Rui Costa wins Tour de Suisse after final-stage victory

Reigning world champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) has won his third Tour de Suisse title over the weekend, taking the lead on the final stage with a win at the summit finish to Saas-Fee.

Tour de Suisse 2014 stage - 9

Costa won the ninth and final stage by 14 seconds over Bauke Mollema (Belkin) and 24 seconds over Mathis Frank (IAM Cycling), taking the leader’s jersey off the shoulders of Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in the process.

Martin had taken the lead in the stage 1 ITT and held it all the way to the final day of racing, extending his lead in the lumpy stage 7 ITT in the process.

After staying close to Martin on the penultimate stage to Verbier (which was won by Orica-GreenEdge’s Esteban Chaves), Rui Costa was 1:05 off the overall lead going into the final stage. Costa got himself in a breakaway early on the final stage (with Martin in the peloton) and then attacked on the final climb, winning the stage and taking the overall victory over Mathias Frank and Bauke Mollema.

The win is Costa’s third consecutive Tour de Suisse title and confirms that the Portuguese rider comes into the Tour de France in good form.

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 22nd June 2014

1. pt
2. ch
FRANK Mathias
IAM Cycling
3. nl
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team

Philippe Gilbert wins Ster ZLM Toer following two stage victories

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has won his third Ster ZLM Toer after taking out the queen stage of this year’s race over the weekend and sealing the overall victory in the five-stage Dutch race.

Ster ZLM Toer 2014 stage - 5

Going into stage 4 Gilbert was fourth overall having led the race earlier in the week thanks to a victory in the prologue ITT. On the fourth stage, in the Belgian Ardennes, Gilbert was the strongest in the uphill sprint in La Gileppe, taking three seconds from compatriot Time Wellens (Lotto Belisol) and six seconds from Paul Martens (Belkin). In doing so he also put more than three minutes into then-race-leader Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), taking the overall lead in the process.

The stage win was set up perfectly by Gilbert’s BMC team who set a strong tempo on the many climbs throughout the stage, including the Cote de la Redoute and Col du Rossier. And when a four-rider move was brought back late in proceedings it set Gilbert up perfectly for a trademark attack on the final climb, distancing all his rivals in the process.

Gilbert took a 12-second lead into the final stage and was able to finish safely in the bunch. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the stage in a sprint ahead of Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) who finishes the five-stage race with three second-place finishes.

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 22nd June 2014

1. be
GILBERT Philippe
BMC Racing Team
2. be
Lotto Belisol
3. be
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step

Click here to read more at Cycling Quotes.

Nicolas Roche takes out the Route du Sud

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) has won his first stage race as a professional, taking out the three-stage Route du Sud in France over the weekend.

Roche set up his victory on stage 2 when he won solo to the summit finish at Val Louron, 45 seconds clear of a six-rider group led by his Australian teammate Michael Rogers.

With that win Roche put himself 45 seconds clear of second-placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) going into the final stage. An eight-rider break got up the road early on the final stage but on the hilly terrain the group was split in two and eventually wrapped up by the chasing Tinkoff-Saxo riders. Adriano Malori (Movistar) snuck clear of the bunch in the closing kilometres and took the win by five seconds.

After securing overall victory in the race Nicolas Roche said:

“It was a magnificent feeling crossing the finish line taking my very first GC win after three days of very hard racing. It was enjoyable experiencing my teammates so dedicated and determined to support me and of course, this is their victory as well. Surely, this was a confident booster before taking on the Tour de France in a couple of weeks so obviously, I’m looking forward to it.”

Final Classification: > - Stage Result

Sunday 22nd June 2014

1. ie
ROCHE Nicolas
2. es
VALVERDE Alejandro
Movistar Team
3. au
ROGERS Michael

Valentina Scandolara takes solo win at the Giro del Trentino

Valentina Scandolara has taken her first victory in Orica-AIS colours, winning the Giro del Trentino on home soil with a long-range solo attack.


The Giro del Trentino was formerly a three-day race but it was reduced to a single-day affair this year with the riders taking in 105km with a decisive climb roughly 20km from the end.

Scandolara was the first to attack, inside the first 40km, but she was soon brought back.

“Shortly after Valentina was caught, a group of 14 went away and we had four,” explained Orica-AIS director sportif Gene Bates. “A group with Katrin Garfoot countered that catch. After Garfoot’s group came back, Scandolara, McLean and Elvin went away.”

On the day’s main climb a small group got away while Scandolara was in the chase group. Along with Tatiana Antoshina (RusVelo) Scandolara bridged to the leaders at the top of the climb.

In the less than 20km remaining to the finish there was a barrage of attacks which resulted in the formation of a six-rider group out front. Scandolara attacked inside the final kilometre, and was able to hold off the efforts of the five chasers by five seconds. Bronzini was second while Rosella Ratto (Estado de México-Faren Kuota) was third, capping an all-Italian podium.

1. it
Orica - AIS
2. it
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
3. it
RATTO Rossella
Estado de México-Faren Kuota

Text adapted from an Orica-GreenEdge press release.

French newspaper claims UCI hasn’t followed WADA’s rules over TUE approval

by Shane Stokes

Following on from its claims last week that the UCI may have broken its own rules over the approval of the use of a corticosteroid by Chris Froome in the Tour de Romandie, the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche said on Sunday that the UCI had not followed WADA regulations on the granting of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).


