Magnus Cort won his second and Orica-BikeExchange's fourth stage of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana as Nairo Quintana safely finished in the bunch to claim overall honours ahead of Chris Froome. The stage 21 city circuit in Madrid allowed the classification winners to enjoy a flute of champagne before the racing kicked off as Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale), Pete Kennaugh (Sky), Loic Chetout (Cofidis) and Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo) provided entertainment as the breakaway.
Too many teams wanted a sprint finish and the breakaway was damned but that didn't stop Chetout and Jauregui giving it their all before the conclusion with Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) rounding out the podium behind Cort.
While stage 21 was an easier day in the saddle for the peloton, Saturday's stage 20 was the final opportunity to shake up the general classification following the stage 19 time trial reordering. A dashing ride by Esteban Chaves and selfless teamwork from his Orica-BikeExchange squad lifted the Colombian into third place, knocking Alberto Contador into fourth place. The stage was won from the breakaway with AG2R-La Mondiale's Pierre Latour taking the honours ahead of Darwin Atapuma (BMC).
Along with the red jersey, Quintana also won the white combination classification with Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) claiming the green points jersey, Omar Fraile the polka dot mountain classification, and BMC the team classification.
Greg Van Avermaet made up for a narrow loss to Peter Sagan at the GP de Quebec on Friday as the BMC rider got the better of the world champion for the victory. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) rounded out the podium in third place.
The Olympic champion bided his time in the aggressive finale as Sagan went early into the headwind and was unable to match Simon Gerrans in winning both GP de Quebec and Montreal in the one season.
The eighth and final stage of the 2016 Tour of Britain was calm in comparison to the preceding eight days of racing as Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) took the victory ahead of Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo). Race leader Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) finished safely in the peloton to record his first career stage win ahead of BMC's Rohan Dennis and Giant-Alpecin's Tom Dumoulin.
Cummings had moved into the yellow jersey after the stage 6 queen stage and keep the race lead following the stage 7a time trial and stage 7b circuit race around Bristol. While the morning test against the clock was won by TT specialist Tony Martin, Dennis pushed the German all the day to finish second and jump up the standings. A strong ride by Dumoulin also saw the Dutchman move into a podium position.
In the afternoon stage, Dennis made up for the disappointment of missing the win by launching a late attack to take the stage win ahead of a charging peloton. The win wasn't enough for Dennis to take the jersey which ensured the final day race around London was one largely for the sprinters.
The day was also Bradley Wiggins' last as a professional road cyclist with the 2012 Tour de France champion calling time on his career. He will finish his cycling career on the track at the London and Ghent six-day events later this season.
Wiggle High5 closed out the inaugural Women's WorldTour in the best fashion possible with Jolien D'hoore taking the win ahead of teammate Chloe Hosking.
The team also won La Course by Le Tour de France in the summer with Hosking, and D'hoore's victory completes the 'Grand Tour' double for the team. Victory also secured second place on the team rankings for Wiggle High5. Italy's Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini-Galassia) was the closest finisher to the Wiggle High5 duo.
American Megan Guarnier animated the race as she sealed the overall Women's WorldTour title and Boels Dolmans took out the team rankings.
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Rachel Atherton capped off a superb season with her second straight Downhill world title and the fourth of her career in Val Di Sole. This season saw Atherton dominate the World Cup scene with 13 consecutive victories. She went fastest at all of the checkpoints and posted a time of 20.187. France’s Myriam Nicole came second with Tracey Hannah of Australia in third.
In the men’s competition, Danny Hart made it double success for the British squad as he beat teammate Laurie Greenland to take his second world title, adding to his victory in Champery in 2011. Florent Payet (France) rounded out the podium. Greg Minnaar looked like he might be in the mix for the podium but a crash for the South African saw him slip down to seventh place.
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Oscar Clarke (Holowesko Citadel pb Hincapie Sportwear) claimed victory on Saturday in the Reading 120. Clarke went up against Eric Marcotte (Jamis Cycling Team) in a two-up sprint after the two broke clear of small group of escapees. Clarke’s teammate Andrew Flaksis finished off the podium with Tour of Alberta victor Robin Carpenter came home in fourth.
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The cyclo-cross season kicked off in earnest in Rochester with Jeremy Powers and Kaitlin Antonneau tasting glory. The temperature was high and the added humidity made life very difficult for many of the riders.
Powers fought back with two laps to go to bring back a 15-second gap to James Driscoll. The US champion had to dig deep but beat Driscoll by five seconds. Stephen Hyde battled for third place at 12 seconds behind Powers.
Antonneau was in commanding form in the women’s event after she surged clear with two laps remaining. The Cannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.com rider took a comfortable win over her teammate Emma White to take victory by 21 seconds. Amanda Miller finished four seconds after White to complete the top three.
Powers made it a double with victory ahead of Hyde in the men’s competition while Caroline Mani came to the fore in the women’s race. She beat Rebecca Fahringer while day one winner Antonneau made another visit to the podium.
The cyclo-cross season also got underway in Europe with the Brico Cross in Geraardsbergen. Sanne Cant got her cyclo-cross campaign underway in style with victory over Jolien Verschueren in a two-rider sprint. Laura Verdonschot held on to take third, seven seconds behind the pair.
After a busy couple of months on the road, world champion Wout Van Aert had a successful return to the mud. Michael Vanthourenhout finished second with Klaas Vantornout made it an all Belgium podium.
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