Today at the Tour: On opening day, Lady Luck spins her wheel of fortune

Well, that didn’t take long. One stage into the 2018 Tour de France and Chris Froome is bloodied, Richie Porte is on the back foot, Nairo Quintana is over a minute behind the GC contenders, and Rigoberto Uran is likely down a teammate. Perhaps wildest of all is that each was set back from separate … The post Today at the Tour: On opening day, Lady Luck spins her wheel of fortune appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour de France: Richie Porte rues time loss after stage 1 crashes

Richie Porte (BMC) ahead of the 2018 Tour de France

The opening stage of the Tour de France was always going to be a fraught affair with tight Vendee roads, potential cross winds, and the fight for position all predictable but decisive features of the race. And so it proved. While Fernando Gaviria claimed his maiden Tour stage and first maillot jaune, the real fight for the GC took on a new dimension with Chris Froome, Richie Porte , Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana all losing time to several of their key rivals. Porte, who came into the race leading the line for BMC Racing in the their final Tour before their disbanding, finished in the same time as Froome and Yates, losing 51 seconds to Vincenzo Nibali, Tom Dumoulin, Romain Bardet and others. Such a deficit might not represent a terminal loss of Porte's GC aspirations but in a race that could be determined by seconds, the group of ...

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Preview: Your guide to the 2018 Tour de France

It’s that time of year again: time for the biggest bike race on the planet. The lead-in to this year’s Tour de France might have been overshadowed by the Chris Froome saga, but now that’s finally sorted, it’s time to focus on the race itself. And what a race it’s shaping up to be. Ahead … The post Preview: Your guide to the 2018 Tour de France appeared first on CyclingTips .

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BMC name Tour squad as uncertainty clouds its future

BMC name Tour squad as uncertainty clouds its future

BMC has named a strong and experienced team to support Richie Porte for the Tour de France, with Damiano Caruso and Tejay van Garderen in the lineup.

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BMC Racing back Richie Porte in pursuit of Tour de France podium

Richie Porte and his BMC teammates during stage 7 at Tour de Suisse

The BMC Racing Team have named a strong and experienced team they hope will help Richie Porte fight for a place on the final podium at the Tour de France . Porte finished fifth in 2016 but crashed out last year on the descent to Chambery. However he won the recent Tour de Suisse and is considered one of the overall contenders for this year’s race along with Chris Froome (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale). The future of the BMC Racing team is uncertain due to a lack of title sponsors for 2019, with Porte set to joinTrek Segafredo, according to a report by Cyclingnews. However the team has strong Grand Tour credentials, with Tejay van Garderen and Damiano Caruso selected to support Porte. Also in the final eight-rider line-up are Greg Van Avermaet, Australian veteran Simon Gerrans, the Swiss duo ...

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Criterium du Dauphine: Thomas secures overall victory

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) wins stage 7 of the Criterium du Dauphine

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) survived two punctures and several late attacks to win the 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné. The Welshman struggled in the final kilometre of the last mountain stage to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc as Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked but he was able to make a measured effort and hold onto the victory. Yates caught and passed Dani Navarro (Cofidis) just 50 metres from the line to win the stage and also gained some time on Thomas. However, Thomas topped the final classification, beating Yates by 1:00. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) attacked several times on the final climb and even when Thomas suffered his second puncture the Frenchman was chased down and controlled each time. Bardet finished third overall, 1:47 down on Thomas. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) cracked on the final climb after the final attacks but finished fourth overall at 2:35. Damiano Caruso (BMC) was fifth at 2:44 ...

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La Flèche Wallonne Preview: The inevitability of death, taxes, and Valverde

If Liege-Bastogne-Liege is known as La Doyenne, then its sister race, La Fleche Wallonne, should be properly known as La Dame Ennuyeuse as it has been as predictable as any race this side of Scheldeprijs. Also acceptable would be La Dame Espagnole as the last six years have all be won Spaniards: Joaquim Rodriguez, Dani Moreno, and Alejandro Valverde x 4. Only the most ascetic of fans would be clamoring for live coverage of the entire race, as it is often only the last three minutes of the race that are interesting. And those last three minutes of the sprint up the Mur de Huy are invariably fun to watch even if it’s more of the brute strength variety of entertainment rather than the intellectual, strategic delights of some of the other classics. (There’s also something to be said for the deluded optimism of holding out hope for the rider ...

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Amstel and the Ardennes: Who’s The Alpha Wolf?

This week is a time of transition. Seeing Tim Wellens, and his Lotto-Soudal team, take the victory in Brabantse Pijl yesterday, with nary a Quick Stepper to be found anywhere near the podium, was itself a break in the clouds that have hung over every other team in the sport. Wellens, too, is from the class of climbers who might dip their toes in the cobbled classics (Wellens started the Omloop) but are long gone once the action shifts to Compiègne. It’s time to climb, and that point will be driven home with brute force Sunday at the Amstel Gold Race. This is a great week, for multiple reasons, and one I’d like to stop to appreciate is the fact that all three of the Big Events is both a men’s and women’s race day. This triple pleasure took hold last year when Amstel revived its women’s event, and the ...

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Van Avermaet to end spring Classics campaign at Amstel Gold Race

BMC and Greg Van Avermaet at Gent-Wevelgem 2018

BMC Racing have confirmed that Greg van Avermaet will finish his spring Classics campaign at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Belgian has already raced for 27 days, including all the major one-day and cobbled Classics. He will join forces with BMC’s Ardennes specialists Dylan Teuns, Simon Gerrans and Damiano Caruso as the US-registered WorldTour team tries to win its first Classic of 2018. Also in the seven-rider line-up fro Amstel Gold Race are Alberto Bettiol, Alessandro de Marchi and Michael Schär. Van Avermaet 's only win of 2018 came on stage 3 of the Tour of Oman. He finished fourth at Paris-Roubaix, fifth at the Tour of Flanders and third at E3 Harelbeke but struggled to match Quick-Step Floor’s combined strength or Peter Sagan’s creative racing. Van Avermaet finished fifth in the 2015 Amstel Gold race and the new finale on narrow roads, but without the Cauberg climb, could ...

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País Vasco: Alaphilippe wins again in Bermeo

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) secured back-to-back stage wins at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco with another victory over Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) on stage 2. The Frenchman broke away on the final climb with Roglic, Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), and after a technical descent it was Roglic who once again led out with a few hundred meters to go. In a repeat of stage 1 Alaphilippe had too much power for the LottoNL-Jumbo rider and extended his overall lead in the race to eight seconds with the stage win time bonus. Izagirre finished third from the group with Landa fourth. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) came home in fifth with a group of GC contenders. After two stages, Izagirre has moved up to third overall, 39 seconds off Alaphilippe’s lead. The race boiled down to the final climb of San Pelaio. With pitches extended to 18 per cent and 3.4km ...

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Caruso hits parked car in final of Pais Vasco opener

Damiano Caruso battles the elements early on stage 5

BMC Racing' s GC hopes at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco took a severe hit on stage 1 of the race with Damiano Caruso hitting a parked car and suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder. Richie Porte finished over seven minutes down on Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-Floors) and is also out of contention for the overall. Caruso, off the back of his second place at Tirreno-Adriatico, came into the race as BMC's leader. A crash with a parked car in the finale of the stage leaves the Italian in 141st place overall 9:47 minutes down on Alaphilippe. "I feel good now. In the final, before the last climb, it was really chaotic. There were cars on the side of the road and I hit a side mirror of one of the cars with my shoulder," said Caruso. "It was really painful at the time but it doesn't seem to be broken or ...

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Richie Porte back in action at Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Richie Porte was smiling pre-race

Richie Porte ( BMC Racing ) will race for the first time since February's Volta ao Algarve next week when he supports his BMC teammates at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco . Porte was unable to ride Tirreno-Adriatico due to an upper respiratory infection. He has been training since making a recovery, but will use the Basque stage race to get back on form. Damiano Caruso, who finished second overall at Tirreno-Adriatico, will lead BMC at Pais Vasco. Also in the squad are Pat Bevin, Alessandro De Marchi, Simon Gerrans, Dylan Teuns and Danilo Wyss. "I am not going in with any expectations or putting too much pressure on myself. For me, this race will be more about testing my form and getting back into the race rhythm than anything else," Porte said when BMC confirmed their line-up for the weeklong stage race. BMC are hoping that Caruso can once ...

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Kwiatkowski: It doesn't matter if I'm the favourite or not

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in the leader's jersey in Tirreno-Adriatico

Milan-San Remo is the easiest Monument to finish, but the hardest to win, so said Mark Cavendish. But what about winning it twice? After beating Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a dramatic finale last year, Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is targeting a second this weekend. Only 14 riders have won the Italian Monument on more than one occasion – Eddy Merckx is the undoubted champion with seven wins. The number of those that have won the race in consecutive seasons is even fewer - eight to be exact – and the Polish former world champion is also looking to become the first back to back winner since Erik Zabel in 1998. Kwiatkowski has shown that he is in great form heading into the race by winning Tirreno-Adriatico ahead of Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing), but says that he's not putting pressure on himself as he looks to defend his La Primavera title. ...

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Tirreno time trial win stokes Dennis' confidence for May

Rohan Dennis celebrates his win in the final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico

Despite finishing well below his second place overall at Tirreno-Adriatico last year, Rohan Dennis ( BMC Racing ) said his win in the final time trial will give him a confidence boost as he makes his final preparations for a general classification run at the Giro d'Italia in May. Dennis was never supposed to be BMC's go-to GC guy at Tirreno this year, choosing instead to tailor his training toward the Italian Grand Tour in less than two months. The leadership role at Tirreno started with Richie Porte, who then had to withdraw before the start due to illness. "Once he was out, obviously, Damiano [Caruso] was called up as the leader for GC," Dennis said during the post-race press conference. "I was hopeful that I could try and repeat what I did last year or go a little bit better, but sometimes it just doesn't happen like that." Dennis ...

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Caruso takes heart from holding second overall at Tirreno-Adriatico

Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing)

Damiano Caruso ( BMC Racing ) dug deep to try to gain three seconds on Michal Kwiatkowski ( Team Sky ) in the final 10km time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico , but when the clock was stopped and the final classification confirmed, the 30-year-old Sicilian had to be content with second place, having held off Geraint Thomas to stop a Team Sky one-two. Caruso set a time of 11:55, but Kwiatkowski was significantly faster in 11:34, ensuring the overall victory and the winner's trident trophy by 24 seconds. Caruso could take heart from holding off Thomas, who moved past Mikel Landa (Movistar) to complete the 2018 podium, eight seconds down on Caruso. "I think this is a really good result for me. Everyone knows the story of this week and how the race went. I'm happy," Caruso said. "I know that Michal Kwiatkowski is really strong in time trials; I knew ...

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Geraint Thomas: If I was lifting up a cobble I'd forget about this race

Damiano Caruso, Michal Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas on the final Tirreno-Adriatico podium

Geraint Thomas ( Team Sky ) made up for the crushing disappointment of a mechanical spoiling his chance to win the Tirreno-Adriatico overall, moving himself up onto the podium in third place behind teammate Michal Kwiatkowski and BMC's Damiano Caruso. In the final stage time trial, he unseated former teammate Mikel Landa, but the result was little consolation, however, for the latest in a string of bad luck events that has plagued the Welshman's career lately. Thomas had a slim hold on the leader's jersey heading into the queen stage to Sarnano Sassotetto, but was in a good position when Landa kicked off the attacks, surrounded by Sky teammates. But a mechanical stopped him with 1km to go on the climb. He had none other than Chris Froome at his side to pace him to the finish, but even a five-time Grand Tour champion couldn't save the day. He ended ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico stage 7 highlights - Video

Michał Kwiatkowski in the Team Sky white jersey

Michal Kwiatkowski ( Team Sky ) secured overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, finishing 12th in the 10km individual time trial, 20 seconds behind stage winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). The Pole took the general classification win by 24 seconds over Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) and 32 over Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, who moved onto the final podium with a 13th-place finish. Dennis took the stage win after covering the pancake-flat course in dry conditions with a time of 11:14. Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) came closest to toppling the Australian national champion but was four seconds shy and had to settle for second place. Team Sky's Jonathan Castroviejo was a further four seconds back for third. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) set an early best time of 11:22, a mark that had him sitting for more than half an hour in the hot seat before Dennis came along and knocked him from ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico: Kwiatkowski holds on to win the overall

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing)

Michal Kwiatkowski ( Team Sky ) took the overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico after extending his race lead in a wet time trial. Kwiatkowski went into the final stage with a three-second advantage over Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing), but put time into the Italian over the 10-kilometre course. In the blue skinsuit of race leader, victory never looked in doubt for Kwiatkowski, who posted a time of 11:34, just 20 seconds shy of the day's winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). Caruso gave away 21 seconds to Kwiatkowski, but held onto second place in the overall standings, despite a strong ride from Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) that saw him leapfrog Mikel Landa (Movistar) into the final podium spot. "When I was warming up it started raining so I was scared something might go wrong. I had to go with lower tyre pressure. It was tricky, I don't know if there were crashes ...

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Pinotti: It's against all odds but Tirreno is not over until the fat lady sings

Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) back in blue at Tirreno-Adriatico

Logic and consensus all point to Michal Kwiatkowski ( Team Sky ) sealing the Tirreno-Adriatico victory in Tuesday's 10km time trial but the history books will provide his chief rival Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) with more than a shred of hope. The Team Sky rider will set off last in the San Benedetto time trial , rolling down the start ramp at 15:48 CET, two minutes after Caruso. The Pole holds a slim three-second lead over his BMC Racing rival, with Mikel Landa, Geraint Thomas, and Rigoberto Uran set to fight it out for the final step on the podium. To illustrate just how close the battle between Caruso and Kwiatkowski could be, the Team Sky rider attempted to pinch a two-second time bonus on stage 6. He was shut down by two BMC riders in Greg Van Avermaet and Patrick Bevin. Every second counts. Caruso, who has raced Tirreno-Adriatico ...

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Geraint Thomas: I don't do quiet days

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Geraint Thomas ' eventful Tirreno-Adriatico continued on stage 6 when the Welshman was hit by a late puncture with around 10 kilometres to go. A frantic chase ensued before he regained contact with the peloton and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) won the stage. Thomas finished safely in the bunch to keep his hopes of a podium alive. The race ends on Tuesday with a 10.5km time trial, and Thomas is six seconds off Mikel Landa's (Movistar) third place. "There's no such thing as a quiet day for me," Thomas told Cyclingnews as he warmed down outside the Team Sky bus. Thomas held the leader's jersey after the first uphill finish in the race but saw his chances of victory evaporate on the race's queen stage when an untimely mechanical saw him lose contact with his rivals. Stage 6 was destined to end in a sprint but first a puncture and then ...

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