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Paris - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Ian Stannard (GBR-Team Sky) - Christopher Froome (GBR-Team Sky) - Geraint Thomas (GBR-Team Sky) pictured during stage 21 of the 2016 Tour de France from Chantilly to Paris, 113.00 km - photo poolphoto Christophe Ena/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Tour’16 Monday!

The 2016 Tour de France is over, we catch-up with the final stages with reports, results, quotes and video and the French Grand Tour has to be the ‘Top Story’. We also have La Course by Le Tour and two stages from the Tour de Wallonia. In other cycling news: Tim Wellens goes to the Olympics, Tom Boonen to stay with Etixx – Quick-Step, two more years for George Bennett, BMC medical up-date and three stagieres for Lotto Soudal. To finish – some music!

TOP STORY: Was it a Good 2016 Tour de France?
Good would probably cover it, not great and far from being a vintage Tour. There were some memorable points, but not for the best of sporting reasons. The sprinting was good and we saw the return of Mark Cavendish with four stage wins. The climbers did their stuff, but without any electrifying mountain attacks. The 2016 Tour de France will be mostly remembered for the Chris Froome hill climb, no not the mountain time trial win, but his run up Mont Ventoux without his bike. Also Froome’s crash on stage 19 that forced him to finish on Geraint Thomas’s bike. His winning descent on stage 8 was a surprise, but not inspirational. Let’s face it, nobody who was a possible overall winner, apart from Froome, made any sort of move, Nairo Quintana was nearly invisible.

From a sporting point of view; Tom Dumoulin’s win on stage 9 was a brave effort and well deserved as was Ion Izagirre on Saturday’s stage 20. The stand-out performance has to be from young Adam Yates, he looked to be on the final podium and had it not been for a mechanic problem with a hard chase, he might have done it.

In the end the best man won, but where was the competition?

Roll-on Tour de France 2017.

Paris - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Ian Stannard (GBR-Team Sky) - Christopher Froome (GBR-Team Sky) - Geraint Thomas (GBR-Team Sky)  pictured during stage 21 of the 2016 Tour de France from Chantilly to Paris, 113.00 km - photo poolphoto Christophe Ena/Cor Vos © 2016

Tour de France 2016
Chris Froome (Sky) confirmed his absolute superiority as he won the uphill time trial Stage 18 from Sallanches to Megève as he rode 21 seconds faster than specialist Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin). He significantly increased his lead in the overall ranking. With two Alpine stages remaining, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) is at 3:52, Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) at 4:16, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) at 4:37 and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 4:57.

Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18), Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal), Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) had the provisional best times. Gougeard’s performance was an interesting one as the French rookie had a crash with 100 meters to go. The young rider from AG2R-La Mondiale had put a lot of effort in order to reassure himself after he had a few disappointments. Edet has a similar spirit as he also felt unlucky in his quest for the decisive breakaways in previous stages. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling) bettered Edet’s time. Coppel was the first rider to complete the 17-km course in less than 32 minutes.

Spain’s national TT champion; Ion Izagirre (Movistar) took the lead as 75 riders were yet to finish. He remained on the hot seat for one hour until Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) took over by only one second. It was another story when Tom Dumoulin set the new provisional best time, 41 seconds faster than the Belgian, after he put his name on top of all rankings at the three different check points. Dumoulin’s average speed was 32.83km/h.

Chris Froome took a cautious start as he clocked the fifth time atop the côte de Domancy (km 6.5) where fastest climber Richie Porte (BMC) took the 5000-euros Bernard Hinault prize to recall the badger’s victory at the world championship in Sallanches in 1980. Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Jan Janssen who also won the rainbow jersey in the city of Savoy followed Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) in the super VIP car. It encouraged the Frenchman to score the fifth best time on the finishing line and retain that same place overall. Froome gave it all in the second part of the race to claim his second stage win in the 103rd Tour de France after his downhill solo effort to Bagnères-de-Luchon in the Pyrenees.

Stage 18 race report HERE.

Megeve - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Chris Froome (GBR-Team Sky) pictured during stage 18 of the 2016 Tour de France from Sallanches to Megeve ITT, 17.00 km - photo Dion Kerkhoffs/Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “I really didn’t expect to beat Tom today, pacing was key. I really started off quite steady and controlled that first part, and then just gave it everything I had over the top and the last part. I’m really, really happy with that. There are two more big days to come now. Hopefully I didn’t leave too much out on the road today. At this point, two days out from Paris, we’re just giving it everything we’ve got now. It’s just this last couple of days to get the job done. Tomorrow is a very tricky stage with a lot of tricky descents. There’s talk about thunderstorms during the race. It’s definitely going to have to be a stage where we stay right on our game. Of course it’s fantastic that I opened out my lead today, but we can’t relax and switch off now. We’ve got to see this through right to the end.”

4th on the stage and 6th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “It was a hard time trial and I guess time trials are never nice. Now I’ve had a bit of time to look at the time I’ve put into some of the other General Classification contenders so it was a good day. The goal is now podium so day by day I’m chipping away a little bit more time. I’d have liked to gone a bit quicker today but it was still a good performance. We’ll see how tomorrow goes and then the next day. It’s a great honor to win the Bernard Hinault prize and I think it shows that I’m climbing well. The next two days are full of hard climbs so I’m quite confident and we’ve got a great team and I’m just looking forward to fighting for that podium. Let’s just hope that I can chip away some more time. I really want the podium and I’m going to fight for it. I’m fit and healthy and I hope all of my bad luck is behind me now. We’ll just take it day by day.”

11th on the stage, Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling): “I enjoyed myself in front of my fans. I didn’t have the same sensations that I had during the previous time trial. We are into the third week now, and I think this influenced everyone. Nevertheless, I am happy with my performance, but I am especially looking forward to seeing Paris and the Champs Élysées.”

10th overall, Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I had the best equipment possible and I’m grateful for that, this was very important today. I did my best, although it wasn’t easy. I suffered for around two kilometers after the steepest part of the route and lost some time there. We are 18 days into the Tour de France, we have 3,000 kilometers in the legs, some very fast flat kilometers with crazy winds and a lot of altitude gain, so it’s normal to feel tired. This morning I felt good, but things changed during the race. Hopefully, tomorrow morning I will wake up with the same sensations. I never felt so good this late into a Tour de France, I also managed to avoid being sick and I’m happy for that. Two crucial mountain stages are now coming and I hope things will go in the way I want.”

KOM; Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “I felt a bit tired after yesterday’s long breakaway but today I didn’t go full gas, only enough to open the engine and set a nice pace, that was it. I needed to save a bit of energy for the stages to come – it’s not just the Tour in my legs but also the Giro too. We want to go in the breakaway tomorrow of course, but we will see. And for sure others want to try to take the jersey but I won’t make it easy. I want to take this jersey to Paris and home – I like it so much, and already won it in 2014 already.”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “Yesterday I was trying to help Rafa get points for the mountain jersey, now today I tried to have it as a rest day, to do the time trial inside the limit as we still have two very hard stages ahead before Paris.”

Early leader, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis): “It was a beautiful course, a course for climbers but especially for those who still have energy on this Tour de France. cannotIn this sense I am very happy with my result. I held the top spot for an hour, it’s always nice to see his name on the banner at an event of this magnitude. It will stay in my personal history. There now are two mountain stages that I would like to enjoy myself, to be or help my teammates to do, whether or Daniel Navarro Arnold Jeannesson. We will do everything to get a big result.”

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data): “It was a pretty tough time trial. The course was definitely designed for a climber and it was one of the toughest courses I have ever done for a time trial. The crowds were great and there was a lot of South African support out there which was really motivating. I had a lot of Afrikaans people shouting at me which was nice. I really enjoyed today.”

Tour de France Stage 18 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 30:43
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:21
3. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:33
4. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:33
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:42
6. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:02
7. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar 0:01:03
8. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1:05
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 1:08
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:10.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 18:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 77:55:53
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:52
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 4:17
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:37
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:58
6. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 5:00
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 6:08
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:37
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 7:15
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:18.

Stage 18:

Summary – Stage 18 (Sallanches / Megève) – Tour… por tourdefrance_en

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) gave the hosting nation its first stage victory in Stage 19 of the 103rd Tour de France. He rode away from the yellow jersey group on the downhill preceding the final ascent to Le Bettex to catch lone escapee Rui Costa. Race leader Chris Froome and runner up Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) crashed in that downhill, with more consequences for the Dutchman than the yellow jersey. Bardet moved up to second overall with two days to go.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) attacked from the gun. Logically, polka dot jersey holder Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) reacted. By the third kilometer of racing, a group of 20 riders was formed with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Robert Kiserlovski and Majka (Tinkoff), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Markus Burghardt and Amaël Moinard (BMC), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Laurens ten Dam (Giant-Alpecin), Emmanuel Buchman (Bora-Argon 18), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), De Gendt and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange), Eduardo Sepulveda and Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept). They had a maximum lead of 4:42 at km 7.

Astana seized the reins of the peloton as early as in the ascent to collet du Tamié after 8km of racing. They reduced the gap to two minutes. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) crashed in the middle of the peloton with 60km to go. He was forced to abandon with an injured wrist. The leading group was down to 12 riders in the grueling Montée de Bisanne where Rafal Majka mathematically secured his second King of the Mountains trophy after the 2014 Tour de France. Rolland attacked 46km before the end but crashed as there were 40km remaining so his breakaway companion Rui Costa stayed alone in the lead. Richie Porte (BMC) was involved in a crash that took Sébastien Reichenbach (FDJ) to the ground. The Australian made his way back in the yellow jersey group with 22km to go while Navarro was the last attacker to be reeled in at the exception of Rui Costa who remained at the front with an advantage of one minute 20km before the end.

Mikaël Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked in the downhill of côte de Domancy to anticipate an attack by Romain Bardet who rejoined Rui Costa with 7.5km to go. He soloed to victory 3km before the finish while Froome was in difficulty after he crashed in the downhill and Mollema who also went off road and was struggling further back. Froome still leads the Tour de France with an advantage of 4:11 over Bardet, 4:27 over Nairo Quintana, 4:36 over Adam Yates and 5:17 over Porte.

Stage 19 race report.

Saint-Gervais - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Romain Bardet (FRA-AG2R-La Mondiale) pictured during stage 19 of the 2016 Tour de France from Albertville to Saint-Gervais, 146.00 km - photo Davy Rietbergen//Dion Kerkhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016 Low resolution later highres

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It was just my bike rider’s instinct, It wasn’t planned at all. The whole team put in an incredible performance. Mikael Cherel just pushed, and pushed and pushed me to do it. At first I thought about GC but when I caught Rui Costa I knew I was going to go for the stage win. That was all that mattered at that point. I have no more words. I had no idea what was going on out there. I knew that if Mikael Cherel and I did a good descent together then we had a chance before the final climb. I knew I that I could maintain my pace but you’re never 100 per cent sure. I’ve now won two stages in two years. I just hope can keep this going for two more days. I’m over the moon. It’s beautiful to ride a bike instinctively. This attack was absolutely not planned. It’s been a flash in Mikaël Chérel’s mind. He said ‘let’s go flat out in the downhill’. We’re submitted to a lot of pressure all year so we need road captains like Sam [Dumoulin] and Mika [Chérel] to take decisions like that. He made ​​the descent. I trusted him but I told him not to take too much risk. Climbing to the finishing line was pure emotions. I watched the public in the eyes and shared the emotions with the people. We’re humans and humans need emotions. I ran away from any kind of calculation today. I don’t know what happened behind me. The last kilometers were a bit long. There were still 9.8km to climb, for one rider it is quite long.I do not know how I did it, but I win my second stage in as many years. I have no words for this. Moreover, I do a good thing in the overall standings. It really was instinct. That’s the kind of riding you want to be doing. The greatest emotions on a bike often come like a flash, and you say to yourself ‘this is the moment’.

Overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “There’s never a quiet day at the Tour! It’s ironic really. I was just trying to stay up front, safe and out of trouble. I think I just hit one of the white lines on the road and lost my front wheel. I’m okay. I’m lucky nothing is seriously injured, I just lost a bit of skin obviously and banged my knee a bit. This is the kind of day that I feel grateful I’ve got that four-minute advantage. I can fall back on that a little bit and obviously it was great for me to have teammates all the way up to the finish. Wout [Poels] in particular, and all the guys – it was a great team effort today and it feels good to be one day closer to Paris. I finished on Geraint Thomas’ bike. I knew the car was quite far back and mine wasn’t rideable after the crash. Thanks a lot to Geraint for his bike! I rode that to the finish and it was all right. Tomorrow is going to be really hard. I’m sure I’m going to be a bit sore and stiff after today. But hopefully I can rely on my teammates for one last push to get through the stage.”

2nd on the stage, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha): “It was chaos today. There were so many crashes on the wet roads. It was slippery after the dry days. There was no radio communication because of the noise from the fans and being in the mountains. In the last 100 meters I saw on the big screen a winning Bardet – otherwise I would have put my hands in the air! I found it strange that Valverde was pulling so hard. He only does this when he goes for a stage win – so I thought we were first!”

