Welcome back to the GCN Racing News Show - this week we've got the Giro dell’Emilia and the GP Beghelli, the sprinters have their showdown in the Munsterland Giro, but don’t have it their own way in a revised Paris Tours.
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Top level cyclo-cross resumes in Europe with the Brico Cross series, whilst the final round of the Red Hook Crit took place in Milan, with our very own James Lowsley Williams taking part.
Paris Tours - one of the oldest classics in cycling. It began in 1896, and throughout its history, it has consistently re-invented itself. This year, that was in the form of gravel roads, 9 sectors of the rough stuff through vineyards - organisers ASO clearly jumping on the bandwagon, hoping to emulate the popularity of Strade Bianche, a race which has become one of the season’s main attractions, despite being just 12 editions young.
It certainly changed the race - Paris Tours has, in the last few decades, been a race where sprinters have had their chance, where the question of breakaway or bunch often hung in the balance until the final metres of the race. This year, the sprinters had no chance, the peloton was decimated with groups littering the road with still 50km’s remaining. Making the most of the conditions was Soren Kragh Andersen - the Dane soloing to victory. A consummate display of skill and strength, but he had also taken advantage of a spat between Niki Terpstra and Benoit Cosnefroy.
One race that has remained true to its roots, albeit a much younger event, is the Munsterland Giro. This year’s event finished with a vastly reduced sprint after crosswinds saw some major splits in the peloton. Upsetting the favourites was Max Walscheid of Team Sunweb - a Giant win in more ways than one - he got the better of John Degenkolb and Nils Politt on an all-German podium.
Down in Italy, racing resumed on Saturday with the Giro dell’Emilia - a climbers classic which finishes the 5th time up the brutal San Luca climb, 2km’s long with an average gradient of over 10%. Alessandro De Marchi spent a decent amount of those final laps out front on his own, a move which looked futile but which ultimately paid off - the Italian held of Rigoberto Uran and teammate Dylan Teuns to take the first one day win of his career.
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Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto / http://www.bettiniphoto.net/
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