Giro d’Italia, Tour De Yorkshire & Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid | The Cycling Race News Show

Giro d’Italia, Tour De Yorkshire & Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid | The Cycling Race News Show


It’s the GCN Racing News Show! The Giro 101 has begun, we’ll be looking
back at the first three stages of the race. We’ve also got the men’s and women’s
Tour de Yorkshire, the Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid, and the…..deep breath…. Panorama Guizhou International Women’s Road
Cycling Race. There were some pretty major talking points
before the flag had even dropped at the 101st Giro d’Italia – on a particularly technical
9.7km time trial course, a number of riders crashed in training, including race favourite
Chris Froome. It looked pretty bad, he was hobbling heavily
immediately after, but was able to start the race later that day. The same couldn’t be said for poor Kanstantsin
Siutsou, who also crashed but suffered a fractured vertebrae, and will be out for an estimated
3 months. Miguel Angel Lopez also hit the deck in training,
and Jack Haig in the race – not the best way to start a three week Grand Tour. The early pace in the race itself was set
by BMC’s Rohan Dennis, who set such a blistering time it looked as if the stage was over soon
after it had begun. European TT champ Victor Campenaerts came
close, finishing just a few hundredths of a second behind the Australian TT champion. Froome, Dowsett, Mullen, Tony Martin, they
came but they weren’t able to conquer, and eventually, the only person to stand between
Dennis and the Pink Jersey was the last man off the ramp – wearing both the number 1 and
the rainbow stripes, Tom Dumoulin. And, much to Dennis’ disappointment, his
time in the hot seat came to an end. It couldn’t have been a better start for
last year’s overall winner Tom Dumoulin, though – not only did he take the stage, and
make a serious statement to his rivals, but he also put some pretty serious time into
them – over a minute to Mike Woods, 56 seconds to Miguel Angel Lopez, 46 seconds to Chaves,
37 seconds to Froome and 33 to Thibaut Pinot. The GC winners from that point of view were
Domenico Pozzovivo, 27 seconds down, and Simon Yates, who pulled out the time trial of his
life to lose just 20 seconds. Stage two began with the usual pattern of
a day for the sprinters, with three riders quickly being allowed a three minute advantage,
but that gap was extinguished pretty quickly once BMC decided to ride on the front to set
Dennis up for the intermediate sprint – which he won, taking 3 bonus seconds and the Pink
Jersey in the process. For a time triallist, it was a decent effort
– according to Velon he hit 1380w max and an average close to 900w for twenty four seconds. He became the 23rd rider in history to have
taken the leader’s jersey at all three of the grand tours. At the end, Elia Viviani continued Quickstep’s
near perfect season by taking the win in a sprint. If Dennis’ effort on stage 2 was hard, he
did at least get some recovery time the following day – the data, once again from Velon, showed
that he averaged 83w for the first 20 minutes of the race – it’s safe to say the vast
majority of us would have been able to keep up with the pro peloton there. This one really did go to the sprint stage
script – three riders from wildcard teams heading up the road, brought back inside the
last six kilometres, and in the end we saw a repeat of the previous day, Elia Viviani
getting back to back wins, this time ahead of compatriot Sacha Modolo. A quick reminder before we move on that if
you have access to the Eurosport app, we are doing a daily highlights package throughout
the Giro d’Italia with expert analysis of all the key moments. The race will now take it’s first rest day,
where the riders and the entire race entourage will fly to Sicily, where they will resume
with stage 4 tomorrow. Both the men’s and women’s Tours de Yorkshire
were extended by a day for 2018, which doubled the women’s event from one to two days. Stage one of their event finished in a sprint
into Doncaster, with Kirsten Wild backing up her win from two years ago on the same
finish with a stage win and a leader’s jersey this time around – it was a dominant display
by the Dutch woman who looked in a class of her own. The 2nd and final day would always be the
deciding stage, though, finishing as it did on the Cote de Cow and Calf, the events first
ever summit finish. There, world champion Chantal Blaak set a
scintillating pace on the early slopes, to set up team mate Megan Guarnier. And the American delivered with flying colours
on the day of her 33rd birthday, putting 14 seconds into the next best rider Alena Amialiusik. Bonus seconds picked up on the first day by
Dani King, and a third on the Cow and Calf, was enough to give her an impressive 2nd place
overall. The men’s race kicked off with a day that
looked set for the sprinters, but they hadn’t banked on a strong breakaway that ultimately
proved too good – they might have been relatively unknown to the continental pros, and there’s
no doubt they underestimated them. Harry Tanfield of Canyon Eisberg took the
biggest win of his career with a powerful in-the-saddle sprint to the line. Tanfield recently took a silver medal at the
Commonwealth Games time trial and the 23 year old certainly looks like he could go on to
great things in this sport. Day two finished on the same Cow and Calf
climb the the women had ridden earlier in the day – all eyes were on Olympic Champion
Greg Van Avermaet there, but he was made to look remarkably slow when Magnus Cort Nielsen
accelerated towards the line, the Dane taking the stage and the overall race lead, which
he extended the following day by finishing 2nd to Max Walscheid of Team Sunweb into Scarborough. However, everything was always going to change
on the final day – the Queen stage, or the Yorkshire Terrier stage as it became known
– 3500m of climbing, 189.5km’s, 6 classified climbs, countless unclassified climbs – it
was a brutal stage, and the pace was pretty brutal from the gun too. It wasn’t long before Stephane Rossetto
found himself up front with just Max Stedman for company – the duo forged a decent advantage
over a strong counter attack, but it felt like mission impossible in terms of a stage
win. However, we were, or at least I was, wrong. Nothing new there. Rossetto forged ahead solo with still over
100km’s remaining, but somehow, found the strength and resilience to hold everyone off
and produce one of the rides of the season so far. That was as impressive a victory as you’ll
ever see, chapeau to you Stephane – in fact, you are our rider of the week this time around,
I still can’t get my head around the kind of power that he must have produced for that
win. The GC battle ignited with 25km’s to go,
and it soon became clear that overnight race leader Magnus Cort Nielsen didn’t quite
have the legs he needed. He got dropped, whilst BMC had strength in
numbers at the front. Despite a very strong showing from Eddie Dunbar,
the team, and Greg Van Avermaet managed to control things all the way to the line in
Leeds, and did enough to secure themselves both the team prize and the overall GC with
GVA, a victory which he dedicated to the late Andy Rihs, who sadly passed away a couple
of weeks ago. Down in Spain we had the three day Vuelta
Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid, a notoriously tough three day race. We had quite a nailbiting finish to the overall
classification there, with Portugese rider Edgar Pinto overhauling overnight race leader
Fabio Duarte simply through his finishing position on the stage. With eighteen riders locked together at the
top of the GC, and no bonus seconds on offer at the race, Pinto’s 5th position on the
final stage in Madrid was enough for him to take the win. The Panorama Guizhou International Women’s
Road Cycling Race is a 5 day race in China that started on Sunday, a new stage race on
the women’s calendar this year. The first stage was 135km’s and ended in
a bunch sprint, which was won by the Spanish Champion, riding for the Cyclance Pro Cycling
team, Sheyla Gutierrez. She’s been on good form of late, and underlined
that by getting the better of Maria Martins and Daniela Gass, although we’re not sure
if she went full. Terrible joke, even by my standards – apologies
for that. Right that’s it for this week, next week
we’ll be looking back at week two of the Giro d’Italia, the 4 days of Dunkerque which
is 6 days long, and indeed the first stage of the Tour of California, which starts on
Sunday. I hope to have your company again then. In the meantime, if you’ve not already seen
it, we did a big GCN preview of the Giro d’Italia with a look at the key stages, so if you’ve
not already seen that, click down here.