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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, October 16, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

People say satire is dead. It's not dead; it's alive and living in the White House. - Robin Williams

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Tour of Turkey final team reports

Here's what GC winner Diego Ulissi's UAE Team Emirates sent me:

In Istanbul, Diego Ulissi signed his name to the golden legends of the Tour of Turkey. The captain of UAE Team Emirates had no problem defending the general classification leader jersey in the last stage of the Turkish race (Istanbul-Istanbul, 143.7 km), clinching the first World Tour of his career (his 29th success as pro)

Ulissi has a 12-second advantage on Hansen (2nd); and 24" on Masnada (3rd).

Theuns got the best of Pelucchi in the conclusive stage, at the end of a sprint that was influenced by a fall on the last curve. Ulissi came in 6th place.

“Today my team mates again did a great job, helping me to stay in the positions at the head of the pack as we approached the last uphill of the route,” emphasised Diego Ulissi “It was the crucial moment of the stage, we did a good job avoiding all risks. I preferred to use some energy to stay out front rather than run any risk.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi winning Tour of Turkey stage four

I came to Turkey with the intention to win the general classification. It was a challenging goal, but my team mates and I have been impeccable all week, a magnificent week. I thank the entire team and our sponsors, I’ve closed out the season in the best way possible ”

Results stage 6
1 Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) 3h24’32”
2 Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe) 2″
3 Francesco Gavazzi (Androni-Sidermec-Bottecchia) s.t.
6 Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.

Final general classification
1 Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) 26h32’15”
2 Jesper Hansen (Astana) 12″
3 Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec-Bottecchia) 24″

And here's Bora-hansgrohe's final Tour of Turkey update:

Matteo Pelucchi takes second place in Tour of Turkey´s final stage, teammate Sam Bennett loses the points jersey due to a crash shortly before the finish.

The last day at the Tour of Turkey was dominated by a breakaway, which was gone for most of the stage. Only 3km before the finish, the peloton closed the gap and another bunch sprint was set up. Sam Bennett and Matteo Pelucchi opened, with later winner E. Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), a small gap over the main bunch. But on the last corner, Sam Bennett hit the ground, he managed to get back on the bike without any injuries but lost the points jersey, while teammate Matteo Pelucchi took second.

The final stage at the 53rd Presidential Tour of Turkey started and finished in the city of Istanbul. 143.7 kilometres with a fourth category climb and one intermediate sprint built today´s last stage. This flat course was again a stage for the sprinters, especially for Sam Bennett, who was the leader in the sprint classification. Michael Schwarzmann had to abandon the race due to some injuries after his crash yesterday.

A four-man breakaway escaped relatively early and built up a maximum gap of two minutes.  BORA – hansgrohe was presented in the front of the peloton, working for their leader Sam. Silvio Herklotz did a stellar job and took control over the pace in the pack.

The quartet was gone for most of the stage, as the race came into the city centre of Istanbul, the peloton increased the pace. With the gap dropping steadily, it was all back together with only 3km remaining.

The pace was high as the race headed into the finale and BORA – hansgrohe started their leadout for Sam Bennett.

At the 2km mark a crash had split the peloton into two groups. Luckily, BORA – hansgrohe was in the leading group. Sam Bennett, Matteo Pelucchi and E. Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) were in front of the race. Suddenly, on the last corner, Sam Bennett slipped away and hit the ground. Matteo Pelucchi and E. Theuns sprinted for the stage win, but Theuns was the fastest man today and took the win ahead of Matteo. In the meantime, Sam Bennett was back on the bike without any injuries, he crossed the finish line but lost the sprint jersey. 

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett winning stage five

Enrico Poitschke, had mixed feelings after this final stage, “It's a pity, we lost the sprint jersey on the last day. Sam had good legs but hit the ground on the final corner and due to that, he lost the jersey. Luckily, he hasn’t any injuries. Matteo took second, which is really a good result. The tour started perfect but ended with mixed feelings.”

BMC Racing Team motivated for inaugural Tour of Guangxi

BMC sent me this release:

15 October, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will line up at the inaugural Tour of Guangxi, the final UCI WorldTour race of the season, from October 19-24.

Sports Director Marco Pinotti said BMC Racing Team has multiple cards to play for the General Classification and stage wins.

"For the General Classification at the Tour of Guangxi, we have both Ben Hermans and Nicolas Roche. Both riders showed their good condition recently at Il Lombardia and they can take advantage of their current form and end their seasons well. All of our riders will have the possibility to step up and take any opportunities that present themselves. At the end of the season, riders are always motivated for a good result to end their year well and with this being the inaugural edition of the Tour of Guangxi, I think all of our riders will be looking for a good result," Pinotti explained.

"Most of the stages seem to be favor fast riders and then the uphill finish on stage 4 is good for the punchers and climbers. As usual, it will be the riders who make the race and given we have never raced on the parcours before, any stage could have an unexpected outcome."

Hermans is motivated to do well in his last race with BMC Racing Team. "After the two races in Italy, Giro dell'Emilia and Il Lombardia, my motivation is high to get a good result. I had good form there, so I want to finish well in the last race of the season. We don't know what to expect for the parcours. Looking at the stage profiles, I think the steep uphill finish of stage 4 will suit me. I hope the legs will be good that day and I can get the result we are aiming for," Hermans said.

"Of course, you always want to go for the win with somebody in the team, but first you need to find the good feeling in the first stages and plan from there. It is always a question of how you handled the long trip to a race like that and how well you have recovered for the last race of the season. We also have Nicolas Roche in good shape for this race, the race could be decided on any of the six stages."

Tour of Guangxi (19-24 October)

Rider roster: Silvan Dillier (SUI), Floris Gerts (NED), Ben Hermans (BEL), Daniel Oss (ITA), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Manuel Senni (ITA).

Sports Directors: Marco Pinotti (ITA), Allan Peiper (AUS).

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