Ruth Winder wins the Brabantse Pijl.
Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
Wednesday was a busy day for bike racing, with big names in action in Belgium at the Brabantse Pijl, in Turkey at the Tour of Turkey, and in Spain at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.
Pidcock tops Van Aert at the Brabantse Pijl
Tom Pidcock powered to his first pro one-day win on Wednesday at the Brabantse Pijl, topping Wout van Aert and Matteo Trentin.
The 201.7 km race from Leuven to Overijse saw a break from soon after the start that worked its gap up over six minutes before the pack started to bring them back. Inside the last 80 km, with the gap only a little over three minutes, several riders started jumping from the pack to chase the break. With a little more than 50 km to go, the pack was around two minutes behind the break with a group of chasers in between.
Inside the last 40 km, a crash knocked several riders out of contention in the pack. Shortly after the pileup, Pidcock, Wout van Aert, and Matteo Trentin attacked, and they joined the chasers and then the early break to make for a reshuffled lead group. With around 27 km to go, Trentin soloed clear. He took 25 seconds into the last 22 km, but Van Aert and Pidcock moved to bridge on the Hertstraat climb. They caught Trentin before the Moskesstraat with around 12 km to go, while the situation among the chasers was constantly changing as some riders dropped and others bridged up.
Pidock, Van Aert, and Trentin held on to battle for the win amongst themselves. Van Aert launched early on the finishing straight but Pidcock wound up to speed and then surged past to take the clear victory at the line, with Van Aert settling for second and Trentin arriving two seconds later for third.
Winder narrowly bests Vollering to take Brabantse Pijl victory
Ruth Winder nabbed her first win of the season on Wednesday at the Brabantse Pijl, narrowly besting Demi Vollering with a well-timed bike throw as Vollering celebrated early.
The 127.3 km race from Lennik to Overijse saw big names going on the move after the riders arrived on the finishing circuit for the first of two laps. After a few attacks and regroupings, a strong six-rider group got clear with around 23 km to go, with Winder, Vollering, Elisa Balsamo, Joss Lowden, Juliette Labous, and Leah Thomas comprising the selection.
The group quickly built a healthy gap over the chasing pack, taking over a minute into the last 3 km. Lowden attacked on the early goings of the final climb with 1 km to go, but she was brought back.
Balsamo launched first in the final sprint but Vollering and Winder pulled past on either side. They were closely matched as the approached the line, Winder finished with a bike throw as Vollering threw an arm up in celebration. The finish line photo confirmed that Winder had won, with Vollering settling for second and Balsamo rounding out the podium in third.
Cavendish takes his third straight Tour of Turkey stage win
Mark Cavendish completed the hat trick of stage wins on Wednesday’s stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey.
The 184.4 km stage from Alanya to Kemer came down to another bunch kick. Alpecin-Fenix led out the sprint for Jasper Philipsen, but the Belgian found himself at the front perhaps a bit too early, nearly 300 meters before the line, and he hesitated at first before winding up to speed with Cavendish tucked in behind. Cavendish launched with 200 meters to go, while a big crash saw numerous riders hit the deck behind the sprinters.
Cavendish pulled even with Philipsen and then surged past in the closing meters to secure his third straight victory. Philipsen settled for second for the third straight day with Stanislaw Aniolkowski taking third for the second day in a row.
Scotson wins Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana opener
Miles Scotson soloed to victory on the opening stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, which got underway on Wednesday after being rescheduled from February.
The 27-year-old Australian soloed clear of the peloton with around 20 km to go on the day and quickly built up a substantial gap. Indeed, his advantage was such that despite crashing at a roundabout with around 4 km to go, he was able to remount and hold on out front to win by 28 seconds.
John Degenkolb led the chasers home for second with Alan Riou taking third on the day.
UCI set to amend bottle rule
The UCI announced on Wednesday that it is set to amend its rules surrounding the discarding of water bottles outside of designated zones.
In a statement, the UCI said the the Professional Cycling Council had met in conjunction with the CPA Women and the UNIO (which represents women’s teams) via video conference to discuss the regulations. Since new rules went into effect on April 1, riders have faced strict penalties for throwing away their water bottles outside of designated zones, with regulations calling for disqualification for those who break the rules in one-day races. On April 4, Michael Schär and Letizia Borghesi were disqualified from the Tour of Flanders for getting rid of water bottles outside of designated areas.
Now, however, the penalties are set to be softened, pending approval by the UCI Management Council. Assuming the amended rules are approved, riders who discard their bottles outside of a designated zone in a one-day race will now be fined and docked UCI points on their first offense, with disqualification now the penalty for a second offense. Riders who discard their bottles outside of a designated zone in a stage race will now be fined and docked UCI points on their first offense, with a time penalty for a second offense, and disqualification for a third offense.
Nibali suffers a broken wrist
Vincenzo Nibali’s status for the upcoming Giro d’Italia is uncertain after the four-time Grand Tour winner suffered a broken wrist in a training crash on Wednesday. Nibali is set to undergo surgery tomorrow.
“I am struggling to find the words to describe the huge sorrow I feel. A trivial accident with heavy consequences that, unfortunately, puts into serious question all the efforts made to prepare for the upcoming races. It’s a verdict I have to accept,” Nibali wrote on social media.
“Tomorrow I’ll have surgery and then I’ll start a path, not easy and not immediate, to try to be at the start of the Giro. This is the goal I have in front of me and I will also do the impossible to hit it. Promised.”