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Why Do Ceramic Bearings Produce a Better Performance?


What is it that makes ceramic ball bearings so sought after? The key is in the materials that are used to make ceramic products. Many experienced cyclists and professionals use ceramic bearings or perhaps ceramic hybrid bearings, for a superior performance. They are known to be much stronger than steel, but lighter at the same time. Of course, this is reflected in the higher costs of ceramic bearings in comparison to steel and stainless steel bearings. What are ceramic bearings constructed from and could they be right for you?

Ceramic Bearing Construction

As we’ve mentioned, ceramic bearings have a great reputation for being stronger, lighter, and for lasting much longer than other materials. What are ceramic bearings made from? They are constructed from either Zirconium Oxide or Silicon Nitrate. We use Zirconia to produce our ceramic bearings. Zirconium Oxide has high strength over a wide temperature range. You can see why it is so popular when used in the bike industry, as it is so strong and durable, despite being exposed to challenging conditions. What about its shock loading capabilities? Though ceramic bearing material is stronger than steel it is more susceptible to shock loading which is why we don’t recommend it for off road cycling. Ideally they would be used in a spare set of wheels you keeping for racing or when you really need the performance gains ceramic bearings can provide.

Ceramic Bearings

Ceramic bearings may cost more, but they do offer many advantages over rival materials. We’ve established that ceramic bearings are much lighter than steel bearings. Experts claim that ceramic is up to 60% lighter than steel, which is quite substantial. Could this benefit your bike? Ceramic is also harder than steel and it produces less friction than steel ball bearings, which is where the greatest gains could be. It’s possible to polish ceramic ball bearings to a high level, so that they rotate with less friction. In theory, your ceramic bearings should allow your wheels to keep spinning for longer. What about other benefits? Many who use ceramic bearings claim that they experience less vibration and that the overall ride is smoother. Does this sound attractive to you?

Hybrid Ceramic Bearings

What exactly are hybrid ceramic bearings? As the name would suggest, they have stainless steel and ceramic materials – the races are made from stainless steel, whereas the ball bearings are ceramic. Hybrid ceramic bearings seek to combine the best of both worlds - anti-corrosion properties with superior strength and speed.

Largest Selection of Ceramic Bearings

So, if you’ve decide to use ceramic or hybrid ceramic bearings for your bike, where should you go to buy them? Aire Velo Bearings stock one of the largest range of bearings anywhere within the UK, including ceramic bearings and we can help you to upgrade your bike. The ceramic bearings that we supply are suitable for bike wheels and bottom brackets. We are confident that you will find what you are looking for on our website, whatever type of bearings you choose.

Why not contact us on our website today to see what we can do for you!

Why Do Ceramic Bearings Produce a Better Performance?

Brilliant Ball Bearings to Upgrade Your Bike


What is one of the most important aspects of your bike, which makes it work effectively? The ball bearings. When you stop to think about it, ball bearings are at the centre of any part that rotates on your bike. Do you prefer steel, stainless steel, or ceramic balls? They each have their own attributes and it comes down to personal preferences and what you use your bike for. Aire Velo Bearings stock one of the widest selection of bearings in the UK and we can help you to upgrade your bike by using quality ball bearings.

Steel and Stainless Steel Balls

Let’s start with steel and stainless steel balls primarily for headsets and wheels. Steel balls are the most affordable option and they perform to a high level. Steel is widespread largely due to its strength and durability. Of course, they must be maintained using oil and other rust inhibitors to avoid any corrosion. What about our stainless steel ball bearings? These have the added value being resistant to rust, as well as being hardwearing. Both our steel and stainless steel balls are grade 10 balls, which means that they are manufactured to very precise standards.

Ceramic Balls

Ceramic balls are lighter, create less friction, and need less maintenance than other ball bearings. The ceramic balls that we provide have an even higher level of precision and are grade five balls. They are more expensive than steel and stainless steel ball bearings, but they are estimated to last many times longer. It really depends on your budget and how you use your bike. All our ball bearings are competitively priced and represent affordable options for you to consider. With ceramic balls, you may have to pay more at the beginning, but their longevity makes them a popular choice with many cyclists.

Wide Selection of Sizes

As premier suppliers of ball bearings, we can offer a wide selection of sizes for you to choose from. If you consider the different types of bike out there, we aim to provide something for everyone. What dimensions of steel, stainless steel, and ceramic balls can we offer you? We supply 1/4 inch, 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 5/32 inch, and 7/32 inch options. We are confident that we can find the correct size ball bearings for your bike. Once you select what you require, we offer a quick delivery service, including same day shipping if you order it before 2pm.

High-Quality Products

Regardless of what type of ball bearings you choose, all of them are high-quality products. You bike relies on these small but essential components to perform well, so it’s best not to compromise on quality. We’ve gathered a lot of experience over the years and we are happy to help you in any way.

Would you like any additional information about our ball bearings? You can fill in our online contact form and will look forward to getting back in touch with you promptly.



Brilliant Ball Bearings to Upgrade Your Bike

Our Mountain Bike Bearings Will Help You to Conquer the World


Can you remember the first time that you saw the amazing mountain bike? Its rugged, striking design with over-sized wheels and chunky tires, is just perfect for tackling rough terrain, hills, and mountains. This super-tough bike can go almost anywhere. What is one of the most important ways to maintain your mountain bike’s optimum performance? By installing top-quality mountain bike bearings to cope with demanding off-road biking. Aire Velo Bearings are premier UK suppliers of bike bearings and we offer one of the widest selection of stock in Britain. What types of bike bearings can you purchase from us to keep your mountain bike in tip-top condition?

A Selection of High-Quality Bearings

What type of bearings do you prefer? We provide a selection of high-quality bearings for you to choose from. Maybe you like the traditional steel bearings and we stock these for bottom brackets, hubs, wheels, pedals, and headsets. This means that the cage, outer and inner race, and the balls themselves are constructed of steel, along with rubber seals. The steel bearings have an ABEC 7 precision rating. You can rely on all our products to give you a consistent performance. If you would like stainless steel bearings on your mountain bike, we have a full range for you to select from. We also offer hybrid and full ceramic bike bearings for you to consider.

