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  1. After a late-race flat tire, Winder uses her descending skills to bridge to the breakaway and attacks solo in the final kilometer to win. Read the full article at Winder overcomes puncture to win women’s Valenciana stage 1 on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  2. Another year, another Tour of Oman title for Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), though this time he was utterly dominant, winning three of the six stages along the way. Lutsenko didn't win much else in 2018 but there's a sense that the 26-year-old might be on the verge of building a big palmarès, with stage races and Classics both on his agenda. Every rider in Oman was happy to admit Lutsenko was head and shoulders above the rest, as he helped himself to victories on the two punchy stages and then on Green Mountain to seal the title. Cofidis directeur sportif Roberto Damiani likened him to 1986 world champion Moreno Argentin. "I'm not surprised," Lutsenko told Cyclingnews of his dominance. "I did a lot of work in Tenerife at altitude before this. Now I'm more skinny. I'm two kilograms lighter. ADVERTISEMENT "That gives me more motivation for the important races like the Classics. It's a good start for my new season, the best I've had. Tomorrow I go back home to enjoy a few days with my family before going to Belgium. That's my plan for this week. After, I go to the Classics with good legs and good motivation. Lutsenko will line up at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad next Saturday, where the form he has shown automatically makes him one of the favourites, having already shown his potential on the cobbles with a podium at the 2017 Dwars door Vlaanderen. Yet, despite Astana coaches insisting he could win the bigger cobbled Classics like the Tour of Flanders, Lutsenko is skipping them in order to focus on the hillier Ardennes races this year. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  3. The famous 7-Eleven team's debut European season got off to a hot start in 1985 when Ron Kiefel stunned the Italian champion at Trofeo Laigueglia. Read the full article at VN Archives: Kiefel’s breakthrough Italian win from 1985 on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  4. Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) judged her final sprint to perfection, launching herself into the final turn and coming out of it with a sizeable gap ahead of her breakaway companions, to win the opening stage at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. The American's stage success brought with it the first leader's jersey of the four-day European opener. It was mixed emotions for the team as they lost Trixi Worrack to a broken collarbone sustained in a crash earlier in the stage. "We had reconned the course so I knew the finish really well and attacked full gas into the roundabout with 400 meters to go and I went as hard as I could to the line," said Winder, who led the breakaway across the line by just four seconds ahead of a charging main field. "It was that feeling that the finish line kept getting further and further away and I was certain the entire peloton was going to rush past me in the last second. But it didn't and I held on for the win. It feels unbelievable to win the first race over in Europe – it's exciting, and I am happy with the team; the spirit is so good." ADVERTISEMENT Although Winder suffered a flat tire before the field hit the first of two main late-race climbs of the stage; Barxet (90km) and Barx (105km), she relied on her teammate to get her back into contention. "I had a puncture right before the first climb, and Anna [Plichta] stayed with me, and she was great," Winder said. "I felt so calm to have a teammate stay with me, and she got me back to the front safely. Then at the top of the climb there was a break that went, and then before it really, truly went down, and I rolled alongside Elisa (Longo Borghini) and said, 'Oh Elisa, I want to go' And she said, 'yeah go!'" It was the winning breakaway, and Winder bridged across to the move, which also included Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Bigla), Mavi Garcia (Movistar), Soraya Paladin (Ale Cipollini) and Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans). The group lost Uttrup Ludwig inside the last 10km, but they pushed on together in an effort to get to the finish line ahead of the main field. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  5. The hills of the Serra de Monchique are famed for the production of Aguardente de Medronhos, the fruit brandy known to the rest of the world as firewater, and there was a familiar burning sensation in the legs and lungs of those following the pace set by Team Sky as the Volta ao Algarve peloton climbed into the swirling clouds atop the Alto da Fóia on Thursday. The fruits of Tao Geoghegan Hart's pace-making labours packed a particular sting, and when he swung off with a shade under two kilometres to go, only seven riders remained in the front group, including his teammates Wout Poels and David De La Cruz. Already a strong performer at the Tour Down Under last month, Poels is perhaps the outstanding favourite for this Volta ao Algarve, and the Dutchman looked strongly placed to claim stage victory and the overall lead as the elite leading group passed beneath the flamme rouge with De La Cruz setting the tempo. ADVERTISEMENT Poels bided his time as Amaro Antunes' late attack was snuffed out in the final kilometre before lifting himself from the saddle with a shade under 200 metres to go. The Alto da Fóia is a difficult finale to gauge, however, and Poels' task was complicated still further by the brisk wind at the summit. By his own admission, he opened his final effort a shade too early, and had to settle for second place just behind neo-professional Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). "The wind was quite strong and David was pulling at a good pace so I didn't want to go too early because if you blow there you really blow," Poels told Cyclingnews as he warmed down past the finish line. "When we had [the Antunes attack] under control, I thought it would be a nice move to jump too but I went a little bit too early." A year ago, Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski placed a down payment on his eventual overall victory by winning atop the Alto da Fóia, albeit from a much larger group. This time around, only five riders finished within 10 seconds of the stage the new race leader Pogacar, meaning that the general classification battle already seems whittled down to a select cadre of riders with three stages still to come. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  6. Not so much a revelation as a confirmation. Victory at last year's Tour de l'Avenir meant that Tadej Pogacar was already touted as one of the most gifted neo-professionals in the WorldTour peloton even before he turned a pedal in anger for UAE Team Emirates. On Thursday, the Slovenian youngster simply lived up to that billing with an assured win atop the Alto da Fóia on stage 2 of the Volta ao Algarve. Pogacar, who only turned 20 in September, showed a physical and tactical maturity beyond his years on the windswept approach to the finish. He was among the happy few to hang tough under the weight of Team Sky's forcing on the haul to the line and he then bided his time when Amaro Antunes (CCC) attacked in the final kilometre, before uncorking a sparkling sprint to beat Wout Poels and Enric Mas (Deceuninck-QuickStep) to the spoils at the summit. "Before the climb, my teammates did a really good job to protect me," Pogacar said by the podium afterwards. "Then on the climb in the final, I just followed the attacks and then in the last 100 metres, I saw that I could push more, so I started sprinting and I came out my first victory as a pro so I’m really happy." ADVERTISEMENT The swirling winds and low cloud around the Alto da Fóia, the highest point in the Serra de Monchique, meant that finishing sprint was a difficult one to gauge. Poels, for his part, confessed that he had opened his effort a little early. Pogacar, on the other hand, made it all sound so straightforward. "I knew how the wind was going and I just sprinted in the final to the victory," he said. Pogacar was full value for his win, though he acknowledged that he had found himself in the role of UAE Team Emirates team leader by happenstance. When nominal captain Fabio Aru lost over a minute after he was caught up in the mass crash in the finale of stage 1, the role passed to Pogacar, who did not seem at all discombobulated by his increased responsibility. "The first strategy was for Fabio Aru but he was involved in the crash yesterday with all the other guys, so we decided yesterday to give me the opportunity for general classification," said Pogacar, who takes possession of the yellow jersey of race leader. He carries a lead of 1 second over Poels into Friday's 20km time trial in Lagoa, with Mas a further two seconds back in 3rd, while Sam Oomen (Sunweb) lies 4th at 5 seconds. Tour de l'Avenir You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) secured a victory at the Tour of Oman on the final sprint stage on the Matrah Corniche. The Italian beat Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Davide Ballerini (Astana). A frustrated Andre Greipel (Arkea-Samsic) felt that it was a dangerous sprint and that Nizzolo should be disqualified. It wasn't a smooth stage for Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), either, who crashed and was unable to finish due to a deep wound on his arm. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) won his second consecutive Tour of Oman, dominating the race after winning three of the six stages. Second overall was Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), with third going to Jesus Herrada (Cofidis). ADVERTISEMENT Watch how stage 6 unfolded in the highlights video from the Tour of Oman. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  8. The 16th edition of the Epic Rides Off-Road series kick-off is expected to attract 2,100 riders to Arizona, and they'll be riding more singletrack this year. Read the full article at 2019 Whiskey Off-Road route has less Skull Valley, more singletrack on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  9. What a difference a year can make, especially when you're barely out of your teens. Brandon McNulty remembers getting spat out of the peloton early in the 2018 Tour of Oman, and then abandoning the race entirely on Green Mountain. Twelve months on, the former junior time trial world champion rode along Muscat’s Mattrah Corniche on Thursday to sign and seal a top-10 overall finish. McNulty delayed a move to the WorldTour this year in order to continue his development with Rally UHC, who made the step up to Pro Continental level last year, and he described the improvement he and his team have made over the past 12 months as "huge". The American, tipped as a future Grand Tour contender, has finished up towards the front on every stage but the big test was always going to be Green Mountain on the penultimate stage on Wednesday. With the field scattered around the mountain in ones and twos, he was the 14th rider across the line, vaulting him into ninth overall. ADVERTISEMENT "It was almost so hard it didn't matter, it was like who could suffer the most. There weren't a whole lot of tactics aside from not blowing up. It was rough," said McNulty, slumped on the tarmac beyond the finish line, recovering from the effort. The aim was not to blow up but it would have been easy to, as the peloton immediately exploded on the double-digit gradients of the 5.7km climb. McNulty, however, held his nerve, stuck to his guns, and made his way up in the wheel of teammate Rob Britton without going too far into the red. "As soon as we hit the climb, people were doing these 700-watt surges. I was on Rob's wheel doing like crazy power, going backwards. In the first 500 metres of the climb, we were probably 40 seconds back," he said. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  10. The 20-year-old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar out-sprints WorldTour heavies on stage 2's summit finish to take overall lead. Read the full article at Algarve stage 2: Sky shreds summit finish; Pogacar wins on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  11. Matteo Trentin wins a tough sprint after a long day in the saddle, chasing down a surprise acceleration by Ivan Garcia. Read the full article at Ruta del Sol stage 2: Trentin wins gritty sprint on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  12. Giacomo Nizzolo hopes his injury woes are behind him after undergoing knee surgery in December, and victory on the final stage of the Tour of Oman on Thursday confirmed his belief that he can get back to his best. The Italian claimed seven victories times in 2016, including the Italian road race title, and went close to victory on several occasions at the Giro d'Italia. However, this was only his second victory since then. Nizzolo only raced for 28 days in 2017 as he battled tendinitis in his knee. Despite winning at the Vuelta a San Juan, the problems continued into 2018, which ended with a hip fracture. Ahead of his first outings with Dimension Data – having left Trek-Segafredo – the decision was made to go under the knife. ADVERTISEMENT "I had something under the kneecap that was rubbing all the time. They have taken it out, and now it looks like it's fixed," Nizzolo said after a visit to the podium in Oman. "I was always training and stopping, training and stopping, and stopping for a long time. Like this, you cannot get your best level. Let's hope now it's finished and I can continue." As for whether he can return to his 2016 self, he said confidently: "For sure I can be back at this level." The road ahead You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  13. The man behind the longest-running 24-hour race in the world explains why people keep coming back to 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. Read the full article at The Dirt: Sadow explains why 24-hour racing endures on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  14. Chris Case speaks with coaches, researchers, and sport scientists to answer all your training and nutrition questions. Read the full article at Training FAQ: How to relieve foot pain on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  15. The 31-year-old American endured two tough seasons but is primed and ready for a better 2019. Read the full article at Stetina has ‘fresh motivation’ after considering end to career on VeloNews.com. View the full article
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