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Contador double bid fizzles out after Giro exertions (Reuters)
July 27, 2015 (01:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot PARIS (Reuters) - Alberto Contador was hoping to leave his mark with a rare Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double, but the Spaniard, fifth overall in Paris, rode through the sport's most prestigious race almost unnoticed. Contador, arguably the best grand tour rider of his generation, was never a contender in the mountains, failing to sustain the pace of champion Chris Froome and runner-up Nairo Quintana. "I think that this Giro was very hard from the beginning due to Astanas performance and left me exhausted everyday with long time trials and the final week, which was marked by extraordinary efforts," Contador added. More...
Contador double bid fizzles out after Giro exertions (Reuters)
July 26, 2015 (20:45) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot PARIS (Reuters) - Alberto Contador was hoping to leave his mark with a rare Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double, but the Spaniard, fifth overall in Paris, rode through the sport's most prestigious race almost unnoticed. Contador, arguably the best grand tour rider of his generation, was never a contender in the mountains, failing to sustain the pace of champion Chris Froome and runner-up Nairo Quintana. "I think that this Giro was very hard from the beginning due to Astanas performance and left me exhausted everyday with long time trials and the final week, which was marked by extraordinary efforts," Contador added. More...
Cycling-Contador double bid fizzles out after Giro exertions (Reuters)
July 26, 2015 (20:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) - Alberto Contador was hoping to leave his mark with a rare Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double, but the Spaniard, fifth overall in Paris, rode through the sport's most prestigious race almost unnoticed. Contador, arguably the best grand tour rider of his generation, was never a contender in the mountains, failing to sustain the pace of champion Chris Froome and runner-up Nairo Quintana. "I think that this Giro was very hard from the beginning due to Astana's performance and left me exhausted everyday with long time trials and the final week, which was marked by extraordinary efforts," Contador added. More...
UCI test Froome, Contador and Pinot bikes on Alpe d'Huez for mechanical doping
July 26, 2015 (15:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The UCI carried out bike checks on Alpe dHuez at the Tour de France in their bid to monitor for motorized doping, with stage winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) among those who had their quota of race bikes checked by commissars at the finish. In total five riders had their bikes checked atop the climb, including the stage winner, maillot jaune, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). The UCI has recently come in for criticism for the low number of tests they have carried out in the Tour de France. No checks were made during the Pyrenees, while only a handful of stages saw checks throughout the race. The checks are meant to be unannounced, and the UCI recently told Cyclingnews that along with checking frames, wheels were also subject to examination.ADVERTISEMENT As for wheel checks, we have inspected all wheels on all bikes we have tested. They are checked to ensure that they have been tested and approved in accordance with our technical regulations, the UCI recently told Cyclingnews. We then remove the wheels from the bike and give them a visual check to look for signs of any modifications. The wheels are then checked for balance which would indicate the presence of additional components and finally we check the bearings run smoothly and without resistance which would also indicate the presence of additional unauthorised components. So far this year the UCI have carried out mechanical doping tests at several key races including Milan-San Remo, the Giro dItalia and the Tour de France. They have yet to find anything that represents mechanical doping. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Contador has no regrets over failed Giro-Tour double attempt
July 26, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alberto Contadors dream of completing the winning Giro-Tour double failed to come to fruition as he currently sits in fifth place overall at the Tour de France ahead of the celebratory finale in Paris on Sunday. After the Spaniard hauled himself to the top of stage 20s summit on Alpe dHuez, however, he said that he was glad he tried. Contador, a seven-time Grand Tour winner; three titles at the Vuelta a Espaa, and two titles each at the Giro dItalia and the Tour de France, had planned to take on the task of winning the Giro and Tour at the start of this year. He completed the first of two goals, winning the Giro dItalia title in May and came into the Tour de France as one of the so-called 'Fab Four, along with Chris Froome (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).ADVERTISEMENT Cycling fans saw glimpses of Contadors climbing prowess with attacks made onPlateau de Beille, Col de la Colle Saint-Michel and the Col du Glandon, but even he admitted they were made out of more heart than legs. For the most part, he struggled through the Pyrenees and the Alps at the hands of Froome and Team Sky, Quintana and even to Alejandro Valverde and Nibali at times. As the Tour de France wrapped up in the Alps on the penultimate stage to Alpe dHuez, Contador sits in fifth place overall, 9:48 down. Chris Froome (Team Sky) will inevitably wear the yellow jersey into Paris and stand on the podium as the Tour de France champion for a second time, while Quintana sits in second place 1:12 back, Vavlerde in third place 5:25 down and Nibali in fourth at 8:36 down. Its true that there are riders that would dream of finishing fifth, Contador said in a team press release. For me that was not my objective but Im glad that I tried. If I hadnt tried then after my career I might have wondered whether I could have done the Giro-Tour double and now I know. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
