Yates misses out on Tirreno-Adriatico title by one second

Tirreno-Adriatico podium

Tirreno-Adriatico champion Primoz Roglic (centre), Adam Yates (left) and Jakob Fuglsang

Britain’s Adam Yates missed out on the Tirreno-Adriatico title by one second as Primoz Roglic claimed the overall win after the stage-seven time trial.

Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates, 26, held a 25-second lead going into the final day but Slovenian time trial specialist Roglic overcame that deficit.

“There wasn’t much more I could do, the strongest man won,” said Yates.

“I said that 25 seconds isn’t really enough, but I did a good time trial. I did the best I could.”

Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts of Lotto-Soudal won the time trial in 11 minutes 23 seconds, with Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic finishing 13 seconds behind him.

Yates would have become the first British rider to win the Italian race, while Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) took third place overall ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb).

Tirreno-Adriatico stage seven time trial results

1. Victor Campenaerts (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) 11min 23sec

2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita/EF Education First Pro Cycling) +3secs

3. Jos van Emden (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +4secs

4. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned/EF Education First Pro Cycling) +6secs

5. Yves Lampaert (Bel/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +7secs

11. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Team Jumbo-Visma) +13secs

48. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +39secs

Tirreno-Adriatico general classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Team Jumbo-Visma) 25hr 28min

2. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +1sec

3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana) +30secd

4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +1min 25secs

5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +2mins 32secs

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Tour de Yorkshire chief quits after expenses investigation

Sir Gary Verity

Image caption

Sir Gary Verity brought a number of high profile cycle races to Yorkshire

The head of a tourism board has resigned after an investigation found he had “made errors of judgement regarding his expenses”.

Welcome to Yorkshire said chief executive Sir Gary Verity was leaving on “health grounds”.

It added his resignation was not directly linked to concerns raised “in relation to his behaviour towards staff and his expenses”.

The organisation thanked Mr Verity for his 10 years in charge.

In a statement, Welcome to Yorkshire said its board had investigated the allegations and “concluded that Sir Gary made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family”.

“Sir Gary has agreed to voluntarily reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for monies owed.”

The 54-year-old had held the role since October 2008, but rose to public prominence when he brought the world’s biggest cycling race, the Tour de France, to Yorkshire in 2014.

He also instigated the annual Tour de Yorkshire race, the fifth edition of which will be staged in May, and led the way in securing the rights to host the UCI Road Cycling World Championships which will be staged in Yorkshire in September.


Dan Roan, BBC Sports Editor

“This appears to be a major blow for British cycling.

Over the last decade tourism boss Sir Gary Verity has become an increasingly important and influential sporting figure, the driving force behind Yorkshire’s emergence as the UK’s unofficial capital of the sport.

Having brought the Tour de France’s Grand Depart to the region in 2014, he then went on to establish the annual Tour de Yorkshire, and was credited with helping gender equality in cycling by doubling the length of the women’s race in 2018, and increasing prize money and TV coverage.

His shock resignation is bad timing, just five weeks before the highest-profile edition of the event to date with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome taking part and with the controversial launch of Team Ineos after the petrochemical company’s takeover of Team Sky.

It also comes just a few months before Yorkshire hosts the road World Championships for the first time. He had been in talks with La Vuelta bosses to bring the start of the Spanish Grand Tour to the region as well.

Highly regarded in Whitehall, Verity had also been linked with the vacant chief executive roles at both the Premier League and the FA, but his health issues and the controversy of his departure mean he will no longer be a candidate for either job. Verity lost his sister to illness earlier this year, and had spoken publicly about the extent to which her death had affected him.”

Mr Verity said he had tried to “set the highest standards of personal performance and leadership”.

“Where this has been achieved, I am grateful and when, on occasions, I have fallen short, I apologise,” he said.

“My health is now my main priority. I ask for time and space to heal.”

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‘Will impenetrable wall of money at Team Ineos put fans off?’

Geraint Thomas (left) won the Tour de France in 2018 under Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford (right)

Geraint Thomas (left) won the Tour de France in 2018 under Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford (right)

The deal turning Team Sky into Team Ineos provides “an impenetrable wall of money” which could turn fans away from the sport, a rival team boss claims.

On Tuesday UK chemicals firm Ineos was confirmed as the new sponsor of the team led by Sir Dave Brailsford.

Ineos, owned by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will potentially increase the team’s £35m budget.

“You buy certainty,” EF Education First Pro Cycling’s Jonathan Vaughters said. “You’re purchasing the ability to win.”

“You’re looking at an almost impenetrable wall of money. You can basically go buy all the best riders. The question for the sport is if they are all on one team, is it fun for spectators to watch?

“If you think of it in terms of chess, it’s essentially like you’re buying more queens. Dave Brailsford has five or six queens on the team. Most teams can only afford one queen.

“So if Chris Froome isn’t good, Geraint Thomas can win. If Thomas isn’t good, Egan Bernal can win. Michal Kwiatkowski, a former world champion, is down the succession and in any other team he would be the diamond of the team.

“Even if your strategy is off, or you have bad luck, you’re still going to win the race as you’ve gone over the top financially by such a large margin.”

Should cycling copy NFL?


Vaughters (left) believes Ratcliffe wants to “buy dominance”

Team Sky’s accounts for 2017 showed a budget of £34.5m – the biggest in professional cycling – and Brailsford has been able to guide the team to eight Grand Tour wins during Sky’s decade-long sponsorship.

Ineos will succeed Sky officially on 1 May but the length of the new deal has not been made public.

Their sponsorship has already been welcomed by riders Froome and Thomas, who have won five Tours de France between them.

Ratcliffe, 66, has already invested £110m in Ben Ainslie’s Americas Cup sailing team.

