Category: Race Report

San Juan, stage 3: Mullen wins TT; Ganna takes lead

The youngsters stole the day at Vuelta a San Juan with Ryan Mullen winning stage 3 and Filippo Ganna taking the overall lead.

Irish time trial champion Mullen, 23, won the 14.4km race against the clock in San Juan, Argentina. Riding for UAE Team Emirates, Ganna, 21, pulled on the leader’s jersey after finishing 25 seconds behind the Trek-Segafredo winner. Bora-Hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka was third on the day, 30 seconds slower than Ganna, and looks poised to contest the final overall title.

Wednesday’s stage 4 could be another chance for the sprinters. The 182.8km race from San José Jachal to Villa San Agustín has a climb midway through and a long downhill run to the finish.

Stage 4, top 10

  • 1. Ryan Mullen, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 0:17:43
  • 2. Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :25
  • 3. Rafal Majka, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :30
  • 4. Gregory Daniel, TREK – SEGAFREDO, s.t.
  • 5. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, MEDELLIN, at :36
  • 6. Winner Andrew Anacona, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :38
  • 7. Omar Alberto Mendoza Cardona, MEDELLIN, at :44
  • 8. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :44
  • 9. Eduardo Sepulveda, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :50
  • 10. Jhonnatan Narvaez, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :52

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, in 06:58:37
  • 2. Rafal Majka, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :05
  • 3. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, MEDELLIN, at :11
  • 4. Omar Alberto Mendoza Cardona, MEDELLIN, at :19
  • 5. Eduardo Sepulveda, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :25
  • 6. Ricardo Escuela, ASOCIACION CIVIL AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, at :27
  • 7. Winner Andrew Anacona, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :35
  • 8. Jhonnatan Narvaez, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :43
  • 9. Kanstantsin Suitsou, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, s.t.
  • 10. Mattia Cattaneo, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC, at :45

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San Juan, stage 2: Villalobos wins from break, takes lead

Roman Villalobos attacked his way into the overall lead Monday in Vuelta a San Juan. Ricardo Escuela (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima) was second to the Canel’s-Specialized rider in stage 2. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) was third.

The winning breakaway went late in the 150-kilometer stage that started and finished in Peri Lago Punta Negra, Argentina.

Benoot initiated the action inside the final five kilometers and was followed by the two Continental-team riders. The Costa Rican Villalobos had the fastest turn of speed out of the three and took the biggest win of his career.

He also moved into the overall race lead with a four-second advantage over the Argentinian Escuela.

Stage 1 winner Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step) led home the peloton close behind to finish fourth.

Tuesday’s stage 3 is the 14.4km individual time trial around San Juan, which should reveal which GC riders are on form to challenge for the overall title.

Top 10, stage 2

  • 1. Roman Daniel Villalobos Solis, CANEL’S – SPECIALIZED, 3:25:06
  • 2. Ricardo Escuela, ASOCIACION CIVIL AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, s.t.
  • 3. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, s.t.
  • 4. Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, s.t.
  • 5. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, MEDELLIN, s.t.
  • 6. Rafal Majka, BORA – HANSGROHE, s.t.
  • 7. Gonzalo Joaquin Najar, SINDICATO DE EMPLEADOS PUBLICOS DE SAN JUAN, s.t.
  • 8. Alexander Cataford, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, s.t.
  • 9. Guillaume Boivin, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, s.t.
  • 10. Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet, CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA, s.t.

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Roman Daniel Villalobos Solis, CANEL’S – SPECIALIZED, in 6:40:19
  • 2. Ricardo Escuela, ASOCIACION CIVIL AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, at :04
  • 3. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :06
  • 4. Fernando Gaviria Rendon, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :08/li>
  • 5. Manuel Belletti, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC, at :10
  • 6. Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :10
  • 7. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez, COLOMBIA, at :10
  • 8. Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet, CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA, at :10
  • 9. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, MEDELLIN, at :10
  • 10. Jens Keukeleire, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :10

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San Juan: Gaviria wins stage 1

Colombian Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) repeated his performance of a year ago, by winning the opening stage of the Vuelta a San Juan in Pocito, Argentina on Sunday. After his team did most of the chasing throughout the stage to bring back the breakaway, Gaviria made sure their efforts weren’t for naught and handily took the sprint victory over Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) and Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe).

“The stage was short and fast, especially in the closing kilometers, a sign that many teams wanted to win, but the team was very strong,” Gaviria said after the stage. “It’s always nice to win your first race of the season because it shows that you had a good winter preparation and this kind of result gives you confidence. I’m also happy for leading the general classification and wearing the white jersey; hopefully I will have other chances to get some more good results this week.”

Top 10, stage 1

  • 1. Fernando Gaviria, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, in 03:15:23
  • 2. Niccolo Bonifazio, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:00
  • 3. Matteo Pelucchi, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:00
  • 4. Giacomo Nizzolo, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:00
  • 5. Manuel Belletti, ANDRONI – SIDERMEC – BOTTECCHIA, at 0:00
  • 6. Mauro Abel Richeze, AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, at 0:00
  • 7. Héctor Lucero, EQUIPO CONTINENTAL MUNICIPALIDAD DE POCITO, at 0:00
  • 8. Alexandr Riabushenko, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:00
  • 9. Ariel Maximiliano Richeze, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
  • 10. Manuel Penalver, UNIEURO TREVIGIANI – HEMUS 1896, at 0:00

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Fernando Gaviria, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, in 00:00
  • 2. Niccolo Bonifazio, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:04
  • 3. Matteo Pelucchi, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:06
  • 4. Daniel Juarez, ASOCIACION CIVIL MARDAN, at 0:07
  • 5. Giacomo Nizzolo, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:10
  • 6. Manuel Belletti, ANDRONI – SIDERMEC – BOTTECCHIA, at 0:10
  • 7. Mauro Abel Richeze, AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, at 0:10
  • 8. Héctor Lucero, EQUIPO CONTINENTAL MUNICIPALIDAD DE POCITO, at 0:10
  • 9. Alexandr Riabushenko, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:10
  • 10. Ariel Maximiliano Richeze, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:10

The opening stage was overshadowed by the sudden withdrawal of the race’s headliner, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), mere hours before the start. The Italian came down with a fever overnight and was unable to start the race. This left his team with only five riders to begin the race.

