Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
It was another day for the breakaway at the Tour de France, but, looking forward, the second rest day is upon us. The Pyrenees are on the horizon and the final week of the Tour de France is set to be full of fireworks. Three tough Pyrenean stages await the riders, as well as the time trial on the penultimate day of the race. Carcassone will be brimming with news tomorrow, and we’ll have it all for you here in the Daily News Digest.
Stat of the day:
World Champion Peter Sagan pulled on his 100th green jersey at the end of stage 15. He is the first rider to hit the triple-digit mark for wearing a Tour jersey in any jersey competition. Five-time Tour winner Eddy Merckx previously held the record for most jerseys worn in a classification with 96 yellow jerseys.
Proud to receive today my 100th Maillot Vert at @LeTour. It's a very special moment and I'd like to thank everybody that helped me achieve this! @BORAhansgrohe @BORAGmbH @Hansgrohe_PR @iamspecialized @sportful @ride100percent (Photo @bettiniphoto) pic.twitter.com/eZZY6N9orc
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) July 22, 2018
Story of the day: Greipel and Lotto-Soudal to part ways
After months of speculation, Lotto-Soudal and Andre Greipel have made their break-up at the end of the year official. “Lotto Soudal and André Greipel want to inform you that after eight successful years, their collaboration comes to an end,” a very brief statement from the team read.
Australian fast-man Caleb Ewan has been linked heavily to the Belgian squad and the move has become more apparent with Greipel officially not staying with Lotto-Soudal next year. Ewan was surprisingly left off of Mitchelton-Scott’s Tour de France squad after he was expected to start his first Grande Boucle. The move seemed to confirm he was leaving the Aussie team at the end of the year.
At 36, Greipel is well past his prime for a sprinter and had he stayed with Lotto-Soudal he probably would have be demoted to the team’s second sprinter or Ewan’s lead-out man. However, that will most likely be the role he plays wherever he lands due to his age. Greipel has also made no indication of hanging up his wheels anytime soon.
Interestingly, Greipel’s sprinting career got kick-started by being in the number two spot. He was part of Cavendish’s lead-out train at HTC-Colombia. Greipel moved to the Lotto-Soudal program, then called Omega Pharma-Lotto, for the 2011 season and captured the first of what is now 11 stage victories at the Tour that year. Greipel’s best Tour was in 2015 when he won four stages, including on the Champs-Élysées. He won again on the famous boulevard in 2016, which is the last time he was victorious at the Tour.
Greipel has over 150 career victories, but his wins have considerably dropped off in recent years. He struggled to crack the top-3 at this year’s Tour before he abandoned the race on stage 12. He finished second on stage eight, but was relegated by the race jury after they deemed he had interfered with Sunweb’s Nikias Arndt.
Dispatches from the Tour
A day for the break: Cort Nielsen sprints to win stage 15 of Tour de France
Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) grabbed a stage victory in his debut Tour on Sunday, winning a three-man sprint after being part of the day’s long-distance breakaway. He outsprinted Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) into Carcassone, proving too quick for his rivals in the gallop. The victory was the second consecutive triumph for the Astana team, as it took Saturday’s stage 14 with Omar Fraile.
“It is amazing,” said Cort Nielsen. “It is something I have been dreaming of since I started riding my bike. It is my first year here at the Tour and I am so happy to take a victory. I have to thank my team for believing in me.”
Click through to read our full report on Cort Nielsen’s win on stage 15 of the Tour de France.
Moscon expelled from Tour for fighting
Italian Gianni Moscon was sent home from the Tour de France by the race jury on Sunday for fighting during the 15th stage. The Team Sky rider punched a Fortuneo-Samsic rider just after the start of the stage.
“800m after the start of the 15th stage, Elie Gaye received a punch from Gianni Moscon. After viewing the images, the Commissioners’ jury decided to exclude the Team Sky rider from the Tour de France,” Fortuneo-Samsic team posted on Twitter shortly after the stage finished.
— Tout Le Sport (@toutlesport) July 22, 2018
This comes a few weeks after a UCI Disciplinary Commission dropped a case against Moscon that was brought to them by Groupama-FDJ rider Sébastien Reichenbach. Reichenback claimed the Italian deliberately crashed him during Tre Valli Varesine last fall. The case was dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Before the incident occurred, Reichenbach had been critical of Moscon’s character on social media. Moscon received a six-week racing ban by Team Sky management last year after he said racist insults toward Kevin Reza during the Tour of Romandie.
“We support and accept the decision by the race organisers to exclude Gianni Moscon from the Tour de France,” Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford, said in a statement. “Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour and knows that he has let himself, the Team and the race down. We will address this incident with Gianni once the Tour is complete and decide then if any further action should be taken.
“I would like to offer my sincere apologies to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for this unacceptable incident.”
Tomorrow’s Tour stage
The Tour will enjoy a rest day in Carcassonne on Monday before racing resumes on Tuesday.
Following the rest day, the Tour enters the Pyrenees for the first of three brutal mountain stages. While the stage does not end with a summit finish, the Col du Portillon should prove to be decisive and the GC riders will most certainly attack. The descent towards Bagnères-de-Luchon will be nervous, as the riders will take risks trying to stretch their advantage or catch back on.
BeNe Ladies Tour: Vos claims overall, as Bastianelli takes final stage
Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) won the 2018 BeNe Ladies Tour on Sunday for the second consecutive year, after she took the overall lead by winning stage one. Former world champion Marta Bastianelli (Ale-Cipollini) won the final stage in a bunch sprint in Zelzate, Belgium.
“This overall victory is just as beautiful as last year’s, but in totally different circumstances,” Vos, who will race the Prudential Ride London next weekend before attempting to defend her title at the European Championships, said. “Then I fell three times in four days and this year I was spared, but it was a hard fight with several riders very close to each other in the rankings. That made it a nerve-racking day today.”
The riders completed nine laps of a 12.6-kilometre circuit for a total of 112.9 kilometres to finish off the race. Bastianelli bested Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-PBM)and Jolien D’hoore (Belgium National Team) in the final sprint to take the victory. American Emma White (Rally) finished fourth on the stage.
“It is true that the Belgian races seem to be excellent this year,” Bastianelli said. The Italian was victorious at Gent-Wevelgem, GP Dottignies, Brabantse Pijl and the Trofee Maarten Wynants earlier this year. All those races took place in Belgium.
Tour de France stage 15 highlights
Tour de France stage 15 on-board highlights