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Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

April 14, 2016

In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Vakoc takes Brabantse Pijl win on final climb; Ventoso confirms disc brakes sliced his leg open, calls for action on ‘giant knives’; UCI suspends Paolini for 18 months over positive test for cocaine; Photo gallery: 2016 Paris-Roubaix; Ella Eats: Salmon Steak Sandwiches; Calls for physiological data to be combined with biological passport; McConville ends career due to back injury; Sagan to Etixx-QuickStep in 2017?; Gilbert risking jail for using prohibited weapon; USA Cycling Pro Road Tour standings; Video: More Paris-Roubaix highlights; Video: Slo-motion crash in final turn of Redlands Classic pro criterium

Vakoc takes Brabantse Pijl win on final climb

by Mark Zalewski

Petr Vakoc (Etixx-QuickStep) took the mid-week Classic Brabantse Pijl with an impressive attack on the final climb.

“It’s unbelievable that I could hold it to the end. It was so hard, the final 100 metres. I’m really grateful to the team who did an amazing job, and Julien Alaphillipe in the final who was pulling five of us. They were fading int he last corner so I just went. It suits me well, those final climbs. I turned around and saw the gap was getting bigger and it gave me more power.

“It’s one of the biggest wins of my career!”

With two finishing laps to go the peloton looked to be disorganised, with no team taking up the chase. Finally Cannondale put their riders on the front and this effort eventually ate up the remaining time gap. With still many kilometres to go counter-attacks went off the front, with Julien Alaphillipe (Etixx-QuickStep) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) finally managing a real gap.

Alaphillipe and Wellens held a double-digit deal on the final lap with Orica-Greenedge doing most of the work. With 16km to go Michael Mathews put in a surprising attack with the expected reaction from the other contenders. This effort put some riders into difficulty, such as defending champ Ben Hermans (BMC) riding near the back of the peloton.

Still the duo on the front increased their lead, until five kilometres later with Daryl Impey (Orica-Greenedge) leading the charge to close the gap. But again, with 11km remaining, more attacks were waiting, particularly from the smaller teams looking to spoil the WorldTour heavies. Pieter Weening  (Roomport-Oranje) was the first to go, attacking on the Holstheide climb and building a lead by himself. Weening held his lead for nearly five kilometres, but the chasing peloton was too much for him.

Over the penultimate climb the main group was together but strung out, with Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) elevating the pace. Approaching the final climb a group of five rolled off the front. Again Julien Alaphillipe was on the front, but this time working for his teammate Petr Vakoc. As the road pitched up the Czech champion made his move while Gasporotto and Gallopin tried give chase, but had to settle for the second and third respectively.

1. cz
Etixx - Quick Step
2. it
Wanty - Groupe Gobert
3. fr
Lotto Soudal
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 is from Kristof Ramon, showing the pain of finishing Paris-Roubaix as Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) hits the grass as soon as he crosses the finish line in 10th position (and first French rider).

  • Andy Skeen

    You can see chainring tooth puncture marks in Ventoso’s “disc” cut.

    • Neil

      I’d love you to explain how he could roll up behind someone and cut his leg on a chainring. Occam’s Razor: the simplest answer is usually the right one.

      • Dave

        I agree with the use of Occam’s Razor to remove the most improbable possibilities first – so we can discount the suggestions that he was riding the wrong way so his left leg hit the *front* of someone’s brake disc, or that he interrupted his crash to pull some mid-air moves usually only seen in Jackie Chan movies

        The simplest explanation remains – he slid up along the right of the bike and ran his left leg into the back of the chain ring. Keep in mind this is his left leg.

        • Neil

          No. The simplest answer is what the victim says. Why do people seem to have a problem with that? Would he lie about it because Katusha don’t have a disk bike available? Really? And how many cuts like that have happened from chain rings in the last few years? I don’t know of any. What about the Etixx rider? Is he lying too?

          • Dave

            I don’t think he’s lying, just that he was probably in shock and genuinely believed whatever somebody told him afterwards.

            Good thing there will be a proper investigation and the temporary suspension lifted pronto.

