Saturday, June 24, 2017

2014 Vuelta a España Preview

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The final Grand Tour of the 2014 season, the Vuelta a España, will start on Saturday, August 23rd and run through Sunday, September 14th.  Over these three weeks, the race will include 21 stages totaling nearly 3240 miles.  5 stages are designated “flat,” 13 mountainous (to varying degrees), a team time trail of 12.6kms, and 2 ITT’s totaling 44.5kms.

Read more: 2014 Vuelta a España Preview

2014 Tour de France Stage 21 Preview

Tomorrow, the 2014 Tour de France concludes with a 137.5kms route from Evry to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. 

In keeping with tradition, this is largely a ceremonial route until the laps begin on the Champs, but there is a cat 4 climb at 31kms and the intermediate sprint at 91kms on the Champs. 

This will be the second year in a row that the Tour is aiming to conclude in the evening after the success of the celebration last year.  Also, like last year, the peloton will ride past the Louvre prior to the 9 laps on the Champs, passing around the Arc de Triomphe.

Inevitably, there will be attacks and break aways on the laps on the Champs, but there should be a grand sprint show down for the finish.  So long as Sagan finishes the stage, he has the green jersey sewn up, but I’m sure he’d like to go out with a stage win.  Kittel, however, has had great luck in the sprints in this Tour, so it should be a fierce sprint to the line.

The other exciting thing about tomorrow, however, is the first ever women’s participation in the Tour…..La Course by Le Tour de France is a women’s criterium on the Champs Elysées also Sunday morning.  History truly being made.   Tomorrow is indeed a very special day. 

Tour de France, Stage 19: Crash Near The Finish

Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team avoided a pile-up near the finish of a rainy stage of the Tour de France Friday to remain sixth overall heading into Saturday's individual time trial.

Van Avermaet Not Hurt
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) soloed to the victory seven seconds ahead of a group of chasers decimated by the crash less than three kilometers from the finish of the 208.5-km race. Van Garderen crossed the finish line nearly a minute later in a small group that included teammates Daniel Oss and Peter Velits, as well as race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team). But because the pile-up of nearly two dozen riders happened inside the final three kilometers, van Garderen and the peloton were awarded the same finish time as runner-up John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano). Greg Van Avermaet was the only BMC Racing Team rider involved in the crash. "I was just behind and it was impossible to avoid," he said. "I have nothing. (No injuries.) I just went over it. It was a pretty good. So I will be good for the next days."

Time Trial Outlook
Van Garderen said he will take a singular approach into Saturday's 56 km time trial. "Pacing – you can't go out too hard, you can't go out too easy," he said. "Pacing is everything." With two days of the race to go, he is 11:34 off the overall lead and 2:07 back from the rider ahead of him in the standings, fifth-placed Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale). Sport Director Valerio Piva said the team did its job to get van Garderen into position to make a final move in the standings. "It was a difficult day with the rain and wind," he said. "But the team stayed the entire time around Tejay. In the final, it was tricky, but our guys were in the front. Now is the time trial and we have hope."

Listen to complete comments from Piva, Van Avermaet (in English, Flemish and French) and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France Audio Line:

2014 Tour de France Stage 20 Preview

The riders will tackle the only time trial in the 2014 Tour de France on the penultimate stage of the race on Saturday.

This year’s ITT travels 54kms from Bergerac to Perigueux.  Baring any unforeseen circumstances, the top step of the podium is already decided, however, the rest of the top 10 could jostle somewhat depending on how well the individual men fare in the race against time. 

The route itself is flat at first before becoming hillier towards the finish.  Heat and general fatigue could be a factor, so the two time checks on the route will also be important.  


Velocio Sports announced today that it is opening up club membership for 2015 to its fans and supporters of women's cycling.
"We're switching tactics in our search for team sponsorship and funding," said Team Owner Kristy Scrymgeour, "and we want to get the cycling community involved in an attempt to build a bridge between the ever-increasing number of recreational cyclists and pro cycling as a sport."
The team's financial contracts with Specialized and lululemon come to an end in December and the team is looking to bring on new partners.
"We have corporate interest for part of our budget and we've decided to add to that by trying something a little different."
The team will launch a campaign on Friday with indiegogo, a global crowd-funding platform, which allows the public to get involved with projects that they're passionate about. In this case, everyone who gets involved will be a team member and will have access to exclusive information and opportunities.
"It's a way for us to invite people to be a part of the team and vote for women's cycling at the same time. It starts with supporting our team, but if we can create a buzz around this campaign, it will reach the eyes of potential sponsors for both the team and other aspects of our sport.
Scrymgeour continued, "women's cycling needs two things: exposure and a growing the fan base. This weekend's La Course at the Tour de France is a great opportunity to get that exposure and we need more and more of that. By growing our women's cycling community and building a bigger fan base, we increase the demand for more exposure.
The campaign, which can be found here , offers up incentives to be involved at any level.
"We want to create an opportunity for everyone to be involved and we're lucky to have not only the team, but support from former pro Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and representatives from the men's side of the support with George Hincapie and Bernie Eisel offering up their time to support the campaign and women's cycling."

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