Which person has had the most influence on your cycling life?

We asked Cycling Weekly readers who has been the biggest influence on their cycling

Most cyclists can say that there have been one or two key figures in their life that have nurtured and encouraged their cycling. Whether that was their first few wobbly metres ridden on a bike, or whether it was helping them to become a better racer or riding their first 100-miler.

We recently asked Cycling Weekly which person has had the most influence on their cycling life, and we present a selection of their answers here, in association with B’Twin.

Which person has had the most influence on your cycling life, and why? Let us know in the comment section below

Neil Appleby, for cultivating a true fraternity in the Birmingham cycling scene, encouraging me and bringing over a static trainer to help me rehabilitate from a substantial cancer surgery that saw me unable to even throw a leg over a bike for seven months.
Stephen Paterson

My father. As a kid I would love to ride with my dad, seeing how long I could keep on his wheel for. We made up intermediate and final sprints using the town signs and would come back home to mum, both claiming we had won.
Sam Laidlow

>>> Some of the terrifying things cyclists hide from on a ride

Way back in the 80s, my mate James Watson explained to me why high cadence was the best way to pedal. And do you know what? He was right.
Tim Meyrick

My wife, Louise. She is the one who encourages me and supports me. She even meets me halfway on a ride, if there are no cafes, with a flask of coffee and cake. Plus she generally puts up with this cycling nerd she helped to create!
Aidan Mulhall

The weather man.
Steven Spriggs

John Barclay, who’s giving me the chance to race in Belgium. He’s helped pretty much every British WorldTour pro.
Jacob Vaughan

My best mate Daz. I’d split up with my partner, was three stone overweight and drinking far too much. Daz gently but persistently nagged me to come out cycling. He never dropped me on a hill and encouraged me all the way. Nowadays I’m flying! I have two road bikes, I’m doing 100 milers, I attack any hill in front of me and spend most of my life in Lycra.
Tim Nicholls



Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour. I’d just finished seven solid weeks of chemo radiotherapy combination. I’d lost five and a half stone in seven weeks. Could not lift my head off a pillow. Brad changed that — I got out of bed, back on my bike in six months. Thank you, Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Michael White

John Biggins, inventor of the credit card.
Chris Cottrell

John Barclay has helped many young British riders in Europe. Photo: Daniel Gould

My husband, Colin. He puts up with my fear of getting out of the door and then slows his pace to get me round, encouraging me all the way. He is a real one-off! My best friend… my hero.
Linda McPherson

Lance Armstrong. Could be seen as controversial, I know, but in an era of performance enhancement by the many not the few he still lit up many a race and made Le Tour exciting — captured my imagination!
Paul Mathias

Me, because while it may be fashionable to blame everything on everyone else, you’re actually responsible for your own life.
Thomas Willingham


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Cannondale-Drapac set to continue into 2018, report suggests

The American team had looked to crowdfunding for financial support but a mystery sponsor has allowed the team to survive

American team Cannondale-Drapac looks set to race into 2018, new reports suggest, after a the team had to turn to crowdfunding to try and secure their future.

The news comes after the team’s riders being told that their contracts will be honoured next year, coinciding with a tweet from team manager, Jonathan Vaughters, describing it as “one of the happiest moments of my life!”

“As of right now, I am informing you that if you have a contract with Slipstream Sports for 2018, we are enforcing your contract. More to come,” Vaughters said in a team email leaked to Velonews.

While the crowdfunding target is to raise $2m, the team’s hope is to reach $7m in funding and Vaughter’s is confident to have secured that after letting riders know that their contracts will be enforced.

It’s not certain who the latest backers could be after the team raised $530,130 on IndieGoGo as of September 8 with Farley Group, an insurance broker, willing to match all donations up to $2m.

Problems started for the American team when a potential sponsor, which CW understands was betting firm Unibet, pulled its planned backing of the team forcing Vaughters not only look elsewhere but release riders from any contractual obligations.

While some riders like Rigoberto Uran, who finished second at the Tour de France this year, pledged to give the team time to resolve the issue others like Sep Vanmarcke have decided to look elsewhere.

With just five days left in their crowdfunding campaign and riders verging on leaving, the news of a new backer has come at just the right time.

Cycling Weekly has contacted the team for comment.


