Kwiatkowski confirmed for the Tour de Pologne
After abandoning the Tour de France on stage 17, world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) is set to make a swift return to racing by lining up at the Tour de Pologne, which gets underway in Warsaw on August 2.
Kwiatkowski’s participation will mark his first appearance in his home tour since he finished second overall behind Moreno Moser in the 2012 edition of the race.
“For me that race was also a discovery of my potential; I always remember it quite fondly,” said Kwiatkowski, who became Poland’s first professional world champion in Ponferrada last Autumn.
“It will be a special feeling to wear the rainbow and ride across my country. I’ve missed the warmth of the Polish fans, although I must say that I’m seeing more and more Polish fans at international races as well.”
Kwiatkowski is one of five Polish riders from WorldTour teams confirmed for the event, along with his teammate Michal Golas, Przemyslaw Niemiec of Lampre-Merida and Tinkoff-Saxo pair Pawel Poljanski and Maciej Bodnar.
“For us the World Champion’s participation is a matter of great pride and satisfaction,” said race director Czeslaw Lang. “Kwiatkowski’s career took off right here, from the Tour de Pologne, when, as a boy he hit the pedals for the first time in the race for little kids which today is called the Nutella Mini Tour de Pologne.”
No rest for Sagan at Tour de France
Despite the day's mountainous parcours, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) intended to take somewhat of a "rest day" at the start of stage 18 at the Tour de France. The Slovakian, however, found himself, at one point, attempting to bridge across to the large breakaway. Alhtough he didn't make it across, some of those breakaway riders succeeded to the finish line, including winner Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
“I wanted a day of a little more rest but still we did a lot of climbing and gained a lot of altitude meters so it was a very hard day," Sagan said in a team press release. "I actually tried one time today to go in the breakaway but it was too late because the group was too far away already. But after that I was actually happy because I was able to take it a little bit easier. From the first climb to the finish we kept a high tempo and I could feel that I had been in the breakaway for four stages in a row.
"Today I also got some energy from all these great and crazy Slovakian supporters. Many of them are old friends from my cycling club back home and they are really crazy, which I like and it’s definitely cool to see so many Slovakian flags. But we will see how the next days in the Alps go and how I am in Paris.”
Sagan is leading the points classification with 420 points, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) is in second with 316 points and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) in third with 281.
Sebastian Henao and Fernando Gaviria to ride Tour de l'Avenir for Colombia
Sky’s Sebastian Henao has been named in the Colombian selection for the Tour de l’Avenir, following an amendment to the regulations, which now allow WorldTour riders under the age of 23 to participate in the race.
The 21-year-old Henao will lead the team’s general classification challenge in the absence of 2014 winner Miguel Ángel López. Though still eligible to participate, the neo-professional López is not named in the Colombian roster as he remains in contention for Astana’s team at the Vuelta a España.
World omnium champion Fernando Gaviria and Rodrigo Contreras, who have both impressed at the Tour de San Luis and have signed with Etixx-QuickStep for the 2016 season, are also included in the strong Colombian line-up, along with Aldemar Reyes (GW Shimano), Germán Chaves (Coldeportes - Claro) and Daniel Martínez (Team Colombia).
Cyclingnews Tour de France podcast episode 21: Bardet saves his Tour, UCI check for motors
The Cyclingnews Tour de France podcast sponsored by British Eurosport. In today’s episode, Stephen Farrand, Zeb Woodpower, Sadhbh O’Shea and Pierre Carrey of Libération and DirectVelo.com focus on Romain Bardet’s stage victory, the likely changes to the general classification with two stages to come in the Alps before Paris and touch on the bike checks that were carried today.
We also hear from Bardet on his first Tour stage win, Andrew Talansky on Cannondale-Garmin’s aggressive tactics and race leader Chris Froome on another day in the yellow jersey.