The Giro d’Italia passed through Michele Scarponi’s home town on the way to another Simon Yates win. All the news from Italy, plus the Tours of California and Norway. Is Chris Froome holding back? – Top Story. Not all racing, in other news: OVO Energy Tour Series, Jasper Stuyven extends with Trek-Segafredo, Juan Pedro López joins Polartec-Kometa and Cofidis gets Wild Card Invite to Tour de Pologne. Pane e acqua anyone?
TOP STORY: So, what’s the score with the ‘Froome Dog’?
Before the Giro d’Italia, the big fear was that Sky’s Chris Froome would win the Italian Grand Tour with the sword of Damocles of his salbutamol case, hanging over his head. At the moment that fear looks unfounded, but…
If you look back at some of the recent Giro wins, they have all come in the final week. Could the Kenyan born rider be keeping his powder dry for when it matters?
On the other hand, May is a bad time in Europe for allergies. Mr. Froome will be very careful with his inhaler use, a second ‘positive’ wouldn’t look so good.
The less charitable out there have suggested that Froome is riding on ‘pane e acqua’ at the Giro and that explains his under achievement.
Froome is sitting in 12th place at 3 minutes 20 seconds down on Simon Yates, but there is the 34.2 kilometer individual time trial, two hilly and five mountain stages to go. If he does win, then what?
Head down action for Chris Froome:
Giro d’Italia 2018
Stage 10, after the second rest day, was dominated by many attacks and high pace right from the start. Shortly before the finish a duo went up the road, and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) took the stage win ahead of Nico Denz (AG2R-La Mondiale). Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the sprint from the reduced bunch for 3rd place.
The peloton started into the longest stage of this year’s Corsa Rosa. The race took the riders from Penne, a small city in the region of Abruzzo to Gualdo Taldino over 244km, a last minute change added 5km to the race profile. Right after the start a second category climb awaited the riders, after the descent, the second climb of the day and an intermediate sprint followed. Before the peloton headed into the finale, they had to tackle the third climb of the day as well as another intermediate sprint. The finale ran on a flat open route into the city of Gualdo Taldino.
It was a fast start with many attacks right from the gun. Twelve riders managed to distance themselves from the bunch with an advantage of more than two minutes. After a solo attack of Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) it was all back together with 170km to go. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) had some problems and lost, with some other favorites, contact to the Maglia Rosa group, the gap became more than ten minutes during the race. Marco Frapporti made a solo attack, but was caught by Nico Denz, Matej Mohoric and Davide Villella (Astana) for Mohoric to take the win from Denz. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) held his overall lead, now by 41 seconds over Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and 46 on Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).
More on stage 10 HERE.
Stage winner, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Merida): “It’s such a special day. It was a very long and tough stage. I marked in red it when I saw the route of this year’s Giro. We planned to go in the break of the day and I tried at the start with a group of seventeen riders, but then when the peloton saw that Esteban Chaves dropped, they began the chase full gas. In the final I still felt great and I asked to Pozzovivo the permission to go. It was quite hard and I was not so confident to be able to win, but I’m tried my best in the final sprint. I did it and I’m super happy for me and for Team Bahrain-Merida. A stage win was one of the aim here at the Giro, together with the General Classification. Now I will focus on helping our leader Domenico in the next days.”
2nd on the stage, Nico Denz (AG2R-La Mondiale): “In the end, Mohoric showed that he was stronger than me. He deserves this victory. There is nothing else to say about it. I have now finished second in a stage of the Giro d’Italia, my best result at a UCI WorldTour race, but I am disappointed to be so close. Since the beginning of the race, I have felt really strong. This morning, during the briefing, I was assured that it was the right time to try something. The stage was very fast all day, but I felt that the sensations were really good. So I figured it’s now or never.”
3rd on the stage, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a hard day in the saddle, the pace was high and the attacks were started right from the start. We were able to stay together in the main bunch and our two GC contenders didn’t lose so much time in the overall. We couldn’t close the gap as the two riders went up the road in the finale, therefore I finished third. I also want to thank the guys for their super efforts today. The result may not show it but they rode out of their skin. I would have liked to get the win for their efforts. Tomorrow will be another stage and we will give our best like in the previous days.”
Overall leader, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “We had an extremely difficult start. It was the most aggressive stage I’ve seen for a while. This usually happens in short stages only. But this was a long and ferocious race. The high speed never stopped. I first thought Esteban Chaves would be able to come back but it was a really crazy stage and I’m very disappointed for him as I know he’s worked very hard for this. As for the tactics, I’d prefer he’d still be there, so we could play more cards and tactics in the final. I’m not scared of the third week; I’m scared of the time trial. I know I’ll lose some time there. That’s why I gained three seconds in an intermediate sprint today. If I keep gaining here and there, I’ll be happy. I’m confident that I’m going well and I have a great team to support me, but I know it won’t be easy. My rivals are very strong. I’m self confident as always and I’m understanding what I’m trying to achieve.”
