The GCN Race News Show: Tour Of Oman, Ruta Del Sol, Volta Ao Algarve & Superprestige Cyclo-Cross

This week on the GCN Racing News Show, the world’s media descends on Andalucia as Chris Froome starts his season, classics riders get the ball rolling in Oman, the busy French early season continues in the Tour du Haut Var, we’re in Portugal for the Volta Algarve, and the cyclocross season comes to a close in Belgium.

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4 times the normal number of journalists attended this year’s Ruta Del Sol in Spain. NOT because the racing was due to be any more exciting or spectacular than usual, but simply because it marked the return to racing of Team Sky’s Chris Froome.

Controversial, for the simple reason that the case of his adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol remains unresolved. It’s a complicated topic, since under UCI rules, he is allowed to compete, and had it not been for an internal leak, none of us would know about this unless he is ultimately found guilty of wrongdoing.

But we do know, everybody knows, that it could be argued that by racing, he’s bringing negative publicity to pro cycling, and goodness only knows our sport could do without more of that. However We asked you last week and 54% of you said that you think Froome SHOULD race through to the decision of his case.

Fortunately though Since Froome didn’t win anything, attention soon switched to those who did. On stage 1 Sacha Modolo became the 2nd rider this year to raise his arms in celebration prematurely, while Thomas Boudat had already crossed the line first on the other side of the road. Modolo did make amends on day 3 though, taking his first win in his new EF Education First colours.

Stage 2 the day before was the first hill top finish, up the brutally steep Alto de Allanadas. Tim Wellens did what he does best, attacking with just over a kilometre to go, and showing the pure climbers how it’s done. Almost… he was brought back before the line, as Wout Poels timed his acceleration perfectly to take the win.

Wellens did get his just desserts on stage 4, though, attacking at the bottom of the final steep climb along with Mikel Landa The Belgian was far more at home on the cobbles, comfortably taking the stage win, and with enough time over Poels to take the leader’s jersey.

Which he duly kept by finishing 8th in the final stage time trial, won by Team Sky’s new recruit David De La Cruz. Interestingly, that 14km test took in some Strade Bianche style gravel roads, which we have to say looked pretty cool. Well done to Tim Wellens, though – he’s always a fun rider to watch racing, and so it seems fitting to make him this week’s Rider Of The Week.

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Watch more on GCN…
Race News Show Episode 6 📹
How Can You Make Your Commute More Aero?! 📹

Photos: © Bettiniphoto / & ©Tim De Waele /

Music: Jack Elphick – Head Nod Supreme 2

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