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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Date published:
July 15, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Van Garderen moves up to seventh overall at the Tour de France

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 21:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    American rider says it was a brutal stage 10

    On a day that saw Tinkoff-Saxo's team leader Alberto Contador crash out of the Tour de France and fracture his tibia, even reaching the finish without losing massive amounts of time was considered a good result by every rider who made it La Planche des Belles Filles.

    American rider Tejay van Garderen (BMC) survived the intense racing, the rain-soaked descents, the steep climbs of Vosges and the crashes to finish in the main chase group. He lost 22 seconds to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) but rose from 16th to seventh place overall, 3:56 down on the Italian.

    In comparison, fellow American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) lost 10 minutes and slipped to 26th overall at 14:44 minutes back.

    "It was a brutal stage, just hard all day," van Garderen said, stopping briefly to talk to the media at the summit finish. "We're not getting a break with this weather and we saw a lot of guys crashing again. But I think I can be happy with how I rode today."

    Van Garderen has been involved in at least four crashes so far in this Tour de France and revealed that he saw Contador go down at speed.

    "I saw him crash. I'm hearing just now that he actually abandoned," he said. "That's a real shame for the race. We were going to see a heated battle between him and Nibali. Hopefully the rest of us can still put on a good show.

    "I was right behind him. It was a tricky descent on rough roads. I didn't get a good look at it but I saw him and his bike at the side of he road. I was hoping he was...

  • Tour de France: Porte moves into second overall

    Richie Porte surrounded by his Team Sky teammates
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 21:49 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Team Sky rider happy heading into first rest day

    Five days ago Team Sky thought they were waving goodbye to their general classification hopes as their team leader Chris Froome was forced to abandon the Tour de France. However, Richie Porte changed that on La Planche de Belles Filles.

    Porte was one of a select few of riders to make it into the front group on the final climb and finished seventh to move himself into second in the general classification.

    “I think I was the only one who thought about chasing Vincenzo. Credit to him,” said Porte as he warmed down atop La Planche des Belles Filles. “I think now Nibali has shown that he is the man to beat. His team were good today, they rode quite hard. They lost Scarponi there on that descent but you know in the final it’s a little bit frustrating everybody is sitting on your wheel. I guess that racing. There’s still another ten days to go.”

    After starting in beautiful sunshine a familiar scene of clouds descended over the peloton and the rain began to pour. Stage 10 was always going to be one to shake up the general classification but nobody could have expected the fall out. Pre-race favourite Alberto Contador crashed and broke his tibia. Nibali also nearly lost Michele Scarponi to the wet roads as the Italian ran wide on one of the many descents.

    “It was a day to stay at the front but even staying at the front wasn’t easy. I hope we’ve left the rain behind,” said Porte. “I think it’s going to be a pretty red hot Vuelta with the way things are going, with Chris and Alberto but it’s never nice to see someone like Alberto crash out and I think it’s going to change the dynamics of the race.”

    Ahead of the Tour de France, many had questioned Porte’s form. The Australian had missed much of the first part of the...

  • Contador crashed twice on one descent

    Alberto Contador in the team car after pulling out
    Article published:
    July 14, 2014, 22:15 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Specialized deny that frame failure was the cause

    Pre-race Tour de France favourite Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) could have crashed hard twice on the descent off of the Petit Ballon during stage 10 Tour de France when fractured his tibia. The Spaniard tried to carry on and even managed to climb up the following first category climb but after descending the Col du Platzerwasel, he was forced to abandon the Grand Tour.

    Tinkoff-Saxo director sportif Steven de Jongh explained what happened during the crash once he arrived on top of the finishing climb, La Planche des Belles Filles.

    “Daniele Bennati rode behind him [Alberto Contador] and he said his hands came off his handlebars, hitting a hole or something. It’s pure bad luck. He crashed and received a spare bike from Nicholas Roche. Possibly one kilometre later, he crashed once again. The reason? The rain made the roads more slippery, possibly his hands were full of dirt after the first crash and that’s why he lost hold of his handlebars but that’s all speculation,” De Jongh said.

    Fellow director sportif Philippe Mauduit told Cyclingnews that the team had asked the riders to avoid risks on the descent of the Petit Ballon.

    “I think they were pretty much at the front at the beginning of the downhill and we asked them not to take any risks. I don’t think they were moving up. That was not the call. Alberto is smart enough that if we tell them not to take any risks, they don’t take any risks.”

    How and where the two crashes occurred in the peloton is unclear. Several riders confirmed they saw Contador crash. According to riders and other wtinesses, Contador seemed to first...

  • Mollema loses time due to stomach bug

    Bauke Mollema (Belkin)
    Article published:
    July 15, 2014, 10:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Belkin leader still looks to top five

    Bauke Mollema currently sits in tenth place in the overall classification of the Tour de France but has his sights set on a higher ranking to improve on last year’s sixth place in Paris. However stomach problems held him back as he lost time in the first ten stages of the race.

    “Bauke has been seriously ill for a few days,” his teammate Laurens ten Dam told De Telegraaf. “Yes, I was pretty scared for my overall chances,” Mollema added.

    The biggest time loss for the Belkin captain came in the fifth stage over the cobbles to Arenberg. He finished 2:44 down on the winner Lars Boom but lost 2:25 to Vincenzo Nibali.

    “I really felt my worst during the cobbles stage and tried hard to limit my time loss there,” Mollema told De Telegraaf, “but I also suffered the day before and the day after the cobbles. You know that no matter what you do, you are going to lose time in the overall. And unfortunately that happened.”

    On stage 10 Mollema finished in 12th position in a group with Rui Costa, John Gadret and the Trek Factory Racing duo Fränk Schleck and Haimar Zubeldia. In the overall he is now tenth at 1:45 from Porte who is currently second behind Nibali.

    “I had hoped it would have gone a little better,” he added. “I lose time to several of the overall contenders but the top five is still within a minute’s reach. So all in all that’s not so bad.”

  • Tinkov: Contador would have won the Tour de France

    Alberto Contador in the team car after abandoning the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 15, 2014, 10:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Team behind Contador for next year

    Tinkoff Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov believes that Alberto Contador would have won the Tour de France had he not crashed out with a broken tibia on stage 10.

    Contador fell mid-way through the stage and despite carrying on for nearly 20 kilometres was forced to abandon. Although the Spaniard was over two minutes down on his main rival Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), the pair were expected to challenge for the maillot jaune all the way to Paris.

    However with another stage win to his name and the yellow jersey back on his shoulders, Nibali looks in a commanding position as the race reaches its first rest day.

    “It was an accident. He said there’s a bump and he was eating. He’s gone for an x-ray. I don’t know exactly what happened,” said a disconsolate Tinkov at the end of stage 10.

    “He said he was eating a bar and then he hit a bump. It’s like a bad dream but this is cycling. That’s what I said when Froome crashed out.”

    Contador came into the Tour de France as a leading contender and had raced well throughout the 2014 season. Despite losing significant time to Nibali and his other rivals on the stage to Arenberg, he showed signs of fight on stage 8, attacking and splitting the lead group on the final climb. Morale and belief in the Tinkoff Saxo camp appeared to be high.

    “I’m confident in Alberto and I think he would have won the Tour,” Tinkov added.

    “He was strongest here and he would have won but that’s cycling. He’s strong, he’s stronger than Nibali in my view. We’ll try next year.”

  • Tour de France: Nibali passed me like an aeroplane, says Rodriguez

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    July 15, 2014, 12:24 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Spaniard misses victory but takes polka dot jersey

    Joaquim Rodríguez’s heart must have sunk into his Sidi shoes as he saw Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) fly past him on La Planche des Belles Filles. The Katusha rider looked set to take his second Tour de France stage victory but a stinging attack from the Italian meant that his efforts came to nought.

    “I thought that I could win, that was my intention. More or less I felt good but I was missing something to be able to follow Nibali. He passed me like an aeroplane,” Rodríguez said at the finish. “It was a really hard stage and I’m sad that I couldn’t win, but Vincenzo was so much faster. I was dying, it was impossible to follow him.

    “There are more opportunities. There are more summit finishes and I have some days to recover.”

    There was some consolation for Rodríguez, who moved into the lead of the mountains classification. Rodríguez was aggressive right from the off on stage 10, making it into the break. Classification leader Tony Martin set off in chase, but the Spaniard was able to hoover up more than enough points in the early climbs to put him in the driving seat.

    Rodríguez had been on the attack the day before, after keeping a low profile during the first week. The Katusha rider came to the Tour de France after injuring himself at the Giro d’Italia in May. With the Vuelta a España his next big target, Rodríguez and the team have chosen not to contest the general classification. At the finish Rodríguez reiterated his intention to take home the polka dot jersey.

    “I’ve said it more than once that I would like to fight for the mountains classification, this is an objective that I like most, apart from that I would like to win a stage,” explained Rodríguez.

  • Contador crash changes nothing for Pinot

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) arrives in Gérardmer
    Article published:
    July 15, 2014, 12:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman glad to be back to true level at Tour de France

    Within moments of crossing the finish line atop La Planche des Belles Filles at the end of stage 10, Thibaut Pinot’s initial disappointment at missing out on victory turned to satisfaction at his overall progress at this Tour de France.

    A native of nearby Mélisey, Pinot grew up training on the climb and its inclusion on the route of the 2012 Tour saw him all but insist that manager Marc Madiot hand him his debut in the race at the tender age of 22.

    On that occasion, the occasion seemed too much for Pinot, as he floundered at La Planche but he responded impressively with a stylish solo win at Porrentruy the following day, ahead of an eventual 10th place finish in Paris.

    This time around, Pinot again confessed to a poor night’s sleep as the Tour entered his home patch, but he dealt well with the nerves. Although unable to match Vincenzo Nibali’s vicious attack with 2.5 kilometres remaining, the Frenchman was sufficiently strong of legs and cool of head to clip away to take second on the stage, 20 seconds down on the Italian.

    “There’s some disappointment but I don’t have regrets,” Pinot said, according to L’Équipe. “I came across someone who was stronger than me. You can’t be frustrated when you’re beaten à la pedale.

    “I had good sensations without being on a great day. In the leading group, everyone was tired, and once Nibali accelerated, it was a case of every man for himself.

    “It’s a bit too short a climb for me, but I hope there’ll be another finish on La Planche in the coming years and that I’ll win that time. But so be it, I’m finally at my level on the Tour...

  • Team NetApp to become Team BORA

    Leopold Konig (Team NetApp - Endura)
    Article published:
    July 15, 2014, 12:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Cooking extraction systems manufacturer to sponsor team for five years

    Team NetApp-Endura will be known as Team BORA for the next five years. The manufacturer of cooking surfaces and cooking extractor systems will be the title sponsor through the 2019 season, starting in 2015. It will mark the return of a German title- sponsored German team to the pro peloton for the first time since 2010.

    "I am delighted to announce that BORA we again have a German company back in professional cycling as a title sponsor,” said team manager Ralph Denk. “In BORA we have acquired a title sponsor that is entrepreneur-led, growing rapidly, commercially well established and not afraid to compete with its innovations against the big companies.”

    “I can see clear parallels with our team. The commitment of BORA demonstrates that we have been on the right path for the last five years.”
    BORA is based in Raubling, Bayern, Germany, where the team is also based. The firm’s owner, Willi Bruckbauer, was once “on the verge of becoming a pro cyclist,” as he put it. But that was not the reason for the firm’s decision to sponsor the team, which was based on solely economic grounds.

    "We now want to present our innovative products to a wider public,,” he said. “The naming right in professional cycling is an ideal tool for this project. We have established our plan step-by-step in recent years, initially as a partner to the team and now including TV advertising at cycling races in many European countries. Now is exactly the right moment to become the title sponsor.”

    BORA has sponsored the team since 2012. The company is best known for its “cooktop extraction systems”, which replace exhaust hoods over cooktops, by sucking the exhaust down and out.

    The team is “happy to have secured the future of the team so early and for such a long period. With BORA, we intend to...