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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 13, 2013

Date published:
July 13, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Lyon climbs set to provide thrilling finale at the Tour de France

    Christopher Froome (Sky) takes a drink
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 7:32 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Last two climbs feature tricky, fast descents

    Barely five kilometres separate the top of the two late climbs on stage 14 of the Tour de France, the Cote de la Duchere and the Cote de la Croix-Rousse and despite being just fourth category, they are close enough together and hard enough to cause problems in any race scenario.

    The Cote de La Duchere (at 176km, with its summit 15 kilometres from the finish) starts with a left-hand bend and then climbs steadily right on a straight broad route for most of its 1.6km length. With about 500 metres to go it eases back slightly, before a slight kick up to the top.

    The descent though, is complicated: very fast and quite narrow in one single, sweeping right hand bend, with a tricky little bend at the bottom. And about 500 metres later, after a quick dash across the Pont Georges Clemenceau bridge, the next climb, the 1.8 kilometre Cote de La Croix-Rousse starts immediately.

    Again this is fairly gentle, but unlike the Duchere, it features a series of hairpin bends. Anybody getting away at that point will soon be out of sight. About 200 metres from the summit, situated 9.5 kilometres from the finish, the road straightens out and then continues level for another 200 metres before a sharp swing left for another 300 metres. Only then, after this chunk of level riding through the streets of Lyon, does the descent begin. It is fast and this time with a very dangerous right-hand bend at the bottom as the road narrows to single width.

    After all of these technical sections, which seem destined to split up the front group and make the race very difficult to control, the last six kilometres are all relatively plain sailing alongside Lyon’s riverfront. These are straight, broad boulevards with just two big corners leading into finishing straight more than two kilometres long. A sprinter’s dream but only if they have managed to get over the two final climbs in the front...

  • Vacansoleil unlucky on Tour de France stage 13

    Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM)
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 14:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Entire team misses crosswind split

    The Vacansoleil-DCM team has not been enjoying the sort of Tour de France that a team desperately seeking new title sponsors might want, and on stage 13 it went from bad to worse.

    With only two red dossards and one day atop the team classification to its name, and Wout Poels its top GC man at 13 minutes from Chris Froome, the most the Dutch team could hope for might be a stage win and move Poels up into the top 20. However, in the howling crosswinds en route to Saint-Amand-Montrond, the entire team missed the split caused by Dutch rivals Belkin, sending Poels tumbling down the rankings by another nearly 10 minutes.

    "We got a few lessons in cycling today", said directeur sportif Aart Vierhouten. "Hilaire [Van Der Schueren] had warned the guys beforehand, but apparently they weren't paying attention."

    "It was a windy day," Van Der Schueren said. "They had just stopped for a 'natural break' but so had the yellow jersey. And he did get back in the front quickly.

    "Still, there is a new day tomorrow. We'll try harder then."

  • Tour de France riders appeal to public via Twitter

    Polka dot-inspired fans run alongisde a tourist on his way up the climb
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 17:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Millar, others give safety advice before the stage to Mont Ventoux

    It was a perfect summer weekend day for stage 14 of the Tour de France from Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon, and the fans were out en masse to cheer the peloton along. With Bastille Day coinciding with the next big battle on the Mont Ventoux on Sunday, the race organiser, ASO, has asked riders to appeal to the public via Twitter to keep everyone safe.

    Three people have been killed while spectating along the route since 2000: a 12 year-old boy was hit by the publicity caravan that year, two years later a seven-year-old suffered the same fate, and in 2009 a 60 year-old woman died after being struck by a police motorcycle. However, the bigger danger normally befalls the riders, who have crashed after being hit by cameras, gigantic hands, or, most famously, souvenir musettes like the one that felled Lance Armstrong on the climb to Luz Ardiden in 2003.

    Cadel Evans (BMC) got involved in the awareness campaign tweeting: "Having spent a few years riding up the side dodging people, picnic chairs, prams and (frighteningly) small children here at the Tour..." and then repeated a four-tweet appeal by David Millar (Garmin-Sharp).

    "The race director of the TdF asked me to use my 'tweeter' to offer safety guidance for the brilliant public on the road. I have 4 tips," Millar wrote.

    "Do not stand on the road, it may seem unimaginable in the hours of waiting preceding the race, but when we do arrive we use ALL of it!

    "Remove children/pets/chairs from...

  • Talansky back in the hunt for Tour de France white jersey

    Garmin Sharp's Andrew Talansky and Dan Martin
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 18:15 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin Sharp rider gains seven minutes in breakaway

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) was left frustrated by his third place on stage 14 of the Tour de France but the American’s ride moved in back into contention for the white jersey.

    Coming into today’s stage Talansky was 8:27 down on Michal Kwiatkowski. However, the American managed to slip clear and into the stage winning break. He is now just 1:10 down on Michal Kwiatkowski, with Nairo Alexander Quintana 34 seconds ahead of the American in second place.

    "I always thought that it would be a sprint like it was, with a smaller group and I chased a couple of moves down because nobody was going to do it. 50 meters of hesitation probably lost me a stage win in the Tour and that’s not a mistake I’ll ever make a again," he said, reflecting on the fact that he looked strong enough to win the sprint for the stage but misjudged his effort and started from too far back.

    Talansky now sits 12th overall in the race with teammate Daniel Martin on 11th. Garmin Sharp has posted a rider in the top ten every year bar one since their debut Tour in 2008. Martin has already secured a stage in the Pyrenees and now the team must decide how they tackle the Alps. However, with Talansky dragging the white jersey back into contention they have added another possible target to their ambitions.

    "We got in the break and we were riding all day and first and foremost we were trying to win a stage. Whatever the time was we weren’t really concerned with how far back the peloton or anyone else were," Talansky said.

    Talansky’s chances of remaining in contention for white may well depend on how he recovers from today’s efforts. Sunday’s stage to Mont Ventoux...

  • Team experience helps Trentin secure Tour de France stage win

    Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) won stage 14 of the Tour de France, his first pro win
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 19:00 BST
    By:
    Sam Dansie

    Omega Pharma lead-out man gets first pro win in Lyon

    Second year pro Matteo Trentin said victory today in the Tour de France was part-built on knowledge soaked up from Mark Cavendish and other experienced riders in the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.

    The 23-year-old – who became the first Italian to win a Tour stage since Alessandro Petacchi took a brace in 2010 – said, "All the experience in the team is also part of this victory because I have the chance to stay with the big champion of the team Mark [Cavendish] and also Tony [Martin] for the time trial."

    Trentin, a Tour debutant, said the regular act of pre-planning aspects of Cavendish’s sprint lead out had rubbed off on him. It meant he stayed calm as a flurry of attacks split the initial 18-man group which contested the today’s final in Lyon.

    "The main thing that we always say is be calm and always wait for the right moment," he said. "Today I just made the right moment. I saw the wind and everybody who went out before came back because it was too strong to make a longer sprint that 200 meters. I just waited because I know that my good sprint is 200 meters."

    After yesterday’s tough stage where Trentin’s Belgian squad kept the pace furiously high in tough crosswinds, he said he settled into the break and tried to reserve all of the energy he could for the final.

    "The first two hours with 47km/h average with 1,000m climbing was really, really fast," he commented. "After that I tried to pull as less as possible because I was still tired from yesterday."

    Trentin, who studied sports science at Verona University and is a former Italian amateur road champion, said he was still learning his craft as a professional. He said it was difficult to predict what type of rider he may...

  • Van Garderen looking for every opportunity at Tour de France

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) had a tough day yesterday. Will he bounce back on the road to Bagnères-de-Bigorre
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 19:40 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    American in break of the day on the road to Lyon

    Two weeks into the Tour de France, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) lies over half an hour behind the yellow jersey wearer and race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) and seemingly a lifetime away from his feats of last July, when he impressed to claim fifth overall and the title of best young rider.

    It would be understandable if van Garderen were to dwell on the negatives of his collapse in the Pyrenees last weekend but he immediately vowed to set aside his disappointment in a bid to salvage something from this year's Tour, deferring the full post-mortem on his short-lived overall ambitions until after the race.

    Easier said than done at the Tour de France. However the opportunity finally presented itself on the stage 13 to Lyon, when van Garderen infiltrated the move of the day after 50 kilometres. The American had teammate Marcus Burghardt for company in the winning break of 18, but when his attempt to forge clear in the finale came to nothing and he sacrificed his chances for the good of the team, he had to settle for 16th place, 1:35 down on winner Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

    “It’s hard when you’re not a sprinter to win out of a group like that,” van Garderen said after warming down outside the BMC bus. “We knew we didn’t have the fastest guy to the line so we knew we had to ride aggressively. Maybe if there was a harder climb or a climb closer to the finish we would have had a chance but we had to try.”

    The final two climbs of the Côte de la Duchère and the Côte de la Croix-Rousse presented the final opportunity for van Garderen to try and force the issue, and he duly put in a searing turn to shatter the leading group with 16 kilometres to race.

    Van Garderen’s effort on the penultimate climb was not...

  • French Tour de France drought continues after Simon's unsuccessful attempt

    Lars Bak (Lotto) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) move the breakaway along
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 20:23 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Sojasun rider caught with 1km to go in Lyon

    Julien Simon (Sojasun) became the fifth Frenchmen to have been awarded the "Prix de la combativité", for the most aggressive rider, in Lyon following a late solo attack, after Europcar's Jérôme Cousin (stage 1 and stage 10), Blel Kadri on stage 2 and Romain Bardet on stage 9. But the Breton rider was hardly consoled by the red dossard after failing to reverse a French drought on stage victories.

    Two thirds of the way through the race, the popularity of the Tour de France is seemingly not related to the results of the riders from the hosting country, and the crowds look bigger and bigger every day. While Pierre Rolland leads the King of the Mountain competition and Jean-Christophe Péraud stands in ninth place overall, the media laments the absence of a stage victory in the first fourteen stages,

    "Till the very end, I've believed I could win," Simon said at the finish. "This was the stage I wanted to win. I had marked it for a while. I knew the finale pretty well. I paid attention. When I saw David Millar and co. going away, I was feeling not too bad, so I went with them. In the second last climb, I also didn't feel too bad. I accelerated and I insisted when I realized I made a gap. When [Orica-GreenEdge's Michael] Albasini joined me, I bluffed a little bit. Until 300 metres to go, I was happy with the situation but when I got passed, it didn't matter whether I'd finish fifth or sixth, or further down."

    For 14 kilometers, Simon gave the impression that he could win stage 14 to Lyon. "He gave everything, it was fantastic," his fellow compatriot Bernard Hinault commented. "He dared to do it. It's always possible to re-write the race and say that he should have waited for the sprint, but he deserves credit for having tried something."

    ...
  • Petacchi to start with Omega Pharma-Quickstep August 1

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - Merida)
    Article published:
    July 13, 2013, 21:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team in discussion with Uran

    The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team just racked up its fourth stage win in the 2013 Tour de France, and is already looking to reinforce the squad. Team manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed that retired sprinter Alessandro Petacchi will join the team from August 1, 2013 for the subsequent 14 months.

    Lefevere also said he has been in discussion with Colombian climber Rigobert Uran, now with Sky, but that nothing has been inked as of yet.

    "I will fly to Italy in early August for the signatures," Lefevere said according to Sporza.be. "You may talk to riders, but before August 2 you cannot complete transfers, per the UCI."

    Lefevere had hoped to bring in Petacchi sooner, in order to boost the lead-out train for Mark Cavendish, but the UCI nixed the plan as the transfer occurred outside the window, despite the fact that Petacchi had ended his contract with Lampre-Merida in April. The Italian is tired of the pressures of being designated sprinter, and wants to step back into a lead-out role.

    Uran would be a prime Grand Tour contender for the team. The silver medalist at the Olympics in London emerged as the Sky team's Giro d'Italia contender after the departure of Bradley Wiggins, and took second overall to Vincenzo Nibali.

    Omega Pharma CEO Marc Coucke also stated today that his company is putting "4 to 5 million in the team" every year, but that it is worth it for the "continuous visibility".

    "Moreover, our total marketing budget amounts to 120 million, so 4 to 5 million is small....