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Doebel-Hickok reigns supreme in Sea Otter road race – Rally Cycling

Krista Doebel-Hickok made it two-for-two for Rally Cycling at the Sea Otter Classic, taking victory in Friday’s road race. The American used the uphill finish to her advantage and launched a powerful uphill sprint to beat Emma Langley (Team TIBCO – SVB) to the line. Sara Poidevin rounded out the podium in third place. 

“I’m really delighted,” said Doebel-Hickok. “I don’t often give myself the chance at the win but I raced smart and strong. This race is special to me because it was one of the first big races that I did before turning pro in 2013.”

The women competed on a challenging 54-mile route that included laps around Fort Old National Monument before finishing on the climb of Barloy Canyon Road, a stone’s throw from Thursday’s circuit which was won by Emma White. The route proved to be the perfect parcours for Rally Cycling’s strong team.

We wanted a really hard race, so we attacked a lot,” added Doebel-Hickok. “In the end, it was a group of four heading into the final climb. Sara rode hard into the headwind and then I attacked off Langley’s wheel. I could feel her trying to pass, but I was able to hold it.”

The Sea Otter Classic was Doebel-Hickok’s first race back since fracturing her radius bone during stage 5 of the Giro Donne in July.

It felt like I never left,” said Doebel-Hickok. “Injuries are just part of the sport, and I’ve shown that I can come off them with good form.”

The team’s final race of the season will be the Into the Lion’s Den criterium in Sacramento on October 30. The event has a total prize purse of $100,000 and will be an exciting way to close out 2021.

Sea Otter road race results
1 DOEBEL-HICKOK Kristabel – Rally Cycling 2:41:31
2 LANGLEY Emma – Team TIBCO – SVB ”
3 POIDEVIN Sara – Rally Cycling 0:20
4 WARD Maddy – Team TIBCO – SVB 1:23
5 FRANZ Heidi – Rally Cycling 1:36
6 WHITE Emma – Rally Cycling 2:22
7 WHEELER Jennifer – Seattle 5:36
8 POTTER Rebekah – Sisterhood of Cycling 6:10
9 RAYNOLDS Matilda – Port Melbourne 7:39
10 O’MARA Alana – Palo Alto 17:03

— Tom Soladay to rallycycling.com

White wins Sea Otter circuit race in podium lockout – Rally Cycling


Emma White sprinted to an impressive victory on the opening day of the Sea Otter Classic. The Olympic bronze medalist took the win in the circuit race ahead of teammates Heidi Franz and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok to ensure it was an all Rally Cycling podium.

The result was a perfect opening for what promises to be two days of action-packed racing for the women in Monterey. 

Sweeping the podium and celebrating with teammates is such a special feeling,” White said from Laguna Seca Raceway. “The entire team did everything they could to make it fast and utilize their strengths. I’m so proud of everyone’s efforts.”

Joining White, Franz and Doebel-Hickok in the front group were Sara Poidevin and Holly Breck. Poidevin broke away with a rival and stayed clear until the final lap where White followed a counter-attack the final time up the climb. The 24-year-old then launched her sprint early and battled a strong headwind to finish two seconds ahead of the chasers.

In the end, the assistance from her teammates proved invaluable to White. 

“Being surrounded by my teammates in the front group is such a reassuring feeling. I was confident in what we would be able to accomplish.”

The Laguna Seca Raceway is famous for its corkscrew bend and the iconic corner featured heavily in today’s course. 

This is one of the most fun courses I’ve raced on. The climb on the backside was challenging, and the corkscrew descent was fast, technical and fun,” White said.

White hadn’t raced since the Joe Martin Stage Race in late August but still had plenty of gas in the tank for the late-season race.

“I’m happy to be back with the team after some time away. My legs were a bit shocked to feel that kind of pain again, but they quickly warmed up to it. It always feels good to be back with Rally Cycling.”

