Cycling News and Opinion
July 11 (Second edition), 2014
July 11 (Second edition), 2014
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There is other racing going on now besides the Tour de France, including two men's professional stage races ranked HC.
Tour of Austria (Österreich Rundfahrt): With two days of racing left, Peter Kennaugh (Sky) has been riding in a state of grace. Today's (Friday) stage six ended with a category one climb to a hilltop finish at Dobratsch. Though Tinkoff-Saxo's Evgeny Petrov won the stage alone, Kennaugh was just 26 seconds behind and increased his GC lead over Movistar's Javier Moreno to 62 seconds.
The Tour of Austria GC after Stage 6:
|1||Peter Kennaugh||SKY||27hr 13min 19sec|
|2||Javier Moreno||Movistar||@ 1min 2sec|
|9||Riccardo Zoidl||Trek Factory Racing||00.03.18|
|10||Jerome Coppel||Cofidis, Solutions Credits||00.03.26|
Tour of Qinghai Lake, China: Grega Bole of Vini Fantini won the sixth stage and Ilya Davidenok of the Astana Continental Team remains the overall leader. Davidenok's name is far easier to type than last year's winner, Pourseyedigolakhour Mirsamad.
The Tour of Qinghai Lake ends on July 19.
Tour de France Stage 7 notes
The climbers will open their accounts with the next three stages in the Vosges. Monday's stage has a hilltop finish at La Planche des Belles Filles. We have a new race starting Saturday.
Christopher Froome did indeed have broken bones after crashing several (three?) times in the Tour's early stages. An MRI confirmed fractures to both the left wrist and the right hand.
Upon Froome's abandonment, his Sky team has made Richie Porte their protected GC man. After stage seven, Porte is sitting in seventh place, 1min 54sec behind leader Vincenzo Nibali
Richie Porte on stage 7's final climb. Photo ©Sirotti
Alberto Contador is not having a trouble-free tour, he is down 2min 37sec in 15th place. His Director Sportif Philippe Maduit had this to say about stage 7 send the coming climbing in Saturday's stage 8: “It was another hard day in France and another day with crashes and time gaps but Alberto was delivered perfectly in the finale by the boys who managed to explode the field and especially Nico (Roche) really did a big difference on the final climb. Luckily, we had no crashes today. Tomorrow’s gonna be a demanding stage. I expect 50 riders to make it in the first group at the foot of the final climb over 3 kilometers but time differences will occur and we have to position Alberto in a favorable spot so he can finish among the best.”
Contador has said that while the Vosges and Alps will hurt, the Tour will be decided in the Pyrenees in the third week.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) again came close to winning a stage this year. In fact, until the photos were checked, everyone thought Sagan had narrowly beaten Matteo Trentin. Even the Tour's website called the stage in Sagan's favor. Sagan had this to say about his narrow loss: "The first thing I want say is thanks to all my teammates for the amazing work they did for the entire day to put me in the condition to win. I tried to attack after the last KOM with Van Avermaet and when I saw the group coming fast I just wait the sprint. Unfortunately my effort was not enough.
"When I win many people say that for me it's easy do it but today's stage prove that it's always hard being the first. Since the first stage, every day I'm among the main contenders and now I wear the green jersey with a good advantage. This is a positive aspect, but I want something more. I know there will be other chances until Paris and I think that my day will arrive."