Sam Bennett shrugs off illness to go back-to-back at Race Melbourne; Annette Edmondson wins Race Melbourne with a bike throw; Richeze wins stage 4 of the Vuelta a San Juan; Degenkolb wins opening race of Challenge Mallorca series; ‘For sure I have taken a step up’: Bennett eyeing next level in 2018; Wildcards, modified routes announced for ASO Classics; AAA panel imposes four-year sanction on amateur U.S. cyclist for testosterone violation; Video: Team Eritrea – Tesfom King of Mountains – Tropicale Amissa Bongo 2018
Bennett, Edmondson win at Race Melbourne, Degenkolb in Mallorca: Daily News Digest
Stepping into the breach after teammate and stage one winner Fernando Gaviria crashed out of the race, Maximiliano Richeze (QuickStep Floors) took stage four of the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina. He outsprinted Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-hansgrohe), Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy), Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) and others to the line in Valle Fertile-Villa San Agustin.
“I’m very happy for this win because I’m usually not appointed to sprint,” he said. “At the same time, I’m so said for Gaviria and I hope it’s nothing serious. I talked with the team after his crash and we decided to try to win the stage. We knew there were cross-winds in the second part of the race and we were well-prepared for the echelons. I have been a professional rider for 13 years, but I haven’t had so many opportunities to race at home in Argentina and this time I was able to win, so I’m proud.”
The stage featured three climbs, two of which were category one, and was the longest stage of the race. However those climbs were sufficiently far from the finish to make a bunch sprint likely. Gaviria fancied his chances but came down in a fall just inside the final 50 kilometres. Also caught up in it were the stage two runner-up Ricardo Escuela (A.C.A. Virgen De Fatima) and Ruben Ramos (Argentina), both of whom also had to pull out.
The stage had been disrupted earlier by flooding of the road. This delayed the start and also caused a portion of the stage to be neutralised near the end, but the day’s break had already been reeled in at that point.
Overnight leader Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates) maintained his five second advantage over Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and 11 second lead on Oscar Sevilla (Medellin). “My first day as the leader passed well thanks to all my team,” he said. Thursday’s sees the race take a rest day before heading into the mountains.