Catch up on some weird and wonderful snippets from the world of cycling, starting with Alexander Kristoff's win at home in Norway.

  

Kristoff (Katusha) outsprinted John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) by a whisker at the finish in Rognan. 

Six riders escaped for the day holding a seven minute lead for most of the way. The peloton slowly drew them back in, the final rider caught within the final five kilometres of the 176km stage. 

"We didn’t want to use the team to pull for the entire day, so we used a few guys to help control. When I saw other teams come forward the gap came down fast and with 30 km to go I felt confident we had it under control and would bring them back," Kristoff said. 

"I think I was a bit lucky because at the end I lost my teammates. I came on the wheel of Degenkolb and he timed the sprint perfectly, but lucky for me he had some technical issues with his gears jumping and I managed to pass him. 

"I think actually I would have had trouble passing him if he had a smooth sprint."

Degenkolb agreed with Kristoff's sentiments. 

“I felt really good and strong throughout the whole stage. The team did a great job in supporting me all day. In the finale, I was set up perfectly for the sprint and I think I could have won without the mechanical problems," Degenkolb said. 

While the German has not yet taken a win since returning to the peloton in May after his horror early season crash, fighting closely for a victory is a considerable improvement given the extent of his injuries. 

But the day was marred by a crash after the riders crossed the finish line.  

 

Friday 12 Aug 2016

Current UCI women's World Hour record holder and recent Giro Rosa multiple stage winner Evelyn Stevens has announced 2016 as her last year as a pro rider. 

It’s been awesome,” Stevens told me Wednesday. She recalled her early days on Wall Street. “Thinking back to that cubicle in Lehman Brothers…”

“I got to travel the world. I raced with some of the best women out there, got to do the Olympic time trial, the road race twice, won some races, lost some races, crashed terribly…it’s been more than I ever could have expected.”

“Really, I’m ready for the next challenge. Eventually you have to end being a professional cyclist. You can’t do it forever. So I feel like I’m going to end it on a high note, while I’m still good, still on top of my game," Stevens told the Wall Street Journal. 

BMC sports director Valeria Piva said the Vuelta a Espana team will be focused around supporting Samuel Sanchez with van Garderen to also enjoyed protected status. 

"We have chosen a strong, balanced team built around Samuel Sánchez and Tejay van Garderen.

"Sánchez is our leader for the General Classification and van Garderen is another protected rider. The rest of the riders have been selected for their ability to win stages. The opening Team Time Trial is our first objective. Riders like Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Silvan Dillier, and Danilo Wyss are all capable of going in a breakaway and trying to win a stage. The 

"Of course all nine are really good riders and we have a strong team who will help protect Sánchez and position him well," Piva said. 

The team is also without Taylor Phinney who had previously stated he hoped to ride the Olympic Games and then the Vuelta. 

The team has not commented on his absence. 

BMC to the Vuelta: Darwin Atapuma, Silvan Dillier), Jempy Drucker, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Samuel Sánchez, Dylan Teuns, Tejay van Garderen, and Danilo Wyss. 

SBS Vuelta coverage: 

Vuelta a Espana Daily Highlights

  • Sunday 21st  August - Tuesday 30th August 1700 – 1730 SBS
  • Thursday 1st September – Tuesday 6th September 1700 – 1730 SBS
  • Thursday 8th September – Monday 12th September 1700 – 1730 SBS

Live coverage of final eight stages: 

  • Sat 3 September: Stage 14: Urdatx-Dantxarinea to Aubisque - 2330 – 0200 AEST sbs (Live to East) – Provisional subject to EPL
  • Sunday 4th September: Stage 15: Sabinanigo to Aramon Formigal - 2330 – 0200 AEST SBS (Live to East)
  • Monday 5th September: Stage 16: Alcaniz to Peniscola - 2330 – 0200 AEST SBS (Live to East)
  • Wednesday 7th September: Stage 17: Castellon to Llucena - 2400 – 0200 AEST SBS (Live to East)
  • Thursday 8th September: Stage18: Requena to Gandia - 2330 – 0200 AEST SBS (Live to East)
  • Friday 9th September: Stage 19: Xabia to Calp 2330 – 0200 AEST SBS (Live to East)
  • Saturday 10th September: Stage 20: Benidorm to Alto de Aitana - 2400 AEST (Live to East) Provisional subject to EPL 
  • Sunday 11th September: Stage 21: Las Rozas to Madrid -2330 – 0200 AEST SBS (Live to East)