A Tour de France of economy for Alberto Contador
July 25, 2015 (15:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
There have been glimmers of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) and his best form during this years Tour de France but throughout the race he has been fighting the fatigue accumulated from the Giro dItalia as well as his main Tour rivals. With one mountain stage remaining he sits in fifth overall but well shy of a podium place. Its a similar tale to 2011 in which he claimed the Giro - before later having it stripped from his palmares - and then suffering in the Tour. Stage 19 of the race offered the perfect snapshot of Contador's 2015 Tour. He was among the riders to hit Team Sky and Froome early on with attacks but he wilted on the final climbs, riding a defensive pattern in order to sustain his overall position. The truth is it was a day that I had to survive. I started having bad sensations from the Croix de Fer, with threats of cramps throughout the whole day, he said after the stage.ADVERTISEMENT What I had to do was to economise to the maximum. I put my teammate at the front to maintain the tempo and the others were pretty calm. The stage was wonby Vincenzo Nibali after a long solo attack with over 50 kilometres remaining, while Chris Froome retained his yellow jersey despite losing thirty seconds to Nairo Quintana. Contador is fifth overall, 7:56 down on Froome. I started quite well. Nibali beat us, so congratulations because the truth is he did really well. In my case to do it the way I did takes a lot of credit compared to the other times I tried to win because I had threats of cramps all day. On a muscular level, I suffered a lot perhaps because of the heat I became dehydrated. We saved the day and Saturday is another day. We have to see how the day goes and how our legs are. Now what is important is to recover." Contador, of course, almost turned the Tour de France on its head in 2011 on a similar stage that ended on Alpe dHeuz. That day he started the race well down in GC but attacked early and put the GC riders under tremendous pressure. When asked if a similar day could be in store, Contador replied: It will depend on the tactics that Movistar use, if it goes from the start, Sky are debilitated. I think that there are options but it will be a tough fight from the start. You never know. It depends on the legs of everyone. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Contador tries to shake things up on the Col du Glandon
July 24, 2015 (02:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) tried to shake up stage 18 at the Tour de France with an attack over the Col du Glandon. His effort proved to be fruitless in the end, however, as many of the main overall contenders crossed the finish line in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne together three minutes behind the days solo winner Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale). The two-time winner of the race said the attacks were driven more by "heart than legs. With seven categorised climbs along the 186.5km stage from Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Contador said it was bound to be a tough day on the bike for everyone. Team Sky set to pace for much of the day once the 29-rider breakaway made its way off the front, but it wasnt until 40km to go, over the Col du Glandon, after series of attacks from Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) and Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), that Contador made his move and bridged across to a group up the road. Team Sky didnt initially react to Contadors attack, and they also gave some leeway to Vincenzo Nibalis subsequent move near the top of the Glandon. The fast pace saw Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) fall off the back, and although Valverde was able to get back on, Mollema did not.ADVERTISEMENT In the end, the yellow jersey group caught Contador on the descent. "This was one of the toughest days on the bike, Contador said in a team press release. I wanted to try things and see what could be done but at the end we didn't achieve anything in particular. I dropped Valverde on Glandon, this always brings confidence, but the only thing I now focus on is to recover. It was a very hard stage and my attacks were more driven by the heart than the legs There are two Alpine stages left in this years Tour de France, starting with Friday's 138km stage 19 jaunt from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire. During this stage the field will face in succession the Col du Chaussy, the Col de la Croix de Fer, the Col du Mollard and La Toussuire.They will then take on stage 20s 110.5km race from Modane Valfrejus to the iconic lAlpe d'Huez on Saturday. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Nibali eyes top-five finish as recovery continues
July 23, 2015 (15:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After struggling in the opening 10 days, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) has steadied the ship in the second half of this Tour de France and he moved up to seventh place overall following a solid showing on the road to Pra Loup on stage 17. Nibali was expected to shine on the sinuous descent of the Col dAllos and the pace-making of his teammate Michele Scarponi on the way up suggested that an attack was imminent, but he was unable to shake yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky) on the way down. Scarponi laid down a strong tempo and I tried but the road surface on the descent wasnt in good condition. I cant risk my neck every time, Nibali said afterwards. It was a very difficult descent because there were lots of changes in road surface on the way down, so it was very dangerous. [Alejandro] Valverde didnt risk much either because one mistake could end your race.ADVERTISEMENT The tricky drop off the Allos did claim one high-profile victim, as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed and lost further ground in his bid for a podium place, but Froome dealt relatively comfortably with the descent. Im not surprised, because its easier when youre behind riders who are taking good lines around the corners, Nibali said. Froome was left isolated by the top of the Col dAllos and on the short final haul to Pra Loup, but he seemed untroubled by the attacks of his rivals in the finale. The Briton finished safely alongside Nairo Quintana, 7:16 down on stage winner Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin), but ahead of both Nibali and Valverde. Froome was very good and he was able to follow and control things even though he was attacked a lot, Nibali said. Quintana, Valverde and I all tried, and he was alone in the end, without teammates. Its very hard to beat him but we tried and we couldnt do any more today. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Col d'Allos crash all but ends Contador's Giro-Tour de France double dream
July 22, 2015 (21:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
An attack by Alberto Contador on the Col de la Colle Saint-Michel on stage 17 of the Tour de France had the early signs of his Vuelta a Espaa winning move on the corresponding stage to Fuente D in 2012. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider's move was unsuccessful, however and then a crash on the Col d'Allos descent all but ended his dreams of a Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double. With four stages left of the 102 edition of the race, Contador sits in fifth place overall, 6:40 minutes down on Chris Froome (Team Sky). Contador was front and centre in the maillot jaune group over the top of the penultimate climb and with teammates ahead on the road, he was well positioned to start clawing time back on the likes of Team Sky's Chris Froome and Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde.ADVERTISEMENT As riders were strewn across the Col d'Allos descent and final climb to Pra Loup, cameras where in short supply trying to cover the majority of the action. A cut back to a video motorbike with the maillot jaune group saw Contador, Rogers and Peter Sagan standing on the side of the road, changing a front wheel. Initially it was unclear whether Contador had suffered a mechanical or a crash until footage emerged of him back on the bike with the right side of his kit torn. "I fell by myself and I broke the front wheel," Contador said of the crash. "We tried to fix it but as Sagan was nearby, I changed bike and he gave me his. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Froome in control as Contador drifts, Van Garderen out (Reuters)
July 22, 2015 (20:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot PRA LOUP, France (Reuters) - Chris Froome emerged unscathed from a treacherous 17th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, retaining his lead while Alberto Contador lost a lot of ground and Tejay van Garderen abandoned the race. American Van Garderen, who was third overall at the start of the 161-km trek from Digne les Bains, pulled out because of sickness with the day's laurels going to German Simon Geschke after a brave solo raid. "It's the most beautiful day of my life as a professional rider, it's surreal," said Geschke. More...
Cycling-Froome in control as Contador drifts, Van Garderen out (Reuters)
July 22, 2015 (20:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
(Adds quotes) By Julien Pretot PRA LOUP, France, July 22 (Reuters) - Chris Froome emerged unscathed from a treacherous 17th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, retaining his lead while Alberto Contador lost a lot of ground and Tejay van Garderen abandoned the race. American Van Garderen, who was third overall at the start of the 161-km trek from Digne les Bains, pulled out because of sickness with the day's laurels going to German Simon Geschke after a brave solo raid. "It's the most beautiful day of my life as a professional rider, it's surreal," said Geschke. More...
Cycling-Froome in control as Contador drifts, Van Garderen out (Reuters)
July 22, 2015 (18:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
(Adds details) By Julien Pretot PRA LOUP, France, July 22 (Reuters) - Chris Froome emerged unscathed from a treacherous 17th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, retaining his lead while Alberto Contador lost a lot of ground and Tejay van Garderen abandoned the race. American Van Garderen, who was third overall at the start of the 161-km trek from Digne les Bains, pulled out because of sickness with the day's laurels going to German Simon Geschke after a brave solo raid. Spaniard Contador's hopes of achieving a rare Giro d'Italia/Tour double suffered another major knock when he lost touch with the group of top guns after crashing in the dangerous descent from the col d'Allos. More...
