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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, June 6, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage one team reports

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

Here's the report from stage winner Wout van Aert's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has won the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. In the hilly opening stage through the Ardèche, the Belgian champion crossed the line first in the bunch sprint. As a result, Van Aert is the new leader in the general classification and the points classification.

Wout van Aert

Wout van Aert will start stage two in yellow. Sirotti photo

On the day’s final climb, the peloton increased its pace. Thanks to Team Jumbo-Visma and other teams, some of the fastest riders could not keep up and had to let the peloton go. A sprint with a depleted peloton seemed inevitable.

Frenchman Rémi Cavagna tried to escape just before the final kilometre, but a strong effort from Christophe Laporte prevented Cavagna from doing so. Subsequently, Van Aert got in an ideal position. He started his sprint and a little later he won for the fourth time this year. Van Aert's win meant the sixteenth season victory for Team Jumbo-Visma, which had all its riders finish in the first group.

"I was well positioned", Van Aert said. "After Christophe went to the limit to catch Cavagna, I chose the wheel of the Ineos guys. I was riding in an ideal position to deliver a good sprint. It wasn't easy to stay ahead of Ethan Hayter. I am thrilled with this victory. The team kept me in front all day. I felt good on the climbs, also because of the excellent teamwork. In the spring, I was not always satisfied with my sprint. I have put a lot of work into it in recent weeks. It gives a good feeling when it pays off immediately."

Van Aert has no intention of handing over the yellow leader's jersey easily. "Hopefully, I can keep the leader's jersey for a few days and then hand it over to Primoz. The upcoming stages suit me, so we'll see how far I can get. It's not a given, because the course is difficult every day. Today confirmed that we are on the right track concerning our Tour preparation. Hopefully we can continue that line in the coming days."

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Here's the Dauphiné report from second-place Ethan Hayter's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Ethan Hayter was narrowly edged into second place as the INEOS Grenadiers kicked off the 2022 Criterium du Dauphine.

Wout van Aert

Ethan Hayter came close...

The opening day ended in a select sprint, with the team pushing hard late on to ensure a number of key fast men were distanced in the final, driving the pace off the final climb of the day.

After Filippo Ganna accelerated into the final kilometre and Michal Kwiatkowski completed the lead-out, Hayter launched his sprint but was just unable to hold off Wout Van Aert at the line. The Belgian (Jumbo-Visma) had placed himself perfectly on Hayter's wheel in the final metres, taking the stage and the early lead.

Second place saw Hayter pick up six bonus seconds, but also saw the Brit pull on the white young rider's jersey. The rest of his teammates, including GC men Tao Geoghegan Hart and Eddie Dunbar, were able to finish safely in the bunch.
Sunday also saw the Brussels Cycling Classic in Belgium. The team reverted back to their impressive Spring form on the cobbles, with Magnus Sheffield ripping it up  and leading the front group over the Muur on both passes.

Despite the American looking to push on, and an elite group forming which also contained Ben Turner, eventually the race eventually came back together. A sprint looked on the cards, but the day's breakaway had other plans - with Taco van der Hoorne (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) winning the sprint from the escapees.

Jhonatan Narvaez had pushed hard late on in a bid to bring the move back, with Turner the team's top finisher as the peloton battled it out for the lower placings. Sadly Elia Viviani was unable to contest the sprint after a crash took him out of contention early on.

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And here’s the report from Jannik Steimle’s Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné was billed as one for the sprinters, although the four classified climbs spread across the 191.8km route in the Ardèche department were sure to make the fast men’s task a demanding one, and the teams not counting any pure sprinters within their ranks took full advantage of the opportunity they were presented with.

After easily reeling in the three-man breakaway that went clear from the start, the peloton upped the tempo on Côte du Chambon de Bavas, putting many riders into the red and making it almost impossible for them to return. Things soon became chaotic at the front, and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mikkel Honoré immediately saw an opportunity, clipping off the front and putting 15 seconds between him and the peloton.

On the descent, Mikkel was caught, but the Wolfpack continued to remain prominent, storming to the front with five kilometers to go and trying to surprise the bunch with an unexpected move launched by Rémi Cavagna just 1600 meters from the line. The French Champion instantly opened a gap, as confusion reigned for a moment at the head of the peloton, but despite his valiant effort the peloton made contact just ahead of the flamme rouge. In the sprint that followed, Jannik Steimle surfed wheels and used his rapid acceleration to get tenth place as Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the win in Brachastel, which welcomed the Dauphiné for the very first time.

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Taco van der Hoorn wins the Brussels Cycling Classic

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

Here's the report from winner van der Hoorn's Team Imtermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

Once more, Taco van der Hoorn showed his perseverance in the Brussels Cycling Classic (1.Pro) and took the victory at the end of a breakaway of 185 kilometer.

Taco van er Hoorn

Taco van der Hoorn triumphs in Brussels.

The Dutch rider joined the decisive breakaway in the beginning of the race, accompanied by nine other riders. These escapees grew their advantage to 8 minutes in the first race half, until  the peloton accelerated in the Flemish Ardennes.

A double passage of the Muur van Geraardsbergen, the Bosberg and the Congoberg had to be accomplished in the second half of the 200 kilometer race. The teammates of Taco van der Hoorn raced attentively, neutralized several counterattacks and started the hills in a good position.

At the end of this double loop, with 40 kilometer to go, the group of Taco van der Hoorn rode 2 minutes ahead of a peloton of 30 units. While Aimé De Gendt and Alexander Kristoff were present in this group, Quinten Hermans and Loïc Vliegen were forced to abandon after a crash.

An exciting pursuit took place in the final race hour, with the gap decreasing under 1 minute at 10 kilometer before the end. Finally, the escapees won the battle against the peloton and Taco van der Hoorn was the first to attack under the red flag.

As he was countered by Thimo Willems and Tobias Bayer, the Dutchman pushed on the pedals  to close the gap to his competitors and to pass first named 50 meter before the finish line. In this way, van der Hoorn took his first victory of the season, thirteenth of the team in 2022.

"I returned into competition today after a rest period and an altitude camp with the team in Andorra, aiming to help my teammates to the victory today. I felt quite good in the early breakaway and we accelerated quite early hoping to start the Muur van Geraardsbergen with a nice advantage. But I insisted on the importance of staying together and not go too hard on the climbs. » « When returning back to Brussels, we thought well about our strategy for the final. I wasn't completely convinced that I could finish it off in this large breakaway and in the peloton we had an excellent option with Alexander Kristoff. In the end, we chose to fully cooperate in the breakaway and to establish a plan to eliminate the fastest riders in the breakaway. I accelerated in the last corner hoping to create a gap and that’s what happened as only Thobias Bayer and Thimo Willems followed me. I was completely empty when Thimo attacked, but in the end I managed to dig deep to pass him just before the finish line. The Brussels Cycling Classic is a nice race on my palmares and I’m happy that I can confirm with a victory!" - Taco van der Hoorn

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