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EuroTrash Monday!

What a weekend at the Tour de France! On Saturday we thought it was all over after the Sky domination of the first day in the Pyrenees and then on Sunday Movistar blew the race apart to show the Tour was far from finished. The Giro Rosa and the Tour of Austria both wound up and we even have news from the 2014 Tour de France. A very full EuroTrash Monday…yea a big coffee will be needed.

TOP STORY: Innocent Until Proven Guilty?
In Saturday’s stage 8 Chris Froome of the Sky team launched himself up the final climb of Ax 3 Domaines for the stage win and the overall lead. He finished 51 seconds ahead of team mate Richie Porte and over one minute in front of everyone else in the race. Within minutes his dominating ride was being questioned by a large amount of couch-experts on Twitter. All the amateur power calculators were madly trying to work out Froome’s output for the climb and pointing to the impossibility of such a ride (clean).

I don’t know if Chris Froome rides clean, he says he does and all the tests say he is, so what else can we go on? Froome has seen what the recent past has done to cycling and that testing has become more reliable and the affect the bio passport has had on the fight against doping. He knows the young guys in the peloton are different from the “Old Guard” of dopers who claim they had to do it to stay competitive, to even stay in the sport.

If we find out to the contrary this could be the last nail in the coffin for Pro cycling, many of the British cycling fans who only started following cycling since Bradley Wiggins won the Tour and took his Olympic Gold medal would turn their back on cycling and go back to football and rugby or…darts. And many other hardened fans would give up flogging a dead horse.

But then is our present problem because we have been let down so often lately that we don’t trust anyone and any strong performance is immediately condemned as “dirty”. Can we not now accept what we see? Can we not now give the riders the benefit of doubt? And by the way; Froome was 15 seconds slower than Lance Armstrong on the same climb.

Bagneres-de-Bigorre - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport -

Tour de France 2013
Stage 6 was history in the making as Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) became the first South African to wear the Yellow jersey in the Tour de France. In the sprint he finished ahead of his team mate and current race leader; Simon Gerrans and so became the new race leader. The day’s stage from Aix en Provence to Montpellier was crash riddled and there were four abandonments, including Lotto Belisol’s leader Jurgen Van Den Broeck. The course was fairly flat, but the big problem was the wind which was a crosswind for most of the day and a headwind for the finish. At the finish André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) was the strongest of the fast-men, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) clung to his wheel for second and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) slipped past a crash suffering Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) for third.

Impey in Yellow, Sagan in Green, Kwiatkowski in White and Rolland held the KOM.

Race Quotes:
Stage winner André Greipel (Lotto Belisol): “I’m of course very happy with this victory, that can be seen as a statement after yesterday’s back luck. I’ve known for long we have a great team, but today’s lead out to the sprint was fantastic. Lars Bak and Frederik Willems worked very hard during the race to keep us constantly in the front. The pace was set up by Adam Hansen, so we could go into the final km with three riders: Marcel Sieberg, Jürgen Roelandts and Greg Henderson. It’s never easy to succeed a sprint, but today I was guided to the finish in a perfect way. The green jersey is not per se a goal, but I aim to take as much points as possible. It is too early to make conclusions so we will see how it goes. Marc Sergeant did a very good job this morning in the team bus. He said it was important to focus on today’s sprint and we definitely managed to do this.”

“I was pretty emotional on the podium,” admitted Orica-GeenEdge’s Yellow jersey wearing Daryl Impey. “I was standing there and thinking ‘This is it.’ – this is the proudest moment ever of my career. I don’t think anything will ever top this. That’s not to say I’ll never be able to do it again, but not in this way. It’s like winning the jackpot.” “It was such a stressful day,” Impey added. “I just wanted to get to the finish. I knew if I did the lead-out for Gossy as planned, I’d probably end up in yellow.” “The team did a massive amount of work,” said Impey. “I couldn’t have done it without them. They rode on the front all day. They got me bottles. Everyone did something. Svein [Tuft], Cam [Meyer] and Stuey [O’Grady] were on the front all day. Everyone stayed around me. Gerro did the lead-out. When I say everyone did something, I mean everyone – I don’t want to forget anyone. It wasn’t just the riders. It’s the staff and management, too. It’s Gerry [Ryan] for giving us all an opportunity to compete at this level. Everyone pitched it to get me this yellow jersey. This is super special for me, and it’s a massive moment for South African cycling.” “Simon could have kept the jersey if he had wanted, but he gave up his opportunity to give me an opportunity of my own,” explained Impey. “That shows exactly what this team is about. We have a culture where everyone is important and everyone gets an opportunity. I’m really thankful for that.”
“There are a lot of really, really good cyclists who never get the chance to wear the yellow jersey,” Impey added. “I’m one of the lucky ones.”

Crash victim Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was all about surviving today – it was the hardest stage so far in this year’s Tour. Riders broke into a roundabout and I wasn’t able to avoid the rider in front of me. There was so much tension due to the win and everyone was full of nerves not to lose their position and miss any cut. I suffered a strong blow in my left knee and also a small one in my wrist, but it doesn’t seem bad at all – I hope to be recovered for the Pyrenees. It hurt quite a bit during the stage, but I knew I could continue and tried not to lose any time. It really feels like a different race – the level of the field and the tensions are huge here.”

Juan José Lobato (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was 5th on the stage; he stated that “this race is unlike any you’ve ridden, it’s another world. The pace and tensions are huge, but I’m feeling good, very motivated, and I want to do something. I do not know when I will finish the race, but keep going day by day, learn and gain experience. Throughout the day I had been very good, looking forward, but when there were about thirty kilometers to the finish I started to feel not so good. I do not know if it was the heat, which was pretty bad. But I’m happy to see me fight among the best sprinters in the world. ”

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) crashed on a roundabout with less than 35km to go. He has abrasions on his right knee, left shoulder, rib and upper arm. “I think there were a lot of factors; for sure the crash didn’t help,” Cavendish said about the effect of the crash on his sprint. “It took a lot of energy to get back. I can’t say for sure though, you know, Andre was really strong today and he deserved the win. I’m disappointed, but you know we won the stage yesterday, and the morale is still good,” Cavendish said. “We rode strong all day in difficult conditions, so it’s OK. We’ve got another two weeks left.”

Tour de France Stage 6 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 3:59:02
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 6:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge in 22:18:17
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:03
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:05
4. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:06
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:08
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:14
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff.

Stage 6:

The Backstage pass from Orica-GreenEdge:

About halfway through Stage 7 on the climbs of the Col des 13 Vents (Cat 3) and the Col de la Croix de Mounis (Cat 2), sprinters: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) were dropped with a big group of 83 riders. Peter Sagan’s Cannondale team put the pressure on in the front group and the chase group could only get to within two and a half minutes before they gave up and finished nearly 15 minutes after the finish proper.

Cannondale and Orica-GreenEdge maintained a high pace at the front and a late attack by Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard) who was joined by Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Juan José Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi) failed. Cannondale made the lead-out in to Albi until Argos-Shimano came to the front for John Degenkolb and Sagan was swamped. Degenkolb had to squeeze through on the inside to make what an early jump in what looked like too small a gear. Sagan had German’s wheel and launched himself past easily for stage win and more points for his Green Jersey.

Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) held onto the Yellow jersey as Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) did with the White. The mountains jersey moved to Biel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) who collected point when he was in an early break with Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard).

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) had to abandon because of another crash on stage 7 after he was caught up in previous pile-up on stage 5 where he injured his back and loosened a screw in a collarbone plate.

Race Quotes:
In the galloping finalé, Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Daniele Bennati finished third: “I was in a very good position after a tough stage. I had a flat tire at the bottom of the final climb before the finish line and I really struggled to catch up with the field and to stay in the head of the bunch towards the finish line. In retrospect, I’m happy to get a spot on the podium.”

“It was really tough today,” Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) said. “I didn’t expect Cannondale to go so fast on the climbs. With 100km to go they went full gas on the climb and dropped many guys. I didn’t realize they could handle that gap until the finish. I’d like to thank Chava and Peter Velits, who stayed with me so I could save my legs for tomorrow. It was a dream to wear the white jersey before the Tour de France, but now I have worn it for six days. It’s an amazing feeling. I will try to keep this jersey as long as possible. There are so many hard stages in front of us. So, I don’t know how it will go. For sure Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot are good climbers, so in the second and third week they will gain some time.”

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) said after the stage: “The crash on the first day was difficult, but I didn’t lose much time for the general, this is important. I feel better and it’s no problem for tomorrow. I think tomorrow will change a little bit the classification, of course we will look first to see if some teams take the responsibility and want to go fast in this stage because they can change the race, if they use one or another tactic. I feel good physically, but I have to wait to the mountain because there is when we really will see my shape compared to rivals”. Alberto said of tomorrow’s Pyrenean Mountain “it is a hard mountain, especially Palhieres and Ax 3 Domaines, which are tough and can break the race if riders want to make a hard race. At the end we have to see how the stage develops and what our place is.”

Tour de France Stage 7 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 4:54:12
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff
4. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
8. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
9. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 7:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge in 27:12:29
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:03
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0:05
4. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:06
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:08
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:14
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff.

Stage 7:

Stage 8 from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines was an example of the Sky team’s devotion to winning this year’s Tour de France with Chris Froome. The only point where they were worried was by the attack from Nairo Quintana (Movistar); he rode away from the GC group on the Col de Pailhères as if he was going for a stroll. The little Colombian passed everyone in front of him and looked good enough for the stage win. Sky, of course, had a different idea and calmly pulled the race together on the summit climb to Ax 3 Domaines, despatching all the hopefuls on the way. In the end Chris Froome put in the killer blow to win the stage and take the Yellow jersey and the KOM at the same time. His team mate Richie Porte was second on the stage and is now second overall. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was third and he took third overall. Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) was not on a good day, but had team mate Roman Kreuziger to help him. Of the other GC riders; Cadel Evans (BMC) lost the most, over 4 minutes. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) lost over 2 minutes, but the Belkin tandem of Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam rode very well to move into fourth and fifth overall. The Tour isn’t over, but it looks more settled going into the second week.

Race Quotes:
After standing on the podium in yellow Chris Froome (Sky) was happy to finally be leading on the biggest stage in cycling. “This is where it counts and this is the main objective of the season, building up to where I am now wearing this jersey,” he said. “It’s quite hard to take in, to think that this is the pinnacle of our cycling calendar and to be here having achieved such results today – myself and Richie Porte first and second. The team have come through the first week in such a good position. We’re really, really happy. There’s definitely a long way to go but I think we’ve got to take advantage of every uphill finish and every GC day that there is. The time trial is coming up and this is really an optimum position to be in. I feel really privileged to be here. I couldn’t be happier,” he admitted. “It really has been a nervous week building up until now but the team has done a fantastic job. We’ve come through the first week in a really good position and being able to do that today, and being able to repay my team-mates with a stage win, and Richie coming second – we couldn’t have asked for more.”

“This is the first real GC day so to come out and win it with first and second is just a dream come true.” Froome admitted that attacks from his rivals had got the team’s attention as they now set about defending the maillot jaune. “We were put under pressure there,” he added. “This is only the first week of the Tour. We’ve still got two weeks to go and there’s definitely going to be some hard racing to come. We’ve got the yellow jersey and we’re definitely going to have to defend it. I was always confident with my team-mates around me. Pete Kennaugh, Richie Porte – they did an absolutely fantastic job bringing us up until the climb. That’s such a good way to start the mountains for us.”

Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde finished 4th at 1:08: “When Froome went away, I chose to ride on my own pace – I knew it was better for me. I was already at 190bpm before the attack, so that meant I had energy to keep going, because it wasn’t easy to keep that effort for a long time. I told Nairo to attack into the Pailhères because I saw him doing well and knew that he would make the Sky work harder – he proved to be really strong. There’s still a long way to go in the Tour and we’re close, so we can’t rule out anything. There’s still a lot to be won or lost. Tomorrow’s stage will be different to today’s, because it’s not a mountain-top finish – while being a really hard day, it finished at the bottom of the valley after the last port. The important thing from this very moment is recovering and tackling tomorrow’s stage at 100%. Froome is superior at this moment, really difficult to beat, but the Tour is a long race. I’m happy to be sitting in 3rd place, into the provisional podium, with such strong riders behind.”

The rider of the day was Nairo Quintana who showed everyone how to climb on the Col du Pailhères: “I’m satisfied with my stage. We had planned this morning to attack in Pailhères so I could help Alejandro out and disrupt Sky’s work at the front, and despite I didn’t have energy enough in the finale and they rode really strong, things were well with respect to that. I came into the race with no racing form, but I could gain it into the first stages and now I feel in perfect condition. The legs today were really good. I proved myself today I can ride with the top contenders in the mountains and hope to give it another try in this Tour de France. Wearing the white jersey is a really beautiful thing. Even though I didn’t want to concede it initially, it was something I wanted to achieve, and now I hope to keep it all the way to Paris. Already since I was a child, I wanted to be at the Tour, and being able to shine makes me feel full of pride and joy. The support and messages from my family, my girlfriend, my friends and everyone in Colombia have helped me much, and this stage is dedicated to them.”

Fourth on the stage Bauke Mollema (Belkin): “I never was this good before, especially in the Tour de France. Also we had Laurens up there, it was great to be there and working together. Getting the first mountain stage out of the way is a relief, but you have to be good every day. I’m happy with today, to enjoy it. I hope to do the same again and to keep my classification. I was surprised by Contador and Rodríguez losing time, but it was so hot and not everyone could drink enough to stay at 100 per cent.”

And fifth Laurens ten Dam (Belkin): “I knew I was good, but we really did well and sitting in fourth and fifth overall now. To have both of us in the GC shows that we are one of the big teams, with Sky and Movistar. Contador was behind us. It was surprising. Even Rodríguez would not ride with me, I just held my tempo. I saw Contador in trouble, and attacked him.”

Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Dan Frost: ”Alberto was really well-protected all the way to the finish line but the conclusion is that he, like many other riders had a tough and hot day. Of course, it’s a huge blow to the confidence being dropped like this on the first mountain stage and Porte and Froome are looking extremely powerful and won the first round. But the race is either won or lost. On the first mountain stage in any race, it’s common to have a bad day. Several mountains and kilometres are still to come on the road to Paris and we’ll be looking for a gap in the Team Sky defence and take advantage of it when we see it.”

Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez was 11th at 2:06: “It was a very hard stage for the high temperature and the fast pace the group kept all day. I’m a little disappointed about the result because I expected more from myself. But anyways, I’m optimistic about the rest of the race: Paris is still very far and we have to ride so many more kilometres before reaching it.”

Cadel Evans (BMC) conceded 4:13 to stage winner Chris Froome, who soloed in 51 seconds ahead of Sky Procycling teammate Richie Porte to take the race lead. “It was my worst day in the Tour when I’ve been healthy. I was nowhere in the mix,” Evans said. “I knew I wasn’t at my best, but certainly I didn’t expect to be that far off the best.” Evans went on to finish 26th in the 195-kilometer stage and sits 23rd overall, 4:36 behind Froome. “Sky rode a tempo that was really consistent – from when they started on the Pailhères to when they hit the bottom of Ax 3 Domaines,” Evans said. “They rode a consistent, solid pace. Not many people could match it.”

BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen, winner of the best young rider classification at the race last year, finished 12:15 behind Froome in 56th place. Van Garderen said he suffered in the heat more than the effects of a crash on the opening stage one week ago. “The heat really started getting to me, which is strange because I’d done a lot to prepare for the heat with the sauna and I’ve had good rides in California and San Luis, which were all really hot,” van Garderen said. “So I didn’t think that was going to be an issue. But for some reason, today, it really seemed to affect me.”

