Moreno takes Tour of Spain fourth stage

(AFP) – Spain’s Dani Moreno (Katusha) broke clear in the final kilometre to win the fourth stage of the Tour of Spain on Tuesday as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) regained the overall lead.

Moreno attacked with conviction on the 2km climb to the finish of the 189km ride from Lalin/a Estrada to Fisterra in Galicia to hold off Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), who finished second and third respectively.

Michael Matthews takes 3rd in stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana

Michael Matthews takes 3rd in stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana

“It was a spectacular victory, I am very happy,” said Moreno, who just fell short of triumphing in Sunday’s second stage, eventually won by Irishman Nicholas Roche.

“I had this stage in mind and I said to Purito (Joaquim Rodriguez) yesterday that I didn’t know the climb but that I was going to try and do it.

“This year I haven’t had as much luck as in the past so right now I am going to enjoy this victory.”

Nibali was part of a group of 21 riders awarded the same time as Moreno that also included overall contenders Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rodriguez (Katusha).

“I am surprised because I didn’t got to contest the stage win,” said Nibali, who is looking to win his second Tour of Spain after also claiming the Giro d’Italia this year.

“I stayed at the front of the peloton just to avoid risks and control things a bit and in the end I have left with the leader’s jersey.”

Veteran American Chris Horner (RadioShack), whose victory on stage three saw him wear the leader’s red jersey on Tuesday, finished six seconds behind the leading pack to fall three seconds off the lead.

Daniel Moreno on the podium after winning stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana

Daniel Moreno on the podium after winning stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana

Saxo rider Roche, meanwhile, is a further six seconds back in the overall classification.

The stage didn’t really come to life until the final stages as the peloton set a controlled pace throughout the day to prevent significant breakaways.

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) had been part of an early five-man breakaway and attacked on his own after the short but incredibly steep climb up the Mirador de Ezaro, which included ramps with a 30% gradient.

However, the Frenchman was soon swallowed up the peloton, which then stayed together until the climb to the finish line.

Cancellara showed his hand first but Moreno produced an impressive burst in the final 500 metres to leave the Swiss trailing in his wake.

STAGE 4 VUELTA A ESPANA FULL RESULTS

RadioShack scales back due to financial problems

RadioShack-Leopard, according to Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, will only race WorldTour events for the remainder of the seasons due to financial constraints. Current team owner, Flavio Becca is reportedly short of money and is unable to afford otherwise.

The team will race only in required, WorldTour events from here until the season’s end: GP Ouest-France, GP Quebec, GP Montreal, Giro di Lombardia and the Tour Beijing.

In 2014, as already planned, Trek takes over as team owner.

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Horner’s competition

Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) became the oldest rider to win a stage and lead a Grand Tour on Monday in the Vuelta a España. Just what was the 41-year-old (and 10 months) rider up against?

Chris Horner wins stage 3 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana.

Chris Horner wins stage 3 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana.

Pino Cerami: The Belgian, who migrated from Sicily and took out citizenship, won a stage of the 1963 Tour de France at 41 years old (and 95 days).

Andrea Noè: The Italian led the Giro d’Italia in 2007 when he was 38 years old (and 128 days).

Eugene Christophe: The Frenchman led the Tour in 1922 at the age of 37 (164 days).

“I just enjoy training and riding,” said Horner. “I think that every day could be the last, that it could all end.”

(Numbers according to La Gazzetta dello Sport)

Andersen wins stage 3 of Tour de l’Avenir, Ewan third

Michael Valgren Andersen (Denmark) suprised the sprinters and won stage 3 of the Tour de l’Avenir on Tuesday. He beat sprinters Gavin Mannion (US) and Caleb Ewan (Aus). Ewan finished third after winning the two previous stages. Leading the general classification is Frenchman Alexis Gougeard who retained the yellow jersey.

MINI-stg03_pelton01_tour-de-lavenir_2013

Stage 3 results

1 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Denmark 2:47:50
2 Gavin Mannion (USA) United States 0:00:02
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Australia 0:00:03
4 Rick Zabel (Ger) Germany
5 Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Italy

General Classification

1 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) France 10:19:23
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) France 0:00:04
3 Victor Manakov (Rus) Russia 0:00:06
4 Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain
5 Samuel Spokes (Aus) Australia

Full results and official site.

Vini Fantini nears end

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia will likely end this winter after the doping cases of Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

General Manager Angelo Citracca told Italian newspaper, Il Tirreno, “If we lose the main and co-sponsor, I don’t see how we can continue going. We’ve made a request to the UCI to continue in the second division, but how things are going; I’d give it only a 25 per cent chance that we race next year.”

The second division team started up in 2009 and helped launch the careers of Andrea Guardini (now with Astana) and Oscar Gatto (linked to Cannondale for 2014). Staff and 23 riders must now find new teams.

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Impey leads South Africa at Worlds

South Africa has already announced their team for the UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy. Orica-GreenEDGE’s Daryl Impey will lead its team at the Florence Worlds road race on September 29. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Argos-Shimano) will ride alongside Impey in the two-man team. Janse Van Rensburg will also race the time trial.

Tour de France 2013 stage-7

Reguigui: First Algerian in WorldTour Race

Youcef Reguigui made history on Sunday in Germany’s Vattenfall Cyclassics by becoming the first Algerian in a WorldTour race. Reguigui, 23, helped MTN-Qhubeka’s Gerald Ciolek in the lead-up to the sprint.

“It’s the first time I raced 250 kilometres,” Reguigui said in a team statement. “It was just an unbelievable day.”

reguigui

The first-year pro aims to improve for next season. He considers himself a one-day racer and wants to participate in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix.

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Merckx’s Bontrager team to continue

Despite the Lance Armstrong fallout, Under 23 team Bontrager will continue into 2014. The Texan started the team in 2009, coinciding with his return to cycling.

Director Axel Merckx said at the USA Pro Challenge that he found a new sponsor to replace out-going Trek and Bontrager. He explained that the deal is not yet on paper and that he wants to hold off announcing the sponsor.

The team launched the pro careers of Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEDGE), Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing), Joe Dombrowski (Sky) and other top talents.

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Sky and Pinarello extend sponsorship contract

Sky and Pinarello announced overnight that they extended their sponsorship contract for another three years, through 2016. The team, via Bradley Wiggins last year and Chris Froome this year, rode the Italian bikes to victory in the Tour de France.

pinerelloSky

“I want to thank everyone on the team – from the riders to mechanics and all the staff – for the great support that they have given us during the last four years,” Fausto Pinarello said in a press release. Pinarello linked up with the British super team for its debut in 2010.

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Brian Cookson on his bid for the UCI’s top job

UCI presidential candidate Brian Cookson is in Australia to drum up support before the September election and he took some time out to speak with Cycling Central’s Alex Hinds about why he’s the man for the job.

Part 1

Part 2