Vuelta spectators rob Ben King
Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin) had a minor mishap in stage 4 of the Vuelta a España, being caught up in a wreck with about 40km to go, and got a little more help than he needed from the spectators on the road side.
King was stopped after being involved in a crash together with Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and a few other riders, and had to wait for his team car to come with a new bike.
One of the spectators grabbed King's Garmin GPS unit, and as he looked around, another spectator trying to ride off on King's Cannondale, as you can see in this video. Fortunately it was the one with the mechanical issue and not the fresh replacement which had not yet arrived.
"Don't know if he was "helping" or taking off as I was searching people for my stolen Garmin. What a cluster," King said on Twitter.
Vinokourov: Fair play in cycling is in the past
Astana team manager Alexandre Vinokourov has hit out at other teams for pushing the pace after a serious crash held up much of the peloton on stage 2 of the Vuelta a España, saying that the gentleman’s agreement in cycling is gone.
One of Vinokourov’s key riders Vincenzo Nibali was involved in the crash and was subsequently delayed by a slow bike change. As Nibali chased back on, the general classification teams Katusha, Movistar and Team Sky all pulled on the front of the peloton, as they geared up for the summit finish. Nibali did make it back into the group before the final climb but was expelled from the race after TV pictures showed that he had taken a pull from the team car.
"After a big crash where the majority of the peloton was involved in, everyone was nervous. Also Vincenzo Nibali. Especially as the favourites’ teams drove at full speed. Vincenzo was obliged to go chasing alone,” he told L’Équipe."Some teams have used the opportunity to eliminate a group. It is found that fair play in cycling belongs to the past.”
Nibali has been outspoken since his disqualification, stating that other riders have done the same and received lesser sanctions. During Monday’s stage 3, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was given just a 100CHF fine for taking a tow. Vinokourov said that he believed the Italian’s punishment had been hard but did issue an apology to the race organisers.
“We must recognize that we have broken the rules," he said. "That's why I make my apologies to the organizers, the audience, the fans and the sponsors for this event. I think the disqualification very strict, but I cannot deny that he has broken the rules and therefore we must accept this decision.”
Démare heads to Canada ahead of the Worlds
Arnaud Démare (FDJ) has confirmed his build-up towards the World Championships in September, should he make the final French selection. Démare posted an update on his Facebook page, confirming that he will take part in the two Canadian WorldTour races the GP Montréal and the GP Québec.
It is the first time that Démare will race the one-day events, which take place on September 11 and 13, generally preferring to stay in Europe at this point in the season. His decision is perhaps driven by the fact that the World Championships take place in the USA. Prior to heading across the pond, Démare will take part in Paris-Bruxelles on September 5.
Démare has had a disappointing season in 2015, taking only two victories at the Belgium Tour. He recently finished sixth at the Vattenfall Cycleassics, which was won by André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).
Kittel misses Worlds selection
John Degenkolb and André Greipel head up the long-list for the German men’s team for the World Championships in Richmond this September. Degenkolb has notched up victories at Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix this season, while Greipel has won five Grand Tour stages and has continued his strong run with victory at Vattenfall Cyclassics.
After failing to make his team’s selection for the Tour de France earlier this season, Marcel Kittel has also missed Worlds selection. In contrast to his two compatriots, Kittel has taken just one UCI-ranked victory this season after falling ill in the early part of the year. He won his first race of the season - not counting the non-UCI ranked People’s Choice Criterium in January – at the Tour de Pologne but struggled at this weekend’s racing in Germany.
Tony Martin, unsurprisingly, is the team’s hope for the time trial. The three-time world champion was knocked off the top step by Bradley Wiggins last season. He returned to racing at Vattenfall on Sunday after breaking his collarbone at the Tour de France while in the yellow jersey.
Tour stage winner Simon Geschke also makes the 14-man long-list.
Germany long-list for World Championships: Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Johannes Fröhlinger (Giant-Alpecin), Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin), Patrick Gretsch (AG2R), André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal ), Christian Knees (Team Sky), Paul Martens (Lotto-NL Jumbo), Tony Martin (Etixx Quickstep), Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Argon 18), Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Soudal) jasha sütterlin (Movistar), Paul Voss ( Bora-Argon 18).