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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour of Switzerland stage three reports

We posted the report from third-place Alexander Kristoff's Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert with the results.

Here's the race organizer's report:

Peter Sagan is the winner of the 3rd stage from Aesch to Grenchen. This is the 18th Tour de Suisse stage victory for the rock star of cycling. He improves his own personal record with this win. In the overall standings, Schachmann loses time due to a crash.

The 18th Tour de Suisse stage victory is in the vault. Peter Sagan extends his record with a textbook sprint victory in Grenchen. “I feel great after this win. My team worked hard for me to realise this victory. For me it is a great sign to be back in the peloton after my Corona illness.” Stephen Williams remains in the lead. In the hectic finish Geraint Thomas and Maximilian Schachmann sprinted for bonus seconds. The German almost claimed the gold jersey. Schachmann was unlucky near the finish to be caught in a mass crash. His gap increased from 4 to 55 seconds. Otherwise the top positions of the General Classification remained unchanged.

Peter Sagan's 18th visit to the Tour of Switzerland's podium. Sirotti photo

Smooth sailing for the sprinters
The race went according to plan for the sprinter teams. A leading group of six formed early on, including two Swiss cyclists, Stefan Bissegger and Matthias Reutimann. Their maximum lead was about 4 minutes. When the first categorised mountains approached – with the Côte au Bouvier a first category KOM – the peloton gradually decreased the gap. Stefan Bissegger broke away from the leading group with 35 kilometres remaining but, despite a courageous attempt, he was caught 10 kilometres before the finish. At the end Peter Sagan completed the work of his team mates.

Preview of the next Stage
The fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse heads from Grenchen to Brunnen on Lake Lucerne. The cyclists will be passing through Michael Schär’s training ground. “We go through Nottwil near Lake Sempach. Hopefully my fan club will provide the right atmosphere there,” says Schär happily. He will probably not be fightubg for the stage win however. The demanding climb from Steinen over the Sattel awaits 15 kilometres before the finish.

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Here's the report from Max Schachmann's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Editor's note: After stage two, Schachmann was 2nd in the GC. Now he's sitting in 17th place, at 55sec.

Although the 176.9 km route between Aesch and Grenchen looked like a possible bunch sprint on paper, the course with its numerous hills and first category climb halfway through were not be underestimated. After yesterday's success, a break tried their luck yet again today, but their efforts were ultimately unrewarded and so it came to a mass sprint in the end, in which Peter Sagan took the win.

Unfortunately, Maximilian Schachmann and Frederik Wandahl were both involved in a crash about 4km from the finish and as a result the German champion crossed the line 53 seconds down on the day's winner. Both riders sustained abrasions.  Teammates Aleks Vlasov, Sergio Higuita and Felix Grossschartner didn't lose any time in the general classification today.

Bora-hansgrohe didn't have anyone in the sprint mix today. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line
"Today was supposed to be a sprinter's stage, yet it was very demanding with 3100 metres of elevation gain over 178 kilometres. Nevertheless, we wanted to give Marco a chance in the sprint. The guys worked well together, but unfortunately there was a big crash in the last five kilometres involving Max and Frederik. Marco then immediately recognised the situation and gave Max his bike so that hopefully we could still keep Max as an option for the overall classification. That was really a pity for our two guys. Today we had promised ourselves more and also hoped for a better outcome." - Jens Zemke, Sports Director   

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Here’s the Tour of Switzerland report from Mike Teunissen’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Mike Teunissen has finished ninth in the third stage of the Tour de Suisse. The 29-year-old Dutchman aimed for the podium in the first real bunch sprint, but fell short in the narrow streets of Grenchen.

The third stage over 177 kilometres took the riders from Aesch to Grenchen. Six riders formed the day's breakaway and got a four-minute lead. With eleven kilometres to go, the last remaining rider was caught and a bunch sprint proved inevitable.

Pascal Eenkhoorn helped Theunissen get to the front in the final kilometres, but he could not get involved in the battle for the stage win. "Mike was a bit too far behind at the entry of the last two corners and he didn't manage to make up for it on his own”, sports director Marc Reef said.

"It was too difficult for Timo and Rohan to do anything for Mike in the final. It meant Mike only had Pascal with him. We were well-positioned when necessary, but in the end, the ninth place was the highest we could achieve."

Tomorrow, the riders will be presented with another set of climbs. According to Reef, there is a good chance that the breakaway will last until the end. "We must be prepared for all possible scenarios and hope to be able to battle for the stage win. We also want to make sure that Sepp arrives at the finish without losing any time."

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Lotto Soudal to ride Baloise Belgium Tour with GC ambitions

Here's the team's news post:

Sports director Nikolas Maes discusses the ambitions during the five-day stage race.

From Wednesday 15 June till Sunday 19 June, Lotto Soudal will take part in the 91st edition of the Baloise Belgium Tour. With Victor Campenaerts, Jasper De Buyst, Arnaud De Lie, Frederik Frison, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Florian Vermeersch and Tim Wellens, the Belgian WorldTour team will bring a strong selection at the start of the five-day 2.Pro stage race, in which it mainly targets a good overall result. Sports director at the race, Nikolas Maes, discusses the ambitions of Lotto Soudal.

Tim Wellens winning stage two of the the 2022 Tour des Alpes-Maritimes

“Just like any other Belgian race, the Baloise Belgium Tour is an important appointment on the calendar for Lotto Soudal. With a strong team at the start, we target a good general classification. Due to the varied course, you need to be a good allrounder to win this race. I am thinking of guys like Victor Campenaerts or Tim Wellens, but also Florian Vermeersch”, says Nikolas Maes.

“In the battle for the general classification, the opening stage in the Flemish Ardennes, the time trial in Averbode and the Ardennes stage in Durbuy will be decisive. A rider like Campenaerts is keen on a good time trial performance, heading towards the national championships in his hometown but also Wellens, Vermeersch and Frison can do well against the clock. After the time trial, we have to see if we need to defend a lead or attack during Saturday’s stage. During the two sprint stages, Arnaud De Lie can have a go if the opportunity presents itself but with several of the world’s best sprinters at the start, we mainly target a good overall result. We have some cards to play and are ready for five days of racing in Belgium”, concludes Nikolas Maes.

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