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Thibau Nys sprints to U23 European road title
Thibau Nys lived up to expectations with a strong sprint from a small group to win the U23 European road race title Saturday.
Thibau, son of Belgian cyclocross legend Sven, kicked past Filippo Baroncini (Italy) and Juan Ayuso (Spain) after a group of seven riders emerged at the front of the 133km race through Trento.
Nys has long dominated the junior ‘cross scene, winning the world, European and Belgian titles last year. He started to put more focus on the road this season with his Baloise-Trek Lions team, taking a top-1o at the Baloise Tour earlier this summer. The 18-year-old will be back on the knobbly tires after racing the road worlds later this month.
“Normally my cyclocross season would start today. I got the question to ride the Euros and the worlds, I took the opportunity with both hands and I can’t believe how it worked out today,” he said.
“I will relax in the next few weeks (before starting the ‘cross season), my goal is already achieved so all that comes now is a bonus.”
— Baloise Trek Lions (@Baloise_Trek) September 11, 2021
Mark Cavendish rails at Tour of Britain motos
Mark Cavendish was at his vocal best on stage 6 of the Tour of Britain on Friday.
The Manx sprinter was twice captured railing at race motos for coming too close to the riders as he fought in the breakaway of Friday’s stage into Gateshead.
Cavendish first shouted at the race motorbike filming the breakaway when he believed the vehicle was riding too close to DSM rider and GC rival Mark Donovan. Cavendish and Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Tim Declerq had been working together in an effort to drop their opponent, who started the day within striking distance of the race leader’s jersey.
When the Quick-Step pair’s efforts looked to have paid off and Donovan started to lose the wheels, Cavendish was captured shouting and waving at the moto.
“You’re helping them! What’s wrong with you?!” he railed, believing the motorbike was offering Donovan a draft.
Shortly after the first outburst, Cavendish directly addressed the camera, speaking to viewers at home.
“For all you people at home, these motorbikes have a bearing on the race,” he said. “The guys are sat on them.”
The anger proved a waste of energy by the end of the stage. Wout van Aert won the bunch sprint and Cavendish’s GC leader Julian Alaphilippe finished third on the same time as race-leader Ethan Hayter. Donovan finished 10 seconds back.
Cav getting feisty!
Mark Cavendish "politely" informs the camera bike that he should stop giving a tow to Mark Donovan.
The breakaway had worked hard to distance the rider who sat 9th on GC at the Tour of Britain, as his presence induced a chase from behind. pic.twitter.com/C9K74U76j2
— GCN Racing (@GcnRacing) September 10, 2021
Silvia Zanardi wins U23 European road race title
Silvia Zanardi won the U23 European road race title Friday. The Italian 21-year-old outsprinted the hotly tipped pair of Blanka Vas (Hungary) and Évita Muzik (France) after the trio emerged at the front of the race following a series of attacks in the final lap.
Zanardi paid tribute to her teammate Gaia Realini, who played a major role in reeling in the late breakaway on the penultimate lap.
“In the final kilometers I kept asking for info on the gap, when I heard 20 seconds I realized it could be done. I owe a lot to team tactics today: Realini would go on the attack on the tough stretches, and I should have sat up in the group, trying to hold on as long as possible,” Zanardi said. “When Gaia faded a bit at the top, I managed to hold on with Vas: it was my chance, and I took it.”
Zanardi, who rides for the Continental Team Bepink, also won three U23 European titles on the track earlier this summer in Apeldoorn.