10th on the stage and 5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “I left a bit of skin out on the second descent. I just crashed in the descent, quite a lot of guys did, but I think I was the first one down. I think it’s just a bit of skin missing, it’s one of those things. It was such a hard day and it was a mess out there in the final. I think everybody came down. But I think I worked well with what I had and tomorrow’s another day. Today, even up hill around the corners, it was a bit slippery, so we’ll see how tomorrow pans out. I gave it my all today. The team were just amazing out there. The way they brought me back to the group after the crash and their work on the climbs was phenomenal.”

7th on the stage and 9th overall, Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Some riders crashing in front of me and I was a bit more careful, but the Specialized tires are the best in the world, so I didn’t have problems and wasn’t nervous on that dangerous descent. I stayed relaxed all day, the guys helped me the best way they could and I had strong legs. I knew Bardet was up the road and that’s why I decided to attack. I felt I could go for the stage win, especially as I didn’t thought there was an interest in chasing me. Still, despite being caught, I’m glad I had this go. The time I’ve lost comes down to experience, which is something you get with learning. I’m definitely one of the best guys on the climbs here in the race, so in the winter I will work more on my time trial, because I saw that I can fight for a good overall in the Tour de France.”

KOM, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “Mathematically I knew I had to go when I saw De Gendt go in the break. He took the first two so before the last climb we went a bit faster and I took the points there. Robert gave me a lot of help today and my teammates supported me in the earlier stages. We have a great team in Tinkoff and we’re so happy to have two jerseys. It’s our way of saying thank you to Oleg Tinkov for all his support. We’ve had some great results in the race and I’ve come in the top three myself a few times. I’m happy because we fought for two jerseys – the Polka Dot Jersey for me and the Green for Peter, and in the end even with the bad luck early in the race, we should have two jerseys in Paris. Without Alberto we were still able to ride a good race, but we needed to fight and we fought hard. I’m happy with my performance. Today I felt good and won the last climb and took the jersey for Paris. I wanted to take the points to close the jersey contest so we could take both Green and the Polka Dot to Paris. Maybe I didn’t win a stage but I’m happy with my performance. After taking the top five in the Giro and now the Polka Dot jersey, it’s been a great season.”

Damiano Caruso (BMC): “The final was really good for me. I was happy with my work for Richie. At the end we lost some time, just some seconds, but tomorrow we will try again. The Tour de France is not over yet.”

George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It sucks that we could not stay away, I had really good legs and everything went according to plan, I ended up in a large leading group and we got away. Then you hear that Astana is leading the pack, and you know it will be difficult. If there is a team leading the chase you just make sure you go faster, eventually Astana would give it up. The cooperation in the leading group was not good, I wanted to go faster but there were many complaints and few riders were not working. I really do not understand the riders attacking, because if we had worked together, we surely would’ve had a chance. When I was back in the group, I wanted to stay there as long as possible, but then I crashed and I was dropped. Tomorrow we will try it again.”

Tom Dumoulin out of Tour de France with Fractured Radius
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) crashed out of Le Tour de France on today’s 19th stage of racing after a crash that took place in the bunch. “Tom has fractured his radius in his left forearm,” explained team physician Stephan Jacolino. “It’s a clean fracture and further examinations have shown no additional fracture of the wrist joint, which is good news. Tom will have further tests in the Netherlands to determine if surgery is required to stabilize the fracture and to make a treatment plan.”

Dumoulin said: “It’s a huge setback. After the crash I instantly knew it was bad news. Luckily it is a clean fracture. As a precaution I have a cast but I can’t ride a bike with it. If I need to keep this for two weeks, then my participation in Rio will be difficult. Tomorrow I go back to the Netherlands and we can see how we proceed. I really hope I will be ready for the Olympics. At the moment there is too little information to say anything more about that objective.”

Coach Marc Reef: “We are very disappointed about the situation, for Tom and for the whole team. Tom’s Tour was already very successful but this injury is a big setback towards Rio. Now we have to see what our options are to be able to make the best possible plan for the next weeks.”

Tour de France Stage 19 Result:
1. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:14:08
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:23
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
4. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:26
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:28
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:36
9. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:53
11. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 82:10:37
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:11
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:27
4. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 4:36
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 5:17
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 6:00
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:20
8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 7:02
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:10
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 7:42.

Stage 19:

Summary – Stage 19 (Albertville / Saint-Gervais… por tourdefrance_en

Ion Izagirre (Movistar) claimed his first Tour de France stage victory as he arrived solo in Morzine after riding away from Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) in the downhill of col de Joux-Plane on Stage 20. Romain Bardet (AG2r-La Mondiale) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took no risk to secure their spot on the final podium along with Chris Froome (Sky) on the eve of the Parisian parade.

175 riders started the second last stage of the 103rd Tour de France in Megève. A minute of silence was observed as a tribute to the victims of the shooting in Munich, Germany, the day before. Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) was the first attacker of the day right after the flag off. A lead group was formed in several waves in the ascent to the col des Aravis. After 20km of racing, Sergio Henao (Sky), Imanol Erviti, Ion Izagirre and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Ben Gastauer, Cyril Gautier and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman and George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo), Frank Schleck and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Pierre Rolland, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Thomas De Gendt and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Sylvain Chavanel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Chris Juul-Jensen and Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange). De Gendt rode away solo to crest the col des Aravis first. He also sprinted to first place atop the col de la Colombière to secure his second place in the King of the Mountain competition against Pantano whereas the polka dot jersey had already been mathematically secured by Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) the day before.

Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) reached the front group right at the top of la Colombière. Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) made it across as well in the downhill while eight riders rode away in the valley at half way into the race: Ion Izagirre, Nibali, Sagan, Kreuziger, Rui Costa, Pantano, Alaphilippe and Gougeard. Sagan’s effort brought the break’s lead to a maximum of 6:24 over the peloton at km 67. With 62km to go, Sagan finished his work while Kreuziger was virtually on the podium but Astana and AG2R-La Mondiale took over from Team Sky at the head of the peloton. De Gendt rode away again in the ascent to col de la Ramaz where he was first again. In the downhill, Pantano and Alaphilippe overtook him to form a new leading duo with 40km to go. They attacked each other within 5km to the top of Joux-Plane but Nibali came across when he heard that he would not be useful on Fabio Aru’s side as the Sardinian was struggling behind the yellow jersey group.

With 15km to go, Nibali went solo. 2km before the summit, Izagirre and Pantano rejoined Nibali in the lead. The Colombian was designated the most aggressive rider of the day. The Spaniard got a gap for himself in the downhill. The day after Romain Bardet gave France its first stage win, Izagirre did it for Spain as well, making it the tenth nation with a stage victory this year – only five times in the past (1993, 1995 and 2006 with 11, 2002 with 12, 2013 with 13) there were more. It’s also Movistar’s first win. It validates the teams’ second straight team victory for the squad from Navarra. As no GC contender took the risk of losing its position, Chris Froome was quietly escorted by Team Sky to the finish while Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) moved up to the top ten for his last Tour.

