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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, July 30, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

No one is laughable who laughs at himself. - Seneca

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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Yates, Matthews & Schultz spearhead Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s hunt for victory at Clasica San Sebastian

The team sent me this update:

Briton Simon Yates returns to WorldTour racing headlining Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the one-day Clasica San Sebastian, alongside recent Tour de France stage winner Michael Matthews and second place stage finisher Nick Schultz.

After claiming two stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, Yates is back in action ready for the second phase of the season with the 224km race one of his goals. After starting things off well upon his return to racing with a recent victory on Monday at Prueba VillaFranca and yesterday, securing the overall win at Castilla y Leon, the Brit is ready to challenge for his third win of the week on Saturday.

Simon Yates wins the second stage of this year's Castilla y Leon.

After finishing in seventh place in 2016 and with it’s hard and punchy climbs, which lends itself to an explosive style of racing, the event is one of Yates’ favourites which suits the 29-year-old’s characteristics.

Joining him, fresh from taking first and second-place stage finishes respectively at the Tour de France, will be Australians Michael Matthews and Nick Schultz, both in fine form and hoping to have backed-up well after the three-week event to give the team added strength and depth.

Rounding out one of Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s strongest team line-ups at the one-day event will be recent Prueba Villa-France and Castilla y Leon stage runner up Dion Smith, Dutch domestique Jan Maas, plus Australian powerhouse Callum Scotson and Tsgabu Grmay.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Jan Maas (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Simon Yates (GBR)

Simon Yates:
“I’m looking forward to San Sebastian, it is a one-day race that I really like with the explosive climbs and in general a course that you can really race on. I love this type of racing and I’m hoping on Saturday we can have a good result.

"It has been nice getting back into the swing of things after almost two months of training since the Giro. The legs are feeling good, and it was nice to start back with a win in Villafranca and also in Castilla y Leon. Saturday will be hard, there’s a lot of good riders and guys coming out of the Tour with good legs, so let’s see what we can do. It will definitely be a tough race, but we have a really good team.”

Mat Hayman – Sport Director:
“We come into San Sebastian with a really strong team, probably one of the strongest teams we have fielded at this race in the last few years. Simon is on a true run of form, winning on Monday and yesterday with solo breakaways and we will have Nick and Michael joining the line-up coming out of the Tour de France, so those three riders will spearhead our team. It is a tough race but with this team I think we have a very good chance of going after the win.”

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Team Israel-Premier Tech to ride Tour of Poland

Here’s the team’s update:

Emerging talent Sebastian Berwick will lead Israel – Premier Tech in the Tour of Poland. The Australian will get the full support of experienced WorldTour-riders like Matthias Brändle, Alex Dowsett, and Reto Hollenstein.

Alex Dowsett will be riding the Tour of Poland. Here he is winning stage 8 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

The 22-year-old’s shape improved over the last few months, resulting in a stage victory in the Alpes Isère Tour in June, and fifth place in the queen stage of the Sibiu Tour. Berwick has been finetuning his physique over the last few weeks and is now ready to be the team leader in a WorldTour race.

“It is the first time I will be the man for the general classification in a WorldTour race and I am looking forward to taking on that role,” Berwick says.

Brändle, Dowsett, and Hollenstein will be there to support him, while Alessandro De Marchi and Mads Würtz Schmidt are also lining up. Last but not least is Taj Jones who, just like Berwick, rounded off a successful Sibiu Tour and will now bring it to the WorldTour.

Jones’ strong showing in Romania led to this first occasion of being named the designated sprinter in a WorldTour stage race for the young Australian. He will get a bunch of opportunities during this week of racing.

The Tour de Pologne is the first WorldTour race after the Tour de France, which was particularly successful for the Israeli team. The race in Poland consists of seven stages, finishing in the beautiful city of Krakow.

