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
Daily News Digest
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.
— Brain on Wheels (@BrainOnWheels) April 13, 2016
“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.
Etixx - Quick Step
Wanty - Groupe Gobert
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).