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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance. --Socrates

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Team reports on Tre Valli Varesine

This came from UAE Team Emirates:

It was a top level Tre Valli Varesine that was disputed from Saronno to Varese today, for almost two hundred kilometres of racing. The route catered to all-rounder riders who are used to climbs yet at the same time are able to sprint in smaller groups. It was a route well suited to Diego Ulissi, who however came just shy of the podium in spite of a race in which he and all of the UAE Team Emirates figured well.

“I was feeling good,” says Diego Ulissi.  “It was a very hard race where there was a lot of quality. Today was like riding a one-day Classic. I have to say that as a team we did a good job, setting an impressive pace and shaking off many faster riders in the group who could have been pesky for us in the final. Then Nibali and Pinot did a number and I couldn’t keep up with them. I only caught up in the last 300 metres, when the sprint was already launched. Too bad. Now I hope to do well in the Lombardia.”

Sports Director Marco Marzano echoes his rider: “The starting roster was first class, but considering the route, our guys’ skills and Diego’s physical form, we decided to make the race hard and go all the way. We knew that in the last lap Nibali was going to make the move that he did; we were well positioned, but honestly, he was riding really strong. Then Diego needed just a tiny bit of luck and conviction to catch up with Geniez, who re-joined the leaders with only 600 metres to go to the arrival. Had he followed the Frenchman, perhaps now we would be here celebrating a victory. However I want to congratulate the guys for the way they raced and how they behaved; I am satisfied, even though a victory would have been icing on the cake.”

Alexandre Geniez

Alexandre Geniez (left) takes the win.

Victory in the 97th edition of the Tre Valli Varesine went to France’s Alexandre Geniez (AG2R) who prevailed in the sprint against Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida)

And here's that Bahrain-Merida had to say about the race:

“I wanted to make a good race – says Vincenzo NIbali, today 3rd at the 97th Tre Valli Varesine – in view of next Saturday at the Il Lombardia and I succeeded. A discreet result in a tough race with high-level athletes”.

“The team’s tactic was to try to attack during the last lap – still the Italian rider – and so I went along with Thibaut Pinot. At 500 meters from the finish, Geniez came back and he was the fastest at the sprint “.

Frenchman Alexande Geniez won the race in front of the compatriot Pinot and our captain with Giovanni Visconti in eleventh position.

The race is experienced on a long breakaway which was caught during the penultimate lap. Team Bahrain Merida then took over the situation with a great Visconti who paved the way for Vincenzo Nibali’s attack on the last climb.

“The team did a very good job – says SD Alberto Volpi – and like usually Vincenzo showed his great qualities. The approach to the two next race classics continues and I want to say that everything is going well. ”

On Thursday, the Team will be on the way for the Milano-Torino, one of the oldest cycling races in the world. They are 186 km with a lot of plains but with the final uphill and the arrival at the Basilica of Superga, where two years ago Vincenzo Nibali won the Italian championship.

Team Sunweb's Münsterland Giro report:

Racing on home soil at the Münsterland Giro, Team Sunweb lined up with a strong German squad for the one-day 198.7 kilometre test. With largely flat parcours, Team Sunweb spent the day tucked in the peloton preparing to unleash their sprint weapon at the expected bunch sprint.

The day opened with a four-rider breakaway going clear to take a lead of just under five minutes. With 90 kilometres still to race, the peloton upped their pace and brought the leaders advantage down to just one minute. The bunch kept the breakaway riders at bay, eventually reeling them in with 20 kilometres to the finish. As soon as the catch was made the speed in the peloton was relentless and multiple riders lost contact with the main bunch. The race stayed together for a bunch sprint where Team Sunweb’s Phil Bauhaus showed his strength battling against the strong line-up of fast men. In an intense finale, the race was decided by a photo finish with Phil securing 2nd place.

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett barely beats Phil Bauhaus

Phil said: “Today was a really strong team effort and I’m really happy with the support that the team gave me throughout the race. I always had guys around me helping me and in the final the guys did a really good lead out. I made two small mistakes which I think probably lost me the race; I waited a little bit too long for my sprint and when I went, I chose the wrong side to pass. In the end it was a good second place with the bunch sprint but if you lose a race by just millimetres it’s always a bit disappointing.”

