Nibali takes back yellow as Contador crashes out of the Tour de France

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) has wasted no time reclaiming the yellow jersey he lost on stage 9 of the Tour de France, taking a decisive win on the summit finish to La Planche des Belles Filles on stage 10 and moving back into the overall lead.

TDFR 2014 - stage -10

It took roughly 25km of racing on stage 10 to establish the first meaningful breakaway of the day. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) bridged across from the peloton to an earlier escape group, featuring Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Amael Moinard (BMC), Markel Irizar (Trek), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Seche) and Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

That lead group was joined by a group of five riders with roughly 100km left in the stage, including yesterday’s winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and his teammate Michal Kwiatkowski. Over the five remaining climbs on a day that featured a total of seven ascents, the lead group was gradually whittled right down until just Kwiatkowski and Rodriguez remained.

Some hard chasing by Astana back in the main field set their team leader Vincenzo Nibali up perfectly for the final climb. The Sicilian attacked on the steep slopes, bridging across to the remnants of the lead group before riding away to take his second stage win of the race. The win puts Nibali back in yellow after overnight leader Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) struggled on the climbs.

The biggest news of the day, however, was that one of the pre-race favourites, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed and was forced to abandon the race. See below for more on that story.

Stage 10: Mulhouse > La planche des Belles Filles - Stage Result

Monday 14th July 2014

1. it
NIBALI Vincenzo
Astana Pro Team
2. fr
PINOT Thibaut
3. es
VALVERDE Alejandro
Movistar Team

Click here to read the full race report from stage 10 of the 2014 Tour de France.

Alberto Contador abandons the Tour de France

by Shane Stokes

One of the race’s top favourites, Alberto Contador, has quit the Tour de France approximately 80 kilometres from the end of stage 10 due to a crash and resulting injury.

TDFR 2014 - stage -8

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider went down hard between the first category climbs of the Petit Ballon and the Col du Platzerwasel and had to wait for a new bike. He looked sore and had rips to his clothing plus mud on the back of his jersey. Blood was running down from his right knee, which was bandaged soon afterwards by Tour medical staff.

Contador remounted and together with his teammates, tried to chase back on. However the Astana team were riding on the front and with the injured Spaniard unable to ride at anything like his normal speed, the writing was on the wall.

After several kilometres of chasing, Contador told team-mate Michael Rogers he was stopping, extended his left hand to tap the Australian on the hip, then called up the team car containing Bjarne Riis. He wheeled to a halt, dismounted and got into the car.

Bjarne Riis said in a team press release, “Alberto has broken his tibia just below the knee. It’s not a complicated fracture but it probably requires surgery. He will stay with us tonight and tomorrow he will travel back to Madrid to undergo further examinations and a surgery if necessary”.

Contador was expected to make a move on today’s final climb of La Planche des Belles Filles but instead will turn his thoughts towards receiving treatment for his injuries and setting new goals. It is possible that he could ride the Vuelta a España; if so, a clash with last year’s Tour winner Chris Froome could be on the cards.

Click here to read the full story at CyclingTips.


Tinkoff Saxo tangle with Belkin bikes identified as cause of snapped Contador frame

Following hours of speculation and confusion about the circumstances of the crash which took Alberto Contador out of the Tour de France, the Specialized company has clarified how one of the rider’s bikes was broken in half.

Contador's bike broken at the downtube and the toptube. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE

Contador’s bike broken at the downtube and the toptube. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE

It has stated categorically that the badly damaged frame shown on French television did not occur in the impact, but rather was a spare machine damaged on the roof of the Tinkoff Saxo team car during the frantic moments after the Spaniard fell.

Read the full story here on CyclingTips.

Lisa Brennauer wins Women’s Thüringen Rundfahrt Prologue

The 27th edition of the Women’s Thüringen Rundfahrt started today with a 4.1km prologue in the city of Gotha, Germany. It’s the first of 6 stages held in the German state of Thuringia.

Details on the how the prologue took shape are scarce, but we have a top 10 result via Peter van der Veen on twitter:

It’s worth noting that Sarah Roy (Australian National Criterium champion) was 5th on the prologue and Lizzie Williams, in her first race in the National Colours as the Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship holder, was sixth. This was the race Amy Gillett was training for when she was tragically killed by a car in 2005.

You can view the official Women’s Thüringen Rundfahrt website here.

Cadel Evans to decide his future after the Vuelta a Espana

by Shane Stokes

The question about whether or not Cadel Evans will continue beyond the end of this season as a BMC Racing Team rider – and indeed as a professional – will be decided after the Vuelta a España, where the Australian will compete in support of team-mate Samuel Sanchez.

Tour de France 2013 stage-8

BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz confirmed on Monday that discussions were ongoing but that a final outcome would likely not come for some time yet.

“We are talking,” he told CyclingTips. “He is getting ready for Utah right now, then he is doing the Vuelta. I think the evaluation of Cadel’s future will happen sometime there after the Vuelta, around the world championships, because he is planning on doing that as well for Australia. So there is still a lot of racing left this year to think too much about next year.”

Asked if Evans was considering not only whether he wanted to continue with the BMC Racing Team but also with the sport itself, Ochowicz confirmed that this was one of the matters he is weighing up at present.

“He has got to evaluate that. Every elderly rider has to at some point make a decision about the future,” he said. “It has to do with physiology; how good am I right now, and how do I feel? Am I tired of crashing, do I not want any more injuries?

“He is at that age where is going to have to make one sooner or later; if it is not this year, next year or sometime pretty soon.”

Click here to read more and listen to the interview with Jim Ochowicz.

2015 Santos Tour Down Under route announced

Organisers of the Santos Tour Down Under have announced the route for next year’s 17th edition of the race, which will run from January 18-25 in and around Adelaide.

2015 Santos Tour Down Under - Maps

The event begins with the traditional curtain-raiser, the People’s Choice Classic circuit race, before six stages of the Tour Down Under itself.

“The new finish at Paracombe and the climb up Torrens Hill Road will make for a very interesting stage”, race director Mike Turtur said. “We are returning to Glenelg after many years for a stage start which will be a highlight for Bupa Stage 4 as well as the Bupa Challenge Tour and on the same day a new finish location in Mount Barker.”

Sunday 18 January: People’s Choice Classic – Adelaide (51km)
Tuesday 20 January: Stage 1 – Tanunda to Campbelltown (133km)
Wednesday 21 January: Stage 2- Unley to Stirling (150km)
Thursday 22 January: Stage 3 – Norwood to Paracombe (143km)
Friday 23 January: Stage 4 – Glenelg to Mount Barker (145km)
Saturday 24 January: Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Wilunga Hill (151km)
Sunday 25 January: Stage 6 – Adelaide (TBC)

Text adapted from a Santos Tour Down Under press release.

Profile video of Jens Voigt

Few professional cyclists enjoy the same popularity as Jens Voigt. Here’s a nice little feature video put together by the folks at Shimano to find out what makes “The Jensie” tick.

ABC TV’s Media Watch takes on the anti-cycling press

Anti-cyclist stories are a staple of the mainstream press and as a cyclist it can get pretty tiring hearing the same old arguments everyday. That’s why it’s particularly refreshing when someone else in the mainstream media provides a bit of balance and perspective on coverage that, at times, borders on dangerous.

ABC TV’s long-running press watchdog show Media Watch ran a short segment last night about anti-cyclist stories and it’s well worth a a watch. Click here to watch the segment and/or read the transcript.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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