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EuroTrash Tour Start!

Vincenzo Nibali is already in the yellow jersey after only two crazy Tour de France days, but there is still three weeks to go. All the Tour info you need is here in EuroTrash Monday, along with the Tour of Austria, the Arctic Race of Norway, Rui Costa to stay with Lampre and André Greipel releases a music video.

TOP STORY: The Crowds in Yorkshire
Apart from the crash and injury to Mark Cavendish, the top story has to be the reception that the Tour de France received from the people of Yorkshire over the weekend. The Giro start in Belfast was very impressive, but was maybe dampened by the weather; torrential rain does tend to do that. In England the weather played the game and kept dry and the fans lined the road-side in their thousands, well millions probably. It was unbelievable and many overseas journalists were surprised and shocked at the turn out. The fans were six deep at road junctions in the middle of nowhere, normally in France there would be no one watching in a similar place at lunch time on a Sunday. There was one problem; the average man/woman in the street of England does not understand that you cannot stand in the road when a bunch of cyclists are coming at you at speed and there were many bumps and close calls between riders and spectators, to the point where Fabain Cancellara sent out a message on Twitter: “To all media,send out the message the fans should stand 1meter back on the road when we pass with 50km/h”.

On a personal note; it was heart-warming to hear Tour de France winner Pedro Delgado on Spanish TV give a long description of Yorkshire’s Brian Robinson. Brian won stage seven of the 1958 Tour de France and so was the first British winner of a Tour stage. If that wasn’t enough he also won stage 20 the next year with an advantage of 20 minutes and finished in 19th place overall after being 9th at one point. Robinson was a real ground breaker, no British rider had been this successful in Europe, and there might not even have been a Sky team now if it wasn’t for riders like Brian, plus he is a real gentleman.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 1Big crowds in Yorkshire for the Tour

Tour de France 2014
Stage 1 looked a good day for Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), but things didn’t pan out that way and after a head and shoulder tussle with Simon Gerrans of Orica-GreenEDGE they both hit the road GreenEDGE they both hit the road taking Julien Simon (Cofidis) down with them. Cavendish managed to finish, but holding his shoulder it didn’t look good for the Manxman.

Earlier in the day there had been the start in Leeds followed by a gentle ride to Harewood House and another start by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It wasn’t long after the proper start for Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne Séché) headed up the road to be joined by Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and the oldest man in the race; Jens Voigt (Trek). The three stayed together over the first climb (Cat 4, Côte de Cray) with the points going to Jarrier. Next up was the sprint at Newbiggin and Jens Voigt went for this one and carried on taking the sprint and the next climb (Cat 3, Côte de Buttertubs) and the last KOM points of the on the Cat 3 Côte de Griton Moor. Behind the tough German; the bunch was stirring its self into action and pulled back the two Frenchmen and then Voigt after the climb. Due to the large amount of road-side fans the course was narrow on the Griton climb which caused a split. In the back group was Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida), but after a chase the race was all together for the fast and furious last K’s.

OPQS, Lotto Belisol, Giant-Shimano and Cannondale were in control coming to the last kilometre when Fabian Cancellara attacked hard. Kittel and Sagan launched their sprints and passed Spartacus as Cavendish and Gerrans hit the deck. Kittel held off Sagan and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) to repeat his win of last year in Corsica and be the first yellow jersey of 2014.

After the finish, stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) said: “It was a really special day today; the supporters lining the roads were incredible. I am so proud and this means so much to me that we made it happen. The jersey is for the team after the job they did today and all the fans out there supporting us also deserve a slice. We worked so hard for it; everyone pulled just as they should and even with a slight reshuffle in the sprint formation at the end we got it perfect.”
“John [Degenkolb] and Koen [De Kort] pulled through the last few hundred metres of the lead-out and then I had to go for it as Sagan launched. We got it right again today and it was a real team effort. It’s a special day.”

