Yates wins Vuelta; Americans shining in France: Daily News Digest

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It was an action-packed weekend with the finale of the Vuelta a Espana. Simon Yates successfully defended his lead on the final mountain stage in Andorra and cruised into Madrid to capture his first Grand Tour title. He was joined on the podium by two young-sensations, Miguel Angel Lopez and Enric Mas. Lopez and Mas had a fiery battle for the stage win on the final mountain stage with Mas coming out on top.


Story of the day: Great Britain dominated the Grand Tours in 2018

With Simon Yates’ (Mitchelton-Scott) overall victory in the Vuelta a Espana over the weekend, Great Britain completed the Grand Tour sweep for the 2018 season and did so with three different riders. Chris Froome (Sky) became the first Briton to win the Giro d’Italia when he was victorious in May and his teammate Geraint Thomas, a Welshman, took a surprise win at the Tour de France in July.

Since the turn of the century, Great Britain has become a force to be reckoned with on the track, but only recently has the country emerged as a general classification contender at the Grand Tours. Bradley Wiggins was the first Briton to win the Tour de France and did so only six years ago in 2012.

Much of Great Britain’s GC success can be attributed to the formation of Team Sky, but as Simon and Adam Yates are showing, British Cycling can also take credit for spotting talent and helping them to develop. The brothers caused quite a stir when they chose to sign with the GreenEdge program and bypass Team Sky when they made the jump to the WorldTour.


The Beauty of Cycling

After 14 seasons, Igor Anton called an end to his career on Sunday after the final stage of La Vuelta a Espana. The Spaniard walked across the finish line holding his bike over his head to draw an end to his time as a professional cyclist. Just prior to his crossing the line, the peloton allowed Anton to roll off the front of the group, waving goodbye to the fans and the rest of world as the riders entered the finishing circuits in Madrid.

It is common for the peloton to pay tribute to a retiring rider. Alberto Contador received the same courtesy when he retired last year.


Race Radio

Viviani wins final stage of La Vuelta

Elia Viviani (Quick-Step) took the final stage of La Vuelta, only coming out of the slipstream and into the wind in the final hundred metres. The Italian was able to win the stage despite losing his leadout with two kilometres to go and having to freelance the wheels to get to the front.

Madrid Challenge

The two-stage Madrid Challenge saw the riders contest a 14-kilometre team time trial on Saturday, followed by a circuit race in Madrid on Sunday. Team Sunweb showed they are well prepared to defend their world title in the team time trial in a week’s time, winning the opening day by 18 seconds over Wiggle-High5.

Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance) took the win on Sunday in a bunch sprint. The two-time world champion closed out her illustrious career in Madrid. Next year, she will be a director sportif with the new Trek women’s team. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) and Charlotte Becker (Hitec Products) rounded out the podium.

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Americans continue to shine at L’Ardeche

Over the weekend, Katie Hall, riding for the U.S. National Team at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche, demonstrated she is climbing better than ever and is ready for the world championships in a few weeks. The climb-heavy course in Austria definitely suits Hall’s strengths.

L’Ardèche went climbing over the weekend with two summit finishes testing the riders. Hall finished fifth on Saturday, alongside former race leader and stage three winner Ruth Winder. Hall and Winder continued to climb well on Sunday, finishing third and fifth, respectively.

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), who finished second to Winder on stage three, took the fifth stage and is currently second overall. She is five seconds behind race leader Margarita Garcia (Spain) in the general classification. Hall is fourth overall at 1:26 and Winder is fifth at 2:12.

Race to the Rock: A hat-trick for Hammond

During the three years of Race to the Rock, the course may have altered, the weather went from one extreme to the next and the field of contenders shuffled, but there’s one thing that has stayed the same. Sarah Hammond has consistently dominated the gruelling race through the remote stretches of outback Australia.

This year the gruelling self-supported ultra-endurance race traversed 3,569 kilometres from the southern state of Tasmania to the red rock of Uluru in the Northern Territory. Hammond completed the course on Saturday afternoon, finishing the longest Race to the Rock yet, in more than 15 days.

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“This year’s [Race to the Rock] course was a full body work out. It wasn’t just pedalling alone. It was rock scrambling down a 1000m drop, it was pushing my bike through so much and I wanted to cry,” said Hammond in an Instagram post. “The further out, the more harsh the conditions. Heavy corrugated roads riding into 50kmph headwinds, with the sun burning a hole in you. This race has something so raw about it.”

To follow the rest of the riders as they make their way toward the finish you can see the live tracking dots here.


Moving Pictures

Vuelta a Espana stage 20 highlights


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