In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Simon Spilak wins the Tour de Suisse; Alberto Contador takes overall victory at Route du Sud; Lisa Brennauer wins the Aviva Women’s Tour; Andre Greipel wins the Ster ZLM Toer; Amanda Spratt takes solo victory in the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Südtirol; Quintana saving his battle with Contador for the Tour de France; Team Southeast becomes fourth team this year to quit MPCC; ASO threaten to split with UCI over calendar reform delays; Team Sky motorhome blocked by new UCI rule, Froome must use hotels during Tour; Winners of the CT Ultimate Job competition; Rider safety concerns at the Ster ZLM Toer; A new wheelie record; Astana training camp on Tenerife.
Simon Spilak wins the Tour de Suisse
Simon Spilak (Katusha) has overhauled Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Geraint Thomas (Sky) on the final stage of the Tour de Suisse, winning the nine-stage WorldTour race after finishing second in the race-ending individual time trial.
Spilak went into the final stage in third place, 47 seconds down on Pinot and 13 seconds behind Thomas but on the final stage he proved stronger than both on the lumpy 38.4km ITT. It was Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) who eventually won the stage, adding to his victory in the prologue ITT, but all eyes were on the battle for the GC.
Earlier in the weekend Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won a reduced bunch sprint to take out stage 7 ahead of dual stage winner Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida).
And on stage 8 Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) took stage honours after getting in the day’s main breakaway and then attacking from that group with Jan Bakelants (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
Alberto Contador takes overall victory at Route du Sud
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has laid down another marker ahead of next month’s Tour de France, winning the Route du Sud in France over the weekend.
Bryan Coquard (Europcar) took out Friday’s stage 2 in an uphill bunch sprint while stage 1 victor Steven Tronet (Auber 93) held on to the overall lead.
Contador won stage 3 ahead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar), one of his big rivals for Le Tour, taking the overall lead in the process. On the stage’s final climb — the Port de Bales — Quintana had looked comfortable matching the pace of Contador but when it came time to descend towards the finish in Bagneres-du-Luchon, Contador left Quintana behind and rode away to win the stage.
The final stage of the four-stage race again went the way of Bryan Coquard who took a comfortable victory as Contador finished in the bunch to win yet another stage race.
Click here to read more via AFP/VeloNews.
Lisa Brennauer wins the Aviva Women’s Tour
Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) has taken overall victory in the Aviva Women’s Tour after reclaiming the overall lead on the penultimate stage of the five-stage race.
Brennauer went into stage 3 on Friday in the overall lead but it was Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans) that took a comfortable win on the stage, winning the sprint from a select group of riders. Majerus’ win saw her move into the leader’s jersey with two stages remaining.
Brennauer wasted no time taking back the overall lead, the German national champion winning the bunch sprint at the end of stage 4.
Leading the race by nine seconds going into the fifth and final stage, Brennauer finished fourth in another bunch kick, securing the overall win. The stage was won by Briton Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) in her home tour.
Stay posted to Ella CyclingTips for more from the Aviva Women’s Tour.
Andre Greipel wins the Ster ZLM Toer
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) has taken overall victory in the five-stage Ster ZLM Toer in the Netherlands, winning two stages along the way.
Having won stage 2 and taken the overall lead in the process, Greipel doubled up on Friday’s stage, winning the bunch kick into Buchten ahead of Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Edward Theuns (Topspoort-Vlaanderen).
Hofland would get his moment in the sun on the following day’s stage, taking a comfortable sprint victory on stage 3 in La Gileppe. Greipel finished 10th on the stage; enough to hold the overall lead.
And then on the final stage MTN-Qhubeka’s Matt Brammeier soloed to victory after attacking with roughly 14km to go and holding on to cross the line 25 seconds ahead of the peloton. Greipel led the bunch across the line, securing a winning margin of 16 seconds in the final GC. Greipel’s Kiwi lead-out man Greg Henderson was third on the final stage.
Amanda Spratt takes solo victory in the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Südtirol
Orica-AIS took a second consecutive victory in the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Südtirol over the weekend with Amanda Spratt backing up her teammate Valentina Scandolara’s victory a year earlier.
— AmandaSpratt (@AmandaSpratt) June 20, 2015
The 103km race featured two climbs in the second half, and it was the final climb, 10km from the finish line, that proved decisive. After a group of 10 summitted the final climb together, Spratt took the lead on the descent and quickly opened up a gap which she was able to extend to 20 seconds by the time she crossed the line.
“I am super happy with the win,” said Spratt after the race. “This area is really special to me after I was on the podium at the Junior World Championship time trial here in 2004. The win gives me great confidence going into the next month, which is a big one for me. I feel like the team is stepping up and you can see it in our results. There is a great vibe in the team at the moment and races like today can only build our confidence.”
Orica - AIS
STRICKER Anna Zita Maria
Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi
S.C. Michela Fanini Rox
Quintana saving his battle with Contador for the Tour de France
Nairo Quintana might have finished second to Alberto Contador on the queen stage of the Route du Sud over the weekend, but the Colombian appeared unwilling to take any great risks, preferring to save himself for the Tour de France.
Quintana seemed comfortable climbing the Port de Bales with Contador but when it came to the decent, Quintana was taking it cautiously, despite the offer of a stage victory.
“Contador made a strong attack halfway through the climb and I could respond pretty well,” Quintana said on the Movistar website. “At one point, he told me that should I take some turns [on the front], and that he’d let me win the stage.
“I told him that I wouldn’t take any turns nor attack him. The roads into the descent were gritty, it made no sense to take any chances and lose everything; Contador made a really risky descent.
