Tour of California: It was a good start but Mount Baldy will be different, says Van der Breggen

The podium after the opening stage of the 2019 Tour of California Women's Race: winner Anna van der

World and Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen ( Boels-Dolmans ) took the spoils on stage 1 of the Tour of California Women’s Rac e on Thursday. What was expected to be a stage for the sprinters was made hard by high winds and a committed Boels-Dolmans team that pushed hard on the climbs, setting their leader up for victory. Van der Breggen attacked on the final climb with five kilometers to go, passing the lone attacker Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling) and soloing to the finish at the Ventura beachfront alone. "It was a beautiful climb in the final part of the race, a good place to attack,” Van der Breggen explained. "The stage was tough with some climbing, but none of it really steep; that final climb was quite steep, so we tried it and it worked out." The Boels-Dolmans team includes the defending champion Katie ...

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Van der Breggen: It was a good start, but Mount Baldy will be different

The podium after the opening stage of the 2019 Tour of California Women's Race: winner Anna van der

World and Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen ( Boels-Dolmans ) took the spoils on stage 1 of the Tour of California Women’s Rac e on Thursday. What was expected to be a stage for the sprinters was made hard by high winds and a committed Boels-Dolmans team that pushed hard on the climbs, setting their leader up for victory. Van der Breggen attacked on the final climb with five kilometers to go, passing the lone attacker Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling) and soloing to the finish at the Ventura beachfront alone. "It was a beautiful climb in the final part of the race, a good place to attack,” Van der Breggen explained. "The stage was tough with some climbing, but none of it really steep; that final climb was quite steep, so we tried it and it worked out." The Boels-Dolmans team includes the defending champion Katie ...

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Liege-Bastogne-Liege Preview

La Doyenne of all monument previews Well, it has been an interesting week to be more or less entirely away from the cycling world. I saw and enjoyed the last few minutes of the men’s Amstel Gold, which was special (and entirely bonkers). I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on the Tour of the Alps, which has done wonders to maintain my faith in the future stars of Team Sky/Ineos, and in Fausto Masnada. I didn’t see a minute of Fleche Wallone, which is fine by me. On Sunday, though, I’ll be back to paying attention. With the year’s fourth monument coming up, I’ve picked a good day. Let’s get right into it. Routes and practical information Easter weekend was spectacularly warm and sunny across the UK, and clearly across the Netherlands too. The forecast for Sunday is less good, both in Edinburgh (you don’t care) and Liege ...

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Fleche Wallonne: Who are the favourites?

Joe Robinson 24 Apr 2019 The dreaded Mur de Huy awaits for the men's and women's peloton Fleche Wallonne, the midweek cooler flanked by the Ardennes' more explosive and coveted siblings, Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege . It's a race that's all about one thing, the Mur de Huy. After 195km of racing for the men and 118.5km for the woman, the eventual winner is decided by who can climb this 1km long, 11.1% wall the fastest. Climbing from the town of Huy, the surviving few will claw their way past the surrounding detached houses with their built-in garages and the free-standing chapels until reaching the grand Notre-Dame de la Sarthe church that marks the summit and the Mont Mosan theme park that one tourist, Quoc-Thai Ngo, described in a recent review as 'Ok but I have seen more impressive'. What will be more impressive is the way in which both ...

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Gilbert’s Roubaix win, a new Hour Record: Weekly News Digest

Supported by It’s okay to admit it – sometimes you’re just too busy to stay up to date on every bit of news from the world of cycling. Need a recap of the week’s biggest happenings? No problem. The final Daily News Digest of the week will be a Weekly News Digest, with highlights from the headlines of … The post Gilbert’s Roubaix win, a new Hour Record: Weekly News Digest appeared first on CyclingTips .

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There’s gold in them there hills!

A look to Sunday’s first parts of the Ardennes trilogies Something that reliably winds me up is the very notion of a guilty pleasure. It is, as we say nowadays, signalling. The message is, “I like [x] but I consider myself better than the people who like [x]. I’m more of a [y] person, but by some fluke I just happen to like [x] more than [y].” Nope. You like what you like, and so long as you aren’t harming anyone, crack on. Me, I’ve got no guilt. I like watching property shows, listening to Kenny Rogers, and eating donner kebabs when sober ( though not for £60 ). I like other things, too, but I feel no guilt about any of those choices. In related news, I like the Ardennes races. I don’t think I’m supposed to, as a cycling fan. I think I’m supposed to have more sophisticated ...

