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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, March 13, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

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Paris-Nice Stage 7 reports

We posted the organizer's stage seven report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner & GC leader Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team:

Primoz Roglic has seized the stage victory in the seventh stage of Paris-Nice in a convincing way after a thrilling final at the top of the Col de Turini. With one stage to go, it made his leader’s jersey even more valuable.

Primoz Roglic solidifies his GC lead. ASO photo.

With 155 kilometres, the queen stage was relatively short but tough. The devil was in the tail with the arrival on top of the Col de Turini, a fifteen-kilometre climb at a good seven percent. A few kilometers before the finish, Roglic himself took control. With a double acceleration, he got rid of almost everyone. Only three riders could follow the fast pace. After having countered several minor attacks, he started his sprint for victory at two hundred metres before the finish.

“It was a fast race from the beginning, but I felt good”, Roglic stated. “I was always able to follow and keep control during the attacks by Yates and Quintana, among others. So yes, everything went as hoped. Tomorrow is the decisive day and I’m ready.”

Roglic has a 39-second lead over Simon Yates in the general classification. Wout van Aert will once again start in the green jersey. He has a fifteen-points advantage over first pursuer Mads Pedersen.

Second-place Daniel Martinez's INEOS Grenadiers posted this report:

Daniel Martinez produced a strong ride at Paris-Nice to elevate himself to third place overall.

The Colombian was active on the Col de Turini climb, following the decisive attack of Primoz Roglic on the way to finishing second at the summit of stage seven.

Daniel Martinez leads Primoz Roglic on the Col de Turini. ASO photo

Martinez had tried to distance his rivals, but second place now sees him move onto the overall podium with one day to go. The Grenadier sits a minute back on Roglic, with teammate Adam Yates also moving up to fourth overall.

The Brit kicked off the GC movement on the final climb with an acceleration with 7km to go. That forced out Roglic, and ultimately formed the final selection. Despite slipping back, Yates was able to finish eighth on the stage.

The queen stage saw some committed riding from the Grenadiers. Luke Rowe and Andrey Amador got through a lot of early work as the team took up the pace-setting, before Dylan van Baarle and Omar Fraile took over on the final approach to the climb.

Over at Tirreno-Adriatico, Richie Porte continued to ride superbly as he moved up to fourth overall.

The Tasmanian fought his way into the GC selection across two ascents of the Monte Carpegna. A slight overshoot on the final descent saw him distanced from the fight for second and third, with Tadej Pogacar taking a dominant win out from.

With a single sprint stage remaining, Porte sits 2:44 off the lead, and 11 seconds behind third placed Mikel Landa.

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And here's the Paris-Nice report from Simon Yates' Team BikeExchange-Jayco:

29-year-old Simon Yates has once again confirmed his top, early season form, following on from Wednesday’s time trial performance, by fighting to third place on today’s Queen stage at Paris-Nice.

Yates, riding his own pace as Adam Yates, then Primoz Roglic launched moves ahead, settled into a solid rhythm before riding up to the front of the race for the final showdown on the Col de Turini.

With Daniel Martinez, Nairo Quintana and Roglic left for company in the final closing kilometres, Yates tested the legs, with two accelerations but the day came down to a four-up battle to the line, with Roglic taking the victory and Yates in third place.

The Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider now heads into tomorrow’s short and explosive final stage around Nice in second place on the general classification, with a 45 second deficit to race leader Roglic.

Simon Yates - 3rd place:
“Not much you can do when (Roglic) is in second gear. He’s not even breathing and everybody else is panting like they're on their death bed, so it’s hard to do anything.

"I tried to see what I could do, I put a few cheeky moves in but it wasn’t to be. There’s been some tough days back-to-back and I think it’s taken it’s toll in the peloton.

"We’ve still got a really short, hard tomorrow, I really like it. It’s a good race, it’s one of the only days of the year that I actually enjoy to really get stuck in to so we will see what I can do but it’s pretty much run already.”

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Tirreno-Adriatico stage six reports

We posted the report from stage winner & GC leader Tadej Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates with the results.

Here's the stage six report from third-place Mikel Landa's Bahrain Victorious team:

Bahrain Victorious put on a strong team performance on stage 6 of Tirreno Adriatico. Our three leaders, Mikel Landa, Damiano Caruso and Pello Bilbao, finished in the day’s top ten and also moved up in the best ten riders ranking.

The penultimate day of the Race of the Two Seas was also the Queen stage and the most awaited by the GC contenders.

In the 215km course from Apecchio to Carpegna, the peloton faced a demanding final circuit, including a 6km climb (averages 9.9 per cent and max. 14%) to be repeated twice.

The pace was high from the start, and a four-man group jumped clear from the peloton after 25km. The quartet was then joined by other 5 riders establishing the day’s breakaway. It included the KOM leader Simmons, who was looking for points to seal the green jersey ranking and was the last to be caught once he accomplished his mission in the downhill after the first ascent of Monte Carpegna. It was there that our riders started to show their power. Not only on the climb but on the descent too, with Bilbao leading on the technical route. Then it was up to Mikel Landa, whose acceleration split the front group. Only Pogačar, Vingegaard and Mas managed to follow him. On the second ascent of the brutal Carpegna climb, the race saw the decisive attack of the GC leader Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), who went solo until the finish.

Jonas Vingegaard was second with Mikel Landa just behind him at third. Sirotti photo

Mikel Landa finalised the great job of from the team crossing the finish line in 3rd place, 1:03 adrift alongside Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), 2nd. Damiano Caruso and Pello Bilbao finished in 5th and 9th place respectively, and they also entered the top ten in GC, as they sit in 7th and 9th place.

In the general ranking, Mikel Landa moved up to 3rd place at 2:33 with one day to go.

Thanks to today’s performance, Bahrain Victorious also strengthens its leadership in the best team classification.

Mikel Landa: “I tried and I’m delighted with this stage’s result and moving onto the GC podium too. It was not easy for me as it was very cold today. We attacked in the first ascent because we knew that earlier we started tougher the race would be. Pogacar is very strong and, when he accelerated, is out of this world. I ended last season, not in a good way and starting this new year like that is something that makes me very confident”.

Gorazd Stangelj, Bahrain Victorious Sports Director: “Let’s say it was more or less like we had on the plan. We suffered a bit because we wanted to join the break, but we missed it. So we had to chase, and our GC guys, Pello, Damiano and Mikel, were fantastic. Tratnik did his job excellently, and the sprinters group also helped in positioning. Nobody was selfish, and everyone gave their maximum. We are happy with the result. We are happy because it was difficult to plan to be on the final podium, and now we are very close to it. So fingers crossed that everything goes well and we bring home a good result from Tirreno”.

Tomorrow, the 7-day stage race will end with a sprinters’ stage in San Benedetto del Tronto.

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Jai Hindley's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this report:

The 215 km long queen stage from Apecchio to Carpegna was on the agenda of the penultimate day of the Italian stage race. After an undulating start, the six-kilometre-long Monte Carpegna, with its gradients of almost ten percent, had to be taken on twice. After the last crossing of the climb, the parcours went downhill before the last 1500 m took the riders uphill yet again.

Marco Haller managed to jump into the early breakaway that dominated the race for quite a long time. With 40 km remaining, the Austrian dropped back into the reduced field to support his teammates. Eventually, Jai Hindley was able to join a reduced group of favourites who took on the final climb together, and the Australian crossed the finish line in sixth place, moving up to fifth overall.

From the Finish Line:
"That was yet another brutal day at Tirreno-Adriatico. The guys positioned Wilco, Emu and me well before the first climb of the Carpegna and shortly afterwards, the race essentially exploded. I did my best to follow the other GC riders and then rode my own pace on the last climb. I'm happy that I was able to move up to fifth place in the GC. Tomorrow is the final stage where hopefully we can get a good result with Jordi." - Jai Hindley

"Stage six not only looks brutal on the map, it was brutal in reality. The weather added to it with snow right and left of the road. Our plan today was to be present at the front, and that worked well with Marco Haller in the breakaway. Then we tried to protect our three climbers and position them well ahead of the key ascents. It was beneficial that Marco then came back to the reduced field and was able to support our climbers ahead of the approach to the steep climb. On the climbs, it was simply a question of who had the best legs. And there, we have to say that Jai is clearly on a good path. It's really good to see that he's now fifth in the general classification. As for Wilco, he also rode well, especially considering that he was injured for a long time. In that respect, I think we can be quite happy with our performance today." - Rolf Aldag, Sports Director

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