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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
You’ve made it to the end of the week! Do you have any celebrations planned?
Nacer Bouhanni probably does. The Frenchman nabbed his first victory with his new Arkéa-Samsic team – and his first since 2018 – on stage 4 of the Saudi Tour. Not a bad way to get the year going in a new squad, and Bouhanni now leads the race with just one stage to go.
Speaking of lead changes, the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana had one as well. As Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to the stage 3 victory, Jack Haig leapfrogged Tadej Pogacar in the general classification with two days left to race.
Here’s hoping you enjoy the weekend!
| Groenewegen wins again in Valencia, Haig takes lead
Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to victory on stage 3 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. On a crash-marred day of racing in Spain, the Dutchman came back from a pileup with 30 kilometers to go to narrowly top Fabio Jakobsen and Matej Mohoric and pick up his second win in the race so far.
Less fortunate were Tobias Foss and Tony Gallopin, who suffered a collarbone fracture and a wrist fracture, respectively, in crashes.
Jack Haig took over the race leader’s jersey from Tadej Pogacar on the day by virtue of his finishing place. Both riders remain on the same time in the GC standings along with five other contenders.
| Bouhanni gets his first victory with Arkéa-Samsic
Four days into his first racing appearance of the year with new team Arkéa-Samsic, Nacer Bouhanni has his first victory. He topped Niccolò Bonifazio and Yevgeniy Gidich in a sprint to win stage 4 of the Saudi Tour.
In the process, Bouhanni surged ahead of Phil Bauhaus into the race lead with one stage left to go.
| Experza Pro CX fires up-and-comer Bakker
Dutch cyclocrosser Manon Bakker has been fired by her Experza Pro CX squad, reportedly for riding the World Championships on non-sponsor equipment. The 20-year-old rode to fifth in the under-23 race.
“Bakker rode around with different wheels and tubes,” team manager Christel Herremans said, according to Wielerflits. “Calculated on the most important day of the year. And no, she had not requested permission in advance. Moreover, Bakker was a candidate for world champion, which brought this to the attention. Our sponsors couldn’t laugh at that.”
| Groves takes Herald Sun Tour stage 3
After riding to runner-up honors in the opening stage of the Herald Sun Tour, Kaden Groves did one better on Friday’s stage 3. The 21-year-old Australian pipped stage 1 winner Alberto Dainese and Mihkel Räim in Wangaratta to get the stage victory.
Jai Hindley retained his GC lead with a challenging fourth stage to come.
| Fedorov nabs Langkawi opener
Yevgeniy Fedorov, just 19 years old, won the opening stage of the Tour of Langkawi.
The youngster from Kazakhstan bested fellow breakaway companion Turakit Boonratanathanakorn to get the stage win and the first race lead, with Ahmet Örken leading the pack over the line over a minute later.
| De Bondt wins Étoile de Bessèges stage 3
Dries De Bondt topped Georg Zimmerman and Magnus Cort to claim Alpecin-Fenix’s first road win of the season on stage 3 of the Étoile de Bessèges.
Stage 1 winner Alexys Brunel continues to lead the race.
| Socially Speaking
We’ll close it out with this reminder that even the best bike handlers sometimes biff it, but hopefully they come up laughing anyway.
In case you missed it
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| Women’s cycling survey
CyclingTips is hoping to get some input from you (our audience) as we work to improve our coverage of women’s cycling. Click here to take our survey—we’d love to hear from you.
Today’s featured image of Dylan Groenewegen winning stage 3 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana comes from Cor Vos.