Alaphilippe, van der Breggen defend Flèche Wallonne crowns: Daily News Digest
Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Julian Alaphilippe and Anna van der Breggen defend their Flèche Wallonne titles, Powers retires from racing, Garmin announces the Edge 530 and the Edge 830. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Alaphilippe wins La Flèche Wallonne
2018 winner Julian Alaphilippe defended his title at La Flèche Wallonne, topping Jakob Fuglsang at the line after both riders surged clear of the field on the Mur de Huy. Diego Ulissi rounded out the podium in third.
— La Flèche Wallonne (@flechewallonne) April 24, 2019
The victory is Alaphilippe’s ninth already this year, and his third in a WorldTour one-day race after he won Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo in March.
“I felt strong expectations after my victory last year and with the fact that I’ve always been on the podium since the first time I came here,” Alaphilippe said.
“With the wind, it was very nervous from the start, it was mentally exhausting. On the final circuit, a rider in front of me did a bit of non-sense and he broke three wires on my wheel so I had to stop to change my bike and we were close to the finish … But we’ve done it all perfectly with the team.”
Aggressive racing over the many climbs along the 195-kilometer trek from Ans to the Mur made for a smaller final selection that has often been seen at La Flèche Wallonne in recent years. A few survivors from the initial break still had a minute’s advantage with around 40 kilometers to go when a second group jumped away in pursuit, putting pressure on the peloton behind. That made it an especially bad time for Alaphilippe to suffer a mechanical requiring a bike change, but he managed to work his way back to the dwindling pack anyway, even as Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was among those dropped by the pace.
With 28 kilometers to go, the two main breaks had been reeled in. Then it was Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) who attacked. The duo made it to the penultimate climb, the Côte de Cherave, but the pack closed both riders before the final charge up the Mur.
Fuglsang was the first big name to make a decisive push at the front on the steep slopes of the iconic climb. Alaphilippe was quick to jump onto his wheel. The pair managed to open a gap to their rivals as the road wound upward, and then with 100 meters to go, Alaphilippe came around Fuglsang to take the victory. Ulissi came home a distant third.
1 ALAPHILIPPE Julian (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
2 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team)
3 ULISSI Diego (UAE-Team Emirates)
4 LAMBRECHT Bjorg (Lotto Soudal)
5 SCHACHMANN Maximilian (BORA – hansgrohe)
6 MOLLEMA Bauke (Trek – Segafredo)
7 KONRAD Patrick (BORA – hansgrohe)
8 MATTHEWS Michael (Team Sunweb)
9 VANENDERT Jelle (Lotto Soudal)
10 GASPAROTTO Enrico (Team Dimension Data)
Beauty of Cycling
It may not be a WorldTour race, but Tro-Bro Léon always delivers world-class imagery. The 205-kilometer trek through the Breton countryside in northwestern France features a generous helping of gravel roads that make for an excellent race.
Check out our Tro-Bro Léon gallery for some great photography from Kristof Ramon.
Van der Breggen takes fifth Flèche Wallonne title
Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) took her fifth straight Flèche Wallonne victory on Wednesday, climbing to a clear win atop the Mur de Huy.
Multiple attacks and regroupings chipped away at the size of the main peloton throughout the 118.5-kilometer race, with a move by Amstel Gold Race winner Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) forcing a selection in the finale. Sunweb’s Floortje Mackaij launched early ahead of the Mur, but she was reeled in on the lower slopes of the ascent. Then, Niewiadoma took over at the front, but that would not last: Van der Breggen made her move some 200 meters from the line, and no one came close to matching her surge.
The Dutchwoman crossed the line first for the fifth time in five years with Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) in second and Aninika Langvad (Boels Dolmans) in third.
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team)
2 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek (Mitchelton-Scott)
3 LANGVAD Annika (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team)
4 VOS Marianne (CCC – Liv)
5 VOLLERING Demi (Parkhotel Valkenburg)
6 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna (Canyon SRAM Racing)
7 MOOLMAN Ashleigh (CCC – Liv)
8 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup (Bigla Pro Cycling)
9 CHAPMAN Brodie (Team TIBCO – SVB)
10 GARCIA Mavi (Movistar Team)
Powers retires from racing
Veteran American cyclocrosser Jeremy Powers is retiring from road racing to take up a job as a presenter with the Global Cycling Network.
“The best part about saying goodbye today to you all is that I’m not actually saying goodbye. You probably won’t see me on a lot of start lines next season, but you might see me at the podium interviewing somebody else on the podium,” the four-time national ‘cross champ wrote on Facebook. “Getting the opportunity to work with GCN will keep me intimately involved with the sport at the ground level.”
Masnada wins stage 3 at the Tour of the Alps
Fausto Masnada delivered a late attack to claim the third stage of the Tour of the Alps, soloing across the line five seconds ahead of a select group led by Sky’s Tao Geoghegan Hart and Bora-Hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka.
Masnada’s victory in the 106.3-kilometer stage from Salurn to Baselga di Pinè makes him the latest in a string of youngsters to triumph in the Alps. With Geoghegan Hart winning the opening stage and his Sky teammate Pavel Sivakov taking stage 2, all three stages at the race so far have gone to riders 25 and younger.
Sivakov sits atop the general classification as the Tour of the Alps continues with a 134-kilometer stage 4 on Thursday.
Stage 3 results
1 MASNADA Fausto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
2 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (Team Sky)
3 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
4 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
5 CATALDO Dario (Astana Pro Team)
6 VLASOV Aleksandr (Gazprom-RusVelo)
7 SIVAKOV Pavel (Team Sky)
8 HIRT Jan (Astana Pro Team)
9 THALMANN Roland (Team Vorarlberg Santic)
10 CATTANEO Mattia (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
1 SIVAKOV Pavel (Team Sky)
2 HIRT Jan (Astana Pro Team)
3 CATTANEO Mattia (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
4 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
5 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (Team Sky)
6 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
7 PERNSTEINER Hermann (Bahrain Merida)
8 THALMANN Roland (Team Vorarlberg Santic)
9 VLASOV Aleksandr (Gazprom-RusVelo)
10 MASNADA Fausto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
Rapha pays homage to Nelson Vails
Nelson “Cheetah” Vails, the first African-American cyclist to win an Olympic medal, is a legend of American cycling. In Rapha’s latest limited edition release, the British company features the colors, name and logo of Vails’ first racing team (a New York bike shop team) – Toga Tempo Thunder Bolt.
Garmin announces Edge 530 and the Edge 830
Garmin is adding the Edge 530 and the Edge 830 to its line of bike computers.
Both models feature the navigation, power device connectivity, and speed metrics that consumers have come to expect from Garmin, while also adding more advanced analytics and mapping functionalities.
The Garmin Edge 530 will start at US$300 / AU$450 / £260 / €300, and the Edge 830 at US$400 / AU$600 / £350 / €400.
Follow the link to get the details from Sarah Lukas.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Julian Alaphilippe leads Jakob Fuglsang up the Mur de Huy. Photo: VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2019