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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, August 3, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi

Tour de France: 2019

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2019: A Year of New Faces is available in both Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour of Poland stage five team reports

We posted the report from stage winner stage winner Marijn van den Berg's Team EF Education-EasyPost with the results.

Here's the report from GC leader Matej Mohoric's Team Baharin Victorious:

Team Bahrain Victorious’ Slovenian superstar Matej Mohorič extended his overall lead at the Tour of Poland after another second place finish on Wednesday. But in many ways that is the least important news from the finish of Stage 5 to Bielsko-Biala.

Marijn van den Berg wins stage five.

With around 7 of the 199 kilometres remaining, a motorbike pilot lost control of his TV bike, careering into supporters at 70kph, and trapping a small girl underneath the machine. The leading riders saw the incident take place just in front of them, and understandably lost motivation to fully contest victory in the closing stages.

Nonetheless, a toned-down sprint did take place, won by Marijn van den Berg (EF). Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos) followed, but was soon passed by Mohorič and João Almeida (UAE).

On the raceday with the most elevation gain of the week, Bahrain’s teamwork and strategy was inch perfect from the start. Michal Golaś in the team car, and Damiano Caruso & Mohorič on the road, monitored which riders were attempting to get away, and carefully managed the makeup of the breakaway. The group of five they eventually let go included specialist Thomas de Ghent, but the instructions were clear, and their gap was kept between three & five minutes.

Behind, Bahrain’s Kamil Gradek had clearly activated ‘beast mode’ at kilometre 0, and he led the entire peloton for over 100kms in one of the most impressive rides of his career. ‘Chapeau’ to our Polish gentle giant.

With 80km left, Ineos and UAE finally came to the front to join the Bahrain jerseys that had been at the head of the bunch all day. Looking for a stage victory and to move up on GC, the pressure shifted to them to close down the break, which the three leading teams did on the finishing circuit.

The dreadful accident followed, before the final straight and a second second this week for Matej, to add to Sunday’s win.

After the podium, concern for those injured spectators was at the forefront of his mind: “We didn’t really want to sprint, we wanted to stop. But the last time over the climb it seemed that the race went on so I still had to go for the bonus seconds. What happened with the motorbike shook us all; we wanted to stop the race. My heart sank, and I wasn’t thinking about the sprint at all, I was thinking about the people that were involved and I just hope everybody is alright.”

The 28 year old takes a 12 second GC lead into tomorrow’s 16.6km individual time trial in Katowice, and also remains in the points jersey.

“Tomorrow I go into the time trial as overall leader, so I will give my best. It’s actually not that often that I’ve gone as hard as I can against the clock, so I hope tomorrow to do the best time trial of my life. I know that Almeida and Kwiato are favourites to beat me, but I have really good legs so you never know…”

Tonight the thoughts and wishes of all of us at Team Bahrain Victorious are with those caught up in the accident today.

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Here’s the report from third-place Joao Almeida’s UAE Team Emirates:

Joao Almeida put in a strong performance to take the 3rd place on stage 5 of the Tour de Pologne from Stzelin to Opole (199.1km).

A reduced group of around 30 riders reached the uphill finish to the line which was disrupted by a touch of wheels which took down several riders with Rafal Majka and Brandon McNulty held-up but narrowly avoiding harm. The day was won by Van Der Berg (Education Easypost) with Finn Fisher-Black taking 5th place in the same sprint.

Almeida now sits 2nd in the GC at just 12’’ Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) ahead of tomorrow’s individual time trial.

Joao Almeida came in third in the 2023 Giro d'Italia and won the young rider classification. Sirotti photo

UAE Team Emirates also lead the teams classification heading into stage 6 in Katowice (16.6km).

Almeida: “In normal conditions I should do well tomorrow in the TT. Let’s see if I can take some time on Mohoric. I’ll try and do my best and bring my best legs. It’s going to be quite explosive as it’s short with plenty of corners so it’s going to be a tough one.”

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Here’s the Tour of Poland report from Ilan Van Wilder’s Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Ilan Van Wilder was on his way to another top 10 finish at this week’s World Tour race when a rider touched his bike and brought him down in the closing 200 meters of Wednesday’s 198.8km stage to Bielsko-Biala.

Luckily, the 23-year-old got up, and despite having suffered abrasions to his left elbow, hip and knee, he concluded the hilly stage five and was given the winner’s time, as the three-kilometer rule was applied to this stage. Before this chaotic finale, the day had been animated for almost four hours by a five-man breakaway which included another Soudal Quick-Step rider, Bert Van Lerberghe, who remained on the front until the local circuit.

Ilan Van Wilder riding 2023 Giro d'Italia stage 20. Sirotti photo

This means that despite the incident in which he was involved, Van Wilder retained his top 10 place on the general classification, where only a couple of seconds separate him from the podium with a 16.6km test against the clock the only opportunity left for the general classification contenders to gain time.

Ilan will continue to be monitored by the team’s medical staff and should start Thursday’s stage.

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Swiss climber Mauro Schmid signs for three years with Team Jayco AlUla

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Team Jayco AlUla is delighted to announce the signing of exciting Swiss talent Mauro Schmid on a three-year deal which takes him through to the end of 2026.

Despite his young age, the 23-year-old has already displayed his pedigree in the WorldTour peloton with impressive result such as a stage win at the prestigious Giro d’Italia in 2021, plus overall victories at the Belgium Tour and the Coppi e Bartali over the last two seasons.

Mauro Schmid after riding 2023 Coppi-Bartali stage five. Sirotti photo

With this, the Australian setup is excited to welcome another talented up and coming general classification contender into its ranks, to compliment team leader Simon Yates and Irishman Eddie Dunbar.

The three-year deal demonstrates the belief that the GreenEDGE Cycling management has in the youngster from Steinmaur, as the squad is excited to help further nurture Schmid’s undeniable ability and is confident that the Swiss rider can develop into one of the top general classification stars of the future.

Brent Copeland – Team Jayco AlUla General Manager:
“Mauro is a winner; we’ve seen already at a young age that he’s been able to win races and be competitive in the highest classification races. Classics and one-week stage races are where the performance group believe he is best suited, and we’re really pleased and excited about this signing. It definitely strengthens the team in the area we were looking for.

"We see Mauro as a long-term project, it’s a three-year contract, which is great for the future of the team and we can build a team around him as well, he will be considered as one of leaders for sure.”

Mauro Schmid:
“I always really liked the style of racing of the team, and I think it also fits my style of racing a lot. I hope to bring good spirit and some experience to the team, and I want to keep developing in the future and I know that Team Jayco AlUla is the right place for me to do that.

“I see myself as an allrounder, I am good on short punchy climbs and can also sprint quite well and I will try to help Team Jayco AlUla to win as many races as possible in the next years.”

Mauro Schmid
Date of Birth: 4th December 1999 (23)
Nationality: Switzerland
Joins GreenEDGE Cycling: 2024, 2025, 2026

Top Results:
1st Coppi e Bartali – Overall (2023)
1st Coppi e Bartali – Stage 1 (2022)
1st Belgium Tour – Overall (2022)
1st Giro d’Italia – Stage 11 (2021)
2nd Giro d’Italia – Stage 19 (2022)
2nd Itzulia Basque Country – Stage 1 (2023)
5th Tour Down Under – Overall (2023)

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