Italian Domenico Pozzovivo won the third stage of the Tour of Catalonia yesterday (Wednesday) as France’s Pierre Rolland took the overall lead.
AG2R’s Pozzovivo made a solo dart for home from a seven-man breakaway group around 2km from the finish and held off his charging companions to win by three seconds. Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran took second with Dan Martin of Ireland in third after 156.6km around Girona.
Alberto Contador finished fourth but fellow former Tour de France winner Chris Froome gave up 22sec on the winner after failing to follow the initial break.
Contador said: “I’m happy, I feel quite good. It’s the last race before the Giro d’Italia and it’s good that my legs are responding. Now I need to recover.”
A split in the peloton resulted in a frantic finish to the stage as Tuesday’s winner Alejandro Valverde had been caught behind in the second group that lost 30 seconds.
As Contador’s Tinkoff-Saxo team and the Astana team-mates of Fabio Aru, who finished fifth, pushed the pace up front, the lead group started to splinter on the ascent of Alt dels Angels around 15km from home. Contador attacked, taking Australian Richie Porte, Pozzovivo, Uran and Aru with him.
— Sky Sports Cycling (@SkyCycling) March 25, 2015
Porte’s Sky team-mate Froome failed to react and was stuck in a chase group, from which both Martin and his Cannondale teammate Andrew Talansky managed to bridge the gap to the leaders.
As the seven-man group took turns on the front to try to distance the chasers, Pozzovivo pounced on a brief lull to take off on his own and he had the legs to hold off the chasers right to the finish.
Betsy Andreu, the wife of Frankie Andreu, a former team mate of Lance Armstrong, speaks at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Over 320 amateur cyclists turned out yesterday morning for Dubai’s newest cycling event, the Dubai Gran Fondo.
This is the first time a UCI World Cycling Tour event has been held in the Middle East, and organisers were delighted with the success of the inaugural event.
The Dubai Gran Fondo is the third event on this year’s UCI World Cycling Tour, a series of road races held around the world.
The tour consists of 13 UCI-sanctioned races which also serve as qualifying events for the UCI World Amateur Championships in Denmark in September.
Yesterday’s race attracted competitors from across the region as well as a huge number of international cyclists, who competed in 8 different age group categories for men and women. The 125km race started at the Al Qudra cycle park, and wound around the streets of Dubai.
“This event would not have happened without the full support of the Dubai Sports Council, the UAE Cycling Federation and most importantly the Dubai Police ,RTA and the Dubai ambulance service. We wanted a route that would be challenging for the cyclists with minimal public disruption and the Dubai Police and the RTA have been incredible in their organisation and support. The number of international competitors was fantastic ” said Donal Kilalea of the organisers Promoseven Sports Marketing.
“Dubai’s cycling calendar is expanding rapidly, and the addition of this event is an important step in the development of amateur cycling in Dubai. We have so many keen cyclists here, and it is fantastic to give them the opportunity to represent their countries on the world stage.
The first woman over the line was Nicolien Luijsterburg of the Netherlands, while the first male was UAE cyclist Bader Thani.
The top 25% of finishers in each age group have now qualified for the World Championships which will be held in Denmark on 3-6 September.
For the full list of results go to www.premiertiming.com
For any enquiries regarding the event, call Promoseven Sports Marketing on +971 4 321 0008, or go the Facebook page Dubai Gran Fondo – UCI World Cycling Tour.