          • zosim

            Well, as road.cc says:
            “As far as Maes is concerned, road.cc’s Mat Brett was right by where the crash happened on the Arenberg sector, and the sequence of photos he shot including the Belgian rider crashing do not show any Direct Energie or Lampre-Merida rider in the vicinity.”

  • Michael Sproul

    These early Rocacorba’s are kinda messing with my shiz, I struggle to adjust to change…

    • Neil

      Agree. Must be making Matt’s mornings a bit more pleasant though.

  • Michele

    As I said elsewhere…

    So the UCI have banned disc brakes. I have no issue with that.

    But boy, that was quick. Ventoso pens an open letter, and almost immediately, the UCI reacts.

    Why can’t they be so responsive when it comes to other current safety issues? Maybe Vivani needs to compose his own letter. At least he’s fortunate enough to be able to do so.

    • Arfy

      It seems another news channel jumped the gun on the UCI disc brake ban report, there’s no announcement on the UCI website. Which is only right and fair, they do need to review the details of the incident to determine what actually happened in the incident, it does seem strange that you could be riding along in the same direction and cut the front of your left leg on a disc brake mounted on the left-hand side of a bike.

      • JBS

        I’d suggest in the tangle, the rider in front got spun at an angle towards Ventoso (think 45 degrees) and Ventoso’s leg contacted the disk on the front wheel, not the rear.

      • Dave

        Good point – how often does big cycling news from the UCI (i.e. decisions made in Switzerland, largely affecting events in France, Belgium and Italy) get broken by a Norwegian website? That would be like an Aussie website breaking news from the International Nordic Skiing Union and everyone swallowing it without first checking it.

        Confirmation from an official source, or at least a couple more independent sources not just basing their reports on the Norwegian one, would be good.

    • Cam

      I don’t disagree with your sentiment, but pragmatically the solution to the disc brake issue is far simpler than finding a solution around motorbike safety.

      • Michele

        Agree … I don’t expect a permanent solution to the issue; but surely some interim measures can be put in place.

        Every Thom, Dick and Harry knows there’s a crash in the forest every year.

        I just don’t get why a motor bike would be following so close to the group that came down on Sunday.

        In light of recent events, that motor bike slamming into Vivani should never had happened.

    • Dave

      Very good point.

      A temporary moratorium on motorbikes passing groups of more than 10 riders on the same carriageway (pending a full investigation) would be just as easy to implement as a temporary moratorium on the use of brake discs (pending a full investigation).

      Equally, this injury could well have been caused by a spoke or chainring, so a temporary return to rounded spokes and chainring guards should be in place too.

      Race organisers would quickly find other alternatives to keep the race organisation intact, even the big mountain stages of the grand tours wouldn’t be affected as they tend to have more stationary police on the climbs.

  • Andy B

    That slow motion crash is hectic, recently was involved in a crash in which I was in the same position as the guy in the fluro helmet
    Painful stuff

    • John Seymour

      Looking closely appears that he grounded his inside pedal as the cause for the crash. At 0.04 to 0.05s in the video you can see his rear wheel lift as he reaches the low point on his inside pedal stroke. Nasty consequences! Easy to say in slow-mo as a spectator, but “fluoro-helmet” would have likely ended up better if he had tried to “tuck and roll” rather than reach out to break his fall.

      • Andy B

        From experience it happens so quick I think any reaction is just your natural response
        I realise now saying “fluro helmet” could refer to many of them

      • Lewis

        Looks like he may have even hit the cat’s eye with his pedal? Reminds me of turn #1 at Glenvale with the cat’s eyes in the middle of the corner…

        • david__g

          Looks like his rear wheel his the cat’s eye and that bounced him up and (maybe?) caused his tubular to roll off, or start to roll off? Either way, painful stuff.

  • Michele

    A sign that perhaps your non-bike loving wife is right when she says that I “inundate her with so much mundane bike stuff it isn’t funny!”.

    We’re watching ABC news this morning, when my wife casually says to me:

    “Hey, isn’t that the guy that does those race video highlights you always show me???”

    Well, at least I know that – as painful as it might be for her to do so – she is paying attention :)

    • david__g

      It looks like he’s wearing a cosmo halloween costume.


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