De Gendt solos to Catalunya lead

De Gendt solos to Catalunya lead

Thomas de Gendt did what he does best to claim a solo win on the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

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De Gendt clinches fourth Volta a Catalunya win

Thomas De Gendt solos to the stage 1 win at Volta a Catalunya

On the opening stage of the 2019 Volta a Catalunya , only one name really counted as Thomas De Gendt ( Lotto-Soudal ) powered to a hugely impressive solo victory, simultaneously netting the overall lead as well as almost all the secondary classifications. De Gendt's victory came thanks to a faultlessly calculated estimate on how much time he would need on the rolling run-in to the finish, which saw the 32-year-old with ample margin to raise his arms in victory well before the line - and then again, as he crossed it. "Yesterday [Sunday] evening, my team bosses asked me what the plan was, and I said if I had three minutes at the top of the final first category" - the Col de Formic, 56 kilometres from the finish - "then I'd be in with a good chance," De Gendt said. He would have 3:13 at that point in ...

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Catalunya stage 1: Escape artist De Gendt solos to victory

Catalunya stage 1: Escape artist De Gendt solos to victory

De Gendt's daring attack pays off in stage 1 of Volta a Catalunya. The Belgian wins his first race of 2019 season. Read the full article at Catalunya stage 1: Escape artist De Gendt solos to victory on VeloNews.com .

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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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CCC Team on hunt for stage wins at Volta a Catalunya

Patrick Bevin had a difficult day on stage 6 at the Tour Down Under

CCC Team head to the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on Monday with no clear contender for the overall classification. Instead, they'll rely on a number of riders to try to take stage wins at the seven-day Spanish race. With no Greg Van Avermaet on the roster – who next races at the E3 BinckBank Classic on Friday – the team will be looking in the direction of their only other race winner this season, Patrick Bevin , who won the New Zealand national time trial title at the start of the year, ahead of taking a stage at the Tour Down Under . A crash on the penultimate stage of the UAE Tour at the start of March has kept him out of competition for the past three weeks, but Bevin has been training hard, and said on the team's website that he's ready to race this week. "I feel ...

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O'Connor looking to break into top 10 for Dimension Data at Volta a Catalunya

Ben O'Connor in the bunch at the Down Under Classic

Dimension Data head to the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on Monday with Ben O'Connor looking at breaking into the top 10 at this year's race, while Ryan Gibbons will focus on the sprint stages. O'Connor came away from Catalunya with 11th place overall last year, and then went on to ride a superb Giro d'Italia , crashing out just two days from the finish in Rome. The Australian is hoping for even better in Spain this week, and will again use the race to prepare for the Giro. "It's going to be a really hard week in terms of the parcours," O'Connor said, thinking in particular of stage 3 to Vallter 2000 and a second summit finish the next day on stage 4 to La Molina. "Last year, I surprised myself by finishing 11th, so it's a main aim now to try to finish in the top 10," he continued. ...

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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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Valverde not ruling out bid for Volta a Catalunya lead on stage one

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Defending Volta a Catalunya champion Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar ) says he expects anything but a gentle start to the week-long race on Monday, adding that he could be in the hunt for the overall lead from stage one. Monday’s stage one starts and finishes in Calella, as it has done every year since 2012. But if the gently rising finish straight sometimes has produced splits in the peloton in the past, this time round Valverde is expecting a much earlier shredding of the field. Five classified climbs dot the route, and as a result, Valverde says he does not rule out going for the stage win himself. “It’s a much more mountainous course for stage one than usual, even if the run-in is identical to other years,” Valverde told reporters at a press conference on the Sunday evening. “They’ve put in three first category climbs before that finish, that ...

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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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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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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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Valverde and Landa headline Movistar at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

World champion Alejandro Valverde headlines Movistar ’s team for Milan-San Remo , while Mikel Landa will make his comeback from injury at La Classicissima on Saturday. Landa sustained a broken collarbone in a crash during his first race of the season, the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx at the Challenge Mallorca in January. He has been side-lined ever since, but will ride Milan-San Remo before staying in Italy to tackle next week’s Settimana Coppi e Bartali. The Basque rider is also expected to line out at the Tour of the Basque Country next month. Landa has stated his intention to ride both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2019. Milan-San Remo was a relatively late addition to Valverde’s racing programme, and he will then line out at the Volta a Catalunya, which gets underway 48 hours later. The Spaniard last appeared at Milan-San Remo in 2016, when ...

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Kruijswijk looking for climbing consistency at Volta a Catalunya

Jumbo-Visma's Steven Kruijswijk at the 2019 Ruta del Sol

While the sprinters and Classics specialists focus on this Saturday's Milan-San Remo, many of the pro peloton's very best climbers, including Jumbo-Visma 's Steven Kruijswijk , ready themselves for the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya , which starts on Monday. Kruijswijk can expect the full support of his teammates, as it was announced in recent days that the team's main sprinter, Dylan Groenewegen, would forego Catalunya in favour of riding his first Milan-San Remo, in order to gain experience. "It's a very nice race," Kruijswijk said of Catalunya in a video posted on their site by Jumbo-Visma. "I think I've raced there almost every year since I turned pro. "It's a course purely for climbers, with two uphill finishes [on stages 3 and 4]. I know the race well, and the goal is to be as close to the podium as possible – or actually get onto it." If that sounds ...

