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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, September 14, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

In victory, you deserve champagne. In defeat, you need it. - Napoleon

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Vive Le Tour - Renowned 1962 Tour de France documentary

Famed director Louis Malle made a short documentary about the 1962 Tour de France. Our favorite cycling writer Les Woodland, author of Tour de France-The Inside Story sent me a link to a YouTube version with English subtitles.

Enjoy it. It takes us back to a time when frames were steel and men were iron. Or as the New York Times said about the film, it contains "ebullience, whimsey, jet black humor, awe and unspeakable tragedy." It's "a worshipful documentary of a sport made by a man who knew it intimately and loved it."


Team Sky squad confirmed for World Championships Team Time Trial

The team sent me this news:

13TH SEPTEMBER 2017: Team Sky will take a strong and experienced line up to this year’s World Championships Team Time Trial. The Team Sky line up for Sunday’s 42.5km TTT in Bergen, Norway, will include Tour de France/Vuelta a Espana ‘double’ winner Chris Froome.

Team Sky’s line up in full:

Owain Doull: Doull won a gold medal for Team GB in the team pursuit at last year’s Rio Olympics.

Chris Froome: Most recently won last week’s Individual Time Trial at the Vuelta a Espana on his way to overall victory.

Vasil Kiryienka: The former World Time Trial Champion finished third in the opening Individual TT at this year’s Tour de France.

Michal Kwiatkowski: The current Polish National Time Trial Champion, Kwiatkowski finished second in the Stage 20 Individual TT at this year’s Tour.

Gianni Moscon: Part of the winning Vuelta a Espana line up, Moscon is the current Italian National Time Trial Champion.

Geraint Thomas: Thomas wore yellow at this year’s Tour de France after winning the opening Individual Time Trial in Dusseldorf.

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas riding to victory in the Tour's opening time trial

Team Sky Sports Director Brett Lancaster – himself a time trial specialist and an Olympic gold medallist in the team pursuit - said: “The plan is to go for the win. It’s a very strong line-up and, fresh off the Vuelta win, the guys are going to be really motivated.

“The course is very rolling and there’s a climb that finishes with around 10 or 12 kilometres to go. It’s quite steep and I think with the team we’re taking and the likes of Froomey, Moscon and Geraint, that suits us.

“Last year we went in hoping to give the podium a crack but this year we’re definitely targeting the win. But it’s definitely not going to be easy. There’s always stiff competition and it’s going to be close as a lot of teams are dialled in these days. It’s going to be really important to have everyone going really well on the day.”

And here's BMC's World Championship time trial news release:

13 September, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will line up at the UCI Road World Championships Team Time Trial in Bergen, Norway, this Sunday with a strong team of time trial specialists looking to take back the title.

Having been crowned world champions in the discipline in Ponferrada in 2014 and Richmond in 2015, BMC Racing Team settled for the silver medal in Doha in 2016.

Sports Director Jackson Stewart said reclaiming the title of team time trial world champions is one of BMC Racing Team's biggest goals of the season. "We are super motivated to win the team time trial. I think after coming second last year we are even more determined to come back and be world champions again. I think the field this year is more competitive and the course is different to previous years. It's probably a combination of the Ponferrada and Richmond courses. The course is hillier but it is really suited to our team. The longer climb in the last third of the race will be a crucial part where you need to stay together and hopefully have the whole team arrive together in the center of Bergen," Stewart said.

"All six of our riders are in really good shape. They are coming to Bergen from a team time trial camp or the Vuelta a España, so I think we have a strong team and will be very competitive. It's no secret that team time trials are one of the biggest goals for BMC Racing Team so this is one of the most important races of the season."

It was difficult to select the roster with the team's emphasis on time trialling and calibre of riders to chose from, Performance Coach Marco Pinotti explained. "Choosing the six riders hasn't been an easy task as across the whole team we have multiple riders able to do well in a team time trial event and this is confirmed by the success that we had in the past three years in this kind of specialty. The riders chosen represent a strong and determined group. We have two pure top level specialists like Rohan Dennis and Stefan Küng, two strong and powerful assets in Daniel Oss Oss and Silvan Dillier, one experienced road caption in Manuel Quinziato, and Miles Scotson, who is young but has an established background in team pursuit. So we have a mix of strength, experience, and freshness," Pinotti said.

