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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Julian Alaphilippe rides into the yellow jersey after soloing to victory in the Tour’s third stage, Letizia Borghesi wins stage 4 of the Giro Rosa from the break, Elia Viviani weighing his options while hunting for Tour wins. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Alaphilippe solos to victory in Tour de France stage 3, takes yellow
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceunick-Quick-Step) may have been the pre-race favorite for stage 3 of the Tour de France, but he still managed to deliver a surprise en route to victory and the yellow jersey. Instead of waiting for an uphill sprint, the Frenchman fired off a powerful attack with just over 15 kilometers to go and soloed all the way to the line.
Alaphilippe crossed the finish with no one else in sight to secure the stage 3 win and ride into the overall race lead, becoming the first Frenchman in five years to put on the yellow jersey. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) was left wondering what might have been, winning the sprint for second out of the chasing pack ahead of Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).
“I’m speechless,” Alaphilippe said. “I knew this stage suited me. I managed to avoid any pitfalls and crashes. I felt good so I accelerated on the Côte de Mutigny climb, but I didn’t think I’d go alone.”
The 215-kilometer stage set out from Binche, Belgium, and took the race into France, finishing in Champagne at Épernay. A five-rider breakaway got clear in the early goings, with Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) the most prominent name in the escape.
With around 50 kilometers to go and the gap under two minutes, Wellens left his breakaway companions behind and soloed away as the course hit a series of small late climbs. The peloton mopped up the other escapees first, and then gradually closed the gap to Wellens, bringing him within sight for the final categorized ascent.
Alaphilippe made his move while Wellens was still a few seconds up the road, exploding off the front of the pack on the short but steep Côte de Mutigny. He sailed past Wellens going over the top and pressed on solo, while overnight leader Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) lost touch in the peloton.
As the various interested teams took their time organizing the chase behind, Alaphilippe worked up a sizable advantage in a matter of moments. Wellens was caught in short order but Alaphilippe had built enough of a gap enough to carry him over another uncategorized climb and the uphill finish with plenty of time to spare.
Matthews was the fastest finisher in the in the sprint for second, at least earning points that would bring him closer to fifth-place finisher Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the green jersey battle.
Further back, a small split in the pack would see Egan Bernal (Ineos) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) pick up five seconds on the rest of the GC hopefuls.
Stage 3 results
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:40:29
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb 0:00:26
3 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
9 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 9:32:19
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:20
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:25
4 George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb 0:00:40
6 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos 0:00:45
8 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:46
9 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC 0:00:51
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
If you have some time on your hands, you can embark on a Tour de France choose-your-own-adventure courtesy of Jonathan Rowe. There are far too many Tweets to embed so we’ll just link the first one and let you take it from there.
— RONNY (@ronnyjowe) July 7, 2019
Borghesi wins Giro Rosa stage 4 from the break
Letizia Borghesi (Aromitalia-Basso Bikes) won stage 4 of the Giro Rosa out of a three-rider breakaway. The 20-year-old Italian out-sprinted fellow escapee Nadia Quagliotto (Alé Cipollini), who became the second Giro Rosa rider in as many days to celebrate too early at the finish line. Chiara Perini (BePink) took third in Carate Brianza.
Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) finished safely in the peloton to maintain her overall race lead.
The 100-kilometer stage from Lissone looked to be one for the sprinters, with a mostly flat profile, but long-range attackers had other plans. After a series of early breakaways and regroupings, Borghesi and Perini got clear for good around an hour into the day, with Quagliotto bridging to make it a trio.
The three riders would hold on into the finale to contest the stage for themselves. In the ensuing three-rider sprint, Quagliotto launched first and led into the closing meters—enough to prompt a too-early celebration for the second straight day at the race. Borghesi pipped her at the line to get the victory.
42 seconds later, Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) led the pack over the line with Niewiadoma finishing safely to stay in pink.
Stage 4 results
1 Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano 2:29:50
2 Nadia Quagliotto (Ita) Ale Cipollini
3 Chiara Perini (Ita) BePink
4 Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:00:42
5 Leah Kirchmann (Can) Sunweb
6 Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini
7 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott
8 Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Cylance
9 Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
10 Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
1 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM 8:07:20
2 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla 0:00:20
3 Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:00:25
4 Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM 0:00:40
5 Omer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-SRAM 0:00:44
6 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv 0:00:45
7 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:47
8 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:52
9 Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:59
10 Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans 0:01:04
Aimé de Gendt’s rough day out in the TTT
No one expected Wanty-Groupe Gobert to win the Tour’s stage 2 team time trial, but the team might have at least avoided a last-place finish if not for Aimé de Gendt’s bike issues at the start. The 25-year-old Belgian had to opt for a reserve bike after noticing a mechanical problem with his TT bike shortly before the start—but commissaires ruled that the second bike did not conform to UCI regulations, so de Gendt ultimately rolled down the ramp on a road bike.
— Circus – Wanty Gobert – Tormans Cycling Team (@CircusWGT) July 7, 2019
“Aimé was an important element for our time trial, because he’s very powerful on the time trial bike, and consequently he couldn’t pull in the beginning of the effort against the clock,” the team said in a statement, also stating that de Gendt had ridden a TT bike in the same position as the one that was rejected in prior events this year.
The Belgian Pro Continental team finished 22nd out of 22 teams in the TTT, 1:58 down on stage-winning Jumbo-Visma.
Asgreen headed to hospital after crash
Kasper Asgreen’s stage 3 experience was far less joyful than that of the rest of his Deceuninck-Quick-Step team. The Tour debutant crashed hard in the finale. He finished the stage, but then headed to the hospital for further evaluation.
His bike did not fare well in the crash.
— Brecht Decaluwé (@caluweski) July 8, 2019
Viviani weighing options while hunting Tour wins
Reports over the past several days have linked Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) to a possible move to Cofidis in 2020, and the Italian speedster confirmed at the Tour de France that the French team has shown interest, Cyclingnews reports.
Viviani, however, is taking his time making a decision on his future. He has not ruled out continuing with his current team.
“We haven’t signed with anyone,” Viviani said, according to Cyclingnews. “This Tour will probably decide where I go next year but nothing has been decided yet.”
Terpstra, Schurter take MTB World Cup wins in Vallnord
The UCI Mountain bike World Cup hit the steep slopes of Vallnord, Andorra, over the weekend. In the short track, Jolanda Neff took her first win of the season, while Brazil’s Henrique Avancini nabbed the men’s in a sprint finish.
Anne Terpstra became the first Dutch female to win a cross country World Cup, and did so convincingly on the mountainous course ahead of Jolanda Neff and Yana Belomoina. Nino Schurter rode to the men’s victory ahead of Mathias Flückiger, with Henrique Avancini rounding out the podium in third.
Refreshed tool kits from Park Tool
Park Tool has updated a few of its popular, more comprehensive tool kits. Notably, the Advanced Mechanic AK-3 kit we previously reviewed has been updated. The new AK-4 kit is much the same as before, however, Park Tool has answered our suggestions to include a valve core tool and small torque wrench. A hammer has also been added, but the old-style bottom bracket tool, crank puller, and large cleaning brush are now omitted.
Those looking for a more comprehensive portable kit will find appeal in the Professional Travel and Event Kit (EK-3), which features a few tool updates and the new BX-2.2 travel case.
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