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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. - Mae West

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

Les Woodland's book The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories: A Five Ring Circus is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour de Wallonie stage 4 reports

We posted the report from stage winner Davide Ballerini's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Rui Oliveira's UAE Team Emirates:

In the fourth stage of the Tour de Wallonie, 200.89km from Dorbuy to Couvin, Rui Oliveira takes the podium after a long day on the attack.

In a stage dotted with many ups and downs, the Portuguese rider moved early, entering the breakaway made up of six riders who in the first half of the race also gained 7 minutes on the group.

Despite the five côtes, with the last Cote du Barrage du Rui de Rome (5.2km at 3.1%) just 5km from the finish, the group never completely managed to bridge the gap and incorporate the fugitives.

With less than 9km from the finish, the pursuers increased the pace though Oliveira together with three other escape companions next the gap.

The four stayed together until the finish line, playing for the sprint victory.
Here the Portuguese of UAE Team Emirates finished in third position, behind Rojas (Movista Team) and the winner Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team). with 6th place for Matteo Trentin.

Davide Ballerini wins stage 4. Getty Sport photos

Tomorrow the last stage, 214.8km from La Roeulx – Chapelle Lez Herlaimont, with only one Côte but eight cobbled sectors to tackle.

Oliveira: “I am very happy with this result. It was a long first part of the season, where I couldn’t get good personal results but I made myself available to the team with all my heart. I found myself in this race in good shape with good legs. In the first stage I was unlucky with the jumped chain on the Mur de Huy.
Today, however, it went well with 200 km in the break .
I wanted to win and did the best I could. I feel good and I have very good sensations for tomorrow and the next races scheduled ”.

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Here's the report from Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux took the initiative during the fourth stage of the Tour de Wallonie on a hilly course between Durbuy and Couvin. First, the riders under the direction of Valerio Piva and Jean-Marc Rossignon chased the early breakaway, decreasing the gap to a reasonable distance before the second race half.

The World Team then launched the two leaders of the general classification, Loïc Vliegen and Lorenzo Rota, in the approach to the last difficulty of the day, the Côte de Barrage du Ry de Rome (5km at 3%).

Despite multiple attacks of the best climbers, several groups came together in the downhill with 5 kilometer to go. Biniam Girmay and Loic Vliegen joined Lorenzo Rota in the chase behind the survivors of the early breakaway. The Eritrean rider won the sprint of the peloton in the slipstream of the quartet.

Loïc Vliegen stays second in the general classification, 4 seconds behind the leader. His teammate Lorenzo Rota stays fourth at 8 seconds.

“After three good days, I felt less good today. I had to dig deep to follow the best riders on the last climb and I finally managed to finish in the same time as the winner, with Biniam Girmay and Lorenzo Rota. In this way I could keep my second place in the provisional classification and Lorenzo Rota is still fourth. There’s one day left to defend our podium. We’ll give everything to improve our position, even though I know it will be difficult as all climbs are behind the back.” - Loïc Vliegen

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Successful surgery for Caleb Ewan after Tour de France

Ewan’s Team Lotto Soudal sent me this update:

On Monday Caleb Ewan went to the hospital for a checkup of the collarbone he broke in last year’s Tour de France. To solve the issues he had with his shoulder and arm, the decision was made to take out the plate that was placed on his collarbone. The surgery was successful. Further examinations will determine the recovery process.

Caleb Ewan before the start of Tour stage nine. Sirotti photo

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Upcoming racing for Team DSM

The team sent me this schedule:

Tour Alsace: JUL 27 - 31

Boris Zimine - Team DSM coach
"The Tour d'Alsace is a race which takes place over five days following in the Alsace region, and is one that suits the all-rounders. The riders will take on a nice mix between long climbs, explosive climbs and some sprint stages. The race begins with a team time trial with the teams being split into two groups, which will be a good experience for the riders. After taking seventh in GC at the Baby Giro, Hannes will be a good option and finisher for us in the GC and mountains stages. While Casper will be our sprint finisher and we have a really good and strong team to help execute our plans on each stage. We are looking forward to an offensive race."

Joost Brinkman (NED)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Enzo Leijnse (NED)
Joris Reinderink (NED)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Hannes Wilksch (GER)

Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa: JUL 30

Marcel Sieberg - Team DSM coach:
"The race around San Sebastian is a classic part of the calendar after the Tour de France. It is always a hard race with a 225 kilometre route, which includes more than 3500 altitude metres and a steep final climb. We have a strong team on the start line, with Romain coming in good shape from the Tour de France as our main finisher. With the group we have at the race we're looking to ride well as a unit, look after each other throughout the race and play our cards well, and aim for a nice result at the end of the day."

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Romain Bardet racing in Tour stage 17. He'll be at the San Sebastian race. Sirotti photo.

Tour de Pologne: JUL 30 - AUG 5

Luke Roberts - Team DSM coach:
"This year's Tour de Pologne will be held over seven stages with a mix of possible sprint stages, some more difficult stages, and a very tough 15 kilometre long time trial that will be a big factor in deciding the overall classification. With our line-up that we bring to the race, we aim to be competitive in the sprint stages and also in the fight for the general classification honours, through some good teamwork and aggressive riding.”

Thymen Arensman (NED)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Marco Brenner (GER)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

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