Van Avermaet wins Gullegem Koerse
After finishing second in 2015, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) won this year’s edition of the Gullegem Koerse kermesse after beating fellow escapees Yves Lampaert (Etixx-QuickStep) and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) in a sprint. The trio finished 24 seconds ahead of the next rider, Edward Theuns, after spending around 160km out front.
“Hard day in the saddle but that's what I like about a kermesse race. Fullgaz all day with @yveslampaert and @Toshvds #GullegemKoerse,” Van Avermaet wrote on Twitter following the race.
The race was Van Avermaet’s first in Belgium since crashing out of the Tour of Flanders at the beginning of April. He, Lampaert and Van der Sande escaped on lap two of 18 and had almost three minutes on the chasing pack at one point. As the gap came down, the pace of the peloton caused a split with Andre Griepel (Lotto-Soudal) being forced to chase back on. The three held on though and Van Avermaet pipped Lampaert to the win.
The Gullegem Koerse was also billed as the final race on Belgium soil for Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo). The Swiss rider was one of those that missed out when the bunch split and he rolled in at 49 seconds behind Van Avermaet.
Mads Pedersen to sign for AG2R-La Mondiale?
Danish 20-year-old Mads Pedersen has been linked with a move to the French WorldTour team Ag2r-La Mondiale from 2017.
Pedersen, who rides for Stölting Service Group, enjoyed a stage win at the Tour of Norway last month along with the mountains classification. He also won the young rider classification at the Three Days of De Panne and won the U23 Gent-Wevelgem in the spring.
According to Danish magazine cykelmagasinet, the deal with Ag2r was cemented in the spring following a string of good results and performances.
In 2013 Pedersen won the Junior Paris-Roubaix and claimed bronze in the junior time trial at the world championships.
Visconti ends Giro d’Italia with rib fracture
Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) finished ninth on the final mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia and ended the race just outside the top 10 but it was with some pain that he did so. The Italian sought medical advice following the Giro only to discover that he had fractured a rib and had a pulmonary contusion.
Visconti posted a photo on Twitter of the letter he received, explaining his injuries and that the lung contusion was ‘on the mend’ with the caption, “Well ... Fracture and pulmonary contusion. There was a reason if I suffered that way.”
The injuries were as a result of a crash Visconti suffered when he touched wheels with Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini) on stage 13, while the pair were sprinting to a KOM point.
Nieve given hero's homecoming
Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) got a huge welcome when he returned to his hometown of Leitza after winning the mountains classification at the Giro d’Italia. Around 400 people turned out in the town centre to celebrate the Basque rider’s achievement.
As he made his way to a stage in the main square, Nieve was given a guard of honour from the local cycling club, who raised bicycle wheels to form the guard. He spent some time signing autographs for the many children who had turned up to see him.
The diariodenavarra.es website published photos of the occasion.
Nieve won the mountains classification by 19 points over Damiano Cunego, and claimed his second ever Giro d’Italia stage victory on stage 13.
Photo ©: diariodenavarra.es
Sepúlveda back to racing
The Argentinian climber broke his wrist when he was hit by a barrier that had been blown by the wind at the finish of the race, with the impact also knocking him unconscious.
"After 100 days out, back to racing. With much motivation I'm coming back step by step," said Sepúlveda on his Instagram page, accompanying a photo of his jersey for the Tour of Luxembourg, with dossard number 91.
"91 is the year of my birth. A sign? Yes, one of starting anew."
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