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Riding with WorldTour teams brings about new challenges for Madison-Genesis

Taylor Gunman admits that respect is given and received throughout the peloton at the Tour of Britain

Promotional feature with Madison

Stepping up to racing against WorldTour teams may well faze certain teams and their riders, and potentially see them shrink back into their smaller and less impressive team bus.

But the continental outfit of Madison-Genesis have certainly made themselves known in the Tour of Britain so far, featuring in every breakaway, despite not being able to turn it into a stage win just yet.

Speaking after the Stage five time trial around Clacton-on-Sea, Madison Genesis rider Taylor Gunman admitted that mixing it with the WorldTour teams does bring a change in riding style that the team may not always be used to.

“First off I think the biggest thing is everything is faster, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s harder, but just everything is done faster. But we have proved we are incredibly capable of getting in the moves, but you are doing it at 50kph instead of 40kph,” said the former New Zealand time trial champion.

>>> Lars Boom wins Tour of Britain stage five time trial to take overall lead

“But there is also a lot more respect, so if you latch onto your team-mates wheel there is no argy bargy, it is just a case of getting to the finish safely and with 20km to go its a race to the finish line. Whereas you find in other races you are fighting for everything even if it’s your team-mates wheel and there is 100km to go.”

Another helpful factor that has helped Gunman and his team mates prove their worth in this race is the six-man teams that are a feature of the Tour of Britain.

“I think the size of the field has something to do with it,” Gunman admitted.

“You have Tao [Geoghegan Hart] and Robert Power on the front for 120 kilometres every stage, so when you are at the back of the race with Vasil Kiryienka, Mark Cavendish, Lars Boom and all these big names that we look up to are relaxed. If you are smart at reading the race, you realise that if they are at the back you are alright.” He continued,

“There is a time and a place to race and with six man teams, you can’t be trying to split the race with 120km to go because no one will have the legs. It is all about having every man at maximum strength for the last 20km and catching the break with 3km from the finish proves that. Everyone is keeping their matches as dry as possible until they need to.”

Gunman and his team-mates will hope that the six-man teams will play into his favour over the final three days of the race with the opportunities of breakaways still at the forefront of their minds.

“I’d like to think it will bring a bit more of an unpredictable element to it, but the way that the Worlds are and the fact that the Tour of Britain has been designed for the Worlds it might be status quo,” said the 26-year-old.

“I think yesterday’s team performance in the break put a little bit of doubt in everyone, especially in the sprint teams and I don’t think they are going to give the break over three and half minutes from now on.”


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Bike Channel-Canyon future in doubt as sponsor on the brink of closure

Bike Channel set to close from Friday as attempts to sell it fail to find a buyer

British team Bike Channel-Canyon’s future is hanging in the balance after it has emerged one of the squad’s main backers is on the brink of closure.

Cycling Weekly understands at the time of going to press that the Bike Channel business, which was launched in December 2015, is poised to close from Friday this week.

The racing team has an annual budget of around £250,000, one of the smallest among Britain’s UCI squads. Bike Channel came onboard as the team was formed in December 2016 on a three-year long sponsorship deal.

Cycling Weekly understands that the team, managed by Tim Elverson, were not aware of the extent of the financial problems experienced in recent months by Bike Channel.

Indeed, earlier this week at the Tour of Britain Elverson told CW he had resigned the team’s sprinter Chris Opie to ride next year and had also signed deals with promising youngsters Charles Page and Louis Rose-Davies.

Launched in the UK in December 2015 as the sister to a successful Italian equivalent, Bike Channel was the UK’s first 24/7 TV station dedicated to the sport. The winner of its flagship Coach Pro show, which sought to find Britain’s most promising club racer, was scheduled to secure a contract with Bike Channel-Canyon for 2018.

Sources close to the business have said that following a financial review by the channel’s main shareholder Aser this summer, Bike Channel was put up for sale. But concerted attempts to rescue the Vauxhall-based operation have failed and it is expected to close.

At the time of print, the station is still broadcasting on Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat.

Multiple staff at Bike Channel and Elverson have been contacted for comment.


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Chris Froome: ‘Our plan worked to perfection’

Sky leader gains 21 seconds on Vuelta a España rival Vincenzo Nibali after tactical plan for final climbs works to perfection on stage 18

The Vuelta a España’s rollercoaster final week continued on the short climb to the stage 18 finish at Santo Torinio de Liébana, where Chris Froome regained half of the time he lost to Vincenzo Nibali on Los Machucos 24 hours earlier.

