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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, September 2, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

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Vuelta a España stage seven team reports

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

Here's the stage seven report from Sebastian Molano's UAE Team Emirates:

Sebastian Molano showed he is amongst the top sprinters of the 2023 Vuelta España with 4th place on stage 7 from Utiel to Oliva (200km).

The Colombian had a less than smooth run to the line as crashes hit the peloton hard with two significant pile-ups in the final 10 kms.

Molano followed the wheel of his trusted leadout teammate Rui Oliveira who hit out early from the peloton to arrive first into the final bend at -300m. A nervous peloton led to an unpredictable sprint, ending with Geoffrey Soupe (Total Energies) coming out on top in the dash for the line.

Geoffrey Soupe (far right) wins stage seven. Sirotti photo

Meanwhile Juan Ayuso & Joao Almeida remained safe in the peloton to hold their places in the General Classification which continues to be led by Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ).

Molano: “It was a stressful stage today as well as being long with lots of crashes. The sprint didn’t really go to plan. Rui did a good job but in the last corner I was on Groves wheel and lost a lot of speed which meant I had to almost sprint two times to get back up to speed which sapped the legs. We’ll look to more sprint chances next week.”

Tomorrow’s stage from Dénia to Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior(165km) will see the riders back in hillier terrain.

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Here's the news from crash victim Thymen Arensman's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Thymen Arensman crashed out of La Vuelta during a frantic run-in to the finish in Oliva.

The day was a slow burner for the Grenadiers, with a two man break never more than a handful of minutes up the road.

Geraint Thomas unfortunately crashed before TV pictures began, but was quickly back on his bike and in the peloton.

Thymen Arensman winning stage fifteen of the 2022 Vuelta. Sirotti photo

During a fast and hectic final five kilometres, a crash saw Thymen hit the floor, before quickly being attended to by medical personal. He is currently on his way to hospital. More updates will follow in due course.

The incident also saw Thomas held up, although the Welshman was able to carry on, losing 24 seconds at the line.


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Here's the vuelta report from Remco Evenepoel's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

The peloton gathered in Utiel Friday for the start of the seventh stage, for a 200.8km journey to Oliva, one of the pro teams’ favourite destinations in the winter. The course was ideal for the riders to relax a bit after a hard and hectic day in the mountains, and for the sprinters to target a victory before what’s shaping up to be a tough weekend.

Two riders animated the day, but despite their best efforts, the maximum gap didn’t go over two minutes. When the breakaway entered Valencia – one of the cities that were on the route of the inaugural edition, when Austria’s Max Bulla took the glory – their advantage hovered around one minute and continued to go down with each kilometer, until the peloton became as one again, before the intermediate sprint.

Things remained calm until the final ten kilometers, when teams began jostling for position at the front, and this led to two separate crashes, which fortunately our riders avoided. A corner with 300 meters to go spiced up things, but it couldn’t prevent a mass gallop, which was won by Geoffrey Soupe (TotalEnergies).

Remco Evenepoel before the stage start. Sirotti photo

Stage 3 winner Remco Evenepoel, resplendent in his beautiful Belgian National Champion jersey, came home with the rest of his Soudal Quick-Step teammates and remained the best-placed contender ahead of the steep Xorret de Cati.


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Sep Vanmarcke to stay with Team Israel-Premier Tech as staff member

Here’s the team’s announcement:

It’s with great joy that Israel-Premier Tech can announce that Sep Vanmarcke will continue in the team moving forward, shifting into a staff member role after retiring from cycling earlier this season.

Sep Vanmarcke finished third in the 2023 Gent-Wevelgem. Sirotti photo

The 35-year-old Belgian Classics specialist was forced to end his active career with IPT abruptly in July, due to medical reasons, but he was always aiming to stay involved in the sport.

“After I had to retire, I’m happy to have found a new future with IPT as a staff member. One of the likely roles I will play is a Sports Director, however, I could also see myself in other functions, which we will discuss when the time is right. I am really motivated to start my new chapter in cycling”, Vanmarcke says.

Israel-Premier Tech’s General Manager, Kjell Carlström, points out that Vanmarcke’s experience and knowledge from a long career will be a strong asset for IPT’s performance team.

“Sep has been a very valuable rider with us for the last few years, but unfortunately, he had to stop his career abruptly. We are very happy to have Sep join the sporting and performance team in 2024. He brings a significant amount of experience and knowledge to the team staff and we are excited to see him progress in his new role.”

IPT owner, Sylvan Adams, acknowledges Sep’s leadership skills as invaluable when it comes to his transition to the staff side.

“We were all so sorry to learn that Sep’s recently discovered heart condition meant that he could no longer race his bike professionally, and would be forced to retire. As Sep is a true leader on our team, it was only logical that he should transition to becoming a member of our staff, and I am grateful that Sep will join us immediately in that role. Sep has a lot to offer, especially to our young riders, who will benefit from his knowledge, experience, and tactical prowess. Our classics team, in particular, will be strengthened by Sep’s steady guidance. So Sep, what do you do when you are served lemons? You make lemonade! Welcome back, in your new role. I am excited to continue the journey together,” adds Adams.

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