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Blockhaus - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Nairo Quintana (COL - Movistar) pictured during team stage 9 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Montenero di Bisaccia to Blockhaus, 139.00 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Loads of race news in EUROTRASH Monday: Giro d’Italia, Amgen Tour of California and the 4 Jours de Dunkerque with reports, quotes and video. Nairo Quintana has taken control in Italy, but a crash affected the result – Top Story. In other cycling news: Wout Van Aert to ride the road, Amets Txurruka retires, BMC partners FH Foundation and La Course goes to Marseilles. A full Monday!

TOP STORY: Big crash on Giro Stage 9
A crash with a badly parked police motorbike took three GC contenders out of contention for stage 9: Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) lost 4:39, Geraint Thomas lost 5:08 and his Sky teammate, Mikel Landa can forget any hopes of winning the 2017 Giro d’Italia as he is now at 26:56 to overall leader, Nairo Quintana. Add to that the abandonment of Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman after the crash left him with a broken finger. He will also need four to six weeks of recuperation.

After so many accidents and fatalities in races over recent seasons due to vehicles, the UCI were taking a more stringent view on drivers in races and insisting on driving courses, tests and issuing license for anyone who would be driving anywhere near the riders. The question is; Does that include the police?

On the evidence of this video, the answer seems to be no.

Giro d’Italia 2017
Swiss rider Silvan Dillier of BMC Racing Team powered to his first ever victory at the Giro d’Italia as he managed to beat top Belgian sprinter Jasper Stuyven of Trek-Segafredo in the uphill finish of Terme Luigiane on Stage 6. The duo, along with the first Maglia Rosa of the Giro100, the Austrian Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) made a successful 202km breakaway while Quick-Step Floors’ Bob Jungels (Luxembourg) retained the GC lead for the third consecutive day.

As soon as the flagged drop to signal the start of the 217km stage, Dillier had a flat tire and was forced to chase the peloton for 10km, just in time to make his way back through the bunch and chase down the breakaway. The five riders forged on and quickly gained an advantage of more than eight minutes as they tackled the first categorized climb of the day.

By the time the race entered the final 100km the advantage had come down to 5:40 but despite an increase in pace from the peloton, the breakaway continued to stay in front. Approaching the final 25km, Dillier’s group still had a three-minute advantage and as they hit the final categorized Fuscaldo climb, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) both dropped.

Stuyven attacked over the summit but Dillier and Pöstlberger were able to follow his wheel and stick together down the tricky hairpin descent that would lead the trio into the finale. Aware of the peloton closing in, the trio kept a high pace and as they rode under the flamme rouge they began to look at each other, waiting for the first attack. It was a stalemate until the final 250m when Dillier launched his sprint from the third position and managed to hold on, despite Stuyven chasing hard, to take the biggest win of his career.

Full PEZ Race Report HERE.

Terme Luigiane - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Silvan Dillier (SUI - BMC) pictured during team stage 6 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Reggio Calabria - Terme Luigiane, 207.00 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

The Winner’s Interview with Silvan Dillier
Silvan, congratulations! Tell us how the stage was for you.

“Basically the stage started pretty bad for me. I had a flat tire at KM 0. I chased back and I could go straight away in the breakaway. At the end, it was pretty hard to stay away. To beat Jasper Stuyven in a sprint like this is crazy. I still can’t believe this. I know the harder the race, the better it is for me. The final was really hard and Jasper Stuyven is a really strong rider. I had some concerns about him. To win a stage against him is crazy. It feels great.”

How does this win compare with your previous results?
“For sure it is the biggest victory so far for me. I can’t describe it. It’s fantastic. Actually how I did it, I do not know. I know when it is a hard sprint, I have power, I can push a big gear. I just tried to believe in myself and try to find some more energy. I could finish it in the end. I was chasing for a victory for almost two years now and it’s unbelievable that I get this one today. I had some nice victories and moments before, but this is for sure the biggest.”

How has the opening week of the Giro d’Italia been for you?
“The first few days which were meant to be pretty easy, weren’t. As the race gets harder, the better I get compared to other riders so I could use this to my advantage today. This is really important for the team to get a stage win here. It gives us some confidence and a good spirit, and we want to keep this up.”

Who do you dedicate this victory to?
“I want to give this victory to my team as they give me a lot of confidence and support, but also my family and my wife back home because they always support me. They give me a really solid base and I’m really happy to be in this whole environment.”

2nd, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo): “They always say that if you are close, it will come, but there are not that many opportunities; you have to take them when they are there. It didn’t happen today, and that is actually pretty sh**t. They said it was going to be a tailwind, but it was not really a tailwind all the way. When we came into the crosswind section before the feed zone, I was not so positive that we would make it. At that point, it was really hard. But I think we managed it well and Mads – he just pulled like an animal today! The finish was 8%, so it was pretty hard, and I know Dillier is a strong guy, so I was paying attention to him. Of course you are tired after such a long day and after a sprint, but most of all because I am really disappointed actually.”

