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Roy sprints to 11th on an aggressive stage one of the Women’s Tour – Team BikeExchange

Australian champion Sarah Roy sprinted to 11th place on an aggressive opening stage of the Women’s Tour in Banbury.

The two-time stage winner was in the mix in both the intermediate sprints on the 147.7km stage, taking second and third respectively as Team BikeExchange looked to go on the front foot on day one.

With a number of attacks coming and going in the opening half of the stage, Janneke Ensing tried her luck as she jumped clear ahead of the Iron Down Hill QOM. The Dutch rider opened up an advantage of more than 30 seconds, but the peloton soon shut the move down as the race reached the finishing circuit.

A flurry of attacks were then launched over the course of the last lap, with a dangerous group of five edging away inside the final 10km. However, it was all back together again in time for the sprint finale as Marta Bastianelli took the win, with Roy battling to 11th place after getting caught behind a late crash.

Sarah Roy:
“The legs are feeling great after Roubaix surprisingly. My blistered up hands on the other hand are quite sore, but I know I’m not the only one.

It’s a real shame there is no live coverage of this race. It’s always so dynamic and interesting. Today in the last 15km we had a small group away and a fast chase from behind with a very reduced bunch after a quick QOM.

The break had about 15 seconds and all of my teammates had already used all their biccies helping me earlier in the race, so I was following wheels alone but feeling very good. The group was caught with 2-3km to go. Our first objective for the finish was to be top-10 into the roundabout 1.3km from the line, and I was thereabouts when the peloton split into two lines going around it and as they merged there was a big crash in front of me. Thankfully I made it through, but unfortunately was off the back of the sprint and didn’t get to contest for it.

Today was a fantastic team ride, and I really enjoyed it with this crew. Janneke, Ane and Teniel were really strong out there covering important moves and looking after me. I’m looking forward to the next stages. I hope all those who came down are okay.”

2021 Women’s Tour Stage 1 – Results:
1. Marta Bastianelli 3:44:41
2. Chloe Hosking ST
3. Clara Copponi ST
11. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) ST

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Final WorldTour stage race of the season beckons for Team BikeExchange at the Women’s Tour – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange return to Britain for the final WorldTour stage race of the season as they tackle the six-day Women’s Tour.

Two-time stage winner Sarah Roy will be keen to add further success on British soil, while Spaniard Ane Santesteban looks to build on her strong third place overall at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche two weeks ago.

Janneke Ensing lines-up for the final stage race of her career with l’Ardèche stage winner Teniel Campbell back in action alongside Jess Allen, all fresh from the inaugural edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Despite announcing her retirement at last month, Lucy Kennedy wanted one more taste of racing and has been called up for the Women’s Tour, rounding out the six-rider squad and replacing Georgia Williams who crashed in Paris-Roubaix and will rest as a precaution.

Team BikeExchange at the Women’s Tour:
Jess Allen (AUS)
Teniel Campbell (TTO)
Janneke Ensing (NED)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS)
Sarah Roy (AUS)
Ane Santesteban (ESP)

Sarah Roy:
“Veloviewer has been great to see what the courses will be like this year. The stages look like it will be really fun and interesting racing across the whole week and the terrain really suits our team.

I like that there’s a ‘short’ time trial this year as well. It’ll really sort out the GC which can open the racing up a bit differently for non time trial riders.

It’s been a really long season, especially for the Australians, having started racing back in January. It’s also been a special year with the Olympics and the first time we’ve had a really popular, strong stage race after the world championships, which I think means we might see a number of riders absent from the tour or slightly fatigued given the demanding season. I expect to see some great racing though, our peloton is relentless.”

Martin Vestby (Head Sport Director):
“There is going to be quite a lot of stages that are exposed to wind and at this time of year there could be a bit of everything. It is a great race and it is one of the bigger tours this year, so we are motivated.

I think with the course this year and the form Roy is in, if she can recover from Roubaix with the form she has, I think we have a strong card with her, but I think we should play with all the opportunities that we have.”

2021 Women’s Tour – Stage Details:
Monday, 4th October: Stage 1, Bicester-Banbury, 147.7km
Tuesday, 5th October: Stage 2, Walsall-Walsall, 102km
Wednesday, 6th October: Stage 3, Atherstone-Atherstone, 16.6km (TT)
Thursday, 7th October: Stage 4, Shoeburyness-Southend-on-Sea, 117.8    
Friday, 8th October: Stage 5, Colchester-Clacton, 95.4km
Saturday, 9th October: Stage 6, Haverhill-Felixstone, 155.3km

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Queen stage all about survival for Team Novo Nordisk

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“The Queen Stage. The toughest of the race and for us it certainly played out that way. We lost contact on the first climb, made it back in and then we dropped again on the big HC category climb to Poklon.”

“From there it was about survival for us and making sure we stuck together and made it to the finish. We were part of a big group and we made it. Tomorrow is all about working for Andrea, giving him as much help as possible until the last moment and going for a result so we can end the season on a high.”

Filippo Ridolfo:

“I am really tired now. I felt good the first three stages and then yesterday I started to feel the season in my legs. Today I realized how much higher the level of this race is to what I’m used to and how happy I am to be racing here and holding my own.

“We all worked hard together today and when we regrouped after the main climb, we rode as a team to the finish. I think it’s been great to get this experience in my legs at this stage of my career and I’m looking forward to the finish in Zagreb tomorrow. We’ll give our all for Andrea tomorrow and try our best to position him at the front for the last sprint of the year.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

STEVIE WILLIAMS WINS CRO RACE QUEEN STAGE AND LEADS GC

Stevie Williams took a solo win and the red jersey on the queen and penultimate stage of Cro race.
Only 137.7 kilometres long, stage 5 was the make or break for the GC, with several teams looking to place themselves in the red jersey ahead of stage 6.

The action started from the beginning in Rabac as Hermann Pernsteiner, and Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) pulled out of the peloton to break. The two of them escaped the main group and won the first mountain goal of the day, the ascent to Gračišće, with Hermann taking the top points. After that, a passing goal in Pazin awaited, and Hermann was the first again.

On the way from Viškovo to Rijeka, Yates and Stevie Williams were joined at the head of the race by Riccardo Zoidl (Felbermayr Simplon Wels) as the trio managed to create a half-minute advantage over a group of about 20 riders. In both Viškovo and Rijeka, Stevie was strongest on through the passing goal. The trio then took advantage of the unorganized chasing group from Rijeka to Opatija and increased their advantage to almost a minute. Despite the chasers eventually closing the gap by 30 seconds, it was not enough to catch the trio out front.

In the final few kilometres, Stevie was able to accelerate away from Yates and Zoidl and solo to victory. Stevie was delighted with the win: “I was afraid after the first passage through Opatija that they would catch me since we did a lot of stages and I was afraid that there was no freshness in my legs. However, somewhere three kilometres to the finish, I realized that I still had a freshness and could still pick up the pace.

My teammates positioned me well on the start of the climb Učka, which started very hard on the bottom. The group gradually got smaller and smaller. As the group, we were very lucky with Hermann’s position and Santiago in the group behind, so it was perfect for me to be with Simon. I was able to use them. I am proud of the way I raced. I am really happy to take this win for the team and myself. I am over the moon now. I am also happy to take the lead GC, and I am expecting a tough race tomorrow. I will give everything, and hopefully, I will come out with the red jersey.”

Satisfied Sports director Franco Pellizotti commented on Stevie’s win: “I am happy for the win but especially because the win goes to Stevie, who has in previous seasons suffered a lot. He succeeded in progress and went through difficult times, and here is the result. I am super happy for him.”

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright CRO race / KL Photo @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Late crash takes out Peron’s chances on stage 4 in Croatia

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Another top 20 today with Andrea and we are certainly consistent in that regard, but we were aiming higher and for the work we put in we deserved more. You can’t do anything about the crash, it happened right in front of him and he did well to stay upright.”

“The guys were positioned much better today, and this morning’s team talk obviously had some effect, but our first target was to get in the breakaway and we didn’t.”

“That needs addressing. Today was a perfect opportunity and we tried to make it into the early move, then stopped. As we stopped the right move went and we weren’t there, and we need to work on that. You should be going three or four times, all our guys apart from Andrea as the sprinter, trying to get an attack going, but we didn’t try hard enough, and we will speak about that.”

Andrea Peron:

“Man. I can’t believe it. That was the best position I’ve been in for maybe the last two seasons. I was top ten inside the last km and the third wheel went down in front of me and I had to start from scratch. I couldn’t do anything about it, and I was so frustrated when we crossed the line.”

“I want more than top 20, and we want more than that as a team. We worked better today as a unit and we were together until deeper into the stage, but we only have two more opportunities left in 2021 – tomorrow and Sunday. It’s going to be hard, especially tomorrow with the climb, but we will try to get a top ten finish before this race and our season is over.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Second place for Itamar Einhorn on stage 2 of Cro Race

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Israeli sprinter, Itamar Einhorn, took second place in the bunch sprint of stage 2 of Cro Race after impeccable teamwork on the final kilometers.

Knowing that today’s stage would be another good chance for the fast men to test their legs, the ISN guys were eager to set up Einhorn for the final sprint. The team worked perfectly to put him in the best possible position and on the final meters, Einhorn came close to taking the win as he crossed the line in second place after Olav Kooij (Team Jumbo-Visma).

With today’s result, Einhorn is now third in general classification before tomorrow’s undulating stage 3.

Itamar Einhorn: “The team did a great job at the beginning of the stage to keep the early breakaway in check. On the hard climb, I suffered a lot and I lost contact with the group with around 300 meters to the top. However, I knew that this was a good chance for me and we chased hard to get back. In the final, the guys did an amazing good job to keep me at the front. I was in a good position and I started my sprint with 200 meters to go and I came very close. To be honest, I didn’t really feel I had a great day today so second place was probably the best I could get.”

In fact, Einhorn’s second place marks a special day for the team as Omer Goldstein also made Top 10 today on stage 2 of Giro di Sicilia, showing the massive progress the Israeli riders have made in recent years.

ISN general manager, Kjell Carlström: “It’s great to see the progress our Israeli riders have made over the last couple of years. To have both Omer and Itamar in the mix, fighting for the top positions in two different European races, really shows how far Israeli cycling has come. This is only the beginning.”

— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com

CRO-Race stage 1 unfolds over 240km and wraps with Beadle & Peron in Top 25

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“That was a very long day to start the race with, mainly flat with a third category climb in the final third and we knew that would come down to a sprint in Varaždin, so there were no real surprises.”

“The first attack formed the break and then the bunch sat up for what seemed like forever, but really it was after the climb and the break was caught with 30km to go. We stuck together today and that was great to see, Filippo had a good start and finished with his teammates in the bunch.”

“Andrea and Hamish were our standout guys, and they were so close to a higher finish, the final circuit was extremely fast, and they just slipped back into the top 25 on the last corners on the cobbles. But it was a positive start today and we will look to continue in this vein over the next stages, even if the terrain does get harder!”

Andrea Peron:

“The guys were great today, we all did our jobs well, but Hamish was right up there with me to the end and really gave me a hand with trying to hold the position. I got cut off in the last corner before the line and dabbed the breaks to avoid going down and that’s where I missed out today.

“It was very fast, but we knew that finish would be and it’s frustrating to come so close to a top ten again.”

Hamish Beadle:

“That was absolutely awesome! I would use another adjective, but I don’t want to get in to trouble. It was amazing, a real buzz and I haven’t felt that good on a bike in a long time. I know it’s going to get harder this week and we hit some pretty heavy terrain over the next few days, but I’m going to enjoy this feeling and soak it in.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Alternative stage racing – EF Pro Cycling

You’ve been doing quite a few home races lately. How does it feel to be racing in Colorado on home roads again?

Lachlan Morton: It’s really fun. There’s something special about throwing the bike in the car and driving to a race. The local scene is on the comeback and I think it’s really important to support every local event possible. The competition is always fierce but the atmosphere is warm and fun.

 

Alex Howes: Racing close to home is always special. Having friends and family at the races always lifts the spirit and adds so much motivation. It’s an added bonus that we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. 

Why are you doing the event? How is this going to help you in your preparation for Cape Epic?

Lachlan Morton: The Apex gives us a chance to dial in our equipment, skills and form before Cape Epic. The multi-day format and tough stages are as close to the epic as we can get locally. But really it’s just going to be a bunch of fun racing hard with Howsey and I’d be doing it even if we weren’t heading to South Africa.

 

Alex Howes: Racing the Apex is a great opportunity to race against some top talent in an MTB stage race format. It’s a big bonus that is close to home. The goal is to gain experience here and learn and improve as we move closer to Cape Epic. I think for Lachy and I, the more time we spend racing mountain bikes, the more we realize how much we have to learn. At this point, it’s crunch time for Cape Epic preparations so the more time we can spend racing, the better.  

What stage are you looking forward to? 

Lachlan Morton: It’s all new to me which is really exciting. I’ve never mountain biked in the area, so we’ll be flying blind but that always adds to the excitement and ultimately it’s a skill we will need in South Africa.

 

Alex Howes: I’ve never ridden any of the trails that we’ll be racing on and I’m really looking forward to checking them out. Palmer Park in particular looks to have some really fun terrain.  

 

Check the race out on web or on social for updates (Instagram, Twitter) and for more updates from Lachlan and Alex at the Apex, head to our team social accounts.

— Johannes Mansson to www.efprocycling.com

One for the history books: Einhorn books biggest career-win in the last stage in Slovakia

The 23-year-old Israeli sprinter, Itamar Einhorn, won the last stage in the Tour of Slovakia! It was the biggest victory in his career, especially given the competition he beat in the final few hundred meters of the race.

Einhorn beat three-time world champion Peter Sagan (second) and Cees Bol (third) in the sprint which was made up of a selected group of riders.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“We again raced exactly according to the plan we set before the race. We raced with the legs and with the brain, and it worked out perfectly today. I am very happy with this victory!”

The stage exploded early, but Einhorn digested the hilly and fast start very well. The wind began to play a role afterward. That’s when the Israeli sprinter moved into the breakaway that would make it all the way to the finish line.

The break contained most of the GC-contenders, and ISN’s Chris Froome and Krists Neilands.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Peter Sagan (SVK – Bora – Hansgrohe) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“The team did so well to get me in the breakaway. Chris and Krists then were phenomenal. They kept me sheltered from the wind in the open sections and gave me absolutely everything I needed to save energy for my sprint.”

The 23-year-old then launched his sprint from the wheel of Peter Sagan. He overtook him and left sprinters Kaden Groves and Cees Bol behind.

Neilands was the first one jumping into his arms after the finish. Soon after, Froome joined the party at the finish.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

Froome: “What a great day for Israel Start-Up Nation. It was great to be out there in the front with the three of us. I am very happy Einhorn could finish it off!”

Neilands: “What a fantastic day. We believed in him all the time. The way Itamar sprinted to the line was just impressive!”

Einhorn had already come close to a good result a few times in Slovakia. He showed his power in the prologue, finishing eleventh.

He then got sixth place in stage 1. In the second stage, the Israeli rider did not get a chance to sprint, as several riders crashed in front of him in the final. In stage 3 Einhorn was right there amongst the biggest sprinters: seventh. In the fourth stage, he beat them all.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Another top 20 for Peron on stage 3 at Tour of Slovakia

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“It was a hard one today, no doubt about it. Close to 200km and very wet, cold conditions, but I quite like it when it’s epic and full gas. I’m feeling good and to get inside the top 20 again is very positive.”

“We’ve been working well together the last couple of days and although it would be great to break into the top 10, we have to be pleased. It’s a really competitive field of sprinters here and as we saw yesterday the finals are very nervous. The last few km we were flying and it was a battle just to hold position at the front.”

“One more stage to come tomorrow and one more chance to try and get up there, we’ll give it our all and hope we can leave with another good result.”

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“Another tough day on the saddles, with over nearly 200 kilometers and bad weather conditions almost all the way.

But our boys did well, worked together to protect Andrea and to bring him to the final sprint up front. They showed good teamwork which got paid off with the top 20 of Andrea.

Tomorrow is the final road stage and also the flattest. Chances are it will finish in a sprint again and we want to have the chance to go with Andrea and aim to a top ten.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com