The team is back in action on Friday to take on a hilly road race course. You can find out more in our Sea Otter Classic preview

Sea Otter Classic circuit race results
1 WHITE Emma – Rally Cycling 48:14
2 FRANZ Heidi – Rally Cycling 0:02
3 DOEBEL-HICKOK Kristabel – Rally Cycling ”
4 LANGLEY Emma – Team TIBCO – SVB ”
5 WILSON Moriah – San Francisco 0:03
6 POIDEVIN Sara – Rally Cycling 0:26
7 WARD Maddy – Team TIBCO – SVB 0:43
8 BRECK Holly – Rally Cycling 2:43
9 RAYNOLDS Matilda – Port Melbourne ” 
10 POTTER Rebekah – Sisterhood of Cycling 3:39

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

Bassett climbs and sprints to Paris-Bourges podium – Rally Cycling

Stephen Bassett lit up the breakaway at Paris-Bourges on Thursday by winning both the sprints and KOM classification. The 26-year-old launched the early breakaway and went on to score points at all but one of the day’s intermediate sprints and climbs. 

“I made sure to check my efforts early in the race in order to have the acceleration needed to get the classifications,” Bassett said afterward. “I was able to pretty easily take the sprint points but the KOM was a lot trickier as I was second over the first one but Tony Gallopin (AG2R Citroën Team) upped the pace and dropped the leader so I was able to soak up the final few points.”

At the finish, Bassett heaped praise on his Felt AR and Pactimo kit.

“I was also really happy with my kit as there were so many sections where I could hunker down and coast while I could see the guys in front of me had to keep on the pedals for longer.”

Bassett has been active in breakaways and the amount of racing he has done in Europe has left him in good stead. 

“I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress this season in adapting to life and racing in Europe,” he said. “I’ve taken my chances in breakaways and had  good results so I’m happy.” 

Rally Cycling animated much of the racing before the final bunch sprint that was won by Jordi Meeus (BORA – hansgrohe). Pier-André Coté was the team’s top finisher in 24th place. 

After winning the KOM prize at the Eurométropole Tour, Robin Carpenter said that the team wanted to improve on their performance at Paris-Bourges from 2019. Keen to bury the demons of two years ago, the Philadelphia rider went for a daring breakaway with Ryan Mullen (Trek – Segafredo) inside the final 10km before being caught by the charging peloton. 

Kyle Murphy also launched an attack late on, but the flat run-in proved difficult terrain to open a gap up. Although their bids for glory didn’t work out, they were examples of how Rally Cycling riders race with their hearts on their sleeves. 

The men’s team will spend the next week in France as they prepare for the final race of the season at the Grand Prix du Morbihan on October 16.  

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

De Kleijn wins La Route Adélie – Rally Cycling


Dutch powerhouse Arvid de Kleijn took his second victory for Rally Cycling at La Route Adélie de Vitré, the 12th round of the Coupe de France. De Kleijn dominated the finale, outsprinting his rivals to open up clear daylight between him and the rest of the field.

“It feels great to be back on the podium,” de Kleijn said afterwards in Vitré. “Like every sprinter, I’ve had some bad luck here and there, so today it was so nice to be back winning a bike race.”

De Kleijn utilised the strength and power of first Adam de Vos and then Colin Joyce to reel the late breakaway rider in before he launched his devastating sprint.

“They put me where I wanted to be in the last kilometer. There were a lot of corners and I went all out with 300 meters to go to catch Emmanuel Morin (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) before the line.”

The race took place in torrential conditions with heavy rain falling on the route for the majority of the laps around the Breton town.

Nickolas Zukowsky spent most of the day out front and played a vital role in the “little gorilla’s” victory. The Canadian was initially in a breakaway of three before the group swelled to seven in the closing stages. 

The team played their tactics perfectly with Zukowksy in the break, as the riders behind did not have to chase. With a proven finisher behind in de Kleijn, Zukowsky just needed to sit on the wheels out front. 

“It was nice to see that he had such great legs,” de Kleijn said about his teammate. “It really was a team effort. For sure I need the legs to win but the team did a great job. It’s a great feeling to have guys riding for me like that, it feels like a family.”

 

It was a confidence boosting victory for the Dutchman who took the top step of the podium at the Tour of Turkey in similarly harsh weather. This time though, the 27-year-old had plenty of time to get his arms in the air.

The team will stay in France for Saturday’s Classic Loire-Atlantique and Paris-Bourges on October 7. With both having favorable parcours for either a strong breakaway rider or a bunch sprinter, there remain plenty of chances as the team begins to close out 2021 in style.

La Route Adélie de Vitré results
1 DE KLEIJN Arvid – Rally Cycling 4:44:23
2 MORIN Emmanuel – Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:02
3 TESSON Jason – St Michel – Auber93 ”
4 REINDERS Elmar – Riwal Cycling Team 0:04
5 GHIRMAY HAILU Biniam – Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux ”
6 FUENTES Ángel – Burgos-BH ”
7 REYNDERS Jens – Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ”
8 ZINGLE Axel  – Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ”
9 BARTHE Cyril – B&B Hotels p/b KTM ”
10 KONGSTAD Tobias – Riwal Cycling Team ”

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

Ben King of the Mountains – Rally Cycling

Ben King had a successful day in the breakaway on stage 3 of the Giro di Sicilia and rode himself into the lead of the KOM standings. The American climber scored maximum points over the route’s two intermediate tests before an uphill finish in Caronia saw Kyle Murphy stay with the leaders to finish in 13th.  

King now leads the classification by 10 points over stage winner and new race leader, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team).

“I’m really proud of the effort,” King said after the finish. “The break was eight riders, so the first sprint was tactical and the second was all guts since we started the 11km climb with only a minute advantage over the chase.” 

The Virginian had to hold off a charging peloton going over the HC categorized Pollina climb. “They were breathing down my neck and I had to do a time trial up the entire climb. The last kilometer was everything I had left,” King said, having dug-deep to distance his breakaway rivals.

The team’s GC leader, Kyle Murphy, goes into Friday’s final stage only 13 seconds behind Valverde. Speaking about the performances of his Rally Cycling teammates, King said, “We have consistently found ways to win this season by racing with heart and commitment. I believe Kyle can finish well on GC.” 

“It was great to be there leading him into the finishing climb. If I can get in the breakaway again tomorrow then I can be valuable to him later in the stage,” King added.

Like Charles-Étienne Chrétien on stage 1, King will now wear the unique pistachio colored KOM jersey, something he relishes. “It’s my favorite gelato flavor,” he enthused. 

Stage 4 from Sant’Agata di Militello to Mascali is over mountainous terrain and offers riders a total of 50 KOM points spread over two climbs. 

With small gaps in the general and KOM classifications, everything is still to play for on the final day. Don’t miss the action on GCN+ and Eurosport Player from 7:20 am ET. 

Giro di Sicilia KOM standings
1 KING Ben – Rally Cycling 30
2 VALVERDE Alejandro – Movistar Team 20
3 SCARONI Cristian – Gazprom – RusVelo 20
4 COVI Alessandro – UAE-Team Emirates 14
5 NIBALI Antonio – Trek – Segafredo 12

General classification after three stages
1 VALVERDE Alejandro – Movistar Team 13:45:18
2 COVI Alessandro – UAE-Team Emirates 0:07
3 RESTREPO Jhonathon – Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec 0:09
4 GABBURO Davide – Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè ”
5 BARDET Romain – Team DSM 0:11
6 VELASCO – Gazprom – RusVelo 0:13
15 MURPHY Kyle – Rally Cycling ”

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

Chrétien hits out for KOM jersey in the City of Bridges – Rally Cycling


Rally Cycling’s stagiaire Charles-Étienne Chrétien made his name known at the Giro di Sicilia by taking the lead in the KOM classification on stage 1. The 22-year-old Canadian was part of the day’s breakaway and took maximum points over the only categorized climb at Ragusa Ibla.

“It’s really nice to be in the King of the Mountain’s leader’s jersey,” Chrétien said at the end of his fifth race for the team. “I was patient and let the two other guys start their sprint from far out and stayed on the wheel which paid off and then I just went for it.”

The 8.2-kilometer-long climb came 90km from the finish, so having crested the summit in first, all Chrétien had to do was roll over the line to be in the Maglia Verde Pistacchio. 

The town of Ragusa Ibla is often referred to as “The City of Bridges” and is one of the island’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it also proved to be where the peloton would start to bridge the gap. 

The advantage of the trio began to tumble as UAE-Team Emirates pulled on the front. With a coastal run-in, stage one favoured the sprinters and so it came to pass when Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE-Team Emirates) took the victory in a bunch kick. 

The climber from Amos, Quebec is one of three stagiaires that joined the team in August. With Raphaël Parisella also recently tasting success at the Tour du Doubs, our apprentices are showing that they are raring to prove themselves.

Looking ahead to the challenges to come in Sicily, Chrétien said, “for now I think we have bigger GC objectives so I doubt we will defend the jersey, but we shall see going forward.”

The team in Sicily (L-R) Ben King, Charles-Étienne Chrétien, Kyle Murphy, Gavin Mannion, Keegan Swirbul, Emerson Oronte and Nate Brown

The jersey Chrétien will wear tomorrow is a light shade of green, referencing the color of the island’s famous nuts. Stage 2 is on a rolling parcours and features two categorized tests. The wealth of climbing and the tight ascent and descent at Carini, 24km from the finish, could favor a potential breakaway. 

Catch the action from 7:00 am ET on GCN+ and the Eurosport Player.  

Giro di Sicilia KOM standings
1 Charles-Étienne Chrétien – Rally Cycling 5
2 Matteo Zurlo – Zalf Euromobil Fior 3
3 Jacopo Cortese – M.g.k Vis VPM 2
4 David de la Cruz – UAE-Team Emirates 1

— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com

De Vos doubles up at Paris-Chauny – Rally Cycling


Adam de Vos’ run of late-season form continued on Sunday in France’s Classique Paris-Chauny. The 27-year-old broke clear with six other riders before proceeding to claim points across eight categorized climbs and three intermediate sprints. As the peloton reeled his move back in with 15km remaining, de Vos had both competitions locked up. Teammate Arvid de Kleijn took fifth in the rain-soaked field sprint.

“It’s really nice to get something out of the day and get on the podium,” said de Vos after the finish. “I felt really good but the field only gave us a few minutes so it’s hard to stay away. I was prepared to sprint for everything and glad I had the legs to back it up.”

De Vos has been up the road quite a bit in recent weeks. Something he’s hoping will continue to yield results.

“The breakaways are nice, less stress and just pushing all the time which I enjoy,” added de Vos. “But I’m going in these breaks to win the race so hopefully that can happen soon.”

The team’s one-day squad now heads to Belgium’s Eurométropole Tour on September 29 before heading back to France for La Route Adélie de Vitré and Classic Loire Atlantique.

Results
1 PHILIPSEN Jasper Alpecin-Fenix 125 75 4:30:38
2 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ”
3 PASQUALON Andrea Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux ”
4 BOUHANNI Nacer Team Arkéa Samsic ”
5 DE KLEIJN Arvid Rally Cycling
6 TESSON Jason St Michel – Auber93 ”
7 BANASZEK Alan HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski ”
8 NAESEN Lawrence AG2R Citroën Team ”
9 BARTHE Cyril B&B Hotels p/b KTM ”
10 D’HEYGERE Gil Tarteletto – Isorex “

— Tom Soladay to rallycycling.com

Joyce sprints to fourth in elite company to close out Britain – Rally Cycling

Colin Joyce sprinted to fourth place on the Aberdeen Esplanade, just narrowly missing a podium packed with sprint royalty.[1]

The 2019 Rutland – Melton Cicle Classic winner brought his Tour of Britain debut to an impressive end, after tasting disappointment on stage 6.

