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Miguel Ángel López rides back into red at the Vuelta a España as Ángel Madrazo nabs stage 5 from the break, Lotto-Soudal suspends performance director, Ullrich fined for 2018 attack on escort. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: López retakes red as Madrazo wins stage 5 of the Vuelta a España
Miguel Ángel López is back in the red jersey at the 2019 Vuelta a España after the first summit finish of this year’s race on Wednesday’s stage 5.
Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) took the stage after a long day in the breakaway, climbing to victory atop the second-category finishing climb to the Javalambre Astrophysical Observatory. Madrazo’s teammate Jetse Bol took second on the day with José Herrada (Cofidis) in third.
A little ways behind, López soloed across the line to retake red after attacking a very select group of GC contenders, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) the next of the overall hopefuls to cross the line.
The 170.7-kilometer stage from L’Eliana saw Madrazo, Bol, and Herrada get clear to form the day’s break in the early goings. The peloton gave the move plenty of breathing room, with the escape’s gap hovering around 10 minutes for a long stretch.
Although an injection of pace on the run-in to the final climb shortened the gap, the breakaway still had enough breathing room to fight for the stage 5 win.
Madrazo, already leading the mountains classification at the start of the day, was dropped multiple times on the final climb but fought back on each time. The 31-year-old Spaniard jumped clear inside the last kilometer to nab the stage 5 win. Bol took second on the day with Herrada in third.
A few minutes behind, a hard tempo from the start of the climb blew the peloton to pieces. A surge from Valverde halfway up the climb dropped several big names, including overnight leader Nicolas Roche (Sunweb). Continued pressure from Valverde and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) whittled the GC group down to just a handful of riders, with Valverde’s teammate Nairo Quintana also among the long list of names distanced.
López, however, looked comfortable near the front and then fired off an attack that no one could answer with around three kilometers to go. Valverde and Roglic combined to chase the Colombian down but he soloed across the line 12 seconds ahead of the duo to take back the race lead after losing it on stage 2.
He now enjoys a 14-second advantage over Roglic in the general classification with Quintana sitting in third overall, 23 seconds back.
Stage 5 results
1 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH 4:58:31
2 Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH 0:00:10
3 Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:00:22
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana 0:00:47
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 0:00:59
6 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
7 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:29
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:01:41
9 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:46
1 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana 18:55:21
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:14
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:00:23
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 0:00:28
5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb 0:00:57
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:00:59
7 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:17
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:18
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:49
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb 0:01:50
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to ride up over 4,000 meters (14,000 feet) without being acclimatized to the extreme altitude?
Wonder no more. CyclingTips managing editor Matt de Neef took on Colorado’s iconic Mount Evans earlier this month, and documented his experience on video (and with an excellent story that you can check out here).
Bennett’s future in limbo
Sprint star Sam Bennett, who won Monday’s stage 3 at the Vuelta, is reportedly trying to free himself from an early extension agreement with his current Bora-Hansgrohe team in order to transfer to a new team, according to Cycling Weekly.
Cycling Weekly reports that the 28-year-old Irishman signed an offer letter in May to stay with Bora through 2020, but that he is hoping to leave after the squad left him off its rosters for both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. A UCI panel will hear the case.
Should Bennett win out with the panel, he is expected to join Deceuninck-Quick-Step for next year.
Ullrich fined for attack on escort
According to a statement from the prosecutor’s office in Frankurt, Ullrich was fined 7,200 euros “on suspicion of bodily harm and attempted duress.” Ullrich allegedly insulted an escort during the incident, demanded a return of his money, and then grabbed her throat, pushed her against a wall, and punched her arm when she attempted to flee.
Ullrich, whose cycling career ended shortly after he was implicated in Operation Puerto, was stripped of his results from 2005 onward in 2012. Recently, he has had several run-ins with police. After multiple instances of serious drug and alcohol abuse, he reportedly checked into a rehab facility in Germany last year.
Lotto-Soudal suspends performance director Kevin De Weert
The Lotto-Soudal team has “temporarily suspended with immediate effect” performance director Kevin De Weert for the remainder of the Vuelta after an undisclosed incident during the Spanish Grand Tour.
“The team management will not make any further comments until a conversation between general manager John Lelangue and Kevin De Weert takes place, after his return to Belgium,” the team said in its announcement, providing little clarification as to the motivation behind the decision.
