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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 19, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

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Bicycle History

James Witherell's book Bicycle History: A Chronological History of People, Races and Technology is available in both print and Kindle eBook formats. To get your copy just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Vuelta a Burgos stage 4 team reports

We posted the report from GC leader Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Santiago Buitrago's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Santiago Buitrago put on an impressive display from the breakaway, finishing second to Lazkano (Movistar) in a sprint to the finish atop Pradoluengo.

Santiago Buitrago finishes behind Oier Lazkano in stage 4.

Buitrago, who won the opening stage at last year’s edition came into this year looking at getting a podium place in the GC, however after suffering in the extreme heat conditions on stage 3, Buitrago lost time and was able to get into the 9 rider break.

The break were given gap of close to four minutes, and as they got to the foot of the final climb it was down to just two, but it was clear the winner would come from the 9 man group. In the final few kilometres Brambilla (Q36.5) attacked first with Buitrago responding along with Lazkano, who closed down the following attempt of Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi). In the final run to the finish Buitrago was in a difficult position on the last bend and narrowly missed out on victory.

A frustrated Buitrago commented “I’m disappointed as I really thought I would be able to win today and I got unlucky on the last bend to the line. Congratulations to Lazkano, I think everyone in the break did good work.

After a hard day yesterday, I’m pleased with how I responded and the legs felt good which is important going into the Vuelta.”

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Team Astana Qazaqstan reports on Arctic Race of of Norway stage two

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

Here’s the team’s post:

Astana Qazaqstan Team takes a double success in the second stage of the Arctic Race of Norway. In the powerful uphill sprint in Hammerfest Michele Gazzoli (from Astana Qazaqstan Development Team) took a perfect win, while Christian Scaroni finished second.

Michele Gazzoli wins stage two.

“It took one year to arrive to this moment and to this win. It means a lot to me. I had a difficult year after that foolish mistake which led to a suspension. But I didn’t give up and I directed all my energy to keep on working hard, keep on training every day to be ready for the moment I am living now. I want to thank Alexandr Vinokurov and Astana for a great chance and my family and all who stayed next to me during this tough period”, – said Michele Gazzoli.

“The team did a fantastic job today. I provided some help to Christian in the intermediate sprints to take some bonus seconds, while he saw me in a good position in the final, leading me out with 300 meters. Well, it is so nice win, and I am so happy right now”, – continued Michele Gazzoli.

“Well, we could not do better. Great success for our team. In the final I started my sprint with some 400 meters to go, it still was a bit far away from the finish line, but I was able to keep my speed on and to finish second. Michele is in a great form right now and his sprint was just perfect. He started it in the right time and finished the job with a very nice victory”, – said Christian Scaroni.

“We expected the cross wind and the echelons during the day and in a moment I found myself in a good group in front. I thought we have a chance to arrive to the finish, but with some 25 km to go the second group came across us. Well, together with the teammates we continued pushing hard to keep our position in front and to prepare for the sprint where everything went just ideal. We have a great atmosphere here in the race, everyone gives his all for a common success. I want to thank my masseur Andrea who works here with me and all the staff for a huge support. Let’s see how it will be in the next days and if I could fight for a General Classification”, – continued Christian Scaroni.

“It was a very cold, wet and windy day, so all the peloton was suffering. However, we were ready for this weather and were motivated to do an active stage, aiming for a stage win with Christian Scaroni. From the start Gianmarco Garofoli attacked to break away as we knew there could be some cross wind and we wanted to have someone in front to support our leader in case of the echelons. However, finally, the group came all together to the final part of the stage and there we had Artyom Zakharov, who made a fabulous job, bringing Christian but also Michele to the front for the sprint. Well, we expected Christian in the final, and he did a very strong effort, but at the same time Michele Gazzoli made a big surprise to everyone, winning this stage. It was so nice and of course, we all are super happy with this team result”, – said Dmitriy Fofonov.

