Yates twins lead strong Mitchelton-Scott team for Catalunya

Yates twins lead strong Mitchelton-Scott team for Catalunya

After a hard earned rest, Daryl Impey returns to racing with Mitchelton-Scott at Catalunya while Team Sunweb will let four Aussies have at it. Watch it on SBS VICELAND from early morning Tuesday 26 March.

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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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High-speed racing on the Poggio means sprinters miss out at Milan-San Remo

Caleb Ewan during Milan-San Remo 2019

The warm spring weather and steady pace for much of Milan-San Remo seemed set to help the sprinters dominate this year’s La Classicissima , but in truth, it led to their downfall. The attackers were still strong and confident on the Poggio, and so able to blow the race apart and share the spoils on the Via Roma. Eventual winner, Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) sparked the decisive selection of seven riders in the final kilometre of the Poggio, with only Vincenzo Nibali and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Simon Clarke (EF Education First) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) able to get on during the descent and the final flat roads in San Remo. The pure sprinters and their teammates were distanced and dropped, leaving just 11 riders to fight for victory. Few noticed but Alexander Kristoff ( UAE Team Emirates ) won the bunch sprint for 14th place on the Via ...

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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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Flanders Friday: Rough Roads...

Action in Nokere Koerse

Tragedy, near-misses and hope for better days The Belgian spring cobbled classics season resumed this week and it was an emotional experience from start to finish. The most important news of note was the tragic death of 19-year-old Stef Loos, who was taking part in the Alfred Gadenne Grand Prix last weekend when the peloton departed from the race course, eventually onto open roads. Loos was killed, and several others injured, when a van struck the riders. The race itself, held in Dottignies near the linguistic border just south of Ronse, is dedicated to the memory of a local mayor who was murdered two years ago. The tragic death of Loos deepens the sadness surrounding the event. The cycling community in Belgium suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Stef Loos. The thoughts of everyone at Belgian Cycling are with his family, friends and team-mates at this sad time. ...

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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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Van der Poel to continue Spring Classics campaign despite nasty crash at Nokere Koerse

Van der Poel to continue Spring Classics campaign despite nasty crash at Nokere Koerse

Joe Robinson 21 Mar 2019 High-speed collision in bunch sprint on cobbles sees Dutchman taken to hospital Mathieu van der Poel says he will continue his Spring Classics campaign as planned despite a nasty crash in the finale of Nokere Koerse yesterday. The cyclocross World Champion had earmarked a selection of Belgian one-day Classics to ride this year, including Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, as he looks to he steps up his focus on road racing this season. Yesterday saw the start of this campaign at the Nokere Koerse. Van Der Poel was an active presesnce for most of the race and was contesting the final sprint when he was caught in a high-speed collision with Team Sunweb's Max Walscheid on the cobbled climb leading to the finish line. Big win for @TeamSunweb 's @ceesbol1995 at #NokereKoerse %uD83D%uDC4F Well wishes to those riders caught up in the crash at ...

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Bol takes Sunweb's first victory of the season at Nokere

Pascal Ackermann, Cees Bol and Jasper Philipsen on the Nokere Koerse podium

Team Sunweb 's Cees Bol took victory after a chaotic and crash-strewn sprint finish at the Danilith Nokere Koerse in Belgium on Wednesday, and with it his WorldTour team's first win of the season. That first win had been some time in coming for the German team, although it wasn't that dissimilar to last season, when at this point the squad had only one victory under their belt – a stage win at the Abu Dhabi Tour, thanks to Phil Bauhaus – but then went on to take 11 wins in total in 2018. Sunweb had started Wednesday's Nokere Koerse with only five riders out of a permitted seven, but acquitted themselves well in the hope of setting Bol up for a sprint finish. The team was still able to win despite losing Australian Jai Hindley to a crash during the race, while Max Walscheid also hit the deck in ...

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Cees Bol wins crash-marred Nokere Koerse

Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) wins the 2019 Nokere Koerse

Cees Bol ( Team Sunweb ) sprinted to victory at Nokere Koerse after a crash-marred final along the cobbled incline to the finish line took down his teammate Max Walscheid and cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus). Bol was the fastest to the line ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates). Bora-Hansgrohe led the initial sprint into the bottom of hill and onto the cobbles with Ackermann positioned in second wheel, and although the German road champion looked as though he would hold off his rivals, Bol proved fastest with a late surge to the line that netted him the day's victory. How it unfolded The peloton returned to the cobbles at the mid-week Nokere Koerse on Wednesday in Belgium with a 195.6km race between Deinze and Nokere. A quarter of the way in saw a five-man break clear the field and build a ...

