Sunday 11 March 2012

Daily News Digest 11-12.03.2012

That'll do Nicely - Wiggo wins on the Col d’Éze
Wiggo will go to the Tour de France
with renewed confidence - and, with
a bit of luck, finish what Simpson
started all those years ago
(image credit: Petit Brun CC BY-SA 2.0)
Bradley Wiggins has become the first British rider to win Paris-Nice since Tom Simpson almost half a century ago in 1967, storming the final stage time trial after a race that has seen day after day of near-perfect team tactics from his Sky team. Lieuwe Westra was his closest rival and put in an admirable performance but couldn't get the better of the 31-year-old, taking 2" longer to finish the 9.6km uphill parcours and 8" down in the overall General Classification.

The normally rather deadpan Wiggins was nticeably jubilant after the race. "That was hard! That was extremely difficult," he told reporters. "I was climbing well, but I knew it was going to be close. I had to give everything I had to win, it means a lot to win such an historic race. To join Tom Simpson as the only other British rider is special. It’s an honor to have Paris-Nice on my palmares."

The GC top ten is as follows:

1. WIGGINS Bradley, Team Sky, 28'12:16"
2. WESTRA Lieuwe, Vacansoleil-DCM, +8"
3. VALVERDE Alejandro, Movistar, +1'10"
4. SPILAK Simon, Katusha, +1'24"
5. VAN GARDEREN Tejay, BMC, +1'54"
6. JEANNESSON Arnold, FDJ-Bigmat, +2'13"
7. MONFORT Maxime, Radioshack-NissanTrek, +2'21"
8. CHAVANEL Sylvain, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, +2'42"
9. KISERLOVSKI Robert, Astana, +3'30"
10. VICIOSO Angel, Katusha, +3'59"

Vacansoleil racereport (in English) 

Marianne Vos adds another trophy to
her cabinet, which must be groaning
under the combined weight.
Vos wins Novilon Cup
If you enjoy women's cycling - and if you don't, get yourself to a race ASAP and start doing so - you couldn't wish for a better weekend than this one with no fewer than three races going on at Drenthe. Chloe Hosking scored a spectacular victory in the first race, beating all the favourites and the current World Champion, then the incredible Marianne Vos won the first round of this year's Road World Cup when she lit the blue touch paper and achieved what looked like a respectable percentage of lightspeed in the second race. Today saw the Novilon EuregioCup - which meant more of the same top-class action and another victory for the 24-year-old Dutch phenomenon Vos, who seems intent on taking the title of Most Successful Cyclist in History from Eddy Merckx as soon as possible.

Marta Bastianelli of MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss was second and Lizzie Armitstead of AA was third. (More results availble from, video from RTV Drenthe and Podium Cafe's detailed report by Sarah Connolly.)

Tirreno-Adriatico: Nibali wins a stage, Hoogerland wins more fans
Over at the Tirreno-Adriatico, Liquisgas' Vincenzo Nibali took a Queen Stage victory with a spectacular loan ride over the snow-capped Pratti di Tivo, finishing the 196km parcours 15" faster than Astana's Roman Kreuziger - and also took a significant bite out of race leader Chris Horner's advantage. The ever-popular Johnny Hoogerland delighted fans by escaping the peloton with Steven Kruijswijk and Wout Poels, winning himself a well-deserved fourth place some 3" down on third place Horner, who recorded the same time as Kreuziger.

Cipo's return for real?
Unlikely as it sounds, it appears that Mario Cipollini really does want to return to competition and the story widely reported last week might not have been a publicity stunt aimed at drumming up a spot of free advertising for his bike range after all.

Comeback for Cipollini?
(image credit: Eric Houdas CC BY 3.0)
"For me going out on the bike and suffering is part of my system - I’m not the classic ex-cyclist who retires from racing and puts on a belly and who likes to have a glass of wine or whatever," the legendary sprinter, who turns 45 this month, told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I still have a way of life and diet that means that I still have good sensations when I make an effort on the bike." Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team managers were unimpressed when the story first broke and claimed to be as surprised as everyone else. "I seem to understand that the management would not welcome this, so I’m putting myself on the market a bit," says the rider, before insisting that he's not just in need of money: "For four years in a row, I was courted by the producers of L’Isola dei Famosi [an Italian reality TV show along the lines of Big Brother]. I turned them down and I turned down hundreds of thousands of euros because of that. If I needed the money I would have gone and done that."

It's still not understood - least of all by Cipo himself - precisely how he'd get around the UCI's insistence that all returning athletes are subject to six months of standard anti-doping tests before they race. "At the moment there are email exchanges between my lawyer and their legal office to see what we have to do," he says, somewhat ambiguously.

Other News
Hundreds of cyclists, some dressed in their underwear but mostly nude, took to the streets of Peruvian capital Lima to highlight their government's failure to tackle issues relating to cyclists' safety. "I have gone naked because it's the way to raise awareness of our rights for example the bicycle lanes that are never free, there are always taxis parked, police sleeping," said one protestor as the protest brought an 11km stretch of the city' roads to a standstill. (BBC)

21-year-old Roy Jans of An Post-Sean Kelly won the Belgian Kattercoers - rather fittingly, as today is the anniversary of the start of the 1982 Paris-Nice, the first of Sean Kelly's record seven consecutive victories.

The Telegraph have details of races around Britain.

Article of the Day
"Should I stop and help the bundle of screaming girls on the ground? No way. That’s not what we do, never." - Marijn de Vries' Dwingeloo
Cycling Weekly ‏ @cyclingweekly
British professional road wins now up to 16 in total for 2012 & it's only early March -… #cycling

Monique Sullivan ‏ @Mo_Sullivan
Pan Am's report with some photos!…"

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