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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Five days after the opening time trial, the Giro d’Italia has a new race leader. Valerio Conti moved into the maglia rosa as Fausto Masnada took the stage win, and Primoz Roglic spent the day with a massive hole in his bib shorts. Anna van der Breggen and Ivan Garcia Cortina won at the Tour of California. Refusing to provide TV coverage, ASO has pulled Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège out of the UCI Women’s WorldTour. Team Sunweb’s string of bad luck continued as Robert Power was forced to abandon the Giro just one day after team leader Tom Dumoulin left with injury. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Conti moves into maglia rosa as Masnada takes stage win
Five days after the opening time trial, the Giro d’Italia has a new race leader. On a 238km stage from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) was the best-placed rider in the winning breakaway of 13 riders. The 26-year-old Italian started the day 1:59 down on race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and went all the way to the line, following an attack by eventual stage winner Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec); Conti finished the stage five seconds behind Masnada, but 7:14 ahead of Roglic.
“I’m very happy with this win,” Masnada said. “I knew today could be the day for the breakaway to succeed. I came to the Giro with good condition. It was our team’s goal to win a stage and I’m delighted to have achieved it.”
Combined, there was much to celebrate for Italian cycling fans — it was Conti’s first time wearing the leader’s jersey at a Grand Tour, and Masnada’s maiden victory at the Giro d’Italia. The outcome wasn’t a complete surprise, however, as Roglic had implied on Wednesday that he was ready to relinquish the GC lead on Stage 6.
“The breakaway was very strong today,” Roglic said. “We controlled the stage as a team, but we also did not want to put too much energy in chasing down the breakaway. I don’t see losing the pink jersey as a disadvantage. It provides the team and me with some rest and less stress. The Giro is still long and the decisive stages are all yet to come.”
Conti now leads the race by 1:41 ahead of Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF). Given that UAE Team Emirates does not have a true GC contender, it’s possible Conti’s team may well defend the maglia rosa until the Stage 9 time trial on Sunday.
“Fausto Masnada was very strong, he is an incredible rider, so it was not possible to contest for the stage win,” Conti said. “This is my first time leading a stage race. I don’t know how long I can hold onto this maglia rosa, but I’m very, very happy.”
Stage 6 results
1 Fausto MASNADA, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, 5:45:01
2 Valerio CONTI, UAE-Team Emirates, at 0:05
3 José Joaquín ROJAS, Movistar, at 0:38
4 Rubén PLAZA, Israel Cycling Academy, at same time
5 Giovanni CARBONI, Bardiani – CSF, at 0:43
6 Pieter SERRY, Deceuninck-Quick Step, at 0:54
7 Valentin MADOUAS, Groupama-FDJ, at same time
8 Nans PETERS, AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:57
9 Andrey AMADOR, Movistar, at same time
10 Amaro ANTUNES, CCC, at same time
General classification after 6 stages
1 Valerio CONTI, UAE-Team Emirates, 25:22:00
2 Giovanni CARBONI, Bardiani-CSF, at 1:41
3 Nans PETERS, AG2R La Mondiale, at 2:09
4 José Joaquín ROJAS, Movistar, at 2:12
5 Valentin MADOUAS, Groupama-FDJ, at 2:19
6 Amaro ANTUNES, CCC, at 2:45
7 Fausto MASNADA, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, at 3:14
8 Pieter SERRY, Deceuninck-Quick Step, at 3:25
9 Andrey AMADOR, Movistar, at 3:27
10 Sam OOMEN, Sunweb, at 4:57
Roglic spends Stage 6 in ripped shorts
Race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) spent Stage 6 at the Giro d’Italia with a large hole in his bib shorts after he and several other GC contenders went down in a crash just 34km into the stage, leaving the maglia rosa with road rash and his backside exposed. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikel Landa (Movistar), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Zakarin), and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) were also involved in the crash.
The GC group was 40 seconds down at one point before the peloton eased up and allowed them to regain contact. Roglic dropped back to the race doctor’s car for treatment, where the wound was covered with a large bandage.
“They crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid the crash,” Roglic said. “That is also part of cycling. Luckily for me, I only have some abrasions and it all is not too bad.”
Anna van der Breggen wins women’s Tour of California opener
World champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) has ridden to victory on the opening stage of the women’s Amgen Tour of California. The Dutchwoman attacked on the final climb roughly 5km from the finish, caught lone leader Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas Mettler Look), then powered on to take her second win for the year.
