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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, September 1, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry. - H. L. Mencken

Story of the Giro d'Italia, volume 1

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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Vuelta a España stage 11 reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Kaden Groves' Team BikeExchange-Jayco:

Australian sprinter Kaden Groves blasted to his maiden Grand Tour stage win at La Vuelta a España as Team BikeExchange-Jayco bounced back in style on stage 11.

Kaden Groves wins stage 11. Sirotti photo

The squad put the setback of losing team leader Simon Yates to COVID-19 behind them as they delivered a sprint masterclass in Cabo de Gata, to turn disappointment into delight.

The stage always looked destined for a sprint finish and the Australian outfit set their stall our early as they sent Luke Durbridge to work on the front of the peloton to set the pace behind a three-rider breakaway.

The escapees were safely swept up inside the final 30km of racing and the team assumed their position at the head of the pack as the finale approached, with Groves glued to the wheel of his teammates as they guided him into the final kilometre in the perfect position.

Groves bided his time and refused to panic as the sprint opened up around him, before he launched his drive for the line with 150 metres to go. The 23-year-old proved he was the fastest in the drag race for victory as he powered away from his rivals to take his debut Grand Tour stage win.

Kaden Groves (1st):
“It feels fantastic, with the news this morning of Simon going positive for Covid, all the boys were pretty disappointed, and this is the best way to bounce back after such bad news. I’m really happy to celebrate, but I also wish he was here, because he’s a part of this team.

"I’ve got to thank all the guys, Luke was riding all day, and then we set up early for the wind. We thought there would be crosswinds a bit earlier, but there was nothing until the final 4km where we were first team, and the guys did a perfect job of keeping me in front and fresh.

"It’s been a really good year. I’m super happy to get a win here already and there’s still more stages to come.”

Gene Bates (Sport Director):
“What a fantastic result and stage win! We couldn’t be happier with that one. It’s been a really emotional day for everyone involved, we woke up to the news of Simon being out of the race and it’s tough to comeback from something like that.

"But the guys did a tremendous job of refocussing, regrouping and coming up with a super plan to deliver Kaden into the finish. Everyone played their role, everyone did a fantastic job and they absolutely nailed the lead out.

"As we know, Kaden is one of the fastest guys here, he just needed a bit of room and a nice run into it, and today we got the win. It’s a great day for the team, a great way to bounce back and hopefully we can have some more success at this Vuelta."

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Here's the report from second-place Danny Van Poppel's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

After several days without an opportunity for the fast men of the peloton, the sprinters were able to contest the stage win on the 191.2 km long and slightly undulating route from Alhama de Murcia and the finish in the Cabo de Gata National Park. BORA - hansgrohe started without its sprint captain Sam Bennett, who had to abandon the race early.

For the team, this meant a rethink, with the team now relying on Danny van Poppel in the sprint final today. On the finishing straight in Cabo de Gata, the Dutchman clung to the rear wheel of Kaden Groves and tried to overtake the Australian over the final few meters, but hesitated ever so slightly and ultimately crossed the line in second place.

Just a bit after the line you can see that Danny Van Poppel (with X's on his shoulders) came very close to winning. Sirotti photo.

"The team put their trust in me for the sprint and the guys supported me very well today. On the finishing straight, I stuck to the wheel of Groves the whole time, and was out of the wind. It was a pretty good position. However, then the riders came from the right and the group went a bit early. I followed Groves' wheel and had good speed. However. I hesitated a fraction of a second and I think that's what cost me the win. If I didn't hesitate, I think I could have won. But that gives us confidence for the next sprints. I'm happy with my performance and I'm looking forward to the next sprint that's a little bit uphill, I think that will suit me well." - Danny van Poppel

"Overall, it was a good day. We were actually prepared for the worst scenario, with the weather forecast having predicted quite a lot of wind. It was windy at the start, but it was better towards the end. Nevertheless, it was important to be in front today to stay out of any crashes. After yesterday's loss of Sam Bennett, we tried to fight back today, so to speak. That was very important for the morale, and the easiest way for us to achieve that was with a stage win. Danny narrowly missed out on doing just that. We can't change it, but it was still a solid result for him and I think the stage win will come." - Bernhard Eisel, Sport Director

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Julian Alaphilippe crash update from Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Following his crash in stage 11 of La Vuelta, the World Champion was taken to the hospital, where he was examined by doctors.

Julian Alaphilippe racing 2022 Vuelta stage nine. Sirotti photo.

Those examinations have revealed that Julian Alaphilippe has dislocated his right shoulder, while X-rays have shown there is no fracture.

Doctors have reduced the shoulder [Ed: reduction is the process of returning the shoulder to its normal position following a shoulder dislocation] as a result. Julian will travel to Belgium on Thursday, where he will undergo an extra scan at the hospital in Herentals, in order to rule out any further damage. At this point, no timescale has been set for his recovery.

Everybody at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl wishes Julian the best for his recovery.

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And here's the report from Team Jumbo-Visma:

Team Jumbo-Visma has finished stage eleven of the Vuelta a España without any noteworthy events. In Cabo de Gata, the stage ended in a bunch sprint.

Sport director Addy Engels saw that his team got through the day well. “Although from the sidelines, the stage looked easier than it was. It was a long stage of almost two hundred kilometres in the Spanish heat. I saw many riders in the peloton struggling. That will certainly make a difference in the coming days”, Engels said.

Soon after the finish, the sports director was already thinking about tomorrow. “Tomorrow’s final climb will be long and hard. It will be scorching again and the stage is also long. The final climb will differ from what we’ve seen so far this Vuelta.”

“I expect a group of escapees to fight for the day’s victory”, Engels looked ahead. “Controlling the race is becoming increasingly difficult. Several teams have already lost several riders. I expect something from the GC riders tomorrow. We have to benefit from the opportunities that are coming our way. So even though the weekend will be tough, we’re not going to wait for it to seize our chances.”

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