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EuroTrash Tinkoff Monday!

It’s been a busy week for the Tinkoff-Saxo team: Signing Sagan, winning the Tours of Pologne and Denmark, plus all the other new and re-signed riders. We report on all that and Utah, the Eneco Tour and London. Video, results, comments; everything for a Monday morning’s reading.

TOP STORY: Sagan DQ’d in Utah!
A list of riders were thrown off the Tour of Utah for hanging onto team cars after being dropped on the first climb. OK, it wasn’t Peter Sagan, it was Juraj Sagan but he and Lampre-Merida’s Andrea Palini and Drapac’s Darren Lapthorne were ejected from the race along with the DS’s; Carlo Guardascone of Lampre-Merida, Mattias Michelusi of Cannondale and Jonathan Breekveldt of Drapac, also the teams will not have second team vehicles for the remainder of the American race.

Another rider who is not on the race is Matthew Lloyd (JellyBelly); he was hit by a car and ended up in the hospital. The accident didn’t happen during the race; Lloyd was on his way to dinner in Cedar City when he was involved in a hit and run. Lloyd should have been racing in the Tour of Utah, but came down with an infection at the last minute. Lloyd career has been full of bad luck since he won the KOM in the 2010 Giro d’Italia with crashes and broken vertebrae.

Better times for Matthew Lloyd; 2010 Giro d’Italia KOM:
Giro d'Italia -  2010  20e etappe 

header-pologne14Tour de Pologne 2014
Rafal Maja (Tinkoff-Saxo) dominated the uphill finish of Stage 5 to Strbske Pleso, for the first mountain stage in this year’s Tour de Pologne, the race chose a never-before-seen and spectacular summit finish in Slovakia.

In the first part of the race 16 riders managed to escape: Poles Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat) and Pawel Bernas (Reprezentacja Polski), Sebastian Lander (BMC), Marco Haller (Katusha), Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar), Fabio Felline, Bob Jungels & Yaroslav Popovych (Trek), Matteo Bono & Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Adriano Malori (Movistar), Johan Le Bon (FDJ.fr), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE), Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo), Hugo Houle (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Sergei Chernetski (Katusha).

However; Omega Pharma – Quick-Step protecting Vakoc’s yellow jersey, and riders from Tinkoff-Saxo supporting Majka, kept the break well under control, never letting them get more than 3 minutes ahead and catching the escape during the second of two, 25.4 km laps on the uphill circuit at Strbske Pleso. With less than 3 km to go; the race really heated up when out in front important riders started to pump up the pace, Fabio Aru, Rajder Hesjedal and last year’s winner Pieter Weening all attacked in the last kilometre. But in the final metres Rafal Majka got the best of them all, crossing the finish line first, ahead of Spain’s riders from Movistar Beant Inxausti and Jon Izaguirre.

Overall leader Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) lost touch with the lead group only in the last part of the final climb and lost 26 seconds to keep the yellow Skandia leader’s jersey by 1 second over Rafal Majka. The Movistar pair moved up; Beant Intxausti at 5 seconds and Jon Izaguirre at 7 seconds.

Stage winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Thank you to my teammates because they did a great job. We pulled on the last climb and also the first climb. Also we had one of our guys in the breakaway, so we controlled the race. But tomorrow is difficult, so I don’t know how I’ll feel. But today, I have to say I’m tired as this was not to easy. The climb was so fast, in a big gear. Maybe I won because I have a lot of motivation from all the Polish supporters on the road screaming my name. I’m so happy because I came to this race especially for them. It’s perfect, I’m so happy. Ten years there’s no win at Tour de Pologne from a Polish guy, but of course I do it just like at the Tour de France when I won two stages as a Polish rider. So tomorrow we will again need to fight, but I am not sure how I will feel. I know the final time trial because the course is only 20 kilometres from my home but first of all we will see tomorrow. For the moment I want to enjoy this victory with my great team.”

Overall leader Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “It was a really hard finish. At 5 kilometres to go I was still with the front group pushing as hard as I could. I tried to limit my losses. I did that climb before only the opposite way. I knew it would be really challenging but I had a chance to keep the jersey. When I crossed the line I saw that the time gap was 27 seconds, but then they told me that I lost the jersey. So, I was disappointed and went to the hotel. I went to take a shower but first I opened Twitter and I saw that there was actually enough of a gap where I actually kept the lead. So it was a really nice surprise and I’m happy I can wear this jersey for another stage. I have to thank my teammates for again taking good care of me today to give me a chance to fight.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 5 Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo in 4:30:38
2. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
3. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar
4. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Shimano
6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC
7. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale
8. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin
9. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar
10. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 5:
1. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 25:05:28
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:01
3. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:05
4. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:07
5. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale at 0:11
6. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
7. Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
8. Peter Velits (Svk) BMC
9. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin.

Stage 5:

At the finish line in Bukowina Tatrzanska; Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) fired up the Polish crowds as he succeeded in winning Stage 6 and also captured the yellow Skandia jersey as leader in the Tour de Pologne. After his splendid victory on Thursday at Strbske Pleso, a mere second separated Majka from the yellow jersey Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step).

The stage got off to a rousing start right from the very first kilometres, with a breakaway by eight riders including Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Paterski (CCC Polsat), both battling it out to take home the cyclamen Tauron jersey for the KOM; in the end it was the Pole Paterski who came out ahead. The group also featured Caruso (Cannondale), Chernetski (Katusha), Vuillermoz & Frohlinger (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lagutin (RusVelo) and Malacarne (Europcar).

The fugitives got caught in the last lap on the circuit in Bukowina. In the last passage on the hardest climb with ramps up to 22%, and with about 13 km to go to the finish, Majka bust out, shattering the group of the best, causing the yellow jersey Petr Vakoc to lose ground. Only 7 riders managed to stick with Majka: Nordaugh & Gesink (Belkin), Izaguirre (Movistar), Barguil (AG2R-La Mondiale), Caruso (Katusha), Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) and Poels (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step). On the stretch of road that led to the final climb towards Bukowina, the lead group, including Vakoc in the yellow jersey, regrouped. However, when the road started getting steep at about 2 km from the line, Majka took off again, flying off giving Vakoc no chance. Movistar’s Benat Intxausti and Jon Izaguirre tried to close the Polish rider down, but finished at 10 seconds back in second and third places respectively.

Majka will come to the 25 kilometre time trial in Krakow with an 18 second advantage over Intxausti, 22 ahead of Izaguirre and 39 over Riblon.

Stage winner and overall leader Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Today the guys really worked well for me and I want to thank them. The last two laps we went really fast to try and tire out the other teams. In the last lap, on the very steep climb at about 13 km from the finish line I accelerated but I didn’t attack all the way. I stayed in control and in the last climb I put it all out there and attacked full gas. The gap between me and the other contenders for the GC isn’t much. Izaguirre and Intxausti are two excellent time trialists but we’ll see. However it goes I am very happy with this Tour de Pologne. I won two stages and tomorrow I’ll give it all I’ve got to capture the general classification for me, my team and the crowds, which have been fantastic. But if I can’t do it, it won’t be all that bad. I’m already really pleased with what I’ve done these last few weeks. Today at about one kilometre from the finish line I could hear the crowds shouting my name. It was incredible, it gave me goose bumps. I’m also happy for them and I’d like to thank the Polish public for their overwhelming support.”

3rd overall Jon Izaguirre (Movistar): “We had a good race and we moved very well in the final. Today Majka was really strong and it really meant a lot to him to win, when he took off I couldn’t keep up. Tomorrow is the time trial. Intxausti and I are going to go to the maximum to try and give it our best.”

Winner of the Tauron KOM jersey Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat Polkowice): “Today the route was gruelling. I was concentrated from the start to try and capture the points I needed for the climber’s jersey. I did it and I am extremely pleased. This jersey is very important to me and the team. Thanks to Majka‘s presence, this Tour de Pologne is really growing the interest for cycling in our country. This makes me proud. I hope that tomorrow Majka manages to capture this Tour de Pologne. It would be important for entire movement.”

5th on the stage and 8th overall Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida): “I battled against some riders that completed the Tour de France in a very good condition, this is a good feedback for me,” Niemiec explained. “Today I’m very satisfied because I could be in the head group on the steep hill at 13 km to go and I could also fight for a top result on the final climb. Thanks to these very good performances I can approach tomorrows time trial with the aim to defend a place in the top 10; this would be a very good result. I’ll give my best in the 25 km of time trial, even if I know it won’t be a simple challenge.”

Italian National Team Director Davide Cassani: “For me this is the first time here at the Tour de Pologne, which has become a race with an absolutely international influence. Yesterday and today I watched two truly spectacular and compelling stages with a great winner like Rafal Majka. I was also impressed by the enthusiasm of the Polish crowd and the media interest surrounding the event.

Tour de Pologne Stage 6 Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo in 4:40:58
2. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
3. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar
4. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:19
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 0:20
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Shimano
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin
9. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:26.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 6:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo in 29:46:17
2. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:18
3. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:22
4. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:39
5. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha at 0:40
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin
7. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Shimano
8. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:46
10. Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice at 0:47.

Stage 6:

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) is the winner of the 71° Tour de Pologne after the Final Stage 7 25 km individual time trial that started and finished in the heart of Krakow. Among the time trial specialists was Belgian champion Kristof Vandewalle (Trek) who took the stage victory with a time of 29:18, he beat Italian Adriano Malori (Movistar) by 3 seconds and was 10 seconds ahead of Stephen Cummings (BMC).

Most of the interest was in the battle for the yellow Skandia jersey: on one side there was Majka and all of Poland, on the other Movistar’s Benat Intxausti and Jon Izaguirre. After having dominated the two mountain stages in Strbske Pleso and Bukowina, Rafal Majka set off with an advantage over the Spaniards of 18 and 22 seconds respectively. It was too small of an advantage for Majka to rest easy.

Jon Izaguirre, second in the Spanish national TT championships, finished in seventh position, 29 seconds down on the winner Vandewalle. However Majka came back, defending himself with a superb performance, finishing 13th at 43 seconds from the winner and ceding only 14 seconds to Izaguirre. Majka held on to the yellow jersey by 8 seconds. The roar from the crowd followed Majka for his entire ride and at the finish line, once the news of his victory was confirmed, the enthusiasm of the throngs exploded as all of Poland embraced their champion, Rafal Majka.

When Rafal Majka stepped on to the podium in the square in Krakow and donned the yellow Skandia jersey raising his arms to the sky in triumph, just one word could be heard echoing through the roar of the crowd…“dziekuje”, that is to say, a thanks from the fans to their champion who has taken Poland to the apex of world cycling.

After the masterpiece he performed in the Tour de France, with two stage victories and the polka dot jersey, Rafal Majka has also succeeded in bringing Poland back to the top of the podium at the Tour de Pologne, where the last Pole to make it there was Cezary Zamana in 2003, when the race however was still not a part of the World Tour. In fact, Rafal Majka has become the first Polish rider in history to take home the final classification of a World Tour stage race.

Tour de Pologne winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “First of all I have to thank my teammates. This week they stayed on the front full gas for me. Also I have to thank my family and the Polish people who stood in the roads and scream my name. I’m so happy. Last year when I did it I was 4th, these people made me feel like I won this race. I promised that I would win this year’s Tour of Poland and I did it. I’m so happy. I won two stages here in my country and the general classification; there are no words to describe the joy. But I didn’t win alone. My teammates and staff helped me and I’m thrilled that I have a three-year contract with Tinkoff-Saxo who supported me so well. When you want to win, you have to fight and I did, as I did yesterday, when I went full gas, attacked, and won my second stage to also take the Yellow Jersey as race leader. When I started the time trial today I still only led by some seconds, but I would able to battle and win Tour of Poland. My family, my girlfriend, my teammates, and my Polish public, I dedicate this win to them. Now, after preparing for the Giro, the Tour de France, and Tour de Pologne, after the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado I will need to rest after a long period of hard work.”

Stage 7 winner Kristof Vandewalle (Trek): “It was a hard week. It was a long race with some challenging stages. But we suffered and we survived with one goal, which was to have a big result today. I am really happy with my victory. It was a really flat parcours, we averaged more than 50 kilometres per hour. Some of the roads were a little up and down but I could always keep a good rhythm. Now I can enjoy this win with my teammates. After this race I am off to La Vuelta, and then I will focus on the World Championships, such as the TT. Then, we will see from there. For now I want to enjoy this moment. Majka was the best, he was really strong.

There was no one who could beat him. To do this after such an impressive Tour de France, he must be a really powerful guy. I think he is a young guy who can really do something special in the future. This was a big win. The Nationals win for me was also nice, but it was a very hard week and this being a WorldTour race – yes, it’s a big win. This morning we had a four and half hour transfer to the start, so we arrived fairly late. I rode the parcours with Bob [Jungels], and only had a half hour rest before I started my warm up. It was hard to stay motivated and concentrated on the race with such a long trip beforehand. The course had long straights up and back, with some gradual uphills, but I never lost my speed. On the way back I had really good speed and legs.

I almost lost everything in the last corner when I almost crashed. It probably cost me two seconds, but in the end everything went right; I have to be thankful that I did not crash. After that I had the stress of waiting until everyone came in. When I knew that I had beaten Malori I knew that I would have a good place. But still I was not sure because the last riders Intxausti, Izaguirre and Majka have shown really good form all week, and I was not sure at all. I really had to wait until Majka was in before I could relax and know that I had won.”

Second overall Jon Izaguirre (Movistar): “I gave everything in this TT. It was a fast race and I really went full gas. At the end I’m second, just like last year, but I have to say that Majka deserves this victory. He was consistent and the strongest rider in the race. As a team we did well. We have two guys on the podium and we won the team classification, so it’s a race to remember for us.”

Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Tristan Hoffman: “It has been a magnificent ride. Not just today but the whole week has been awesome in terms of teamwork and dedication. Everyone’s been working any targeting the same goal providing Rafal with the support he needed to succeed overall. And today, he paid back. He was incredibly focused and I think he rode the TT of his life. The spectators here made it feel like Tour de France and I’m sure they’re partly responsible for Rafal’s powerful ride today. He truly deserves this win.”

5th overall Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida): “It ‘s probably the best time trial of my career. I’m very happy for the Polish people, the Tour of Poland always has a special charm, but I’m also aware that I have to give the Team a good result, which is important in the World Tour.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 7 Result:
1. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek in 29:18
2. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar at 0:03
3. Stephen Cummings (GB) BMC at 0:10
4. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 0:20
5. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:22
6. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky at 0:28
7. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:29
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek at 0:34
9. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:38
10. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE.

Tour de Pologne Final Overall Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo in 30:16:18
2. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:08
3. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 0:22
4. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:34
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 1:20
6. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar at 1:21
7. Philip Deignan (Irl) Sky at 1:24
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 1:41
9. Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC at 1:42
10. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:49.

The final stage 7:

logo-utahTour of Utah 2014
Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) attacked with Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) on the climb of Powder Mountain, and then solo’d to victory in Stage 4 and the overall lead. Horner was caught by Ben Hermans (BMC) for the two chasers to finish 57 seconds back. Lampre-Merida’s Winner Anacona was 4th at 1:47 down.

Earlier in the stage a group of fourteen riders escaped, but as some of the riders were a treat to the overall they were not allowed more than a minutes lead by Belkin, Trek and Garmin-Sharp. The break was caught before the second climb of North Ogden Divide, before the race was split on the climb. When the large group hit Powder Mountain; Garmin-Sharp kept the pace high before Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) attacked. The Colombian’s move inspired Danielson to chase and take Horner with him before his victory.

Stage winner and overall leader Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp): “I’ve never won a stage like that, especially with the pressure on you. I came into this race and put my hand up. I didn’t want to be like one of those guys who’s like, ‘I don’t know, whatever.’ I wanted to feel the full pressure and try and overcome that. I put my hand up. I said I’m in good shape and I want to do it. And then my teammates turned themselves inside out. So winning a stage like that after your teammates gut themselves for you. There’s no better feeling in the world than that.”

BMC Racing Team’s Ben Hermans said he could not match the accelerations by Danielson and third-place finisher Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) in the final kilometres of the ascent of Powder Mountain. But climbing at his own pace, he clawed his way back to Horner, then led last year’s Vuelta a España winner all the way to the line. “I rode my own tempo,” Hermans said. “It is at altitude, so you don’t want to go over your threshold. So I pulled with Chris as fast as I could to keep the gap as low as a possible.” Arriving 56 seconds after Danielson – the race’ defending champion who took over the race lead – Hermans moved into second overall, one second ahead of Horner. But ambitions of a podium placing are a ways off, Hermans said. “We will see day-by-day,” he said. “This is only the fourth day and we still have three more to go. Tomorrow is normally an easy stage on paper. But the last two stages are really hard and a lot different from today. Today was really steep on one final climb. The other two stages are harder with other climbs. So we will see.”

Cadel Evans was the BMC Racing Team’s second rider to pedal across the gravel finish line, arriving ninth, 2:47 back of the stage winner, to slide from sixth to ninth overall. The 2009 world road champion said it was disappointing to fall nearly three minutes off the lead, but good to see his teammate move up. “I came here to train in preparation for the Vuelta a España,” Evans said. “If things had gone well, I would have liked to have gone for a result. But in looking at how some of the other guys come here – better prepared and riding much better than me – we see from the results that I am not part of those results. But fortunately Ben is. Compliments to him. He really surprised me today and it was great to see him ride well.” Evans said he will keep battling. “For me, this is actually a good sign, just not for this race,” he said. “I would have liked to have gotten a better result. But looking toward the Vuelta, it is a good sign.”

Drapac Professional Cycling’s Lachlan Norris has finished 10th in the fourth stage, the result moved Norris into 10th place on the General Classification, up 15 spots in the first real selection of the race: “It’s always a bit of a mystery as to how it’s going to play out but I’d thought about a few scenarios in my head and that was one of them,” said Norris. “Winning was another, but we’ll keep that one for down the track. Luckily for me the boys were fantastic in looking after Jai and me to get us to the penultimate climb,” explained Norris. “Then the Garmin guys pretty much blew the field apart up there and there was probably only 25 guys over the top.”

Norris said that today’s result was testament to an effort which began on Monday’s opening stage. “I haven’t had to lift a finger and that was the only way that I was able to be able to get a result today, by just being able to conserve as much energy as I can,” he said. “Jai was really helpful and able to move me up on Powder Mountain and I was really happy to be able to finish it off.”

Tour of Utah Stage 4 Result:
1. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 4:18:53
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:57
3. Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida
4. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida at 1:47
5. Alex Diniz Correia (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest-Sao Jose Dos Campos at 2:07
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
7. George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale at 2:26
8. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2:31
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 2:48
10. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 2:51.

Tour of Utah Overall After Stage 4:
1. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 18:42:53
2. Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida in 0:57
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
4. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida at 1:47
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 2:07
6. Alex Diniz Correia (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest-Sao Jose Dos Campos
7. George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale at 2:26
8. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2:31
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 2:43
10. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 2:51.

Stage 4:

Eric Young of Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies too k the bunch sprint at the end of Stage 5 into Kamas after 163 kilometres from Evanston. He was ahead of Jure Kocjan (Team SmartStop) and Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare). Overall leader; Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) finished in the bunch to hold his lead of 57 seconds over Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) and BMC’s Ben Hermans.

A group of 8 broke away after 20 kilometres, including: Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Jens Voigt (Trek), Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin), Jeff Louder (UnitedHeathcare), Alex Candelario (Optum), Jelly Belly’s Serghei Tevtcov (Jelly Belly) and Joey Rosskopf & Oscar Clark (Hincapie Sportswear). They were not given much of a lead and eventually Bookwalter, Louder and Clark pushed on as the others sat up. They were eventually joined by Voigt (again), Carlsen and KOM leader Robin Carpenter (Hincapie) on Bald Mountain. After the descent; the peloton chased down the leaders to catch them in the final kilometres setting up the sprint.

BMC Racing Team’s Rick Zabel finished a season-best fifth while teammate Ben Hermans was sixth and chased back after a late crash to hold onto his third place overall Friday. Zabel notched his third top 10 finish of the week, adding to a pair of seventh place finishes on Stages 1 and 3. And, like he did at the Miller Sports Motorsports Park finish on Wednesday, he had help in the lead out from teammates Michael Schär – who won Stage 2 – and Cadel Evans, who remained ninth in the overall standings with two days of the race to go. “I was fifth with 500 meters to go, but it was unbelievably fast,” Zabel said. “With 250 meters to go, I began my sprint and got out into the wind but it was just too fast. So I went back on the wheel. Then I just stayed fifth. But honestly, this was was the maximum for me because after Ben’s crash, I had to bring him back. So I lost some energy there.”

Hermans went down on his left side with 20 kilometres to go in the 163.1-km race that featured the first start in Wyoming in the race’s 10-year history. “We took a left turn and because of the nervous peloton, I got pushed out of the corner,” Hermans said. “I don’t know what happened. My bike got blocked and I crashed. I wanted to start again but I had to switch bikes. Fortunately, the peloton waited and my teammates took me to the front just in time before a gravel road, so that was good.” Hermans remains 57 seconds behind race leader Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp). He is tied on time with Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida), who holds down second place on the basis of tie-breaking criteria. Runner-up to Danielson on Thursday’s summit finish at Powder Mountain, Hermans said he was feeling good until the crash. “Before the crash, I had really good legs,” he said. “I saw a lot of people suffering in the altitude, but I was fresh and good. We will have to see how it goes tomorrow, if I still have the same good feeling in the legs.”

For the second straight day, BMC Racing Team’s Brent Bookwalter was part of a breakaway. What started as a three-man escape grew to six but was reduced to three on the long run-in to Kamas that featured a headwind. “We were working very well, but it was still no match for 100 riders flowing down the canyon,” Bookwalter said. “Everyone was getting pretty tired, but we were still giving it what we had until the first attacks started happening.” The trio was caught with three kilometres to go, setting up the bunch sprint. Zabel and Hermans’s top 10 finishes, combined with Danilo Wyss in 26th place, helped the BMC Racing Team earn the “best team” prize for the third time in five days. In the overall team standings, BMC Racing Team trails Lampre-Merida by 38 seconds.

Tour of Utah Stage 5 Result:
1. Eric Young (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies in 3:49:29
2. Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop
3. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare
4. Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin
5. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
6. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
7. Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Sportswear Development Team
8. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek
9. Serghei Tvetcov (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
10Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale.

Tour of Utah Overall After Stage 5:
1. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 22:32:22
2. Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida at 0:57
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
4. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida at 1:47
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 2:07
6. Alex Diniz Correia (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest-Sao Jose Dos Campos
7. George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale at 2:26
8. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2:31
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 2:43
10. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 2:51.

Stage 5:

BMC Racing Team’s Cadel Evans outsprinted Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Development Team) to win the queen Stage 5 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Saturday while teammate Ben Hermans rode to a 10th place result and hung onto third place overall.

Evans and Rosskopf and two others were the last four survivors from a breakaway group of 15 that formed early on and that included three other BMC Racing Team riders: Yannick Eijssen, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss. Evans bridged a two-and-a-half minute gap on the day’s second climb to join the escape 130 kilometres from the finish of the 172.6-km race. “We had a good, aggressive plan for the whole team,” Evans said after winning the BMC Racing Team’s second stage of the race. “Michi and Danilo and Yannick really played the plan to a ‘T’ getting in the first move, and then I managed to get across to it. We put some pressure on Garmin, which was the main goal of our plan.” Sitting ninth overall, the former Tour de France and world road champion was the virtual race leader for a time as the breakaway made its way over two more climbs to the base of the Snowbird ascent. “It was looking good for awhile there depending on how strong (race leader) Tom Danielson and the Garmin team could be on the last climb,” Evans said.

Evans said he had to ride strategically as the four neared the Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort with the gap to a chase group hovering at 25 seconds. “I had to save some legs for the finish and defend any strong attacks on the last section of the climb if I wanted to have any interest in the stage,” he said. “So there was a bit of two or three different levels I was playing there. In the end, I made a move up on the general classification, but the stage win was more important.” Evans took his fifth win of the season – and what is believed to be his first on U.S. soil since he made the switch from mountain biking to road cycling in 2001. It was the BMC Racing Team’s 20th victory of the year and followed Schär’s stirring victory on Stage 2 where he soloed the final 60 kilometres to win by two seconds.

Hermans, who was runner-up on Stage 4’s mountain-top finish Thursday, stayed third overall with a day of the race to go after spending the last eight kilometres chasing the two riders immediately behind him in the standings, Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team). Nursing wounds from a crash late in Friday’s stage, Hermans said he climbed at his own pace. “I didn’t want to blow up,” he said. “I stayed at 50 meters behind them for five or six kilometres, but I could not come closer.” At the finish, he had conceded time to both but remains 26 seconds ahead of Anacona and 34 ahead of Kelderman. “I hope I can hold them off tomorrow and have a better day,” Hermans said. “Today, I did not feel as good as the other days.”

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said he drew up a plan of attack in the pre-race meeting that would force Garmin-Sharp to work hard to defend the lead Danielson gained on Stage 4. “It was really our only option,” Stewart said. “The only way for Ben to have a good ride was if the other guys got softened up before the last climb. In all facets of the plan, we could only gain, not lose.” Sixth on the stage, Danielson leads Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) by 57 seconds and Hermans by 1:26 with only Sunday’s 125.5-km race to go. Evans climbed from ninth to sixth and is 2:29 back. “All of the guys bought into the plan today and the hard work paid off,” Stewart said.
Thanks to Sean Weide of BMC.

Tour of Utah Stage 6 Result:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 4:34:31
2. Jose Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Development at 0:03
3. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek at 0:07
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
5. Chris Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida at 0:14
6. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
7. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida at 0:19
8. Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:35
9. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
10. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:43.

Tour of Utah Overall After Stage 6:
1. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 27:07:07
2. Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida at 0:57
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:26
4. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida at 1:52
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 2:00
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 2:29
7. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2:52
8. Alex Diniz Correia (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest-Sao Jose Dos Campos at 3:28
9. George Bennett (Nzl) Cannondale at 3:40
10. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek at 4:10.

Stage 6:

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) held onto his overall lead in the Final Stage 7 starting and finishing in Park City. Cadel Evans was in the action from the start and doubled up on his stage wins. The big move of the day came on the last climb with Danielson, Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) and the Lampre-Merida duo of Chris Horner and Winner Anacona breaking away. Evans crossed to them on the descent and taking the sprint.

Cadel Evans won his second straight stage Sunday – the BMC Racing Team’s third at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah – and Dylan Teuns took home “best young rider” honors to cap a race that saw Ben Hermans and Evans both finish in the top 10 overall.

Evans’s stage win was even more dramatic than his come-from-behind sprint on Saturday to win the summit finish of the race’s queen stage. This time, the past Tour de France and world road champion chased back on the high-speed descent into Park City, then slipped his four breakaway companions on a left-hand turn onto Main Street by going wide, diving inside and sprinting to comfortably take the win. “I was pretty sure all the GC (general classification) riders were going to be pretty exhausted,” Evans said. “My main concern was the Lampre riders, who had the advantage in numbers. But I conserved my energy and waited for my time. I went once, but I went with everything.” Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) was second and Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida) finished third. Anacona’s teammate, Chris Horner, finished fourth on the stage and runner-up in the overall standings to Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), who won the overall title for the second straight year and rolled in as the fifth rider from the breakaway. Evans finished sixth in the overall standings.

Hermans fought hard on the final climb, trying to hold onto his third place overall. Injured in a crash on Friday, the runner-up finisher on Stage 4’s mountain-top finish said he did not enjoy the same form from that day when the attacks started. “Fortunately, I had a good team to help me, especially Yannick Eijssen, who pulled for me the whole climb and paced me well,” Hermans said after crossing the line seventh, 25 seconds behind Evans’s group. “I thought that was good enough but the two most dangerous guys on GC both took time bonuses,” he said. “When I won on Powder Mountain, there were no time bonuses, so I lost the podium by three seconds, which is really a pity.” Anocona finished third, 1:43 behind Danielson, while Hermans was at 1:46 and Kelderman was fifth at 1:49. “I can be happy I was fourth here,” Hermans said. “You never know how you will be at this altitude, especially with all these steep and long climbs. With my weight, I think it is really a good performance to make fourth here.”

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said helping Hermans hold onto third place overall was the team’s top priority. But going for the stage win and helping Teuns make a run at the best young rider title were also on the to-do list. “It was great Cadel had the legs he did and Dylan had the legs he did to take the best young rider jersey,” Stewart said. “Ben managed the best he could, but it was all we could do. All-in-all, it was really a good week.” Teuns said his first professional race experience was a memorable one. “Last month, I did Giro Valle D’Aosta, a race for Under 23 riders, but this was much harder,” Teuns said. “This was my first race with the team as a stagiaire and my first with Cadel. It is amazing. I learned a lot this week from him.” The BMC Racing Team, which enjoyed its other stage win on Tuesday with Michael Schár – finished second in the team classification, by eight seconds, to Lampre-Merida.

2nd on the stage and 5th overall Belkin’s Wilco Kelderman: “It’s a little bit of a pity that I didn’t win,” Kelderman said. “Every day, I’m getting a little bit better. Yesterday was good and today also, but we wanted to win. We rode for it the whole day.” Kelderman attacked on the Empire Pass before the short and sharp descent to Park City. He bridged to the group and rode free with Evans for company. Evans who won the stage yesterday, drove the group to the finish line. “On the first climb, we began to race,” Kelderman added. “On the last climb, the group was only 30 seconds away and the race started again. Chris Horner, Winner Anacona and Tom Danielson went, I quickly followed them at two kilometres to go from the top. I was in a good spot, I saved my energy for the sprint and I felt the strongest. My goal was to take that last corner first, but I didn’t do so. I saw Evans coming and that was it. It was upsetting that he came back, but I couldn’t do more. I’ll leave Utah with a smile. The race was good, really hard and it’s also at altitude, so helps your body get stronger. Great for the Vuelta.”

Tour of Utah Stage 7 Result:
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 3:10:52
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
3. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida
4. Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida
5. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:05
6. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 0:10
7. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:25
8. George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale
9. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac
10. Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC.

Tour of Utah Final Overall Result:
1. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 30:18:04
2. Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida at 0:52
3. Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida at 1:43
4. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:46
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 1:49
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 2:14
7. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2:57
8. Alex Diniz Correia (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest-Sao Jose Dos Campos at 3:48
9. George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale at 4:00
10. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac at 4:59.

The final stage 7:

header-ridelondonPrudential RideLondon Classic 2014
Adam Blythe (NFTO) won the RideLondon 200 kilometre race by outsprinting Sky’s Ben Swift just ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and ex-World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC). In wet conditions the Sky team had been working for a bunch sprint, trying to keep things together. Philippe Gilbert attacked on Box Hill and got a group together that included Swift and eight other. With more aggressive riding, Gilbert had the leaders down to five: Gilbert, Swift, Blythe, Alaphilippe and Kristijan Koren (Cannondale). On the run it to the finish on the Mall; the sprint was always going to be between Swift and Blythe. Blythe stayed close to the barriers to keep an eye on Swift and held him off to the line.

Prudential RideLondon Result:
1. Adam Blythe (GB) NFTO in 4:39:53
2. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:01
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
5. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale at 0:03
6. Sam Bennett (Irl) NetApp – Endura at 0:12
7. Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC at 0:13
8. Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale at 0:31
10. Russell Downing (GB) NFTO.

The Prudential RideLondon:

header-denmarktourTour of Denmark 2014
Stage 2 came down to a bunch sprint into Aarhus of 72 riders after 195 kilometres. Astana’s fast man; Andrea Guardini got the better of Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) and Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matti Breschel. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Cult Energy Vital Water) held onto the overall lead.

Andrea Guardini (Astana) after winning stage two at the Tour of Denmark: “Today is my girlfriend’s birthday – and when I saw on the calendar that I would be at a bike race instead of with her, I decided that I would try and give her a good present.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 2 Result:
1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana in 4:42:57
2. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
3. Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. Daniel Schorn (Aut) NetApp-Endura
5. Morten Øllegaard (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
6. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
7. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 2:
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Cult Energy Vital Water in 8:16:25
2. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:03
3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:05
4. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana at 0:07
5. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:08
6. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol at 0:10
8. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:11
9. Daniel Schorn (Aut) NetApp-Endura
10. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol.

Andrea Guardini (Astana) wins stage 2:
stage - 2 of the Tour of Denmark 2014 

Friday’s 176 kilometre long Stage 3 of the Tour of Denmark from Skanderborg to Vejle is also the most demanding stretch through an undulating landscape before entering the hilly local circuit in the city of Vejle. A 500 meter long and steep hill with gradients of 24 percent created a fantastic catapult for the most powerful riders in the peloton. Today, it happened to be Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo).

It took more than 50 kilometres before the first real break was allowed to go and a quartet consisting of: Federico Zurlu (Unitedhealthcare), Kasper Klostergaard (Riwal Platform), Jay Robert Thomsen (MTN-Qhubeka) and Scott Ambrose (Novo Nordisk) created the gap.

Entering Vejle, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Chris Juul-Jensen went on the chase in a group with 5 other riders, which meant that the other Tinkoff-Saxo’s were given an alibi to stop chasing. But entering the dreaded steep Kiddesvej, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matti Breschel broke clear with two other riders and several other attempts were initiated to split the field.

At the foot of final ascent of Kiddesvej, about 40 riders formed the front group and Tinkoff-Saxo launched a decisive move from the bunch on the steep slope and maintained a significant gap to take the stage win and conquer the overall lead.

Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Lars Michaelsen states: “It was a team win. The boys were always one step ahead of everyone else and we had several cards to play in the finale but Manuele was both the right winner and the strongest rider today. He’s the right winner because he’s one of the strongest time trialists in the bunch and the TT is going to be crucial even though it’s short,” said Michaelsen.

Tinkoff-Saxo Dane, Chris Juul-Jensen launched an early attack in the finale: “I said to myself before the stage that I was better off waiting instead of launching an early attack but suddenly I found myself in a small chase group even before entering the local circuit. However, I didn’t spend too much energy in there and I had enough fuel left in the tank to keep up with the chasers behind Manuele,” said the always sympathetic Chris Juul-Jensen.

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) needed stitches to close a deep cut to his left knee and withdrew from the race: “I avoided the big crash and went to the left on the sidewalk – but then a rider hit me from behind and I flipped over a mailbox and a steel road guard onto the driveway of somebody’s house.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 3 Result:
1. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo in 4:18:33
2. Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:12
3. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Belisol
4. Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
5. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water at 0:14
6. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
7. Daniel Schorn (Aut) NetApp-Endura
8. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana
10. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 3:
1. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo in 12:34:59
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:18
3. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana at 0:20
4. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:21
5. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:22
6. Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
7. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol at 0:23
8. Daniel Schorn (Aut) NetApp-Endura at 0:24
9. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water
10. Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Stage 3 winner and overall leader: Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo):
stage - 3 of the Tour of Denmark 2014 

Astana’s Andrea Guardini won his second stage in this year’s Tour of Denmark on Saturday in Stage 4. The mornings 100 kilometre road stage from Nyborg to Odense came down to a sprint, but a break of three: Christopher Williams (Novo Nordisk), Daniel Foder (TreFor-Blue Water), Mikkel Mortensen (Riwal Platform) managed to gain 3 minutes on the bunch. Under the efforts of Tinkoff-Saxo they were pulled back before the finish for Guardini to be led-out perfectly by his team mate Alexey Lutsenko. Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) held onto the overall going into the afternoon’s 15 kilometre time trial.

Andrea Guardini (Astana) after winning stage four: “Lutsenko is so strong – on the final turn at 500m to go he went to the front and made the victory for me.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 4 Result:
1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana in 2:08:27
2. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
6. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
8. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Andrea Piechele (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Daniel Foder (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 4:
1. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo in 14:43:26
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:18
3. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:21
4. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:22
5. Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
6. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:23
7. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
8. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water at 0:24
9. Daniel Schorn (Aut) NetApp-Endura
10. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo.

Astana sprinter Andrea Guardini:

In the Saturday Stage 5 afternoon time trial Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) powered to the stage win after his team mate Andrea Guardini won the bunch sprint in the morning. Overall leader Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) held onto his lead, but now only has 10 seconds over Lutsenko and 13 over team mate Christopher Juul Jensen going into the last stage.

Stage winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana): “Left, right, up down, a long straightaway and lots of wind – this was a time trial for strong riders – for bisons.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 5 Result:
1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana in 18:37
2. Rasmus Quaade (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water at 0:01
3. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:09
4. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water at 0:12
5. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:14
6. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:17
7. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Riwal Cycling Team at 0:20
8. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN – Qhubeka at 0:23
10. Mads Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy Vital Water at 0:31.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 5:
1. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo in 15:02:23
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:10
3. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:13
4. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:15
5. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:27
6. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol at 0:40
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:44
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:46
9. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:52
10. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water at 0:54.

Stage 5 winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana):
stage - 5 of the Tour of Denmark 2014 

In a big turn-around; Michael Valgren (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the Tour of Denmark after a 13 rider break escaped on the finishing Frederiksberg circuit. The Final Stage 6 was won by Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) from Valerio Agnoli (Astana) and Martin Mortensen (Cult Energy Vital Water), but the big story was Valgren taking the overall by 15 seconds from Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol) and 17 seconds from stage 3 winner; Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo). With 80 kilometres to go Valgren crossed to the break which 1 minute lead on the 10 x 6 kilometre finishing circuit. The battle was between Bak and Valgren for the overall win and Bak knew he had to get away, which he tried and failed. In the end Valgren jumped over his team mate Manuele Boaro in the overall with Bak in second.

Overall winner Michael Valgren (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I’m very happy and surprised to win the race overall today. I was in a good position, but our main goal was to ride for Manuele. When the attacks started we needed to follow to have a man in the front. In the end, the peloton didn’t catch us. Tour of Denmark is a difficult race because of the unpredictability and versatile terrain. This win motivates me a lot and I really want to build on this result. I’m feeling strong and I think I can perform well in the second part of the season.”

Second overall Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol): “Of course I wanted to win, but it was not so easy. This morning I didn’t expect to stand on the podium. A stage win was of course the goal in this race and then finish as high as possible in GC. Sean De Bie rode a really good time trial yesterday evening and was fourth before this last stage. The plan was to get him on the podium via the bonification seconds. After the two intermediate sprints, in which he took one second and stayed fourth, we started racing.”

“I got in a group of thirteen, in which I was second best in GC. The cooperation wasn’t perfect. In the last one and a half lap there were lots of attacks. I followed the move of Rasmus Quaade. But the others didn’t let us go. It wasn’t easy to save energy for the sprint, because I wanted to take as many seconds on the bunch as possible. Of course I would also have liked to win the stage. This second place in GC was the maximum the team could get today. I’m second overall and I’m happy with that. I was 40 seconds down this morning, it’s difficult to perform miracles (laughs). This is nice.”

Third overall Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I was of course aiming for the overall win but the main goal was to secure the victory for the team. It was a hectic finale and we took the right decision to send Valgren on the attack to ensure that we had a top GC-contender in the breakaway. It has been a really successful race for the team and I’m very proud of my win on the third stage. I’m feeling really well at the moment and I want to use my current shape during the next races here in August and September.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 6 Result:
1. Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF in 3:49:34
2. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana
3. Martin Mortensen (Den) Cult Energy Vital Water
4. Troels R. Vinther (Den) Cult Energy Vital Water
5. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
6. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
7. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN-Qhubeka
8. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) NetApp-Endura
9. Rasmus Quaade (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water
10. Mark S. Pedersen (Den) Team Trefor-Blue Water.

Tour of Denmark Final Overall Result:
1. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo in 18:52:22
2. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol at 0:15
3. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:17
4. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:21
5. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:30
6. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:31
7. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:35
8. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana at 0:40
9. Troels R. Vinther (Den) Cult Energy Vital Water at 0:56
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:01.

Overall winner Michael Valgren Andersen (Tinkoff-Saxo):

header-enecoThe Eneco Tour 2014
The Eneco Tour starts today (Monday) in Terneuzen and finishes seven stages later in Sittard-Geleen. Lots of Belgian style cobbled climbs, like in the Tour of Flanders and smoother climbs more like in the Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. A tough stage race like a collection of Northern Classics.

Race website: https://www.enecotour.com

Stage 1: Monday 11th August: Terneuzen – Terneuzen (183.1 km)
Stage 2: Tuesday 12th August: Waalwijk – Heusden (175.8 km)
Stage 3: Wednesday 13th August: Breda – Breda (9.6 km) (ITT)
Stage 4: Thursday 14th August: Koksijde – Ardooie (179.1 km)
Stage 5: Friday 15th August: Geraardsbergen – Geraardsbergen (162.5 km)
Stage 6: Saturday 16th August: Heerlen – La Redoute (Aywaille) (173,9 km)
Stage 7: Sunday 17th August: Riemst – Sittard-Geleen (183.4 km).

Lotto Belisol to the Eneco Tour
The WorldTour is up and running. Two days after the end of the Tour of Poland, the Eneco Tour starts Monday 11th of August. This seven day stage race, covering Belgium and the Netherlands, is heading for its tenth edition.

Something for everyone
There is something for every type of rider. The opening stage starts and finishes in Terneuzen, a first chance for the sprinters to get their stage win. Also the day after, in the Dutch town of Heusden, the finish offers chances for the sprinters. There is a 9.6 kilometer individual time trial in Breda scheduled on Wednesday. Thursday the Eneco Tour caravan will move to Belgium. Just as last year, there is a stage from Koksijde to Ardooie. This will also be a new opportunity for the sprinters to show off.

The day after Geraardsbergen is the hosting town. There have to be covered no more than 19 climbs. After a big loop of about 110 kilometers with among others the Kruisberg, Berendries and Tenbosse, the peloton passes the finish line at the Vesten in Geraardsbergen for the first time. The last three laps are small and contain the Muur van Geraardsbergen. The penultimate stage starts in Heerlen and heads to the Belgian Ardennes. That day the peloton is served a total of 16 climbs. Among those climbs there are some of the Amstel Gold Race like the Loorberg and Eyserbosweg. The overall standings of the Eneco Tour will know their final judgement in Sittard-Geleen.

Sports director, Herman Frison outlines his expectations for the Eneco Tour.
Herman Frison, sports director: “First of all we will try to win at least one stage in the Eneco Tour. Besides that we aim at a good GC. In the bunch sprints we have both André Greipel and Jens Debusschere to strive for a win. Greipel didn’t race since the Tour. We will decide who’s to be our main sprinter day by day. Concerning the overall standings we count on Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens, who showed their good shape in the Tour de Wallonie and Clasica San Sebastián. Depending on the form of Jürgen Roelandts, who also rode the Tour de France, we could have a third contester for the GC.”

“It’s difficult to estimate where the crucial moments for the overall standings will take place. The first stages in the Netherlands can also be treacherous. The time trial is less than ten kilometers, so there’s not a lot of time that can be lost, however those seconds will have their impact. After the time trial, the leader of the GC and his team will take control of the race. In the stage with start and finish in Geraardsbergen, there will be rode in another way than in the spring. In the stage to La Redoute there will be suddenly differences to be made towards the end. Also the bonifications will be important.”

Lotto Belisol Selection:
Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Gert Dockx, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sport directors: Herman Frison and Kurt Van de Wouwer.

Rohan Dennis makes his debut for the BMC Racing Team at the Eneco Tour of Benelux
Race Begins Monday
Dennis was signed to the BMC Racing Team earlier this month in a transfer from Garmin-Sharp. Runner-up in the individual time trial at the Commonwealth Games, Dennis will be joined by past world road champion Philippe Gilbert and six others in the week-long race that begins Monday.

Marcus Burghardt (GER), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sport Directors: Noel Dejonckheere (BEL), Allan Peiper (AUS) & Valerio Piva (ITA).

OPQS to Eneco Tour
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in Eneco Tour, a 1069.2km, seven-stage race from August 11th through August 17th.The race includes two flat stages, a 16.1km ITT, and four hilly stages.

“In this race we have a team that can be good all-around,” Sport Director Wilfried Peeters said. “But even in the flat stages there can be moments that can surprise you, such as a breakaway that could maybe stay away, so we have to be ready for everything. But we have riders that can be ready for any kind of race situation, such as Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra. Stybar has already showed his condition at Tour de Wallonie and he is the defending champion. Of course for the earlier stages we have Tom Boonen, who comes back to competition pain free. He has trained well, so we will see what he can do at those kinds of races. Niki was 3rd overall in the 2012 edition. He has a nose for these kinds of races and he can be a protagonist also in the TT. Overall we have a strong team that can be protagonists, from Stage 1 to the final stage arriving in Sittard-Geleen.”

Tom Boonen (BEL), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Gert Steegmans (BEL), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Niki Terpstra (NED), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL) & Tom Steels (BEL).

Team Katusha for Eneco Tour
The Russian Team Katusha will start in the UCI WorldTour stage race Eneco Tour, which will be held from August 11th until 17th in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Russian team line-up:
Pavel Brutt, Mikhail Ignatyev, Pavel Kochetkov, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Aleksandr Porsev, Rüdiger Selig, Gatis Smukulis and Alexey Tsatevich.
Sports directors are: Uwe Peschel and Torsten Schmidt.

Belkin with well-rounded team in Eneco Tour
The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM will start the Eneco Tour on Monday with a strong group and not bet on one horse in the Dutch-Belgian World Tour race.

“Our strength is the width of the team,” said Sports Director Merijn Zeeman. “We will not rely on a single leader. We’ll use the power of all eight boys. Every day, we’ll try to find opportunities and make a good plan. That way we’ll automatically play a role in the overall with multiple guys. The last three stages are particularly heavy. If we still have some men high up then we stand a good chance.”

Zeeman thinks there are four real contenders within the team. “Lars Boom already won the race once and, extra motivating, stage two finishes in his home town this year. Sep Vanmarcke, who rode a good Tour of Flanders, makes his return on familiar ground next week. Bauke Mollema is always good in Limburg and the Ardennes. Bram Tankink could well have some nefarious plans. Barry Markus is allowed to get in the mix in the sprints. The other guys are all riders who know how to force something.”

French form
Zeeman expects that the six riders who have ridden the Tour de France can still benefit from their efforts in the Eneco Tour. “Physically and mentally, the Tour has been a highlight after which some recovery is required. We are now two weeks away and when the boys feel fresh again, they can benefit from their French form. When I talk to the guys, I think they’re going to be fine. Moreover, the Eneco Tour is a home race and we really want to give the fans something back for their support. That also lifts our spirit.”

Bram Tankink
Tankink said that he intends to pull something off in the Eneco Tour. “I certainly have some nefarious plans. The Eneco Tour is a beautiful race that also suits me. Besides that, I ended the Tour in a good shape, so who knows. I have done some crits to stay busy and I’m confident that I will be good next week. The race will be decided in the final three days, which are tough and we have several guys who like that.”

Belkin line-up:
Lars Boom, Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Barry Markus, Bauke Mollema, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants.
Sports Directors: Jan Boven and Merijn Zeeman.

Giant-Shimano Eneco Tour Team
Tom Dumoulin (NED) returns to the week-long Eneco Tour after finishing second in last year’s edition.
Dumoulin comes into the race following a strong performance at Le Tour where he took second place in the penultimate stage time trial as well as showing across several other stages. The race gets underway with two road stages before an individual time trial on stage three where Dumoulin will be looking to put his newly designed time trial suit to good use.