“The first mountain stage was pretty hard,” Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) said. “I tried to stay with the best on the HC climb and I did it. But, after a crazy downhill, I almost crashed on the bottom of the last climb. I lost my concentration. On the first kilometer of the last climb I dropped from the first group. I tried to pass other riders on the climb. I did my best. Of course I’m a little disappointed because I lost the white jersey, but I think I improved a little bit on the climbs. So, I’m looking forward to the next stages and I hope to be good for us.”
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) commented: “Not a good day for me, I was aware on the Col du Pailhères that my aims for the overall classification were over. Now it’s time to focus all the energies in trying to battle for a stage victory.”

Tour de France Stage 8 Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 5:03:18
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:51
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:08
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 1:10
5. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 1:16
6. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:34
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:45
8. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
9. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
10. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 32:15:55
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:51
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:25
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 1:44
5. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at b1:50
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:51
7. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 2:02
9. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 2:31
10. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff at 2:40.

Stage 8:

Stage 9 was a crazy day in the Pyrenees. After the example of perfect team tactics from the Sky team on stage 8, today they were blown away leaving the Yellow jersey of Chris Froome on his own surrounded by many riders from Movistar, Saxo-Tinkoff, Belkin and importantly Garmin-Sharp. The Garmin-Sharp team were on the attack from the start will riders up the road in different attacks. In the end Movistar pulled all the escapes back and led the main GC riders up the final climb, the La Hourquette d’Anzican. Movistar tried to put Froome under pressure, but he didn’t let them get the better of him. Four kilometres from the top; Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) jumped away and was joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), by the top they had 50 seconds over the Yellow jersey group. The two worked well together on the descent into Bangnères de Bigorre and Martin was first into the last corner to take the sprint from Fuglsang, 20 seconds ahead of the chasers. Richie Porte (Sky) had been second overall at the start of the stage, but was distanced early and with the pace set by Movistar he didn’t see the front again and finished 17 minutes down.

Froome defended his overall lead on his own and all the other jersey’s stayed the same going into the first rest day.

Race Quotes:
The stage winner; Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) said: “I knew the last 30 kilometres quite well, I was lucky Jakob came with me because I don’t think one guy would have survived out there alone. But it was a great team effort all day, the guys went on the attack from the start and I had to finish it off in the end.”

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “I’m actually happy about the stage because I suffered so much from the beginning, I just want to say thank you to my teammates because they pushed me to the limit. I lost contact on the second climb. I felt really bad. But I found Matteo Trentin and Peter Velits on the road. They really helped me a lot. We suffered on the third climb but then we chased and chased and I was able to come back to the peloton on the second to last climb. That stage was really super fast and I thought today might not be my day. But Matteo and Peter, they really said ‘no, you have to stay here and work with us and follow us.’ I tried to finish the job they did through winning the stage but it was difficult. But I caught the group and was able to stay with the best until the final. If you consider how difficult this stage was, I am really happy and looking forward to the next stages.”

“I tried to attack on the descent, it was actually not so technical and you never know what could happen,” Kwiatkowski continued. “Maybe someone could have followed me. But the problem was after the descent we had a headwind to the final. As for the final, I think the chase organized well, but those two were really strong in the front. We went really fast in our group, so congratulations for them. They came to the final and they deserved it.”

4th Dani Moreno (Katusha): “Today it was a hard stage too. At the beginning of the last climb I dropped because the group was keeping a really fast pace. Then, I managed to close the gap, keeping a regular pace. In the final I managed to make a good sprint: unfortunately it was only for the third position.”

5th Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha): “It was an incredibly fast stage: the group was full gas all day long, so we all made a huge effort. The race is still very long, there’s still plenty of time before Paris, and today’s crisis of Porte proves there can be many surprises before the end in general classification. Everything can happen in this kind of big stage races: that’s the beautiful of cycling.”

Rui Costa (Movistar): “With all hardness and the toll that yesterday’s stage took on us, we knew that today’s stage was going to be hard, and it really was. Everything broke up into the first climb: we were able to isolate Froome and we tried in all ways to create a breakaway and keep the pace high. It wasn’t possible, but we still tried to work hard until the final climb. The pace put by Nairo was too much for me and I dropped, but was able to bridge with 1.5k left, and tried to help in the finale as much as I could.

“It was sad not to be able to contest the stage, but I think we did well: the team was really strong, we took Porte out of contention and we must be calm and happy. As well myself as Nairo and Alejandro are feeling well – we didn’t have any bad crashes and we’re ready to fight in the next stages. I personally didn’t lose much time and think I can be useful for the squad, depending on the tactics that might create during the remainder of the race. We three will push as much as we can to stay on top of the standings and also winning the teams’ overall. It would be wonderful to get that prize in Paris. Now it’s time to rest – we’ll see what happens from Tuesday.”

2nd overall Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It was a really, really hard day. Already into the second climb I tried to move and brought Froome behind me. We attempted to liven things up and we didn’t found the best version from Sky. We took Porte out of the fight, a big rival, so even though the best possible finish would have been winning the stage and we couldn’t do so, we should not keep thinking about it: we must be happy about the rest. The team performed tremendously well and I’m leaving the Pyrenees in 2nd place overall, so the overview after this stage must be positive. I want to thank all the crowds cheering for us on the road and everyone supporting us from TV at home; this effort was for them.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was a beautiful stage and quite a good result for us – we proved all the people we have an excellent squad, with all riders at a very strong level, ready to help myself as well as Rui and Alejandro. We all put our effort at the team’s service, and that made us reaching the finish with three riders into the front group, losing no time, which was the main goal. We showed the world Sky also has weaknesses, but Froome is really strong and it’s difficult to hurt him. Still we’re taking some energy from him, making him work and suffer in view of the next stages. There are still many strong rivals in front of us, which we will have to fight against in the remainder of the race. For the time being, getting over this week with the white jersey is quite good and I’m really happy of wearing it. The first rest day comes tomorrow and we’ll try to profit from it – getting on a short ride with the team-mates, talking about anything but the race to get the nerves off.”

Cadel Evans (BMC) said he was feeling “a bit better” in the 168.5-km race that was aggressive from the start and saw overall leader Christopher Froome isolated from the rest of his Sky Procycling teammates. “Certainly, you always have to keep your hopes alive,” Evans said. “Quitting is not an option right now. What a saw today was a surprise and not what I expected of Sky. Last year, they had really good recovery amongst all their riders every day throughout the whole tour. Today, that wasn’t the case at all. They had one rider in the front and that was a strange and really bizarre situation for the yellow jersey, especially so early in the race.” Evans remains 4:36 behind Froome, but moved up seven spots to 16th place.

Morabito said he was also feeling better on the day before the Tour’s first rest day. First, he tried to make the race more aggressive. Later, he helped drive the pursuit of Martin and Fuglsang. “I went away twice and was feeling good, but behind Saxo Bank and Movistar were checking the bunch,” he said. “Cadel also had to change bikes so I was asked to wait for him. So on the second climb I brought him him back to the first group.” BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said Evans’s recovery from Saturday, when he conceded more than four minutes, has the team moving forward more than looking back. “We had higher expectations than what we put on paper so far, but we go on from here,” Ochowicz sad. “There’s two more weeks to go and we still have a lot of mountains and time trials and events we’d like to do ahead of us. We’re in a good position, We’re moving up, back with Cadel and we will continue to do that every day and opportunity we get.”

Tour de France Stage 9 Result:
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp in 4:43:03
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:20
4. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
5. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
7. Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
10. Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 9:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 36:59:18
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:25
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 1:44
4. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 1:50
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1:51
6. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 2:02
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 2:28
9. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 2:31
10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 2:45.

Stage 9:

Giro Rosa 2013
In Stage 5 it was all change in the GC as Mara Abbott (US National Team) won the stage and took the overall from Marianne Vos (Rabobank-liv Giant). Abbott climbed away on the summit finish on the Monte Beigua to finish 1:44 ahead of Francesca Cauz (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) and 1:49 in front of Fabiana Luperini (Faren-Kuota) in 3rd. Marianne Vos had to be paced to the finish by her teammate Megan Guarnier to finish in 15th place at 5:15, she dropped to 7th overall at 3:20. Abbott won the woman’s Giro d’Italia in 2010 and is now leading Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) by 1:27 and Fabiana Luperini (Faren-Kuota) by 1:34.

After the stage Marianne Vos said: “It’s been going well, the past few days, but it has taken a lot of strength. But I think it’s mainly because long climbs have not been in part of my preparation. Today was a serious test and I just was not good enough. I can come up with all kinds of excuses, but the others were simply too strong. My climb skills must be affected by the other training approach with a view to mountain biking, I had hoped that it would still be okay, but that was not the case. On the final climb I had quickly realised that this just was not my terrain and certainly not my day.”

Giro Rosa Stage 5 Result:
1. Mara Abbott (USA) USA National Team in 2:25:25
2. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo at 1:44
3. Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Faren-Kuota at 1:49
4. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana at 1:51
5. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 2:38
6. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team TIBCO To The Top at 2:49
7. Yevgenia Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox at 3:02
8. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Bepink at 3:45
9. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol Ladies at 3:51
10. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon.

Giro Rosa Overall After Stage 5:
1. Mara Abbott (USA) USA National Team in 13:58:43
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana at 1:27
3. Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Faren-Kuota at 1:34
4. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team TIBCO To The Top at 2:27
5. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo at 2:30
6. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 2:54
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-liv Giant at 3:20
8. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon at 3:35
9. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol Ladies at 3:37
10. Yevgenia Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox at 3:39.

Stage 5:

Mara Abbott (US National team) dominated again in the mountainous Stage 6 to San Domenico. On the summit finish she pulled 24 seconds clear of Claudia Häusler (Tibco-To The Top) and put more time into everyone else on the race. Bad news for Fabiana Luperini (Faren-Kuota) as she was disqualified due to her bike weighing less than the UCI stipulated 6.8 kilograms. Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) is now the best placed Italian rider in second place.

After all the breaks were brought back at the start of the final climb a group of eighteen riders, including all the GC hopefuls broke away. The action was similar to the previous day; Abbott rode all the others off her wheel as she was too strong for the others.

Giro Rosa Stage 6 Result:
1. Mara Abbott (USA) USA National Team
2. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team TIBCO To The Top at 0:24
3. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo at 0:34
4. Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Faren-Kuota at 0:41
5. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana at 1:03
6. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon at 1:32
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant at 1:32
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 1:46
9. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol Ladies at 1:52
10. Yevgenia Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox at 1:53.

