Monthly Archives: March 2014

Degenkolb beats Sagan at Gent-Wevelgem

German rider John Degenkolb beat Arnaud Demare and defending champion Peter Sagan in a bunch sprint finish to claim the Gent-Wevelgem classic in Belgium.

Cannondale’s Sagan launched himself within sight of the line but was beaten into third by Giant rider Degenkolb, 25, and FDJ’s Demare, 22.

Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas crashed near the end of the 233km route.

Fellow Briton Ian Stannard also crashed during a race that twice climbed the Kemmelberg,

an iconic cobbled incline.

Welshman Thomas, 27, came in four minutes 28 seconds behind Degenkolb to finish 112th, two days after taking third at the

E3 Harelbeke.

Team-mate Stannard, 26, did not finish the race, and was taken to hospital for medical assessment.

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Armitstead second to keep series lead

Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead retained her UCI Road World Cup lead with second in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.


Olympic silver medallist

was beaten by Sweden’s Emma Johansson in the final sprint, with Belarussian Alena Amialiusik in third.

Johansson outpaced her rivals in the uphill finish of the 123.7km (76.9-mile) course alongside Lake Maggiore in Italy.

The third race of the World Cup, the Tour of Flanders, starts next week.

The 2014 UCI Women’s Road World Cup consists of nine races between March and August.


won the opening World Cup series race

in Hoogeveen two weeks ago.

Dutchwoman Marianne Vos, who beat Armitstead to road race gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, has won the World Cup five times since 2007.

Trofeo Alfredo Binda results:

1st: Emma Johansson (Swe) 3hrs 05mins 24secs

2nd: Lizzie Armitstead (GB) same time

3rd: Alena Amialiusik (Bel) same time

4th: Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) same time

5th: Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) same time

6th: Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) same time

2014 UCI Women’s Road World Cup standings:

1st: Lizzie Armitstead (GB) 220 points

2nd: Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) 170

3rd: Emma Johansson (Swe) 155

4th: Alena Amialiusik (Bel) 85

5th: Shelley Olds (USA) 85

6th: Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) 75

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VIDEO: Yorkshire counts down to Le Tour

With 100 days until the 2014 Tour de France begins in Yorkshire on 5 July, BBC Sport’s Dan Roan reports the county is gearing up for the Grand Depart.

The first stage of the 101st Tour begins in Leeds and finishes in Harrogate, with stage two taking the riders from York to Sheffield.

The race, won by Briton

Sir Bradley Wiggins

in 2012 and compatriot

Chris Froome

last year, last visited the UK in 2007.

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Varnish backs Olympic cycling switch

Team GB rider Jess Varnish has lent her support to UCI president Brian Cookson’s proposal to switch track cycling events to the Winter Olympics.

Cookson has

called on the International Olympic Committee to ease event congestion

at the summer Games by switching some indoor events to winter.

Former British Cycling president Cookson was elected to world cycling’s highest office in September 2013.

“Brian Cookson knows what he’s talking about,” Varnish said.

“Our season is always in the winter anyway so it makes sense. If we can have more athletes and more cyclists in the Winter Olympics then that means more potential to get medals.”

Varnish and Victoria Pendleton suffered disappointment in the team sprint at the London 2012 Olympics when they were disqualified in the semi-finals.

Pendleton’s subsequent retirement led to a new partnership in the event between Varnish and Becky James. The pair won bronze last month at the UCI Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia.

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Thomas third behind Sagan in Belgium

Britain’s Geraint Thomas finished third as Slovakian Peter Sagan eased to a sprint victory at the

E3 Harelbeke. 

The Team Sky rider launched himself from a four-man breakaway within sight of the line but was beaten to the finish by Niki Terpstra and Sagan.

Terpstra’s Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team-mate Stijn Vandenbergh was fourth.

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I gave it everything. That’s all I had and I’m pretty happy with that”

Geraint Thomas
Team Sky rider

“Heading into the final with two Quick-Steps and Sagan it was pretty tough,”

Welshman Thomas told the Team Sky website. 

“I rode it as best I could.”

In a demanding race marred by crashes, defending champion Fabian Cancellara was one of several riders to be held up 30km out from the finish.

With 25km to go Thomas broke away from the main bunch on a steep cobbled incline and only Terpstra, Vandenbergh and Sagan could follow.

Each rider tried to break clear of Sagan, whose sprinting prowess made him the group’s most likely winner, but each was clawed back and the Cannondale rider easily outpaced his rivals to the line.

“Going up the Kwaremont I thought I’d just get stuck in and attack,” Thomas said. “You never know if you don’t see what happens.

“Unfortunately Terpstra got round me on the line but I gave it everything. That’s all I had and I’m pretty happy with that.”

Sagan, green points jersey winner at the



2012 Tours de France,

adds the 212.2km Belgian one-day race to an impressive list of career victories.

Welshman Thomas, 27, will look to carry his good form into Sunday’s


a one-day

spring classic

to be held in the Flanders region of Belgium, where defending champion Sagan, 24, will be favourite.

Final result:

1. Peter Sagan (Slovakia / Cannondale) 4hrs 56mins 31secs

2. Niki Terpstra (Netherlands / Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) all same time

3. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky)

4. Stijn Vandenbergh (Belgium / Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)

5. Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium / Belkin) + 1’16”

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