The Vuelta route has been announced - It’s ordinary by Vuelta standards but well suited to Mitchelton Scott’s band of GC riders.
first week looks brutal.
Katusha have two cyclists by application to finish their team for the Bay Crits starting in five days.
And no Mitchelton Scott at the Bay Crits in 2019 - And only 7 days to the men’s RR at the Nationals.
No real surprise, there’s nothing of interest for MS at the Bay Crits.
Thought Gerry Ryan was the long term sponsor of the Bay Crits.
Anyway think MS need to have a real crack at the Criterium and RR at the Nationals as the rest of the summer will probably be slim pickings.
I think he still is.
Impey will still be in with a real shot at the TDU,
Who knows at the Sun Tour.
Gerry is still a secondary sponsor so it’s strange neither the men or women’s team are riding the Bay Crits - Doubt Impey can repeat with a better quality field in place at the TDU - Sun Tour will be tough with Porte riding as well as Sky - And it will be tough for MS to sneak a stage win at the TDU with Ewan and Viviani in the field.
Interesting to see that the Bay Crit page still has Durbridge still riding the event.
But the official entry list doesn’t
Durbridge is on the Lexus of Blackburn team - He and Spratt are the two MS riders for the Bay Crits.
Katusha’s Haller wins the mens race.
Spratt wins the opening women’s race.
Full results of day 1
Ewan had some problem, I actually thought he was lapped which would have eliminated him.
[Ewan] pulled into the pits about 20 minutes into the one-hour elite men’s race, reporting a tight head stem and a dropped seat post to race officials.
But head commissaire Karen O’Callaghan explained that under cycling rules, they were not mechanical mishaps.
That meant Ewan could not receive a free lap while his problems were fixed, meaning he was out of contention.
“I didn’t exactly understand what the rules were, so I thought if you had a mechanical you could go to the pits,” Ewan said
A decade since they began their cycling careers together, Richie Porte and Will Clarke are teaming up again at the highest level.
The competitive rivalry between the 33-year-old Tasmanians dates back more than twice that long, but since cutting their teeth together in Australian domestic events they have taken contrasting career paths to a WorldTour reunion.
Products of Andrew Christie-Johnston’s Hobart-based Praties team, Porte and Clarke both begin two-year contracts with Belgian-based US-backed Trek-Segafredo on January 1.
While Clarke has yoyoed between the sport’s levels, Porte has become one of its top names, winning major European races and developing into a leading Tour de France contender.
But in the process of amassing a dozen teams between them, the pair have remained mates, training partners and big fans of each other’s ability.
“I’m genuinely excited about riding with Will again,” Porte said.
“Not just because he’s one of my best mates but because he is one of the biggest engines in world cycling, that’s a fact. And I don’t think he’s always been used to the best of his abilities.
“I’m really looking forward to riding together and seeing him get opportunities because he can win races. If he attacks at the right time there are not many guys that can bring him back.
“He’s easy going and a good guy to have around so will be a great teammate.”
Returning to a team he shared with the likes of Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O’Grady, Jens Voigt and the Schleck brothers in 2011, Clarke is equally excited about supporting a more familiar face.
“Trek was actually my first team so it’s nice to be going back and finally be teammates with Richie in the WorldTour,” he said.
“We actually did not do a lot of races together. Richie helped me get into Praties, he gave Andrew a recommendation but he had outgrown the team by the time I joined.
We did the Tour of Tasmania together in 2008 which Richie won. That was 10 years ago but we always train together. We keep each other motivated and it’s always easy to train with someone who wants to train hard if you are both on the same page.
“I’ve had a couple of lean years results-wise so it would be nice to win a race for myself, help the team do well and help Richie win one of the WorldTour races.”
Both born and schooled in Launceston, the pair first locked horns in the Northern Sports Association of Tasmanian Independent Schools’ assorted sporting arenas.
Hailing from Campbell Town, Clarke went to Launceston Church Grammar and became an excellent track runner while Porte, grew up in Hadspen, went to St Patrick’s College and initially targeted triathlons.
He is one of the biggest engines in world cycling, that’s a fact
Richie Porte on Will Clarke
“We’ve been competing against each other since we were 12 years old,” Clarke said. “I remember swimming, running and playing footy against him because we were the same age.
“We had a few tussles. Richie won in the pool and used to beat me in the cross-country. I was second at Marist one year when he won. I was better at shorter events like the 800 and 400m.
“It’s funny we’ve ended up as pro cyclists. We would not have thought about that when running around Symmons Plains at cross-countries or inter-school swimming at the pool.”
Porte helped Clarke join Praties but insists that the impetus behind their latest reunion came more from Trek boss Luca Guercilena who remembered him from their Leopard-Trek days
“Luca had worked with Will and really wanted him so I was delighted.
“I remember when I was at Praties Will turning up at races just riding for himself and I said to ACJ that he had a big engine and gave us some big headaches.”
Porte’s pro career with SaxoBank (2010-11), Sky (2012-15) and BMC (2016-18) yielded victories at Paris-Nice (2013 and '15), Volta ao Algarve ('12), Giro del Trentino ('15), Volta a Catalunya ('15), Tour de Romandie ('17), Tour Down Under ('17) and this year’s Tour de Suisse while also helping Alberto Contador, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome to Grand Tour success.
Since leaving Sky he has spearheaded BMC’s Tour de France campaigns and is expected to do the same for Trek-Segafredo, potentially opening the door for Clarke to ride the world’s biggest race.
“Of course I’d want him on the Tour de France but I’m joining a new team and I don’t know the structure yet but he’s a guy who would be handy to have for sure,” Porte said.
“He’s won stages of the Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour and can win anything if he has the right opportunity. Will’s dealt with a lot in his career.”
After graduating from the Continental ranks, Clarke rode WorldTour with AG2R La Mondiale (2010) and Leopard Trek, dropped into Pro-Continental with Champion System (2012), returned to WorldTour for a year with Argos-Shimano before five years with Drapac, the last two at the elite level after the team merged with Cannondale.
Porte and Clarke have spent the last few weeks training together on their familiar daily Scottsdale loop, frequently joined by a who’s who of Tasmanian sport including cyclists, triathletes and even cross-training Australian marathon runner runner Josh Harris who as represented Australia at the world Championships.
They plan to celebrate their official cycling reunion on January 1 the way they know best – with a shot at their own hotly-contested Strava “world record” for the Rocherlea to Waverley circuit which currently stands at 2:58.15.
Gotta hand it to Will Clarke for surviving in the WT with a limited skill set - Maybe he’s related to the Marsh boys.
Reckon your original prognosis was correct that Ewan should have been out of the race - Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things - Spratt was classes above the field in the women’s crit.
MS mens have named all their team except for Haig for the Nationals RR. They have no lead contender but multiple options. Reckon this will suit C.Meyer. Stannard for the criterium and Meyer, Durbridge and Scotson for the ITT.
Chloe Hosking won the women’s race today.