Team Quick-Step Floors close to winning in two races

Here's the team's update on Binche-Chimay-Binche and Münsterland Giro:

Our team was in the mix at both Binche-Chimay-Binche and Münsterland Giro, the two races which took place Tuesday afternoon.

Binche-Chimay-Binche lived up to the expectations and fully delivered in terms of spectacle and excitement, with a large group breaking clear minutes after the start and opening a gap, which despite not exceeding two minutes, proved insurmountable for the peloton. Quick-Step Floors was well-represented at the front, with the likes of Rémi Cavagna, Matteo Trentin, Petr Vakoč and Fernando Gaviria, the latter abandoning some 40-odd kilometers from the finish.

With around 20 kilometers remaining, several riders slipped away from the reduced bunch in an attempt to bridge across to the group which was now counting only nine men, but the strong digs of Cavagna and Vakoč prevented this from happening. Inside the undulating final kilometer, which included some cobblestone sections, Matteo Trentin fired from afar, but the move launched by Italian was countered by Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal), who then latched onto the wheel of the multiple Vuelta a España stage winner and burst past him with 100 meters left to take the victory.

Jasper de Buyst

Jasper de Buyst wins Binche-Chimay-Binche ahead of Matteo Trentin

"The race was very hard. Once only nine riders were left at the front, it became a battle between them and the peloton, which they managed to keep at all times at one minute. Fortunately, we had strong riders there, who did some great pulls at the front. Then, Matteo tried from far out. He's had success with this tactic before, but today it didn't work out as planned. It ended up being a too long sprint, but at the end of the day we are satisfied with how the whole team raced", said sport director Tom Steels after Binche-Chimay-Binche, where Quick-Step Floors placed two more riders in the top ten, Rémi Cavagna (6th) and Petr Vakoč (8th).

Across the border, in Germany, Marcel Kittel closed out his season at the 12th edition of the Münsterland Giro. A four-man breakaway established a five-minute lead over the peloton early in the race, but the sprinters' teams, including Quick-Step Floors, kept the attackers on a leash and reeled them in with 17 kilometers remaining.

The high speed meant no one attacked until the finish, where one of the tightest battles for victory of the season unfolded. Four riders were in the mix for the win and crossed the line separated by just a few centimeters. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the one to prevail, while Marcel – who had the highest top speed – came home fourth and thus put an end to his season, one in which he took five Tour de France stages and a record-fifth triumph at Scheldeprijs

Quick-Step Floors – who continue to lead the victory rankings with 51 UCI victories – will be in action this week in three more races: Milano-Torino, Il Lombardia (the final Monument of the year) and Paris-Tours.

Patrick Bevin set to bolster BMC's 2018 roster

BMC sent me this news:

3 October, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced the signing of Patrick Bevin, 26, for the 2018 season.

Bevin, who is a former New Zealand Time Trial Champion, is the first New Zealander rider to join the team in BMC Racing Team's 11-year history.

"We are very excited to welcome Patrick Bevin to BMC Racing Team next season. Patrick is a talented rider who has shown great potential in his two years at the UCI WorldTour level, and we believe we can help him to develop further at BMC Racing Team. Patrick will be a great asset when it comes to individual and team time trials and given the emphasis we place on the discipline, Patrick is a great addition to the team," Ochowicz explained.

"Patrick showed great form at the Tour de Suisse this year, narrowly missing out on a stage win, so we know he has the ability to do well at stage races at the highest level. He has experience at a lot of different races so when riders like Richie Porte and Greg Van Avermaet need support, Patrick will be there. A rider with Patrick's versatility is exactly what we were looking for and we are confident he will fit in well with the team's objectives for 2018."

Bevin is excited about the opportunity to join BMC Racing Team. "I wanted to ride for BMC Racing Team as they are one of the premier teams in the world. The team's approach is extremely professional and the attention to detail is already prevalent in all the interactions I have had. I believe I will thrive under this approach and develop as a rider in the coming season," Bevin said.

"I am already starting to work on developing my time trialling and look forward to starting the season with the New Zealand National Championships and a return to racing in Australia."


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