Giro Total suspense before the last lap - Sportish
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Giro Total suspense before the last lap



Total suspense on the Giro: the first three of the Tour of Italy stand in 59 seconds in the general classification after the queen stage, won on Friday by the Colombian Santiago Buitrago, and before a time trial which will be decisive on Saturday in Monte Lussari.

At the end of a day without major palpitations, the Briton Geraint Thomas retained the leader’s pink jersey with 26 seconds ahead of the Slovenian Primoz Roglic who grabbed three in the last meters of the ascent to the Tres Cime di Lavaredo, the roof of this 106e edition from the top of its 2304 meters.

“I’m happy with the result, the legs came back. Tomorrow is all for the attack, ”said Roglic.

The third man, Joao Almeida, has lost some ground and is now 59 seconds behind Thomas. But the Portuguese from UAE continues to dream of interfering in the Mano a Mano announced between Thomas and Roglic, who seem the strongest.

The stage was won by Santiago Buitrago, survivor of the morning breakaway. He remained on a third place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and had already won the Giro last year.

“I had a difficult Giro on a personal level. Winning is the fruit of hard work and sacrifice. It was the right day to raise your arms,” said the runner from Bahrain.

The 23-year-old Colombian won ahead of Canadian Derek Gee, the revelation of this Tour of Italy where he slipped into a breakaway almost daily, always in vain so far: it’s already the fourth time that he finished second.

On paper, the day promised sparks, with five hellish climbs in the sublime landscape of the Dolomites, including the final ascent to the snowfields of the Tre Cime, where Eddy Merckx had taken eight minutes from the breakaways under a blizzard in 1968.

A mule track as a justice of the peace

But there was nothing legendary on Friday since the favorites were neutralized until the last two kilometers.

This is the moment that Roglic chose to place an attack that did not worry Thomas at all. The Welshman even countered the Slovenian a little further, but the latter managed the best finish to precede him on the line.

Behind, Thibaut Pinot took advantage of the failure of Lennard Kämna to gain a place. The Frenchman, who wears the blue jersey for best climber, is now sixth, 5:10 from the pink jersey.

Everything therefore remains to be done for the final victory, before the 18.6 km individual time trial on Saturday to the sanctuary of Lussari, the final justice of the peace before the finish the next day in Rome, at the end of a totally flat final stage.

The chrono, very close to the Slovenian border, promises to be dizzying on a narrow mule track which has just been paved. To reach the finish line, drawn at 1790 m above sea level, you will have to climb a slope with a frightening average percentage (12.1%) over 7.3 km.

Enough to make huge differences and to punish in minutes, the slightest lesser blow.

It risks bringing back bad memories for Roglic, who lost the Tour de France in 2020 at the Planche des Belles Filles after an uphill time dominated by Tadej Pogacar.

But the triple winner of the Vuelta wanted to be confident on Friday evening when he showed his intention to overthrow his Welsh rival to win his first Giro, at 33 years old.

Source: lapresse

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Heart problem Nathan Van Hooydonck ends his career




(Paris) Belgian cyclist Nathan Van Hooydonck, 27, is stopping his career with immediate effect after the discovery of a heart problem at the origin of his discomfort while driving eight days ago, announced his team Jumbo-Visma Wednesday.

“After a battery of tests, Van Hooydonck was diagnosed with a heart abnormality. She caused the illness that almost cost him his life last week. This discovery means the end of his professional career,” the Dutch team said in a press release, specifying that a cardiac defibrillator had been fitted to the runner on Tuesday.

Van Hooydonck, teammate of Jonas Vingegaard and Wout Van Aert in the last two Tours de France, caused an accident involving several vehicles last week in Kalmthout, in the north of Belgium, after feeling unwell at the wheel.

He was taken to hospital with a life-threatening condition. His wife, who is pregnant and was at his side, escaped the accident unhurt.

“I realize that I have been incredibly lucky […] I’m doing well now, but I have to come to terms with the fact that this is the end of my professional career,” said Van Hooydonck, who left Antwerp University Hospital on Wednesday.

“I will focus on rehabilitation and my future fatherhood. Everything is going well for Alicia and her pregnancy and we are impatiently awaiting the birth. It helps me a lot,” he added in his team’s press release.

Nathan Van Hooydonck, originally from Gooreind, in a rural area bordering the Netherlands, joined Jumbo-Visma in 2021.

He has no professional victory, but took second place in the Flemish Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne semi-classic in February. He was best known for his teamwork.

Source: lapresse

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Car accident Nathan Van Hooydonck seriously injured




(Brussels) Belgian cyclist Nathan Van Hooydonck, teammate of Jonas Vingegaard and Wout Van Aert at Jumbo-Visma, was seriously injured on Tuesday in a car accident while he was driving in Kalmthout, in the north of the Belgium, we learned from a police source.

