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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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Tour of Turkey stage three reports

We posted the report from second-place Kaden Groves' Team BikeExchange-Jayco with the results.

Here's the report from fifth-place Alberto Dainese's Team DSM:

Another day for the sprinters lay ahead of the peloton as they left the start town of Çeşme, faced with a mostly flat 117 kilometre long route to İzmir (Karşıyaka). It was a steady start to proceedings as a breakaway escaped up the road, with all Team DSM riders in the bunch, looking to preserve energy for the finale.

Heading into the final 50 kilometres the pace increased and the bunch slowly reeled in those ahead. Unfortunately, a crash saw Niklas Märkl and Sam Welsford involved, with Henri Vandenabeele held up, but the trio returned to the peloton as the race built to a crescendo. With the breakaway caught, the last ten kilometres were fast and nervous with a swirling wind yet again. As the road narrowed a touch of wheels saw Jonas Iversby Hvideberg go down inside the closing three kilometres, but he was able to remount and finish the stage.

Ahead Pavel Bittner, Cees Bol, Welsford and Alberto Dainese found each other well and came to the front en masse in sight of the flamme rouge. Drilling the pace, the guys swung off one-by-one, with Welsford acting as last lead-out, launching Dainese at around 200 metres to go. Dainese pushed to the finish, crossing the line in a good fifth place; as the team look to continue to build on their sprinting form at the race. Tomorrow’s stage however will be one for the climbers and the mountain top finish at Manisa.

Jasper Philipsen was the day's fastest rider. Photo: Goshotsnet

Speaking after the finish Dainese said: “The guys did a really textbook lead-out today but I just missed the jump to finish it off for them in the last 200 metres. After being sick last week personally, it’s good to have gave it a try and I think if we keep going like this together then I’m sure the top result will come.”

Team DSM coach Marcel Sieberg added: “It was a short stage at only 120 kilometres, and a hectic one. At 50 kilometres to go there was a crash with Niklas and Sam, where Henri was also held up bit didn’t go down. The speed was already high so it took a bit of time for the guys to come back but they made it. It was really nervous in the bunch even on the wide roads. At four kilometres to go the road narrowed and there was another crash inside three kilometres left where Jonas unfortunately went down hard. We still had Pavel, Cees, Sam and Alberto together who managed to stay towards the front really well.

"At one kilometre to go they hit the front and put in for me what was the perfect lead-out but Alberto just didn’t quite have the legs to fully finish it off after his recent sickness. Our goal today though was to be really good in the basics and if you look at the lead-out I think we did that; it was really on point and almost a text book lead-out. I’m proud of the guys. What we showed today, we can also do in the coming days and races so I’m looking forward to more nice teamwork from the guys. Tomorrow is a mountain stage where we will position Henri as best as possible for the finale.”

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Here's the Tour of Turkey report from Sam Bennett's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The shortest stage of this year’s race brought the peloton today to Izmir. Another bunch sprint was expected, and an early break was never allowed to gain more than two minutes advantage. With 10km remaining all was back together and the fight for positions started. After a crash at the 4-kilometer-mark only Matt Walls and Ryan Mullen were able to lead-out Sam Bennett in the end. Sam took the wheel of Jasper Philipsen, who won the sprint, but was boxed in on the last 150m and crossed the line in 8th place today.

“Today we have been a little unlucky. Danny had a puncture with 5km to go and Joey was involved in that crash little later. He is ok, but we missed both in our lead-out. Especially with Danny it would have been different today because Sam had to take a wheel from another train and as a result was boxed in on the last meters. On the other hand, with all those crashes we can be happy we have no serious injuries yet. That’s important. Tomorrow is a day for the climbers and without GS ambitions here we will take it easy and focus already on the next sprint stage.” – Bernhard Eisel, sports director

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Teams preview De Brabantse Pijl

Here's the update from Philippe Gilbert's Lotto Soudal team:

On Wednesday 13 April, the Flemish spring Classics’ season will be drawn to a close with the 62nd Brabantse Pijl. In Leuven, the starting shot will be given for over 200 kilometres of racing, including no less than 25 hills. After a first loop of over 100 kilometres, the race continues in and around Overijse for three local laps including climbs as Hertstraat, Moskesstraat and Holstheide, which can be of crucial importance in the unfolding of the race.

Besides Cedric Beullens, Andreas Kron, Roger Kluge, Sébastien Grignard and Victor Campenaerts, Lotto Soudal also has two former winners within its line-up for Brabantse Pijl. In the past, Philippe Gilbert reached the podium of this race for an incredible five times, twice as winner: in 2011 and 2014. Also Tim Wellens knows how it feels to win in Overijse because the 30-year-old Belgian soloed to victory in 2018. Both Wellens and Gilbert look forward to their seventh and eleventh participation at the Brabantse Pijl.

Philippe Gilbert wins the race in 2014. Sirotti photo

Tim Wellens: “Being a Belgian team, the Brabantse Pijl is an important race for Lotto Soudal, despite not having the WorldTour status”, says Tim Wellens. “So I am really looking forward to racing because in the past, we’ve set some strong team performances there. Also personally, I have fond memories of racing Brabantse Pijl as I won the event in 2018 and finished third the year after. With the hills following in quick succession, it’s a race that suits my qualities as a rider just perfectly. The shape is good and the legs felt excellent during the Amstel Gold Race. I expect the racing to be full gas once we hit the local laps with plenty of attacks to follow. But eventually, the race will most likely be decided in the final lap. With amongst others Andreas Kron, Philippe Gilbert and Victor Campenaerts we can definitely animate the race. We need to race offensively and with confidence.”

Also two-time winner Philippe Gilbert has nice memories of his participations at the Brabantse Pijl and is looking forward to be at the start in Leuven for the eleventh and final time.

“Brabantse Pijl is a semi-Classic and a beautiful race where I really enjoy to be at the start. Besides I often obtained very good results at the race. With five podium places during ten participations – of which two victories – you can talk about a nice series. The atmosphere at the race is always quite special and the course suits me perfectly. It’s a really demanding course on which you can really race but it also causes a nervous day in the saddle where danger lurks around every corner. I really look forward to being at the start on Wednesday, as part of a strong Lotto Soudal selection”, concludes Philippe Gilbert.

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And here's the preview from Team Bahrain Victorious:

Jan Tratnik leads a strong lineup for Bahrain Victorious at the 62nd edition of Brabanste Pijl. Starting in Leuven, the riders will race 205.1km taking on a total of 25 climbs before finishing in Overijse, making up a total of just over 2000 vertical metres.

Tratnik has shown great form coming into the race after placing just outside the top ten at Flanders and Amstel and finishing 9th at Dwaars. Jan will have the support of Teuns, Arashiro, Maciejuk, Haig, Sanchez and  Taiwan National champion Feng who makes his season debut at the race.

Sports Director Roman Kreuziger shared his thoughts ahead of the race:

“As we saw on Sunday, the guys are in good shape even though we are changing the lineup a bit. We’ve got Feng, Arashiro and Sanchez coming from Basque and Taiwan.

"We’ve got Filip, Arashiro and Feng, who will play their part at the beginning of the race. Then in the final, we’ve got Jack and Dylan in the circuit, which we will do three times, which is usually where the race will be decided, so we will need to stay focused there. We need to make sure we follow the groups, be up there, and give Jan the best possible chance in the final for the last lap.”

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