“I’m happy with how I rode today: my body responded well to the efforts.”
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Team Southeast becomes fourth team this year to quit MPCC
by Shane Stokes
Team Southeast has indicated to the MPCC that it no longer considers itself a member just weeks after Lampre-Merida, Bardiani CSF and LottoNL-Jumbo all left the group as well.
The team had previously been suspended from the group in the wake of a positive test by Matteo Rabottini, as announced by the UCI in August 2014. The MPCC voiced serious concerns that it had not been informed of the matter by the team; despite that, the squad did not show up at the general meeting to explain.
“The membership of the team for the coming season depended on these new explanations,” explained the MPCC in a statement issued on Friday. “At the end of the board meeting it was decided to suspend team Neri Sottoli’s MPCC membership with immediate effect, until the October 2015 general meeting. “The team, since renamed Southeast, continued to be considered a member of MPCC until that decision was made in this general meeting.”
The latest developments occurred in the wake of a positive test for EPO by the rider Ramon Carretero, as announced by the UCI on June 9. As the two tests occurred inside 12 months of each other, the rules of the MPCC state that the team had to suspend itself from racing between June 13 and 20.
However, the team instead told the MPCC that it no longer considered itself a member since January of the current season.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
ASO threaten to split with UCI over calendar reform delays
by Shane Stokes
In a move which is evocative of the big spats with the UCI in the last decade, Tour de France organisers ASO have threatened to remove their races from the UCI calendar next season if certain conditions are not met.
ASO, which organises the Tour, the Vuelta a España and several shorter stage races and one day events, is dissatisfied with a lack of progress in the UCI’s calendar reform program, according to Reuters.
The agency cites a source close to the UCI’s management committee as saying that ASO has sent a letter threatening the withdrawal. It is understood that the main issue is that it wants to ensure that major race dates do not overlap.
Were a split to occur ASO would continue to run its events but it would not recognise the WorldTour rules deeming that the sport’s top 18 teams get an automatic entry. It would mean the organiser could invite whichever teams it sees fit to do so and, potentially, to impose demands on teams who want to ride the Tour de France.
Team Sky motorhome blocked by new UCI rule, Froome must use hotels during Tour
by Shane Stokes
The UCI’s management committee has voted to block the use of any form of alternative accommodation during stage races in a move which appears to be designed to directly address the use of the luxury motorhome pioneered by Team Sky during the Giro d’Italia.
“In all road stage races on the international calendar, the organisers must cover the subsistence expenses of the teams from the night before the start to the final day,” it stated. “Riders must stay in the hotels provided by the organiser throughout the entire duration of the race”.
Explaining the ruling, the UCI said that the decision “was made in order to reaffirm absolute fairness between all riders,” and that it would come into force immediately.
Team Sky has not yet responded to the news. However Froome has indicated discontent with the ruling via Twitter.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) June 19, 2015
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Winners of the CT Ultimate Job competition
A little earlier this year we called for entries for our Ultimate Job competition, a chance for two lucky people to head to the Tour de France to cover the action for CyclingTips. We were looking for two people who could cover the Tour from a fan’s perspective, bringing back great content to make those of us stuck at home feel jealous.
You might remember one half of our winning duo from his entry for last year’s competition:
Chris re-submitted this video from last year, along with a “spurned love letter” which read as follows:
“Dear Cycling Tips,
It’s been a year now since you broke my heart and chose those two tarts to be with you for the Tour, and while you may have splashed the joy of your time together all over the internet, my constant refreshing of your Tinder account shows that you’re looking for new partners, and I just wanted to let you know that my offer from last year still stands.
You need to know that I’ve changed. My photography has improved, my interviewing technique has blossomed, and my writing has got gooderer…bester…betterest?
Ok, my writing still needs work, but I’m willing to do anything to make this relationship work. I’ll even forget the clearly imaginary person I did the video with last year so that you can hook me up with one of your other friends.
Just give me a chance, we were meant to be together.
Oh, and sorry about sending you this picture of me in someone else’s kit every hour for 2 months after you rejected me last year…I was in a pretty bad place.
Joining Chris will be Riley who, as you can see here, takes a pretty great photo. Stay posted to CyclingTips throughout the Tour de France for great content from these two, in addition to our regular on-the-ground coverage of the race itself. Congratulations to Chris and Riley!
Rider safety concerns at the Ster ZLM Toer
This isn’t what you want to see when you’re racing downhill at 60km/h — a car coming the other way towards you.
This was shot during stage 3 of the Ster ZLM Toer and here’s how photographer Kristof Ramon captioned the photo:
“Rider safety (against upcoming traffic) wasn’t at the level it should be today. Many times cars were entering the race echelon and in this case even against peloton direction: luckily all drove by safely … in this case.”
A new wheelie record
Peter Sagan is one of many riders to have perfected the art of the finish-line wheelie but even he’s got nothing on this guy. Manuel Scheidegger reportedly just set the world record for the longest-ever wheelie, riding more than 25km on his back wheel in Switzerland.
Astana training camp on Tenerife
It’s fair to say there’s a certain mystique around the island of Tenerife; that volcanic island in the Canary Islands where many of the world’s best riders seem to spend large chunks of the year, riding at altitude. The folks at Astana recently put together a short video showing the team training there ahead of the Tour de France, giving a nice feel for what the island is like.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Is the Aviva Women’s Tour too easy?
- Patrick Bevin: Avanti Racing’s ‘next big thing’
- Bikes of the Bunch: Specialized Allez 74
- Greg Henderson: Bevin looks like the goods to me
- Daily News Digest: Friday June 19