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Geraint Thomas to lead Team INEOS Grenadiers at Vuelta a España

Here’s the team’s news:

The race gets underway on Saturday 26 August in Barcelona, kicking off with a 14.8-kilometre team time trial before heading into the mountains, finishing on Sunday 17 September in Madrid.

Thomas, the highly experienced and hugely popular Welshman, who has already finished as runner-up at the Giro d’Italia this year, starts La Vuelta for only the second time, marking his 19th career Grand Tour.

Geraint Thomas in pink after stage 17 of the 2023 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

He will be supported by a strong and experienced group of racers, including former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Egan Bernal. The inspirational Colombian played a key role for the Grenadiers at this year’s Tour de France, an incredible effort after his miraculous comeback from the major accident and potentially life-changing injury he sustained in 2022. This will be his second appearance at the Vuelta, having finished sixth overall in 2021, and his knowledge will be invaluable for the rest of the team.

Former World Time Trial Champion, Hour Record holder and gold medallist track star Filippo Ganna will make his La Vuelta debut. The Italian had a great start to the year with a successful Classics campaign, but his early season was cut short when he was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia with Covid-19. He’s roared back into form since, winning the Tour de Wallonie and then going on to claim medals at the recent World Championships in Scotland.

Dutchman Thymen Arensman was 6th at La Vuelta in 2022, which included claiming victory on the ‘Queen Stage’ atop Sierra Nevada. The hugely talented 23-year-old also finished an impressive 6th place overall at the Giro d’Italia this year, as a key member of the high-mountain support for Thomas. Belgian rider Laurens De Plus, who played a similar starring role for Thomas in May, will look to impress once again following his Giro d’Italia performance.

Spanish fans will be thrilled to see the climbing talents of six-time national time trial champion Jonathan Castroviejo slot in alongside Omar Fraile. The latter has won stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France as well winning La Vuelta’s King of the Mountains titles in 2015 and 2016. The duo share 11 starts between them and will go all in for the team in their last race of 2023.

Exciting young German talent, Kim Heiduk, completes our selection and makes his Grand Tour debut in Spain. The highly promising 23-year-old will be looking to make his mark over the three weeks as he takes the next big step in his career.

INEOS Grenadiers line-up:

  • Thymen Arensman (23) - Netherlands
  • Egan Bernal (26) - Colombia
  • Jonathan Castroviejo (36) - Spain
  • Laurens De Plus (27) - Belgium
  • Omar Fraile (33) - Spain
  • Filippo Ganna (27) - Italy
  • Kim Heiduk (23) - Germany
  • Geraint Thomas (37) - Great Britain

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Team Jumbo-Visma signs Ben Tulett

Here's the team's announcement:

Ben Tulett has signed a two-year contract with Team Jumbo-Visma. He will continue to develop as a stage race rider with the Dutch WorldTour team.

Team Jumbo-Visma sees the 21-year-old Briton as one of the biggest stage race talents in the world. Despite his young age, Tulett has already shown he has great potential. He won the prologue and final classification of the Tour of Norway and a stage in Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali. He has also finished in the top 10 twice in the Tour de Pologne.

Ben Tulett wins stage three of the 2022 Coppi-Bartali stage race. Sirotti photo

"We believe in his talent as a climber", sportive director Merijn Zeeman says. "He has shown that he has special qualities and a lot of talent. We will help Ben get to the top of the WorldTour in the coming years."

Tulett is very excited about his move to Team Jumbo-Visma. "It makes me proud to wear the Jumbo-Visma jersey from next season", the Briton says. "In my eyes, this is the top team in our sport. So I am very motivated to be a part of it. I can't wait for the first training camp and race."

Tulett is clear about what he hopes to achieve with his new team: "I want to develop as a stage race rider. This team has won the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France this year. I want to learn from the experienced riders and specialists in the team who have contributed to this. It will be a thrilling voyage of discovery. I am grateful to the team for their confidence in me."

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