Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
It’s been a tough day for Esteban Chaves, who started stage 10 second overall but had a shocker; a better day for Matej Mohoric, who took a superb win, and a solid day for Simon Yates and Sam Bennett. These stories and more here…
Story of the day: Chaves’ Giro chances collapse
Esteban Chaves headed into stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia just 32 seconds behind Mitchelton-Scott teammate Simon Yates and was very much a contender for the final overall victory. By the end of the Giro’s longest stage, the Colombian’s GC prospects were in tatters: he was dropped on the day’s first climb and eventually finished 25 minutes 25 seconds back, plummeting to 39th overall.
“It hurts. That’s my general classification at this year’s Giro gone, so it’s always going to hurt,” he said after the stage. “I have to thank the team for everything they did to try to bridge the gap, but with all the other teams working against us, we had to call it and save our legs for the bigger picture.”
“We had an extremely difficult start. It was the most aggressive stage I’ve seen for a while,” said Yates, explaining what happened. “This usually happens in short stages only. But this was a long and ferocious race. The high speed never stopped.
“Chaves just had a bad moment on the first climb of the day. Straight after the rest day, you don’t know how the body responds. I first thought Esteban would be able to come back but it was a really crazy stage. and I’m very disappointed for him as I know he’s worked very hard for this. As for the tactics, I’d prefer he’d still be there, so we could play more cards and tactics in the final.”
Chaves elaborated on this with Rai Sport, taking a philosophical outlook. “I’ve got a difficult relationship with Italy; it’s love and hate. Just a few days ago, I enjoyed one of the best days of my career and now it’s hard for my morale,” he stated. “But that’s life, we can only do our best. The important thing is that we’ve still got the leader’s jersey. Our plans won’t change.”
— Mundo Ciclistico (@mundociclistico) May 15, 2018
Dispatches from the Giro d’Italia
Mohoric wins stage 10 of Giro d’Italia
Surging clear of the main bunch on the day’s final climb and then using his well-known descending skills press home his advantage, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain – Merida) raced to victory on stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia. The Slovenian rider jumped away with Davide Vilella, dropped the Astana rider on the descent and was joined by the German Nico Denz (Ag2r La Mondiale). The duo worked together until the line in Gualdo Tadino, where Mohoric was quickest in the two-man sprint.
“It’s amazing,” he said afterwards. “I’m super happy for myself but, foremost, for my team Bahrain-Merida. They let me try and win a stage, although we’re racing for Domenico Pozzovivo on GC. I was not confident to beat Nico Denz. That’s why I tried to attack him before. When I saw that he was not passing, I gave it my all.”
The day was the longest of the race and came after Monday’s second rest day. A break of 17 riders soon got clear, Mohoric included, while behind Esteban Chaves got into difficulty on the first climb of Fonte della Creta and was dropped. He had started the day second overall behind Mitchelton-Scott teammate Simon Yates, and Team Sky drove the pace to ensure he didn’t get back on.
The break was eventually caught but that didn’t provide sufficient respite in the pace for Chaves to rejoin. Instead, he finished 135th, 25 minutes 25 seconds back. Defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) moves up a place to second overall but, courtesy of his intermediate sprint win over Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Yates extends his advantage over the Dutchman to 41 seconds. Pinot is a further five seconds back in third.
Poll: The most surprising things from stage 10 of the Giro
Poll: Most surprising thing to happen on stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia? #Giro101
— CyclingTips (@cyclingtips) May 15, 2018
Yates: I’m not scared of the third week, I’m scared of the time trial
Esteban Chaves’ GC collapse at the Giro made it a difficult day for Mitchelton-Scott, but one silver lining for the team was Simon Yates’ win in the day’s second intermediate sprint. He beat Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) there, slightly extending his overall lead.
“I’m not scared of the third week; I’m scared of the time trial,” he said after the stage. “I know I’ll lose some time there. That’s why I gained three seconds in an intermediate sprint today.
“If I keep gaining here and there, I’ll be happy. I’m confident that I’m going well and I have a great team to support me, but I know it won’t be easy. My rivals are very strong. I’m self-confident as always and I’m understanding what I’m trying to achieve.”
