Porte’s breakaway, Bouhanni’s sprint: Daily News Digest

by CyclingTips

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

Richie Porte jumped in a doomed breakaway at the Vuelta. Why?

Story of the Day: Richie Porte’s foray off the front

Richie Porte jumped off the front into a three-man breakaway on a flat stage of the Vuelta a Espana. What alternative dimension have we stepped into?

Porte came into this Vuelta quite ill, and was still recovering from a crash in stage 9 of the Tour de France. He lost 13 minutes on stage 2, ending his hopes of overall redemption. Now he’s looking to the final week and building form for a mountainous world championships course that suits his skill set. So why jump in a doomed break?

“Bit of fun, something different,” Porte said after the stage. “[I’m] finally starting to feel a little bit more back to normal and recovered so it was just nice to do something different.”

Porte set off with Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) and Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH) early in the 153km stage and built a lead of over four minutes. The sprinter’s teams kept the move close, of course, and Porte was reeled in with about 30km to go.

We had to dig deep into the way back machine to find the last time Porte was in a breakaway. There was stage 20 in the 2012 Vuelta where he made a late move with Denis Menchov that held onto the line, but that doesn’t really count. If we go back even farther, Porte the neo-pro was part of a massive and successful breakaway effort in the Giro in 2010, which resulted in his first pink jersey. The move contained 55 other riders and gained 13 minutes on overall contenders Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov.

Richie Porte in a 56-man breakaway in 2010 that moved him from the white jersey to pink.

“I still have no idea what happened … but I’ll take it,” Porte said after that stage.

Today’s move clearly wasn’t an attempt to pull something over on his rivals — it was doomed from the start. But we appreciate the effort. Who doesn’t like to see a bike racer try something different?

“I haven’t been in a breakaway for years,” Porte said. “So it was quite enjoyable.”

Tweet of the day

The helicopters got a little too close at the finish of the Vuelta’s sixth stage.

Race Radio

Bouhanni wins crash-split Vuelta sprint
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won a reduced bunch sprint into San Javier on Thursday, heading up a group of 50 that survived a chaotic, windy finale.

A crash caused by poorly marked bollards split the peloton at 25km to go, and blustery winds kept the groups separate until the finish line. Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) lost time, as did Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) held onto his overall lead.

Dideriksen wins second stage of Boels Ladies Tour
Amalie Dideriksen (Boels Dolmans) won a fast sprint at the end of 125 flat kilometres to take the second stage of the Boels Ladies Tour. There was no change to the overall, which is led by Mitchelton-Scott’s Annemiek van Vleuten.

A breakaway of 13 riders formed early but was given only a short leash and was eventually swept up with less than 3km to go. Dideriksen, the 2017 world road champion, crossed the line with one arm raised ahead of Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Jolien D’Hoore (Mitchelton-Scott).

Sniper Cycling completes merger with Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
The Sniper Cycling team, which has raced under the Veranda’s Willems-Crelan title in recent years and which currently includes the highly talented rider Wout Van Aert, has announced a successful merger with the Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij team.

The news follows the earlier talks between Sniper Cycling and Aqua Blue Sport. On August 1 these discussions were prematurely announced by the latter as having reached a successful conclusion; Sniper Cycling denied anything had been agreed, and Aqua Blue Sport was forced into an embarrassing backtrack.

Then, on Monday of this week, Aqua Blue Sport made the shock announcement that it was stopping. It said that it had believed a deal with Sniper Cycling had been ‘a foregone conclusion’ but that ‘unfortunately common sense did not prevail.’ The decision to end the team left riders and staff without jobs for 2019.

Sniper Cycling will instead partner with the Dutch team, creating a Belgian-Dutch squad which will be registered in Belgium, will race under the Dutch flag and will be titled Roompot-Crelan. The related cyclo-cross team will continue to be known as Crelan – Charles.

It remains to be seen if Van Aert is part of the setup in 2019. He has been linked to a step up to the WorldTour with LottoNL-Jumbo.

“More experience, more expertise in multiple areas and a more extensive network will give the new team more strength and potential,” said Sniper Cycling, explaining the rationale behind the merger. “In the short term, we should be able to kick off the 2019 road season well prepared and with a competitive team. In the longer term, participation in a grand tour is a tangible objective. Helping young riders in the development of their careers is one as well.”

Moving pictures

Presidential cycling
We like seeing bikes in positions of power, like in this video, where the Prime Minster of Denmark shows the President of France around town by Copenhagen bike.

Deignan riding towards her due date
Lizzie Deignan is due with her first child this fall and posted this video of her riding with quite a bump. Deignan signed with the new Trek team for next season with an eye toward the 2019 world championships, which will be hosted in her native Yorkshire.


Transfer news

Bauke Mollema extends with Trek-Segafredo

Not much to report on the transfer front as the rider swap season grinds to a slow close. But Bauke Mollema signed a two-year extension with Trek-Segafredo, the team announced Thursday. Mollema will split GC duties with new signing Richie Porte in the coming seasons.

Thanks to our friends at Bontrager, we’re giving away a Flare RT Rear Light for every stage of the 2018 Vuelta a España. Sign up here. And for more, click through to read our article highlighting what every cyclist needs to know about daytime running lights.

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