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EuroTrash: Talansky Triumphs!
dauphine14st8_talansky650 Andrew Talansky came good in the Critérium du Dauphiné and walked away with the overall. Chris Froome has not been so fortunate and has had further inhaler problems. Two stages of the Tour de Suisse, plus news from Gippingen, Niki Terpstra, Nairo Quintana and BMC. Coffee and EuroTrash, what better?



TOP STORY: Inhalergate Part 2
In EuroTrash Thursday we reported on Team Sky leader; Chris Froome’s use of an inhaler during stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné and we pointed out that he did not need a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) for the use of a drug for his exercise induced asthma. On Sunday the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported that the Sky team doctor Alan Farrell requested a TUE for Froome to take 40 mg of the Corticosteroid Prednisolone every day during the Tour de Romandie, which he won.

In normal cases of the request for a TUE, a committee of at least 3 sports doctors. It seems that the UCI rushed through the TUE as UCI Dr. Mario Zorzoli allowed the TUE to be issued without it being ratified by a committee which is against WADA regulations. WADA are said to be investigating the incident.

Prednisolone is a Corticosteroid which is used in the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions such as asthma. Froome was prescribed the medication after he had a bad chest infection at the end of April.

Froome confirmed the situation to L’Équipe: “At the time I was coming back from a training camp at altitude and I was supposed to participate in Liège-Bastogne-Liège but I was coughing too much and the morning of the race the doctor told me that I had to pull out if I wanted to go to the Tour de Romandie and that I needed to rest for two days. I gave everything I had in the Romandie prologue but I was coughing so much that we decided to ask for a TUE that evening. It was just an oral (corticosteroid), there was no injection.” As to the TUE being given special treatment: “We went through the legitimate process and the UCI has confirmed that today. It’s a pity that everything is perceived in a negative light. Therapeutic use exemptions have their place in sport. They exist for a reason.”

Another case of unfounded suspicions?

The UCI issued this Press Release::
Christopher Froome’s TUE for oral use of glucocorticosteroids was granted on April 29, 2014 based on duly documented medical history and in compliance with the applicable UCI Regulations and the relevant WADA guidelines. The TUE was granted for a limited period, following the usual procedure.
The process was fully transparent as it is UCI’s policy to systematically record all TUEs on ADAMS. WADA was therefore informed throughout the process.
The UCI wishes to emphasise that under the applicable rules – which are consistent with the WADA Code and the WADA TUE Standard and Guidelines – any rider with the same symptoms as Christopher Froome would have received a similar TUE.

The UCI would like to express its profound disappointment with the speculations that have been made suggesting its President could have any influence on the granting of TUEs. The UCI President and the UCI Administration have absolutely no involvement with decisions on TUEs. Insinuating that Brian Cookson’s son’s employment with Team Sky could have something to do with the decision to grant the TUE is an unfounded allegation which will be dealt with seriously.

Froome and the Sky guys training in Yorkshire:



dauphine_header
Critérium du Dauphiné 2014
Thursday’s 189.5 kilometre long Stage 5 of the Dauphiné Libéré from Sisteron to La Mure was a mountainous ride containing 6 categorized climbs but with a flat finish. A perfect opportunity for a group of tenacious escapees while the GC contenders were expected to spend another day in the field.

No less than 17 riders formed a promising breakaway consisting of well-known riders such as Jens Voigt (Trek), Christophe le Mevel (Cofidis), Simon Spilak (Katusha) and Jan Bakelandts (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step). And it was Le Mevel who lit up the fireworks going into the final as he set off from the break with 35 kilometres to go but Michaël Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) went with him and soon dropped Le Mevel.

In the meanwhile, Tinkoff-Saxo took the responsibility of the pace in the pack and in the hilly terrain, the heaviest riders were simply sliced off but as Sergio Paulinho managed to create a gap, Sky were handed the responsibility. A few minutes later, Alberto Contador launched a surprising attack and quickly bridged the gap to Paulinho who dragged his captain as long as he could. Crossing the top of the final climb 20 kilometres to go, the Tinkoff-Saxo captain had a 50 second lead to overall leader Chris Froome (Sky).

But with 13 kilometres remaining, Contador was swept up by the group with the leader’s jersey at the front of the race; Cherel was replaced by Simon Spilak (Katusha) now speeding towards the finish line and Spilak took the second consecutive win for Katusha.

Behind, a very rare scene of random attacks dominated the finale in the group of favourites but Alberto Contador finished the stage side by side with Chris Froome. The Tinkoff-Saxo Spaniard is still 12 seconds behind the Sky rider.

Alberto Contador gave a good show at the end of the stage, when he attacked on the descent of Pass de la Morte and got just over a minute ahead of the leader’s peloton. In the end, favourites came together to the finish line, but after a great selection, and as the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo said, “We are here to train and thus perhaps the race leaves the script a bit, everything goes haywire and the group breaks. I can afford it because I have no pressure to get the win.”

