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Simon Yates takes TT victory in Paris-Nice, Alaphillipe wins stage 2 in Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of California announces teams for 2019. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Simon Yates wins Paris-Nice TT, Kwiatkowski cements lead
Simon Yates may be known for his climbing legs, but he was the fastest time trialist today in Barbentane, France, winning the stage 5 TT at Paris-Nice.
No longer a GC threat after losing time in the stage 2 crosswinds, the Mitchelton-Scott rider rolled down the ramp within the first half of the day’s starters. That may have helped, providing him with more favorable wind conditions than the later starters faced, but it also meant a long wait on the hot seat was in store after he set his mark. There were a few nervous moments for the provisional leader as TT talents like Bob Jungels took to the road, but no one could match Yates’s time of 30:26 on the 25.5-kilometer course.
Nils Politt of Katusha-Alpecin came closest, seven seconds back, with race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) third fastest, 11 seconds behind.
“Very unexpected,” Yates said of his stage win in the post-race TV interview.
“I knew it was going to be tough. I really didn’t believe it was a good course for me at all. No climbs whatsoever almost. But I had good condition coming into the race.”
Asked if he was a time trialist now, Yates had to laugh.
“Far from it, but I hope to keep improving,” he said, pointing out that this was his first ever victory in a time trial, including his years in the youth ranks.
In the GC picture, Kwiatkowski’s solid ride gives him a firmer grip on the leader’s jersey as the race heads into its final three stages. His rivals will find it all the harder to take on Sky considering the fact that his teammate Egan Bernal sits second overall, 19 seconds back after delivering the sixth best time in the TT. Astana’s Luis León Sánchez is the only other rider within a minute of a lead, 28 seconds behind Kwiatkowsi.
Follow the link for the full stage 5 results.
Paris-Nice continues Friday with a 176.5-kilometer stage 6 from Peynier to Brignoles.
Beauty of Cycling
For Tom Dumoulin, it was Milano-Sanremo in 2013. For Rohan Dennis, it was racing the Tour de Romandie as a neo-pro. Tejay van Garderen pointed to the cobbled stage at the 2014 Tour de France as his own personal day in hell. That didn’t stop him from pushing through another rough day on the cobbles last summer at the Tour.
We asked around the peloton for stories of suffering and what it took to push through, because some of cycling most beautiful moments are born out of misery. The pros delivered.
Alaphilippe surges to Tirreno stage 2 win, Adam Yates takes GC lead
Just five days after his Strade Bianche win, Julian Alaphilippe was back atop another podium in Italy. The Frenchman bested Greg Van Avermaet and Alberto Bettiol in stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico to give Deceuninck-Quick-Step its fifth victory just this month.
The 195-kilometer stage from Camaiore to Pomarance saw several riders try their luck in a sloping final seven kilometers. Primoz Roglic fired off the front with three kilometers to go, bringing Alexey Lutsenko, Simon Clarke, Tom Dumoulin, and Zdenek Stybar with him, but the peloton made contact with the escapees in time to set up a reduced sprint. Van Avermaet was the first big name to jump, but Alaphilippe surged past and held on to take the win.
Adam Yates, whose Mitchelton-Scott team won the opening team time trial, finished on the same time, earning the leader’s jersey and a little something of his own to brag about in the Yates family group chat. Teammate Brent Bookwalters sits on the same time, with Roglic currently in third, seven seconds back, as the Tirreno peloton heads into a likely sprinters’ day Friday.
Follow the link for the full stage 2 results.
13 WorldTour teams expected for 2019 Amgen Tour of California
Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Rohan Dennis, and Tejay van Garderen are just a few of the names set to contest the Amgen Tour of California this May. The race unveiled its lineup of men’s and women’s teams for 2019 today, as well some of the marquee riders set to attend the race this spring.
13 of the 19 teams that will line up for the seven-day men’s event are WorldTour squads: Astana, Bahrain-Merida, Bora-Hansgrohe, CCC, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, EF Education First, Dimension Data, Katusha-Alpecin, Jumbo-Visma, Sky, Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, and UAE-Team Emirates. They will be joined by Pro Continental teams Cofidis, Hagens Berman Axeon, Israel Cycling Academy, Rally UHC, and Novo Nordisk, as well as a U.S. national team, new for 2019.
On the women’s side, big names set to attend the three-day race include Anna van der Breggen, Lizzie Deignan, Chantal Blaak, and Katie Hall. The women’s field is composed of Astana, BePink, Boels-Dolmans, Canyon-SRAM, CCC-Liv, Cogeas Mettler Look, Drops, Hagens Berman-Supermint, Rally UHC, Sho-Air Twenty20, Swapit-Agolico, Sunweb, Tibco-SVB, Trek-Segafredo, Valcar Cylance, and WNT Rotor.
British chemicals company Ineos could be Sky’s new sponsor
Recent reports in British media have named billionaire Jim Ratcliffe as a possible backer for Team Sky, whose sponsorship deal with telecommunications company Sky will run out at the end of 2019. That potential partnership could come in the form of a sponsorship by chemical company Ineos, according to The Cycling Podcast.
Ratcliffe is the founder and majority owner of the multi-national conglomerate, and also Britain’s wealthiest person, according the Sunday Times.
70-year-old spectator stable after crash sends Bendigo Madison rider into crowd
The festive atmosphere at the Bendigo International Madison was interrupted by a huge crash earlier this week. Several riders went down hard on the track, while one was even launched into the crowd, colliding with a 70-year-old spectator.
Fortunately, according to the Bendigo Advertiser, the spectator is in stable condition and improving, while affected riders have now been discharged from the hospital.
Redlands TT highlights
The Redlands Cycling Classic got underway Wednesday with both the men and women taking on an 11.3-kilometer time trial. Check out the highlights here…
Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12-speed is here
Electronic 12-speed Campagnolo shifting has officially arrived. Dave Everett has all the details, plus his impressions from his first ride with the new tech.
QBP to allow bike shop customers to sell Whisky products on Amazon, eBay
Bike parts and accessories distributor Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) will allow its customers to sell Whisky Parts Co. products on Amazon and eBay as part of a new program called 3P Select, according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
As part of the program, QBP will handle aspects of the listing process with the e-commerce giants, with bike shops managing inventory and fulfillment.
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