Two time trials that left the GC shaken and stirred and a sprint finish that never looked on the cards until the very last metres. It was a certainly a day of drama at the races.
Tour of Oman Stage 4: Yiti (Al Sifah) to Ministry of Tourism, 118km
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) came back from nowhere to take his second win of the week. The tough finishing circuits left the peloton shattered into pieces and a group of GC favourites out front to play for the win. As the attacks pinged on the last descent and the run to the line, the sprinter teams smelt blood and made the junction as the finish line came into view. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)and BMCs Greg van Avermaet placed second and third respectively. Ben Hermans (BMC) remains in the leader’s jersey and extends his lead courtesy of a picking up a 3sec bonus en route. With the Queen stage to come he holds 5secs over Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) and 13secs on Jakob Fuglsang (Astana).
Dimension Data’s Merhawi Kudus has been ferocious in defence of the best young rider’s jersey.
Young Mr Jungels has not been happy in the heat of Oman, but he made the break of the day today…
Full report at Cycling News
Race Website Race Twitter #TOO2017
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol Stage 4: Lucena to Cordoba, ITT, 12.0km
Victor Campenaerts provided LottoNL-Jumbo with their first win of the season. The Belgian national time trial champion was fearless and set a blistering early bench mark and no one ousted him from hotseat. Behind him a day of drama unfolded for the GC contenders. Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde blasted around the course to take second place. Crucially he was 6secs faster than race leader Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and put 8secs into FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot. When the dust settled Valverde was back in red by 1 single second from Contador with Pinot at +6secs. I predict fireworks over the final two stages – neither Pinot not Contador will give up without a fight!
Highlights (Izaguirre starts @13mins, Valverde @15mins, Pinot @17mins, Contador @19mins)…
Victor Campanaerts loving every single minute and resplendent in the Belgian colours
Speaking of national champion’s kit, we love the #bleublancrouge
Poor Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) crashed on his TT and had to retire from the race. Fortunately the team report no broken bones and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Full report at Cycling News.
Race Website Race Twitter #63RdS
Volta ao Algarve Stage 3: Sagres to Sagres, 18km
A silky smooth Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) powered over the cobbles of Sagres to take his first win as European time trial champion – ousting World Champion Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) from the hotseat into the bargain. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) finished third on the day but that was more than enough to grab the race lead from Quick Step Floors’ Dan Martin. The Irishman never looked happy on his TT bike and finished 1:40mins off the pace, tumbling to 6th place overall. Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski matched Roglic’s time and now lies second at +22secs, with Castroviejo at +36secs.
Full report at Cycling News.
Race Website Race Twitter #Valgarve2017
What do you need to attain perfect core stability? The answer is a beautiful Quick Step Floor to practice your exercises upon. Have to hand to the Quicksteppers they pull out all the stops for their sponsors. Here’s Zdenek Stybar with his take on the campaign. Warning – video contains images of spray tan application!
Header image: Happy smile of Jonathan Castroviejo – © LC/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images