Tony Gallopin wins stage 11 of the Tour de France, Nibali holds firm in yellow

Just days after taking and then losing the overall lead in the Tour de France, Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) has taken a thrilling victory on stage 11 with a last-ditch solo attack. The Frenchman attacked on a short uncategorised climb roughly 13km from the finish before being caught and then attacking again about 3km from the line.

TDFR 2014 - stage -11

A breakaway group of three riders — Martin Elmiger (IAM), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) and Anthony Delaplace (Seche-Bretagne) — got away early in the stage but gradually disintegrated as they approached the day’s four climbs, all in the final 50km. Elmiger was the lone survivor, taking maximum points over all four climbs, before being joined by four riders that had escaped from the peloton: Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar).

Roche went solo as the other four faded, but he was caught on a descent by a fast-descending Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at the head of a small lead group. On a final, uncategorised climb 13.4km from the finish Tony Gallopin made his move. He was caught by a chase group featuring Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), but when Gallopin attacked again just 3km from the finish, disorganisation in the chase allowed him to stay clear.

He crossed the line just metres ahead of a sprinting peloton, adding a stage win in the Tour de France to the yellow jersey he wore on one stage before the rest day. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), meanwhile, finished safely in the lead group and will wear yellow again into stage 12.

Stage 11: Besancon > Oyonnax - Stage Result

Wednesday 16th July 2014

1. fr
GALLOPIN Tony
Lotto Belisol
04:25:45
2. de
DEGENKOLB John
Team Giant-Shimano
-
3. it
TRENTIN Matteo
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
-

Click here to read the full stage report at CyclingTips.

Romy Kasper wins stage 2 of Thüringen Rundfahrt

Romy Kasper (Boels Dolmans) has claimed victory on stage 2 of the seven-stage women’s Thüringen Rundfahrt after getting in the day’s early break and surviving to the finish.

Kasper got clear of the field with Hanka Kupfernagel but when the latter crashed, Kasper was left on her own. New Zealander Reta Trotman managed to bridge across to Kasper with about 30km remaining in the 104km stage, and at that stage the pair had a little more than two minutes over the peloton.

Their advantage was whittled away in the closing kilometres but the pair was able to hang on, Kasper taking the win over Trotman by a couple of seconds. Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-Lululemon) still leads the overall after winning the prologue, placing second on stage 1 and finishing fourth on stage 2, 29 seconds behind Kasper.

Stage 2: Schleiz > Schleiz - Stage Result

Wednesday 16th July 2014

1. de
KASPER Romy
Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team
02:55:25
2. nz
TROTMAN Reta
0:02
3. gb
ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth
Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team
0:29

Race leader Ilya Davidenok wins stage 10 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake

Kazakh sprinter Ilya Davidenok (Astana) has led the Tour of Qinghai Lake for the last five stages, and yesterday he added a stage win to his list of accomplishments, winning stage ten and essentially sealing his GC lead with three days remaining.

20140716_1297

The sprinter-turned-GC rider won out of a select group off the front after a hot 223km of racing. Fifteen riders got away in the first and only break of the day and as the race dragged on, the lead group was slowly whittled away.

Astana was at the front in the closing kilometres, eventually making the catch in a tense finish. Most of the pure sprinters had little left after the tough climbing on the stage, setting up a perfect situation for Davidenok.

Grega Bole got another podium for Vini-Fantini in second, as Mykhaylo Kononenko (Kolss) was third again after the same result in yesterday’s circuit race.

Stage 10: Tianshui > Pingliang - Stage Result

Wednesday 16th July 2014

1. kz
DAVIDENOK Ilya
Continental Team Astana
05:15:34
2. si
BOLE Grega
Vini Fantini Nippo
-
3. ua
KONONENKO Mykhaylo
Kolss Cycling Team
-

Text adapted from a Tour of Qinghai Lake press release.

