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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Story of the day: Chris Froome’s TT recon crash
Sky’s Chris Froome crashed heavily while reconning the time trial course on the morning of the Giro’s first stage. Initial reports indicate that he is relatively uninjured, but did lose quite a bit of skin, and his opening time trial certainly did not go as planned. He was 35 seconds down at the midpoint, behind men not known for their prowess against the clock like Domenico Pozzovivo and Thibaut Pinot. By the finish, he had lost 37 seconds to stage winner Tom Dumoulin.
Video of the crash:
The good news for Froome is he has almost a full week to recover before the next general classification test, the uphill finish at Mt. Etna in stage 6.
Konstantin Siutsou (Bahrain-Merida) also crashed in recon, breaking three vertebrae. He is out of the Giro. Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez also went down, but wasn’t seriously injured.
Dispatches from the Giro d’Italia
Tom Dumoulin takes first maglia rosa
Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin stormed through the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia to win the stage by two seconds over BMC’s Rohan Dennis, while his chief rival, Chris Froome, finished well down the rankings.
Sunweb has little interest in defending pink so early and may try to pass the jersey to a sprinter’s team in the next few days. “We are not planning on defending it every day, the Giro is still very long,” Dumoulin said. “It’s nice that we have it today, but it’s hard to keep it for the whole three weeks. So we will see what we do about that.”
The course was particularly well-suited to Dumoulin’s style. “It was only full gas, then recovering, then full gas, then recovering, and that’s perfect for me,” he said after the stage.
Winners and losers from stage 1
Winning and losing is relative, at least on the first day of a three-week race. For the Giro’s climbers, losing minimal time on Friday counts as a win. For the strong time trialists, losing any time counts as a loss. Here’s how the GC men faired:
Chris Froome: Lose. Dropping 37 seconds to Tom Dumoulin isn’t a disaster, but it’s far from ideal. There’s another long TT on stage 16 where Dumoulin could take more time. That means Froome will have to be aggressive in the mountains.
Tom Dumoulin: Win. Obviously. Literally, figuratively, metaphysically; Dumoulin won in every possible way.
Rohan Dennis: Win. Why? Because he was only 2 seconds off Dumoulin and assuming he’s out of the GC fight by the next time trial (there’s no guarantee of that, of course) he will have the luxury of sitting in the gruppetto to save his legs before TT day. Dumoulin won’t have that luxury. A TT stage win for Dennis seems likely.
Simon Yates: Win. Seventh in a time trial, just 20 seconds of Dumoulin, is a big win.
Esteban Chaves: Draw. 46 seconds down on Dumoulin, and 26 behind his teammate Yates, but he ended up about where everyone expected him to end up.
Domenico Pozzovivo: Win. Tenth in a time trial? Little Domenico? Win. Big win.
Miguel Angel Lopez: Lose. 56 seconds down on stage 1 is not a great start — and neither is crashing on the recon ride — though some are suggesting he’s the strongest climber in the race.
Michael Woods: Lose. Woods is on the periphery of the true GC contenders (he finished 7th at the Vuelta last year), and losing 1’02” in less than 10km doesn’t bode well for breaking into the group of favorites.
Poll: Surprising things from stage 1
Ryan Mullen’s watts
Irish time trial specialist Ryan Mullen produced an incredible 662 watts for a minute early on in his Giro d’Italia TT. He finished 67th, 57 seconds back. Proof that it takes a lot of watts to get 84kg going.
The Fight for Pink
We got ourselves a regular Rocky Balboa over here.
Tomorrow’s Giro stage
Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km
A mostly flat stage that is almost certain to end in a sprint. Sprinters who rode a good opening time trial will try to snag a few bonus seconds and inch closer to the maglia rosa.
Guarnier wins overall at Tour de Yorkshire
Boels-Dolman’s Megan Guarnier won the ASDA Tour de Yorkshire with a move on the Côte de Cow and Calf that left the field far behind. Dani Rowe, riding for Team GB, finished second overall, 17 seconds behind Guarnier.
Astana’s Magnus Cort Neilsen won the second stage of the men’s race, which finished on the same climb. He came over the top of Greg van Avermaet (BMC) in the final meters, and now leads the Olympic champion by 4 seconds in the overall standings.
Katie Hall, Thomas Revard lead Redlands
UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall climbed to victory in the second stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, riding through the day’s breakaway in the final kilometres of the Oak Glen climb to cross the line alone. She now leads by 16 seconds over Edwidge Pitel (Jakroo). The first stage of Redlands was cancelled due to snow.
Hall is using Redlands as a final tune-up for the Amgen Tour of California in mid-May, a race she enters as a favourite. She’ll be up against the likes of Megan Guarnier, who just won the ASDA Tour de Yorkshire, and Ruth Winder (Sunweb), who is currently training at altitude in Colorado.
On the men’s side, Hagens Berman Axeon’s Thomas Revard proved strongest on the Oak Glen climb, and now leads by 33 seconds over Lionel Mawditt (Project Echelon).
At least in the United States, e-MTBs are steeped in controversy, mostly revolving around trail access and legality. Meanwhile, fat bikes and downhill bikes are both generally regarded as niche machines, with the former little more than a curiosity to riders who don’t live in areas with snowy winters, and the latter of limited appeal unless you can readily access lift-serviced terrain. So how, then, would a downhill e-fat bike be received?
The new Revolution AT features 4.8″-wide Maxxis Minion tires front and rear, 230mm of rear-wheel travel, custom suspension components by DVO, a 14-speed Rohloff internally-geared rear hub, a 3000W (no, that’s not a typo) mid-drive motor, and a claimed assisted top speed of over 70km/h. Claimed range is 160km with the upgraded battery, and claimed weight is 34.5kg — the equivalent of five UCI-legal road racing bikes.
This thing is by no means within the scope of our usual coverage, but it’s outlandish enough that we just couldn’t resist calling attention to it — and if you ever find yourself actually riding one of these, that’s just what you’d be doing, too. Retail price is a paltry US$18,000 in top-shelf trim, and you can find more information at hi-powercycles.com.
Less controversial is the full-suspension gravel bike concept that Niner showed off at the recent Sea Otter Classic. Although the company insisted at the time that the Magic Carpet Ride prototype was mostly just a design study, Niner has now confirmed that the bike will be brought to market.
According to Niner, the new MCR will feature a downsized version of its CVA dual-link suspension system with a manual lockout, and clearance for 700c and 650b tires up to 50mm-wide. Additional details are still pending, but Niner says the MCR will arrive in stores some time in 2019.
Some highlights from the Redlands Bicycle Classic:
May the 4th be with you
Apologies to our Aussie readers for missing this yesterday.
Happy birthday to…
Megan Guarnier, who celebrated by winning the Tour de Yorkshire.