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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, September 21, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Elite Men's Time Trial World Championships team reports

Winner Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb sent me this:

After Team Sunweb took a clean sweep in the team time trial World Championships, Tom Dumoulin (NED) completed a superb start to the championships by racing to a gold medal in the individual time trial on his Giant Trinity. The win caps an incredible year for both Dumoulin and Team Sunweb so far, with the Dutch rider taking his maiden Grand Tour victory at the Giro d'Italia as well as the overall victory at the BinckBank Tour.

Dumoulin raced around the 31km course in a time of 44'41", posting the fastest times at each checkpoint before finishing a stunning 57" ahead of the silver medal atop the testing finishing climb of Mount Fløyen. The win once again reaffirms the success of all the hard work and time spent preparing for the discipline, with the team's coaches and experts to fine tune every detail of his effort. Teammates Wilco Keldermann (NED) and Nikias Arndt (GER) finished 7th and 19th respectively.

With a wide smile and face of excitement, Dumoulin said after the finish: “I can’t believe it, it’s really amazing! I thought my power meter was off because it was so high. I felt really, really good. After it started raining I had to take the corners really slow, especially in the first kilometre of the climb with all the twists and turns, every corner my back wheel was slipping because I had my TT tyres on, as I thought it would stay dry.”

He added: “I chose not to take the risk swapping bikes. I think I’m one of the guys who can do a really good climb on the TT bike and have no problems handling it, so I think it was the right decision. Doing the double is amazing. Last Sunday it was a bit of a surprise that we won with the team, it was an amazing day. I think today is less surprising – I was one of the favourites, but in some ways that makes it harder.”

Here's the report sillver medalist Primoz Roglic's LottoNL-Jumbo team sent me:

Primoz Roglic earned a silver medal at the world championship time trial in Bergen (Norway) today. Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s 27-year-old rider finished 57 seconds behind the Dutch world champion Tom Dumoulin after a time trial of 31 kilometres.

The Slovenian rode a great race. He started well, but Roglic had the sixth intermediate time before the final climb. After that, he was the strongest on the climb and he could claim the silver medal. In contrast to other favorites, Roglic swapped his bike before the final climb. He exchanged his Bianchi Aquila CV time trial bike for the Bianchi Oltre XR4. “We practised the bike change several times. I doubted to swap bikes because there was a risk of losing time. In the end, it didn’t make the difference: Dumoulin was by far the strongest.”

The vice world champion was delighted about his second place. “From the beginning of this season, the world championship time trial was a goal for me. I knew the race would suit me. It is great to be on the podium among the worlds best GC contenders of the season. I’m very happy with my silver medal.”

Primoz Roglic

Roglic changing his bike before the final climb.

Chris Froome was third. Here's the report from his Team Sky:

Chris Froome secured a bronze medal in the time trial at the world championships in Bergen to continue his strong end to the season.

The Brit put in a measured ride across a technical 31-kilometre course in Norway, finishing well on the tough Mount Floyen climb to elevate himself onto the podium. Third represents Froome’s best result in the time trial at worlds level, coming hot on the heels of a historic Tour-Vuelta double.

It was a strong day for Team Sky riders as Vasil Kiryienka clocked the fifth fastest time, while Gianni Moscon also put in an extremely impressive ride to sixth.

Rain began to fall for the final runners but there was no stopping Tom Dumoulin, with the Dutchman setting a winning time of 44 minutes and 41 seconds.

Primoz Roglic (Slovenia) claimed silver, 57 seconds back, while Froome crossed the line 1:21 back.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome riding to a bronze medal

The course provided a technical challenge, with a tough final climb ensuring that equipment choice, gearing and the potential of a bike change were all key considerations.

Froome, Kiryienka (Belarus) and Moscon (Italy) all opted to not change bikes ahead of the finale. Tao Geoghegan Hart was the fourth Team Sky rider in action, competing for Great Britain at a senior worlds for the first time. Despite a small crash he was able to gain some valuable experience, eventually finishing 43rd.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo signs American talent Sepp Kuss

The squad sent me this news:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo has signed American cycling talent Sepp Kuss for two years. The 23-year-old Kuss comes from the American continental team Rally Cycling and is considered a strong all-rounder and a well capable climber.

"Kuss attracted our attention during the Tour of California. Since then, we have been following him and we tested him intensively”, LottoNL-Jumbo sportive director Merijn Zeeman says. "He has a background as a mountainbiker and hasn't been riding a racing bike for a long time yet. He still has plenty of room for development and we will give him the time to do so."

The American rider has high expectations of his transfer to the Dutch World Tour squad. “I'm extremely excited to join Team LottoNL-Jumbo. With a proven track-record of developing its riders and considering the great amount of individual attention and resources the staff gives its riders, I feel that this team is the best place for me to progress. I hope to learn from the experienced team members and continue to develop as a climber along with working on my time trial. I'm also excited to discover what types of races suit me best”, Kuss says.

Two-year contract extensions for Lotto-Soudal riders Maxime Monfort and Jelle Vanendert

The team sent me this release:

Both Maxime Monfort (34) and Jelle Vanendert (32) have extended their contract with Lotto Soudal until the end of 2019. Next year, it will be the fifth year for Maxime Monfort in the team, while it will be the tenth year for Vanendert.

Maxime Monfort: “I have been riding in this team for four seasons and I feel good here. That’s why I chose to extend my contract a second time. 2018 will be my fifth year in the Lotto Soudal team; this is the team I have been riding for the longest during my entire pro career. At my age you don’t have to change just for the sake of it.”

“I am very satisfied with the role I have within the team. I get to go my own chance on certain occasions and at other times I work for the teammates. I also love to help and advise the youngsters so they can make progress. In the past Vuelta I shared the room with Rémy Mertz, who rode his first Grand Tour. This role is perfect for me at this point in my career.”

“I am still very passionate. I still love training and racing and I am still motivated to achieve personal goals. Like this season, I won’t be aiming for an overall result in a Grand Tour next year, but I will aim for good results in stages.”

Maxime Monfort

Maxime Monfort

Jelle Vanendert: “In the past nine seasons I had good and bad moments, but the good have always prevailed. My role has often evolved through the years. The past years many young, talented riders have joined the team and I very much like to support them in and outside the race. It’s great that they are so keen to learn and I like to help them to achieve their goals, without having to forget about my personal ambitions.”

“Also the next two seasons I want to be at my best from the Brabantse Pijl to Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This year I got fourth at Alpe d’Huez during la Dauphiné, also a race that I love and in the last part of the season there are of course the Canadian races, Grand Prix de Wallonie and Lombardia.”

“I have been riding for the same team for a long while now, but it has never become a routine. I had new challenges every year. I was there when Philippe Gilbert had such a successful season in 2011 and I won a Tour stage that same year. At Lotto Soudal I got the chance to be leader in the Walloon Classics and now I very much like to work with Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens in those races.”


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