Marcel Kittel claims his third Tour de France stage as Vincenzo Nibali defends yellow

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has claimed his third victory in four stages at the 2014 Tour de France, sprinting to victory in Lille at the end of stage 4. Vincenzo Nibali once again finished safely in the main field to maintain his lead in the general classification ahead of his third day in yellow.

TdFr Stage - 3

The day’s breakaway featured just two riders for the second day in a row, this time with Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis). On a stage that was designed with the sprinters in mind, the pair was never likely to succeed. Mate was caught with roughly 54km to go after suffering a puncture while Voeckler pressed on and was able to hold off the peloton until about 16km to go.

The run in to the finish in Lille featured narrow roads and technical corners but, for the most part, the riders got through unharmed (Lotto-Belisol’s Greg Henderson being an exception). In the finale Marcel Kittel proved strongest once again, passing Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) just before the line. Arnaud Demare was third.

Vincenzo Nibali finished safely on bunch time and will wear yellow for a third consecutive day on stage 5 — a day that’s all about the cobbles.

Stage 4: Le Touquet Paris-Plage > Lille - Stage Result

Tuesday 8th July 2014

1. de
Team Giant-Shimano
2. no
KRISTOFF Alexander
Team Katusha
3. fr
DéMARE Arnaud

Click here to read the full stage report here at CyclingTips.

Marianne Vos wins stage 4 of the Giro Rosa and maintains her overall lead

With five days of racing now completed in the Giro Rosa, the Dutch Rabo-Liv squad has four stage wins and a second place. Two of those stage wins belong to overall leader Marianne Vos who took her second victory in a bunch sprint on stage 4 yesterday.

Giro Rosa 2014 stage - 4

The 118km stage along the Adriatic coast was an almost entirely flat affair, save for a short climb within 10km of the finish in Jesi.

After a number of attacks in the opening stages of the race, Yulia Ilinykh (Bizkaia-Durango) made a breakaway stick after roughly 50km and rode away solo. She managed to stay away for the next few hours and with 25km left in the race Ilinykh still had more than three minutes on the peloton. But as the peloton increased its workrate, a catch looked likely to happen before the end, but only just.

With 5km to go Ilinykh still had a lead of 30 seconds but she was caught roughly a kilometre later, setting things up for a bunch sprint.

In the end it was the inimitable Marianne Vos who proved strongest once again, winning ahead of Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) and Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv). Vos maintains her overall lead in the general classification ahead of her teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (+31 seconds) and Hitec Products’ Elisa Longo Borghini (+39 seconds).

Stage 4: Alba Adriatica > Jesi - Stage Result

Tuesday 8th July 2014

1. nl
VOS Marianne
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team
2. us
OLDS Shelley
Alé Cipollini
3. nl
BRAND Lucinda
Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team

Dayer Quintana wins stage 3 of the Tour of Austria, Kennaugh holds firm in the overall lead

Dayer Quintana (Movistar) has soloed to an impressive victory on stage 3 of the Tour of Austria, outclimbing his breakaway companions on the brutal stage-ending climb to Kitzbüheler Horn.

Image: Movistar

Image: Movistar

Dayer Quintana, younger brother of Giro d’Italia winner Nairo, was in a 10-rider breakaway that escaped from the peloton on the 206km stage. The group gained 10 minutes on the peloton but their advantage was reduced to 1:30 ahead of the final climb. On the 7km climb, which averages more than 12% gradient, Quintana left his fellow escapees behind to celebrate his first victory since joining the WorldTour.

“A dream came true today, I’ll call my brother Nairo immediately,” Dayer Quintana said. “My whole family is happy with me. The weather was no problem for me, I was in the first group right from the beginning. But it’s always a risk if the group can make it to the finish. Today, it did!”

Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh maintained his overall lead in the race after finishing third on the stage, 54 seconds behind Quintana.

Stage 3: Bad Ischl > Kitzbüheler Horn - Stage Result

Tuesday 8th July 2014

1. co
Movistar Team
2. it
CARUSO Damiano
3. gb
Team Sky

Mykhaylo Kononenko wins stage 3 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Polivoda maintains GC lead

Mother Nature was not kind to the riders on stage 3 of the 2014 Tour of Qinghai Lake, as torrential rain and plummeting temperatures chased the riders from the start in Huzhu across the Tibentan Plateau to the former military town of Xihaizhen.

