Mark Cavendish takes third stage win at the Tour of Turkey

by Shane Stokes

After being distanced on Tuesday’s mountain stage to Elmali, normal service resumed on Wednesday when Mark Cavendish powered to a clear win on the fourth stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider profited from a superb leadout from his team, with his lieutenants driving the pace in the closing stages.

50th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey stage 4

“I was very happy. The team was tremendous. They helped me the whole day and it was not an easy stage with the third category climb that became wet.

“The team stayed with me in the final climb and in the sprint I didn’t have to do anything with such an extraordinary team around me. It’s incredible. It’s exactly what Patrick Lefevere was expecting when he put that team together. I’m super happy.”

Second place went to the Lampre Merida rider Max Richeze, while Mark Renshaw had enough left in the legs after leading Cavendish out to pick up third for himself.

German champion André Greipel was sniffing around the front but again decided not to contest the sprint. The Lotto-Belisol rider is returning from having a damaged shoulder and is aiming to improve his form while avoiding risks.

Cavendish acknowledged this fact after the stage, saying that until he is up against Greipel and compatriot Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), that he won’t have a clear indication of how well he is going. That said, he has clearly derived a lot of confidence from the three successes this week.

Although he crashed during the stage, overall leader Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) finished safely in the main bunch and preserved his lead. He stays six seconds clear of Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) and is 38 seconds ahead of Romain Hardy (Cofidis).

The stage saw a quintet go up the road, with Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Adam Phelan (Drapac), Luis Mas (Caja Rural), Frederik Backaert (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli) building a lead of over three minutes by the 20km-point.

Ten kilometres later the race was stopped by the commissaires due to an extremely heavy burst of rainfall. “The roads in the inland get like marble when it’s wet. It was unbelievable, even on the climb itself the wheels kept sliding,” said Cavendish afterwards. “Everyone started crashing. It was a wise, wise decision to neutralise the race because there were guys all over the place. It was wise to consider the riders safety.”

The action resumed a short while later and the break was given its original advantage back. The riders knuckled down to staying clear but the hard chasing of the sprinters’ teams meant that their move evaporated with 11km to go.

From that point Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Cavendish were in control, with the Belgian team and the British sprinter combining to secure the latter his third stage win in four days. His confidence is on a high and few would bet against him raising his arms again in the days ahead.

Stage 4: Fethiye > Marmaris - Stage Result

Wednesday 30th April 2014

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Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
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RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano
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Omega Pharma - Quick-Step

Michael Albasini wins stage 1 at the Tour de Romandie

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) won stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie on Wednesday, taking out the victory from a reduced bunch sprint on a stage that was cut to just 88km due to bad weather. Jésus Herrada (Movistar) was second and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) was third.

The day’s main escape featured Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing), Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol), and Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) and once the trio was caught, last year’s Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali made a long-range bid for victory. Several riders tried to join the Sicilian but the peloton reeled them back in.

Nibali was caught in the closing kilometres and after a flurry of attacks from the lead group, Albasini launched his sprint with 150m to go and took out his first win of the year.

After winning the prologue ITT and finishing stage 1 in the lead group Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS) retains the overall lead by five seconds over Albasini and Navardauskas.

The Tour de Romandie continues today with a 166km second stage which features two category 3 climbs, as well as an uncategorised climb in the final 5km.

Stage 1: Brigerbad > Sion - Stage Result

Wednesday 30th April 2014

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Orica GreenEDGE
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Movistar Team
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Garmin Sharp

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Route and details announced for Tour de France women’s race

The ASO has announced further information about the inaugural edition of La Course, the one-day women’s race that will run on the day of the final stage of the Tour de France.


The 90km race will comprise 13 laps of the same Champs-Elysees circuit that the men will ride later in the day and the race will be broadcast live in more than 100 countries around the world.

The winner of the race will receive the same prize money as whoever wins the final stage of the Tour de France a few hours later, €22,500. The winner will also receive kisses from podium boys.

Click here to read more at the La Course website.

Riccardo Ricco allegedly caught buying doping products

Disgraced former cyclist Riccardo Ricco has been caught by Italian police in a carpark, allegedly buying EPO and testosterone from two dealers.

trainingstage Vacansoleil - DCM Benidorm

Ricco made an inglorious exit from the sport in 2011 after being rushed to hospital following what is believed to be a botched blood transfusion. The Italian was subsequently banned from the sport for 12 years.

