Diego Ulissi wins stage five of the Giro, Matthews holds pink

Michael Matthews put in a superb defence of his Maglia Rosa on the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterday, sticking with the climbers on the uphill finish to Viggiano and holding on to the pink jersey.

UlissiWinsStage5Giro-1

The Orica-GreenEDGE rider rode hard in the finale to prevent time gains by the stage winner Diego Ulissi and others, closing a gap which opened as the uphill specialists skirmished for the stage win.

Ulissi hit the line a second ahead of BMC’s Cadel Evans and Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing), the former showing good form and reminding his younger rivals that he is a serious contender for the overall classification.

Lampre-Merida rider Ulissi timed his finishing surge perfectly, kicking clear of the others inside the final 200 metres. His combination of power and pace earned him his second Giro stage win of his career, following on from his 2011 triumph in Tirano.

“I managed to hide myself for most of the day,” the 24-year-old Italian said afterwards. “It was a difficult day and very, very windy. Of course I tried to position myself well and luckily I was able to do it.”

Matthews was relieved at the finish and said he and the team want to retain the jersey tomorrow. “Today’s stage was the big goal for me. We showed we really deserved this jersey,” he said. “We proved today that we have a really strong team, because to keep the jersey and to be able to have a good crack at the finish you need a good team.”

Wednesday’s race started in Taranto and covered 203 kilometres of the toughest roads yet in this year’s Giro. While it was some way off a full mountain stage, the second half of the day included the third category Valico di Serra di San Chirico and then two ascents of the fourth category climb in Viggiano itself. The second of those acted as the finish, giving the general classification riders a chance to show their form and test their rivals for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, a group of riders sought to pre-empt that finishing surge by building an early advantage. Eleven riders clipped away just over 20 kilometres after the start, with sprinters such as Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Ben Swift (Sky) and Tyler Farrer (Garmin Sharp) present, along with Yonathan Monsalve (Neri Sottoli), Europcar’s Tony Hurel and Bjorn Thurau, Lotto Belisol’s Tosh Van der Sande and Kenny Dehaes, Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Sharp), Miguel Angel Rubiano (Colombia) and Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli).

The group build a four minute lead into the early headwind, enabling Swift to take the intermediate sprint at Montalbano Jonico (kilometre 70) ahead of Viviani and Farrar. Rubiano then picked up top mountains points at the prime ahead of the fragmented breakaway, with several short-lived attacks firing off from the main bunch.

The break continued on but was eventually reeled in 23 kilometres from the line, after which the peloton hit the first ascent of the finishing climb.

Stage 5: Taranto > Viggiano - Stage Result

Wednesday 14th May 2014

1. it
ULISSI Diego
Lampre-Merida
05:12:39
2. au
EVANS Cadel
BMC Racing Team
0:01
3. co
ARREDONDO MORENO Julián David
Trek Factory Racing
-

Click here to read the full story here at CyclingTips.

Will Routley wins stage 4 of the Tour of California

Will Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) has won stage 4 of the Tour of California, taking a sprint victory at the head of a six-rider breakaway that outlasted the efforts of a chasing peloton being led home by Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad.


The win is the Canadian’s first in more than six seasons as a professional. Bradley Wiggins retained the leader’s yellow jersey.

More coming soon.

Stage 4: Monterey > Cambria - Stage Result

Wednesday 14th May 2014

1. ca
ROUTLEY Will
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
03:48:37
2. us
DANIEL Gregory
Bissell Development Team
-
3. be
DE MESMAEKER Kevin
Team Novo Nordisk
-

Australians continue solid showing at the Giro d’Italia

The strong Australian display at the Giro d’Italia continued Wednesday with Cadel Evans and Michael Matthews in the hunt for the stage win and the latter retaining his Maglia Rosa of race leader.

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 5

Surprisingly, Evans said that he didn’t feel good in the finale. “After days with rain and cold, my legs are not at their best,” he stated. “In the final I was a little blocked with one kilometre to go and without help. But I got back in front and into second place. In the end, l am happy about the result.”

In that light, and providing his legs feel better in the days ahead, the Australian can be optimistic about his chances of fighting for the overall honours in the race. He has jumped to third overall and has time in hand over all of his rivals for the general classification.

Matthews has a very different set of goals in the race, but he too climbed well today. Gaps opened up inside the final kilometre as first Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) and then a number of other riders ramped up the pace. Matthews was able to drag the group back up to those who had pulled slightly clear and rolled across the line in a very solid sixth position.

“It didn’t quite pan out the way I thought,” he said afterwards. “I had a mental picture in which there were lots of attacks, but I think everyone was pinned and no one could get away. I think it was Quintana who dropped the wheel in front, so it was up to me to close the gap.

Click here to read more here at CyclingTips.

Battle on the Border starts today

The third round of the men’s Subaru National Road Series gets underway today with stage 1 of the Battle on the Border. The five-stage event commences in northern New South Wales with a 148km road stage from Point Danger to Mt. Warning.

The race also features a further two road stages (stage 2 and 5), an individual time trial (stage 3) and a criterium (stage 4).

The four-stage women’s Battle on the Border commences tomorrow with four stages: two road races, an ITT and a criterium.

Last year’s Battle on the Border was won by Jack Haig and Ruth Corset. Both riders are confirmed starters for this year’s race.

Click here to read more about the Battle on the Border at the Subaru National Road Series website.

French journalist drives 2,700km from Ireland to Italy

French cycling journalist Antoine Plouvin needed to get from Ireland to Italy to continue covering the Giro d’Italia for cyclismactu but rather than flying like the rest of the journos, he decided to drive the 2,700km from Belfast to Bari.

After finishing work in the Dublin pressroom after stage 3 he drove to the ferry … and arrived at the start in Bari 38 hours later.

“It was a race the entire way,” he explained. “From Holyhead at 0:30, I had to cover 600 kilometres to reach Dover and a ferry that left at 7:30. It wasn’t easy.”

Plouvin stopped just twice in 38 hours, for an hour each time. He spends much of his year on the road, driving between bike races.

“It’s about 70,000 kilometres of driving a year and about 200 days away from home, but I’m single, 27 years old and I enjoy it.”

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

220 million euros not enough to solve Dutch bike parking issues

Overflowing bike racks at train stations has prompted the Dutch government to throw €220m at the problem, but according to the nation’s railway infrastructure company, ProRail, even that level of investment won’t be enough to fix the problem.

1024px-Utrecht-pòst_për_le_bici

Roughly half a million people in the Netherlands ride to their local train station daily. And while the investment will see the addition of 100,000 new bike racks, ProRail is predicting that the problem will only get worse as more people ride to the station.

Meanwhile, a report by Dutch road safety body, VeiligheidNL, has shown that Dutch cycle paths are at saturation point as well, leading to a reported increase in bike-on-bike collisions.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Tips to improve your times on Strava

This video from the guys at GCN is a bit of fun. It’s all about how you can save valuable seconds when attempting a Strava KOM. Check it out:

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows the peloton leaving Taranto Italy at the stage of stage five of the Giro d’Italia.