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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. - Desmond Tutu

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Vuelta a España rest day news

Marc Soler apologizes for anger at team orders

Here is the short report posted by Eurosport:

Marc Soler has apologized after his furious reaction to team orders during Stage 9 of La Vuelta.

Spanish rider Marc Soler gesticulated wildly after he was told to wait for Movistar team-mate Nairo Quintana, denying him the opportunity of claiming a maiden Grand Tour stage win.


Alejandro Valverde climbing to the finish in stage nine with Marc Soler on his wheel. Sirotti photo.

"We’ve spoken about it. Above all, I want to apologise to Movistar, to Nairo, and to the whole team. It won’t happen again. It was the heat of the moment. We came here to win the race with Nairo or Alejandro and that’s why we’re here. It won’t happen again,” Soler told Marca.

Soler was the remaining survivor of the early break when Quintana attacked from the GC group, and Soler’s frustration was visible when the order came for the Spaniard to sit up to help his team-mate.

Team sports director Pablo Lastras chastened Soler in the aftermath of the race, saying: “The images are there, we’re not going to deny what’s clear to see. We have to take responsibility and clear things up. The Calpe stage [stage 2] he lost a fair bit of time and so we said to him that he was switching to a different role. He clearly didn’t hear that so we’re going to have to explain it to him again.”

You can read the entire report and view a video of the incident on Eurosport.

Movistar anticipates Tuesday's time trial

Here's the team's post:

Nairo Quintana:
“At least I’m in the lead today! (laughs) We know it’s going to be a really important day tomorrow. Even if we’ve got the red jersey on our hands right now, it’s been and still is anyone’s race at the moment. With the current situation, though, we’re conscious -and we’ve stated that already before- that the virtual leader is Roglic, since he’s going to put time on us at tomorrow’s TT as he’s a real specialist. We’re going to check it out now [the press conference was held before the morning recon – ed.] We’ll try to leave everything on the road tomorrow, and after the TT, together with the team, trying to gain time back into the following mountains.”

“We haven’t talked through this yet (with Marc). What we really care about at the moment is the great work the whole team has done all race, and especially yesterday: at the start of the stage, putting riders into the early break, and later on, doing our thing together with the other team-mates. We will keep pushing and work as orderly as possible. A gesture shouldn’t be anything we make a huge fuss about. We must enjoy the results we’ve got so far and look forward to what’s to come.”

“A team leader above the other? No. What’s important here is the team as a whole. The strongest one in the end will help the other, and we’ll continue working together. The one who finds better legs or condition near the end will have our full support. We’ve got a strong team and we’ve followed a good line from day one – that makes us remain calm and confident towards the remainder of the race.”

“The Asturias stages and Machucos will be tough, and they come at the end of week two of the race, with everything it means. Together with the two tough stages in Madrid and Ávila on week three, we will have good chances to gain time in the decisive stages of the race.”

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana has the leader's red jersey. Sirotti photo.

Alejandro Valverde:
“I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I’m recovered from yesterday’s effort. It was an extreme finish, a tough, dangerous one, under cold weather. You’re almost above the limit, on your highest heartrate… A really complicated day for everyone who was able to finish. We were even lucky it was only like that at the end, and not the whole stage as initially forecast. I don’t know how many would have finished the stage otherwise. It was hard for everyone, and I feel recovered after that effort.”

“Our strategy yesterday was always trying to leave our rivals behind with attacks, not pulling for them. At the final climb Nairo went off the front with Pogacar, then I saw some weakness in ‘Superman’ and tried to bridge, but never bringing him back to Nairo with my move. The first time I tried, I saw him following me and stopped, but later on, I was able to create a gap.”

“We must feel happy about what we’ve got. We’ve got good health, we’ve won two stages, Nairo is in the lead, I’m in fourth place – and there’s still so much left in this Vuelta, a very open race at the moment. It’s not about the team leader being one or the other. It’s about working well together so the Vuelta is won by one of us. We must take those efforts together and try, whether it’s me or him, to reach as far as possible. There’s so many tough stages still remaining, with two strong rivals like Roglic and López we have to beat in order the claim the win.”

“A contest between us two for the victory? I wish (laughs). If Nairo is first and I’m second, there won’t be any fight. But I don’t think such will be the case. We’ve got tough contenders between us, such as Roglic, who will take advantage of the ITT as it suits him perfectly, and he’s never shown real weakness on the climbs. Then there’s ‘Superman’, who might not have a strong point in his favour at the TT, yet he’s one you must never lose sight of, a dangerous, strong rider.”

“The second week is so tough, but also the Sierra de Madrid will be dangerous. We’ve seen many times how riders in a strong position cracked there. Any stage can be dangerous. We’ve been on our limit for many days now, and anything could happen on weeks two and three.”

Richard Carapaz to join Team INEOS in 2020

Team INEOS sent me this:

Richard Carapaz will join Team INEOS from the start of the 2020 season.
The reigning Giro d’Italia champion has agreed a three-year deal and will add to an increasingly strong contingent of young international talent on the team.

Richard Carapaz

Ricjard Carapaz will be sporting Team INEOS' colors in 2020. Sirotti photo

In winning the Giro earlier this year, the 26-year-old Ecuadorian became the first rider from his country to win a Grand Tour.

Carapaz said: “I am very excited about joining the team. I feel this is a great opportunity for me to continue my development and growth as a rider, working with a team that continues to go from strength-to-strength, year after year.

“I already know a lot of the riders on the team and I am really looking forward to working everyone at Team INEOS from next season. I believe I will fit into this group well and race to my full potential over the coming years. I want to achieve some great triumphs for Team INEOS.”

As well as his Giro d’Italia success, Carapaz – who becomes Team INEOS’ first signing of 2020 – also has three Giro stage victories to his name, and is a two-time winner of the Vuelta Asturias stage race (2018 & 2019).

Team INEOS Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, welcomed the news of Carapaz’s arrival, commenting: “We are very pleased to have signed Richard from the start of the 2020 season. We have been long time admirers of his talents as a bike rider and have followed his development closely over a number of years, as we have always marked him out as a potential member of our Team.

“He is obviously a fantastic climber but also has great versatility as he showed at the Giro earlier this year. He is still relatively young and I have no doubt he can develop and improve even further at Team INEOS.”

Team Sunweb's upcoming races

The team sent me this schedule:

OVO Energy Tour of Britain, SEP 7-14

Matt Winston - Team Sunweb coach:
"We have a nice mix of youth and experience for this year's Tour of Britain. We will look to target the sprint stages with Cees, with Nils riding in support of him. We have options for the individual TT with Chad on stage six, which takes place on a fast course. We will look to keep our GC interests alive with Chris, where we will need to put a big focus on stages four and seven which look like the big GC days throughout the race."

Cees Bol (NED)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Chad Haga (USA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)

Roy Curvers

Roy Curvers will be at the Tour of Britain. Sirotti photo

Brussels Cycling Classic: SEP 7

Bennie Lambregts - Team Sunweb coach:
"The Brussels Cycling Classic is the first of a Belgian double header for our team this weekend. The route contains a lot of categorised hills earlier in the day, before they become less frequent towards the finish. The race is normally decided in a reduced bunch sprint and we expect it to be the same this year, in which we will look to set up Niklas for the finale. It will be a good learning experience for the team as they take part in a tough race against strong opposition."

Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Edo Maas (NED)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)

Antwerp Port Epic: SEP 8

Bennie Lambregts - Team Sunweb coach:
"Antwerp Port Epic is one of the most difficult races in the calendar as the parcours features several kilometres of dirt and loose gravel roads. We arrive at the race with a motivated team and we aim to be active in the front and attentive when any attacks are made. It's a tough race to control so we arrive with a more open approach but if a group is heading to the finish together then we will look to set up Niklas for the sprint."

Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Nils Sinschek (NED)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)

Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè to debut in 2020

The team sent me this release:

Bardiani-CSF Pro Cycling Team is pleased to welcome Faizanè as third title sponsor. The company is one of the most innovative and advanced in the Veneto region, specialized in the production of custom-made technoplastic products for industry and pneumatic systems.

Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, general and team manager of Bardiani-CSF, have signed an agreement with Martino Dal Santo, president of Faizanè, which links the company to the team for the next three seasons, from 2020 to 2022. From January, the official name of the team will be "Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè Pro Cycling Team".

Bardiani team

The Bardiani-CSF team in 2019

Bruno Reverberi, General Manager Bardiani-CSF: "It was a long courtship, but we are very satisfied and happy to have Faizanè alongside our historical title sponsors Bardiani and CSF. In recent months there has been a succession of rumors related to our team and the companies that have supported team Nippo-Fantini-Faizanè. For our part, we have worked towards two targets. The first, dedicated to companies that still wanted to invest in cycling, was to offer them a solid reality to rely on and an ambitious sports project to believe in. The second, for the team, was not to give up the Italian nature of the project, carried out with pride and not without difficulties, and to ensure investment to strengthen roster and structure. Both have been fully achieved".

Martino Dal Santo, President of Faizanè: "Starting the partnership with the Reverberi family was a contemplated and absolutely convinced decision. When Pelosi told us that, at the end of the year, the team would stop its activity, we moved immediately to understand what options we had. My intention, that of my sister Gabriella and my brother Maurizio, was to continue to convey the brand through professional cycling. There was never any doubt about it, but we wanted to make the best choice, carefully assessing the economic commitment and the return of image”.

"When we met Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, a positive mood of discussion was created right from the start. The all-Italian project was the fundamental element from which everything started. We are a proudly Italian company, with over 70% of turnover on the national market: the affinity with the team is very strong. As well as the ambition to build an increasingly solid and ambitious project. We are confident that we are linked to a great team that deserves to be trusted".

"For us, cycling is an investment in marketing and passion. Our father Pietro introduced us to this beautiful sport and love has grown more and more. Two years ago we started our first pro-cycling sponsorship thinking of him, as if to give him a gift now that he's gone. Now we don't want to leave this world anymore. I thank Pelosi and the staff of Nippo-Fantini-Faizanè because they allowed us to live the team as a family. I feel that with Reverberi this feeling will not be interrupted”.

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