Viviani bounces back, points battle rages, Zoncolan unknown to Yates: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Viviani bounces back with third stage win; points jersey battle to make for intense final week; Simon Yates says he knows ‘nothing’ about the Zoncolan; the Tour of Norway and more…

Dispatches from the Giro d’Italia

Viviani grabs third stage win of 2018 Giro

Elia Viviani bounced back from a tough 12th stage to win stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia on Friday. Viviani positioned himself perfectly to win into Nervesa della Battaglia, with Thursday’s winner Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) having to go wide and come from a long way back to take second. Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) was third.

Viviani had been dropped on Thursday and his relief was obvious. “It’s amazing to be back after a few difficult days,” he said. “This is what I needed and what my team deserved for the great job they have done. I had two or three bad days but I remained determined to keep the Maglia Ciclamino. Sport is made of dreams, good and bad moments..”

The stage was almost completely flat and featured a breakaway of Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF), Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Andrea Vendrame (Androni Gioccatoli-Sidermec) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia). They got a lead of three and a half minutes but they bunch got back on terms with six kilometres to go. Marco Coledan (Wilier Triestina) rocketed clear closer to the line but was caught inside 500 metres to go.

“Until the latest possible moment I tried to stay safe,” said race leader Simon Yates, who maintains his 47 second advantage over Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). The big guys in the team did a great job just keeping me at the front. It’s been the easiest day we’ve had so far. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Points jersey battle set for intense final week

Sam Bennett’s win on Thursday narrowed his deficit in the points jersey battle to just 22 points, but things stretched out again on Friday when Elia Viviani won stage 13. Viviani picked up 53 points on the stage as compared to Bennett’s 35, and tightened his grip on the Maglia Ciclamino.

“Now it is one week to go and we have this jersey,” Viviani said. “I don’t know the gap, but the important thing is to get back to winning. That is really important for me.”

Viviani now has 237 points, as compared to Bennett’s 197. However the Irishman is a better climber and this may help him in upcoming intermediate sprints and also on stage 17, which begins with a very lumpy first half – where Viviani will struggle – but then is much flatter later on. That stage plus the final stage in Rome are the only possibilities remaining for big sprints.

Simon Yates: I know nothing about the Zoncolan

Many riders to reconnaissance rides before Grand Tours, but Simon Yates said on Friday that he is yet to ride Monte Zoncolan, the venue for Saturday’s high-altitude finish. “I know absolutely nothing, except what I seen on TV,” he told Eurosport.

Asked if it was a good or bad thing to be heading towards the finish without that knowledge, he said there could be benefits. “You could look at it both ways,” he said. “I don’t know what I am in for, so that is also as a good thing. I will look at more details tonight and obviously tomorrow morning and we will go from there.”

Yates was then asked if he was aiming to try to drop Tom Dumoulin again. “Of course. Not just Tom, everybody else,” he said. “The race is not just me and Tom, there are still a lot of other guys who are really strong. But we will have to see. If I have good legs I will try.”

Tomorrow’s Giro stage

Stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia is the first of two mammoth mountain stages, and could well shake up the general classification. The 186 kilometre leg races from San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan and crosses three category three climbs, the second category Passo Duron and finishes at the summit of the feared Monte Zoncolan.

Race Radio

Groenewegen wins stage 3 of the Tour of Norway

Victorious on Wednesday’s opening stage but then out of the placings on Thursday, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) zoomed back into the overall lead at the Tour of Norway on Friday when he won stage three. The Dutchman outsprinted stage 2 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Sondre Enger (Israel Cycling Academy) and the rest of the bunch to the line in Sarpsborg.

He is now one second ahead of overnight race leader Enger and Boasson Hagen with two stages to go.

UCI issues suspension and fine to Astana DS over Tour de Yorkshire crash

Erratic driving at the Tour de Yorkshire which demolished two road signs and could have caused serious injuries or worse to a race marshal have led to punishment being handed down to an Astana directeur sportif. The UCI announced on Friday that its disciplinary commission had reached a decision about the incident on the fourth and final stage of the race.

