Valgren and Blaak win Amstel Gold; Aussie Comm Games gold: Daily News Digest

by Matt de Neef

April 16, 2018

In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Michael Valgren wins Amstel Gold from late attack; World champion Blaak outsprints Brand to win women’s Amstel Gold; Steele von Hoff takes gold in Commonwealth Games fairytale finish; Chloe Hosking sprints to Comm Games gold; Matthews devastated by bad luck in Amstel Gold Race; Multiple fractures for Lucy Kennedy after Amstel Gold crash; Froome doesn’t want to give a running commentary on salbutamol case; Fabio Felline sidelined until late May with toxoplasmosis; Bora extends sponsorship through 2021; HiRide tests smart suspension at the cobbled classics; What it takes to ride the break at Amstel Gold Race.

Steele von Hoff takes gold in Commonwealth Games fairytale finish

by Matt de Neef

Seven weeks after breaking four vertebrae in a crash at a local criterium, Steele von Hoff (Australia) has taken a thrilling win in the 2018 Commonwealth Games road race.

After an aggressive nine laps of a lumpy Gold Coast circuit, the race was reduced to just nine riders. Cameron Meyer (Australia) had been in a three-rider move just before the finish, but when he was caught, he assumed lead-out duties for von Hoff.

With a headwind roaring down the finishing straight, von Hoff bided his time before hitting the front with perfect timing. He came around Wales’ Jonahan Mould, hit the front, then continued on to win gold by an impressive two bike lengths. Mould held on for second while South Africa’s Clint Hendricks was third, courtesy of a courageous bike throw right up against the barriers.

“Six days after the crash I started training again on a recumbent,” von Hoff said. “I just wanted to get my legs spinning. And then I thought, ‘I have seven weeks until the Games so I’d better start training.’

“I don’t think I’ve absorbed it yet, but I will later on tonight. It wasn’t looking good [in the last lap], it was me and Cam and the entire New Zealand team. I thought we couldn’t do it but we just had to hang in tough, and it just so happened to be that we pulled it off.”