Lesser known races thread 2022

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The department of the Tarn has banned tomorrow's Route d'Occitanie stage due to the heatwave. Therefore, the stage has been shortened at the last minute to what was supposed to be the final 34.3 kilometres, which are in the Aveyron department.

Profile of the finale:
That is strange: we’ve known about cities refusing to have a race come through as planned, but don’t remember hearing a department shutting down portion of a race?
Reactions: Sandisfan
Good win for Adria, though he really should have been riding in Slovenia instead.
First pro win says otherwise, reduced stage or not :p

I mean, it seems fairly self-evident that the star of the show at Kern Pharma is Igor Arrieta, but there are a few riders who could readily find themselves a decent World Tour home even if not as stars. Certainly some of the older guys on the team are either those like Castrillo who had a cup of coffee at the top level, or riders who graduated Lizarte but haven't kicked on as pros like Martí Marquez and Iván Moreno, but there are riders who may have been overlooked for promotion back when it was Lizarte or Movistar only, but have done well enough for Kern Pharma to say they're worth a look. I thought José Félix Parra was the obvious call there, being 11th in this race last year and 7th in the Volta a Portugal (albeit overshadowed by Movistar doing the latter race themselves and Abner González, nearly four years his junior, coming 6th), but he's been fairly quiet this season and, being a January '97 birth, he's already 25 and running out of time to stake a claim to be more than just a domestique (that said, Pedrero went to the pro level at that age and has carved out a decent niche for himself at Abarcá). Adrià is making a solid case to be the guy that should be in line to replenish some domestique ranks at Abarcá, or, if they're not interested, somebody else pick him up, as he is racking up solid results this last couple of years, and he only just turned 24.

I mean, not everybody has to be a star, and he's certainly never going to trouble the likes of Carlos Rodríguez, Juan Ayuso and Igor Arrieta as the big prospects of their generation, but he's been top 10 of the Mont Ventoux challenge, close to some good climbers in Verona and Zeits and ahead of guys like Edet; he finished with guys like Sepúlveda and Davide Villella on Mirador de Ézaro, finished with people like Quintana, Zakarin and Pedrero in the queen stage of Asturias last year, finished with Mühlberger and ahead of Brambilla on Le Mourtis last year, and he can follow the right moves and even do well in rouleurs' one-day races, finishing top 20 in Paris-Tours and the Classic Loire-Atlantique.

I just see him as somebody that Movistar could really have a use for, he can stagehunt from breaks, he can climb well enough to be a lower to medium slopes helper, and he can pilotfish a little on the flat for a pure climber. That's the kind of rider Abarcá has always seemed to like. He isn't going to be a rider who sets the world on fire, and he isn't going to be able to play the role to the kind of degree that they had from, say, Luís León Sánchez or Andrey Amador. But he's way more all-round than a rider like Pedrero or Óscar Rodríguez as mountain riders, and way better on the climbs than the likes of Arcas and García Cortina. But if they can utilise him like something along the lines of the role played at the team by Gorka Izagirre, Jesús Herrada or Pablo Lastras - or even if they use him purely as a climbing domestique and turn him into a Carlos Verona, Rubén Plaza or Eduardo Sepúlveda... it's a great niche to have.
Reactions: Sandisfan and Lui98
Very happy for Adria and Kern Pharma.

It was victory #1 for the team in 2022. So all their riders, staff and sponsors have reason to celebrate today. A nice reward for all of them. I am sure they work with the same passion as teams as Alpecin, Arkea or UNO-X, but get much less attention. Today, Kern were the strongest… :)
Reactions: Sandisfan
There are a few minor amendments they could have made - Garabeil or Moulis fitting in between Jau and Hares if they wanted - both are cat.2 - and maybe if Puigbalador/Puyvalador or Station de Ski Formiguères paid then they could bring Hares a bit closer to the finish, but as the queen stage of a relatively small race, hopefully that shouldn't make a difference. It's really nice to see the French Catalan area showing interest in hosting racing, because it's so seldom-used - and if nothing else this at least shows us a new way to approach Ax-les-Thermes, since Rouze is also the base of the climb to Port de Pailhères.

Hell, this is now having me look at the possibility of going east out of Ax-les-Thermes, to follow a stage probably to Plateau de Beille (if going to Bonascre/Ax-3-Domaines it makes more sense to come in via Pailhères), over the other side of Port de Pailhères, Hares, Garabeil, Jau, and Coll de la Llose to finish in either Mont-Louis or Font-Romeu.
This is sad… But the new stage design will make it interesting, too.

Such a stage is very rare. Maybe we see a surprise winner?

It will even be important to start close to the front, like in cyclo cross or MTB. The riders standing far behind have a disadvantage today…
Seems Kern Pharma had the same idea. They were at the front of the peloton for the entire 45 minutes or whatever the time was. I enjoyed it.