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As if the arrival of the weekend wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, Sam Bennett was especially happy on Friday after picking up his first victory since January.
The 29-year-old Irishman, who joined Deceuninck-Quick-Step at the start of the season, took the team’s second victory in as many days at the Vuelta a Burgos, avoiding a late crash to win stage 4 ahead of Arnaud Démare and Giacomo Nizzolo.
Speaking of Irish cyclists, Ronan McLaughlin is the newest Everesting world champion, dethroning none other than former Tour de France champ Alberto Contador with an impressive ride of 7:04:41 on a climb with an average gradient of 14 percent.
Read on for more …
| Sam Bennett wins Vuelta a Burgos stage 4
Sam Bennett won Friday’s stage 4 of the Vuelta a Burgos. Bennett navigated a late crash at the end of a 163-kilometer stage from Gumiel de Izán to Roa de Duero to win ahead of Arnaud Démare and Giacomo Nizzolo.
Bennett’s Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Remco Evenepoel remains atop the general classification standings with one stage left to go in the Spanish race.
| Ronan McLaughlin breaks the Everesting record
Ronan McLaughlin has broken the Everesting record previously held by Alberto Contador.
The 33-year-old Irishman, who spent several years as a member of the An Post-Chain Reaction Continental team, bested Contador’s record by more than 20 minutes, accruing his 8,848 meters of elevation gain in a time of 7:04:41.
McLaughlin undertook his effort on a section of the Mamore Gap climb in County Donegal with an average gradient of 14 percent, hitting a max speed of 86.5 kilometers per hour while descending.
| Tour de l’Avenir cancelled
The Tour de l’Avenir, the premier stage race for under-23 cycling prospects, has been cancelled for 2020.
“This decision was taken on the basis of responsibility when, unlike the main players in professional cycling, and in particular the World Tour and the Tour de France (scheduled from 29 August to 20 September), it seems complex to scrupulously ensure that all health precautions are respected in the context of an event that was due to welcome 23 teams, most of them national selections from the European, African, Asian and American continents,” organizers said in a statement.
“The disparity in the health guarantees taken prior to the event, and the need for a ‘hermetic bubble’ within these formations from regions of the world with different levels of awareness, risked affecting the absolute priority that must be given to health conditions.”
| Gilbert talks team size reduction at Milan-San Remo
As Cycling Weekly reports, Philippe Gilbert has weighed in on the RCS’s decision to reduce team sizes at Milan-San Remo from seven to six, saying that it will be “very difficult because one rider fewer is really important.”
“We already went from eight to seven riders in the big Classics and it was a big change, and now going from seven to six … it’s really the limit for this way of racing,” Gilbert said, according to Cycling Weekly.
“I think the next step is ‘okay, let’s become an individual sport and we stop with teams,’ because with fewer than six I don’t think there’s any reason to have a team anymore. I think the next step is we stop the system we have now and just have individuals.”
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Today’s feature image of Sam Bennett winning stage 4 of the Vuelta a Burgos comes from Cor Vos.