TOP STORY: 2014 Tour de France
The 101st edition of the Tour de France was unveiled in Paris on Wednesday in front of an audience of riders, team directors and other invited guests. As we already knew the race will start in Yorkshire, England on Saturday the 5th of July and end in Paris on Sunday July the 27th. But in between there seems to be a fair amount to get excited about. The Tour organisers look to be taking a leaf out of La Vuelta a España and has five summit finishes and just one time trial of 54 kilometres. The big problem for many of the GC hopefuls will be the 15 kilometres of cobbles on stage 5 from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, the stage passes through the battlefields of the First World War which started 100 years ago.
The real action for the overall will as always be in the mountains and stage 10 seem to the favourite for the winning decision. There are seven climbs with the finish on La Planche des Belles Filles. Down into the Alps and the finish to Chamrousse has an 18 kilometres climb to the line and the next day to Risoul has the Cols du Lauteret and d’Izoard and a new climb to finish.
The three days in the Pyrénées will be killers, as usual, with the ultra-steep Port de Balés and the finish on the Bágneres-de-Luchon on stage 16. The next day from Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet has the fourth summit finish with a detour into Spain where the peloton will climb the Cols du Portillon, Peyresourde, Val-Louron-Azet before the finish. The last mountain stage from Pau will cross the Col du Tourmalet to Hautacam, here will be the last chance for any climbers to attack before the time trial stage between Bergerac and Périgueux.
The race will then fly north for the finale in the French capital.
Keep tuned to PEZ for a more detailed look at the 2014 Tour route soon and we will have the rider comments in EuroTrash Monday. Meanwhile you can take a look at “Inside Le Tour de France 2014 Presentation” with Erin Berard.
The Grand Départ du Tour de France 2014:
And the 2014 route map:
Tour of Hainan 2013
The Belkin Pro Cycling Team bagged its 30th win of the season in great fashion. In the streets of Haikou, Theo Bos sprinted to the victory in Stage 2 of the Tour of Hainan. Race leader Moreno Hofland finished second place and made a glorious one-two for the team.
“The first 70 kilometres were pretty hectic,” said Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “It was difficult but the boys covered every attack until a break of three got away of which we thought was easy to control. We proved to be right, as they were reeled in with 15 kilometres to go. Then the boys prepared the sprint for Theo, which was great. It’s great for Theo to win. This is good for his confidence.”
At the beginning of the season the team decided it wanted to win 30 races. With Bos’ win the squad managed to pull it off. Sports Director Michiel Elijzen is proud of Bos and the entire team as this win is especially poignant for team sponsor Belkin which celebrates its 30th Birthday this year.
“We aimed for thirty victories and it’s beautiful that we’ve succeeded. Today, I definitely need to compliment Marc Goos. He came here with GC ambitions, but worked very hard for Theo. That’s real team-work. I hope we can continue to ride like this. I really like the way we raced today and I want to keep this up. Today proved that with Theo and Moreno we have two strong sprinters.”
Tour of Hainan Stage 2 Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin in 4:16:56
2. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
3. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
4. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin
5. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine
6. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System
7. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
9. Rico Rogers (NZl) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
10. Andris Smirnovs (Lat) Rietumu-Delfin.
Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 2:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 6:03:05
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:27
3. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 0:37
4. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System at 0:41
5. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin
6. Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
7. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling at 0:42
8. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:43
9. Darío Hernández (Spa) Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon at 0:44
10. Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice.
The Belkin Pro Cycling Team remains undefeated in the Tour of Hainan. Theo Bos again claimed the flowers and kisses in Stage 3 in Qionghai. And like yesterday, the sprinter was joined by a team-mate on the podium. Moreno Hofland, winner of the opening stage, finished second again, and maintained his overall lead. Lars Boom placed fourth, just like yesterday.
Sports Director Michael Elijzen said that he hoped for a similar scenario after yesterday’s second stage, and his wishes where answered.
