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EuroTrash Tour Thursday!

The top riders in the Tour de France are dropping like flies, but that doesn’t mean there is any less excitement, thanks to riders like Tony Gallopin. Of course we have all the results, reports, video and quotes from France. Plus all the other cycling news. café au lait, s’il vous plaît.

TOP STORY: Give Armstrong his Tours Back?
According to De Telegraaf: 12 out of 23 Tour de France winners would give Lance Armstrong his seven Tour victories back. The more recent Tour winners; Wiggins, Froome and Evans disagreed, although Andy Schleck and Periero thought that Lance should keep them. It was the older riders who were mostly in favour of giving the Tour wins back to the disgraced American. This could be the wise words of experience or that these riders were pre-EPO and didn’t experience the ‘two speed’ peloton and the over powering necessity to use EPO if you wanted to win or even compete. Or it could be that in their day it was different, it was a way of life, drugs was something you did to be a ‘professional’ to ‘look after yourself’ the difference being that the stuff they had didn’t make a race horse out of a donkey, the top riders were still the top riders, unlike with EPO.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was quite sure of his answer: “It’s clear, his name will not be on the list again. Period.”

Even in the early days of the Tour there was drugs, who knows what was being taken then:

TdF_headerTour de France 2014:
Stage 10 was a crazy day on the Tour de France. The action started with Lieuwe Westra (Astana) initiating the first breakaway soon after the start in Mulhouse. He was quickly joined by Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Christophe Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Markel Irizar (Trek) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), and at the beginning of the ascent to Col du Firstplan by Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura). Michal Kwiatkowski and Tony Martin (OPQS), Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis), Reto Hollenstein and Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling) rode away from the peloton in the downhill of the Firstplan. Voeckler and Rodriguez launched an interesting duel for the King of the Mountain competition.

All looked to be going well and we were all revving up for the big fight on the last climb. Then Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed at kilometre 62. It took him a long time to get back on his bike, but he started a long chase escorted by his team-mates Daniele Bennati, Michael Morkov, Matteo Tossato and Nicolas Roche. Thirteen riders regrouped at the front at km 64 in the ascent to the Platzerwasel, as Kwiatkowski became the virtual leader of the Tour de France. Contador tried to chase, but after 18 kilometres he had to call a halt and get in the team car. His dream was over.

Kwiatkowski and Martin (OPQS), Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Taaramäe (Cofidis), Wyss (IAM Cycling), Rodriguez (Katusha), Voeckler (Europcar), Moinard (BMC) and Visconti (Movistar) remained at the front with stage 9 winner Tony Martin riding impressively again as he did most of the work in the leading group on the way to the Col des Chevrères, the second last climb of the day. Rodriguez rode away solo in that climb but got caught in the downhill by Moinard, Kwiatkowski and Visconti. The Catalan rider from Katusha attacked again with 5.3km to go to the finish line as only Kwiatkowski was with him. He eyed his second stage win at the Tour de France after stage 12 to Mende in 2010 but Nibali attacked his rivals and caught him with 1.2km to go. The Italian went on to claim his second victory after stage 2 in Sheffield while Thibaut Pinot crossed the line on home soil in second position only fifteen seconds behind “The Shark of the Strait” who is back in the yellow jersey.

Team Manager Bjarne Riis explains: “Alberto crashed on a fast and straight part of the descent. He was reaching for his pocket and the bike was swept away under him probably because of a bump or hole in the road. Alberto was in the shape of his life and the entire team had our eyes fixed on the podium in Paris and the work we would have to do to get there”.

“After the crash, Alberto got back on the bike and we tried for about 18 kilometres to keep him in the race. Despite his best efforts and an impressive show of willpower, he had to abandon the race”, says Bjarne Riis after the stage. “Alberto has broken his tibia just below the knee. It’s not a complicated fracture but it probably requires surgery. He will stay with us tonight and tomorrow he will travel back to Madrid to undergo further examinations and a surgery if necessary. We will naturally have to look ahead. But right now it’s too early to say anything about the possibility of Alberto riding Vuelta a España. It depends on his recovery and on how fast he can get back on the bike and start training again”, concluded Bjarne Riis.