Giro Rosa Overall After Stage 6:
1. Mara Abbott (USA) United States National Team
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana at 2:40
3. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team Tibco-To The Top at 2:55
4. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo at 3:10
5. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 4:50
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant at 5’09
7. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon at 5’17
8. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto-Belisol at 5:39
9. Egvenia Vysotska (Ukr) Michela Fanini-Rox at 5:42
10. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Be Pink at 7:51.

Stage 6:

Current World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv Giant) won Stage 7 outsprinting double World champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) into Corbetta at the end of 120 kilometres. This brings Vos’s stage wins to three this year, but she has lost out to the climbing ability of Mara Abbott (US National Team). The Giro Rosa finishes with a 16 kilometre TT on Sunday.

Giro Rosa Stage 7 Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant in 2:52:07
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda
3. Shelley Olds (USA) Team Tibco To The Top
4. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Holland National Team
5. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Vaiano Fondriest
6. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) MCipollini Giordana
7. Oksana Kozonchuk (Rus) RusVelo
8. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Bepink
9. Giada Borgato (Ita) Pasta Zara-Cogeas
10. Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica-AIS.

Giro Rosa Overall After Stage 7:
1. Mara Abbott (USA) USA National Team in 20:06:50
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana at 2:28
3. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team Tibco To The Top at 2:52
4. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo at 3:01
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant at 4:50
6. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS
7. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-Lululemon at 5:17
8. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol Ladies at 5:39
9. Yevgenia Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox at 5:42
10. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Bepink at 7:42.

Stage 7:

The final Stage 8 16.7 kilometre time trial was won by Eleonora Van Dijk (Specialized-Lululemon) from her team mate Evelyn Stevens, but Mara Abbott (US National Team) managed to only lose 55 seconds to second placed Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) and so won the 2013 Giro Rosa. This is Abbott’s second win in the female version of the Giro d’Italia as she also won the 2010 edition and was second in 2009. After she finished she said: “Thanks go to my team, the public and all those who believed in me. Now, I’ll have an ice-cream, pack my stuff and fly back home, where I’ll celebrate with my family and friends.” And next year? “I’ll be back to the Giro to try to be the best once again and to feel the warmth of the Italian fans.”

Giro Rosa Stage 8 Result:
1. Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-Lululemon in 21:12
2. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-Lululemon at 0:35
3. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:53
4. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv Giant at0:58
5. Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda at 1:02
6. Tayler Wiles (USA) Specialized-Lululemon at 1:10
7. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS at 1:11
8. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Holland National Team at 1:14
9. Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) RusVelo at 1:15
10. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-Lululemon at 1:17.

Giro Rosa Final Overall Result:
1. Mara Abbott (USA) USA National Team in 20:30:15
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana at 1:33
3. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team Tibco To The Top at 2:18
4. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 3:29
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-Lululemon at 3:39
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant at 4:08
7. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo at 4:25
8. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol Ladies at 5:23
9. Yevgenia Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox at 6:48
10. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Bepink at 7:25.

Giro Rosa stage-8

Tour of Austria 2013
Mathias Frank soloed to win his second straight stage at the Tour of Austria Thursday, giving the BMC Racing Team its third win in-a-row at the race after Norwegian road champion Thor Hushovd won Tuesday’s third stage. Frank launched an attack on the final hundred meters and was chased by Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka. But Frank made it to the finish line first while Majka took second place.

Frank thanked his teammates for helping him become the first rider in BMC Racing Team history to win back-to-back races. He freewheeled across the line five seconds ahead of Rafal Majka and six seconds ahead of third-placed Nicolas Edet (Cofidis). “It was pretty steep at the finish and we had just caught the breakaway,” Frank said. ‘The guys did a perfect job of putting me in the front. I took the last couple of corners into the climb in third wheel and had a perfect lead-out. I went with about 700 meters to go because I knew this was a distance I could go full gas and do my sprint. But when I attacked, I was surprised nobody else was in my wheel.” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said the fast pace of the race’s longest stage – 103 kilometres of the 228.3-km race was covered in the first two hours – and a lack of a breakaway (until km 90) did not change the team’s strategy. “We knew it was a really good finish for Mathias, but we actually expected a break to go earlier,” Stewart said. “All of the guys were really good, but Daniel Oss and Dominik Nerz were notably good at the end in setting up Mathias for the climb.” Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) kept the overall lead while Frank (18th, at 5:27) is the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in the general classification.

“It was a very steep uphill finish with several attacks on the final three kilometres, but just like yesterday, Mathias Frank was clearly the strongest rider. But Rafal is really showing progress and a second place is a pretty good result. It’s promising in terms of the races to come if he and Chris keep getting better every day”, said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Steven De Jongh after the race.

Tour of Austria Stage 5 Result:
1. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC in 5:21:41
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 0:05
3. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 0:06
4. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon at 0:09
5. Patrick Facchini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 0:12
7. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha
8. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:16
9. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana
10. Stefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale at 0:18.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 5:
1. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana in 20:21:39
2. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon at 0:52
3. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:04
4. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:45
5. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 1:47
6. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard at 2:04
7. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 2:13
8. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 2:20
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:37
10. Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Gourmetfein Simplon at 3:02.

