Nibali wins the 2013 Giro d’Italia, Cavendish snares final stage

Italian Vincenzo Nibali secured his maiden Giro d’Italia title on Sunday as Britain’s Mark Cavendish took his fifth stage win on the 21st and final leg into Brescia.

Nibali, of the Astana team, finished the weather-hit 96th edition with a 4 minute and 43 second lead on Colombian Rigoberto Uran of Team Sky with Australian Cadel Evans of BMC finishing third at 5:52. After negotiating the final stage successfully, an emotional Nibali said: “I’ve achieved one of my lifetime dreams. It’s unbelievable.”

Nibali took possession of the pink jersey after the stage eight time trial won by Britain’s Alex Dowsett and despite a strong challenge from Evans he took a massive step towards overall victory with his victory in Thursday’s 18th stage, a 20.6km uphill time trial.

Giro D'Italia 2013 stage-21

After the first of two consecutive days in the Dolomites mountains was cancelled on Friday due to snow and sub-zero temperatures at high altitude, Nibali capped his campaign with a second stage win of this year’s race atop the Tre Cime di Lavaredo climb on Saturday, when Evans dropped to third.

Evans’ BMC team blamed a “technical” hitch for his inability to follow the pace on Saturday, when the Australian was ultimately overtaken by Uran in the overall standings.But the 36-year-old Australian said Nibali was a worthy winner.

“Beating Nibali with the kind of form he was in was always going to be difficult,” said Evans, who was called into the race at late notice. He will now continue building his form for the Tour de France, where bigger challenges await in the shape of Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.

Cavendish, meanwhile, finished a triumphant campaign in style by dominating a hectic sprint for the finish on a tight circuit to take his victory tally on the race to 15. The Isle of Man rider came into the race expected to dominate most of the five sprint finishes, especially in the absence of a number of top rivals. He won the opening stage in Naples and stages six, 12, 13 and 21.

Giro D'Italia 2013 stage-21

Asked what made him consistently ambitious, Cavendish said: “I’m addicted to winning.”

The Omega-Pharma team sprinter, who also has 23 stage wins at the Tour de France and three at the Tour of Spain, also secured the race’s red jersey for the points competition.

Colombian Carlos Betancur, meanwhile, secured the race’s white jersey for the best-placed rider aged 25 or under. Betancur finished in fifth place overall with a 41sec lead on main rival, Saxo Bank rider Rafal Majka.

Text via AFP. Follow the link to see full results from stage 21 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia and the final overall classification.

Martin wins Belgium Tour, Sanchez solos to final stage win

Luis León Sánchez (Blanco) has won the final stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour with a 40km solo effort while Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won the overall classification.

Sanchez joined a breakaway on the fifth and final stage and took off on his own not long after. After a stage which was described as a mini version of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Sánchez arrived in Banneux 27 seconds ahead of a first group.

stage 5 of the Baloise Belgium Tour

Omega Pharma QuickStep had worked at the front to keep the gap of the breakaway under control. However, with Sanchez still away way on La Redoute, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) launched his own attack. After a long day of Martin’s teammates taking up the chase, he decided to bridge himself and took Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) and Andreas Kloden (Radioshack-Leopard) with him.

Those three successfully caught up to Gilbert with 19km to go, with Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) also bridging with 5km remaining and the gap at 50″. Finally, with just a few kilometers remaining and the gap less than 50″, it became clear Martin’s GC lead would be enough to win the red jersey at Tour of Belgium for the second year in a row.

stage 5 of the Baloise Belgium Tour

“It was amazing how my teammates were riding for me,” Martin said. “It was really nice to stay with them. As expected the race was really hard from the beginning. A lot of attacks from the start. All my teammates had to work hard. But we stayed confident and stuck to the plan.”

Follow the link to see the results from stage 5 of the Belgium Tour and details of the overall classification.

Malori wins Bayern-Rundfahrt

Lampre-Merida rider Adriano Malori held on to his overall lead on the final stage of the Bayern-Rundfahrt to win the five-stage race by 23 seconds over Geraint Thomas (Sky) and 26 seconds over Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura).

The final stage was won in a sprint by Heinrich Haussler (IAM) but with Malori finishing in the main bunch with the same time as Haussler, it was enough to maintain the lead he claimed after winning the stage 4 individual time trial.

Bayern-Rundfahrt 2013 - stage -5

Malori was quoted in a Lampre-Merida press release after the race saying:

“In the weeks before the start of Bayern Rundfahrt, I trained with deep passion knowing well that this race could be a good target for me. I knew the time trial could have been decisive and that, thanks to the support by the team, I could have aimed to win the overall classification.”

Malori will now turn his attention to the Tour de Slovenie which begins on June 13.

Follow the link to see full results from the 2013 Bayern Rundfahrt.

Johannson wins Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik

After consistently delivering podium results this season, Swedish national champion Emma Johansson has won a three-up sprint in Gooik to take her first victory in Orica-AIS colours and her second win of the season.

Johansson and Tiffany Cromwell were part of an eight-rider escape group that formed over the climbs that peppered the opening loop of Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik. The first hill split the bunch, and all six of the Orica-AIS riders made the first of three groups that formed.

On the penultimate lap, Marianne Vos (Rabobank) accelerated from the first group on the hill where Cromwell had planned to make her move one lap later. But Cromwell shut down the move and when the next move came from Iris Slappendel (Rabobank), Johansson went with her, as did Maaike Polspoel (Sengers).

Initially, the trio collaborated in an effort to distance themselves from their former breakmates. As the gap approached 30”, Slappendel began to skip turns.

“In the last lap, we still had 30 seconds and we realised then Marianne probably wasn’t coming across,” Johansson said. “Iris attacked, and I shut her down. I tried to get Maaeke to attack after that. I thought if she did, we could make Iris chase. It was better for both of us to make Iris tired for the finish after she had sat on for a bit.”

05_26_13_Gooik_005.234922

Johansson entered the final corner on Slappendel’s wheel. Polspoel sat behind Johansson.

“We were altogether when we came in for the final,” explained Johansson. “I kept telling myself ‘Hold it, hold it, hold it. Wait, wait, wait.’ I knew I could beat Iris in the sprint, but I wasn’t sure about Maaeke. I went at 250 metres. I took the corner wide so neither of them could pass me on the outside, and I sprinted straight for the line after that.”

Johansson edged out Polspoel for the win. Slappendel rounded out the podium. Cromwell outkicked her group of five to win the sprint for fourth place.

In addition to taking the race win, Orica-AIS won the overall omnium of the three stand-alone races contested in Holland and Belgium this weekend. Fifth on Friday in Sittard and third on Saturday in Aalburg, Johansson’s win on Sunday sealed her omnium victory.

Text via Orica-AIS press release. Follow the link to see full results from the 2013 Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik.

King wins first ever women’s Milk Race

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s World and Olympic champion Dani King has won the first ever women’s Milk Race, in Nottingham’s historic city centre, escaping the peloton after just 20 minutes and soloing to the finish.

Danny King wins Inaugural Milk Race for Women

King powered around the 1.2km city centre circuit, increasing her lead lap on lap, to finish more than a minute ahead of the chasing bunch.

Text via Wiggle Honda press release.

Zirbel and Small win US time trial championship

The US National Road and ITT Championships are currently underway in Chattanooga, Tennessee and after day 1 of the three-day event, the winners of the men’s and women’s individual time trials have been decided.

Tom Zirbel (Optum) won the men’s 31km ITT in a time of 38:16, 17 seconds ahead of Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and 41 seconds ahead of Nathan Brown (Bontrager). Carmen Small (Specialized-Lululemon) took out the women’s event in 42:37, just one second clear of Kristin McGrath (Exergy Twenty16) and 12 seconds ahead of Alison Powers.

The men’s and women’s road races will be decided this evening over 102km and 165km respectively.

Follow the links to see the full results from the 2013 men’s US National ITT Championships and results from the 2013 women’s US National ITT Championships.

Tansley wins men’s Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour

South Australia’s George Tansley (Euride Racing) claimed a memorable home town victory in the inaugural Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour over the weekend, the fourth event in the Subaru National Road Series.

Tansley, 19, was part of the team’s decisive victory in Friday’s opening stage team time trial which propelled Harry Carpenter into yellow.

The jersey changed shoulders to Tansley after Saturday’s 158km road race, before today’s final stage saw the home team cover every move to ensure they went home with the goods.

“We are a new team and to come out and win only the third tour we’ve raced in, especially in our home town as well is amazing,” Tansley said.

Line honours in Sunday’s final stage, an 82km kermesse around the streets of Newton, went to Search2Retain’s Neil Van der Ploeg who won a sprint to the line ahead of Scott Law (GPM Data#3) and Jack Beckinsale (Huon-Genesys).

“That was the first time we’ve nailed a lead out so it was an awesome team effort,” Victoria’s Van der Ploeg said following his stage victory.

The peloton remained together as the bell sounded for the final lap, with Euride Racing, Huon Genesys and Charter Mason the teams with obvious lead out trains.

However it all came undone on the back straight when GPM Data#3 and Search2Retain made their move to the front, ensuring a sprint finish between Law and Van der Ploeg.

“That was the first time all five of the boys in the team did a big turn on the last lap and at the end my run was timed to perfection,” exclaimed Van der Ploeg.

The next event on the 2013 Subaru NRS is the Santos North Western Tour in Northern New South Wales from June 19-22.

Follow the link to see full results from the 2013 men’s Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour.

Cure wins women’s Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour

Canberra’s Rebecca Wiasak claimed the final day’s honours while Tasmania’s Amy Cure claimed the overall victory at the Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour.

Following an audacious break away from the Suzuki-Bontrager cyclist early into the 60km final stage kermesse, Wiasak held on to win in a thrilling push to the line from Sydney’s Ashlee Ankudinoff (Target Trek) and Cure (Team Polygon Australia).

“I really really wanted to win, I haven’t won a race that is not a time trial or a pursuit, so it was pretty special,” said Wiasak, 28, who added to her time trial victories at the Mersey Valley Tour and Battle on the Border. “I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stay away as I was really hurting , but I gritted my teeth and its amazing to come away with the win, particularly in front of my family.”

On a slightly cool, but still Sunday morning in the Adelaide suburb of Newton, 65 riders set out for 16 laps of the 3.7km course, with a solid pace created from the start.

After launching a solo attack on the fifth lap to reel in South Australia’s Rebecca Werner who established an early break, Wiasak went clear herself before forming a lead group of four riders shortly after.

The lead quartet swelled to nine on the tenth lap following a move by Ankudinoff, with the group creating a gap of over half a minute with just two laps remaining.

Recognising the danger to Cure’s yellow jersey, a tremendous effort on the front of the peloton by the Team Polygon crew reeled in the lead group on the final lap to set up the final dash to the line.

Tour champion Cure, 20, was quick to laud praise on her team mates after a sensational three day effort which saw them also net victory in the team’s general classification.

“It is fantastic to be able to ride as a team in an Australian tour and pull off the win,” Cure said. “Of course our main focus was to just make sure we held onto that jersey and the whole team contributed equally once again.

Cure will now shift focus to European racing, with the Tasmanian to head overseas in one week with the 2013 Jayco-AIS Women’s Endurance Squad which also includes Sulzberger, Baker, Wiasak, Ankudinoff and Taryn Heather, Chloe McConville and Emily Roper.

“We (AIS riders) have all showed that we have been at the top lately, myself and Rebecca here, plus all the VIS girls are riding really well,” Cure noted. “I think we will have a really good team and hopefully we can get more wins when we start racing in Belgium and Holland.”

In the overall Subaru NRS rankings, Queensland’s Ruth Corset fifth place in the Adelaide Tour was enough to retain the leader’s jersey from Pensar-SPM team mate Katrin Garfoot, with the strong Queensland-based outfit also retaining it’s teams rankings lead.

The next event for the women on the 2013 Subaru NRS is the Santos North Western Tour in Northern New South Wales from June 19-22.

Follow the link to see full results from the 2013 women’s Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour.

Aussies impress in the Tour of Japan

The 2013 Tour of Japan was wrapped up over the weekend with Italy’s Fortunato Baliani (Nippo-Da Rosa) winning the general classification in the six-stage race for the second year in a row.

Ben Dyball (Huon-Genesys) was the highest placed Australian finishing in fifth after he won the brutal fourth stage on the slopes of Mt. Fuji. Dyball’s time of 39:47 up the 11km climb is the fastest in the race’s eight-year history. Click here to see some great photos from the stage.

Not to be outdone, Dyball’s teammate Nathan Earle won stage 5, making it back-to-back wins for the Australian Huon-Genesys squad. The fifth stage was held on the extremely windy and hilly Japan Cycle Sports Centre Circuit Course and Earle came up trumps at the head of a group of five riders. Click here for photos and a video from stage 5.

Follow the link to see the full results from the 2013 Tour of Japan.

Di Luca tests postitive to EPO, again

You probably heard that Vini-Fantini rider Danilo Di Luca has tested positive to EPO and been ejected from the Giro and his team as a result. You can read the full story here and read this article at VeloNation in which Vini-Fantini DS admits “I never wanted Di Luca in the team and I’ve never made any secret to anyone of this, even receiving some criticism.”

Many riders in (and beyond) the pro peloton took to Twitter to express their outrage at Di Luca’s actions:

Netherlands won’t host the 2015 Vuelta start after all

A few weeks ago we reported that Vuelta a Espana organisers had seemingly decided that four stages of the 2015 Vuelta would be held in The Netherlands. It would seem that things have changed with Vuelta organisers now telling the Dutch organising committee, apparently without any explanation, that the race won’t be heading to the Netherlands.

Click here to read the full story at Cycling News.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally today, here are a couple of things you might have missed since you last visited the site:


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