Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

March 29, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gilbert solos to win in De Panne opener; Summerhill takes over lead with stage win at Tour de Taiwan; Dr. Freeman breaks silence on medical package contents; UK Sport has ‘serious concerns’ about British Cycling’s handling of Shane Sutton case; Italian federation hands down bans for pay-to-race scandal; With strong Classics showing Naesen ready for De Ronde; Cipollini laments state of Italian cycling, ‘We only have Nibali’; Joe Martin Stage Race kicks-off UCI racing in US; Tour of the Gila announces teams; L’Etape South Africa postponed due to poor road surfaces; Video: Ben King shows off riding in Lucca; Video: Hunt VI.

Gilbert solos to win in De Panne opener

by Mark Zalewski

Belgian champ Philippe Gilbert took an impressive solo win on the opening stage of Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde, 17 seconds ahead of Aussie Luke Durbridge (ORICA-Scott) and another 17 seconds ahead of Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates). Gilbert gave full credit for the win to teammate Dries Devenyns.

“I wanted to be thirty seconds ahead at the base of the first passage of the Wall of Geraardsbergen, so I could attack,” said Gilbert after the race. “Tactically I thought it was good. Then I told Dries to ride full gas, that made the difference. I am grateful to the whole team, but in particular Dries. He made this victory possible. I have now taken a clear lead to win the overall, but I see it day-by-day. That final time trial should be winnable, but Luke Durbridge is a true specialist.”

Indeed, the 25-year-old ‘Durbo’ is having an amazing Classics campaign thus far, beginning with a sixth place at Strade Bianche and two fourth places at Dwars Door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke. The three-time TT national champ will be a threat for the final stage’s time trial. However, today was a possible preview of that situation, with Gilbert able to hold off the pursuing Durbridge in the closing kilometres — and at only 14.2km long, Gilbert might have enough of a lead to hold him off in Thursday’s concluding TT.

“It was a fantastic ride from Luke again today,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage “We have seen in the last few races how he is strong at the moment and today was a great way to open up this tour.”

“To finally get a victory in this beautiful jersey, and for Quick-Step Floors, makes me very happy!” said Gilbert.

Stage 1: De Panne > Zottegem - Stage Result

Tuesday 28th March 2017

1. be
GILBERT Philippe
Quick-Step Floors
2. au
3. it
UAE Team Emirates