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Chambéry - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - crash val sturz fall Alexey LUTSENKO (Kasachstan / Team Astana) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 9 from Nantua to Chambéry, 181.50 km - foto VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The 2017 Tour de France woke up on Sunday with a crazy day of attacks and crashes – EUROTRASH Top Story. All the results, quotes and video from the French Grand Tour. In Other cycling news: Alejandro Valverde and Ion Izagirre leave hospital, Piotr Havik to stagiaire for Katusha-Alpecin and what’s inside the suitcase of Tour rider Tiesj Benoot. A full Monday Tour trash bag to empty.

TOP STORY: A Crazy Day at the Tour!
Sunday’s Tour de France stage 9 to Chambéry shook up the French Grand Tour in many ways, except the overall leader. The most obvious losses to the race were due to crashes; Sky’s Geraint Thomas and BMC’s Richie Porte. Thomas broke his collarbone and Porte left the race with a right clavicle fracture and a right acetabulum (socket of the hip bone) fracture when he spectacularly hit the tarmac on the descent of the Mont du Chat. Stage 9 also saw UAE Team Emirates’ Manuele Mori and LottoNL-Jumbo’s Robert Gesink in an early tumble. LottoNl-Jumbo also lost Jos van Emden who abandoned.

Then there was the time limit and those that didn’t make it: Juraj Sagan (Bora-Hansgroe), Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) and Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data). Add to that four FDJ riders: Ignatas Konovalovas, Jacopo Guarnieri, Mickael Delage and stage winner and one time points leader, Arnaud Démare.

Then there was the lost time for many: Dan Martin dropped from 4th to 6th losing 1:19, Simon Yates is now 7th from 6th with a loss of 1:19 and Nairo Quintana actually moved up one place, but lost 1:19 on Froome. Alberto Contador was 8th at 52 seconds, before Sunday, now he is 12th at 5:15, but the worst affected GC hopeful was probably Rafal Majka who ended the day in 43rd place at 37:26, dropping from 10th at 1:01.

Of course Romain Bardet, Rigoberto Uran and Jakob Fuglsang all jumped up the overall standings. There is still nearly two weeks of racing to go and a lot of big climbs. Stay PEZ for all the Tour action.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko also crashed, but managed to finish last in 181st place at 37:49:
Chambéry - France  - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - crash val sturz fall Alexey LUTSENKO (Kasachstan / Team Astana)  pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 9 from Nantua to Chambéry, 181.50 km  - foto  VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Tour de France 2017
Already winner of the first sprint of this Tour de France in Liege, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) repeated the feat in Stage 6 to make it two in Troyes. Yet it was a very different scenario this time as the German, perfectly led-out by his team, surged in the last 150 meters to out-power green jersey holder Arnaud Démare of France (FDJ) and fellow-German André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), who were battling it out near the fences and had to settle for podium places. Alexander Krirstoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) finished at the foot of the podium at the end of this long hot 216-km ride from Vesoul.

The day’s break took shape from the gun when Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) attacked, followed by Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), already in the break on the road to Longwy. The gap quickly increased and reached four minutes after 30 km and never went over 4:15. Teams Quick-Step Floors, Lotto Soudal and FDJ made sure that the gap never went over three minutes and kept the break under control. They even eased up a little after the feed zone in Chaumont (Km 106) for fear of bridging the gap too early.

Quemeneur snatched one point in the 4th category Cote de Langres (km 69) while Backaert sprinted for the day’s bonus prize in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, home of general De Gaulle. Arnaud Démare out-sprinted the peloton to strengthen his green jersey ahead of Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal). On the second climb of the day, Côte de la colline Sainte-Germaine (4th cat, km 154), Quemeneur grabbed another point. France’s Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo) briefly attempted to join the leading trio but gave up after 15 km.

In the last 30 km, the tempo raised and the leading trio maintained 1:30 over the main pack. But it was a lost cause and with 13 km left, as Julien Vermote (Quick-Step Floors), Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin) and Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal) led the chase, the gap quickly diminished. Influential in the breakaway group, Vegard Stake Laengen was awarded the prize as the most aggressive rider of the day. The sprint was far less eventful than the previous one in Vittel even if Démare and Greipel were involved in a fierce battle near the fences. But while they were losing their momentum, Kittel produce his last gasp effort to earn his 11th stage victory on the Tour de France and challenge Démare in the race for the green jersey.

PEZ race report HERE.

