Elia Viviani gets his second win of the year; Arlenis Sierra outwits the women's peloton, UCI Cyclocross World Cup concluded in Hoogerheide. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest. For those of you in Australia, enjoy the Australia Day public holiday!
Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today
Elia Viviani gets his second win of the year; Arlenis Sierra outwits the women’s peloton, UCI Cyclocross World Cup concluded in Hoogerheide. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest. For those of you in Australia, enjoy the Australia Day public holiday!
Viviani sprints to victory at the men’s CEGORR
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) snagged his second WorldTour win of the season on Sunday when he dashed to victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
The season’s first one-day WorldTour race came down to a reduced bunch sprint on the Geelong waterfront where Viviani got the better of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott).
“[Cadel’s Race is] one of the four or five WorldTour classics I can win so that means a lot for me,” Viviani said. “So I have already won Hamburg and Plouay before — double Hamburg — so now is the moment to to try to win there others I miss.
“So that is this one and it’s done today and then Gent-Wevelgem and San Remo. The next two will probably be the biggest two but that is the best way to start the season.”
Arlenis Sierra puts in a spectacular ride to win the women’s CEGORR
While the men’s Cadel Race’s was won by one of the favourites, the women’s certainly wasn’t. Cuba’s Arlenis Sierra (Astana) took a thrilling solo victory after riding away from both an elite lead group and then from Mitchelton-Scott’s Lucy Kennedy.
“I was ahead with [Kennedy] and I told her to pull, but I don’t know if she was waiting for her team,” Sierra said. “That’s when I decided to go alone and I knew it would be difficult to win against two from the same team [Kennedy and Amanda Spratt], so I went all or nothing.”
Sierra has a Women’s WorldTour win to her name — the 2018 Tour of Guangxi — plus several strong results in Europe and South America but her Cadel’s Race win was arguably the most impressive ride of her career.
Dutch champion Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) won a cold and muddy GP Adrie Van der Poel in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, Sunday, one week ahead of the UCI Cyclocross World Championships. Brand was in a class of her own across the difficult course, going clear on the third of four laps to win the 43-minute race by nine seconds ahead of US national champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing). It was the best result of the season for Compton, who has struggled with asthma and won only one race, the US national title.
Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) rounded out the podium, 26 seconds behind Brand and just a few seconds ahead of world champion Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) and British national champion Nikki Brammeier (MUDIIITA-Canyon) in a tightly contested battle for the bronze medal.
“I felt super good, I felt strong and I could use my power,” Brand said. “The first half was not how I wanted it, but in the second half I was free to choose my own lines and I could use my power here. iI’s nice to feel good ahead of worlds, it gives confidence before next week, for sure.”
Though it was the final event in the 2018-19 UCI World Cup series, Vos secured the series title last weekend when she won at Pont-Château. Vos won four rounds of the eight-race series to take the first World Cup series victory of her career.
“The [conditions] were hard, but they were the same for everybody,” Vos said. “I was in the front early, but I knew some girls were chasing, and when Lucinda went up to the front, I had trouble staying with her. I couldn’t stay in the lead, so I was happy to race for third. Lucinda is one of the favorites for the world championship, maybe the biggest favorite given the way she’s been riding the last few weeks, but there is also Katie Compton, who was second today, and Sanne Cant. It’s going to be an interesting battle.”
Mathieu van der Poel wins final round, Aerts takes World Cup series
In cold and muddy conditions, Mathieu van der Poel won the final round of the UCI World Cup, named after his father Adrie, in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. After skipping last weekend’s World Cup at Pont-Château, opting for a Corendon-Circus team camp in Spain, Van der Poel didn’t start as strongly as he has at previous races this season; he ran third midway through the third of seven laps, 14 seconds behind Belgian champion Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) with world champion Wout van Aert (Cibel–Cebon) in between.
It was Van der Poel’s 26th win out of 28 starts this season, and yet another strong performance one week ahead of the world championships in Bogense, Denmark — the most important race of the year and one where the Dutch star has left disappointed for the past three years.
By finishing ahead of Van Aert, Aerts locked up the World Cup series title, the first of his career. Aerts won the first two rounds of the series, in the United States, and never finished worse than fourth across the eight events, including second at the two final rounds.
In the heartland of cyclocross with Cycling Canada
In a short film documenting Canada’s build-up to the 2018 world cyclocross championships in Valkenberg, Filmmaker Ralph Samson travelled to Belgium with Cycling Canada to document the team’s build-up to Worlds last year and captured some stunning vision from the races.
The film is narrated by Jan Roet and features a brief conversation with Sven Nys.
Taken out by a deer
While descending on the Catalina Highway in Arizona, Reed Soehnel’s front wheel was taken out by a deer that had run directly into his path, leaving him no chance to react:
You can see the damage done and how the rider is doing in Part 2, here.
Rapha’s Simon Mottram says new owners are in for the long haul
In an interview with the London Evening Standard, Simon Mottram rejected rumours that following that deal Rapha had discounted too much stock and that the business was struggling.
According to the article, accounts filed at Companies House show that Rapha made a £20 million pre-tax loss for the six months to January 2018, on sales of £42.2 million, as opposed to revenues of £67.1 million and pre-tax profits of £1.4 million for a year earlier.
“There are two stories here,” Mottram said. “One that’s wrong and one that’s right. It’s very easy. “We have a new owner, who is invested for the long term and they’re helping us to make the business stronger.
“If you want to get back in control of pricing, you don’t do that by growing 40 per cent. We’ve had to consciously take a step back in terms of growth and drive more of that into full-price sales so the profit margin gets protected, but at a low level.”
He said that he wanted closer integration between the brand’s online operations, which account for the vast majority of sales, and its 22 retail locations around the world, as well as moving into wholesale. Meanwhile, the company cut its Travel business, resulting in a loss of some staff.
“That was tough. We didn’t just do that for fun. It was a shame to lose it, but it’s the right thing to do,” he explained.
Nerd alert…nerd alert…
Ever wonder how a sprocket is made? This is the quenching part of the process that hardens the metal.