“Today was really special – from the start the race was amazing with fans two, three, and four deep lining the whole route,” confirmed Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb after the stage. “We did a great job today and waited until the right time. When Cancellara attacked near the finish at first it was tense but we stayed calm as there was still a long way to go. It feels amazing to win again as a team like this and what a way to start the Tour.”

Sprinting just behind Cavendish and Gerrans was BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet who was lucky to escape the pile-up. “I had to brake full gas. I almost crashed,” he said. “Then my race was over. It was a little bit disappointing.” Van Avermaet was 13th on the stage but said he will try again on Sunday’s stage from York to Sheffield. “I think it’s a good stage for me,” he said. “Today was already pretty hard. It was a nervous race and that fits me best, so I hope to do a good result tomorrow.”

Alberto Contador finished the first stage of the 2014 Tour easily and with good feelings, while highlighting that the team “has been really good and that’s what’s important these days.” After crossing the finish line, Tinkoff-Saxo leader said that tomorrow’s stage is more demanding and on a hard course, “we have to be in front, like today, focused at all times to keep it together, because the peloton will be broken in many groups. We’ll have to try to keep the maximum number of riders of my team in front and accordingly, see what happens.” About today; Contador spoke of the danger, “not just at the end, but throughout the entire stage, with very narrow roads and perhaps steeper than in the rest of Europe. That makes it much more difficult to brake the bike, but we saved the day, which had not much quiet due to the parcours and falls, and so I’m really happy. Reaching the finish without problems on a stage like this is almost a victory.”

Belkin leader Bauke Mollema ended up 21st in Harrogate and didn’t lose any time on winner Marcel Kittel of Giant-Shimano. “There were many narrow roads and dangerous descents, and moreover, the pace was high, but I never got in a difficult situation,” said Mollema. “Halfway, there were a few hectic kilometres and a rider bumped in to me after which I had to stop, but that wasn’t a real situation. My legs were good. I felt fine today.” Mollema enjoyed the British fans during the opening stage. “It seemed like we were riding on the Champs-Elysées all day long. People lined the course, two or three deep, everywhere. The start with the British royal family was nice, as well.”

World Champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) commented: “Today it was important to avoid trouble and crashes, because everybody wants to be at the head of the bunch and the roads were full of fans. The passion by the people was amazing; it was exciting to pedal on a day like this. I thank my mates for the support, we managed to avoid trouble and to solve every complicated situation this kind of stage. Sorry for Modolo who missed the chance to take part in the sprint and for Richeze who crashed.”

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team confirms that Mark Cavendish underwent further examination on his right shoulder after today’s crash. The imaging underlined ligament ruptures with an AC-joint dislocation, which causes him a lot of pain. A final decision on his participation in tomorrow’s stage will be taken tomorrow morning. “I’m gutted about the crash today,” Cavendish said. “It was my fault. I’ll personally apologize to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance. In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn’t really there. I wanted to win today; I felt really strong and was in a great position to contest the sprint thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team. Sorry to all the fans that came out to support – it was truly incredible.”

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano in 4:44:07
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
5. Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
6. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
8. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin
9. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
10. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano in 4:44:07
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
5. Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
6. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
8. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin
9. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
10 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEDGE.

Stage 1 by Orica-GreenEDGE:

Mark Cavendish was at the start of Stage 2 in York on Sunday morning, but the decision had been made that he would not start due to his injuries from the previous day. Check out the interview bellow.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) claimed his first stage victory at the Tour de France as he rode away from the main peloton with just under 2km to go to the finish line in Sheffield. The Italian champion is the new race leader with an advantage of two seconds over Peter Sagan (Cannondale) who took the lead in the points classification, which is his main goal this year.

Bretagne-Séché Environnement launched the first attack from the gun for the second straight day with Armindo Fonseca taking Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar), Matthew Busche (Trek), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura) and Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale). Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol) bridged the gap at km 12. Their maximum advantage of 3.55 was recorded at km 50.

