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João Almeida secures overall at Tour of Poland, Julius van den Berg wins final stage
João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won his first stage race as a pro at the Tour of Poland on Sunday. The young Portuguese ace finished in the bunch to retain his overnight GC lead and beat Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) by 20 seconds overall.
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) August 15, 2021
Julius van den Berg (EF Education-Nippo) won the final stage into Krakow after the breakaway upset the sprinters.
Van den Berg had escaped with four others at the very start of the day and the break made it all the way to the line. The Dutchman outsprinted attack companions Alexis Renard (Israel Start-Up Nation) and the young American Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) in Krakow just seconds ahead of the charging sprinters, who had left their chase too late in the tricky city-center circuit.
Top sprinters such as Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quick Step), John Degenkolb (Lotto-Soudal), and Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Emirates) crossed the line just three seconds behind the van den Berg, frustrated at having missed a golden late-season WorldTour opportunity.
Julius van den Berg niezwykle szczęśliwy i zmęczony po pięknym finiszu i zwycięstwie ostatniego etapu Tour de Pologne! @EFprocycling
— Tour de Pologne (@Tour_de_Pologne) August 15, 2021
Ladies Tour of Norway: Chloe Hosking wins final stage sprint, Annemiek van Vleuten seals GC
Annemiek van Vleuten won the overall of the Ladies Tour of Norway on Sunday.
Van Vleuten finished safely in the bunch in the fourth stage of the race after her Movistar team did a huge turn of work to navigate their leader through a technical circuit finish in Halden.
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx) and Kristen Faulkner (Tibco-SVB) finished second and third overall.
Hosking won the stage with a powerful sprint win after being hauled through the final approach into Halden by a huge one-rider leadout from Lucinda Brand.
Hosking still had a lot to do when Brand finally faded after her monster pull.
DSM massed at the front in the final kilometer to set up their sprinter Coryn Rivera, and Hosking had to freelance her way into their train. The DSM leadout melted away in the snaking final 500 meters and Hosking punched from the front early. The Aussie fended off a late challenge from Rivera to take her first stage win since joining Trek-Segafredo from Rally Cycling in the winter.
The victory has added resonance for Hosking, who has not raced since March after suffering COVID in the spring. The virus had caused the area surrounding Hosking’s heart to become inflamed and bring on pericarditis, further prolonging her comeback.
“I’m really proud of myself, I’m really grateful to the team,” a tearful Hosking said after the race. “The whole process of ‘there’s no pressure, come back when you’re ready.’ To finish with a win at a WorldTour stage race, wow … it was all worth it.”
Rivera placed second in the sprint, Chiara Consonni (Valcar Travel & Service) finished third.
Welsh student Illi Gardner smashes women’s Everesting record
Illi Gardner set a new Everesting record Saturday. The 21-year-old student rode reps of the Bwlch y Groes in south Wales to accumulate 8,848 meters ascent in 8:33:47, 20 minutes faster than the previous mark set by Emma Pooley.
The 550-meter, 17.4 percent climb saw Gardner repping at around five minutes per climb for a mind-boggling number of ascents. Her total ride covered 107.5km.
“Had a little breakdown at 45 reps when both weather and legs took a turn for the worse – and squirrely sheep nearly ruined the day!” she wrote on Strava. “Thanks Dad for sitting in the fog for nine hours.”
The ride has been recognized and verified by Everesting overseers the Hells 500.
“Huge congratulations from the crew for 21-year-old Illi Gardner from Cams-Basso Bikes for setting a new Everesting record time of 08:33:47 in 105.6km at a leg-melting average of 17.4%!” said a post on Hells 500 social media.
“The segment was pre-verified by the wonderful folk at Integrated Informatics using LiDAR – and we’ll drop some additional details on that shortly. Rest up Illi!”
Gardner races for the UK-based continental team Cams-Basso while studying visual effects at university.
You can check out her ride on Strava here.
Our very own climbing queen has been at it again! @IlliGardner has set a new everesting record of 8:33:47 on Bwlch y Groes in Wales. She beat the previous record set by Emma Pooley by almost 20 minutes. #camsbasso2021 pic.twitter.com/dl9fEWQD18
— CAMS-Racing (@CAMS_BassoBikes) August 15, 2021