17
Sat, Feb

Cyclingnews.com

Latest Race Results from Cyclingnews.com
  1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was the strongest time triallist at the Volta ao Algarve winning stage 3's 20.3km test in 24:09 and increasing his lead in the overall classification. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) set the early benchmark and sat nervously in the hot seat until Thomas, the last rider of the day, stormed in 11 seconds faster. Stefan Küng (BMC) was third, 19 seconds slower than Thomas.

    Thomas, who took the race lead after stage 2's climb to Fóia, is now 22 seconds ahead of his teammate and previous day’s winner Michal Kwiatkowski. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), who finished fifth on the day, jumped from 17th to third overall and now sits 32 seconds back.

    After the GC battle to the top of Fóia, the stage 3 time trial offered the first chance to make some separations in the top 10 of the overall classification. Thomas started the day leading the GC ahead of Jaime Roson (Movistar), while Kwiatkowski was in third place, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) in fifth and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) sixth, but there were no time gaps between the top six men.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    advertisement

    The time trial was set along the rolling terrain, 20.3km, around the city of Lagoa. The course started on a slight uphill, followed by a longer downhill an then hit the bigger rollers between six and 16.5km before a gentle decline to the finish line.

    Campenaerts, the European champion, set the fastest time of 24:20 early in the stage. It paid off for him to ease into the time trial with a slightly slower start over the first section and then save his energy for the hillier second half.

    Although Küng had faster check-point splits at 8:12 (7.2km) and 16:45 (14km), he had a slower finishing time, and only managed 24:28, sliding in behind Campenaerts.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Two days after Sacha Modolo raised his arms in celebration thinking he'd won the Ruta del Sol stage only to see Direct Energie's Thomas Boudat steal up the left side and snatch the win instead, the EF Education First-Drapac rider made no question of stage 3.

    Modolo's lead-out train was flawless and his sprint perfectly timed, and this time Boudat was nowhere in sight as he confidently raised his arms in victory. Instead, it was Carlos Barbero (Movistar) just behind, with Nelson Soto (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) in third.

    Although a crash disrupted the peloton in the final 200m, overnight leader Wout Poels (Team Sky) took no risks in the bunch sprint and sailed across the line safely to keep the red jersey by two seconds over Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Tim Wellens of Lotto Soudal.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    advertisement

    How it unfolded

    On yet another lovely, sunny day in Spain, the peloton clearly enjoyed the slightly brisk temperatures and light breeze, making quick work of the 166.1km route from Mancha Real to Herrera. With only two category 3 climbs on tap, and a mostly flat profile, it was a prime day for the sprinters.

    The four-man breakaway with Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-RGA Seguros), Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias) and Oscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH) never got much of a lead, thanks to the Team Sky train which shepherded race leader Poels along, clicking off the kilometres apace.

    Cuadros claimed the first mountain points on the Puerto de Carcabiey with 64km to go, moving up the classification behind teammate Luis Mas. Saez got the better of the Caja Rural rider on the next ascent, the Puerto del Mojón, as the breakaway enjoyed a 2:20 lead 10km later.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Magnus Cort (Astana) sprinted to victory on stage 4 of the Tour of Oman, beating Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and Alberto Bettiol (BMC) to the line at the Ministry of Tourism.

    The stage included three laps over the stiff climb of Al Jabal Street, which meant that a reduced peloton contested the sprint finish.

    Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) led the race by 30 seconds on the approach to the final ascent of Al Jabal Street, having dropped his breakaway companion Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), but the searing pace in the bunch behind meant that the American was brought to heel before the summit.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    advertisement

    Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was among the riders to accelerate on the final time up the climb, but Astana’s pace-making meant that it was difficult for any rider to go clear. Gorka Izagirre led Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko and Miguel Angel Lopez over the top, but the Basque was unable to get away.

    On the run-in to the line, both Astana and the BMC team of race leader Greg Van Avermaet worked to ensure the 26-strong leading group came to the finish together.

    Cort, who performed so well at the Dubai Tour last week, delivered a powerful sprint to claim the stage honours, while Visconti beat Bettiol to second.

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) took his first win of the season during stage 2 the Volta ao Algarve after beating a select group of climbers to the top of the 15km climb to Fóia. He jumped through the final bend with a few hundred metres to the finish line to beat Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and teammate Geraint Thomas. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) was fourth and Jaime Roson (Movistar) fifth.

    Thomas now leads the overall classification ahead of Roson, while Kwiatkowski is in third place, Martin in fifth and Mollema sixth, all with the same time.

    Team Sky's Kwiatkowski-Thomas duo was always going to be tough to beat, Kwiatkowski winning the overall title in 2014 and Thomas winning in 2015 and 2016.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    advertisement

    Cognizant of their rivals' teams, BMC Racing, Trek-Segafredo, and Movistar stayed near the front with their GC men as they approached the final GC-decisive climb. This stage was one of the most important for the week for men like Kwiatkowski, Thomas and Mollema along with former winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates).

    The peloton charged into the last 15 kilometres to Fóia on a climb that started at a gentle 4.7 per cent, but they sat up slightly and spanned out across the road. The brief moment of reprieve and calculation in the field allowed the last two breakaway riders, Ben King (Dimension Data) and Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), to push their margin back out to 50 seconds.

    The grade kicked up to 8 per cent and then 9 per cent at the midway point, between 10 and five kilometres to go. Team Sky used the steeper pitches to pare down the group; only the stronger climbers could hang on. Two of their riders led the charge, while Kwiatkowski and Thomas sat slightly further back.

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Wout Poels served triple duty on the second day of the Ruta del Sol by claiming the stage victory, surging to the race lead and, in turn, deflecting some attention from embattled Team Sky leader Chris Froome.

    Poels prevailed from a five-man elite leading group on the Alto de las Allanadas, jumping away to take the stage over Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal).

    Froome took the final climb with restraint, bridging up to the main group of favourites but sitting back as Poels made his move. He came across in seventh place, 27 seconds behind his teammate and still very much in contention with a 14.2km individual time trial still ahead on the last stage.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    advertisement

    With the victory, Poels leads the race by two seconds over Sanchez and Wellens, with Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Astana's Jakob Fuglsang at four seconds.

    How it unfolded

    It was another beautiful day in the south of Spain, where the riders of the Ruta del Sol faced a short but testing 140km from Otura to Jaén, where the climbers were given their first opportunity of the week to shine on the final ascent of the Alto de las Allanadas.

    With the first climb, the category 2 Alto de Puerto Lope, cresting just before the 40km mark, the mountain points would go first to the breakaway. Nine men escaped with the points in mind: Alvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Delko-Marseille Provence KTM), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale), Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo), Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Aaron Verwilst (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Sho Hatsuyama (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Jeroen Meijers (Roompot) and Enrique Sanz (Euskadi-Murias).

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Froome
Advertisement