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Cyclingnews.com

Latest Race Results from Cyclingnews.com
  1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won his third stage at the 2018 Tour de France in Valence on Friday. The world champion, who is leading the points classification, waited patiently to start his sprint, coming around Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) at the line.

    "This stage was a piece of gold for us," Sagan said, comparing Friday's relatively flat to the three previous days in the Alps, which saw several of the event's top sprinters miss the time cut.

    "It's fantastic. I mean also with the flat stage and a flat stage everyone recovered a little bit in the group. I think everyone was happy that it was a relaxed stage. I'm very happy to have won today. It was very nice for me, and thanks to all my teammates, who did a very good job."

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    Team Sky led the race into the final 10km and onto the city streets of Valence, with yellow jersey Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome safely at the front to avoid potential crashes or gaps.

    Dimension Data briefly took over with their lead-out for sprinter Edvald Boasson Hagen with 6km to go, but Trek-Segafredo overtook them with stage 9 winner John Degenkolb through a tight left-hand turn at 5km to go that forced the peloton to ease up slightly.

    Out of the corner safely, the field picked up Michael Schär (BMC Racing), the last rider of the day's four-person breakaway.

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) took his second consecutive victory at the Tour de France and also made history by winning atop the iconic Alpe d'Huez while wearing the race leader's yellow jersey.

    The Welshman reached the finish of the legendary 13.8km climb with a select group of four others, and opened his sprint with 300 metres to go after the decisive left turn, crossing the line ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), while his Team Sky teammate Chris Froome was fourth and Mikel Landa (Movistar) fifth.

    Thanks a two-second gap and a ten-second time bonus, Thomas increased his lead in the overall classification to 1:39 ahead of four-time overall champion Froome and 1:50 ahead of Dumoulin.

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    It was an all-out battle through the 21 hairpins of Alpe d'Huez, and in the end it came down to five remaining contenders as Thomas and Froome each responded to the inevitable and searing attacks that came from both Bardet and Dumoulin, while Landa spent much of that time just trying to hang on, yo-yoing off the back of his rivals' high speeds.

    A chasing Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), who initially appeared to have been taken down accidentally by a police motorbike squeeze with around four kilometres to go, managed to climb back on his bike and continue to pursue the five leaders with Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) on his wheel. Roglic finished sixth and Nibali 7th, at 13 seconds behind Thomas. [It was later suggested that Nibali crashed after his bike was hooked by the strap of a spectator's camera. Doctors confirmed after the stage that Nibali fractured his T10 vertebra and he was forced to abandon the Tour de France - ed.]

    They were not able to make contact before the finish line, and Roglic crossed the line in sixth and Nibali seventh, both 13 seconds after Thomas.

    A fight to the finish  

    How it unfolded

    The battle on the Croix-de-Fer

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. If the first Alpine outing of the 2018 Tour de France had seen something of a stalemate, the second helping on Wednesday's stage 11 duly saw the race explode for the first time. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) took the stage victory in La Rosière and moved into the yellow jersey, with his general classification rivals scattered down the mountain below him.

    Thomas had played down talk of an internal rivalry within Team Sky on the rest day, but he produced a real statement of intent when he accelerated away from Chris Froome and the rest of the GC group six kilometres from the top of the final climb – the first summit finish of the race. Not that Froome looked any weaker; he played the obvious games with the rest of the overall contenders before riding away from them in the final few kilometres.

    The four-time champion placed third on the stage, pipped at the line by Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), who had attacked ahead of the final climb and who had been joined by Thomas for a few kilometres before the Welshman ripped away for the line in the final kilometre.

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    Mikel Nieve placed fifth, having come so close to surviving from the day's breakaway. Fellow escapee Damiano Caruso came around him for fourth, but ultimately this stage was all about the GC riders. Dumoulin and Froome finished 20 seconds behind Thomas, while Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), whose counter-attack had helped Froome to drop many of his big-name rivals, finished at 27 seconds.

    Next in was a group containing Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, and Primoz Roglic. Fifty-nine seconds was the damage for them on what must be a significant dent to morale.

