Vincenzo Nibali wins stage 2 of the Tour de France, takes overall lead

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) has won stage 2 of the Tour de France, crossing the line in Sheffield solo after putting in a trademark late attack with just 1.9km left to race.

TDFR 2014 - tage 2

The newly crowned Italian national champion was part of an elite lead group of roughly 20 riders that crested the day’s final climb with 5km to go before launching an attack that no-one was able to bring back.

The day’s main breakaway of seven riders formed after 11km and featured Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol), Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing), Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Perrig Quemener (Europcar), David De la Cruz (NetApp-Endura), Armindo Fonsesca (Bretagne-Seche Environment) and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis). After crossing the first four of the day’s nine climbs together, the breakaway dissolved on Cote de Holme Moss with roughly 58km to go, with Blel Kadri going away solo.

He was caught a short-time later and as the peloton tackled the remaining climbs of the day, the group was thinned right out due to the high tempo being ridden at the front.

Most of the GC contenders came to the front at the base of the final climb, just 6km from the finish and defending champion Chris Froome (Sky) even put in an attack on the 800m climb. But over the top of the climb the group of roughly 20 was all back together.

A volley of attacks from inside that lead group came to nothing before Nibali took his chance 1.9km from the finish. He was able to build up a lead quickly and with a lack of organisation in the main field, Nibali was able to stay away to win the stage and take the overall lead. Greg van Avermaet (BMC) was second while Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was third, the pair leading home the chase group two seconds in arrears.

Stage 2: York > Sheffield - Stage Result

Sunday 6th July 2014

1. it
NIBALI Vincenzo
Astana Pro Team
2. be
BMC Racing Team
3. pl
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step

Click here to read a full stage report from stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France.

Giorgia Bronzini wins stage 2 of the Giro Rosa, Vos maintains overall lead

Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) has won stage 2 of the Giro Rosa, sprinting to victory in Frattamaggiore at the end of a 120km circuit race.

After a fast start to the race in which the peloton averaged 44km/h, Alexandra Burchenkova (RusVelo) escaped from the main field on the fourth of six laps around a 20km circuit. Going into the penultimate lap Burchenkova had roughly 90 seconds on the peloton, which was being led by Ale Cipollini and Hitec Products.

Burchenkova had a gap of just 10 seconds as she began the final lap and she was soon swamped. Despite a late attack from Valentina Bastianelli (SC Michela Fanini Rox), the race was destined to come down to a sprint finish.

And so it was, with former world champion Giorgia Bronzini taking the win ahead of overall leader Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) and Shelley Olds (Ale Cipollini).

Vos holds on to her overall lead with seven stages left in the 10-day race.

Stage 2: Frattamaggiore > Frattamaggiore - Stage Result

Sunday 6th July 2014

1. it
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
2. nl
VOS Marianne
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
3. us
OLDS Shelley
Alé Cipollini

Click here to read more at Podium Cafe.

Peter Kennaugh wins Tour of Austria opener

Little more than a week after winning the British national road championship, Peter Kennaugh (Sky) has won the opening stage of the Tour of Austria.

Kennaugh launched a late solo attack, inside the final two kilometres of the second category summit finish, and was able to hold off the chasers to win by 11 seconds. Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo) was second while Javier Moreno (Movistar) was third.

Stage 2 of the eight-stage Tour of Austria sees the riders cover 181km between Waidhofen/Ybbs and Bad Ischl with three categorised climbs along the way.

Stage 1: Tulln > Sonntagberg - Stage Result

Sunday 6th July 2014

1. gb
Team Sky
2. ch
ZAUGG Oliver
3. es
Movistar Team

Oleksandr Polivoda wins stage 1 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake

The 13th Tour of Qinghai Lake got off to an unexpected start yesterday, with a surprise breakaway taking victory on a day that was predicted to end with a bunch finish. Under the shadows of the towering new construction in the capital city of Xining, the race set out for a relatively short 121km circuit race, divided into seven pancake-flat laps around the outskirts of the city.

While the usual flurry of attacks came early and often, it wasn’t until the fourth lap that the move of 14 riders in the breakaway could roll away. As the group settled in, one last daring attack would create the winning move of the day.

Image: 7Cycling

Image: 7Cycling

With three laps to go, and with less than a minute separating the two groups, a pair of riders took off on a seemingly impossible move, attacking their breakaway companions as a catch seemed inevitable. Ilya Davidenok (Astana Continental) and Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss) quickly gained a 15 second advantage on the break, but with 55km remaining, few riders in the group that became the chasers took notice, and continued to work together to stay away from the approaching field.

Just 30 seconds ahead of the chasers heading into the final 17km lap, the two leaders appeared doomed. And 1:15 behind the chasers, the main field was launching a full-on assault, with multiple teams lining up their full squads in a desperate move to close down the gap before the finish. Both groups slowly reeled back time to their respective targets, but it wouldn’t be enough for either.