Reliable Performance

When you are out and about on your mountain bike, you need to have full confidence that your bike equipment won’t let you down. Can you imagine the implications of product failure when you are halfway up a mountain? By installing our unbeatable quality bearings, you can have total confidence that our bearings won’t let you down. We have over 30 years of experience in the industrial bearing industry and for over five years we have been providing bike bearings. Our bearing products are tried and tested in-house, so your confidence isn’t misplaced. When you consider the speeds and stunts that you perform on your mountain bike, you need to be able to focus on what you are doing. By investing in our top-quality mountain bike bearings, you can tackle any challenge knowing that you are using the best quality bearings available.

Advantages of Mountain Bikes

What are some of the undeniable advantages of mountain bikes? They provide an amazing weight to strength ratio. As well as being extremely lightweight (which is good when you are scaling a mountain or flying through the air) the mountain bike design absorbs vibration and offers you a compliant ride. For climbing up steep hills and covering rough terrain, is there a better bike available? By choosing to buy our products, you will find that your overall biking experience will be enhanced. If you take good care of your mountain bike, it will take good care of you.

Why not visit our website today? You will find an incredible array of bike bearings for you to choose from.


Our Mountain Bike Bearings Will Help You to Conquer the World

High-Quality Headset Bearings to Improve Your Handling


Remember the old days when the steering on your bike was often clunky, stiff and had excessive play? The advancements in bike engineering technology means that you can enjoy the smoothest handlebar action imaginable. The key is to upgrade your bike with our high-quality headsets. Aire Velo Bearings are bearings specialists and we have one of the widest selection of bike headset bearings within the UK. Does it really make any difference to your biking experience? What can we do for you?

The Importance of Headsets

Very few things are as important as the steering system on your bike. It’s the sort of thing that is easy to ignore when you are out and about on your bike, either socially or professionally. Have you notice any excessive play in your handlebars and stem? Perhaps there is an element of grittiness when you turn the handlebars back and forth. It’s easy to overlook this problem reasoning that it’s always been like this. Or you might feel that it doesn’t really matter. But think about it, the freer your handlebars turn, the more control you will have in different conditions and the more enjoyable it will be too. A loose and excessively worn headset can be dangerous and cause damage to your frame as well. What can we do for you?

High-Quality Headset Bearings

We have an enormous selection of high-quality headset bearings for you to choose from. They are constructed from steel and stainless steel, and we also stock a limited range of hybrid ceramic headset bearings. The obvious advantage of stainless steel is that it is more resistant to corrosion. This helps produce a high level of performance along with good longevity. What about our hybrid ceramic bearings? The raceways are stainless steel and the bearings are ceramic. Regardless of what type of headset bearing that you choose, they are all premium quality.

A Wide Choice of Competitively Priced Headset Bearings

Our headset bearings are very competitively priced and we stock these for most bikes that use internal or integrated bearings. It’s important to remember that you need to take into consideration the diameter, as well as chamfer angle if applicable. Are the headset bearings metric or imperial? Many use the old imperial method, for example one and half inches, but they are actually metric measurements (in millimetres). We are confident that you will find what you are searching for on our website.

Freer Steering and More Control

After installing one of our headset bearings, you should immediately notice the difference. Your handlebars will turn more freely and smoothly, giving you greater control when handling your bike. For a small amount of expenditure, this simple upgrade can improve your overall biking experience. In addition, this minor investment will serve you well in the long run – you won’t regret upgrading your headset bearing.

Would you like to find out more about out headset bearings or any other products? You can contact us on our website. Why not fill out our online enquiry form today?

High-Quality Headset Bearings to Improve Your Handling

The Best Quality Bearings for Your BMX Bike


Mention BMX bikes and what comes to mind? Super multi-talented riders performing incredible stunts, or attacking difficult off-road courses. Although generally small in stature, these sturdy bikes can do almost anything. What is the best way to ensure that you can get the maximum performance out of your BMX? By using top quality bearings and other products. Aire Velo Bearings are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of headset and other bearings and we also have one of the largest stocklist anywhere in Britain. What can we offer you to your upgrade your BMX bike for an extreme performance?

Everything That You Need

Are you looking for high-quality bearings for your wheels, bottom brackets, headsets? Then you have come to the right place. When you purchase our BMX bearings, you will find that the inner and outer races, as well as the cages are made of premium steel. Would you prefer stainless steel construction? The MID 19 bottom bracket bearing is what you are looking for. The chain is one of the most important parts of your BMX bike. Who wants to deal with chain problems when on your way to ride? Sometimes problems with chains happen. We know that the Regina chains that we supply are both extremely durable and reliable. Regina’s expertise and the technology in their motorbike chains has been carried over into the BMX bike chains, so you can have complete confidence in the quality of this product.

Confidence in Our Products

For you to have confidence in your BMX bike when performing freestyle stunts or when racing, you need to have premium quality parts. For over 5 years we have been selling bike bearings and we have 30 years of experience supplying industrial bearings. With the experience that we have, why would you go anywhere else? Our products are tried and tested by our in-house bike specialist, Matt, who rides BMX bikes at the weekend to test our bearings. It’s one thing to speak about the superiority of our bearings, but it’s another thing to know something through experience. Matt’s out there doing what you do every weekend. So, when you buy any of our products for your BMX bike, you are not just getting excellent quality but field tested reliability as well.

Profile Hub Bearing Kits

Can you imagine the wear and tear on your BMX hub bearings? This is especially so when flying through the air and the impact of landing, or the many jumps that you perform whilst racing around a course. We offer a comprehensive range of Profile hub bearing kits. Do you require just the front or the rear kit? You can buy these separately, or you can purchase these as a set. Whatever you need for your BMX bike, these Profile hub kits are high-quality and durable. Our products are very competitively priced and represent excellent overall value.

You can contact us today on our website for more information.




The Best Quality Bearings for Your BMX Bike

What Kind of Bearing Will You Choose When Customising Your Bike?


Bike technology is incredibly advanced and sport scientists have been involved in its development. The large choice of bearings is vast and somewhat perplexing. Aire Velo Bearings have over 30 years’ experience selling bearings, including component parts for bikes. You can trust us to provide everything that you need and our quality is second to none. The variety in the construction material of different bearings, can impact on your choice. Here is some important information to keep in mind, when making a purchase from our comprehensive selection:

Steel Bearings

The history of steel bearings is rich and long. One of the great things about them, is that they are very affordable and reliable. Because of the material used, steel bearings have a high strength, that can withstand cracking and easily cope with the impact from rough ground. To prevent the build-up of rust, they must be correctly maintained with oil, grease or a rust inhibitor. This contributes to a smooth and quiet ride. The versatility of steel bearings, means that they are used in components like wheels, pedals, headsets, hubs and so on. So if you are looking for a good all-round, cost effective reliable performer, steel bearings might be the right choice for you.

Stainless Steel Bearings

The properties of stainless steel bearings are similar to steel bearings, with one notable exception. Stainless steel is highly valued, due to its superb resistance to corrosion. Higher levels of chrome contribute to its anti-rust properties, there by adding to its longevity. This stainless steel material is used in the inner and outer race, the cage, and in the balls themselves. In addition to this, a durable rubber seal is used, to prevent the ingress of any debris and water.

Hybrid Ceramic Bearings

Hybrid ceramic bearings are just as versatile as steel bearings and have similar applications. The main difference is that they have a combination of both steel and ceramic. The inner and outer races, as well as the cage, is constructed of stainless steel, but the balls are ceramic. This fusion of ingredients results in an arguably, greater overall performance. Why can we say this? It’s estimated that the Hybrid Ceramic Bearings, last 2 to 5 times longer than steel bearings, depending on the use and other factors. As a consequence, they do cost more money, but their extra durability can be seen as easily justifiable.

Full Ceramic Bearings

Full ceramic bearings are commonly used by many serious and professional cyclists. What makes ceramic bearings so popular? They are lighter, harder, produce less friction, and generally require less maintenance, than the other bearings. They are commonly viewed as self-lubricating, but you can lightly oil them. As a result of the increased performance, ceramic bearings are more expensive to buy, but are estimated to last 5 to 20 times longer than steel bearings. This represents an excellent return and is a good investment in the long run. We do however recommend that full ceramic bearings should only be used for riding track/velodrome as the material is more susceptible to shock loads and can crack if the shock is severe enough such as hitting potholes on the road. However if you are willing to risk the potential issue to gain the many advantages of full ceramic bearings, that is your choice.

Visit our website today to look at our wide selection of products and choose the right, high quality bearings for you.

What Kind of Bearing Will You Choose When Customising Your Bike?

Bike Maintenance: How to grease your wheels ball bearings?


It is incredibly important to carry out regular checks and maintenance on your bike to ensure it is in good working order. Regular bike maintenance will also save you money in the long run.

Maintenance of bike bearings

It is important that you regularly dissemble all of the bearings in your bike. This is because they are open to all weather elements, even with the protection of a dust cover, meaning that they can accumulate dirt and debris. They will also lose grease over time so this will need to be reapplied.

Quick guide on how to grease bike bearings

It is very important to regularly clean and grease your It is important that you regularly dissemble all of the bike bearings. Below we explain how you should grease bearings in the wheel of your bike. They are located between the wheel axel and the hub found on the wheel. To quickly ascertain if the bearings do need greasing, take the wheel off, hold the axel and then gently spin the wheel. If the wheel does not move smoothly and you can feel friction, then you’ll need to dissemble the bearings and apply grease.

You will need an adjustable wrench, bike grease and a cloth for cleaning.

1. Using the adjustable wrench, locate the locking nut on the wheel and gently loosen it, making sure to hold on to the bearing cone whilst doing so, do this with the wheel on the floor. At this stage do not open the bearing cones.

2. Next you need to take a firm hold of the axel, making sure to do so on the side that is still attached. Now you can continue to unscrew the locking nut so it is nearly off. Put this to one side and then unscrew the bearing cone so that you can see the bearings inside.

3. Now you are ready to apply the grease. The best way to do this is to remove the hub cups, cones and bearings. Using a cloth, you will need to thoroughly clean the bearings, ensuring that you remove all dirt and debris. Once clean you can cover the bearings in bike grease.

4. Once the grease has been applied you need to reassemble everything. Firstly, you’ll need to screw the bearing cone into place, remembering not to screw it too tightly. A good way to check if the bearing cone is on correctly is to check if you can hear the bearings rolling smoothly around inside. Next you need to simply screw the lock nut back into place and recheck the bearings.

If you need to replace any bike bearings then we have a wide selection on our website.

Bike Maintenance: How to grease your wheels ball bearings?

Hybrid Ceramic Bearings VS. Full Ceramic Bearings


Bearings are an important component of bikes. Their overall quality and design can mean a lot if you are customising your bike and looking for a superior performance. Below we go into a brief description explaining the role of ceramic bearings and then compare hybrid vs. full ceramic models.

What Are Bearings?


Bearings are mechanical elements that constrain movement to only the desired motion. Bearings are a critical part of bike construction. The material used for the bearings can make a lot of difference in terms of intended use. For example, a person’s mountain biking might opt for stainless steel bearings while a cyclist who practices on a smooth course might want full ceramic.