11th on the stage, Ben King (Dimension Data): “It was a very unusual stage. The race has been tough so far with very long days. Today was the longest, but also a chance for the breakaway. I made it in a strong 12 man break over the first climb, but behind the race was flat out. Once we were caught I looked after Ben. I recovered a little for the finish, followed a few attacks, and then tried the sprint. I haven’t done many bunch sprints and positioned a bit too far back for the last corners but had good legs so 11th is disappointing but also a good sign for the days to come. Overall the stage was as long and harder than any of the one day classics. That hurts in the middle of a grand tour!”
Giro d’Italia Stage 10 Result:
1. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida in 6:04:52
2. Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:34
4. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 10:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 43:42:38
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:41
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:46
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:00
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:23
6. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:36
7. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 2:08
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
9. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 2:28
10. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 2:30.
The pink jersey of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) crossed the Giro finish line first for the second time in 2018. The British rider attacked in the finalé of Stage 11 to take 2 seconds out of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and 5 seconds from Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe). Yates now has an overall lead of 47 seconds on the Dutchman and 1:04 on Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).
Stage 11 took the riders from Assisi to Osimo over 156 punchy kilometers. The elevation profile showed a slightly uphill section right after the start and continued with the first climb of the day, the Passo Cornello (Cat.3). The first of two intermediate sprints was in Filottrano, home town of Michele Scarponi. The last 3km were uphill to the finish in Osimo with a maximum gradient of 16%.
A group of five riders launched an attack and built the breakaway of the day with a maximum lead of three minutes. Trek-Segafredo and LottoNL-Jumbo took control of the pace and the race was back together with 7 kilometers remaining. Tim Wellens (Lotto FixAll) and Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) attacked on the cobble climb, but they were not able to stay away. As the race climbed the narrow streets of Osimo, the Maglia Rosa, Simon Yates, showed once again his climbing skills and took his second stage win ahead of Tom Dumoulin.
Full PEZ stage report HERE.
Stage winner and overall leader, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I only just won. He (Dumoulin) was chasing me all the way in the final there, it was an extremely difficult final. I am super happy and I would like to have a few easy days now before we get to the mountains. There was a plan from the beginning. The overall plan from the start in the bus was that we wouldn’t chase through the stage because usually there are guys faster than me in a finish like that. We just let it happen and if it came back then I would obviously go for it. We would try to get to the right hander at the front and then I would do what I could from there and that actually worked out perfectly. As for Tom behind me, I didn’t actually know until we crested the climb a little bit towards the top because I was just going full gas and I don’t like to look behind, if I did I wasn’t paying attention to who it was. I need more time on these sort of stages and because they are quite explosive I can gain a second or two. Tom is a bit more of a steady climber, he is super hard to drop but these are the stages where I can gain some time. It might be a bit harder once we get to the long climbs so I am happy I could do at least a little bit today.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “I wasn’t good enough for the win but I’m super satisfied. The legs were a bit painful at the beginning but I think everyone had that after yesterday. As the stage progressed I felt much better. I tried to follow Yates but I couldn’t close the gap and stayed at the same distance, I can’t blame myself. I am feeling very good, this is my best result since Jerusalem and my best feeling so far. This coming weekend is going to be super hard and I will give my best to defend this position. It’s still a long way until Rome.”
3rd on the stage, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today’s stage was maybe short, but not an easy one. The pace was high, but the team worked very well together. In the finale, many riders tried to attack and I was able to stay at the front as we headed through the narrow streets. I wanted to close the gap to the two leaders but took third. It was a special stage, because we went through Michele’s hometown. A win here would have been something special.”
4th on the stage, Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We were very fast all day. The breakaway riders were very strong, and they worked together well until the end. I even thought we would not bring them back in time. I had a lot of help from the team all day, which helped me save energy and stay in a good position. There is a good camaraderie and a great dynamic on the team. Today we could see that there are gaps between the best; after eleven stages, some riders are beginning to show fatigue. This could be a good sign for what’s to come.”
5th on the stage and 4th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a difficult day after yesterday’s hard stage. The speed was high even today. In the final it was very difficult to stay in front, in the last two km when Yates attacked I continued with my pace, in the last part there were cobblestones and I had some troubles and I tried to lose less time as possible. But I’m satisfied with the overall because I gained seconds over some rivals behind me.”
10th on the stage and overall, Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates): “My great thanks today to my team mates. When Woods crashed in the approach of the penultimate hill, the head of the group split and Marcato and Ulissi worked impressively to support me in bridging the gap from the leading positions. This shows that I really can rely on a good team. Congrats to Yates, it’s never easy to win wearing the pink jersey.”
Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data): “I think the whole stage was a lot harder than what people thought, and only half the peloton probably thought it was going to be a hard day. We thought maybe it could be one for the break but pretty soon it became clear when teams started chasing that it was not the case. It was fast and bit stressful with the short steep climbs, as nobody wanted to get caught out. The guys did a really good job today. I was following Jaco before Filitrano, near Michele Scarponi’s home, and then towards the finish it was Jacques and Ryan. There was a little crash with about 5km to go, as we hit this steep cobble section and I had to throw on the brakes. Gaps opened up and I ended up with Froome. We almost caught the front group by the time we started the final 1.5km climb to the finish, but we were still behind. You always have to do your maximum from whatever position you’re in but it would have been nice to have been in contention when it kicked off, because you would always rather be racing than chasing.”
Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 3:25:53
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:02
3. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:05
4. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:08
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 0:11
9. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 0:18
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:21.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 11:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 47:08:21
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:47
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:04
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:18
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:56
6. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:09
7. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 2:36
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 2:54
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:55
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 3:10.
Amgen Tour of California 2018
A Wolfpack’s strength is unity, and Quick-Step Floors showed that for the umpteenth time this season, putting in a dominant display on Stage 1 of the Tour of California – which took place on the wide roads of Long Beach, the Pacific Coast town that made its return to the race after more than a decade – and delivering Fernando Gaviria to a maiden victory at the US event.
Having won 11 stages at the previous participations, our team was one of the hot favorites on Sunday and controlled the 134.5km stage from the gun, with Kasper Asgreen, Laurens De Plus, Iljo Keisse, Jhonatan Narvaez and Alvaro Hodeg all keeping the two escapees in check, the latter also getting involved at the second intermediate sprint. The pressure of the bunch started to pay dividends and the leaders were mopped up inside the last ten kilometers, where Quick-Step Floors showed physical presence, positioning, timing and speed, as they began setting up what proved to be a tense bunch gallop.
Coming off the wheel of flawless lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze, Fernando Gaviria kicked out with 200 meters to go and just like Eliot Ness, he was untouchable as he roared victorious over the line for the 30th time in his career, beating Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) in the process. The win also gave Gaviria the overall, points and youth classification jerseys.
See more photos from California HERE.
Stage winner and overall leader, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): “The team was perfect, controlling the breakaway and keeping me all the time protected near the front of the bunch. My legs felt strong today and I couldn’t have asked for more from this opening stage. Winning my first ever race in the United States is really great, the cherry on the top being the yellow jersey which I now get to sport on Monday. Iljo did a tremendous job by bringing us into position, then Alvaro picked up the speed and Max provided a perfect lead-out. It was a bit chaotic out there, but that’s life in the sprints and thanks to this outstanding team I came out on top today. I was really motivated to get a victory after being sidelined through injury, so I trained and worked hard, and today it all paid off. I also want to say a big thank you to the wonderful fans who greeted us with a lot of enthusiasm, they were great.”
2nd, Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott): “It’s a good start to the race for us and the boys did a great job of positioning me, so I had a chance to contest the final and it ended up being very close. Obviously I would have preferred to get the win but being the first race back after a lay off and two weeks at altitude up in Lake Tahoe I am quite happy. There was quite a bit of wind on the coast, but generally it was a pretty steady day and the guys kept me well positioned in the group. We have another a couple of opportunities for me throughout the week, but tomorrow with the climbs it will be a day for Adam Yates and we’ll be trying our best for him.”
3rd, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The opening stage of the Tour of California started at a normal pace and finished with a very fast sprint. I found myself a bit at the back when the sprint started and I wasn’t able to overtake Ewan and Gaviria. They were faster and Gaviria took a nice victory. I felt in good form today, my legs were good, so I look forward to the next stages. Tomorrow, we have a mountain finish on Gibraltar Rd, so we will all try to help Rafał Majka and will then take every day as it comes.”
9th, Ty Magner (Rally Cycling): “We didn’t want to worry about the breakaway today since we knew it would be a big bunch sprint. I had Pate, de Vos, and Carpenter looking after me until about three km to go, then it was up to me to freelance off of the bigger trains coming into the finish. I was in a good spot near Cavendish and Sagan but kinda ran into some traffic with the lead-out riders dropping back through the field. I was feeling really good at 300 meters, waiting to drop it down to my eleven and go, but I got pinched out and salvaged the stage the best I could. I’m definitely hungry for more. Top ten is sweet but top five would be amazing and I know I’m capable of it.”
Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 3:02:23
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
6. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Hagens Berman Axeon
7. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
8. Max Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb
9. Tyler Magner (USA) Rally Cycling
10.Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data.
Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 1:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 3:02:13
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:04
3. Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:06
5. Andrei Krasilnikau (Blr) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data at 0:09
7. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors
8. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:10
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Hagens Berman Axeon.
With just over 2k left to ride to the summit of Gibraltar Road, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Egan Bernal attacked and swiftly climbed away to a solo victory to close out Stage 2 of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California. Tao Geoghegan Hart and his Team Sky teammates set an unyielding pace all the way up the steep grade in support of lead rider Bernal to help launch him to his fourth victory of the 2018 season, shoring up the race lead as well as nearly all of the classification wins with today’s epic climb and overall performance.
Team Sky’s tempo up the categorized climb caused several of the lead group filled with GC hopefuls to fall back. Those who remained when Bernal attacked included LottoNL-Jumbo’s Antwan Tolhoek (NED) and BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen, who pursued aggressively, but were overtaken in the final kilometers. BORA-hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka, who won last year’s mountainous Stage 2, claimed second place for the stage today with Mitchelton-Scott’s Adam Yates in third.
Bernal, also the reigning Columbian National Time Trial Champion, gained valuable seconds over other time trail specialists who will be looking to make up time in Wednesday’s TT in San Jose/Morgan Hill.
21-year-old Bernal – who will wear the Amgen Race Leader Jersey in stage 3 – also closed out the day with the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey, Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey and the Visit California Sprint Jersey.
Holowesko|Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources’ Ruben Companioni earned the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey for his part in today’s breakaway that formed soon after the race left a beautiful oceanside start in Ventura and also contained Rally Cycling’s Adam De Vos and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Jonny Clarke. The trio was brought back by the peloton just before the start of the Gibraltar Road climb.
The Queen Stage came early this year with stage 2 presented by Lexus leading cyclists 97.6 miles from first-time host Ventura to a fan-favorite finish atop Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County. The stage featured 7,700’ in elevation gain and a 3,100’ climb over the final eight miles. The race course showed some of the devastation – and the community’s road to recovery with thriving businesses that have reopened and were seen celebrating along the route – from fires and mudslides around the start of the year.
More photos from stage 2 HERE.
Stage winner and overall leader, Egan Bernal (Sky): “The break of three went early and Quick-Step took control, which worked for us. With only three in the break the race wasn’t too hard and we wanted to make it harder for the end, so coming into the final kilometers to the climb, Stannard took control and that’s when the race really started properly as you could notice the change in pace then.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Rafal majka (Bora-Hangrohe): “After nearly a month out of racing, I’m happy with my result today. It was a hard climb but I managed to keep my pace and finish second. We have five more stages to go and, together with the rest of the squad, I will do my best to aim at the GC.”
3rd on the stage and overall, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It wasn’t that hard today to be honest, it was quite windy on the coast, but until the final climb the pace was pretty steady, and the guys kept me well protected until the road started to rise and from there I was on own. I feel pretty good and I am happy with how it went. It’s my first race back from injury and I did as well as can be as expected with my recovery. The guys that beat me were stronger than me today, but I am on the right track and said at the start of the race I would be happy with a top ten spot and we’re heading in the right direction.”
Amgen Tour of California Stage 2 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky in 4:14:00
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:21
3. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:25
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:30
5. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
6. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:40
8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:50
9. Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:59
10. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo at 1:01.
Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 2:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky in 7:16:13
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:25
3. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:31
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:40
5. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates
6. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:50
8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:00
9. Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:09
10. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo at 1:11.
Closing out day three at the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, and rebounding one year later at the race where his team pulled him after suffering a concussion and broken collarbone, Trek-Segafredo’s Toms Skujins made a late race move on Stage 3 that paid off, along with Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team’s Sean Bennett – one of the youngest in the race at 22 – together creating a gap that held all the way through the Laguna Seca Recreation Area’s speedway finish line.
The pair pounced on the final big climb of the day with the peloton trailing by less than 10 seconds when they turned onto the Laguna Seca raceway. The remaining sprinters in the chase group including World Champion Peter Sagan (SVK), who won the stage the last time it finished at the speedway in 2016, jockeyed for position as they tried to chase down the duo, but the gap held with Skujins crossing the finish solo followed by Bennett three seconds later, and Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Caleb Ewan, who is prepping for his first Tour de France appearance this summer, rounding out third.
Stage 3 presented by Lexus was the race’s longest with a 122.4-mile stretch featuring five KOMs and 8,300 of elevation gain from first-time host King City, where the cyclists were cheered on by 2,000 local schoolchildren, to Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey County, where the field met a fast, technical sprint finish.
The break of the day included a trio of U.S. riders: Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team’s Ian Garrison (Decatur, Georgia) and Rally Cycling’s Robin Carpenter (San Diego, Calif.) and Evan Huffman (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), who won two stages last year. Garrison was the last man standing as the others were picked up by the peloton on the Laureless Grade climb and was awarded with the Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
The day of tough climbs shattered the peloton with many of the field’s sprinters losing contact with the main group and riders still trailing in minutes after the leaders finished. Quick-Step Floors’ Stage 1 winner Fernando Gaviria had a mechanical on the downhill from Laureless Grade that took him out of contention for the final sprint.
Team Sky’s 21-year-old Egan Bernal retains the Amgen Race Leader Jersey, the Visit California Sprint Jersey, the Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey and the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey.
Stage winner, Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo): “The only time I actually dreamed I would win was in the last 300 [meters]. I’m serious. I expected someone to come from the back, full throttle, but I guess it had been a hard day for everyone with the wind and hard pace. Also, the breakaway was really strong that went away in the beginning, and that all played into my advantage. When the break was almost back, we slowed down on one of the GPMS (categorized climbs) and Logan Owen attacked, and I was on the lookout and just followed him. We caught the two guys remaining from the break just at the top. We ripped the downhill and got like 45-55 seconds. At the bottom of the next [climb] we didn’t have much time, but I knew that there weren’t that many guys left in the field, so I just went full gas from the bottom and was solo for a little bit until I was caught by Howes and Bennett. Bennett attacked and dropped Howes, and I couldn’t believe that the group wasn’t closer. We got into the speedway, and I know this circuit when I raced with the Hincapie team here. I knew that it was a question of whoever goes over the top of that last climb first, and I wanted to be the first guy. And then I saw Bennett crack a little bit and I just did five more pedal strokes tucked, and by the bottom, I had a gap. It was enough to enjoy it the last 300 meters. It’s not the easiest run-in to the line, but luckily I had raced on Laguna Seca before, and that definitely helped me. I’ve done this stage – a similar stage – before and I knew how to play it. I was never feeling really good, but once I saw my breakaway compatriot crack a little bit, that’s the only time I believed it might happen.”
4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Stage 3 of the Tour of California was very hard, very fast, started with cool temperatures and was hot at the finish. I’m starting to get into race mode after my high-altitude training and today as well, I had good sensations. We would have liked to win but it was very tough. All the guys gave their best and we will keep fighting every day.”
Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Result:
1. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo in 4:52:47
2. Sean Bennett (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon at 0:03
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:08
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky
6. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Alex Howes (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
8. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
9. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
10. William Barta (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon.
Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 3:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky in 12:09:08
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:25
3. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:31
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:40
5. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates
6. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:50
8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:00
9. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo at 1:11
10. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 1:14.
Tejay van Garderen secured an impressive Stage 4 win in the AMGEN Tour of California time trial, setting a time that also proved to be enough to claim the leader’s yellow jersey with three stages remaining.
The 34.7km course was a test of strength and power and started with an uphill drag towards a short climb, the top of which came after 16.2km and marked the intermediate checkpoint, before two technical descents led into the start of a gentle rise to the finish.
Van Garderen, who started the day one minute down in eighth overall, was one of the final riders to roll off the ramp and after settling into his rhythm quickly, he posted the second-fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint, just three seconds down on the time set by his BMC Racing Team teammate, Patrick Bevin.
The American rider, who took overall victory at this race in 2013, continued to show his strength and determination over the second half of the course before powering across the line in a time of 40:47, seven seconds quicker than the benchmark set by Bevin.
After a short wait in the hot seat, van Garderen’s time proved to be enough to take both the day’s honors and the over lead of the General Classification after race leader at the start of the day, Egan Bernal (Team Sky), crossed the line, 1:23 back.
Bevin also demonstrated his time trialling prowess during his effort and after spending a significant amount of time in the hot seat, his time of 40:54 saw him take second place on the day.
Interview with stage winner and overall leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC):
Congratulations, Tejay. What does today’s victory at the AMGEN Tour of California mean to you?
“Last time I came here, I was a new father and today, five years later, I was able to bring both my little girls up on to the podium with me. It’s an incredible feeling and an incredible experience and I am definitely going to savor it.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the race, the stage to South Lake Tahoe on Friday is expected to be another important day for the General Classification. How are you feeling ahead of that stage now you’re in the yellow jersey?
“I think Tahoe is going to be a big test in terms of the strength of the team but I think we have one of, if not the, strongest team here. They will be able to control it and then when we get to the upper slopes of the final climb, I am going to have to stick on the climbers’ wheels. However, from what I understand, the climb is not as demanding as what we saw on Gibraltar Road. The altitude might play a factor but I’ve lived in Colorado and I was born in Montana, so I’m no scrub when it comes to altitude. I think I should be able to handle that. For sure, there are going to be loads of attacks from everyone who wants to take the jersey but as far as motivation goes, I am probably the most motivated guy to keep it.”
