Five predictions for ‘week two’ of the Tour de France

With 10 stages in the rearview mirror at what has already been a compelling Tour de France, the action should heat up even more as the race rolls on this week. The Tour is bound for the Pyrenees over the next few days, and that will mean fireworks out on the road during ‘week two’ … The post Five predictions for ‘week two’ of the Tour de France appeared first on CyclingTips .

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The secrets to a Thomas De Gendt breakaway

Thomas-de-gendt-wins-stage-8-tour-de-france

Supported by Follow these four easy steps and you'll be winning Tour de France stages solo in no time. The post The secrets to a Thomas De Gendt breakaway appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour de France: Teuns wins atop La Planche des Belles Filles

Dylan Teuns wins stage 6 at the 2019 Tour de France

Stage 6 was billed as the first ‘real test’ of the 2019 Tour de France, and indeed there were plenty of developments on La Planche des Belles Filles. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) claimed stage honours, using the final steep ramps to pull away from breakaway companion Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), for whom consolation came in the form of the yellow jersey he wrestled from Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep). As for the much-anticipated clues in the battle for the overall title, Geraint Thomas brushed off the doubts surrounding his pre-race form and staked a strong claim to leadership of Team Ineos, while Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) suffered a major blow to his hopes of improving on his 2016 and 2017 podiums. This was the fourth appearance of La Planche des Belles Filles in the past eight editions of the Tour, though it was a very different proposition to 2012, 2014, and 2017. Not ...

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Geraint Thomas: La Planche des Belles Filles will be 100 per cent racing

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) ahead of stage 4 at the Tour de France

Geraint Thomas ( Team Ineos ) warned that Thursday's finish at La Planche des Belles Filles will be a moment of "100 per cent racing" at this year's Tour de France , with the first mountain stage in the Vosges set to finally reveal the form of the overall contenders and perhaps create significant time gaps. Thomas lost five seconds to teammate Egan Bernal and French rival Thibaut Pinot on the uphill finish to Epernay on Monday and Team Inoes is hoping it was just a brief moment of distraction rather than an indication of the Welshman's form after his Tour de Suisse crash. Thomas and Bernal started the Tour de France on equal footing and the 8.7 per cent climb to La Planche des Belle Filles is likely to show who is the stronger, with Bernal free to follow any attacks and ride his own race, even if Thomas ...

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Peter Sagan tightens grip on green jersey at the Tour de France

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Peter Sagan ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) put a difficult start to the year behind him on stage 5 of the Tour de France , taking victory in Colmar to strengthen his grip on the green jersey and move up to tied-16th on the all-time stage victories list. The Slovak now lies with 12 wins, equal to Miguel Indurain as well as legendary sprinters Robbie McEwen and Erik Zabel. The Bora-Hansgrohe leader also moved past Sean Kelly into sixth place on the Tour's all-time top-three-finishes list with 44 in total. But beyond the statistics, the win also marks a turnaround from a spring that saw him suffer from illness in March and never quite hit 100 per cent during the Classics season. "I think we can't compare it," Sagan said, when asked about the difference in him between April and July. "At the start of the season I was sick. I think ...

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Thomas: I'm looking forward to La Planche des Belles Filles

Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas in the Team Ineos bubble at the Tour de France

No alarms and no surprises, please. It was the kind of day every Tour de France contender just wanted to be over. On the long, flat run from Reims to Nancy on stage 4 , there was nothing to prove and everything to lose for men like the Team Ineos pairing of Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal . Both riders came through the day safely in the main peloton and they might well have breathed Fernando Escartin's old mantra from the Tours of the 1990s to themselves as they unclipped from their bikes outside the Ineos bus past the finish line: one day less. As ever, the Ineos riders warmed down on the turbo trainer after the stage, gazing into the middle distance while a forest of fans and television crews sprouted up around them. A British fan held up an image on a mobile phone screen and called out ...

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Tour de France: Momentum still with Bernal as Thomas loses five seconds in fraught finale

Egan Bernal finishes stage 3 at the Tour de France ahead of teammate Geraint Thomas

Who's the boss? The five seconds Egan Bernal gained on Geraint Thomas when the peloton split on the drag to the line at Épernay on stage 3 won't decide the hierarchy at Team Ineos, far less the outcome of the Tour de France itself, but it felt like a microcosm of their contrasting approaches to this race all the same. The short, sharp haul up the Rue de Coteaux was all about momentum. Bernal, fresh from Tour de Suisse victory last month, has it in spades. Thomas, who endured a truncated build-up, is a man still in search of it. After a rugged finale that fizzed through champagne country, lone escapee Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was already celebrating stage victory and a stint in the maillot jaune by the time the reduced chasing peloton hit the 350m kick towards the line. Thomas was well positioned towards the front of that elite ...

