Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 21, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Zakarin climbs to Tour de France stage win, Froome extends GC lead; Spratt wins penultimate stage of Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen; GC Leader Buts sprints to stage 4 win in Qinghai Lake; Jelle Wallays wins Grand Prix Cerami; Sagan signs €6 million contract with Bora-hansgrohe; Cavendish leaves Tour de France on second rest day to prepare for Olympics; Your guide to La Course by le TDF; First all-black women’s pro cycling team forming in Africa; Henao on riding against former flatmate; New professiona; Cyclist hit by vehicle on first ride with camera; Sagan: Life is like a movie (part 2)

Zakarin climbs to Tour de France stage win, Froome extends GC lead

by Michael Better

Russian Illnur Zakarin (Katusha) climbed his way to a mountaintop stage victory on Wednesday in stage 17 of the Tour de France, held entirely in Switzerland, as riders from the breakaway fought for victory on the hors categorie climb of the Col de la Gueulaz to the finish in Emosson.

Jarlinson Pantano (IAM) finished as runner up, 55 seconds behind, while KOM leader Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) came home in third, 1:26 back.

Majka and Pantano entered the final climb to the finish with a slim advantage over their fellow breakaway companions. Zakarin quickly bridged to the leading duo and then attacked them. The Russian powered over the final 6 kilometres of the stage to take the victory — a bit of redemption after he was forced out of the Giro d’Italia with a broken collarbone a few days before the finish, sitting fifth overall at the time.

“I did my best today,” Zakarin said after the stage. “I’m really happy now. Thank you to my teammates, they’ve been super. This result is not a surprise for me. In the first week, I also tried to go for it.”

Australian Richie Porte (BMC Racing) attacked in the final two kilometres of the climb, and only Chris Froome (Team Sky) was able to follow. Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who entered the Tour as Froome’s biggest adversary for the overall, lost more time on the summit finish. The Colombian finished not only behind Froome, but also behind GC contenders Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Fabio Aru (Astana).


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Today’s feature image comes from stage 16 of the Tour de France.