Alaphilippe wins opening stage of the Itzulia Basque Country; Stannard wins Giro del Belvedere; Nibali shrugs off Flanders fatigue with solid opener in Itzulia Basque Country; Following impressive Flanders ride, Pedersen extends with Trek-Segafredo; Painkilling adrenalin carries injured van Vleuten to Flanders podium; Unofficial Indy Pac: Across-Australia riders flowing into Sydney Opera House finish; Video: Alaphilippe rolls to the sea; Video: The Salesman: Mads Pedersen tells us about his Trek Madone
Alaphilippe best in Basque Country, Stannard wins Belvedere: Daily News Digest
One day after he placed a fine second in the Trofeo Piva, Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) won the Giro del Belvedere. The Australian rider outsprinted three Italians, namely Christian Scaroni, Matteo Sobrero (Dimension Data) and Samuele Battistella, with two other riders also in this lead group at the finish in Villa di Villa.
“I am very happy to have achieved the win today,” he said. “It’s my first of the season and my first ever in Italy. I have to say a huge thank you to the guys. They were all fantastic today and for the first three hours I hardly touched the pedals, they looked after me that well.”
“We knew from last year that the last two circuits would be the important ones and first Jacob, then Brayan really drove the bunch onto the penultimate climb and I kept the pace high all the way up to maintain momentum before Sam took over and shredded the group for the last ascent.
FINALE! Robert Stannard (Mitchelton) vince l’80° Giro del Belvedere! Al secondo posto Scaroni (Petroli Firenze), terzo Sobrero (Dimension Data)
FINAL! Robert Stannard (Mitchelton) wins the 80th Giro del Belvedere! 2nd Scaroni (Petroli Firenze), 3rd Sobrero (Dimension Data). pic.twitter.com/E2czbK7Hw1
— Giro del Belvedere (@GiroBelvedere) April 2, 2018
“Going into the finish I knew I was the strongest out of the group, there was only climbers left in there, so I set a pace I knew they couldn’t live with over the last kilometre and I was confident that I wouldn’t get caught in the sprint. It’s such a good feeling and I am pleasantly surprised with where my form is at this stage.”
In Sunday’s Trofeo Piva, he finished second in a big bunch gallop to the line. Italian rider Paolo Baccio was first, with Briton Jake Stewart third. Stannard had created a break on the penultimate lap, but these were reeled in with ten kilometres left. Despite the energy expended in that move, he had enough left to secure the runner-up slot.