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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

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Today's Racing

Today is the third stage of Critérium du Dauphiné. It's a 24.5 kilometer team time trial going from Roanne to Montagny. The course is fairly flat, making it a test of teamwork and pure power.

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CycleItalia van

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Ok, on with the news...

Critérium du Dauphiné

Here's the Dauphiné news from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Jay McCarthy remains in the overall top ten of Critérium du Dauphiné sitting 8th before the tricky TTT. While Nacer Bouhanni took the stage win, the last part of the race was affected by a crash, where Chris Anker Sørensen and Jesper Hansen were caught behind. However, they managed to claw their way back to the chasing peloton.

Following stage 2, where Jay McCarthy finished as the best placed Tinkoff-Saxo rider in the 16th spot, team sports director Patxi Vila explains that the plan had been to stay put in the bunch.

Jayb McCarthy

Jay McCarthy enjoying a climb earlier this year.

“Today was a fast stage after yesterday’s opener. After the start we hit a short but pretty steep climb, where the breakaway of three guys went. Then we faced a more serious climb of around 7km with a 7 per cent average. The breakaway stayed out all day and wasn’t caught until just before the final kilometers. For us it was fine, as our plan was to stay in the bunch and get to the finish line, where we would try to set up Jay McCarthy in the sprint”, says Patxi Vila before adding:

“We were aiming for another top ten and our goal was to keep Jay well positioned and at the same time look out for Kiserlovski and his GC ambitions, which will come into play in a few days. We made it to the finish line with nearly the whole team but Jay didn’t quite get the result and he finished 16th. Today it didn’t happen, but in general the team is feeling well and they have worked together in a good way”.

Stage 2 of Critérium du Dauphiné took the riders 173km from Le Bourget-du-Lac to Parc des Oiseaux Villars-les-Dombes, where Nacer Bouhanni (COF) took the stage win in the final burst for the line. However, just around the 20km marker, a crash mid-field blocked several Tinkoff-Saxo riders, who had to fight to regain contact with the chasing peloton.

“We had some guys, who were involved in the crash in the late part of the race. They had just made their way back to the rear of the peloton after having assisted Jay and they were caught behind. It wasn’t a serious crash, but Chris Anker and Jesper Hansen were blocked and had to fight their way to get back up. The peloton was going at full speed to catch the break, so the fact that they made it back up again shows that they have the legs”, tells Patxi Vila before elaborating on tomorrow’s 24.5km team time trial.

“Now we look forward to the TTT tomorrow, where it’s important to get a decent result to support Kiserlovski in the GC. On paper we don’t have the strongest team for the TTT but we will have some reference times from the other teams and our squad is very homogeneous, which is important”.

And here's what Lampre-Merida had to say about the Dauphiné's second stage:

The 2nd stage of the Critèrium du Dauphinè (Le Bourget du Lac-Villars les Dombes 173 km) did not escape from the aims of the sprinters, after Kennaugh beaten the fast wheels in the opening day.

his time, the bunch chased the breakaway (Quemeneur, Teklehaimanot and Courteille) with perfect timing and, when the peloton came together, the sprinters' teams started getting ready for the sprint.

Sacha Modolo reached the front position on the left side of the road, following Pozzato's wheel, and he was just behind the Mtn-Qhubeka's lead out train with Farrar and Boasson Hagen when the Norwegian athlete began a long sprint, but the Lampre's cyclist could not prevent being overtaken by Bouhanni, who won the stage in front of Dumoulin and Modolo.

Nacer Bouhanni wins stage 2

Nacer Bouhanni wins Dauphiné stage 2

In the overall classification, Modolo is 2nd at 2" behind Kennaugh.

"I thank my team because I received a perfect support - Sacha Modolo explained - My team mates helped me in getting on the wheels of the Mtn-Qhubeka's lead out train, but Bouhanni was in a better position, where he did not face the front wind, so he could exploit this advantage to obtain the victory"

Giant-Alpecin's Upcoming race plans

The team sent me this news:

Tour de Suisse: The Tour de Suisse starts on Saturday with a 5.1km prologue, followed by seven hilly and mountain stages and a concluding 38.4km time trial in Bern on Sunday.

