Paolini wins Giro d’Italia stage 3

(AFP) – Luca Paolini (Katusha) has won the 222km third stage of the Giro d’Italia from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea overnight, taking the overall leader’s pink jersey in the process.

Paolini was 16 seconds clear of the field when he crossed the line, with former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC) and reigning Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) leading a small group of GC contenders to the line.

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Hesjedal was the main protagonist in an exciting end to the stage. Around 20km from home Hesjedal’s Garmin team upped the pace on a tough gradient before their team leader sprung a surprise attack on that final climb.

Nibali’s Astana team took up the chase and reeled in Hesjedal but the reigning champion kept the pressure up on the descent before Paolini burst clear.

Hesjedal’s initial attack had momentarily dropped Evans but the BMC rider recovered and by the end he was the main winner amongst the overall contenders.

Paolini took over the leader’s jersey from countryman Salvatore Puccio of Team Sky, who was distanced on the final climb.

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The Katusha rider now leads the Giro from reigning Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins by 17 seconds with the latter’s teammate Rigoberto Uran Uran third on the same time as his team leader.

Tonight’s fourth stage takes the riders 246km from Policastro Bussentino to Serra San Bruno with a third category climb 40km from the finish and a second category climb that peaks less than 7km before the stage finish.

Click here to see the full results from stage 3 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia. Click here to read the full story.

Evans takes second in Giro d’Italia stage 3

Cadel Evans’ second place in stage 3 of the Giro overnight gave the Australian Tour de France champion a 12-second time bonus that boosted his ranking from 60th overall to 12th going into stage 4.

Evans was able to stay with attacks throughout the day, apart from that of Paolini who launched on the final descent to win the stage. Evans led the chasing bunch of GC contenders over the line in a sort-of sprint, picking up a time bonus that sees the BMC rider 42 seconds behind overall leader Paolini.

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In a press release, Evans was quoted saying: “A small time bonus may not make a difference at the end of the Giro but it doesn’t hurt for sure. Most of all, it’s a little bit of encouragement for everyone on the team.”

Evans wrote in his online diary about a crash earlier in the stage:

“In a moment of what I assumed would be slightly less tense racing after the feed zone I got caught up in a stupid little accident. Over the bars and on top of Paolo Tiralongo. Tangled in both his and my bike, I thought my Giro might have been over for a moment. All because of some stray water bottle on the road. X-rays done and they tell me I’m bruised but ok.”

Click here to read Cadel’s Diary entry from stage 3.

Stage 3 crashes hurts Scarponi’s Giro chances

And speaking of crashes, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) also took a bit of a tumble on last night’s stage. Unluckily for the Italian, the crash happened on the final descent with only 5km left to race, and after having to wait for a replacement bike Scarponi lost a minute on stage winner Luca Paolini.

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Luckily Scarponi wasn’t seriously injured — a couple of scrapes and grazes seem to be the worst he suffered — but it’s his chances of overall success that have been most damaged by the fall.

Scarponi now sits in 22nd place overall, 1:23 behind Luca Paolini.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Casar out of the Giro with broken wrist

FDJ rider Sandy Casar wasn’t so lucky however, having broken his wrist in a fall during last night’s third stage. Casar was apparently planning to ride in and finish all three Grand Tours this year but it wasn’t to be.

In a 14-year professional career Casar has competed in 17 Grand Tours, winning three stages of the Tour de France along the way.

Click here to read more.

Hesjedal defiant after stage 3 Giro attack

In the lead-up to this year’s Giro d’Italia much of the talk has been about the expected battles between Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali. Few have considered Ryder Hesjedal among the list of favourites which might be a little unfair given he won the race last year.

Overnight, Hesjedal showed he wasn’t going to sit back and wait for things to unfold, attacking several times, including on the final climb of the day, and eventually went on to finish third in the stage.

Hesjedal said afterwards: “I wasn’t necessarily trying to take time, but I was trying to be at the front. I was trying to stay out of trouble, to go on the offensive a little bit, keep the pressure on, and when you do that, you open up more opportunities for yourself.”

