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Alpe d’Huez - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - BARDET Romain (FRA) of AG2R La Mondiale pictured during the 105th Tour de France - stage - 12 from Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez - 175KM - photo POOL/SM/LE/Cor Vos © 2018

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The crazyness of the Alpe d’Huez succeeded in showing the worst side of cycling fans and the end of Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour de France, plus violence against Chris Froome – Top Story. The Tour goes on and we catch up with the last four stages with results, quotes and video. There is other cycling news apart from the Tour: Remco Evenepoel to turn pro with Quick-Step Floors, teams for Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta’18, two week till the Tour de Pologne, Tour Down Under Challenge’19 and Julian Alaphilippe and the Tour video. Monday coffee time.

TOP STORY: You Can’t Do That!
The scenes on l’Alpe d’Huez on Thursday were much the same as previous years, Dutch corner was the usual chaos, but there was a line of policemen making sure it didn’t get out of hand. Further up the climb the story was not the same and it looked like a free-for-all. The stupidity probably caused the end of Vincenzo Nibali’s 2018 Tour de France hopes.

The worst part of the day was that at least two people tried to physically assault Chris Froome as he climbed the Alpe. Yes, I know there are a lot of people who believe Froome is the next coming of Beelzebub, after a certain American, but… I quite like Mr. Froome. I’ve said it, I outed myself publicly. I’ve spoken with him on two occasions and he came across as a ‘nice guy’ and even if you don’t like his style, he has done rather well in the Grand Tours. Team Sky and the way they race and handle problems is a different subject. Even if you don’t like Froome and blame him for every ill in cycling, and I understand where you are coming from on that, violence is not the answer and is not the way of the cycling World. Jeer the Sky team and make placards, that is your right, but trying to hit or push a rider off his bike while he’s racing, no. Violence is not the answer. The whole situation is the fault of many; blame Froome, Team Sky, David Brailsford, the UCI, WADA, ASO, the media, but knocking a rider off his bike while racing won’t help and you might get the wrong guy. Bahrain-Merida team management were telling their riders to stay away from Froome so they wouldn’t be caught in the crossfire.

OK, rant over. Just remember, these things usually come out eventually and one day we will know the truth about everything, except who shot John F. Kennedy.

PS. Take note Gianni Moscon.

Lets not see any more of this:

Still taken from Eurosport:

Tour de France 2018
Sky’s Geraint Thomas became the first British winner on l’Alpe d’Huez. He’s also the first rider to win a road stage to Alpe d’Huez wearing the yellow jersey. He out-sprinted Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Chris Froome (Sky) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) at the end of Stage 12 to extend his overall lead.

After a fast start in the Tarentaise Valley, Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) was the first climber in action up to the Col de la Madeleine. A front group of 30 riders was formed on the climb and split several times. GC contenders Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) were part it, as was KOM hopefuls Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Barguil. Alaphilippe out-sprinted his two rivals to extend his lead.

Alaphilippe and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) rode away on the descent of la Madeleine. They waited for their former breakaway companions. Pierre Rolland (Education First-Drapac) escaped at the exit of the feed zone of Saint-Avre (74.5km). He crested the Lacets de Montvernier alone in the lead, he received reinforcements at the bottom of the Col de la Croix-de-Fer from Valverde and Kruijswijk, the Dutchman was the virtual leader of the Tour at that point. Team Sky led the bunch four minutes down. Barguil was first to rejoin them and an 11-man front group formed with 80km to go. Kruijswijk rode away solo 73km before the finish. He had a maximum advantage of 6:15 over the peloton led by Mathias Frank for AG2R-La Mondiale and later by Marc Soler for Movistar, but Team Sky seized the reins of the pack again on the descent to the Oisans Valley.

Kruijswijk started climbing to Alpe d’Huez with an advantage of 4:20 over a group of thirty riders comprising all the members of the top 15 overall. It was down to 3:30 with 10km to go. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) tried to escape but Team Sky brought them back. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked with 7.5km to go, but he was caught with 4km to go by Froome who overtook Kruijswijk 3.5km before the line. Bardet attacked again with 2.5km to go. While Nibali was chasing back after a crash, five riders were together at the front. Thomas won the sprint from Dumoulin, Bardet and Froome after Mikel Landa (Movistar) had made a late attack.

PEZ Stage 12 Report HERE.

Stage winer and overall leader,Geraint Thomas (Sky): “I can’t believe it – I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say – not a chance in hell did I think I would win today. It was unbelievable – can we go to Paris now?! Maybe I can keep this yellow jersey for the next few days, but this race is so hard, and you never know how the body is going to react. I’m still riding for Froomey – he’s the man, probably the best ever, a legend of this sport. I’m just going to enjoy this whilst I can.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “Today was absolutely mental. Lots of GC riders attacked early on and it was a full on chase the whole day. It was really crazy. I could have had a chance to win if I did everything well, but I ended up in last position before the sprint started and that’s when I lost the stage. I think that if I was in good position then I would have had a chance. I am disappointed for sure – I hope that I stay strong but anything can happen in the third week.”

3rd on the stage and 6th overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “Team Sky was very strong today, I did my best and I have no regrets. I tried with everything I had. I did not think we would all come together to the finish line for the win. It was a good stage. I had good legs, even better than yesterday. I wanted to attack to test my opponents. There were three Sky riders at the end, and they made the tempo. We know the power that hope has in cycling. I was really thinking about the victory today, but attacking so far out was difficult. It’s not easy to race for everything all at once: the general classification, the stage… There are still many days in the mountains. I’m trying, we are all trying to do our maximum. There are only five of us now. We will fight with everything we have, our guts, our hearts, everything.”

4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Chris Froome (Sky) spoke to TeamSky.com: “He’s [Geraint Thomas] ridden the race of his life so far at this Tour. It’s been faultless and he fully deserves to be in yellow, having won two stages and the most iconic stage of the race Alpe d’Huez. It’s a massive, massive feather in his cap. I think it’s a dream position for us to be in – first and second on GC. It allows us to play both our cards like we did today. Yesterday G went up the road and left other riders scrambling to try and chase. Today I went up the road and G sat on Dumoulin which worked out really well in the final. It meant G had a good punch at the finish. It’s just a dream scenario for us right now. I definitely feel as if I’m building into this race. I’m really happy with how I’m feeling since we’ve hit the mountains. It was always a bit of an unknown after the Giro but I’m really happy with the first sensations and looking forward to the Pyrenees next week.”

5th on the stage and 7th overall, Mikel Landa (Movistar): “It was such a hard stage for me – my back hurt a lot. I was able to keep the pain away from my mind for a bit in the finale and try to get into contention, but the whole Alpe d’Huez climb was full of pain for me. Bernal set a really fast pace and I was always on the verge of dropping back. All in all, I think I can be satisfied with this performance. When I was able to bridge back I saw it wasn’t long until the finish, and told to myself: ‘It’s been to be caught while in the lead than staying at the back of the group and be distanced again.’ I suffered a lot, the back hurts like hell, I had a bad day to be honest. It’s a muscular injury, and as much as I want to forget it, I can’t leave that crash behind – it was a serious crash. Let’s continue day-by-day.”

10th on the stage and 8th overall,Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo): “It was worth a try. It went very well today. Only the last bit was too much. I was riding alone for a long time and the valley towards Alpe d’Huez cost me a lot of power. I knew this when I started my attempt, but I still had less power remaining than I had hoped. It’s a little disappointing that I didn’t win, but it was a beautiful day. Fortunately, I didn’t lose a lot of time and I’m happy that I’m still in a good position in the overall ranking. It was a tricky effort, but I really like to race like this. I’d rather keep attacking and lose than not trying at all in three weeks racing. I gambled and lost, but I’ll definitely try again. Now it’s time to recover from this and then we’ll see what we can do next.”

12th on the stage and 10th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “By the end of the stage we weren’t racing, it was just about getting to the top. I had nothing left in my legs and just wanted to make the finish line in the best time possible. I felt really good in the first climb of the day, but then general fatigue set in. We’ve had three hard days of racing in the mountains and a week of tough racing before that so it’s not a surprise. Unfortunately I let go of the group to ride at my own tempo, which I think was a mistake as I didn’t realize how much wind there was. I got gapped and couldn’t get back. That said, I’m still happy with my race and there’s plenty of time to go until Paris.”

18th on the stage and 17th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “We all arrived quite tired at the foot of the Alpe, maybe except for Team Sky and some top favorites. At the foot it was important to stay on as long as possible and to reach the top as fast as possible. I rode the climb in the company of Pierre Latour. We know each other well and were both in trouble. Despite our rivalry for the white jersey, we worked well together. A month ago I explored the Alpe in the company of Pierre, so it’s funny to see each other here again. But I do not know when we rode the fastest pace, now or one month ago! The last two days I was in the break, so today I chose not to do that. I tried to follow the favorites, which was not easy. I am glad that these three mountain stages are behind us. Now it is important to recover well.”

Points competition leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The third mountain stage in this Tour de France today and for me it was more about surviving the three brutal climbs. I said that before, the Tour de France finishes on the Champs-Elysées in Paris and until then we will have to give our best every day and take our chances when we can. The hot weather and the fast pace of the race make it quite hard.”

Anthony Perez (Cofidis): “The Tour de France is ruthless. I still enjoyed taking the lead before working and taking up bottles for Daniel Navarro and Nicolas Edet. It was really a big hassle because with the presence of Valverde, the Sky team never let up. At the bottom of La Croix-de-Fer, I had no more strength and I fought against the pain until the finish. So I did not really enjoy my first climb of L’Alpe d’Huez, because the sore legs were as impressive as the enthusiasm of the crowd.”

