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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have. - Erich Fromm


Story of the Giro d'Italia volume 2

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 2: 1971 - 2011 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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Vuelta al País Vasco/Tour of the Basque Country stage two team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Ide Schelling's Team Bora-hansgorhe with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Matteo Sobrero's Team Jayco-AlUla:

Giro d’Italia stage winner Matteo Sobrero came close to taking his first victory of the 2023 season today with a super second place on a tough second stage at the six-day WorldTour race Itzulia Basque Country.

Ide Schelling beats Matteo Sobrero for the stage win. Photo: Sprint Cycling

The demanding 193.8km stage, the longest of the race, saw an early breakaway of six riders ride out to a maximum advantage of seven minutes while behind, the peloton tackled a series of climbs.

As the finish line in Leitza drew closer, the leaders were caught and fresh new attacks flew from the peloton. Remaining calm and working to keep both Sobrero and overall leader Simon Yates out of trouble and up near the front, Team Jayco AlUla executed their plan, bringing the former Italian time trial champion into position.

Ahead of the technical finale, which saw a series of turns and a roundabout coming just 150metres from the finish line, Sobrero knew it would be chaotic and managed to place himself in second wheel as they flew around the final bends.

The fast nature of the finish saw a blistering pace being set and the Team Jayco AlUla rider, despite his best efforts, remained in second position through the final turns and in the sprint dash up to the finish line.

Taking a respectable second place, the Italian now sits in second place overall, just four seconds down on stage winner Ide Schelling, with general classification hopeful Simon Yates crossing the line along with teammate Chris Harper in the front group, to remain in contention overall amongst most of the GC favourites.

Matteo Sobrero – 2nd place:
“Today was quite hectic in the final, we knew that we had to take the front positions for the final descent, we managed that well and our positioning was really good. In the end, on the last corner I was in second place and there wasn’t space to overtake the first guy. I am happy with the second place, I was close to the win but there’s still some other stages to come, the team is good so we will see.”

Matt White – Director of High Performance & Racing:
“Every team knew that it was going to be a very technical and fast descent to the finish. We got through very well and it was a very strong and close ride by Matteo to take second, and then we had both Yates and Harper in the front group and there were some splits today. Some of the GC guys lost 11 seconds and some lost a little bit more, so in the end it was a pretty good day out for us.”

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Fifth-place Brandon McNulty's UAE Team Emirates posted this:

Brandon McNulty showed his good form on stage 2 of the Basque Country Itzulia from Viana to Leitza (193.8km) with 5th place on the complicated downhill rush to the line.

The final climb crested at -5km with McNulty and Marc Soler placed at the front of the peloton to tackle the technical bends as the road pointed downwards.

Sadly Catalan rider Marc Soler did not finish the day after being involved in a crash with 4km to go. He was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured thumb.

Marc Soler (shown at the 2022 Vuelta a España) is out of the Basque Country Tour with a broken thumb. Sirotti photo

Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the stage win and moves into the leaders jersey ahead of stage 3 from Errenteria to Amasa-Villabona (153.9km).


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And here’s the Basque Country Tour stage two report from Jonas Vingegaard’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Team Jumbo-Visma has come through the second stage of the Itzulia Basque Country well. His teammates put Jonas Vingegaard in a good position for the dangerous final kilometres, and he maintained his place in the top of the general classification.

Jonas Vingeaard at the start of the 2022 Tour of Lombardy. Sirotti photo

Tuesday saw the riders prepare for the longest stage of the six-day race. Six escapees quickly gained several minutes on the peloton. This group was caught early, and all eyes were on the treacherous last kilometres, which included a perilous descent to the finish line following an eleven-kilometre climb. Sam Oomen successfully positioned leader Vingegaard at the front of the thinned peloton, and he smoothly ended up in the front group.

"We anticipated that the descent would decide today's final. We focused on it beforehand. Our main goal today was getting Jonas to the finish safely", sports director Frans Maassen said after his riders had crossed the line. Vingegaard was among the first riders to hit the descent and managed to retain fifth place in the overall standings.

"I think our plan worked pretty well today. Jonas knew what to expect and went full-speed downhill like everyone else. We had already warned him that it would be super dangerous. I am happy that everything went well", Maassen said with relief. "I'm not a fan of a finish that risky. Fortunately, it wasn't wet, and we suffered no damage."

Tomorrow's stage was already on the sports director's mind. "This ride will be decisive. It's one of the toughest stages of the week. The route is very technical, with lots of narrow roads and descents. But we are well prepared and ready to fight again."


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Team Lotto Dstny to race Scheldeprijs

Here’s the team’s update:

On Wednesday, April 5th, the Lotto Dstny team will make its way to Terneuzen for the 111th edition of the Scheldeprijs (UCI 1.Pro), often referred to as the unofficial world championship of sprinting. From the start in Terneuzen, the riders will head towards Schoten, where the final consists of four local laps, each including the cobbles of the Broekstraat. Caleb Ewan, Lotto Dstny's sprint leader and the 2020 Scheldeprijs winner, will be supported by a team of rouleurs, including Jasper De Buyst, Jarrad Drizners, Jacopo Guarnieri, Michael Schwarzmann, Rüdiger Selig, and Liam Slock.

Caleb Ewan wins the 2020 Scheldeprijs

The wind often plays a decisive role at Scheldeprijs, but the weather gods seem to be on the peloton's side this year. According to sports director Allan Davis, this bodes well for Lotto Dstny's plans: "While we still need to keep an eye on the weather forecast, it looks like the wind will remain calm on Wednesday. This doesn't really change our tactics, but it does work in our favor. With Caleb Ewan on our team, we're aiming for a sprint, where he can show his fast legs."

After a series of strong performances in the spring classics, Davis is looking forward to the Scheldeprijs: "We hope to maintain the momentum and build on the success of the past few weeks. The entire team is focused, and we've already achieved some great results this season. The classics have been going well so far, and we want to continue this positive trend."

 

 

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