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Hello again CyclingTips readers,
It was a rest day at the Tour de France on Monday but that doesn’t mean it was a quiet day on the news front. Across the border in Italy two big races were playing out. There was the final stage ITT at Tirreno-Adriatico where Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was riding to overall victory, and there was the Giro Rosa where Lizzy Banks (Equipe Paule Ka) was riding to a stage victory.
Then there was some transfer news, some news about World Championship squads and, of course, a coronavirus-related story. Read on for all the details.
Matt de Neef
| Simon Yates holds on to win Tirreno-Adriatico
Simon Yates has won the 2020 Tirreno-Adriatico after holding onto his overall lead through the final-stage individual time trial.
Italian ITT champ Filippo Ganna (Ineos-Grenadiers) took out the stage, completing the pan-flat 10.1 km course with an average speed of 56.6 km/h. Yates placed 18th, 50 seconds in arrears – enough to hold onto a 17-second advantage by day’s end. 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) finished second overall after taking fourth in the stage 8 ITT.
“I am so happy for this victory,” Yates said. “The team did a great job all week. I was not the favourite today so this result is even more important to me. I went full gas, but honestly I gave my best in every stage. It’s so great I took this win.”
Top 3, stage 8
1. Filippo Ganna (Ineos) 10:42
2. Victor Campenaerts (NTT) +0:18
3. Rohan Dennis (Ineos) +0:26
Top 3, GC
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 32:07:34
2. Geraint Thomas (Ineos) +0:17
3. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:29
| Lizzy Banks claims stage 4 of the Giro Rosa
British rider Lizzy Banks (Equipe Paule Ka) now has two Giro Rosa stage wins in as many visits to the race.
The 29-year-old got clear of the field with Eugenia Bujak (Ale BTC Ljubljana) with 86 km to go in the controversially long, 170 km stage, with the pair holding on to the line. Banks opened a gap on the cobbled climb to the finish to take the stage win by seven seconds.
“I was thinking the entire time about how I could win the stage,” Banks said. “I decided to attack on a steep part [of the final climb] and once I had the gap, all I had to do was to push through until the line. I was determined to win, and I did it.”
Overall leader Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) was first in from the main bunch, taking more time on her rivals.
Top 3, stage 4
1 Lizzy Banks (Paule Ka) 4:27:01
2 Eugenia Bujak (Ale BTC Ljubljana) +0:07
3 Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) +1:10
Top 3, GC
1 Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) 12:35:33
2 Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) +1:56
3 Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) +2:03
| Two CCC riders withdrawn from Tirreno-Adriatico after suspected COVID-19 case
The CCC team has sent home two of its riders from Tirreno-Adriatico after one of those riders, Lukasz Wisniowski, tested positive to COVID-19.
The Polish rider withdrew from stage 7 after “developing mild symptoms during the stage” and took a coronavirus test that evening. The result came back positive. Wisniowski was removed from the race and will now isolate from the rest of the team. His Tirreno-Adriatico roommate Szymon Sajnok will do likewise.
“This is a situation we have prepared for since the racing season resumed,” said team doctor Max Testa, “and we will respect all necessary protocols should further testing confirm a positive case.”
| Demi Vollering signs with SD Worx
Dutch up-and-comer Demi Vollering has signed a two-year deal with SD Worx, the team currently known as Boels-Dolmans.
The 23-year-old, who recently took third at La Course, was contracted to Parkhotel Valkenburg for 2021, but according to her new team, negotiations between the two outfits were successful, clearing Vollering to race for SD Worx in 2021 and 2022. The move comes as something of a surprise – many had expected Vollering to join the new Jumbo-Visma women’s team in 2021.
“I had a great feeling from the initial meetings with the team,” Vollering said. “The SD Worx team management expressed their admiration and also outlined a clear plan for the next few years. This was something I could totally get on board with.”
| Van der Poel and Pedersen to miss Worlds
World champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) won’t defend his rainbow jersey at the upcoming Road World Championships in Imola, Italy after the Danish federation opted for a team built around Jakob Fuglsang. The men’s road race course features nearly 5,000 metres of climbing – far more suited to Fuglsang than Pedersen.
“The course is well suited to riders who shine in the Ardennes classics – Jakob Fuglsang is one of them,” said Danish coach Anders Lund. “He used Tirreno-Adriatico to prepare and he continues with an altitude training course.”
Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel will also miss Worlds. “Together with the coaches, we decided that the circuit is too hard for me,” he said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. “There is an altitude gain of almost 5,000 metres. I prefer to concentrate on the objectives that follow, which in October will be, above all, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.”
| BMC to partner with Ag2r Citroen from 2021
In 2021 Ag2r-La Mondiale becomes Ag2r-Citroen, and with the name change comes a new bike sponsor. Swiss brand BMC will provide bikes for the French outfit from 2021 through 2023, while still providing bikes for NTT for the 2021 season.
“We have been looking for a strong partner for a few years and I am very proud to have our program supported by such a great and innovative bike brand,” said Vincent Lavenu, general manager of Ag2r-La Mondiale. “I am convinced that it will perfectly back our team in its quest for success at the highest level.”
| Harry Sweeny steps up to the WorldTour
Young Australian racer Harry Sweeny will join the WorldTour in 2021 with Lotto-Soudal. The 22-year-old has raced this season with the Lotto-Soudal U23 team but will make the step up to the big leagues next season on a two-year deal.
“I am a particularly a rider for the classics and a good lead-out guy, but I can climb as well,” Sweeny said. “In the last Tour Bitwa Warszawska and Baby Giro the team was apparently more than happy with my performance and commitment for the team. I am super excited to join the WorldTour team, where I will find my compatriot Caleb Ewan. We know each other quite well. He can count on me.”
| Coming up at the Tour
After a well-deserved rest day on Monday, the Tour de France resumes Tuesday with stage 16, a day with five categorised climbs. There’s a category 1 climb that tops out 20 km before the line and a 2.2 km climb to the finish line. Follow the link for a full preview of a stage that could suit a breakaway or the GC contenders.
In case you missed it
| Remco Evenepoel is ‘doing better every day’
Belgian wunderkind Remco Evenepoel has spoken about his horror crash at Il Lombardia and how his recovery is progressing.
| A Swift rise for Nairo Quintana’s bodyguard
This is a great read from Joe Laverick about the man entrusted to look after Nairo Quintana at the Tour de France: Connor Swift.
| Tour de France gallery: The GC takes shape on the Grand Colombier
Terrific photos here from stage 15 of the Tour de France, courtesy of the Grubers, Kristof Ramon, and Cor Vos.
Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows Eugenia Bujak congratulating Lizzy Banks after the pair’s breakaway was successful at the Giro Rosa.