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Superdévoluy - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Christopher Froome (Team Sky) pictured during stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016 from Le Pont-de-Claix to Superdévoluy (151 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Froome Monday!

Chris Froome has thrown his crash hat firmly in the Tour de France ring with his third Critérium du Dauphiné win. We have all the stage race results, reports, quotes and video from France, plus the Tour de Suisse, GP Gippingen and the Rund um Köln. Top Story – Wanty-Groupe Gobert and MPCC. Rohan Dennis extends with BMC, we preview the Tour of Norway and finish with a tribute to Rudi Altig.

TOP STORY: Wanty, Next team to Leave MPCC?
The Belgian Pro Continental team, Wanty-Groupe Gobert stopped Enrico Gasparotto and Björn Thurau from starting the final stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné after tests showed that both riders had low cortisol levels. The Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) said: “These voluntary tests have been performed in collaboration with French Cycling Association (FFC) and French Cycling League (LNC). It was found that 2 cortisol level were below the voluntary MPCC norm. In each case the physician in charge of the team prescribed a minimum of 8 days of non-competition to the rider.”

The test does not prove any wrong doing and is not against WADA or UCI rules, but does go against MPCC (voluntary) rules. MPCC said: “the test does not concern an anti-doping control. Under WADA rules, athletes across all sports, with a cortisol level abnormally low, are entitled to perform their sport in competition (unless an anti-doping test has revealed the unauthorized use of the cortisol hormone).”

The Wanty-Groupe Gobert team followed MPCC rules and did not allow Gasparotto and Thurau race and the riders will probably have other medical checks to ensure that they do not have any health problems.

Some teams have left or never joined MPCC in the first place. Wanty will probably not leave as it gives them credibility, whereas WorldTour teams don’t need or want the added regulations. One has to wonder what the MPCC is for? It can’t just be for low cortisol levels.

Enrico Gasparotto winning the Amstel Gold Race earlier this year:
Amstel Gold Race 2016

Critérium du Dauphiné 2016
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) claimed his fourth stage win at the Critérium du Dauphiné since 2010 as he out-sprinted Frenchmen Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in the slightly uphill finish in Belley at the end of Stage 4. The Norwegian national champion therefore equaled the number of victories of his compatriot Thor Hushovd who imposed himself once a year from 2003 to 2006. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) retained the yellow-blue jersey ahead of three mountainous conclusive stages while Chris Froome (Sky) over took Richie Porte (BMC) on GC.

Three riders took off after one kilometer of racing: Maxime Bouet (Etixx – Quick-Step), Bryan Nauleau (Direct Energie) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) who initiated the move. There was absolutely no reaction from the peloton so the advantage of the leading trio was 5:15 as early as at km 13. Obviously, Bouet was motivated by the idea of winning in Belley, which is his native town. The speed of all the riders was pretty slow due to a head wind but Cofidis quickly indicated that they wouldn’t let the escapees too far ahead. The French team of green jersey wearer Nacer Bouhanni co-ordinated their efforts with Tinkoff to stabilize the time gap around 4:15 at km 50.

Three teams wearing different red jerseys gathered at the head of the peloton to bring the breakaway back slowly but surely: Katusha, Cofidis and Lotto Soudal with Angel Vicioso, Rudy Molard and Gert Dockx respectively pulling for their sprinters Alexander Kristoff, Nacer Bouhanni and Jens Debusschere. Bora-Argon 18 who also had ambitions for Sam Bennett sent Cesare Benedetti to up the tempo in the last thirty kilometers while Bouet, Nauleau and Veuchelen felt the threat with only 1:30 lead at the beginning of the 32km loop around Belley after a first passage on the finishing line.

Bouet rode away solo 14km before the end. He forged on with 30 seconds lead for a while but he was reeled in with 4km to go after staying away for 172km. Edvald Boasson Hagen rode on the outside in the inevitable bunch sprint. He took the advantage over Greg van Avermaet who was on his right hand side and resisted to the final rush of fast Frenchmen Julian Alaphilippe and Nacer Bouhanni. Boasson Hagen previously won stage 7 to Sallanches in 2010, stage 12 to La Clayette in 2012 and stage 3 to Tarare in 2013 at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Belley - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)  - Bouhanni Nacer (France / Cofidis) - Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) - Jens Debusschere (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Jens Keukeleire (Belgien / Team Orica Greenedge)   pictured during stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine 2016  from Tain-l’Hermitage to Belley  (176 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “I had a great position all day. The guys kept me well protected. In the finale I had to go from far. Everyone was getting tired and I managed to stay ahead. I’m very happy. It was the last opportunity for riders like me. I really wanted to do well today. I like the Dauphiné because there’s a stage for every kind of rider. I’ve done this race a lot of times. It’s been a great season so far and I hope to have a good Tour de France as well. I’m getting better and better towards the Tour de France. It’s nice to get a win for Dimension Data for Qhubeka and it gives me an opportunity to send my best wishes to Keagan Girdlestone for his recovery.”

Overall leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): “It was a relatively calm stage until the finale, which was truly crazy. Initially, it seemed as if the group would cross the finish line together. However, right after the 2km mark there was a big pile-up which caused gaps in the peloton. I was caught at the back and I lost nine seconds to some GC contenders. The truth is nine seconds don’t worry me, but what worries me more is the 3km rule. It has to be applied and we need clarity. The Dauphiné is like the Tour. You don’t know how you feel until you reach the mountain stages. I will take it day by day. We finished this first half of the race with the yellow jersey, something that wasn’t in our plans. Our goal was to have a good first day and then see how we are reaching the mountain stages. Despite having the yellow jersey we won’t take more responsibilities than necessary. We will see how tomorrow unfolds and we will adapt our plans. We will take it one day at a time, see how the legs feel and check our form.”

3rd, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “Edvald Boasson Hagen was really strong. He launched the sprint and I could not overtake with my last effort. I wanted to be in the first four before the sprint, but I was about 8th or 10th. It’s Borut that would place me. His fall disrupted things, but this is not the most important: it made me very afraid and I am reassured now that I know he’s okay. It was going very fast, almost 70 kmh… The team worked very well since the beginning of the Dauphiné, it has always been there in the final stages. That’s what I remember.”

Break rider, Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “At this level you’re not playing with the peloton but the peloton is toying with you, It was difficult to think about the victory today. There was too much wind. We needed one more minute to hope. We were working well together until Bouet attacked. I’m still happy with my day.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data in 4:39:26
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
4. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
6. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
9. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
10. Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre-Merida.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 4:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff in 17:52:45
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:04
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:06
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:09
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:12
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 0:27
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:31
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 0:35
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 0:43
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:48.

Dauphiné Stage 4:

Chris Froome (Sky) took control of the Critérium du Dauphiné on the first uphill finish in Vaujany on Stage 5 where he out-sprinted his former lieutenant Richie Porte (BMC) while overall leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) wasn’t able to follow when Froome attacked with 2.6km to go. Froome now leads by 7 seconds from Porte and 27 from Contador.

1Ethiopia’s Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida) showed his ambitions for the King of the Mountains classification as early as the first climb of the day, the côte de la Chapelle-Blanche (16km). After the côte d’Arvillard (23km), he rejoined Frenchmen Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) at the front. Eventually, a front group of 25 riders was formed at km 38, in the ascent to col du Barioz: Wouter Poels (Sky), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Robert Kiserlovski and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Steve Morabito and Sébastien Reichenbach (FDJ), Andriy Grivko and Paolo Tiralongo (Astana), Jan Bakelants, Cyril Gautier and Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge), Tomasz Marcynski (Lotto Soudal), Edvald Boasson Hagen, Stephen Cummings and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), Antonio Pedredo (Movistar), Voeckler, Tom-Jelte Slager (Cannondale), Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling), Björn Thurau (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Grmay and Luka Pibernik (Lampre-Merida).

Teklehaimanot crested the first category col du Barioz and the second category col des Ayes in first position. He virtually moved into the lead of the King of the Mountains competition that he won last year. However, the peloton led by Tinkoff kept the front group within one minute. Grivko rode away at half way into the race while his former breakaway companions were brought back by the peloton after 72 kilometers. Dayer Quintana (Movistar), Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18) and Gautier bridged the gap to Grivko at kilometer 83 to make it a leading quintet. They had a maximum advantage of 2:40 with 50 kilometers to go.

Gasparotto attacked at the front with 6 kilometers to go, initially followed by Quintana, but after FDJ had drastically reduced the gap, Mikel Landa (Sky) was the first rider from the peloton to catch the Italian escapee with 3.5 kilometers left. It was the platform for Chris Froome to take action. The 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné winner attacked with 2.6km to go. Only Rich Porte managed to come across to him while Alberto Contador couldn’t respond. Froome sprinted from far out in the final uphill stretch to move into the lead with an advantage of 7 seconds over Porte, 27 seconds over Contador, 37 seconds over Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) and 42 seconds over Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step) who retained the white jersey of best young rider

Vaujany - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Froome Christopher - Chris (GBR / Team Sky) - Porte Richie (Australia / BMC Racing Team)   pictured during stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphine 2016  from La Ravoire to Vaujany (140 KM) - photo LB/RB//Cor Vos © 2016

2nd on the stage and 2nd overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “The team was really good around me today so I’m happy with how things are. To be honest it was probably better than expected. It was a really hard day. Today showed that I’m in a good place. To ride away with Froomey like is a good sign. For the moment I’ll enjoy this, it’s a good result. I knew it was hard from six to two kilometers but when Froomey attacked like that and you see guys crack, it gives you a bit more inspiration to keep pushing on. We still put good time into the other guys, so I’m happy with that. Both Froomey and I are in good form for July, we’re both going so well. It’s a little bit different to be riding for yourself and I’m quite enjoying it. Obviously Contador didn’t have a good day but there’s still two more days to come, and it’s still not July. The goal now is to recover as best as possible for the Queen Stage tomorrow.”

5th on the stage and 3rd overall, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): “We will see what happens tomorrow. I’m sure that day by day I will go better. Anything can happen. The only thing that’s important for me is that I’m ready for the Tour de France. It’s the last race before the Tour and I want to be 100%. We’ll see how my legs feel here and we’ll do some work after the race ends, because the final week of the Tour will be very hard, and now I will work on my recovery before tomorrow’s stage.”

KOM, Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data): “It was a really great day after yesterday, where Eddy won the stage. So I have a lot motivation to do something good and win the polka dot jersey again. It was a really hard start today but Eddy helped me to win the sprint in the first category climb and the second category that followed as well. He did a great job for me. It won’t be easy to keep the jersey but it is my goal to win it.”

Daniel Navarro (Cofidis): “I had a puncture on the descent just before Vizille (about 1 hour before the finish) when the peloton was going very fast. I returned to the peloton but I was tired and it took me time to recover. There were then 20 favorable kilometers, so I could regain strength for the difficult final. At the bottom, I was not very good, but every kilometer my feelings improved and I finished the climb at a good pace in a group racing for sixth place.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 3:32:20
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:01
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:19
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Alberto Contador ((Spa)) Tinkoff at 0:21
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:25
7. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale at 0:27
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida
10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 21:24:59
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:07
3. Alberto Contador ((Spa)) Tinkoff at 0:27
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:37
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:42
6. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:52
7. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 1:08
8. Daniel Navarro (SPA) Cofidis at 1:16
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:21
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 1:27.

Dauphiné Stage 5:

Great show by the French climbers on the Queen Stage 6 of the 68th Critérium du Dauphiné. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) out-sprinted Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) in Méribel after cresting the grueling col de la Madeleine in first position. Chris Froome (Sky) limited the losses to retain the yellow-blue jersey by a margin of 21 seconds over Richie Porte (BMC) and Bardet.

Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18) was the first attacker of the day. He also took part in the first significant breakaway that was formed at the beginning of the ascent to the col de Champ-Laurent (Cat. 1) after 9km following an attack by Robert Kiserlovski (Tinkoff). 24 riders initially made the move. Bryan Nauleau (Direct Energie) came across and was later dropped and replaced by Andriy Grivko (Astana). Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) also bridged the gap on the ascent of the col du Grand Cucheron to complete a 27-man leading group after 22km of racing: Ben Hermans (BMC), Kiserlovski & Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Thibaut Pinot & Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Laurens De Plus & Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step), Grivko & Sanchez (Astana), Bakelants, Mikaël Chérel & Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Katusha), Tony Gallopin & Louis Vervaeke (Lotto Soudal), Serge Pauwels & Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Marc Soler (Movistar), Thomas Voeckler, Perrig Quémeneur & Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo), Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Cesare Benedetti & Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18) and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida). The peloton was 2:50 behind at the top of the Grand Cucheron (24km). 27.4km were covered in the first hour of racing.

At the foot of the col de la Madeleine, Alberto Contador and Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff) attacked together with Fabio Aru (Astana), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Dayer Quintana (Movistar) and Björn Thurau (Wanty- Groupe Gobert). They were eventually reeled in and Contador accelerated again less than 2km before the summit where Pinot took the first position on the only hors-category climb of this years Critérium du Dauphiné but he was quickly distanced by Chérel and Vervaeke on the descent. Froome and Contador crested la Madeleine together, 1:22 behind Pinot. On the downhill, Aru and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) made it across to Pinot’s group. After Chérel, Vervaeke and Pauwels formed a leading trio for a while, 19 riders gathered at the front to start climbing the Montée des Frasses. Pinot was first again at the top.

Ten riders reached the final hill to Méribel at the front with an advantage of almost three minutes over the main peloton led by Team Sky: Hermans, Kiserlovski, Kreuziger, Pinot, De Plus, Bardet, Chérel, Bakelants, Van den Broeck and Bennett. Bardet attacked with 10km to go. Pinot rejoined him to form a leading duo 8 kilometers before the finishing line. Bardet attacked his compatriot with 3 kilometers to go but didn’t manage to drop him. As a result of that move, Pinot let his rival do most of the work, which possibly deprived Bardet of the yellow-blue jersey saved by Chris Froome by 21 seconds. France hadn’t made a 1-2 at the Dauphiné since Nicolas Vogondy preceded Romain Sicard in Risoul in 2010. Pinot’s first ever win at the Dauphiné is his fifth of the year after two stages and GC at the Critérium International and the time trial of the Tour de Romandie.

Méribel - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) - Bardet Romain (France / Team AG2R La Mondiale)  pictured during stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016  from La Rochette to Méribel (141 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling): “It was one of my best days at the Dauphiné, I managed to get to the top of the Col de la Madeleine with the yellow jersey group. I am still missing a little of the condition needed to go even better. I was distanced with about ten kilometers to the finish. But if I can continue on this way, it is a good sign for the future. I am racing here at the Dauphiné primarily to find the rhythm of the competition, the right pedal stroke in the mountains. Throughout the day, the feelings were coming back. I am enjoying it.”

18th Daniel Navarro (Cofidis): “It was not a good day for me. The last kilometers were ridden very quickly and I lacked strength to accompany the best to the end.”

Stef Clement (IAM Cycling): “Today, I experienced a new level of pain. Alberto Contador attacked at the foot of the Col de la Madeleine. This acceleration led the Sky team to ride hard. At that time, I was already at my limit. I could not go faster. To sum it up, I was basically time trialing to the finish. However, I must get through this level of suffering in order to progress in my preparation. My objective is to be selected for the Tour de France. I have to earn my place. This Saturday, the goal was clear: keep fighting until I crossed the line. This is a race after all.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ in 4:24:16
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:04
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 1:07
5. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida 0:01:15
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff
7. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 1:17
8. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE
9. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:21
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 25:50:22
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:21
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:30
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff at 0:35
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:56
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:02
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 1:18
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 1:35
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 2:12.

Stage 6:

Dimension Data’s Stephen Cummings claimed his first ever stage victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné thanks to a 60 kilometer long solo breakaway on the Final Stage 7 while his compatriot, Chris Froome (Sky) sealed his third overall win in the Alpine French race after 2013 and 2015 – the two years he also won the Tour de France. In a final rush, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) managed to move up to second and third overall respectively.

After many skirmishes, some of them highlighting the ambitions of stage 6 winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) to double up or defend his polka dot jersey, 19 riders managed to go in the second climb of the day, the côte des Terrasses, after 31 kilometers of racing: Robert Kiserlovski (Tinkoff), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Katusha), Tony Gallopin & Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Stephen Cummings & Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Jack Bauer & Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale), Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling), Bartosz Huzarski & Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18) and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida). Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) also managed to cross to the leaders.

With 100 kilometers to go the leading group had 3 minutes which didn’t please Etixx – Quick-Step, they took over the peloton from Sky and started to pull the escape back. Cummings rode away solo with 60 kilometers to go as he approached the ascent to the first category col de Moissière. He impressively increased his lead over the nine riders who gathered behind him: Kiserlovski, Lutsenko, Van den Broeck, Gallopin, Teklehaimanot, Bauer, Voss, G. Martin, Gallopin and Grmay. The 35 year old Englishman started climbing to col du Noyer with more than five minutes of an advantage over the peloton.

At half way into the ascent to col du Noyer, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) attacked twice and forced Chris Froome to react. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Richie Porte (BMC) accompanied the two stars of the race. 12 riders including the first nine on the overall ranking gathered behind Cummings who claimed a worthy solo victory. Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) was the fastest of them all at Superdévoluy ahead of Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale). The final rush allowed them to take Porte out of the podium as Bardet and Martin joined Froome overall in that order.

Superdévoluy - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data)   pictured during stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016  from Le Pont-de-Claix to Superdévoluy (151 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

10th on the stage and final overall winner, Chris Froome (Sky): “It’s amazing to be able to come back to the Dauphine and win it for a third time. The team were fantastic this week and the guys rode out of their skin keeping the jersey on my shoulders. It’s a massive satisfaction. Coming into this week I hoped I’d be fighting for the podium, and to be sitting here on the last day in yellow is really an amazing feeling. The last few days have just been flat out and today was no different. The final there was pretty grippy and we were down to just a couple of us at the front at one stage. But again my teammates did a fantastic job, got back to the front of the race and helped control it for me right up until the end. It is great timing to have a win under the belt. It does help build the morale a bit and build the team around me. There’s still a lot of work to do before July but all the right signs are there now. The guys heading for the Tour de France look as if they’re in great shape and things everything is heading in the right direction.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Today we wanted to try to win the stage and get the bonus seconds, because it would have helped us secure the podium, but when Cummings went he was too far ahead, so we changed the plan and we focused on improving our general classification. On the second-to-last climb, Contador attacked and I suffered, but I managed to come back on the downhill. We were aware there was a strong headwind on the final ascent, so I waited for as long as possible before accelerating. Bardet was following me, but I went full gas and never looked over my shoulder. After crossing the line I had no idea I was in the top 3, it was only on my way to the bus that our sport director Jan Schaffrath told me that I climbed in the GC. I am happy with this result and the week I had, the team was really great and always there by my side. It was one of our best races this season. This achievement makes me really proud, to be the first one that does something special for my country is fantastic. I’m going home satisfied and motivated to continue my preparation for the Tour de France and work on my explosiveness. My goal is to be ready, fresh and as relaxed as possible at the start of the Tour.”

5th overall, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): “I tried my best until the very end. In the last climb, which was long and quite windy. In the previous climb, which was shorter but steeper, I tried to attack as well but I still don’t have the rhythm. I saw that Sky started pulling but we decided to keep our pace and we saw them one by one being dropped until Froome was left alone. I am very happy with the way I feel and I think my preparation couldn’t have been better. In the end I finished fifth but that doesn’t bother me. Second or fifth doesn’t change anything because the goal was to keep improving my form. We achieved it as we also scored a stage win on a day in which one could assess if he legs were strong or not. I’m happy and very motivated to recover, assimilate the work done here and reach the Tour in optimal form. Last but certainly not least, I now lead the UCI WorldTour ranking. It was never a goal but, obviously, every rider is happy to reach that position. It also is a bonus to the sponsor, Tinkoff Bank, and Oleg Tinkov that have shown their strong support. We lead the team ranking and sit on the two top spots of the individual ranking.”

6th on the stage and overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I can’t express in words how happy I am. At the start of the competition I wasn’t expecting such a result, but things went better with every day that passed and I began to believe in my chances. The last stages, when we hit high altitude, were difficult, but helped by a great team which gave 110% for me I stayed motivated and pushed hard. Now I will go home and recover before starting to build up for the National Championships.”

9th overall, Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida): “I’m happy I could compete with the top climbers in the three mountains stages, I had good feedback which confirmed that I worked properly in the past weeks. Moreover, I received a perfect support from my team mates: we were a young group which co-operate in an amazing way. Now I’ll continue training hardly for coming back to France in July with the goal of continue the series of good performances I opened here in the Dauphiné.”

Stef Clement (IAM Cycling): “Before a race, we tend to do a big block of training,” Stef Clement explained. “Ultimately, my injury was a blessing in disguise. I was forced into a period of rest. I worked well during the altitude training camp, and I arrived at the Dauphiné relatively fresh. That is the reason I have been so strong this week. I am a happy man.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 Result:
1. Stephen Cummings (GB) Dimension Data in 4:05:06
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 3:58
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky
5. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
7. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana
8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 4:01
9. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 4:03
10. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky.

Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 25:59:31
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:12
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:19
4. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:21
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff at 0:35
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:51
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:57
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 1:13
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 1:30
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale at 2:43.

The Final Stage 7:

Tour de Suisse 2016
Rain began to fall as Fabian Cancellara readied on the start ramp for the 6.4-kilometer Prologue that opened the Tour de Suisse on Saturday, adding an extra difficulty to the technical course but not preventing him from winning in a time of seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds, a mere six-hundredths of a second faster than Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal).

The wet roads did hinder Cancellara, who was eight seconds behind the fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint at 3.2 kilometers, but he slowly gained ground back in the latter part of the course. In the final meters, knowing it would be close, he sprinted out of the saddle, and with a bike throw at the line eked out the victory by the narrowest of margins.

Baar - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Fabian Cancellara (Suisse / Trek Factory Racing)  pictured during stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from Baar to Baar (6,4 km) ITT Team Trial Individual - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

Prologue winner, Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo): “It was not fun to be standing on the start ramp and seeing the rain. You know that it will be wet roads, and I knew then it would be like a poker game. Honestly, I was really nervous for today, and for me, it was really important to win. For many reasons: it’s a home race, my last time here, the history… I had wheels ready at the start for wet and dry and in the end I took the tires for the dry because super slick goes better. But then I had wet roads on some of the corners, and it was hard to maintain the rhythm, the speed. I had rain from the climb to the chicane – around 2 kilometers, and the downhill was wet. In the end, I did what I could, and it worked out. Having a win in my last Tour de Suisse means a lot, this stands out. I will enjoy the night and the day tomorrow in the yellow. I will do what I can to try and defend, but it’s going to be a hard week, but we go on in yellow tomorrow, and that is what is nice.”

4th, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling): “I am happy with this fourth place finish in front of my family and friends. I had the heart to do well, though the sensations were not great during these 6 kilometers. I lacked a little power, a little something extra that in the end can mean victory. But I have no regrets. I am convinced that I will sleep well tonight.”

30th, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “Today it was a very nice day. Not every day is sunny and I started in the rain. I don’t mind – that’s ok. I finished with a time I’m happy with, and I think we’re ready for a good race. We’ll see day by day how it’s going and we’ll use the race to prepare for a good Tour de France.”

Tour de Suisse Prologue Result:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo in 7:38
2. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:01
3. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:02
4. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:06
5. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:07
7. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:09
8. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
9. Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo.

Tour de Suisse Overall After The Prologue:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo in 7:00
2. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:01
3. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:02
4. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:06
5. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:07
7. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:09
8. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
9. Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo.

Suisse Prologue:

Stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse was run over four undulating laps of 47 kilometers around Baar. The first break of the day included: Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling), Sébastien Minard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Matthias Krizek (Team Roth) and Antwan Tolhoek (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) with Trek-Segafredo riding on the front of the peloton for overall leader Cancellara. At the start of the final lap the lead was down to 1:30 and the break was caught with 35 kilometers to go.

Orica-GreenEDGE took control of the peloton for Michael Matthews, but Tinkoff were also working for Peter Sagan and put him in a perfect position for the winning sprint and the World champion’s 12th stage win in the Suisse tour. Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) was 5th, in the same time as Sagan, and took the race lead from Fabian Cancellara by 1 second.

Baar - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Peter Sagan (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov) celebrates his win pictured during stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from Baar to Baar (187,6 km) - photo Miwa IIjima/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and 4th overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “From the start of the race we had an idea how it would go – all the races are pretty similar – we have a breakaway and the GC leader’s team has to pull – everyone knew we’d be going for a sprint because the hardest climb was far from the finish. For the sprinters we only have a few chances to take the stages here, so while we knew we wanted to sprint, it was a little hard mentally because it was raining all day. It was dangerous because we had some crashes throughout the day. In the last 20km it was important for us to be at the front, then there was another breakaway for the last intermediate sprint, but everyone knew we’d be going for the final sprint. Everyone wanted to be at the front. I took a good wheel and my teammates got me in a good position, and I did my sprint. If I’m not riding to win, I’m not riding. It’s what I do and it has to be fun. There was a lot of stress in the group that I didn’t like, and it can be a bit boring riding so far to contest just a few final kilometers. Even though it’s a tough year this year, I’m hoping to see it through to the end – although maybe in the grupetto on the harder stages! It’s better to race than to be at home training! As the only rider to have twelve victories, it’s nice! It wasn’t my objective when I first started racing here to set out to do that, but year by year I’ve taken victories, so it’s a good feeling.”

Overall leader, Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal): “I am happy that I can wear the leader’s jersey of the Tour de Suisse. I already tried to conquer it at the intermediate sprint. It was close, but Cancellara was a tad faster than me and gained an extra second advantage. Luckily, there was a gap in the sprint, so I do take over his jersey in his home country, that’s quite special. It was a tough finale today. At first we didn’t take any initiative, Trek controlled the gap. In the last lap it started to rain and we moved up to the front. There were several crashes, but luckily none of us had any bad luck. At the end the peloton split, but I wasn’t aware of it. I wanted to be in front for the sprint, but didn’t think about winning because I was too tired. Because of a split in the peloton my fifth place still made me take over the jersey. I want to thank my teammates for the support they gave me today, like Jelle Vanendert who pulled for a long time at the head of the bunch or Tiesj Benoot who took me to the front. We won’t let someone else take over the jersey easily, but as of Wednesday it gets really tough. This is the second time in my career that I wear a leader’s jersey in a stage race, last time it was at the Tour de Pologne 2009 after I had won the third stage. I would want to swop the jersey for a stage win, but of course I am enjoying it.”

Most active rider of the day, Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling): “A prize is always a pleasure. We broke away after eight kilometers, I and three other riders. Unfortunately, I did not succeed in my attempt to take the top points for the best climber’s jersey. We were always kept under control by the peloton. The gap was never enough to give us the freedom to dream about making it to the finish. But that’s the law of our sport, and I am not disappointed.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff in 4:35:19
2. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
4. Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-GreenEDGE
5. Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky at 0:03
8. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
9. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:42:56
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 0:01
3. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:06
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:10
5. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
6. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:11
8. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 0:13
9. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
10. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:14.

Suisse Stage 1:

GP du canton d’Argovie 2016
Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) proved he still has his points jersey form the Giro d’Italia by winning the GP du canton d’Argovie, or the GP Gippingen or the GP Kanton Aargau, whichever name you prefer for the Swiss race, on Thursday.

The Trek-Segafredo team kept a tight rein on a dangerous 14 man escape group. The large breakaway escaped early in the 188.7-kilometer race comprised of 10 local circuits, and Trek-Segafredo took the initiative to lead the chase, keeping the leaders within two minutes until more teams came to the fore to help in the latter stages.

The breakaway was tagged back on the final lap, and an attentive Nizzolo – with only one teammate, Kiel Reijnen, remaining in the race – quickly marked a counterattack on the key climb on the circuit, joining an eight-man breakaway. Nizzolo had an ace up his sleeve; he weaseled back into position for the final sprint and was able to outkick the bunch on the tough uphill finish (500 meters at 4-5%).

Gippingen - Switserland wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Nizzolo Giacomo (Italie / Trek Factory Racing)  pictured during GP Kanton Aargau or Grote Prijs Gippingen - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

Race winner, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek): “It was very fast from the start with 14 up the road, we took responsibility, and all the guys pulled. The team did a fantastic job for me today; I have to give them a big thanks. In the last two laps the speed was even higher, when the break was caught on the last lap, I went with the counter on the climb, but the bunch came back with five or six kilometers to go. When we were caught I moved up again, and I still had power left for the uphill sprint. I am happy, we came here for the win, and we managed to do it. This is a team victory – all the guys did a great job all day.”

3rd, David Tanner (IAM Cycling): “This was a great day for the team, we were represented at the front of the race with Larry Warbasse in the break, and he was really strong today, since that was hardly an easy break to make. And then when it came to the finale, really every member of the team worked perfectly for me. I felt strong and the guys gave me great support for the sprint. I just missed out on the victory, but beating Nizzolo in a sprint is never easy. I am happy that I was able to be at the front, and was able to give the best of myself. I have not had the best year so far, but today was great with an excellent team effort, and I hope that more good results for the team will follow.”

Break rider, Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling): “It was difficult today to get into the leading group. In the first lap, there were tons of attacks, because everyone wanted to make it into the breakaway. Of course our goal was to have someone in the break as well, and I am glad I was the one who made it. Everyone in the breakaway group worked well together, and so we made good progress. But the field never gave us too much space, and kept us constantly under control. Not surprisingly, we were never able to get enough time and unfortunately were scooped back up in the final round. For the sprint, the team was able to work for Tanner, and he succeeded in grabbing third place. So that was a good day for us.”

GP du canton d’Argovie Result:
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 4:08:38
2. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Team Roth
3. David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling
4. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
5. Matti Breschel (Den) Cannondale
6. Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18
7. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
9. Gaetan Bille (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha.

GP du canton d’Argovie 2016 podium:
Gippingen - Switserland wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Nizzolo Giacomo (Italie / Trek Factory Racing)  pictured during GP Kanton Aargau or Grote Prijs Gippingen - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

Rund um Köln 2016
LottoNL-Jumbo Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to win the 100th edition of Rund um Köln in Germany on Sunday. After 205.8 kilometers, he topped Germans André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin).

After the peloton caught the early break, American Taylor Phinney tried to escape in the final. LottoNL-Jumbo and Lotto-Soudal worked for a bunch sprint, and Groenewegen was put perfect in position by his team-mates and won by a bike length.

“It was a great day for me, and for the team,” Groenewegen said. “Such sprints give you a lot of confidence, we worked hard on the lead-out train. At six kilometers to go, we began the lead-out and in the last hundred meters, I went all out. I was put into place perfectly. The sprint was actually perfect, this is something that we worked on all year, to deliver these sprints. We have great photo now, with me next to Greipel on the podium.”

“Like last week in Belgium, this was one of those days were everything went according to plan,” said Sports Director Nico Verhoeven. “In the last meters, the team put Dylan perfect in position so could begin his sprint ideally. Then beating Greipel, that’s absolutely beautiful.”

Early in the race, a break-away went with not one LottoNL-Jumbo rider involved. That was according to plan. “As soon as you send a rider to join, the other teams will do the same and you get a very different situation,” Verhoeven added. “When the group was away, we knew it was going to be a controlled race.”

The difference to the leaders never went more than four minutes. “We did not lead the chase always, but we had a rider in front of the peloton at all times.”

Koln - Germany - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Dylan Groenewegen (Netherlands / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) pictured during Rund um Koln - photo HR/Cor Vos © 2016

Rund um Köln Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:42:45
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
5. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
6. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Stölting Service Group
7. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Rad-Net Rose Team
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
9. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling.

A little bit of the Rund um Köln:

Dennis Extends Contract with BMC Racing Team
Rohan Dennis has extended his contract beyond the 2016 season, BMC Racing Team announced today, Monday.

Dennis, who transferred to BMC Racing Team midway through the 2014 season, has already recorded impressive results, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “Since Rohan joined us in 2014 he has had some incredible victories, including winning the 2015 Tour de France time trial which saw him wear the Yellow Jersey. It’s a natural decision to keep a rider of this calibre in the team, particularly as he has not yet reached his full potential as a rider. I look forward to seeing him do so with BMC Racing Team.”

Dennis attributes his decision to stay with BMC Racing Team to the high level of support. “It’s been almost two and a half years with BMC Racing Team and that half year did show that the team had confidence in me. They gave me the six months initially to find my feet in the team and I really appreciated that, as well as all of the support for the rest of the time. With BMC Racing Team everything I have done, from the Hour Record to my time trial preparation, even through to sickness this year, they’ve been supportive. It’s a great team and a great place for me.”

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other details of the contract were released.

Rohan Dennis:

header- arctic16-920
Teams Selection: A first in Norway!
The list of the 22 teams chosen to take part in the fourth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, which will be held from Thursday 11 August through Sunday the 14th, 2016 has been announced. 11 WorldTeams will be present for the start in Fauske, which is a record number of entries since the creation of the race in 2013, and also a record number for a professional cycling race in Norway. Four of the five Norwegian cycling teams have also been selected on the basis of their UCI Europe Tour ranking at the end of May. This exiting field will meet up in August for a fantastic battle on the beautiful roads of the Arctic Race of Norway with an unprecedented level of participation.

The list of the 22 teams chosen to take part in the fourth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, which will be held from Thursday 11 August through Sunday the 14th, 2016 has been announced. 11 WorldTeams will be present for the start in Fauske, which is a record number of entries since the creation of the race in 2013, and also a record number for a professional cycling race in Norway. Four of the five Norwegian cycling teams have also been selected on the basis of their UCI Europe Tour ranking at the end of May. This exiting field will meet up in August for a fantastic battle on the beautiful roads of the Arctic Race of Norway with an unprecedented level of participation.


11 UCI WorldTeams :
FDJ (FRA) – 1st participation
TEAM SKY (GBR) – 1st participation
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA) – 1st participation

7 UCI Professional Continental Teams:
ONE PRO CYCLING (UK) – 1st participation

4 Norwegian UCI Continental Teams:

Suspense just until the very last second
New this year for the Arctic Race of Norway, the intermediate sprints on the final stage will all be placed in the race ending circuit, which is to say in the final 25 kilometers before the finish line. It will thus offer the opportunity to all the different rider profiles to contend for the overall victory: the punchers/climbers will find a favorable terrain with an uphill finish on stage 3 (Korgfjellet Summit, 8,9km at 6,4%), but the sprinters as well, as long as they stay with the leaders on this climb and take the bonus seconds prior to the finish at Bodø. These seconds up for grabs in the last kilometers assure a great battle for the overall podium!

A word from A.S.O. Competitions Director, Thierry Gouvenou: “The 2016 edition of the Arctic Race of Norway looks to be full of promise with a quality field it has never enjoyed before. On a course in the heart of a wonderful countryside landscape, that we disclosed a few months ago, it will be an intense battle among the best teams in the world. Everything has come together to make the 4th edition of the most northernmost race in the world, an unforgettable happening.”

A word from Arctic Race of Norway’s ambassador, Thor Hushovd: “I am looking forward for the 2016 Arctic Race of Norway to begin! With eleven WorldTeams it should be quite a show and there will be a large number of candidates for the overall win. It is hard to say what type of rider will win this year. In fact, the course is full of difficulties, especially the finish of stage three, but with the bonus sprints positioned close to the finish of the final stage, the sprinters will be in contention just until the last minute!”


The great German champion, Rudi Altig died at the weekend after a battle with cancer. The 79 year-old was an allround rider with wins on the track and road in Classics, stage races and ‘6 Days’. World road champion, Vuelta a España winner, Tour de France points winner, Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders and 22 ‘6 Days’. Rest in peace champ.

The 1964 Tour of Flanders:

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