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EuroTrash Froome Monday!

Chris Froome has held onto his yellow jersey (on and off) for most of the first week of the Tour de France, but there has been so many other things happen in the French Grand Tour. We try to pack in as much as we can with photos, rider quotes, race reports, results and video. Don’t forget there is the Tour of Austria, Jérôme Pineau to retire and the kitchen in the air. All in EuroTrash Monday.

TOP STORY: Which Story?
Which story from the week-end is the top one? There has been quite a lot going on: Tony Martin is the second yellow jersey non starter in this Tour de France, after Fabian Cancellara abandoned. Luca Paolini was withdrawn from the Tour due to a positive drugs test for cocaine. Unlikely he had taken it during the Tour, but maybe at a pre-Tour party he was at the week before instead of riding the Italian National road championships. La Gazzetta della Sport are reporting that the UCI testers came only to test Paolini and an un-named BMC rider. Did they know something already? Or the racial abuse that Natnael Berhane received during the Tour of Austria. Branislau Samoilau of the Polish CCC Sprandi Polkowice team called Berhane a “f*****g n****r”, after Berhane complained, the race commissars were going to throw Samoilau off the race, but Berhane said not to after the Belarusian apologized and donated a months wages to the Qhubeka charity.

No, I think the ‘TOP STORY’ has to be MTN-Qhubeka’s Daniel Teklehaimanot becoming the first African rider take the King of the Mountain jersey in the Tour. As a small boy he was more interested in the mountains competition than the yellow jersey. When he received that first polka dot jersey his smile said it all. It’s good to have a happy ending.

Daniel Teklehaimanot:

Tour de France 2015
Mixed feelings for Etixx – Quick-Step in Le Havre: Zdenek Stybar anticipated the bunch sprint to win Stage 6 while race leader Tony Martin crashed in the last kilometer and crossed the line obviously injured. Daniel Teklehaimanot made history for Africa and took the KOM polka dot jersey.

Following a first attack by Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) was reeled in after 3.5 kilometers, Perrig Quéméneur (Europcar) initiated the main breakaway of the day as he wasn’t afraid of going clear for the third time in four days, every second day indeed. Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) and Kenneth van Bilsen (Lotto Soudal) were prompt to react and accompany him in a long lasting escape. The trio got a maximum lead of 12.30 at 28 kilometers, after which the Lotto Soudal team of green jersey holder and double stage winner André Greipel decided to set the pace for the pack.

Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) who had won the King of the Mountain competition at the Critérium du Dauphiné last month went on the hunt for the polka dot jersey. He claimed the first two points awarded atop the category 4 climbs of Côte de Dieppe (72km) and Côte de Pourville-sur-Mer (77.5km) where he out-sprinted Van Bilsen. Lotto Soudal and Giant-Alpecin combined forces to chase the trio down. After the intermediate sprint at Saint-Léonard (145.5km) won by Quéméneur, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) tried to bridge the gap of 50 seconds to the leading trio but failed and was brought back by the pack 37 kilometers out. Teklehaimanot, Van Bilsen and Quéméneur managed to stay away until the third category 4 climb with 29.5km to go. The Eritrean won again and thus made his dream come true as he was a fan of the polka dot jersey since his childhood.

Van Bilsen attacked with 12km to go. Quéméneur and Teklehaimanot were reined in just after the 10km to go mark. Van Bilsen was caught by the peloton with 3km to go. Race leader Tony Martin crashed in the uphill finish on his left shoulder. He took many riders down, including GC favorites Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana but they were all classified with the same time as the accident happened in the last three kilometers. Cyclo-cross specialist Zdenek Stybar, also from Etixx – Quick-Step, rode away solo in the last 500 meters and claimed his first stage victory at the Tour de France.

Read the full race report HERE.

Tour de France 2015 - stage 6

Stage winner, Zdenek Stybar (Etixx – Quick-Step): “The last 10 kilometers were really crazy. We had really great information from the team car. But still, to make that information real is not really easy. I saw Tony was in front with Mark Renshaw and Cav. I was behind Kwiato. But in the turns on the downhill, we lost too many positions. So I thought I could make it to the front to help Cav. Then when I got to the front, and Renshaw swung off. Tony was up with Cav, so I thought ‘OK, he is safe.’ I then rode to bring Cav to the front, but saw he was in a bit of difficulty. In that moment I was in the wheel of Van Avermaet, Sagan, and Kristoff. I also saw that they didn’t have any helpers left. So I thought if I go now, the one who will close the first gap to me will lose the sprint, so maybe no one will chase. So I gave it all or nothing as we decided with the team. It was really great to make it. I think this is on the level as my first cyclocross world championship in Tabor. It was an amazing feeling then and I feel the same as I did there. Right now I have an amazing feeling. I don’t really get it yet that I have won stage of le Tour de France. For this is a very important win on a personal level. My wife Ine is home with my newborn son, Lewis. I only got to see him for a few days and then I had to leave for Le Tour. I want to dedicate this victory to them. Also, this is special for me in terms of my development as a road rider. When I changed from cyclocross to road I had a difficult time adjusting. I was working really hard to make the transition. I made some nice results, such as Strade Bianche, and winning Eneco Tour 2nd Stage. But also I had a lot of bad luck with my two crashes. One at Eneco, and another in Ardooie for cyclocross. So this means a lot for me. I am extremely happy I got the chance from the team. They gave me the free card to do it. If I can do it, I could go for it. It means a lot because I don’t get a lot of chances in a year. Today I had one and I am very happy I made it. At the same time it is bittersweet. I feel very sorry for Tony. For Tony it must be crazy because he lost the TT, which was what he was focusing on, by a few seconds. Then he had two stages where he was just seconds short of the yellow jersey. Then he took it on a stage where he probably didn’t expect to take it, and he won solo. Then today, he crashed. So for him, personally, it must be crazy. But as I have seen here, it’s Le Tour de France. You never know what can happen around each corner. I feel terrible for him and can only hope the best for him, as does the entire team.”

Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) crashed and smashed his left collar bone and will not start stage 7: “I can’t remember exactly what happened. The team put me in a really good position. On the last kilometer no one had the energy left to continue the speed. Everything slowed down, everyone was waiting. Then suddenly I hit the rear wheel of the rider in front of me. I thought I almost could stay upright, but then I went into a rider of Giant-Alpecin and I had no balance anymore. I crashed at relatively low speed, with my full weight on the left shoulder. I felt directly that something was broken. We went to make an X-Ray directly after the finish because I was thinking ‘OK, maybe I am wrong. Maybe I can start tomorrow.’ But now it is confirmed my clavicle is broken. This has been like a movie, an emotional roller coaster at this Tour. Now I am really sad. The team gave everything to protect the jersey today. We had again the chance to do it and try to keep it a few more days. It’s really been a big success up to this point. With Stybar it was such a good moment. It’s so strange to be so sad and happy together. I told Stybar to not be sad for me. I told him to enjoy his day, as he deserves it. I am sure the team will keep the morale high. That’s the Tour de France. I really wish I could continue, to even just start tomorrow, even if it is broken. I wish I could honor the jersey and show it one last time with a ceremony at the start. I could enjoy it a little more than I have the last days and then stop. But it is now clear I need to go to the hospital for surgery immediately, and my race is over. It’s hard to accept. I’d like to keep fighting. But the doctor has the last word, and when he says there is no way to continue I must accept this.”

KOM, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka): “I am really happy to take the jersey. It is a big step for African cycling and I feel really proud at the moment because I have this jersey. I am excited to be able to show my team’s colors on the podium because we are trying to give 5000 bicycles to African students, being on the podium will help our project and I want to help make a difference for my African people. It was always our plan to get this polka dot jersey so I am happy we could do it. I am proud to be African and I am proud to be Eritrean. This is a day I will never forget.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Today I demonstrated that I had good legs, but this is the race and today everybody expected me to make a move. You have to stay cool and sometimes things don’t turn out exactly how you want it to and sometimes they do. I didn’t notice the crash, but apparently it happened just behind me. Then Stybar attacked, where the climb flattened and the group didn’t have the legs. I said to the other riders that I wasn’t going to pull because they were all looking at me. If I had gone to the front to pull, I wouldn’t win the sprint. I’m still happy with my second place because it’s still some points for the green jersey, as Greipel wasn’t there. I won in the group, but the tactical situation made it very difficult, everybody knows it’s hard to win in the Tour. My strategy was to be at the front on the final climb and wait for the sprint, but there were nobody to close the gap to Stybar. I won the green jersey for three years in a row and it would be nice to do that again, but it will be difficult for sure.”

3rd overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “It is always dangerous with finishes like this, uphill, there are going to be gaps. The GC (general classification) guys want to be up there but the sprinters still want to go for the stage. So getting that mix together is always pretty dangerous. We spent almost the whole day on the coast, so if there would have been big winds, then it could have been a repeat of yesterday – or even worse. Luckily, we had a beautiful day with blue skies and calm winds. So it was a nice day.”

5th on the stage, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “I had really good legs, so I was expecting a lot,” Van Avermaet said. “To end up fifth is disappointing because I was aiming for first. They let people just go and nobody was reacting. Then, you are just angry at all the other guys that did not react. I was waiting, waiting, waiting and guessing that (John) Degenkolb, or (Peter) Sagan or (Alexander) Kristoff would close the gap. But they didn’t. So the race was already over for me with 500 meters to go. Today, I just wanted to play it a little bit smarter, just wait a little bit longer and come at a good moment,” he said. “It was a bad decision, but it is a decision you have to make for yourself. It was a little bit strange that Sagan did not react, because he was in the perfect position. I was a little bit behind.”

12th on the stage and 14th overall, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I was in the front in order to prevent possible gaps and time differences, but right in front of me a group of riders crashed. Luckily, I managed to go beside past the pile-up. On top, I was hoping for one final acceleration, but I just didn’t have it in me anymore, but that doesn’t mean a thing. We have some dangerous stages left.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “At this moment, I’m feeling pretty well. It was really difficult to get into the sprint, and that swerve by Froome and the pile-up turned it into impossible. We should get the same time, so there’s no problem.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I was like three places behind Tony Martin and the crash that took him down also affected me. It’s a superficial wound; now that I’m still with all the ‘heat’ of the stage on me, I don’t feel any pain – I just hope it’s really nothing and feel my elbow OK tomorrow morning. People at home can feel calm about this.”

Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling): “The stage was less nervous even if the final had its share dangers, and I still need a few days to recover. Today was pretty okay as far as the pain from my injuries is concerned, even if we were racing very fast. But everything went smoothly. Now we still have to be sure to assert ourselves and stay alert for the next two stages before the team time trial, where we really have a great opportunity. The objective will be to gain positions in the general classification for Mathias Frank before we attack the Pyrenees next week.”

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal): “Luckily the weather conditions were good today. If there had been enough wind, there could have been echelons, but that wasn’t the case. Very soon three riders escaped and it stayed pretty calm in the peloton. I rode at the front of the bunch for a while, because I thought it was safer than in the middle of the pack where there is a constant risk of crashing. Day one after the crash is over. Especially during yesterday’s stage I thought about leaving the race, but I’m happy with how it went today. From now on I look at it day by day. It’s hard to tell what the rest of the Tour will be like, maybe I can say something more after the rest day.”

Tour de France Stage 6 Result:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:53:46
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:02
3. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
6. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
8. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
9. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis
10. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 6:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step in 22:13:24
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:12
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:25
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:27
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:38
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:40
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:46
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:48
9. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:04
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:15.

