Sunday, June 25, 2017

TDF News

Joaquim Rodriguez celebrates Tour de France victory on Mur de Huy

It was familiar ground for Team Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez as he lit out for the finish line on the 1,1 km Mur de Huy and claimed the victory for the 3rd stage of the 2015 Tour de France. It was a move reminiscent of his 2012 win on the traditional finishing climb of Flèche Wallonne. Rodriguez, age 36, celebrated his fourth win of the cycling season and brings the total to thirty-four for the team, a record in the history of Team Katusha. The hilltop success also gave Joaquim Rodriguez the polka dot jersey as the best climber in the general classification.

- I started the day with some fear after a bad night following my crash yesterday and some knee pain in the morning, but during the day I really felt good and then better and better. The team supported me also very well. It is a pity we had to lose Dmitriy Kozonchuk. I did not see the crash as I was in front of it, but I could hear it. The speed was really high headed in the direction Mur de Huy. I even had to ask Giampaolo Caruso to slow down a bit. On the Mur everything went well. I attacked with 400 m to go. That is the perfect distance for me. I am explosive and this Mur suits me so well. The last time I wanted to wait a little longer and then I was closed in by others. I did not want to take that risk this time and I went full gas and it was perfect. I am so happy after the fabulous work of the team too, - said stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez.



Read more: Joaquim Rodriguez celebrates Tour de France victory on Mur de Huy

Contador remains poised after Mur de Huy – Sagan conquers the Maillot Blanc

Mur de Huy held its promise and laid the stage for a flat-out battle between a diminished peloton. Alberto Contador finished 12th on the stage and moves to 8thoverall, while Peter Sagan could pull on the white jersey atop the dreaded climb. Tinkoff-Saxo now directs its attention towards the cobbles of Northern France.

Alberto Contador finished 12th on stage 3 of Tour de France, 18 seconds off stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez, while Chris Froome took over the race lead. Following the stage finish, the team leader tells that he lacked a bit of energy on the final climb.


“We saw some time differences today. I might have lacked a bit of sugar in the finale but I’ve always said that we will see bigger time differences in the mountains. Froome was very strong. He nearly won the stage today. But there are still many days of racing. You must stay positive. The yellow jersey gives you confidence, you tell yourself you're well but it also creates pressure and responsibilities. Still I would love to hold it”, says Alberto Contador, who adds:


Read more: Contador remains poised after Mur de Huy – Sagan conquers the Maillot Blanc

Lotto Soudal riders on the new Ridley Fenix SL for Tour Stage 4

Tomorrow it’s the cobblestone stage at the Tour, the Lotto Soudal riders can rely on the new Fenix SL for this 223.5 kilometres long stage between Seraing and Cambrai. This bike was designed together with the Lotto Soudal riders and mechanics of the team. It was tested in the spring, now it’s launched officially.



Read more: Lotto Soudal riders on the new Ridley Fenix SL for Tour Stage 4

Tour de France, Stage 3: Van Garderen Into Third Overall

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen placed sixth on the finish climb of the Mur de Huy Monday at the Tour de France to move into third overall, while teammate Greg Van Avermaet was 15th and stands fifth overall.

Following an unprecedented neutralization and stoppage by race officials past the halfway point of the 159.5-kilometer race, Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha) took the stage win ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky). Van Garderen arrived 11 seconds after Rodriguez and is 13 seconds behind Froome, who assumed the overall lead. Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) is second overall, one second back.


Read more: Tour de France, Stage 3: Van Garderen Into Third Overall

2015 Tour de France: Stage 3 Preview

Stage 3 of the 2015 Tour de France enters Belgium today, running 159.9kms from Anvers (Antwerp) to Huy.  This is a “classics-looking” stage if ever there was one.  For the Tour’s first time, the finish will occur on the Mur de Huy—the climb synonymous with the classic Fleche Wallone. 



The first 65kms are relatively flat, but things heat up for the second half of the stage.  At this point, in addition to the intermediate sprint at 128kms in Havelange, there are 4 climbs:

  • Km 109.0 - Côte de Bohissau2.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.5% - category 4
  • Km 143.0 - Côte d'Ereffe2.1 kilometre-long climb at 5% - category 4
  • Km 154.0 - Côte de Cherave1.3 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% - category 4
  • Km 159.5 - HUY - Mur de Huy1.3 kilometre-long climb at 9.6% - category 3

So, someone will pull on the KOM jersey for the first time in this year’s Tour.

Who’s going to win?  It’s tough to say. I would predict not a traditional sprinter.  One name stands out as someone to watch: Movistar’s Valverde.  Why? He has won Fleche Wallone on these very roads the last 2 years as well as in 2006.  Plus, if he takes the win, he could potentially pull on the yellow jersey—a prize he would love to get his hands on.  Plus, he will want to make up time from yesterday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Cancellara tries to defend yellow. 

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