Marcel Kittel doubles up in London, Vincenzo Nibali retains the overall lead

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has claimed his second victory of the 2014 Tour de France, winning a bunch sprint in wet conditions in front of London’s Buckingham Palace. After finishing safely in the bunch on stage 3 Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) maintains the overall lead that he secured with his win on stage 2.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 3

No sooner had the flag been waved for the start of the race than newly crowned Czech TT champion Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) and Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Seche Environments) were off, attempting to establish a breakaway. No other riders joined the pair and so it was left to Barta and Bideau to forge on together and establish an early lead.

They got as much as 4:30 ahead of the peloton before the teams of the sprinters and of overall leader Vincenzo Nibali started to chase in earnest. The escapees were caught inside the final 10km, setting the race up for a bunch sprint on The Mall.

With 3.5km remaining Giant-Shimano came decisively to the front. They successfully navigated Marcel Kittel around a tight right-hand bend with 1.7km to go (while a handful of riders crashed further back) as the German speedster sat comfortably in fourth wheel.

When it came time for the final sprint on The Mall no-one looked close to beating Kittel. Peter Sagan tucked himself into the German’s slipstream but made no attempt to come around as Kittel crossed the line with arms outstretched. The Cannondale rider took second place and further strengthened his lead in the points classification while Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Mark Renshaw finished third after picking up the team’s sprinting duties in lieu of the injured Mark Cavendish.

Vincenzo Nibali finished comfortably in the bunch and will wear the leader’s yellow jersey for another day when the race resumes in France tomorrow.

Stage 3: Cambridge > London - Stage Result

Monday 7th July 2014

1. de
KITTEL Marcel
Team Giant-Shimano
03:38:30
2. sk
SAGAN Peter
Cannondale
-
3. au
RENSHAW Mark
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-

Click here to read a full stage report here at CyclingTips.

Greipel anxious in stage 3?

André Greipel was the most notable sprinter on stage 3 who was absent from the bunch finish in London. Lotto-Belisol told Sporza that the German rider was anxious during the finishing kilometers because of the wet roads:

“With the rain and all those people, Andre was scared,” Marc Sergeant, Lotto-Belisol team manager told Sporza. “He rode through every corner on the brakes. You cannot ride like that in the Tour. This is a missed opportunity.

“I think the strongest won,” said Sergeant.

Andre Greipel broke his collarbone a crash at Gent-Wevelgem in March and has not been seen placing in the sprints as often as usual in the lead-up to the Tour. He did however win the German National Championships last week in a bunch sprint ahead of John Degenkolb.

Annemiek Van Vleuten wins stage 3 of the Giro Rosa, Vos maintains overall lead

Annemiek Van Vleuten (Rabo-Liv) has won her second stage of the 2014 Giro Rosa, attacking from a breakaway on the 5km climb to the summit finish in San Donato Val di Comino. Her teammate Marianne Vos maintained her overall lead after finishing fifth after escaping from the peloton on the final climb.

Giro Rosa 2014 stage - 3

Van Vleuten was part of a 15-rider breakaway that escaped roughly 50km into the stage, before a 7km climb in the middle of the stage. By the time the leaders reached the final climb, 5km from the finish, just five remained in the group. With the peloton bearing down on the reduced lead group Van Vleuten attacked with 3km to go on the final climb and quickly opened a gap.

She went on to win the race 10 seconds clear of second-placed Elena Berlato (Ale Cipollini) and another six seconds ahead of third-placed Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda) who, just a week after winning her national ITT and road race championships, becomes the first Japanese podium winner at the Giro Rosa.

After the stage Marianne Vos now leads the overall standings, ahead of teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products).

Stage 3: Caserta > San Donato Val di Comino - Stage Result

Monday 7th July 2014

1. nl
VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
03:20:50
2. it
BERLATO Elena
Alé Cipollini
0:10
3. jp
HAGIWARA Mayuko
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
0:16

Click here to read more at Podium Cafe.

Marco Benfatto wins stage 2 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Polivoda maintains GC lead

The sprinters had their day on stage 2 of the 2014 Tour of Qinghai Lake, battling on a tight run into the finish after a mostly flat day. In a chaotic field sprint, Continental Team Astana emerged victorious as Marco Benfatto beat German Robert Forster (UnitedHealthcare) to the line, with Evaldas Siskevicius (La Pomme Marseille) finding third.

20140707_1748

The race left from the Duoba High Altitude Olympic Training Camp, 2,350m above sea level, and headed 61km north into Datong, where riders entered three 42km-long circuits at the base of Laoye Mountain.

The day’s breakaway got to work from the gun as James Stemper (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda), Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour (Tabriz Petrochemical), and Jianpeng Liu (Hengxiang) rolled away just a few minutes into the stage, quickly establishing a five minute gap just 30km into the stage. Viesturs Luksevics (Amore & Vita – Selle SMP) jumped the gap as the break continued to gain time, making it four up the road.

The gap slowly came down from its 5:30 peak, to just 1:15 heading into the final circuit when Tuguldur Tuukhangai (Ningxia Sports Lottery – Focus) bridged the gap as Liu faded back to the field. With just 32km remaining and the gap continuing to dwindle, Luksevics was the next to drop, leaving Tuukhangal and Stemper dangling alone off the front.

Hoping to avoid the same mistakes it made yesterday, the field worked hard to reel back the breakaway, eventually making the catch a conservative 13km from the finish. From there, the sprinters took charge, battling for the important real estate at the front with a sharp right-left turn combination looming just 300m from the finish.

Benfatto found himself in a bit of trouble coming into the final turns, sitting 10th wheel before shooting up the left side of the field through the turns into a perfect second position slot where he could launch his sprint for the win.

Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss) held on to the yellow jersey five seconds ahead of Ilya Davidenok (Astana) in the blue jersey awarded to the top Asian rider. Polivoda continues to lead the green jersey points competition, four points ahead of Davidenok.

Stage 2: Duoba > Datong - Stage Result

Monday 7th July 2014

1. it
BENFATTO Marco
Continental Team Astana
04:17:35
2. de
FöRSTER Robert
UnitedHealthcare
-
3. lt
SISKEVICIUS Evaldas
Team La Pomme Marseille 13
-

Oscar Gatto wins stage 2 of the Tour of Austria, Kennaugh holds overall lead

Oscar Gatto (Cannondale) has won the second stage of the Tour of Austria, taking out the bunch sprint ahead of Juan José Lobato (Movistar) and Marco Haller (Katusha). Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh retains the yellow jersey.


Early in the race five riders jumped away from the peloton: Sebastian Schönberger (Gourmet Simplon), Hans-Jörg Leopold (WSA GreenLife), Stephan Rabitsch (Amplatz BMC), Frederik Backaert (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha). The advantage of the quintet grew to a maximum of five minutes.

Shortly before the last climb of the day, 50 kilometers from the finish line, the lead dropped to under two minutes and 20 kilometers from the end Backeart went solo. His fellow escapees were reeled in by the peloton and then Backaert too was caught.

Team Sky and Katusha led the peloton into the final sprint and it was Oscar Gatto who proved fastest.

Stage 2: Waidhofen/Ybbs > Bad Ischl - Stage Result

Monday 7th July 2014

1. it
GATTO Oscar
Cannondale
04:25:53
2. es
LOBATO Juan José
Movistar Team
-
3. at
HALLER Marco
Team Katusha
-

Click here to read more at wielerflits.nl.

Cavendish faces six weeks on the sidelines as surgery deemed necessary

by Shane Stokes

Mark Cavendish faces up to six weeks away from racing after it was confirmed that he would undergo surgery overnight on the shoulder he injured on stage one of the Tour de France.

Cavendish2

CyclingTips spoke with Omega Pharma-QuickStep team doctor Helge Riepenhof prior to a decision being made about an operation.

“If he needs surgery, it will be a minimum of six weeks. If it is okay without, it will be a minimum of four weeks. But it is very likely he will need surgery,” he said then.

He said that it looked very likely Cavendish had suffered a grade three luxation, the most serious degree of that type of injury.

After his surgery, Cavendish will go to the BG hospital in Hamburg and work on his rehab there. Cavendish’s upcoming period of time off the bike makes it extremely unlikely he will compete in the Commonwealth Games. Dr. Riepenhof said that the Vuelta a España might be an option, though.

“Time wise this is possible. It depends if this is one of the goals,” he told CyclingTips.

Click here to read the full story and here the full audio interview with Dr Riepenhof.

ASO to use live onboard cameras for La Course broadcast

Calls for on-board cameras to be allowed in professional cycling have been getting louder in recent months and now the ASO has announced a crucial step in the introduction of such technology.

SBS Cycling Central reports that the ASO will be using on-board cameras from Garmin and Shimano during La Course, the women’s circuit race on the Champs Elysees later this month, as a live trial of the technology.

An ASO spokesman told Cycling Central they believe it to be the future for Tour de France broadcasts.

“In cycling we have to move with the times. We have to innovate and create new things to stimulate the viewers. We have an agreement with some of the teams for them to capture the vision, and for us to use it for our own purposes for the rights holders,” the spokesman said.

“This is the future. There will be a test on 27 July for the women’s race, it’s very controlled on the Champs Elysees, but we intend, in the next few years to introduce it into our live offerings.”

The sticking point thus far has been the need for transmission equipment to be attached to bikes to get the camera signal our for live broadcast, but the ASO has reportedly arrived at a viable solution for La Course.

Click here to read more at SBS Cycling Central.

Greg van Avermaet eyeing off stage 5 of the Tour de France

by Shane Stokes

He’s often been the runner-up in major events but now, after showing excellent form in finishing second on stage two of the Tour de France, Greg Van Avermaet is hoping he is on the threshold of something very big.

GregVanAvermaet-1024x682

The Belgian BMC Racing Team rider led the chasing group into Sheffield on Sunday, the 20-man bunch crossing the line two seconds behind the stage winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The result elevated him to third overall in the general classification, again just two seconds behind Nibali. Speaking at the start of stage three in Cambridge, he was clear about his goal: taking the Maillot Jaune.

“It would mean a lot. If I had won the stage yesterday or taken yellow, it would be a big difference for me,” he told CyclingTips. “I am chasing a little bit this big victory – I am always having good results. I was a few times second in big races. I feel now it is the time that I should win one of these races. Maybe it is this week already.”

“I am looking forward to the stage of Wednesday. That is more important to me. We will see how I am in GC after the stage.”

Click here to read the full story and hear the audio of the interview with Greg Van Avermaet, here at CyclingTips.

UCI renews licenses for two WorldTour races through 2016

Here’s the UCI press release in full:

In compliance with the article 2.15.177 of the UCI Regulations, the UCI Licence Commission recently renewed the licences for the Santos Tour Down Under (Australia) and the E3 Harelbeke (Belgium). The renewed licences are valid until 2016.

The decision comes after the last meeting of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) during which it wished for a renewal of UCI WorldTour licences that are soon to expire, in order to ensure a stable UCI WorldTour calendar in the lead-up to the introduction of the professional road cycling reform in 2017.

Edinburgh launches new bid to bring Tour de France to Scotland

After the success of the Yorkshire Grand Depart of this year’s Tour de France, the Edinburgh City Council has confirmed it is planning on bidding for the opening stage of the Tour de France, possibly in 2018 or 2019.

The council’s deputy leader, Steve Cardownie, who was involved in a previous bit from Edinburgh which was defeated by Yorkshire, said watching the Yorkshire Grand Depart this year would help inform their future bid.

“We will be that much more equipped because we will have seen first-hand how it operates in Yorkshire. We’ve staged cycling events in the past, we’ve had athletic events and, of course, we have our fantastic festivals. We are always in the market for something new, something different.”

Edinburgh’s bid had the support of British Cycling and UK Sport but was ultimately overlooked in favour of Yorkshire.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Nibali’s podium snub

This snub from one of the podium girls after stage 2 of the Tour is both hard to watch and hilarious. Gotta love Nibali’s save too:

Chris Froome – the first man to cycle the Channel Tunnel

Ahead of the Tour de France’s crossing from the UK into France, Team Sky has released a video showing defending champion Chris Froome reportedly becoming the first cyclist ever to ride the 50km underneath the Channel Tunnel. Check it out here:

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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