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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Ashton Lambie lowered the world individual pursuit record for the third time, Sam Bennett won a chaotic, crash-filled sprint at the Vuelta, Dylan Groenewegen was the best in Britain, and Chris Froome cut himself. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Ashton Lambie sets a new world pursuit record, twice
American Ashton Lambie re-set the world individual pursuit record twice in one today at the Pan-American Championships in Bolivia on Friday.
Lambie, a former gravel racer, first set the world record at the fast Aguascalientes track in Mexico City last year, dropping nearly three seconds of Jack Bobridge’s old time. The record Lambie set that day was 4:07.25.
On Friday, he knocked nearly second off that time in the semi-finals, and then another half-second in the final. By day’s end, the record dropped to 4:05.423.
Lambie is part of an effort at USA Cycling to put together an Olympic quality team pursuit program. The individual pursuit is no longer inclued in the Olympics, except as a part of the broader Omnium event.
“I’m excited to continue pushing the limits and keep improving the team as we move towards Tokyo,” said Lambie.
“Ashton put together another exceptional series of performances over the past three days in the Team and Individual Pursuits,” said Clay Worthington, Men’s Endurance Coach for USA Cycling’s Track Program. “His work ethic is second to none and it shows. His training with his coach Ben Sharp has continued to refine his raw athleticism and his commitment to success lifts the entire program up when he is at team camps at the Olympic Training Center. It is fantastic to see everything come together for him like it has this week.”
Sam Bennett wins stage 14 sprint at the Vuelta as huge crash stops peloton
Sam Bennett won a crash-marred sprint ahead of Max Richeze (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), after much of the peloton was held up in the final kilometer.
Overall Vuelta leader Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic missed the crash but was slowed down by it and remains 2min 25sec in the lead with two monster mountain stages on Sunday and Monday.
World champion and second-placed Alejandro Valverde and third-placed Tadej Pogacar ended up with cuts and bruises in the crash in a dramatic culmination of what had been expected to be a straight bunch sprint.
“I knew they’d be going full gas, I was lucky to avoid it,” said an exhausted-looking Roglic.
After winning the first flat stage in Valencia last week Irish champion Bennett set off after Max Richeze of Deceuninck-Quick Step and Tosh Van der Sande of Lotto Soudal as they suddenly found themselves advancing toward the line, with Bennett burning them off with ease.
He raised one finger in a tentative celebration at the line and later said he was asking if he had won.
“Because I wasn’t expecting to be in the mix I wasn’t concentrating and didn’t know if the breakaway had been caught or made it home,” Bennett said.
“I just kind of found myself in a small group after the crash and bided my time because they were going too fast.”
“At 300m I went for it because I just wanted to get it over,” Bennett said.
A slight narrowing of the road appeared to be the cause of the crash just as the sprinters began to jostle for position and a shoulder charge from one rider sent a ripple of panic across the peloton just as it was hitting top speed 1km from the line.
Stage 14 results
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:28:46
2 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:02
4 Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:05
5 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team
8 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
9 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
10 Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Team
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 53:49:19
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:25
3 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:01
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:37
5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:05:21
Chris Froome undergoes surgery for knife cut
Chris Froome underwent surgery on Friday night after slicing a tendon in his hand with a kitchen knife.
Froome is currently recovering from a horrific accident ahead of the Tour de France. He returned to riding indoors a few weeks ago.
Dylan Groenewegen wins Tour of Britain opener
Jumbo Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen took a sprint victory to open the Tour of Britain off the back of an impressive show of leadout strength from his team.
The day’s breakaway of Jacob Scott (Swift Carbon ProCycling), Dries de Bondt (Correndon-Circus), Rory Townsend (Canyon DHB) and James Fouche (Wiggins) never seemed to bother Groenewegen or his team, which controlled the race’s first stage from end to end.
Franziska Koch wins Boels Ladies Tour stage 4
Sunweb’s Franziska Koch won a three-up sprint to take the fourth stage of the Boels Ladies Tour as Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) slid into the overall lead.
Koch, Majerus, and Riejanne Markus (CCC-Liv) made up the three-rider break that finished 30 seconds ahead of the main field. Majerus was the best placed of the three, and now leads Lisa Klein (Canyon/Sram) by 30 seconds.
Former pro Logan Loader dies at 30
Former American pro Logan Loader died early Thursday morning, his labor union announced via its Facebook page.
Logan was a U.S. amateur time trial champion in 2013. He began racing professionally for Mountain Khakis in 2009 before racing in France for two seasons, then returning to the American circuit with Team Exergy in 2013. He retired at the end of 2015 and became an EMT.
“Logan passed away early this morning. We are truly saddened by the loss of one of our own. Logan is survived by his wife Amrita and his newborn son Nykolai. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and the rest of the family,” read a statement from Monterey County Ambulance IAFF L4513, a union of which he was a member.
A fundraiser for Loader’s wife and child has been set up here.
Coming up at the Vuelta
It’s back to the mountains for stage 15, with four category 1 climbs over 154 kilometers.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Dylan Groenewegen wins the first stage of the Tour of Britain. PHoto: Cor Vos © 2019