Valverde leads Catalunya; De Vos on top in Langkawi: Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

March 21, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Valverde wins Stage 2 sprint at Catalunya, moves into GC lead; Canadian Adam de Vos (Rally Cycling) solos to Stage 3 win, GC lead at Tour de Langkawi; Cape Epic: Cannondale men, Specialized women win again on Stage 2; Autonomous Uber car kills cyclist walking bike across road in Arizona; Stage 3 summit finish at Volta a Catalunya is cancelled; 2018 Colorado Classic announces route details in Vail; Shimano patents disc rotor cover; Steele von Hoff back racing four weeks after breaking his backl Santa Cruz bring back Blur and revamp HighBall cross-country bikes; RockyMounts issues voluntary recall of SplitRail and MonoRail hitch racks; Video: World champ Jolanda Neff’s impressive wheelie; Video: 1928 Penny Farthing Race in London.

Cape Epic: Cannondale men, Specialized women win again on Stage 2

by CyclingTips

Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa saw repeat winners in both the men’s and women’s pro fields, as Stage 1 winners Cannondale Factory Racing and Investec Songo Specialized each crossed the finish line first again.

In the pro men’s race, German Manuel Fumic and Brazilian Henrique Avancini took the 106km stage, repeating Monday’s success. In the early part of the stage, five teams moved to the front — Cannondale, Canyon Topeak (Lakata and Hynek), Centurion Vaude (Rohrbach and Geismayr), Buff Scott MTB (Guerra Carretero and Pinto) and Specialized Investec Songo (Kulhavy and Grotts). A rear puncture for Kulhavy saw the Specialized Investec duo drop out of the lead group, giving way to the four leading teams taking turns in the lead. In the finale, Fumic and Avancini launched the decisive attack in view of the finish line.  In the overall standings, Fumic and Avancini lead with a 2:23 advantage on Kulhavy and Grotts, and 5:37 on Geismayr and Rohrbach.

“Today was all about keeping safe for us,” said Fumic. “The stage suited the marathon guys more and they went for it to show us. We focussed on damage control but got caught out a few times. In the sprint our experience helped us for sure and to get the stage win and another day in yellow makes us happy. There’s still a lot of racing to come.”

In the women’s category, Annika Langvad and Kate Courtney collected their third win in three days. A brutal attack 30 kilometres from the finish allowed the Investec Songo Specialized pair to drive home the advantage gained on the opening two days of racing, extending their lead to a daunting 6:30 over Team Spur’s Ariane Lüthi and Githa Michiels, with the Spur pair edging out Mariske Strauss and Annie Last (Silverback-KMC) by the narrowest of margins after a tense sprint. Team Ascendis Health finished fourth once again as Robyn de Groot had to nurse Sabine Spitz to the finish while the German continues to struggle with illness. The pair lost another 12 minutes to the leaders and are now 26 minutes off the pace, with stage wins the only realistic target remaining if Spitz can recover fully.

“There was a pretty steep climb about 30 kilometres to go and Annika got on the front and set the pace and I just hung on for dear life. We managed to get a gap and then hold it to the finish,” Courtney said. “I’m learning that every second matters in this race. We saw yesterday with our flat that a minute gap can vanish in a few seconds, so it is really about staying on the gas, staying focused and giving our best every second of the race.”