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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, June 3, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Bottom trawling is a ghastly process that brings untold damage to sea beds that support ocean life. It's akin to using a bulldozer to catch a butterfly, destroying a whole ecosystem for the sake of a few pounds of protein. We wouldn't do this on land, so why do it in the oceans? - Marine biologist Sylvia Earle

Les Woodland's book Cycling Heroes: The Golden Years is available in the print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Giro dell'Appennino team reports

We posted the report from winner Louis Meintjes' Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert with the results.

Here's the race update from fifth place Alessandro Verre's Team Arkea-Samsic:

Tour of the Apennines, Alessandro Verre finishes 5th of the Italian race in a small sprint for 2nd place, Michel Ries who belonged to the same group, finishes 9th in Genoa. Nicolas Edet is 13th.

Alessandro Verre: “Today, I was able to take part in the race, to attack, to be in the action in front, I felt a little bit better than on the Mercan’Tour, and the fact that I was able to do a lot of racing did me good. I finished 5th in the sprint, I admit that I was hoping a little bit, but I don’t have this quality of finisher. It’s good because I am fourth of our group of eight riders. Fortunately the crash I had was minor and I was very lucky. I came out of the last climb with Meintjes, I tried to attack him, to get him out of my wheel but he was very strong. After that, I waited, Michel, but the race was almost over with twenty flat kilometres in the final to Genova”

It was Louis Meintjes who won the race.

Sébastien Hinault: “It’s disappointing to have a flat part of 20 kilometres after all the bumps, because it shuffled the cards, of course. Alessandro and Michel were strong, but the final part allowed a group to get back. Meintjes played well, I had spotted this little “repecho” and told my riders to try it there, but they just didn’t have the legs. Afterwards, Alessandro, who crashed on the penultimate descent, and who had to give up a lot of energy to get back, finished 5th in the sprint for 2nd place. They had the role of leaders on this race, and Alessandro and Michel had carte blanche, the team worked. They knew how to go forward, to show an offensive state of mind and that they could be counted on, and this is a positive point”

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And here's the short race report from tenth-place Alessandro Covi's UAE Team Emirates:

Alessandro Covi came home in 10th spot at the Giro Dell’Appennino today in Italy.

UAE Team Emirates missed the winning break of riders who went the distance, with Louis Meintjes (Intermarche-Wanty) taking a solo win.

Covi led home and elite chasing group at 4’42’’ on the hilly 197km from Pasturana to Genoa, showing his carrying form after his impressive stage win at the Giro d’Italia last week.

For his efforts he also took home the Challenge Ligure award for the best rider overall between the Trofeo Laigueglia and the Giro Dell’Appennino.

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Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl headed to Critérium du Dauphiné

Here’s the team’s news:

For the first time in the history of the event that was won by the likes of Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Luis Ocaña or Bernard Hinault, things will get underway from the Ardèche department. Despite some climbs along the way, the fast men should have their chance to shine in the first days of the week, except for stage 3, before the 31.9km individual time trial from Montbrison to La Bâtie d’Urfé, which promises a major reshuffling of the general classification.

All these will serve only as an appetizer for what will be a mouth-watering second part of the race, that will throw into the GC contenders’ way the mighty climbs of Galibier and Croix de Fer and a return to Plateau de Salaison (11.3km, 9.2%), the demanding ascent that five years ago was decisive in the final outcome.

The most successful squad of the year so far, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will come to the start of the 73rd edition with a team featuring Volta a Catalunya stage winner Andrea Bagioli, Mattia Cattaneo, French Champion Rémi Cavagna, Czech ITT Champion Josef Cerny, Dries Devenyns, Mikkel Honoré and Jannik Steimle.

Andrea Bagioli (on left, winning 7 of the Tour of Catalonia) will be on the start line of the Dauphiné.

“The Dauphiné is usually one of the hardest stage races of the season, and this year it won’t be any different, as it brings on the route some of France’s toughest climbs. Most of our riders have recently completed an altitude training camp and it will be nice to see them back in action. We have a quite balanced team that can go for a good result regardless of the terrain. There should be a couple of opportunities for us next week and we are determined to make the most out of them as we kick off the second part of the season”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.

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Dylan Groenewegen’s Team BikeExchange-Jayco will race for Dauphiné for stage wins

The team sent me this:

Team BikeExchange-Jayco head to France for the eight-day Criterium du Dauphine later this week with sprint star Dylan Groenewegen leading the team with an eye on stage victories.

Fresh from two wins in May, the 28-year-old is building back his form after a small break and like many other riders in the peloton, Groenewegen will be using Criterium du Dauphine as a part of his preparation for the Tour de France. The Dutch star will be hoping to claim his fifth victory of the season at the race, with multiple stages marked out as potential sprint opportunities.

Dylan Groenewegen wins this year's Veenendaal-Veenendaal

Despite having 60 career wins, Groenewegen has yet to claim a victory at the French race and will be hoping 2022 is the year to do it with a strong team around him. For the fast finishes, Australian duo Alex Edmondson and Luke Durbridge will be key support riders for the finale along with Norwegian powerhouse Amund Grøndahl Jansen. For the hillier stages the team recruit Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay, Australian rider Nick Schultz and young Italian Kevin Colleoni.

With a mix of everything, the race features a summit finish on day three before a hard Queen stage on day eight. A mid-race individual time trial on stage four breaks up the flow with stages one, two, five and six all with the potential to finish in reduced bunch sprints or breakaways.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Kevin Colleoni (ITA)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Dylan Groenewegen (NED)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR)
Nick Schultz (AUS)

Dylan Groenewegen:
“After a small break I was very happy to take two victories in May and now I’m ready for the final preparation block before the Tour de France and that continues at Dauphine.

"It’s a race I like, it’s a hard race and I think we will have some good opportunities to try for a victory. There’s a couple of stages which look like they can be sprint finishes and it would be nice to get another win to keep the momentum as we get closer to the TDF.”

Tristan Hoffman (Sport Director):
“The goal for us at Dauphine is to go for stage wins. We have Dylan who is in good shape, he had some wins in May and he is ready to try to take a stage win at Dauphine. It will be a high level of competition as always at this race and with the parcours, there looks to be a few stages that could finish in bunch sprints, so we will be ready for those.

"For the hillier stages we have young Colleoni, so he will have a go and see what he can do on those hard stages and look if he can place himself high up on the GC.”

Aurélien Paret-Peintre and his Ag2r-Citroën team will also ride the Critérium du Dauphiné

Here’s the team’s post:

Aurélien Paret-Peintre: “I am coming out of a good training camp in Sierra Nevada (May 9-29). The weather was on point. As a climber, I appreciate working at altitude to get the pedal stroke and the physiological benefits it brings.
“I was originally supposed to return to competition at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes but I had some stomach problems and had to give it up.

“I am approaching the second part of the season with a lot of desire after having had a mixed first part of the season. The Critérium du Dauphiné is a very important race for me and for the team. It’s always a pleasure to race at home. We will start with ambition and the goal of getting on the podium with Ben O’Connor. I am looking forward to the last mountainous weekend. It is a good test before the Tour de France.”

The number: 8
Ben O’Connor finished eighth in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2021.

Aurélien Paret-Peintre meanwhile took thirteenth place in the general classification and second in the classification of the best young riders.

Geoffrey Bouchard and Stan Dewulf will participate at their first Critérium du Dauphiné.

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