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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Elia Viviani tops Sam Bennett to win RideLondon, Richie Porte and Cameron Wurf ‘Everest’ the Col de la Madone, Luka Mezgec out-sprints Fernando Gaviria in Poland. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Viviani wins RideLondon
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday, out-sprinting Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) on The Mall. Michael Morkov (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) held on for an impressive third after providing Viviani with a winning lead-out.
“When we saw the race didn’t make much of a selection on the Box Hill circuit, we decided to just go for me,” Viviani said of the team’s plan for the finale. “After a Grand Tour I always try to stay concentrated because I know the shape is good. It was amazing teamwork with Michael finishing third.”
The rolling urban course of the 169-kilometer race saw a few stretches of high speeds in the peloton but a sprint finish was rarely in doubt, and more or less assured after final early breakaway survivor Stan Dewulf (Lotto-Soudal) was caught with around 20 kilometers to go.
Nonetheless, it was a significantly reduced bunch that contested the WorldTour win after a mid-pack crash took down several riders in the finale, including a few members of Bennett’s lead-out train.
Those near the front of the peloton avoided the pileup and pushed on to battle it out in the sprint.
Jumbo-Visma’s Mike Teunissen led into the last 300 meters but then peeled off, with teammate Amund Grondahl Jansen still a few positions back. A flying Michael Morkov took over at the front with Viviani just behind. When Viviani launched with around 200 meters to go, he had a clear road to the line.
The 2018 runner-up powered to his first ever RideLondon win with a convincing gap to Bennett, the only rival sprinter that even came close to challenging for the victory.
Morkov was rewarded for his strong lead-out work with the final spot on the podium.
Chris Froome is facing a lengthy recovery process after his crash while reconning the Critérium du Dauphiné time trial in June. In case you haven’t seen it yet, Ineos is documenting his road back to the races in a series of videos, the first of which was published on Saturday.
Mezgec tops Gaviria to win stage 2 of the Tour of Poland
Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) took his first WorldTour victory since 2014 ahead of an impressive field on stage 2 of the Tour of Poland.
The 31-year-old Slovenian out-kicked sprint stars Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) on a downhill finishing straight in Katowice to nab his biggest result so far this year.
Gaviria once again a bit too early in the downhill sprint. Mezgec comes through to take it. Richeze (joining in 2020) would’ve been ideal for Gaviria there – leading out and then dropping through the middle #TDP2019 pic.twitter.com/wvmjN735Ql
— Daniel Ostanek (@LVCKV) August 4, 2019
On the heels of a sprinter-friendly opening stage won by Ackermann, the 152.7-kilometer stage 2 from Tarnowskie Góry again had the sprinters’ teams committed to ensuring a bunch kick, keeping the day’s breakaway on a relatively short leash. The break was caught some 15 kilometers from the line, and from there the battle for positioning began to heat up.
Bora-Hansgrohe and Ineos put in much of the pace-setting in the finale, and then Deceuninck-Quick-Step took the lead for the last kilometer. Trek-Segafredo hit the front with some 300 meters to go but then Gaviria wound up to speed on the right side of the road with Mezgec locked onto his wheel.
The pair surged to the front and then Mezgec launched past in the final 150 meters, holding on to take the win.
Ackermann nabbed third to remain in the overall race lead.
Wiebes wins RideLondon Classique after Wild relegated
Loreno Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) took her first ever WorldTour win at Saturday’s RideLondon Classique after a wild finish that saw defending champion Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor) relegated for her role in causing a huge crash.
The race came down to a bunch kick on The Mall. Wild’s WNT-Rotor teammate Lisa Brennauer led her out for the sprint but Wiebes and then others came past with around 200 meters left. Wild swerved to her left in pursuit of an opening, causing a domino effect crash behind her that brought down Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini) and numerous others.
Defending champion Kirsten Wild was disqualified from the RideLondon Classique after a horror crash in the closing stages of Saturday's race.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 3, 2019
Wild powered up to speed and hit the line first, but she was relegated for leaving her line, which left Wiebes the winner. Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-Cylance) and Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) rounded out the podium.
Samuel Gaze tries his hand on the road with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Samuel Gaze, a commonwealth gold medalist and UCI world cup champion on the mountain bike will ride as a stagiaire with Deceuninck-Quick Step. The 23-year-old New Zealander said, “I have come off the professional MTB scene and have been given the opportunity to race on the road with Deceuninck – Quick-Step”, said Gazer. “I have been observing the team’s tremendous success from the outside and it’s spectacular to see what the program has achieved. It has been a lifelong dream to race alongside professional riders such as Gilbert, Stybar and Alaphilippe, and I am looking forward to this opportunity and cutting my teeth in the professional road scene.”
“I am a bit of a rouleur and my ambition is to one day achieve some big results in the classics, which is something that I really want to pursue. I came from New Zealand to Europe as a second-year under 19, where myself and a friend lived out of a car, joining in the MTB circuit. Some good results led me turning pro with Specialized in 2015 and from there I have had a great time and I have been able to collect two world titles, an Elite World Cup win and raced at the Olympic Games as a 20-year-old, which was an incredible experience.”
Porte and Wurf Everest the Col de la Madone
After finishing the 2019 Tour de France last weekend, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) headed back to the Alps to get in a few more training miles. On Saturday, he and fellow Australian Cameron Wurf decided to ride up the Col de la Madone. Eleven times.
The pair “Everested” the climb, racking up around nine kilometers of climbing over more than 14 hours on Wurf’s birthday. Not a bad way to ring in 36.
Richie Porte climbed the Madone 11 times yesterday according to his Strava – 9000+m of climbing.
People just used to stay at home on Saturdays and watch Grandstand. https://t.co/rfayP1sJs0
— Daniel Friebe (@friebos) August 4, 2019
Evenepoel solos to San Sebastián victory
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) became the youngest rider to ever win a WorldTour race on Saturday at the Clásica San Sebastián. The 19-year-old Belgian took the win solo with a gap of 38 seconds Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), who topped Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) in the reduced sprint for runner-up honors.
“I’ll be honest, it was really a dream to win this race once in my career and now I’ve done it already,” Evenepoel said after his victory in the Basque Country. “I really didn’t expect this.”
Evenepoel joined a move with Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) on the last climb of the race and then powered away from the Latvian to press on alone. There was little cohesion in the group behind, which included big names like Van Avermaet and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Meanwhile, up front, Evenepoel hardly eased off the pace as he covered the last seven kilometers solo. Before long, it was clear there would be no catching the talented youngster, who celebrated his first ever WorldTour victory at the San Sebastián finish line.
Kennedy takes inaugural women’s San Sebastián title
Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) won the first ever women’s Clásica San Sebastían. The 31-year-old Australian topped Janneke Ensing (WNT-Rotor) and Pauliena Rooijakkers (CCC-Liv) in the hilly race through the Basque Country.
Kennedy took a clear win despite some untimely mechanical issues on the day. She initially soloed away from the lead group with over 40 kilometers left to race only to lose her advantage due to a puncture and then another mechanical. Caught and passed by a select group, Kennedy was forced to chase following a wheel change. She linked up with Mitchelton-Scott teammate Georgia Williams who put in a big effort to catch back up to the front, and then Kennedy attacked again on the final climb.
This time, she got away and stayed clear all the way to the line.
Van der Poel and Ferrand-Prevot take cross-country wins at Val di Sole World Cup
Mathieu van der Poel doubled up in the short track and cross-country races at this weekend’s mountain bike World Cup round in Italy’s Val di Sole, while Jolanda Neff and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took the women’s short track and cross-country wins, respectively.
Van der Poel topped Henrique Avancini and Jens Schuermans in the short track event to get his weekend off to a strong start on Friday, and then followed that up with an impressive cross-country victory over Mathias Flückiger and Nino Schurter.
Neff topped Sina Frei and Ferrand-Prevot in the short track, but Ferrand-Prevot narrowly bested Neff in the cross-country race, with Jenny Rissveds rounding out the podium.
— PFP (@FERRANDPREVOT) August 4, 2019
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Elia Viviani wins RideLondon. Photo: Ben Queenborough for Prudential RideLondon