Stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia belonged to Tom Dumoulin as the Dutchman delivered on his favourite status to pull on the first maglia rosa of 2016, but the weekend was all about Marcel Kittel. The German sprinter cantered to victory on stage 1 and 2 to take his Giro stage win career tally to four without even actually racing on Italian soil during the grand tour.
While Dumoulin was enjoying his day in pink in front of home crowds on Saturday, Etixx-Quick Step were plotting the stage win which would see Kittel move to within one second of his former Giant-Alpecin teammate. Milan-San Remo winner Arnaud Démare was the closest challenger to Kittel but the German was far too quick for his rivals in Nijmegen.
Stage 3 was an even greater display of strength and power by Kittel as he won his tenth race of the season with ease, several lengths ahead of Sky's Elia Viviani, to pull on his first maglia rosa. Kittel, who has twice worn the Tour de France's yellow jersey, will hold the pink jersey for the first rest day of the Giro as the peloton takes a flight from Amsterdam down to Naples in anticipation for stage 4 from Catanzaro - Praia a Mare.
For the full Giro d'Italia race page, click here
Tom Dumoulin and Marcel Kittel have been the two stars of the 2016 Giro d'Italia so far (Sirotti)
Bryan Coquard of Direct Energie proved himself as the strongest rider in the race at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque / Tour du Nord-pas-de-Calais with three stage wins and two second places finishes setting up his first general classification victory.
Having won the first three stages of the race, Coquard had to settle for second place on Saturday's stage 4 with Crelan-Vastgoedservice's Xandro Meurisse upsetting the Frenchmen. The Frenchman found himself coming close to fourth win in Sunday's stage to Dunkerque but had to settle for second as Wanty-Groupe Gobert' Kenny De Haes won his first race of the season.
Coquard's dominance also secured the points and young rider classifications.
For all five race results, click here
Lachlan Morton secured his first UCI stage win at the Tour of the Gila with the Jelly Belly rider having held onto the race leader's jersey he pulled on after winning stage 1. In the women's race, Mara Abbott proved herself to be the queen of Gila with a sixth career GC victory and fourth consecutive win atop Pinos Altos.
In the Saturday Silver City criteriums, Rally Cycling's Heather Fischer won the women's race while Eric Marcotte (Jamis) won the men's race ahead of former teammate Travis McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel) with the riders saving their legs for the decisive stage 5 mountain top finish.
In the men's fifth and final stage, Daniel Jaramillo (UnitedHealthcare) and Janier Acevedo (Jamis) managed to escape from the Jelly Belly controlled peloton on the penultimate climb which caused a reaction from Morton who kept the two Colombians within safe distance to ensure his overall victory. Silber's Alex Cataford held on to finish second on GC while 2015 winner Rob Britton was third for Rally Cycling.
In the women's final stage, Abbott confirmed her status as the best climber in America with a storming ride to claim her second stage of the race and wrap up the GC. Scotti Lechuga (Hagens Berman-Supermint) and Mindy McCutcheon (Canyon) were second and third on the climb while Kristin Armstrong (Twenty 16-RideBiker) held on to her second place on GC. There was one change to the final GC with Rally Cycling's Jasmin Glaesser bumping Brianna Walle (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) down to fourth.
For the full results and reports from the Tour of the Gila, click here
The top three men on GC at the Tour of the Gila (Jonathan Devich)
Having finished third on GC at both Dubai Tour and Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, Jojo Lobato secured his first career GC win at the Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid. The Movistar rider came on top of 13 riders tied on the same time after two stage due his a win and second place finish.
Juan José Lobato finished off the work of his Movistar team on stage 1 to claim his third win of the season while teammate Jesus Herrada crossed the line in second place ahead of Daniele Ratto (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec). On Stage 2, 21-year-old Colombian Juan Sebastian Molano of the Continental Manzana Postobon team upset Lobato and Movistar for his first stage win. Lobato and Herrada had done enough though to keep their places atop the GC with the 27-year-old adding the points classification to his overall victory.
For the results from both stages of the Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid, click here
Despite the unfancied Ting Ying Huang winning two stages of the Tour of Chongming Island, Chloe Hosking held off the 2015 Asian road race champion for her first GC win in the Women's WorldTour. Hosking's third place on stage 1, stage 2 victory and 20th place on stage 3 was enough for the 25-year-old to claim Wiggle High5's biggest win of the season yet.
Having come close on stage 1, Chloe Hosking made no mistake the following day with the Wiggle High5 rider sprinting to her first victory in the women's WorldTour. The Australian Leah Kirchmann (Team Liv Plantur) and Jip van den Bos (Parkhotel Valkenburg) to the line to also pull on the leader's jersey.
With Hosking swooping up the bonus seconds on offer at the intermediate sprint points, Huang focused on the final sprint after 90km and held off Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86) for her second win of the race.
Hosking also won the points classification with Emilia Fahlin claiming the mountain classification and Jip Van Den Bos the best young rider in the race, and Parkhotel Valkenburg the best team.
Click here for all three stage results from the Tour of Chongming Island.
The National Road Series (NRS) finally kicked off in 2016 and it was the Avanti team controlling affairs and dominating the results sheet at the Grafton to Inverell. Avanti's Pat Lane got the better of Nathan Elliot in a two-up sprint after 228km of racing for the biggest win of his young career confirming his bronze medal at the Australian national road championships was well deserved.
"I am over the moon to come away with that one," said Lane who also won the race in a record time of 5:57:55. "To get the record is also great, but I would have been equally happy to win the slowest Classic – just winning is incredible!
While two-time defending champion Sean Lake was heavily marked, Avanti had plenty of aces in their hand and would place six of their seven riders in the top ten with Lake in eight place.
Click here for the race report and results