Full stage 20 race report HERE.

Morzine - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Ion Izaguirre Insausti Jon (Spain / Team Movistar) pictured during stage 20 of the 2016 Tour de France from Megeve to Morzine, 146.00 km - photo Dion Kerkhoffs/Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Ion Izagirre (Movistar): “It was an amazing day. A victory in the Tour de France, in the Alps, is something every cyclist could dream of. It was a difficult breakaway, with many talented riders, but our legs responded well, and we could crown it in the best of possible ways. It was clear to me that both Pantano and Nibali were good descenders, but when you’ve struggled so much through the stage you might lack that bit of self-conviction. That’s why it was clearly set on my mind, ever since the top of the Joux Plane climb, that I had to start the ‘real’ descent at the front to reach the finish solo with at least a few meters. I was focused on keeping the right line and all strength into that downhill, giving 100%; it all went well and we’re super happy about this win. At the finish, I could only think about all the efforts and suffering leading up to this victory – they all were truly worth. At the end, it was a good Tour de France for Movistar Team; we all came here with our sights set on the #SueñoAmarillo, but Froome proved to be stronger than the rest of the field. I think that completing this race with a stage win, the team GC and Nairo’s podium place in Paris are phenomenal results. This win goes to Gorka, the whole team, my girlfriend and my little baby, expected to be born in October.”

2nd on the stage, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “I made a mistake in the first corner of the descent off the Col de Joux Plane and it proved costly enough to lose the stage. I gave everything on the ascent of the Joux-Plane. I started the descent behind Nibali, but he left a gap. I went on his right in order to overtake him, but I had to unclip because I went too hot into the first corner. In spite of my best efforts, I never was able to get back up front. This is a good 2nd place, but I am convinced I had the victory in my legs. I am satisfied with my Tour, and I am very grateful to the entire team. Without them, I would never have been able to get the stage win and these podium places.”

4th on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Today it was the final opportunity to do something nice and that’s why I decided to jump in the break. On the Ramaz downhill, I attacked and went with Pantano, another good descender. We worked well together and on Joux Plane I attacked to test the water. On the 10% slopes, I suffered and couldn’t keep up anymore, but I am satisfied with my day at the front and with the result I got.”

7th on the stage, Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo): “Just before the final kilometer, a sharp turn appeared suddenly. My wheel slipped away on a white stripe and I rode into the fences at 60 kilometers an hour. I fell on my back and it hurt so much that I wasn’t able to push hard anymore. I’m only suffering some scrapes and bruises fortunately, so I don’t have too much damage. I gave everything and fought for what I was capable of. When I crashed, I was in fifth position and that would have been the best possible place today.”

Overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “It’s a huge relief to cross that finish line. The last 24 hours have been pretty chaotic but my teammates helped me so much to keep the yellow jersey on my shoulders. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m pretty sore, all my knee and my back, but my legs were better today than yesterday after the crash. I had that four minutes gap to play with. It gave me a breathing space. I just had to stay in front. It could be like the first one again. It was a tough day out there, rain on and off, tricky descents and a tricky finish there, so it was such a good feeling crossing that final finish line.”

5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “It’s a great result but it’s a bit bittersweet to just throw away time like I have done on a few days. I think it leaves me a little more motivated for next year so I look forward to having another go at it. I move on and now I’ve got the Olympics to look forward to so hopefully I’ll take some good form out of this race and have a good go there. Coming down off those descents before the Joux Plane, everyone was just frozen solid. The Joux Plane is not an easy climb and at the pace they set it was quite hard to do anything from it. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) set a place that was basically impossible to attack off. It is just a nice day to get done. Every descent we did today was just dangerous and slippery so I don’t think anyone wanted to risk anything, and I think Team Sky had it under control anyhow. It does give me confidence for next year. A few times there I had a bit of bad luck but it’s exciting for next year. I’ll hopefully come back and give it another crack and see what I can do.”

9th on the stage and 9th overall, Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “The weather made the stage different; it was just about surviving out there. Julien Vermote and Tony Martin did a great job for me and I want to thank them for their help. I tried to stay as warm as possible and even though I didn’t feel as good as yesterday, I managed to stay with the yellow jersey group and get safely to the finish. Looking on the GC, I am just six seconds off seventh place, but what really counts is that I am lying around 2:30 off the podium, something I would have never imagined last year. This gives me a lot of confidence for 2017.”

Points leader and Combativity winner, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “I’m happy to have taken the most aggressive rider. I’m happy we finished this very hard week and I am looking forward to tomorrow. I was expecting to win the most aggressive prize last year, but didn’t, so to win it this year I’m very happy. With these wins it feels like 2012 when I won three stages and the green jersey. I’m very happy for myself and the team, and to have finished this very hard week. It’s important to fight hard – we’re the top team in the world and we had to make sure we kept getting those results.”

KOM, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “We’re happy and I’m pleased to have finished the day safely – I stayed with the GC riders and stayed safe in the finish. I didn’t want to risk it on the descent. The team was all the time in the front today – all the time in the breakaway. We had a lot of time in the breakaways this year – Peter especially is the most aggressive rider and he deserves that accolade. It’s really important for me and my teammates to have won the two jerseys. Oleg is leaving the sport so we wanted to give him something in this Tour to say thank you – three stages and two jerseys. We did it for Oleg after his five years of sponsorship of the team. It’s great because Roman took a top ten in the GC and we have two jerseys going into Paris. It’s been a great Tour de France – at the start we had bad luck, but now it’s much better and we’re really happy. We had bad luck with Alberto but congratulations to Chris Froome for the yellow. I love the race and am really pleased to have my second jersey – I’ll be celebrating tomorrow.”

Tour de France Stage 20 Result:
1. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar in 4:06:45
2. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:19
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0:42
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:49
5. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:43
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff at 1:44
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 2:30
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 3:24
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 4:12
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 20:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 86:21:40
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:05
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:21
4. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 4:42
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 5:17
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:16
7. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 6:58
8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:04
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff at 7:11.

Stage 20:

Summary – Stage 20 (Megève / Morzine) – Tour de… por tourdefrance_en

Like last year, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the prestigious conclusive Stage 21 on the Champs-Elysées as he out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). This is the first win of the German national champion at the Tour de France this year and his eleventh in total. Chris Froome (Sky) won his third Tour de France after 2013 and 2015 to join Philippe Thys, Louison Bobet and Greg LeMond in the record books one line below five-time winners Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

175 riders started stage 21 in Chantilly. Chris Froome celebrated his third Tour de France victory. Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez, 7th on GC at the age of 37, was given the green light to enter the Champs-Elysées alone in the lead to salute the crowd before retiring at the end of this year. French champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ) gave the go to the real race and an eight-man breakaway was formed with 50km to go: Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac), Markus Burghardt (BMC), Daniel Teklehaimanot (DiData), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Jan Barta (Bora), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept).

