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EuroTrash Monday!

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Chris Froome has his Tour de France win at last, maybe a year late, but he has it, better still he won an aggressive and exciting Tour. We have all the video, results and race quotes from the final days, throw in some funny stuff, the Tour de Wallonie and the Thüringen Rundfahrt to give us a full EuroTrash Monday. Don’t worry it’s La Vuelta a España soon, café con leche?

TOP STORY: The 1998 Dopers
Now that the 2013 Tour de France has finished we are waiting for the announcement of the analysis of the rider samples from 1998. We already know that Laurent Jalabert has been mentioned and Marco Pantani is no longer with us, so what’s the point, but what about the others?

In a way it doesn’t really matter as it was 15 Tours ago, but maybe we need to understand the past to move forward. The riders association (CPA) has sent out a Press Release airing their concerns on the subject and state why they think the results should be kept secret. Head in the sand?

Here is the CPA Press Release:
The CPA expresses its concern over the publication of a “list” of names of riders of the Tour de France in 1998 allegedly tested positive for EPO, due to a serious violation of fundamental rights of the riders that this publication may generate.

The CPA was informed by the press that the Commission of Inquiry of the French Senate on the effectiveness of the fight against doping planned to annex to his report a list of riders who have been detected positive for EPO on samples from the 1998 Tour de France.

The CPA wrote last week by its lawyers to the Commission to express its profound concern for this publication because it would cause serious and irreparable consequences for the riders whose name is mentioned, in violation of their fundamental rights.

Indeed, such a list is not reliable: the tests were performed since many years, on condition of anonymity, for purely scientific purpose and not for anti-doping control; the conditions under which the tests were realized are different from those applied for an antidoping control, as the laboratory that performed the tests recognized. Under these conditions the results are absolutely not guaranteed and it is impossible to guarantee the absence of errors including the nominative assignment.

In addition, such a list is not accurate: the tests of that time involved only a small number of riders of the 1998 Tour de France. Under these conditions, in addition to possibly incriminate riders not doped, the list “could whiten” others who might have doped. Such a publication would be doubly unfair, unfairly condemning some riders while others would escape.

Finally, the publication is itself a penalty without any right of defense. It would have undeniable and irreversible impact on the reputation of the riders complained of, and on their current and future work. And while the against-analysis seem excluded. The publication of a list would be tantamount to an accusation of doping without any possibility of defense!

The CPA had asked to be interviewed prior to any decision of the Commission. The CPA note that the Commission of Inquiry met before yesterday to approve the report that will be made public next week. The CPA continues to assert that the Commission of Inquiry should not give credence to such a list by making it public in its report, because such publication would bring nothing useful to the quality of its works on the subject of anti-doping, although the CPA fully supports the struggle and all the efforts to fight against this scourge.

Tour de France 2013
The most spectacular stage in this year’s 100 year’s anniversary of the Tour de France was today’s 172.5 kilometre long and mountainous ride from yesterday’s finish town to the two ascents of the 21 hairpins to the legendary Alpe d’Huez in Stage 18.

And the stage was launched with a series of wild attacks on the first climb to Col la Manse and a break of nine riders managed to create a solid gap to the field where Team Sky took control of the pace. Soon after, Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Sergio Paulinho and Nicholas Roche launched a tandem attack and the duo was for a long time positioned between the field and the front group.

On the first climb to Alpe d’Huez, the front group shattered and a front trio formed by Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Moreno Moser (Cannondale) and Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) while the gap between the field and the two Saxo-Tinkoff riders dropped. At the foot of the climb, Sergio Paulinho continued on his own while the chasing field swallowed Roche. A few kilometres later, Paulinho was caught too.

Towards the top of first ascent of the Alpe d’Huez, several attacks were launched from the pack but Saxo-Tinkoff was sitting calmly behind the Team Sky train. In the front, Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale) were now alone on the descent from Col de Sarenne while the field was reduced to 20 riders. On the descent, Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger launched a spectacular attack not often seen in Grand Tours and Team Sky’s Chris Froome was chasing with two teammates and several Movistar riders and they brought the Saxo-Tinkoff riders back.

At the foot of the second ascent and final ascent to Alpe d’Huez, the front trio was 7.30 minutes ahead of the group of favourites and when they entered the climb, Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) were the first victims of Richie Porte’s high pace in front of his captain. In the front of the race, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) launched away and tried to solo his way to the top.

Nine kilometres from the finish line, Chris Froome (Sky) launched a stinging punch from the group but was followed by the stone face from Columbia, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) while Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger were dropped and they now fought heroically side by side to limit the losses. As Quintana launched an attack, Chris Froome was dropped and only Rodriguez was able to follow him and meanwhile in the front of the race, Christophe Riblon managed to bridge the gap to van Garderen and continued right by him to take a beautiful stage win in Alpe d’Huez.

Race Quotes:
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) after Alpe d’Huez: “I’m in a great moment,” said the leader of the Katusha Team, “really I think finally I’m in a brilliant shape. I worked a lot in order to get ready for this ‘Tour de France’: I don’t think I’m going to win it anymore, because Chris Froome is doing a great job and deserve it, but the podium is closer and it would be great to take it. To tell the truth, I think my standard is this one, as I proved during last season too, not the first week one: I wish I was in this shape in Pyrenees; probably my gap wouldn’t be so high. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow there will be two more demanding stages: my team and I know them very well, we will try to do something and attack for sure.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador saw the opportunity to create some fuss in the GC but the Spaniard here states that the legs didn’t match the plan:

“Today, we all suffered. From the very beginning I had a little hard legs. In the end, I had a bit of dehydration. As expected, the start was very fast but at the end the weather turned out better than expected. We expected bad weather, which motivated me a lot but it didn’t happen The team was working very well but once the attacks started flying, I preferred to go at my pace thinking that the climb was long. At the end of the day, I think we limited the losses well thinking about the bad sensations. I wouldn’t say it was an attack on the descent from Sarenne. It was only to go ahead of the group, because we went calmly and without taking any risks. Yes, we took some time, but we knew we needed more people with us and no one ever came, so the smartest thing was to stop and wait for the group because Movistar had been organized behind.”

