What’s Going on in Catalunya?

I examine one of my favourite races, about a day later than I intended. Ladies and gentlemen, March is coming to a close and Milano-Sanremo is out of the way, so you know what that means: Yes, it’s time for World Tour stage racing in what most people will tell you is Spain. In a fortnight it’s time for the Euskal Herriko Itzulia but for now we’re in Catalunya for the Volta. Both of these races are clearly the standout cycling events of the next month and I will not hear anything to the contrary. I’m not sure of the reasons behind this, but it seems that Catalunya occupies a strange spot in the form graphs of riders where they can’t be on form to win the race if they’re going to win the Tour — hence Chris Froome would win an early season race, take a short break, then ...

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Fabio Aru: When the iliac artery problem was diagnosed, I cried

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates)

Fabio Aru has admitted that he cried due to the frustration and suffering of recent months and cried again last week when specialists finally diagnosed a constriction of the iliac artery as the reason why he was unable to race successfully. The UAE Team Emirates rider will soon undergo surgery and will miss the Giro d’Italia and much of the 2019 season but he was happy to have finally found an explanation why he was unable to perform at the level that allowed him to win the 2015 Vuelta a Espana. “There were days when I felt dead on the bike. I was devastated. I felt terrible and even worse because I didn’t know why,” Aru explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport after UAE Team Emirates confirmed Aru’s problem on Sunday. “The hair stands up on my arms as I talk about it but when the iliac artery problem was ...

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Yates brothers and Chaves to lead Mitchelton-Scott at Volta a Catalunya

Simon and Adam Yates at the Vuelta a España team presentation

The star trio of Esteban Chaves , Adam Yates and Simon Yates will headline Mitchelton-Scott 's roster at the Volta a Catalunya , which starts on Monday, the team has announced. They spearhead a strong line-up for the Australian squad, who will surely be heading to Spain with ambitions to win the week-long stage race with three potential general classification contenders. Catalunya will be Chaves' second WorldTour stage race of the season, having also ridden Paris-Nice, and the race marks another step on the road back from what was an eight-month lay-off caused by the mononucleosis virus. The Colombian returned to racing in February at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, which was his first event since the 2018 Giro d'Italia. Meanwhile, the Yates brothers have seen success already this season, with Adam winning a stage at the Volta a Valenciana and taking second place at last week's Tirreno-Adriatico, after ...

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Matthews back on track after Milan-San Remo

Michael Matthews is starting his third season with Team Sunweb in 2019

Despite starting Milan-San Remo with just a day and a half of racing in his legs Michael Matthews ( Team Sunweb ) delivered a dogged, if not successful, performance to finish 12th on the Via Roma. Earlier in the month, the Australian crashed during Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, soldiering on to the finish, but he was forced to abandon Paris-Nice after crashing on the first stage. In fact, Matthews was expected to miss several months of the campaign due his injuries but after another scan of an injured wrist he was given the all-clear on Wednesday to race Milan-San Remo. He was still in contention on the Poggio – despite his lack of race miles – but when Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) unleashed an attacked that formed the winning move, Matthews was forced onto the back foot. A valiant chase saw him come within a few seconds of the lead group, and ...

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Fabio Aru to miss Giro d'Italia due to iliac artery operation

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) was back in action in the Algarve

UAE Team Emirates ' Fabio Aru will now miss the upcoming Volta Ciclista a Catalunya , as well as May's Giro d'Italia , in order to have an operation on a constriction of the iliac artery in his left leg, his team has reported. Aru was due to return to racing at next week's Spanish stage race having abandoned Paris-Nice in early March, but could now be away from racing for a number of months, until at least this summer. The winner of the 2015 Vuelta a España's last victory came at La Planche des Belles Filles on stage 5 of the Tour de France in 2017, with the 28-year-old having since struggled to perform at the level he's used to. Aru's iliac artery problem has meant that he has lacked "an adequate blood supply when trying to make a maximum effort. This problem, and resulting drop in power, during ...

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The Pro-Conti and SSR Corner: The Cobbles and Crashes Edition

Ack! Cees Bol win

It’s been slow on the SSR front for the last few weeks, though we did get an exciting and rainy edition of Industry and Artichokes, as well as exciting (to different degrees) but crash-marred editions of Nokere Koerse and the Bredene Koksijde Classic. Max Schachmann took the big Artichoke, while Cees Bol and Pascal Ackermann respectively won the two Belgian SSRs. Too bad that Sunweb is SSR-phobic, or we may have had the chance to see Bol dominating more races. Ackermann’s victory in the-race-formerly-known-as-Handzame was dominant, and likely gave him some assurances against an Irish Giro takeover, but how does a single one day SSR victory compare to Sam Bennett’s 2 WT victories at Paris-Nice? It’s a good problem for Bora to have, though, as they now have three of the best sprinters in the peloton and the competition amongst them is resulting in some great performances. As the heart ...