It was the longest stage of the tour, at 232km, and included a dragging 1,200m incline over 100km, cresting at 3451m elevation 132km into the day. With so much flat riding after the crest of the climb, there was little worry from yellow jersey wearer Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss) about losing his lead, trusting in his teammates to help bring back the inevitable gaps that would form over the climb.

Image: 7Cycling

Image: 7Cycling

Polivoda’s team rode the front for an impressive 115km, slowly reeling back the five riders who escaped from the field on the climb. Most impressive of the five was Iranian Ghader Mizbani (Tabriz Petrochemical), who attacked the group to solo over the climb and earn the first KOM points and jersey offered at this year’s edition of the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

The yellow jersey was not all the Kolss team was celebrating at the finish. After working at the front all day for Polivoda, teammate Mykhaylo Kononenko motored away from a group of four that had been whittle down from 18 in the final 15km to win the stage. Kononenko took Thomas Vaubourzeix (La Pommes Marseille) to the line for what the Frenchman described as the hardest day of his cycling career. Blue jersey Ilya Davidenok (Astana) took third on the stage 27 seconds behind Kononenko to defend his best Asian rider jersey.

Stage 3: Huzhu > Xihai - Stage Result

Tuesday 8th July 2014

1. ua
Kolss Cycling Team
2. fr
Team La Pomme Marseille 13
3. kz
Continental Team Astana

Text adapted from a Tour of Qinghai Lake press release.

Koen de Kort talks about Kittel’s stage wins and tomorrow’s big stage 5 over the cobbles

Mark Cavendish declines legal action against Alexander Kristoff over ‘crashed on purpose’ accusation

Mark Cavendish has decided not to pursue legal action against Alexander Kristoff after he suggested that Cavendish may have “crashed on purpose” during the sprint on stage one of the Tour de France.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 1

Cavendish’s agent, Simon Bayliff, told the BBC that Cavendish was “shocked and angry”.

“He has no idea where Kristoff is coming from,” Bayliff said. “I’d normally say it’s best just to let some things go, but this is libellous and we are considering legal action.”

Kristoff responded to Norwegian TV 2 before Tuesday’s stage saying, “I had expected more from a rider as big as Cavendish. I can’t really understand what his lawsuit will be based on. I must be allowed to have an opinion like this. It’s my right.

“It was his fault the crash happened. I think he rode dangerously in the sprint, that’s how it looked like from where I was riding. But others may have other opinions.

“I don’t mind that. I feel sorry for him getting hurt. I hope he recovers well and fast. And then we’ll see if there will be a lawsuit or not.”

Read more at The Telegraph.

Lotto Belisol loses Henderson to crash

Today on Stage 4 Greg Henderson crashed and injured his right knee which had just undergone surgery in the offseason.

Lotto-Belisol team doctor Jan Mathieu said in a press release that Henderson would require stitches to his right knee: “Greg Henderson has a deep cut of twelve centimeters on his right knee,” Mathieu said. “During a first check-up in the medical cabinet after the finish, the wound was stitched. Tonight Greg will go to the hospital of Herentals where he will undergo minor surgery by doctor Toon Claes. The knee will be drained to avoid the wound gets infected.”

TdFr Stage - 4

Henderson said on social media, “I can’t express how upset I am right now. Nothing to say but my knee exploded and I had to hold it together till I could get to the Ambulance. At the TDF clinic they didn’t have the correct equipment to drain and stitch so I’m off for surgery now. Will know more tomorrow re resuming training.

No obvious fracture for Froome, but cobbles will decide

Tour de France race doctor Florence Pommerie has said that the x-rays and scans taken of Chris Froome’s wrist at the finish don’t reveal any obvious signs of a fracture and that the rider will try to continue in the race on Wednesday.


“We didn’t see a very, very big thing. We don’t know really if there is something important or not. He doesn’t seem to have anything [fractured] or, if there is something, it could be very, very small,” she told a small group of media at the Tour’s mobile medical clinic, several minutes after Froome left without passing comment.

