Andre Greipel sprints to victory on stage 6, Nibali holds steady in yellow

After struggling to make an impression in the early sprint stages of this year’s Tour de France, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has opened his account with a win on the mainly flat sixth stage from Arras to Reims. Vincenzo Nibali finished safely in the bunch and maintains his overall lead.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 6

The day’s long breakaway featured four riders — Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), Jerome Pineau (IAM) and Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Seche) — with the quartet gaining a maximum of roughly 4:30 on the peloton. They were always in the peloton’s grasp, however, and their gap was eroded as the mainly flat stage wore on.

Crosswinds threatened to tear the race apart inside the final 70km, but the efforts of Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the front of the field never amounted to much. But when the last of the breakaway riders was caught with about 11km to go, crosswinds did split the peloton, with the second group finishing nearly a minute down.

A late attack from Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) looked like it might pay off but he was caught 300m from the line at which point Andre Greipel sprinted to the front and was never passed. Three-time stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) had a puncture was caught out in the crosswinds* in the closing kilometres and wasn’t able to return to the front in time to contest the sprint.

Vincenzo Nibali finished safely in the bunch and will wear yellow again tomorrow.

Stage 6: Arras > Reims - Stage Result

Thursday 10th July 2014

1. de
GREIPEL André
Lotto Belisol
04:11:39
2. no
KRISTOFF Alexander
Team Katusha
-
3. fr
DUMOULIN Samuel
AG2R La Mondiale
-

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

Emma Pooley take solo victory on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa

Newly crowned British ITT champion Emma Pooley (Lotto-Belisol) has taken a memorable solo victory on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa as the race headed into the mountains for the first time this year.


Pooley escaped from the peloton on the first of the day’s three categorised climbs and was later chased by a group of six riders that included QOM classification leader Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) and stage 2 winner Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda).

She was eventually caught by the chase group but as the riders hit the final climb of the day — the 13km ascent to La Crosetta — the seven-rider group was reduced to just two: Rabo-Liv’s Kasia Niewiadoma and Pooley. Pooley soon attacked and had a minute on Niewiadoma by the summit but there was still 28km to the finish. Worringly, a group of the GC favourites, including Marianne Vos, was just two minutes behind.

Niewiadoma was caught and while Pooley’s advantage steadily came down on the run in to the finish, she managed to hold on to win by 15 seconds ahead of a six-rider group. The group was led in by the Rabo-Liv trio of Anna van der Breggen, Marianne Vos and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, with defending champion Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthcare) also there.

The top three on the GC is unchanged after the stage with Vos leading Ferrand-Prevot and Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products) ahead of the race’s final three stages.

Stage 6: Gaiarine > S. Fior - Stage Result

Thursday 10th July 2014

1. gb
POOLEY Emma
Lotto Belisol Ladies
03:05:46
2. nl
VAN DER BREGGEN Anna
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
0:15
3. nl
VOS Marianne
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
-

Click here to read more at Podium Cafe.

Jesse Sergent wins stage 5 of the Tour of Austria

Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) has taken his first victory in nearly three years and the first road race victory of his professional career, winning stage 5 of the Tour of Austria from the day’s main breakaway.

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A group of 11 riders got clear of the peloton and had an advantage of six minutes when they hit the 2,500m high, HC climb in the middle of the stage. Just five riders from that group made it up the climb and down the other side together.

New Zealander Sergent attacked from the breakaway on a small climb 20km from the finish and managed to stay away, winning by 49 seconds over Yoann Bagot (Cofidis) and another eight seconds ahead of Patrick Konrad (Gourmetfein Simplon Wels).

With three stages left in the race the general classification remains unchanged. Peter Kennaugh (Sky) still leads ahead of Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) and Javier Moreno (Movistar).

Stage 5: Matrei/Osttirol > St. Johann/Alpendorf - Stage Result

Thursday 10th July 2014

1. nz
SERGENT Jesse
Trek Factory Racing
03:57:04
2. fr
BAGOT Yoann
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
0:49
3. at
KONRAD Patrick
Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels
0:57

Thomas Vaubourzeix takes stage 5 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Ilya Davidenok into the overall lead

A new leader emerged at the 2014 Tour of Qinghai Lake on Thursday as Kazakh sprinter Ilya Davidenok (Astana) finally closed the one second lead Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss) had maintained for the last four stages with an impressive ride in oppressive heat and altitude on stage five.

20140710_0118

Polivoda suffered an untimely puncture, and with no teammates to help him chase back to the group, he was forced to go it alone and missed a key move, effectively ending his chances of maintaining his GC lead.

Davidenok took the jersey after placing third on the stage, breaking away from a select group of 20 in the final 15km. Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pommes Marseille) outsprinted all-comers to win the stage with Juan Jose Ugalde (Burgos – BH) in second.

Stage 5: Qinghai Lake > Guide - Stage Result

Thursday 10th July 2014

1. fr
VAUBOURZEIX Thomas
Team La Pomme Marseille 13
04:51:23
2. es
OROZ UGALDE Juan José
Burgos-BH
-
3. kz
DAVIDENOK Ilya
Continental Team Astana
0:03

Dave Brailsford has no regrets about not picking Wiggins for the Tour de France

When Chris Froome crashed out of the Tour de France on stage 5 there were renewed suggestions that Dave Brailsford and Team Sky management had made a mistake in not picking Bradley Wiggins for the Tour.

Giro d'Italia 2013 - Settima Tappa

Brailsford, however, told the media yesterday that he has no regrets and that Richie Porte was selected in the team as the “plan B” if something happened to Froome.

“If he (Wiggins) was considered as the plan B, we would have selected him. Richie Porte is our plan B and we selected a team based on the facts at the time and that’s how it panned out,” Brailsford told journalists before the start of stage in Arras.

“I take full responsibility for it and that’s part of my job. I stand by them and get judged by them and everybody else can decide if they’re good decision or bad decisions. But my job is to make the decisions and I’ll continue to put my neck on the line and make the decisions. That’s what this job is about and the day I don’t do that is the day I leave.”

Brailsford has said that Chris Froome will now target the Vuelta a Espana after his early exit from the Tour.

“It’s just unfortunate for Chris, he’s worked ever so hard to be in good shape and really believed he could win this race,” said Brailsford. ”But I think he’ll be back and that’s part of this sport. You get knocked down, you get back and you go again. We will, I’m sure, see him in the Vuelta and go from there.”

Click here to see the video interview with David Brailsford.

Richie Porte: I’m ready to lead

Meanwhile, in his diary for the Sydney Morning Herald, Richie Porte has written that he’s ready to lead Team Sky and that he’ll relish the opportunity.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 5

“As sad as it is to see teammate and good friend Chris Froome leave the Tour de France on Wednesday … it has left me in a prime position to lead the team in his place. And I’m going to take this chance to prove I can be up there on the general classification.”

Porte managed to get through the brutal stage 5 in a good position, but he too hit the deck.

“How I crashed after the second sector of cobbles is not exactly known. At the time, I was washing myself from the mud and dirt that had covered me with water from my drink bottle when I was suddenly taken out by another rider. I landed right on my wounds from my crash crashed on stage two to Sheffield, but at least I’m not seriously injured, nor did I need to undergo any X-Rays after finishing.

“It didn’t end at the finish line. Worse was at the hotel … when the doctor gave me the scrubbing brush to use in the shower to clean the wounds from my crash midway into the stage from gravel – one of the ‘pleasures’ of being a professional cyclist.”

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Garmin team to join with Cannondale for 2015, Sagan headed to Tinkoff-Saxo?

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport it’s being reported that Cannondale Pro Cycling will fold at the end of 2014 and the Italian team will merge with Garmin-Sharp as a sponsor from 2015.

In theory the agreement between Garmin-Sharp team and Cannondale can be called a merger, but more likely Cannondale will become a technical supplier and likely the title sponsor of the American-based squad with limited influence on decisions made by team manager, Jonathan Vaughters. When Vaughters was asked for comment by CyclingWeekly, Vaughters replied, “I can’t comment on that”.

La Gazzetta also reports the (unconfirmed) rumour that Peter Sagan will be heading to Tinkoff-Saxo next season.

Read the full story here at La Gazzetta (Italian).

Shimano introduces new disc brake standard

Shimano has introduced a new standard for disc-brake-equipped road bikes called “Flat Mount. The system was reportedly developed with leading bike brands especially for road bikes equipped with disc brakes.

Shimano suggests Flat Mount features a cleaner, more integrated design, with no visible mounting bolts, among other benefits.

shimanoDiscStandard

Limited details about the system are available at this point but we’ll let you know once we know more.

Vive L’Indifférence

Wade Wallace

The Inrng wrote a very good piece today that not many speak about for fear of spoiling the romance: the indifference of a large portion of the French towards the Tour de France. It’s not immediately obvious, but the more times you come to the Tour and the more people you speak to, it becomes apparent that this isn’t a sporting spectacle that many people are overly passionate about. The roads are often lined with rent-a-crowds (school kids, hospital patients, etc), people with a passing interest, and tourists – not die hard fans. From what I’m told, the TdF is of course part of French culture, but not a sport that extends beyond something that gives a good reason for a family picnic.

For a thorough explanation, you can read the full piece on the Inrng here.

World War One – The Tour de France Remembers

It has been estimated that approximately 50 participants of the first 11 editions of the Tour de France were killed during World War One – the facts surrounding the lives and careers of the many isolés are hard to determine – but the organisers of the Tour de France have ensured that the memory of those men, and indeed all the men and women who endured this most terrible conflict, are honoured during the 2014 edition of the race.

A German cycle unit on the Western Front, dismount and head straight into battle.

A German cycle unit on the Western Front, dismount and head straight into battle.

Stages 4, 5 and 6 were meant to commemorate our war veterans and Wheelsuckers.co.uk has written a fascinating piece on the history of cycling throughout the Great War.

Click here to read the full piece.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

* Initial reports suggested Kittel had suffered a puncture. We now know that’s not true.


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