Almeida wins the 16th stage, Thomas takes the pink jersey - Sportish
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Almeida wins the 16th stage, Thomas takes the pink jersey




Joao Almeida won the 16e stage of the Tour of Italy on Tuesday at the top of Monte Bondone.

(Bondone) Finally some action! After two weeks of shivering in the rain, the favorites came to light in the 16e stage of the Tour of Italy won on Tuesday at the top of Monte Bondone by Joao Almeida ahead of Geraint Thomas who finds the leader’s pink jersey.

The Portuguese and the Briton are the big winners of this first great mountain odyssey – five climbs, 5200 meters of elevation gain – which allows to see much more clearly in a Giro long blurred by bad weather.

Almeida won, at 24, the best victory of his career and climbed to the second provisional step of the podium after showing an attacking temperament that we did not know him.

Thomas displays a dazzling form two days before his 37e anniversary and now has an 18-second lead over its Portuguese rival in the general classification.

Barring a failure or a new twist, the two men should compete for the final victory on Sunday in Rome along with the other big favorite, Primoz Roglic.

Third in the stage and overall, 29 seconds behind Thomas, the Slovenian showed signs of weakness on Tuesday on the endless and sharp slopes of Monte Bondone where he was unable to follow the acceleration first of Almeida, then Thomas, despite the help of his teammate Sepp Kuss.

But he limited the breakage, cutting the line 25 seconds behind the duo, giving him the opportunity to stay in ambush while several terrible stages are still on the programme.

Behind, the hole is made. The fourth, the Italian Damiano Caruso, already points to almost three minutes in the general. And potential candidates for the podium lost big on Tuesday, like Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, dropped 9 km from the finish and who finished 3 min 26 sec behind the winner.

His teammate at Groupama-FDJ, Bruno Armirail, sublimated by the pink jersey, had yielded only a few hectometres earlier after clinging to the tails of the best for a long time. In the end, he conceded more than four minutes to logically lose his leader’s jersey which he wore with pride for two stages.

Armorial of Courage

“I spent three extraordinary days, this jersey will perhaps change a small part of my career,” said Armirail, the model teammate who usually fights in the gruppettos and who, this time, was still in the front row. , to courage, when the big fight broke out.

And, for once, it was Joao Almeida who ignited the powder after a lot of work by the Jumbo and UAE teams to come back to the morning breakaway, led in particular by the French brothers Paret-Peintre, all two very prominent since the start of this Giro.

Put into orbit by his teammate Jay Vine, the Portuguese attacked six kilometers from the summit, soon joined by Geraint Thomas, the only one to keep up with his pace, but he ended up grilling on the line.

“I felt good, so I took the risk to go. It’s a dream come true, I’ve been around it for four years and finally I’m getting there, ”jubilated Almeida who finally won, after four second places, on a stage of the Giro.

Pure general classification rider, the Portuguese (4e of the Giro in 2020 and 6e in 2021) seems to have decided to force its destiny. “If I have good legs, I will continue to attack,” warned the best young white jersey.

But he will have to pass over the body of Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour de France in 2018, who seems to age like good wine. “It would have been nice to win the stage, but I’m happy to be back in pink”, commented the Welshman who is going through this Giro with the phlegm of an old lion despite the rain and the blows of fate, while he recorded the loss of a new luxury teammate on Tuesday with the abandonment of Frenchman Pavel Sivakov, following those of Filippo Ganna and Tao Goeghegan Hart.

Source: lapresse

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Operated on the left wrist Tadej Pogacar convinced of being in good shape for the Tour de France




(Paris) The Slovenian Tadej Pogacar said on Friday he was convinced of arriving in good shape on the Tour de France in a month, after his operation on his left wrist following a violent fall during Liège-Bastogne-Liège on 23 last April.

“The form is better than expected. I feel really good. I hope to be 100% on the Tour, maybe not in the wrist, but in the legs. You don’t need the wrist to pedal, ”he said during a press videoconference from his training camp in the Sierra Nevada, in the south of Spain, 29 days before the start of the race. Big Loop in Bilbao.

To prepare for the Tour, which he intends to regain after giving up his crown to Jonas Vingegaard last year, the double winner (2020, 2021) prefers to focus on training and will not participate in the Tour of Slovenia (14-18 June) that he has won for the past two years.

“I’m staying in Sierra Nevada until June 11 and then I’ll reconnoitre a few stages of the Tour. Then I go back to an altitude camp in Sestriere. Maybe I will participate in the Slovenian Road and Time Trial Championships. But I will not do the Tour of Slovenia unfortunately,” he said.

Pogacar, 24, suffered a terrible fall on April 23 during the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Victim of fractures of the left scaphoid and the semilunar bone of the left hand, he was operated on the same evening in Belgium.

Since his accident, the Slovenian has been active on social networks to show how he keeps himself in shape, with an exercise bike in his kitchen, by sheathing on the terrace of his Monegasque apartment or by climbing, weighted from a backpack, the stairs of the Principality where he resides.

“My motivation has been great from the start. Initially I was supposed to observe six weeks of rest without cycling, but I harassed everyone to resume earlier, being very careful of course, “said the Slovenian who wears different splints, one for cycling and one for everyday life.

“We will have exams on Monday to see if the bone is consolidated. I look forward to the next few weeks of training and being able to go on the Tour, ”he insisted.

