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EuroTrash Spilak Monday!

Simon Spilak upset the Sky and Giant-Alpecin apple cart on Sunday by riding a super last stage time trial and taking the final yellow jersey in the Tour de Suisse. All the results, reports, rider quotes and video from Switzerland, Ster ZLM Toer, Route du Sud and the European Games road race. Will the Galibier be missing from this years Tour? Bora-Argon 18 for Canada, CycleOps competition and what could pro cyclists do instead of riding. Coffee time!

TOP STORY: No Telegraphe and Galibier in the 2015 Tour?
The route of stage 20 of this years Tour de France is scheduled to cross the summits of the Col du Telegraphe and the Col du Galibier, but the Chabron tunnel on the road between Grenoble and Briançon has been closed due to damage. The tunnel is on the only road that goes from the Galibier to l’Alpe d’Huez where the stage will finish. According to French sports paper L’Equipe, there is a risk of a landslide which would be dangerous for the race and fans on the stage which is due to run on July the 25th. So far the Tour organizers have not confirmed any changes.

The descent of the Col du Galibier:

Tour de Suisse 2015
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was brought to the line in Biel/Bienne after 237.3 kilometers by his teammate Daniel Bennatti to beat Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) at the end of Stage 6. It was looking like the stage would go to Mark Cavendish after his Etixx – Quick-Step team had most of the work pulling the race together for the finalé, but in the end he lost contact with his lead-out train and finished 6th. Overall leader, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) finished in the main bunch to stay in yellow, but Geraint Thomas (Sky) moved 5 seconds closer to the Frenchman due to a small split because of the sprint.

Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Marek Rutkiweicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Matej Mohoric (Cannondale-Garmin) and Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) broke away early, but it was a cold and wet day at the office and the chase was slow to react and they were not caught with just under 2 kilometers to go. The only excitement of the day was Fran Ventoso and Adriano Malori (Movistar) tried to bridge across to the leaders with around 25 kilometers remaining. This only inspired the Etixx – Quick-Step team to chase harder and everyone was together for the sprint.

stage winner, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It was very crazy in the finale. We did a good lead-out train the last two-three kilometers, as in the headwind everybody wanted to be at the front. I took the penultimate turn to the left a little bit back but I gained more speed and I was in second position before the last turn thanks to great help from Bennati. I could start the last part of my sprint after the corner and I won the stage. I am very happy and today my team once again supported me and thanks to them I could take my second stage win this year. It was a very technical finish but I don’t think that it was too dangerous. In fact, if everybody can be at the front it’s more difficult than if the front is stretched out. I’m very happy with the result and I’d like to thank the entire team because they have executed the lead-out train at the finish. Ferdi Kübler and Hugo Koblet are the record-holders in the Tour de Suisse with 11 stage wins each and now I’m alongside them. Tomorrow, we will try to beat that record!”

Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling): “The stage was long, very wet, and especially dangerous in the finale. I don’t understand the attraction of having that type of final kilometer which must be delicately negotiated. We worked hard to protect Stefan and Sébastien, but it was a complicated exercise. There were lots of crashes near the end, but we managed to avoid any mishap, even with the roads made so slippery by the rain. Personally, I have not fully recovered after my classics campaign. My back keeps bothering me and I have not returned to the form from this spring. But I am ready and happy to help my teammates.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo in 4:34:43
2. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
5. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:02
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
9. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr in 22:16:51
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:42
3. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:50
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:55
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:07
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:22
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:32
8. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr at 2:29
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 2:43
10. Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Sky at 2:46

Stage 6:

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) got the better of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) in an exciting final sprint at the end of Stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse on Friday. Daniele Bennati led the sprint out perfectly for his team-leader Sagan, one problem was that it was Kristoff who was on his wheel while Sagan was further back and had too much to do to overtake Kristoff. Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) was third on the stage into Düdingen. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) held the overall lead, but lost 5 seconds and is now 37 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas (Sky)

World champion, Michal Kwiatkowsi (Etixx – Quick-Step) was the man-of-the-stage as he was in the day’s break and made a solo attempt that was only caught in the last kilometer. Along with Kwiatkowski was: Silvan Dillier (BMC), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), they were only allowed a maximum lead of 3 minutes. On the lumpy course Domont was dropped on the final climb to St. Antoni as Kwiatkowski, Impey and Dillier held onto a lead of half a minute with 10 kilometers to go. Katusha started to work for Kristoff and with 2km to go the break was in sight, at this point the World champion jumped away and was only caught in the last K. Bennati started to set-up the sprint for Sagan, but Kristoff was the strongest.

Stage winner, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): “Everything was there for me to win today, but you still need the legs to finish it off and I’m happy I had them today. I’ve won a stage here before and it was also uphill. I have very good memories of my first win here and today was quite similar to that. I’m happy to win here again. It was a hard day and I haven’t felt super so far in this race. The team did a really great job to bring me to the front. If it had not been for them I never would have won because my legs were not super today. I just managed to hold Sagan off there at the end so I’m super happy. He was coming fast there at the end but I managed to answer his run. I felt like I had it but it was still far to the finish line on the slight uphill so I was pretty tired when I crossed the line. Yesterday’s finish was very technical and I didn’t really have the legs but today I felt better and the team just did such a good job. I was very happy how they worked at the end and how I managed to finish it off. The last kilometers were very hard and we had some difficulties bringing back the break but we could see them just ahead of us, so I felt confident we could bring them back.”

