The hardest day so far: Attrition rate rises on the Giro d’Italia

Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), the new pink jersey

If the thousand-yard stares on the faces ghosting their way up Viale Crispi in the heart of L'Aquila already told much of the story, then the reading on the screen near the finish line confirmed it. Stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia, which brought the gruppo into the rugged hills of the Apennines, was run off at an average speed of 45.040kph. It was, by any metric, a brutally tough day of racing. Pello Bilbao ( Astana Pro Team ) emerged victorious in the capital of the Abruzzo region, clipping clear of the break as they began the final rise towards the line, but this was a day of races within races. While the escapees squabbled over the stage honours, Valerio Conti's UAE Team Emirates squad chased grimly to retain his maglia rosa. Earlier, teams with an eye to final overall victory battled to shut down moves by their rivals. ...

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Giro Stage 6 Preview: Time for a Test

Another long stage, but this is different. A late climb means that this is the most testing road stage so far this Giro, with two hundred and thirty-eight kilometres between the start in Cassino (this is the first time it’s been visited by the Giro, and personally I think it’s a big risk) to the finish in San Giovanni Rotondo (which I will translate, using my non-existent Italian, to Fat Saint John). Given the drought of mountain stages in the early part of this Giro, the GC contenders are going to have to view this as an opportunity to attack. Aren’t they? Please? There’s a little bit of early, uncategorised climbing in what will be a leg-sapping first two hundred kilometres, but it’s the final thirty that will count, a slight crosswind notwithstanding. This is a category two climb but it is by no means a huge test. Fifteen kilometres ...

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Giro d'Italia: Carapaz wins stage 4 as crash crushes Dumoulin's GC hopes – Video

Richard Carapaz sprays the champagne on the podium

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz ( Movistar ) won stage 4 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia on Wednesday, getting the better of Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and UAE Team Emirates' Diego Ulissi in a reduced-group sprint finish, as chaos reigned behind them, with several GC contenders losing time. One of a number of crashes in the run-in to the finish brought down 2017 Giro champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), who said afterwards that he believes his challenge for the GC this year is now over , having lost over four minutes to current race leader, and title contender, Primoz Roglic (Jumb-Visma). Carapaz's Movistar teammate Mikel Landa was also a faller, and later apologised to Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates for initially blaming him for the crash. Yates also fell, but was able to quickly remount, losing only a handful of seconds to Roglic, and is still second overall, 35 seconds down. Bahrain-Merida's ...

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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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Giro d'Italia: Carapaz wins stage 4 after GC riders hit the deck

Richard Carapaz (Movistar) wins stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia

The first 228 kilometres of stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia to Frascati near Rome passed without incident but chaos broke loose once again in the final seven kilometres as crashes altered not only the complexion of the stage but of the Giro d’Italia as a whole. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) claimed the spoils, producing a powerful acceleration on the uphill finish in Frascati, while 2017 winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) crashed hard and saw his hopes of overall victory dealt a near-fatal blow. The peloton was split into pieces by two crashes in quick succession with just over six kilometres to go. Salvatore Puccio (Team Ineos) touched wheels to spark the first crash, before another spill, involving Dumoulin and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), occurred at a roundabout less than a kilometre later. That left Carapaz in a front group of 15 riders that contained, crucially, maglia rosa Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). The ...

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Dumoulin injured in Stage 4 pileup at Giro d’Italia, loses four minutes on GC

The general classification of the Giro d’Italia was thrown into disarray Tuesday when a large crash in the peloton with 6km remaining on Stage 4 split the bunch and left 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) injured and down four minutes on race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). The crash, after nearly 230km of racing, caused a … The post Dumoulin injured in Stage 4 pileup at Giro d’Italia, loses four minutes on GC appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Giro Dello Ciclismo

Passo Gavia

No more gimmicks in this year’s parcours, just bike racing Sometimes we get a little too caught up in narratives, and nobody pumps out more narratives than the Giro d’Italia. Whether it’s paying tribute to Marco Pantani, Fausto Coppi, or Giuseppe Garibaldi, or maybe tracing Garibaldi’s route in the unification of Italy, or tracing the 1949 Giro route which traced Garibaldi’s route, or... you get the point. The Giro loves telling stories, and frankly, who are we to argue? So that’s what’s noteworthy about this year’s route: the lack of narratives. It’s like that scene in Singles where Kyra Sedgwick calling out Campbell Scott for having no game being his game. This year, the Giro’s game is its apparent lack of a game. This year’s course is the creative white space around other Giri. It’s the amuse bouches between courses. Or... is it something more? Here’s a brief description of ...

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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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Dan Martin pessimistic about Liege-Bastogne-Liege chances after illness

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

After a tough Flèche Wallonne which saw him abandon the race, Dan Martin ( UAE Team Emirates ) had hoped that he might be able to turn things around in time for Liège-Bastogne-Liège . But at the team presentation on Saturday afternoon, the Irish all-rounder recognised that things had scarcely improved, and he was decidedly downbeat about his chances of fighting for a second victory in La Doyenne . Instead, Martin told reporters he hopes he can play a support role for riders like teammate Diego Ulissi, who finished third in Flèche Wallonne earlier this week. Martin revealed that he had been sick since the Vuelta al País Vasco, and that despite a small improvement in his condition before Flèche Wallonne, he was still far from 100 per cent condition. Asked if he was ready to go on Sunday – let alone go for a top performance – Martin answered ...

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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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Amstel amazes, defending champs triumph on the Mur: 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 … The post Amstel amazes, defending champs triumph on the Mur: Weekly News Digest appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Ulissi left with 'no regrets' after Fleche Wallonne podium

Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) takes third at Fleche Wallonne.

Sometimes a third place feels like first, and for Diego Ulissi ( UAE Team Emirates ) - on a day when two riders were way ahead of the field - claiming his first Ardennes Classics podium at La Fleche Wallonne constituted a kind of victory in itself. In a now-lengthy career, the Italian allrounder has clinched victories in hilly classics as tough as the GP Montreal, but his best placing in the Ardennes so far was seventh in Amstel Gold back in 2017, as well as eighth in the Fleche Wallonne in the same year. He also placed ninth in the midweek Classic back in 2012. Albeit six seconds behind the leading duo, Ulissi stayed behind Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) as the Pole opened up the hostilities on the Mur de Huy then faded a little when Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) attacked, followed by winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step). But he ...

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2019 Fleche Wallonne highlights - Video

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) triumphs atop Mur de Huy for the second year in a row.

For the second consecutive year, Julian Alaphilippe is king of the Mur de Huy, with the Deceuninck-Quickstep rider overhauling a promising surge by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) in the closing metres to win La Flèche Wallonne. Alaphilippe has now won three major one-day races this season: Strade Bianche, also over Fuglsang, and Milan-San Remo ahead of Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale). It seems that only young Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) has Alaphilippe's number when it comes to short, uphill finales, with the Dutch champion the only rider to best Alaphilippe in the Amstel Gold Race and in de Brabantse Pijl. One cannot help but notice the effort of Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), who climbed to third on the Mur de Huy, or that of Bjorn Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal), who made a career-best fourth on Wednesday after a sixth in Amstel and fifth in Brabantse Pijl. You can read more ...

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Alaphilippe wins La Fleche Wallonne

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) attacked on Mur de Huy but had to give best to Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninc

Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) claimed his second straight victory at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, timing his effort perfectly on the Mur de Huy. For the third time this spring, the Frenchman was locked into a two-way battle with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) but managed to come around the Dane in the final 120 metres of the steep finishing climb. Alaphilippe and Fuglsang had gotten to know each other well over the course of their long-range breakaways at Strade Bianche and Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, and they emerged as the clear-cut strongest two on the iconic Mur. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) claimed the final podium spot, but that was a full six seconds back. While Michal Kwiatkowski took control on the 1.2km climb, his Sky teammate Wout Poels having set the tempo on the lower slopes, it was Fuglsang who launched his first acceleration through the middle of the ...

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Dan Martin skips Amstel to focus on Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) at the finish, in fifth place, of stage 3 UAE Tour

Dan Martin will skip Amstel Gold Race on Sunday before returning to lead the line for UAE Team Emirates at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège . Martin, a former winner of Liège and a multiple podium finisher at Flèche, has never fared quite so well at Amstel. In seven participations, he has finished the race just twice. This year, he will skip the Dutch Classic to focus on the races the following Wednesday and Sunday. After a disappointing Ardennes Classics campaign in his first season with UAE Team Emirates , the Irishman will be out to put that right. Martin, who won Liège in 2013, has never cracked Flèche, finishing on the podium three times behind Alejandro Valverde, and a further two times in the top six. Prior to his difficult start to life at UAE, he finished runner-up at both Flèche and Liège - after a DNF at Amstel ...

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Tour of the Basque Country: Schachmann wins stage 3 in Estibaliz

Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins stage 3 at Tour of the Basque Country

Maximilian Schachmann ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) claimed a second stage victory and added to his overall lead in the Tour of the Basque Country on stage 3, sprinting up the final climb in Estibaliz to top Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Enrico Battaglin (Katusha-Alpecin). A crash with 6km to go took down a large portion of the front of the peloton, including green jersey holder, stage 2 winner and second-placed overall Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) and third-placed Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky). As a result, Schachmann’s lead ballooned to 33 seconds over Ion Izagirre (Astana), with teammate Patrick Konrad now third on the same time. Now with more comfortable buffer in the rankings, Schachmann thanked his team but acknowledged that there are still some difficult stages to come. “I don’t know what to say. I have to say thank you to my team. I knew I didn’t come to the team as ...

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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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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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Victory from defeat: How Elia Viviani won the 2019 men’s Cadel’s Race

The first loser. The nearly-was. They say that second is the worst spot to finish. You’re close enough to victory that you can taste it; close enough that you feel the pain of defeat more keenly than anyone else. It’s a feeling Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is familiar with. Not that you’d know it from looking … The post Victory from defeat: How Elia Viviani won the 2019 men’s Cadel’s Race appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Preview: Your guide to the 2019 men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (or just “Cadel’s Race” for short) is the first one-day event on the 2019 men’s WorldTour. This Sunday’s race is the fifth edition and if previous outings are anything to go by, it’s sure to be an intriguing and hard-fought contest. Here’s what you need to know about … The post Preview: Your guide to the 2019 men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race appeared first on CyclingTips .

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