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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, September 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.

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Tour of Britain's final team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Wout van Aert's Jumbo-Visma Team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Ethan Hayter's INEOS Grenadiers team:

Ethan Hayter put up a valiant fight at the Tour of Britain on the way to finishing in second place overall.

The battle for the GC went right down to the line in Aberdeen, with the young Brit unable to fend off a charging Wout Van Aert. The Belgian won the sprint, claiming the crucial bonus seconds he needed to turn a four-second overnight deficit into a six-second victory.

Second place still represents a superb result for Hayter, who claimed a stage victory on day five, and led his home tour for four days, battling against some of the sport’s top riders.

Ethan Hayter

Ethan Hayter winning stage five.

With other teams looking to set up a sprint finish the Grenadiers were able to take a back seat during the final stage, before rallying around Hayter in the finale. Rohan Dennis was able to remain in sixth overall, while also up there on GC, Carlos Rodriguez completed an extremely impressive performance with 10th.

Elsewhere Sunday also saw the European Champioships road race, with Pavel Sivakov the top placed Grenadier, finishing in ninth place for Russia. Sivakov was active and put in an attacking performance, making a move amongst elite company in Trentino.

Ethan Hayter:
"I'm a bit disappointed obviously to lose on the last day but I can be very happy with this week. With winning the team time trial and the stage in Manchester, finishing second between Van Aert and Alaphilippe is pretty good.

"I think it's been a really good edition of the Tour of Britain. There have been some really hard days. [Van Aert] has won four stages so it's probably fair enough that he wins the GC to be honest. This race and the whole year has been amazing for me. I've won quite a lot of races, and second overall here is really nice.

"The Road World Championships are next. I'm doing the time trial next week and then the road race the week after. I'm really looking forward to that - we've got a good team for the road race so it's going to be fun I think."

Max Kanter's Team DSM posted this report:

Max Kanter sprinted to fifth place on the eighth and final stage of the Tour of Britain today as a bunch kick decided the last day of racing. Kanter finished strongly in what was a busy and hectic bunch finish to take his fourth top 10 of the race.

The day got underway with an early break of six riders which was reduced to five mid stage. The chase behind was sustained by the sprinters’ teams with all eyes on a bunch sprint today and eventually with just over four kilometres to go the gap was neutralised and all was back together.

The team brought Kanter towards the front from where he worked his way through the wheels to cross the line in fifth. Overall the team finish with two in the top 15 overall with Mark Donovan in ninth and Nico Roche in 13th.

“The early breakaway formed quite fast today so we settled down in the bunch and focused on the expected sprint,” explained Max Kanter after the finish. “The guys supported me well and in the last kilometres I tried to position myself for a free run to the line. I finished fifth on the stage which is another solid result. I think we had a good week of racing in Britain with some good results and also ninth and 13th on GC for Mark and Nico.”

Team DSM coach Phil West added: “It was a good last day for the guys today. We went for Max for the final and anticipated a sprint but kept one eye on it being quite aggressive from the start depending on how the GC would play out. Once the break went we concentrated on sitting together and protecting Max and putting him in a good spot for the finish. Fifth was a good result and a nice way to round out a good week for the guys where we’ve seen some great teamwork and have been able to have some fun in the race too.”

Men's European Road Championships reports

We posted the report from winner Sonny Colbrelli's Bahrain Victorious team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Remco Evenepoel's Deceuninck-Quick Step team:

Remco Evenepoel made it a complete set of medals in just two participations at the European Championships. After winning the title against the clock at the 2019 edition, the Belgian claimed the bronze medal in the individual time trial just three days ago, before adding to this a silver which he took at the end of a breathless race in Trento.

The 21-year-old rode a near perfect race, attacking early, on the iconic Monte Bondone, more than 110 kilometers from the finish, a move that split the peloton and almost neutralized the breakaway ahead of the eight local laps around Trento. Everything remained wide open, a flurry of attacks on the Pova climb (3.7km, 4.8%) spawning a new front group, counting just five riders. That move swelled to about a dozen men with more than 50 kilometers to go, after a powerful dig of Evenepoel, who could rely on the invaluable help of two teammates.

On the penultimate climb, Remco put in a monster attack, to which only Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) and Benoit Cosnefroy (France) could respond. In the final 15 kilometers, the Belgian cranked the pace and distanced Cosnefroy, but Colbrelli managed to stay in his wheel, despite the pressure applied by Evenepoel. The latter did the bulk of the work all the way to the finish, as the Italian refused to share the pace-setting, and took the silver, his second medal of the week.

Sonny Colbrelli

Sonny Colbrelli wins the European Championships ahead of Remco Evenepoel.

“It was a hard race and the Italians rode on adrenaline supported by the huge crowds and piling on the pressure from the beginning. We too did a good job, as the team set a strong pace and protected me before it came down to crunch time. Then I put the hammer down on the penultimate climb and made a selection, before trying again the last time up there and dropping Cosnefroy. I noticed that Colbrelli was in difficulty and increased the pace, but he managed to hang on. Having the better sprint, he went for that card and that was it.”

Evenepoel tried to shrug off the disappointment and look at the bright side of things instead: “I want to thank the entire team, they were all great and this medal wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts. I would have loved to take the jersey, but these two medals I got this week show that I am back with the best, which is excellent news ahead of the World Championships, where I’m looking forward to the time trial and then to helping the team go for gold.”

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