Cycling-Contador says he won't go down without a fight (Reuters)
July 22, 2015 (18:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot GAP, France, July 21 (Reuters) - Trailing leader Chris Froome by over four minutes has done nothing to quell Alberto Contador's ambition to become the first man in 17 years to complete the Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double. The Spaniard, bidding to emulate the late Marco Pantani's 1998 double, is currently fifth in the overall standings and trails yellow jersey holder Froome by 4:23 after looking well below his best in the Pyrenees. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider, however, has yet to show he has the legs to catch Froome after an energy-sapping Giro, which he won after a tense battle with Astana riders Mikel Landa of Spain and Fabio Aru of Italy. More...
Tour de France: Tinkov wants to start a cycling revolution
July 22, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Oleg Tinkov sat quietly alongside Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan during the Tinkoff-Saxo outdoor press conference in Gap on the second rest day, preferring to let his riders face questions about the Tour de France. The often outspoken Russian businessman confirmed he was happy with Peter Sagans performance in the Tour de France and his dominance of the green points jersey, despite not yet winning a stage. Tinkov only hogged the microphone near the end, when asked his opinion on the quality of the hotel the team was staying in Gap. It is unclear if Tinkov stayed with his riders in the Best Western or if he opted for a more luxurious hotel in the Alps. Tinkoff-Saxo was squeezed into a basic Best Western hotel on the outskirts of town along with the MTN-Qhubeka team. Contador said the hotel was not suitable for riders in the Tour de France due to the high temperatures and lack of air conditioning. Tinkov agreed and later launched yet another tirade against ASO, even though he will sit down for dinner with ASO General Manager Yann Le Moenner on Tuesday evening.ADVERTISEMENT This is not the conditions the riders deserve. Its not acceptable for such a big event. They race under the sun for six hours and for example Peter Sagan was the break for three consecutive days, Tinkov said, wearing a yellow T-shirt like everyone in his team, in a sign of support for Ivan Basso, who recently underwent surgery for testicular cancer. People have asked me to comment about the supposed war Ive started with ASO," Tinkov said. "The truth is that I havent started a war. I just hope they can understand that we need to make some important changes for the general good of the sport. "I think changes are needed because otherwise the sport will suffer. People like me, Andy Rihs (owner of BMC) and Igor Makarov (owner of the Katusha team) could continue to fund pro cycling but its not a healthy business model. Soon there will be no big teams to pay the salary of the star riders and ride the big races. We need to work all together to create the eco system where we create the money to pay the star riders, bring them to the best races and so make the sport we all love even better. Its not about war, its a win-win situation for everyone. We can make the sport better.Time for a revolution Later, speaking to select group of media, including Cyclingnews, Tinkov was more explicit and forthright in his thoughts. All with his usual sense of blunt humour. You know how it worked in the French Revolution at the Bastille. They put the kings head on the guillotine. In the same way, the people of cycling need to get together and make a revolution. Lets start a cycling revolution. We can put the king in the guillotine and chop his head off Tinkov said, letting out his loud laugh "Cycling is an international sport; its not only a French sport. It doesnt belong to them. Maybe they think so but its not true. There are not even any good French riders in the peloton now. They havent won the Tour for over 20 years now and I think itll be another 20 years before they win it. France is not important in this sport anymore. Its dominated by Anglo-Saxon teams and Eastern block teams. It seems Tinkov would like to metaphorically put Christian Prudhommes neck in the guillotine after he claimed the race director avoided saying hello to him during the race. Its not the first time weve had a meeting with Yann Le Moenner and ASO but now I think theyre scared, especially Christian Prudhomme, who didnt say hello to me the other day, Tinkov said. That shows the culture of the person. This is not personal; its about the future of the sport. This is not the attitude the team owners are looking for from ASO. They should relax. Im going to show them the way. Sometimes you have to be shown how to do something better. Theyve got a monopoly, a typical French monopoly. I say that because if the teams start to disband, then its not going to be better for them. My prediction is that there will be a lot of hassle because Im sure Riis will stop, Makarov will stop and Ill stop. Im not going to pay 20 million Euros from my own pocket. Why? Enough is enough. Everybody is fed up. Everybody is waiting for the changes but theyre not coming. And the big sponsors are not coming."No confidence in the UCI Tinkov appears to have little confidence that UCI and president Brian Cookson can push through major reforms to professional cycling. Cookson is currently trying to convince the UCI Management Committee members to vote the proposed reforms created by a working group. However, ASO has threatened to pull its races from the UCI WorldTour calendar. I think the UCI is hopeless. I dont really see them, Tinkov said of the UCI. I think it should be ASO, the race organisers and the teams together with Velon. I hope Velon can make the push. They (ASO) understand that when we are together, they cant do much without us. They want to separate us and theyre doing a good job because theyre smart French people. But once we stand together, they will understand we have power. The problem with Velon is that they never really explained who they are and what they do. When I spoke to Vinokourov, I say: Sacha, why arent you in Velon? and he said: Nobody really explained things to me but Id like to join. Its the same with Katusha and even MTN-Qhubeka. I spoke to their manager last night and he said nobody had invited them. The changes we need are not only about TV rights and revenue. Its also about implementing a transfer system, a franchise system and obviously a salary cap. We need that because if we start to make more money and it goes to the stars, it doesnt make things any better. We have to follow the NFL or NBA model as an example. I think the other managers are on the same page but theyre afraid of ASO. They dont have the same balls as I do. Though now they (ASO) are afraid of me and so the other teams are starting to join me. I know that they (ASO) are going to kill me but thats fine. Itll be interesting to see what they do. The more they push me, the more they show theyre afraid and that Im right. Their strength would be to collaborate with me and us. Ive spoken to several teams and all the Velon teams are on the same page. All sports had this kind of old business model but Im sure that in five years this model will be gone, blown away for sure. Im glad if Im the one who can push it forward. I know that Manolo Saiz tried and they killed him. I know that Johan Bruyneel tried and they killed him too. But I have nothing to lose. My worst-case scenario is that I stop sponsoring the team and I go and ride my bike at my villa in Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany. The team is not my source of income. Its the riders, staff and managers who will lose money and Im fighting for them. I cant lose because my downside is just to stop and leave the sport. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Contador says he has no problem releasing power data
July 22, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Tinkoff-Saxo Tour de France rest day press conference was forced into a car park due to inadequate space in the team hotel while temperatures nudged into the high 30s. Oleg Tinkov, Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador were presented to a mix of media and autograph-hungry fans, with personal press officer Jacinto Vidarte providing translation. Earlier in the day, Team Sky released data numbers from Chris Froomes stage-winning ride up La Pierre Saint Martin in an attempt to stem the innuendo surrounding the maillot jaune over the last week. Ive never had an issue with it, Froome said of sharing the data. From the teams point of view, I feel its our competitive advantage, so sharing a file here and there people know that one of my most significant power files is already out there from Ventoux. So what will it change? When asked if he would be willing to also release his power data, despite the heat Contador coolly explained he would be happy to do so, offering the caveat that such files cannot be 100 per cent verified. I have no problem providing my data but its a question that is variable, Contador said though his translator. Sometimes people make calculations that are not real when they speak about my performance. I look at my SRM, and the data is very different from what they say. About Froome, everybody is questioning him and I think maybe its too much because the other day it was very disgusting what happened with a spectator throwing urine on him. I think we have to see an end to this kind of behaviour.ADVERTISEMENT While Contador was ok with releasing the power data, there was no word from the team if it will follow Skys precedent. Contador, a two-time winner of the Tour, has avoided the level of scrutiny Froome has been under as the maillot jaune for the majority of this years Tour. Having won the Giro dItalia in May with the ambition of winning the Tour and becoming the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to do the "double", Contador is yet to show his best form at the race, and therefore have his performance scrutinised to the same degree as Froome. The object of the double is very difficult now, Contador said of his chances for overall victory as he currently sits fifth overall, 4:23 down on Froome. I think I did something complicated but not only for this year because I dont think I will try it again. In any case, I still think its possible. The Giro was very difficult and tough with Astana strong from the beginning. I arrived at the Tour and the level of my rivals has been very high, so all together the double remains a difficult task.Attack, attack, attack Contador, the 2007 and 2009 Tour champion, was fourth in 2013 when Froome won the Tour de France but has twice gotten the better of the Team Sky man at both the 2012 and 2014 Vuelta a Espaas. In 2011 and 2013 an aggressive Contador was seen to attack at any moment to try for an unlikely overall victory, as he did with aplomb on stage 17 of the 2012 Vuelta to Fuente D, explaining that he is not racing to defend his GC position, only to wear yellow in Paris. I want to take any opportunity from now to the finish. My objective when I started this Tour was only the victory but I know that some riders, especially one, is very strong at this moment, Contador said. At the moment, I am not happy with the podium but having done the Giro, I look at my position in a different way. Yes that can happen but I will go day-by-day, he said of a Fuente D style winning attack being replicated at the Tour. I will take any opportunities and look at the peloton to see how tired it is and how my legs feel. Anything can happen at any moment including on Alpe dHuez. With the fatigue from his Giro and Route du Sud wins in his legs, Contadors opportunity to maximise recovery on the rest day was hampered by hot weather, hot hotel rooms and an outdoor press conference. He expressed his unhappiness as beads of sweat ran down his brow. Its true that the Tour is moving thousands of people everyday and its complicated to find places for everyday, but also its true that today we have a hotel that is not at the level for the Tour de France. Out hotel room is 35 degrees and its not the best for recovery after a stage that was probably over 40 degrees. Team owner Tinkov added to Contadors statement on the hotel situation, explaining an air-conditioned room should be the minimum for riders after a log day in the saddle. I rode yesterday for three hours at 36-37 degrees, the guys ride six hours. When I came back from the ride I couldnt sleep so I had to shower for 20 minutes to cool down so I could finally sleep, Tinkov said. Thinking of the professionals, they dont deserve these conditions having been punished by the sun for six hours. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Top 10 conclusions from the second week
July 22, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Froome riding a perfect race, but one that has already been soured After silencing his doubters and coming through the tough opening week of theTour de France in the race lead, in between the two rest days Chris Froome has put his foot down and tightened his grip on yellow. His attack and victory on the first summit finish at La Pierre-Saint-Martin was resounding and he has proved unbreakable since. He heads into the Alps claiming hes in a stronger position than he was at this point during his 2013 Tour win. That must be quite demoralising for his rivals to hear.ADVERTISEMENT On a purely sporting level, Froome has had a perfect Tour so far and is firmly in command of the general classification, with a lead of 3:10 over Nairo Quintana. On a personal level, however, it has been a train wreck. If he thought the scrutiny and speculation over his credibility was bad in 2013, what he has had to face this year has been on a whole different spectrum. With innuendo, defamatory accusations and urine coming at him from various angles, you suspect that if he does reach Paris in yellow, it would be a difficult victory to savour. (PF) Contador in need of cautious pragmatism On paper Alberto Contador is in an almost identical position to the one he occupied during the second rest day of the 2013 Tour de France. This time around hes 4:23 as opposed to 4:25 down on Chris Froome, having suffered at the hands of the British rider and his team during the opening fortnight, but such a one-dimensional snapshot fails to paint a complete picture of where the Spaniard finds himself as the race hurtles towards the Alpine stages. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cycling-Contador says he won't go down without a fight (Reuters)
July 21, 2015 (19:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot GAP, France, July 21 (Reuters) - Trailing leader Chris Froome by over four minutes has done nothing to quell Alberto Contador's ambition to become the first man in 17 years to complete the Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double. The Spaniard, bidding to emulate the late Marco Pantani's 1998 double, is currently fifth in the overall standings and trails yellow jersey holder Froome by 4:23 after looking well below his best in the Pyrenees. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider, however, has yet to show he has the legs to catch Froome after an energy-sapping Giro, which he won after a tense battle with Astana riders Mikel Landa of Spain and Fabio Aru of Italy. More...
Valverde tops the Tour de France fan mail charts
July 21, 2015 (15:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has finally succeeded in toppling Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) as the rider who receives the most fan mail in the Tour de France, Docapost, the company responsible for organising the races internal post-service has revealed. Valverde rose from third place in 2013 to second place in the fan mail rankings behind his former teammate, and he is now getting the most correspondence from the public. The most popular is Valverde with 123 letters, second is Rui Costa, even if hes abandoned, and third is [Alberto] Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), fourth is Chris Froome (Team Sky) and fifth is [Jean-Christophe] Praud (Ag2R La Mondiale), Sylvain Fourre of Docapost told Cyclingnews.ADVERTISEMENT Abandons dont seem to make much of a difference, given last year Contador, even after crashing out, received a lot of support. And Costa, too, continues to receive mail even though he abandoned the race on stage 11 over the Col du Tourmalet. Illness and injuries tend to bring a surge of popularity, Fourre tells Cyclingnews. Jean-Christophes accident saw him get a big boost in his correspondence. But its a bit surprising we havent had more support for the French. Last year, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) got a lot of backing - he was the most popular in 2012 - and at this same point in the race last year, he would be in second, third or fourth, this year hes maybe seventh or eighth. I think maybe Valverde is getting so much support because hes always on the attack. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Contador improving after moving into 5th place at Tour de France
July 19, 2015 (06:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Despite losing time to Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Movistar duo Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana on the final climb of stage 14, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) argues that his condition is steadily improving " to the point where making attacks is no longer out of the question. When Quintana first went clear, Contador opted to stick close to Froome on the ascent to Mende " where he has twice won in Paris-Nice, in 2007 and 2010 " although he was finally dropped by the Briton on the upper-half of the climb. Caught by Valverde near the summit, the Madrileo was unable to follow when the Movistar rider powered away, rolling across the line with 19 seconds lost to Froome, 18 to Quintana and 15 to Valverde.ADVERTISEMENT On the plus side for Contador, he has gained enough time on Geraint Thomas (Sky) to move into fifth overall, and has recouped some of his losses on Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) as well. All in all, after his stinging defeat in the Pyrenees, he believes that represents a gain. Froome finally proved too much for me, Contador said, I tried to hold on but it just wasnt possible. So Ive lost some time, but the important thing is Im feeling stronger, different to how I was earlier in the race. I can stand on the pedals and even think about attacking now. Ive lost time, but theres still a long way to go to Paris, and I can still turn in some good rides. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: I need time to improve, says Contador
July 19, 2015 (06:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was perhaps somewhat relieved when the Tour de France left its three-day jaunt into the Pyrenees. After a challenging start to the Tour, Contador has been able to stem the tide of disappearing seconds but, unable to regain any of it yet, he knows that is still lacking the form he needs to put up a serious fight in the mountains. There are signs that he is moving in the right direction but Contador admits that only time will help him get there. I need time to continue to get better but every day I am getting a little bit better and that encourages me, Contador said according to Biciciclismo. Its a Tour that I have to take in a different way to usual but there is a long way to go. The fatigue of Contadors efforts at the Giro dItalia have definitely shown in this second week, after he was dropped on the opening day in the Pyrenees and saw his gap to Chris Froome edge out to a touch over the four-minute mark. He was able to match the race leader in the next two days, even putting in a speculatory attack on the Plateau de Beille. There are still over 500 kilometres of racing before the Alps come into sharp focus and Contador expects that Saturdays stage 14 uphill finish into Mende could see a small shake-up in the overall classification.ADVERTISEMENT "Certainly in Mende, with three kilometres at ten percent, some people will lose time and hopefully I will not be among those, said Contador. Its going to be hard to beat Froome, head to head it will be hard, but we need to see what will happen if the other teams also attack from a long distance. If we wait until the last climb, it will be too difficult to make up time. But in this moment, I need to go day by day and recover after these many hot days and I will see what my legs can do in the Alps. While the yellow jersey could be beyond the grasp of Contador, his teammate Peter Sagan is on course to take his fourth consecutive green jersey. Sagan took his fourth second place at this years Tour, being beaten by Greg Van Avermaet into Rodez, but he extended his lead over Andr Greipel in the points competition. Of course its frustrating that we didnt win but we also spent energy in the intermediate sprint. Peter cannot do more than hes already doing, he is incredible and he also works hard for me, Contador said. In these stages its important that the team works well. Today it was a good day for us. In the finale, the team did a good job. Peter stayed near the front and had to ride exposed to the wind. Still, he was so close at the finish line. Maybe he didnt win but he took some points. He has been fighting from the start of the Tour and I hope, or better said Im sure the well-deserved victory will come another day. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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