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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, September 4, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant

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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Vuelta a España stage nine team reports

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

Here's the stage nine report from second-place Matteo Sobrero's Team Jayco-AlUla:

Giro d’Italia stage winner Matteo Sobrero displayed Team Jayco AlUla’s determination and resilience today, fighting back from some bad luck that the team has suffered the past days, to take a brilliant second place finish on stage nine.

The Italian launched himself into the day’s breakaway having tried time and time again each stage, and finally today the move stuck.

On the steep ramps up to the hill top finish in Collado de la Cruz de Caravaca, Sobrero was attentive in the wheels as the attacks began. Lennard Kamna jumped away and opened up a gap with Sobrero fighting to get on to terms. The remaining kilometres remained the same as the Team Jayco AlUla rider fought with each pedal stroke to claw his way back up to Kamna and in the end, had to settle for a brace and well fought second place.

Lennard Kamna finsihed 13 seconds ahead of Matteo Sobrero. Sirotti photo

Heading into tomorrow’s rest day, the Australian outfit remain confident and ready to continue to race on the offensive in the final two weeks.

Matteo Sobrero – 2nd place:
“I did my best it was a really hectic day that started with echelons, a really stressful day and on the first climb I tried to make the break, and it was the first goal of the day.

Once I was in the break I was checking who was there and of course I put my eyes on Kamna, I knew he was the strongest on an uphill like this.

We started playing a little bit at the bottom of the climb, I wasn’t sure how I was feeling and after nine stages it is difficult to see how everyone is and there could be a surprise.

In the end, I tried to do my best and he (Kamna) attacked. I couldn’t close the attack by just 50 metres and we stayed the same distance for almost all the time.

It was so hard, i did my best and I am happy with this. We still have two weeks left of this Vuelta so we will see.”

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

The final stage of the opening week of the race started on a high but ended on a low, bringing to a conclusion what otherwise has been an eventful first part. Crosswinds ripped the peloton apart mere kilometers after La Vuelta left Cartagena behind, only a dozen or so riders making it in the front group. Among them, Soudal Quick-Step’s Mattia Cattaneo and Remco Evenepoel, who helped the move gain a significant gap of almost one minute over a bunch that struggled to make up time.

It took more than 50 kilometers and the presence of a classified climb for the chasers to finally bring back the attackers, and once the tempo relented, eight men zipped away and opened a huge gap over the favourites’ group. While the breakaway had its own battle up the road, from which Lennard Kamna (Bora-hansgrohe) emerged victorious, everyone was expecting a showdown between the GC favourites, but this didn’t come anymore after the organisers decided to take the time of the stage with 2.6 kilometers to go, due to the conditions at the finish.

Remco Evenpoel is currently fourth in the GC. Sirotti photo.

After a mammoth pull of Mattia Cattaneo, who was again incredible in the service of Remco Evenepoel, the Belgian Champion controlled his opponents and will enter the second week of the Vuelta a España – which kicks off with an individual time trial in Valladolid – as the highest-ranked of the overall contenders.

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Stage one Tour of Britain reports

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

Here's the report from stage winner Olav Kooij's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Olav Kooij has won the first stage of the Tour of Britain. The 21-year-old Dutchman was the fastest in the bunch sprint. Wout van Aert added to the euphoria at Jumbo-Visma by finishing second after a formidable lead-out.

Olav Kooij takes the Tour of Britain's first stage.

Five riders formed the early breakaway in the first stage of the eight-day stage race. The peloton, led by Team Jumbo-Visma, only caught the last escapees in the final kilometres. Lead-out rider Wout van Aert put Kooij in an ideal position in the final kilometre. The young Dutchman then sprinted to his eighth victory of the season. Van Aert, in turn, kept everyone behind him to take second place on the podium.

"This is a win for the whole team”, Kooij said. "We had to do everything we could to catch the early escapees at the end, but the guys did a great job. Then, the team guided Wout and me perfectly through the last corner, which put us in an ideal position for the sprint. I'm happy that I was able to finish it off.”

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"I came here to take a stage win. To win it right away is great. We can look forward to the rest of the Tour with confidence. I am also happy that I can continue my good form.”

Kooij enjoyed Van Aert's excellent lead-out. "Wout is one of the best riders in the world. The fact that he did the lead-out for me gave me confidence. You can almost be sure that someone like him will lead you perfectly, which he did. It's a luxury to have Wout on the team. And to finish first and second is exceptional”, the stage winner said.

Team Jumbo-Visma has now won 53 races this season after today's triumph.

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