Monthly Archives: May 2019

Cima wins thrilling stage 18 finish as Carapaz retains Giro lead

Italy's Damiano Cima wins stage 18

Italian rider Damiano Cima’s best finish in the 2019 Giro had been 96th until his victory on stage 18

Italy’s Damiano Cima produced a brilliant ride to win stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia after being involved in a long-range three-man breakaway.

The Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini rider, 25, edged out German Pascal Ackermann and fellow Italian Simone Consonni at the finish in Santa Maria di Sala.

Richard Carapaz finished safely in the peloton to retain the overall lead.

Britain’s Simon Yates also finished 49th in the main group.

The breakaway wins again

With the 222km stretch from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala largely made up of descents, it was supposed to be a day for the sprinters.

However, the expected bunch sprint finish did not materialise as the peloton left it too late to reel in Cima and fellow breakaway riders Nico Denz and and Mirco Maestri.

The trio who established a gap of four minutes and 30 seconds at one stage, hit the front with 170km to go.

And while Denz and Maestri faded as the peloton bridged the gap in the final 200m, Cima – in his second year as a professional – had the strength to stay clear of Ackermann.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider did have the consolation though of reclaiming the points jersey from French rider Arnaud Demare.

“The team showed we are still fighting for the jersey,” said Ackermann, who punched his handlebars in frustration at the finish.

“We didn’t get the breakaway back but we got the jersey back and that was the goal. I was thinking: I have lost everything today. We didn’t expect it.”

Stage 18 results

1. Damiano Cima (Ita/Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini) 4hrs 56mins 04secs

2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

3. Simone Consonni (Ita/UAE-Team Emirates)

4. Florian Senechal (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

5. Ryan Gibbons (SA/Dimension-Data)

6. Manuel Belletti (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

7. Davide Cimolai (Ita/Israel Cycling Academy)

8. Arnaud Demare (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)

9. Sean Bennett (US/EF Education First)

10. Mirco Maestri (Ita/Bardiani – CSF)

General classification after stage 18

1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) 79hrs 44mins 22secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 54secs

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 16secs

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 03secs

5. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +5mins 07secs

6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +6mins 17secs

7. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +6mins 48secs

8. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +7mins 13secs

9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Ineos) +8mins 21secs

10. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +8mins 59secs

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Peters claims first professional win as Carapaz stretches lead

Nans Peters

Nans Peters is racing in his second Grand Tour

Frenchman Nans Peters claimed his first professional victory with a solo effort on stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia.

The AG2R La Mondiale rider, 25, surged clear of a 17-man group to finish one minute 34 seconds ahead of Colombian Esteban Chaves on the 181km route from Commezzadura to Anterselva/Antholz.

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz increased his overall lead over Italian Vincenzo Nibali by seven seconds to 1:54.

Britain’s Hugh Carthy finished 22nd and Simon Yates 29th.

Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates, the current Vuelta d’Espana champion, is eighth overall, 7:13 behind Carapaz.

Peters breaks his duck

Ranked as the best junior rider in France in 2012, Peters’ win was AG2R La Mondiale’s first in the Giro for eight years.

Peters, whose only other grand tour experience came at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018, attacked off the front of the breakaway group 15km from the finish and stretched his advantage up the demanding 5.5km climb to the Biathlon Stadium.

Behind him a relatively quiet day in the peloton sparked into life up the final ascent, with Movistar’s Carapaz and Mikel Landa the main beneficiaries.

Landa, who is fourth in the general classification, gained 19 seconds on Bahrain Merida’s Nibali.

Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic, riding for Jumbo-Visma, lost seven seconds and now sits 2:09 behind Carapaz, who turned 26 on Wednesday.

Stage 18, largely made up of descents, takes the riders 222km from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala, before the mountain stages on Friday and Saturday.

The three-week race finishes in Verona on Sunday.

Stage 17 results

1. Nans Peters (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) 4hrs 41mins 34secs

2. Esteban Chaves (Col/Mitchelton-Scott) +1min 34secs

3. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 51secs

4. Fausto Masnada (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) Same time

5. Krists Neilands (Lat/Israel Cycling Academy) Same time

6. Tanel Kangert (Est/EF Education First) +2mins 02secs

7. Valeria Conti (Ita/UAE-Team Emirates) +2mins 08secs

8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

9. Chris Hamilton (NZ/Sunweb) +2mins 22secs

10. Andrea Vendrame (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

General classification after stage 17

1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) 74hrs 48mins 18secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 54secs

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 16secs

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 03secs

5. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +5mins 07secs

6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +6mins 17secs

7. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +6mins 48secs

8. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +7mins 13secs

9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Ineos) +8mins 21secs

10. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +8mins 59secs

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Carapaz extends Giro lead as Roglic fades and Ciccone wins stage 16

Giulio Ciccone celebrates victory on stage 16 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia

Trek-Segafredo rider Giulio Ciccone defeated Astana’s Jan Hirt in a sprint finish to claim stage 16 victory

Italian Giulio Ciccone claimed victory on stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia as compatriot Vincenzo Nibali climbed to second in the general classification.

The Trek-Segafredo rider, 24, beat Astana’s Jan Hirt in a sprint finish to prevail in tough conditions in Brescia.

Overall leader Richard Carapaz saw his lead extended by one minute as Primoz Roglic finished 15th and fell to third.

Britain’s Simon Yates, 14th, finished alongside Roglic, three minutes three seconds down, to remain eighth overall.

Fellow Briton Hugh Carthy battled to fifth place on Tuesday to rise one place to 13th in the standings with five stages remaining.

After the second rest day, the Giro returned for a 194km 16th stage from Lovere to Ponte di Legno, culminating in the gruelling 11.9km ascent of the Mortirolo pass.

The planned climb up the Gavia pass had been cancelled due to avalanche risks, but the riders had to contend with cold and wet conditions on an exhausting day.

Looking to extend his lead in the mountain classifications, Ciccone led the early breakaway but was pushed all the way by Hirt’s surges at the front.

“I’ve been waiting for this second stage win for two years now,” said Ciccone. “So I yelled with joy on the finishing line because it’s been a complicated day with lots of rain and cold.”

Meanwhile, two-time Giro winner Nibali made his move with 34km to go, but Carapaz was able to stay in touch to move one minute 47 seconds clear overall as Roglic faded behind.

Roglic had lost 40 seconds on Carapaz on stage 15, crashing on the final descent, and now trails the Ecuadorian by two minutes nine seconds after finishing one minute 22 seconds down on his GC rivals on Tuesday.

Nibali, however, was unable to shake Carapaz – who had Movistar team-mate Mikel Landa in close support – amid the murk of the Mortirolo.

Following stage 16, Carapaz said: “The truth is that it’s been a very complicated day, especially because of the weather conditions and the climbs.

“But as a team we’ve worked very well for Mikel Landa and myself. It’s another good day in terms of time gained on GC.”

Stage 17 takes the riders 181km from Commezzadura to Rasen-Antholz, with a demanding 5.5km final climb of an average 8.5% gradient.

Stage 16 results:

1. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) 5hrs 36mins 24secs

2. Jan Hirt (Cze/Astana) Same time

3. Fausto Masnada (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) +1min 20secs

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 41secs

5. Hugh Carthy (Gbr/EF Education First) Same time

6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) Same time

7. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) Same time

8. Joe Dombrowski (Usa/EF Education First) Same time

9. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 49secs

10. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) +2mins 03secs

General classification after stage 16:

1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) 70hrs 2mins 05secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 47secs

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 09secs

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 15secs

5. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +5mins 00secs

6. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +5mins 40secs

7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +6mins 17secs

8. Simon Yates (Gbr/Mitchelton-Scott) +6mins 46secs

9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Ineos) +7mins 51secs

10. Jan Polanc (Slo/UAE Emirates) +8mins 06secs

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Lance Armstrong: I wouldn’t change a thing about doping

Lance Armstrong

Armstrong won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005

Lance Armstrong says he “wouldn’t change a thing” about the doping that helped him win and then subsequently saw him stripped of seven Tour de France titles between 1999-2005.

The American was banned from cycling for life in 2012 before admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.

But the 47-year-old told NBC Sports he had “learned a lot” from his “mistakes”.

“I don’t learn all the lessons if I don’t act that way,” he added.

“We did what we had to do to win,” Armstrong continued. “It wasn’t legal, but I wouldn’t change a thing – whether it’s losing a bunch of money, or going from hero to zero.”

