Monthly Archives: August 2018

France’s Bouhanni wins stage six of Vuelta as Molard retains lead

Nacer Bouhanni

Bouhanni’s win in Murcia, was his first Grand Tour victory since 2014

France’s Nacer Bouhanni sprinted to victory in stage six of the Vuelta a Espana, as compatriot Rudy Molard retained his overall lead.

Dutchman Danny van Poppel was second, with Italy’s Elia Viviani in third after a tight sprint finish in Murcia to the 155.7km flat race.

A crash split the peloton with 25km remaining and Molard finished in a front group of 50 riders.

He holds a 41-second advantage over Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski.

Britain’s Simon Yates was also in the leading group and is 51 seconds behind Molard, while the Frenchman’s Groupama-FDJ team-mate Thibaut Pinot lost one minute 44 seconds to his rivals.

Both Bouhanni and Molard were given time penalties before the start of Thursday’s stage for taking feeds during the final 20km of the stage five.

Bouhanni was docked 30 seconds, while Molard was handed a 20-second penalty which cut his lead.

“It was a really hard and very fast in the finale,” said Bouhanni. “I was really determined to win today after what happened.

“I was really annoyed with the false information,” he added in reference to Spanish media reports which said he had been penalised for a team bust-up.

Trek-Segafredo’s Fabio Felline and Sunweb’s Mike Teunissen crashed after hitting bollards placed in the middle of the road after a tight, unsighted corner with 25km to ride.

A number of riders also collided with barriers that had blown across the road just after the finish line.

Friday’s stage has two third category climbs over 185.7km between Puerto Lumbreras and Pozo Alcon.

Stage six result

1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Cofidis) 3hrs 58mins 35secs

2. Danny van Poppel (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) Same time

3. Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

4. Simone Consonni (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)

5. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

6. Ivan Garcia (Spa/Bahrain-Merida)

7. Omar Fraile (Spa/Astana Pro Team)

8. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team)

9. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA-hansgrohe)

10. Michael Morkov (Den/Quick-Step Floors)

Selected others: Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

General classification

1. Rudy Molard (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) 22hrs 26mins 15secs

2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +41secs

3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-hansgrohe) +48secs

4. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +51secs

5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +53secs

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UCI Road World Championships: Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome in British contention

Thomas (left) won the Tour de France by beating Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome in July

Thomas (left) won the Tour de France by beating Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome in July

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and six-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome have made themselves available for the UCI Road World Championships.

The duo are on a longlist of British athletes from which a squad will be selected for the event in Innsbruck, Austria from 23-30 September.

The pair, who compete in the Tour of Britain starting on Sunday, are listed for the time trial and road race.

Sisters Alice and Hannah Barnes are also listed for both disciplines.

They join 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Hayley Simmonds in contention for two spots in the women’s time trial.

And the British contingent also boasts siblings in the men’s road race, with twins Adam and Simon Yates named.

Performance director Stephen Park said: “This year’s road World Championship course is one for the climbers, and I’m pleased to see we have so many talented British riders selected for the longlist whose strengths match the nature of the course.

“I’m particularly thrilled that Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Simon Yates have made themselves available for selection this year, having made our country so proud in the three biggest races of the calendar.

“Innsbruck promises some challenging yet exciting racing and we will confirm our final squad selection in due course.”

Great Britain cycling team longlist for UCI Road World Championships 2018:

Elite men’s road race (eight to ride)

Hugh Carthy, Mark Christian, Steve Cummings, Scott Davies, Owain Doull, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pete Kennaugh, James Knox, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Connor Swift, Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates, Simon Yates.

Elite men’s time trial (two to ride)

Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Tao Geoghagen Hart, Geraint Thomas

Elite women’s road race (six to ride)

Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Anna Christian, Dani Christmas, Alice Cobb, Anna Henderson, Natalie Grinczer, Dani Rowe, Hayley Simmonds, Sophie Wright

Elite women’s time trial (two to ride)

Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Hayley Simmonds

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Mark Cavendish: British cyclist to take period of total rest because of Epstein-Barr virus

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish was eliminated from the Tour de France on stage 11 in July

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is to take a period of total rest from cycling because of illness.

His Dimension Data team said the 33-year-old would be taking the break “due to the presence of Epstein-Barr virus”.

Medical tests have shown the 2011 world road race champion has been unwittingly training and racing with EBV – which causes glandular fever – over recent months.

“This season I’ve not felt physically myself,” Cavendish said.

“Despite showing good numbers on the bike I have felt that there’s been something not right.

“I’m glad to now finally have some clarity as to why I haven’t been able to perform at my optimum level during this time.”

