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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, August 13, 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.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. - Joseph Addison


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Tour of Poland stage four team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Joao Almeida's Deceuninck Quick Step team with the race results.

Here's the Tour of Poland report from Jumbo-Visma:

Team Jumbo-Visma has finished the fourth stage of the Tour de Pologne with the fourteenth place for Pascal Eenkhoorn. In the hilly final, the Dutchman held up well at the front, but was unable to compete for the highest places in the sprint of a reduced peloton.

The fourth stage was characterized by two steep climbs in the last ten kilometres. Team Jumbo-Visma brought Pascal Eenkhoorn in position in the final. The Dutchman put in a brave fight, but came short on the steep uphill finish.

Joao Almeida wins stage four

Joao Almeida wins Tour of Poland stage four.

Sports director Frans Maassen had seen a strong Eenkhoorn. “Pascal did very well and fought till the end. He was kept in the front by the team and was well-positioned ahead of the final climb. That is not obvious for a rider like Pascal among all those strong GC-riders. He completely rode at his limit. We had hoped for a top ten result, but this was the maximum we could achieve today.”

Antwan Tolhoek did not start today. The Dutchman has not been fit for several days.

Team Bora-hansgrohe posted this report:

Unfortunately, Matteo Fabbro couldn’t start today’s stage four at the Tour de Pologne due to an acute inflammation. Another setback for the team which was still eager to ride an offensive race again. An early 4-men breakaway was at the front for most of the day, but was caught again on time to set up a battle between the favorites. BORA – hansgrohe moved up in the bunch on the last 20km and positioned Giovanni Aleotti very well before the last 3km uphill part to the line. In the end J. Almeida took the stage with Giovanni finishing among the best riders in 13th position to retain his top ten GC placing.

From the Finish Line:
"The team did once again a fabulous job. We are down to only four riders, but everyone is fighting very hard to achieve our goals. I really have to thank the boys today for their effort. It was important to still have Pösti with me before the last uphill stretch, he helped me to stay in position. In the end I didn’t have the power to sprint for the victory today, but I lost no seconds, and this is very important. From that point of view, I can be happy with the day." – Giovanni Aleotti

"Unfortunately, we lost again a rider already before the start of the day. With only four remaining it is important to make any crazy moves and therefore we decided to safe as much as possible during the day to be able to help Giovanni in the final. The boys did a great job and especially Pösti supported Giovanni until the last 3km. Then it was up to the legs. In the end it wasn’t enough today to fight for the win, but it was another good ride from Giovanni, and we are happy he retained his top ten GC sport." -  Christian Pömer, Sports Director

Here's the report from Diego Ulissi's UAE Team Emirates:

Diego Ulissi put in a strong display to defend his podium spot on stage 4 of the Tour de Pologne.

On the hilly finale on the leg from Tarnów to Bukovina Resort (159.9km), Ulissi benefitted from good work from young Alessandro Covi who left him in a good place in the closing metres among a heavily reduced field.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi winning stage two of the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) again proved the strongest, taking his second win of the week, with Ulissi back in 8th from the dash to the line.
Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) remains the overall leader with Diego Ulissi now sitting in third spot at 14’’, with three stages left to ride.

Tomorrow stage 5 will take the riders from Chochołów to Bielsko-Biała (172.8km) with a hilly circuit finish which should suit the puncheurs.

Bahrain Victorious posted this report:

160km between Tarnow and Bukovina Resort feels like a short stage compared to the first 3 stages. This stage is a standard feature in Tour de Pologne, but it was a little “easier” with less elevation this year. Nonetheless, it still proved to be a hard stage.

As in the last 3 days, there was an early breakaway with 4 people, and their lead was 4 min max, meaning the peloton controlled them. Quickstep, Ineos and Bahrain Victorious kept the pace, Kevin Inkelaar and Marcel Sieberg pulling from our side the most. Breakaway was pulled back inside the last 10km, and on the last climb, few attacks happen. None of them succeeds, and the race was decided in the reduced sprint between GC riders. Yellow jersey wearer Joao Almeida won on the line in front of Matej Mohorič.

SD Tim Harris: “Today was semi-mountainous day, so the plan was to secure the position of Matej Mohorič and Dylan Teuns and try to get a stage win with either one of those two. The early break went by, and we were one of the teams controlling it. The real race began in the last 20 km, and quite a big group came together to the line; Matej was super strong, Dylan was super good, but Almeida was just a little stronger than Matej. Matej did say that he was beaten by a better rider this time. Anyway, this leaves us in a nice position for the last 3 days coming. Matej is still 2nd, while Dylan is 6th. Tomorrow is a mountainous day with 3 first category climbs. It will be a tricky day with lots of strong teams attacking, but I think we are in a good position for tomorrow, which will set up a time trial the day after. The team also rode very well today: everyone on the team contributed, we are delighted how things are going, and the spirit among the team is excellent.”

Matej Mohorič described the race: “Today was another opportunity for us to go for a stage win. The team did a great job controlling the breakaway, pulling in front the whole day and working for us. Dylan Teuns, in the final, managed to close the gap to Honoré, who attacked in the last 2km. If he didn’t help me, Honoré would be close to stealing the stage win, so thanks to Dylan, we got back, and I could make the sprint. Joao Almeida attacked quite far out, so I thought it would be a perfect lead-out, but then he stopped when he saw me following; I had no other choice but to open up my sprint. Unfortunately, Almeida was strong enough to get on my tail and pass me just before the finish line. Hats off to him. I hope I can finally win a stage tomorrow.”

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