Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 19, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: Michael Matthews takes Stage 16 win at Tour de France after crosswinds wreak havoc; Brennauer seals GC victory at Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, Schneider takes Stage 6 win; Degenkolb upset, says Matthews ‘did not hold his line’ in Tour de France sprint; Bad day for Quick-Step at Tour de France as Kittel loses points, Martin loses time, Gilbert abandons; Bennett forced to abandon Tour de France with illness; Zubeldia to end 20-year career at San Sebastian; Cannondale-Drapac team in ‘super-promising’ negotiations with two potential sponsors; Pinarello announces Dogma F10 Disk; Silca reintroduces Pista floor pump, releases 100-year HX-One tool kit; Foundation announced in honor of American Chad Young; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 16 highlights; Video: The moment Michael Matthews realized he’d won Stage 16 at Tour de France.

Bad day for Quick-Step at Tour de France as Kittel loses points, Martin loses time, Gilbert abandons

by Neal Rogers

With five stage wins and Marcel Kittel’s 12 days in the green jersey, Quick-Step Floors can only view the 2017 Tour de France as a success. That said, Stage 16 was a bit of a nightmare for the Belgian squad Tuesday, with Kittel dropped early, losing 50 points to Michael Matthews, Dan Martin losing 51 seconds to his GC rivals after a split in the crosswinds, and Philippe Gilbert abandoning with a stomach virus that has also affected teammates Zdenek Stybar and Julien Vermote.

“Shit happens,” team boss Patrick Lefevre told Belgian outlet Sporza. “Today it was our turn. But we have still won five stages. We still have green and will defend it to the bone. The next few days will be difficult, but Paris is decisive. I heard that Vermote and Sabatini fell on the descent [of the Côte de Boussoulet]. Of course, that breaks the pace. Sunweb found allies, that’s normal. But we will not panic, because panic is a bad counselor.”

Lefevre said Martin’s time loss was due, in part, to an overlapping of wheels with Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) during the hectic crosswind split inside the final 20km.

“At some point, [Martin] had his nose in the wind where it should not have been,” said Lefevere. “Bardet rode involuntarily to Martin’s wheel. He had to brake and lost about 10 places. Everyone knows that can be fatal in the wind. [Jack] Bauer has made a huge effort to bring him back, but unfortunately he could not do enough on the wheel.”

“We hoped that the team could protect me, but I was in the end only Bauer and Brambilla with me, and I was not strong enough,” Martin said. “It was dangerous in the final and a couple of times I had to use the brakes. Maybe I made a mistake, but that is part of racing. It’s a shame because I’ve fought so hard for my place. But it’s not over yet. We’ll see what else happens in the coming days.”