“Tomorrow, anything can happen. It’s a tough stage and we have to see how the weather is. Starting with Glandon and Madeleine it’s a harsh beginning of the day and on Saturday there is a really hard uphill finish. Today was a big opportunity, but the legs simply didn’t respond. Now the most important thing is to rest and recover for tomorrow”, concludes Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador.

3rd overall Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was a fantastic stage for me. I gained some places in the overall and the day was really great for all the team. The race was super fast from the start and everyone was suffering a lot – at the end, with those climbs to the Alpe d’Huez, everything had to pay for all the efforts. I had really good legs in the finale and we talked about making the race hard. I want to thank all my team-mates: they always do an excellent work, spectacular – there’s no better way to pay them back than performing as I did today. We knew the stage was gone and our goal was climbing up into the overall – keeping our place or even gaining some if possible. I didn’t see when Froome raised his hand. I went away with Joaquím Rodriguez and it was sort a one-in-one between ourselves for the GC, because Froome is really ahead of the competition. Fortunately, I could get into the podium, buy my rivals are strong and we have to stay attentive, because attacks can appear wherever.

Bauke Mollema (Belkin) 6th overall: “It was a hard day. After yesterday’s time trial, I didn’t feel so good and today, I had to fight right from the start. Luckily, Robert and Lars Petter stayed with me and helped me; otherwise, I would have lost much more time. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow. The podium is out of reach now, but I’m glad I’ve only lost two places.”

BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen finished runner-up to Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) Thursday as a Tour de France stage time featured back-to-back ascents of the famed climb of Alpe d’Huez for the first time.

Caught In The Final Kilometres
“It was painful to lose, but at the same time it was kind of surprising we were even in the hunt for the win,” van Garderen said. “When I did my first attack the first time up Alpe d’Huez, when we only had seven minutes, I didn’t actually think at that moment we were going to stay away. I was just doing it to show my presence in the race.” Van Garderen was originally part of a nine-man breakaway which splintered the first time up the 13.8-kilometer ascent that features 21 switchbacks. Over the top, it was down to three, with Moreno Moser (Cannondale) topping the summit ahead of van Garderen and Riblon. But a technical problem for van Garderen on the already tricky descent of the Col de Sarenne made it even more crucial. “After the technical, he had to wait there on the side of the road. There was no neutral car,” BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said. “We were the first ones (to arrive), so we had to change the bike. He lost a lot of energy coming back.” After catching and passing the leading two before the start of the climb, van Garderen went solo. But Riblon overtook him in the final two kilometres of the 172.5 km-race to win by 59 seconds. Chris Froome (Sky) finished seventh and increased his lead over Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) to 5:11.

Tour de France Stage 18 Result:
1. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale in 4:51:32
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:59
3. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 1:27
4. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 2:12
5. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 2:15
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 3:18
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 3:22
9. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 4:15
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 18:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 71:02:19
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5:11
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 5:32
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5:44
5. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 5:58
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 8:58
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 9:33
8. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 14:26
9. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 14:38
10. Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Belking at 14:39.

Stage 18:

The third week of the 2013 Tour de France keeps smiling to the Movistar Team, victorious again on Friday’s Stage 19 with the same man who brought them their first stage win last Tuesday in Gap. Rui Costa claimed another convincing success in the toughest route of the race: 204km from Bourg-d’Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand with five hard rated climbs, including the Glandon and La Madeleine (HC) right from the start plus Tamié (Cat-2), L’Épine (Cat-1) and the Croix-Fry (Cat-1) in the final 70k of racing.

Always helped by team-mates Rubén Plaza and José Joaquím Rojas, the Portuguese rider was one of the 43 members of the biggest escape today, formed before the first ascent with just 10k covered. The easy pace into the bunch, with Sky pushing in the opening stages until Saxo-Tinkoff took control before the last climb, helped the attempt reaching twelve minutes of advantage, with several attacks including a move from Pierre Rolland (EUC), a long attempt neutralized by Costa himself. The Iberian attacked with eight kilometres from the top of the Croix-Fry, leaving the Frenchman behind and setting an impressive pace to reach the summit with more than a minute’s advantage. Rui was able to keep the pace into the downhill to claim his sixth victory of the 2013 and the 19th of his pro career. It’s also Movistar Team’s 25th success of the year, taking their GT victory tally up to 16 -8 consecutive Grand Tours- and increasing the history list to 75 triumphs with their current sponsor.

Behind, the action did not unleash until the final kilometres of the Croix-Fry. A move from Alejandro Valverde alongside John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was the launching pad for Nairo Quintana, who couldn’t eventually profit after hail storm stroke the main favourites in the finale. The two Blues came together across the finish to keep Nairo in 3rd spot overall, with Valverde back into the top-ten (9th) before Saturday’s 2013 Tour showdown. The slopes of Semnoz (HC; 10.7km / 8.5%) will close a short, 125-kilometer trek starting at Annecy and including five other rated climbs, most notably the Mont Revard (Cat-1) with 47k remaining.

Race Quotes:
Stage winner Rui Costa (Movistar): “I’m really happy. First thing, I have to thank Plaza and Rojas, my team-mates into the break, who helped me in everything. They left me fresh at the foot of the last climb so I only had to attack and win, and things went perfectly. It was basically the same strategy from the other day: I had to wait for the last climb and make a move. Fortunately, my legs responded as good as they could do. I think this victory will bring much calmness to the team. Since that day into the crosswinds, my goal was clearly going for stage wins; we had to forget about what happened, and we will really do, because I will remember this Tour by what happened afterwards: these two victories that make me so happy. Movistar is not only Nairo and me: there’s Alejandro, always up-front, and a huge team helping us out, making a massive work you often doesn’t see – we owe them everything we have. We’ll be helping Nairo tomorrow – he’s impressive. Let’s see if we can get him safely on to the podium. These two stages go to all the people supporting me from Portugal and all those ones always by my side.”

