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by Matt de Neef
September 12, 2014
In this morning’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily news digest: Fabio Aru wins his second stage at this year’s Vuelta, Chris Froome moves into second overall; Matthias Brandle claims stage 5 victory at the Tour of Britain; Vadim Galeyev wins stage 3 of the Tour of China II, takes overall lead; Sven Nys, Meredith Miller win at CrossVegas; Cadel Evans to announce future plans next week; Nacer Bouhanni won’t race with FDJ.fr for the rest of the season; Degenkolb insists he can become even stronger for world championships; Italian authorities open homicide investigation into Pantani’s death; “VicRoads considers allowing cyclists to run red lights”.
by Shane Stokes
Notching up his third Grand Tour stage win this year, Fabio Aru (Astana) raced to victory on stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday, his second stage win of this year’s race.
The young Italian attacked with just under four kilometres to go on the climb to Monte Castrove en Meis, overhauling the Frenchman Jerome Coppel. He was then joined by Chris Froome (Sky), while behind them race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) marked Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), trying to get the duo to chase Froome.
Rodriguez put in a surge with just over a kilometre to go, bringing the group close to Aru and Froome, but more marking saw the gap widen and at the line the leading two finished well clear. Froome concentrated on going for time for the general classification, giving Aru a relatively straightforward task in winning the sprint.
Froome’s time gain moved him to second overall, 1:19 seconds behind Contador. Valverde is now 1:32 off the red jersey, with Rodriguez 2:29 back and looking increasingly doubtful for the podium.
The day saw the customary long-range break, but this was reeled in prior to the final climb. It ensured that the general classification contenders would fight for the stage win; Aru proved best of those, while the battle for the order of the final podium remains open.
Today’s 19th stage of the Vuelta takes the riders 181km from Salvaterra de Miño to Cangas de Morrazo, with two second category climbs en route to a flat finish.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Austria’s Matthias Brandle (IAM) has taken out stage 5 of the Tour of Britain, winning the stage after spending the day in the breakaway.
Image: Tour of Britain
Brandle formed the day’s escape with Maarten Wynants (Belkin), Shane Archbold (An Post-Chain Reaction) and Andreas Stauff (MTN-Qhubeka) before going on the attack, solo, four kilometres from the finish, on the second category Stoke Hill climb.
Brandle was able to hold on, winning the stage eight seconds clear of fellow escapee Shane Archbold with Wynants third. The chasing peloton rolled in 14 seconds behind Brandle, with overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) finishing seventh and holding on to his overall lead.
With four stages remaining, including today’s lumpy sixth stage from Bath to Hemel Hempstead, Kwiatkowski leads by three seconds over stage 3 winner Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) with Dylan Teuns (BMC) a further 11 seconds in arrears.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Vadim Galeyev (Continental Team Astana) has won stage 3 of the Tour of China II, sprinting to victory at the head of a three-rider breakaway.
Galeyev escaped from the peloton in the final 20km with Tour of China I winner Kamil Gradek (BDC Marcpol) and Milan Kadlec (Dukla Praha) and on the narrow winding roads to the finish in Jiangxia, the trio was able to stay away. Galeyev led the three riders across the line, 25 seconds ahead of the peloton.
The result sees Galeyev move into the leader’s yellow jersey with an advantage of four seconds over Kadlec and Gradek. Two stages remain in the race, including today’s 139km fourth stage.
Text adapted from a 7Cycling press release.
Sven Nys (Crelan-Aa Drinks) has ridden to back-to-back victories in the CrossVegas cyclocross race, attacking his rivals on the final lap and riding away to victory.
“I wanted to wait until the last two, three laps before the end to do something special,” said Nys. “I felt myself really strong the whole race. … It went like I hoped, and I’m really happy with the victory over here.”
A series of attacks throughout the hour-long race saw the lead group thinned down before swelling again, before Nys took the race into his own hands in the final lap. His move shattered the lead group and Nys rode away to a comfortable victory ahead of Lars Van der Haar.
Image: Kristof Ramon
Meanwhile in the elite women’s race Meredith Miller took a surprise victory with a late surge, after it looked as if the ever-dominant Katie Compton (Trek) was set for another victory.
Compton had kept herself out of trouble throughout the race, coming to the front for almost the first time with 200m to go. But Miller came from third wheel, surging through the last corner to take the sprint victory.
“I’m as surprised as you are,” Miller said after the race. “Someone asked me earlier today what my goals were. I was like, I don’t know, man. A top five? You never know. … I really wasn’t sure,” Miller said. “It’s the first race of the season, you never know how everyone’s riding. I knew I was feeling pretty good, but that’s … relative.”
