Sam Bennett wins the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne.

Bennett sprints to victory at Brugge-De Panne: Daily News

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Wednesday was a busy day for bike racing, with big names in action in Belgium at the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, in Spain at the Volta a Catalunya, and in Italy at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

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Sam Bennett sprints to victory at Brugge-De Panne

Sam Bennett powered to his first-ever WorldTour one-day victory on Wednesday at the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, besting Jasper Philipsen and Pascal Ackermann in a sprint finale.

Getting underway in comfortable conditions, the race through Flanders saw a break get clear after around 30 km, and the move was given some breathing room to start. Crosswinds forced a split in the peloton with more than 100 km to go, but things came back together before long. With around 100 km to go, the pack began to up the pace, and that quickly ate into the break’s advantage. The catch was made with only a little less than 80 km still to go. From there, attacks would fly for the next hour and a half, but none of the attackers would be able to build much of a gap.

Sebastian Mora spent a little over 20 km off the front before he was brought back with a little under 40 km to go. Lluis Mas and Davide Martinelli powered away with a little over 30 km to go, but they were caught around 10 km later. Brent Van Moer soloed off the front inside the last 25 km but was kept within sight of the peloton, and he was reeled in again with 11 km to go. From there, things held together over the final kilometers of the race as the sprinters’ teams came to the fore to prepare for a bunch kick.

Total Direct Energie, Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Bahrain Victorious were all prominent at the front of the pack with 3 km to go, driving a hard tempo into the finale. Deceuninck-Quick-Step led the way with strong numbers at the front into the last kilometer and the Belgian squad maintained its position through the final few corners, with Groupama-FDJ also making an effort to bring Arnaud Démare close to the front. Michael Morkov led into the last 500 meters with Bennett tucked in just behind, while a gearing problem took Démare out of contention.

With around 300 meters to go, riders began to wind up to speed on either side of Bennett, who responded quickly and launched around Morkov. Bennett quickly pulled to the front and he held on to take a convincing victory at the line, with Philipsen taking second and Ackermann in third.

Top 10

1 BENNETT Sam (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 4:27:40
2 PHILIPSEN Jasper (Alpecin-Fenix)
3 ACKERMANN Pascal (BORA – hansgrohe)
4 NIZZOLO Giacomo (Team Qhubeka ASSOS)
5 DUPONT Timothy (Bingoal – Wallonie Bruxelles)
6 HOFSTETTER Hugo (Israel Start-Up Nation)
7 BOL Cees (Team DSM)
8 MORKOV Michael (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
9 VIVIANI Elia (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)
10 ANIOLKOWSKI Stanislaw (Bingoal – Wallonie Bruxelles)

Adam Yates wins stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya and takes the overall lead

Adam Yates climbed to the stage 3 win and the overall lead on Wednesday at the Volta a Catalunya. The 28-year-old Brit soloed to victory at the Vallter 2000 ski resort 13 seconds ahead of Esteban Chaves, with Alejandro Valverde taking third on the day, 19 seconds back.

The 203.5 km stage from Canal Olímpico de Catalunya was decided on the slopes of the hors categorie final climb. The last remnants of the day’s breakaway took several minutes into the challenging ascent, but the gap fell rapidly over the course of the climb. With breakaway riders Thymen Arensman and Alexander Kamp out front, the chasing pack got smaller and smaller as it made its way up the ascent with big names like Valverde and Simon Yates putting in big digs.

With around 10 km to go, Arensman dropped Kamp and pressed on alone out front. Behind, Valverde put in another dig with 8 km to go and this time he managed to get clear. At first, there was no clear response from behind, before Nairo Quintana jumped with around 7 km to go and made an impressive effort to bridge to his former teammate. The pair rode together for a few moments before they were joined by Giulio Ciccone and Richard Carapaz, but then Sepp Kuss and Adam Yates surged up to join them. Kuss and Yates did not relent as they made the catch, and only Valverde could follow. The trio pressed on as others scrambled to chase out of the larger group of GC riders. Kuss, Valverde, and Yates caught and passed Kamp and then Arensman, riding into the last 3 km at the head of the race. With a little over 2 km to go, Kuss and Yates dropped Valverde, and only a few hundred meters later, Yates put in a stinging attack that dropped Kuss.

Behind, Chaves had jumped out of a select group in pursuit of the leaders. Yates ascended the final 1,600 meters solo to take the stage victory and the race lead, with Chaves taking second on the day and Valverde in third. With four stages to race, Yates has a 45-second GC lead over second-placed Richie Porte, who finished ninth on the day. Overnight leader João Almeida dropped to third overall after finishing stage 3 46 seconds back in 16th place.

