Sagan wins stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse, Frank leads the overall
Swiss rider Mathias Frank claimed the overall leader’s yellow jersey as Slovakian Peter Sagan took stage three honours at the Tour of Switzerland overnight.
The pair were part of a four-man breakaway who moved clear of a larger 12-man group on the final descent into Meiringen after a 203.3km run from Montreux.
Cannondale’s Sagan proved too strong for his breakaway companions in the sprint for the line, finishing ahead of last year’s overall winner Rui Da Costa of Portugal and Czech Roman Kreuziger, with Frank fourth.
An elite group formed on the final category one Hasliberg climb as American Tejay van Garderen pushed the pace for his BMC teammate Frank.
That burst decimated the peloton until around a dozen riders were left but the next split happened on the descent when Italy’s 2011 Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi crashed into a grass verge, holding up those behind him.
Da Costa made an immediate dash to join the three ahead of him, but no-one else could bridge the gap and the stage win came down to the front four.
With three of that group eyeing overall victory more than a stage success, Sagan was never in any danger of being challenged and he won the sprint at a canter.
It was the 23-year-old’s 50th UCI win and seventh stage victory in this event although it left him a little surprised.
“Honestly I’m surprised to be able to take this win,” he said. “In the morning meeting we thought that this finale was too hard to try a move. The stage looked good when I stayed with the leaders on the final climb.
“The final sprint wasn’t so easy. I knew I was the faster rider of the group but my legs felt tired due to the last climb. I preferred a two-up sprint with Rui Costa to not run any risks.”
Sagan said that he was heartened that his form was starting to improve with the Tour de France beginning at the end of the month.
“Every day is a useful test to prepare for the Tour de France. There is only one target: be at the top to fight for the green jersey. If I find other chances here I’ll be ready, but for me it’s important to see my form improving.”
Previous leader Cameron Meyer of Australia was distanced on the final climb and finished 1min 47sec down, not only losing the yellow jersey but dropping out of the top 10 overall.
Kreuziger moved up to second overall at 25sec with Da Costa third a further 10sec back.
Tonight’s fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse is 174km long and takes the riders from Meiringen/Brienz to Buochs.
Follow the link for full results from stage 3 of the 2013 Tour de Suisse. Text via AFP.
Hesjedal crashes out of Tour de Suisse
It was a terrible day at the Tour de Suisse for 2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal of Canada who crashed out of the race.
His Garmin team later revealed the 32-year-old had been taken to hospital where he was to remain overnight as a precautionary measure.
Hesjedal, who failed to successfully defend his Giro title pulling out prior to the 13th stage, suffered multiple bruising and bangs to his neck and head.
“He will remain in the hands of the medical staff,” said the team in a statement.
“Hopefully he will be in a good enough state to train again in a few days but that will depend on how well he recovers.”
Text via AFP.
Eric Young wins stage 2 of the Tour of Korea
Eric Young (Optum), a former US National Criterium Champion, has won stage 2 of the Tour of Korea, winning a sprint from a breakaway group that finished four minutes ahead of the main field.
Australian Jordan Kerby (Christina Watches-Onfone) finished third on the 138km second stage which took the riders from Muju to Gumi.
With six stages remaining in the 2013 Tour of Korea Hong Kong’s Cheung King Lok holds the overall lead after finishing fourth on stage 2.
Check out Cycling IQ for the full story, the results and some cracking photos from stage 2 of the Tour of Korea.
Opening rounds of the National Cyclocross Series
Rounds 1 and 2 of the National Cyclocross Series were held in Adelaide over the weekend with very strong fields turning up for the men’s and women’s races, including three-time Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen.
The folks at BrewCX have put together a fantastic wrap-up of the weekend including photos, videos, audio interviews and a write-up of the two days of racing. Check it out here.
Europcar faces questions over Rolland’s cortisol levels
Europcar’s Pierre Roland abandoned the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine over the weekend citing achilles tendonitis but according to some reports he shouldn’t have started the stage at all.
A pre-stage test revealed that Rolland’s cortisol levels were abnormally low which can set off alarm bells for anti-doping authorities. As Kenny Pryde writes for Cycling Weekly if a rider happens to be taking cortisone (a banned substance) for a substantial period of time, the body’s natural cortisol production can be dampened.
As per the guidelines of the MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling group), of which Europcar is a member, Rolland should not have started the stage.
Europcar boss Jean-René Bernaudeau explained that Rolland had been given the OK to start stage by MPCC doctor Armand Megret. But as Shane Stokes wrote in VeloNation Megret strongly denied Bernaudeau’s claim, saying “this is completely false and incomprehensible.”
Contador sees Froome as equal rival for Tour de France
Alberto Contador (Saxo Tinkoff) has told the Belgian press that he sees himself and Criterium du Dauphine winner Chris Froome (Sky) as equal rivals for the Tour de France.
Contador appeared unfazed by Froome’s dominant performance at the Dauphine in which he finished 4:27 ahead of Contador in 10th place.
Contador told the Sportweekend TV show: “I feel very good. The result is of secondary importance. Every day was better, I am very happy with my form. I’m not saying I will start in better shape than in previous years. But it will not be worse.”
He continued: “The answer as to who will win will come on the course. With Froome, I think we are both in top condition and have a very high level in the time trial. In the mountains we are about equal and will have to fight it out.”
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Ridiculous crash at the Red Hook Crit
Check out this video of a spectacular crash at the Red Hook Crit held at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York over the weekend. We’re just hoping everyone was OK.
Click here to read more about the incident.
Donhou Bicycles: Experiments in Speed
Here’s the trailer for an upcoming documentary about bike manufacturer Tom Donhou’s attempt to build a bike on which he could break 100 miles/hour (160km/h). To quote Donhou himself:
Experiments in speed. Inspired by those great men of the salt flats, those men that in the 60s pushed the Land Speed Record from the 300s up towards the 600mph mark in jet-propelled cars built in their sheds. We decided to do what we do: build a bicycle, but this time, in the spirit of those pioneers of speed, build it to see how fast we could go…
Check out the trailer here.
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Backstage Pass at the Tour de Suisse
If you want to get a behind-the-scenes look at how a WorldTour team approaches a race like the Tour de Suisse, check out Orica-GreenEDGE’s Backstage Pass videos. A video is available for each of the first two stages and we expect one from stage 3 will land soon:
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:
- Bikes of the Bunch: Alby’s Passoni
- CyclingTips kit: final sell-off
- Rocacorba Daily: Monday June 10
- The Secret Pro: Bring on Le Tour!