Following a fifth overall and two second places, in the prologue and stage 7, in last year’s Tour de Suisse, Tom Dumoulin (NED) will be lining up once again this year. Alongside Dumoulin, Warren Barguil (FRA) will be leading the team to aim for a good GC result. With a third place on last year’s stage 5, John Degenkolb (GER) will target stage success in the bunch sprints.

Climbers Georg Preidler (AUT), who had a strong classics campaign, and Carter Jones (USA), who performed well in the queen stage of the Amgen Tour of California, will support Barguil in the mountain stages. Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Koen de Kort (NED) and Nikias Arndt (GER) will play important support roles in the lead-out for Degenkolb.

John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb will be at the Swiss Tour. Here he is winning this year's Paris-Roubaix

Coach Rudi Kemna (NED) looks ahead to the Swiss stage race, saying: “Barguil, Degenkolb, Dumoulin and de Kort spent three weeks at the team’s altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada (ESP), so they are very well prepared for the upcoming period of racing. We are going to Switzerland with two aims: one is the general classification for Barguil and the other is the sprints for Degenkolb.

“We have strong support for Barguil on the climbs, as well as on the flats in the lead-out for Degenkolb. Dumoulin will enjoy the space to aim for stage success in a possible break, the prologue and the long closing time trial.”

Rund um Köln: This Sunday, Team Giant-Alpecin will participate in the German classic Rund um Köln. Covering 196.7km with 11 classified climbs and 2,336m of altitude gain, the race is not guaranteed to end in a bunch sprint.

The team can look back at some strong results in recent editions of the race, with a third and fourth by Georg Preidler (AUT) and Warren Barguil (FRA), respectively, in 2013; a fifth by Tom Dumoulin (NED) in 2012; and a second by Marcel Kittel (GER) in 2011.

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin finishes stage three of this year's Tour Down Under

Team Giant-Alpecin will be heading to this year’s race with ambitions for victory with its sprinters Zico Waeytens (BEL) and Kittel. In a supporting role the team brings Bert De Backer (BEL), who is returning to racing after completing the Giro d’Italia and a strong spring season, and Lars van der Haar (NED), who took second place on the third stage of last week’s Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg. The first Chinese rider ever to complete all three Grand Tours, Cheng Ji, will line up too, alongside Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE) and Tom Stamsnijder (NED). The participation of Tom Veelers (NED) is in doubt, as he suffered a return of his knee injury and the team does not yet know whether he will recover in time.

“Our goal is to try to win the race. It can be a hard race, depending on the conditions, and we should be prepared for anything. With Waeytens and Kittel we have two fast guys and a good chance if the race ends in a sprint, but in case of a hard race we will also have options with De Backer and van der Haar. We have a good mix of talent and experience, as De Backer will be our captain,” said coach Aike Visbeek (NED).

Diamond Tour: On the program for Team Liv-Plantur for this Sunday is race six of the Lotto Cycling Cup 2015, the Diamond Tour. The Belgian one-day race, which will take the women’s peloton from Antwerp to Nijlen, consists of one large circuit of 42.5km and six local laps of 13.7km each, for a total of 124.7km.

It will be Team Liv-Plantur’s first participation in this event, and the team is heading to the flat race with sprinter Lucy Garner (GBR) as leader. Alongside Garner are Amy Pieters (NED), who claimed a fourth place at the hilly Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik and a 10th place at the Auensteiner prologue last weekend; Floortje Mackaij (NED), who finished the Auensteiner Radsport Tage 17th overall; and Julia Soek (NED), who will play an important support role on Sunday. The roster is completed by Willeke Knol (NED) and Kyara Stijns (NED).

Amy Pieters\

Amy Pieters

“We hope for good weather conditions, and then we will go for Garner in the sprint. In case of hard conditions we have Pieters to back her up and maybe go for her chances by herself. But it will be an ideal opportunity for a sprint, as the course is pan flat,” said coach Hans Timmermans (NED).

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