VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:31:53 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour triumph is the culmination of a slow, steady progression http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/vincenzo-nibalis-tour-triumph-culmination-slow-steady-progression_338701 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/vincenzo-nibalis-tour-triumph-culmination-slow-steady-progression_338701#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:31:53 +0000 Barnaby Chesterman, Agence France Presse http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338701

The Tour champ with his wife, Rachel, and daughter Emma. Photo: AFP

The Italian was driven early by dreams of becoming a pro cyclist, and his progression through the ranks has been a slow, steady one

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The Tour champ with his wife, Rachel, and daughter Emma. Photo: AFP

PARIS (AFP) — When Vincenzo Nibali pulled on the race winner’s yellow jersey on the podium beneath the Arc du Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Astana captain was fulfilling in some ways his own destiny.

The 29-year-old Sicilian became the first Italian since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Tour de France, but his success will have surprised no one who knew him as a child.

The Shark, as he has long been known, has been certain about his true calling since falling in love with cycling as a boy in Messina.

He once told a surgeon sewing up a gash in his thigh to “do a good job because I’m going to be a professional cyclist.”

Even back then, Nibali, known as the best and most fearless descender in the peloton, was a daredevil whose escapades regularly necessitated a trip to hospital to be patched up. His mother, Giovanna, said “all the doctors knew his name.”

It was just such single-minded determination that would eventually produce a Tour de France champion.

When he set out at the beginning of this season, Nibali had only one goal in his mind.

“All season I was focusing on the Tour while other riders tried to be strong in every race,” he said.

There was also a certain logical progression to the Astana leader’s success at the Grand Boucle.

Nibali is no Chris Froome, darting out of obscurity as a rider for the Continental squad Barloworld in 2009 to announce himself as a major player with a runner-up finish at the 2011 Vuelta a España. The Italian is the same age as his predecessor as Tour champion, but their career trajectories have been very different.

Right from the beginning Nibali showed promise, winning a stage of the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali as a 21-year-old. A year later he finished 19th in his first grand-tour appearance at the Giro d’Italia.

He developed gradually, finishing sixth at the 2009 Tour and third at the 2010 Giro before winning the 2010 Vuelta, widely considered the least of the three grand tours.

Nibali’s progress continued with a second-place finish at the 2011 Giro, third at the Tour a year later, and then a Giro victory in 2013.

With Froome and former winner Alberto Contador crashing out of this Tour in the first 10 days and Movistar climber Nairo Quintana skipped the race altogether, having won May’s Giro, nothing could be more logical than seeing Nibali standing atop the winner’s podium.

The Italian simply performed consistently, yet not dramatically, better than his competition, never losing a single second on any stage to any of his overall rivals. He has gradually pulled away from the field rather than blitzing them in a single demonstration of his superiority.

“Every day I’ve taken a few seconds, 20 seconds here, 30 seconds there, maybe a minute and that’s been important in building my lead,” he said.

It has made Nibali perhaps the most credible Tour winner since the darkest days of doping.

But what now remains to be seen is whether or not the Shark will have the same bite in 12 months’ time, when Froome, Contador and Quintana will all be lining up to knock him from his perch, not to mention improving young French guns such as Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet.

 

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Despite struggles, Richie Porte remains a grand tour man for the future http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/despite-struggles-richie-porte-remains-grand-tour-man-future_338693 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/despite-struggles-richie-porte-remains-grand-tour-man-future_338693#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:49:20 +0000 Gregor Brown http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338693

Richie Porte had a rough day on stage 13. Unable to keep pace on the final climb, Porte lost almost nine minutes and dropped from second on GC, to 16th place. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Though Porte struggled throughout the 2014 Tour, Sky boss Brailsford thinks he has the ability and leadership skills to captain a

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Richie Porte had a rough day on stage 13. Unable to keep pace on the final climb, Porte lost almost nine minutes and dropped from second on GC, to 16th place. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PÉRIGUEUX, France (VN) — Team Sky considers Richie Porte a grand-tour rider for the future despite his struggles at the 2014 Tour de France.

Porte wrote in his online diary that he felt “buckled” after the final mountain stage to Hautacam on Thursday. He went into the 2014 race as plan B after helping Bradley Wiggins win in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013, and took the reins this year when Froome crashed and abandoned in stage five.

Instead of leading Sky to Paris in yellow, the 29-year-old faded on the first big Alpine stage to Chamrousse and lost 8:48 minutes. He said later that a chest infection might have taken the best out of him, but added that he did not want to look for excuses.

Eyebrows were raised, however. Followers questioned just how reliable and durable Porte is for the grand tour job.

He placed seventh and won the white jersey in his first grand tour, the 2010 Giro d’Italia, but that was largely thanks to taking a massive gain through a mid-race breakaway. In subsequent grand tours, he put his head down, worked, and finished in the 60s to 80s on the classification sheet.

In the 2013 Tour he reached 19th overall, but that was a bit of a letdown for him after he lost 17:39 in the Bagnéres de Bigorre stage.

As the 2014 Tour arrived in Paris, Porte rebounded to take part in a breakaway that saw him last man standing before the peloton finally overhauled him with 7.4km remaining. He finished the 2014 Tour in 23rd place, 1:01:08 behind the victorious Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

But as workers rolled away the stage on the Champs-Élysées, and Sky began to evaluate its Tour de France, its preparation and its riders, it seemed Porte need not fear being relegated to the role of super-domestique.

“There’s no doubt about it,” team boss David Brailsford said of Porte’s leadership ability. “I think in the right race, in the right conditions, the right form … yes. He just needs to get into a scenario where he’s on top and he’s fighting from the front.”

Brailsford added that “absolutely” Porte would have his chance to lead a grand tour again.

“Why not?” he asked.

After the 2013 season, when Porte helped Froome win almost every stage race and pocketed Paris-Nice for himself, Sky selected him to lead its team in the 2014 Giro d’Italia. Porte, though, never reached top speed this spring. He won a stage in the Tour Down Under and pushed on through Tirreno-Adriatico in mid-march, when he fell sick and could not get going again.

“I was where I needed to be, but then I got sick, then sick again on top of that, then a few issues with my bike and things,” he said.

Sky went to the Giro with a team focused on stage wins and left Porte home to recover for the Tour. Ahead of the race, Froome said that his Porte’s training numbers were even better than his and that his Aussie mate could stand beside him on the Paris podium.

But the foul weather that contributed to Froome’s crash out of the Tour likewise brought down Porte with illness, leaving Sky without a GC leader and others wondering if Porte has the ability to lead a grand tour team.

“It knocked the wind out of his sails, to be honest. Like everything, you dust yourself down, you recalibrate, you set yourself new goals,” Brailsford said.

“Has he got the physical ability to be up there in GC in a grand tour? The answer is yes. That’s a fact. Can he do it, mentally and physically? I think he can, but he hasn’t so far. That’s a fact.”

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Gentle giant Marcel Kittel lets his stage-winning legs do his talking http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/gentle-giant-marcel-kittel-lets-stage-winning-legs-talking_338688 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/gentle-giant-marcel-kittel-lets-stage-winning-legs-talking_338688#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:13:55 +0000 Matthew Beaudin http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338688

Marcel Kittel wins the finale in Paris, his second on the Champs-Élysées and the fourth of this year's Tour. Photo: AFP

The powerful speedster with the gentle-giant demeanor is as driven as any other sprinter, and it shows at the finish line

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Marcel Kittel wins the finale in Paris, his second on the Champs-Élysées and the fourth of this year's Tour. Photo: AFP

PARIS, France (VN) — He went from the challenger to the sprint king in one short year. And if there had been any doubt, Marcel Kittel’s 2014 Tour de France confirmed his place as the sprinter’s man to beat. All told, Kittel won four stages at the Tour this year, including the finale in Paris, and asserted himself as the fastest man in the peloton.

For his Giant-Shimano manager, this was the Tour the young German needed. Last season was his surprise crashing of the party. This season was his rightful seating at the head of the table.

“It’s more difficult, eh? Last year, when you challenge somebody it’s nice. You can only win. But this year he can only lose,” Iwan Spekenbrink told VeloNews.

“Especially the first stage. I had a big respect for him. You saw the tension. For all the sprinters second place was not an option. They were so tense. And that he managed to get above himself. After the pressure that he has from himself and from the outside? I think that he proved there that he is one of the three now.”

The other two main men in the sprints, Spekenbrink said, are Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Mark Cavendish and Lotto-Belisol’s Andre Greipel.

Kittel won a yellow jersey for the second year running, and now has eight stage wins in the last two Tours, more than any other true sprinter. His Giant-Shimano squad is also the best in the leadout business right now, making Kittel even harder to beat.

The handsome sprinter with the movie-star hair (and aviator shades) fits the bill physically, without question. But in interviews he lacks that famous sharp edge most of them — the best, anyways — seem to possess. It’s a bit of a gentle-giant vibe he puts out.