Click here and here to read more at VeloNews.
There’s been plenty of speculation about what the future might hold for Cadel Evans (BMC) in 2015 and after avoiding much media attention at the Vuelta, Evans has told the press that he’ll be making an announcement about his future just before the world championships in Spain next week.
“As I understand it, we’re going to be able to make an announcement just before the Worlds because I’d like to go to the Worlds just focusing on that, and have everything clear in my head, what’s going on.”
“I want to focus on and do a really good end to the season, at the Worlds and Lombardia, they’re going back to the old course there and I hope to be of course competitive at the end of the year.”
Speaking of Australia’s plans in the Worlds road race, Evans said:
“From what I hear anyway, Michael Matthews is going to be our guy so … I’d go there in a role that maybe if it’s a hard, aggressive race, it’d be for me or Simon Gerrans, but at the same time if it’s a real fast race I’d prefer to be putting my efforts into riding on the front to pull back breakaways in the last lap. But that’s how the Worlds goes, one moment you think it’s all lost and the next you’re riding for the win.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Nacer Bouhanni appears to have ridden his last race in the colours of FDJ.fr after the Frenchmen withdrew from the Vuelta on stage 14 and has been told by team management that he won’t be selected for the rest of the season.
The news comes amid the fallout from an interview Bouhanni did with L’Equipe Magazine over the weekend, in which the 24-year-old spoke bluntly about his disappointments this season, including the fact the team overlooked him for Milan-San Remo and the Tour de France.
FDJ.fr manager Marc Madiot was angered by Bouhanni’s comments in the interview and pulled Bouhanni from the remaining races this season.
“I wasn’t happy. I told him that from the moment he wasn’t happy on the team, I wouldn’t pick him for races any more and his place would be taken by somebody who was happy,” Madiot told L’Équipe on Thursday.
Bouhanni’s dissatisfaction with the team was one of the factors that precipitated his move to Cofidis in 2015.
Click here to read more at L’Equipe.
He may have taken a quartet of stage wins and be poised to equal his five victories of two years ago, but John Degenkolb is insisting that he still has room to improve ahead of the World Championships in Spain later this month.
The Giant-Shimano sprinter is aiming to win the world championships in Ponferrada later this month; if he is indeed correct, it means that his rivals could see him in even better shape lining out on the morning of September 28.
“I’m still not at 100% of my power,” he claimed yesterday, referring to his condition and the effects on it of a leg injury he suffered earlier in the race.
“There’s a big goal coming up. It’s still a long way away but it’s come close, slowly but surely. I’m aiming for reaching my top shape at the road race world championship in Ponferrada where I’ll also take part in the team time trial.”
While some are tipping that the elite road race will be suited to the climbers in the peloton, namely explosive riders such as Alejandro Valverde, his Spanish team-mate Joaquim Rodriguez, former champion Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Australia’s Simon Gerrans and the Irishman Dan Martin, others have said that the course is not as difficult as they make out and a strong rider with a sprint could prevail.
If that’s the case, it means that riders such as Peter Sagan and Degenkolb have a chance. Certainly if both arrive to the finish in a small group, few would bet against them.
Click here to read the full article at CyclingTips.
The reopened investigation into the death of Italian cyclist Marco Pantani took a step forward earlier this week when Italy’s public prosecutor in Rimini handed the case over to police.
Prosecutor Paolo Giovagnoli told Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday that “Regarding Marco Pantani’s death, there’s a completely new investigation.”
Pantani died on February 14, 2004 with a previous investigation showing that the 34-year-old Giro d’Italia and Tour de France winner died of an accidental cocaine overdose. But over the past 10 years, Pantani’s parents have claimed foul play, and the family’s lawyer has re-examined the case and presented it to the authorities, prompting a homicide investigation.
Click here to read more at Gazzetta dello Spor.
An article in Melbourne’s Herald Sun today suggests that VicRoads is currently examining the results from a recent survey into cycling habits and considering a number of changes, including “allowing cyclists to treat red lights like Give Way signs” and “permitting cyclists, riding cautiously, to proceed past a stationary tram”.
It’s unclear exactly how seriously VicRoads is taking such suggestions but one thing’s for certain, the article has certainly prompted some predictable discussions in the comments section (which we encourage you to avoid).
Update:We contacted VicRoads to find out whether they were satisfied with the Herald Sun article and whether they are indeed considering such reforms. They offered the following statement: “The questions in the survey are not necessarily things VicRoads is considering to implement but will allow VicRoads to understand what the community’s views and understanding are on these issues.”
Click here to read the full article at the Herald Sun. Again: read the comments at your peril.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips yesterday: