Monthly Archives: May 2015

Contador wins second Giro d’Italia

Alberto Contador has won the Giro d’Italia title and will now try to become the first man since 1998 to win the Tour de France in the same year.

The 32-year-old Spaniard, who rides for Tinkoff-Saxo, won the Giro by one minute and 53 seconds from Italy’s Fabio Aru, 24, who rides for Astana.

“It’s been a beautiful Giro, and a very special experience,” said Contador.

Sunday’s 178km finale was expected to end in a bunch sprint but Belgium’s Iljo Keisse won after a late break.

Keisse’s victory was the only surprise on the traditionally processional final stage from Turin, which culminated with seven laps of a five kilometre circuit in Milan.

The Etixx – Quick-Step rider and Australia’s Orica GreenEdge rider Luke Durbridge broke clear of the peloton with around 30km remaining and the duo held off the chasing bunch on the final lap around Milan.

Track specialist Keisse then outsprinted Durbridge in the final 100m.

Contador, who all-but sealed the win on Saturday’s penultimate stage despite seeing his lead cut in half by Aru, finished a few seconds behind the main bunch to claim his second victory in the three-week race.

The 2008 champion becomes just the second man, after France’s Bernard Hinault, to win all three Grand Tours (Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana) at least twice.

He also moves up to joint fourth, alongside fellow Spaniard Miguel Indurain and Italy’s Fausto Coppi, on the list of all-time Grand Tour winners, behind Belgium’s Eddy Merckx (11), Hinault (10) and France’s Jacques Anquetil (8).

Contador, who was stripped of his 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro titles after a positive doping test, will now aim to emulate the late Marco Pantani, who 17 years ago was the last man to do the Giro-Tour double.

“I don’t know how long it will take to recover. I’m tired, and I know it will take time,” he said.

Contador is set to face the likes of Britain’s 2013 Tour winner Chris Froome, Italy’s defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, who won last year’s Giro, in the Tour de France, which starts on 4 July.

Stage 21 result:


Iljo Keisse (Bel/Etixx – Quick-Step) 4hrs, 18mins, 37secs


Luke Durbridge (Aus/Orica) Same time


Roger Kluge (Ger/IAM Cycling) +9secs


Alexander Porsev (Rus/Katusha) Same time


Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Trek)


Luka Mezgec (Slo/Giant)


Elia Viviani (Ita/Team Sky)


Moreno Hofland (Ned/LottoNL)


Davide Appollonio (Ita/Androni Giocattoli)


Elia Favilli (Ita/Southeast)

Final standings:


Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo) 88hrs, 22mins, 25secs


Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +1min, 53secs


Mikel Landa (Spa/Astana) +3mins, 05secs


Andrey Amador (CRC/Movistar) +8mins, 10secs


Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Cannondale) +9mins, 52secs

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Contador poised to win second Giro

Alberto Contador will win a second Giro d’Italia title on Sunday despite a scare on the penultimate stage.

The Spaniard, who led by four minutes, 37 seconds at the start of stage 20, dropped two minutes, 25 seconds to Fabio Aru, who won a second successive stage to cement second overall.

Aru attacked on the penultimate ascent and Contador was unable to follow.

However, with Sunday’s final stage to Milan being largely processional, Aru will not challenge Contador further.

“I didn’t feel well, probably because of all the accumulated effort, but I knew I had a good advantage in the general classification,” Contador said.

“There was never a moment that I thought the jersey was at risk. This Giro is practically won now, there’s just tomorrow’s stage, so I’m already thinking of my next goal.”

It will be a seventh Grand Tour win for the Tinkoff-Saxo rider, who in July will aim to become the first man since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro and Tour de France in the same year.

The 32-year-old has already won two Tour de France yellow jerseys and will come up against Britain’s 2013 champion Chris Froome in the iconic three-week race.

Italian rider Aru, 24, had trailed Contador by more than six minutes on stage 18 but two successive stage wins and Contador’s sluggish climb on the Colle delle Finestre on Saturday narrowed the margin of victory.

“It’s incredible and I can’t believe it still,” said Aru after his fifth career Grand Tour stage win. “I’ve had a few bad days and suffered, but managing to win again is wonderful.”

Sunday’s final stage from Turin to Milan is a flat 185km race that is expected to end in a bunch sprint which Contador – to avoid any crashes – will not contest as he still needs to finish the race.

Stage 20 result

1 Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) 5 hours 12 minutes 25 seconds

2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Cannondale) +18secs

3 Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/Etixx-Quick-Step) +24secs

4 Mikel Landa (Esp/Astana)

5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL) +34secs

6 Alberto Contador (Esp/Tinkoff-Saxo) +2mins 25secs

7 Tanel Kangert (Est/Astana) +2mins 28secs

8 Franco Pellizotti (Ita/Androni Giocattoli)

9 Leopold Koenig (Cze/Team Sky)

10 Diego Rosa (Ita/Astana)

General classification after stage 20

1 Alberto Contador (Esp/Tinkoff-Saxo) 84 hours 3 minutes 30 seconds

2 Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +2mins 2secs

3 Mikel Landa (Esp/Astana) +3mins 14secs

4 Andrey Amador (Crc/Movistar) +8mins 19secs

5 Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Cannondale) +9mins 52secs

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Formolo solo break earns stage win

Italian Davide Formolo was rewarded for going it alone with victory on stage four of the Giro d’Italia.

