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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Predicting rain doesn't count. Building arks does. Warren Buffett

Tour of Flanders, the Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Tour of Flanders: The Inside Story - The rocky roads of the Ronde van Vlaanderen is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert's performance manager explains team’s strategy for sprints

Here’s the team’s post:

Heading into 2022, Performance Manager Aike Visbeek unveiled the team strategy for the sprints, which was defined into three core groups around Alexander Kristoff, Biniam Girmay and Gerben Thijssen.

In January, Biniam Girmay won Trofeo Alcudia and grabbed the team’s first victory of the season. Two weeks later, Alexander Kristoff won the Clasica de Almeria, his first success ever on Spanish soil. And last week, Gerben Thijssen earned his first pro victory on the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, outsprinting the rest of the field on the last stage.

Biniam Girmay wins Trofeo Alcudia

“We invested in three sprint trains this winter and with Gerben winning in Dunkerque, now all three have won at least once. With Pieter Vanspeybrouck, we spent quite some time analyzing & meeting in order to improve our sprint trains, and the fact we’ve been successful with all three of them is something to be proud of”.

“The level in sprinting is really high nowadays, the field is packed with competitive lead-out trains and very experienced sprinters. So managing to win with three different sprint trains is a big compliment and a massive reward for the hard work we put in this.”

“For us it does not stop here. Every sprints or lead-outs, good or bad, teach us new things so that we keep working and constantly improve. With many sprint opportunities on the coming races, we will use it to experiment the composition of our three groups .”

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Team DSM's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Vuelta a Burgos Feminas: MAY 19 - 22

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach
"The Vuelta a Burgos has a bit of everything throughout the four days of racing. The first two stages could make for some old-fashioned echelon racing, as the bunch travels through very open areas so we need to be sharp throughout. The third day will see us take on a punchy finish, while the GC will be decided on the final day atop of the Lagunas de Neila; a 16 kilometre climb where we expect some hard racing. We have a strong team at the start which is ready for the variety of terrain we will get in Burgos, and we're all motivated to show ourselves at the front after our recent action in Itzuila."

Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Elise Uijen (NED)

Veenendaal - Veenendaal Classic: MAY 21

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"Typically Veenendaal - Veenendaal Classic is a race for the sprinters but like a lot of racing in this part of the world, the wind and weather can prove to be a decisive factor in the outcome of the day. We arrive with a well balanced squad and we will aim to improve on our good work so far in the sprint train with Sam as our designated finisher if it comes down to a big group. However, if the race splits up then we also have other fast finishers such as Niklas and Casper, so we can play a tactical game too."

Sam Welsford wins stage four of the 2021 Tour Down Under.

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Frederik Rodenberg Madsen (DEN)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

Rund um Köln: MAY 22

Pim Ligthart - Team DSM coach
"Rund um Köln takes place over an interesting parcours with several hills throughout the day and a flatter finale. We will approach the race with an open view. We will need to be sharp and always in the race, so that we can present in the front for any dangerous moves or split. If we can keep communicating well and stay in the race then the result will hopefully follow. We have a nice group that includes a lot of fast guys so we have multiple cards to play for the finish."

Nikias Arndt (GER)
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Max Poole (GBR)

Tour of Norway: MAY 24 - 29

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"The Tour of Norway offers up an exciting six days of racing with something for everyone including flat sprint stages, punchy hilltop finishes, a tough mountain summit and days that will tempt the attackers. We will aim to ride together well throughout the race, showing our jersey well at the front by either being on the attack or riding as a group ahead of the finales. For the flatter sprint finale then Sam will be our finisher, as we continue our focus on teamwork and supporting each other, coming up with plans to be active in the week."

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Marco Brenner (GER)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

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Giro d’Italia: Wilco Kelderman blames disc brakes for GC tumble on stage 9

VeloNews posted this:

On the run-in to the final climb in stage 9 of the 2022 Giro d’Italia, Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) slipped from the group near the front.

While his teammate Jai Hindley went on to win the stage by a scant wheel length ahead of Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Kelderman lost eleven minutes on the stage, effectively ending his GC bid.

Jai Hindley wins stage nine. Sirotti photo

Kelderman claimed to have mechanical troubles on the descent of the penultimate climb, the Passo Lanciano, in which he broke spokes, according to AD.

“In the descent to the final climb I broke my wheel”, Kelderman explained why he was not in the group with favorites at the foot of the Blokchaus. “I think that spoke got too hot, it just popped, because of the pressure,” said Kelderman.

You can read the entire story here.

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Orbea annual sales hit nearly $300M and the Basque co-op added 170 new jobs

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this update:

ERMUA, Spain (BRAIN) — Orbea, the Basque co-op bike manufacturer, had its sixth consecutive record sales year in 2021, hitting 282 million euros ($298 million). The co-op added 170 news jobs in the year, bringing its total workforce to nearly 1,000, with 90% of its workers in Europe.

Orbea released the figures at its Annual Assembly on Saturday.

"Orbea continues advancing its strategy, which it established in the middle of the last decade, and has since led to transformational change within its systems, processes and facilities. Its cooperative business structure has also allowed the company to be more flexible and adaptable to new, ever-changing global scenarios," the company said in a statement released after the assembly.

You can read the entire story here.

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