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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, June 3, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. - Warren Buffett

Story of the Giro d'Italia, volume 1

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 1: 1909 - 1970 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 Jayco-AlUla to race the Critérium du Dauphiné

Here’s the team’s update:

Dylan Groenewegen:
“I’m looking forward to going back to the Dauphine, it is the next step in my preparation for the Tour de France in July. There are not always a lot of opportunities for the sprinters here, like we saw last year, but it is a good race to prepare and get stronger.

"My form is slowly building, and it was nice to get the wins in Hungary and Veenendaal, and the goal is to keep that momentum at the Dauphine. It will not be easy, the stages are hard and we know the level of competition will be higher, but we have a strong team and the goal like always, is to win.”

Dylan Groenewegen wins Veenendaal - Veenendaal on May 20.

Tristan Hoffman (Sport Director):
“We have Dylan lining up this weekend and we know it’s going to be difficult to set things up for a sprint because it’s a hard course this year. Stage three I think is the best opportunity, but we will still try on the other stages and we will support him.

"We also have Chris Harper who will be our GC rider, he has shown what he is capable of in the mountains in the past, and I think a top-10 overall can be a realistic goal for him.

"Lawson will be a key rider for Dylan and also in the mountains, along with Rudy and Tsgabu who can swap between roles helping Dylan and Chris too. Luke is our road captain and we know he has a good time trial in the legs, so he will look to focus on the 31km TT.”

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World Champion Remco Evenepoel will restart his season at the Tour of Switzerland

Here’s the news from Evenepoel’s Team Soudal Quick-Step:

After a period of consultation between Remco and the Soudal Quick-Step management and coaching team, it has been agreed that the 23-year-old will resume racing at the prestigious Tour de Suisse, followed by the time trial and road race at the Belgian National Championships. From there he will head to the team’s training camp at Val di Fassa.

Evenepoel racing the 2022 Tour of Switzerland's time trial. Sirotti photo

Following his recovery from the bout of Covid-19 which forced his withdrawal from this year’s Giro d’Italia while leading the race, the Tour de Suisse is seen as the best choice for Remco to resume racing, with him revisiting the race where he was victorious over a 25.6km time trial in 2022. The 2023 edition is bookended by stages against the clock, which should prove the perfect final preparation for the defence of his Belgian National Time Trial Champion’s title, which is three days after the conclusion of the Swiss race.

After the time trial, Evenepoel will participate in the road race on Sunday, before travelling to Passo San Pellegrino, Val di Fassa, which will be the team’s base for a two-week altitude training camp. The beautiful surroundings and excellent facilities of Val di Fassa will give Remco and his teammates the perfect base and training ground to start to prepare for the defence of his World Champion’s rainbow jersey, in Glasgow, at the beginning of August.

“It has been quite the challenge to see a pathway through the rest of my season. We know that my main goal of this year was the Giro d’Italia and what happened was really unfortunate, so it was important to plan the right path with the team management. I think to begin in Suisse is the perfect start, and it allows me to revisit a race where I have good memories from my time trial win last year.”

“Hopefully I can take some good legs from there to the Belgian Championships, to defend my TT title and to see what I can do in the road race. And then I can spend some weeks at altitude in the beautiful area around Val di Fassa. I have really enjoyed training there before and it is a stunning place to visit, with the advantages that being at altitude give, and it’s a great place to start looking forwards to the World Championships”, said Remco, who so far this season has scored six victories for Soudal Quick-Step.

The R.EV Ride, the recreational bike ride from Schepdaal organised by Peloton at Remco's request, will be rescheduled from 10 June to 1 July, so that Remco can participate himself.

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Heinrich Haussler to join Bora-hansgrohe’s management team

Here’s the team’s news:

After completing his career as a professional rider, the 39-year-old Haussler will now contribute his experience to the sports management at BORA - hansgrohe.

"I am really looking forward to this new challenge. I talked with Rolf Aldag last year, albeit somewhat in jest, about a career as Sports Director. Over the last few weeks, it became more concrete. I have always had a very good relationship with Rolf and great respect for his competence. So it was clear to me that if I could, I would take the chance to work with him. The talks with Ralph Denk also gave me confidence that BORA - hansgrohe is the right team for me, for this new chapter. I want to help the guys avoid mistakes that I made. I’ve been able to gain a lot of experience, particularly in the classics, and I’d like to pass that on to the riders. I'm really pleased to be staying in cycling within a new capacity, it's going to be a great time." - Heinrich Haussler

Heinrich Haussler at the 2018 Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo

"I had a lot of respect for Heinrich's attitude even when he was a rider. He never cared about the weather at races, he never complained or looked for excuses. That impressed me. I hope that he will be able to teach the younger riders what it means to be a professional cyclist. In general, he is still well established in the peloton and has a good rapport and connection with younger riders. In the last few years, we have already hired a few Sports Directors who have made this type of career step with us. That has worked out well and that's why we're continuing to follow this path." - Ralph Denk, Team Manager

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Mikel Landa to lead Team Bahrain Victorious at Critérium du Dauphiné

Here’s the team’s update:

The Critérium du Dauphiné is widely regarded as the final dress rehearsal for the Tour de France, attracting star-studded line-ups from the competing 21 teams.

The 75th edition of the eight-stage race starts in Chambon-sur-Lac as the riders take on a mountainous route before the finish in La Bastille – Grenoble Alpes Métropole after covering 1,207.2 km and 21,714 vertical metres of climbing. The race also features a mid-week ITT on stage 4, and while relatively flat, the 31.1km route will contribute to deciding the General classification.

Aside from the ITT, stage 7 will be decisive in the battle for yellow as it features the highest stage finish in history on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer pass at an altitude of 2,067 metres. The stage features over 4,000 vertical metres across just 147.9km. And there will be no let-off on the final day, where the peloton again has over 4,000 vertical metres to tackle before the short steep uphill finish to La Bastille that averages 13.6% over 1.8km.

Mikel Landa leads the Bahrain Victorious line-up and will look for the form that saw him take a podium place at La Flèche Wallone as he also fine-tunes for the upcoming Tour de France. The last time the Basque rider featured in the race, he finished 18th in the GC back in 2020 and then 4th overall at the Tour de France.

Mikel Landa finishes 2022 Giro d'Italia stage 19. Sirotti photo

A strong line-up will support Mikel Landa, with Jack Haig and Edoardo Zambanini coming straight to the race after securing the team classification at the Giro. Fred Wright and Kamil Gradek return to racing following the classics, as both look to impress for Tour de France selection, while Matevz Govekar and Hermann Pernsteiner complete the line-up.

Sports Director Neil Stephens comments: “Traditionally, this is the French build-up race before the Tour, which also means a lot of hard racing with riders fighting for their place for Tour selection. For us, we’ve got a few guys from the Giro and others coming back to racing.

Landa will be the leader and be supported by Jack, who will be looking to come into the race strong after the Giro.

Looking at the stages, there are no real ‘sprint’ stages which will suit our guys. While it may not be ideal that we don’t have a pure sprinter for the early stages, it will also give opportunities for someone like Fred and Govekar before the big mountain stages later in the week. So we will look to race hard, fine-tune for the Tour and rank as high as possible in the GC.”

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