3rd, Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I took the chance and went into the break today. In the final I knew I had to go earlier than the others, but after 200 kilometers in front, you didn’t know how your legs are. Today mine haven’t been good enough in the end and I took third place, which still makes me really happy. But I will try it again for sure in the next days, I still feel the flow from the pink jersey and my journey at this Giro is not over yet.”

8th on the stage and overall leader, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): “Having a breakaway with no rider posing any danger to the general classification was the perfect situation for us. We were hoping the escape will go all the way, so that they mop up the bonus seconds. In the peloton, all I had to do was keep a close eye on my opponents in the closing kilometers, which worked out well. So far, it’s been a great race for us, we have pink, white and ciclamino, and we’ll continue enjoying these moments. As I’ve already said, I hope to keep the maglia rosa until Sunday, when we’ll arrive on Blockhaus. We’ll see there how I’ll cope with the climb, but the good things is that two days later the Giro schedules an ITT, where I will have an opportunity to gain time on the climbers.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 6 Result:
1. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC in 4:58:01
2. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:12
4. Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:26
5. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac at 0:39
6. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 6:
1. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors in 28:20:47
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:06
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:10
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
10. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar.

Stage 6:

Despite a lumpy start and finish, Stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia offered another opportunity for a bunch sprint into Alberobello.

Just three riders rode in the breakaway, before it shortly dropped down to just two, making the long 224km stage more simple for the sprint teams to control. Juul-Jensen shared the duties at the front of the peloton with Quick-Step Floors and Lotto Soudal and the gap never reached four-minutes. As the race approached the technical and complicated finish, the intensity stepped up as outfits tried to keep their leaders in front and out of danger. The race was back together with 14km to go and Orica-Scott hit the front. After a final lead out from Mezgec, Ewan launched early to navigate the most direct line to the finish, just holding onto the victory in a final lunge.

Stage race report HERE.

Alberobello - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Caleb Ewan (AUS - ORICA - Scott) pictured during team stage 7 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Castrovillari to Alberobello, 220.00 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): “This win has probably brought me more joy than any other. Everyday I didn’t get a win, I felt the pressure build so to finally get the victory it feels pretty good. This is the best way to repay my teammates who have been working so hard for me. We went early, but that was the plan, and they just stayed so confident and so calm. They did a fantastic job today. It was probably one of the more hectic finals I’ve done at the Giro. We knew we wanted to be in front in those final corners so I hit out earlier than I usually would. It meant I could take the best line to the finish and luckily I held on. Even after the past days I knew it wasn’t my form that was in doubt, I just needed a bit of luck. Today the team were awesome again and all I had to do was that last sprint to the line.”

2nd and points leader, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): “That final kilometer was hectic and really technical, but Ewan did a great sprint and deserved to win. I was boxed in at one point, but made use of my track skills and came to the front, taking second in the end. Giving that I was far back when the sprint started, this is a good result, one which helps me stretch my lead in the maglia ciclamino standings. I am happy the legs were there and will see what the next stages will bring”

3rd, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a hectic and really a tricky final. I really don’t know what happened but the boys did really a great job and I want to thank them. We are a pretty young group here but we work so good together and today it was really close to the win.”

6th, Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data): “The team was amazing today. Nathan [Haas] and Kristian [Sbaragli] did a great job setting me up for the final. Unfortunately, I lost a bit of positions in the last 1.5 km, so I had to make a big effort in order to get back and find a good position again. I took the last corner a little too sharply, which cost me all my momentum, meaning I had to do another effort just to get back in the mix. After that, I wasn’t even able to sprint. I was just holding the wheel in front of me and holding my position. I’m disappointed about how it turned out because I felt I had good legs. If I had been on the wheel comfortably going into the last corner, I think I could have done something. The team really committed to me today and I would have liked to repay them with something more than sixth place.”

Overall leader, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): “I don’t really see anything that should make me stress too much. I’m in no rush. This is my fourth day in the Maglia Rosa and there’s no downside to having it. It’s been quite a good Giro for me so far. I want to keep the jersey but not be caught up by the pressure. Today was the first day with no stress due to the wind or the echelons – it was only technical at the end. I won’t be fresh any more after climbing to the Blockhaus on Sunday, but there’s the time trial after that, which should favor me.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 7 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott in 5:35:18
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
7. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:02
8. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 7:
1. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors in 33:56:07
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:10
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
10. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC.

Stage 7:

Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) offered himself the biggest success in his decade-long professional cycling career and opened the Spanish outfit’s account on Saturday’s Giro d’Italia Stage 8 – an 189km rolling parcours from Molfetta to Peschici – over the hills of the Gargano region in southeastern Italy that offered no respite to the competitors. After the first hour of racing was covered at a whopping 53.5kph average, the original 16-man break kept close by the bunch despite looking like a winning move.

