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Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won his sixth Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup race of the season on Sunday in Nommay, France. The Dutchman was locked in a battle with Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) in the opening laps but capitalized on a mistake by the World Champion to ride away. Van der Poel has finished on the podium at every World Cup this year and will be greatly motivated next week at the final stop in Hoogerheide, as the race is organized and named after his father Adri van der Poel.
As has been the case for much of the season, van Aert finished second way back of Van der Poel. The Belgian has been challenging van der Poel more and more as the weeks have gone on, but with the World Championships only two weeks away, it looks doubtful he will be able to win a third consecutive title.
Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea) finished third with van Aert’s teammate, Tim Merlier, finishing fourth.
Top 10
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (NED), CORENDON-CIRCUS, 1:06:56
2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:07:29
3. Toon Aerts (BEL), TEELNET FIDEA, 1:09:05
4. Tim Merlier (BEL), CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:09:27
5. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL), MARLUX-BINGOAL, 1:09:43
6. Laurens Sweeck (BEL), ERA-CIRCUS 1:10:02
8. David Van Der Poel (NED), CORENDON-CIRCUS 1:10:44
9. Steve Chainel (FRA), TEAM CHAZAL CANYON, 1:10:46
10. Kevin Pauwels (BEL), MARLUX-BINGOAL, 1:10:50
Course conditions were horendous for the elite men in Nommay, France. While much of the course was rideable due to the mud not being extremely thick, the multiple hills on the course were treacherous and required many to get off and run. Van der Poel and van Aert showed immense strength by riding a few of the hills. The set of barriers in Nommay were even dangerous, as noted by the fact that only van der Poel and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) were seen bunny hopping them throughout the race.
Van Aert led the large men’s field onto the opening set of stairs with van der Poel tucked onto his wheel. Merlier soon took over leading, as the group powered through the first mud section. But his time at the front would be short. Aerts blitzed by everyone to move into the lead and force the main selection of the race mere minutes since the start.
Merlier, van der Poel, van Aert, and Aerts began to separate themselves from the rest on lap one, while Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) led the chase behind. Sweeck would bridge to the leaders and so would Michael BoroŠ (Pauwels-Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) before the end of the opening lap.
As the lead group passed the pit for the second time, many riders entered to get a clean bike. Van Aert, who was leading the group, did not. Van der Poel made a critical error when he rode by his mechanics. He was a couple meters past when he realized his mistake and was forced to dismount and run back.
Van der Poel’s error in the pit lane caused confusion and van Aert was able to get a gap on everyone, as he did not enter the pit. Van Aert finished the opening lap with a three-second lead over Aerts and Sweeck, BoroŠ, and Merlier just behind chasing. Van der Poel finished the lap 10 seconds down on the World Champion.
Van Aert’s time alone in the lead would be short-lived, as van der Poel bridged to him midway through the lap and brought Aerts with him. The chasing duo made the final junction to van Aert after he slipped while running. Soon though, it would be a duel at the front, as the former European champion Aerts would be unable to hold the pace of van der Poel and van Aert.
A peculiar event happened on the second lap between Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) and Francis Mourey. Mourey got his foot stuck in van der Haar’s bike between one of the seat stays and the wheel. He was laying on the course for some time while multiple people came to the Frenchman’s assistance. Van der Haar would end up being pulled from the race after the fourth lap, having lost too much time due to the incident. Mourey would be disqualified. At the time of publication, it was unknown why Mourey was disqualified.
The leading duo hled a 12-second lead over Aerts and Sweek as they crossed the finish line with seven laps remaining. BoroŠ was 24 seconds down in fifth place.
The third lap is when van der Poel pounced and rode away from van Aert. The two leaders were constantly attempting to power up hills that most of the others in the race ran. Van der Poel cleanly rode a slightly off-camber hill, while van Aert’s rear tire lost traction and forced him to put a foot down. This slight error by the three-time Belgian national champion opened the door for van der Poel to ride away.
Van Aert finished the third lap within touching distance of van der Poel, but he would never be able to claw back the last couple seconds. Sweeck and Aerts cross the line more than 30 seconds down with Merlier and BoroŠ about 10 seconds behind them.
Vanthourenhout would have a good second half of the race and move into contention for a podium place. The Belgian was part of a group of four chasing Aerts, who was in third with three laps remaining. Joining Vanthourenhout were Merlier, Sweeck, and BoroŠ. Aerts had attacked and left Sweeck behind on the fourth lap.
Merlier would be able to get the better of his chase group companions in the final laps to finish the race in fourth behind van der Poel, van Aert, and Aerts. Vanthourenhout finish fifth, a great result considering he was out of the picture for much of the first half of the race. Sweeck was sixth and BoroŠ was seventh.
Newly crowned French national cyclocross champion Steve Chainel (Team Chazal Canyon) managed to come home in ninth. A great result for him on home soil.
The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup continues on January 28 in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.
Full results
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:06:56
2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
3. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:05
4. Tim Merlier, (BEL), 1:09:27
5. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:09:43
6. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:10:02
7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:10:07
8. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:10:44
9. Steve Chainel, (FRA), 1:10:46
10. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL), 1:10:50
11. Tom Meeusen, (BEL), 1:10:55
12. Fabien Canal, (FRA), 1:10:58
13. Daan Soete, (BEL), 1:11:10
14. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:11:22
15. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL), 1:11:42
16. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL), 1:11:48
17. Felipe Orts Lloret, (ESP), 1:12:03
18. Corne Van Kessel, (NED), 1:12:14
19. Wietse Bosmans, (BEL), 1:12:15
20. Marcel Meisen, (GER), 1:12:35
21. Jim Aernouts, (BEL), 1:13:00
22. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL), 1:13:23
23. Lars Forster, (SUI), 1:13:32
24. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA), 1:13:40
25. Stan Godrie, (NED), 1:13:41
26. Severin SÄgesser, (SUI), 1:13:56
27. Alois Falenta, (FRA), 1:14:08
28. Matthieu Boulo, (FRA)
29. Ismael Esteban Aguero, (ESP)
30. Diether Sweeck, (BEL)
31. David Menut, (FRA)
32. Kevin Suarez Fernandez, (ESP)
33. Tomáš Paprstka, (CZE)
34. Jan Nesvadba, (CZE)
35. Eric Thompson, (USA)
36. Kerry Werner, (USA)
37. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga IbaÑez, (ESP)
38. Emil Hekele, (CZE)
39. Luca Braidot, (ITA)
40. Arthur Tropardy, (FRA)
41. Marcel Wildhaber, (SUI)
42. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN)
43. Florian Trigo, (FRA)
44. Daniele Braidot, (ITA)
45. Garry Millburn, (AUS)
46. Yannick Mayer, (GER)
47. Philipp Heigl, (AUT)
48. Tyler Cloutier, (USA)
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With the World Championships a mere two weeks away, 14-time U.S. national cyclocross champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing-Trek-Panache) sent a shot across the bow with a blistering performance in Nommay, France on Sunday at the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup. She powered away from the others on the opening lap and stayed nearly flawless the rest of the race to win by nearly a minute on a chilly day in France.
It would be a great day for the American contingent as Kaitie Keough ( came home in second. It was her fourth podium finish in a World Cup race this season. Keough is currently ranked second in the UCI rankings and second in the World Cup standings.
The fans let out a roar, as newly crowned French national cyclocross champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (WM3) finished third. Ferrand-Prevot is a threat for the world title, having been World Champion in 2015.
Current World Champion Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) had an off day and finished 12th. She retained her lead in the World Cup standings and barring a major disaster at the final round in Hoogerheide next week, she will win the series.
Top 10
1. Katherine Compton, ((USA)) KFC RACING-TREK-PANACHE, in 45:03
2. Kaitlin Keough, ((USA)) CANNONDALE-CYCLOCROSSWORLD, at 00:55
3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra), ((FRA)) CANYON-SRAM, at 01:20
4. Helen Wyman (GBr), ((GBR)) XYPEX – VERGE SPORT, at 01:30
5. Christine Majerus, ((LUX)) BOELS-DOLMANS, at 01:30
6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, ((ITA)) STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST, at 01:42
7. Eva Lechner, ((ITA)) CLIF PRO TEAM, at 02:04
8. Jolanda Neff, ((SWI)) , at 02:21
9. Ellen Van Loy (Bel), ((BEL)) TELENET FIDEA, at 02:38
10. Caroline Mani (Fra), ((FRA)) VAN DESSEL-ATOM COMPOSITES, at 02:42
It was a cold and chilly day in Nommay, France on Sunday for the eighth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup. The course is Nommay was rolling and heavy rains caused it to be a muddy affair. The cold temperatures had threatened overnight snow, but instead the region recieved rain. The mud in Nommay wasn’t terribly thick, so the riders didn’t have to dismount on long straight sections. The multiple rolling hills, however, were not rideable, forcing the riders to run.
Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea) sprinted down the paved start/finishing straight and led the group onto the stairs. In Nommay, instead of turning onto the grass to begin the course, the riders tackle a flight of stairs. This makes having a great start that much more important.
Cant looked good early in the race, slotting in behind van Loy. American Elle Anderson ( Motorhomes) also had a good start and sat in third wheel in the early going. But soon Compton came to the front and laid down the power.
Compton simply rode away from everyone on the opening lap. Alice Arzuffi (Steylaerts-BetFirst) took up the second position chasing Compton, while two chase groups formed behind. Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team) took out many riders in the second chase group, as she slid out on a corner. Keough was in this group at the time and quickly had to dismount to get around the carnage. Van Loy, Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team), Helen Wyman (Xypex-Verge Sport), Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) and Cant were all ahead of the crash.
Cant would lose many places at the end of the lap, as she dropped her chain. She was forced to stop and put it back on manually.
At the end of the opening lap, Compton had opened an enormous gap of 18 seconds over Arzuffi, who was still alone in second. Wyman and Majerus came across the line in the third and fourth spot nearly half a minute behind the American champion. They were followed quickly by van Loy, Keough and Nash. Cant had begun to slide backward and was outside of the top 10 at the end of the first lap.
Keough came on strong in the second lap, passing Wyman and Majerus to move into a podium position. Another rider on the move was cross-country mountain-bike world champion Jolanda Neff. The Swiss rider was forced to start a couple rows back in the grid due to a lack of UCI points, but on the second lap, she had moved into the top 10. Ferrand-Prevot was seen riding near Cant just outside the top 10.
Compton’s lead was over 30 seconds as she crossed the line with three laps to go. Arzuffi was still fighting alone in second, but Keough was hunting her down. Keough would make the pass on the third lap to take over second place, but by this point in the race that would be as high as she would go. Compton was a tear and demonstrating her expert technical skills on the muddy course.
While Neff began to lose places in the second half of the race, Ferrand-Prevot was passing her competitors. Entering the final lap, the Frenchwoman found herself in a four-rider group fighting for the last spot on the podium. Standing in Ferrand-Prevot’s way of a World Cup podium on home soil was Wyman, Majerus, and Arzuffi.
Compton crossed the finish line in Nommay with a huge smile on her face. The victory was her first in the World Cup series this season and it could not have come at a better time. The World Championships in Valkenburg are a mere two weeks away.
Keough finished second and Ferrand-Prevot was able to ride away from the others in her group on the final lap to claim third. Wyman outsprinted Majerus for the fourth spot.
The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup series continues on January 28 in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.
Full results
1. Katherine Compton, (USA) , in 45:03
2. Kaitlin Keough, (USA), 45:58
3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot, (FRA), 46:23
4. Helen Wyman, (GBR), 46:33
5. Christine Majerus, (LUX), 46:33
6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 46:45
7. Eva Lechner, (ITA), 47:07
8. Jolanda Neff, (SUI), 47:24
9. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 47:41
10. Caroline Mani, (FRA), 47:45
11. Katerina Nash, (CZE). 47:50
12. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 47:53
13. Elisabeth Brandau, (GER), 47:53
14. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 48:02
15. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 48:19
16. Fleur Nagengast, (NED). 48:27
17. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, (NED), 48:34
18. Maghalie Rochette, (CAN), 48:36
19. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 48:49
20. Marion Norbert Riberolle, (FRA), 48:50
21. Manon Bakker, (NED), 48:57
22. Elle Anderson, (USA), 49:15
23. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 49:20
24. Joyce Vanderbeken, (BEL), 49:28
25. Loes Sels, (BEL), 49:36
26. Inge Van Der Heijden, (NED), 49:37
27. Pavla HavlÍkovÁ, (CZE), 49:40
28. Marlène Petit, (FRA), 49:44
29. Francesca Baroni, (ITA), 49:56
30. Lucia Gonzalez Blanco, (ESP), 50:06
31. Nadja Heigl, (AUT), 50:32
32. Christel Ferrier Bruneau, (CAN), :50:40
33. Ruby West, (CAN), 50:53
34. Geerte Hoeke, (NED), 51:01
35. Rebecca Fahringer, (USA), 51:05
36. Marlène Morel Petitgirard, (FRA), 51:05
37. Karen Verhestraeten, (BEL), 51:32
38. Jade Wiel, (FRA), 51:40
39. Irene Trabazo Bragado, (ESP), 52:34
40. Beth Ann Orton, (USA), 52:44
41. Chiara Teocchi, (ITA), 52:51
42. Olatz Odriozola Mugica, (ESP), 52:55
43. Pauline Delhaye, (FRA), 53:06
44. Noemi RÜegg, (SUI), 53:26
45. Magdeleine Vallieres Mill, (CAN), 53:59
46. Zina Barhoumi, (SUI), 54:47
47. Luisa Ibarrola Albizua, (ESP),55:02
48. Corey Coogan Cisek, (USA), 55:42
49. Elizabeth UngermanovÁ, (CZE), 56:01
50. Siobhan Kelly, (CAN)
51. Amaia Lartitegi Ormazabal, (ESP)
52. Christine Vardaros, (USA)
53. Saioa Gil Ranero, (ESP)
The post Nommay: Americans go 1-2 with Compton and Keough appeared first on

ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Richie Porte (BMC Racing) leaves the Santos Tour Down Under confident he’s on track for another run at the yellow jersey.
The Tasmanian all-rounder cleared his first hurdle on the road back to the Tour de France with a solid outing in his first stage race since crashing out last July in the Pyrénées.
Porte, who will be 33 next week, finishes the Tour Down Under satisfied with a fifth-straight victory on the Willunga Hill stage. And though he missed out on defending his title on a tiebreaker to Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Porte’s return to racing this month leaves him optimistic about the looming European campaign.
“I am super motivated about this year and getting to Europe,” Porte said. “Everything this year is looking up.”
Last year, Porte used his Tour Down Under victory to barnstorm into the European calendar, including victory at the Tour de Romandie en route to the Tour. The wheels came off when he crashed on stage nine.
Healthy again, Porte hopes to use the momentum from his stage-race season debut to hit the same winning form in 2018. He will race next weekend in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race before returning to Europe. The ultimate goal is to return to the Tour de France in condition to race for the win.
To get there, he’s tweaking his roadmap to Paris. Instead of returning to familiar terrain at Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné, Porte will race at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Suisse. He’s only started Tirreno once, and he’s never raced the Swiss tour.
“It’s a bit of a change to the program, so I am quite of excited about that,” he said. “I love Paris-Nice, and it’s been good to me over the years, but it’s just nice to change things up a little bit.”
BMC Racing is glad to see its Tour leader ride out of Australia with high morale and a solid week of racing. Porte’s horrific exit from last year’s Tour left the team anxious to see their star back on the bike.
“This is a signal that things are on track,” said BMC Racing’s general manager Jim Ochowicz. “His health, power and performance are all where they should be. After a crash like he had in the Tour, you just don’t know until you race again. So after this week, we know he is on track for the Tour.”
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) finished the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under the same way he started it — by winning. The German powered down the finishing straight in downtown Adelaide on Sunday, using Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) as a launchpad to take the victory. The victory was the 18th of Greipel’s career Down Under, as he captured victory number 17 on the opening day in Lyndoch.
Ewan had to settle for second on the day. After sprinting to four stage wins at the 2017 Tour Down Under and winning the People’s Choice Classic, Ewan will leave his home race with a single stage win in 2018. World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who won the People’s Choice Classic a week ago and the fourth stage of the race, finished third on Sunday.
Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) was the overall victor of the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under, winning the race on countback over 2017 winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing). Porte entered the stage on the same time as Impey. He did not contest the intermediate sprints to try to get time bonuses to leapfrog the South African.
Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) finished third overall at 16 seconds.
