BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel The Story of the Tour de France: Volume 1, second edition South Salem Cycleworks vintage parts Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycles BiKyle Schwab Cycles Cycle Italia cycling tours Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 9, 2020

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. - Lucille Ball

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


Milano-San Remo team reports

We posted the report from third-place Michael Matthews' Team Sunweb with the results.

Here's the report from winner Wout van Aert's Jumbo-Visma team:

Wout van Aert has won Milan-Sanremo in a beautiful way. The Belgian was the fastest in a sprint-a-deux with Julian Alaphilippe, winning his first monument and the first monument of Team Jumbo-Visma since the Rabobank era.

Milan San Remo finish

Wout van Aert just beats Julian Alaphilippe. Sirotti photo

Van Aert, who was labeled a top favourite by many, has had a successful Italian week. He won Strade Bianche and sprinted to third place in Milano-Torino. It is Team Jumbo-Visma’s seventh victory of the season after a bizarre week that was overshadowed by the serious incident in the Tour of Poland. Van Aert: “Unfortunately it was a week with intense and mixed emotions. I am happy to be able to deliver this beauty to the team.”

In the 305 kilometre-long Milan-Sanremo, seven leaders escaped quickly. Partly due to the hard work of Antwan Tolhoek, they did not get much space. The race started on the Cipressa. Van Aert was well positioned in the peloton the entire time. Alaphilippe launched the decisive attack on the Poggio. Van Aert followed, but had to leave a gap just before the top. In the descent the two riders came together again. The chasing group came close, but the Belgian timed his sprint perfectly. Alaphilippe came close, but Van Aert took the longest on the Via Roma.

“I am super happy”, Van Aert said. “I can’t believe I won Milan-Sanremo and Strade Bianche. I have no words for it. To restart the season like this is crazy and really nice.”

He immediately felt that he had good legs. “I had a good feeling from the start. It is of course a very long course. In the beginning I focused on eating, drinking and staying cool.”

Van Aert was well supported by his teammates. “We were on a mission with the whole team. Antwan worked hard in the peloton. Bert-Jan Lindeman and Paul Martens kept me well in front. Then Timo Roosen stayed with me towards the Cipressa and Amund Jansen did a fantastic job on the Poggio. They were beyond themselves. That was very nice to see.”

Milan-San Remo fourth place Peter Sagan's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this report:

Spring had turned to Summer and so the 2020 edition of ‘La Primavera’ could be more accurately called ‘l’Estate’. Not only that, the longest race in the cycling calendar had an extra 6km added to its length, totalling 305km. In spite of these changes, La Classicissima itself remained the same – the sprinters’ classic that comes to life on the famous climbs of the Cipressa and the Poggio.

The break made their escape early on and this group of seven soon took an advantage of 6:30. This lead dropped as the day progressed, the bunch slowly chipping away at the break, with the time gap dropping to below three minutes as the escape started to lose tired riders around the 70km to go point.

With 40km remaining, the peloton closed in fast and the break started to attack one another in a last attempt to stay ahead, but it was for nothing, as they were caught with 35km left. This was where the race for the finale started. An attack on the slopes of the Cipressa was swiftly pulled back, before Daniel Oss went on the attack at the summit and his move stretched out the pack on the descent, shrinking the size of the peloton ahead of the Poggio before being caught at the foot of the climb.

Two riders made the jump off the front near the top of the Poggio - Van Aert and Alaphilippe – and increased their lead on the descent. As the race reached the finish line after more than seven hours in the saddle, it was moments too late to beat this breakaway duo. The chasers could only fight amongst themselves for the remaining positions, Peter Sagan crossing the line just two seconds after the winner to take fourth position in the sprint.

