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Sunday, August 7, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. - Khalil Gibran

Tour de France: 2021

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2021: The Little Cannibal Dominates is available in both Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Vuelta a Burgos final team reports

We posted the report from stage five winner Joao Almeida's UAE Team Emirates with the results.

Here's the report from GC winner Pavel Sivakov's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Pavel Sivakov wrapped up overall victory at the Vuelta a Burgos following an assured and controlled performance from the Grenadiers on the final stage.

Pavel Sivakov enjoys his victory. Photo: Bu5Comunicacion

The race culminated in the traditional summit finish of Lagunas de Neila, with the team setting a strong tempo to stave off attacks and put Sivakov in a winning position.

The Frenchman was able to take third over the line, more than enough to ensure overall victory by 35 seconds. Carlos Rodriguez put in a superb late turn and was able to finish fourth at the end of the queen stage. Time gaps on the climb saw the Spanish champ secure the same position overall, in addition to the young rider jersey.

The team paced the run into the finale with Andrey Amador, before Omar Fraile took it up on the early slopes. Laurens De Plus did a big turn as the group began to fracture, before Rodriguez took over with 2.6km to go. The Spaniard’s pace neutralised any moves, before Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) pushed ahead in the final kilometre to take the stage win.

Overall success for Sivakov meant it was two GC victories in two days for the team, following Ethan Hayter’s overall success at Tour de Pologne.

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Here’s the report from GC third-place Miguel Angel Lopez’s Team Astana Qazaqstan:

Miguel Angel Lopez finished second today atop Lagunas de Neila in the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos and, thus, took a nice third place in the final General Classification of the race. Also, the Astana Qazaqstan Team rider won the red jersey of the mountain classification.

Joao Almeida wins stage five with Miguel Angel Lopez (looking back) just behind him. Photo: Bu5Comunicacion

“It was my first race after a big break, and I came here after a long period of recovering after my injury from the Giro d’Italia. So, I can say that I am quite happy with my performance here, because after such a long period I am still missing the racing rhythm and this is normal, I still need some time to get in form. I was hoping for a good result in this race and today I tried my best to win the stage and to reach the final podium. Well, I could not win, but I got a place on the final podium, and I also won the mountain jersey, so this week looks good to me. I would like to thank my teammates for a great support during these five days, it was something special”, – said Miguel Angel Lopez.

Lopez was the rider, who attacked from the GC contender’s group with 2.5 km to go, opening a small gap and making a huge selection in the peloton after a perfect job of his teammates during the whole day.

Later he followed the attack of Joao Almeida, fighting for a stage win until the very last meter, at the end of the day finishing second. This result was enough to move him up to the third position in the overall standing and to the lead in the mountain classification.

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Here's Vuelta a Burgos report from GC 5th-place Ilan Van Wilder's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

This year hasn’t been the smoothest so far for Ilan Van Wilder: after a strong outing in his first race with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl – the Tour de la Provence, where he finished sixth overall – a series of injuries and a bout of Covid-19 hampered the Belgian’s season, who had to skip many races, most recent of which was the Tour de Wallonie.

Ilan Van Wilder racing at the 2021 Dauphiné Libéré

Vuelta a Burgos marked his first appearance since the National Championships, and the 22-year-old from Jette put in a strong display on a consistent basis, regardless of the terrain, and impressed on the race’s hardest climbs – Picon Blanco and Lagunas de Neila – a sign of his growing capabilities.

The last of these ascents brought down the curtain over the race, and Ilan sat ninth overall at the start of this final stage. An impressive ride on the 11.7km Lagunas de Neila, an ascent averaging 6.2% which has become synonymous with the Vuelta a Burgos, helped him jump up to fifth place, just seven seconds from the podium.

Against more seasoned GC riders, Ilan showed a lot of maturity and determination, remaining with the small main group until 1400 meters from the line. After being dropped on a double-digit slope, our rider continued at his pace and limited the losses as he caught and passed some of the men in front of him, finishing in the top 5 atop the climb and jumping up to fifth in the rankings, a mere seven seconds from the overall podium.

“I will be honest, I didn’t know what form I would have this week, as I was a bit sick before the Tour de Wallonie and couldn’t start there because of that. But, in any case, I had worked hard the last few weeks and was very motivated, and starting the race with a good result helped. Unfortunately, we then lost three guys to crashes, but everyone gave their best and helped me a lot.”

“On the last stage, my teammates kept me out of the wind and worked for me, and for that I want to thank them. I felt good on the climb, and when they increased the speed, I rode my own tempo because I felt that trying to match them would have meant losing more time. I passed a couple of riders and gained some positions in the general classification. A top 5 in this hard race is good for my morale and it makes me very happy to see that I am at this level after all the setbacks I faced. I’m more confident now for the next races”, Ilan said after his best ever result in a stage race.

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And here’s the final 2022 Vuelta a Burgos report from Jai Hindley’s & Wilco Kelderman’s Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The fifth and last stage of the Vuelta a Burgos took the peloton from Lermas to Lagunas de Neila and covered a distance of 170km. Three riders went clear from the peloton, formed the break with a gap of up to almost 4 minutes but were eventually brought back with 7km to go.

As expected, the final climb to the mountain finish at Lagunas de Neila was the decisive obstacle in the race’s GC battle. After a hard-fought race on the steep ramps of the last climb, it was Joao Almeida who sealed the stage win while Jai Hindley and Wilco Kelderman crossed the line in 7th and 10th.

After five days of racing, Pavel Sivakov took the overall win of the Vuelta a Burgos, while Jai Hindley (7th) and Wilco Kelderman (9th) both finished the race inside the top-10 of the GC. BORA - hansgrohe was able to take the win in the team classification.

Wilco Kelderman racing at the 2022 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

“It was a hard final stage today! Then all the boys did a great job helping our three GC guys ahead of the final climb. In the end you either had the legs or you didn't. I was personally going alright but just completely exploded in the final 1.5km. In the end the main goal is to be good for La Vuelta and we still have a bit of time before that, so it's all good. After such a long time off from racing and then coming off the back of a hard altitude camp, it's nice to be back at the pointy end of a race. I think Wilco and Emu are similar and hopefully we will hit peak form at the right time.“ Jai Hindley

“It was a really hard mountain finish at Lagunas de Neila, and it all came down to the final 3km of the race. We didn’t have the legs for the targeted podium but with two riders inside the top 10 and the top step in the team classification we put in a solid race here. Leading up to the Vuelta it was an important part of our preparation and a good test. The boys also raced actively and offensively today. Matteo Fabbro and Patrick Gamper were part of an early breakaway but unfortunately were already brought back after 30km.“ Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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