Fabio Aru wins stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, Uran extends his overall lead

After appearing to falter slightly on Saturday, Rigoberto Uran reminded his rivals on Sunday’s stage 15 of the Giro that he has no intention of relinquishing his Maglia Rosa. The Colombian rider placed sixth on the mountain stage to Montecampione, crossing the line 42 seconds behind the solo winner Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team).

Giro-D'Itaia 2014 stage 15

While the time gained by the latter saw him move up to fourth overall and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took another 20 seconds off his previous three-minute deficit to Uran, the latter extended his advantage over his two closest rivals.

Uran finished 10 seconds clear of Rafal Majka (Tinkoff Saxo) and 31 seconds up on Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team), the riders who are third and second overall.

As a result he is now one minute and three seconds clear of Evans and 1:50 ahead of Majka. While he accepts that Aru gained time on him, he is able to see the bigger picture; the Italian is still 2:24 seconds back, and it was more important to gain time on those closer to him.

“I was expecting an attack from Pozzovivo, not Aru,” he said. “I stayed with him a while, but I didn’t have to legs. I saw Aru at last year’s Giro: he surprised me in the last week because he was strong. He’s a young climber with a big future.”

Aru made his move inside the final three kilometres and quickly gained time on those behind. His effort saw him finish 21 seconds ahead of Fabio Andres Duarte (Colombia) and a further second over Quintana and Pierre Rolland (Europcar).

The 225 kilometre stage featured a long distance break containing Australian Adam Hansen, riding his eighth Grand Tour in a row, as well as Luca Paolini (Katusha), Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing), Johan Le Bon (Fdr.fr), Andre Cardoso (Garmin-Sharp), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida), Simon Geschke (Giant-Shiamo), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale), Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), Rodolfo Torres (Colombia), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF) and Androni Giocattoli’s Jackson Rodríguez.

They built a 10-minute lead but this was depleted to just 2:24 by the base of the final climb, thanks mainly to a furious chase by the Neri Sottoli team.

Hansen was determined to try to repeat his Giro stage win of 12 months ago and attacked. He was joined by Cardoso but both were distanced when the king of the mountains Julián Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) and Cardoso pushed out front.

Sky’s Philip Deignan was looking to take what would have been the second Grand Tour stage win of his career and caught the duo, then pushing on ahead. However he was himself caught inside the final four kilometres.

A flurry of attacks from the GC favourites behind saw a spate of action, then Rolland and Duarte got up and past Deignan. However Aru was feeling good and passed those ahead of him, reaching to the line well clear and celebrating the biggest success of his career thus far.

Stage 15: Valdengo > Plan de Montecampione - Stage Result

Sunday 25th May 2014

1. it
ARU Fabio
Astana Pro Team
05:33:06
2. co
DUARTE Fabio
Team Colombia
0:21
3. co
QUINTANA Nairo
Movistar Team
0:22

Maciej Paterski wins the Tour of Norway

Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat) has taken the first stage-race victory of his career after sealing the overall victory in the final stage of the five-stage race. Paterski attacked on the last hill of the race to finish in the leading group, six seconds ahead of race leader Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare).


The final stage was won by local favourite Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) who added to his stage 1 victory ahead of Jean-Pierre Drucker (Wanty) and Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka).

A seven-rider breakaway gained as much as six minutes over the peloton early in the race but with CCC Polsat and Belkin chasing, the breakaway’s advantage slowly came down.

“Before coming to this race, I didn’t have in mind to win it because I just concluded one week rest and I came to Norway to prepare for the Tour de Suisse,” Paterski said after the race.

“But during the race, it appeared that I had a chance to win it, so my team made the race hard yesterday and today comes this happy ending. It’s a very prestigious victory, the most important of my life. I’m very happy, thanks to my team.”

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 25th May 2014

1. pl
PATERSKI Maciej
CCC Polsat Polkowice
21:14:56
2. nl
DE MAAR Marc
UnitedHealthcare
0:03
3. nl
MOLLEMA Bauke
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
0:09

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

Theo Bos wins the World Ports Classic

Belkin’s Theo Bos has won the two-stage World Ports Classics over the weekend, capitalising on time bonuses gained in the final stage to finish ahead of Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Shimano) and Alexander Porsev (Katusha).

World Ports Classic  stage-2

After winning stage 1 in a bunch sprint Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was in the leader’s blue jersey on the second and final stage. The first intermediate sprint of the day, after 15.5km, was taken by Bos before a group of five riders managed to get clear roughly 40km into the stage.

