Astana might have lost its two-pronged attack on stage 9 of the Vuelta a España when Mikel Landa lost almost 14 minutes, but Fabio Aru managed to eke out a few seconds on some of his rivals on the steep ascent of Cumbre del Sol.
Aru edged himself in front of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in the overall standings thanks to a fourth place finish on the stage, and is now sixth overall 1:13 behind leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).
"The climb was full on and I gave everything. I have to thank my team who did so much for me today. there are still a lot of stages and a lot of climbs to come in the next week. The Vuelta is long," Aru said.
After losing 37 seconds on the opening stage to Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) and 11 to Quintana in the first stage, Aru grabbed back a half dozen seconds on stage 8 on the Movistar duo before taking another four seconds on Sunday.
"Certainly compared to how it started, we're making little steps forward," Aru said. "I'll improve day by day. Right now I'd just to recover for the coming stages." (BR)
Fraile extends mountains lead in Vuelta
Caja Rural had more reason to celebrate after stage 9 of the Vuelta a España, as Omar Fraile extended his lead in the mountains classification and earned the most aggressive rider prize on the stage. After following an attack by stage winner Tom Dumoulin, Jose Gonçalves held on for a strong 14th place on the stage.
Fraile leads the polka dot jersey competition over Dumoulin by five points, with Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNl-Jumbo) third.
"I felt good, my legs were doing very well, I had been wanting to escape since this morning, I wasn't sure I would make it and there were points to be earned for the King of the Mountain classification," Fraile said. "We saw we had no options to make it from the very beginning, so I concentrated on earning points for the King of the Mountain classification."
How long Fraile can hold onto the jersey remains to be seen: there are two climbs on stage 10 before the race heads into the high mountains of Andorra following the first rest day.
"The five points were really tough to earn, but it was worth it, they attacked right from the beginning of the climb and I kept an eye on my on-board computer and I knew they wouldn’t be able to keep up that rhythm, so I had to make constant adjustments and it worked out well."
Cavendish podiums in omnium at Dudenhofen GP
Mark Cavendish continued his bid to be selected for Great Britain's Olympic Track Cycling team next year at the 22nd Internationales Radsport Meeting for Sprint and Omnium on a 250m outdoor track in Dudenhofen, Germany.
Showing that the increased weight to the Points Race will be key to success in Rio, the final event proved to be the decider for the medals: Roger Kluge (Germany) came into the race tied with Great Britain's Jonathan Dibben, but the former points race world champion demonstrated his expertise and created an unassailable lead to win the overall with 270 points over second placed Kenny De Ketele (Belgium) who earned 238. Cavendish moved up into third with 235 points while Dibben faded to fifth behind Belgian Moreno De Pauw.
The points earned with the bronze medal performance is enough to earn Cavendish a shot at the Rio Olympic team.
Race jury stuck in the mud in Schaal Sels
Wanty Groupe Gobert stagiaire Robin Stenuit won the 90th edition of the Schaal Sels, out-sprinting Oliver Naesen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) from the two-man escape, but the story of the day was a 40 minute-long pause in the racing caused by a race vehicle that became stuck in a muddy cornfield that was part of the race course.
The organisers of Schaal Sels were forced to cancel the race in 2014 due to roadworks, and came back this year with a more challenging, Paris-Roubaix-like course that included 33km of cobbles and 18km of gravel roads.
But the president of the race jury slid out in one of the off-road sections and became stuck in the deep mud, leading to a lengthy neutralisation of the racing. Stenuit didn't think the route was to blame. "It was a great course. Something completely different than the flat courses we ride normally," he said.
"The commissaire's car got stuck in a cornfield. The organisation didn't have much luck with that but they aren't really to blame, I think. They offered us a great parcours and I hope to see the race continue in this form," Stenuit said.
Once racing resumed, Stenuit was part of a 16-rider move that escaped the field, and although the Topsport riders attacked with Jelle Wallays going clear twice, it was Stenuit and Naesen who made their attack stick.
Coming into the finish, Stenuit jumped early and won with room to celebrate. "We looked at each other. I knew he was fast so I started my sprint. He didn't succeed in passing me anymore."
Whether or not the race jury finished the race is unclear.
Garmin has announced a software update for Edge 510, 810 and 1000 GPS computers that will increase their Strava compatibility, allowing access to Strava Live segments for Strava Premium athletes.
The software update brings the capabilities of these Edge models into line with the recently released Garmin Edge 520. The update will happen automatically when users connect their devices to Garmin Connect from 25 August onwards, so chances are if you've already plugged your Garmin in, the update has happened.
Strava Live allows in-segment real time monitoring of a users performance in relation to personal best, or the time of the current King or Queen of the Mountain holder, plus features such as a countdown to segment start and live performance monitoring throughout. This also means you can post and boast your achievements as soon as you complete a segment.
Strava Live segments were first released as a function on the Garmin Edge 520
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