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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, May 17, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this. - Terry Pratchett

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Giro d'Italia stage eleven news

We posted the organizer's and stage winner Simon Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team's reports with the stage eleven results.

Second-place Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb had this to say:

After a fast and hectic opening to stage 11, a five-rider breakaway eventually snapped the elastic once multiple escape attempts had been neutralised. Despite being a day that on paper looked like it could be one for the breakaway, the peloton kept the leading quintet on a relatively short leash and never allowed their lead to exceeded the three minute marker. Awaiting the tricky finale, Team Sunweb sat comfortably in the bunch taking care of positioning Tom Dumoulin for the final climb to the line.

As soon as the gradients kicked in with five kilometres to go, the remnants of the break were caught and counter attackers immediately tried their luck. It was an attack from the Maglia Rosa that sparked the GC battle, with Tom the only rider able to follow the eventual race winning move. Digging deep to reduce his losses, Tom displayed his prowess, quickly settling into a seamless rhythm as he worked to close the gap. In what was a thrilling finish, Tom finished the day in 2nd place, just 2 seconds behind the race winner. He remains 2nd in the GC at 47 seconds.

REACTIONS
Tom said: “I wasn’t good enough for the win but I’m super satisfied. The legs were a bit painful at the beginning but I think everyone had that after yesterday. As the stage progressed I felt much better. I tried to follow Yates but I couldn’t close the gap and stayed at the same distance, I can’t blame myself. I am feeling very good, this is my best result since Jerusalem and my best feeling so far. This coming weekend is going to be super hard and I will give my best to defend this position. It’s still a long way until Rome.”

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin can be seen chasing, just a few seconds behind winner Yates.

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef said: “Today was a short stage with a tough final and some steep climbs. Our goal was to have control at the start and to bring Tom as good as possible into the final. He was in good position and reacted to an attack from Yates with 1.5 kilometres to go. They raced from there until the line with a two second gap as Tom finished second. It was a strong effort!”

Third-place Davide Formolo's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this report:

As the escapees were caught shortly before the finish, S. Yates showed once again his climbing skills and took his second stage win ahead of T. Dumoulin. BORA – hansgrohe worked together and brought their two GC contenders Formolo and Konrad in a good position as the race headed through the narrow streets of Osimo, where Davide Formolo finished in a strong third place, BORA – hansgrohe's 6th podium result after 11 stages. Patrick Konrad finished in 6th place and moved up to 9th in the overall ranking.

The Stage
Today’s stage of the Giro d´Italia took the riders from Assisi to Osimo over 156 punchy kilometres. The elevation profile showed a slightly uphill section right after the start and continued with the first climb of the day, the Passo Cornello (Cat.3). The first of two intermediate sprints in today´s stage was taken in Filottrano, home town of Michele Scarponi. The last 3km were uphill with a maximum gradient of 16% before the peloton arrived in the city of Osimo.

The Team Tactics
It was a day, where the breakaway can make it to the finish line, therefore the plan was to join a big break, also BORA – hansgrohe’s two GC contenders should try to achieve another good stage result.

The Race
After some kilometres of racing a group of five riders launched an attack and built today´s breakaway of the day to enjoy a maximum gap of three minutes. BORA – hansgrohe decided to stay in the peloton, where Trek-Segafredo and LottoNL Jumbo took control over the pace. The breakaway was gone for most of the stage, but with the gap steadily dropping they were all back together with 7km remaining. Suddenly two riders tried again to get away but were caught after some minutes. BORA – hansgrohe was up there with their two GC contenders Formolo and Konrad, both showed another great performance. The race went through the narrow streets of Osimo as the Maglia Rosa S. Yates showed once again his climbing skills and took his second stage win ahead of T. Dumoulin. BORA - hansgrohe climber Formolo was a few seconds behind Dumoulin and came in 3rd. This was BORA – hansgrohe's 6th podium result after 11 stages. Teammate Konrad finished in 6th place and moved up to 9th place in the overall ranking.

From the Finish Line
“Today´s stage was maybe short, but not an easy one. The pace was high, but the team worked very well together. In the finale, many riders tried to attack and I was able to stay at the front as we headed through the narrow streets. I wanted to close the gap to the two leaders but took third. It was a special stage, because we went through Michele’s hometown. A win here would have been something special.” – Davide Formolo

“We wanted to go in a breakaway, if the group is big enough, therefore we decided to rather stay in the peloton. Shortly before the finish the boys brought our two GC contenders in a good position. Especially Felix and Christoph did once again an outstanding job, as well as our GC contenders, Davide finished 3rd and Patrick, who is now 9thin the general classification. Both showed they are able to go with the best in the peloton.”- Christian Pömer, sports director 

Tour of California stage four news

We posted the report from stage winner Tejay van Garderen's BMC team with the results.

Team Sky had a good day at the California Tour. Here's their report:

Egan Bernal put in a spirited time trial at the Tour of California to sit second overall, while Tao Geoghegan Hart vaulted up the general classification.

Stage four provided a stern test with a 34.7-kilometre TT against the clock. Geoghegan Hart produced one of the best rides of his young career to place third on the day, just 32 seconds back on stage winner and new race leader Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing).

That result saw the young Brit leap up to fourth overall, 52 seconds off the lead with three stages to go. Bernal rode hard to limit his losses in Morgan Hill, setting the 18th best time, but importantly remaining firmly in the mix for the general classification.

The Colombian sits just 23 seconds off the lead, with both he and Geoghegan Hart relishing the opportunity to get back to the climbs. Despite dropping to second, Bernal still holds the lead in the sprint, mountains and young rider classifications.

Tejay van Garderen

Tejay van Garderen riding to victory in stage four.

Pavel Sivakov was another young talent to put in an impressive ride with 16th place.

After the stage Geoghegan Hart was happy to reflect on his best time trial result to date. "It's maybe my best result full stop," he told TeamSky.com. "I think after I did the recon I thought it might be a reasonably good course for me, because there was more climbing than we perhaps thought there would be. But I definitely didn't expect this.

"I knew I was doing a decent ride. When I went through the time split at half way - it was on a downhill. Oli [Cookson, Sport Director] told me the gap and I didn't quite heard what number he said, but it sounded like a single digit rather than 18 or 30 like I'm normally hearing in time trials. I took that as motivation and I could see that the speed I was going was really good. I just tried to do my best ride possible snd I'm really happy with third place."

With Goeghegan Hart and Bernal now both placed well in the GC, the Brit added that the team's overall objective remains the same following the TT.

"I think we're going to have to put it all on the line to win this race with Egan and that's my priority. It was my priority coming here and Egan and I have been talking about that since Volta Catalunya. That remains the big goal - to arrive in Sacramento with him in the yellow jersey."

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