The 38-year-old Polish rider has been with UAE team Emirates since 2017 after joining its precursor, Lampre, in 2011. Before Lampre, Niemiec rode on the Continental level with Italian and French teams.
A talented climber, Niemiec scored a stage win at the 2014 Vuelta a España and finished sixth overall at the 2013 Giro d'Italia. He scored 13 UCI wins in his career, including overall victory at the Tour de Slovenie in 2005. He also won stages in Giro del Trentino, Route du Sud, Coppi e Bartali and Tour of Turkey.
Bjerg set for Hour Record attempt
Bjerg initially attempted the UCI Hour Record in Odense last year, setting a new Danish record of 52.311km and beating the previous record of 48.879km set by Ole Ritter in 1974. Since then Bjerg's Danish mark was topped by Toft Madsen with 53.360km. Bjerg's initial effort was good enough for sixth all time in the UCI Hour Record rankings behind Bradley Wiggins, Tom Zirbel, Alex Dowsett, Rohan Dennis and Madsen. Wiggins' record mark, set in Great Britain at the Lee Valley Velodrome in 2015, is 54.526km.
Bjerg cruised to a second consecutive victory in the U23 men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships last week in Innsbruck, coming home 33 seconds quicker than silver medallist Brent Van Moer (Belgium).
Bjerg posted pictures of the bike he'll use for Thursday's hour attempt on his Instagram account, writing that his Specialized bike was the "fastest setup from some of the biggest brands in cycling."
"Follow my attempt tomorrow on the Danish hour record on @tv2sportdk or watch it live on @odense_cyklebane at 18pm," he encouraged fans.
UAE with versatile rosters for weekend Italian one-days
Lining up for the 207.4km Giro dell’Emilia, which starts in Bologna and finishes in San Luca, will be Matteo Bono, Manuele Mori, Simone Petilli, Jan Polanc, Edward Ravasi, Aleksandr Riabushenko and Ben Swift.
“The Giro dell’Emilia is more demanding," explained sports director Daniele Righi. "With the five climbs up San Luca, we are going to look to take advantage of our young men Polanc, Ravasi and Riabushenko. Bono, Mori and Swift will need to manage the first phases of the race, when there could be a few interesting escapes.”
Lining up for the 196.3km GP Beghelli, which starts and finishes in Monteveglio, will again be Bono, Mori, Petilli, Polanc, Riabushenko Ben Swift. Oliviero Troia will replace Ravasi in the line up.
“In the GP Beghelli, Troia will take Ravasi’s spot to give more speed to the team in the case of a large group sprint," Righi said. "Swift will need to wait around for the final for an attack of a small group of riders that could result in a small sprint for him. We are also watching Petilli, who is returning to action after crashing during the Vuelta a España last month.”
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