Nairo Quintana added another stage race to his palmares as the 2014 Giro d'Italia winner held off FDJ's Thibaut Pinot and Movistar teammate Ion Izagirre to win the 2016 Tour de Romandie. Quintana will be looking to emulate Cadel Evans, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in going to to win the Tour de France after success at the Swiss stage race.
Down and out on GC, Chris Froome took a solo stage win on Saturday in the pouring rain with Izagirre leading the chase group over the line just four seconds in arrears. Click here for the video highlights of stage 4 and click here for the full race report
Froome was at it again in the final day stage to Genève making his way into a big-name breakaway that included the likes of Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and eventual stage winner Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge). With none of the riders a threat to the overall lead of Quintana, it was up to the sprinters teams to organise the chase which they left a little too late as Albasini tracked down a later flyer by Tom Bohli (BMC) to just hold off the fast finishing Niccolò Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo) after a last kilometre crash saw several riders go down.
Thomas Voeckler staged an upset stage win and GC double in Scarborough with the Direct Energie rider getting the better of Sky's Nico Roche in a two up sprint. The win is Voeckler's second of the season after his La Provence success in February in what may be the 36-year-old's last in the peloton.
Despite a lack of live coverage due to broadcasting issues, the technology worked as required for the finale of stage 2 with Sky's Danny van Poppel beating stage 1 winner and compatriot Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) in a photo finish.
The sprint finish ensured it would be all to play for on stage 3 with the hilly parcours all but ruling out Groenewegen's bid for a debut GC win. The aggressive day of racing came down to the Oliver’s Mount climb where Voeckler and Roche made their bids for victory, dropping Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), Steven Kruiswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) who all crossed the line nine seconds later, with the Frenchman celebrating the win.
Jose Gonsalves capped off a successful week of racing in Turkey for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA as the 27-year-old Portuguese rider secured his first international GC victory. Gonsalves moved into the race lead after stage 6, taking the jersey from teammate and stage 2 winner Pello Bibao who would withdraw from the race. Caja Rural-Seguros RGA were the dominant race of the team with David Arroyo finishing second on GC, Luis Mas Bonet fourth, Jaime Roson ninth and Ricardo Vilela 11th.
The race concluding over the weekend with two sprint friendly stages, following Friday's queen stage won by Caja Rural's Jaime Rosón. Saturday's stage 7 saw Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) continue his winning preparation for the Giro d'Italia after his stage 4 win earlier in the week. Jakub Mareczko then matched the tally of his Italian compatriot as the Southeast rider won the final stage ahead of the Lampre-Merida rider in Selcuk.
For full coverage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, click here
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA enjoyed a successful Tour of Turkey
Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild pocketed a £15,000 prize by outsprinting Wiggle-High5’s Lucy Garner and compatriot Floortje Mackaij in Doncaster. The Hitec Products rider started her season with a stage at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, going on to grab two more at the Energiewacht Tour once back in Europe.
Pre-race the focus was on World champion and local Lizzie Armitstead but once the race got underway and it appeared a sprint finish was on the cards, Liv-Plantur and Hitec Products upped the pace to ensure a sprint finish.
Alexander Kristoff sprinted to a second career Eschborn-Frankfurt victory on Sunday with the Katusha rider returned to the winners books. Kristoff hadn't won a race since late-March after a blistering start to the season in which he won seven races. The Norwegian though proved to be too good for Etixx-Quick Step's Maximiliano Ariel Richeze, who is more familiar with the lead out role in recent seasons, and Bora-Argon 18's Sam Bennett.
Click here for the full race report.
A solo win for European champion Katarzyna Niewiadoma landed the Rabo-Liv rider her first GC win of the season. The 21-year-old was racing her first stage race of the season after a successful Spring campaign that included Ronde van Gelderland victory and second at Strade Bianchi.
Niewiadoma attacked on the second stage from Garnich to Garnich to distance her rivals and finish 46 second clear of Orica-AIS' Katrin Garfoot who lead home chase group containing teammate Anna Van der Breggen. On Saturday, Cervelo Bigla's Lotta Lepistö proved to be more than a prologue specialist as the Finish rider won a rain soaked stage 1 of Elsy Jacobs ahead of a fast finish peloton to also move into the race lead.
However the GC would be decided on stage 2 with Niewiadoma enjoying the victory ahead of Garfoot and van der Bregge.
The 2016 Festival Luxembourgeois du cyclisme feminin Elsy Jacobs stage 2 podium
A storm saw the cancellation of the men's Charlotte Criterium despite the efforts of the race organisers to post-pone the event to no avail. Earlier in the evening another storm in the form of Coryn Rivera swept to victory for UnitedHealthcare with Sam Schneider (ISCorp Cycling) and Erica Allar (Rally Cycling) rounding out the podium.
For the full race report and results, click here
Team Jamis enjoyed a one-two finish at the Dana Point Grand Prix with Luis Alberto Romero Amaran enjoying a solo win and Eric Marcotte winning the spring for second place. Hincapie's Robin Carpenter rounded out the podium in third place.
In the women's race, Colleen Gulick (Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebe) got the better of Monster Media Elite Women teammates Shelby Reynolds and Angelica Frayre in a three-ay sprint. Monster Media Elite Women also had riders Pamela Schuster and Jenny Rios finish fourth and fifth.
Hugh Carthy made the most of his recent run of good form as he won his first race in Caja Rural-Seguros RGA colours on stage 1 of the Vuelta Asturias Julio Alvarez Mendo. The 21-year-old Brit Recently finished ninth overall and was the best young rider at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
Carhy soloed to the stage win in Alto del Acebo, 22 seconds ahead of teammate Sergio Pardilla to claim the leader's jersey. Carlos Betancur won the sprint for stage 2 in Pola de Lena ahead of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA's Fabricio Ferrari while Carthy continues to lead the race with one stage to come.
Carlos Betancur wins the second stage
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