EuroTrash Froome Monday!
Chris Froome fought hard for his Critérium du Dauphiné win and we have the race reports, results, rider quotes and video. It’s not all Dauphiné, we also have all the news form the Tour de Suisse, Rund um Köln and the GP du Canton d’Argovie – Gippingen. Ale-Jet retires and the Tour team have started to announce their long list, Veelers out and Spaniards stay at Katusha. We need a big coffee for EuroTrash Monday.
TOP STORY: Good-Bye Ale-Jet (again)!
Alessandro Petacchi has hung up his race wheels, the 2015 Giro d’Italia was his last competitive outing on a bike. At 41 years-old he had intended to ride the Vuelta a Venezuela for the Southeast team, but as his health is still not good, he has decided to call it a day.
In an interview with tuttobici.com he confirmed that his health problem: “I’m still not well. I haven’t managed to shake off the virus that put me out of the Giro d’Italia on the Colle delle Finestre so it wasn’t right to take on a trip like that if I wasn’t going to be able to put in an honorable performance. I’m still Alessandro Petacchi after all. I haven’t been on a bike since June 9 and if you want to know everything, I’ve already hung it in the garage with the wheels off. I won’t go out on the bike for a while, because I feel tired and without motivation. For the first time in my life, I feel sick of it, I really want to take a break mentally. In life there are moments when you feel clearly what you have to do. My moment has probably arrived now.” He added: “Now I know that’s right to do what I’ve decided to do, and I’m doing it without regrets.”
This is the second time Petacchi has retired as he stopped in April 2013 when signed for Lampre. By August that year he was in the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team. Ale-Jet has a fine palmerés, with Milan-Sanremo in 2005 and Paris-Tours in 2007. Add to that his 22 stages in the Giro and the points jersey in 2004, 20 stages in the Vuelta with the points jersey in 2005 and 6 stages in the Tour de France, plus the green jersey in 2010. He had wins all over the globe and at all times of the season. From his first win in the Tour de Langkawi in 1998 to his last, the GP Pino Cerami in 2014, there has been wins every year.
The only black marks in his career have been his positive test for Salbutamol in 2007. His other problem was his temperament, many of his teammates would say that Ale would have abandoned many races that he eventually won, had he not been cajoled into continuing as he thought he was not riding well or was ill.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2015
Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked just before the summit of the Col d’Allos and took advantage of the technical descent prior to the final ascent to Pra Loup. The ski resort in the south of the Alps crowned another local forty years after Bernard Thévenet dethroned Eddy Merckx in the Tour de France. Crossing the line in second place ahead of Chris Froome (Sky), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) took the yellow-blue jersey over from his team-mate Rohan Dennis.
Stage 5 was a highly awaited stage as it was the rehearsal of stage 17 in the coming Tour de France next month. An escape of seven riders took shape after 4 kilometers with: Christophe Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Pieter Serry (Etixx – Quick-Step), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ.fr), Albert Timmer (Giant-Alpecin) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka). Teklehaimanot was on the hunt for KOM points in order to consolidate his polka dot jersey but he was beaten BY Courteille at the first categorized climb of the day, the Col des Lèques (km 40). But the Eritrean took his revenge on the following climb, the Col des Toutes Aures (km 67).
The leaders had a maximum advantage of 5:05 at the feed zone (km 82) but the BMC Racing Team of race leaders Rohan Dennis and Tejay van Garderen kept the situation under control. Riblon was the first rider to get dropped from the front group with 42km to go. Serry rode away solo with 36km to go. A leading quartet was formed with Wellens, Sicard and Timmer coming across to him on the ascent to Col d’Allos. Their advantage was 2:30 over the peloton when Team Sky took over from BMC at the head of the peloton with 28 kilometers to go.
Race leader Rohan Dennis was dropped 4 kilometers before the Col d’Allos, but after the likes of Bauke Mollema (Trek) and Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R-La Mondiale). Two kilometers before the top, Sicard and Wellens were the last escapees to be reeled in by a group of 30 riders led by Ian Boswell, Wout Poels, Chris Froome and Nicolas Roche (Sky). Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked just before the summit and rode flat out in the technical descent.
The Frenchman started climbing to Pra Loup with a lead of 1:20. Froome started to chase hard 2 kilometers out, but Van Garderen was on his wheel, while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) were not. Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) managed to keep with Van Garderen, but the American was too good and took second place, the time bonus and the overall lead.
2nd on the stage and new overall leader, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “At first, I did not want to follow him out of fear I would go into the red, so I kept him at a reasonable distance and stayed within myself. It looked like he kind of died at the end, so I was able to get the jump on him. It kind of surprised me. I thought he was going to start riding away. I think everyone kind of wants to strut their stuff a little bit before July and I think I showed I am right up there with them. Everyone has their different methods. You can never read too much into the Dauphiné as far as what their form is going to be in the Tour. But I definitely take some satisfaction and confidence out of today.”
