‘It stops all those questions’

Media playback is not supported on this device

Geraint Thomas ready for ‘huge’ defence of Tour de France title

Defending champion Geraint Thomas says the one positive to come from his team-mate Chris Froome’s absence from this year’s Tour de France is an end to the debate about Team Ineos’ leadership.

Four-time winner Froome faces six months out after a serious crash.

He had been expected to be Ineos’ main rider in France despite Thomas defending his title – but now Thomas is set to assume the lead role.

“It just stops all those questions,” Thomas told BBC Sport Wales.

“Every interview I’ve done this year, they’ve asked about that. That’s one thing everyone can stop asking me now.

“Being the leader of the team, I’ve led the team numerous times now and I’ve got used to that role.

“We’ve got Egan [Bernal] as well, who’s going to be there by my side, so it’s going to be exciting.”

During last year’s Tour, four-time winner Froome was the lead rider for Team Sky – now Team Ineos – before Thomas earned the support of his team as he closed in on victory in the final stages.

The pair’s respective hopes of winning in France this year might have made it difficult for team principal Sir Dave Brailsford to choose a leader, although Froome was the favourite.

But the 34-year-old’s crash while preparing for a stage during last week’s Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France – which left him with a fractured neck, a fractured right femur, a broken hip and fractured ribs – means he is unlikely to compete again this year.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Chris Froome’s surgeon tells BBC Sport he will be out for ‘at least six months’

“It’s scary. It’s never nice to hear, especially when it’s a close friend. It sounds horrific really,” said Thomas.

“It sounds like he was lucky to come away with the damage he’s done really. It could’ve been a hell of a lot worse, which I guess is a positive in a bad scenario.

“But he’s got the best care around him so hopefully he can get back on the bike soon.

“I’ve sent him a couple of messages but I’m sure he’s got a few to get through. The whole team’s behind him.”

Thomas and Froome have been team-mates at Team Ineos – and its precursor Sky – since 2010, and have also represented Great Britain in the Olympics together.

Although Thomas admits Ineos will be weaker without Froome at this year’s Tour, the Welshman insists his colleague’s withdrawal will have no ill affects on his own preparations.

“None at all,” he added. “I stay in my own little world and just worry about myself and getting to that start line as fit as I can.

“But when it comes to the actual race, he’s one of the greatest Grand Tour riders ever so not having him in the team is a big blow for the team.

“It gives us one less option when it comes to the last few kilometres of the big mountain stages, but that’s sport and you’ve got to deal with it.

“We’ve got a strong squad anyway and whoever comes in, OK they’re not Chris Froome, but they’ll still add to the team.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48664430

Criterium du Dauphine: Jakob Fuglsang wins as Adam Yates pulls out

Jakob Fuglsang on the Criterium du Dauphine podium

Fuglsang won Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April

Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang won the Criterium du Dauphine after Britain’s Adam Yates pulled out midway through the final stage with a fever.

Yates, 26, trailed Astana’s Fuglsang by eight seconds before stage eight, but was keeping pace with his rivals when he withdrew with less than 50km to go.

Team Ineos’ Dylan van Baarle won the 113.5km stage from Cluses in France to Champery in Switzerland.

Fuglsang finished 20 seconds ahead of American Tejay van Garderen in second.

Swiss-born Fuglsang, 34, also won the Dauphine in 2017.

Van Baarle clinched the stage win in a sprint finish with Mitchelton-Scott’s Jack Haig, who went solo with 16km remaining before the Dutchman soon joined him.

Mitchelton-Scott sports director Lorenzo Lapage told race organisers that Yates, who is due to lead the team at the Tour de France in July, was struggling with a fever since Sunday morning.

He wore the leader’s yellow jersey for four stages until Fuglsang claimed it on Saturday.

Stage eight results

1. Dylan van Baarle (Ned/Team Ineos) 3hrs 5mins 48secs

2. Jack Haig (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) same time

3. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor/Lotto-Soudal) +50secs

4. Warren Barguil (Fra/Arkea-Samsic) +1min 12secs

5. Sepp Kuss (US/Jumbo-Visma) same time

6. Sebastien Reichenbach (Sui/Groupama-FDJ)

7. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +1min 16secs

8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana Pro Team) +1min 59secs

9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel/Wanty-Gobert Cycling) same time

10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) same time

General classification

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana Pro Team) 30hours 44mins 27secs

2. Tejay van Garderen (US/EF Education First) +20secs

3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +21secs

4. Wout Poels (Ned/Team INEOS) +28secs

5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +33secs

6. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 11secs

7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana Pro Team) +1min 12secs

8. Daniel Martin (Ire/Emirates) +1min 21secs

9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +1min 24secs

10. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +1min 38secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48655583

‘I know how lucky I am to be here’

Chris Froome in hospital

Chris Froome’s crash occurred before the stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine

Chris Froome says he is “fully focused” on getting “back to his best” after the “major setback” of his high-speed crash on Wednesday.

The four-time Tour de France champion suffered a fracture to his neck as well as a fractured right femur, elbow and ribs, plus a broken hip.

Froome, 34, is likely to spend “at least six months” away from cycling, says the surgeon who operated on him.

“I know how lucky I am to be here,” the Briton said in a statement.

“Whilst this is a setback and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward.

“There is a long road to recovery ahead, but that recovery starts now and I am fully focused on returning back to my best.”

The crash happened during a practice ride before stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France.

In footage captured by ITV4 minutes before the incident, a team-mate tells Froome “you don’t have to take risks, Chris” as he takes both hands off the handlebars to put on a jacket.

But moments later, Froome took his hand off his handlebars again to blow his nose and was travelling at 54km/h when a gust of wind caught his front wheel, causing him to hit a wall.

He was airlifted to Saint-Etienne Hospital, where he is continuing his post-surgery recovery.

“This is obviously a tough time but I have taken a lot of strength from the support over the last three days,” Froome added. “The outpouring of support has been really humbling and something I would never have expected.”

Froome faces six weeks in hospital and is not expected to compete again in 2019. Doctors have said they are “very happy” with his progress.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Froome’s crash sounds horrific, says Thomas

Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France winner, said all of Team Ineos was behind their team-mate.

“It’s scary. It’s never nice to hear, especially when it’s a close friend,” Thomas told BBC Wales.

“It sounds horrific really. It was one of those where he would have had time to actually think; he knew he was about to crash.

“It wasn’t ‘boom’ and you’re on the floor before you know it. It was one of those where you try to save it. That’s the worst.

“It sounds like he was lucky to come away with the damage he’s done really. It could have been a hell of a lot worse, which I guess is a positive in a bad scenario. But he’s got the best care around him so hopefully he can get back on the bike soon.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48648994

New mother Deignan takes first win for 657 days to secure overall lead in Women’s Tour

Lizzie Deignan celebrates her leader's jersey

Deignan with the leader’s green jersey after Friday’s stage win

Lizzie Deignan secured her first victory since returning from maternity leave as she won stage five to take the overall lead in the Women’s Tour.

The 30-year-old out-sprinted Thursday’s stage winner Kasia Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini at the Royal Welsh Showground after the trio broke clear.

Briton Deignan, winner in 2016, leads 2017 champion Niewiadoma by one second going into Saturday’s final stage.

The win came 657 days since Deignan’s previous professional victory.

Overnight race leader Liane Lippert finished 22nd, losing two minutes and 19 seconds to drop back to 20th in the overall classification.

The German had been in the main pack featuring all of the general classification contenders approaching the final Queen of the Mountains climb of Epynt.

But the positive riding of Trek-Segafredo duo Deignan and Longo Borghini led to the final two riders from the day’s breakaway, Erica Magnaldi and Amalie Dideriksen, being reeled in and the chasing pack splintered, with just 20 riders reaching the showground within two minutes of Deignan.

The Yorkshire rider, who finished second on Tuesday and third on Thursday, said: “I can’t quite really describe it; it was probably the nicest win I’ve had in a very long time.

“I really savoured it and really enjoyed it and I will do for a long time.”

Saturday’s finale will be contested over a 125.9km (79-mile) stage between Carmarthen and Pembrey Country Park.