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Viviani: The Tour de France will decide my future

Elia Viviani gives thumbs up on stage at the Tour de France presentation in Brussels

Elia Viviani has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Cofidis are among his suitors for the 2020 season though he has not ruled out the prospect of remaining at Deceuninck-QuickStep when his contract expires at the end of this year. A report in L'Equipe on Monday linked Viviani with a move to Cofidis, who are set to step up to an expanded WorldTour in 2020. Cedric Vasseur's team are in the market for a sprinter due to the impending departure of Nacer Bouhanni, who was left out of the Tour selection for the second year in succession. Viviani feels that his market value was boosted by his fine debut season at QuickStep in 2018, though he acknowledged that his performance at the Tour de France would ultimately determine his destination for next season. Viviani is riding La Grande Boucle for the first time since 2014. "We haven't signed with anyone. My desire, ...

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Ten riders with something to prove at the 2019 Tour de France

Pressure. The Tour de France presses down on everyone, but even more so if you have something to prove. From established veterans needing to prove they’ve still got the fire to riders making long-awaited Tour debuts, there are plenty of big names that head into this Tour de France with something to prove, for one … The post Ten riders with something to prove at the 2019 Tour de France appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour de France: Geraint Thomas survives late scare after crash on stage 1

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) stage 1 start at the Tour de France

Defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas ( Team Ineos ) survived a late scare on stage of the 2019 race after coming down in a late crash. The Welshman avoided the centre of the fall that took down pre-stage favourite Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) but had no choice but to go into the barriers. Thomas was quickly back on his bike and finished the stage. Although he didn't come home in the group that contained stage winner Mike Teunissen, the fall took place inside the final 3km, meaning Thomas was awarded the same time as the winner and the first yellow jersey of this year's race. "I'm fine. I was pretty slow by the time I hit them so just toppled over. It's all good. I gave myself enough space so avoided the actual crash. I was just at the barriers with nowhere to go, it's just one of those ...

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Luke Rowe: Geraint Thomas is still the Tour de France favourite

Geraint Thomas wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey and teammate Luke Rowe hold the Welsh flag

Luke Rowe starts his fifth Tour de France in Brussels on Sunday in his usual domestique's role for Team Ineos . The question is, who – between defending champion Geraint Thomas and young pretender Egan Bernal – will he be working for come the final week of the race? It's the same question that everyone's asking, from fans, to the media, to rival teams. And Rowe has the answer: the road will decide. But the 29-year-old Welshman is in the privileged position of being an inside man – and knows both of his GC-contender teammates' qualities and personalities well. "The Tour de Suisse was a disappointment, and Geraint was right next to me when he went down," Rowe told reporters on Friday, referring to Thomas' crash that ended the stage race early for him in June, but with no lasting damage. "It would have been a better scenario to have ...

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Peter Sagan: The Tour de France sprints are always a big mess

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins stage 3 at the Tour de Suisse

Peter Sagan is often considered the only rock star in the professional peloton, but as the hours counted down to Saturday's first stage of the Tour de France , where he could take the first yellow jersey and begin to score points towards a record-breaking seventh green points jersey, the Bora-Hansgrohe team leader was evasive about his chances of winning, and seemed slightly irritated about a lack of support in his eight-rider squad for this year's race. When asked about the chance of crashes at the Tour, Sagan and his entourage revealed their strong sense of superstition, closing down the question quickly in the hope it wouldn't carry any bad karma in the days to come. During the Bora-Hansgrohe press conference late on Friday afternoon, Sagan was one of four team leaders, rather than the only leader. Bora-Hansgrohe is no longer only the Peter Sagan show, even if he generates ...

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A ride down memory lane with Allan Peiper

Supported by Allan Peiper is a living link between Australian and Belgian cycling. Having resided in Belgium for the best part of 40 years, his is a link that was first forged when he arrived as a junior cyclist in 1977. Illness forced his return to Australia after three years, but after Peiper returned to Europe in … The post A ride down memory lane with Allan Peiper appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Rowe: Bernal's youth will not stop him grabbing Tour de France glory

Rowe: Bernal's youth will not stop him grabbing Tour de France glory

Joe Robinson 5 Jul 2019 Welsh road captain believes that Bernal has all the capabilites to become Colombia's first Tour de France winner Luke Rowe has responded to General Classification favourite Jakob Fuglsang's speculation that Egan Bernal is too young to win the Tour de France by stating that 'the race will do the talking'. Talking at the Astana press conference earlier in the week, Fuglsang stated that Bernal may be too inexperienced for the yellow jersey considering he is only 22-years-old and that the Tour may not be as open as people are speculating if Geraint Thomas is on top form. Only his second Grand Tour following his debut in France a year ago, Bernal has set upon a meteoric rise in his first 18 months in the WorldTour that has seen him win three one-week stage races and helped guide Thomas to the Tour title in 2018. On ...

