Guerreiro wins stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Another Sunday meant another very busy slate of events in the bike racing world.

Over at the Giro d’Italia, a tough, rain-soaked ninth stage saw a first-time Grand Tour stage winner triumph out of the break while the GC riders battled for time behind.

Meanwhile, in Belgium, Classics riders were in action at Gent-Wevelgem, where two big names sprinted to victories out of very select groups after attack-filled finales.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s News

| Guerreiro wins stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia

Ruben Guerreiro nabbed his first career Grand Tour stage victory after a long day off the front on the Giro d’Italia’s ninth stage, which also saw the GC contenders battling for seconds a little ways behind the breakaway.

Guerreiro and Jonathan Castroviejo left a small group of escapees behind on the Roccaraso finishing climb, and then Guerreiro bested Castroviejo in the final few hundred meters. Mikkel Bjerg took third on the day as a few other survivors from the break arrived just before the GC contenders.

Wilco Kelderman led Jakob Fuglsang and Jai Hindley over the line as all three finished on the same time, while a few other notables lost a bit of ground. Vincenzo Nibali arrived 14 seconds down on Kelderman, race leader João Almeida ceded 18 seconds, and Steven Kruijswijk hit the line 23 seconds behind. The day saw Kelderman move into second overall, now 30 seconds behind Almeida in the overall standings.

It took some time for the break to form on the rain-soaked 208-kilometer stage from San Salvo, with Guerreiro, Castroviejo, Eduardo Sepulveda, Ben O’Connor, Giovanni Visconti, Kilian Frankiny and Larry Warbasse moving clear after more than an hour of racing. Bjerg would join the group to make it eight after a long, determined chase, and the peloton allowed the escapees to work their advantage up to a max of around seven minutes.

On mostly uphill roads in the second half of the stage, the gap began to come down. After Visconti, O’Connor, and Sepulveda lost touch with the break on the second-category Bosco di Sant’Antonio climb, the remaining five out front took a little over three minutes into the last 20 kilometers.

With around six kilometers to go, Castroviejo attacked out of the break and only Guerreiro could follow. From there, the pair quickly built a gap over the rest of the escapees and it soon became clear that they would battle for the win between them. They rode into the last few hundred meters together but Guerreiro dropped Castroviejo well before the line to take a no-doubt victory.

Behind, the pace in the GC group lined out the pink jersey contenders and gaps started to form in the uphill final kilometer. Kelderman was the first of the GC riders to hit the line with Fuglsang just behind with Nibali, Almeida, and Kruijswijk among those ceding some time in the overall standings.

Top 10, stage 9

1 GUERREIRO Ruben (EF Pro Cycling) 5:41:20
2 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:08
3 BJERG Mikkel (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:58
4 FRANKINY Kilian (Groupama – FDJ) 1:16
5 WARBASSE Larry (AG2R La Mondiale)
6 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (INEOS Grenadiers) 1:19
7 HAMILTON Lucas (Mitchelton-Scott) 1:32
8 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 1:38
9 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team)
10 HINDLEY Jai (Team Sunweb)

Top 10, GC

1 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 35:35:50
2 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 0:30
3 BILBAO Pello (Bahrain – McLaren) 0:39
4 POZZOVIVO Domenico (NTT Pro Cycling) 0:53
5 NIBALI Vincenzo (Trek – Segafredo) 0:57
6 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team) 1:01
7 VANHOUCKE Harm (Lotto Soudal) 1:02
8 KONRAD Patrick (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:11
9 HINDLEY Jai (Team Sunweb) 1:15
10 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:17

| Pedersen gets his first big Classics win at Gent-Wevelgem

Mads Pedersen powered to victory at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, notching the first big Classics win of his young career.

The 2019 world road champ was part of a strong nine-rider lead group that formed late in the attack-filled race with Florian Sénéchal, Matteo Trentin, Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert, Alberto Bettiol, John Degenkolb, Stefan Küng, and Yves Lampaert also in the move. Several attacks flew in the finale but with Van der Poel and Van Aert largely marking each other, nothing stuck until inside the last three kilometers, when Trentin, Bettiol, and Sénéchal opened a gap.

Pedersen jumped to chase them and managed to make the bridge in time for the final sprint. Bettiol opened things up but Pedersen surged to the front to take the clear win at the line, with Sénéchal taking runner-up honors and Trentin in third.