Alberto Contador finished today’s the stage with the team classification in mind and of course to keep his position in the individual general classification, waiting for the final uphill finish of the Tour in Annecy tomorrow: “The team was doing a great job today controlling the peloton for the team classification and if I had attacked, I could have caused trouble for Roman (Kreuziger). There was a moment when I did consider attacking because the rain is good for me, but we decided the best thing was to stay together as the descent was not really tricky and it was better to be calm and stay together. Tomorrow, everything will depend on the legs. Today I felt good in the finale and tomorrow’s tactics will also be depending on the breakaway situation.”

3rd overall Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “We’re all really happy about Rui’s victory. We had three riders at the front and they did a superb job. This victory proves that we are still a solid team, able to fight for all goals. In my case, the final climb was really fast and the rain took us a bit off the mood to attack. We tried to send Valverde ahead in the finale to see if we could bridge later, but we had no chance to attack – at least we ended up still into the podium, with no troubles. We will have to see how the stage holds tomorrow; sometimes, one thinks that things will go some way, and they turn the other way round in reality. It will be a hard day to keep the podium and we will have to pay attention to any attack from our rivals.”

Bauke Mollema (Belkin): “It was a tough day. The last few days I had very little energy but today I felt much better. I’m very satisfied with the result. I did not expect still to be sixth overall after this stage. The stage started off easy, which I was happy with because it gave me time to get into my rhythm. I was able to hang on with the favourites until the finish, which made me feel good. I hope the worst is behind me.”

Bart De Clercq: “In the first hour I didn’t have a good feeling. There were attacks from all sides and thanks to my perseverance I could join the big break. Also thanks to Jürgen Roelandts. In the beginning I had to survive. On the first two climbs I wasn’t good. I didn’t want to make the same mistake as yesterday, so I ate and drank sufficiently. Rider after rider was dropped and I could stay in the break. When Rolland took off I was in the first chasing group and I was feeling good. Costa was the strongest guy in the break and deserved to win. We couldn’t do anything anymore after he had taken off. I’m happy with this result. It’s nice to achieve this in the third Tour week.”

Lotto Belisol has to continue the Tour de France without Marcel Sieberg. The German rider crashed hard in the descent of the Col de la Madeleine and has cracked his collarbone. After the race an X-ray confirmed the presumed injury, a non-displaced fracture of the collarbone. Tomorrow morning Sieberg will fly back to Belgium where he will be operated in the hospital of Herentals during the course of the day. After the operation he should be able to restart training in a week’s time.

Tour de France Stage 19 Result:
1. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar in 5:59:01
2. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard at 0:48
3. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard at 1:44
4. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ at 1:52
5. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 1:55
6. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:58
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 2:03
8. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale at 2:05
9. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 2:16
10. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar at 2:44.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 77:10:00
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5:11
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 5:32
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5:44
5. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 5:58
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:08:58
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:09:33
8. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 12:33
9. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 14:56
10. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 16:08.

Stage 19:

Saturday’s 125 kilometre Stage 20 was the last big chance for the Tour de France climbers, with the uphill finish on a HC climb in Annecy Semnoz, it formed the perfect scenario for a nerve-wrecking finale as Sunday’s stage to Paris wouldn’t have any impact on the GC. Movistar was controlling the pace. The popular German, Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) was pushing away alone at the front of the race chased by Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), but he was caught by another chase group including Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

At the foot of the 10.7 kilometre long uphill finish with an average gradient of 8.5%, Jens Voigt was still in the lead of the race while Movistar, Sky and Katusha really dug deep to keep the pressure on the pack. Rui Costa managed to trim down the group of favourites to 8 riders with Contador, Kreuziger, Froome, Porte, Quintana, Valverde, Rodriguez and the Yellow jersey of Chris Froome.

Voigt was caught by the favourites with 8 kilometres to go and here, Saxo-Tinkoff’s Roman Kreuziger was dropped and when Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and Chris Froome (Sky) leaped off, Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tonkoff) was left suffering and fighting intensely to limit the losses to protect his spot on the podium. Kreuziger made his way back to Contador to support his captain.

At the entrance to the final kilometre, Quintana launched a stinging attack and soloed away to a stage win, the mountain jersey, the white jersey and an overall second place while Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) finished second today and took an overall third place.

Race Quotes:
Stage winner and second overall Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I can’t believe what has happened, I have no words. I had dreamt of this for a very long time, but didn’t believe it could come so early. I’m just a 23-year-old boy, but time goes fast, and today is a day to cry out of pure happiness. We thought winning the stage was feasible, but I wasn’t as convinced as my DS or all the team. They’re impressive: they help me so much, especially on the psychological side, to cope with such big challenges. Just all of them: the carers, the technical side, all the riders… they all took me here and I wouldn’t have achieved anything without them. They’re a spectacular group, the strongest of all in the Tour. When Arrieta told me ‘you have to take leadership roles in the team,’ I stood up and said ‘of course.’ I was ready, there was no problem, but I told them they would have to forgive me should my legs fail, because the Tour is so fast and the stages, so long. They said I just had to do as much as I could – I should be calm and go as far as the legs would let me too. But today, we saw I recovered really well from the efforts, and I could pay back to confidence as team leader. This victory goes to Arrieta, the best DS I ever had, and every single member of the team.

Second on the stage and third overall Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) after stage 20: “Today it was a real battle – said the Catalan rider – I knew that only few seconds kept me far from the podium so my team and I gave our best and kept the highest pace we could, especially in the last climb. The podium is a great achievement, I’m very happy: not a lot of riders managed to enter the top-three of all the big stage races. I look forward to celebrate tomorrow, with my family and my friends. Today I felt in a great shape: maybe if only Froome helped me in the last climb and leaded us from time to time, I would have saved some energies and I could have fought for the stage victory. But never mind, the podium was the most important thing, so I’m happy like this. I don’t like to take justifications, but I think without the crash in the first week my gap in the overall standings would have been less and I could have taken the second position: but ‘Tour de France’ is like this, it’s a really demanding competition, and just a little is enough to be out of the fight for win, as happened to Valverde. After ‘Tour de France’ I’ll rest a little bit, and then I’ll get ready for ‘Vuelta a España’: the course is suitable to my characteristics, and I would like to improve last year’s third place.”

