Saturday, June 24, 2017

TDF News

Contador concedes time on first mountain stage

Alberto Contador admits that he had a bad day after losing 2’51” on the first mountain stage of Tour de France to La Pierre-Saint-Martin. Despite being disappointed with the result of the day, the Tinkoff-Saxo team captain notes that the Tour is yet to be decided.


After fighting his way up the second part of La Pierre-Saint-Martin at his own rhythm ultimately loosing 2’51” to stage winner Chris Froome, Alberto Contador tells that he did not feel well on the final climb.


Read more: Contador concedes time on first mountain stage

Tour de France, Stage 10: Van Garderen Stays Second Overall

Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team finished 10th on Tuesday's first day in the mountains at the Tour de France while remaining second overall.

Van Garderen conceded 2:30 to race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky), who soloed to the stage win. Froome's teammate, Richie Porte, was runner-up, 59 seconds later, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) in third, a further five seconds back.


Read more: Tour de France, Stage 10: Van Garderen Stays Second Overall

Tinkoff-Saxo Releases Statement on Ivan Basso

Ivan Basso was diagnosed with a tumor in his left testicle and has to undergo operation for its removal. According to Tinkoff-Saxo doctor, Piet De Moor, "on stage 5 of the Tour de France, Basso suffered from a minor crash in which his left testicle was slightly injured. As the pain persisted, a lump was discovered and following further examination on Monday morning at the hospital in Pau, the presence of a tumor was confirmed." 

Further treatment will be decided, depending on the final diagnosis.

As a result, Basso will not continue racing in the Tour de France and will return home as soon as possible.

Steven de Jongh, Head Sport Director of Tinkoff-Saxo commented: "As everybody understands, today is not a day to speak about the Tour de France, the days ahead or Alberto's main rivals on the mount stages. All that is irrelevant and we are all here solely to support Ivan. The entire team hopes to meet him again in Paris and hand him the yellow jersey."

Team Leader, Alberto Contador, stated on the news: "On behalf of the entire team I'd like to say that it has been a blow to all of us. We never imagined such a thing would happen. Ivan's health is the absolute priority and he has to undergo all the necessary tests to find the best solution. I'd like to stress that the entire team will give its best in order to get the yellow jersey and enjoy it in Paris with him.

During the 120 days that Ivan and I spent together, over the last 180 days, I was able to see what a great champion he is. I'm sure he will overcome this and we will see him in two weeks in Paris."

2015 Tour de France Stage 10 Preview

Tuesday, the riders head towards the Pyrenees with a 167kms route from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin.  Hope the riders used the rest day well since the end of the route today will be a true test.



Yes, there is an intermediate sprint, this time occurring 124kms in in Trois-Villes, but this stage is all about the hills:

  • Km 66.0 - Côte de Bougarber1.4 kilometre-long climb at 6.2% - category 4
  • Km 90.0 - Côte de Vielleségure1.7 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 4
  • Km 134.0 - Côte de Montory1.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.3% - category 4
  • Km 167.0 - LA PIERRE-SAINT-MARTIN (1 610 m)15.3 kilometre-long climb at 7.4% - category H

So the first 60kms or so of the stage are rolling, but the bigger climbs pop up from there.  And this transition could be tough for some.  The final climb, however, is the first HC in this year’s Tour.  It’s also the first time the Tour has finished on the climb and the first time the Tour has used it from the French side.  It’s supposed to be longer but less steep than the famous Alpe d’Huez.

Also, it’s Bastille Day—the French national holiday.  Winning a stage on Bastille Day is every French rider’s dream.  I don’t think it’s going to happen this year, though.  Froome and Nibali have been looking aggressive lately, so I’m wondering if one of them may try to make a statement.  Though more likely, most of the climb will be the GC riders marking each other until the closing kilometres. 

Quintana, Valverde looking to "turn things around" in TDF's Pyrenees stages

Numerous media was present again at the Movistar Team's hotel in Pau during the press conference offered by Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde during the first rest day of the Tour de France, the telephone squad's duo now seventh and ninth overall at less than two minutes' distance from Chris Froome (Sky).



The event started with a support message from both riders to Ivan Basso, the Italian cyclist from Tinkoff-Saxo, who announced minutes earlier on the very same venue he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. “On behalf of myself and the whole team, we send him our best wishes and full support," said Valverde, whom Quintana seconded: "It's sad to hear news like that. We send him all strength from here."

Quintana still feels "sad" about the time loss -one minute and a half- on stage two, yet he considers that the first half of the race went away for the Blues "in good conditions. The roster is still full, with a couple of crashes yet with no major complications, and performing really well, as everyone could see yesterday in the team time trial. I think that Pyrenees, with Alejandro and all of them by my side, will be a good opportunity to turn things around in our favour."

The Colombian doesn't dare talking about GC favourites at this point of the race: "We could see some details, but the climbs were actually short, steep ascents, suited for explosive riders, which doesn't tell me much about who is doing well or bad." Quintana also thinks that "any day could become crucial -the only difference between the Pyrenees and the Alps is the former coming on the second week, and the latter, on the final one-", though he did speak about La Pierre-Saint-Martin, which will be tackled on stage ten: “It's a regular climb, really demanding and one where temperatures could play a role - they say it usually heats up more than others nearby. It's 15 days since I don't climb such an exigent ascent. There could be attacks from the foot of it, at the end or even not happening anything at all, but I like it, just like with all other long climbs."

Valverde was agree on most of his team-mate's overview of the race so far, and underlined that "both him and I have very good chances for these big mountains", reminding the journalists that “this will be a really, really hard Tour for all of us, with these previous nine days taking its toll at the end”, and remarking that "the race is not lost at all." From Tuesday, Valverde says, "all stages will be crucial: there are either mountain-top finishes, steep climbs like Mende, or short, hard slopes at the end. Tomorrow's stage will bring a 50-minute, one-hour long ascent for the first time in a while, and combined with the rest day, the heat... important things might happen."

As well as stating, once again, that the Spaniard's goal and the whole team's is “winning the Tour in Paris with Nairo,” the Colombian and him going to "surely cooperate, no doubt", Valverde reflected on his fitness over the last weeks: “When we analyzed the Tour route, and knowing that I also had to ride the Vuelta, we came to a conclusion that, even though this first week was important, the most difficult part came up from tomorrow. We worked well, did weeks of altitude training, but didn't overcook myself to reach the depart at 100% condition, but at this very moment. I think I'm at 100% or really close, myself as well as the whole team. We will fight for Nairo, then we'll think about the Vuelta."

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