Tour de France 2018: The winners and losers from the first week

Joe Robinson 16 Jul 2018 Cyclist take a look at which riders have had a smashing first week and those who have fallen below par The 2018 Tour de France is already a third of the way through and after nine intriguing stages the lay of the land has finally been set. Fernando Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen and Peter Sagan have shared the spoils on the flatter days taking two stages while the first uphill finish went to an aggressive Dan Martin . BMC Racing did what you would expect them to do in the team time trial as John Degenkolb got us all crying with joy in Roubaix . The race for General Classification has been interesting too. Tom Dumoulin was docked some time for drafting a car while Chris Froome lost seconds after crashing on Stage 1. Geraint Thomas is currently sitting pretty above them all while down the ...

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Emerging from the shadows in Roubaix: Degenkolb proves a point

It’s been a long and winding road for John Degenkolb since his last success in Roubaix. On an April day in 2015 he stood atop the podium at the end of the toughest of the spring Classics, celebrating a huge win just weeks after taking Milan-San Remo. Two victories in one Classics season? That’s rare … The post Emerging from the shadows in Roubaix: Degenkolb proves a point appeared first on CyclingTips .

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John Degenkolb: So much pressure has fallen off my shoulders now

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) dedicated the win to a friend who passed away suddenly last winter

There was no lap of the velodrome and no cobblestone trophy but John Degenkolb 's victory in Roubaix, after arguably the cruellest and most tense stage of the Tour de France , was a hugely significant moment for the Trek-Segafredo rider. In an instant, as he beat Greg van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert in the sprint, all his doubts, all the pressure and all the pain of the last two years fell away, giving way to relief, joy and personal pride. He was understandably quite emotional. Degenkolb confirmed his talent for the Classics with victory at Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in 2015. But he has been fighting his way back from physical and mental scars left by an accident in Spain when a driver hit Degenkolb and several teammates during a 2016 pre-season training ride. He suffered serious injuries and was left with a permanently damaged hand. He tried to ...

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Tour de France: Degenkolb scared off by Gaviria in stage 8 sprint

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

Trek-Segafredo 's John Degenkolb scored his best result of this year's Tour de France so far in a chaotic sprint at the end of stage 8 to Amiens , won by Dutch ace Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo). But Degenkolb's third place behind Bora-Hansgrohe's Peter Sagan came at the expense of Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), who were relegated from their podium positions for head-butting . Degenkolb told Cyclingnews that he was finding his sprinter's instinct again, which he didn't expect two months ago. But, that meant he had a front-row seat to witness the headbutting from Gaviria, and he wasn't liking what he saw. "It was a very fast approach again to the sprint. Behind Greipel was Gaviria, and he was trying to squeeze himself through a gap that… There was actually no gap. It was pretty dangerous and I was scared behind them, and couldn't really ...

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Today at the Tour: The Spring Classics in July

The Paris-Roubaix champion won, ahead of a recent winner of Brabantse Pijl. Former winners of Liège-Bastogne-Liège finished third, fourth, and sixth, with a Flèche Wallonne winner fifth, and a former Roubaix winner in seventh. The current Milan-San Remo champion finished 10th. Welcome to the Spring Classics in July. The west coast of France looked a … The post Today at the Tour: The Spring Classics in July appeared first on CyclingTips .

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An enigma wrapped in rainbow stripes: Understanding Peter Sagan

I am sure as hell not going to pretend that I understand Peter Sagan. He’s a massively talented enigma to me, and I know that many journalists who cover pro cycling feel the same way. The last time I lobbed a question Sagan’s way was 18 months ago in a modest hotel conference room in … The post An enigma wrapped in rainbow stripes: Understanding Peter Sagan appeared first on CyclingTips .

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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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Israel Cycling Academy re-sign Neilands, Raim and Dempster

Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) attacks on the Poggio

The Israel Cycling Academy have begun shoring up their 2019 roster, re-signing Krists Neilands , Mihkel Raim and Zak Dempster as the team position themselves for a run at the 2020 Tour de France. The Pro Continental team started their first Grand Tour this year during the Giro d'Italia and its historic start in Jerusalem. Now they're determined to keep the momentum going by targeting a Tour de France start in two years. "Despite ICA's historic achievements at the halfway point of the 2018 season, we are already planning for next year," said team co-owner Sylvan Adams. "To that end we are already re-signing the team's core group of riders including Zak, Krists and Miku. The latter two were originally neo-pros,and have been nurtured in ICA into budding stars for the team. We will be even stronger and more experienced next year and I am proud of our riders and ...