«It was nice to have Robin up the road. The last five to ten kilometers were chaos. I tried to have a late go at it, but couldn’t quite find my way to the line. But yeah, happy with the result.»[2]

The sprint came after a Robin Carpenter-led breakaway[6] was caught just five zkm from the line. Despite suffering through the day, Carpenter found a little extra energy to salute the huge crowds on the Cairn o’Mount KOM.

«The fans were just crazy and I was trying to hype them up. That was the best part of the day.»

Carpenter has enjoyed a superb Tour of Britain, with a stage win and day in the overall race lead. He said, «You can feel like people want you to be here. Just feel the love.»[4]

Joyce summed up the team’s time in Britain.

«It’s an amazing country, especially Scotland. The dense forests, the rivers, and the amazing crowds.»[3][5][7]

— Tom Owen to rallycycling.com

Geoff Brown comes home – Rally Cycling


In his long career as a race mechanic – and now Rally Cycling’s Girona service course manager – Geoff Brown has been all over the world.

Brown worked several Tours de France with the biggest US teams of the ’90s and ’00s, and has worked at races on nearly every continent. Not only that, bike racing has even landed him a cameo role in a Hollywood film, the Lance Armstrong-inspired The Program, in which he can be seen leaning precariously out of a team car to mend a derailleur. 

Cycling has taken Brown around the world, but until yesterday a bike race had never brought him so close to the place where he was born. 

Geoff scrubs up pretty well

Brown was born in Morecambe, England, about four miles away from the team’s hotel before stage 6 of the Tour of Britain. His family moved away when he was just four years old, so he doesn’t have too many strong memories of the place – but he still has roots here. 

“It was a cool experience being so close. It was nice because some family of mine that I hadn’t seen for ten years – were able to come and visit me, to say ‘hi’.”

Brown’s family moved to Canada when he was young, and it was there he discovered cycling – and began on the path that brought him to the point he is now. A man with a Canadian accent, living in Spain, and with a lifetime’s worth of cycling stories.

“My parents were excited I can tell you that. My dad was born in Morecambe too. And then my mom somewhere a bit further north.”

“I told my dad about the hotel. He said ‘That didn’t used to be there when I was a young lad.’ I said ‘Yeah, that was during the second world war!’”

Bike racing can take you to a lot of places. Even right back where it all began. 

With fellow veteran mechanic, Alan Buttler.

Tour of Britain stage 6 results

1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 4:35:56
2 Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers ”
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep ”
4 Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team ”
5 James Shaw (GBr) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling ”
6 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation ”
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation ”
8 Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep ”
9 Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team 0:00:04
10 Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers ”
14 Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling

GC standings after stage 6
1 Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 22:53:32
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:04
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:21
4 Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:35
5 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:54
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:08
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:01:10
8 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix 0:01:37
9 Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM 0:01:58
10 Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:01
17 Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling 0:02:52

Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain kicks off on Saturday at 5:45 am EDT, with television pictures on GCN+ from 8 am EDT. 

— Tom Owen to rallycycling.com

Carpenter wins Britain stage 2, seizes race lead – Rally Cycling

A daring solo move with 30km to go saw Robin Carpenter blow away the breakaway and outrun the peloton, to claim his first European race win. 

Not only did he secure the stage honors[2], Carpenter also finished with enough time on the peloton to go into the blue overall leader’s jersey. 

“I was feeling really good almost all day, then the last 15km were super tough. I didn’t have a whole lot left in the tank, but I knew I had a big gap. I just had to keep it steady and make sure I didn’t explode.”

Carpenter attacked the descents into Exeter with relish[3], but he found the tank almost dry by the time he reached the city.

“I was falling apart at the end but I made sure to be falling apart by myself.”[4]

— Tom Owen to rallycycling.com