Giro Stage 7: The Home Run

Vigil in L’Aquila for the tenth anniversary of the 2009 earthquake

A rider and a writer talk about their ancestral lands Hi, I’m former cycling wag Chris Fontecchio. You might remember me from such Giro stage previews as “Holy shit, the Giro is going through Fontecchio!” and “Goddammit, the Giro is just missing Fontecchio.” Well, Stage 7 of the Giro is grazing past the village of my ancestors, and generally doing interesting things in places that I know something about, so I am your Pontificator-del-giorno today. Friday’s stage is a somewhat standard Giro menu item, ending in the Abruzzese capital of L’Aquila. Named “the Eagle” for its perch among the Apennine peaks that surround it, L’Aquila has been a regular stop for the Giro since its founding in 1254. More recently, the Giro has rather intentionally stopped in L’Aquila as a showing of support for the city’s struggles to recover from the earthquake of April 6, 2009, which killed 300 people ...

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Porte: Nibali moving to Trek-Segafredo ‘would be great for me’

Supported by Richie Porte said he would welcome the addition of Vincenzo Nibali to the Trek-Segafredo squad next year, adding that it would not change his role as a Grand Tour contender. Nibali, whose three-year contract with Bahrain-Merida ends this year, is rumored to have agreed to a two-year contract with the American squad beginning in 2020. … The post Porte: Nibali moving to Trek-Segafredo ‘would be great for me’ appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Moscon looks ahead to Tour de France after missing Giro d'Italia

Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos) manages a smile after having taken third place on stage 2 of the 2019 Tou

Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos) is enjoying a surge of good form at the Tour of California that he is hoping to build on as he looks to race the Tour de France in July. The Italian was initially slated to race the Giro d'Italia but told Cyclingnews that he revised his plans because he wasn't in good enough shape to race a Grand Tour in May. "I'm in good shape but I'm not in my best shape, and it would be nice to be at the Giro d'Italia but as the best Gianni that I can be," Moscon told Cyclingnews at the finish line of stage 2 in South Lake Tahoe. "It's because my numbers are still not the best, but they will come for sure." 25 year-old Moscon is one of Italy's fastest-rising talents in professional cycling. He joined Team Sky in 2016 when he was an under-23 rider ...

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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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The 2019 Giro d’Italia Mountains Preview

Stage 13 will climb to the distant Lago Serrù part way up Colle del Nivolet

Let’s Rank the Mountains Ciao a tutti, benvenuti in montagne. Welcome to our 2019 Giro d’Italia Mountains Preview. I would not call it the toughest route I’ve ever seen. We’ll have to wait until Piemonte and stage 12 to see the first challenging climb ( Montoso ). But from here on there is lots of fun for mountain fans. Colle del Nivolet makes its Giro debut. It’s my favourite road climb in the entire Alps (although they won’t go all the way to the summit). The Valle d’Asota region will host a monster stage on climbs you probably don’t know. The legendary Passo Gavia is the Cima Coppi as the highest climb in the race (2618 metres). We’ll get to talk old Pantani stories with the ultra-steep Mortirolo making an appearance. And the final real stage of the race (stage 20) is an absolute monster in the Dolomites - woohoo! ...

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Bahrain-Merida name team to support Nibali at Giro d'Italia

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

Bahrain-Merida have named the seven men that will ride in support of Vincenzo Nibali at the Giro d'Italia as the Italian looks to become the oldest rider to win the Italian Grand Tour. A win would be his third Giro d'Italia success, after victories in 2013 and 2016, and his fifth overall Grand Tour win with tiles at the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia. Nibali missed the Giro last season to focus on the Tour de France but he has shaped the first half of his year around the Italian race this spring. "The Giro is my great goal for the first part of the season and my preparation has been designed to be ready at the start of the Italian race. I feel ready to start this great adventure," he said. "The opponents are many, but I will be at start in Bologna with a lot of serenity ...

