Chris Froome wins second consecutive Tour of Oman title
Chris Froome (Sky) finished last night’s final stage of the Tour of Oman safely in the bunch to win his second consecutive edition of the race.
Froome took the lead on Saturday’s fifth stage which finished with the punishing climb up Green Mountain. Froome’s attack saw him win the stage 22 seconds ahead of BMC’s Tejay van Garderen and 33 seconds clear of former teammate Rigoberto Uran who is now riding for Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
The finishing order on that stage determined the final general classification, with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) finishing fourth and Robert Gesink (Belkin) taking fifth.
Last night’s final stage of the race was won by Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) who finished the race with three stage wins.
Follow the link for full results in the 2014 Tour of Oman.
Michal Kwiatkowski wins Volta ao Algarve
Back-to-back stage wins early in the race saw Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) take the overall lead in the Volta ao Algarve; a lead he was able to maintain through the five-stage race’s last two days.
Kwiatkowski won stage 2 with a late solo attack then backed up his victory with a dominant performance in the 13.6km ITT the following day. Kwiatkowski averaged more than 58km/h on the slightly downhill course to beat Adriano Malori (Movistar) and teammate and defending champion Tony Martin and extend his lead in the general classification.
The Polish rider’s ITT win gave him a 32-second buffer over Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the general classification going into stage 4. Contador won that particular stage — his first win for more than 12 months — ahead of Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Kwiatkowski himself.
And last night’s final stage of the Volta ao Algarve was the season’s first win for another rider: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). The Manxman has had a tough start to the year but was strong enough to win ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar) to open his tally for 2014.
Kwiatkowski took the overall victory by 19 seconds ahead of Contador and 32 seconds ahead of Costa, showing that the 23-year-old is poised for another big year at the top of the sport.
Follow the link for full results from the 2014 Volta ao Algarve.
Alejandro Valverde wins Ruta del Sol
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has won his third consecutive edition of the Ruta del Sol after a trio of stage wins in this year’s edition of the five-stage race, which ended last night.
Valverde won the prologue ITT, the lumpy first stage and then the race’s queen stage, stage two, which finished with the long Sierra de Cabra climb.
His third straight stage win gave Valverde a 20-second buffer over Sky’s Richie Porte and 22 seconds over Caja Rural’s new recruit Luis Leon Sanchez with two stages to go.
Stage 3 was taken out by MTN-Qhubeka’s Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek in a sprint finish while the hilly final stage was won by Moreno Hofland (Belkin).
Valverde finished the Ruta del Sol 31 seconds clear of Porte in second and 33 seconds clear of Sanchez. Jon Izagirre (Movistar) and Tanel Kangert (Astana) rounded out the top five.
Follow the link for full results from the 2014 Ruta del Sol.
Carlos Betancur wins Haut-Var
Colombia’s Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale) was the surprise winner of the two-stage Haut Var race in France over the weekend after outsprinting John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) on the first stage.
Betancur had been leading out Samuel Dumoulin for the sprint but just kept going, taking the win ahead of the German sprinter and Dumoulin in third.
The second and final stage was won by Amael Moinard (BMC) ahead of Betancur and Emilien Viennet (FDJ.fr). Moinard’s teammate Cadel Evans was fourth on the final stage and finished fifth overall.
Follow the link for results from the 2014 Haut Var.
Luke Durbridge wins Oceania Championships men’s road race
West Australian Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE) claimed the elite men’s road race at the Oceania Championship titles in Toowoomba over the weekend.
The 2013 national time trial and road race champion, Durbridge used his breakaway strength to his advantage, slipping off the front of a tired peloton inside the final 15km. Durbridge was joined by Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy debutant Robert Power (WIS) (riding in the U23 category) and Drapac’s Bernie Sulzberger.
However the boys from the West proved too strong for Sulzberger, the pair riding to the finish together to notch up victories in their respective categories with Durbridge crossing the line first.
Sulzberger claimed silver after finishing 19 seconds behind the leaders while Brenton Jones (Avanti) won a sprint to the line for bronze.
In the under-23 category, Robert-Jon McCarthy finished in sixth place to claim silver and George Tansley finished in seventh position to collect bronze.
