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VN news ticker: Elise Chabbey wins Suisse sprint, Remco Evenepoel returns to racing

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, June 5.

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Elise Chabbey wins stage 1 of revitalized women’s Tour de Suisse

Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) outsprinted Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) to win stage 1 of the two-day women’s Tour de Suisse.

Also read: Women’s Tour de Suisse returns after crowdfunding saves the race

The Swiss champion attacked from a small group at 15km to go and it was only Deignan that could respond.

The pair rode together to hold off the chasers and went into the final 300 meters locked together. Deignan was forced into leading out the kick for the line, and Chabbey came off the wheel in the final 100m. The pair went shoulder-to-shoulder before Chabbey pulled away in the closing stretch to take her second pro victory.

Marlen Russer (Alé BTC) made it a Swiss one-three on the podium. She chased solo through the finale as Mikayla Harvey (Canyon-SRAM) and Jolanda Neff (Swiss Cycling) failed to pull her back as a pair.

The race wraps up Sunday with a flat 97km blast around Frauenfeld.

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Rasmus Tiller win Dwaars door het Hageland

SD Worx took a one-two with Chantal van den Broek Blaak and Christine Majerus at the mixed-surface Dwaars door het Hageland.

Van den Broek-Blaak won solo after attacking a lead group that formed on a dirt section at around 55km to go.

A small group chased but was unable to pull back the flying race-leader. The pursuers hit the final cobbled climb together, and Majerus proved strongest with her punchy uphill sprint, beating Lorena Wiebes (DSM), who came third.

Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) won the men’s race in a reduced sprint after a group went clear in the final hour of the race. The Norweigan beat Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty) and Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step).

Remco Evenepoel returns to racing at Elfstedenronde

Remco Evenepoel will be back in the peloton for the first time since abandoning the Giro d’Italia this weekend.  The 21-year-old will race at the Elfstedenronde on Sunday.

Evenepoel got off to a stellar start at the Giro last month, riding into second place through the middle of the race. However, the wheels began to come off his debut grand tour on stage 11 when he suffered race-ending five-minute losses.

Evenepoel eventually abandoned the Giro after stage 17 when a crash on a descent left him with cuts to his arms and knee.

Little over one week later, Evenepoel is raring to get back to racing.

“He wants to race and we would like him to race,” team manager Patrick Lefevere told Het Laatste Nieuws. “So it was clear very quickly which direction we would go.”

Evenepoel will use the cobbled Elfstedenronde race to refind his racing rhythm but is not expected to be competitive.

“We still had one place available in the selection — only six instead of seven riders had been designated — so he could be fitted in easily and quickly,” Lefevere said.

Tim Merlier (Alepcin-Fenix), Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) are also expected to line up in Belgium on Sunday.

Alejandro Valverde relishes Critérium du Dauphiné stage victory

Alejandro Valverde kicked to his 129th pro victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Friday.

The ageless Spanish ace bettered Tao Geoghegan Hart in the uphill sprint on the race’s sixth stage to score the second win of his 20th season in the peloton.

At 41 years old, Valverde is resolutely bucking the trend of dominance from increasingly youthful riders such as Tour de France champ Tadej Pogacar (22) and Giro d’Italia winner Egan Bernal (24).

“A special victory? Every single one I get is special, even more so now – being up there with the best, contesting these victories, is even more beautiful after everything I’ve done as a pro,” he said.

Valverde’s new Movistar teammate Migue Ángel López set up the sprint with a long pull in the final kilometer. Valverde praised his Colombian wingman’s efforts.

“I’m so, so happy. Before anything, I have to mention and congratulate and thank my teammates, for all the work they’ve done for the past few days, ever since the start of the race and even more so today,” Valverde said.

“Close to the line, López told me on the radio: ‘Should I push, so no one can attack?’ I told him to go ahead – and I have to thank him especially for that, because he was incredible.”