Winners and Losers From the Week in Stage Racing

Alright, the first week of (real) World Tour stage racing is in the can. Some riders saw their stock go up, while others were left searching for answers. Let’s have a look at who came out on top, who didn’t and what that means moving forward. Winner: Sam Bennett The Irish Fastman had a pretty good 2018 with 3 stage wins in the Giro and a smattering of other better than expected results. For his sins, he lost his spot on the Giro roster to Pascal Ackermann. And now he is pissed. While handling his displeasure through the media swimmingly, his 2019 is so far going even better, with a win at UAE and now two stage wins at Paris-Nice, including an extremely impressive navigation through traffic to take stage 6, that really showed his chutzpah. Maybe the better competition went to Italy, but it’s not exactly nobodies that he’s ...

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Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters

The early season is always full of fast finishes. Where do the sport's top sprinters stand? The post Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour of California announces 2019 teams

The Tour of California takes off from Pismo Beach in 2015

Organisers of the Amgen Tour of California men's and women's races released their 2019 team rosters today, with both races featuring multiple returning champions to battle it out past iconic California landmarks and up some of the state's most notorious climbs. The Amgen Tour of California men's race will feature the US national team for the first time this year when the race rolls out of Sacramento. USA Cycling will field a roster of riders whose trade teams aren't competing in the race, joining 18 other teams on the roads from the start in the Golden State's capitol on May 12 to the finish in Pasadena on May 18. Thirteen WorldTour teams have signed up for the men's race in its third year on the WorldTour calendar, joining five Pro Continental teams and the US national team to form the biggest men's field yet. Defending champion Egan Bernal (Team Sky) ...

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Tour of California confirms George Bennett, Kittel, van Garderen for 2019 race

Overall winner George Bennett punches the air

The Amgen Tour of California will release the complete list of teams for its 2019 men's and women's races on Thursday, but organisers of the US WorldTour race have used their local media accounts to leak a few of the teams and riders who will compete at the May races. Jumbo-Visma 's George Bennett, who won the race in 2017 but did not defend his title last year, will return with the Dutch team this year to try and claim another title. His American teammate Sepp Kuss previously told Cyclingnews that he will be joining Bennett on the start line May 12 in Sacramento. The race also revealed that Tejay van Garderen , who won the race in 2013 and was second last year to Team Sky's Egan Bernal, will return to California this year with his new team EF Education First . Van Garderen's new teammate Dani Martinez was ...

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Flying Too Close to the Sun: Paris - Nice Preview

Race to the sun, my ass.

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 ...

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Kittel switches Tirreno-Adriatico for Paris-Nice

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) wins the Trofeo Palma

Marcel Kittel ( Katusha-Alpecin ) will swap Tirreno-Adriatico for Paris-Nice this month as he looks to get his sprint firing again this season. Kittel had been penned in for the Italian race but made a late decision to ride Paris-Nice due to its higher number of sprint stages. After a difficult 2018 campaign, which brought in just two wins, Kittel got his year off to a strong start with victory at the Trofeo Palma, his second race of the year. He has come close to adding a second with a runner-up spot at the Clasica de Almeria and third in a blanket bunch finish on stage 5 of the UAE Tour. Kittel is expected to line-up alongside Ilnur Zakarin at Paris-Nice, but the Russian is an uncertainty after he fell sick following the penultimate stage of the UAE Tour. Paris-Nice will offer up three more clear-cut opportunities for Kittel, compared ...

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Pinot, Kittel quick to denounce blood doping scandal

Pinot, Kittel quick to denounce blood doping scandal

Top riders Thibaut Pinot and Marcel Kittel blast their former teammate who was ensnared in recent doping sting in Austria. Read the full article at Pinot, Kittel quick to denounce blood doping scandal on VeloNews.com .

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Time to draw breath

A rare day without racing allows us to take stock of the year so far A midweek pot-luck today, as we draw breath after a start to the FSA-DS season that took in the inaugural UAE Tour, two hilly races in France, Opening Weekend and Le Samyn. There’s no attempt below to be comprehensive, just a few of my thoughts coming out of the first bout of races, with a few diversions for other matters arising. The Joy of Teammates My wish for all of you is that you have someone who’ll do for you in life what Tim Declercq will do for the Deceuninck Quick-Step team in a bike race. Namely, put everything they have on the line in pursuit of your success. His ride in the finale of Le Samyn was the most visible part of Quick Step’s tactical success in the opening three classics, but it was ...