Stage winner, Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors): “I was really confident in myself today. I talked to the guys and told them we should take the lead with five kilometers to go and defend our position, which they did. That also meant that Fabio Sabatini had to start early and he once again he did a very good job. We can all be proud of this victory. In the sprint, I tried to follow Arnaud Demare, but then I found an opening and could start my sprint one second ahead of the rest, which gave me the chance to pass them on the left side. You know, despite two of the main sprinters being out of the race, it still was very hectic and tense today. A victory doesn’t come easy and I don’t take anything for granted, so to win again gives me a special feeling. It’s true that I notched up some important points today, but it’s still a long way to go. In a week we will see how things stand in the classification and will reassess the situation. For the time being, I’m happy and proud to have won 11 stages at the Tour de France.”

2nd on the stage and points leader, Arnaud Démare (FDJ): “We can do the sprint ten times. Second is not so bad, I went through a mouse hole. I finished fast, I did not want to cut off my effort, I felt able to win. Along the barrier, I touched an object held by a spectator. It rubbed a lot still today… I felt Greipel ease, but I saw Kittel pass. He had a bit of luck, as in Liege, coming from far away but he was going faster than us. I am very happy, I have good legs. In the place that was that of Kittel I could have won why not but where I am, it is good to make second.”

4th on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin): “The sprint was OK for me but I was a little bit disappointed. We tried our best. Marco Haller was there again and did a really good job but I came a little bit behind. I think I hit a bit of paper in the left corner and slid some on my front wheel so it was lucky I did not crash but I did lose some speed there. But anyway, at the end I felt good. We will have more stages, including one tomorrow.”

9th on the stage, Rüdiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I tried to go for the sprint today on my own and without a lead-out train, because the team’s primary goal was to keep Rafał safe, avoid any incidents and bring him to the finish line together with the main GC rivals and without losing any time. I was actually on the wheel of Kittel with 800m to go and tried to stay behind him, but when the final sprint kicked off, I didn’t have the power to follow. I would have liked to have been closer at the finish, but it’s my first Tour de France, so a ninth place in a fast finale against some of the world’s best sprinters is always a good result.”

13th on the stage, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “The team put me in a great position in the last kilometers. Maybe, I could have waited a bit launching my sprint but then I might have been blocked by the other sprinters. It didn’t work out today but the team did really well so I’m happy with that. I will try again next time.”

5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “It was nice to get that one out of the way. Today was such a long day. We probably could have had the same result with half the distance so it’s just nice to get it done. As we say, there is nothing to gain but so much to lose. It was quite a hectic finish but the guys were once again absolutely incredible. Tomorrow will be another long day.”

Break rider, Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I was hesitating to go in the breakaway because it was very hot. But it’s important to show our colors and good spirit to the sponsors. I could also win the intermediate sprint and thus bring the team €1,500. I’m happy of my day! I did not really suffer from the heat because we have had similar temperatures for the last two months. Still I have consumed a lot of energy on a day like today. The Tour is still long, so it will be crucial to recover because I really want to get to Paris. Starting on Sunday it will be really tough.”

Tour de France Stage 6 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 5:05:34
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
6. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
8. Daniel McLay (GB) Team Fortuneo-Oscaro
9. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 6:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 23:44:32
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:12
3. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:14
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:25
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:39
6. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:43
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale at 0:47
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:52
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:54
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:01.

Tour stage 6:

Summary – Stage 6 – Tour de France 2017 por tourdefrance_en

Marcel Kittel was over the moon as he claimed his third stage victory in the 104th Tour de France Stage 7 in Nuits-Saint-Georges, the wine growing town after which the St George crater has been named on the moon. It was a very tight bunch sprint finish in Burgundy as photo-finish was necessary to determine that the German has beaten Edvald Boasson Hagen. Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey.

193 riders started stage 7 in Troyes. Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) attacked from the gun to give birth to a four-man breakaway with Manuele Mori (UAE Team Emirates), Yohann Gène (Direct Energie) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac). It didn’t take a long time for the peloton to get organized with three domestiques setting the pace: Olivier Le Gac (FDJ), Lars Bak (Lotto-Soudal) and Julien Vermote (Quick-Step Floors), at the service of sprinters Arnaud Démare, André Greipel and Marcel Kittel respectively. They were followed by the whole Team Sky wearing the yellow helmets of the leaders of the teams’ classification and protecting race leader Chris Froome. As the maximum time gap was 3.40 at km 30, the escapees quickly understood their chances of success were minimal.

The race situation remained stable until the race reached the vineyards of Burgundy with 50km to go. The undulating and curvy terrain, as well as some wind with many changes of direction, inclined the peloton to speed up. Their deficit went below one minute within 40km to go. But they waited for the right moment to catch the four breakaway riders and no attempt to split up the bunch was reported. The leading quartet surrendered with 6km to go.

