In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel wins with bike throw at Abu Dhabi Tour, stage 2; Mareczko wins third stage of Tour de Langkawi; Molano wins Volta ao Alentejo, stage 3; Van Avermaet lukewarm about Flanders route changes; talks Gilbert tensions and Liège; Rivals take note: After breakout year, Lepistö enters Spring Classics with confidence; Phinney out of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with knee injury; Zwift Academy winner Leah Thorvilson to begin racing in Belgium this weekend; Kittel chooses rim brake for second stage at Abu Dhabi Tour; ‘Protest’ over asphalting of Eikenberg cobbles; British Cycling perplexed by UK Sport allegations; Bicycle industry reacting to Utah Governor’s push to strip federal protection for public lands; New world record set for cycling length of New Zealand; Pedal power in sailing; Abu Dhabi Tour, stage 2 highlights; Video: On-board highlights – Abu Dhabi Tour, stage 1; Video: 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Chantal Blaak; Video: Vintage cycling day.
Your Saturday Daily News Digest
When the women’s Classics get underway this weekend, Lotta Lepistö will be one of the riders to watch. The Finnish national champion had her best-ever season in 2016 and, as one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton, should be there or thereabouts if she’s in a front group approaching the line. But, as she tells Ella CyclingTips, she’s got a far bigger aim in 2017. Here is an excerpt from the feature:
Prompted for her highlights, she thinks of the time trial and road race in Rio. Her performances there were more modest than in some of the other big events; 17th against the clock and 51st in the road race don’t compare to how she did on flatter courses, but that’s fine. Her memories are not based on how she did, but rather on where she was.
“The Olympics was a really nice experience,” she says. “I knew that is the course was too hard for me, but it was just a lifetime experience to go there and see how the Olympics are. My main goal, though, was the world championships in Qatar.”
Lepistö worked hard all season to be ready for the October event. She got her training and tactics right on the day and was part of the select group at the finish. That put her in the frame for victory, and paved the way for third. Bronze isn’t the same as gold, of course, and so she has mixed feelings now.
“Of course I was there for a win,” she says, reflecting on the race four months later. “So third place … It was the first medal ever for Finland in world championships. Actually, third in the team time trial was already the first one. It was a super-amazing feeling to be there on the podium, but of course I had the little [regret] that I didn’t win.”
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