The gap extended to roughly 2:30 before Katusha started to pull things back, setting the race up for a bunch sprint. Sinkeldam took the line honours ahead of Bos and Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) with the time bonuses from his second place on the stage giving Bos the overall win.

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 25th May 2014

1. nl
BOS Theo
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
08:08:00
2. nl
SINKELDAM Ramon
Team Giant-Shimano
-
3. ru
PORSEV Alexander
Team Katusha
0:05

Click here to read more at sport.co.uk.

Mirsamad Poorseyedigolakhour wins the Tour of Japan

Mirsamad Poorseyedigolakhour (Tabriz Petrochemical) has continued his run of dominant form, winning the overall title at the Tour of Japan with Grega Bole (Vini Fantini Nippo) second and Poorseyedigolakhour’s teammate Ghader Mizbani Iranagh third.


Poorseyedigolakhour set up the win with a crushing display on the 11.4km stage 4 road race up Mt. Fuji in which he put more than a minute into his nearest rivals and shattering the course record. He got in the race-winning break in the following stage (with Mizbani Iranagh) and with Rapha Condor’s Hugh Carthy the only other rider represented, Poorseyedigolakhour was able to extend his lead over almost all of his rivals.

Since returning from a doping suspension in July last year, Poorseyedigolakhour has won all but once race he’s entered, taking out the Tour of Qinghai Lake, the UCI2.2 Banyuwangi Tour de Ijen, the Tour de Langkawi and now the Tour of Japan. The only other race he entered was the Tour of Borneo where he came second, eight seconds behind his teammate Ghader Mizbani Iranagh and more than six minutes clear of their nearest rival.

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 25th May 2014

1. ir
POORSEYEDIGOLAKHOUR Mirsamad
Tabriz Petrochemical Team
15:05:01
2. si
BOLE Grega
Vini Fantini Nippo
1:51
3. ir
MIZBANI IRANAGH Ghader
Tabriz Petrochemical Team
3:48

Jack Haig wins the FKG Tour of Toowoomba

Bendigo’s Jack Haig (Avanti Racing) has been crowned the FKG Tour of Toowoomba champion while teammate Neil van der Ploeg repeated history, winning the final stage for the second year running.

Haig, who finished runner up to Nathan Earle in 2013, took the overall tour lead after claiming the hilltop finish in the Bunya Mountains on Friday.

Haig finished the Tour 22 seconds ahead of teammate and 2012 champion Mark O’Brien. Adelaide’s Tim Roe (Budget Forklifts) rounded out the podium, one minute, 49 seconds in arrears after overnight second place holder Joe Cooper (Avanti Racing) was forced to withdraw from the Tour with a fractured pelvis suffered in a fall on Saturday.

“It’s good to finish the Tour in the lead,” said Haig. “I got to do a fair bit of the lead out for Neil today so it was great to get him up for the win and repay him for all the hard work he did for me during the week. It makes it all the more special to have a teammate take out the final stage.

Haig will now head to Korea to race in the UCI 2.2 Tour de Korea before joining Australia’s under 23 development team, the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy.

Van der Ploeg repeated his success of 2013, notching final stage honours in the Tour’s criterium around Queens Park ahead of Alistair Donohoe (health.com.au-search2retain) and Ryan MacAnally (FKG individual team).

“Last year it was my first ever NRS win so that was huge for me, it’s pretty special to come back and do the double,” said van der Ploeg.

“Having Cooper injured is a massive dampener, but it is fantastic to have Jack and Mark go one-two on the General Classification and for the team the get four of five stage wins is awesome.”

Despite his injuries forcing him out of the Tour, Cooper retains the overall NRS lead by 10 points to 2013 series champion Haig and Roe.

The Subaru National Road Series continues with the men and women’s event, the Tour of the Murray, which begins on July 30.

Follow the link for final results in the 2014 FKG Tour of Toowoomba. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

Chris Froome nearly left Sky

According to his autobiography, ‘The Climb’, reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome was close to leaving Team Sky in 2011 after a perceived lack of opportunity to lead the team and tensions with Bradley Wiggins.

Tour de France  2012 stage - 17

Tensions between the two reportedly began during the 2011 Vuelta when Froome took the overall lead but was told to ride in support of Wiggins. While Froome signed a three-year deal shortly after that race, he writes in ‘The Climb’ that he was tempted by offers from other teams who would give him outright leadership.

