Willunga Hill delivers, World Cup winners crowned: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!

The first race of the 2020 WorldTour is officially in the books, and Willunga Hill reliably made sure things came to a compelling conclusion on Sunday.

At the end of the day, Richie Porte may not have won the stage itself as he so often does, but he probably doesn’t mind. Starting the stage in second overall, Porte left his rivals for the GC title in the rearview mirror with a brilliant performance on the final climb of the race. He finished second to Matthew Holmes on the stage but wrapped up the overall victory.

What a way to kick off the WorldTour season! We can only hope the next 30-something events deliver the same down-to-the-wire excitement…

Until next time, readers!

What’s News

| Porte wins the Tour Down Under, Holmes takes the final stage

Richie Porte won his second career Tour Down Under on Sunday, finishing second on the sixth and final stage well ahead of any of his GC rivals.

Matthew Holmes nabbed the Willunga Hill stage victory after arriving at the climb with the breakaway. He pipped Porte at the line to get his maiden WorldTour win, with Manuele Boaro in third. Porte sealed the overall win with Diego Ulissi and Simon Geschke rounding out the podium. Two-time winner Daryl Impey, who rode into stage 6 in the race lead, dropped down to sixth in the final GC standings.

| Van der Poel and Brand win at Hoogerheide, Worst and Aerts claim World Cup overall

The ‘cross World Cup series came to a conclusion Sunday at Hoogerheide, with Mathieu van der Poel cruising to the men’s race victory and Lucinda Brand winning the women’s event in a dramatic finale that also decided the overall World Cup standings.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, who led the series going into the final race, looked primed to take the win heading into the finale but crashed in the last few hundred meters. Brand sailed past for the race victory, while Annemarie Worst took second and thus nabbed the overall title ahead of Alvarado. On the men’s side, Toon Aerts finished second on the day to seal his second straight series win.

| Alvarado extends with Alpecin-Fenix

There was at least some good news for Alvarado on Sunday, as the 21-year-old Dutchwoman signed a lengthy contract extension with her Alpecin-Fenix team.

After emerging as one of the top riders in women’s cross this season, Alvarado will ride on with Alpecin-Fenix to at least February of 2024.

| Socially Speaking

Tour Down Under viewers may have seen Caleb Ewan veer wildly across the road at one point in the last 20 kilometers of the race. For anyone wondering what caused the Australian sprinter to nearly crash, he offered some clarity on Twitter. We have to assume it was a tasty gel.

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| Crystal Ball Predictions, RC Retires, Grim Donut: Pinkbike Digest

Catch up on the latest from our friends over at Pinkbike with this month’s digest.

| Tech Gallery: Shoes and helmets at the TDU

Thanks to James Huang, you can take a closer look at the shoes and helmets on display at this year’s Tour Down Under.

| Richie Porte calls for uphill time trial at the Tour Down Under

As Matt de Neef reports, Richie Porte would love to see an uphill time trial at next year’s Tour Down Under.

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Today’s featured image of Matthew Holmes winning stage 6 of the Tour Down Under comes from Cor Vos.

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