The big English-speaking contingent at the Giro d'Italia has been shaking up that usually...
The big English-speaking contingent at the Giro d'Italia has been shaking up that usually locally-dominated race, with American Dave Zabriskie and Australians Robbie McEwen and Brett Lancaster taking stages, and Anglophones seemingly in the action everywhere you look, including somersaulting down the finish straight. But English-speaking riders haven't just been kicking goals in Italy in the last few days.
At the Tour of Japan, the lead changed hands yesterday between two Australians. Eighteen-year-old Mathew Goss (Australian National Team) won Sunday's first stage ahead of team-mate Nick Sanderson, deploying the speed honed over the last couple of years in Tasmania's track carnivals series. Goss handed over the leader's jersey to David McKenzie (Wismilak International Team) yesterday after the 30-year-old took line honours from a six-man break, despite being heavily out-numbered by the Barloworld team, which made up half the break.
Meanwhile in France, American Amber Neben (Buitenpoort Flexpoint) leads the Tour de L'Aude Feminin after three days of racing, ahead of Olympic champion Sara Carrigan (Van Bemmelen Aa Drink). Neben moved into the lead after winning the second of yesterday's two stages, a short, hilly dash that played to Neben's climbing ability and Carrigan's descending strength.
The morning stage had been won by Australian sprinter Oenone Wood (Nurnberger). It was Wood's second stage victory in the tour as her speed delivered her to the line first in stage one; her second place in stage two was thenn enough to put her into the leader's jersey.
In French men's racing yesterday's one-day GP de Villers Cotterêts also saw an Australian victory as Brad McGee escaped to a narrow solo win over Samuel Plouhinec (Bretagne-Jean Floc'h).
Finally, in Belgium, British rider Hamish Haynes (Cyclingnews.com) took out the Puivelde pro kermesse.
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