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Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

May 16, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: Rafal Majka wins stage 2 at the Amgen Tour of California, takes overall lead; Quintana: It will be difficult to keep the Maglia Rosa in the Giro time trial; Dumoulin relishes Giro TT, wants to gain as much time as possible on Quintana before next mountains; Landa to continue in Giro d’Italia after all-clear given; Vinokourov calls for corruption case to be dismissed; Giro d’Italia race director defends police motorcyclists after stage 9 crash; Giro d’Italia sends ‘signal of hope and solidarity’ to those affected by Italian earthquakes; Felline inks new one year contract extension with Trek-Segafredo; BMC Racing Team promotes Van Hooydonck to WorldTour level; Trek-Segafredo riders highlighting visibility during Giro d’Italia TT stages; Aqua Blue Sport rider says airline destroyed his bike; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 9 Pre Race; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 9 Post Race; Bram Tankink goes wild on Giro rest day; Cannondale-Drapac gets cartoon treatment en route to the Amgen Tour of California

Rafal Majka wins stage 2 at the Amgen Tour of California, takes overall lead

by Matthew de Vroet

Polish champion Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) has taken the overall lead at the Amgen Tour of California after outsprinting George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) to take Stage 2.

Majka and Bennett were part of a four-man breakaway with Ian Boswell (Team Sky) and Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data), a group that formed over the hardest categorised climb of the day, Mount Hamilton, halfway through the 144.5km stage.

Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac) was originally part of that group over the top of the climb but on the fast descent the Latvian crashed and had to abandon with concussion and a broken collarbone.

On the short climb that led to the finish in San Jose, Morton attacked twice but was closed down by Majka on both occasions. Bennett then counterattacked but Majka was again able to respond and then outsprint the Kiwi for his first victory in 2017.

Stage 3 will see the riders travel from Pismo Beach to Morro Bay in a lumpy 192km that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint.

Stage 2: Modesto > San Jose - Stage Result

Monday 15th May 2017

1. pl
MAJKA Rafał
Bora - Hansgrohe
03:43:46
2. nz
BENNETT George
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
3. us
BOSWELL Ian
Team Sky
0:07

Today’s feature image is from the Giro d’Italia and is by the Cor Vos agency.

  • cthenn

    Normally, I’d make some snarky remark about shameless promotion of a company in a race, but (well, first of all, cycle racing *IS* advertising…) for a cause like rider safety, I think this is a good idea. I see so many recreational riders out in their all black kits on their blacked out bikes, and I think how dumb it is to basically be the same color as the road, and not use any kind of lighting. I don’t use the Flare R light, but I do use one that puts out a lot of light. If using a light even attracts the attention of just one driver on their phone, it’s worth it. Road cycling is a culture of being a poseur, so if the pros use tail lights (even though it is utterly silly to use them on a closed TT course), perhaps it will change the minds, or at least open up the minds of recreational cyclists to the benefits of being seen by drivers.

    Also, I feel so bad for the guy who had his bike destroyed by the airline brutes. I absolutely LOATHE air travel, it is the worst, most humiliating way to travel. I mean, where else is class warfare embraced with such enthusiasm? It seriously is a debate for me whether or not to pay a rather cheap airfare (less than $100) to fly 500 miles, or take 10+ hours to drive. I really hope these jerks pay for his bike, although it appears from the photo he was using a soft case. You have to make things gorilla proof in order for breakable objects to survive air travel, and he probably should have known better. Does not in any way excuse what happened, but I would NEVER in a million years put my bike in a soft case for air travel.

    • Bex

      first paragraph, big tick.
      second paragraph; i feel bad for the guy, and i don’t see why soft cases shouldn’t be used. The case i have and the way that case looks they provide plenty of shape and protection for ‘normal’ handling. to snap a frame like that while it’s in a bag shows there must’ve been some serious force applied to his luggage and the airline should take responsibility for that since it’s not a regular handling wear and tear issue.

    • DaveRides

      If you’re marketing something on the bike and you want it to be seen, a time trial where each of the team’s nine riders get at least a little bit of TV time is a much better option than a road stage where they’ll be lost in the pack.

  • Andy Logan

    That crash by Skujins is sickening, watching the video as he tries to get back on the bike where he can barely walk and the spares guy trying to change his wheel etc.

    We know Cycling is a tough sport, check out Pelliucchi from last week, but there is a line here around rider safety etc and that was definitely crossed in this situation, there is no way someone should be getting back on a bike when they can barely walk or stand.

    • TimHally

      Totally agree. Is there a case to be made that the race organisers should’ve radioed neutral service to stop him from getting back on?
      Obviously its a can of worms but the dude was obviously in a pretty bad way…

      • DaveRides

        Amazingly, despite it being 2017 there is no medical disqualification rule or concussion protocol in cycling. So according to the letter of the UCI rules no, and there’s also the issue of the difficult lines of communication in the mountains.

        Hopefully this incident and the sickening view of a concussed Rohan Dennis weaving all over the road in the Giro a week ago will prompt some action. The pressure on riders to get back on the bike after a crash needs to be relieved now, not to wait until there’s a fatality as a result.

        A medical disqualification rule could allow for a rider who has been taken off the road and subsequently cleared after a hospital assessment to re-enter the race on the following stage. They would need to be given a time for the stage, perhaps a time equal to the last-placed rider from the group they were in at the time of crashing (or the next group back if they were solo) would be appropriate.

        Reforms take a long time to come in cycling, so perhaps an intermediate step (while the logistics of a medical disqualification rule are worked out) would be for all neutral service crews to receive at least Basic First Aid training so they can assist in this sort of incident.

    • Mike Williams

      This was the most disturbing scene I have seen in cycling. Never mind letting him get back on his bike…watching him stagger into the path of the fast moving pack was scary…at those speeds someone could have gotten killed. There were 2 motos at the scene and none of the 4 people saw the need to help (also the teammate who didn’t even slow down to see if he was OK). Neutral service was more concerned with fixing the bike than the rider.

      • Warwick Absolon

        It was horrific. Watching it just now was a combination of covering my eyes and yelling ‘get him off his bike’. Disturbing.

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