Wrapping up those feisty early European stage races and delivering South African national championship news.
Stage 5, Etoile des Besseges
The 50th edition of Etoile finished with the traditional Ales TT – complete with a leg-breaker of an uphill finish. Alberto Betiol (EF Pro Cycling) left everything on the road to take victory in the final time trial, beating his teammate and points jersey winner Magnus Cort by 9secs. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) did more than enough to retain his race lead, Bettiol moved to second place with Alexys Brunel (Groupama FDJ) securing third step of the podium and the best young rider jersey. Georg Zimmerman (CCC) went home with the polkadots.
He never stops attacking
The men in pink had a successful week, here’s the news from one of their own.
View this post on Instagram
First race of the season and with @efprocycling is done and dusted. What a race we had as a team. And a big thanks to all my teammates and staff for the help and a very nice week. We won 2 stages and 2 second places and a third place on a stage as well. Second in GC, winner of teams classification and the points jersey. I Finish second on the ITT yesterday behind my teammate @albertobettio , it is never a good feeling to be second but I must also be happy that I did my best ITT ever. But it is unfortunately not all good this week, there was never any Doping control at this race!!! I don’t understand how it is even allowed to have a race on this level with 7 world tour teams on the start line without doping control? I my opinion that is simply not okay @uci_cycling photo credit: Katrine Junique and photosirotti #cycling #cannondale #itishardtobeacyclist #ITT #nocontrol #notgoodenough #etoilebesseges #NoDopingControl #stepitup #rapha #poc #vision #vittoria
Let’s hope all their TT performance training bodes well for Monsier Bardet come July
Stage 5, Volta la Comunitat Valenciana
Fabio Jakobsen and his Deceuninck Quickstep squad finally get their sprint victory. The Dutch national champion was delivered perfectly by his poisson-pilote Davide Ballerini, leaving the not inconsiderable sprinting talent of Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) to second and third respectively. The final GC remained unchanged with Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) taking the title by 6 seconds from Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos).
Third time’s the charm for Fabio…
Delight on the podium
Final podiumsEmbed from Getty Images
GC: Pogacar, Haig and Geoghegan Hart
Best Young Rider: Pogacar
Polka dots: Serrano Gonzalo (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)
National Championships, Women’s South African Road Race
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC- Liv) has all the racing jersey bases covered as she adds the RR title to her triumph in the TT
Header image: © Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images