Moreno wins stage 9 of the Vuelta

Spaniard Daniel Moreno (Katusha) produced another strong climb in last night’s 163.7km ride from Antequera to Valdepenas de Jaen to claim his second stage win and the overall lead in the Tour of Spain.

stage-9 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

Moreno edged out compatriots Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez (Katusha) by four seconds with overnight leader Nicholas Roche (Saxo) finishing fourth, eight seconds behind. However, due to the 10-second bonus handed to stage winners, Moreno moved ahead of Roche by one second in the general classification with Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) moving back up to third, 20 seconds behind Moreno.

It is quite an achievement for the 31-year-old who is not even the leader of his own team and he insisted afterwards that Rodriguez, who currently lies 56 seconds behind Moreno in sixth, remains Katusha’s prime candidate to win in Madrid in two weeks time.

The stage itself was relatively well controlled by the peloton as an early five-man breakaway was swallowed up with around 30km to go.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) then made an attack on the category two climb up the Alto de los Frailes, but the Norwegian never looked like having enough of a lead to get up the steep climb to the finish in the last kilometre.

Moreno then took to the front and comfortably maintained his advantage over Valverde and Rodriguez to claim his second stage victory in six days.

Follow the link for results from stage 9 of the Vuelta a Espana. Text via AFP.

Pozzato wins 2013 GP Ouest France – Plouay

Lampre-Merida’s Filippo Pozzato has won the GP Ouest France-Plouay race overnight, timing his final kick perfectly to win the bunch sprint ahead of compatriot Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Leopard) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale).

Le GP de Plouay 2013

An early breakaway of four riders got as far as 16 minutes ahead of the peloton before the gap started to shrink as the riders hit the nine laps of a demanding 27km circuit.

Argos-Shimano, FDJ, Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Sky all did some time at the front, dragging the gap down before Cyril Gautier’s (Europcar) launched the first of a flurry of attacks from the field with 51km remaining.

With 33km remaining the breakaway was swept up and on the final lap a series of further attacks were launched and quickly shut down.

The latter stages of the race were controlled by BMC Racing and with a number of late attacks reeled in, the peloton came back together as it hit the Ty Marrec climb.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) opened up a slight lead with 1 kilometre remaining but with the peloton surging behind there was no way of holding off a bunch kick.

Follow the link for full results from the 2013 GP Ouest France – Plouay.

Koenig wins stage 8 of the Vuelta

Czech rider Leopold Konig (NetApp) produced an impressive final climb to win the eighth stage of the Tour of Spain on Saturday night, holding off a late surge by Daniel Moreno (Katusha) to take the 166.6km stage from Jerez de la Frontera to Estepona.

stage-8 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013

Overnight leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was one of many favourites to suffer on the 14.5km category-one climb to the finish as he fell to fourth, 18 seconds off the lead, in the overall standings with Chris Horner (RadioShack) and Moreno tied for second 17 seconds back.

The gruelling climb up the Alto Penas Blancas to the finish was always expected to split the peloton after three days of racing more favourable to the sprinters.

Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was first to make a move for home five kilometres from the end, but he was soon followed by Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Ivan Basso (Cannondale), Konig, Moreno and Roche.

Konig then moved in front with just over a kilometre to go and held off Moreno’s final attack to take the victory.

Follow the link for results from stage 8 of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. Text via AFP.

Paul van der Ploeg wins Crosscountry Eliminator world title

Paul Van Der Ploeg has powered to an emphatic victory at the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships in South Africa on Sunday, claiming the elite men’s eliminator world crown.

In an exciting final the 23-year-old wowed the crowd as he attempted a risky overtaking manoeuvre on a tight right-hander in the opening section of the course. The gamble paid off, with Van Der Ploeg maintaining his lead over the remainder of the race to power home to an emotional victory in front of a crowd of thousands gathered at Cascades Park. Daniel Federspiel (Austria) and Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina) filled the podium.

It is just the second year a world championships has been decided in the Eliminator, a fast-paced event which pits four riders against each other in a race to the line lasting just a few minutes in a much shortened version of the Cross Country track.

Easily one of the biggest riders in the field, the rider dubbed the “Aussie giraffe” by ground announcers posted the fourth fastest time in seeding, before progressing through to the final by winning the quarter and semi finals.

