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Astana took its fifth stage-race victory of the season at the Tour of Oman, where a crash-marred final stage ended in sprint controversy. Matteo Trentin sprinted to victory at Ruta del Sol. Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, overall winner of the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir, won a summit finish ahead of Wout Poels and Enric Mas. American Ruth Winder won the opening stage of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana from a five-rider breakaway. World cyclocross champion Mathieu van der Poel took his first road victory of the 2019 season in Turkey.
STORY OF THE DAY:
Nizzolo wins final sprint in Oman, Lutsenko takes overall title
Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) won the final stage of the Tour of Oman in a tight sprint ahead of compatriots Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Davide Ballerini (Astana). Andre Greipel (Arkea-Samsic) complained to the race jury that Nizzolo should have been relegated for nearly causing a crash, but Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was involved in the same incident and blamed Niccolo Bonifazio (Direct Energie).
Kazakh national champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), who won three of six stages, claimed his second overall victory at the race, a feat only achieved by Chris Froome before him. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) completed the overall podium.
A big crash at around 50km to go took out several riders; among them, Stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) was forced to abandon with a serious cut to his left arm, requiring stitches. Pozzovivo also went down, but was able to finish, albeit with a fair amount of road rash visible on the final podium.
In total, Astana has now won 10 races this year, five of them at stage races, with five different riders — Oman, Tour Colombia (Miguel Ángel López), Tour de la Provence (Gorka Izagirre), Vuelta Murcia (Luis Leon Sanchez), and Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (Ion Izagirre).
Trentin takes Stage 2 at Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol
European champion Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) took his second win of the 2019 season at the Ruta del Sol, winning ahead of Dutch sprinter Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma). Stage 1 winner Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) retains the race lead.
It was touch and go as to whether Trentin could make it to the line before Ivan García Cortina (Bahrain-Merida), who held a small gap in the final few hundred metres after launching his sprint early. In the end, the 29-year-old Italian timed his sprint to perfection, blasting down the final 200 metres to pass Cortina and make it win number nine for Mitchelton-Scott this season.
20-year-old Pogacar bests Poels and Mas at Volta ao Algarve
The second stage of the Volta ao Algarve, finishing atop the Alto da Foia, was won by 20-year-old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates), the overall winner of the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir.
Pogacar finished ahead of established WorldTour climbers Wout Poels (Team Sky), Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick Step), and Sam Oomen (Sunweb) to take the overall lead.
“I’m living a dream,” Pogacar said. “It’s the most beautiful day for me on the bike. It’s great to pull in my first win with this WorldTour team in this way, a summit finish and against respected rivals. Tomorrow, I’ll race in the leader’s jersey. I’m going to give my best to defend it.”
Winder takes Stage 1 from breakaway at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
American Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) won the opening stage of the four-stage Setmana Ciclista Valenciana from a five-rider breakaway Thursday, holding off a hard-charging peloton to take the race lead. Winder attacked into the final corner, holding off Soraya Paladin (Ale Cipollini) and Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans).
Van der Poel wins again — on the road
World cyclocross champion Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus) took his first road victory of the 2019 season when he won the opening stage at the Tour of Antalya, a four-day UCI 2.2 stage race held in Turkey. Van der Poel, the Dutch road champion, won the sprint ahead of Serbian Dusan Rajovic (Adria Mobil). Van der Poel’s cyclocross season wrapped up over the weekend, with a 94% winning percentage across 34 races.
2021 Tour de France Grand Depart confirmed for Copenhagen
Tour de France owners ASO confirmed Thursday that Denmark will become the tenth country to host the Grand Départ of the Tour in 2021. The first three stages of the 108th edition of the race will take place in Copenhagen and the southern part of the country. The Danish capital, and self-proclaimed most bicycle-friendly city in the world, will set the scene for the most famous cycling race on Earth.
A time trial through the heart of the Danish capital will open the race. Stage 2 will travel to the island of Zealand and cross the 18km Great Belt Bridge. The visit to Denmark will come to an end on the Jutland peninsula on the mainland with a sprint-friendly route between Vejle and Sønderborg.
Danish stages of the 2021 Tour de France:
Stage 1: Copenhagen (ITT), 13 km
Stage 2: Roskilde to Nyborg, 190 km
Stage 3: Vejle to Sønderborg, 170 km
Tweet of the day
Wear a helmet — but also stay in your lane
A video clip shared by Danish rider Michael Carbel, bronze medalist at the 2017 U23 Road World Championship, is raising eyebrows. In the clip, a rider drifts left into the oncoming traffic lane while descending into a right-hand turn — and into a truck. The rider’s helmeted head clips the truck’s rearview mirror — prompting Carbel to write “Always wear a helmet, always!” — but it was nearly a situation where a helmet wouldn’t have made much of difference at all.
Watch Kiwi freerider Conor MacFarlane rip around Central Otago
In case you missed it…
Happy birthday to…
South African Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data), twice a top-10 finisher at the Tour de France, turns 27 today.
Feature Image: Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) out-sprinted Wout Poels (Team Sky) and Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick Step) atop the 8km climb to Alto da Foia. Photo: Cor Vos.