The FDJ team of green jersey holder Arnaud Démare was very visible in the run in but Dimension Data caught the right moment for South African champion Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to lead Edvald Boasson Hagen out. The Norwegian was close to claim his third Tour de France stage victory after he did so in Lisieux and Pinerolo in 2011 but the photo-finish eventually designated Marcel Kittel who himself didn’t know if he had won or not. But it was his third success in this Tour de France and his twelfth one since he first started in 2012. He equals Erik Zabel to become the most successful German stage winner ever at the Grande Boucle.

PEZ race report HERE.

Troyes - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Photo finish showing KITTEL Marcel (GER) Rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling team beating BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (NOR) Rider of Team Dimension Data with a hair length  pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 6  from Vesoul to Troyes, 216.00 km- foto Photopool ASO/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and points leader, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors): “First of all, I want to thank the guys, they were fantastic today. Julien spent close to 1000 kilometers in the wind since the start of the race, which is incredible, while the rest of the team protected me throughout the day and made sure I was right up there when it became serious. Having such a team around me makes me very proud. It was the closest sprint of my career. Reminds me of last year’s stage in Limoges, but not even that one was so tight. I’m not surprised to see Edvald up there, he’s in good shape and very strong, which we could already notice in Troyes. Seeing that only six millimeters made the difference between joy and disappointment today makes me happy and grateful for having the long arms which helped me get that decisive bike-throw. It’s still a long way to Paris. We’re just seven stages into the race, so maybe we can talk more about this on the second rest day. Until then, I’m enjoying every moment and every victory I get at the Tour.”

2nd on the stage, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “The team did so well today. They took me all the way to the line with a perfect lead-out. It’s a pity I couldn’t finish it off. However, I’m happy with this second place even though I would have liked to take the win. I’m not a pure sprinter, so to be able to be up there on these flat stages gives me a lot of confidence for the remaining part of the Tour.”

7th on the stage, Rüdiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt better today. I had some stomach problems the last couple of days and didn’t feel I had much power in my legs – now I’m getting better again. At 1,500m to go, I had to brake behind Greipel and lost all my speed, but managed to get on the front again. Like yesterday though, when Kittel started his sprint, I’d almost spent all my energy. I ran out of gears in the end – my 54×11 felt a bit light – but I’m happy to be feeling better and am pleased with my seventh place today.”

8th on the stage, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “It was a difficult stage. I was really thorough in the final. I could not have done better. I had a few moments on the good wheel, that of Marcel Kittel, but other riders managed to take it back. It was not a finish that I liked, it went straight as on a large boulevard. I did not make any particular mistake, I was at the block, my legs were around my neck.”

15th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I am happy with the result because three days ago I crashed and the past days I didn’t have a good feeling. Today I felt better. That is good because I need strong legs for the two hard climbing stages coming up. I think next week I have other possibilities to contest better sprints. I was in the wheel of green jersey Arnaud Démare with 1 kilometer to go. I hoped that he would do a good sprint, but I think he didn’t have yesterday’s legs. I stayed in his wheel till the finish line.”

5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “There was a bit of wind there and everyone wanted to be at the front. It was an absolute nightmare all day so it’s just nice to get that one done. Tomorrow is a bit of an unknown to be honest. It’s kind of a finish that we don’t normally do in the Tour de France, a 12km climb and then a bit of a plateau to the finish so I’m not sure what’s going to happen there so it should be interesting. This weekend is the first real big shake up. We have climb after climb on Sunday and I think it’s going to be a hard weekend for everyone. You just have to see how it will be raced. There is a fair distance to the finish after the climb on Sunday so it could be a negative race.”

22nd overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “It was again a nervous stage. The start was easy but halfway we arrived in more windy parts of the stage. Not enough to break the pack, but still everyone was nervous. The pace was high in the final. I managed to avoid crashes and to not lose time, that is essential. Tomorrow I want to show the Wanty-Groupe Gobert colors again. I think on paper tomorrow is a complicated stage. The start of the stage could be fast, with a lot of riders wanting to join the breakaway that has a good chance tomorrow. The final climb of 12 kilometers is long, but without high percentages and quite regular. We reach the climb via small routes. There are a lot of possibilities tomorrow.”

Tour de France Stage 7 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 5:03:18
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
7. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
10. Daniel McLay (GB) Fortuneo-Oscaro.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 7:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 28:47:50
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:12
3. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:14
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:25
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:39
6. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:43
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:47
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:52
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:54
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:01.

Stage 7:

Summary – Stage 7 – Tour de France 2017 por tourdefrance_en

Frenchman Lilian Calmejane of Direct Energie soloed to victory on Stage 8 to Les Rousses, mimicking his compatriot Sylvain Chavanel who did it seven years ago and winning at the age of 24 the same way he did as a neo pro at the Vuelta a España last year. It was a very eventful race with top class contenders in the different breakaways but Chris Froome managed to retain the yellow jersey ahead of grueling climbs on the way to Chambéry.

