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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, May 7, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - Isaac Asimov

Current Racing:

Latest completed racing:


Giro d'Italia stage 2 team reports

First off, the report from stage winner André Greipel's Lotto-Soudal team:

André Greipel received bib number one hundred for the hundredth edition of the Giro d’Italia. It’s a special number and the German did it justice. Yesterday Pöstlberger outsmarted everyone, but today The Gorilla demonstrated his pure power and sprinted to victory. For the first time in his career he received the pink jersey.

Today the German champion claimed his 22nd stage win in a Grand Tour. In twelve consecutive Grand Tours he won at least one stage. So far Greipel has won seven Giro stages.

The second stage went 221 kilometres throughout the up-and-down Sardinian landscape. The stage started in Olbia and finished in Tortolì. It didn’t take long before a breakaway was established. Teklehaimanot, Koshevoy, Andreetta, Owsian and Shalunov were the escapees of the day, after some attempts had failed earlier. Four of the five riders stayed ahead until the last climb, only Andreetta was already dropped before the climb.

On paper the Genna Silana, a second category climb of almost twenty kilometres, seemed ideal to decide the race, but there were no big accelerations from the bunch. An almost complete peloton started the descent of around thirty kilometres. Bahrain - Merida determined the pace in the descent and got the peloton completely stretched out, causing trouble for some riders, including Zakarin. In the last kilometres the teams of the sprinters could organise themselves. André Greipel was well-placed at the front of the bunch, surrounded by his teammates.

Jasper De Buyst pulled the sprint rather early with an enormous effort and André Greipel finished it off in style. Roberto Ferrari became second and Jasper Stuyven finished third.  Tomorrow Greipel will defend his pink jersey in a new sprint stage.

Andre Greipel

André Greipel gets another Grand Tour stage win

André Greipel: “It’s an honour to win a stage in the Giro and to wear the pink jersey. There are a few moments in your career as a sprinter where you can get hold of the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. You can feel a euphoric pink atmosphere here in Italy and even more because it’s the one hundred edition. They are totally in love with cycling so to wear this pink jersey on stage was an incredible feeling.”

“We didn’t really count on a sprint today but obviously we had a plan. We hoped a small group would escape from the bunch and that Bora would control the gap, and they did. The pace on the long climb was doable. I expected more attacks from the better descenders in the bunch, but the headwind on the climb and in the finale played in the advantage of the sprinters.”

“In the descent it was important to stay focused and not to be surprised by splits in the peloton. In the finale I pushed myself forward and with the support of my teammates I reached the front of the bunch. We got an unexpected opportunity to sprint again. Just like yesterday, at four and a halve kilometres from the finish, there was a crucial point with small and twisty roads. It was key to be at the front of the bunch and we were. Jasper De Buyst pulled the sprint well, but I felt I would end up too early in front, so I let Mezgec in between. I ended up winning the stage and this was an amazing feeling.”

“For the team and myself this is very special. It has been a difficult season so far. A Belgian team is expected to show itself in the Classics and we didn’t this year. Our next goal was to straighten our backs for the rest of the season and this is a great start. To be honest, our Giro is already a success but of course now we want more. But let us enjoy this victory and the pink jersey first.”

André Greipel's Grand Tour stage wins:

Giro 2008

Vuelta 2009

Giro 2010

Tour 2011

Tour 2012

Tour 2013

Tour 2014

Giro 2015

Tour 2015

Giro 2016

Tour 2016

Giro 2017

Here's the Giro report from Bora-hansgohe:

Pöstlberger changes Rosa to Bianco at Giro d´Italia.

André Greipel takes the second stage in a bunch sprint and overtakes Lukas Pöstlberger in the fight for Pink. Lukas keeps his lead in the Young Rider classification and therefore changes Pink to White for tomorrow’s stage. In the GC he still is in second place on the leaderboard.

Today’s second stage took the peloton from Olbia to Tortolí over 221 demanding kilometers. The stage featured some hilly sections, two KOM´s, two intermediate sprints and more than 3000 meters of climbing. The last 10 flat kilometers, including a long finishing straight, promised another fast finish for the sprinters in the peloton.

Lukas Postlberger

Lukas Pöstlberger started the day in pink

From drop of the flag, a group of 5 riders attacked. The group were on the head of the race for the most time of the stage, with a lead of up to 6 minutes over the peloton. BORA – hansgrohe was desperate to fight for the Pink Jersey and took early control over the pace in the bunch.

Cesare Benedetti, leader in the KOM classification, was one of the men pulling in the peloton. He skipped his own chances in the fight for the Blue Jersey, to fully support the race leader Pöstlberger.

On the second climb of the day the gap between breakaway and peloton dropped pretty fast. On the top of the KOM it was just D. Tekelehaimanot who defended just a few seconds over the bunch. He took the points and also is the new leader in the KOM classification.

In the downhill it was Bahrein-Merida setting a exceptionally high pace in the bunch. BORA – hansgrohe was also well placed in the peloton to keep the Pink Jersey out of trouble. In the end Tortoli saw the expected bunch sprint, with A. Greipel taking the win and also the Pink Jersey. Lukas Pöstlberger also tried to go for some important bonus seconds, but couldn’t match the speed of the sprint specialists. He finished in 15th place and keeps the lead in the Young Rider classification, therefore he changes his Pink Jersey for the White one going into tomorrow’s third stage of the 100th Giro. In the GC the young Austrian is now in second place on the leaderboard.

