Yauheni Hutarovich wins stage 1 of the Tour of Poland

Belarusian national champion Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has won the crash-marred opening stage of the Tour of Poland, outsprinting Roman Maikin (RusVelo) and Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida) in the 226km stage from Gdansk to Bydgoszcz.


A five-rider escape group spent much of the day off the front before a hailstorm rolled through the race, wreaking havoc. Riders in the break and in the peloton fell foul of the conditions, with slippery roads and fallen trees responsible for a number of crashes.

Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat Polkowice) eventually broke clear from the breakaway when his companions crashed out on a slick corner, but he was soon caught, setting the race up for a bunch sprint.

The seven-stage WorldTour race continues today with an almost entirely flat 226km stage from Torun to Warszawa.

Stage 1: Gdańsk > Bydgoszcz - Stage Result

Sunday 3rd August 2014

1. by
HUTAROVICH Yauheni
AG2R La Mondiale
05:47:50
2. ru
MAIKIN Roman
RusVelo
-
3. it
MORI Manuele
Lampre-Merida
-

Click here to read more via VeloNews/AFP.

Marianne Vos wins Sparkassen Giro World Cup

World champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) has won her first World Cup round of the season, taking out the Sparkassen Giro in Germany yesterday. Vos was fastest in a bunch sprint, taking the win ahead of former world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda), and Lotta Lepistö (Bigla Cycling Team).

Sparkassen Giro van Bochum 2014

The 124km race comprised eight laps of a 15.5km circuit around Bochum in what was the first year the Sparkassen Giro has been part of the World Cup.

After an attacking start to the race, Vos got away from the peloton on the third-to-last lap, being joined by Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini), Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS), Loren Rowney (Specialized-Lululemon) and Julia Soek (Giant-Shimano). They were caught by the Boels-Dolmans led peloton, prompting a flurry of attacks in the closing stages.

Japanese national champion Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle-Honda) tried to get away, as did Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) but ultimately it came down to a bunch sprint which Vos won.

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) still leads the World Cup standings, despite not being present at the Sparkassen Giro in favour of the Commonwealth Games (see below). The next two rounds of the World Cup will take place in Sweden on August 22 and 24.

1. nl
VOS Marianne
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
02:59:48
2. it
BRONZINI Giorgia
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
-
3. fi
LEPISTö Lotta
Bigla Cycling Team
-

Click here to read more at Cicloweb.it.

Lizzie Armitstead wins women’s Commonwealth Games road race

Lizzie Armitstead (England) has won gold in the women’s road race at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, attacking with roughly 8km to go and taking victory ahead of her teammate Emma Pooley. Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa) won bronze ahead of Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) in a photo finish.


Team Australia was by far the most active in the opening stages of the race, launching constant attacks and forcing the pace at the front of the field. Despite their relentless aggression, they Australians couldn’t get a move to stick.

This was largely due to the efforts of England’s Emma Pooley whose professional cycling career ended with this race. Pooley was on the front closing down attacks for teammate Lizzie Armitstead, and creating her own attacks.

With a little less than 40km to go Pooley attacked and effectively whittled the race down to just seven riders, before shutting down any number of attacks from the non-English riders in the move. On the last of the 14km laps, Pooley put in another attack of her own and managed to get clear. A few kilometres later, on one of the six short climbs on the course, she was caught then promptly passed by her teammate Armitstead who was on her way to solo victory.

Pooley went on to finish second while there was a desperate sprint for the line for third, with Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa) just getting the better of Australia’s Tiff Cromwell.

1. gb
ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth
Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team
00:00:00
2. gb
POOLEY Emma
Lotto Belisol Ladies
-
3. za
MOOLMAN PASIO Ashleigh
Hitec Products
-

Click here to read a full race report.

Geraint Thomas wins men’s Commonwealth Games road race

A short time later in the men’s race, Geraint Thomas (Wales) took a solo victory, attacking from a three-rider lead group inside the last of 12 laps before riding away to the win.

Thomas had come to the front of the race roughly 50km from the finish, before attacking his breakaway companions Scott Thwaites (England) and Jack Bauer (New Zealand) and soloing away to victory, despite a puncture with 6km to go. Bauer took the silver medal in a desperate sprint for the line ahead of Thwaites.


Geraint Thomas’ Team Sky teammate Peter Kennaugh (Isle of Man) broke away from the peloton just 3km into the race and would go on to spend 116km out front on his own as rain buffeted central Glasgow. Despite looking strong throughout as the Australians controlled the peloton, Kennaugh’s lead eventually faltered, thanks largely to a big turn of pace from New Zealand’s Shane Archbold.

With the gap dropping Thomas got clear of the reduced peloton with Jack Bauer and Scott Thwaites, picking up Kennaugh on the way through. The Isle of Man rider was soon dropped and as the three leaders’ advantage continued to grow, it was clear the medals were going to come from the lead group.

In the end just 12 of the 140 starters finished the race, the wet and miserable conditions taking their toll.