193 riders started stage 8 in Dole. As expected on a stage dedicated to attackers, many skirmishes took place from the gun. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Gianluca Brambilla (Quick-Step Floors), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac) formed the first breakaway of the day. It didn’t work out but Chavanel went again, accompanied by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). Beaten by André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) increased his lead in the points classification over runner up Arnaud Démare (FDJ) who struggled badly in the first climb of the day, as well as Team Sky’s Luke Rowe. Mathias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar), Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) rode away after 50km of racing. Sütterlin was substituted by Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) in the leading quartet but it was all together again at km 70.

46 riders managed to go clear after 75km of racing. 16 of them formed a leading group with 98km to go: Jan Bakelants and Mathias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Koen de Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Michael Valgren (Astana), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Emanuel Buchmann and Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Warren Barguil and Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) and Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac). Barguil and Pauwels rode away in the Col de la Joux with 92km to go. The Frenchman and the Belgian were still part of a group of seven riders who climbed the côte de Viry at the front before a regrouping. At the initiative of Van Avermaet, they went again before the top of the hill where Barguil out-sprinted Bakelants and an eight-man group was formed with 48km to go: Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale), Nicolas Roche and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Warren Barguil (Sunweb), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) and Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac).

Michael Valgren (Astana) rejoined the leading group at St-Claude with 25km to go. In the first category Montée de la Combe de Laisia les Molunes, Calmejane rode away solo as there were 17km remaining before the finish. He suffered cramps with 5km to go but managed to overcome the pain to maintain his 40 seconds advantage over lone chaser Gesink. It’s his first Tour de France victory and the second for a French rider this year after Arnaud Démare on stage 4 in Vittel. Calmejane also took the polka dot jersey while Chris Froome retained the lead in the overall ranking.

PEZ stage race report HERE.

Stage winner,Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie): “It’s incredible. Since the start of the Tour we’ve been at the front, but I never thought it would lead to a success like this, I’m a rider who likes to animate the race, and I said to my teammates I wanted to try something today. They did such great work today, they allowed me to realize my dream, of winning a stage at the Tour. I never imagined such a scenario. I thought that when we went to seven in the break we might have a chance of contesting the stage, but to win solo like that, it’s incredible. From kilometer-zero right until the finish it was full gas, at the end there it was a mental battle, you couldn’t let your head go. More than legs, it was about the head today.”

2nd on the stage, Robert Gesink (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It was a though day, it took a while before we were able to break away. On the last climb, I tried to close the gap at once. My legs were good and I overtook Pauwels and Roche. I just could not close the gap to Calmejane. Then I exploded a bit. I tried to recover, but I came in second. I was not that fresh anymore myself. I had loads of energy, but by that time it was all gone. I rode a very good race today. The plan was to ride my own tempo, accelerate and close the gap at once. That plan unfortunately did not work today. There are many more opportunities to come. This was only the first. I do not like the Jura Mountains that much, because it’s hilly all the time. Tomorrow, I will try to get some rest, if that is even possible in a stage like tomorrow. After that, there are new chances and we are going to play the game again.”

3rd on the stage, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I was able to take advantage of the defensive attitude of the big riders. This achievement is great for our team, who has a small budget compared to teams like Sky or BMC. We evolve with our own resources and try to ride smart. The atmosphere in the team is fantastic, we go for the breakaways and have fun. Then the good performances follow. I hoped I could get a bigger advantage and gain some places in the overall ranking, but I am very pleased with this third place. Hilaire Van der Schueren would rather save our energy and defend our places while I rather like to go in the offensive. He always said: “Follow, follow, follow!” with his experiences in three weeks of competition. Tomorrow, I will perhaps pay the price for my efforts. But then I already achieved this! It was again very hot today. I have to thank my teammates for protecting me and getting me bidons. Everyone in the team can be satisfied with his performance since Le Grand Départ. We show the team colors in breakaways, won the combativity prize twice and the team classification in Liège. I’m new to the Tour, but I want to keep going on like this!”

4th on the stage, Nicolas Roche (BMC): “The plan was to try and get Greg Van Avermaet in the breakaway hoping that it would be less of a climbers’ group and he could play his card in the finish. The race went bananas and there was a group of 45 riders so we had to have numbers there as we didn’t want to get caught like we did in the Dauphine. We learned there that it is easier to have riders drop back than try and bridge across. So we tried to ride aggressively and keep the race going. I rode as aggressively as I could. I had to say, I had to stop thinking that I was in the Tour and there are still two weeks to go. I was saying ‘alright, whatever happens today, happens and think about tomorrow, tonight’. I went really deep. Once I was up in that group there was two possibilities; one, I really wanted to make it to the top in case Richie was isolated from the chasing group and two; in the case that we arrive, I would give it a go. I really gave it everything.”