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Kamna takes time out from racing to reflect on long-term career goals

Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb)

Team Sunweb have announced that talented young German rider Lennard Kämna will take a break from racing to “reflect on his long-term career goals’. The 21 year-old rider turned professional in 2017 after leaving his home in Bremen at the age of 14 to attend the Cottbus Sports school. He was junior world time trial champion in 2014 and was third in the 2015 under 23 world championships in Richmond. He completed a full WorldTour season in 2017 with Team Sunweb, including riding 17 stages of the Vuelta a Espana. However has not raced since Milan-San Remo. Team Sunweb said it would allow Kämna to “take some time to review his situation as an athlete and set long-term goals before getting back into racing.” Kämna was part of the Team Sunweb squad that won the world team time trial title in Norway. He went on to finish second in the ...

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Bahrain-Merida opt for balanced team to support Nibali's Tour de France bid

Vincenzo Nibali at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Bahrain-Merida have selected a mix of climbers and rouleurs to support Vincenzo Nibali as the Italian targets a second Tour de France victory. The Sicilian opted to skip the Giro d’Italia and focus fully on the Tour de France in 2018, hoping to repeat his 2014 victory. Bahrain-Merida’s eight rider squad includes Domenico Pozzovivo, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Franco Pellizotti, Heinrich Haussler, Sonny Colbrelli and Kristijan Koren to back Nibali, selecting climbers and rouleurs in the hope of limiting their losses in the stage 3 team time trial and the technically difficult stages in the first half of the race. The Izagirre brothers and Pozzovivo will play a vital role in the mountains, with Pozzovivo coming from a fifth place overall at the Giro d’Italia. Haussler, Colbrelli and Koren will protect Nibali on the cobbled stage and flat roads, with Colbrelli likely to target the sprint finishes. Pellizotti turned 40 ...

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Film Review: David Millar rages against the dying of the light in 'Time Trial'

Joseph Delves Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 10:31 David Millar rages against the dying of the light in Finaly Pretsell’s hypnotic and propulsive film 4.0 / 5 Getting a dressing down from Paxman. It’s a strange honour and a reminder of just how big of a deal David Millar was. Before Brits regularly won Grand Tours he was the nation’s great cycling hope. The first British rider to wear the leader’s jersey in all three Grand Tours, his story; early promise, doping, redemption, is well known. Partly thanks to his own excellent autobiographies. Millar’s final season and a last ride at the Tour de France were to form the subject of Finlay Pretsell’s Time Trial. Early in the film and somewhere during the infinite churn of racing, out of season hotels, and countless pasta dinners Millar realises the end of the road is fast rearing up ahead of him. As ...

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Mark Cavendish to race nationals before Tour de France

Mark Cavendish to race nationals before Tour de France

Joe Robinson 15 Jun 2018 Cummings set to defend titles while Dowsett, Storey and Pidcock also confirmed as racing Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will complete his preparation for this summer's Tour de France by racing the British National Road Race Championships on Sunday 1st July, British Cycling confirmed. He will joined by teammate and current champion Steve Cummings in Northumberland. Taking place six days before the start of the Tour, Cavendish will target a second national title, having sprinted to victory in 2013, while also trying to build form ahead of the three week stage race. This season has been one to forget so far for the 33-year-old. Consecutive crashes at Abu Dhabi Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo forced him into an extended period away before returning at the Tour de Yorkshire in May. This has lead the sprinter to have only have one victory so dar this season, Stage ...

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Mark Cavendish confirmed for British national championships

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)

Mark Cavendish will target the British national championships before heading to the Tour de France , race organiser British Cycling has confirmed. Cavendish is the latest to be confirmed for the nationals, along with defending champion and Dimension Data teammate Steve Cummings, and Tom Pidcock, while Sarah Storey and Katie Archibald have been named for the women’s races. Cavendish will only ride the road race on July 1, as has been the case in all of his participations since turning professional. He won the British national title in 2013 and finished second in both 2015 and 2016 as he tried to take on the combined strength of Team Sky. Last year he battled back from illness to compete on home roads on the Isle of Man but failed to finish, with Cummings winning both the time trial and road race titles. The 2018 British national championships are set to take ...

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Degenkolb: Making the Tour de France team all depends on how Suisse goes

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) during stage 3 at Tour de Suisse

John Degenkolb remains determined to make Trek-Segafredo ’s Tour de France team but even the German, at his optimistic best, knows that he is facing a battle to prove his form ahead of the biggest race in the world. A crash at Paris-Roubaix in April left him nursing a knee injury and needing a total of three weeks off the bike. The former Roubaix and Milan-San Remo winner only returned to racing in May for the Hammer Series, before lining up the Tour de Suisse . Flat sprint stages are a rare commodity at the week-long race and the hilly terrain has put Degenkolb on the back foot so far, but he believes that his condition is slowly improving. "So far, so good. I’ve felt relaxed and I’ve felt like I’ve improved," he told Cyclingnews on the start line of stage 4. "The TTT was super hard for me and ...

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Tour de Suisse: Kristoff just a couple of kilos off Tour de France form

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)

European road champion Alexander Kristoff ( UAE Team Emirates ) may not have featured in the bunch sprints at the Tour de Suisse , but the former winner of Milan-San Remo and Tour of Flanders believes that he is closing in on his best form and that if he ships a couple more kilos he will be in contention to win stages at the Tour de France in July. Kristoff was dropped on the opening hilly road stage on Sunday and suffered a similar situation on stage 3 when the bunch hit the final climb. This time around he made contact with the tail-end of the peloton on the descent towards the finish, but with so much ground to cover between the front of the stretched-out bunch and the rear, he was unable to contest the finish and rolled over the line to fill one of the latter places. Sonny ...

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Classic jerseys: No.1 Flandria

Giles Belbin 11 Jun 2018 In the first of a new series, we uncover the stories behind classic jerseys, starting with a team as legendary as the region it hails from On 27th September 1979, Alain De Roo crossed the line first to win the 136km Omloop van het Houtland. The result was notable only for it being the final victory claimed by Flandria, the Belgian team that for 20 years had been a dominant force in the professional peloton. Flandria’s foundations lay in the late 1890s when a Belgian blacksmith called Louis Claeys made his first bicycle in the family’s forge in Zedelgem, West Flanders. Four of his children, Alidor, Aimé, Remi and Jerome Claeys, later formed Werkhuizen Gebroeders Claeys (The Claeys Brothers Limited), to manufacture bicycles and related products. See related Rapha launches slick new crit-racing collection Should you still wear a base layer in the summer? Christian ...

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Oomen subs in at Tour de Suisse to support Kelderman

Sam Oomen (Sunweb)

A fortnight after securing his first Grand Tour finish and ninth overall at the Giro d'Italia , Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb) is back in the saddle at the Tour de Suisse. The 22-year-old played a crucial part in Team Sunweb's Giro challenge, helping Tom Dumoulin to second overall while enhancing his own reputation with a number of assured rides in the mountains. Although he is far from the finished article and still developing, the young Sunweb rider is back on super-domestique duties in Switzerland as teammate Wilco Kelderman aims for a GC challenge of his own. Oomen was only down as a reserve for the Tour de Suisse but a last-minute change saw Lennard Kamna - who hasn't raced since Milan-San Remo - drop out and Oomen come in. "I'm not super tired but I'm not in super shape either," Oomen told Cyclingnews ahead of stage 2. "Yesterday in the ...

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Mark Cavendish can still beat everybody, says Aldag

Mark Cavendish takes his first win of 2018

Dimension Data have lost no faith in Mark Cavendish’s ability to deliver as they continue to prepare for July’s Tour de France. The Manx sprinter has won 30 Tour de France stages during his career and despite a rocky past year due to several crashes and injuries; he remains integral to the team’s Tour de France plans. Cavendish has won just once this season, a stage at the Dubai Tour in February. He crashed hard at the Abu Dhabi Tour and then crashed out of both Tirreno -Adriatico and Milan-San Remo in March. He returned to racing in late spring and used the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of California to rebuild his form. He will race the Tour de Slovenie (June 13-17) next week and then the new Adriatica Ionica Race (June 20-24) in Italy as his final preparation before the Tour de France. “He’s had a lot ...

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Vincenzo Nibali: It's too early to be good at the Dauphine

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

Vincenzo Nibali cut a relaxed figure as he jumped down the steps of the Bahrain-Merida bus after his prologue effort on the opening day of the Critérium du Dauphiné . The Italian had just posted the slowest time of the riders who are preparing for an assault on the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, but he was unconcerned. "The Tour de France is still a month away," he breezed. Indeed, this year there's an extra week between the Dauphiné and the Tour as a result of the football World Cup, and so the traditional stepping stone has lost some of its appeal. Many have jumped ship and will line up instead at the Tour de Suisse next weekend, while the remaining maillot jaune hopefuls all seem cautious about their shape. Nibali is especially so. It's dangerous to read too much into a 6.6km prologue, and Nibali's time of ...

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Haussler's second chance leads to supporting Nibali at the Tour de France

Recovered from his knee injury, Heinrich Haussler at the training camp

After spending 15 days at altitude Heinrich Haussler ( Bahrain-Merida ) returns to racing at the Criterium du Dauphine as part of Vincenzo Nibali’s core group for the Tour de France. Haussler, who almost quit the sport last year due to a longstanding knee injury, has only raced Grand Tours sparingly in the last decade but this July he is set to make Bahrain’s Tour team as they look to carry Nibali to victory for the first time since 2014. “I’m just glad to be back on the bike and racing again. I’ve said it a few times before but I’m glad I had those injury problems before because now I see the sport in a different way. I see this as a second chance for me and I’ve used every day, whether it was at the Classics or at the recent camp, to the maximum,” Haussler told Cyclingnews before ...

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