Nacer Bouhanni leads Tour of Beijing after stage three

France’s Nacer Bouhanni took his second stage win in as many days at the Tour of Beijing on Sunday to extend his lead at the top of the general classification after three stages.

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The Francaise des Jeux rider sprinted home in a bunch finish at the end of the 176km third stage from Yanqing to Qiandiajian, even though the climbers had been expected to dominate with seven ascents on the route.

World champion Rui Costa’s Movistar team attacked on the final climb before London Olympics silver medallist and defending Tour of Beijing champion Tony Martin of Germany — who is hoping to make it three overall wins in a row — took the lead.

But the Frenchman’s riders reeled Martin in and the 23-year-old shot down the outside on the finishing straight to come home ahead of Australia’s Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) and Russia’s Aleksei Tsatevich (Katusha).

“I went on the left and I didn’t hesitate,” Bouhanni said, according to a report released by the organisers. “It was hard but I had a super team to support me and I didn’t want to disappoint them and I went for it.”

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The win stretched Bouhanni’s lead in the battle for the leader’s red jersey from one second to 11, ahead of Matthews and fellow Frenchman Maxime Bouet, with Tsatevich and Belgium’s Nikolas Maes five seconds further back. Rui Costa is seventh overall, 19 seconds from the leader, and Martin is 21st, one more second behind.

Bouhanni won stage two in a sprint ahead of Italian Roberto Ferrari after breaking free with 500 metres of the race remaining. Stage 1 was won by Norway’s Thor Hushovd who has had to abandon the race to fly home to look after his daughter who was hospitalised on the weekend.

Follow the link for results from stage 3 of the 2013 Tour of Beijing.Text via AFP.

Degenkolb wins Paris-Tours

Germany’s John Degenkolb won the 107th edition of Paris-Tours on Sunday, the Argos-Shimano rider coming in ahead of Dane Michael Morkov and Arnaud Demare of France.

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The 24-year-old, who finished fourth in the event 12 months ago, attacked the leading group with the 2012 winner Marco Mercato in the closing stages and went on to seal the win.

Six kilometres from the line Dutch rider Jetse Bol made his bid for glory, only to be caught 500 metres from the finish.

Follow the link for results from the 2013 Paris-Tours. Text via AFP.

Alex Ray wins men’s Shipwreck Coast Classic

New Zealand’s Alexander Ray has taken out the men’s Shipwreck Coast Classic, part of the Subaru National Road Series, in trying conditions on Sunday.


Ray claimed the event ahead of 2012 champion Floris Goesinnen (Drapac) and Saturday’s Melbourne to Warrnambool podium finisher Jacob Kauffmann (Budget Forklifts).

“This win is up there with the best in my career,” Ray said. “This is my last race of the season so it’s great to go out with a win,” said Ray who was guest riding for the Target Trek racing team.

Stormy conditions greeted the 110 strong peloton as they made their way out of the seaside town of Warrnambool, with the brutal winds taking their toll with only 31 riders making it to the finish line.

Ray was a member of a breakaway group which formed 11km into the 128km Great Ocean Road race, with the rider launching a decisive attack with 15km remaining, taking Goesinnen with him.

“Towards the end of the race a lot of the guys started looking around at each other and attacking but it wasn’t until later on that I was able to get away,” Ray said. “Luckily I had Floris on my wheel which helped because his teammates didn’t need to chase us.”

The final race in the men’s Subaru NRS is the Grafton to Inverell classic held in a fortnight’s time.

Follow the link for results from the 2013 men’s Shipwreck Coast Classic.

Nicole Whitburn win’s women’s Shipwreck Coast Classic

In the women’s Shipwreck Coast Classic, raced in similarly awful conditions, Nicole Whitburn (Pensar SPM) clinched her maiden Subaru NRS victory, edging out Jessica Mundy (Jayco/Apollo/VIS) and Kristy Glover (Holden Women’s Cycling).


“This win is fantastic for me,” Whitburn said. “The conditions were just horrible, the winds were so strong but luckily it didn’t rain until the end of the race.”

Whitburn, 35, was part of a five-woman breakaway which established after just 4km of racing in the 127km race. The group of Whitburn, Mundy, Glover, Shannon Malseed (Holden Women’s Cycling) and Emily Roper (Suzuki-Bontrager) worked well together despite the extremely gusty conditions.

There was no urgency in the peloton with the gap reaching nine and a half minutes at its biggest, allowing the lead group to maintain their grip on the race.

“I was a little bit surprised when we stayed away, I was just hoping to get to the first sprint but then the time gap just kept going out and out and we kept riding.”

The women’s NRS concludes in two weeks’ time with the Tour of the Goldfields in Ballarat. The series honours will go down to the wire with Whitburn’s teammate Ruth Corset just two points behind leader Katrin Garfoot (Jayco/Apollo/VIS).

Follow the link for results from the 2013 women’s Shipwreck Coast Classic.

Sam Horgan wins the Melbourne to Warrnambool

New Zealand’s Sam Horgan (Budget Forklifts) took out the 2013 Melbourne to Warrnambool cycling classic on Saturday in a team trifecta, sealing his victory ahead of teammates Jack Anderson and Jacob Kauffman.


Horgan attacked a reduced peloton with five kilometres remaining, chasing down a fading breakaway group before powering ahead to the finish line sealing line honours in his maiden Melbourne to Warrnambool.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said Horgan who also took out the Tour of the Great South Coast which concluded in Warrnambool in August.

Click here to read more and to see the results. Stay posted for photos and insight from the race, coming later today.

Gilbert calls for fewer and easier races

In an end-of-season review on his website former world champion Philippe Gilbert directly addressed Brian Cookson and the UCI, asking for the governing body to consider making the WorldTour calendar less punishing on the riders. Here’s an excerpt:

I would also like to address race organisers and the UCI. I hope the new UCI President is open to feelings that currently live among the riders. That alone would be quite a change, as well as a major step forward for the riders.

The way road cycling seasons are organised right now, the number of races and their levels of difficulty, it is all a bit much, if not wrong. All organisers want to have the race with most height difference, the longest climb, the steepest climb, the longest race… In short, their aim is to have something out of the ordinary for their own race so as to distinguish themselves from the others.

In a time where we all want to do away with doping more than ever before, there is a clear discrepancy between what the riders are able to manage and what is presented to us during races.

Click here to read the full article.

Santambrogio saved by “affection” from the internet

As we reported late last week, former Vini-Fantini rider Mauro Santambrogio had published a handful of extremely ominous-sounding tweets including “goodbye world” and “I can’t do this any more.”

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In an interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday Santambrogio admitted he’d hit rock bottom after testing positive for EPO earlier this year and that it was an outpouring of support and concern from Twitter and the internet that stopped him from taking his own life.

“I touched rock bottom and maybe I even went below that. But now I feel better,” Santambrogio said. “I understood that I was doing something stupid, something that was bigger than me. The affection that I felt around me on the internet saved me.”

Santambrogio continued: “I’ve asked for help from a psychologist, who I will see this evening [Friday]. I want to make it. I have to make it.”

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

Australian Cyclists Party plans tilt at Victorian and NSW upper houses

One of the biggest surprises to come out of the Federal Election last month was the fact that the Motoring Enthusiasts Party won a seat in the Senate. In a case of “if they can do it, why we can’t we?”, cycling activist Omar Khalifa has launched the Australian Cyclists Party in a bid to contest the Victorian and New South Wales state elections in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

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The party’s policies are yet to be determined but Mr Khalifa said every aspect of cycling would be incorporated.

“We’re trying to seek broad-based support for cycling in all its forms – whether it’s recreational, it’s commuting, it’s mountain biking, it’s for tourist cycling,” he said. “But we think … that if we accommodate cyclists, it actually affects a lot of things around it. It talks to the liveability of cities and the transport issues many of them have.”

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald. And click here to see the party’s website.

”Changing Places” campaign to foster understanding between truck drivers and cyclists

In recent years there have been a number of nasty incidents in the UK with cyclists getting hit and killed by trucks. Now, a lot of attention is being paid to how truck drivers and cyclists interact on the road and how those interactions can be improved.

A new initiative is inviting cyclists to sit in the cab of a truck and get a sense of what truck drivers can and can’t see while driving. It’s hoped that the insight will give cyclists greater understanding of how best to be seen when riding near large vehicles.

Click here to read more at road.cc

Panda Corner at the Tour of Beijing

We all know that Dutch Corner on Alpe d’Huez is a part of Tour de France folklore but it’s not the only WorldTour event to have a fan-dominated corner. Not by a long shot. The Tour of Beijing, for example, has Panda Corner.

Check out this great video from the folks at the Global Cycling Network to see what it’s all about.

A terrifying near-miss

Here’s how the rider involved described a scary incident that could have cost him his life:

While 99% of road users show commonsense, care and courtesy, this motorist must have had an urgent appointment which seems to give him permission to ignore all road rules – he overtook another vehicle while turning onto the road, in the wrong lane headed directly towards me. Not impressed.

 

Roadtripping Norway

Last Friday we launched a series of articles about the quest to find the worlds most perfect roads. We kicked off the “Roadtripping” series with a trip to Norway courtesy of three guys from Poland and we couldn’t have been happier with the result. We hope you love the piece as much as we loved putting it together. Check it out here.


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