Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

May 4, 2017

In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Räim wins opening stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Six years after her brother Wouter’s passing, Elke Weylandt shares views on Giro’s descending competition; Giro d’Italia abandons controversial descending competition; Kelly: Quintana is the man to beat for Giro, and could double up at the Tour; Nibali: ‘It’s not easy to be on the highest step of the podium’; Dumoulin: ‘Winning the Giro is normally out of reach’; Pozzovivo talks up difficulty of Giro d’Italia; In ‘best shape’ for years, Hansen ready for 17th consecutive Grand Tour; Greipel eyeing Maglia Rosa, but also says Classics could delay top sprint form; Rumsas’ son passed away 24 hours after being released from hospital; McLaren says he’s been threatened over doping report; Cyclist dies after hitting parked car in Melbourne; Video: A sort of homecoming – Adam Blythe at #TDY2017; Video: 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Ostend preview; Video: 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic preview

Räim wins opening stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan

by VeloClub

The Estonian sprinter Mihkel Räim triumphed on the opening stage of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan on Wednesday, beating Emils Liepins (Rietumu Banka – Riga) and Pier Paolo De Negri (Nippo – Vini Fantini) at the finish line in Sumgayit.

“I’m really happy with the win,” said the Israel Cycling Academy rider. “I came here to focus on the third and final stage, those stages suit me better. So it was a surprise that I sprinted to victory today.

“I’m proud that I can wear the GC-jersey and we will try our best to defend, but I’m sure we have some great climbers in the team who can try for it. I’m really happy if I could take the points jersey at the end as I’m more of a sprinter.”

The stage was marked by a five man breakaway group. These worked together to eke out a maximum lead of two minutes 40 seconds, but were hauled back by the sprinters teams. Others then tried to get clear but these surges were negated and Räim then prevailed.

The 2.1-ranked event continues on Thursday with a stage from Baku to Ismayilli.

Stage 1: Baku > Sumgayit - Stage Result

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

1. ee
RAIM Mihkel
Israel Cycling Academy
2. lv
Rietumu Banka - Riga
3. it
DE NEGRI Pier Paolo
Nippo - Vini Fantini