Armstrong repeatedly denied doping allegations following his return from cancer until finally confessing during a television interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

In 2018, he agreed to pay $5m (£3.5m) to the US government to settle a long-running lawsuit that could have cost him $100m (£71m) in damages.

He was accused of fraud by cheating while riding for the publicly funded US Postal Service team.

“It was a mistake, it led to a lot of other mistakes. It led to the most colossal meltdown in the history of sport. But I learned a lot,” he said in a 30-minute interview with the American network NBCSN that will be broadcast next Wednesday.

“I wouldn’t change the way I acted. I mean I would, but this is a longer answer.

“Primarily, I wouldn’t change the lessons that I’ve learned. I don’t learn all the lessons if I don’t act that way.

“I don’t get investigated and sanctioned if I don’t act the way I acted. If I just doped and didn’t say a thing, none of that would have happened. None of it. I was begging for, I was asking for them to come after me. It was an easy target.”

Armstrong reiterated that he knew doping was widespread in cycling at that time.

He added: “I knew there were going to be knives at this fight. Not just fists. I knew there would be knives.

“I had knives, and then one day, people start showing up with guns. That’s when you say, do I either fly back to Plano, Texas, and not know what you’re going to do? Or do you walk to the gun store? I walked to the gun store. I didn’t want to go home.

“I don’t want to make excuses for myself that everybody did it or we never could have won without it. Those are all true, but the buck stops with me. I’m the one who made the decision to do what I did. I didn’t want to go home, man. I was going to stay.”

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Carapaz stretches Giro lead over Roglic as Cataldo wins stage 15

Dario Cataldo wins stage 15 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia

Italy’s Astana rider Dario Cataldo claimed his first Giro d’Italia stage win in his ninth year racing in his home race

Italy’s Dario Cataldo claimed his first Giro d’Italia stage win as Richard Carapaz stretched his lead over Primoz Roglic in the overall standings.

Cataldo, 34, edged Mattia Cattaneo in a sprint finish to stage 15 while British riders Simon Yates and Hugh Carthy crossed third and fourth in Como.

Roglic lost 40 seconds having had to change to a team-mate’s bike before crashing on the final descent.

Yates, 26, rose from ninth to eighth in the overall standings.

Cataldo and compatriot Cattaneo broke away early in the 232km stage, leading by over 15 minutes at one stage, before Cataldo claimed his first Giro stage win in his ninth year racing in his home race.

“It’s amazing,” said the Astana rider. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of all my life.

“I was not thinking of a breakaway because I’d had two difficult days. I was thinking I just have to get to the finish line, but at the beginning my legs were OK so I tried to stay with Cattaneo.

“My legs were still going well and at the end I was confident. I knew they (the chasing group) were 30 seconds behind at the end of the downhill so I had to keep going with the pace and it was an amazing finish.”

A mechanical problem meant Roglic had to switch to Jumbo-Visma team-mate Antwan Tolheok’s bike and fellow race favourite Vincenzo Nibali took advantage to attack during the final climb to the Civiglio.

The two-time Giro winner pulled away from Roglic and the Slovenian crashed on the descent as he tried to close the gap, but Richard Carapaz stayed with Nibali to establish himself as a strong contender.

Yates attacked three times in the stage from Ivrea and caught Nibali and Carapaz to edge up the standings again after losing considerable ground in last Sunday’s individual time trial.

Tuesday’s 16th stage features the gruelling ascent of the Mortirolo pass, although the climb up the Gavia pass has been cancelled because of avalanche risks.

Stage 15 results

1. Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana) 5hrs 48mins 15secs

2. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) Same time

3. Simon Yates (Gbr/Mitchelton-Scott) +11secs

4. Hugh Carthy (Gbr/EF Education First) Same time

5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar)

6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida)

7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +36secs

8. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida)

10. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar)

General classification after stage 15

1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) 64hrs 24mins 0secs

2. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +47secs

3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 47secs

4. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +2mins 35secs

5. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 15secs

6. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 38secs

7. Jan Polanc (Slo/UAE Emirates) +4mins 12secs

8. Simon Yates (Gbr/Mitchelton-Scott) +5mins 24secs

9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Ineos) +5mins 48secs

10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +5mins 55secs

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Johnny’s favourite stores