Contador admitted that the attack “was not planned at all. I saw we were going very slowly and I had a companion in front and quickly saw the gap open up, so I decided to go.” But Alberto also knew it was “very difficult. There were 20 flat kilometres to go and I only had a chance if I took the front of the race. I saw that the escapees were far away and we could not catch them, so it was impossible to reach the finish.”

The effort, however, was positive for the leader of Saxo-Tinkoff. “I have had fun, the stage has been interesting and that is good for everyone”, he said. Also explaining that he decided to attack on the descent after seeing the peloton was very slow. “We started the descent in front and we saw that many precautions were taken, nor were they going so fast, that’s why I told Sergio Paulinho to go forward and I also decided to go.”

Alberto did not take the decision because he saw some weakness in Sky or Froome. “No, I have not seen anything”, he said. “I’ve only seen it was a tough day for everyone, also for Sky that controlled the race, so I decided to try and see. When there is some movement, everything is also more interesting… What is important now is to recover for the weekend. I’ve said I’m going day by day. My goal is in 22 days. I’ll do here what I can, but I recognize that Froome was the strongest in the two important days, in the time trial and at the summit finish, so a lot would have to change for the weekend.”

Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) attacked in the closing kilometres of the stage together with Adam Yates of Orica-Green Edge. The two were unable to catch up Katusha’s Simon Spilak, who won the day, but still Kelderman managed second place and Yates third.

“Why should I always follow? That way I’ll never win,” said Kelderman, while he was preparing to go on the podium as best young rider for the fourth day in a row. “If the peloton would have hesitated, Yates and I could’ve easily taken ten extra seconds.” Kelderman added; “Things are going my way, but that doesn’t mean anything,” said Kelderman. “Today wasn’t difficult enough, it wasn’t an uphill finish. Every day is different. I expect the other guys to be better in the tough final few days than they were last weekend.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5 Result:
1. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha in 4:51:24
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0:14
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE
4. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:17
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
7. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) Fdj.fr
10. Leopold Konig (Cze) Netapp-Endura.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 19:01:00
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:12
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:33
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 0:35
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0:50
7. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek at 1:22
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:24
10. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 1:35.

Stage 5:


Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Jan Bakelants never gives up. He was in the breakaway of the day for the third straight stage — this time, a 16-rider escape group including teammate Zdenek Stybar in the 168km Stage 6 on Friday.

The third time was a charm for Bakelants, who bridged to an attack of Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Pim Ligthart (Lotto Belisol) with about 20km to go in the stage as the gap was still several minutes over the peloton. The lead on the chasers behind, including Stybar, grew to about 38 seconds with 9km to go.

“This morning I felt really good,” Bakelants said. “But after two days in a breakaway I wasn’t obliged to get into the action again. But then during the stage I asked myself ‘Why not’ and I jumped. I had nothing to lose and I knew that it was the last chance for a breakaway before the last two difficult stages. I jumped and Westra bridged to me. We went with a good group of riders and it was immediately clear that it could have been the breakaway of the day. In the breakaway we cooperated very well. Also Styby was there, which was perfect for our team. There were fast riders in the break, so the plan was that I had to counter the attacks and Styby could sit in the back waiting for the final sprint. In one of attacks Ligthart and Westra went at about 20 kilometres to go. I bridged to them and we went. I was scared about Ligthart because I knew he is a fast guy and he could count on his sprint. But Westra attacked again and we dropped him.”

Westra attacked, with Bakelants following, at 8.4km to go. The two then were able to stay away until the line. Westra tried attacking several times, including on a steep gradient of about 15% with 2km to go. Bakelants stayed with every move. Westra tried launching first on the downhill in the approach to the finish line, but Bakelants took an inside line in the final turn and outsprinted Westra for the victory.

“In the final meters we launched the sprint and I passed on the right side between him and the fences,” Bakelants said. “I had good speed and I was able to pass him. When I crossed the line I was really over the moon. I have to say that my legs today were really good. Every day here at Dauphine I’m improving. It’s a good sign the condition is definitely there! It’s my first victory after GP Wallonie in 2013. This year I was already close to victory. It’s like that in cycling, though. To win you have to try over and over again, and sooner or later the victory will arrive. I think I did well for the first part of the season. I helped my teammates with great pleasure in several races and I played my cards when I had the occasion. That’s perfect for me! This victory in any case gives another dimension to my season so far. I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to the next appointments.”

Stybar also crossed the line first in the chase group behind, earning OPQS a 1st and 3rd podium for the stage.

In the last 10 kilometres of the stage; overall leader Chris Froome (Sky) was involved in a crash that shredded his yellow jersey and caused a few scratches, he soon resumed his place in the peloton and didn’t lose any time on second placed Alberto Contador of Tinkoff-Saxo.

Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida) is not the kind of cyclists to be discouraged, on Thursday; the neopro was dropped from group of top riders because of a strange problem: One of his earpieces dropped out and the wire got stuck in the front wheel of the bike. In the stage 6 the young Italian climber demonstrated his strength of character, escaping from the pack after 30 km in the race. With other 15 attackers, Conti led the race for most part of the stage, with a maximum advantage of 5’30″ on the peloton.

Conti did not want to give up, so he tried on the last hill to neutralize the gap to the leading duo, but it was too late. The twenty-one year old reached the finish with the chase group in 9th place at 24 seconds to the winner.

“The sport directors assigned me the task of joining the breakaway in the very first kilometres of the race, since the course of the stage was suitable for long range attacks,” Conti explained. “I could join the main attack of the race, but later I missed the moment to follow Bakelants, Westra and Lightart. Anyway, I’m satisfied for having pedalled in the head of a WorldTour race, side by side with top riders, for example, in the breakaway there was Voigt, who has a lot of experience”.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6 Result:
1. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:07:20
2. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana
3. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:24
4. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol
5. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek
7. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale
8. Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin
9. Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 23:12:15
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:12
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:33
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:35
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0:50
7. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek at 1:22
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:24
10. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 1:35.

Stage 6:


Today’s battle between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome had been forecast leading up to the hardest stage of this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné with two HC climbs in the last 30 kilometres of Stage 7. With 2 kilometres to go, in the wake of a hard tempo set by Team Sky, Alberto Contador launched a late attack. The Tinkoff-Saxo captain quickly opened a significant gap and took 20 seconds on Froome on the line.

“I didn’t get the stage win today, since we had given the breakaway a big advantage. But I managed to take 20 seconds on Froome and even more time on some of my other rivals, which means that I’ll be in the yellow jersey with just one stage to go. Even more important, I saw that I am getting better every day and that I’m progressing ahead of the Tour. Sky set a hard tempo in the finale but I had great support from my teammates until the last climb, where I was strong enough to make a decisive move on my own,” explained a happy Alberto Contador.

The overall lead in the Critérium du Dauphiné comes as a surprise to the team. The main ambition before the race was to build race shape ahead of the Tour de France, but instead Alberto Contador now has the lead with just one stage to go.

“After 8 weeks without racing, Alberto’s success so far in Dauphiné of course comes as a bit of a surprise, but at the same time we knew that he was strong and that the team was ready to support him. It’s an important result today due to two things; we are close to a big overall victory and Alberto has confirmed that he’s on the right way in his preparations ahead of the Tour”, said Tinkoff-Saxo DS Philippe Mauduit after the stage. He added that “of course we will defend Alberto’s lead. We are very close to a big result. Dauphiné is an important race. It will definitely not be easy, as Team Sky will do their best to take back the jersey. But we are motivated and Alberto is enjoying racing”, concludes Philippe Mauduit.

After the podium presentations Alberto Contador spoke more about his win. However, the leader
of Tinkoff-Saxo remained cautious and recalled that his target is still 20 days. “Today’s result gives me confidence and peace of mind, especially about the work I’m doing. This shows me that to be focused 100% on the bike works and I’m on the right track, but there are still 20 days to reach the first big goal of the year, the Tour de France.”

Contador went on to explain that for him, “the most important thing is that the legs are better every day, I recovery well and that my preparation is going well. Today Froome was behind me, but here every day is different. Before coming here I was not thinking about winning the race, I was expecting only a good peak of form, but not thinking about victory. Now I’m in yellow, but that does not change anything, tomorrow is also a very difficult stage.”

In a Press Conference, Alberto answered a question on the theoretical superiority of Froome in the Tour time trial, he explaining that every race “develops differently. Froome is stronger than me in the time trial, but what gives me confidence is that the time trial of the next Tour will be on the penultimate day. The result depends a lot on how you finish the Tour. He will have some benefit, but there is much ground before. The last time trial of a big tour is always something different.”

Finally, Contador responded to a question about his decision to go training at altitude this year and the reasons that have led to this. “Everyone always tries to optimize the results. Until now I did not need to go to altitude because I got good results and won some big tours. I always said that when I saw that I could not, then it’s time to change. This year I took that step and things have worked well.”

Second overall; Chris Froome (Sky) said: “Obviously I’m disappointed to lose the yellow jersey, but in the same breath, I think we can take a lot away from today – it was such a strong team performance. I took a bit of a knock yesterday in the crash and lost a bit of energy because of that. I felt a bit blocked through my thighs, especially where I landed yesterday, but I’m not going to let that get me down. I think it’s normal that I was a little bit off and Alberto rode a fantastic race, so respect to him. He took the race on when it was at its hardest, and he’s got the jersey to show for it.” He added: “The guys have been on the front for six days now, which has been incredible, and it’s been a good test for us all.”

