Higuita’s ascendance a consolation prize for EF Education First in California

Higuita’s ascendance a consolation prize for EF Education First in California

Young Colombian Sergio Higuita only arrived at EF Education First in early May. Now they're comparing his punchy style to Alejandro Valverde's. Read the full article at Higuita’s ascendance a consolation prize for EF Education First in California on VeloNews.com .

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Giro d'Italia 2019: Stage 4 finish line quotes

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) gets to the line on stage 4 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia having lost 18

Mauro Vegni - Giro d’Italia race director "I’m really sorry to see Tom [Dumoulin] crash . We’d brought a lot big names to the Giro d'Italia and we’d already lost [Alejandro] Valverde and [Egan] Bernal before the start. Now after four stages Dumoulin has crashed hard and lost a chunk of time. Let's just hope he can carry on and fight for a stage and perhaps fight back. "We’re all sad about what has happened. It’s difficult to avoid a lot of the crashes. I’ve seen the video of today’s crash sand it was caused by a moment of distraction, like most crashes, when riders look around and touch wheels." Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) - overall leader "It was pretty easy for most of the stage but when the race started, it was really nervous. At the Giro d’Italia everything changes every day, and we're just on stage 4. I asked ...

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Unzue: Landa is in best pre-Grand Tour shape ever

Mikel Landa waits for the start

The Movistar team are adamant that Mikel Landa ’s rollercoaster career can now take an upturn once again in the Giro d’Italia , the race where Landa staged his breakthrough as a Grand Tour racer back in 2015. Longstanding manager Eusebio Unzue insisted in Movistar’s pre-race press conference on Friday that Landa was in the best ever form he’s seen him prior to a Grand Tour. The Giro d’Italia has been something of a microcosm of Landa's complex Grand Tour experiences In 2015, he took third overall and back-to-back stages, and often looked as if he could topple Alberto Contador from the leader’s spot, had he not been hamstrung by internal team politics in Astana. Then in what became his trademark 'yo-yo' style as misfortune set in, in 2016, having abandoned ill mid-Giro in a sudden downturn of his physical condition, in 2017 he crashed badly on the Blockhaus stage ...

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Giro Stage One Preview: Early Fireworks

If you’re planning to win this year’s Giro, you’d better be ready from the gun Saturday sees the start of the Giro, the start of the 2019 grand tour season, and the start of all things mountainous for the year. We’ve had the classics, hope you enjoyed them. Now it is time for the long races, and we are starting with fireworks. Getty Images/iStockphoto Bologna. Fireworks. Oh, shut up. As we’ve said in several of our previews, the first week is pretty quiet. Except, that is, for stage one. Stage one is lively. I’ve talked about it a reasonable amount in my look at the TTs . It even got a mention from Will , as the 27 th toughest mountain in the race – he was ranking on difficulty, not significance. On significance it finishes much higher. A reminder of the course: Also, a reminder of that closing climb: ...

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Time for the Party at Mauro Vegni’s Place

In which I ramble about the Giro (as we cycling writers are wont to do) until I decide this post is long enough. In cycling there’s a good few maxims you can pretty much take for granted. Scheldeprijs will always be flat. Nobody will ever really target the Vuelta. Gianni Savio will always be there. You may think he’s gone, but he’s always there. I’m talking to you, Colombia. And finally, the Giro is every cycling fan’s favourite Grand Tour. Nobody prefers the Vuelta, for obvious reasons. Nobody likes the Tour because it’s too mainstream and less romantic. Well, there’s me. As you might have noticed from my body of work on this website over the last few years, I’ve prioritised it but as well as that, I’m a pragmatist. To me, Andy Schleck won the 2010 Tour because that’s what the records say. Alejandro Valverde is one of my ...

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Landa, Carapaz and Amador to lead Movistar at Giro d'Italia

Mikel Landa (Movistar)

Not chastened by their experiences at last year’s Tour de France, Movistar are taking a three-pronged approach to the Giro d’Italia this May. The Spanish team will look to Mikel Landa , Andrey Amador and Richard Carapaz for their general classification ambitions. One notable omission from the team is Alejandro Valverde, who was meant to be riding the Corsa Rosa but had to pull out after a training crash ahead of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Given their previous performances, Landa – who is expected to leave the team at the end of the season - is likely to be the team’s best hope for the overall classification. Though, Carapaz has been on fine form recently and will be looking to improve on last year’s performance. Landa took his first Grand Tour podium at the 2015 Giro d’Italia, after duking it out with his Astana teammate Fabio Aru and eventual winner Alberto Contador. In ...

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Alejandro Valverde withdraws from Giro d’Italia due to back injury

Alejandro Valverde in the rainbow jersey after winning 2018 world road race title (picture credit SW

World champion has had an uncharacteristically low key spring

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Valverde to miss Giro due to Liège injury

Valverde to miss Giro due to Liège injury

Alejandro Valverde will skip the Giro d'Italia to recover from injuries suffered in a training crash Read the full article at Valverde to miss Giro due to Liège injury on VeloNews.com .

