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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
It’s been a big week for Nairo Quintana. First he posted to social media calling on help to find his lost dog. Then the dog was found. Then Quintana won on Mont Ventoux at the Tour de La Provence, in what some claim is the fastest recorded ascent of (part of) the legendary mountain. And then a day later the Colombian was crowned overall winner of the four-day French tour.
It was Quintana’s first stage race in Arkea Samsic colours, and his first stage race victory in nearly three years. Could a change of teams have reignited the talented 30-year-old’s career? Could we see him back at the pointy end of the Tour de France in 2020?
These stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest. Have a great week!
| Sergio Higuita wins the Tour Colombia
Sergio Higuita (EF) has turned a stage win into overall victory at the Tour Colombia. The 22-year-old local moved into the lead with his win on stage 4 and held on through the final two stages to take the first stage race victory of his career.
It turned out to be a brilliant race for EF Pro Cycling – the American team went 1-2-3 on GC courtesy of Higuita, his compatriot Daniel Martinez (who won the final stage on an uphill finish, ahead of Higuita) and Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo (who led for the first half of the race).
| Nairo Quintana wins the Tour de La Provence
Nairo Quintana has started his time with Arkea Samsic in impressive fashion, winning the Tour de La Provence – the Colombian’s first stage race win since the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico.
Quintana took a big solo win on Mont Ventoux on the penultimate stage, putting nearly 90 seconds into his closest rivals. It was reportedly the fastest recorded ascent to Chalet Reynard (halfway up Mont Ventoux, where the stage finished).
Owain Doull (Ineos) won the fourth and final stage from a breakaway as Quintana held firm to win the race overall.
| Nairo Quintana’s lost dog has been found
Quintana has more to celebrate than just his Tour de La Provence win: his lost dog has been found too.
After posting an impassioned video to social media calling on help to find his black schnauzer, “Rocky”, Quintana has confirmed that the pooch has been returned safe and sound. “Thank you all for helping me in the search for Rocky,” Quintana wrote. “He has already appeared. My family and I are super happy.”
| Pascal Ackermann makes history at the Clasica de Almeria
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) has become the first rider to win consecutive editions of the Clasica de Almeria.
After an early breakaway was caught, the Spanish one-day race came down to a bunch sprint where Ackermann handily dispatched Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) and Elia Viviani (Cofidis).
| Giulio Ciccone solos to victory at Trofeo Laigueglia
Last year’s Giro d’Italia KOM winner, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), has won in his first race for 2020.
Racing for the Italian national team at the Trofeo Laigueglia, the 25-year-old climber attacked from a group of four with 10 km to go. He soloed to the line before dedicating the win to his mother, Silvana, who is battling cancer.
| Shane Archbold wins the Kiwi national road title
He’s best known as a lead-out man but on Sunday Shane “The Flying Mullet” Archbold (Deceuninck-QuickStep) took his own opportunity, winning his first New Zealand road title.
George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) attacked solo with around 50 km to go and still had three minutes with 30 km remaining. Archbold made his move from a small chase group, caught Bennett with 4 km to go, then easily won the sprint into Cambridge.
Niamh Fisher-Black (Bigla-Katusha) won the women’s race in a three-up sprint ahead of Ella Harris (Canyon-SRAM) and Teresa Adam.
| Another two riders test positive from Vuelta a Costa Rica
Two more riders have returned positive tests from the 2019 Vuelta a Costa Rica. Fabricio Quiros and Orlando Quesada were suspended by Costa Rica’s anti-doping authority, CONAD-CR. Quesada won the penultimate stage and finished seventh overall.
Four riders have now tested positive from the 2019 edition – a noticeable improvement on the 12 that were pinged at the 2017 edition.
In case you missed it
| Brendan Johnston wins the Melbourne to Warrnambool
The mountain biker won a four-up sprint to take out one of Australia’s most prestigious one-day races.
| Urban Arrow Family review: With a kid, can it replace a car in winter?
James Huang put the Urban Arrow Family e-cargo bike to the test during the Colorado winter. Does it stack up?
| Shoddy in a McLaren: Cavendish’s new boss is better than Uber
In his latest video, Dave Everett caught up with Rod Ellingworth while riding in a McLaren.
| A guide to Mt. Lemmon: The scenic route: Tucson, Arizona pt. 2
As Marshall Opel writes and as Tim Bardsley-Smith’s photos show, Arizona’s Mount Lemmon is an interesting place to explore on the bike.
| 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 feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows Nairo Quintana winning stage 3 of the Tour de La Provence.