photo credits @ UCI and Bahrain Merida Cycling
Reigning UCI World Champion Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) is the new leader of the UCI WorldTour. Sagan, sixth in the recent Ronde van Vlaanderen/Tour des Flandres, has ousted Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), from the top spot overall and currently holds a total of 1,126 points. Valverde has 1,079 points whilst Lotto-Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot is now in third place with 986 points. Quick-Step Floors continue to lead the UCI WorldTour teams ranking.
Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) soloed to victory in Flanders’ leading Monument Classic, the Tour des Flandres, on Sunday. Winner of the recent Record Bank E3 Harelbeke Classic as well as the Paris-Roubaix Classic back in 2014, Terpstra takes the second Monument victory of his career and the first Tour des Flandres win for the Netherlands since 1986.
After attacking 25 kilometers from the finish and overtaking an earlier breakaway of three riders, Terpstra finished ten seconds ahead of Trek-Segafredo’s promising young Danish racer, Mads Pedersen, whilst last year’s winner, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) finished third, his tenth top-three finish in a Monument.
Terpstra’s victory in the Tour des Flandres continues Quick-Step Floors’ excellent 2018 season, with 21 wins so far this year.
Five days earlier, Niki Terpstra’s team mate Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) won the Dwars Door Vlaanderen/A Travers La Flandre for a second year running. Part of a break of five on a rain-soaked 180 kilometre course, Lampaert shot away with less than two kilometres to go to take the Belgian Classic for a second time in his career. Second was Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb) and third Belgium’s Sep Vanmarcke (Team EF-Education First Drapac p/b Cannondale).
Itzulia-Basque Country Monday April 2nd – Saturday April 7th
Paris-Roubaix: Sunday April 8th
– Focus on Gorka Izagirre –
Like his younger brother Ion, Gorka Izagirre is a Spanish professional racing for UCI WorldTeam Bahrain-Merida. And like Ion, Gorka is a strong cyclo-cross racer, taking Spanish and Basque titles in the speciality before turning to the road and focusing on week-long stage races. After turning pro in 2009, Gorka Izagirre’s first win came in 2010 in the Tour de Luxemburg. In the last two years, Gorka’s success rate has improved dramatically, with his first Grand Tour stage win in the Giro d’Italia last May, seventh place in the Santos Tour Down Under this January and third place overall in Paris-Nice this March. More is sure to come soon.
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