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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, June 8, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. - Ernest Hemingway

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Critérium du Dauphiné team reports

First, from stage winner Richie Porte's BMC team:

7 June, 2017, Bourgion-Jalieu (FRA): Richie Porte put in a dominant time trial performance on stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné to take the win and mark his territory on the General Classification standings with four stage to go.

Porte set out on the 23.5km time trial looking to beat the best time of 28'19" set by Tony Martin (Team Katusha-Alpecin) and as he crossed the intermediate check point after 13km, he was just two seconds behind the German rider.

With the last 10km of the course featuring an uphill section, Porte put his climbing legs to the test and flew home to clock 28'07" on the line in Bourgion-Jalieu, 12 seconds ahead of Martin.

With 29 riders still to come home, Porte sat and waited to see if his time would hold up and as rider after rider reached the finish line, the stage win looked likely.

As the yellow jersey leader Thomas De Gendt crossed the line, Porte's victory was assured and his winning time bumped him up to second on the General Classification, 27 seconds behind De Gendt.

Richie Porte

Richie Porte turning in the stage-winning ride

Stage 5 is the final chance for the sprinters before Porte takes on his General Classification contenders on the final three mountain stages.

Interview with Richie Porte:

Richie, congratulations! Did you expect to win today?

"I didn't expect to beat guys like Tony Martin and Chris Froome with so much time. I didn't expect to win this stage. I just felt really good. It's nice to lay down a time trial like this finally. I really worked hard on my time trialling this year and it's been a long time since I've done a good time trial like this."

You've had a great start to the year. How do you feel now?

"I'm really happy with where I'm at so far this season and the team has put a lot of faith in me. I have really found a happy place. It's always nice to win bike race. I'd love to win this race but we'll have to see what happens the next few days. I think we have a great team here to make it hard on the weekend. They've been right around me the whole race. But I'd definitely rather be climbing well than time trialling well. It's not over yet, there are some hard stages to come so I'm just happy with how today went. Whatever happens, happens but I'm on a good path and I'm happy with where I'm at."

The is your last race before the Tour de France. How much confidence does this give you?

"I'm really happy with where I am at three weeks before the Tour de France and hopefully I'll have a bit of luck and it will be a good Tour de France for me. With the team we will have for the tour, and the support the team has given me, I'm really happy. We have seen in the past that if Chris Froome is good here, he is good at the Tour de France, so I just hope that's the same for me. Let's look to the weekend more I think. There are going to be some really hard stages. I'm happy with today but I'm looking forward to the weekend too."

"Definitely, in the Tour de France, it's going to be won more in the mountains than in the time trials. I'm quite confident in how I'm climbing at the moment. I think a time trial like that is probably a good test as to where your form is at."

And here's the report GC leader Thomas de Gendt's Lotto-Soudal team sent me:

Today, there was an individual time trial of 23.5 kilometres in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Thomas De Gendt started as the race leader with a 1’09” lead on the GC contenders. He finished the time trial in ninth place in a superb time of 28’49”, which means that he keeps the yellow jersey with an advantage of 27 seconds on Richie Porte, who won the stage. Porte completed the 23.5 kilometres between La Tour-du-Pin and Bourgoin-Jallieu in 28’07”. Tony Martin and Alejandro Valverde concluded the podium on twelve and twenty-four seconds, respectively. De Gendt also stays on top in the mountains classification.

Thomas de Gendt

Thomas de Gendt preserved his GC lead

Thomas De Gendt: “I took some extra risks in the corners compared to other time trials, but this still is a result that you can expect from me. During the time trial, I was completely focused on my own race and on riding the ideal line. At that moment, I was not thinking of the fact that I was wearing the yellow jersey. That was only before the race. It’s a very special feeling to start as the final rider in a race of this calibre.”