Bennett inches closer to Viviani’s points jersey
The start of the Giro d’Italia brought aces for Elia Viviani, with the QuickStep Floors sprinter winning the first two road stages and taking a commanding lead in the points classification. However the pendulum swung in the opposite direction on stage 7 when Sam Bennett – third on stages two and three – beat Viviani to win his first Grand Tour stage.
Bennett collected 12 points on stage 10 in the sprint and narrowed the gap somewhat to Viviani. He is on 112 points, as compared to 178.
The next Giro stage
Much like stage 10, Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia is a tough stinger which will hurt the riders’ legs and could well act as a platform for a successful breakaway. Although it is over 80 kilometres shorter, the stage from Assisi to Osimo it will be another difficult day in the saddle due to the saw-toothed profile, plus an uphill ramp at the end.
Toms Skujins takes stage 3 of the Tour of California
Latvia’s Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) has taken his third career stage victory at the Amgen Tour of California, escaping late on Tuesday’s stage 3 to cross the line solo.
Skujins had made his way across to the break with a little less than 30km to go in the stage, before going it solo on the penultimate ascent. He was joined by Sean Bennett (Hagens Berman Axeon) ahead of the final climb, but after the pair reached the Laguna Seca racetrack together — just seconds ahead of the chasing bunch — Skujins left Bennett behind in the final kilometre to win the stage.
Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) was third, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was fourth after having to chase late, and overall leader Egan Bernal (Sky) finished fifth to maintain his 25-second advantage.
The Amgen Tour of California continues tomorrow with a lumpy 34.7km individual time trial.
Stuyven extends with Trek-Segafredo
Regarded as a big Classics contender for the future, Jasper Stuyven has inked a new deal with Trek-Segafredo and will now stay with the squad until at least the end of 2020.
Now 26 years of age, the Belgian joined the team structure back in 2012 when he became part of the under 23 Bontrager development team. He stepped up to the WorldTour squad two years later and took a stage in the 2015 Vuelta a Espana as well as winning the 2016 edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Cervélo to back Team Sunweb?
According to De Telegraaf, the Cervélo bike brand looks set to take over from Giant as the bikes of choice at Team Sunweb. Currently with Team Dimension Data, the publication says that the bike brand – which is owned by the Dutch Pons company – will work more closely with the team to find improvements.
Click through to see more here.
Wright brothers return to cycling
Did you know the Wright brothers started off as bike mechanics?
Of course you did. It’s part of your pride in being a cyclist — collectively, we basically invented the airplane.
Well, now they’re going back to bikes. Wright Brothers USA is launching a range of steel gravel bikes, built by CoMotion and assembled in Dayton, Ohio, home of the Wright’s first bike shop. Both models are townie-style, with mustache bars and belt drives, and are called the St. Claire and the Van Cleve. They’ll be sold consumer direct.
Is Adam Hansen showing the strain of 20 consecutive Grand Tours? We think not – this is just wacky humour.
— Adam Hansen (@HansenAdam) May 15, 2018
Serra de Tramuntana Mountains (Mallorca) – Cycling Inspiration & Education
Forming the backbone of the northwest of Mallorca, the Serra de Tramuntana mountains are an absolute must to explore if you’re visiting the island.
Tour of California Podcast Episode 3: Egan Bernal flies
Before the Tour of California began, Egan Bernal told us that he is “Not yet a good road rider.”
The first decisive GC stage suggested otherwise. The Colombian talent spread his wings and flew away from the rest of the field.
We catch up with the new race leader plus his teammate Teo Geoghegan Hart, Tour de France climber’s jersey winner Rafal Majka, and Adam Yates to break down the stage.
Quote of the day
“If Sky ever wants to win the Giro, I think they found their guy.”
Rob Britton (Rally Cycling) is impressed by Tour of California stage 2 winner Egan Bernal. See the full story here.
Rik Van Steenbergen, who won three world road race championships, fifteen stages of the Giro d’Italia and two editions apiece of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Van Steenbergen passed away on this day 15 years ago.