“Mr Michaelsen will serve a period of suspension of 50 days and pay a fine of CHF 5,000. He will also collaborate with the UCI in delivering driver safety initiatives and share his experience as a driver in the race convoy.”

Police use Strava to arrest rider who attacked another

A Virginia cyclist who allegedly struck another rider on his helmet and caused him to crash has been arrested after authorities used Strava to identify the aggressor. The incident happened on April 22 when the victim was overtaking two other riders. A fourth cyclist, who was coming from the other direction, lashed out and caused the overtaking rider to fall and suffer what are described as serious injuries.

The attacker has been identified as Edward A. Shortnacy (48) of Vienna, Virginia. He turned himself in on Thursday morning, has been charged with malicious wounding and has been released on a bond of $5,000.

See more here at Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Jonathan Cantwell and Drapac settle legal proceedings … for $1

It’s almost two years to the day since former pro Jonathan Cantwell started legal proceedings against Drapac Professional Cycling for the early termination of his contract. Now, just weeks before the case was set to go to court, it’s been settled…reportedly for the grand sum of $1.

Cantwell signed with Drapac for the 2014 and 2015 seasons but was told in October 2014 that his services were no longer required. He then sued the team for more than $300,000 for unlawful early termination, a claim that had ballooned out to beyond $1 million by the time a settlement was reached on May 8.

Commenting in a press release, the team claimed that Cantwell had other undisclosed professional commitments [a bike shop], didn’t train sufficiently and engaged in what it termed ‘various other misconduct,’ including encouraging riders in a race to ‘act contrary to team tactics.’

“DPC always considered the claim to be an unmeritorious and opportunistic claim brought by someone who had failed to comply with the most essential duty of a professional cyclist-to give his best effort in preparing for the team,” said team director Michael Drapac. “DPC considered that this was in part due to the failure by Mr Cantwell to properly disclose prior to entering the contract the commitments he had taken on in addition to his commitments to the team. DPC is very pleased with the outcome and to finalise the matter and looks forward to future cycling successes.”

Tech news

A weekend of Cross Country race products

It’s the UCI Cross Country World Cup in Albstadt, Germany this weekend, and both Cannondale and Schwalbe have new things to show off in front of the world’s strongest cycling market.

For Cannondale, it’s a new version of its F-Si carbon hardtail and the next generation of the unique one-legged Lefty fork. Our US tech editor, James Huang, wrote up the key facts of this new bike and fork while he awaits delivery of a test sample.

Perhaps not the ideal choice for the severe mud riders are likely to face in Albstadt, German tyre manufacturer Schwalbe have revamped their long-running Racing Ralph cross country tyre, and given it a brother, the Racing Ray. Designed for use on the front wheel, the new Racing Ray offers an open tread pattern with increased side-knob stability. It’s designed to provide improved grip and braking traction in a wide variety of conditions. While for the rear wheel, the updated Racing Ralph offers a closely-spaced tread pattern, square knobs to assist in climbing traction and a harder Addix rubber compound for improved speed and durability.

Both tyres will be available in 26, 27.5 and 29″ size options and a 2.25″ width, a narrower 2.1″ option will be available for 29ers. All feature Schwalbe’s Evo SnakeSkin casing and are tubeless ready. They’re expected to be ready for sale from July.

Moving pictures

2018 UCI Women’s WorldTour – AMGEN Tour of California Stage 1 – Highlights

An emotional post-win interview from Kendall Ryan at the women’s Tour of California

Concussion for Chloé Dygert Owen

This crash looks serious and put Chloé out of the race.

Big celebrations for Bora-hansgrohe

Who said Germans are reserved? The Bora-hansgrohe team really got into the celebrations after Sam Bennett’s stage 12 win on Thursday.

Chasing Spartacus, Part 1

Fabian Cancellara vs Phil Gaimon – check out details of the upcoming duel.

Tweet of the day

Sam Bennett posted this on Twitter after jumping clear to win Thursday’s 12th stage of the Giro.

Happy birthday to…

Tour of Flanders champion and former Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra, who was born on this day in 1984. Also to former Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana stage winner Sean Yates, who was born in 1960.

Today’s feature image shows Elia Viviani winning stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia by Kristof Ramon.

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