Qualifier Vondrousova, 17, wins Biel Bienne Open

Marketa Vondrousova

Marketa Vondrousova, a 17-year-old qualifier, beat Anett Kontaveit in the final of the Biel Bienne Open in Switzerland to win her first WTA title.

The Czech world number 233 edged Estonia’s 99th-ranked Kontaveit – who beat Britain’s Heather Watson in the first round – 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

Vondrousova had beaten Czech compatriot and world number 18 Barbora Strycova in the semi-final.

Sunday’s victory moves her close to the top 100 for the first time.

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Li Bingjie and Li Zhuhao Win Again at Chinese Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

15-year-old distance phenom Li Bingjie and butterflyer Li Zhuhao have been among the stars of the Chinese national championships in Quindao, and each picked up another win on the penultimate day.

Li Bingjie won the women’s 800 free in 8:20.89, moving all the way up to No. 2 in the world behind Katie LedeckyZhang Yuhan finished second in 8:24.18, and third went to Bi Wenxin in 8:24.77. Hou Yawen was just behind in 8:25.19. Those times rank fourth, fifth and sixth in the world, respectively.

Li Zhuhao completed the men’s butterfly sweep, winning the 100 fly in 51.63. He’s actually been as fast as 51.34 this year, ranking No. 2 in the world. Zhang Zhibin took second in 52.57, just ahead of Zhou Jiawei (52.60).

Lu Ying posted the fourth-fastest time in the world to win the women’s 50 fly, touching in 25.85. She was followed by Zhang Yifei (26.09) and Lin Xintong (26.52).

In the men’s 50 free final, Yu Hexin edged out Lin Yongqing, 22.46 to 22.52, and in the women’s 200 back, Chen Jie took the win in 2:09.29, ahead of Liu Yaxin in 2:09.69. Ye Shiwen, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in both IMs, took third in 2:10.55.

Xu Jiayu, coming off extremely impressive efforts in both the 100 and 200 back, led the way into the championship final of the 50 back with his mark of 24.42, moving a tenth ahead of Evgeny Rylov for the top spot in the world rankings. The time also set a new Chinese record in the event. Li Quangyuan finished second in 25.45, and the third seed went to Zhou Yibing in 25.88.

Su Ran took the top spot out of the women’s 50 breast semifinals in 31.17, while Shi Jinglin edged Liu Xiaoyu for second, 31.63 to 31.64. Liu Xiang finished two tenths ahead of the field in the women’s 50 free, clocking 24.82. Taking second and third, respectively, were Zhu Menghui (25.02) and Wang Shengnan (25.16).

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Philippe Gilbert beats Michal Kwiatkowski to victory at Amstel Gold Race

The Belgian champion continues his fine 2017 with a fourth victory in the Dutch Classic

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) took a fourth career victory at the 2017 Amstel Gold Race, beating another former winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in a two-up sprint for the line.

The pair had broken away from a leading group of seven riders on the final climb of the Bemelerberg, with none of the following riders Sergio Henao (Team Sky), Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida), Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott), José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) able to bridge the gap to join them.

>>> Lizzie Deignan takes second as teammate Anna van der Breggen solos to Amstel Gold Race victory

The pair quickly gained 15 seconds with around 5km to ride, and worked well together until the final kilometre when they began to watch each other for the final sprint.

Gilbert, who has already had a storming season after taking victory in the Tour of Flanders, lead through much of the final kilometre with Milan-San Remo winner Kwiatkowski on his wheel.

But with a slight uphill drag and a headwind to the line, Kwiatkowski decided he would need to go early and launched his sprint from around 200 metres out.

That gave Gilbert enough time to jump on to the Pole’s wheel and wait until the final 50 metres where he came round him and jumped ahead to take victory on the line.

Belgian champion Gilbert is now just one ride behind record holder Jan Raas for the most wins at Amstel, having won the race in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017.



How it happened

The 264.6km day kicked off with a 12-man break that got up the road fairly early on.

Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R-La Mondiale), Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), Tim Ariesen (Roompot), Nikita Stalnov (Astana), Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Johann Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pieter Van Speybrouck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) managed to establish a maximum gap of around eight minutes on the peloton before it began to come down.

They still held over three minutes with 80km left in the day, but early impetus from Greg Van Avermaet’s BMC teammates brought the quickly down over the next 30km, and much of the breakaway was brought back by 50km remaining.

Several riders attempted to stay away, but nothing was sticking, with decisive attacks likely to come on the seventh from last climb of the day, the Kruisberg.

Lotto-Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot was the first to strike out on the climb, followed by Gilbert, with Henao working hard for his leader Kwiatkowski to make sure Sky were in the front group.

16 April 2017
52nd Amstel Gold Race
Peloton
Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

Benoot was soon dropped, and eventually those attacks settled into a group of seven riders, with LottoNL-Jumbo’s Bart Jan Lindeman joining six of those who would make up the final group that Gilbert and Kwiatkoswki attacked from.

There were notable absences in Kwiatkoswki, Van Avermaet and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who all failed to make it into the group that got away with 40km or so to go.

Van Avermaet, Valverde and Kwiatkowski all began to chase towards the front group, and when they hit the steep slopes of the Keutenberg climb, Kwiatkowski was the only one to be able to bridge the circa 15 second gap to the front six, with Lindeman dropped.

A seven-man group then formed behind to chase on with Van Avermaet and Valverde there, but the gap to the front grew constantly, and with 20km remaining, there was 30 seconds between the front two groups and another 30 to the peloton further back.

There were a number of attacks from the second group, but no-one was able to reduce the gap, and it was clear the winner was going to come from the front seven.

With one more ascent up the race’s former famous finishing climb the Cauberg, it was onto to one more circuit towards the finish where Gilbert and Kwiatkowski were able to make their decisive attacks and contest the finish.

Results

Amstel Gold Race 2017 (264.6km)

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors, in 6-33-55
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, st
3 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott, at 10s
4 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
5 Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar
6 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, all same time
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida, at 14s
8 Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-10
9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 1-11
10 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at 1-11


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(Video Interview) Why Ali DeLoof Was Shocked By 59.43 100 Back

Ali DeLoof dominated the women’s 100 back, clocking in at 59.43, tied for the fourth fastest time in the world. Hear what she had to say afterwards.

DeLoof explained why she was so shocked at her final time, and she discussed how life has changed since becoming a pro last year. She also looked ahead to the battle for spots on the U.S. world champs team in the 100 back.

Watch more video interviews from Mesa by clicking here.

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Lizzie Deignan takes second as teammate Anna van der Breggen solos to Amstel Gold Race victory

Two riders shared third place after they were unable to be separated by a photo finish

Boels-Dolmans proved they are back to their swaggering best by bagging first and second place at the re-born Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.

It was Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen who won her home race alone, some 55 seconds ahead of Lizzie Deignan, who led the sprint for second place.

>>> Seven things to watch out for in the Ardennes Classics

Unusually third place was shared by Polish champion Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Energie) and Dutch woman Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS), as a photo-finish was unable to separate them.

Van der Breggen was part of a small group who attacked from a reduced peloton, catching three riders – including Deignan – before powering clear with 6.5km to ride. With her team-mate up the road Deignan was able sit on during the ensuing pursuit.

The 121km event left the centre of Maastricht just 20 minutes after the men rolled out, and took in the same opening circuit.

By the time they had reached the Lange Raarberg, the third of 17 climbs, Sara Mustonen (Veloconcept Women) and Marta Tagliaferro (Cylance) had built a gap of 50 seconds. However, the lumpy terrain meant the gap was constantly fluctuating, and they were never able to safely establish an advantage, eventually being caught on the Eyserbosweg.

Here it was the strongest teams who increased the speed, splitting the peloton into two distinct groups.

Over the subsequent kilometres, where the road was exposed to a strengthening wind, Boels-Dolmans worked hard on the front to keep the pace high, and when they passed the finish line for the first time, the winning group of around 35 riders had an advantage of over one minute.



The women’s race used the finish the men have used in previous years, the line just over a kilometre from the top of the Cauberg.

This first passage took the race onto the first of three laps, each containing the Guelemmerberg and the Bemelerberg, before concluding on the Cauberg. It was after the first pass of the Bemelerberg where the pace increased significantly sparking repeated attacks.

The second half of the race was extremely aggressive, attacks coming throughout.

Boels-Dolmans managed to place all six of their riders in the group of 35, setting up the win for van der Breggen.

With a group of four up the road including Amy Pieters, the Dutch team were sitting pretty in the group behind, and when that quartet were caught on penultimate climb of the Cauberg, Deignan’s breakaway formed.

WorldTour leader Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) Once again proved her class hanging onto to the ending group until the final climb, finishing in sixth place and retaining her position at the top of the overall standings.

This is the fourth edition of a women’s race at Amstel Gold. The previous three races were held between 2001 and 2013, British rider Nicole Cooke was the last winner.

The next round of the Women’s WordTour takes place in nearby Huy next Wednesday, when the women will race Flèche Wallonne.

16 April 2017
1st Amstel Gold Race Women
Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

Result

Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition  (121.6km)

1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans 3-15-57
2. Lizzie Deignan (Gbr) Boels-Dolmans at 55
3. Kasia Newiadoma (Pol) WM3 Energy
– Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-Scott
5. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, at same time
6. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb at 1-02
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 1-51
8. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM
9. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla
10. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Sunweb, at same time


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Elinor Barker claims GB’s second gold on final day of Track World Champs

Barker adds gold in the points race to two silvers she’d already taken at the 2017 Worlds

Elinor Barker took a sensational gold for GB on the final day of the Track World Championships, claiming victory in the points race.

It’s Britain’s second gold of the Worlds after Katie Archibald won the omnium on Friday.

Barker took two laps on the field to win with 59 points from Sarah Hammer of the USA (51) and Dutch rider Kirsten Wild (35).

The 22-year-old picked up points consistently through the race, including taking a lap midway through with Hammer.

Barker trailed Hammer by 51 to 39 points with only one sprint and 29 laps remaining, but she dealt the winning blow with 15 laps to go as she attacked.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 16/04/2017 – Cycling – 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Day 5 – Hong Kong Velodrome, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong – Great Britain’s Elinor Barker celebrates after winning Gold in the Women’s Points Race.

It took until six laps to go until Barker caught the bunch, but that propelled her into the lead with 59, with Hammer unable to take anything in the final sprint.

The Olympic team pursuit champion adds the gold and the rainbow jersey to two silvers she already took at the Worlds in the scratch race and the madison.

“I’m incredibly happy,” Barker said. “Until the last lap it was looking like another silver. I’m so happy it was a gold.”

Picture by SWpix.com – 16/04/2017 – Cycling – 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Day 5 – Hong Kong Velodrome, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong – Men’s Madison Finals – STEWART Mark and WOOD Oliver of Great Britain.

Elsewhere French pair Banjamin Thomas and Morgan Kneisky took the madison world title, with young British duo Mark Stewart and Ollie Wood pulled from the race before the final having lost two laps.

Katy Marchant was unable to break through the first round of the Keirin, with Germany’s Kristina Vogel taking the gold.

Academy rider Joe Truman finished 11th in the kilo, which was won by France’s François Pervis.


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Indongo batters Burns in unification clash

16/04/2017 07:45

IBF light welterweight champion Julius Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs) defeated WBA champion Ricky Burns (41-6-1, 14 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in a unification clash on Saturday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

 Indongo, little known outside of his homeland  of Namibia before he dethroned Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky by a 40 second first-round knockout in December, was busier, outboxed and hit harder than Burns and won by scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 116-112.

The Namibian used his height and reach advantage to dominate the action from the start and he teed off on Burns with left hands to the body and right hooks to the head in the first round.

Burns attempted to land some shots, but he could not get any offence going against the aggressive southpaw.
Indongo continued to stalk the Scotsman around the ring in the following rounds as he was landing punches at will.

Burns looked close to being stopped for the first time in his career in the eighth when  Indongo blasted away at him.

But that did not happen as the 34-year-old Burns showed his toughness and fired back with punches in the later rounds.

However Indongo, also 34, remained in control and the decision was never in doubt.

With the win, Indongo adds the WBA 140lb belt to his IBF title.

“I feel very proud. I’m very happy,” said Indongo.