The 22-year-old Cannondale-Garmin rider launched a solo attack from an early breakaway shortly before the foot of the final climb.

He finished 22 seconds ahead of Orica GreenEdge’s Simon Clarke for the first professional win of his career.

However, Australian Clarke succeeds team-mate Michael Matthews, the stage three winner, as overall race leader.

Their Colombian team-mate Esteban Chaves is now second, 10 seconds behind Clarke.

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador, the 2008 champion, is fourth in the general classification and heads home favourite Fabio Aru (Astana) by six seconds, with Team Sky’s Australian rider Richie Porte 20 seconds behind the Spaniard.

Meanwhile, AG2R-La Mondiale rider Domenico Pozzovivo has been transferred to Genoa Hospital

following his crash on stage three

and the Italian is hoping to return for next month’s Tour of Switzerland, which starts on 13 June.

“Domenico is suffering from a cranial-facial trauma but the scan revealed no intra-cranial lesion,” said doctor Eric Bouvat. “He has deep wounds above his right eye and had to have stitches. He is conscious and lucid but has no memory of the crash.”

Pozzovivo himself said: “I slept well. I’m going back home with my parents today. I’ll rest for a few days but I don’t want to stop training.

“I worked hard for the Giro and I hope I will benefit from my form in the coming weeks. It will certainly be hard to watch the race on TV. I planned to participate in the Tour of Switzerland and I hope I will be able to.”

Stage five result:


Davide Formolo (Ita/Cannondale) 3hrs 47mins 59secs


Simon Clarke (Aus/ Orica) +22secs


Yonathan Monsalve (Ven/Southeast) Same time


Giovanni Visconti (Ita/Movistar)


Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica)


Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana)


Amael Moinard (Fra/BMC Racing)


Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana)


Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo)


Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky)

General classification after stage five:


Simon Clarke (Aus/Orica) 11hrs 54mins 48secs


Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +10secs


Roman Kreuziger (Cze/Tinkoff – Saxo) +17secs


Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo) Same time


Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +23secs


Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana) Same time


Giovanni Visconti (Ita/Movistar) +29secs


Amael Moinard (Fra/BMC Racing) +31secs


Davide Formolo (Ita/Cannondale) Same time


Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +37secs

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GB name squads for Road World Cup

David Smith and Josie Pearson, who both

won gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics,

are in the Great Britain team for next month’s opening UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup event in Italy.

Smith, who was part of the rowing mixed coxed four, and discus champion Pearson have both switched sports since 2012.

World time trial champion tandem pair

Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall will line up in the first two World Cup races.

Those events are in Italy (5-7 June) and Switzerland (13-16 June).

Turnham and Hall opened their season with victory in the time trial at last month’s Verola Para-cycling Cup in Italy.

Josie Pearson

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Josie Pearson explains sport switch for Rio Games

Paralympic champion David Stone

and silver medallist Karen Darke are also included for both races as the British team aim to pick up qualifying points for the Rio Paralympics.

Joining GB debutants Smith and Pearson in Italy will be Megan Giglia and Louis Rolfe, who recently made their debuts in March’s Para-cycling Track World Championships.

Dame Sarah Storey, who won five Paralympic golds as a swimmer in the 1990s before switching to cycling where she won six golds across the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, will not be racing in the World Cups.

She continues to work with her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team but will be in contention for selection for July’s Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Switzerland.

Riders for Italy and Switzerland World Cup:

Karen Darke (H3), David Stone (T2), Steve Bate Adam Duggleby (tandem), Lora Turnham Corrine Hall (tandem), Simon Price (C2), Brian Alldis (H4), Jon Gildea (C5), Jaco van Gass (C4).

Italy World Cup only:

Megan Giglia (C3), Louis Rolfe (C2), Liz Saul (C4), Hannah Dines (T2), David Smith (C4), Josie Pearson (H1).

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BMX use aircraft tech to aid Rio bid

Great Britain’s BMX squad are employing technology used in drone aircraft in order to boost their chances of medal success at the Rio Olympic Games.

It is hoped that,

by attaching the sensor system to bikes,

riders can train to shave time off course runs.

“It measures speed across a jump which has been impossible until now,” said former world champion Liam Phillips.

“This whole programme is built around the Olympics and we want to have an Olympic champion.”

The technology, first developed for unmanned aircraft, uses a camera and sensor system to monitor speed and trajectory of a rider from the moment they exit the start gate and travel across jumps through a course.

That data is then fed instantly to a tablet device to be interpreted, with the aim of helping the rider modify their approach and boosting their chance of being in the lead come the first bend.

“It’s still a little bit mind-blowing,” said Phillips,

who won the World Championship in 2013


“Every year we’re looking for hundredths of a second to the bottom of the start ramp.

“We deem those small differences to be a massive success.

“It’s about perfecting the technical component of BMX and this gives us real, hard data that allows us to try different techniques.

“If we’re to keep progressing and be the best BMX nation in the world this is a massive tool to help us do that.”

Before turning his attention to Olympic success Phillips’ first goal is to reclaim the world title in Belgium in July.

“Now it’s all I think about. It’s huge,” he said.

“All of my focus is to go there again and perform as best I can.

“If I do that I’ll be in contention to win that world champion’s rainbow jersey again.”

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