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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, July 29, 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.

I've been on a calendar, but I've never been on time. - Marilyn Monroe


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Olympic time trials team reports

We posted the UCI's reports on the men's and women's time trials with the results.

Here's the report from men's winner Primoz Roglic and 2nd place Tom Dumoulin's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Primoz Roglic has become Olympic time trial champion in Tokyo. The Slovenian was over a minute faster than number two Tom Dumoulin. The Dutchman conquered the silver medal, just like five years ago. The Australian Rohan Dennis completed the podium.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic on his way to a gold medal. Sirotti photo

The Olympic time trial was held on and around the Fuji Speedway. The 44.2 kilometre course had 846 altitude metres. From the first intermediate points it was clear that Roglic and Dumoulin were working on a strong race. Roglic was able to increase his lead on his competitors in the second part and brilliantly rode to the Olympic title. With this he took revenge on a disappointing Tour de France earlier this month, which he had to leave injured.

Wout van Aert had a fast start, but was unable to maintain his high pace. The number two of the Olympic road race finished sixth.

“For me it is very nice to win this race after such a difficult period”, commented fresh champion Roglic. “It was difficult to keep my head calm during difficult moments. Hard work, the support of my family and other close people, and believing in myself have dragged me through. That is now paying off with this medal. From the start I went full speed ahead and fought for every kilometre. That was enough for the gold medal. Every performance is special and so is this one. I am very happy.”

Dumoulin was satisfied with his time trial and his silver medal. “It was my goal to get a medal today. The past months I really had no idea if that would be possible or not. I tried to enjoy the process as much as possible and it worked out really well. The time trial itself went really well. In the first lap I felt very strong. In the second, I felt the energy slowly draining away. In the last ten kilometres I was able to regain that power. Silver was the highest achievable today and for me this is a medal with a golden

Here's the report from women's bronze medalist Anna van der Breggen's Team SD Worx:

Anna van der Breggen has won a bronze medal during the Olympic time trial in Tokyo. It is her third Olympic medal for the reigning world champion, after she already won gold in the road race and bronze in the time trial in Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Anna van der Breggen

Anna van der Breggen on her bronze medal winning ride. Sirotti photo

On behalf of Team SD Worx there were five riders at the start, divided over five different countries, namely: Anna Shackley (GB), Karol-Ann Canuel (CAN), Christine Majerus (LUX), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) and Anna van der Breggen (NED).

Already at the first measuring point we saw an unleashed Annemiek van Vleuten. Van der Breggen passed third at the first and second measuring point, at 9.7 and 15 kilometers. In the last meters of the course it was still exciting whether she could beat Marlen Reusser, but the Swiss turned out to be six seconds faster and won the silver medal.

“It's my third Olympic medal, and I'm happy about that. I might have hoped for more. My goal was a gold medal of course. I soon felt that this was not my day. I didn't reach the wattages, and it just didn't feel like the last time trials. A bummer! I did everything I could and fought to the end and in the end it was another medal. That was actually not too bad for me, because it just didn't go very well in my opinion," Van der Breggen told NOS after the finish.

When asked why things weren't going well, she responded: “Some days you can go very deep, I just couldn't go any harder now. It sounds stupid, but some days you're just better. You're just hoping for your best day here and I didn't have one."

“My preparation was good. I felt good. I've had enough help and everything ran smoothly so that's not the issue. I should have just cycled faster and that was not possible today. I was actually surprised that it was still bronze. But I am certainly very happy.”

Van der Breggen is now going on holiday: “After that, we'll see which races I still drive. I do want to go to the World Cup in Belgium, but mainly in service for the girls who have ridden for me for years.”

Here's the report from men's bronze medalist Rohan Dennis' Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Rohan Dennis rode to a hard-fought bronze medal in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Representing Australia, Dennis found himself in the middle of an intense fight for medal places across two laps of an undulating course around Fuji Speedway.

The Australian crossed the line just three seconds off a silver medal, and just tenths of a second ahead of fourth placed Stefan Kung.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis riding to a bronze medal. Sirotti photo

Filippo Ganna had been fastest through the opening split out of course, eventually finishing fifth on a sweltering day in Japan. On the second lap it was Primoz Roglic who rammed home his advantage, pushing clear to win by an eventual margin of 1:01.

Geraint Thomas (12th), Richie Porte (27th) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (29th) were also in action for Great Britain and Australia.

Rohan Dennis:
“It feels very good. I gave it everything. Everything was left out there and everything was left out there in training. The form was good but I was beaten by two better guys on the day. I’m just glad I got that medal in the end and I’m proud, I’m very proud.

“The first lap was quite easy and then on that second lap it took a long time to catch G (Geraint Thomas). That second lap out the back was brutal and that’s where I think Primoz absolutely destroyed all of us and that’s where he definitely won it. It was just a dogfight between the rest of us. I was lucky to be on the positive side of that.

“There’s a lot of joy but it’s been an extra 12 months and obviously there’s a lot of stuff gone on in the world. It probably did help me to settle into the team for a bit longer to get used to the equipment. Obviously I would have liked it to be at the end of 2019 but I’m very happy with the result. Congrats to Primoz and Tom.”

Patrick Konrad, Ide Schelling and Matteo Fabbro extend contracts with Bora-hansgrohe

The team sent me this news:

Tour de France stage winner Konrad is to continue with a free role in the team, while Schelling and Fabbro will continue their development, in the direction of one-day races and stage races respectively. All three riders have extended their contracts with the German WorldTeam for two years.

Patrick Konrad

Patrick Konrad wins stage 16 of the 2021 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

"Firstly, I’m happy that we were able to agree on contract extensions with these three riders, who are very important for us. Patrick belongs with us, our connection over the many years together goes far beyond just sports. He is an extremely versatile rider and perhaps that is why it was at times difficult for us to get the best out of him in the last few years. But I think we have found a very good role for him now and we will continue to try to win more races with him in the future and place less emphasis on the general classification.

"Ide has progressed through an impressive development. One can’t forget that he only turned pro with us last year, the first year of the pandemic, which was a very difficult season. However, he made a big step this year, was strong in the spring Classics, took his first win, and made it to the Tour de France. It was there in particular where one could see why we like having him so much at BORA - hansgrohe. This passion with which he fought for the mountains jersey, that probably describes Ide best. He has character, is an extraordinary person and we are confident that much is still possible and that we will continue to enjoy our path together with him.

"Matteo has also improved a lot. He has shown this year that he is not only a good helper in the mountains, but can also ride for results. He will certainly receive some chances in the future. We also see potential in him, because he is a hard worker and is very methodical in his progress. That fits in very well with the approach within the team of gradually bringing riders up to the top." - Ralph Denk, Team Manager

"BORA - hansgrohe has essentially become my home. I feel comfortable here and racing with the guys is very enjoyable. I have been with the team since 2014, back then as a stagiaire, and since then I have continuously developed as a rider. Winning a stage of the Tour de France gave me a lot of confidence and I'm eager to achieve more. I want to continue to ride offensively, support the team and win races in the future. There is still potential to improve, I am convinced of that, and I want to follow this path together with BORA - hansgrohe. I'm really looking forward to my upcoming years with the team." - Patrick Konrad

"I’ve found my place at BORA - hansgrohe and that’s why I am very happy to be able to extend my contract for two years. The curve of my development over the past two years has been quite steep, which is the result of hard work, a professional environment, but above all individual cooperation. For me, this individual approach is very important, it shows that there’s an element of trust between us. We've already achieved a lot together, including my first win and first Tour de France participation, but we still have a lot to do together." - Ide Schelling

"Two years ago, I became part of the Band of Brothers and found it to be a very professional environment. The two years prior, I wasn’t really able get a foothold in the peloton due to injuries, but at BORA – hansgrohe, all of that changed. Ralph Denk and the entire team had a lot of confidence in me, which gave me the strength and motivation to work hard towards our goals. I think my development speaks for itself and is the result of a highly successful collaboration, which is why I really wanted to continue here. Our goal is to progress on our common path with as much determination as ever, and I will do everything I can to continue to reward the trust that has been placed in me." - Matteo Fabbro

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