“So we decided to wait, to immobilise him, because there is no big thing on the radio [x-ray]. But sometimes we don’t see anything because the wrist is a very special place.”

Froome crashed early on stage four, hitting the deck when two riders in front of him came together and one was pushed across his front wheel. He quickly remounted and chased back on, but later was given a support to wear on his wrist in the race.

Read the full story here.

Andy Schleck withdraws from the Tour de France after stage 3 crash

by Shane Stokes

Andy Schleck’s aim of riding the Tour in support of his brother Fränk and teammate Haimar Zubeldia while also building his own form over three weeks has come unravelled with the Trek Factory Racing rider forced to withdraw from the race.

Trek Factory Racing press conference TdFr 2014

The 2010 Tour de France winner hit the deck with approximately 30 kilometres remaining on Monday’s third stage. He remounted slowly and got back on his bike, riding on to the finish. He crossed the line one minute and five seconds behind the main bunch, which was led in by Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano).

His team said afterwards that he was scraped and bruised and had stiffness in his right leg, but was expected to continue in the race. However Schleck said prior to the start of today’s fourth stage that plans had to be changed as a result of his condition.

His team confirmed the news, saying that Schleck would seek rapid medical attention to treat the issue.

“We are sad to announce that Andy Schleck cannot take the start in Le Tour today. The ligaments and meniscus around the right knee are too severely damaged from his crash in yesterday’s final. He will travel to Basel now for examination and a possible operation.”

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Jonathan Vaughters confirms sponsorship change for Team Garmin-Sharp in 2015

Garmin-Sharp team manager Jonathan Vaughters has confirmed that the name of the team will change in 2015 but that Garmin would remain as a sponsor.

team presentation opening ceremony - TdFr 2014

He told Cyclingnews: “Garmin has a contract with the team next year but not as a title sponsor. The team name will definitely change next year, yes.”

Vaughters refused to answer questions about who the new title sponsor would be, saying “that remains to be seen. We have a financial situation where we have a lead partner but we’re not talking about it until the Tour de France is over.”

Meanwhile Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov suggested that some sort of partnership between Garmin-Sharp and Cannondale had been reached when he tweeted: “@Vaughters good deal with @cannondalePro. I am very much support it! #changecycling”

The tweet was quickly deleted.

Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.

How the Tour de France makes money

Speaking to non cycling fans in the past week you might have been asked why the Tour de France didn’t start in France this year. The answer, at least partially, is because there’s money to be made in doing so.

The Inner Ring has published a piece looking at the benefits of starting Le Tour outside of France and how, more generally, ASO makes money from the Tour. According to the Inner Ring, the ASO has four primary income streams from the Tour:

– hosting fees for the grand départ and then stage starts and finishes
– TV rights money
– the publicity caravan
– race sponsors

Be sure to check out the full piece here at The Inner Ring.

Top Gear’s James May on bicycles

The folks at British motoring show Top Gear aren’t particularly known for their love of cyclists and cycling, which is why this piece from one of the show’s presenters, James May, is worth a read. He begins by saying: “What I am about to say is not going to be popular with at least one of my Top Gear colleagues, but here goes anyway. I’d like to stick up for the bicycle.”

He does just that, explaining what he sees as the benefits of cycling (he often cycles himself), before suggesting:

Bicycles should never be regulated, they should never be subject to road tax, they should not require third-party insurance and competence to ride a bicycle should not be tested. It tests itself, because if you can’t do it, you have a crash. Bicycles are the first rung on the personal-transport ladder and should be free at the point of use. I’ll champion the bicycle until I’m worn through to the canvas.

Click here to read the full article at the TopGear website.

Video: cyclist somersaults through the air after being hit by a car

Here’s what it looks like to be hit by a car and go catapulting over the handlebars.

The crash left the cyclist with fractures to two cervical discs in his neck and plenty of bruising. He said “[The driver] came out of nowhere. The impact was so quick I had no time to stop.”

The driver allegedly drove off without stopping. Police are using the footage to investigate the incident.

Click here to read more at the Bristol Post.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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