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Under-the-radar Degenkolb at his 2015 Milan-San Remo level

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) wins the final stage of the 2019 Tour de la Provence

While the majority of the Milan-San Remo pre-race circus has focused on the array of options at Deceuninck-QuickStep and the uncertain form of former three-time world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), one former winner of the La Classicissima has gone virtually unnoticed. At Trek-Segafredo 's hotel on the outskirts of Milan, riders almost outnumbered journalists, but John Degenkolb is experienced enough to know that if he wins on Saturday the media and their limelight will come flooding back. Those with short memories perhaps need reminding that Degenkolb won Milan-San Remo back in 2015, during a purple patch that also saw him claim Paris-Roubaix. He was, for a spring campaign at least, the man of the moment. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but Degenkolb's dramatic stage win during last year's Tour de France suggested that the German was finally back to something like his best. Another ...

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Milano-Sanremo: The ‘Who Will Win’ Piece

Milano-Sanremo is at the same time the most and least predictable race on the calendar. It’s not every race you can work through every single scenario in which the race can be won and coming up with a manageable number - go on, try doing it with E3 Harelbeke - but then again it’s not every race that can be won by Mark Cavendish, then a few years later undergo alterations that make it notably easier, following which it is won by Vincenzo Nibali. I’m not going to go through all the scenarios in which any given rider can win, Andrew did that expertly last year and much of it is still relevant. What I aim to achieve with this preview is to come up with one name and a set of very plausible reasons why they will be the first person to win a Monument classic in 2019. This ...

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Are the routes of the Monuments growing stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Are the Monuments going stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Are the routes of the Monuments going stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Balancing tradition and change: Are the routes of the Monuments going stale?

Daniel Ostanek 22 Mar 2019 With Liège-Bastogne-Liège changing its route, Cyclist asks whether it is time for the other Classics races to follow suit? Let’s talk about race routes, shall we? They’re the bread and butter of pro cycling – the roads, hills and cobbles which make the races we all love. From Alpe d'Huez and the Arenberg to the Mur de Huy and the Stelvio, the sacred routes that the calendar visits year after year are where legends have been built and memories made, over decades of racing. Take Paris-Roubaix . The Hell of the North follows a tried-and-tested formula, heading north from Compiègne to the velodrome in Roubaix. Along the way, the famous cobbles of the Trouee d’Arenberg , Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre are always there – the main attractions and biggest tests on the road to glory. The route announcement for this year’s edition – ...

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Matthews back in the saddle in time for Sanremo

Matthews back in the saddle in time for Sanremo

Australian Michael Matthews had written off Milano-Sanremo after a hard crash in Paris-Nice, but he has recovered quicker than expected. Read the full article at Matthews back in the saddle in time for Sanremo on VeloNews.com .

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Fabio Aru to return to racing at Volta a Catalunya

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) was back in action in the Algarve

Following his abandon at Paris-Nice earlier this month, Fabio Aru will jump back into the peloton next week at the Volta a Catalunya in Spain. Aru will be joined in the WorldTour race, which runs from March 25-31, by UAE Team Emirates teammate Dan Martin , who won the overall there in 2013 and has claimed stage wins in both 2013 and 2016. "The Volta a Catalunya is always a race I look forward to – even more so this year with my family being roadside for a number of the stages," Martin said in a team press release. "I know the course well since I live in the region, and, having raced the Volta a Catalunya nearly every year of my career, I know the roads well." Supporting Martin and Aru on the climber-heavy UAE roster are Cristian Muñoz, Rui Oliveira, Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi and Rory Sutherland. Martin ...

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The CyclingTips Weekly Quiz: #3

Another week, another test of wits… It’s been a big one for CyclingTips this week. Among other things: We’ve published the first two galleries from Global Tech Editor James Huang’s recent visit to NAHBS: see #1 here, #2 here. Also racking up the air-miles, Neal Rogers reported back from his trip to a gravel e-bike … The post The CyclingTips Weekly Quiz: #3 appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Matthews realistic over Milan-San Remo after injury-hit season

Michael Matthews is starting his third season with Team Sunweb in 2019

Michael Matthews ( Team Sunweb ) is under no illusions as he heads towards the start line of Milan-San Remo on Saturday. During the winter, the versatile Australian had selected the first Monument of the season as a major spring goal but a crash in Paris-Nice robbed him of vital racing and, with just one day of racing in his legs, the 28-year-old is not among the favourites. In fact, Matthews only made the selection for Milan-San Remo on Wednesday after a last-minute medical confirmed that his Paris-Nice injuries were not as serious as first thought. "The recovery has gone surprisingly well, and faster than I ever imagined," Matthews told Cyclingnews from Milan on Thursday evening. "Last week I was told that I would be off for three months, and now it's Thursday and I'm here for Milan-San Remo. It's been a fast turnaround. There are two or three fractures ...

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EF Education First extend with Martinez

Daniel Martínez (EF Education First) celebrates his victory on stage 7 of Paris-Nice 2019

Recent Paris-Nice stage winner Dani Martinez has signed a three-year contract extension with EF Education First , taking the 22-year-old Colombian time trial champion though the 2022 season. "I have really big goals, and I only want to keep discovering the potential I have," Martínez said in a statement the team released with the contract announcement. "The environment in this team is the best place for me to grow." Martínez started at the Pro Continental level in 2015 with Team Colombia, then moved to the Italian squad Wilier Triestina for two years before joining Jonathan Vaughters' Slipstream programme last season. He quickly proved his worth with fifth at the Colombia Oro y Paz – the Tour Colombia 2.1's former name – and then seventh at the Volta a Catalunya. He followed those results with 12th at the Tour de Romandie and third at the Tour of California behind compatriot Egan ...

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Demare: I will win Milan-San Remo again someday

Arnaud Demare wins stage 18 at the Tour de France

In the past three seasons before Milan-San Remo , Arnaud Démare has won a stage in Paris-Nice, gaining an important confidence boost ahead of the year's first Monument. In 2016, the Frenchman was the unlikely winner in Sanremo, unleashing his powerful sprint to claim the biggest victory of his career over Ben Swift and Jurgen Roelandts. He backed up that result with a sixth place in 2017 and third last season behind Caleb Ewan and the impressive solo victory from Vincenzo Nibali. This season, Démare has yet to climb onto the highest step of a podium, having missed out on the early semi-Classics with the flu before recovering to race Paris-Nice. He narrowly missed out on a win on stage 6 to Brignoles when he jumped a bit too soon into a headwind and was overtaken by Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) . Despite going into Milan-San Remo winless, Démare says he ...

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Milan-San Remo preview and Ineos' Team Sky takeover - Podcast

Caleb Ewan, Vincenzo Nibali and Arnaud Demare on the Milan-San Remo podium

In this week's edition of the Cyclingnews podcast, brought to you in association with Sportful, Pinarello, and Floyd's of Leadville, we look back at the action from Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico . We look ahead to this weekend's first Monument of the season, Milan-San Remo , and debate the merits and issues arising from the controversial takeover of Team Sky by Ineos . We also hear from Tirreno-Adriatico winner Primoz Roglic about his victory and his form ahead of the Giro d'Italia; Julian Alaphilippe and Elia Viviani ahead of Milan-San Remo, and Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates and directeur sportif Matt White. There's also time for us to check in with our very own Stephen Farrand, who picks out the key talking points from Tirreno-Adriatico, discusses the pressure on Vincenzo Nibali's shoulders, and highlights just what Milan-San Remo means to the Italian cycling. Sponsor message Born in the Italian Dolomites, Sportful has been ...

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No Milan-San Remo for Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) gets to the finish line in La Rosiere, but not within the time cuts

Dimension Data have revealed their line-up for Milan-San Remo , confirming that 2009 winner Mark Cavendish will be absent. The South African squad will instead be led by sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo. Cavendish has raced every edition of La Classicissima since winning on his debut 10 years ago, but has endured a complicated couple of years due to Epstein Barr Virus. The 33-year-old took an extended break in the second half of last year after the virus came back for a second time, and has been easing his way back into racing in 2019. After finishing the Vuelta a San Juan and UAE Tour, where he primarily worked for teammates, he suffered a setback at Paris-Nice last week as he struggled in the crosswinds and abandoned on stage 2. Cavendish is clearly some way short of full strength, as he was absent from the seven-man team for Milan-San Remo announced by ...

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