TechPowered By

More tech

Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Date published:
July 17, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Peraud crashes during Tour de France TT reconnaissance

    Jean Christophe Peraud (Team Ag2R La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 11:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman's race could be over after cracking his collarbone

    Jean Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-LaMondiale) has crashed hard while studying the course of today's Tour de France time trial between Embrun and Chorgas, seriously affecting his chances of becoming the best French rider in this year's race and holding onto a top ten place overall.

    According to initial reports, Peraud crashed on the descent of the côte de Réallon, the final climb of the 32km time trial course. He landed on his shoulder and was taken to the mobile x-ray unit at the finish of the time trial.

    French radio RTL announced that Peraud was diagnosed with a fractured collarbone and was out of the race but the Frenchman told the media that he was determined to try to carry on in the Tour.

    "It's a non-displaced fracture that will make me suffer. There are no counter indications, so I'm going to try and put up with the pain," Peraud is reproted to have said by Equipe. 

    The Frenchman was lying ninth overall in the general classification, 8:47 behind Froome but only 4:22 from a place on the podium. Peraud was hoping to gain time on his GC rivals in the time trial but the 32km race against the clock will be a battle for survival if he is able to start. Peraud is scheduled to start his ride at 16:09 local time.

  • Quintana hopeful of defending GC position in Chorges time trial

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 12:12 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Colombian still recovering well, says Unzue

    Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue is optimistic that Nairo Quintana can break even with many of his general classification rivals at the Tour de France on Wednesday’s 32-kilometre time trial from Embrun to Chorges.

    Quintana lost 3:16 to yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky) over a similar distance at Mont-Saint-Michel last week, but that was on a flat, windswept course along the Norman coast. By contrast, stage 17 includes the category 2 climbs of the Côte de Puy-Sanières (6.4km at 6%) and the Côte de Réallon (6.9km at 6.3%), and barely features a metre of flat, which ought to help the young Colombian limit his losses.

    “I think Nairo and Alejandro [Valverde] will both do good time trials. I think they’ll be up there with the best times,” Unzue said.

    “It’s certainly better-suited to Nairo’s characteristics than the first time trial, which was pan flat and raced at 55kph. There are two little climbs on the course and they’re very sinuous for a time trial, so that will be easier for him.”

    Quintana currently lies fifth overall, 5:47 off the yellow jersey but just 1:22 off a podium place. The 23-year-old Colombian also holds the white jersey of best young rider and increased his buffer in that classification to 3:50 over Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) after distancing the Pole on the Col de Manse on Tuesday.

    “It’s a good time trial for him,” Unzue said. “We’ll be happy if he doesn’t lose time on [Bauke] Mollema, on Alberto [Contador] and on [Roman] Kreuziger. If things stay as they were beforehand, it will be perfect.”

    A Tour de France debutant,...

  • Peraud crashes out of the Tour de France

    Jean Christophe Peraud (Team Ag2R La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 17:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman worsens shoulder injury in TT crash

    Jean-Christophe Péraud's Tour de France ended with him sitting in the road in pain two kilometres from the finish of the stage 17 time trial, after he crashed at speed on a corner, further injuring the shoulder he had fractured whole studying the stage in the morning.

    The former mountain bike racer was the best placed Frenchman in the Tour de France after a stoic ride so far. But his double crash and double injury meant he was unable to finish the stage. It seems Péraud crashed on the very corner where his family were waiting to cheer him on in the Tour, with his wife climbing over the barriers to comfort him after his crash.

    Péraud started the stage with his right shoulder strapped following his crash in the morning. The mobile x-ray unit of the Tour de France confirmed he had suffered a non-displaced fracture but he was determined to continue in the Tour despite riding in pain.

    He set the 21st fastest time at the third time split but then went own hard on the last sweeping corner. A television motor bike swerved to avoid him but captured him quickly gesturing that his race was over. He was helped up by team manager Vincent Lavenu and eventually crossed the finish line in the Ag2r-La Mondiale team car.

    "It wasn't the fracture that affected me going through the turn," he explained afterwards.

    "I didn't feel that I was taking too many risks, I was descending as I know how but I was surprised by the corner. It's part of sport. I'm okay and it's only a broken collarbone. It will be a relief to get home, and we'll think about my next objective when my body recovers.”

    With Péraud out of the race, young teammate Romain Bardet is now the best Frenchman in the overall classification of the Tour de France. He is 20th, 28:43...

  • Rolland gives up on the Tour de France polka dot jersey

    Pierree Rolland (Europcar)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 18:36 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman looking for a stage win in the Alps

    Pierre Rolland has admitted he has given up trying to win the polka-dot jersey in this year's Tour de France and instead will target a stage victory in three big stages in the Alps.

    Rolland won at the summit of Alpe d'Huez in 2011 and went on to finish eleventh overall. He won the stage to La Toussuire last year and finished eighth overall. However he admitted that wearing the polka-jersey early in the race had damaged his overall chances.

    Rolland took the jersey on stage to Ajaccio in Corsica, wearing garish polka-dot shorts in the peloton. Apart from two days mid-race, he stayed in the jersey until the finish to Mont Ventoux. He had tried to join the break of the stage to take more points but failed to catch the move. As revenge, his Team Europcar teammates chased down the break but this allowed Chris Froome to win the stage and so take the lead in the climber's competition. Rolland slipped to fourth behind Nairo Quintana and Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) with 53 points.

    "It's become a lot more difficult to win it now. But what is certain, is that I won't finish the Tour without having given everything," Rolland told Equipe.

    "I don’t want to focus on the jersey because it’ll affect the way I race. From Thursday onwards I'll focus on winning one of the three beautiful mountain stages."

    "Taking the jersey in Corsica made me euphoric but it also made me race differently to how I'd wanted to. I was going to ride cautiously but I used up a lot of energy. My coach (Jean Philippe Robert) didn't agree with my choice because we'd been working for the GC all year. But another reason not to go for the overall was that I'd have to ask the guys to ride for me every day even if...

  • Riis pleased with Saxo-Tinkoff's time trial performance

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) sprints to the finish in Chorges for the stage 17 mountain time trial
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 19:18 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Contador, Kreuziger now second and third on Tour de France GC

    Although Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) missed out on stage 17 of the Tour de France to Chris Froome by nine seconds, team manager Bjarne Riis pointed out the positive aspects of the stage result. Saxo-Tinkoff now occupies second and third overall courtesy of Contador and Roman Kreuziger after Bauke Mollema dropped down from second to fourth.

    "Of course we would have liked to have won, and it was close, but Alberto did a fantastic chrono so I think we're happy and it looks good for the future," Riis said at the finish.

    Saxo-Tinkoff has continuously stressed that Contador is its principle team leader throughout this year's race, with Roman Kreuziger acting a foil for the Spaniard's attacks and a crucial domestique whenever he has faltered.

    However, after today's time trial, Saxo-Tinkoff find themselves with two riders on the podium for the first time in this year's race and Riis must decide on how he will juggle attacking Froome and consolidating two valuable positions.

    Asked how the team would utilise its two-pronged attack and balance riding for the win and two places on the podium, Riis remained coy.

    "It's a combination. Of course we know it's difficult to beat Froome but before this Tour is over, for sure we'll try. We're in a good position.

    "I'm happy with my team and both Alberto and Roman were very strong. We could match Froome I think, or we were very close and for me that's the most important thing. Of course it would have been fantastic to win but we need to be a little bit faster."

    At this stage Riis may chose to sacrifice Kreuziger for Contador's ambitions. The Danish former Tour winner has made difficult choices before having put his faith in Carlos Sastre at the Tour in 2008 despite...

  • Video: Froome's quick descent nets third Tour de France stage win

    Chris Froome extended his race lead to 4:34 over Contador
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 19:54 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sky rider hopes Sarenne downhill is neutralised on Thursday

    Given his repeated appeals for caution on descents over the past two days at the Tour de France, there was a certain irony that Chris Froome (Sky) took advantage of the drop from the Côte de Réallon into Chorges to claim victory in the stage 17 time trial on Wednesday.

    The day's second intermediate time check was taken at atop the climb and when Froome crested the summit shortly after switching from a road bike to his time trial machine, he found himself 11 seconds down on a resurgent Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff).

    For the first time in this Tour, Froome looked set to concede some ground at a major rendezvous, but over the final 12 kilometres of the course, he pegged back Contador and stopped the clock 9 seconds faster than his rival. Afterwards, Froome suggested that he began the final descent confident of overhauling Contador, the very man whose wholehearted approach to descending he had criticised via Twitter the previous evening.

    "I was 15 seconds down at the second time check after changing my bike. I was happy to hear that, and that pushed me on," said Froome. "I went into the time trial determined to give it a really good shot and I'm over the moon with today's results."

    The 32-kilometre time trial was arguably the most technically demanding such test in the Tour since the Saint-Etienne time trial in 1997, won by Jan Ullrich and just as the German did 16 years ago, Froome opted to ride a road bike on the day's climbs before switching to his low-profile bike for the finale. Contador and his Saxo-Tinkoff stable-mate Roman Kreuziger were of a competing school of thought, and opted not to make any change. Froome felt that the results had clearly justified Sky's call.

    "I think that the bike change definitely...

  • Mollema’s podium hopes fade in Tour de France time trial

    Bauke Mollema (Belkin) finished 11th in the stage 17 time trial and dropped from second to fourth overall
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 20:54 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Dutchman slips to 4th behind Saxo-Tinkoff duo

    There will still be the traditional sea of orange on Alpe-d’Huez on Thursday afternoon but the Dutch Corner’s hopes of seeing one of their own on the podium of the Tour de France for the first time in 23 years were dealt a significant blow when Bauke Mollema (Belkin) slipped to fourth overall following the stage 17 time trial to Chorges.

    Mollema began the day second overall, 4:14 off the yellow jersey of Chris Froome (Sky) and within the Belkin camp there was quiet confidence that the form lines from last Wednesday’s flat time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel would hold true to the undulating and technical test in the Alps in the final week.

    If Froome was the only reference point, such a belief would not have been entirely misplaced: Mollema lost 1:53 to the yellow jersey over 33 kilometres in Normandy last week and 2:09 over a similar distance on Wednesday.

    The problem for Mollema was that Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger have each displayed very distinct improvement since action resumed after the second rest day. They placed 2nd and 4th on the stage respectively, 9 seconds and 23 seconds down on Froome, but they each made significant gains on Mollema to relegate him to 4th on the overall standings.

    “That’s a lot of time, it’s more than I expected,” a disappointed Mollema said after a swirl of Dutch television stations – ‘Mollemania’ has brightened summer in the Netherlands – had engulfed him on crossing the line.

    As soon as they rolled down the start ramp in Embrun, riders faced into the sharp climb of the Côte de Puy-Sanières, and Mollema immediately felt the effects of the previous two and half weeks in his legs. He came through the...

  • Valverde, Rodríguez make up more places in Tour de France time trial

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) held the best time for a while, and ultimately finished fifth on the stage 17 mountain time trial
    Article published:
    July 17, 2013, 21:43 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Rodríguez now focussed on Alpe d'Huez victory

    Alejandro Valverde has had what can only be described as a roller coaster Tour de France. He spent most of the first two weeks sitting snugly in a podium position. Things were looking rosy for Valverde, before it all fell down around his ankles in the high winds on stage 13. Since then the Movistar captain has been fighting to salvage his race.

    His stage 17 time trial performance between Embrun and Chorges went some way to doing that. "It was a very good time trial for me and I am very happy," he said moments after crossing the finish line.

    "It was very technical and very hard. I had the mentality that I would just wait and see what happened and I liked it a lot. Sometimes you can have bad luck in a time trial, but it was very good for me. The ride to the top of the first climb was good, but I was very conscious of the descent and getting close to the barriers. The final kilometres were ok and then I just sprinted to the line."

    The Movistar rider's fifth place moved him within striking distance of a top 10 spot. Valverde sits just under two and a half minutes back on Dan Martin, who is currently keeping hold of tenth position.

    "I did well today," said Valverde, indicating towards his earlier performances at the race. "But this is the Tour and I want to do better." With several mountain finishes in the coming days the Spaniard is hoping to add another victory to his palmarès, before the Tour is out. "I will have to see if I can do it like last year," said Valverde. "But you can have a mechanical problem and then you end up finishing in the second group."

    Rodríguez focussed on Alpe d'Huez

    Despite the climbing...