Simon Spilak takes stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphine, Froome holds overall lead

Simon Spilak has secured back-to-back wins for Katusha at the Criterium du Dauphine, soloing to victory on stage five in La Mure yesterday.

Criterium Dauphine Libere 2014  stage -5

Spilak was part of the day’s main breakaway before making his move on the Cote de Laffrey climb with 20km remaining in the race. He went on to finish the stage 14 seconds clear of second-placed Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) and Orica-GreenEdge’s Adam Yates.

Chris Froome (Sky) was able to maintain his overall lead in the race, finishing 17 seconds behind Spilak, but not without some effort. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) who sits second on the GC, attempted to leave Froome behind on the descent off the Col de la Morte with 30km left in the race. It took roughly 12km for Froome’s lieutenants, Mikel Nieve and Richie Porte, to track down the Spaniard.

Three stages remain in this year’s Dauphine, including a rolling stage today and then two uphill finishes to close out the race.

Stage 5: Sisteron > La Mure - Stage Result

Thursday 12th June 2014

1. si
ŠPILAK Simon
Team Katusha
04:51:24
2. nl
KELDERMAN Wilco
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
0:14
3. gb
YATES Adam
Orica GreenEDGE
-

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Michael Cuming continues stellar Tour de Korea for Rapha Condor JLT

Rapha Condor JLT continued its dream-run at the Tour de Korea yesterday, winning a second stage in Yeongju after a breakaway of riders survived for the fourth time in five stages so far. The winner of the 2013 yellow jersey, Michael Cuming, added line honours to a collective team haul which currently includes leader’s jerseys in the King of the Mountains (worn by Ellliot Porter) and Best Young Rider (worn by Hugh Carthy) classifications.

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“I didn’t expect that,” said Cuming, among teammates in the winner’s tent. “Once we got to 5km-to-go and we still had about 50 seconds I thought, ‘we could actually stay away here.’ You could tell everyone was thinking that and everyone started to slow their turns a little bit.

With about 1km-to-go Floris Goesinnen (Drapac) attacked and I was lucky that Johann van Zyl (Team MTN-Qhubeka) chased him down. I just went on the inside. I managed to nip in near the barriers and I put my head down and managed to hang on.”

With three stages remaining in the race Juan José Oroz still leads the GC by five seconds over Australia’s Cameron Bayly (OCBC Singapore) with Hugh Carthy (Rapha Condor JLT) a further three seconds back.

Stage 5: Gumi > Yeongju - Stage Result

Thursday 12th June 2014

1. gb
CUMING Michael
Rapha Condor JLT
03:02:49
2. hk
YEUNG Ying Hon Ronald
OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team
-
3. za
VAN ZYL Johann
MTN - Qhubeka
0:03

Text adapted from a Tour de Korea press release.

Rabo-Liv sweep the podium on stage 1 of Emakumeen Euskal Bira

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has led a Rabo-Liv domination of the opening stage of the Emakumeen Euskal Bira in Spain’s Basque Country overnight, with the Dutch squad taking four of the top five places on the stage.

Emakumeen Euskal Bira 2014 stage - 1

Two climbs in the final 25km of the race saw the peloton torn apart to just 12 riders and then, on the final climb, Rabo-Liv pushed their advantage with Ferrand-Prevot, Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos emerging at the finish line after 88km with a one minute advantage on the rest of the field.

England’s Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) was fourth at the head of an eight-rider chase group, with Annemiek van Vleuten fifth for Rabo-Liv.

The big surprise of the day was Orica-AIS’s reigning champion Emma Johansson who missed the decisive split, with the team later attributing that to a slow leak. She eventually finished 16th, 2:09 behind the Rabo-Liv trio.

Emakumeen Euskal Bira 2014 stage - 1

The four-stage race continues today with another hilly stage that features decisive climbs towards the end.

Stage 1: Iurreta > Iurreta - Stage Result

Thursday 12th June 2014

1. fr
FERRAND-PREVOT Pauline
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
02:18:31
2. nl
VAN DER BREGGEN Anna
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
-
3. nl
VOS Marianne
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
-

Click here to read more via ciclo21.com (via Google Translate) and here at the Rabo-Liv website.

