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VN news ticker: Jasper Philipsen wins Tour of Turkey stage 6, Primož Roglič to bypass Tour de France warm-up races

Here's what's making the headlines on Friday, April 16.

Tour of Turkey stage 6: Jasper Philipsen pips André Greipel

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) took victory by the slimmest of margins over André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) in a hotly contested sprint finish on stage 6 of the Tour of Turkey.

The hilly parcours led to a flurry of late attacks, but the big-name sprinters were all there at the finish.

Israel Start-Up Nation dominated the front going into the final kilometer and Greipel was the first to go, launching a blistering sprint from the wheel of his last man. He looked like might be on course to win until Philipsen passed him within meters of the line.

Kristoffer Halvorsen (Uni-X Pro Cycling) claimed third place, and Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) took fourth.

Overnight leader José Manuel Díaz finished safely in the bunch to maintain his lead in the general classification.

Rally Cycling exits Turkey tour following COVID case

Rally Cycling pulled out of the Tour of Turkey following a COVID diagnosis overnight.

Team officials told Cyclingnews.com that a member of the team’s entourage was diagnosed in routine checks, and the U.S.-registered team decided to withdraw ahead of Friday’s sixth stage.

The team won the opening stage with Arvid De Kleijn, who wore the leader’s jersey in the following stage.

“We were hoping to finish the [Tour of Turkey] under different circumstances,” the team wrote on social media. “But all of our team members are doing well.”

https://twitter.com/Rally_Cycling/status/1383019339989856256

Primož Roglič to bypass Tour de France warm-up races

Primož Roglič will do away with tradition and skip Tour de France warm-up races to conserve energy for the Olympic Games at the end of July, according to a report in L’Équipe.

Jumbo-Visma sports director Frans Maassen told the French sports daily that Roglič will not compete after the end of next week’s Ardennes classics until the Tour start on June 26. Instead, the Slovenian will utilize altitude training camps to find his form for the summer.

Also read: VeloNews Podcast: Primož Roglič’s Basque Country masterpiece; Cav is back; Mike Creed on U.S. racing

“He raced a lot last year,” said Maassen. “And these two months without racing will allow him to store some freshness to be able to link the Tour de France and the Olympics, which are a big goal for him. This is what we have decided and, barring an incident, there will be no change.”

So far, Roglič raced Paris-Nice and Itzulia Basque Country, which he won overall. He is set to ride Amstel Gold on Sunday before Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège next week.

Masters MTB racer given four-year suspension for 10 banned substances

American masters downhill MTB racer Vahe Aivazian, 52, has been handed a four-year ban after he was found guilty of using or attempting to use a massive 10 banned substances. Among the nefarious products found in Aivazian’s possession were testosterone, nandrolone, and growth hormones.

The Californian’s case stretches back to June 2010, and all of his results since then have been scratched off the record books. After initially trying to contest the case, Aivazian accepted the sanction a day before it was due to go to arbitration.

“An essential part of an effective anti-doping program is to work closely with athletes, coaches, and others in sport and elsewhere who want clean and fair competition and to thoroughly investigate and act on credible evidence of doping violations,” said U.S. Anti-Doping Association CEO Travis Tygart.

SD Worx to donate Amstel Gold Race prize money to charity

Doing well at this weekend’s Amstel Gold Race will mean more than pride and sporting success for the SD Worx team.

The Dutch squad will donate any prize money it receives at the one-day race to a dementia research project called TRADE.

In addition to prize money, the team will auction off one of its bikes and five team jerseys signed by the entire squad.

https://twitter.com/teamsdworx/status/1382966275685552135

Top women’s team’s launch ‘The Run Up’ web series

Canyon-SRAM, Trek-Segafredo, and SD Worx have banded together to create a new web series called “The Run Up.”

The new documentary-style series will premier April 24, and seeks to take fans behind the scenes as the teams build up to some of cycling’s biggest races on the calendar.

“The Run Up is a great new project to help bring fans closer to the top teams and personalities of the sport,” said Canyon-SRAM rider Tiffany Cromwell.

“It’s an opportunity for the world to gain a greater insight into what goes on behind the scenes at the highest level, to prepare for the world’s biggest and toughest races and the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with it. It’s an exciting new project that I’m confident will help widen the audience of women’s cycling and hopefully bring more people into the sport and inspire people along the way.”

Though initially tracking the journey of just three teams, additional squads are planned as the series develops.