“The scenario of tomorrow’s stage will be similar to the previous days. We will keep the gap as small as possible when someone in the breakaway forms a threat for the GC, but in any other circumstance, it’s up to the sprint teams. Tomorrow will be the last chance for the sprinters anyway and I don’t think they will let that chance go to waste. I will probably lose the yellow jersey on Friday, but I will give everything I have on the climbs. I am not thinking about the KOM jersey anymore. Koen Bouwman is following closely in the classification and he might take the jersey tomorrow. I could try to go in a breakaway on Saturday or Sunday, but winning the KOM jersey will be hard. My Dauphiné has already been a success.”

Chris Froome's Team Sky posted this news:

Chris Froome climbed the general classification as he rode to eighth place in the stage four time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine.

The Team Sky rider clocked a time of 28 minutes and 44 seconds across the largely flat 23.5-kilometre course to Bourgoin-Jallieu. That marker put Froome firmly among the GC contenders, 37 seconds back on stage victor Richie Porte (BMC Racing).

That translated to sixth place overall for the three-time race winner as the Dauphine reached its half-way point. Froome sits 1:04 back on the yellow and blue jersey holder Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal). The Belgian put in a spirited ride to defend his race lead, and now sits just 27 seconds ahead of Porte.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome moved up to sixth place in the GC after the time trial.

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) set the early benchmark of 28:19, but the time trial world champion was ousted by an impressive time from Porte, who went 12 seconds quicker.

Elsewhere Pete Kennaugh set a competitive time, 1:51 back, with Team Sky’s riders now turning their attention to the upcoming climbs where Froome will look to excel.

After the stage Froome was full of praise for his rivals, and put his time trial performance into context. “Richie did an incredible job and Valverde and Contador also did very impressive time trials,” he said. “I knew the level was going to be high coming here and I think this time trial just proves it.

“I’ve still got three weeks now after the Dauphine in terms of time trial work and it’s obviously something that I’m going to have to do a bit more work on. I’ve done everything right up until now and I’ll just keep going up until the Tour.”

With time still to make up on his rivals Froome will now look to the mountain tests that back-load the event. He added: “It changes the dynamic. If I’d gained time today then I could have ridden more defensively on the climbs. Now that I’ve got time to make up it means I can be more offensive going into the next few days.

“It was a good test but we’ve got three big days of climbing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That will be another big test to see exactly where everyone is at.”

UAE Team Emirates headed to Tour of Switzerland

Here's the team's update:

Rui Costa, who won three consecutive editions between 2012 and 2014, will lead UAE Team Emirates at the Tour de Suisse which will be held between June 10 – 18.

Rui Costa

Rui Costa after the final stage of the 2014 Tour of Switzerland

“This is a race that I really like and returning to it feels like coming home. It is familiar and I’ve got great memories of it. ” said Rui Costa “Despite having won this race several times it is quite demanding so it will be necessary to have clear tactics on how to tackle each stage. I just completed a very demanding race as Giro d’Italia is, I need to retain my good form, preserve my energy and be smart to do well in the race.  I am hoping to be in the top five of the overall General Classification by the end!”.

Sports director Simone Pedrazzini: “Before the Tour de Suisse, on June 8th we will first participate in the Gp Canton d’Argovie-Gippingen circuit race, we will try to be protagonists with younger rides and to give them the chance to get a good result.

The same line-up will take part in the Tour de Suisse. It is a strong team selection,  one of the key goals  is to help Rui Costa to achieve the top 5 in general classification, taking into account that it won’t be an easy target because he’ll compete with opponents of a high quality. We expect our two younger riders Conti and Petilli, after having just been at the Giro d’Italia, to show their skill in the GC. We also have the fast trio – Consonni, Kump and Modolo – that will try to get great results in the sprint stages, while Mohoric will be looking to join a breakaway and finally, returning back to racing after a crash at Vuelta al País Vasco is Atapuma.

Gp Canton D’Argovie Gippingen (8 June) and Tour de Suisse (10-18 June)
Team’s line-up: Atapuma Darwin (Colombia), Consonni Simone (Italy), Conti Valerio (Italy), Rui Costa (Portugal), Kump Marko (Slovenia), Mohoric Matej (Slovenia), Modolo Sacha (Italy), Petilli Simone (Italy).

Sports Directors: Pedrazzini Simone (Switzerland), Marzano Marco (Italy

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