PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The Tour de France has been to the seaside, but it's no holiday! All the news from “la Grande Boucle” with results and video. Not just Tour news, but also the Österreich-Rundfahrt. The all powerful ASO rule the roost - Top Story. In other cycling news: The Achievement of a Lifetime: Eros Poli, Sunweb to La Course, Mads Würtz Schmidt and Jenthe Biermans stay with Katusha-Alpecin and Mediofondo Casartelli postponed. A full EUROTRASH Thursday.



TOP STORY: The All Powerful A.S.O.
The Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.), is a subsidiary of the Amaury Group, media and sport group that owns the newspaper L'Equipe and organizes the Tour de France, plus many other sporting events. According to their website; ASO organizes 250 days of competition per year, with 70 events in 21 countries.

A big multi-National company with an operation the size of ASO is expected to be very protective of their 'product' and ASO do not flinch in this department. Any tour company wanting to be involved with taking cyclist on any organized trip involving the Tour de France have to pay for any link and have to be authorized by ASO. If you want to make a film/video for public viewing, you are welcome to do it before or after the stage, but not the actual racing. You will notice the race videos bellow, they are all from ASO/Tour de France, either from their YouTube channel or Vimeo. Try uploading any race footage you've taken from the TV and it will soon be shut down. ASO do a great job and run the biggest yearly sporting event in the World, so you can't blame them for wanting to make their money and protect their assets.

In last Thursday's EUROTRASH we publish the announcement of the launch of the official Tour de France Fantasy Game. This was the kiss of death to the popular Velogames Fantasy Game which was shut down leaving just this message:

    1. IMPORTANT NOTICE - UPDATED
      Dear all,

      I am pleased to report that the legal issue noted on Thursday 5th July has been swiftly and amicably resolved.

      Should you wish to enter a fantasy team for this year’s Tour de France, please do so at the following link: https://fantasy.letour.fr/

      Regards, George.

      ------

      For the sake of clarity, the Velogames Grand Tour game will remain suspended indefinitely.


Don't get in the way of ASO. Threaten to ban a previous winner and things suddenly happen. The all powerful ASO with friends in high places.

French President, Emmanuel Macron with Christian Prudhomme:
Serre-Chevalier - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - French president Emmanuel Macron  - Christian Prudhomme (ASO) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 17 from La Mure to Serre-Chevalier, 183.00 km - foto  Poolphoto Jeff Pachoud AFP/Cor Vos © 2017



Tour de France 2018
It was business almost as usual for the BMC on Stage 3 as they confirmed their status as the world's leading team time trial specialists to win the 35-km effort in Cholet. Richie Porte and his team-mates, five of which were already in the team who won a TTT on the Tour in 2015, clocked 38:46, to upstage pre-stage favorites Team Sky by four seconds. Third place went to Quick-Step, who lost the stage and their yellow jersey chances by seven seconds. Peter Sagan, who was dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates, handed his yellow jersey to Greg Van Avermaet, who led the Tour de France for three days in 2016, the year he also became Olympic champion.

The eight riders of Mitchelton-Scott, winners of a similar stage in 2013 in Corsica, were the first to tackle the course at 3:10pm. They were immediately followed by pre-stage favorites Team Sky. Their tactics were strikingly different as the Australian team seemed to spare Adam Yates and Mikel Nieve while the eight Sky riders took turns regularly. They were almost level on 14:12 and 14:13 at the first intermediate mark at kilometer 13. Movistar were just a second adrift at that stage but they faltered in the finale, to relinquish 49 seconds on Team Sky.

Specialists BMC were the team to beat and they showed why they had won six of the last ten major team time trials by being fastest at the second intermediate mark to finish on 38:46, with a four seconds lead over Sky.

Their victory, the fourth in a TTT this season, also meant Sky have yet to win a team time trial on the Tour, having finished second or third in the previous four team time trials.

The stage victory was settled at this stage, even though Tom Dumoulin's Sunweb team also performed well, setting the 5th mark on 38:57, 11 seconds behind BMC. The suspense was also maintained by Quick-Step Floors, who challenged BMC until the very last kilometers with only Philippe Gilbert, Yves Lampaert, Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels left. But they were seven seconds short of a stage win that might have handed Gilbert the yellow jersey.

As for Peter Sagan, he was dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates on the last hill. As a result, the yellow jersey has now changed three times in three days, which has only happened once in the last 25 years, in 2015.

More from stage 3 HERE.



Overall leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): "I think we were really smooth today. I think everybody did a good time trial and we were all working well together. We knew that Team Sky would be the team to beat and we also knew that it would be close. We worked together and that's what team time trials are about. We stayed together with eight guys for a long time and on this parcours, that was the key to winning the race. It was a goal to get yellow in the first week. I have worn it one time already and it was an incredible feeling so, I am pretty happy to be in this position for a second time. I will enjoy it tomorrow because for any rider it is a special feeling. I want to thank my teammates as without them, it wouldn't have happened."

3rd overall, Geraint Thomas (Sky): "It was good, I think we rode really well. I’m a bit disappointed I feel like I didn’t really get it all out, I always seemed to be on the front on the descents, when we were doing short turns. There’s a few things [to improve], you always think you can go a little bit quicker, but I think we rode it really well technically and communicated well. We knew we could afford to lose two riders, Wout and Luke, but there was no set plan to do it, just to commit if they didn’t feel great and go as far as they could and that’s what they did. And that’s what it’s about, riding well like that together."

Richie Porte (BMC): "I think after what happened on the first stage, throwing 51 seconds away, it was good to take back time on some of the other GC guys. I think the guys were really impressive today. They did a really good job. It's hard to pinpoint one of the guys but when you have someone like Stefan Küng, it makes it a little easier. It's been a fantastic day. To win the stage with a team like we have here, and especially with the passing of Andy Rihs, is special. Today puts us right back in the game. It's still a long way to Paris but it's great to win a stage at the Tour and we will enjoy this moment. It's also great to have the yellow jersey in the team and Greg deserves it. For me, the next few days are really about staying out of trouble. Yesterday, we put the team up towards the front and obviously you burn energy doing that but it's just the way you have to ride at this Tour. Tomorrow is a little more straightforward perhaps but stage 5 is really hard. We've done a race there this year already so we know it is going to be a tricky stage."

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I had bad legs today, from the start. It was really hot and I also lost my bottle on a bump, just 400 meters into the race. I gave my best, as I always do, but I also suffered a lot to respect the coveted yellow jersey I had. I wish I could have contributed a little bit more to Rafal's GC quest today but this is the way it is in sports. You have good days, you have difficult days. Tomorrow we'll have another chance and, once again, we will give it our all."

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): "We did a good time trial. The team fought as one man in order to post a good time, because you have to have all eight involved. I take my hat off to the guys who had to drop off 10 kilometers from the finish, like Axel Domont and Silvan Dillier; they gave 100% of themselves. Tony Gallopin did a huge amount of work despite his broken rib, and Pierre Latour was very impressive. He is the best French rouleur for sure. My legs are going well considering I've been five weeks without racing. I'm waiting for this first week of increasing pressure to be in top form in time for the mountains. You have to concentrate for 21 stages. The level is always high, and precious seconds are won everywhere."

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): "We went in with a plan and it worked well. The only real negative was the fact that Troia, who was brought in to help us in the Team Time Trial got a puncture after 9km. That maybe cost us 15 or 20 seconds at the finish line. Other than that, we all rode out of our skin. I felt good and more of the same over the next days and we will see how far we can go. I’m taking it day by day and there are 18 days to go."

Julien Vermote (Dimension Data): "It was a nice course today, really fast. We did a good recon of the stage so we got through the stage safely which was the most important aspect for us today. You always need to go just that bit harder in a TTT and it is a technical discipline but we were able to get through it well. Tomorrow's stage is really important for us so that is our next key objective."

Tour de France Stage 3 Result:
1. BMC in 38:46
2. Sky at 0:04
3. Quick-Step Floors at 0:07
4. Mitchelton-Scott at 0:09
5. Sunweb at 0:12
6. EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:35
7. Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:50
8. Astana at 0:52
9. Katusha-Alpecin at 0:53
10. Movistar at 0:54.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 3:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 9:08:55
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:03
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:05
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:07
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:11
8. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:34.

Tour stage 3:



Stage 4 had the longest finishing straight of the 2018 Tour de France was a thrilling and action-packed one, with the peloton furiously chasing the day-long four-man breakaway, who led until under the flamme rouge, where they were mopped up by a reduced bunch, consequence of a crash that occurred with five kilometers to go. Fernando Gaviria was unfazed by all what happened in the closing part of the 195km stage between La Baule and Sarzeau, throughout which he was protected by his Quick-Step Floors teammates at all times, and after being ideally dropped by Maximiliano Richeze with 220 meters to go, he put in a devastating sprint which saw him beat Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), en route to Quick-Step Floors’ 49th UCI win of the season.

A quartet got clear of the bunch early: Jérôme Cousin (Direct Energie), Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Dimitri Claeys and Anthony Perez (Cofidis) established a seven-minute advantage, while Quick-Step Floors duly moved to the front of the pack doing the bulk of the work and bringing the gap down to two minutes inside the last 20 kilometers. On paper, the chasers shouldn’t have had any problems in nullifying that move, but a strong tailwind played into the escapees’ advantage, who rode for dear life on the narrow roads of Morbihan. Quick-Step Floors were joined in the chase by other teams with only 10 kilometers left, and despite the scrappy finish and the road going up in the last kilometer, always maintained its position at the front, thanks to an unreal 400m lead-out of Richeze. Gaviria confidently opened his sprint from the middle of the road, and despite being briefly surpassed by Greipel, he found that second magical kick to notch up the victory.

More from stage 4 HERE.



Stage winner, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): "To take two stages at my first Tour de France is just… Wow! It wasn’t easy at all, but we came here in very good condition, keen on leaving our mark on this great race, and thanks to the fantastic work of the entire team we have reasons to smile and be happy, but we don’t want to stop here and will remain focus for what’s to come. It was difficult today, because the breakaway really pushed us, as we were the ones working the most at the front. We also had some headwind and that uphill drag, but Max was unbelievable, he knows when it’s the right time to go to the front and did again a perfect lead-out. We’re more than a team, we are a family, always believing in our chances and riding for each other."

Race leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): "It was a nice day in the beginning but it got pretty hectic in the final. The guys did a really good job to protect Richie and me. They were always on the front and we spent a lot of energy in the wind but as we saw, anything can happen and by staying up at the front we were in the safe zone. We protected ourselves and with no time loss, it was a perfect day. I think tomorrow will be another hard stage. It will be important to stay in front and stay safe but in the end, I think we can do more in the final. We have a strong team. I will try to be up there and I would like to make a good result. I've enjoyed my day in yellow but I also came here to try and get a stage win and I think tomorrow is my first big opportunity. A win in yellow would be even more incredible."

2nd on the stage, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "The headwind was a big issue today in the final sprint and positioning and timing were crucial. I finished second and I'm happy to keep the green jersey. Today's breakaway was strong and the escapees did a good job. We didn't pull for most of the race except for the final kilometers and let the other teams do it. The fight for the green jersey is on but we have a long race to Paris with some climbs in between. The important thing is that we also managed to stay again clear of trouble and avoid the crashes of the final kilometers. The guys are doing a great job in that aspect."

3rd on the stage, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): "It was once again a hectic sprint. With the team we managed to stay at the front pretty well. After the crash I still had Keukeleire, Sieberg and De Buyst with me. I chose to take the initiative myself today. I started sprinting pretty early with about 300 meters to go. I had hoped to be able to get on the wheel of someone else, but that wasn't possible. I accelerated again with 100 meters to go. But I felt Gaviria and Sagan coming. I can be satisfied with my sprint, I was in the running for the victory so that's very promising."

7th on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): "I was in quite a good position and I came from behind with good speed. I knew this could be dangerous but I tried to go and I lost a little bit of rhythm when I started, then it’s always difficult. I had to stop pedaling two times in the last three hundred meters and I never really got up to full speed so I finished in seventh place. I was hoping for better, but there’s a lot of good sprinters here so I need to do things better next time."

Break rider, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "It was a very difficult day, sometimes it had to go full on the climbs. Halfway race we had more than 7 minutes advantage on the peloton. Then we saved ourselves a little and the last 40 kilometers we had to go full gas. We started riding at full speed and I did not expect the peloton to close the gap so quickly. In the end I did everything I could for the stage victory, but I was caught in the last 900 meters. In the final phase the wind was at a disadvantage. I did not try to accelerate earlier because of that. If the finish was one kilometer earlier I would have won, but unfortunately that was not the case. I hope the peloton will feel these efforts. Cousin wins the combativity? Well, he is French. And tonight the Belgians will win!"

Break rider, Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis): "With Anthony Perez we got along really well. With the headwind we suffered in the last twenty kilometers. It was really impossible mission to the flamme rouge. For the morale of the team after our worries of the 2nd stage and our disillusionment in the team time trial it is good even if, for the moment, the legs burn. The important thing was to make the breakaway. We have even managed to do two and that proves that we will not give up."

The victim of a crash 5 kilometers from the finish of the fourth stage, Axel Domont was forced to abandon the Tour. Upon arriving at the finish, Domont was examined by the medical staff of the Tour de France, and then transferred to the hospital of Vannes to undergo additional examinations including an X-Ray. “He is suffering from a fracture of the right collarbone. The X-Ray did not, however, detect a fracture to the skull nor the ribs,” Dr. Eric Bouvat, medical officer of the AG2R-La Mondiale team, explained. Axel will spend Tuesday night under observation at the hospital as a precaution. “This is a hard blow. Axel is a valuable teammate, and a very effective worker out of the limelight,” Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team.

Lotto Soudal's Tiesj Benoot won’t be standing at the start of the fifth Tour stage today. Benoot and sports manager Marc Sergeant explain the decision in the video below:



Tour de France Stage 4 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 4:25:01
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
8. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
9. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 4:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 13:33:56
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:03
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:05
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:07
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:11
8. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:35.

Stage 4:



Peter Sagan won one more uphill sprint in the first week of the Tour de France after stage 1 to Seraing and stage 3 to Boulogne-sur-Mer in 2012, stage 2 to Cherbourg in 2016 and stage 3 to Longwy in 2017 as he out-sprinted Sonny Colbrelli just like in La Roche-sur-Yon on stage 2. Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey.

171 riders started Stage 5 in Lorient. 2 non-starters: Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal). Robert Kiserlovski (Katusha-Alpecin) crashed out after only three kilometers of actual racing. A 7-man breakaway was formed at km 5: Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic), Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal), Lilian Calmejane and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis). The BMC team of race leader Greg Van Avermaet was prompt to lead the peloton. A maximum time gap of 4:25 was recorded at km 80.

Riding his 353rd Tour de France stage, just as many as George Hincapie, with only Joop Zoetemelk having raced for more days at the Tour (365), Chavanel passed first on the line of the intermediate sprint where Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step) out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) once again. The Frenchman attacked at the bottom of the first categorized climb, the Côte de Kaliforn (km 106). He forged on until Skujins, Calmejane and Edet caught him at km 141, whereas Chris Froome (Sky) had a mechanical and requested a bike change. Gesbert was the first breakaway rider reeled in by the peloton at Châteauneuf-du-Faou (km 121) after he crashed by himself in a ditch. Chavanel lost contact in the hardest climb of the day, the Côte de Ménez Quélerc’h. Edet was dropped in the last categorized climb after Locronan where Skujins secured the polka dot jersey.

Calmejane and Skujins were brought back by the pack in the Côte de la Chapelle de la Lorette where the bonus point was located. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) sprinted to take three seconds while Van Avermaet got two. Rein Taaramäe (Direct Energie) attacked with 10km to go. He was caught by the peloton led by Team Sky 5.5km before the finish in Quimper. With 800 meters to go, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step) launched the sprint, followed by Julien Simon (Cofidis), a former winner of the Tour du Finistère at the exact same place (2012). Van Avermaet closed on Gilbert. His action paved the way for another punchy stage victory by Sagan who fended off Colbrelli.

PEZ stage 5 Race Report HERE.



Stage winner and leader on points, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "My BORA-hansgrohe teammates did an amazing job today – Bodi and Burghardt were pulling on the front from the middle of the stage before everyone else brought me into position for the final climb. In the final stretch, Sky started to pull hard and go full speed, and then Gilbert came over the climb fast too. He tried to attack but we caught him and after, I think Van Avermaet started a little too early, so it really left me and Colbrelli to fight it out. I was pretty lucky because Colbrelli was coming close near the end. During the Tour de France everything is different, but the parcours was like an Ardennes classic – up down, left, right, narrow roads. Technically it was a nice parcours. While there weren’t as many points today – just 30 for the win – it’s better than nothing though, and tomorrow is another day."

