König laments early crash
Leopold König had to pick up the baton for Team Sky in the final week of the Giro d’Italia, after his team leader Richie Porte headed home following a disastrous opening two weeks. The Czech rider did admirably, taking his best Grand Tour victory to date with sixth overall. However, he felt like he could have done more had he not got entangled in the big pile-up on stage 13 to Jesolo.
"Now I regret the crash which has probably cost me a top five. That's how things are," he said in a television interview following stage 20. "In the end, to be sixth as a domestique for Richie is not that bad. It's going to be my best Grand Tour result and my first time at the Giro.”
König lost two minutes in the overall classification in the stage 13 crash, which was the beginning of the end for Porte’s Giro ambitions as he sustained a knee injury. A strong time trial performance the following day catapulted him back into the top 10, and he continued to claw his way up the general classification throughout the next five stages. Despite the hint of disappointment, König says he can take a lot of confidence from his result.
“I'm just happy that the Giro is a race for me. I was a little bit worried that it's too early and my early form is not that good. I think I've proved myself as a Grand Tour contender. To start three Grand Tours and finish them nine, seven and six is not bad I think.”
Coledan fined for waiting at the line
Every day, the UCI produce a naughty list of all the riders and directeur sportifs that have been given a penalty for various infractions such as illegal feeds, hanging onto cars too long or, in Richie Porte’s case, an illegal wheel change. Marco Coledan (Trek Factory Racing) was given one of the more unusual fines of the Giro d’Italia after he stopped just before the finish line in Sestriere.
Coledan has been in his own personal battle with Roger Kluge for the lantern rouge, or maglia nera as it used to be known. Coledan was 6:20 down on Kluge at the start of the day and wanted to ensure he kept himself rooted to the bottom of the standings so he pulled up a few hundred metres from the line and waited for the IAM Cycling rider so they could go over together.
The pair seemed fairly jovial as they crossed the line, according to cyclingpro.net, but the UCI was not too amused and slapped Coledan with a 500 CHF fine, stating that: "Riders shall sportingly defend their own luck. Any collusion or behaviour likely to distort or harm the interests of the competition is forbidden.”
Coledan, however, remains at the bottom of the overall classification some 6 hours 40 behind Alberto Contador.
Ullrich to appear in court for drink driving
Former cyclist, Jan Ullrich has been charged with drink driving following an incident that occurred in May 2014, which injured two people. Ulrich was driving near the village of Happerswil in Switzerland when he reportedly rear-ended another vehicle at a stop sign. The other car turned over following the collision while Ullirich’s car collided with a second vehicle before coming to a halt in a nearby field.
At the time, Ullrich denied that he had any alcohol in his system, but if found guilty then he could face up to three years in prison.
Alessandro Petacchi (Southeast) won’t get the perfect send off in his final Giro d’Italia. The Italian was forced to climb off on the penultimate stage to Sestriere due to a fever. "I am very sorry. I really wanted to finish this fourteenth Giro d'Italia. Unfortunately I am suffering from fever, stomach ache and nausea. I do not have the forces to Milan,” he said according to tuttobiciweb.
Petacchi secured Southeast a number of top five finishes but the Italian team have yet to score a victory with one stage remaining.