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UCI suspends Preidler and Denifl as pro cycling gives opinion on confessions

UCI suspends Preidler and Denifl as pro cycling gives opinion on confessions

Joe Robinson 5 Mar 2019 Pinot calls Preidler's actions a 'betrayal' while Kittel calls for further support of younger athletes Austrian duo Georg Preidler and Stefan Denifl have been provisionally suspended by the UCI after confessing to blood doping offences . The UCI had originally called for further information following the statement from both riders. The governing body confirmed that this had happened and that there was sufficient information to hand both riders a provisional suspension. 'After review of all elements in its possession, the UCI has decided to provisionally suspend both riders with immediate effect pursuant to Article 7.9.3 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules,' read the UCI's statement. 'The UCI will assist the Austrian National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADA) in the conduct of the disciplinary proceedings against Mr Preidler and Mr Denifl by NADA and will support all involved parties in the ongoing investigations. The UCI will not comment further ...

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Kittel calls for better support for athletes after blood doping investigation

Marcel Kittel speaks on stage

Marcel Kittel and Matthias Brändle have reacted to the blood doping confessions of Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler . The German sprinter has called for better support for young athletes to help them avoid the temptations of doping, while Brändle has said he would agree to lose all that he has earned during his 11-year professional career if he was ever caught doping. Kittel comes from Erfurt in Germany, where Dr. Mark Schmidt was arrested and 40 blood bags were reportedly discovered in a garage. Five Nordic skiers were arrested at the World Championships in Seefeld, Austria last week as part of the inquiry, known as Operation Aderlass. Denifl confessed to blood doping after being questioned by police on Friday, while Preidler confessed over the weekend to twice extracting his blood during the final months of 2018. Brändle revealed he had shared rooms with his fellow Austrian riders but said ...

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Sam Bennett frustrated with fourth in UAE Tour sprint

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 5 of the UAE Tour

Sam Bennett ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) said that he couldn't have done anything more in the sprint finish stage 5 of the UAE Tour. Bennett finished fourth after a blanket four-rider dive for the line, leaving him feeling frustrated. It was a tough contest in Khor Fakkan with Bennett going up against Elia Viviani, Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria in an all-out sprint. Bennett utilised the lead-out train of Gaviria, sticking to the Colombian's wheel until inside the final 100 metres. "It will click. I'm just happy that I got to use my legs, I got the best out of myself today. I fought for the wheel that I wanted, and I got it. I did everything that I set out to do and I don't think that I could have done any more," said Bennett. "It was close today, but I was a little bit in the wind before I ...

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Kittel takes confidence from third in UAE Tour sprint

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) looking relaxed at the start of stage 4

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) says that things are heading in the right direction for him, despite missing out on victory on stage 5 of the UAE Tour . The German sprinter endured a difficult 2018 campaign but is happy with the way things are progressing early in the 2019 season, especially given the competition he is facing in the Middle East. Kittel finished eighth on the opening sprint stage after finding himself out of position, so on Thursday in Khor Fakkan he chose to go early to avoid the same problem. He was beaten by Elia Viviani and Fernando Gaviria but was not far from victory. After initially seeming frustrated with the result, he later said he was pleased with how he felt. "I had to start my sprint pretty early today, because I knew if I don’t start there then I will be boxed in and I wouldn’t end up ...

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UAE Tour: Viviani wins sprint in Khor Fakkan

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 5 of the UAE Tour

Elia Viviani ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) won stage 5 of the UAE Tour to Khor Fakkan, coming from behind to find a way past his rivals and beat Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the high-speed sprint finish. Alexander Kristoff again gave Gaviria a superb lead-out but perhaps left him out front a little early into the headwind. Viviani was stuck behind but used his sprinting and bike skills to find a way through and then came up between Gaviria and the barriers. The four sprinters were spread across the road as they hit the line, but Viviani won it by a half a bike length. Viviani made a superb piece of technical sprinting look easy and was proud to have beaten most of his big-name sprint rivals in the peloton. It was his 70th career victory and his third win of the 2019 ...

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Exclusive preview: Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships official sportive

Jack Elton-Walters 28 Feb 2019 Take on the same roads as the pros this September at the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships sportive This September, the UCI Road World Championships will visit the UK for the first time since 1982 as Yorkshire plays host to the world's best riders. Along with the pro races, Human Race Events and the UCI have teamed up to run a one-off sportive, which will give everyday riders the chance to take on some of the same roads as the pros. Joining Cyclist for an exclusive look at the route were Olympic track champion Dani Rowe – an ambassador for the event – along with Simon Warren, whose 100 Climbs books will be familiar to many readers, and riders from the Yorkshire Lass Cycling Club . On a cold and blustery day, just before February's temperatures crept up to record-breaking levels, the long route was tackled ...

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The Agony and the Ex-Stani

Oh, Captain! My Captain!