Hybrid Ceramic Bearings vs. Full Ceramic Bearings


A great way to look at the difference between hybrid ceramic bearings and full ceramic bearings for bike wheels is to look at the components that make up the bearing. Hybrid bearings typically include stainless steel rings (also known by some as races) but maintain ceramic balls. Full ceramic bearings on the other hand have ceramic balls and ceramic rings (races) as well. Ceramic balls on their own are smoother, lighter, tougher, and stronger. The benefits of ceramic balls are shared by both hybrid and full ceramic bearings.

A benefit of full ceramic ball bearings is weight. Ceramics are less weighty than hybrids made of stainless steel. Ceramic wheel bearings can reduce the weight of the bike even more, speeding up the rider on hill climbs. Another benefit is the reduced friction within the bearing due to there been no grease as full ceramic bearings are essentially self lubricating allowing for a greater rotational speed and a more consistent rotation which can make improvements to your cadence. At the same time, full ceramic bearings do stand a greater chance of chipping & cracking when subjected to severe enough impacts such as pot holes & cracks on roads. Therefore we ideally recommend full ceramic ball bearings for use on track & velodrome circuits however they can be used on the road as long as you understand that they are more susceptible to failure.

In ideal conditions, full ceramic ball bearings & hybrid ceramic bearings will last 5-20 times longer than steel alternatives. While a hybrid gives you a better return on your investment, ceramic is the best option if the road conditions you expect to travel on are right. Hybrid ceramic bearings will cost on average nearly half the price of full ceramic bearings.

Hybrid Ceramic Bearings VS. Full Ceramic Bearings

Guide on How to Remove and Replace a Headset Bearing on a Bicycle


The headset bearing is a vital part of any bicycle, as it helps to precisely and smoothly rotate the bike's handlebars. You will know if the bike bearings need to be changed, as the steering will feel gritty and the movement will become jerky and stiff. You may also hear a grinding noise when moving the handlebar.

headset bearings on bicycles do need to be replaced from time to time. Below we share a simple guide on how to remove old headset bearings and how to replace them.

Before You Begin


You will need to assemble all relevant tools. These should include: Allen keys, degreaser, old rag, grease and headset bearings.

It is important that you get the correct size internal bearings for your particular model of bike, as different bicycles will have different sized bearings. Aire Velo Bearings have a wide range of bearings that are readily available. Please note that the bearings are in metric sizes, when the cycle industry uses terms like 1”1/8 or 1”1/2 they are referring to the steerer on the forks not the definite size of the headset bearing.

Removing the Headset Internal Bearings


There are usually two internal bearings located in the bike's head tube. One is at the bottom while the other is at the top. To remove the bearings, you will firstly need to unscrew the pinch bolts, you will then need to remove the compression rings and dust seals. Just remember the order that you removed them in, so as to make replacing them that much easier, a good tip is to thread them onto a piece of string or tie.

You will now be able to remove the bike's fork. The bike's headset bearings will now be able to be removed from the frame. This is now the perfect time in which to add a bit of degreaser, so as to thoroughly clean the inside of the frame. Once this has been done, you are then ready to replace the integrated bearings.

Replacing the Integrated Bearings


The first thing you will need to do is grease the inside of the headtube where the bearing is seated. You need to replace the lower bearing first, making sure that it is positioned so that it fits correctly into the frame. The fork then needs to be inserted into the headtube of the bike. The top bearing can then be greased and replaced. Once again, you need to ensure that it is positioned correctly into the frame. The compression rings and seals can then be replaced. Then the stem can be replaced. You can then replace the top cap, making sure that it is tightened correctly and takes up any slack. Be sure though to not overtighten this, as this is easily done. If you do, you can damage the bearings.

Check that the bearings have been correctly fitted


Once the headset bearings have been replaced, it is very easy to check that they have been correctly positioned. Squeeze the front brake lever while gently rocking the bike. If you can feel a knocking or movement then the top cap is not tighten fully. Test how it feels to steer, it should be a fluid movement with no stiffness. If it does not feel right, then you may need to further tighten the top cap. Once you are happy with the feel of the bike, you can then tighten the pinch bolts. Be sure to do a quick test drive to ensure that everything is working as it should.

We hope that this quick guide has been helpful to you. Replacing the headset bearings is a fairly easy task, just be sure to have the correct tools and parts before you begin.

Guide on How to Remove and Replace a Headset Bearing on a Bicycle

100th Customer Winner


We are pleased to announce that we have surpassed our 100th customer who placed an order through the website.

Congratulations to Andy from Hampshire, here's what he had to say:

I’d tried a usual supplier only to find they were out of stock of one of the sizes so after a little bit of searching I came across Aire Bearings and the link to your new bike-specific Aire Velo Bearings website – the website looked really good. I hadn't noticed the “first 100th customer” promotion banner on your website so when I went through the checkout and saw the 100th Customer £50 discount flash-up which was more than covering the cost of my order I immediately thought it was a scam!! It took me a while to realise there wasn’t a scam going on as I hadn’t given any payment authorisation or details whatsoever. I then kicked myself for not ordering more to take full advantage of the discount! Thanks for the very generous gift for what was already a very good price – I shall be back again.

You could be the next lucky winner of our every 100th customer promotion so keep coming back and it could be you.

Happy riding from the Aire Velo team.

100th Customer Winner

Giro D'italia Stage 18


Matteo Trentin capped off a remarkable Giro d’Italia for Etixx-Quick Step after taking the team’s fourth stage win at this year’s edition of the race. The Belgian team has also had three riders – Marcel Kittel, Gianluca Brambilla and Bob Jungels – in the pink leader’s jersey in the last two weeks.


But what an impressive ride it was by Trentin to take the win, after he caught breakaway leaders Moreno Moser (Cannondale) and teammate Brambilla within the final kilometre and sprinted ahead of them for victory.

Those three had been part of a large 24 rider group that got away early on in the day, establishing 12 minutes on the peloton with the GC teams happy to let them go with no threats to the top-10.

