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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. - Thomas Aquinas

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Mads Pedersen wins Tour of Denmark

Tour of Denmark complete results

Here's the report from Pedersen's Trek-Segafredo team:

Mads Pedersen sprinted to a surprising second place in the final stage of the PostNord Danmark Rundt and easily clinched the overall title of the five-day race, Saturday.

Pedersen started the fifth stage with a nine-second lead over Michael Valgren (Team Astana), but with a strong Trek-Segafredo team leading the way, he never looked threatened during the 198-kilometer race.

"I have to say the team did an amazing job today to keep it all together. They controlled the race perfectly and did exactly as we planned, and I think in the end it may have taken a little bit the energy from Valgren to attack because maybe he saw how strong the team was," Pedersen said.

The Denmark Tour saved the longest stage for last, but it was no concern to the Trek-Segafredo team despite being down two men after Matthias Brändle departed for the World Championships Team Time Trial, and John Degenkolb, feeling under the weather for a few days already, abandoned after 20 kilometers.

All five teammates lined the front ahead of Pedersen and controlled most of the 198 kilometers to keep a seven-man breakaway in-check, and on the last of seven local laps, Jasper Stuyven again was at the forefront providing the final touches.

When it was apparent a bunch sprint was in order, Stuyven maneuvered to the front with Pedersen, and in the final meters kicked into high gear. Stuyven provided another rock-solid lead-out even though it was unintentional explained Pedersen.

"Actually, today we tried to go for Jasper (Stuyven) in the sprint, but he opened the sprint a little bit too early, and then I could get a draft from him, and he actually was a good lead-out for me," he laughed. "So it was a surprise to get second – I didn't expect to get any bonus seconds or even get into the top 10, so I am happy with the stage result also."

Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) won the fast finish, while a crafty Pedersen jumped from Stuyven's wheel at the last moment, and with a burst of speed shot across the line in second place, padding his lead with six bonus seconds to guarantee the overall title.

Max Walscheid

Max Walscheid just beating Mads Pedersen in the Denmark Tour's final stage

Pedersen, 21, also laid claim to the Best Young Rider of the race, and easily captured the Points Classification, adding today's second place to his win in stage three and his fourth place in stage four.

However, winning the blue leader's jersey was the one that mattered to Pedersen, who had targeted his home country's race. "For sure this race means more," answered Pedersen when asked how this win compares to the Tour de Poitou-Charentes. "It's my home country and to ride the race in Denmark with the National Championship jersey on, and all the people, and how they cheer for you…Yeah, this win is really special."

Mads Pedersen will have a short break before leaving Friday for the World Championships Road Race with Denmark, his first time racing in the pro field.

Primus Classic race report from Team BMC

Primus Classic full results are here.

BMC Racing Team was in the thick of the action in the closing kilometers of Primus Classic with Jempy Drucker riding as part of a late attack which saw him head onto the podium after securing second place in Haacht.

It was a battle to make the breakaway in Belgium today with over an hour of racing covered before six riders were able to go clear at the front of the race and begin to build up an advantage which, after 55km, of the 199.6km course, with was sitting at 3’40”.

The gap between the breakaway and the rest of the field remained stable until, with 75km to go, the chase heated up with the peloton steadily pulling the leaders back to within one minute as riders began to attack off the front of the bunch, including Loïc Vliegen, Floris Gerts, and Francisco Ventoso.

Heading into the final 50km of the day, a large chase group, which saw Vliegen back on the attack, made contact with the five remaining leaders and soon their advantage had risen to around 30 seconds. However, the peloton didn’t let the group get too far up the road, and as the gap fell to just a handful of seconds, fresh attacks saw Drucker bridge across to the group which was now made up of around 15 riders.

With 20km to go, and the final climb of the day complete, the leading group was holding onto an advantage of more than 30 seconds and soon after, Drucker attacked alongside Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors). The duo looked strong as they began to put daylight between themselves and the rest of the group which was eventually swept up by the peloton just one kilometer later.

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin wins 2017 Primus Classic

Trentin made his ultimately winning move with just over 2km to go and was able to ride solo at the front of the race to take the day’s honors. Meanwhile, Drucker continued to chase hard going under the flamme rouge before he was able to hold off the charging peloton on the home straight to secure second on the day.

