De Gendt clinches fourth Volta a Catalunya win

Thomas De Gendt solos to the stage 1 win at Volta a Catalunya

On the opening stage of the 2019 Volta a Catalunya , only one name really counted as Thomas De Gendt ( Lotto-Soudal ) powered to a hugely impressive solo victory, simultaneously netting the overall lead as well as almost all the secondary classifications. De Gendt's victory came thanks to a faultlessly calculated estimate on how much time he would need on the rolling run-in to the finish, which saw the 32-year-old with ample margin to raise his arms in victory well before the line - and then again, as he crossed it. "Yesterday [Sunday] evening, my team bosses asked me what the plan was, and I said if I had three minutes at the top of the final first category" - the Col de Formic, 56 kilometres from the finish - "then I'd be in with a good chance," De Gendt said. He would have 3:13 at that point in ...

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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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Van Aert continues to impress with sixth at Milan-San Remo

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)

The Via Roma in San Remo played host to cycling's superstars on Saturday afternoon, with the likes of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) all bested by the indomitable Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at Milan-San Remo . And within that star-studded elite group was also Wout van Aert ( Team Jumbo-Visma ) – the 24-year-old three-time cyclo-cross world champion in only his third road race of the season. The Belgian finished sixth, taking another outstanding result after his third place at Strade Bianche two weeks ago. At 291km, Milan-San Remo was the longest race Van Aert had ever ridden, but he has already shown that he knows his way around these mammoth road races. Last year saw him debut at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, finishing in ninth and 13th place, respectively. He was on the podium at the late-season European Championships road ...

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Valverde so near and yet so far at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde 's seventh place at Milan-San Remo , which came as having been part of the 12-man lead group, was the Movistar rider's best finish yet at La Classicissima – a race that continues to elude and frustrate the world champion. It was a case of so near, and yet so far: the 38-year-old Spaniard was right where he needed to be on the Via Roma, but was never really a challenger to 26-year-old winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), whose greater concerns as the line approached were AG2R's Oliver Naesen, 2017 Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and former world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). "It's been a spectacular Milan-San Remo, both because of the high level of racing and the great weather," Valverde said on the Movistar website. "Being up there with the top contenders and finishing with the first group, after 20 days with no racing, is something ...

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Milan-San Remo highlights: Alaphilippe’s masterclass

Julian Alaphilippe shows off the new Deceuninck-Quick-Step jersey

The yearly seven-hour battle between the sprinters and puncheurs that is Milan-San Remo has once again come and gone, and for 2019 we can strike another one up to the latter – the third in a row for that most versatile of rider groupings. Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-Quick Step ) was the man to continue the mini-streak on Saturday afternoon, pulling off a masterful display in the finale. The Frenchman was ably aided by his powerful Quick Step team on the final climb of the day, the legendary Poggio, before launching over the top. He wasn’t alone though – far from it, in fact. The best of the best had joined him, with the last two winners Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) up there, along with legends of the modern era Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), among others. After navigating the potential treachery of the ...

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Naesen unlocks potential for first Milan-San Remo podium

Oliver Naesen celebrates his second place

Oliver Naesen ( AG2R La Mondiale ) finally delivered in a spring Monument to take second place behind Julian Alaphilippe in Milan-San Remo , the first of the season. The 28-year-old Belgian has been a consistent presence in the spring classics for a number of years, yet despite his undoubted class he has always failed to deliver a result that truly reflected his pedigree. That changed on Saturday, with the AG2R La Mondiale rider deserving of his podium place ahead of Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Pete Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who finished third and fourth respectively. “I hope that this is something that unlocks my 'no results' streak,” a beaming Naesen told Cyclingnews after the podium celebrations on the Via Roma. The race burst into life on the Poggio, with Alaphilippe unleashing a stinging attack that drew only the best of the best from a reduced field. Sagan and Kwiatkowski were ...

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Milan-San Remo: Fourth leaves Peter Sagan disappointed yet again

Peter Sagan waves to the crowds at the start

Peter Sagan ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) was called for anti-doping after finishing fourth at Milan-San Remo , giving him to time to reflect and analyse his race and his fourth place behind Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) but his disappointment was still clear to see when he returned to the Bora-Hansgrohe team bus. Sagan had chased after Alaphilippe when the Frenchman attacked on the Poggio and was there as the sprint began in the Via Roma. But as he looked for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), the sprint exploded on the left with Alaphilippe proving to be unbeatable. Sagan has raced Milan-San Remo nine times and finished in the top five on four occasions, but the first monument of the season continues to be out of reach. “I was close but again not first…” Sagan said, speaking to the media, including Cyclingnews , at the team bus. “The race just happened like that after the ...