The Briton came in 21 seconds ahead of the Italian, pushing his lead out to 1-37 at the end of a stage where Sky’s tactical plan worked to perfection.

Froome revealed Sky had decided in their pre-stage briefing to tackle the short climb to the finish very aggressively rather than focusing their attention on Nibali or any of the other GC contenders.

>>> Five talking points from stage 18 of the Vuelta a España

“Rather than watching anyone else, we had our own plan today and part of that strategy was to see in the final whether anyone was exposed. We went into the final climb with the aim of setting a really high tempo, and the guys did a great job of doing that,” Froome explained.

He added: “I was feeling a lot better today [than at Los Machucos]. As soon as I made an acceleration on that last climb, Wout Poels got on the radio and told me, ‘Nibali’s dropped, Nibali’s dropped. Keep pushing.’ That was exactly the result we were looking for today, so I’m really happy with that.”

Asked if he was surprised to hear that Nibali was losing ground, Froome said: “I think a lot of guys perhaps paid the price for making such a big effort yesterday at Los Machucos. We’ve got something similar to that climb ahead on the Angliru [on Saturday]. Hopefully, I’ll have a better day there.”

Amidst the smiles and back-slapping at the Sky bus, Poels said he felt the team had carried out their tactical plan to perfection. “We wanted to ride aggressively on the last climb and show everyone that yesterday was just one bad day, and we did exactly that,” said the Dutchman.

“That was a big 21 seconds to gain, especially on a 2k climb and after what happened yesterday.”


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Five talking points from stage 18 of the Vuelta a España

Froome’s good day; Still no Spanish win; Astana’s tactics; and more of the talking points from stage 18 of the 2017 Vuelta a España

A good day for Chris Froome

Chris Froome on stage 18 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Vuelta a España race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) may have lost time on the previous day’s stage, but he looked like a different rider on Thursday’s stage 18.

Froome didn’t wait for his GC rivals to make a move on the final climb to Santo Toribio de Liébana, instead launching his own attack into the final kilometre. It was a different scene from just 24 hours earlier, when Froome looked to be struggling and was left watching all of his rivals disappear up the mountain.

Crucially, it was Nibali who was put into the most trouble by Froome’s attack. Currently runner-up in the general classification, Nibali looked like the rider most likely to be able to topple Froome. But that position now seems to be ebbing away after the Italian conceded 21 seconds on what ranks as a minor climb in this year’s race.

>>> Vuelta a España 2017: Latest news, reports and race info

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) were the only riders able to match Froome’s pace into the finish – once again leaving us wondering what position Contador would be in had he not suffered a bad day on stage three.

Froome now leads Nibali by an extended margin of one minute and 37 seconds, with Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) also losing a handful of seconds to Froome to sit at 2-17.

A mixed outcome for Astana

Fabio Aru on stage 18 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Astana displayed a slightly chaotic mixture of tactics during stage 18, possibly revealing an on-going battle over team leadership.

Miguel Angel Lopez started the day as Astana’s highest-placed rider, in sixth place and 4-39 behind race leader Froome. Fabio Aru was ninth at 6-45.

Rather than supporting Lopez into the stage’s finale, Aru launched his own attack over the top of the penultimate climb of Collada de la Hoz with 37km still to go. He put in a huge effort to distance the peloton, but faded on the final climb to finish just 12 seconds ahead of Froome, Contador and Woods – the latter proving to be the revelation of this year’s race.

>>> Chris Froome strengthens grip on Vuelta a España red jersey as Vincenzo Nibali dropped on stage 18

Meanwhile, Lopez had been distanced after the GC group broke apart as Contador, Froome and Woods went up the road, losing 21 seconds to Froome. The net result was that Lopez and Aru are now moving closer together in the general classification, and are sat in sixth and eighth respectively after the stage.

Having been in the day’s break, Alexey Lutsenko looked to be making more of an impact on the stage, riding strongly with Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) on the final climb after the pair had dropped their escape companions.

However, the more lightly-built Armée dropped Lutsenko on the climb to go solo. Armée took the win, and there was to be no repeat of Lutsenko’s victory on stage five to celebrate his birthday.

Just one more summit finish to go

The Angliru returns to the Vuelta for 2017, and will be the decisive stage of the race. Photo: Graham Watson

There’s just one mountain-top finish left in this year’s Vuelta a España, and many would say the best has been saved until last.

Saturday’s stage finishes atop the Alto de L’Angliru, a towering climb of 12.5 kilometres and an average gradient of 9.8 per cent. It’s a fitting finale to the battle for podium places before Sunday’s flat procession into Madrid.

There may be an attack or two during Friday’s stage 19, but it is likely there will be no major impact on the overall classification with all the GC rivals mindful of what they will have to tackle the following day.

Given the past couple of days’ action, where fortunes have chopped and changed, it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen. Any rider could attack or crack, or both.

Froome may have built up a decent lead of 1-37 over Nibali, but only time will tell us if that is enough. Book your space on the sofa for Saturday afternoon.

Still no Spanish win

Alberto Contador looks like the rider most likely to give Spain a win on Saturday. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Time is rapidly running out for the home nation’s riders to secure a victory in this year’s Vuelta a España. There have been no Spanish stage winners in the race after 18 stages, and with just three days remaining the chances of a win are now looking slim.

It’s not a great story in the top 10 either, with the retiring Alberto Contador providing the most cheer-worthy performance for roadside fans with his numerous attacks to put him in fifth place overall – Spain’s only rider in the top 10.

A promising start for young contender David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) has now faded, and he has dropped to 11th place.

Friday could provide an opportunity for a Spanish rider to come good in a break, or perhaps Contador could really give home fans a final flourish by claiming the prestigious stage to Angliru on Saturday.

No luck for Orica-Scott

Esteban Chaves: no chance of a podium finish this season. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

At the risk of this being a rather negative edition of ‘Talking Points’, another team who are faltering are Orica-Scott. The Australian team started the race with three Grand Tour hitters: Esteban Chaves, Adam Yates and Simon Yates. All three have enjoyed Grand Tour success in the past 12 months, including Chaves finishing third in last year’s Vuelta.

Chaves started the 2017 Vuelta in promising form, and was positioned in second overall behind Froome after stage 10. However, since then the Colombian has slowly dropped further and further down the GC. He lost over a minute again to Froome and other rivals on stage 18. He now sits in 12th place, 11-57 adrift of Froome and with a final top 10 position looking unlikely.

Adam and Simon Yates both finished stage 18 in the gruppetto, and are likely looking for a chance for a stage win – no doubt eyeing Saturday’s stage. Australian Jack Haig was the team’s top finisher on stage 18 and has been looking in great shape on the climbs, perhaps he could provide the team with a win.


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Tour of Britain stage 5 highlights – Video

Lars Boom soared into the leader’s jersey at the Tour of Britain on Thursday, blasting over the 16km individual time trial by six seconds over LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Victor Campenaerts and seven second in front of former time trial world champion Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky). BMC Racing’s Stefan Küng was fourth at 10 seconds, while another of Boom’s teammates, Jos van Emden, was fifth at 13 seconds. Reigning time trial world champion Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) was sixth.

Boom took the race lead from Team Sky’s Elia Viviani, and now leads Campenaerts in the overall by eight seconds and Kiryienka by 10 with three stages remaining.

Both Team Sky and LottoNL-Jumbo now have three riders in the top 10 overall, with Van Emden in fifth at 13 seconds and Team Sky’s Michael Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas sitting 19 seconds back in seventh and ninth. Edvald Boassan Hagen (Dimension Data) is sandwiched in between the Sky riders in eighth.

Boom was consistent throughout the day, leading at the time check taken halfway through the race, while Capanaerts, Kiryienka and Van Emden sued over the second half of the course to improve their positions.

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Dan Martin: ‘I learned this year that I can win the Tour de France’

Dan Martin, who is set to join UAE-Team Emirates from Quick-Step Floors, believes that winning the Tour de France is no longer an unrealistic goal.

Dan Martin is confident that he has the quality, experience and knowhow to be able to win the Tour de France in future years.

The Irishman is joining UAE-Team Emirates next season after two years racing with Quick-Step Floors.

At the Belgian team he has recorded two successive top-10 finishes in the Tour de France, coming ninth in 2016 and sixth this July, his highest GC result in a Grand Tour; his previous best was seventh at the Vuelta a España in 2014.

