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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Tadej Pogacar soars to victory on a thrilling stage 9 of the Vuelta a España as Nairo Quintana takes the red jersey, Nino Schurter and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot claim cross-country titles at MTB worlds, Sep Vanmarcke nabs his long-awaited first-ever WorldTour win at the Bretagne Classic. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Pogacar soars to victory on stage 9 of the Vuelta a España as Quintana takes red
Tadej Pogacar’s Grand Tour debut is going well so far. The 20-year-old Slovenian, in his first year as a pro with UAE-Team Emirates, climbed to victory in a thrilling, rain-soaked stage 9 at the Vuelta a España on Sunday.
Movistar’s Nairo Quintana scored runner-up honors on the day, with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) taking third just ahead of Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.
“I was looking at this stage since the start,” Pogacar said at the finish. “When I saw the weather, I was happy that it would rain because that is good for me.”
Quintana’s performance may have seen him come up just short of the stage win, but he earned a prize of his own nonetheless. He will head into the Vuelta’s first rest day as the overall race leader, six seconds ahead of Roglic in the general classification.
A big breakaway move get clear in the first half hour of racing on the mountainous 94.4-kilometer stage in Andorra, and the peloton allowed the gap to max out at around four minutes on the slopes of the first-category Coll de la Gallina, near the midway point of the stage.
The breakaway saw a flurry of attacks and regroupings going over the climb, but the peloton began closing in on the approach to the first of three categorized ascents that comprised the stair-step finale to Cortals d’Encamp. The pace in the pack shed overnight leader Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) out the back, putting the red jersey in play again for the bona fide GC contenders.
With some 20 kilometers left to race, Astana’s Miguel Ángel López put in a big attack out of the GC group and quickly built a sizable gap to his red jersey rivals. Then, the skies opened up and a heavy downpour of rain and hail began, knocking out television pictures for several minutes.
After spending several kilometers weaving through the remnants of the break, López was caught by a select group that included Quintana, Valverde, and Pogacar on a gravel section before the final climb. Bumps and bruises caught on images at the finish suggested that López may have crashed off-camera at some point during his solo ride.
As Roglic battled to rejoin the GC group, Quintana and Pogacar attacked together. Roglic ultimately caught the group of López and Valverde, while Movistar’s Marc Soler, the last remaining breakaway rider up the road, was asked to wait for his teammate Quintana up front. The Spaniard did, albeit after a few seconds of frustrated hand gestures, but then Pogacar attacked and left both Quintana and Soler behind.
Pogacar rode the rain-slicked final two kilometers solo, with Quintana chasing behind and López and Valverde forming the next group on the road. Pogacar climbed to the victory 23 seconds ahead of Quintana, with Roglic nabbing third just ahead of Valverde, 48 seconds back.
Stage 9 results
1 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 2:58:09
2 QUINTANA Nairo (Movistar) 0:23
3 ROGLIC Primoz (Jumbo-Visma) 0:48
4 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar)
5 SOLER Marc (Movistar) 0:57
6 PERNSTEINER Hermann (Bahrain Merida) 0:59
7 HIGUITA Sergio (EF Education First) 1:01
8 KELDERMAN Wilco (Sunweb)
9 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana)
10 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (INEOS) 1:38
1 QUINTANA Nairo (Movistar) 35:18:18
2 ROGLIC Primoz (Jumbo-Visma) 0:06
3 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana) 0:17
4 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar) 0:20
5 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 1:42
6 HAGEN Carl Fredrik (Lotto Soudal) 1:46
7 EDET Nicolas (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) 2:21
8 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe) 3:22
9 KELDERMAN Wilco (Sunweb) 3:53
10 TEUNS Dylan (Bahrain Merida) 4:46
The incredible weather conditions in the finale of Sunday’s Vuelta stage at least brought some solid finish line videos to the Twittersphere.
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) September 1, 2019
— Team Cofidis (@TeamCOFIDIS) September 1, 2019
Meanwhile, Peter Sagan continues to train for road worlds … away from the road.
Schurter, Ferrand-Prevot win 2019 cross-country titles at MTB worlds
The mountain bike world championships crowned this year’s cross-country champions on Saturday, and there were some familiar faces on the podiums in Mont-Sainte-Anne when all was said and done.
Nino Schurter (Switzerland) powered to his eighth career title, his fifth straight, in the men’s event. He soloed clear midway through the race on the technical circuit and gradually built a comfortable lead over the last few laps. He hit the line with plenty of time to celebrate another rainbow jersey, with Switzerland’s Mathias Flückiger in second 30 seconds back, and Stéphane Tempier rounding out the podium 38 seconds down.
On the women’s side, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot capped off an impressive comeback season with her second career cross-country world title. The 27-year-old Frenchwoman, who won her first mountain bike world championship in 2015 amid a brilliant stretch that also saw her take road and cyclocross world titles, underwent iliac artery surgery in February after battling health issues across multiple seasons.
After recovering and returning to training, Ferrand-Prevot proved she was back to winning ways at the start of August with a World Cup win at Val di Sole. On Saturday in Canada, she rode to an even bigger victory.
Australia’s Rebecca McConnell led early in the race but Ferrand-Prevot and Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) closed the gap, and then Ferrand-Prevot took off solo. She won with a 43-second advantage over Neff, with McConnell in third, 1:17 back. American Kate Courtney, the 2018 champion, finished the day in fifth.
Vanmarcke gets his long-awaited first WorldTour victory at the Bretagne Classic
Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) rode to an elusive career milestone on Sunday in Plouay, France. The 31-year-old Belgian, a consistent contender at one-day races for the better part of the last decade, took his first ever WorldTour win at the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France.
Vanmarcke nabbed the victory three seconds ahead of runner-up Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) and third-placed Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott).
A string of attacks and regroupings whittled away at the bunch in the final hour of the up-and-down 248.1-kilometer race through Brittany. Vanmarcke, Benoot, and Haig formed the decisive move with around 22 kilometers to go in the day, and the trio powered over the last few climbs together, with the chasing pack unable to make much progress cutting down their advantage as the finish line neared.
Benoot jumped with under two kilometers left to race, but Vanmarcke closed him down. Inside the last kilometer, Vanmarcke made his own move. For the first time in his long career, his trademark solo attack held all the way to the line in a WorldTour event.
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) September 1, 2019
Stuyven wins the Deutschland Tour as Colbrelli takes the final stage
Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) sealed the overall victory at the Deutschland Tour.
The 27-year-old Belgian, who rode into the race lead on Saturday’s stage 3, delivered a solid fifth-place finish on Sunday’s fourth and final stage to claim the general classification title. Stuyven finished inside the top five of all four stages at the UCI 2.HC-rated event.
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) won the reduced sprint for the stage 4 victory at the end of the lumpy 159.5-kilometer stage from Eisenach to Erfurt. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step was second on the day with Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) in third.
Colbrelli also secured runner-up honors on the overall leaderboard, three seconds down on Stuyven, with Lampaert rounding out the final podium.
Kelland O’Brien wins the Tour of the Great South Coast
Kelland O’Brien (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) has taken out the Tour of the Great South Coast, the latest round in Australia’s National Road Series. The six-day, eight-stage race took the riders through Victoria and South Australia and unfolded as follows:
– Stage 1: Criterium won by Sam Welsford (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) in a sprint.
– Stage 2: Solo win for Rylee Field (GPM-Stulz) from a breakaway.
– Stage 3: Another sprint victory for Sam Welsford.
– Stage 4: Sprint win for Cameron Scott (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) after a big final-corner crash.
– Stage 5: Team time trial win for InForm TM Insight MAKE.
– Stage 6: Long-range solo win from Jesse Coyle (Nero Bianchi).
– Stage 7: Won by Conor Murtagh with late attack.
– Stage 8: Sprint win for Tristan Ward (BridgeLane).
Follow the link for a full wrap from the 2019 Tour of the Great South Coast.
In other news
German Parliament member suggests cyclist should get an extra day of vacation
Stefan Gelbhaar, a member of Germany’s federal parliament, has a suggestion to incentivize cycling: Give people who ride to work an extra day of vacation each year.
The way Gelbhaar sees it, those who ride to work should get an added day off considering they “fall ill less frequently and have fewer days of absence from work,” according to studies he cited.
You can read the full story at CNN.com.
Coming up at the Vuelta
The Vuelta peloton will welcome the first rest day of this year’s race on Monday. The event resumes with stage 10 on Tuesday.
Feature Image: Tadej Pogacar wins stage 9 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Luis Angel Gomez/Cor Vos © 2019