Cycling: Dutchman Jakobsen wins Challenge of Stars sprint

Challenge of Stars first virtual knockout tournament between professional riders

Cycling: Dutchman Jakobsen wins Challenge of Stars sprint

AFP file

London, May 24

Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen claimed victory in a virtual sprint competition, The Challenge of Stars series, on Saturday.

Jakobsen, who rides for the Deceuninck-Quick Step team, got the better of Team Ineos's Italian speedster Filippo Ganna in the final, ridden on a virtual 1.2km course in Tuscany. Both had come through a series of head-to-head rides to reach the final.

The Challenge of Stars is the first virtual knockout tournament between professional riders organised by RCS Sport in collaboration with cycling simulator firm BKOOL.

"It's fun to have a new format of race like this, I clearly miss the Giro d'Italia right now but have to admit I was a bit nervous approaching each of the challenges," Jakobsen said.

Ganna said he had "a mechanical" which damaged his chances of taking victory.

"This format with short explosive sprints suits my characteristics well, I have to admit it hurts even if it's just 1,200m," he said. "It's clearly different from racing outside; in a normal race you know better what is happening around you, here you need to constantly check your screen."

Professional cycling has been on hold since March because of the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the postponement of some of the sport's most high-profile races, including the Giro d'Italia that was supposed to have started on May 9.

Virtual racing has proved some consolation for the world's best riders and on Sunday climbers will get their chance in the next leg of The Challenge of Stars.

Chris Froome, Team Ineos's four-time Tour de France champion, will be taking part in the race played out on a virtual ascent of the classic Stelvio climb, with an average gradient of 8.69%, peaking at 12.75%.

Froome will be up against Warren Barguil. Other riders include multiple Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, Denmark's Olympic silver medallist Jakob Fuglsang, Poland's Rafal Majka and Belgian Thomas De Gendt. — Reuters

Top Stories

Embargo on import of 101 defence items, focus on self-reliance: Rajnath

Embargo on import of 101 defence items, focus on self-reliance: Rajnath

4 lakh-crore orders expected for domestic industry

11 die in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada COVID-19 facility

11 die in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada COVID-19 facility

There were around 40 people inside the hotel, of which 30 we...

PM Modi releases Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under PM-KISAN scheme

PM Modi releases Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under PM-KISAN scheme

Launches Rs 1 lakh-crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

Record 7 lakh COVID-19 tests conducted in a day; recovery rate rises to 68.78 pc: Health Ministry

Record 7 lakh COVID-19 tests conducted in a day; recovery rate rises to 68.78 pc: Health Ministry

Recoveries are over twice the number of active cases (6,28,7...

Cities

View All