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EuroTrash Bastille Monday!

As we dive into week two of the Tour de France; all the big mountain action is in front of us with a Frenchman in yellow for Bastille Day. It’s not all France in the cycling news; we also have Peter Kennaugh winning the Tour of Austria. Loads of video, comments and results for a full Monday Trash bag.

TOP STORY: The Menchov Positive
Due to biological passport violations Denis Menchov was given a two year ban which expires on April the 9th 2015. Possibly not a surprise to many and a sign that the Biological passport works.

Now you are probably thinking; “why didn’t we hear about this before?” And I’m sure you can all count backwards from April 2015 for two years and that comes to April the 9th 2013, that’s over a year ago. Menchov retired in May of 2013 because (it was said at the time) with a bad knee, coincidence?

It seems there is a new system at the UCI, that they don’t release this sort of thing, except in some cases. You have to look on the UCI website to find this information which (maybe after a year) will eventually appear there. Menchov loses his Tour de France results from 2009, 2010 and 2012, but not his Giro d’Italia win of 2009. There has also been no mention of his other achievements during that time; 5th in the Vuelta a España 2011, Vuelta stage win 2012, and placings in the Tours of Austria, Murcia, Andalucía etc and the Russian TT title in 2012.

This new ‘transparent approach’ by the UCI is a bit like mud.

This was the reaction of Denis Menchov:

Tour de France 2014:
Germany’s André Greipel claimed Stage 6 in Reims after another crash strewn day in northern France. The battle between Greipel and Marcel Kittel didn’t materialize as Kittel was let down by a mechanical in the last two kilometers. Vincenzo Nibali retained the lead on another rained soaked day with echelons on the roads chosen to remember World War I in the presence of the French president François Hollande.

Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau (IAM Cycling) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) attacked from the gun and secured a maximum time gap of 4.15 at km 21. The Giant-Shimano team led by “breakaway killer” Cheng Ji stabilized the deficit of the peloton around three minutes for most of the race.

A crash occurred with 79km to go. French champion Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) who was racing on home soil in Picardy went down but the fall had worse consequences for Xavier Zandio, so Sky lost one more rider the day after Chris Froome called it quits. Egor Silin (Katusha) also abandoned at the same time. Another crash split the bunch when echelons were formed in the crosswinds at the “Chemin des Dames” with 65km to go when Omega Pharma – Quick-Step put the hammer down. One of the riders involved, Jesus Hernandez (Tinkoff-Saxo), also withdrew from the race, leaving Alberto Contador without his closest and most faithful team-mate.

Leezer, Maté, Pineau and Gérard were reined in one by one within 20 km to go, Maté being the last one after 182km of racing away from the peloton. OPQS rode very hard prior to an attack by their leader Michal Kwiatkowski in the last K as Marcel Kittel disappeared from the fight because of a mechanical. The Polish champion was reeled in with 500 meters to go when André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) launched his sprint. The German champion held off Alexander Kristoff’s rush to claim his sixth victory in the Tour de France. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) rode safely home with the yellow jersey.

Stage winner André Greipel (Lotto Belisol): “This isn’t only a victory for me, but especially for the team. We were criticized the last days, but as a team we always kept believing in a stage win. Lars Bak did a huge amount of work the last days and then it’s always nice to thank the guys with a victory. We did have to reorganize ourselves a bit. Bart De Clercq isn’t 100% after his crash of a few days ago and also Greg Henderson was an important man in the sprint train. Of course I’m relieved. There was some pressure on my shoulders, but as a sportsman you have to be able to handle that. Today I did, by answering on the bike.”

“The final was hectic. Because of all the roundabouts it was difficult to set up a lead-out. When entering the final kilometre Kwiatkowski surprised with a late attack and everybody looked at each other. Luckily Porsev of Katusha closed the gap for sprinter Kristoff. That was the perfect scenario for me. I started pretty early, but felt I could keep up my tempo.”

“It’s my thirteenth victory of the season. My crash in Ghent-Wevelgem was disappointing, but the preparation for the Tour went well. The condition is good at the moment and that’s the main thing. Now it’s all about surviving the tough stages and in stages where it’s possible I’ll try to have another go.”