Top 10

1 PEDERSEN Mads (Trek – Segafredo) 5:19:20
2 SÉNÉCHAL Florian (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
3 TRENTIN Matteo (CCC Team)
4 BETTIOL Alberto (EF Pro Cycling) 0:01
5 KÜNG Stefan (Groupama – FDJ) 0:03
6 DEGENKOLB John (Lotto Soudal) 0:04
7 LAMPAERT Yves (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
8 VAN AERT Wout (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:07
9 VAN DER POEL Mathieu (Alpecin-Fenix) 0:08
10 TEUNS Dylan (Bahrain – McLaren) 1:40

| D’Hoore sprints to victory at Gent-Wevelgem

Jolien D’Hoore nabbed her first win of the season at Gent-Wevelgem, proving fastest out of a select group on rain-slicked roads in Belgium.

On an aggressive day of racing in the Flemish one-day, D’Hoore joined a strong group of attackers on going over the Kemmelberg. The move took only about 20 seconds into the last 10 kilometers, and then attacks started to fly, with Demi Vollering, Ellen van Dijk, and Amy Pieters all trying their luck off the front.

None of the attacks stuck, but the surviving escapees just managed to hold on to battle for the win in a sprint, where D’Hoore took a clear victory ahead of Lotte Kopecky and Lisa Brennauer.

Top 10

1 D’HOORE Jolien (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team) 3:33:15
2 KOPECKY Lotte (Lotto Soudal Ladies)
3 BRENNAUER Lisa (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling)
4 ROY Sarah (Mitchelton-Scott)
5 CAVALLI Marta (Valcar – Travel & Service)
6 STEPHENS Lauren (Team TIBCO – SVB)
7 VOLLERING Demi (Parkhotel Valkenburg)
8 DEIGNAN Elizabeth (Trek-Segafredo Women)
9 PIETERS Amy (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team) 0:05
10 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa (Trek-Segafredo Women) 0:08

| Cavendish after Gent-Wevelgem: ‘Perhaps the last race of my career’

After finishing Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, an emotional Mark Cavendish raised the possibility that the race could have been his last as a pro.

Speaking to Sporza with tears in his eyes following a day that saw him get into the early break, Cavendish said that Gent-Wevelgem was “perhaps the last race of my career.”

At least prior to Sunday, Cavendish was expected to start Scheldeprijs this week, so it is unclear whether that it still in the plans at Bahrain-McLaren. Beyond that, the 30-time Tour de France stage winner and former world road champ remains unsigned for 2021. We’ll keep an eye on that story in the coming days.

| Pedersen wins Paris-Tours

Casper Pedersen rode to the biggest win of his young career at Paris-Tours on Sunday.

In his first ever appearance at the race, the 24-year-old Dane stepped up after his compatriot and teammate, 2018 Paris-Tour winner Soren Kragh Andersen, crashed with around 50 kilometers to race. Pedersen got clear with an aggressive Benoit Cosnefroy with around 30 kilometers to go, and the pair held on to battle for the win at the line.

Pedersen launched his sprint first and held off Cosnefroy convincingly to get the win. Joris Nieuwenhuis took third, 30 seconds behind the lead duo, to give Sunweb two riders on the final podium.

| Alvarado, Aerts triumph at Superprestige Gieten

Toon Aerts and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado kicked off their Superprestige campaigns with victories at Sunday’s race in Gieten.

Alvarado took a solo win in the women’s race, finishing 24 seconds ahead of Annemarie Worst with Lucinda Brand rounding out the podium.

On the men’s side, Aerts took the win after spending much of his ride alone out front. Eli Iserbyt took runner-up honors 24 seconds behind Aerts with Laurens Sweeck taking third on the day.

| Sarrou and Ferrand-Prevot take elite XC titles on a big weekend for France at MTB Worlds

Saturday was a busy day, and a triumphant one, for France at Mountain Bike Worlds in Leogang, Austria, as French riders won the under-23 women’s cross-country event, the elite women’s cross-country event, and the elite men’s cross-country event.

Loana Lecomte, who took her first World Cup win less than two weeks ago at Nove Mesto, kicked things off with a clear win the U23 women’s race. She bested Kata Vas by 1:11, with aforementioned world cyclocross champ Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado taking third on the day, 2:42 back.

In the elite women’s race that followed, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot left no doubt in her title defense, getting and then holding onto a big lead to nab her third career XC MTB world title by just over three minutes. Eva Lechner narrowly bested Rebecca McConnell for runner-up honors, 3:01 back.

Jordan Sarrou closed out the French hat trick in the elite men’s XC race, getting some separation early and then maintaining his gap for several more muddy laps. He nabbed his first ever world title 45 seconds ahead of Mathias Flückiger, with Titoan Carod taking third.

Today’s featured image of Ruben Guerreiro winning stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia comes from Cor Vos.

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