2nd on the stage, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Today our team tried to control the stage. We let a group of five riders break away and then we led the peloton all day. In the final part of the stage it was up and down and we went at a high pace to tire the sprinters. In the finale, I let myself get closed in and I didn’t manage to make up the meters I lost to Kristoff. I am angry and it’s my fault. I must thank the team because everything went 100 percent well apart from my finish.”

Break rider, Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This morning we decided to get into the breakaway. We tried several times, and finally I was able to enter into the right action. During the breakaway we collaborated really well. I think we raced smart. But the peloton never gave us a lot of space. We knew immediately with the controlled gap that it wouldn’t be easy to go to the finish. In the final circuit we tried to also speed up, to keep the gap big enough to eventually go to the finish and play for the victory. But, the peloton was right there. At a certain point I tried an action alone, but the peloton caught me just a few hundred meters from the finish line. But that’s part of the job. If you don’t try, you can’t win. So, sometimes it is a question of gambling a bit to see what can happen. Considering everything I am happy about my performance. I knew at the beginning of Tour de Suisse it wouldn’t be easy for me after a few weeks without competition and the training we did at altitude. But I have a feeling day-by-day that my condition is improving. That is really important and motivates me a lot.”

Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling): “You have to fight to get into the break, and then when it’s gone, the curtain is pulled. Today, the four guys took more than an hour to get a gap. And then the sprinters’ teams took care to control the advantage. But since the guys in the break were so strong, we had no respite on the leg-breaking circuit. So far in this race, I have not succeeded in finding a chance to go in a break, but I have not lost hope. Tomorrow we will have another opportunity with another loop, but it will also probably be complicated.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 3:38:07
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr
6. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 7:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr in 25:55:03
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:37
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:50
4. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:07
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:22
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:27
8. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr at 2:29
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 2:43
10. Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Sky at 2:46.

Stage 7:

The overall hopefuls sat back and allowed the break go all the way to the finish in Stage 8 to Bern on Saturday. A 19-man break of the day was still together on the final climb of the day, with 20km to go. Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko attacked on the climb and was joined by Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale), even though Lutsenko did most of the work he had enough strength to out-sprint Bakelants for the stage win. Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) finished 3rd at 17 seconds and moved up to 10th on the overall.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) held his overall lead over Geraint Thomas (Sky), although he pulled back 3 seconds and the Frenchman now has 34 seconds over the Welshman with Sunday’s 38 kilometer time trial left to go.

The break of the day moved off the front in the first of the four 38 kilometer laps and the peloton let them go thinking of Sunday’s time trial. The only danger-man was Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and so FDJ.fr and Sky kept them at a manageable distance of around 2 minutes. Cannondale-Garmin had missed the move and also put some riders on the front, but the break was gone.

On the final lap; Kwiatkowski made a few attacks in the break, but they failed. Astana’s Lutsenko made his move with 20km to go and Bakelants managed to jump across to him. Lutsenko could see the stage victory and towed the Belgian to the finish and then out-sprinted him for the win. The remainder of the break couldn’t pull them back and apart from a last minute move from Thomas, Dumoulin and Sagan on the descent to Bern, the bunch was still intact. FDJ.fr contained the dangerous move for Pinot, but he still lost 3 seconds to Thomas and now only has 34 seconds in hand for the 38 kilometer final time trial.

Stage winner, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana): “This is definitely the most important road win of my career so far. It’s incredible that the attack went away 20km from the finish. I wasn’t afraid of Bakelants because I knew I could take him in the sprint. I worked hard because I wanted to ensure we had enough time to stay away from the chasers for when we got to the last hill.”

5th on the stage, Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Better if the group had been together, but I’m satisfied, also with the progression of my shape. Today was only 150km but it was the penultimate stage and everybody is getting a bit more tired. If we analyze the finale, I think I can be happy because we were 19 riders in the breakaway in the beginning and we went at a very high pace on the last two-three climbs. I felt good especially in the finale, but I couldn’t follow the two guys out front because they were faster than me on the climbs. I think today is a good sign, especially for the coming races and I now have some days of rest before the Tour, which I hope to do. I expect that my level will increase further after a period of recovery following this Tour de Suisse. Of course it would have been better for me if the group had been together in the finale but it was difficult to control as we had many attacks in the group. We had Peter behind in the peloton and me in the front group, which meant that other teams had to work as well. Today was the last opportunity to win a stage so we wanted to make sure that we increased our chances. It didn’t go our way but I think we can be satisfied”

7th on the stage, Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Today was a stage where I really wanted to be a protagonist. It was a hard stage. We went out in a breakaway immediately with 12 riders including Michal, Zdenek Stybar, and I, but they caught us after 25 kilometers. Then Kwiato and I went into another action and we stayed away this time. On the last lap of the circuit Kwiatkowski gave me a big hand, especially on the most difficult climb. That was when normally I would have had trouble. But he really helped me. Of course, he also paid a bit himself for the effort yesterday in the breakaway, so in the final I was alone. The two guys Lutsenko and Bakelants were ahead and behind them, everyone looked at me and Bennati as we were the fastest guys. So I decided on the last climb to attack, at about 10 kilometers to go. We went ahead with five riders but the others caught us. So then Meyer of Orica-GreenEDGE worked a lot to try and close the gap. But in the end, when you arrive at the finish like that everyone played a bit to try and save some energy in case the leaders are caught. So, we arrived to fight for 4th place. To be honest I am a little disappointed. I wanted to do a good sprint but I didn’t have the possibility to do it because I was a bit closed. I finished 7th, but I have to be satisfied with this day. It was a hard stage, but I have a good feeling. To go into the breakaway today wasn’t easy, but we did it and I was able to stay with the group into the finale. If I compare my condition this year with that of last year, I am almost up to the same level as the previous season by this point. I am quite happy about that and confident for the next races.”

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “The race profile of today’s stage was quite difficult, we rode around in laps. From the beginning several riders tried to break away. I also tried to escape, but eventually my teammate Bennati managed to do that. We let the race open up and eventually there was a group of riders that reached the finish ahead of us. Later, I could’ve been the first in the peloton but that probably isn’t worth much. Never mind, we had one guy in the front, so it turned out quite well.”

Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling): “I had tried my luck several times during the week, but I never managed to find the right group. Today we had to fight for quite a long time in order to get a bit of breathing room. I’m happy to have been able to join such a strong break, even though I missed some strength to follow the best in the final. After being gapped a few meters exiting a corner, a misplaced motorcycle prevented me from catching back up. But I still have fond memories of very intense moments with the group. As the only representative for the team in the break, it was important for me to stay with the leaders for as long as possible. We have worked really hard since the beginning of the Tour of Switzerland. Of course, this circuit may do a lot of damage still in the final time trial tomorrow.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Result:
1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana in 3:28:11
2. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:01
3. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 0:17
4. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha at 0:22
5. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
6. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC
9. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar
10. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 8:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr in 29:25:28
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:34
3. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:47
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:50
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:14
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:24
7. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr at 2:29
8. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 2:43
9. Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Sky at 2:46
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 2:51.

Stage 8:

Katusha’s Simon Spilak came from 3rd place overall to take the final jersey in the Stage 9 time trial of the 2015 Tour de Suisse on Sunday. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) won the stage around in Bern countryside and to third overall, but the 2nd place for Spilak allowed him to jump over Geraint Thomas (Sky) and of course the previous leader Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr).

Thomas and Spilak were well matched all through the stage, but the Katusha rider had just a little more on the final climb to take 18 seconds out of Thomas and beat him in the overall battle by 5 seconds. Dumoulin winning time of 48:36 was 18 seconds faster than Spilak and 19 ahead of local boy, Fabian Cancellara (Trek) in 3rd place. Adriano Malori (Movistar) was 4th at 34 seconds as Thomas could only manage 5th at 36 seconds. Overall leader, Pinot lost 1:50.

Both Dumoulin and Thomas were disappointed not to have taken the final overall as they had expected, but Spilak could not be ruled-out as he did win the Tour de Romandie in 2010.

Stage winner, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I am really happy with this win. The course went up and down constantly, with a lot of technical sections, which always makes it difficult to find a good rhythm, but that suited me well today. Underway I heard the intermediates of the GC competitors and I had mixed feelings because I had hoped for the GC win as well, but the others were very fast and I was strong enough to beat them in the time trial. My form is excellent at the moment, and compared to last year I have taken another step forward in my development, also as a leader within the team. I never focused on the result; instead I focused on my effort in the time trial. In the end I got the best result possible, and I don’t think I lost it anywhere. The goal was to deliver two good time trials, and I did this by winning them both.”

Overall winner and 2nd on the stage, Simon Spilak (Katusha): “I am really happy! This was a main objective in the season and I was very motivated, so to get this victory is incredible. After a lot of second and third places, finally I have managed again to win a big race. Of course this is the biggest victory in my career. This week was a hard one, but I felt good and strong and the team provided great support for me. I want to thank all of the guys, management and sponsors for everything they did to make this win possible. Yesterday I could see the circuit and I realized it suited me well. It was really hard but I like the races like this. So I was motivated and concentrated in the morning before the start. In the race I did my best and it worked out well for me. It was a very intense part of the season so now I will take some rest. And I am happy to go home with such a great trophy! In two days I have my birthday – what a great present I have!”

Points competition winner, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo): “Today’s final TT was on a very hard parcours with some technical sections and hilly parts. We weren’t the favorites for this stage but overall, Tour de Suisse has been a good race for the team and also for me. I’m happy with my two stage wins because they were a result of great teamwork. I’m proud of my teammates’ effort, they have supported me and we have aimed to create results whenever possible. Maybe I could have won one more stage but that’s cycling, it doesn’t always go the way you wish for on every single stage. However, this was my first race since Tour of California and I’m satisfied with the state of my condition and it’s important for the morale and the team to have momentum before the Tour. Anyway, I will now focus on recovery and I will do my best at the national championship, which is my next obstacle.”

Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling): “My task was to perform at the high points of the event. The parcours was challenging where we had constant climbs and technical descents. I rode a decent time trial, but in order to finish in the top-10 overall, it was more important to be a good time triallist than climber. I am not really disappointed after this week since I have learned a lot. And the team was very protective of me, and helped me throughout all the stages. This experience will definitely help me in the future. My disappointment from the Giro is forgotten and I have turned the page in order to progress. But I will still be happy to have a small vacation after the Swiss championships. I feel like I have come to the end of a cycle.”