The recently-turned 31-year-old, who is racing the Tour of Britain this week, believes that at his new team he can improve in the Tour even more, and even claim the yellow jersey.

“It doesn’t go for everyone, but if you’re on the startline, you can win the Tour,” Martin said. “I learned this year that there is a possibility. I have the capability to do the best on the climbs and my time trialling is improving a lot.”

>>> Dan Martin finished Tour de France with fractured spine, scans reveal

Martin’s ability against the clock has often been his undoing in stage races. “I’ve made a big improvement this year and UAE want to develop it, too,” he said.

“It’s a crucial part of the sport now. If you look at the prologue in Düsseldorf this year, I was the third best GC guy behind Chris [Froome] and [Simon] Yates.

“Beating Chris is going to be incredibly difficult as he is one of the best time trial lists in the world, but that group behind him, I am there or thereabouts.”

Although the route for the 2018 Tour has yet to be announced, Martin confirmed that he would in all probability be riding La Grand Boucle next July, and he is excited to be going with a team fully supportive of his general classification intentions.

>>> Lars Boom wins Tour of Britain stage five time trial to take overall lead

“The way my programme usually works, it’s very hard to pique at the Ardennes and then go to the Giro,” he added. “The Tour is the important one. It’s the one that if I don’t go to with a full team’s backing, and try and go for the podium – something I could have potentially got this year without the crash – I’d look back at it later on in my career and think ‘what if’.

“Obviously this year I went to the Tour as a team leader, but there was still Marcel [Kittle] in the team and that created a division of power. I’ve got a team with UAE that fully believe in the ambition and potential to reach the podium.”

Fabio Aru is also expected to join Martin as one of the team’s newest recruits, and the two-time Monument victor thinks that in the event of having himself and Aru in the same Tour team, that could make him stronger.

“Fabio always enjoy riding the Giro, but if we were both at the Tour, what a tag team we’d have,” Martin said. “That could have a real big potential to change the race for us both. Having that back up, having that ability to attack the other guys, that could be a lot of fun.”


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Chris Froome strengthens grip on Vuelta a España red jersey as Vincenzo Nibali dropped on stage 18

Chris Froome extends his lead to 1-36 going into final three stages

Chris Froome (Team Sky) made amends for losing time on Wednesday’s stage to Los Machucos by distancing Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) on the final climb of stage 18 to extend his lead out to 1-37 on a stage won by Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal) from the day’s early break.

The red jersey had come under pressure on two of the day’s three earlier climb, as Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) launched a number of attacks, before Fabio Aru (Astana) was able to get away with around 40km remaining.

Aru was never going to be able to catch the day’s early break, which took the stage win as Armée distanced Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) on the final climb to take the first victory of his professional career, but did stand a chance of moving up the general classification as he held a lead of 1-30 over the chasing group going onto the two-kilometre final climb.

However a high tempo from Team Sky‘s Gianni Moscon at the start of the climb began to eat into his compatriot’s lead, before Froome, Contador, and Cannondale-Drapac‘s Michael Woods surged clear.

By the line, that duo had nearly caught Aru, but, more importantly for Froome, had distanced the other GC contenders, including second-place overall Vincenzo Nibali who conceded 21 seconds.

How it happened

With a high chance of the breakaway succeeding on the stage to Santo Toribio de Liébana, the start of the stage was conducted at a blistering pace as the GC teams tried to control who made it into the move.

In the end it took more than 60km for the break to get away, with no fewer than 20 riders in the move: Julian Alaphilippe and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing), Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott), Nelson Oliveira and Marc Soler (Movistar), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Clément Chevrier and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Jeremy Maison and Anthony Roux (FDJ), Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis), Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros), and Aldemar Reyes (Manzana-Postobon).

With Pardilla the best placed rider on GC at more than 24 minutes back, Team Sky seemed content for the break to get away and contest the stage win, spreading across the front of the bunch to allow the escape to steadily built a large gap of more than 10 minutes.

The lead was approaching 13 minutes with 46km remaining, when Katusha-Alpecin went to the front of the peloton en masse in an attempt to pull Ilnur Zakarin clear.

Five riders were alongside Zakarin and quickly opened a gap of around 10 seconds over the peloton. However the move was short-lived as Team Sky and Bahrain-Merida, working for Froome and Nibali respectively, made the junction.

