García Cortina pips Sagan in bunch sprint to take first Paris Nice win
Bahrain-McLaren’s Iván García Cortina erased his close run second on Stage 2 in 2019 to take the top step of podium in this year’s edition’s first bunch sprint. He held of Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) who is still looking for a first win in 2020, with Andrea Pasqualon (Circus-Wanty Gobert) taking third. The closing kilometres saw a few main sprint rivals ruled out of the fight, notably Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) going down in a crash with 500m to go, and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) suffering a mechanical.
Maz Schachmann won a cold and wet opener in Plaisir to the lead ‘The Race to the Sun’ on his first participation.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Maximilian Schachmann seized Stage One of the Paris-Nice in a four-way sprint against Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren) and Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) after he and Tuens linked up with the others with just a couple of kilometres to go. In the overall standings, Schachmann leads Benoot by two second and Teuns by four.
20 year old prodigy Remco Evenepoel ended a week long party to celebrate his birthday with a nice addition to his rapidly growing palmares, which before the start of the season counted five victories, including Clasica San Sebastian and the European ITT Championship.
Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo Women) took her first GC win since 2017 with victory at the Women’s Santos Tour Down Under.
The 26 year old American, born in Keighly, Yorkshire, took the four-stage race by five seconds over Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) with new Aussie Champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) just a second adrift.
Winder, who is also the American National Champion, went into the final Adelaide stage as race leader after giving Trek-Seagfredo its first 2020 win on stage three (Nairne to Stirling, 109.1km).
Cornwall announced as the Grand Depart for the 2020 Tour of Britain
Cornwall is the setting for the Grand Depart of the 2020 Tour of Britain which takes place on 6 September with a 175km stage from Penzance to Bodmin. This Southwest extremity of the British Isles is both beautiful and rugged and the route will trace a zig-zag through some of its most iconic sites and places made famous by TV series like Poldark will form the backdrop for a different type of drama.
From Cornwall the race will make its way north to finish eight days later in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on Sunday 13 September. So far race organisers, who are yet to reveal a title sponsor after OVO Energy pulled out after three years in the role, have unveiled just three stages, the Grand Depart, Stage two from Sherford to Exeter in Devon and the finale in Aberdeen.
Packed with mountains the 2020 Tour de France is aimed to leave the peloton shaken and stirred.
The route of the 2020 Tour de France was unveiled today in Paris in front of a packed auditorium at the Palais des Congrés.
With the usual rumours doing the rounds the course was expected to be designed to further create uncertainty and disrupt the dominance of the GC teams. The presentation certainly proved that was exactly what the organisers had in mind – starting on the French Riviera in Nice it includes 3470km, 29 cols, bookended with mountain stages, the latter an altitude finish TT.
Mads Pedersen wins the elite men’s World Championships road race
With torrential rain and winds returning to Yorkshire it was going to be day that pushed the best cyclists in the world to their limits. The strongest proved to be Mads Pedersen who survived the ultimate test to give Denmark its first male winner at the UCI World Championship.
At the end of a cold, wet and unbelievable grueling 262 kilometers, Pedersen showed he was the strongest, beating Matteo Trentin (Italy/Mitchelton-Scott) and Stefan Küng Switzerland/Groupama – FDJ.
“It’s unbelievable. I didn’t expect this when we started this morning. It was an unbelievable day,” said Pedersen struggling to comprehend his feat.
“The team plan was to get me out in the early final (laps) and then (teammates) Valgren and Fuglsang would come from behind. But in the end, they didn’t follow van der Poel and Trentin when they came to my group. From there on it was just survive, survive, survive and then hope for the best in the sprint,” he explained.
The days cold wet conditions saw many of the strongest riders struggling, and a relentless process of attrition saw the peloton started splitting into fragments with many long given up any ambition greater than making it home upright.
The Danish rider had worked his way into an elite group in the last 50km and was one of only three riders still in contention on the very last drag up Parliament Street, Trentin and van der Poel . Van der Poel despite being a strong favourite faltered and t was Trentin who kicked off the sprint for victory. Pederesen had reserves of power and proved the fastest finisher passing the Italian before throwing his arms aloft in triumph to take the rainbow stripes. Tenacious Trentin meanwhile, clung on for second place on the podium with Switzerland’s Stefan Kung crossing the line two seconds back in third.
“I just hoped that when I saw the finish line, all the pain
would be gone, and I could do a good sprint. It’s six and a half hours on the
bike so everyone is on the limit and so anything could happen in that
sprint,” said Pedersen.
“You had to be focused all day and stay in the front all
the time. But it’s one of the last races of the season, so it’s all about
keeping that focus for six and a half hours and don’t have any bad luck and
hope for the best. This is every rider’s dream to wear this jersey – for me to
do it now? It’s unbelievable.”