Sep Vanmarcke led the Belkin team home in stage six today in Reims. The Belgian sprinted to a praiseworthy 9th place behind winner André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol). “It was a demanding day,” said Vanmarcke. “Mainly due to the stress that came with the crosswinds, but also because of the high pace. I still felt yesterday’s efforts, although it wasn’t too bad as I wasn’t involved in yesterday’s final. I didn’t feel as tired as after Paris-Roubaix.”

Tom Leezer (Belkin) was part of a four-man break. With 18 kilometres to go, the Dutchman was reeled in by the peloton. “It was a good day in the lead,” said Leezer. “Unfortunately, it didn’t bring me a result, but it was my first time in a break in the Tour and that was cool. It was too bad that it was just the four of us. We expected that there would be more teams with the same idea and that the group would have been bigger. Many sprinters crashed yesterday and today, there was a lot of wind. That means you have a good chance to win when you’re in the break. That was our idea, but it wasn’t our intention to attack with just four men.”

Lampre-Merida’s Chris Horner was skilful and lucky in avoiding any trouble; he crossed the finish line in the lead group in 40th place. “In these early parts of Tour, it’s important to pay the max attention not only in stages as yesterdays one, but also in stages that could appear easy,” Horner explained. “Today I achieve my goal, Rui (Costa) too, so we’re satisfied.”

Katusha’s rider Egor Silin was diagnosed with a fracture of the left collarbone with a displacement, he crashed 79 km from the finish. Tonight Egor Silin will undergo surgery in the hospital at Reims. Egor Silin will spend the weekend in the hospital under the supervision of the doctors.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) remains 4th on the GC at 50 seconds: “We risked it in the crosswind and went full gas with the echelons,” Kwiatkowski said. “We didn’t look back. We were trying to go to the finish in good position and maybe even a few less guys in the peloton. In the final we tried something different. Matteo was on my wheel and on the last corner he slowed down, and I went with everything I had to the finish. Unfortunately it was a long way — a little longer than I anticipated. But we tried something new, and Mark still placed in the top five of the stage. I think it shows what Omega Pharma – Quick-Step is capable of.

Tour de France Stage 6 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 4:11:39
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
4. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
6. Romain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
7. Tom Veelers (Ned) Giant-Shimano
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 6:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 24:38:25
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:02
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:44
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:50
5. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 1:17
6. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:45
7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 1:54
9. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:05
10. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:11.

Stage 6:

EN – Summary – Stage 6 (Arras > Reims) por tourdefrance

Matteo Trentin of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step scored his second stage win at the Tour de France one year after taking the laurels in Lyon. Trentin beat PeterSagan by the smallest of margins at the end of Stage 7. The green jersey wearer had done everything he could, by putting his Cannondale team at the front of the peloton all day. He attacked in the last climb and sprinted in a crash marred finale but had to accept yet another defeat.

Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) were the first attackers at 6 km. They were joined at 9 km by Alexandre Pichot (Europcar), Matthew Busche (Trek), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) to form a six-man breakaway group that enjoyed a maximum lead of 4.20 at km 25. Cannondale was prompt to take the responsibilities and set the pace of the peloton just over two minutes behind the breakaway riders for most of the race. It indicated Peter Sagan’s high ambitions to claim his first stage victory after he spent six days compiling a lot of points for his third consecutive quest of the green jersey.

At km 40, Belkin’s road captain Stef Clement crashed and immediately pulled out of the Tour de France. 120 kilometres further, Danny van Poppel (Trek) left the race.

With 44km to go, Elmiger and Huzarski rode away again while their four breakaway companions were reeled in. They surrendered in the Côte de Maron with 18km to go. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) briefly attacked as Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was involved in a crash that took his team-mate Darwin Atapuma out of the race with 16km to go. The American lost 1:02 on that occasion. In the last two kilometers, a few other crashes occurred while the leftovers of the peloton was busy catching Peter Sagan and Greg van Avermaet (BMC) who were gone in the Côte de Boufflers with 5km to go. Richie Porte (Sky) brought the group back to them but it was a sprint finish in which Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) went down. Sagan looked like being the winner, but the photo-finish declared Matteo Trentin (OPQS) number one in Nancy at the end of a superb final.