A seven-rider breakaway dominated the stage, which started in the city center of San Juan and finished in the nearby suburb of Pocito. The 149.6-kilometer stage included three laps of a 17.4-kilometer circuit in Pocito. The riders in the breakaway were Adrian Richeze (QAgrupacion Virgen De Fatima), Duilio Ramos (Argentina National Team), Daniel Juárez (Asociacion Civil Mardan), Juan Melivillo (Equipo Continental Municipalidad de Pocito), Facundo Cattapan (Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos), Victor Olivarez (Chile National Team), and Pablo Anchieri (Uruguay National Team).

Quick-Step Floors was tasked with doing the bulk of the work in the peloton to bring back the escapes due to the speed of Gaviria. He was clearly the fastest sprinter on the start list.

Entering the final circuit around Pocito, the final survivors of the breakaway were caught, setting the stage for a bunch finish. With seven WorldTour teams in the race, there was no shortage of power in the peloton and many teams fought for control at the front heading into the final kilometers.

Bora-Hansgrohe led the bunch into the final two kilometers with Pelucchi tacked onto the end of the train. However, the German-based team would not be able to hold-off Quick-Step Floors and the boys in blue entered the final kilometer with three riders on the front of the peloton. Gaviria was in perfect position behind his final lead-out man, Ariel Maximiliano Richeze.

The Colombian opened the sprint himself and no one could match his speed down the wide-open finishing straight. Bonifazio and Pelucchi rounded out the podium with Trek-Segafredo’s Giacomo Nizzolo in fourth.

Gaviria leads Bonifazio by four seconds in the general classification with Pelucchi a further 2 seconds behind.

Full results to come.

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Nommay: Van der Poel still unbeatable

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won his sixth Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup race of the season on Sunday in Nommay, France. The Dutchman was locked in a battle with Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) in the opening laps but capitalized on a mistake by the World Champion to ride away. Van der Poel has finished on the podium at every World Cup this year and will be greatly motivated next week at the final stop in Hoogerheide, as the race is organized and named after his father Adri van der Poel.

As has been the case for much of the season, van Aert finished second way back of Van der Poel. The Belgian has been challenging van der Poel more and more as the weeks have gone on, but with the World Championships only two weeks away, it looks doubtful he will be able to win a third consecutive title.

Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea) finished third with van Aert’s teammate, Tim Merlier, finishing fourth.

Top 10

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (NED), CORENDON-CIRCUS, 1:06:56
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:07:29
  • 3. Toon Aerts (BEL), TEELNET FIDEA, 1:09:05
  • 4. Tim Merlier (BEL), CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:09:27
  • 5. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL), MARLUX-BINGOAL, 1:09:43
  • 6. Laurens Sweeck (BEL), ERA-CIRCUS 1:10:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ (CZE), PAUWELS SAUZEN VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:10:07
  • 8. David Van Der Poel (NED), CORENDON-CIRCUS 1:10:44
  • 9. Steve Chainel (FRA), TEAM CHAZAL CANYON, 1:10:46
  • 10. Kevin Pauwels (BEL), MARLUX-BINGOAL, 1:10:50

Course conditions were horendous for the elite men in Nommay, France. While much of the course was rideable due to the mud not being extremely thick, the multiple hills on the course were treacherous and required many to get off and run. Van der Poel and van Aert showed immense strength by riding a few of the hills. The set of barriers in Nommay were even dangerous, as noted by the fact that only van der Poel and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) were seen bunny hopping them throughout the race.

Van Aert led the large men’s field onto the opening set of stairs with van der Poel tucked onto his wheel. Merlier soon took over leading, as the group powered through the first mud section. But his time at the front would be short. Aerts blitzed by everyone to move into the lead and force the main selection of the race mere minutes since the start.

Merlier, van der Poel, van Aert, and Aerts began to separate themselves from the rest on lap one, while Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) led the chase behind. Sweeck would bridge to the leaders and so would Michael BoroŠ (Pauwels-Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) before the end of the opening lap.

As the lead group passed the pit for the second time, many riders entered to get a clean bike. Van Aert, who was leading the group, did not. Van der Poel made a critical error when he rode by his mechanics. He was a couple meters past when he realized his mistake and was forced to dismount and run back.

Van der Poel’s error in the pit lane caused confusion and van Aert was able to get a gap on everyone, as he did not enter the pit. Van Aert finished the opening lap with a three-second lead over Aerts and Sweeck, BoroŠ, and Merlier just behind chasing. Van der Poel finished the lap 10 seconds down on the World Champion.

Van Aert’s time alone in the lead would be short-lived, as van der Poel bridged to him midway through the lap and brought Aerts with him. The chasing duo made the final junction to van Aert after he slipped while running. Soon though, it would be a duel at the front, as the former European champion Aerts would be unable to hold the pace of van der Poel and van Aert.

A peculiar event happened on the second lap between Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) and Francis Mourey. Mourey got his foot stuck in van der Haar’s bike between one of the seat stays and the wheel. He was laying on the course for some time while multiple people came to the Frenchman’s assistance. Van der Haar would end up being pulled from the race after the fourth lap, having lost too much time due to the incident. Mourey would be disqualified. At the time of publication, it was unknown why Mourey was disqualified.

The leading duo hled a 12-second lead over Aerts and Sweek as they crossed the finish line with seven laps remaining. BoroŠ was 24 seconds down in fifth place.

The third lap is when van der Poel pounced and rode away from van Aert. The two leaders were constantly attempting to power up hills that most of the others in the race ran. Van der Poel cleanly rode a slightly off-camber hill, while van Aert’s rear tire lost traction and forced him to put a foot down. This slight error by the three-time Belgian national champion opened the door for van der Poel to ride away.

Van Aert finished the third lap within touching distance of van der Poel, but he would never be able to claw back the last couple seconds. Sweeck and Aerts cross the line more than 30 seconds down with Merlier and BoroŠ about 10 seconds behind them.

Vanthourenhout would have a good second half of the race and move into contention for a podium place. The Belgian was part of a group of four chasing Aerts, who was in third with three laps remaining. Joining Vanthourenhout were Merlier, Sweeck, and BoroŠ. Aerts had attacked and left Sweeck behind on the fourth lap.

Merlier would be able to get the better of his chase group companions in the final laps to finish the race in fourth behind van der Poel, van Aert, and Aerts. Vanthourenhout finish fifth, a great result considering he was out of the picture for much of the first half of the race. Sweeck was sixth and BoroŠ was seventh.

Newly crowned French national cyclocross champion Steve Chainel (Team Chazal Canyon) managed to come home in ninth. A great result for him on home soil.

The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup continues on January 28 in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.

Full results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:06:56
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:05
  • 4. Tim Merlier, (BEL), 1:09:27
  • 5. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:09:43
  • 6. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:10:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:10:07
  • 8. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:10:44
  • 9. Steve Chainel, (FRA), 1:10:46
  • 10. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL), 1:10:50
  • 11. Tom Meeusen, (BEL), 1:10:55
  • 12. Fabien Canal, (FRA), 1:10:58
  • 13. Daan Soete, (BEL), 1:11:10
  • 14. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:11:22
  • 15. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL), 1:11:42
  • 16. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL), 1:11:48
  • 17. Felipe Orts Lloret, (ESP), 1:12:03
  • 18. Corne Van Kessel, (NED), 1:12:14
  • 19. Wietse Bosmans, (BEL), 1:12:15
  • 20. Marcel Meisen, (GER), 1:12:35
  • 21. Jim Aernouts, (BEL), 1:13:00
  • 22. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL), 1:13:23
  • 23. Lars Forster, (SUI), 1:13:32
  • 24. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA), 1:13:40
  • 25. Stan Godrie, (NED), 1:13:41
  • 26. Severin SÄgesser, (SUI), 1:13:56
  • 27. Alois Falenta, (FRA), 1:14:08
  • 28. Matthieu Boulo, (FRA)
  • 29. Ismael Esteban Aguero, (ESP)
  • 30. Diether Sweeck, (BEL)
  • 31. David Menut, (FRA)
  • 32. Kevin Suarez Fernandez, (ESP)
  • 33. Tomáš Paprstka, (CZE)
  • 34. Jan Nesvadba, (CZE)
  • 35. Eric Thompson, (USA)
  • 36. Kerry Werner, (USA)
  • 37. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga IbaÑez, (ESP)
  • 38. Emil Hekele, (CZE)
  • 39. Luca Braidot, (ITA)
  • 40. Arthur Tropardy, (FRA)
  • 41. Marcel Wildhaber, (SUI)
  • 42. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN)
  • 43. Florian Trigo, (FRA)
  • 44. Daniele Braidot, (ITA)
  • 45. Garry Millburn, (AUS)
  • 46. Yannick Mayer, (GER)
  • 47. Philipp Heigl, (AUT)
  • 48. Tyler Cloutier, (USA)

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Nommay: Americans go 1-2 with Compton and Keough

With the World Championships a mere two weeks away, 14-time U.S. national cyclocross champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing-Trek-Panache) sent a shot across the bow with a blistering performance in Nommay, France on Sunday at the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup. She powered away from the others on the opening lap and stayed nearly flawless the rest of the race to win by nearly a minute on a chilly day in France.

It would be a great day for the American contingent as Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) came home in second. It was her fourth podium finish in a World Cup race this season. Keough is currently ranked second in the UCI rankings and second in the World Cup standings.

The fans let out a roar, as newly crowned French national cyclocross champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (WM3) finished third. Ferrand-Prevot is a threat for the world title, having been World Champion in 2015.

Current World Champion Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) had an off day and finished 12th. She retained her lead in the World Cup standings and barring a major disaster at the final round in Hoogerheide next week, she will win the series.

Top 10

  • 1. Katherine Compton, ((USA)) KFC RACING-TREK-PANACHE, in 45:03
  • 2. Kaitlin Keough, ((USA)) CANNONDALE-CYCLOCROSSWORLD, at 00:55
  • 3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra), ((FRA)) CANYON-SRAM, at 01:20
  • 4. Helen Wyman (GBr), ((GBR)) XYPEX – VERGE SPORT, at 01:30
  • 5. Christine Majerus, ((LUX)) BOELS-DOLMANS, at 01:30
  • 6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, ((ITA)) STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST, at 01:42
  • 7. Eva Lechner, ((ITA)) CLIF PRO TEAM, at 02:04
  • 8. Jolanda Neff, ((SWI)) , at 02:21
  • 9. Ellen Van Loy (Bel), ((BEL)) TELENET FIDEA, at 02:38
  • 10. Caroline Mani (Fra), ((FRA)) VAN DESSEL-ATOM COMPOSITES, at 02:42

It was a cold and chilly day in Nommay, France on Sunday for the eighth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup. The course is Nommay was rolling and heavy rains caused it to be a muddy affair. The cold temperatures had threatened overnight snow, but instead the region recieved rain. The mud in Nommay wasn’t terribly thick, so the riders didn’t have to dismount on long straight sections. The multiple rolling hills, however, were not rideable, forcing the riders to run.

Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea) sprinted down the paved start/finishing straight and led the group onto the stairs. In Nommay, instead of turning onto the grass to begin the course, the riders tackle a flight of stairs. This makes having a great start that much more important.

Cant looked good early in the race, slotting in behind van Loy. American Elle Anderson (Cycling.be-Alpha Motorhomes) also had a good start and sat in third wheel in the early going. But soon Compton came to the front and laid down the power.

Compton simply rode away from everyone on the opening lap. Alice Arzuffi (Steylaerts-BetFirst) took up the second position chasing Compton, while two chase groups formed behind. Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team) took out many riders in the second chase group, as she slid out on a corner. Keough was in this group at the time and quickly had to dismount to get around the carnage. Van Loy, Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team), Helen Wyman (Xypex-Verge Sport), Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) and Cant were all ahead of the crash.

Cant would lose many places at the end of the lap, as she dropped her chain. She was forced to stop and put it back on manually.

At the end of the opening lap, Compton had opened an enormous gap of 18 seconds over Arzuffi, who was still alone in second. Wyman and Majerus came across the line in the third and fourth spot nearly half a minute behind the American champion. They were followed quickly by van Loy, Keough and Nash. Cant had begun to slide backward and was outside of the top 10 at the end of the first lap.

Keough came on strong in the second lap, passing Wyman and Majerus to move into a podium position. Another rider on the move was cross-country mountain-bike world champion Jolanda Neff. The Swiss rider was forced to start a couple rows back in the grid due to a lack of UCI points, but on the second lap, she had moved into the top 10. Ferrand-Prevot was seen riding near Cant just outside the top 10.

Compton’s lead was over 30 seconds as she crossed the line with three laps to go. Arzuffi was still fighting alone in second, but Keough was hunting her down. Keough would make the pass on the third lap to take over second place, but by this point in the race that would be as high as she would go. Compton was a tear and demonstrating her expert technical skills on the muddy course.

While Neff began to lose places in the second half of the race, Ferrand-Prevot was passing her competitors. Entering the final lap, the Frenchwoman found herself in a four-rider group fighting for the last spot on the podium. Standing in Ferrand-Prevot’s way of a World Cup podium on home soil was Wyman, Majerus, and Arzuffi.

