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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. - Lewis Carroll (I think we've all had bike rides like that)


Les Woodland's book Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The rise and fall of bicycle racing's champions 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 of Poland stage three team reports

We posted the report from stage three winner Sergio Higuita's Team Bora-hansgrohe with the results.

Team Alpecin-Deceuninck withdraws from Tour of Poland after 5 Covid-19 positives

Team Alpecin-Deceuninck being presented before the start of this year's Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Here are the three Tweets the team posted:

We are sorry to announce our withdrawal from @Tour de Pologne after 5 COVID cases within our team staff onsite.

In the interest of the health of our riders, team staff, and all other teams participating, we have decided – in agreement with the UCI and the local organizing committee – to leave this year’s @Tour de Pologne

EXTRA - We received confirmation that all tests done today with the riders turned out to be ALL negative. So no positive cases with our riders.

Here's the report from second-place Pello Bilbao's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Day 3 of the 79th Tour de Pologne was a gruelling 237.9 kms between Kraśnik & Przemyśl, ending with a wall with gradients of up to 15%. The stage ended, as had the 1st two, with Bahrain Victorious on the podium. This time it was the turn of Pello Bilbao, in Poland to contest the general classification, and saw him move up to 2nd overall.

Pello Bilbao (left) finishes second to Sergio Higuita. Sirotti photo

An early break had gained nearly 8 minutes, but was reeled back in, as the GC teams pulled the peloton towards the final test. The steep slopes soon whittled down the group to 14, including Bilbao and Stevie Williams, still recovering after a hard crash on stage 1.

With 200m left, Pello was in 5th wheel, but he soon rolled past Quentin Pacher (GFC) & Matteo Sobrero (BEX). Quinten Hermans (IWG) was next, and was gaining on stage winner Sergio Higuita (BOH) coming across the line. Welshman Williams secured his 2nd top 10 result of the season, on the same time.

It was an impressive show from Bahrain on probably the toughest stage of the race, especially given Bilbao’s break from racing since May. He reflected:

“We are showing we are in good shape, with a good attitude, and the team is working really well every day. Our goal was to fight on every single stage of the Tour of Poland, and to fight for the overall, but now we just need to hit the target!

"I’m happy because I can see that the work I’ve done in the past few weeks preparing for this race is working; I’m quite explosive, I feel fresh, so that’s really good news, and I’m pleased to feel these legs and this punch.”

Stage 4 will be the 1st of the race under 200kms, between Lesko & Sanok, with small climbs spread throughout the day, in particular 2 ascents within the final 40k before a punchy finale.

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Here's the Tour of Poland report from Mauro Schmid's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Three classified climbs and a 1.5km uphill finish averaging 7.7% were on the menu of Monday’s 237.9km stage, but the winner emerged in the final meters, following a sprint from a reduced group. Having been positioned by his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the front of the bunch at the base of the climb, Mauro Schmid put in a strong effort on the Przemysl ascent which saw him conclude in the same time as winner Sergio Higuita (Bora-hansgrohe), a result that helped the Tour of Belgium champion make a huge jump in the rankings.

Mauro Schmid finishes 2022 Giro stage 19. Sirotti photo

“It was a super long day, 238 kilometers in the saddle, coming after two other stages of over 200 kilometers. At least we had some good tailwind, so it went a bit faster. I felt really good on those three climbs, then I tried to get into a good position for the finale with the help of the guys. It was pretty much an all-out effort for everyone in the last kilometer. At 300 meters to go, just before the last corner, I think I just waited a bit too long and I was a bit boxed in, and in the end came home in sixth place. The result is good, I’m up there in the GC, happy with my shape and looking forward to the next days”, explained Mauro after the finish.

Eighth overall, just ten seconds behind the yellow jersey, Schmid is the team’s best placed rider in the standings, with Mauri Vansevenant a further ten seconds back. The duo will have another chance to make inroads in the general classification Tuesday afternoon, when the peloton will travel to Sanok, in the south-east part of the country, for a hilly stage that barely features a meter of flat.


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Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert signs Mike Teunissen

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is pleased with the arrival of Mike Teunissen in the team from 2023. The 29 year old Dutchman will reinforce the line ups in the classics of the Belgian World Team after among others six years with Jumbo-Visma.