1. gb
THOMAS Geraint
Team Sky
04:13:05
2. nz
BAUER Jack
Garmin Sharp
1:21
3. gb
THWAITES Scott
Team NetApp – Endura
-

Click here to read a full race report at CyclingTips.

Alejandro Valverde wins Clasica de San Sebastian

Alejandro Valverde (Movistart) has won the Clásica de San Sebastián for the second time in his career over the weekend, the solo victory putting the Spaniard at the top of the WorldTour rankings.

Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian 2014

Team Movistar played a role in keeping the day’s solo escapee Amets Txurruka (Caja-Rural) under control, his break caught with 50km remaining as several counterattacks livened things up. A reduced bunch came together across the foot of the so-called Pico de Borda before Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) attacked, Valverde joining him and the two reaching the top together.

On the fast descent Valverde took the lead and eventually opened a gap over Rodriguez, before riding away solo to take his 10th win of the season. Valverde was joined on the podium by Bauke Mollema (Belkin) and Rodríguez.

Valverde now leads the individual WorldTour classification ahead of injured compatriot Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

1. es
VALVERDE Alejandro
Movistar Team
00:00:00
2. nl
MOLLEMA Bauke
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
-
3. es
RODRíGUEZ Joaquim
Team Katusha
-

Text adapted from a Movistar press release.

Jesse Kerrison wins men’s Tour of the Murray River

Queensland’s Jesse Kerrison (Budget Forklifts) has clinched overall victory on the final day of the Tour of the Murray River in Yarrawonga. Kerrison, who began the day five seconds behind overnight leader Brenton Jones (Avanti Racing), won the final stage to clinch victory from Jones who suffered a mechanical in the final 300 metres, causing him to finish 11 seconds behind the bunch.

“I’m ecstatic,” said an elated Kerrison. “It’s my first overall top five let alone on the podium, so to win the Tour is just crazy.

Jones claimed the Tour lead after winning stage one in Robinvale before extending his lead after taking out stage three in Quambatook. Kerrison narrowed the gap to Jones on stage five, crossing the line seven seconds ahead of the Victorian after he crashed with three kilometres remaining.

Kerrison took out the Tour by three seconds to Raphael Freinstein (CharterMason) who moved into second place with Jones rounding out the podium.

On the day’s final stage, Kerrison crossed the line ahead of Freinstein and James Mowatt (African Wildlife Safaris).

The Subaru National Road Series continues in one week with the Tour of the Great South Coast beginning on August 13.

Click here for final results in the 2014 men’s Tour of the Murray River. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Kendelle Hodges wins women’s Tour of the Murray River

Victoria’s Kendelle Hodges (Jayco/Apollo/John West/VIS) has claimed her maiden Subaru National Road Series Tour, winning the Tour of the Murray River after earning the yellow jersey on stage one.

Hodges took out the event seven seconds ahead of Queensland’s Ellen Skerritt (Holden Women’s Cycling) and 27 seconds in front of junior road world championship medallist Alex Nicholls (Suzuki Brumby’s).

“I’m really excited to take out my first NRS Tour,” said an elated Hodges who will travel to Europe in two weeks with the Australian development team.

Hodges won the opening stage in Echuca in gusty and freezing conditions to don the leaders jersey and held it for the remainder of the Tour.

Final stage honours went to Sydney’s Ashlee Ankudinoff (Specialized Securitor) ahead of Hodges’ teammate Georgia Baker and Kristy Glover (Bicycle Superstore).

The Subaru National Road Series continues with the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley on August 22.

Click here for final results from the 2014 women’s Tour of the Murray River. Text adapted from a Cycling Australia press release.

Rendell: Pantani murder would ‘contradict all the evidence I saw’

by Shane Stokes

Responding to media reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport that the public prosecutor in Rimini has reopened the case into Marco Pantani’s death due to a suspicion of murder, broadcaster and author Matt Rendell has expressed surprise at the latest developments.

Pantani2

Rendell’s The Death of Marco Pantani is what many consider to be the definitive account of Pantani’s life and unfortunate demise on Valentine’s Day 2004, and he continues to believe – in the absence of strong evidence to the contrary – that an accidental overdose was the cause of the rider’s passing.

CyclingTips spoke to Rendell after La Gazzetta Dello Sport printed its front page story on the case being reopened. While making clear that he, and indeed most people, are still waiting to see what new evidence has been turned up, he said that substantiating the claim would require some very strong new proof.

“First of all, there is a sentence in the La Gazzetta story that says, ‘so Marco Pantani didn’t commit suicide’,” stated Rendell, giving his initial impressions of the original story published on Friday evening. “But has anyone ever suggested that Marco Pantani did do that? I have spent a lot of my life looking at it, and I have never heard anyone suggested that it was suicide.

“That in itself seems to be a very odd opening gambit. If you need to do that to make a case, to state something in contrast to a hypothesis that nobody has every posited, then that seems pretty weak.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Roman Kreuziger given provisional doping ban

Following the announcement that Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) was planning to race the Tour of Poland and the Vuelta a Espana while his biological passport case was being sorted out, the UCI has announced that Kreuziger had been presented with a provisional suspension.

Here’s the press release in full:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has imposed a provisional suspension with immediate effect on Tinkoff-Saxo’s rider Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) in connection with the recent assertion of an anti-doping rule violation based on his athlete biological passport.

The decision was taken following confirmation received on August 1st, 2014 that Roman Kreuziger intended to participate in the upcoming Tour of Poland and Vuelta a España. At this stage of the procedure, the UCI will not comment any further.

BMC signs Rohan Dennis in unusual mid-season deal

by Shane Stokes

Although riders in his position customarily need to wait until the end of the season before they are able to move from one squad to another, Australian rider Rohan Dennis has been given a green light by his Garmin-Sharp team, the BMC Racing Team and the UCI to transfer to the latter team with immediate effect. He is expected to ride the Vuelta a España with his new squad.

Santos Tour Down Under stage-3

“Rohan is a great athlete,” said Garmin Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters, who is nevertheless releasing him early. “He has been a solid team member and together we have achieved great success, including a stage win at year’s Tour of California and the overall win of 2013 Tour of Alberta.

“However, we understood his desire to work again with his former director Allan Peiper, when he was given the opportunity to do so in 2015. Rather than prolong the inevitable, we came up with a rare transfer solution that works best for Rohan and both teams. We view this move as not only a good step for the athlete and teams, but as major progress in the way the sport of cycling handles rider transfers. We wish Rohan luck in his new team.”

Details of the transfer were not revealed, including whether or not Garmin-Sharp were given a transfer fee by the BMC Racing Team.

Dennis crashed out of yesterday’s Commonwealth Games road race in Glasgow after landing heavily on his right elbow. It is not yet known if the incident caused any serious or lasting damage.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Rafal Majka signs three-year deal with Tinkoff-Saxo

by Shane Stokes

Polish rider Rafal Majka has been offered a new three-year deal with the Tinkoff-Saxo squad after winning two stages and the KOM classification at the recent Tour de France. Majka has also signalled his intention to win a three-week race.

TDFR 2014 - stage -21

“I need to learn more and get more experience but my ambition is to aim for the overall win in the Grand Tours in the future”, Majka said. “I have very strong teammates and really skilled sport directors to support me all the way.”

Majka’s strong Tour de France prompted the team to tear up the rider’s remaining one year contract, instead offering him a three year deal. In addition to giving him greater long-term security, it will presumably feature improved financial terms as a result of his Tour success.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Boom, Leon Sanchez to Astana, Bouhanni to Cofidis

by Shane Stokes

Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali has received reinforcements which he hopes will boost his chances of defending his title in 2015 and, possibly, in taking the Giro d’Italia too. Classics specialist Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling) has inked a two year deal, as too has young Italian Diego Rosa (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela), a past winner of the mountains classification in the Baby Giro.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 5

Compatriot Davide Malacarne (Europcar) is coming on board for one year and will add climbing strength, as evidenced by his past win in the mountains classification of Tirreno Adriatico, while past Paris-Nice winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural) has also committed for 12 months.

Meanwhile Cofidis has confirmed the signing for two years of the impressive French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, who will move across from his current FDJ.fr squad. The French team has also confirmed deals with eight other riders, namely Steve Chainel (Ag2r La Mondiale), Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ.fr), Dominique Rollin (previously FDJ.fr), Jonas Ahlstrand (Giant Shimano), Stéphane Rossetto (BigMat Auber 93), Kenny Van Bilsen and Michael Van Staeyen (both Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise) plus the neo-pro Anthony Turgis.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

BMC signs Alessandro De Marchi, Luke Davison

BMC has announced that it has signed Alessandro De Marchi, the “most aggressive” rider at this year’s Tour de France. The 28-year-old Italian earned the combativity award of the Tour de France for his part in breakaway moves on Stages 13 and 14 on the way to earning the top prize of the classification Sunday in Paris.

TDFR 2014 - stage -13

“Alessandro brings another sharp edge to our team’s bag of tools,” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “He is an aggressive rider with multiple skills, but we are especially excited about his skills in the mountains.”

Meanwhile BMC has also announced that three new riders will also join the squad as stagiaires: Dylan Teuns and Loïc Vliegen (both from the BMC Development Team) and recent Commonwealth Games gold medalist Luke Davison of Australia.

Davison, 24, was a member of the winning pursuit team in Scotland last month after helping Australia win the team pursuit at the UCI track world championships in February in Colombia. In May, he won the one-day race Simac Omloop de Kempen in the Netherlands while racing for the Synergy Baku Cycling Project team.

Text via a BMC press release.

Update on Contador’s crash

Here’s a tweet that Alberto Contador sent out yesterday, with details about his race-ending crash at the Tour de France. No wonder he did some serious damage.


Oleg Tinkov’s tweets

Meanwhile the owner of Contador’s Tinkoff-Saxo team, Oleg Tinkov, has been on one of his trademark entertaining tweet sprees, posting about his team’s new signings and re-signings and the sorts of riders he believes he’s able to attract. Here are a couple of his tweets:


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 Jered Gruber and was shot somewhere in Italy (that’s all the information we have).