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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Wout van Aert wins stage 10 of the Tour de France, Richie Porte, Thibaut Pinot, Jakob Fuglsang, and other GC stars lose time, Vincenzo Nibali voices frustration with critical fans. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Wout van Aert wins Tour de France stage 10 as Richie Porte, Jakob Fuglsang, and others lose time
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to his first career Tour de France stage win on a stage 10 that also had serious GC implications for the race.
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) all lost more than a minute and a half after getting caught behind a split in the crosswinds with just under 40 kilometers left to go. A late crash left Movistar’s Mikel Landa down 2:09.
Van Aert sprinted to the stage win out of a reduced lead bunch ahead of Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal). Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) finished in the lead group to stay in yellow, while the Ineos duo of Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal moved up to second and third overall, with other big names tumbling down the GC standings.
The 217.5-kilometer stage took the peloton from Saint-Flour to Albi on a profile lacking any huge climbs. The sprinter-friendly route meant the day’s breakaway was kept on a relatively short leash.
Near the midway point of the stage, the pack hit increasingly heavy winds. A brief split with some 60 kilometers to go foreshadowed the bigger split to come.
With around 40 kilometers left to race and the break’s advantage at around two minutes, a handful of teams surged to the head of the pack, with EF Education First and then Ineos among those injecting a turn of speed. The tempo lined out the bunch. Within minutes, things reached a breaking point and the peloton split into multiple groups, with dozens of riders caught out, including Porte, Pinot, Fuglsang, and even Urán, despite the hard work of his own team at the front a few minutes prior.
Those behind found themselves battling to close down the gap, which hovered at around 30 seconds for several kilometers. Ineos and Deceuninck-Quick-Step, however, pushed a torrid pace in their group, solidifying the advantage over the chasers, and also spelling the end for the day’s break.
Despite a spirited chase from those caught behind, the firepower in the lead group won out, and the gap began to grow rapidly over the final 15 kilometers. Landa found himself in a group even further back after crashing out of the front group.
As the leaders neared the line, the fast finishers in the group and their teammates began to organize for the upcoming sprint. Sunweb led into the final kick for Michael Matthews, but the Australian was overtaken as others wound up to speed around him.
With Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen in one of the chasing groups, it was up to van Aert to sprint for his team, and he was up to the task. The Belgian surged to the front of the sprint in a tight battle with Viviani, pulled away from the Italian, and held on through the closing meters to take the victory.
One minute and 40 seconds later, the main chase group arrived, with Landa a further 29 seconds down.
With a rest day on tap for Tuesday, Alaphilippe will wear yellow at least until Wednesday and the start of stage 11.
Stage 10 results
1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 4:49:39
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
7 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
9 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 43:27:15
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos 0:01:12
3 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos 0:01:16
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:27
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:45
6 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:46
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:47
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:02:04
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:09
10 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:32
Richie Porte did, at the very least, make it through Sunday’s stage 9 uninjured for the first time in three years.
— Richie Porte (@richie_porte) July 14, 2019
Despite his stage 10 time loss, he’s still in the race. Hopefully he can maintain his sense of humor through the first rest day and into the mountains to come.
Nibali frustrated with critical fans
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) has voiced his frustration with critics of his performance at the Tour de France after the 2014 champ dropped out of GC contention on stage 8.
Nibali told Cyclingnews that has no patience for fans who “just watch the Tour on TV, drink Coca-Cola, eat popcorn and criticize people on social media.”
Nibali’s own coach Paolo Slongo postulated after Nibali’s stage 8 time loss that his problems might have as much to do with motivation as fitness. That led some Twitter users to level criticism at Nibali. One suggested he should have pushed harder. Nibali shot back with a post of his own, saying (in Italian):
“I’m sorry but that’s not my explanation. And I don’t think I have to give one, I do my job and my sport as best I can because I love it, If I get dropped, it’s because I could not give any more.”
He expounded on that in an interview at the race. “I can understand that the tifosi always want to see some spectacular racing from us, but I hope that they can understand that it’s not always easy,” he said, according to Cyclingnews. “I tried my hardest, but when the legs say no, there’s nothing you can do.”
Jones wins stage 2 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake
Australia’s Brenton Jones (Delko Marseille Provence) won stage 2 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake on Monday. The 27-year-old out-sprinted Onur Balkan (Salcano Sakarya BB) and Nicolas Marini (Tianyoude Hotel) in Xining, China, to take his second career stage win in the UCI 2.HC-rated race.
Weimar Roldán, whose Medellin squad won the opening team time trial, leads the general classification ahead of several teammates.
Amateur riders flee after refusing check for hidden bike motors in Italian race
Two amateur racers fled the scene of the Criterium Portogruarese in Italy after refusing a check for hidden motors.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, other riders had asked organizers to perform the check due to suspicions surrounding the two racers.
“At the end of the race we stopped the two and asked to check their bikes. They refused,” said organizer Lorenzo De Luca.
The police were called, but the pair made a hasty departure before authorities arrived.
Beauty of Cycling
The Giro Rosa came to a close on Sunday in Udine. As usual, this year’s race delivered plenty of good racing, some finish line drama, and great scenery.
Check out the gallery of fantastic images from Cor Vos.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Wout van Aert wins stage 10 of the Tour de France. Photo: Dion Kerckhoffs//Cor Vos © 2019