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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 15, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either. - Christopher Hitchens

Tour de France: the Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Tour de France: The Inside Story - Making the World's Greatest Bicycle Race is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour de Langkawi stage 4 reports

We posted the report from the race organizer with the results.

Here's the report from second-place rider Rüdiger Selig's Team Lotto Soudal:

Lotto Soudal rider Rüdiger Selig has finished second at the end of Tour de Langkawi stage four, which was decided in a reduced bunch sprint due to a crash inside the final kilometre. The fast German began the sprint in an excellent position due to a nice team effort and lead-out by Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, but had to settle for 2nd place just behind the Italian Mareczko, who passed Selig in the final metres.

Jakub Mareczko was a bit faster than Rüdiger Selig.

Selig is grateful for the chance he received today. “I need to thank the team for the great work they did to put me in a position to sprint. It was a nice effort and we were working well together throughout the stage. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg did a perfect lead-out, I did a good sprint with some big watts and I thought I timed it perfectly but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the stage win. I need to admit that Mareczko was simply a bit faster today. There are still some nice chances coming up. Today we couldn’t finish it off but we will certainly try again!”, concludes Rüdiger Selig.

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Here’s the Langkawi report from fourth-place Sebastian Molano’s UAE Team Emirates:

Sebastian Molano took 4th place on Stage 4 on the sprint run-in from Sabak Bernam to Meru Raya (137.9km), after a crash-marred final kilometre.

The days breakaway was reeled in with 12km to go with George Bennett sharing turns at the front to ensure the day came down to the expected sprint finish.

A crash with 2km to go left several riders on the floor though all the UAE riders would pass safely as former Tour of Langkawi champion Ryan Gibbons took the front with 1km to go building the speed up in the peloton. Though a series of chicanes would leave Molano just out of place for the sprint which was won by Jakub Mareczko (Deceuninck-Alpecin), while Ivan Sosa (Movistar) continues to lead the overall classification.

Ivan Sosa (shown winning stage three) remains the GC leader.

Stage 5 tomorrow will take the riders from Kuala Kangsar to Kulim (172km) for a likely sprint finish.

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Trek-Segafredo signs Natnael Tesfatsion

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Trek-Segafredo’s climbing squad has gained a new talent with Natnael Tesfatsion signing a contract that will tie him to the team for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Born in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea – like friend and future teammate Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier – Tesfatsion has distinguished himself over the last two seasons as one of the most interesting prospects from the African continent.

Natnael Tesfatsion at stage four of the 2022 Tirreno-Adriatico. Sirotti photo

After gaining his first experiences in Europe with Team Qhubeka (2019-2020), the 23-year-old rider has made a name for himself in 2021 and 2022 with the Italian pro-continental Team Androni, which allowed him to race the Giro d’Italia and rise to international prominence.

“Tesfatsion has proven to be a solid rider ready to move up to the big leagues. We have been monitoring him for two years and, in that time, he has showed remarkable skills on both short and long climbs, as well as a decent sprint. He immediately gave us the picture of a complete rider, an interesting prospect worth investing in. We believe he has lots of room for improvement to also stand out in the WorldTour.” - Luca Guercilena, Trek-Segafredo General Manager

With regard to numbers, Tesfatsion has won five races as a professional: a stage at both Tropicale Amissa Bongo and the Tour of Rwanda as well as the GC in 2020 and 2022 plus, a few months ago, he won the queen stage of the Adriatica Ionica Race.

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Tesfatsion has also collected a series of important and promising results such as three top-10 finishes in stages at the Giro d’Italia 2021 and 2022.

“Joining Trek-Segafredo is the greatest opportunity I’ve had so far in my life,” says Tesfatsion. “I really want to thank everyone who has helped me reach this point and, of course, to the Team management for the trust they’ve shown in me.”

“I have a new and big challenge in front of me but I’m happy and super excited to face it. I really feel that my dream has come true. As part of Trek-Segafredo I’m sure I’ll be able to improve my skills and grow more and more in the coming two years. I really want to do my best to contribute to the Team’s successes and to repay the trust they have put in me. This motivation and the desire to make my country proud will be the engine to stand out at the highest level.”

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