Egan Bernal wins Colombia Oro y Paz; Ewan claims Almeria: Daily News Digest

by Matt de Neef

February 12, 2018

In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Egan Bernal wins the inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz with last-stage attack; Caleb Ewan takes first European win of the season at Clasica de Almeria; Elia Viviani takes out the Dubai Tour; Daryl Impey wins his first national road race title; Moreno Moser wins the Trofeo Laigueglia; Alexandre Geniez victorious at Tour Cycliste International La Provence; Tomasz Marczynski to miss the Ruta del Sol after colliding with a car; Brodie Chapman signs with Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank; Cyclist killed as car drives into Californian gran fondo field; Donna Rae-Szalinski fired as Wiggle High5 director; Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen to lead BMC at the Volta ao Algarve; Disc rotor leads to gashed knee for Katie Compton; Contribute to research on sodium intake for athletes.

Dozens to ride Indy Pac route despite race cancellation

by CyclingTips

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race might have been cancelled for 2018 but that’s not going to stop dozens of entrants that plan to tackle the 5,500km across Australia ride regardless.

Australia’s intrepid long-distance cyclists have refused to take “no” for an answer.

After training for up to a year for the Indian Pacific Wheel Race – an epic solo and unsupported ride of 5500 kilometres from Fremantle to Sydney – initial disappointment about its cancellation was quickly followed by a rallying of support on social media.

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Honouring Mike Hall’s memory: Ryan Flinn during the Indian Pacific Wheel Race last year.
Honouring Mike Hall’s memory: Ryan Flinn during the Indian Pacific Wheel Race last year. Photo: Supplied
Within a day, 23 cyclists decided to ride it anyway.

They have arranged what one is calling a “people’s ride” that will start at precisely 6:22am on March 17 – a tribute to champion British cyclist Mike Hall, who was killed at that time during last year’s inaugural race.

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Champion British cyclist Mike Hall before taking on the Indian Pacific Wheel Race last year.
Champion British cyclist Mike Hall before taking on the Indian Pacific Wheel Race last year.
Riders will follow the race course across the Nullarbor Plain then through Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra before finishing at the Sydney Opera House.

They have even organised GPS tracking so that so-called “dot watchers” will be able to follow their progress.

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It’s a surprise development for what one rider called “this beautiful race” for the way it captured imaginations around the country last year and turned unknown riders into cycling celebrities.

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Without support vehicles, riders had to find their own food, water and repair supplies along the route.

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Cyclists paid tribute to champion British rider at a memorial ride to the Sydney Opera House after his death in the …
Cyclists paid tribute to champion British rider at a memorial ride to the Sydney Opera House after his death in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race last year. Photo: James Brickwood
They rode for as long as they could each day then found somewhere to sleep, sometimes for just a few hours beside the road, before getting back on the bike.

The 2017 race was called off after 12 days when Hall was killed in a collision with a car south of Canberra.

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Epic: the course of the first Indian Pacific Wheel Race from Fremantle to Sydney last year.
Epic: the course of the first Indian Pacific Wheel Race from Fremantle to Sydney last year. Photo: IPWR
Having decided to run the event again with extra safety precautions for riders, organiser Jesse Carlsson had to cancel it over “potential outcomes” of the ACT Coroner’s inquest into Hall’s death which is expected to be held this year.

But more than a quarter of the field, which included cyclists from the US, Europe, India, New Zealand and Thailand, quickly agreed to ride anyway.

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“A show of strength to show we can’t be wrapped up in cotton wool”: cyclist Brad Bootsma who has decided to ride the …
“A show of strength to show we can’t be wrapped up in cotton wool”: cyclist Brad Bootsma who has decided to ride the course despite the cancellation of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Photo: Supplied
Brad Bootsma?, a former Fremantle Dockers AFL player who was inspired to enter after dot watching last year, said he was initially angry about the race being cancelled after almost a year’s training.

But he and training mate Phil McCorriston? decided to go ahead with the ride.

“I just thought ‘I’ve started something, I want to finish it’,” Bootsma said. “I got the recommendation again from the wife to say ‘no worries’ so we’re going to head off with 21 others at the moment. Hopefully there will be more to come.”

Bootsma, 45, plans to ride competitively – hoping to average 300 kilometres a day.

“I’m still going to push my limits and treat it like a race,” he said. “It’ll be a show of strength to show we can’t be wrapped up in cotton wool these days. We’ve got to get out there and still do what we want to do.”

While Bootsma will wear the extra safety gear required for the race, he accepts that accidents can happen on any ride.

“With the race being cancelled, I think it will be a lot safer,” he said. “You’ll find riders won’t push the limits at night.”

One of the personalities of the first race, Ryan “Rhino” Flinn?, is riding again too.

“It’s a nice thing to do in Mike’s memory, to make sure the ride is kept alive and his memory is honoured,” he said. “That’s why a lot of people will still pitch up in Fremantle.”

While shaken by Hall’s death – and his own near collision with a car driven by overseas tourists on the wrong side of the Great Ocean Road the same day – Flinn took some time for reflection then continued to the finish in Sydney.

He is aiming to better the 20 days he took last year.

“It was extraordinary people doing extraordinary things,” he said. “A lot of people were inspired by the race and by the individuals who were riding.”

Flinn, 31, also wants to raise awareness about the need for all road users to be more aware of safety.

“I’d love to change the mentality where the most vulnerable of road users is perhaps given the most amount of respect,” he said.

“A truck is considered [to deserve] the utmost respect and has rule over the road whereas perhaps a cyclist doesn’t really belong there. That needs to change.”

By the end of the week, the unofficial ride had grown to 28 including journalist Rupert Guinness and cyclists from the US, UK, New Zealand, Portugal and Germany.

Follow the link to read more at The Age.

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