De Weert, a retired road pro, worked as a coach with the Belgian national team until joining Lotto-Soudal at the start of this season.
Boels-Dolmans not among eight teams applying for Women’s WorldTour licenses
The UCI has listed the eight teams that have applied for the first Women’s WorldTour licenses, which will be issued for the 2020 to 2024 period as part of a broad reform that will create two tiers of teams at the top levels of women’s cycling. As notable as the inclusions in the list are the teams not among the eight WorldTour applicants.
Powerhouse squad Boels Dolmans has not applied for a WorldTour license, and neither have Bigla, WNT-Rotor, Parkhotel Valkenburg, or Lotto-Soudal.
The eight teams that have submitted applications for Women’s WorldTour status are Alé Cipollini, Canyon-Sram, CCC-Liv, FDJ, Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar, Sunweb, and Trek-Segafredo.
That will presumably leave non-applicants in the newly created “Continental” tier for now.
“We very much support further professionalization of the sport. However, it’s very important that a new category will be added under the Women’s WorldTour so that the progress is incremental,” Boels manager Danny Stam told Cyclingnews in 2018.
“The minimum salary requirement isn’t the problem, but there are a lot of additional costs that add up to quite a big amount of money that a team needs to have in order to set up a professional women’s team.”
Coming up at the Vuelta
Stage 6 of the Vuelta a España runs 198.9 kilometers from Mora de Rubielos to Ares del Maestrat.
The lumpy profile, with a category-there finishing climb, could make for an interesting finale.
Pivot’s lightest hardtail yet
Pivot announced their new 29” LES SL cross-country hardtail which has already racked up wins with the Stan’s-Pivot Pro team including the US Short Track National Championship and Leadville 100. The LES SL includes carbon dropouts, an integrated headset, and Hollow Core Molding Technology which results in Pivot’s lightest hardtail at 1,045 grams (300 grams lighter than its predecessor), designed for performance and going fast.
Pivot stated in their press release, “The LES SL offers best in class stiffness to weight ratio and power transfer with laser-focused yet predictable handling. Our engineers managed to cut grams while retaining that legendary Pivot ride feel and compliance that the LES line is known for – the kind that saves energy over the long haul and keeps the bike planted and predictable over all surfaces. The LES SL is the perfect hardtail trifecta of lightweight, stiffness, and ride quality that lets racers excel at the highest levels.”
The LES SL has a 69.5° head angle (sizes M-XL), 100mm of travel with Fox’s Stepcast 32 29”, is available in two colorways including Blue and Stealth, and is available as a frameset and a complete bike in nine configurations ranging in price from US$3,799 to US$8,199.
Easton debuts EC90 AX and EC70 AX wheelsets
Easton’s AX series of gravel-specific components grew by two wheelsets today, with the announcement of their new, high performance (US$ $1,550) EC90 AX and (US$1,200) EC70 AX wheelsets. Both wheelsets are tubeless-ready, carbon clincher with center lock rotor mounts.
At 1,470 grams, they’re 155-grams lighter than the alloy EA90 AXs which were launched at the end of May. The spoke count remains the same, though, with 24 straight-pull Sapim spokes laced three-cross to Easton’s Vault disc hubs. On the other hand, the 1,515 gram EC70 AX wheelset is built with 28 straight-pull Sapim spokes laced three-cross to the X5CL hub, and both are optimized for gravel tires with widths 35mm to 50mm.
Prototypes of these wheelsets were raced and tested at the DK200 and Lost and Found 2019.
Continental goes gravel
Continental has long offered road, mountain, and touring tyres, but the new Terra Trail and Terra Sped are Continental’s first dedicated gravel offerings. Both models feature a tubeless-ready bead, the German company’s premium Black Chilli rubber and ProTection puncture-resistant layers.
Offering a low tread pattern, the more performance-orientated Terra Speed is available in four sizes: 650x35B (390g), 650x40B (400g), 700x35C (400g), and 700x40C (420g). While the more aggressively treaded Terra Trail is offered in just two sizes: 650x40B (440g) and 700x40C (460g). Both models are available in either black or with cream sidewalls. Retail is stated at €57.90 per tyre, with international pricing TBC.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Miguel Ángel López on the attack on stage 5 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Dario Beligheri/RB/Cor Vos © 2019