Chaves takes Catalunya stage 4, Brown wins Brugge-De Panne: Daily News

Esteban Chaves wins stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos


Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Thursday was another busy day for bike racing as the Volta a Catalunya climbed to another summit finish, the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne saw the women’s WorldTour peloton in action in Flanders, and the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali came down to a fast finish along the Adriatic Coast.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Brown solos to her first WorldTour win at Brugge-De Panne

Grace Brown powered to victory on Thursday at the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne. The 28-year-old Australian soloed clear with around 10 km to go and held on to take her first ever WorldTour win. Seven seconds later, Emma Norsgaard sprinted to runner-up honors ahead of Jolien D’Hoore.

The Belgian one-day saw attacks early until Lizzy Bennett broke away some 30 km into the race. She was not given much breathing room, however, and was eventually brought back. From there, things stayed relatively compact until crosswinds buffeted the peloton inside the last 80 km, at which point SD Worx hit the front and forced splits. Several riders would rejoin the lead group before long but the pace stayed high over the ensuing kilometers.

As the race route looped back to the same location that saw crosswinds force splits 45 minutes prior, splits again formed with around 33 km to go. Brown was one of several big names in the lead group, alongside other contenders like D’Hoore, Norsgaard, Amy Pieters, and Chloe Hosking, while a second group chased hard behind with Alé BTC Ljubljana and DSM doing much of the work in pursuit. The gap between the groups was at 25 seconds with 12 km to go, but with 10 km left to race, Brown put in a big surge. Pieters tried to hold her wheel but could not, and within moments, Brown had a gap.

With a coherent chase slow to materialize from those behind, Brown quickly built her advantage, taking a 20-second gap into the last 5 km. She held on to the finish line in De Panne for the convincing win. The chasers arrived seven seconds later with Norsgaard and D’Hoore taking the final two spots on the podium.

Top 10

1 BROWN Grace (BikeExchange) 4:03:17
2 NORSGAARD Emma (Movistar) 0:07
3 D’HOORE Jolien (SD Worx)
4 KOPECKY Lotte (Liv)
5 BALSAMO Elisa (Valcar-Travel & Service)
6 WILD Kirsten (Ceratizit-WNT)
7 HOSKING Chloe (Trek-Segafredo)
8 BARNES Alice (Canyon-SRAM)
9 PIETERS Amy (SD Worx)
10 LETH Julie (Ceratizit-WNT)

Allen suffers broken collarbone in crash

In other news from the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, BikeExchange said after the race that Jessica Allen had suffered a collarbone fracture in a crash.

“In typical Jess fashion she’s in good spirits and will have surgery tomorrow at Az-Sint-Augustin Kliniek,” the team said on Twitter.

Chaves wins stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya

Esteban Chaves took his first win since 2019 on Thursday’s stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya, ascending to victory atop the hors categorie Port Ainé finishing climb. Michael Woods climbed to second on the day with Geraint Thomas in third, while Adam Yates finished fourth and retained his overall race lead.

The 166.5 km stage from Ripoll featured an early first-category climb before a pair of hors categorie climbs in the second half of the day. A few notables, including Jai Hindley and George Bennett, did not take the start, with DSM saying that Hindley had pulled out of the race “due to illness” and Bennett saying that he was leaving due to “a bit of a chest infection.”

A strong break would form in the early goings, with Rigoberto Urán, Thomas De Gendt, Louis Meintjes, and Lennard Kämna among the big names in the move, but with Kämna only two minutes down in the GC standings, the peloton did not give the break much room. With the gap at two and a half minutes as the break approached the second climb of the day, Kämna shot off the front, and he went up and over the climb solo.

As the Ineos Grenadiers upping the pace in the pack, however, the gap to the larger breakaway group and to Kämna came down as the final climb approached. The larger group of escapees was caught just inside the last 20 km of the day, while Kämna took about two minutes into the start of the final climb. With Rohan Dennis setting a hard pace at the front of the pack, the peloton rapidly closed Kämna down, and he was caught with a little more than 14 km to go.

