In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Peter Kennaugh wins the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race; Amanda Spratt claims the Cadel Evans Women’s Race; Cyclocross world titles for Wout van Aert, Thalita De Jong, Eli Iserbyt and Evie Richards; Greipel wins again at the Challenge Mallorca, Cancellara and Brambilla also on the winners’ list; Dries Devenyns claims the GP La Marseillaise; Mechanical doping detected at the CX Worlds; Cookson – ‘Message to all cheaters is that we will catch up with you sooner or later’; Cyclocross motor scandal: Belgian rider blames mix-up, claims bike belongs to a friend; Spanish court awards Heras $1 million over 2005 EPO positive; Uphill cobbled sector added to 2016 Paris-Roubaix; Life in the Peloton podcast with Mitch Docker; Early celebration for Adam Toupalik; Backstage Passes from the Cadel’s Race weekend.
Peter Kennaugh wins the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
British national champion Peter Kennaugh (Sky) has soloed to victory in the second edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, attacking in the final of three laps around Geelong and holding on for an impressive victory.
Kennaugh attacked on the lower slopes of the steep Challambra Crescent climb with 13km left to race, catching Spanish climber Rafael Valls (Lotto Soudal) who was leading the race solo having dropped his breakaway companions just moments before.
Kennaugh crossed the top of the climb on his own, then time-trialed his way over the two remaining climbs and on to the finish on the Geelong waterfront.
“My legs didn’t feel good at all,” Kennaugh said. “They didn’t feel good all race but it just seemed like everyone else was starting to get tired and I kind of felt the same. So it was my last opportunity to win the race on that climb because I knew it was all about riding for Luke Rowe or Ben Swift [after that] so I just gave it everything and didn’t look back.
“Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Today it did. I’m very happy.”
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Amanda Spratt claims the women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
by Simone Giuliani
Earlier in the weekend, Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS) took out the women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with a solo run of her own, finishing off a dream run in Australia’s summer season of racing for the rider and her team.
The attacks were coming thick and fast in the closing kilometres until defending champion Rachel Neylan (Orica-AIS) and Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5) got away. Hosking, a noted sprinter, happily sat on Neylan’s wheel, until with less than 20 kilometres to go a small group including Spratt, Tiffany Cromwell (BOSS Racing Team) and Dani King (Wiggle High5) joined the pair. Spratt took off alone and it was Hosking’s turn to work out the front while King and Neylan sat on her wheel.
Hosking worked hard to narrow the gap to Spratt for her teammate King on the hilly roads and then with about eight kilometres to go it was just King and Neylan.
The gap to Spratt stretched as King chased alone while Neylan sat on her wheel, so the Australian champion had a clear run to the line. Then 49 seconds later Neylan sprinted to take second place ahead of King.
Orica - AIS
Orica - AIS
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Cyclocross world titles for Wout van Aert, Thalita De Jong, Eli Iserbyt and Evie Richards
The 2016 Cyclocross World Championships have been run and won in miserable conditions in the Belgian municipality of Heusden-Zolder.
Belgium’s Wout van Aert won his first elite men’s world title on home soil, the 21-year-old beating Lars van der Haar after reeling in the Dutchman’s solo attack and then opening a small gap on the closing lap.
In the elite women’s race, Dutchwoman Thalita de Jong took something of a surprise victory after bridging across to and then attacking from a lead group of four on the penultimate lap.
In the Under 23 men’s race, Belgium’s Eli Iserbyt took home the rainbow jersey from a two-up sprint with Czech rider Adam Toupalik. The result was a heartbreaking one for Toupalik who thought he had won the race a lap earlier, celebrating as he crossed the line, only to lose ground on the leaders and have to chase back on (see video below).
And in the inaugural U23 women’s race, Great Britain’s Evie Richards took victory after riding away from all her rivals and taking a comfortable 35-second win in what was her first international cyclocross race.
Greipel wins again at the Challenge Mallorca, Cancellara and Brambilla also on the winners’ list
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) has finished the Challenge Mallorca series the way he started, winning the Trofeo Playa de Palma – Palma in a bunch sprint.
A group of three Spaniards — Imanol Estevez, Lluís Mas and Omar Fraile — formed a breakaway early in the race and got six minutes clear, but the race was destined to come down to a bunch kick. Greipel proved too strong, beating Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Dylan Page (Roth).
Earlier in the weekend, Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep) won the second of the four races, the Trofeo Pollença-Port de Andratx. Brambilla was part of a 20-rider group that got away with 32km to go in the 162km race, before accelerating away to form a new lead group of eight riders.
From that reduced group Brambilla attacked on his own, building a lead that maxed out at 30 seconds but that would be just two seconds by the time he reached the finish line. Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) was second and Brambilla’s teammate Zdenek Stybar was third.
And in the third race of the Challenge Mallorca series, Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) showed some terrific early-season form, soloing to victory in the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. Cancellara was part of a 23-man breakaway that crested a decisive climb behind four leaders, before attacking on the descent, reeling in the leaders then going clear on his own. He would win the race by 17 seconds ahead of a nine-rider group lead in by Kwiatkowski and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal).
Dries Devenyns claims the GP La Marseillaise
Belgium’s Dries Devenyns (IAM) has won the GP La Marseillaise one-day race in France, beating Thibault Pinot (FDJ) in a two-up sprint.
— Sudpresse Sports (@sudpressesports) January 31, 2016
The pair escaped from the bunch on the descent off the Col des Crètes, 27km from the finish of the 152km race. At the top of the Col de Gineste, 10km from the finish, the duo had 40 seconds over the peloton and by the time they crossed the finish line, the gap had extended to 42 seconds.
Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie – Bruxelles) took third in the sprint from a group of roughly 30 riders.
Wallonie - Bruxelles
Mechanical doping detected at the CX Worlds
While there was some terrific racing at the Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium over the weekend, the biggest story to come out of the meet was the discovery of “mechanical fraud” — a rider that had been using a concealed motor in her bike. The bike belonged to U23 rider Femke Van den Driessche who has since claimed her innocence.
And initial communique from the UCI read: “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirms that pursuant to the UCI’s Regulations on technological fraud a bike has been detained for further investigation following checks at the Women’s Under 23 race of the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.”
A report in Belgian paper Sporza later elaborated: “After one lap at the world championships the UCI checked Femke’s bike in the pits with some kind of tablet [electronic device – ed]. The bike was immediately sealed and taken away.
“When the saddle of the tube was removed, there were electrical cables protruding from the tube. When they wanted to remove the crankshaft, something that is normally easy, it was not possible because the crankshaft was stuck. The motor was in there.”
Cookson: ‘Message to all cheaters is that we will catch up with you sooner or later’
by Anne-Marije Rook
Speaking at a press conference at the Cyclocross World Championships, UCI president Brian Cookson has reacted to the news of the mechanical doping, issuing a warning to those who decide to cheat in the sport.
“We have heard some stories for a long time now about the possibility of [motorised doping] and we have been testing at a number of events,” said Cookson. “If these are in widespread use remains to be seen. We will be testing more bikes, more often, more frequently.
“Our message to those choosing to cheat is that we will catch up with you sooner or later,” he stated. “We are committed to protecting the riders that do not want to cheat and to make sure that the right riders win the races.”
Click through to read more at Ella CyclingTips.
Cyclocross motor scandal: Belgian rider blames mix-up, claims bike belongs to a friend
Responding to the charges that one of her bikes at the world cyclocross championship contained a motor, Femke Van den Driessche has insisted she is innocent.
“It’s not my bike. There’s been a mistake,” the Belgian rider told Sporza, speaking emotionally.
“After my chain breakage I moved away and then they said that there was something wrong with my bike. I did not know what was going on. Then I saw that bike standing there. I do not know how it got there, I am busy with myself on such a day.”
According to Van den Driessche’s version of things, she used to own the bike but no longer does so.
“That bike belongs to a friend of mine. He bought it from me after last season, it’s exactly the same bike as I use. That friend explored the course with my brother and had the bike against the truck. One of my mechanics must have thought that it was my bike and had it cleaned and taken.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Spanish court awards Heras $1 million over 2005 EPO positive
According to Spanish media reports, 2005 Vuelta a España winner Roberto Heras has been awarded more than a US$1 million in damages after a local court found the former rider lost possible earnings after being forced to serve a two-year ban due to a positive test for EPO.
Heras won the 2005 Vuelta but tested positive for EPO in the penultimate stage and was then stripped of his title and banned for two years. Heras’ lawyers claim that the testers didn’t follow the proper protocol, by not storing urine samples at the correct temperature and by having the same lab worker test both A and B samples.
In 2012 Heras won a legal battle to overrule his disqualification and reinstate his Vuelta victory. His legal team then sued Spain’s anti-doping authorities for damages.
Spain’s top anti-doping official, Enrique Bastida told the Spanish daily MARCA that the ruling was ridiculous: “His analysis isn’t going to change. Heras doped, with EPO. With all due respect to the courts, doping is not judicial question, but an ethical one. He will always have to carry the burden of knowing he cheated.”
Click through to read more at VeloNews.
Uphill cobbled sector added to 2016 Paris-Roubaix
This year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix will see the return of an uphill sector of pavé, the Hameau de Buat, after a three-year absence from the race.
The sector, which ASO describes as “unique” will come after 127km of the 257.5km race. This year’s race will feature a total of 25 cobblestone sectors — compared with last year’s 27 — including the legendary Forest of Arenberg and the similarly brutal Mons-en-Pévèle Carrefour de l’Arbre sectors.
ASO has also revealed that cobblestones are being laid on a three-kilometres path in the town of Hem, close to Roubaix. This path could become the final sector of pavé in future editions of the race.
Click through to read more at Cyclingnews.
Life in the Peloton podcast with Mitch Docker
If you’re looking for interesting insights from within the peloton, you might like to check out a new podcast set up by Orica-GreenEdge’ Mitch Docker. Called Life in the Peloton, the podcast is set to feature interviews with various riders. The first episode is now up, and features Docker’s teammate Luke Durbridge.
Click through to the Life in the Peloton website to take a listen.
After the finish line: behind the scenes of Eli Iserbyt’s CX Worlds win
This behind-the-scenes video from the UCI shows the moments directly after Eli Iserbyt won the U23 men’s title at the CX Worlds over the weekend. It’s a simple idea but one that captures the post-race chaos so well.
Early celebration for Adam Toupalik
And speaking of the U23 men’s race at the CX Worlds, here’s Adam Toupalik’s emphatic celebration … one lap too early. Sadly there’s no sound but the video is still well worth a watch.
Backstage Passes from the Cadel’s Race weekend
Orica-GreenEdge’s Dan Jones was on hand in Geelong over the weekend to capture the action from the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Here’s some post-race interviews from Amanda Spratt’s win in the women’s race:
And here’s a Backstage Pass episode from the men’s race, in which Simon Gerrans finished fifth: