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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, July 31, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

When all is said and done, more is said than done. - Lou Holtz


Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 1: 1909 - 1970 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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Clasica San Sebastián team reports

We posted the report from winner Remco Evenepoel's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Pavel Sivakov's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Pavel Sivakov put in a determined, attacking performance to finish second in San Sebastian as Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) won the one day classic.

Remco Evenepoel took a solo win at the Spanish classic.

Sivakov was first to react to Evenepoel and Simon Yates went clear of the peloton when the Belgian attacked on the Jaizkibel climb, with Yates on his wheel. 

The Grenadier was soon joined by teammate Carlos Rodriguez and the pair were part of a larger chase group that was losing ground to Evenepoel each kilometre.

Seeing the chase faltering, the duo attacked the chase group and put in an impressive effort to distance their rivals, while not allowing the leader to extend his lead.

After a key contribution, Rodriguez unfortunately dropped back, but his selfless work ensured Sivakov took his second professional one day podium, finishing second behind Evenepoel. 

The Spanish champion was narrowly edged into fifth on the line, but that result made it two Grenadiers in the top five on one of the toughest races on the calendar.

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Here's the report from third-place Tiesj Benoot's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Tiesj Benoot has continued his good Tour form in the Clásica San Sebastián. The Belgian of Team Jumbo-Visma finished third in the classic race through the Basque Country. It meant the third podium of the year for Benoot.

The peloton was in the mood to race today. "On the Jaizkibel, they were already riding very hard. I felt that Quickstep had something planned. Timo and Lennard did a great job to keep me in front”, Benoot said.

On the Erlaitz climb, Quickstep’s plan became clear. Remco Evenepoel attacked and swept to victory. "When Evenepoel attacked, I chose to ride my own pace. At the top, I waited for Mollema and Sivakov, so we had a good group”, the Belgian of Team Jumbo-Visma said.

Sports director Addy Engels had seen a good team and a good Benoot. "Until the race exploded, he had good support. From that moment, it was a man-to-man battle”, Engels concluded.

Benoot secured his podium spot on the final uphill metres. "First Yates couldn’t follow anymore, then Mollema. I rode to the top and could still catch up with Rodríguez, but Sivakov was too far away. I think I can be very proud of this third place. Now it's time to rest."

Engels watched Benoot's performance with admiration. "Very strong of Tiesj that he is still capable of this after the Tour. He kept believing in it. On the final climb, he managed to get back on the podium, which is quite something. This is an excellent result and a fair reflection of the race."


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Tour of Poland stage stage one team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Olav Kooij's Team Jumbo-Visma with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Phil Bauhaus' Team Bahrain Victorious:

After nearly 219 kilometres from Kielce to Lublin, stage 1 of the 79th Tour de Pologne ended, as expected, in a bunch sprint. Phil Bauhaus, winner on the opening day last year, was beaten into second place on the line by a matter of centimetres.

Olav Kooij wins stage one.

Team Bahrain Victorious had been strong all day, chasing down the early breakaway, which lasted until 7kms from the finish; Jonathan Milan – returning to road racing for the first time since March – showed his strength on the front of the peloton, and riding on his home roads, Filip Maciejuk was also driving the bunch.

With just over 3k to go, Bahrain came to the front with Bauhaus in 3rd wheel and Milan at the head of the race. When the Italian pulled off 2k later, it was down to Heinrich Haussler to guide our sprinter into position for the finale.

Under the ‘flamme rouge’ the road was squeezed by barriers, and a large crash took out many riders including Stevie Williams who fell heavily. Meanwhile, Haussler and Bauhaus moved to the right hand side of the road anticipating the final corners before the finishing straight, and it was soon ‘mano a mano’ between the German and Jumbo Visma’s Olav Kooij. The 20-year-old held on by a tyre’s width to take his first world tour victory, but there were plenty of positives for our boys heading into another day for the sprinters tomorrow: 205.6kms from Chełm to Zamość.

After the stage, Bauhaus reflected on a good performance, “I think we did really well today – everything was controlled for the bunch sprint, with Filip chasing down the breakaway and Jonathan & Heino at the end leading me out. They did a really great pull in the front, then Heino for the last 700 or 800 metres so I could follow the Jumbo guys. I came close, and I was gaining metres on Kooij, but in the end, the finish line came a bit too early for me. The legs are good in the group so that’s nice to see, and we hope to do a perfect result in the coming days.”


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And here's the report from third-place Jordi Meeus' Team Baharin Victorious:

The sprinters had their chance today on the 218km long opening stage of the Tour de Pologne between Kielce and Lublin. After the break was brought back over the last kilometres, the day was decided in a mass sprint, which was taken out by O. Kooij. Despite good preparation, the BORA-hansgrohe lead-out train wasn't able to deliver Sam Bennett as planned, with his last lead-out rider Jordi Meeus then sprinting to third. Shane Archbold was involved in a crash 1.2km from the finish, but according to initial medical examinations, did not suffer any serious injuries. The fast men will have another opportunity on tomorrow's stage, thereby bringing another chance for BORA - hansgrohe.

"It was actually a pretty quiet day until the last 25km. Our goal was to set up the sprint for Sam, but unfortunately our plan didn't quite work out. He lost my rear wheel in the finale, which is a shame because we had done a good job until that time. I then tried to go for the sprint myself and ended up third. I think we can definitely do better, yet it's a solid start." - Jordi Meeus

"It was quite a long stage, at almost 220km. We expected a bunch sprint, so our strategy was to ride for Sam. The guys rode well together over the last 5km, with Cesare having put in a particularly strong effort. Then came the more technical part where Ryan suffered a mechanical and Shane was involved in the crash in the finale. Jordi and Sam were well positioned ahead of the the right turn 800 metres from the finish line and both managed to avoid the crash. However, at one point Sam almost rode into the barriers, lost Jordi's wheel and had to brake. Under the circumstances, Jordi's third place is a pretty good result, upon which we can definitely build in the coming days." - Enrico Gasparotto, Sports Director

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