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July 21, 2015
Photography by Kristof Ramon, BrakeThrough Media, Cor Vos
In today’s Daily News Digest: Plaza fends off Sagan to take stage 16; Lepistö wins stage 4 of Thüringen Rundfahrt; Geraint Thomas loses time in spectacular crash; “If God wants, I win.” Consistency continues but Sagan still hunting stage victory; “Mayuko Hagiwara has the potential to win the Giro Rosa”; BMC back van Garderen as long term Tour de France leader despite Richie Porte rumours; LeMond repeats calls for greater transparency in the sport; Brailsford calls for more tools to fight doping on French TV; and more…
Spanish rider Ruben Plaza clocked up the best result of his career at 35 years of age, winning stage 16 of the Tour de France in Gap on Monday.
The Lampre-Merida rider attacked on the final climb, the Col de Manse, surging 15 kilometres from the finish line and riding flat out to the summit. His efforts earned him a considerable buffer over the chasing group behind, with his former breakaway companions going over the summit one minute behind.
Peter Sagan made it into the day’s break yet again and chased down various attacks on that final climb. Having kept things together uphill, he hammered it on the descent, using his well-known skill to cut the lead from one minute five seconds at the top to 30 seconds at the finish.
Read the full race report of stage 16 here on CyclingTips
Finnish national road champion Lotto Lopistö (Bigla) won the Thüringen Rundfahrt stage four bunch sprint in Zeulenroda ahead of Swedish national road champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) and Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur). Race leader Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) sprinted in for fifth place.
Although Brennauer finished outside the bonus seconds available to the top three on the stage, she started Monday’s stage with seconds to spare and remains in the yellow jersey by 20 seconds over Lauren Stephens (TIBCO-SVB). Lepistö rounds out the top-three overall at 29 seconds with three stages still to race.
The fourth stage of the German tour began with an extended neutral section that went past the site of the crash that killed Amy Gillett and seriously injured five members of the Australian National Team. The Australian riders in the race dismounted their bikes to place flowers on the memorial site that has been created in Gillett’s honour.
You can read Tayler Wiles’ (Velocio-SRAM) Thüringen Rundfahrt stage 4 diary on Ella here
Geraint Thomas (Sky) has avoided serious injury after crashing on the notorious final descent to Gap on stage 16 of the Tour de France.
Thomas was descending the Col de Manse in a group containing most of the GC favourites — including his teammate and overall leader Chris Froome — when Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) overshot a corner and collided with him.
“We were just coming into a tight right and everyone was braking,” Thomas told reporters after the stage. “All of a sudden Barguil just come straight into me and knocked me flying into a lamp post and down a ditch.”
“I just don’t understand some guys, you know?,” Thomas said. “Just stay where you are — there’s only eight of us in the group. Everyone knows it’s a dodgy descent. Just get down it safe in one line.”
Warren Barguil was apologetic after the stage, suggesting the crash was little more than an honest mistake.
“I’m sorry, said Barguil. “Just before the corner, Tejay van Garderen hit me in the shoulder and my finger on the brake lever slipped. I could not brake. I was very afraid, I thought I was going to go straight on [over the edge].”
Read the full story here on CyclingTips
Peter Sagan has had a remarkable run of high placings in this year’s Tour de France. Consider the numbers: he was second four times, third twice, fourth on three occasions and fifth on stage fourteen.
In all he’s notched up ten top five placings out of 15 stages; remove the two time trials and that is ten out of thirteen opportunities.
“I try. If you want something, you have to try,” he said. “I wanted to win for the fans. Today was a nice day, but unfortunately I didn’t win.”
Although Sagan has taken many victories during his pro career, he has had a staggering number of near misses. He’s an ambitious rider, he’s being paid to win, and he won’t be satisfied with his Tour unless he can cross the line first at least once in the remaining stages.
“I am trying every day. What can I do? Every day I am trying,” he said He then added with a hint of resignation, “if God wants, I win. If not, I come second, third…”
Read the full article here on CyclingTips
You may never have heard of Mayuko Hagiwara but her stage six win at the Giro Rosa boosted her into the spotlight. She was the first Japanese rider to have ever worn the coveted pink jersey and it showed her promise as a rider.