After the stage the Yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky) – who will now become the first African-born winner of the Tour de France – admitted: “I can’t quite believe I’m sitting here in this position. This really is amazing. I’m a bit lost for words. We still have to roll into Paris tomorrow but this is it, this is the GC side of it pretty much sorted out and to finish it off like this is really special.
“It was quite hard to stay on top of it once I got to about 3km to go and it sunk in that this is it, I’ve accomplished what I needed to. I was just following the wheels and just overwhelmed by the feeling of ‘OK this is it now, I’m safe and I’ve got pretty much to the finish.'”

Bauke Mollema (Belkin) saved his 6th overall: “If my legs had been super, I would’ve gone with the big names, but the pace was so ridiculously high on the final climb. At the foot, I was already at my max. When I saw Fuglsang being dropped, I thought, that’s my man. He probably wasn’t happy with me sitting in his wheel but I think he understood. I’m very happy with my sixth place; it’s the best result possible for me.”

23-year-old Polish Champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) will finish 11th in the GC after being in the top 10 going into Stage 20. He also wore the white jersey for several stages: “It’s my first Tour de France and I’m surprised,” Kwiatkowski said. “I did better than I expected. So, again, it’s important that this gave me a lot of experience because I was trying all the time to stay with the best. I didn’t have any bad days during the whole Tour and I am happy about my performance and my shape. I felt good today and I had a lot of support from my teammates from the beginning until the end. I want to thank them. I didn’t make it, but also it is important to say Talansky had a good day today. For me, if someone had told me before I would be in 11th I wouldn’t believe it. So, I am happy.”

Tour de France Stage 20 Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 3:39:04
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 0:18
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:29
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 1:42
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 2:17
6. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:27
7. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2:28
8. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:48
9. Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2:55
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 20:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 80:49:33
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 5:03
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 5:47
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) axo-Tinkoff at 7:10
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 8:10
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 12:25
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 13:00
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 16:09
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 16:35
10. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 18:22.

Stage 20 action:

And Sagan:

The final Stage 21 went pretty much to script. There was the drinking of Champagne, the photo shoots, Peter Sagan’s green beard, a purito for Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez and the hand shaking before the riders hit the Champs-Elysées for the 10 laps. As always it was very fast in the big wide boulevard and a break formed with David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Julien El Fares (Sojasun) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM). Eventually Millar went on his own, Jérémy Roy (FDJ) jumped up and passed the Scotsman, but they were both caught. Next it was Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Bram Tankink (Belkin) who made a big effort, but we all knew it would come together for a bunch sprint. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step started the lead-out, but they were infiltrated by Cannondale and in the end Lotto Belisol and Argos-Shimano had to take up the pace making. Argos-Shimano had the last rider on the front and Marcel Kittel kicked first with Greipel and Cavendish on his wheel. Kittel kept his speed all the way to the line; the other two couldn’t beat the German Adonis. Cavendish hit a hole in the road, but may not have made any difference to the result. A fourth stage for Kittel and Chris Froome crosses the line with his team mates and his hands held aloft.

The spectacular of the 100th final presentation consisted of a light display on the Arc de Triomphe and all the usual stuff of the Paris final. Chris Froome made his speech first in French and then in English finishing with “this is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time.”

Race Quotes:
An emotional Chris Froome (Sky) said: “It brought tears to my eyes just coming over the line with the guys like that. I expected it to be big but this is something else. I’m speechless. This really was an amazing way to finish of a fitting 100th edition of the Tour de France.”

Then his podium speech: “I’d like to dedicate this win to my late mother,” he said. “Without her encouragement to follow my dreams I would probably be at home watching this event on the TV. It’s a great shame she never got to come and see the Tour. But I’m sure she would be extremely proud if she was here tonight.”

“This amazing journey would not be possible without the support I’ve received on and off the bike. I’d like to thank my team-mates who have buried themselves day in-day out, throughout this Tour to keep this yellow jersey on my shoulders. And the Team Sky management, for believing in my ability and building this team around me. Thank you to all the people who have taken their time to teach and mentor me over the years, to get me into this privileged position.”
“Finally I’d like to thank my close friends and family, who have been there for me every step of the way – especially my fiancée Michelle who is here tonight. This is a beautiful country, with the finest annual sporting event on the planet. To win the 100th edition is an honour beyond any I’ve dreamed. This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time.”

Stage winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano): “The best thing a sprinter can do is win on the Champs-Élysées. The sprint was tough but it went perfectly. My legs felt good and so I’m really happy,” he said after being first on the final Tour de France podium. It’s difficult to say after such a great Tour de France. I’ve won four stages. I’m proud of myself and my team. We had some hard days in the mountains but we give it everything together that what’s made the difference.”

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), 3rd overall: “I’m so happy about this podium – said the leader of Katusha Team – it’s really something special, considering the first week. I know this result is very important for Katusha, for Russia and especially for Mr. Igor Makarov: it’s thanks to him if I can take these kinds of results, so this podium it’s also dedicated to him. I have to thank also my teammates: their huge work helped me to recover the gap in general classification. I think I proved once again my continuity: it’s the third podium in a row in a Grand Tour, the fact I took it in ‘Tour de France’ after the troubles of the first week makes it even more special. Now I’ll get ready for ‘Vuelta a Espana’: it won’t be easy, I will find some great riders such as Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde and Ivan Basso. But our team is strong, and we’ll do our best to win the general classification.”

Bauke Mollema (Belkin): “I’m really happy with this sixth place. The difference between sixth and fifth is quite large so even if I hadn’t become sick, I think I wouldn’t have been able to make it. This was the maximum result possible and I’m very happy with it. It was a nice Tour. The last days were obviously heavy, but we all knew it would be that way.”