Cavendish, whose 30 Tour de France stage wins put him second on the all-time list, was first diagnosed with EBV in April 2017, but returned to action at the Tour of Slovenia two months later.

Since then, the Manxman has been beset by injuries, breaking his collar bone in a crash at the 2017 Tour de France before suffering injuries in two crashes in March which forced him to withdraw from April’s Commonwealth Games.

In July, he was eliminated from this year’s Tour when he finished outside the time limit on stage 11.

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Vuelta a Espana: Elia Viviani wins stage three as Michal Kwiatkowski retains lead

Elia Viviani celebrates winning stage three of the Vuelta a Espana

Elia Viviani won the the points classification at the Giro d’Italia this year

Italian champion Elia Viviani won stage three of the Vuelta a Espana as Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski retained the leader’s red jersey.

Quick-Step Floors rider Viviani, 29, beat compatriot Giacomo Nizzolo and world champion Peter Sagan in a sprint finish to the 178km stage from Mijas to Alhaurin de la Torre.

Team Sky’s Kwiatkowski finished in the bunch to maintain his 14-second lead over Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.

Britain’s Simon Yates is 12th overall.

Viviani, who won the 2018 Dubai Tour and four stages at the Giro d’Italia this year, sprinted to victory in the 1,500th stage in the race’s history.

He has won 15 stages this season after leaving Team Sky.

“This wonderful season continues,” he said. “It’s difficult to control a stage like this but we wanted it.”

Viviana was led out by team-mate Michael Morkov before beating Trek-Segafredo’s Nizzolo by more than a bike length to win in four hours 48 minutes 12 seconds.

Stage four on Tuesday takes the riders 162km from Velez-Malaga to Alfacar, with a 1,440m-high finish in the Sierra de la Alfaguara.

Defending champion Chris Froome and fellow Briton and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas are not competing in the Vuelta.

Stage three result

1. Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors) 4 hours 48 minutes 12 seconds

2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

3. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA-hansgrohe)

4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Cofidis, Solutions Credits)

5. Simone Consonni (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)

6. Danny van Poppel (Ned/Team LottoNL-Jumbo)

7. Michael Morkov (Den/Quick-Step Floors)

8. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

9. Ryan Gibbons (RSA/Team Dimension Data)

10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel/EF Education First-Drapac)

General classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 9hrs 10mins 52secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +14secs

3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +25secs

4. Laurens de Plus (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +28secs

5. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +30secs

6. Fabio Felline (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +32secs

8. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +33secs

9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) Same time

10. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +35secs

Selected others

12. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +37 secs

41. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) +1min 50secs

154. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +18mins 20secs

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Valverde wins stage two of Vuelta as Kwiatkowski takes red jersey

Alejandro Valverde

At 38, Alejandro Valverde is the second oldest Vuelta stage winner in history after 41-year-old Chris Horner

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde claimed victory on stage two of the Vuelta a Espana as Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski took the red jersey.

Valverde held off Team Sky’s Kwiatkowski in a tight 50-metre sprint to secure victory in front of a partisan crowd in Caminito del Rey.

Kwiatkowski, who finished second in Saturday’s time trial, has a 14-second lead over Valverde in the standings.

Britain’s Simon Yates is in 12th place overall.

Quick Step’s Laurens de Plus took third place on the stage, finishing three seconds behind the winner.

BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis, who won the first stage, suffered a puncture early in the 163.5km stage and was dropped with 17km remaining.

Kwiatkowski, the Polish national champion, attacked with 500 metres remaining, but was chased down by Valverde.

World champion Peter Sagan and Australia’s Richie Porte both struggled with illness throughout, and finished well behind the leaders.

Last year’s runner-up Vincenzo Nibali also struggled, leaving him in 82nd in the general classification.

Ireland’s Daniel Martin finished one minute 15 seconds back – 11 seconds in front of Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart. Fellow Britons Adam Yates and Steve Cummings finished 149th and 170th place respectively.

Monday’s third stage is 178.2km from Mijas to Alhaurin de la Torre.

Stage two result

  1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) 4 hours 13 minutes 01 seconds
  2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) Same time
  3. Laurens de Plus (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +3secs
  4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) Same time
  5. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo)
  6. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale)
  7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe)
  8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale)
  9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team)
  10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)

Selected others

General classification

  1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 4 hours 22 minutes 46 seconds
  2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +14secs
  3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +25secs
  4. Laurens de Plus (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +28secs
  5. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +30secs
  6. Fabio Felline (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time
  7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +32secs
  8. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +33secs
  9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) Same time
  10. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +35secs

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