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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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

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Tour de Wallonie stage 3 reports

We posted the report from stage winner Arnaud De Lie's Team Lotto Soudal with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Biniam Girmay's Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team:

Biniam Girmay returned into competition and is back on the podium at the end of the third stage of the Tour de Wallonie, which ended in a sprint in Rochefort. Before enabling the 22-year old to sprint for the victory, the World Team distinguished itself in a very animated beginning of the race. The riders followed the moves and Loïc Vliegen and Lorenzo Rota took first and second place at the intermediate sprint in Olne after 21 kilometer.

After more than two hours of attacking a breakaway of seven riders was formed. This group was caught with 20 kilometer to go and all late attacks were made undone before the arrival in Rochefort. The first rider to start the sprint, Girmay, was only overtaken by Arnaud De Lie and thus finished second.

Arnaud De Lie takes the third stage.

It is the second consecutive podium for the Walloon team. Thanks to the precious bonus seconds won in the intermediate sprint and gaps in the final sprint, Loïc Vliegen climbs to second place in the general classification, 4 seconds behind the leader. Lorenzo Rota is fourth, 8 seconds behind the race leader.

“It was a hard day because there were many attacks in the beginning of the race. I tried several times myself to accompany accelerations of strong riders. Finally, after 80 kilometer of racing, the breakaway got away and there was control in the peloton behind. While Dimitri Claeys worked hard in the lead of the bunch to reduce the gap with the escapees, we stayed together to protect our GC leaders Lorenzo Rota and Loïc Vliegen. We then focused on the sprint. Jan Bakelants guided me towards the final 5 kilometer, after which Loïc brought me to a good position under the red flag. I launched my sprint 300 meter before the finish line and I lost a bit of speed in the corner, enabling Arnaud De Lie to pass me. It was probably too early, but I can be satisfied with this second place. I want to reward the team with a victory, so I’m looking forward to the next two opportunities.” - Biniam Girmay

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Here's the Tour de Wallonie report from Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Despite losing both Julian Alaphilippe – who didn’t take the start after testing positive for Covid-19 – and Iljo Keisse, the Wolfpack remained active at the Tour de Wallonie, whose stage 3 running between Visé and Rochefort was one that favoured the attackers, but also the sprinters carrying some punch, as the finish came after an uphill drag to the line.

Stage one winner Julian Alaphilippe could not start stage three.

Following a nervous start, which witnessed the peloton getting split into small groups, numerous riders trying to go in the breakaway and average speeds of more than 48km/h, things calmed down after some 80-odd kilometers and the regrouped bunch allowed seven men to zip clear. Among them was also Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s neo-pro Stan Van Tricht, who impressed with the sheer amount of work he put in at the front, helping the move stay clear until inside 20 kilometers to go.

Once they got reeled in, the sprinters’ teams took brought their men in position for the finale, which turned even more hectic after one rider managed to get away and build a 15-second lead for the last four kilometers. With 500 meters to go, the chasers managed to bring him back and the stage concluded in a mass sprint, won by Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Soudal). Davide Ballerini, who is making his first appearance here since the National Championships, concluded the day as the team’s best-placed rider.

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And Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this short report:

195km from Visé to Rochefort were on the schedule of today’s third stage at the Tour de Wallonie. It was a long but topographically easier day, compared to the first two stages of the race. An early breakaway was brought back by the peloton with 20km to go. All attacks within the final kilometres remained unrewarded as the sprinters went on to contest the victory. Arnaud De Lie sealed the win while Matthew Walls crossed the line in 17th. Ahead of tomorrow’s queen stage, Cian Uijtdebroeks remains 7th in the GC.

“It was a hard stage with a big fight for the group but ultimately it all came back together with 20km to go. The boys did a good job and were able to be present in every group that went clear. In the finale Matthew Walls was a bit boxed in and not in contention to go for a result. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s queen stage now.“ Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, Sports Director

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Michael Matthews re-ups with Team BikeExchange-Jayco

The team sent me this release:

Recent Tour de France stage 14 winner Michael Matthews will remain at Team BikeExchange-Jayco, having agreed to a three-year contract extension that will see him race with the team until the end of 2025.

Michael Matthews wins 2022 Tour de France stage 14. ASO photo

The news comes as Team Owner Gerry Ryan confirms his commitment to both the men’s and women’s WorldTour teams for a further three seasons, having supported the organisation since its inception in 2012, creating Australia’s first ever team competing at the highest level in the UCI WorldTour.

Matthews, a former Tour de France Green Jersey Winner, spent four years with the Australian outfit from 2013 to 2017, where he won stages in all three Grand Tours, before returning to the team in 2021 with more experience and motivation than ever, as displayed in his gutsy TDF stage win last week.

The 31-year-old Australian has transformed as a rider over the years and with this versatile skillset, GreenEDGE Cycling is thrilled to have him on-board as one of the team leaders, as it looks to build into its second decade.

Gerry Ryan – Team Owner:
“Michael is a key part of GreenEDGE Cycling and he has shown this year at the Tour de France how he has grown as a rider and can fight for victories in many different types of races, while also committing to his teammates when needed. The victory just a few days ago, with that type of performance, he displayed to us once again that he is one of the best riders in the peloton and we are extremely pleased to see him continue. He will of course be one of the leaders of our team, which I am happy to announce that we will support for the coming three years.

"It is special for us to have Michael Matthews along with Simon Yates and Dylan Groenewegen as our team leaders, but of course our goal is also to continue to bring in young talent and help them grow into champions. I am sure many young riders would love to work together with these riders and learn from their experience.

"Of course, the same goes for our women’s team. The Giro Donne and the season so far has been quite special after a period of adjustments which was needed after so many years. We also have big plans in mind for our women’s squad and we are excited to follow the first ever Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift starting today. Women’s cycling has reached an extremely high level and we have been proud to support our women’s team since day one.

"As we are in our second decade, we all work with more experience, but our energy and enthusiasm is as it was on day one. We are determined to keep growing as an organisation and thanks to the partners we have, we believe more great things will come for GreenEDGE Cycling in the next three years.”

Brent Copeland – General Manager:
“We are very happy to be able to set up a strong base for the coming three years with such a strong riders list, led by Simon Yates and Michael Matthews with their renewals.

"It was important for us to keep Matthews in the team, he is a great example for all team members, and we are confident he will deliver more great results but also inspire our younger riders; he is a great role model.

"Being able to look ahead and plan the next three years is fantastic for our organisation and we have to thank Team Owner Gerry Ryan, who has committed to giving us all this opportunity. We are building the future for GreenEDGE Cycling and this is of course for both our men’s and women’s teams. We see a very bright future and we are excited to see what we can continue to achieve together.”

Michael Matthews – 2023 to 2025 Contract Renewal:
“First of all, I want to say thanks to Gerry Ryan, it has been amazing to be able to come back to this team and the support I have been given these past two years has been great. Team BikeExchange-Jayco is evolving, getting stronger and stronger every year, and I can’t wait to carry on the success we are having at the moment.

"This team for me is really a family, I am now 31 and obviously in the prime of my career with the best legs I have ever had since I started racing and I want to show the world, the team and Gerry what I am made of. I can’t wait to continue this journey for the next three years.

"I have known Gerry since I was 17 years old and he always backed me 110% during my career, and I am of course always ready to give my best to repay his and the team’s trust in me. We always want to achieve new goals, make sure we build a better team year after year, and I can’t wait to achieve more success that we deserve."

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