Tinkoff-Saxo kept the breakaway under control with a deficit of less than two minutes. The escape came to an end in the ascent to the Holme Moss, where Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) rejoined Kadri at the front. However, Kadri rode him off to take the five points awarded at the top of the only second category climb of the day. Kadri was eventually reeled in with 35km to go while Kittel was no longer part of the main peloton and finished at 19:50.

Two riders managed to go away in the Oughtibridge Hill with 18km to go: Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale). Rolland insisted more than his compatriot and got reined in 8km before the finishing line. Vincenzo Nibali was the last of the three overall favourites to attack and the Italian champion soloed to the finishing line.

Belkin’s Bauke Mollema moved up to 6th overall: “I feel good about today,” said Mollema. “I finished among the other GC riders and things went pretty easily for me. On the final steep climb, I knew that I needed to be at the front as the group could split. Thanks to the boys, I was in the position I needed to be. In the final, there was a moment that I thought about an attack, as you always have a chance in a small group. Unfortunately, I was boxed in when I wanted to attack and right after that, Nibali took off. I hoped someone would try and close the gap, but nobody did.”

Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) praised the English fans, but expressed concern. “They are fantastic. I’ve never experienced anything like this. This is one reason why you become a cyclist, but I have to say that occasionally things got quite dangerous. Moreover, it makes the race extra difficult. Especially on the narrow climbs, where you sometimes get stuck in a sort of funnel and you are forced to accelerate often in order to reconnect with other groups again.”

Greg Van Avermaet was runner-up and his BMC teammate Tejay van Garderen finished ninth on Sunday and both also moved into the top 10 in the overall standings. Van Avermaet matched his best result of the season by edging third-placed Michal Kwiatowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). “This was a stage that really suited me,” Van Avermaet said. “It was a big goal for me and it is too bad I was second. I was feeling real good on the climbs. In the end, it was a bit tactical with the attacks. But I did a good race and I did a good sprint. It would have been a great day if I could have won and taken yellow. But it is like it is, and maybe there will be another chance to come. We will see.”

Van Garderen was also part of the 21 riders who separated themselves on the last of nine categorized climbs in the 201 km race. When defending champion Chris Froome (Sky) attacked near the top of Jenkin Road, van Garderen was quick to respond. “It was attrition all day – it was hard,” the past Tour de France “best young rider” said. “I am just happy to make it through with all my skin and in the same time. I had reconned the day, so I knew it was going to be hard. I feel like I am going to get better every day and today I felt really good. So I can only go up from here as long as I stay safe.”

Alberto Contador finished the stage in the front group, happy to arrive another day at the finish without a problem. “We had to be focused at all times, because it was a super challenging day, had to be in the front for 200 kilometres and the team protected me very well”, said the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo. “The final was easier”, continued Alberto, “At the end Nibali escaped, but the important thing was to save the day. Although it appeared like this on TV and on yesterday stage, the tension is great and although we are extremely grateful to the people who are at the road side, there is great danger. Going at 80 or 90 km/h on downhill and with the public having to get out the way, with people in wheelchairs, people with dogs… finishing unhurt every day is a victory”.

About the victory of Nibali, he said that Astana “had several riders in front, all with a high level, and Nibali has taken his chance. Behind there was no one who would sacrifice because nobody had teammates. Congratulations for Nibali and Astana.”

The ex-overall leader Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano): “Despite 3,000 altitude metres I had a good time on the bike. We knew it was going to be tough but we rode early on to honour the jersey. The fans were incredible, there are no words for that and it was an awesome day. At one moment I was in front and there were so many people there so I just yelled at them to tell them to be even louder pretending like I couldn’t hear them – I thought I lost my hearing.”