Compton crossed the finish line in Nommay with a huge smile on her face. The victory was her first in the World Cup series this season and it could not have come at a better time. The World Championships in Valkenburg are a mere two weeks away.

Keough finished second and Ferrand-Prevot was able to ride away from the others in her group on the final lap to claim third. Wyman outsprinted Majerus for the fourth spot.

The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup series continues on January 28 in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.

Full results

  • 1. Katherine Compton, (USA) , in 45:03
  • 2. Kaitlin Keough, (USA), 45:58
  • 3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot, (FRA), 46:23
  • 4. Helen Wyman, (GBR), 46:33
  • 5. Christine Majerus, (LUX), 46:33
  • 6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 46:45
  • 7. Eva Lechner, (ITA), 47:07
  • 8. Jolanda Neff, (SUI), 47:24
  • 9. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 47:41
  • 10. Caroline Mani, (FRA), 47:45
  • 11. Katerina Nash, (CZE). 47:50
  • 12. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 47:53
  • 13. Elisabeth Brandau, (GER), 47:53
  • 14. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 48:02
  • 15. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 48:19
  • 16. Fleur Nagengast, (NED). 48:27
  • 17. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, (NED), 48:34
  • 18. Maghalie Rochette, (CAN), 48:36
  • 19. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 48:49
  • 20. Marion Norbert Riberolle, (FRA), 48:50
  • 21. Manon Bakker, (NED), 48:57
  • 22. Elle Anderson, (USA), 49:15
  • 23. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 49:20
  • 24. Joyce Vanderbeken, (BEL), 49:28
  • 25. Loes Sels, (BEL), 49:36
  • 26. Inge Van Der Heijden, (NED), 49:37
  • 27. Pavla HavlÍkovÁ, (CZE), 49:40
  • 28. Marlène Petit, (FRA), 49:44
  • 29. Francesca Baroni, (ITA), 49:56
  • 30. Lucia Gonzalez Blanco, (ESP), 50:06
  • 31. Nadja Heigl, (AUT), 50:32
  • 32. Christel Ferrier Bruneau, (CAN), :50:40
  • 33. Ruby West, (CAN), 50:53
  • 34. Geerte Hoeke, (NED), 51:01
  • 35. Rebecca Fahringer, (USA), 51:05
  • 36. Marlène Morel Petitgirard, (FRA), 51:05
  • 37. Karen Verhestraeten, (BEL), 51:32
  • 38. Jade Wiel, (FRA), 51:40
  • 39. Irene Trabazo Bragado, (ESP), 52:34
  • 40. Beth Ann Orton, (USA), 52:44
  • 41. Chiara Teocchi, (ITA), 52:51
  • 42. Olatz Odriozola Mugica, (ESP), 52:55
  • 43. Pauline Delhaye, (FRA), 53:06
  • 44. Noemi RÜegg, (SUI), 53:26
  • 45. Magdeleine Vallieres Mill, (CAN), 53:59
  • 46. Zina Barhoumi, (SUI), 54:47
  • 47. Luisa Ibarrola Albizua, (ESP),55:02
  • 48. Corey Coogan Cisek, (USA), 55:42
  • 49. Elizabeth UngermanovÁ, (CZE), 56:01
  • 50. Siobhan Kelly, (CAN)
  • 51. Amaia Lartitegi Ormazabal, (ESP)
  • 52. Christine Vardaros, (USA)
  • 53. Saioa Gil Ranero, (ESP)

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Tour Down Under: Greipel wins stage 6, as Impey takes overall

Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) finished the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under the same way he started it — by winning. The German powered down the finishing straight in downtown Adelaide on Sunday, using Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) as a launchpad to take the victory. The victory was the 18th of Greipel’s career Down Under, as he captured victory number 17 on the opening day in Lyndoch.

Ewan had to settle for second on the day. After sprinting to four stage wins at the 2017 Tour Down Under and winning the People’s Choice Classic, Ewan will leave his home race with a single stage win in 2018. World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who won the People’s Choice Classic a week ago and the fourth stage of the race, finished third on Sunday.

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) was the overall victor of the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under, winning the race on countback over 2017 winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing). Porte entered the stage on the same time as Impey. He did not contest the intermediate sprints to try to get time bonuses to leapfrog the South African.

Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) finished third overall at 16 seconds.

Top 10, stage 6

  • 1. André Greipel, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 02:01:19
  • 2. Caleb Ewan, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:00
  • 3. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:00
  • 4. Phil Bauhau, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:00
  • 5. Elia Viviani, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
  • 6. Steele von Hoff, UNISA-AUSTRALIA, at 0:00
  • 7. Simone Consonni, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:00
  • 8. Mads Pedersen, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:00
  • 9. Carlos Barbero, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:00
  • 10. Mads Wurtz Schmidt, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:00
  • Top 10, Final GC

    • 1. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, in 20:03:34
    • 2. Richie Porte, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00
    • 3. Tom-Jelte Slagter, DIMENSION DATA, at 0:16
    • 4. Diego Ulissi, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:20
    • 5. Dries Devenyns, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:20
    • 6. Egan Arley Bernal, TEAM SKY, at 0:20
    • 7. Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:20
    • 8. Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:23
    • 9. Ruben Guerreiro, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:23
    • 10. Robert Gesink, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:24

    Sunday’s final stage of the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under was a circuit race around downtown Adelaide. The riders completed 20 laps of a 4.5-kilometer circuit around Elder Park for a 90-kilometer race. The course included the climb of Montefiore Hill, which peaked less than 2 kilometers from the line. With Porte and Impey entering the stage on the same time, time bonuses at the intermediate sprints and the finish were important. There was an intermediate sprint point at the end of laps eight and 12.

    Many riders tried there hand at attacking out of the peloton, but the breakaway didn’t establish itself until the fourth lap of the race. Seven riders formed off the front of the peloton, but soon it broke apart and only two riders remained in the lead. Neo-pro Logan Owen (EF Education First-Drapac) and Truls Korsaeth (Astana) entered the fifth lap with a 20-second advantage over the main bunch.

    Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo) made the junction to the leaders just after the sixth lap of the race began to make the front group a trio.

    The trio built a maximum advantage of 90 seconds, but the Australian national team, UniSA, sent nearly all of its riders to the front of the main peloton to keep them close.

    The front group split on the eighth lap with Owen going solo and Korsaeth pulling off to the side of the road with an apparent mechanical problem. Owen finished the lap alone to take the intermediate sprint.

    Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) finished second and gained a two-second time bonus. The mere two seconds catapulted him from 17th overall into the top 10. Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafedo) captured third in the sprint and also moved into the top 10 of the general classification by gaining a one-second time bonus.

