Rocacorba Daily: Monday April 29

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Welcome to the Rocacorba Daily on this fine Monday morning. As is usual for the start of the week we’ve got a bunch of races to recap, combined with a handful of other items to ease you into your working week. As ever, if you’ve got a tip or item you think we should include in the Rocacorba, let us know:

Froome wins Tour de Romandie, Martin takes final TT

Chris Froome (Sky) has won his third stage race for the year, taking out the Tour de Romandie over the weekend.

Froome led the six-day race from start to finish having won the uphill prologue individual time trial and finishing third in last night’s closing stage individual time trial.

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won the 19km TT in 21:08, Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) was 15 seconds behind in second and Froome was third, a further 18 seconds behind.

Froome’s third place was enough to ensure that he won the general classification by 54 seconds over second-placed Simon Spilak (Katusha) and 1:49 over third-placed Rui Costa (Movistar).

Chris Froome on his way to finishing third in the final stage ITT (and the overall victory) at the Tour de Romandie.

Froome will go into this year’s Tour de France as one of the strong favourites having had a convincing start to 2013, including overall victories at the Tour of Oman and the Critérium International.

Click here to see the full results from the 2013 Tour de Romandie.

Sayar wins Tour of Turkey, Kittel claims third stage win

Turkish rider Mustafar Sayar (Torku Sekerspor) has won the Tour of Turkey — the biggest result of his career — holding on to the lead he acquired when he climbed to victory on the mountain-top finish to stage 6. Sayar attacked with 3km remaining in the final climb and no-one could match his pace as he stormed toward the finish.

Sayar maintained his overall lead in the remaining two stages, finishing in the main field with the same time as the stage winner on both occasions, Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano).

Kittel’s victory in stage 8 gave him three stage wins from the eight-stage race.

Click here to see the full results from the 2013 Tour of Turkey.

Marianne Vos wins the GP Elsy Jacobs

The dominant form of Marianne Vos (Rabobank) continues, with another victory overnight, this time in the three-day Festival Luxembourgeois du cyclisme féminin Elsy Jacobs.

Vos won the race overall after taking out the final stage sprint ahead of Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) — who won the previous day’s stage — and Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).

Vos (center) with Giorgia Bronzini (2nd on stage 2) and Christine Majerus (right, 4th on stage two).

Vos had been in second place after the first-day’s prologue and took the lead on stage 1 when she finished fourth.

Click here to see the full results from the 2013 Festival Luxembourgeois du cyclisme féminin Elsy Jacobs.

Garfoot wins Mersey Valley Tour, Sulzberger wins final stage

Queensland’s Katrin Garfoot (Pensar SPM Racing) has triumphed on the final day of the Mersey Valley Tour to claim overall victory at the opening event of the women’s Subaru National Road Series (NRS).

Garfoot crossed the line 24 seconds ahead of her nearest rival in the general classification — Saturday’s yellow jersey holder Sam de Riter (Holden Women’s Cycling) — to seal the overall tour win.

Tasmania’s Grace Sulzberger (Team Polygon) claimed stage three line honours, with the 23-year-old winning the challenging 87 kilometre road race through the iconic Gunns Plains.

Sulzberger took out the stage in a sprint finish from Garfoot and Victoria’s Taryn Heather (Jayco/Apollo/VIS). Sulzberger, Garfoot, Corset and Heather formed the winning break as the treacherous Gunns Plains ascent decimated the field at the 50 kilometre mark.

The group easily established a one minute advantage before a frantic chase ensued from yellow jersey holder de Riter and Holden teammates Miranda Griffiths and Lucy Coldwell.

The Subaru NRS continues next week on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales at the Battle on the Border from May 2 – 5. The event will see the second round of both the men and women’s NRS for the first time.

Text via Cycling Australia/National Road Series. Click here to see the results from the 2013 Mersey Valley Tour.

Rowney takes victory in Czech Republic

Australian sprinter Loren Rowney (Team Specialized- Lululemon) has won the fifth and final stage of the Gracia Orlova tour in the Czech Republic with the overall classification going to her teammate, Ellen van Dijk. English reports from the race are scarce to say the least, but here’s some bits and pieces we’ve pulled from Loren’s Twitter feed:

Click here to see the full results from the 2013 Gracia Orlova Tour.

Ewan podiums in Italy

Caleb Ewan has continued the Australian U23 team’s success in Italy with third place in the sprint finish at the GP Industrie Del Marmo.

Ewan’s podium finish follow’s Adam Phelan’s second place late last week in the Gran Premio della Liberazione.

Click here to see the full results from the 2013 GP Industrie Del Marmo.

Tour de France wildcards selected

The ASO has announced the three teams that will received wildcard invitations to this year’s Tour de France: Cofidis, Sojasun and Team Europcar, all French squads. With Katusha re-admitted to the WorldTour (after being initially excluded by the UCI), there are 19 teams at the highest level of the sport, leaving the ASO only three wildcards to award, rather than the usual four.

Click here to read more.

From corporatisation to corruption

by Jono Lovelock

This short reflective piece on The Economist is well worth reading. It examines the irony around the fact that the very thing charged with increasing corruption in sport, the corporate dollar, is now being touted as a potential solution.

Touching on the ‘Change Cycling Now’ movement by Skins, this piece suggests that the future of anti-doping and anti-corruption is to come through external market forces as opposed to regulatory bodies currently charged with protecting the sanctity of professional sports.

What’s your take?

Click here to read the article at The Economist.

Did the Olympics give cycling a boost?

In the fallout from every Olympic Games there’s plenty of discussion about the effects, if any, the Games have on grassroots sport. Do the heroic feats of the world-class athletes inspire more people to take up sport?

And the question is particularly relevant when it comes to cycling: does good cycling performance contribute to an increase in the number of people cycling, whether that be as a simple mode of transport or as something a little more serious?

In this piece for Cycling Weekly, Laura Laker discusses the effect the London Olympics has had on British cycling. Take a look here.

How not to motorpace

This video has been around the traps for a while now but we thought it was still worth sharing. It features some bloke taking motorpacing to the next level, sitting at 90km/h on a flat road with his face mere inches from the back of a truck. Surely the risk of (serious) injury here outweighs the thrill? Not to mention the fact he isn’t wearing a helmet …

Downhill racing on Mt Ventoux

And finally, we’re all familiar with the Mt. Ventoux climb as the scene of many great battles in Tour de France history but here’s an event that features Mt. Ventoux in the opposite direction: the Red Bull Road Rage. The downhill race will be contested by 64 riders from different cycling disciplines on June 8 and to quote from Wikipedia:

It will be a 5.9 km course with 417m elevation drop, descending from the summit of Mont Ventoux (Mont Chauve) to Chalet Reynard. Average gradient is 7.1% with a maximum of 11%.

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