Burghardt was ejected from the leading group due to a mechanical. Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step) also had a mechanical with 35km to go. The German who had won on the Champs-Elysées in 2013 and 2014 was forced to a solo chase whereas his team-mate Tony Martin pulled out due to a left knee injury. The seven escapees had a maximum of 25 seconds lead. Luke Rowe and Wout Poels (Sky) showed off and joined them at the front with 18km to go. As the breakaway got reined in, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) counter attacked. He was caught by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) with 12km to go. It was all together again 6.5km before the end. Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) had a flat tyre with 2.5km to go. Lotto Soudal did the most impressive work at the front of the peloton and André Greipel was smart enough to mark Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and pass him right on time while Peter Sagan was coming fast from behind. Riders representing 12 different teams and 10 nations have won the 21 stages of the 103rd Tour de France.

Read the full race report HERE.

Paris - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Andre Greipel (Germany / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during stage 21 of the 2016 Tour de France from Chantilly to Paris, 113.00 km - photo Dion Kerckhoffs//Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Overall winner, Chris Froome (Sky) said on the podium: “To my teammates and support team – this is your yellow jersey too. I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for your commitment and sacrifice. A massive thank you to Dave Brailsford, and my coach Tim Kerrison. This is one special team – and I’m so proud to be a part of it! To Michelle my wife and my son Kellan – your love and support make everything possible. Kellan, I dedicate this victory to you. This tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice, and we pay our respects once again to those who have lost their lives in this terrible event. Of course these kind of events put sport into perspective, but they also show why the values of sport are so important to free society. We all love the Tour de France because it’s unpredictable, but we love the Tour more for what stays the same. The passion of the fans from every nation along the roadside, the beauty of the French countryside, and the bonds of friendship created through sport. These things will never change. Vive Le Tour, et Vive La France!”

Best young rider and 4th overall, Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange): “We came here not really riding for the overall. It just kind of happened and the whole team have been incredible in their support, all the riders and the staff who have worked so hard everyday. There has been no pressure, other than I what I put on myself, we approached the race day by day and I’m very happy with how its turned out this is a fantastic honor. I had a bad day on stage 19 and I wasn’t sure how my legs would respond but I recovered well and here we are. I’ve won the white jersey and fourth overall and that’s very satisfying. I wouldn’t say that we are disappointed not to have made the podium, its one of those things. This is only my second Tour and all of the guys ahead of me have competed for the general classification in previous Grand Tours so I think we have done very well. The future is ahead of me and I’m sure I will be back fighting for a podium place or even challenging for the Yellow Jersey. I will try my best, you never what will happen but I’m going to continue working hard and do everything possible to improve.”

5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “Fifth place, although a bit bittersweet, is a great result. I’ll always think about what could have been with the time loss on stage 2, but it makes me even more hungry to back and try and win the yellow jersey. I had a great Tour, I climbed really well, and also had a bit of bad luck. I’m looking forward to coming back and giving it another shot with BMC Racing Team. I had great support from my teammates and all in all, it was a great experience.”

6th overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “We’re super happy with these results. We took third overall, we won the teams’ classification, also one stage… these results are difficult to improve. A stage for me, you ask? It was hard. As I was still up there within the top GC guys, I was always on a leash; it already happened in Andorra on day nine. Making the breakaways was impossible for me. Maybe I had podium legs? To be honest, it doesn’t matter at all. I was strong, and one with my quality clearly has to be ambitious, but to me it was clear what my role in this Tour was. We came here to support Nairo and he’s on the podium -winning is always difficult, it’ll be up for another year to claim it. That support was the only thing that counted. The success we got in this Tour goes to those who couldn’t enjoy this podium with us -Gorka, Jesús; we just hope they get back to 100% as soon as possible. Right now, my legs are feeling tired, but there’s still two weeks before the Rio Olympics’ road race – I’m sure we will be well recovered by 6 August.”

8th overall, Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This was a Tour of firsts: first time I’ve targeted the general classification, first Grand Tour with Etixx – Quick-Step. It was a learning experience for both parties, but if there’s a thing it showed me, is that I have room to improve and go for an even better result. We got 16 top 10 placings, and this just shows the incredible depth of the team. We were the only team who rode for the sprints and for the overall, we animated the race in numerous occasions and I think we have to be happy with what we did.”

11th overall, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “The Tour overall was a great ride. The team was in full support for me and until two days ago, it looked really good. Misfortune like that is an intrinsic part of our sport. The difference is how you take it. How you deal with it. Eleventh is my worst Tour if you look at the number. Yet, it was my best. I’ll be proud of this in a couple of days when the disappointment is over. There are a number of highlights. That first TT, for example, is a moment I will remember forever.”

Points and Combativity winner, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “The first victory and second victory were amazing, and I also tried to help my teammates, and all the Tour went very well – it was a good Tour de France. I enjoyed helping my teammates. The Tour de France has always been good for me – the last two years I didn’t win but this year I won three stages and I’m happy for that. I always try to give my best and nearly got a fourth today. I started my sprint a little late today, but Andre did a good sprint and I’m happy for him to have won a stage too. Everybody’s happy. Now after the Tour de France I can go and relax a little bit, and I will then go for the mountain bike at the Olympics. It would be something special for me as I started in mountain bikes. That would be nice.”

KOM, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “I don’t think this win is any different from the first – it’s like I’ve won it for the first time. I’m so happy with this jersey, and happy for my teammates as this year we’ve done a really great Tour de France as a team, a top ten with Roman and two jerseys with Peter also the most aggressive rider. We were always there fighting every stage and giving our best.”

Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “It’s tough and disappointing to abandon in the last day, but my left knee was really hurting and it was impossible for me to complete the stage. I began to suffer since Saturday, when I came last on the stage, just inside the time cut. We will see tomorrow what is the nature of this injury.”

Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “First, let me say that I am disappointed to see the end of the IAM Cycling adventure. This team was really fantastic, and I found a second family during my long absences from home. Of course, I am very happy with my place in the top-20. I prepared very hard for this event, and my performance did not leave anyone guessing regarding my abilities. My stage win and the two second places were well above my general expectations. And I have to thank sincerely and from my heart all my teammates and the entire team for helping me achieve these feats.”

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It’s my most successful Tour de France. I was in the breakaway plenty of times, won a stage and especially I think wearing the yellow jersey for three days was something really special. It’s been a really good Tour de France for me. My first Tour was really hard and I asked myself why did I have to come here. And now it’s a bit different, I’ve had a lot of chances and it couldn’t get any better than this.”

Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I stayed motivated until the end, I just wasn’t able to make it into the breakaway too often. I gave it all and fought as much as possible.”

Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “It’s been a very memorable three weeks of racing. I was glad to be able to share in all of the successes of the team. My personal goals weren’t really accomplished but I’m certainly proud to be here in Paris with this group of guys.”

George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It was a rollercoaster, I’ve had some good moments, bad moments, frustration and successes. This is a learning process. I started with the task to help Wilco, but after his crash in the first week, we changed tactics. I’ve been riding aggressively and gave it all. You learn the most if you approach it like that. I’m very happy with finishing my first Tour.”

Tour de France Stage 21 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 2:43:08
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Drapac
8. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
9. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
10. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data.

Tour de France Final Overall Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 89:06:01
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:52
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:08
4. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 3:29
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 4:04
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:03
7. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 5:45
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 5:51
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff at 5:58
10. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 6:16.

Stage 21:

Summary – Stage 21 (Chantilly / Paris Champs… por tourdefrance_en

La Course by Le Tour 2016
Like two years ago and Marianne Vos’ win, it’s a sprinter who claimed the victory on the Champs-Élysées, at the end of the 89 kilometers of La Course by Le Tour. The Australian Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-High5) won the bunch sprint, beating the Finnish champion, Lotta Lepistö (Bigla-Cervelo) and… Marianne Vos (Rabobank-liv).

Despite the last-minute withdrawal of world champion Lizzie Armitstead, who decided to be extra cautious with the Rio Olympics looming ever closer, the 121-strong peloton set off at 1:15 pm in the slipstream of the favorites to win on the most beautiful avenue in the world. French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo–Liv), teammate Marianne Vos and rivals such as Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products), Chantaal Blaak (Boels–Dolmans) and Canadian Leah Kirchmann (Liv–Plantur) were among the big names on the start line. Among the personalities present at the start of the third edition on Place de la Concorde were Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo; UCI president Brian Cookson; Stéphane Pallez, the managing director of FDJ, the major sponsor of La Course by Le Tour; and Marie- Odile Amaury, the general manager of La Course organizer ASO.

The elite of women’s cycling faced thirteen 7km loops on the Champs-Élysées between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. Just 89km separated them from claiming one of the most prestigious events on the Women’s WorldTour calendar. After two laps spent getting a feel for the race, a quartet consisting of Russian Olga Zabelinskaya (Bepink), British champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon–SRAM), the Netherlands’ Lucinda Brand (Rabobank–Liv) and, especially, fellow countrywoman and race favorite Chantal Blaak (Boels–Dolmans) launched the first attack, stretching the peloton and causing a mass crash. The breakaway began the fifth lap with 12 seconds over the strung-out peloton, where Wiggle-High5 was working hard to close the gap. While the four riders in front ended up losing their battle with the bunch a loop later, the hectic pace failed to deter a few brave women from launching their own attacks.

The teams of the big favorites kept a lid on any breakaway attempts as the compact and increasingly nervous peloton neared the 25 km to go mark. The bunch shed more and more riders under the impetus of the top sprinters’ teammates, setting the scene for a thrilling showdown featuring the queens of the peloton. A new trio rolled the dice with 10 km to go as tenacious Lucinda Brand took off with Amy Pieters and Lauren Stephens. The three riders started the final lap in first place, while the 50-strong peloton chasing them was decimated by yet another fall.

The trio was caught 3km from the line with a sprint looking inevitable. But Ellen van Dijk tried to take the peloton by surprise, attacking one kilometer after. She was finally caught after the flame rouge by a peloton led by Pauline Ferrand-Prévot for her teammate Marianne Vos. It was Chloe Hosking who emerged victorious, claiming her biggest win yet ahead of Lotta Lepistö and Marianne Vos.

Paris - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Hosking Chloe (Australia / Wiggle High5) - Lotta Lepisto - Marianne Vos (Netherlands / Rabobank Liv Women Cycling Team)   pictured during stage 21 of the 2016 Tour de France La Course in Paris  - photo Davy Rietbergen/Dion Kerkhoffs/AntonVos/Cor Vos © 2016

Race winner, Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-High5): “My team were incredible, there were a few moments there, we missed that first break that had about three or four girls in it, but I just looked up the peloton and they were all just on the front. Then Amy Pieters was in a break with a lap to go, and I don’t even know when we caught them actually. Amy Roberts, our young British rider, was up the front, then at the back, and then up the front and never gave up. Then of course Audrey, our French rider, was protecting me for the last three laps, and put me in position. I’m so lucky!”

2nd, Lotta Lepistö (Cervelo-Bigla): “Joelle [Numainville] was so great today. She was so aggressive, she was always in the front. We were well positioned coming into the sprint and I shouted at her to open the lead-out. We started one second too late and the other teams went. We are happy with this result, I felt so good today. In Thuringen last week I was struggling with my ITB but the soigneurs did a great job in massaging me every day and the legs were amazing today.”

4th, Joelle Numainville (Cervelo-Bigla): “I had super legs today. I wanted to go in the break but it didn’t work out that way, In the final it was chaotic. When the speed increased with 2km to go it was much better because the speed was so high no one could pass. I started the race towards the back and there was a crash early on so I realized I need to go to the front and I stayed there the whole race so we could protect Lotta. I’ve been on super form the last weeks. I’m happy to show it on such a big occasion here.”

La Course by Le Tour Result:
1. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle-High5 in 2:01:27
2. Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo-Bigla
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv
4. Joelle Numainville (Can) Cervelo-Bigla
5. Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes – Futuroscope.86
6. Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Poitou-Charentes – Futuroscope.86
7. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM
8. Joanne Kiesanowski (NZ) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
9. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata.

La Course by Le Tour:

Best of – La Course by Le Tour de France 2016 por tourdefrance

Tour de Wallonie 2016
A fantastic sprint helped 35-year-old Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step) take his first victory of the season, less than 24 hours after extending his contract. Tom Boonen is back to winning ways, following a thrilling uphill finish on the inaugural day of the Tour de Wallonie, where he displayed his power and motivation which made him throughout the years the rider he is today. Supported by a very strong squad – which worked at the front of the peloton to control the three-man break and bring it back before the finish in Mettet – the seven-time Monument winner showed a huge turn of speed on the uphill drag, breezing past Jonas Vangenechten (IAM Cycling) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ).

Tour de Wallonie, a race created back in 1974, witnessed two other successes for Boonen in the past (2008 and 2013), but this one can be viewed as the most special of the three. Not only that it helped Tom break the ice in the 2016 season, but it also marked the start of what will be his final months in the peloton. On Friday, the 35-year-old re-signed with Etixx – Quick-Step for 2017, agreeing on a contract that will see him ride in the bunch until Paris-Roubaix, a race with which he identified since his debut in the pro ranks.

