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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Dario Cataldo wins stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia as Primoz Roglic loses time, snow and the threat of avalanches force Giro organizers to reroute upcoming stage 16, Mathieu van der Poel takes his first elite cross-country World Cup win. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Cataldo wins the Giro’s 15th stage as Roglic loses time
Dario Cataldo (Astana) won Sunday’s stage 15 at the Giro d’Italia, topping breakaway companion Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) at the end of a long day that also saw Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) lose time in the GC standings following a late crash.
“I wasn’t even thinking of breaking away after I suffered so much these past two days. But as the race began, my legs felt ok. I just followed Cattaneo’s attack,” Cataldo said. “Then I was confident in myself. To win a stage at the Giro d’Italia is amazing. It’s something I’ve been dreaming of all my life.”
Movistar’s Richard Carapaz maintains his overall race lead, with Roglic staying in second on the overall leaderboard but dropping from seven seconds down to 40 seconds back. Bahrain-Merida’s Vincenzo Nibali sits in third, 1:47 back, heading into Monday’s final rest day.
On the heels of two challenging mountain stages, the Giro d’Italia peloton was content to let the day’s breakaway – just two riders – build a huge gap on the 232-kilometer trek from Ivrea to Como. The advantage topped out at around 16 minutes near the midway point of the day before the pack finally picked up the pace.
The pair of escapees took enough of an advantage into a trio of late punchy climbs to contest the victory between themselves, while the GC favorites started attacking each other a few minutes behind.
A mechanical left Roglic chasing – and on a teammate’s ill-fitting bike – on the run-in to the day’s final climb. Just as the Slovenian caught back on to the main GC group, multiple rivals delivered put in attacks on the Civiglio, distancing Roglic and forcing him to make up ground on the descent – where he crashed. He quickly remounted but was unable to close down the gap to a strong pink jersey group, spurred on by an attacking Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
At the head of the race, Cataldo led out the sprint for the stage 15 victory, and held on despite Cattaneo’s attempt to come around to take the win. 11 seconds later, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) led a quartet that also included Nibali, Carapaz, and Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) over the line.
Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana) headlined the next group to cross the line, with Roglic ultimately arriving 51 seconds behind the stage winner, ceding 40 seconds to pink jersey Carapaz.
Stage 15 results
1 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana 5:48:15
2 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:11
4 Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana 0:00:36
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
1 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar 64:24:00
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:47
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:47
4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:35
5 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar 0:03:15
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:38
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:05:24
9 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos 0:05:48
10 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana 0:05:55
Defending Giro champ Chris Froome is all-in for the Tour de France this year, but he’s still following the Italian Grand Tour from afar…
Gavia out of Giro stage 16 route
Although road crews have been working to clear the high-mountain pass, which was set to feature in stage 16 of this year’s Giro, a risk of avalanches and additional snowfall have led race director Mauro Vegni to reroute the race.
“We made the decision today so the riders and teams have time to know about it,” Vegni said on Saturday. “With the forecast predicting worsening conditions, we can’t go over the Gavia.”
Snow and ice would have made both the ascent and the descent treacherous. Although the Gavia is famous for its unpredictable weather, which played a starring role in Andy Hampsten’s ride into pink at the 1988 Giro d’Italia, organizers decided things would be too dangerous this time around, particularly with today’s more robust rider safety protocols.
The updated stage 16 route is shortened from 226 kilometers to 192 kilometers, but will still feature plenty of climbing. After two early climbs, the race will eschew the Gavia for a pair of smaller, third-category ascents, Cevo and Aprica, and then head up the Passo del Mortirolo as planned en route to finish in Ponte di Legno. With the original Cima Coppi – the highest point in the race – now out of the picture, organizers will award the Cima Coppi prize to the first rider over the Passo Manghen on stage 20.
Longo Borghini wins Emakumeen Bira
Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) stormed to both the stage 4 victory and the overall title on the last day of racing at the Emakumeen Bira. The stage and GC wins are her first WorldTour victories of 2019.
The 27-year-old Italian attacked inside the final 20 kilometers of a lumpy final stage in Oñati, and soloed to the line for the win. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) led a select group of chasers to the finish four seconds later, with Tayler Wiles taking third on the day. Longo Borghini’s gap, combined with the bonus seconds she earned at the line, propelled her to the overall victory ahead of overnight leader Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott).
The 31-year-old Australian would settle for second on GC, two seconds back, with Alé Cipollini’s Soraya Paladin rounding out the overall podium.
Manzana Postobón shuts down
After two of Manzana Postobón’s riders were suspended for doping infractions in a span of two months, the Colombian Pro Continental team is shuttering with immediate effect.
Founded in 2006 as Colombia es Pasión, the team established itself as an important stop along the developmental pipeline for several Colombian pros. Colombian up-and-comers will have to look elsewhere now. Suspensions for Wilmar Paredes and Juan José Amador triggered a team-wide suspension last week. Manzana Postobón’s owners then announced that the team would shut down.
“Due to the regrettable incidents of recent weeks, in which riders belonging to the pro cycling team were implicated, we have decided not to continue with the pro cycling team, and as such, from this date forward, the team will not participate in races on the national or international calendar,” read a statement from the owners.
Australia’s Harper wins Tour of Japan
Australia’s Chris Harper (BridgeLane) took the overall title at the Tour of Japan, riding into the race lead with a stage 6 victory on Mount Fuji and holding on through the final two stages to win the general classification with a handy margin of 40 seconds to runner-up Benjamín Prades (UKYO). José Toribio (Matrix-Powertag) sealed the final spot on the GC podium.
Harper’s GC win capped off an impressive week for Australian riders at the UCI 2.1-rated event; compatriots Benjamin Hill (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) and Ayden Toovey (BridgeLane) both won stages and wore the leader’s jersey for a time as well.
Kazushige Kuboki (Bridgestone) won the final stage in Tokyo ahead of Federico Zurlo (Giotti Victoria-Palomar) and Orluis Aular (Matrix-Powertag).
Van der Poel wins Nové Mesto World Cup
Mathieu van der Poel has won his first cross-country World Cup at the elite level. The Dutchman triumphed in a tight battle with mountain bike world champion Nino Schurter in Nové Mesto. Van der Poel put the hammer down on a short climb in the final lap, soloing away from Schurter to take the win. Mathias Flückiger finished third on the day.
On the women’s side, American Kate Courtney added another World Cup win to her lengthy palmares, with Australia’s Rebecca McConnell taking home runner-up honors and Haley Smith in third.
The Daily Giro Podcast
Caley Fretz and Dave Everett are hard at work covering the Giro d’Italia to keep you up-to-date with all the action in Italy. Don’t miss the CyclingTips Daily Giro Podcast…
If you missed Marco Haller’s less-than-pleasant meeting with a spectator after the Giro’s 12th stage, it’s worth watching as a great example of what not to do as a cycling fan.
Profanity warning: A very angry Haller uses some choice language that you probably don’t want to blare through the speakers at work, or especially with kids around.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Dario Cataldo wins stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia. Photo: DB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019