Gilbert Powers To Vuelta Stage 12 Win, Roglic Retains Red

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Belgian veteran Philippe Gilbert stamped his authority on Thursday's Vuelta a Espana 12th stage on Thursday as Slovenia's Primoz Roglic retained the leader's red jersey.

Former world champion Gilbert forged clear of a 15-man breakaway on the steep final third category climb to claim his sixth career Vuelta stage in the streets of Bilbao.

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The 37-year-old winner of this season's Paris-Roubaix, who missed out on selection by his team for the Tour de France, came in clear of Spanish duo Alex Aranburu and Fernando Barcelo.

They were the only ones able to give chase to Gilbert, reducing the 19-second gap he'd established over the closing eight kilometres to three seconds.

"The atmosphere on the last climb was like at the classics, with all the flags. It was great, and boosted my motivation" said the stage winner.

"I've often ridden in the Basque country but I've never won here. It's a first and I'm thrilled as it's like Flanders here, they love their cycling," added Gilbert after his 10th Grand Tour stage success.

The Belgian, who is quitting Deuceninck-Quick Step for Lotto-Soudal this winter, appears to be coming to the boil at the right time for this month's world championships in Yorkshire.

Roglic meanwhile remains one minute 52 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde in the general classification ahead of Friday's 166.4-kilometre 13th stage with seven ascents including a fearsome final 'hors categorie' climb up Los Machucos.

"I'm not afraid of any stage especially as I've got a very strong team behind me," said Roglic, who finished with the other main contenders three minutes behind Gilbert.

He added: "It's an honour to wear the red jersey and I'll be the happiest of men if I've still got it in Madrid (on September 15)."

Placed third in the GC, 2mins 11sec adrift, is specialist climber Miguel Angel Lopez who said of Friday's stage: "Let's hope it's a great day".

"It's not all about Los Machucos," he noted, "there are lots of climbs before then. I'm hoping to have enough strength in the legs to do something good."

Contador Sells Bike From 2011 Giro To Aid Red Cross

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Alberto Contador is auctioning the bike he rode in the 2011 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France to raise funds to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, he said on Thursday.

Tour De France Is Racing Against Time, And Losing

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For the Tour de France, one of the last of the summer's major sports events still standing in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, the stop-watch is ticking.

Cycling Federation Cuts Cost To Cope With Lost Income

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Faced with what president David Lappartient called "an unprecedented crisis" because of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Cycling Union on Thursday announced cost-cutting plans which include furloughing employees.

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Mark Cavendish's Battle With Depression

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British cycling superstar Mark Cavendish says he has successfully come through a two-year battle with clinical depression revealing on Monday he was "dark" but is now on the "other side".

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Van Avermaet Wins 'Funny' Virtual Tour Of Flanders From His Attic

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Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet said on Sunday winning the virtual edition of the Tour of Flanders, held instead of the real race due to the Coronavirus pandemic, was "funny".

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The real Tour of Flanders has been postponed but we have found an alternative for this Sunday with the first ever virtual race: De Ronde 2020, Lockdown Edition.

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How To Watch The Flanders Lockdown Edition

The 2020 cycling season has been effectively postponed while global efforts are underway to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

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