Top 10, stage 6
1. André Greipel, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 02:01:19
2. Caleb Ewan, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:00
3. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:00
4. Phil Bauhau, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:00
5. Elia Viviani, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
6. Steele von Hoff, UNISA-AUSTRALIA, at 0:00
7. Simone Consonni, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:00
8. Mads Pedersen, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:00
9. Carlos Barbero, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:00
10. Mads Wurtz Schmidt, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:00
Top 10, Final GC
1. Daryl Impey, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, in 20:03:34
2. Richie Porte, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter, DIMENSION DATA, at 0:16
4. Diego Ulissi, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:20
5. Dries Devenyns, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:20
6. Egan Arley Bernal, TEAM SKY, at 0:20
7. Gorka Izagirre, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:20
8. Luis Leon Sanchez, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:23
9. Ruben Guerreiro, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:23
10. Robert Gesink, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:24
Sunday’s final stage of the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under was a circuit race around downtown Adelaide. The riders completed 20 laps of a 4.5-kilometer circuit around Elder Park for a 90-kilometer race. The course included the climb of Montefiore Hill, which peaked less than 2 kilometers from the line. With Porte and Impey entering the stage on the same time, time bonuses at the intermediate sprints and the finish were important. There was an intermediate sprint point at the end of laps eight and 12.
Many riders tried there hand at attacking out of the peloton, but the breakaway didn’t establish itself until the fourth lap of the race. Seven riders formed off the front of the peloton, but soon it broke apart and only two riders remained in the lead. Neo-pro Logan Owen (EF Education First-Drapac) and Truls Korsaeth (Astana) entered the fifth lap with a 20-second advantage over the main bunch.
Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo) made the junction to the leaders just after the sixth lap of the race began to make the front group a trio.
The trio built a maximum advantage of 90 seconds, but the Australian national team, UniSA, sent nearly all of its riders to the front of the main peloton to keep them close.
The front group split on the eighth lap with Owen going solo and Korsaeth pulling off to the side of the road with an apparent mechanical problem. Owen finished the lap alone to take the intermediate sprint.
Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) finished second and gained a two-second time bonus. The mere two seconds catapulted him from 17th overall into the top 10. Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafedo) captured third in the sprint and also moved into the top 10 of the general classification by gaining a one-second time bonus.
Owen soon got assistance in the lead, as Dimension Data’s Ben O’Connor bridged the gap between him and the peloton. The duo completed the 10th lap of the race, marking the halfway point of the stage, with a 45-second advantage over the bunch.
On the 12th lap, Antoine Duchesne (FDJ) attacked out of the peloton in pursuit of the leaders. However, he would never make it across the gap. The Frenchman spent a few laps chasing, but the duo was simply too far out front. Owen and O’Connor had stretched out their lead to over two minutes. Mitchelton-Scott, the team of race leader Impey and fast-man Ewan, took up the chase in the peloton.
With six laps to go, the peloton still trailed the leaders by 1:32 with Duchesne still stuck in no-mans land between the leaders and the main bunch. Lotto Soudal sent strongman Thomas De Gendt to help Mitchelton-Scott in chasing down the riders that were up the road.
A lap later, Duchesne was back in the bunch and the leading duo’s gap had shrunk to 1:08.
On the 16th lap of 20, Owen attacked on Montefiore Hill and there was no reaction from O’Connor. The young American riding his first career WorldTour race was solo with less than 20 kilometers to go and about a one-minute advantage over the peloton.
Mitchelton-Scott swept Owen up with just under three laps to go, setting the stage for a sprint finish.
Team Sunweb led the peloton into the final lap, as the German-based squad was riding for Phil Bauhaus. Bauhaus sprinted to second on stage three behind Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).
The final lap was disorganized with not one team able to get all of its riders together and control the peloton. Former World Champion Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates) led the peloton onto Montefiore Hill for the final time. Mitchelton-Scott’s Cameron Meyer soon took over for Costa and strung out the field.
The riders dropped down off the climb toward the finish line with Team Sunweb again moving to the front on the left side of the road. However, Quick-Step Floors powered over the top of the boys in black and white with Viviani sitting third wheel.
The blue train sped down the right side of the road with the finish line in sight looking to be putting Viviani in perfect position to take his second stage win of the week. Bora-Hansgrohe brought Sagan up on the left side of the road, as the sprinters prepared to launch.
Ewan was the first to go, but he would merely serve as the last lead-out for ‘The Gorilla.’ Greipel came around Ewan at the last possible moment to win by inches. He ended the race on a high note, just the way he started it. Sagan settled for third on the day. Viviani would only manage fifth.
