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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 6, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. - Kurt Vonnegut


Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2019: A Year of New Faces is available in both Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour of Poland stage seven team reports

We posted the report from GC winner Ethan Hayter's Team INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the final 2022 Tour of Poland report from GC second-place Thymen Arensman's Team DSM:

Thymen Arensman confirmed his second place overall at the Tour de Pologne on today’s final stage which concluded in a bunch sprint, with no change in the overall after yesterday’s stage where he moved into the runner’s-up spot just 11 seconds off the race lead. On the stage, Nikias Arndt was the team’s highest placed finisher in 14th spot.

Thymen Arensman racing in stage 20 of the 2022 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo.

The stage looked like one for a sprint but with some tricky climbs to get over during the stage it was one to stay attentive on, something the team focused on throughout. After the early breakaway had established itself at the front of the race the team set about protecting Arensman in the peloton and keeping him out of trouble, with Joris Nieuwenhuis helping with the chase to control the break’s advantage. Then once the race was back together in the closing stages the guys rallied around Arensman before Arndt pushed ahead in the finale to contest the bunch sprint.

Second place overall, a stage win on day six, third on stage 5 as well as other high placings and positive racing throughout – the team rounds out the Tour de Pologne on a successful note.

Team DSM coach Luke Roberts said after the finish: “Today’s final stage was quite difficult terrain, undulating roads and some steep climbs in there. We knew it could get a bit tricky if a strong breakaway went so our goal was to try and make sure we could secure second overall and bring Thymen in safely. The boys did a great job helping control in the beginning then when it went riding a good position. Joris rode in the chase to help keep things in control then in the finale in Krakow again the guys supported Thymen well, keeping him in a good position and made sure we secured second on GC.

“Good commitment from the boys all week and we’re happy that it paid off with second place on GC. We can be satisfied with the week, a nice result for all the work that the whole team has put in here.”

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Sergio Higuita's Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this final report:

The final stage featured a course suited to the fast men. On the 177.8 kilometres between Valsir and Krakow, although a first category climb had to be crossed, with the last 60 km being relatively flat, the sprinters had the opportunity to take a win from a bunch sprint. Ultimately, Arnaud Démare was the fastest on the line in Krakow, with Sam Bennett taking 19th place in the sprint showdown.

Arnaud Démare wins the final stage.

BORA - hansgrohe had some bad luck in this year’s race, with Sergio Higuita crashing while in yellow and Jordi Meeus also hitting the deck on the penultimate day and having to abandon the race. In the end, the squad from Raubling leaves Poland with a stage win, three days in yellow, and eighth place overall with Sergio Higuita.

"The guys kept me in a good position on the circuit to save energy, and in the last 2 km I tried to latch onto the rear wheel of another team. I then found one, but I think it was too early. When the pace picked up, it was then hard to keep up. That was a bit of a daft mistake. But I'm glad the guys were able to get me into a good position, and I'm happy with how I was able to fight for position up to that point. In the end it wasn't a great result, but we know what went wrong and we can work on it for next time." - Sam Bennett

"It was not ideal that Jordi, the last man for Sam, was not there today because of his DNF yesterday. As a result, Sam had to take some more risks and invest a lot by positioning himself. Ryan took him up to the 2 km mark, and then Sam had to latch onto another rider’s wheel from there onwards. He was behind Molano, but he stopped too early and then the others came from behind with momentum, and a sprinter simply doesn’t have a chance in that situation without momentum. Then, of course, the sprint was over and Sam wasn’t able to get involved in the end. However, it’s of course positive that Sergio finished safely and was able to finish the race in the top-10 overall." - Rolf Aldag, Sports Director


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BikeExchange-Jayco signs Italian champion Filippo Zana

The team sent me this announcement:

Team BikeExchange-Jayco welcome Italian champion Filippo Zana to the team on a three-year contract starting in 2023, enhancing the squad’s general classification contingency with his all-round strengths.

The highly regarded 23-year-old proved his talents with an impressive win at the Italian road race championships in June, after a stellar season that saw him take the overall victory at the Adriatica Ionica Race.

Despite his age, Zana already has Grand Tour experience, completing the Giro d’Italia on three occasions, and GreenEDGE Cycling believe the youngster from Piovene Rocchette can become a star of the future in the three-week races.

Brent Copeland – General Manager:
“It is always special to have national champions on the team and we are delighted to be bringing Filippo onboard for next season. He is only 23 years old but has so much experience already and is certainly a rider we have been interested in for a while now and a rider we see a bright future with. He has demonstrated on multiple occasions that he has what it takes to compete at the highest level, and he proved that with a fantastic win this season at the Italian championships.

"We are continuing to grow and strengthen our team for the Grand Tours and Filippo will play a big role in that. We hope he will be a valuable contributor to many more of our successes and also have more success himself in GreenEDGE Cycling colours.”

Filippo Zana:
"It is a dream come true for me to join such an important team as GreenEDGE Cycling. It is something that I desired since I started cycling when I was six years old, to join one of the best teams in the peloton.

"I have lots of emotions and lots of motivation to train more and better to keep improving and pay off the trust Team BikeExchange-Jayco is giving me, from Brent to all the staff I have been speaking with. We have many goals and we will try to achieve them.

"Of course next year will also be important for me to keep honouring the Italian national champion's jersey, and to start off on a good path with this jersey will be even more important for me. Of course, I must thank everyone who has supported and helped me so far in my career, this next chapter is about to begin and I can’t wait to begin to also pay back the hard work I put in over these years."


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Dylan Teuns joins Israel-Premier Tech effective immediately

Here’s the team’s post:

Israel – Premier Tech is excited to welcome two-time Tour de France stage winner Dylan Teuns to the team in a mid-season transfer deal in cooperation with Bahrain – Victorious.

Dylan Teuns wins the 2022 Flèche Wallonne. Sirotti photo

The 30-year-old Belgian joins IPT for the remainder of the 2022 season through to 2024 and will add depth to the team’s roster says IPT Partner Sylvan Adams.

“Dylan Teuns is a versatile rider and gives Israel – Premier Tech more depth in both the Classics as well as the Grand Tours. He is also a proven winner, which I know will continue as he rides for our team,” says Adams.

Teuns is impressed with IPT’s progress in recent years which saw the team celebrate its best Tour de France to date this year.

“Israel – Premier Tech is a team that has really stepped up over the last years and it was great to see the team bring home two stage wins at the Tour de France. I think the team is on the way to becoming one of the top teams and this is a great time to join and deliver some more results. I feel I will be able to play a key role in the races that suit me most and together with IPT’s other leaders, we can be a really strong team,” explains Teuns.

After a successful season including victory at La Flèche Wallonne and Tour de Romandie stage 1, Teuns jumped at the opportunity to join IPT earlier than planned.

“I was already talking to IPT about joining in 2023 but then Sylvan Adams offered me the chance to make the switch now and start my contract immediately, which I am really grateful for. I had three and a half great years with Bahrain – Victorious where I won my biggest races and I want to thank them for everything. I am really excited for this new chapter and can’t wait to race with Israel – Premier Tech.”

IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström is looking forward to seeing Teuns hit the ground running this month.

“We still have some of the biggest races of the season to come, many of which play to Dylan’s strength as a rider. Dylan will be targeting the Vuelta a España and the Italian Classics at the end of the season and we believe he can play a key role for us there. We have no doubt Dylan will fit in easily with the team and this will be the start of a successful partnership,” adds Carlström.

Dylan’s arrival at IPT comes off the back of a mutual agreement between IPT and Israeli rider Guy Sagiv to end Sagiv’s season prematurely, allowing Sagiv to pursue other endeavours for the remainder of the season.

Also, Simon Clarke re-signs with IPT. Here’s the team’s announcement:

From not having a team at the end of 2021, to going on to score the biggest win of his career at the Tour de France, Simon Clarke’s 2022 season is a perfect example of persistence and hard work.

After signing a last-minute deal with Israel – Premier Tech for the 2022 season, the 36-year-old Australian has added another two years to his contract and will continue his successful chapter with IPT in 2023 and 2024.

Clarke has quickly established himself as a key member of the IPT roster explains General Manager Kjell Carlström.

Simnon Clarke escapes on the cobbles of 2022 Tour de France stage 5. Sirotti photo.

“When we signed Simon Clarke at the beginning of the season, we knew to expect a professional and hard-working rider but really, we couldn’t have asked for more. Simon hit the ground running with a number of strong performances at the start of the season and then seeing him win on the cobbles at the Tour de France was really an incredible moment. Simon has quickly become an integral part of our team and it is our pleasure to sign Simon again for the next two seasons,” says Carlström.

For Clarke, a new contract with Israel – Premier Tech is a testament to his ‘never give up’ attitude.

“It has been a huge rollercoaster in 2022 for me. Obviously ending the 2021 season with no team and then just chipping away, staying committed nonetheless, then getting a chance with Israel – Premier Tech, and then going on to having what has probably been one of the best seasons of my career. You have to take the ups and the downs but it has been a great year. I feel like the stage win in the Tour de France and the new contract I have signed is basically a reward for never giving up, sticking at it, staying positive even in the difficult times,” explains Clarke.

“I’m super happy to stay on with IPT considering they were the team that gave me that lifeline when I had no team. It was an easy decision to stick with the people that gave me that chance for the future. I’ve keen to stay on for a couple more years and hopefully we can continue the way this year has started.”

As IPT Partner Sylvan Adams admits, IPT always had its sights set on Clarke.

“I have a confession to make about Simon Clarke. We wanted to sign him in 2021, but our roster was at capacity and it simply was not possible. But, when Simon fell out of contract due to the unfortunate demise of the Qhubeka team, we were able to correct that error, and Simon was added as our last roster addition. Simon has done everything we expected, and has proved his worth both as the consummate teammate, but also as a winner in his own right, as we saw on the mythical cobblestone stage 5 of the Tour de France. It’s great to have him back, and I wish Simon and IPT great success together in the next years,” says Adams.

Clarke’s Tour de France stage win was not only the first in his career, but the first for Israel – Premier Tech. Although he may have achieved his biggest career goal, that’s not stopping Clarke from going for more.

“A stage win in the Tour is definitely my biggest career objective and to have ticked that off with Israel – Premier Tech this year has been great for me personally, but also for the team,” adds Clarke. “It was an honor to get the team their first Tour stage win. Next year, I just want to continue in the same fashion. I’ve set off on the right foot this year with this team and I plan to continue as I’ve been doing and hopefully some results keep coming.”

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