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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
The Vuelta continued today with a challenging hilly stage from Lugo to Ourense with a category three climb 22.7 km from the finish.
As the season approaches its end, the news is few and far between, yet some tidbits still continue to emerge.
Read on for more …
| Tim Wellens wins stage 14 of La Vuelta
On the twisting and technical climb to the Seminario Maior in Ourense, Tim Wellens tactically outsmarted his five breakaway companions to take the stage win. Michael Woods (EF) was very close to coming around the Lotto Soudal rider, but Wellens had the inside line on the final corner. Zdenek Stybar finished in front of Dylan van Baarle and Marc Soler to take third.
Three minutes and 45 seconds later the peloton rode across the line, led by Dan Martin. There was no movement in the general classification and Primoz Roglic will start stage 15 in red, with Richard Carapaz 39 seconds behind.
It was another aggressive start to the day for the peloton, and despite multiple breakaway configurations, a clear break was not established until roughly 55 km after the start. Marc Soler, Michael Woods, Dylan van Baarle, Thymen Arensman, Tim Wellens, Pierre-luc Périchon, and Zdenek Stybar made up the seven rider break that rather quickly extended their lead to over three minutes.
The advantage of the seven riders in front of the race continued to grow, and not until it was over five minutes did the peloton actively mobilize to claw back some time. A few different teams amassed at the front, including Astana, Team Direct Energie, and Bora-hansgrohe.
From around 50 km to go the gap from the leaders to the peloton began to drop, with the majority of the distance brought back after 30 km to go. On the Alto de Abelaira, the final climb of the day, a 7.6 km climb with gradients of 3.8 percent, Michael Woods left the breakaway behind. Soler followed at a distance and behind him Wellens. At this point, the peloton was only a minute and 37 seconds behind.
Over the top of the climb, the breakaway came back together, although they were missing Périchon who struggled on the climb. Woods and Soler continued to try and get away from their companions as they made their way to the finish.
With 16 km still to go Soler and Stybar put space between themselves and the other four in the breakaway. Behind the two chaos ensued, as Van Baarle went to bridge across, and Wellens also left Woods and Arensman behind. The first of the solo riders to catch the two leaders was Wellens with Woods, Arensman, and Van Baarle 11 seconds behind. With the accelerations in the break, the peloton lost significant time, and into the final 10 km, they were 3:40 behind Soler, Wellens, and Stybar.
A 13-second gap held tight between the two groups of the three as they rode towards the 1 km climb to the finish, while the gap to the peloton blew out to almost five minutes. 600 meters from the climb, the gap to Woods, Van Baarle, and Arensman dropped rapidly, and the catch was made just at the finishing climb.
In a very close finish, Tim Wellens took the victory, with Mike Woods in second, and Zdenek Stybar in third. Three minutes and 45 seconds later Dan Martin led the peloton over the finish, with Primoz Roglic and the rest of the general classification men safely riding in together.
Top 10, stage 14
1 WELLENS Tim (Lotto Soudal) 4:37:05
2 WOODS Michael (EF Pro Cycling)
3 STYBAR Zdenek (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
4 VAN BAARLE Dylan (INEOS Grenadiers)
5 SOLER Marc (Movistar Team) 0:11
6 ARENSMAN Thymen (Team Sunweb) 0:13
7 PÉRICHON Pierre-Luc (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) 3:11
8 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation) 3:44
9 SERRANO Gonzalo (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)
10 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
Top 10, GC
1 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 53:57:05
2 CARAPAZ Richard (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:39
3 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 0:47
4 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation) 1:42
5 MAS Enric (Movistar Team) 3:23
6 POELS Wout (Bahrain – McLaren) 6:15
7 GROSSSCHARTNER Felix (BORA – hansgrohe) 7:14
8 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 8:39
9 VLASOV Aleksandr (Astana Pro Team) 8:48
10 DE LA CRUZ David (UAE-Team Emirates) 9:23
| UCI plans a lengthy suspension for Dylan Greoenwegen after Tour of Poland crash
According to Wielerflits, the UCI is planning to suspend Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen for up to nine months for the crash involving Groenewegen and Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-Quick-Step at the Tour of Poland.
An independent arbitration committee has recommended that Groenewegen be banned from racing for nine months, backdated to the time of the incident. If that is indeed the decided punishment, Groenewegen would not be back in the peloton until the beginning of May of 2021.
The UCI plans to announce the details of Greoenwegen’s suspension this week.
| Trek-Segafredo extends contracts for six riders, finalizing their 2021 roster
The Women’s Trek-Segafredo team has announced contract extensions for six of their key riders. After also announcing extensions for Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini earlier this week, and three new signings with Chloe Hosking, Amalie Dideriksen, and Shirin van Anrooij, the 14 rider team is complete.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Ellen van Dijk, Tayler Wiles, and Letizia Paternoster will all stay with the team through 2022, while Loretta Hansen and Trixi Worrack have signed on for one-year extensions.
| French fashion brand Paule Ka placed in receivership
Questions surrounding the untimely demise of the Equipe Paule Ka team after they had seemingly been saved by French fashion brand Paule Ka may have just been answered. When Bigla-Katusha was on the verge of mid-season collapse, due to their two title sponsors abandoning ship, Paule Ka swooped in to save the day. But at the beginning of October, the news that management needed to access the team’s bank guarantee to pay riders started to circulate. Within weeks it was announced that the team was folding, immediately, and would not finish the season, including the Tour of Flanders.
At the time there were many questions about what had happened to Paule Ka; hadn’t they agreed to four years of sponsorship? Well, on October 27th the Paris Commercial Court opened proceeding to place the company in receivership.
According to Matthias Thoma, the chairman of Rodexia, Paule Ka’s sole shareholder, “The two incidents are unrelated.” So technically, the question of what happened between Paule Ka taking over sponsorship of Bigla-Katusha in June of 2020, and the team being immediately terminated in October has not been answered. This development is fascinating nonetheless.
| Visconti signs with Bardiani
Two-time Giro d’Italia stage winner Giovanni Visconti is headed to Bardiani-CSF in 2021, the team announced on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old Italian has spent the past two seasons with the Vini Zabù-KTM organization after two years with Bahrain-Merida, riding with Movistar for five seasons prior to that.
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| Win it Weekly: presented by Stan’s No Tubes
Winter is coming, and Stan’s has what you need to beef up the tires on your gravel bike to be ready! Simply click here and complete the form for your chance to win one Stan’s No Tubes winter-ready gravel kit.
Today’s featured image of Tim Wellens winning stage 14 of the Vuelta a España comes from Cor Vos.