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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Fabio Jakobsen wins the third stage of the Tour of Turkey as Mark Cavendish delivers his best result so far this year, race moto nearly causes disaster at women’s Brabantse Pijl, Amstel awaits. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Jakobsen sprints to stage 3 win in Turkey
It had been four days since Deceuninck-Quick-Step last won a race, so Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen took it upon himself to snag his team the top step of another podium. The 22-year-old speedster won stage 3 at the Tour of Turkey, topping Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) – despite a tricky situation that saw a small Turkish flag find its way from the spectating crowd into his cockpit in the sprint.
“I got a little bit close to the barrier, as the wind was coming from the left, and a flag got caught in my shifter, but fortunately without any consequences, and I could finish off my team’s amazing work,” Jakobsen said.
The 123-kilometer stage from Canakkale to Edremit featured some climbing in the first half of the afternoon before a mostly flat run-in to the line. With the race together for an expected sprint in the finale, Deceuninck-Quick-Step took control of the pack. Maximiliano Richeze led out the sprint, with Jakobsen launching in the final 250 meters.
No one could match the Dutchman’s speed on the finishing straight, and he stayed upright despite the surprise appearance of the Turkish flag in his path to take the win.
“It gives me great pleasure to rack up another victory and be on the top step of the podium in a World Tour race ahead of guys like Bennett and Cavendish,” he said.
Bennett’s second-place ride was more than enough to keep him in the leader’s jersey, while the third place by Cavendish marks the Manxman’s best result so far this season.
The Tour of Turkey will take on an uphill finish in Thursday’s stage 4, which runs 194 kilometers from Balikesir to Bursa.
A near-collision with a race moto marred an otherwise good day of racing at the women’s Brabantse Pijl.
German national champion Liane Lippert (Sunweb) made a move to get clear of the pack in the early goings of the race, and quickly distanced the field before a race moto suddenly swerved into her path. Fortunately, she managed to narrowly avoid disaster, and continued on in the race, where Sunweb would ultimately score a podium finish with Coryn Rivera.
Van Avermaet to close out Classics campaign at Amstel Gold
As teams are rolling out their rosters for this weekend’s Amstel Gold Race, CCC has confirmed that Greg Van Avermaet will lead the way on Sunday – and that the Dutch one-day will be the last event of his 2019 Classics campaign. The 2016 Olympic champion had planned to make a last-minute decision on whether he would continue on from Amstel through Liège-Bastogne-Liège; apparently that decision has now been made. Amstel will be his last opportunity to snag a victory in what has been a winless Classics campaign so far.
He’ll have plenty of competition in pursuit of a result. Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) starts as the bookmakers’ favorite following his victory at Brabantse Pijl, with Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), the Deceuninck-Quick-Step duo of Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert and the Bora-Hansgrohe pairing of Maximilian Schachmann and Peter Sagan also looking dangerous.
Schweizer shares story from time at Cervelo-Bigla
Since late last year, Bigla team owner Thomas Campana has faced several accusations of abuse and intimidation of riders. Former riders initially made allegations of misconduct, mostly in reference to things that took place during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, in an article in Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. One of those riders, Doris Schweizer (now with Bizkaia-Durango), has offered more details of her story on her personal blog.
According to the 29-year-old Swiss rider, Campana dismissed her concerns of a possible concussion after a crash at the 2015 Giro Rosa that left Schweizer with blurred vision. She says she was only sent home after the team doctor called a few days later to warn of the long-term risks of continuing to race with those symptoms, and that she still occasionally deals with headaches, vertigo, and difficulty concentrating.
Campana denied the allegations that were made against him in the November article, and has said that Schweizer had tried to hide her concussion at the time.
Beauty of Cycling
Considering how much the Dutch love their bikes, it may come as a bit of a surprise that the Amstel Gold Race is the only Dutch one-day event on the WorldTour calendar. Fortunately, Limburg’s lovely rolling hills and winding roads make usually make for a great day of racing in the Netherlands.
Matt de Neef has everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s Amstel Gold.
In partnership with Rapha Custom, we’re running a competition where you can unleash your creativity and win Pro Team kit of your own design, for yourself and four friends.
For the first phase of the competition, we’re asking entrants to use Rapha’s Custom kit building tool to design a kit that matches the theme: ‘Spring Classics’. But be quick, because next week we’ll be announcing the next winner and the next design theme.
For all the details on how to enter, visit here.
Happy Birthday to …
Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) is 29. The reigning world road champion is also the reigning Olympic road champ, and she’s not bad on the mountain bike either – van der Breggen recently won the Cape Epic alongside Annika Langvad, and it wasn’t particularly close.
Expect more from her in the coming days as the women’s peloton heads to the Ardennes Classics. Van der Breggen is a four-time winner at La Flèche Wallonne, two-time Liège-Bastogne-Liège champ, and one-time victor at her home race, Amstel Gold.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Fabio Jakobsen celebrates a stage 3 win at the Tour of Turkey. Photo: Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2019