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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 1, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Many people resented my impatience and honesty, but I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect. - Jackie Robinson

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Challenge Illes Balears/Trofeo de Tramuntana reports

We posted the report from winner Emanuel Buchmann with the race results.

Here's the report from second-place Alejandro Valderde's Movistar team:

Emanuel Buchmann (BOH) took the win at the 2020 edition of the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, the second round of the Challenge Mallorca, over 160km from Sóller to Deià with a tough final course over the climbs of Femenies (Cat-2), Sa Batalla (NC), Puigmajor (Cat-2) and Bleda (Cat-3). The German got the better from a strong Movistar Team and finished solo ahead of a selected peloton led home by Alejandro Valverde (2nd), who claimed the Telefónica-backed squad’s first podium this year.

Emanuel Buchmann

Emanuel Buchmann wins the race.

José Joaquín Rojas and Héctor Carretero kept under control the early, seven-man breakaway plus a subsequent attempt by Lennard Kämna (BOH) into the Femenies climb. The pacemaking by Dario Cataldo and Antonio Pedrero led to several attacks from Soler, joined by Buchmann, and Enric Mas as well as Valverde, the latter coming back to the lead with Harm Vanhoucke (LTS) in his wheel. However, Buchmann left everyone behind at the descent of the Puigmajor and ammassed a gap over 50″, which a final push from Mas through Bleda could not neutralize.

Valverde comfortably led the pursuit group’s sprint and will now focus on his second chance this weekend, Saturday’s Trofeo Pollença – Port d’Andratx (168km), featuring a demanding finish of 2km at nearly 9% average. At round three of the Challenge, Valverde will be joined by the same six team-mates from Friday, except for Davide Villella, who will be replacing Carretero.

World-class triathlete Cameron Wurf joins Team INEOS

Team INEOS sent me this release:

Team INEOS can confirm the signing of world-class triathlete Cameron Wurf, who will make his debut in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday.

The world-record holder of the bike leg in the Ironman World Championships, Wurf will fill the vacant spot on the Team’s roster following the forced early retirement of Vasil Kiryienka. He will be ready to race for the Team across the first part of the season, before his focus switches back to Ironman in the months leading up to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in October.

Coached by Tim Kerrison, Team INEOS’ Head Coach, Wurf is targeting an improvement to his fifth place finish last year. The Australian is on an upward trajectory in the discipline, having finished 17th (2017), ninth (2018) and fifth (2019) in Kona.

Wurf, 36, started his sporting career as a rower and competed for Australia at the 2004 Olympics. He transitioned to professional cycling and rode at WorldTour level for Fuji Servetto (2009), Liquigas (2011) and Cannondale (2013-14), before taking up Ironman in 2016. He has been coached by Kerrison since 2017.

Wurf first trained with the Team in early 2017 and is renowned as one of the hardest trainers in sport. He has become a regular training partner for the Team’s riders, particularly Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Pavel Sivakov.

Wurf said: "We’ve tried a number of different approaches to my training and racing over the past few years and I’ve been getting better and faster as a result. This is an evolution of that approach. Since I’ve been competing in Ironman, everyone has started riding a lot faster, but they’re also still running just as fast. This move will allow me to stay on the front foot because the bike is my strongest discipline.

"I’m focused on Kona in October but there’s also an opportunity to be of use to the Team when needed before that. I know lots of people in the team and have trained with many of the riders, and I feel like I fit in with the culture here.

"This is an organisation I’ve dreamt of being part of since it started and it’s amazing to officially pull on the colours. I am really excited and proud to represent Team INEOS."

Kerrison said: “Cameron will be joining the Team to continue to pursue his Ironman career. The combination of his physical strength and versatility on the bike, his flexible schedule, and past experience racing at WorldTour level makes this an interesting and unique proposition for the Team and for Cameron.

“For the first part of the season he will be always ready and available to race as required, while for the months leading into Kona his focus will shift back to Ironman, with the aim of improving on last year’s fifth place with the full support of the Team.

“For the past three years he has been supported by many of our main sponsors - Pinarello, Kask, Castelli, Fizik, and often trained with our riders. He has developed into one of the top performing and most consistent Ironman triathletes in the world.”

Team Astana to ride Tour of Saudi Arabia

Here's the team's news release:

Astana Pro Team is going to take part in the UCI Asia Tour stage race Tour of Saudi Arabia (2.1), which will be held from February 4th to 8th.

Team's line-up: Zhandos Bizhigitov, Hernando Bohorquez, Manuele Boaro, Yevgeniy Gidich, Davide Martinelli, Yuriy Natarov and Artyom Zakharov.

Manuele Boaro

Manuele Boaro (shown at this year's Schwalbe Classic) will head to Saudi Arabia. Sirotti photo

Sports directors in race: Dmitri Sedoun and Stefano Zanini.

NTT Pro Cycling previews GP La Marseillaise

Here's the team's update:

On Sunday, NTT Pro Cycling will get its European racing season underway when it takes the start at GP Cyclista le Marseillaise, in France.

The GP la Marseillaise is a UCI 1.1 event, taking place in the hills around Marseille. Riders will have a tough 145km to contend with, with little to no flat road anywhere on the route.

Previous editions of the event have provided for exciting finales in recent years, as both breakaway’s and reduced group sprints have each had their chances to take out the victory.

NTT Pro Cycling have a strong classics styled team for this French race, with both Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Valgren starting their seasons in Marseille, on Sunday.

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Edvald Boasson Hagen will be in Marseille Sunday. Sirotti photo

Ben O’Connor will join our two Scandinavian classics specialists, along with Jay Thomson, Michael Gogl and Andreas Stokbro.

Ben O’Connor – Rider:
“First European race for us this year – and one in which we will try win. It’s not an easy course, and it will be hard to judge whether to control or animate! We have a number of options, especially with the classics boys like Eddy if we can keep it together for a small bunch sprint. Personally, I cannot wait to get amongst it all again, race as a team and aim for the win!”

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