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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, August 14, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

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Dylan Teuns wins Arctic Race of Norway

We have full results and the organizer's report posted here.

Dylan Teuns's BMC Team sent me this report:

13 August, 2017, Tromsø (NOR): After taking the leader's jersey with victory on stage one of the Arctic Race of Norway, Dylan Teuns won his third consecutive stage race in as many weeks today after powering away from the rest of field to take a solo stage win in Tromsø. 

A seven-rider breakaway went clear almost as soon as the flag dropped and with no one threatening the overall race lead of Teuns, BMC Racing Team sat up and allowed the gap to grow to over four minutes after just 10km, of the 160.5km out and back course.

After peaking at 5'30" with 120km of racing still to come, the advantage of the leaders began to fall steadily with the peloton picking up the pace and bringing the gap down to under four minutes as they headed into the second half of the stage.

With 55km to go, only two riders were left out at the front of the race and with teams eyeing a potential bunch sprint the pace of the peloton began to pick up. Eventually, on the first of three laps of a 13km finishing circuit around Tromsø, which included two categorized climbs, the breakaway's advantage was pulled to within two minutes.

The final breakaway rider was within sight with 22km to go as a handful of riders attacked off the front to bridge across to the lone leader. With Teuns holding onto an advantage of just three seconds at the beginning of the day, BMC Racing Team were happy to allow the seven-rider group to sweep up the bonus seconds on offer as the bell rang to mark the start of the final lap.

The final chase began immediately with Floris Gerts moving up to the front to help drive the pace as Teuns was protected by the rest of his BMC Racing Team teammates as they hit the final climb of the day with 5km to go.

Approaching the top of the Prestvannet Summit, the late attackers were within sight as Teuns seized the opportunity to secure both the overall victory and a second stage win by launching a stinging attack which saw him power away from the rest of the field.

Teuns' strength and determination were written all over his face as he pushed hard over the final 2km of the day before dipping down onto the finishing straight and taking a bow as he crossed the line to secure both the stage win and overall victory.

Dylan Teuns

Dylan Teuns wins the Arctic Race of Norway

Teuns also won the Best Young Rider and Points Classifications in Norway after an impressive week of racing.

Interview with Dylan Teuns:

Congratulations, Dylan! This is your third stage race win of the season and all in the space of a few weeks. Can you describe how you are feeling right now?

"It's a bit like a fairytale. It's an unbelievable feeling. I knew my shape wasn't gone coming into this race but to back up my previous performances here is incredible."

"We had a good tactic coming into today's stage and the team was ready to fight for me. In the end, I won the jersey but the guys worked really hard for me and I really appreciate all the work they have done. It is a huge honor to have the team riding for me and believing in me. It is a great feeling and it is important for my confidence. If your teammates believe in you, it gives you a little bit of an edge over other riders."

Talk us through the moment you launched your final attack.

"As they say in soccer, sometimes attack is the best form of defense. I could have waited until the final sprint, then there was the chance that August Jensen (Team Coop) could take bonus seconds as I heard he was pretty fast. I was playing a little bit of game on the last climb like I was doing all day, and I was waiting as I didn't want to go too early. When I saw that the guys were just in front of me and the final climb was almost over, I thought now is the time to go. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't take Jensen with me."

"I went at the right moment, and I knew when I looked behind that I had a small gap and that I just had to keep going because there was a short descent and they weren't going to catch me on that. It was pretty technical so they wouldn't be riding any faster than me. With 1km to go I looked behind again I didn't see anyone, so I was pretty sure, not totally, but confident enough and then I just went full gas until the last few meters to keep the jersey safe."

And looking ahead to the rest of the season.

"I think after this race I have a some time to rest and recover after a tough few weeks before I head into my next races and I hope this form continues."

Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:

"Today was a great day for us. I am really happy for Dylan Teuns and also for the whole team. Everyone has done a great job this week. We had to gamble a little bit today. We knew that with an advantage of just three seconds and the bonus seconds going onto the last lap, that the overall lead could be in danger. So, when the breakaway formed and with no one threatening the overall GC it was the perfect situation for us as we could let them go out and even go to the line actually. But, other teams started to chase, and they had the right to do this, and it meant that we could sit in the bunch."

"We knew that the final laps were pretty hard and Dylan had already done them before. We watched how the race unfolded and when the other guys started to jump at the end, I said to Dylan to just follow them and if he felt good to go for it and that's exactly what he did. His final attack was really strong, and this is another nice win for him. When you win everyone is on another level, so this is a great result for all the guys."

Tom Dumoulin wins Binckbank Tour

We posted the report from stage winner Jasper Stuyvens' Trek-Segafredo team here.

Here's the final race report Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb sent me:

Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin (NED) successfully defended his overall lead with a strong third place on the final stage of the BinckBank Tour, together with strong support from his teammates throughout the race.

After moving into the overall race lead on the penultimate stage, Dumoulin and his Team Sunweb teammates still had a tough job ahead of them on the final stage with just four seconds separating him and second place. After a big effort from all the team to set Dumoulin up for the finale, he stepped up and showed the strength needed to make sure he was in control, racing to third on the tough finishing circuit in Geraardsbergen.

Jasper STuyvens

Jasper Stuyven's wins the final stage while behind him Tom Dumoulin celebrates his GC win.

After the race Dumoulin said: "It's great to finally win here after a few years of being close. This was our goal and we all had to come together to make it happen, which we did. The team was super strong every day and today it was up to us but we had it all under control, and I had good legs today."

Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers (NED) added: "We're really happy with this win for the team and the great job that the guys have done here. The stage started with a big fight for the break, and the nine man group that went was an ideal situation for us with the first rider at 15-minutes.

"We didn't have to work until the start of the local lap and there we saw a big fight on the climbs, but we stayed calm and could follow with Tom who was really strong once again today."

Here's what Team Quick-Step Floors had to say about the final stage:

Quick-Step Floors finished with two riders in the BinckBank Tour top 10 overall and kept hold of the World Tour classification lead.

When you have the Muur-Kapelmuur, one of cycling's most iconic climbs, on the parcours, you just know are in for a spectacular and breathless race, during which the riders drop their guard and go all-in for it. This was the case also on Sunday afternoon, when the BinckBank Tour peloton had to overcome a leg-sapping final stage that had seven hills jammed in the last 50 kilometers of the day.

Muur van Geraardsbergen, which featured three times on the route, was where a first important selection was made with more than 40 kilometers to go, when the peloton shrunk considerably, as many riders find it difficult to keep up. Later, on the Bosberg, some of the general classification contenders tried their luck, but to no avail, as every time a response came from behind and every attack saw a counter.

Quick-Step Floors was again in the thick of the action in this captivating finale, attacking with the likes of Dries Devenyns and Petr Vakoč, before taking the front in the bunch and setting a fierce pace with ten kilometers remaining. On the Denderoordberg, chaos ensued and this led to a disorganised pack inside the final kilometers, where Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) took advantage of the newly created situation and attacked, opening a hefty gap by the time he hit the first ramps of the Muur.

Philippe Gilbert was the first rider to accelerate from the main group on the cobbled climb, and his strong forcing came close to paying dividends, as the Ronde van Vlaanderen champion finished runner-up on the stage, just one second behind the victor. His fine effort on the final day of the BinckBank Tour helped Gilbert move up a place in the general classification, to ninth, just ahead of teammate Petr Vakoč, who notched his first top 10 finish of the year in a stage race.

"I am of course disappointed, because I had good legs and was confident there was a chance of taking the victory. In the end, I came really close, and that was frustrating. Overall, it wasn't an easy week, but the good part is that I felt better and improved with every day that passed, so now, at the end of the week, I can take a lot of positives and confidence from this race to my next appointments of the season", said Philippe, who is eighth in the World Tour individual rankings.

Quick-Step Floors – the only squad in the BinckBank Tour to place two riders in the top 10 – will go into next week as the leader of the World Tour team standings, which the outfit managed by Patrick Lefevere leads since March, when Yves Lampaert took a resplendent solo win at Dwars door Vlaanderen.

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