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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Bora-hansgrohe reports on Tour de Romandie prologue

We posted the report from winner Jan Tratnik's Bahrain-Merida team with the results.

Here's the Bora-hansgrohe report:

The 73rd edition of the Tour de Romandie kicked off, like every year, with a 3,8-kilometre-long prologue time trial. Start and finish was the city of Neuchâtel, close to lake Neuchâtel and capital of the Kanton Neuenburg. The first BORA – hansgrohe rider to leave the start ramp, was Erik Baska, followed by Shane Archbold and Sam Bennett. All three finished the prologue in a solid time of around 5:20. Christoph Pfingsten started into the race in the afternoon and crossed the line after 5:19:28 minutes.

Jan Tratnik

Jan Tratnik on his way to winning the prologue. Sirotti photo

The polish time trial champion Maciej Bodnar was the next BORA – hansgrohe rider to tackle the quite technical course. As expected, Maciej Bodnar put in a strong effort and finished in a time of 5:11:72, which was good enough to secure ninth place in the end. Teammate Emanuel Buchmann tested his legs for the upcoming stages and crossed the line safely with a solid performance, eight seconds slower than Bodnar.

The last BORA – hansgrohe rider was Tour of Turkey winner Felix Großschartner. The time trial specialist showed again a great performance and crossed the line after 5:12:54 minutes, which meant 13thplace on today's opening prologue. This also puts him in a promising position for the upcoming stages of the Tour de Romandie.'

"It was a very technical time trial, with some tricky corners. Maciej put in a good effort, and also our two GC-contenders Felix and Emanuel rode a solid race, avoiding to lose any important time for the overall ranking. I think, it was a good start for us here at the Tour of Romandie with these results. It is a well-casted stage race, therefore we focus on tomorrow's first demanding road stage." – Steffen Radochla, Sports Director

"It was a flat but very technical course, but all in all I am satisfied with my result. A prologue is different to a normal time trial, which suits me better. In the end, I finished in 9th position, of course, a podium spot is always nice to achieve, but I am here to help our GC guys and Sam for the sprint. Therefore, I am happy how today's opener ended for me. Tomorrow we have a demanding stage and I will try to help our GC contenders as good as possible." – Maciej Bodnar

Lotto-Soudal previews Eschborn-Frankfurt

The team sent me this:

The German one-day race Eschborn-Frankfurt takes place on Wednesday 1 May. The course of this WorldTour race should certainly not be underestimated. The riders have to climb the steep Mammolshain four times. At the end, there are two local laps through the city centre of Frankfurt am Main. Alexander Kristoff has won four times in the past five years. Sports director Bart Leysen tells some more about the task division at Lotto Soudal.

Alexander Kristoff

Alexander Kristoff winning in 2018

Bart Leysen, sports director at Lotto Soudal: "This is the last of the spring Classics. In terms of difficulty, I would place the middle part of this race between the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Early on the course lies the quite long, but not too steep Feldberg. Usually, the breakaway has already formed ahead of that climb, so there the pace is moderate. Then, they will climb the Mammolshain four times, where a selection will be made in the peloton. It is often a very strange race. Given the good weather, I expect that a large number of riders can return in the finale. Maybe a big group will still be sprinting for the victory. The winner will be a strong sprinter, who can also handle himself on a Classics course."

"It is very unfortunate for us that Bjorg Lambrecht cannot participate due to illness. In theory, he was our leader. Our goal remains to achieve a good result. I think Tomasz Marczyński could show a great performance. I expect that he is able to survive within a small group. For Adam Hansen, it is the first race after his crash in the Tour of the Basque Country. He is now preparing for the Giro. That also counts for Roger Kluge, who as a German should also be present in the finale. I saw him getting better each day during the Tour of Turkey. Lawrence Naesen, Rémy Mertz and Frederik Frison start racing again after the Flemish Classics."

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Frederik Frison, Adam Hansen, Roger Kluge, Tomasz Marczyński, Rémy Mertz, Lawrence Naesen and Enzo Wouters.

Sports director: Bart Leysen.

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