Hodeg takes opener at Catalunya; early drama at Cape Epic: Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

March 20, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Colombian sprinter Alvaro Hodeg takes opening stage at Volta Catalunya; Italian sprinters sweep Stage 2 podium at Langkawi as Astana’s Minali takes race lead; Greipel shares disappointment over lost opportunities after collarbone plated with 10 screws; Cape Epic: Cannondale men win Stage 1; Specialized women in control; Schurter loses bid for Cape Epic repeat after Stirnemann is forced to abandon; Tire problems see Hincapie, Vande Velde lose Masters category lead at Cape Epic; Austin bomber injures cyclists with tripwire; Video: Why isn’t cycling normal in London?

Italian sprinters sweep Stage 2 podium at Langkawi as Astana’s Minali takes race lead

by CyclingTips

Riccardo Minali (Astana) took the Stage 2 victory, as well as the overall race lead, at the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia Monday, beating compatriots Matteo Malucelli (Androni-Sidermec) and Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF) to the line. It was was the first professional win for the 22-year-old Italian.

“Today was a very hard day,” Minali said in a team press release. “It was hot and the climb at the beginning of the stage was very long. I was dropped during the climb, but at the downhill my teammate and I managed to come back to the first group. In the final, I had a super team that helped me to finish first and I’m very happy with my victory.”

On the stage’s Cat.1 climb, race leader Andrea Guardini (Bardiani-CSF) was also dropped, and after Minali return to the front group, Astana set a high pace to increase the gap between the peloton and the yellow jersey.

With the stage win, Minali also claimed the yellow jersey, as well as the green jersey of leader in the points classification.