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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Racing schedule:

Tuesday the 6th was Binche-Chimay-Binche/Mémorial Frank Vandenbroucke. I've got complete results posted.

Next racing will be on Thursday, the 8th. There will be two one-day races: Paris-Bourges and Coppa Sabatini. There is a new stage race, the Abu Dhabi Tour, which also begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, the 11th.

Binche-Chimay-Binche team reports

Giant-Alpecin certainly had a good day in Belgium. The team sent me this:

Following a well-timed attack, Ramon Sinkeldam stayed ahead of the sprinting bunch to take the victory at the Belgian one-day race Binche-Chimay-Binche, also known as Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke. This was Sinkeldam's second victory of the season, after his win in the Garmin Velothon Berlin in May.

Ramon Sinkeldam (NED): “We were well represented in the group in front in the finale, and the team did a great job to get me in a good position. Roy brought me into a good position on the final climb, and we didn’t race full gas on the climb so I was able to make a strong attack and eventually that was enough to win.

"I was actually not sure if I was racing for the win or if there was someone in front, and I didn’t know what was happening behind me on the hard cobblestones. So it was exciting until the end.

"I didn’t expect to win today, because I didn’t feel great during the race, so it’s extra special to add this victory to my palmarès at the end of the season." 

Ramon Sinkeldam wins Boinche-Chimay-Binche

Ramon Sinkeldam wins Binche-Chimay-Binche

Addy Engels (NED): “It was a great race today, very attractive and aggressive. From the beginning there was a group of 15 riders away, including Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE) from our team. Shortly afterward a group of 30 riders attacked, and we had Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Koen de Kort (NED) and Max Walscheid (GER) in it. A group with Roy Curvers (NED) and Bert De Backer (BEL) also made the jump to the front of the race, and finally all the groups came together except Terpstra, who was alone in the break.

"It was never our plan to control things, because of the open character of the race, but if everything was still together in the finale, Ramon would be our card to play. The team started to work together with IAM to bring Terpstra back, and it worked out. In the finale Roy led Ramon out in the run-up to the final climb, and there Ramon made a great jump and no one was able to follow his wheel. The team was always attentive, and we got a great outcome." 

Etixx-Quick Step had this to report:

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Niki Terpstra tried to play to his skills in the 194.5km Binche-Chimay-Binche on Tuesday, attacking with 45km to go and maintaining a solo advantage until he was caught by chasers with 8km left to race. Nikolas Maes was in the chase group that joined with Terpstra in the final kilometers.

Niki Terpstra

Niki Terpstra at this year's Vuelta

Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) also tried a late race flyer when the group was caught by the peloton, but he had a small gap with 2km remaining, and was caught as the peloton hoped to end Binche-Chimay-Binche in a bunch arrival.

Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin), however, got the jump on the peloton and attacked shortly after the race came back together. He won ahead of Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal), and Tom Van Asbroeck (Lotto - NL Jumbo) finished 3rd.

Maes was the top finisher for Etixx - Quick-Step, in 16th place.

Here's LottoNL-Jumbo's race release:

Tom Van Asbroeck finished third today in Binche-Chimay-Binche/Mémorial Frank Vandenbroucke. The Belgian sprinter of Team LottoNL-Jumbo witnessed how Ramon Sinkeldam and Pim Ligthart took a small advantage in the final corner, after which pace dropped in the peloton and a third place was the best possible result.

“I had saved powers all day long because of a possible sprint,” Van Asbroeck said. “In the finale, Maarten Wynants was part of the first group, but as a team we decided to close the gap for me. Of course that’s not nice for Maarten, but he was up there with several fast riders.

“Sep was my lead-out man in the sprint. He dropped me off the front. I was well placed, but in the final corner Marcato passed me. He could not hold the wheel of Sinkeldam and Ligthart and because of the fences on the side of the road I couldn’t pass him. I guess that cost me the win, unfortunately.”

The riders of Team LottoNL-Jumbo attacked all day long in Belgium. Paul Martens was part of a severe breakaway, but the group was caught well before the line. Eventually it was Maarten Wynants who distinguished himself by leading the race with a group until the final few kilometres.