9th on the stage and 10th overall, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo): “For me, Tour de Suisse was about getting back into race mode, building speed in the legs and improving my shape before July, where I want to be in top shape. Overall I think I managed to do a good Tour de Suisse, making it into the top ten. My shape has improved and I now have some days of recovery and I expect that my condition will be at a higher level than before the race started. I’m happy to have been a part of this squad, we’ve supported Peter and managed to win two stages and the points classification. We’ve spent a lot of time at the front taking responsibility and we’ve worked well together. Maybe I could have been a bit further up in the GC if I had achieved a better result on the queen stage but, for sure, I look forward to the challenges to come.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 9 Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 48:36
2. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:18
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 0:19
4. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar at 0:34
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:36
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek at 0:41
7. Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling at 0:44
8. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:07
9. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:26
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:32.

Tour de Suisse Final Overall Result:
1. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha in 30:15:09
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:05
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:19
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0:45
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:21
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek at 2:58
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 3:06
8. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr at 3:17
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:19
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:20.

The final stage 9:

Ster ZLM Toer 2015
André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) took the win from a wind split peloton on Stage 1 of the Ster ZLM Toer on Thursday. Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) was 2nd and Danny van Poppel (Trek) was 3rd. Overall leader Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling) was in the wrong place and was behind the split and Greipel ended the day in the leaders jersey.

Ronan van Zandbeek (Cyclingteam Join’s-De Rijke), Twan Brusselman (Cyclingteam Jo Piels), Jasper Hamelink (Metec-TKH), Dion Beukeboom (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Michael Vingerling (Team 3M) had a lead of five and a half minutes, but were caught on the finishing 14.8 kilometer circuits in Rosmalen. A crash with two laps to go split the peloton with Kluge, prologue runner-up Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) in the back group. Lotto Soudal and Topsport Vlaanderen-Balose teams battled for their leaders, but in the end it was the German champion who won the stage and the overall lead.

Andy Stauff (MTN-Qhubeka): “Today’s stage was pretty nervous due to windy conditions and just the fact that we are racing in the Netherlands. It was a tricky course today with a lot of small roads, corners and a course full of road furniture. There were a lot of accelerations made by different teams in the second half of the race and I was part of the action on each occasion. The only time I wasn’t present was the time the group got away. I expect myself to up there in a race like this so I am a fair bit disappointed and it shouldn’t happen. We had 4 guys left in the 2nd group and we tried to close the gap but there was no cooperation in the bunch, so it was done. We have a few options for tomorrow and possibly Sunday too so we are really focused on those two stages and we will try our best to make up for today.”

Marcel Aregger (IAM Cycling): “The instructions this morning revolved around protecting Roger Kluge. For much of the day, Pirmin Lang and I were at the front controlling the breakaway. The wind was against us from the start of the stage, but it was still bearable. But then with fifty kilometers to go, it picked up and started blowing very hard from the side, and the peloton just exploded. I found myself in the leading group, and the others were not able to chase back up to us before the finish. In the finale, I tried to do something, but honestly, I was so spent after riding at the front since the beginning of the stage, that I was no match against the riders who were much fresher. But I still finished with the leaders. And as a result of the lead we have in the GC, I am motivated to defend my place overall. It may be complicated, but I am not scared.”

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 1 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 4:12:22
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
3. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis
5. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
6. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot
7. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18
10. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal.

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 1:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 4:19:52
2. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek at 0:02
3. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:06
5. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal at 0:08
6. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
7. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:12
9. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
10. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:14.

Stage 1:

Stage 2 saw German champion André Greipel take his second stage in a row in the 2015 Ster ZLM Toer. It was close as Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo) came past him just after the line, it was so close, Greipel didn’t have time to raise his arms in a victory salute. Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) was third. Greipel now leads the overall by 12 second over Victor Campenaerts (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), with Etixx – Quick-Step’s Yves Lampaert in 3rd at 16 seconds.

Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Soudal): “There was a headwind in the finale. Lars Bak brought us into the last one and a half kilometers. Then I took over. Afterwards it was up to Jens Debusschere and Greg Henderson. André was a bit tired, but he won. It took about an hour before a group got away. Somebody in the break was close in GC, so we couldn’t give them much space. Dennis Vanendert immediately went to the head of the peloton, later Sean De Bie helped him pulling. Lotto NL – Jumbo and Trek helped later as well. When the best placed rider was caught, we took it easy. Other teams started to chase. The escapees were caught in time. Two weeks before the Tour it’s nice that we win here twice. Tomorrow it’s a tough stage in the Ardennes, tonight I will drink a small Belgian beer to celebrate today’s victory (laughs).”

2nd on the stage and 7th overall, Moreno Hofland (LOttoNL-Jumbo): “It felt like a missed chance for me, too”, he analyzed. “I know that I wasn’t physical enough. I wanted to be in the perfect position today, no matter what. I was in the right place at the right moment, and made sure that I was able to stay there. Maybe Erik’s harsh words were necessary. You have to pump yourself up every time as a sprinter and I didn’t yesterday. I was taking it too easy. I was sharp today, and almost won. The difference is very small, I’m quite frustrated with that.”

Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka): “Today’s stage was a good one for a break to possibly stay away so I gave it a go as I was feeling good. It was a pity that the final 50km was straight into a headwind so it made it easier for the group to catch us. I was certainly in with a great shot to take the victory if we stayed away but I guess that’s the gamble you take being in the break.”

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 2 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 4:29:21
2. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
3. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot
6. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis
7. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal
8. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis
9. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
10. Scott Thwaites (GB) Bora-Argon 18.

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 2:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 8:49:03
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:12
3. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:16
4. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal at 0:18
5. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:20
6. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:21
7. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:22
10. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal.

Stage 2:

Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) won Stage 3 of the Ster ZLM Toer, finishing in La Gileppe on Saturday. Hofland made up for the disappointment of the previous day’s second spot where he so nearly got the better of André Greipel. Yves Lampaert (Etixx – Quick-Step) was 2nd ahead of Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin). André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) held onto the overall lead going into Sunday’s final stage 4.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo): “This is absolutely fantastic, especially on this hard profile. I felt that my legs were good early in the stage. We chose to ride as a team, and set a high pace on every hill together. I was one of the best uphill today, and it’s nice to confirm that with the victory. Last month, I started the Giro d’Italia in good shape and finished it with a good feeling, too. Now, I feel that I’m even getting better day by day, and I’m very happy to prove that with today’s win.”

2nd on the stage, Yves Lampaert (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Today was a stage of the Ardennes with climbs like Le Rosier and La Redoute, as well as the finish on La Gileppe. It was an uphill finish, but at the end of the day it came down to almost a bunch sprint. I was in good position for the victory, I think. I received really good help from Nikolas Maes and Fabio Sabatini to put me in position. But Moreno Hofland is a better sprinter than me and he won. Still, I think we did a good race, and the whole week I’ve been there in the actions. Tomorrow is the last stage. It’s flat, but you never know what can happen in cycling. We’ll do our best for a good result.”

Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka): “It was a tough day. The team did a great job controlling the entire race, everyone was really supportive. I didn’t have the best position going into the last uphill section so coming into the finishing straight I had to start my sprint early which wasn’t the best situation. After a disappointing first day we have regained our team spirit and if we continue like this then success is coming soon.”

Thomas Degand (IAM Cycling): “The first days here were not easy for me because I was lacking a bit of rhythm and competition in my legs. But Saturday I managed to make the breakaway and I am very happy. I had the heart to do well, though I struggled all day. We started out as six riders, and then by the time the peloton had us in their sights we were three, until finally I struck out on my own, only to be cause with 18 kilometers to go. The teams were working very hard behind to ensure that this would be a bunch sprint. But I have no regrets since it is a very rare thing to have the break stay away until the finish, but you always have to try. I had fun today and I tried hard. My condition is not bad. And I think that with the last stage on Sunday and the Belgian Championships, I will be right on track for my next goal which is the Tour of Austria.”

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 3 Result:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 4:44:11
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Giant-Alpecin
4. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal.

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 3:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 13:33:15
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:10
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:12
5. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:20
6. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Giant-Alpecin at 0:25
7. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:30
9. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis at 0:34
10. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:35.

Stage 3:

Matthew Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka) won the Final Stage 4 by soloing to the finish in Boxal by 25 seconds ahead of the peloton led by Lotto Soudal. André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) finished 2nd in the stage and secured the overall win in the 2015 Ster ZLM Toer to go along with two stage wins. He held the lead after winning stage 1, confirmed his form by taking stage 2 and then his Lotto Soudal team dominated the race for him to take the win by 16 seconds over Yves Lampaert (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Stage winner, Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka): “I had a bit of a rough few days after Tour of Luxembourg. I picked up a bit of a virus and I’m still getting over it but today I felt better. I saw the opportunity at the end of the stage when the peloton stalled a bit so I thought I’d give it a go. 99 times out of 100 it doesn’t work but today was that 1 time it did work. I’m so happy to get this win now for myself and also for the team, it’s a great way to promote our 5000 bicycles campaign. Hopefully the win can also boost morale and confidence going into the next races and of course for my national championships next week.”

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We came to the Ster ZLM Toer to win a stage. The prologue was flat and ideal for sprinters. The team performed strongly there. That was already important for the victory of the team classification. Thanks to his good prologue André could put on the leader’s jersey after his stage win of Thursday. In that stage a reduced peloton sprinted for the victory, the day after it was a real bunch sprint. Greipel started a bit too soon and wasn’t at his best, but he could still beat Moreno Hofland. That’s strong. The overall victory wasn’t a goal in itself, we didn’t want to do the impossible to keep that jersey. But the Ardennes stage was perfect, other teams led the chase and Greipel could stay in the first group. Today there was a front group before the first intermediate sprint, where bonus seconds could be gained. Those escapees were caught in the finale. The attack of Brammeier made that Hofland wouldn’t be able to take sufficient bonus seconds in the sprint to get the overall win. André was second in the stage, Henderson third. Except for the crash of Adam Hansen all went well this week.”

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 4 Result:
1. Matthew Brammeier (Irl) MTN-Qhubeka in 4:05:31
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 0:25
3. Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal
4. Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
5. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
6. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Roompot
7. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
8. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Ster ZLM Final Overall Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 17:39:05
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:16
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:18
5. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:26
6. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Giant-Alpecin at 0:31
7. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:36
9. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis at 0:40
10. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:41.

The final stage 4:

Route du Sud 2015
Steven Tronet (Auber 93) was the surprise winner of Stage 1 of the Route du Sud on the uphill finish in Auch. Tronet was too fast for Romain Hardy (Cofidis) and Michael Carbel Svengaard (Cult Energy) as he jumped with 200 meters to go and could not be caught. The first three riders had a small gap of 3 seconds on Quentin Pacher (Armée de Terre) who led the peloton over the line.

