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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Giulio Ciccone wins stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia as Primoz Roglic and Simon Yates falter, Alejandro Valverde plans to race the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, WTB adds 700c sizes for Venture tires. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Ciccone wins Giro stage 16, Roglic and Yates ship more time
Even without the Passo Gavia, stage 16 at the Giro d’Italia delivered plenty of action. A rainy day in northern Italy saw Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic crack on the Mortirolo climb, ultimately dropping from second to third overall. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) took the stage win from the breakaway ahead of Jan Hirt (Astana).
“I’ve been waiting for this second stage win for two years now. So I yelled with joy on the finishing line because it’s been a complicated day with lots of rain and cold,” Ciccone said after an animated celebration at the finish. “Jan Hirt didn’t want to cooperate so it’s been a bit nervous between us but at the end I’m happy with everything.”
Richard Carapaz (Movistar) continues to lead the Giro, and now enjoys a much larger advantage to the nearest challenger. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) currently sits second, 1:47 down, with Roglic in third at 2:09 back.
Hirt and Ciccone were part of a big breakaway that jumped clear in the early goings of the rain-soaked stage. With the GC names mostly focused on keeping each other in check, the break was given plenty of breathing room as the race rolled over a number of early climbs. Then came the fireworks, for both the breakaway and the GC favorites, on the slopes of the Mortirolo.
Up front, the escape group dwindled to just a handful of riders on the tough ascent, and then Hirt and Ciccone traded attacks that ultimately dropped the remaining survivors of the break.
Back in the main group, Movistar and Bahrain-Merida injected the pace in an attempt to put pressure on their rivals, and the plan worked to perfection as Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and others began to struggle. Then, Nibali himself put in a big dig.
Movistar moved to chase, but Roglic could not hold the pace. Carapaz and teammate Mikel Landa joined Nibali and a few others in a select group as Roglic linked up with Yates and other stragglers off the back.
The Nibali group kept its gap on the harrowing descent that followed, while Ciccone and Hirt made it down to take on the uphill slog to Ponte di Legno together.
Ciccone would top Hirt in the final sprint, with Fausto Masnada (Androni-Giocattoli) taking third on the day.
Nibali, Carapaz, and Landa ultimately gained 1:22 on Roglic and Yates, with Nibali leapfrogging Roglic into second on the overall standings.
Stage 16 results
1 CICCONE Giulio (Trek – Segafredo)
2 HIRT Jan (Astana Pro Team)
3 MASNADA Fausto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
4 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
5 CARTHY Hugh (EF Education First)
6 CARAPAZ Richard (Movistar Team)
7 LANDA Mikel (Movistar Team)
8 DOMBROWSKI Joe (EF Education First)
9 CARUSO Damiano (Bahrain Merida)
10 CATTANEO Mattia (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
1 CARAPAZ Richard (Movistar Team)
2 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
3 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
4 LANDA Mikel (Movistar Team)
5 MOLLEMA Bauke (Trek – Segafredo)
6 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
7 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana Pro Team)
8 YATES Simon (Mitchelton-Scott)
9 SIVAKOV Pavel (Team INEOS)
10 POLANC Jan (UAE-Team Emirates)
Tricky conditions can make it hard on the fans too. On the plus side, maybe this guy will stop running alongside the riders now.
Valverde to ride the Tour and the Vuelta
Alejandro Valverde will ride the Tour de France and then head to the Vuelta a España in the run-up to his attempt at a rainbow jersey defense.
A crash in late April left Valverde dealing with a bone edema that ultimately forced him to miss a planned start at the Giro d’Italia. Marca reports that Valverde will return to racing at the Route d’Occitanie in June after a lengthy layoff, and then take on Spanish nationals before the Tour-Vuelta double.
De Bie on road to recovery after being hit by car in training
Sean De Bie (Roompot-Charles) can finally rest at home and maybe even start thinking about his return to racing, welcome news two weeks after he was hit by a car while training in Italy.
Among the many injuries he sustained in the crash were multiple broken ribs, a shoulder blade fractured in multiple places, and a bruised spleen. He spent several days in the intensive care unit before receiving clearance to be transferred home to Belgium.
“The pain was not so bad, although I had to cough up the blood on my lungs because this hampered my breathing,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “That’s not nice with six broken ribs, but you know you have to go through that and you have to bite the pain.”
According to a post on his fan Facebook page, he was expected to leave the hospital Tuesday, and he told Het Nieuwsblad he’s hoping to be able to race again by August.
Bol wins Norway opener
Cees Bol continued his strong 2019 campaign with a victory in the opening stage at the Tour of Norway.
Two weeks after winning the final stage at the Amgen Tour of California, the 23-year-old Dutchman topped Eduard Grosu (Delko Marseille Provence) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) in Norway, and now leads the general classification in the UCI 2.HC-rated event.
WTB adds 700c sizes for versatile Venture tires
WTB initially introduced its Venture 47 tires solely in 650b “Road Plus” sizes, but it is now adding tubeless-ready variants in 700x40mm and 700x50mm widths for gravel and all-road riders that want to stick to more traditional wheel diameters.
The versatile tread pattern features a solid center, a micro-block transition area, and larger shoulder knobs – plus a subtly squared-off profile – for more security when cornering on loose terrain. Claimed weight for the new 700x40c Venture is 472g for the tan-walled version, while the blackwall one is slightly heavier at 501g owing to its additional rubber (which may also affect ride quality, rolling resistance, and casing suppleness). Claimed weights for the 50mm-wide version are still to be announced.
Retail price for either size is US$60; pricing and availability for other regions is to be confirmed. And in case you’re wondering what size tire you should use for gravel riding in general, be sure to check out our recent feature on how to choose the best mixed-terrain tires.
You can take a closer look at the Venture over at wtb.com.
Happy Birthday to …
Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) is 29. The Australian is the reigning world champion in the time trial, and counts numerous strong results against the clock on his career palmares, including stage victories at all three Grand Tours.
His list of achievements also includes a Tour Down Under overall win, a stint as the UCI Hour Record holder, and an Olympic silver medal in the team pursuit.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Giulio Ciccone wins stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia. Photo: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019