But Spekenbrink says he’s just as focused as anyone, if not more so. Just as driven.

“Marcel is a sprinter … For a sprinter, second is the first loser,” he said. “And so they have that tension that you have to cope with. And in the end he wants to win badly.”

For Giant, the success here isn’t something that happened simply on the legs of Kittel, or off the wheel of John Degenkolb. It’s just one more day in a long process that began months, years, ago.

“We make goals and we prepare on every detail as good as we can. Training. Nutrition. Equipment. Focus. Rest. Innovation. And when we do all the steps right then the result is outcome,” Spekenbrink said.

“Then you perform at your level or even above your level. That’s how you perform. You are good. If it’s five, it’s five; if it’s three, it’s three; if it’s one, it’s one … That way we keep developing.

“We focus not on ‘You have to win today,’ but we focus on the work that we do from November. Then here at the start basically we have not so much to say anymore.”

After the 2014 Tour, Kittel doesn’t have to say a word.

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Results: 2014 Tour de France, stage 21 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/results-2014-tour-de-france-stage-21_338668 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/results-2014-tour-de-france-stage-21_338668#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:42:02 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338668

The jersey winners of the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: AFP

Results from the 21st and final stage of the 2014 Tour de France

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The jersey winners of the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: AFP

  • 1. Marcel KITTEL, Giant-Shimano, in 3:20:50
  • 2. Alexander KRISTOFF, Katusha, at :00
  • 3. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, Garmin-Sharp, at :00
  • 4. André GREIPEL, Lotto-Belisol, at :00
  • 5. Mark RENSHAW, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
  • 6. Bernhard EISEL, Sky, at :00
  • 7. Bryan COQUARD, Europcar, at :00
  • 8. Alessandro PETACCHI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
  • 9. Peter SAGAN, Cannondale, at :00
  • 10. Romain FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :00
  • 11. Daniele BENNATI, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :00
  • 12. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ.fr, at :00
  • 13. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC Racing, at :00
  • 14. Adrien PETIT, Cofidis, at :00
  • 15. Sep VANMARCKE, Belkin, at :00
  • 16. Daniel OSS, BMC Racing, at :00
  • 17. Davide CIMOLAI, Lampre-Merida, at :00
  • 18. Romain BARDET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :04
  • 19. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at :04
  • 20. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, Garmin-Sharp, at :04
  • 21. Roger KLUGE, IAM Cycling, at :06
  • 22. Kévin REZA, Europcar, at :06
  • 23. Jack BAUER, Garmin-Sharp, at :06
  • 24. Tom VEELERS, Giant-Shimano, at :06
  • 25. Elia VIVIANI, Cannondale, at :09
  • 26. Jens VOIGT, Trek Factory Racing, at :09
  • 27. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at :09
  • 28. Samuel DUMOULIN, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :09
  • 29. Peter VELITS, BMC Racing, at :09
  • 30. Bram TANKINK, Belkin, at :09
  • 31. Matteo MONTAGUTI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :09
  • 32. Sylvain CHAVANEL, IAM Cycling, at :09
  • 33. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at :09
  • 34. Sébastien MINARD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :09
  • 35. Christophe RIBLON, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :09
  • 36. Jean-Christophe PERAUD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :09
  • 37. Christopher HORNER, Lampre-Merida, at :09
  • 38. Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, Lampre-Merida, at :09
  • 39. Geraint THOMAS, Sky, at :09
  • 40. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ.fr, at :15
  • 41. Koen DE KORT, Giant-Shimano, at :15
  • 42. Martin ELMIGER, IAM Cycling, at :15
  • 43. Michael ALBASINI, Orica-GreenEdge, at :15
  • 44. Anthony DELAPLACE, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :15
  • 45. Julien SIMON, Cofidis, at :15
  • 46. Michael SCHÄR, BMC Racing, at :15
  • 47. Bauke MOLLEMA, Belkin, at :15
  • 48. William BONNET, FDJ.fr, at :15
  • 49. Lars BOOM, Belkin, at :15
  • 50. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at :15
  • 51. Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU, Trek Factory Racing, at :15
  • 52. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at :15
  • 53. Frank SCHLECK, Trek Factory Racing, at :15
  • 54. Leopold KONIG, NetApp-Endura, at :15
  • 55. Peter STETINA, BMC Racing, at :15
  • 56. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ.fr, at :15
  • 57. Jan BARTA, NetApp-Endura, at :15
  • 58. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at :15
  • 59. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at :15
  • 60. Tom DUMOULIN, Giant-Shimano, at :15
  • 61. David LOPEZ GARCIA, Sky, at :15
  • 62. Jean-Marc BIDEAU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :15
  • 63. Matteo TRENTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :15
  • 64. Jérémy ROY, FDJ.fr, at :15
  • 65. Imanol ERVITI, Movistar, at :15
  • 66. Cyril GAUTIER, Europcar, at :15
  • 67. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at :15
  • 68. Grégory RAST, Trek Factory Racing, at :24
  • 69. Michael MORKOV, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :24
  • 70. Gatis SMUKULIS, Katusha, at :24
  • 71. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at :24
  • 72. Andriy GRIVKO, Astana, at :24
  • 73. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ.fr, at :24
  • 74. Jurgen ROELANDTS, Lotto-Belisol, at :24
  • 75. Lieuwe WESTRA, Astana, at :24
  • 76. Marco MARCATO, Cannondale, at :24
  • 77. Florian GUILLOU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :24
  • 78. Michele SCARPONI, Astana, at :24
  • 79. Brice FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :24
  • 80. Alessandro VANOTTI, Astana, at :24
  • 81. Vincenzo NIBALI, Astana, at :24
  • 82. Benoit JARRIER, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :24
  • 83. Marcel WYSS, IAM Cycling, at :24
  • 84. Ben GASTAUER, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :24
  • 85. Matthew BUSCHE, Trek Factory Racing, at :24
  • 86. Michal GOLAS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :24
  • 87. Kristijan KOREN, Cannondale, at :24
  • 88. Kristijan DURASEK, Lampre-Merida, at :24
  • 89. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at :24
  • 90. Mikael CHEREL, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :24
  • 91. Bartosz HUZARSKI, NetApp-Endura, at :24
  • 92. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at :24
  • 93. Rafal MAJKA, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :24
  • 94. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, Belkin, at :24
  • 95. Jens KEUKELEIRE, Orica-GreenEdge, at :24
  • 96. Tom Jelte SLAGTER, Garmin-Sharp, at :24
  • 97. Ruben PLAZA MOLINA, Movistar, at :24
  • 98. Maciej BODNAR, Cannondale, at :24
  • 99. Marcel SIEBERG, Lotto-Belisol, at :24
  • 100. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, Astana, at :24
  • 101. Jakob FUGLSANG, Astana, at :24
  • 102. John GADRET, Movistar, at :24
  • 103. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at :24
  • 104. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :24
  • 105. Sebastian LANGEVELD, Garmin-Sharp, at :24
  • 106. Andreas SCHILLINGER, NetApp-Endura, at :24
  • 107. Michael ROGERS, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :34
  • 108. John DEGENKOLB, Giant-Shimano, at :36
  • 109. Tony MARTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :39
  • 110. Niki TERPSTRA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :39
  • 111. Perrig QUEMENEUR, Europcar, at :41
  • 112. Matteo TOSATTO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :41
  • 113. Nicolas ROCHE, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :41
  • 114. Jan BAKELANTS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :41
  • 115. Yohann GENE, Europcar, at :45
  • 116. Tiago MACHADO, NetApp-Endura, at :47
  • 117. Paul VOSS, NetApp-Endura, at :47
  • 118. Yukiya ARASHIRO, Europcar, at :47
  • 119. Thomas VOECKLER, Europcar, at :55
  • 120. Giovanni VISCONTI, Movistar, at :55
  • 121. José Joao PIMENTA COSTA MENDES, NetApp-Endura, at :57
  • 122. Richie PORTE, Sky, at :57
  • 123. Armindo FONSECA, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :57
  • 124. Albert TIMMER, Giant-Shimano, at :57
  • 125. Sébastien REICHENBACH, IAM Cycling, at :57
  • 126. Roy CURVERS, Giant-Shimano, at :57
  • 127. Alex HOWES, Garmin-Sharp, at :57
  • 128. Benjamin KING, Garmin-Sharp, at :57
  • 129. Amaël MOINARD, BMC Racing, at :57
  • 130. Benat INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Movistar, at :57
  • 131. Maxim IGLINSKY, Astana, at :57
  • 132. Nicolas EDET, Cofidis, at 1:02
  • 133. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ.fr, at 1:02
  • 134. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:04
  • 135. Fabio SABATINI, Cannondale, at 1:06
  • 136. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC Racing, at 1:08
  • 137. Luca PAOLINI, Katusha, at 1:12
  • 138. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 1:17
  • 139. Jean Marc MARINO, Cannondale, at 1:17
  • 140. Simon CLARKE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:20
  • 141. Luke DURBRIDGE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:20
  • 142. Christian MEIER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:20
  • 143. Danny PATE, Sky, at 1:20
  • 144. Svein TUFT, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:20
  • 145. Rudy MOLARD, Cofidis, at 1:20
  • 146. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at 1:20
  • 147. Vladimir ISAICHEV, Katusha, at 1:20
  • 148. Tony GALLOPIN, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:20
  • 149. Jérôme PINEAU, IAM Cycling, at 1:20
  • 150. Rein TAARAMAE, Cofidis, at 1:20
  • 151. Arnaud GERARD, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 1:20
  • 152. Maarten WYNANTS, Belkin, at 1:20
  • 153. Thomas LEEZER, Belkin, at 1:20
  • 154. Arnold JEANNESSON, FDJ.fr, at 1:20
  • 155. Cyril LEMOINE, Cofidis, at 1:26
  • 156. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:30
  • 157. Lars Ytting BAK, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:41
  • 158. Zakkari DEMPSTER, NetApp-Endura, at 1:51
  • 159. Florian VACHON, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 1:56
  • 160. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 1:59
  • 161. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Sky, at 3:39
  • 162. Biel KADRI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 4:05
  • 163. Alexandre PICHOT, Europcar, at 4:33
  • 164. Cheng JI, Giant-Shimano, at 9:25