8th on the stage and 10th overall, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a very tough stage, with a strong pace from the start and Emu did a great job in the breakaway, putting pressure on our main GC rivals. I didn’t have my best form in the first part of the stage and the second category climb was quite tough on my legs. However, on the final first category climb I felt my form back to what I would have expected and was able to follow the GC group while preserving my energy. I feel confident for tomorrow. I know it will be extremely difficult but I am determined and the morale is very good within the team.”

5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “It was a hard day and I think in the final it kind of evened out. I think tomorrow, we’ll feel that one in the legs for sure. It was always the plan to have Greg Van Avermaet and Nicolas Roche up front so it was good to see it happen. They chased pretty hard behind and it didn’t quite work out. We’re going to have to go all in tomorrow. It’s such a hard day and everyone had a pretty solid day today so I think there will be some tired legs out there. It was a pretty wild stage. I think we averaged 46km for the first hour so it was pretty solid racing with the climbs we had today.”

Break rider, Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data): “I’m happy with my performance. I wanted to be in the break, hoping to take the yellow jersey as I thought Team Sky would let the breakaway go. However, with such a big group of 50 riders, we never really got a big advantage. I kept going, hoping that at one point they would stop chasing behind. I had tried so hard and for so long that it would be stupid just to give up. At the end, I got the same time as if I had stayed with the favorites but I still prefer my way of racing. One day it will pay off.”

Break rider, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “I think the final climb was pretty hard for me. I gave it everything to be in the breakaway and make the race hard. It was hard for me to go on a finish like this and it broke my morale a little bit when the main group was only at 1’20”. It was really hard to stay in front so from this moment I took it easy to try and save the legs a little bit, because I went all in today.”

Tour de France Stage 8 Result:
1. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie in 4:30:29
2. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:37
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:50
4. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
7. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
10. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 33:19:10
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:12
3. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:14
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:25
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:39
6. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:43
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:47
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:52
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:54
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:01.

Stage 8:

Summary – Stage 8 – Tour de France 2017 por tourdefrance_en

An eventful Stage 9 of the 104th Tour de France saw the victory of Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran in Chambéry after a fierce battle in three Hors-Category climbs. In a 6-man sprint including yellow jersey holder Chris Froome, the Cannondale-Drapac rider took his revenge over Frenchman Warren Barguil who deprived him of a highly awaited success in stage 16 of the 2013 Vuelta a España at Aramon-Formigal. Robert Gesink, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte successively abandoned after different falls.

193 riders started stage 9 in Nantua. As Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) was the first man to attack right after the flag off up the first hill of the day, stage 8 runner up Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Manuele Mori (UAE Team Emirates) were forced to abandon the Tour de France after crashing. A leading group of 40 riders was formed after the côte des Noyelles at km 5. It enabled Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) to crest the first two climbs of the day in the first position. After losing Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo-Oscaro) in a crash at km 17, the front group was made of Jan Bakelants, Axel Domont and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jesus Herrada and Carlos Betancur (Movistar), Bauke Mollema and Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Alessandro De Marchi and Amaël Moinard (BMC), Bakhtiar Kozhatayev and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Kristjian Durasek and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott), Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Robert Kiserlovski and Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Tiejs Benoot, Thomas De Gendt, Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Michael Matthews, Nikias Arndt, Warren Barguil, Simon Geschke and Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb), Nicolas Edet and Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Pierre Rolland and Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Tsgabu Grmay and Javier Moreno (Bahrain-Merida), Brice Feillu and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro).

The 39-man leading pack started the first Hors-Category climb of the 104th Tour de France with an advantage of four minutes over the bunch led by Team Sky. Roglic crested the col de la Biche in first position. The three AG2R-La Mondiale riders split the group into pieces in the descent before Geraint Thomas (Sky) crashed in the peloton and abandoned with a broken collarbone. Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Tiejs Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) and Warren Barguil (Sunweb) rode away up the Grand Colombier. Barguil was first at the summit six minutes before the yellow jersey group and a 12-man group was reunited in the valley on the way to the Mont du Chat. They passed the intermediate sprint at km 126.5 in the following order: Matthews, Bakelants, Gallopin, Geschke, Benoot, Roglic, Mollema, Barguil, Navarro, Pantano, Vuillermoz and Betancur.

Bakelants and Gallopin went on after the sprint and rode as a duo to the Mont du Chat. Gallopin soloed with 33km to go at the beginning of the climb but Barguil passed him 6km before the summit. The Frenchman from Sunweb also crested Mont du Chat alone in the lead but got caught at the end of the downhill by Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) who rode away from the yellow jersey group after Richie Porte (BMC) badly crashed and abandoned the Tour de France. Bardet was alone at the front from 12 to 2km to go but five riders came across to him. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) launched the sprint from far out to repeat the victory he got after climbing the Mont du Chat at the Critérium du Dauphiné but Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) and Barguil passed him. Uran, aged 30, was declared a Tour de France stage winner for the first time in this very tight finish.

Full PEZ race report HERE.

Chambéry - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Warren BARGUIL (France / Team Sunweb) - Christopher - Chris FROOME (GBR / Team Sky) - Christopher - Chris FROOME (GBR / Team Sky) - Romain BARDET (France / Team AG2R La Mondiale) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 9 from Nantua to Chambéry, 181.50 km - foto pool ASO/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and 4th overall, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac): “It’s unbelievable, I didn’t think it was true. I was actually leaving for anti-doping control when they told me I had won. It’s a huge surprise for me. When there was the crash of Richie Porte and Dan Martin, Martin hit my gear and broke it. I did the whole descent with a broken gear, and I was thinking that I had to find a way to save the day. It’s a big move up on the general classification, it was a really good day for me, and there is a lot of Tour still to come.”

2nd on the stage and KOM, Warren Barguil (Sunweb): “Today was an amazing day for myself and the team, we had five guys in the break which was brilliant. After Michael won the intermediate sprint the guys went full for my chances on day success and that gave me the confidence that I needed to climb at my best. On the Mont du Chat I did everything I could to make it to the top first and I was really happy to be able to do that. Of course it’s disappointing to not take the stage win, but this is the sport and we will continue to fight on.”

3rd on the stage and overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “Definitely mixed feelings today, of course I’m happy to still be in the jersey but at the same time that was a crazy stage. I’ve just seen the images of Richie Porte’s crash and that leaves you with a horrible feeling. I really hope he’s alright and can make a speedy recovery. Of course my team mate Geraint Thomas as well, he crashed out today with a broken collarbone, so I’ve got mixed feelings after that stage today. The rest of my team… the guys did a massive job. A massive, massive job. To control that type of a race today is no easy task and they did it really well, so chapeau guys. At the bottom of the Mont du Chat I had a bit of a mechanical problem and my gears stopped working, so I had to swap bikes. Also for that, I think Richie was quite instrumental in slowing the group down and basically saying, ‘Guys, this is not the time to be attacking the leader of the race’, so thanks to Richie and I really hope he makes a speedy recovery. Tomorrow’s rest day is definitely very, very welcome! I think everyone is pretty wrecked after today, myself included. We’ll definitely sleep in tomorrow and soak that up.”

9th on the stage and 6th overall, Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors): “I was lucky when Geraint crashed, because his bike touched my handlebars, but my luck ran out at the end and couldn’t avoid Richie on the descent. It was slippery under the trees, he lost his back wheel on that corner, went on the grass and crashed hard. There was nowhere to go for me. It was a bummer to go down again because I couldn’t break after getting a front wheel from the neutral service. On the plus side, I immediately joined a group and was soon flying over the descent. Gave everything there, rode with the other guys like it was a team time trial and tried to salvage as much as I could.”

18th overall, Emanuel Buchman (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I wasn’t in my best form today. I was feeling tired and I think my effort yesterday took its tool. After Rafa crashed, I stopped by his side and waited to see what we would do for the rest of the race. Once I got back on my bike, the GC group had already built a considerable gap ahead, so I spent a lot of energy working my way back up to them. I was able to reach them from the bottom of the Grand Colombier, but at the Mont du Chat I felt I wouldn’t be able to keep with them and rode at my own pace. That resulted in a loss of time on the GC contenders and I’m now about nine minutes in arrears. With my GC chances over, I will now try in the big mountain stages when a big group goes away.”

22nd overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “The crash of Geraint Thomas caused a gap and we arrived at the foot of Grand Colombier with a small gap in front of us. That costed some energy and I had to pay for those efforts on top of the climb. I couldn’t recover anymore afterwards and I felt it would be difficult on Mont du Chat. I am disappointed to lose so many time today, but I expected this because of the tough profile. My first week however remains positive.”

Break rider, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal): “I wanted to get in the large breakaway yesterday, but I was too far behind. The rest of the day I could save my energy a bit and I hoped to play a role today. This morning I didn’t feel great though, but once we started racing the legs didn’t feel bad at all. Today I didn’t miss the right break. When the selection was made, I could hang on. I was riding at the front and that was wonderful. Afterwards Tony got ahead and that was a good situation too. When he was caught I tried to bridge to Barguil, but that was too hopeful. We lost three minutes lead in the valley, otherwise I might have been able to survive Mont du Chat and battle for a higher result. I can be satisfied with this performance and the way I showed myself. I am glad we have a rest day tomorrow.”

Break rider, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “Despite the fact that I was completely exhausted yesterday, I felt pretty good this morning. That’s why I joined the large breakaway. We had to be attentive, so no group would ride away without Tiesj or me. And we had to try to avoid crashing. After the very tough week I had, I can be very pleased. I was riding alone in front for a while on Mont du Chat, but when stronger riders pass you by, you know it’s over. I am happy with this performance, this is promising for the rest of the Tour.”

Richie Porte suffered a devastating crash on stage 9 of the Tour de France which forced the Australian out of the race. Porte went down on the descent of the hors categorie Mont du Chat when he slipped off the road into grass and crashed into the side of the mountain at a high speed. After receiving immediate attention on the side of the road, Porte was taken to hospital for observation where he underwent X-rays.

BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa explained the nature of Porte’s injuries. “Richie Porte was transferred to the Centre Hopitalier Metropole Savoie in Chambery where he was evaluated by Dr. Zerr. He underwent X-rays to determine the extent of his injuries. His condition was stable from the beginning, he was responsive and he remembered everything that happened before and after the crash,” Dr. Testa explained. “X-rays confirmed a non-displaced right clavicle fracture and a non-displaced right acetabulum fracture. Richie also suffered extensive superficial abrasions involving the right side of his body. At this stage, the injuries will not require surgery. The plan is to re-evaluate Richie tomorrow morning and confirm that he is stable enough to be transferred home.”

Dr. Testa confirmed that Porte will require a minimum of four weeks off the bike. “Normally, a fractured clavicle and pelvis would require four to six weeks’ recovery, providing there are no complications. If everything goes to plan, Richie could be back on the bike at the beginning of August and slowly build his fitness up from there. Based on Richie’s recovery, we will re-evaluate his program for the rest of the season in consultation with BMC Racing Team management.”

Tour de France Stage 9 Result:
1. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac in 5:07:22
2. Warren Barguil (Fra) Sunweb
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
7. George Bennett (NZ) Team LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:15
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Sky
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 38:26:28
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:18
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:51
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac at 0:55
5. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:37
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 1:44
7. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 2:02
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:13
9. Mikel Landa (Spa) Sky at 3:06
10. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNl-Jumbo at 3:53.

Tour stage 9:

Summary – Stage 9 – Tour de France 2017 por tourdefrance_en

Alejandro Valverde travels back to Spain
Movistar Team rider leaves Düsseldorf’s University Hospital after five days, will continue his long recovery at home in Murcia.

Five days after undergoing surgery on his left leg’s kneecap, Alejandro Valverde left Düsseldorf’s University Hospital on Friday morning and headed back home in Spain. The 37-year-old will continue his recovery in Murcia after the horrible crash suffered last Saturday on the opening time trial of the 2017 Tour de France.

Valverde’s recovery continues under the expected schedule, ‘Bala’ being even able to slightly bend his knee (30º), get on his feet and walk with crutches, thanks to an orthopedic boot which allows him to rest his foot on the floor. “Everything’s going on the right track,” explains an upbeat Valverde. “The most important thing at this point is to take slow but safe steps. It’s going to be a long process, and we must remain calm and confident. The doctors, though, seem really satisfied about how everything has evolved so far – and that makes me happy.”

The Movistar Team, always accompanied by his wife, Natalia, wants to thank all of the hospital’s staff for all the attentions received since he was admitted on Saturday evening: “They’ve been so supportive. When I underwent surgery we were already seeing they were phenomenal, skilled people, but all the time afterwards – they’ve made sure we never lacked anything, they really helped us a lot to feel there like home, and when you’re so far away from Spain, it really means a lot to you.”

Valverde, who has followed the Tour’s first stages from the hospital with interest, wants to send a message of support to his team-mates: “I really miss them a lot, and try to stay in touch with them every day. I’m sure every single one of our members will do a great race, and I’m confident Nairo will be up there with the top contenders.”

Unable to respond to all of the countless requirements from the media, whom he wants to thank for their attention and support, Alejandro Valverde will offer a press conference in Murcia next week.

Left: Alejandro Valverde smiles before taking off from the Düsseldorf airport on Friday morning. Right: Joined by his wife, Natalia, with a painting which artist Horst Brozy brought him on Thursday evening, as a tribute to his nine Ardennes classics victories.

