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Alaphilippe, van der Breggen best at Flèche Wallonne, O’Connor wins: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

April 19, 2018

Alaphilippe wins Flèche Wallonne; A fourth win for Anna van der Breggen at Flèche Wallonne; O’Connor wins stage 3 of Tour of the Alps with solo break; Grosu wins stage 2 of the Tour of Croatia; Cavendish to make return from injury at Tour of Yorkshire; Another Belgian rider plus a triathlete die suddenly; Cane Creek release fourth generation of eeBrakes, the G4; FloBikes.com acquires rights to livestream Giro d’Italia and other WorldTour races in North America; Scott Bicycles alerts consumers to fraudulent websites; ‘Two year rollercoaster at Chain Reaction Cycles”; Video: Le Coq sportif – when history inspires the present

O’Connor wins stage 3 of Tour of the Alps with solo break

by Shane Stokes

Young Australian Ben O’Connor took the best result of his career on Wednesday when he won stage three of the Tour of the Alps. The 22-year-old Team Dimension Data rider was part of an 11-man group containing most of the favourites, then escaped inside the final ten kilometres.

He had earlier been aggressive on the category one Passo della Mendola climb, pushing ahead with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale). While these were caught by many of the favourites, O’Connor tried again, breaking the elastic and holding on for the win.

“Our Dimension Data team came to the Tour of the Alps with a stage win as goal, and I am happy we have achieved it,” he said. “After yesterday’s display, today I was focused on not missing a single opportunity for another good result. So I went on the wake of Pinot on the Passo Palade/Gampenpass. I like long climbs, today was a stage suited to me: last year I had been training in Val Gardena/Grödental, and it was an awesome experience. Clearly, I have a special feeling with Südtirol.”

Aside from the day’s inevitable breakaway, which was caught by O’Connor, Pinot and Pozzovivo on the big climb, there were attacks behind by Chris Froome. He was contained by the other riders, aide from race leader Ivan Sosa (Androni Giacattoli), who crashed on a descent and finished four minutes and nine seconds back. Froome’s acceleration reeled in the leading trio, but O’Connor went again and won.

Pinot finished second, five seconds back, and takes over the race leader’s jersey. He is 15 seconds clear of Pozzovivo and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), who worked too much, was dropped and lost 14 seconds to O’Connor.

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