Milan San Remo start

The race starts in Milan. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
"This year's Milano-Sanremo was the longest one but I'd say it was less stressful than the previous editions. The climbs weren't as difficult and the peloton started being nervous after topping the Colle di Nava. As for me, I don't have yet the condition I had at this race in the past. My form is steadily getting better, after the Strade Bianche I have definitely improved but I'm not in a position yet where I could have responded to Van Aert and Alaphilippe on the Poggio. I think my season starts at the Tour de France this year and, in my view, I'm on the right track. Last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank all my teammates for their effort and dedication today." – Peter Sagan

"It was a long and hard race, 305km, under very hot conditions. Our strategy today was to provide Peter full support in the last 40km and the goal was to deliver him in a good position at the bottom of the Cipressa, stay there, not pull and just follow. After the Cipressa, our goal was to watch the riders in the front and pull. Daniel went alone in the front, going fast in the descent while the rest of the guys stayed with Peter and brought him again in a good position at the Poggio. There were attacks on the climb and for sure we missed Daniel there. Two riders went alone ahead and Peter found himself alone in the chasing group, with nobody to pull. In my opinion, this isn't the result we would have liked to achieve but overall, everybody gave their best. In the end, Peter was close once again, 4th this time. This is a good result, but we wanted to finally win this year." - Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director 

And EF Education First sent me this report:

When you get to the Cipressa, 27 kilometers from the finish, ‘that’s when you really know if you have the legs’. That is what Alberto Bettiol said a few days ago, but even if the legs are there this is still one of the hardest races to try and predict what the outcome will be. This edition did not disappoint.

As the race set out from Milan, 305 kilometers lay ahead, the longest edition the race has seen in its history. A seven man breakaway formed and was left mainly forgotten about for most of the seven hours and 15 minutes of racing. With 36 kilometers to go as the race kissed the shores of the Italian Riviera the break was finally reeled in. As the pace started to increase in anticipation of the yearly attacks on the Cipressa and Poggio some of the day’s main sprint guys began to struggle. Then, with six kilometers to go, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) made their decisive attack that saw them build only a few seconds lead on the bunch behind that had our own Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling) in it. As the bunch desperately chased, van Aert managed to pip Alaphilippe on the line to take the win. Alberto Bettiol was our top finisher, ultimately crossing the line in 18th position, two seconds behind the winning duo.

Milano-San Remo profile

You can see where the Cipressa comes, near the finish.

What the team had to say...

Fabrizio Guidi – sport director 
How are you feeling after today’s race?
“It was a very long day. It was very hot all day as well. Not too much to say about the performance. We lost a rider because of a flat tire between the Cipressa and the Poggio. Before the Cipressa we lost Mike Woods because he had a puncture then Simon Clarke broke his wheel and had to have a bike change. But we were also missing the legs in the most important stages of the race. We are going to have to analyze the situation to see how we move forward in the next races.”

Alberto Bettiol – rider
How did you feel today?
“It was a good day overall. I was feeling good all day. My teammates did a great job getting me  in position for the Cipressa and Poggio. Lawson and Magnus did a fantastic job bringing us bottles and food throughout the day. Mitch put me in position at the bottom of the Cipressa and Simon put me in position at the bottom of the Poggio. As a team, we rode it well. On the Poggio I was focused on the sprint and I didn’t see van Aert’s attack. I was focused on holding Sagan’s wheel for the sprint at 700m to go to the finish, I nearly crashed which pushed me back quite a bit and I didn’t have the legs to make it up afterwards. In general, I am happy with my result.”

Did you feel like the extra distance added on the race made a big difference?
“In the end, I think it played a bit of a role especially for the sprinters who struggled at the end. But I think in the overall outcome of the race, it didn’t make much of a difference. Milan-Sanremo is such a strange race. Sometimes it finishes with 30 riders in a sprint, sometimes the riders attack on the Poggio and finish solo like today. It looks like a really easy and straightforward race from the outside, but it’s really hard to read and interpret when you’re in it. I really hope I win it one day.”

We eagerly await that day.

Kaden Groves takes over race lead in stage three of the Czech Tour

Groves' Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this report:

Mitchelton-SCOTT will head into the final stage of the Czech Tour with the race lead after successfully defending the yellow jersey on stage three.

The day ended in another bunch sprint, with Australian Kaden Groves taking 16th place, moving him to the top of the general classification with one day to go.

Familiar Start
Five riders went clear to form the day’s breakaway, with Mitchelton-SCOTT happy enough to see the group drift up the road. Kiwi Jack Bauer assumed his role on the front of the peloton, sharing turns with race leader Luke Durbridge.

Team Sunweb then took over the pace making as the peloton hit the Pstevny climb and attacks soon followed. Australian Damien Howson was quick to follow the moves, and although nothing stuck, the increase in pace saw Durbridge and a host of riders distanced.

Familiar Finish
Meanwhile, the break was down to just one rider and by the time the race reached the final categorised climb of the day, it was all back together.

Mitchelton-SCOTT then amassed at the head of the pack, with Italian Edoardo Affini setting the tempo as the stage looked destined for another sprint finish.

It was another tricky finishing circuit to negotiate for the peloton with Michael Hepburn and Bauer working well to set Groves up as the finish line approached. However, a dropped chain with 150 metres to go derailed Groves' chances as Jordi Meeus (SEG Racing Academy) repeat his victory of the previous day.

Kaden Groves:
"It was a really good ride from the boys today, it was a really hard day actually. They were on the front with Eddy, Jack and Durbo pulling all day and again no real help from any other teams, so all the work was put towards them.

"When we got to the finish circuits after a few attacks it was all back together. It was quite a hard little finishing circuit with a few short climbs, narrow roads and a section of cobbles at the finish.

"At the finish Jack and Heppy (Michael Hepburn) did a really good turn to get in me in position, but unfortunately going into the final corner on the cobbles I dropped my chain with about 150metres to go and just had to roll over the line. It was disappointing after a good day with a lot of teamwork."

Dave McPartland (Sports Director):
"We let a group go early on and we were happy with it, five guys down the road and we let that go out to six-minutes. As we came to the climb in the middle of the stage it was around 4’30” and we were just going to cruise up the climb, then a couple of teams decided to rip it up.

"After all the work the guys had been doing it put us under the pump a bit. But in general, we were still better off than a lot of other teams, because a lot of other teams lost four or five guys and we only lost Durbo.

"We sort of rescued it from there on and we were in a position where we just had to keep things settled down as much as possible. We got through it and onto the hectic finish circuit and luckily everyone made it through, we didn’t come out with a result with Kaden, but it wasn’t to be."

Czech Tour – Stage 3 Results
1. Jordi Meeus (SEG Racing Academy) 5:18:38
2. Max Kanter (Team Sunweb) ST
3. Martin Laas (BORA – Hansgrohe) ST
16. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:02

Czech Tour – General Classification after Stage 3
1. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

Team Jumbo-Visma statement about the Tour of Poland crash

After the events and the terrible crash in the first stage of the Tour of Poland 2020 Team Jumbo-Visma wish to state the following:

1. We are shocked by the consequences of the crash. We hope for the best for Fabio Jakobsen. Our thoughts are with Fabio and we hope with all our heart he will recover. We also hope and wish that the other people involved will recover soon. We wish them all the best.

2. The last two days we took the time to discuss this situation internally and Team Jumbo-Visma found it important to first discuss it with Dylan as well.

3. Dylan is devastated about what has happened and the, unintentional, severe consequences for others involved in the crash. He feels very sorry.

4. Dylan acknowledges that he made an incorrect move by deviating from his line and that he has been correctly disqualified.

5. Team Jumbo-Visma stands for fair sportsmanship, within the rules. With his move Dylan broke a sports rule and that’s unacceptable.

6. We have decided that Dylan will not start in a race until the judgment of the disciplinary committee to which the UCI has handed over the incident.

7. We will support Dylan and his family as a team to come through this (mentally) tough times for them. Some of the ways they are approached are reprehensible.

8. For now, the health and recovery of Fabio prevails. Our thoughts go out to Fabio Jakobsen and the other people involved in the terrible crash in the Tour of Poland.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary