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Mark Cavendish still keen on Tokyo 2020 bid as he prepares for Six Day London

Britain's Mark Cavendish rides around the Lee Valley velodrome

Mark Cavendish is seeking his first Six Day London win in October

Mark Cavendish says he is still interested in racing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as he prepares to return to the track at Six Day London in October.

After winning omnium silver at Rio 2016, the 34-year-old may target a first Olympic gold in the madison when it returns to the Games next year.

The three-time madison world champion will partner Owain Doull in the Six Day event at Lee Valley from 22-27 October.

“Riding the madison at Tokyo is still an interest,” he told BBC Sport.

“Any time on the track is good preparation for it and Six Day racing is good because it stays true to the foundations of madison racing.”

The multi-discipline Six Day event will be broadcast on the BBC Sport website and via BBC iPlayer, with the racing including the madison, time trials, team eliminations, scratch races and points race.

Britain’s Cavendish was “heartbroken” after being left out of this year’s Tour de France by Team Dimension Data, preventing him from adding to his 30 stage wins – four off Belgian Eddy Merckx’s record.

He has kept racing on the road, including in last week’s Tour of Britain, but said he was confident of a strong showing back on the track at Lee Valley, where he won the last of his madison world titles with Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2016.

“I like riding on the track, it complements my road riding,” said Cavendish.

“I have to build up over the next couple of weeks because a bit more intensity comes in racing against guys that have been training on the track for a while now.

“It’s never easy to transition from road to track – but, having done it for many years, I know what to do.”

Cavendish and Wiggins finished ninth in the madison at Beijing 2008 and the event was cut from the next two Olympics, but its return for Tokyo was announced in 2017, with Cavendish saying he was keen to compete.

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has changed the points structure of the madison, in which two riders alternate racing over 200 laps for men and 120 laps for women, who will race it at Olympic level for the first time in 2020.

Cavendish said the format changes “take away” from the event and so the Six Day madison holds more “sentimental value”, but it would not put him off racing at Tokyo 2020.

“It’s a lot less tactical now. Before, you really had to plan your race – now you just have to ride it,” he said.

“But it doesn’t affect the ability of the rider.”

‘The highlight of the year’

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Owain Doull says La Vuelta a Espana has given him more confidence

Cavendish has finished second in both of his previous Six Day London appearances, alongside Wiggins in 2016 and Peter Kennaugh in 2017.

He was forced to withdraw from last year’s event as he took a period of total rest from cycling because of the Epstein-Barr virus.

“I’m really excited to be back,” he said. “I was sad not to ride last year – I came down to watch and missed it. This velodrome is very special to me.

“It’s really built on London 2012 and Six Day is the highlight of the year now.”

Olympic champion Elinor Barker and Manon Lloyd will form an all-Welsh pairing in the elite women competition.

Welshman Doull, who won Olympic gold in the 2016 team pursuit, will be making his Six Day debut in London, having just completed his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a Espana for Team Ineos.

“I’ve done a madison before with Owain but he’s never done a Six Day so I’ll show him the ropes,” said Cavendish.

“We rode together in Rio and I’ve seen him grow as a road rider so I know physically he’ll be able and we should get a decent result.”

Doull, 26, said he “can’t wait” to race alongside a “British cycling legend” at Lee Valley.

“I’ve heard great things about Six Day and will be determined to bring it home for Wales under the lights,” he added.

Italy’s Olympic omnium champion Elia Viviani and Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan, who won one and three Tour de France stages this year respectively, are also set to ride at Six Day London.

“It’s probably going to be the most competitive field I’ve raced with here, with guys who are the best sprinters of their generation,” said Cavendish.

“I’ve had battles on the track with Elia before and it will be nice to have home advantage this time.

“There was a rise of big, strong sprinters for a while on the road, but it’s come around for small and fast guys like myself. To have the three best guys like that at Six Day is a big thing.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49712487

Tour de France winner Bernal to miss World Championships in Yorkshire

Egan Bernal

Team Ineos rider Egan Bernal finished one minute 11 seconds ahead of team-mate Geraint Thomas to win the Tour de France in July

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal will not ride in the Road World Championships in England on 29 September.

Bernal has pulled out of the Colombia team for the race in Harrogate and has been replaced by Carlos Betancur.

The 22-year-old beat Britain’s Geraint Thomas to become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France in July.

“The talented Team Ineos cyclist decided to turn down the call-up,” said the Colombian Cycling Federation.

Bernal tweeted on 4 September that he would not compete in Yorkshire if he did not feel he could perform at his best wearing his national colours.

The 285km course being used for the road race is not especially hilly and may not have suited a mountain climber like Bernal.

Bernal became the youngest winner of cycling’s most famous event for 110 years when he claimed the Tour de France in the summer.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49726290

Slovenia’s Roglic wins first Grand Tour as Jakobsen takes final stage

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic (centre) had finished third at this year’s Giro d’Italia and fourth at the 2018 Tour de France

Slovenian Primoz Roglic secured his first Grand Tour as Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen won the final stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Madrid.

Jakobsen, 23, took his second stage win of the race, narrowly beating Sam Bennett in a chaotic final sprint.

The Irishman found himself boxed in and although he was closing fast was unable to add to his two previous stage wins.

Jumbo Visma’s Roglic, 29, finished two minutes 16 seconds ahead of Spain’s Alejandro Valverde overall.

Roglic became the first Slovenian to win the general classification in one of cycling’s three Grand Tours – the Vuelta, the Tour of France and the Giro d’Italia.

He moved into the leader’s red jersey after winning the individual time trial on stage 10.

He was favourite for the stage and put at least a minute and a half into all his main rivals.

