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July 23, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos, Kristof Ramon, BrakeThrough Media
In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Simon Geschke takes stage 17; Gilbert Wins Grand Prix Cerami; Katie Hall wins stage 6 of Thüringen Rundfahrt; Van Garderen amongst several abandons on a difficult stage; Sky releases Froome’s powermeter data, but do the numbers add up?; Kwiatkowski confirmed to leave Etixx-Quick-Step; Mikel Landa reported to have signed two-year deal with Team Sky; and more…
Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) has held off a late charge from Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) to win stage 17 of the Tour de France with a long-range solo attack.
Geschke attacked from a 28-rider breakaway with just under 50km remaining and was able to build and maintain a lead over two second-category climbs to take victory at Pra Loup.
“This morning I didn’t feel too good in the beginning of the stage,” Geschke said. “I had a bit of heavy legs after the rest day so I was just trying to go with some attacks and I found myself in a big breakaway.”
“I didn’t want to wait again to get dropped and be like 10th place again,” Geschke said. “I looked around in the breakaway and saw really good climbers — Thibaut Pinot and Richie Porte — and I knew if I stayed with them they’d probably just drop me on the long climb.
“I just took the only chance I had and I went after the intermediate sprint and just tried it. I thought ‘if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out and I’ll just let myself drop back to the group of Warren Barguil and try to support him’.
Philippe Gilbert won his first race back from injury Wednesday by out-sprinting Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) at Grand Prix Cerami.
Winner of two stages of the Giro d’Italia in May, Gilbert had been sidelined from competition since withdrawing from the Tour de Suisse on June 16. An MRI performed between the Giro and the Tour de Suisse had revealed a small, non-displaced fracture on Gilbert’s lower right leg.
But on Wednesday, the former world road champion said he felt no residual pain from his injuries during the 211.5-kilometer race.
“More important than the win was that my feeling was good on the bike and that was the biggest news of the day for me,” Gilbert said. “I didn’t have pain the last week in training. But training is always different than a race. So for me, this is very good news for the next month.”
Gilbert and teammates Dylan Teuns and Loïc Vliegen were part of a 42-rider group that escaped in a hilly part of the race after about 40 kilometers. From that selection, five riders went on the attack before the last of three laps of a 13.2-km finishing circuit.
Katie Hall delivered back-to-back stage wins for Team USA at Thüringen Rundfahrt. The 28-year-old bested Australia’s Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS) to the finish line in Schleiz on the sixth stage of the German tour to claim her first European victory. Forty seconds later, Amy Pieters (Netherlands) led home what was left of the main bunch.
Race leader Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) crossed the line as part of the 24-rider peloton alongside all but one of the riders who had been sitting in the top ten overall at the start of the penultimate day of racing. Brennauer will line-up for Friday’s final stage with a 20 second advantage over Lauren Stephens (TIBCO-SVB) in second. Lotto Lepistö is in third overall at 29 seconds.
Read Taylor Wiles’ Thüringen Rundfahrt diary from stage six here.
The rider who started the day third overall, Tejay van Garderen, saw his hopes of a Tour podium evaporate on stage 17 of the race, with the American withdrawing during the stage.
Van Garderen got into difficulties early on, losing contact, and while he fought his way back into the bunch he went out the back again on the category 2 Col de la Colle and finally quit the race.
“To be fighting for a podium in the Tour de France, and then the next minute you are sitting in the car, was really hard,” van Garderen said. “It was hard to look my teammates in the eyes. It was hard to call my wife and explain to her what was going on. It was a lot of emotions.”
Van Garderen said he had been fighting a bit of a cold he picked up after Stage 13.
Also exiting the race on the first Alpine stage were Cannondale-Garmin’s Tour debutant Nathan Haas, world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep), Bora-Argon 18 sprinter Sam Bennett, Laurent Didier (Trek Factory Racing) and Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling).
Read the full story on CyclingTips
Team Sky responded to calls for it to be more transparent on Tuesday’s second rest day of the Tour de France yet, for some, the release of climbing data from Chris Froome ended up creating as many questions as it sought to answer.
CyclingTips spoke at length to Tucker after Sky’s release of data. He said that he was sceptical about the figures.
“You have Froome at 5.78 watts per kilo, gaining two minutes on a guy [Yates] who is at 5.84. One and a half minutes at a guy who is at 5.9 [Gesink] and four and a half minutes on a guy who is 5.5 [Ten Dam].
“So whether the gaps are to people who have got a higher power output or lower, you cannot make those numbers fit. How can a car travelling 60 miles per hour go faster than a car travelling 70? It is ridiculous,” he said.
Read the full article here on CyclingTips
Etixx-Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere has confirmed that world champion Michal Kwiatkowski will leave the team at the end of the year, with Team Sky rumoured to have signed him in 2016.
One of the stated reasons for the Kwiatkowski’s departure is his desire to go after the general classification at the Tour, which Lefevere wasn’t supportive of.
Read the full story at CyclingWeekly
According to Spanish website El Correo, Astana’s Mikel Landa has sealed a two-year contract with Team Sky for next season.
The 25-year-old climber won two stages at this year’s Giro d’Italia and makes a logical replacement for super-domestique Richie Porte who is reported to be heading to BMC and has been instrumental in supporting Chris Froome.
Landa is just one high-profile riders Team Sky have been linked with this year, with world champion Michal Kwiatkowski also rumoured to join the team.
Read more at CyclingWeekly
Here’s an interesting infographic from Leif Backman that we stumbled on via twitter. The chart is a plot of the GC position of each rider after every stage which shows the amount of reshuffling depending on the nature of the stage. As you can see, the first week and the Pyrenees did it’s job to shake things up, and not as much in the Alps so far. But stay tuned, there are a few big stages yet to come!
Infographic by Leif Backman (@LeifBackman on twitter)
If you’re feeling saturated with the Tour de France and want to follow a story that’s much more pure, I’m happy to introduce you to the Transcontinental Race. For the next two-and-a-half weeks we’ll be following Alain Rumpf’s self-supported journey from Belgium to Turkey in this event that’s sure to capture the imagination of everyone and anyone who rides a bike. In this first instalment, Alain introduced the race, his personal goals, and the reason he’s putting himself through this extraordinary feat.
Read the full feature here on CyclingTips. We’re looking forward to following this story!
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips: