International Cycling

Rain wrecks cyclists' chances

2013-09-29 15:25
Bradley Wiggins (AFP)

Florence - Treacherous conditions due to heavy rain prompted several big name retirements before the halfway stage of the men's elite race at the world road race cycling championships Sunday.

Three Grand Tour champions - Australian Cadel Evans, Britain's Bradley Wiggins and American Chris Horner - were among several riders to abandon prior to the halfway stage of the 272.2 km epic.

And the victory hopes of the contenders still in the race were boosted by the later abandons of this year's Tour de France champion Chris Froome, and Colombian climbing ace Nairo Quintana.

Heavy rain began in the early hours of the morning and despite a short respite it began to pour heavily on the 16.9 km course, to be raced 10 times, just as the peloton had arrived in Florence after a 103.2 km trek from Lucca.

Evans, a former world champion and Tour de France winner, was one of several riders to come down near the barriers as the peloton chased down a five-man breakaway in the wet and slippery conditions.

He was later reported to have abandoned by host broadcaster Rai Sport.

The official organisers also announced the retirement of 2012 Tour de France yellow jersey champion Wiggins, part of the British team that was hoping to boost the victory hopes of outside bet Froome.

Froome, however, pulled out with less than half of the 10 16.9 km laps completed as rain, thunder and cold temperatures continued to plague the race - and the British team in particular.

With 90 km still to race Britain had only one remaining rider from their nine-man team, Welshman Geraint Thomas, still in contention.

Horner, who won his first Grand Tour at the Tour of Spain earlier this month to come into the race with hopes of a podium place, also abandoned the race.

Belgium's Philippe Gilbert is the defending rainbow jersey champion but faces a stiff challenge from several Italian riders, Slovakian Peter Sagan, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde and Swiss Fabian Cancellara.

Read more on:    cycling
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.