Sacha Modolo wins stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse

After successfully avoiding a crash in the final 500m that claimed stage 4 winner Mark Cavendish (OPQS), Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) proved fastest in a reduced bunch sprint to win stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse yesterday. Stage 3 winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was second while John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) was third.

Tour de Suisse 2014 stage - 5

The crash happened on the first of two hairpin bends in the closing stages of the race and footage of the incident appears to show Trek’s Danny Van Poppel nudging Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) into the path of Cavendish. The British national champion was able to finish the race, albeit with blood coming from his right shoulder.

The day’s escape featured Sander Armee (Lotto-Belisol), Jaroslaw Marycz (CCC Polsat) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty Groupe Gobert) but on a largely flat stage with a handful of short climbs their chances of survival were slim. They were caught with 10km remaining, setting things up for a sprint finish.

Race leader Tony Martin (OPQS) maintained his position atop the general classification and goes into the sixth stage of the nine-stage race with his six-second lead still in tact. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) is second while Peter Sagan is still third.

Stage 5: Ossingen > Buren a. Aare - Stage Result

Wednesday 18th June 2014

1. it
MODOLO Sacha
Lampre-Merida
04:08:06
2. sk
SAGAN Peter
Cannondale
-
3. de
DEGENKOLB John
Team Giant-Shimano
-

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Philippe Gilbert wins Ster ZLM Toer prologue

Former world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has wound back the clock, winning the prologue at the Ster ZLM Toer in what is his first individual time trial victory since he was the Belgian national ITT champion in 2011.

Ster ZLM Toer  2014

Gilbert averaged 48.743km/h to finish the 7.2km course in 8:37, less than a second faster than runner-up Dylan van Baarle (Garmin-Sharp), third-placed Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano) and two other riders.

“It was a special day,” Gilbert said. “I had to really keep my focus because there were so many distractions.”

The race was stopped twice during the day, first when a home on the race route caught fire and later after Kenneth Vanbilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen) hit a spectator who was crossing the street.

The win is Gilbert’s third of the season after victories in the Amstel Gold Race and Brabantse Pijl in April.

Gilbert now goes into stage 2 of the five-stage Dutch race with the slimmest of advantages.

Prologue: Bladel > Bladel - Stage Result

Wednesday 18th June 2014

1. be
GILBERT Philippe
BMC Racing Team
00:08:37
2. nl
VAN BAARLE Dylan
Garmin Sharp
0:01
3. nl
TIMMER Albert
Team Giant-Shimano
-

Text adapted from a BMC press release.

Will Clarke wins stage 2 of the Tour of Iran, takes overall lead

Will Clarke has won the second stage of the UCI 2.1 Tour of Iran on Wednesday to move into the overall race lead.


Clarke, who was runner-up on Stage 1, was too good for Taiji Nishtani (Aisan Racing Team) and Mehdi Sohrabi (Tabriz Petrochemical Team) after the 210km of racing in Aras. The 29-year-old also moves into the lead in the points classification with today’s win.

The victory marks Clarke’s 10th podium of the season and the fifth time he’s moved into the race lead – four of which have been in UCI races – having already done so at the Tour de Perth, Tour d’Azerbaïdjan, Tour of Japan and Tour of Kumano.

Clarke led the charge for the early break of 12, which escaped after 20km. Sixty kilometres later a group of 20 riders made it across the gap and were soon followed by another bunch.

Clarke holds a 12-second lead heading into Thursday’s third stage and director sportif Agostino Giramondo admits that it won’t be easy to defend.

“It’s going to be hard to control the Tabriz team but we will try and hold on to the lead for another day at least,” he said.

Text adapted from a Drapac press release.

Stage 2: Urmia > Aras - Stage Result

Wednesday 18th June 2014

1. au
CLARKE William
Drapac Professional Cycling
05:08:42
2. jp
NISHITANI Taiji
Aisan Racing Team
-
3. ir
SOHRABI Mehdi
Tabriz Petrochemical Team
-

Wiggins’ Tour hopes fade after Tour de Suisse crash

by Shane Stokes

The chance of Bradley Wiggins taking part in this year’s Tour de France appears more distant than before, with the Briton not starting Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de Suisse.

Wiggins1

Wiggins crashed towards the end of Tuesday’s fourth stage and while he was able to remount and ride on to the finish, he and team medical staff decided that it was best for him to leave the race.

Wiggins said that he was sitting last man in the peloton in order to stay out of trouble but that the riders ahead of him jammed on the brakes suddenly. While he was able to slow, another rider rode into him, bringing him down.

“I’ve got quite a lot of swelling on the left-hand side of my right knee. It’s one of those things, I’ve been pretty fortunate this year with crashes,” he said in a team statement. “I probably could have started today but it’s best to play it safe and come home now.”

Wiggins will hope for a quick recovery as he hopes to win the British national time trial championships next Thursday.

Withdrawing from the Tour de Suisse means Wiggins doesn’t have the chance to prove that he is riding well in preparation for the Tour de France, and also means that he loses out on what would be an important preparation race prior to the French event.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Nicolas Roche: “It’s going to be one of the most exciting Tours of recent years”

by Shane Stokes

Encouraged by his team-mate Alberto Contador’s strong showing in the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, Tinkoff-Saxo rider Nicolas Roche has predicted a very close and dramatic match between the Spaniard and defending champion Chris Froome.

Roche1

Roche backed Contador in last year’s race and while the 2007 and 2009 winner was not at his top level, the Irishman is convinced that things will be different this time round and that the team has a very real chance of winning the race.

“I was already very excited about riding for him in the Tour last year,” said Roche, speaking to CyclingTips after an intense altitude training camp in Livigno, Italy. “When you see the level he is at this year, it makes it even more exciting.

“I think himself and Froome have no other competition. Okay, maybe Valverde might be a third one, but it is going to be very, very important for both of those leaders to have a strong team around them so as not to be caught up in anything.”

Roche eschewed his traditional Tour/Vuelta programme to instead ride the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double. He had hoped to figure well in the Italian race but had to give up his GC hopes when he was caught up in a crash and lost time.

He instead rode for his team-mate Rafal Majka, who led the best young rider competition for much of the race and eventually finished sixth.

Click here to read the full article here at CyclingTips, including a Q&A with Nicolas Roche.

Magnus Cort signs three-year deal with Orica-GreenEdge

Orica-GreenEdge has announced that promising young rider Magnus Cort has signed his neo-pro contract with the Australian outfit. The Dane recently scored his 10th win of the season, capturing two stages wins and the overall at Ronde de l’Oise.

Image courtesy of Orica-GreenEdge.

Image courtesy of Orica-GreenEdge.

Cort has spent the last three seasons racing for Danish Continental teams, stepping up to the WorldTour from Cult Energy Vital Water.

The 21-year-old joins the team’s young crop of talent that includes Esteban Chaves, Luke Durbridge, Caleb Ewan, Michael Hepburn, Damien Howson and the Yates brothers.

“Our goal with Magnus is the same that we have with all our young guys,” said Sport Director Matt White. “The young guys we have are the best of the best – and they’ve shown us that by winning. We want them to keep that quality. We want to extend Magnus the support he needs to continue to win bike races while at the same time helping him develop as an athlete and a person. We know we want Mangus to win next year, and we know he has the talent do that. We’ll work out with him the where, when and how.”

The results Cort has already achieved demonstrate his versatility. His wins come from small bunch sprints and uphill kicks to the lines, in one day Classics and in stage races, and on the general classification of shorter tours.

“Most people probably perceive Magnus as a sprinter, but I wouldn’t call him that,” said White. “Uphill sprints are certainly his thing, but he’s a pretty classy all-rounder.”

Text adapted from an Orica-GreenEdge press release.

Women’s Giro del Trentino reduced to a one-day race

Just days before the race is scheduled to start, the organisers of the women’s Giro del Trentino have confirmed that the race will go ahead but that the former stage race has been reduced to a one-day race.

The race was formerly three days long and served as a great warm-up for the Giro Rosa, which begins in July.

“I just hope it’s a temporary thing,” Race committee chair Juri Tiengo said of the decision to reduce the race to one day. “I don’t think the local authorities do not care about the event, even if that seems the case this year. Our race is one of top ten in the world, and if we want to talk about equal opportunities, it deserves the same respect as a men’s race.”

The now UCI 1.1-ranked will be held on Saturday and will be 108km long, featuring a 5km climb 20km from the finish.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

National Cyclocross Series starts this weekend, BrewCX releases national rankings

The seven-race National Cyclocross Series starts in Melbourne this weekend with two days of CX action at Cranwell Park and Darebin Parklands. Ahead of the series opener on Saturday, our friends at BrewCX have developed a national ranking scheme to compare Australia’s best CX racers of the season so far.

IMG_5491

Leading the women’s ranking is former road race national champion and Olympian Oenone Wood, ahead of Jenny MacPherson and Claire Aubrey. In the men’s rankings it’s Garry Milburn leading the way from Chris Jongewaard and Paul Redenbach. These rankings could all change this weekend with two rounds of CX action.

Click here to read more at BrewCX and click here and here to read more about rounds 1 and 2 of the National CX series respectively.

Going helmet-free not contributory negligence, German appeal court rules

Germany highest appeal court has ruled that cyclists are not considered legally responsible for head injuries they sustain while riding if they’re not wearing a helmet. The decision from the Federal Court of Justice overturns a previous decision from a lower court, ruling that a 61-year-old women who was doored by a driver bore no liability for her injuries.

Image: Baptiste Pons/Flickr

Image: Baptiste Pons/Flickr

According to Reuters the car owner’s insurance company attempted to drop its payout to the cyclist to 20%, suggesting that the rider was negligent because she wasn’t wearing a helmet. The decision was upheld with the court saying “a decent and reasonable person would wear a helmet to decrease the risk of injury”. But the Federal Court of Justice overturned the ruling, saying: “Not wearing a helmet does not allow a reduction in the claim as a result of contributory negligence.”

Click here to read more at road.cc.

An exercise bike-washing machine combination?

Here’s something we didn’t think we’d ever see: a composite exercise bike and washing machine.

bike_washing_machine3

It was designed by some folks at the Dalian Nationalities University to allow you to do your washing and a workout at the same time. To quote from Total Women’s Cycling:

While it is an interesting idea, we are not sold on the fact that this will become a product you see on the shelves of your local Currys. For starters, your clothes will only be cleaned when you have a couple of hours to set aside for a training session and secondly we are a little sceptical about how effective our pedal power would be at tackling particularly pesky stains.

Click here to read more at Total Women’s Cycling.

Corndogs: the food of champion cyclists?

Here’s a great parody of a video in the Rapha/Team Sky collaboration series, “The Little Things, from a San Francisco high school MTB team. First up, here’s the original video:

And here’s the parody:

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 Jered & Ashley Gruber and was shot during last year’s Tour of Britain.