Degenkolb wins Giro stage 5

Argos-Shimano sprinter John Degenkolb has won Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia after a hectic finish in Matera.

Most of the peloton, including race leader Luca Paolini (Katusha) and favourite Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), were held up by several crashes on a dangerous left-hand corner inside the final 1.5km.

Degenkolb had to work hard to catch the remaining rider out front after the crash, but he succeeded in the last few hundred meters and took the win for his team.

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The fifth stage started with five riders allowed up the road early on and their advantage stretched to over eight minutes before the peloton began monitoring the situation more closely. It was GreenEdge and Omega-Pharma – Quick-Step who set an early tempo at the front of the bunch, clearly expecting the stage to favour their sprinters. With Argos-Shimano also lending a hand, the quintet were swept up inside the last 22km as they began a short-sharp climb to Montescaglioso.

Another move was made when the initial breakaway was absorbed by the peloton but that too was shut down. A reduced bunch pressed on into Matera, but with heavy rain having fallen earlier in the day, the road was slick and the decisive crash came on a tight left-hand corner in the heart of the destination town.

Several riders were sent careering into the barriers, and many more were caught up behind, leaving a select group to battle it out for the stage win. Degenkolb emerged as the fastest finisher, crossing the line several lengths ahead of his nearest rivals.

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Luca Paolini and the rest of the peloton benefited from race rules that allow anyone caught up or delayed by crashes inside the final 3km to be given the same time as the winner.

Paolini holds onto his lead in the general classification by 17 seconds over Rigoberto Uran Uran (Sky) and 26 seconds over third-placed Beñat Intxausti (Movistar). Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is 4th, reigning champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) is 5th and race favourite Bradley Wiggins is 6th. Cadel Evans sits 10th overall, 42 seconds behind Paolini.

With no categorised climbs, tonight’s 169km sixth stage is a mainly flat affair that should suit the sprinters.

The above includes material from Argos-Shimano and Team Sky press releases. Click here to see the full results from stage 5 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

Garner wins Tour of Chongming Island stage 1

Lucy Garner has taken the first victory of her professional career, winning the opening stage of the Tour of Chongming Island (UCI 2.1).

The 18-year-old British rider was too strong for Australian Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products-UCK) and Russian Oxana Kozonchuk, winning the bunch sprint at the end of the 73.4km stage in Chongbei.

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Garner, who won the 2011 and 2012 World Junior Road Race Championships, proved a more-than-suitable replacement for the injured Kirsten Wild. Garner told reporters:

“Today everything fell into place. I feel like I’ve finally reached my top form these last few weeks. It is an amazing feeling to win my first race with the elite women. I had hoped for good results this season, of course, but to be given the opportunity to sprint and finish the job is incredible.”

The peloton stayed together for the entirety of the 73.4km race with strong wind being the only major obstacle for the riders to overcome. Today’s second and penultimate stage is 113km long and is also flat and likely to be affected by wind.

Click here to see full results from stage 1 of the 2013 Tour of Chongming Island and click here to read more about stage 1.

Rory Sutherland’s power files from Giro stages 1-3

Here at CyclingTips we love a good power file and so it was good to see that Rory Sutherland (Saxo Tinkoff) has made his available from the first three stages of the Giro.

Thanks to VeloNews and TrainingPeaks we can see the Sutherland took it “easy” on stage 1, sitting in for most of the day, that the stage 2 team time trial was a variable effort, and that the final climb on stage 3 saw Sutherland produce 412W (5.4W/kg) for 30 minutes.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Cameron Wurf blogs from the Giro

We’ve been following Cameron Wurf’s progress at the Giro since he got himself in a monster breakaway on stage 1 and blogged about it later that day. He’s continued to post his thoughts about every stage of the race so far at his blog and it makes for interesting reading. Check out the latest here.

Richie Porte extends contract with Sky

Team Sky has announced that Tasmanian Paris-Nice winner Richie Porte has extended his contract with the team. Porte said in a Sky press release:

“I’m really happy at Team Sky and this was always the best scenario for me. I’ve had a great two years with the team and I feel at home here. There was interest from other teams but Team Sky are the best in the world, with the best staff and riders.

“With this new contract comes an added responsibility, and while I’m more than happy to help guys like Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins in the future, I’d love to lead the squad in a Grand Tour next season.”

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Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said in that same press release:

“Every time he has taken on a leadership role he has excelled. We saw at Paris-Nice exactly what Richie is capable of and there is no doubt that there is a lot more to come from him. If he maintains his current trajectory there is no reason why he can’t go in to a Grand Tour and challenge for victory.”

The details of the contract haven’t been revealed.

Via Team Sky press release. Click here to read more.

Tifosi Tech: The Bikes of the Giro

by Jono Lovelock

Road.cc have put their camera man on the front line at the start of the Giro to report back some interesting technical snippets. Here are two of the the major points of interest:

  • Wiggins is not using the Osymetric rings he is renowned for. He told Velonation, “My climbing’s improved a lot. I’ve come off those silly (ovalised) rings now; I’m back on the normal o-rings, and it’s been a really good transition really.” He also opts for speedplay pedals and his bike is equipped with Di2 11-speed. After his gearing mishap at the Giro del Trentino and the resulting fallout it appears the baby and the bathwater are in fact safe. (And while we’re on the subject of Wiggins’ dummy spit/bike throw, check out these efforts from David Millar and Bjarne Riis).
  • None of the SRAM sponsored teams are riding the manufacturer’s 11-speed groupsets yet. Perhaps the new groupsets are being withheld for a Tour of California unveiling?

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Inside line on team cars at the Giro

Here’s a great video from the folks at the Global Cycling Network explaining all you need to know about the team cars at the Giro d’Italia: where the two team cars will be positioned throughout the race, what order the cars appear in and how the bikes on the roof are arranged. Check it out.

2015 Vuelta a Espana to start in The Netherlands

The 2015 edition of the Vuelta will feature five stages in the Netherlands beginning with a stage 1 team time trial in Emmen. Emmen has previously hosted the finish of stage 2 in 2009, when Gerald Ciolek sprinted to victory.


Click here to read more at RTV Drenthe.

Mobile mechanics a good cycle story

A charitable venture is helping Melbourne’s cyclists to keep their bikes on the road while also helping the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged.

Good Cycles allows riders to have their bikes serviced by mechanics who come to you, visiting you in your office or other workplace.

The not-for-profit employs the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged individuals and gives them bike mechanic training and the opportunity to complete an accredited apprenticeship.

Click here to read more at The Age.

Video: Hells 500’s “Crux”

And finally today, here’s a great video by photographer/filmmaker Nigel Welch that documents an epic ride in the Dandenongs undertaken by the Hells 500 crew recently. The ride consisted of three laps of a popular (but challenging) hills course called The Crucifix and had the riders covering 215km and 5,600m in roughly 10 hours of riding.

This video really sums up the spirit of the ride. You can read more about the day here.

Disclosure: a member of the CyclingTips team might or might not have been present on that particular ride and might or might not run the website linked above.


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