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Alejandro Valverde out of Giro d'Italia

Alejandro Valverde wrapped up warm

The Movistar team have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will not be able to take in the Giro d’Italia after failing to recover from a bone edema in his sacrum. The world champion crashed last Thursday while training in Belgium for Liège-Bastogne-Liège and failed to finish the final Classic of the spring, sparking concerns about his presence at the Giro d’Italia. Movistar said Valverde will now make a careful recovery before working on his form “to get back to his best form in the upcoming weeks and start building up for the second half of his 2019 season”. Valverde commented on the decision on social media. “It is a shame not to finally go to a great race like the Giro but | have to listen to my body and recover 100 per cent to face the rest of the year in the best possible way. Good luck to my Movistar ...

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Alejandro Valverde forced out of Giro d'Italia with injury

Alejandro Valverde forced out of Giro d'Italia with injury

Joe Robinson 3 May 2019 Movistar to rely on Landa and Carapaz for General Classification hopes as Valverde unable to recover from crash World Champion Alejandro Valverde has been forced out racing the Giro d'Italia through an injury sustained before last weekend's Liege-Bastogne-Liege . In a press release, Movistar confirmed that the veteran rider suffered from swelling in the pelvis after crashing in a training ride in the run up to Liege and that it would not heal in time for the Giro, which starts a week on Saturday . 'The Movistar Team confirmed on Friday that Alejandro Valverde, one of its main references for the 102nd Giro d'Italia, which starts next Saturday in Bologna, will not be able to take the start of the first Grand Tour of the season,' read the press release. 'The Murcia native wasn't able to recover in time from bone edema in his sacrum ...

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Valverde's Giro d'Italia participation in doubt after training crash

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) lacked his usual spark on the Mur de Huy.

Alejandro Valverde 's participation in the Giro d'Italia is in doubt as a result of the training crash that ultimately forced him to abandon Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. Scans taken in Murcia on Monday revealed that the world champion had sustained a bone edema in the sacrum. "Alejandro Valverde underwent scans in Murcia on Monday to examine the area damaged by his crash during a training ride last Thursday, prior to Liège-Bastogne-Liège," read a statement from his Movistar team on Tuesday. "The checkups confirmed bone edema in his sacrum. Giro appearance depends on his recovery evolution." Valverde has had a relatively subdued spring in the rainbow jersey of world champion, with just one victory to his name to date, a stage of the UAE Tour in February. He caught the eye with 8th place in his Tour of Flanders debut, but endured a trying Ardennes campaign. After placing an anonymous 66th ...

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The weekly spin: Rating the winners and losers of the 2019 spring classics

It was late in the race, and Julian Alaphilippe, the most successful rider of the spring classics, knew he would not be defending his team’s title at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Though his Deceuninck–Quick-Step teammates had spent the day keeping him sheltered from the wind and setting pace at the front of the peloton, the inclement weather had adversely … The post The weekly spin: Rating the winners and losers of the 2019 spring classics appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Women’s Team of the Week: Bumper Ardennes Edition

Races Stretching out a week to the best part of a fortnight, we have Amstel Gold Race (WWT7), Brabantse Pijl and EPZ Omloop van Borsele . Oh, and two minor untelevised races somewhere in Belgium ( WWT8 and WWT9 ). Coverage Do we have to? Yes, yes, we do. Due credit to Amstel Gold Race and Brabantse Pijl for providing the kind of coverage we’ve come to expect so far this season. As for ASO , their blank refusal to show Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège—two WWT races—live, despite evidently having the resources to do so, is, in TotW’s view, embarrassing , out of touch , chauvinistic , sad and increasingly inexplicable . Which is probably why ASO seem to have no explanation to offer . Riders Annemiek van Vleuten [2]: TotW is reluctant to award Rider of the Week for a performance no one actually saw, but thanks, ironically enough, ...

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Lessons learned from the 2019 Spring Classics

Joe Robinson 29 Apr 2019 Alaphilippe's the world's best rider not called Mathieu, Valverde's getting old and women's cycling coverage is still far behind the men's Jakob Fuglsang's solo victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege marked the end of the Spring Classics and closed the first chapter of the 2019 season. The men's peloton saw 17 races produce seven winning teams and 11 winning riders. Deceuninck-QuickStep dominated with nine of those wins with six different riders. Mathieu van der Poel took four victories to Julian Alaphilippe's four while Zdenek Stybar notched two wins of his own. Dimension Data managed only two top 10s all spring while the second most successful team of the entire period hailed from the ProContinental ranks, in the shape of Van der Poel's Corendon-Circus. The racing at times was thrilling and at other times quite boring, however, it all came together to tell some interesting stories ahead of the ...

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Fuglsang Lights Up Lukewarm Liège

Strongest rider wins in La Doyenne. I’m going to start this review by saying something I feel is kind of obvious: it is insane that this Ardennes classics season, and indeed spring, went the way it did. Who among us can truly say we thought Jakob Fuglsang, who has always been good but in an unspectacular manner, easier to associate with consistency than any other quality, would, at the age of thirty-four, tear through pre-season before finishing at the pointy end of some big stage races and finish, in ascending order, on each step of the podium in the three Ardennes races. He’s not a Greg Van Avermaet type, where you always knew the big win was around the corner, but instead has taken a giant leap this season. Now to deal with something else obvious: it wasn’t a great Liège. The flatter finish was not a panacea, with doomed ...

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Valverde crashed in training three days before Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

The sight of four-times Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) climbing in the team car with 100 kilometres to go confirmed that the Spanish all-rounder was having the roughest day of the Ardennes Classics. Already after a difficult Amstel Gold Race and being put off his pace at Flèche Wallonne when he swallowed a bee in the final 50 kilometres, Valverde then had a training crash, Movistar boss Eusebio Unzue told Cyclingnews . The world champion fell heavily, hurting his tailbone, and despite giving his best at Liège, was forced to abandon mid-race through the race. "There just came a point when it was too much," Unzue told Cyclingnews . "He tried his best but could not continue." Unzue said Valverde "had had a crash and fell whilst training three days ago, and his coccyx took the worst of the impact. Every day he was getting better, and he started out ...

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Valverde abandons 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Alejandro Valverde wrapped up at the start

Four times Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar ) has abandoned the race. Valverde quit the race with around 100 kilometres to go, with TV images showing the Spanish star pulling over to the righthand side of the road and getting into a team car. Valverde's abandon came after Deceuninck-QuickStep and Team Sky accelerated hard on a flatter section of the race before the ascent of the Cote de Mont-le-Soie and as rainy weather continued to lash the event, briefly splitting the race. The reigning world champion has been a shadow of his former self in the Ardennes Classics this year, finishing well down on the leaders in Amstel Gold, finishing eleventh in Flèche Wallonne, in which he swallowed a bee. This is his first failure to finish in Liège-Bastogne-Liège since 2012 when he was disqualified after going off route by mistake. Valverde is the second former winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège ...

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Valverde swallowed a bee during finale of Fleche Wallonne

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Four-time Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar ) was his usual optimistic self at Saturday's race presentation, but the reigning world champion recognised he was uncertain of his current condition. Valverde confirmed he had suffered an unusual setback during Flèche Wallonne, where the five times winner of the mid-week Ardennes Classic swallowed a bee, which then stung him, during the last part of the race. The Spanish veteran emphasised the incident, at some 50 kilometres from the finish, was not an explanation for his below-expectations performance, where he finished eleventh. However, he said it had been a frightening experience – and in the final hour of a race, surely even more so. "I thought it had come out but it stung me here," Valverde told a small group of reporters, pointing to his neck. "So I was pretty scared, to be honest. "I’ve swallowed insects before whilst riding, but I've ...

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Gilbert to attempt first Roubaix-Liege double in 35 years

Philippe Gilbert on the start line at the 2019 Amstel Gold Race

Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) is the big favourite for Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, but his rivals know that they can ill afford to ignore the Belgian squad's second option for La Doyenne on Sunday - Philippe Gilbert. It's fair to say that Philippe Gilbert drew a little less attention than the Frenchman on Friday's pre-race press conference for the team. But the Belgian's recent victory in Paris-Roubaix, as well as his own considerable experience in Liège-Bastogne-Liège – including a victory in 2011 – show that the veteran all-rounder could well have the form and the knowledge to go for a second win. Together with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Gilbert has the most number of finishes - 12 - in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, one more than Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). A victory for Gilbert would make him the first winner of Roubaix and Liège since Sean Kelly in 1984, whilst, for the record, Alaphilippe would ...

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Teams recon Liege-Bastogne-Liege climbs - Gallery

Greg Van Avermaet and the CCC Team on the Liege route

With the final Monument of the Spring Classics up for grabs Sunday at Liege-Bastogne-Liege , the top teams and riders were out on course taking the opportunity for one last chance to recon the most important and iconic parts of the course. Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert were on course with their Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates, as were Jakob Fuglsang and Astana , the foils for Alaphilippe so far during the Frenchman's phenomenal spring. Greg Van Avermaet and his CCC Team were taking in the route on Friday, alongside Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol and the EF Education First team. Four-time Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner and world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took in parts of the course, while Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) put in several good digs on the prominent climbs. Adam Yates was also on hand with Mitchelton-Scott. Other teams out on Friday reconnoitering the route included Jumbo-Visma, Dimension Data, ...

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