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Froome on the verge of winning second Tour de France
July 26, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Chris Froome (Team Sky) is one stage away from a second Tour de France victory despite conceding 1:28 to Nairo Quintana on stage 20's summit finish on Alpe dHuez, who he now leads the general classification by 1:12. Sundays 109.5km procession into Paris is all that is left for Froome to negotiate before officially being presented on the podium in the yellow jersey. Froome will become the 13th double winner in the history of the race alongside the likes of Laurent Fignon, Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali and Alberto Contador, having also won the 2013 edition of the race ahead of Quintana. What can I say, its an amazing, amazing feeling to still be here in yellow this evening, we have to get to Paris tomorrow with no issues, but from the racing side of things, thats done now, Froome said during his post-stage press conference with a hint of emotion in his voice. We faced all challenges over almost three weeks of racing. Massive thanks to teammates for the work theyve put in over the last few weeks. I think of little points along the way, chipping away getting yellow and the final advantage I have to day, its them I have to thank for this position.ADVERTISEMENT To win the Tour once was a dream, to come back and do it a second time is more than I ever could imagine. An aggressive fourth and final day of racing in the Alps was initiated by Movistar, that started the day with Quintana and Alejandro Valverde in second and third place overall with the ambition of claiming yellow by day's end. The attacks on Froomes yellow jersey from Movistar started on the Col de la Croix de Fer, isolating the Sky rider before his teammates re-joined the 30-year-old on the valley road on the run in to the 13.8km ascent of the iconic Alpe d'Huez. Froome was unable to respond to a battery of attacks by Quintana on the 21-hairpin climb, explaining that he preferred to ride at his own tempo than dipping into the red zone and risk losing his yellow jersey on the final climb of the race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Porte leaves Team Sky on a high note at the Tour de France
July 26, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
In his last season with Team Sky, Richie Porte has given Chris Froome his all in the teams bid for the yellow jersey despite being ill and on antibiotics for the last 10 days of the Tour de France. At the finish of stage 20 on Alpe dHuez, where Froome retained his overall lead with one celebratory day to go, the Australian said that he was pleased to end his term with the powerful British squad on a high note. To be honest, it was my last mountain stage with Sky, and I had a good chat with Nicolas Portal (director at Team Sky) this morning, Porte told Cyclingnews. Ive been on antibiotics for about 10 days now and its been devastating for me to not play a part in the race, really, you know? After abandoning the Giro dItalia as Team Skys leader in May, Porte was selected to the teams Tour de France squad as an important helper for Froome in the mountains. He had a strong showing during the first day in Pyrenees, stage 10 to La Pierre-Saint-Martin, where he was second behind Froome, but then fell ill and struggled through the remaining mountain stages, contributing to the yellow jersey wherever he could manage. Meanwhile, much of the slack in the mountains was picked up by Geraint Thomas and Wouter Poels.ADVERTISEMENT I think our team has been absolutely fantastic in this race and everyone has done their job, its just a bit disappointing for me, Porte said. I know where I was at coming into it, I was climbing well and I think I showed that in the first mountain stage, Porte said. Yesterday, Chris Froome came to my room and said, just give me all youve got tomorrow. Hes such a great mate and Im just happy to be able to finish it off on a high level. After much speculation about his future, Porte confirmed during the Tour de France that he would leave the Team Sky at the end of the season. Although he cant officially sign for a new team until August 1, he is expected to join BMC Racing in 2016. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Hesjdeal misses out on Alpe d'Huez victory but proud of team performance
July 26, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) battled back from illness to secure a fine third place on stage 20 of the Tour de France to Alpe dHuez. The Canadian came into the Tour de France on the back of a difficult Giro dItalia and took longer than he expected to find his feet in the second grand tour of his season. However, he closed it with a solid ride in the final day in the Alps. He formed part of an elite chase group after the Col de la Croix du Fer behind the days early escape, and on the final ascent Hesjedal combined with Thibaut Pinot to reel in lone survival Alex Geniez. Pinot distanced the Canadian before Nairo Quintana also moved ahead of him in the closing kilometres. Hesjedal hung on for third, however. Its been and up and down race, he told Cyclingnews at the finish.ADVERTISEMENT Everyone said that we had three guys coming here for GC but that was never the plan. With what I put into the Giro and the build up, I would just take the Tour as it would come. Its kind of frustrating to know that I couldnt really prepare the way I wanted to in between the Giro and Tour because of recovery. Right from the beginning of this race we could see that I wasnt on top of it and I tried to stay out of trouble. The form wasnt coming in the way that I wanted and I hoped that I would feel better around half-way through the race, but it just wasnt happening. I had some good days here and there and I helped the guys where I could. Hesjedal was deployed as a domestique thereafter, helping Andrew Talansky in breaks as the American sought stage wins and to recover a respectable place overall. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Talansky fights on in the Tour de France
