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Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

August 25, 2016

In your Thursday CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Meersman doubles Vuelta stage wins while crashes affect GC hopes; Van Asbroeck avoids sprint crash to win at Tour du Poitou Charentes; Baugnies solos to win at Druivenkoers – Overijse; Kruijswijk crashes out of Vuelta; Contador evades crash, remains uncertain about form; CyclingTips Podcast: The Floyd Landis Interview; Two US masters racers accept doping sanctions; Tour of Alberta announces start list; Contador still has plans for own pro team; Families outraged over charges against distracted driver; Study shows crashes with vehicles still happen within bike lanes; New cycle path has interesting feature; Vuelta stage 5 recap; Vuelta stage 4 on-board highlights; Tour du Poitou-Charentes stage 1 recap; 2016/2017 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup teaser; N+1 sports car

Meersman doubles Vuelta stage wins while crashes affect GC hopes

by Mark Zalewski

Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) won his second stage of the Vuelta a Espana, with the Belgian sprinting out of a small group after a tough final kilometres. That finish also wreaked havoc on the general classification as two crashes inside the final 3km took out some major names, including GC hope Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo).

“Winning on stage two gave me a lot of confidence,” said Meersman. “Zdenek [Stybar] did an incredible leadout from 700m to go and when I saw the sign for 200m I knew if I didn’t start my sprint the other guys would come around me. [The finish] was quite nervous, I hope the guys that crashed will be okay.”

Tiago Machado (Katusha) was the solo breakaway of the day with an outside chance at holding to the end. But attacks came at 50km to go on the Marco de Álvare climb, with Thomas DeGendt (Lotto-Soudal) initially going for the KOM points and then continuing on. This made the peloton wake up and it quickly brought the dangerous DeGendt back to the fold. As a side effect, what was possibly a big enough lead for Machado to try for the brave solo win, was no longer as the sprinter’s teams were now moving. With 25km to go the gap was down to only 1’30” and he was caught inside 15km to go.

Team Sky quickly moved to the front in a protection mode for leader Chris Froome, as well as Movistar with Alejandro Valverde. The final 5km moved from a wide highway onto narrower roads, which also featured a climb to the finish, making it an atypical sprint finale. Lotto-Soudal moved to the front with Adam Hansen doing all the work as he races his record 16th Grand Tour. Team Sky came back to the front to keep its leader safe and put a monkey wrench in the sprint leadout train plans.

As the road kicked up at 2.5km to go the first attacks came with Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac) using the twisting roads to his advantage. Philippe Gilbert (BMC) strained to grab his wheel at first, but eventually caught him at 2km to go, and Clarke was able to find enough to drop into his slipstream. The pair held their advantage until the road flattened out just before the red kite, which allowed the peloton to reel them back. The tough finish thinned out the peloton with little organisation, except for two Etixx-QuickStep riders, with Zdenek Stybar leading out his teammate Meersman to take the win ahead of Trek-Segafredo’s Niccolo Bonifazio.

Stage 5: Viveiro > Lugo - Stage Result

Wednesday 24th August 2016

1. be
Etixx - Quick Step
2. it
Trek - Segafredo
3. fr
RéZA Kévin

Today’s feature image comes from the the 50th GP Jef Scherens – Leuven in Belgium.

  • Mark Blackwell

    The Torquay council just needs to build a ramp up the middle of the stairs and it will be just as good as the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path, used by hundreds of commuters everyday!

    • Anto, NZ

      I think they are clearly trying to host a round of the UCI cyclocross world cup?

  • Nitro

    47 and 48 year olds busted for performance enhancing drugs ?!?!?

    I feel the need to comment, but – somewhat unusually for me – I find myself simply lost for words… I may come back to this, but all I can come up with right now is a plain and simple “Wow”…

    • Mark

      In all seriousness, seeing these types of results has made me check the medication that I’m on to make sure I’d pass a drug test! Fortunately everything that I take is allowed without a TUE, but some (ie the Ventolin and preventers) have limits, ie I’d have to be careful if I was feeling particularly ill in competition.

  • Dave

    There’s nothing more embarrassing for cycling than when some of the riders attempt a bit of biffo.

    Cofidis need to get their riders some better coaching…



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