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano), talking about Marcel and his day in yellow: “I think he enjoyed himself today. You have to be realistic about a stage like today – it is really hard for any sprinter to fight over these climbs. It is no longer our responsibility now though and we can look to doing another good stage tomorrow. What is good about us is that we are a really good as a team and work really well together, and I am happy to be a part of this team. We learn from every sprint and get better each time – I am really looking forward to the future.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s stage, John said: “The goal will be to have a controllable break so we don’t have to spend too much energy before the final. At the finish we have to race like we did before and in a smart way. Communicating and timing is import and I am confident we can repeat.”

Tour de France Stage 2 Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 5:08:36
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:02
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol
6. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 2:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 9:52:43
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:02
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
4. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
5. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin
7. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC.
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana.

Stage 2:

Mark Cavendish Did Not Start Tour de France Stage 2
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Cavendish did not take the start of Tour de France Stage 2 on Sunday after crashing at the end of Stage 1. He met with the media outside the team bus prior to the start of the stage to talk about the decision. This is what he had to say:

On the crash and the decision to not start Stage 2:
“When I got on my bike after my crash yesterday it wasn’t possible to hold my handlebars. When I took my skinsuit off I saw there was something wrong with my shoulder. It was sticking out a bit like it shouldn’t. So we went to get it checked up and I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t move my shoulder. I held a bit of optimism that maybe it was just swelling and it would go down a bit this morning, but it’s actually worse this morning. I can’t move my arm. I’m gutted, I’m majorly disappointed, but it could be worse.”

On next steps for himself, as well as OPQS:
“I’ve got to go and get an MRI to see if it needs surgery, chances are it probably does. Unfortunately I’m likely to be out for a few weeks. I’m devastated to be fair. I’m in pain as well. I think anyone who crashes on the first day of the Tour de France is going to be disappointed. But Omega Pharma – Quick-Step is here with a strong team. We’ve got Tony Martin the world time trial champion. We’ve got Niki Terpstra, who won Paris-Roubaix. We got Matteo Trentin who won a stage of the Tour de France in his first year last year. We’ve got Jan Bakelants who won a stage in his first Tour last year and had the yellow jersey. We have a really versatile team. I’m confident we will be successful. We weren’t just here to win the sprints, we are here to be successful within the full 21 days. We’ve got a strong and motivated group. I’m still massively optimistic about the team, there’s a great ambiance, the eight guys who are there now. We’ve got an incredible team here and I’m actually devastated that I won’t be sharing that success at the Tour with them.”

On the crash and Simon Gerrans:
“Simon and I came up, and I think two of us wanted Peter Sagan’s wheel. The others moved to the left. I wanted to go but Gerrans was there. I used my head to try to take us across the road. Gerrans wasn’t budging, I wasn’t budging, we crossed bars and we both went down. At the end of the race, in different circumstances, I would have hit the brakes and not tried to go for the win. The stage had been lost. I wanted it that bad and I tried to find a gap that wasn’t there. I spoke to Simon after the stage, I asked if he was OK, and I also spoke to him on the phone later and apologized to him. I really hope he’s OK and today’s a good stage for him. I wish him a good rest of the tour.”

On perspective about his circumstances:
“It could be worse. You saw my helmet yesterday for Helmet for Heroes, I’ve got friends who were in Afghanistan who’ve got no legs and one arm and I think when you put that into perspective, I don’t think I’m too bad. I think I’m back in a few weeks. I’m disappointed but things could definitely be worse.”

On what he has to say to his supporters attending the Tour de France:
“I want to say to all the supporters at the Tour to enjoy it, it’s going to be an incredible race. It was amazing to see the support that was out yesterday and I’m looking forward to watching it. I’ve been missing it like crazy but I’m looking forward to seeing it up north and then tomorrow in London.”

TDFR 2014 - stage - 1

The Tinkoff-Saxo New Jersey for the Tour de France
Tinkoff-Saxo held its first training session in the new jersey especially designed for the Tour de France, it is easily recognizable in fluorescent yellow and has Tinkoff in Cyrillic on the shoulder. Oleg Tinkov joined his nine riders on a short trip of 2 hours, which passed by part of the route of the first stage, after which the team returned to the hotel to prepare for the official presentation of the race.

