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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, July 22, 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.

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Team reports on the Tour de Wallonie's second stage

We posted the report from stage two winner Fabio Jakobsen's Deceuninck-Quick Step team with the results.

Here's the report from GC leader Dylan Groenewegen's Jumbo-Visma team:

After a controlled race on the Circuit of Zolder, Team Jumbo-Visma has not been able to compete for the stage win in the bunch sprint during the second stage of the Tour of Wallonia. Dylan Groenewegen finished in 15th place but maintained his lead in the general classification. Fabio Jakobsen won the stage.

Fabio Jakobsen

Fabio Jakobsen wins the second stage.

The second stage was initially cancelled due to heavy rainfall in and around the start location of Verviers. A day before the stage was due to start it was announced that an alternative had been found to allow the stage to go ahead. The riders had to ride 120 kilometres in thirty four-kilometre laps at the Zolder Circuit. The stage also included three bonification sprints that counted towards the general classification.

The Team Jumbo-Visma riders rode at the head of the bunch for most of the race and kept the race under control. In the nervous final phase, Groenewegen was unable to sprint for the win. “Of course I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to sprint” said Groenewegen. “We now have to look with the team again to see how we can do better next time. The legs are good, we saw that yesterday. I didn't win myself, I'm happy that Fabio won the race. We both had a difficult time. We can only have a lot of admiration and respect for that. I'm happy to be able to race against him again."

"What worked very well yesterday, didn't work today," adds sports director Addy Engels. "The final was very chaotic and it was not possible to set up a train for Dylan, so he never got the chance to sprint. I'm also glad that Fabio won today, the day after Dylan's win. Hopefully they will win a lot together."

Here's the report from second-place Fernando Gaviria's UAE Team Emirates:

Fernando Gaviria showed his speed with a close 2nd place on stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie (2.Pro) today.

The stage, which was originally postponed due to severe flooding, was re-located to the Zolder racing circuit where the riders raced for 120km on the pan-flat course.

Tour of Wallonia stage two

Stage two was raced on the Zolder Circuit.

The victory went to Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) with Amaury Capiot (Arkea Samsic) rounding out the podium.

Gaviria now sits third in the General Classification at 4’’ behind race leader Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).

Tomorrow stage 3 will take the riders on the hilly parcours from Plombières to Érezée (179.9km).

Here's the report from Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Due to the flooding disaster in Belgium, the stage from Verviers to Herve that was initially planned for today had to be cancelled. The organisers instead located an alternative and so the race took place on the Zolder race track. The race featured 30 laps of 4 km of flat terrain each and ended as expected in a bunch sprint.

BORA - hansgrohe tried to ride attentively and offensively to have a chance in the final sprint, but ultimately the sprint specialists proved themselves to be too strong and were able to decide the victory among themselves. With Fabio Jakobsen prevailing at the finish line, Rudi Selig was the highest-placed rider of the squad from Raubling, in 14th position.

From the Finish Line:
"Our aim was to control the beginning of the race well, then save energy during the day and eventually concentrate on Rudi in the finale alongside our sprinter group here. The whole plan worked out quite well, yet unfortunately there was a little misunderstanding just ahead of the last bend. As a result, they were out in the wind slightly too early, and in the end Rudi was able to take fourteenth place. However, one has to keep in mind that the best sprinters are here with their lead-out trains and the final on these wide roads was also very chaotic and hectic. Nevertheless, Rudi's teammates, especially Michael Schwarzmann and Patrick Gamper, did a good job today. Slightly more could have been possible today, but I think we have at least one more chance to achieve a better result here with Rudi. Tomorrow is a stage that will suit the riders who are stronger on the climbs, or the Classics specialists, so we'll see what we can do there." - Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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