“My home crowd are watching. It’s for the whole of Africa. This is so great.”

Burns said: “He was very awkward. He was a lot better than we thought he was going to be. He can hit as well.
I’ll come again.

“He had the reach advantage. He was catching me. The better man won tonight.”

Also on the card, Robbie Barrett (15-2-1, 1 KOs) dethroned previously unbeaten Scott Cardle (21-1-1, 7 KOs) to win the British lightweight title by a 12 round majority decision.

Barrett was floored in the second and fifth rounds, but as the fight progressed he outfought Cardle, who was cut in the fifth. 

The judges scored it 114-112 and 115-113 for Barrett, while the third had it 114-114.

Cardle was making his third title defence.

Charlie Edwards (10-1, 4 KOs) easily outpointed Iain Butcher (16-3, 5 KOs) to win the British super flyweight title.

Edwards was fighting for the first time under new trainer Adam Booth and has moved up in weight following his 10th round stoppage loss to John Riel Casimero in a IBF flyweight title bout last September.

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GB's Aljaz Bedene wins second ATP Challenger tournament in a row

Aljaz Bedene

British number four Aljaz Bedene beat Portugal’s Gastao Elias to win his second tournament in a row.

The Slovenia-born 27-year-old won 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in the clay-court Open Citta Della Disfada final in Barletta, Italy.

Bedene won the Verrazzano Open in France last week, and now has three titles to his name on the secondary ATP Challenger Tour in 2017.

He is on a 10-match unbeaten run, and is forecast to rise from 76th in the rankings to around 69th.

The clay-court specialist has now won 17 of his last 18 matches, with the only defeat coming on hard courts at the Miami Masters.

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(Video Interview) Taylor Ruck Reflects on Disappointing Canadian Trials

Taylor Ruck swam the 200 IM on the final day of the arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, less than a week after competing at Canada’s national meet. In Mesa, she spoke with Swimming World.

Ruck did not qualify for the World Championships for Canada, and she explained why she thinks this season was less successful than last summer, when she won two Olympic bronze medals. She explained what she needs to do to bounce back and looked ahead to getting to compete at the World Junior Championships in Indianapolis.

Watch more video interviews from Mesa by clicking here.

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Bikes from the 1950s onwards at Wilier

A look at some of Wilier’s collection of bikes going back to the 1950s

With a history going back to 1906, Wilier has a huge amount of cycling heritage. Founded by Pietro Dal Molin, the brand won the Giro d’Italia with Fiorenzo Magni in 1948.

>>> Wilier launches Cento10 Air aero road bike

Cambio Corsa gave you up to four speeds

Cambio Corsa gave you up to four speeds

It went into hiatus in the 1950s following an unsuccessful foray into motorcycles, before being resurrected by Lino and Antonio Gastaldello in 1970. Lino was killed in a collision with a car while out cycling in 2010 aged 71, but the company continues to be run by his three sons. His photo is displayed in several places around the Wilier factory north of Venice.

>>> Marco Pantani’s Alpe d’Huez record setting Wilier

A Wilier bike from the mid-1980s

A Wilier bike from the mid-1980s

Wilier’s bike collection goes back to the mid-1950s, when the acme of cycling tech was the Campagnolo Cambio Corsa rear mech. To choose between its three gears, all you had to do was to flip a lever on the seat stay to release the rear hub, back pedal to disengage the chain, flip another lever to push the chain between cogs, pedal forwards to reengage the chain and finally reflip the first lever to tighten the hub again. Pro cyclists could change gear in a few seconds.

>>> However large you like your gravel, Wilier has a bike for you

Campagnolo Nuovo Gran Sport rear mech

Campagnolo Nuovo Gran Sport rear mech

Wilier’s stock in trade was its Giallorosso frames, made by highly polishing the tubing before plating it and it has bikes in this finish going up to the mid-1980s on display.

>>> Wilier GTR Team Endurance Athena review

Engraved Campagnolo chainset in an all-Campag build

Engraved Campagnolo chainset in an all-Campag build

There’s some lovely lugwork on its older bikes along with an array of Campagnolo’s finest technology, much of which has been custom etched with Wilier’s branding.


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