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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, February 10, 2023

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Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Paris-Roubaix: The Inside Story - All the bumps of cycling's cobbled classic is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Team DSM reports on first stage of UAE Women’s Tour

Here’s the team’s news:

Getting their season underway in perfect style, Team DSM’s Women’s program navigated a potentially dangerous day in the saddle, working excellently as a unit throughout the stage before setting up Charlotte Kool who powered to victory in exemplary fashion; taking the opening win of the race.

Charlotte Kool takes the first stage. Team DSM photo

Avoiding crosswind threats and always well positioned during the day, communicating well with each other, the team were always towards the fore of the peloton – looking to bide their time, stay safe and work towards a sprint finish with Kool as finisher. An unfortunate crash just outside the final three kilometres saw four of the team’s riders held up, but Franziska Koch guided Kool perfectly under the flamme rouge. Biding her time before launching like a rocket, Kool came past all the other opposition within sight of the line, sitting up to celebrate a brilliant team win.

Speaking after the stage a jubilant Kool said: “It’s amazing, I can’t believe that it happened. We trained really hard over the winter for this. To get such a nice sprint already even when everything didn’t go well, it’s amazing. We lost a lot of our strong lead out riders in the crash and it was really chaotic in the finish but we switched the plan fast. Franzi then did really well positioning me towards the final and bringing me to the right wheel. I felt super and did a good sprint, so it went really well for us. I’m really happy that even with a lot of bad luck in the final we still took a beautiful win. I think overall we did a good job today too. In all of the key moments we were there together and throughout the stage the team showed a lot of confidence in me, which gave me wings and extra motivation. I think for the first race of the season we did really well as a team. We will definitely go for it again tomorrow.”

Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “I think in general we can be happy with how it went today. Everything went well until around four kilometres to go when we were caught up in the crash with most of our lead out, which wasn’t ideal, but for the rest of the day we had everything under control so we can be happy with that. In the final we knew that there was a really strong headwind and that you wanted to start the sprint from the back. Charlotte together with Franziska, who positioned her really well, then came from the back and started the sprint late with Charlotte putting in a big effort. We can take a lot of confidence from today and can be satisfied with what we achieved. Onto the next few days now!”


109 km raced at an average speed of 39.107 km/hr

  1. Carlotte Kool (Team DSM) 2hr 47min 14sec
  2. Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) s.t.
  3. Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADZ) s.t.

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Team Soudal Quick-Step to race Figueira Champions Classic

Here’s the team’s update:

We are in Portugal this week, for our first European race of February.

A new-entry on the calendar, the Figueira Champions Classic is scheduled to take place just a couple of days before the Volta ao Algarve. The course is one for the attackers, with an undulating first part followed by three laps of a tough circuit featuring two climbs: Florestal and Enforca Cães. Averaging 8.8% over two kilometers, the first of these includes ramps of 14% and is the place where the race is expected to explode, long before the finish.

Soudal Quick-Step will tackle the 190km Portuguese one-day race starting in San Pedro and concluding in Figueira da Foz with a seven-man team comprising Kasper Asgreen, Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, European Champion Fabio Jakobsen – the first member of the squad to score a win this year – new wolf on the block Casper Pedersen, Stan Van Tricht and Ilan Van Wilder.

Fabio Jakobsen winning the second stage of this year's Vuelta a San Juan stage two. He'll be in Portugal to race the Figueira Champions Classic.

“The race won’t be easy. Due to the presence of that climb featuring double-digit gradients, a bunch sprint will be very difficult, but never say never. All our riders here have had a solid start to the season, are motivated, and this gives us confidence. Many of the guys will have a free role on Sunday and we’re curious what they can do. I think we will have an offensive race once we hit the circuit, and the local laps should suit us, so we hope to get a good result at the end of the day”, said sports director Tom Steels.

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Team Astana Qazaqstan announces line-up for Vuelta a Murcia

Here's the team's post:

Astana Qazaqstan Team will take part in the Spanish one-day race Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia Costa Cálida, which will be held on February 11th.

Rider roster: Luis Leon Sanchez, Yevgeniy Gidich, Fabio Felline, Vadim Pronskiy, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Artyom Zakharov, Gleb Brussenskiy.

Fabio Felline winning the 2020 Memorial Pantani. Sirotti photo

Sports directors in race: Giuseppe Martinelli and Orlando Maini.

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