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Raw talent: A conversation with Annika Langvad

Annika Langvad can’t stop winning. Last weekend the Danish cross-country champion closed out the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, with a pair of XC victories to add to her overall wins this year at the Sunshine Cup, in Cyprus, and Absa Cape Epic, in South Africa, riding alongside partner Anna van der Breggen. This … The post Raw talent: A conversation with Annika Langvad appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Valverde back in action at Amstel Gold Race

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar Team ) will return to racing, following a brief break after his Tour of Flanders debut, at this weekend’s Amstel Gold Race . Valverde will lead the Movistar team’s ambitions at the one-day race on Sunday. Having tested out the cobbles a few times in recent years, primarily as preparation for the Tour de France, Valverde made his Tour of Flanders debut at the start of April and finished eighth. The world champion took a short break from racing after De Ronde as he prepared for the main goal of his spring, the Ardennes Classics. Since his first Ardennes campaign in 2005, Valverde has won Liege-Bastogne-Liege four times and Fleche Wallonne on five occasions. The Amstel Gold Race is one that has eluded him so far in his career, however. Valverde has finished on the podium three times in 10 appearances, once taking third and two ...

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Amstel Gold Race takes more credit than deserved in increased prize money for women

Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) wins Amstel Gold Race and leads Women's WorldTour

On April 9, the Amstel Gold Race organisation announced that it would double the prize money for their women's race and substantially increase participation fees. The race deserves praise for increasing the prize money fund to a level above and beyond what is required by the UCI, but a closer look reveals that the race organisation takes more credit than it deserves. The increase in participation allowances was not a choice by the race but is due to a rule change by the UCI. The race organisation's press release reads that "the Amstel Gold Race will double the prize money for the ladies for the upcoming edition in April. In addition, the appearance money for all teams has been increased by almost €10,000 in total." The race director of the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition, Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, is quoted as saying that "we are doubling the prize money for ...

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28 things you need to know about the 2019 Amstel Gold Race

The cobbled classics are done and it’s time now for the Ardennes Classics, starting with the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday. Ahead of this Dutch one-day race, we bring you up to speed on all you need to know about both the men’s WorldTour event and the Women’s WorldTour event. The basics Amstel Gold is … The post 28 things you need to know about the 2019 Amstel Gold Race appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour of Flanders Preview

A look at the big races on Sunday You can keep your Tours de France and your World Championships. For those of us in the know, there’s no better race than the Tour of Flanders. We’ve got a Sunday in the sun coming up, with two superb races over the cobbles to Oudenaarde. More detail and some predictions below. The Men’s Route There’s really very little I can add to what was outlined last year by Chris. The course is, insofar as it’ll matter, the same as last year. The gory details are here – 17 helligen and 5 sections of “flat” cobbles, 270km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde. What maters? Well, the first named obstacle is the Lippenhovestraat after 87km, and the first hellig is the initial passage of the Oude Kwaremont after 119km. We hit the Muur after 171km, and that’s always fun and is arguably where the race ...

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Poor man’s preview: Ronde for vrouwen

Sunday is the highpoint of the year on the cycling calendar and with the arrival of TV coverage in the last few years the Ronde van Vlaanderen is now deservedly a highpoint on the women’s calendar too. It surely was long before that to the riders but for fans at home it has been hard to relate to a race that they’ve seen almost nothing of. We’ve heard of decisive moves on the Kruisberg and on the Oude Kwaremont but usually we’ve had to rely on brief and incomplete highlights to see for ourselves. Luckily those dark days are behind us and we can look forward to actually seeing one of the most open and uncertain Rondes in a long time on Sunday. I say open and uncertain based on two things really. Firstly the course has been tweaked a little in an interesting way and secondly, the race is ...

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Women’s Team of the Week: Youth and Experience Edition

Races The vecchia donna of the calendar, Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Commune di Cittiglio (WWT3) , to give it its full name; plus a mere stripling, the first edition of Nokere Koerse . Coverage Decent for Binda (if you channelled out the rather loquacious commentator). Not enormously good, unfortunately, highlights here . Mobiles on the finish line at Nokere Koerse . Riders Marianne Vos : Rider of the week . Ah, it’s like the good old days. Marianne is back or, as Rai commentator and former rider Giada Borgato put it, she never really went away. This was classic Vos, sitting in second wheel, vigilant of attacks, strongest in the sprint. Ashleigh Moolman : Vos might still have won even if the bunch had caught the front group a moment earlier but, as Jens pointed out , her teammate gave her a much better chance. Moolman, who was active throughout the race, ...

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Women’s Team of the Week: Windswept Edition

Yes, it’s back, by semi-popular demand and with its customary cavalier attitude to lengths of time. Races Sweeping up the entire first three weeks of the [VDS] season in one tremendous gust, this edition buffets Strade Bianche and a muddy Ronde van Drenthe (UCI Women’s World Tour rounds 1 and 2), breezes past SSRs at Le Samyn and Drentse 8, and lightly ruffles VDS opening weekend. Coverage Reasonable. Images of a muddy peloton riding up the VAMberg and across tree-lined stretches of cobbles at Drenthe were particularly memorable . Riders Marta Bastianelli : Yes, yes, at Drenthe you can say she got lucky. Chantal Blaak practically ferried her across to form a three rider group with solo leader Ellen van Dijk from which she was always likely to win, especially when Blaak ended up doing much of the work. (Bastianelli summed it up in a classic sorry-not-sorry post-race interview ). ...

