VeloNews.com » Road http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Wed, 29 Jul 2015 22:45:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Gallery: 2015 La Course http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/road/gallery-2015-la-course_379963 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/road/gallery-2015-la-course_379963#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:08:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379963

Scenes from Sunday's La Course by Le Tour, won by Anna van der Breggen on rain-soaked Paris roads

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Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec suspended 30 days after second failed test of 2015 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/androni-giocattoli-sidermec-suspended-30-days-for-second-failed-test-of-2015_380011 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/androni-giocattoli-sidermec-suspended-30-days-for-second-failed-test-of-2015_380011#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:37:49 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=380011

With two notifications of potential doping violations in one 12-month period, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec has been suspended for 30 days. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Following a second notification of a potential doping violation in 2015, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec has been suspended 30 days by the UCI

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With two notifications of potential doping violations in one 12-month period, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec has been suspended for 30 days. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Following an adverse analytical finding indicating Fabio Taborre’s use of an EPO-stimulating drug, the second potential doping violation for an Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider this season, the UCI announced Wednesday that its Disciplinary Commission has decided to suspend the Pro Continental squad for a period of 30 days. The suspension starts Saturday, August 1, and will be in effect through August 30.

For the duration of its suspension, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec is prohibited from participating in any international event.

The UCI introduced the provision for a team suspension on January 1 of this year with article 7.12.1 of its Anti-Doping Rules, and this case is the first application of the new rule.

The rule states that notifications of two potential anti-doping rule violations within the same team within a 12-month period are grounds for a suspension of the team itself, of between 15 and 45 days, with the exact duration to be determined by the Disciplinary Commission. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider Davide Appollonio was suspended for a failed test in June, while Fabio Taborre was notified of his suspension on Monday.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec has announced that they plan to contest the ruling, with an appeal to the UCI for a lifting of the suspension—according to UCI rules, the suspension will be lifted if the team proves to bear no responsibility. Team manager Gianni Savio said that the team will “provide all the documents demonstrating the measures adopted to fight against doping: from the seminars guided by lawyer Giuseppe Napoleone, the education courses, the many letters sent to all the components of the team, to the signing of the strict Internal Rules certified by Notary Marco Marvaso.”

In addition, the team appears set to file suit against the two sanctioned riders. “We have delegated Napoleone to prosecute Davide Appollonio and Fabio Taborre requiring compensation for damages,” Savio said.

“I think it is very significant to add that also all the riders and the whole technical staff of the team have given Napoleon [a] mandate to prosecute the two riders [who] tested positive.”

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Van Garderen confirmed for Vuelta; Froome, Nibali on bubble http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/van-garderen-confirmed-for-vuelta-froome-nibali-on-bubble_379948 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/van-garderen-confirmed-for-vuelta-froome-nibali-on-bubble_379948#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:49 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379948

Following his withdrawal from the Tour de France, Tejay van Garderen will race the Vuelta a Espana. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The BMC rider will forgo his USA Pro Challenge defense in favor of racing the Spanish grand tour

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Following his withdrawal from the Tour de France, Tejay van Garderen will race the Vuelta a Espana. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tejay van Garderen will race the Vuelta a España next month, while two other major Tour de France protagonists are on the bubble.

Van Garderen, 26, pulled out of the Tour with an illness in stage 17 while poised for a possible run at the final podium in Paris. BMC confirmed in a Wednesday morning press release the Coloradan will skip a defense of his USA Pro Challenge title to race in Spain.

Van Garderen was initially hesitant about competing in the Vuelta, because it conflicts with Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge, which he has won the past two years. “But after looking at the route and considering what happened at the Tour, all things just seemed to point in the direction that the Vuelta was the path to take,” he said. “The more I have thought about it, the more excited I am about doing it. It is a great new challenge.

“This is 100 percent my decision. It would be nice to go out and try to win the USA Pro Challenge again. But after what happened at the Tour, I need to prove myself on a bigger scale.”

Teammate Samuel Sánchez was sixth at last year’s Vuelta. He announced last week that he would be staying with BMC Racing for the 2016 season after signing a contract extension.

“I think Samuel is going to be motivated to do his own GC there,” van Garderen said. “I definitely do not have time to prepare for it the same way I did for the Tour de France, doing the reconnaissance, etc. But I am absolutely going to show up motivated. I am not going to give anything away.”

In the meantime, van Garderen is penciled in to race at the Clásica San Sebastián on Saturday in Spain’s Basque Country.

Tour winner Chris Froome (Sky) and 2014 Tour champ Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) are also mulling a possible start in the season’s third grand tour.

Astana boss Alexander Vinokourov said Astana won’t be satisfied unless it wins one of the season’s three grand tours. With second and third at the Giro d’Italia, and fourth overall at the Tour, Vinokourov is already sending Giro podium finishers Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa to the Spanish tour. Nibali’s presence would give Astana the strongest team in the Vuelta.

Froome also acknowledged he might race the Vuelta, telling Great Britain’s Sky TV on the finish line in Paris that starting the Vuelta is “in the cards.” A decision is expected within a week.

Froome has twice finished second in the Spanish tour, and would slot into pole position as the pre-race favorite if he decides to race.

No rider has pulled off the Tour-Vuelta double since the race was moved from April to September (now with an August start) in 1995. Carlos Sastre came close in 2008, finishing third at the Vuelta after winning the Tour.

Defending champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) confirmed he will not race. After winning the Giro, Contador fell short of winning the Giro-Tour double, finishing fifth overall. His final race of the 2015 season will be the Clásica San Sebastián this weekend in Spain.

Other confirmed starters include Alejandro Valverde and most likely Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha), Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing).

The 70th Vuelta begins August 22 with a team time trial at Puerto Banus along Spain’s Costa del Sol.

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Hoping for worlds start, Busche scouts Richmond course http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/hoping-for-worlds-start-busche-scouts-richmond-course_379914 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/hoping-for-worlds-start-busche-scouts-richmond-course_379914#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:42:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379914

U.S. road racing champ Matthew Busche visited Richmond to catch a glimpse of the worlds road race parcours, but he also gave Richmond a glimpse of what to expect in September: seasoned pros sporting the colors of their home nations. Photo: Jesse Peters

U.S. road race champ Matthew Busche got acquainted with Richmond's short, steep climbs ahead of what he hopes will be a start at worlds

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U.S. road racing champ Matthew Busche visited Richmond to catch a glimpse of the worlds road race parcours, but he also gave Richmond a glimpse of what to expect in September: seasoned pros sporting the colors of their home nations. Photo: Jesse Peters

U.S. national road race champion Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) visited Richmond, Virginia last week to scout the 2015 worlds course. His impression of the route’s short but steep climbs? “Super, super difficult.”

September’s world championship road race will take the peloton through 16 laps on a 16.2-kilometer urban circuit for a total distance of 259.2km. The Richmond route includes cobblestones, several technical corners, and a few tough climbs near the end of the circuit that will inject plenty of fatigue into the legs over repeated trips throughout the day.

Busche took his recently acquired red, white, and blue kit to Richmond to prepare for what he hopes will be a start at worlds, and in doing so, the 30-year-old Wauwatosa, Wisconsin native gave Richmond a glimpse of what to expect in September: pros in their national colors charging up some of the toughest climbs in the area.

“I didn’t ride the front part of the course, but the last part of the course will definitely be difficult,” Busche told VeloNews after testing out the climbs near the end of the circuit. “I think Libby [Hill], 23rd [Street], and Governor [Street] are going to be super, super difficult, especially 16 times. I wouldn’t imagine it’s going to be a big group in the finish.”

The short, high-gradient climbs and the cobblestones make for a course that gives off a spring classics vibe. That’s good news for the high-endurance strongmen in the peloton.

“It’s not a pure climber’s course, it’s not a pure sprinter’s course,” Busche said. “It really favors someone like [Fabian] Cancellara, [Peter] Sagan, those guys. [Greg] Van Avermaet, [John] Degenkolb, you name it.”

Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing), the American rider probably best-suited to such a parcours, has been sidelined by a leg injury since 2014 and his status for worlds remains uncertain. However, the lumpy, technical nature of the parcours should open up plenty of opportunities for attacks that will give the home team a chance to take the pack by surprise. Busche noted that while a healthy Phinney would be ideal, “this actually could be a really good course for a dark horse like Alex Howes.”

“You know, running through the names in my head, depending on who the selection is, maybe some kind of late breakaway could steal the day,” Busche said.

“A guy like Ben King [of Virginia], if he’s on the team he’ll be extra motivated because it’s practically in his backyard. So it could come down to anything, who knows?”

A late attack from a selective group was exactly what won Busche his second career national road race title this May in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Near the end of a hard day in rainy conditions, Busche and Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) attacked out of a small lead group in the final kilometers of the race, and then Busche left Dombrowski behind inside the last 2,000 meters to solo to the finish line for the victory. If Busche makes the team, he’ll probably have that strategy in the back of his mind.

“Assuming I get selected, of course, I’ll be in the race as much as I can,” he said, “whether it’s the early breakaway, or trying to be around for the late breakaway … In the end of a race, to be honest, I would find it hard for myself to be with Cancellara or Degenkolb when they go full gas in those last couple climbs, in the last couple laps, but if I have an amazing set of legs that day, maybe I can be there.

“Making the team is definitely the first priority, and then doing my job for the team, whether it’s individual aspirations or working for one of my teammates … just to represent the U.S. as best I can.”

Last year’s worlds selection criteria awarded the national champ an automatic spot on the team, but 2015 brought with it a few changes to the selection process. Now, the national road race champion only earns an automatic bid if the United States is awarded the full allotment of nine starters for the race. To earn nine starters, the U.S. has to rank among the 10 first nations in the UCI WorldTour classification by August 15 — currently sitting at 18th with less than a month to go, that’s a tall order for the American squad. As such, it’s likely that Busche will need to be chosen by the selection committee.

Until then, the best thing Busche can do is to continue riding hard and hunt for racing success. Getting some experience on the Richmond parcours certainly won’t hurt, and he hopes the stars and stripes he earned in Chattanooga will help his case.

“I think generally, I’d definitely be on the long list of riders and hopefully on the short list,” he said. “Hopefully at the end of the day I’ll be here in September.”

Busche has ridden in the world championship road race before, but representing the United States in a worlds run on home soil would be a rare opportunity — the U.S. has not hosted worlds in nearly 30 years. Getting named to the team would be “incredibly special,” Busche said.

The big North American races have been a major focus of Busche’s 2015 campaign. He did not ride the Tour de France this year, but given the opportunities Trek has to ride in races like the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, along with Busche’s hopeful ride at worlds, he seems happy with his 2015 program.

“I have known from the beginning that the Tour wasn’t really on the radar, with [me] having goals for the American races like California, Utah, or Colorado,” he said. “So yeah, it’s hard at the beginning of the year to know already that I’m not necessarily racing for the Tour barring some changes or incredible performances or this or that, but I think I’ve known from the beginning so it’s not like there’s heartbreak.

“I raced it last year and it’s an incredibly special race but honestly, all the stress and the chaos that goes along with the Tour, I sit at home and I don’t know if it’s 50/50 or what way it goes, but I can kind of do without all that and be happy to do other races too. But you know, the Tour is the Tour, and I think anybody who has the opportunity to race it is going to do it.”

Busche’s upcoming calendar is not set in stone, but for the moment, it includes the USA Pro Challenge, the Tour of Alberta, and then the GP Québec and GP Montréal. Whether the two-time national champion will finish off that stretch with a start in Richmond remains to be seen, but success in his next few races would be a great way to boost his chances of making the squad. It certainly wouldn’t hurt his career prospects either — Busche’s contract with Trek runs out at the end of the season, leaving him looking for a ride for 2016.

Busche doesn’t have anything locked in at the moment, though it seems that he’d be happy to stay put if the opportunity is there.

“I don’t know where I’ll be, but I’d like to stay with Trek. It’s been fun. I’ve been here my whole career and it’s treated me well and I like the team,” he said.

“We’ll just see what plays out.”

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Report: Change on the horizon for Nibali http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/report-change-on-the-horizon-for-nibali_379941 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/report-change-on-the-horizon-for-nibali_379941#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:21:25 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379941

Despite his struggles, Vincenzo Nibali managed to win a stage and finish fourth overall in the Tour de France this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Vincenzo Nibali will reportedly race the Vuelta next month and leave Astana after the 2016 season

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Despite his struggles, Vincenzo Nibali managed to win a stage and finish fourth overall in the Tour de France this year. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

MILAN (VN) — Italian Vincenzo Nibali plans on changing his schedule and his team after a “beating” in the Tour de France.

Nibali, according to an article in La Gazzetta dello Sport, will not return to the Tour de France in 2016 and will leave team Astana as soon as possible.

“I’ve had nothing but beatings all year,” Nibali said.

“We’ll work better over the winter, to be more impressive already in the spring. Like in 2012, or in 2013. Not like this year, when I was always missing something.”

Nibali has won all three grand tours: the 2010 Vuelta a España, the 2013 Giro d’Italia, and last year’s Tour de France. This season, he has yet to win one stage race.

Nibali saved his 2015 Tour with a stage win at La Toussuire ski station in stage 19, which helped him secure a fourth-place overall finish.

At one point, however, Nibali could not push his body enough. He lost 4:25 on the stage to La Pierre-Saint-Martin at the start of the second week. He sat 10th overall, but said he would not consider pulling out like American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) did, who exited the race during stage 17 with a respiratory infection.

A change was in the air after Nibali showed he could not match or come near his 2014 Tour de France win. He stopped talking and Astana general manager Alexandre Vinokourov began.

The 2012 London Olympic road race champion from Kazakhstan, who was booted from the 2007 Tour for blood doping, gave Dane Jakob Fuglsang leadership on the roads of France this month. He said, “Something is wrong with Nibali’s head, and he needs a good mechanic to fix it.”