“He was transported to hospital with a life-threatening condition,” a local police spokesperson told AFP.

According to Flemish media, the 27-year-old cyclist lost control of his car after feeling unwell while driving, and then hit another vehicle while crossing an intersection.

“We can confirm that earlier today our rider Nathan Van Hooydonck felt unwell while driving his car, and that he was involved in a road accident,” commented the Jumbo-Visma team on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

“We cannot confirm rumors that he is in critical condition. He is undergoing additional medical examinations” at the hospital, she added.

The runner’s wife, who is pregnant and was at his side during the accident, is unhurt, according to initial findings.

Nathan Van Hooydonck, originally from Gooreind, in a rural area bordering the Netherlands, joined the Jumbo-Visma team in 2021.

He is committed there until 2024, with among his main teammates another Belgian, Wout van Aert, but also the Dane Jonas Vingegaard, who won the last two Tours de France, and the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, three-time winner of the Vuelta and winner of the Giro this year.

Source: lapresse

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The Canadians didn’t have the legs




Michael Woods had given himself maximum chances to shine at the Montreal Cycling Grand Prix, where he announced himself as a potential winner on Sunday.

Under the deluge, the Ottawa climber remained sheltered in a tent as long as possible before reaching the starting line, where the 159 other runners were already gathered around 10:10 a.m.

“I have four minutes left,” he said to The Press, looking concentrated before clipping his pedals to join the peloton. Perhaps he remembered the road race at the 2019 Worlds, where he had given up, freezing.

Despite this precaution and the initiative of his Israel-Premier Tech (IPT) team in the first half of the race, Woods was not able to make his wish come true.

However, the Canadian was in the right place at the start of the 18the and last lap of the 12.3 km circuit, snug in the lead group of around twenty cyclists.

But when future winner Adam Yates attacked in the Camillien-Houde route, Woods disappeared from the radar screens. He crossed the finish line at 15e rank, 55 seconds behind the Briton.

Looking sullen, he took refuge in a tent to change before receiving his prize for best Canadian, a “title” with which he could hardly be satisfied. He did not participate in the press conference for the winners.

“I am really disappointed with the result and I expected better,” Woods confirmed in a statement transmitted in the evening by IPT.

“Unfortunately I just didn’t have the legs on the last lap. I felt good, even with the bad weather at the start, but I didn’t have the legs at the end. »

Not the best shape

Woods had a thought for his teammate Daryl Impey, the first to take charge behind the escape Florian Vermeersch. The 38-year-old South African pulled away after 11 laps, returning to the team box in tears.

Guillaume Boivin and Hugo Houle took turns taking over. By their own admission, the two Quebecers were not in their best form.

Boivin was the first to retire, making a complete U-turn after the 13the rise of Camillien-Houde.


Guillaume Boivin

“I couldn’t really do better,” lamented Boivin, victim of a fall at the Renewi Tour in Belgium on August 26. “It’s certainly disappointing. »

The Longueuil resident praised the strength of Florian Vermeersch, who remained alone at the front while several attackers tried to join him in vain. This first portion of the test in the showers left its mark.


Florian Vermeersch

“No, I’m not satisfied,” Boivin said. It wasn’t a great race on my part. I covered the escapes at the beginning to try to get us represented [en tête de course] and let us not be in trouble. I didn’t have long legs. I did the best I could with the legs I had. »

Boivin had joined his team in the VIP zone when Houle walked past him, greeting the crowd, before entering the pits with two laps to go.

“We fought well, but for my part, after five hours, I had cramps,” explained the native of Sainte-Perpétue. I had really reached my limit. I’m a little disappointed, but I can’t do better today. »

The collective performance of Israel-Premier Tech in Quebec, where Corbin Strong finished second, and in Montreal was, however, cause for celebration, in his eyes.

“We ran well as a team, we showed that we were there. A podium in Quebec is excellent. We were hoping for more today, but that doesn’t work every day. I’m proud of the way Israel-Premier Tech ran. We were seen at the front. We’re making progress, and that’s good for the future. »

A mechanical problem for Julien

Amid controversy after the call-up of two left behind, the Canadian national team also experienced a difficult race, with none of its seven starters managing to reach the finish.

Matisse Julien, 20, was one of the few to see himself at the start of the race, but a rear derailleur failure doomed his attempt to get back on Vermeersch just as two counter-attackers were about to join him.

“It’s a shame because I think I was having my best day since June,” lamented the Laval resident, stage winner at the Ronde de l’Oise and the Tour de Beauce.

“Having known this morning that I was having such a good day, I might have played it differently and stayed in the peloton a little longer. But sometimes things don’t go your way. »

Unfortunately, Julien will not be able to recover since he was competing in his last competition of the season. The Ecoflo Chronos color bearer will join Robin Plamondon next year with the French team CIC U Nantes Atlantique, where he will benefit from a tougher calendar.

Source: lapresse

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