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Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 12, 2016


In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Froome takes narrow lead into Tour’s first rest day: ‘It’s up to other teams now’; Joaquim Rodriguez to retire at end of season; Contador scheduled for medical review Tuesday; Dani King loses Olympic appeal; Bjarne Riis happy to see Tinkov leaving; Kittel, Martin publish demands for safety; Sunweb to move up to title sponsor of Giant-Alpecin team in 2017; Dutch lottery renews sponsorship for two year; Cannondale-Drapac riders keeping cool at night; Melbourne’s scariest cycling paths: Perception and reality collide; Tour de France, stage 9 on-board highlights; OBE Backstage Pass, stage 9; Fans on the stage 8 final climb; Team Giant-Alpecin celebrates Dumoulin; Cycling in the rain!

Froome takes narrow lead into Tour’s first rest day: ‘It’s up to other teams now’

by Matt de Neef

Chris Froome (Sky) came into this year’s Tour de France expecting the “biggest battle” of his career. After nine stages, that’s exactly how it appears to be shaping up.

Froome might lead the race overall on the first rest day, but he does so with a slender lead of just 16 seconds. His biggest rival, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), is within 23 seconds and a total of eight riders are within a minute.

More importantly, Froome hasn’t yet showed the explosive climbing ability that saw him ride to overall victory in the 2013 and 2015 editions of the Tour.

In 2013, Froome won the race’s first summit finish to Ax-3-Domaines, more than a minute ahead of his closest rival. That win moved him into the yellow jersey by 1:25 over Alejandro Valverde (his teammate Porte was second). He never relinquished the lead.

On the first summit finish of last year’s race, the Kenyan-born Briton also rode away to a solo victory, again more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival. He lead the race by nearly three minutes after that, again never being overtaken.

Click through to read more at CyclingTips.

Today’s feature image is from stage 9 of the Tour de France.

  • Chucky Beans

    Why is there a Sky rider going downhill in the feature image? Do they really ride the opposite direction to go back to the team car/haul teammates, etc? Never seen that before.

    • winkybiker

      According to the commentary I was listening to, yes. They had a 5km descent to the team buses. If you look at Google Earth for the climb you can see the big parking area further back down,

    • Phillip Mercer

      I don’t think that is a pro, more likely a PKW. Is it that the majority of the race has gone through and these are the last couple of riders. I say that given the spectators don’t look massively interested.

    • MMAster

      Winkybiker is correct…The main resort parking was further down the climb (and much more convenient for bus /team parking & logistics).
      It’s not uncommon during mountain stages to have the riders ride down a distance to the team buses. Often there just isn’t room for all the team vehicles at the finish of a summit finish

  • winkybiker

    Why is there a lumberjack riding alongside Laurens Ten Dam? We must surely have reached “peak beard”. Who honestly still thinks that this is a good look? What snapped in Simon Geschke’s brain when he looked in the mirror and gave himself two thumbs up? There should be a rule that no rider may have more facial hair than Fabian Cancellara.

    • Chucky Beans

      Isn’t that why Luca Paolini was suspended last year?

      • Sean

        I think he had spilt some coke in his beard.

  • winkybiker

    Regarding the safety of Melbourne bike spots. For me, some of the most dangerous areas are where cars and bikes ARE separated. These are the shared-use paths that are often little more than footpaths on which cyclists are allowed to ride. They are a “lawless” place, devoid of social norms and any sort of structure regarding right-of-way. iPodding oblivi-joggers, off-leash dogs, flexi-leashed dogs, kids on big-wheels, scooters, skateboarders, 6-wide yummy-mummy chattering running clubs, random texters etc. There is no safe path for a cyclist. Shared-use paths are bad for all concerned. Slow and dangerous for riders; terrifying and dangerous for pedestrians.

    • Jii

      Don’t ignore cyclist’s completely inappropriate behaviour like riding too fast, passing too close and not calling passes (or ringing a bell) in your list of sins of the shared-use paths.

      • Arfy

        “Riding too fast” and “Passing too close” are both subjective, and probably perceived as more dangerous than they are because of the lack of ringing the bell. There’s also a law in Victoria that requires pedestrians to walk on the left-hand side of a path, but is very rarely adhered to – pedestrians know they have right-of-way but don’t do their part and stay left.

        • Jii

          There is an enormous amount of irony in your comment given how much cyclists battle with cars for safety, respect and space.

          This is exactly the same dynamic. “Too fast” and “too close” are subjective until they are not and there is an accident. At which point the more vulnerable and slower road user, the cyclist, or path user, the pedestrian, is injured through someone else’s misjudgement.

          Ringing a bell (or honking a horn) doesn’t make an unsafe pass safe or remove the burden of responsibility. Likewise if a pedestrian/cyclist is not adhering to the strictest terms of the law it doesn’t justify you taking liberties with their safety.

          Finally using Southbank in Melbourne as an example – it is 1.1 kms long and packed with pedestrian and cycling sillyness if you ride it at a safe 13kmh it takes 5 minutes only 3 minutes more than if you were travelling an unsafe 30kmh. Surely we can accept being 3 minutes slower over an entire ride as an acceptable cost to being a good path citizen and commuting community?

          Finally for context I ride to work every weekday, for large parts on shared paths, have & use a bell and subscribe to winkybikers approach below.

          • Arfy

            The point is your idea of what is “too fast” or “too close” will be different to someone else’s, and the comparison you give to riding on the road is exactly part of the point. Of course there are always self-righteous idiots who want to scare people (in cars, on bikes, and even pedestrians) but until we have a uniform definition of “too close”, like 1m passing laws on the road, then this argument will be perpetual.

            Southbank is a major issue in its own right, there’s very limited signage and marking of its shared-use, it would do well to have a separated cycling lane away from the tourists. I don’t ride into the city very often, but when I do it’s like a minefield trying to navigate where you’re allowed to ride and not ride, just not enough signage and path markings linking routes together. It’s no wonder there’s an anti-cycling mindset in some people when it’s not clear if you’re allowed to ride there or not.

      • winkybiker

        You’re absolutely right. Many cyclists’ behaviour is appalling. I am particularly critical of bell-ringing or yelling “On your left! Get out of my way! Coming through!” type cyclists. I feel that expecting others to yield to a vehicle approaching from behind is extremely rude. The responsibility for a safe pass lies 100% with the faster vehicle.

        On the occasions I ride short sections shared use paths (I generally avoid them like the plague), I am slow and unfailingly polite. It’s miserable for both me and the other path users, but at least it’s not overtly dangerous. I won’t walk on shared use paths if I can avoid it. I find them terrifying.

    • Luke Bartlett

      I agree, and sometimes I feel it safer to stealth through those places. Ringing a bell can mean someone veers right, into your path, to attempt to get out of the way, and that’s if they hear it through their headphones. I’d rather give someone a fright than hit someone and crash.

    • Arfy

      The best “shared use” paths I’ve come across are in Europe, where some countries have rather wide paths divided into a pedestrian lane and a cycling path. Pedestrians have right-of-way everywhere except in the cycling lanes, they must give way when crossing the cycling lane much like you do a roadway. It also means that pedestrians can amble along, kids in tow, chatting and stopping to look at things without having to stress over the safety of doing so. I don’t get that our governments are so narrow-minded and miserly to not consider this, after all they did spend billions of our money on NOT building a car tunnel!

      • Dave

        Under the Australian Road Rules, these are termed “separated footpaths” and it is an offence for either a cyclist or a pedestrian to use the wrong side.

        There are a few in SA already, and more due to be constructed as part of the three North-South Corridor road projects underway at the moment.

    • Abdu

      iPodding oblivi-joggers. Awesome description.

      Flexi leashed dogs are ok, it’s their moronic owners that are the problem… These owners are the same ‘person’ who lets their dog run miles away (knowing that dog will just crap somewhere and they won’t pick it up) across cricket or football matches, into a playground, etc. They adopt the stupid stare as you approach, expecting their dog will magically step out of danger rather than their natural instinct to approach and sniff, and this dog is somehow more important than a person. This person sometimes has their own kids and takes a similar view on their child (the one who bites others, runs screaming around a nice restaurant ruining everyone else’s time, etc.), or is a relative of either the bogan dog owner who projects their small willie syndrome through their large aggressive dog, and is always quoted when that dog rips a child’s face off “he’s never bitten anyone before..”.

      Generally I’ve experienced Melbourne traffic getting better in the several years of commuting, and don’t think those stats have been adjusted for the large increase in participation of cycling in that time. It only gets bad when the radio shock jocks and tabloids promote the “war on the road” rubbish.

  • Arfy

    Riis’s problem is that he should’ve cut all ties after selling his team. As hard as it is, you can’t expect to have the company run the way you’d like after you sell it to someone else.

    • Buzz

      Agree. King Lear encountered the same problem with his pernicious daughters.


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