Stage winner Matteo Trentin (OPQS): “It was really good because it was me who won today, but it was the whole team working,” Trentin said. “The whole team worked since the first stage for Cav. When Cav crashed, we said to each other that we have to keep fighting. We have to work and keep an eye out for the victory. We have to finalize every day with the maximum effort possible. We did it exactly like this. We were always on the front on the flat stages, the hilly stages, even on the cobbles. We didn’t have a lot of good luck, but today all that hard work paid off. As for the finish, it was really close, but I heard first on the radio that I won. Honestly I had no idea I got the victory as I thought Peter Sagan just barely beat me on the line. But, I got the win and I am super happy. Cycling is beautiful because anything can happen, and it was so close I couldn’t celebrate until I knew for sure. I also have to thank Michal Kwiatkowski, who led me out today. He showed last year he is strong everywhere. At this Tour de France for sure he has proved he’s in good condition and he will try his best day-by-day, as he has been doing so far. We are here to also help him do his best, just as he helped me today in the sprint. But really, this was the result that came from the effort of everyone in an OPQS jersey. The team fought every day to take home a victory and to make the best result that is possible. We did it for Cavendish and for us as a team. We are really happy right now and I want to share the celebration with all of OPQS, as we all worked together to get to this point. I’m happy about this great addition to my palmares because of the job that I did this year,” Trentin said. “This year I stayed in the US after AMGEN Tour of California. I spent a few weeks in the US to prepare for the second part of the season. I’m thrilled to see my effort be rewarded like this. It shows when you work hard you will get a result sooner or later.”

Third on the stage Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol): “There was lots of pushing in the sprint. And Talansky crashed. I was driven to the side of the road, but the victory wasn’t possible. In this kind of sprints I can take my chance, but this was the best possible result against Trentin and Sagan. It was obvious; they were a bike length ahead.”

“I marked this type of races. It’s the same kind as on day two to Sheffield, were I got fifth. The final was tough. I’ll have a go in similar stages later in the Tour. I’m not here for GC; Jurgen is our man for that. I take my chance in stages that are too hard for sprinters and are no real mountain stages. Hopefully I can win sometime.”

A bad day for BMC: A crash with less than 20 kilometres to go cost BMC’s Tejay van Garderen 63 seconds as well as the services of teammate Darwin Atapuma, who was too injured to continue.

Van Garderen said he was not sure what caused the pile-up that involved him, Atapuma and several others as the peloton was climbing the Cote de Maron about 16 km from the end of the 234.5-km race. “Someone swerved over and then it kind of felt like I was taken out a little bit from behind,” van Garderen. “It is a tough blow, but the tour is long. The race changes and you saw some guys lose a minute yesterday in the crosswinds. So you just have to stay the course.” Darwin Atapuma broke his left femur; BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said X-rays and a CT scan revealed a fracture of Atapuma’s distal femur. “It is a non-displaced fracture but it is intra-articular, so most likely it will require some surgery.”

BMC Racing Team’s Marcus Burghardt, whose status to start the stage was in question after injuring his shoulder in a crash Thursday, started and finished the race, leaving the BMC Racing Team with eight riders. Marcus Burghardt, is nursing an AC joint separation of his right shoulder after crashing on Thursday. “He cannot put weight on the shoulder so he has to sit a lot,” Dr. Testa said. “That is a problem when they start accelerating, but he managed greatly. I have to give him credit for what he did today. We hope he can do the same for the next two days and make it to the rest day and then we will see what happens after that.”

Tour de France Stage 7 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 5:18:39
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano
5. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
7. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 7:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 29:57:04
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:02
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:44
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:50
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol at 1:45
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 1:54
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 2:05
8. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:11
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida.

Stage 7:

EN – Summary – Stage 7 (Épernay > Nancy) por tourdefrance

Blel Kadri of AG2R-La Mondiale was the only survivor of the Stage 8 breakaway and so took the first French stage win of the 2014 Tour de France. Behind him there was the battle of the giants that gave a little advantage to Alberto Contador who moved up into the top ten on GC. But the Spaniard only regained three seconds from Vincenzo Nibali.

After a few skirmishes, a breakaway was formed at km 42 with Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), Adrien Petit (Cofidis) and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE); the youngest rider in the Tour de France. Cannondale didn’t want to chase and Astana set a slow pace. With 50km to go, Terpstra, Kadri, Chavanel, Petit and Yates reached their maximum advantage of 11 minutes over the peloton. At that point heavy rain started to fall and the bunch began to ride hard. Chavanel and Kadri rode away as they climbed to Col de la Croix des Moinats with 25km to go. Kadri continued solo 22.5km before the finish at the ski resort of La Mauselaine for the solo win.

In the peloton Tinkoff-Saxo set the pace to keep Alberto Contador safe as some important GC riders got into trouble: Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) and Fränk Schleck (Trek). Contador finished the job of his team-mates and won his duel with Nibali, moving up to sixth place on GC and gave an indication that he’ll be highly competitive in the mountains.

As well as the stage win; Kadri also secured the lead in the King of the Mountains competition and was awarded the most aggressive rider of the day. Vincenzo Nibali held the overall.

Second on the stage Alberto Contador (Tinoff-Saxo): “It was the first day in the mountains and we had to prove the strength of each one”, said Alberto Contador to summarize the day. “The feeling was good, but the differences were very small, I did not expect to unhook Nibali. It was a really short climb, but I’m happy with the result.” Alberto said his intention was to “see a little how Nibali was and it was a surprise that in the end he was behind. I was not hundred percent sure if there was a rider ahead for the stage win and so I’ve been looking at him all the time, until I saw the marker indicating two minutes (to Kadri), and then I decided to take the maximum difference in the end.” In conclusion: “Nibali is a rider that knows how to win the Grand Tours and combined with his advantage he’s still the favourite. He has 2:30 minutes and that’s a lot of time.”

Bauke Mollema (Belkin) rose from 14th to 9th overall after finishing 11th at the summit of the La Mauselaine climb: “I felt good today,” said Mollema. “I had to get used to the climbing again and on the first climb, the longest of the day, my legs felt a little different. On the last climb, it was every man for himself and at first, I came up a little bit too short, but eventually, I got through. I can’t be too disappointed. The differences are still small. I still hope to improve, especially when it comes to the long climbs and there’s much more in store for me. I’m pleased that we’re heading into the mountains now, that’s where I’m at my best.”

Niki Terpstar (OPQS) was part of the break: “It was a really fast start as it was flat,” Terpstra said. “The attack wasn’t planned. We planned to have someone in the front, but not necessarily me as there were mountains in the final. But, when the pace is so fast you cannot choose who makes it. That’s racing. I just came to the front with Chavanel. It was like deja vu of the TTT, together we became two-time UCI World Champions when he was with OPQS. We just repeated that effort together. We went full gas and then we heard there were two or three chasers in the peloton. So we waited for the other guys. But the cooperation was not so good in the breakaway. Even though the peloton was practically standing still, we only gained 10 minutes. We could have gained more I think if we had worked together a little more. But OK, then the mountains started and Chavanel attacked directly with Kadri following. I couldn’t go with them. But I went full gas until the finish and I stayed away as long as I could. Chavanel was with me going into the final. I tried to attack him, but then the select group with Contador and Nibali passed me. Then, it was over. But I did my best and I have to be happy considering I’m not a climber, and I am still 14th after a long day.”

BMC Racing Team’s Darwin Atapuma, who broke his left femur in the crash that involved van Garderen, underwent successful surgery Saturday morning, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said. “The surgery went well and now he is in recovery,” Dr. Testa said. “The plan is to stay at the hospital for one or two days and then we will organize an ambulance transfer to his place in Italy where he will start physical therapy in the next two or three days.” Testa said the second phase of Atapuma’s recovery is yet to be determined. He could remain in Italy or travel to the United States, where team staff can oversee his rehabilitation, Dr. Testa said.

Tour de France Stage 8 Result:
1. Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:49:28
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 2:17
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 2:20
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 2:24
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 2:28
6. Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:36
8. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 2:40
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:48
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling at 2:54.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 33:48:52
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:44
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 1:58
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 2:26
5. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:27
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 2:34
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:39
8. Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 2:52
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 3:02
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol.

Stage 8:

EN – Summary – Stage 8 (Tomblaine > Gérardmer… por tourdefrance

For the first time, Tony Martin has won a different stage than a time trial in the Tour de France but it looked like a time trial as he used the mountains of Stage 9 in the Vosges to ride away with Alessandro De Marchi for 90 kilometres and solo for 59 kilometres! It was an enormous exploit by the German world time trial champion, but not the only amazing achievement of this eventful day as Frenchman Tony Gallopin took over from Vincenzo Nibali in the overall lead.

