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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke


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Tour of the Alps stage one team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Tao Geoghegan Hart's Team INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the report from Alexander Vlasov's & Lennard Kämna's Team Bora Hansgrohe:

The five-day Tour of the Alps (2. Pro) started today in Rattenberg in Tyrol. It consisted of 127.5 km, with two climbs and an uphill finale in Alpbach. BORA - hansgrohe worked a lot to bring back the six-rider breakaway. Aleksandr Vlasov, Lennard Kämna and Cian Uijtdebroeks were there when the decisive group formed on the penultimate climb, the Kerschbaumer Sattel. On the short but steep final climb, Tao Geoghegan Hart had what it took to secure the win. Aleksandr Vlasov and Lennard Kämna crossed the finish line in 5th and 8th.

Clearly, a day in the mountains. Sirotti photo

“It was a short, cold and pretty hard day. I felt really good and just missed a bit of explosiveness in the final. I think I’m up there and ready to improve my GC position over the next days.“ Aleksandr Vlasov

“Here in Tyrol, not far from home soil, the goal was to ride for a stage win. Florian Lipowitz worked a lot and controlled the race together with INEOS. With Aleksandr Vlasov, Lennard Kämna and Cian Uijtdebroeks we were part of the decisive group on the hardest climb of the stage. Cian didn't have the best day and was dropped on the steep climb to the summit of Kerschbaumer Sattel. Aleks and Lennard, who both came straight from altitude training camp, put in a solid performances in the finale. The goal remains a stage win and a top result in the GC. The next mountain finish is already waiting for us tomorrow.” Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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Team Soudal Quick-Step headed to La Flèche Wallone

Here’s the team’s update:

The 87th edition of the Belgian one-day race marks our penultimate outing of the season in a Spring Classic.

Flèche Wallonne is not a race of many secrets, the only thing it requires being a deep knowledge of the Mur de Huy, the climb it has become synonymous with in the last four decades. Averaging an excruciating 9.3% over just 1300 meters, Le Chemin des Chapelles, as it’s also known, will once again feature three times on this year’s route, which gets underway from Herve and takes in a total of eleven ascents.

The last three of these are stacked in the final 17 kilometers, which will culminate with the iconic Mur de Huy, the climb that Julian Alaphilippe tamed on three occasions. The Frenchman won’t be at the start this time, but this doesn’t mean Soudal Quick-Step won’t have options for the 18th stop on the World Tour calendar.

The very experienced Dries Devenyns (shown at the 2016 GP Marseille) will be at the Flèche Wallonne

Andrea Bagioli, who racked up top 10 placings last week at both Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race, the experienced Dries Devenyns – who will make his 26th appearance in an Ardennes Classic – James Knox, Mauro Schmid, Pieter Serry, Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaeke will be our seven men at the start of Wednesday’s race.

“We can be confident going into Flèche Wallonne. Andrea put in some solid displays last week, Mauro and James are also in good form, while the likes of Pieter, Ilan and Louis come after a solid block of training. On top of that, we also have Dries, who knows these roads and can guide the team. Many squads will try to control the race and bring their riders in a good position at the bottom of the Mur de Huy, where everything will be decided, but we believe in our chances and hope to do a good race”, explained Soudal Quick-Step sports director Geert Van Bondt.


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Tadej Pogacar to race Flèche Wallone & Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Here’s the news from Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates.

UAE Team Emirates continue their spring racing campaign with two important World Tour races scheduled, starting with the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday (19 April) followed by the oldest Monument of the calendar known as ‘Le Doyenne’ , Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday (23 April).

The team will have a former Doyenne winner in their ranks with Tadej Pogačar taking the crown in 2021.

Tadej Pogacar wins Liege-Bastonge-Liege in 2021. Sirotti photo

The team will also look to the talents of former Flèche Wallone winner Marc Hirschi and the experience of veteran riders like Diego Ulissi.


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Pogačar: “The win in Amstel was a really nice way to start the Ardennes campaign and we can already say that it’s been a success. Flèche and Liege are two other important targets and both hard races. There will be many others on the startling who also want to win so we’ll need to be at our best, but we’re up for the challenge.”

Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will take charge of the team alongside Sports Directors Marco Marcato (Ita) and Tomas Gil (Ven).

La Flèche Wallonne [1.UWT] – 19-Apr-2023

George Bennett (NZ)
Felix Grossschartner (Aus)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Michael Vink (NZ)

Liège-Bastogne-Liège [1.UWT] – 23-Apr-2023

Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
George Bennett (NZ)
Felix Grossschartner (Ger)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)

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