“We decided to try again something on the last kilometers if possible. Rudi delivered me perfectely on the last k, put the pace was already too high to go again. Lotto-Soudal did a perfect leadout and I tried to go Greipels wheel then. But I didn’t have the legs or speed to challenge him in the end. It was a wonderful day in Pink here in the 100th edition of the Giro. Now I still have the White Jersey, for me that’s perfect and I think we can be satisfied.” – Lukas Pöstlberger

“After the great success yesterday, we wanted to keep on fighting. We planned to go for Sam and also to defend the Maglia Rosa but unfortunately Sam felt not good today. However, I am so proud of the whole team like I was also yesterday. They all did a fantastic job, they were the whole day in front of the peloton and in the final they supported Lukas very well to defend the Maglia Rosa. Through the great job, which the boys did we were able to keep the white jersey, which makes me really proud!” – Christian Pömer, sports director

UAE Team Emirates sent me this Giro piece:

The curtain was drawn on stage two of the 100th Giro d’Italia with UAE Team Emirates’ Italian rider Roberto Ferrari crossing the finish line amongst the top three alongside Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo). 

Ferrari took an impressive second in the hilly stage from Olbia to Tortoli, behind André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) who won first place on the second of three days in Sardinia (Italy).   “This was a tricky sprint that definitely gave an unexpected result” said Ferrari. “My legs felt great and I am pleased placing second. Modolo, who had some cramps during the final climb,  lost the position in the final sprint. After I was part of the lead group I gave my best to remain at the front of the bunch sprint. I’m very satisfied with my results and the great performance of the entire team in the climbs and descents. We are looking forward to tomorrow where we are aiming to have another top result.”  

Stage three is a shorter 148km stage best suited for sprinters. It starts in Tortolì and finishes in Cagliari for the fourth time in the Giro’s history. The final 10km has a number of roundabouts which may impact the breakaway group but the home stretch of 800m with wide asphalt roads are likely to make for a good sprint finish.

And here's what Team Quick-Step Floors had to say about the day's racing:

Fernando Gaviria finished fourth on stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia, which traveled from Olbia to Tortoli (221 kilometers). The route was an up-and-down affair, taking the riders over an undulating course, which included also the race's first second-category climb, Genna Silana. After crossing the top of that ascent, the last riders left at the front from the day's original five-man breakaway got caught, and a new race started.

Davide Martinelli, one of Quick-Step Floors' three Grand Tour rookies, surged clear together with Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and the duo put 20 seconds between them and the chasers, but the peloton, who was still fairly large despite the 25km-long climb which they tackled earlier on the day, reabsorbed the attackers with 35 kilometers left.

It soon became obvious for everyone the stage will end up in a bunch sprint, and Fernando Gaviria – who was safely piloted in the final kilometer by his Quick-Step Floors teammates – came around Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott), who faced a mechanical, on the right side of the road and opened his sprint with 200 meters to go.

The young Colombian, who took at least one win in all the stage races he's done so far this season (Vuelta a San Juan, Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico), came very close to his first top 3 finish in a Grand Tour stage, as he rolled over the line in fourth place, same time as winner Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), a result which helped Fernando make his way into the top 10 overall with one stage to go before the first rest day, which will see the caravan travel to Sicily.

Press release from Bardiani-CSF in the wake of Ruffoni, Pirazzi positives

Here's the release in full:

BARDIANI VALVOLE SPA AND CSF INOX GROUP CONFIRM MAXIMUM SUPPORT TO #GREENTEAM AND FULL TRUST IN MANAGER REVERBERI

Please find below the official press release edit by Bardiani Valvole Spa and CSF Inox Group press office.

The news of non-negativity to the doping test of two #GreenTeam athletes, on the eve of the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia has struck us and leaves us bewildered. We cannot do nothing, but only dissociate from what happened. It  is  indeed the result of a personal choice made by the athletes involved. This situation encourages Bardiani Valvole Spa and CSF Inox Spa to increase public awareness about sport as a body pure and spirit activity. The same principles stated on base of each discipline.

We have chosen to sponsor a young athletes team, launching many of them  and  focusing on values such as daily work and struggle. The same values that have allowed us to achieve important successes as well. This confirms that our choice to sponsor timeless, independent and durable values, was right. We affirm our choice and want to push even more on it: in fact  two bad apples can be removed and replaced by four healthy apples. We uphold in a clear and unequivocal way our trust in Bruno and Roberto Reverberi as #GreenTeam Managers. Sport project launched in 2013 is absolutely not under discussion, as well as  the will to strengthen it much more.

We do not want to forget that we have been hardly engaged for many years on a way which we pursue professionally excellence, professionalism and fairness towards our customers, suppliers and human resources. But despite of our daily exercise, this situation leads us to note with regret the general poorness of above mentioned values so much in the professional world as in sports.

These values were transferred to the #GreenTeam whose mission is to communicate everyday company's values through the essence of cycling. We cannot allow that arbitrariness, exercised by a few persons, dirties the values of which the company has made a mission. The mistakes of few persons, will not work against the principles of respect and integrity which the company has always been committed in order to increase their value in work, sport and everyday life, and beyond of any speculative interests.

We always love the sport for what it represents, we will always protect anyone who's its part, and those who makes sacrifices for it. We will always condemn those who violate the rules following the wrong interpretation of their basic values, pointing the result as the final aim of a way made with loyalty, appreciation of the person, sacrifice and daily commitment.

It is not the first time when the world of sports is faced to these shameful facts and it is a duty of everyone to denounce and distance them away, so that the path of growth and awareness of the values, that we have in our heart, is unstoppable.

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