Earlier in the championship Oceania championships New Zealand’s Joe Cooper (Avanti) won the ITT ahead of Will Clarke (Drapac) and Lachlan Norris (Drapac).
Follow the link for results from the men’s road race at the 2014 Oceania Championships. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.
Jessica Allen wins women’s road race at the Oceania Championships
West Australian Jessica Allen (VIS) has taken out the elite women’s road race at the Oceania Road Cycling Championships, edging out Canberra’s Lisa Keeling (Bicycle Superstore) in a two-up sprint to the line in Toowoomba. Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) claimed the bronze medal.
Another thank you to my family and amazing friends for all their support and everyone for your lovely messages :) so happy!!!
— Jessica Allen (@JessicaAllen93) February 22, 2014
Allen was part of a five-woman breakaway which formed inside the first 10km of the 106km race and included Keeling, Chloe McConville and Jessica Mundy (Jayco-AIS) and Sophie Mackay (Specialized Securitor).
However the pace through the hills proved too much for Mackay and Mundy who dropped off before Allen and Keeling also managed to shake McConville. The pair battled it out to the finish with Allen overcoming Keeling in the sprint to the line.
— Jessica Allen (@JessicaAllen93) February 22, 2014
Earlier in the championships Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) won her fourth Oceania ITT championship, ahead of Felicity Wardlaw (Bicycle Superstore) and New Zealand’s Rita Trotman.
Follow the link for results from the elite women’s road race at the 2014 Oceania Championships. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.
Bike thieves hit Team Sky at Haut-Var
Team Sky is the latest pro team to be hit by thieves after 16 bikes and other gear was stolen from a support vehicle which was parked outside the team hotel the night before the Haut-Var stage race in France.
The team was able to source bikes from its nearby training base in Nice with seven of the team’s eight riders on team issue Pinarellos while the Bretagne-Seche team loaned one bike to the team.
“That was a really nice gesture from them and we appreciate it a lot. Things like that really show the spirit of cycling and we can’t thank them enough,” race coach Shaun Stephens said.
“Our climber Sebastian [Henao, younger brother of Sergio] is going to be riding on that one today because it’s a sprint stage and we’ve had to work with what sizes are available, and then CJ [Sutton] is probably going to ride it tomorrow. CJ will ride my bike today and then swap it with Sebastian.”
Just last week Team Cannondale had €100,000 worth of gear stolen while Europcar, Garmin-Sharp, RadioShack-Trek and others fell foul of thieves last year.
Click here to read more at CyclingNews.
The Tour of Oman: a great climb and a lack of TV coverage
Here at CyclingTips we’re big fans of the work The Inner Ring does and these two pieces about the Tour of Oman are no exception.
The first is a profile of the Green Mountain climb featured in the queen stage of this year’s race. It’s part of The Inner Ring’s thoroughly enjoyable “Roads to Ride” series and shows just how hard that final climb on stage 5 was: 5.7km at 10.5%.
And the second article is a look at why the Tour of Oman wasn’t shown on TV anywhere. Sure, we got great highlights packages throughout the race, but it’s not quite the same as watching live as Froome and co battle it out on a tough climb is it?
An animation showing every Tour de France route
Here’s a nice animation put together by Sam Potts that shows the routes of all editions of the Tour de France on one map.
To find out more about this project and what else Sam is working on, check out his website.
Internet cycling coach fires client
This is an entertaining read over a Peloton Magazine by Seth Davison. To quote from the article:
“In what is believed to be the first ever instance of an Internet cycling coach terminating a client who was paid up on his fees, Samuel Slopworthy ended his longstanding online coaching relationship with cyclist Waylon Tuppersmith today.
According to Slopworthy, “Waylon just wasn’t any good. Mathematically, his chances of improving were, like, zero. That’s ‘zero’ with an infinity of zeroes after the decimal point.”
Click here to read the full article.
FebFifteen begins today!
If you haven’t already signed up for our FebFifteen Strava challenge, now is the time to do so. It starts today, and the concept is simple: you just have to ride for 15 hours this week. But it’s not just about individual tallies — FebFifteen is about Australia vs the World!
All hours from Australian riders will be tallied up and compared with those done by others around the world. We Aussies might be outnumbered, but we’ve got some cracking late-summer weather on our side!
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: