Jonas Van Genechten wins stage 4 of the Tour of Poland

Lotto-Belisol’s Jonas Van Genechten has won stage 4 of the Tour of Poland, winning the bunch sprint at the end of the 236km stage from Tarnow to Katowice. Van Genechten beat Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) in what was his first victory for 2014.

Tour de Pologne 2014 stage-4

The first of the day’s breakaways featured Alexander Rybakov (Katusha), Boris Vallee (Lotto-Belisol), Jérôme Cousin (Europcar), Branislau Samoilau (CCC Polsat-Polkowice), and Andrey Solomennikov (RusVelo). While the group got nearly three minutes clear of the peloton, they were caught a long way from the finish, prompting a second group to get away: Josh Edmondson (Sky), Matthias Krizek (Cannondale), and Mateusz Taciak (CCC Polsat-Polkowice).

Some 40km from the finish the three leaders were joined by Jérôme Cousin (Europcar) and Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Bauknecht-Author) but the five-rider group soon disintegrated after a number of attacks from the leaders. All five were caught with 12km to go and despite a late attack from Thor Hushovd (BMC), the race was destined to come down to a bunch sprint.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Petr Vakoc still wears the leader’s yellow jersey after his win on stage 2 and after finishing safely in the peloton on the two stages since. The race continues tomorrow with a 190km stage that features five climbs between Zakopane and Strbskie Pleso.

Stage 4: Tarnów Gemini Park > Katowice - Stage Result

Wednesday 6th August 2014

1. be
VANGENECHTEN Jonas
Lotto Belisol
05:43:29
2. it
GUARNIERI Jacopo
Astana Pro Team
-
3. si
MEZGEC Luka
Team Giant-Shimano
-

Click here to read more via AFP/VeloNews.

Magnus Cort Nielsen wins stage 1 of the Tour of Denmark

Magnus Cort (Cult Energy Vital Water) has taken the opening stage of the UCI 2.HC Tour of Denmark, sprinting to victory at the end of the 157km stage from Hobro to Mariager. Jasper Buyst (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) was second while Valerio Agnoli (Astana) completed the podium.

stage - 1 of the Tour of Denmark 2014

A group of six riders formed the day’s main escape — Mikkel Mortensen (Riwal Platform), John Murphy (UnitedHealthcare), Nico Sijmens (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Christopher Williams (Team Novo Nordisk), Rasmus Quaade (Trefor – Blue Water) and Martin Toft Madsen (Team Post Danmark) — but were never given much more than two minutes to play with.

As the break came down in the closing kilometres Christopher Juul Jensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) tried to get clear, but was caught, before his teammate Michael Mørkøv tried as well, and suffered a similar outcome. In the bunch sprint it was the 21-year-old Dane who proved fastest, winning the opening stage of the race as he did last year.

Cort will next year ride for Orica-GreenEdge after signing a three-year deal with the Australian-registered team.

Stage 1: Hobro > Mariager - Stage Result

Wednesday 6th August 2014

1. dk
CORT NIELSEN Magnus
Orica GreenEDGE
03:33:39
2. be
DE BUYST Jasper
Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
-
3. it
AGNOLI Valerio
Astana Pro Team
-

Click here to read more at Wieler Flits.

Moreno Hofland wins stage 3 of the Tour of Utah

Belkin sprinter Moreno Hofland has taken his second stage victory at the Tour of Utah in three days, proving strongest in the dash to the stage 3 finish at Miller Motorsport Park. Andrea Palini (Lampre-Merida) was second while Eric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits) also found the podium.

The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah 2014 (2.1) stage-3

The day’s breakaway formed right off the gun with Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) getting things started before being joined by Darren Lapthorne (Drapac), Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly), Tyler Wren (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear Development), and Daniel Eaton (Bissell Development Team).

Robin Carpenter, who was also in the break on stage 1, took maximum points at the first intermediate sprint and the day’s only KOM, before fading back to the peloton. The peloton had kept the escapees on a tight leash, never allowing more than 3:30, and as the finale approached, the break’s lead, predictably, started to come down.

Jacob Rathe attacked the breakaway with about 8km to go, but the bunch was determined for a sprint. Rathe’s former companions were swept up and he too was caught as the riders entered the Miller Motorsport Park.

UnitedHealthcare came to the front in the closing kilometres but they appeared to go too hard to early, leaving nothing in the tank when it came to setting up the final sprint. In the end Belkin came to the front and set things up for their fast man Hofland, who delivered for the second time already this tour.

Overall leader Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) maintained his overall lead after finishing sixth on the stage.

Tomorrow’s fourth stage features the first summit finish of this year’s race: the tough climb to Powder Mountain.

Stage 3: Lehi > Miller Motorsports Park - Stage Result

Wednesday 6th August 2014

1. nl
HOFLAND Moreno
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
04:29:41
2. it
PALINI Andrea
Lampre-Merida
-
3. us
YOUNG Eric
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
-

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Cavendish returns from Tour injury in Tour de l’Ain, Uran also back in action

by Shane Stokes

Just over one month after he crashed out on the opening stage of this year’s Tour de France, Mark Cavendish and his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team have confirmed that the Manxman will return to competition next Tuesday in the Tour de l’Ain.

TDFR 2014 - tage 2

The British rider has opted for the French event over this Sunday’s Prudential Ride London Classic, deciding that completing a training block and then riding a stage race will serve better in order to build his fitness back up again.

“The Tour de l’Ain will be important to see where I am at with my training and recovery from my injury, and also as a bit of a test at competition pace,” stated Cavendish today. “The rest of my program will be decided 100 percent after Tour de l’Ain depending on how I feel during that race. Together with the team we will then discuss how to approach the rest of my season. Tour de l’Ain will be the first time back in the peloton after the Tour.”

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step lineup for the Tour de l’Ain features Cavendish, Julian Alaphilippe, Gianni Meersman, Pieter Serry, Carlos Verona and Rigoberto Uran.

The last of those is racing for the first time since he finished second overall in the Giro d’Italia. He will use the race as part of his build-up for the Tour of Spain.

“It’s no surprise Rigo is working in function of La Vuelta,” stated the directeur sportif Davide Bramati. “It will represent his first race in Europe since the Giro, and it will be an important step to get into the rhythm of racing again after long training at altitude.

“After this race Rigo will remain in Europe until racing begins in Spain. At Tour de l’Ain you can find a bit of everything. There will be a prologue, up and down stages for the climbers, and more. So, it’s the perfect race for many riders to open up the second part of the season.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Luka Mezgec abandons Tour of Poland after stage 1 crash

Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) will not start tomorrow’s fifth stage of the Tour of Poland in order to recover from his crash on stage one. Luka came down hard in the finishing sprint, hitting the barriers and sustaining bruising to his arm and side, but he was able to start the following day.

Tour de Suisse 2014 stage - 7 ITT

Mezgec went on to take second on stage three and third on stage four but the team, together with Luka, decided that he will return home to fully recover from the injuries sustained.

Team Giant-Shimano coach at the Tour of Poland, Addy Engels said: “After two decent sprints in the last few days we have decided that Luka should return home to recover properly from his fall on stage one. There will be little respite over the next few days in the hills here so together with the team’s medical expert we have decided that he should stop after today. We will monitor his recovery and hopefully he will be good to start the Eneco Tour next week.”

Text adapted from a Giant-Shimano press release.

Drapac’s Tom Palmer quits cycling to focus on studies

Tom Palmer will leave Drapac Professional Cycling effective immediately, choosing to focus on his tertiary education after experiencing a number of health and injury setbacks.


Drapac Professional Cycling, though saddened, backs Palmer’s resignation.

“Tom is our longest serving member of the team having started with us in 2007 and it is a great shame he has decided to resign,” said Drapac Professional Cycling General Manager, Jonathan Breekveldt. “However with ensuring our riders are adequately prepared for their life after cycling, it is encouraging to see he has chosen to complete and further his studies and begin his transition so we fully support his decision.”

Among his palmares is the 2012 Tour of Okinawa and 2013 Tour of the Murray River.

Text adapted from a Drapac press release.

Tour de France 2014: Analysis of climbing data, and what it all means

by Shane Stokes

The calculation and scrutiny of power numbers and climbing times have been the subject of debate for several years. Some are critical of it, others place a strong value on it.

Dr. Mike Puchowicz, Ross Tucker and the Finnish Twitter analyst @ammattipyöräily are amongst the best-known analysts of such data. Each agreed to answer three questions on the data gleaned from this year’s Tour de France. The responses enable several comparisons, including one between the climbing speeds of this year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali versus last year’s Tour champion Chris Froome, another looking at the various performances between the 2014 general classification contenders and also an estimation of how this year’s data compares to historic climbing speeds and what that means.

Here’s an excerpt:

What is your assessment of the climbing speeds of Nibali, both compared to Froome last year, and also to historical data?

Given the admitted “error” in estimating power output and the obvious issue that we’re comparing one year to another, different race situations, different tactics, different weather, different stages, you can say that the performances of the two are at least equal. There was little Nibali did this year that Froome did not at least match last year, in terms of a performance for a given length of climb.

So all told, the conservative/prudent response is that Froome was likely faster in 2013 than Nibali in 2014, but at ‘best’, they were equal. And we’ll never know whether either could have gone faster, because they had relatively commanding leads and race situations that didn’t necessitate it (Nibali had few rivals, Froome had the security of the TT).

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Route de France preview

At seven days, the Route de France is one of the longest races on the elite women’s calendar, even after losing its prologue in 2014. It is largely a race for the sprinters, with the seven stages contested on fast and flat roads in the centre of France.

La-Route-de-France-1407259656

Fans were treated to quite a spectacle during last year’s race when Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) won six consecutive stages of the race. Whether that feat will be possible again this year remains to be seen, but with Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) likely to be in attendance, Bronzini might have some stronger competition.

Last year’s edition was won overall by Bronzini’s teammate Linda Villumsen (Wiggle-Honda) who won the final stage with a solo breakaway.

There’s a great preview of the race over at Velofocus including a stage-by-stage breakdown. Take a look here.

Cyclists scrapping at the Volta a Portugal

It’s not uncommon for riders to exchange heated words after being involved in a crash or disadvantaging one another in a sprint, say, but it’s less common to see a disagreement turn physical. That’s what happened at the recent Volta a Portugal.

And when it comes to cyclists punching on, who could forget this classic clip?!

Nutlock — “Outsmart thieves, save your wheels”

Here’s a new Kickstarter project that hopes to make it harder for thieves to steal bike wheels, using what the inventors have dubbed the “Nutlock”. Essentially Nutlock replaces existing wheel fasteners (hex-nuts or quick release skewers) with custom engineered ones that can only be removed with the unique key that comes in your package. Check it out:

Click here to visit their Kickstarter page.

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 in Italy by Jered Gruber but we’re not sure exactly where.