Bauhaus wins stage 3 of the Abu Dhabi Tour; Bastinelli wins stage 2 of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana; Kittel: ‘I was just one 1000th of a second too late’; Report: Astana in danger of folding due to financial issues; Viviani believes defence of race lead is unlikely; Brailsford takes up permanent role at Team Sky; Lobato signs for Nippo-Vini Fantini; New 100 mile closed-road event confirmed for UK; Video: Flanders Classics’ theme; Video: 360 degree cameras in the peloton
Bauhaus wins in Abu Dhabi, Bastinelli in Valencia: Daily News Digest
After netting third on Thursday’s opening stage of the race, former world champion Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini) was quickest on Friday’s second leg. The Italian turned the tables on stage one winner Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) in the sprint, with Alicia Gonzalez (Movistar Team Women) and Eugénie Duval (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) next across the line.
— Alpe d’Huez B&T (@Alpe__dHuez) February 23, 2018
Several riders fell close to the end, including stage one aggressor Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Cervelo-Bigla’s Lotta Lepistö, but Bastianelli and others escaped the crash. She was then able to take her team’s third victory of the season, following on from Chloe Hosking’s success at the Santos Tour Down Under and in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
“We raced so well,” she said after the stage. “The climb was hard and we have been perfect to stay in the front with the strongest athletes. We did a great job with Ane [Santesteban], and Mayuko [Hagiwara] was in the lead, then Anna [Trevisi] came from behind to help me really well for the sprint. Thanks to the team for this magnificent result.”
The stage began in Castelló and ran 115 kilometres to Vila Real. Things blew apart on the category one Desiert de les Palmes, with attacks going clear afterwards. However there was a regrouping towards the finish, leading to the big bunch gallop.
Barnes remains atop the general classification. She will start Saturday’s third stage five seconds clear of stage one runner-up Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla) and a further two seconds up on Bastianelli.