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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, July 31, 2023

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It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment. - Cicero

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Tour of Poland stage two team reports

We posted the report from third-place Michal Kwiatkowski's Team INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the report from fourth-place Oscar Onley's Team dsm-firmenich:

In the break with Lorenzo Milesi, Team dsm-firmenich rode strongly as a unit in Poland this afternoon, setting up Oscar Onley who could fight for fourth place on the punchy uphill finish to Karpacz.

The longest stage at the Tour de Pologne awaited the peloton on Sunday afternoon as they rolled out of Leszno, with the final quarter of the stage stacked with several short climbs. Setting out with a plan for later in the stage, Milesi infiltrated the breakaway with the aim of being a foil for some attacks. Alongside his two breakaway companions, Milesi worked well and they built up a lead that peaked at just over ten minutes. Yet, the peloton were in control and slowly reeled them in throughout the stage, making the catch at over 25 kilometres remaining, ahead of the final two climbs. With Milesi caught, the team rallied around Max Poole and Onley well, bringing them into position for the steep hill-top finale. A strong pace was set with Poole following an initial move, before Onley then could follow the best in the battle to the line, crossing in a fine fourth place.

Matej Mohoric wins stage two.

Onley expressed: “We had a plan today to set Max up for an attack in the final so we put Lorenzo in the break as a satellite rider. Unfortunately he got caught a bit earlier than expected. The other guys then did a good job to position myself and Max into the final climb. I tried to follow the wheels and waited for the final kick. In the end I had enough for fourth which sets us up well for the following days.”

Team dsm-firmenich coach Pim Ligthart added: “It was the first GC day in Poland and we had the plan to race aggressively today. Max was to follow the moves in the early part of the final kick and Oscar to focus on the last kilometre. Unfortunately, Max lost some seconds in the finale but Oscar was still up there and did a good result to take fourth. Tomorrow is another chance.”

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

The second day of the race was the longest one and got underway with Tim Merlier in the yellow jersey, but the stage one winner knew that by the end of the day he would lose the lead given the tough profile ahead and the hard summit finish, which this year came earlier than at the previous editions.

Tim Merlier winning stage one.

Soudal Quick-Step was very active from the beginning, as one of the teams to set the tempo in the peloton, while at the same time protecting Ilan Van Wilder. The Belgian – a top three finisher earlier this season at the Volta ao Algarve – didn’t disappoint on the steep gradients of the Karpacz climb, coming home just four seconds behind winner Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), a result which elevated him to fourth in the classification.

On Monday, the peloton will take on another stage with lots of climbing, finishing in Zdroj, where the puncheurs will have a chance to go for victory.

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Medical updates on injured Team Israel-Premier Tech riders

Here’s the team’s news:

Ben Hermans, Domenico Pozzovivo and Itamar Einhorn were all involved in crashes in the past week at their respective races. Having undergone medical examinations and treatment, Israel – Premier Tech can provide the following updates on their condition.

Ben Hermans – Ben Hermans crashed at the Tour de Wallonie which saw him sustain an elbow (olecranon) fracture and an undisplaced pubic symphysis fracture. Ben underwent successful surgery this week to stabilize the elbow fracture and will now focus on his recovery, which will likely see him off the bike for four to six weeks.

Domenico Pozzovivo – Domenico crashed on the first stage of Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. CT scans revealed a broken rib and a small pneumothorax which requires hospitalization for draining. His return to training will be determined based on his recovery in the next week.

Domenico Pozzovivo racing in the 2022 Tour of Switzerland. Sirotti photo

Itamar Einhorn – Itamar crashed out of the second stage of Czech Tour. X-rays confirmed no fractures were sustained, however he does have a knee contusion which will be monitored closely.

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