Monthly Archives: September 2018

Yates wins Vuelta to complete British clean sweep of Grand Tours

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It’s been an unbelievable day – Simon Yates on Vuelta a Espana win

Simon Yates won the Vuelta a Espana to complete a clean sweep of British victories in this year’s Grand Tours.

The 26-year-old Michelton-Scott rider crossed the line safely in Madrid on Sunday to secure his first Grand Tour, with Spain’s Enric Mas second and Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez third.

Britons Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France respectively this year.

Elia Viviani claimed the 100km final stage of the Vuelta in a bunch sprint.

In a chaotic run-in, the Italian edged out world champion Peter Sagan and Giacomo Nizzolo for his third stage win of the race.

British riders have now won nine of the past 20 Grand Tours, a run that started when Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win a Grand Tour with victory in the 2012 Tour de France.

Only twice before have riders from the same country won all three races in the same season, but this is the first time it has been done by different cyclists.

And Yates’ victory will be the fifth Grand Tour triumph in a row for Britain, with Froome having also won last year’s Tour and Vuelta.

“It’s astonishing really,” Yates said. “Growing up I was so accustomed to seeing the French, Italian and Spanish riders lead the way, so for myself, Chris and Geraint to all win a Grand Tour in the same year just shows how far the sport has come in this country.

“It’s been an unbelievable day. I really just enjoyed the moment, I don’t know what else you can do in those situations.

“When I turned professional I signed with the team and we had a really big ambition to win a Grand Tour and now we’ve achieved that. I put the hard work in, I persisted with the training and everything else that goes with it and now we’re here.”

Froome said it was the “perfect year for British riders”. He added: “Simon has looked so strong over the last three weeks and it’s great to see him take home the maillot rojo.”

How Yates won the Vuelta

After a solid opening time trial, so often his Achilles heel in stage races, Yates showed his intent on stage four – the first in the mountains. He had lost a few seconds on stage two but got them back and more by finishing eighth at the top of the Puerto de Alfacar to climb to third overall.

He took control of the red jersey in rather fortuitous fashion on stage nine. He had slipped 14 seconds behind Alejandro Valverde after the 38-year-old Spaniard won stage eight. But Yates finished ninth on a day when Ben King won out of the breakaway to move ahead of Valverde by one second and take the lead.


Yates, who was joined on the podium by Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez, is the fourth British man to win a Grand Tour

The jersey was lost on stage 12 in what appeared to be a planned move, with Yates saying his Mitchelton-Scott team “decided not to really chase anyone”.

He reclaimed it with victory on the climb of La Camperona on stage 14. Though the margin was only a couple of seconds, with bonuses applied he opened up a lead of 20 seconds over Valverde and 25 on the Spaniard’s Movistar team-mate Nairo Quintana.

The time trial on stage 16 threatened to be a stumbling block but Yates was the quickest of all the general classification contenders, taking another seven seconds out of Valverde.

His 25-second lead over the 2009 Vuelta champion may have looked in threat but fears of a Giro-style meltdown were quashed on stage 19 when he attacked on the final climb to beat Valverde by more than a minute.

And he increased his place at the top of the standings with another assured ride on Saturday’s final mountain stage, finishing third as his nearest challengers cracked on the final climb.

Unprecedented success, backdrop of controversies

This has been an unprecedented period of success for British riders, but it has also come against a backdrop of controversies and suspicion.

Yates served a four-month ban in 2016 for failing a drugs test at Paris-Nice, which his then team Orica-GreenEdge put down to an “administrative error”. It later transpired a doctor had failed to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for an asthma inhaler.

Yates said at the time: “Unfortunately, as a result of an honest mistake of my team doctor, whom I trusted wholeheartedly, there will now be a doubt cast over my name, my previous results and any future glories.”

Froome, meanwhile, had been under investigation after more than the allowed level of legal asthma drug salbutamol was found in his urine.

The case was dropped in July by cycling’s world governing body the UCI, with the World Anti-Doping Agency accepting there was no breach.

That came four months after a report by MPs said Wiggins and Team Sky had “crossed an ethical line” by using drugs that are allowed under anti-doping rules to enhance performance instead of just for medical purposes.

Rainbow stripes next for Yates?

Yates’ next major race is at the Road World Championships, which take place in Innsbruck, Austria, from 23-30 September.

The men’s road race – on Sunday, 30 September – is on one of the toughest ever courses – 265km with more than 5,000m of climbing at gradients up to 25%

Yates and twin brother Adam will compete for Great Britain in an eight-strong team.

Lizzie Deignan, in 2015, was the last Briton to pull on the famous rainbow jersey at a Road World Championships, with Mark Cavendish, in 2011, the last man to win the title.

BBC Sport will be covering the championships live on BBC TV, red button and online.

Stage 21 result:

1. Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors) 2hrs 21mins 28secs

2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Trek-Segafredo)

4. Danny Van Poppel (Ned/Team Lotto NL-Jumbo)

5. Marc Sarreau (Fra/Groupama-Fdj)

6. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa/Euskadi Basque Country-Murias)

7. Simone Consonni (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)

8. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

9. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel/Team EF Education First-Drapac P/B Cannondale)

10. Ryan Gibbons (SA/Team Dimension Data)

Final classification:

1. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 82hrs 05mins 58secs

2. Enric Mas (Spa/Quick-Step Floors) +1min 46secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +2mins 4secs

4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) +2mins 54secs

5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +4mins 28secs

6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +5mins 57secs

7. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) +6mins 7secs

8. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) +6mins 51secs

9. Ion Izaguirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +11mins 9secs

10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +11mins 11secs

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UCI Road World Championships 2018: BBC TV and online coverage times & GB squad

Simon Yates

GB’s Simon Yates takes part in the men’s road race fresh from his Vuelta a Espana victory

Follow the 2018 Road World Championships from Innsbruck, Austria live on the BBC from 23-30 September.

Vuelta a Espana winner Simon Yates and his twin brother Adam will lead Britain’s men’s team at the Road World Championships, but Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome will not be taking part.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Dani Rowe is part of the women’s road race team alongside time trial bronze medallists Hayley Simmonds and Alice Barnes who feature for Great Britain.

BBC TV coverage (all times BST)

Tuesday, 25 September

13:30-16:15, Women’s individual time trial – BBC Red Button, Connected TV, BBC Sport website app

Wednesday, 26 September

13:30-16:35, Men’s individual time trial – BBC Red Button, Connected TV, BBC Sport website app

Saturday, 29 September

11:00-16:10, Women’s road race – Connected TV, BBC Sport website app (11:00-14:30, BBC Red Button)

Coverage also available on BBC One, 14:00-16:00, and BBC Two, 16:00-16:55.

Sunday, 30 September

08:35-16:10, Men’s road race – Connected TV, BBC Sport website app (08:35-12:20, BBC Red Button)

Coverage also available on BBC Two, 13:45-16:30.

Full team

Women’s road race: Hannah Barnes, Dani Christmas, Alice Cobb, Anna Henderson, Dani Rowe, Sophie Wright.

Women’s time trial: Alice Barnes, Hayley Simmonds.

Men’s road race: Hugh Carthy, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pete Kennaugh, James Knox, Ian Stannard, Connor Swift, Adam Yates, Simon Yates.

Men’s time trial: Alex Dowsett, Tao Geoghagen Hart.

Late changes

Schedules and coverage times are subject to late changes. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.


You can view BBC Sport output as well as listen to our radio sports programming on the BBC iPlayer.

The BBC Sport website is available via desktop, mobile, tablet and app, giving easy access to the live stream, text commentaries, news, reports and schedules. The BBC Sport app is available free on Apple and Android devices.

National and regional variations

National and regional variations have been included in this list where possible, but please check your local listings for more detailed information.

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Sir Bradley Wiggins rules out rowing at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Wiggins rowing debut does not go to plan

Five-time Olympic champion cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has abandoned plans to compete at the 2020 Olympics as a rower.

The 2012 Tour de France winner, who retired from cycling in December 2016, was 21st on his competitive rowing debut at the British Rowing Indoor Championships in December.

“I’m still training most days with it, but I’ve decided I’m not going to the Olympics because I’ve got too much other stuff to do,” the 38-year-old told his show on Eurosport.

“I need to give myself a break. I haven’t got time to train three times a day. To the level I want to do it to, it’s a full-time job in itself. There’s too much going on.”

In June 2017, Wiggins indicated he was targeting a sixth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo as a rower.

“I took up rowing when I retired just to keep fit, but my numbers started getting quite good so I’ve started taking it up professionally now and getting coached seven days a week,” he said.

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Women’s Tour 2019 race to feature six stages for first time

Cyclists in action in the 2018 Women's Tour

The 2018 Women’s Tour started in East Anglia, and passed through Suffolk, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire before finishing in Wales

The Women’s Tour in Britain, which forms part of the UCI Women’s World Tour, will increase to six stages of racing for 2019.

Launched in 2014, the Tour – won this year by American Coryn Rivera – has previously been run over five days.

Its prize money was increased to match that of the equivalent men’s Tour earlier this year.

“We are delighted to have been granted a sixth day of racing,” said race director Mick Bennett.

“Teams and riders have been asking us to extend the event and to broaden the range of stages, which the flexibility of a sixth day will enable us to do.”

British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington added: “We have been very open about our determination to close our sport’s historic gender gap, and this is yet another step towards that.”

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Callum Skinner: Wada ‘brushing Russian doping under rug’

Callum Skinner

Callum Skinner won Olympic gold and silver in 2016

Ignoring Russia’s failure to admit to state-sponsored doping and “brushing it under the rug just stinks basically”, says Scottish cyclist Callum Skinner.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has ended a three-year ban for a scandal over alleged state-sponsored doping.

Leading athletes and anti-doping bodies had opposed it, including Skinner, who said it must “be treated seriously”.

“I don’t see why Wada is backing down. It should be the Russians making compromises,” he told BBC Scotland.

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said the reinstatement was “subject to strict conditions” and that the anti-doping authority must be given access to former Moscow laboratory data and samples.

He said the “great majority” of the 12-strong executive committee had voted in favour of the recommendation at a meeting in the Seychelles.

But, speaking before the vote, Skinner told Good Morning Scotland that is was “a sorry state of affairs” and “beyond belief”.

As well as allowing access to the laboratory, Russia were to admit state-sponsored doping if their anti-doping body – Rusada – was to be considered compliant with Wada’s code. Neither of these has happened.

“I know people say time is a good healer, and I think that is what Wada is hoping for. But we have to remember what brought this ban in the first place,” he said.

“We need to accept the road map in full and I don’t see why Wada is offering an olive branch to one of the biggest doping scandals in history.”

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