At 2km to go, it became clear that the two leaders would not be caught, and a sprint soon emerged on the long, straight road to the finish. Polivoda outsprinted Davidenok on the line to take the win, as Portugese rider Jose Goncalves (La Pommes Marseille) took the third step on the podium, winning the sprint out the remaining 12 in the breakaway.

The 13-stage race continues today with a 188km stage from Duoba to Datong.

Stage 1: Xining > Xining - Stage Result

Sunday 6th July 2014

1. ua
POLIVODA Oleksandr
Kolss Cycling Team
2. kz
Continental Team Astana
3. pt
Team La Pomme Marseille 13

Text adapted from a Tour of Qinghai Lake press release.

Fernando Alonso to buy an existing team, rather than start his own?

Around the time of the Giro d’Italia there were suggestions that progress had stalled on the creation of Fernando Alonso’s cycling team. The Spanish press is now suggesting that, rather than setting up a team from scratch, the Formula 1 champion could be set to buy his way into team ownership.

Alonso was originally slated to buy the ailing Euskatel Euskadi team last year, but the deal fell through at the last minute, spelling the end of the Basque team. Spanish website Ciclismo is now suggesting that several teams — namely Giant-Shimano and Belkin — have been in contact with Alonso with an eye to selling the business to Alonso.

Click here to

Team Belkin hoping to attract a new sponsor with Tour de France performance

Team Belkin has come to the Tour de France with GC ambitions for its Dutch leader Bauke Mollema but the team is also hoping to use the Grand Boucle to attract a new sponsor for the team.

Electronics giant Belkin announced they’d end their sponsorship of the team at the end of 2014, leaving team management looking for a replacement naming sponsor. The danger for Belkin is that if they don’t find a sponsor soon, riders will start looking for spots on other teams.

“Yeah, we are worried about the guys leaving, but there’s also possibilities coming up for us,” said the team’s general manager, Richard Plugge.

“It’s possible that our search is even better during the Tour de France because there’s a lot of interest on the race and the sponsors see the potential in cycling. They see that the sports progressing well and going in a good way. It’s good.”

Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Follow Tour de France riders on Strava

If you want to get a different perspective on what the riders go through in the Tour de France, you can head to Strava and follow a bunch of the pros’ daily efforts there. According to Strava there are 12 riders in this year’s race that are on Strava: Lars Boom, Bram Tankink, Laurens ten Dam, Cédric Pineau, Thibaut Pinot, Jérémy Roy, Ted King, Marcel Wyss, David Lopez, Niki Terpstra, Romain Bardet and Marcus Burghardt .

Head through to Strava’s Tour de France page for links to each rider’s Strava profile, as well as viewable (and downloadable) routes for each of the 21 stage in this year’s Tour.

Enjoy the moment

It’s fair to say that the crowds on the first two stages of this year’s Tour de France have been nothing short of spectacular. But with large supporter numbers has come plenty of near-misses and some collisions.

One of the biggest problems is spectators leaning out into the road to take photos, often oblivious of their surroundings. Many of the riders have taken to Twitter to urge fans to take greater care. Australia’s Zak Dempster (NetApp-Endura) provided a helpful list of the most dangerous “selfies” one can take:

You might remember back at Gent-Wevelgem the Belgian fan/photographer who made headlines for lying in the middle of the road taking photos of the peloton. At the time The Inner Ring wrote about the incident, saying that spectators not only need to ensure they stay safe, but that taking photos actually isn’t the best way to watch a bike race. His advice is as relevant now as it was then –

Unless you’re a keen and confident photographer one tip is to put the camera aside when the riders appear. The risk is you waited patiently by the road and then when the moment came, wound up concerned about your phone and a two-dimensional JPEG rather than taking in the sound, movement, smells and everything else that makes visiting a race special. Enjoy the moment.

Alabama man pleads guilty to reckless endangerment after posting videos of himself harassing cyclists

You might remember the videos of Keith Maddox, a man from Alabama who seemingly took a liking to terrorising cyclists, filming the incidents, then posting them online. Here’s a compilation of his “greatest hits”:

It would seem that someone alerted the local authorities to Maddox’s efforts and the Calhoun County Sherrif’s Department subsequently arrested the man for “reckless endangerment”.

Maddox pleaded guilty and was reportedly ordered to attend an anger management course. He also took to Facebook to apologise for his behaviour.

Click here to read more at Bicycling.

Onboard footage of stage 1 at the Tour de France

The Rocacorba Recap

With the Tour de France and Giro Rosa in full swing, we won’t blame you if you’ve missed a few of the things we’ve been doing here at CyclingTips. Here’s a small selection:

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