A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
IAM Cycling rider hoping to be back on the bike in three weeks
Mathias Frank (IAM Cyling) was one of two riders to fracture their femur on stage 7 of the Tour de France as he was caught up in a final kilometre crash in Nancy. Frank finished the stage but flew to Geneva having undergone an x-ray at the Tour de France mobile medical clinic which revealed the fracture in his left leg, ending his first participation in the Tour.
Frank underwent a successful surgery at the University Hospitals of Geneva on Sunday with no complications recorded from the procedure. The Swiss rider who was IAM Cycling's leader at the Tour will now begin his rehabilitation and depending on how his femur is recovering, he is hoping to resuming training on indoor rollers within three weeks.
The team have not announced when Frank intends on returning to racing.
Spainard not concerned by losing time to Nibali and Contador
Alejandro Valverde may have conceded 19 seconds to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and 16 seconds to maillot jaune Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the first summit finish of the Tour de France but the Movistar captain was happy to have limited his losses on the wet stage to Gérardmer La Mauselaine.
"I saved the day pretty well as it was very difficult and dangerous," Valverde said after finishing seventh. "I had a hard time as the rain affects me a lot and Contador and Nibali had better legs. I followed my own pace and will have to wait for better days."
Valverde started the day in ninth place overall but finished the day in fifth, 2:27 minutes down on Nibali. Well paced by his team throughout the wet stage, Valverde was escorted to the base of the final climb by teammates John Gadret and Beñat Intxausti but when Tinkoff-Saxo started to up the pace, he settled into his own rhythm on the 10.8% gradient climb.
"Everything influences the outcome a bit," Valverde said as he looks to finish on the podium in Paris. "It is not the best result for me but I'm happy as 19 seconds isn't a lot. Let's see if better days are coming up and if we can be up there."
There are two more days in the Vosges with stage 10 to La Planche des Belles Filles likely to see more changes in the overall standings and will be an...
Lighter, stiffer, comfier, sleeker – and (mostly) disc-only
Giant – and its recently pseudo-independent women-specific brand, Liv – have completely overhauled their Defy and Avail collection of endurance road bikes for 2015. According to Giant, they're lighter, smoother, more efficient, and with the addition of disc brakes nearly across the line, more consistently controllable in all conditions. The previous version won the coveted Cycling Plus Bike of the Year award in 2013, and this new one seems like an easy candidate for another shot at the title.
Meet the all-new Giant Defy Advanced SL 0
High performance, low stress
The new Defy Advanced SL and Avail Advanced SL flagships blur the lines even further between what many riders might expect from a 'race bike' and a so-called 'endurance bike'. The more sharply engineering-centric frame shapes are still less than 900g – a number many dedicated competition frames struggle to hit – and yet Giant also claims that they're more comfortable than their previous versions.
Key ride-oriented features include seat tubes, and top tubes that are supposedly more apt to flex over bumps than rounder sections; similarly D-shaped seatmasts and seatposts with slim diameters and lots of extension; lowered seat stays that are said to act more like leaf springs than conventional rear-end layouts; and slender fork blades that balance out the ride from front to back.
D-shaped tubing supposedly adds flex over the bumps
Even so, several design concepts borrowed from the more racing-oriented TCR range place an emphasis on tuned stiffness that reportedly encroaches that bike's rigidity territory. The...
BMC rider crashed on stage 7
BMC's Darwin Atapuma has undergone successful surgery on his left femur which was broken during stage 7 of the Tour de France. The Colombian, who was making his Tour debut, was brought down in the same crash as BMC's GC candidate Tejay van Garderen with 16km left in the stage to Nancy.
Atapuma underwent X-rays and a CT scan after the stage which revealed a fracture of the distal femur. BMC's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa described the injury as "a non-displaced fracture but it is intra-articular, so most likely it will require some surgery."
The 26-year-old underwent surgery in Nancy on Saturday where he was visited by BMC staff.
"The surgery went well and now he is in recovery," Dr. Testa said. "The plan is to stay at the hospital for one or two days and then we will organize an ambulance transfer to his place in Italy where he will start physical therapy in the next two or three days."
The second phase of Atapuma's recovery is yet to be determined with the team to decide whether he will remain in Italy or travel to the United States, where team staff can oversee his rehabilitation, Dr. Testa added
Cannondale sprinter enjoying "the biggest race in the world"
Cannondale's Italian sprinter Elia Viviani has been a key cog in the lead-out train for Peter Sagan at the Tour de France with the team goal of securing a third straight green jersey in Paris. Having been given free rein in the Giro d'Italia sprints in May, Viviani has been playing the domestique role during July but is hopeful of getting his own opportunities later in the race.
"For the time being, I've been here to lead the sprints out for Peter, but in the end of the Tour, if the race for the green jersey is over, I hope to have my chance in the bunch sprints," Viviani told letour.fr. "I was a bit tired after the Giro but now I'm feeling better and better."
Viviani had three top-five finishes at the Giro but missed out on his season goal of winning a Giro stage but has turned his attention to bigger demands of the peloton during July.
"It's a big emotion," he said. "You can tell it's the biggest race in the world. At the Giro, when you know it's going to be a sprint, you take it easy in the first 100 kilometres. It doesn't happen on the Tour. It's full gas all day."
Viviani entered the Giro having beaten Mark Cavendish in two stages at the Tour of Turkey and won stage four of the Tour de Slovénie the week before the Tour. While still adjusting the demands of the Tour, Viviani is hoping that he is getting stronger by the day and is looking for a good result in the third week of the race.
"There's a whole generation of young...
Lampre-Merida rider loses time on rivals
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) lost some ground on his general classification rivals after a mechanical problem on the final climb of stage 8 of the Tour de France. The Portuguese rider looked strong and had been able to stick with the main group of favourites on the climb to Gérardmer La Mauselaine, but found his bike lacking when the attacks started coming.
While he moved up in terms of GC position, Costa saw the gap to his rivals widen. "I'm a little sad because I had good legs and was in the top two near the end, when my chain jumped on the final climb," he said at the finish. "It is true that I didn't fall, but I had a mechanical problem in the most crucial part of the race. I just hope that I don't have a worse day than this."
The first foray into the mountains began under a small sliver of sunlight, but it soon vanished as the riders made their way from Tomblaine to Gérardmer. "It was a very tough stage and a horrible at times. In addition to the toughness of the final climb, it rained a lot and it was very cold," he said as the rain continued to hammer down at the finish line, with riders huddling under their bus canopies for protection.
Costa has had a relatively quiet opening week, but has been consistent and began the day just 2:11 back on the race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The group of favourites held together until they hit the final climb when Tinkoff-Saxo put the hurt on and began shelling some general classification contenders out the back.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finally made his move but could only manage to take two seconds back on the yellow jersey. While Nibali holds a substantial margin on the rest, Costa thinks it will be a close-run battle to Paris.
"It was a good test to...
I'm sure we'll see Alberto attack
Oleg Tinkov spent stage eight of the Tour de France in the Tinkoff-Saxo team car next to Bjarne Riis and was wearing a huge smile post-race after his team rode strongly on the steep climbs and Alberto Contador gained a few seconds on race leader and big rival Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
"I'm happy. Alberto looked good and the team was strong. It was great to see Mick Rogers and Nicolas Roche riding so well and we saw that [Rafal] Majka is coming back to his best," Tinkoff said.
"The real Tour started in the Vosges and especially on Monday. So far it has just been about survival and I think Alberto is looking good for the second and third weeks."
Tinkov's relationship with Contador now seems far better than at the 2013 Tour de France, when the Russian businessman criticised him for failing to be competitive against Chris Froome.
However when asked what he expects from Contador, Tinkov was as blunt as ever.
"To win," he said. "But if he's on the final podium, it’s not a tragedy and nobody will commit suicide. Of course, it's the Tour de France and we want him to win. We want him to be number one. I think he's on top form, he's prepared very well. He showed he was good on the pavé stage."
Tinkov said he liked what he had seen of his riders so far in the Tour. "I like the fluorescent colours, it's easy to see them in the race," he said, justifying Tinkoff-Saxo's switch from yellow to fluorescent yellow colours for the Tour de France.
"So far we didn’t control the race but that wasn't the plan. Some people, including Cyclingnews, doubted our team tactics and the strength of the team but our tactics were different. It was more important to survive the first week, without crashes, rather than...
Governing body will no longer issue press releases to announce bans
Denis Menchov’s two-year ban for biological passport violations was never formally announced and only came to public notice on Saturday after a table listing current and recent doping sanctions appeared on the UCI website.
Speaking to the Associated Press about the curious case, however, UCI spokesman Louis Chenaille said that cycling’s governing body has “a new way of communicating” on doping violations.
According to AP, the UCI will – with the apparent exception of “some” high-profile cases – no longer issue press releases to announce positive tests and bans. The information will instead be posted to its website, without fanfare, as happened in the Menchov case.
This contrasts with the approach promised by UCI president Brian Cookson in his election manifesto in May of last year. "It is critical that the UCI embraces a more open and transparent approach in the way it conducts business," Cookson wrote at the time.
The UCI did not immediately respond to Cyclingnews' request for further clarification on its new communication policy.
Menchov last raced with the Katusha team in March 2013 and retired in May 2013 citing a knee injury. According to the UCI’s table of doping sanctions, he is currently serving a two-year ban for biological passport violations, which expires on April 9, 2015.