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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history. - George Bernard Shaw


Current racing:

Upcoming races:

Cancelled & postponed races:

Latest completed racing:


Groupama FDJ's Jake Stewart has broken hand after incident with Nacer Bouhanni on Sunday

Reuters posted this update:

(Reuters) - British rider Jake Stewart will miss the upcoming Flanders classics after fracturing his hand in the incident in which Nacer Bouhanni found himself in hot water at the weekend.

Jake Stewart

Jake Stewart in February this year at the Etoile de Bessèges stage race. Groupama-FDJ photo

Bouhanni was seen barging into Groupama–FDJ’s Stewart and pushing him into the barriers during a high-speed sprint finish at the Cholet–Pays de la Loire race in France on Sunday.

Bouhanni was disqualified from Sunday’s race by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) commissaires and could face disciplinary action for his dangerous move.

Stewart managed to stay upright and crossed the line in 29th place before criticising Bouhanni’s conduct on social media, accusing him of having “no brain cells”.

A team statement on Tuesday confirmed Stewart’s injury:
“During the collision in the final sprint in Cholet - Pays de la Loire, Jake Stewart hit the barriers with his hand. Following X-rays this morning, Jake Stewart has a fractured left hand,” the statement read. “The injury means he will not be able to ride in the upcoming Flanders classics, including the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. He will be out for about three weeks.”

Stewart added: “I am disappointed not to participate in the next classics, especially as I had very good legs. It was not my fault, it’s part of the sport.”

Team DSM's upcoming races

The team sent me this schedule:

Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre, MAR 31

Marc Reef - Team DSM coach:
"We head to Dwars door Vlaanderen with a strong line-up which gives us multiple options to play. In recent seasons we have seen that the race has gotten harder. This year the route has changed ever so slightly in the hilly zone and the final itself, which should make for even more interesting and aggressive racing. The important section is the second time up the Kluisberg and Côte de Trieu, and from then hills quickly follow after each other. We will try to race aggressively at that point and get as many guys as possible in the moves that go. With Søren, Tiesj and Nils our protected riders, we’ll go for a good result in the final.”

Tiesj Bennot

Tiesj Bennot will be at Dwars door Valaanderen. Here he wins 2020 Paris-Nice stage 6. Sirotti photo

Line-up
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER)

Women's Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre: MAR 31

Albert Timmer - Team DSM coach:
“We continue our spring classics campaign at Dwars door Vlaanderen. The parcours features quite a long run-in to the climbs on flatter roads and a lot depends on the wind strength and direction; as we could see some splits there so we need to be attentive. We then have a really hard middle part with several climbs, before a flatter finale. We have a strong line up for the race and with Floortje, Liane and Juliette, we have three riders who can be there for us on the climbs. We hope that we can play the numbers game well in the final and race in a good way, to get the best possible result we can as a team."

Line-up
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres: APR 4

Marc Reef - Team DSM coach:
“Ronde van Vlaanderen is the second Monument of the year and arguably the hardest event of the whole cobbled Flemish racing block. Like last year, it will be strange to race without all of the fans on the hills and cobbled climbs, but in these times we are happy to be able to race on this famous parcours. As in most of our one-day races, we aim to race aggressively. We need to be alert from early in the day so that we can get as many riders ahead of the race as possible, so that we're present in numbers as the race heads into the finale. On the second passage of the Oude Kwaremont the race is normally already full-gas and from there a winning move can go at any time. Søren and Tiesj will be our two main cards to play, with the rest of the team working to support them throughout the day."

Line-up
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Nico Denz (GER)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER)

Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres: APR 4

Albert Timmer - Team DSM coach:
"Ronde van Vlaanderen is an incredibly hard day in the saddle, with its famous cobbled climbs and challenging sections. We want to race actively as a team throughout the day and anticipate the attacks so that we are together and have options as the race heads towards the finale. With Floortje, Liane and Juliette we have three riders who are capable over the climbs here and we'll work to get them into a good position for when the action starts. We then want to use our numbers and race aggressively in search of a good result.”

Liane Lippert

Liane Lippert (shown winning the 2020 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race) will be at the Tour of Flanders.

Line-up
Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)

72° Trofeo Piva: APR 4

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach:
"Trofeo Piva is a challenging one-day race on the European U23 calendar. Its hilly parcours will see the riders take on a difficult circuit around the town of Col San Martino, and we expect it to be a selective and hard day in the saddle. We bring a strong team to the race for its challenging parcours and as a collective we think we can compete for a good result. U23 races are often very attacking and hard to control, so to get that good result we need to communicate well as a team, and make sure that we're in every attack."

Line-up
Gianmarco Garofoli (ITA)
Leo Hayter (GBR)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Hannes Wilksch (GER)

82° Giro del Belvedere: APR 5

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"Giro del Belvedere takes place on a hilly parcours that is split into two different circuits the riders do laps of, with the final 35 kilometres of the race taking place on the more challenging circuit. Like a lot of hard races in the region, we expect it to be aggressive from the start so with our strong group of riders we want to cover any dangerous moves and make sure that we are always riding ahead of the race situation. We don't arrive with one sole leader and instead, we will aim to use our collective strength to get a top result at the end of the day."

Line-up
Gianmarco Garofoli (ITA)
Leo Hayter (GBR)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Hannes Wilksch (GER)

Itzulia Basque Country: APR 5 - 10

Michiel Elijzen - Team DSM coach:
"Itzulia will be a really hard race as it’s known for its tough climbs. We go to the race with a pretty young group of riders, with our main goal to go for day results throughout the week. We have several chances for this, beginning with the time trial where Chad and Martijn can hopefully score a good result. Then in the rest of the race there is a lot of climbing, where we have more opportunities to go for it. We want to try and be in the breaks or challenge in the finales that suit, ride aggressively and see day-by-day what chances we can take to go for a top stage result."

Line-up
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Chad Haga (USA)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)
Ilan Van Wilder (BEL)

Team Qhubeka-Assos headed to Dwars door Vlaanderen

The team sent me this:

The UCI World Tour peloton will take on the next of the Flanders Classics, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, a race that was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be a familiar 184km route, with numerous cobble road climbs in the final half of the race, set to provide the stage for an exciting race.

Gicono Nizzolo

Giacomo Nizzolo winning stage 2 of 2020 Paris-Nice.

Team Qhubeka ASSOS will look to take the momentum gained at Gent-Wevelgem, where Giacomo Nizzolo placed 2nd, into Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

The in-form Nizzolo will again lead our lineup, with Dimitri Claeys, Victor Campenaerts, Max Walscheid, Lasse Norman Hansen, Emil Vinjebo and Andreas Stokbro completing our roster.

Lars Michaelsen - Sport Director:
Tomorrow's race, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, presents us with another opportunity to show our jersey and colours during a key period in the cycling season. The Flanders Classics might use similar roads, but each race has its own unique characteristics, based on where and how frequently the climbs are positioned and which specific climbs are used. Tomorrow we will have more climbing toward the back end of the race, and this should define the outcome of the race.

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