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Alaphilippe Wins Milan San Remo

Deceuninck Quick-Step Rider Bags His First Monument Julian Alaphilippe won Milan San-Remo on Saturday afternoon, comfortably winning a sprint from a group of ten that went clear over the top of the Poggio. He was joined on the podium by Olivier Naesen and Michal Kwiatkowski. This year’s first monument went according to the script, with a large break given plenty of room on the road and building up a sizable gap. The ten riders, including six Italians and four representatives of Novo Nordisk, were steadily reeled back in as the race hit the coast in perfect weather. Quick Step, UAE, Lotto Soudal and Groupama-FDJ were among the teams working at the front and by the foot of the Cipressa only Fausto Masnada was left in front. Getty Images Masnada was caught on the earliest slopes of the penultimate climb and there were few fireworks on the climb, though a daring ...

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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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Under-the-radar Degenkolb at his 2015 Milan-San Remo level

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) wins the final stage of the 2019 Tour de la Provence

While the majority of the Milan-San Remo pre-race circus has focused on the array of options at Deceuninck-QuickStep and the uncertain form of former three-time world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), one former winner of the La Classicissima has gone virtually unnoticed. At Trek-Segafredo 's hotel on the outskirts of Milan, riders almost outnumbered journalists, but John Degenkolb is experienced enough to know that if he wins on Saturday the media and their limelight will come flooding back. Those with short memories perhaps need reminding that Degenkolb won Milan-San Remo back in 2015, during a purple patch that also saw him claim Paris-Roubaix. He was, for a spring campaign at least, the man of the moment. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but Degenkolb's dramatic stage win during last year's Tour de France suggested that the German was finally back to something like his best. Another ...

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Peter Sagan plays it cool before Milan-San Remo

Peter Sagan with his new Specialized for Milan-San Remo

Peter Sagan ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) played down any pressure and expectation 24 hours before Milan-San Remo , suggesting that he was actually looking forward to the long day in the saddle and that again missing out on victory in the Italian Monument would not be a problem. Sagan has twice finished second in the Via Roma, in 2013 and 2017, and has yet to add La Classicissima to his rich palmares. But he shrugged any suggestion he was some how under pressure. "Maybe for somebody it’s a problem. But well, I think in general, in the world, we have much bigger problems than winning or losing a race," Sagan said, suggesting patience is a virtue when it comes to winning Milan-San Remo. "Milan-San Remo is a special race, perhaps you need to wait to win it. Maybe it's not this year, then you have to try next year, and if ...

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Peter Sagan and Specialized's latest collaboration is Chasing Rainbows

Peter Sagan and Specialized's latest collaboration is Chasing Rainbows

Specialized and three-time UCI World Road Race Champion Peter Sagan have announced the third run of top-of-the range bikes, helmets and shoes in the Sagan Collection. The latest limited-edition collection is entitled Chasing Rainbows and, says Specialized, the colour schemes reflect the two sides of the six-time Tour de France green jersey winner. Specialized founder Mike Sinyard on the power of the bicycle How to watch the Spring Classics Specialized and Sagan team up again According to Specialized, the Overexposed side of the collection shows the Bora-Hansgrohe rider's "…star of the show side, with loud silvers and rainbows. Underexposed represents his 'below the radar' side with blacks, greys and rainbows." The Chasing Rainbows collection follows on from the first Sagan Collection — launched just before the Tour of Flanders in March 2018 — and the follow up which arrived at the start of last year's Tour de France . Specialized ...

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Demare: I will win Milan-San Remo again someday

Arnaud Demare wins stage 18 at the Tour de France

In the past three seasons before Milan-San Remo , Arnaud Démare has won a stage in Paris-Nice, gaining an important confidence boost ahead of the year's first Monument. In 2016, the Frenchman was the unlikely winner in Sanremo, unleashing his powerful sprint to claim the biggest victory of his career over Ben Swift and Jurgen Roelandts. He backed up that result with a sixth place in 2017 and third last season behind Caleb Ewan and the impressive solo victory from Vincenzo Nibali. This season, Démare has yet to climb onto the highest step of a podium, having missed out on the early semi-Classics with the flu before recovering to race Paris-Nice. He narrowly missed out on a win on stage 6 to Brignoles when he jumped a bit too soon into a headwind and was overtaken by Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) . Despite going into Milan-San Remo winless, Démare says he ...