Quotes from the Finish Line

Jempy Drucker:

"The last 60km almost were full gas with a lot of attacks. Before the race, we said that we wanted to try and go with the moves and make the race hard because I feel better when the race is more difficult. It suits me better. We then had a move with Loïc Vliegen, and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) was in there and so, on the next climb when there were more attacks, I said to myself that I had to be up there to make sure that we had another guy in the group. Luckily I was able to make it across and I felt strong in the final. It was no mystery that Trentin was one of the strongest guys so I tried to be around him and stay close so I could react when he moved. In the end, it went pretty well and we went away together with 5km to go. On a small bridge, he attacked me and I felt like I was running a bit low on fuel so I couldn't close the gap. He played it smart today and he deserved to win also."

"I was already feeling good in Canada but now, I must say, that at these last couple of races, I have felt even better so it is nice to get the opportunity from the team to go for the win. Today I once again showed that I can be up there with the top guys. This is obviously not the same level as we will see next week but it gives me a lot of confidence and it is always good to be able to ride the final and I think I showed that I was one of the strongest here."

Sports Director, Valerio Piva:

"I am very happy with how we raced as a team today, and I think that second is a good result for Jempy Drucker here. This morning we discussed as a team that the best option for us would be to have a hard race as there was a lot of top sprinters in the field. From the start, we followed the moves but then the breakaway went away, and Quick-Step Floors was controlling the race. When we reached the hilly part of the race, we started to attack, and we had someone in every move, and in the end, it was Loïc Vliegen and Jempy who were in the right one that was able to go clear."

"We saw that Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) was very strong when he attacked and that Jempy was also in good shape when he was able to follow his initial move, but in the end, the last attack was just too much. Jempy tried everything and gave it 100% so I think that we can be happy with this result. The team as a whole was great today, and everyone was moving well. We had crashes involving Bram Welten and Francisco Ventoso but thankfully without any consequences. Overall, we can leave Primus Classic happy with our race." 

Lotto-Soudal's schedule for World Road Championships

The team sent me this update:

It’s that time of the year again: the rainbow jerseys are at stake during the World Championships that take place this year from Sunday 17 September until Sunday 24 September in Bergen, Norway. Lotto Soudal won’t be participating in the team time trials for men nor women. The team does have riders competing for their country in the road race for men elite, men U23 and women elite and in the time trial for men U23.

Senne Leysen, rider from the Lotto Soudal U23 team, will ride the men U23 individual time trial on Monday. He will defend the Belgian colours in the 37.2 kilometres long race. The U23 riders first have to cover a lap of 16.1 kilometres and afterwards a lap of 21.1 kilometres with a hill of 1.4 kilometres at an average gradient of 7.2%.

The road races are all organised on the same circuit of 19.1 kilometres. After about three kilometres a first hill turns up on the course, but this one is only 500 metres long. A few kilometres further the riders face a second hill, this time one kilometre long with an average gradient of 5%. After the top the road is relatively flat before the riders reach the bottom of Salmon Hill, a one and a half kilometres long hill with an average gradient of 6.4% and top at more than ten kilometres from the finish. After the descent there are a few slightly uphill parts. The last kilometres of the course are flat with several corners.

On Friday the men U23 will contest the road race. Belgians Stan Dewulf, Bjorg Lambrecht and Emiel Planckaert will need to cover ten laps on the circuit. A day later the women elite will ride the road race. Four Lotto Soudal Ladies will be taking the start: Elise Delzenne (France), Chantal Hoffmann (Luxembourg), Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) and Trine Schmidt (Denmark). The women’s race will last eight laps. On the last day of the World Championships the men elite will battle for the road race title. Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens are part of the Belgian line-up, while Tony Gallopin made it into the French selection. The men need to cover eleven full laps on the local circuit. Before they get there they will ride forty kilometres mostly along the coast towards Bergen.

Schedule:

Monday 18 September – Time trial men U23 (37.2 km): Senne Leysen (BEL)

Friday 22 September – Road race men U23 (191 km): Stan Dewulf, Bjorg Lambrecht and Emiel Planckaert (BEL)

Saturday 23 September – Road race women elite (152.8 km): Elise Delzenne (FRA), Chantal Hoffmann (LUX), Lotte Kopecky (BEL) and Trine Schmidt (DEN)

Sunday 24 September – Road race men elite (267.5 km): Tiesj Benoot (BEL), Tony Gallopin (FRA) and Tim Wellens (BEL)


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