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Vincenzo Nibali confirms Tour title as Marcel Kittel wins finale http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/vincenzo-nibali-confirms-tour-title-marcel-kittel-wins-finale_338659 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/vincenzo-nibali-confirms-tour-title-marcel-kittel-wins-finale_338659#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:29:26 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338659

The final podium in the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: AFP

Kittel claims his fourth stage win of this Tour on the Champs-Élysées as Nibali crosses safely with the bunch to confirm his overall title

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The final podium in the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: AFP

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) collected the final yellow jersey of the 2014 Tour de France on Sunday in Paris as Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the 21st and final stage, a 136km leg from Evry that ended with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées.

Kittel took his second win on the fabled boulevard ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp).

“I was hoping I could still make it,” said Kittel after collecting his fourth stage win of this Tour. “Kristoff really held against me. I tried to pass him. At one moment, he couldn’t accelerate any more, and that was my moment. I’m super proud and very happy.”

On the overall, it was Nibali triumphant by 7:52 over Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r La Mondiale) with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) third.

“This is the most beautiful moment of my life,” said Nibali. “It is even more beautiful than I imagined. I dedicate this success to my team and my family. It’s like a fairy tale.”

As Astana led Nibali onto the finishing circuit first Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), then Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) had a go, before a four-man break went clear — Richie Porte (Sky), Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida) and Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Seche Environnement)

Péraud had a fright early on, sliding out with less than 44km to go, but remounted and rejoined with the help of three teammates.

“It’s never easy in the race, and I never do things simply,” he said afterward. “I suspected something was going to happen.”

A few kilometers further along Kristoff punctured and likewise found himself frantically chasing the bunch.

With 25km to race the break had shed Fonseca and had just 18 seconds’ advantage.

As the bunch closed in Svein Tuft and Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol) and Samuel Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) tried to bridge to the leaders, but fell short.

Porte would be the last man standing, but not for long. He was yanked back as a light sprinkle began to fall, with 7.4km to go.

Then Lotto, Katusha and Giant set about arranging themselves for the sprint, only to see Simon Clarke (Orica-Green-Edge) take a last dig.

With 4km to go Clarke had seven seconds over the bunch. But he, too, was caught and Giant, Omega Pharma and Katusha all went to war in the final 3km, with Kittel taking the final stage —and Nibali the final yellow jersey — of the 2014 Tour de France.

“I fought for this every day,” said Nibali. “I started building from a long way out with a winter preparation with the team because we had decided this was our objective.

“I want to thank my team because when you achieve an objective, you do so together, not just those here with me but also those back in Italy. It’s a success that I want to dedicate to all the staff in the team and to my family, my wife, Rachelle, and my daughter Emma.

“If it hadn’t been for my parents who have supported me since the beginning then I wouldn’t have been here. I’ve never felt more emotional in my career.”

Race note

Before the men took center stage, Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) won the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France, an 89km race using the same finishing circuit as the men would attack later in the day.

 

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Marianne Vos sprints to victory in 1st La Course by Le Tour de France http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/marianne-vos-sprints-victory-1st-la-course-le-tour-de-france_338646 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/marianne-vos-sprints-victory-1st-la-course-le-tour-de-france_338646#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:02:10 +0000 Matthew Beaudin http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338646

World champion Marianne Vos is congratulated following her victory in the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews

The world champion sprints to the victory in the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France, a women's circuit race on the Champs-Élysées

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World champion Marianne Vos is congratulated following her victory in the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews

PARIS, France (VN) — As if it were ever in doubt.

Marianne Vos won the first La Course by Le Tour de France in Paris on Sunday, in an excruciatingly long sprint up the bumpy Champs-Élyseés. She coasted through the sunny finish here in her white jersey with rainbow stripes, smiling and happy; a rider used to making history adding another line to her ever-lengthening story.

Her Liv-Giant teammates pooled around her, hugs and smiles for the champ on the world’s grandest cycling stage. It may have been a long time coming, this event for women’s cycling, but it was here now, and that much wasn’t lost.

“It’s only the very first but it’s really prestigious. Everybody was focused on this race. Everybody was motivated to show themselves. And the whole world was watching,” Vos said. “There were a lot of sprinters. Good sprinters here. On the cobbles, slightly uphill with the wind … it’s not easy to win. But definitely that makes the win even better.”

Indeed, the cycling world was watching. The crowds were large but not huge, but the event was broadcast in more than 150 countries.

“Definitely this is a start in the right direction for women’s cycling,” said Specialized-lulumon’s Carmen Small. “And to be on such a big platform — the crowds were great today. And what was it, [150] countries live, something like that? So that’s incredible in itself. I think everyone’s pretty excited, as this is a start for showcasing women’s cycling.”

The race itself — 90 kilometers played out in the early afternoon sun on a splendid summer day — was hectic, with attacks off the front and little control from Vos’ Rabo-Liv team.

“The last couple circuits were pretty active. Lots of attacks and everything. I think at the end of the day everybody wanted it to come down to a sprint finish. Pretty surprised there wasn’t one main, dominant team in the leadout,” UnitedHealthcare’s Coryn Rivera said.

“I felt like it was really scattered. But yeah, I was just surfing wheels from the last K or so … there was a crash by the barriers kind of like, you know, put everyone on their toes, but yeah, it was being like third or fourth, through that last corner.”

Rivera finished sixth on the day, a place behind Shelley Olds (Ale Cipollini), the best-placed American. Vos beat Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) in the drag race.

“We started the sprint at the same time,” Vos said. “Then I had one gear left, then I pushed the extra gear, and I felt I was going to win. But you’re never sure till you’re over the line.”

The avenue, which plays host to the men’s race hours later, is cycling’s hallowed sprint ground, and one of the world’s iconic boulevards. Not that people could notice.

“I don’t know about anyone else but I was suffering pretty bad out there,” Small said. For UHC’s Scottie Wilbourne it was her first one-day race in Europe.

“I’m pretty whupped,” she said. “It was awesome. It’s a pleasure to be here … I’m pretty new to UHC, so I was pretty honored to be asked to be a part of it. I’m just happy to be here.”

 

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Improved drug testing helped me win, says Vincenzo Nibali http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/improved-drug-testing-helped-win-says-vincenzo-nibali_338632 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/improved-drug-testing-helped-win-says-vincenzo-nibali_338632#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:58:54 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338632

Vincenzo Nibali says he would not have had the opportunity to win the Tour de France without the sport's improved anti-doping tests. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Italian is widely regarded as a clean rider, and his impending Tour victory is seen as proof that cyclists can win without cheating

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Vincenzo Nibali says he would not have had the opportunity to win the Tour de France without the sport's improved anti-doping tests. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PARIS (AFP) — Vincenzo Nibali said he would never have had a chance to win the Tour de France had it not been for recent improvements in anti-doping efforts.

The 29-year-old Italian is widely regarded as a clean rider, and his impending victory at the 2014 Tour is seen as proof that cyclists can win without cheating.

The reaction to his success is a far cry from that which greeted Lance Armstrong’s seven consecutive wins during the darkest days of blood doping and use of the banned substance Erythropoietin (EPO).

When Armstrong won his first Tour — he has since been stripped of all seven — there was no test for EPO. Throughout his reign, testers were struggling to keep up with the cheats.

