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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi


Current races:

Upcoming races:

Cancelled & postponed races:

Latest completed racing:


Team Qhubeka-Assos reports on Royal Drome Classic

Here's the team's report on a race we don't follow:

Andrea Bagioli (DQS) won the 9th Royal Bernard Drome Classic finishing eleven seconds ahead of the bunch

Defending champion, Simon Clarke placed in 5th place for Team Qhubeka-Assos, riding strongly in the race. It was a team effort throughout, with multiple appearances on the front of the peloton, keeping the break at a controlled distance.

Once the break was caught, there were plenty of attacks off the reduced peloton, with Bagioli staying away to secure the win. The reduced bunch sprint saw Darryl Impey (ISN) placing second and Mikkel Frølich Honoré (DQS) third.

Andrea Bagioli

Andrea Bagioli winning the second stage of the Coppi-Bartali Week. Sirotti photo.

Simon Clarke:
"It was a good race, I was really motivated to try and defend my victory from last year and I tried to approach the race from a tactical point of view similar to what I did last year. For the most part, it worked out quite well. I had good legs and I was feeling good. Unfortunately, I think I started following the attacks a little bit too early, which is where the race split up last year.

“In the end, everything came back together for a bit of a sprint, in hindsight, maybe I should have taken it a bit easier and focused on the final stretch. The positives were that I was feeling good, and I was in the front.

“The team were also super strong, they rode for me all day, I owe a big thanks to them for helping me and putting me in the right position. I had Fabio Aru with me in the final, helping me out and making sure everything was ok.

“It was a good day all round and hopefully, we can carry this teamwork and motivation through to our coming races."

Team DSM's upcoming racing

The squad sent me this:

Strade Bianche: MAR 6

Luke Roberts - Team DSM coach
"The forecast for this Saturday's Strade Bianche looks to be a wet day, which could make this years edition quite an epic day in the saddle. We go to the race with a motivated group where we’re aiming for a good result with the team. We have Romain [Bardet] returning to the race for the first time since his second place in 2018, and after a good showing on the cobbles at Omloop last weekend. Cyclo-crosser Joris and ex-mountain-biker Chris know how to handle themselves on the gravel roads, and they’ll both aim to make it far into the race providing us with options.  We also have some solid support at the race with Thymen, Romain [Combaud], Martijn and Kevin."

Line-up
Thymen Arensman (NED)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Women's Strade Bianche: MAR 6

Albert Timmer - Team DSM coach
"After the cobbles last weekend, we're ready to take on the gravel roads of Strade Bianche this Saturday for the first Women's WorldTour race of the year. We head to the race with a well-balanced, strong team, and we have several options that we can play throughout the day. Floortje, Juliette and Liane all bring different qualities to the group and we aim to use each of their qualities well in the finale with some attacking racing. In Franziska, Leah and Wilma we have three strong support riders who will keep the other three safe and protected to go for it the finale, with Leah using her experience as road captain."

Line-up
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Wilma Olausson (SWE)

Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré: MAR 7

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"GP Monseré is a hard race, that often ends in a sprint or reduced sprint finish. On the start line we have four riders making their debut for the team; Oscar, Pavel, Pepijn and Tobias. This is also their first race at this level after moving out of the junior category, so it's a great opportunity for them. Our focus with the younger guys is to gain experience at this level and look to how we work as a team - working together throughout the day, focusing on the race processes, racing aggressively and trying to make the early breakaway. Henri, Leo and Marius have more experience competing over the 200 kilometre long race distance and if the race comes down to the expected sprint finish, we'll work to set up Marius for the finale."

Line-up
Tobias Lund Andresen (DEN)
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Leo Hayter (GBR)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Pepijn Reinderink (NED)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)

Paris-Nice: MAR 7-14

Marc Reef - Team DSM coach
"We go to Paris-Nice in quest of a good team GC result and success in the sprints. After an extremely strong showing here last year with Tiesj finishing second overall, we'll look to take the same process again, using a day by day approach to see what next steps we can take in his GC development. We need to be attentive as a unit in the first three stages because as we saw last season, the wind can split the race up, so riding well as a group there is important. An individual time trial follows, before three tough days around Nice will decide the final GC. We have a really well mixed team for the race, with Søren and Jai able to ride strongly in the hills and mountains, while Casper, Nils and Jasha will provide the firepower on the flat. Cees will of course be our guy for the fast sprints and we'll build a strong lead-out around him to really go for it on those days."

Tiesj Benoot

Tiesj Benoot winning stage 6 of 2020 Paris-Nice. Sirotti photo

Line-up
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Cees Bol (NED)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER)

Blackburn accessories will be available at Walmart

Time are changing. Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Accessory manufacturer Blackburn Design announced a partnership with Walmart on Thursday to offer products from 10 categories, including pumps, lights, locks, and tools.

Blackburn said in a news release it's providing products to the big-box chain in order to "meet demand for quality accessories by bringing the product to a broader base of cyclists in the U.S."

In addition to being sold in all Walmart stores, Blackburn accessories will be available online through Walmart.com.

"As millions of people enter the cycling space via product purchased from Walmart each year, a growing segment of these customers are seeking to enjoy the benefits of cycling, and to take their riding further," according to the news release."Ultimately, the experience these customers have will influence their enthusiasm for cycling and create an opportunity to grow the sport across all channels and segments. This move will create a larger and more diverse generation of cyclists and increased demand for the Blackburn brand."

You can read the entire story here.

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