2nd on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): "I was on Sagan’s wheel and I tried to anticipate him. I was side by side and maybe I got over him for some seconds, but then with 100 meters to go the legs broke out and the world champion beat me! Looking on the bright side and I must say that last year's Tour I could not even make the sprint, while this year I play for the victory. Of course, winning today would have been better, but I will try again."

3rd on the stage and overall, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors): "We knew today's stage was billed as a mini version of an Ardennes Classic, so we were up to the challenge and ready to do something. Going into the last climb I was in a good position and I was hoping to surprise my opponents with an attack, but it was really difficult with the headwind and two guys proved to be stronger at the end of the day. So far, we enjoyed a great run, but we also know we could have had more. This week isn't over and the coming stages present other opportunities, so we'll keep trying, although you need also some luck, not only to be the best on the day."

4th on the stage, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): "I was quite behind as I entered the final slope, and had to make a big effort to reach the top contenders with a very, very long sprint. There were still many powerful guys in the group and it was hard for me to aim for a victory here – which he knew already before the start. Still, I think that we showed we’re doing well, being able to finish behind those names. We continue to take one step at a time, our legs feel great, and I hope we can recover well tonight to tackle Mûr-de-Bretagne in good condition. I don’t know if it will suit me better or worse, but we will try to be up there."

6th on the stage, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): "I had a good feeling all day and in the last kilometer I thought I might have a chance, but the legs just weren’t there for a big sprint because I’ve been training for the mountains. That said, I was really happy to be in the front with those guys and when we slowed down with 400m to go I considered jumping, but because of the corners it would have been impossible to get ahead. The team did a great job of protecting me all day which meant I’ve saved a lot of energy and will be fresher as the week goes on. Overall I am happy to get this result under my belt in the Tour and it’s a nice little opener for tomorrow."

7th on the stage and overall leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): "I was trying to win the stage that's for sure but it was pretty complicated. Phil [Gilbert] went early and he is up there on the GC so I couldn't let him go and I had to ride by myself. Then, I think I went a bit too early on the sprint. I thought the corner was closer to the finish and that's the thing that went wrong I think. However, we gave it a try and we also didn't lose any time with Richie. The team did a perfect job to put us into position in the final. It was a really demanding day for a lot of guys and I think the team did a great job all day. We spent a lot of energy but I think on these kind of days you can lose more time than on a mountain stage so it's better to do that. I think we did great today so we will see how it goes tomorrow. Having the yellow jersey gives us a little more space in the peloton and Richie is the kind of rider who likes to be in a good position up at the front all day. We are still focusing on the podium in Paris but will continue to take it day by day and try to make the best results possible as we go along."

9th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "The whole team did an excellent job, with Yoann Offredo and Dion Smith as perfect examples. Despite their crash at fifty kilometers from the line, they still delivered a good job. Yoann brought me to the front in the final kilometers. I was ideally placed behind Gilbert, Alaphilippe, Nibali and Sagan. Unfortunately, Boasson Hagen lost Van Avermaet's wheel, so there was a gap. I was able to close the gap, but lost valuable energy. With 300 meter to go I was locked in on the right side.The 6th or 7th place was possible, but I am happy with this 9th place. There were not many sprinters left in the first group. I have never climbed the Mur de Bretagne, but I think it is more of an arrival that suits Valverde or Alaphilippe. But with good legs I have to be able to finish between the strongest."

