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Latest Race Results from Cyclingnews.com
  1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) claimed his second straight victory at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, timing his effort perfectly on the Mur de Huy. For the third time this spring, the Frenchman was locked into a two-way battle with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) but managed to come around the Dane in the final 120 metres of the steep finishing climb.

    Alaphilippe and Fuglsang had gotten to know each other well over the course of their long-range breakaways at Strade Bianche and Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, and they emerged as the clear-cut strongest two on the iconic Mur. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) claimed the final podium spot, but that was a full six seconds back.

    While Michal Kwiatkowski took control on the 1.2km climb, his Sky teammate Wout Poels having set the tempo on the lower slopes, it was Fuglsang who launched his first acceleration through the middle of the famous S-bend, where the gradients reach 20 per cent. He opened a small gap then kicked again, at which point Alaphilippe set off in pursuit.

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    The Frenchman, springing out of the saddle, comfortably rode away from Kwiatkowski and the rest and made his way up to Fuglsang. He remained behind the Dane until just over 100 metres to go, at which point he hit the front with a powerful acceleration.

    While last year, he moved comfortably clear of a fading Valverde, this time he was pushed all the way to the line by Fuglsang, and he needed every last pedal stroke as he won by just a wheel. Another difference to last year was that he knew he was the winner, and he punched the air in delight to finally give himself a proper finish line photo.

    "He's a great rider and someone who I respect a lot," Alaphilippe said of Fuglsang. "I think he was as disappointed as me not to win Amstel. We found ourselves together again and today he was really difficult to beat."

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) won La Flèche Wallonne Féminine for the fifth time in a row on Wednesday. The world champion emerged as the strongest on the finishing climb, biding her time as a late attack from Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) was reeled in on the lower slopes of the Mur de Huy.

    Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) increased the pace and took the lead, but van der Breggen surged past with about 200 metres to go and held off Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) and Annika Langvad (Boels Dolmans) to win.

    How it unfolded

    Starting and finishing in Huy, the race included seven ascents of four hard climbs on 118.5 kilometres. The Côte d’Ereffe, Côte de Cherave and Mur de Huy were part of a finishing circuit and each climbed twice in the final 50km. Unfortunately, the women's Flèche Wallonne was not broadcast live, the first of this year's UCI Women's WorldTour races not to offer live footage.

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    After several unsuccessful attempts to form a break in the early parts of the race, a group of six that formed after 30km got away. Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team), Diana Peñuela (Alé Cipollini), Lauren Stephens (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank), Loes Adegeest (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Tatiana Riabchenko (Doltcini-Van Eyck), and Marie-Soleil Blais (Astana Women’s Team) increased their advantage to 2:30 minutes on the Côte de Wârre, the first climb of the day, though Adegeest had to let go of the group.

    Due to a high pace by the peloton, only 35 seconds were left at the start of the Côte d’Ereffe where the break fell apart. Riabchenko was the last escapee to be caught 42km from the finish. On the Côte de Cherave, Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) set a high pace that reduced the size of the peloton.

    The first ascent of the Mur de Huy with 29km to go was not yet done at full speed, enabling Riabchenko to crest the climb in first position, closely followed by a peloton of about 40 riders. After all these efforts, the Belarusian eventually finished in a strong 19th place.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Fausto Masnada (Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec) claimed the biggest victory of his career when he clipped away from an elite group to win stage 3 of the Tour of the Alps at Baselga di Piné.

    The Italian succeeded in clawing his way back up to the select front group when the road levelled out in the final kilometres following a stiff climb towards the finish, and he proceeded to show considerable nous by attacking with 1.5km remaining to take the spoils.

    Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) won the sprint for second place ahead of Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

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    Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) retains the overall lead after coming home in the same group, five seconds down on Masnada.

    The short, explosive stage featured the uncategorised climb towards Montagnaga in the finale ahead of the 4km plateau that led to the finish at Baselga di Piné. Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic) was the last survivor of the day’s early break, but the Frenchman was caught on the final ascent as Majka and Nibali attacked forcefully from the dwindling group of favourites.

    Nibali had already signalled his intentions by placing his brother Antonio in the day’s early break and then sending teammate Hermann Pernsteiner on the offensive at the base of the climb. The Italian’s decision to respond to Majka’s attack with a shade under 6km to go prompted Chris Froome (Team Sky) to take up the reins of pursuit in the main group.

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) claimed the first victory of his professional career when he overcame Jan Hirt (Astana) to win stage 2 of the Tour of the Alpsat Schenna. The Russian inherits the overall lead from his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart, who had himself helped himself to his first professional win on the opening stage.

    Sivakov was part of a group of eight riders that forged clear on the mist-shrouded descent of Monte Giove after the mountain pass had already whittled the group of favourites down to fewer than 20 riders.

    They carried a buffer of almost 40 seconds into the short finishing ascent at Schenna, where Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec) ignited the attacking when he accelerated with 3.5km to go. Sivakov promptly responded in kind and initially looked to have established a winning margin when he pressed clear alone.

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    Hirt showed considerable strength to inch his way back up to Sivakov with 1.7km remaining, before the road briefly flattened out. Once the gradient reared up again in the final kilometre, however, Sivakov’s strength finally told, and he kicked his way clear of Hirt with 400 metres to go to win by 4 seconds.

    Mattia Cattaneo came home in third, just ahead of his Androni teammate Masnada. In the overall standings, Sivakov carries an eight-second lead over Hirt into stage 3, while Cattaneo lies third at 33 seconds.

    "We could not wish for a better start to the race: two stages in two wins, it's unbelievable," Sivakov said afterwards. "Yesterday Tao had his first pro win and today, I've gone mine."

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) became the first Italian winner in the 35-year history of the Tro-Bro Leon, the Breton version of Paris-Roubaix held one week later on gravelled roads near the coast bordering the English Channel.

    The Venetian outsprinted French favourites Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ) and Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), who also missed out on the podium occupied by Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and Emil Vinjebo (Riwal).

    "Luck was on my side as I had no crash and no puncture," Vendrame said. "We came across to the leaders in the last lap and the race situation was perfect for me. On Saturday at the Tour du Finistère, I finished second but I didn’t have good legs. Today, I felt great all the way so I was confident in my sprint even though I knew some of the riders up there were quite fast."

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    Vendrame was never far behind the attackers, who were four with 50km to go. Sergio Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias) was first to disappear from the front of the race due to a flat tyre. Alex Paton (Canyon), Kim Magnusson (Riwal Readynez) and Julien El Farès (Delko Marseille) remained in the lead and were reinforced by Conor Swift (Madison Genesis) and Vinjebo. Paton also suffered a flat tyre.

    Damien Gaudin (Total Direct Energie), the winner of the 2017 Tro-Bro Leon, made the race very hard in the pursuit of the leaders. He bridged the gap and continued with Vinjebo – the Danish sensation of the day. With 22km to go, five riders came across: Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Thomas Boudat (Total Direct Energie), Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic) and Alo Jakin (St-Michel-Auber).

    Groupama-FDJ brought Sarreau back to the front, but in the last lap, 11 riders regrouped following several attacks by Backaert, who loves the Tro-Bro Leon so much that he mentions this race in every interview he gives.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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