Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Today’s stage of the Tour de France was a slog across the French countryside. The peloton moved slow enough the television commentators even began criticizing the route. However, across the border in Italy, the racing was electric. The eighth day of the Giro Rosa was an intense affair, but sadly we were unable to watch it due to no live television pictures. A champion returned to the winner’s circle for the first time this season at the Giro, as the Dutch were victorious at both the biggest men’s and biggest women’s stage races on Friday.
”Today I was recognizing that every time I shift, I shift while my right foot is going forward, so I was trying to shift with my left foot.”. — Taylor Phinney (EF Education First-Drapac) on what he was doing in the peloton during today’s monotonous and long stage at the Tour.
Story of the day: Vos is back, again
European champion Marianne Vos is becoming the Queen of comebacks. The Dutchwoman took the race into her own hands on Friday at the Giro Rosa, attacking deep into the finale of the stage and outsprinting her breakaway companions to take the victory. The win is her first in nearly 10 months. The comeback was to the top step of the podium. The last time she won was at the Lotto Belgium Tour back in September.
At the end of the 2014 season, Vos seemed to be on top of the world. She was ever dominant with 19 victories to her name on the road, including the overall Giro Rosa title. She also claimed her seventh cyclocross world championship that February.
Then the wheels came off in 2015. She battled through injuries and made few race appearances before completely ending her season prematurely. The world’s best cyclist at the time, male or female, suddenly disappeared from the limelight.
Vos ultimately returned in 2016, but was a shell of the commanding rider we saw during the 2014 season. However, as with all great champions, she found her legs and finished 2016 with six wins. In 2017, she pushed her season win total to eight and claimed the European championships. The Vos of old looked to be back.
In 2018, Vos stood on the podium nine times before finally climbing onto the top step. Vos took the race into her own hands and forced the winning attack herself. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) and Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) were the only two riders to follow, but they were no match for the Dutch rider in the sprint to the line.
As the saying goes, Vos has “gotten the monkey off her back,” so this could be the first of many more victories for her this season.
Dispatches from the Tour de France
Groenewegen blasts home first on Stage 7 of Tour de France
Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) crossed the line with his finger over his lips, likely a reference to anyone who was questioning his form, as he won stage seven of the Tour in Chartres. The Dutchman beat Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), thus showing his speed against two of the most successful sprinters in the sport.
“I didn’t have good legs at the beginning of the Tour. But they were going better every day. I said, ‘give it some time’ and now the legs are there. The timing was missing [before] but today we did it. It is amazing. I am really grateful for myself and also my team.
“I was behind Kristoff, and he was going. I was staying on his wheel and I was thinking, ‘now is the moment.’ I went with 200 metres, I think, and that was good enough. I hope [to win more stages]. The legs are good now, I am very happy this way. We will celebrate tonight and then maybe the next day [tomorrow] again.”
Click through to read our full report on Groenewegen’s stage 7 victory.
Tomorrow’s Tour stage
Finish: Amiens Métropole
Once again, stage eight could be a sleeper stage. The route is flat and traverses the barren French countryside. Teams may even be less hesitant to go into the breakaway on Saturday considering the stage across the cobblestones is right on the horizon.
Tomorrow’s Giro Rosa stage
Finish: Monte Zoncolan
Tomorrow is the penultimate day of the race and also the Queen stage. There will be no hiding on stage nine, as the 105-kilometre route finishes atop the famed Monte Zoncolan. With a brutal finishing climb like the Zoncolan, even Annemiek van Vleuten’s nearly three-minute advantage in the general classification is not safe.
We spoke with Ian Boswell of Katusha-Alpecin prior to stage two of the 2018 Tour de France. We steered clear of TDF related matters and instead chatted about his new farm, melon-man and his best mate Marshal who was is following the Tour in a tent.
Tour de France stage 7 highlights
Giro Rosa stage 8 highlights