“At least I am ahead of any time bonuses so as long as I stick to the wheels I should be safe in that regard. But saying that I have to stick to the wheels and Egan Bernal (Team Sky) has shown that he is going uphill really well. As I said, I don’t think the climb is as hard as stage 2 so it might be easier to follow but I am definitely going to do everything possible in terms of preparations because he is not going to let me ride in to Sacramento with the jersey. He is going to put up a fight.”
2nd on the stage, Patrick Bevin (BMC): “It was a good performance from me today. It’s always hard to know how well you did especially when you’re sitting in the hot seat. It was a long tough time trial. It’s a specialists’ time trial so you can never really tell what you’ve done until you cross the line. I felt like I paced my effort pretty well with my power and speed and to average over 50km/h for 40 minutes is pretty good. The course was awesome. It is nice for a race to put a true time triallists’ course in. I think a lot of the time trials tend to lean towards the GC or they are short prologues but this one was really one for the specialists. It was hard. There was no faking it out there today and it’s great for the team to take the win with Tejay and now we will fight for the overall victory.”
7th overall, Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling): “I was feeling great, I was top-ten at the time split and knew I still had a bit more to give on the super fast section on the way back. I think I hit a pothole and heard a loud bang mid-corner. Once I had the bike change I knew any shot at a decent result was gone. I just had to ride it in as hard as I could and make the best of a bad situation. I’m definitely frustrated but it’s one of those things and I have to move on from. I’m happy to have moved up a few spots on GC, but as much as I wanted to do well in the overall, I wanted even more to have a really good TT so it’s a bummer. All sights are forward now as we’ll have a battle on the stage to Lake Tahoe.”
Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Result:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 40:47
2. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC at 0:07
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 0:32
4. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:46
5. Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:49
6. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) Hagens Berman Axeon at 0:53
7. Jack Bauer (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:55
8. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:56
9. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:57
10. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale.
Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 4:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 12:50:55
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:23
3. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:37
4. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 0:52
5. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:07
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:29
7. Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling at 2:08
8. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 2:13
9. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates at 2:15
10. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 2:34.
Tour of Norway 2018
Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won Stage 1 of the Tour of Norway in an impressive way. The 24-year-old sprinter from Team LottoNL-Jumbo convincingly won the sprint finish in the streets of Horten. He’s also the first leader in the overall standings. For Groenewegen, who rode his first race since Paris-Roubaix, it’s his sixth victory of the season. For Team LottoNL-Jumbo it’s the thirteenth victory this year.
The stage over 186 kilometers from Svelvik to Horten saw an early breakaway. Team LottoNL-Jumbo controlled the stage with panache and brought Groenewegen in an ideal position for the sprint.
Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo): “The boys did a perfect leadout today. It all went very well. It was a tough and difficult final, but most of all it was hectic. The team has done a great job by controlling the race and putting me in the perfect position for the sprint. Especially Amund Jansen and Timo Roosen were very strong in the final kilometer. I’m feeling really good. Tomorrow, the stage is hillier, and the same accounts for the finish. But we are definitely going to try. It’s a nice challenge and we’ll go for it. There will be a few more chances for me and the team for sure this week. This is a nice way to start.”
LottoNL-Jumbo DS Nico Verhoeven: “Dylan obviously was the fastest today. What struck me the most is how strong the team was. Everyone knows that Dylan is the fastest, so the pressure was on us. But the boys coped with it very well. Lars Boom and Pascal Eenkhoorn controlled the race the whole day, after which Paul Martens, Amund and Timo did the leadout for Dylan. He was the top favorite, but you still have to do it. Very strong after a period without racing.”
Tour of Norway Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 4:33:54
2. Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
3. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
4. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Trond Håkon Trondsen (Nor) Team Coop
6. Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
8. Alan Banaszek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
9. Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
10. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Sky.
Tour of Norway Overall After Stage 1:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 4:33:44
2. Sondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:04
3. Erik Nordsaeter Resell (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team
4. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias at 0:06
5. Andreas Vangstad (Nor) Joker Icopal at 0:07
6. Øivind Lukkedal (Nor) Team Coop at 0:08
7. Audun Brekke Fløtten (Nor) Team Virtu Cycling at 0:09
8. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:10
9. Trond Håkon Trondsen (Nor) Team Coop
10. Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Madison Genesis take OVO Energy Tour Series in Motherwell
Madison Genesis moved into the lead of the OVO Energy Tour Series in Motherwell, claiming the round win in North Lanarkshire to take the Series leaders’ green jerseys on countback from defending champions JLT Condor.