Former rider Vaughters, 45, said he was unsurprised by the size of his investment as he feels Ratcliffe – who is worth an estimated £21bn – is not seeking the “straight marketing platform” many sponsors desire.

“This seems like a vanity play as in it’s something that clearly there’s passion and pride behind and someone who wants to buy dominance for personal pride reasons rather than marketing metrics,” Vaughters told BBC Radio 5 live’s BeSpoke podcast.

“The good news is money is coming into cycling. The bad news is unfortunately cycling doesn’t have some sort of financial fair play rule system and allows this purchasing of dominance as opposed to having to be creative strategically. I don’t think it’s great for the long-term health of the sport.

“From a rider’s perspective, this is all good news. This will bring up the market value of rider contracts. Where it goes a bit sideways is some sponsors will be discouraged and may drop away from the sport as they can’t reach the financial level anymore.

“Imagine you’re a company who wants to put in £20m and you say ‘can we win the Tour de France for that?’ That’s only half of what the current winning team on the Tour is doing.

“I think a financial fairness rule would be helpful. In the NFL there are hard caps, so every team operates off the exact same budget. Since that started, the NFL from a fan engagements standpoint has outstripped baseball, NBA, everything else.

“A little team can win or a big team can win. That will not happen when you have a sport with no financial control. From a spectator standpoint I think it’s kind of fun when the team that no-one expects is able to win.”

What does the boss of cycling think?

Team Sky have won six of the past seven Tour de France races with three different riders in Sir Bradley Wiggins, Froome and Thomas.

David Lappartient, president of governing body the International Cycling Union, thinks the arrival of a new sponsor is “healthy” for the sport, although he said a budget cap is “something that can be discussed”.

“I understand there can be concerns that the team with the biggest budget can have all the best riders and it affects the uncertainty of sport,” he said.

“The more uncertainty we have in our sport, the better for the interest of cycling. It boosts its attractiveness.”

Oil and gas company Total has been linked with entering the sport and Patrick Lefevere, the manager of Belgian team Deceuninck-Quick-Step, said: “If it’s true that Ineos and Total are making their entry in cycling then this is fantastic news for cycling.

“[I] hope that others will follow.”

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‘I asked my mum to stop sending me clippings': Archibald still dejected by Worlds performance

Katie Archibald

Katie Archibald, right, helps Britain to team pursuit gold at European Championships in Glasgow last year

Katie Archibald had to ask her mum to stop sending her newspaper cuttings about her underwhelming Track Cycling World Championships performance.

The Olympic champion took silver in the team pursuit in Poland earlier in March, but crashed in the omnium after stepping in for Laura Kenny.

The Scot, 25, then missed out on the madison in Pruszkow with concussion.

“I don’t have to hide away from criticism much because it doesn’t find me easily,” Archibald said.

“But after this Worlds I had it a little bit with my mum where she’ll send me articles. I explicitly asked her to stop sending so it doesn’t affect me.”

Archibald returns to the track this weekend at Six Day Manchester and looking to recapture the standards that have earned Olympic gold, three world titles, 11 at European level and gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games.

“I’m not sure I would characterise it as frustration, it was more dejection,” she said. “It was lowness about my own performance. I don’t necessarily feel any better now, I’m just further away from it and don’t think about it every day.”

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Anti-fracking campaigners warn of protests against Team Ineos at Tour de Yorkshire

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Ineos founder and majority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is worth £21bn

Anti-fracking campaigners say there will be protests against chemicals firm Ineos’ takeover of Team Sky at this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Team Sky announced on Tuesday it will become Team Ineos from 1 May, with the new team’s launch at the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire on 2 May.

Ineos, owned by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has rights to frack in sites in Yorkshire.

“No doubt there will be protests,” said Steve Mason of Free Frack United.

Ineos has rights to explore for shale gas in sites in Cheshire, Yorkshire and the Midlands, but has yet to start because of planning disputes, with Ratcliffe criticising the government’s fracking rules last month.

The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chemicals and plastics, but is signed up to the plastic industry’s Operation Clean Sweep, an international programme that aims to prevent the spread of plastic waste in the oceans.

Team Sky joined broadcaster Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign last year, pledging to remove all single-use plastics by 2020.

“The hypocrisy is astounding and the greenwashing of their image is scandalous,” said campaign director Mason.

“I for one will not be letting my kids watch cycling anymore with Team Ineos taking part and I won’t be alone.

“No doubt there will be protests around the Tour de Yorkshire and the World Championships to be held in Yorkshire later this year.”

Trade teams will not compete at the 2019 Road World Championships, scheduled for 22-29 September, but many Team Ineos riders will be racing for their respective nations.

“We understand the complex issues around fracking and remain in close contact with the National Park Authorities and local authorities,” a Welcome to Yorkshire spokesperson told BBC Sport.

“As a tourism body we organise the Tour de Yorkshire to promote the county to a worldwide audience.

“We look forward to welcoming the world’s best riders between 2-5 May.”

Ineos said it is not able to comment until taking over the team on 1 May.

Environment groups Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace called for Ineos to be banned from sponsoring Sir Ben Ainslie’s 2021 America’s Cup bid when its £110m investment was announced last year.

In response, four-time Olympic champion Ainslie said Ineos were committed to tackling ocean pollution.

“They understand the problem better than anyone else and they can really make a difference,” he said.

“And I know they are doing everything they can to tackle this.”

Other current World Tour cycling teams have faced criticism over their ownership.

Astana, Bahrain-Merida and Team UAE Emirates receive state backing from Kazakhstan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates respectively, with all three countries having been accused of human rights abuses.

Another petrochemical company, Total, is also reported to be taking over as title sponsor of the French Direct Energie team.

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