Chris Froome leads Criterium du Dauphine after consecutive stage wins

Chris Froome (Sky) has started the Criterium du Dauphine in emphatic fashion, winning both of the first two stages and building a 12-second lead on Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) ahead of stage 3 of the eight-stage race.

Criterium Dauphine Libere 2014  stage -2

Froome took the honours in the stage 1 ITT, finishing eight seconds clear of Contador and nine seconds clear of Bob Jungels (Trek), ensuring he would wear the yellow jersey on stage 2.

That second stage, which ended with a final climb up to the Col du Beal, proved explosive, with Froome just one of many riders to attack on the upper slopes. A big attack with five to go shed all of Froome’s rivals, bar Contador, but a slight slowing in the pace allowed Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) to catch back on.

The group of six was together with 2.5km to go but as the line approached Froome attacked again with Contador the only one able to follow. But the Spaniard wasn’t able to pass Froome, leaving last year’s Tour de France winner to take the win and extend his lead overall.

Today’s third stage features two category two climbs and takes the riders from Ambert to La Teil in 194km.

Stage 2: Tarare > Pays d'Olliergues-Col du Béal - Stage Result

Monday 9th June 2014

1. gb
FROOME Christopher
Team Sky
04:24:41
2. es
CONTADOR Alberto
Tinkoff-Saxo
-
3. nl
KELDERMAN Wilco
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
0:04

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Matti Breschel wins Tour de Luxembourg

Back-to-back stage wins at the Tour de Luxembourg ensured that Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the race overall at the weekend, while Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) also finished with two stages wins.


Greipel showed on the final stage that he doesn’t need a sprint finish to take victory when he got himself in a nine-rider breakaway, watched his teammate Greg Henderson head up the road on his own, then counter-attacked with less than 10km to go once Henderson had been caught.

While all the other breakaway riders were caught by the peloton, Greipel held on to win the final stage of the five-stage race by 14 seconds.

Matti Breschel led home the peloton to ensure overall victory in the race, 19 seconds clear of Jean-Pierre Drucker (Wanty) and 20 seconds clear of Breschel’s teammate, Michael Morkov.

Breschel’s overall win was built on victories in stage 2, where he won the uphill sprint, and stage 3, where we won from a small escape group of five riders.

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 8th June 2014

1. dk
BRESCHEL Matti
Tinkoff-Saxo
17:59:04
2. lu
DRUCKER Jean-Pierre
Wanty - Groupe Gobert
0:19
3. dk
MøRKøV Michael
Tinkoff-Saxo
0:20

Click here to read more at Cycling Quotes.

Brailsford: Sky’s Tour de France team will be chosen after the Tour de Suisse

by Shane Stokes

After days of media and fan debate about whether or not Bradley Wiggins should be part of Sky’s Tour de France team — a topic brought to the fore when Wiggins said that he had been told he wouldn’t be racing — team principal Dave Brailsford has now said the team will not be decided until later this month.

BrailsfordWiggins

Brailsford said that the final line-up would be decided by a selection panel, and that it will convene after the Tour de Suisse, which Wiggins is riding.

“In Team Sky we have a set way of doing this,” Brailsford told Sky Sports in a video interview. “You analyse the demands of the event. You figure out how you think you can win this event. So you picture who has got the right attitude…if the guys are spending three and a half weeks, four weeks together in a bus like this, you want a tight-knit group. You need trust, you need camaraderie, you need all of that in a team to be able to compete for this race. We will be looking at all of that and piecing that jigsaw together.”

Brailsford was asked by Sky Sports if the relationship between Froome and Wiggins would be taken into account when selecting the team.

“Of course. We take the relationship between everybody. It is not just about Chris and Brad, I think you look at the whole group dynamic, you look at the whole dynamic of the team, you look at relationships and you look at how commitment is and how willing people are to sacrifice and suffer and give themselves for somebody else’s benefit and the team’s benefit.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips. Click here and here for more on the Wiggins story.