Cédric Pineau (FDJ.fr), Beñat Txoperena (Murias-Taldea), Daniel Martinez (Colombia) and Hector Saez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) made up the early break and had a maximum lead of 4 minutes, but the Europcar team didn’t give them any more space as they had plans for Bryan Coquard to take the win.

With 25 kilometers to go the lead was down to 1:30, but Europcar had burned themselves out with the chase work and had nothing left for the finish. On the climb of the Côte de Lavardens, Martinez went solo as Christopher Juul-Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Julien Bérard (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked the peloton with 17 kilometers to go. They caught and passed Martinez and were joined by Quentin Jauregi (AG2R-La Mondiale), Karel Hnik (Cult Energy), Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Miguel Angel Rubiano (Colombia).

Bérard was dropped and the others managed to hold a lead of around 10 seconds until 2 kilometers to go. Cult Energy chased the break down as they were backing Michael Carbel Svendgaard for the win, that plan didn’t come off as he was 3rd. Tronet won the stage and took the first leaders jersey.

10th, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “It was the first day of racing after the Giro and a relatively quiet stage. There was a breakaway at the start of the stage, while Europcar together with us, controlled the group. We decided to have a rider to collaborate in the front of the group so that we could have some control of the race. At the end, it turned out to be more difficult because of the undulating terrain but I felt in good shape. In the final 500 meters, that were uphill, I decided to move to the front. With so few days left until the start of the Tour de France, it is better to be in the front in order to minimize the risks of a crash. Being my first contact with a competition after the Giro, it was a long stage, 220km long. It proved very useful in order to ramp up after a break of nearly three weeks and all in all the sensation I had today was good.”

Route du Sud Stage 1 Result:
1. Steven Tronet (Fra) Auber 93 in 4:59:41
2. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis
3. Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Cult Energy
4. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Equipe Cycliste de l’Armee de Terre at 0:03
5. Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Cannondale-Garmin
6. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Cult Energy
7. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
8. Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis
9. Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo.

Route du Sud Overall After Stage 1:
1. Steven Tronet (Fra) Auber 93 in 4:59:31
2. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis at 0:04
3. Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Cult Energy at 0:06
4. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Equipe Cycliste de l’Armee de Terre at 0:13
5. Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Cannondale-Garmin
6. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Cult Energy
7. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
8. Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis
9. Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo.

Stage 1:

After all the work the Europcar team did in stage 1 failed, they made sure that Bryan Coquard didn’t miss out on the win in Stage 2. The Frenchman attacked in the last meters and swept past Quentin Jauregui (AG2R-La Mondiale) for the win. Steve Tronet (Auber 93) held the overall lead by 3 seconds from Coquard.

Samuel Magalhães (Radio Populat-Boavista), Mads Pedersen (Cult Energy), Yoann Paillot (Marseille 13 KTM), Eneko Lizarralde (Murias-Taldea) and Camilo Castiblanco (Colombia) were the break of the day and they went all the way to the final circuits in Saint-Gaudens. With 25km the break split as Paillot and Pedersen jumped away. As Christophe Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) and Oliver Le Gac (FDJ.fr) attacked the bunch. The chasing three caught Lizarralde and crossed to Paillot and Pederson and with 10 kilometers they had less than a minute. Into the final 5 kilometers and their lead was down to 20 seconds. Juul Jensen was the strongman in the group, but he split the break, first Paillot attacked and then Le Gac all in the final kilometer. Jauregui was the last man standing, but coquard flew past him in the last meters before the line.

Chris Juul-Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo): It feels very nice to be able to race at the front again and race aggressively in the finale. It’s a smaller race compared to the ones I took part in the last few weeks and this gives me the opportunity to try and see what I can get out of myself, when the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, it would have been better if the two breakaways had held but you will never win if you never try. I’m happy to see I have digested the Giro quite well, I looked after myself back home and properly prepared for this race. I wanted to use this race to show I’m coming back into form and I’m very motivated to race. Today we had a hard finale. The Route du Sud is a good training for the riders that will go on to the Tour. It’s up and down all day and a good way to build your legs. In the finale, the riders in my group knew that our chances were getting thinner by the minute. I tried to attack towards the end but they were quickly coming from behind us. It was a tricky uphill finish and the final 500 meters were very hard. To have a realistic chance at winning we would have needed probably another 20 seconds of advantage in the final 2km. I’m very thankful to the team and Alberto who allowed me to give it a shot if I felt I had the legs. I’m still on the hunt for my first stage win as a pro, so I appreciate it they gave me that opportunity. Tomorrow, I will be focused on giving my best for Alberto. We have to make sure he is well placed to have the best result possible and, hopefully, we will then have to defend on Sunday. I had my chance yesterday and today but on Saturday and Sunday, we will all work hard for Alberto.”

Route du Sud Stage 2 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar in 3:23:25
2. Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
4. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis
5. Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr
6. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin
7. Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis
8. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia
9. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Movistar
10. Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Cult Energy.

Route du Sud Overall After Stage 2:
1. Steven Tronet (Fra) Auber 93 in 8:22:56
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar at 0:03
3. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis at 0:04
4. Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Cult Energy at 0:06
5. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement at 0:09
6. Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis at 0:13
7. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Equipe Cycliste De L’Armée De Terre
8. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Cult Energy
9. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin
10. Edwin Alciviades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia.

Stage 2:

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) battled on the climb of the Port de Balès with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the Queen Stage 3 of the Route du Sud on Saturday. The two were well matched on the way up, but on the descent to Bagneres-de-Luchon Contador made a small gap and held it to the finish line for a 13 second advantage. Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) was with Contador and Quintana at the summit and managed to hold on for third place at 35 seconds. Contador now holds the overall lead over Quintana by 17 seconds with Latour in third at 41 seconds with just the final 166 kilometer stage 3 to Gaillac to go.

Stage winner and new overall leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-saxo): “I’m very happy with this victory. I strive to win in every race not just for myself and my team but also for our sponsors. I’d like to thank Tinkoff Bank, Saxo Bank, Citroën, Specialized, Sportful and all the partners of the team for their invaluable help. That’s why it’s always important to try and win. All my teammates did a very good job today and for that reason I had to round off the effort. On Port de Balès I was with Quintana and I asked him whether he wanted to collaborate in order to bring Latour back, who was alone at the front. Quintana said he didn’t want to because he considered I was very strong. There was still a long way to go but I tried to control the race to the top of the climb. At that point I got a few meters from Quintana and I realized it was a question of gritting my teeth and holding on to the finish line. I staged a few attacks, just enough to be able to control the race. Every win is always important and boosts your morale but this one doesn’t mean much. The main objective remains the Tour de France.”

2nd on the stage and 2nd overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I’m very satisfied with what I did today; it was a great test, I felt strong. Tinkoff drove a high pace all stage long; it was really like a Tour de France stage, with huge speed all the way. Contador made a strong attack halfway through the climb and I could respond pretty well. At some certain point, he explained me that should I give some turns, he’d let me win the stage. I responded him that I wouldn’t take any turns nor attack him. The roads into the descent were gritty, it had no sense to take any chances and lose everything; Contador really made a risky descent. As I said before, I’m happy with how I rode today: my body responded well to the efforts.”

Karel Hnik (Cult Energy): “I was really motivated to do well today. I’m feeling stronger and stronger and wanted to see how far I could take it today so I was on the limit throughout the stage. Rasmus (Guldhammer) supported me to the foot of the final climb where I tried to set a fast pace without burning out and I’m happy to experience that my form is getting better before next week’s national championships.”

Route du Sud Stage 3 Result:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 4:48:05
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:13
3. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:35
4. Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis at 0:48
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
6. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia at 1:03
7. Alberto Gallego (Spa) Radio Popular-Boavista at 1:58
8. Julien Loubet (Fra) Team Marseille 13-KTM at 2:56
9. Federico Figueiredo (Por) Radio Popular-Boavista
10. Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) FDJ.fr.

Route du Sud Overall After Stage 3:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 13:11:04
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:17
3. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:41
4. Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis at 0:58
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
6. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia at 1:31
7. Alberto Gallego (Spa) Radio Popular-Boavista at 2:08
8. Julien Loubet (Fra) Team Marseille 13-KTM at 3:06
9. Federico Figueiredo (Por) Radio Popular-Boavista
10. Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin.

Stage 3:

Tinkoff-Saxo team leader Alberto Contador finished safely in the peloton in 31st place in the Final Stage 4 to take the victory in the 2015 Route du Sud. Bryan Coquard (Europcar) won the 166 kilometer stage from Revel to Gaillac after the break had been caught in the last kilometers of the stage. Coquard beat Lorenzo Manzin (FDJ.fr) and Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) for his second stage of the race after an excellent lead out from his teammates. Contador won the overall by 17 seconds from Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) third at 41 seconds. It was a good outing for the Spaniard before the Tour de France, but there was no real show-down between him and the Colombian Quintana.

Overall winner, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-saxo): “I will keep my focus on my preparations. I’m happy with this victory at the Route du Sud but this doesn’t change anything in view of the Tour de France. It would be a mistake to change the mindset right now, thinking that this win would give me more confidence. It was a hot day and it was about controlling the race and defending our position. The entire team worked hard and I’d like to thank everybody for their effort. I feel proud of them. We still have another 13 days until the start of the Tour de France and I will keep my focus on my preparation, in order to reach the start in the best shape possible.”

Michael Carbel (Cult Energy): “It was a tough stage concluding a demanding race so everyone seemed tired. I enjoyed the support from my teammates in the finale starting 35 kilometers from the finish where I had a puncture. Ten kilometers later, I had another one. Obviously these incidents stole most of my energy and I spent the next 15 kilometers slowly but surely navigating my way back to the front. In the closing kilometers, I was in a very good position but was out of strength and had to settle with nothing. Now my focus is on next week’s Danish national championships.”

Route du Sud Stage 4 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar in 3:42:10
2. Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr
3. Leonardo Duque (Col) Colombia
4. Steven Tronet (Fra) Auber 93
5. Angelo Tulik (Fra) Europcar
6. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Movistar
7. Louis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis
8. Julien Duval (Fra) Equipe Cycliste De L’Armée De Terre
9. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
10. Anthony Maldonado (Fra) Auber 93.

Route du Sud Final Overall Result:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 16:53:22
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:17
3. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:41
4. Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis at 1:06
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
6. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia at 1:31
7. Alberto Gallego (spa) Radio Popular-Boavista at 2:08
8. Ricardo Vilela (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 3:05
9. Federico Figueiredo (Por) Radio Popular-Boavista at 3:06
10. Julien Loubet (Fra) Team Marseille 13 KTM at 3:14.

Stage 4:

European Games 2015 – Men’s Road Race
Having won the bronze medal in the time trial, Luis Leon Sanchez was the winner of the road race at the European Games in Baku, beating his fellow breakaway companions, Ukrainian Andriy Grivko, the Czech Petr Vakoc and Spanish Jesús Herrada was 4th. In the finalé, the four had a mammoth duel with a chasing group that included riders like Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Giacommo Nizzolo, they held a gap of four seconds that allowed them to fight for the medals.

Gougeard (France), De Clercq (Belgium), Boaro (Italy), Saramotins and Smukulis (Lithuania) Buts (Ukraine) and Dunne (Ireland) were with Herrada in a break that formed in mid-race, which had nearly four minutes, but collapsed during the penultimate lap. Herrada had the strength to jump back in with the decisive break along with Sanchez, Grivko and Vakoc.

Winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain): “First of all I want to thank my colleagues, and especially Jesus, who has been phenomenal. Thanks to him I could win, so that the merit of the medal is his. We knew we had to be on our guard early not let ourselves be surprised by teams that had riders like Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and Italy. At the decisive moment, we were in the majority. The end saw me with strength, because I still had the spark of the Giro, but having recovered well from the efforts. Winning is not easy, but in the end I could, thanks to the work of the team. It’s always nice to get a win like that, but especially with the great atmosphere that has been on this team.”

3rd Petr Vakoc (Czech Republic): “Today was a super hard race, the parcours was hard, including a section with the cobblestones, and the pace was always high. In the last 4 or 5 laps we accelerated even more. I tried to go away on one of the last laps, but the action didn’t work as I planned. So I waited until the last lap and I accelerated on the last climb. Herrada, Grivko, Sanchez, and I went together to the line ahead of the peloton, but for the sprint I didn’t have the legs to contest the victory. But in any case I am super happy about this race, because it is a medal for my nation, which was the 4th in all the European Games for the Czech Republic. So I am proud about my bronze medal. The entire experience was nice. It was like a small Olympic Games. In 2016 I really hope to be a part of the selection for the Czech Republic in Rio. It would be a dream and I will try to do my best to be there. As for the European Games, I didn’t know what to expect from a race like that but now I am happy I did it, and was prepared to perform well there after a hard race like the Giro. I will come bak immediately to the Czech republic and ride both the time trial and road national championships. My goal is to try to do well there. It won’t be easy with a lot of good riders, but I will try my best.”

4th Jesus Herrada (Spain): “We had to be early in the cuts to avoid problems later, I still had the strength to get into the last break, but it was pretty hard, and I felt it in the break. That helped Luis behind and then I helped him later for the sprint so he could win. I am of course very happy, because we have done a great job and it has culminated with the victory and my fourth place.”

European Games Men’s Road Race Result:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) in 5:27:25
2. Andrey Grivko (Ukr)
3. Petr Vakoc (Cze)
4. Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa)
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) at 0:04
6. Tom Boonen (Bel)
7. Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat)
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned)
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra)
10. Kevin Ledanois (Fra) at 0:08.

The win for LL Sanchez:

Bora-Argon 18 premieres at the Canadian WorldTour races
Bora-Argon 18 will race at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Sep 11) and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Sep 13) for the first time in its team history. The German team received a wildcard by the organizers for the two WorldTour races. Including these events, Bora-Argon 18 rides 45 days of its season program in the top tier of international cycling. Racing in Canada is another home event for the squad, as co-naming-sponsor and bike partner Argon 18 has its headquarters in Montréal.

“We are of course very motivated, because the Canadian WorldTour events are raced directly at the headquarters of our naming partner Argon 18. We will start with our best classics and sprint specialists. We even plan to travel to Canada with some of our Tour de France starters, such as for example Sam Bennett. In addition to the Tour of Bavaria, the Canadian races are our second home event this year. And as in Bavaria top results are the very clear objective for the team in Montréal as well”, comments Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Bora-Argon 18, the two wildcards.

“It’s a big highlight, that we welcome the riders who competed in the Tour de France with our Argon 18 bikes in Montréal. In addition to the two races we are of course pleased that we can also present our headquarters and our employee to the team members of Bora-Argon 18. It’s going to be some very special days and we are planning many activities around the races”, says Gervais Rioux, Founder and President of Argon 18.

For the Canadian races, the company La Cordée will be partnering Bora-Argon 18. La Cordée is a renown sports retailer in Canada. They specialize in bicycles as well as outdoor sports and are an important business ally of Argon 18 in Québec.

Bora-Argon 18’s Sam Bennett:

CycleOps VirtualTraining Video Contest Record. Upload. Win.
Ride your favorite routes year round.

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From June 1st through August 31st, CycleOps will be accepting video recorded bike routes and matching GPS data. With that data they will create a virtual ride that can be accessed year round through the CycleOps VirtualTraining software.

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Clear and steady video (best if mounted to car or scooter)
Matching GPS data (taken with cycling computer, phone, some action cameras) Minimum route length of 10km/6.214 miles
Video quality 720p or better, 30 frames per second.

About CycleOps
CycleOps is a cycling company committed to giving their customers the edge. Whether their customers are training or racing, CycleOps has everything cyclists need to train and warm up appropriately. The CycleOps product line includes various cycle trainers, indoor cycles, VirtualTraining software, cadence and speed sensors and all the accessories to put them to work. Learn more at cycleops.com


What would pro cyclist be if they were not pro cyclists?
Probably not stand-up comedians.

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