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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, May 1, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm. - Calvin Coolidge

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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Tour de Romandie stage five reports

We posted the report from final winner Adam Yates' UAE Team Emirates with the results.

Here's the report from GC third-place Damiano Caruso's Team Bahrain Victorious:

It was a brilliant final day at Tour de Romandie for Team Bahrain Victorious, which wrapped up the week in Switzerland with a podium in two stages and a GC one.

It was Fernando Gaviria who took the final Romandie Tour stage. Sirotti photo

Following Damiano Caruso’s 3rd place in the queen stage, today was Nikias Arndt to shine on the finish of stage 5 in Genève. The German sprinter battled for victory in the bunch sprint won by Gaviria (Movistar):

“I really wanted to win today, but at least I tried. I think, as a team, we actually deserved more. I felt super good, and I was fully committed. I told my teammates, already halfway, ‘guys, today is our day. We win. In the end it is second place. I think the team did great. We were really committed, I’m happy with how the team worked. I didn’t know that the corner was so hard and we came at such a high speed. I wished I could bring home the victory.”

A sprinter's day was expected on the paper, but the 170.8km course from Vufflens-la-Ville to Genève was run at a high pace, and some sprinters dropped in the most undulating part of the route. No chance to attack for shaking the GC, but the team rode very attentively to protect the leader Damiano Caruso and defend his 3rd place overall.

At the end of the day, the Italian rider maintained his GC position behind the winner Yates (UAE) and Jorgenson (MOV).

“It was a good week for the team and me especially.” The Italian rider comments, “My goal for this week was to find good sensations and I got them. Moreover, I took a good result. A third place in GC at the Tour de Romandie means a lot. Also, it comes less than a week before the Giro’s start. This gives me lots of confidence. Now I will have a few days of rest to recover physical and mental energy, and then I will face the Giro in the best conditions.”UCI team classification ahead of the season’s first Grand Tour, which is due to start in a couple of days.

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Here’s the Tour de Romandie report Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Our final World Tour race before the Giro d’Italia came to an end Sunday afternoon in Geneva, which witnessed a reduced bunch sprint after an intense day of racing. On paper, it should have been an easy stage, but several teams tried to take advantage of the two classified climbs that came in the second part of the course to try and drop the sprinters.

Ethan Vernon was among those distance, but a fantastic effort of his teammates Josef Cerny and Dries Devenyns helped him come back in the main group twenty kilometers from the finish. Unfortunately, the effort after almost an hour of full gas racing took its toll on the young Brit, who lost contact with the peloton when more attacks came in waves on the rolling roads to the finish. In the end, the victory went to Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), while Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) wrapped up the general classification.

Adam Yates won the 2023 Tour de Romandie. Sirotti photo

Nevertheless, the Tour de Romandie was a success for Soudal Quick-Step, who claimed back-to-back victories at the beginning of the week with Josef Cerny and Ethan Vernon, while also enjoying two days in the yellow jersey. These results helped The Wolfpack cement its place on the podium of the UCI team classification ahead of the season’s first Grand Tour, which is due to start in a couple of days.

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Troubled by Covid-19, Giulio Ciccone will not ride the Giro d’Italia

Here’s the news release from Ciccone's Team Trek-Segafredo:

Giulio Ciccone must raise the white flag and give up his spot on Trek-Segafredo’s Giro d’Italia roster. The decision was taken today, by mutual agreement, by the rider and Team, after noting the persistence of covid-19 symptoms (as well as continued positive test results) and the short amount of time left to be at the Corsa Rosa healthy and competitive.

Giulio Ciccone winning stage two of the Tour of Valcenciana. Sirotti photo

It was a hard choice for Trek-Segafredo and a painful decision for Giulio, considering his strong connection with the Giro and the fact that the Grande Partenza will be in Abruzzo, his home region. But, in light of the facts, the decision was necessary.

Ciccone first tested positive on Monday (24th May) and since then he has been unable to train due to struggling with sinusitis, a cough and tiredness. With the race fast approaching, it was agreed that the necessary time to recover fully was not there.

Ciccone will now focus exclusively on a gradual and stress-free recovery. The next events of his season will be confirmed later in May.

On Tuesday, Trek-Segafredo will confirm its complete line-up for the Giro d’Italia.

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Reactions by Giulio Ciccone:
“Giving up the Giro breaks my heart. I can’t find any other words to describe my feelings right now. I would have faced my favorite race after the best start to a season of my career. I would have started from home, from my Abruzzo; a historic event, even unique. Everything was perfect and then… I mean, it feels absurd. I have to swallow a bitter pill and the thought of what I could have done in this Giro will be in my mind for a long time. On the other hand, I have to listen to my body. I have to recover in the best way possible because the season is long and the risk of compromising it would be too high. It’s a tough decision, but I have to accept the fact and look beyond it. As soon as I return to racing, I will turn this disappointment into determination.”

Reactions by Gregory Rast, head team director at the Giro d’Italia:
“We are losing a very important part of our Giro squad. With his innate talent and with the great condition he has shown in the very first part of the season, Giulio had everything needed to be one of the protagonists of the race. We are sorry for him, because we know how much he wanted to be there, and it’s a pity that we won’t have our strongest man for the climbs. Replacing a captain a few days before the start is impossible, as is finding someone capable of taking over his leadership. In the next few hours we will decide the rider who will take his place. We have some good options who, although in a different role, will guarantee their contribution to the team.”

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