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Wout van Aert, Peter Sagan, Rémi Cavagna win road race titles
Van Aert took his first Belgian road race title after squeezing out Edward Theuns with a bike throw. The pair had attacked along with Remco Evenpoel in the final 20km of the race and distanced the 21-year-old in the final hundred-meter dash for the line.
The win came in van Aert’s first race since he took victory at the Amstel Gold more than two months ago. Since then, he has seen his training disrupted and missed race time due to an appendix operation.
Van Aert dedicated the victory to the friend that had helped him through his recent difficulties.
“I dedicate this victory to ‘De Smol [Glenn Smolderen],’ a friend who lost his battle with bone cancer last month. I thought about him a lot. It was difficult to get here, but he has given me strength,” he said.
“In any case, this gives a lot of confidence for the Tour. A lot of riders came to ask if I hadn’t thrown the sand in my eyes in recent weeks, but I was really unsure at the start here. I hope I can show my jersey in the Tour. It’s one of the best in the pack.”
— Bruno Eulaerts (@BrunoEulaerts) June 20, 2021
Sagan took his seventh Slovakian national title – his first since 2018 – with ease, winning by three minutes over second-place Matúš Štoček. The third-place rider was some 12 minutes back.
Sonny Colbrelli beat Fausto Masnada in a sprint in Imola, Italy. Like van Aert and Sagan, Colbrelli will wear his new champion’s jersey at the Tour de France on Saturday.
Rémi Cavagna won the French road race after attacking solo with around 20km to go, some consolation after he was unable to defend his TT title due to a mid-race mechanical earlier in the week.
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) June 20, 2021
Timo Roosen won the Dutch race. Mathieu van der Poel had made a speculative attack as early as the second lap only to be brought back to heel. Van der Poel eventually abandoned the race with around 50km remaining,
Other notable winners Sunday include Patrick Konrad (Austria), Max Schachmann (Germany), Toms Skujinš (Latvia), and Omar Fraile (Spain).
Lotte Kopecky, Lisa Brennauer, Elisa Longo Borghini earn national road champion jerseys for another year
Kopecky was red-hot favorite for the win in Belgium and duly delivered. However, rather than winning with her big sprint, the 25-year-old went solo with around 8km to go.
“It’s not easy to succeed yourself. I had bad legs today and hoped to get through the first two hours or I would have a problem,” she said. “I couldn’t do a lot in the last laps so I did an all-or-nothing attack. I wasn’t feeling great so I didn’t want to bet on a sprint.”
— Liv Racing (@LivRacingWT) June 20, 2021
Longo Borghini and Brennauer both backed up their national TT victories earlier this week with success on the road. Longo Borghini won the race in Italy with a late solo move to take her third title while Brennauer beat Liane Lippert in a two-up sprint.
Brennauer now has four German road and time trial titles in her palmarès.
Jacopo Mosca suffers swathe of horror injuries in Italian TT championships crash
Jacopo Mosca has suffered a horrific list of injuries after crashing at the Italian TT championships Friday.
“The Italian rider crashed heavily yesterday during the Italian TT Championship,” read a statement from his Trek-Segafredo team Saturday.
“He never lost consciousness and he was transported to the Forlì hospital. Late last night, after the first treatment and checks, he was moved to Cesena’s hospital where he will stay for the next days.”
Medical checks Saturday morning and evening revealed that the 27-year-old suffered a fractured collarbone and scapula, fractured vertebrae and ribs, and two pneumothorax, one of which required a chest drain.
“In addition, Mosca also suffered a slight head trauma, and a scan has been performed to exclude any further consequences. The outcome was negative,” read the team statement.
“On Monday the doctors of Cesena hospital, in agreement with the Trek-Segafredo team medical staff, will decide if Mosca will require an osteosynthesis surgery to reduce the fracture of the scapula and collarbone.”
Despite his long list of injuries, Mosca was still able to send a message out to his teammates ahead of the road nationals Sunday.
Good luck to all my @TrekSegafredo ‘s teammates that around the World is racing in National Championship! Forza 💪🏼
— Jacopo Mosca (@SunJjak) June 20, 2021
Lisa Brennauer, Tony Martin add to German TT title haul
Martin scored his tenth national TT title Saturday, while Brennauer made it four with her victory in Öschelbronn.
Martin said the extreme heat of southwest Germany made his winning effort even tougher.
“I had to go deep,” he said. “The weather conditions were extreme. The heat made this time trial extra tough. Especially in the second part of the race, it hurt.
“It is special to win this title for the tenth time. I am looking forward to riding in my country’s jersey in time trials for another year.”
The 36-year-old will first display his 2021 champion’s jersey when he rolls out for stage 5 of the Tour de France, the first of two TTs in the race.
Brennauer, 33, also referenced the heat.
“Thanks to my support crew here, to our team and partners, and to everyone that has been supporting me to get the German flag around my chest,” she wrote.
“Amazing how coach Daniel Healey got me fit to the point and helped me to master the heat.”