“I wanted a contract that reflected being a leader, rather than a domestique. It was getting stressful and I sent Dave [Brailsford] a long and quite strong message saying there would be no more going back and forth. I also said that that was the final offer, I was going elsewhere.”

Tensions between Wiggins and Froome became public knowledge when Froome attacked on stage 11 of the 2012 Tour de France.

“I suggested that maybe it might be possible for me to attack towards the end of the stage, after I had shepherded Brad almost to the top. The response was a frown from team principal Dave Brailsford and a slight unease that the question had been asked.”

When Froome’s attack left Wiggins struggling, the former had no choice but to sit up and wait.

“[Wiggins] sounded like a man who had just dropped his oxygen tank near the top of Everest. Brad was folding physically and mentally, and quicker than I had thought possible. I got the feeling that he would literally just get off his bike were I to carry on pushing. What was a simple and perfect plan to me seemed to translate for Brad into a public humiliation.

“I slowed and waited for him. He hadn’t just cracked; I think he felt betrayed. By the time he was back in touch with me, Brad perked up a little. All the same, I knew that by nightfall I would be in the stockades”

Click here to read more at road.cc.

An (old) interview with Rigoberto Uran

If you want to learn a bit about the current leader of the Giro d’Italia, Rigoberto Uran, it’s worth checking out this interview from Cycling Inquisition. It may be a few years old, but it gives some good insight into who Uran is and the path that lead him to where he is now.

Giro D'Italia 2013 stage-17

Here’s an excerpt (which might sound familiar if you’ve been watching SBS’s coverage of the Giro and listening to Matt Keenan’s commentary):

When Rigoberto Urán was only 14 years old, his father was gunned down near Urrao, Colombia. Most said he died at the hands of paramilitary forces, but considering the mood in Colombia at the time, it could have been any number of groups, for any number of reasons.

As Urán himself has said in the past, “…it was how things were back then. Many innocent people died.” Encouraged by his father, Rigoberto had competed in his first bike race just three months earlier. They had trained together during those three months, wearing regular street clothes, since proper cycling attire was simply beyond what the family could afford.

Click here to read the full story.

Giro marshall in an induced coma after moto accident

On Saturday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia a marshall standing on the road was hit by a TV moto in an incident that was broadcast live. The impact looked sickening, and it’s no surprise to learn that the marshall is in hospital. Here’s an update to the situation:


Call for change to roundabouts for cyclist safety

A report released late last week by Austroads, the association of national roads authorities, shows that Australian roundabouts are among the most dangerous in the Western world for cyclists, and in Victoria such intersections account for more than 1 in 10 crashes between cyclists and motorists.

4751388630_0e6945d531_b

The report suggests that roundabouts are normally designed to maximise traffic flow, rather than to improve safety. Austroads recommends changes to roundabout design to reduce driver speed and therefore risk to cyclists.

Bicycle Network has welcomed the findings with spokesperson Garry Brennan saying: “For years we’ve been making the point that the Australian style of roundabout is completely wrong because drivers do not have to slow down to go through them.”

Meanwhile RACV’s manager of roads and traffic, Dave Jones, urged caution. “We’re keen for proper, structured trials so we can truly know a design is working,” he said. “It’s important a council doesn’t take up a design they’ve seen in Europe and plonk it here.”

Click here to read more at The Age.

The aerodynamics of facial hair

When you’re like Specialized, and you’ve got your own wind tunnel to play with, you can do cool stuff like testing out whether having a beard is more or less aero than being clean shaven. And that’s exactly what the team did, putting together this video in the process:

Half-hour highlights package from the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup

Last week we shared with you Mel Hoskins’ write-up from the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup and a short highlights video. Now the UCI has come out with a half-hour highlights package from the race. Check it out below.

Score the ultimate job: cover the Tour de France for CyclingTips

Working at CyclingTips is pretty great. Reviewing the latest bikes and gear, going on great cycling trips, covering cycling for a living … it doesn’t get much better. And now we’re inviting two lucky people to join the team temporarily, to cover the biggest bike race in the world: the Tour de France.

2N4A3137

If you reckon you’d be perfect for the job, tell us why in text and photos, or in video. We’ve already had some great submissions and we’re expecting plenty more. Entries close on Friday night (AEST) so make sure you get started on your entry right away.

Kudos to Mark & Tom who have started up a blog to try and get our attention and who tried their hand at some Strava art over the weekend.

strava

Click here for everything you need to know.

Keep the entries coming!

Riding around trams

Here’s how not to ride around trams:

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 Fabio Aru celebrating his win on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia.