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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 11, 2014

Date published:
July 11, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Tour de France Shorts: Lest we forget

    The peloton passed this World War 1 cemetery in Belgium
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 14:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Rats, signing in, nicknames and roundabouts

    Lest we forget

    The brightly coloured carnival that is the Tour de France's publicity caravan will fall silent today in memory of the lives lost in World War 1. As they pass by World War 1 battle fields, between kilometre 111 at Bras-sur-Meuse and the Mémorial de Verdun at kilometre 123, no loud noises will be permitted. 

    More than 700,000 people were injured and killed during the 1916 Battle of Verdun, which lasted almost 10 months. It is considered one of the costliest battles in history, in terms of casualties.

    Stage 7 is the second of three stages commemorating the 100th anniversary of the war. After 195km of racing, the riders will pass through the town of Toul. The town has special significance to the Tour de France, as 1910 champion Octave Lapize died here. The cyclist turned fighter pilot was shot down during a dog-fight on July 14th, and died later in hospital. Lapize rode six Tours de France in total, but only finished one. The Parisian won four stages by four points — the Tour de France was awarded to the rider with the least points. He also won Paris-Roubaix three years in a row.

    Pineau doesn't like a rat

    Jerome Pineau (IAM Cycling) was not happy with the way Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) behaved in the breakaway during stage 6.

    The Spaniard won the Prix de la Combativite' after fighting to be the last rider caught by the peloton but Pineau did not agree with judges who awarded him the prize.

    "Mate is a rat. He didn't work well in the break but he's going to pay for it in the next few...

  • Simon Yates confident ahead of first Tour de France mountain test

    Tour of Britain stage 6 winner Simon Yates (Great Britain) makes his way to the podium
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 17:45 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Orica-GreenEdge rider pleased with first week of Grand Tour racing

    Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) is now the youngest rider at the Tour de France after the departure of Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) on stage 7. Prior to the Tour de France, Yates had never ridden more than eight consecutive days of racing. That could change, if he makes it through this weekend's first venture into the mountains.

    Yates, who doesn't seem at all fazed by the jump in riding level at the Tour, is raring to go and take on the Vosges in the coming days. "I'm looking forward to it," he told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 7. "Hopefully I've got good legs and hopefully I can get in a break and do a good ride and hopefully I can get up there and have a go. I've been taking it easier the last couple of days and I'm feeling fresh so I'll give it a go." 

    When Cyclingnews last spoke to him, he was just about to leave his native England and head for French shores. As the only English rider in the race, he garnered a lot of attention from the media and, while he took it all in his stride, he is enjoying a little more time to himself.

    "There's been a lot less media wanting to talk to me and I've had a lot more time to get changed," he laughed. "It's been ok. The crowds are a lot less and the stress is a lot less, because of the sheer amount of people in the UK was 10 deep the whole way around."

    The 21-year-old has had something of a baptism of fire, with the riders taking on one of the toughest first weeks in recent memory. Hardest of those was the now infamous cobbled stage 5. Yates had some pavé experience going into the stage, but nothing could prepare him for what he faced. The young rider managed to make it through in one piece, and...

  • Nibali ready for unknown Vosges roads

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the podium as the overall race leader
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 18:29 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Sicilian expects attacks from Albert Contador

    Tour de France race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) survived the late scrimmage during the final kilometres of stage 7 from Épernay to Nancy, finishing sixteenth in the same time as winner Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma - QuickStep).

    During the final kilometers, Nibali moved to the front while Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) were on the attack. He had no ambition to take the stage win but wanted to avoid trouble, and he made it through the challenging first week unscathed and in the yellow jersey.

    "After Sagan and Van Avermaet went for it, the big question was keeping things under control. It was a very fast descent. That's why I went on the front because I wanted to avoid risks. There were lots of crashes today. The finale was a bit tough and we knew that Sagan would want to win, but in fact it's another Italian who won. I'm pleased for someone like Trentin. It's a sign we've got a lot of riders coming through," Nibali commented on the stage victory from his young compatriot.

    The next three days the Tour de France will travel through the Vosges mountains, starting with the stage from Tomblain to Gérardmer on Saturday. Nibali admitted that he hadn't prepared for these stages in the same way he did for the cobbles or the high mountain stages. "I don't know the Vosges climbs, I know the top climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees though," Nibali said.

    While the roads ahead are unknown to Nibali, he is expecting a lot of attacks through the hills before the race reaches the Alps. He has considered rival Alberto Contador's top form during the previous stages and is expecting the Spaniard to use it to his advantage. "Alberto and the others will attack, I...

  • Talansky angry with Gerrans after late crash at the Tour de France

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) rolls into the finish line after crashing in the sprint
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 18:47 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin-Sharp rider blames Australian for taking him out

    Andrew Talansky is affectionately nicknamed Pit-bull by his Garmin-Sharp team and his character and aggression came out after he crashed hard in sight of the finish of stage 7 of the Tour de France.

    The American appeared to touch wheels with Australian national champion Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreneEdge) and landed hard, at speed, on his left side and shoulder.

    He got up and finished the stage but watched the replay of the crash on a big screen just after the finishline. He vented his angry against Gerrans as he rode to the Garmin-Sharp team bus with team chiropractor Matt Rabin.

    "He took me, he can’t do that. Do you think that's acceptable? I was pulling out the way and he took me down," Talansky shouted to Rabin several times as they weaved around other riders in the chaos of the finish area.

    He then eased near the Orica-GreenEdge bus to further vent his anger and then rode on towards the Garmin-Sharp bus. After a few moments inside the bus he came out to warm down on the rollers. Directeur sportif Robbie Hunter, team doctor Prentice Steffen and team manager Jonathan Vaughters all spoke to him but he remained angry as replays of the crash were shown on the giant Sharp television on the side of the bus.

    The media waited outside the bus but Talansky did not speak and the Garmin-Sharp team opted to treat him on the bus and keep him on the bus, away from the media.

    As the team buses left the finish area, the Orica-GreenEdge bus pulled up alongside the Garmin-Sharp bus and Simon Gerrans insisted he did not cause the crash on purpose and said he would call Talansky. Vaughters thanked him for the gesture and directeur sportif Andreas Klier suggested the two riders...

  • Froome confirms he fractured hand and wrist in Tour de France crashes

    Chris Froome arrives at his hotel having abandoned the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 18:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky leader tweets: "Time for some R&R..."

    Team Sky's Chris Froome has confirmed that he fractured his left wrist and right hand during his crashes at the Tour de France.

    The 2013 Tour de France winner gave the news via Twitter on Friday evening apparently after undergoing MRI scans at home in Monaco.

    "MRIs done, confirmed fractures to the left wrist & right hand. Time for some R&R..." Froome wrote, revealing the news before Team Sky made any formal or detailed announcement.

    Froome crashed three times during the Tour de France. First on stage 4, when he hurt his left wrist, then twice again on stage 5 before the cobbled sectors of the stage to Arenberg. He apparently hit a crack in the concrete road surface and went down on his right side. Initial x-rays carried by ASO race doctors did not reveal any fractures but the medial staff said that micro-fractures are very difficult to see and diagnose.

    Froome headed home to Monaco in the evening of his crash.

    "I’m devastated to have to pull out of the race. It was the right thing to do after crashing again and I knew that I couldn’t carry on," he said at the time.

    "Over the next few days I’ll go for some more scans on my wrist to find out exactly what injuries I’ve sustained."

    It was speculated that Froome would recover to ride the Vuelta a España, but he will now need much longer to recover from the injuries that took him out of the Tour de France.

    Team Sky's lead doctor Alan Farrell gave a statement with regard to Froome's injuries, "We made it a matter of priority for Chris to have a thorough investigation into the injuries he...

  • Van Garderen loses time in Tour de France crash

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 19:07 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Bad day for BMC as Atapuma fractures leg

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) saw his chances of a top five finish at this year's Tour de France ebb further away after he hit the deck for the fourth time in a week. Van Garderen had already crashed once during the Grand Départ and twice on the cobbles. The stage 7 crash left the American with some superficial damage and a sore shoulder, and he lost more than a minute to his general classification rivals.

    "The time loss isn't as big as the crash itself. You just have to stay the course and keep going," van Garderen said outside the team bus at the finish in Nancy. "It's a tough blow, but the Tour is long, the race changes. You saw a couple of guys lose a minute yesterday in the crosswinds. You just have to stay the course."

    Van Garderen was safely within the bunch, on the final climb of Côte de Boufflers, when he moved to the right and tangled wheels with a Movistar rider. Van Garderen appeared to receive a knock to the head as another rider collided with him. "I was on my teammate Mickey's (Schar) wheel, to be honest I don't know. It felt like someone swerved over and it felt like I was taken out a little bit from behind," van Garderen said.

    Van Garderen was with two teammates at the time, but neither could do anything about their stricken leader. Peter Velits spotted van Garderen at the last minute and was able to get him back on the road. "I was close by but I didn't see that Tejay had crashed. That's why I braked after five or 10 metres and then I looked around and saw that he was under the bike. I didn't know that it would happen," said Velits. "I gave him my bike because we have a similar position, but he already had a gap."

    With Velits without a bike, it was down to Peter Stetina and Amaël Moinard to help the chase. The...

  • Tour de France: Sagan misses out again in Nancy

    Points jersey leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 19:38 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Slovakian extends his lead in the points classification

    Try as he might, victory seems to be elusive for Cannondale's Peter Sagan at the 2014 Tour de France. The Slovakian came as close as he has so far, on stage 7 to Nancy, but a photo finish gave the win to Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Matteo Trentin by the slimmest of margins.

    Sagan went on the attack in the closing kilometres – perhaps haunted by letting Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) go on stage 2. He took BMC's Greg Van Avermaet with him and the pair built up a good gap, but they were caught in the finishing straight. Sagan still had the legs to challenge for the sprint, but he had to settle for another runner-up position.

    "The first thing I want say is thanks to all my teammates for the amazing work they did for the entire day to put me in the condition to win," Sagan said at the finish. "I tried to attack after the last climb with Van Avermaet and when I saw the group coming fast I just waited for the sprint. I tried to do my best in the sprint. It was close but it was not enough."

    Sagan's second place makes him the first rider since Charles Pélissier in 1930 to finish in the top five in the first seven individual stages. It is a mere demonstration as to why he has been so difficult to beat over three years in the points classification – the jersey awarded for the most consistent rider. Sagan now holds a 113 point advantage over Bryan Coquard (Europcar), one that is unlikely to be overhauled.

    Extending his lead in the green jersey competition is an added bonus for Sagan, but he would swap it for a stage win. "When I win, many people say that for me it's easy to do it but today's stage proves that it's...

  • Trentin wins Tour de France stage for Cavendish

    Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) stands on the podium as the winner of stage 7
    Article published:
    July 11, 2014, 19:42 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Omega Pharma - QuickStep's luck improves

    To the surprise of many Tour de France followers, it wasn't Peter Sagan (Cannondale) but Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) who stormed to the win on Friday afternoon at the end of stage 7 in Nancy, France. Sprinting against a much reduced peloton, the 24-year-old Italian narrowly held off Sagan in his green jersey by a few millimetres.

    The Italian's win salvages the Tour de France for the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team. After losing their sprinter Mark Cavendish in the first stage, they were fighting to remain a factor in the race.

    "We win for Cav and win for the team. We keep on fighting every day to take home a victory. For sure we are happy now," Trentin said. "When Cav crashed, we said we have to keep going and keep an eye on the victory. That's what we did. If you see all the last stages, we were always in the front on the cobbles, always in the front on the sprint stages, and all that work finally paid off."

    After crossing the line, Trentin didn't celebrate as he thought he had been beaten by Sagan. "That was really close," Trentin said, laughing. "Honestly, I didn't think that I took the win today. I thought that Sagan beat me on the line. With all the publicity and the several lines on the ground, I was a bit confused. It's better to wait and be sure before you speak Then somebody told me on the radio that I won and Sandro [press officer Alessandro Tegner] came running and told me I'd won. Then I could celebrate," Trentin said.

    It's the fourth professional victory for Trentin in three years. Last year, the Italian won the Tour de France stage from Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon during his debut. Trentin was asked to compare his two victories during the post-race press grill.

    "That's really...