Rocacorba Daily: Tuesday March 12

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In today’s Rocacorba we bring you up to speed on a handful of race results from the weekend (and last night) and share a couple other pieces of cycling news that might interest you. As always, if you’ve got something you think we should include in the Rocacorba, let us know:

Sagan wins brutal penultimate stage at Tirreno-Adriatico

You know a stage is difficult when riders are walking their bikes uphill and when there are more than 50 DNFs. Such was the case in last night’s wet sixth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico which featured three passes of a climb with a maximum gradient of 27%.

The stage was won by Peter Sagan (Cannondale) who outsprinted his breakaway companions Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the flat finish to a very challenging stage. The victory was Sagan’s second of the race.

Peter Sagan: the man to beat at Milan-Sanremo next weekend?

Nibali’s second place on stage 6 was enough for the defending champion to claim the leader’s jersey from Chris Froome (Sky), who now sits in second, 34 seconds behind. Rodriguez is in third, a further 3 seconds behind.

Tirreno-Adriatico ends tonight with a 9.2km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Click here for the standings after stage six.

Porte wins Paris-Nice

Richie Porte (Sky) has become the first Australian to win Paris-Nice, sealing his victory with a win on the race’s final stage: an individual time trial up the Col d’Eze.

Porte covered the 9.6km course in 19:16, just four seconds slower than his teammate Bradley Wiggins did last year when he broke the record for the climb (and this year’s stage was slightly longer than last year).

Porte won the stage 23 seconds ahead of Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and 27 seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar), extending the lead he’d gained on stage 5 when he out-climbed then-leader Talansky on La Montagne de Lure to take the leader’s yellow jersey.

Click here to read more about Porte’s win and click here for a report from stage 7 including full details of the overall classification.

Vos wins third consecutive Ronde van Drenthe

Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv/Giant) has taken out her second victory in as many weeks, winning the Ronde van Drenthe, the opening round of the 2013 UCI Women’s Road World Cup.

Vos attacked when the peloton went up the VAM-berg climb for the third and final time. A handful of riders chased the reigning world champion but only Vos’ compatriot Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) was able to bridge the gap.

Vos sprinted for the line with a few hundred metres to go leaving van Dijk with second and Swedish champion Emma Johannson (Orica-AIS) to claim third, 15 seconds behind.

Vos’ victory makes it three years running that she has won Ronde van Drenthe and gives the Dutch rider the perfect start to her World Cup defence.

Click here for a full report from the race and click here for full results.

Tirreno-Adriatico director admits course was too hard

Tirreno-Adriatico director Michele Acquarone has said he regrets including the steep, 27% Sant’Elpidio a Mare climb in the penultimate stage of this year’s race. Some riders had to walk the climb and many chose to abandon instead of facing it three times.

“It was too much, we made a mistake,” Acquarone said.

“When you design a course you never know what will happen. We saw this route in the summer, it’s completely different now. A shorter stage would’ve been better with only doing the circuit. Half of the riders abandoning is too much.”

Schleck abandons again

Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) abandoned the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race yesterday in Porto Sant’Elpidio, Italy. The Tour de France star is trying to find form after suffering from a crash and fractured coccyx in the Critérium du Dauphiné last June.

This year, the Luxembourger also abandoned the Tour Down Under and Tour Méditerranéen. He nixed his plans to race the Tour du Haut Var and the Tour of Oman. In Tirreno, he was dropped on the key mountain stages.

“He had bronchitis after Australia, he was a bit sick from jet lag, the temperature change, and so on. He cancelled [Tour of] Oman,” RadioShack manager Luca Guercilena said. “At the moment, you need to ride. Even Paris-Nice or Dwars door Drenthe is cancelled for snow. Tirreno has been a good choice because they can do long distances and work on performances, fixing daily goals.”

Click here to read more on VeloNews.

Froome will learn from losing race lead

Despite losing the Tirreno-Adriatico lead on the penultimate stage, Chris Froome (Sky) says he has learnt valuable lessons he will take to his next races and to the Tour de France.

“Personally I felt that I was a little over-geared. I don’t think I was dressed warmly enough for the weather,” Froome said.

“The lessons? Well, one, I think we can look at the gearing; two, I know I need to prepare better when it’s this cold, probably feed more when it’s cold like this.”

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) took almost a minute from Froome yesterday and looks set to win the race overall today.

Laurent Jalabert in hospital after being hit by car

Former French pro, and current coach of the French cycling team, Laurent Jalabert, is in hospital after being struck by a car while riding in Montauban, France.

Laurent Jalabert will require surgery after being hit by a car over the weekend.

The former winner of Milano-Sanremo, Vuelta a España and the world time-trial championships in 1997 is believed to have been struck by a car travelling in the opposite direction. He is currently in hospital with a broken leg and an injured shoulder and will require surgery.

Click here to read more on VeloNation.

Vanmarcke’s classics season blown

Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco), winner of last year’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, may miss the classics this year due to a crash in the neutral zone of Sunday’s fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Vanmarcke wrote on Twitter, “First news is that the bursa of my knee is torn. First days will decide if operation is needed. Tomorrow new research in Antwerp.

“The only thing I’m hoping is that the classics aren’t over. Last 5 months were all focus and dedication, and then this shit happens.”

Rabobank, now Blanco, hired the Belgian to help Lars Boom in the cobbled classics this year.

Click here to read more on Cycling News.

Talansky takes aim at Romandie

Richie Porte (Sky) took Paris-Nice out of Andrew Talansky’s hands, but the American rider on the Garmin-Sharp team promises to be back in the Tour de Romandie in May.

“I want to go to try to win. That’s the next big goal,” Talansky explained. “Romandie holds a special place in my heart due to the last two years there.”

In Romandie, Talansky placed ninth overall as a neo-pro in 2011 and second behind Brad Wiggins last year.

Click here to read more.

Armstrong scandal film in the making

Lance Armstrong’s doping downfall will be made into a film, according to movie industry website Warner Bros is working on the film with Tyler Hamilton and Paramount has purchased the rights to an upcoming book by Juliet Macur of the New York Times: Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong.

The announcement comes just days after former UCI president Hein Verbruggen admitted that taking donations from Lance Armstrong, apparently to fund anti-doping testing, might not have been the best idea.

Click here to read more about the Armstrong film on

Hotel de Borken tour with Gracie Elvin

And finally, here’s a video from Orica-AIS rider Gracie Elvin who shows us what happens when a hotel gets taken over by several cycling teams. Enjoy!

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