Stage 5:

Gerald Ciolek brought his Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung the hoped-for stage win at the Tour of Austria by winning the mass sprint in Stage 6. The Milan-SanRemo winner won after 182.2 kilometres from Maria Taferl to Poysdorf after his teammates set him up perfectly. Second place went to Italian Simone Ponzi (Astana) and third to Australian Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff).

It was Gerald Ciolek’s third stage win in the Tour through the Alpine republic, after winning two stages and the best sprinter ranking in 2007, while wearing the jersey of the U-23 World Champion.

“This is a great day for our team. I have always said that this tour is an absolute highlight for us, and that just makes this win more important for the team,” said a beaming Ciolek after his victory. “We took charge of things early and helped control the race. I am proud that I can give something back to this wonderful team and our Qhubeka Bikes4Kids project.”

“That was a fantastic sprint by Gerald after our guys did a super job setting things up. Finally we have the stage win we wanted,” said directeur sportif Jens Zemke. “Tomorrow Ignatas [Konovalovas] will start in his new national jersey in a time trial for the first time. The jersey will surely motivate him and we hope for a good result.”

As expected, there was once again an escape group which led most of the stage. After many early attempts, a trio was finally able to get away. Austrians Christoph Springer (Vorarlberg) and Benjamin Edmüller (ARBÖ) and French rider Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) were at the front of the race until the onrushing peloton caught them up with 15 kilometres to go and the expected mass sprint was set up.

Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) continues to lead the race, with Riccardo Zoidl (Gourmetfein) second and Alexandr Dyachenko (Astana) third. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s Sergio Pardilla is 14th overall and Dennis Van Niekerk is 24th overall, both moving up one place.

Ignatas Konovalovas will make his debut as 2013 Lithuanian national time trial champion on Saturday. The MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung all-rounder will wear his new national jersey for the first time in the Tour of Austria time trial which runs 24 kilometres around the Podersdorfer See, before the race ends on Sunday in Vienna.
Thanks to MTN-Qhubeka.

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Johnny Cantwell continued the great team performance in the race by sprinting his way to third place: “It was a hectic day today as there was some crosswind and several teams tried to split the peloton out there but we stayed together and my teammates were around me at all times so I could save my energy for the finale. There was a crash in the final kilometre but we managed to get around and in the sprint I finished third. It is my first race since the Tour of California where I had a bad crash so I’m obviously happy to be back and doing well again. Tomorrow, there’s a time trial over 24 kilometres but on Sunday’s final stage of the race I’m aiming for the victory, “said a happy Johnny Cantwell.

Tour of Austria Stage 6 Result:
1. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka in 4:17:42
2. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana
3. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff
4. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6. Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
7. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC
8. Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9. Daniel Biedermann (Aut) Team Vorarlberg
10. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 6:
1. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana in 24:39:21
2. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon in 0:52
3. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 1:04
4. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 1:45
5. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 1:47
6. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard at 2:04
7. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 2:13
8. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 2:20
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:37
10. Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Gourmetfein Simplon at 3:02.

Stage 6:

A rest after a winning spring campaign has refreshed Fabian Cancellara and set him up for a strong end of season, starting with Saturday’s Stage 7 individual time trial win in the Tour of Austria.

Fabian Cancellara: “I felt really good today. It’s not my best shape of the season but quite good and I feel very happy about today’s win. The course was not very technical and there were only three small rest points along the route, then the rest was full gas. In general a course like this suites me because I have such a big engine and can keep going, but I like the technical courses too, for variety’s sake. There are always two races within a time trial: one is to put up your personal best and the other is to win the stage.”

Cancellara posted up the best time with 27:56 on the 24.1km course in Podersdorf am Neusiedler See, beating Marco Pinotti (BMC) by 22 seconds and Kristof Vandewalle by 46 seconds. It was the fifth win this season for the 32-year old Swiss rider who enjoyed tremendous success in the spring classics, in particular winning Paris-Roubaix for the third time.

Not taking part in this year’s Tour de France opened the door for Cancellara to ride in the Tour of Austria as he continues to prepare for the world championships in September in Italy. Cancellara: “My condition continues to improve and the team has been good all week here in the Tour of Austria. It’s a nice race and is well organized with good hotels near the start and finish. It’s all very relaxed after the first few days of climbing. I’m very happy I came here.”

Taking fifth on the stage was RadioShack Leopard Trek teammate, Jesse Sergent: “It was hot out there today. The course was mostly flat with a full tailwind on the way out and a cross wind on the way back. It was really a matter of who could put out the most watts for half an hour. This is the first time I’ve gone deep since the Giro in May and it felt really good.”

BMC Racing Team’s Marco Pinotti finished second to Fabian Cancellara. The reigning Italian national time trial champion was 22 seconds behind Cancellara’s winning time of 27:56 over 24.1 kilometres. Pinotti said despite being unable to repeat his victory in the time trial on this same course last year, he was pleased with his performance. “Being that it is almost completely flat, it was more about absolute power,” Pinotti said. “Cancellara is heavier than me and has been multi-time world champion in the time trial so I can be happy with my result. In terms of power, I managed to do a better effort than I did last year. And keeping within one second per kilometre of him was a good result.” The BMC Racing Team also placed Mathias Frank 12th (1:21 back) and Dominik Nerz (14th, 1:22 back) in the top 15 as Frank climbed into 12th overall.