KOM and break rider, Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo): "First we wanted to get in the break. We had seven pretty strong guys there, and I was thinking that we might be fighting for the stage, and I was not going to waste any time on sprinting for KOM points. But everyone has their own tactics, and when Chavanel went solo that definitely didn’t help the chances for the break because then [his teammate] Calmejane didn't ride for like 20-30kms. It changed the dynamics of the break a lot, and after that when another guy crashed out [of the break] too, it was okay, lets at least get the mountain points and combative prize. I picked a couple of moves, and always keep an eye on De Gendt, especially when he starts on the first line of the neutral. I jumped in a break of around 25 guys, but I knew it was too big, so I didn't really roll through because obviously, it's going to come back. And once that was brought back, and I knew that everyone is just a little bit gassed, I just attacked after Chavanel, and that was it. I thought when he went he was going to sit up after taking the points or go to the next one and then sit up, but he didn't sit up until we were on his tail. Once we saw that the stage win was going to be really hard to do, then why not take some KOM points? Calmejane's a strong rider; he won a stage at the Tour, and I think the Vuelta as well. I was just happy that I could take the points over him today. It's definitely nice for my first Tour de France – I am happy about it. The Tour is the Tour - a lot more journalists, a lot more fans, and everyone is fighting for every little prize on the road. I have zero points ahead of the next guy, and I think that's good enough to hold the jersey to Paris, right?"

Tour de France Stage 5 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:48:06
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
8. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
9. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 5:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 18:22:00
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:02
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:03
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:05
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:06
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:09
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:13
8. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:37
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:52.

Tour stage 5:




Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria 2018
Stage 3 of Tour of Austria 2018 started today in Kufstein in Tyrol and Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team keeps strong and confident and continues with podiums.

TBM riders kept the great spirit and hunger for top results at Tour of Austria 2018. A second place at the Kitzbüheler Horn at the famous and glamorous Kitzbühel of Herman Pernsteiner.

Hermann Pernsteiner, as a TBM leader at his homeland tour was really excited before today's race and his teammates gave him a huge support to conclude a podium result. Hermann Pernsteiner expressed proudly and emotionally his satisfaction to take the podium position and an orange jersey as the best Austrian rider: "It was a really hard stage. At the beginning I was feeling a bit bad and I was very nervous, but my team was incredible! Thanks to all the guys; Gaspa, Kosta, Visco. Visco made such a great job at the last climb. Mark and Matej were there for me... Matej lead me to Kitzbühel so I entered first to the final climb. At the attack at the climb to Kitzbuheler Horn I was a little bit to late in reaction, but there are still lot of mountains to come at this race so I hope I will be better and better each day."

Giovanni Visconti kept the lead by the points classification and noted shortly; "Another good day. Not a victory, but we were close. We all tried and gave our best to support Hermann who finished second what is another big result for us. We want to win the Tour of Austria and we will give our best for sure to succeed in this. I am very tired after my yesterdays’ victory and from the first stage, but my head is good and I’m sure I will be here for Perni and other of my team-mates until the end."

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Stage 3 Result:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 3:30:11
2. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aust) Bahrain-Merida at 0:09
3. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 0:15
4. Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 0:25
5. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic
6. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Merida at 0:35
7. Mark Christian (GB) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:37
8. Javier Moreno (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:43
9. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:45
10. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:50

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 3:
1. Ben Hermans Israel Cycling Academy in 11:26:33
2. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aust) Bahrain-Merida at 0:18
3. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 0:26
4. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 0:40
5. Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic
6. Mark Christian (GB) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:47
7. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida at 0:50
8. Javier Moreno (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:58
9. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 1:00
10. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:05

Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida):



Stage 4 of Tour of Austria 2018 started in the glamorous Kitzbühel in Tyrol and Bahrain-Merida took another great victory by Giovanni Visconti at Prägraten im Osttirol!

TBM riders keep on with such a great spirit and goals for victories at Tour of Austria 2018. There is not much to say, then to congratulate Giovanni Visconti for another victory at the long uphill sprint. Two victories for Visconti within 3 days. Chapeau!

A respectful 4th place for Mark Padun who is uprising his performance at Tour of Austria 2018 and Hermann Pernsteiner at a 2nd place in GC by getting to just 8 seconds to Hermanns (Israel Cycling Academy), the GC leader after the Stage 4. Giovanni Visconti is still the leader by points and Hermann Pernsteiner keeps his orange jersey as the best Austrian.

It was really great to see Kanstantin Siotsou getting better and stronger on his favorite climbs. Nice to see Kosta uprising after his Giro injury.

Stage winner, Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida): "I'm really happy today. It's an amazing group. I'm not at the top of my condition - even if it seems strange - I feel tired, but with such a team everything becomes easier. The guys are always working hard. Matej Mohorič and Kanstantin Siutsou were fantastic in the final... I'm really very, very happy."