Tour of Austria 2014
Stage 1 of the Tour of Austria was 182 hard kilometre from Tulln to the uphill finish on Sonntagberg. However, it was no Sunday picnic for the riders and the GC riders were forced to perform on this initial stage in order to have a decent chance of winning.

The five men break that dominated the stage was eventually chased down by Sky and were reeled in with 14 kilometres to go. Going up the Sonntagberg the British road race champion, Peter Kennaugh (Sky) launched the crucial attack and Tinkoff-Saxo’s Oliver Zaugg followed him but was not able to pass, so finished second.

Tour of Austria Stage 1 Result:
1. Peter Kennaugh (Sky) in 4:32:22
2. Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 0:11
3. Javier Moreno (Movistar) at 0:18
4. Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) at 0:21
5. Ben Hermans (BMC)
6. Patrick Konrad (Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels) at 0:25
7. Eros Capecchi (Movistar) at 0:30
8. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) at 0:31
9. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky) at 0:36
10. Jure Golcer (Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels).

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 1:
1. Peter Kennaugh (Sky) in 4:32:22
2. Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 0:15
3. Javier Moreno (Movistar) at 0:24
4. Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) at 0:31
5. Ben Hermans (BMC) at 0:35
6. Patrick Konrad (Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels) at 0:40
7. Eros Capecchi (Movistar)
8. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) at 0:41
9. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky) at 0:46
10. Jure Golcer (Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels).

Stage 1:

The Tour of Austria started on Sunday and runs to next Sunday the 13th of July.
Stage 1: Sunday 6th of July: Tulln – Sonntagberg (182 km)
Stage 2: Monday 7th of July: Waidhofen/Ybbs – Bad Ischl (180.9 km)
Stage 3: Tuesday 8th of July: Bad Ischl – Kitzbüheler Horn (206 km)
Stage 4: Wednesday 9th of July: Kitzbühel – Matrei/Osttirol (171.9 km)
Stage 5: Thursday 10th of July: Matrei/Osttirol – St. Johann/Alpendorf (146.4 km)
Stage 6: Friday 11th of July: St. Johann/Alpendorf – Villach-Dobratsch (182.4 km)
Stage 7: Saturday 12th of July: Podersdorf – Neusiedler See (24.1 km) (ITT)
Stage 8: Sunday 13th of July: Podersdorf – Vienna (122.8 km).
More race details on: https://www.oesterreich-rundfahrt.at


BMC Racing Team Announces Tour of Austria Roster
The BMC Racing Team has announced its roster for the 66th edition of the Tour of Austria. The eight-day race begins Sunday.

Brent Bookwalter (USA), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Larry Warbasse (USA), Rick Zabel (GER).
Sport Director: Jackson Stewart (USA).

Team Katusha in Tour of Austria
The Russian WorldTour Team Katusha starts in the 66th Tour of Austria (2.HC stage race), which will be held from July 6th until July 13th.
The Team Katusha line-up:
Maxim Belkov, Pavel Brutt, Giampaolo Caruso, Sergei Chermetckii, Marco Haller, Dmitry Kozontchuk, Alberto Losada & Eduard Vorganov.
Sports directors are: Claudio Cozzi, Xavier Florencio and Michael Rich.

Lotto Belisol: Preview Tour of Austria
There are other cycling races scheduled than the Tour de France in July. Saturday a part of the peloton left for Austria to compete in the Tour of Austria from Sunday the 6th of July until the 13th of July. It will be a tough edition again. It will be the first pro race for Louis Vervaeke, who comes over from the Lotto Belisol U23 team.

