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Loddo gallops to victory in Buena Esperanza

Alberto Loddo (Androni-Giocattoli) exceeded his team's expectations when he won the bunch sprint on stage three at the Tour de San Luis. The Italian galloped to the line ahead of his fellow countrymen Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) and stage one winner Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas).

"I want to dedicate this win to my team Androni-Giocattoli and the directeur Gianni Savio," Loddo said. "The team worked really well. But the last couple of kilometres were very chaotic, especially with the gutters that ran across the road. The actual sprint was fast with a lot of good rides. The Liquigas team did a lot of work."

There were no changes to the top three riders in the overall classification. Stage two winner Rafael Valls (Footon-Servetto) continues to lead the race with eight seconds ahead of runner-up Arnols Alcolea (Team Cuba) and 16 seconds to third-placed Jackson Rodriguez (Androni-Giocattoli).

Loddo's victory marks a full recovery from an injury to his hip last April that sidelined him from competing for most of the 2009 season. "I wasn't able to do much last year because I had an injury that caused me a lot of pain," Loddo said. "Last July I had an operation and now I feel very good. I believe this is my 25th win but it is my first win of the year."

As seen in stage one, Liquigas again flexed its muscles with a tough-to-beat lead-out for its sprinter Chicchi. The bright green entourage kicked it up a notch with 10 kilometres to the finish line. However, an arms wrestle over who would take the lead in the last two kilometres ended with Katusha on the front and its sprinter Napolitano gunning for the line. Still, Loddo found his way through the two burly sprinters and came up with the winning sprint.

"I thought I could win today," Napolitano said. "The distance was long but I'm not at my best condition and I don't have as much explosiveness yet. My team did a lot of good work today and during the last two stages as well. The sprint was not too dangerous today. The straights were very long so we all knew what to expect."

"I suffer a lot in this heat," he added. "In Italy it is only five or six degrees. I drank a lot of water but it is really hot here. The stage was really long today but it was good."

Lengthy break caught five kilometres to finish

The international peloton arrived to the start of stage three in the small town of Fraga where they met temperatures that approached 40 Celsius. Local families and school children flooded the dusty streets to catch a glimpse of the cyclists as they prepared for the start of the race. Stores opened up to offer their visitors slices of locally-made salami and bread. The event organization provided a mini concert for the fans as the riders arrived one by one to sign-in for the day's event.

Stage three's profile catered to the sprinters. It marked the longest day at 199 kilometres in total and offered two intermediate sprints. The peloton raced its way predominantly downhill toward the finishing city of Buena Esperanza.

Team Footon-Servetto assumed its rightful position at the front of the field, protective of its overall leader and stage two winner Rafael Valls. Team Argentina kicked off the stage with a series of attacks. Riders from all teams tried desperately to bridge across hoping to land themselves in the early move, however, their efforts proved counter-productive in bringing the field back together.

Andy Guptill (Jamis-Sutter Home) and Gonzalo Garrido (Team Chile) made the first significant jump of the day at the 40-kilometre mark. The pair were later joined by Edwin Avila (Team Colombia) and Mauricio Morandi (Scott-Marcondes) and the four riders gained five minutes. They were in it for the long haul.

"Five of us covered moves and a couple were being active because they were feeling good and I was just covering moves," Guptill said. "There were five of us taking turns covering moves. It just happened to be my time to come up and start covering again. I was the 'lucky' one."

The route offered the competing cyclists one road traveling southbound with a view as far as the eyes could see, passing thousands of acres of the cattle farmland that Argentina is so famous for.

Mid-race, they accumulated an advantage of more than eight minutes. The first intermediate sprint of the day was cause for excitement after the last 100 kilometres of hot, flat tarmac. Garrido jumped at the opportunity to take full points followed by Avila, Guptill and Morandi.
"It felt so good after that sprint because it was a break from riding a steady tempo," Guptill said. "It was great to sprint like that to get the legs going again.

That particular situation, with four guys in a crosswind, was the most relentless and exhausting situation to be in."

Back in the bunch, Footon-Servetto set a tempo fast enough to reduce the time margin, which helped teams with strong sprinters such as Liquigas-Doimo.

At the 135-kilometre mark, Avila pinched a tyre and took a spare wheel from neutral support. The break of three riders continued on and Avila was reabsorbed back into the peloton. Guptill, Garrido and Morandi pressed on with one less rider, and the time margin to the peloton lessened to a mere two minutes with 30 kilometres to go.