Froome/Contador battle playing out ahead of the Tour de France

by Shane Stokes

The big mountains of the Tour de France may be over a month away, but former winners Chris Froome and Alberto Contador are already sizing each other up, trying to score psychological points and going head to head in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Criterium Dauphine Libere 2014  stage -2

Froome took first blood when he beat Contador by eight seconds to win Sunday’s opening time trial. The Spaniard was again bested on Monday’s first mountain stage, but in matching every one of Froome’s surges while the other riders were all dropped, he showed that he is close to the Briton’s level and likely to be his biggest challenger next month.

CyclingTips understands that Contador went into the race expecting to be some way off his Tour de France form, and that he is confident he will be able to step things again for the Grand Tour. Froome may also have the same intention; July will show how they square up and who has the edge then.

The Sky leader admitted that he was taken by surprise by Contador’s attack on a descent on yesterday’s fifth stage. “We didn’t expect him to attack, we were expecting him to save it for Saturday, and the climbs on that day will be a lot more telling,” he stated.

He said that he wasn’t quite sure how to interpret the move. “Either Alberto’s not so confident about the weekend, or he feels very confident and is able to attack anywhere.

“That’s what I respect about him; he does make the race entertaining and is prepared to take it up on the climbs and the descents.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Dan Martin to target worlds, says Tour selection ‘difficult’

by Shane Stokes

Irish pro Dan Martin has conceded that it may be difficult to gain selection for this year’s Tour de France, stating that a limitation on how soon he can compete after his collarbone injury means he will miss the Tour de Suisse and thus be short of racing.

Speaking to CyclingTips in recent days at the Cycle4life charity ride he is patron of, he said that the final decision will be made by the Garmin-Sharp team closer to the event and that he is uncertain of his chances.

Here’s a video from that interview:

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Niki Terpstra extends his contract with OPQS

Omega Pharma-QuickStep has announced that Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra has extended his contract with the team and will now ride for the Belgian squad through 2017.

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Terpstra has been with OPQS since 2011 and has already netted some impressive wins, including Dwars door Vlaanderen-Waregem in 2012, a stage and overall victory at Tour of Qatar this year, a win at Dwars door Vlaanderen this year as well, and, of course, his memorable win at Paris-Roubaix.

“I’m happy the team has confidence in me,” Terpstra said. “I really hope to continue making progress and growing within the wonderful framework of OPQS. I’m happy to stay with the team as it is not only one of the best teams in the world, but there is a special atmosphere within the team.”

“We prolonged his contract for three years because we have faith in him and think he can develop much more as a rider,” OPQS CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “He is a strong guy who is also an intelligent racer. He has good relationships with his teammates and one of the guys who can really build a future with us at the Classics.”

Text adapted from an Omega Pharma-QuickStep press release.

Carlos Betancur ruffles feathers with missed flight to France

Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has angered team management after skipping his flight to France from Colombia and appears to have put his chances of racing Le Tour de France in doubt.

UPDATE: it would appear that Betancur is suffering from cytomegalovirus and will remain in Colombia to recover. Read more here.

“It’s annoying,” Ag2r general manager Vincent Lavenu told Cycling Weekly, “there’s always problems with him.”

Betancur told the team he was feeling sick and so he decided to stay home in Colombia. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old’s visa to enter Europe expired last week and given he’s done little racing in recent weeks, his Tour de France berth is in doubt.

“It pushes everything back. We can get an extension [to his visa] with the French [embassy], but if he doesn’t show up by the end of the month, we have to start everything over again in Colombia,” Lavenu said. “It’s put his whole season in doubt.”

“Betancur is special. I don’t know if other Colombians are as complicated as mine,” Lavenu said. “It’s true that one of the hardest things with Carlos is that he’s attached to his home and he always wants to go home early to stay as long as possible. Staying in Europe has always been difficult for him.”

Betancur’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Tour of Britain promo video

Here’s a nice promo video for the men’s Tour of Britain which runs from September 7 to 14.

Rap battle: MTBer vs roadie

This video from the guys at IFHT is great, check it out:

Here’s a behind the scenes video from the shoot and here are two more great videos from the IFHT guys: one on how to be a road biker, and one on how to be a MTBer.

Cyclist gets what he deserved

This video is a few years old but it’s the first time we’ve seen it in a long time. Hope you get a chuckle out of it like we did.

Roadtripping Japan

If you haven’t already, set aside 10 minutes today and take a good look through Wade’s Roadtripping Japan piece. There’s plenty in there to sink your teeth into, not least the great video that sums up the riding beautifully.

Click here to see the piece.

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 was shot by Cor Vos during the fifth stage of this year’s Dauphine and appears to catch Chris Froome looking at something other than a stem.