Despite already showing his hand in the semi final, his competitors had no answer for the nifty tactics of Van Der Ploeg in the final, as he once again took the exact same inside line on the first climb to take the lead.

“I know that with cross country eliminator the start is super important. Dan (Federspiel) is superfast off the start so I just got into his slipstream up the first hill,” Van der Ploeg said.

Van Der Ploeg’s gold medal was one of seven medals overall for the Australian contingent at the MTB World Championships.

Gold:

– Paul Van Der Ploeg – Men’s Eliminator

Silver:

– Mick Hannah – Men’s Downhill
– Danielle Beecroft – Junior’s Women’s Downhill

Bronze

– Tracey Hannah – Women’s Downhill
– Jared Graves – Men’s Downhill
– Tegan Molloy – Junior’s Women’s Downhill
– Janine Jungfels – Women’s Trials

Van Der Ploeg’s performance can be seen from 1:49 in this video.

Vos wins GP de Ploauy-Bretagne, secures World Cup victory

Marianne Vos (Rabobank) has won the women’s World Cup in style, taking out the final race in the eight-race series, the GP de Plouay-Bretagne.

La Coupe du Monde FÈminine  Le GP de Plouay 2013

The reigning world and Olympic champion beat second-placed Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) by 12 seconds and third-placed Anna Van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) by 17 seconds in a race which featured five laps of a 27km circuit in Plouay, France.

The 26-year-old escaped a break containing Johansson, van der Breggen, Alena Amialiusik (BePink) and Karol-Ann Canuel (Vienne Futuroscope) to take the win with plenty of time to celebrate.

“It always had to happen in the last lap,” Vos said. “You can never be too confident with strong riders — you don’t beat Emma Johansson that easily and you don’t drop Anna van der Breggen on the climb. So it was quite tough, but I knew I had good legs.”


Vos’s Rabobank squad also won the team competition in the World Cup.

Follow the link for full results from the 2013 GP de Plouay-Bretagne.

Nikolas Maes wins the World Ports Classic

Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has won the two-stage World Ports Classic on the weekend after finishing eighth on stage 1 and third on stage 2.

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The 165km opening stage from Antwerp to Rotterdam was won by 24-year-old Belgian Jelle Wallays who took his first professional victory in spectacular fashion.

The Topsport Vlaanderen rider was the last rider in a five-man breakaway on what should have been a normal sprint stage. But without the benefit of race radios, the MTN-Qhubeka and Omega Pharma-Quickstep sprint teams mis-timed their efforts and weren’t able to catch the escapee.

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Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin) won the second and final stage, a 191km ride from Rotterdam to Antwerp, attacking from a 16-rider breakaway less than 20km from the finish and holding on to win.

Frederique Robert (Lotto Belisol) took second in the bunch sprint, while Maes finished third.

“I did a long sprint and Frederique Robert just passed me at the finish line. When this happened I was afraid I didn’t win the race, but after the finish someone on the team told me Robert was far behind the day before, and so I was the winner,” said Maes.

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Maes took the overall title ahead of Australia’s Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Reinier Honig (Crelan-Euphony).

Follow the link for full results from the 2013 World Ports Classic.

Fernandez wins Le Tour de L’Avenir

Spanish rider Ruben Fernandez has won the 2013 edition of the Tour de L’Avenir, an eight-day U23 race often described as the “amateur Tour de France”.

Fernandez took the overall lead on stage 4 when he dominated the final climb to Saint François Longchamp, winning the stage by 1:38 over his nearest rival, Austrian Patrick Konrad.

Fernandez saw his lead whittled down from 1:30 to 1:03 after Britain’s Simon Yates won back to back stages in the French Alps and down to 55 seconds when Julian Alaphilippe won the seventh and final stage to Plâteau des Glières over the weekend.

Follow the link for full results from the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir.

Evans might skip 2014 Tour de France to focus on the Giro

Winner of the 2011 Tour de France, Cadel Evans, has told Fairfax Media that he is considering targeting the Giro d’Italia and skipping the Tour de France next year.

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“I am going to go to the Giro presentation this year to see the [2014] course. That looks like a direction to head in. After all the years going for the Tour, [the idea of missing it] takes a little while getting used to. But the Giro is always a race I wanted to do and do well in. It’s just a matter of changing mindset and so on. So at this point, it looks like directing my energies towards a grand tour other than the Tour de France.”

