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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Enric Mas wraps up the overall victory at the men’s Tour of Guangxi as Pascal Ackermann nabs the final stage, Chloe Hosking wins the one-day women’s race in Guangxi, Marianne Vos takes the overall women’s WorldTour title, Rory Sutherland signs with Israel Cycling Academy. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Enric Mas wins the Tour of Guangxi, Pascal Ackermann takes the final stage
The six-day Tour of Guangxi men’s race came to a close on Tuesday with one last chance for the sprinters in Guilin, China. Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann made the most of the opportunity, out-kicking Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE-Team Emirates) and Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma) in a wet, crash-marred finale.
Enric Mas, who took the race lead on stage 4, stayed upright despite the hectic final moments to wrap up the overall title, bringing his tenure at Deceuninck-Quick-Step to a close with his first ever WorldTour stage race title. He stood atop the overall podium flanked by runner-up Daniel Martínez (EF Education First) and third-placed Diego Rosa (Ineos).
“I’m delighted to take what is the maiden GC victory of my career and say goodbye to this fantastic team – who believed in me and gave me the chance to turn pro three years ago – in such a manner.” said Mas, who is headed to Movistar next year.
“I’ve learned a lot over these past seasons, made significant progress, and am extremely grateful for the time spent here, as it’s been a memorable run stacked with beautiful moments.”
The 168.3-kilometer final stage in Guangxi started and finished in Guilin, and a flat final 30 kilometers had the sprinters’ teams motivated to control the race. The gap to the early break was kept manageable throughout the stage and the escapees were finally reeled in with around five kilometers to go to set up a bunch kick.
Sunweb’s Asbjorn Kragh Andersen made a solo bid for the line in the last kilometer, opening a small gap ahead of the sprinters and their lead-out trains. He was brought back as the pack rounded onto the finishing straight, but a crash a few riders deep into the pack caused a pileup, leaving only those near the front in position to contest the sprint.
Molano jumped with around 200 meters to go but Ackermann was close behind and exploded past him in the final hundred meters to take the win. Mas rolled over the line shortly thereafter to wrap up the overall win.
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Hosking wins women’s Tour of Guangxi, Vos takes overall WorldTour title
Chloe Hosking (Alè Cipollini) closed out her 2019 campaign on a high note on Tuesday with a victory in the one-day women’s Tour of Guangxi, the final Women’s WorldTour race of the year.
The 29-year-old Australian, who is headed to Rally UHC next year, topped Alison Jackson (Tibco-SVB) and Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) in a sprint finish on rain-slicked roads in Guilin.
The 145.8-kilometer women’s event at the Tour of Guangxi featured a pair of ascents inside the last 60 kilometers, but the flat finale favored a sprint. Although aggression at the front of the pack did force splits on the climbs, with Hosking and other sprinters briefly losing touch, things came back together over the ensuing kilometers.
After the race, Hosking pointed out that some experience on the local roads garnered via a pre-race bike-packing trip with her father had come in handy.
“I was with a good group, and I knew the descent from our bike-packing trip,” she said. “I used the descent to get back into the main peloton, and then from there the team just committed to the sprint.”
Things stayed more or less together into the finale for a bunch kick. Vos launched early in the sprint, but Hosking surged past her and held her momentum to take a convincing victory at the line. Jackson pipped Vos for runner-up honors.
Third place, however, was good enough for Vos to climb to the top spot of the women’s WorldTour rankings in the final event of the series, in which she enjoyed consistent success throughout the season. Vos’s 2019 campaign included big one-day victories at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and La Course, multiple Giro Rosa stage wins, a dominant Tour of Norway performance that saw her win three of four stages and the overall title, and numerous other fine results.
The points garnered by her Guangxi podium finish vaulted her over Mitchelton-Scott’s Annemiek van Vleuten to close out the year as the overall series winner of the women’s WorldTour.
Sutherland signs with Israel Cycling Academy
Rory Sutherland has signed a one-year deal to join the Israel Cycling Academy team next season. The 37-year-old Australian, currently closing out his second year with UAE-Team Emirates, will bring experience to a team set to make the jump from the Pro Continental level to the WorldTour as it takes over Katusha’s license.
Sutherland will join current UAE teammate Dan Martin in making the move to the new squad, which is hoping to rely on him as a road captain.
“I was in the process of deciding what I wanted to do in my cycling career. I wanted to find a team situation that was the right fit and I was unsure if that was even possible,” Sutherland said. “When Kjell [Carlstrom, team manager] spoke with me about the ICA project, it really kept the fire burning and I knew it was the team for me.”
Mitchelton-Scott extends Bauer
Jack Bauer is the latest name confirmed to be returning next year to the Mitchelton-Scott squad, which has been announcing one contract extension after another over the past few days.
Bauer, 34, has been with the team since 2018. He counts one New Zealand national title in the road race and another in the TT on his career palmares, and has carved out a role as a reliable member of the Classics supporting cast with the ability to jump into the occasional breakaway.
“Jack is part of our engine room,” said sports director Matt White. “He did a great job at the Giro and has had a very consistent year throughout and we’re very happy to extend Jack’s career with us and we see big value in what he can deliver for this organization.”
Endura kit sponsorship of Movistar to end after 2019
Endura has announced that its kit sponsorship of the Movistar team will conclude at the end of 2019 after six seasons.
The Scotland-based brand, which was also a co-sponsor of the NetApp-Endura (now Bora-Hansgrohe) team in its Pro Continental days, released a lengthy statement on Tuesday that addressed the decision to bring its arrangement with Movistar “to an amicable close,” pointing to frustrations with constraints laid down by the UCI.
Notably, the UCI deemed Endura’s “Surface Silicone Topography” (SST) tech, which utilizes 3D silicon chevrons to redirect airflow, illegal in competition earlier this year.
“The escalation route to the top level in road cycling sees Continental and Pro Continental teams hit glass ceilings where access to higher level races is limited and so too the WorldTour where progress in technical apparel is limited by the governing body and the prize for innovation is seeing technological advances banned,” read the statement.
“Endura reached a fork in the road and have chosen to avoid the developmental dead end currently being enforced by the UCI.”
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Chloe Hosking wins the women’s Tour of Guangxi. Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi/ Anton Vos/ Cor Vos © 2019