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All the latest news from the Tour de France and the final of the Giro Donne with video. Mark Cavendish’s 34 Tour stages – TOP STORY. Roger Kluge and Søren Kragh Andersen forced out of the Tour. Iljo Keisse and Fabio Jakobsen extend, John Degenkolb to the Deutschland Tour, eolo-Kometa to ride Settimana Ciclistica Italiana and the Tour de Yas. Plus video: Tom Pidcock x MTB and Team Qhubeka NextHash – Hope. Monday EUROTRASH Tour time.

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TOP STORY: Mark Cavendish’s 34 Tour Stage Wins
Mark Cavendish has equaled Eddy Merckx’s victory record. The British sprinter achieved his 34th stage victory in the Tour de France stage 13 in Carcasonne and is now level with Merckx. How did the ‘Manx Missile’ wins come about?

Cavendish rode his first Tour in 2007, then riding for the T-Mobile Team. He didn’t win any stages yet and didn’t finish the Tour either. A year later he returned with two stage victories in the Giro. Cav struck four times in his second Tour and that was the beginning of his dominance in the French bunch sprints.

In 2009 Cavendish was successful six times for his team, which was now called Team HTC-Columbia. With an almost perfect lead-out he managed to win five stage wins in 2010 and 2011. In that last year he also took home the green points classification jersey. Because his HTC-High Road team was disbanded at the end of 2011, Cavendish moved to Team Sky. In the rainbow jersey, he was the fastest three times in the bunch sprint in the 2012 Tour.

The following year Cavendish left for Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, the team of Patrick Lefevere. After a successful Giro, Cav had a hard time in the Tour. He managed to take two more stage victories, but was no longer as dominant as in previous years. After an early retirement from a crash in the 2014 Tour and just one stage win in 2015, 2016 looked set to be the year of his comeback. Cavendish won no less than four stages in a Dimension Data jersey. Merckx’s record came into view. But from 2017, things went downhill. He crashed several times, contracted a virus and was sidelined for a long time. He couldn’t get a place in the Tour line-up and other sprinters were also better in smaller races. After year at Bahrain McLaren in 2020, the career of the once successful sprinter seemed to be over. He would never reach the magical limit of 34 stage victories.

But Cavendish himself wasn’t done with it yet. The Briton managed to convince Lefevere to take him under his wing for another year. And after a spring in which he got a taste for victory again in Turkey, a last minute call up to replace Sam Bennett and the stage victories in the Tour came. Numbers 31, 32 and 33, but the fast Brit himself did not want to hear anything about Merckx’s record.

And then there was the 34th. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter is now at the top of the list with the most stage wins in the history of the Tour de France… and there may just be a couple more: Stage 19 on Friday and the final sprint in Paris on Sunday.

Cavendish’s stage victories in the Tour de France:
1. Tour de France 2008 – Stage 5 (Cholet-Châteauroux)
2. Tour de France 2008 – Stage 8 (Figeac-Toulouse)
3. Tour de France 2008 – Stage 12 (Lavelanet-Narbonne)
4. Tour de France 2008 – Stage 13 (Narbonne-Nîmes)
5. Tour de France 2009 – Stage 2 (Monaco-Brignoles)
6. Tour de France 2009 – Stage 3 (Marseille-La Grande-Motte)
7. Tour de France 2009 – Stage 10 (Limoges-Issoudun)
8. Tour de France 2009 – Stage 11 (Vatan-Saint-Fargeau)
9. Tour de France 2009 – Stage 19 (Bourgoin-Jallieu-Aubenas)
10. Tour de France 2009 – Stage 21 (Montereau-Paris)
11. Tour de France 2010 – Stage 5 (Épernay-Montargis)
12. Tour de France 2010 – Stage 6 (Montargis-Gueugnon)
13. Tour de France 2010 – Stage 11 (Sisteron-Bourg-lès-Valence)
14. Tour de France 2010 – Stage 18 (Salies-de-Bearn-Bordeaux)
15. Tour de France 2010 – Stage 20 (Longjumeau-Paris)
16. Tour de France 2011 – Stage 5 (Carhaix-Cap Fréhel)
17. Tour de France 2011 – Stage 7 (Le Mans-Châteauroux)
18. Tour de France 2011 – Stage 11 (Blaye-les-mines-Lavaur)
19. Tour de France 2011 – Stage 15 (Limoux-Montpellier)
20. Tour de France 2011 – Stage 21 (Créteil-Paris)
21. Tour de France 2012 – Stage 2 (Vise-Tournai)
22. Tour de France 2012 – Stage 18 (Blagnac-Brive-la-Gaillarde)
23. Tour de France 2012 – Stage 20 (Rambouillet-Paris)
24. Tour de France 2013 – Stage 5 (Cagnes-sur-Mer-Marseille)
25. Tour de France 2013 – Stage 13 (Tours-Saint-Amand-Montrond)
26. Tour de France 2015 – Stage 7 (Livarot-Fougères)
27. Tour de France 2016 – Stage 1 (Mont-Saint-Michel-Sainte-Marie-du-Mont)
28. Tour de France 2016 – Stage 3 (Granville-Angers)
29. Tour de France 2016 – Stage 6 (Arpajon-sur-Cère-Montauban)
30. Tour de France 2016 – Stage 14 (Montélimar-Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux)
31. Tour de France 2021 – Stage 4 (Redon-Fougères)
32. Tour de France 2021 – Stage 6 (Tours-Châteauroux)
33. Tour de France 2021 – Stage 10 (Albertville-Valence)
34. Tour de France 2021 – Stage 13 (Nîmes-Carcassonne).

 

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Tour de France 2021
Nils Politt emerged from a 13-man breakaway to solo to victory in Nîmes after three convincing attacks. Imanol Erviti and Harry Sweeny rounded out the podium of Stage 12. Tadej Pogačar retained the yellow jersey.

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13 riders in the lead
155 riders took the start of stage 12 at Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. One non-starter: Peter Sagan, due to a knee pain since stage 3. After a flying start thanks to the tail wind, 13 riders went clear at km 15: André Greipel (Israel-Start Up-Nation), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo), Connor Swift (Arkea-Samsic), Harry Sweeny and Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Luka Mezgec (BikeExchange), Sergio Henao (Qhubeka-Nexthash), Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies). As soon as the breakaway was formed, the peloton slowed down and UAE Team Emirates eventually set the pace. The time difference was 10 minutes with 90km to go and almost 11 minutes at half way into the race.

Politt attacks three times
As a time gap of 12:45 was recorded with 50km to go, Politt attacked from the front group. Swift reacted. Mezgec caught up with them. After the regrouping, a quartet went away 40km before the end: Politt, Sweeny, Küng and Erviti. Küng was dropped 14km before the finish while the remainder of the breakaway was 1 minute adrift and the peloton 15 minutes further back. Politt soloed 12km from the finishing line.

A well-deserved victory
Politt remained composed until he crossed the line on the boulevard Salvador Allende in Nîmes where a bunch sprint was anticipated. The 27 year old German rider took a well-deserved victory, not only because he was the most active rider of the day but also because he previously only had one pro win in his six-year career, a stage of the 2018 Deutschland Tour. A formidable classics rider, he finished second to Philippe Gilbert in the last edition of Paris-Roubaix. He delivered BORA-hansgrohe’s first victory at the 2021 Tour de France on the day Sagan abandoned the race for the first time in his career.

# You can read the full stage 12 report and photo gallery HERE. #

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Stage winner, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream to win a stage in the tour de France. Before the start it was decided that Peter would leave the race because of his knee problems, so that changed our tactics a bit. Right after the start, we had crosswinds and quite a big break group was formed. I was already feeling better in the last few days, so I gave it my all today and it’s unbelievable it ended with a stage victory in the Tour de France. There were quite a few sprinters and fast guys in our group, so I knew I had to make the race hard and attack quite early. I launched the first attack and we ended up with four riders in the front, the sports director told me it was my last chance before the finish, I had to give it a try and give everything. I did it again, I attacked and I was seeing my gap growing to 20, then 30 seconds, and coming to the finish solo was unbelievable. Crossing the line I thought that all the effort, everything I have done, had paid off. Cycling is my passion and I’m so often away from home, from my family with all the races and training camps, so winning a stage in the Tour de France is the biggest victory you can have.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m happy with how my legs turned today. I felt pretty good when we were going full gas due to the crosswinds. The first few kilometres were really crazy, but my whole team and me were at the front and feeling well. Matters became more relaxed from them on. We spent some energy at the front, because we pulled to control the bunch, but it’s been fine. I’ll better ride defensively from now on, because we saw yesterday at Mont Ventoux that there are many strong guys in the bunch. Anything can happen in the hot Pyrenees – because it is going to be hot! Anyway, my gap on the second-placed rider in the GC is big enough, so I’m not worried [about losing the Yellow jersey].”

2nd on the stage, Imanol Erviti Movistar): “We hit the post with that one (smiles). I’m sad and happy, all at the same time. For a domestique like me, contesting a stage win in the Tour doesn’t happy everyday. It was a beautiful stage and… (sigh) coming so close really hurts. I wasn’t thinking about joining the break – it just happened like that. We were looking to protect Enric against the wind, there were some moves from teams with sprinters which would normally try and keep the break under control, and once I got myself into the 13-man group, I even thought of stopping to stay with Enric and support him, because it was a tense day. When the attacks started at the four-man group and Küng was dropped, I just gave everything I had. I thought that, if we got through that slope, I would be able to get to the finish and sprint for the win. However, Politt’s attack – it was just about legs. I was on my limit and probably Sweeny was, too. The strongest man won, nothing to complain about. My goals after this? Of course, I’ll continue to work for the team. That’s what we came here for, and we’ll continue giving our maximum to help Enric and end this Tour on a high note.”

3rd on the stage, Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal): “To be honest, it felt a bit surreal to fight for the stage victory today. I didn’t expect to be at the Tour this year, let alone to be performing at this level. I knew I was capable of doing this but tactically, it’s another thing. Maybe I made a few mistakes in the final, but I can’t be disappointed with this result. It really was a tactical game at the end and maybe I showed my strength a little bit too much. Politt saw that and took a little advantage of that. However, I have only been pro for six months, so I have to be satisfied with third place. I was hoping that the final climb would be a little harder. I attacked there and hoped it would be a little too hard for the others but they made it back and that is where I lost my legs a little bit. I knew I wouldn’t have a good enough sprint to beat those guys so I had to try something. I’ve done everything to try and win the stage, so I can be happy. We’re quite deep into the Tour and I’m still feeling ok, which is a positive sign.”

4th on the stage, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “After only thirty kilometres today, I felt like I was a bit empty, I thought that everyone felt the same, but in the end I did not have anything left in my legs. I was at the limit. I just didn’t have enough energy today to be able to play for the win. I held on, gave it my all and really tried everything. I fed myself very well during the stage, but if you don’t have energy from the very start, that is not a good sign. I started to have cramps and my body was just exhausted. I couldn’t do more. We do have limits and my body reminded me of that.”

5th on the stage, Luka Mezgec (BikeExchange): “We kind of knew it would be hard to control the stage, so my goal was to be in the break. It was difficult the first kilometres with crosswinds. Already the neutralised section was intense, I saw over a crest that there were maybe seven guys away and a few guys in-between, so I launched it and I think I was one of the last guys in the group. It is always a bit of a lottery being there with 13 guys. I had a good chance, but when you are fast everybody wants to get away from you and it’s hard to fight when you’re alone in the break. There were two attacks, and I went with one of them, the next one was neutralised and then we were sitting a little bit and then those four guys just rolled away, it always happens like this. Last year I was second two times, and it was like today, one guy was away, today four guys where away but it’s the Tour de France.”

10th on the stage, Sergio Henao (Qhubeka-NextHash): “I was speaking a bit with Carlos yesterday and we were saying that today was actually a good day considering my condition; so I took that into account and positioned myself well if the breakaway did go. It was very high speed for the first hour or so and there we some nerves in the group, as we wanted to avoid any danger. I concentrated on staying together with the guys that were super strong in the flats and I had good legs today. I’m very happy overall to finish among the front riders on the day and look forward to the further opportunities to come in the race.”

Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) abandoned before the start of the stage: “It’s never a nice feeling to abandon a race. Following my crash on stage 3 it seemed that my knee was getting better but I then hit it again on the handlebar during the sprint of stage 10. It started swelling and I’m now unable to bend my leg. With the stages going at full throttle right from the start, it would be extremely difficult to race. There is nothing more I can do now than rest and get better. It’s very sad, personally, to leave the team right now, especially in these important stages where I should be working for Wilco Kelderman in order to protect him and keep him in the front in the crosswinds. As I said, unfortunately, there isn’t much more we can do. I have to rest, hope it gets better and then prepare for the Olympics”

Tour de France Stage 12 Result:
1. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 3:22:12
2. Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar at 0:31
3. Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:58
5. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange at 2:06
6. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
7. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 12:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 47:22:43
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
5. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 5:58
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 6:16
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:30
8. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 7:11
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 9:29
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 10:28.

Tour’21 stage 12:

 

Mark Cavendish took his fourth stage win in the 108th Tour de France to total 34 since 2008, the same amount of stage victories as record holder Eddy Merckx. His team-mate Michael Mørkøv and Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen rounded the podium after the bunch gallop on Stage 13. Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey in Carcassonne.

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First Israeli breakaway rider
154 riders started stage 13 in Nîmes. One non-starter: Michael Gogl (Qhubeka-Nexthash). Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-Nexthash), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) managed to go clear at km 15, but with no luck. Sean Bennett (Qhubeka-Nexthash), Omer Goldstein (Israel-Start Up-Nation) and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) attacked at km 27. Latour was first over the top of the only categorised climb of the day, the côte de Pic Saint-Loup at km 51.5. A maximum advantage of 4:45 was recorded at km 55. Goldstein, the second cyclist from Israel to take part in the Tour de France after Guy Niv, became the first from his country to be in a break and win an intermediate sprint (at km 104.3).

Regrouping with 53km to go
Deceuninck – Quick-Step seized the reins of the peloton with the intention to deliver another bunch sprint for Mark Cavendish. Petr Vakoc (Alpein-Fenix) gave them a hand. They brought the deficit down to 1:30 when attacks begun at the front 65km before the finish. A major crash involving 30 riders happened in the peloton while Bennett attacked at the front and lost contact when Goldstein countered. Goldstein and Latour forged on but the time gap was quickly reduced as a lot of action started in the pack after the crash. Bennett was reeled in, so were Goldstein and Latour with 53km to go as they attacked each other rather than riding together. It was bunched up 50km before the end with the exception of some injured riders. Roger Kluge, Simon Yates and Lucas Hamilton were forced to abandon.

The tightest win of Cavendish
45km before Carcassonne, Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-KTM) rode away solo. He got an advantage of 1:30 that forced Julian Alaphilippe to pull as Tim Declercq was off the back after the crash. The advance of the Frenchman was down to 20 seconds with 20km to go. It was bunched up one kilometre further. GC teams like INEOS Grenadiers took control of the peloton in the final kilometres, but it was another bunch gallop in Carcassonne. Ivan Garcia Cortina disturbed the plans of Deceuninck – Quick-Step as he took the lead 300 metres before the line. Philipsen seemed to go for the win on the right hand side but Cavendish came off the wheel of Mørkøv at the last second to power to the tightest of his four 2021 Tour de France victories.

# You can read the full stage 13 report and photo gallery HERE. #

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Stage winner and points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s one of my hardest wins. I went incredibly deep today with the wind and the heat, but I had an amazing time around me, guys who rode their hearts out to deliver me in a perfect position. A lot of the day it didn’t feel like it was going to happen, but we gave everything and the guys were phenomenal in the way they controlled things. That’s why it makes me super happy to be able to share this unforgettable moment with them. The moment I crossed the line the record wasn’t on my mind, I was just happy to have taken another victory. I can never compare myself with Eddy Merckx, but if those following cycling will be inspired by what I did to get on a bike and just ride, then that’s the most important thing and would give me such a tremendous joy. As a kid I dreamed about winning a stage at the Tour de France, and having 34 now it’s just unbelievable, something I would have never imagined but for which I worked so hard. I still don’t realise that this is a special victory because of the record. It’s just a childhood dream come true after a lot of hard work. If one of my victories can inspire ten children to take up cycling and maybe ride the Tour de France in the future, it means the most to me.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “Today’s was a super hard, super long stage. At first it was a bit boring, and then it got hectic, with a lot of stuff going on. I’m happy it’s over. My teammate Rafal Majka crashed. We will see how he is once in the hotel. I hope he will be alright tomorrow and ready to take the start. Tomorrow it’s going to be a hard day too. Many things can happen and it won’t be easy. Maybe a big breakaway will go from the first kilometres. Anyway, we are ready to tackle the Pyrenees and defend the yellow jersey.”

5th on the stage, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The wind was blowing hard all day, sometimes from the side, sometimes headwind. A few teams tried to use it to create echelons, but I was always in the front so I didn’t get caught. At first we thought there wouldn’t be a sprint finish. But when we saw the team of the green jersey not letting more than 3 riders go, then controlling, we understood that we had to prepare for it. In the final, my teammates ideally dropped me off at the front. That was all I needed, because there were so many trains that the best option was to squeeze through the wheels next. I’m happy to get this top 5 for the team. My feelings were good from the start, and this result is encouraging for the future.”

6th overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a long and hard day, not a nice one, which, in the end, it came down to a bunch sprint. There was some nervousness in the finale but we were well-positioned in the front, so there weren’t any problems. I felt horrible, it was too hot. It wasn’t a good day for me, I don’t feel well in the heat but that’s what it is. Anyway, this day is over, now on to the next one.”

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I can only have respect for what Cavendish does. I think it’s a legendary day for cycling if you match Merckx’s record. I think it would be stupid to compare them now, but it is… wow! There was a chance of echelons and there was also a lot of stress in the peloton. The goal was to keep Jonas Vingegaard in the front and I wanted to do a sprint myself. I had hoped for a bit more action, but the wind wasn’t strong enough for that. In the end I was fine. At two or three kilometres from the end, Mike Teunissen and I were slightly outflanked and at 500 metres from the finish I got closed in again. It was just not today, unfortunately”

KOM, Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic): “It’s been quiet today. I took it easy in the last ten kilometres to save energy thinking of the upcoming stages. Tomorrow is an important day in which every KOM point is important. We’ll stay attentive to make the breakaway and take the points.”

Break rider, Sean Bennett (Qhubeka-NextHash): “It’s a bit frustrating to get into the break and then only be three of us. We knew beforehand that it was 50-50 if they would let a big break go up the road and it sticks to the line or something like today happens where there’s just three of us and there’s really no chance. I tried to make the best of it and a long, fun day in the end. There’s still a week left of the race and there’d better be something left in the tank, I’m now just going to recover for the next days and then see what we can do in the next week. I want to thank everyone for all of their support. I really miss my family and friends back home but thank you for everything.”

Late attacker, Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels p/b KTM): “When I attacked, I was hoping for a bigger group to be formed at the front. We were approaching narrow roads on a lumpy terrain, it was suitable for a breakaway. Eventually I was alone, so I didn’t have much to hope for, but since we are at the Tour de France, I gave it all. Tomorrow, there’s a nice stage on roads I know well. I train there. There aren’t long climbs. I’m eager to do well in the Pyrenees. It’s a positive sign to be designated the most combative rider.”

Tour de France Stage 13 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 5:04:29
2. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
7. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
8. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
9. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 13:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 52:27:12
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
5. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 0:05:58
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 6:16
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:30
8. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 7:11
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 9:29
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 10:28.

Tour’21 stage 13:

 

Bauke Mollema claimed his second Tour de France stage win in Quillan four years after his solo win in Le Puy-en-Velay. He did it the same way, escaping from a breakaway and finishing on his own. Patrick Konrad and Sergio Higuita rounded out the podium on Stage 14. Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey while Guillaume Martin moved to second overall.

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A long fight for the breakaway
159 riders started stage 14 in Carcassonne. Two non-starters: Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM) and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic). Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën) was the first of many attackers after the flag dropped. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-KTM) got a bit of a gap before a regrouping that preceded a solo attack at km 25 by Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Fenix). The Italian was reinforced by Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels-KTM), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix) at km 39. They were reeled in on the line of the intermediate sprint at Lavelanet (km 76.7), Rickaert managed to cross the line first.

Woods and Poels on the hunt for the polka dot jersey
Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) went clear before the ascent to col de Montségur (cat. 2, km 89). Michael Woods (Israel-Start Up-Nation) caught them. It was a head to head sprint between Poels and Woods at the top with the Dutchman outclassing the Canadian. Cattaneo came across to the two leaders with 80km to go while Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo), Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe), Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech), Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Esteban Chaves (BikeExchange), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) were timed 40 seconds behind, and the yellow jersey was at 1:40. Woods took his revenge over Poels at col de la Croix des Morts. 10 riders were together in the lead 72km from the finish while Pierre Rolland and Pacher (B&B Hotels-KTM), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) and Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic) were in between. This made a front group of 14 riders at the bottom of côte de Galinagues with 59km to go.

Mollema solo with 41km to go
Woods was the virtual KOM leader at the côte de Galinagues. He slipped on the downhill as he was leading the front group with 50km remaining. He made it back 8 kilometres further on. 41km before the end, Mollema rode away solo on the descent of the non-categorised col du Castel. The Dutchman had 1:30 lead over his former breakaway companions at the foot of the col de Saint-Louis with 21km to go while the peloton was 5:40 adrift. EF Education-Nippo sped up at the head of the pack to defend Rigoberto Uran’s second place due to the presence of Guillaume Martin at the front. Mollema crested with an advantage of 1 minute over Woods who secured his first ever polka dot jersey. Mollema maintained his lead on the downhill. Konrad outsprinted Higuita for second place. Guillaume Martin crossed the line with a deficit of 1:28 but an advance over the peloton that enabled him to move up to second overall behind Tadej Pogacar.

# You can read the full stage 14 report and photo gallery HERE. #

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Stage winner, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “It’s great to win another stage here. I’m super happy. It was a tough day. It took more than eighty kilometres before there was a flight. My team did very well at that stage. There was always someone involved. In the end I joined a good group, but the cooperation was not very good. I actually felt very good, so I tried it from afar. I think I drove about 45 kilometres on my own, but I’m really glad I did it. I also had the confidence that I was going to make it. Only when I heard that I had a one and a half minute lead did I know that I had a good chance of winning the stage. I can pace myself well, but on the steepest part I pulled the throttle open for a while.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I felt really good again and I was able to enjoy the bike. My team did a great job again, nobody had it hard. Only Vegard Stake Laengen punctured at an unfortunate moment. Rafal Majka impressed after his crash yesterday and came across well to me. Of course you can’t give him too much time (Guillaume Martin), but the lead I have now is still big. Other teams have to try and crack it, so that could be to our advantage in the coming days. I’ve already looked at the course and can only say that it is very tough. We are confident, but my first thought is that we will drive defensively. If I see opportunities, I will definitely take them (laughs).”

2nd overall and 11th on the stage, Guillaume Martin (Cofidis): “I think it’s good news that I’m second now, but that last week has been really tough and today I wasn’t good either. The heat caused me a lot of problems. I’m very happy about that. I saw an opportunity and seized the opportunity.”

2nd on the stage and 23rd overall, Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a really, really long and hard fight today for the break to form. I would say that 80% of the bunch wanted to be in there and that’s why it took so long to finally go away. After seeing that the GC riders seemed to be happy the race started to get controlled by UAE, I saw it was my opportunity and had to take it, so I went full gas on the KOM and got in the break. With Guillaume Martin in the day’s breakaway, it was clear I wasn’t going to pull in that group. He was 9 minutes back in the GC and I didn’t want to bring him earlier to the finish. I was sitting at the back of the break when Mollema attacked. I don’t know why nobody made the effort to follow him, I tried once but there was no rhythm any longer in the break. I can’t say I’m unhappy but I would certainly be happier if I were sprinting for victory. Mollema made a smart move, the road was twisting and we couldn’t see him. The climbs suited him today and he was strong. When he had a 30-second lead nobody wanted to chase him and it wasn’t up to me to do it.”

KOM and 5th on the stage, Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation): “I’m not disappointed. I’m happy to be on the jersey. The only thing I whine about is crashing. My ego is a bit bruised, although I didn’t injury myself. Wout and I knew we would be going head to head. He is a great competitor. The stage tomorrow is on home turf, as I know every road. It’s going to be exciting to race there. I hope I haven’t burned too many matches today.”

6th on the stage, Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech): “It was a big battle for the breakaway today, we really spent a lot of time trying to make a move stick. I spent a lot of energy to get into it because we knew this was a good day for a breakaway. The team had this stage marked as one for us so I was really motivated to go away. The group was really strong and when you look at the guys in there, you see that they are all guys who are often working for a leader so when you get your own chance, you’re always motivated even more. Of course, I wanted to win and I gave everything I had. I came here to win a stage but now we’re going into the final week and there are not many opportunities left for me I don’t think. But we are really motivated to help Lutsenko as much as possible. I think he’s really strong and in better shape now than he was in the Alpes.”

9th on the stage and 14th overall, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This breakaway was a good opportunity to regain some time in the overall standings, but also to honour the team jersey and be part of the fight for a stage win. Even though there was a climb in the final, it wasn’t the perfect stage profile for me. At the end of the day, it’s a top 10 and a good operation overall. Tomorrow, we will ride in the Principality of Andorra, where I live, and I know the 3 climbs very well. Needless to say, it will be a difficult day. As far as I am concerned we will continue the fight to climb up the general classification as much as possible.”

Points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s amazing: everyone is tired on the bunch, yet there were guys going and going… non stop… for many kilometres today. I had to make the time cut, so I had to ride on at the bunch’s pace. Anyway, once we got halfway through the stage, we didn’t have any problems to reach the finish line inside the time limit because we formed a big, nice group to do so. We were worried about Tim [Declercq] after his crash yesterday. We are glad and relieved that he went through the stage alright. I’ll hopefully be by his side tomorrow as well. And, as for me tomorrow, I will try to hang on for as long as possible. There is this climb at the start that will force me to ride hard from the beginning.”

Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates): “My whole body was sore today after the crash and it hurts a bit when I breath because I landed on my chest and left side. I’ll be very glad of the rest day on Monday. The legs are good though and morale is high.I’m totally focused on getting through to help Tadej now.”

Tour de France Stage 14 Result:
1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 4:16:16
2. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:04
3. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 1:04
4. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:06
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:10
6. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:25
7. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:25
8. Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 1:25
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 1:25
10. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 1:28.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 14:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 56:50:21
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 4:04
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
4. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 5:58
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 6:16
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:30
9. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 7:11
10. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 9:48.

