Ackermann wins Vuelta stage 9 after Bennett is relegated: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Thursday’s Vuelta stage may not have been a GC day, but that didn’t make the finale any less dramatic.

The sprinters came to the fore in Aguilar de Campoo, where the first rider to cross the finish line did not get the win when all was said and done.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s News

| Ackermann wins Vuelta a España stage 9 after Bennett is relegated

Pascal Ackermann won Thursday’s stage 9 of the Vuelta a España after the first rider over the finish line, Sam Bennett, was relegated for shouldering Emils Liepins in the last kilometer.

The 157.7-kilometer stage from Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo came down to a bunch kick, where Bora-Hansgrohe led into the finale with the Deceuninck-Quick-Step lead-out just behind. Bennett made forceful contact with Liepins as they fought for position. When Bennett wound up his sprint a few seconds later, he pulled ahead of Acerkmann and held on to hit the line first, but the race jury ultimately relegated him for his dangerous sprint.

Ackermann therefore took the victory on the day with Gerben Thijssen in second and Max Kanter in third on the day.

The GC favorites finished safely in the peloton to keep the top of the overall standings unchanged on the day.

With no categorized climbs on the profile, the Vuelta’s ninth stage had the sprinters’ team interested from the start in ensuring a bunch kick, and that meant that the pack reeled the day’s break in with around 20km to go to set up a sprint finale.

Bora-Hansgrohe led the peloton into the last several hundred kilometers with the Deceuninck-Quick-Step train just behind. With around 500 meters to go, Bennett pushed Liepins twice in the build-up to the sprint.

As the Bora lead-out gave way to a hard-charging Ackermann, Bennett came around on Ackermann’s left and ultimately hit the line first, with Ackermann finishing just ahead of Thijssen. The final standings, however, listed Bennett in 110th place after his relegation, with Ackermann getting the victory.

Top 10, stage 9

1 ACKERMANN Pascal (BORA – hansgrohe) 3:39:55
2 THIJSSEN Gerben (Lotto Soudal)
3 KANTER Max (Team Sunweb)
4 PHILIPSEN Jasper (UAE-Team Emirates)
5 MARECZKO Jakub (CCC Team)
6 RENARD Alexis (Israel Start-Up Nation)
7 ABERASTURI Jon (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)
8 MANZIN Lorrenzo (Team Total Direct Energie)
9 STANNARD Robert (Mitchelton-Scott)
10 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt (NTT Pro Cycling)

Top 10, GC

1 CARAPAZ Richard (INEOS Grenadiers) 36:11:01
2 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:13
3 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:28
4 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 0:44
5 MAS Enric (Movistar Team) 1:54
6 GROSSSCHARTNER Felix (BORA – hansgrohe) 3:28
7 CHAVES Esteban (Mitchelton-Scott)
8 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 3:35
9 SOLER Marc (Movistar Team) 3:40
10 POELS Wout (Bahrain – McLaren) 3:47

| Jastrab signs with Sunweb

2019 junior world road champ Megan Jastrab is headed to Sunweb next season on a two-year deal, the team announced on Thursday.

The promising 18-year-old American is officially a member of the Rally squad this season, but has not raced due to the coronavirus pandemic. She won last year’s Healthy Ageing Tour junior race and is also a junior world champion on the track, winning last year’s omnium.

“Making the step up to juniors in 2019, Megan showed how strong she was with impressive wins throughout the year and then becoming World Champion in Yorkshire – which is very impressive for a first year junior,” Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said in a statement.

“Despite not racing on the road this year, she’s continued her development and has been selected for the USA Olympic Long Team. We see Megan mainly as a sprinter but she has a lot of qualities to become a strong classics rider in the future. Our initial focus will be to develop all of her qualities and make her transition into WorldTour racing as smooth as possible, but also focus on her sprints where she’ll get her chances too.”

| Tour Down Under and Cadel’s Race set to be cancelled

CyclingTips understands that the 2021 Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will both be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sources told CyclingTips that quarantine requirements for the squads that would have been traveling to Australia from Europe were a factor in the decision.

| DK is now UNBOUND Gravel

The race formerly known as the Dirty Kanza and more recently known as DK is now UNBOUND Gravel, organizers announced on Thursday.

“This rebrand is the end of a chapter for us as the DK, but we’ll continue to embrace the history of the land on which we ride. We hope that each time riders touch the gravel roads in the Flint Hills, they take a moment to remember what has been,” said Kristi Mohn, UNBOUND Gravel Marketing Manager, via a statement from the event. “UNBOUND Gravel provides an opportunity to reimagine what an event can look like, and this rebrand is only step one in the process. So much is yet to come for the gravel community.”

| Fiziks new Vento Stabilita Carbon shoes are all about stability

Fizik has just announced the Vento Stabilita Carbon, an all-new US$400 / £375 / AU$600 road race shoe that aims to vastly improve foot stability. Fizik’s new “Dynamic Arch Support 2.0” places an externally adjustable strap directly inline with the arch (plantar fascia) of the foot. Such a feature intends to provide a customizable amount of support to the area which Fizik says will improve power transfer.

Other features include the stiffest carbon sole that the Italian company offers, the use of new Boa IP2 dials, reduced weight and improved air flow. We’ve requested a pair of these high-priced kicks for review.

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Today’s featured image of the final sprint on stage 9 of the Vuelta a España comes from Cor Vos.

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