Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 7, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: Kittel takes second sprint victory of Tour de France, again ahead of Démare; Sheyla Gutierrez fastest of the break after an action-packed Stage 7 at Giro Rosa; Astana’s Lopez wins summit finish at Tour of Austria as Denifl moves into GC lead; Ruth Winder in yellow after solo victory on opening stage of Tour de Feminin; Valcar PBM rider Claudia Cretti involved in serious incident at Giro Rosa Stage 7; Cavendish receiving online abuse after Sagan’s expulsion from Tour de France; CAS rejects Bora-Hansgrohe’s appeal against Sagan’s Tour de France disqualification; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 6 highlights; Video: Taylor Phinney, on Alberto Contador’s pink whistle at the Tour de France; Video: In a first, bomb-sniffing dogs are deployed at the Tour de France; Video: Tour de France organizers implement system to empty septic tanks from team buses at every start and finish; Video: British cyclist David Smith faced a third life-threatening surgery in six years; Video: Raccoon pedals a tricycle.

Astana’s Lopez wins summit finish at Tour of Austria as Denifl moves into GC lead

by Neal Rogers

Astana’s Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez won the most demanding mountain stage of the Tour of Austria Thursday, arriving atop the Kitzbüheler Horn 17 seconds ahead of Austrian Stefan Denifl of Aqua Blue Sport. Giulio Ciccone of the Italian national team finished third, 50 seconds back.

“We have considered this stage from the beginning of the race and the main goal today was the fighting for the victory,” said Astana director Bruno Cenghialta. “The whole team did a perfect job today and we can proudly say that this is a team’s success. We controlled the stage from the start, while in the last 10km to the bottom of the climb Artyom Zakharov, Oscar Gatto and Nikita Stalnov did huge work to bring Lopez to the best position ahead of the climb. During the first two kilometers of climbing Gatto and Stalnov increased the pace dramatically, making a huge selection in the group. Later it was Miguel Angel, who attacked with 4 km to the top. He could take a nice advantage, enough to win this stage.”

Immediately after the flag dropped an attack went clear but the breakaway was doomed from the outset as Astana controlled the pack. They brought the break back and then Denifl rushed forward as Astana hit the throttle on the early slopes. There were 12 riders soon in a selection. With five kilometres remaining, Lopez found his teammates burned off. He went clear and Denifl tracked the Colombian up the 19 percent gradient and switchback turns.

With the second-place finish, Denifl takes the race lead at his home nation’s most important race, 41 ahead of Spaniard Delio Fernandez (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) with two stages remaining. Lopez sits third overall, 56 seconds back.

“It was a good day for us,” Denifl said. “We have worked so well, and so hard for the whole week. I am so happy for how the guys have helped me this week. This is one of my goals, the Tour of Austria. The climb today is close to my home place, the Kitzbüheler, it is a brutal climb. I paced myself pretty well and I was really close to the stage win. I want to say thanks so much to my DS Nicki Sørensen who helped who helped me keep everything under control. We do not have the stage win but we have the yellow jersey. I am pretty confident with my teammates for tomorrow.”