“We finished first, second and fourth with the same three guys as yesterday and the race itself was identical as well”, said Elijzen. “The first 70 kilometres were full throttle. We, just like yesterday, covered every attack until a controllable group of six was formed. After that Marc Goos did great at working hard to keep things under control. At the three kilometre mark, the last attackers were caught. “Our sprint train is just super-strong. Theo was dropped off with 150 metres to go and won after a brief but intense sprint.”
Bos lifted his total amount of season victories to eight with his win in Qionghai. One more than last season, which was the sprinter’s goal for 2013.
“It’s nice to break a record. But maybe I should stop it there, otherwise I won’t know what to do next year,” Bos explained. “Anyway, we’ll try to get the most of this race as a team by winning more sprints and the GC.”
Hofland hopes to keep the leader’s jersey until the end of the week. In stage seven and eight the group heads into the mountains but the neo-pro is confident about himself.
“I think I can keep the yellow jersey in the hills because I climbed well at the Tour of Beijing.”
Tour of Hainan Stage 3 Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin in 3:19:34
2. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
3. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine
4. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin
5. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
6. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille
7. Michael Kurth (Ger) Team Quantec-Indeland
8. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System
9. Christoph Schweizer (Ger) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
10. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling.
Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 3:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 9:22:33
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:42
3. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 0:43
4. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System at 0:47
5. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling
6. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 0:50
7. Mykhailo Kononenko (Ukr) Ukraine
8. Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk at 0:56
9. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin at 0:58
10. Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice at 0:59.
The Belkin Pro Cycling Team keeps winning on China’s Hainan island. Theo Bos took his third straight win in Stage 4 and helped the team go four for four. Moreno Hofland also still leads the general classification.
“The atmosphere within the team is very good. Four wins in four days is fantastic”, said Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “The scenario was the same as the past few days: in the opening phase the pace was very high, a small break got away, Marc Goos controlled and a sprint ended the stage.
Bos recorded his ninth victory of the season today. That he would win three times in Hainan wasn’t expected, although he had hoped it. “We take this race very seriously and we don’t underestimate anyone. You never know what to expect, but we’re are doing great as a team,” Bos explained. “The guys just make it very easy for me. They did an excellent lead-out again today. The most important thing, however, is Moreno’s GC. We need to hang on to that. If we can take some stage wins along the way then that’s great.”
Today’s victory brings Belkin’s win count up to 32 this season. This year, only five teams triumphed more: Omega Pharma-QuickStep (55), Sky (35), Cannondale (35), FDJ (33) and Orica-GreenEdge (33).
The Tour of Hainan ends on Monday, October 28. “It would be nice,” added Bos, “if we could rise a few positions on that list.”
Tour of Hainan Stage 4 Result:
1. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin in 4:18:12
2. Rico Dene Thomas Rogers (Aus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
3. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
4. Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) RTS
5. Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Ukraine
6. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
7. Anuar Manan (Mas) Synergy Baku Cycling Project
8. Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
9. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille
10. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille.
Tour of Hainan Overall After Stage 4:
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin in 13:40:45
2. Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:33
3. Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin at 0:43
4. Kevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Euphony at 0:45
5. Fabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System at 0:47
6. William Walker (Aus) Drapac Cycling
7. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin
8. Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
9. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin at 0:48
10. José Gonçalves (Por) La Pomme Marseille at 0:50.
World Cup Cyclo-cross, Valkenburg 2013
The Elite Women’s race was dominated by Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv/Giant) in the way she dominates nearly every race she rides. At the start there was a one minute of silence in the memory of Amy Dombronski. Vos was in charge from the start of the hilly Dutch course and soon had a lead on everyone and then powered all the way to the finish showing how much stronger she is than everyone else. Behind the multi-World champion; Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), Christel Ferrier-Brunea (Faren Kuota) and the two British riders Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) fought for second place. Compton attacked the others in the second lap to hold the others off and finish a minute and a half down on Marianne Vos as the group split with Harris finishing 17 seconds behind the US champion and Wyman was fourth a further 12 seconds down. Vos will not be riding the second round in Tabor so there will be a new leader after the Czech event.
