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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, July 21, 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.

It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up. - Muhammad Ali


Current racing:

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Team reports on the Tour de Wallonie's first stage

We posted the report from winner Dylan Groenewegen's Jumbo-Visma team with the results.

Here's the Deceuninck-Quick Step report:

The Tour de Wallonie, a race where our team took the overall glory twice in the past, got underway with a hilly 185.7km stage between Genappe and Héron, comprising four classified climbs and countless other hills that made for a tough day in the saddle.

Josef Cerny and Yves Lampaert were on pace-setting duty for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, controlling the seven-man breakaway and allowing it a two-minute maximum advantage before reeling it in with 70 kilometers to go. Shortly after, three riders went clear forcing the peloton to start a fierce chase, our team taking over the reins again at the head of the bunch. The Wolfpack made sure of overhauling also this small group, before changing the approach and deciding to go on the offensive.

With 15 kilometers remaining, Andrea Bagioli attacked and was joined by two other riders, together opening a 20-second gap that they carried into the last five kilometers of the stage. It looked like the trio would manage to stay clear, but the sprinters’ teams somehow found that extra gear to erase the deficit and make sure it would come down to a mass gallop, won by Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), from a peloton that contained also Fabio Jakobsen, our highest-ranked rider.

Dylan roenewegen

Dylan Greonewegen takes the first stage.

“We controlled things, and then, as we approached the business end of the stage, we had Andrea giving it a go. It was his first outing for the team since March and he looked good, it was nice to have him back. We hoped he would make it, but many teams wanted a bunch, so theu got caught with just two kilometers to go. We backed Fabio and he was determined to get a good result, but unfortunately he was boxed in. Despite all this, it was a good start for us, which makes us confident for the next stages”, said sports director Klaas Lodwyck.Deceuninck – Quick-Step will continue the race in six riders, after Pieter Serry was forced to abandon due to a crash at 70 kilometers to go, following which he was diagnosed with rib contusion.

Here's the report from Team Bora-hansgrohe:

On the 185.7 km-long opening stage of the Tour de Wallonie which started in Genappe, the peloton crested several short climbs and took on an ascending finale to the finish in Héron. A 7-man group, which escaped the field relatively early, dominated the race for a long period of time.

Peloton start

The peloton starts the first stage.

However, with the peloton not allowing the escapees to gain over 1:30 minutes, after 105 km the raace eventually came back together. Although in the latter part of proceedings, several attacks ensued, the peloton thwarted all further attempts to breakaway, in order to bring about a bunch sprint. Although BORA - hansgrohe rode offensively today, ultimately, the squad from Raubling was unable to mix it up in the very end and had to be content with 18th place with Michael Schwarzmann.

From the finish line:
"At this year's Tour de Wallonie, there is a world class field of sprinters in attendance, and we don't have a pure sprinter in our line up here. Therefore, we planned to ride offensively, particularly over the last third of the race, and to prepare the sprint for Rudi Selig in case of a bunch sprint. Michael Schwarzmann did this very well, he rode an offensive race and demonstrated strong fighting spirit. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for him to get away in the final, and Rudi didn't have the legs today to take part in the bunch sprint, so was left behind. Tomorrow there will be a criterium on the Zolder circuit and we will try again there. It's a pity that Schwarzi's offensive riding wasn't rewarded today, but there just wasn't more left in the tank." - Christian Pömer, Sports Director

INEOS Grenadiers and Castelli part ways with new clothing supplier BioRacer to commence from 2022

The team sent me this release:

After five successful seasons, 2021 will be the final year of the partnership between INEOS Grenadiers and Castelli. Racing, collaborating and developing performance apparel alongside Castelli has been a key part of the team since 2017. Together we drove countless innovations, enhancing the team’s performances in all conditions and we thank Castelli for all the support.

Team INEOS

Team INEOS Grenadiers shown at this year's Tour of Provence. Sirotti photo

From 2022 the team will race in Bioracer kit as part of a new exciting Performance Apparel partnership. We’re extremely excited about Bioracer’s expertise in both speedwear and custom fit, and are looking forward to welcoming the Bioracer family into the team. More details will follow later in the year.

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