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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Elia Viviani out-sprints Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan to win stage 4 of the Tour de France, Annemiek van Vleuten takes stage 5 and the race lead at the Giro Rosa, Orbea’s Orca Aero gets an update for 2020. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Viviani sprints to Tour de France stage 4 victory
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won stage 4 of the 2019 Tour de France, putting his sprinting chops and his team’s lead-out prowess on display in a bunch kick in Nancy.
The 30-year-old Italian out-kicked Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) to pick up his first career Tour stage win.
“This meant a lot for me,” said Viviani, who has now taken stage victories across all three Grand Tours in his career.
“Today we did a perfect job, you saw how the lead-out did. I just need to thank the team. They were really unbelievable. I just had to in my job in the last 180 meters.”
Viviani’s Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Julian Alaphilippe finished safely in the pack to secure another day in the yellow jersey.
The mostly flat parcours of the 213.5-kilometer stage from Reims had the sprinters’ teams interested from the outset, which meant that the day’s three-rider breakaway was never given too much breathing room. Final breakaway survivor Michael Schär was caught with a little over 16 kilometers to go. Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) then tried an attack of his own, but the move was reeled in with around six kilometers left to race as teams began jockeying for position at the front.
Ineos was a constant presence at the front of the pack on the run-in to the finale, keeping Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal well-positioned until the sprinters’ teams took over inside the last three kilometers. A mix of Jumbo-Visma, Dimension Data, and Deceuninck-Quick-Step jerseys led the peloton under the flamme rouge, and then the Deceuninck-Quick-Step lead-out train solidified at the head of affairs.
Michael Morkov pulled into the final 350 meters, where Max Richeze took over with Viviani in his wheel. With just under 200 meters to go, the Argentine champion peeled off and Viviani launched his sprint as Kristoff wound up to speed from behind him and to his right.
Kristoff briefly led, but Viviani surged past as he hit top speed and held on to take the win, while Ewan narrowly pipped Sagan for third.
Peter Sagan extends his lead in the points classification with a 4th place in stage 5. Sagan leads Viviani by 23 points, with Matthews sitting just behind in 3rd.
Stage 4 results
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 5:09:20
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9 Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
10 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 14:41:39
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 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
The UCI’s insistence on policing sock heights at the Tour de France has not been a wholly popular stance, particular with cycling fans on social media.
Meanwhile, at the Giro Rosa, Kasia Niewiadoma showed WorldTour-level patience enduring this absurdly long handshake on the podium.
And last but not least, if you the ‘bottle-cap challenge’ has come across your instagram feed, we now have a winner:
Van Vleuten rides into pink with convincing win in Giro Rosa’s fifth stage
Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) rode into the race lead with a dominant stage 5 victory at the Giro Rosa. The 36-year-old Dutchwoman, the event’s defending overall champion, fired off an attack on the early slopes of the final climb of the day and hit the line nearly three minutes before her nearest rival.
Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) took second ahead of overnight leader Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM). Van Vleuten now holds the overall race lead with an advantage of 2:16 over Niewiadoma.
The Giro Rosa’s fifth stage traversed an altered route following the removal of the Passo Gavia due to recent snowfall. Nonetheless, the 88-kilometer trek from Ponte in Valtellina to Lago di Cancano still qualified as the race’s queen stage, with a long uphill run-in to the long Torre de Fraele final climb.
Van Vleuten attacked with 10 kilometers still to go and quickly opened a gap, which she then only added to on the long grind to the line. The huge victory margin she amassed puts her firmly in the pink jersey with five stages to go.
“I’m very happy, after they took the Gavia out I knew it would be harder to take a lot of time. I knew I needed to attack from the bottom to try and get as much time as possible so it was 10 kilometers of suffering,’ she said.
“I’m very proud to wear the pink jersey again, it’s my dream to wear pink. It’s very special and it is a very big goal of mine to win the Giro Rosa this year.”
The Giro Rosa continues with Wednesday’s stage 6, a 12.1-kilometer individual time trial from Chiuro to Teglio.
Stage 5 results
1 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott 3:09:47
2 Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb 0:02:57
3 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
4 Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini
5 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6 Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
7 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv
8 Erica Magnaldi (Ita) WNT-Rotor
9 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10 Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:03:25
1 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott 11:17:44
2 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM 0:02:16
3 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv 0:03:05
4 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:03:12
5 Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans 0:03:24
6 Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb 0:03:27
7 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:59
8 Katharine Hall (USA) Boels-Dolmans 0:04:04
9 Erica Magnaldi (Ita) WNT-Rotor 0:04:10
10 Juliette Labous (Fra) Sunweb 0:04:26
Quintana to Arkéa-Samsic rumors intensify with talk of bringing teammates and brother over as well
Reports of a potential Nairo Quintana transfer from Movistar to Arkéa-Samsic have been floating around for a few weeks now. On Tuesday, Wielerflits lent credence to the rumors with a report that Quintana would be joined at the French Pro Continental team in 2020 by multiple current or former teammates: Movistar’s Winner Anacona and Ruben Fernández, and Nairo’s brother Dayer Quintana (now with Neri Sottoli).
Nairo Quintana is one of several big names at Movistar whose contracts are up at the end of the 2019 season; the Spanish outfit will also have to decide on whether to try to keep Mikel Landa and Richard Carapaz.
Coming Up at the Tour
Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Tour de France takes the peloton 175.5 kilometers from Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar.
The hilly terrain could make for an interesting race, with breakaway specialists, puncheurs, and the more versatile fast finishers of the peloton all potentially in with a shot at the win.
Rapha’s latest EF Gone Racing video goes behind the scenes at the start of the 2019 Tour de France to get better acquainted with Rigoberto Urán.
Orbea Orca Aero updated for 2020
Orbea’s aero road racer, the Orca Aero, has received a make-over for 2020. The main change is a new – more aero – fork which features deeper blades as a result of the UCI’s relaxed dimensional ruling. Beyond that, some new paint and some component updates, it’s much the same Orca Aero as the one James Huang reviewed back in 2017.
The bike remains available in both rim and disc brake variants for 2020.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image:The final sprint on stage 4 of the Tour de France, won by Elia Viviani. Photo: Cor Vos Fotopersburo