“We knew we had a strong team and we just really wanted to win today,” Sports Director Erik Dekker said afterwards. “Although we knew we face some fierce competition. Paul immediately got in a strong break group, almost all the teams were represented by a rider. Despite that, the peloton got nervous later on and about 35 riders managed to bridge.

“For Maarten Wynants is a pity that couldn’t go for a result and it was good to see that he was upset about that, but in the end he understood my decision to focus on Tom. The commitment of the team was really great today.”

Teams headed to Abu Dhabi

Here's Tinkoff-Saxo's Abu Dhabi news:

With three flat sprinters’ stages out of four at the highly anticipated inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour there should be plenty of terrain for Peter Sagan to make his mark on the race wearing his rainbow stripes for the first time. Tinkoff-Saxo lines up a squad of six riders assembled to offer Peter Sagan maximum assistance in the fast action.

For Abu Dhabi Tour, Tinkoff-Saxo sends in the new World Road Race Champion Peter Sagan accompanied by Daniele Bennati, Matteo Tosatto, Juraj Sagan, Manuele Boaro and Bruno Pires.

On the verge of his first race as World Champion, Peter Sagan notes that he feels excited about taking to the roads of Abu Dhabi.

“I am intrigued by this new race in Abu Dhabi and it is always nice for the sport of cycling to visit new places and reach new fans. It will be my first race wearing the World Champion jersey and I will do my best to honor it”, comments Peter Sagan.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan in his new world champion's rainbow kit

With stages 1,2 and 4 offering mostly flat roads and fast action with possible crosswind conditions, team sports director Tristan Hoffman is clear in his verdict of the team’s goals.

“Our ambition is to win a stage with Peter Sagan. This race concludes the 2015 season and we enter it with hopes of making our mark on the action. It will not only be nice to win here but it will also be a special occasion, as it’s the first time that Peter will ride in his rainbow jersey. If we can win, that’s another question - the competition is hard and many riders want to finish the season with a win. However, Peter has a first class lead-out man in Bennati and the team is motivated”, says Tristan Hoffman before adding:

“Stage 1,2 and 4 are mainly flat, while stage 3 finishes on top of a hard climb. On the flat stages, we have to be aware of any crosswind, as there are a lot of kilometers in the dessert with open terrain. If there’s wind, the flat stages can become very hard. We have to be at the front of the action but we’ll see how our exact approach will be depending on how the stages evolve. Stage 2 starts at the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit, which is pretty cool but we naturally have our focus on the stage finishes”.

Mads Pedersen signs for two years with Cult Energy

Cult Energy sent this update:

One of the brightest stars shining on the talent night sky is Mads Pedersen and Cult Energy-Stölting Group has signed a two year contract with the talented 19 year-old Dane. Pedersen won the second stage of this year’s Tour de l’Avenir and finished 7th overall in the Four Days at Dunkirk in his rookie season.

Mads Pedersen

Mads Pedersen racing at De Panne

Mads Pedersen comments: “It’s been a challenging first year as a full-time professional. It has definitely been harder than expected but it at the same time tremendously educational. My best experience was my overall 7th in Four Days at Dunkirk where I enjoyed the full team support as a captain and the result and experience here truly left me wanting more. And right now, the season opener seems too far away. I’m looking forward to continuing my career at CULT Energy-Stölting Group for the next two years,” says Mads Pedersen.

DS, André Steensen states: “With Mads onboard the team, we have one of the biggest talents in cycling. Mads's versatility and technical skills on the bike makes him a rider with a promising future and a rookie season with top 10 rankings in several races and a stage victory in a U-23 nations cup only underlines that fact. Mads needs place and time to develop and to continue the achievements he has had this season so eventually, he has the potential to follow up on his achievements as a junior where he conquered a silver World Championship medal as well as the Paris-Roubaix. Besides his obvious physical stamina, Mads is a great teammate who also have social and tactical skills, we all benefit from. All in all, I'm very excited to continue working with Mads.”

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