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 ...

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Teuns ends BMC tenure with Il Lombardia podium

Dylan Teuns on the Il Lombardia podium for third

Dylan Teuns brought down the curtain on his four-year tenure at BMC Racing Saturday with a podium finish in Il Lombardia, the season's final Monument. The 26-year-old Belgian will move to Bahrain-Merida next year and capped a season of near-misses with another close result. Teuns was in the lead group battling for the win in the final 50km when Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) attacked on the final climb and soloed the final 14km to victory. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) chased Pinot for second, 32 seconds back. Teuns won the sprint for third another 11 seconds later from a six-rider group that also included Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida). "I had really good legs today, and in the end I couldn't gamble for the win because Pinot was really strong on the Sormano and we never saw him again," ...

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Thibaut Pinot wins 2018 Il Lombardia after besting defending champion Nibali

Thibaut Pinot wins 2018 Il Lombardia after besting defending champion Nibali

Martin James 13 Oct 2018 Groupama-FdJ rider makes decisive move 20km from home but late Nibali rally sees Italian secure hard-earned second place Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FdJ) claimed the final Monument of the year and the biggest win of his career by winning the 2018 Il Lombardia with a peerless performance over the roads of Lombardy on Saturday. Pinot made his move on the toughest climb of the day, the Muro di Sormano, going clear in a select group but always looking the most likely winner. Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finished second, 32 seconds down on the winner, having had no answer to Pinot’s aggressive pace on the penultimate climb of the Civiglio inside the final 20km. BMC’s Dylan Teuns finished third, heading in a select group of contenders 11 seconds later despite the group having briefly caught Nibali as they crested the small final climb just under 3km ...

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Landa earns provisional spot on Spanish Worlds team

Mikel Landa (Movistar)

Mikel Landa ( Movistar ) has been provisionally named on the Spanish team for the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, though a final decision on his selection will only be taken after he has gauged his condition in this week’s Giro della Toscana and Coppa Sabatini. Landa returns to competition on Thursday for the first time since he fractured a vertebra and a rib in a crash at the Clasica San Sebastian in early August. If Landa is unable to prove his fitness in Tuscany in the coming days, his place on Spain’s eight-rider team for the elite men’s road race will be taken by Omar Fraile (Astana). Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will lead the Spanish team, which was announced by coach Javier Minguez on Tuesday. Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors), fresh from finishing second overall at the Vuelta a España, is the other leading light in a Spanish squad laden ...

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Nibali: I'm on the way up

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

It's been a tough road to recovery for Vincenzo Nibali ( Bahrain-Merida ) in the Vuelta a España , but the Italian Grand Tour star is sure he's in fast-improving condition as the race draws towards an end. Day-in, day-out at the Vuelta, Nibali has been either in breakaways or working hard on the front for Bahrain-Merida as they battle to defend Ion Izagirre's GC options. At the Balcon de Bizkaia summit finish on Wednesday, there was something of a landmark for Nibali as he secured his first top-10 placing in a stage of the Vuelta - or any race, for that matter - since his bad crash in the closing kilometres on Alpe d'Huez in July at the Tour de France, fracturing a vertebra in the centre of his back. But as Nibali and the Vuelta head towards the mountains of Andorra on Friday, where Nibali took a fine ...

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Vuelta a Espana: Mas impresses at Lagos de Covadonga

Enric Mas is is the best young rider

Enric Mas ( Quick-Step Floors ) continued to climb the Vuelta a España 's overall standings after a strong ride on Lagos de Covadonga on stage 15. The Spaniard rider rode beyond his 23 years to hold onto the major favourites and move up two spots into sixth place overall. Mas has long been a promising talent but he is riding just his second Vuelta a España, and this is his first foray into riding for the general classification in a Grand Tour. He held his own against riders who have almost all visited a Grand Tour podium during their career. The contenders took it in turns to attack each other on the climb with Mas having a go himself as he tried to chase down an attacking Pinot. In the end, he says that he knew the win was gone when Pinot got a gap. He lost a small ...

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GC stalemate testing favorites’ nerves

GC stalemate testing favorites’ nerves

With 43 seconds between top four riders, the Vuelta has hit a stalemate, and the red jersey fight could go to the wire. Read the full article at GC stalemate testing favorites’ nerves on VeloNews.com .

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Simon Yates cautiously upbeat after successful defence of Vuelta a Espana lead

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Simon Yates remains on top of the Vuelta a España GC after its toughest mountain stage to date but as the Briton was quick to point out at the summit of the Covadonga, the overall gaps are very small and the final Grand Tour of the season remains wide open. The Mitchelton-Scott leader launched at least three attacks on the Lagos de Covadonga climb but although his main GC rivals were visibly shaken by his accelerations and three top names, Emanuel Buchman (BORA-Hansgrohe), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) definitively fell behind, Yates only managed briefly to stay clear of his closest rivals. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dragged the small group of favourites back up to the Briton on the first attack, and then Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) managed to form a rather uneasy alliance to neutralise his others moves. After that, ...

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Vuelta a Espana: Ion Izagirre battles on after difficult day at Los Praeres

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) went deep to work on his form

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 ...