But now with random out-of-competition tests and the biological passport, cycling has come a long way.

“Steps have been taken and great progress has been made, and with it so my results have arrived,” said Nibali.

“I have to thank them (doping controllers) because without these iron controls maybe I wouldn’t be here today.”

Barring a disaster on Sunday’s final stage procession that culminates on the Champs-Élysées, Nibali will join a select group of six riders to have won all three grand tours — after taking the Vuelta a España in 2010 and Giro d’Italia in 2013.

He admitted that while each grand tour had its merits, there was something special about winning the Tour.

“For me the Vuelta was the most important because it showed me that I could aim to win big tours like the Giro and the Tour in the following years,” he said.

“As an Italian it’s obvious that for me the Giro is very important but it’s also special for the Italian fans. But what makes the Tour so much bigger is the international attention it demands. It’s different, it’s bigger, it’s more beautiful.

“The level of competition is also higher than the others, although I had great rivals in both the Giro and the Vuelta.”

Nibali will become the 10th Italian to win the Tour but he said he still has some way to go to match the achievements of the likes of Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, and Felice Gimondi.

And he said he still has many ambitions left in the sport.

“I’ve taken my place in the history of the Tour and that’s very important, but those others also made their names in other great races, such as the classics,” he said.

“I never thought about making history, I just concentrated on trying to win the Tour, like I won the Giro and the Vuelta, because I’m a stage racer.

“Of course there are other races that I want to to win, like the Tour of Lombardy in which I’ve come close many times but not had the luck. Or the World Championships, which I tried to win last year, or Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“I’ve always liked these races and I’d like to try to win them, even though I’m more suited to stage races.”

Nibali has won four stages in this Tour and has never had a bad day or lost time to any of his rivals on any stage.

But he said Sunday would probably top all the joy he’s had over the last three weeks.

“I’m used to the emotions, it’s not my first Tour nor my first win in a grand tour. But there have been a lot of emotions and victories, such as the one in Sheffield [on the second stage], although I think the best one will be on Sunday.”

After that, he still has one more aim for the season, to win the world championships in Spain in September.

“That’s a good dream. I tried last year in Florence because I was in good form but things didn’t quite go as I’d hoped.

“But I will try to do it, and who knows, although after the Tour it’s difficult to arrive at the end of the season in good form.”

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First look: Bianchi’s new Aquila CV time trial bike http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/first-look-bianchis-new-aquila-cv-time-trial-bike_338608 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/first-look-bianchis-new-aquila-cv-time-trial-bike_338608#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:34:30 +0000 Caley Fretz http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338608

Bianchi's latest features impressive integration and anti-vibration technology borrowed from its endurance road bike

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Results: 2014 La Course by Le Tour de France http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/results-2014-la-course-le-tour-de-france_338627 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/results-2014-la-course-le-tour-de-france_338627#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:37:15 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338627 Results from the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France

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  • 1. Marianne VOS, Rabo-liv, in 2:00:41
  • 2. Kirsten WILD, Giant-Shimano, at :00
  • 3. Leah KIRCHMANN, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at :00
  • 4. Lisa BRENNAUER, Specialized-lululemon, at :00
  • 5. Shelley OLDS, Ale Cipollini, at :00
  • 6. Coryn RIVERA, UnitedHealthcare, at :00
  • 7. Jolien D’HOORE, Lotto-Belisol Ladies, at :00
  • 8. Emma JOHANSSON, Orica-AIS, at :00
  • 9. Simona FRAPPORTI, Astana-BePink, at :00
  • 10. Roxane FOURNIER, Vienne Futuroscope, at :00
  • 11. Giorgia BRONZINI, Wiggle-Honda, at :00
  • 12. Lizzie WILLIAMS, AUS, at :00
  • 13. Fiona DUTRIAUX, Vienne Futuroscope, at :00
  • 14. Elena CECCHINI, Estado de Mexico Faren, at :00
  • 15. Aude BIANNIC, FRA, at :00
  • 16. Christine MAJERUS, Boels Dolmans, at :00
  • 17. Oxana KOZONCHUK, RusVelo, at :00
  • 18. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, Rabo-liv, at :00
  • 19. Eleonora VAN DIJK, Boels Dolmans, at :00
  • 20. Chloe HOSKING, HiTec Products, at :00
  • 21. Hannah BARNES, UnitedHealthcare, at :00
  • 22. Fanny RIBEROT, FRA, at :04
  • 23. Alena AMIALIUSIK, Astana-BePink, at :06
  • 24. Sharon LAWS, UnitedHealthcare, at :10
  • 25. Marta TAGLIAFERRO, Ale Cipollini, at :10
  • 26. Yulia BLINDYUK, RusVelo, at :10
  • 27. Clemilda FERNANDES SILVA, Bizkaia-Durango, at :20
  • 28. Lucinda BRAND, Rabo-liv, at :20
  • 29. Vera KOEDOODER, Bigla, at :20
  • 30. Sarah ROY, Vienne Futuroscope, at :20
  • 31. Susanna ZORZI, Astana-BePink, at :20
  • 32. Valentina SCANDOLARA, Orica-AIS, at :20
  • 33. Taryn HEATHER, Bigla, at :20
  • 34. Carmen SMALL, Specialized-lululemon, at :20
  • 35. Rachel NEYLAN, AUS, at :20
  • 36. Janel HOLCOMB, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at :20
  • 37. Chantal BLAAK, Specialized-lululemon, at :20
  • 38. Romy KASPER, Boels Dolmans, at :20
  • 39. Amy PIETERS, Giant-Shimano, at :20
  • 40. Janine VAN DER MEER, NED, at :20
  • 41. Marcia FERNANDES SILVA, Bizkaia-Durango, at :20
  • 42. Katarzyna PAWLOWSKA, Boels Dolmans, at :20
  • 43. Emily COLLINS, Wiggle-Honda, at :20
  • 44. Brianna WALLE, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at :20
  • 45. Elena KUCHINSKAYA, RusVelo, at :20
  • 46. Nina KESSLER, Boels Dolmans, at :20
  • 47. Cecilie Gotaas JOHNSEN, HiTec Products, at :20
  • 48. Charlotte LENTING, NED, at :20
  • 49. Charlotte BRAVARD, Vienne Futuroscope, at :20
  • 50. Irene SAN SEBASTIAN LASA, Bizkaia-Durango, at :20
  • 51. Jade WILCOXSON, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at :20
  • 52. Dorleta ESKAMENDI GIL, Bizkaia-Durango, at :20
  • 53. Sara MUSTONEN, Giant-Shimano, at :20
  • 54. Cari HIGGINS, UnitedHealthcare, at :20
  • 55. Liesbet DE VOCHT, Lotto-Belisol Ladies, at :20
  • 56. Lotta LEPISTÖ, Bigla, at :20
  • 57. Melodie LESUEUR, FRA, at :20
  • 58. Amélie RIVAT, Vienne Futuroscope, at :20
  • 59. Trixi WORRACK, Specialized-lululemon, at :20
  • 60. Lieselot DECROIX, Lotto-Belisol Ladies, at :20
  • 61. Yulia ILINYKH, Bizkaia-Durango, at :20
  • 62. Chantal HOFFMANN, Lotto-Belisol Ladies, at :20
  • 63. Emilia FAHLIN, Wiggle-Honda, at :20
  • 64. Jacqueline HAHN, Bigla, at :20
  • 65. Elise DELZENNE, Specialized-lululemon, at :20
  • 66. Audrey CORDON, HiTec Products, at :20
  • 67. Malgorzta JASINSKA, Ale Cipollini, at :20
  • 68. Maaike POLSPOEL, Giant-Shimano, at :27
  • 69. Jessie MACLEAN, Orica-AIS, at :27
  • 70. Anna VAN DER BREGGEN, Rabo-liv, at :27
  • 71. Iris SLAPPENDEL, Rabo-liv, at :27
  • 72. Gracie ELVIN, Orica-AIS, at :27
  • 73. Carlee TAYLOR, Orica-AIS, at :30
  • 74. Jessica MUNDY, AUS, at :30
  • 75. Amanda SPRATT, Orica-AIS, at :30
  • 76. Charlotte BECKER, Wiggle-Honda, at :39
  • 77. Emilie MOBERG, HiTec Products, at :56
  • 78. Giada BORGATO, Estado de Mexico Faren, at 1:02
  • 79. Eugénie DUVAL, FRA, at 1:13
  • 80. Marion SICOT, FRA, at 1:13
  • 81. Anouska KOSTER, NED, at 1:13
  • 82. Ashlynn VAN BAARLE, NED, at 1:16
  • 83. Silvia VALSECCHI, Astana-BePink, at 1:16
  • 84. Emma POOLEY, Lotto-Belisol Ladies, at 1:16
  • 85. Julia SOEK, Giant-Shimano, at 1:16
  • 86. Tayler WILES, Specialized-lululemon, at 1:19
  • 87. Lauren TAMAYO, UnitedHealthcare, at 1:19
  • 88. Denise RAMSDEN, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 1:19
  • 89. Lauren HALL, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 1:19
  • 90. Tatiana GUDERZO, Ale Cipollini, at 1:28
  • 91. Barbara GUARISCHI, Ale Cipollini, at 1:28
  • 92. Elena BERLATO, Ale Cipollini, at 1:28
  • 93. Pauline FERRAND PREVOT, Rabo-liv, at 2:21
  • 94. Elizabeth ARMITSTEAD, Boels Dolmans, at 3:11
  • 95. Anastasiya CHULKOVA, RusVelo, at 4:10
  • DNF Anna Zita Maria STRICKER, Astana-BePink
  • DNF Makhabbat UMUTZHANOVA, Astana-BePink
  • DNF Jenelle CROOKS, AUS
  • DNF Louisa LOBIGS, AUS
  • DNF Desiree EHRLER, Bigla
  • DNF Elke GEBHARDT, Bigla
  • DNF Leire OLABERRIA DORRONSORO, Bizkaia-Durango
  • DNF Ana Teresa CASAS BONILLA, Estado de Mexico Faren
  • DNF Maria Giulia CONFALONIERI, Estado de Mexico Faren
  • DNF Carolina RODRIGUEZ GUTIERREZ, Estado de Mexico Faren
  • DNF Anna TREVISI, Estado de Mexico Faren
  • DNF Sophie CREUX, FRA
  • DNF Tone Hatteland LIMA, HiTec Products
  • DNF Elisa LONGO BORGHINI, HiTec Products
  • DNF Anisha VEKEMANS, Lotto-Belisol Ladies
  • DNF Kirsten COPPENS, NED
  • DNF Evy KUIJPERS, NED
  • DNF Pascale JEULAND, Vienne Futuroscope
  • DNF Alexandra BURCHENKOVA, RusVelo
  • DNF Maria MISHINA, RusVelo
  • DNF Willeke KNOL, Giant-Shimano
  • DNF Scotti WILBORNE, UnitedHealthcare
  • DNF Beatrice BARTELLONI, Wiggle-Honda
  • DNF Kathryn BERTINE, Wiggle-Honda

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Pro Bike: Peter Sagan’s Cannondale SuperSix EVO is watching you http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/road/pro-bike-peter-sagans-cannondale-supersix-evo-watching_338277 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/road/pro-bike-peter-sagans-cannondale-supersix-evo-watching_338277#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:43:54 +0000 Caley Fretz http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338277

Cannondale pulled out all the stops for Peter Sagan's custom-painted SuperSix EVO

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Pro Bike: Tony Martin’s stage-winning Specialized S-Works Shiv http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/pro-bike-tony-martins-stage-winning-specialized-s-works-shiv_338580 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/pro-bike-tony-martins-stage-winning-specialized-s-works-shiv_338580#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:45:28 +0000 Caley Fretz http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338580

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the Tour de France's time trial with a healthy buffer aboard this custom painted Specialized S-Works Shiv. Martin rode the stage with a 58-tooth chainring, combined with SRAM's long-cage Red WiFli rear derailleur and a wide 11-32 cassette. The big rear cog was mounted so that Martin could stay in the big ring over the entire course. He raced on custom painted Zipp tubular wheels. Specialized had previously announced that he would be racing on the company's new Turbo Cotton clincher, but he ended up riding the tubular version instead. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Caley Fretz looks over the Specialized S-Works Shiv that Tony Martin rode to victory in the 2014 Tour's only time trial

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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the Tour de France's time trial with a healthy buffer aboard this custom painted Specialized S-Works Shiv. Martin rode the stage with a 58-tooth chainring, combined with SRAM's long-cage Red WiFli rear derailleur and a wide 11-32 cassette. The big rear cog was mounted so that Martin could stay in the big ring over the entire course. He raced on custom painted Zipp tubular wheels. Specialized had previously announced that he would be racing on the company's new Turbo Cotton clincher, but he ended up riding the tubular version instead. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

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Tony Martin says he would have been tough to beat, no matter who showed up http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/tony-martin-says-tough-beat-matter-showed_338575 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/tony-martin-says-tough-beat-matter-showed_338575#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:56:20 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338575

World time trial champion Tony Martin was untouchable on Saturday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The reigning world champion in the race of truth acknowledged that some strong rivals were absent, but says he'd have been hard to beat

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World time trial champion Tony Martin was untouchable on Saturday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

PERIGUEUX, France AFP) — Tony Martin said he would have been tough to beat even if the rest of the best time trialists in the world had been at the Tour de France on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider, a three-time world champion in the race against the clock, won the stage-20 individual time trial in decisive fashion. He beat the Dutch time trial champion, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano), by a minute and 39 seconds over the 54km course from Bergerac to Périgueux, while Czech champ Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) had to settle for third at 1:47.

Martin said the race might have been tighter had other top time trialists been there, but says he would have been tough to beat in any case.

“A lot of guys couldn’t start today from the real contenders, like Bradley Wiggins and Fabian Cancellara,” he said.

“To be honest I made a really good race today, my condition was really good, I still have power after three weeks.

“It’s really hard to say, but I think today it would have been hard for anybody to beat me.”

Even so, Martin was struck by the margin of his victory.

“I’m a little surprised — after three weeks of the Tour de France I expected to be a little bit more tired and I thought many others would finish closer, but right from the start I had a good feeling and I knew it could be my race today,” he said.

Dumoulin said he had done his best, adding that beating Martin would have been a step too far.

“It was long and hard, especially after three weeks,” he said. “Tony Martin is at another level. On such a long time trial, it’s impossible for me to beat him.”

Barta felt he had made a tactical error, although he was happy with his showing.

“I rode a good time trial but I was a little bit too fast in the first part,” he said.

Another strong man in the race of truth, Spanish TT champ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), struggled in the test and could finish only 28th on the day, leaving him fourth overall.

“I was aware throughout the stage that I was losing the podium. I tried to do well but my body didn’t respond,” he said.

“When you give it everything, you can’t have regrets. But I’m happy, fourth at the Tour de France is a good result.”

And his season isn’t over yet.

“The Tour is important, but it’s not the only race,” said Valverde. “I’ll go to the Vuelta (a España) with ambitions too.”

 

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Jean-Christophe Peraud, Thibaut Pinot make history in French podium http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/peraud-pinot-make-history-french-podium_338488 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/peraud-pinot-make-history-french-podium_338488#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:34:04 +0000 Andrew Hood http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338488

Teammates and press surround Jean-Christophe Péraud after he finished the time trial. Photo: AFP

Two French riders secured places on the Tour podium for the first time since the Fignon-Hinault era, ending a drought dating back to 1997

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Teammates and press surround Jean-Christophe Péraud after he finished the time trial. Photo: AFP

Tears of joy poured out at the finish line Saturday in Périgueux as two French riders achieved the unthinkable, reaching the Tour de France podium for the first time since 1997.

It wasn’t just the riders who couldn’t control their emotions. Sport directors, managers, mechanics, and soigneurs all rejoiced at the historic French double podium — the first since Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault were first and second in 1984 — something that was unthinkable when the Tour started in Leeds three weeks ago.

Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r La Mondiale) leaned against the race barriers, burying his face in his hands as the enormity of his accomplishment overwhelmed him.

At 37, Péraud overcame a feisty Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), erasing a 13-second deficit to his young compatriot and refusing to panic with a late-stage puncture, to equal France’s best Tour result in nearly two decades, when Richard Virenque was second to Jan Ullrich in 1997.

Cycling’s changed a lot since those days, and the emotional outpouring was more than a celebration of this year’s achievement. It also served as a salve for nearly two decades of frustration, self-doubt, and even humiliation as the once-proud French were outgunned in their national tour.

“It’s an enormous satisfaction,” Péraud said. “The withdrawals of (Chris) Froome and (Alberto) Contador opened a range of possibilities, and I started to dream about second place. I’m happy to have achieved that goal. I have a feeling of ‘mission accomplished’ and a lot of joy today.”

As Péraud mentioned, the unexpected exits of pre-race favorites Froome (Sky) and Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) reshuffled the GC deck, opening the door for riders who would normally be challenging for a top-10 to have a shot at the podium.

In fact, Péraud’s previous Tour best was ninth in 2011, while Pinot finished 10th in 2012 — solid results, but no one was counting on them to fill the void when Froome and Contador flamed out in the first week.

Pinot, however, continued to impress throughout the Tour, pushing the more experienced and veteran Péraud right to the end. Already certain of a spot in Paris with the white jersey of the best young rider, Pinot, 24, is seen as a legitimate French hope to win the Tour some day.

While Péraud took full advantage of an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Pinot confirmed his status as a rider with a future.

“I still don’t realize what I have accomplished,” a tearful Pinot said at the line in a rush of TV cameras. “If three weeks ago, someone had told me I would achieve this, I wouldn’t have believed them. It’s something extraordinary.”

The final time trial was also about pride, and the French weren’t the only ones who went down swinging.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) posted an excellent ride, finishing sixth at 2:08 behind winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), but just six seconds slower than Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who was fastest among the GC contenders.

The ride, coupled with a late-stage puncture by Bardet, allowed van Garderen to bounce up to fifth overall by just two seconds, matching his career-best in 2012. Bardet’s puncture might have helped van Garderen to move up, but the American’s bad day in the Pyrénées on Tuesday, when he lost four minutes to the Frenchmen, certainly cost him a chance at the podium.

“I gave everything I could. It feels good to move up one place,” van Garderen said. “I definitely showed that I deserved to be up there in a top position. I learned never to give up. I really had to fight through a lot. I am really proud of my guys and what I did. It shows you can take your lumps, and get back up, and fight to the end.”

Bardet, at just 23, was also impressive, topping last year’s 15th-place finish in his debut Tour with panache. Though he slipped down to sixth, his performance Saturday proved that he can defend gains earned in the mountains, signaling better things to come as he continues to mature and gain experience.

“To miss [fifth] by two seconds is very frustrating,” Bardet said. “Three weeks of nonstop work, and now this. I’ve never ridden a time trial that long before, and without my puncture, I think I would have secured fifth. I am learning from Jean-Christophe, for whom I have tremendous respect.”

While France celebrated its good tidings, the day’s big loser was Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who started the day just 15 seconds behind Pinot’s second place. A strong time trial could have secured him a career-first podium. Instead, Valverde struggled, as he has throughout this Tour, stopping the clock at 4:28 slower in 28th position, settling into fourth, 1:31 off Pinot’s third place.

“I started as fast as I could, but the legs didn’t respond as I had hoped,” Valverde said. “Fourth is not bad, but I came here thinking podium, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Like Péraud, Valverde was looking at perhaps his last chance to reach the podium of his career. But while Péraud wept tears of joy, Valverde will leave the Tour in frustration, haunted by an opportunity missed. At 34, the Spaniard won’t have many more chances, especially with the rise of teammate Nairo Quintana, who won the Giro d’Italia in May, and will return to the Tour next year with eyes on the yellow jersey.

“I don’t know if this is an end of a cycle,” Valverde said. “If I return to the Tour, I am not sure what my objectives will be. … The last week of the Tour was very hard, but the entire Tour was difficult, with bad weather. I fought until the end, but when you give everything, you cannot ask for more.”

The 2014 Tour concludes Sunday with two Frenchmen on the final podium, something unimaginable at the beginning of the season.

As cycling continues to evolve, the French seem to have finally caught up to the advances made throughout the peloton. The excuse of a “peloton at two speeds” no longer holds water in the era of the biological passport and a cleaner, more transparent peloton.

And what’s notable about this year’s breakout French performances is that they came out of the GC group. Unlike France’s other recent top ride, with Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) finishing fourth in 2011, Pinot, Bardet and Péraud didn’t take time in early race breakaways and then hold on for dear life, as Voeckler did. Instead, they paced themselves with the favorites, and with the GC field decimated by crashes and poor health, even went on the attack.

France’s Achilles heel has always been the inability to effectively time trial against the GC favorites. Saturday’s breakthrough performances by Péraud, Pinot and Bardet revealed that podium dreams are no longer fantasy for the French.

Next year, Froome, Contador and Quintana will be back. Their return may once again push the French back to also-ran status, but the 2014 Tour will surely fuel hope and ambition moving forward.

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Gallery: 2014 Tour de France, stage 20 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/gallery-2014-tour-de-france-stage-20_338491 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/gallery-2014-tour-de-france-stage-20_338491#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:42:00 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338491

The race leader's effort against the clock was good enough for fourth on the day. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Tour's sole time trial saw Tony Martin triumphant, Vincenzo Nibali authoritative and some changes in the top 10 on GC

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The race leader's effort against the clock was good enough for fourth on the day. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

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Results: 2014 Tour de France, stage 20 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/results-2014-tour-de-france-stage-20_338480 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/results-2014-tour-de-france-stage-20_338480#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:15:08 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338480

Race leader Vincenzo Nibali turned in a fourth-place ride. Photo: AFP

Results from stage 20 of the 2014 Tour de France

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Race leader Vincenzo Nibali turned in a fourth-place ride. Photo: AFP

  • 1. Tony MARTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, in 1:06:21
  • 2. Tom DUMOULIN, Giant-Shimano, at 1:39
  • 3. Jan BARTA, NetApp-Endura, at 1:47
  • 4. Vincenzo NIBALI, Astana, at 1:58
  • 5. Leopold KONIG, NetApp-Endura, at 2:02
  • 6. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at 2:08
  • 7. Jean-Christophe PERAUD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:27
  • 8. Sylvain CHAVANEL, IAM Cycling, at 2:36
  • 9. Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU, Trek Factory Racing, at 2:39
  • 10. Daniel OSS, BMC Racing, at 2:58
  • 11. Danny PATE, Sky, at 3:01
  • 12. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ.fr, at 3:12
  • 13. Martin ELMIGER, IAM Cycling, at 3:12
  • 14. Maciej BODNAR, Cannondale, at 3:13
  • 15. Svein TUFT, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:23
  • 16. Peter VELITS, BMC Racing, at 3:24
  • 17. Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, Lampre-Merida, at 3:30
  • 18. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at 3:35
  • 19. Luke DURBRIDGE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:38
  • 20. Lieuwe WESTRA, Astana, at 3:44
  • 21. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at 3:45
  • 22. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at 4:00
  • 23. Andriy GRIVKO, Astana, at 4:05
  • 24. Gatis SMUKULIS, Katusha, at 4:06
  • 25. Giovanni VISCONTI, Movistar, at 4:15
  • 26. Romain BARDET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 4:17
  • 27. José Joao PIMENTA COSTA MENDES, NetApp-Endura, at 4:23
  • 28. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at 4:28
  • 29. Jérémy ROY, FDJ.fr, at 4:30
  • 30. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 4:31
  • 31. Rein TAARAMAE, Cofidis, at 4:41
  • 32. Imanol ERVITI, Movistar, at 4:44
  • 33. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, Astana, at 4:56
  • 34. Geraint THOMAS, Sky, at 5:01
  • 35. Florian VACHON, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 5:06
  • 36. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, Garmin-Sharp, at 5:11
  • 37. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ.fr, at 5:13
  • 38. Vladimir ISAICHEV, Katusha, at 5:13
  • 39. Anthony DELAPLACE, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 5:16
  • 40. Benat INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Movistar, at 5:16
  • 41. Benjamin KING, Garmin-Sharp, at 5:18
  • 42. Bartosz HUZARSKI, NetApp-Endura, at 5:19
  • 43. Adrien PETIT, Cofidis, at 5:25
  • 44. Tony GALLOPIN, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:31
  • 45. Cyril LEMOINE, Cofidis, at 5:34
  • 46. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, Belkin, at 5:43
  • 47. Paul VOSS, NetApp-Endura, at 5:47
  • 48. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 5:48
  • 49. Tiago MACHADO, NetApp-Endura, at 5:50
  • 50. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:59
  • 51. Perrig QUEMENEUR, Europcar, at 5:59
  • 52. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 6:01
  • 53. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 6:02
  • 54. Christophe RIBLON, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 6:02
  • 55. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at 6:03
  • 56. Jens KEUKELEIRE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 6:08
  • 57. Andreas SCHILLINGER, NetApp-Endura, at 6:09
  • 58. Rafal MAJKA, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 6:10
  • 59. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at 6:10
  • 60. Jérôme PINEAU, IAM Cycling, at 6:11
  • 61. Michael ALBASINI, Orica-GreenEdge, at 6:14
  • 62. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at 6:18
  • 63. Arnaud GERARD, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 6:18
  • 64. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC Racing, at 6:21
  • 65. Frank SCHLECK, Trek Factory Racing, at 6:22
  • 66. Lars Ytting BAK, Lotto-Belisol, at 6:22
  • 67. Marcel WYSS, IAM Cycling, at 6:29
  • 68. Peter SAGAN, Cannondale, at 6:31
  • 69. Bryan COQUARD, Europcar, at 6:33
  • 70. Michele SCARPONI, Astana, at 6:37
  • 71. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ.fr, at 6:39
  • 72. Richie PORTE, Sky, at 6:41
  • 73. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ.fr, at 6:44
  • 74. Nicolas EDET, Cofidis, at 6:52
  • 75. Jan BAKELANTS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 7:03
  • 76. Matteo TRENTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 7:04
  • 77. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at 7:04
  • 78. Michael ROGERS, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 7:05
  • 79. Zakkari DEMPSTER, NetApp-Endura, at 7:10
  • 80. Lars BOOM, Belkin, at 7:11
  • 81. Koen DE KORT, Giant-Shimano, at 7:12
  • 82. Jurgen ROELANDTS, Lotto-Belisol, at 7:14
  • 83. Christopher HORNER, Lampre-Merida, at 7:16
  • 84. Marco MARCATO, Cannondale, at 7:18
  • 85. Ben GASTAUER, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 7:18
  • 86. Brice FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 7:21
  • 87. Alexander KRISTOFF, Katusha, at 7:23
  • 88. Alexandre PICHOT, Europcar, at 7:23
  • 89. Roger KLUGE, IAM Cycling, at 7:26
  • 90. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 7:26
  • 91. Michael SCHÄR, BMC Racing, at 7:27
  • 92. John DEGENKOLB, Giant-Shimano, at 7:28
  • 93. Michal GOLAS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 7:29
  • 94. Kévin REZA, Europcar, at 7:30
  • 95. William BONNET, FDJ.fr, at 7:32
  • 96. Marcel SIEBERG, Lotto-Belisol, at 7:33
  • 97. Nicolas ROCHE, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 7:34
  • 98. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 7:36
  • 99. Arnold JEANNESSON, FDJ.fr, at 7:36
  • 100. Rudy MOLARD, Cofidis, at 7:37
  • 101. Benoit JARRIER, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 7:40
  • 102. Albert TIMMER, Giant-Shimano, at 7:41
  • 103. Peter STETINA, BMC Racing, at 7:42
  • 104. Matteo MONTAGUTI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 7:43
  • 105. Amaël MOINARD, BMC Racing, at 7:45
  • 106. John GADRET, Movistar, at 7:47
  • 107. Daniele BENNATI, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 7:48
  • 108. Ruben PLAZA MOLINA, Movistar, at 7:50
  • 109. Yukiya ARASHIRO, Europcar, at 7:54
  • 110. Christian MEIER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 7:56
  • 111. Jack BAUER, Garmin-Sharp, at 7:57
  • 112. Sébastien REICHENBACH, IAM Cycling, at 7:59
  • 113. Bernhard EISEL, Sky, at 8:05
  • 114. Kristijan DURASEK, Lampre-Merida, at 8:06
  • 115. Matteo TOSATTO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 8:10
  • 116. Kristijan KOREN, Cannondale, at 8:14
  • 117. Florian GUILLOU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 8:18
  • 118. Tom Jelte SLAGTER, Garmin-Sharp, at 8:20
  • 119. Bram TANKINK, Belkin, at 8:28
  • 120. Cyril GAUTIER, Europcar, at 8:34
  • 121. Tom VEELERS, Giant-Shimano, at 8:41
  • 122. Sébastien MINARD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:41
  • 123. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, Garmin-Sharp, at 8:42
  • 124. Yohann GENE, Europcar, at 8:51
  • 125. Jakob FUGLSANG, Astana, at 8:53
  • 126. Julien SIMON, Cofidis, at 8:55
  • 127. Alessandro PETACCHI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 8:55
  • 128. Michael MORKOV, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 8:55
  • 129. Davide CIMOLAI, Lampre-Merida, at 8:56
  • 130. André GREIPEL, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:59
  • 131. Niki TERPSTRA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 9:05
  • 132. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Sky, at 9:13
  • 133. Maxim IGLINSKY, Astana, at 9:14
  • 134. Sep VANMARCKE, Belkin, at 9:14
  • 135. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ.fr, at 9:15
  • 136. Simon CLARKE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 9:16
  • 137. Jean-Marc BIDEAU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 9:18
  • 138. Roy CURVERS, Giant-Shimano, at 9:19
  • 139. Sebastian LANGEVELD, Garmin-Sharp, at 9:21
  • 140. Bauke MOLLEMA, Belkin, at 9:26
  • 141. Armindo FONSECA, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 9:28
  • 142. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 9:30
  • 143. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at 9:31
  • 144. Jens VOIGT, Trek Factory Racing, at 9:32
  • 145. Marcel KITTEL, Giant-Shimano, at 9:33
  • 146. Fabio SABATINI, Cannondale, at 9:33
  • 147. Matthew BUSCHE, Trek Factory Racing, at 9:41
  • 148. Jean Marc MARINO, Cannondale, at 9:43
  • 149. Grégory RAST, Trek Factory Racing, at 9:50
  • 150. Mark RENSHAW, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 9:50
  • 151. Thomas LEEZER, Belkin, at 9:53
  • 152. David LOPEZ GARCIA, Sky, at 9:53
  • 153. Elia VIVIANI, Cannondale, at 9:56
  • 154. Maarten WYNANTS, Belkin, at 9:56
  • 155. Biel KADRI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 10:15
  • 156. Romain FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 10:33
  • 157. Samuel DUMOULIN, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 10:36
  • 158. Thomas VOECKLER, Europcar, at 10:48
  • 159. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC Racing, at 11:00
  • 160. Alessandro VANOTTI, Astana, at 11:40
  • 161. Alex HOWES, Garmin-Sharp, at 11:43
  • 162. Cheng JI, Giant-Shimano, at 12:11
  • 163. Mikael CHEREL, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 12:19
  • 164. Luca PAOLINI, Katusha, at 12:28

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Tony Martin wins stage 20 ITT; Vincenzo Nibali leads Tour http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/tony-martin-wins-stage-20-itt-vincenzo-nibali-leads-tour_338468 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/tony-martin-wins-stage-20-itt-vincenzo-nibali-leads-tour_338468#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:43:02 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338468

Tony Martin dominated the one and only time trial in the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: AFP

The one and only time trial in this Tour saw Martin victorious, Nibali authoritative and a shift on what will be the final podium in Paris

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Tony Martin dominated the one and only time trial in the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: AFP

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) crushed stage 20 of the Tour de France as race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) rode an authoritative time trial to defend his overall lead going into Sunday’s final stage.

Danny Pate (Sky) set the early best time in the 54km individual time trial from Bergerac to Périgueux. But it was the world time trial champion who set the one that would stick — 1:06:21.

“I felt quite good actually,” said Martin. “I thought I was more tired. I managed to keep a good tempo from start to finish, I didn’t falter, I’m glad about my performance.

“It’s true I knew the course well and I had to wait for two weeks to get there. Luckily I had won a stage already so it eased the pressure.”

Samuel Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) took second on the day at 1:39 behind Martin with Jan Barta (Team NetApp-Endura) third at 1:47.

Nibali, meanwhile, hit the line fourth at 1:58, confirming his dominance of the Tour with a single stage left, the traditional parade into Paris with its finish on the Champs-Élysées.

“I haven’t even thought about it yet, I’ve always thought about giving my maximum and not about what I might achieve or records or entering into Tour history,” Nibali said. “I just thought about getting to the end of each stage and getting on my bike because that’s what I like the most.”

Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r La Mondiale), who began the day third at 7:23, had a brief fright with some 20km remaining in his race. He punctured, but dismounted smoothly, laid the bike down carefully, and jumped aboard a spare in time to post a top-seven ride at the second time check. Teammate Romain Bardet likewise flatted and switched to a spare bike.

By the finish, despite his misfortune, Péraud had replaced Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) in second overall. Pinot, who began the day in the runner-up spot at 7:10, finished 11th and slipped to third overall.

“It’s an enormous satisfaction,” said Péraud. “The withdrawals of (Chris) Froome and (Alberto) Contador opened a range of possibilities and I started dreaming about this second place. I’m happy to have achieved that goal. I have a feeling of mission accomplished and a lot of joy today.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who began the day in fourth overall at 7:25, remained fourth, but shed time, falling to 9:55 behind Nibali.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) hit the line in 1:08:29, good for sixth on the day and moving him into fifth overall at 11:44, two seconds ahead of Bardet.

“It definitely feels good to move up one place. I feel like I worked hard for this fifth place,” said van Garderen, who added that he felt badly about Bardet’s unfortunate puncture.

Predictably, Bardet was less sanguine about the outcome.

“Three weeks of nonstop work and now this. … Everything got broken to pieces with two kilometers to go,” he said. “It didn’t go well today. I didn’t have any news until I punctured. That’s sport.

“To miss the podium by two seconds is really frustrating. When you cross the line, it’s a maximum effort by everyone. I had never ridden a time trial that long, but I think that without my puncture I would have secured my fifth place.”

 

 

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Video: Greg LeMond’s thoughts on Tour de France, stage 19 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/video/video-greg-lemonds-thoughts-tour-de-france-stage-19_338463 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/video/video-greg-lemonds-thoughts-tour-de-france-stage-19_338463#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:09:09 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338463

Greg LeMond's thoughts on stage 19 of the 2014 of the Tour de France.