Anna van der Breggen attacked solo in the final kilometres of Stage 1 p/b @Lexus and took a stunning victory in Ventura…
— AmgenTOC (@AmgenTOC) May 16, 2019
Italy’s Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance) took second from a reduced chase group, just ahead of Cuban Arlenis Sierra (Astana). The three-stage women’s Tour of California continues tomorrow with a tough stage that ends atop Mt. Baldy. Van der Breggen leads the race overall and is well placed to repeat her victory from 2017.
Ivan Garcia Cortina takes stage 5 of the Tour of California
Meanwhile in the men’s Tour of California, Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) won a reduced bunch sprint to take out stage five of the seven-stage race.
The peloton splintered over a late climb leaving just 26 riders out front by stage’s end. Garcia Contina proved strongest in the sprint ahead of Argentinian champion Max Richeze (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and WorldTour debutant Sergio Higuita (EF-Education First). Overnight leader Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) finished safely in the front group and will take the yellow jersey into tomorrow’s decisive Mt. Baldy stage.
Refusing to provide TV coverage, ASO pulls Flèche and Liège out of Women’s WorldTour
Flèche-Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will not be part of the Women’s WorldTour (WWT) in 2020, as race organizer ASO will not provide the required 45 minutes of live TV coverage from the two events, according to a report in DirectVelo.
The President of the UCI’s Road Commission, Tom Van Damme, confirmed the move to DirectVelo on Thursday.
“One of the conditions for being in the Women’s WorldTour is the guarantee of live television coverage of at least 45 minutes, and ASO and the Walloon public RTBF are not able to provide this service next season,” Van Damme said.
Liège and Flèche will be come part of the ProSeries, a new second-tier event category for 2020.
Power forced to abandon Giro d’Italia
Team Sunweb’s string of bad luck continued at the Giro as Australian Robert Power was forced to abandon the race just one day after team leader Tom Dumoulin left with injury. Power was caught up in the large crash in the peloton 34km into the stage. Though he initially tried to continue with assistance from the race doctor, Power was forced to abandon as a result of his injuries.
“This is a really disappointing day,” Power said. “I would have loved to continue. I went down hard in the big crash and tried to keep riding but had to pull out with lot of pain in my hip. Luckily there is nothing broken, but I’m still really disappointed to leave the Giro.”
Meintjes out of California with wrist fracture
Dimension Data’s Louis Meintjes was forced to withdraw from the Amgen Tour of California after sustaining a wrist fracture in a crash in the finale of the Stage 4 finish in Morro Bay. The incident happened with just over 3km remaining, and saw a number of key general classification riders affected including race leader Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First).
The 27-year-old South African completed the stage in obvious discomfort and was immediately taken to a local hospital for further investigation. He will now travel to Hamburg for further treatment by a specialist hand surgeon.
Meintjes had only recently returned to racing at the Tour de Romandie after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a groin injury sustained in a crash at Paris-Nice.
Tom Dumoulin’s Giro preparations… now up in smoke
Team Sunweb was saving this video for a little later in the Giro, but given that team leader Tom Dumoulin was forced to vandal on Stage 5 with injuries, they’ve gone ahead and shared this video of the 2017 Giro champ preparing for this year’s race.
EF Gone Racing… to the Amgen Tour of California
With a stacked roster including a former winner and the latest emerging Colombian climber, EF Education First means business at the Amgen Tour of California. Check out the latest episode of EF Gone Racing to find out how Tejay van Garderen and the team fared on the race’s opening stages.
Rising… with Kate Courtney
SCOTT-SRAM has released a new video series around world champion Kate Courtney, with each episode illustrating her journey so far and goals to come as she looks towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
DJI’s new Osmo Action camera: A direct strike at GoPro
DJI already controls approximately 70% of the world’s commercial and civilian drone industry, and now the Chinese technology company has released a product that hits at GoPro’s core. The new Osmo Action is DJI’s first true action camera, and offers a familiar profile to GoPro’s rectangular form. The key unique feature are the dual screens, allowing you to frame a shot regardless of where the camera is pointed.
Similar to GoPro’s flagship Hero camera, the Osmo action offers optical image stabilised 4K/60fps filming, it will also retail for US$50 less. See more of the new Osmo Action here.
In case you missed it…
Happy birthday to…
Recently retired Aussie pro Simon Gerrans turns 39 today. During his 17-year career Gerrans won stages of all three Grand Tours, won two Monuments (Milan-San Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège), and won the Santos Tour Down Under four times.