Wiggle-Honda team manager Rochelle Gilmore said, “Mayuko at the time had won nine national championships, so she was the most obvious choice when looking for a Japanese rider. Having identified Mayuko as the best choice for the team based on results, I needed to meet with her to determine if her personality was the right fit.
Gilmore continued, “I arranged a meeting with her, her agent and a Japanese translator at the Worlds in 2012. Even though Mayuko didn’t speak English, I could tell she was a nice, genuine and sincere person. I paid attention to her body language and observed her emotions when we discussed the offer we made for her to become a professional. It was something she always dreamt of and really wanted. I invited her to come live full-time in Europe and be fully supported by the team. That’s where it started.”
Read the full feature on Mayuko Hagiwara here on Ella
BMC manager Jim Ochowicz says Tejay van Garderen has nothing to prove and insists he is the team’s ongoing Tour de France leader, despite rumours that Richie Porte will be be part of the team in 2016.
“He doesn’t have to prove himself,” Ochowicz said of van Garderen. “He did it last year, this year he is doing it better and I would suspect next year it will be even better again.
“He’s matured, he’s not over reacting to situations that happen every day and he’s leading the team. He’s moving people around in the race – they respect him for that – and with the pre-race strategy we put in place each day, he’s part of that decision making about how it’s going to happen and then he’s part of the decision making as the race matures each day.”
Under UCI rules, BMC and other teams cannot discuss rider transfers until August 1, although Porte did admit earlier in the Tour that he would be leaving Team Sky at the end of the year.
Read more at CyclingWeekly
Greg LeMond has appealed for greater transparency in the sport of cycling, saying that the riders, teams and bodies such as the UCI all have a part to play in helping to win back public trust.
Although all eyes are on the yellow jersey by virtue of the fact he is the most dominant in the race, LeMond stressed that he didn’t want to single out any individual.
“My deal with this is not about Chris Froome or anybody specific. It is more about the tools are there with the UCI and the Tour de France,” he said, speaking after his post-stage show on Eurosport.
“It is not just one rider. Nobody likes to have the speculation that has been going on. Maybe in the future we should bring in the best research scientists, we should bring in the best qualified VO2 Max machines.
“People have to do medical testing in France to get their licence. So why should that not be required to have a professional licence?”
Sky manager Dave Brailsford has called for greater transparency amid new doping allegations against Tour de France leader Chris Froome.
Brailsford was invited onto French television to discuss Froome’s power data as an expert suggested his estimated power data was far higher than should be expected from a clean athlete.
Pierre Sallet from the Athletes for Transparency organisation calculated Froome’s watts per kilogram output on his climb on stage 10, which he won, to be 7.04 watts per kilo. He said that a 6.5 reading would be normal and anything over 7.0 was abnormally high.
But Brailsford faced questions on the ”Stade 2″ program on France Televisions about the data.
“You have to be careful because it’s a mathematical formula. This isn’t the full data, that’s not Chris’ weight. It’s an estimate,” said Brailsford, referring to the 71kg weight used in the study.
“I can’t prove a negative but I can work with the UCI and independent experts and try to find a solution,” said Brailsford.
“I’m asking the UCI to do it in fact, because it’s not right what’s happening. Chris is special, that’s for sure. He has a special physiology, that’s for sure. But he doesn’t cheat.”
Read more at Velonews
The chances of Ivan Basso returning to the peloton have been boosted by the news that no additional treatment is needed following surgery last Wednesday to address testicular cancer.
“The patient has perfectly recovered from the intervention,” stated Professor Francesco Montorsi, the Director of the Urology Surgery Unit at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. “The final histological examination shows, currently, no indication for additional treatment and the patient will be closely observed during the following months.
“It is recommended the patient should rest for a period of one month. Professor Montorsi and his team are absolutely optimistic on the complete healing of Ivan Basso.”
And if you’ve had all the Tour de France controversy you can handle this morning, check out the first 2mins of the race on the glacier with this onboard camera during Megavalanche:
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:
Today’s feature image comes from Thüringen Rundfahrt and shows the Australian National team before th fourth stage which began with an extended neutral section that went past the site of the crash where killed Amy Gillett and seriously injured five members of the team. The Australian riders in the race dismounted their bikes to place flowers on the memorial site that has been created in Gillett’s honour.