Tour’21 stage 14:

 

Sepp Kuss put an end to a ten years drought as Tyler Farrar was the last American stage winner at the Tour de France in Redon in 2011. The climber from Jumbo-Visma outclassed Alejandro Valverde and the rest of the leading riders up the col de Beixalis to claim a solo victory in Andorra-la-Vella ahead of the Spanish veteran on Stage 15. Wout Poels, the new King of the Mountains, rounded out the podium. Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey.

tdf21st15

32 riders in the lead
149 riders took the start of stage 15. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was first to go clear of the peloton at km 3.5 on the non-categorised climb of col de Llauro. Seven riders caught him, along well a bigger group of chasers. 32 riders were in the lead at km 35: Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Jonathan Castroviejo, Dylan van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers), Dan Martin, Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), Vincenzo Nibali, Julien Bernard, Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Julian Alaphilippe, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe), David Gaudu, Bruno Armirail, Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Rubén Fernández (Cofidis), Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citröen), Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Ruben Guerreiro, Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo), Mark Donovan (DSM), Matej Mohoric, Wout Poels, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), Michael Matthews (BikeExchange), Ion Izagirre (Astana), Sergio Henao (Qhubeka-NextHash), Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM) and De Gendt. UAE Team Emirates got organised at the head of the peloton with Norway’s Vegard Stake Laengen pulling tirelessly.

Great battle for the polka dot jersey
A time gap of 8:45 was recorded at the intermediate sprint at Olette (km 66) where Nacer Bouhanni, suffering alone in front of the broom wagon, called it a race 20 minutes after Matthews crossed the line first. Following splits in the breakaway, Armirail decided to impose a steady pace at the head of the leading group with his team-mates Madouas and Gaudu on his wheel. A maximum difference of 10:10 at 72km to go. Poels won the KOM at Montée de Saint-Louis (km 86) ahead of Van Aert and Woods. At col de Puymorens, the same top 3 was in a different order: Van Aert, Poels, Woods. Quintana waited for Port d’Envalira, the highest peak of the 108th Tour de France, to go solo 1.5km before the summit and take the maximum of 10 KOM points 15 seconds before van Aert, Poels and Woods. 17 riders formed the front group on the descent with an advantage of 5 minutes over the yellow jersey group from which runner-up Guillaume Martin was dropped on the descent.

Kuss betters Valverde
Quintana attacked again at the beginning of the ascent to the col de Beixalis but he was quickly brought back. Gaudu tried his luck briefly. Valverde wanted to follow Kuss but it was the American from Jumbo-Visma who rode away solo 5km before the summit. They were separated by 25 seconds at the top and the downhill didn’t change the race. In the yellow jersey group, mimicking two attempts by Ben O’Connor, Jonas Vingegaard attacked twice but Pogačar reacted with a problem. Rigoberto Uran, Vingegaard and Carapaz remained with the race leader to regain their positions on GC over Martin who dropped back to ninth where he was before stage 14.

# You can read the full stage 15 report and photo gallery HERE. #

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Stage winner, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s really unbelievable. I can’t describe it. I was really suffering this Tour. Today the stage finished in my hometown and therefore I was very motivated to go for the stage win. Finally I found my good legs and I could finish the job. My friend and her family stood on the final climb to cheer me on. I know the last climb a bit, but haven’t ridden it often. It’s a very tough climb. My team did a fantastic job today. Wout was ahead of me in the whole valley. If a champion like that works for me, then I have to finish it off too. I’m really happy that I won here.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “The stage was tough, for the second consecutive day we faced a demanding course. I expected to have to respond to an attack as the Ineos-Grenadiers started to force the pace early, but fortunately I had the legs to respond. The team supported me in the early and middle stages of the day and then on the last climbs luckily I had no problem at all and I could stay with my rivals. It was a good day for me, even though the temperature was very hot, I’m going into the last week with a decent lead.”

5th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “I knew the last climb very well because I live very pretty close by, and I often come to the area for picnics or barbecues. I knew the descent was very technical. I had a good feeling and I’m proud to fight with the best riders in the overall standings.”

18th on the stage and overall, Sergio Henao (Qhubeka-NextHash): “I fought really hard to get into the break today, as we’d planned, and we managed to get a small group together at the start which was perfect. We then had the bigger group come across to us and I rode very comfortably. There was a very special moment for me with my family waiting for me on the final climb, and I gave it my all so I’m proud of my fighting performance. We’ll take stock again on the rest day, recover well and then look ahead to an exciting final week heading towards Paris. There’s still a lot of racing to be done in this race.”

Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s really unbelievable. I can’t describe it. I was really suffering this Tour. Today the stage finished in my hometown and therefore I was very motivated to go for the stage win. Finally I found my good legs and I could finish the job. My friend and her family stood on the final climb to cheer me on. I know the last climb a bit, but haven’t ridden it often. It’s a very tough climb. My team did a fantastic job today. Wout was ahead of me in the whole valley. If a champion like that works for me, then I have to finish it off too. I’m really happy that I won here.”

KOM, Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a crazy stage. A really big break went from the gun and I managed to be part of it. I knew that every climb would count for the mountains classification, so I had to go for the points on every summit. So I did, and it went well. All in all, it was a good day. But we still have a few more stages to go. It’s obviously going to be a great battle for the mountains jersey. We will continue our fight again after the rest day. Tomorrow it’s going to be an easy day. Do a one-hour ride, get a massage, a Facetime call with my baby at home, enjoy this jersey… Then six more days of racing… and holidays!”

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a tricky start. The first 30 kilometres included very narrow and twisty roads, so we were prepared for a big fight. We wanted to have no more than two guys on the break, because we wanted to have at least two guys with Jonas [Vingegaard]. It was by accident that it finally was three of us guys in the break. We made a plan for Steven [Kruijswijk] to wait for Jonas as I rode for Sepp [Kuss] at the front. This was Sepp’s day. He lives in Andorra and he was looking forward to this stage. I’m happy he managed to get this amazing victory for him and for the team. He spends the whole year working for others, so it’s nice he gets his own chance. Jonas is really trying to gain some time on [Tadej] Pogacar and the rest of favourites. It hasn’t worked out so far, but we will keep trying. Everyone is so committed and helpful on this team.”

Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was definitely not going to be an easy stage but the high temperatures and a very strong pace, from start to finish, made it a particularly difficult one. My teammates put in a great effort to support me. Patrick and Emu were with me all the way to the top of the penultimate climb. Then it was Lukas that took over, as he had dropped from the breakaway and waited for me. So, until the start of the final climb, I was well-supported and afterwards, it was up to each rider’s legs. I suffered a lot in the last climb and in some of the attacks I struggled to follow. Still, I kept riding at my own pace and always managed to bridge to the small GC group. I’m feeling quite well, I avoided any time losses and I’m optimistic about the third week of the Tour.”

Tour de France Stage 15 Result:
1. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma in 5:12:06
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:23
3. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 1:15
4. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:22
9. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 15:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 62:07:18
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
5. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 5:58
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 6:16
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 7:01
8. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 7:11
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 7:58
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 10:59.

Tour’21 stage 15:

 

giro donne
Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2021
Marianne Vos won Stage 7 of the Giro Donne. On the hilly finish she sprinted off everyone’s wheel. The victory in Puegnago Del Garda is the thirtieth victory for Vos in the Italian stage race.

Jumbo-Visma Women started the stage with a lot of ambition. Riejanne Markus, for whom this region is a permanent training base, was in a leading group. Together with her breakaway companion, she was unable to stay away from the peloton. The course took the riders on six local laps with a Cat 3 hill as the main obstacle.

In the last 10 kilometres, Vos positioned herself at the front of a group of favourites for the day’s victory. The Dutch rider initially parried an attack by the Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini. In the final metres Vos accelerated. This acceleration proved too powerful for Longo Borghini and Anna van der Breggen. It is the fourth victory of the season for both Vos and Team Jumbo-Visma Women.

giro donne 21 st7

Stage winner, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma): “The Giro is a special race for me. The fact that I can win here for the second time this week is very nice. In the Giro every day is a new day and you try to focus on that. It’s hard to comprehend that this is my thirtieth victory. I always feel good in the Giro. The atmosphere around this race is very special. I am happy that I can share this success with my teammates. Seeing how they sacrifice themselves for me inspires and motivates me every time. That is very special. This is a beautiful victory.”

Jumbo-Visma sport director, Marco Postma: “A beautiful victory for Marianne. It is her thirtieth Giro victory in her career. I’m speechless. This really feels like a team effort. The team supported Marianne the whole day so she could start the final in the best possible conditions. Marianne’s last kilometre was fantastic. Stage victory number thirty, I can only say this is very impressive.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 7 Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 2:48:31
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx
4. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
5. Soraya Paladin (Ita) Liv Racing
6. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM
7. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
8. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx
9. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
10. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Overall After Stage 7:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 17:00:14
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 2:55
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:07
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 5:56
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 6:27
6. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 6:39
7. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:01
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 7:05
9. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:28
10. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 7:50.

Giro Donne’21 stage 7:

 

After a resounding win on stage five of the race, Team DSM doubled-up at the Giro Donne with Lorena Wiebes taking a spectacular sprint win on Stage 8, Team DSM Women program’s tenth win of the season.

With Thursday’s punchy and hilly finalé behind them, the peloton were met with a flatter affair at the Giro on Friday, with 130 kilometres from San Vendemiano to Mortegliano, to contend with. As in previous stages, it was a fast start with several failed breakaway attempts before eventually the elastic snapped and a three rider group went up the road, building up an advantage of around 4 minutes.

With all Team DSM riders in the peloton, focus remained on staying safe and conserving energy before the expected sprint finale. As the kilometres ticked by the advantage for the breakaway dwindled, with Floortje Mackaij and Leah Kirchmann helping to set the pace at the front of the bunch. The trio ahead rode strongly but the charging peloton caught them inside eight kilometres to go, once again setting up a fast sprint finish.

It was a hectic run in as the sprint teams fought for position at the front of the peloton on the twisting and turning roads. As the flamme rouge beckoned Juliette Labous shepherded Lorena Wiebes towards the front, with the former French national champion using her time trial abilities to expert use, stringing out the bunch. As Labous pulled over, Coryn Rivera came from behind at the perfect moment, using all of her experience in the last 300 metres to guide Wiebes through the final turns and into sight of the line. In a repeat of the team’s victory on stage five, Wiebes only had to put her nose in the wind for the final few hundred metres, powering across the line in jubilant celebration.

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Stage winner, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “Today we controlled the race again. We had Floortje there in the beginning and in the last part Leah helped too, and it was a really well controlled race for us. The sprint was really messy itself. Juliette brought me to the front in a nice way. I lost Coryn a bit, but luckily she came back in the last 300 metres and sped up really high. I could then start my sprint pretty easily after that and it was really nice to win again for the team. It was a messy finish but we found each other, so in the end we did a really good job.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 8 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 3:10:01
2. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar
3. Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) A.R. Monex
4. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana
7. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx
8. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
9. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
10. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Overall After Stage 8:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 20:10:15
2. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) SD Worx at 2:55
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:07
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 5:56
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 6:27
6. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 6:39
7. Mavi García (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:01
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 7:05
9. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 7:28
10. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 7:50.

Giro Donne’21 stage 8:

 

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio won Stage 9 of the Giro Donne. The South African rider of SD Worx had attacked on the penultimate climb and held out until the finish. Demi Vollering and Anna van der Breggen came in second and third, underlining once again the dominance of SD Worx.

It is equally clear that Van der Breggen will win this Giro Donne. After her double win at Prato Nevoso in the second stage, her leader’s jersey was never really in trouble again. The world champion was given another chance in the last mountain stage to highlight her upcoming overall victory by booking her third stage win. The very steep final climb of Monte Matajur was right up the alley of Van der Breggen and also teammates Moolman-Pasio and Vollering.

Before the favourites started, the peloton first had to catch an early break with Giorgia Vettorelli, Letizia Borghesi and Asia Zontone. They rode in front for quite some time, but their escape came to an end on the penultimate climb. Elisa Longo-Borghini and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio then tried. They quickly built up a stable lead of more than 2 minutes on the peloton. Anouska Koster and Soraya Paladin tried to close that gap, but didn’t come close.

On the final climb their lead finally started to decline. And Moolman-Pasio drove away from Longo-Borghini. The latter would be overtaken with 4 kilometres to go by Van der Breggen, Demi Vollering, Elizabeth Deignan and Marta Cavalli, who couldn’t join the South African rider. After two second places, the SD Worx rider was finally able to take the victory. Nothing changed in the overall.

giro donne21 st9

Stage winner, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx): “Wow, it feels so amazing. This is my tenth Giro, and I have never won a stage before! I have only ever finished second. I am also second on the GC, but it is really special to win a stage.”

Overall leader, Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx): “It was the plan to also go for the stage today, and I think Ashleigh did a really good job. It was a hard day for all of us, but a perfect stage.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 9 Result:
1. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx in 3:52:35
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 1:26
3. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx
4. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 1:39
5. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 2:14
6. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 2:27
7. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 2:37
8. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 2:46
9. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 2:56
10. Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 3:25.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Overall After Stage 9:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 24:04:12
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx 0:01:23
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:05
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 6:48
5. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 8:06
6. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 8:09
7. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 8:20
8. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 8:52
9. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 9:24
10. Gaia Realini (Ita) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria at 10:33.

Giro Donne’21 stage 9:

 

After spending the day in the break, Coryn Rivera used all of her experience and guile to take Team DSM’s third Giro Donne victory in the two-up sprint finish at the end of Stage 10.

The final day of racing at the Giro saw the bunch take on an interesting and hilly parcours, with 113 kilometres from Capriva del Friuli to Cormons, which included a climb that crested at just ten kilometres to go. It was an intense start to the stage before a very strong five rider group went clear on the first ascent of the day, with Coryn Rivera riding well to make the move for the team.

On the next climb there were fireworks in the chasing peloton, where Juliette Labous and Liane Lippert made it into a group of 13. Yet, the cohesion in the group slowed and the now diminished peloton reeled them in, before more riders returned from behind.

Working well out front, Rivera and her breakaway companions held onto a one minute and 50 second advantage as the race charged into the final 50 kilometres. From that point, the gap yo-yoed to the chasing peloton, going down to as low as 30 seconds before increasing again and heading onto the last climb, Rivera’s breakaway led by over a minute. With the group diminishing to four riders, it became tactical out front with Rivera forming an alliance with Chabbey, who was the only other rider willing to pull as the race headed towards the finale.

Once it became clear that they would fight it out for the win, Deignan started to take a turn again in the closing two kilometres, setting up a fast finale. Using all of her experience and guile, Rivera gritted her teeth and delivered an incredibly punchy sprint finish on the slight drag uphill, timing her bike throw perfectly to claim a fantastic win for the team; raising her arm aloft for her first win of the season and the Women program’s 11th.

Behind in the chasing bunch, Liane Lippert sprinted to sixth place while Juliette Labous finished safely, securing a strong seventh place on GC for the team. After a brilliant week of riding, the team leaves Italy with three fantastic stage wins and a well-earned and hard-fought overall classification position.

giro donne21 st10

Stage winner, Coryn Rivera (DSM): “What a day. Over the first GPM I found myself in a bit of a move. Unfortunately, Juliette was caught in a crash behind, but at least we had a good situation at the front of the race. The gap grew pretty big, so we were pretty confident that it would stay to the line and it was also a strong group, and we were cooperating well. I was taking a pull on the climb and was trying to figure out how to beat two Trek riders, but I managed to drop one and continued to push the pace. The rest of the stage just came down to instincts and proper racing. I wanted to keep an eye on the other two girls, while Lizzie was my biggest competitor in the sprint. I let her open it up early and the finish was a little close, but I had a little extra motivation with my dad on my shoulder and it’s also Nate, my fiancé’s birthday, so I had some extra motivation today. I’m really happy with my personal performance. I know the girls had some challenges today, with Juliette and Lorena crashing, but they’re both okay and we adjusted really well. Juliette sealed up GC and we all came home pretty safe so I think we can all be happy with the last ten days and the final stage.”

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage 10 Result:
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) DSM in 2:56:40
2. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo
3. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 0:03
4. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx
5. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar at 0:23
6. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
7. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
8. Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
10. Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM.

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Final Overall Result:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx in 27:00:55
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 1:43
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3:25
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 6:39
5. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 8:26
6. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 8:29
7. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 8:40
8. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 9:12
9. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 9:44
10. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 10:42.

Giro Donne’21 stage 9:

 

lotto soudal
Roger Kluge forced to abandon Tour de France after crash on stage 13 descent
With 62 kilometres to go on stage 13 of the Tour de France, Lotto Soudal’s Roger Kluge hit the deck in a crash – caused by loose gravel on the road – which took down several other riders. Kluge was brought to hospital in Narbonne where no fractures were diagnosed. However, Kluge incurred heavy abrasions on the back, right hip and elbow. The latter needed stitching as well.

“Suddenly everybody started braking and when I reached for my brakes, I already touched wheels”, says Roger Kluge. “I clipped out of my right pedal and went down on my right side. I crashed pretty hard and then I realised why everybody was braking… The road was full of little stones and we were just sliding on loose gravel. I had to think of what Caleb said after he went down. Immediately after the crash, I was also in a lot of pain, especially my back hurt a lot. I didn’t think a second of jumping back on the bike.”

Because of the absence of fractures, it looks like Kluge’s Olympic campaign will not be affected. The former Madison world champion will represent Germany in both the Madison and omnium discipline at the Olympics in Tokyo.

“Luckily there are no broken bones, so normally Tokyo will be the next step for me. But first, everything needs to heal well of course. I’m happy that I didn’t break anything and the Olympics are still possible but we will need to see how it goes. Luckily, there’s still some time”, concludes Roger Kluge.

kluge

 

dsm
Team DSM’s Søren Kragh Andersen Abandons the Tour de France
The worst affected from a crash on a section of road strewn with gravel that brought down nearly all of Team DSM’s riders, Søren Kragh Andersen will not start stage 14 of the Tour de France today. Finishing yesterday’s stage 16 minutes down, Kragh Andersen was the second last rider to cross the finish line on the day, he was immediately taken for assessment by the team’s medical staff. After close observation overnight, Kragh Andersen showed signs of concussion, which left no room for discussion with the team’s medical staff regarding his continuation at the race. The 26 year old Dane will now head home for a period of rest completely off the bike while he recovers.

Kragh Andersen said: “I am really disappointed and don’t want to leave the Tour de France. In my heart I know that the decision of the team’s medical staff can only be right one. I hope this is the last of the bad luck for the guys here at the race, and I wish them all the best for the final week.”

Team DSM physician Camiel Aldershof added: “We closely monitored Søren during the evening and very quickly came to the decision that he was no longer fit to race after seeing some signs of concussion. Søren will now take a complete period of rest and we will continue assessing his progress, before we consider a plan for his return to the bike.”

Søren Kragh Andersen:
Soren Kragh Andersen

 

deceuninck
Iljo Keisse Extends Contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The seven-time Six Days of Gent winner will continue his adventure with the Wolfpack in 2022.

Iljo Keisse has signed for another year with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, a deal which will see him ride for a 13th consecutive season in the colours of the most successful team in the world. Being 38 years old and one of the most experienced guys in the bunch, Keisse showed his strength on countless occasions, as was the case at the latest Giro d’Italia, but also produced some truly indelible moments over the years, like his Tour of Turkey stage victory in Izmir or the win he got in Milan, where he held off an entire bunch on the last day of the 2015 Corsa Rosa.

“Next year in December I’ll turn 40, and that’s also the date I have in mind to stop racing. I’m just super happy with the confidence shown and that I didn’t need to search for another team for my last season as a pro. Becoming older you naturally lose some things, but there are other things you get better at, experience being one of them.”

“My primary focus is now my role as road captain and giving the younger guys guidance. One of the main strengths of this squad is definitely the staff, the team behind the riders. Both the staff and the riders are just one big family and I’m super proud to be part of it and to have been here for so many years already,” a delighted Iljo Keisse said.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere doesn’t have any doubts Keisse will continue to show his class and bring his contribution to the team’s successes in 2022: “I’m really happy to have Iljo with us for another year, he’s our most experienced rider and someone from whom the young guys on the squad have a lot of things to learn. Iljo always goes full gas in his role, which he executes perfectly, and gives absolutely everything. He has such a big engine and always knows exactly what to do in each situation, so having him aboard for one more season is a big advantage.”

Iljo Keisse:
giro

 

deceuninck
Fabio Jakobsen Inks New Deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The 24-year-old Dutch rider signs a contract until the end of 2023
Fabio Jakobsen made an emotional comeback at this year’s Tour of Turkey, after a long and hard recovery road he embarked on since his accident at last year’s Tour de Pologne.

After helping his teammates, and especially Mark Cavendish to four stage wins in Turkey, Fabio said this was the biggest victory for him and an important step in his journey. Jakobsen, who so far since turning pro has scored 18 victories for the Wolfpack – including a brace of La Vuelta stages at his Grand Tour debut and back-to-back wins at Scheldeprijs – will take the next steps of his journey with Deceuninck – Quick-Step after agreeing to stay with the team until the end of 2023.