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Groenewegen added to Jumbo-Visma line-up for Saturday's Milan-San Remo

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) celebrates his win

Jumbo-Visma sprinter Dylan Groenewegen will ride his first Milan-San Remo in Italy on Saturday, having been added to the Dutch WorldTour team's seven-rider squad as a replacement for injured teammate Timo Roosen. Groenewegen was set to ride the following week's Volta a Catalunya, but has been drafted in to replace Roosen, who injured his knee in a crash at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne at the start of March and won't be ready for this weekend's race. Groenewegen has already had a strong start to his season, taking stages at both the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and the Volta ao Algarve in February. He then went on to last week's Paris-Nice, where he sprinted to wins on the first two stages, holding the race lead until the end of stage 3. The 25-year-old will now start in Milan on Saturday with a view to potentially targeting La Classicissima next season. "That's why I'm ...

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Porte could make Tour of California debut as preparation for Tour de France

Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) rode a good race to finish second on stage 2 of the 2019 Herald Sun To

Richie Porte ( Trek-Segafredo ) could ride the Tour of California for the first time in his career as part of his preparation for the Tour de France . Porte is riding a slimmer race programme this season with the hope of having fresher legs for the Grand Boucle. Porte told Cyclingnews that he might head stateside this May and hang around for a training camp before returning to Europe. "We'll see it how it all goes, but I'll probably race California and then stay there for a bit of altitude and then the next big goal is the Dauphine," Porte told Cyclingnews . "That's the race where I need to be going and then the Tour. It's a bit of an unprecedented run. Normally, I hit the Tour with more race days in the legs." Porte said that he is a bit behind where he'd like to be at ...

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Valverde skips Strade Bianche to prepare for Tour of Flanders

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

The Movistar team have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will not ride Strade Bianche or Tirreno-Adriatico, and will only return to racing at the Volta a Catalunya later this month. The world champion finished second overall at the recent UAE Tour and won the first mountain finish to Jebel Hafeet. However, he ended the race feeling unwell and, with the Tour of Flanders and the Giro d’Italia major goals in the coming months, he has opted to rest up and do a block of important training instead of racing. With Tuscan local Daniele Bennati also out due to a recent illness and Mikel Landa still recovering from a fractured collarbone, Movistar will field a young team for Strade Bianche. Richard Carapaz will make his European season debut after riding the Vuelta a San Juan and the Colombia 2.1 stage races in South America. Also in Movistar’s seven-rider roster are Nelson Oliveira, ...

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Porte to miss Paris-Nice and ride Volta a Catalunya

Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) rode a good race to finish second on stage 2 of the 2019 Herald Sun To

Richie Porte has withdrawn from Paris-Nice and will instead line out at the Volta a Catalunya later this month. The Trek-Segafredo rider suffered a bout of bronchitis after starting his season in Australia and has decided to alter his race programme in the wake of a low-key performance at the recent UAE Tour. Porte started his 2019 season with second overall at the Tour Down Under, where he won atop Willunga Hill for the sixth year in a row. He then took fifth at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour but struggled in the UAE last week, placing 50th overall. "A bronchitis sustained after the Jayco Herald Sun Tour has caused a setback in Richie’s build-up to the spring races, and his performance in UAE Tour confirmed this. Given these circumstances, Paris-Nice unfortunately comes too early for Richie," Trek-Segafredo team doctor Scott Major said in a statement released by the team ...

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Chris Froome to start season at Tour Colombia after training at altitude

Chris Froome to start season at Tour Colombia after training at altitude

Joe Robinson 12 Feb 2019 Froome to be joined by Bernal and Sosa for second edition of Tour Colombia Chris Froome will begin his 2019 season at the Tour Colombia later today as he begins preparations for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title in July. The six-time Grand Tour winner will co-lead Team Sky at the South American stage race with Egan Bernal, who enters the race as defending champion. The race will also offer a team debut for young South Americans Jhonatan Narvaez and Ivan Sosa, while Jonathan Castroviejo and Sebastian Henao complete the team. The Tour Colombia takes place from 12th to 17th February and begins with a 14km team time trial around Medellin. The race, which is only in its second edition, offers a stern early season test with four mountain stages and multiple days at altitude. This is much different to Froome's usual season race ...

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Dani Martinez: The Tour de France is my dream

Daniel Martinez (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale)

Fruit metaphors in sports can often be tricky, but EF Education First team CEO Jonathan Vaughters went there to describe the development of 22-year-old Dani Martínez – the Colombian climber who joined the team last year after two years on the Italian Pro Continental team Wilier Triestina. After spending an off-season working with his young rider's skills, especially his time-trialling ability, Vaughters saw Martínez go out on February 1 and beat Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Egan Bernal (Team Sky) and Rodrigo Contreras (Astana) to take the Colombian national time trial title. Martínez has now been given the reins at EF Education First for the Tour Colombia 2.1 – a race where teammate and compatriot Rigoberto Uran finished third last year and Martínez was fifth. With Uran starting a slower build-up for the Tour de France , Martínez will get his opportunity – and the full support of his team – ...

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Adam Yates claims first victory in eight months at Valenciana

Adam Yates attacked in the final kilometre to take victory

A double attack by Adam Yates ( Mitchelton-Scott ) on the toughest climb of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana has netted the Briton his first victory in eight months. Yates' previous victory was also a summit victory, coming atop Mont Blanc in the Critérium Du Dauphiné as the 2018 Tour de France loomed into his sights. This time round, his win on the Ermita de Santa Lucía in Valencia has given him fresh motivation and a big morale boost for the whole of 2019. Yates fended off the race’s key favourite Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) not once but twice on the brutally steep slopes of Santa Lucia. After the Mitchelton-Scott rider attacked with 1.5 kilometres to go, the world champion came across, but Yates promptly went again. Valverde followed him all the way to the line, but was unable to get round him and was forced to settle for second. ...

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