Arnaud Démare wins stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Démare sprints to victory in Valencia, Díaz takes the GC lead in Turkey: Daily News

Thursday saw a lead change at the Tour of Turkey, while the sprinters battled for the stage 2 win at at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

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Thursday saw a lead change at the Tour of Turkey, where the climbers finally had a chance to put their skills on display on stage 5, while the sprinters battled for the stage 2 win at at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

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Dane Cash
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Díaz wins stage 5 and moves into the overall lead at the Tour of Turkey

After several days for the sprinters at the Tour of Turkey that saw Mark Cavendish nabbing multiple wins and spending time in the leader’s jersey, the climbers came to the fore on stage 5. José Manuel Díaz powered to the stage 5 victory and the race lead on Thursday, nabbing the Delko team’s first win of 2021 ahead of Jay Vine and Eduardo Sepulveda.

The challenging 160.3 km stage closed out with a 12.1 km climb at an average gradient of 6.3%. After the last survivor of the early break was caught inside the last 4 km, attacks started to fly from the much-reduced pack. Anton Charmig soloed away inside the last 2 km, but Díaz, Vine, and Sepulveda caught and passed him inside the last few hundred meters.

Díaz proved fastest in the final kick to the line, nabbing the win and the overall lead as Vine took second with Sepulveda in third. Accounting for bonus seconds, Díaz now sits four seconds ahead of Vine in the general classification.

Richardson disqualified from Tour of Turkey for illegal position

Alexander Richardson was disqualified after Wednesday’s stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey for riding in a banned position.

New rules that went into effect on April 1 carry strict penalties for taking certain positions on the bike, including the so-called “super tuck,” as well as riding with the forearms resting on the handlebars. Richardson could be seen on the television broadcast with his forearms on his handlebars during the stage, and although he finished with the peloton, he was later disqualified from the race by the jury. Earlier in the day, Gijs Leemreize had been disqualified from Brabantse Pijl for riding in a banned position.

Démare wins stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

Arnaud Démare sprinted to victory on stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

The 179 km stage started and finished in Alicante, and things came down to a bunch kick on a rainy day in Spain. Groupama-FDJ led the way into the finale to set up Démare, who started his sprint with around 100 meters to go with Caleb Ewan tucked in just behind Démare and Timothy Dupont behind Ewan.

Ewan tried to pull even on Démare’s right and Dupont went on Démare’s left, but neither rider could match Démare, who took the win at the line. Dupont settled for runner-up honors with Ewan taking third on the day. Stage 1 winner Miles Scotson finished safely in the bunch to retain his overall lead.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec will race the Giro d’Italia as Vini Zabù withdraws

Vini Zabù has withdrawn from the upcoming Giro d’Italia following the second anti-doping rule violation by a team member within a 12-month period. Matteo De Bonis was notified in March of an adverse analytical finding for EPO in an out-of-competition test in February, while Matteo Spreafico returned two positive tests for Enobosarm (ostarine) during last year’s Giro.

Vini Zabù now faces a potential suspension of between 15 and 45 days, and on Thursday, the team withdrew from the Giro. Giro organizers announced that Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec will take the wildcard spot left vacant by Vini Zabù’s withdrawal.

Alaphilippe extends with Deceuninck-QuickStep

World road champ Julian Alaphilippe will ride on with Deceuninck-QuickStep through 2024 after signing a contract extension on Thursday. The deal represents that second big re-signing for Deceuninck-QuickStep in two weeks; Remco Evenepoel recently signed to stick with the team through 2026.

Alaphilippe has been with Deceuninck-QuickStep for the entirety of his pro career, having made his WorldTour debut in 2014.

“I’m very happy to extend my stay with the team. It was the logical thing to do, and at no moment there was the question of doing anything different,” Alaphilippe said in a press release from the team.

“I look forward to continuing with this family and I want to say thank you to Patrick [Lefevere, team manager] and the sponsors for the confidence they have shown in these eight years and continue to show. It’s incredible to think of what we achieved together and all the beautiful memories we have. We are the Wolfpack and we race to win. It’s our mentality and one of our strengths, we all go in the same direction, and this is one of the reasons I feel good here and do what I do with immense pleasure. I am looking forward to more great results with Deceuninck-QuickStep this season and in the coming years.”

Nibali has successful surgery

Trek-Segafredo said Thursday that Vincenzo Nibali had successfully undergone surgery after he broke his wrist in a training crash on Wednesday.

“The surgery involved the application of a plate with screws and lasted about one hour,” the team said on Twitter. Nibali will now focus on his recovery as he hopes to be able to race the Giro d’Italia, which gets underway on May 8.

Easton Overland announces 2021 roster

The Easton Overland team has announced its roster for 2021, with a few newcomers and several returning members for the year.

Amity Rockwell, Adam Kachman, Caitlin Bernstein, Caroline Dezendorf, Craig Richey, Emily Cheng, Matt Lieto, and Michael van den Ham comprise the squad’s roster for 2021. Easton Cycling riders will be in action this year at the Cascadia Super Gravel, the Garmin Unbound Gravel, the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder, Rooted Vermont, SBT GRVL, Grinduro Canada, the Trans Rockies Gravel Royale, BCBR Gravel Explorer, and the Peloton Gravel Mob, to name only some of the events on the team’s calendar.

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