July 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Andrew Talansky stopped just after the finish line in La Toussuire following stage 19 on Friday and leaned over his bike for several minutes as he tried to fight the pain of yet another day in the Alps at the Tour de France. The Cannondale-Garmin rider went on the attack again during the stage in pursuit of stage victory. It was his third consecutive day of aggression but he was still determined to give it a go. He ensured he was part of the 24-rider moved that formed early and then fought all the way to the finish in La Toussuire as he tried to move up into the top 10 of the overall classification. He finished 12th on the stage, 4:17 behind stage winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and so moved up one place to 11th, 18:25 down on leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). With only the 110km mountain stage to LAlpe dHuez remaining, Talansky is a tantalising 58 seconds from 10th place held by Pierre Rolland (Europcar). With Tejay van Garderen (BMC) out of the race, Talansky is also defending US pride.ADVERTISEMENT It was full-gas racing, everything was blown to bits early on the Croix de Fer, Talansky explained after recovering but still clearly fatigued. It was full on from there, and Im sure that continued up at the front on the last climb. I was just riding as hard as I could up to the finish. Talansky had a tough first part of the Tour de France. He lost time in the crosswinds on stage two and on the uphill finishes on the Mur de Huy and Mr de Bretagne. Like teammate Dan Martin, he also suffered on the first mountain stage to La Pierre-Saint-Martin, losing more than 11 minutes to Chris Froome. However, he refused to be beaten by this years tough Tour de France route and the heat, attacking whenever the road has kicked up in the Pyrenees. On the stage to Pra-Loup he finished a painful second behind lone attacker Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) but refused to give up, attacking again on stage 18 and again today. Im happy with the effort Ive made during the third week of the Tour, he said. Obviously I came here with some higher GC aspirations, but those didnt pan out for a few reasons. Im glad Im still giving all I have in this third week to try to get a result on a stage or to make a move up on GC. I want to pay the team back for all of the work they did for me in the first half of the race. Despite his obvious fatigue, Talansky promised more aggression and a last roll of the dice on the stage to LAlpe dHuez. Im not going to say that Im going to miraculously win the stage and beat Chris Froome, Quintana and Contador, but Im going to give everything that I have until the very last stage of the Tour de France, he said. Alpe dHuez is actually my favourite memory from the 2013 Tour, so Im really looking forward to it. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Thomas: 'Sometimes you're the nail. I was a cheapy little Ikea one today'
July 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
As expected, Team Sky came under fire from all angles in the penultimate Alpine stage of this year's Tour de France. As the rain poured down, the British outfit were put under pressure right from the start, with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacking in the opening kilometres of the stage. The move on the Col duChaussy was followed by attacks from Movistar's Alejandro Valverde and Astana's Vincenzo Nibali, putting Sky immediately in trouble. Race leader Chris Froome saw his support network whittled down to just two riders, and looked under serious threat for the first time in this race. Wout Poels was the last man by Froome's side at the day's end, while Geraint Thomas saw his own general classification hopes go up in smoke. Thomas was dangling off the back after the Contador attacks, and ended up crossing the line in a large group 22 minutes behind the stage winner, dropping him from fourth down to 15th overall.ADVERTISEMENT It would still be his best Grand Tour finish, should he keep his position, but it must be a bitter disappointment for him after such a strong performance throughout the rest of the race. "It was just empty today," Thomas said. "It was always going to happen, but I was hoping it was going to come on Monday, but it came today. I just didn't have anything. As they say, sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail. I was a cheapy little Ikea one today. It was terrible. I don't even know what happened, actually. It was a tough start, and when you've got nothing in the legs, there's nothing you can do." Although his rivals threw all they could at Froome in the early part of the stage, the pace couldn't be sustained. Froome's troubles weren't over, however, and there was another heart-stopping moment for the Sky camp when a mechanical problem saw Froome briefly distanced on the Col de la Croix de Fer. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: We tried but it wasn't enough, says Quintana
July 25, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has been threatening all week to do something serious in the final two mountain stages of this years Tour de France. He was finally able to put some distance between himself and Chris Froome (Team Sky) during stage 19 but it, perhaps, wasnt what we had all hoped. A huge cheer ripped through the Colombian contingent of the press corps when Quintana made his move on La Toussuire, but he could only manage to take back 30 seconds, a minor dent in the more than three-minute deficit to Froome. We attacked looking for the best moment to get good time and to distance Froome but it wasnt enough for what we thought. We were missing the finishing touch, a disappointed Quintana said in the mixed zone after the stage. We did what we could and Froome is very strong. At least weve tried. Even with a few bonus seconds for taking the runners-up spot on the stage, Quintana remains 2:38 behind Froome in the overall classification with just the punchy stage to Alpe dHuez left. At just 110 kilometres, we can expect there to be action from the start " as we saw on stage 19. Quintana famously put time into Froome the last time the race visited the Alpe, after the Sky rider suffered a hunger flat. With that in mind, hell go into the final mountain stage with confidence, but hell need much more than the 1:06 that he took on Froome on that occasion.ADVERTISEMENT Quintana, however, is not ready to call a cease fire just yet. We will come back to try and give it our all, said Quintana. Ill try again tomorrow from further out, lets see how strong he is then. Well try for the stage win at least. As Quintana tried to take the fight to Froome, his teammate Alejandro Valverde found his podium position under attack. Valverde went into the day with a comfortable cushion over Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), who had been in fourth place. The Welshman faded and in his place was a revitalised Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The Italian won the day, gaining 2:26 on Valverde and putting himself within touching distance of a podium position, with only 1:19 now separating the pair. We hoped that Sky would neutralise Nibalis attack but they werent interested. We controlled it a little and Saxo helped and it was quite hard at the moment he attacked, said Quintana. Nibali got away today, but Im sure Alejandro Valverde will be able to handle him in the battle for the podium. Movistar will also be looking to keep hold of their position at the top of the team standings, which they lead by a pretty luxurious 51 minute advantage over second place Tinkoff-Saxo. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Whole team is riding strong, great morale, Thomas says
July 24, 2015 (15:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Team Sky has a firm grip on the yellow jersey at the Tour de France with Chris Froome, and only a couple of days remaining before Paris. Attacks promised from Movistar came and went without much change. While the race is not completely over, time is running out for Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. A big part of Team Skys success, besides Froome himself, has been Geraint Thomas. The Welsh rider took over Richie Portes role as Froomes lieutenant. Initially deemed to look out for his leader during the cobble stages, he has displayed versatility and a serene attitude in dealing with the pressure that comes with protecting yellow. So well in fact that Froome is now warning that Thomas could be a GC contender very soon. The whole team is riding strong, Thomas told BBC Sport. Everyone is striving off of Froomey, when everything is going so well, its nice, everyone gets confidence from that. Weve all been riding so well together this whole race so far and [have] great morale on the team.ADVERTISEMENT Sky has responded to each attack, showing only moments of weakness since entering the final mountains of the race. The Welsh rider is known for his Classics riding, but the big surprise has been his climbing ability. Even after being knocked off the road into a ravine descending he maintains fourth position on GC. Heading into the home stretch, the race saw late attacks Thursday by both Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo). Others joined the previous Tour champions, sparking the race for the top ten. All the while Sky remained cool, controlling the race, as they needed. Contador is at six minutes, Gesink is at seven or something, Geraint explained. For me personally, I would have liked to have followed it, but when you think of the yellow jersey, theres no need to panic. Movistar and Astana, theyd get a little bit more nervous before us, so we just let them do it. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Sky's release of Froome's Tour de France data fails to clear the air
July 24, 2015 (15:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
If Team Sky believed the move to make public Chris Froomes data from the summit finish at La Pierre-Saint-Martin on stage 10 of this years Tour de France would silence the doubters, they will have been left disappointed. Tim Kerrison, Skys head of athlete performance, addressed the media during the second rest day of the Tour de France to explain Froomes numbers after a documentary on Stade 2 estimated some his values for the climb, with physiologist Pierre Sallet concluding that Froome either has an extraordinary physiology or is doping. It is the nature of the beast that it is nigh on impossible to provide concrete proof that a rider is clean and this new information has only offered another small glimpse of a still incomplete picture, raising with it only fresh questions.ADVERTISEMENT One such question is how Froome, if averaging 5.78 watts per kilogram on La Piere-Saint-Martin as Sky claim, climbed so much quicker than those who supposedly outpowered him, like Robert Gesink (5.93 w/kg). This only leads to fresh speculation, as well as highlighting the fallibility of assessment by numbers and the many variables by which they are affected. How are we to know Gesinks power meter is producing completely accurate data? Do his and others computers take into account fluctuations in weight from day to day? How can we have faith in Skys numbers, modified from the raw data because they claim osymetric chainrings overestimate power by six per cent? The new numbers have failed to satisfy Sallet, who has revised his calculations in a fresh report published under the banner of his Athletes for Transparency body. Having originally taken Froome to weigh 71 kilograms, the 67.5kg figure given by Sky leads him to believe Froome averaged 408 watts over the climb, compared with his original 425 estimate and Skys claim of 414. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Battle for top 10 heats up
July 24, 2015 (15:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The battle for the yellow jersey is down to just two people at best with Chris Froome (Team Sky) seemingly in control with just two more days in the mountains remaining, while Nairo Quintana (Movistar) does his level best to knock him from the top spot. Behind the duelling pair Alejandro Valverde is sitting comfortably in the final podium spot, despite suffering on Thursday, but there is a battle heating up for the remaining positions within the top 10. Just over two minutes separate fourth through to eighth, while those towards the bottom of the top 10 have a tough two days ahead if they want to keep it. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) leads the best of the rest, as it were. The Welshman has been enjoying his best Tour de France to date, currently sitting in fourth and 2:25 behind the final podium spot. Thomas showed his first signs of weakness in Wednesdays ride to Pra Loup, getting dropped on the penultimate climb of the Col dAllos but remains in fourth. Alberto Contador is just six seconds behind him, though, and Robert Gesink is at 1:05 down on the team Sky rider. As much as hed like to protect his own position overall, he has the race leader Froome to consider. Its one of those, when Contador and Gesink went, half of me was like oh Ill go but its got to be everything for the team so I stuck with the boys and I didnt panic, said Thomas. If the team is as strong as it is then my job wont come until the end of the stages so that gives me the best chance of holding my GC but as long as Froomey wins and I do my job for him then thats all I can ask for. Go big or go home is an adage that could be applied to Contadors approach to racing. It hasnt been for a want of trying that the Spaniard finds himself at 6:40 down overall. Despite having already admitting defeat in the general classification after his crash on stage 17, Contador made a concerted effort on the Col du Glandon. The efforts are beginning to show and Contador accepts that perhaps the podium is out of his grasp. If you told me that I would attack the leaders group at the start of the day then I wouldnt have believed it. It has been a really hard day on the bike and I hurt all over. Tomorrow I will have a hard time but we are already here so we have to try something, said Contador. Obviously the position that I am in now in the general classification is not to my liking but it would have to be something really big for Alejandro to lose the podium.ADVERTISEMENT The shark bites Another rider that is still pushing hard to salvage something from this Tour de France is the defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). A shadow of the rider we saw last season, Nibali was struggling to keep himself inside the top 10 in the first half of the race. Hes hit his stride now and has been gradually moving his way up the standings and now lies seventh overall at 8:04. I dont have anything to lose so I can take a bet on doing something, said Nibali. People are trying to mark me because maybe they can see that Im better now and I can do something from far out. Id love to fight back in some way but its about being in the right mood. Contador and I looked at each other but nothing happened. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) wraps up this cluster of riders battling each other behind the podium spots, after a solid ride on the opening day of the Alps. Frank held firm en-route to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne but the next two stages will be a much sterner test on his overall placing. Hes got a healthy advantage of 3:19 over Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), who looked in trouble on Thursday and slipped to 12:06 back. Romain Bardets (AG2R-La Mondiale) victory on stage 18 has jumped him into the top 10 at 12:52 down but, like Mollema, he is under threat from the likes of Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin). The former is just 16 seconds back on his compatriot. Perhaps the overall victory is all but decided but the fight behind the yellow jersey could go down to the wire and, as this Tour de France has shown us time and again, anything can happen. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France podcast episode 21: Bardet saves his Tour, UCI check for motors
July 24, 2015 (15:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Cyclingnews Tour de France podcast sponsored by British Eurosport. In todays episode, Stephen Farrand, Zeb Woodpower, Sadhbh OShea and Pierre Carrey of Libration and DirectVelo.com focus on Romain Bardets stage victory, the likely changes to the general classification with two stages to come in the Alps before Paris and touch on the bike checks that were carried today. We also hear from Bardet on his first Tour stage win, Andrew Talansky on Cannondale-Garmins aggressive tactics and race leader Chris Froome on another day in the yellow jersey. To subscribe to the Tour de France podcast on iTunes, click here, and go here for our full Tour de France coverage.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Froome stays vigilant at Tour de France as mountain stages tick down
July 24, 2015 (02:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Chris Froome (Team Sky) carefully controlled his nearest rivals at the Tour de Franceduring stage 18 on the road to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. He still leads Nairo Quintana (Movistar) by more than three minutes and is ticking off the mountain stages, knowing his grip on the race leaders yellow jersey is tightening and that the chances for his rivals reduce day by day. Main rivals Quintana and teammate Alejandro Valverde looked happy to finish in the select front group that came in 3:02 down on lone stage winner Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale). The Movistar riders and almost every other rider in the top 10 overall are racing to defend their current placing, with Movistar also leading the team competition and with Quintana wearing the best young riders white jersey. Froome again sensed their fear of risking everything and was able to control the racing thanks to another strong, consistent performance by Geraint Thomas. Froome again expressed his hopes that the Welshman can finish on the final podium with him in Paris, even if defending the yellow jersey comes first on Fridays tough stage to La Toussuire and then on the grand finale stage to lAlpe dHuez on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Were getting towards the end now and there are only two real racing stages to go, both quite short. So we can expect them to be hard. But I feel Im in good shape, Im happy compared to two years ago. Then I was hanging on. Now I feel quite good and in control, he said during his post-stage press conference. Ive got two wheels to follow at this point: Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. I hope we can finish the job now. Froome dismissed a suggestion that he had never come under real attack during this years Tour de France, as he pursues a second victory, two years after triumphing in 2013. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Stage wins the only interest for Cannondale-Garmin
July 24, 2015 (02:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
With three second places at the 2015 Tour de France, Cannondale-Garmin is determined to arrive in Paris with at least one stage win to its name. After finishing runner up to Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) on the Pra Loup summit finish, Andrew Talansky again chanced his luck for the American team on stage 18 to St-Jean-de-Maurienne, finishing ninth in a demonstration of the team's ambition and drive for victory. Cannondale-Garmin had placed its triumvirate of Talansky, Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal in the 29-man breakaway with the goal of stage victory as the teams sole focus on general classification has ended following a collective jour sans on La Pierre Saint-Martin. For Talansky, today was no 'revenge mission' for his close call yesterday but simply a repeat dosage of the teams tactics in the final week of the Tour.ADVERTISEMENT "No revenge, just continuing the approach weve taken in this last week and now with myself, Ryder and Dan off the front and up the road is a pretty good scenario," Talansky said after cooling down at the team bus. "We didnt come out in the wind but like weve said, today was about trying and thats what today about." Along with Martin and Hesjedal, Talansky reiterated he is confident the team can deliver a stage win by Paris on Sunday. "With myself, Dan and Ryder, I think we still have a good chance and we are still going to keep trying definitely and thats what we said yesterday and we tried yesterday, we tried again today and we have two more days at the Tour to try again," he added. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
UCI check Froomes bike and five others for hidden motors at Tour de France
July 24, 2015 (02:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The UCI commissaires at the Tour de France have confirmed that checks were carried on the bikes of race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) and five other riders after the stage 18 finish in Saint-Jean-de-Maurine, as they continue to look for hidden motors that could give riders a significant power boost during races. Cyclingnews understands that it is the fourth time that selected bikes have been checked after stages in this years Tour de France. Other checks were carried out in the spring and at the Giro dItalia but no motors have ever been found despite suspicion that they may be in use. UCI technical staff checked the bikes of Froome along with stage winner Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar).ADVERTISEMENT Froome confirmed during the post-stage press conference that his bike was amongst those checked by the UCI. He said he welcomed the checks. Yes my bike was checked but Im happy theyre doing the checks. Theyre probably needed considering all the rumours out there, Froome said when asked by Cyclingnews. I think most of the suspicion is on social media but they dont come from nowhere, the technology exists. Cyclingnews saw the UCI technical staff with several bikes in the compound area of the anti-doping truck close to the finish. Bikes were checked in a white tent behind the truck with team mechanics asked to take out the bottom brackets of the bikes You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cycling-Road-Tour de France stage 18 results (Reuters)
July 23, 2015 (18:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
July 23 (Infostrada Sports) - Results from Tour de France (Gap - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, 186.5 km) on Thursday 1. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R) 5:03:40" 2. Pierre Rolland (France / Europcar) +33" 3. Winner Anacona (Colombia / Movistar) +59" 4. Bob Jungels (Luxembourg / Trek) 5. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Astana) 6. Serge Pauwels (Belgium / Team MTN) +1:01" 7. Cyril Gautier (France / Europcar) +1:50" 8. Damiano Caruso (Italy / BMC Racing) 9. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Cannondale) +1:55" 10. Warren Barguil (France / Giant) +3:02" 11. Robert Gesink (Netherlands / LottoNL) 12. ... More...
News Shorts: Froome to decide on Vuelta after Tour de France
July 23, 2015 (15:45) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Froome to decide on Vuelta participation after the Tour Team Sky sayChris Froome will wait for the completion of the Tour de France to decide whether he will contest the Vuelta a Espaa. "We will not make a decision until the end of the Tour, but it is a possibility that we are evaluating," Team Sky Team Principal Dave Brailsford told Velonews. Froome has shown to be virtually unbeatable thus far at the Tour, despite the various attempts by the other GC contenders. The team surrounding him has proven they are strong and able to protect the yellow jersey through until Paris on Sunday. After the rest day Monday, riders start the first of three stages in the Alps and the final chances to gain time on the British rider.ADVERTISEMENT Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) entered the Tour with similar ambitions after winning the Giro d'italia this May. The Spaniard has shown fatigue however, with few attacks and missing the explosive riding expected from him in the Grand Tours. "Alberto has worked hard to win the two Grand Tours, but he looks tired after the Giro," Brailsford said. "It's possible that Froome could do Vuelta or Giro-Tour-Vuelta, but the goal is always the Tour." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: We weakened Team Sky, says Quintana
July 23, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Despite not being able to shake Chris Froome with several attacks on the penultimate and final climbs of the day, Nairo Quintana believes that he and his Movistar teammates finally cracked the seemingly unbreakable Team Sky. Froome became isolated for a rare occasion during this years Tour when Wout Poels and Geraint Thomas were both distanced on the ascent of the Col dAllos, giving Quintana confidence in the stages to come.ADVERTISEMENT Today I was almost 100 per cent. We have not got to Froome but we have weakened Sky and now come the more serious stages, which favour me, with longer climbs and tougher finishes where we can try to scratch back some time, Quintana told the press after the stage. Tomorrows stage will be very complicated and the finish in La Toussuire is a course that suits me, it is all day up and down, with major climbs that are very hard and very long. Alpe dHuez is a fairly long climb and the slope suits my abilities. There is terrain to bring the battle. Quintana has looked increasingly strong in the last week, after losing more than a minute on Froome on the opening day in the Alps. He hasnt lost time since that day and has been consistently attacking Froome. Stage 17 was no different and Quintana made his first move near the top of Pra Loup, hoping to test his isolated rival. The attack came to nought but on the whole, Quintana believes that it was a strong day for the team. While Alejandro Valverde lost seven seconds in the general classification fight he moved up to third following the abandon of Tejay van Garderen due to illness. Movistar also increased their lead at the top of the team classification to over 16 minutes. I felt very good. I recovered well and I didnt have any problems after the rest day. We were good, together as a whole team, and with the pace that we set on the Allos, Quintana said. When I saw him [Froome] without teammates, we wanted to see how he felt. Mine are good and you have to keep trying. Today we have also got on the podium with Alejandro Valverde and we maintained the lead in the team classification by quite a margin and I think that the balance of the day has been quite favourable for the team. Movistar had four riders on the Col dAllos, with Gorka Izagirre and Jos Herrada dropping back from an earlier break to help set a strong pace before allowing Astana to take over towards the top. Quintana made digs off the front in the closing kilometres but all were matched by Froome and he was forced to chase down one from the yellow jersey wearer. After being outsprinted by Froome earlier in the race, Quintana returned the favour atop Pra Loup but the gaps in the general classification remain the same between the top two. We didnt really intend to turn things around in the general classification today and there are days where the mountains are more demanding and we believe that the remainder may prove to be harder, explained Quintana. It will be difficult to do if I attack too close to the final so I will have to try from further out. Today we saw the strength of the whole team that is at a great level. We will keep trying and we hope that we can weaken them. We already have second place, if nothing happens, but I continue to think of yellow. Time is running out but we believe as the desire grows. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Sources say Landa, Intxausti and the Izagirre brothers to join Team Sky
July 23, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Several reports published today in the Spanish media assert that, as reported by Cyclingnews at the start of the Tour de France, Mikel Landa will join Team Sky in 2016 on a two-year deal. Sources also place Movistar riders Beat Intxausti, Gorka Izagirre and Ion Izagirre in Team Skys roster for the upcoming season. Landas future has been a talking point since his outstanding performance in the last Giro dItalia, where he won two stages and finished third overall, only behind Alberto Contador and Fabio Aru. The Basque riders contract with Astana is expiring at the end of this season and he has publicly stated his will to leave the Kazakh squad, where he hasnt felt supported neither during his period of severe illness last winter nor during his breakout at the Giro. According to the report, Landa had offers from Movistar in the amount of 1.5 million per year and from Katusha, where it was suggested he put forward his own asking price. However, Landa seems to have picked the two-year, 1.2 million deal proposed by Team Sky.ADVERTISEMENT Two of the Spanish newspapers reporting Landas signing with Sky, El Pas and AS, said that Intxausti will join the British team next season too. Intxausti, who currently races for Movistar, is a strong climber who has won two stages of the Giro dItalia and finished fourth in the last edition of Critrium du Dauphin. According to several sources contacted by Cyclingnews, another two Movistar riders, Gorka and Ion Izagirre, are set to ride for Team Sky in 2016 as well. The brothers from Ormaiztegi, a little village of the Goierri region, are key domestiques in Eusebio Unzus schemes and would have the same role at Brailsfords. The four riders, who come from the Basque country, were raised in the ranks of the bygone Euskaltel team and are managed by Giuseppe Acquadro. Koldo Fernndez de Larrea, delegate in Spain of the Italian agent, declined to confirm or deny these transfers when asked by Cyclingnews. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de France: Geschke celebrates his big win in Pra-Loup
July 23, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) let out a roar celebration as he crossed the finish line Pra-Loup and showed plenty of emotion after his stage victory, admitting after a few tears that this was the biggest day of his cycling career. The Giant-Alpecin team has struggled to make an impact in this years Tour de France without sprinter Marcel Kittel, but the bearded German rider ensured he was in the big break of the day and then went on the attack before the decisive Col dAllos. He dived down the twisting descent and then held off chasers of the calibre of Andrew Talansky and Rigoberto Uran to win alone.ADVERTISEMENT I was allowed my own chance to go in the break, but I think the team never expected me to win. Today is simply the best day in my life, of my professional cycling life. Its unreal. Ill need a few days to understand what Ive done. Its a dream to win because I knew the only way to win was in the break and felt that today was today, he said in the post-stage winners press conference. I suppose I had less than half a chance of winning but its still a chance. Going with 50km to go is not a big chance. It was a tactic that could work out but needed a little brute force. Its an unusual win for the team because all our wins came in sprints in 2014. People see us as sprinting team but with Barguil we also have a guy for the top 10 overall. Despite apparent calls from his friends and teammates, he refused any idea that he will shave off his thick beard as a way of celebrating his victory. Only if I win the GC of the Tour de France, so never, he joked. Geschke attacked alone after the intermediate sprint. He wanted to anticipate the strong riders in the breakaway but he then out-rode them all, as team tactics curbed the chances of Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo). I saw that the guys didnt move or attack and knew that if I stayed with them theyd go for it on the long climb, Geschke explained. I took my only chance after the sprint. I knew that if it didnt work out, then Id support Barguil before the last climb. It was just a simple tactic. I didnt want to wait to get dropped and or be dropped and finish 10th. Its incredible it worked out. The descent of the Col dAllos was really challenging but risks are part of cycling. I knew it was a dangerous descent but went as fast as possible. It was hard because I was at my limit at the top of climb and had to concentrate in the corners so not to crash or lose time. I didnt go down at my maximum but was still pretty fast. I was happy not to be surprised by a corner. On the climb up to the finish I was thinking Id be caught. But I wasnt." German pride German cycling has been through a tough time following the exposure of widespread doping in the Telekom team and the demise of Jan Ullrich, with the media treating cycling like pariah sport, without treating other sports in the same way. Only 10 German riders started the Tour de France but they have now won five stages thanks to Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and now Geschke. The media in Germany did not really work on giving cycling a good image in recent years. But the German riders are happy that state television is showing the Tour de France so that the public can take part in such a wonderful race and get to know it again, Geschke explained. Weve had a lot of stage victories in the last two years and this is our fifth win now. I think that Germany can be really proud of the cyclists in the Tour de France now. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Talansky shut out in Tour de France stage, vows to keep trying
July 23, 2015 (09:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Cannondale-Garmin has had no manner of luck in the Tour de France, but a tenacious ride by Andrew Talansky for second place on stage 17 to Pra-Loup has the American team hoping their fortunes have finally turned a corner. Talanksy was part of a huge breakaway that escaped midway through the 161km stage, and by the end he was chasing eventual stage winner Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) alone on the descent from the Coll d'Allos. Finishing 32 seconds behind, Talanksy said he ran out of road. "Once I got in that breakaway I thought I had a really good chance. I was suffering a little bit early on, but I looked at the faces of the other guys, and I know the way I'm feeling in the third week, the way I've been climbing I was pretty confident I was the best climber in the group. That proved to be true by the end. Geschke just had a bit too much time coming into the final climb," Talansky said.ADVERTISEMENT "I rode the race as smart as I could, and rode with my heart and not my head in the end. I ended up being second, but I did everything I could." Talansky came over the Coll d'Allos with 22km to go chasing behind Geschke and FDJ's Thibaut Pinot, but after the Frenchman slid out and then lost his confidence on the highly technical and treacherous descent, Talansky blasted past and went off in pursuit of Geschke, but couldn't close down the gap. "Geschke is a pretty good descender, too, and the gap stayed pretty much the same between the top and the bottom. My only hope was that he was going to blow up in the steeper last two kilometers. He's a great bike rider, a class rider, and he knows how to meter his effort, obviously. I think I closed 50 seconds to a minute at the end, but it wasn't enough. I ran out of road." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Froome keeps his Tour de France rivals in check in the Alps
July 22, 2015 (21:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Chris Froome (Team Sky) was happy to complete the first of four decisive Alpine stages at the Tour de France to Pra-Loup, satisfied that he controlled his overall rivals on the testing descent of the Col dAllos and neutralised several attacks by Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Froome was genuinely sorry to see Tejay van Garderen (BMC) abandon the Tour de France but fought back about any speculation to Team Sky releasing some of his data from the first stage in the Pyrenees. He confirmed he would release all his data to an independent body such as the UCI or WADA, on the condition that his rivals did the same. Froome and Quintana went clear in the final kilometre to the line, with the Colombian even fighting to win the sprint for 18th place in the hope of scoring a psychological blow on his rival, but Froome marked him closely and finished in the same time. Quintana is now 3:10 behind Froome in the overall classification, with his teammate Alejandro Valverde third at 4:09 after the abandon of Tejay van Garderen (BMC). Quintana and Froome shook hands after the stage but their rivalry remains fierce out on the road. Earlier Team Sky had controlled the peloton and had placed Richie Porte and Nicolas Roche in the break of the day to prepare for any tactical moves on the long slopes of the Col dAllos. Other teams also tried similar plans, to perhaps attack Froome but he was never in danger, even showing some impressive descending skills on the Col dAllos as he dived through the corners in Vincenzo Nibalis slipstream. I was definitely pushed to my limits by all the attacks and can definitely expect more of it over next few days, Froome admitted, before playing mind games with his rivals who are slowly running out of mountain stages to put him difficulty. My main rivals are Quintana and Valverde, and so Ive got to respond when they make their moves. He (Quintana) is still feeling good but theres perhaps an element thats he running out of stages. I was surprised to see him and others guys going for it with 50km or 60km to go. I think it gives us a taste of the next few days. Weve got three hard stages to go and I expect my rivals will push until finish and also battle it out for podium positions. I wouldnt say there are signs of desperation but you can see that my rivals are going to take bigger risks; were seeing all or nothing approach at this point. Alberto Contador lost more time with his crash. I think that we can only expect him to attack earlier in next few stages. On the contrary, Froome claimed he was feeling good after enjoying the second rest day with his wife, Michelle, brother and other relatives. Tactically we were good but the attacks, even from far out puts us under a lot of pressure, so thanks to my teammates for controlling the race and keeping the yellow jersey on my shoulders, he said. Im feeling good and looking forward to the next days. Im hoping to get through as best as I can but it is getting harder as we get towards Paris. The first Alpine mountain stage to Pra-Loup was more about the descent than the climb and cols of the stage. Nibali used his descending skills to test his rivals, but Froome was glued to his wheel and never seemed in difficulty. Ive never felt descending was a weakness for me, Froome said, pushing back any suggestions to the contrary. I felt confortable on the decent. I didnt take any risks today. Riding with Nibali was more about holding gaps and not losing any positions. Others perhaps took risks but I was riding within myself and riding lines I felt comfortable with. It was good to know the descent after seeing it in the Dauphine and in recon rides.ADVERTISEMENT On the offensive about data Froome seemed more relaxed after the second rest day and made an effort to speak in French alongside his wife, Michelle, on French television post stage. During his questions from the written press, he faced only two difficult questions: one about motorised wheels, which he dismissed by saying he had never heard about them, and another about the data Team Sky released during the rest day. Froome insisted he had not had time to understand the reaction to the data release but accepted the questions about his performance may never go away. However, he made it clear he was ready to share all his data with an independent body if his rivals did the same. It was a bold promise. Ive not really seen any reaction. I imagine is going to be never ending. Some data will never be enough, Froome said. If people truly want to understand what Im capable of as a rider, then theyve got to have all the data, all power files, all the racing files, all the training files. For Team Sky thats our competitive advantage, so that would mean giving away our training programmes that Tim Kerrison has spent years working on. Itd be crazy to give it away to other teams who havent invested in training. The team has made it clear theyd be happy to surrender the power data, everything, to the right independent body. If WADA or the UCI wanted to collected that info, Im sure the team would be happy to give if to them, as long as all the teams do the same. But Im also quite sure what we released wouldnt be enough for some. A lot of people have made up their minds. No matter what info we release its not going to change their opinion. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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