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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Simon Yates wins stage 12 of the Tour de France from the breakaway, Chris Froome is named the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a España, Rohan Dennis abandons the Tour. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Simon Yates wins stage 12 of the Tour de France
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) nabbed the 12th stage of the Tour de France from the breakaway on Thursday, winning a three-man sprint ahead of fellow escapees Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe).
The trio jumped clear of the main break on the day’s final climb, and then contested the stage win among themselves in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Approaching the final corner, Yates surged to the front to lead onto the short finishing straight, and he held on to take the victory at the line.
“I’ve been saving energy until we got here in the mountains and this was my first day to try something,” Yates said after the stage. “Normally I’d be back in the peloton helping Adam [Yates] but today I had my own chance so I grabbed it with both hands.”
Julian Alaphilippe finished in a sizable GC group 9:38 later to maintain his position atop the overall standings.
Yates, Bilbao, and Mühlberger were part of a massive breakaway move that formed about half an hour into the 209.5-kilometer stage from Toulouse. More than 40 riders went up the road, and once the move went clear the peloton eased off the gas and allowed the break to build a big advantage.
The Col de Peyresourde, the first of two category-one climbs on the day, whittled away at the break and also served as a springboard for a handful of attackers. Simon Clarke (EF Education First), who happened to be celebrating his 33rd birthday, soloed away on the descent and led onto the final climb, the Horquette d’Ancizan, but was caught before the summit by Yates’s teammate Matteo Trentin. Then, Yates and Mühlberger went on the attack.
The duo left most of their breakaway companions in the rearview mirror near the top of the climb, but Bilbao made it up and over the summit shortly behind and made the bridge on the descent. From there, there was no catching the trio up the road.
After building a healthy gap to the next group of chasers, the three out front could afford to think about the sprint, with no one wanting to spend much time at the front in the final minutes—until the trio approached a pair of pivotal final curves, where Yates powered up to speed. He surged around the final bend and onto the short finishing straight in the lead, and moments later crossed the finish line first to get the victory.
“I wasn’t very confident beating either of them given how fast they were,” Yates said after the stage. “I just knew from the directors in the car that I needed to be in the front coming around the last corner. I made sure to do that and luckily I held on to win.”
With the victory, Yates has now won stages at all three of cycling’s Grand Tours.
Stage 12 results
1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 4:57:53
2 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
3 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:28
5 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9 Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 52:26:09
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos 0:01:12
3 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos 0:01:16
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:27
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:45
6 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:46
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:47
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:02:04
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:09
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:02:33
It really shouldn’t need to be said but don’t be this guy.
Please, spectators, stay out of the way. That goes for your phones as well! You risk crashing the riders and you'll most definitely lose your phone in the process. Enjoy the show instead. It's pretty spectacular already! cc @Bonifazio_993 #TDF2019pic.twitter.com/i2uyIxoylU
— Mikkel Condé v2.0 (@mrconde) July 17, 2019
And then there was this, which hurt to watch. Who knew being a soigneur was such dangerous business?
— Simon the Puncheur (@thepuncheur) July 18, 2019
Froome named winner of 2011 Vuelta
Chris Froome (Ineos) is the new overall champion of the 2011 Vuelta a España after initial winner Juan José Cobo has been stripped of his title.
Cobo was suspended by the UCI in June due to biological passport abnormalities from between 2009 and 2011. Upon electing not to appeal his sanction, the Spaniard has lost results from that period, including an overall title at the Vuelta a España.
“As the deadline for appeal has expired, the three-year suspension against Juan José Cobo Acebo is hence confirmed,” read a UCI statement.
“The UCI has proceeded with the disqualification of results obtained by the rider at the 2009 UCI Road World Championships (DNF in the road race; 42nd in the time trial), at the 2009 Vuelta a España (10th) and the 2011 Vuelta a España (winner).”