Evans finished third at this year’s Giro after entering the race as preparation for the Tour. But his effort at the Giro affected his ability to perform at his best at the Tour, which he realised as early as the 8km climb at the end of stage 8.

“When we hit the bottom of Ax 3 Domaines, after 200 metres I felt, ‘This isn’t happening for me’,” Evans said.

The 36-year-old is out of contract with BMC at the end of the year and hasn’t indicated how long he will continue to race for.

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Adam Hansen set for Grand Tours record

Adam Hansen isn’t a contender for the overall at the Vuelta a Espana but if he manages to finish the race he’ll still have something of his own to celebrate. Assuming Hansen makes it to Madrid on September 15, he’ll be the first rider since Spaniard Marino Lejaretta in 1991 to complete seven Grand Tours in a row.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Settima Tappa

Fewer than 40 riders have managed to finish all three Grand Tours in a season and even completing two is considered a tough feat.

“I like doing big blocks of racing and this year so far so good,” Hansen said. ‘I had a good season last year, so I thought ‘why not keep going and do the same again?'”

Click here to read more at SBS Cycling Central.

Greg LeMond backs Cookson in UCI presidency race

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has already spoken extensively about the need for change at the UCI but now the American has issued a statement declaring his support for British candidate Brian Cookson.

Greg Lemond in Breda

According to LeMond, a meeting with Cookson helped to reassure him that the Briton was the right person for the job.

“I have met and spent some time discussing with Brian about where cycling lost its way, how it lost its way, and what to do to bring the sport back to where it is not only a sport that leads by example, but a sport that inspires people once again,” LeMond stated, speaking from Eurobike in Germany.

“I feel confident after meeting Brian that his interest is to bring honest and transparent leadership to a sport that so desperately needs it. My hope is Brian will be the one to bring all interested parties together to once and for all do what was needed to be done years before, find solutions, both short term and long term, and to make it a priority that cycling comes first, not the other way around.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Cycling contributes €200 billion to the European economy: study

A new study presented by the European Cycling Foundation (ECF) at Eurobike last week estimates that cycling’s overall benefit is worth more than €200 billion to the European Union.

This figure is more than 10 times the size of the cycling industry’s own estimates. ECF president Manfred Neun told an audience at Eurobike that if politicians were made aware that cycling is making such a contribution, cyclists and the bike industry would benefit.

The ECF study states that aside from the health benefits, cycling is worth up to €44 billion to the tourism industry, and €24 billion in congestion-easing. Bicycle manufacturing accounts for €18 billion of the total.

Click here to read more.

10 great ways to park your bike

Locking your bike up to a pole on the footpath is so old school, particularly when so many countries around the world have found clever and interesting ways to keep bikes out of the way securely and efficiently.

This article on Cycling Weekly features 10 such methods, and while one Victorian method is featured, it’s hard to go past the underground bike parking in Tokyo.

Check out the article here.

The Vuelta Skelta in a day!

When we launched the Eurosport/CyclingTips Vuelta Skelta Strava Challenge a week or so ago we suggested that some riders might be inclined to attempt the entire thing in one ride. It turns out we were right.

Check out this effort from Melbournian and Hells 500 rider John van Seters.

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John spent more than 16 hours on the same 7km stretch of road — the 1 in 20 climb in Melbourne — notching up 24 laps, 350km and more than 7,200m of climbing.

If you’ve ever done a Strava climbing challenge in the past you’ve probably seen John’s name about the place but this is probably his most impressive achievement to date. A truly staggering ride.

And what about you? Have you signed up for the Vuelta Skelta yet? And if you have, how did your first day or so of the challenge go?

Click here to sign up and for more information.

OneLife: Greg Minnaar, three-time downhill MTB world champion

Over the weekend South African MTB rider Greg Minnaar became only the third person to win a men’s downhill World Championship on home soil.

OneLife is a short documentary about Minnaar’s attempt at this year’s Worlds and was filmed over 10 months between winning the 2012 Downhill World Championships in Leogang, Austria and last weekend’s 2013 World Championships in his hometown of Pietermaritzburg.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:


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