Izagirre rode a fast downhill to reach the leading group, which was torn apart by the fast pace at the beginning of the stage. The speed set by Quick-Step Floors and Katusha in the bunch behind forced Izagirre to respond to nervous accelerations from Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) and Visconti (Bahrain-Merida). The two Italians, together with Gorka, Luis León Sánchez (Astana) and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe, dropped later on), formed a decisive split and took a 10 second gap with 6km remaining at the Coppa del Fornaro climb. This group would play their cards for victory at the finish in Via Montesanto (1.5km, 5% average).

Barely making it past a crash from Conti, Izagirre chose to launch his winning move from the foot of the climb, taking some meters that ultimately brought him his sixth win as a pro (3x Clásica de Ordizia; stage win in Luxembourg, 2010; last April’s Klasika Amorebieta), the most resounding in his career. After the escapees, an elite GC group came in at 10 seconds with the pink jersey safe for another day on the shoulders of Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) for another day.

Zorionak! (“Congratulations”, in Basque language)

Stage 8 PEZ Race Report.

Stage winner, Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar): “It was our goal to have someone in the breakaway. The race was very fast. As Giovanni Visconti went into the breakaway, I went as well because we’re in the same kind of situation as the Bahrain-Merida team. I wasn’t the strongest rider at the front, it was Valerio Conti who was also the highest ranked on GC but he had some problems and as I saw a gap behind me after he crashed, I went full gas. There was one kilometer uphill remaining. I normally go pretty well on that terrain. I won today due to circumstances and our goal remains to win the Giro with Nairo Quintana.”

2nd, Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida): “Too bad the crash of Valerio Conti, because I was forced to almost stop and restart. I feel sorry, because I believe that I could win today, but I’m satisfied anyway.”

Crash victim, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s a shame. I made a mistake and I’m so sorry. I believed in the victory. Maybe I exaggerated a bit in the turn pedaling too much. Maybe I had too much adrenaline in order to get through the final few meters. I fell still attached to the pedal and lost time. I did a perfect stage in the finale the strongest breakaway riders remained in front and we were ready to fight in order to win the stage. The only thing I can say is I was feeling good and believed in the stage victory. Now I’m really sorry and disappointed. I hope there will be another occasion because I am in good shape.”

Race leader, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): “I crashed on my knee but I have no pain. It’s all my fault. I didn’t pay enough attention and I touched the back wheel of a team-mate. We had to be patient after the first climb, then our big engines went back to the front to close the gap onto the breakaway to save my Maglia Rosa. Now apparently the big battle begins. Tomorrow I expect a hard finale to the Blockhaus. It’ll be time for favorites to show themselves. For myself, it’ll be a question of hanging on and see how far I can go. I’m not scared of anybody but if somebody has more power than me, I might lose the lead but on Tuesday there’ll be a pretty long time trial, and not an easy one, which should suit me pretty well. I’m looking forward to it.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 8 Result:
1. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar in 4:24:59
2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:05
3. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 0:10
4. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:12
5. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
10. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 8:
1. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors in 38:21:18
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:06
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:10
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
10. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar.

Stage 8:

Nairo Quintana and the Movistar Team took a step forward in their aspirations to win the 100th Giro d’Italia as they claimed a convincing win on Stage 9, 152km from Montenero di Bisaccia to the Summit of the Blockhaus (Cat-1), which saw the Blue squad taking over the race with an outstanding display.

The labour by Sutherland, Bennati and Rojas, on the flatter sections; Amador, Izagirre and Herrada, taking care of the Colombian and starting the big selection at the foot of the climb; and a superb combined effort from De La Parte and Anacona to shatter the GC group during the ascent, all led to the decisive accelerations from Quintana, which started 7km from the finish and did not end before the Colombian left the opposition behind.

Nairo dropped Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), the only ones able to follow his first move, and reached the finish line with 24 seconds over the Frenchman and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), who climbed at his own pace to take 3rd; 41 seconds over Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo); 1 minute to Nibali and more than 2 over Zakarin (Katusha). A crash with a motorbike took three big GC contenders down in Adam Yates (Orica-Scott +4:39), Geraint Thomas (Sky +5:08) and Mikel Landa (SKY +26:56).

It’s the Movistar Team’s 25th victory in a record 2017 season for the Blues. Nairo Quintana claims his sixth since February. The Colombian will have a hard task to tackle on Tuesday at the rolling, 39km ITT stage ten from Montefalco to Foligno.

Stage winner and new overall leader, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “Such a great day! I wanted to show that both my legs and those of my team-mates were doing great. I feel strong and I’m pleased to see the whole Movistar Team riding this way. All of the boys have been simply outstanding, they worked their hearts out from start to finish, from the very first one to the last, at the exact moment they had to, and that also brings you extra motivation to give your best. I knew it was important to open some distance with the biggest rivals before the TT. After my first attack I saw Pinot and Nibali being able to follow, but I continued to make attacks, one after another, until I was able to finally open a gap and carry on. I just gave everything that I had – I’m so happy I ended up winning this stage and also wearing the Maglia Rosa before the rest day. We’re really satisfied with the selection we created between the main contenders and taking these seconds on them. There’s still a long way to go in this Giro. We’ll see after Tuesday’s TT if these 30 seconds over Dumoulin are many or too few, but for the time being, I’m feeling good, with strong health, good legs, and that’s what really matters so early in this race. This victory goes to all Latin American and Colombian fans; to Michele Scarponi, whom I regret so much about his passing; and also my wife and all mothers in their day.”

5th on the stage and overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “It wasn’t a climb for me. Quintana’s team made a great pace and we took the last 13km very fast. Probably I was too generous and I spent too much energy at the beginning of the climb. But I will have more opportunities in the next days.”

Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman was forced to abandon on stage 9, after a crash left him with a broken finger. The injury sustained is to the same finger as was broken earlier in the season following a crash at Strade Bianche.

Team physician Mannes Naeff gives more depth to Kelderman’s injury: “Wilco has a complicated fracture on the index finger of his left hand, the same finger he fractured in his crash at Strade Bianche. Just as the last time he will need surgery once again. He will be operated on in the Netherlands, within a few days. After surgery he will need at least four to six weeks to recover.”

Kelderman expressed his dismay after his abandon: “It is really frustrating to crash out like this. We were taking our position in front-left side and we needed to avoid the motor that was on the road. Tom just managed to go around the motorbike but I clipped it with my handlebar. This is a big disappointment for me, I felt really strong and it’s devastating to not have been able to help Tom some more with his great result today. So far the Giro has been really good for the team, there’s a great atmosphere and spirit which is great to be a part of. I’ve worked really hard over the past few months to raise my level and it’s really sad that I cannot continue to show this.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Result:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 3:44:51
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:24
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:41
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:00
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:18
7. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 2:02
8. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:14
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ at 2:28
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 2:35.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 9:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 42:06:09
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:28
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:30
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:51
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:10
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:28
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:28
8. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 2:45
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 2:53
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 3:06.

Stage 9:

Amgen Tour of California 2017
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) scored his 80th career pro win in dominant fashion on Stage 1 of the Tour of California, which this year is part of the World Tour calendar for the first time since its inception. Riding the US race for just the second time in his career, the German – who turned 29 a few days ago – didn’t give any chance to his opponents and sprinted to a convincing victory in the center of Sacramento, the city which hosted the start and finish of the opening stage.

With around 75 kilometers left of Sunday’s pan flat stage, crosswinds threatened to wreak havoc at the race, and Quick-Step Floors, sensing an opportunity, moved to the fore, splitting the peloton. Riders were scattered all over the road, but things eventually calmed down a few kilometers later, as not many teams were committed in pushing a hard pace and keeping the gap.

Soon after, another attempt to break the bunch followed, but this time all the teams were attentive and the only result was that the advantage of the four escapees shrinked to under a minute. The quartet, which formed moments after the start, managed to stay in the lead until the final ten kilometers, when they got reabsorbed by a single file peloton.

On the Sacramento city circuit, Quick-Step Floors made their way to the front with around four kilometers remaining, outnumbering and outpacing all the other lead-out trains and delivering Marcel Kittel in a perfect position to open his sprint. The powerful German made it look easy, as he pounced with 200 meters to go and nabbed his first victory on US soil, beating Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Elia Viviani (Sky) in the process.

Sacramento - California - USA - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Marcel KITTEL (Germanu / Team Quick Step - Floors) - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe) - Elia VIVIANI (Italy / Team Sky) - John DEGENKOLB (Germany / Team Trek Segafredo)   pictured during the Amgen Tour of California 2017 - stage 1 from  Sacramento to Sacramento  (167,5KM) - photo Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2017 ***USA OUT***

Stage winner and overall leader, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors): “I’m happy to make my return to the Tour of California with a stage victory, which came with this beautiful yellow jersey as bonus. I enjoyed being out there today: the stage was nice, we had great weather and some really fantastic fans who gave us a warm welcome. It’s an excellent start to the race for our team, which gives us even more confidence and motivation for next week. The guys were strong throughout the day and rode intelligently, I’m very proud of them, so chapeau for an impeccable job”, said Marcel Kittel, who also leads the points classification following Sunday’s victory, his 20th since joining Quick-Step Floors.

2nd, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It’s good to be racing in California. As expected, today’s opening stage finished in a bunch sprint in Sacramento and I gave it my all. Having been thirteen days since my last race and after an intensive high altitude training session, it wasn’t easy to kick into race mode. I am satisfied with my condition, I had good sensations and I feel I’m on the right path for the rest of the race.”

6th, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data): “It was a pretty fast day and with the annoying wind, it made it a bit nervous in the bunch as well. There were some super-fast laps to finish here at the end and the team did a super job to keep me in position. In the end, I did a little bit too much in the wind before the final sprint so I was already on the limit when coming to the line. Some of the best sprinters in the world are here so 6th place on a pretty fast day, I’ll take that for now but there are some better stages coming for me.”