“It was an amazing feeling as team leader to see six of us on the front heading onto that last climb, looking around and seeing the other team leaders on their own. As a team we’re in a really good position. It’s been a good week for us, two stage wins, six days and yellow and I’m still top of the points classification. We’ve got some really good things out of this week, even if we don’t end up with the leader’s jersey. That said, there’s only eight seconds to make up on the hill-top finish tomorrow and the big thing for me will be to see how my legs are, and how my body is feeling. It’s never over until it’s over.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 7 Result:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana in 4:32:51
2. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha at 0:07
3. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 0:16
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:33
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1:51
6. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 1:53
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 2:11
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:16
10. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 2:19.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 7:
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 27:46:51
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:08
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:39
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0:59
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 1:14
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 1:16
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 2:11
8. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 2:14
9. Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura at 3:00
10. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana at 4:04.

Stage 7:


The 131 kilometre Final Stage 8 of Dauphiné Libéré was not your usual final parade of a last stage. It was the crucial moment of truth for Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador and Chris Froome when they took on the final slopes to Courchevel.

Before the uphill finish, the field exploded several times as everyone wanted to have a piece of the cake. The escapees wanted their way and Froome clearly wanted to isolate the leading rider, Alberto Contador, in which they succeeded before entering the final climb. The Tinkoff-Saxo teammates worked hard in the peloton to bridge the gap to the Contador/Froome group but without effect. In the group ahead of Contador, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and companions had built up a lead of more than 1:30 with 50 kilometres to go, which meant that Alberto had to rely on Sky to close the gap.

With 25 kilometres to go, the attacks from Sky, Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) fell relentlessly on Alberto Contador who singlehandedly had to fight them off. As Nibali had gone and brought two teammates with him, Alberto Contador leaped away from Froome and tried to bridge the gap to the Italian rider while Froome was supported and driven onwards by Riche Porte and David Lopez.

Contador time trialed his way up the road chasing Talansky who virtually was in the leader’s jersey and it was now a question of Alberto vs. Talansky as Froome was distanced with every meter. With 5 kilometres to go, Talansky had a gap of a minute and was only 39 seconds behind in the GC while Alberto was absolutely punishing himself to close that gap.

Mikel Nieve (Sky) launched the crucial attack from the front group with 3 kilometres to go and quickly established a gap to win the stage while behind; Contador passed the Astana-riders one by one and dropped them instantly. But it wasn’t enough as Andrew Talansky took the overall win after a tactically gutsy early move while Contador demonstrated a display of pure power and determination leaving his Tour de France rival; Chris Froome well behind.

Andrew Talansky took the overall win by 27 seconds from Contador with Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) in 3rd at 35 seconds.

Race winner Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) spoke after the stage: “You put your whole life into something, the sacrifices, the training. It’s moments like this that makes it all worthwhile. Once I crossed the finish line, I looked at the TV screen, and that’s when I realized I had won. It’s an absolute honour to win the Dauphiné. This is the biggest win of my career so far and I hope there are more to come,” he said. “I have always believed my background and always believed that I can achieve something like this, but it takes time to get results. This returns all the sacrifices that I and my family too. It is a reward for my passion for cycling. Moments like this will make-up all the bad times I’ve had on the bike.”

Second overall Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) had a positive balance: “This is by no means a disappointment. I am very happy with my performance. I knew that the front runners were strong and that the overall was lost, but on the other hand, I have gotten a good work-out. The legs respond very well and each day I feel better. So, although I have not managed to win I think I’ve had performances that are much more than a win.”

Contador had no team mates at a very important moment of the stage: “It was a difficult day. We knew that my team was not for the Tour,” he said. “I wanted to focus on, in principle, Froome as the main rival, the thing is that they started to attack in pairs and it was difficult to control myself and so I decided to hold on until the last climb. The tactic I took could not be better, I could not jump to all the attacks, but the circumstances were as they were, there were many riders in front and I was alone and could not do anything.”

Is it only the Tour de France? “I raced with the peace of mind that I have not come to the Dauphiné for victory, but to race and get ready for the Tour. I almost got the victory. If it had been the Tour; it would have been different, sure, I would have been through a lot. I gave everything, I knew it was almost impossible because the riders ahead were very good. I am very happy. Now I will rest this week, I’ll eat a good pizza to regain strength and in 20 days we will be in the Tour de France.”

As to the race winner: “I’m not surprised by Andrew Talansky, he is a quality rider and he was helped by strong team mates such as Ryder Hesjedal.”

Third overall Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol): “Before the start of the Dauphiné I had hoped I could show I was competitive. That I’m on the podium is a marvellous result. I was fifth this morning. The goal was first of all to maintain that place and gain one place if possible. The race was hectic today and I was in the perfect position when the breakaway was formed. I decided to jump along. I had lots of support of Tony Gallopin. For Talansky, who had teammate Hesjedal with him, it was also important to take as much time as possible, so between us there was a good cooperation. For me the GC was the priority, at the end I could look at the stage win. I mainly wanted to fight for a podium place.”