The Slovenian even believes that the episode could be “a blessing in disguise”. “The seasons are so intense. The injury allowed me to rest my body and mind. And arriving with a little freshness on a race of 21 stages is not a bad thing”, he said.

Source: lapresse

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Para-cycling A puncture does not undermine the morale of Charles Moreau




(Montreal) Even though he had a puncture, Charles Moreau (H3) was not down after the men’s handbike relay race that took place on Monday, concluding the Para-cycling Road World Cup in ‘Huntsville, Alabama.

The Canadian trio formed by Moreau, Alex Hyndman (H3) and Matthew Kinnie (H2) took seventh place, 3 min 8 s behind the winners, the Spaniards.

At the start of his third and final lap, the Victoriavillois had a puncture on his front wheel, which slowed him down considerably, in addition to making it harder to drive in the turns.

“I ran over something sharp, which split the wall of my tire. Everything was fine until then,” said Moreau the day after his race, who rode with a flat tire for 2 kilometers before handing over to Alex Hyndman.

“I thought about quitting because I didn’t want to scrap my rim, but if I stopped, we didn’t collect points. I then took the risk to continue quietly. »

Moreau gave Hyndman the touchline in fifth place. The latter moved up a rank in the provisional standings before giving way to Matthew Kinnie who was the seventh to cross the finish line.

Despite this incident, the Paralympian who won the bronze medal in the time trial last Saturday was still encouraged by the times achieved by each member of the team.

“It was quite one of our best races. We are happy with our performance as a team. […] Our teammate in the H2 class (Matthew Kinnie) is getting more and more competitive and we in the H3s have good podium potential. »

Among the other Quebecers in action on Monday, Tarek Dahab took ninth place in the C2 category. He finished in the last peloton which reached the finish just over 12 and a half minutes behind the winner, Frenchman Alexandre Leaute.

The tandem formed by Benoit Lalumière-Cloutier and Maximilien Moreau (driver) ranked 12e (+8 min 38 s) of the men’s race where the Canadian duo formed by the visually impaired Lowell Taylor and his driver Ed Veal climbed on the third step of the podium after a sprint won by the Dutch Tristan Bangma and Patrick Bos ( pilot).

As for Pierre Czyzowicz, he finished 15e C4s.

The Huntsville stage was the last on the road World Cup calendar. The World Championships will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in early August where Moreau will again be aiming for a medal in the time trial.

The country’s best para-cyclists will return to competition at the end of June at the Canadian Championships in Edmonton.

Source: lapresse

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Classique RideLondon Simone Boilard finishes the weekend in 13th place




Simone Boilard (St Michel – Mavic – Auber93) had good expectations before the Classic RideLondon, she who had managed to finish in 10e place last year. On Sunday, in the last stage in Great Britain, Boilard had bad luck in the final sprint, but still managed to complete the top 10 of the day.

“The race went well. Unfortunately, I derailed at the very end. I’m a little disappointed, because I think the top 5 could have been accessible for me today [dimanche] “, she mentioned in an interview with Sportcom.

The peloton remained well together until the middle of the distance where three riders managed to break away. Frenchwoman Victoire Berteau (Cofidis), Dutchman Sofie Van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Briton Grace Lister (DAS – Handsling) were finally caught up with just over 10 kilometers to go.

Despite the mechanical problems in the last meters, Boilard managed to hold on to take the 10e rank of this last stage which was won by Charlotte Kool. The Dutchwoman confirmed her victory in the general classification at the same time.

For his part, Boilard ends the weekend in 13e up (+55 seconds). Had it not been for an equipment problem which had a direct impact on her result in the first stage, Boilard is convinced that she could easily have improved her lot in the general classification.

“The Classic didn’t start very well. I had a problem with my wetsuit on Friday, it tore during the race and I lost all my gels trying to close it. As I went to get some gels from the car there was an attack and I was in a bad position to join the leading group,” Boilard said.

The Quebecer admits, however, that the second stage was much more positive as she took sixth place on Saturday.

Also in action at the Classique RideLondon, Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Cofidis) finished 90e Sunday to clock in at 68e step in the final classification.

Olivia Baril defends her title

Last year, Olivia Baril signed the first victory of her professional career by winning the Grand Prix in the city of Eibar (1.1), in Spain. Back on the starting line in the Basque Country on Sunday, the UAE cyclist had the sole objective of defending this title.

The Quebecer played it safe on the day’s various climbs to make sure she had enough energy in the final sprint. Baril finally confirmed her victory in a five-man sprint where she finished just ahead of Spain’s Sheyla Gutierrez (Movistar) and Ukraine’s Yuliia Biriukova (UAE).

“It’s always difficult to defend a victory. It went really well, we had to be careful of the Movistar cyclists, but my teammates did a superb job on that side. I didn’t want to make my life too difficult and it was mission accomplished,” commented Baril.

Three other Quebecers were at the start of the Grand Prix in the city of Eibar, Émilie Fortin (Cynisca Cyling) also broke through the top 10 taking eighth place. Adèle Normand (Massi – Tactic) and Joséphine Péloquin (Grand Est – Komugi – La Fabrique) respectively finished 20e and 53e.

For his part, Pier-André Côté suffered a fall with 65 kilometers to go during the third stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne on Saturday. The Human Powered Health cyclist was able to get back on the road, but as his helmet was broken in several places, he made the decision to pull out of the race as a precaution.

Côté therefore did not take part in the last stage of the Boucles on Sunday.

Source: lapresse

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