It didn’t take more than five kilometres before a breakaway took shape in the first climb of the day, the Col de la Schlucht; it was made up of 24 riders. Voeckler was first at the top, but the group was reeled in. Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) rode away again at km 16 and was joined by Tony Martin (OPQS). In that order, the duo took the KOM points at the top of Col du Wettstein.

A chasing group comprised José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez & Simon Spilak (Katusha), Sergio Paulinho (Tinkoff-Saxo), Kristjan Koren (Cannondale), Lars Boom & Steven Kruijswijk (Belkin), Mikaël Chérel & Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano), Rafa Valls (Lampre-Merida), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ.fr), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol), Amaël Moinard & Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier, Alexandre Pichot, Perrig Quémeneur and Kevin Reza (Europcar), Fabian Cancellara (Trek), Dani Navarro & Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), Tiago Machado (NetApp-Endura), Brice Feillu & Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne- Seche Environnement). Those 28 riders didn’t sufficiently coordinate their efforts, which allowed De Marchi and Martin to keep on racing hard at the front.

With 59km to go and nine more kilometres to climb to reach the summit of the Markstein, Martin distanced De Marchi and started an impressive time trial effort. From the Côte de Gueberschwihr (km 86), Gallopin was the virtual leader of the Tour de France. Vincenzo Nibali kept the situation under control with his Astana team-mates setting the pace of the bunch but the Italian looked happy to get rid of the yellow jersey. Gallopin rode away on the downhill to Cernay after the Grand Ballon, eventually rejoined by Chérel and brought back by his former companions but he did enough to maintain the high the pace of the group. He claimed the first yellow jersey of his career. Europcar finished the job to reposition Rolland higher on GC. Martin never weakened and kept an advance of 2.44 over the chasing group on the finishing line in Mulhouse where Tony Gallopin took the first Maillot Jaune of his career.

Stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “I think there are not so many guys in cycling who can do it like this,” Martin said of his solo win. “But I have to do it this way because I am not a guy for the big attacks and playing games. When I have the space, when I have a gap, I know I can make a good race and go really fast. I can do an effort like that in more than a one hour time trial. I can put out this kind of effort in a three or four hour mountain stage. Today everything worked perfectly. I had good legs and condition. It was my kind of weather and with only one rider with me in the breakaway it suits my skills. We didn’t play any games; we just were going and cooperating well. It was just a perfect day.”

“I think I’m known for some crazy gambles such as today, going into the breakaway so early in the stage with just one rider,” Martin said. “It doesn’t always work out, but today it did. There was also some strategy behind it. I knew when the original 28-rider group directly behind us was chasing us down, that it could maybe work. For me the chance outside of the break would be really difficult. It was a flat finish and I’m not the fastest guy in the sprint. So, it was all or nothing. Uphill most of the time everybody goes fast, but on the descents and the flats you can really make up time. Because, everybody in the big break is too busy watching each other. That happened behind us. Uphill we maybe did the same speed, but on the top of the climbs and the descents we made really good time. I knew there would be a point where the chasers give up. We had 1’30”, 1’40” advantage, but then the advantage grew to more than three minutes. I knew we broke the morale. So, I knew at that moment if I went alone and did a good time trial performance I could make it today.”

The new overall leader Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol): “After the cobblestone stage I started thinking about today’s stage and the possibility to take the yellow jersey. The team gave me the freedom to join a breakaway. Although that wasn’t easy. It took a while before we had a sufficient gap. I didn’t have a super day, but I knew it was possible to close the gap on Nibali. I responded to all attacks, because I didn’t want to miss the break of the day.”

“There was nothing to do against Tony Martin. When the stage win was gone, I had to go full to enlarge the gap with the peloton. When I started believing in it? When we reached the top of the Grand Ballon, the last climb of the day, with five minutes lead I knew yellow was within my reach. Luckily the guys of Europcar cooperated; they rode for their leader Rolland, to take time on the peloton. There’s a big difference between dream and reality. But my dream came true. This is a fantastic feeling I will cherish for a long time. It’s amazing to wear the yellow jersey on Bastille Day. Tomorrow it will definitely be a tough stage to La Planche des Belles Filles. I will feel today’s efforts and those of the past days. I have a minimal lead on Nibali, but I have nothing to lose. My yellow dream is fulfilled and I will enjoy it tomorrow.”

After being led out for the sprint by teammate Amaël Moinard, Greg Van Avermaet was piped at the line by runner-up Fabian Cancellara (Trek) at the end of the 170-kilometer stage: “Amaël did great work for me in the sprint,” Van Avermaet said. “Martin was a little bit unbeatable today – it was hard to chase him back. I think this was the maximum result we could get out of it. I am happy with the result.” It was Van Avermaet’s third top 10 finish of the race, adding to a Stage 2 runner-up. “The terrain made it hard but it was probably the most relaxed day,” van Garderen said. “The morale is still high and the legs are still good. I am missing a little bit of skin, but I think a lot of people are. We are looking forward to moving up on GC (general classification) and fighting for the next two weeks.”

NetApp-Endura’s Tiago Machado moved into 3rd overall: “Obviously, I am quite happy. It’s something special to have such a great position in the Tour de France. But I am also aware that this is most likely for the moment only and that every day could bring a change. We definitely wanted to be in the group today – either with Leo or myself. Leo’s group wasn’t good to go, so I tried. I was sure that I could move up in the GC but I never thought that I could make it to a podium place.”

Tour de France Stage 9 Result:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:09:34
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 2:45
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano
5. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin
8. Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp-Endura.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 9:
1. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol in 38:04:38
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 1:34
3. Tiago Machado (Por) NetApp-Endura at 2:40
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 3:18
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 3:32
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 4:00
7. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 4:01
8. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 4:07
9. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 4:08
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:13.

Stage 9:

EN – Summary – Stage 9 (Gérardmer > Mulhouse) por tourdefrance

Tour of Austria 2014:
Jesse Sergent won Stage 5 in the Tour of Austria from the day’s breakaway, sealing his first ever road stage win as a professional.

Known for his time trial prowess, not for his climbing, Jesse Sergent – who just celebrated his 26th birthday on July 8th – rode himself inside out to claim his first road win as a professional.

The decision to race the highest mountain of the Tour of Austria, which topped out at 2500 meters, was questionable yesterday with poor weather forecasted, but did not deter Jesse Sergent from joining the day’s principal breakaway that formed early into the 146.4-kilometer mountain stage.

Sergent proved to be one of the strongest up the slopes of the long mountain ascent with fog, snow and cold weather plaguing the riders over the top and on the descent.

Soon after the descent five riders regrouped from the original 11 riders who started the climb with six minutes lead. Jesse Sergent would launch the winning attack with 20 kilometres to go, and putting his time trial skills to use he never looked back.

Yoann Bagot (Cofidis) and Patrick Konrad (Gourmetfein Simplon Wels) would round out the top three respectively.

Stage winner Jesse Sergent (Trek): “The breakaway went pretty much straight away and on the main climb it split and there were four of us in front. On the descent the weather was terrible – it was snow, freezing cold – and by the bottom we had five of us. Dirk [Demol, director] came up to me and told me I had to try something on the small climb with about 20 kilometres to go, which was still far out, but I made a little acceleration. The others hesitated, and the gap opened; it went from 10 to 20 to 30 seconds. It was a really painful 20k’s! At the bottom of the last climb it was one minute. I did not know I would win until I turned the last corner with 300 meters to go. I could not really believe it! I have just come off a break, and this is the first road stage I have ever won, and my first win in three years, so it’s very special. I have to say it was also the hardest!”

Director Dirk Demol knew today would be an opportunity for a breakaway to conceivably ride to the end, and the team plan was to be in the day’s escape group. Jesse Sergent managed to join the large breakaway group who moved clear in the opening kilometres, but with a category one preceding the looming hors catégorie, and a category two immediately following, it would be an arduous task for the Kiwi who entered professional road cycling from a track background.

Jesse Sergent crossed the finish line completely empty, but elated. His last win, in 2011, was in the prologue and the overall at the Three Days of West Flanders. Finally adding a road win to his palmares is special for Sergent, and a fantastic reward for the devoted teammate who is a fundamental part of the Classics’ team in support of Fabian Cancellara each year.