“I’m so satisfied to continue with the Wolfpack. I’d like to thank Patrick, the staff and all the sponsors for their fantastic support. I’m looking forward to the upcoming two years, to get back to winning races with my teammates, step by step. Right now, I’m in Livigno, preparing for my next goals. I’m grateful for where I am now and for having such an amazing team around me, a team that supported and helped me develop since turning pro in 2018, and I’ll continue to work hard to achieve my goals”, said Fabio Jakobsen with a big smile.

“To see where Fabio comes from, it’s just a miracle. Step by step he’s making progress and we’re super happy to have him with us for two more years. Fabio has a lot of talent, has skills and ambition, and we’ll continue to work towards the next races together. He’s been through a lot, but he always had the team behind him and that will never change. In the past he beat some of the fastest sprinters in the world in some of the biggest races, and we are confident that one day he’ll be able to raise his hands again”, added Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere.

jokobsen

 

lotto soudal
Degenkolb to Ride the Deutschland Tour
John Degenkolb will be at the start of the Deutschland Tour for the first time this year. The experienced sprinter will not be wearing his Lotto Soudal kit, but will be a rider of the German national team. “A dream comes true,” Degenkolb said on Twitter.

Degenkolb’s Lotto Soudal team will not participate in the German stage race. Degenkolb still gets the opportunity to participate in his home tour for the first time. The 32-year-old rider is happy with this exception. “I want to thank everyone who made this possible. To ride my home tour in the national team jersey… It’s a dream come true.”

Degenkolb, who is in his second season for Lotto Soudal, suffered a major blow three weeks ago with his non-selection for the Tour de France. The fast German is still looking for his first win of 2021. Degenkolb managed to finish third in the Ronde van Limburg and sixth in the Tro-Bro Léon.

Degenkolb to ride his home tour:
degenkolb

 

eolo
A New Stage Race to Continue Displaying the Combative Spirit of a Project on the Asphalt
I Settimana Ciclistica Italiana – Sulle strade della Sardegna From 14th to 18th July

A new race on the calendar and again with the GS Emillia label, a team that is consolidating, with an interesting portfolio of races managed on Italian soil, as one of the major organisers on the world stage. ASO, RCS, Unipublic (which is a bit ASO) or Flanders Classic control the big races. GS Emilia is a step below, but with its portfolio of races it is certainly not a “lower” step. Organisers that are fundamental to the sport thanks to their commitment to creating a competitive fabric.

The first edition of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana travels to the island of Sardinia and proposes a route of more than 850 kilometres, without a time trial and without a summit finish. Five days in which, given the presence of demanding terrain in the Sardinian island intraterra, there will be plenty of room for intense battles for victory. A route, in short, open to a wider range of riders and which will be faced by a top level peloton, with 21 teams in action.

For this race, Stefano Zannatta, Jesús Hernández and Sean Yates have put together a versatile team, where there is speed, where there is work capacity and also a lot of explosiveness. Davide Bais, Mattia Frapporti, Francesco Gavazzi, Arturo Grávalos, Luca Pacioni, Alejandro Ropero and Luca Wackermann will be the seven riders fighting for a partial victory and a good final classification.

Luca Wackermann, rider of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “The crash in the last stage of the Adriatica Ionica Race has slowed me down a little, but I am happy to be able to continue racing in this period, adding kilometres and rhythm to the legs. This race will be my first competition on the island of Sardinia. The stages are all very suitable for my characteristics and I hope to arrive in a good condition to face them”.

“There is no race that is inferior to another for us and the objective is always the same: to be protagonists and fight for the victory. The dynamic that the whole team is experiencing is very good. The work of these months has been very intense, it has borne fruit in the form of victories and good results and I’m sure it will continue like this, because all the riders have gained in confidence and they share this idea: every day of competition is unique and as good as the one before and the one after. That’s why a new stage race like this one is an unbeatable stage. We are travelling with a very interesting team that is going to give us great joy”, says sports director Jesús Hernández.

eolo

 

uae
Go Full Gas at Tour de Yas
ADNOC and UAE Team Emirates Celebrate World’s Biggest Bike Race with Free Community Cycling Event at Yas Marina Circuit.

On Tuesday 13th July, as UAE Team Emirates tackles Stage 16 of the Tour de France, team partner, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is inviting the whole community to get behind the team through a unique cycling event hosted at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

For one night only, ADNOC will be turning Train Yas yellow with its Tour de Yas event. As part of its broader initiatives to promote healthy and active lifestyle among the UAE community, cyclists will have the chance to watch the Tour de France live on the big screens as they cycle around the track. They can also take part in a short course Time Trial to win prizes and signed team merchandise.

A new 2.3km circuit configuration will be opened exclusively for the Time Trial event as riders of all ages and abilities are encouraged to channel their inner Tadej Pogacar with the aim of setting a new fastest lap time.

To inject some added star power into the event, UAE Team Emirates’ Matteo Trentin will make a guest appearance via a live virtual Q+A from his training camp in Spain. The three-time Tour de France stage winner will also provide real-time commentary of the race, offering unparalleled insight into the tactics and mindsets of the riders leading the pro peloton through the mountains.

Trentin said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the team right now. They are doing an amazing job at the Tour and it’s great to know that whole of the UAE is cheering them on. I look forward to being a part of the Tour de Yas event and answering questions from our fans in the UAE.”

The free event starts at 18:00 and will be held with strict Covid-19 precautions in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone attending the event. Attendees will be able to watch the Tour de France from fan zone areas inside the track.

The time trial competition will commence at 20:00 with riders having one hour to set their fastest lap time. The evening will end with a prize-giving ceremony at 21:30, with the track closing at its usual time of 22:00.

Fans and cyclists can show their support for Tadej Pogacar and the whole of UAE Team Emirates by signing up here to participate.

For more information visit www.uaeteamemirates.com

uae yas

 

ineos grenadier
Tom Pidcock x MTB World Cup Behind the Scenes | INEOS Grenadiers Off-script | Les Gets Highlights
Join us behind the scenes with INEOS Grenadiers Off-script and Tom Pidcock across a dramatic weekend of action in Les Gets at the @UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2021.

 

qhubeka
Hope | Team Qhubeka NextHash TDF2021
Team Qhubeka NextHash is delighted to present the third in its series of short films from the 2021 Tour de France – ‘Hope’.

This film reflects on exploring hope in respect of honouring the world’s biggest race but also on what the team’s standing is in the world of cycling, and the unique position it has to inspire through competing on the very highest level.

It includes reflecting on the journey of Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to ever compete at the Tour de France, and his remarkable story that saw him eliminated from the race on stage 9 in Tignes. His own personal journey captivated people around the world with his determination to complete the stage despite being out of the time limit.

Our two previous films in the series, ‘Success’ and ‘Ubuntu’ can be viewed here.

 


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