That gap remained deep into the 244km route and it became clear the winner would come from the main group.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/giro-ditalia-stage-18-230764#1d7zjKfu42GorQ9P.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/giro-ditalia-stage-18-230764

Giro D'italia Stage 18

Giro D'italia Stage 17



Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling) caused an upset on a rare day for the sprinters in the back-end of the 2016 Giro d’Italia, after he made a solo attack within the final 500m of stage 17 to take the victory.

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) retained his lead in the overall standings after finishing safely within the main bunch that followed in behind.

Kluge’s win comes in a week which saw his IAM team announce they wouldn’t continue after the end of the 2016 season and is their first WorldTour victory this year and a first ever Grand Tour stage win.

As the peloton entered the final kilometre together, it looked as though veteran Italian Filippo Pozzato (Wilier-South East) would be the one to claim the solo victory after he attacked shortly after the flamme rouge and gained 100m or so advantage.

But as he began to be dragged back closer to the peloton by the sprinter’s teams, German Kluge made his move and quickly caught and passed Pozzato with a powerful ride.

As the sprint trains desperately tried to pull him back and the fast men launched their attacks, it was all too late as Kluge was able to sit-up and roll across the line in celebration.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/roger-kluge-wins-giro-ditalia-stage-17-230526#zPaTTisLwyLhJcup.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/roger-kluge-wins-giro-ditalia-stage-17-230526

Giro D'italia Stage 17

Giro D'italia Stage 16



Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was under fire almost from the drop of the flag on a remarkable stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia but the Dutchman gave as good as he got to extend his overall lead.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was one of many to take the race to the surprise maglia rosa holder but found himself dropped on the final climb to lose 1-47 seconds on the day.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won the stage, having been out front with Kruijswijk and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) in the final stages of the stage

The attacks started early in the day with Nibali, Valverde, Zakarin and other general classification hopefuls looking to isolate Kruijswijk. A real breakaway couldn’t get away thanks to the intensity at the front of the peloton.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/kruijswijk-repels-constant-attacks-extend-overall-lead-giro-ditalia-230407#Qb0158mM5U8ZeuQf.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/kruijswijk-repels-constant-attacks-extend-overall-lead-giro-ditalia-230407

Giro D'italia Stage 16

Giro D'italia Stage 15



Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) bettered all of his general classification rivals on the crucial mountain time trial stage of the 2016 Giro d’Italia on Sunday.

Having taken the race lead after the previous day’s stage, the Dutchman went into the day to try and defend his position. However, he did better than that – finishing a close second to surprise stage winner Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and extending his lead at the top of the overall standing.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) had started the stage as Kruijswijk’s closest rival, 41 seconds adrift overall. However, disaster struck for the Italian favourite as he dropped his chain and his rear derailleur appeared to get snapped off the frame.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/steven-kruijswijk-blasts-rivals-giro-ditalia-stage-15-time-trial-229988#6mgRA7p2bdvHSzfj.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/steven-kruijswijk-blasts-rivals-giro-ditalia-stage-15-time-trial-229988

Giro D'italia Stage 15

Giro D'italia Stage 14



It was heartbreak for Darwin Atapuma (BMC) and elation for Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), who moved into pink on a decisive queen stage at the Giro d’Italia as Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) won the stage.

Kruijswijk attacked with Chaves on the climb of Passo Valparola, distancing Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) before contesting the finish with Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin).

With Nibali finishing 36 seconds down, Kruijswijk moves into the maglia rosa, with its holder on the stage – Andrey Amador (Movistar) – unable to hold the pace on a brutal day in the Dolomites.

Breakaway rider Atapuma was caught with three kilometres to go to the finish line and Chaves came round Preidler in the final metres to take the stage win.

The 37-man breakaway did not last much past the halfway mark, with the group splintering and Orica-GreenEdge’s Ruben Plaza going out on his own.

The Spaniard, who won stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, was chased down and eventually overtaken by Kanstantin Siutsou (Dimension Data) and Atapuma, but it was the Colombian who was to go out on his own.

Behind, the general classification battle was in full swing, with Nibali launching an attack on the Passo Valparola, immediately distancing pink jersey holder Andrey Amador – who had also been dropped on the Passo Giau – and his Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde, who had no answer to the attacks up front.





It was then Nibali’s turn to be dropped as Chaves and Kruijswijk upped the pace. The duo eased away from the Italian and worked into the lead of the riders up the road.

The game was up for Valverde and Amador, though, who saw their time gap to the leaders keep extending in the final 30km, with the Movistar leader dropping three minutes to Chaves.

At the business end of the race, though, it looked as if Atapuma would ride away with the solo win, but the chasing riders of Kruijswijk, Chaves and Preidler reeled him in and left him behind.

Preidler then looked to ease to the finish line, but Chaves held enough in reserve to sprint past the Austrian, who made his move too early.

Kruijswijk now leads from Nibali by 41 seconds, with Chaves moving up to third. The gap to Valverde now sits at over three minutes.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/kruijswijk-giro-ditalia-pink-chaves-wins-stage-14-229902#xxzvgJK4seVUFMT5.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/kruijswijk-giro-ditalia-pink-chaves-wins-stage-14-229902

Giro D'italia Stage 14

Giro D'italia Stage 13



Mikel Nieve gave Team Sky something to cheer about at the 2016 Giro d’Italia after going solo from the day’s breakaway to take the stage 13 victory.

Andrey Amador (Movistar) took the overall lead and the maglia rosa after the group of GC contenders distanced Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick Step) on the final climb.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2016: Key info, route, contenders

Nieve had been part of a large 20+ rider escape group that got away in the early part of the stage, but was able to pull away from everyone but Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale) on the slopes of the penultimate climb of the day, the category one Cima Porzus.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/mikel-nieve-wins-giro-ditalia-stage-13-229764#1KRKIUAlOHKWXcrR.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/mikel-nieve-wins-giro-ditalia-stage-13-229764

Giro D'italia Stage 13

Giro D'italia Stage 12



André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) confirmed his sprinting dominance at the 2016 Giro d’Italia after victory on stage 12 to Bibione, beating Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) to the win.

