Jakobsen takes first pro victory in Nokere Koerse; Bayly wins stage 4 of the Tour de Taiwan; Bardet to eschew other targets and focus 100% on Tour de France; Deignan announces pregnancy, will miss 2018 season; Cavendish, Renshaw confirmed for Milan-San Remo; QuickStep Floors takes three-pronged approach to leadership at Milan-San Remo; Van Avermaet: Milan-San Remo is a lottery; French amateur previously banned for five years given 60 hours of community service; Costa Rican duo given four year bans for CERA use; Strava overhauls map that revealed military positions; Video: 360 degree camera from inside the peloton; Video: high speed river crossing leads to dangerous crash
Jakobsen wins Nokere Koerse, Bayly wins at Tour de Taiwan: Daily News Digest
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Fabio Jakobsen took his first win since signing with the QuickStep Floors team this winter, winning the 2018 Danilith Nokere Koerse race with a dominant sprint. The Dutchman, twice under 23 national road race champion and a stage winner in last year’s Tour de l’Avenir, made the victory look easy, opening a gap over Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis), Roy Jans (Cibel-Cebon) and the rest of the bunch.
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Speaking at the team camp over the winter, he made clear that rewarding the team’s faith in him with a win was a priority. He duly did that in just 14 days of racing, highlighting his ability. Wednesday’s race also included another strong performance by cyclo-cross world champion Wout Van Aert (Veranda’s Willems Crelan), who was prominent and redisplayed the form he showed in the recent Strade Bianche.
Early on, an eight-man breakaway group build a lead of ten minutes. Jakobsen’s QuickStep Floors squad worked to control this, then put Florian Sénéchal and Pieter Serry in threatening breakway groups which went clear inside the final 30 kilometres.
Things came back together inside the final ten kilometres, paving the way for Jakobsen’s win. “Our goal from the start of the race was to win, because we had many guys in the team capable of taking the victory,” he said. “The entire team did an amazing job today. Davide and Florian kept a high speed in the end, reeling in the late attackers, and I took the last corner on the inside, knowing this would increase my chances.
“On the last straight, I just gave everything and when I saw there wasn’t anyone near me, I began celebrating. It’s one of the best days of my life so far! I can’t tell you how happy I am to get my first pro win and how much confidence it gives me for the next races.”
Today’s feature image comes from Paris-Nice, and was taken by Kristof Ramon.