Crashes and crosswinds batter Paris-Nice again
The record books will state that Dylan Groenewegen won stage 2 of the 2019 Paris-Nice in a reduced bunch sprint with the remnants of the main field finishing just a few seconds behind but that one fact does not do the race justice after another epic day of crosswinds and echelon racing that saw the action never let up for even a single moment of the 165km stage. By the time Groenewegen made his way to the podium to collect his second bouquet of the race and the yellow jersey, stragglers were still crossing the line in ones and twos, some of them with the jerseys ripped from a day that saw numerous crashes and several abandons, including Mark Cavendish, Louis Meintjes, Rigoberto Uran, Warren Barguil and last year's third-place finisher Gorka Izagirre. The race has yet to reach a time trial or an uphill finish yet has seen back-to-back ...
Paris-Nice 2019: Who are the favourites and who will win?
Joe Robinson 8 Mar 2019 From Colombian talent to Northern grit, here are the riders to watch at Paris-Nice Paris-Nice has had a stroke of luck this year. With rival Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico deciding to ignore the Apennine mountain range in favour of a mixture of flat and rolling stages, any climber looking to get some early-season miles in their legs has opted to race in France. As a result, the field for the 2019 edition of the 'Race to the Sun' is one of the strongest for years, with plenty of punchy, one-week experts and high-ticket Grand Tour performers all fancying their chances of taking victory on the French Rivera in just over a week's time. It's no secret that the two most explosive days of racing should come on Stages 6 and 7. Stage 6 is the race's only true mountain-top finish as the peloton heads to ...
Flying Too Close to the Sun: Paris - Nice Preview
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 ...
Clarke just one second short of overall win in Provence
Aussie Simon Clarke finished second on the final stage of the Tour de La Provence behind John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) to sit on equal time with race leader Gorka Izagirre, losing the race on count back by just one second.
Lutsenko stamps early authority on Tour of Oman - Stage 2 highlights
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) laid down the foundations for the defence of his Tour of Oman title on Sunday, taking victory in Al Bustan on stage 2 . The Kazakh rider took a clear victory over stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) on the uphill stretch to the line after he launched a solo attack in the hilly final kilometres of the race. Lutsenko’s win continued a strong run of form for the Astana team across the globe, with Gorka Izagirre taking overall victory at the Tour de la Provence, Miguel Angel Lopez’s home success at the Tour Colombia 2.1 and Luis Leon Sanchez and Pello Bilbao’s back to back wins at the Vuelta Murcia. Astana put their cards on the table in the latter part of the stage in Oman, working with CCC Team to pull back the main attack of the day before reeling in a late ...
Gorka Izagirre wins 2019 Tour de La Provence
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) won the final stage at the Tour de La Provence, dominating a small group sprint ahead of Simon Clarke (EF Education First) and Anthony Maldonado (St Michel-Auber 93). The dwindled field caught two breakaway riders, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky), inside the final kilometre before setting up for the final sprint. Gorka Izagirre (Astana) secured the overall title after leading the race since winning stage 2. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com
Prades wins Tour de la Provence stage 2
Eduard Prades (Movistar) won stage 2 of the Tour de la Provence, pipping Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) in a sprint to the line in La Ciotat. Gorka Izagirre (Astana) came across the line to take third place and move into the race lead. Following an aggressive finale to the stage, that included a first category climb in the final 20 kilometres and a long descent to the line, a small group arrived at the line. Prades came from midway down the group to beat Gallopin, who was fading after starting his sprint early. More to come... You can read more at Cyclingnews.com
Offseason Capsule: Astana
Another middling season for the pyjama-clad team We pretty well have a formula for Astana year on year these days. 2018 followed that formula, but with an unexpected injection of classics excellence early in the year. That bug has been fixed and normal service will resume in 2019. What we said last year I had a memory that the comments on my Astana capsule picked up on how little love I gave to a Valgren-led cobbles squad. Not so, that came with my first cobbles ranking . I was down on the cobbles team and missed Valgren’s great year (though he was on my list of potential hilly-classics winners, fortunately). I am pleased that I gave praise to Bilbao, who proved a valuable lieutenant in the hills, and that I was more positive about Lopez than Fuglsang, who performed in line with my luke-warm preparation. Was I overboard on Lopez? ...
Gorka Izagirre escapes with stitches after high-speed cyclo-cross crash
Gorka Izagirre ’s tenure with the Astana team almost got off to the worst possible start when the Spanish road race champion came a cropper at high speed during a cyclo-cross race, taking his younger brother Ion with him. Fortunately for them and their new team, both the brothers did not suffer significant injury, though Gorka needed four stitches in his eyebrow as a result of the crash. The Izagirre brothers were riding in Astana blue for the first time since switching to the team from Bahrain-Merida over the winter. They were tuning up for the forthcoming road season at a cyclo-cross event in the Basque town of Ormaiztegi. Gorka Izagirre was sitting in second place at the time of the crash with his brother following close behind in third. Video footage shows that the accident happened as Izagirre transitioned from a high-speed, muddy downhill section onto a bridge. As ...
Video: A Bridge Too Far? Izagirre brothers in spectacular cyclo-cross crash
Crash in Spain’s Basque region almost sends Gorka over parapet Ion comes down afterwards
Astana present 2019 roster in Spain – Gallery
The Astana Pro Team have presented their 2019 roster during their training camp in Altea, Spain, where team manager Alexandr Vinokourov said the team's goal for the season was to improve on what was already considered to have been a very successful 2018 campaign. While the team has had to say goodbye to riders including strong one-day specialist Oscar Gatto and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Amstel Gold winner Michael Valgren, who's headed for Dimension Data for 2019 , the team has brought in a number of new riders, including the talented Izagirre brothers , Ion and Gorka, Davide Ballerini – who won this year's Memorial Marco Pantani – and Eritrean road race champion Merhawi Kudus , who joins from Dimension Data. Including Valgren's wins at Nieuwsblad and Amstel, Astana took 33 race wins in 2018, with Alexey Lutsenko taking the Tour of Oman title , three stage wins at the ...