However that wasn’t the end of the GC drama as Luis Leon Sanchez to set up a move by Fabio Aru, who went over the top of his team-mate to go clear solo onto the descent off the Collada de Ozalba.

Aru quickly gained a minute, and on the following climb, the Collada de la Hoz, there were more attacks as Contador went on the attack.

The Spaniard, up to fifth overall after his performance on Los Machucos on stage 17, sprung clear with Miguel Angel Lopez in his wake, but was steadily closed down by Gianni Moscon at the head of four Sky riders including Froome.

The upper slopes of the day’s penultimate climb had split the break, with Armée, Gougeard, Soler, Alaphilippe, and Lutsenko going clear, and they also presented another opportunity for Contador, who once again tried to attack but was not allowed to open a gap as the other GC hopefuls quickly jumped on his wheel.

The run-in to the final climb saw Armée and Lutsenko go clear, while Aru was able to continue to open his advantage over the red jersey group.

Lutsenko led onto the final climb, but it was Armée who launched the final attack, surging clear in the final 500m to drop his Kazakh rival and take his first professional win.

The stage win decided, eyes then turned to the battle for GC, where Aru continued to work hard to hold his lead onto the final climb while Sky continued to set the pace on the front of the main GC group.

Aru led by 1-20 at the base of the final climb, but that lead was quickly trimmed as Trek-Segafredo sought to light up the road and set up a possible move by Contador.

However Team Sky wouldn’t be having any of that as Gianni Moscon moved up to keep the pace high and prevent any attack, before Froome took over with 600m remaining.

Contador was in the wheel of the red jersey, along with Michael Woods, and then moved to the front as Nibali, Kelderman, and Zakarin were all in difficulty.

By the line Contador, Froome, and Woods had almost managed to catch Aru, whose long distance breakaway had yielded only minimal rewards, while Nibali struggled through the final 500m to lose 21 seconds to Froome.

That meant that Froome’s advantage was back out to 1-37, giving him greater margin for error heading towards the final summit finish on the Alto de l’Angliru on Saturday.

Results

Vuelta a España 2017, stage 18: Suances to Santo Toribio de Liébana (169km)

1. Sander Armée (Bel) Lotto Soudal, in 4-09-39
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana, at 31 secs
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 46 secs
4. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-02
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Esp) Movistar, at 1-06
6. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing, at 1-19
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-21
8. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros, at same time
9. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 1-38
10. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ, at 1-48

Others
20. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 9-56
21. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 10-08
23. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at same time
24. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 10-12
25. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, at same time
28. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 10-29

General classification after stage 18

1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 72-03-50
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 1-37
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 2-17
4. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, 2-29
5. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo, at 3-34
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana, at 5-16
7. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac, at 6-33
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at same time
9. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 6-47
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 10-26


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Sportive riders ‘beaten with sticks’ by protestors angry at road closures

Tour O Borders event reportedly disrupted by protestors

Riders at the Tour O the Borders sportive received a hostile reception on one part of the route as some were reportedly attacked by a group of people, apparently angry at roads being closed for the sportive.

The incident took place around 25km into the route just south of Broughton, Tweeddale, on September 3, where the Southern Reporter reports that riders were stopped by two men, who then attacked the cyclists with sticks.

>>> Best cycling sportives in Scotland

“Two people that looked like farmers wearing tweed jackets and flat caps – one had a dog – were hitting the cyclists on their heads with long sticks,” one rider wrote on the event Facebook page.

“I’m not too sure if anyone got hurt,” wrote another. “They were walking in the middle of road towards cyclists, each with two sticks holding them out. I had to stop, but hopefully nobody got hurt by them.”

Event organisers appealed to riders for videos of the incident, with a number passing on GoPro footage which could then be passed on to the police.

>>> 12 of the best upcoming sportives to ride

“We hope not too many of you were affected, but this is disgusting behaviour and the police have asked for help in gathering evidence,” the organisers wrote.

“What happened was potentially very dangerous and the police want to prosecute those responsible, who are a disgrace to the Borders. This has always been an extremely friendly event and we are proud of the warm welcome the Borders gives to cyclists.”

“We can confirm that we are aware of protests at the event, and we are investigating,” a Police Scotland spokesperson. “So far, however, no one has told us of any injury. If someone has an injury, they should tell us, so that we can investigate.”


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