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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Post-Tour de France UCI rider rankings

Here are the top 50. Sagan remains the world's top rider. The number in parenthesis is the previous ranking.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan remains the world #1 rider

Rank Name Points
1 (1) Peter SAGAN 3233
2 (30) Christopher FROOME 2569
3 (2) Alejandro VALVERDE 2269
4 (4) Nairo Alexander QUINTANA 2250.25
5 (18) Romain BARDET 2017
6 (11) Richie PORTE 1863
7 (3) Alberto CONTADOR 1652
8 (10) Greg VAN AVERMAET 1628
9 (7) Jon IZAGUIRRE 1626
10 (9) Alexander KRISTOFF 1564
11 (5) Fabian CANCELLARA 1539
12 (8) Vincenzo NIBALI 1518.75
13 (6) Thibaut PINOT 1506
14 (12) Bryan COQUARD 1385
15 (13) Sep VANMARCKE 1285
16 (14) Ilnur ZAKARIN 1285
17 (25) Daniel MARTIN 1267
18 (15) Sergio Luis HENAO 1224
19 (16) Rui Alberto FARIA 1163
20 (21) Julian ALAPHILIPPE 1125
21 (28) André GREIPEL 1122
22 (36) Marcel KITTEL 1110
23 (19) Diego ULISSI 1092
24 (20) Wout POELS 1086
25 (17) Nacer BOUHANNI 1082
26 (40) Tom DUMOULIN 1057
27 (23) Edvald BOASSON HAGEN 1048
28 (62) Mark CAVENDISH 1042
29 (22) Baptiste PLANCKAERT 1016
30 (24) Enrico GASPAROTTO 998
31 (26) Arnaud DEMARE 964
32 (27) Sonny COLBRELLI 962
33 (116) Adam YATES 934
34 (29) Bob JUNGELS 910
35 (31) Giacomo NIZZOLO 886
36 (32) Dylan GROENEWEGEN 880
37 (33) Simon GERRANS 863
38 (34) Jhoan Esteban CHAVES 853
39 (37) Geraint THOMAS 848
40 (56) Rafal MAJKA 841

No mechanical doping found at Tour de France

The international Cycling Union perfomed 3,773 tests for mechanical doping at the 2016 Tour de France and all were negative.

Reuters reports that random tests were carried out before, during and after racing during the 21 stages of the three-week event and all were negative. The tests showed an "absolute commitment to leave no stone unturned," UCI president Brian Cookson told the ruling body's website. "We will continue to test bikes heavily throughout the rest of the season, and do everything in our power to make sure this form of cheating stays out of our sport."

The UCI began using a new system to scan for hidden motors in January and more than 10,000 bikes have since been tested.

Only one test proved positive, on Belgian Femke van den Driessche at the 2016 Cyclo-Cross world championships after taking another rider's bike when her own failed. She was banned for six years and fined 14,000 pounds ($18,400).

BMC going to RideLondon Classic

This update came to me from the team:

27 July 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will be looking for repeat success in London on Sunday when a strong six-rider squad, including 2015 winner Jempy Drucker, lines up at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

Sports Director Max Sciandri is confident in the ability of the whole BMC Racing Team squad racing in the British capital. "We are going into the Ride London Classic in a strong position as the defending team with Jempy [Drucker]. We are heading to this race with a great group of riders who are all capable of riding for good results. The whole team is feeling super motivated to try and do another good performance here."

Jempy Drucker

Jempy Drucker at this year's Tour of Luxembourg

After his success last year, Jempy Drucker is looking forward to lining up once again at the RideLondon Classic.

"It is going to be nice to go back to London and to a race I won last year. It was my first pro win so it is very special for me. It is a beautiful race, the crowds are amazing and London is simply a cool city so I am definitely excited to be going back and racing again in London."

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (31 July)

Rider roster: Marcus Burghardt (GER), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Floris Gerts (NED), Daniel Oss (ITA), Loïc Vleigen (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI)

Sports Director: Max Sciandri (ITA)

Tour of Denmark team reports

This from a disappointed LottoNL-Jumbo:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo sees stage win slip away on the Tour of Denmark day one.

Moreno Hofland finished third in the first stage of the Tour of Denmark today. Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s sprinter won the kick of the first chasing group. Stage winner Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Virtu Pro Veloconcept) managed to stay in front of the group.