Previous race leader Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana Pro Team) was unseated by Riccardo Zoidl (Team Gourmetfein-Simplon), who finished 15th. Sunday’s final stage is 122.8 km, capped off with eight, 5.6-km laps in the finish city of Burgtheater.

Tour of Austria Stage 7 Result:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard in 27:57
2. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC at 0:22
3. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:47
4. Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha at 0:48
5. Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack Leopard at 0:50
6. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 0:53
7. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:07
8. Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis at 1:08
9. Benjamin King (USA) RadioShack Leopard at 1:13
10. Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale at 1:15.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 7:
1. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon in 25:09:37
2. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:33
3. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana at 0:50
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 0:53
5. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:20
6. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 1:24
7. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard at 1:45
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:19
9. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 2:32
10. Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Gourmetfein Simplon at 3:31.

Stage 7:

Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela’s Italian Omar Bertazzo landed the spoils in the Tour of Austria’s final Stage 8 from Podersdorf am Neusiedler See to Vienna of 122,8 km, celebrating his first pro win on a Bianchi Sempre Pro. A former Italian track champion, Bertazzo capitalized the strong work by his Androni team and edged the final bunch sprint, beating Australian Chris Sutton and Italian Simone Ponzi. Earlier in the flat stage; four riders had broken away, but Ben King (RadioShack Leopard), Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling), Bostjan Rezman (Voralberg) and Jakub Kratochvila (Arbö Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer) were caught on the last lap after having a 3 minute lead at one point.

Austrian Riccardo Zoidl (Team Gourmelfein Simplon) finished safely in the bunch to hold his overall lead to the end of the eight stage race. Zoidl beat some big names to become the first home rider to win in Austria. One time race leader; Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) won the points and mountains jersey’s and Sergei Chernetski (Katusha) was the best young rider.

Tour of Austria Stage 8 Result:
1. Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli in 2:40:14
2. Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky
3. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana
4. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
5. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6. Andreas Mueller (Aut) Arbö Gebrüder Weiss-Oberndorfer
7. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky
8. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
9. Wolfgang Geisler (Aut) WSA
10. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha.

Tour of Austria Final Overall Result:
1. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon in 27:49:51
2. Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:33
3. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana at 0:50
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 0:53
5. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:20
6. Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha at 1:24
7. Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard at 1:45
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:19
9. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 2:32
10. Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Gourmetfein Simplon at 3:31.

The final stage 8:

Leopard Release Fränk Schleck
Press Release: “With the end of Fränk Schleck’s suspension approaching, Leopard and its partners have assessed the situation in view of a possible renewal of the collaboration with Fränk Schleck. Having finalized this assessment in a broad and objective way, Leopard has decided to not renew the collaboration between Fränk Schleck and the RadioShack Leopard Trek cycling team. Leopard wishes Fränk Schleck a successful continuation of his career.” Later the team added: “Leopard would like to clarify that Fränk Schleck nor his counsellors can be surprised over the decision taken by Leopard, as several meetings with Fränk Schleck have taken place between the date when the options to appeal the verdict expired and the present date.”

“The decision that has been conveyed to Fränk Schleck on Wednesday corresponds perfectly to the atmosphere of these meetings.”

What his brother Andy will do is not known at this point, but he has suggested that he may not be with Trek next year.

Cancellara to Ride the Hour?
RadioShack Leopard Trek team manager Luca Guercilena announced on the Swiss TV channel RSI that Fabian Cancellara would attempt the Hour Record either after the World Championships in September or after the Spring Classics in 2014 on the Swiss Grenchen track. The present Hour Record is held by the Czech Ondrej Sosenka at 49.7 kilometres on the velodrome in Moscow.

Tour de France 2014
OK, so the 2013 Tour de France is only into its second week and we are showing video of the 2014 Tour, but why not ? This video has been made by Ordnance Survey , I’ll leave it for them to explain:

Commentating legend Phil Liggett reveals the 2014 Tour de France route.
Helicopter footage reveals exclusive access to the when and where of the event so that you can experience the route ahead of 2014 for the first time.

The world’s greatest cycle race – the Tour de France – is coming back to the UK for the fourth time next year and Ordnance Survey have granted exclusive access to preview the route ahead of 2014 featuring commentating legend, Phil Liggett.

Starting on Saturday 5th July 2014, stage one of the Tour de France will set out from Leeds touring through the Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Harrogate. The Grand Depart then moves to York on Sunday 6th July, passing through Huddersfield towards the finish line for Stage 2 in Sheffield. Finally on Monday the 7th the final leg will start in Cambridge, heading south to London via Epping Forest, including a circuit of the Olympic Park and onto a spectacular finish on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

But you needn’t wait for the event itself to experience the route beforehand by taking on parts of the 2014 course ahead of time. Ordnance Survey is mapping the anticipated route of the UK leg of the Tour De France 2014, to encourage cyclists to be inspired and ‘live the route’ and take part in one of the most famous cycling courses on Earth, following in the tyre tracks of world class athletes one year before the event takes place.

In our video Phil Liggett reveals the route and his hints and tips on what cyclists can expect from the exciting race, with the help of a helicopter and Ordnance Survey. Phil also highlights how cyclists can access detailed paper and digital mapping from Ordnance Survey to help them plan and then live the routes.

Only Orica-GreenEdge Would Do This!

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