The weekly spin: Breaking down Alaphilippe’s perfect day at Milan-San Remo

It was a who’s who of professional cycling. Barreling down the Poggio, the final climb of Milan-San Remo, was a handful of the top riders in the sport, all in with a shot at winning the first Monument of the season. A few minutes later, that group had swelled to a dozen. There would be … The post The weekly spin: Breaking down Alaphilippe’s perfect day at Milan-San Remo appeared first on CyclingTips .

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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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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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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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“I was on my hands and knees” — The pro’s most miserable days on a bike

To try to make sense of cycling's suffering, we asked a handful of pros about their hardest day on the bike, and what kept them pushing through. The post “I was on my hands and knees” — The pro’s most miserable days on a bike appeared first on CyclingTips .

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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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Tirreno-Adriatico: Dumoulin stays in overall contention after TTT

Tom Dumoulin on the front for Team Sunweb at Tirreno-Adriatico

Tom Dumoulin admitted before Tirreno-Adriatico that losing 25 seconds or more in the opening team time trial would probably end his chance of overall victory in the week-long stage race. While not happy with Team Sunweb 's third place, 22 seconds behind Mitchelton-Scott and 15 down on Jumbo-Visma, the Dutchman was pleased to still be in contention and ready to race aggressively in the number of steep uphill finishes later in the race. "Third, it's good, not perfect. It's a good start and we're, I won't say happy with it, but satisfied," Dumoulin said as he warmed down on the rollers, seeing Team Sunweb's glass half full rather than half empty. As team leader and former world time trial champion, Dumoulin took on extra responsibility during Team Sunweb's ride. He did longer turns on the front, leading and inspiring his teammates. Chad Haga brought Team Sunweb home, with Dumoulin second, ...

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Riders left in shock after pedestrian takes out Bora-Hansgrohe in Tirreno TTT

Oscar Gatto and Rafal Majka ride to the finish of the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial after crashi

Many of the riders at Tirreno-Adriatico were shocked to see the Bora-Hansgrohe crash at speed after a pedestrian walked into the road ahead of them during the opening team time trial on the Lido di Camaiore seafront. Some teams were out on the road but many saw the incident live on television as they prepared for their own ride. They were somewhat shocked and angry that it happened, knowing it could have happened to them. "I did see it, it was quite scary to watch," Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) said after his ride. "There was a policeman there as well. It shouldn't happen. Hopefully, the guys are all right and they guy they hit, too, because he looked like he was knocked out." Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) suggested the local police officer on the side of the road could have done more to stop the pedestrian ...

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Cervelo unveil new P5 time trial bike

Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb)

Cervélo have released new details on what they call their "worst best-kept secret": their new P5 time trial bike. Team Sunweb have already ridden the new machine at the UAE Tour on the opening team time trial stage in Abu Dhabi, where the team finished second, and in the individual time trial at the recent Volta ao Algarve, with Søren Kragh Andersen taking second on the stage there. Tom Dumoulin and his Sunweb teammates will use the bike again during the team time trial opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday. "It's always very challenging to make our bikes faster," said Lead Mechanical Designer Robert Pike in a video released by the Canadian company, but that's exactly what they've done with the new P5, Cervélo say. The new faster, lighter carbon frame is a completely new shape compared to the old P5 design, and Cervélo claim it has a 22 per ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico stars gather on eve of race – Gallery

Julian Alaphilippe pokes fun at Geraint Thomas with the Tirreno-Adriatico trident

Tirreno-Adriatico rolls off the starting blocks on Wednesday with a 21.5km team time trial in Lido di Camaiore, and some of the top riders gathered on Tuesday to talk about their own ambitions in the seven-day WorldTour race that finishes on March 19 with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. The favourites for the overall, including Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and recent Strade Bianche winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), gathered on Tuesday to speak with the media and give the race a proper set-up. Defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is currently battling the crosswinds at Paris-Nice, leaving the race open for a brand-new winner or a potential third victory for Nibali. The race lacks any true mountains this year, eschewing summit finishes in favour of a number of short, steep Classics-like climbs that will measure gradients in ...

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The Race of the Two Cs

Will we see Greg stand atop the podium once more?

Ordinarily I’d start this piece with a wistful opening paragraph, maybe calling to mind editions of Tirreno-Adriatico from years past. This case is an exception, however, as obviously my first priority needs to be explaining that travesty of a headline. See, this is not only the race of the two seas, the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic, but this year also the two ‘c’s, which will be explained presently. C numero uno: Classics racing. Okay, don’t get me wrong. As year after year has gone by I have come to hate the formulaic coastside TTT and the equally predictable ITT when the race hits the Adriatic. I’d say that even the residents of the always-willing San Benedetto del Tronto have lost their enthusiasm by this point. The race has turned up there without fail since 1967. The Tirreno permacourse involves these two, two flat stages, an uphill sprint, a hilly stage ...

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Tom Dumoulin: Tirreno-Adriatico is a game of seconds

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

Tom Dumoulin is hoping Team Sunweb can finally take their first win of the 2019 season at Tirreno-Adriatico during the opening 21.5km team time trial on Wednesday or at least limit their losses and so give the Dutchman a shot at overall victory. Team Sunweb finished seven seconds behind Jumbo-Visma in the 16km team time trial at the recent UAE Tour, but Dumoulin was unable to stay with Primoz Roglic on the first mountain finishes of the Arabian race, losing 44 seconds. He lead the charge to line on the second mountain finish only for Roglic to sprint past him in sight of the line. That was 10 days ago and Dumoulin appeared far more bullish as he sat at the top table of big-name Tirreno-Adriatico overall contenders on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m here and I’m ready,” Dumoulin said, mixing smiles with a moment of seriousness about his intentions. “It’s always ...

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Geraint Thomas enjoys 'sadistic' suffering as he seeks Tour de France form

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) riding stage 2 at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

Geraint Thomas ( Team Sky ) has no regrets about celebrating his Tour de France victory long and hard into winter, finding the recent suffering he has needed to get back to form as 'sadistic' but enjoyable. Thomas only raced the Deutschland Tour and the Tour of Britain after winning Tour de France and was determined to savour every minute of the celebrations despite warnings from Team Sky to watch his weight and keep riding. Thomas was visibly heavier than his racing weight at the Saitama and Shanghai criteriums in November and only got back into regular training in early December. He has since done blocks of training in Los Angeles, raced the Vuelta a Valenciana in Spain and spent time at altitude on Mount Teide. He has lost much of the weight he gained during the winter but is not yet competitive in races. “It was definitely worth it, ...

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The Art of Racing Over 7 Days

What does it mean to be a one-week specialist? From 2014 to 2017, Alberto Contador was the undaunted master of week-long stage races. Having finished on the podium of WT one-week stage races (see the races I used for this analysis below) a whopping 10 times, including 3 wins. It would be easy for you to rush to interpret that this means that Grand Tour excellence translates to week-long results, until I tell you that over that time frame, Alberto Contador finished on a Grand Tour podium just once. In the twilight of his career, Contador was a shell of himself when it came to the big 3 week races, but was simply unparalleled when it came to the week-longs. [Full disclosure: Contador was also a week-long asskicker when he was a great GT rider as well… but we’ll get to that later.] You often hear the adage: “Rider X ...

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The aspirations of Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis may be the reigning world champion in the time trial, but he still has aspirations beyond aero bars. The post The aspirations of Rohan Dennis appeared first on CyclingTips .

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