Lars Boom wins on the cobbles of Le Tour’s stage 5 as Chris Froome crashes out

Lars Boom (Belkin) has won a memorable fifth stage of the 2014 Tour de France after escaping from an elite lead group on the final sector of cobblestones less than 7km from the finish. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished third and extended his lead over his main GC rivals while 2013 winner Chris Froome (Sky) crashed out of the race.

TDFR 2014 - stage - 5

Rain fell for the entirety of the 155km stage and there was a whole host of crashes even before the cobbled sectors began. The biggest of those came just before the first sector of cobbles when Chris Froome crashed for the second time on the stage and abandoned the race.

A breakaway group of nine riders made the early running: Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Mathew Hayman (Orica-GreenEdge), Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Sharp), Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol), Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Rein Taaramae (Cofidis). After being whittled down rider by rider the last of the escapees was caught with 28km to go while the peloton had been thinned right down due, in part, to a series of crashes.

Lars Boom attacked from a three-rider group on the final sector of cobbles and stayed away beating Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali by 19 seconds.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) lost more than two minutes to Nibali on the stage after being distanced on an early pave sector and other GC contenders — including Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) — also lost time.

Nibali leads the GC by two seconds from Fuglsang while Peter Sagan is third, 44 seconds behind.

Stage 5: Ypres > Arenberg Porte du Hainaut - Stage Result

Wednesday 9th July 2014

1. nl
Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
2. dk
Astana Pro Team
3. it
NIBALI Vincenzo
Astana Pro Team

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

Froome devastated by Tour exit

Froome abandoned the fifth stage 69km from home after crashing for the second time on the rain-sodden roads, and those falls came just 24 hours after he had injured his wrist in an early tumble at the start of stage four.

He told, “I’m devastated to have to pull out of the race. It was the right thing to do after crashing again and I knew that I couldn’t carry on.

“I’m going to fly home tonight and over the next few days I’ll go for some more scans on my wrist to find out exactly what injuries I’ve sustained.

“The X-ray last night didn’t show an obvious fracture and I wanted to race today, but clearly I was in pain and we put heavy strapping on the left wrist from the start. It’s too early to say for definite when I’ll be back on the bike, I’m just going to concentrate on getting back to full fitness.”

Team doctor Alan Farrell said, “Chris first suffered a fall yesterday and landed on his left wrist. Initial X-rays were reassuring, but with the nature of the bones involved at the wrist, it was prudent to keep an open mind on any potential fracture that might not have been evident straight away.

“Chris underwent appropriate medical treatment last night, and again this morning, and he was able to start today’s stage.

“Unfortunately, due to the nature and location of Chris’s injury, it made controlling the bike difficult, and with the treacherous conditions, the decision was taken between Chris and I to withdraw from the race.

“Chris is bitterly disappointed but recognises that it was the right thing to do. He will now return home and undergo more extensive investigations. We will treat him as appropriate for his injuries and hope to see him back on the bike in the very near future.”

Read more at on the Team Sky website.

Marianne Vos wins a third stage of the Giro Rosa, stays in maglia rosa

Marianne Vos’s stranglehold on the 2014 Giro Rosa has continued on stage 5 with the world champion winning her third stage of this year’s race and ensuring she’ll wear the leader’s maglia rosa for a fifth straight day.

Giro Rosa 2014 stage - 5

The 118km stage took the riders from Jesi to Cesenatico with only one difficulty along the way — a short climb roughly 40km from the finish.

A breakaway of two riders — Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) and Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) — got away early in proceedings, the latter searching for points on the day’s only climb to extend her lead in the QOM classification. After 40km the pair was brought back to the peloton and it was Audrey Cordon (Hitec Products) who went on the attack next. She was caught with 65km still remaining, and the bunch remained together for the rest of the race.

Anna van der Breggen took the maximum points over the day’s only climb, ahead of Scandolara and Alena Amialiusik (Astana-BePink), and from there it was a fast and flat run into the finish.

In the final sprint it was Marianne Vos who proved stronger than even the pure sprinters, beating Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) and Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) to take her third stage win and her team’s fifth win from six stages so far.

The Giro Rosa continues tomorrow with stage 6, the first alpine stage of the race which features a 13km climb that peaks 28km from the finish.

Stage 5: Jesi > Cesenatico - Stage Result

Wednesday 9th July 2014

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

Oscar Gatto takes his second stage win at the Tour of Austria, Peter Kennaugh maintains GC lead

Cannondale’s Oscar Gatto has taken his second stage win at the Tour of Austria, winning the bunch sprint into Matrei ahead of Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Marco Haller (Katusha).

A three-man group got out of the peloton early in proceedings — Giro d’Italia stage winner Marco Canola (Team Bardiani CDF), Pawel Polianski (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Marco Minnaard (Team Wanty – Groupe Gobert) — building up a lead of more than four minutes. Minnaard had a mechanical and dropped from the lead group and despite being two minutes ahead with 20km to go, Polianski and Canola were eventually caught 5km from the finish.

The overall standings remain unchanged going into stage 5 of the eight-stage race, with Peter Kennaugh (Sky) leading Damiano Caruso (Katusha) and Javier Moreno (Movistar).

