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by Shane Stokes
May 6, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Pöstlberger takes first pro victory on opening stage of Giro d’Italia to wear maglia rosa; Eisenhart, Hall win Stage 2 at Redlands Classic; Kirsten Wild wins first stage in Tour of Chongming Island; Alarcón takes stage one of the Vuelta Internacional a la Comunidad de Madrid; Mugerli wins in chaotic stage 3 final of Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Giro director Vegni says he was wary of sending Bardiani-CSF team home following doping positives; Bouhanni forced to withdraw from Tour of California; 105-year-old Robert Marchand recognised as the world’s oldest competitive cyclist; Google Doodle marks 100th Giro d’Italia; Video: Michele Scarponi. The farewell interview; Video: Steven Kruijswijk’s final preparations for the 100th Giro d’Italia; Video: Caleb Ewan – Interview at the start of stage one of the 2017 Giro d’Italia; Video: Geraint Thomas – interview before the Giro d’Italia; Video: Tom Dumoulin – interview before the race; Video: Nathan Haas receives his Fi:zi’k Giro Shoes; Video: Chasing Cancellara
Matej Mugerli (Amplatz – BMC) avoided the crashes and proved best in the finale of stage three of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan in Gabala on Friday, beating day one winner Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy) and Vitaliy Buts (Kolss Cycling Team) to the line.
The Slovenian was quickest after crashes thinned the lead group down to just 32 riders. He said afterwards that fatigue from Thursday’s tough stage was likely a factor in the chaos.
“My team worked hard, and for the end of the stage I had one teammate with me who helped very well in the tough final,” he said. “I waited with my sprint for the final 200 meters and then I went all out and won.” He used to compete for the country’s Synergy Baku Cycling Project squad and said that winning on familiar roads was a great feeling. “But still you need some luck, and that’s what I had today.”
Five riders were clear for much of the stage, namely Daniel Diaz (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Christoph Schweizer (Team Sauerland NRW P/b Henley & Partners), Jan Andrej Cully (Dukla Banska), Eriks Tom Gavars (Rietumu Banka – Riga) and Ryota Nishizono (Bridgestone Anchor), but things came back together in the final ten kilometres.
Stage two victor Kirill Pozdnyakov (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) kept his overall lead. “My team was very strong today and they helped me very well,” he said. “That’s how I defended my jersey for now. The stage was less hard than yesterday and I felt good, so we were never in big problems. Only at the end it was challenging to not be involved with a crash, but we managed to stay out of it and to finish in the first group.”