Tomorrow is probably the most demanding stage at Tour of Austria 2018. A queen stage from Matrei to Grossglockner. It will definitely be a suffering stage for all riders, but Team Bahrain Merida, with all the chemistry and ambitions are looking forward to the stage through the National Park and the famous Grossglockner the highest mountain in Austria.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Stage 4 Result:
1. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida in 3:14:28
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vérandas Willems-Crelan
3. Michael Bresciani (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida
5. Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
6. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
8. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
9. Floris Gerts (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
10. Daniel Geismayr (Aust) Team Vorarlberg Santic.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 4:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 14:41:01
2. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aust) Bahrain-Merida at 0:18
3. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 0:26
4. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 0:40
5. Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic
6. Mark Christian (GB) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:47
7. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida at 0:50
8. Javier Moreno (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:58
9. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 1:00
10. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:05.

Visconti wins stage 4:



A short, but a hard Stage 5 of Tour of Austria 2018 started in Matrei in Osttirol. A stage that was very demanding with a 12% climb to the top of the Grossglockner. Bahrain-Merida had a good performance again, not the victory, but the line-up has its man or two of the day. It was Antonio Nibali and Mark Padun who showed a good performance yesterday and better one today. A respectful 4th place for Antonio Nibali.

Giovanni Visconti is still the leader on points and Hermann Pernsteiner is keeping his orange jersey as the best Austrian and is still in 2nd place on GC, 18 seconds behind Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy).

4th on the stage, Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): "The stage was very hard. Short, but very hard. I was in the first breakaway with 12 more riders and we cooperated from the beginning very well. I felt pretty good and I saw my chance to continue that way. I had a good position at the bottom of the climb. I congratulate Peter Weening who came from behind and had shown that he was really strong today. I am happy with my 4th place today and I hope I will continue in a good way. I am happy for my team that is doing a great job, we really have a great teamwork here at Tour of Austria 2018."

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Stage 5 Result:
1. Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij in 2:50:32
2. Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:49
3. Simone Sterbini (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:11
4. Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:26
5. Javier Moreno (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 1:36
6. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) Team Felbermayr-Simplon Wels
7. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy at 1:40
8. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aust) Bahrain-Merida
9. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida at 1:51
10. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg-Santic at 1:53.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt - Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 5:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 17:33:13
2. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aust) Bahrain-Merida at 0:18
3. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 0:48
4. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg-Santic at 0:53
5. Javier Moreno (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:54
6. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida at 1:01
7. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) Team Felbermayr-Simplon Wels at 1:14
8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:45
9. Ildar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 1:49
10. Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 2:02.

Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finishing 4th:




The Achievement of a Lifetime: Eros Poli
Far behind riders of the stature of Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Mark Cavendish, in the history of the Tour de France there have been almost three hundred men who only got a fleeting taste of glory. letour.fr is retracing the steps of 10 champions who clinched a single stage win. In 1994, the Mont Ventoux was the focal point of the stage to Carpentras, where Eros Poli, one of the worst climbers in the peloton, managed to win after a 171 kilometers alone at the front in a display of sheer Italian class.

He looked like a fish out of water, but he was about to land the catch of a lifetime! Eros Poli, the archetypical self-effacing rider, was perfectly comfortable with his role as a domestique. The indefatigable, powerful and devoted Italian was one of the cogs in the machine of Mario Cipollini, a sprinter who never failed to blast away from the opposition as long as his train put him in the right position. Whether it was pulling on long straights to shut down an escape or shepherding and protecting his captain from the wind in the finale, Eros was top of the class. In the mountains, he was also good at setting the right pace in the gruppetto to make sure the worst climbers in the peloton finished inside the time limit. The Giant from Verona was one of these dreadful mountain men. Seeing him in action in the stage from Montpellier to Carpentras seemed as far-fetched as seeing an anvil have a go at the 4×100 meters medley world record. Yet the 1994 was a bag of surprises.