The breakaway approached the second intermediate sprint and with only three riders left everyone was awarded points. Garrido, again, was first followed by Guptill and Morandi. The sprint was undoubtedly their last big effort of the day. All three riders, covered in salt, pushed their way toward the finish line as the peloton fley by them in pursuit of the stage win.

The event's only participating US team Jamis-Sutter Home lost its sprinter Ivan Dominguez to a crash five kilometres to the finish line.

The sprint came down to a tyre's width as Italians Loddo, Napolitano and Chicchi claimed the podium places. Weimar Roldan (Team Colombia) placed fourth, followed by Edgardo Simon (Funvic) in fifth. Dominguez's teammate Anibal Borrajo filled in the gap with a sixth place finish.

Full Results
1Alberto Loddo (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli4:34:52
2Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha
3Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
4Weimar Roldan (Col) Colombia
5Edgardo Simon (Arg) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
6Anibal Borrajo (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
7Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
8Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri
9Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile
10Francisco Pacheco (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
11Luciano A. Pagliarini (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
12Ignacio Maldonado (Uru) Uruguay
13Simone Campagnaro (Ita) Miche
14Crischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
15Jorge Martin Montenegro (Arg) Andalucia-Cajasur
16Pablo Pintos (Uru) Uruguay
17Arnols Alcolea (Cub) Cuba
18Rafael Valls (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
19Jose Serpa (Col) Androni-Giocattoli
20Nicholas Frey (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home
21Freddy Buergos (Cub) Cuba
22Francisco Ramon Chamorro (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
23Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Katusha
24Manuel Vazquez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
25Henning Bommel (Ger) Germany
26Carlos Alzate (Col) Colombia
27Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD-Neri
28Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
29Jorge Giacinti (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
30Gonzalo Miranda (Chi) Chile
31Walter Perez (Arg) Argentina
32Vidal Celis (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
33Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha
34Kim Lachmann (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
35Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli
36Martin Garrido (Arg) Argentina0:00:08
37Cesar S. Vaquera (Mex) Mexico0:00:13
38Raul Granjel (Cub) Cuba
39Alien Garcia (Cub) Cuba
40Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD-Neri
41Jose A. De Segovia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
42Flavio Cardoso (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
43José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
44Gustavo Rodriguez (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
45Daniel Diaz (Arg) Argentina
46Moritz Milatz (Ger) Germany
47Roberto Pinheiro (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
48Yosue Moyano (Arg) Argentina
49Yasmani Martinez (Cub) Cuba
50Ignacio Pereyra (Arg) Argentina
51Alfredo Lucero (Arg) Argentina
52Emanuel Vona (Ita) ISD-Neri
53Magno Nazaret (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
54Philipp Mamos (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
55Gerardo Fernandez (Arg) Argentina
56Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Liquigas-Doimo
57Marcel Kalz (Ger) Germany
58Jesus Rosendo (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
59Carlos Ochoa (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli
60Jose Rodrigues (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
61Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Miche
62Mariano De Fino (Uru) Uruguay
63Ramiro Cabrera (Uru) Uruguay
64Breno Sidoti (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
65Jairo Perez (Col) Colombia
66Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
67Yennier Lopez (Cub) Cuba
68Santiago Botero (Col) Colombia
69Matias Medici (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
70Michael Rasmussen (Den) Miche
71Marco Arriagada (Chi) Chile
72Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
73Fernando Cardozo (Uru) Uruguay
74Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Miche
75Juan P. Suarez (Col) Colombia
76Edgar H. Treviño (Mex) Mexico
77Carlos Ospina (Col) Colombia
78Armando Camargo (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
79Emanuel Guevera (Arg) Argentina
80Tiago Fiorilli (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
81Fabricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
82Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
83Marcos Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
84Alessandro Colo (Ita) ISD-Neri
85Guido Palma (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
86Pedro Merino (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
87Pascale Muto (Ita) Miche
88Javier Ramirez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
89Luca Solari (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
90Luis Mate (Spa) Androni-Giocattoli
91Mauricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
92Sergej Fuchs (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse0:00:25
93Rafael Escarcega (Mex) Mexico
94Marco Bandiera (Ita) Katusha
95Leonardo Pinizzotto (Ita) Miche
96Robert Bengsch (Ger) Germany
97Luis Sepulveda (Chi) Chile
98Roderick Asconegui (Uru) Uruguay
99Pablo Seisdedos (Chi) Chile
100Luis Carlos Amorin (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
101Victor H. Peña (Col) Colombia
102Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia
103Vicente Muga (Chi) Chile
104Stefan Schafer (Ger) Germany
105Dirk Muller (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
106Sebastian Forke (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
107Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD-Neri
108Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo
109Carlos M. Hernandez (Mex) Mexico
110Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
111Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
112Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home
113Duarte Gregory (Uru) Uruguay
114Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home
115Arles Castro (Col) Colombia
116Antoni Aldape (Mex) Mexico
117Ricardo Guedes (Uru) Uruguay
118Ariel Lucero (Arg) Argentina
119Juan Est. Arango (Col) Colombia
120Pedro A. Nicasio (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
121David Gutierrez (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
122Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) Chile
123Alvaro Tardaguila (Uru) Uruguay
124Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo0:00:35
125Andrey Sartasov (Rus) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
126Demis Aleman (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
127Maximiliano Bade (Arg) Argentina
128Pedro Palma (Chi) Chile0:00:54
129Frank Travieso (Cub) Jamis-Sutter Home0:01:05
130Rodrigo Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia0:00:13
131Sebastian Lazo (Chi) Chile0:04:08