Stage 4: Kitzbühel > Matrei/Osttirol - Stage Result

Wednesday 9th July 2014

1. it
2. es
LOBATO Juan José
Movistar Team
3. at
Team Katusha

Click here to read more at the Tour of Austria website.

Marco Benfatto wins his second stage at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Polivoda leads overall

A crash marred the finishing sprint on stage 4 of the Tour of Qinghai Lake but it was previous stage winner Marco Benfatto (Astana) who emerged victorious again in a field sprint over Mehdi Sohrabi (Tabriz Petrochemical) as Robert Forster (UnitedHealthcare).


The day started with a slight climb, cresting 23km into the stage and offering a set of KOM points for the polka dot jersey competition. KOM leader Ghander Mizbani (Tabriz Petrochemical) once again led over the summit, solidifying his lead in the polka dot jersey competition.

A breakaway of 10 riders was gradually whittled down throughout the race and eventually reeled back in before the finale, setting up a field sprint into Heimahe where Benfatto would take his second stage of the tour and move into the green jersey.

Oleksander Polivoda (Kolss) managed to stay out of trouble to maintain his one second GC lead over Ilya Davidenok (Astana), who remains the top Asian rider in the blue jersey.

Stage 4: Xihai > Heimahe - Stage Result

Wednesday 9th July 2014

1. it
Continental Team Astana
2. ir
Tabriz Petrochemical Team
3. de
FöRSTER Robert

Text adapted from a Tour of Qinqhai Lake press release.

Defending champion Chris Froome abandons the Tour de France

by Shane Stokes

After crashing three times in two days, defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome has withdrawn from the race.

The Team Sky rider was already nursing a sore wrist after his stage four fall. Race doctor Florence Pommerie said after the stage that no fracture was visible in x-rays, but didn’t rule out the possibility that a bone had been damaged.

Although Froome was able to continue racing on today’s fifth stage, he hit the deck at Ledegem, approximately 35 kilometres after the start. He was paced back up to the peloton by his team-mates and also the Sky car. His next crash was a more significant one, with the Briton falling with roughly 70 kilometres remaining.

He was quickly given a bike but decided not to continue; full details of his injuries are pending.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips.

Andy Schleck undergoes surgery for badly injured knee

Former Tour de France winner Andy Schleck has undergone surgery following a knee injury that saw him abandon the Tour de France just a few days ago.

Trek Factory Racing press conference TdFr 2014

The damage to the Trek Factory Racing rider’s knee proved to be worse than was first thought with the team revealing Schleck had suffered a “rupture of both the collateral and cruciate ligaments of the knee plus a tear in the meniscus and a lot of bone bruises.”

It is unclear exactly how long Schleck will be on the sidelines for and what this means for his future with his contract up at the end of the year.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Australian National Cyclocross Series heads to Perth

The Australian National Cyclocross Series heads to Perth this weekend with rounds three and four to be contested in the West Australian capital. The first day of racing at the Midvale Speed Dome will see a tight and twisty course with a mixture of grass, asphalt and a trip through the velodrome. The second day’s racing will be held at Garvey Park in Belmont on a course that includes a combination of surfaces and sand.

To coincide with these races the team at BrewCX has updated its Brew Cup rankings, a points system that shows which riders are performing most consistently throughout the season so far. National champion Lisa Jacobs leads the women’s leaderboard while her counterpart Al Iacuone leads the men’s.

Click here to read more at BrewCX.

Bicyclist bullies try to rule the road in Washington

A word of warning: if you don’t want to get angry about anti-cycling coverage in the mainstream press, you’re best bet is to scroll down and skip this item.

Still reading? This piece comes from a Washington Post columnist who seems to be the latest to jump on the cyclists-are-menaces bandwagon, accusing riders of trying to rule the roads of Washington DC. Here’s a slice:

They don’t just ride without lights at night. Or ride on sidewalks and go the wrong way in a bike lane. If you demand that he show common courtesy and obey the rules of the road, a biker just might spit on your car. Kick the door. Hit the side mirrors. Bang on the hood. And dare you to do anything about it.

It’s a $500 fine for a motorist to hit a bicyclist in the District, but some behaviors are so egregious that some drivers might think it’s worth paying the fine.

Bikers routinely worm their way to the front of a line of cars waiting at a red light. When the light turns green, they’ll poke along at a snail’s pace, holding up traffic while motorists wait for a chance to pass. Then they do the same thing at the next stop light.

It’s your usual sort of anti-cycling fare, and the sort of thing we’re more than used to here in Australia’s big cities. But it would seem the US is far from immune from such attitudes as well.

If you’d like to read the full piece, you can do so here at the Washington Post.

ProCyclingStats launches iPhone app

If you’re anything like us you probably spend an unhealthy amount of time on ProCyclingStats, catching up on all the latest racing and trawling through the mountains of data from past races. Well now you can do it all from your iPhone thanks to the release of the PCS iOS app.

The app is free and you can download it from the Apple App Store. It’s well worth a look. If you’re an Android user and you’re wondering if there’s a comparable app available, the answer is: not yet.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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