. Sander Armee also went home but we hope he can recover soon and Reinie (Janse van Rensburg) also crashed yesterday, so this has been very bad for our team.

"But today we still had four guys in the race, and I have to say thank you to Bert-Jan (Lindeman), Reinie and Dylan (Sunderland). They really helped me a lot all day and to arrive in the climb in the first positions. Even though Reinie crashed yesterday he was still so strong today. So, in the end I am really happy about the result we could achieve.

"When we made the decision to skip the Tour de France, and changed my calendar, I went to Lugano and Sibiu Tour and I was able to find a good feeling on the bike again. I could start attacking again, I could race the race, and I was able to fight in the race. I missed this feeling so much in the last three years and this was really hard for me.

"So, these last few results, also with 2nd in GC at Vuelta a Burgos against very good riders, this gives me a very good feeling and I am so happy about it. Now I will have some easy days with the family and be ready for the next goals."

Third-place Simon Yates' Team BikeExchange posted this report:

Briton Simon Yates fought hard up today’s final climb, Lagunas de Neilas, to conclude the five-day Vuelta a Burgos, taking a solid third place on his 29th birthday.

After an early breakaway of six riders established itself and opened up a gap of over four-minutes, Team BikeExchange sent Damien Howson and Robert Stannard to the front to assist with the chase and gradually the advantage began to plummet down.

With the long climb still to face, the breakaway managed to hold on to around a one-minute lead as the road headed north up the final ascent and it wasn’t until the final kilometres, when all the remaining breakaway riders were swallowed up and the GC riders came to the fore.

Yates, biding his time, rode his own tempo, remaining towards the front of the bunch as the main group continued to whittle down. Passing riders, one-by-one, Yates eventually crossed the line for a respectable third place to wrap up a busy racing period for the 29-year-old while ahead, Hugh Carthy was crowned the final stage winner.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates winning stage nineteen of the 2021 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Simon Yates – 3rd place
“Today it was good to test the legs on a hard final climb. The team did a good job riding to help bring the breakaway back with Damien and Rob up there on the penultimate climb. It took a while for the peloton to finally catch the breakaway, then it was down to who had the legs in those final steep kilometres.

"I tried to keep my own rhythm and was able to pass riders on the final steep corners and eventually it was good enough for third. It’s been a good five-days of racing here and the end of a big block of racing for me. It’s also been good to see the guys getting stuck in and Rob having a good go in the sprints before his next big races.”

Here's the report from Romain Bardet's Team DSM:

A mountain top finish awaited the peloton on the final day of racing at the Vuelta a Burgos, with the tough ascent to Lagunas de Neila coming at the end of a rolling 146 kilometre long stage. It was a fast start to the afternoon’s action with a lot of attacks, where the team did a really good job to police any dangerous moves, before eventually a six rider group got clear. With all Team DSM riders in the peloton, focus remained on staying safe and conserving as much energy as possible, looking to protect the team’s race leader Romain Bardet for the finale.

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet winning stage three of this year's Vuelta a Burgos.

Taking up the responsibility with the leader’s jersey in the team, Alberto Dainese and Nico Denz set tempo at the front of the peloton, ensuring that the strong breakaway group’s gap didn’t go out too far; stabilising it at around five minutes with 50 kilometres to go. Soon, other GC teams came to the front and increased the pace further, causing the gap to steadily drop and as they began the final climb it stood at two minutes. Flanked by Chad Haga, Martijn Tusveld, Thymen Arensman and Chris Hamilton, Bardet was shepherded into a good position as the gradient began to bite.

With the road ramping up, so did the pace, and the bunch thinned down drastically heading into the final three kilometres, with Hamilton and Bardet riding well towards the front of the peloton. However, when the pace increased one more notch, Bardet felt the effects of his crash on stage three and wasn’t able to follow the front of the group. Digging deep and pushing all the way to the finish, highlighting his and the team’s gutsy attitude, Bardet crossed the line in a position that saw him end the Vuelta a Burgos in sixth place on GC for the team.

“We tried to control the race today,” expressed Bardet at the finish. “The guys did a super nice job to do just that. Then on the final climb I suffered from the effects of my crash two days ago, so I just fought to the line to get the best result possible. We did a nice race here as a team and we can take confidence with us into the Vuelta.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “It was a really nice performance from the guys. We again showed some good commitment, rode on the front and controlled the race. Romain unfortunately struggled on the final climb after the other day and lost time in the end, but I think overall we can be satisfied with how we raced as a group this week and we made some good steps here.”

Arctic Race of Norway stage three reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Ben Hermans' Israel Start-Up Nation team.

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Ben Hermans took both the victory and the overall lead of Arctic Race of Norway after an impressive show of strength on the uphill finish on stage 3.

Ben Hermans

Ben Hermans wins stage three.

Having already won on the challenging climb to Målselv in 2015, Hermans knew exactly how to approach Saturday’s queen stage and his ISN teammates made sure to put him in the best possible position to repeat the victorious performance from the past.

After catching the early breakaway on the final climb, ISN did an impeccable job to set up Hermans for glory. As agreed upon at the team meeting before the stage, Rick Zabel, Tom Van Asbroeck and Sebastian Berwick all hit the front in the final kilometers before Hermans took over the show and sprinted to victory.

With today’s win, Hermans is also the new leader of the race before tomorrow’s final stage from Gratangen to Harstad. However, with a gap of just four seconds down to second place, nothing is settled yet. It will require another strong performance by the ISN guys to secure the overall win.

Ben Hermans: “The breakaway was always under control so I had all five guys to help position me in to the final climb. I asked the guys to go full in order to tire out everybody else while I would just keep my own tempo. They did that perfectly. Rick went super-fast and Tom accelerated even more before Sebastian attacked. All the favorites I was a little scared off followed him but I never panicked. Seb really killed them with that move with two kilometers to go.

When I came back to the front I attacked right away. At the end, when I saw that they couldn’t attack me anymore, I knew they were finished and I thought it would be best to go for a long sprint. I was actually surprised that there was still someone, Eiking, who came up on my side but I managed to hold him off to take the win.

It would have been better to win with a bigger margin so the bonus seconds wouldn’t be in play tomorrow. Now, we have to be really attentive but luckily we also have some good sprinters who can go for the bonus seconds. It will definitely be another interesting stage and I hope to have a good day again tomorrow!”

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary