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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Date published:
July 16, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Former Tour de France winners say give Armstrong his victories

    Former Tour and Giro winner Stephen Roche is looking to implement changes in cycling
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 14:32 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Half want to see Texan reinstated, Prudhomme says never

    When asked, 12 of the 23 former Tour de France winners agreed that Lance Armstrong should have his seven Tour victories back, De Telegraaf reports. "They should never have erased Armstrong from the list. You can't change results ten years later. Of course it's not good what he did but you can't re-write history," 1980 winner Joop Zoetemelk said.

    Of the 25 winners who are still alive, Ferdi Kubler and Roger Walkowiak did not respond, seven disagreed with the question, two had no opinion and Eddy Merckx and Alberto Contador didn't want to discuss the issue. The older winners like Felice Gimondi, Federico Bahamonts and Jan Janssenof mostly agreed with the question asked by De Telegraaf.

    "Armstrong should stay on that list." 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche added. "In the 100 year history of the race you can't not have a winner for seven years. Doping has been part of sport, not only for cycling, for decades. Who tells me Jacques Anquetil won clean. Should we take his victories away? Or why does Richard Virenque gets to keep his polka dot jerseys?"

    Of the more recent winners only Andy Schleck and Oscar Pereiro felt that Armstrong should keep his victories. "Who remembers who was second place in those races? I wouldn't know myself. You can't have seven races without a winner, so just leave Armstrong on the list," said Schleck, who was second behind Contador in 2010 but was declared winner after the Spaniard tested positive.

    For riders like Chris Froome, Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins it was clear: "Those seven empty places symbolize an era. We should leave it like it is," Froome answered. Evans and Wiggins both added that sending back the yellow jerseys might a good symbolic gesture. 

    Between the yes and no, there was more nuance, more than black and white answers 

    "Every race that took place should have a winner,"...

  • North American wrap: Abbott faces controversial blockade in Giro Rosa

    Tejay van Garderen shows grit and determination on stage 10
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 18:45 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Van Garderen top American in Tour de France

    North America's top pro men have welcomed the first rest day at the Tour de France on Tuesday, after a challenging first 10 stages. Check out a few of the highs and lows from the French Grand Tour and the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, along with events held in the US and Canada. In addition, there’s some exciting racing still to come at the National Racing Calendar (NRC) Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend and the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) Intelligentsia Cup Prairie States Cycling Series in Lake Bluff.

    Tour de France: Van Garderen moves up to seventh overall

    BMC’s Tejay van Garderen has had his share of bad luck during the first week of the Tour de France including a crash during the eighth stage that saw him lose over a minute to other GC contenders. Despite multiple crashes, and losing precious places in the overall classification, he managed to move up into seventh place after a strong finish during stage 10 on Monday. The American rider is currently sitting 3:56 minutes behind the overall race leader, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) as the race heads into the high mountains.

    His fellow countryman Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) was also involved in a series of crashes but hasn’t been able to bounce back quite as well. He crashed close to the stage 7 finish line in Nancy during the bunch sprint and the three-kilometer rule protected him from losing time in the overall classification. He crashed again on a descent during stage 8 and lost nearly two minutes to his rivals. After stage 10, and before the first rest day, Talansky slipped to 26th place in the overall, 14:44 minutes behind Nibali, but a terrible day on stage 11 saw Talansky narrowly make the time cut after riding 90km solo. He is now 44th at 46:49.

    Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) finished 18th on the...

  • Talansky's travails continue at Tour de France

    Andrew Talansky lost his GC ambitions on stage 10
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 18:49 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    American finishes last but survives time cut on stage 11

    When Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) rolled to a halt, placed his bike in the verge and sat on a crash barrier at the side of an anonymous road near Chassal, it seemed as though his Tour de France had finally come to an end.

    Struggling with back and arm injuries since crashing heavily on successive days at the end of the opening week, Talansky had been distanced by the peloton shortly after the feed zone on stage 11. Now some 55 kilometres from the finish in Oyonnox, he was already 10 minutes down on the bunch, and when the door of the team car yawned open, the sense was that his race was run.

    Directeur sportif Robbie Hunter emerged and crouched before Talansky at the roadside, and it appeared initially as though he was delivering the last rites of the American's Tour. Instead, he was reading him his rights as a convict of the road.

    "Honestly, I didn't say too much," Hunter said of their conversation afterwards. "I said to him that the decision was up to him. If at the end of the day, he finds himself in a situation where he can't continue, no problem. But if he wants to fight on and get to the finish - because that's the kind of guy he is - then the only way we're going to get there is by riding."

    After pondering his situation, a tearful Talansky rose to his feet once again, and set off gingerly on his way. Cruelly, the toughest section of the stage was yet to come, as the road rippled over the rolling foothills of the Jura in the finale, but he stuck assiduously to task of surviving the day.

    "I'll never encourage a person to get off his bike. I've been in a position where I've stopped Tour de Frances previously and a couple of hours later I've regretted it," Hunter said. "The only thing I said to Andrew is that if you're going to stop, make...

  • Sagan left frustrated yet again at the Tour de France

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) may be winless but he still leads the points classification
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 19:03 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Cannondale rider was hoping to win on his girlfriend's birthday

    Peter Sagan was hoping to win the Tour de France stage in Oyonnax as a present for his girlfriend's birthday but yet again he was left disappointed and even frustrated, finishing only ninth in the sprint behind Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol).

    Sagan made the select group that formed on the late climbs and the high-speed speed descend but was unable and unwilling to control all the attacks and Gallopin escaped the grasp of the group.

    "It was my girlfriend's birthday today, and so I was hoping to win the stage for her today. She still got the flowers from the podium because I pulled on a new green jersey but I'm trying to do something better, to win a stage, and not only keep the green jersey until Paris," he said in the mixed-zone behind the podium.

    "Today I got in the break, the decisive group that formed but it was still difficult. Kwiatkowski attacked and so I went after him. When Gallopin attacked I could have gone with him too but I didn't because it's impossible to go after everybody and other riders would have attacked. I was trying to win the stage, I don’t want anymore placings."

    Sagan has finished in the top ten on eight different stages so far in this year's Tour de France. Three of those have been second places. He has often thrown caution to the wind and made or gone with late attacks instead of waiting for the sprint but he has been beaten out maneuvered every time.

    "Nobody wants to work with me and that makes it very hard (to win). They know me and know that its hard to beat me if they go to the finish with me, they know I'm fast in a sprint," he said, frustrated but intelligent enough to know that tactics and playing off other rider's strength are part of the sport.

    "That's cycling," he added. "I know that....

  • Nibali stays cool as the weather heats up at the Tour de France

    Vincenzo Nibali finishes up safely in yellow
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 19:44 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Race leader shrugs off doubts about his Astana team

    Like all the overall contenders for the Tour de France, race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) enjoyed a quiet day in the peloton on stage 11, protected by his teammates, making sure he did not lose any time in the hilly finale and fast descent to Oyonnax.

    His biggest problem appeared to be the arrival of warm weather, with temperatures close to 28C for much of the stage providing a shock after cold and rainy weather dominated the first 10 days of racing.

    "It was hot today. We've passed from one extreme condition to the opposite but the heat is not a problem for me because I'm from Sicily," he pointed out.

    Nibali was quizzed about today's L'Equipe newspaper, which produced a long report on possible chinks in his amour. The French sports newpaper's front page headline was L'Annee ou Jamais' – 'this year or never' for the French riders well placed overall, coming up with a list of reasons why Nibali can be beaten.

    "It's been reported that I can lose the Tour because of the heat, because of crashes or because of my team. But crashes also can happen to anyone," Nibali said dismissively.

    "My teammate Michele Scarponi crashed today but he got back on and didn't use any useless energy. I didn't need him at my side because Tanel Kangert and Jakob Fuglsang were there. My team worked very well today again. Many of my teammates worked hard. Of course we have to be careful every day. Daily fatigue is hard to handle. I remember from the Tour two years ago that something is can happen every day."

    "Today it was hard because of the nervousness in the bunch and because Garmin launched a strong attack. Cannondale and Orica also worked hard and Gallopin's attack was the decisive one. But overall today went well."

  • Tour de France: Roche engages Tinkoff-Saxo’s Plan B on the road to Oyonnax

    Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) was voted most aggressive rider on stage 11 of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 19:58 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Irishman goes on the offensive on stage 11

    Nicolas Roche began Tinkoff-Saxo’s first day on this Tour de France without Alberto Contador by vowing to go on the offensive and the Irishman was as good as his word in a breathless finale on the road to Oyonnax.

    "We’re not going to sit at the back of the bunch and cry, that’s not our attitude," Roche said outside the team bus shortly before the start in Besançon. "The race is not over – there are eleven days left. We lost goal number one and now the goal is winning stages. I don’t have the pretension of beating Nibali on a mountain or Kittel in a sprint, but I’ll try."

    Wednesday’s stage – a flat amble out of the Doubs before a sinuous, hilly end in the Jura – was neither fish nor fowl, and the ideal terrain for the versatile Roche. When no large early break materialised, Roche’s thoughts turned to eking out an opportunity in the finale.

    On the Côte de Rogna, with 47 kilometres remaining, the opportunity presented itself and he jumped away in the company of Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and they bridged up to earlier escapee Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling).

    Their advantage never climbed above a minute as Cannondale looked to control affairs behind for Peter Sagan, but Roche put up fierce resistance nonetheless. He stayed clear on the four climbs in the finale and jumped away alone on the final one, the Côte d’Échallon, with 20 kilometres remaining.

    "I would have been happy to go with a group of fifteen early on or attack in the finale. In the end it was a bit of both. The stage was a lot harder than I thought it would be and although Cannondale were controlling it, I saw the opportunity in the climb," Roche said. "I saw that a lot of the...

  • Gallopin' Gallopin shows his class with daring Tour de France stage win

    Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) wins stage 11 of the 2014 Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 20:08 BST
    By:
    Ellis Bacon

    Frenchman adds stage win to day in maillot jaune

    Tony Gallopin's heart-in-mouth Tour de France stage win in Oyonnax on Wednesday bore more than a small resemblance to Jan Bakelants's victory in Ajaccio, in Corsica, just 12 months previously.

    Like Bakelants, Gallopin held on to win his Tour stage after a daring solo attack in the final couple of kilometres, winning by just inches from a fast-finishing bunch.

    Bakelants's effort also won him the yellow jersey, which Gallopin has already worn in this year's Tour, taking the maillot jaune on stage nine and wearing it for just one day before it returned to the shoulders of current race leader Vincenzo Nibali.

    Gallopin – the nephew of Trek Factory Racing directeur sportif Alain Gallopin – explained that he had scouted out some of the Besançon – Oyonnax stage ahead of the race with his father, Joël, and his fiancée, fellow Lotto-Belisol pro rider Marion Rousse.

    "With 20 kilometres to go, I was feeling good, and knew I wanted to try something," explained Gallopin, "but we hadn't seen the final five kilometres into Oyonnax, and so I called my team car alongside me so that [team manager] Marc Sergeant could show me the road book."

    Having first hit out alone inside the final five kilometres, without success, Gallopin knew that he had to try again with just under three kilometres to go, giving it everything he had left to prevent the stage coming down to a sprint against riders the Frenchman knew could beat him. It was a case of second time lucky.

    Having now both worn the Tour's yellow jersey and won a stage, Gallopin has the rare privilege of being able to explain which achievement is the most emotional.

    "They're very different feelings, but the feeling of having won a stage is definitely...

  • Machado suffers through Tour de France with injuries

    Tiago Machado (Team NetApp-Endura) racing on home soil in Portugal at the Volta ao Algarve
    Article published:
    July 16, 2014, 20:40 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    NetApp-Endura rider endures another difficult day

    While Andrew Talansky made headlines by soldiering through 90km after being dropped from the Tour de France, having to struggle in to make the time cut, Tiago Machado, who went through similar circumstances on stage 10, was recounting his experiences to Eurosport after suffering through stage 11.

    Machado nearly abandoned the Tour de France on stage 10 after crashing with 100km to go. It was announced over race radio that he had left the race, but bloodied and in pain, the 28-year-old Portuguese rider insisted on continuing to La Planch des Belles Filles.

    "I have no idea what happened on that descent," Machado told Eurosport today. "We were going down really fast, and we weren't really taking very many risks. It was just a normal race situation. I think I got hit by the wind and the bike just slipped away, and before I knew it, I was on the ground.

    "I started to walk, when the ambulance was there," Machado said. "Then I remembered my parents were watching the stage, and I said I had to carry on and finish the stage for the pride of my family. The team deserved it as well, so I had to do that."

    Team director Enrico Poitschke then faced with a difficult decision - whether to send riders back and risk them all missing the time cut, or leave Machado, who had started the stage in third place on the general classification, on his own.

    Garmin-Sharp chose to leave Talansky to his own devices, but NetApp-Endura sent back Andreas Schillinger, Paul Voss, Zak Dempster and Jose Mendes to help Machado finish the stage. In the end, only Schillinger was at his side, just...