“This Dauphiné has been very successful. During my training period before this race I knew I was good, but that needed to be confirmed in competition. I immediately got that confirmation in the first two days. The team worked really well here and there was a pleasant atmosphere. Everyone knew what to do, also today this was proven. It was nice to battle in front here in the Dauphiné and to feel I’m on the level I need to be. Now I’m going on a training camp to the Sierra Nevada. Of course the Belgian Championship is planned at the end of the month (29th of June) and then the team heads off to the Tour. This Dauphiné has set my mind to rest in the run-up to that Tour de France.”

Belkin’s Wilco Kelderman ended a very successful Critérium du Dauphiné today with seventh place in the tough final stage, fourth overall and the young rider’s white jersey. “It was very early in the stage that Nieve, Talanksy and Van den Broeck attacked with some others. Just after the first climb. I could have followed them, but I watched Contador and he waited,” said Kelderman. “On the penultimate climb, Froome and Contador kept looking at each other and so I decided to attack with Nibali and Fuglsang. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t bridge to the leaders. They kept me hanging at around twenty seconds. That’s unlucky because otherwise I could have finished third overall, ahead of Van den Broeck. Anyway, I won the white jersey and I’m very happy with that.”

Belkin Sports Director Erik Dekker was at a loss for words afterwards. “As a cycling fan, I’m speechless about today’s stage. It was an amazing fight. “We have achieved all our goals this week. Wilco claimed a second, third and fifth place. Today, he ends up fourth overall and in the white jersey. “The men gave everything they had and this is just a great result. Martijn Keizer did some important work today. He helped Wilco back to the front after the first climb.”

Stage winner Mikel Nieve (Sky): “It was a very hard stage… It started very fast. We hoped to help Chris Froome, but he has not fully recovered from his fall. He suffered, so I took my chance to win a stage and I’m happy,” he stressed. For Nieve it is a “very important” victory. “It was a surprise because I came to work for the team; I’ve got this opportunity and I’m very happy to take it. I have few victories but the truth is that they are good and I’m very happy about that,” he said at the press conference. “Hopefully I will get a victory in the Tour in my life, but the Tour is always difficult, if the opportunity arises, I will try to take advantage.”

Tinkoff-Saxo DS Philippe Mauduit: “It was an exciting final stage for sure but of course, we would have rather wanted it to be safe. Unfortunately, Alberto was forced to chase on his own and he did an amazing job but had to settle with second place overall at the end of the day. On the positive side, Alberto demonstrated that the form is where it’s supposed to be at this point and he’ll be ready for the Tour de France. Andrew Talansky rode a phenomenally good stage and he earned the win today.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 8 Result:
1. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Sky in 3:20:29
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:03
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:05
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp at 0:09
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:15
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0:32
8. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar at 0:36
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:41
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:15.

Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall Result:
1. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 31:08:08
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:27
3. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:35
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0:43
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1:20
6. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 2:05
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 2:12
8. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Sky at 2:59
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 3:04
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 3:17.

The final stage 8:



header_suisse
Tour de Suisse 2014
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tony Martin won the 9.4kilometre prologue of the Tour de Suisse on Saturday, with a time of 13:48 on a parcours that included an uphill in the second half with a descent to the finish.

The three-time UCI World Time Trial Champion was one of the earlier riders on course, but one-by-one riders were unable to match his time. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) was 2nd, and Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) was 3rd.

Martin spoke of his win: “I think I had a good strategy because I knew if I went really 100 percent in the flat part, I wouldn’t have enough energy for the mountain,” Martin said. “I had a split time in the first intermediate that was a second down to Rohan Dennis. I knew I had the power at that point, having saved some energy. So I knew I had to go 100 percent, but also be ready for the descent. If you go really full gas to the top you can’t concentrate on the technical parts of the downhill. So I was always focused on the descent, not going over the edge at the top of the climb. I was also able to sprint out of the corners on the descent. I had a really good feeling the whole race, but I think I made the difference on the descent, and my Specialized Shiv gave me the confidence to be aggressive there. It was the hardest, most technical prologue of my career. You cannot underestimate that kind of a parcours even if the distance is shorter. I have three victories now at Tour de Suisse. It’s a race that I like a lot, it’s well organized and I try to do well here in moments that suit me. I will now focus on trying to do well on the Stage 7 individual time trial. I will do my best for a good result there, and we will see what can happen in the mountains.”

Roman Kreuziger finished 15th after his break from racing since April. He returned to build race shape ahead of the much-anticipated Tour de France but also to aim for success in the overall classification of the prestigious one-week race. “I had almost forgot how hard it is to race at full speed. Now today’s stage is done but Tour de Suisse still has to start properly. I will stay focused”, says Roman Kreuziger, who is in Switzerland to regain the overall victory that he won in 2008.

