It was a full cycling schedule this week – we had races in the Algarve, Oman, Andalucia (and you can see all the Final KMs from this week on the blog). Familiar names were in the frame for some wins, including Michal Kwiatkowski and his new, strange victory salute, Tim Wellens and Alexander Kristoff.
Giving it some Wellens
It was baby-faced Belgian Tim Wellens, who took the title for Ruta del Sol after a stomping performance on the queen stage, leaving Mikel Landa in his cobbled dust in a thrilling duel to the finish. Hot on their heels was a certain Midge favourite, Jakob Fuglsang.
And this is what the finish line looked like! This could definitely be a mighty course for a new cobbled classic!
A dirt road ITT (strade marron anyone – or more appropriately for the location, camino de tierra?) on the final day didn’t slow him down and he took the top spot with 8sec to spare over Wout Poels. Fuglsang, unfortunately, dropped off the final podium.
Oman! It’s Kristoff!
Going back to the Queen stage – because I do love Dries Devenyns …
And the Wolfpack are looking like they’re going out on the road in more ways than one.
This, however, is the best post-race interview this week. It all gets rather emotional for Nathan Haas.
Meanwhile, over in the Algarve
Michal Kwiatkoswki went away 2km from the finish and rode right past Zdenek Stybar to win both the final stage in the Algarve as well as taking the yellow jersey from his teammate Geraint Thomas (who finishes second in the GC with Tejay van Garderen – yes, Tejay van Garderen – third on the final podium).
We were, however, rather appalled by Kwiat’s ‘horse riding’ victory salute. We’re hoping he goes back to the drawing board.
One of last year’s VeloVoices #YoungDudes, Ruben Guerreiro, did himself (and Trek) proud with his second place on the final stage, after a spirited chase after KwiatKrush.
I still can’t quite recognise Jill Bear without the Belgian national champion jersey.
The further adventures of Dan from Nam
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2018 is already well under way – so it's probably time I told ya all what I'm up to this year – or at least part of it… Sadly my riding last year wasn't such that I was able to stay with @israelcyclingacademy – but not for lack of trying or wanting – I just took a bit too long to work out some sneaky old injuries. That said, My two years there were some of the most enjoyable I've had while riding my bike for a living and I'll still be seeing my old team more often than not in our mutual euro-home of Girona… So, with a few more points I want to prove, a few more countries I need to race in – and of course the Commonwealth Games in Australia – there's no way this journey-man can hang up his racing wheels just yet. It took a lot of pondering at the end of last season but I've decided to (once again) follow my heart and do something a bit different. I'll be racing with the @embracetheworldcycling guys this year – which means doing smaller races again – but racing in far flung races, in way-out-there places. A eclectic and different race program, with some great videography skills and a charity aspect… sounds like my kinda setup. Not to mention @canyon and @dtswiss goodies to play with 😍 Sunday I race the Africa Champs here in Kigali, Rwanda – and then I'm back in Europe and will be getting ready for my first race in my new colours. Which, obviously, excites me! I will also be doing a few other things on the side… But I'll leave it at that for now. p.s. if anyone has any great/interesting 2.2 UCI race suggestions I'm sure my team would love to hear them 😉 #etwcycling #embracetheworldcycling #canyon #dtswiss #kigali #afconroad18 #rwanda #yallaacademy 📸 @kramon_velophoto
Is you is or is you ain’t in the EF pink camp?
For those of a sensitive disposition, you might want to look away now. I’m going to subject you to the sight of Tony Martin‘s German TT champion’s jersey. Oh, Katusha … why, why?
It does look like *the* best national champion’s jersey is going to be seen in Switzerland this summer – AquaBlue got a wild card to the Tour de Suisse and Larry Warbasse is going to be there!
A VeloVoices favourite, Daniel Oss, is looking good in Bora
The Ladies Favourite had a birthday last week.
A very bizarre DQ