Your Saturday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

April 8, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Valverde sprints out of select group to win Pais Vasco, stage 5; Coquard wins final stage, Calmejane the overall for Direct Energie at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe; Brennauer takes sprint win in Healthy Ageing Tour as van Dijk protects lead; With an eye on the all-time record, Boonen calm heading into final Roubaix; ‘One of the classiest of the big champions:’ Rivals, teammates celebrate Boonen’s career; Aru suffers knee injury during altitude training; No Liège defense for Poels due to injury; Road furniture causes more crashes at Pais Vasco, Cummings and Atapuma out with injuries; Professional Cycling Association reviews disc brake covers; British Cycling creates ‘People Director’ position to focus on athlete welfare; Team Sky bring three riders new to Paris-Roubaix; Second indoor velodrome coming to US; Video: Canyon-SRAM on why they train; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour: Focus on Ronde van Vlaanderen; Video: UCI timing partner Tissot.

Valverde sprints out of select group to win Pais Vasco, stage 5

by Mark Zalewski

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took out the win on the fifth stage of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, outsprinting a select group following a tough final climb with Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) finishing in second and third. With the win Valverde takes over the race lead.

“I knew if I could be there I could win it,” he said after the race. “I just had to get in the right position. I tried my best and saw that everyone was suffering, but me as well — it was not an easy day. I needed to go, and really go hard, to be in the lead for the finish.”

The main breakaway was caught rather early on the stage with a tough finish looming and GC riders looking to make their move in the finale. The GC teams kept the pace high into the final six kilometres, knowing that that the final climb at 3.9km long and with max gradients of 12 percent would be a good launching pad for a GC attack.

Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) was the first to get a real separation on the climb at 5km to go. Eventually Valderde came up to Woods along with Bardet, Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Simon Yates (ORICA-Scott). Valverde put in an attack to up the pace. But after things settled Woods put in another attack and Meintjes was the only to follow. The attacks caused a pace that saw race leader David De la Cruaz (Quick-Step Floors) lose contact.

Woods and Meintjes went over the top together with the rest of the chasers close behind and making contact on the flat, including Woods’ teammate Rigoberto Uran. With a sprint on tap an attack by BMC’s Samuel Sanchez went early, but his attack was neutralised when he crashed hard on a curve, forcing the rest of the group to use all their handling skills to scramble around. Into the finish Valverde led the group and the curving finish played to his advantage for the win.

Stage 5: Bilbo > Eibar - Stage Result

Friday 7th April 2017

1. es
VALVERDE Alejandro
Movistar Team
2. fr
AG2R La Mondiale
3. co
URAN Rigoberto
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team