The voices began to travel around the pressroom. Nibali would break his Astana contract one year early and leave Astana at the end of 2015. However, it did not add up, since Nibali is reportedly paid a hefty $4.42m annually. Annulments have been done before (Cavendish in 2013 and Cadel Evans in 2010), but if Nibali left, he would have to pay a large buyout clause and would likely not earn as much on a new team based on his recent results.

What is certain is that Astana is putting greater faith in Italian Fabio Aru after his two stage wins and second place overall in the Giro d’Italia. The team renewed Aru’s contract through 2017, and he will be supported by Fuglsang — who will also remain on the team at least through 2017 — in the coming years.

Nibali will leave the turquoise team at the end of 2016, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. BMC and Trek Factory Racing have been named as squads who might sign him, but the newspaper reported that the 30-year-old Sicilian is considering a team of his own.

Some changes will happen immediately after the “beating.” Though not clear in what role, Nibali will join Aru and Mikel Landa — Landa was third overall in the Giro behind Aru — in Astana’s Vuelta a España team next month.

Vinokourov told VeloNews, “We have to win at least one grand tour a year.”

Though still nine months out, it appears Nibali will return to the Giro d’Italia in 2016. Aru, with Fuglsang’s help, will debut in the Tour. If the rumors are correct, Nibali will not return to the Tour until 2017 — and he won’t be wearing Astana’s turquoise kit.

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Video: Vittorio Brumotti takes stunts to Livigno http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/road/video-vittorio-brumotti-takes-stunts-to-livigno_379888 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/road/video-vittorio-brumotti-takes-stunts-to-livigno_379888#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:45:29 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379888

Trials rider Vittorio Brumotti lives on the edge, literally, with some of his stunts in the Alpine town of Livigno, Italy

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Video: La Course by Le Tour, highlights from Vera Koedooder’s bike camera http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/road/video-la-course-by-le-tour-highlights-from-vera-koedooders-bike-camera_379880 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/road/video-la-course-by-le-tour-highlights-from-vera-koedooders-bike-camera_379880#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:46:24 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379880

Sunday's La Course by Le Tour was contested in dismal conditions. Bigla's Vera Koedooder captured all the action from inside the peloton.

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Fabio Taborre suspended for adverse analytical finding of EPO-stimulating drug http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/fabio-taborre-suspended-for-adverse-analytical-finding-of-epo-stimulating-drug_379835 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/fabio-taborre-suspended-for-adverse-analytical-finding-of-epo-stimulating-drug_379835#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 22:36:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379835

The Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec team faces a suspension of between 15 and 45 days after a second adverse analytical finding in a 12-month-period. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec faces suspension for second failed test in 2015

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The Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec team faces a suspension of between 15 and 45 days after a second adverse analytical finding in a 12-month-period. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The UCI has notified Fabio Taborre (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) of an adverse analytical finding of FG-4592, a prohibited substance that stimulates the endogenous production of EPO, in a sample collected during an out-of-competition test on June 16, 2015.

Taborre has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample, but has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the matter.

Taborre’s failed test constitutes the second adverse analytical finding for an Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec rider since the beginning of 2015—Davide Appollonio was suspended for EPO in June. In accordance with new UCI rules, the team therefore faces a suspension of between 15 and 45 days. The UCI will refer the matter to its Disciplinary Commission, which will render a decision in the upcoming days.

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Froome: Bid for Tour-Vuelta double ‘could be on the cards’ http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-bid-for-tour-vuelta-double-could-be-on-the-cards_379819 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-bid-for-tour-vuelta-double-could-be-on-the-cards_379819#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:38:45 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379819

Chris Froome was the Vuelta runner-up for the second time in his career in 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Chris Froome is considering taking on the Vuelta a España in a bid to add a second grand tour title to his 2015 palmares

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Chris Froome was the Vuelta runner-up for the second time in his career in 2014. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Chris Froome is considering following up his Tour de France victory with a start at the Vuelta a España, telling Sky Sports News HQ that a Tour-Vuelta double attempt “could be on the cards.”

Froome is currently in the United Kingdom enjoying his success for a few days after months of preparation for cycling’s biggest race. He has not yet confirmed whether or not he will compete in Spain’s Vuelta, where he was runner-up both in 2011 and in 2014, but he is likely to make his decision soon—the Vuelta gets underway in less than a month on August 22.

“I would say it’s a bit early to say 100 per cent, but I think that could potentially be on the cards, certainly,” Froome said of the possible Vuelta bid on Sky Sports News HQ.

“I know it would be a massive challenge to back it up with another grand tour now, especially to go there with the aim of going for the general classification again.

“But yeah, that’s at the back of the mind and maybe that could be on the cards.”

Team principal Dave Brailsford mentioned the possibility of a Vuelta start for Froome during the Tour de France, before Froome’s victory was sealed. Now that Froome has won the Tour, a GC bid at the Vuelta would also be a bid to complete the Tour-Vuelta double. Only two riders in cycling history have won both races in the same year—Jacques Anquetil won the Tour and the Vuelta in 1963 and Bernard Hinault did it in 1978, both at a time when the Vuelta was raced in the springtime, before the Tour.

First, Froome will need to recover a bit of energy after a hard-fought victory in the Tour. He admits that his Tour preparation and the three weeks of racing took their toll.

“It’s not only just the Tour, it’s the whole build-up to it,” he said.

“We spend months and months just doing every little thing right and getting every little detail right to try to get to the Tour in the best shape possible.

“It’s going to be great now just to switch off for a few days.”

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Post-Tour criteriums keep the spectacle alive a little while longer http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/post-tour-criteriums-keep-the-spectacle-alive-a-little-while-longer_379802 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/post-tour-criteriums-keep-the-spectacle-alive-a-little-while-longer_379802#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:50:55 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379802

Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) outsprinted Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at the Criterium Aalst in 2014, with both riders gapping sprinting ace Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) at the finish. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

In the week after the Tour, riders hit the criterium circuit for some fast laps under the lights, entertaining raucous crowds

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Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) outsprinted Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at the Criterium Aalst in 2014, with both riders gapping sprinting ace Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) at the finish. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Hangover or withdrawal? Depending on whom you ask, the day after the Tour parades around the Champs-Élysées is either a day of headaches or disappointment. The spectacle that is the Tour de France seems to have finished for another year.

But it hasn’t quite.

In the week after the Tour, riders hit the criterium circuit for a few days of fast laps under the lights, entertaining raucous crowds. The series of post-Tour criteriums have dropped in prestige over the years, but still have remained rather popular amongst the public, with crowds upwards of ten thousand for some of the races.

History

In past decades, cycling’s top riders did not have multi-million dollar contracts or sponsorships. The prize money was dismal, even in comparison to today’s standards. Riders needed another way to make money, so they packed their bikes in the trunks of their cars and hit the criterium circuit right after the end of the Tour. Thus was born the post-Tour criterium tradition.