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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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Tirreno-Adriatico: Fuglsang solos to victory on stage 5

Jakob Fuglsang celebrates his stage victory

Jakob Fuglsang made it two in a row for Astana at Tirreno-Adriatico, winning the fifth stage. Race leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) came in second, with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) third on the day. Fuglsang jumped from a group of favourites with around 24km to go and worked his way up through the remaining riders from the day’s breakaway. He joined Davide Gaburro (Neri Sottoli) and Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) and eventually dropped them, taking on the final 10 kilometres alone. “We basically planned to try something similar to yesterday. We knew that we had a strong team and we saw yesterday that many other teams were suffering once we really put the pressure on. To wait until the final, it would probably be difficult for us to win so we tried to do the same as yesterday and today it was my turn to go from distance. Luckily it worked ...

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Bernal wins Paris-Nice

The final Paris-Nice podium (L-R) Nairo Quintana, Egan Bernal, Michal Kwiatkowski

Egan Bernal ( Team Sky ) secured overall victory at Paris-Nice after a tense final stage which saw his yellow jersey come under attack by Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Ion Izagirre (Astana) took the stage win in Nice, attacking on the final climb of the day to leave behind the remains of the elite break group led by Quintana. The Spaniard quickly built a stage-winning gap, staying upright on the descent to secure the win, 19 seconds ahead of Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb). Quintana, meanwhile, attacked 50km out, echoing similar moves against Team Sky by Alberto Contador in 2016 and 2017. But like the legendary Spaniard, Quintana would fall short. He was the virtual leader at several points, but ended up only taking four seconds on Bernal at the finish. The Movistar man attacked on the Côte de Peille to link up with the remnants ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico: Contrasting emotions for Roglic and Dumoulin after steep climbs spark time gaps

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) during stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico

Primoz Roglic ( Jumbo-Visma ) and Tom Dumoulin ( Team Sunweb ) post-stage warm down after stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico may have been similar but their sentiments were of stark contrast. The Jumbo-Visma rider was happy to have extended his lead on almost all of his overall rivals, while the Dutchman was clearly disappointed to have lost precious seconds and virtually any chance of overall victory. Roglic finished a close second behind Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and ahead of race leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), but gained 23 seconds on Dumoulin and the other overall contenders. A six-second time bonus narrowed his deficit on Yates to just seven seconds and he extended his overall lead on Dumoulin to 43 seconds, with only Sunday’s stage in the steep Le Marche hills and then Tuesday’s final 10km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto opportunities to make time back. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is fourth ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico: Lutsenko takes dramatic stage 4 win

Alexey Lutsenko wins stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico

Alexey Lutsenko ( Astana ) won the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in dramatic fashion after crashing twice in the final 20 kilometres. The Kazakh rider won from a four-rider sprint but had been almost a minute up the road after attacking solo. He was caught following his second crash inside the final two kilometres, but had just enough left to win the sprint to the line, beating Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). Yates kept hold of his overall race lead and has a seven-second advantage over Roglic with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) now 50 seconds down. “I crashed twice in the last 20km. It made it very difficult for me. Fortunately, there was my teammate, Jakob Fuglsang, in the three-man group behind. I crashed again so I'm really happy that I made up with a stage win for this very bad day. It gives me more motivation for ...

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Mitchelton-BikeExchange confirm plans for 2019

The new blue Orica-BikeExchange kit

After several months of uncertainty GreenEdge Cycling have confirmed that their Mitchelton-BikeExchange team will return for 2019, with the Tour of Langkawi scheduled as their first race later this spring. In the summer of 2018 the riders on the roster were informed that the squad faced possible closure but this week GreenEdge confirmed that the project would go ahead with a roster of eight riders. The team will race at Continental level. The most significant development is that the team will increase their interest in Asia, with a more concentrated focus on developing riders from China. The team had been seen as one of the most important gateways from which Australian talent could develop and move into the WorldTour. The team are also unlikely to race consistently in Europe this year. In 2018 a squad of 15 riders consisted of six Australian, from which Callum Scotson transitioned into the men's ...