In the first stage the riders will immediately be put to the test with finish on the Sonntagberg. In stage two there will probably sprinted for the victory. The longest stage is contested on the third day. After 206 kilometers the peloton gets a tough finish on Kitzbüheler Horn, a climb hors catégorie. Also in the fourth and fifth stage there lie cols of first and second category on the route. In stage six there’s a summit finish for the third time. On the penultimate day there’s an individual time trial of just over 24 kilometers to finish the Tour of Aystria on Sunday with a possible bunch sprint on a flat course.

For the sprints Lotto Belisol relies on Jonas Van Genechten. Jelle Vanendert makes his comeback after a pyelitis. The opponents will be among other Ivan Basso, Bob Jungels and Daniel Martin.

Bart Leysen, sports director: “There are many riders in our team who have already raced very much and now take the time to reload the batteries. In our selection for Austria we especially have riders who are preparing for the last part of the season. We have a young, motivated team. We’ll have to see how Jelle Vanendert responds after his illness. He wants to know where he stands in the tough stages. He will pick out a stage, depending on how he feels on the day.”

“This year it will be a tough Tour of Austria again. Just like in 2013 there has to be climbed in the first stage already. I expect that after the first stage there will be about ten riders who still can battle for GC. But our main ambition is of course a stage win. Then we’ll see how it goes in GC.”

Selection Lotto Belisol: Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Gert Dockx, Boris Vallée, Jonas Van Genechten, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert and Louis Vervaeke.
Sports Directors: Bart Leysen and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx.

Arctic Race Of Norway 2014
Kittel Candidate To Challenge Hushovd, Kristoff, Nordhaug…

After winding its way through the Nordland and Troms regions in 2013, the Arctic Race of Norway (August 14–17) is set to continue exploring northern Norway with two stages in Finnmark, starting with a historical push towards North Cape. The profiles of these stages should make them a punchers’ affair…

Marcel Kittel of Giant-Shimano and Norwegian sprinters are expected to contest the second Arctic Race of Norway with an unprecedented stage finish at the North Cape even though a tougher course might favor a different type of rider.

While the Tour de France has never been as far north as now in Leeds for its Grand Départ after one hundred editions already contested, the Arctic Race of Norway will take the riders further north next month. Amaury Sport Organisation director of cycling Christian Prudhomme will make his way to the North Cape to flag off stage 1 in Hammerfest on August 14, just one year after Thor Hushovd won the inaugural ARN. “This expedition is a breath of fresh air for the world of cycling”, he noted. “The impact of this wonderful event was enormous last year”, echoed ASO general manager Yann Le Moënner. “It shows how much cycling is a perfect sport to explore new horizons.”

Professional cycling teams have already embraced this new adventure. Nine of the twenty outfits who signed up for the second ARN are also part of the Tour de France: Belkin Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing Team, Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Cannondale, Cofidis-Solutions crédits, IAM Cycling, Giant-Shimano, Katusha and NetApp-Endura. Some big names are already known: race ambassador Thor Hushovd who will normally compete internationally for the last time on home soil on this occasion as he has announced his retirement from racing after the world championship in September; Alexander Kristoff who is the new star of Norwegian cycling since he won Milan-San Remo in March; Simon Spilak and Yuriy Trofimov, his team-mates from Katusha who won a stage each at the Critérium du Dauphiné last month; Lars-Petter Nordhaug who was the King of the Mountains at the ARN last year and has the profile of a hot favourite this time around; Vegard Stake Laengen, who is another promising Norwegian racing for French squad Bretagne-Séché Environnement…

Vikings on home soil will face a fierce competition with Marcel Kittel. Giant-Shimano has listed the ARN on the race program of the four-time stage winner of the 2013 Tour de France. “It’s an honor for us that such a great champion is keen to come to our race and discover the north of Norway”, said the director of the Arctic Race of Norway Knut-Eirik Dybdal who is full of praise for the emerging cycling talents in his country. The most promising of them all is Sondre Holst Enger, 20. He claimed the bronze medal at the U23 world championship in Florence last year. He’ll make his debut at the ARN as a trainee with his new team IAM Cycling, guided by veteran rider (and Hushovd’s close friend) Sébastien Hinault. Newly crowned Elite Norwegian champion Tormod Hausken Jacobsen from Øster Hus-Ridley will also attract a lot of attention prior to celebrating his 21st birthday on the final day of the race in Tromsø.