    Owen soon got assistance in the lead, as Dimension Data’s Ben O’Connor bridged the gap between him and the peloton. The duo completed the 10th lap of the race, marking the halfway point of the stage, with a 45-second advantage over the bunch.

    On the 12th lap, Antoine Duchesne (FDJ) attacked out of the peloton in pursuit of the leaders. However, he would never make it across the gap. The Frenchman spent a few laps chasing, but the duo was simply too far out front. Owen and O’Connor had stretched out their lead to over two minutes. Mitchelton-Scott, the team of race leader Impey and fast-man Ewan, took up the chase in the peloton.

    With six laps to go, the peloton still trailed the leaders by 1:32 with Duchesne still stuck in no-mans land between the leaders and the main bunch. Lotto Soudal sent strongman Thomas De Gendt to help Mitchelton-Scott in chasing down the riders that were up the road.

    A lap later, Duchesne was back in the bunch and the leading duo’s gap had shrunk to 1:08.

    On the 16th lap of 20, Owen attacked on Montefiore Hill and there was no reaction from O’Connor. The young American riding his first career WorldTour race was solo with less than 20 kilometers to go and about a one-minute advantage over the peloton.

    Mitchelton-Scott swept Owen up with just under three laps to go, setting the stage for a sprint finish.

    Team Sunweb led the peloton into the final lap, as the German-based squad was riding for Phil Bauhaus. Bauhaus sprinted to second on stage three behind Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).

    The final lap was disorganized with not one team able to get all of its riders together and control the peloton. Former World Champion Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates) led the peloton onto Montefiore Hill for the final time. Mitchelton-Scott’s Cameron Meyer soon took over for Costa and strung out the field.

    The riders dropped down off the climb toward the finish line with Team Sunweb again moving to the front on the left side of the road. However, Quick-Step Floors powered over the top of the boys in black and white with Viviani sitting third wheel.

    The blue train sped down the right side of the road with the finish line in sight looking to be putting Viviani in perfect position to take his second stage win of the week. Bora-Hansgrohe brought Sagan up on the left side of the road, as the sprinters prepared to launch.

    Ewan was the first to go, but he would merely serve as the last lead-out for ‘The Gorilla.’ Greipel came around Ewan at the last possible moment to win by inches. He ended the race on a high note, just the way he started it. Sagan settled for third on the day. Viviani would only manage fifth.

    Impey is the first South African to win the Tour Down Under, finishing on the same time as Porte. This is the third time in the race’s history the overall winner was determined by a countback. The other years were 2003 and 2012.

    Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) won the King of the Mountains classification and Sagan captured the points classification. Egan Arley Bernal (Sky), who finished fifth overall, took home the Best Young Rider classification and Bahrain-Merida won the teams’ classification.

    Full results to come

    The post Tour Down Under: Greipel wins stage 6, as Impey takes overall appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Tour Down Under: Porte wins for fifth time atop Willunga Hill on stage 5

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) is the king of Willunga Hill, as the Tasmanian won atop the famed climb in the Adelaide Hills for the fifth consecutive year on Saturday at the Santos Tour Down Under. He attacked with just over a kilometer to go and no one could make his speed on the climb. However, he did not open a big enough gap to take the overall lead.

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) led home a select group eight-seconds behind Porte with Dimension Data’s Tom-Jelte Slagter coming in two seconds later for third.

After a period of waiting, it was determined that Porte and Impey were on the same time in the general classification. The Ochre leader’s jersey was awarded to Impey on countback.

Though disappointed not to have the leader’s jersey, Porte was still happy to get the stage win. “It’s a fantastic day for my team,” Porte said. “It’s probably the hardest time I’ve done this climb. It really hurts. There were crosswinds coming into Willunga but I can’t say it was unexpected. It happens every year.

“It’s unfortunate that I miss out on the Ochre jersey by very little but Daryl has had a fantastic Tour. It was up to me to put more time onto him. I couldn’t finish the job off but I’m happy with another stage. After my crash at the Tour de France, I’ve worked hard and I’m super motivated for this season. I just hope that come July I’ll be on top form.”

Top 10, stage 5

  • 1. Richie Porte, BMC RACING TEAM, in 03:42:22
  • 2. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:08
  • 3. Tom-Jelte Slagter, DIMENSION DATA, at 0:10
  • 4. Dries Devenyns, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:10
  • 5. Egan Arley Bernal, TEAM SKY, at 0:10
  • 6. Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:10
  • 7. Diego Ulissi, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:10
  • 8. Robert Gesink, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:14
  • 9. Ion Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:14
  • 10. Ruben Guerreiro, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:14

Top 10 GC after stage 5

  • 1. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, in 18:02:15
  • 2. Richie Porte, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00
  • 3. Tom-Jelte Slagter, DIMENSION DATA, at 0:16
  • 4. Diego Ulissi, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:20
  • 5. Dries Devenyns, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:20
  • 6. Egan Arley Bernal, TEAM SKY, at 0:20
  • 7. Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:20
  • 8. Robert Gesink, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:24
  • 9. George Bennett, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:24
  • 10. Ion Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:24

The penultimate stage of the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under on Saturday traveled 151.5 kilometers from McLaren Vale to the summit of Willunga Hill. The course was separated into two parts. The first part consisted of three flat circuits around McLaren Vale and the second part of the course featured around Willunga Hill. The riders would tackle Willunga Hill on two occasions with the last ascent serving as the finish. The queen stage of the Tour Down Under began finishing at the summit of Willunga Hill instead down in the town center six years ago.

A breakaway of seven riders quickly established itself and included Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), King of the Mountains classification leader Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data), Zakkari Dempster and Scott Bowden (UniSA), Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek-Segafredo), Nuno Bico (Movistar) and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin). Bora-Hansgrohe took the initiative of keeping the break close early in the race.

Toward the end of the opening circuit, Bico hit the deck in the breakaway. The Portuguese rider fell heavily on a corner but was able to get up and chase back onto the breakaway. However, he was badly cut up with road rash prevalent on his right hip, both of his arms, and back. Blood was running down his right arm and onto his handlebars.

Bora-Hansgrophe received assistance in keeping the breakaway in-check with BMC Racing sending multiple riders to the front. Team Sky sent riders to the front as well and Bahrain-Merida did the same. With so many teams helping in the pacemaking, the breakaway stood little chance of surviving to the finish. The gap was locked-in at three and a half minutes for kilometer after kilometer.

The seven leaders began the first ascent of Willunga Hill with a 1:35 advantage over the peloton, as 25-kilometers remained in the stage. Rather quickly, the lead group had been split in half with Dlamini, Bowden, and De Gendt riding away from the others. As the peloton began the climb, the fight at the front was fierce. Many teams were trying to position their leader toward the front.

Near the top of the climb, Bowden was unhitched from the lead group. Dlamini crossed the top of Willunga Hill in second behind De Gendt and secured the King of the Mountains classification for the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under. He turned off the gas once over the top of the climb, leaving De Gendt alone in the lead. The Belgian had about a one-minute advantage over the Bahrain-Merida led peloton, but one more ascent of Willunga Hill was still to come.

Inside the final 10 kilometers, De Gendt had been caught and the peloton was charging down the road. EF Education First-Drapac put the hammer down in a crosswind section that split the peloton. Porte and Sagan looked to be in danger of being caught on the wrong side of the split for a moment but quickly moved forward to make the front split.

BMC Racing led onto the final ascent of Willunga Hill, but soon UAE-Team Emirates took over in support of Diego Ulissi. Their time on the front was short-lived, however, as Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) set a quick pace in support of Porte. This put many riders on the limit and soon the Ochre leader’s jersey of Sagan was slipping backward with 1.8 kilometers still to go to the finish.

Everyone knew an attack was coming from Porte and everyone also knew where it was coming. In his four previous victories atop Willunga Hill, Porte had attacked in the same spot each time.

There was no trickery in 2018, as Porte made his move on his favorite curve 1.4 kilometers from the line. Initially, Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe), who began the day sitting third overall, was the only one able to follow Porte’s acceleration. It looked as though McCarthy may challenge Porte for the stage win, but then the BMC Racing rider kicked a second time and McCarthy was dislodged.

Porte powered all the way to the line to win atop Willunga Hill for a fifth straight year but was his gap large enough to take the Ochre leader’s jersey. He had secured the winner’s time bonus, which greatly helped his chances of securing the Ochre jersey.

McCarthy faded in the final kilometer, as a select group of climbers passed him and sprinted toward the line. He would finish the stage outside the top 10 and more than 20 seconds behind Porte.

“The plan was to try to stay with Porte,” McCarthy said after the stage. “My legs just exploded with 600 meters to go. It was lights out. Last year I was on the podium, but to get within that podium range, I needed to pick up time bonuses throughout the week. I gave everything on the climb.”

Impey was the best of the rest to capture second on the stage, eight-seconds adrift of Porte. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) finished third.

After a period of waiting after the stage ended to calculate the general classification, it was complicated as both Porte and Impey had bonus seconds to factor into their time, it was determined that Impey was the overall leader. However, Porte and Impey are on the same time. Slagter is third overall at 16-seconds behind.

Sunday’s final stage of the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under is a circuit race in downtown Adelaide and there are time bonuses available at intermediate sprints and the finish. With Porte and Impey on the same time in the general classification, the final stage will surely contain many fireworks. The riders will start in the race village and roll neutral down the street for 20 laps of a 4.5-kilometer circuit around Edler Park. The 90-kilometer stage will be incredibly fast and as in year’s past, a sprint finish is expected.

Full results to come

The post Tour Down Under: Porte wins for fifth time atop Willunga Hill on stage 5 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Tour Down Under: Sagan takes stage four and overall lead

Three-time World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) captured his first career stage win at the Santos Tour Down Under on Friday in Uraidla. The Slovakian was able to pump his legs the quickest in the downhill sprint that was fast enough that none of the riders stood out of the saddle. He also took over the lead in the general classification.

The cat. 1 Norton Summit Road climb came late in the stage and thinned out the peloton to around 40 riders. The select group attacked each other the descent to the finish, but none of the attacks were able to stick. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) started the downhill sprint to the line, but was unable to hold off Sagan and finished second on the stage. He’s second in the general classification as well.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), a former winner of the Tour Down Under, finished third on the stage. He sits fourth in the general classification, 10-seconds behind Sagan. Sagan’s teammate Jay McCarthy is third overall at nine seconds.

Top 10, stage 4

  • 1. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, in 03:21:07
  • 2. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:00
  • 3. Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:00
  • 4. Diego Ulissi, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:00
  • 5. Jay McCarthy, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:00
  • 6. Dries Devenyns, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
  • 7. Domenico Pozzovivo, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:00
  • 8. Rui Costa, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:00
  • 9. Pierre LaTour, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:00
  • 10. Laurent Didier, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:00

Top 10 GC after stage 4

  • 1. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, in 14:19:49
  • 2. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:02
  • 3. Jay McCarthy, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:09
  • 4. Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:10
  • 5. Diego Ulissi, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:14
  • 6. Robert Gesink, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:14
  • 7. Rui Costa, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:14
  • 8. George Bennett, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:14
  • 9. Dries Devenyns QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:14
  • 10. Egan Arley Bernal, TEAM SKY, at 0:14

Friday’s 128-kilometer fourth stage of the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under from Norwood to Uraidla was for the riders hoping to claim overall victory. There was only categorized climb in the stage route, but it came extremely late in the stage. The cat. 1 Norton Summit Road (5.8km at 5%) peaked with a mere 7.4 kilometers remaining. However, the KOM point was not at the actual summit, as the riders had to climb for two more kilometers before the downhill began. Intense heat would again play a role, as the mercury crept over the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark. Race organizers even changed the start time to an hour earlier in an attempt to avoid the hottest part of the day.

The UniSA duo of Zakkari Dempster and Alexander Porter broke away from the peloton in the opening kilometers. They built an advantage of nearly 10 minutes before the peloton began to take notice. Mitchelton-Scott took the onus of setting the pace in the bunch and beginning to bring back the lead, as they were the team of race leader Caleb Ewan. Mitchelton-Scott also had Impey in with a chance for the stage win.

A hard chase by the likes of Mitchelton-Scott and Bora-Hansgrohe shaved nearly five minutes off the gap to the leading duo over the course of the middle 50 kilometers of the stage. Dempster and Porter were only four minutes in front of the peloton entering the final 50 kilometers to the finish. A much more manageable gap. The duo was sure to tire and struggle up the final climb, having spent all day working hard in the heat while the GC contenders and rouleurs of the peloton sat in the wheels.

Soon Dempster was alone in the lead, as the heat had zapped away all of Porter’s energy. The young rider took one last long and hard pull up a short uncategorized climb for Dempster before he was finally dropped on the descent. Dempster’s gap to the peloton still hovered around four minutes with 40 kilometers to go.

Dempster was brought back by the peloton a few kilometers before the climb Norton Summit Road with 15-kilometers remaining.

The peloton hit the climb all together with BMC Racing at the front of the bunch. First Miles Scotson set the pace and then four-time Tour Down Under overall winner Simon Gerrans took over. They were sacrificing themselves for their leader Porte.

While Norton Summit Road is a first category climb, it is not terribly difficult. The riders were averaging nearly 30kph (18.6mph) up the climb. Gerrans led a rather large select group over the KOM point at the top with Porte crossing in second. However, the climb was not quite finished. After about a kilometer of flat, there was one last steep 800-meter kicker before the descent into Uraidla.

Brendan Canty (EF Education First-Drapac) and Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) attacked out of the group just before the riders hit the steep kicker. Team Sunweb had multiple riders in the group and quickly shut down the attack by Canty and Izaguirre.

Once over the main climb, the descent to the finish was not straightforward. The road dipped and dived toward the finish, creating multiple opportunities for attacking. Port and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) took advantage of one the rollers to attack and get a gap. Sagan bridged across the gap with Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) and Izagirre in tow, creating five out front.

The World Champion attacked over the top of Porte and Bennett and soon was alone in the lead with a mere two kilometers remaining. Porte chased the move down with the others on his wheel and soon the whole group of around 40 riders was back together as the attackers lost their lead due to watching each other instead of riding full-steam ahead.

Dani Moreno (EF Education First-Drapac) tried to attack inside the final kilometer, but it didn’t work out and he served as simply a lead-out man for the sprint.

The sprint to the finish was incredibly fast with the riders cadence quick enough that they were unable to stand up. Sagan proved to have the quickest legs, passing Impey inside the final 25 meters.

Sagan will wear the Ochre leader’s jersey on Saturday for the queen stage of the race, as the riders will tackle the famous climb of Willunga Hill. BMC Racing’s Porte has won atop the climb the last four years.

Full results to come

The post Tour Down Under: Sagan takes stage four and overall lead appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Tour Down Under: Viviani captures first win of 2018 on stage three

Elia Viviani not only took his maiden victory of the 2018 season on Thursday but also scored the first victory of the season for his team, Quick-Step Floors, in Victor Harbor at the Santos Tour Down Under. Viviani joined Quick-Step Floors in the offseason from Team Sky.

Cheeky sprinting tactics from Caleb Ewan cost Mitchelton-Scott the victory, as it appeared Ewan thought his lead-out man, Alex Edmondson, was quick enough to take the stage, but that was not the case. Viviani came on strong in the end and Ewan started his sprint much too late to follow the Italian. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) finished second, as Ewan ended the day in third.

However, Ewan extended his lead in the general classification over his teammate Daryl Impey to 16 seconds. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) sits third overall, 12-seconds behind.

Top 10, stage 3

  • 1. Elia Viviani, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, in 03:04:40
  • 2. Phil Bauhau, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:00
  • 3. Caleb Ewan, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:00
  • 4. Simone Consonni, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:00
  • 5. Peter Sagan, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 0:00
  • 6. Simon Clarke, EF EDUCATION FIRST-DRAPAC, at 0:00
  • 7. Alex Edmondson, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:00
  • 8. Zakkari Dempster, UNISA, at 0:00
  • 9. Dries Devenyns, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
  • 10. Jay Mccarthy, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 0:00

Top 10 GC after stage 3

  • 1. Caleb Ewan, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, in 07:54:00
  • 2. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:10
  • 3. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:12
  • 4. Jay McCarthy, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:12
  • 5. Nathan Haas, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:15
  • 6. Jhonatan Restrepo, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:15
  • 7. Elia Viviani, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:16
  • 8. Simone Consonni, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:16
  • 9. Carlos Barbero, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:16
  • 10. Anthony Roux, FDJ, at 0:16

Thursday’s third stage of the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under began in Glenelg and finished along the coast in Victor Harbor. The stage was originally slated to be 146.5 kilometers with three laps of 13 kilometers each around Victor Harbor, but extreme heat caused organizers to cut two of the finishing circuits, in the name of protecting the riders. Thus, the stage was only 120.5-kilometers long.

For the third day in a row, Scott Bowden (UniSA) and Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) were in the breakaway. They were the only two riders to go up the road and the duo would build a maximum advantage of over five minutes before the sprinter teams took to the front of the peloton to keep the leaders in check.

Dlamini crossed the KOM point at Penny’s Hill Road (Cat. 1, 2.8km at 7.6%) after 38 kilometers of racing in first position to extend his lead in the King of the Mountains classification. At this point in the stage, the mercury had crept over the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark.

With 55 kilometers to go, Bowden was all alone in the lead as Dlamini dropped back to the peloton, which was led by Lotto Soudal. Greipel came to the Tour Down Under with good form, as he won the opening stage of the race on Tuesday. Wednesday’s stage was a bit too tough for The Gorilla to contest for the stage win, so he was looking for win number two of the 2018 race on Thursday.

The hot temperatures took its toll on the riders as the stage went on. The pace was not terribly fast for a flat stage like on Thursday. Bowden was broke back into the peloton with just under 20 kilometers to go. Although, the young rider on team UniSA wasn’t so much as chased down by the peloton, as he chose to sit up and go back to the bunch.

Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin) attacked out of the peloton a few kilometers later and crossed the finish line to begin the 13-kilometer finishing circuit with a 15-second advantage over the peloton. Lotto Soudal and Mitchelton-Scott continued to do the bulk of the work at the front of the main bunch. Machado’s attack would be short-lived and he was brought back with eight kilometers to go.

The run-in to the finish was quick, as the circuit climbed inland, thus leaving a high-speed descent back to the coast where the finish line was located. Mitchelton-Scott seemed to have its tactics sorted out, as five riders were at the front of the peloton keeping the pace high for Ewan on the descent into Victor Harbor.

Inside the final kilometer, Mitchelton-Scott still controlled the peloton with Ewan sitting in third position. The final lead rider for the Aussie sprint phenom was newly crowned Australian national road race champion Edmondson. Edmondson sprinted hard on the front of the peloton and appeared to be charging to victory with Ewan on his wheel.

Ewan took a glance over his left shoulder as the finish line approached and saw a streak of blue powering toward the line. He quickly realized Edmondson would not hold on to take the stage win and he needed to sprint himself. Viviani came quickly though and got the jump on Ewan, giving him no shot at the victory. Ewan began his sprint late enough that he was also passed by Bauhaus right on the line.

A shake-up in the general classification could occur on Friday’s fourth stage of the Santos Tour Down Under from Norwood to Uradlia, as the only categorized climb of the day comes extremely late in the stage. The riders will summit the cat. 1 Norton Summit Road (5.8km @ 5%) with a mere 7.4 kilometers remaining. In a post-stage interview on Thursday, Ewan admitted he will probably lose the Ochre Leader’s jersey tomorrow and instead focus on Sunday’s final stage in downtown Adelaide. The penultimate stage of the 2018 Tour Down Under finishes atop the famed Old Willunga Hill.

Furthermore, Friday’s stage will start at 10:30 a.m. local time, an hour earlier than originally scheduled. This decision was made by race organizers because high temperatures are expected again.
Full results to come

The post Tour Down Under: Viviani captures first win of 2018 on stage three appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Tour Down Under: Ewan wins difficult stage two into Stirling

Aussie sprinting phenom Caleb Ewan won the difficult second stage of the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under into Stirling on Wednesday. Mitchelton-Scott finished first and second on the stage, as Daryl Impey held on for second after leading out Ewan. Ewan also took over the lead in the general classification, as former race leader Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was dropped on the rolling run-in to the finish.

GC contender and former winner in Stirling, Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe), finished third and also gained a few bonus seconds. He’s hoping to improve on his third-place overall finish from last year.

The stage was dominated by a solo breakaway by Movistar’s Jaime Castrillo who was caught with less than 15 kilometers to go in the stage.

Top 10, stage 2

  • Caleb Ewan, MITCHELTON-SCOTT,1 in 04:03:55
  • Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT,2 at 0:00
  • Jay McCarthy, BORA – HANSGROHE,3 at 0:00
  • Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE,4 at 0:00
  • Nathan Haas, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN,5 at 0:00
  • Elia Viviani, QUICK-STEP FLOORS,6 at 0:00
  • Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM,7 at 0:00
  • Domenico Pozzovivo, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM,8 at 0:00
  • Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM,9 at 0:00
  • Carlos Barbero, MOVISTAR TEAM,10 at 0:00

Top 10 overall after stage 2

  • 1. Caleb Ewan, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, in 07:54:00
  • 2. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:10
  • 3. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:12
  • 4. Jay McCarthy, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:12
  • 5. Nathan Haas, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:15
  • 6. Jhonatan Restrepo, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:15
  • 7. Elia Viviani, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:16
  • 8. Simone Consonni, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:16
  • 9. Carlos Barbero, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:16
  • 10. Anthony Roux, FDJ, at 0:16

The second stage of the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under traveled 148.6 kilometers from Unley to Stirling. The riders tackled a 21-kilometer finishing circuit in Stirling to end the stage that was by no means flat. The uphill finish in Stirling isn’t too steep to purely suit the GC contenders, but gaps could form in the peloton in the run-in, so positioning entering the finale was critical.

Will Clarke (EF Education First-Drapac), Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data), and Scott Bowden (UniSA) were in the breakaway for the second straight day but were also joined on Wednesday by neo-pro Jaime Castrillo (Movistar). Clarke won the stage into Stirling in the 2012 edition of the Tour Down Under.

Dlamini promptly crossed the only KOM point of the day first at the top of Tea Tree Gully Hill (Cat. 2, 2.5km at 6.3%) after 15 kilometers of racing. He extended his lead in the King of Mountains classification, as he won the only KOM point on stage one as well. After he won the climb, he bid goodbye to his fellow breakaway companions and rejoined the peloton.

As the riders entered the final 100 kilometers of the stage, the breakaway was pushing their advantage over the peloton toward the seven-minute mark. This got the attention of Bahrain-Merida and all of the seven riders on the team went to the front of the peloton to begin reeling back-in the three leaders.

Clarke began the second stage of the Tour Down Under sitting third overall, four seconds behind race leader and stage one winner Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal). He captured both sprint points out on the course and with them a total of six bonus seconds. This put Clarke in the virtual Ochre leader’s jersey.

After winning the second sprint point with about 70 kilometers remaining to the finish, Clarke decided to drop back to the peloton. Bowden followed suit and all of a sudden Castrillo was left all alone in the lead. The Spaniard crossed the finish line in Stirling to begin the three circuit laps with nearly four minutes over the peloton.

On the first circuit around Stirling, Bahrain-Merida continued to set a fierce pace in the peloton and had shrunk Castrillo’s lead to just 1:20. The final seven kilometers of the circuit is a gradual rolling uphill, which makes the finish more suited to a rider like Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), than a pure sprinter like Ewan.

Steve Morabito (FDJ) crashed midway through the second circuit and after recovering from the initial shock of the crash, it appeared he hurt his shoulder badly. He was seen working with the race doctor and doing motions similar to popping back-in a dislocated shoulder. Morabito would remount his bike and continue, though he had lost considerable time to the peloton. He would finish the stage.

Castrillo’s day out front came to an end with 13 kilometers remaining to the finish on the last circuit around Stirling. EF Education First-Drapac was seen at the front of the peloton along with Bora-Hansgrohe.

As the riders began the final seven-kilometer drag up to the line, Team Sunweb took control of the peloton, as current race leader Greipel was seen going out the back. There would be a new leader of the race at the finish line.

Ewan was still near the front of the peloton at the five-kilometer sign and was surrounded by nearly all of his Mitchelton-Scott teammates.

The pink jerseys of EF Education First-Drapac led the peloton under the red kit marking the final kilometer of the stage. Soon after, Lotto-NL Jumbo came to the front of the peloton with two riders. Robert Gesink was sitting in second position. However, he was left on the front of the bunch much too far the finish and simply served as the final lead-out for the fast men. Impey led out Ewan, as World Champion Sagan brought McCarthy to the front from a little way back.

It appeared Sagan may take the stage win, as he went shoulder to shoulder with Ewan, but Sagan began to fade as the steep finish hill started to bite. Ewan pulled away, as Impey tucked into his slipstream and hung on for second on the stage. McCarthy finished third on the day with Sagan finishing fourth.

Ewan’s win in Stirling came as a bit of a surprise, as the steep finish doesn’t particularly suit a pure sprinter. As consolation for his incredible effort, Ewan pulled on the Ochre Leader’s jersey. He has a 10-second lead over Impey in the general classification. Sagan sits third at 12 seconds with McCarthy on the same time. McCarthy is highest in the overall among the riders contending to win the general classification.

The Santos Tour Down Under continues on Thursday with the third stage from Glenelg to Victor Harbor. The 146.5km stage will finish with three laps of 13 kilometers each around Victor Harbor. The stage is expected to end in another bunch sprint finish.

Full results to come

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