The German benefited from an expert lead out by his Lotto teammates on the circa 8km finishing circuit the peloton took on twice, and was dropped off in the final stretch ahead of his rivals to launch his sprint.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2016: Key info, route, contenders

21-year-old Ewan then latched onto his wheel as he searched for his first stage win of the race, and it quickly be came apparent that the victor would come from that pair.

But as Greipel hit full speed and drifted the right hand side of the rode, the Australian appeared to be boxed against the barriers and was forced to slow to try and move the other side around the man in the red points jersey.

That slight hesitation meant that there was nothing Ewan could do to recover, and Greipel crossed the line with hands aloft to celebrate his third stage victory in the 2016 Giro and extend his lead in the points competition. The German is expected to leave the race after the stage with a number of tough mountain stages on the horizon.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/andre-greipel-wins-giro-ditalia-stage-12-226106#xRqFaU4JdiXJ5eW3.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/andre-greipel-wins-giro-ditalia-stage-12-226106

Giro D'italia Stage 12

Giro D'italia Stage 11



Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick Step) held on to his lead of the Giro d’Italia after putting in an impressive ride along with second place Andrey Amador (Movistar) to breakaway and put time into the other GC favourites on a tricky finish to stage 11.

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) took his second stage win of this Giro after managing to bridge across to the pair and out-sprinting them for the line in Asolo.

On a more-or-less pan flat 227km stage, the best action was contained within the final 20km, where one category four climb followed by two smaller uncategorised climbs featured en route to the finish.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/bob-jungels-diego-ulissi-giro-ditalia-stage-11-225935#jKoG2AWXca6Ip05X.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/bob-jungels-diego-ulissi-giro-ditalia-stage-11-225935

Giro D'italia Stage 11

Giro D'italia Stage 10



Neo-pro Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF) took the stage victory on the summit finish of stage 10 of the 2016 Giro d’Italia after riding in the day’s main breakaway, with leader of the youth classification Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick Step) claiming pink from his teammate Gianluca Brambilla.

Italia Ciccone got into the day’s large breakaway with his teammate Stefano Pirazzi which gained a maximum gap of more than five minutes on the peloton.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2016: Key info, route, contenders

But things began to break up for the group after Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) attacked with 40km to go, splitting the group to pieces.

The Austrian stayed out on his own for some time with no-one able to make significant in-roads in pursuit until he hit the slopes of the Plan del Falco climb.

Priedler was then caught by some of his previous breakaway companions with around 18km remaining, including the two Bardiani riders along with the likes of Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r La Mondiale) and 2004 Giro winner Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini).

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/bob-jungels-takes-pink-giro-ditalia-stage-10-225721#u1IWP850BPGHQCS8.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/bob-jungels-takes-pink-giro-ditalia-stage-10-225721

Giro D'italia Stage 10

Giro D'italia Stage 9



Giro d’Italia leader Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quick Step) put everything into his time trial performance on stage nine to retain the maglia rosa by just one second.

Last man off, Italian Brambilla had the benefit of knowing exactly how his rivals had fared, and put in a precisely measured ride to retain the overall race lead.

Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) took the stage victory having set one of the day’s earlier fast times. The result should not perhaps have been a surprise as Roglič placed a close second behind Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in the opening time trial. Today, Dumoulin looked as though the previous week’s efforts were weighing heavy, and he finished 15th and nearly two minutes slower than Roglič.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/giro-ditalia-stage-nine-time-trial-225324#0me6tjzg7uvy3Z7B.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/giro-ditalia-stage-nine-time-trial-225324

Giro D'italia Stage 9

Giro D'italia Stage 8



Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quick Step) capitalised on his strong position in GC to take the pink jersey along with stage victory on the eighth day at the Giro d’Italia, attacking from the breakaway to take his maiden Grand Tour stage victory.

It was a bad day for race leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) though, who was dropped by his GC rivals on the category two climb of Alpe di Poti and slipped out of the top-10 overall.

Italian Brambilla sat at 1-56 at the start of the day, but was able to find himself in the large 13-man breakaway group which managed to establish a five minute gap on the bunch behind.

And the chase in earnest never really got going in the main group, with Giant-Alpecin forced to do much of the work, and the break still carried over four minutes within the final 40km.

Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/giro-ditalia-stage-eight-225275#opCkmRmLwMg8Sed6.99

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/giro-ditalia-stage-eight-225275

Giro D'italia Stage 8

Giro D'italia Stage 7


André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) fought his way through to the front to take a powerful sprint win on stage seven of the Giro d’Italia.
The German’s team had done much of the work in the closing kilometres, but for a time he looked to have been put out of contention as his rivals crowded around him.
Not to be denied, Greipel powered his way through to the front in time to leave his rivals behind and take the stage win.
This is Greipel’s second stage win in the last three days, and three from three for Lotto-Soudal after Tim Wellens soloed away yesterday.
Stage seven had looked like a day for Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step), but a late incident required him to change bikes and as such he was put out of contention for the stage win.
The early break consisted of six riders, who eeked out over three minutes at one point. Some may have picked this as a stage for an all day break, but the enough of the sprinters stayed in touch over the climbs for their teams to bring everything back together.
The members of the break were Stefan Kung (BMC Racing), Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling), Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF), Ilia Koshevoy (Lampre-Merida), Daniel Martinez (Southeast) and Axel Domont (ag2r La Mondiale).
From this group, Kung went solo with 20km to go and pushed out an advantage of 25 seconds. His brave attempt at staying away lasted until 6.9km to go, and from there it was all about the sprinters.

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/giro-ditalia/andre-greipel-sprints-victory-stage-seven-giro-ditalia-225178

Giro D'italia Stage 7

Giro D'italia Stage 6


Wellens took advantage of a moment of calm after a brief storm in the bunch to get himself up to the breakaway halfway through the 157km journey from Ponte to Roccaraso, where such names as Fausto Coppi, Bernard Hinault, and Moreno Argentin have celebrated in the past.