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D'hoore undergoes surgery for broken collarbone after Drentse 8 crash

Jolien D'hoore wins Women's WorldTour round at Driedaagse De Panne

Jolien D'hoore ( Boels Dolmans ) will undergo surgery to repair a broken collarbone sustained in a crash at the Drenthe Acht van Westerveld over the weekend. The Classics specialist could be forced to skip a portion of the upcoming block of one-day races to recover from the injury. "This is hard to accept, with all the nice races coming up," D'hoore wrote in a post on Twitter. D'hoore crashed on a descent roughly 60km into the race, more popularly known as Drentse 8. It has been speculated that a gust of wind caused her and Lotta Lepistö (Trek-Segafredo) to crash. D'hoore was immediately taken to hospital, where X-rays showed the broken collarbone. She has returned to Belgium and underwent surgery on Saturday, reported Nieuwsblad.be . Boels Dolmans announced in October that they had signed D'hoore for the 2019 season . She joined the team having spent one year with ...

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Bastianelli on track to defend Gent-Wevelgem title

Marta Bastianelli (Virtu Cycling) wins Omloop van het Hageland

Marta Bastianelli has had a triumphant start to the 2019 season under the colours of her new team Virtu Cycling . The European champion has won Omloop van het Hageland and Ronde van Drenthe , and looks on track to win a second consecutive Gent-Wevelgem on March 31. Gent-Wevelgem marks the fifth round of the Women's WorldTour. The series kicked off on March 9 at Strade Bianche, won by Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott). It then travelled to the Netherlands for Ronde van Drenthe this past weekend, where Bastianelli won a breakaway sprint ahead of Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo). Bastianelli now leads the Women's WorldTour individual classification with 300 points, after combining points earned from her victory at Ronde van Drenthe and fourth place at Strade Bianche. Van Vleuten is now sitting in second place with 200 points and Blaak is third with 185 points. There ...

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Ronde van Drenthe: Bastianelli wins, heartache for Mitchelton-Scott

Ronde van Drenthe: Bastianelli wins, heartache for Mitchelton-Scott

Team Virtu's Marta Bastianelli fended off Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) for muddy victory at the women's Ronde van Drenthe. But for two strokes of bad luck, it might have gone Mitchelton-Scott's way.

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Ronde van Drenthe: Bastianelli wins, bad luck for Mitchelton-Scott

Ronde van Drenthe: Bastianelli wins, bad luck for Mitchelton-Scott

Team Virtu's Marta Bastianelli fended off Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) for muddy victory at the women's Ronde van Drenthe. But for two strokes of bad luck, it might have gone Mitchelton-Scott's way.

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Ronde van Drenthe: Boels Dolmans place four in top 10 but miss out on victory

Marta Bastianelli moves towards Chantal Blaak in the sprint

Boels Dolmans showed great strength in depth as they placed four riders in the top 10 at Sunday's Ronde van Drenthe , with Chantal Blaak finishing as runner-up, and defending champion Amy Pieters winning the group sprint for fourth place, with Amalie Dideriksen in sixth and Jip van den Bos taking 10th. However, between 2014 and 2018, the Dutch team won the race four times, including three wins in a row from Blaak, Dideriksen, and Pieters. The decision, therefore, to have Blaak drive a two-rider chase with renowned sprinter Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling) in the finale of the race to catch lone leader Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) appeared peculiar. As expected, Bastianelli won the sprint , leaving Blaak and her teammates with four good placings, but no winner's bouquet. Blaak was arguably the strongest rider in the race as she led an echelon-diminished front group onto the final cobblestone ...

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Bastianelli wins Ronde van Drenthe

Marta Bastianelli wins the Ronde van Drenthe

Marta Bastianelli ( Team Virtu Cycling ) won the Ronde van Drenthe beating Chantal Blaak ( Boels Dolmans ) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) in a three-way sprint. Bastianelli also takes the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. Van Dijk sparked the race-winning move when she attacked after the final stretch of cobbles. The Dutchwoman spent a number of kilometres alone before she was joined by Blaak and Bastianelli, and the three worked together to hold off the chasing group behind. The gap was small, but the trio had done enough to hold the chasers off and contest the victory between themselves. Blaak tried to take the sprint from behind, but Bastianelli was quick to react to her and didn’t allow her to pass, beating her by a slim margin on the line. How it happened At 165.7 km (plus a five-kilometre neutral zone), the Ronde van Drenthe was the ...

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