Abandoned, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “The past three days weren’t easy and too hard for me. I knew that this would be another tough day in the saddle. I could only hope the peloton would ride up the first climb rather slowly, but that wasn’t the case. Soon, I felt this would be the end of the Tour for me. Others might choose to hold on to the team car, but if I can’t arrive at the finish on my own, I rather go home. I’m not sad; I’m a realist and a fair sportsman.”

Tour de France Stage 12 Result:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 5:18:37
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:02
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:03
4. Chris Froome (GB) Sky
5. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 0:07
6. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:13
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:42
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:47
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:53.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 12:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 49:24:43
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:50
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 2:37
5. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:46
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:07
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:13
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:43
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:13
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 5:11.

Stage 12:

Stage 13 took the Tour de France out of the Alps to Valence and could have been the day for a break to succeed, but the tired legs left the battle for the few sprinters on the roads of France. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) pipped European champion Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) to the finish line and his third Tour stage win this year and more points towards his green jersey. Geraint Thomas finished in the peloton to hold his overall lead of 1:39 on his Sky teammate, Chris Froome and 1:50 on Tom Dumoulin of Sunweb.

While the riders would relish the opportunity to escape on a flat stage, as opposed to the towering terrain of the past three days, the Yellow Jersey’s team Sky kept a close eye on the riders looking to make the break to prevent any of their rivals taking advantage of the easier profile of the day. A group of four was eventually able to make their move and built up an advantage on the peloton of a little more than three minutes, they were: Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Tom Scully (Education First-Drapac), Michael Schär (BMC) and Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis), the peloton did not really give them a chance.

The break had high hopes at the start, but by the time the race hit the final 25 kilometers, only Michael Schär was left out front and it was only a matter of time until the catch was made. At 5.5km out, it was all back together. The roads narrowed in the streets of Valence and there were some tight bends. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) attacked from 1km out shook up the bunch, but the Groupama-FDJ team pulled him back for Arnaud Démare. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) passed the Frenchman for Sagan to take his third stage win of this year’s Tour de France.

Read the PEZ Stage 13 Report HERE.

Stage winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “This is a fantastic victory. I’m so happy to have won, it was something very good for me, personally. Once again, I have to thank my teammates for their dedication and work. It was a flat stage after the tough mountains, so everybody recovered a little bit in the group. I think they all seemed happy to stay in the bunch and go through a more relaxed stage. My timing in the sprint might now seem perfect but I think I was probably a little bit late. I was a bit behind with 600 meters to go and on the last climb, I tried to bring myself to the front. I then stayed on the wheel of Kristoff and I’m very happy to have beaten them. However, the Tour de France is far from over. We have to make sure we stay out of trouble, we get to Paris healthy and we cross the finish line on the Champs-Elysées.”

Overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It was a fast day on fast roads but I think the whole peloton enjoyed an easier day after the last few days we’ve had. It was a sketchy little final again as always and I’m happy to get that one out of the way. The boys kept me right up there with Froomey. It was just a case of avoiding any mishaps. Job done. Tomorrow it’s a tough finish – I’ve done it a few times. I think potentially it could be a breakaway day so I think it’s going to be a hard start. Obviously we’re going to race the climb whatever happens. It’s a challenging final.”

2nd on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “I had a good finish, but unfortunately it was not enough. I tried to keep Sagan behind me, but he’s an unbelievable guy. He’s beaten me like this before and did it again today so I am of course disappointed. I timed my attack perfectly and kept my pace until the finish line, but he [Sagan] was just faster.”

5th on the stage, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “In the end, I just gave it a try. It was an uphill finish and I’m pretty good at those so I was happy that I could get in position and keep it to the line. It is always good to go with the race. We had a good first week and I think now it will be about continuing to try to make results and be at the front like Michi did today.”

8th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I had legs to finish in the top 5. I approached the last roundabout in a good position, but then there was a gap behind the 6th rider. I was in the company of Colbrelli, but I had to launch my sprint after the roundabout to try and close the gap. I end up in the top 10 again, but I wanted to do better. The day was very tiring and fast, with more than 45km/h on average. FDJ started imposing the pace from the first kilometers, and the final was very dangerous with the many roundabouts. I am happy with my feeling because I have found my good legs again. I had two difficult days in the mountains, without power in my legs. This is a good sign for this weekend. There will be very difficult stages waiting, where the break will undoubtedly get their chance. So why not attack?”

Last man to be caught from the break and Most Combative Rider, Michael Schär (BMC): “I gave it my all. I really tried today. I planned to go in the breakaway this morning and then we went out for as long as possible. My other three breakaway companions were not so sure about it and it didn’t help that we had a breakaway specialist like De Gendt with us as the bunch didn’t give us any time. They gave us two minutes and with that you don’t have anything to play with so, I really tried everything. I was hoping that it would be tricky in the city and that there would be a lot of corners as then you have a little bit of an advantage on your own. The bunch needs to brake the same as you so, I was hoping for that but it didn’t arrive and it was just a massive stretch of big roads with a lot of wind and at the end, I thought the wind was coming from everywhere. I kept on believing. It was difficult with the sprinters’ teams but you never know and I told myself that there is always a chance. If you never give up maybe one day it works out. It is definitely cool to have the red number. It is something honorable and even when I came back into the bunch some of the guys were already saying congrats on the ride so, that was also something cool.”

Tour de France Stage 12 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:45:55
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
6. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Magnus Cort (Den) Astana
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 12:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in53:10:38
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:50
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 02:46
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:07
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:13
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:43
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:13
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 5:11
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 5:45.

Stage 13:

An impressive win by Omar Fraile (Astana) on Stage 14, as he attacked on the final climb and went solo to the finish line for his debut victory in the Tour de France. After being part of the day’s breakaway of 32 riders, he had to chase Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) in the final to Mende. Just before the top of Cote de la Croix Neuve he caught Stuyven and sprinted to his second Grand Tour victory, just in front of Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Stuyven.

In the 188-kilometer long stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Mende, it was a perfect day for a successful breakaway. A group of 32 riders took off, gaining a maximum advantage of almost 20 minutes on the peloton. Before the final climb, Jasper Stuyven attacked. With almost 2 minutes advantage he started the climb of the Cote de la Croix Neuve. Omar Fraile attacked just after the breakaway group started the final challenge of the day, and he was able to catch Stuyven just before the summit. From there, he sprinted to his stage victory at the airport of Mende, just in front of Alaphilippe and Stuyven.

Behind the breakaway, there was a battle for the general classification. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) escaped and the chase group split as overall leader Geraint Thomas, Sky teammate Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) powered after him. Roglic gained 8 seconds on the top three riders as they finished together.

PEZ Stage 14 Report HERE.

Stage winner, Omar Fraile (Astana): “It’s amazing, absolutely incredible! I can’t believe it! For me it was a dream to win a stage at the Tour de France. And now this dream came true. Last year I won a stage at the Giro and now I repeat my success at the Tour. Already yesterday I felt quite good and today I was motivated to go in a breakaway, to try to fight for the stage. I knew it would be difficult, especially because the group was really big. On the final climb, there was some head wind, but I found a moment for an attack and just did my best to catch Stuyven to lead the race, and to hold my advantage until the finish line. This victory is so important for me, but also for my family and my friends. We were wearing black ribbons today to honor Denis Ten. It’s a very sad story for the whole world of sport, that’s why I dedicate this victory to all the people of Kazakhstan.”

Overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “We were happy for the break to stay away. There were a lot of guys up the road but Luke and Gianni rode really well, riding within themselves really and just let the gap steadily go out. Obviously we knew it would split up at the finish, and with only two mountaintop (finishes) left that the guys would try. We’re satisfied. Obviously Roglic got a bit of time back but it wasn’t too much of a stress for us. It’s nice to gain a bit of time on everyone else. The main thing was just staying with Dumoulin and just trying not to get too carried away and staying with the main guys. It was a good day. A lot can still happen. There’s three big days in the Pyrenees still to come but obviously we’re in a good position right now.”

2nd on the stage and KOM, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “We were motivated to do something nice today and I was happy to find myself in the breakaway with Philippe and Yves. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best legs in the final and I also didn’t know the climb, which is I made my move perhaps a bit too late, but I don’t have regrets, as Omar was the strongest. However, I can look on the bright side of things, which is that I managed to add more points to my tally in the KOM standings, something encouraging ahead of next week.”

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Spending the whole day in front I was a bit bored because I thought I would be dropped in the finale anyway. So, for me, today was a long day. But in the last 5km, I refocused and thought, well I try and suffer a little. I stayed with the group and never overpaced myself. Once I crested the top, I attacked and tried to bridge to the front, but it was just not enough. I am happy with my legs, but I really wanted to win in the end.”

5th on the stage, Damiano Caruso (BMC): “This morning it was in the program that we wanted try and go in the breakaway. In the end, we went really fast in the first 10km of the stage and with crosswinds it was really chaotic. Then, me, Stefan and Greg were able to make it into the big breakaway. It was ‘à bloc’ all day up and down, left and right and then the last climb was really short and steep. So, for me, it was like a TT because I went full gas from the bottom to the finish and in the end, I was fifth but I was hoping for a podium finish maybe. The goal now will be to try again in the next few days. I am feeling really good. I worked hard to be ready for this race and today, I was able to show once again that my condition is good and I will keep trying.”

7th on the stage, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis): “We did not win, but we gave it a go, so we have nothing to regret. It’s a stage that went very quickly. The breaks were inevitable result of the wind and we were four in the right place. This proved the good dynamics of the group. Everyone did a great job. We were well placed at the foot of the climb. We did not make mistakes. I remained helpless when Alaphilippe produced his attack. I’m happy with my climbing even though I couldn’t get on Sagan’s wheel for 5th place.”

10th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “It was the worst moment possible (to get a puncture before the climb). Either side of the road there was a lot of gravel and we were riding on the side of the road, it was a risk and it happened, but there is nothing you can do. That’s just the way it is. It was a hard start and everybody knew it was going to go on to the smaller roads and no one panicked. It was a really strange day.”

Tour de France Stage 14 Result:
1. Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana in 4:41:57
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:06
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:12
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:17
6. Simon Geschke (Ger) Sunweb at 0:19
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
8. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:23
9. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:30
10. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:37.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 14:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 58:10:44
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:50
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:38
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:21
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:42
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:57
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:23
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 6:14
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 6:54.

Stage 14:

The weekend gave the Astana team both Tour de France stages as Magnus Cort Nielsen copied his teammate Omar Fraile in Carcassonne and won from a long break. Geraint Thomas (Sky) retained the yellow jersey.

It took some time for a break to form on Stage 15, with many riders trying to make their escape, with all of them being reeled back in. The descent of the Côte de Luzençon made it harder for anY attack to stick. Finally, a huge group of 29 managed to get away, and there was no way the peloton was going to stop it.

Daniel Martínez (Education First-Drapac), Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Nikias Arndt (Sunweb), Amäel Moinard and Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Sonny Colbrelli, Ion Izagirre and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Damian Howson and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Daniele Bennati, Imanol Erviti and Marc Soler (Movistar), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors), Peter Sagan, Rafal Majka and Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Magnus Cort Nielsen and Michael Valgren (Astana), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Arthur Vichot (Groupama-FDJ), Lilian Calmejane, Fabian Grellier and Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Bauke Mollema, Julien Bernard and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Jesús Herrada (Cofidis). With no-one to threaten the GC standings in the escape, the peloton let them build up an advantage that hit nearly thirteen minutes at its peak.

With a number of fast men in the lead group the pace was high on the climb of the Cat 1 Pic de Nore, until an attack from Rafal Majka which split the group drastically. Majka was first over the summit, followed by seven chasers. The chasers caught Majka on the run-in to the line and then play a game of cat and mouse to decide the stage. Nielsen, Izaguirre and Mollema snuck away in the final 6km and the Dane, Magnus Cort Nielsen was the fastest. Geraint Thomas came in at the head of the Sky led peloton and still has 1:39 on teammate Chris Froome and 1:50 on Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb).

A touch of wheels in the group sprinting for 9th brought most of them down. Dimension Data’s Serge Pauwels finish the stage, but unfortunately the damage was severe as he suffered a broken elbow and is now out of the Tour de France. Rafał Majka came home in 8th spot, and was awarded the day’s combativity prize for his strong efforts.

Sky’s Gianni Moscon was disqualified from the Tour de France for punching Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic) in the opening kilometer. Moscon was suspended for six weeks by Sky in 2017 after he racially abused Kevin Reza during the Tour de Romandie. Later the same season Moscon was accused of pushing Sebastian Reichenbach (FDJ) off his bike during the Tre Valli Varesine. The UCI dropped the case.

PEZ Stage 15 Race Report HERE.

Stage winner, Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana): “It is amazing! It was one of my biggest dreams when I’ve started riding a bike. This is my first Tour de France and I am so happy to win a stage here. I thank a lot my team for giving me a chance to ride this Tour. A special thank to Michael Valgren, who did absolutely incredible job today, providing me a huge help! Everything was just perfect today and our sports director Lars Michaelsen had a big belief in me in this stage. Many days ago we already discussed this stage and he said me it could suit me really well. So, today I went in a breakaway together with Michael Valgren and, finally, everything worked out perfectly. So, I am very happy!”

Overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “There was quite a bit of wind and it was quite stressful but the guys controlled it really well. It was the right break for us so we were happy with that. Then obviously Dan (Martin) went on the last climb of the day. There was 40km to go from the top with 20km of flat and a bit of wind, so it was a big ask. (Romain) Bardet tried on the descent but we were always in control. We just made sure we were there in the front. There was wind in the last 15km but it wasn’t enough to do anything, but there was a bit of stress anyway. We were always in the right place and it’s a good day to get done. I’m just taking each day as it comes. I’m looking forward to the rest day and then we’ve got a big block in the Pyrenees.”

2nd on the stage, Ion Izagirre Insausti (Bahrain-Merida): “I would like to always win, but I knew that Cort was faster. We ran well and in the sprint I tried to surprise him but he was simply stronger. Now the Pyrenees are coming and this is special for me. I will find my family and my friends and I would like to give them strong emotions.”

3rd on the stage, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a really hard climb, bumpy roads, and Majka did a strong attack, and just at the top I tried to close the gap and didn’t quite make it. And then the other guys came back, and we worked really well together in the descent after that. The final was just a tactical game. First, we had to get Majka back, but we worked well behind with two of us, two of Astana, two of Bahrain, so that went really well. Then everyone was looking at each other, it was a bit of a game to try and attack in the last 10kms until I got away with Izagirre and Nielsen. It was good to attack there, but you know that Nielsen is so fast that it’s difficult to drop him. He deserves the win today. I didn’t have an acceleration in the legs anymore. When Izagirre went at around 1km to go, I was dropped almost and then in the sprint I just didn’t have the speed anymore to sprint against those guys. Anyway, I am happy that I was in the break because that was the goal for today. It was a big group, and there were lots of attacks, but I felt really good all day. I could keep going and keep giving it my all, so I am really happy about that.”

6th on the stage, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida): “We were three in the break – Me, Ion and Sonny Colbrelli – and then in the finale we stayed in two. The finish was not very suitable for climbers like me and Ion but we tried the same. In these last two stages I feel much better and I will try again to go on the run in the Pyrenees.”

8th on the stage, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I feel better now and I wanted to try something today. The beginning of the stage was extremely fast, and after all the attempts failed, Peter took me on his wheel to put me in the break. Our plan was to ride for him, but in the end, he was a bit tired today after the efforts of the last days. When I got the green light, I attacked on the final climb and a bit later took the lead. Unfortunately, it was already late and my gap was too small. There was a long downhill and flat section, so there was no chance for me to make it to the finish. I think that even with an advantage of one more minute it would have been really hard to get the stage today.”

11th on the stage and 15th overall, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “I actually felt pretty good today when I went into the breakaway. I felt better than yesterday and although it was hard to make the breakaway, I was happy to be in it. I think the final climb was just a little bit too hard again and with the energy I have already spent this week, it was hard to keep up with the good guys. I tried to set as good a tempo as possible and then tried to come back in the descent. However, the strongest guys were already gone and that was a bit of a pity. But, that’s how racing goes. The second part of the Tour has been pretty good for me. I have been trying and have had a couple of good finishes and been in the breakaway. I think I am in good shape but you also have to have a parcours that fits your style and with the energy I have had to spend, maybe I missed something in the end to really go for the win. But, I think the rest day will be good for me and hopefully, I can recharge a bit and get another chance.”

Tour de France Stage 15 Result:
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Astana in 4:25:52
2. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
4. Michael Valgren (Den) Astana at 0:29
5. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:34
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:37
9. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb at 2:31
10. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 2:38.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 15:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 62:49:47
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:50
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:38
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:21
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:42
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:57
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:23
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 6:14
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 6:54.

Stage 15:

Remco Evenepoel to Turn Pro with Quick-Step Floors
The junior road race and ITT European Champion will sport the colors of the most successful World Tour team from 1 January 2019.

Quick-Step Floors and Remco Evenepoel have reached an agreement which will see the prodigious Belgian ride in the next two years for the outfit who since its inception in 2003 has amassed more than 650 UCI victories, including 83 Grand Tour stages, 18 Monuments and 3 World TTT Championships.

Remco’s path to the World Tour kicked off a little over a year ago, when he left football behind for cycling and quickly began racking up impressive results in both one-day and stage races. His feats caught the attention of Quick-Step Floors, who invited the young Belgian to the second winter training camp in Spain and kept following him in 2018, a season during which he proved to be head and shoulders over the competition.

Riding in his first full junior season, 18-year-old Remco began building a remarkable palmarès, which now boasts both national titles, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Course de la Paix, Trophée Centre Morbihan, GP General Patton and two gold medals at the European Championships, in the individual time trial and road race, which took place in the Czech Republic. In the latter, he left a lasting mark after attacking on the opening lap and putting nearly ten minutes into his closest opponent, a result which heralded his potential and talent.

“In the past few days, I became European Champion and reached an agreement with the best cycling team in the world! I feel really lucky and ready to listen and learn from everybody, be it Mister Lefevere, my teammates, soigneurs or mechanics. I already know guys like Yves and Iljo quite well and met most of the team during last January’s training camp, so I just know I will be in the best hands, which makes everything very exciting ahead of next season”, said Remco, before giving some more information on his background.

“I started cycling last year, in April. Before that, I did only a bit of MTB during the football off-season. I played for Anderlecht and the National Team as defending midfielder, a position that requires good form, as you are running a lot. I switched to cycling as there was a moment where some people wanted to put me on the sideline and I was growing a bit tired of football. I wanted to try something new, to rekindle the passion for sport, so I told my parents that I would like to pick up cycling and immediately took my father’s bike out for a training ride. Then, one week later, we bought an old bike and I did my first race. I was hooked!”

Despite being very young, Remco knows the road that lies ahead is a long one, but he is ready to discover it together with Quick-Step Floors, after one more important appointment in 2018: “I will continue to enjoy the rest of the season, which already gave me a lot of satisfaction, and focus on my next big goal, the World Championships in Innsbruck, where I hope to get a good result. I know this is just the beginning and I have to work hard in order to make it as a pro, but I’m up for this challenge. The joy of the bike is the most important thing for having good result and achieving your dreams.”

Patrick Lefevere didn’t hide his delight at having Remco Evenepoel in his ranks throughout 2020, while stressing out that developing the young prodigy without rushing things will be one of the team’s priorities.