Frustrated Sagan outmanoeuvred once again in Tour de France Stage 11

Now here’s an interesting stat:

However, Sagan is yet to win a stage in this year’s Tour. Today’s stage was once again close, but no cigar. He’s clearly one of the strongest and fastest riders in the Tour de France, but Sagan was again outfoxed on the eleventh stage of the Tour de France and left hugely frustrated afterwards.

He has had both a remarkable and also a frustrating first half of the Tour. He finished second on stage one into Leeds, then placed fourth, second, fourth, fourth, fifth and second in the next six stages. The run of results marked the first time since Charles Pélissier in 1930 that a rider took seven top-five finishes in the first seven stages of the Tour de France.

After today’s stage Sagan said, “I was hoping to win for my girlfriend’s birthday but I got the flowers with the green jersey so I’ve got something to offer her.”

His stage placings plus intermediate sprint consistency have left him with a staggering 137 point lead in the green jersey competition, almost twice the total of the next-best rider Bryan Coquard (Europcar). It means he looks well on course to win his third consecutive Maillot Vert.

Stage 11 was Peter Sagan's 52nd stage on the Tour de France. In all but 5 of those days he's worn the green jersey, however is getting frustrated that he hasn't won a stage yet this Tour.

Stage 11 was Peter Sagan’s 52nd stage on the Tour de France. In all but 5 of those days he’s worn the green jersey, however is getting frustrated that he hasn’t won a stage yet this Tour.

However he very much wants a stage win too. He’s taken four thus far in his career and is chasing more to add to that.

“I’m confident. I’ll try my best,” he said. “I’m sick of coming second. But it’s difficult every day. Everybody knows me.”

Click here to read the full article on CyclingTips.

Talansky finishes last but survives time cut on stage 11

Suffering from pain in the back and on the verge of giving up, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) finally crossed the line in last place, 32’05 behind stage winner Tony Gallopin.

“My back hurts but I wanted to continue for the team. I continued for the team, for the guys. They trusted me for this Tour, I did not want to stop after everything they did for me.”

Sports Director Robbie Hunter stopped the team car and encouraged Talansky on the roadside with over 50km remaining, which initially looked as though Talanski would be abandoning.

“Honestly, I didn’t say too much,” Hunter told journalists. “I said to him that the decision was up to him. If at the end of the day, he finds himself in a situation where he can’t continue, no problem. But if he wants to fight on and get to the finish – because that’s the kind of guy he is – then the only way we’re going to get there is by riding.”

Talansky was the last of the 179 remaining riders today. He’s 44th in the overall standings — more than 47 minutes behind Nibali. Because he made it, he and the team were able to think over whether it’s really worth it for him to carry in a similar Stage 12 on Thursday.

“Now we can sit down tonight and make a proper decision and see where we can go with this,” said Robbie Hunter.

Michael Rogers: I believe a team defines its character in tough moments

Still coming to terms with the crash-enforced withdrawal of Alberto Contador two days ago, Michael Rogers has spoken about the low mood on the Tinkoff Saxo team but also the determination to still make a mark on the race.

“Things could be better but we have to soldier on,” he told CyclingTips at the start of Wednesday’s eleventh stage in Besançon. “Unfortunately with life, sometimes these things happen. We hadn’t planned for it to work out this way but it has. We will try to move on.”

“We came into this race with a Plan A and there was no Plan B. Now we have to dream it all up again. I believe a team defines its character in tough moments and that is all ahead of us now.”

Read the full story on CyclingTips.

Former Tour winners give their say on Armstrong’s stripped titles

According to a survey done by Dutch newspaper Telesport, a majority of the former Tour de France winners believe that Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour wins should not have been stripped. Of the 25 surviving Tour winners, 12 say that Armstrong should retain his Tour de France titles despite his doping confessions. Seven say no. Two have no opinion, two do not want to talk about Armstrong, and the two elders are no longer physically able to talk about him.

The two Dutch Tour winners Jan Janssen and Joop Zoetemelk said, ‘We have no butter on our heads,” says Janssen. “In those years, everyone was on the same products as Armstrong” says Zoetemelk. “Ten years later, you should not be changing more results. They should get over him.”

The most recent Tour winners Cadel Evans, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome said in the survey that no name should be on the 1999-2005 results so that later generations take notice.

Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme reacted angrily when the results of the study were presented him. “Lance Armstrong does not exist for us any more. His name will not return to the list. That chapter has long been closed, and we will not come back.”

Read the full article on Telesport (Dutch).

Bauke Mollema to race with Trek in 2015

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that Belkin GC rider Bauke Mollema, who currently sits 14th overall in the Tour de France, is headed to Trek Factory Racing in 2015.

The report suggests that Trek manager Luca Guercilina was keen to pick up either Andrew Talansky or Mollema and when Talansky decided to re-sign with Garmin-Sharp, all attention turned to Mollemma.

No official announcement about contracts for 2015 is allowed until August 1 and Mollema’s management refused to comment on the report.

Team Belkin is currently on the lookout for a major sponsor in 2015 after the electronics giant announced it would end its sponsorship of the team when the season ends.

Click here to read more at De Telegraaf.

Iljo Keisse extends with Omega Pharma-QuickStep

Iljo Keisse has extended his contract with Omega Pharma-QuickStep for two years and will now race with the Belgian outfit through 2015 and 2016.

Ster ZLM Tour 2014 proloog

Keisse has a total of 54 victories to his name on the track and the road, but is perhaps most known in road cycling for an impressive solo victory on stage 7 of the 2012 Tour of Turkey. In that race Keisse held off a chasing field despite a mechanical in the final meters.

“When I started with this team, we had just begun to build up our strength year-by-year,” Keisse said. “I think that I also did my part in this and I evolved as a rider. At this moment we are good in every race and every situation. So, to me, as a Belgian guy, this feels special to be a part of a Belgian based team who can now compete everywhere.”

“Iljo arrived in the team a few years ago in a difficult moment of his professional career,” OPQS CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “He has shown more and more that he is a guy you can trust, who also can build the trust of his teammates with each other. He is a complete rider that puts himself at the service of others without hesitation. In this team we need a guy like Iljo who is smart, and always aware of the race situation. He can become a special part of the team in the next two years.”

Text adapted from an Omega Pharma-QuickStep press release.

Argon 18 to supply bikes to current Tour de France team from 2015

Montreal-based bike manufacturer Argon 18 has announced that it will be providing bikes and sponsorship to a team currently racing the Tour de France for three years from next season. The Canadian company couldn’t reveal which team until after the Tour due to contractual obligations.

“This is a historic announcement for our brand and for our team,” said Gervais Rioux, company founder and president. “The Tour de France is the undisputed benchmark. It’s an important step for us, since it secures Argon 18’s position among the world’s top brands. We were excited to announce that we had reached an agreement with a team that is currently participating in the Tour de France.”

Argon-18 currently sponsors to North American teams — Quebec’s Silber Pro Cycling and Jelly Belly Cycling presented by Maxxis.

Click here to read more at Canadian Cycling Magazine.

Strength of numbers or foul play?

On the final stage of the Giro Rosa on the weekend last year’s winner Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthcare) found herself in an elite four-rider group on the final climb, with three Rabo-Liv riders. In the video below (scrub to 39:00) you can see the three Rabo-Liv riders seemingly blocking Abbott on the road.

The footage of that incident caused controversy on social media and now Sarah Connolly, writing for Podium Cafe, has spoken with Rabo-Liv DS Koos Moerenhout about the incident. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve seen [the controversy] on Twitter, and I’ve spoken with my team about it, and I don’t recognise my team as being unsporting or having no respect towards Mara Abbott, because there’s a huge respect for Mara as the defending champion of the Giro, and if Mara feels offended by their style of riding, I’m pretty sure they regret that.

The race evolved as it did, and in the end Mara was the only contender left, and how I see it is three riders from my team were maybe a bit enthusiastic, over-excited about reaching an unbelievable goal of being 1, 2 and 3 on the podium.

Click here to read the full interview at Podium Cafe.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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