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was third on the stage: “It was a really fast sprint,” Cavendish said. “To be fair, I wasn’t quite in an ideal situation like I wanted. I said to Gert, go to lead me out. If I manage to get behind those two, Greipel and Kittel, that is perfect because I can go then. When they came past I shouted to Gert, I’ll stay on them, but when I came around the last corner … I think, in hindsight, maybe I should have gone earlier. But, for when I went I kicked really good. Andre went across the road, and I had to go around the both of them and it did take me into the roughest part of the road on the right. So I had to go into that. I had to stall a bit and I was able to go again. I was coming, but it was just too late to beat Marcel Kittel. It was Kittel’s fourth win at the Tour here, so it’s not like I’ve lost to an unknown rider.”

Tour de France Stage 21 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 3:06:14
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
5. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7. Kévin Reza (Fra) Europcar
8. Yohann Gene (Fra) Europcar
9. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff
10. Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.

Tour de France Final Overall Result:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 83:56:40
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 4:20
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 5:04
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 6:27
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff at 7:27
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 11:42
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 12:17
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 15:26
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 15:52
10. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 17:39
11. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 18:59
12. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 20:01
13. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 21:39
14. Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard at 23:38
15. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 26:42
16. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 26:51
17. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 32:34
18. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard at 35:51
19. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 39:41
20. Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard at 41:46

Young Rider Classification: Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar).
Points Classification: Peter Sagan (Cannondale).
Mountain Classification: Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar).
Most Combative Rider: Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
Team Classification: Saxo-Tinkoff.

The final stage 21:

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen 2013
ORICA-AIS had two reasons to celebrate in Gera. Australian National Time Trial Champion Shara Gillow time trialed onto the top step of the Stage 4 podium. Emma Johansson, the Swedish National Time Trial Champion, slotted into third place to retain the Thüringen Rundfahrt race lead.

“It’s very special to stand on the top step of the podium,” said Gillow. “I was third at the EnergieWachtTour time trial when I first came over to Europe in April and I was third earlier this month in the final stage time trial at the Giro Rosa, too. To take the win today was really special.”

“I’m happy to keep the jersey, of course,” Johansson added. “I did everything I could do in the time trial. I’m glad it was enough to hang onto the lead.”

The 20.4km out-and-back effort featured few technical elements. The stage began in a cobbled piazza. A few twists and turns brought riders onto a wide, open, rolling road that was exposed to the wind. The stiff headwind on the way out turned into a tailwind on the way home that saw both Gillow and Johansson hit speeds of up to 80 km/hr.

Gillow stopped the clock at 28’52, 35” quicker than Ellen Van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) in second. While Johansson was 39” slower than Gillow, she was substantially quicker than the other overall contenders.

“I don’t put out time trials where I start easy,” Johansson said. “I never hold back. I go all in all, all the time. The first half of the course was better for me because it was harder.”

“I rode the course very, very slowly before I warmed-up,” Gillow added. “I looked at how fast I could go in certain places. From the recon, I decided it was the type of course where I could go full gas the whole way.”

Gillow’s result is especially commendable in light of the work she has done for Johansson in the first three stages of the seven day Tour.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work for Emma,” Gillow noted. “It’s felt like a team time trial the last two days to chase back breaks. Today was just another time trial in that respect.”

“It’s a super impressive result by Shara,” McPartland added. “To finally get a win at one of the biggest tours of the year is huge. She’s entered world class level with this result. I’m really happy for her.”

McPartland had divided the week into two distinct sections. During the first three stages, he asked them team to help Johansson bank as many bonus seconds as possible. It was up to Johansson to defend her overall lead in the time trial. From there, the team would reassess their objective.

The stage drastically changed the composition of the top ten on general classification. Johansson and Gillow now occupy the top two spots, with Gillow 5” behind the yellow jersey. Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini Giordana) jumped up to third overall, 47” down on Johansson.

“We showed the strength of our team today,” said McPartland. “We showed why we have the jersey and how we’ve been able to successfully defend it so far. I’m not counting our chickens before they hatch, but we feel good about our current position.”

“We still have three hard days of racing left,” Johansson added. “Other teams will attack us and try to make it hard for us to keep the jersey. We’re in a good position with me in first and Shaz in second. Spratty [Amanda Spratt] did a good time trial, and she’s moved up to seventh overall. It will make for some interesting days of racing.”
Thanks to Orica-AIS.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Stage 4 Result:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 8:33:19
2. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 0:11
3. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team at 0:28
4. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team at 0:36
5. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle-Honda
6. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
7. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon at 0:38
8. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Germany at 0:40
9. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS
10. Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany at 0:41.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Overall After Stage 4:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 9:02:50
2. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:05
3. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini Giordana at 0:47
4. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon at 1:11
5. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda at 1:16
6. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team
7. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 1:22
8. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon at 1:32
9. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon at 1:46
10. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team at 2:01.

Emma Johansson sprinted to her second Thüringen Rundfahrt stage victory in Altenburg from an elite group of 17 riders. The bonus seconds she banked further extended her race lead in the German tour after Stage 5.

“It’s never easy to win a bike race, but I feel at home on this course,” said Johansson. “It’s a stage I have won in the past. I like the technical finish, and I think when you enjoy yourself and have fun, it makes the racing a bit easier. You’re working with the course instead of against it. It was a good day for us, and I was happy to finish off the team’s work with the win.”

“I’m pinching myself at how well the girls are riding and the way this tour has unfolded into our hands,” added Sport Director David McPartland. “The team has been riding bloody brilliantly.”

ORICA-AIS raced aggressively in the first three road stages before unleashing Johansson to defend her overall lead in yesterday’s time trial. With a sizeable advantage over Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) in third and a hold on both first and second ahead of the stage five start, the Australian outfit has switched tactics for the second half of the race.

“The plan today was a bit tricky,” said McPartland. “We’re sort of in this funny place where we’re a long way from the finish but there’s a feeling in the bunch that a lot of the damage has already been done and much of the general classification confirmed. There are two hard days of racing over the weekend. Today was more of a transitional stage. We would have been happy to allow a non-threatening break to stay away today.”

