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Faulkner attacks & fights to an impressive third place on the opening stage of Itzulia  – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Third place finisher at the Navarra Women’s Classic, Kristen Faulkner, has claimed another podium finish after attacking in the final of today’s stage one in Itzulia. 

The American rider took her opportunity in the final 15km, attacking directly after a dangerous breakaway group was caught and quickly opened up a gap. Fighting ahead on a wide open road, the 29-year-old was shortly after joined by Demi Vollering and Pauliena Rooijakkers, and the trio quickly got into a good rhythm, which enabled them to opened up a lead of around 40 seconds. 

With a technical finish on a narrow road for the final 200m, it was all about positioning into the last 150m, as the riders remained in the same position all the way to the line, with Vollering claiming the stage victory and Faulkner taking her second podium finish in three-days.

Local Basque rider Ane Santesteban also continued to display her top form, fighting to fifth place with Australian climber Amanda Spratt in seventh place, both at 41 seconds.

Kristen Faulkner – 3rd place 
“It was a hard day out, they really push it on the climbs, SD Worx, and then they attacked and four got away right after the final climb so we had to take control chasing them down so that was pretty full gas. 

Then when it all came together I attacked and I was able to stay away for a little while until the two riders came across. Overall it was a really good day, a really hard day and I am really excited to be on the podium again and we have two more days of opportunities to come.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“We were expecting the climbs to be hard and for there to be a small group at the front and we were waiting for that moment for there to be a bit of chaos when things came back together, we wanted to take that opportunity and it worked perfectly. 
 
It was always the plan for Kristen to attack and for us to have Ane and Spratty behind for the sprint, so it was a perfect plan and it worked out. Kristen was unfortuntaly with two riders who where playing out the general classification, so we didn’t want to commit too much, as we had our GC interests behind but in the end another strong podium and she just missed the win.”

2022 Itzulia stage 1 results:
1. Demi Vollering 2:55:17
2. Pauliena Rooijakkers ST3. Kristen Faulkner +0:02
5. Ane Santesteban +0:41
7. Amanda Spratt  +0:41

General Classification after stage 1:1. Demi Vollering 2:55:05
2. Pauliena Rooijakkers ++0:06
3. Kristen Faulkner +0:10

Photo: Getty Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Late climbs and late attacks wrap up stage seven in Turkey

The penultimate stage of this year’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey rolled out from historic Gallipoli and inland towards Istanbul and onto a pair of second category climbs before climaxing in late attacks form the GC contenders with a reduced group going all the way to the line.

Experienced former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor tried a courageous move to bridge across to the early breakaway, but the rolling roads went against him and despite his best efforts Kusztor didn’t quite make it and was caught by the peloton.

Peter Kusztor (HUN):

“I really tried hard to make it across and at one point came within 30seconds, but the undulating roads and high speed were slightly too much. I kept a good pace and tried to focus on a concentrated effort, like a TT but lost it on the climb.”

“It would have been great for us to get up there again to show our jersey and my kids are watching on the TV at home and I wanted to them to be able to say ‘look, there’s Daddy!’ but it wasn’t to be today. We’ve got one more stage to go to try something.”

General manager Vassili Davidenko (RUS):

“We wanted to get more out of today and Peter put in a good effort to try and make it across to the break, but it didn’t happen, and it was our objective to be in there. We needed to be more alive to the early attacks because with today’s profile it was always going to be tough to do something in the final and it wasn’t a surprise when it was a reduced group that contested the stage.”

“One more stage to come and it will be hard and fast on the circuits in Istanbul. It would be great to get something out of tomorrow, one more top ten stage result would be ideal.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Dan re-enters Giro-battlefield with sixth place, powerful Niv attacks but doesn’t get away

Another big battle on a steep climb in the Giro d’Italia. In the 19th stage of the Italian stage race, Martin fought himself into sixth place.

Israeli climber Guy Niv was very active in the opening phase of the stage. As he promised in the video published earlier today, he was ‘not done in the Giro yet’.

 

“I feel that I can still be competitive,” Niv said, and he was right. Multiple times he tried to move into the breakaway of the day, but several competing teams did not want a big group of escapees on the road.

Niv had to settle in the peloton, close to Martin, who was patiently waiting for his time to shine on the final climb of the day.

So, he did. Multiple times the Irish fighter was nearly dropped, but he came back every time to keep on battling for a second stage victory.

noa_Giro d’italia 2021

Once again, Martin showed he never gives up. He fought and kept on fighting on the battlefields of the Alpe di Mera, coming across the finish line in sixth position.

The Irishman and Giro stage winner finds himself back in the top-10 of the GC. Yesterday, one of his rivals dropped out.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Woods puts in late attacks on rainy stage 3 of Tour de Romandie

The Israel Start-Up Nation riders continue to put their mark on this year’s Tour de Romandie. On stage 3, Michael Woods attacked several times on the final climb, moving up to 16th overall.

After strong performances in the previous two bunch sprints, finishing third and second, all eyes were on Patrick Bevin ahead of today’s stage. Unfortunately, the otherwise strong Kiwi had fallen ill overnight and, being just a week away from the start of the Giro d’Italia, it was decided to pull Bevin from the race and focus on immediate recovery.

Instead, the remaining ISN riders rallied around team leader Woods and made sure to always keep him in a good position near the front of the pack on today’s rainy stage 3.

On the final steep climb of the day, Woods put in multiple strong attacks, but despite thinning out the peloton significantly, the Canadian was never allowed much of a gap. Ultimately, it was Marc Soler (Movistar Team) who took the win as he attacked during a moment of hesitation in the peloton and after bringing back Woods from yet another attack.

Crossing the line in 15th place, with the select group of favorites, 22 seconds down on Soler, Woods moved up in the GC, and is now just half a minute off the leading rider ahead of tomorrow’s mountaintop finish.

Michael Woods: “It was a really hectic final with lots of rain and because of the wet roads, the descents became very tricky and positioning was essential. Fortunately, I had the guys with me and they put me in a great position heading into the penultimate climb. From there, I was able to hold my position and wait for the final climb. I really wanted to attack but the climb wasn’t super challenging and I wasn’t able to get the separation that I wanted. Ultimately, it led to Soler taking the win. It was tough watching him go away, because I knew that, when he went, it was the right move, but I didn’t want to be the guy who was always chasing. Now it all comes down to tomorrow and the day after.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

Froome attacks – late crash sets back Martin in the GC

The Israel Start-Up Nation riders put on strong performance on stage 4 of Tour of the Alps with Chris Froome trying his luck from an early breakaway and the rest of the team setting up Dan Martin for the final climb. Unfortunately, a late crash on the final descent ended Martin’s chances of success on the day.

With over 4000 meters of elevation and several steep ascents, today’s stage was always going to be an important day for the riders aiming at the general classification. As Martin was sitting fourth in the GC prior the stage, the team tactic was to stay around the Irishman and only join the breaks if a big group got up the road.

Israeli champion Omer Goldstein did well to cover the opening moves before Froome took over and joined a strong group with eight other riders. The breakaway worked well together but the peloton never let the group get a gap of more than 2:30 minutes and as the riders reached the bottom of the final climb it all came back together again.

The ISN riders did a great job of positioning Martin near the front and he had no problems following the fast pace set by the teams of the other GC riders. On the steep section of the climb, race leader Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) upped the pace with only Martin and one other rider being able to follow. Towards the top, Martin lost a bit of terrain but he didn’t give up and started on the downhill only a handful of seconds behind the two leading riders.

On the descent, Martin was joined by Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) and the duo looked sure to make it back to the front group. Unfortunately, a late crash ruined Martin’s chances of success on the day. Luckily, he was able to get back up and finish the stage but he’s now 4:01 minutes down in the GC before the tomorrow’s final day of racing. Bilbao won the stage, while Yates still leads overall.

Chris Froome: “I think this was the first time I have been in a breakaway since the Giro d’Italia of 2018. I really enjoyed being up there today, testing the legs a bit. Especially as the break went away on a quite hard section after a bunch of attacks. It was a shame that we never got much of a gap but it was still a good experience to be up there again. I can feel that the condition is slowly improving and I’m pretty happy with how the legs are feeling.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com