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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 10, 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.

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode? - Langston Hughes

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Cancelled & postponed races:

Latest completed racing:

Bora-hansgrohe loses Pascal Ackermann and Marcus Burghardt in Tour de Pologne opener

The team sent me this:

More than 200km awaited the peloton on today’s opening stage at the Tour de Pologne to Chelm. Three riders formed the break of the day, but the bunch was well in control of the race. Unfortunately, Pascal Ackermann had to abandon early. He was sick last week and is still not at 100%. After the break had been caught early some riders attacked from the bunch. Also, some crashes happened and unfortunately Marcus Burghardt was involved. He had to abandon the race as well with a suspected broken arm. In the end the sprinters had to battle it out in the expected bunch sprint and P. Bauhaus took the stage. After an eventful first day for BORA – hansgrohe Michael Schwarzmann was the team’s best place rider in 15th position.

Pascal Ackermann

A better day. Pascal Ackermann wins the second stage of the 2021 Settimana Italiana

From the Finish Line:
"Well, more or less everything went wrong today. First, Pascal had to abandon the race. He is still not at 100% after his illness last week. Then we also lost Burgi in a crash. He is now in the hospital for further examinations, but it looked like a broken arm. We decided then to go for Giovanni, but he was held up in another crash inside the last 2km. So, in the end Schwarzi was our best rider in 15th place. There is not a lot to add, we simply had bad luck. Still, I am optimistic for the upcoming day." – Jean-Pierre Heyndericks, Sports Director

Team DSM's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Ladies Tour of Norway, AUG 12-15

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach
“The Ladies Tour of Norway is a tricky four day stage race, taking place over some punchy terrain. We arrive with a strong team and everyone is in good form and motivated for the action. We’ll target stage results in the sprint finales, where Coryn will be our designated finisher, with the rest of the team riding in support of that goal. Normally the third stage should decide the GC with a very tough mountain top finish; and there we will focus as a team on getting Juliette as fresh as possible to the bottom of the climb, before the difficult ascent decides the stage and the GC along with it.”

Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Wilma Olausson (SWE)
Coryn Rivera (USA)

La Vuelta ciclista a España, AUG 14 - SEP 05

Matt Winston - Team DSM coach
"The Vuelta a España once again takes in an interesting and varied parcours, with a wide range of challenging stages over the 21 days of racing. Right from the start we should be in for some exciting racing with a time trial on the opening day, followed by a sprint stage and then the first summit finish on day three. From there, the sprinters get more chances before the climbers look to do battle in the mountains, while the stage hunters look for opportunities on the rolling days. The final week sees even more incredibly challenging days over some brutally steep ascents, while the medium mountain stages will tempt the attackers; meaning the different battles in the peloton won’t be over until the final pedal stroke is complete. We’ll take an offensive approach as a team, first focusing on day results, moulding our approach to the race as we head towards the finish in Santiago de Compostela. After a great performance at the recent Vuelta a Burgos, confidence within the team is high and we're all motivated to show off our Team DSM jersey at the final Grand Tour of the year."

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet (shown at the 2021 Giro d'Italia) will ride the Vuelta. Sirotti photo

Thymen Arensman (NED)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Nico Denz (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Alexandr Vlasov joins Bora-hansgrohe

The team me this news:

Alexandr Vlasov will ride in the BORA - hansgrohe colours until at least the end of 2024. The Russian is an excellent rider, who is not only strong in the mountains, but has also been able to prove himself this year with excellent performances in the time trial discipline.

Alexandre Vlasov

Alexandr Vlasov finishes 2021 Giro d'Italia stage 19. Sirotti photo

"Alexandr is certainly one of the biggest talents with respect to stage racing and we’re very pleased that he has decided to join us. As you know, there was interest from other teams. We will definitely set our sights on the Grand Tours with him. In the medium term, the goal is the Tour de France, yet he still has to learn and develop further, which might be easier at the Giro or Vuelta. Overall, we are now very broadly positioned in terms of GC riders, but that was also our goal. Each rider will receive his chances. I'm confident that we'll form a great team that will open up tactical possibilities and put us in a position to be right up there." - Ralph Denk, Team Manager

"I'm really looking forward to my upcoming years at BORA - hansgrohe, but I also want to say thanks for my time at Astana. They have been quite successful seasons and my first steps in professional cycling. However, now it's time for something new. My focus is definitely on the Grand Tours. It will be about continuing to work hard with BORA - hansgrohe to develop myself, because one day I hope to win one of the big three Grand Tours. But I also think that I’ll have some chances in tough one-day races. I was already third at Il Lombardia and a victory in a Monument would of course be very nice. That may also be possible. The team and I have the same goals in mind and we’re also envisaging the path to arrive there. Now we just have to set upon this path together." - Alexandr Vlasov

Ineos Grenadiers announce Vuelta a España lineup

The team sent me this:

The last Grand Tour of the year is upon us, and it’s set to be another hard fought entertaining battle for the top step of the podium. Starting in Burgos, the Vuelta a España, as always, involves a tough parcours across 21 stages, made all the harder by the Spanish summer heat when the race heads down towards the south.

