VN news ticker: Kyle Murphy of Rally Cycling wins Volta a Portugal stage 2, Quinn Simmons to make grand tour debut at Vuelta a España

Here's the news making headlines for Friday, August 6.

Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

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Kyle Murphy wins Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta Santander stage 2

Kyle Murphy (Rally Cycling) won stage 2 of the Volta a Portugal.

Murphy, an American riding for the American-based UCI ProTeam squad took the win ahead of Joni Brandäo (W52/FC Porto) and Lluis Mas (Movistar Team) who were 12 seconds and 17 seconds back, respectively.

Brandäo held a charging pack in the final 50m, while Mas was the best of the bunch sprint.

This is Murphy’s biggest career win. Teammates and compatriots Gavin Manion and Ben King finished in the field in 52nd and 57th on the stage, both with the same time as Mas.

At the 2021 USA Cycling elite road national championships, Murphy was a workhorse for teammate and winner Joey Rosskopf, chasing down nearly every attack in the final 20km. Murphy ultimately finished on the podium, in third, after burying himself in the final kilometer.

Quinn Simmons to make grand tour debut at Vuelta a España

Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) will make his grand tour debut at the 2021 Vuelta a España (August 14 – September 5).

Alongside the 20-yer-old American, who was the 2019 world junior road champion, will be a handful of experienced riders and a first-time road captain.

“We have a brilliant and united group that comes to the start with ambition and a desire to emerge,” said director Gregory Rast. “We have a rider, Ciccone, who deserves the utmost trust and support. For the first time in his career, he will race a [grand tour] as the sole leader, and we intend to put him in the best conditions to leave his mark.”

Brambilla and Elissonde have ridden in five editions of the Spanish grand tour, and Trek-Segafredo recently announced contract extensions for several members of the squad, including Nibali, López, and Elissonde. The squad will be looking to the experienced riders to bring along the grand tour debutante.

“We want to make our mark, first and foremost with Ciccone as captain, but we have an experienced team equipped to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise. The Vuelta stage finals are often unpredictable, so we have to be enough ready and smart,” added Rast.

Simmons earned his first professional win at the Tour de Wallonie in late July,  with a stage and general classification victory at the five-day stage race.

Trek-Segafredo roster for the 2021 Vuelta a España
• Giulio Ciccone
• Gianluca Brambilla
• Kenny Elissonde
• Alex Kirsch
• Juan Pedro López
• Antonio Nibali
• Kiel Reijnen
• Quinn Simmons

Juan Sebastian Molano wins Vuelta a Burgos stage 4

Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE-Team Emirates) won the 149km stage 4 of the 2021 Vuelta a Burgos, adding to his stage 2 win Wednesday.

Romain Bardet (Team DSM) continued to lead the General Classification, a day after his stage 3 victory despite a small tumble when descending solo in the final 15km.

Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) trails Bardet by 15 seconds on the GC, while Domenico Pozzovivo (Qhubeka-NextHash) dropped from third to eighth overall after a crash in the closing kilometers. David de la Cruz (UAE-Team Emirates) moved into third place overall.

2021 Vuelta a Burgos stage 4 results

  1. Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE-Team Emirates), 3:20:38
  2. Jon Aberasturi (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), at s.t.
  3. Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), at s.t.

2021 Vuelta a Burgos General Classification

  1. Romain Bardet (Team DSM), 15:05:06
  2. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), at :45
  3. David de la Cruz (UAE-Team Emirates), at 1:00

Martin Lass wins Arctic Race of Norway stage 2

Martin Lass (Bora-Hansgrohe) won stage 2 of the 2021 Arctic Race of Norway. The Estonian crossed the line ahead of local favorite Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates), and Dutchman Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux).

Kristoff takes over the lead of the general classification with the second-place finish on the stage, but has the same overall time as stage 1 winner Markus Hoelgaard.

2021 Arctic Race of Norway stage 2 results

  1. Martin Lass (Bora-Hansgrohe), 3:20:38
  2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates), at s.t.
  3. Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), at s.t.

2021 Arctic Race of Norway General Classification

  1. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates), 7:07:33
  2. Markus Hoelgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling), at s.t.
  3. Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), at :08

Stage 3 Saturday is 184.5km from Finnsnes to Malselv.

UAE-Team Emirates signs João Almeida on five-year deal

João Almeida led the 2020 Giro d’Italia for two weeks. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

UAE-Team Emirates has signed Portuguese ace João Almeida to a five-year deal.

Almeida, 23, has emerged as one of the rising talents in the GC pack during his time with Deceuninck-Quick-Step, placing fourth in the 2020 Giro after two weeks in the pink jersey and backing the result up with sixth in this year’s race.

“Almeida is a rider we’ve known for many years since he was a junior and we are delighted to welcome him to UAE-Team Emirates,” said team manager Joxean Matxin Fernández on Friday.

Almeida will slot into an ever-strengthening GC unit at the Emirati team. Tadej Pogačar, Brandon McNulty, and young phenoms Juan Ayuso and Finn Fisher Black are all signed to long-term deals.

“Our aim is to strengthen the team year by year and we have full confidence that João will bring great things to the group, both as an athlete and as a person,” Matxin said.

“I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my career and in my life,” Almeida said after signing through 2027. “I feel like the move to UAE-Team Emirates is coming at the right time and I’m sure I will be happy on this new adventure. The team is growing every year and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Il Lombardia reverses route for Bergamo finish in 2021

Il Lombardia will race from Como to Bergamo for the first time since 2016 this autumn.

The Italian monument has confirmed that the race will effectively reverse for this year’s edition, to be held October 9. The past four “races of the falling leaves” have tracked from Bergamo into Como, with the final run toward the iconic Lake Como being punctuated by the Civiglio and Battaglia climbs in the final 20km.

The exact details of the route for this autumn are yet to be confirmed. However, when Il Lombardia last closed out in Bergamo the race took on a different dynamic with the final flurry of climbs falling before a mostly flat 15km run toward the line. Esteban Chaves won from a three-man sprint in Bergamo in that year.

The startlist for this year’s race is to be confirmed, though Tadej Pogačar has stated his intention to race, and 2020 winner Jakob Fuglsang is likely to return to defend his title.

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