Chris Froome, who finished as Vuelta runner-up that year, is now the GC champion, adding a seventh Grand Tour title to his palmares even has he recovers from a bad crash.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 18, 2019
Froome’s Ineos teammate Wout Poels finds himself a big winner as well. Cobo’s 2011 Vuelta campaign also included a stage victory atop the brutal climb of L’Angliru. Now that he has been stripped of the result, Poels has his first ever Grand Tour stage win on his palmares.
Dennis abandons the Tour de France
Rohan Dennis pulled out of the Tour de France under unusual circumstances during Thursday’s stage 12. Bahrain-Merida announced in a Tweet that he had pulled out of the Tour midway through the day, but the team seemed to be as confused as everyone else as to what had happened to the reigning world time trial champion one day before the Tour’s lone individual time trial.
Our priority is the welfare of all our riders so will launch an immediate investigation but will not be commenting further until we have established what has happened to @RohanDennis.
Meantime we continue to support our riders who are mid-race.
— Team Bahrain McLaren (@BahrainMcLaren) July 18, 2019
Dennis, his agent, and a team press officer were then seen after the stage but the 29-year-old Australian did not talk to reporters.
Sean Yates says Froome ‘went back on his word’ at 2012 Tour de France
In other Chris Froome news, his former sports director Sean Yates has said the now-four-time Tour champion “went back on his word” when he started battling for his own results at the 2012 Tour de France.
On stage 11 of that year’s race, with team leader Bradley Wiggins in the race lead, Froome attacked on an uphill finale, and only pulling back after the team ordered him to. Froome’s attack caused a rift within the team, although Wiggins did go on to win the overall title, with Froome in second and no one else within six minutes of his victory.
On Wiggins’s Eurosport podcast this week, Yates did not mince words when describing his feelings towards Froome during and after the incident.
“I’m thinking, ‘Okay, maybe they had a chat between themselves and Brad said this is okay’, that’s obviously why I questioned him. But there was no conversation, it was not part of the plan,” Yates said, looking back on the stage.
“For me Froome went back on his word and for me, he’s not a guy I like for that reason. End of story.”
Double shoulder blade fracture for Terpstra after stage 11 crash
As if Niki Terpstra had not already had a tough enough year after sustaining a concussion at the Tour of Flanders, the Total-Direct Energie rider abandoned the Tour de France on Wednesday following a bad crash on stage 11 that left him with an injured shoulder.
According to his team, Terpstra has been diagnosed with a double fracture of his shoulder blade, as well as ligament damage.
Ouch💥Painful to abandon the Tour De France 🇫🇷 Heading home tomorrow and will keep you updated on what’s next pic.twitter.com/9sqyPmRYnU
— Niki Terpstra (@NikiTerpstra) July 17, 2019
Thieves steal equipment from Lotto-Soudal photographer
On an otherwise great day for the team, the Lotto-Soudal squad found itself the victim of a sizable theft on Wednesday.
“At around 9:30pm last night there was a burglary in the room of our cameraman,” Lotto-Soudal told Cycling Weekly.
“They stole cameras, photo and video camera and lenses worth about €50,000. We called the police. There are cameras in the hotel so they are analysis the images and they hope to find the person responsible.”
Coming Up at the Tour
Friday’s stage 12 at the Tour de France will be an important day for the yellow jersey hopefuls. A 27.2-kilometer individual time trial, it is the only ITT in this year’s race.
Covering a rolling circuit in scenic Pau, stage 12 should suit the power time trial specialists.
Earth tones are in this summer – KASK’s new colours
Day to evening-wear can be important with bikes, too. KASK’s Valegro is now available in a muted color palette to appease a growing market to include not just in-competition, but commuters, gravel riders, and more. The 180g (claimed weight, size S) helmet is now offering up three additional gloss colors including Aquamarine, Ash, and Gypsum, along with two matte offerings in Pine Green and Purple to be a little more subtle for everyday use.
The KASK Valegro is available in sizes S, M, and L and costs US$250/AU$299/€189/£169.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Simon Yates wins stage 12 of the Tour de France. Photo: Nico Vereecken/PN/Cor Vos © 2019