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The weekly spin: Rating the winners and losers of the 2019 spring classics

It was late in the race, and Julian Alaphilippe, the most successful rider of the spring classics, knew he would not be defending his team’s title at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Though his Deceuninck–Quick-Step teammates had spent the day keeping him sheltered from the wind and setting pace at the front of the peloton, the inclement weather had adversely … The post The weekly spin: Rating the winners and losers of the 2019 spring classics appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Alaphilippe says second Fleche Wallonne win was tougher than 2018

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) kicks for home. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) puts up fierce res

When Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) reminded journalists in his winner's press conference of La Flèche Wallonne that his win last year had been his first big Classics victory, it was hard not to do a double-take. Such has been Alaphilippe's domination of a hefty chunk of the Classics world since then, that it is hard to remember that prior to April 2018, a breakthrough for the Frenchman in the one-day world was yet to come. "Last year was my first big victory, ahead of a great champion [Alejandro Valverde - ed.], and it confirmed to me that this course was one that suited me the best," Alaphilippe told reporters afterwards. "This year, I had all the pressure, but I've been on the podium of this race ever since I started. So I'm very pleased that I won because it was tougher than last year to get the victory." Prior ...

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Gallery: To Hell and back at Paris-Roubaix 2019

Joe Robinson 15 Apr 2019 A collection of photos from the 2019 Paris-Roubaix. Photos: Presse Sports/Offside Can you ever tire of looking at photos from Paris-Roubaix ? I'm not sure you can. It lacks the vast mountain ranges of Italy and it cannot call upon the piercing yellow sunflowers of the Tour de France . There is no crystal blue sea water like Milan-San Remo, nor is there the crisp, brown leaves of Il Lombardia. Meanwhile, Roubaix lacks the optical illusion of steep hills that disappear into the distance at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Flanders. Yet, somehow, Roubaix is still the most beautiful race of them all. Why? Well, it's probably the only race in the calendar that truly reduces each and every rider to mortal status. No rider escapes the suffering of the cobbles. The rigid Napoleonic rock does not discriminate in who it hands punctures or who ...

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Patrick Lefevere: Gilbert knew exactly what he had to do at Roubaix

Delighted 2019 Paris-Roubaix winner Philippe Gilbert and his Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Le

"When Philippe Gilbert extended his contract with us for two more years, he negotiated a bonus for Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo – the two Monuments that were missing from his palmarès," Deceuninck-QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere told the press after Gilbert won at Roubaix on Sunday . "That gives you an indication of the type of person he is," the Belgian continued. "He's very stubborn, and had this on his mind. "We were briefly worried last week when he got sick," Lefevere admitted. "But, at the age of 36, he knew exactly what he had to do. He saved all his energy for this week." Gilbert's victory meant that the Belgian has now won four of cycling's five Monuments . Only Milan-San Remo has continued to elude him, with wins at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour of Flanders, Il Lombardia and now Paris-Roubaix in the bag. "He's a really special guy," Lefevere ...

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Gilbert takes two-up sprint from Politt to win Paris-Roubaix

Philippe Gilbert has his cobblestone trophy. Gilbert, 36, added a Paris-Roubaix victory to his impressive palmares Sunday, a fifth Monument victory to add to wins at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and Il Lombardia, which he’s won twice. The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider out-sprinted German Nils Politt (Katusha) in the velodrome in Roubaix for the victory, … The post Gilbert takes two-up sprint from Politt to win Paris-Roubaix appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Ronde sees Bettiol finally shake off weight of expectation

Ronde sees Bettiol finally shake off weight of expectation

Daniel Ostanek 8 Apr 2019 Tour of Flanders win caps happy homecoming to EF Education after ill-fated spell at BMC Racing Well, it was a long shot. Standing in Oudenaarde’s main square watching Alberto Bettiol’s solo ride to the finish on the big screen, I kept shaking my head in disbelief. Is he really holding off the likes of Sagan, Van Avermaet and Kristoff – a 16-strong group – to win this race? He did it, and it wasn’t even close at the line. What was, 15km ago, a 30-second lead had only been reduced to 14 at the finish, and the nervous tension in the air had dissipated to joy. The EF Education First bus was metres away, and was engulfed by the crowds as quickly as the celebratory beers came out. At the finish, EF soigneurs were crying tears of joy, while Bettiol himself could scarcely believe what ...

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Analysis: EF impeccable in Flanders, rival teams come up short

Supported by Considering how Deceuninck-Quick-Step has bossed the Classics so far this year with team-wide brilliance, it was hardly a surprise to see a team putting on a tactics masterclass en route to the victory at the 103rd Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday. It was a bit of a surprise that that triumphant team was not Quick-Step, … The post Analysis: EF impeccable in Flanders, rival teams come up short appeared first on CyclingTips .