Tinkoff-Saxo DS Tristan Hoffman: “Tony Martin was clearly the best today on a difficult stage. Our team did fairly well. We are here to train so we will improve during the stages and I believe that we will be able to support Roman and his ambitions in the GC. Tour de Suisse is an important race and it will be tough in the mountains. Roman is our captain and we trust he will perform well. But we will also try to get in the breakaways and give some of the guys that are fighting for a spot in the Tour a chance to prove themselves.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick.Step at 13:48
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano at 0:06
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:13
4. Fabian Cancella (Swi) Trek at 0:16
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:19
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 0:22
8. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin-Sharp at 0:23
9. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:27
10. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:29.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 13:48
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano at 0:06
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin.Sharp at 0:13
4. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek at 0:16
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:19
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 0:22
8. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin-Sharp at 0:23
9. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:27
10. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:29.

Stage 1:



Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) won Stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse in a three-up sprint to the line in Sarnen. The Western Australian positioned himself perfectly in the drag to the line, coming from third wheel to outkick Philip Deignan (Sky) and Lawrence Warbasse (BMC) for stage glory. The trio were the three survivors from the early six man escape group. It is Meyer’s first individual win of the season.

“This is a significant win for me,” said Meyer. “The Giro was a big personal goal for the first half of the season. It was great to win the team time trial with the guys, but things went downhill for me personally from there. I got sick. I crashed. Eventually, I pulled out. I really wanted to bounce back and come back strong in the second part of the season. This is a great way to start that.”

“It might be hard to believe but the plan today was always to put Cam in the break,” said Sport Director Neil Stephens. “We knew we wanted someone in the move, and given our options, he was the best one for the job. We were all committed to helping Cam, and obviously the results of the plan were in our favour.”

All did not unfold according to plan. Whilst Meyer put himself in the race winning move, he struggled to keep himself there in the final hour of the race. Twice Meyer was distanced from the break. Twice he fought valiantly to regain contact and remain in contention for the stage win.

“With Tony Martin in the race lead, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step tried to control most of the day,” explained Stephens. “Garmin came to the front on the descent down the second to last climb, and they really put the pressure on. With the way they pushed the pace and began to close the gap, I thought that would be the end of the break. They took out a lot of time quite quickly.”

“Meanwhile, at the front, the group got into a bit of rhythm and reduced the break to three or four riders,” Stephens added. “Cam lost contact with the front group on the last climb. At that point, there were two guys in the front and Cam was out the back.”

Stephens expected attacks to come from the fast-closing peloton. With Meyer out of contact with the two leaders, Stephens got on the radio and let the rest of team know they could respond to attacks or take the initiative to force moves of their own.

“I told the guys they had free reign at that point,” Stephens explained. “Nino [Schurter] was thinking about having a crack. He started to move up, but the pace was really hard in the bunch, and he never quite got into the right position to attack.”
“At the same time Nino was moving up, Cam managed to regain contact with the front two,” Stephens continued. “Unfortunately, in the last kilometre before the summit, he lost contact again.”

“I was struggling a bit over that final climb,” Meyer added. “My legs did not feel good, but I knew if I went over the top with less than a half-minute lost, I could time trial back to the two up front – and if I made it back, I knew I would be in for a chance at the stage win. With that going through my head, I went as hard as I could for ten kilometres to catch them.”

Without updates over the radio, Stephens was unsure of Meyer’s whereabouts. Unbeknownst to Stephens, Meyer was turning himself inside out to bridge back up to Deignan and Warbasse. Ten kilometres from the finish, Stephens learned that Meyer had the duo within sight.

“When we lost contact with where Cam was, the bunch was coming up very quickly behind,” noted Stephens. “I thought Cam had been swallowed up by the bunch, but around ten kilometres from the finish, there was a radio check. It said Cam was seven seconds behind. The two leaders had 1’16 on the field. That’s when I knew he had a good shot at the stage.”

“When he got back on, I told him to do everything he could to recover,” explained Stephens. “The other two guys were the ones under pressure because they were going better than he was on the climb. I told him to recover for a bit, which he did – and then he had to start collaborating because the bunch was coming up from behind.”

“I did exactly as Stevo said,” said Meyer. “I took those few minutes to recover before I started taking turns. I had to work with them because the bunch was coming, and I knew I didn’t want to let them catch us. I had a real shot for the stage win, so it was important that I contribute to keep the peloton at bay.”

With Deginan and Warbasse focused on each other, Meyer flew under the radar in the run to the line. Coming into the finishing stretch, he sat third wheel and patiently waited for the right moment to unleash his sprint.

“With a small group, you can come from the back to win,” said Meyer. “I knew I wanted to start third wheel. The other two thought I was tired because I had been dropped on the climb, and I was happy to let them think that. They looked at each more than at me, which was perfect.”

“They sprinted early,” Meyer added. “I waited. I opened my sprint at 150 metres to go and passed them both before the line.”
“That was all Cam in the sprint,” added Stephens. “I knew I didn’t need to offer him any tactical advice. He’s a very analytic sort of guy, so I knew he would have known the strengths and weaknesses of the two riders with him. There was never any doubt in my mind that he could win. He came from the back and won really easily. It was a fantastic race.”

Larry Warbasse (BMC) sprinted to a career-best third-place finish after being part of the day’s breakaway on a damp stage of the Tour de Suisse. Warbasse led out a three-up sprint at the end of the 182-kilometre race. But he could not hold off stage winner Meyer and Deignan. “I could not have asked for very much more,” Warbasse said. “I was coming in off two poor races and I had some not-so-great news about my potential contracts. So I really wanted to show today that I deserved to be here.

This is one of the biggest races I have ever have done in my life. I would have loved to have won, but I still couldn’t be much happier.” Warbasse was rewarded for his efforts with the “most aggressive rider honours” on the stage. “There is one person that I could not have done this ride without, and that is my coach, Bobby Julich,” Warbasse said. “He has believed in me through the good and the bad over the past two years and given me the confidence to believe in myself and that I was capable of a ride like today and much more.”

Warbasse and five others shook free from the peloton after 15 kilometres. Summiting three major mountain passes, the escape group enjoyed a lead of more than five minutes at one point. But rain and fog made the descent off the final climb of the Grimselpass a bit treacherous, Warbasse said, and reduced the breakaway’s advantage. “That was scary,” Warbasse said. “I was a little bit worried in the downhill because it was dangerous. It was very hard to see with the fog. But luckily, everyone took it very safely.”

Stage 1 time trial winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) kept the overall lead.

During the stage; Maxime Monfort crashed after only a few kilometres. His right shoulder hit a traffic sign on a traffic island. The Lotto Belisol rider was immediately taken to hospital. The first tests didn’t show any fractures, but his shoulder is heavily bruised and he also has several grazes. Tomorrow he will return to Belgium and in the Liege hospital he will undergo an MRI scan next week.

Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Result:
1. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE in 5:08:18
2. Philip Deignan (Irl) Sky
3. Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:14
5. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
6. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
7. Koen De Kort (Ned) Giant-Shimano
8. Nino Schurter (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
10. Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 2:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 5:22:20
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano at 0:06
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:13
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 0:19
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 0:22
6. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin-Sharp at 0:23
7. Philip Deignan (Irl) Sky at 0:27
8. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar
9. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:29
10. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky.

Stage 2:



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GP Kanton Aargau-Gippingen 2014
Simon Geschke has raced to his first win since taking a stage of Critérium International in 2011 at the one-day GP du canton d’Argovie in Switzerland. Greschke was part of a select group of around 25 riders on the last of 12 laps around Gippengem, together with Giant-Shimano teammate Georg Preidler. Preidler played a big role in controlling the pace on the run in and then Geschke put his finishing speed to good use to take the Giant-Shimano team’s 24th win of the 2014 season.

The 51st edition of this one-day race was based on 15 laps of a 12 kilometre circuit. At the end of the first lap three riders had pulled away and spend the majority of the race out front. The rolling nature of the circuit gradually took its toll on the peloton and with two laps to go, under the impetus of attacks from the peloton, the bunch exploded.

Georg was in a breakaway of nine riders coming into the last lap with Simon in the chase group behind, not having to ride with a teammate ahead. As the groups came together on the final climb, Georg attacked and moved ahead alone. He was chased hard by the group and eventually caught but it was more time for Simon to sit back and position himself without having to work, and as soon as Georg was caught he was back on controlling duties.

There was little control in the group and Georg had to work hard to keep things together. Coming into the finish the group was set for a sprint and Simon, putting the good form he has built at the Giro to good use, came through for a resounding victory. Simon said before the race that he was feeling confident and had been riding with good sensations this past week, but was unsure how his race form would be since the Giro.

“It is a big relief to win today as I have gone close many times but I haven’t had a win since 2011,” said Simon after the podium ceremony. “It was a tough race with a hard parcours and also a good field but the team was great today and Georg did an awesome job to control at the end. My legs were not great at the start of the day but they came round as the race went on and it looks like I have recovered well from the Giro. I was feeling good during the week but it is not the same as racing. I have to thank the team for believing in me and my ability to score results. The riders and staff have kept supporting me and give me freedom in races like this to learn and develop, and also to go for the win. It’s nice to pay everyone back with a victory.”