By taking the win – his 118th since joining the team managed by Patrick Lefevere – Tom Boonen became the first leader of the overall and points classification, ahead of Vangenechten and Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha). His teammate, Matteo Trentin, is also in the top 10, after getting involved in the sprint, these two results helping Etixx – Quick-Step take command in the team classification.

Cycling: Tour Wallonie 2016 / Stage 1 Arrival / Tom BOONEN (BEL) Celebration / Jonas VAN GENECHTEN (BEL)/ Arnaud DEMARE (FRA)/ Matteo TRENTIN (ITA)/  Charleroi - Mettet (178,3)/  Tour de Wallonie / (c) Tim De Waele

Stage winner and overall leader, Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Today’s goal was to try and go for the sprint. The finale was difficult, so I decided to go without a train and make my own sprint. The guys controlled and caught the break with 10 kilometers left and in the closing part, a difficult one as the road was rising, I opened my sprint with 250 meters left and then was able to accelerate again. It’s a nice way to celebrate my contract extension. In the past weeks I thought a lot about my future and when I decided to stop after next year’s Roubaix I came to peace with myself. I feel things are now in the right place, so I’m much more relaxed. From this point on, I will just try to enjoy and make the most out of the last part of my career.”

2nd, Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling): “Of course I would have liked to have won. Winning the first stage also always means you get the leader’s jersey. It wasn’t quite enough, but 2nd place is not so bad, and I am happy with it. The stage was not too tough, and the team did a great job. I have good legs, and I will try again on the second stage for sure.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 1 Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:15:32
2. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
6. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
8. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Bryan Alaphilippe (Fra) Armee de Terre
10. Gerry Druyts (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:15:22
2. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling at 0:04
3. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha
4. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDj at 0:06
5. Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis at 0:07
7. Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:08
8. Thomas Deruette (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
9. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:09
10. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:10.

Wallonie Stage 1:

Boris Vallee (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) took the biggest victory of his career on Stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie. In the bunch sprint on the hilly circuit of Le Roeulx, the young Belgian beat Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Roman Maikin (Gazprom-RusVelo). Boonen’s second place was enough for him to retain the overall lead.

The break of the day was doomed and so was a chase group as the sprinter’s teams; Etixx – Quick-Step, Direct Energie, FDJ and IAM Cycling pulled them back with 18 kilometers to go. Etixx controlled the peloton for another win for Boonen, but Vallee was too fast in the finish.


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Boris Vallee (Fortuneo-Vital Concept): “After my seventh place in the sprint yesterday, I really wanted to do well. The team worked well for me. Today is the reward of two days. I’m happy to win my first race at a race of this level. I win here in Wallonia. That is even more special. To beat a great sprinter Tom Boonen is not nothing. It was very nervous in the last 200 meters. When Boonen went, I took his wheel. I knew I could go faster and I did not hesitate. It was a nervous sprint, but I remained calm. Despite a big crash I stuck to the wheel of Boonen. I am very proud that I could beat him here. He has long been an example for me. He is a rider who has great respect for his colleagues in the peloton and especially for his teammates. I definitely want to savor my victory. It was one of the great objectives of my season. Hopefully the team can make the double withDan McLay at the Tour de France.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Tom Boonen (Etixx – Quick-Step): “When you try to win and you are second, you’re obviously disappointed, but I’m especially happy not to have been taken down in the crash. At the end of the day, I’m happy to have been there for the win. I did everything to win, but it was a bit of a mess in the finale. It was hard to stay in front. Those who fell were not as lucky as me. I know Boris Vallée, I know he is very strong. I launched my sprint a bit too early as I was the first rider who did not crash. My teammate Yves Lampaert narrowly avoided the crash. I said I would try. Boris was already in my wheel so I knew it would be difficult. You do not win every day.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 2 Result:
1. Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo-Vital Concept 4:18:50
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
6. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
8. Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha
9. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step in 8:34:06
2. Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 0:06
3. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha at 0:09
4. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling at 0:10
5. Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect at 0:11
6. Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:12
7. Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Mamyr Stash (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
9. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
10. Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis at 0:13.

Wallonie Stage 2 Sprint:

Tim Wellens Selected for Olympic Road Race and Time Trial
Federal coach Kevin De Weert announced the Belgian selection for the Olympic road race. Lotto Soudal rider Tim Wellens is one of the five riders who will go to Rio. The others are Laurens De Plus, Philippe Gilbert, Serge Pauwels and Greg Van Avermaet. Tim Wellens will also ride the time trial.

Tim Wellens: “The Olympics are one of my goals this season. I’m doing all I can to start with the best possible condition. The coach has given us a lot of info about the course. Louis Vervaeke, who took part in the test event last year, also shared his experiences. Everyone says it’s really hard. It’s good that the road race is scheduled first, because that’s my main goal, but I am definitely motivated for the time trial. I will do my best in the time trial.”

“After de Tour de Pologne I took two days rest and then I started training again to be very good in Rio. I decided to ride no criteriums. Next Saturday I will take part in the Clásica San Sebastián. I think it’s perfect to race there one week before the Olympics. Two days later we are leaving for Brazil.”

“I think it’s a good selection, although I would have loved Louis Vervaeke to be part of it as well. It’s a course that suits him. But it’s definitely right that these riders are selected. No doubt that the Olympic Games will be a unique experience. I am very curious to see the Olympic Village. It’s something special: athletes from different sports who take part in the same event. I’m looking forward to it very much.”

The road race is scheduled on Saturday 6 August, the day after the opening ceremony. The time trial takes place on Wednesday 10 August.

Tim Wellens:

Etixx – Quick-Step and Tom Boonen together in 2017
Multiple Monument winner and former World Champion, the Belgian will continue with the team next season.

Tom Boonen, Etixx – Quick-Step and Paris-Roubaix. Three names which will be forever linked, indivisible one from another, and which are poised to write a new chapter next season, as the 35-year-old Belgian agreed on a new contract with the team whose symbol he is. Since joining the squad created in 2003 by Patrick Lefevere, Tom has become one of the shiniest stars in the galaxy of cycling and built a huge legacy and a name that will stand forever as possibly the greatest one to tame the ruthless and treacherous cobbles of the north.

Three wins in Ronde van Vlaanderen and four in Paris-Roubaix make Tom Boonen joint-holder of the all-time record in both events, and by continuing with Etixx – Quick-Step he will have a chance to go again for the races which he loves so much. Besides the two Monuments, he’s also won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, all on multiple occasions, six stages and the points classification at the Tour de France, as well as the coveted rainbow jersey, all making up for one of the most impressive list of achievements ever seen in cycling, with each of these victories having its special place in the history books.

“I’m very happy and delighted what we came to an agreement. It’s important for me to stay in this team, as I’ve basically spent my entire career here and enjoyed many beautiful moments, reaching some big goals”, said Tom Boonen, one of the few riders in the current peloton to win more than 100 races as pro. “I know everybody since the inception of the team and I consider this squad as my second family. To be quite frankly, I don’t see myself with another jersey. It will be great to embark again with this strong team on a new adventure in the one-day cobbled races.”

“We are very happy to have Tom on board also for next season. It’s the logical way. We have a strong connection with Tom, which goes back to 2003, when our team was established. By staying with us, Tom can count on a strong team which will support him in next season’s Northern Classics campaign and in his assault for a fifth Paris-Roubaix”, said Patrick Lefevere, Etixx – Quick-Step’s CEO, who witnessed Tom Boonen become one of cycling’s greatest riders in his 14-year spell with the team.

Tom Boonen:
Paris - Roubaix 2016  WT

George Bennett renews for two years with Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider George Bennett has extended his contract. The New Zealander, riding since 2015 for Team LottoNL-Jumbo, and will continue with the Dutch WorldTour team through 2018.

“It is good news that I can stay with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. For two years, I’ve been riding for this team and I get all the support of the team, not only mentally but also in terms of equipment, training and nutrition.” “I feel at home among the other boys and that is equally important. The team looks not only at how fast you can ride, but also who you are as a person. So I get every opportunity to develop myself.”

Nico Verhoeven
“Bennett has shown himself in the Dauphiné and the Tour of California this year. These results have ensured that he could start of the Tour de France,” Technical Director Nico Verhoeven said. “He confirmed his good form being in the breakaways in the Tour.”
Bennett himself sees that he has developed. “Since I joined the team I’ve already improved a lot, and especially in recent months, it is getting better. I want to be a good helper for the GC-guys, but also I want to be a contender in the major races.”

George Bennett:
Saint-Mere-Eglise - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  George Bennett (N. Seeland / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) - Bertjan Lindeman (Netherlands / Team LottoNL - Jumbo)  pictured during the official team presentation prior the 2016 Tour de France, on June 30, 2016 in Saint-Mere-Eglise -  France  - photo Miwa IIjima/Cor Vos © 2016

BMC Racing Team Rider Medical Update
In the interest of increasing communication around the health and fitness of BMC Racing Team’s riders, the team will release a regular update from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa on all rider injuries and illnesses. The update below concerns three of BMC Racing Team’s riders.

Silvan Dillier:
Dr. Testa:
“Silvan suffered a fractured finger in the Giro d’Italia which forced him to abandon the race. He has recovered very well and took the necessary precautions in order to be back at his normal level ahead of the Olympic Games.”

Dillier: “I’m in the last training period for the Olympic Games where I’m going to compete in the Team Pursuit. All is going well, my condition is getting better and better and my finger doesn’t disturb me at all. I had great support from my hand specialists in order to get the best result in the shortest time, so I’m 100% ready for Rio and the upcoming races.”

Stefan Küng:
Dr. Testa:
“Stefan crashed heavily during the Swiss National Time Trial championships, sustaining a fractured collarbone and iliac bone which required surgery. He is doing well and all of his injuries are steadily improving. He will have a check up with his surgeon next week and at this stage he is limited to training on the rollers until around mid-August. He is progressing well, is in good spirits and is motivated to have a good end to the season.”

Küng: “I’m feeling good and have made a lot of progress in the last two weeks. I still have a bit of pain but I’m taking things one day at a time on the rollers and am looking forward to getting back on the road around mid-August.”

Manuel Quinziato:
Dr. Testa:
“Manuel sustained a shoulder injury at the Tour de Polonge. He injury has since been evaluated by a shoulder specialist and X-Rays revealed two non-displaced minimal fractures of the shoulder. He will need to rest before he can get back on the rollers and doing physical therapy. At this stage no surgery is needed and we will continue to monitor his improvement over the coming weeks.”

Quinziato: “I’m feeling pretty good, especially since it was confirmed that no surgery will be necessary. I’m not really in pain which is a good sign because it means the fractures are stable. I’m going on long half-marathon walks and this is definitely helping me to keep my shape before I can get on the rollers. I have to keep my shoulder and arm in a brace for another three weeks and then we can reassess my recovery, but I’m staying really positive and looking forward to recovering well before the UCI World Championships.”

A beer for Manuel Quinziato:

Kevin Deltombe, Michael Goolaerts and James Callum Shaw to Become Trainees
Just like previous years the WorldTour team of Lotto Soudal gives a few U23 riders the chance to become a trainee. This year the team chose for three riders from the own U23 team: Kevin Deltombe (22), Michael Goolaerts (22) and James Callum Shaw (20). No one better than Kurt Van de Wouwer, head of the sports department of the U23 team, to present these riders.

Kurt Van de Wouwer:Kevin Deltombe is strong in the Flemish and Walloon Ardennes. On top of that he’s also fast. He belonged to the top riders in the junior category. He was sixth at the World Championships in Valkenburg in his last year, in 2012. Last year he won a stage at the Tour de Moselle. This year he claimed the victory on the last stage of the Triptyque Ardennais. He was also second in the prologue of that race. Next week he’ll restart the competition, after he broke his collarbone at the end of June. This traineeship offers him the opportunity to show what he’s already capable of and of course he will learn a lot.”

Michael Goolaerts is a rouleur. That’s the way he won Brussels-Zepperen this season. He arrived at the finish that day together with his teammate Senne Leysen. At the Tour du Loir et Cher Michael won the first stage, being the fastest in the bunch sprint. He crashed on the final stage and incurred an elbow fracture and hand fracture. So also he had his share of bad luck this year. Michael is definitely able to contribute something to the WorldTour team, by riding at the head of the bunch and chasing breakaways. This is his last year as U23 rider, the same goes for Kevin.”

“The British rider James Callum Shaw is riding in the U23 category for the second year, he is two years younger than Kevin and Michael. Last year he also rode with our team. He’s maybe still too young to become pro, but it will be a wonderful experience for him. That way we can see how he’s coping in the pro peloton. He has a lot of potential and he has capacities to race on different terrains. James got fifth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège this year and third at the Flèche Ardennaise.”

“The fact that all three riders come from our own U23 team shows that we have strong riders in our team. It’s also proof of the cooperation between our team and the WorldTour team. I am really happy for Kevin, Michael and James that they get this chance.”

James Shaw:
Delft - Netherlands  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - James Callum Shaw (Lotto Soudal U23) pictured during Olympia’s 3M Tour 2015 stage 5a Time Trial Individual  from Delft  to Delft - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2015

Tour de France 2016: Revealed – Riders’ Musical Tastes
Music and cycling go hand-in-hand so we did the rounds and asked for likes and dislikes. This is what we discovered from Luke Durbridge, Gregory Rast, Simon Geschke, Wouter Poels, Luke Rowe, Bert Jan Lindeman and Michael Schar.

Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

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