Ion Izagirre Leaves Hospital
After the unfortunate start of Tour de France 2017 and after the successful surgery Ion Izagirre feels good and he is flying home at 17.50 from Düsseldorf Clinic to his home town in Spain.

Ion was strong and brave from the first moment when he realized what injury he had. First moments after the crash he was very angry and sad that he can’t continue Tour de France where his expectations were very high but after the diagnosis he realized his health is the most important. Before his flight back home today afternoon he commented: “I feel ok as you can see on the social media where I posted my video. All was gone well. The surgery was perfect and I’m improving day by day. I have only to say thank you very much to the Hospital of Düsseldorf and all its staff and doctors because they are great professional and I’m very happy with them. I hope that I can recover step by step and we will see when I’ll come back to roads. I’m not stressed for that. We will see day by day. Thank you all the guys for their support, for all the messages. See you all soon on the roads.”

Right after the dramatic crash when Ion was transported to clinic, team physiotherapist Ibai Jimenez Clever immediately accompanied Ion, finished his Tour de France work and stayed with him all the time in the hospital. Today when they both left Düsseldorf clinic he commented how was the last week while he was all the time with Ion: “First moments after the crash of Izagirre in the opening stage of the Tour de France were very difficult. First news we received were not good. It seemed that he had to undergone a surgery immediately and he was alone at the Hospital. I was worried. Finally, I could have some better news and breathe a sigh of relief when after the surgery doctors told us that it was successful. Ion responded to the surgery very well and he feels better day by day. He’s recovering slowly and now that he’s coming back home it will be even better. He’s in good mood and we hope that he will had a good recovery without forcing. I’m sure that slowly he can return to his level. I personally would like to say thank you to all the people for their support.”

Ion will take his rehabilitation in the next weeks and months. We miss him a lot in the BAHRAIN MERIDA Team and we all wish him fast recovery. As the famous Spanish song sing it loud on all the world radio “Pasito a Pasito” we wish him many strong and secure steps to his most important step – the step back to his bike. Forca Ion!

Ion Izagirre at the Düsseldorf Clinic:

Piotr Havik wins Wattmeister Challenge and becomes trainee at KATUSHA ALPECIN
On Wednesday evening, July 5th, Piotr Havik reached the highest wattage per kilogram on a Tacx Neo smart trainer device. Havik reached 6.18 Watt/kg and was rewarded with a genuine internship at Team KATUSHA ALPECIN. From August 1st Havik will be a trainee/stagiaire in the Swiss WorldTour team until December 31st 2017.

“This is crazy. I had a good day but to become the best of all finalists is really fantastic. I knew I could come close but to winning, that is something else. For some weeks I was focused on this evening. My first goal was the national TT championship. After that I worked towards this Wattmeister finale. It worked out fine,” said Piotr Havik.

Piotr Havik (BEAT Cycling Club) is 22 years old. Last year he was part of the Continental Team 3M. Earlier he rode for the Development Teams of Rabobank and Quick-Step. After some bad luck years Havik is back. In 2017 he obtained already ten podium places and was very consistent in the Dutch Topcompetitie Series. He finished 13th in the Dutch elite TT championships and played an active role as well in the road race, where he finished 22nd.

In the Cycling lab of the Sport Experience Centrum in Amsterdam ten riders fought for the trainee contract at KATUSHA ALPECIN. Havik managed to arrive at the 13th block, ending his challenge with a score of 6.18 Watt per kg. Second place was for Jasper de Laat (Metec TKH) with 6.15 Watt/kg. Third was Ike Groen (Delta Cycling Rotterdam) with 6.05 Watt/kg.

Wattmeister Challenge was an initiative from bicycle brand Canyon, KATUSHA ALPECIN and Topcompetitie. The Topcompetitie is a cycling league with eight Dutch races for men at semi-professional level. The final winner is guaranteed a contract at the Procontinental Team Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij. The Wattmeister was allowed to wear the red jersey in the races. That jersey could only be attacked by the Topcompetitie riders on a smart trainer device (Tacx Neo) under the auspices of specialized exercise physiologist.

“We were immediately charmed by this initiative. It is original but also ground-breaking. The participants were highly motivated to become a trainee/stagiaire in Team KATUSHA ALPECIN and, as the Wattmeister is a rider of one of the 17 Topcompetion teams, we know that he will be a rider with experience. With Piotr Havik we are eager to add another Dutch talent to our selection alongside Dutchman Maurits Lammertink. Now it’s up to Piotr to prove what he can at the highest level,” said José Azevedo, General Manager of Team KATUSHA ALPECIN.

Piotr Havik:

The suitcase of Tour debutant Tiesj Benoot
Take a look inside the suitcase of Tour debutant Tiesj Benoot. What does he have with him for this 3-week race?

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