The Belgian made his move on the early slopes of the 17km final climb, countering an attack from Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo) – who was also part of the bridge to the break – before tucking his arms over his handelbars as if the long second-category ascent were a time trial.

"I wanted to go from the beginning but I didn't succeed. Then they [the break] didn't go very fast, and we could come back with Pim Ligthart, who had the idea to jump to the front," said Wellens, who also revealed race leader Dumoulin had encouraged him to attack, content to let the break contest stage honours

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/giro-ditalia-2016/stage-6/results/

Giro D'italia Stage 6

Giro D'italia Stage 5


The German won by several bike lengths ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) and Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep), after coming from behind and avoiding a crash on a corner with 1.5km to go with Rein Taaramae (Katusha) loosing grip and sliding out. That disrupted several riders and their lead out train as riders took evasive action. Roberto Ferrari waited in vain for Lampre-Merida teammate Sacha Modolo and Colbrelli hesitated while on the front but that played perfectly into Greipel’s hands. He surged away in the final three hundred metres, winning by several bike lengths.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/giro-ditalia-2016/stage-5/results/

Giro D'italia Stage 5

Giro D'italia Stage 4


Overnight leader Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) was distanced twice during the stage and eventually relented in his chase to finish several minutes down. Dumoulin – who won stage 1 – finished second in an elite group, five second down on Ulissi and as a result moved back into the race lead.

The majority of the GC contenders finished safely in the main field but Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo) lost time.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/giro-ditalia-2016/stage-4/results/

Giro D'italia Stage 4

Giro D'italia Stage 3


The 10 bonus seconds Kittel earned for his stage win put him into the race leader’s maglia rosa, making him the first German since Olaf Pollack in 2006 to lead the Giro. Kittel now heads Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) by nine seconds, with Movistar’s Andrey Amador in third at 15 seconds after LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic slipped down the standings.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/giro-ditalia-2016/stage-3/results/

Giro D'italia Stage 3

Giro D'italia Stage 2


"I’m super happy," Kittel said at the finish line. "Yesterday in the time trial I showed that I was in good shape. This was a tricky finale today but a finale where I said I’d stay with my teammates. They did a good job to put me in a good place for the sprint and I did the rest. There was a great atmosphere today, it was a great day.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/giro-ditalia-2016/stage-2/results/

Giro D'italia Stage 2

Giro D'italia Stage 1


Ahead of the opening time trial in Dumoulin had tried to deflect the pressure onto another pre-stage favourite, Fabian Cancellara. The Dutchman hadn’t won a time trial this season until this point, being beaten by less than a second in Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie. As Dumoulin approached the line, it looked like he might just miss out for the third time this season but edged out surprise package Roglic.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/giro-ditalia-2016/stage-1/results/

Giro D'italia Stage 1

DISC BRAKES PULLED FROM PRO PELETON...


After two Pro riders suffered serious injuries from disc brakes in the recent Paris-Roubaix, mainly Francisco Ventoso who has had a very large and gruesome chunk of flesh from his shin.

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) also urged the UCI to bring disc brake use to a halt.

"We have asked to suspend the tests on the disc brakes to the UCI," CPA press officer Laura Mora said. "They will probably suspend it. We have just had the support of the equipment commission for that.

"We have been talking about the risks of the use of the disc brakes since months and we have sent letters in the past to the UCI and the organizers to avoid such risks. Now they are going to finally listen to our voice. We don't want to stop the progress but we want to find common solutions for the introduction of new technologies without risks for the riders and definitely with their involvment."

Tiedemann Hansen confirmed the suspension of the disc brakes, but said that the initiative came from the UCI itself after Ventoso's injury.

After rumours began emerging that Ventoso's injury was due to a disc brake, the Spaniard issued a scathing open letter on Wednesday, saying the gear acted like "giant knives" after he ran into the back of another riders bike during a pile-up.

His letter garnered support on social media from his fellow professional racers, with IAM Cycling's Larry Warbasse saying on Twitter, "We don't need more risks than we already have in professional cycling", and Ryder Hesjedal stating, "I have felt this way since the very beginning! Should have never happened!" about the introduction of disc brakes into the road peloton.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/uci-suspends-road-disc-brakes-in-races-after-ventoso-injury/

DISC BRAKES PULLED FROM PRO PELETON...

HERE WE GO AGAIN...CAN'T WAIT


The Tour de Yorkshire is on again in 2016. The very popular new tour
on the calender will once agin make its way through the beautiful
Yorkshire countryside from Beverly to Scarborough.

Where will you be watching from?

http://letour.yorkshire.com

HERE WE GO AGAIN...CAN'T WAIT

CAMPAGNOLO DEVELOP DISC BRAKE


Campagnolo disc brakes will be used in upcoming WorldTour races
after the Italian company officially revealed the prototype systems
that will be used by Lotto-Soudal, Astana, and Movistar.

Despite Shimano and SRAM having released road bike disc brakes some years ago, Campagnolo insisted that it was “not in a hurry” with its disc brake project, apparently taking time to launch a system that is better than its competitors, with extensive testing in the WorldTour arena before becoming publically available.

There will be numerous types of Campagnolo disc brakes used by Campagnolo-sponsored teams over the coming months, each labelled ‘Campy Tech Lab’, as the company assesses different designs and solutions before deciding which to pursue.

What do pro riders think of disc brakes?

Unfortunately, Campagnolo is not currently willing to give details of any of the systems, but we were able to glean a few technical details from casting an eye over the Lotto-Soudal and Astana team bikes at the launch of the Campagnolo disc brake project. (The Canyon disc brake bike – a finished verison of the prototype Ultimate CF SLX Disc that we saw at Eurobike – to be used by Movistar is yet to be officially revealed).