World Cup Cyclo-cross, Valkenburg Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank Liv/Giant in 37:56
2. Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective at 1:35
3. Nikki Harris (GB) Young Telenet-Fidea at 1:52
4. Helen Wyman (GB) Kona at 2:04
5. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Faren Kuota at 2:11
6. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea at 2:20
7. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Dncs/Pro 2012 Cycling Team at 2:29
8. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm – BKCP at 2:53
9. Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams at 3:05
10. Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh-Clement at 3:30.
The last lap action:
Scarponi to Astana
Apparently the veteran Italian Michele Scarponi will be riding for the Kazakh Astana team in 2014 along side 2013 Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali. It is said that he will lead the team in the 2014 Italian tour and then assist Nibali to win the Tour de France. If Scarponi sign’s for Astana he will be joining Franco Pellizotti, both riders have had previous doping bans and Scarponi is still part of the Padova investigation.
Cannondale: All Off with Tinkoff
The Cannondale team have announced that all discussions with the Russian bank are off and that the American company own the majority of the team and the management company; Brixia Sport. Martin Schwartz, CEO of Cannondale’s parent company Dorel, said: “This further investment underlines our respect and the value for the accomplishments of the Cannondale team and recognizes the many benefits this association has brought to the Cannondale brand. Additionally, it comes on the heels of our acquisition of the Caloi brand in Brazil and our intention to market Cannondale throughout Latin America.” In Cannondale’s Press Release, the team are pleased that their top rider Peter Sagan will remain (happy) with the team and “We’re passionate about pro cycling and furthering the sport with integrity and have a vision of building the most admired pro cycling team in the peloton. We have seen an increase in our market share of Cannondale since beginning this association and expect this to continue,” added Bob Baird of Cannondale Sports.
Points for Contador & Valverde
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has annulled the decision of the International Cycling Union (UCI) to not give points for two years to cyclists returning to competition after serving doping sanctions, according to Spanish newspaper El País. Bjarne Riis, manager of Team Saxo-Tinkoff, appealed to Lausanne along with the Movistar team, joined in this lawsuit because of their two star riders; Alberto Contador (until August 2014) and Alejandro Valverde (until January 2014), respectively, were affected by this clause that prevented them from scoring points for their teams during the first two years of his return after being punished.
El Pais revealed that “On October 11, CAS chaired by Ulrich Haas, announced its decision, pro riders, Contador and Valverde, whose points, and all the other riders punished for acts committed before June 30, 2011, will be able to count their points for the classification of their teams.”
The UCI, in a move prompted by its (then) president Pat McQuaid, made use of a retroactive rule launched in June 29, 2011, after the two Spanish riders were punished. Also, for the Swiss court this clause “substantially alters the World Anti-Doping Code,” which the UCI have to address.
Van der Haar for Argos-Shimano Development
After winning the first UCI World Cup cyclo-cross in Valkenberg last Sunday, the young Dutch cross champion; Lars van der Haar has signed with the new Argos-Shimano development team, to join them after the cyclo-cross World championships. He is at present with the Rabobank development team and will finish off the cross season before starting the road season with the Continental Argos-Shimano development team. Van der Haar said of the move: “I will ride the cyclo-cross world championships in Hoogerheide for Rabobank. After that it’s time to move on in my career. It’s a step I am really looking forward to.”
Adam Blythe Back in Britain
Rumour has it that Adam Blythe will be riding for the new Continental British team NFTO in 2014. Even though he is a rider who can come up with a win, when given the chance, BMC did not renew his contract. The NFTO team will be led by Sean Yates as DS and included in the line up will be Dean and Russell Downing, plus Sam Harrison, Matt Rowe, Dale Appleby, James McCallum, Hugh Wilson, James Lewis, Sam Williams, Jon Mould, Ryan Bevis, James Lowsley Williams and Joshua Hunt and now Adam Blythe. NFTO is an independent manufacturer of outdoor products based in the UK.
The Tour de France Explained!
Everything you needed to know about the Tour de France and were too embarrassed to ask and it’s in animation:
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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