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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Bauke Mollema solos to victory at Il Lombardia, equal prize money for top finishers at DVV Trophy and Superprestige races, Dylan Groenewegen tops Elia Viviani at the Tacx Pro Classic. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Mollema solos to Lombarida victory
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) took his first career Monument victory on Saturday in Italy at Il Lombardia.
The 32-year-old Dutchman put in a powerful, well-timed attack on the Civiglio, the penultimate climb of the race, and held on through the final 18 kilometers to win. Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde took runner-up honors 16 seconds later with Egan Bernal (Ineos) just behind to round out the podium.
“I can’t believe I’ve won a Monument,” Mollema said. “I wasn’t the favorite so maybe the other riders underestimated me a bit.
“I found the right moment to attack. I just went full gas in the last 10 kilometers. It’s unreal!”
The 243-kilometer race from Bergamo to Como took place in balmy conditions in northern Italy. An eight-rider break – with Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) among the escapees – got clear in the early goings and spent the next several hours off the front. As the race reached the Madonna del Ghisallo climb with some 70 kilometers to go, things heated up in both the break and the bunch.
Cavagna, Skujins, and Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli) pulled clear of the break, but the peloton gradually shut down the gap to the escapees. The last remnants of the move were swept up on the ensuing climb of the Colma di Sormano.
Things remained more or less gruppo compatto until the short but brutally steep Civiglio climb, where Mollema put in a big surge out of a dwindling pack.
As the big names in the chasing group hesitated, Mollema quickly pulled out to a healthy advantage, working the gap up to around 30 seconds.
Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic tried to bridge just inside the final 10 kilometers but was caught by a small group of pursuers that included Valverde, Bernal, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Michael Woods (EF Education First), and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott).
Despite the big names in the chasing group, there was no catching Mollema. He pushed up and over the San Fermo della Battalgia and held on through the descent to take the biggest victory of his career on the shores of Lake Como.
1 MOLLEMA Bauke (Trek – Segafredo) 5:52:59
2 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 0:16
3 BERNAL Egan (Team INEOS)
4 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team)
5 WOODS Michael (EF Education First) 0:34
6 HAIG Jack (Mitchelton-Scott)
7 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
8 BUCHMANN Emanuel (BORA – hansgrohe) 0:50
9 LATOUR Pierre (AG2R La Mondiale)
10 MOLARD Rudy (Groupama – FDJ)
Lachlan Morton’s alternative racing schedule with EF Education First took him to one of the oldest off-road bike races in the world last month. The 27-year-old Australian made his debut appearance at the Three Peaks Cyclocross, and as usual, it made for a good EF Gone Racing video …
Groenewegen tops Viviani at Tacx Pro Classic
While his Dutch compatriot Mollema stormed to victory in Italy, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) gave the home crowd something to celebrate at Saturday’s Tacx Pro Classic in the Netherlands.
With a pancake-flat profile, the 204.6-kilometer race from Middelburg to Neeltje Jans came down to a bunch kick. Groenewegen proved fastest at the line, besting Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Arvid de Kleijn (Metec-TKH) to take his 15th pro win of the year.
Equal prize money at DVV Trophy and Superprestige races
Both the DVV Trophy series and the Superprestige series will award equal prize money to top male and female finishers starting this cyclocross season.
DVV Insurance Trophy organizers have announced that prize money will be awarded down to 15th place with equal amounts for the men and women. Telenet Superprestige organizers have announced that the top 8s of the elite men and women will be awarded with “the same prize pool.”
The Superprestige series gets underway on Sunday at Gieten. The DVV series starts with Koppenbergcross on November 1.
Rubén Plaza retires
Israel Cycling Academy’s Rubén Plaza has retired.
The 39-year-old Spaniard spent the better part of two decades in the pro peloton. Along the way, he nabbed three Grand Tour stage wins and two Grand Tour top 10s. After a long stretch with Movistar and one particularly successful year with Lampre-Merida, he spent the past few seasons in a road captain role with Mitchelton-Scott and then Israel Cycling Academy.
He decided to hang up the wheels after making his final start on Saturday at Il Lombardia.
Kennett wins stage 3 of the Tour of Taihu Lake
After runner-up finishes in the prologue, stage 1, and stage 2 of the Tour of Taihu Lake, Dylan Kennett (St. George) finally nabbed a win on Saturday’s stage 3 in China’s Zhejiang province.
The 24-year-old New Zealander, already wearing the race leader’s jersey, sprinted to victory at the end of the 117-kilometer stage from Huzhou to Changxing. Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy) took second with Youcef Reguigui (Terengganu) in third.
Feature Image: Bauke Mollema wins Il Lombardia. Photo: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019