In a first for the Women’s Tour, the field will complete a lap of the Carmarthen Velodrome as part of the stage’s ceremonial start and take in part of Pembrey’s new, closed-road cycle circuit on the approach to the finish line.

Stage five result

1. Lizzie Deignan (GB/Trek-Segafredo) 3 hours 54 minutes 35 seconds

2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SMAR Racing) Same time

3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +2secs

4. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Team Sunweb) +17secs

5. Christine Majerus (Lux/Boels Dolman) Same time

6. Amy Pieters (Ned/Boels Dolman) +19secs

7. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

8. Lizzy Banks (GB/Bigla)

9. Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa/WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling)

10. Marta Cavalli (Ita/Valcar Cyclance)

General Classification

1. Lizzie Deignan (GB/Trek-Segafredo) 17 hours 42 minutes 24 seconds

2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SMAR Racing) +1sec

3. Amy Pieters (Ned/Boels Dolman) +32secs

4. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Vollering) +50secs

5. Christine Majerus (Lux/Boels Dolman) Same time

6. Lizzy Banks (GB/Bigla) +57secs

7. Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol/Movistar) +58secs

8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +1min

9. Leah Thomas (US/Bigla) Same time

10. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Team Sunweb) +1min 02secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48642337

New mother Deignan takes first win for 657 days to secure overall lead in Women’s Tour

Lizzie Deignan celebrates her leader's jersey

Deignan with the leader’s green jersey after Friday’s stage win

Lizzie Deignan secured her first victory since returning from maternity leave as she won stage five to take the overall lead in the Women’s Tour.

The 30-year-old out-sprinted Thursday’s stage winner Kasia Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini at the Royal Welsh Showground after the trio broke clear.

Briton Deignan, winner in 2016, leads 2017 champion Niewiadoma by one second going into Saturday’s final stage.

The win came 657 days since Deignan’s previous professional victory.

Overnight race leader Liane Lippert finished 22nd, losing two minutes and 19 seconds to drop back to 20th in the overall classification.

The German had been in the main pack featuring all of the general classification contenders approaching the final Queen of the Mountains climb of Epynt.

But the positive riding of Trek-Segafredo duo Deignan and Longo Borghini led to the final two riders from the day’s breakaway, Erica Magnaldi and Amalie Dideriksen, being reeled in and the chasing pack splintered, with just 20 riders reaching the showground within two minutes of Deignan.

The Yorkshire rider, who finished second on Tuesday and third on Thursday, said: “I can’t quite really describe it; it was probably the nicest win I’ve had in a very long time.

“I really savoured it and really enjoyed it and I will do for a long time.”

Saturday’s finale will be contested over a 125.9km (79-mile) stage between Carmarthen and Pembrey Country Park.

In a first for the Women’s Tour, the field will complete a lap of the Carmarthen Velodrome as part of the stage’s ceremonial start and take in part of Pembrey’s new, closed-road cycle circuit on the approach to the finish line.

Stage five result

1. Lizzie Deignan (GB/Trek-Segafredo) 3 hours 54 minutes 35 seconds

2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SMAR Racing) Same time

3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +2secs

4. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Team Sunweb) +17secs

5. Christine Majerus (Lux/Boels Dolman) Same time

6. Amy Pieters (Ned/Boels Dolman) +19secs

7. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

8. Lizzy Banks (GB/Bigla)

9. Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa/WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling)

10. Marta Cavalli (Ita/Valcar Cyclance)

General Classification

1. Lizzie Deignan (GB/Trek-Segafredo) 17 hours 42 minutes 24 seconds

2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SMAR Racing) +1sec

3. Amy Pieters (Ned/Boels Dolman) +32secs

4. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Vollering) +50secs

5. Christine Majerus (Lux/Boels Dolman) Same time

6. Lizzy Banks (GB/Bigla) +57secs

7. Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol/Movistar) +58secs

8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +1min

9. Leah Thomas (US/Bigla) Same time

10. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Team Sunweb) +1min 02secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48642337

Johnny’s favourite stores



Archives