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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, October 2, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered. - Edgar Allan Poe

Dirty Feet: Early days of the Tour de France

Les Woodland's book Dirty Feet: How the Great Unwashed Created the Tour de France 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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Nairo Quintana leaves Arkea-Samsic

Here’s the report from Reuters:

PARIS, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Former Giro d'Italia and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana is leaving his Arkea-Samsic team despite signing a contract extension last month, the Colombian said on Saturday.

Quintana, also a three-time Tour de France podium finisher, was disqualified from this year's race after testing positive for Tramadol, an opiate pain killer banned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) although it does not feature on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of prohibited substances.

It will be banned by WADA in 2024.

Nairo Quintana at the 2020 Tour of Provence.

Quintana had finished the Tour in sixth place overall.

"I wanted to thank the Arkea-Samsic team for these three years with ups and downs, but to which I was able to contribute my experience and bring back UCI points to be able to access the World Tour as it was agreed when I was hired and I hope that it will succeed," Quintana said on Twitter.

"I also wanted to say that I will not be continuing with the Arkea-Samsic team for the next three years as announced on Aug.16.

"I will keep you informed about my future in the next few weeks and prove what an honest rider I am. I have lodged an appeal with CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) and I am continuing to work with my lawyers.

"I am optimistic because I am an honest person, I have not done anything wrong or illegal and I will defend myself."

Here's my translation of the Tweet from Arkea-Samsic on Quintana's departure:

"Nairo Quintana has announced the end of his collaboration with the Arkea-Samsic team which began in 2020. The Arkea-Samsic team confirmed the non-renewal of Nairo Quintana's contract in 2023. The Breton team will not bring any have any further comment on this"

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Giro dell'Emilia team reports

We posted  the report from second-place Tadej Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Domenico Pozzovivo's Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

Two days after his fifth place in the Coppa Agostoni, Domenico Pozzovivo again distinguished himself among the best climbers in the Giro dell’Emilia, finishing third behind Enric Mas and Tadej Pogacar.

Domenico Pozzovivo's Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team is presented before the race start. Sirotti photo

His teammates Kobe Goossens brilliantly represented the colors of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the breakaway, resisting in the lead until the first of three passages on San Luca (2km at 10%) or 20 kilometer before the finish.

The favorites then benefited from the steep ramps during the second passage, after which Domenico Pozzovivo found himself in the first chasing group behind Enric Mas and Tadej Pogacar.

The Italian rider managed to bridge to the two leaders, following the slipstream of the double Tour de France winner until the final meters, with Enric Mas soloing to the victory.

With this third place, the 39 year old climber achieves his best career result in the event in his fourteenth participation. His compatriot Lorenzo Rota, who raced for the first time since the world championships, crossed the line in eighteenth position.

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Here's the Giro dell'Emilia report from Team Jumbo-Visma:

Team Jumbo-Visma had an instructive Giro dell'Emilia. The race was coloured by an attacking Rick Pluimers. In the final, rookie Thomas Gloag was also able to keep up with the best for a long time. Ultimately, the Italian one-day race ended without a top result for the yellow-black formation.

It was Enric Mas who won the race. Sirotti photo.

"We didn't have a particular leader today. Everyone was free to pursue their own opportunities", sports director Addy Engels said. In the end, Rick Pluimers proved early on that he was willing to gamble. "Rick wanted to be in the leading group. That was good because it worked out."

After Pluimers was reeled in, the challenging local laps became a scrap race, Engels had witnessed. "The strong field of competitors made this race extremely challenging. To keep up, the boys had to fight their own battle on the local laps. We ultimately fell short of a good result, but the young guys performed well."

A notable name at the start was Tom Gloag. As a trainee, the rider made his official debut wearing a Team Jumbo-Visma shirt. He will join the Dutch squad next year. The young Brit could keep up for a long time and finished 17th.

His sports director praised Gloag's result. "It takes skill to debut at this level as a trainee and a young rider and become seventeenth. That bodes well for the future", Engels said.

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And here's the report from Julian Alaphilippe's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

One of the oldest one-day races in the world, created back in 1909 – the same year the Giro d’Italia was born – Giro dell’Emilia marked Julian Alaphilippe’s first outing in more than two years in the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl regular kit, as the two-time World Champion made his first appearance at the Italian event.

Julian Alaphilippe still has rainbow stripes on his sleeves and collar, a privilege granted to former world champions. Sirotti photo.

Taking place over a 198.7km course, between Carpi and San Luca, the race took in seven climbs, including five ascents of the iconic 2.1km hill lying on the outskirts of Bologna, and was animated by a five-man move until with two laps to go, when they were pegged back by the reduced peloton. A small group then rode away and fought for the win on the double-digit gradients of San Luca, where Enric Mas (Movistar) emerged victorious.

Ilan Van Wilder – one of the seven members of the Wolfpack who helped Remco Evenepoel become La Vuelta champion last month – finished the day as the best Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider, in 15th place.

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