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by Shane Stokes
June 28, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Contador domestique André Cardoso tests positive for EPO, kicked off Tour squad; Cardoso ‘devastated’ by test result, insists upon his innocence; Movistar coach says that Quintana is at his best level yet; Gilbert, Kittel and Martin give three-pronged approach to QuickStep Floors’ Tour de France team; Belgian media claims QuickStep team set to continue for four more years, Lefevere says deal not done; Moolman-Pasio leads Cervélo-Bigla lineup in Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile; Cromwell amongst ambitious Canyon/SRAM riders heading into Giro Rosa; Orica-Scott vying for overall victory in Giro Rosa; Talansky using brain stimulator to reach optimum Tour de France shape; American rider Casey Saunders dies in Tour of Kansas City crash; Mexican rider tests positive for EPO at Gran Fondo New York; Video: Cycling Motivation – “Euphoria”; Video: New Zealand’s U23 world MTB XC champion Sam Gaze; Video: Skoda Cycling – I Want to Ride My Bicycle
The QuickStep Floors squad has announced its final lineup for the Tour de France and also confirmed the approach it will take in chasing success at the race. It is aiming for stage wins in bunch sprints with Marcel Kittel, victories on lumpier days with Philippe Gilbert and a high overall GC result and possible mountain stage win with Dan Martin.
Kittel has clocked up nine Tour stage wins thus far and, as the team notes, is vying to become only the third current rider with ten stage wins. The other two are Mark Cavendish and André Greipel, who will be sprinting against Kittel for the Team Dimension Data and Lotto-Soudal teams respectively.
He will be backed by a leadout train comprising New Zealand National ITT Champion Jack Bauer, Fabio Sabatini, Julien Vermote, Czech Road Race Champion Zdenek Stybar – who won in Lyon two years ago – and double stage winner Matteo Trentin.
Gilbert is a past stage winner and yellow jersey wearer and won by the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race this year. If he is in the same sort of form, he will be a big threat for stage victories. Meanwhile Martin showed strong form recently in taking second on the final stage plus third overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Backed by Gianluca Brambilla, he is vying to improve on his ninth overall in last year’s Tour. He also won a mountain stage in 2013 and would seize another such opportunity if it occurs.