Matt Gibson of JLT Condor took the individual race win on the night, ahead of breakaway companions Richard Handley (Madison Genesis) and Commonwealth Games hero Harry Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg), but the combined times of the leading four Madison Genesis riders gave them the win on the night, and the overall lead.
In the women’s OVO Energy Tour Series it was a repeat of the opening round at Redditch, with Megan Barker and Team Breeze taking both the individual and team wins on the night.
The 20-year-old soloed to her second ever win in the Series, helping her Breeze teammates extend their lead at the top of the standings to two points over the NJC Biemme Echelon team of Nikki Juniper, who came home second, 36 seconds in arrears.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” said Barker afterwards. “I wasn’t feeling that strong after the Lincoln GP at the weekend. We actually had two other girls we were working for tonight in a sprint, so we had a few options.
“Breaking away was pretty similar to Redditch, to be honest – I kept on pushing for a lap and I got away with Gabby Shaw. I was doing most of the work so I didn’t want to drag her around the course tonight! I went solo early on and it started to bite with five laps to go. I knew I was starting to suffer, but I knew I just had to hang on.
“We got three riders in the top 10 again tonight, so we’re taking care of the team competition.”
Juniper’s consolation was the lead of the Eisberg Points competition in the women’s category, with the corresponding jersey in the men’s Series switching to the shoulders of race winner Gibson.
The 21-year-old, who has already been among the victories in UCI events in New Zealand and France this season, celebrated victory nearly 1,500 days on from his previous Tour Series triumph, as a junior in the 2014 Peterborough event.
Runner-up on the night, Richard Handley was a member of the JLT Condor Tour Series Champions in 2014, and now returns to the leaders’ jersey with Madison Genesis.
He said; “It’s been a good night for us. The move went on the second lap – we worked really well together for the whole race. In that situation, you have to hope for the best behind. I could hear a bit of information about the race each lap going past the pits, and I knew that Jonny [McEvoy] was in a chase group behind. Having him in that move was probably what won us the round tonight.
“Every one of JLT Condor’s riders have won a lot of crits before, so you’d have been sensible to back them going into tonight. But we took it to them here tonight – we wanted to not let them have their own way. We’ll have to try that again in Aberdeen on Thursday and see what happens!”
In both the men and women’s Series there were first ever triumphs in the Brother Fastest Lap category, with Latvian Emils Liepins doing the honors for ONE Pro Cycling, while Storey Racing’s Beth Crumpton took the honours in the women’s Series.
For full results from the men and women’s races, please click here.
Highlights of the Motherwell event of the OVO Energy Tour Series are on ITV4 at 17:40 on Thursday 17 May with a repeat the following morning (Friday 18 May) at 07:55. All the 2018 highlights are also available on demand via the ITV Hub catch-up service.
Action resumes at Round Three in Aberdeen on Thursday 17 May. For more details please visit www.tourseries.co.uk.
Jasper Stuyven Extends Contract with Trek-Segafredo
Jasper Stuyven announced in a personal video via social media that he and Trek-Segafredo have agreed on a two-year contract extension through the end of 2020. The 26-year-old Belgian has been with the Trek family since 2012, starting with the U23 Bontrager development team. He made the move to the WorldTour two years later, joining the team in its inaugural 2014 season, and has developed into one of the primary anchors of Trek-Segafredo.
Jasper Stuyven: “I am really happy to stay with this great family I have been part of since 2012. Trek-Segafredo has given me the chance to grow at my own pace and I feel now that I am ready to take the next step. I am looking forward to two more exciting years and I hope that everyone will keep supporting me and the team. It has been a great journey so far, with great teammates and great support, so let’s keep chasing some nice victories. See you on the road!”
General Manager Luca Guercilena: “I am very happy to have Jasper with us for the years to come. He was a strong rider when he joined us in the first year, and ever since he has kept improving and I am confident he will continue to do so. He has proven to be a very consistent rider; his 2018 Spring Classics is the perfect example of that. He was the most present rider throughout the whole campaign, finishing in the top 10 in every single one of them. I believe that now the time will come for him to win races and be a solid leader in our team and I am looking forward to see how far he can go.”
Jasper Stuyven in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne:
Juan Pedro López Joins Polartec-Kometa Continental Team
The Andalusian rider, Juan Pedro López (Lebrija, Seville; 31 July 1997) will make the leap to professionalism with Polartec-Kometa Continental Team, on 1 June. Raised sportively in the structures of the Fundación Alberto Contador, López became the twelfth rider in the squad.
“I don’t believe it,” said Juan Pedro López, “they didn’t confirm it until Sunday night and it was a shock. They didn’t believe it in my house either. I’m very happy about this opportunity, to move up from one category to another was an illusion. I’m very, very excited. I don’t have a specific dream, but I do have that desire to be able to race in a WorldTour team one day. But I’m too young. And this leap, to go step by step, adapting myself, with peace of mind, is very important”.
