McCarthy draws confidence from Tour Down Under showing
A stage winner and race leader earlier in the week, Jay McCarthy finished the Tour Down Under in fourth place overall and the Tinkoff rider comes away from the Australian race with his credentials bolstered.
McCarthy was an impressive winner of the uphill sprint at Stirling, anticipating Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) in the finale, and though he slipped from second to fourth overall on Willunga Hill on the penultimate day, he declared himself pleased with his outing as team leader.
“I knew before that I knew I had to be confident with the shape that I was in, I done a lot of hard work this off season and in the last 12 months I’ve been going in the right direction,” McCarthy said on Sunday. “It was a great experience to have the chance to lead this race, and to be the leader for our team here. I can take so much away from this race and later on I take this as confidence to hopefully go for my own chance again.”
Still only 23 years of age, McCarthy is set to line up for the third Grand Tour of his career in May, when he will be part of a Tinkoff line-up likely to be led by Rafal Majka, though he expressed hope he might have the opportunity to chase his own results in the weeks to come.
“At the start of the season I am aiming to be good at the Giro d’Italia, not possibly for my own overall but to go there and support our leader who ever that may be,” McCarthy said. “After what I’ve done this week I think there could be chances in the races that I do have on my programme.”
Petit seals victory at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo
Adrien Petit has got off to the best possible start at Direct Énergie by winning three stages and the final general classification of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo stage race in Gabon.
Petit, who had raced for Cofidis since turning professional in 2012, earned a reputation as a lead-out man after piloting Arnaud Démare to victory at the under-23 Worlds in 2011, but he showed his full repertoire of talents in Gabon, claiming two sprint victories and winning the 4-kilometre time trial on stage 6 for good measure.
Petit had to settle for fifth place on the final stage in Libreville on Sunday, however, as Yauheni Hutarovich (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) took the honours ahead of Andrea Palini (SkyDive Dubai), who also finished second overall.
“My sole regret is to have messed up my sprint today,” Petit told L’Équipe after the final stage. “There was a chance there to win another one.”
Tissot takes over from Festina as Tour de France timekeeper
Tissot has taken over from Festina as the official timekeeper of the Tour de France and all ASO events. The Swiss watchmaking company has signed a five-year contract with ASO.
“For the next five years, we will be able to count on Tissot so that every second of effort counts and I am delighted to see this major watchmaker get involved in the season’s best cycling events,” Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said in a statement released on Monday.
Tissot has been a sponsor of UCI events since 1995, serving as timekeeper at the road, track, mountain bike and BMX World Championships. The company previously provided its services to the Tour de France from 1988 to 1992.
“Out of all the international cycling competitions, the Tour de France is the most highly regarded and admired of them all because it brings together the best cyclists in the world,” said Tissot CEO François Thiébaud.