“His father is a former pro and we were in contact since last year, keeping a close eye on his progression and results. The family trusted us and me, which makes me happy, but also brings the responsibility of carefully nurturing Remco and helping him learn the ropes, as he needs to discover what pro cycling it’s about, one thing at a time.”

“Developing the champions of tomorrow has always been our mission, our philosophy, something in which we believe and put a lot of work and heart, and with Remco it won’t be any different. He knows that, as he could see that we treat everybody the same; it doesn’t matter if you’re a neo-pro or a well-established rider, you get the same professionalism and attention from our staff, because we are a family, not a factory”, concluded Patrick Lefevere.

Patrick Lefevere and Remco Evenepoel:

Teams Selection for WNT Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta’18
The organizers of the WNT Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta have chosen the teams that will take part in the 4th edition of the Spanish women’s race, that will take place – for the very first time – over two stages on the 15th and 16th of September.

Boadilla del Monte will host the first stage: a 14 km team time trial, in an unprecedented closed circuit. On Sunday the 16th, the traditional linear stage along the circuit that runs through the centre of Madrid will host the second journey a few hours before the 21st and last stage of La Vuelta 18. The WNT Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta’s usual route will now feature two more finish-lines, thus increasing the trial’s difficulty and length by 11.6 km.

21 UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:
Ale’ Cipollini (ITA)
BePink (ITA)
Bizkaia Durango – Euskadi Murias (ESP)
BTC City Liubliana (SLO)
Cervelo – Bigla Pro Cycling Team (CHE)
Cogeas – Mettler Pro Cycling Team (RUS)
Cylance Pro Cycling (USA)
Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport (BEL)
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope (FRA)
Health Mate – Cyclelive Team (BEL)
Hitec Products – Birk Sport (NOR)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (BEL)
Mitchelton Scott (AUS)
Movistar Team Women (ESP)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (NED)
Sopela Women’s Team (ESP)
Swapit Agolico (MEX)
Team Sunweb (NED)
Valcar PBM (ITA)
Wiggle High5 (GBR)
WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team (GBR)

In addition to these 21 teams, the organizers have awarded a wildcard to the Spanish Women’s Cycling Team.

2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta – Highlights:

Tour de Pologne: Only 2 Weeks to go Until the Grand Depart From Krakow
Van Poppel, Bouhanni, Modolo, Bonifazio, Nizzolo and many more will all be vying for victory in the sprints…

There are exactly two weeks left until the Grand Depart from Krakow for the 75th Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour, which will take place from August 4 to 10. On this year’s World Tour calendar the Tour de Pologne comes right after the Tour de France and smack in between other major stage races. This race is becoming increasingly important; it is not only a lofty goal for many riders, it has also become an essential step for any rider who is aiming to end the season on a strong note on their way to the Vuelta and World Championships.

2018 will mark 90 years in the history of the Tour de Pologne, as well as the centennial of Polish independence. It promises to be an edition full of thrills from the very first paces, because if the final will take place against the backdrop of major elevations, including the Tatra Mountains, the first part will shine a spotlight on the sprinters in the group.


The first three stages, with arrivals in Krakow, Katowice and Zabrze, traditionally feature a sprinting finish. Running through the list of starting riders, we can see there will be plenty of high speed thrills. Names of diehard sprinters include Holland’s Danny Van Poppel (Lotto NL – Jumbo); last year he won the 5th stage, beating Slovenia’s Luca Mezgec and “a certain” Peter Sagan over the finish line in Rzeszow. We can say Danny has it in his blood; in fact his father is the legendary Jean-Paul Van Poppel. In the 2017 edition Danny Van Poppel was one of the stars of the sprints, winning not only stage 5 but also scoring two seconds and a third place, even donning the yellow leader’s jersey for a day.


Another top tier name is Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni. His team, Cofidis, Solutions Credits, is one of the wild cards in the Tour de Pologne, and judging by their line-up of riders it looks like the French team intends to fully honor their invitation from the Lang Team. Bouhanni is a rider with a strong, sometimes controversial personality, but he has definitely always been one of the most fierce and formidable sprinters in the pack, as proven by his portfolio, which features stage victories in the Giro and in the Vuelta, among others.


Other noteworthy sprinters to keep an eye on are Italians Sacha Modolo (Team EF Education First), winner on the streets of Poland last year in Katowice; Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain Merida), winner of a stage in the 2016 Tour de Pologne and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo). Finally, let’s not forget the name of the other Dutchman, Moreno Hofland (Lotto Soudal), who has stood out in Poland in the past.


“The Tour de Pologne is always trying to offer a complete and balanced route from every perspective. The aim is to guarantee the public a great show from the first stage to the last, but at the same time to provide riders with the conditions to best express their potential. The first part is built around sprinters, then mid-week we begin to see arrivals that could start to give initial indications as to the shape of the general classification; I’m thinking about the arrival on the wall at Szczyrk in the 4th stage and the next day in Bielsko-Biala, and then there’s the grand finale with the mountains, where those whose legs can withstand the challenge can come up with some moves to shake up the race. The riders we have reviewed will definitely provide some exciting sprints. Then as I always say, beyond the routes it is the riders and the teams that make the race, so in each stage there will definitely be room for anyone who is brave enough to attack and go for broke,” explains the General Director for the Tour de Pologne, Czeslaw Lang.

Challenge Tour Travels from Coast to Cattle on Saturday of 2019 TDU
The Santos Tour Down Under’s fifth stage next year will host both the UCI WorldTour peloton and
amateur cyclists alike as the host stage of the 2019 Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser.

Mr Corey Wingard, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing announced the news today confirming that the 2019 Challenge Tour will be held on Saturday 19 January 2019, taking riders from Glenelg to Strathalbyn via a host of popular towns along the Fleurieu Peninsula.

“Previously, the Challenge Tour has seen recreational cyclists from around Australia and the world converge on our state for their annual participation ride at the TDU on Friday’s stage. That has changed in 2019, giving more local riders and even visitors the opportunity to participate in the Challenge Tour outside of a week day,” said Minister Wingard.

“With start locations at Glenelg (159km), Myponga (102km), Victor Harbor (60km) and Goolwa (35km), there are plenty of opportunities for recreational cyclists of all abilities to ride part – or all – of the same stage as the professionals.”

Race Director, Mike Turtur has designed a challenging Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under not only for the pros but also for the thousands of cycling enthusiasts expected to register in the 2019 Challenge Tour.

“Travelling by the Southern Expressway and Main South Road, the stage climbs Sellicks Hill for Subaru King of the Mountain points before continuing its ascent to Myponga for the first intermediate sprint,” said Mike Turtur.

“Riders will then travel through a series of hills and valleys through Yankalilla, Inman Valley (second intermediate sprint), the outskirts of Victor Harbor, Port Elliot, Middleton, Goolwa and an ascent back towards Strathalbyn. We expect a fast finish.”

For the past 10 years Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason has enabled cyclists taking part in the Challenge Tour to combine their love of cycling with their passion for making a difference to the lives of South Australians impacted by cancer by raising funds.

Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Lincoln Size said that he was excited to be able to give cyclists an opportunity to Ride for a reason again in 2019.

“We’re incredibly proud of Ride for a reason and the difference it’s made to the lives of South Australians impacted by cancer over the past 10 years and are looking forward to another successful campaign in 2019,” he said.

Registrations for the 2019 Challenge Tour are now open and close on 9 January 2019. Teams and individual riders can register now www.tourdownunder.com.au.

Challenge Tour Fast Facts:
• For the first time, the Challenge Tour will be held on the Saturday of the TDU on Stage 5.
• The 2019 Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser is part of the Subaru Breakaway Series and will be staged on Saturday 19 January 2019 from Glenelg to Strathalbyn, allowing cycling
enthusiasts to ride the same route as the professionals on the same day.
• There will be four distances and start location for riders to choose from: Glenelg (159km),
Myponga (102km), Victor Harbor (60km) and Goolwa (35km).
• The Challenge Tour was first held in 2003, then known as the Breakaway Series with just 620
• Since 2007 there have been 71,623 participants in the Challenge Tour.
• For the first time in the history of the Challenge Tour, the ride was cancelled in 2018 due to
extreme weather (heat).
• Cancer Council SA has been a partner of the TDU since 2009 with their Ride for a reason
• Since 2009 Ride for a reason has raised $4million for Cancer Council.

Santos Tour Down Under (TDU)
From humble beginnings in 1999, the TDU has grown to be one of Australia’s premier sporting events, taking the fastest men and women in the world through some of the most iconic regions of SA. It is more than just a bike race, it is a festival of cycling, with a range of associated events and participation rides that create a massive party atmosphere. www.tourdownunder.com.au.

Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser
Amateur and recreational cyclists can participate in the action through the Subaru Breakaway Series, which gives cyclists the chance to ride part of the UCI WorldTour race route the same day as the professionals in the TDU’s official recreational ride, 2019 Challenge Tour.

Cancer Council
Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity and the official charity partner of the TDU. Every day they support families affected by cancer, speak out on behalf of the community, empower people to reduce their risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer. www.cancersa.org.au.

Ride for a reason
The money raised through Ride for a reason enables Cancer Council to fund vital prevention, research, advocacy and support programs that save lives. www.rideforareason.com.au.

2019 TDU Race Routes – Men’s and Women’s Reveal
The race routes for the men’s race will be announced in early August 2018 and the race routes for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will be revealed in late September 2018.

Julian Alaphilippe and the Tour de France
21-Jul-2018: Relive the emotional Tour de France stage victory of Julian Alaphilippe – the current polka dot jersey – who talks of his perfect day in the Alps and what it means to be a member of #TheWolfpack.

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Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

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