No Liège for Sagan, another Alpine win for Sky: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Peter Sagan pulls out of planned Liège-Bastogne-Liège start, Geoghegan Hart wins again in the Alps, 12-speed tech trickles down to Campagnolo Chorus. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Peter Sagan will not race Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Peter Sagan is done with his 2019 Classics campaign. The 29-year-old Slovakian will not make his long-awaited debut at Liège-Bastogne-Liège – he announced via statement on his website that he has pulled out of the planned start at the final Monument of the spring.

“A hard Flèche Wallonne is over,” reads the statement. “I was here to work for the squad and contribute to the effort to achieve the best result possible. Together with the team, we decided that the best for me would now be to take a few days off in order to better prepare myself for the next races, starting with the Amgen Tour of California on May 12.”

Peter Sagan on the Mur de Huy. Photo: ©kramon

Sagan had said late last year that he would make his career debut at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2019, and maintained that plan into this spring, but his run at the Classics did not got the way he’d hoped. For the first time since 2015, he did not win a one-day race in the spring, with a fourth-place ride at Milano-Sanremo and a fifth at Paris-Roubaix his best performances.

Then, in the run-up to Liège, he registered DNFs at both the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne. Instead of continuing on to try to salvage something from one of the longest and most difficult one-day events on the calendar, he is withdrawing from the Liège start list.

Bora can at least be confident that some of the team’s up-and-comers have been on flying form recently. After scoring three stage victories at the Tour of the Basque Country, Maximilian Schachmann finished in the top 10 at both the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne.

Moving Pictures

With no official broadcast from the organizers at La Flèche Wallonne, you may have missed the race. The UCI’s brief highlights are some of the only video coverage you’ll find.

Race Radio

Geoghegan Hart takes another stage at the Tour of the Alps

Sky has now won three of the four stages so far at the Tour of the Alps. Tao Geoghegan Hart was first across the line in a difficult stage 4 to nab his second victory at the head of an elite four-man group.

Tao Geoghegan Hart tops Vincenzo Nibali to win stage 4 at the Tour of the Alps. Photo: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) came home in second with Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) in third. Pavel Sivakov (Sky) finished fourth to maintain his grip on the overall race lead.

More high mountains await on Friday in a stage 5 that runs 148.7 kilometers from Kaltern to Bolzano.

Stage 4 results

2 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
3 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
4 SIVAKOV Pavel (Team Sky)
5 FROOME Chris (Team Sky)
6 CATTANEO Mattia (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
7 VLASOV Aleksandr (Gazprom-RusVelo)
8 DUPONT Hubert (AG2R La Mondiale)
9 BIZKARRA Mikel (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias)
10 HIRT Jan (Astana Pro Team)


1 SIVAKOV Pavel (Team Sky)
3 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
4 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
5 HIRT Jan (Astana Pro Team)
6 CATTANEO Mattia (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
7 VLASOV Aleksandr (Gazprom-RusVelo)
8 CARBONI Giovanni (Bardiani – CSF)
9 FROOME Chris (Team Sky)
10 BILBAO Pello (Astana Pro Team)

Fracking protests await Ineos at the Tour de Yorkshire

Team Sky is about to become Team Ineos, with the Tour de Romandie marking the team’s first start with the new name and a temporary kit, and the Tour de Yorkshire set to host the unveiling of the official new look. Cyclingnews reports that the British squad will be greeted by protesters when it lines up in Yorkshire.

“We want to let people know just who Ineos are,” Steve Mason of Free Frack United told Cyclingnews. “It’s not about cycling.”

Ineos, the company taking over the team’s sponsorship, is a multinational petrochemical company founded by Jim Ratcliffe, who has been reported to be Britain’s wealthiest person.

Mason says his anti-fracking group has acquired 15,000 masks featuring devil horns on an image of Ratcliffe’s face to raise awareness about Ineos’s fracking practices at both the starts and finishes of the Yorkshire race.

Van der Poel’s Amstel data puts herculean effort on display

Mathieu van der Poel’s power numbers from his incredible victory at the Amstel Gold Race are online, and they’re as amazing as you might expect.

Mathieu Van Der Poel wins the 54th Amstel Gold Race. Photo: ©kramon

The Dutchman rode the final 800 meters in 43 seconds at 849 watts, and hit 1,400 Watts at one point in the sprint.

Follow the link for a more detailed analysis of van der Poel’s brilliant Amstel ride from Zach Nehr.

Tech News

Campagnolo brings 12 speed to Chorus groupset

12-speed tech has trickled down to Campagnolo’s Chorus line. The Italian component manufacturer has launched an update to the groupset. The 12-speed tech initially featured in the higher-end Super Record and Record lines now makes its way to the more budget-friendly Chorus.

12-speed Chorus will be available with both rim and disc brakes and a range of gearing options.

Happy Birthday to …

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is 39. The reigning world road champion celebrates his birthday amid one of the most important parts of his racing calendar: the Ardennes Classics.

Alejandro Valverde on the Mur de Huy. Photo: ©kramon

In addition to his world title, he counts four Liège-Bastogne-Liège wins and five Flèche Wallonne titles on his palmares to go with a huge collection of one-week stage race victories and one grand tour, the 2009 Vuelta a España.

In case you missed it …

Feature Image: Peter Sagan at the Amstel Gold Race. Photo: ©kramon

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