Top 10, stage 3

1 YATES Adam (INEOS Grenadiers) 5:00:58
2 CHAVES Esteban (Team BikeExchange) 0:13
3 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 0:19
4 THOMAS Geraint (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:31
5 VANHOUCKE Harm (Lotto Soudal)
6 KUSS Sepp (Team Jumbo-Visma)
7 CARTHY Hugh (EF Education – Nippo)
8 WOODS Michael (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:36
9 PORTE Richie (INEOS Grenadiers)
10 CICCONE Giulio (Trek – Segafredo)

Top 10, GC

1 YATES Adam (INEOS Grenadiers) 9:44:21
2 PORTE Richie (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:45
3 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:49
4 THOMAS Geraint (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:53
5 KELDERMAN Wilco (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:03
6 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 1:04
7 CARTHY Hugh (EF Education – Nippo) 1:14
8 YATES Simon (Team BikeExchange) 1:21
9 CHAVES Esteban (Team BikeExchange)
10 MCNULTY Brandon (UAE-Team Emirates) 1:24

Vingegaard wins Coppi e Bartali stage 2

Jonas Vingegaard nabbed the victory on Wednesday’s stage 2 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, winning out of a select group on a tough day of racing that featured five trips up the Sogliano al Rubicone climb.

The challenging stage from Riccione came down to a much reduced pack after the day’s main break was caught after the fourth of five ascents of the Sogliano al Rubicone. There were further attacks on the run-in to the last climb of the day, with Mauri Vansevenant and Juan Ayuso making their way up the ascent with a small gap, but a select group of chasers was close behind and caught them in the finale. Vingegaard battled Iván Sosa in the last few hundred meters and the Dane bested the Colombian at the line to get the win and move into the race lead. Sosa took second on the day and now sits second overall. Four seconds later, Nick Schultz nabbed third on the stage ahead of Ben Hermans, with Hermans now third on GC and Schultz in fourth.

Top 10, stage 2

1 VINGEGAARD Jonas (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:17:43
2 SOSA Iván Ramiro (INEOS Grenadiers)
3 SCHULTZ Nick (Team BikeExchange) 0:04
4 HERMANS Ben (Israel Start-Up Nation)
5 HAYTER Ethan (INEOS Grenadiers)
6 VANSEVENANT Mauri (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:10
7 VAN WILDER Ilan (Team DSM)
8 BRENNER Marco (Team DSM)
9 HENAO Sergio (Team Qhubeka)
10 ROMO Javier (Astana – Premier Tech)

Top 10, GC

1 VINGEGAARD Jonas (Team Jumbo-Visma) 6:48:25
2 SOSA Iván Ramiro (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:01
3 HERMANS Ben (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:03
4 SCHULTZ Nick (Team BikeExchange) 0:05
5 ROMO Javier (Astana – Premier Tech) 0:10
6 HAYTER Ethan (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:11
7 VANSEVENANT Mauri (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
8 HONORÉ Mikkel Frolich (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:14
9 COLLEONI Kevin (Team BikeExchange) 0:20
10 HENAO Sergio (Team Qhubeka) 0:31

Report: Paris-Roubaix will not be held in April

Le Parisien reported on Wednesday that Paris-Roubaix will not be held on April 11 as originally planned due to COVID-19 restrictions in France.

According to Le Parisien, the ASO has already decided that the event will not be held. The ASO has not put out an official statement, but L’Equipe reports that the organizer will make a final call next week. Should the race be called off for April, it is reportedly likely to be rescheduled for some time later in the year.

Pidcock set to race the Tour of Flanders

Sporza reports that Tom Pidcock is now expected to race this year’s Tour of Flanders, which was not originally in the plans for his debut season with the Ineos Grenadiers.

According to Sporza, Pidcock’s showings at Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo inspired the change in plans. Following Flanders, he is expected to race Brabantse Pijl, the Amstel Gold Race, and La Flèche Wallonne, although things could still change.

“This is the plan, but we look at it course by course,” said Kurt Bogaerts, Pidcock’s coach, according to Sporza. “Everything is going well now, but you never know how young riders are doing.”

Coming up …

Thursday will be another busy day of racing. The Volta a Catalunya continues with another tough day for the climbers that features an early first-category climb and then a pair of hors categorie climbs. The stage should have big GC implications. Meanwhile, the Women’s WorldTour continues with Brugge-De Panne, where the likes of Jolien D’Hoore, Lotte Kopecky, and Lorena Wiebes could be among the top contenders. And over in Italy, the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali rolls on with a third stage that features plenty of climbing midway through the day before the course evens out for a gentler finale.

In case you missed it …

  • Abby Mickey has the preview with what you need to know ahead of the Brugge-De Panne women’s race, the third event on the 2021 Women’s WorldTour calendar.
  • Dave Rome has the details on Garmin’s new range of Rally power meter pedals.
  • In his latest video, Dave Everett catches up with Clara Honsinger to talk about her bikes.
  • Rapha has updated its Classic Jersey II and Classic Bib Shorts to use recycled materials.
  • SRAM has filed a lawsuit against Princeton CarbonWorks for patent infringement.

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