The ex-yellow jersey Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol): “I thought to enjoy the stage, but it was more than four hours of suffering. I gave it all. In the beginning of the stage I got dropped for a moment, but eventually I hung on until twenty kilometers from the finish. Then I got dropped for good. This stage was incredibly hard. I didn’t have any power left at the finish; it was a very long day. It was definitely a special moment. I got lots of encouragements from the people along the road. It was really nice how the team rode at the head of the bunch and what an effort the guys did. For example André Greipel, with his jersey of German champion and his victories. I want to thank each of them.”

Bauke Mollema (Belkin) climbed back into the top ten: “Today’s parcours was really hard,” said Mollema. “It was up and down all day long. There was a lot of rain, but luckily it wasn’t really cold. That was our luck, but still we needed to stay focused throughout the day. I felt pretty strong when we started the final climb, but when Nibali attacked, I couldn’t follow. I had hoped for a little bit more, but the differences are still small. I keep looking at things day by day. Hopefully I improve some more. The stages with the really long climbs have yet to come. We’ve had ten days of racing,” said Mollema. “That doesn’t happen very often; normally the rest day is on Monday. There were few quiet stages, there was always something happening. I look forward to the rest day. I’ll do a 1.5-hour ride, nothing crazy. I just hope to recover as well as possible. I hope to relax, maybe I’ll read a book.”

Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS): “Because of Tony Martin I had a big chance not only to win a stage, but maybe even steal the yellow jersey with this move,” Kwiatkowski said. “But, to do that, you still need to have the legs. I am so thankful to Tony. He’s just incredible. What he did is amazing. I’m disappointed I couldn’t finish his work. But I did the best I could. On the final climb I couldn’t even take my own speed. If I could have, I could have gone pretty quickly. I simply couldn’t keep holding it. But if it wasn’t for Tony I wouldn’t have been there to try in the first place, and I have to thank him for working for me today. Now we look forward. Tomorrow is the rest day and I can recover a little bit, so I can be ready for the next week. We never give up, even after the past few days with two stage wins. We are always trying to get good results and be active.

The powerhouse of the day Tony Martin (OPQS): “It was not bad to be in front again today,” Martin said. “At the bottom of the climb we were just a group of five or six riders. At that point we talked with our sport directors and we decided to close the gap in the breakaway. I told Kwiatkowski to stay on my wheel and we went. I think it was a good chance for Michal. OK, at the end it didn’t work out, but it was a good race and we tried something. It wasn’t boring, I can say that for sure. My goal was to reach the bottom of the second-to-last climb. I knew I wouldn’t have the power to get over it. For me, the finish line was to get to the bottom of that climb and I gave 100 percent to get there. There was no power left. I had really small gears to somehow come up after that, but even getting to the real finish line was hard after a day like that. But I’m happy to do it for my teammate. We took a chance for a good result. Now we go into the rest day and plan for the second week of racing.”

Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 4:27:26
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0:15
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
4. Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:22
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:25
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura at 0:50
9. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:52
10. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Sky at 0:54.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 10:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 42:33:38
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 2:23
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:47
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:01
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol at 3:12
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 3:47
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 3:56
8. Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:57
9. Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 3:58
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 4:08.

Stage 10:

EN – Summary – Stage 10 (Mulhouse > La Planche… por tourdefrance

Alberto Contador Up-Date
Alberto Contador took the plane, made available by Oleg Tinkov, at 14:00 on Wednesday from the airport of Dole (France) to travel directly to Barajas Airport (Madrid), where he immediately went to the Clinica Centro. Doctors were waiting to do a medical examination before deciding what would be the best course of treatment and if surgery is needed to speed his recovery. Contador chose the Clinica Centro after contact with Real Madrid F.C. and more specifically with Emilio Butragueño, with whom he has a good relationship. He quickly got to talk to the club’s medical services and they recommended consulting with Dr. Manuel Leyes Vence, a specialist in the type of injury suffered by the leader of the Tinkoff-Saxo team.

After the examination Dr. Manuel Leyes confirmed a fissure of the tibia plateau in the right leg, but that it should not be operated on. “The doctor told me that surgery would increase the trauma the knee has suffered and will increase recovery time even more. The good news is that I have no tendon or ligament injury and the fissure is in the best possible place. At least I’ll have to stop two weeks and, until the wounds heal, the leg has to be immobilized”, said Alberto Contador after leaving the hospital in Madrid. “Doctors have told me it will be almost impossible to be at the Vuelta a España, but we’ll see how the leg comes on. I am calm because they have checked me up and down and I’m sure with what I have. Doctors have made things sound bad, but I will work hard in the coming weeks and we’ll see how far I can get.”

This is Alberto Contador’s satement; if you understand Spanish:

Fabian Cancellara will Not Start Stage 11
Cancellara: “I will travel home now and take a little break. The season has been long for me, starting back in Dubai. I have done 59 days of competition this season so far and I have another big goal at the end of this season: the World Championships. It’s not a secret that I’d like to be in my best shape there, so it’s important that I take some rest.”

Cancellara came to the Tour to be competitive. He came close to the victory and his 29th yellow jersey with a late attack in stage 1, finished fifth in stage 5 in Arenberg, defended his fifth place in the overall until an untimely puncture in the final of stage 7 and sprinted to second place in stage 9 to Mulhouse.

Cancellara: “It was not only about the cobblestones stage for me. The course for this year’s Tour is very attractive for a rider of my profile, I liked it. There were many opportunities and with a little more luck, I could have gone home with a result in the pocket. It’s been good to be back in the Tour. We lost Andy (Schleck) and Danny (Van Poppel) early on, but the team is strong and will keep on looking for opportunities.”

Fabian Cancellara: The Beast!

One day of glory was not enough for Lotto Belisol’s Tony Gallopin, after his Bastille Day in the yellow jersey he wanted a stage win to go with it and Stage 11 fit the bill.

Swiss champion Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) was the first rider to escape. He was joined by Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement). Their advantage reached 6.45 by the 46th kilometer. Cannondale and Orica-GreenEDGE decided it was time to chase.

Critérium du Dauphiné winner Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) lost contact with the peloton after 80 kilometres and after 20 kilometers of suffering, the American stopped on the road side in front of the broom wagon but his directeur sportif Robert Hunter convinced him to get back on his bike. He forged on and managed to finish over 30 minutes down.

The break hit the climbs in the last 50 kilometres; Elmiger dropped his breakaway companions one by one, but was caught by Jan Bakelants (OPQS) and Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) with 37km remaining. One kilometer further, two more riders reinforced the front group: Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Jesus Herrada (Movistar). The leading quintet only had 20 seconds lead on the last climb, so Roche went for a solo effort with 21km to go. He crossed the last climb as a lone leader but was reeled in 5 kilometer later by a Tony Martin (OPQS) led peloton of around 30 riders. Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) was the next to attack on the crazy descent but was caught 4.5km from the finishing line by Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS). With 2.5km to go, the Frenchman attacked again as the other three hesitated. The pack swallowed up the Sagan group and was on the heels of Gallopin at the line. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained the overall lead.

Stage winner Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol): “Wearing the yellow jersey or winning a Tour stage gives you a different feeling. Before I conquered the yellow jersey I had that plan in mind for a couple of days already and I was thinking of it the entire stage. I had done a recon of today’s stage. I knew what was coming: that there was an uphill section of over one and a half kilometer after the last official climb, where it was steep and narrow and that there was a descent towards Oyonnax afterwards. I didn’t know the last kilometers too well. Because I felt good and the break was controlled by Cannondale and Orica GreenEDGE I decided to go to the team car to study the last five kilometers.”

“A few hundred meters before the top of that last climb I took off and went down full gas. The gap was never big. When the three others joined me I stayed in the wheel the next two kilometers, then I attacked. I knew the others would hesitate. Sagan because he would lose power for the sprint and the two others wouldn’t be able to jump away themselves afterwards. I wasn’t thinking anymore at the end. I wanted to reach the finish as soon as possible. It’s a crazy feeling.”

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Rogers was the last rider to be caught behind Tony Gallopin: “Yeah, we were definitely active today. Nicolas was super strong and rode in the front of the breakaway for many kilometres before being caught on the final descent. I attacked together with a strong group but it was one of those unpredictable finales. Bjarne and Oleg asked us to be aggressive today and to attack. So that’s what we did. We need to get into the breakaways to put pressure on the peloton. But we are strong and we can counter each other. I think we showed today that even though we aren’t fully over the shock of loosing Alberto, we are determined on creating big results here at the Tour.”

Jesús Herrada (Movistar) was in the mid-stage break: “The rest day did well on me, to be honest. It’s my first Tour and I’m happy with how things are going up to date. Legs are getting better and the tank is still pretty much full. And above all, the heat played an impact today. We all are a team, especially Alejandro, who are more used to heat than the other ones, and we feel better in these conditions. This kind of stage, with not-so-hard climbs, more like long slopes, suit me well, and today it was a matter of staying up-front in the finale to get a good position for the descent. There were some attacks in the second climb and I asked Alejandro if I should go with them to have some strength up there. That’s why I jumped away – but our main goal was still keeping a good position for the downhill. To tell the truth, this is like another world for me. Let’s hope for the race to get calmer with the heat and the mountains like it did today, because the first week was really stressful: rain, wind… you can never lose focus here – a braking delay or a crash sent you off without prior notice.”

Jan Bakelants (OPQS) went with Nico Roche in the last break: “Finally today I felt OK enough to try my luck,” Bakelants said. “I felt good the other days, but today I could really go into a breakaway and see what can happen. The condition was good. I felt strong, but then Roche attacked the group. He seemed to really have the legs out of the group and I couldn’t follow. I also tried a few times to make it into the breakaway before this one finally worked, which used up some energy. We also never had a significant advantage to get to the line anyway, so while I couldn’t follow, it was likely not going to work out. This is the gamble we take when we go up the road. If you never try, you never know. But I’m satisfied that I had the condition to try today Maybe I can play my cards again in the next day.”

Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS) was with Gallopin, Sagan and Rogers in the important split: “In the last climb of the day we moved to the first part of the peloton,” Kwiatkowski said. “We started to work and on the descent we were in the front. That was the time we made a move, because the descent was very technical, and with Matteo and Golas there we tried to win a stage in two possible ways. I went away with Gallopin, Sagan, and Rogers, but I also knew Matteo was still in the back in case we were caught. I tried to attack with 3km to go and get away from those guys. But it didn’t work out, so Matteo was there to also try in the peloton. We did our best and still earned a 3rd place as nobody could catch Gallopin. We have to be happy that we tried with the options we have and look forward to trying again tomorrow.”

Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked, caught the breakaway and continued on by himself before being caught on the final descent: “We had a plan to attack in the final on the last climb but when other riders started to go, I thought ‘why not attack now and try from the distance’. I saw that I had a good chance of reaching the front group but the pace was very high in the peloton. When I attacked I definitely had Alberto in my thoughts. We are very proud of him and we were so dedicated in our efforts to support him. Now we must focus on setting new goals and we wanted to start straight away today. No point in waiting if you see a good opportunity.” Roche won the combativity award on the stage.

Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol in 4:25:45
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Shimano
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
5. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
8. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
10. Kévin Reza (Fra) Europcar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 11:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 46:59:23
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 2:23
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 2:47
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:01
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol at 3:12
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 3:47
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 3:56
8. Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:57
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 4:08
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 4:18.

