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EuroTrash Froome-tastic Thursday!

We’ve had two great stages in the Tour de France and Chris Froome has shown he has the form to dominate the tough climbs and the other top riders have shown their weakness. As always we have the reports, results, rider quotes, photos and video. Other news: Francesco Reda must be stupid, Jens Debusschere and Zdenek Stybar extend contracts, Ivan Basso update, USA Cycling and Universal Sports Network Launch Making Legends and the history of the polka-dot jersey.

TOP STORY: How Stupid is Reda?
The real ‘TOP STORY’ is how Chris Froome dominated stage 10 and threw down the gauntlet so hard that it’s going to be difficult for anyone to pick it up and slap him in the face with it. But then something happened that surpassed Froome’s exploit with something so stupid it is unbelievable.

The news that Francesco Reda had tested positive for EPO at the Italian National road championships has not come as much of a surprise to many. He was 2nd to Vincenzo Nibali, but the organizers didn’t have a medal for him, allegedly it had been misplaced. This is not Reda first offense as he was suspended for 2 years for evading a test although this was reduced to 14 months due to his co-operation with the Cycling Independent Reform Commission. Bit of a bad lad is Reda, he won stage 1 of the An Post Rás in Ireland earlier this year, but was disqualified for holding on to a vehicle while in the leaders jersey. His control sample showed the presence of NESP, which is similar to EPO.

Surely, Reda must have thought that having been banned previously he would be a marked man and also finishing second in the National championships he was bound to be tested. How stupid must he be?

No medal for Reda:
Italian Cycling Championships  road men elite 2015

Tour de France 2015
Chris Froome stormed to victory on Stage 10 in La Pierre-Saint-Martin, the first summit finish of the Tour de France. Not only did he claim his fifth stage victory at the Tour, but his right-hand-man Richie Porte made the double for Team Sky, allowing the duo to start the second Pyrenean stage with the yellow and the polka dot jersey respectively. Froome has literally outclassed Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali.

Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) attacked at km 7.5, soon chased down by Kenneth van Bilsen (Cofidis) who bridged the gap at km 45. The peloton was led by Movistar at Artix, km 75.5, with a deficit of 13.55, when Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) crashed heavily in the feed zone because of a musette. His right knee seemed to hurt badly but the Breton rider got back on his bike and made his way across to the peloton.

Taking over from Movistar, FDJ.fr injected a bit more speed to the peleton and showed that Thibaut Pinot had ambitions for Bastille Day. The advance of Fédrigo and Van Bilsen decreased significantly. It was less than five minutes with 25km to go, 3.30 with 20km to go and 2.30 at the bottom of the ascent to La Pierre-Saint-Martin 15.3km before the finishing line. Van Bilsen cracked and Fédrigo continued solo with 14km to go.

In the first third of the ascent many riders started to be dropped: Rui Costa, Dani Navarro, Wilco Kelderman, Michal Kwiatkowski, Andrew Talansky, Dan Martin, Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Vincenzo Nibali. With 10km to go, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) rode away solo, chased down by Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida) who joined him with 9.5km to go. Gesink was alone in the lead when he brought Fédrigo back with 8km to go but he was caught one kilometer further by Richie Porte, Chris Froome (Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) after an acceleration by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). The Australian from Sky put the hammer down when he realized that Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was in difficulty. From that point Froome attacked and soloed to victory with 6.5km remaining.

Porte deprived Quintana of the second place, which gives him the honor to wear the polka dot jersey, which Froome also won, in the second Pyrenean stage on Wednesday. The overall classification now has big differences as van Garderen is 2.52 adrift in 2nd. Quintana is at 3.09, Contador at 4.04 and Nibali at 6.57.

Read the full race report HERE.

Tour de France 2015 - stage 10

Stage winner and overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “I just thought instead of riding a defensive race, ‘come on guys let’s push on here. Some guys are in trouble let’s take advantage of that.’ I asked the guys to push on a bit. The legs felt good so I think it worked out just to plan. Now we’re just going to have to take it on a daily basis. I’m in such a great position now and with such team around me. Guys like Richie Porte coming second, G just a few places back in fifth – it just shows the calibre of riders I’ve got supporting me. Hopefully now we can just ride a defensive race. Let’s see – there’s still a very long way to go to Paris but of course I’m ecstatic about how it went today. When I heard [the time gaps] on the radio it was like music to the ears, especially this early in the race. There are some really big time gaps today which I’m quite surprised about, seeing as we only had the one climb in the final. The one thing that comes to mind for me is that maybe some of the guys didn’t look after themselves quite that well through the rest day yesterday, or maybe came out of the rest day feeling quite heavy. My guys were great. It was a dream day for us.”

2nd on the stage, Richie Porte (Sky): “It’s one day in the Tour. We can’t get too carried away. We’ve seen in 2013 the first and second on the stage and then the disaster there. So we’re not getting too far in front of ourselves, but it’s still a fantastic feeling. I sort of felt a little bit bad picking [Quintana’s] pocket but it’s a race. Chris was absolutely fantastic today. I take my hat off to Geraint Thomas as well. He was still on GC and he could have sat behind me. He didn’t, he put in and did a great pull softening them up.”

3rd on the stage and 3rd overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was a really hard stage, with hellish temperatures and big pace all day, especially since we took command of the peloton. We wanted to test our rivals’ condition, see how they were going, and we found a superior Chris Froome. He was really strong and we must accept that. We’ll try to find a strategy or some alliances to try and gain some time back or, at least, keeping our actual position. We must keep going day-by-day. We saw in previous races that he struggled a bit at the end in races finales and at the end of the three weeks; we will hope he cracks someday or that I find myself better than I did today. My winning chances? They shrank a bit today, but I keep dreaming about yellow, and will give my everything to snatch it.”

4th on the stage and 8th overall, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I’m exhausted, but happy. I saw people getting dropped but felt good myself and decided to be crazy and give it a go. We didn’t discuss anything, but I knew that when the big men began accelerating, they would go too fast for me. I anticipated and it worked out well today.” Gesink admitted that he thought about winning the stage. “Yes, stupid actually. I thought about it for a moment, but looking back, I should have done that. I don’t quite realize what has happened. Today, I had a super day, I felt strong. I’m happy. I wonder what’s in store for me tomorrow.”

5th on the stage and 4th overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “To be honest, it was a big blow by Froome today. We did a nice race, but we’ve got to be realistic, he was over the rest today. Let’s see if he can continue to do so for the rest of the race. Sky kept a high pace all the way when they took over, I tried to jump away to drop Froome’s team-mates back, but they were strong. It’s been a hard nine days before this stage, and the steep climb, combined with the heat… made everything impossible for many. Now, for us it’s a matter of keeping what we’ve got or improving our result if we’re able to. The Tour is not over at all, though it’s becoming harder to win. Still, we can hope for everything when it’s Nairo. Others like Contador, Nibali, Purito, Van Garderen cracked today, and the same can happen to us or any other rivals up to the end of the race.”

9th on the stage and 7th overall, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “With the team we agreed that I would see how far I got on the last climb. Tim and Adam could join a big group that had a chance to stay ahead. The first goal was to win the intermediate sprint with André, which we did, and then it were the teams of the GC riders who set a high pace on the way to the climb. I was amazed I could hang on and even when big names got dropped I could stay in the yellow jersey group. The steady pace of Sky was perfect for me. It was only when they raised the tempo and ten riders were left that I was distanced. Of course I’m happy with the ninth place today and the seventh place overall. The legs felt very good, even when the group was already considerably reduced. On the one hand this place on GC is very nice, on the other hand I might get less space to aim for a stage win. But we’ll look at that again with the team and we’ll discuss what the next days will bring.”

10th on the stage and 2nd overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “Sky definitely put on quite the performance, I tried my best to stay with them. When it got too much for me, I tried to stay in my rhythm and focused on getting to the top. I don’t think today was my best day. But it wasn’t all bad. I am still keeping a good GC (general classification) position. The first mountain day is always tricky,” van Garderen said. “We have done almost two weeks without climbing any real mountains. So it can be quite a shock to the system, especially after a rest day. I feel like it should go better from here. I am definitely still happy about where we are sitting.”

11th on the stage and 6th overall, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It was a complicated day. I knew it was going to be a climb, where you could lose a lot of time, if you weren’t in form and that’s what happened. It was the stage after the rest day, where one could lose a lot of time. I couldn’t breath and I still can’t – so I couldn’t get rid of the lactic acid in my legs and I couldn’t follow the pace. It was a bad day, and we’ve seen that Froome was better than everybody else. I was unable to follow the pace, not only of Froome but also of other riders. This is cycling, you have good days and you have bad days. I wasn’t able to see much of the race but I saw that Froome was able to accelerate away, when he wanted. Movistar’s pace was not much of a problem to me, but the pace that Sky set was higher. At some point, I had to follow my own pace and find the rhythm and I’ve definitely had better days. The Tour is a very long race and it’s true that today I wasn’t in top shape, nevertheless I can also be in a situation, where my shape is much more similar to the shape Froome had today, so I don’t take it for granted that he will win the Tour. We have just entered the mountains and the race is not concluded yet.”

14th on the stage, Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka): “My initial goal was to be in the long breakaway but after trying in those first few kilometers I felt I had good legs after the rest day. In the final I was surprised that I was able to follow the best for such a long time. I didn’t want to get in the way of the real GC guys so at first I gave them some space but then I saw Nibali got dropped and I still had good legs. I just kept riding within my own limits. This is a great result for me. I am happy to have been given so much confidence by the team.”

22nd on the stage, Laurens ten Dam (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I’m not unhappy today. I was just about to ride to Robert to tell him I was still there for him when he decided to attack. With eight kilometers to the finish, I exploded, but Robert did a great job. As a team we’re going to work hard for him and together we will make a strong plan.”

23rd on the stage and 15th overall, Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “After the rest day, I had some difficulties adjusting to the heat and finding a good rhythm again. In addition to that, this really isn’t the type of summit finish that I like. I broke down fairly quickly before staying with Nibali and Mollema. But I was on the limit all the time, and in the end I lost some seconds to them too. I hope that the next stages with multiple ascents throughout will allow me to regain my pedal stroke.”

27th, Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling): “Since this was the first day after a rest day, and ridden in this heat, with a final huge climb at the end, it was obvious that this stage was going to do some damage. We still managed to get all our cards in the game. I managed to climb with Mathias Frank to the foot of the last climb to help him to avoid going into the red too soon, and then I just got into my rhythm. But I still struggled because it was not easy. I took the climb steadily, and I am confident that I will continue to get better with each stage. Today was our first real climb of the Tour, but everything is up in the air with the next two stages. There will be even more climbs to scale before reaching the finale, which could lead to attacks.”

Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 4:22:07
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:59
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:04
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:33
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:01
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 2:04
8. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 2:22
10. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 2:28.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 10:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 35:56:09
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 2:52
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:09
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 4:01
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 4:03
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 4:04
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 4:33
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 4:35
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 6:12
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 6:57.

Stage 10:

Summary – Stage 10 (Tarbes > La Pierre-Saint… por tourdefrance_en

Rafal Majka claimed his first victory of the 2015 season in Stage 11 as he repeated his two stage victories in Risoul and Saint-Lary-Soulan at his first Tour de France last year. The Polish climber rode away solo from a breakaway group to clinch the prestigious Souvenir Jacques Goddet at the top of the Tourmalet. A surprise King of the Mountains last year, he confirmed his status as a great Tour de France contender once he got freed from his domestique duties at the service of Alberto Contador. Chris Froome kept the race under control and retained the yellow jersey.

Lieuwe Westra (Astana) initiated the first breakaway right after the start. Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick-Step), Bob Jungels (Trek) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) went with him. They didn’t get more than 45 seconds advantage and were reeled in by a fast and furious peloton after 47 kilometers. The race went on at a very high speed. A split occurred in the bunch prior to the intermediate sprint at Pouzac (56.5km). Green jersey holder André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) struggled to make it back to the first group and only managed to cross that line in ninth place while Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), second to Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step) moved back into the lead of the points classification.

Sky cancelled a 22-man breakaway that included last year’s young French duelists Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) who respectively won the King of the Mountains competition in 2012 and 2014 attacked at 75km. A group of five was formed with the reinforcement of Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka), Steve Morabito (FDJ.fr) and Emmanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18). Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) and Julien Simon (Cofidis) came to help at the 90K mark. Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Andriy Grivko (Astana) launched a counter-attack prior to the ascent of the Col d’Aspin in which Martin produced a strong effort to solo to the leaders while the peloton led by Team Sky had a 6-minutes deficit. Martin replaced Démare in the 7-man leading group 3km before the summit of Aspin and took the mountain prize.

Majka attacked with 7km to go to the Col du Tourmalet. He continued solo while Astana decided to take over from Team Sky at the head of the peloton at a much higher speed, which split the yellow jersey group down to 15 on the Tourmalet. At the highest summit of the Pyrenees, Majka was 1:45 ahead of Pauwels, 2:00 ahead of Buchmann, 2:05 ahead of Martin, 4:05 ahead of Voeckler and Simon, 5:20 ahead of Morabito, 5:40 ahead of the peloton led by Chris Froome who increased his overall lead in the KOM classification by 6 points. Pauwels reduced his deficit in the downhill but couldn’t close the last one minute gap. The Belgian rider from MTN-Qhubeka courageously chased by himself until Martin passed him on the last climb of the day, the Côte de Cauterets, with 5km to go. Majka stayed away and claimed his third stage victory at the Tour de France and Chris Froome retained the overall lead.

Read the full race report HERE.

Tour de France 2015 - stage 11

Stage winner, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I dedicate this win to my team and especially Ivan Basso and Daniele Bennati, who crashed today. I only attacked once, but it was at the right moment. I was watching the other riders and noticed that many of them were suffering so I decided to attack. My teammates supported me to go in the breakaway and I told my sports directors that I wanted to attack already on the Tourmalet instead of waiting. I needed a hard climb to create a gap and I took nearly 1’30” on the Tourmalet. I’m very happy with this win and it is great for the morale on the team. A lot of people are asking me whether I want to go for the polka dotted jersey, but it’s not easy to do that and ride for Alberto at the same time. Today, I was given the opportunity and I wanted to do my best but I am here to support Alberto and we still have two weeks left to race, and many riders suffered today. I like when it’s warm and the climbs are hard so I felt good today.”

3rd on the stage, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18): “I’m really happy with the third place but I am also completely tired. It was a super hard stage – most of the day in the attack. It’s just awesome that it all led to the third place for me. I just rode my own rhythm and it went really good. Today, we all had the freedom to ride for ourselves and we all were trying to jump into the group. After a long fight, I then made it. I’m very happy and the result is even better.”

4th on the stage, Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka): “The goal was to have somebody in the breakaway. It was a really hard start and we first had Edvald there. I chose my moment and that was when the good breakaway went and a new race started. In the break Majka was the strongest. I tried to fight for the victory but there was one guy stronger. I am really happy with my result though.”

13th on the stage and 2nd overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “Astana was a little bit aggressive on the Tourmalet, but all in all, it was a pretty smooth day, the Tourmalet, when Astana was making a tempo, was quite difficult. But with this finish, and the Tourmalet so far, it was more just following wheels. Tomorrow should really shake up the GC a lot more.”

10th on the stage and 6th overall, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Peter was able to sprint perfectly and took the green jersey. Rafal grabbed very well the opportunity, caught the breakaway the moment one needed fresh legs and then crowned it with the stage win. It could have been a perfect day if it weren’t for the crash of Daniele Bennati and his withdrawal from the race. It’s an important loss to the team. He was a fundamental part of our squad in the first half of the Tour and if we didn’t have him, I would be a near catastrophe. I hope he doesn’t have anything serious. In what concerns myself, I feel a bit better than yesterday but it’s true I didn’t push as hard as yesterday. I think I need some more time to feel very well. The heat was tremendous today and the forecast for tomorrow calls for higher temperatures. It’s crucial to recover every day. Tomorrow’s stage will bring me good memories, when in 2007 I was able to win after five attacks. However, every year is different. The legs I have today are maybe different from the ones in the past, especially the ones from last year. I wish I had them today but we have to take it day by day and focus on recovery.”

15th on the stage and 8th overall, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I wanted to attack as well, because the favorites aren’t really marking, but Bauke beat me to it, he took off too fast for me. Astana pulled really hard on the Tourmalet, we arrived at the top with only ten men. My legs hurt now. I really had to dig deep today, but I think many more men suffered.”

18th on the stage, Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “Today I am happy because my sensations were quite good in spite of the heat. There is no comparison between today and yesterday. Of course, we all have to deal with the same problem with reduced watts in relation to our usual numbers, but it must all be seen in the context of the extreme temperatures we have had in recent days. Even when you are on holiday, or just sitting and resting, it is difficult to stand such a heat wave. So you can imagine what it is like to try to climb these cols and still give your maximum. And there won’t be any let up tomorrow when we ride towards Plateau de Beille. I hope to recover well enough so that I can ride well and even hang on the wheels of the favorites.”

25th on the stage, Laurens ten Dam (LottoNL-Jumbo): “But still I was able to follow the favorites until very late. Luckily, I was of value to Robert today, as I had promised after the team time trial, but today took a lot of power. We need to make a good plan for tomorrow. If I’m going to attack like today again, I probably won’t be able to help Robert in the final kilometers. Then he needs to get his own bottles and from my personal experience, I know it is very nice to have someone with you in the final part of a mountain stage.”

Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling): “I am very happy to be here and I have enjoyed every meter traveled. I climbed the Aspin well, but after that I found myself in difficult on the Tourmalet. I will suffer more and often this week since I am not a climber. But I am determined to give my ultimate every day so that I have the chance to see Paris and the Champs-Elysées in order that I can have the best memories from my first Tour de France.”

Rohan Dennis (BMC): “The Tourmalet is not so open at the bottom, but at the top there is no shelter. You get a little bit of relief with the tunnels, but that’s about 30 seconds and then you’re back out in the sun. Tejay being second overall is good for us, our goal is the podium in Paris. Obviously, we will protect him again tomorrow. Then there are a couple of flatter stages before we get to the Alps and then it is game on again.”

Dominik Nerz (Bora-Argon 18) abandoned: “Due to my stomach problems I have hardly slept tonight. I’m devastated, I have no energy left and I need to understand somehow what happened. It hurts incredibly to let the team down. They have always stood by me and supported me best possible. Giving up is the worst thing that can happen to a rider – there are no words.”

Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo in 5:02:01
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:00
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 at 1:23
4. Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN-Qhubeka at 2:08
5. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar at 3:34
6. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek at 5:11
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:19
9. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 5:21
10. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 11:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 41:03:31
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 2:52
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:09
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:59
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 4:03
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 4:04
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 4:33
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 4:35
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 6:44
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek at 7:05.

Stage 11:

Summary – Stage 11 (Pau > Cauterets – Vallée de… por tourdefrance_en

Jens Debusschere signs a contract for three more seasons!
Lotto Soudal and Jens Debusschere have come to a new agreement. Jens signed a contract for three seasons and stays with the team till the end of 2018. The Belgian rider already is part of the team since 2011 and developed as a classical rider with fast legs. His Belgian title in 2014 is the highlight of his career until now. On 28 August he turns 26.

Marc Sergeant, the manager of Lotto Soudal is very happy with this contract extension. “Jens is already part of this team since he was 21. We gave him the time to learn and grow in the shadow of other riders. At the end of 2013 he set the next step and started to win races. At first Europe Tour races, but last year the Belgian title gave him a boost of confidence. In that Belgian jersey he became even better and won a sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico and he set a step forward during the spring, where he was always in the top fifteen.”

“He’ll keep combining the classics and sprinting, but he needs to use his fast legs even more. Jens is a rider who fits in the team. But I want to see him make more progression, see him challenge himself, search his limits. In the current cycling world it’s not an option to make no evolution. He’s in the most beautiful years of his career, I’m happy he chose to ride for Lotto Soudal those years.”

After his strong performances of the previous months several teams were interested to sign Jens Debusschere, but he chose to stay with Lotto Soudal. “I chose to stay because of the team’s faith in me and the faith I have in the team, and because of the opportunities I get. I know everybody, the way of working, I have a strong bond with Marc Sergeant and the atmosphere is optimal. The past years I had a chance to grow in the shadow of riders like André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts. In another team you need to start a bit from scratch.”

“The most important years of my career are coming up and I hope to add more victories in the next three years. Winning a classic is high on my list, but that won’t be easy. Apart from that I want to use my speed. There aren’t much sprinters like André, but with some less fast legs you can win nice races as well. I hope to finish the Tour with a good condition and show some nice things at the end of the season. There are some nice races in the WorldTour and there are other races in which I can have a go.”

Jens Debusschere:

Etixx – Quick-Step Extends Contract of Zdenek Stybar for Two More Seasons
Etixx – Quick-Step is proud to announce that the team reached an agreement with Zdenek Stybar to extend his contract for the next two seasons.

The Czech rider, victor in the Le Havre finale of Tour de France Stage 6, will ride with the team of Patrick Lefevere for the next two seasons (2016-2017).

“I’m really happy to announce this news,” Stybar said. “I’m really happy that I can continue with this team for two more years. I would like to thank team owner Zdenek Bakala, who is Czech like I am, and Patrick Lefevere for the trust they showed in me. Their trust gives me a boost of self-confidence and the will to do work hard and do well. I got one of my biggest opportunities in my cycling career with Etixx – Quick-Step. I was able to be successful in cyclocross, and then transition to road racing where I’ve participated in the biggest races in the world, including the cobbled races that I love. I’ve won a few races already on the road and would like to try and win more. I am excited to stay with this team, which has Belgian roots but an international influence. So we can grow up in a multicultural environment, and benefit from each other as a group and individuals. I have to also say the team has a good spirit. We are good friends and something important to me. It’s a big reason why I want to stay for two more seasons. We even have the best materials in the pro peloton, which gives me confidence as I continue to grow as a road rider with cyclocross roots.”

“We are really satisfied with this agreement,” Etixx – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “We believed and we invested in Zdenek when he passed from cyclocross to road racing. Zdenek is a committed guy that did a lot of progression in those years. Zdenek is a fighter and a guy who knows what he wants. He won already great races, such as a stage at La Vuelta, at Le Tour, Eneco Tour, and Strade Bianche. But we strongly believe that the best in his case has yet to come.”

Zdenek Stybar winning Tour’15 stage 6:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 6

Tinkoff-Saxo statement on Ivan Basso
Ivan Basso was diagnosed with a tumor in his left testicle and has to undergo operation for its removal. According to Tinkoff-Saxo doctor, Piet De Moor, “on stage 5 of the Tour de France, Basso suffered from a minor crash in which his left testicle was slightly injured. As the pain persisted, a lump was discovered and following further examination on Monday morning at the hospital in Pau, the presence of a tumor was confirmed.”

Further treatment will be decided, depending on the final diagnosis. As a result, Basso will not continue racing in the Tour de France and will return home as soon as possible.

Steven de Jongh, Head Sport Director of Tinkoff-Saxo commented: “As everybody understands, today is not a day to speak about the Tour de France, the days ahead or Alberto’s main rivals on the mount stages. All that is irrelevant and we are all here solely to support Ivan. The entire team hopes to meet him again in Paris and hand him the yellow jersey.”

Team Leader, Alberto Contador, stated on the news: “On behalf of the entire team I’d like to say that it has been a blow to all of us. We never imagined such a thing would happen. Ivan’s health is the absolute priority and he has to undergo all the necessary tests to find the best solution. I’d like to stress that the entire team will give its best in order to get the yellow jersey and enjoy it in Paris with him. During the 120 days that Ivan and I spent together, over the last 180 days, I was able to see what a great champion he is. I’m sure he will overcome this and we will see him in two weeks in Paris.”

On the 14th July 2015, Ivan Basso was examined and underwent medical assessment at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, in relation to a lesion that was detected in his left testicle. On the 15th Basso underwent surgery performed by Professor Francesco Montorsi, Director of the Urology Surgery Unit at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. The Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the surgery was a success and that Basso is in a good overall condition and will probably be released from the hospital on Thursday.

The experts explained that there is no correlation between the testicular lesion and the sports activity of Ivan Basso.

Ivan Basso:
5th stage of the 61st Tour of Andalusia Ruta Del Sol

Richmond 2015, USA Cycling and Universal Sports Network Launch Making Legends Digital Series Ahead of UCI Road Cycling World Championships
Short-Form Videos Chronicle Team USA as It Prepares to Take on the World this September

New Episodes to Premiere Every Week on USA Cycling’s YouTube Channel and Broadcast on Universal Sports Network

Richmond 2015, USA Cycling and Universal Sports Network announced today the launch of Making Legends, a new short-form digital series that features USA Cycling’s preparations for the 2015 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Richmond, Va., to be held Sept. 19-27. Premiering today on USA Cycling’s YouTube channel, the eight-episode series showcases USA Cycling men’s and women’s athletes in their quest to top the podium in Richmond while showcasing their sport to new and future generations of fans.

New episodes of Making Legends will premiere every Wesnesday on USA Cycling’s YouTube channel and will be subsequently available on Richmond 2015, USA Cycling and Universal Sports’ websites and social media channels as well as on Universal Sports’ linear network during cycling programming and highlights shows.

“For the first time in 30 years, American athletes, riders and fans alike will have the opportunity to experience the World Championships on home soil,” said Rob Borland, CMO of USA Cycling. “Making Legends will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the sport and on the ground training in Richmond 2015 as they prepare for one of the biggest challenges our sport has to offer.”

Each episode of Making Legends will highlight one aspect of the USA Cycling organization and what it will take to compete at the World Championships including the elite men’s and women’s teams, U23 and junior programs as well as the host city of Richmond itself. In the premiere episode of the series, Making Legends: Road to Richmond, USA Cycling’s riders talk about the importance of racing on home soil and excitement the courses in Richmond will bring to both riders and spectators.

“I’m excited to show people who have never seen cycling first-hand how exciting our sport can be,” women’s elite rider Evelyn Stevens said.

In addition to Stevens, athletes featured throughout the series include Carmen Small, Megan Guarnier, Ben King, Taylor Phinney and Alex Howes.

“Cycling’s a niche sport here in the U.S. It’s always growing and always getting more popular,” Phinney said. “Having events like the World Championships here in Richmond are going to further promote the sport that we love.”

“I feel a little pressure having this jersey,” Howes said about wearing the red, white and blue kit. “I also feel that I don’t have the weight of a nation on me, but that I have the nation pushing us up.”

The UCI Road World Championships attracts 1,000 of the world’s best cyclists who take this rare opportunity to compete for their countries, just as they do during an Olympic Games. The United States will serve as the host country for the first time since 1986, when Colorado Springs, Co., staged the event. Universal Sports will air extensive coverage of the 2015 UCI Road Cycling World Championships.

The First Ever Polka-Dot Jersey
Great little film about the first polka-dot jersey in the Tour de France. Joop Zoetemelk was first wearer in 1975, but Lucien Van Impe was the first winner at the end of that Tour. There had been a Tour KOM competition since 1933, but only a jersey for 40 years.

Magazine – 40th Anniversary of the Polka-Dot… por tourdefrance_en

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