8th, Marko Kump (UAE Team Emirates): “Team worked good together so we were in front all the time. In the laps it was important to stay in front because of many corners. Unfortunately we got lost before the last lap(-3 km to arrival) then Simone Consonni and I had to do big effort to came back to the front before last km. In the end, I lost too much on that effort so I wasn’t able to do a good sprint. I’m sure that we will be fighting for top results in next days.”

Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 3:45:35
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
6. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
7. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis
8. Marko Kump (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
9. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
10. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare.

Amgen Tour of California Overall After Stage 1:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 3:45:25
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky at 0:06
4. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC at 0:09
5. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo at 0:10
7. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
8. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
9. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis
10. Marko Kump (Slo) UAE Team Emirates.

ATOC stage 1:

4 Jours de Dunkerque 2017
After two days in which the stage victory was decided by a sprint, Stage 3 – relatively flat 153 kilometers between Beauvais and Amiens – was won in a surprise move by Benjamin Thomas (Armée de Terre).

The escape of the day was formed by 7 cyclists before the first sprint of the at kilometer 19. Andrea Vendrame and Raffaello Bonusi (Androni-Sidermec), Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Guillaume Levarlet (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Thibault Ferasse (Armée de Terre), Flavien Dassonville (HP BTP-Auber 93) and Jeremy Cabot (Roubaix-Lille Métropole).

Andrea Vendrame (Androni-Sidermec) put himself in the KOM leaders jersey as they gained a maximum 3 minute lead. Direct Energie had missed the break and started to chase 60 kilometers out and with 40 kilometers to go they also tried to split the main peloton with the strong cross-wind. The break was caught with 25 kilometers remaining.

14 kilometers from the finish, Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) jumped away to be joined by Benjamin Thomas (Armée de Terre) and Maxime Vantomme (WB-Veranclassic-AquaProtect) 4 kilometers later. The three never had more that 15 seconds advantage and with 2K to go Chavanel dropped back, leaving Thomas and Vantomme with 6 seconds lead under the flamme rouge.

In that finishing straight, Thomas dropped his companion and held off the peloton led by Niccoló Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida), there were no changes in the overall.

2nd on the stage Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida): “It’s a good second place, because it was a hilly stage and in the finale there were some climbs where we were in a row. In the last km my teammates led me out very well and we succeeded in doing a great team work. I could take the wheel of Demare and do a good sprint, even if it was impossible to catch Thomas who took a little of advantage. I’m happy because my legs were good after a month of stop. Let’s see next days. Thanks to my team!”

4 Jours de Dunkerque Stage 3 Result:
1. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Armee de Terre in 3:29:00
2. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
4. Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect
5. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Roubaix-Lille Metropole
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
8. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
10. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Overall After Stage 3:
1. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 12:02:23
2. Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ at 0:10
3. Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:12
4. Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:13
6. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect at 0:14
7. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:15
8. Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect at 0:16
9. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Roubaix-Lille Metropole
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Dunkerque stage 3:

After more than a year without a win, Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) took the victory and the overall lead in Stage 4 of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque on Friday.

The break of the day took time to form, it included: Chun Kai Feng (Bahrain-Merida), Kévin Le Cunff (HP BTP-Auber 93) and Luca Pacioni (Androni-Sidermec). Just before the 100 kilometers to go mark, Le Cunff was dropped and the other two had 8 minutes in hand with 70 kilometers to race, although the pair were not working well together. When AG2R-La Mondiale and Aqua Blue Sport started to chase when the race started the finishing circuite and the lead bagan to fall, with 39 kilometers remaining the leaders only had 1:30.

Cofidis took control of the chase and on the second lap with 30 K to go the pair were caught. On the penultimate lap, Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) tried a new attack that gave him a small advantage, but he too was recaptured by the peloton.

On the last climb of the Saint Ettienne du Mont Delko Fernandez and Mauro Finetto (Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM) tried to escape and were joined by: Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Samuel Dumoulin and Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale), Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ), Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), Florian Senechal and Clement Venturini (Cofidis) and Franck Bonnamour (Fortune-Vital Concept). With most of the major teams being represented they gained a good lead.

Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) took his chance with 5 kilometers to go and soloed to the finish. Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) led in the pursuing group ahead of Clement Venturini (Cofidis). Thanks to his stage victory, Chava also took the leaders pink jersey.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Stage 4 Result:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie in 4:27:17
2. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:05
3. Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
4. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
5. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo – Vital Concept
6. Sander Armée (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
8. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Cofidis
9. Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:08.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Overall After Stage 4:
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie in 16:29:43
2. Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis at 0:10
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondial at 0:11
4. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Cofidis at 0:18
5. Sander Armée (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:21
7. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect at 0:32
8. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole at 0:34
9. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
10. Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie.

Dunkerque stage 4:

As the days have passed in the 4 Jours of Dunkirk, the difficulty of the routes and the tension between the aspirants for the final victory has been increasing little by little. Stage 5, on the menu of the penultimate day – the Queen stage of the race – with 8 laps to the classic circuit of Cassel, with its slopes and pavé as judges of the race. 188 kilometers and 9 scoring KOM’s separated Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) from his triumphant ride in Dunkerque. But the victory, after a good fight went to Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ).

A group of 13 riders escaped early in the stage and they were held at 3 minutes and still had that lead when they hit the final circuit of Cassel with 130 km to go. Having ridden half of the finish circuits, with 6 kilometers to go, a new counter-attack produced a pursuit group of 7 members. After joining the first two groups in the lead, the most dangerous GC riders were Florian Sénéchal (Cofidis) and Adrien Petit (Direct-Energie).

30 kilometers remaining and the lead was only 1 minute with Lotto Soudal riding hard on the front of the peloton. Damien Gaudin (Armée de Terre) went solo, but with so many others attacking overall leader Sylvain Chavanel, his Direct Energie team pulled the race back together for a group of 15 riders to take the lead: Dumoulin, Naesen and Riblon (AG2R-LaMondiale), Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida), Le Gac and Konovalovas (FDJ), Armée (Lotto Soudal) Sénéchal and Venturini (Cofidis), Fineto and Delio Fernández (Delko-MarseilleProvence-KTM), Pichon (Fortuneo-VitalConcept), Filosi (Nippo-ViniFantini), Dassonville (HP BTP-Auber 93) and Chavanel (Direct Energie).

The most combative of the group was Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), who was at 18 seconds overall. The Belgian did not hesitate to launch countless attacks, Sylvain Chavanel was in control but with 3K to go was dropped and lost 44 seconds. Under the last kilometer banner, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-LaMondiale) tried to go solo, but Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ) countered his move to take the stage win. Sander Armée had a tight sprint for second place, while the leader, Sylvain Chavanel was at 44 seconds. The pink leaders jersey became the property of Clement Venturini (Cofidis).

4 Jours de Dunkerque Stage 5 Result:
1. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ in 4:52:26
2. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:03
3. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
5. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:11
6. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij at 0:32
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:44
8. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Flavien Dassonville (Fra) HP BTP-Auber 93 at 0:49
10. Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 0:55.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Overall After Stage 5:
1. Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis in 21:22:22
2. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:02
3. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:07
4. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ at 0:21
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:31
6. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:42
7. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:19
8. Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 1:29
9. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
10. Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 1:42.

Stage 5:

After five exciting days of cycling along the roads of the five departments that make up the Hauts de France region, the latest edition of the 4 Jours of Dunkirk finished on Sunday. The 160-kilometer stage was ideal for a new massive sprint, concluding in the traditional circuit of the coastal city after leaving Coudekerque-Branche. After being allowed to escape, Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) won the Final Stage 6 solo.

Ten riders escaped early: Romain Cardis (Direct Energie), Adrien Petit (Direct Energie), Julien Duval (AG2R-La Mondiale), Quentin Pacher (Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM), Benoit Jarrier (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Iuri Filosi (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Berden de Vries (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), Danilo Napolitano (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Lukas Spengler (WB-Veranclassic-AquaProtect) and Nicolas Baldo (HP BTP-Auber 93). They had a maximum lead of 3:20 with 80 kilometers to go when they entered the urban circuit of Dunkerque, 7.2km to be covered 11 times. As the laps passed, more sprinters teams came to the front of the peloton and the lead started to shrink.

Jimmy Turgis (Cofidis) was involved in a fall after hitting a cat in the middle of the street about 50 kilometers from the finish. The break entered the last four circuits -29 km- with a difference of 1:30 between the two main group. In the final 20 kilometers, when Iuri Filosi (Nippo-Vini Fantini) stopped being the virtual leader, Adrien Petit (Direct Energie), Julien Duval (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Berden de Vries (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) broke away. They had a 50 second lead over a FDJ and Bahrain-Merida powered bunch and with 8K to race they had 1 minute.

With little more than 2 kilometers to the line, everything pointed to a final sprint between the three, but Adrien Petit attacked and managed to hold on to the finish. Behind him Bernd de Vries (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) took second place, while Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) managed to take the bunch sprint for 4th. Clement Venturini (Cofidis) managed to save the overall lead, winning the first stage race of his career.

Dunkerque overall winner, Clément Venturini (Cofidis): “I do not realize very well yet, but yes, I won the Four Days of Dunkerque! Initially, it was hopeless for me. I was aiming more for stage victory. We did not start the week very well, but we showed that we could pull ourselves together. All our riders were mobilized and remained united. Really, thank you all! Still this Sunday, we raced very well as a team. There was a dangerous rider in the breakaway of the day but the guys quickly got in gear so that the group did not take too much lead, while ensuring that we could compete for victory and therefore the bonuses. It was the best way to avoid risk. Winning in May, after a winter of cyclocross, it’s not bad!”

2nd overall, Sander Armée (Lotto soudal): “I’m really satisfied about past week. It’s too bad that I just came up short two seconds for the GC win, but that’s cycling. I could’ve won but I got beaten by just two bonus seconds. If I had won the fifth stage I would have also had the pink jersey, but there was still a rider in front of us.I really enjoy racing at the moment. Actually this period of the year I’m always in good shape and the races we are riding really suit me. The team supported me during this whole six-day stage race. They worked for me and then you can always do just a little more. The first three days it was important not to lose time. Day four and five were important to gain time. I could feel I was the strongest on the climb the fourth day. It stimulated me some more for day five where I rode a strong and smart race and finished second. When you saw today’s profile you would’ve expected a bunch sprint, but there was a tricky wind just before the start of the local laps. At that moment the team protected me well and kept me safe. We really had to pay attention for crosswinds. I also really would like to thank my teammates for what they have done for me this week. Eventually we tried to cooperate with FDJ for a bunch sprint for Jens Debusschere, but we were too far behind. Next week I’m participating in the Tour of Norway. Also this race suits me. I know the stages and there’re a lot of small hills like on day four and five at Dunkerque. Bring it on.”

4 Jours de Dunkerque Stage 6 Result:
1. Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie in 3:34:14
2. Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij at 0:15
3. Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:18
4. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:37
5. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
7. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
8. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Roubaix-Lille Metropole
9. Kevin Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect
10. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

4 Jours de Dunkerque Final Overall Result:
1. Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis in 24:57:13
2. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:02
3. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:07
4. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ at 0:21
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:31
6. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:42
7. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 1:19
8. Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 1:26
9. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij at 1:29
10. Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 1:42.

Final stage 6:

Wout Van Aert to ride the road in 2018
World cyclo-cross champion, Wout Van Aert told sporza.be that he will concentrate on road racing after the 2018 World championship with his Verandas Willems-Crelan team.

The 22 year-old Belgian out-lined his thoughts on his road career: “I’m still combining it for the moment, because I’m still crazy. It is not possible to ride the full winter season. It’s a must to stop in the field after the World Championships, because I’ll have all the time, and then we’ll evaluate if it was a success or a flop. I want to know if riding the Classics is something for me. If so, then I can still choose to make the transition later. For the moment, I’m still riding in the field, and I’m also the world champion, so I think I can’t stay away. I don’t want to do that either.”

Last year Van Aert rode a few events with two wins: The Schaal Sels and the prologue of the Tour of Belgium, he was also 2nd in the Dwars door het Hageland, 4th in the Grand Prix Pino Cerami and 8th Overall in the Tour of Belgium.

The best of Wout Van Aert:

Amets Txurruka Says Goodbye to Cycling
11 years as a professional cyclist is a lot. It’s 4,015 days where you only live by and for the bike. 4,015 racing every day on a bicycle. Suffering, enjoying, but above all; Fulfilling a dream, which Amets Txurruka had since childhood. It began as a hobby, and became a trade. We would all like to do something with our respective hobbies. A cyclist who was 9 of his 11 years in Spanish teams. Six in the Euskaltel-Euskadi (2007-2012) and three in the Caja Rural (2013-2015).

Among his successes, Amets will remember in a special way when, back in 2007, and thanks to a lot of escapes, he managed to climb the Paris podium on the Champs Elysees as the most combative cyclist in the Tour de France of that year. Something within the reach of very few cyclists. But Amets did not stand out for his triumphs, which he had more than one – general and stage in the Vuelta a Asturias 2013 – but for being the hidden leader of the team. That gregarious one to trust, the one you knew would never fail you, and deep down, that’s what is also valued within cycling.

Thus the Spaniard said goodbye to the sport that has given him everything, even more than what he has given for this. He himself said to SprintFinal.com:

“Although the road has not been easy, I think that cycling has contributed more than I have been able to give, among them a way of living, values ​​well internalized that will serve me for the rest of my life. I have met unforgettable people, as well as many places in the world that, had it not been for this sport, would not have known them. Professionally, I have been fortunate to run many of the most important races, also to savor the triumph in some other. Even as if it were the sweetest dream a cyclist could have, I was thrilled to see myself on the Champs Elysees.”

Amets Txurruka:

BMC Racing Team and FH Foundation Launch Partnership at AMGEN Tour of California
BMC Racing Team and FH Foundation will join forces at the AMGEN Tour of California to raise awareness of the common genetic disorder, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

In honor of the Breakaway from Heart Disease™ campaign associated with the AMGEN Tour of California, the FH Foundation and BMC Racing Team are putting the spotlight on the common genetic disorder that often leads to premature heart disease.

“At BMC Racing Team we feel it is important to use our standing in the cycling and wider sporting community to support various projects, and our partnership with FH Foundation is a perfect fit. Cycling is a sport that attracts millions of fans around the world and statistically, a large number of our fans are most likely at risk of heart disease as a result of genetically induced high cholesterol,” Ochowicz said.

“By raising awareness through our partnership with FH Foundation, we hope to educate our fans on identifying and managing their risk of heart disease.”

According to the FH Foundation, familial hypercholesterolemia is one of the most common life-threatening family disorders. If left untreated, it can lead to early and aggressive heart disease and lead to a 50% risk of heart attack by age 50 in men, and a 30% risk in women by age 60.

More than 30 million people worldwide have familial hypercholesterolemia, yet 90% remain undiagnosed.

“The FH Foundation is excited to partner with BMC Racing Team to increase awareness and diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) – one of the more under-recognized causes of inherited heart disease around the world”, says Katherine Wilemon, Founder and CEO of the FH Foundation. “If you have FH, you need an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care to win the race against heart disease.”

About the FH Foundation™
The FH Foundation is a patient-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to education and research of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). The mission of the FH Foundation is to raise awareness and save lives by increasing the rate of early diagnosis and encouraging proactive treatment. To learn more about the FH Foundation, visit www.thefhfoundation.org. Health care providers can visit www.theFHFoundation.org/FIND-FH to gain insight into how many individuals with probable FH are in their practice and community.

Lido di Camaiore - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - team BMC pictured during the Tirreno - Adriatico - stage-1- Team Time Trial in Lido di Camaiore TTT, 22.70 km - foto: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

La Course by Le Tour Comes to Marseilles, In Pursuit Format… Showcasing the Ladies
From the presentation of the 2017 Tour de France, we knew that the women’s peloton would be tackling the mythical Col d’Izoard as part of the 4th edition of La Course by Le Tour on Thursday 20th July. We now know that the ascent, eagerly awaited by the riders, will be followed by another equally unusual experience a few days later. To coincide with the time trial to be held in Marseilles the day before the final stage of the 2017 Tour de France, the ladies with the best times at Col d’Izoard will be invited to ride the 23-kilometer route around the Orange Vélodrome in an unprecedented and spectacular format: a pursuit!

A legendary mountain pass… to enjoy a unique experience
On Thursday 20th July, just a few hours before the arrival of the peloton of the Tour de France, the ladies will have the honor of fighting it out on the formidable Col d’Izoard as part of the 4th edition of La Course by Le Tour. The rider who raises her arms just after she passes the Casse Déserte will become a cycling legend. However, the stage victory is not the only thing at stake that day. Those ladies who finish within 5 minutes of the winner will earn the right to take part in an exceptional event just 48 hours later. On Saturday 22nd July, the day before the arrival of the Tour de France in Paris, and with a start and finish inside the mythical Orange Vélodrome, they will participate in a completely new race format. This will delight not only the riders but also the 67,000 spectators expected in the stadium that day, as well as the fans along the roads leading to Marseilles.

Le col d'Izoard – Tour de France 2017 por tourdefrance

A completely new type of race!
While the Men will fight out an individual time trial that day on the streets of Marseilles, the Ladies will embark on an unprecedented race format. Instead of starting every minute, or every two minutes (usually the case in a time trial), the Ladies will start in the Orange Vélodrome based on the time differences recorded a few days earlier in the stage ending at the Col d’Izoard. This will provide an authentic pursuit in a spectacular setting, with the possible groupings of riders making the event a completely random one. The aim for the competitors is simple: reach the finish line first in the Orange Vélodrome.

Women’s cycling: looking ahead to the future
This new race format will put the female champions in the spotlight and allow the whole world to discover a completely new kind of race by taking advantage of the media exposure of the Tour de France, the 3rd most popular sports event in the world. It will be an important event to promote women’s cycling and will allow new races in the sporting calendar. This approach is shared with the partners of La Course, starting with Groupe FDJ, which continues its encouragement of women’s sport and cycling in particular. It is also a format that will delight sports fans in general, as it combines suspense and tactical battles and is easy to understand. It emphasizes what makes cycling beautiful: the first to cross the finish line wins the race!

The News
Reservations to attend the 20th stage of the Tour de France 2017 at the Orange Vélodrome are open. On Saturday 22nd July, come and watch a unique free admission event in the legendary stadium in Marseilles, which could see the leaders falter at the last stage before the final stage in Paris!

Key points
La Course by Le Tour will take place in two legs this year, first from Briançon to the Col d’Izoard and then to Marseilles, with a completely new format for the second leg: a pursuit.

Ø A few minutes before the riders in the Tour de France arrive, the competitors with the best times at the Col d’Izoard will fight for victory in Marseilles on a 23-kilometre time trial the day before the final stage of the Tour de France.

Ø This new race will showcase women’s cycling and offer a great spectacle to the fans present in Marseilles, and even more so to those inside the Orange Vélodrome.

Best of – La Course by Le Tour de France 2016 por tourdefrance

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