Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 26, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Claeys wins third stage of Tour de Wallonie; Simon Yates takes first pro win at Prueba Villafranca; How the Week Was Won: 2016 Tour de France, Stages 17-21; The supertuck, super sprinters, and the Running Man: The 10 most memorable moments of the 2016 Tour de France; Using Tour of Utah defense as training, Dombrowski eyeing victory at Leadville 100 MTB Race; Quintana to skip Rio Olympics; Tony Martin abandons Tour de France on final stage; Caffeine more harmful than helpful; On-board highlights from Tour de France, stage 21; Best of the 2016 Tour de France; Tour de France 2016: What’s been the best moment for you?; A stage win from inside the team car; OBE Backstage Pass, stage 21

The supertuck, super sprinters, and the Running Man: The 10 most memorable moments of the 2016 Tour de France

by Peter Flax

Three weeks. 189 riders. Four jersey competitions. Three final podium spots. Peter Flax runs down the top 10 most memorable moments of the 2016 Tour de France.

Here is an excerpt:

8. The Cummings Break: Team Sky expertly controlled the GC battle but did it in a measured way that let quite a few breakaways stay away. In addition to GVA’s long solo, we were treated to dynamic wins by Jarlinson Pantano and Ilnur Zakarin. But perhaps the most impressive foray was from Dimension Data’s Steve Cummings on Stage 7. As the survivors of a 29-man breakaway got down to business, Cummings bridged up to Dani Navarro and Vincenzo Nibali (a stage hunter at this Tour who still couldn’t quite find his legs) and then dropped them with 25 km to go. From there, Cummings rode up the Col d’Aspin alone and descended to a magnificent solo win in Lac de Payolle. A week later, Cummings was selected to Great Britain’s Olympic team after Peter Kennaugh gave up his spot.

7. Quintana’s Podium: To say that Nairo Quintana, a dynamic climber who has legitimately challenged Froome in the past, was not at his best would be an understatement. Quintana’s entire Tour seemed like a lackluster disappointment. And yet, he somehow ascended the podium in Paris, an achievement that reflects his raw talent, his grit, and his tenacity as a stage racer. He had lots of mediocre days, but not one truly bad day or big mistake like Bauke Mollema, Richie Porte, Fabio Aru, and other riders who seemed poised to finish the Tour in a podium spot. Sometimes you can take measure of a racer not by how they perform when they are at their best but by how they survive when they are struggling.

6. The Crosswind Attack: Stage 11 concluded in Montpellier, a city that has hosted many bunch sprints in Tour history. But brutal crosswinds and a viciously smart attack flipped the script. With about 12 km to go, and the peloton already fracturing, Tinkoff’s Maciej Bodnar rolled off the front of the field. Teammate Peter Sagan immediately seized the moment and jumped on his wheel. Behind Sagan, Froome and teammate Geraint Thomas took chase. The time and effort it took for the Sky duo to close that small gap reflected the effort involved. With Froome and Sagan chatting — and Bodnar taking huge pulls and making pain faces — the foursome held off the field into Montpellier. Froome’s aggression did not subside in the final 200 meters and he sprinted for the line, forcing Sagan to work for his victory salute. Froome’s gap to the GC favorites was tiny — six seconds, plus six seconds in time bonus — but the statement was resounding.

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