Lopez leads Astana to victory in Vuelta time trial

Astana cycling team

The Astana team – based in Kazakhstan – has eight Grand Tour final victories

Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez led the Astana team to the first red jersey of the Vuelta a Espana in a dramatic opening team time trial.

Favourites Jumbo-Visma endured a nightmare start to the final Grand Tour of the season when four riders from the eight-man team came off their bikes.

Six Astana riders finished in a time of 14 minutes and 51 seconds.

Jumbo-Visma regrouped to reduce their deficit to 40 seconds at the end of the 13.4km race against the clock.

Dutch team Jumbo-Visma said its riders crashed because of water on the road – but none had suffered serious injuries.

“There was some water on the road in one of the bends,” sporting director Addy Engels revealed after Saturday’s stage.

“We couldn’t react fast enough on full speed and four of our riders crashed. Our goal remains the same. We keep fighting.”

Belgian team Deceuninck – Quick-Step finished two seconds behind Astana, with Sunweb, from Germany, in third.

Britain’s Team Ineos, without Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, came 11th, 26 seconds adrift of the leaders.

Sunday’s second stage is a 199km ride from Benidorm to Calpe.

Stage 1 result:

1. Astana 14mins 51secs

2. Deceuninck – Quick-Step +2secs

3. Sunweb +5secs

4. EF Education First +7secs

5. Bora-Hansgrohe +13secs

6. CCC +15secs

7. Movistar +16secs

8. Groupama-FDJ Same time

9. Mitchelton-Scott +18secs

10. Lotto Soudal +19secs

General classification:

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) 14mins 51secs

2. Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana) Same time

3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana)

4. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa/Astana)

5. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa/Astana)

6. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa/Astana)

7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) +2secs

8. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) Same time

9. Zdenek Stybar (Cze/Deceuninck – Quick-Step)

10. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg/Deceuninck – Quick-Step)

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49462767

‘Exhausted’ German sprinter Kittel retires from cycling

Marcel Kittel celebrates a Tour de France stage win

Kittel won 19 grand tour stages, including 14 at the Tour de France

German sprinter Marcel Kittel says he has retired from cycling because he “lost all motivation to keep torturing myself on a bike”.

The 31-year-old announced in May he was taking a break from the sport because he was “exhausted”.

But Kittel, who has 19 grand tour stage wins, now says he will not return.

“Can I and do I want to continue to make the sacrifices needed to be a world-class athlete?” said Kittel, who left Team Katusha Alpecin in May.

“And my answer is ‘no’. I do not want that any more, because I have always found the limitations on a top athlete as an increasing loss of quality of life.

“That is why I am very happy and proud that, at this point in my life, I can make the decision to follow my heart in a new direction.”

Kittel, who won the last of his 14 Tour de France stage victories in 2017, will also become a father in November and says he “didn’t want to watch my son grow up via Skype”.

“I know that there is much more than just sport, for example my own future family,” he said.

Speaking to German magazine Der Spiegel he added: “The sport and the world you live in are defined by pain.

“You don’t have time for family and friends, and then there’s the perpetual tiredness and routine.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49450969

Injured Rachel Atherton is determined to win back her world title

Downhill mountain biking’s Rachel Atherton says she is devastated she will not be able to defend her World title this year but hopes to be fit early next year.

Wales-based Atherton tore an Achilles tendon during a practice run at the Downhill World Cup in Les Gets, France which has ruled her out for the rest of the season.

The 31-year-old, who has won World Championship gold five times, will miss this year’s event at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada but aims to be back to her best within six months.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/cycling/49150361

Essex’s BMX world champion Freia Challis dreams of Olympic gold

An 11-year-old BMX racer has set her sights on winning an Olympic gold medal.

Freia Challis from Braintree, Essex, is already a world champion and is unbeaten in her age group.

The sport only became part of the Olympics in 2008 – the year she was born – but she is hoping to take part in the 2028 games, when she will be old enough to compete.

She said: “I ride a bike every single day but I’ve just finished primary school, going into secondary, so I don’t know how I’m going to handle the homework and my biking. We’ll see.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-49196726

RideLondon Classique: Kirsten Wild disqualified after crash

Defending champion Kirsten Wild is disqualified from the RideLondon Classique following a dramatic collision at The Mall.

READ MORE: RideLondon Classique: Kirsten Wild disqualified after crash

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/cycling/49220633

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