Offseason Capsule: Bahrain Merida
Lots of Meh, not much Bah, but a surprising amount of Wow One of cycling’s monied new projects had a relatively quiet second year but took a huge step in the right direction. There were a few glorious moments. What we said last year I pointed out that 2017 had been a team dominated by Nibali’s performance, without much spread of points. I wondered what we’d get from Sonni Colbrelli and outlined a range of possible outcomes, vowed never to underestimate Nibali again, and entirely missed the imminent emergence of Matej Mohoric. Fortunately, that error was rectified in the comments. What we got in 2018 The last win of 2017 was an unsurprising monument victory for the evergreen Nibali. The first win of 2018 (that I care about - for effect, I’m ignoring a Dubai stage and the GP of industry and artichokes) was another monument win for Nibali. This ...
Vuelta a Espana: Ion Izagirre battles on after difficult day at Los Praeres
Ion Izagirre’s battle for the GC in a Grand Tour has seen him suffer two setbacks in the first two climbing stages, but the Basque will battle on for the overall classification nonetheless. Izagirre lost 44 seconds to best placed GC rider Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the Camperona stage, where his brother and team-mate Gorka could be seen weaving across the road close to the summit as he waited to support his sibling in the final metres. Then on Saturday the Bahrain-Merida team raced hard to the foot of the steep climb at Praeres, with a resurgent Vincenzo Nibali driving the peloton behind the break of the day. After struggling on the lower slopes but limiting the time gaps, Izagirre finished ninth on the stage, 37 seconds down on stage winner and leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). Overall Izagirre is now at 1-40, on the Briton, seventh on GC. Two days ...
Who is riding where? 2019 team transfer roundup
Your guide to the notable names set to change teams this off-season. Read the full article at Who is riding where? 2019 team transfer roundup on VeloNews.com .
Nature versus nurture: Pro cyclists are born, but also made
In the peloton at this year’s Vuelta a España are brothers Gorka and Ion Izagirre and Jesús and José Herrada, cousins Dan Martin and Nicholas Roche, and twins Adam and Simon Yates. These riders are but a few names on the extensively long list of families that have populated the pro peloton over the years. … The post Nature versus nurture: Pro cyclists are born, but also made appeared first on CyclingTips .
Vuelta Stage 7: What is this for, exactly?
Puerto-Lomberas – Pozo Alcon (186km) At some point, we should talk about the possibility that La Vuelta might be trolling the sprinters. Here we have one of the officially designated flat stages. Pancakes. Danish mountainscapes. Stage 7 of the 2018 Vuelta. Tabletops. One of these things is not like the others. I mean, they’re doing everything they can to convince us. There’s some bloody great hills early in the stage that they’ve just decided not to categorise, on the basis that nobody will notice unless there’s a little number above the summit. Still, they do acknowledge that there’s a category 3 climb 12km from the finish, which feels, I dunno, significant. The finish, incidentally, looks like this: Still, the Vuelta website calls this stage “flat.” In other news, not too many pure sprinters turning up for the Vuelta this year. Go figure. Anywhere else, you’d call this “transitional” and move ...
Aqua Blue news dampens mood in pro peloton
News that Aqua Blue will fold has riders like George Bennett concerned that colleagues in the pro peloton might be out of a job next year Read the full article at Aqua Blue news dampens mood in pro peloton on VeloNews.com .
Izagirre brothers sign with Astana for 2019
Astana announced an upgrade to its stage racing stable on Monday. The Izagirre brothers, Ion and Gorka, will join the Kazakh squad for the Read the full article at Izagirre brothers sign with Astana for 2019 on VeloNews.com .
Izagirre brothers sign for Astana
Astana have confirmed the signing of brothers Ion Izagirre and Gorka Izagirre for the 2019 season. The pair join Manuele Boaro, Rodrigo Contreras and Davide Ballerini as new signings for the Kazakh team. The Izagirre brothers have been racing together for the Bahrain-Merida team over the past season, with Gorka joining his younger brother Ion, who had joined the team a year earlier. It was already widely known that the brothers would be leaving the team at the end of the season, and Cyclingnews revealed earlier this month that they were considering offers from Astana and UAE Team Emirates . "We are happy to come to Astana Pro Team, a team which stays already many years in the WorldTour. Me and Gorka, we know very well a part of the team, the riders and some staff and this is important for us because it will help us to accommodate quickly ...
Peter Sagan aims for stage wins while training for Worlds at Vuelta a Espana
The return of Peter Sagan ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) to the Vuelta a España this Saturday could hardly go unnoticed given both his status as three-times world champion, and the dramatic way that he quit the Vuelta three years ago. "Good memories and bad memories, always everything is together," was the somewhat poetic way Sagan had of summing up his recollections of the Vuelta on Thursday, a race in which he took his first-ever Grand Tour stage wins back in 2011. It's also a race that he quit in 2015, injured after colliding with an in-race motorbike. Sagan told reporters in Malaga, where the race starts on Saturday, that he is aiming to have a good race, "and after that we will see," he said. But he also admitted that he was “not yet at 100 per cent" after crashing in the Pyrenees during the Tour de France. Sagan's memories of ...