“Our number one priority was to protect Emma’s overall lead,” McPartland continued. “Secondly, we’d protect second place for Shara [Gillow]. The two goals aren’t necessarily in conflict. We were prepared to accomplish our objective defensively rather than offensively the way we raced in the first half of the week. We looked to control who went up the road.”

While ORICA-AIS would have permitted a breakaway to fight for the stage victory amongst themselves, the peloton had other ideas. The first lap was fast and aggressive. Repeated attacks proved ineffective in splitting the bunch.

“The team did a bloody good job controlling in the first lap,” said McPartland. “When we started the second lap, the bunch began to split.”

McPartland could see the lead group taking shape ahead of the bunch. He knew he had riders in the move but was forced to wait for race radio to confirm the composition of the group.
“I knew were in it, but I couldn’t tell with who,” said McPartland. “They started to read off the numbers, beginning with Rabobank. They had four in the move. I began to sweat a little. If we only had one or two, we might have been in a bit of trouble. Then they read our numbers over the radio. We had three riders in the move, and it was our three best placed.

Emma, Shara and Spratty [Amanda Spratt] had made the split. ‘You bloody legends,’ I thought. “What nice work.” From there, it was working out who else was in the group.”
Four riders in the top ten overall had missed the split. Guderzo, who had started the day in third, was the most notable absence. Specialized-lululemon teammates Ellen van Dijk and Carmen Small, eighth and ninth overnight, were also missing along with Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans).

“The initial gap was fairly small,” said McPartland. “A few teams had missed out, and they were chasing. In the third lap, one of the bridge attempts was successful. Four riders made it across. Guderzo had initially been with the group that bridged but she cracked before making it to the leaders. We definitely didn’t expect that. The group that bridged broke the band, and the peloton finally sat up, allowing the gap to open.”
Happy with the composition of the group, Johansson, Gillow and Spratt contributed to the pace-making. They extended their advantage beyond the seven minute mark.

“We rode on the front to show that we were happy with the move,” explained McPartland. “We wanted to demonstrate our respect for the others by sharing in the work. I don’t want to make it sound like we forced the pace – we didn’t do that, but we didn’t sit on when we could have, either.”

In an attempt to incite a further selection, riders in the front group launched a fresh series of attacks in the last lap of the stage. Johansson joined Lucinda Brand (Rabobank Women), Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini Giordana) and Anna Van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) in the most significant of these moves.

“Wiggle brought that back because their two riders had missed it,” noted McPartland. “There were a few attacks after that group was caught but nothing like what we had anticipated.”

Johansson won a three-up sprint over Brand and Scandolara for the stage victory. The trio slightly distanced their breakaway companions in the run-in towards the line.

“We had already seen the finish three times before the sprint,” said Johansson. “I knew I wanted to be the first or second rider through a series of corners in the last half-kilometre. The finish was technical. We reached the top of a hill 1.5km from the finish. There was a sharp right-hander followed by another right-hand turn at 600m. From there, it’s right, left again and down the last corner with cobbles until the line.”

“Spratty took me up over the top of the hill and gave me a few moments where I could breathe and get ready for the final,” Johansson added. “I was the first through the two right-handers. Lucinda Brand attacked after that, but I went straight to her wheel. She was the first one through the last turn, but I know how I can take that corner to bring the most speed with me. I came out of the corner with quickest, and I sped past to her to take the win.”

With two stages left to race, Johansson leads by 30” over Gillow and 1’34 by Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon). Brennauer is tied on time with former Thüringen Rundfahrt overall winner Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) in fourth and Van der Breggen in fifth.

“It will be interesting racing with those three tied on time for third place,” noted Johansson. “They’ll fight for the final podium place, and when they attack each other, it’s also an attack on us. There are so many things that can happen in any race. We’re in a good position. I’m happy we’re feeling strong, but we can’t relax. We need to stay a step ahead of everyone else.”

“The racing this weekend will be hard, especially Sunday’s stage,” said McPartland. “We’re not complacent. A lot can happen in two days, but we came here to win. We’re in a great position to continue to put our efforts into accomplishing that goal. Anything beyond that at this point is a bonus.
Thanks to Orica-AIS.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Stage 5 Result:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 2:28:01
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
3. Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
4. Amy Cure (Aus) Australia at 0:03
5. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team at 0:05
6. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda
7. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Germany at 0:07
8. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
9. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 0:08
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:09.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Overall After Stage 5:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 11:30:35
2. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:30
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon at 1:34
4. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda
5. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team
6. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 1:47
7. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Germany at 2:24
8. Georgia Williams (NZl) BePink at 2:46
9. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 2:47
10. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 2:55.

Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini-Giordana) soloed to victory in Stage 6 to finish 10 seconds in front of the chasing peloton. The final of the stage was technical with cobbles and turns, but after Scandolara attacked with 14 kilometres to go, she couldn’t be caught. Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv/Giant was second and Adrie Gebhardt (Boels-Dolmans) was third. Overall leader; Emma Johansson (Orica-GreenEdge) was held up by a crash in the closing kilometres, but was given the same time as the bunch and holds her lead going into the final 110 kilometre stage to Triebes.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Stage 6 Result:
1. Valentina Scandolara (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana in 2:45:45
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 0:10
3. Adrie Visser (Ned) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
4. Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany
5. Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle-Honda
6. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
7. Beate Zanner (Ger) Maxx Solar Stevens
8. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda
9. Amy Cure (Aus) Australia
10. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Overall After Stage 6:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 14:16:28
2. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:32
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon at 1:31
4. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team at 1:35
5. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda at 1:36
6. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 1:49
7. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Germany at 2:26
8. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 2:43
9. Georgia Williams (NZl) BePink at 2:48
10. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 2:57.

Emma Johansson won the opening stage of Thüringen Rundfahrt and pulled on the race leader’s yellow jersey. On Sunday, she finished off a hard week of work well done as she clinched the overall title of the seven day German tour. ORICA-AIS dominated the race from start to finish, keeping the yellow jersey throughout the entire tour and winning three stages, the points classification and the team classification.