The general classification will most likely be decided on the penultimate day of racing when the riders are put to an individual test towards the Rusinski ski station. The uphill time trial is, next to the third stage which has four short climbs in the final, the toughest one in the road book.

Apart from that, things are predominantly flat in Poland this year.

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UAE team Emirates announces San Sebastian, Circuito de Getxo and Tour de Pologne squads

Here’s the team’s news release:

UAE Team Emirates have announced teams for the upcoming races with the San Sebastian Classic on Sat 30 July followed by the Circuito de Getxo the following day on Sun 31 July in Spain.

Another block of riders will head east for the Tour de Pologne from 30 July – 5 August.

The team for San Sebastian takes a line-up packed with talent, headlined by Tadej Pogačar who arrives after his podium place at the Tour de France in Paris last weekend.

Tadej Pogacar will be back in action in Spain. Sirotti photo

Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) and Sports Director Manuele Mori (Ita) will lead the 7 riders at San Sebastian while Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) and Marco Marcato (Ita) will take charge in Poland.

Pogačar: “Since the end of the Tour I’ve been to see my fiancee Urska racing in the Tour Femme and taken a few quieter days. I’m already back in action racing next Saturday in San Sebastian so I’m focussed on that. The Basque fans are really passionate about cycling and I love racing there. Then I’ll take a good break before building up to the last part of the season.”

For Tour de Pologne Pascal Ackermann will go hunting sprint opportunities while Davide Formolo and Diego Ulissi will hope to be active in the hillier terrain.

Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa [1.UWT] – 30-Jul-2022

-Joao Almeida (Por)
-Juan Ayuso (Spa)
-George Bennett (NZ)
-Rui Costa (Por)
-Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
-Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
-Jan Polanc (Slo)

Circuito de Getxo – Memorial Hermanos Otxoa [1.1] – 31-Jul-2022

-Camilo Ardila (Col)
-Juan Ayuso (Spa)
-George Bennett (NZ)
-Rui Costa (Por)
-Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
-Yousif Mirza (UAE)
-Jan Polanc (Slo)

Tour de Pologne [2.UWT] – 30-Jul-2022 / 05-Aug-2022

-Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
-Davide Formolo (Ita)
-Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
-Sebastian Molano (Col)
-Rui Oliveira (Por)
-Oliviero Troia (Ita)
-Diego Ulissi (Ita)

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Lotto Soudal headed to Tour of Poland

Here's the team's post:

Lotto Soudal is getting ready for seven days of racing in Poland during the WorldTour stage race Tour de Pologne. With a mix of flat and hilly stages, several types of riders will be getting their chance to take a stage win. On the penultimate day, the general classification will most likely be decided with an eleven kilometres long mountain time trial.

Lotto Soudal will take on the 79th Tour de Pologne with the following riders: Steff Cras, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Jarrad Drizners, Roger Kluge, Kamil Małecki and Sylvain Moniquet. The young Australian Jarrad Drizners will return to competition in Poland after months of rehabilitation. Polish Lotto Soudal rider Kamil Małecki faced several setbacks in the first months of the season, but after a team training camp in Livigno, he is really motivated to show himself in his home country.

Japer De Buyst (shown winning a stage at the 2019 Tour of Denmark) will be on the start line at the Tour of Poland.

“I feel better every day and my injury affects me less and less. I am on a good way to full recovery”, says Kamil Małecki. “I joined the team during training camp in Livigno for ten days and afterwards, I slept in an altitude tent at home. I have worked hard and hopefully I can benefit from that pretty soon.”

Małecki will only be at the start of the Tour de Pologne for the second time in his career but impressed during his first participation in 2020 with a sixth place on the general classification.

“The Tour de Pologne is my favourite race and I’m really looking forward to race. I have fond memories of this race and will give it my all for the team. And if I could show myself at some point in the race, that would also be great. Last year’s sixth place was a fantastic moment in my career and I hope to give the fans similar emotions this year”, concludes the 26-year-old Polish rider.

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