Impey is the first South African to win the Tour Down Under, finishing on the same time as Porte. This is the third time in the race’s history the overall winner was determined by a countback. The other years were 2003 and 2012.
Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) won the King of the Mountains classification and Sagan captured the points classification. Egan Arley Bernal (Sky), who finished fifth overall, took home the Best Young Rider classification and Bahrain-Merida won the teams’ classification.Full results to come
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Race organizers of the Santos Tour Down Under and Santos Women’s Tour Down Under announced on Saturday night that the riders who competed in the 2018 women’s race will receive additional prize money that will put them on par with their male counterparts. The increase in pay comes from the South Australian State Government and will apply to all future events.
The additional $90,000 female riders will receive gives them the same prize money as the men for each of the stages and the main four classifications — general, young rider, best sprinter and queen of the mountain.
The women were initially competing for a total prize purse of $15,000.
“This is exciting news for women’s sport and I’m thrilled to announce our government is providing equal prize money for female riders in the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under,” Leon Bignell, the recreation and sport minister of South Australia, said in a statement. “I wrote to UCI President, Mr. David Lappartient, in November last year and we finished the discussions today and agreed the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under was the perfect event to lead the way for equal prize money.
“These athletes are at the top of their game, displaying professionalism, determination, and skill during every stage of the hard-fought race. It’s only fair the prize money they receive is on par with their male counterparts for each stage as well as the general classification.
“We were the first major international race in the world to replace podium girls with junior cyclists — a move which has been widely commended by the international cycling community. I’m proud South Australia is taking the lead in supporting our female athletes.”
The Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, in its third year as a UCI-sanctioned race, was upgraded to 2.1 status in 2018 and ran the week before the men’s race. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) took home the overall title with American Lauren Stephens (Cylance) in second and Australian national time trial champion Katrin Garfoot (UniSA) in third.
Cyclists’ Alliance, a riders union that represents the interests of professional female racers when dealing with both the UCI and pro teams, tweeted out its support. The group was created by retired riders Iris Slappendel and Carmen Small, and current racer Gracie Elvin, who races for Mitchelton-Scott.
Big announcement from the #TDU today! This year’s women’s tour winners will now receive equal prize money to the men. What a great start to the season!— The Cyclists' Alliance (@Cyclists_All) January 20, 2018
“I applaud the steps taken by the South Australian Government to replace the podium girls with junior cyclists at both men’s and women race presentations,” UCI President David Lappartient said. “I am a strong advocate for women empowerment in sports in general and cycling more specifically.”
“The UCI has indeed introduced equal prize money for men and women across all UCI World Championships and World Cups, and it is fantastic to South Australia once again take the lead, elevating women in sport through offering equal prize money for male and female competitors in the Santos Tour Down Under. I am confident equal prize money will support a significant transformation for women in cycling.”
It is important to note that in cyclocross there is equal prize money for C1 and C2 events, but not at the World Cup level. The Telenet UCI World Cup stop in Waterloo, Wisconsin in September did offer equal payout for men and women thanks to race organizers Trek Bikes. It was the first cyclocross World Cup in history to offer an equal payout for the elite men and elite women.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the announcement of equal prize money,” Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Director Kimberley Conte said. “This is a huge leap forward, not only for our Women’s Tour Down Under riders but female athletes all over the world.
“It’s really great to have the support of the State Government and the UCI, to continue to elevate this race and recognize the skill and efforts of our riders. We have women coming from all over her the world for the Women’s Tour Down Under. Having equal prize money will result in even more interest from top international female riders and help take this race to the next level.”
It remains to be seen whether the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will also receive additional TV coverage in the coming years. For 2018, there were nightly highlight videos posted on the official social media accounts of the race, but no live TV coverage. A one-hour highlights review show of the race was broadcast on Sunday locally.
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SAN JUAN, Argentina (VN) — In the hot and aired countryside, nestled next to the Andes Mountains, Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) is preparing to attack the 2018 season.
Nibali leads the list of stars who flew into the Argentine province for the 36th Vuelta a San Juan. The race starts tomorrow, Sunday, and runs until the following Sunday with a rest day on Wednesday.
This Vuelta, or tour, is part of Nibali’s build-up to July and the Tour de France where he hopes to win a second title while taking on Chris Froome (Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
“I have good condition,” Nibali said in a pre-race press conference room packed with 200 to 300 locals and journalists. “Let’s wait and see, though, I need to see how I go on the road, but this is a good opportunity to kick off the season right.”
