Rocacorba Daily: Thursday April 11

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Good morning and welcome to today’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily. This morning we look at why Sagan is the one to beat at the Amstel Gold Race this Sunday and bring you a few other bits of news from around the world of cycling. Enjoy!

Sagan maintains his winning form at Brabantse Pijl

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) showed that he hasn’t lost any of his early season form, coming back from a short rest to win the Flandrian race Brabantse Pijl overnight.

Sagan outsprinted reigning world champion Phillipe Gilbert (BMC) in the closing metres of the race after Sagan, Gilbert and Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) escaped from an 11-man breakaway on the final climb of the day, inside the final kilometre. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was stomping away on that final climb but when Sagan decided to go, he made it look like Van Avermaet was standing still, pushing past and setting up the win (check out the video at the link below).

The race-winning 11-rider breakaway formed halfway through the final 23.4km finishing circuit as a six-man leading group was joined by a five-rider chase group, which included Sagan, Gilbert and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

Brabantse Pijl is Sagan's eighth victory of the year and the 12th time he's been on the podium.

Sagan will go into the first of the Ardennes Classics, Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, as the favourite but Gilbert’s second place suggests he will be one to watch as he tries for this third Amstel Gold victory.

Click here to see full results and a highlights video from the final kilometres of the 2013 Brabantse Pijl.

Sagan apologises to podium girl with flowers

Peter Sagan has already apologised publicly to Maja Leye twice for this backside-grabbing antics on the Tour of Flanders podium but yesterday, as he was signing in for Brabantse Pijl, he made a more personal apology, presenting Leye with a bunch of flowers.

Sagan also managed to keep his hands to himself a few hours later when the podium girls (including Maja) were giving the Slovak a celebratory kiss following his win:

Caleb wins La Côte Picarde

Overnight Caleb Ewan won the 28th edition of the La Côte Picarde between Quend-Plage and Mers-les-Bains. He beat the likes of 2012 World Junior Sean De Bie (Belgium) and Simon Yates (Great Britain). This is second round of the Nations Cup which was run over 172.2 kilometers between Quend-Plage-les-Pins and Mers-les-Bains. Ewan, only 18 years old, won the sprint after he escaped with the other four riders of the lead group at the final 15km mark.

Caleb Ewan wins La Cote Picarde. Photo courtesy of

1 EWAN Caleb
2 DE BIE Mike
3 YATES Simon
4 JENSEN Kristian Haugaard
6 LAPORTE Christophe
7 ZABEL Rick
8 HAVIK Yoeri
9 FLAKEMORE Campbell (Aus)
10 THEUNS Edward

See the full results here and read more here (French).

Video: Amstel Gold race route

As mentioned, the Ardennes Classics start this weekend with Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race. Click here to check out a video that shows the course map, where the climbs are and the elevation profile of the race overall.

Interview with Sebastien Piquet, race radio “speaker”

Sebastien Piquet’s job at events like the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix is to relay information to the teams, the media and others via race radio: info about every attack, every time check, every puncture, every crash. Much of the action he sees himself from the passenger seat of the chief commissaire’s car. When he doesn’t see the incidents he reports on himself, Piquet uses information given to him by colleagues on the fleet of motorcycles that follow the peloton.

RIDE spoke to Piquet the day after Paris-Roubaix and provided an interesting perspective on a side of the race that most of us don’t get to see.

Click here to read the interview with Sebastien Piquet on RIDE.

Cyclist injured by NYPD car gets billed for damage

A New York City cyclist who was struck by an unmarked police car and hospitalised as a result has been billed $1,263 for the damage caused to the police car.

Brooklyn resident Justin Johnsen was hit on the morning of November 5 last year and said of the incident: “I had left the bike lane to make a left turn, and I looked behind me and saw that it was clear, and the farthest car was a fair distance.” He indicated that he was going to turn but before he could move he “was swiped by this car on my left side. I didn’t feel too good . . . I got some big gashes to my elbows.”

According to the New York Post, NYC authorities have billed at least three cyclists who have been hit by cars in recent months, but in each case they’ve dropped the bill after being challenged.

Click here to

Bernie Eisel reveals the proper use for Giro Air Attack helmets

Enjoy (via cyclinginquisition):

Startlist for the Tour de Perth

As we reported earlier in the week, the first Men’s National Road Series race, the Tour de Perth, gets underway today. Check out the startlist here and follow the #NRS13 and #TourdePerth hashtags on twitter for live coverage of the race.

VicRoads approves extra bike lane on busy bridge

Here’s a bit of local Melbourne news for those of you that missed it. VicRoad has given the green light to widen the bike lanes on the Princes Bridge, a project that will see two lanes of car traffic removed from the bridge.

If you’ve ever ridden across the Princes Bridge, particularly northbound, you’ll know just how narrow those bike lanes are. Widening the lanes will hopefully make it safer for the many cyclists that cross the bridge everyday.

The plan now needs to be approved by the Melbourne City Council but that wouldn’t seem to be a huge stumbling block: The Age reports that the council already has $150,000 set aside for the development.

Click here to read more on The Age website.

Rapha sells majority share in Rouleur magazine

Rouleur Limited, the publisher of the high-end road cycling magazine Rouleur and its MTB sister publication Privateer, will now be published by Gruppo Media after majority shareholder, Rapha, sold its stake in the company to Gruppo.

Gruppo Media was set up by current Rouleur MD Bruce Sandell and founder/editorial director Guy Andrews.

Rapha’s chief executive Simon Mottram commented: “Rapha is proud to have been involved in creating and establishing Rouleur, the most beautiful and insightful cycling magazine. The future is exciting for Rouleur and we wish the management team well in their journey.”

Click here to read more on BikeBiz.

Video: Believe, with Bauke Mollema

And finally, in the days before the biggest Dutch road race of the season, we thought we’d share this video that features Blanco cyclist Bauke Mollema returning to the cycling club where he took his first steps into cycling. His mission: to inspire the next generation of Dutch cyclists. Enjoy!

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