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Race Rhetoric

This is the place. This is where you'll find the latest road racing news, editorial, behind-the-scenes coverage, videos—every conceivable gram of content from our profession racing teams, Boels-Dolmans, Quick-Step–Floors, Bora-Hansgrohe, and Axeon Hagens Berman. We'll be updating this page throughout the 2017 season, so come back and come often. Happy racing.

March 18, 2017

Milan-San Remo

Like a sweater unraveling, Milan-San Remo begins with a casual tug as the peloton rolls out of Milan. The sweater remains a solid, recognizable form for some time as rows and rows of Italian farmland are methodically ripped from it. As they race toward the tunnel at the top of the Passo del Turchino, these disappearing stitches on the plains of Lombardia are deemed so uneventful they are rarely broadcast. But once the peloton dispatches the Turchino and descends to the coast, everyone knows threads are about to be gripped tightly, ready to be yanked. As helicopters hover along the coastline, we fans are mesmerized as miles and miles of sea-blue thread are pulled from the race. A break of 10 riders plucks away for as long as they can, but it's only a matter of time—they are never more then five minutes out. Back in the peloton, sprinters are readying themselves for one thing: to survive the Cipressa and Poggio.

With a puff of acceleration on the Cipressa, riders—some hopeful sprinters included—are blown off the back like Lycra-clad dandelion in a stiff, Mediterranean breeze. The unraveling begins in earnest. On our couches, barstools, and beds, our hearts began crawling up our throats.

When Sagan attacks on the Poggio, it is with such violent strength it can only be read as a statement to those behind. It says: “Taste the rainbow.” Rainbow tastes like lactic acid. Two men survive this assault and join him at the front. While their hearts must surely be beating through their eyelids, our hearts are now stuck firmly in our mouths. After negotiating with those iconic hairpins on the descent, they come off the Poggio as one. The frenzy is palpable. They will not be caught. This will be our podium.

The sprint stops hearts. A finish like this—with three elite riders locked in a battle royal for the line—is everything we dream the destruction of a fine Italian sweater to be. It is beautiful obliteration. As they propel and throw and beg and urge their bodies and bikes towards the finish line on via Roma, it is obvious they are giving us everything they have. There is no more juice to be squeezed from these legs. No more air in these lungs. While our hopes were with Sagan and Alaphilippe, we are anything but heartbroken with the outcome. A finish like this? It’s what cycling dreams are made of.

March 6, 2017

Strade Bianche

In its short 10-year history, Strade Bianche has cemented itself as one of the most illustrious, picturesque one-day races on the World Tour calendar. From the white gravel of its namesake to its finish in the medieval UNESCO World Heritage site of Siena, the gran fondo turned burgeoning Spring Classic serves up everything you could want in a cycling monument on a gilded Italian platter. And this year, the heavens opened to give the typically sun-drenched, white Tuscan strade a flavor reminiscent of the northern races to come. Of course, we were routing for our protagonists, Zdeněk Štybar and Peter Sagan, the former of which narrowly missed a repeat visit to the podium's top step, but the sheer beauty of this undulating Classic-in-the-making was enough to stoke the fire of our passions. More simply, though, it was a beautiful day of bike racing.

January 3, 2017

Calling all Race Fans

If we were to define 2016 in a word, it would be "transition." We saw old friends go in new directions, crowns get heavier, legacies meet the final page of their stories, and the dawning of new eras. And while it would be easy to stay there in the past, time waits for no one, so neither should we. Walk through the thresholds of Quick-Step–Floors, Boels-Dolmans, and Bora-Hansgrohe's Team Camps with us and witness what 2017 has in store.

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