López, popularly known as Juanpe, was proclaimed the winner of the Vuelta al Bidasoa last Saturday, a race in which he won the first stage and where he brilliantly defended his leadership in the last one. The rider from Lebrija also finished fourth in the overall final of the Spanish Elite and U23 Cups, a tournament where he had a mathematical chance of victory until the last round, the Gran Premio Macario de Alcala de Henares, when he finished third in the standings. In the Spanish Cup he won his third race, the Trofeo Guerrita of Alcantarilla (Murcia).
“All of us who make up the foundation’s sports organization chart consider that Juanpe has taken the measure for the U23 category and that he should take a step further. After the start of the season he has made, with this regularity in the Spanish Cup and with the recent victory in Bidasoa, as this triumph has been born, we want him to go one step further in his formation. And we appreciate that it’s in a structure like Polartec-Kometa, in a team, in races and in front of more level rivals”, says Fran Contador, manager of the team. “He is not a rider who will go unnoticed in his professionalism,” he proclaims.
For Rafa Diaz Justo, director at Polartec-Kometa U23: “Juan Pedro is a rider we know well. He has followed the entire training process of the Foundation. As a junior, without standing out as the best, he did bring a lot of things and left signs for the years to come. Their margins of progression were very interesting. His first two years in the category were of adaptation, but last year we saw that he could make a leap forward and so we planned this campaign. He’s worked so hard. And one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is seeing him, with the additional pressure of being a leader, with what it entails, not only sustaining that role, but growing. He is very young, but I think he is currently one of the three or four cyclists with a best future in our country today”.
Juan Pedro López:
Cofidis Get Wild Card Invite to the Tour de Pologne
Cedric Vasseur: “In Poland to do well, with the goal of winning a stage.”
Team Cofidis, Solutions Credits will join the pack in the Tour de Pologne, a UCI World Tour race, which will be held this year from August 4th to the 10th. The Lang Team organizing committee has issued one of the wild card invitations still available for the 2018 edition to this transalpine professional-continental class team.
“Team Cofidis, Solutions Credits is a very interesting team, with a long tradition in top cycling. Although it has not been part of the World Tour since 2010, since then this team has always maintained the highest quality technical and organizational standards, always trying to stand out when participating in races. They have been a constant presence in the most significant events on the calendar for many seasons. This year they were also invited to both the Tour de France and the Vuelta and furthermore we’ve already seen them in action in prestigious classics like the Milano-Sanremo and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege. As I’ve already mentioned on several occasions, the 2018 Tour de Pologne is very special: we are celebrating 90 years in the life of our race as well as the Centennial of Polish Independence. It really means a lot to us to have a group made up of the highest level of riders lining up at the starting line. This is why, in addition to the 18 World Tour teams who are participating by right, we wanted to introduce some wild card formations with technical qualities that can contribute to further enriching the race,” says General Director for the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang.
“Our team hasn’t ridden in the Tour de Pologne since 2009 and we are really very happy with this invitation. It’s a big break to take part in a UCI World Tour calendar race. The Tour de Pologne has carved out a significant role for itself on the UCI World Tour calendar and year after year this event is continuing to grow in terms of both sports and media. As a rider I’ve had the chance to participate in this race and I have to say that I have a lovely memory of the fantastic enthusiasm on behalf of the crowds,” explains Cedric Vasseur, Team Manager for team Cofidis, Solutions Credits.
“For now the 2018 season is going quite well for our team, these last few days we’ve also garnered some nice victories and I think that from now until the months of July and August, when we’re looking forward to some major events, we will continue to grow. We want to honor this invite to the Tour de Pologne to the fullest. We will bring the highest level formation made up of some riders who will be coming off their experience in the Tour de France, backed up by others who will have prepared specifically for Poland. After the official presentation of the race, we will have a better idea as to the type of route we’ll be contending with. In any case, for us the minimal objective for the Tour de Pologne will be to fight to win a stage,” concludes Cedric Vasseur.
In addition to team Cofidis, Solutions Credits, in these last few weeks the Lang Team has already officially extended a wild card invitation to team Gazprom – RusVelo.
TDP 2018 Official Presentation
Let us also remind you that the official presentation for the 2018 Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour will take place over the week-end of May 18th to 20th. On Friday evening the ceremony will be held in the historic Wilanów Palace, the “Polish Versailles” that served as a second home for many Polish kings. The schedule will continue with amateur competitions organized by the Lang Team: on Saturday the 19th, it’s the mountain bike marathon (http://www.viennalifemaraton.pl/), starting from the Wilanów gardens; the road race will be on Sunday, May 20th. (http://langteamrace.pl/).
The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.