The Twitterstream is teeming – TEEMING, I say – with controversy, laughs, gifs of distinction, and good-natured teasing. Why? Because the 2021 cycling season is ON! And kickin’ up the dust.
On what had been an otherwise excruciatingly uneventful Stage 8 turned chaotic and controversial nearly 30 minutes after riders crossed the finish line as the race jury awarded Bora’s Pascal Ackermann the stage victory. On the road, Sam Bennett had claimed his 50th career victory and Deceuninck-Quickstep’s 100th grand tour stage, outfoxing the likes of Ackermann and Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal). Upon discussion, the race jury relegated Bennett for argy-bargy behaviour towards a Trek-Segafredo rider inside the final kilometre. The top ten on general classification remained unchanged.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck Quick Step) carried straight on with his winning ways by claiming victory on Stage 4 of La Vuelta – his seventh of the year. Initially given the jump by UAE Team Emirates Jasper Philipsen, the Irishman claimed the slipstream and zoomed past in the final pedal strokes. Meanwhile over at the Giro d’Italia, Josef Cerny delivered a fine solo victory for his CCC team, leaping away from the break with 20km to go. As marvellous as that was, it wasn’t the main story of stage 19 – as rider power turned what should have been the longest stage, into the shortest! There was no change on GC anywhere. Let’s get into it.