Racing not far from his home, second placed Silvan Dillier (BMC) said it was clear in the late going of the 181.5-km race that it would come down to a sprint. “With two laps to go, I tried to attack but they did not let me go. So everything was focused on the sprint,” Dillier said. “The team supported me very well. Around 500 meters to go, Philippe Gilbert did the lead out for me. At the end, I was a little too short. But second is a nice result in such a hard race.” Gilbert finished sixth after helping the BMC Racing Team ramp up the speed in the closing laps around the 12.1-km circuit after a three-man breakaway enjoyed a six-minute lead past the midpoint. “Together with my teammates, we were able to go hard and with three laps to go we tried to take the race in our hands and make it even harder,” Dillier said. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said everyone contributed to pulling the breakaway back and marking late moves. “A lot of these guys are racing Tour de Suisse, so they wanted to see where their legs were,” he said. “Dillier was very strong today. It is a shame he didn’t win because it is his home. But we will go on to the Tour de Suisse and it should be good.”

GP Kanton Aargau-Gippingen Result:
1. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Shimano in 4:31:14
2. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
3. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek
5. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
7. Paul Voss (Ger) Netapp-Endura
8. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana
9. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha
10. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha.

geschke_gippingen


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OPQS Extends Contract with Niki Terpstra
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team proudly announces the extension of contract for the Paris Roubaix 2014 winner, Niki Terpstra.

Terpstra extended his contract for 2015, 2016, and 2017. He has been with OPQS since 2011 and already has impressive results, including Dwars door Vlaanderen-Waregem in 2012. The 2014 season is already a big success for the Dutch rider, with a 1st stage and overall victory at Tour of Qatar, a win at Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the biggest palmares addition of his career at Paris-Roubaix.

“I’m happy the team has confidence in me,” Terpstra said. “I really hope to continue making progress and growing within the wonderful framework of OPQS. I’m happy to stay with the team as it is not only one of the best teams in the world, but there is a special atmosphere within the team. You can feel it with the morale. We are friends, and racing together is a joy. Four years ago I chose this team to learn and grow as a rider in the big races I love like the Classics. Now, I can see my effort and my decision to join OPQS has paid off. I’d like to continue this process of development and become even more important within the team. I’d like us to reach our beautiful goals together.”

“We prolonged his contract for three years because we have faith in him and think he can develop much more as a rider,” OPQS CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “He is a strong guy who is also an intelligent racer. He has good relationships with his teammates and one of the guys who can really build a future with us at the Classics.”

RIDER BIO: Niki Terpstra: http://www.omegapharma-quickstep.com/en/team/rider/niki-terpstra

Niki Terpstra’s 2014 Monument Paris-Roubaix:



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Telefónica receives Nairo Quintana in Madrid
Movistar Team rider hands over a maglia rosa as 2014 Giro d’Italia champion to COO Álvarez-Pallete

Press Release:
The recent winner of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, Movistar Team rider Nairo Quintana, visited Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid, where he was welcomed by the COO of the company, José María Álvarez-Pallete. The Colombian gave Pallete one of his pink jersey’s as a souvenir of his great triumph in Italy.

Quintana was joined in the event by the Movistar Team’s general manager Eusebio Unzué, with all media present, fans over social media and employees of the company able to know the feelings of the man from Boyacá from his own words, discovering the endeavours that led him to a historic first Giro win for the South American continent.

“Now that I was able to take some rest and watch the pictures, I’ve come to realize what I achieved,” explained Quintana. “You’re not really conscious on the very moment you accomplish it, but now it feels fantastic. It’s been a great Giro, but also a very hard one. We found ourselves in circumstances we couldn’t forecast, and we had to get over them. That’s why I don’t feel like the same rider I was when the race started. Now I feel more capable guiding the team on course, managing it as a real leader. Pressure? To be honest, I don’t feel into pressure with all expectations around me. It’s more like a sense of commitment. Commitment to keeping doing things well, growing on. If I do so, I’m sure that many more, huge victories will keep coming.”

In turn, Eusebio Unzué emphasized the hunger of success by his pupil: “He was very confident about himself, absolutely convinced about his own chances. On the Stelvio stage, when there was some talk about route changes before the start, he said to me: ‘We have to do whatever it takes to get to those climbs.’ Every single champion I was lucky enough to guide had the same sense of ambition; yet it’s true that Nairo has a bigger hunger. He doesn’t leave anything to happen by chance, he wants to know everything. Ever since he became a pro, he didn’t stop progressing, and almost none of the goals he set on himself eluded him. He’s exaggeratedly ambitious.”

Quintana, who has taken up training again, will stay in Europe until the end of the month, taking advantage of the time to recon some key stages of the Vuelta a España -the main goal left in his season- before heading back to Colombia, where he will stay training before his predicted return into racing in the Vuelta a Burgos.

Giro champion Nairo Quintana in Madrid:
quintana-madrid


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BMC Racing Team Roster For Ster ZLM Toer Roster
The BMC Racing Team has announced its roster for Ster ZLM Toer Roster. The five-day race in The Netherlands begins on Wednesday.

Riders:
Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Rick Zabel (GER).
Sport Director: Valerio Piva (ITA).


Bad Luck for Froome!
Last week was looking good for Chris Froome, he took the lead in the Dauphiné and was looking comfortable. Since then there has been a lot of talk about inhalers and then this crash:



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