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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, April 21, 2019

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UAE-Team Emirates reports on Tour of Turkey stage five

We've posted the report from winner Felix Großschartner's Bora-hansgrohe team with the race results

The UAE-Team Emirates sent me this:

Valerio Conti fought until the last metre of the Tour of Turkey stage five, finishing runner up behind Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe). With his push, he moved to second overall.

Felix Grosschartner

Felix Großschartner wins stage five.

The stage began from Bursa and made the new climb to Kartepe, shortened by four kilometres due to the heavy snowfall near the original finish line. However, the new finish proved very demanding, also due to the cold that affected the riders.

Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) made the first decisive move mid-climb, and only Valerio Conti, Merhawi Kudus (Astana) and Felix Grosschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) managed to stay in the wake of the young Belgian. At 2km from the finish line, a counter-attack by Kudus seemed to be a winner, but Grosschartner returned to the Eritrean and at -250 meters, he took the lead. With the win, he moved on top of the overall classification.

Valerio Conti kept Kudus in sight and did not lose heart. He gradually recovered ground, overcoming him a few metres from the finish. He took second on the stage (+9 “) and moved to second place in the general classification (+19″).

With a regular pace, Jan Polanc completed the stage with a good sixth place (+51″) and is now in overall overall standings (+ 1’07”).

“It was a difficult stage both physically and mentally,” explained Conti (photo Bettini). “The cold and the rain accompanied us all day and the final climb was very hard. I gave my best for the team and myself, although I suffer in this type of weather. Second place is a great result, I’m happy“.

Last stage of the Tour of Turkey will be suitable for the sprinters: Sakarya-Istanbul, 172,4 km.

Deceuninck-Quick Step previews Amstel Gold Race

Here's the team's post:

The peloton has exited the cobbles last week and prepares to head into the Ardennes Classics, the last major one-day races of the spring, which kick off with the 54th edition of Amstel Gold Race, taking place from Maastricht to Berg en Terblijt over a 265.7km-long course, with narrow and twisting roads, and peppered with a total of 35 climbs. Among the most testing hills there’s the Cauberg – the most used ascent in the history of the World Championships – Kruisberg or Bemelerberg, the last difficulty of the day, topped with 7.3 kilometers to go.

Winner of nine one-day races so far this year, including two of the season’s first three Monuments (Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix), Deceuninck – Quick-Step will come at the start with a strong team, headlined by Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert.

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert winning Amstel Gold in 2017. Sirotti photo

Runner-up a few days ago at Brabantse Pijl, Julian raced Amstel Gold Race on four occasions and featured in the main selection three times, finishing 7th, 6th and 7th, results that backed by his impressive form in 2019 make him one of the main contenders. For Philippe, it will be the 14th start at the Dutch classic, which the Belgian has won on four occasions (2010, 2011, 2014, 2017), a coveted feat only one other rider has achieved since its inception.

Our seven-man squad for Sunday’s race, the 18th World Tour appointment of the season, will be rounded out by Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, neo-pro Mikkel Honoré – who is making his debut in a World Tour classic – Pieter Serry and Petr Vakoč.

“We come here with two leaders – Julian, who tested his legs on Wednesday at Brabantse, and Philippe, who skipped the race to recover after Paris-Roubaix and feels good, so we can look to Amstel with confidence. Dries and Pieter have a deep knowledge of the parcours and will play an important role supporting our two guys, together with Rémi, Mikkel and Petr”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt. “There won’t be too much wind on Sunday and the temperatures will be nice, and that will make for a very fast race, which means we have to stay focused at all times.”

UAE-Team Emirates for the Ardennes Classics

The team sent me this update:

The UAE Team Emirates faces three important WorldTour races within one week – the Ardennes Classics. The races include the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, 261.7km, the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, 195.5km and the Belgian monument, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 256km, on the following Sunday.

General Manager Joxean Matxin (Esp), supported by Paolo Tiralongo (Ita), will lead these rosters:

Amstel Gold Race:
– Rui Costa (Por)
– Sergio Henao (Col)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)
– Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
– Edward Ravasi (Ita)
– Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Flèche Wallonne & Liège-Bastogne-Liège
– Rui Costa (Por)
– Sergio Henao (Col)
– Daniel Martin (Irl)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)
– Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Joxean Matxin said, “We face the Ardennes triple with a formation that offers so many possibilities to be protagonists and to fight for important results: winning is very difficult because these three races are coveted and the competition is at a high level, but our team is well balanced and equipped well for our ambitions.

Dan Martin

Dan Martin (shown in the 2018 Tour de France) will miss the Amstel Gold Race but will be on the line for Flèche Wallonne & Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Daniel Martin is a reference point for these races, he will focus on the Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liège, while for the Amstel Gold Race, we will be able to count on Rui Costa, Henao, Ulissi.

For Pogačar, this week will be an important experience, he will race without pressure and will have the chance to measure his talents in these races. Petilli and Ravasi will definitely give a spark to the team in the Amstel Gold Race, while the experience of Mori and Sutherland will be important in Flèche and Liège“.

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