Bardet: It's a miracle I'm still in the Tour de France

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) fought to limit his losses

For Romain Bardet , it really was a Sunday in Hell at the Tour de France . The AG2R La Mondiale leader was shaking his head well before the end of the stage, and once across the sanctuary of the finish line, he fell to the floor and sat slumped against the roadside barriers, his face covered in dirt. He wouldn't have looked out of place in the middle of the famous Roubaix velodrome – a matter of metres away – on the second Sunday of April. The puppet masters pulling the strings of fortune took little pity on the great French hope on the highly anticipated cobbled stage of the 2018 Tour de France but, somehow, Bardet came through unscathed. Three punctures and tens of kilometres spent desperately chasing the front of the race, and only seven seconds conceded; he called it a miracle. "I wanted to take the ...

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Today at the Tour: Crashes, mechanicals, and the aftermath

The dust has settled. As expected, there were crashes. There were mechanicals. There were tears on the road, and tears on the podium. When contextualizing Stage 9 of the 2018 Tour de France, where to begin? Let’s start with the big picture: Although there were significant changes to the general classification after the peloton’s adventure … The post Today at the Tour: Crashes, mechanicals, and the aftermath appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour de cobblestones: Bardet’s ‘miracle’ ride

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet miraculously avoids major time loss in Tour stage 9, despite three flat tires on the cobblestones. Read the full article at Tour de cobblestones: Bardet’s ‘miracle’ ride on VeloNews.com .

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Today at the Tour: A crash, two relegations, and cobblestone anxiety

We now interrupt all regularly programmed pre-written Roubaix stage previews with this very important message: There’s (almost) never a dull stage at the 2018 Tour de France. After Friday’s 231km Stage 7 yawner, what looked to be another uneventful stage — flat roads, token French riders in the breakaway, field sprint — turned into something else completely … The post Today at the Tour: A crash, two relegations, and cobblestone anxiety appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Bardet leaning on teammates ahead of cobbles

Bardet leaning on teammates ahead of cobbles

Romain Bardet is putting his Tour destiny into the hands of his teammates ahead of Sunday’s clash on the cobbles. Read the full article at Bardet leaning on teammates ahead of cobbles on VeloNews.com .

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Tour de France 2018 Stage 7: Dylan Groenewegen sprints to victory

Tour de France 2018 Stage 7: Dylan Groenewegen sprints to victory

Martin James 13 Jul 2018 Groenewegen comes good at last to deny Gaviria another stage victory Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto-NL Jumbo) finally found his sprinting form to win a frantic dash for the line at the end of Stage 7 of the 2018 Tour de France into Chartres. The Tour’s longest stage at 231km alternated between long sections of soft-pedalling and periods of full gas racing as crosswinds threatened to break the race apart. In the end, though, it was always likely to end in a mass sprint finish, and Groenewegen judged his effort to perfection, coming off the wheel of favourite Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) to cross the line comfortably in front. The green jersey of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was third to rack up another haul of points in that competition, then came Frenchman Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FdJ). The yellow jersey remains on the shoulders of BMC Racing’s Greg Van Avermaet, ...

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Fizik updates shoe colours and saddle range for 2019

Fizik updates shoe colours and saddle range for 2019

For 2019, Fizik has added a wealth of new colours to its shoe collection and has brought its Versus EVO saddle tech to its premium carbon saddle line. Colourful new kicks Fizik’s premium Infinito shoe gained a knitted-upper variant last year. For 2019 the design remains unchanged, but they’ve added a slew of new knitted colourways in Gray Knit/Black, Petroleum Blue Knit/Yellow Fluo, Purple Knit/Blue eagle-eyed tour de France viewers should be able to see some of the new knits on the feet of Team Sky’s star Geraint Thomas and AG2R La Mondiale’s Oliver Naesen. Elsewhere in Fizik’s range, the all-rounder Aria R3 gets a new navy blue/white colour. The XC/gravel biased Terra X5 gets a few options in addition to the suede upper that premiered last year in a stylish olive green with a contrasting orange sole. In suede, Fizik has added an understated dark brown/sage green combo. Inand ...

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Gaviria wins stage 1 of Tour de France; Froome, Porte and Quintana lose time

Supported by Fernando Gaviria had the perfect start to his first Tour de France, winning stage one into Fontenay-Le-Comte and grabbing the race’s first yellow jersey. The QuickStep Floors rider beat world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and his former teammate Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha-Alpecin), with Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) next home. “It’s … The post Gaviria wins stage 1 of Tour de France; Froome, Porte and Quintana lose time appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Gallopin confident for Tour despite crash at French national championships

Tony Gallopin is bundled up against the cold at Paris-Nice

AG2R La Mondiale 's Tony Gallopin is confident he will be able to race in the Tour de France despite fracturing a rib in a crash during the French elite men's road race championships on Sunday. Gallopin suffered contusions to his left side and an undisplaced rib fracture on his right side. Providing he recovers, the 30-year-old Frenchman will start his eighth Tour de France on Saturday, and will be hoping to add another stage victory to the one he won at the 2014 Tour, as well as supporting team leader Romain Bardet to help him improve on his third place of last year. After four seasons with Belgian outfit Lotto Soudal, Gallopin made the decision to join AG2R La Mondiale this year, with his role there being to help Oliver Naesen in the Classics and Bardet at the Tour. Gallopin also wanted the opportunity to chase victories for himself, ...

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Quick-Step focused on retaking Belgian jersey in Sunday road race

Philippe Gilbert wins 2017 Tour of Flanders

All national championships are important to teams and individual riders, but it's fair to say that Belgian super team Quick-Step Floors put an extra emphasis on winning the Belgian national jersey each year. The team's plans were foiled in the road in 2017 by AG2R La Mondiale 's Oliver Naesen , but Quick-Step are sending a strong contingent to the Belgian Championships to try and win back the title this year. Lining up for the 223.6km race in Binche on Sunday will be Laurens De Plus, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Philippe Gilbert, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert and Pieter Serry. De Plus and reigning champion Yves Lampaert will contest the 43.2km race against the clock in Vichte on Thursday. "Of course, it’s no secret that the Belgian Championships are very important for us," said team director Tom Steels. "Yves is the reigning champion and looking at the route it should suit ...

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AG2R La Mondiale name team to back Bardet at Tour de France

Romain Bardet attacks with Adam Yates on his wheel

AG2R La Mondiale have named the team that will back Romain Bardet in his bid at this year’s Tour de France . The eight-man line-up includes Pierre Latour, Belgian champion Oliver Naesen and Paris-Roubaix runner-up Silvan Dillier. “We are not the favourites, but we have an outsider capable of making the race hard,” said AG2R La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu. Bardet has finished in the top 10 of the Tour de France’s general classification in each of his last four appearances, and made the podium in the last two. In 2017, Bardet was almost knocked off the podium in the final time trial but made it through by a single second ahead of Team Sky’s Mikel Landa. With such a varied and challenging parcours in the opening week of the Tour de France, the difficulty for the directeur sportifs has been to select a line-up that can cover all eventualities. ...

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Boasson Hagen joins sprint battle at Criterium du Dauphine

Edvald Boasson Hagen gets ready

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) might have been beaten on stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné , but he took heart simply from being in the battle. It's been a trying season for the Norwegian so far – and even more so for his team – but he feels things are coming good at the right time ahead of the Tour de France. The two opening road stages of the Dauphiné were always likely to appeal to Boasson Hagen, both featuring undulating terrain that would complicate matters for the pure sprinters, of which there are few present at the race. Moreover, both stages featured uphill drags to the line. After surviving the late climb on Monday, only to lose position and finish 37th, Boasson Hagen once again safely negotiated Tuesday's final climb, which, despite coming some 30km from the line, ruled the likes of Bryan Coquard, Fabio Jakobsen, and ...

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Criterium du Dauphine: Impey takes overall lead as Kwiatkowski crashes

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné

Pascal Ackermann ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) showcased his talent with victory on stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Belleville en Beaujolais, beating Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) into second place, while Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) moved into the yellow and blue jersey of overall leader after taking third in the reduced bunch sprint. The breathless finale of the stage was marred by a crash involving previous leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), who went down alone in the final two kilometres. Though his jersey was ripped and his left elbow bloodied, Kwiatkowski was able to remount and complete the stage. As the incident took place inside the final three kilometres, he was awarded the same time as the front group, but he would lose his jersey to Impey, who picked up a four-second time bonus at the finish. After placing third behind Impey on stage 1, Ackermann was reluctant to make ...

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Bardet finalises Tour de France preparation at Criterium du Dauphine - News Shorts

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) third at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Romain Bardet will begin his final preparations for the Tour de France at the Critérium du Dauphiné this weekend. The Frenchman will lead a strong AG2R La Mondiale squad that includes Oliver Naesen, Alexis Vuillermoz, Tony Gallopin and Pierre Latour. Alexis Gougeard and Axel Domont complete the line-up. Bardet finished sixth at last year’s race but appeared in the podium in 2016, finishing second behind Chris Froome. Bardet has not raced since the Ardennes last month, where he finished third at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and ninth at Flèche Wallone. He has one win to his name so far this season, after going on a solo attack at the Classic de l'Ardèche Rhône Crussol, beating Max Schachmann by 47 seconds. Bardet finished an altitude training camp earlier this week, where the riders clocked up almost 1,500km of riding, and is ready to get back into racing. “After taking a good break, I headed ...

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Kristoff wins fourth straight Eschborn-Frankfurt

European champion Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) wins opening stage of Rund um den Finanzpla

European champion Alexander Kristoff muscled his way to a repeat victory in the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt on Tuesday. The UAE Team Emirates rider out-paced Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) in the sprint finish. Kristoff benefitted from a premature effort by Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria, who appeared to misjudge the final turn. "I was lucky because Gaviria went wrong in the last corner," Kristoff said. "He had a small gap so it would have been hard to close. Luck was on my side and in the end, I managed to take it so I'm really happy." The Eschborn-Frankfurt was given a makeover for its 2018 edition, with a hillier route designed to give the non-sprinters more of a chance of victory. The remaining riders from a breakaway that went clear on the penultimate climb were only reeled in with 3km to go, and the ...

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SAGAN CONQUERS DEFIANT DILLIER, SCORES ROUBAIX WIN

Sagan and Dillier in Carrefour de l’Arbe

Slovakian arrives on the Classics Mountaintop with dominant attack World Champion Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe spent the week bemoaning his fate as the marked man of the classics. Then he went out and did something about it. Sagan soloed away from the peloton during the Auchy-Les-Orchies secteur of Paris-Roubaix, bridged up to the remnants of the day’s breakaway, and pummeled the entire sport of cycling to earn his first victory in the Hell of the North, outsprinting a surprising surviving Silvan Dillier of AG2R on the last quarter-lap of the old Roubaix Velodrome to take the victory, thrusting both fists in the air and showing his dirty, dusty rainbow for anyone who doubted his greatness before today. Sagan’s victory gives him the Career Double — with his Monumental Flanders win in 2016 — and ticks off the last box for him in the cobbled classics, along with his E3 win ...

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After a long-range attack, Sagan takes a definitive victory at Paris-Roubaix

World champion Peter Sagan answered all critics and crossed a major career objective off his list Sunday with a demonstrative, emphatic victory at Paris-Roubaix. The Bora-Hansgrohe star attacked from 54km to go, caught the remnants of the daylong breakaway, and then outsprinted Sylvain Dillier (Ag2r La Mondiale) to take his second Monument. Last weekend’s Tour … The post After a long-range attack, Sagan takes a definitive victory at Paris-Roubaix appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Peter Sagan wins an enthralling Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan wins an enthralling Paris-Roubaix

Joe Robinson 8 Apr 2018 After attacking with more than 50km remaining, Sagan finally takes the 'Queen of the Classics' Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins the 2018 Paris-Roubaix outsprinting Silvain Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) who managed to cling on from the day's original break. Sagan made the winning move from an astonishing 53km out, dropping a group containing most of the day's favourites. He caught the remnants of the day's break and was eventually joined by Dillier with both riders going clear. The World Champion managed to make this move stick despite the best efforts of those behind. The real warrior of the day was Silvain Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale). The Swiss road champion made the original break of the day managing to stay with Sagan when all others could not. The is the World Champion's second Monument after the 2016 Tour of Flanders and no doubt further's his legendary status. ...

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Naesen: I hope the puzzle fits together for me on the Carrefour de l’Arbre

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

Belgian champion Oliver Naesen ( AG2R La Mondiale ) is one of the outsiders for the win in Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. The 27-year-old rider feels he's got the legs to win on the velodrome in Roubaix but needs the luck he missed during the previous races. To shake off the dominance of the Quick-Step Floors 'wolfpack', Naesen came up with a tactic: ride aggressively. Specialist of the spring Classics often have one preferred race; mostly they choose between the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris Roubaix. It's probably one of the most asked questions, but Naesen still took it seriously. "It's a difficult question. They're so different. I like them both. Two years ago I would've said Paris-Roubaix, last year I would've said Flanders and now I don't know." It's a luxury to have the choice between two races, two Monuments. Winning the Ronde is no longer an option this year. ...

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Preview: Oh, What the Hell

Sometimes I envy the casual cycling fan, and this is one of those times. If you just check in on the most obviously great races — in America I suppose you could call them the Phil and Paul races — then you get lots of breaks from focusing on cycling and it all seems nice and fresh. For me, Paris-Roubaix is the end of a long haul. It’s the culmination of nine months of winding myself back up for the Cobbled Classics, a process that starts after the Tour when the Worlds appear on the horizon and the one-day riders become relevant again. It’s several months of looking in on results to see if the field of contenders is growing. It’s an excitement that starts building rapidly in February when, as impossible as it seems to my icy winter brain, racing in Flanders is about to actually happen. Photo by ...

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