    Mikel Landa finished at 1:47, the Movistar hierarchy becoming increasingly clear on a day that saw Alejandro Valverde animate the race with a 60km attack before eventually losing more than three minutes. Ilnur Zakarin lost another 1:51, while the damage was more fatal for others –Jakob Fuglsang, Adam Yates and Bob Jungels both losing 4:42. In Yates' case, it must be pointed out that when he was dropped with 10km of the final climb remaining, his teammate Nieve was making his play for the stage win. The writing was already on the wall for Rigobero Uran, Bauke Mollema, and Rafal Majka, but they all lost more than 10 minutes and plummeted definitively out of contention.

    How it unfolded

    Col du Pré and Cormet de Roselend

    Summit finish

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) claimed his first Tour de France stage win in style in Le Grand Bornand, parlaying a 30km-long solo attack over two mountains into his career's biggest victory.

    The Frenchman was part of a 21-rider breakaway that escaped early in the stage, and after taking the maximum points on the Col de Bluffy and Montée du plateau des Glières, he attacked to crest the Col de Romme alone and then pressed on to keep his solo lead over the Col de la Colombière and on the long descent to the finish.

    Alaphilippe collapsed at the finish line, a mix of pain, exhaustion and tears of joy shifting across his face.

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    "There's a lot of emotion, because winning at the Tour is not easy," Alaphilippe said. "I came close in my first Tour two years ago, and to win in this way, it's unexpected because... I don't even have the words... I'm just thinking about my family. I'm happy to make them happy. I'm happy for myself as well. Now I hope things go well for Bob [Jungels] on GC, and there are lots of great things still do, but today I really want to enjoy this."

    The 26-year-old was a favourite for stage 6 to the Mur de Bretagne, but he missed the winning move and finished fourth. To win in the Alps was a vindication.

    "I was disappointed on the Mur de Bretagne, it suited me well. I lost to stronger riders, simple as that, the legs weren't as good as I'd hoped. So to bounce back like that is the perfect response."

    How it unfolded

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) added another victory to her palmares by winning La Course by Le Tour de France. She passed Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) with less than 50 metres to go after a high-speed chase on the descent from the Col de la Colombière. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla) finished in third place 1:22 minutes behind the winner. 

    Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) opened up proceedings on the penultimate climb, the Col de Romme, attacking solo with 33 kilometres to go. The young Dane stayed ahead for much of the Colombière climb but was eventually caught by an elite trio 2.5km from the top. Moolman-Pasio attacked immediately but could not shake off Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen. Van der Breggen then made her own move with one kilometre left to climb and crested the pass with a ten-second gap on van Vleuten.

    Van Vleuten never let the gap grow any bigger and always had van der Breggen in sight on the descent into Le Grand-Bornand. In the final kilometre, van Vleuten used her time trial skills to pace herself well, and when van der Breggen struggled on the steep 200 metres to the line, van Vleuten gave it one last push in a big gear. Van der Breggen faltered, and van Vleuten drew alongside and went past the Olympic champion in the last 50 metres to take a magnificent victory.

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    Having defended last year's win on the Col d'Izoard, the 35-year-old Dutchwoman was very happy in the winner's TV interview. "Last year was super nice, but this was a great race. It was unbelievable. With 200 metres to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her fighting, and to win like this … I know I am in good shape, but Anna van der Breggen is also a really good cyclist, so it was a really tough ride. Beautiful."

    Van Vleuten explained that she never lost faith in herself. "The gap was really small, and I know she is also a very good descender, but I always keep on dreaming and believing in myself. I could have given up with 500 metres to go, but I kept going. Always believe, everything is possible. This one is really beautiful, I think. I won on the Izoard last year, I won the Giro Rosa last week, and this one, in this way, is really high on my list."

    How it unfolded

    Organised by the ASO and held on the same day as stage 10 of the men's Tour de France, the prestigious La Course also used much of the course of the men's stage on its 112.5-kilometre route from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand. Most importantly, the women also raced the last 55km with two category 1 climbs, the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière, and the fast descent into the finishing town.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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