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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, January 15, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. - Peter Drucker

Story of the Giro d'Italia, volume 1

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 1: 1909 - 1970 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 Down Under - Schwalbe Classic team reports

Here's the report from men's race second place Jordi Meeus' Team Bora-hansgrohe:

After a two-year break, the Tour Down Under is back on the race calendar. The race week started with a criterium that, although not counting towards the overall Tour Down Under classification, gave the fast men an opportunity to show their form in a hard-fought sprint. Shortly after a small group went clear, Marco Haller managed to bridge the gap to the front of the race. On the last lap, however, the race came together again and Jordi Meeus finished second in the final sprint behind the day's winner Caleb Ewan.

Caleb Ewan wins a close sprint. Team DSM photo

01 C. Ewan    1:02:35
02 J. Meeus       +0:00
03 K. Groves      +0:00

From the Finish Line:
"It's a bit of a shame to finish a close second in a bunch sprint, but it's not a bad result to start the season like that. We knew Caleb would be one of the big favourites tonight, but he's not here with his usual team, rather with the national squad. So we didn't quite know which team would control the race. As expected, a small group went clear and we then had Marco at the front, which was perfect for us. The other guys executed our plan well and supported me as much as possible. In the end, my positioning could have perhaps been a bit better, but second place is not so bad in the end." - Jordi Meeus

"With a second place in the opening race of the season, we can be very satisfied, especially considering that Jordi also had to cope with jet lag. We are equally satisfied with the way the race unfolded. Marco Haller managed to get into the dangerous leading group and had a good grasp of what was a tricky situation, thereby also showing that he is already in top form. For us, this was a starting point for our sprint preparation and one can see that there is certainly still room for improvement in this area. I am sure that during the course of the Tour Down Under, we will manage to give Jordi the best possible support in the fast finishes. All in all, we are very happy with the result and our first podium of the season" - Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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Here’s the report from Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Our team was in the spotlight at the traditional Down Under curtain-raiser.

The off-season is finally over! After months of waiting, The Wolfpack finally pinned up a number again, for the one-hour criterium in Adelaide – the appetizer for the Tour Down Under, which this year takes back its place as the opening event of the World Tour calendar.

As expected, the race was fast from the very outset, the teams wanting to avoid a bunch sprint sending their riders on the attack. Among those who tried their luck was Soudal Quick-Step’s Mauro Schmid, who took the first intermediate sprint of the day before a six-man move formed halfway through the race.

The peloton rounds a corner. Sirotti photo

Featuring Jannik Steimle, who was active in the group, constantly setting the tempo at the front, the group managed to stay in the lead until the penultimate lap, when they were overhauled by the chasers, who set up a mass gallop, won by Caleb Ewan, from the Australian National Team.

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Here’s the report from the women’s race winner Ally Wollaston’s Team AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step:

Ally Wollaston started the season in grand form. After winning the omnium event at the Track League earlier this week she added her first road win of the season to her palmares. Her powerful sprint led to victory in the Schwalbe Classic.

Ally Wollaston takes the first win of the 2023 road season. Richscriven photo

The Schwalbe Classic is a warm-up criterium before the first Women’s World Tour race of the season: the Tour Down Under that starts Sunday. That meant there was a strong field at the start of the one-hour long race. Ally represented Team New Zealand in Australia and beat Michaela Drummond and Nina Buijsman in a fast sprint in the streets of Adelaide.

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Ally raced attentively and joined a breakaway of seven riders with fast riders like Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Drummond. AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step teammate Anya Louw was also part of the group that stayed away and sprinted for the win. Ally placed a powerful jump and won her first race of the year.

Anya, riding for the national team of Australia, came in 7th. Both riders will start in the Tour Down Under on Sunday and show with this result they can go for something great against the best teams in the world.

"I’m really proud to get the first win of the year for the team. I raced aggressively and attentively and thankfully it paid off for me today! It’s a great confidence boost going into the rest of the week."

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