"The course requires a well-balanced effort during its entire length and I believe it will feature a high average speed if raced in dry conditions. Overall, it is a course where many teams can do well and we are aware of the high level of our competitors, but we believe we can challenge them."

Team BMC

BMC was second in the 2016 world's team time trial.

Of the six riders, Rohan Dennis, Silvan Dillier, Daniel Oss and Manuel Quinziato were part of the winning team in 2014 and 2015. Stefan Küng joined the group to win gold in 2015 while Miles Scotson is set to make his debut.

Rohan Dennis:

"Team time trials are a special race in my opinion. It's not about one guy who wins the race it is more about how the team works together to go as fast as possible together. It feels great to win the team time trial World Championships. Every team comes with their best riders so when you win it really makes you feel like you are a part of the best team in the world. I actually haven't seen or looked at the Bergen course at all. I like to get to the race and see the course with my own eyes instead of taking everyone else's opinions and thoughts first, so I'm looking forward to seeing it this week."

Silvan Dillier:

"The team time trial is you with your bike in a bubble with your team. You need to feel comfortable and welcome. It's about suffering with and for your teammates and at the end it's everybody who wins or loses. I won gold two times at the world championships and it's really a blast when you win. It's a feeling of relief at the same time because it's not only physically but mentally a very hard discipline. The parcours in Bergen is quite hilly so it will be a very interesting course to make a good pacing. I'm really curious to see how it will feel to ride it when we do the first time and how we will execute it."

Stefan Küng:

"I really like team time trials because you race as a team and you win as a team. You are by yourself on the bike but together as a team all with the same goal of getting to the finish line as fast as possible. When you're going well it feels like you're flying. It's one of the nicest feelings you can experience on the bike. I was already part of the winning team in 2015 and after coming second last year, we'll give everything to go for the win again. We all suffer but if you get repaid with the win, it was really worth it. We have faced a lot of different team time trial courses this year but no matter what the course was, we always had a good recipe so I think we will do well in Bergen."

Daniel Oss:

"We are going to Bergen to win the team time trial and I think we have a really strong team to do that. It's an incredible feeling standing on the top step of the podium as world champions together as a team and I love to do that again in Bergen. For sure, all six of us will give everything we have to win the title again."

Manuel Quinziato:

"The team time trial is a great discipline. Cycling is an individual sport but once in a while it becomes a team sport. What I like about it is that to be the best you are only as strong as your weakest guy so you have to think about it as a group. It's always a really nice feeling when you can win a team time trial. It was an amazing feeling to be world champions in 2014 and 2015. You can call yourself world champion for the whole year. They were two of the greatest moments of my whole career. The team time trial in Bergen will be the last race of my career so it will be really special. I'm looking forward to that. The course is fast but there are also some climbs so it will be really important to race smoothly and as a team."

Miles Scotson:

"The team time trial is a unique event and you have a group of teammates who have to really ride together, ride smoothly, and ride well technically to go fast. It's not just about the individual, it's about coming together and when you get it right, it's a great feeling. To win a team time trial world championship would be a massive deal for me. I gave two team pursuit world titles on the track and the time time is a similar discipline. Everything I know from the team pursuit I can apply to the team time trial so it would be an amazing feeling to be world champion in Bergen. It would be a dream come true. I haven't seen the Bergen course yet. I think the weather will be a challenge and it's a technical course but I think we're a team that rides well together and the course should suit us."

UCI Road World Championships Team Time Trial (17 September)

Rider roster: Rohan Dennis (AUS), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Stefan Küng (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Miles Scotson (AUS).

Reserves: Tejay van Garderen (USA), Joey Rosskopf (USA)

Sports Directors: Jackson Stewart (USA), Marco Pinotti (ITA)

Lennard Kämna ready for World Team Time Trial Championships

Team Sunweb sent me this report:

Lennard Kämna (GER) recovered from intense Vuelta and ready for worlds team time trial with Team Sunweb.

After abandoning the Vuelta a España out of precaution after its 16th stage, Lennard Kämna is now fully recovered from a slight knee discomfort and back on track for Sunday's world championships team time trial.

Team Sunweb's coach for the worlds, Adriaan Helmantel (NED) explained: "After his withdrawal from the Vuelta a España, Lennard needed only a few days of rest before he was able to quickly resume full training. The intensity of a strenuous Grand Tour caused him a small irritation in his right knee and he has now fully recovered and ready for Sunday."


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