Giro to start in Bologna, TTs underway in Austria: Daily News Digest

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

It’s been a hectic week thus far. The world road championships set off in Innsbruck, Austria, the cyclocross world cup got underway in the U.S., and the Giro d’Italia revealed the race will start in Bologna in 2019. Also, the Italian men’s team have gone from worlds favourites to worlds hopefuls. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: 2019 Giro to start in Emilia-Romagna with tough opening TT

Bologna will host an individual time trial to start the 2019 Giro d’Italia, which begins on Saturday, May 11. The Emilia-Romagna region will host multiple stages of the Giro with stage two also beginning in Bologna and heading south, and the race returning to the region on stage nine for another individual time trial.

The stage one TT is short at 8.2 kilometres but has a brutal finish to it. The opening six kilometres are flat, but then the road turns upward from the final 2.1 kilometres. The climb to the finish at the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca averages 9.7-percent with long sections above 10-percent and the steepest section at 16-percent in the final kilometre.

After the opening test, the race is expected to travel South before looping back around for the “Wine Stage” on May 19. The 34.7-kilometre individual time trial from Riccione to San Marino on stage nine is rolling until the 22-kilometre mark when it begins to really kick upward. The GC contenders will most certainly show their faces before the first rest day of the Giro the following day.

The sprinters will have their opportunity on stage 10 with a flat 147-kilometre route from Ravenna to Modena. Stage 11 will start in Carpi and head west with the finish town yet to be announced.

The full 2019 Giro route is expected to be announced in November.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) won the 2018 Giro d’Italia, but is expected to miss the 2019 edition to focus solely on winning a fifth Tour de France title. Photo: Cor Vos

Inquest into Mike Hall’s death begins

An inquest into the death of 35-year-old ultra-endurance rider Mike Hall, during last year’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race, began in Canberra on Monday.

The British rider was in the final kilometres of the solo, unsupported race across Australia when he was hit by a car on the outskirts of Canberra. It happened at 6:20 am, when it was still dark, on March 30, 2017.

ABC news said it was noted during the first day of the inquest that Hall was wearing dark clothing without reflective material and that his red rear light was at a similar height to roadside reflectors.

It was also reported that Senior Constable Adam Potts had told the inquest they found Hall was not clearly visible to the driver, leaving him with insufficient time to avoid a collision. The driver, a 19-year-old P-plater, hasn’t been prosecuted by police.

Follow the link to read more at ABC News.

Beauty of Cycling

As riders ourselves, here at CyclingTips we are often in awe of the performances of the professionals. However, sometimes things just don’t go according to plan and these slight imperfections make the pros a bit more relateable. Nobody is perfect.

Ellen Noble botched bunny hopping the barriers at the cyclocross world cup in Waterloo and Charlie Tanfield missed his start in the men’s under-23 individual time trial at the world road championships.

Race Radio

Dutchwoman Ammerlaan wins junior TT

Rozemarijn Ammerlaan of the Netherlands claimed the rainbow bands in the junior women’s individual time trial over Camilla Alessio (Italy) and Elynor Backstedt (Great Britain). Backstedt is the daughter of former Paris-Roubaix champion Magnus Backstedt.

Ammerlaan completed the 20-kilometre course in Innsbruck, Austria in 27:02, seven seconds ahead of Alessio. Backstedt finished 18 seconds behind.

Back-to-back titles for Bjerg

Defending champion Mikkel Bjerg of Denmark made it two-in-a-row at the world TT championships, as he powered to victory in the men’s under-23 event in Innsbruck, Austria. The 19-year-old (racing age 20) completed the 27.8-kilometre course in 32:31, 33 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. Belgian Brent Van Moer claimed the silver medal and Mathias Borsgaard (Denmark) took the bronze medal.

American Brandon McNulty, who powered to the silver medal at last year’s championships, finished seventh.

Italian team no longer among favourites for Worlds

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) were expected to lead Italy at the world championships, but less than a week before the race Aru has pulled out and Nibali has conceded he doesn’t have the form to contend.

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) crashed heavily on stage 17 of La Vuelta, but fought on and still finished the race. Photo: Cor Vos

Nibali, considered a favourite for the world championships earlier in the season, has struggled to regain form after fracturing a vertebra in a crash on Alpe d’Huez during the Tour. He rode the Vuelta for fitness but struggled to make his mark on the race. He told Gazzetta Dello Sport late last week that Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) was Italy’s best chance for a high result.

Moscon has shown great form after returning from a five-week suspension for punching a rider during the Tour. He won the Coppa Agostoni and the Giro della Toscana last week. Although, Moscon is not a pure climber and it remains to be seen whether he will be able to make it over the tough Höll Climb in the finale of the race.

Rolland pulls out of Worlds

Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac) has joined a long list of riders who have pulled out of the world championships in the last few days. The Frenchman wrote on Facebook he made the decision due to poor health and form. He will be replaced by Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Oscaro).

The French are favourites in the elite men’s road race with top contenders Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) all capable of being present in the finale of the race.

Aerts gets first career World Cup win in Waterloo

Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea) soloed to victory at the first Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup of the season in Waterloo, Wisconsin. The former European champion was elated as he crossed the line to take his first-ever world cup victory. World champion Wout van Aert (Belgium), riding as an independent, finished second with Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels-Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) in third.

In the opening laps, a select group of 7 riders formed at the front. The group was slowly whittled down throughout the 60-plus minute race until only Aerts and van Aert remained in the lead. Aerts rode away from van Aert on the seventh of nine laps and extended his lead the rest of the race to win by 34 seconds.

Vos victorious, Noble shines

The elite women’s race was a two-way battle from the opening lap with Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) and Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) separating themselves from the rest. They went wheel-to-wheel throughout the six-lap race, but ultimately the seven-time world champion showed her tactical prowess by making sure she entered the final climb first. She accelerated away from Noble at the top of the climb to take the win. It was Vos’ 21st career World Cup victory. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rounded out the podium.

Coming up

Tomorrow the junior men and elite women take to the roads of Innsbruck for their respective individual time trials. Both categories will compete over the same 27.8-kilometre course. The favourite for the junior men’s race is European champion Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), who is set to join Quick-Step Floors next season. Defending women’s champion Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands) has been on a tear this season and will be tough to beat. Her biggest rivals are fellow countrywomen Anna van der Breggen and Ellen Van Dijk.

Moving Pictures

Junior Women’s TT highlights

Men’s Under-23 TT highlights

Women’s TTT highlights

Men’s TTT highlights

In case you missed it …

Interbike: Our Tech Editor James Huang is on his way home after the 2018 Interbike show in Reno, Nevada, but that doesn’t mean he’s shared everything he’s seen yet. Be sure to check out part 4 of his highlights from the show and parts 1-3 can be found here.

Today’s featured image is by Wil Matthews from the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Waterloo, Wisconsin.

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