Sprint finish wraps up hot, hot, hot third stage of the Belgium Tour

Sport Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“It’s frustrating that we just missed the breakaway today. Oliver attacked first and it didn’t stick, but the next move did, that’s just the way that it goes sometimes. After the breakaway was established, we regrouped and held a good position in the bunch to help Peter and Declan.”

“Logan, Oliver and Sam did great work looking after their teammates today. Logan was back to the cars for bottles even when he was suffering and by his own admission, that gave purpose to his suffering which cannot be underestimated on a hot day like today.”

Oliver Behringer

“I tried to get in the first breakaway straight out of the neutral zone, but unfortunately it didn’t happen, and the bunch regrouped, but only for a moment and the next attacks to spring were what formed the break. There were a lot of twists and turns in the beginning and it wasn’t possible to bridge across.

“After that we made a really good decision as a team to look after Declan and Peter and help each other. So, I was able to recover from the early effort and then do my job for the team with everyone else and prepare for the circuits.

“I think it was key that we worked so well for each other going into the finishing laps, because we were able to keep Declan and Peter up near the front, before Sam and I dropped off on the last lap and rode tempo to the line.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Brown wraps up Vuelta a Burgos Feminas with 7th overall & a stage win with Spratt going on the offensive for 10th on the final Queen stage – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange wrapped up the four-day Vuelta a Burgos Feminas today with stage one winner Grace Brown taking seventh place overall, after a strong ride on today’s Queen stage summit finish in Lagunas de Neilas where she climbed to ninth position. Teammate Amanda Spratt showed her cards, riding on the offensive all day by jumping in to a large breakaway, before attacking up the final ascent and eventually claiming a respectable 10th place after a huge effort throughout the 121km stage.

The day began with a rapid pace with the peloton not allowing any breakaway groups to form. Eventually, a large group of 30 riders was given freedom with Spratt and Georgia Williams represented in the move for Team BikeExchange. 

The gap opened up to over one minute 40 seconds with Spratt winning the first GPM sprint before the group reduced to 14 riders on the approach to the final ascent to Lagunas de Neilas. Spratt then went on the attack, taking with her one Movistar rider, before being joined by two more riders as they passed the 4km to go mark.

The race then suddenly lit up, with a surge from behind as the GC favourites quickly charged towards the leaders as they began the climb. By the time they started the final two kilometres, the quartet were swallowed up and only a trio of Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering remained at the head of affairs as the road gradient increased.

Behind, Brown and Spratt fought hard all the way to the line to finish the brutal stage in ninth and tenth position respectively, securing a top-10 placing overall and a stage win, which concludes a successful four-days of racing for the squad.

Amanda Spratt
“I was so disappointed with yesterday and I knew I had to refocus and come out today and have a good ride. The girls were so amazing at the start, especially Sarah Roy and Georgia Williams, and I was able to sneak into that move and really thanks to Georgia. She killed herself for me and we knew that I had a good chance in that group as one of the strongest climbers.

I just had to be patient and I attacked on the second to last climb and then again on the last climb a few times to try and shake the others. Maybe I was a little too keen at the start with the hard final, but honestly I’m really happy with my ride and it’s nice to be a part of the race again. It was great to take a stage win with Grace here and she’s also finished 7th on GC.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director 
“It wasn’t really planned, but we ended up with a group of over 25 riders going away and Spratty was in there and it was a really good move for us and we had Georgia there to support. 

We took the opportunity, it was an opportunity that came and in the end it came up a couple of kilometres short, but it was a really good move.

I think the whole race has been pretty positive, we came with two goals, to get a stage win and get a good general classification position, and we got a stage on day one with Grace and a good general classification result, so all the boxes are ticked.”

2021 Vuelta a Burgos Feminas – Stage 4 Results:
1. Anna van der Breggen 3:24:15 
2. Annemiek van Vleuten ST
3. Demi Vollering +0:20
9. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) +1:09
10. Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange) +1:17

Final General Classification:
1. Anna van der Breggen 11:23:55
2. Annemiek van Vleuten +0:03
3. Demi Vollering +0:23
7. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) +1:07

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Howson wraps up the overall title at the Tour de Hongrie – Team BikeExchange

Yesterday’s Queen stage winner Damien Howson delivered Team BikeExchange their second overall UCI stage race victory of the 2021 season at the Tour de Hongrie, after safely negotiating the final stage in Budapest.

Today’s win is the 28-year-old’s third overall stage race victory of his career following on from last year’s Czech Tour title and the 2017 Herald Sun Tour. 

The race concluded with 12 laps of a circuit around the capital with the stage always likely to finish in a fourth bunch sprint in five days. A breakaway was established in the opening kilometres, but the sprint teams kept them on a tight leash throughout the 92km stage.

New Zealander Sam Bewley chipped in with work on the front, while the rest of the team amassed around race leader Howson and guided him safely through the day. The sprint teams made no mistake and reeled the breakaway in ahead of the final lap before setting it up for a sprint finish won by Edward Theuns.

Damien Howson:
“Bike racing is never over until it’s over, so particularly until three kilometres to go I definitely had to be very attentive and have a little bit of luck go my way, no misfortune and at the end of the day I got around the course safely.

The team rode well and I’m happy to come away with the victory at the end of the week. It’s nice to see people at the side of the road again supporting bike racing and it was a nice day supporting the yellow jersey, I enjoyed it out there.
I think last year after winning the Czech Tour I had the desire to get a few more wins and it’s something I’ve put focus on and this race, I came close last year, so I knew it was in my grasp if I played it smart.”

Mat Hayman (Sport Director):
“We’re really happy to finish the tour off like that, it’s always a little bit nervous with a street circuit and there was quite a lot of rain this morning, but the boys did well defending the jersey.
We wanted to go for both, defend the jersey and go for the stage win, but it was quite a messy sprint again and Kaden [Groves] was a bit out of position, so that was a bit disappointing.

But we’re happy to see Damo get on the bus with the yellow jersey, we ticked that box, we won a stage and the tour, so we are really pleased.”

Tour de Hongrie – Stage 5:
1. Edward Theuns 1:55:46
2. Olav Kooij ST
11. Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) ST

2021 Tour de Hongrie – GC
1. Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 18:07:10
2. Ben Hermans +0:16
3. Antonio Tiberi +0:24

Photo Courtesy of Tour de Hongrie.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com