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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, September 19, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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World Championships Elite Time Trial reports

We posted the reports from the winners of the Elite Men's & Elite Women's races with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Remco Evenepoel's Team Quick-step Alpha Vinyl:

Remco Evenepoel brought Belgium’s first medal at the World Championships in Australia, who is hosting the event for the first time in twelve years. Fresh off his remarkable Vuelta a España overall victory, the 22-year-old was the penultimate rider to leave the start house in Wollongong and it didn’t take him too much to show he would be a medal contender.

The course, 34.2 kilometers in length, comprised two steep climbs and many corners that only added to the difficulty, but Remco tapped out a strong rhythm that placed him in the top 3 at both intermediate checkpoints. The first Belgian in 44 years to win a Grand Tour, Evenepoel gradually increased the place in the closing kilometers and stopped the clock in 40:11, which netted him bronze, just a few seconds behind Tobias Foss (Norway) and Stefan Kung (Switzerland).

Elite Men's podium from left: Stefan Küng (2nd), Tobias Foss (1st) & Remco Evenepoel (3rd)

“I rode a solid time trial today, but in the end two guys were stronger. I did my best out there, gave absolutely everything and although there’s some disappointment because the gaps were small, things are as they are and there’s nothing to be done about it. All I can add and promise is that I’ll continue fighting and chasing this world title in the years to come”, Remco said after his third medal at the ITT World Championships.

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Arnaud Démare wins GP d'Isbergues

This is not a race we cover. Here is the report from Démare's Team Groupama-FDJ:

That’s the end of an unlucky series for Arnaud Démare. After four almost consecutive second places, the French sprinter finally broke the “curse” by winning the bunch sprint that concluded the Grand Prix d’Isbergues on Sunday. Finishing off a great teamwork, he took his sixth win of the season and the ninetieth of his career.

Arnaud Démare after stage 13 of the 2022 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

In the aftermath of the Primus Classic, Arnaud Démare and his teammates found themselves in the other part of the border to race the 76th Grand Prix d’Isbergues in the North of France. A bunch sprint seemed inevitable after 200 kilometres, despite a slightly hilly first half of the race. Seven riders still tried to upset the peloton’s plans by joining the breakaway in the first kilometres: Théo Delacroix (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Joris Delbove (St Michel-Auber 93), Cyril Gautier (B&B Hotels-KTM), Markus Hoelgaard (Trek-Segafredo), Samuel Leroux, Jérémy Leveau (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Yannis Voisard (Tudor Pro Cycling).

“It was quite straightforward”, explained Benoît Vaugrenard later. “The weather was good but there was a lot of wind, and we had to be careful in the small hills. We took the race in hand from the start because we definitely wanted a sprint at the end. Arnaud was second yesterday, and we absolutely wanted to win today. Olivier set the pace, then Alpecin-Deceuninck and AG2R-Citroën came to help us. We kept the breakaway at two minutes then we got to the final circuit that we had to cover six times”. With fifty kilometres to go, after completing the first lap, the leading group still had a gap inferior to two minutes.


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The fugitives however started to ride harder in order to prevent the bunch from coming back, and they were still up ahead with one lap left. Everything eventually came back together seven kilometres from the line, and the anticipated sprint was set to happen. “The breakaway gave us a hard time, we struggled to get them back, but hats off to Olivier and Lewis in particular”, added Benoît. “For the sprint, the instructions were clear. We had to take the lead entering the last kilometre, because we then turned to the left, and we had a tailwind on a slight descending road. It was very fast, and it was therefore absolutely necessary to be in front with our lead-out train. This is what happened thanks to Bram, Ramon, and Jacopo. They did an excellent job and Arnaud was perfectly dropped off”. Just 200 meters from the finish, the former French champion started his sprint in the lead and never saw his rivals coming back to him. Thanks to a powerful effort, he took a convincing victory, the sixth of the season.

“I’m really happy to win,” he said. “I was a bit bothered to add up second places lately, and it feels really good to put my hands in the air. I think it’s well-deserved because the guys did a good job all day to keep the breakaway under control. We did all the work to get it back and then the train set up just as I wanted. The guys were up there when it was needed. It was really good. I then had the strength to do a strong sprint. When I started it, I felt that it was going to be difficult to overtake me, and it was confirmed”.

“Arnaud was very strong in the sprint, he finished it off, but the whole teamwork was great today, so hats off to all the guys”, congratulated Benoît. “It was not easy because it was very windy, there were almost 200 kilometres and their legs felt heavy after yesterday’s race in the rain, but they rode strongly as a team. It’s good for Arnaud too. He was up there lately, but we know that it is always important for a sprinter to win. For other types of riders, we can be satisfied with a third or fifth place, but a sprinter only likes winning. He returned to racing with a good second place yesterday, and he kept going today with a victory. We will still be able to count on him at the end of the season, with Paris-Chauny from next weekend”.


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Gerben Thijssen wins Gooikse Pijl

This also is a race we don’t cover. Here’s the report from Thijssen’s Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

Gerben Thijssen took his third success of the season in the Gooikse Pijl this Sunday, in a bunch sprint managed to perfection by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. The Walloon World Team stayed united during the whole race, patiently waiting to appear at the front in the eighth and last lap in Gooik.

Sprinters Alexander Kristoff and Gerben Thijssen were brought to the front by Boy van Poppel to start the final 1000 meter one after the other, perfectly positioned before the final straight. The former European champion launched his sprint with 250 meter to go, after which his teammate passed him on the left to defeat Jasper Philipsen for the victory with a bike throw.

Gerben Thijssen wins Tour of Poland stage two. Sirotti photo

After two second places in this classic in his two previous participations (2017 and 2020), Thijssen crowned the series of good results, obtaining the 24th victory of the season for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Alexander Kristoff finished seventh.

“After the Vuelta I had the ambition to win one of the four one day races on my programme this end of the season. I expected it to be a serious challenge, taking into account the strong field of sprinters in each race. I finished second twice here in Gooik in the past, so I knew that this race suited me. In the two last kilometers Corné Van Kessel brought me to the slipstream of Boy van Poppel and Alexander Kristoff. As planned, Alexander launched his effort from far, so I could get out of his slipstream with 150 meter to go. To receive a lead out from such a champion is just incredible. I could really use my power in this slightly uphill sprint. I probably rode one of the best ten seconds of my life, filled with confidence and claiming the win. I took my third victory of the season and maybe the nicest one, seeing all those big names finishing behind me.” - Gerben Thijssen

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