Quick Release – 29 April 2018

Cees Bol (SEG Racing Academy) moved his return to form up yet another notch with a win on stage 5 of the Tour de Bretagne Cycliste (image below) in the pissing rain at Plancoët. After several second places over recent weeks, Bol’s win is his first since the overall classification at the 2016 Olimpia’s Tour and his the first time he’s crossed the line first – if you see what I mean – at this level. His SEG Racing Academy team is well connected in the professional world so EW expects to see Bol’s resurgence from the write-off of 2016 be rewarded with a pro contract next season…

Cees Bol (SEG Racing Academy) wins stage 5 of the Tour de Bretagne Cycliste at Plancoët, France, on 29 April 2018 (Image: Tour de Bretagne)

A good week for Moroccan riders as Ahmed Galdoune (Delio Gallina Collosio Eurofeed) and Abderrahim Zahiri (Trevigiani Phonix Hemus 1896) took stage wins in UCI 2.2u races. Zahiri backed up his 2nd place at the Trofeo Edil C (1.2u) with his win in stage 1 of the Toscana Terra di Ciclismo. The following day Galdoune, whose previous best result this season was 5th at the Popolarissima (1.2), took the win at stage 2a of the Carpathian Coureurs race.

Left: Abderrahim Zahiri (Trevigiani Phonix Hemus 1896) (Image: Andrew Peat)

The English expression, “go Dutch”, is an awkward way of saying “to share things equally”, usually used by people in at least their 60s. Age differences aside, it was therefore little surprise that podium places on stage 1 of the Carpathian Coureurs (2.2u) race were shared equally (like one each, get it?) between three Dutchmen. Joep Steinbusch (WPG Amsterdam) massively upped his game from three DNFs in Italy over Easter to take the win and yellow jersey for his non-UCI team, ahead of Nils Sinschek and Sjoerd Bax (Delta Cycling Rotterdam). Buoyed by the success, the men from Amsterdam won again on stage 2b as Sven Burger won this afternoon in Oswiecim, after Ahmed Galdoune’s victory in the morning.

WielerPloeg Groot Amsterdam (front) have an international race programme that rivals many UCI Continental teams.(Image: Andrew Peat)

The Carpathian Coureurs race is unusual, as it sits on the border of Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, with stages in each of the three countries. It also had an unusual split stage of 64km in the morning and 106km in the afternoon. Had the organisers known that stage 3 would need to be altered from a 134km road stage to a 2.5km hill-climb, starting at 5:30pm, due to a damaged bridge on the original route, they might have changed things around.

The GP Liberazione in Rome was the subject of a wrangling so confusing that it rivals the Italian Wars of the early 16th Century. What became clear afterwards is that the race eventually took place and that it was organised by someone. Putting politics to one side, Alessandro Fedeli (Trevigiani Phonix Hemus 1896) won the city centre circuit race from Ziga Jerman (Ljublana Gusto Xaurum) and Gabz Cullaigh (Great Britain National Team). All three riders have proved their worth this season, with 6 UCI victories between them and a string of consistent performances to get them noticed as the stagiare and new-pro contract season approaches.

Tom Pidcock‘s win in today’s British National Series wouldn’t usually get a mention here as the event was below UCI 1.2 level. However, four days before the Tour de Yorkshire and 7 days after his teammate Cullaigh won the 1.2 Cicle Classic, it serves as an unnecessary reminder of the stupid decision not to invite Team Wiggins to the TdY, when significantly weaker domestic and foreign teams have been invited instead.

Team Wiggins
Team Wiggins (Image: Andrew Peat)

Finally, the Tour de l’Avenir route was unveiled about 10 days ago, but the details were only widely disseminated late on Friday. A route which is similar in its general shape to that of 2017, culminating in 4 uphill finishes in the Alps, is explained in slightly more detail here.

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