Stage 6:

Paysage du jour – Étape 6 (Abbeville > Le Havre… por tourdefrance

Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step) scored his 26th stage victory at the Tour de France in Fougères as he waited for the right moment to out-sprint André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo). It’s Etixx-Quick Step’s third stage win this year after Tony Martin in Cambrai and Zdenek Stybar in Le Havre. Martin could not start Stage 7 due to the broken collarbone he sustained at the end of stage 6, the yellow jersey returned to Chris Froome, but he didn’t wear it in respect to Martin. Lotto Soudal’s Greg Henderson also didn’t start.

Kristjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace and Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and KOM Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) rode away from the bunch after 1.5km of racing. Polka dot jersey holder Teklehaimanot claimed one more point at the top of the only categorized climb of the day, the Côte de Canapville after 12.5 kilometers. The five leaders reached a maximum advantage of 3:50 at 27 kilometers. Belgian teams Lotto Soudal and Etixx – Quick-Step combined forces at the head of the bunch to keep a steady time gap below 3 minutes. In the fight for the green jersey, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) out-sprinted Peter Sagan, André Greipel and Mark Cavendish at the intermediate sprint in Argentan (65.5km). With 32km to go, Maté attacked at the front and Teklehaimanot opted to wait for the peloton as the breakaway was going nowhere with an advantage of 50 seconds with 50km to go and 30 seconds with 30km to go.

Durasek and Delaplace were caught with 15km to go. Maté and Feillu kept going for 4 kilometers more and the race was bunched up for the last 10km of racing. Giant-Alpecin, FDJ.fr and Katusha successively moved to the front of the bunch for John Degenkolb, Arnaud Démare and Alexander Kristoff respectively but top guns André Greipel, Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan waited for the right moment to surge. Cavendish found his way back to glory while Froome moved back into the overall lead.

Read the full race report HERE.


Stage winner, Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step): “The last two sprints the team did well, I’ve just been too anxious and gone too early. The thing about Le Tour, in another race you maybe wait. In Le Tour you don’t want to wait. In another race you maybe got one or two guys coming around you. In Le Tour you have 10 guys coming around you, there are so many strong sprinters and teams here. If you hesitate, you lose the stage. I’ve just been a bit over anxious the last two times and today was about not being impatient. I almost left it too long this time, I waited so long. I saw Kristoff had two lead-out men left. I knew they’d keep the pace high. It was too long for anybody with one more lead-out man from the finish. Normally Kristoff goes early anyway, so I anticipated that he’d go soon enough and I could come off his wheel. But he waited and waited. Greipel actually got the jump. I was perfect on Greipel, but Guarnieri came backwards after leading out and I had to avoid him. I almost panicked at how close we were to the line. If Andre had closed off the barrier I may not have won. Andre sprinted straight. He’s a gentleman. I was able to come through and pass him on the right. I had the same power in my legs as I had the other days that ended in sprints. It’s just, if you wait and launch later, you’re going to go with more immediate power than you would with 250 or 300 meters to go like I did the other times. So, after being a little more patient, I’m super happy with my victory today, which is the 26th of my career. Every one of the 26 wins is special. At Le Tour de France even one victory makes a rider’s whole career. So, to get one every year except 2014 when I crashed out of Le Tour in the first stage is a big, big thing. Obviously it’s been the longest run for me without a win at the Tour de France, I think two years. So to get back to winning ways is certainly nice. Today my family is here, my wife Peta and my daughter Delilah. So it was super special to do it in front of them. I’d like to thank my teammates for doing great work to support me for this win today. There’s no hiding the fact that losing Tony was going to be a big loss to the team, but we said yesterday that we’d win for him today. To go out and win to get the yellow jersey like he did, it’s really sad. He’s an incredible part of this team, on and off the bike. It’s almost like we started the race with 12 guys and now we’ve got eight left. That’s what losing Tony is like. I’m so glad his surgery has gone well. We would have loved for him to be here today, and to celebrate with us tonight. We’re going to definitely dedicate this win to him at the celebration and I can’t wait to speak to him later. I think the way we rallied together, and around Tony, shows the spirit of Etixx – Quick-Step. I’ve grown with this team. I’m really happy. You’ve seen the ambience we’ve got here at Etixx – Quick-Step. We’re like a family, we’re always there for each other, and we share the same goals. Everyone knows I’m a fan of racing my bike. I love it. It’s everything to me. To be with a team of like-minded people, it’s really nice to come away and do it with people who share the same feeling. Now we look to the next days. We’ve got a really good momentum going with nine strong guys who proved this week that we can win in all kinds of situations. We’ll keep going for good results.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But it will come, just be patient. It was a very difficult sprint but I think I’m doing well. I didn’t crash and I was there in the finale. I was on Degenkolb’s wheel just before the final sprint and then I was on the wheel of André Greipel in the final meters but Cavendish was very fast today. I gave it my best and now I look forward to tomorrow and then we’ll start to think about the team time trial. I think the most important is that I’m in good condition and I have avoided crashes and I will definitely try again. I heard that tomorrow could be a good finish for me but we will see. It’s right that I’m getting closer to the yellow jersey but it will be very difficult to overtake Froome tomorrow, I’m not a climber and the final climb is very hard and with the karma I have right now it will be difficult, that’s for sure.”

3rd overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “There were a lot of narrow roads out there, but the wind and the weather was not so bad. In the last 50 kilometers or so, on some of those narrow roads, we started feeling a little bit of the nerves. But compared to the other days, today was pretty tranquil. We did this stage back in 2011 and it was pretty hectic all day,” van Garderen said. “So I expect tomorrow to be more of what we have seen earlier in the week.”

KOM, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhukeka): “It was a great moment to start in the jersey this morning. We obviously had a plan with the early categorized climb today so that’s why our team was in front to keep things under control before the start. It was good though that I could get away early and then won the point. I wanted to keep going and wasn’t worried about saving power for the next weeks because I am feeling strong. Every day we can spend in the jersey helps our 5000 bikes campaign so I will work for it each stage.”

9th on the stage, Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida): “We approached the sprint at an impressive rhythm, we covered the bends in the final part of the course at a very high speed and in one of these turn I was forced to brake. My speed decreased, so I tried to retrieve positions on the final straight in slight ascent, but I could not do better than the ninth place. Best compliments to my team mate Durasek, who succeed in being in the breakaway which led the race, for a cyclist and the team it’s always such an honor to be in the Tour de France’s breakaways.”

Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo): “Luckily the pace wasn’t too high and a tumble in the neutral zone doesn’t really count as a real crash. I rolled through the day well, like I’ve done this whole week. Tomorrow will be spectacular. On the one hand it’s an important arrival, on the other hand, it doesn’t mean too much, as it’s not a real climb. It’s still an important moment where you want to score, though. I’m going to the watch the final kilometers of the stage tonight. The goal is simple: I need to go up as fast as possible and hope that others need more time than me.”

Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling): “We tried to save ourselves, even if that is seldom an easy task at the Tour de France. The nervousness returned to the group as we approached the finale, especially since we were flying at more than 50 km/h with a favorable wind. In addition to that, there were many roundabouts, which can often be dangerous traps. My sensations are getting better day by day; I have been suffering from the effects of my crash on the circuit in the opening time trial. The medical team has taken very good care of me. My wounds are well bandaged, and I just try to pedal without thinking about the pain. Now I need to concentrate on surviving the Mûr de Bretagne in order to be able to perform well for the team in the team time trial. We are motivated to do well and help Mathias Frank move up as much as possible in the overall.”

At the end of the stage, the Katusha team issued this Press release:
Luca Paolini withdrawn from Tour de France
Team Katusha has been informed tonight by the UCI that Italian rider Luca Paolini has been notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding. The presence of cocaine has been detected in a sample collected on July 7th.

According to the UCI Regulations the rider has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect. In application of the Team policy the rider has been immediately withdrawn from the Tour de France.

Bearing in mind the anti doping regulations, the team will wait until the analysis of the B sample has been conducted before taking any further action or making any further comment.

Team Katusha is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter.”

Tour de France Stage 7 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:27:25
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr
7. Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN-Qhubeka
8. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 7:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Team Sky in 26:40:51
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:11
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:13
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:26
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:28
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:34
7. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:36
8. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:52
9. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:03
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 1:07.

Stage 7:

Alexis Vuillermoz delivered the first French stage victory in Stage 8 of the 2015 Tour de France one year after another AG2R-La Mondiale, Blel Kadri, paved the way for his compatriots. Vuillermoz counter-attacked after an acceleration by Chris Froome (Sky) 800 meters before the top of Mûr de Bretagne. The Frenchman surprised Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) who started his effort too late and came second. Froome retained the yellow jersey ahead of the team time trial set to finish in Plumelec where the winner of the yearly Grand Prix this year in May was Vuillermoz.

The only non-starter was Luca Paolini (Katusha). Local team Bretagne-Séché Environnement attacked from the gun, but by the 9 kilometer point a four-man breakaway was formed with Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), Romain Sicard (Europcar) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement). They reached a maximum time gap of 3:55 after 16 kilometers. Lotto Soudal was prompt to seize the reins of the peloton and not let the time difference grow.

After the intermediate sprint at Gare de Moncontour (108.5km), a group of 17 riders continued its effort and took off: Lars Boom (Astana), Jeremy Roy (FDJ.fr), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-saxo), Lars Bak, Thomas de Gendt and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), John Degenkolb, Roy Curvers and Koen de Kort (Giant-Alpecin), Michal Kwiatkowski, Mark Cavendish and Michal Golas (Etixx-Quick-Step), Pierre Rolland, Bryan Coquard and Angelo Tulik (Europcar), Frédéric Brun and Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché Environnement). With 69km to go, they caught the four leaders. The green jersey contenders gave up and three riders managed to ride away: Bak, Golas and Huzarski. They were strongly encouraged by huge crowds waving Breton flags all along the route. Cannondale-Garmin was the most active team in the chase of the leading trio. Soon after Huzarski gave up, Bak and Golas were reeled in with 8 kilometers to go. Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) showed his intentions under the flamme rouge but Chris Froome (Sky) accelerated just after him as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was in trouble. The tiny French climber responded to the lanky Brit and rode away solo. Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) rode after him, but he was a bit too late for the win.

Read the full race report HERE.


Stage winner, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I was third on the Mur de Huy, that was obviously amazing,” he said after the stage. “So today I wanted to try and do something special. I tried two or three times to go, and finally on the third time it worked. I knew someone was behind me, but I just put my head down and pedaled for all I was worth. I’m just realizing now that I’ve won the stage. I’m not sure that in the mountains I’ll be able to take on Chris Froome, but on a finish like this, I’m a puncheur, I can take my chances. It’s the sort of climb that suits me, so I feel very good about today. Not in the mountains. Everyone has their specialty, this one is mine. In the mountains I’ll be there to help my team leaders.”

3rd on the stage, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I had really good legs and could well have won, but when the three-man group including Vuillermoz attacked, I hesitated for a bit when I would surely have had to go after them. Into the finale, I was one of the wheels to follow, and it was impossible to try any further moves. I’m happy to feel well back again, sometimes you wind and sometimes you don’t, but this bittersweet taste is hard to bear. Still, I want to congratulate Vuillermoz; he’s spent a lot of races within the top guys lately and truly deserves this win. I’m in good shape and I think I could show it today. There’s a serious test for all of us tomorrow with the TTT; for our team, the ‘real Tour’ is starting on Sunday. We went through many difficult days so far, other ones where we had to fight a bit less, but the terrain most suiting us starts now. [Asked about the Movistar Team being favorites for tomorrow] Favorites? I don’t know. Let’s hope we can finish up there tomorrow. We’re really strong at the moment, all the nine of us, and we hope to profit from that form tomorrow.”

4th on the stage, 2nd overall and Points Leader, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “The finale was very hard because we did full gas from the bottom to the finish line. I took the decision to stay with Froome and in the last hundred meters I tried to accelerate but I was in the red zone and Valverde beat me, while I wasn’t fully able to do my sprint. I was hoping to take the win but the two guys up front did a strong attack and for sure, it’s nice to be back into the green jersey. It’s only with a three-point advantage but I will do my best to stay in the lead. I am very happy with the points I took and I don’t see why I should be disappointed. I would have liked to take more points but I’m satisfied and now we look forward to the team time trial, where I think we can do well. We have to do our maximum like in every time trial but I think we have a good team for this challenge. The yellow jersey is 11 seconds away, it will be difficult but we are here to try.”

5th on the stage, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “This was a tough finish, tougher than I had hoped. I could hang on at the front of the bunch and take a nice fifth place, but I didn’t have energy left to attack. The team made sure I started the climb in a good position. The kilometers before the Mûr de Bretagne shouldn’t be underestimated either. At a high pace the peloton headed towards the climb and the bunch got reduced considerably. The first kilometer of the climb was the steepest. I wanted to stay at the front and take my chance in the last kilometer if I could. It was a strong acceleration of Alexis, something that I couldn’t do. The past days I was happy with the two team victories, now I’m less happy. I had marked this stage, but after the rest day on Monday there are other stages that suit me as well and then I’ll try to join a breakaway.”

6th on the stage and 5th overall, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “With the team I have and what they have shown so far, I think we are pretty confident,” van Garderen said. “We are just going to go out there and ride as hard as we can. We have four world champions in that discipline on the team, so we will put out the best performance that we think we can.”

7th overall, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “We all finished together but I saw that Nibali lost 10 seconds, which is not irrelevant. The stage was not too hectic but the pace was high in the last part before the final climb. I was in the wheel and I tried to help Peter in the final part but it was impossible to set it up at that moment. In any case, I’m happy with the stage and I look forward to the team time trial. We have a good team, of course we have used energy in the first part of the Tour but I am optimistic.”

11th overall, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo): “We didn’t make any friends on the way to the climb, it was a real battle, but we will talk about on Tuesday. I wasn’t good enough to try something else, but I’m satisfied with this result. I want to keep going like this over the next two weeks and deliver a surprise on a super day.”

KOM, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka): “It is good to keep the jersey and to go into the team time trial with it still in our team. I can’t believe the support I am getting, it is just more and more everyday and I am very thankful. It still feels like I am in a dream.”

Break rider, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling): “It was not a planned attempt, but we also did not push it too hard because the pack refused to give us too much of an advantage. We never managed to take more than 3’30”, and we would have been fooling ourselves if we really thought we could make it all the way to the finish. So we just avoided tapping into our reserves. That certainly was not the goal since we still want to have our best legs for the team time trial. We have a good shot to play for something special because we are all good riders for this discipline. And that way we also hope to help Mathias Frank climb the leader board and erase some of the time he has lost in the overall.”

Rohan Dennis (BMC): “We are the favorites, but I don’t ever look at the other teams as not challenging us. If you start looking at them in that way, you get beat. Also, looking at it as you are not the favorite – that you are chasing the win – never lets you relax.”

Tour de France Stage 8 Result:
1. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:20:55
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:05
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek
10. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 31:01:56
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:11
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:13
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:26
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:28
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:34
7. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:36
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 1:07
9. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:15
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek at 1:32.

Stage 8:

Résumé – Étape 8 (Rennes > Mûr-de-Bretagne… por tourdefrance

BMC Racing Team won the team time trial from Vannes to Plumelec on the 28km Stage 9 that closed the first chapter of the 102nd Tour de France. The other two dominant teams were Sky who only lost by slightly under one second and Movistar who finished strongly but four seconds down. Chris Froome (Sky) retained the overall lead with 12 seconds over Tejay van Garderen (BMC) before the Pyrenees.

Orica-GreenEDGE started first as they were last in the teams’ classification. Reduced to a six-man squad after the abandons of Simon Gerrans, Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini due to crashes, the previous winners of the team time trial of the Tour de France in Nice in 2013 obviously weren’t motivated and cruised at 45km/h with the only intention to complete the race within the time cut. Second team on the road, local favorites Bretagne-Séché Environnement who aren’t specialists in this exercise beat the Australians by more than three minutes.

The eighth team in action, IAM Cycling, was first to set a time that looked difficult to beat at an average speed of 51.08km/h. Astana was the first team to beat the Swiss outfit, by only three seconds, as Vincenzo Nibali had put his team-mates in trouble on several occasions. Jakob Fuglsang, Tanel Kangert, Michele Scarponi and Lieuwe Westra accompanied the defending champion of the Tour de France till the end. Astana lost the lead to Movistar by 31 seconds, so Nairo Quintana overtook Nibali in the overall ranking. He also passed Warren Barguil and therefore will wear the white jersey in the first Pyrenean stage as Peter Sagan remains in the lead of the points classification. Movistar’s average speed was 51.98km/h. They used their time trial specialists first (Alex Dowsett, Adriano Malori) and finished with their climbers in the Cadoudal hill.

Team time trial world champions BMC was the first squad to clock in more than 52km/h average with Tejay van Garderen, Rohan Dennis, Damiano Caruso, Greg van Avermaet and Samuel Sanchez. Wout Poels, Richie Porte, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Nicolas Roche finished the job for Team Sky but missed out on the victory by one second after being equal with BMC at the first check point and leading by one second at the second check point. Prior to the mountain stages, Froome leads the overall ranking with 12 seconds over van Garderen while Alberto Contador is at 1:03, Quintana at 1:59 and Nibali at 2:22.

Read the full race report HERE.

Tour de France 2015 - Stage 9

1st team, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “We knew we were on a really good ride, in a perfect world, we would have taken the stage and the yellow jersey. But we will take the stage win. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. We definitely had to rail the corners and make sure we stayed together outside of them,” van Garderen said. “On the climbs, we had the stronger guys pulling longer. And we had to finish with five guys. Rohan Dennis was really the key element to the team. He’s got a motor.”

Stage 1 winner, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “I was really worried the first 10 kilometers. I was actually on my limit,” the past world hour record holder said. “When we started losing a couple guys, the directors told us to start pulling longer turns.”

2nd team, Richie Porte (Sky): “There was an incredible crowd today, it was a brilliant atmosphere but it hurt to lose by under a second. It’s a shame on that last climb we were sort of spread out. But we’ve taken time on most of our big rivals. That was a brutal team time trial. I can tell you that after five kilometers it was absolute agony. The Tour’s a long way from over. We’ve got another two weeks. The mountains are coming up now but I think we’ve shown we’re more than ready to have a good crack at it.”

Movistar team manager, Eusebio Unzué: “The result itself is magnificent, as well the third spot and losing only four seconds; we would have taken it if offered before the start. However, there’s a bittersweet taste as we think we lost it at a point of the route, the one with biggest crowds, where the group lost a bit of order almost inadvertently. We might have conceded, I think, ten to fifteen seconds into that point, surely decisive for the win. The lads are the ones more conscious about the mistake. Still, I think we must remain optimistic about this result. It’s only that you remain so close to taking a TTT win in the Tour, which would have confirmed the great progression we’ve carried over the last four years, with some good results along the road. We were convinced we could win. Summing things up, we reduced our deficit to some of the GC rivals -Alberto, Rigoberto- others were further behind, like Nibali or ‘Purito’; and the ones who were over us took insignificant gains, with those 3″ behind Froome and 4″ to van Garderen. Those pointed out as big favorites have all shown with facts they’re up for the fight, and now it’s time to tackle the mountains very consciously, without ruling out any rivals. Surely the Pyrenees will offer some surprises, and we will have to wait until the Plateau de Beille climb to really know who are the biggest candidates. This first chain of mountains will create serious changes in the GC, prior to a final week full of hardness, and also difficult for the previous efforts. We’re happy with how everything went up to date, apart from that time lost on stage two, and remain hopeful for what’s to come.”

4th team, green and white jersey and 4th overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “For me, today’s result was not as important, as it was for Alberto but I had hoped that we would have done a bit better. We lost 28 seconds, which is significant but not very bad. We have to look forward, tomorrow is the rest day and then we will start to focus on what we can do in the next part of Tour de France. For me the tempo was okay, we started out at full speed and kept the intensity high to the finish. For sure, this result is not a step in the right direction for the team’s and Alberto’s chances but the Tour is still long and we are all here to fight for the yellow jersey. I’m happy for the rest day, but the rest day always feels very short. So we will use the time to recover and to plan how we can regain time. Overall I’m happy with the first nine days, it has been a very interesting Tour de France so far. I would have been happy for a stage win, but there are more chances later on in the race.”

4th team and 5th overall, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I think we still did a good time. We will rest and then attack the mountain stages, anything can still happen. There are many stages at altitude and it’s a Tour, where consistency will be important. This can favor me. We’ll wait and see how everyone is in the mountains. Everybody will have less good days, hopefully we won’t, and we will have to benefit from that. Regularity is very important and that encourages me. On the first rest day of the Giro I was a bit more certain, as I knew the status of my body. Now, there is more uncertainty. What I’ve noticed in this first part of the Tour is that I lack the spark that others have. I hope that this spark will not have importance, when we look at the Tour as a whole. If I am good I’ll try, because I believe that we must seize every opportunity, when it arises”

6th team, Matias Frank (IAM Cycling): “It was the last difficult day of the week, and we really rode as a time trial team. The guys worked very well together, and I am happy to get to the end of the week despite the crashes and the lost time. Everyone has ridden his hardest and given the best of himself. We managed to finish well in spite of the fact that we’ve been pretty unlucky. After the rest day, we will be ready to attack the mountains. I have been feeling pretty good in recent days, and I will give my maximum in the days to come. We will then take stock afterwards.”

6th team, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling): “We look anything but ridiculous after this time trial. We managed ourselves very well and no one was more powerful than the other. We started with the objective of getting Mathias Frank, our leader for the overall, in a position to gain time. We succeeded at that, and so we are left with very few regrets.”

9th team LottoNL-Jumbo, Robert Gesink is now 15th overall: “I think we did fairly well, although I had hoped for a slightly better result. We made a few mistakes. Laurens made an error with his levers. He feels embarrassed, but I know all the guys on the team for a long time and I know that we always try to help each other as well as we can. Of course, I’d preferred not to lose one minute and 14 seconds, but we are heading into the mountains now and there’s a lot of time to win there. Laurens already promised me that he will do his utmost best for me in the final two weeks.”

Tour de France Stage 9 Result:
1. BMC in 32:15
2. Sky at 0:01
3. Movistar at 0:04
4. Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:28
5. Astana at 0:35
6. IAM Cycling at 0:38
7. Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:45
8. Lampre-Merida at 0:48
9. LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:14
10. AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:24.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 9:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 31:34:12
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:12
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:27
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:38
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:03
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:18
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:50
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:52
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:59
10. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step.

Stage 9:

Resumen – Etapa 9 (Vannes > Plumelec) – Tour de… por tourdefrance_es

Tour of Austria 2015
An incredible ride by Johann van Zyl during Stage 5 of the Tour of Austria saw the young South African pick up his first ever professional win, crossing the line alone and just a handful of seconds ahead of a fast charging peloton.

After an initial break of 6 riders were caught with around 60km to go, 3 new riders jumped clear including Johann. Our South African was joined by Grischa Janorschke (Vorarlberg) and Lukas Pöstlberger (Tirol). The trio combined well to establish a maximum of 3 minutes advantage over the peloton. The peloton soon realized the danger of the escape and began the chase.

The urgency in the main field saw a large crash take place, involving multiple riders. The organizers took the decision to bring the race to a halt. It was only momentarily though and the race was restarted with 20km to go, the break were allowed to start with the same advantage they had before the neutralization.

With 7km to go, the break was holding on to a 1’40” lead while the peloton were in full hunting mode down the road. Johann then went on the make-or-break attack with 4km to go, leaving his fellow escapees behind. While the peloton had Johann within sight, the South African kept his head down and put that time trialing ability he has been working on to the test.

With a short and sharp rise to the line over the final few 100 meters, Johann would push through the burn to take his first ever professional win. Arriving just 5 seconds before David Tanner (IAM Cycling) brought the peloton home, with Rick Zabel (BMC Racing) in 3rd. Natnael Berhane held on to his 4th place on GC overall.

Stage winner, Johann van Zyl:

Stage winner, Johann van Zyl (MTN-Qhubeka): I’m so incredibly happy that my gamble paid off. It was a strange race with the break taking just more than 80km to go and then after they went, they sat up. Kristian told me to take the opportunity as the next break might stick. I went with 2 guys and magically we made it work. I remember this finish from 2013 so I knew I had to attack them with 4km to go. I went as hard as I could and I just survived. It’s a great day for me and for our team as we gather more momentum for our 5000 bicycles campaign.”

2nd on the stage, David Tanner (IAM Cycling): “I am really disappointed today because the UCI and race organizers have stolen a victory from the team. It’s not only me, but also for my teammates who give 200%, who have worked à bloc all day, and it’s not right. I think they really made a big mistake. They would not have had to stop the race. If they want to neutralize, no worries, but how they did it here is ridiculous. They proved themselves to be total amateurs. We can’t neutralize the race after each crash. If it’s like that then you’d be stopping the race all the time because there are always crashes. Even today, there was a crash early and they didn’t stop it. Even now, I can’t seem to understand how they could possibly do such a thing.”

3rd on the stage, Rick Zabel (BMC): “You have to say the guys in front were lucky because of the big crash. All the time the race was stopped, the guys in the breakaway were able to go 15 kilometers pretty easy and recover. Then we were standing there two-and-a-half minutes waiting to start. But that’s cycling.”

Tour of Austria Stage 5 Result:
1. Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka in 3:42:33
2. David John Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling at 0:06
3. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
4. Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
5. Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
7. Clemens Fankhauser (Aut) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleangteam
8. Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
9. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
10. Andrea Piechele (Ita) Bardiani CSF.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 5:
1. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice in 23:51:20
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:02
3. Gonzalez Victo De La Parte (Spa) Team Vorarlberg at 0:03
4. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:15
5. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:17
6. Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:23
7. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 0:38
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:47
9. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels at 0:48
10. Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling at 0:52.

Overall leader Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) after stage 5:

The Queen Stage 6 of the Tour of Austria demanded the winner would have to have some serious climbing talent. Victor de la Parte (Team Vorarlberg), who already won the first summit finish, took the stage at the top of the Kitzbüheler, confirming his strength once the road starts to tilt upward. The Spaniard won with a 1:18 advantage over Ben Hermans (BMC), and 1:29 ahead of Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice). De la Parte is now in the overall leader’s jersey.

Stage winner and race leader, Gonzalez Victor De La Parte:

10th on the stage and overall, Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling): “Today went pretty well for me, as has the entire race up to this point. To be perfectly honest, I do not feel in the best of shape, but I do not feel terrible either, far from it. Of course, I wanted to have some stronger results here at home, but in the end, I can be happy with my performance. At the moment, I am not the rider that I was before my injury. I will need some days of racing before I can hope to be at my former level. My goal was to be on the podium, but baring that, to be the best Austrian and have the jersey on my shoulders will still be very nice.”

Tour of Austria Stage 6 Result:
1. Gonzalez Victor De La Parte (Spa) Team Vorarlberg in 4:54:46
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:18
3. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 1:29
4. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:51
5. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka at 1:54
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 2:15
7. Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling at 2:17
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
9. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha
10. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 2:24.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 6:
1. Gonzalez Victo De La Parte (Spa) Team Vorarlberg in 28:45:59
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:21
3. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 1:32
4. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:16
5. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 3:02
6. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 3:11
7. Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling at 3:16
8. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:18
9. Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:20
10. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 3:34.

Stage 6:

The Tour of Austria’s Stage 7 was only a short one at 124km in length but the racing would be fast and furious. In the end it was a big 21 rider break that would decide the day with Lukas Pöstlberger (Tirol) taking the stage win ahead of Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin).

The large group of 21 riders escaped just after the only categorized climb of the day, a Cat 4 climb coming with 23km completed. It was rather interesting that the peloton let such a large group gain just over three minutes on them, with the possibility of surviving to the finish increasing with each passing kilometer. The big lead group worked well together initially, but would start attacking one another when they realised at 20km to go that their chances of taking the stage were really good. With so many riders in the break, and all of them still relatively fresh after such a short stage it was tough to get away.

It was only in the final 3km that a move would finally stick as Postelberger rode clear. It only took a slight hesitation by the group to start chasing and it was too late. The Tirol rider arrived 12 seconds ahead of the chasers, Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) led the bunch home 1:09 later.

Stage winner, Lukas Pöstlberger:

4th overall, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “It was really fast and chaotic right from the start. There was a lot of desperation in the peloton because most of the results have been confined to a couple teams and even a couple riders. So I think a lot of guys saw today as their last chance to get some results with the big climbs that are to come tomorrow. It was hard up there being one guy in a group of about 30 because everyone knew I was the best on GC (general classification). So they were looking for every chance they could to flick me and get me out of the group and make me work more. I was pretty empty by the end. So I was proud of myself for fighting all the way to the line to take a little time. Unfortunately, the race is not being officiated to the level that would allow us to capitalize on their weakness. At one point today, all of his teammates were dropped but the officials didn’t barrage them when they came back. They let them come back in the cars.”

8th on the stage, Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka): “I am really disappointed. I made the big break of 21 guys and I was sitting on for a lot of the stage so I was hoping to get away in the end. I tried quite a few times but each time I couldn’t get enough of a gap and wasn’t able to get a good result. I feel really bad for the team.”

Patrick Schelling (IAM Cycling): “Today it was a very short and fast stage because we rode it in around two and a half hours. The guys did not need too many bottles to refuel on this stage, so my job was more to be vigilant in case one of my teammates needed me. We were also lucky to have Tanner in the break for this rather special stage, since then we did not have to do any chasing duty in the peloton. In the end, it was a bit quieter for me than usual. But other days we have had many things to do to prepare our leaders for the finish. As teammates, we have to ride hard at the head of the peloton in order to control the gap that the day’s break takes so that we can be sure to bring them back at the perfect time. Then of course, we also have to drift back to the team cars so that we can collect the bidons for the rest of the team, especially when racing in the heat like now, and we have to hand the bottles to all the rest of the team.”

Tour of Austria Stage 7 Result:
1. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team in 2:34:09
2. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha at 0:13
3. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
5. Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis
6. Sebastian Baldauf (Ger) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleangteam
7. Troels Vinther (Den) Cult Energy
8. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Amplatz-BMC
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Michael Gogl (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 7:
1. Gonzalez Victo De La Parte (Spa) Team Vorarlberg in 31:21:18
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:21
3. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 1:32
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 2:13
5. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:16
6. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 3:02
7. Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling at 3:16
8. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:18
9. Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:20
10. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 3:34.

Stage 7:

Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin) won the sprint at the end of the Final Stage 8 ahead of David Tanner (IAM Cycling) and Clément Venturini (Cofidis). Spanish leader; Gonzalez Victor De La Parte (Team Vorarlberg) had no problem holding his 1:21 lead over Ben Hermans (BMC) and the 1:32 over Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) to take the final win.

Race leader, Gonzalez Victor De La Parte:

2nd overall, Ben Hermans (BMC): “I knew before the race that a good result was possible because I felt good and I had a good group of riders around me,” Hermans said. “So I am happy with my second place.”

5th overall, Natnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka): “Tour of Austria was a good race, I was happy to ride in the Eritrean jersey. I came here with big ambitions and I finished 5th. It would have been better to be on the podium. We can be happy with the stage win of Johann but personally I wanted a bit more. I tried today to get back some time today but it was not possible. It is still my best result this year, I can improve from here.”

2nd on the stage, David Tanner (IAM Cycling): “I would like to thank my teammates, and especially Larry Warbasse and Clément Chevrier who did an amazing job for me on Sunday, to finish second instead of first, I can really only blame myself, and certainly not them. I made a mistake at the end, and I was not positioned where I should have been, but that was my fault. They gave absolutely everything of themselves to me. I am happy with my second place, but I would have liked to get the win, especially for them. I am pretty fit at the moment, and I trained hard for this. But what I will remember most is that what the public saw at the Tour of Austria is a truly united and happy IAM Cycling team. I took great pleasure in riding and working with them.”

Tour of Austria Stage 8 Result:
1. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin in 4:44:36
2. David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling
3. Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
4. Evaldas Siskevicius (Lit) Team Marseille 13-KTM
5. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis
6. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Amplatz-BMC
7. Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
9. Angel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha
10. Florian Bissinger (Ger) WAS-Greenlife.

Tour of Austria Final Overall Result:
1. Gonzalez Victor De La Parte (Spa) Team Vorarlberg in 36:05:54
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:21
3. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 1:32
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 2:13
5. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:16
6. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 3:00
7. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:12
8. Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling at 3:16
9. Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:20
10. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 3:34.

The final podium:

Jérôme Pineau announces his retirement set for the end of this season
“I promised my daughters that I would be a father full time next year. So I will put an end to my career at the end of this season after fourteen years of pure happiness. But it’s true that my heart is a little torn since I would have like to participate in one last Tour de France.” Jérôme Pineau (35) announced his decision to end his professional cycling career this morning in Rennes to the journalists gathered in the Village du Tour de France. His time as a cyclist has been highlighted by four wins and eighteen participations in Grand Tours. “I decided in May. I no longer have the motivation necessary to make so many sacrifices. To be effective, it is mandatory that you suffer and I do not want to have to do that a whole season. I can no longer make the necessary efforts, and so it is time to say stop. Of course, I have a twinge of regret since I would have ideally liked to be able to ride one last Tour de France and then announce the end of my career for the end of the year.”

Jérôme Pineau:
Paris - Nice 2015 Stage - 4

The Bora Flying Kitchen!
Matt at GCN had a ‘flight’ in the Bora kitchen at the Tour. Our own Gordan Cameron also had a trip and luch, read it HERE.

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