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De Vlaeminck praises Van Aert and Van der Poel's 'big class' ahead of Flanders

De Vlaeminck praises Van Aert and Van der Poel's 'big class' ahead of Flanders

Joe Robinson 3 Apr 2019 11-time Monument winner was previously critical of Tom Boonen and his Classics exploits Four-time Paris-Roubaix winner Roger de Vlaeminck is a notoriously hard man to impress, having routinely criticised riders such as Tom Boonen. However, two riders in the current peloton have caught the 71-year-old's eye. In an opinion piece for Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad , the 11-time Monument winner has praised cyclocross starlets Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel as the strongest Classics riders in the peloton currently. Thinking back to the weekend's Gent-Wevelgem, De Vlaeminck wrote: ' The strongest man in the race? Wout van Aert!' before extolling the quality of both. 'If you have big class, then you can do everything. From the moment Van der Poel and Van Aert became professional cyclists, I knew that they would be two very good road racers. The best in Belgium and Holland. ...

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Giro di Sicilia returns after 42-year break with Etna summit finish

Joe Robinson 26 Mar 2019 Summit finish on Mount Etna centrepiece of new stage race on the Italian island of Sicily The Giro di Sicilia is set to return to the professional calendar next month after 42 years in the wilderness, centring around a summit finish on the iconic volcano, Mount Etna. Launched today via its own website, the four-day stage race will be contested across the Italian island of Sicily from Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th April 2019. The first three stages will be rolling days designed for sprinters and puncheurs with the final stage finishing with a summit finish on the Etna volcano. Stage 1 will be a largely flat 165km route from the ancient port of Catania, north along the coast to Milazzo in the very north-east of the island. The second stage will be slightly hillier and considerably longer with a 236km run from Capo d'Orlando ...

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How to watch the 2019 Spring Classics

The 2019 route for the Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands is still to be finalised

Our complete guide to this year’s Spring Classics coverage, from the opening weekend to the Ardennes

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Contract talks between Nibali and Bahrain stall

Vuincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

Negotiations between Vincenzo Nibali and Bahrain-Merida show no signs of re-opening with both parties still at loggerheads over the terms of a possible contract extension. The 34-year-old is out of contract at the end of 2019, and although an offer was put on the table by the Bahrain Merida management last season it remains unsigned as Nibali waits for improved terms. Meanwhile, speculation linking the 2018 Milan-San Remo winner with Trek-Segafedo continues to grow, with Bahrain Merida believing that the star GC rider met with the Italian team during Tirreno-Adriatico. Segafredo are reported to be keen on signing Nibali and made an approach to discuss a move several months ago. That interest has only intensified in recent weeks . "There hasn't been any further negotiations and we're still sitting where we were about a month ago," Bahrain Merida's Brent Copeland told Cyclingnews on Monday, during a brief visit to McLaren ...

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Photo gallery: Strade Bianche, road cycling’s sixth Monument?

Is it time we added Strade Bianche to the exclusive list of road cycling’s Monuments? Is it time we put it on the same lofty pedestal occupied by Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardia? There’s little doubt Strade Bianche has grown to become one of cycling’s most loved races, and … The post Photo gallery: Strade Bianche, road cycling’s sixth Monument? appeared first on CyclingTips .

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De Plus: Crashes changed me as a person

Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma) set an infernal pace on the climb

Laurens De Plus has had to endure more than most in his young career after two major crashes in quick succession tested his resilience to the maximum. Now embarking on his first season with the Jumbo-Visma team, De Plus says that recovering from the injuries he sustained have changed him as a person. De Plus always has a wide smile on his face, except when he’s in the midst of a race, but the last two years have been trying for the 23-year-old. He was the first of four riders to crash on a bend on the descent of the Sormano during the 2017 Il Lombardia and go over the guardrail onto the steep slope beyond. The Belgian fractured his knee in the incident and spent much of the off-season recovering from the injury. With the knee fracture firmly put behind him, De Plus was then training in South Africa ...

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The weekly spin: Alaphilippe, Van Vleuten conquer white roads of Strade Bianche

A pair of first-time champions emerged at Strade Bianche Saturday, though neither could be considered a surprise winner. After 184km of racing, including 63km across white gravel roads, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) got the better of Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to take the victory in the historic Piazza del Campo in Siena. Former world cyclocross … The post The weekly spin: Alaphilippe, Van Vleuten conquer white roads of Strade Bianche appeared first on CyclingTips .

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