The Grenadiers who will be taking to the startline is a stellar crew made up of:

Egan Bernal
Richard Carapaz
Jhonatan Narváez
Tom Pidcock
Salvatore Puccio
Pavel Sivakov
Dylan van Baarle
Adam Yates

Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal enjoying his 2021 Giro d'Italia win. Sirotti photo

Who are the INEOS Grenadiers racing the Vuelta a España?

Egan Bernal - 24, Colombia
After an emphatic win earlier this year at the Giro d’Italia, the Colombian will be back racing with the INEOS Grenadiers with his eyes set on the top step of another Grand Tour podium. Having spent time back at home in Colombia training at altitude, Bernal is back and ready to light up the race alongside his teammates as one of the race favourites. 

Richard Carapaz - 28, Ecuador
What a year it has been for this racer! After making history at the Tour de France, being the first Ecuadorian to take a podium spot with his third place, he then went to Tokyo and won Olympic Gold in the road race, writing yet more history for his beloved nation. The newly-crowned Olympic champion will come to the Vuelta a España with his attacking style, doing his best to make the race as tough as possible for his opponents.

Jhonatan Narváez - 24, Ecuador
In Tokyo he helped play a part in supporting his compatriot to take gold at the Olympic Games, now Narváez will be racing his second Grand Tour of the season, after being a strong support rider and helping Bernal take the win at this year’s Giro d’Italia. His climbing strength will be depended upon by the team leaders when the road starts to tilt upwards in the mountains.  

Tom Pidcock - 22, UK
In his first season at WorldTour level Pidcock has made his mark, having already racked up podium places in the Classics at Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, Amstel Gold race and De Brabantse Pijl, the latter his first professional road race win. And off road he has achieved even more this year, taking the win at the MTB World Cup in Nové Město, before flying to Japan and winning an incredible Gold in the Olympic mountain bike race. Now the all-terrain rider will test himself across three weeks for the first time in his career.

Salvatore Puccio - 31, Italy
‘Salva’ as he’s known amongst his teammates, is one of the most trusted domestiques at the team and was another key contributor to Bernal’s success at the Giro this year. About to embark on his 15th Grand Tour, all of which have been with this team, this will be his seventh Vuelta a España, where he will provide unwavering support for his team leaders and help captain the team on the road.

Pavel Sivakov - 24, Russia
After taking fourth in the general classification at Vuelta a Burgos this last week, Sivakov is looking to be in good form for supporting the team leaders ahead of the Vuelta. This will be his fifth Grand Tour, and after experiencing some bad luck at the Giro d’Italia this year, Sivakov is highly motivated to be lining up for his second time at the Spanish Grand Tour.

Dylan van Baarle - 29, Netherlands
Van Baarle has shown his diversity in strength this year, from a 50km long-range attack to take the win at Dwars Door Vlaanderen, to guiding the Tour de France team across all types of stages. At the recent Olympic Games, he was there helping light up the race in the final kilometres in support of his Dutch team leader, eventually finishing an impressive 15th in his own right. Dylan is as dependable as they come.

Adam Yates - 29, UK
Yates hit the ground running as a Grenadier and has enjoyed an excellent debut year with the team, winning the Volta a Catalunya, taking second at the UAE Tour and fourth at Itzulia Basque Country. He comes into the Vuelta as one of the favourites, and having raced nine Grand Tours during his career, he’s primed to take on the challenge of the next three weeks.

Life Time buys the Sea Otter Classic

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Frank Yohannan, who has owned and operated the Sea Otter Classic for more than 30 years, has found a new owner for the event — Life Time, Inc., a multi-billion dollar fitness and event company.

Life Time is best known in the cycling industry for its ownership of the Leadville 100, UNBOUND Gravel, Crusher in the Tushar and the Chequamegon MTB Festival among other events. It’s also a significant player in triathlon, hosting the  New York and Chicago Triathlons, as well as iconic running events including the Miami Marathon and Chicago Half Marathon.

Besides events, the company operates fitness centers in more than 150 locations in the U.S. and Canada, boasting several million members, as well as database of about a million athletes who have participated in Life Time events over the last half-dozen years.

Yohannan announced the sale saying he would remain as Sea Otter’s director for the next three years. His staff, many of whom have been with the company for upwards of 20 years, will join Life Time.

“What’s most important to me is to continue to grow,” Yohannan said. “Certainly there is financial growth, which is a key part of my responsibilities. But we also need to grow with our industry — to help forecast and support major trends like e-bikes and gravel. We also need to be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities.”

More importantly, said the 73-year-old Yohannan, the sale to Life Time, with its financial resources and history in event management, is essential for Sea Otter’s continued growth. “The synergies Life Time brings are some that we could never have done on our own,” he said. Yohannan, who declined to reveal the sales price, said he will continue to independently license the Sea Otter name to events in Canada, Spain and Australia.

You can read the entire story here.

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