News Shorts: Tour of Austria, Giro Rosa

Qinghai Lake kicks off in China

Tour of Qinghai Lake kicking off Sunday

The Tour of Qinghai Lake begins Sunday in China with a circuit race taking riders seven laps around a 17.24 kilometre course.

The 13-day stage race will be contested by 22 teams with most of them being Continental squads, racing over nine mountain stages with most of the elevations averaging at about 3,000 metres. Lampre-Merida will begin with only six riders down from seven, due to Rui Costa’s brother, Mario having visa issues. They will look instead to their two Chinese riders Gang Xu, captain of the squad, and Chun Kai Feng. The US Airgas-Safeway received a late invitation to the event but team leader Chris Horner is not in China. Other notable squads include Synergy Baku, and RTS-Santic which features Colombian Mario Rojas.

MTN-Qhubeka finish prologue one second down in Tour of Austria

The African team started their team time trial in the middle of the pack during the opening prologue at the Tour of Austria Saturday. Finishing with an average of 56 kph, they would have to wait nervously for the six world tour teams to finish to see if their time would hold.

“From the start we all went full gas and not once did we lose speed,” Johann van Zyl said, one of the eight riders on the squad. “It is such a pity that we lost by less than a second, but this builds moral for the coming days.”

While the team was not hampered by the bike checks that affected other squads later in the day, they look ahead and focus on stage wins.

Velocio-SRAM continue winning streak at Giro Rosa

Velocio-SRAM continues their streak of wins after earning five national titles prior to the start of the Giro Rosa, and riding away with the overall GC at the Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain.

“Our team is racing strong at the moment, with winning the Aviva Women’s Tour and so many great rides at the national championships,” Alena Amialiusik said on the eve of the Giro Rosa. Amialiusik garnered a one of her own, winning the gold medal at the European games in Baku. “I think we have a lot of cards to play. With the individual time trial being so late in the race, it also has the opportunity to change the overall classification a lot.”

Beth Duryea agreed, director sportif of the team, “We have a stage win already now, so we can enjoy it and we look forward to what lies ahead for the rest of the Giro.” Barbara Guarischi, their sprinter, sits four seconds down on GC following her win Saturday of the opening stage.

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