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Kruijswijk calmly optimistic after aggressive riding at Vuelta a Espana

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was the first to attack on the climb to the finish

Warming down beside the LottoNL-Jumbo team bus in a quiet back lane deep in rural Asturias, Steven Kruijswijk looked the picture of calm as he pedalled steadily and talked to a gaggle of Dutch reporters. Yet less than an hour before on the Vuelta a España 's ultra difficult stage 14 finale up the Praeres climb, Kruijswijk had been anything but laid back as he blasted past early attacker Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and bounded up the ascent at impressively high speed. Kruijswijk explained to the Dutch reporters that his early attack had not been pre-formulated – simply that he wanted to ride his own tempo, knowing that the Colombian riders would make their move a little later. "I even had a faint hope that I might have got the stage win had they started looking at each other instead of chasing me down," the Dutchman said. "But they didn't." Still, ...

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Vuelta Roundtable: Will the battle for red heat up this weekend?

Movistar

What are the big takeaways from the Vuelta a España so far? Will the battle for red kick into high gear this weekend? Roundtable time! Read the full article at Vuelta Roundtable: Will the battle for red heat up this weekend? on VeloNews.com .

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Vuelta Stage 13: No County for Fast Men

Candas – La Camperona (175km) NO COUNTRY FOR FAST MEN Act one, Scene One [A quick note: This was written just before Nacer Bouhanni dropped out of the Vuelta, with timing I’d describe as “typical”. Also, when I still thought we’d see a bunch finish in stage 12. I don’t want to re-write it without the Nacer jokes, so please, suspend disbelief briefly, and imagine he was still riding in a sprinty stage 12.] Thursday, near Faro de Estaca de Bares. The peloton is moving towards the end of stage 12, trains are forming and the race is getting more rapid, but there is time to talk. Two young men, ELIA and NACER, find themselves side by side. NACER: Hey, bro, this is great. You’re winning, I’m winning. I keep seeing all these hills on the horizon, but we aren’t going near any of them. Like, look over there. The ...

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Who is riding where? 2019 team transfer roundup

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 .

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Ion Izagirre: Doing so well on GC is new territory for me

Ion Izagirre attacks from the breakaway

Although he has been a pro for nine years, for Ion Izagirre ( Bahrain-Merida ), the Vuelta a España has always been unknown territory. Unknown, that is, until August 25 in Malaga this summer, when the 29-year-old Basque has finally made his debut in the Spanish Grand Tour and is lying fifth overall at 17 seconds after two tough days in the mountains and 10 days of intense racing. For Izagirre, doing so well on GC is, he tells Cyclingnews , “a real surprise.” His best place in a Grand Tour to date was 22nd in the Tour de France this year, when he was racing in support of Vincenzo Nibali. “Before coming here, I would have signed on the dotted line to be here in fifth place overall, and with such small differences between the main favourites," he said. “It’s been a good start to the Vuelta, but I’ve ...

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TT rivals make big difference in Yates’s approach to Vuelta

TT rivals make big difference in Yates’s approach to Vuelta

Simon Yates takes a different approach to Vuelta tactics, knowing he won't bleed as much time in time trial as he did at Giro d'Italia. Read the full article at TT rivals make big difference in Yates’s approach to Vuelta on VeloNews.com .

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Vuelta a Espana 2018: First week in review

Vuelta a Espana 2018: First week in review

Joe Robinson 3 Sep 2018 Yates accidentally in red, Valverde winning and Bouhanni grinning. A look at the first week of the Vuelta Dare I say it, but the first week of the Vuelta a Espana 2018 has been rather tame, at least by its usual standards. It's been hot, too hot at times, and the terrain tough, but the usual Iberian carnage has been lacking. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) leads the race, despite not really wanting to, becoming the second rider of the season after Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) to wear the red of the Vuelta having also worn pink at the Giro d'Italia . At the end of yesterday's stage to La Covatilla, Yates looked first surprised at taking the race lead and then slightly disappointed, confessing to ITV that he was 'in a situation where I said I didn't want to be'. With race leadership comes extra responsibility. ...

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Yates a surprise Vuelta leader after stage 9

Yates a surprise Vuelta leader after stage 9

Simon Yates is in red after the Vuelta's summit finish at La Covatilla Read the full article at Yates a surprise Vuelta leader after stage 9 on VeloNews.com .

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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 .

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Vuelta a España: Bouhanni wins in San Javier

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)

A day of seeming calm on the Vuelta a España ended in a tempest as Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won stage 6 in San Javier in a reduced bunch sprint, while Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) conceded significant ground in the race for final overall victory. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) finished safely in the front group to retain the red jersey, 41 seconds ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), but the story of the day in the GC battle is the 1:45 conceded by Kelderman and Pinot when the bunch fragmented through a combination of a crash and crosswinds in the final 25 kilometres or so. The turning point of the stage came when a high-speed peloton turned a sharp right-hand corner in La Union and happened upon a set of poorly-indicated and ill-protected traffic bollards in the centre of the road. A number of riders went down in the ...

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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 ...

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