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Jelle Wallays wins his second career Paris-Tours title after a long solo ride off the front, Primoz Roglic rues tactics of Lombardia rivals but tips cap to Bauke Mollema, Eli Iserbyt and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado take Superprestige Gieten victories. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Wallays powers to victory at Paris-Tours
Jelle Wallays (Lotto-Soudal) nabbed his second career Paris-Tours victory with a long solo ride off the front on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Belgian took the win with a healthy advantage of 29 seconds over Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie), with Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale) rounding out the podium in third.
As was the case last year, the 113th edition of the French one-day race featured nine gravel sectors towards the pointy end of the 217 kilometer journey from Chartres to Tours. As the pack arrived at the succession of bumpier sectors, Sunweb’s Soren Kragh Andersen was solo off the front, and Wallays put in a big surge to bridge up to the Dane with over 50 kilometers to go.
Before long, Wallays caught Andersen, who then punctured. Wallays had a gap of around one minute with 40 kilometers to go, and the gap hardly fell over the next half hour.
Terpstra and Naesen jumped out of the chasing group in the finale, but they would only battle for second as Wallays held strong to take the win with plenty of time to soak in the moment, five years after he topped Thomas Voeckler to take the 2014 title.
1 WALLAYS Jelle (Lotto Soudal) 5:34:20
2 TERPSTRA Niki (Team Total Direct Energie) 0:29
3 NAESEN Oliver (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:30
4 DÉMARE Arnaud (Groupama – FDJ) 0:36
5 CAPIOT Amaury (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) 0:49
6 DE GENDT Aimé (Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team)
7 BAK Lars Ytting (Team Dimension Data) 0:51
8 DE BACKER Bert (Vital Concept – B&B Hotels) 0:53
9 ISTA Kevyn (Wallonie-Bruxelles)
10 VERMOTE Julien (Team Dimension Data)
With Saturday’s Il Lombardia in the books, it will be five long months until the cycling world sees its next Monument, as the 2020 edition of Milano-Sanremo gets underway in March. In other words, it’s worth savoring Saturday’s race, so here are InCycle’s comprehensive highlights …
Roglic rues tactics of Lombardia rivals, tip caps to Mollema
Speaking of Il Lombardia, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was among the top pre-race favorites, but came away with little to show for his good form. The 29-year-old Slovenian tried to bridge to lone attacker Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) with around 10 kilometers to go in the race, but the rest of a select group of chasers quickly responded to bring him back.
“I think they raced to stop me winning,” Roglic said afterward, according to Cyclingnews.
Now a Grand Tour champion and currently the world’s number one ranked rider, Roglic may have to get used to being in that position.
“I tried, but I suppose it’s always like that now,” he said. “It’s something new for me, but it’s all experience for the future.”
Just the same, Roglic did tip his cap to the race winner, who timed his attack to perfection, in much the same way that he did to pick up his first big one-day victory in 2016 at the Clásica San Sebastián.
“As the saying goes: If two dogs fight for a bone, a third gets to take it away,” Roglic said. “The big guys kept looking at me but Bauke was the best and won it well.”
Eli Iserbyt and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado take Superprestige Gieten wins
The Superprestige series kicked off in the Netherlands on Sunday with its opening round in Gieten, where Eli Iserbyt and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado took the victories.
Alvarado took the early lead on a treacherous course sodden with recent rainfall. She was solo off the front by the second of six laps, and although a strong chasing group formed behind with the likes of Sanne Cant in pursuit, Alvarado’s advantage hardly wavered over the ensuing laps.
She held on to take a convincing victory, with Cant nabbing second and Yara Kastelijn rounding out the podium.
Iserbyt, who has gotten off to an impressive start to the season with World Cup wins at both Iowa City and Waterloo, won a tight battle with Quinten Hermans in Gieten to continue his run of success. The pair was part of a sizable group of big names that stuck together through the first three laps, and then Iserbyt shot off the front with Hermans in pursuit.
Toon Aerts briefly linked up with the duo before dropping back again, and then a broken chain put Aerts out of podium contention altogether. Iserbyt made the winning move to pull clear of Hermans in a sand section and held on to nab another big win in his young season. Hermans settled for runner-up honors with Corné van Kessel in third.
Taaramae renews with Total Direct Energie
Rein Taaramäe will ride on with Total Direct Energie for another season, he has announced via social media.
The 32-year-old Estonian joined the French Pro Continental outfit last season after two years with the Katusha organization. He counts two Grand Tour stage wins and a handful of one-week GC victories on his career palmares.
Pelucchi wins stage 4 in Taihu Lake, Kennett maintains lead
Matteo Pelucchi sprinted to his second stage win of this year’s Tour of Taihu Lake on Sunday, winning stage 4 in Suzhou. The 30-year-old Italian sealed the win in a strong showing by his Androni Giocattoli squad, with teammate Marco Benfatto nabbing second ahead of Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy).
New Zealand’s Dylan Kennett (St George) finished fifth on the day, retaining his overall race lead with two stages remaining in the UCI 2.1-rated event.
Feature Image: Jelle Wallays on his way to victory at Paris-Tours. Photo: Nico Vereecken/PN/Cor Vos © 2019