Bauke Mollema en route to victory at the Trofeo Laigueglia.

Bauke Mollema wins the Trofeo Laigueglia: Daily News

Some big names were in action in Italy on Wednesday at the Trofeo Laigueglia, while in other news, Canyon has addressed the subject of Mathieu van der Poel's broken handlebar.

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Some big names were in action in Italy on Wednesday at the Trofeo Laigueglia, while in other news, Canyon has addressed the subject of Mathieu van der Poel’s broken handlebar.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Mollema wins the Trofeo Laigueglia

Bauke Mollema picked up his second victory of the season on Wednesday at the Trofeo Laigueglia, soloing away from a select group in the finale of the UCI 1.Pro-rated race in the northwest of Italy.

A profile featuring tough climbs in the first half of the day and then a circuit that included the punchy Colla Micheri climb as well as the Capo Mele climb helped wear away at the peloton over the course of the 202 km race. Some 30 riders were left in the pack with 20 km to go as riders took on the penultimate lap of the circuit, where Egan Bernal and Clément Champoussin got clear of the field on the Colla Micheri. A small group of chasers, including Mollema, caught them on the descent, however, and then Mollema fired off the front on the penultimate trip up the Capo Mele.

He took a little over 20 seconds into the last ascent of the Colla Micheri and still had a gap going over the top, with Bernal, Champoussin, Mauri Vansevenant, Mikel Landa, and Giulio Ciccone in the next group on the road. The chasing group was unable to close down the gap, which only grew as it became clear that there would be no catching Mollema. He soloed to victory with a 39-second advantage over Bernal, who nabbed runner-up honors ahead of Vansevenant.

Top 10

1 MOLLEMA Bauke (Trek – Segafredo) 4:57:05
2 BERNAL Egan (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:39
3 VANSEVENANT Mauri (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
4 CHAMPOUSSIN Clément (AG2R Citroën Team)
5 CICCONE Giulio (Trek – Segafredo)
6 LANDA Mikel (Bahrain – Victorious)
7 KNOX James (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:57
8 VENDRAME Andrea (AG2R Citroën Team) 1:01
10 ROTA Lorenzo (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux)

Bernal on back pain: ‘I know I will have to live with pain, at least for this year’

Speaking of Egan Bernal, he has said that he is expecting to continue dealing with back pain this season, but that he is nonetheless hopeful for a return to some level of form as his Giro d’Italia debut looms. Bernal abandoned last year’s Tour de France with back pain, later being diagnosed with scoliosis. After an offseason focused on rehabilitation, Bernal returned to racing in February and has already put up a few promising performances. He finished third overall at the Tour de la Provence, putting in a strong showing on Mont Ventoux, before his runner-up ride at the Trofeo Laigueglia on Wednesday.

“My objective for the Giro this year is to get back to being the Egan who likes to attack, the Egan who isn’t afraid of getting dropped,” Bernal said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“On the Ventoux, my back didn’t cause me too much pain. Unfortunately, I know I will have to live with the pain, at least for this year. I just want to enjoy this race, which I have wanted to do for several years. And what happens, happens.”

Crowdfunding effort aims to boost prize money for women’s Strade Bianche

Amid conversations around the cycling world about the disparity in prize money for the men’s and women’s races at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a crowdfunding campaign aims to bring the prize money for the women’s race at Strade Bianche closer to the amount paid out for the men’s race.

A GoFundMe titled “Equal prize money for the Women’s Peloton” has raised over €7,000 towards its €10,000 goal as of publication time on Wednesday, with a plan of awarding that amount to the top five finishers at the Strade Bianche women’s race, which takes place on Saturday.

MPCC questions decision to invite Vini Zabù to Giro d’Italia

Following a meeting of its board of directors on March 1 and its general assembly on March 2, the MPCC published a statement on Wednesday that touched on a variety of subjects. Among them was the decision of Giro d’Italia organizers to give the Vini Zabù team – which used to be a member of the MPCC, but is no longer – a wildcard invite to this year’s race. Last year, Matteo Spreafico, who was riding for Vini Zabù at the time, was provisionally suspended by the UCI after returning two adverse analytical findings during the Giro d’Italia. He was then fired by the team.

In its statement on Wednesday, the MPCC questioned the decision to invite the squad after what happened last year.

“We reckon that this regrettable event should have influenced the decision of the organizer,” read the statement. “Given that this has not been the case, we have trouble understanding how RCS Sport sets its criteria, both in sporting and ethical terms.”

Oberholzer, Gibbons win African Continental time trial titles

South Africa’s Carla Oberholzer and Ryan Gibbons rode to time trial victories at the African Continental Championships on Wednesday in Cairo.

Oberholzer rode the 28 km course in 44:15 to win the women’s race with an advantage of 1:07 over fellow South African Frances Janse Van Rensburg. Vera Looser of Namibia rounded out the podium, 1:48 down.

Gibbons finished the 42 km course in 56:11 to take the men’s win. South Africa’s Kent Main was second, 1:41 down on Gibbons, with Rwanda’s Moise Mugisha in third, 3:16 back.

Canyon owners asked to shelve their new Aeroad for now

A day after the handlebar of Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Aeroad broke in the finale of Le Samyn, Canyon has issued a statement addressing the subject. In the statement, the brand said that it is urgently investigating the matter, which affects cockpits CP0018 and CP0015, “only installed on the current Aeroad models CF SLX and CFR.” Canyon is asking affected customers to “stop using their bikes for the time being.”

The brand also said that its pro team partners “will switch to alternative bikes with immediate effect,” with pros changing over to the previous Aeroad model or the current Ultimate.

“Mathieu fortunately did not fall,” said Canyon founder Roman Arnold. “We want to ensure with absolute certainty that no one comes to harm before we have fully understood the root cause.”

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