“It’s our mistake that those two riders were able to stay in front actually,” Sports Director Jan Boven said. The peloton split into echelons during the first stage of the Tour of Denmark and Team LottoNL-Jumbo lacked a rider in the six-man first group. “We rode a superb stage, but a bad final part of it, and that’s the most important thing. We were too far behind when four riders broke away out of the leading group. We knew that we had to stay focussed and that we shouldn’t let a Tinkoff rider escape. We failed and we weren’t strong enough to close the gap afterwards.

That meant that Moreno Hofland wasn’t sprinting for the victory, but for the third place. “That is annoying,” Hofland said. “When you’re with six riders in the first echelon, the chance that you win the stage improves greatly. This is a missed opportunity. We messed up in the final part of the stage and I’m fed up with that. I definitely would’ve been close for the stage win, even though you never know if you could win or not.”

Mike Teunissen was part of a breakaway early in the stage and grabbed enough points to wear the mountains jersey on Thursday. Thursday’s stage has a similar profile.

“We have to stay focussed,” Boven said. “We might sharpen our plan as the stage unfolds tomorrow.”

On the other hand, Tinkoff was quite happy with the stage's outcome:

With high speeds, crashes and a fast finish, the first stage of the Tour of Denmark brought with it excitement from the drop of the flag. The Tinkoff riders picked up where they left off last year, where the team won the GC and points classifications, dominating much of the first stage and taking the win in the finish in Esbjerg. Showing that he’s recovered from his injuries at the start of the season, Daniele Bennati took the win by three seconds with a bold breakaway at the end of the day. With three Tinkoff riders also in the top ten, the team had undoubtedly started as they meant to go on.

On the fairly flat opening stage, it was the 200km distance that would require the most effort from riders. Eager to get the race started, a four-man break went up the road 15km into the stage and quickly built up a lead of over four minutes, the terrain favouring such an attacking move. Helping the peloton hold the break in check, Tinkoff was keeping pace and it was likely the catch would be made before the finish. The route had other ideas, however.

With just 46km of the 200km stage remaining, the race hit the Kammerslusen bridge – a small, narrow, humpback bridge over a canal. Barely wide enough to allow three riders over it side by side, a crash caused havoc seconds after most of the Tinkoff riders made their way over and a bottleneck followed, massively slowing down the chase. At the 27km to go point, with the chaos of the crash behind them, the small group that had emerged from the bottleneck was 55” ahead of the chasing group, with several Tinkoff jerseys in their midst.

From the finish, Sport Director, Lars Michaelsen was pleased with the efforts of the team during the day. “The guys worked from the start for the right break to go and after it did, during the stage Pavel Brutt was pulling for about 100km to keep them in reach.”

The final kilometres of the stage were coastal, meaning in addition to the demanding pace, the riders were buffeted by harsh crosswinds from the North Sea. With 21km to go however, Michael Gogl went on the attack, claiming points and five bonus seconds at the day’s intermediate sprint, along with Michael Valgren who took a second.

As the finish neared, teams were expecting a bunch sprint to take the stage. This was until Daniele Bennati jumped ahead, building up a twenty-six second gap on the bunch with just 5km to go. The pace rocketed and on the smooth, flat roads on the approach to the finish, it seemed unlikely the Italian rider could hold onto his advantage. Crossing the line three seconds ahead of the second-placed rider, Daniele took the win, showing that he had fully recovered from his early-season crash and was back to his winning ways.

Daniele Bennati

Daniele Bennati wins the first stage of the Tour of Denmark

Ahead of the stage, the team had come up with a plan, and Michaelsen explained that it had been carried out perfectly. “We had a plan for the final 60km, which we executed to perfection. If the wind were stronger I think we could have been in an even better GC position. When the chase group came in reach as we hit the finishing laps we decided that we had to go on the attack. Boaro went first and got away, then Benna got away with a really strong time trialist.”

Having taken not only the win, but also three top ten places on stage 1, it’s clear that the guys are ready to race. Stage 2 features similar terrain and at 180km will allow riders to stretch their legs again. Starting on the island of Rømø, the race will cross the country heading east to the finish in Sønderborg. An slightly uphill finish will challenge the sprinters, but if they can negotiate the narrow roads, tight bends and the technical finishing circuit, the win could be theirs.

Ahead of the second day of the race, Michaelsen was looking to build on the successes of today’s race. “We're really happy with the result even if the GC situation could have been better. We knew that we had to take responsibility here and we did that. We will continue to defend tomorrow and take it day as we have other GC cards to play.”

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