High-speed racing on the Poggio means sprinters miss out at Milan-San Remo

Caleb Ewan during Milan-San Remo 2019

The warm spring weather and steady pace for much of Milan-San Remo seemed set to help the sprinters dominate this year’s La Classicissima , but in truth, it led to their downfall. The attackers were still strong and confident on the Poggio, and so able to blow the race apart and share the spoils on the Via Roma. Eventual winner, Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) sparked the decisive selection of seven riders in the final kilometre of the Poggio, with only Vincenzo Nibali and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Simon Clarke (EF Education First) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) able to get on during the descent and the final flat roads in San Remo. The pure sprinters and their teammates were distanced and dropped, leaving just 11 riders to fight for victory. Few noticed but Alexander Kristoff ( UAE Team Emirates ) won the bunch sprint for 14th place on the Via ...

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Follow Milan-San Remo on Saturday live with Cyclingnews

The Milan-San Remo podium

The 110th running of Milan-San Remo is set to roll Saturday morning in Italy, and you can follow all of the action here on Cyclingnews with our live report . The first Monument of the 2019 season is another wide-open affair, with even the pre-race favourites like Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) admitting 'La Primavera' is a race that just about any type of rider can win in any manner of ways, from a bunch sprint, a small group or a solo breakaway. This year's start list includes former champions Nibali, Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates). Also among the expected favourites are Julian Alaphilippe and Elia Viviani from Deceuninck-QuickStep, Caleb Ewan from Lotto Soudal, Matteo Trentin from Mitchelton-Scott, Dylan Groenewegen from Jumbo-Visma and Fernando Gaviria from UAE Team Emirates. The ...

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Milano-Sanremo: The ‘Who Will Win’ Piece

Milano-Sanremo is at the same time the most and least predictable race on the calendar. It’s not every race you can work through every single scenario in which the race can be won and coming up with a manageable number - go on, try doing it with E3 Harelbeke - but then again it’s not every race that can be won by Mark Cavendish, then a few years later undergo alterations that make it notably easier, following which it is won by Vincenzo Nibali. I’m not going to go through all the scenarios in which any given rider can win, Andrew did that expertly last year and much of it is still relevant. What I aim to achieve with this preview is to come up with one name and a set of very plausible reasons why they will be the first person to win a Monument classic in 2019. This ...

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Matthews realistic over Milan-San Remo after injury-hit season

Michael Matthews is starting his third season with Team Sunweb in 2019

Michael Matthews ( Team Sunweb ) is under no illusions as he heads towards the start line of Milan-San Remo on Saturday. During the winter, the versatile Australian had selected the first Monument of the season as a major spring goal but a crash in Paris-Nice robbed him of vital racing and, with just one day of racing in his legs, the 28-year-old is not among the favourites. In fact, Matthews only made the selection for Milan-San Remo on Wednesday after a last-minute medical confirmed that his Paris-Nice injuries were not as serious as first thought. "The recovery has gone surprisingly well, and faster than I ever imagined," Matthews told Cyclingnews from Milan on Thursday evening. "Last week I was told that I would be off for three months, and now it's Thursday and I'm here for Milan-San Remo. It's been a fast turnaround. There are two or three fractures ...

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Milan – San Remo: Race Preview

The year’s first monument is upon us The smell of cut grass. The days lengthening. The Masters from Augusta. The sound of [insert local fauna as appropriate] [insert distinctive sound] in/on/beside [insert recognisable local architecture or flora as appropriate]. Milan-San Remo. Yes, spring* is coming, folks, and so is the season’s first monument. Italian cycling, never without a poetic narrative, has the first big race of the year, starting in a corner of Europe where winter isn’t too far forgotten, and finishing in the glitz, colour and sunshine of the Mediterranean coastline. Well, that’s the theory, anyway – the weather doesn’t always align with the narrative. * In the Northern hemisphere. Chris has given us the colour and the history of the race. Conor feels confident that he can tell us all the winner. Which leaves me to look at how the race will unfold. It is a pretty familiar ...

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Winners and Losers From the Week in Stage Racing

Alright, the first week of (real) World Tour stage racing is in the can. Some riders saw their stock go up, while others were left searching for answers. Let’s have a look at who came out on top, who didn’t and what that means moving forward. Winner: Sam Bennett The Irish Fastman had a pretty good 2018 with 3 stage wins in the Giro and a smattering of other better than expected results. For his sins, he lost his spot on the Giro roster to Pascal Ackermann. And now he is pissed. While handling his displeasure through the media swimmingly, his 2019 is so far going even better, with a win at UAE and now two stage wins at Paris-Nice, including an extremely impressive navigation through traffic to take stage 6, that really showed his chutzpah. Maybe the better competition went to Italy, but it’s not exactly nobodies that he’s ...

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Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters

The early season is always full of fast finishes. Where do the sport's top sprinters stand? The post Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Flanders Friday: Looking for Clues

Dylan Groenewegen wins in Paris-Nice

Are we learning anything about what’s to come in a couple weeks? Was there any news of the Cobbled Classics this week? I didn’t see any. Most of the reporters are in France or Italy, fussing over the events in front of them. You can read Sporza and get your daily update on Wout Van Aert (was his Strade Bianche ok? Will he owe his old team a bunch of money?) but even I have my limits there. No, there’s nothing. Les Amis are scrubbing the horrible pavé in France and that’s about it. So now is a moment to poke around and see what there is to learn about the individual riders who will contest the great classics around the corner. Does Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico tell us anything about what’s to come? Backing up, the two early spring stage races are must-rides for all the classics guys, from Milano-Sanremo ...

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The Pro-Conti and SSR Corner

Don’t be calling my win at Trofeo Laigueglia merda piccola.

Where we discuss all things shit small Welcome to what I hope will be a bi-weekly column on the pro-conti ranks and upcoming shit small races. I had a lot of fun last season previewing the SSRs that don’t get a lot of coverage in the SSSRSSP (Shawn’s Shit Small Race Shit Small Preview) series and want to continue highlighting these races and what’s happening in the pro-conti (and continental) ranks without necessarily doing a big preview for each race. WITHER SSR RACING? I’ve now spent approximately 2,326 hours writing about vds, 47,248 hours conducting vds drafts, 2.2 x 10 22nd power years researching my vds team, and today, while watching Le Samyn, and then wondering why Florian Senechal only scored 100 points for his first professional victory, was the first time that I realized that Ursula lowered the categories downward for many of the SSR races. All of these ...

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Sergio Henao to lead UAE Team Emirates at Paris-Nice

UAE Team Emirate's Sergio Henao

Fresh off his top-10 finish at the Tour Colombia 2.1, Sergio Henao will lead UAE Team Emirates at Paris-Nice next week, while teammate and late roster addition Fabio Aru continues to ease into his season after starting with the Mallorca Challenge in Spain before taking 29th overall at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal. Henao, who won Paris-Nice in 2017, joined UAE Team Emirates this year after seven years with Team Sky, and is eager to prove himself as a GC contender. Aru is not in top shape, but will use Paris-Nice as a key stepping stone as he builds toward the Giro d'Italia in May. If Henao is in a good position overall, then Aru will work for his new teammate. With the absence from the roster of sprinter Fernando Gaviria, who's racing Strade Bianche on Saturday, Alexander Kristoff will also be eager to have free rein to go ...

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Flying Too Close to the Sun: Paris - Nice Preview

Race to the sun, my ass.

There’s always a discussion around this time about which is the better race-- Paris - Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico-- as the peloton gets split between the two races. The consensus view is usually that TA is the better race-- it gets the better riders and has the better route. Here’s the thing, though. Anyone that still believes that has not been watching PN during the last three years. Each of the last three years has been a barn burner of a race, easily in contention for best week long stage race of the year as well as race day of the year and probably only losing out on those honors due to its placement on the calendar-- before the spring classics and all of the grand tours cloud our collective memories. 2016 saw Geraint Thomas take the GC victory over Alberto Contador by a mere 4 seconds and saw a vintage ...

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Aru confirms pre-Giro d'Italia race plans with Paris-Nice a late inclusion

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) was back in action in the Algarve

Fabio Aru ( UAE Team Emirates ) has confirmed to Cyclingnews that he will race Paris-Nice . The French stage race has been added to the Italian's race schedule as he gears up to resurrect his stage racing career after a difficult 2018. Aru will compete in the eight-day French race before taking on Catalunya later in March. He will then travel to Colorado and train at altitude for three weeks under the guidance of head trainer Inigo San Milan, who was brought onboard at the start of the year to improve the team's backroom staff. "I want to put more race miles into my legs. After Catalunya I'll go to altitude for a long period, and it's going to be a long period without races. It's good now to add one more race so that's why I'm going to Paris-Nice," Aru told Cyclingnews after an intense day of wind ...

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Kristoff hoping sacrifice for Gaviria will pay off at the Tour de France

Kristoff hoping sacrifice for Gaviria will pay off at the Tour de France

Alexander Kristoff is hopeful sacrificing his aims to race for new teammate Fernando Gaviria at the UAE Tour will pay dividends when the pair join forces at the Tour de France in July.

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Kristoff learns the ropes of lead-out man at UAE Tour

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) showed some battle wounds from last week's Tour of Oman

The UAE Tour has been a journey of discovery for Alexander Kristoff ( UAE Team Emirates ) as he learns the trade of lead-out man. Usually the one at the back of the train, Kristoff was put to work for Fernando Gaviria over the last week. It has been an adjustment for the Norwegian but came with early success after Gaviria won stage 2 at the Abu Dhabi breakwater. However, the final stage has given Kristoff and the team something to keep in mind over the coming months, after Kristoff found himself out of position in the final corner. “It’s new for me. I usually try to sprint myself. It wasn’t so different today because the finish was so close after the corner, but to start at 400 metres is a bit early,” Kristoff explained, still catching his breath after his exertions. “For sure, I would like better to sprint ...

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Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne Preview

Jasper Stuyven may be primed to win here again

The perfect bland dessert to the perfect opening weekend Consider this. It’s date night. You order a five star plate of cobbles, spring time weather and opening day energy. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Your spouse orders a hearty dish of Grand Tour, and gives you a fork full of Maillot Jaune contenders, Cols and descents, and French commentary. The Classic Sud Ardeche. Delicious. And now, just to cap things off you head to McDonalds for the perfect dessert: soft-serve ice cream. Wholesome, reliable, honest, satisfying and most importantly cold. That’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The perfect I-don’t-care,-what-do-you-want ending to a perfect opening weekend date. The Course This year’s edition takes the same general form of previous editions. It starts headed eastward for 60 km to a town called Voorde, but not before traversing the first two of 13 bergs, and the two newbies included in this year’s edition: The Volkegemberg is 1 km ...

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UAE Team Emirates test young guns in Opening Weekend

Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 3 in Tour Colombia

With Fernando Gaviria and Alexander Kristoff focused elsewhere, UAE Team Emirates have turned to their next generation of riders for Opening Weekend. Belgian neo-pro Jasper Philipsen - who won a stage at the Tour Down Under in January - will lead the line in both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne . "It will be good to have top 10s on both days," team director Allan Peiper told Cyclingnews in Gent on Friday. "Firstly, Philipsen is a young guy but he knows how to handle himself in these races. He knows all the climbs and he knows how to position himself. Sven Erik Bystrom is always in the role of a helper, so it would be good for him to try and have his own race. They're our two for Omloop. If one of them can ride top 10 that would be great." Philipsen has one of the most sought after ...

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Viviani changes tactic to win at UAE Tour

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 5 at UAE Tour

After being beaten by Fernando Gaviria ( UAE Team Emirates ) on stage 2 of the UAE Tour , Elia Viviani ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) was able to turn the tables three days later on the seafront in Khor Fakkan and beat his former teammate and track racing rival. The win is Viviani’s 70th of his professional career and the third of the 2019 season after victories at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Tour Down Under last month. Deceuninck-QuickStep used their leadout train to full effect on Thursday afternoon in Khor Fakkan before Viviani made his late run to the line. Viviani had to navigate around his slower rivals, with sprinters all across the road, but came through to take the win by a similar margin to what he had lost by only a few days ago. “[Fabio] Sabatini and [Michael] Morkov did a really amazing job so ...

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UAE Tour: Viviani wins sprint in Khor Fakkan

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 5 of the UAE Tour

Elia Viviani ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) won stage 5 of the UAE Tour to Khor Fakkan, coming from behind to find a way past his rivals and beat Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the high-speed sprint finish. Alexander Kristoff again gave Gaviria a superb lead-out but perhaps left him out front a little early into the headwind. Viviani was stuck behind but used his sprinting and bike skills to find a way through and then came up between Gaviria and the barriers. The four sprinters were spread across the road as they hit the line, but Viviani won it by a half a bike length. Viviani made a superb piece of technical sprinting look easy and was proud to have beaten most of his big-name sprint rivals in the peloton. It was his 70th career victory and his third win of the 2019 ...

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UAE Tour: Kristoff crosses the line on foot after crash causes mechanical

Fernando Gaviria looks at Kristoff's bike as they cross the line together

One of the prominent images of the hilltop finish at Hatta Dam on stage 4 of the UAE Tour was Alexander Kristoff ( UAE Team Emirates ) walking his bike across the line. Hatta Dam is painfully steep, with maximum gradients reaching 17 percent, but it was a mechanical problem that forced the Norwegian to make his way up on foot. Kristoff received a knock to the back of his bike during a crash inside the final six kilometres, which also saw his teammate Fernando Gaviria crash. He was able to continue though and was at the front of proceedings when the peloton hit the steepest part of the climb to Hatta Dam. However, when Kristoff tried to shift gears the movement ripped the damaged derailleur clean off and snapped his seatstay in the process. It is understood Kristoff was also stuck in his outer chainring. In order to carry ...

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Caleb Ewan climbs to victory; Evenepoel’s crash; Gilbert looks to Classics – Daily News Digest

Supported by Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today: Caleb Ewan climbs to victory in the UAE, Remco Evenepoel has a nasty tumble, there’s another contender for the World Hour Record, and Philippe Gilbert is hoping for some Classics success in 2019. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest. Story of the … The post Caleb Ewan climbs to victory; Evenepoel’s crash; Gilbert looks to Classics – Daily News Digest appeared first on CyclingTips .

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