Roy Curvers (NED) and Tom Veelers (NED) also start the Eneco Tour after having raced Le Tour, and they are joined by Brian Bulgac (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Luka Mezgec (SLO) who comes to the race straight off the back of the Tour de Pologne, and Tom Stamsnijder (NED).

Mezgec will have an eye on the sprint opportunities throughout the race while Simon Geschke (GER) is capable of getting up there on the more testing days.

“The Eneco Tour is a good opportunity for Tom [Dumoulin] to race once again for the overall classification,” said Team Giant-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna (NED). “He has a strong and experienced team around him here to support him in this.

“We will also have opportunities for the sprints with Luka and for this he will have strong support from riders from the Tour, Roy and Tom [Veelers]. It will be a good race for the team to really show itself and challenge each day in both the flat stages and the harder days for the overall.”

Giant-Shimano line-up:
Brian Bulgac (NED), Roy Curvers (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Tom Veelers (NED).
Coach: Rudi Kemna (NED).

Europcar team for the Eneco Tour
Riders: Bryan Coquard, Antoine Duchesne, Tony Hurel, Vincent Jerome, Morgan Lamoisson, Yannick Martinez, Brian Nauleau, Alexandre Pichot.
Directeurs Sportifs: Dominique Arnould & Léonard Cosnier.

Stage 7 of the 2013 Eneco Tour:

header-tinkoffsaxoTinkoff-Saxo signs Peter Sagan
At last we can all sleep at night knowing that the Slovak star and Tinkoff-Saxo have signed a 3-year contract with the shared ambition of further strengthening the team and taking the career of the three-time green jersey winner to an even higher level.

Team manager Bjarne Riis said: “We are happy and proud to present and welcome Peter Sagan on the team in 2015 on a long-term 3-year contract. Peter is without doubt one of the biggest talents in cycling and one of the biggest names already. He has a winning mentality, he’s visible and active in the finales and he, without doubt, has the ability to bring home victories.” Adding: “It will be exciting to work with Peter also for me personally. He has a huge talent and he’s already very strong but I believe he has even more potential than what we’ve seen so far. He still has a lot to learn about the tactical aspects of cycling to fully optimize his power but I believe that we are fully able to help him improve even more. Next year, we’ll have a very strong team to support him and to aim for big wins throughout the season.”

Team owner Oleg Tinkov: “Peter Sagan is a great rider and it is my honour to have him on our team. I believe that Tinkoff-Saxo is the best team for Peter and I’m absolutely sure that he’ll win many races with us. I am excited.”

Alberto Contador, leader of Tinkoff-Saxo, said that he has known about the signing of Sagan for a while and that he’s excited about the news now being official. “It is very great news, and expected, but I’m happy that it’s now official. Apart from the good relationship we have between us, Peter is also a great rider and a natural born winner. I’m sure that Peter’s arrival will lead to some great things on the team.” Contador is certain that he, Sagan and the rest of the team will complement each other well. “We are perfectly compatible and together we can ensure that Tinkoff-Saxo plays an important and noticeable role in most of the races on the calendar. Peter is a super talent that I believe will fit very well in the team. We are all delighted to welcome him and to have him riding with us the coming years, because he will adapt very quickly to the way we work.”

Tinkoff-Saxo signs Pavel Brutt and Trusov Extends
Pavel Brutt will join the team in 2015 on a two-year contract after having been with Katusha since 2009. Owner Oleg Tinkov is pleased to bring the 32-year old and former Russian champion onboard the team. “Pavel is a rider with a lot of strength and power and he will be very helpful for us at the spring races and classics and at the 3 week races because of his durability. I believe he will show his talent during the next two seasons”, says Oleg Tinkov.

And Extends with Matti Breschel
Tinkoff-Saxo happily announces that Matti Breschel will stay with the team in 2015. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider has signed a one-year deal with the Danish rider securing his great talent for yet another year. Matti is equally pleased to continue on the team and looks forward to wearing the Tinkoff-Saxo tricot in 2015.

“It has been my plan to stay with the team and it’s nice to finally being able to announce it. We actually made the draft for the contract in October 2013, but now it’s official. I wanted to stay with Tinkoff-Saxo and this contract shows that it’s mutual. I enjoy being on this team, where I’ve spent most of my career”, says Matti Breschel after crossing the finish line on the 4th stage of Tour of Denmark. We’re going to have a really exciting team next season. My clear ambition is to help the team as much as possible, whether it’s by winning stages or supporting my teammates. I believe I can perform throughout the season, but the spring classics are of course on my radar as a part of the season, where I want to race on my highest level. I’m in good shape right now and I want to finish 2014 strongly”, adds Matti Breschel.

Team Manager Bjarne Riis is glad to have Matti on the team for another season and gives his praises to the former Danish champion.

“I very happy to announce that Matti will stay with us in 2015. There is no doubt about the fact that he has a very big talent and real class. He has had some unfortunate years with crashes and injuries. But I know we haven’t seen Matti’s full potential yet. After each injury he has fought his way back and in glimpses we’ve seen what level he actually has”, says Bjarne Riis and continues: “Matti can perform throughout the season but he’s a rider made for the classics. We will have a very strong classics-team next year and Matti will play a key part. I actually believe that his chances will be bigger with Sagan as team captain in the classics by motivating him and removing some of the attention in the races”, concludes Bjarne Riis.

KAT14_Logo_624_317Anton Vorobyev and Sergei Chernetckii re-sign with Katusha for two more years
Two young Russian riders, Anton Vorobyev and Sergei Chernetckii, both racing for the moment in the Tour de Pologne, will continue their career in the Russian WorldTour Team Katusha. Both riders signed new contracts with Team Katusha for the next two years (2015 and 2016).

“Anton and Sergei are the brightest examples of the fruitful work, carried out by the Russian Global Cycling Project. In their first two years with Katusha they already showed their talent and I am sure in the next seasons we will see the development of their full potential. I am happy that this will happen in our Team Katusha. Now we are working hard for the improvement and renewal of our team. 75% of the structure of the 2015 team is ready, but we are still looking for more opportunities and strength,” said general manager of Team Katusha Viacheslav Ekimov.

Sergei Chernetckii and Anton Vorobyev joined Team Katusha in 2013, coming from the continental team of the Russian Global Cycling Project – ITERA-Katusha.

Anton Vorobyev, after winning the gold medal in ITT on the U23 World Championships, he already took some notable podium spots for Team Katusha. Last June he became the Russian ITT pro Champion. Sergei Chernetckii also reached some strong results. Among them – the overall victory at the 2013 Tour des Fjords, a podium place at the 2014 GP Miguel Indurain and the silver medal at the Russian ITT Championships.

Bad Weather in Poland
There was a fair bit bad weather in the Tour de France, but in Poland it was like the end of the World:

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