Bouhanni wins opening stage at Paris-Nice

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) recovered from a crash to win the opening stage of Paris-Nice and took the overall lead.

Paris-Nice stage-1

The French rider crashed early in the 162.5km day but was fit enough to sprint to victory in Mantes-la-Jolie ahead of second-placed John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) in third.

With bonus seconds Bouhanni took for the win, he now leads the general classification by one second from Meersman, with Degenkolb three seconds further back.

However, a selection of big names – including Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), Thor Hushovd (BMC), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) – lost 1min 9sec on the stage after finding themselves on the wrong side of a split in the peloton caused by a crash around 20km out.

See full results of 2014 stage 1 Paris-Nice.

Click here to see our Paris-Nice preview and favorites.

‘Maximus’ Valverde takes Roma Maxima

Alejandro Valverde held off the chasing peloton to claim an impressive win at the Italian one-day race Roma Maxima.

Roma Maxima 2014

Valverde escaped from a thinned down front bunch alongside Domenico Pozzovivo around 37km from home and the pair looked to have built up enough on an advantage to hold on and sprint for the win between themselves.

However, a chasing peloton chased back in the final 3km and although Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Pozzovivo was caught, Valverde had just enough energy left to sprint to victory by about 10 metres in the shadow of Rome’s Colosseum.

Davide Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale) snatched second place ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) in third, with Pozzovivo missing out on the podium in fifth.

Valverde said after the race, “I’m super happy, it was a great victory. It all went perfectly for us, but we deserved it: the team was sensational and took control of the race all day, so we could get to the climbs with all chances to succeed. At the last climb, we did what we had planned before the start: attacking, Nairo and myself, one by one, to break the bunch into pieces. It wasn’t easy, because although the pace was high, the rivals were sitting on our wheels and always gives you much more energy. However, we kept on insisting, and such constance was the key for success. Eventually, I went away with Pozzovivo. Though I led the first part of the descent, he helped me out quickly and was a loyal break companion; it’s sad he couldn’t take second, because he deserved to be on the podium. Once we made that gamble, we had to dig deep until the very end. I went on full steam all the time, despite the headwind in the last 30k. I didn’t know either how many riders were behind, and Pozzovivo told me in the finale he was suffering a lot. That’s why I led the two of us through the last kilometer, controlling the gap with the peloton and looking for my distance into the sprint. I knew I had the legs and a decent gap to make it. This start of the season is amazing for me, impossible to beat. Not only because of the wins, but also the sensations. I’m 33 years old, but I feel stronger and stronger every year. Let’s hope it keeps going on this way.”

See full results of the 2013 Roma Maxima here.

Kwiatkowski outfoxes Sagan at Strade Bianche

Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski continued his outstanding start to the season by claiming the biggest win of his career at the Italian one-day race Strade Bianche.

Strade Bianche - By Limar 2014

The 23-year-old Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider broke away from a vastly reduced front group alongside Cannondale’s Peter Sagan around 22km from the finish and then dropped his Slovak rival on the day’s final climb inside the last 1km.

With the gradient kicking up to 16 per cent, Sagan attacked in the middle part of the 800m ascent, but he soon ran out of steam and Kwiatkowski, still looking fresh, had little trouble overtaking him and then riding away to an 19-second victory.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took third place, a further 17 seconds back, after forming part of a four-man chase group.

Kwiatkowski’s triumph follows previous wins this year at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana one-day race in Mallorca and on two stages of the Volta ao Algarve, where he also topped the general classification.

After the race Kwiatkowski said, “When I came around the final corner to the finish line in Piazza del Campo, it was absolutely beautiful,” Kwiatkowski said. “I did recon yesterday of the finish in Siena, and it was amazing then as well. But with fans and spectators around, it’s even better. It’s something special. I know Sagan has much more experience on a final like that in the big races. I was watching even the chainring he was using to make sure I didn’t make any stupid mistakes. I was actually surprised speeding up on the last climb, he didn’t wait until the sprint. He started slowing down a little bit and I saw that he was really suffering. So I went full gas until the end and that’s how it was won. I’m pretty surprised as this is probably my best, most emotional victory so far. I had so much support from the team, from everyone. I’m really thankful to my team for the support today, I can’t say it enough.”

See full race results of the 2014 Strade Bianche here.

Crome and Pieters take out Bendigo International Madison

Local Bendigo resident Sam Crome and Dutch ace Roy Pieters took the honors in Sunday night’s Bendigo International Madison cycling classic.


Crome, 20 yrs old, and Pieters, 24, lapped the field at 37 laps remaining (200 laps in total) and held off efforts by a chasing bunch.


See official website with full results and race reports here.


Event 40: McCaig Air Conditioning Madison
200 Laps In association with Daikin – Result

1. CROME/PIETERS (Black/Blue/White) 1h39:38.79
1 Lap Behind
5. ARCHBOLD/KENNETT (Black/White/Red)
2 Laps Behind
3 Laps Behind
11. ROSS/HAMILTON (Blue/White Stripes)
4 Laps Behind
12. JACKSON/WELSFORD (Light Green)
5 Laps Behind
6 Laps Behind
8 Laps Behind
dnf BOWE/PORTER (White/Blue/Yellow)

Another 3 Peaks done and dusted

Congratulations to everyone who conquered the 3 Peaks Challenge yesterday.

In the best weather ever for the event, an impressively fit and well prepared bunch of riders assembled for the 2014 running of the Scody 3 Peaks Challenge. By thirteen hours after the start, when the Lantern Rouge back marker officially closed the route, a host of new records had been set.

Image by Simon Vincett

An impressive 92% of the nearly 1,800 2014 starters finished the 235-kilometre route, with it’s three major climbs of Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek.

The average time to climb the first peak of Tawonga Gap was 33.01, which was 31 seconds faster than 2012, the last year when the ride took the original route. The average climb time for Mt Hotham was 2:04:10, 2 mins faster than 2012.

There were also more people aiming for a sub-ten-hour completion of the ride. For instance, the quickest climb of Mt Hotham, the second peak,was 1:22:17, which was 7 mins faster than 2012.

The first rider was Stephen Cunningham, former professional rider from Adelaide, who completed the event in 7 hours and 35 minutes, a record for the course.

The first woman was Tani Ruckle from Mossman, NSW, in a time of 9 hours 16 minutes.

In another record, 11% of the 2014 field were women, an increase from 5% in 2013.

The 2014 event sold out a month before running, which is the first time in the event’s history In 2013, the event was listed in Global Cycling Network’s Top 10 Best Sportives and Gran Fondos – one of only two events in the list outside of Europe. More than half the riders were from outside Victoria and some came from overseas as well, with entrants from South Africa, Singapore, Scotland, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Canada,

Check out the full results here.

See more photos here.

Read more about the day here.

Don’t ask…

In it’s own way (an Itchy & Scratchy kind of way) some people will find this hilarioius:

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The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed from a huge week here at CyclingTips:

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