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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Women's Tour Down Under Stage two reports

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

Here's the report from stage winner & GC leader Alexandra Manly's Team Jayco-AlUla:

Local Adelaide rider Alex Manly stormed to a special and empathic stage victory for Team Jayco AlUla on today’s stage two of the Women’s WorldTour race, the Santos Tour Down Under.

Alexandra Manly wins stage two.

Setting the mood early on the 90km stage from Birdwood to Uraidla, Manly picked up two seconds on the intermediate sprint, a true sign of her general classification ambitions.

With Team Jayco AlUla controlling the stage, protecting their lead riders Manly and Ruby Roseman-Gannon, as predicted the real action and race winning move was formed on the final climb of the day, the 6.1km climb Mount Lofty.

Australian champion Brodie Champman accelerated, taking with her a select group over the top of the climb including the Team Jayco AlUla duo. Coming into the final, Amanda Spratt escaped solo inside the final three kilometres, and it was touch and go as to whether she would hold off the chasers.

Tension built in the group but with a cohered effort from the various teams, the group closed in on the three-time former winner. Under the flamme rouge, Roseman-Gannon put in a last-ditch attempt to make the catch, powering towards and past Spratt to give Manly the perfect opportunity to take the stage victory.

Flying round the final corner in first wheel, the speed of Manly was unmatched as she accelerated up the last drag and to the stage win, picking up the points classification lead and overall race lead in the process.

Alex Manly – Stage 2 winner:
“I am so stoked right now, just over the moon! I couldn’t have asked for a better stage to win, these are my local roads. To be in the race lead now, it is a dream come true, there’s not another race, other than the Tour de France that I really want to be in the lead, it means a lot to me.

"If Ruby had gotten away in the final, I would have been very happy for her to win, but the move that she did, it just forced everybody to chase and then I was able to follow the wheels. We had talked about this before and knew it would be the perfect lead-out to the finish. I am so lucky; I have the best squad out there and we really have and are using our numbers to our advantage.

"We expect that tomorrow Trek-Segafredo will try to put the pressure on us for sure, but we will try and keep the jersey. Me and Ruby are very similar riders so we always know we will be there to back each other up and I am sure tomorrow she will be there with me. We are pretty happy to be in this position so we will give it a good go. I have ridden the roads hundreds of times and I know where the pinches are, so I am really looking forward to it.”

Martin Vestby – Sport Director:
“We are very happy, we wanted both Ruby and Alex up there in the final and I think that the girls set up the race and the final really well. We had Alex doing the intermediate sprints to take the bonus seconds that can be valuable, so we gave her the chance today and she pulled it off. It is going to be really hard tomorrow; it would be a lie to not say that Spratty is climbing really well and can put us under pressure, but our strength is the team and we will use that to our best advantage.”

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And here's the Tour Down Under report from third-place Nina Buijsman's Human Powered Health team:

Human Powered Health continued to build on its success at the Santos Tour Down Under on stage 2 with Nina Buijsman sprinting to third place at the end of a punchy stage where the GC favorites came to the fore.

The drive for the line at the end of stage 2. GettySport photo

New Zealander Henrietta Christie also remained in contention during an attacking finale over Mount Lofty, sprinting to 11th and climbing into the youth leader’s jersey in the process.

In a dramatic finale on the run into Uraidla, the front group fractured under the pressure of an attack from Amanda Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) and an intense chase from the Jayco-UlAlu team.

With Buijsman and Christie making the elite selection, Spratt was then caught inside the final kilometer. Having weaved her way to the front of the group, Buijsman struck out for the finish line, crossing over behind stage winner and new race leader Alexandra Manly (Jayco-UlAla) and Georgia Williams (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB).

“I’m happy to have another podium,” the Dutch rider said afterward having taken third place in the races criterium curtain raiser, the Schwalbe Classic two days prior. “I tried but couldn’t go with Spratt so for me it was about following the wheels and waiting for the sprint. I went fourth through the last corner and tried to compete with the fast girls,” she added, having spent time in the gym over the winter to improve her finish at the end of a harder race.

Buijsman was followed over the line by Christie whose position in the sprint made sure of the young rider’s jersey, her biggest achievement to date, in this, her first Women’s WorldTour podium.

“It’s a pinch-yourself moment. It feels and sounds surreal so this will take some time to process,” Christie beamed after coming off the podium. “The team’s on a roll here so we’re hoping to keep the good times going and motivation high.”

A worthy reward for putting in the early work chasing down moves, the entire team rallied around Buijsman for the stage.

“The girls helped me a lot at the beginning of the race,” Buijsman said. “I just had to follow their wheels, which feels really confident and easy, so I could focus on the important points and finale.”

Christie, who revealed her preparations prior to the race, is clearly benefitting from the time over December when she prioritized her movement, fuelling, recovery, and mindset. The 20-year-old also had a unique way of self-motivation over Mount Lofty. 

“I had the Wahoo map on the computer and I had alerts on,” she explains. “It would say things like only 800 metes left and the percent I was at. That was a game changer because I could look down and be motivated to push and stay with the lead group.”

Elsewhere, having been victorious in a superb sprint victory on day one, Pole Daria Pikulik spent stage two in the ochre leader’s jersey.

“I’m really happy that I could ride in this jersey today, it’s a great feeling,” Pikulik said. “I tried my best to keep it but the climb today was too tough for me, but everybody was looking at me so it was such a motivating experience.”

Although second in the points classification to Manly, Pikulik will wear the blue jersey tomorrow due to Australians’ ochre overall jersey superseding it.

The stage 2 result places Buijsman in 8th place, 16 seconds behind the race leader before tomorrow’s thrilling race finale parcours.

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Caleb Ewan: 'I am motivated to show myself again in the biggest races'

Ewan’s Team Lotto-Dstny sent me this interview:

The fact that his 2022 season was seen as one of the least successful, despite winning seven times, says a lot about the qualities and talent of top sprinter Caleb Ewan. The 28-year-old Australian is motivated to show himself again on the highest level in 2023, during races like Milano-Sanremo, several Flemish Classics, the Tour de France and the World Championships. With a strong performance in the Australian championships and a victory in the evening criterium ahead of the Tour Down Under, Caleb Ewan begins the six-day WorldTour stage race with confidence.

Caleb Ewan wins the 2023 Schwalbe Classic

“At the Australian championships, I felt that I am climbing well and with a victory in the Schwalbe Classic, I also got to practice my sprint. It’s a nice confirmation of form ahead of the Tour Down Under, because with a couple of tough stages I will definitely need my climbing legs and fast sprint. I feel good and motivated for six days of racing.”

You are preparing the new cycling season in Australia, where you have been staying for a couple of weeks now. How does it feel to back with family and friends, after you weren’t able to return for three years due to the Covid crisis?

“It’s nice to be back, I got to see a lot of family and friends. And I’m able to train well in good conditions. I will stay here to ride the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race. Afterwards I’ll return to Europe.”

2022 wasn’t your best year. How will you make sure that the ‘real’ Caleb Ewan returns in 2023?

“It’s true that 2022 wasn’t my best season but still, I won seven races. I also had my share of bad luck. But sometimes, you’re able to learn the most from those seasons. I learned my lessons and I am ready for next season. I am also really motivated to get results in the biggest races. My goals will mostly be the same as other years: Milano-Sanremo, several Belgian Classics, the Tour de France and the Worlds. I am really excited to ride some more Belgian races again. Those should suit me really well, now that I’m a bit older and more experienced.”

So, we will see more of you during the Belgian Classics. There, but also at Milano-Sanremo, you will line up amongst Arnaud De Lie. Do you think you are a good duo?

“Yes, absolutely. It’s always nice to have more than one leader. One of us could get sick or crash and when he’s the only leader in the race, it’s difficult to change team tactics all of a sudden. If we’ll reach the final with two, we also have multiple options. I look forward to discovering what we can perform together.”

There have been some changes in the team: new riders, lots of new people in the performance staff. How do you think this will influence your performances?

“Yes, there have been quite some changes. In the lead-out but also in the rest of the team. I am positive about it. Jacopo Guarnieri joining our lead-out will have a big impact. I think he will add lots of experience we were maybe lacking. In terms of horsepower, I think we have had one of the strongest, if not thé strongest lead-out for quite some time. But sometimes, we were struggling to get the most out of that horsepower. With Jacopo Guarnieri, I think we can better organise ourselves.”

Not being a WorldTour team anymore: does that change anything for you?

“The past year has been really stressful for everyone in the team. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it. But personally, I don’t think a lot will change. I can do my usual program and that is the most important thing. Of course, we need to make sure that we stay in the driving seat to choose our own races. But if we perform like the past season, there won’t be a problem. That is why I am convinced that we will return to the WorldTour within three years.”

When will you be happy about 2023?

“That’s always hard to say: a lot can happen of course. But I hope to win a Classic or even a Monument in the spring season, that would be great. Afterwards, I will focus on the Tour de France, where I hope to win a stage again. And almost straight after, it’s time for the Worlds, where I expect to have a good chance. Those are a lot of big appointments and goals, but if everything goes well and I have a bit less bad luck compared to last year, I think I’m able to win in one of those races.”

Race schedule Caleb Ewan: Tour Down Under (17/1 - 23/1), Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29/1), UAE Tour (20/2 - 26/2), Milano-Sanremo (18/3), Classic Brugge - De Panne (22/3), Gent-Wevelgem (26/3), Dwars Door Vlaanderen (29/3), Scheldeprijs (5/4), Tour de France (1/7 - 23/7).

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Scott issues recall for Speedster bikes because fork steerer tube can break without warning

Scott posted this notice:

Date: 16th January 2023
In cooperation with national recall authorities, Scott recalls certain Scott Speedster, Speedster Gravel, Contessa Speedster Gravel, 2022 bikes.

Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Here are the models recalled:

286437 Speedster 40 (EU)
286438 Speedster 50 (EU)
286442 Speedster 40 (CN)
286443 Speedster 50 (CN)
286472 Speedster Gravel 50 (CN)
286466 Speedster Gravel 50 (EU)
286471 Speedster Gravel 40 EQ (CN)
286465 Speedster Gravel 40 EQ (EU)
286490 Contessa Speedster Gravel 35 (EU)
286493 Contessa Speedster Gravel 35 (CN)

Here is the Scott recall notice.

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