Sprint 1 - Cruce Ruta 45, km. 103,70
1Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) Chile3pts
2Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia2
3Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home1

Sprint 2 - Fortin El Patria, km. 178,00
1Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) Chile3pts
2Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home2
3Mauricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos1

4Scott- Marcondes
13Jamis-Sutter Home

General classification after stage 3
1Rafael Valls (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji12:54:26
2Arnols Alcolea (Cub) Cuba0:00:08
3Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli0:00:16
4Jose Serpa (Col) Androni-Giocattoli0:00:20
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
6Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Katusha0:00:28
7Jorge Giacinti (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:00:35
8Ignacio Pereyra (Arg) Argentina0:00:39
9Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur0:00:41
10Michael Rasmussen (Den) Miche0:00:42
11Raul Granjel (Cub) Cuba0:00:47
12Manuel Vazquez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur0:00:48
13Pedro Merino (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
14José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur0:00:50
15Yosue Moyano (Arg) Argentina0:00:52
16Jose A. De Segovia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
17Carlos Ochoa (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli
18Moritz Milatz (Ger) Germany0:00:59
19Gerardo Fernandez (Arg) Argentina0:01:01
20Alfredo Lucero (Arg) Argentina
21Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Liquigas-Doimo
22Santiago Botero (Col) Colombia
23Magno Nazaret (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:01:05
24Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Miche0:01:07
25Marco Arriagada (Chi) Chile0:01:09
26Jesus Rosendo (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur0:01:30
27Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home0:01:40
28Martin Garrido (Arg) Argentina0:01:50
29Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
30Juan Est. Arango (Col) Colombia
31Mariano De Fino (Uru) Uruguay0:01:55
32Emanuel Guevera (Arg) Argentina0:01:56
33Yennier Lopez (Cub) Cuba0:02:07
34Luis Mate (Spa) Androni-Giocattoli0:02:12
35Matias Medici (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
36Carlos Ospina (Col) Colombia0:02:16
37Weimar Roldan (Col) Colombia0:02:21
38David Gutierrez (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji0:02:24
39Mauricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:02:27
40Gustavo Rodriguez (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia0:02:28
41Javier Ramirez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
42Tiago Fiorilli (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
43Alessandro Colo (Ita) ISD-Neri
44Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) Chile
45Jose Rodrigues (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba0:02:34
46Pedro A. Nicasio (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
47Marcos Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia0:02:38
48Rodrigo Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia0:02:50
49Pablo Pintos (Uru) Uruguay0:02:59
50Gonzalo Miranda (Chi) Chile
51Edgardo Simon (Arg) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba0:03:13
52Anibal Borrajo (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home0:03:19
53Fabricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:03:32
54Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri0:03:42
55Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD-Neri
56Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha
57Flavio Cardoso (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba0:03:46
58Philipp Mamos (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse0:03:55
59Emanuel Vona (Ita) ISD-Neri
60Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD-Neri
61Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
62Ignacio Maldonado (Uru) Uruguay0:04:02
63Daniel Diaz (Arg) Argentina0:04:05
64Juan P. Suarez (Col) Colombia
65Guido Palma (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
66Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Footon-Servetto-Fuji0:04:07
67Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home0:04:14
68Jorge Martin Montenegro (Arg) Andalucia-Cajasur0:04:15
69Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo0:04:17
70Arles Castro (Col) Colombia
71Jairo Perez (Col) Colombia0:04:19
72Vicente Muga (Chi) Chile0:04:33
73Roberto Pinheiro (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba0:04:35
74Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Miche
75Duarte Gregory (Uru) Uruguay0:04:37
76Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia0:04:53
77Marco Bandiera (Ita) Katusha0:05:00
78Roderick Asconegui (Uru) Uruguay0:05:03
79Nicholas Frey (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home0:05:04
80Luis Sepulveda (Chi) Chile0:05:37
81Sergej Fuchs (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse0:05:45
82Cesar S. Vaquera (Mex) Mexico0:05:53
83Luca Solari (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
84Ramiro Cabrera (Uru) Uruguay0:05:59
85Dirk Muller (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse0:06:05
86Breno Sidoti (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba0:06:09
87Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo0:07:03
88Pedro Palma (Chi) Chile0:07:06
89Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha0:07:07
90Alberto Loddo (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
91Luciano A. Pagliarini (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:07:15
92Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji0:07:17
93Francisco Pacheco (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
94Crischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
95Simone Campagnaro (Ita) Miche
96Henning Bommel (Ger) Germany
97Vidal Celis (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
98Carlos Alzate (Col) Colombia
99Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile
100Kim Lachmann (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
101Walter Perez (Arg) Argentina
102Alien Garcia (Cub) Cuba0:07:25
103Yasmani Martinez (Cub) Cuba0:07:29
104Marcel Kalz (Ger) Germany0:07:30
105Pascale Muto (Ita) Miche
106Fernando Cardozo (Uru) Uruguay
107Victor H. Peña (Col) Colombia0:07:42
108Stefan Schafer (Ger) Germany
109Ariel Lucero (Arg) Argentina
110Luis Carlos Amorin (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
111Ricardo Guedes (Uru) Uruguay
112Rafael Escarcega (Mex) Mexico
113Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo
114Leonardo Pinizzotto (Ita) Miche
115Carlos M. Hernandez (Mex) Mexico
116Maximiliano Bade (Arg) Argentina0:07:51
117Demis Aleman (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home0:07:52
118Robert Bengsch (Ger) Germany0:08:00
119Alvaro Tardaguila (Uru) Uruguay0:08:11
120Andrey Sartasov (Rus) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:08:13
121Frank Travieso (Cub) Jamis-Sutter Home0:08:47
122Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo0:09:17
123Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD-Neri0:09:40
124Antoni Aldape (Mex) Mexico
125Francisco Ramon Chamorro (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:10:32
126Armando Camargo (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos0:10:45
127Sebastian Forke (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse0:11:46
128Freddy Buergos (Cub) Cuba0:13:02
129Sebastian Lazo (Chi) Chile0:18:22
130Pablo Seisdedos (Chi) Chile0:18:31
131Edgar H. Treviño (Mex) Mexico0:27:14

Mountains classification
1Rafael Valls (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji10pts
2Arnols Alcolea (Cub) Cuba10
3Yasmani Martinez (Cub) Cuba6
4Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli6
5Jose Serpa (Col) Androni-Giocattoli4
6Pedro Palma (Chi) Chile4
7Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile3
8Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo2
9Freddy Buergos (Cub) Cuba2
10Ignacio Pereyra (Arg) Argentina1
11Emanuel Guevera (Arg) Argentina1

Sprint classification
1Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) Chile6pts
2Emanuel Guevera (Arg) Argentina5
3Alien Garcia (Cub) Cuba5
4Arnols Alcolea (Cub) Cuba3
5Robert Bengsch (Ger) Germany3
6Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home3
7Pedro Palma (Chi) Chile3
8Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia2
9Luciano A. Pagliarini (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos2
10Jesus Rosendo (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur1
11Mauricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos1

U23 classification
1Yosue Moyano (Arg) Argentina
2Emanuel Guevera (Arg) Argentina
3Ignacio Maldonado (Uru) Uruguay
4Daniel Diaz (Arg) Argentina
5Vicente Muga (Chi) Chile
6Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia
7Roderick Asconegui (Uru) Uruguay
8Cesar S. Vaquera (Mex) Mexico
9Ramiro Cabrera (Uru) Uruguay
10Pedro Palma (Chi) Chile
11Rafael Escarcega (Mex) Mexico

Teams classification
7Scott- Marcondes0:02:07
14Jamis-Sutter Home0:07:20

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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