It appears that Campagnolo disc brakes will be designed to work with both mechanical and electronic groupsets, with Super Record and Super Record EPS-equipped disc brake bikes being present at the launch. These will be controlled by levers with a similar design to the existing Campagnolo levers, with the only deviation being the cut-out on the EPS lever, possibly a weight-saving measure.

New Campagnolo Potenza groupset to take “direct aim” at Shimano Ultegra

The hoods are also similar to those on the existing Campagnolo groupsets, and even though they have needed to be enlarged a little in order to incorporate the hydraulic brake fluid, they are still considerably less bulky than the hoods on the Shimano and SRAM disc brake systems.

The calipers will be available as post mount or flat mount, while the three bikes that we saw with Campagnolo disc brakes coming with a 160mm rotor at the front, and a 140mm rotor at the rear, which are attached using a six bolt system.

Disc brakes: everything you need to know

The rotors are attached to disc brake specific wheels, which were also labelled ‘Campy Tech Lab’ and will likely be tested by Movistar and Lotto-Soudal who both also have Campagnolo has a wheel sponsor.

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/campagnolo-disc-brakes-214961

CAMPAGNOLO DEVELOP DISC BRAKE

SRAM RE-INVENT SHIFTING


“At SRAM, we know that if a technological advancement clutters the
experience, it shouldn’t be called an advancement. Because it’s a
bicycle. It’s supposed to be simple. To make something elegant to the
point where it removes what’s in the way... that’s advancement.”

SRAM RED® eTap features race-car-inspired paddle shift logic that virtually eliminates mistaking upshifts for downshifts, while keeping shifting precise, fast, and easy. It’s a logic that is simplified for speed: right lever makes it harder, left lever makes it easier, both levers to change the front ring. Our revised ErgoFit™ controls seamlessly connect rider and machine with Reach Adjust™ to fit any hand. You’ll shift more, with less effort and spend less time doing it. Carbon ErgoBlade™ levers and large SRAM eTap paddles provide positive controls for rider input.

The SRAM RED® eTap rear derailleur executes shifts the instant you demand it, with military precision. Wirelessly. It’s easy to set up, clean in appearance and delightfully uncomplicated. Mechanical necessities such as a carbon pulley cage, ceramic pulley bearings, and anodized alloy artfully blend with proprietary electronic advancements to deliver a 238g (with battery) shifting wonder.

https://www.sram.com/sram/road/family/sram-red-etap

SRAM RE-INVENT SHIFTING

WORLD CHAMPS DO THE DOUBLE...LIZZIE TAKES TOUR OF FLANDERS


Yorkshire Lizzie does her rainbow bands proud in a sprint finish with
Sweden’s Emma Johansson.

British world champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) clinched the victory in the women’s Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday.

Armitstead took the two-up sprint in a photo finish with Swedish rider Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5). Armitstead’s team-mate Chantal Blaak placed third.

Armitstead and Johansson had broken clear of a lead group heading into the final climb of Paterberg, with nine riders left to chase them down.

Heading under the kilometre-to-go banner Armistead and Johansson became wary of each other’s tactics, with neither wanting to lead out the other in the final sprint.

Lizzie Armitstead: I went to London to get a top 10 but I’m going to Rio for gold

With the chase group being paced up quickly by Frenchwoman Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) behind them, their hand was forced and the pair had to engage in a long sprint.

Armitstead has already won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and Trofeo Alfredo Binda this year. It’s the first time that she has won the women’s Tour of Flanders – now part of the UCI’s inaugural Women’s WorldTour.

The women’s route took in 141km, and featured 10 categorised climbs and five sectors of cobbled roads.

Armitstead now returns to the top of the Women’s WorldTour ranking, with Blaak in second and Johansson in third.

Result

Women’s Tour of Flanders 2016, 141km
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans
2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle-High5 at same time
3. Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boles-Dolmans at 4 secs
4. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5
6. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
7. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS
8. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv)
9. Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
10. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabo-Liv at same time

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/lizzie-armitstead-wins-womens-tour-flanders-219406?trend=Lizzie-armitstead

WORLD CHAMPS DO THE DOUBLE...LIZZIE TAKES TOUR OF FLANDERS

SAGAN WINS TOUR OF FLANDERS


Peter Sagan blows away the competition to take the win, doing away with any curse from rainbow bands.

World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won the 2016 Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday, claiming his first career win in one of cycling’s great monuments.

Sagan attacked escape companion Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the final ascent of the Paterberg to go solo. The 26-year-old Slovakian then had to time trial his way to the finish after the Paterberg to keep the chasing duo of Vanmarcke and Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) at bay.

Sagan finished with around 20 seconds in hand over Cancellara, with Vanmarcke in third. Luke Rowe (Sky) finished in fifth place, boding well for next Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, with fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky) in 12th.

The first half of the race was punctuated by several mass crashes in the peloton that claimed several of the pre-race favourites. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) were all forced to withdraw with injuries.

Greg Van Avermaet and other favourites crash out of Tour of Flanders

Starting under sunny skies in Bruges, the first hour of racing was very fast-paced and no escape group was allowed to form. Finally, six riders did break the elastic and break free: Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Argon18), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Hugo Houle (Ag2r), Wesley Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) and Federico Zurlo (Lampre-Merida).

The six built up a lead of around four minutes over the peloton but gradually started to fracture as the race made its way over the series of 18 categorised climbs and a further seven cobbled sectors.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Nils Politt (Katusha), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana), Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) rode across to join Houle, Van Hoecke and Erviti as the race unfolded. And as Houle was dropped, Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale) and Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx-QuickStep) made the junction with 40km to go.

By the time the lead group hit the Koppenberg, the race started to split into pieces. Sagan, Vanmarcke and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) took off from the main group in what would turn out to be the race-winning move.

Story courtesy of Cycling Weekly

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/peter-sagan-wins-tour-of-flanders-219413?trend=Tour-of-flanders%22

SAGAN WINS TOUR OF FLANDERS