Nibali won the Tour de San Luis in the neighboring province in 2010. That win began the season that led to his first grand tour win in the Vuelta a España. He continued on to win the Giro d’Italia twice and the Tour in 2014. Last season, he helped form the Middle East’s first WorldTour team, which is registered on the island of Bahrain and supported by Prince Nasser.
“This season, he looks so much more relaxed,” said La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Paolo Marabini. “Last year, he was worried about all the pieces falling into place in the team, which he began personally with the Prince. This year, their second year, he is satisfied with the pieces that they put in place, and the addition of riders like Ramunas Navardauskas — that will help.”
The seven stages of the Vuelta a San Juan travel much of the province and to the Andes that form a natural border with Chile to the west.
“The big testing stage is the summit finish to Alto de Colorado, and of course the stage time trial,” said Roberto Amadio, who managed team Liquigas-Cannondale for years and helped the race attract the seven WorldTour teams that will toe the start line.
The Colorado climb that ends stage five goes for 20 kilometers and up to 2,566 meters (8,418 feet). It’s regular, but in the last three kilometers, riders like Peter Stetina and Trek-Segafredo teammate Jarlinson Pantano will have room to attack.
“Nibali looks impressive, but the start list includes local Eduardo Sepulveda, now supported by Team Movistar,” Amadio continued. “Also, his teammate Winner Anacona, Rafal Majka [Bora-Hansgrohe], Daniel Diaz, who won the Tour de San Luis twice, and Oscar Sevilla (Medellin-Inder), who placed second overall last year behind Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).”
Nibali added, “I’ve been coming to Argentina for many years, this year to San Juan for the second time. I’m motivated. I’m coming off the winter’s break, so this is the start of a new chapter for me, a new year. It’s a good opportunity for me to try something and kick off the season.
“It’s a big race for me and my team, we are going to try to win a stage and the overall. This is the idea, though. Just to start the race well is important. That’s important for the Europe season ahead. So starting here in the warmth, when Europe is cold, is ideal.”
Pole Majka, winner of three Tour de France stages, will aim for the Tour and Vuelta in 2018. “We have a good team here in San Juan, we have a team that can win sprints, but then the GC to is an idea,” Majka said. “I don’t know how my condition is this year, but for sure, it’s not bad.
“We are going for a top 10 in the overall, but I need to see how my condition is. We will work for the sprinters, but I will try for the general classification.”
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RCS Sport announced on Saturday its selection of wild card teams that will participate at four out of its five UCI WorldTour races — Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and the Giro d’Italia.
As expected, Israel Cycling Academy is heading to the Giro d’Italia which starts in Israel. It is the team’s first year at the Pro Continental level and they will look for a strong showing at the Giro with the opening three days of the race in the team’s home nation.
History is made: We just got selected to the @giroditalia 2018!— IsraelCyclingAcademy (@yallaACADEMY) January 20, 2018
The Italian Pro Continental teams were anxiously awaiting to see if they made the cut. The publicity that comes with racing the Giro is vital to obtaining sponsors, as well as bringing on new ones.
Bardiani-CSF, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, and Wilier Triestini-Selle Italia made the cut with Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europe Ovini left out. Bardiani-CSF’s invitation was in doubt after the team had two riders test positive for testosterone mere days before the 2017 race, but they still got into the 2018 race.
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec missed the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Giro but ended the season ranked first in the 2017 Italian Cup classification. The Giro usually invites the winner of the classification to the race the following year and thus, its entry into the 2018 race comes as no surprise.
Though it didn’t gain entry into the Giro for 2018, Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini will race Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Milano-Sanremo.
RCS said that the Il Lombardia wild card teams will be announced later in the season after the organization evaluates all the results of the teams that have requested participation in the race.
Full list of wildcard teamsStrade Bianche (March 3)
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa OviniTirreno-Adriatico (March 7-13)
Israel Cycling Academy
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
Wilier Triestini-Selle ItaliaMilano-Sanremo (March 17)
Cofidis Solutions Credits
Israel Cycling Academy
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
Team Novo Nordisk
Wilier Triestini-Selle ItaliaGiro d’Italia (May 4-27)
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
Israel Cycling Academy
Wilier Triestini-Selle Italia
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