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VN news ticker: Marc Hirschi solos to Tour of Luxembourg stage 2 win, Alberto Contador begins ride to Italy

Here's what's making headlines on Wednesday, September 15.

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Marc Hirschi solos to Tour of Luxembourg stage 2 win

Marc Hirschi (UAE-Team Emirates) took control of the overall race lead with solo win on stage 2 of the 2021 Tour of Luxembourg.

This was Hirschi’s first win of the 2021 season.

The Swiss rider beat the overnight race leader and future teammate João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) with a late attack at three kilometers out from the finish in Eschdorf.

The remains of a four-man break were brought back at 40km to go on the work of Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ on the first of three trips up the Côte de Eschdorf, after previously summiting four categorized climbs along the route.

The acceleration shattered the peloton that had been controlled by Deceuninck-Quick-Step to protect Almeida’s lead.

Team Arkéa-Samsic animated the race on the second-to-last lap of the Côte de Eschdorf before Deceuninck-Quick-Step again went to the front, lead by Mauri Vansevenant.

Anthony Turgis (Team TotalEnergies) went clear of the big group at 20km to go, but was caught by Hirschi on the third and final lap of the Eschdorf, at 6km.

Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Davide Formolo (UAE-Team Emirates) went with Hirschi’s move. When Hirschi made his final attack, Formolo had only to watch his teammate go up the road for the win.

Tour of Luxembourg stage 2 Results

  1. Marc Hirschi (UAE-Team Emirates), 4:45:12
  2. João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), at :08
  3. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.

Tour of Luxembourg General Classification

  1. Marc Hirschi (UAE-Team Emirates), 8:01:06
  2. João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), at :04
  3. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), at :19 s.t.

Alberto Contador begins 1,600km ride to Milan

Alberto Contador is living up to his promise.

In May, Contador said he’d ride from Madrid to Milan if a rider from his Eolo-Kometa team won a stage during the Giro d’Italia. The team lived up to its end of the bargain when Lorenzo Fortunato claimed a stunning win atop Monte Zoncolan, one of the hardest climbs in Europe.

Contador left Madrid this week, and knocked out 365km the first day en route to Milan with a group of riders. Contador, who retired in 2017, created the second-tier team along with his brother, Fran, and former pro Ivan Basso.

Spain names world championships squad without Alejandro Valverde

Former world champion Alejandro Valverde won’t be racing for the stripes this year.

The veteran Spanish rider, who crashed out of the Vuelta a España last month with a broken clavicle, is not part of the eight-rider elite men’s roster revealed Wednesday by the Spanish federation.

Leading for Spain will be Iván García Cortina and Mavi García in the men’s and women’s road races.

Also riding in the women’s team is Ani Santesteban, Sara Martín, Lourdes Oyarbide, Sheyla Gutiérrez, and Eider Merino. Ziortza Isasi will race the time trial.

Joining Iván Cortina will be Carlos Rodríguez (also racing the time trial), Alex Aranburu, Gonzalo Serrano, Imanol Erviti, Gorka Izagirre, Roger Adría, and Antonio Soto.

A few other big names were left off, including Ion Izagirre and Luis León Sánchez.

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