Ricco had reportedly been planning an attempt at record times on a number of famous climbs, including Mont Ventoux, but he will now face charges related to receiving and dealing in banned substances. Doping is a crime in Italy.

Click here to read more at Il Terrino (via Google Translate).

Brad Wiggins to lead Team Sky at the Tour of California

Team Sky has announced its line-up for the Tour of California and confirmed that Bradley Wiggins will lead the team. He will be supported by Danny Pate, Ian Boswell, Joe Dombrowski, Nathan Earle, Josh Edmondson, Christian Knees and Luke Rowe.

Giro del Trentino 2014

“I’m really looking forward to riding the Tour of California”, Wiggins said on the Team Sky website. “It’s an important event for the team and we want to put in a good performance in front of the American fans and our co-owners 21st Century Fox.

“Riding in California is definitely something different and a nice alternative to the traditional racing programme in Europe. There are a lot of passionate cycling fans in the States and this is one of the only chances we get to ride in front of them, on their roads. We’re all looking forward to it.”

The Tour of California begins on May 11 and ends on May 18.

Click here to read more at the Team Sky website.

Marcel Kittel to lead Giant-Shimano at the Giro d’Italia

Meanwhile Giant-Shimano has announced its squad for the Giro d’Italia and confirmed that the team goes into the race with its eye on sprint stages for Marcel Kittel.

TDU Stage 1

Kittel has already won five races this year but it will be the first time the German has raced the Giro.

“Our first goal for the Giro d’Italia is to go for a stage and there are plenty of early opportunities for this with several flat days,” said Kittel.

“I got the Tour de Romandie off to a strong start … in the prologue [with third place] and hope to have a good week of preparation here with some hard racing kilometres to get me ready for the start of the Giro next week.”

Click here to read more.

Leif Hoste denies selling 2006 Tour of Flanders to Tom Boonen

‘Shadows on the Road’, the book written by former US Postal and Sky rider Michael Barry continues to cause controversy, this time with suggestions that Leif Hoste, a then-teammate of Barry’s, sold the 2006 Tour of Flanders to Tom Boonen.

Ronde van Vlaanderen 2006 More

Barry claims in his book that when Hoste and Boonen attacked together in the closing stages of the race, they reached an agreement that ensured George Hincapie, Hoste’s teammate, would be removed from contention.

The book reads:

Immediately they [Hoste and Boonen] cooperated, forging a gap ahead of George and the others. As I watch the scenario unfold, the riders spoke for a few moments together and then with our directeur, who followed in the team car.

It was apparent that a deal had been made, with George left out, his legs strong enough to win but his hands tied by shady racing tactics and backroom deals. Money had determined the outcome, as it does in far too many races, merely adding to the corruption of the sport.

Hoste has been quoted in an article in Het Laatste Nieuws saying “I think that it’s not unusual to talk and negotiate in that type of situation,” Hoste said. “At that moment, I was in front and my teammates were behind. With the team, we concluded that I wouldn’t collaborate if George was chasing us alone. That wasn’t the case, so I continued to ride.”

“Second place was the best result that we could have. If I had refused to pull, we would have been caught and George would have maybe finished sixth or seventh. There was talk, but not about money.”

Boonen went on to beat Hoste in the sprint.

Click here to read more at Het Laatste Nieuws.

Profiling Michal Kwiatkowski

Here’s a great profile piece on The Inner Ring about the increasingly impressive Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski. The piece details Kwiatkowski’s rise through the ranks from a successful junior to one of the most consistent and impressive riders of the 2014 season so far.

Here’s an excerpt:

2014 he’s gone up a level. He won the Strade Bianche, dispatching Peter Sagan in on the climb into Siena. He’s stood on the podium in every stage race he’s ridden this year, whether in the final results or along the way.

He was third in the Flèche Wallonne and in Liège after finishing fifth in the Amstel and today he leads the Tour de Romandie after a prologue win.

But merely listing results is not the point, note he can make the podium in Liège on Sunday and on Tuesday he wins a prologue time trial.

Click here to read the full article at The Inner Ring.

Greg LeMond makes his own ‘how to fix a tyre’ video

In response to a video created by Lance Armstrong a few weeks ago, three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has created his own video showing how to change an inner tube. It’s equal parts funny and bizarre.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon and shows Jonas Van Genechten pulling a pre-race mono at the Tour of Turkey.