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Cees Bol wins crash-marred Nokere Koerse

Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) wins the 2019 Nokere Koerse

Cees Bol ( Team Sunweb ) sprinted to victory at Nokere Koerse after a crash-marred final along the cobbled incline to the finish line took down his teammate Max Walscheid and cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus). Bol was the fastest to the line ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates). Bora-Hansgrohe led the initial sprint into the bottom of hill and onto the cobbles with Ackermann positioned in second wheel, and although the German road champion looked as though he would hold off his rivals, Bol proved fastest with a late surge to the line that netted him the day's victory. How it unfolded The peloton returned to the cobbles at the mid-week Nokere Koerse on Wednesday in Belgium with a 195.6km race between Deinze and Nokere. A quarter of the way in saw a five-man break clear the field and build a ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico: Deceuninck-QuickStep confound their rivals with change of sprint tactics

Julian Alaphilippe on the Tirreno-Adriatico podium after winning stage 6

Deceuninck-QuickStep finished first, third and sixth in the stage 6 bunch sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico , but their biggest prize was outwitting their rivals in the final test before Milan-San Remo, confirming their strength, depth and tactical finesse for every possible kind of finish on Saturday. Julian Alaphilippe won in Jesi on Monday after taking over sprinting duties from Elia Viviani, with the Italian fooling the rivals who were sitting on his wheel by letting his teammate open a decisive gap before he started to sprint. Viviani then kicked late to pass Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the final metres to finish third behind Alaphilippe and Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy). In a perfect display of team racing, Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar rode hard all day to control the break and then Michael Mørkøv and Max Richeze did a superb job in the final kilometres, with the Argentinean confirming ...

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Peter Sagan: Things will be totally different on Saturday at Milan-San Remo

Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) in San Juan

The Deceuninck-QuickStep riders and team staff hugged each other and celebrated at the team bus after Julian Alaphilippe's surprise sprint victory at Tirreno-Adriatico , happy to have taken win number 18 of the season and to have outwitted their sprint rivals. The mood was not so celebrated at the other buses, with an air of embarrassment and frustration that Deceuninck-QuickStep had won again. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) are expected to be Deceuninck-QuickStep's biggest rivals for Milan-San Remo, but they were caught out by Elia Viviani's decision to let Alaphilippe contest the sprint. The 195km stage to Jesi was the last chance for the sprinters and their teams to test their form and tactics before Saturday's Milan-San Remo. Deceuninck-QuickStep showed they are ready for any scenario and able to change tactics on the go. Their rivals can only learn from their mistakes and hope the fatigue ...

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Viviani defeats resurgent Sagan in chaotic Tirreno finale

Viviani defeats resurgent Sagan in chaotic Tirreno finale

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) imposed himself for a maiden win at Tirreno-Adriatico, winning the bunch sprint in Foligno, beating triple world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates). Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) came safely home to retain the lead in the overall classification.

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Paris-Nice highlights: Sam Bennett doubles up on stage 6 - Video

Sam Bennett celebrates on the podium

Sam Bennett ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) carried on his early-season run of form with his fourth victory of the season and second this week at Paris-Nice . The Irishman made it into a select group on stage 6 of the Race to the Sun and snatched the win in the small bunch sprint. Bennett edged out Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) after the Frenchman decided to go for a long sprint effort. Demare pulled out a large gap with his early move and it looked as if he may have done enough to seal the deal, but Bennett had just enough left in the tank to overhaul him and add another win to his 2019 palmares. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) came through for third with John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) in fourth. Only 40 riders made it into the front group after a series of short climbs whittled down the bunch and put several sprinters in ...

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Bennett pounces on Ewan misfortune to win

Bennett pounces on Ewan misfortune to win

Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) came with a late surge to overcome Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) to win the 175.6 kilometre hilly sixth stage of Paris-Nice.

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Bennett pounces on Ewan misfortune to win at Paris-Nice

Bennett pounces on Ewan misfortune to win at Paris-Nice

Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) came with a late surge to overcome Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) to win the 175.6 kilometre hilly sixth stage of Paris-Nice.

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