– What happened? –
Niklas Arndt (Team Sunweb) took his squad’s maiden victory of 2017 with a small group sprint victory in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
The German’s victory in the UCI WorldTour’s first one-day Classic of the season came when he outpowered a 23-strong group. Second was Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) and third Cameron Meyer with the Australian National Team.
“We had a good plan to cover different scenarios on the difficult final lap,” Arndt, whose last win came in the final stage of the 2016 Giro d’Italia, said in a team press release. “I had to fight really hard to survive the final climbs.”
Cofidis Solutions Crédits (FRA), Fortuneo-Vital Concept (FRA), Direct Energie (FRA) and Wanty-Groupe Gobert (BEL) will be the four wild card teams in the 2017 Tour de France.
Following the two Australian rounds of the UCI WorldTour, Orica-Scott are the new leaders of the UCI WorldTour Teams ranking with 951 points, overtaking BMC Racing Team (867). Bora-Hansgrohe are a distant third. Santos Tour Down Under winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team), 21st in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race, remains the overall UCI World Tour individual leader (672 points), considerably distancing Orica-Scott’s Esteban Chaves (422). Nathan Haas (Team Dimension Data) moves up a spot into third.
– What’s next? –
Abu Dhabi Tour (UAE) > February 23 – 26
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (BEL) > February 25
– Focus on Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) –
Giacomo Nizzolo is an Italian cyclist with Trek-Segafredo. Born in Milan on January 30th 1989, he turned pro with Leopard-Trek in 2010. Nizzolo’s only win at UCI WorldTour level was a stage of the Eneco Tour in August 2012. He has never raced the Vuelta a España or Tour de France, but twice won the points classification of the Giro d’Italia, (2016 and 2015). Last year he netted one of Italy’s top autumn races, the Gran Piemonte, the Italian Championships road race, and a stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, after which he said his big goal for 2017 would be to improve in the Classics.
– Photo of the week –