One man’s battle to pick a VDS squad The final Thursday Thoughts piece of 2019 comes out, fittingly, on a Saturday/Sunday night. I didn’t want to run this before the deadline but so much of my offseason writing has been leading up to picking a team that I thought I’d show my workings, as it were, for the last exam on the 2018/19 offseason. I know it is a bit self-indulgent, but I’m sure you’ll all enjoy the chance to talk about your own, undoubtedly superior, teams. I’ve loved writing this series (especially the “ Team PdC ” column. Thanks for your company and bring on the season proper. My philosophy I know you’re all desperate to hear the approach to team-building that led me to finish 182 nd in 2018. To that, I’d say the following: Shut up. I finished 3 rd in the 2018 Ed’s draft league and ...

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Stars assemble for the inaugural UAE Tour – Gallery

Who is the pharaoh of the UAE Tour sprints?

The dramatic-looking Louvre Abu Dhabi provided the backdrop for the team presentation; pre-race press conference and photo shoot ahead of the inaugural UAE Tour . The seven-day WorldTour race starts on Sunday with 16km team time trial with two mountain finishes expected to decide the overall winner. Saturday was an unusually grey day in the gulf but it was brightened up by a star-studded peloton. The riders had arrived on Thursday and Friday ahead of the opening stage on Sunday afternoon and shook off the jet lag by training for the team time trial. One rider that wasn't at the team presentation was Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), who crashed in training on Saturday morning and broke his wrist. The so-called top riders got to visit the new Louvre museum and then posed for photographs with the winner's 24ct gold-plated heptagon trophy. They also faced questions from local and international ...

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2019 Neo Pros to Watch

Watch out Jasper, there’s a new chocolate boy in town!

and to agonize over including (or not having included) on your vds team As the hour of reckoning approaches to submit your FSA DS team, I figured now would be as good a time as any to make a list of new riders that you should consider dumping your much-agonized-over selections for (or rue that you didn’t pick after having submitted already). Later in the season, Andrew may have a post that discusses the neo pro riders with an actual expert on the matter. This is no such post. This post is simply a missive from a malcontent with no particular special insight (if there’s really any question on this point, simply refer to my last year’s neo pro post ) designed to make your FSA DS decisions even more maddening. Before we get to the list, I want to try to try to dispel one long-held belief-- that a ...

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Latour out of UAE Tour after training crash

Pierre Latour after his crash in the UAE

Pierre Latour will miss the UAE Tour after crashing in training after arriving in the UAE. The French rider had been named as the AG2R La Mondiale team leader for the WorldTour race but is set to return to France for surgery, with 22-year-old neo-pro Aurelien Paret-Peintre travelling out to the UAE to take Latour’s place in Sunday’s opening team time trial. "He has a fractured left wrist (scaphoid and lower radius). He will be operated on his return to France and should be unavailable for at least six weeks,” Dr. Eric Bouvat, the medical director of the AG2R La Mondiale team said in a brief statement. Latour posted a photograph of him in the Abu Dhabi hospital after receiving treatment, explaining he crashed after hitting a hole in the road. He had started his 2019 season at the Tour Down Under in Australia but had hoped to shine in ...

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Kittel shows further signs of improvement at Clasica de Almeria

Pascal Ackermann wins Clasica de Almeria

Marcel Kittel ( Katusha-Alpecin ) has already bagged what was his first race victory for 11 months at the Trofeo Palma earlier this month, and came very close to taking a second win at the Clasica de Almeria on Sunday , where he was just beaten by Bora-Hansgrohe's Pascal Ackermann. Kittel ended his 2018 season after the opening stage of the Deutschland Tour in August, having suffered a season in which he felt fatigued and unable to perform at his best. While he'd taken two stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico last March, the 30-year-old failed to fire for the rest of the season. It was in stark contrast to his 2017 season, when he'd taken 14 wins, including five stage victories at the Tour de France. But while tests revealed no medical reasons for his fatigue, Kittel's Katusha-Alpecin team allowed him to finish his 2018 season early in order to rest ...

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Ackermann wins Clasica de Almeria

Pascal Ackermann wins Clasica de Almeria

Pascal Ackermann ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) edged out Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) to win the 34th edition of the Clasica de Almeria on Sunday. The German national champion timed his sprint perfectly, coming off Mezgec's wheel with just over 125m to the line and powering clear of the opposition. Kittel came from further back but gave himself too much to do. In the end, the Katusha rider narrowly missed out on the win, with Ackermann taking his first win of the 2019 season. Mitchelton-Scott had done the majority of the pace setting throughout the day and many predicted that Mezgec would lead out European Champion Matteo Trentin. However, it was the Italian who hit the front with just over 200m to go with Mezgec tucked in on his wheel. However, the Mitchelton pair had no answer when Ackermann opened his sprint. The 25-year-old German has already picked up ...

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