4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Beñat Intxausti (Movistar): “I went to this race after the Giro, looking forward to profit from the good form I had at the end. It was harder for me to get by body going on day one, but once you focus on the racing itself and forget about previous efforts, it’s like any other one. Since we did physically well all over the Giro, it’s been a bit easier. I’m getting stronger day by day and I hope to keep it going until Sunday. Sky set a strong pace already from the Allos climb, a very demanding ascent with its summit over 2,200m and impressive rhythm. The downhill where Bardet went also required some skills, wasn’t easy at all. Sky drilled back from the foot of Pra Loup, pushing with three, four riders before Froome attacked. I tried to follow him and pushed with all I had. Before the start, we had already talked with the team about Alejandro and myself sharing leading duties, and Bala came to me during the Allos climb to tell me he wasn’t really strong. He got back to me in Pra Loup to tell me he wasn’t feeling great and I took advantage from our good position in the GC, following the TTT, which we now have to conserve. We got really well through this first hard day and we’ll spend everything that’s left into the tank in the three stages left. Tomorrow’s finishing climb is not as long as today’s: Villard-de-Lans is shorter and steeper, and we’ll have to react otherwise. Still, we’re really confident, the team is responding well, I’ve got full support from them and having Alejandro by my side is a massive boost. We’ll try to keep this second place, but should first be available, we’ll fight for it.”
6th on the stage, Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka): “The legs felt good again. The team was absolutely amazing today, we have a really good vibe going in the team and everyone is just supporting everyone else, it is just an amazing team we have here. Today was also one of the stages we re-conned last week at our training camp so I am happy with how things went today.”
10th on the stage and 9th overall, Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “I do not feel too bad, I finished 10th in the stage, and was really not that far off the very best. So I am satisfied. This is my first race since the Tour of Romandie, so I am still missing that little extra punch, but I feel that that will slowly come back, and I’ll be fine for the Tour de France. And this stage was especially interesting, since we will do exactly the same route in July. I had the chance to see what awaits us. For example, the col d’Allos tops out at 2250 meters, which means you are already having difficulty breathing at the summit. Likewise, the descent that follows is very technical and dangerous. So actually, it was really great to see this course in a race situation.”
Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Result:
1. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:31:22
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:36
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:40
4. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:42
5. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:50
6. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:55
8. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana at 0:57
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling.
Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC in 18:03:22
2. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:17
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:20
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana at 0:31
5. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:41
6. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:43
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:08
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:16
9. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling at 1:17
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky at 1:25.
Stage 6 was always going to be a hard day and at the end it was the top men who fought out it out in a wet finale. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) showed his superiority in the front group which formed with more than 80 kilometers to go. The Italian champion took the lead from Tejay van Garderen (BMC) but missed out on his main goal, which was the stage victory as ex-World champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) was too good for him in the last kilometer.
It was a very fast start with many riders trying to take advantage of the lumpy parcours, not only lowly placed riders, but some of the big names in the race. Vincenzo Nibali and Andriy Grivko (Astana), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Romain Bardet & JC Péraud (AG2R-La Mondiale), Adam & Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE), Tony Gallopin & Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Jonathan Castroviejo, Gorka Izagirre & Rory Sutherland (Movistar), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Tejay van Garderen & Rohan Dennis (BMC), Julian Alapahilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) escaped after 30 kilometers which forced Sky to chase hard. Eventually the break collapsed and the race was all together with 51 kilometers remaining.
The attacks continued; Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Nibali both tried solo moves. Nibali was away for almost 20 kilometers after the Col de Grimone (75km). After 100 kilometers five riders managed to make a gap, they were: Nibali, Costa, Tony Martin, Gallopin and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). They had a maximum advantage of 3:30 over the Van Garderen group after the summit of the Col du Rousset, Nibali was the main power house of the break.
The lead group battled through the torrential rain, although Martin was dropped with 22 kilometers to go. Gallopin tried his luck 4.5km before the end but Nibali reacted and rode away solo with 1.4km to go. Only 300 meters before the line, Costa managed to come across to claim his first stage victory at the Dauphiné while the Italian champ moved into the overall lead.
Stage winner and 2nd overall, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida): “What a joy for this victory at the end of such difficult stage and preceding top riders as Nibali, Valverde, Martin and Gallopin. Yesterday I tested my conditions in the first mountains stage I faced after many weeks of training and I focused my attention on recovering energies in view of today stage. We started at a very high average speed under the cold pouring rain, I joined two breakaway attempts and I understood immediately that the second one was very good, because all the members were very strong riders. I succeeded in being patient on the final climb, I had the best timing for reaching Nibali and overtaking him. I share the happiness of the victory with my team, with the sponsors and my fans.”
