Intxausti wins stage 4 of the Tour of Beijing, takes the overall lead
Spain’s Benat Intxausti launched a dominant attack on the long final climb of the day to win the fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing yesterday and seize the leader’s red jersey.
The Movistar rider made his move just over two kilometres from the finish in Mentougou, in the hills northwest of the Chinese capital.
With some of the competition’s top contenders, including world champion Rui Costa of Portugal and Germany’s defending title holder Tony Martin in the chasing group, Intxausti had to put in everything, grimacing with effort and regularly glancing behind.
It was Ireland’s Daniel Martin who mounted the most effective counter-attack, and looked as though he could reel in the Spaniard — but the 27-year-old held on to cross the line three seconds ahead.
With a 10-second time bonus for winning the 150.5-kilometre stage, the win sent Intxausti straight to the top of the overall classification, holding a virtually unassailable 10-second lead on Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) with only the flat final stage in Beijing to go.
“I am really happy this is my first win since the Giro, because the Vuelta didn’t go really well. I am now ending the season very well,” Intxausti said, according to a statement put out by the event organisers.
He said he was dedicating his win to a friend who died after being crushed by a garage door in 2011. Intxausti was with him at the time of the accident.
The team plan had been to put both world champion Rui Costa and himself in contention on the final climb, Intxausti said.
“Yes at the start of the day the plan was for Rui Costa and for me, so we had both options. In the last two kilometres, I tried to attack so that I could win the stage. Also, we worked hard to take the bonus seconds, because they were also important.”
He continued: “It was a very close finish; I could see Daniel Martin was very close to me. I went full gas to the end so I could raise my hands with enough time.”
The other placings also mirrored the stage result, with his fellow countryman David Lopez, of Team Sky, in third, Movistar teammate Costa fourth, and Romain Bardet of France (Ag2r-La Mondiale) in fifth. Tony Martin, the London Olympics silver medallist who won both the first two editions of the Tour of Beijing, stood sixth.
The final stage of the Tour of Beijing will be held today and takes the riders 117km from Tiananmen Square to Bird’s Nest Piazza.
Follow the link for results from stage 4 of the 2013 Tour of Beijing. Text via AFP.
European cyclocross season begins with round 1 of the Bpost Trofee
The first major race of the European season, the first round of the Bpost Trofee, was held over the weekend in the Flemish city of Ronse. The Bpost Trofee is unique in that the series is awarded based on the cummulative time of the eight rounds, making it effectively a stage race.
In his first year of U23 racing, junior road and cyclocross world champion Matheiu van der Poel started from the back row, and won. This is unheard of, as getting a good start is so important in cyclocross. He is amazingly talented, and you can mark him as a future world champion.
This is the first top level race since the tragic death of Amy Dombroski, and there were many tributes for the American. Fittingly, victory was taken by her young Telenet Fidea teammate and UK champion Nikki Harris from Helen Wyman and Sanne Cant.
Harris bid farewell to her team-mate by wearing a cap bearing Amy’s name in the flipped up style made famous by Amy. The victory salute was filled with emotion. Second place Wyman was at home in the muddy conditions and her results have improved since returning from a stint of racing in the US.
Sven Nys started the season proper where he left off; in winning form. Nys took a dominant win from Martin Bina in second and Niels Albert in third by taking advantage of a Bina crash early in the race and soloing to victory. With the course extremely slippery, riders were unable to ride the steep switchbacks and the running suited Nys.
Bina’s second place was the result of the weekend, proving his world cup win last season was no fluke. With the mud obscuring even the world champions stripes, it was amusing to watch Bina unsuccessfully try to uncover his sponsors logos as he crossed the line. Bina may have begun to resurrect the Czech hope in cyclocross after Stybar’s departure to the road.
Next weekend we see the world cup commence in Valkenburg. Rain is predicted on Sunday, so we should see similar conditions to the quagmire in Ronse.
SVENNESS 2.1: Cyclocross skills session
Speaking of the start of the European ‘cross season, check out this video in the SVENNESS series, a bunch of videos that teach you skills and strategies for ‘cross racing, using footage of actual races.
This particular video, the first episode in series two, features tips on riding sand, negotiating ditches, reconning courses and more.
Click here to see the video.
CONI demands a life ban for Di Luca
Anti-doping officials from the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Monday requested a life ban against cyclist Danilo Di Luca for doping.
Di Luca, 37, quit this year’s Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO out of competition on April 29.
CONI said in a statement that it was the rider’s second violation of the world anti-doping agency (WADA) code and called for his results after the positive test to be wiped out.
The Italian has already served two bans for doping misdemeanours in the past, including a positive test for EPO in 2009.
Text via AFP.
David Millar to retire at the end of 2014
The 2014 season will be David Millar’s 17th as a professional and, the British rider has announced, also his last.
The 36-year-old who rides for Garmin-Sharp said the decision was an easy one.
“It’s been quite organic really,” he said. “It’s been one of those things where you always think it’s going to be a definitive moment, but it hasn’t. It’s kind of crept up and I’m suddenly realising that it’s time.”
Millar is confident he can perform well in his final season.
“I can still be on top of the game, I know that, but it’s a lot harder for me now,” he said. “I know I can get that out of me with the motivation knowing it’s my last year.”
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Marianne Vos set to have surgery on lower-back cyst
World Champion Marianne Vos has told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that she is set to undergo surgery to remove a cyst from her lower back. The cyst has caused her pain throughout the season and now the 26-year-old has decided it’s time to get surgery.
“It may well be that the cyst is pressing on a nerve and gives me pain at the of my bottom back. I know it is not fine, especially during a ‘cross. That is an outright attack on your body.”
After defending her road race world championship last month, Vos competed in and won her first cyclocross race of the season in The Netherlands, a discipline in which she’s also world champion. But she rode most of the race in pain.
“The last laps were definitely not good, no,” she told De Telegraaf.
Click here to read more at VeloNation.
Dave Brailsford uncertain about publishing autobiography
Sir Dave Brailsford, one of the men behind Team GB’s Olympic success and back-to-back Tour de France wins for Team Sky is set to publish his autobiography next year, but seems to be having doubts.
According to Britain’s Mail Online, “Brailsford is having serious doubts about whether he wants his life story and super successful strategies to be published any time in the near future, citing ‘personal reasons’ when asked about the delay.”
Sir Dave’s agents and publisher Penguin expect the book to be released as scheduled.
Click here to read more at road.cc.
Peter Sagan set to ride Noosa crit
In what appears to be a major coup for race organisers, Peter Sagan is set to ride the Noosa crit in the first week of November.
— Kangaroo Point CC (@KangarooPointCC) October 12, 2013
Good luck to anyone else taking the startline on that day.
Behind the scenes of the UCI Women’s World Cup
This video from the UCI’s YouTube channel is an interesting look at what it takes to put together a women’s World Cup race, with insight from Michael Anderson, Race Director of the Open de Suède Vargarda in Sweden.
The Road from Karakol
Here’s something for you to bookmark and watch in your lunchbreak. It’s a 25-minute film that documents one man’s two-month solo journey across Kyrgyzstan by bike. It’s a touching and endearing film that’s sad at times but inspiring and uplifting at others.
You certainly can’t fault his sense of adventure and his courage. It’s also made us want to visit Kyrgyzstan which we wouldn’t have expected in a million years. Well worth a watch.
Click here to watch the video.
Thanks to Simon Burge for the heads-up on this great film.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:
- How the Warrny was won
- Interview with Sam Horgan, winner of the 2013 Melbourne to Warrnambool
- Rocacorba Daily: Monday October 14