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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, April 28, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Story of the Giro d'Italia, volume 1

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 1: 1909 - 1970 is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour de Romandie Stage One team reports

We posted the report from new GC leader Rohan Dennis' Team Jumbo-Visma with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Dylan Teun's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Team Bahrain Victorious’ ‘King of the Spring’ Dylan Teuns flew up another steep finish and passed Rohan Dennis (TJV) in Romont to take a 14th career win.

Dylan Teuns wins

Dylan Teuns just beats Rohan Dennis. Sirotti photo

Exactly a week ago, Teuns had left Alejandro Valverde for dead at La Fleche Wallone, and while this finale (1.2kms at an average of 7%) wasn’t quite as steep as the Mur de Huy, the Belgian once again proved he is in incredible form, and is almost unbeatable when the road rises to the line.

As expected on a rolling parcours, a 5-man breakaway had taken an early advantage that stabilised at around 3 & ½ minutes. With the end in mind, the peloton remained calm throughout the day, and Bahrain Victorious were instrumental in ensuring the escapees were caught with 29km to go.

There was a split in the bunch 14km later after a crash which took out several contenders, including race leader Ethan Hayter (IGD). Our riders avoided trouble, and although Remi Cavagna (QST) attacked late on, he was brought back with some sterling work by the team, notably Luis Léon Sanchez, Gino Mäder & Damiano Caruso.

At the foot of the final climb Brandon McNulty (UAE) tried his luck, before Dennis went over the top and looked to have the stage won. But as he’s done so many times before, Teuns picked his moment, and passed the Australian in the closing metres.

“The team did a great job bringing me in a good position in the last couple of kilometres and I started the climb in perfect position,” said Teuns after the stage. “Timing was very important today and I think my timing was pretty good!”

Despite confidence in his timing, even he wasn’t confident of glory until the very last…

“With 200m to go I was still thinking I’d go all out for second, and only in the last 25 metres did I think I could catch Rohan.”

Following victory at La Fleche, Wednesdays are clearly ‘Wins days’ at the moment for Dylan, and opportunity will surely knock again for the team as the race continues…

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Here’s the Tour of Romandie report from third-place Marc Hirschi’s UAE Team Emirates:

Marc Hirschi showed good form on home soil with a fine 3rd place on Stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie from La Grande Beroche to Romont (178km).

Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious) took the stage win on a day which packed nearly 3000 metres of climbing, just 2’’ ahead of Hirschi.

Dylan Teuns wins race.

Here's another shot of the finish. You can see UAE rider Marc Hirschi leadng the chasers.

Young Juan Ayuso was up in the mix also finishing in 8th place and moves up to 6th in the general classification, while UAE Team Emirates also lead the teams classification.

Hirschi: “It was a hard day with a lot of up and down terrain. We took a good position in the last 30km with Fernando and Ivo and we arrived with Brandon myself and Ayuso at the base of the last climb. Brandon attacked from the bottom and then we followed any counter moves.

"I had good legs so was able to do a decent sprint but I couldn’t go any better than top-3 today. I’m happy enough with it and we have many guys in good shape here so it’s looking good for the next days.”

Tomorrow stage 2 will start and finish from Échallens (168.2km) over trademark hilly terrain.

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Here’s the report from GC second-place Felix Grossschartner’s Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Stage 1 covered 178 km with constant ups and downs from La Grande Beroche to Romont, with the riders concluding the stage with an uphill finish. After the race was led for quite a long time by a 5-man breakaway group, it all came back together again 30km ahead of the finish. 15km later, there was a large crash in the peloton, in which Sergio Higuita unfortunately went down, but thankfully emerged unharmed. The crash brought many riders to a halt and as a result BORA-hansgrohe was then only represented by Aleksandr Vlasov and Felix Grossschartner in the reduced field.

On the short final climb Rohan Dennis attacked, only to be caught by Dylan Teuns over the final few metres. Right behind him Aleks Vlasov sprinted for third place and ended up taking fourth position. Teammate Felix Grossschartner, who crossed the finish line four seconds behind the day's winner, is now in second place in the general classification, while Aleks moved up to 9th place overall.

Tour de Romandie peloton rides by Lake Neuchatel

The peloton rides by Lake Neuchâtel early in the stage.

"Today the race was pretty much under control until the unfortunate crash about 15 km from the finish. After that, we only had Felix and me in the reduced field. We tried together to find a good position ahead of the last climb, as we knew that this would be a crucial point in the race. Overall, I think we rode well. I was able to finish fourth and Felix moved up to second overall. So we saw some good signs today and we're definitely heading into the next stages with confidence." - Aleksandr Vlasov

"Today we had a bit of bad luck with Sergio going down in the big crash. Almost half the field had come to a stop and it ultimately wasn't possible for him to come back. That's a pity, because we wanted to ride the final uphill sprint for him. Then we had to change our strategy. We still had Felix and Aleks in front, and in the end Aleks took fourth, while Felix is now second overall because of Hayter's unfortunate crash. A solid performance from the guys today." - Rolf Aldag, Sports Director

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Here’s the report from Rémi Cavagna’s Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Rémi Cavagna did what he does best in the last kilometers of Wednesday’s stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie and launched a powerful attack from a depleted peloton that numbered around 40 riders, consequence of a massive crash that happened inside the final 15 kilometers. The Frenchman, who is making his second appearance of the season in a World Tour race, dug deep and quickly opened up a ten-second advantage over the chasers.

At one point, it looked like the French Champion could finish it off, but a concerted effort of several teams ate into the gap and put an end to his spell at the front just two kilometers from the finish, which returned at the race after three years.

The last kilometer was a tough one, featuring double-digit gradients in the first part before softening up a bit near the finish. As expected, some cracks appeared in the peloton, from where Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) attacked with 200 meters to go and took the win.

A stage victor earlier this season at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, Mauro Schmid was Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl best finisher in Romong, taking tenth on the line. This result elevated the 22-year-old Swiss – who sits in fifth place on the general classification – to the top of the youth standings ahead of Thursday’s stage around Échallens.

Sonny Colbrelli medical update

Here's the post from Colbrelli's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Ed: After finishing 2nd in the first stage of this year's Volta a Catalunya, Colbrelli fell unconscious and was taken to a hospital.

Following Colbrelli’s successful operation on March 31st, the Italian rider has continued to undergo further medical check at the Sports Cardiology Unit of the University of Padua.

The clinical examinations have shown further improvement of cardiovascular health clearing Colbrelli to start taking up leisure rides and light physical activity.

The priority remains to continually monitor his condition with a close follow up in the coming months to secure his safety and resumption of regular life activities.

Sonny Colbrelli wins Paris-Roubaix

Sonny Colbrelli winning 2021 Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo

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