4th on the stage and 8th overall, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “I had marked today’s stage. Depending on the circumstances I knew it had to suit me. It went really fast right from the beginning, there were a lot of attacks and also the top riders wanted to make something of the stage. Before the decisive breakaway was formed, we had been ahead with twenty riders, without Froome or one of his teammates. The groups came back together and then I got away with Nibali, Rui Costa, Valverde and Tony Martin; some big names. We took a few minutes, but uphill I soon realized Nibali was the strongest. On the first category climb Martin and I were dropped, but we could rejoin the others in the descent. I knew there was a possibility to get away four kilometers before the finish, but on the climb to the finish I couldn’t stay ahead. Such a stage is good for the confidence. This are only my first race days since Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”
5th overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “It was a rainy day, it was up and down and really technical – so it was just the perfect storm. Any stage hunter was going to be looking at today for a breakaway. Everybody knew the breakaway had a good chance to win, so that meant everyone wanted to be in it. That meant the guys who got in it were really strong. I knew I couldn’t mark everyone so I picked Chris Froome and Romain Bardet. Every single one of those guys (in the group) was at two minutes (off the lead) and every single one of those guys has a huge pedigree in the sport. If I follow everything, I blow up. Sadly, we were just a little bit isolated. When guys like Nibali and Valverde get up the road, it is really tough to bring them back. I am motivated, Valverde and Nibali were both dropped yesterday on Pra-Loup. So maybe this is more of a blessing in disguise that we do not have the jersey and we do not have to defend. Maybe Astana can waste some of their bullets early on in the stage. If I have the legs on the last climb, 42 seconds isn’t much.”
8th on the stage, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal): “This was without any doubt the hardest day of my career. Yesterday I let go, also because I knew today’s rainy weather would suit me better then the warmth yesterday. But I had marked today, possibly to join a breakaway and see how far I could get. And that was pretty far, indeed. First I was part of a group of 50 riders behind the five leaders, with Tony in that front group. When the group fell apart because of the tempo of Sky, I could hang on. In the last phase I responded to an attack of Daniel Martin and John Gadret. Because I’m not playing a role in the overall classification they let me go easier than a favorite. I did well today in a medium mountain stage, but that doesn’t mean I’m a GC rider (laughs).”
12th on the stage, Robert Kiserlovski (Tinkoff-Saxo): “When Nibali, Valverde, Gallopin, Costa and Martin attacked I followed but I was blocked by another rider, who unfortunately didn’t hold the wheel and created a gap. As it turned out, it was a winning move and I felt strong at that moment. However, I think it was a positive day for me personally, as I feel that I’m improving each day. And, as a team, we also had five guys in the yellow jersey group chasing the breakaway until the stage finale. It was a very hard stage today with attacks all the time. As everybody could see, it was very difficult to control the race, as the intensity was very high. I think we will see several of the GC riders paying the price on tomorrow’s stage, also with the weather conditions we had today.”
Matthias Frank (IAM Cycling): “I think this was the hardest day of my career. They were not very long climbs, but we just kept steadily gaining elevation. I was riding à bloc from very early on. And in the final, I think I just had not eaten enough, and I had a hunger knock. I was just completely broken at the end.”
Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling): “We knew it was going to be a very hard sixth stage, we certainly were not wrong there. Everyone wanted to go in the break, and eventually all the favorites were the ones dictating the pace. I was not on my top form today, and I blame myself because I was not there to help Mathias Frank in the mountains. He made a little mistake, and I think if I had been there, I probably would have been able to give him the necessary support. I was with him until 50 kilometers to go to the finish, but after that, I just couldn’t keep the pace; I was just dead. From now on, we will try to be more aggressive during the stages, and attack from the front. But I think today’s scenario is likely to be repeated, with the favorites leading the race. But even if that’s the case, I will make a go of it myself and not look for excuses.”
Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 Result:
1. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida in 4:29:23
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0:05
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:38
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:39
5. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:24
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:46
7. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar at 1:48
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:59
9. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 2:12
10. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar.
Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 22:34:17
2. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 0:29
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:30
4. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:35
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:42
6. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:57
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 1:21
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 1:29
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:30
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin.
Stage 7 saw another turnaround of events with Chris Froome (Sky) showing he is still on track for this year’s Tour de France. The Kenyan-born winner of the 2013 Tour de France bounced back as a mountain stage winner, ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC) who regained the overall lead as previous leader, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) lost 4 minutes in the last 12 kilometers on the final climb of the day. Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) made history being the first African rider to secure the polka dot jersey in such a big race ahead of his first participation in the Tour de France.
A break of fourteen escaped after only 4 kilometers: Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Tiago Machado (Katusha), Pieter Serry (Etixx – Quick-Step), Riccardo Zoidl (Trek), Chris Anker Sørensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ.fr), Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) and Björn Thurau (Bora-Argon 18). It gave Teklehaimanot the opportunity to score more points on the first two mountains and therefore to consolidate his lead in the fight for the polka dot jersey.
There were several counter-attacks from Pierre Rolland, he bridged the gap on his way up the Col de la Forclaz, after which a group of 26 riders were in the front group, the highest placed on GC was David De La Cruz (Etixx – Quick-Step). The 26 escapees at the half way point were: Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal), Jonathan Castroviejo & Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Tiago Machado (Katusha), David De La Cruz & Pieter Serry (Etixx – Quick-Step), Bauke Mollema & Riccardo Zoidl (Trek), Pawel Poljanski & Chris Anker Sørensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jarlinson Pantano & Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Dani Navarro, Nicolas Edet & Luis Maté (Cofidis), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ.fr), Louis Meintjes & Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka), Bartosz Huzarski, José Mendes, Dominic Nerz & Björn Thurau (Bora-Argon 18).
They reached a maximum advantage of 4 minutes after 75 kilometers, Sky took command of the peloton up the Col de la Croix-Fry. They brought the deficit of the GC leader’s group below 1 minute at 100 kilometers, but more attacks occurred at the front. With 38km to go, Rolland accelerated but Navarro counter-attacked and formed a leading duo with Zoidl. It was the Spaniard’s second attempt after a vain one up the Col des Aravis. Castroviejo and Huzarski went in between. Four riders, Navarro, Zoidl, Castroviejo and Huzarski started the final climb at the front but their advantage wasn’t enough to help them stay ahead of the best GC contenders. With 3.5km to go to Le Bettex and its magnificent view over the Mont Blanc, Froome and Van Garderen took control. 1.5km before the line, Froome rode away solo but didn’t manage to create a big enough gap so Van Garderen is back in the yellow-blue jersey one day after losing it to Nibali and one day before the end of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Overall leader, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “I am absolutely thrilled. We tried to stay positive after that crazy stage on Friday. We took all the positives we could out of it. The guys in the breakaway had to spend so much energy yesterday, so we thought it might catch up with them today. The tactic tomorrow is going to be to stay glued to Chris’s wheel and try not to give him any room. It is going to be a tough fight. I am sure the breakaway is going to go crazy because it is the last stage of the race and it is technical again. But the team is ready, I am ready, and we are going to fight to the finish line.”
3rd on the stage, Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka): “Today was a very good stage for me as it had a lot of climbing. I was really happy to be able to get a good result today for myself and for the team. We also got a whole lot of mountian points with Daniel so that was also great and made today a very good day for our team.”
KOM leader, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka): “I am very happy with my performance here at the Dauphine which started on the first day when I took the climbers jersey. I tried to make the break as often as possible to collect the points and today was the big day so I was happy to make the important break today as well. The climbers jersey is a special jersey for me, since I was a kid I always thought about winning the climbers jersey in the big races.”
Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling): “In the end, I have mixed emotions about this stage,” Wyss said. “I tried and I took a great opportunity, but there were just stronger riders ahead of me. The peloton swept me up with about four kilometers to go to the line, and I was at my limit. I had already made a big effort to go in the break. But I still feel better today than I have on other days, and that gives me a bit of morale. The racing is still so fast, but from that point of view, it is excellent preparation for the Tour.”
Pawel Poljanski (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Today our DS told me that I could go on the breakaway and I wanted to give my best. Yesterday, I made a small mistake at the start of the race and stayed back. I was unable to help Robert at the front and I was really angry. That’s why we had decided that today I would get my chance. I’ve felt in good shape since the first stage and today I wanted to go in the breakaway. First it was Chris Anker that got away and then I went with Rolland before the second tough climb. We probably didn’t pull hard because we were waiting for the final two climbs. My aim was truly to win the stage because I was feeling very well and maybe I made a bit of an error and waited too much. I could have gone a bit earlier but I was afraid I wouldn’t make it. Then with 3km to go, Froome and Van Garderen attacked and I tried to follow them but didn’t have the legs. Nevertheless, I feel confident about myself and I look forward to tomorrow’s last stage.”
Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Team Sky in 4:24:17
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:17
3. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:41
4. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:54
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:08
7. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:15
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:25
9. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:34
10. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 1:45.
Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 7:
1. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC in 26:59:27
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:18
3. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:45
4. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:10
5. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:29
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:40
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:45
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 2:29
9. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 2:39
10. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 2:46.
Just like two years ago, before he claimed his first victory in the Tour de France, Chris Froome put the Critérium du Dauphiné in his palmarés. He did it in a very different way this time around. In 2013, the individual time trial gave him an advantage he defended in the mountains. This year, he had to make up for the time lost in the team time trial and the rainy stage 5 to the Vercors where Vincenzo Nibali put him in trouble. But Froome never gave up. Only in the very last kilometer of Stage 8, did he become the overall winner as he dethroned Tejay van Garderen.
Several attacks and counter-attacks led to a group of 13 riders forming after 28 kilometers. It consisted of: Lars Boom (Astana), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) who initiated the breakaway, Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step), Bruno Pires (Tinkoff-Saxo), Cyril Gautier, Perrig Quémeneur & Romain Sicard (Europcar), Julien Simon (Cofidis), Albert Timmer (Giant) and Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka).
Tony Martin rode away solo in the descent of the Côte de Saint-Georges-d’Hurtières at the 77 kilometer mark. On the Lacets de Montvernier, which will be in this years Tour de France, the German was 1:45 ahead of the break and 3:50 ahead of the peloton led by Sky. The chase was too much for Martin and he was caught with 17km to go. Steve Cummings replaced him alone at the front. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) tried to bridge the gap by himself but he too was caught before he could make contact with Cummings.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and team-mate Michele Scarponi then tried to make an escape, but this didn’t last long. Cummings was caught with 2.6km to go when Chris Froome himself accelerated after having used up all of his team-mates. The final two kilometers were a tussle between Froome and Van Garderen who gave his best to defend the yellow-blue jersey. The pair was separated by eighteen seconds on GC at the start of the stage. It was also the difference between them on the finishing line at the advantage of the rider from Team Sky who scored ten seconds bonus with the stage victory while Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) moved up to third overall. Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) won his duel with Romain Bardet in the best young rider competition and took second on the stage and a very good 5th overall.
Stage 8 and overall winner, Chris Froome (Sky): “I can’t believe it. I couldn’t have expected it to go any better. The legs were tired and the team was suffering from their work yesterday, I don’t know how they did it, but they lifted themselves because the yellow jersey was in sight.”
4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “Every race you go to you want to shoot for the top,” he said. “I am certainly happy with second place and I am really happy with how I am stacking up to all of my tour rivals. I think it is a good sign for July. But right now it is hurting a little bit. But sometimes that is a good thing.”
3rd on the stage and 3rd overall, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida): “Today at the start I was satisfied with my performance in the Critèrium du Dauphinè. I had come back to this race after three victories in a row in the Tour de Suisse, I obtained one stage victory and I was 4th in the overall classification, these were very good achievements for me. The podium was not so far, but I was aware of the value of Intxausti. During the race, I was focused on the road and in managing my energies, especially in the final climb which was covered at a very high rythm. When I noticed that Intxausti was behind, the morale helped my legs to give their best and to manage the situation, because Yates, who was just behind me in the overall classification, was pedaling close to me. I succeded in obtaining a place on an amazing podium: I thank my mates for theirs support, this is a good group which could battle for obtaining satisfaction in the Tour de France.”
KOM winner, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka): “I am very happy to win the climbers jersey. This is a very special result for me, it is like a dream. I am also happy for the team to get this jersey because you can see it means a lot for everyone as well. I have received a lot of support and nice words from many people in Eritrea and everywhere in the world. I am thankful for the team and I am happy that I can help promote our Qhubeka charity and 5000 bicycles campaign by winning this jersey. I will race the Tour de France with high motivation.”
2nd on the stage and 5th overall, Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE): “Had I been promised to finish fifth overall at the start of the week, I would have signed for it. It wasn’t just a battle against Bardet for the white jersey. I wanted to beat as many guys as I could on GC, even Rui Costa but that didn’t work out. I’m happy with fifth place.”
Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal): “I already tried yesterday to get away with a group of strong escapees, but Astana didn’t let it happen, then another group bridged to the leaders. A few of them got a top ten result, while today it was obvious quite soon that Sky wanted to take the bonus seconds to get the overall victory with Froome. We had a maximal advantage of three minutes and although we were ahead with some strong climbers, it wasn’t enough to fight for the stage win. I think the fifteenth place overall is correct for my level in this Dauphiné. Next week I’ll ride the road race at the European Games in Baku and then it’s waiting to see if I’m selected for the Tour.”
Break rider, Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This morning with the team we decided to try to get in the breakaway. We wanted to try and go for a stage victory. Pieter Serry and I had the task to enter in the breakaway, while De La Cruz stayed with the best. We tried a lot in the earlier part of race and finally we entered into the right breakaway. It was a hard day in front of the race. The parcours wasn’t so perfect to ride alone, and there was also a headwind. But I tried, and I also have to say I had a good feeling during the race. I think this also an important test prior to Le Tour and the prologue of the Tour de France. I finished this race with good sensations, having done solid work here. Now I will race the national time trial championship in Germany, and then I will focus on a few specific training sessions, especially on my Specialized Shiv, prior to the Tour de France.”
Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal): “My attack wasn’t really planned. At a certain moment I was riding at the front of the peloton and accelerated. Cameron Meyer continued the move and that’s how we got away. I wanted to get in front with a big group, but it was limited to four. We cooperated well together, but the peloton didn’t give us much space; three minutes max. I wasn’t the best uphill and was distanced on the climb of the first category. It was too steep and I had to let go of the others. I saved some energy when I realized the stage win wouldn’t be possible, I want to focus on other stages, the one of Tuesday for example. I had a good feeling today, so that’s promising.”
Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 8 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 3:59:27
2. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:18
3. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:28
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:31
8. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:44
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar
10. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar.
Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 30:59:02
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:10
3. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:16
4. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 1:21
5. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:33
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:05
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 2:52
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 3:06
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:12
10. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin at 4:17.
The final stage 8:
Tour de Suisse 2015
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) won the Tour de Suisse prologue Stage 1 of 5.1 kilometers around the city of Rotkreuz and took the first leaders jersey. It was a fast course with rolling roads in the first half, followed by a slightly downhill section in the second half, as tailwind ensured a very fast race. With a time of 5:41 and an average speed of almost 54kph, Tom Dumoulin was the fastest, putting former World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Trek) in second place by two seconds and ex-World hour record holder, Matthias Brändel (IAM Cycling) by four seconds. The Tour de Suisse finishes next Sunday with an 38.4 kilometer individual time trial in Bern.
Stage winner, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I am very happy with this victory. After returning from the team’s altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada (ESP), it is always a question as to how the legs will perform but it is a great feeling that it turned out to be excellent. During the prologue I didn’t feel great but apparently it went pretty fast and it was enough for the win. I went full gas uphill and used my aerodynamics in the downhill section. Now I have the yellow leader’s jersey and together with the strong team that we have here, we will see and try to keep it as long as possible obviously.”
3rd on the stage, Matthias Brändle (IAM-Cycling): “I’m happy with my 3rd place, but I have other goals for the Tour of Switzerland. The food poisoning that hit me hard before the last stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour is all forgotten. After three days at home, I had recovered. And then I went up to the Bernina to prepare for the Tour of Switzerland; I must thank the team for supporting me so well. Today, I felt like I had really good legs, and I was determined to ride for the win. Unfortunately, I had a 58-tooth ring on, and I had some technical problems as a result, which probably cost me a second or two. But I still have some things to prove in the next couple of days, and I want to be around for the time trial in Bern too on the last day.”
4th, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I was aiming for the win so I can’t say that I’m completely satisfied. I haven’t raced since Tour of California and I’m expecting my form to increase during Tour de Suisse. It’s always difficult to go from a race break and directly into a short and intensive prologue, so I wouldn’t say that today wasn’t good. I finished fourth, a few seconds behind and I have the chance to make a result during the next stages. We are here with a strong squad and we will give it our best and see what happens.”
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished 20 seconds down: “I think it went pretty well today. I felt fine considering the route. It’s of course not the type of race that suits me, but I think I can be pleased. I haven’t raced since Tour of Romandie, so it was a good start for me and I hope to build my shape during the race. Stage 5 is of course very important and I now have some stages to find the rhythm. However, I race with the Tour de France in mind and the ultimate goal is to improve and prepare for July. I stayed 15 days on Mt. Etna just before this race and I think my shape is where it should be according to my race plan, but ultimately we have to wait and see what happens during the next days.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 5:41
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 0:02
3. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:04
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:05
5. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:06
8. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar
9. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:07.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 5:41
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 0:02
3. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:04
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:05
5. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:06
8. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar
9. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:07.
The Tour of Switzerland riders put the pedal to the medal in Stage 2 of the race. The proof is that even under the hot sun of central Switzerland, the average speed (44,571kph) meant the winner Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) finished well before the fastest scheduled time by the organizers. But the four seconds that the leaders took ahead of the pack was not enough to dislodge Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) out of the yellow jersey as the overall leader.
Stage winner, Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida): “This is my first victory in a World Tour race, I’m happy and proud because a very good season is going on in the best way after the victory in the Tour of Turkey. I’m satisfied I completed a victory the good performance of the whole team. The presence of Pibernik in the breakaway allowed the other team members to be in the bunch and to save energies for supporting me in the two approaches to the climb of Michaelskreutz, whose road was narrow.
My legs gave me positive feedbacks in the topic moments, so I could ask them extra efforts to attack, since I was aware I was not the fastest rider of the head group. The final attack attempt gave me the victory.”
10th on the stage and 5th overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Today’s stage was difficult and as you saw, those who finished up front were mostly climbers. I tried to be in front, but in the last hill I did not manage it. I lost about 15 seconds at the top and then I couldn’t catch up on the way to the finish so I finished in 10th place. Too bad because I used up quite a lot of energy and spent power to be in front, but to no avail. Never mind, at least I tried it and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
24th on the stage, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling): “I’m happy with my performance in my own backyard, even if we were going very fast. We were really riding full gas throughout the whole afternoon. And when it came to attacking the final cat 1 climb, I no longer had the necessary strength to stay up with the best. But I am convinced that we have the necessary strength to go for the victory in this tour.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Result:
1. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida in 3:36:52
2. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:04
3. Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:14.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 2:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 3:42:37
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:07
3. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:11
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:14
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:15
6. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0:16
8. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida at 0:18
9. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek at 0:19
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha.
Rund um Köln 2015
The German one-day race, Rund um Köln was dominated by a big breakaway after 50 kilometers that contained 23 escapees and from there a crucial small group including: Tom Boonen & Nokolas Maes (Etixx – Quick-Step), Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Argon 18) and Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy). Geldemann tried to split the group, but Boonen had Maes to contain the group and the Belgian ex-World champion took the sprint. Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) brought the peloton in a minute later.
Race winner, Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I am of course happy about this victory,” Boonen said. “There isn’t often a chance to ride in Germany, so it’s great to win there when I have the opportunity. It was a nice race. The first part was really up-and-down, left-and-right. There were steep and narrow roads, so it was a quite demanding parcours. In the longest climb of the day Linus Gerdemann set a hard pace. The peloton exploded and we ended up with more than 20 guys ahead after this climb. Then we really went full gas and lost a few guys again. Then I eventually attacked, but I was followed by Gerdemann, Nikolas, and three other guys. We worked really well together, full speed, because the peloton was always chasing hard behind. When we entered into the local laps we had about a minute gap, so we played a little bit with the tactics. Nikolas and I tried to keep everybody together for the final sprint. Nikolas did a great job and I finished off the day’s work by winning the race. I am quite satisfied with my condition. After Baloise Belgium Tour I was tired and it took me a few days to recover. But the last few days I did good training, which I probably needed those days after the Giro and Belgium Tour. So I am looking to the next objectives with optimism. The next race will be the European Championships in Baku. Let’s see how the parcours will be. I hope to do a good race, and of course the Nationals at the end of the June are also among my goals. We will see what I can do in the next races.”
Andre Schulze, Sport Director of Bora-Argon 18: “Andreas rode a very smart race and he managed his energy very well. I think that was crucial in the fast race today. After his long training block, he is currently in very good shape and, therefore, we focused on him in race situations like these. We assumed already before the race that a bunch sprint is rather unlikely today. The third place is a great result for Andreas and it’s perfectly fine for us given the course of the race.”
Luke Roberts, Cult Energy DS: “Our plan was to try to prolong the time before the right break would be allowed to go in order to make sure the group would be strong enough to last and after an hour on the road, they managed to break away. They were all doing very well and Christian won the mountain jersey along the way while Linus was in the select group lasting all the way to the finish line. They know Linus and were aware they couldn’t let him go but he did the only reasonable thing to do and tried to break clear. Ultimately, we can be happy with the overall effort and result.”
Rund um Köln Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:26:09
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
5. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 1:00
7. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Roth-Skoda
8. Shane Archbold (NZ) Bora-Argon 18
9. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Alberto Cecchin (Ita) Roth-Skoda.
The Rund um Köln start:
GP du Canton d’Argovie – Gippingen 2015
A last minute catch with 400 meters to go put Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) in the perfect position to take the sprint victory in the GP du Canton d’Argovie in Gippingen (Switzerland) on Thursday. With a course of 15 laps at 12,1km each and a climb to Schlatt part of the profile, it was a testing day on the legs in Switzerland. Six riders went clear in a break but were brought back with 2 laps to go, setting off a flurry of new efforts from riders with ambitions on the day. The very last rider to attack was local rider Sylvan Dillier (BMC) who took a flyer and was only reeled back with less than half kilometer to go, where Kristoff did not give any chances to his rivals in the bunch sprint. Kristoff was followed over the line by Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Davide Appollonio of Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec in third.
Race winner, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): “It was hard. I was almost dropped two, three times at some 15 km from the finish because my own teammates went so hard in the front. They all had the opportunity to try to win today as I have never been good in this race in the past. Pavel Kochetkov, Iurii Trofimov, Sergei Chernetckii, they all went so hard but did not get away, so in the end that was a good move as everybody became tired. The last lap I suffered less and could recover and then my teammates did everything for me. Ilnur Zakarin, Sergey Lagutin and Chernetckii made the perfect lead-out for me. It was a nice job from them. I am happy to put Gippingen on my palmarés as I never managed before to finish this race in the front. It confirms that my shape is good.”
Seventh, Fabian Wegmann (Cult Energy): “It wasn’t exactly my favorite finale with a slightly downhill bunch sprint but I managed to get in the right position at the right time and simply couldn’t have done it faster. Even though it’s not a win, the result confirms that I’m in very good condition at the moment so hopefully we can take advantage of that in Sunday’s Rund um Köln.”
Abandoned rider, Jérôme Pineau (IAM Cycling): “We had to race hard because we had missed the break, and as road captain, I was part of the chase after the guys who got away. But I quickly realized my chase was doomed to failure. I had to wait two laps before the peloton reabsorbed me. Then I was just dead, and I paid for my efforts in the end. It simply was too hot to work as a recovery race, but I really have to think about keeping my health for the upcoming French championships, and then to have a good end of season. I have not yet fully recovered from the health problems that I picked up at the Giro.”
GP du Canton d’Argovie – Gippingen Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 4:28:04
2. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
3. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
4. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek
7. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Cult Energy
8. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
10. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC.
BORA – ARGON 18 announces long list for the Tour de France
German professional cycling team BORA – ARGON 18 received a Tour de France wildcard for the second time in a row. Three weeks before the start of the World’s most prestigious race, the team of manager Ralph Denk decided on the extended line-up of 13 riders. These riders will be able to qualify for the final selection of nine riders within the next ten days.
“We will start with a dual leadership in this year’s Tour de France. Therefore, we decided already on the key positions in our squad. After the very successful first half of the season, Sam Bennett will make his debut in a Grand Tour. He is one of the fastest men in the peloton and he deserves to compete with the best sprinters in the biggest race of the world”, says Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Bora-Argon 18.
“In addition, Dominik Nerz is our man for the general classification. We work with him very hard on his preparation since the beginning of the year. After a setback in the winter by an illness, we are now completely on schedule”, continues Denk.
“In accordance with this, we’ll add riders to our tour line-up who support Sam in the sprint preparation and are helpful for Dominik in the mountains. The squad further will be completed with riders who can achieve a result at selected stages, such as Jan Barta in the time trial”, Denk concludes.
BORA – ARGON 18 appoints the final squad after the Ster ZLM Toer on June 23.
Long list Bora-Argon 18 for the Tour de France 2015:
Jan Barta (30, CZE), Cesare Benedetti (27, ITA), Sam Bennett (24, IRL), Emanuel Buchmann (22, GER), Zakkari Dempster (27, AUS), Bartosz Huzarski (34, POL), Patrick Konrad (23, AUS), Jose Mendes (30, POR), Dominik Nerz (25, GER), Cristiano Salerno (30, ITA), Andreas Schillinger (31, GER), Björn Thurau (26, GER), Paul Voss (29, GER).
Movistar Team announces Tour shortlist
Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde lead 13-man preselection; nine-rider official roster to be confirmed after national championships in Europe
Eusebio Unzué has confirmed a list of thirteen riders set to fight for the nine spots in the Movistar Team’s roster for the 102nd Tour de France, which starts in Utrecht (Netherlands) on July 4th. Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde lead a preselection completed by Winner Anacona, Eros Capecchi, Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti, John Gadret, José Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, Adriano Malori, José Joaquín Rojas, Rory Sutherland and Fran Ventoso. The telephone squad’s official roster for the ‘Grande Boucle’ will be confirmed after the national championships in Europe most of them will race in two weeks’ time.
Tom Veelers Out of Tour de France
Tom Veelers has suffered a setback in the recovery from a knee injury sustained in the beginning of the year, and as a result he will unfortunately not line up for the start of the Tour de France on July 4 in Utrecht (NL), nor will he participate in Rund um Köln and the Ster ZLM Toer.
After already canceling his participation in the Tour de Romandie and Giro d’Italia, the team has determined that the Tour de France is also too early for the 30-year-old Veelers, as he needs additional time to recover from the knee injury. To resolve the problem, he underwent keyhole surgery at OCON in Hengelo, the Netherlands, in April. In consultation with the performance staff, the team’s physician and Tom himself, the team decided that more recovery and training time are needed before he returns to competition. Veelers will also not participate in Sunday’s Rund um Köln, and will not be replaced.
“Obviously I am very disappointed to be unable to start in the Tour de France, since I was really looking forward to this year’s start in my home country,” said Veelers. “After my surgery in April we know that the risk of not participating in the Tour was there, but all the time we focused on the best possible outcome: quick recovery. We have canceled my participation in a couple of races already, and it has become clear that the Tour is not within reach either. So together with the team’s medical staff, we decided it was best for me to get off the bike and rest and recover. I will continue to work with the physio but not compete in races for a while.”
Team physician Anko Boelens added: “Tom is recovering from keyhole surgery to repair a small cartilage imperfection. When he is free of pain the team will determine the best opportunity for him to return to competition.”
Both Veelers and the team are disappointed that he will not be able to be present at the Tour as a valuable member of the sprint preparation. Veelers will work closely with the team’s medical and performance staff to ensure a gradual buildup in the intensity of his training.
The Tour de France lineup will be announced later this month.
Spaniards Stay with Katusha
Katusha General Manager Viacheslav Ekimov has announced that he continues to build further on the future of the team. During the Critérium du Dauphiné, Alberto Losada and Angel Vicioso both re-signed with Team Katusha. Both Spanish riders have served for many years as key elements of the team in the Grand Tours and other stage races. He also hopes to announce the resigning of Joaquim Rodrigues soon.
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