Attacks began to fly in the final 10 km, with Steven Kruijswijk kicking things off. The Ineos-led chase did not give him much room, however, and the Dutchman was reeled in with 9 km to go. Minutes later, Chaves made his move with around 7 km to go, and he quickly built a substantial gap. He took a 15-second gap into the last 5 km and despite a strong chase from the Ineos Grenadiers, Chaves held on out front as the kilometers ticked down. Enric Mas tried to get clear of the chasing group but was brought back, while Chaves still had 20 seconds going into the last 2 km. He held on even as the gradient increased inside the last kilometer and took the win with a seven-second gap to Woods, who pipped Thomas for runner-up honors on the day, with Yates finishing fourth to stay comfortably atop the GC.

Top 10, stage 4

1 CHAVES Esteban (BikeExchange) 4:29:47
2 WOODS Michael (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:07
3 THOMAS Geraint (Ineos Grenadiers)
4 YATES Adam (Ineos Grenadiers)
5 KUSS Sepp (Jumbo-Visma)
6 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar)
7 PORTE Richie (Ineos Grenadiers)
8 KELDERMAN (Bora-Hansgrohe)
9 QUINTANA Nairo (Arkéa-Samsic)
10 HAMILTON Lucas (BikeExchange)

Top 10, GC

1 YATES Adam (Ineos Grenadiers) 14:14:15
2 PORTE Riche (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:45
3 THOMAS Geraint (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:49
4 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar) 1:03
5 KELDERMAN Wilco (Bora-Hansgrohe)
6 CHAVES Esteban (BikeExchange) 1:04
7 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 1:07
8 CARTHY Hugh (EF Education-Nippo) 1:20
9 KUSS Sepp (Jumbo-Visma) 1:29
10 YATES Simon (BikeExchange) 1:32

Hayter wins Coppi e Bartali stage 3

Ethan Hayer nabbed stage 3 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, out-sprinting Shane Archbold and Nick Schultz in Riccione. Jonas Vingegaard finished safely in the bunch to retain his overall lead.

The 139 km stage that also started in Riccione took riders over some tough climbs before a flatter run-in to the line. Antonio Nibali, the last survivor from the early break, was brought back inside the last 5 km, and from there, teams battled for position at the front to set up their sprinters. The Ineos Grenadiers took over at the front on the final run-in, setting up Hayter to power to victory ahead of Archbold and Schultz.

Top 10, stage 3

1 HAYTER Ethan (Ineos Grenadiers) 3:49:21
2 ARCHBOLD Shane (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
3 SCHULTZ Nick (BikeExchange)
4 MOSCA Jacopo (Trek-Segafredo
5 TESFATSION Natnael (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)
6 AULAR Orluis (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
7 ALBANESE Vincenzo (Eolo-Kometa)
8 GABBURO Davide (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè)
9 SCARONI Cristian (Gazprom Rusvelo)
10 VELASCO Simone (Gazprom Rusvelo)

Top 10, GC

1 VINGEGAARD Jonas (Jumbo-Visma) 10:37:46
2 HAYTER Ethan (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:01
3 SCHULTZ Nick (BikeExchange)
4 SOSA Iván (Ineos Grenadiers)
5 HERMANS Ben (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:03
6 ROMO Javier (Astana-Premier Tech) 0:10
7 VANSEVENANT Mauri (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 0:11
8 HONORÉ Mikkel Frolich (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 0:14
9 COLLEONI Kevin (BikeExchange) 0:20
10 HENAO Sergio (Qhubeka) 0:31

Coming up …

Friday will be another busy day for bike racing. The Volta a Catalunya continues with a lumpy fifth stage. A first-category climb crested with less than 30 km to go followed by a descent to the line will make it a tough to predict how the stage will play out. Meanwhile, stars like Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert will be in action in Belgium at the E3 SaxoBank Classic, where riders will take on many of the same cobbles and climbs that will feature in the Tour of Flanders. And, over in Italy, the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali will continue with its fourth stage, which will close out with several laps on a hilly circuit in San Marino.

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