Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 5

Stage 5 was a near replica of Strade Bianchi, just over a week ago. A flat run into a lumpy final circuit which the peloton would complete 3.5 times meant it would definitely be an attritional day in store for the riders, even before factoring in the damp winter-like conditions. The nature of the terrain meant today’s stage could be solid practice for the upcoming successive monument races in Italy, France and Belgium. I came across a meme on Instagram by Sporza.be (if you want to check it out) that gagged about it being an exact replica of the aforementioned Strade Bianchi, because not only was the course reminiscent of the gravel race, but stage 5 terrain instigated an identical front group in the last 1/3rd of the race, including Tadej Pogacar, Wout Van Aert, Egan Bernal, and of course Mathieu Van Der Poel, could he continue his dominance of late in the cold conditions presented on stage 5. Continue reading “Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 5”

UAE Tour Stage 3

Another scorcher of a day, not least because of the intense rivalry that will undoubtedly be shown on the final 10 km climb, up to Jebel Hafeet. Pogacar was leading overall but by only a handful of seconds, could the reigning Le Tour champion be matched in this final early season test. I say final early season test because it’s FINALLY opening weekend in 4 days’ time. I for sure cannot wait for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Have I mentioned the UAE Tour is a slightly dull affair? Yeah? Well I said it again for good measure.

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UAE Tour Stage 2 – Chrono de Chaud

Todays’ stage put the riders and their expensive, rapid bikes against the clock. So yeah it was set to be a mundane day on the couch, watching and waiting for one man to roll down the ramp, and indefinitely win. Before we get into the details of the stage the main headline was that Alpecin-Fenix had to withdraw all seven riders from the race. Unfortunately, Mathieu Van Der Poel was forced out of any, far-fetched chance of winning the overall. The reason for their withdrawal was due to a staff member testing positive for Covid-19. A mere 12 months after the UAE tour produced cycling’s first positive cases.

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Tour de la Provence Stage 3

Day 3 of Tour de la Provence almost didn’t happen after some late night, heavy snowfall. Yet the stage was cleared to go and sees the riders take on a 154km and the professional peloton climb the first summit finish of 2021 on the famous Mont Ventoux, a difficult one to start off with. Prior to the climactic finish lies a rolling, fairly mundane stage where a breakaway escaped. It included a young Florian Vermeesch [Lotto-Soudal]; For the second day in a row, Jerome Cousin [Total-Direct Energie]; his teammate Damien Gaudin [Total-Direct Energie]; Louis Louvet [St Michel – Auber93]; Nicola Bagioli [B&B Hotels p/b KTM] and Alessandro Fedeli [Delko]. The sextet forged on to gain a maximum gap of 3m30s ahead of a chilled peloton, if you’ll pardon the pun.

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