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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, January 24, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book. - Marcel Proust


Tour de France: 2020

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2020: A Year of New Faces is available as an audiobook here. For the Kindle eBook version, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Ruby Roseman-Gannon leads the Santos Festival of Cycling after stage one

We posted the organizer’s race report with the results.

Roseman-Gannon’s Team BikeExchange-Jayco sent me this report:

Newly crowned Australian criterium champion Ruby Roseman-Gannon leads the Santos Festival of Cycling after taking both intermediate sprints on stage one, before sprinting to a tight second place in Williamstown.

Ruby Roseman-Gannon winning the Australian criterium championships

Rainfall greeted the riders as they rolled out of Tanunda, making for a nervy start to the 85.4km stage, and a crash inside the opening 25km saw multiple Team BikeExchange-Jayco riders go down. Roseman-Gannon and Amanda Spratt, on her return to racing, were amongst the fallers but the duo were able to quickly remount and get back underway.

The squad then turned their attention to the first intermediate sprint as Alex Manly and Georgia Baker teed up Roseman-Gannon to take maximum points and the three bonus seconds on offer. The 23-year-old then made it two-from-two as she sprinted away from the pack to bag more bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint, extending her virtual race lead in the process.

A flurry of attacks came and went in the finale as the bunch raced over the Whispering Wall QOM inside the final five kilometres, but the day came down to the anticipated bunch sprint finish. Roseman-Gannon was the first to open up her sprint as her rivals battled for her wheel, but she couldn’t hold off a late charge from Emily Watts who took the stage victory.

Roseman-Gannon now leads the three-day tour by two seconds ahead of Watts and also moved into the lead of the sprint classification, after her clean sweep of intermediate sprints today.

Ruby Roseman-Gannon:
"It wasn’t my best sprint, we lined-up the intermediate sprints perfectly, then it was a bit of a chaotic finish there and it never feels great to not finish off the job when you’ve got such an amazing team working for you; Amanda Spratt, Georgia Baker, Alex Manly and Amber (Pate).

I’m a little bit disappointed not to pull it off, but Emily Watts is a very strong rider and she pulled it off, so good on her. Overall I know I’m fit and I’ve got good legs, so even though I've made some mistakes today I’m pretty excited for the rest of the tour and hopefully I can pull it off tomorrow and take the stage victory and retain the race lead."

Santos Festival of Cycling Stage 1 - Results:
1. Emily Watts 2:13:13
2. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team Bikeexchange-Jayco) ST
3. Nicole Frain ST

Santos Festival of Cycling Stage 1 - Sprint Classification:
1. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team Bikeexchange-Jayco)

Santos Festival of Cycling Stage 1 - GC:
1. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team Bikeexchange-Jayco) 2:13:13
2. Emily Watts +0:02
3. Nicole Frain +0:08

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Marianne Vos wins Hoogerheide cross race

Vos’ Jumbo-Visma team sent me this report:

Marianne Vos has won the World Cup race in Hoogerheide. In the final lap of an exciting cyclecross race, Vos finished ahead of Lucinda Brand and Puck Pieterse. With her fifth win of the season, the 34-year-old Dutch rider is confident going to the World Championships in the United States, next weekend.

Marianne Vos in 2021

Vos was sharp from the start and immediately took her place at the front of the field. On the fast lap, it proved to be difficult to shake off the competition. Until the last lap, several riders attacked, though without success. Vos rode a tactically strong race, waited, and placed her attack in the last lap on an uphill section. It turned out to be the right moment and the Dutch rider crossed the line with a ten-second lead.

Vos pointed to the uphill section as the deciding factor in her victory. "I knew that if I wanted to have a chance, it was on the uphill part of the course. The ascending part went very well every lap. I was happy with how I felt during the race, but I knew it would not be easy to make a difference early on. It all comes back together on the longer stretches. So it’s really nice to win here."

"I'm happy with how my cyclocross season went", Vos continued prior to the World Cup in Fayetteville. "From the beginning I competed well. I’m going to America with a good feeling, but the World Championship is a race in itself every time."


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Eli Iserbyt wins Hoogerheide cross race, Tom Pidcock is third

Pidcock’s INEOS Grenadiers posted this report:

Eli Iserbyt went clear of a four-rider group which started the final lap together, and despite coming closest to denying the Belgian victory, Pidcock was unable to make the catch in time, being pipped to second on the line.

Here are Tom Pidcock (left) and Eli Iserbyt fighting it out at the 2021 Heusden-Zolder race.

The Yorkshireman had imposed himself on the race and was attacking from the front when a crash for his rivals in the same lead group on the fourth lap enabled him to establish a strong lead.

However, Pidcock was pegged back as a trio behind worked together to chip away at his 15 second advantage, with four riders beginning the final lap within seconds of each other.

This led to a final lap shoot-out which saw Pidcock chase down Iserbyt, with the Belgian able to hold on to ensure he won the final round of the cyclo cross World Cup.

Ben Turner finished 17th to make it four back-to-back top 20 cyclo cross finishes as a Grenadier.

Tom Pidcock:
“It was not quite enough in the end, they were working well together behind through circumstance - as people made mistakes and there was a chance to take the lead, but I didn’t quite snap the elastic.

“I didn’t hear a crash, but after the hairpin I looked behind and there was nobody there, so I was like ‘okay’. I don’t think having that gap and going on my own was a good thing in the end as this is a hard course for that.

"My condition will be good next week [at the World Championships]. It’s going to be a hard, fast race and a good battle. Everyone is in with a chance, it’s going to be interesting next week."


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Dietitian Jana Camphens discusses nutrition strategy at Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert

Here’s the team’s post:

Nutrition has a central place in the performance strategy of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and that is why sports dietitian Jana Camphens has been working for the Belgian World Team since 2021, alongside nutritionist Adam Plucinski. During her career, Jana worked with high-level athletes at the Centre for Sports Medecine of UZ Ghent, the Bakala Academy and EnergyLab. Together, Jana Camphens and Adam Plucinski establish individual nutrition strategies for all riders, aligned with the goals and race calendar defined by the performance team. The riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert already took advantage of this expertise in 2021 and a more narrow collaboration has been set up in the preparation for the upcoming season.

“Now that they are familiar with the basics of sports nutrition, the riders of the team have developed a more detailed knowledge. One year after the start of our collaboration, we can say that our work already produced comprehensive results. Several riders improved their performances thanks to an adaptation of their eating habits. Furthermore, we observed a better digestion of the drinks and energetic products thanks to our collaboration with our hydration partner Maurten, as well as with our longtime nutrition partner 3Action.”- Jana Camphens

Since this winter, the nutritional monitoring was tightened so all riders receive individual advice next to the group meetings. The team is mapped through skinfold measurements and somatotyping, and the amounts ingested are calculated. These tests allow the nutrition team to provide individual nutritional strategies for all riders and help them improve their performances towards their specific goals.

“Every day during our pre-season training camp, our riders take note of what they eat and drink during the training. Based on this information, Adam Plucinski and I can guide them and make them aware of what is more appropriate for them. On certain days, they adopt a nutritional strategy similar to the race days so we can see whether we need to make adjustments or not. Mapping the riders gives us an overview of the team's different profiles. For example, the bones structure of a sprinter like Andrea Pasqualon fits an athletic profile. In contrast, a climber like Jan Hirt has an ectomorph body type and slender silhouette. It’s only during the season that we have a precise idea about the profiles within the team, as the riders are close to their race weight.” - Jana Camphens

The pre-season meetings are great opportunities to teach the riders new nutrition strategies and to suggest new recipes. The two chefs working for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert collaborate closely with the nutrition department. During the training camp in Spain in January, Italian chef Massimo Carolo cooks a buffet for all riders twice a day.

“Offering a buffet to the riders allows them to choose what they like most and to implement what they’ve learnt about nutrition. Although it is easy to offer them a perfect plate here during the training camp, that’s not the case when they’re at home. That’s why it is important that they learn the guidelines during these meetings and take into account our advices, so they can replicate it at home. Of course I’m always at their disposal in case they have questions.

“Along with the energy bars from 3Action and the gels from Maurten, our riders like to eat other solid food. Last winter we chose the eight most popular recipes, so our paramedical staff could choose from to prepare the snacks for the races. All snacks are cut into pieces containing 25 grammes of carbs. The riders really love the rice cakes with speculoos or oreo. This training camp, we tried new recipes of rice cakes with cranberries and oat bars with chocolate. These are easy to make during stage races as they are no bake. I can see everybody well committed to implement all these nutrition strategies and I predict it will be another exciting season! “ - Jana Camphens

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