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  1. With two weeks to go until the Giro, Chris Froome finishes fourth overall at the Tour of the Alps. Read the full article at Froome after Tour of the Alps: ‘It’s been a perfect build up to the Giro d’Italia’ on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  2. Serghei Tvetcov and Chloe Dygert triumph in the Tour of the Gila's third stage Read the full article at Tour of the Gila: Tvetcov, Dygert nab time trial victories on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  3. Ben O'Connor headed home from the Tour of the Alps with the best young rider's white jersey and bucket loads of confidence as he prepares for his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia. The 22-year-old from Western Australia won stage 3 to Merano with an impressive solo attack after the climbs of the day. He then kept his head, finished fifth in Innsbruck and so even moved up to seventh overall, 1:33 down on overall winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). "To get the reward as best young rider is brilliant," he told Cyclingnews happily, as he checked his hair in the reflection of his soigneur's sunglasses for his moment on the podium. ADVERTISEMENT "It's always great for young guys like me to aim towards goals but winning a stage at a race like the Tour of the Alps is extremely difficult if you're young like I am. Success takes time, as does GC racing. To be good every single day is bloody hard." O'Connor revealed he even overcame a late, nerve-racking puncture. "I felt really relaxed. I don't know why. Maybe because it was confidence, maybe it was just the demeanour of being generally more relaxed about how you ride things. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) went on the attack with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) on the final climb of the final stage of the Tour of Alps but were unable to put the Frenchman in difficulty and had to settle for second and third place on the final podium. The two both finished 15 seconds back on Pinot but the Italian was officially second due to better stage placings. Like Pinot, both proved they are on track for the Giro d'Italia. Lopez won the mountain stage to Alpe di Pampeago, while Pozzovivo used his climbing prowess and tactical experience to comfortable control Chris Froome's attack on stage 4 to Leinz. Lopez was especially aggressive on the Olympia climb that will feature in the Innsbruck World Road Race Championships. He attacked on the second trip up the fast 7.8km climb in a clear attempt to test Pinot and take aim at overall victory. However, Pinot was also in excellent form. He responded on the final climb and was joined by Pozzovivo as Chris Froome (Team Sky), Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) faded in the surprising heat of the early Austrian spring. ADVERTISEMENT The podium trio came together after the descent but surprisingly they refused to join forces to try to stay away and fight for the stage victory. Pinot had a lead of 15 seconds and not under any threat from the 10, 6 and 4 second time bonuses awarded at the finish. Yet he opted to ease up and the attack ran out of enthusiasm, allowing the chasers to catch them. Padun attacked at the right moment and win the stage. Astana won three stages and dominate the team classification but Lopez was only partly satisfied with his day and his week. "It was a good day for me again but it didn't finish out as we'd hoped," he said after the podium ceremony. Pozzovivo upbeat for Giro d'Italia after Tour of the Alps performance You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  5. Thibaut Pinot called his overall win at the Tour of the Alps the biggest of his entire career. The Groupama-FDJ rider said that it had been a perfect week after he beat Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to take the title by 15 seconds. Pinot came within seven seconds of winning the race last season only to be beaten by Geraint Thomas. The Frenchman showed his intentions early on with an attack on the opening stage and continued in that vein for the remaining four days. He moved into the race lead after stage 3, and despite a slim advantage, he kept hold of it for the remainder of the race. "It's a very important race. Without a doubt, the Tour of the Alps is a mythical race for climbers, so for me to add it to my palmarès is amazing – and on top of that to do it against riders of the highest level. For me, it's one of the greatest victories of my career," Pinot said at the finish. "This was the perfect week. We had perfect weather and a perfect route and everything just went even better than I could imagine. ADVERTISEMENT Just two weeks sit between the end of the Tour of the Alps and the start of the Giro d'Italia in Jerusalem. Pinot finished fourth at the Giro d'Italia last season and is arguably well ahead of the form that he had going into the race 12 months ago. Though he has beaten many of the riders that he will go up against next month, Pinot says that he's not yet thinking about the Giro d'Italia. "I'm happy to be one of the favourites for the Giro but the most important thing for me right now was to win such an important stage race and to have it on my palmarès. Much has been said about the Giro but I haven't started thinking about it yet." Though he made many of his own, Pinot had to endure an onslaught of attacks from his rivals in order to win. Both of his closest rivals Lopez and Pozzovivo made stinging attacks on the final climb of stage 5, putting Pinot under a lot of pressure with nobody left from his team to help. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  6. For now, 20-year-old American Chris Blevins is happy to shine on both the road and the mountain bike. Read the full article at Multi-talented Blevins flashes road potential with Gila stage win on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  7. "The counter is reset to zero" is how Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) describes his feelings about racing on Sunday in Liège-Bastogne-Liège where, he insists, he is "one of several favourites." The recent winner of the Flèche Wallonne told a small group of journalists on Friday afternoon that the victory in the Belgian mid-week Classic "has done me a lot of good, [it is] one I've been waiting for a long time, and the joy and motivation from that will stay in my heart. But Liège-Bastogne-Liège is another race. "To finish second in Liège, as I did in my first ever participation there [in 2015, after working for former Quick Step racer Michal Kwiatkowski - Ed.], was a huge surprise and a real pleasure. But just as in Flèche Wallonne a lot of riders will be up there and may be able to win it. It's not just a question of me focussing on [four-time winner Alejandro] Valverde, you have to look out for many different names." ADVERTISEMENT "The distance is different, the route is longer, so we will see on Sunday. For Liège, the counter has been reset to zero." Regarding Valverde, Alaphilippe said he had met the Spaniard by chance during Friday's training reconnaissance of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and he had once again been congratulated by the Movistar rider. "It's gradually hitting home what a big victory this was. Alejandro gave it everything but he realised it was my day. I've been beaten by him in the past and this time the roles were reversed, and that he took it so well and congratulated me like that shows what a class act he is. That's why I respect him and his team so much." Earlier in Friday's press conference, Alaphilippe's teammate Philippe Gilbert pointed to Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) as a real danger man for Sunday, whilst the Frenchman singled out Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), fifth on Wednesday, as a key favourite. "He rode very well in Flèche Wallonne and he's got a very fast finish. It won't be a full-on bunch sprint in Liège, either, but being up there in Flèche was a sign of what he can do." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  8. After finishing third behind Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali at the 2017 Vuelta a España, Katusha-Alpecin's Ilnur Zakarin says he now Read the full article at Zakarin: I’m ready to deliver big results in the grand tours on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  9. Chris Froome (Team Sky) says that it would be futile to make too many predictions off the back of the final results at Tour of the Alps. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) took out the overall victory with Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) rounding out the podium. Froome just missed out on the rostrum, finishing the race in fourth place 16 seconds behind Pinot and one second off Pozzovivo and Lopez. The Team Sky rider has ridden an aggressive race but looked in trouble when Pinot attacked on the final climb with Pozzovivo, setting off in chase of Lopez who had already gone up the road. Thanks in part to a lack of cooperation up front, the favourites did come back together with the GC ending up as it had been at the start of the day. "I don't think that we can read too much into it. Everyone has different approaches to the Giro," Froome said outside his team bus in Innsbruck. "Some guys probably wouldn't have been 100 per cent in this race and will probably be going a lot better at the Giro but for sure there are somethings you can't mistake. Thibaut is in great shape, Pozzovivo is in great shape in the climbs as well. Fabio Aru is not far off. Miguel Angel Lopez from Astana is looking great. It's a little bit of a taste of what's to come in May." ADVERTISEMENT Team Sky have dominated the Tour of the Alps – or the Giro del Trentino in its former guise – for the past three seasons with Mikel Landa, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte claiming the last three editions. However, all three have gone on to suffer some misfortune in their battle for the Giro d'Italia overall classification. Froome was coy, however, when he was asked if Pinot was going too well too early. "Everyone has their own way of preparing for a race. Maybe, for him, that is the right thing. You can't read too much into it," said Froome. "The last few years Team Sky has won Trentino but not won the Giro. It's just how it is. Not every year Is the same and for sure, Thibaut is in great shape now. That's a good sign for him ahead of the Giro." With the longest stage of this year's Tour of the Alps just 164 kilometres, the five days of racing have been flat out from the outset. The intense style of racing, says Froome, is hard to get in training and he feels as if it's put him in the right place going into the Giro d'Italia in two weeks' time. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  10. Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) says he's got some unfinished business with the Tour of California. The Australian has centred the first part of his 2018 season around the week-long race as he looks to improve on his seventh-place finish from last year. It will be his fifth appearance at the American stage race, with his result last year far and away his best performance. The previous year saw him crash heavily and abandon after a strong showing on the third stage to Lake Tahoe, which was won by Julian Alaphilippe. "My big goal for the first part of the year is the Tour of California," Morton told Cyclingnews at the Tour of the Alps. "I had pretty good results there last year but I think that I could have been better so the start of the year has been about getting myself ready for that. I’ve had some good results there but I sort of have unfinished business there, I guess. ADVERTISEMENT "After this, I’ll head over to Colorado and do some altitude training and do my usual thing to get ready. Touch wood, everything is on the right track, and hopefully I can do something there." Morton's season began back at the start of January with the national championships, followed by the Tour Down Under, where his teammate Tom-Jelte Slagter took third. After a short break, a trip to the Abu Dhabi Tour was next up before he made his European debut with the miserably wet Strade Bianche. April has seen him race the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and the Tour of the Alps, where he is currently 51 minutes down in the overall standings. Morton says that he expected his European spring to be tough but believes he is on the right path towards the Tour of California. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  11. The Frenchman cemented his win in Friday's fifth and final stage. Read the full article at Pinot claims overall victory at Tour of the Alps on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  12. Scenes from the opening day of the Sea Otter Classic. Read the full article at Gallery: Bikes galore on day 1 at Sea Otter on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  13. The oldest monument has struggled to generate excitement until all but the last few minutes in recent years — what can be done? Read the full article at Commentary: How to make Liege great again on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  14. Following last Sunday’s victory in Amstel Gold Race, not to mention the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad victory from February, Michael Valgren (Astana Pro Team) certainly has reasons to be optimistic about his chances of a third top result on Sunday. Looking further back, the Dane has ‘previous’ in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, as well. In 2012, and again in 2013, he won the U23 version race, on both occasions with lone breakaways. Speaking to Cyclingnews earlier this week, before placing 50th in La Flèche Wallonne - a race that does not suit his talents as a racer, and which he later Tweeted he had “survived” - Valgren talked of his hopes for this Sunday. ADVERTISEMENT "I'm looking forward to Liège, not just because it’s a bigger race, but because it’s a bigger goal," he said. "Together with Jakob [Fuglsang] I hope that we can use our team strength again, and I can pay him back for the assistance he gave me there in Amstel Gold last week." At Amstel Gold, Fuglsang was instrumental in wearing down the strength of the lead group with several attacks, prior to Valgren going up the road himself. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  15. Rather than losing morale after his shock defeat in La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) remains strongly upbeat for Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, with the chance of equalling Eddy Merckx’s record of five wins a major motivation. "It’s very important for me," Valverde, already the winner of La Doyenne in 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017, told local newspaper La Meuse on Friday. "We’re talking about drawing equal with a legend. I have a huge amount of respect for him [Merckx], he stayed humble despite his massive palmarès. And drawing equal to him would give a victory on Sunday a special dimension." ADVERTISEMENT Valverde told the paper that his defeat in Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne "changes nothing", and that "I’ve known for a long time I’m not unbeatable." He added that the disappointment of finishing second to Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) hadn't lasted long. "In cycling, losing is a lot easier than winning," he pointed out. Furthermore, Valverde told La Meuse that, looking at the television images of the finish of La Flèche Wallonne the evening after the race, he realised he had made a mistake on the Mur itself. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
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