Transfer News, Retiring Riders & Cyclo-Cross Action | The Cycling Race News Show

Transfer News, Retiring Riders & Cyclo-Cross Action | The Cycling Race News Show


Welcome back, to the GCN Racing News Show.
This week, we have world cup action in cyclocross and on the boards, the final WorldTour race
of the year at the Tour de Guangxi, the Japan Cup, a number of transfers and retirements,
including our very own Oscar Pujol, whilst Andrea Tafi looks to come out of retirement
at the ripe old age of 52. And, Rigoberto Uran ends his season with an absolutely incredible
performance: After the low’s of this summer, Team Sky’s
Gianni Moscon ended his season on a high with a win at the last WorldTour event of the year,
the 6 day Tour de Guangxi over in China. Moscon had set up his overall victory by winning
the uphill finish on stage 4, taking a solo win, 5 seconds in front of Felix Grosschartner
of Bora Hansgrohe. Team Sky defended his lead over the rain soaked
and crash marred final two stages, stage 5 won by Matteo Trentin, his first victory as
European Champion, and stage 6 by Fabio Jakobsen, who delivered Quickstep’s 72nd and 73rd
wins of the year at the race. An incredible season, but not quite up to the standards
of Colombia Highroad, who, according to Cafe Roubaix on twitter, took 77 wins in 2008,
and an incredible 85 in 2009. Ryan Mullen fulfilled a dream, or possibly
nightmare, by getting himself into a day long breakaway with the Panzerwagen Tony Martin
on stage 5 – he described it as a fun day out, although I’m not sure many others would
have found it quite so enjoyable. The race also marked the end of a great season
for 25 year old Cuban rider Arlenis Sierra of Astana – she won the one day women’s
event in a sprint finish ahead of Hannah Barnes. At the post race UCI Gala dinner, Annemiek
Van Vleuten and Simon Yates were awarded their trophies as winner of the women’s and men’s
WorldTour rankings for 2018 – both have had big wins this year, the Giro Rosa for Van
Vleuten and the Vuelta for Yates, but it was their consistency throughout the season which
netted them their awards, although ironically neither managed to finish their final race
in Guangxi. The Japan Cup has become almost the traditional
season closer since it’s inception in 1992 – a test of motivation as much as legs at
this point, this year’s event was won by Robert Power. He’d attacked a small group
of riders on the last climb, eventually outsprinting Antwan Tolhoek. That was the last race for
Power in Mitchelton Scott colours, he’ll be racing for the Team Sunweb for the next
two years. The race also marked the end of two long careers
– Simon Gerrans, who has notched up an impressive palmares including two monuments, plus stage
wins in all of the Grand Tours, congratulations to you Simon – it was also the last professional
event for our very own Oscar Pujol, who will now be full time on GCN en Espanol, although
he’ll first be attempting to win the Taiwan KOM challenge for a 2nd time.
Gregory Rast also called an end to his career after the Tour de Guangxi – he will go on
to be a sport director with his team, Trek Segafredo, next year. Trying to come out of
retirement is 52 year old Andrea Tafi. La Gazzetta dello Sport last week reported that
he is trying to make a comeback in order to race at Paris Roubaix, an event he won back
in 1999. There’s no certainty right now that he’ll find a team, but if he does,
that would be quite the story. I kind of wish he does, it would give us all hope! Talking
of transfers – Tony Martin and Lotto NL Jumbo have confirmed a two year deal, Edward Theuns
has broken his Team Sunweb contract a year early to go back to Trek Segafredo, whilst
Jonatan Narvaez has also broken his contract with Quickstep to head to Team Sky, who have
also welcomed back Ben Swift. Quite the merry go round, although there are still apparently
a lot of riders currently without a job for 2019. The cyclocross season continued at the weekend
with the 2nd round of the Superprestige in Boom on Saturday, whilst the World Cup made
a return to Switzerland the following day. On the men’s side, it was yet another display
of dominance from Mathieu Van Der Poel – in Boom, he did just enough, getting the better
of World Cup leader Toon Aerts by 4 seconds, whilst the following day he took advantage
of a dropped chain for Wout Van Aert, putting in a scintillating lap where he averaged over
30kph. His margin of victory 8 seconds on the day. World Champion Van Aert had decided
to skip the Superprestige, so it was another frustrating result for him, although he did
pick up his first win of the cyclocross season on Thursday at the Kermis Cross in Ardooie.
In coming in 3rd, Toon Aerts retains the overall series lead by 15 points from Van Aert. Marianne
Vos also skipped the Superprestige, and it paid off for her, she reversed the result
from last weekend by getting the better of 22 year old Annemarie Worst, who is having
an incredible season so far. US Champ Katie Compton rounded out the podium in 3rd.
The previous day in Boom, 32 year old Kim Van De Steene of Tartolleto Isoflex took the
biggest win of her career, coming home 27 seconds to the good of Alice Arfuzzi of 777
Steylaerts. Over at the track world cup in France, 6 different
countries won the 6 titles on offer on day one. Australia came out on top in the Women’s
Team pursuit with a time of 4:17:00 beating New Zealand by just half, a stellar performance
for the latter, though, who set a new national record, beating their time from the Rio Games.
Kirsten Wild took a convincing omnium win following a formidable world championship
in Apeldoorn earlier this year where she took the triple crown of golds in the points, scratch
and omnium. One of the most dominant performances came from the Danish pairing of Michael Morkov
and Lasse Norman Hansen, who took the win in the Madison – particularly impressive given
that it was Morkov’s fist Track World Cup for 10 years.
Australia topped the medal table with three Golds, one for Matt Glaetzer and two for Ashlee
Ankudinoff, including that team pursuit. Glaetzer managed to get the better of Harrie Lavreysen
in the final of the sprint, but the young Dutchman had qualified fastest – it takes
a lot to impress Sir Chris Hoy, but covering the 200m in 9.49 seconds certainly got his
attention – looking at the average speed of almost 76kph, it’s easy to see why.
Great Britain, meanwhile, fell just short of gold and came away with 5 silver medals.
Jason Kenny and Laura Kenny will be lining up on the startline in Milton, Canada at the
next round of the World Cup. With 10 olympic titles between them that could shake things
up a bit. Lotto Soudal duo Tim Wellens and Thomas De
Gendt have arrived home in Belgium. As Si mentioned last week, they are the latest professional
riders to do something a little different, riding the 1000km journey from northern Italy
straight after Il Lombardia. It’s another example of how we all like to see professional
riders just enjoying riding their bikes, no numbers, no rankings, just going back to how
we all started. And you can imagine that it’s a breath of fresh air for them, too – stunning
views, incredible riding and no pressure whatsoever. On a similar subject, and off the back of
last week’s show where we discussed EF Education First embarking on some new events in 2019,
it appears that Rigoberto Uran has quickly got the message about gaining publicity wherever
you can: He’s got the moves like Jagger eh? I can
see him on strictly come dancing in the next few years, with a Rapha skinsuit on. In all
seriousness, looking at your responses under last week’s show, it appears you are almost
all very much looking forward to seeing the pro’s ride some alternative events next
season, and I have to say, I am too. Right, that’s all for this week. We’ve got more
live racing for you this coming weekend, the Brico cross from Neerpelt on Saturday and
the next round of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde on Sunday – head over to our facebook page
to set yourself some reminders for them. Talking of cross – make sure you watch this next video,
where Si looks at, and competes at, the toughest CycloCross race in the World, the Three Peaks.
And man did he suffer, check it out down here.