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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, January 31, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. - Leo Tolstoy

Cycling's World Championships

Les Woodland's book Cycling's World Championships: The Inside Story is available as an audiobook here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Marianne Vos clinches eighth cyclocross world title after exciting battle

Here’s the report from Vos’ Jumbo-Visma team:

Marianne Vos has become cyclocross world champion for the eighth time in her career. In Fayetteville, the 34-year-old Dutch rider trumped Lucinda Brand after an exciting duel in the final sprint.

Immediately after the start, there was pushing and shoving and Vos narrowly avoided a crash. In the first lap, Vos and Brand showed they were the strongest and in seven laps they created a margin of fifty seconds on the rest of the field. Both riders bombarded each other with attacks on the fast track in the United States, but there was no chance of breaking away. In the end, Vos was clearly stronger in the decisive sprint.

Marianne Vos winning the Rucphen cross in 2021

She won her seventh and penultimate cyclocross world title in 2014. While for Vos it is her eighth world title, for her team, Team Jumbo-Visma Women, it is the first rainbow jersey since the squad’s formation in 2021. Vos began a new adventure with the Dutch women’s team last year and has since won six cyclocross races.

The new world champion was speechless. “It’s unbelievable. I really can’t believe it. You don’t look back much prior to the race. You try to focus on the race itself. It was a tough cross. I know it’s always tough to beat Brand. We tried to put pressure on each other, but it was hard to ride away. I knew I had to stay calm, do the right things on the last lap and focus on the sprint.”

“There were a lot of years between the last world title and this one”, Vos said, referring to her 2014 world title. “I haven’t changed much since then and continued to do what I was already doing. I get great support from my family and the team. I always try to do my best. It’s incredible that I get to stand on the highest step of the podium here. I am extremely grateful to everyone.”

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GP d'Ouverture-La Marseillaise team reports

We posted the report from second-place Mads Pedersen's Trek-Segafredo team with the results.

Here's the report from Georg Zimmermann's Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team:

Six Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert riders rode their first competition kilometers of the season in the GP de La Marseillaise (1.1, 30/01) this Sunday. It was a strongly reduced peloton which sprinted for the victory of the traditional French opening classic in the heart of the coastal city and Georg Zimmermann took seventh place.

The big sprint at the end of the race, won by Amaury Capiot. Sirotti photo

Behind the early breakaway, counter attackers started the chase on the Route des Crêtes, one of three climbs in the final 50 kilometer. But despite multiple attempts also on the Pas d’Ouiller and the Col de la Gineste it was a group of forty riders heading towards the centre of Marseille to sprint for the victory. Georg Zimmermann was well positioned and in the mix for the podium, until he was boxed in just before the line and had to stop his effort. The 24 year old, who recently extended his contract with the Belgian team, concluded his first race of the season with a top ten.

“During the whole race I could rely on my teammates to position me well going to the climbs. The good feeling I had in training was confirmed, so I started the final in good conditions. I was perfectly positioned for the sprint, but I was boxed in in the final twenty meters. The winner passed us on the right and there was not enough space to follow his slipstream. It is of course a pity that I had to stop sprinting, because in this way three riders could pass me. However, a seventh place is a good start. There are a lot more opportunities to come this season, for me the next one will be the Etoile de Bessèges!”  - Georg Zimmermann

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UAE Team Emirates reports on both the Trofeo Playa de Palma and the GP d’Ouverture:

Sebastian Molano came within a whisker of victory at the Trofeo Playa de Palma with second place in the final race of the Challenge Mallorca series behind Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal).

Arnaud De Lie wins the Trofeo Playa de Palma.

The 27-year old was able to find a quick turn of speed after a strong leadout from Pascal Ackermann to set him up on the flat run in on the circuit finish around the city of Palma (169.1km).

Molano: ”The team worked perfectly all day and controlled the race well. The lead out was great, Pascal left me in a really nice position to launch the sprint. I wanted to win for them today and we came close but it wasn’t to be, but so well done to the young winner. We leave Mallorca with some good results under our belt and hope to continue the season like this.”

Meanwhile in France, Diego Ulissi and Alessandro Covi both placed in the top-10 of a hectic sprint finish taking 8th and 9th respectively at the GP de Marseille.

Ulissi was active as the first serious moves began, going clear along with teammate Alexys Brunel in a strong five rider group which was pulled in over the top of the final climb.

A confident team performance saw UAE take to the front of the peloton as they entered the final 10km descent to the line in Marseille, as Belgian Amaury Capiot (Arkea-Samsic) sprinted to victory.

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Dylan Groenewegen hunting stage wins at the Saudi Tour

Here’s the update from Groenewegen’s Team BikeExchange-Jayco:

Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen will make his debut in Team BikeExchnage-Jayco colours next week as he goes on the hunt for stage wins at the five-day Saudi Tour.

Dylan Groenewegen wins stage one of the Tour of Wallonia. Sirotti photo

With a mostly flat parcours, in and around Alula, there will be plenty of opportunities for the 28-year-old sprinter, who will have a strong squad assembled around him. Slovenian rider Luka Mezgec will be the key lead-out man in the finales, while Michael Hepburn, Alex Edmondson and Alexander Konychev will each play vital roles in the closing kilometres.

It will also be the official debut for two more team members, with American time trial champion Lawson Craddock, and Dutch neo-pro Jan Maas, both lining up for their first race of the 2022 season.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up :
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Alexander Edmondson (AUS)
Dylan Groenewegen (NED)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Jan Maas (NED)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)

Tristan Hoffman (Sport Director):
“I am personally very happy to begin my new experience with Team BikeExchange-Jayco, and to begin it at the Saudi Tour with the strong line-up we have put together.

"Seeing the various stages, we will of course be going all-in with Dylan, trying to win some stages as basically all of them, apart from day two, should suit him. We will try to see during the recons how the stages look, but from what we have seen already, they should mainly be bunch sprint finishes.

"Dylan will be supported by experienced riders such as Hepburn and Edmondson, and of course Mezgec will be important as the final lead-out man. It will also be an important race for our new team riders Craddock and particularly Maas, in his pro debut.“

Dylan Groenewegen – Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider:
“I am very excited to be starting my season with Team BikeExchange-Jayco at Saudi Tour, and I think there should be a number of opportunities to try and get some solid results to start the year off well. Of course, the competition will be high as always, but we have a strong team to support me here in the sprints, so I am really looking forward to begin racing with them.

"Most of the stages will have flat finishes which means it will be important to arrive in the best condition in the final kilometers. I am also curious to visit Saudi and race in AlUla, it is the home of one of our major partners, so hopefully we can achieve some great results next week and celebrate with them.”

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