Jesse Sergent: “I could not have done this without the help of a lot of people: The team and especially Dirk who really encouraged me from the car and gave me motivation when I was suffering so much in the last part. I want to dedicate this win to his daughter Shanna, who has endured a serious medical problem about a month ago and is in rehab.”

Tour of Austria Stage 5 Result:
1. Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek in 3:57:04
2. Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis at 0:49
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 0:57
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
6. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar
7. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky
8. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek
10. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 5:
1. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky in 22:24:20
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 0:29
3. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar at 0:40
4. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 1:06
5. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:07
6. Jure Golcer (Slo) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 1:50
7. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar at 1:51
8. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis at 2:04
9. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 2:44
10. Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 2:50.

Stage 5:

It was an important Stage 6 for the GC riders in the Tour of Austria as the peloton set forth in another crucial mountain battle covering three category 1 climbs with a long and steep uphill finish in Villach-Dobratsch. And Tinkoff-Saxo took advantage of the terrain.

Tinkoff-Saxo protected their Swiss rider, Oliver Zaugg who was placed 5th overall before the stage while teammate, Evgeny Petrov took part of the long-lasting break. The powerful climber managed to go solo from the break on the final climb and was now fighting off the chasing bunch and he dug deep in himself to solo his way to the finish line and had time to celebrate the stage after a stunning performance.

Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Tristian Hoffman was thrilled about his rider’s performance: “We had a feeling a breakaway could make it all the way and Evgeny seized the moment and established a break with four other riders. At the bottom of the final climb, he was alone in the front and the gap to the chasers kept growing on the slope while the peloton was narrowing the gap down so it was a very exciting few kilometres in the finale. However, Evgeny was super strong and he maintained the gap while his previous breakaway companions were swept up by the GC riders.”

Peter Kennaugh (Sky) still leads overall.

Tour of Austria Stage 6 Result:
1. Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo in 4:48:37
2. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:24
3. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky at 0:26
4. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek
5. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:32
6. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar at 0:44
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 1:20
8. Larry Warbasse (USA) BMC at 1:25
9. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Jure Golcer (Slo) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 1:37.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 6:
1. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky in 27:13:19
2. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar at 1:02
3. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:17
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 1:27
5. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 2:35
6. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 2:40
7. Jure Golcer (Slo) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 3:05
8. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar at 3:11
9. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek at 3:18
10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis at 3:26.

Stage 6:

Belgian time trial champion Kristof Vandewalle flew around the 24.10 kilometre time trial course, the penultimate Stage 7 of the Tour of Austria, and crossed the finish in a time of 27:50 (51.94 kph). He set a tough target to beat and only teammate Jesse Sergent would come closest to knocking Vandewalle from the hot seat, finishing within 15 seconds.

The overall contenders never threatened Vandewalle’s or Sergent’s times on the pancake flat and non-technical parcours, which suited the specialists against the clock. When the yellow jersey of Peter Kennaugh (Sky) crossed the line it was an official one-two for Trek Factory Racing. They would finish with six riders in the top 10.

The win was huge for Vandewalle who has been fighting to find his form back since the spring, battling an unknown weakness on the bike. After a week of hard racing he was able to pull off the time trial victory in stage seven, an indication he may have finally conquered his mysterious ailment.

Stage winner Kristof Vandewalle: “I am obviously super happy with the result. I was feeling good all week, and felt like I was back to my level after struggling with weakness. It has been frustrating to not know why, and we have been examining my blood levels for some time. But this whole week I have been progressing to the point that if I had not made it onto the podium today I would have been really disappointed.

Peter Kennaugh would hold on to his overall lead, but the General Classification reshuffled behind him. Ricarrdo Zoidl made a big leap from ninth into fifth place. Zoidl, the defending champion of the tour, had a dismal start to the eight-day race and fell behind in the standings early on. Yesterday his redemption was a fourth place finish to move into ninth GC, and today he continued his upward swing by finishing in the top 10 and moving into fifth place overall.

Jesse Sergent added a second place to his stage win two days ago. He was pleased with his result, but even more elated that the team pulled together to finish the Tour of Austria much stronger than when they started: “I felt like I had a pretty good TT, an even ride, there were a few points where I was really on the rivet and that is a good sign to know that I did everything I could. A second place behind a teammate, what more can you ask for? I am really happy for Kristof.

On board his BMC timemachine TM01, Manuel Quniziato was 18 seconds off Belgian time trial champion Kristof Vandelwalle’s winning time: “This was a good sign that my shape is good in my first race after the Giro d’Italia,” Quinziato said. “It leaves me confident for my next race, the Eneco Tour, where there is another time trial. So I am happy.” Not since finishing runner-up at the Chrono des Nations in France in October of 2008 had Quinziato scored such a good result in a time trial. It was also his best finish of the season and came on a flat, non-technical course, which does not exactly suit his strengths, he said. “I am not really a time trial specialist,” Quinziato said. “I prefer to have some corners to break up the rhythm and have some recovery. So I thought it was good that I could perform on this kind of parcours.”

Tour of Austria Stage 7 Result:
1. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek in 27:50
2. Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek at 0:16
3. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC at 0:19
4. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Trek at 0:38
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek at 0:42
6. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky at 0:44
7. Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis at 0:49
8. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek at 0:56
9. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek at 0:58
10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis at 1:00.

Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 7:
1. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky in 27:42:32
2. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar at 1:03
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 1:42
4. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 2:50
5. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek at 2:52
6. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis at 3:03
7. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:07
8. Jure Golcer (Slo) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 3:47
9. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 4:14
10. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 4:15.

Stage 7:

Katusha’s Marco Haller won the Final Stage 8 of the 66th Tour of Austria. In the pouring rain Haller was the fastest sprinter in the streets of Vienna ahead of Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Sharp). It is the first Austrian stage win in this race since 2008. The Overall victory was for Peter Kennaugh (Sky). Katusha’s Maxim Belkov was celebrated as best climber of the race.

Stage winner Marco Haller (Katusha): “I am so happy I could finish the job today. This is an important win for the team but also for myself. My last important win was at the end of 2012, so I needed this victory. My job in the team consists of helping our other fast guys Alexander Kristoff and Aleksandr Porsev. When I have the opportunity to take my own chance, I don’t want to disappoint. Moreover, everybody likes to win. Today I proved that they can count on me in the team. The sprint itself was a bit chaotic due to the heavy rain in the last ten kilometres. Astana started the sprint, but I followed them well and with 300 meters to go I went for the victory. In the end I won by a bike length,” said Marco Haller.

For the 23-year-old Marco Haller it was his third victory as a professional rider. Earlier this week he finished twice 3rd in the 2nd and 4th stages of this Tour of Austria.

Maxim Belkov goes home with the polka dot jersey as Overall winner of the Mountains Classification: “I am really happy with this polka dot jersey. You know, I always dreamed of winning the jersey of the Mountains Classification but I never did before. I am not a typical climber and when you obtain this result in a prestigious and mountainous stage race, it is a dream come true. This means a lot to me. Before the Tour of Austria this was not my real goal but as time went on the desire grew. When I was in the break in the first stage, I noticed that it would be hard to win that stage but I wanted to be on the podium, so I went for the sprints on the hills. I did the same in the following days and also my Katusha teammates did their job by going in breakaways and stealing GPM points. They all helped me and it was easier every day. I am happy,” said Maxim Belkov.

Tour of Austria Stage 8 Result:
1. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha in 2:03:08
2. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana
3. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
4. Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
6. Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek
7. Andrea Piechele (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
8. Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
10. Daniel Biedermann (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels.

Tour of Austria Final Overall Result:
1. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky in 29:45:40
2. Javier Moreno Bazan (Esp) Movistar at 1:03
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 1:42
4. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 2:50
5. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek at 2:52
6. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis at 3:03
7. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:07
8. Jure Golcer (Slo) Team Gourmetfein Simplon Wels at 3:47
9. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 4:14
10. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 4:15.

haller-katushaPhoto: © Mario Stiehl/Verwendung nur auf Anfrage

On Board Madness!
Stage 5 of the Tour took in the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix; Elia Viviani and Marco Marcato had on-board cameras in the Hell of the North:

The Action Behind the Wheel
It was such a close finish to stage 7 that the OPQS DS’s weren’t sure who had won! The victory went to Matteo Trentin over Peter Sagan and here is how the result went down in the two team cars:

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