The Arctic Race of Norway is also involved in the future of Norwegian cycling through the organization of the “Arctic Morgendagens Helter Rittet” in cooperation with the Norwegian Cycling Federation. Just like last year, the “heroes of tomorrow” will be united by major partner Statoil for a race before the arrival of the conclusive stage. Every region of Norway is invited to send their best junior riders alongside internationals coming from Russia, the United Kingdom and more. Five Norwegian continental teams will line up at the ARN: Joker, FixIT.no, Øster Hus-Ridley, Ringeriks-Kraft and Sparenbanken-Sør. The others will be: Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Unitedhealthcare, Roubaix-Lille Métropole, Wallonie-Bruxelles and MTN-Qhubeka, the latter delivering the symbol of sub-Saharan cyclists – from Ethiopia, South Africa… – competing above the Arctic circle. As much as the Scandinavians, they’ll be eligible for the “Viking of the Day” price. The most courageous, persistent and dedicated rider will be designated by internet users via twitter from anywhere in the world. He’ll be awarded the newly created “Viking Jersey” while fun riders will also get a chance to experience the far north with two opportunities to ride on the same roads as the professionals: “Conquer the North Cape” on a distance of 32km on August 14, “The Great Bike Festival”, 25km, on August 16.

Norwegian TV spectators will enjoy a daily coverage of 120 minutes as opposed to 90 minutes last year on TV2. In addition to Eurosport 2, the race will be broadcasted live in France (L’Équipe 21), Asia-Pacific (Eurosport Asia), Latin America (TDN), Czech Republic and Slovakia (DIGI Sport) while highlights will be visible on all continents.


The route of the Arctic Race of Norway 2014 :
• Stage 1 (14 august): Hammerfest – North Cape (204 km)
• Stage 2 (15 august): Honningsvåg – Alta (207 km)
• Stage 3 (16 august): Alta – Kvænangsfjellet (132 km)
• Stage 4 (17 august): Tromsø – Tromsø (165 km)

All the information on www.letour.fr

Teaser Officiel : Arctic Race of Norway 2014 por tourdefrance

Two More Years for Costa
World road champion Rui Costa cemented an agreement to stay with the Lampre-Merida team for two more years.

“Everyone who knows me is aware that I like stability. Here in Lampre-Merida I found myself in the best dimension. I’m very satisfied for the good relation that has been set with the team and with my mates. Since I’ve joined the team, I received the best support by everybody and I can appreciated that all the team members are fully motivated and ready to work in the best way: there’s an amazing team spirit, each team mate cares about the other team mates. This mood of cooperation and the stability gives me the firm belief that I am doing the best thing to renew with satisfaction the agreement with the team and the sponsors, so we’ll work together in the next two years.”

“I had signed a one year contract with Lampre-Merida because there was the common will to know each other in a deep way at the beginning and later to evaluate to go on together for the next seasons. Seven months have passed up to know and I can say I’ll be very happy to reward the confidence I received from team and sponsors. My mates are great, I can only say thanks for their precious support, and the same is for the sponsors that keep boosting me.

“The team and I are both happy about what we’ve achieved until now, so we could set the agreement for the renewal for the next two” seasons: common target is to try to achieve the best sport results”.

Evento Merida 2014

André Greipel the Singer!
After hearing ‘de Ronde’, a song in dutch about the Tour of Flanders, sung by one of the team doctors SerVaaS, André Greipel asked him to make and sing a song together. Now the Tour de France starts, and this is how such a unusual cooperation between a rider and a doctor sounds…

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