Mike Teunissen in yellow after stage one of the 2019 Tour de France. That's Eddy Merckx with the stuffed lion. Sirotti photo

Mike Teunissen had the honor of wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France 2019 thanks to his sprint victory in the opening stage in Brussels. He wore the yellow kit until Binche, thanks to another resounding win in the team time trial the next day.

A couple of months before this unforgettable Grand Départ, Teunissen showed his fast legs and qualities of a classics rider by winning the Dunkirk Four Day following victories in the queen stage and the bunch sprint on the final day. He then went on to add the ZLM Tour to his palmares thanks to three podiums in the prologue, in a mini Amstel Gold Race stage and in a bunch sprint.

The U23 Cyclocross World and European champion in 2012-2013 collected good results in most of the important spring classics such as Dwars door Vlaanderen (2nd in 2018), Paris-Roubaix (11th in 2018) or Omloop het Nieuwsblad (6th in 2020).

The model teammate often contributed to the success of his leaders the last couple of years. For example, this spring he finished twelfth in the E3 Classic alongside Van Aert and Laporte. A couple of days ago he finished fourth in the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne after an exemplary lead out for Olav Kooij.

In the next two seasons, Mike Teunissen will combine his personal ambitions in one day races and short stage races with a role alongside Biniam Girmay.

“Just like the rest of the world, I noticed the continuous progression of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. When the management of the team showed great confidence in my capabilities, I didn’t have to weigh my options for my future any time longer. The complete package is appealing. The structure and management is good and I was offered an attractive role for the spring classics. I want to shine in the finals and create opportunities for the team in the shadow of Biniam Girmay, who has already proven that he can win the most important races. Next to the classics, I’m also looking forward to support Girmay in the sprint.

"My transfer to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will be special, because I’m leaving a Dutch environment for the first time. Within Jumbo-Visma I raced alongside guys like Wout Van Aert and Dylan Groenewegen, witnessing how the team grew to one of the world’s best structures. This experience will probably be valuable in my new team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. However, the main change for me is that I will get the opportunity again to show my value in a prominent role.

"My most recent victories are my Tour de France stage wins. Wearing the yellow jersey in Brussels and in Binche was an absolute high in my career and I can’t wait to experience similar moments again. I’m convinced that I can make steps in my new environment, for example by learning from my future teammates. I can’t wait to meet everyone. In the peloton it is widely known in the peloton that the good atmosphere is an asset of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, so I’m confident that I’ll feel at home quickly!” - Mike Teunissen


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E-bike benefit left out of Inflation Reduction Act

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this heartbreaking update.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 looks to be on track for Senate passage after a surprise agreement between Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) this week. While the bill contains climate change provisions that bike advocates favor, it leaves out the electric bike tax credit and other bike-related measures that were part of President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act, which passed the House last year but then died in the Senate, in part because of Manchin's opposition.

PeopleForBikes said the legislation "misses a massive opportunity by neglecting to invest in an electric bicycle tax credit and other critical initiatives to promote biking for transportation."

The League of American Bicyclists said, "We are incredibly frustrated we weren’t successful in getting an e-bike tax rebate in the bill. We haven’t given up, and we’ve learned quite a bit in the process."

Senate Democrats are preparing the legislation for a vote and hope to get it to Biden's desk as early as next week. With Manchin's support, the bill will likely receive the 51 votes needed to pass the Senate, although Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has yet to say whether she will vote for it.

The E-BIKE Act that was included in the House legislation would have provided a tax credit that could be applied to the purchase of a new e-bike (the first $3,000) up to $900 benefit value, and up to a $4,000 bike. The House legislation also contained the Bicycle Commuter Act, which would have reinstated a tax benefit that was suspended in 2017. Both are missing from the new bill.

"Both policies are popular, simple and effective tools our nation could leverage for emissions reductions, but were deprioritized to make more room for cars," wrote PeopleForBikes' Noa Banayan in a blog post Thursday. Banayan is the organization's director of federal affairs.

Banayan said the new legislation has one bright spot for cycling: bike infrastructure projects would be eligible as a tool to promote equity and mobility as part of the $3 billion included for the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants. The program is intended to remove the infrastructure that divided and disadvantaged Black, Brown and low-income communities.

You can read the entire story here.

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