It all started when “Cipo” suffered a nasty injury during the last edition of the Vuelta held in April. Without the flamboyant sprinter to rack up win after win in the first week of the Tour, Mercatone Uno had been flailing around like a fish out of water since the start in Lille. Eros decided to roll the dice with solo attacks, for example in the stage to Futuroscope, but was bested by stage hunters from GB-MG Maglificio. It was precisely one of them, Rolf Järmann, who attacked treacherously when most of the peloton had ground to a halt for a “technical stop”. This angered Eros Poli, who caught the insolent Swiss, dropped him and went on a solo adventure with 171 kilometers to go, as if he had forgotten that the Mont Ventoux stood in his way.

The lowly rider
The gamble seemed insane at first, but Eros Poli steadily worked to shorten the odds. As he reached the foot of the Bald Mountain with a margin of 23′45″, his objective became clear. He had to limit the damage to a minute per kilometer and crown the Mont Ventoux with about 4 minutes to spare if he was to win the stage. Poli dragged his 1.94 m, 87 kg frame up the roads of the mountain, sweating like an animal and grinding on despite Pantani jumping from the peloton and mounting a furious chase. He went over the top and started the descent to Carpentras, still 41 kilometers away. However, the toughest part was over for Poli, who had been part of the team that won gold in the team time trial in the Los Angeles Olympics and felt right at home chugging along on the flat. He ended up crossing the line with 3′39″ on the runner-up. The following day, Françoise Inizan from L'Équipe described Poli's victory as a poetic and metaphorical work: “Eros Poli spared a delicate thought for all the lowly riders of the peloton. For all the anonymous assistants and loyal servants of their kings.”

More information on https://www.letour.fr/en/





La Course by Le Tour de France (WWT)
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED): "This year La Course returns to a one-day race, with a 118 kilometer route through the Alps, based on stage 10 of the Tour de France. We take a strong team to France, most of which are currently riding a great Giro Rosa campaign. Our results in Italy show that the whole team are in great form at the moment and we hope to continue this good momentum into France. With this team we have cards to play, with our youngsters Juliette and Liane riding brilliantly at the moment. We also have Ruth, Lucinda and Leah, and Floortje who is fresh out of Tour du Feminin, where she took two stage wins. We're looking forward to the new challenge that La Course will bring this year, and as always we are motivated for a really good race."

La Course by Le Tour de France (WWT)
Line-Up:

Lucinda Brand (NED), Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Juliette Labous (FRA), Liane Lippert (GER), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Ruth Winder (USA).
Coach: Hans Timmermans.

Lucinda Brand:
Palinuro - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Lucinda Brand (Netherlands / Sunweb) pictured during stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2017 (2.WWT) from Baronissi to Palinuro - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017



Former Neo-Pros Stay with Team for 2 More Years
Two former neo-pros have extended their time with Team Katusha-Alpecin. Danish rider Mads Würtz Schmidt (24) and Jenthe Biermans (22) have both signed two-year contracts.

General Manager José Azevedo: "When we sign a neo-pro rider I don’t look for results from them, I look for improvement. From these two riders, every three or four-months, I have seen a step forward in their riding. This year in the classics, Mads had some bad luck when he crashed in Paris-Roubaix so that took him out of contention, but then he came to the Giro and did a very good first big tour with interesting results, namely a seventh place in stage 10. This was the confirmation of his potential that we expected.

Jenthe has also shown himself in the classics. We believe he can be a very good classics rider. When we sign these riders as under 23, and then when we see them improve and show the potential they have, it would make no sense at all to lose these guys. We are happy to continue the work and the process with them to make them strong riders"
, concluded Azevedo.

Look for announcements of more signings in the near future.





Mediofondo Casartelli Postponed to September 23rd
Mediofondo and Randonnee in memory of Fabio Casartelli, initially scheduled on July 15th, 2018 in Albese con Cassano (Como, Italy), have been delayed for technical reasons.

The Mediofondo and Randonne event in memory of Fabio Casartelli – the Olympic gold medallist in Barcellona 1992 tragically died during the Tour de France 1995 – initially scheduled on July 15th, 2018 in Albese con Cassano (Como, Northern Italy) have been postponed to September 23rd for technical reasons, as "Fabio Casartelli" Foundation announced today.

The Mediofondo Casartelli’s timetables and services remain unchanged. The race is still valid for the Trofeo Lombardia and the Mediofondo Italian Championship ranking.

The registration fees received so far will stay good for the new date. For any other information, please send an e-mail to [email protected]

Fabio Casartelli during the Tour de France 1995:







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