That gave him a lead of nearly two minutes in the GC over Valverde and with help from his Jumbo Visma team he was able to retain the jersey over the second half of the Vuelta all the way to Madrid.

On a notable day for Slovenia, 20-year-old Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates joined Roglic on the podium in third place, as well as winning the young rider category.

Spanish rider Jesus Ezquerra produced a ring and proposed to his girlfriend midway through the stage. She said yes.

Stage 21 result:

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 2hrs 48mins 20 secs

2. Sam Bennett (Irl/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

3. Szymon Sajnok (Pol/CCC)

4. Jon Aberasturi (Esp/Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)

5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/Dimension Data)

6. Edward Theuns (Bel/Trek-Segafredo)

7. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel/Lotto-Soudal)

8. Clement Venturini (Fra/Ag2r La Mondiale)

9. Marc Sarreau (Fra/Groupama-FDJ)

10. Dion Smith (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott)

Final General Classification:

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 83hrs 7mins 31secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Esp/Movistar) + 2mins 16secs

3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates)+ 2mins 38secs

4. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) + 3mins 29secs

5. Miguel Ángel Lopez (Col/Astana)+ 4mins 31secs

6. Rafał Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe)+ 7mins 16secs

7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Sunweb) + 9mins 47secs

8. Carl Frederik Hagen (Nor/Lotto-Soudal) +12mins 54secs

9. Marc Soler (Esp/Movistar) + 22mins 10secs

10. Mikel Nieve (Esp/Mitchelton-Scott) + 22mins 17secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49710145

Roglic set for Vuelta a Espana victory as fellow Slovenian Pogacar wins stage 20

Primoz Roglic celebrates on the podium after stage 20 of the Vuelta a Espana

Primoz Roglic crossed the line fifth to preserve his lead going into tomorrow’s processional final stage

Primoz Roglic is set to become Slovenia’s first Grand Tour winner after retaining his overall lead following the penultimate stage of Vuelta a Espana.

His compatriot Tadej Pogacar, still only 20 and riding his first Grand Tour, claimed his third stage win on a memorable day for Slovenian cycling.

Tradition dictates Roglic will not be attacked on Sunday’s final stage.

Alejandro Valverde will finish runner-up after coming second on Saturday.

Pogacar secured the leader’s jersey in the young rider classification as well as moving up to third in the overall standings after a stunning 30km solo attack.

The UAE Team Emirates rider crested the Puerto de Pena Negra climb alone and continued to extend his lead on the descent.

On the final Plataforma de Gredos climb he easily held off his pursuers, finishing one minute and 32 seconds ahead of Valverde, and climbing from fifth to third overall in the process.

Britain’s James Knox, who was nursing an injury after being caught in Friday’s big crash, slipped from ninth to 11th overall after finishing more than 11 minutes behind the winner on Saturday.

Vuelta a Espana – stage 20 result

1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 5hrs 16mins 40secs

2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +1min 32secs

3 Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

4 Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut/Bahrain-Merida)

5 Primoz Roglic (Slo/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1min 41secs

6 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col/EF Education First) +1min 49secs

7 Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida) Same time

8 Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) +1min 56secs

9 Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton-Scott) +1min 59secs

10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) Same time

Overall classification

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo/Team Jumbo-Visma) 80 hrs 18mins 54secs

2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +2mins 33secs

3 Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) + 2mins 55secs

4 Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) +3mins 46secs

5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +4mins 48secs

6 Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +7mins 33secs

7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +10mins 4secs

8 Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor/Lotto Soudal) +12mins 54secs

9 Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar Team) +22mins 27secs

10 Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton-Scott) +22mins 34secs

11 James Knox (GB/Deceuninck – Quick Step) +22mins 55secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49702966

Cavagna wins controversial Vuelta stage as Roglic retains overall lead after scare

Remi Cavagna celebrates winning stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana

Remi Cavagna won stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana after a solo attack

Frenchman Remi Cavagna sealed his first Grand Tour stage win on a day that featured mid-stage controversy in the Vuleta a Espana on Friday.

He launched a solo attack with just under 25km of stage 19 to go and held off his pursuers by five seconds.

Race leader Primoz Roglic was in a crash which split the peloton 65km out.

Alejandro Valverde’s Movistar team – against cycling convention – then attacked, but eventually slowed and Roglic was able to rejoin the peloton.

Movistar’s move angered many in the race, with fellow Spaniard Omar Fraile, who rides for Astana, remonstrating strongly with Valverde, who is in second place overall.

Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic, who maintained his lead of two minutes and 50 seconds, eventually finished in 10th place, five seconds behind Cavagna.

The crash saw Roglic’s team-mate, former world time trial champion Tony Martin, forced to abandon the race after receiving medical attention.

Stage 20 on Saturday – the penultimate day of the race – is a 190.4km mountain stage from Arenas de San Pedro to Plataforma de Gredos.

Vuelta a Espana – stage 19 result

1. Remi Cavagna (Fra/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 3hrs 43mins 34secs

2. Sam Bennett (Irl/Bora Hansgrohe) +5secs

3. Zdenek Ņtybar (Cze/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time

4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

5. Alejandro Valverde (Esp/Movistar Team)

6. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel/Lotto-Soudal)

7. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida)

8. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Emirates)

9. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana)

10. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma)

Overall classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 75hrs 0mins 33secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Esp/Movistar) +2mins 50secs

3. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +3mins 31secs

4. Miguel Ángel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +4mins 17secs

5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Emirates) +4mins 49secs

6. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora Hansgrohe) +7mins 46secs

7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Sunweb) +9mins 46secs

8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor/Lotto-Soudal) +11mins 50secs

9. James Knox (GB/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +13mins 23secs

10. Marc Soler (Esp/Movistar) +21mins 9secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49693567

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