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Peter Sagan gives nothing away ahead of Tour de France opener

Peter Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team at the Tour de France presentation

Peter Sagan is once again the favourite to take the green points jersey at the Tour de France , but was in no mood to give anything away ahead of the race start in Brussels on Saturday. The Bora-Hansgrohe leader was inscrutable as he took questions from the press ahead of his bid to take a record-breaking seventh green jersey. He batted away questions about his chances at the race, hinting that his legs will do the talking over the next three weeks. "It's obvious," he said when asked if his form at the recent Tour de Suisse signalled his Tour de France intentions. "I want to try to take another green jersey, that's for sure. But it's also very important to finish the Tour de France." The Slovak was in strong - if not dominant - form in Switzerland, finishing on the podium four times, taking one stage win ...

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Geraint Thomas: Having both me and Egan Bernal at the Tour de France is a huge advantage

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)

Questions over Geraint Thomas ' leadership at Team Ineos never seem far away when it comes to the Tour de France . It's as if they're a perpetual mountain he must climb with each passing day. Even last year, when he was comfortably wrapped in the yellow jersey, the Welshman was peppered with doubters who saw Chris Froome as the true leader of the squad until the last possible moment. At the start of the 2019 edition of the Tour de France, Thomas finds himself in a similar position. He may be the defending champion, but after crashing out of the Tour de Suisse and after seeing his teammate Egan Bernal dominate the race, Thomas' credentials have been diluted to the point where he and Bernal have been given joint leadership at Team Ineos. Bernal, just 22, and with one Grand Tour behind him, could conceivably reduce Thomas to domestique ...

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Deceuninck-QuickStep hungry to continue winning streak at Tour de France

Julian Alaphilippe is the team's star rider

The Deceuninck-QuickStep team have won 46 races so far this season and are hungry to continue their winning streak at the Tour de France , targeting the opening stage - and with it the first race leader's yellow jersey - on Saturday through Elia Viviani and also Sunday’s team time trial. Both stages take place in Brussels, and if the Belgian team can win on home roads, they hope the momentum will help Julian Alaphilippe win other stages and inspire Enric Mas to perform well in the general classification. Team manager Patrick Lefevere is always hungry for success but also knows how to avoid putting hid riders under too much pressure. "I’ll be happy if we keep winning. We're ambitious, especially for the opening stages. We've also got Enric for the GC in his first Tour and let's have some fun with Julian Alaphilippe like last year," Lefevere said on ...

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Richie Porte: Geraint Thomas is the clear Tour de France favourite

Trek-Segafredo leader Richie Porte is all smiles on the morning of stage 5 of the 2019 Tour of Calif

Richie Porte ( Trek-Segafredo ) has tipped defending champion Geraint Thomas as the main favourite for this year's Tour de France . Thomas won his maiden Tour last year but is set to be a co-leader at Team Ineos after Egan Bernal won the Tour de Suisse in June. Thomas crashed out of that race and has not reached his top form this year. With Chris Froome already out of the Tour, this year's race is the most open in several years but Porte – a one-time teammate of Thomas and Froome – believes that the Welshman should be fully backed over the next three weeks. "I think that Geraint Thomas is the clear favourite," Porte told the press in Belgium on Thursday. "He won it last year and he's probably in better shape this year, too. It's a shame that Chris Froome is not here but it does change ...

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Richie Porte: Geraint Thomas is ‘clear favourite’ to win Tour de France

Richie Porte: Geraint Thomas is ‘clear favourite’ to win Tour de France

Joe Robinson 4 Jul 2019 Australian hopes to bury omens of the past but is coy about chances of yellow Trek-Segafredo ’s Tour de France yellow jersey hope Richie Porte believes that Geraint Thomas is the ‘clear favourite’ for the overall title despite his lack of notable results this season. The Australian spoke at his team's press conference in Brussels ahead of the Grand Depart and underlined Team Ineos ’s Thomas as the man to beat, especially in the absence of four-time champion Chris Froome . While Thomas is yet to take a victory in 2019 and recently crashed out of the Tour de Suisse , the fact he enters the race as defending champion and as leader of the team that has taken six of the last seven Tours is enough to make the Welshman bookmakers' favourite and Porte’s pick, too. ‘I think Geraint Thomas is a clear favourite,' ...

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Specialized announce new Shiv TT bike for Tour de France

Specialized have launched an all-new Shiv TT ahead of the Tour de France

First spotted by Cyclingnews at the Giro d’Italia in May, Specialized have announced details of their all-new Shiv TT bike which will be used by Deceuninck-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe at the Tour de France this Sunday. The frame design, which was first seen last autumn, is now UCI-legal (just) and features a completely new tube design, cockpit system and seat post from the outgoing model. Specialized also say the frameset (frame, fork, cockpit and seat post) shaves off 500g from the previous iteration of the bike, allowing it to “attack the most technical time trial courses and drill the steepest climbs”. Since being raced on at the Giro d’Italia in May, riders on the new Shiv TT bike won a stage at the Tour de Suisse and three national titles. The Stage 2 team time trial at the Tour de France will be its first official outing before the individual time ...

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