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Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

April 5, 2016


In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Luis Leon Sanchez wins opener of Tour of the Basque Country; Giorgia Bronzini wins the GP Dottignies; Bannan – Matthews considering targeting the cobbled Classics in the future; Peter Sagan on his Tour of Flanders win – ‘This is something special’; 2017 Trek Domane SLR – full tech details and first impressions; 30 years of the Redlands Bicycle Classic – Pro riders recall their favourite memories; Touchpaper – Peter Sagan’s coming of age; NZ Cycling achieves full qualification for Rio; Rise – Inside Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, episode #4; Discovering Ronde van Vlaanderen; How the Race Was Won – 2016 Tour of Flanders; Three guys riding Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Luis Leon Sanchez wins opener of Tour of the Basque Country

by Mark Zalewski

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) won the opening stage of the Tour of the Basque Country just ahead of late-break companion Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) and the rest of the peloton after an explosive final climb.

A stage with eight categorised climbs, including a final climb less than 10km from the finish, made for an exciting finish. Astana’s Dario Cataldo led solo onto the final climb of the stage, but the peloton was clearly in control as it began the ascent.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) made it known he will be a contender this week as he lifted the pace. As a result the other pre-race favourites snapped to attention, and the subsequent increase in speed eliminated any chance for Cataldo.


Over the top Sanchez and Navarro managed to build a gap on the drop down to the finish, pushing their descending skills to the maximum.

Onto the flat the peloton began to close the gap to the leading duo. Into the finish town of Markina-Xemein the sprinters were breathing down the neck of Sanchez and Navarro, but it was too little, too late, as Sanchez pipped Navarro for the win. Seconds behind Simon Gerrans (Orica-Green Edge) took the field sprint.

Stage 1: Etxebarria > Markina-Xemein - Stage Result

Monday 4th April 2016

1. es
Astana Pro Team
2. es
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
3. au
Orica GreenEDGE
The CyclingTips Daily News Digest features the most important and interesting news and content from around the cycling world, published every weekday morning at 9am AEST. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon and shows riders walking up the iconic Koppenberg climb during Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

  • Gavin Adkins

    I cannot recall a rider winning Flanders without having a few years of riding the cobbled classics at a top level under the belt. I don’t think a non-European rider has ever won Flanders either. Matthews is a huge talent and still young, but if the cobbled classics are on his radar he needs to start riding them, there’s no substitute for experience in a race like that.

    • Andy B

      Very interesting statistic that one, obviously mainly Belgian winners so it shows the experience is key

    • Michele

      I’m splitting hairs here, and might be wrong anyway … but:

      Tom Simpson won in 1961.

      The 64 million dollar question is .. is GBR considered to be part of Europe???

      I consider them to be. However, I have several British friends who don’t see themselves as part of Europe; they differentiate themselves by speaking about “The Continent”.

      Then again, technically speaking, Europe is not a continent itself; it’s part of Eurasia.


      All that aside, you’re right. He does need to start riding them.

      • jules

        that’s only because they are still pining for Empire days ;)

      • Dave

        The Brits are about to have a vote to sort out that question.

        I don’t think Matthews or his team would be under any illusions of being able to turn up and win first time. It’s one thing for reporters to speculate and for team managers to indulge them a little – Bannan is smart enough to know he owes CT a bunch of good headlines a year in return for the generous coverage CT gives his team – but it would be a completely different thing for the team to actually operate in that way.

    • Arfy

      He also needs a dedicated Classics team, which will be interesting as I was under the impression that OGE were looking to target more GTs with the recent changes to their squad.

      • Dave

        With a total team of 30, there’s plenty of room to have two dedicated squads (with both having a couple of reserves) and the dregs left over for non-targeted races.

        OGE doesn’t have the sort of money that Sky, BMC or Etixx have to buy in more big names, so they can only really focus on one discipline instead of two. You never know, if Matthews can beat Etixx in a race they are targeting he should get a contract offer from them pretty shortly afterwards.

        • jules

          OGE are really investing in Matthews though. it can be a pitfall for a young Aussie to do well at OGE with team support, then move to a team whose commercial interests are more aligned with success for local riders. pretty quickly the results can desert you and with them your market value.

  • Anna

    Small fix – the read more link under “Peter Sagan on his Tour of Flanders win” is going to yesterday’s Daily News Digest. Thanks for all your work!


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