“It’s been a whirlwind week,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “Emma won. Shara [Gillow] was second. Spratty [Amanda Spratt] was sixth. Emma won the points jersey. We won the team class. Just rewards for the way they rode all week. The girls deserve this success. Sometimes we go through a quiet patch where we don’t many results and then bam! – we have a week like this.”

“It’s hard work,” added Johansson. “We took yellow on the first day, and we had to work hard to keep it. I had to go for bonus sprints, and the time trial was hard because it wasn’t my type of course. The team was so good. Without a strong team, I could never do seven days in the jersey. All the credit goes to the girls and the staff who worked so hard to keep me in it all week.

The seventh stage of the race was neutral as the peloton rolled past the Amy Gillett roadside memorial. The Australian riders took a position in the front row of the field. Gillett was killed in a training accident in Germany eight years ago when a teenage driver crashed into the Australian squad. Alexis Rhodes, one of five riders seriously injured in the accident, rode with ORICA-AIS last year.

When racing began in earnest, the team began their quest to defend the overall lead. The first of four laps was fairly quiet. Johansson’s yellow jersey never came under any threat.

“I was really relaxed today,” Johansson said. “It was the easiest ride I have ever had while wearing the jersey on the last stage of the race. I always had the feeling we had everything under control. The girls did such an awesome job.”
“Sometimes I feel like I’m starting to lose some hair back in the car, but today there was no stress,” McPartland added. “The girls controlled the race completely. We were never under pressure.”

A two rider breakaway dominated the early action. Roxane Knetemann (Rabobank Women) and Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini Giordana) escaped from the bunch over the first GPM. Doris Schweizer (BePink) managed to bridge across to the leading duo on the second lap. The three leaders gained a maximum advantage of 1’30 before rejoining the peloton over the climb on lap three.

“We were quite happy with this move as long as it didn’t inch out beyond the two minute mark,” explained McPartland. “The girls never let it get too close. Rabobank rode a good race today. When Knetemann’s move was brought back, they sent more riders up the rode. Although they were aggressive, we were never fully under the pump.”

“We lost Jessie [MacLean] and Nettie [Edmondson] mid-race,” McPartland continued. “It was really good early work by those two. Shaz and Spratty hadn’t had to touch their pedals up until they point. Loes [Gunnewijk] took over on lap three and into lap four. She was really impressive today. She came unglued over the climb on every lap, and on every lap she fought back to rejoin the field.”

Spratt and Gillow took over for Gunnewijk on the final ascent with Spratt putting Johansson into prime position ahead of the climb. Johansson rode at a fast clip up the climb, splitting the remnants of the peloton in the process.
“Some people thought I did an attack on the last climb, but I just went up at full speed,” Johansson explained. “I wanted to ride at my own pace. [Tatiana] Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) got away and opened up a small gap. I had enough time on her that her attack was no stress.”

Guderzo managed to maintain a slim advantage over the field to hold on for the stage win. Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon) was best of the rest ahead of Anna Van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies). Gillow slotted into eighth on the stage; Johansson was two spots further back in tenth. It was easily enough to keep first and second overall. The win is the Swede’s second overall victory of the season and her second Thüringen title.

“We never let go of the ultimate goal,” said Johansson. “The team stayed focused all week. A win like this isn’t only because of the riders. It happens with everyone around us – the director, the mechanic, the soigneurs, my Belgian Ma and Pa. This jersey is for everyone.”
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Stage 7 Result:
1. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana in 2:51:11
2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon at 0:18
3. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team
4. Amy Cure (Aus) Australia
5. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
6. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
7. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS
9. Georgia Williams (NZl) BePink
10. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS.

Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen Final Overall Result:
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 17:07:57
2. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:32
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized-lululemon at 1:23
4. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team at 1:31
5. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle-Honda at 1:36
6. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 2:23
7. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 2:43
8. Georgia Williams (NZl) BePink at 2:48
9. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Germany at 2:58
10. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant at 3:36.

Photo: Orica-GreenEdge.

Tour de Wallonie 2013
Katusha rider Alexander Kolobnev won Stage 1 of the Tour de Wallonie (2.HC) from Ans to Eupen (183,6 km), on a similar course to the famous monumental classic Liege – Bastogne – Liege. The breakaway group was created soon after the start, which took a good advantage of 8 minutes. But, after the hard work of a few teams, including Katusha, the breakaway was neutralized in the second part of the race. The peloton was down to 25 – 30 riders by that point. The crucial moment of the race came with 20 km to go, when 5 riders, including Alexander Kolobnev attacked from the peloton. Kolobnev’s group got a good gap, enough to play for the stage victory. In the uphill sprint finish the Katusha rider took his first victory of the season ahead of Anthony Geslin from FDJ and Julien Berard from Ag2r-La Mondiale. The main group finished 24 seconds later.

Alexander Kolobnev became the overall leader of Tour de Wallonie: “It was a really hard stage, maybe the hardest one here in Wallonie. In some moments the stage repeated the course of Liege – Bastogne – Liege. The crucial moment was with 20 km to go, when I was able to go in the breakaway with 4 more riders. We could get some advantage, enough to fight for the stage victory. In the uphill finish I did all possible to take the win. It was a good sprint. I am really happy with the victory. Now I have the leader’s jersey. We have some strong stages ahead, but I hope with support of the team will be able to hold the leadership and to fight for the overall win.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 1 Result:
1. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha in 5:04:21
2. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:01
3. Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:03
4. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Radioshack Leopard at 0:07
5. Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Europcar at 0:17
6. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin at 0:24
7. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha in 5:04:11
2. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:05
3. Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:08
4. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Radioshack Leopard at 0:17
5. Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Europcar at 0:27
6. Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJ at 0:28
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:30
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:31
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:32
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard.

174.4km Tour de Wallonie Stage 2 came down to a sprint finale, after a lone rider from an original breakaway was caught inside the final 20km. Despite several attacks, the peloton — led by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team — made sure the stage came down to a bunch sprint. Tom Boonen emerged victorious, beating Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) to the line.

Boonen’s victory is the 44th (42nd road) for OPQS in three disciplines. OPQS looks next to a 168.5km Stage 3 on Monday after their win on Sunday.

“I am happy about this victory,” Boonen said. “The team did a great job today, we always stayed together, especially in the last stretch of the race. In the final 3km there was a descent and we took it in front. Then, Nikolas Maes was with me to pull for the sprint. He did a perfect job and we won the race, so I am happy. I feel good, my health is much better than when I had some problems last time. I felt good even yesterday, even if I wasn’t 100 percent — but that was probably because of a long trip back from altitude camp. Today I felt really good, so that also makes me happy. This race is important to prepare for the Classics in August. I will do this race, some training, and then will be ready for the races in August.”
Thanks to OPQS.

Tour de Wallonie Stage 2 Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:23:33
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs-Wanty
6. Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
7. Jetse Bol (Ned) Belkin
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack Leopard
9. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol
10. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha in 9:27:43
2. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ at 0:06
3. Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:09
4. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Radioshack Leopard at 0:18
5. Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Europcar at 0:28
6. Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJ at 0:29
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:31
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:32
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:33
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack Leopard.

No Vuelta for Contador
2012 Vuelta a España winner Alberto Contador will not be starting this year’s Spanish Tour. In an interview with Sporza he made the announcement before the start of stage 19. The Saxo-Tinkoff team also accepted that winning this Tour is now out of the question and will concentrate on the team prize.

Andy Schleck for Trek
Andy Schleck has confirmed that he will be riding for the “new” Trek team next year. The news probably means that his brother Frank will also join the team which will replace the present RadioShack Leopard team. Trek recently bought the team’s WorldTour licence from the owner Flavio Becca, Luca Guercilena will carry on as general manager.

Successful operation for Marcel Sieberg
Early Saturday morning, Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Belisol) took the plane from Genève to Brussels and in the afternoon he underwent surgery in the hospital of Herentals, where he had a successful, necessary operation to the fractured left collarbone, after his crash on the descent of the Col de la Madeleine.

The Mantova Case
The judge in charge of the preliminary hearing in the Mantova doping case has announced that 27 riders, team staff and members of the management of the Lampre team should go on trial for doping offences. The 15 of the riders listed rode for the Lampre team at the time of the investigation, plus the team manager Giuseppe Saronni and directeur sportif Maurizio Piovani and Fabrizio Bontempi. The riders include; Alessandro Ballan, Marzio Bruseghin, Damiano Cunego, Simone Ponzi and Mauro Santambrogio. The case centres on Guido Nigrelli, a pharmacist who is said to have supplied doping products to the accused. The case will begin on the 10th of December.

The Lampre Team replies to the accusations:
Team takes bitterly note of the decision by the GUP (judge who presides over preliminary hearings) in Mantova, but all the while it thinks proper to point out that:

– during the preliminary hearings no significant and new elements, that could state the sure involvement of the member of the Team that are linked to the inquiry, emerged;

– in this step of the legal action, no examination has been yet performed on the phone conversations. This fact add deep doubts on the real content and the meaning of them;

– the commitment for trial is a technical act with neutrality for what concerns statement of guilty.

Team reaffirms the trust to the athletes and the team members that are involved in the issue, and it is sure that during the hearing it will be possible to demonstrate the non-involvement of the subjects to the charges.

The certainty of being able to demonstrate the non-involvement to the charges brings to formulate a consideration about who, once that the whole issue will be clarified, will take in charge the responsibility and the burdens of the produced offenses and loss to the Team.

Michael Albasini Extends Contract With ORICA-GreenEDGE
Press Release: ORICA-GreenEDGE is pleased to announce that Michael Albasini has extended his contract for two years. Albasini has flourished with the Australian outfit, adding three stages wins to his palmarès both this year and last in addition the overall victory in 2012 at Volta a Catalunya.

“I know I could have had options with other teams, but when it came time to sign, I realised that I don’t want to leave this one,” said Albasini. “As our music video shows, we have a really good team spirit here. It’s nice to work where you can also have fun.”

Capable of pulling off the win in the right situation, Albasini is equally adept at putting his teammates on the top step. In addition to his personal victories, he’s been part of six of his teammates’ wins this year.

“Michael is one of the stalwarts of our team,” said Sport Director Matt White. “He is a very reliable rider in nearly every terrain. He’s a winner, but he’s also a super teammate. We’ve seen that here at the Tour, and we’ve seen that at every race he starts. He gives as much to his teammates as he does to his personal goals.”

“We have really good riders in this team for the one day races,” said Albasini. “We have riders for the sprints, and we have opportunists like me. I like to play my role in helping my teammates win. On the other hand, I get a lot of chances on this team to try for a result myself. It’s the perfect situation for me to be able to do both.”

Albasini says he suspected from the start that ORICA-GreenEDGE suited him. Asked to name a highlight over the last 18 months, he talks about the team’s first training camp.

“We had a fantastic time together as a new group before the first season started,” said Albasini. “I brought my family with me to Australia, and we lived there together for a couple weeks. We all really enjoyed that. It’s been a great experience from the beginning. I’ve had some of the best wins of my career with this team. The team time trial in Nice in the first week of the Tour has been one of the very best moments.”

With four top ten finishes at Fléche Wallone in the last six years, including second place to Joaquim Rodriguez last year, Albasini believes an Ardennes Classics win is within reach. Beyond personal objectives, he looks forward to playing a part in the team’s wins throughout the entire season.

“I don’t usually target specific races,” Albasini admitted. “My season is more or less the same each year. I’ve been doing the Ardennes Classics for a long time now, and I really like these races. It would be great to win one. The Tour is also really important. I actually think it’s important to win and keep morale high throughout the whole year. The goal with the new contract, like always, is to keep winning.”

Take a Trip in France!
OK the Tour de France is over for another year, but you can relive one of the funniest bits of video here. The guy in blue does something I think most of would love to do, lucky for him his large, female minder was on hand.

Batman & Robin?
Always good to finish with a video from Vanessa at . Not really sure where she’s going with this one, fighting crime etc. but a good watch none the less:

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, 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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