LeMond talks about how the sprinters have to fight through many difficult days for a shot at glory on the Champs-Élysées

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Greg LeMond's thoughts on stage 19 of the 2014 of the Tour de France.

LeMond talks about how the sprinters have to fight through many difficult days for a shot at glory on the Champs-Élysées

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On Wiggins, Sky management remains hopeful http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/wiggins-sky-management-remains-hopeful_338450 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/wiggins-sky-management-remains-hopeful_338450#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:44:15 +0000 Matthew Beaudin http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338450

Bradley Wiggins is ready to return to the track, planning to contest the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. His English pursuit team took the silver medal at the 2012 Commonwealth Games. Photo: AFP PHOTO | ADRIAN DENNIS

Brailsford remained hopeful the team could hold onto its Tour winner, offering to help Wiggins on the boards and into the Olympics in Rio

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Bradley Wiggins is ready to return to the track, planning to contest the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. His English pursuit team took the silver medal at the 2012 Commonwealth Games. Photo: AFP PHOTO | ADRIAN DENNIS

MAUZAC, France (VN) — A day after Bradley Wiggins said he likely wouldn’t ride any more grand tours in favor of the track, and commented on the harsh nature of the road, the team is still hopeful to retain its British star. Wiggins’ contract with Sky is up at the end of 2014.

He won the 2012 Tour de France, but his relationship with the team hasn’t been smooth — or at least that’s been the perception — since a falling-out with Chris Froome in that Tour, when Froome rode off the front in the Alps. Wiggins was a notable omission from this year’s Tour roster and was not included in 2013 either.

“I’ve kind of done the road now. I’ve bled it dry,” Wiggins said to the BBC. “The road is quite cut-throat. The track feels more like a family and a closer-knit group of people.”

Wiggins has said he favors a return to the track full-time, where he’s already been incredibly successful. He’s won six Olympic medals on the track, three of them golden.

Dave Brailsford, Sky’s principal, remained hopeful the team could hold onto its Tour winner, even offering to help Wiggins on the boards and into the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“We’re talking to Bradley and his management team. Ideally we’d like to find a solution to support him through to Rio,” Brailsford said Friday morning at the team bus. “And exactly what that would look like — I don’t think it would be a normal, straightforward road contract. I think it would be a bit more creative in terms of what would help him get where he needs to be for Rio.”

Asked if he thought Wiggins could get to the level required to win another grand tour, Brailsford said, simply, “Who knows.”

“I think that’s down to him, really. Physically he has, I’m sure. But it’s hard work to get ready for a grand tour,” Brailsford said. “If you’re focused on trying to develop team pursuit-specific ability, maybe you go more towards prologues, time trials … If he can make the sacrifices of going to altitude, the weight control, all the other things that you need to do in order to ride a grand tour, I think that only he can answer that.”

Sky management has not selected a team for the Vuelta a España yet, Brailsford said. There were initial reports that both Froome and Wiggins could ride in the Vuelta, Froome looking to atone for crashing out at this Tour and Wiggins to prepare for a run at the UCI world time trial championships later this season.

Sky has demonstrated its ability to help foster track riders alongside its stable of road cyclists. “Certainly I think he’s made it quite clear himself that he’d like to finish in Rio. And if you want to get to the level required … Then you’re going to have to focus on it. Like Geraint [Thomas] and Pete Kennaugh did in London.”

Thomas and Kennaugh both rode last year’s Tour for Sky. Wiggins recently took a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in the team pursuit; his English team lost to Australia.

The post On Wiggins, Sky management remains hopeful appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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The Week in Tech: Skratch and Fizik support charities, new Silca and Richey gear http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/bikes-and-tech/week-tech-scratch-fizik-support-charities-new-silca-richey-gear_338421 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/bikes-and-tech/week-tech-scratch-fizik-support-charities-new-silca-richey-gear_338421#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:31:15 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338421

The new Ritchey WCS Bullmoose is intended to be extremely strong with its carbon triangle stem design.

Skratch and Fizik auction products for charity, Silca offers a new pump attachment, and Richey brings back the Bullmoose

The post The Week in Tech: Skratch and Fizik support charities, new Silca and Richey gear appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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The new Ritchey WCS Bullmoose is intended to be extremely strong with its carbon triangle stem design.

Fizik and UnitedHealthcare cycling are auctioning off limited edition saddles like this one to benefit the UHC Children's Foundation.

Fizik and UnitedHealthcare cycling are auctioning off limited edition saddles like this one to benefit the UHC Children’s Foundation.

This Skratch Labs jersey is now up for auction, with all proceeds going to Timmy Duggan's Just Go Harder Foundation.

This Skratch Labs jersey is now up for auction, with all proceeds going to Timmy Duggan’s Just Go Harder Foundation.

Skratch Rescue mix is sold in individual packets to aid in rehydrating you after workouts.

Skratch Rescue mix is sold in individual packets to aid in rehydrating you after workouts.

Skratch launches Rescue mix, supports charity

In the heat of summer, Skratch Labs has announced its Rescue hydration mix. The new mix is designed to be used at any time you are feeling dehydrated. It is only sold in single-serve packets that sell for $1.95 each.

Each packet packs a huge helping of sodium — over twice as much as Skratch’s Exercise mix and over five times the amount of potassium. During exercise, Skratch Rescue’s 3:1 sodium-to-potassium ratio would be too much potassium, so Skratch recommends that you continue using Exercise mix during activities, with its 6:1 sodium-to-potassium ratio.

Skratch also has a couple of charity auctions on The Pro’s Closet. An autographed Skratch jersey touts over twenty signatures from pro men who competed in the Tour of California. Also on auction, an 18” tall Skratch Labs special Kid Robot Munny doll with signatures from some of the top women who competed in the women’s Tour of California. All proceeds from the jersey benefit the Just Go Harder foundation, and proceeds from the Kid Robot doll benefit the Women’s Cycling Association.

Bid on Skratch Fundraisers >>
Read more on Skratch Rescue >>

Limited-edition Fizik saddles auctioned to benefit UHC Children’s Foundation

UnitedHealthcare pro cycling team and saddle sponsor Fizik are teaming up to raise money for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation. Starting Sunday, July 27, auctions on eight limited-edition saddles will go live on UnitedHealthcare’s team website.

The saddles are all different spins on team UHC’s blue and white colors, but with some specialty leathers that make these saddles unique.

All proceeds from the auctions will benefit the non-profit UHC Children’s Foundation. The foundation gives grants to children whose medical conditions are not fully covered by parents’ insurance plans.

Read More >>

New Silca Hiro locking presta chuck

Silca pumps has had a crazy year. Until last year, Silca had been owned by the same family since its inception in 1917. Then, the brand was sold to Josh Poertner, formerly of Zipp.

Now, Silca is developing several new products, including this locking chuck, the Hiro. The Hiro, which is made in the USA, is designed to be controlled by one hand with its side-mounted locking lever. It’s designed to work easily with disc wheels, though I look forward to using it on my Craftsman electric inflator this cyclocross season.

The Hiro chuck sports a 25-year warranty and has a replaceable gasket, which is already for sale by Silca. With a price tag of $110, the Hiro is probably more expensive than most peoples’ pumps, but it’s likely to outlast them.

Read More >>

Ritchey relaunches the Bullmoose bar

If you search the phrase “Ritchey Bullmoose,” you’ll get a lot of photos of one-piece mountain bike bars and stems from more than 30 years ago. Back in the day, Ritchey’s Bullmoose cockpit was standard equipment on many brands in the mountain bike world. The one-piece design meant no slipping bars.

Now, Ritchey is reintroducing the Bullmoose, but in a carbon WCS version. It will retail for $300 and be available in five variations, a 70mm stem with 720mm bars, an 80mm with 730mm bars, and 90mm, 100mm, and 110mm all with 740mm-wide bars.

The Bullmoose is expected to be available later this year.

The post The Week in Tech: Skratch and Fizik support charities, new Silca and Richey gear appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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Poll: What was the funniest moment of the 2014 Tour de France? http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/road/poll-pick-funniest-tour-moment_338326 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/road/poll-pick-funniest-tour-moment_338326#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:10:51 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=338326

This year's Tour has seen plenty of dramatic moments, but along the way, there has been a bit of comedy on the road

The post Poll: What was the funniest moment of the 2014 Tour de France? appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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• Stage 7: Luca Paolini checks his Twitter feed
• Stage 12: André Greipel gives Sylvain Chavanel an earful
• Stage 14: Arnaud Demare’s emergency nature break
• Stage 16: Michael Rogers wags finger at Thomas Voeckler
• Stage 18: Vincenzo Nibali’s cellphone shoulder swipe

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