Stage 11:

EN – Summary – Stage 11 (Besançon > Oyonnax) por tourdefrance

header-boraBORA to be new title sponsor for German cycling team
BORA, the manufacturer of cooktops and cooktop extractor systems, will be the new title sponsor of the current Team NetApp – Endura from the 2015 season on. The team, led by manager Ralph Denk, is currently the only German professional cycling team. BORA has committed itself for five years. For the first time since 2010, there will again be a German professional team with a German main sponsor.

“I am delighted to announce that with BORA we again have a German company back in professional cycling as a title sponsor. In BORA we have acquired a title sponsor that is entrepreneur-led, growing healthy, commercially well established and not afraid to compete with its innovations against the big companies. I can see clear parallels with our team. The commitment of BORA demonstrates that we have been on the right path for the last five years”, says Ralph Denk.

“We are a healthy growing company. We now want to present our innovative products to a wider public and we want to support our export offensive. The naming right in professional cycling is an ideal tool for this project. We have established our plan step-by-step in recent years, initially as a partner to the team and now including TV advertising at cycling races in many European countries. Now is exactly the right moment to become the title sponsor,” says Willi Bruckbauer, owner of BORA, explaining the reason for his firm’s action.

After having its name on the jersey of Team NetApp – Endura as a partner since 2012, BORA will take over the first naming right for the team as of January 1, 2015. The contract runs for five years, until the end of 2019. “First of all, we are happy to have secured the future of the team so early and for such a long period. With BORA, we intend to become further established as one of the best ProContinental teams, so that we can get into the new WorldTour in 2017. Only this will enable us to offer BORA the world’s biggest races as a platform for its brand,” says Denk, outlining the strategy.

Along with BORA as the first title sponsor, Ralph Denk has already signed more partnerships for the coming season. It will thus be possible for the squad to take shape immediately at the start of the transfer period on August 1. “During the Tour, the riders should concentrate on their debut in this, the world’s biggest cycling race. There is no time for contractual discussions then. We already extended some contracts before the Tour, others will follow afterwards and we will be recruiting new riders from August 1 on. I think we will be able to announce the first names before the most important German race, the Cyclassics in Hamburg,” reports Denk confidently.

For further information see www.bora.com.

header_oricageGerrans signs with ORICA-GreenEDGE for further three years
ORICA-GreenEDGE has re-signed star rider Simon Gerrans on a new three-year deal that will see the current Australian champion ride for the team until the end of 2017.

Gerrans, who has ridden for the team since its inception, has been ORICA-GreenEDGE’s most successful rider posting major victories at the world’s biggest races. “I’m really happy to stay at ORICA-GreenEDGE and I want to continue winning with this team,” Gerrans said. “I’ve been able to produce some of the biggest results of my career on this team and I’m thankful and proud of the leadership role they have given me. The camaraderie between the riders and the great support around us has made this the perfect place for me. The last three seasons have been such an incredible ride and I want to personally thank Gerry Ryan for bringing this team into the WorldTour and make it possible for us to have an Australian based team at the highest international level. I look forward to the future, knowing that I couldn’t have picked a better team for the next part of my career.”

In 2012, ORICA-GreenEDGE’s debut year, Gerrans claimed the national jersey and Tour Down Under in January to kick started their campaign on the WorldTour. The 34-year-old then went on to win his first Spring Classic and cycling monument, the Milan-San Remo.

In 2013, the Victorian from Mansfield won stage three of the Tour de France, the second of his career and highly anticipated first Tour de France win for the ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit. Following an admirable team time trial win on stage four, Gerrans proceeded to wear the coveted yellow jersey for two days.

This year, back in the Australian champion jersey and having won the Tour Down Under, Gerrans again came out of the Classics victorious, winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Belgium.

“Simon has been our most important rider in a lot of ways and we’re thrilled that he’ll be with us for another long part of his fantastic career,” general manager Shayne Bannan said. “He has won some of the biggest races in the world and at the same time been an invaluable ambassador for the team and the sport in general. Simon has been a key rider for us in terms of results and in reaching the highest level of professionalism and he will continue to be so going forward. With more younger riders coming onboard he will also the perfect mentor for the future stars of our team.”

Simon Gerrans wins the Australian National Road Championships:

header_trekfrtNozzolo to Stay with Trek Through 2016
25-year-old Giacomo Nizzolo has extended his contract with the team through the end of 2016. The Italian rider, who sprinted no less than four times to second place in this year’s Giro d’Italia, has been a professional since 2011 and has shown solid progression every year.

Giacomo Nizzolo: “I’m really happy with this contract extension. There’s a lot of trust between the team and myself and it’s logical that I stay with this group of people. When I broke my collarbone in February, the team has been very supportive. The Giro was a great ride for both parties, although I would probably trade my four second places for one victory, but that’s life.”

“Now we look ahead. I’m taking steps every season and I feel there’s still a lot of margin for me,” says Nizzolo. “I’d like to grow more and rival the big sprinters more. With some dedicated riders on my side it should be possible.”

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “I strongly believe that Giacomo is on the verge of a career breakthrough. His numbers in terms of speed and endurance are really good and he’s really in the wheel of the big sprinters.

“I’m very happy that we found an agreement in such good terms. Giacomo’s success is the fruit of our development program and we are looking forward to continuing to work with him. He’s one of the most constant sprinters in the bunch and he can challenge for the win with or without a sprint train.”

“Growing talent is one of the most exciting projects in our sport,” says Guercilena. “I remember very well the Giacomo that arrived at the first training camp for the 2011 season. He was somewhat shy and didn’t speak so much English. Now he is a confident young man that has clear goals in his mind. We’re happy that we can work on those together.”

Nizzolo’s first win was a stage in the 2011 Bayern Rundfahrt, aged 22. He then went on to win stages in the Eneco Tour, the Tour de Wallonie (including overall), the Tour du Poitou Charentes, the Tour of Luxembourg and then Tour de San Luis.

The Best of Giacomo Nizzolo:

header_OPQS_PRIljo Keisse Extends Contract with OPQS Until 2016
Iljo Keisse, who has been with OPQS for five years, has extended his contract with OPQS for two years: 2015 and 2016. Keisse has 54 victories in his track and road racing career, but he is perhaps most known in the road cycling world for his awe inspiring solo victory at the 2012 Tour of Turkey Stage 7. He held off a chasing field despite a mechanical in the final meters.

“When I started with this team, we had just begun to build up our strength year-by-year,” Keisse said. “I think that I also did my part in this and I evolved as a rider. At this moment we are good in every race and every situation. So, to me, as a Belgian guy, this feels special to be a part of a Belgian based team who can now compete everywhere. I don’t win races by myself, but to me it means just as much to contribute to the victories of my teammates. If your team appreciates your job and your boss offers you a new contract based on your hard work, it is a great feeling. It means that my job was impressive and they know my value on a team like OPQS. It’s a special feeling and I hope this gives me wings for the future. Also, the environment of the team is something I enjoy and this motivates me to ride my bike more and more each year.”

“Iljo arrived in the team a few years ago in a difficult moment of his professional career,” OPQS CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “He has shown more and more that he is a guy you can trust, who also can build the trust of his teammates with each other. He is a complete rider that puts himself at the service of others without hesitation. In this team we need a guy like Iljo who is smart, and always aware of the race situation. He can become a special part of the team in the next two years.”

Iljo Keisse Escapes Again!

What did Orica-GreenEDGE Eat on the Rest Day?
Orica-GreenEDGE chef Nicki Strobel takes you through the meal for the first rest day of the Tour de France and gives you an insight into what he has been cooking at this years Tour de France:

Tea is a Drug!
With all this talk of giving Armstrong his Tour wins back I tried to find video of some clean riders from the past, it’s not that easy.

These riders raced clean:

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