According to the paper, it pressed WADA’s director general David Howman on the matter. It reports that Howman has said that he and WADA have ‘asked the UCI to rapidly remedy the shortcomings identified in this case.’

The Journal du Dimanche clarifies that the shortcomings are the lack of a committee to approve the usage of TUEs. Under WADA regulation 2.1.1, ‘The ADO [anti-doping organisation] must set up a network of physicians responsible for evaluating TUE applications.

“TUE Committees (TUECs) should include at least three physicians with experience in the care and treatment of athletes and a sound knowledge of clinical, sports and exercise medicine (see Article 6.1 of the International Standard for TUEs). The TUEC will be chaired by one of the member physicians.”

According to le Journal du Dimanche, approvals of TUEs are currently the sole responsibility of the UCI’s medical commission coordinator Dr. Mario Zorzoli. It said that following WADA’s approach, the UCI will now put the committee in place this week in time for the Tour de France.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Acquarone ready for July hearing against RCS: “I want justice”

by Shane Stokes

Former Giro d’Italia chief Michele Acquarone has spoken in detail about his upcoming court battle with former employers RCS Sport, saying that he was given assurances his job was safe days before he was sacked, that he was told by police he was not a suspect in the fraud carried out at the company, and that he believes RCS’s dismissal of him is illegal.


Acquarone stated in recent days on Twitter that his unfair dismissal case against RCS Sport will take place on July 29 in a Milan court; he has now talked at length about that situation with CyclingTips, and believes that he will triumph in two actions against the company.

In early October 2013 Acquarone was sidelined from his position as head of the Giro d’Italia and the COO of RCS Sport, as was former RCS CEO Giacomo Catano. The suspensions were carried out after RCS Sport said that a possible misappropriation of 13 million euro had been detected and that an audit would be carried out.

“I am looking forward to the 29th of July in the court in Milan, because I want to see what the judge will say,” he told CyclingTips this weekend. “Maybe it will be a long process, maybe not just one day, but I need to know.

“In my opinion, what they did was really bad. Even if they are a big company, if they have big power, they cannot do things like that. And I still don’t know the reason.”

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.

Sean Kelly on Sky’s Tour: ‘For sure I think they will be under more pressure”

by Shane Stokes

Former world number one and Eurosport analyst Sean Kelly believes Team Sky and Chris Froome will start the Tour de France under pressure, with cracks visible for the first time in three years.


The team dominated the Tour de France in 2012 with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, and again last year with the latter. It also took a number of other victories in both seasons. This year has been a more rocky one, however, with a number of riders suffering crashes and illnesses, Wiggins and Froome showing ongoing signs of tension, the 2012 winner being told that he won’t ride the Tour, and then losing out the chance of forcing himself into selection when he crashed out of the Tour de Suisse.

“We have seen that Sky are maybe not as dominant as they were two years ago and last year,” Kelly told CyclingTips. “If you look at last year, they were probably more dominant in the early part of the season. This year they haven’t been doing that.

“For sure I think they will be under more pressure. It is certainly going on and on and on this year for them. Right from the beginning they have had problems with crashes and riders not going well and viruses and all of that. So it is ongoing. It is going to be a concern for Sky, definitely.”

He said that in addition to Sky having possible confidence issues as a result of this, other teams will also believe that the team is beatable, giving them additional motivation. “The other teams are going to be thinking that there is a chance there. Sky have had their problems and they will think that perhaps this is the year where they can possibly break them. They will certainly aim to test them and put them under pressure.”

Click here to read the full story here at CyclingTips.

Aussie young gun Alex Morgan to ride for the BMC Development Team

Nineteen-year-old Victorian cyclist Alex Morgan announced on Twitter over the weekend that he’s secured a spot with the BMC Development Team for the rest of 2014.

Morgan rides both track and road, and was part of the Australian team that won the men’s team pursuit world championship last year.

Council slammed for “heavy handed” camping ban on Tour de France climb

The Kirkless Council in West Yorkshire has come under fire for putting up ‘No Camping’ signs by the side of the road on the Holme Moss climb ahead of this year’s Tour de France.

The race will pass over the climb on stage 2, but with makeshift kerb stones and boulders put in place by the local council, campers are being detered from setting up by the road side.

Former mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Martyn Bolt, said the measures were “draconian”.

“I think Kirklees has been very heavy-handed over this,” he said. “The signs send out completely the wrong message and anyone looking at where to go to watch the tour may decide to go somewhere else instead.”

A spokesman for the council said: “People are welcome to bring caravans and motorhomes to the event but we would ask that they follow the spectator guidelines and park only in designated car parks as they cannot be left at the roadside. This is to enable the safe running of the race, protect land owned by local people from damage and allow space for the large number of spectators who are expected to line the route at this iconic location.”

Click here to read more at the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

Cycling around Iran

In the comments section of an article Shane Stokes wrote last week about Iranian cycling, reader Alee Denham shared a great little video of his time spend riding around Iran last year.

It’s an interesting look at a country we really know very little about here in the West and a country which, it would seem, has some great cycling terrain on offer!

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:

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Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon and was taken on the Cote de la Redoute during the Ster ZLM Toer.