NetApp-Endura target high GC finish and a stage win at Le Tour

by Shane Stokes

Less than a month before it is due to start its first Tour de France, the NetApp-Endura team has laid out ambitious goals for the Grand Tour. General manager Ralph Denk has outlined what he wants the German team to aim for in the race, which begins in Leeds on July 5.

Endura

“If everything goes well we have a realistic chance to win a stage and to finish the Tour de France in the top 15 of the general classification with Leo König,” he told CyclingTips. “But for this ambitious goal he has to be in top shape and the entire team must follow its performance from the Vuelta a Espana last year.”

The team rode strongly in the 2013 Vuelta, with König winning a stage and finishing ninth overall. He has been faring well of late, netting third on a stage and fourth overall in the Bayern Rundfahrt.

“Regarding the stage win I think that almost every rider on our long list has the ability to take a victory – depending on the race situation,” he said. “This broad quality is a key part of our team and it was already a factor of our success in the Giro and the Vuelta in the past.”

The team announced the long list on May 22. Those in the running to participate are König, Jan Barta, Cesare Benedetti, Sam Bennett, Iker Camano, David de la Cruz, Zak Dempster, Bartosz Huzarski, Tiago Machado, José Mendes, Andreas Schillinger, Daniel Schorn, Scott Thwaites and Paul Voss.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Greipel back on track for the Tour de France

With his two stage wins at the Tour de Luxembourg Andre Greipel has shown that he’s back in good form after returning from a broken collarbone sustained at Gent-Wevelgem.

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage - 5

Speaking of his solo win, Greipel said:

“This victory is something different than normal. It’s the first time in my pro career that I won solo. We really wanted to have someone in the break today because there was a chance it would make it in this last stage.”

Lotto-Belisol directeur sportif Mario Aerts said after the stage: “This victory was unexpected for me, too, looking at the stage profile. We came to Luxembourg in the hope of taking our chance on the first road stage with André. That worked out, because the finale in Hesperange was relatively flat.

“He’s now going to the Ster ZLM Toer in the Netherlands and maybe he will be able to win one of the bunch finishes there. The fact is that André is ready for the Tour de France, which is only a month away.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Julian Arredondo renews contract with Trek

Trek Factory Racing has announced that Julian Arredondo has re-signed with the team on a new multi-year contract with the 25-year-old Colombian to remain with the team until the end of 2016.

Giro d'Italia 2014 - 18a Tappa - Belluno-Rifugio Panarotta

Arredondo has had a great season so far, taking two stage victories at the Tour de San Luis, and going on to animate the race in Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He rode a stellar Giro d’Italia, claiming stage 18 and taking the KOM classification.

“In the short time that Julian has been in the pro peloton, he has solidified his place there,” said General Manager Luca Guercilena. “We are really happy with Julian’s development this season. His appetite for racing is contagious and in the same time he’s always ready to take lessons, being new to this level of racing and all. His mindset is right and his talent is obvious.”

Arredondo himself said:

“I’m very happy with this news. It’s great to be able to announce the contract extension so early in the season. I have had so much support from everyone in the team. An extra year added to my contract is a sign that the team believes in me. It is also a recognition of the hard work I have done. I have been living like a pro, even though I wasn’t a pro yet.”

Arredondo is back in Colombia now for some rest after the Giro d’Italia. His next goals are the Tour of Utah and the Tour of Colorado in August.

Text via Trek Factory Racing press release.

French cyclists paid to ride to work

A pilot scheme in France is attempting to lure people away from driving to work by paying cyclists for riding their bike. Riders will be paid 25c per kilometre travelled.

Some 19 organisations are taking part in the trial with 10,000 workers involved.

Similar schemes exist in the UK, Belgium and Sweden.

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Chris Froome uses asthma inhaler mid-stage

This is something you don’t see very often — a rider using an asthma inhaler in the middle of a race.

The vision has caused some discussion on Twitter with some people asking the question: is it legal? Froome’s fiancee Michelle Cound offered this response on Twitter:


And Twitter user Matthew Conn summed up the situation well:


Research has previously shown no performance benefits for athletes using asthma medication.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:


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Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows Chris Froome leading Alberto Contador to the finish on stage 2 of the Criterium du Dauphine.