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Simon Yates: I've been working on my time trial quite a lot

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) at Ruta del Sol stage 4

Mitchelton-Scott 's Simon Yates scored his first-ever time trial victory on stage 5 of Paris-Nice on Thursday, beating Katusha-Alpecin's Nils Politt and Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski, who extended his overall lead at the race. Yates started the day down in 70th place on the GC, almost 20 minutes down on Kwiatkowski. And while the Briton's challenge for the overall is clearly over – in a race he finished second at 12 months ago – his focus remains on May's Giro d'Italia . The time trial win bodes well for the 26-year-old, who will face three individual time trial tests at this year's Giro: an 8.2km opening stage, with a tough uphill finish to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, followed on stage 9 by 34.7km effort, which again is mainly all uphill from the halfway mark, and then a final, flatter 15.6km test in Verona, which is also the ...

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Van Avermaet upbeat despite losing out to Alaphilippe at Tirreno

Greg Van Avermaet (Team CCC) drops back to the team car in Tirreno.

Greg Van Avermaet ( CCC Team ) had to settle for second place on stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico on Thursday, when he was beaten to the line in an uphill sprint by Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe . "It was quite a good pace the whole day long," Van Avermaet said on his team's website. "Mitchelton-Scott controlled the race, and Gijs [Van Hoecke] and Guillaume [Van Keirsbulck] set me up really well for the last climb. "Actually, everything went perfectly for me. Michi [Michael Schär] did a good job closing some gaps, and I just tried to stay out of the wind for as long as possible, and then came to the front in the last two kilometres," he said. "For me, the stage couldn't have gone better, and we executed our plan exactly as we said we would in the meeting. When you get second place, it's sad, but it's the ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico: Alaphilippe keeps success coming for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Julian Alaphilippe on the stage 2 podium at Tirreno-Adriatico

Julian Alaphilippe gave Deceuninck-QuickStep their 16th victory of the 2019 season at Tirreno-Adriatico , beating Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team) and Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) on the kick-up to the finish line after an aggressive final to the stage into the Tuscan hills. Alaphilippe thumped his chest in celebration and thanked his teammates for controlling the late attacks and setting him up for the sprint. The Frenchman banged elbows with Van Avermaet but had the extra speed and power to hit the line first. "My team did a tremendous job, controlling the breakaway, protecting me and keeping an eye on all the attacks in the final," Alaphilippe explained. "Styby (Zdenek Stybar) covered the moves, and that helped me remain calm and patiently wait for the sprint, which I opened with 150 meters to go, going full gas to the line. I had good legs but was also very strong ...

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Dumoulin: Cycling 'shouldn't get lazy' in the fight against doping

Tom Dumoulin said Tirreno-Adriatico will come down to "seconds"

Tom Dumoulin has warned of the need for constant vigilance in the fight against doping in the wake of his former teammate Georg Preidler’s confession that he had extracted blood on two occasions with the intention of blood doping. Preidler confessed to Austrian police earlier this month that he had blood extracted on two occasions in late 2018. The Austrian rider spent five years alongside Dumoulin at Sunweb and was part of the team that helped the Dutchman win the 2017 Giro d’Italia. He joined Groupama-FDJ ahead of the 2018 season and quit the team in the wake of his confession. “We were very good teammates. I wouldn’t call him a friend, but he was a close teammate to me. Then he left the team and now this, it’s really weird. It’s a strange feeling. I had a bad morning when the news came out,” Dumoulin told Cyclingnews in Camaiore ...

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Mitchelton-Scott in Tirreno driver's seat after TTT win

Adam Yates and Mitchelton-Scott got off to the best possible start at Paris-Nice

Mitchelton-Scott put Michael Hepburn in the leader's jersey and Adam Yates in prime general classification position at Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday, winning the opening team time trial in Lido di Camaiore by seven seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team and 22 seconds over Tom Dumoulin's Team Sunweb. As the first Mitchelton-Scott rider to cross the finish line, Hepburn drew the lucky straw of collecting the first blue jersey of the 2019 race. "Tirreno is one of my favourite races of the year; I always seem to be in good condition here, but, to be completely honest, I don't deserve the jersey more than anyone else in the squad. That was just the order we were coming into the home straight," said the 27-year-old Australian who has been with the team since 2012. "Team time trials are very technical these days, and it’s something our team enjoys doing – especially me." ...

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