For up to two or even three weeks after the Tour, riders would travel around Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, entertaining crowds in nighttime criteriums. This allowed fans to see the riders on multiple occasions, instead of just getting a glimpse when they raced by out on the open road.

Riders didn’t travel in teams, but on their own expense. They were however, paid appearance fees, which would add up to more than what they might earn racing the Tour. Thus, the post-Tour criteriums became a necessary endeavor to increase their salaries.

The top names of the Tour de France always got an invitation, but so did the lanterne rouge, the last rider in the general classification. Thus, it became a battle to finish last in the Tour. If a rider were to finish second-to-last, he would receive no recognition, but last place meant more publicity and more money, in the form of racing the post-Tour criterium circuit.

Today’s racing and rigging

When the jersey winners of the Tour show up to race a post-Tour criterium, they wear the coveted yellow, green, white, or polka dot jerseys they’ve earned in cycling’s main event. Today, however, instead of racing two or three weeks’ worth of criteriums, they may ride only one or two.

High-profile domestiques still use the criterium circuit as a way to make an extra buck here and there. Wout Poels of Team Sky is lining up at four races this week. The lanterne rouge no longer gets invites, though being the lanterne rouge still holds a little bit of prestige and a battle amongst the riders at the back of the Tour still occurs on occasion.

Past and present come together in determining how the criteriums play out, or to be more precise, the finishing order of each race. The post-Tour criterium start lists have an interesting mix of top-tier pros fresh off the Tour and continental pros trying to make a name for themselves.

It’s an open secret that the races are, in fact, rigged. The podium is predetermined by the organizer at the beginning of the race, depending on who is on the start line. The top riders get paid show up at the race, while most others are just happy to be there. Should a rider ignore the predetermined finishing order, he can expect to be reprimanded by the organizer.

The rigging is evident with a look at the results from past years. In 2013, Tour winner Chris Froome and his Sky teammate Richie Porte broke away from the field and finished one-two at Criterium Aalst. The skinny climbing duo was able to ride away from classics specialist Matteo Trentin and fast-man Oscar Gatto.

A follower of the sport could be forgiven a bit of laughter upon seeing the results of last year’s Criterium Aalst as well. Greg van Avermaet (BMC) outsprinted Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) for the win. Nothing wrong there, but a glance at third place reveals something peculiar. Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin), fresh off a win on the Champs-Élysées for the second year in a row, finished third.

The post-Tour criteriums may be rigged, but that doesn’t stop people from showing up to see the biggest names in cycling. The riders still put on a show with most of the races averaging over 50kph (31mph). The fast criterium-style racing is a week of celebration for riders and fans alike until next the edition of the Tour the following July.

Below is a list of post-Tour criteriums, along with notable participants this year.

Monday, July 27: Criterium Aalst (Belgium)
Chris Froome (Sky)
Nicholas Roche (Sky)
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo)
Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka)
Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick-Step)

Monday, July 27: Wielerspektakel van Boxmeer (Netherlands)
Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Steven Kruijswijk (LottonNL-Jumbo)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka)
Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin)
Koen de Kort (Giant-Alpecin)
Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing)
Wout Poels (Sky)

Tuesday, July 28: Natourcriterium Roeselare (Belgium)
Chris Froome (Sky)
Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
Serge Pauwels (MTN Qhubeka)
Julien Vermote (Etixx-Quick-Step)
Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal)
Preden Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

Tuesday, July 28: Profonde van Surhuisterveen (Netherlands)
Koen de Kort (Giant-Alpecin)
Ramon Sinkeldam Giant-Alpecin)
Albert Timmer (Giant-Alpecin)
Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Tom Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin)

Wednesday, July 29: Acht van Chaam (Netherlands)
Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Wout Poels (Sky)
Stef Clement (IAM Cycling)

Wednesday, July 29: Profronde van Lommel (Belgium)
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo)
Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing)
Johan Vansummeren (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
Flilppo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)
Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal)
Julien Vermote (Etixx-Quick-Step)

Wednesday, July 29: Tour de Neuss (Germany)
Start list not available

Wednesday, July 29: Welser Innenstadt Kriterium (Austria)
Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18)
Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing)
Bernhard Eisel (Sky)

Thursday, August 30: Criterium Herentals (Belgium)
Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka)
Preden Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

Thursday, July 30: Wateringse Wielerday (Netherlands)
Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Laurens Ten Dam (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Koen de Kort (Giant-Alpecin
Ramon Sinkkeldam (Giant-Alpecin)
Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick-Step)
Wout Poels (Sky)
Lars Boom (Astana)

Thursday, July 30: Sandefjord Grand Prix (Norway)
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
Sven Erik Bystrom (Katusha)
Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling)

Friday, July 31: Cibel Na-Tourcriterium Sint-Niklaas (Netherlands)
Start list not available

Friday, July 31: RaboRonde Heerlen (Netherlands)
Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Lars Boom (Astana)
Lieuwe Westra (Astana)
Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Garmin)
Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin)
Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin)
Roy Curvers (Giant-Alpecin)
Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin)
Albert Timmer (Giant-Alpecin)
Wout Poels (Sky)
Stef Clement (IAM Cycling)

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Froome and Quintana set for epic Tour rivalry http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-and-quintana-set-for-epic-tour-rivalry_379801 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-and-quintana-set-for-epic-tour-rivalry_379801#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:10:43 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379801

Chris Froome built an early lead in the 2015 Tour de France, but Nairo Quintana hung with him in the final week and found opportunities in the Alps to recover lost time. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The rivalry between Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana should make for several more hotly contested Tour de France battles in the years to come

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Chris Froome built an early lead in the 2015 Tour de France, but Nairo Quintana hung with him in the final week and found opportunities in the Alps to recover lost time. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — Many, both in the peloton and watching from afar, may have groaned when Chris Froome (Sky) said he intended to ride on for another six to eight years, but not everyone is disappointed.

There are some who feel the domination Froome has shown at times in winning his two Tour de France titles — in 2013 and again this month — has taken the gloss off the greatest bike race in the world. And yet, to buy in to that sentiment would be to ignore what turned out to be one of the most thrilling Tours in recent memory.

The 2015 Tour’s final victory margin of one minute and 12 seconds was the closest since Carlos Sastre finished 58 seconds ahead of Cadel Evans in 2008.

And even that does no justice to the exciting final two stages in which Nairo Quintana (Movistar) started eating into Froome’s lead with incessant attacks every time the road angled upward.

Two years ago, Quintana was second to Froome at 4:20, a margin that would have been 43 seconds greater but for the Briton slowing down on the final stage to cross the finish line arm-in-arm with his Sky teammates.

Quintana has closed that gap significantly, and at 25, he is five years younger than Froome.

Quite apart from embarking on a period of Froome domination, the Tour stands to witness one of cycling’s great rivalries.

Cycling has seen some great duels in the past, notably between Italians Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, or Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor, but Froome and Quintana could match or even eclipse any of those.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Froome-Quintana rivalry is that rather than it being a matchup of two riders reaching their prime at the same time, one is on his way into his best years, while the other should be coming out of his — much like the recent tennis rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Froome received a lot of bad press on the 2015 Tour, with some accusing him of doping or riding a motorized bicycle, a negative reception Quintana has not had to put up with.

And yet, arguably, what gave Froome victory over the Colombian was circumstance.

A crash on the windy second stage in the Netherlands held up Quintana and his Movistar team, and then a split formed in the peloton. In crosswinds, that can be fatal, and it proved costly for Quintana. By the stage finish, Quintana had lost a minute and 28 seconds to Froome, more than the final winning margin.

Perhaps from a spectacle point of view, what was most exciting in this Tour de France was how one rider pulled out a lead before the other started reeling him in — Quintana just left his Tour-finishing kick until a touch too late.

The Colombian is not as good in the time trials as Froome and with his slight frame, he is vulnerable on flat stages on the open roads. That makes for a rivalry that is sure to ebb and flow, with one potentially taking time against the clock or in crosswinds, and the other looking to claw it back on the climbs.

This year’s Tour route perhaps suited Quintana more than Froome, and the fear for Quintana and those who would like to see him win cycling’s biggest race may be that the Briton would win more easily on a course with more individual time trial kilometers.

In any case, Quintana proved this year that he has matured.

In 2013 he lost time after launching attacks in the Pyrenees too far from the finish and running out of steam.

This year, he was more patient and calculated — perhaps too much — and he is sure to continue improving both physically and tactically as the years progress.

At 30, the now-twice-winner of the Tour de France Chris Froome may be already as good as he will ever be.

Time will tell, but this is a battle that could be played out many more times at the Tour de France.

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Tour de France: Five winners, five losers http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/tour-de-france-five-winners-five-losers_379797 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/tour-de-france-five-winners-five-losers_379797#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:44:36 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379797

Nairo Quintana won his second white jersey and was a runner-up for the second time in the Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Chris Froome was the big winner after taking the yellow and polka-dot jerseys, while several riders came up short of goals

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Nairo Quintana won his second white jersey and was a runner-up for the second time in the Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — Following the end of the 2015 Tour de France on Sunday, AFP Sport evaluates the winners and losers from this year’s race:

Five winners

Chris Froome (Sky)
A second Tour victory, the first Briton to win two Tours, and the first rider since Eddy Merckx in 1970 to claim the yellow and polka-dot jerseys in the same Tour, Froome was obviously the big winner this year. After crashing out of last year’s Tour just five stages in, he reasserted his supremacy in the world’s most prestigious bike race. Even being spat at, insulted, accused of cheating, and doused with urine couldn’t dampen his joy.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
The Colombian climber may have come up just short in his victory quest, but he was a lot closer to Froome than he was two years ago and proved that he could threaten and worry the Briton in the mountains. He’s only 25 and as he says himself, he has many more years to come to try to win the Tour.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
The 35-year-old Spaniard broke into tears after Saturday’s 20th stage ahead of his third-place overall finish. It may seem curious for a rider with so many great victories to his name, but it was Valverde’s first time on the Tour podium. Quintana’s evergreen teammate is still as hungry as ever.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal)
The burly German has spent the last few years in the shadow of sprint greats Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) and compatriot Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin). At 33-years of age, Greipel might have thought his best sprint years were behind him, but with Kittel absent and Cavendish’s fabled acceleration a distant memory, Greipel won four stages — his best result at the Tour.

MTN-Qhubeka
If becoming the first African team to ride the Tour de France wasn’t enough, MTN made the most of its debut. Briton Steve Cummings won the 14th stage and Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the polka-dot jersey for four days. The squad’s Tour was a resounding success.

Five losers

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
The reigning champion was one of the “fantastic four” coming into the race but he ended up taking fourth, 8:36 behind Froome. Nibali had a lackluster first week, which included losing 1:28 in crosswinds on the second stage. He then started the second week by cracking in spectacular fashion on the opening mountain stage and his victory hopes were already gone. He did salvage some pride, however, with a victory on stage 19.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
The two-time Tour champion from Spain had set himself the goal of winning the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double this year. He came into the Tour after winning the previous two grand tours (the 2014 Vuelta a Espana and the 2015 Giro), but Contador simply ran out of energy in France, finishing fifth at 9:48.

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
The popular Slovak may have won the green points jersey for the fourth year in a row, but it was his near-misses in stages that were most striking. He has now gone 56 Tour stages since claiming a victory. Second five times, third twice, fourth twice and fifth once this year alone, Sagan tries to hide his frustration, but his team would certainly swap that consistency for a stage win.

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step)
From 2008 to 2012 he was undoubtedly the best sprinter in the world, but it is now three Tours in a row in which he has had to sit back and watch a German dominate. Cavendish did win a stage, but Greipel won four, just as Kittel did so in both 2013 and 2014. The “Manx Missile” is no longer supersonic.

The French
Finishing second and third last year and with a new generation of talented youngsters, hopes were high for the hosts this year. But crashes and illness wrecked their dreams as Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r La Mondiale), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), and Romain Bardet (Ag2r) all disappointed in terms of the overall standings. The latter two did win a stage but only after their overall hopes had disintegrated. Even sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) could not bring cheer as he crashed out in the first week.

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Tour de France: Five things we learned http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/tour-de-france-five-things-we-learned_379794 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/tour-de-france-five-things-we-learned_379794#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:11:59 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379794

Romain Bardet was the top-finishing French rider at the Tour in ninth, but he did manage to earn the most aggressive rider prize. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

AFP takes a look back at the French grand tour and highlights five key takeaways

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Romain Bardet was the top-finishing French rider at the Tour in ninth, but he did manage to earn the most aggressive rider prize. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — Following Chris Froome’s victory at the 2015 Tour de France on Sunday, AFP Sport looks at five lessons learned from this year’s Grand Boucle:

The course

It’s not just the riders and their rivalries that make for a great race; the course itself plays a pivotal role. Organizers ASO ratcheted up the challenges this year with crosswinds, cobbles, punchy short finishes, and varied mountain parcours. From the very first day, the racing was exciting and despite fears Chris Froome (Sky) would run away with the overall victory, the yellow jersey battle went down to the wire. A resounding success.

Sky Tour kings

It may polarize opinion, but there can be no doubt that British team Sky holds the key to Tour success. Criticized for not yet winning either of the other grand tours or a one-day race, Sky doesn’t hide that its focus is on the Grand Boucle. Three victories in four years is a phenomenal achievement, but with domination comes damnation. Sky is unpopular in many quarters and some refuse to believe the team is winning fairly, regardless of how many times team manager Dave Brailsford insists, “We race clean.”

French failure

The hosts may have a talented generation of young riders such as Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) all aged 25 or under, but they appear no closer to ending their 30-year wait for a Tour victory. The first three may all be good climbers and potential overall contenders but with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) only 25 and both a superior climber and stage racer to all three, France may be scrapping over the podium positions rather than fighting for yellow glory in the coming years.

Doping dominates

Experts and insiders may agree that cycling is cleaner and more fair than perhaps ever before and certainly than the last 30-50 years, but the damage done by the likes of Lance Armstrong and Richard Virenque cannot easily be forgotten. Armstrong’s dominance and performances — boosted by EPO and blood transfusions — have left a bitter taste and lasting cynicism. Now, whenever a rider produces a remarkable performance, cries of doping and cheating drown out the plaudits. Froome has never tested positive for doping nor has he ever produced a suspicious test result, but every brilliant victory elicits scorn and suspicion. He says his shoulders are broad enough to support the responsibility but the vultures loom at every turn and some seem hell-bent on bringing him down, guilty or not.

African emergence

East Africans already dominate another endurance sport and the time may well come one day when the same goes for cycling. Kenyans and Ethiopians reign supreme over middle- and long-distance running, and even Froome believes they have what it takes to take over the Tour de France. MTN-Qhubeka made its debut as the first African team at the Tour and even won a stage. That may have been through a white Briton in Stephen Cummings, but Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus became the first black Africans to ride the Grand Boucle. It was a learning experience for both but perhaps more importantly in years to come people, will look back on their participation as that of trailblazers. They finished 49th and 84th, respectively, overall in a very credible performance from both. It may take time, but the door has been opened for East Africans.

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Two people in custody after security scare at Tour de France http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/two-people-in-custody-after-security-scare-at-tour-de-france_379790 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/two-people-in-custody-after-security-scare-at-tour-de-france_379790#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:45:51 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379790

French police officers stood guard in Paris ahead of the Tour de France finale. Photo: AFP | THOMAS OLIVA

A car smashed through barriers on the Place de la Concorde hours before the Tour de France landed in the French capital

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French police officers stood guard in Paris ahead of the Tour de France finale. Photo: AFP | THOMAS OLIVA

PARIS (AFP) — A 16-year-old youth handed himself in to police on Monday, confessing to smashing through barriers on the Tour de France route in Paris, sparking gunshots from security services hours before the finish of the famed race.

The incident took place early Sunday on Paris’s iconic Place de la Concorde, where the world’s most famous bike race reaches its climax.

A car crashed through the security barriers several hours before the riders were due to come through and police opened fire on the vehicle as it sped away from a checkpoint.

Officials said they believed there was no link to the Tour de France itself.

A bullet-riddled car was later found abandoned nearby.

“Investigations are underway to see if he was at the wheel,” a legal source told AFP.

Another person has also come forward also claiming to have been in the car when the incident took place. Both have been remanded in custody.

And a young woman, believed to have been in the car, checked herself into a hospital in the western Paris suburbs with bullet wounds to the chest.

She was operated on overnight and “her life is not in danger,” said a source close to the investigation.

“The probe will determine if the bullet that hit the young woman came from a police shot,” said this source.

According to witness statements gathered by the police, four people ran away from the car after abandoning it.

In triumphant scenes later Sunday, British cyclist Chris Froome (Sky) won his second Tour de France on the rain-lashed Champs-Élysées, with Germany’s Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) clinching a thrilling final sprint.

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At the Tour de France, some teams come up empty http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/at-the-tour-de-france-some-teams-come-up-empty_379786 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/at-the-tour-de-france-some-teams-come-up-empty_379786#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:21:59 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379786

Pro Continental outfit Bora-Argon 18 did not win a stage at the Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Stage wins give teams publicity and exposure, but not every squad is able to find one at the Tour de France

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Pro Continental outfit Bora-Argon 18 did not win a stage at the Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

MILAN (VN) — The Tour de France rolled to a stop Sunday in Paris, but only half of the teams in the race were able to celebrate a stage win.

Out of the 22 competing teams, 12 earned victories over the three weeks. German André Greipel gave Lotto-Soudal its fourth win Sunday evening on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

“It’s really important,” Trek Factory Racing general manager Luca Guercilena told VeloNews.

“We know all the visibility we can have by winning a stage in a grand tour like the Tour de France. We had the yellow jersey for one day, it would have been good to keep that for a few days, but in general, it’s really important to win a stage.”

Organizer ASO gives $8,780 to a rider for a stage win, but it is not so much the money that matters as it is the publicity.

The day after Romain Bardet won stage 18, French sports daily L’Equipe printed a photograph of him on the front page, both above and below the fold. Bardet’s value went up and French team Ag2r La Mondiale received a big bang for its sponsorship buck.

It was not just in the newspapers; Ag2r saw its name on the team’s brown and white jersey on television and all over the Internet. The message spread. The insurance company also has that winning image of 24-year-old Bardet to use as advertising for at least one year.

“It doesn’t make or break [the season],” LottoNL-Jumbo general manager Richard Plugge added.

“It depends on how well the rest of the Tour is going in terms of the GC. We have Robert Gesink competing well and in Holland, everyone is all over him, all the newspapers and networks. That’s maybe even better than one stage win and not being in the GC.”

Trek and LottoNL fill out the list of teams without wins alongside Movistar, Orica-GreenEdge, Europcar, Cannondale-Garmin, IAM Cycling, Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Cofidis, and Bora-Argon 18.

“We were second in three stages,” Cannondale-Garmin sport director Charly Wegelius said.

“We came really close. That’s cycling, you lose a lot more than you win. If we had turned those second places into wins, everyone would be calling us geniuses right now.”

Winning a stage in the Tour could carry even more weight for those five Pro Continental teams that received wildcard invitations to race from ASO. The other 17 teams, as part of the WorldTour, had automatic berths.

Of the five, only MTN-Qhubeka won a stage, thanks to Steve Cummings in Mende. Adding more weight to the win, he won for the South African sponsor on Nelson Mandela Day.

“They get less opportunities in bigger races, so for MTN to do it on Mandela day, that was incredible for them,” Orica sport director Matt White said.

“The teams that don’t do all the WorldTour races, or don’t have a chance to do all three grand tours, it’s probably a little more important for them to win.”

Before the start of stage 19, Bora’s Enrico Poitschke was forced to accept the standings as they were.

“We get the invitation to race, and they want us to make some attractive racing, to go into the breaks,” Poitschke said.

“We are not under pressure to win a stage, many big teams try it, and it’s not possible for everyone.”

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Froome defies abuse to win second Tour de France http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-defies-abuse-to-win-second-tour-de-france_379783 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-defies-abuse-to-win-second-tour-de-france_379783#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:44:07 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379783

Chris Froome earned his second Tour de France title in Paris. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Amid questions about the legitimacy of his performance, Chris Froome pedaled through it all to win his second Tour de France title

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Chris Froome earned his second Tour de France title in Paris. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS, (AFP) — Chris Froome said he felt “incredible” after winning his second Tour de France title on Sunday in a competition that has seen him accused of cheating, spat upon, and doused with urine.

The 30-year-old Briton crossed the line on Paris’s Champs-Élysées arm-in-arm with his Sky teammates to clinch a second Grand Boucle crown following his 2013 success.

“This is such a great race, what can I say? I feel a lot of emotion,” Froome said after finishing the 21st leg of the competition.

“Of course it was a very, very difficult Tour, both on the bike and off it. I’m so happy to be here in yellow.

“There were a few difficulties, a few extra stresses outside of the race, but that’s cycling in 2015.”

Froome has faced accusations of cheating since his last victory at the Grand Boucle two years ago, and complained that a spectator had thrown urine on him while shouting “dope” during the 14th stage of this year’s race.

His victory comes as doping accusations have cast a shadow over the sport of cycling, particularly after Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France a record seven times, was stripped of his titles after a long-running scandal.

The British press toasted Froome’s victory nonetheless in the Monday editions, with tabloid The Sun sporting the headline, “I’m no cheat: Froome victory dig,” while The Telegraph chose, “Believe in me.”

‘Suffered for his victory’

Germany’s Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won the final stage of the competition, his fourth this year and 10th in total, ahead of Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Europcar) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) of Norway.

Colombian Nairo Quintana finished second overall with his Spanish Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde taking third, the 35-year-old Valverde’s best Tour finish.

“I’m not disappointed at all, I’ve confirmed my ability and my status within the team,” Quintana said.

“I’m only 25 so I have many more opportunities to try to win the Tour.

“[Froome] is a great rival, he suffered a lot for his victory and was very strong — he deserves it.”

Rain had rendered the cobbles at the finish on the Champs-Élysées dangerous, so organizers neutralized the race from the moment it reached Paris.

It meant the official timing was stopped just after riders passed the finishing line for the first time ahead of 10 laps around the famous Parisian avenue.

The decision allowed Froome and his teammates — wearing a black kit with the traditional blue stripe replaced by a yellow one in homage to their leader’s feat — to finish in a straight line, arm-in-arm, over a minute after the stage winner.

Having already won the Tour in 2013, crossing the finish line in the same way then because his lead over Quintana was also sufficiently large that time around, Froome became the first Briton to win the Grand Boucle for a second time.

Quintana finished 1:12 behind Froome, with Valverde third at more than five minutes back.

Last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished fourth overall, ahead of two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Germans dominate sprints

On the final stage, a 109.5-kilometer run from the Parisian suburb of Sevres, Greipel emphasized his sprint superiority at this Tour.

The 33-year-old had already won the second, fifth, and 15th stages in sprint finishes, making it his best ever Tour and eclipsing the three stages he won in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to a rest now,” the Lotto-Soudal rider said.

“This Tour de France has been amazing for Lotto-Soudal, in five bunch sprints we won four of them.

“We can be really proud of this Tour de France. Next year is another Tour de France, but now I’m really happy and delighted with everything that happened in these last three weeks.”

It continued German sprint dominance at the Tour. Between Greipel’s two outstanding seasons, compatriot Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) won four stages in both 2013 and 2014.

Greipel’s expected rivals Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) could only manage sixth and seventh, respectively, on Sunday.

However, Sagan did win the sprinter’s green points jersey for the fourth year in a row, despite not managing to win a stage for the second successive year.

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Gallery: 2015 Tour de France, stage 21 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/gallery-2015-tour-de-france-stage-21_379751 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/gallery-2015-tour-de-france-stage-21_379751#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 21:48:12 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379751

Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde atop the final podium in Paris. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tim De Waele captures the final stage of the 2015 Tour as it hits the Champs-Élysées

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Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde atop the final podium in Paris. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Results: 2015 Tour de France, stage 21 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/results-2015-tour-de-france-stage-21_379739 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/results-2015-tour-de-france-stage-21_379739#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 18:28:55 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379739 André Greipel powers to the victory on the Champs-Élysées as Chris Froome collects his second overall title in the Tour de France

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  • 1. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 2:49:41
  • 2. Bryan COQUARD, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 3. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 4. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 5. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at :00
  • 6. Mark CAVENDISH, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 7. Peter SAGAN, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 8. John DEGENKOLB, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 9. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 10. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00
  • 11. Matteo TRENTIN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 12. Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 13. Geoffrey SOUPE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 14. Sep VANMARCKE, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 15. Jarlinson PANTANO, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 16. Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 17. Anthony DELAPLACE, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 18. Jan BARTA, BORA-ARGON 18, at :00
  • 19. Davide CIMOLAI, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 20. Jacopo GUARNIERI, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 21. Paul VOSS, BORA-ARGON 18, at :00
  • 22. Grégory RAST, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 23. Matthias BRANDLE, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 24. Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 25. Marcel WYSS, IAM CYCLING, at :23
  • 26. Kristijan KOREN, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00
  • 27. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 28. Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 29. Vincenzo NIBALI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 30. Filippo POZZATO, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 31. Jakob FUGLSANG, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 32. Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 33. Damiano CARUSO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 34. Sylvain CHAVANEL, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 35. Michal GOLAS, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 36. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 37. Pierre-Luc PERICHON, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 38. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 39. Simon YATES, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 40. Paul MARTENS, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 41. Armindo FONSECA, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 42. Julien SIMON, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 43. Matteo TOSATTO, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 44. Jacques JANSE VAN RENSBURG, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 45. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 46. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 47. Julien VERMOTE, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 48. Martin ELMIGER, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 49. Alexandre GENIEZ, FDJ, at :00
  • 50. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 51. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 52. Dylan VAN BAARLE, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00
  • 53. Imanol ERVITI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 54. Pierrick FEDRIGO, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 55. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 56. Andriy GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 57. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 58. Zdenek STYBAR, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 59. Mathias FRANK, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 60. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 61. Romain BARDET, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 62. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 63. Koen DE KORT, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 64. Roy CURVERS, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 65. Yohann GENE, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 66. Jérémy ROY, FDJ, at :00
  • 67. Brice FEILLU, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 68. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 69. Jan BAKELANTS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 70. Benoît VAUGRENARD, FDJ, at :00
  • 71. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 72. Sébastien CHAVANEL, FDJ, at :00
  • 73. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 74. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 75. Albert TIMMER, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 76. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 77. Nicolas EDET, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 78. Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 79. Cyril GAUTIER, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 80. Pierre ROLLAND, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 81. Angelo TULIK, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 82. Bryan NAULLEAU, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 83. Perrig QUEMENEUR, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 84. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at :00
  • 85. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 86. José Joao PIMENTA COSTA MENDES, BORA-ARGON 18, at :00
  • 87. Andrew TALANSKY, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00
  • 88. Daniel MARTIN, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00
  • 89. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 90. Bartosz HUZARSKI, BORA-ARGON 18, at :00
  • 91. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 92. Rafal MAJKA, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 93. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 94. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 95. Kristijan DURASEK, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 96. Bram TANKINK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 97. Rafael VALLS FERRI, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 98. Giampaolo CARUSO, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 99. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 100. Ruben PLAZA MOLINA, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00
  • 101. Frédéric BRUN, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 102. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 103. Tiago MACHADO, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 104. Danilo WYSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 105. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 106. Bob JUNGELS, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 107. Tyler FARRAR, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 108. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 109. Stephen CUMMINGS, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 110. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 111. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 112. Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 113. Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 114. Stef CLEMENT, IAM CYCLING, at :00
  • 115. Serge PAUWELS, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 116. Rigoberto URAN URAN, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 117. Romain SICARD, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 118. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 119. Adam HANSEN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 120. Tim WELLENS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 121. Thomas LEEZER, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 122. Adam YATES, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 123. Arnaud GERARD, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 124. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ, at :00
  • 125. Damien GAUDIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 126. Emanuel BUCHMANN, BORA-ARGON 18, at :00
  • 127. Svein TUFT, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 128. Ryder HESJEDAL, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00
  • 129. Lieuwe WESTRA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 130. Julian David ARREDONDO MORENO, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 131. Jean-Christophe PERAUD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 132. Leopold KONIG, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 133. Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 134. Richie PORTE, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 135. Wouter POELS, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 136. Christopher FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 137. Ian STANNARD, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 138. Nicolas ROCHE, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 139. Geraint THOMAS, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 140. Laurens TEN DAM, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at :00
  • 141. Winner ANACONA GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 142. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 143. Adriano MALORI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 144. José HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 145. Simon GESCHKE, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 146. Stijn DEVOLDER, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
  • 147. Florian VACHON, BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT, at :00
  • 148. Pieter WEENING, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :21
  • 149. Kenneth VAN BILSEN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :00
  • 150. Michele SCARPONI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
  • 151. Rohan DENNIS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
  • 152. Michael ROGERS, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 153. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 154. Thomas VOECKLER, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 155. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
  • 156. Jonathan CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 157. Thomas DE GENDT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 158. Tony GALLOPIN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 159. Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :00
  • 160. Matteo BONO, LAMPRE-MERIDA, at :00

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Froome clinches Tour as Greipel takes finale http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-clinches-tour-as-greipel-takes-finale_379728 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/froome-clinches-tour-as-greipel-takes-finale_379728#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 18:02:01 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379728

Chris Froome and his Sky teammates hit the line together. Photo: AFP

The powerful Lotto-Soudal sprinter takes the final stage in Paris as Sky escorts Froome to his second Tour de France crown

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Chris Froome and his Sky teammates hit the line together. Photo: AFP

PARIS (AFP) — Chris Froome said he felt “incredible” after winning his second Tour de France title following Sunday’s 21st and final stage to Paris.

The 30-year-old crossed the line on the Champs-Élysées linked arm-in-arm with his Sky teammates to clinch a second Grand Boucle crown following his 2013 success.

“This is such a great race. What can I say? I feel a lot of emotion,” said Froome after a Tour in which he was doused with urine, spat at, insulted and accused of cheating.

“Of course it was a very, very difficult Tour, both on the bike and off it. I’m so happy to be here in yellow. There were a few difficulties, a few extra stresses outside of the race, but that’s cycling in 2015.

“I’m happy to be in this position to speak for cycling today.”

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the final stage, his fourth this year and 10th in total, ahead of Bryan Coquard (Europcar) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).

 

Top 10, stage 21

  • 1. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 2:49:41
  • 2. Bryan COQUARD, TEAM EUROPCAR, at :00
  • 3. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
  • 4. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, MTN-QHUBEKA, at :00
  • 5. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at :00
  • 6. Mark CAVENDISH, ETIXX-QUICK STEP, at :00
  • 7. Peter SAGAN, TINKOFF-SAXO, at :00
  • 8. John DEGENKOLB, TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN, at :00
  • 9. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA GreenEDGE, at :00
  • 10. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN, at :00

 

Top 10, GC

  • 1. Christopher FROOME, TEAM SKY, in 84:46:14
  • 2. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:12
  • 3. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 5:25
  • 4. Vincenzo NIBALI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 8:36
  • 5. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, TINKOFF-SAXO, at 9:48
  • 6. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO, at 10:47
  • 7. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK FACTORY RACING, at 15:14
  • 8. Mathias FRANK, IAM CYCLING, at 15:39
  • 9. Romain BARDET, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 16:00
  • 10. Pierre ROLLAND, TEAM EUROPCAR, at 17:30

 

On the overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished second to Froome at a minute and 12 seconds behind with teammate Alejandro Valverde taking third at 5:25.

“I’m not disappointed at all, I’ve confirmed my ability and my status within the team,” said Quintana. “I’m only 25 so I have many more opportunities to try to win the Tour.

“(Froome) is a great rival, he suffered a lot for his victory and was very strong — he deserves it.”

A wet, wild finale

Rain had rendered the cobbles at the finish dangerous so organizers neutralized the race from the moment it reached Paris.

It meant the official timing was stopped just after riders passed the finish line before beginning 10 laps of the famous Parisian avenue.

This allowed Froome and his teammates — wearing black kit with the traditional blue stripe replaced by a yellow one in homage to their leader’s feat — to finish side by side, more than a minute after the stage winner emphasised his sprint superiority at this Tour.

The 33-year-old Greipel had already won the second, fifth and 15th stages in sprint finishes, making this his best ever Tour, eclipsing the three stages he won in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to a rest now,” he said. “This Tour de France has been amazing for Lotto-Soudal. In five bunch sprints we won four of them.

“We can be really proud of this Tour de France. Next year is another … but now I’m really happy and delighted with everything that happened in these last three weeks.”

Greipel’s expected rivals, Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), could only manage sixth and seventh respectively on Sunday.

Sagan did win the sprinter’s green points jersey, though, for the fourth year in a row, despite not managing to win a stage for the second successive year.

Froome finished as king of the mountains — only the sixth rider to finish in yellow and the polka-dot jersey — while 25-year-old Quintana was the best young rider and his Movistar outfit won the team competition.

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Rain forces neutralization of Tour de France finale http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/rain-forces-neutralization-of-tour-de-france-finale_379718 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/rain-forces-neutralization-of-tour-de-france-finale_379718#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 15:04:10 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=379718

Rain led organizers to neutralize the circuits in Paris as the Tour de France comes to an end. Photo: AFP

Rainy weather that made a shambles of the women's race led organizers to neutralize the final circuits of the Tour de France

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Rain led organizers to neutralize the circuits in Paris as the Tour de France comes to an end. Photo: AFP

PARIS (AFP) — Rain has led officials to neutralize the 10 laps around the Champs-Élysées as the Tour de France finishes in Paris.

The final stage takes the peloton from the suburb of Sevres to Paris for 10 7km laps around the famous Parisian avenue.

But race rules state that the stage can be neutralized from the first crossing of the finish line if rain renders the cobbled streets dangerous. The women’s race earlier in the day, La Course by Le Tour de France, saw many crashes on the slippery cobbles.

And as the bunch donned foul-weather kit for the slow roll toward Paris, the judges announced that “the final times of the 2015 Tour de France will be taken at the first crossing of the line on the Champs-Élysées at km 41.”

From that point on, a rider will not lose time even if held up by a crash or mechanical. But he will have to complete all 10 laps and cross the finishing line to earn a final classification.

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