Reporters asked Hesjedal if he thought his attacks so early in the race could cost him later in the three-week Tour, to which he replied:

“I think you could see in my sprint that I was just fine at the end of day, and all day,” Hesjedal said. “I’m not worried about what other people might think [of the tactic]. Everyone said I couldn’t win the Giro last year, and they got that wrong, I’m just happy with my day. The team was fine, and we’re here to race, to do what we feel we need to do to win.”

Click here to see the full story at VeloNation.

Froome named as Sky Tdf leader

(AFP) Chris Froome is set to lead Team Sky’s bid at this year’s Tour de France, according to announcement by team principal Dave Brailsford overnight.

Ever since Froome played a key role in helping teammate Bradley Wiggins become the first Briton to win cycling’s most prestigious road race last year, there has been intense speculation as to which one of the riders would be in the ‘number one’ position for the 2013 edition.

Sky had previously said their challenge for this year’s Tour would be built around Froome, a position Olympic champion Wiggins — whose main aim for 2013 is to win the Giro d’Italia that started on Saturday — appeared happy to accept.

Click here to read the full story.

Horner out of the Tour of California

2011 Tour of California champion Chris Horner will miss the 2013 edition of the race with a recurring knee injury.

Horner has suffered from iliotibial band friction syndrome since the end of Tirreno-Adriatico. The pain forced him to abandon the Tour of Catalunya and made it impossible for him to start in the Tour of the Basque Country. Despite many treatments Horner still has pain at the outside of his left knee.

“So far the doctors have been optimistic about my knee problem, but as soon as I started training, the pain came back,” explains Chris Horner. “The last time that I was on the bike for more than four hours was in Catalunya. There is no way I can race now. All of my condition is gone. After Catalunya I was off the bike for four weeks.”

The Tour of California starts in Escondido on May 12th.

Click here to read the full media release from Radioshack Leopard Trek.

Tour of Toowoomba starlist

The third race in the Subaru men’s National Road Series starts on Thursday: the Tour of Toowoomba. Jack Haig (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) goes into the four-day, five-stage race with the overall lead in the National Road Series. The Tour will feature three road races, an individual time trial and a criterium.

Click here to see the startlist and click here to learn more about the Tour of Toowoomba.

Meet the 2013 Rabobank/Liv Giant team

We’re all familiar with the world-beating exploits of Marianne Vos, but here’s a good opportunity to get a little more familiar with the Dutchwoman’s Rabobank/Liv Giant team.

Katusha’s CAS appeal: how it won back its license

You might recall that the UCI originally denied Katusha a WorldTour license for 2013 and that it was only a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal that reversed that decision. Well, as The Inner Ring reports, CAS’s full ruling in the Katusha case is now available and it’s a report that shows why the UCI wanted to ban Katusha and what the Russian-based team had to go through to get the decision overturned.

Click here to read the full CAS ruling and click here to see The Inner Ring’s analysis of the report.

How bad do you really want it?

by Jono Lovelock

Well, probably not as bad as Cassie Cameron. Herein lies the story of an 18-year-old cyclist from New Zealand who trains and races internationally. In order to raise money for her upcoming season in America she struck up the idea of riding continuously for 20 hours.

Cassie had no exact course and no exact plan, just a pocket full of cash and a fistful of No Doz set to fuel her mad plan. And in the end nothing could stop her; not tears, nor exhaustion, nor even smashing into the back of a car. No, she even extended the wager and completed a full 24 hours of cycling. And you thought the Giro was tough.

You can read about Cassie’s bravery/insanity over at her blog.

Should Amgen be sponsoring bike races?

The Tour of California begins next week and since its inception the pharmaceutical company Amgen has been the title sponsor. Amgen holds the patent for artificial EPO.

Crankpunk has a good blog post asking, “is Amgen an appropriate sponsor for a bike race?” You can read the post here. What’s your take?


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