Cycling News and Opinion
June 29, 2014
June 29, 2014
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National Cycling Championship news
Italy: Yesterday Vincenzo Nibali became the Italian road champion when he won the Trofeo Melinda. Today Adriano Malori (Movistar) won the time trial champs at Malè, beating Sky rider Dario Cataldo by 1min 10sec and third place Alan Marongoni (Cannondale) by a whopping 2min 41sec.
Adriano Malori riding to his Italian time trial championship. photo ©Sirotti
Belgium: There will be warm words at the Quick Step post-race team meeting today. Quick Step had a good sprinter, Gert Steegmans, in the day's break. But Quick Step helped close the gap, which was accomlished with a half kilometer to go. Quick Step then botched the sprint. The beneficiary was Lotto rider Jens Debusschere who beat Jens Roy and Tom Boonen to become Belgian road champion.
Great Britain: Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift (both Team Sky) survived the day's early break to contest the British Road Championship. Kennaugh, surprisingly, beat Swift. Simon Yates was third. Neither Mark Cavendish nor Bradley Wiggins contested the race.
Netherlands: Sebastian Langeveld bridged to a tiring break and the left them behind to ride solo for about 18 km to win the Dutch road championship. Niki Terpstra led in the chasers a half-minute later.
Spain: Movistar rider Jon Izagirre went for solo glory in the race's closing kilometers. Teammate Alejandro Valverde bridged up to Izagirre and the pair held off the chasing peloton. Izagirre won the race, Valverde was second. Carlos Barbero (Euskadi) won the field sprint for third.
France: After FDJ made the decision to send Arnaud Démare to this year's Tour and leave Nacer Bouhanni, the Giro d'Italia points champion, at home, there was more than a little controversy. Today Démare beat Bouhanni in the sprint for the French champion's tricolor jersey, perhaps giving FDJ boss Marc Madiot some cover. Of course Europcar's Thomas Voeckler tried to escape, but FDJ ruled the race and set things up for a sprint. Europcar's Kevin Reza was third.
Germany: André Greipel outsprinted John Degenkold to become the 2014 German Road Champion.
Canada: Svein Tuft won both the Canadian road and time trial championships. The road title came after Tuft escaped alone with 100 km to go and was never caught. Bravo!
Denmark: Saxo-Tinkoff sent me this, I admit somewhat slanted, report of the Danish road championships:
Today, the Danish national road race championships were held in Faaborg, Denmark. A hilly course with 15 laps covering 195 kilometers where Tinkoff-Saxo were on the start line with Matti Breschel, Michael Valgren Andersen, Jesper Hansen, Chris Anker Sørensen, Nicki Sørensen, Michael Mørkøv and Christopher Juul-Jensen.
Matti Breschel, Chris Anker Sørensen, Michael Mørkøv and Michael Valgren Andersen were in the first breakaway, which was formed after 40 kilometers but the biggest continental teams in the race were represented among the 27 escapees as well and it looked like a crucial development of the race very early on.
Chris Anker Sørensen worked like a horse in the front group while teammate, Nicki Sørensen managed to bridge across with three followers, among others Troels Vinther (Team Cult- Vital Water). Behind, Magnus Cort (Team Cult-Vital Water was struggling to do the same with teammate, Lasse Bøchmann, BMC’s Sebastian Lander and Tre-For Blue Water’s Rasmus Guldhammer.
As the race progressed, the front group was divided and with 60 kilometers to go, it was reduced to only 16 riders and the chasers were finally distanced. And entering the final 50 kilometers, Tinkoff-Saxo were represented by Nicki Sørensen, Matti Breschel and Michael Mørkøv in the front group of nine riders n total. Nicki Sørensen leaped up the road with 30 kilometers to go and was joined by Martin Mortensen (Cult-Vital water) and at the same time, Cort was closing in on Mørkøv and Breschel.On the penultimate lap, Matti Breschel bridged across to Nicki and they were now two against one in the front trio. However, the 22 year-old Michael Valgren then started his rocket engine. He launched the attack from third chase group and passed the front trio to solo his way to the finish line where he took his biggest win of his career by winning the Danish national championships in his neo pro season.
"This is absolutely phenomenal. The final 50 kilometers were really intense and when I bridged across, I was fortunate to be able to stay behind in the wheel of Rasmus Guldhammer and reaching the front group I went the other way in a roundabout securing no one could take my wheel. From then on, I knew that Mortensen was chasing alone while Matti and Nicki stayed behind and I quickly develop a decent gap. I was actually pretty exhausted in the finale after having worked side by side with Chris Anker Sørensen but I must be in pretty good shape since I was able to maintain the gap. My first race in the national jersey will probably be San Sebastian or Tour of Denmark and of course, I'm looking to it," said an excited Michael Valgren.
Michael Mørkøv took bronze.
Bradley Wiggins misses British Road Championships
Bradley Wiggins will not ride the British Championships road race in Wales on Sunday, June 29 because of an injury.
From the BBC: A Team Sky spokesman told BBC Wales the 34-year-old was out of the event in Abergavenny, though the exact nature of his injury was unclear.
Wiggins' ambitions had been to attempt the double and become both the British road and time trial champion after winning the time trial in Monmouthshire on Thursday.
On Friday [June 6], Wiggins was told that he would not be on Sky's Tour de France team. Wiggins won the Tour in 2012.
Bradley Wiggins rides this year's Ronde van Vlaanderen.