Monthly Archives: August 2013

Stybar sprints to Vuelta stage win

Zdenek Stybar outsprinted world champion Philippe Gilbert to win stage seven of the Vuelta a Espana by the narrowest of margins.

A photo finish was needed to determine that the Czech rider had won the 206km race to Mairena del Aljarafe.

The peloton was led over the line one second later by Robert Wagner with Britain’s Andy Fenn, an Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mate of Stybar, sixth.

Vincenzo Nibali, who won the 2013 Giro d’Italia, retained the overall lead.

The Italian also finished in the main bunch, alongside America’s Chris Horner who remains second, three seconds adrift with Ireland’s Nicolas Roche in third, a further five seconds back.

Team Sky’s Christian Knees featured in a three-man breakaway on the flat stage but they were reeled in with around 25km remaining and with a technically demanding twisting run-in to the finish, it was no surprise that Stybar and Gilbert attacked with 10km to go.

The pair rode well together as they established a lead of several seconds and then produced a thrilling sprint finish which Stybar took by a matter of millimetres.

Saturday’s stage eight is a 166km race from Jerez de la Frontera to Estepona and finishes at the top of a category one climb, the col de Penas Blancas – a 16km ascent of around 1,000m – that could see a shake up in the overall standings.

Result of stage seven

1.

Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic / Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) 4:51:27″

2.

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium / BMC Racing) ST

3.

Robert Wagner (Germany / Belkin) +1″

4.

Adrien Petit (France / Cofidis)

5.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain / Vacansoleil)

6.

Andrew Fenn (Britain / Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)

Overall standings after seven stages

1.

Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) 27:29:35″

2.

Chris Horner (US / RadioShack) +3″

3.

Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo – Tinkoff) +8″

4.

Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +16″

5.

Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +21″

6.

Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / RadioShack) +26″

7.

Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +28″

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23901613

Martin loses Vuelta stage in last 20m

Tony Martin failed to win stage six of the Vuelta a Espana despite leading on his own for the first 175km.

The 28-year-old German came within 20 metres of victory, but finished seventh after being caught by the chasing pack.

Denmark’s Michael Morkov won the stage between Guijuelo and Caceres, with Maximiliano Richeze in second and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara third.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, 28, retained the overall race lead for a third straight stage.

Nibali keeps the red leader’s jersey for Friday’s seventh stage, a second consecutive flat ride that stretches 206km from Almendralejo to Mairena del Alijarafe.

Martin said he expected other riders to follow him when he accelerated the pace in the first kilometre.

“I wanted to break away and I was hoping to go with a few other guys but nobody could follow so I just kept going,” he said.

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was ultimately disappointed he could not close out an unlikely victory.

“I couldn’t go any faster than I did in the last 200m,” he said.

“When you do something like that it’s always bittersweet. From one end you think you could have won with a bit more luck – on the other hand I felt like a winner.”

Result of stage six

1. Michael Morkov (Denmark/ Team Saxo-Tinkoff) 3:54:15″

2. Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina/ Lampre-Merida)

3. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland/ RadioShack-Leopard)

4. Tyler Farrar (USA/ Garmin-Sharp)

5. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain/ Vacansoleil-DCM)

6. Michael Matthews (Australia/ Orica-GreenEdge)

7. Tony Martin (Germany/ Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

8. Gianni Meersman (Belgium/ Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

9. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/ BMC Racing Team)

10. Graeme Brown (Australia/ Belkin Pro Cycling)

Overall standings after six stages

1.

Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) 22:38:07″

2.

Chris Horner (US / RadioShack) +3″

3.

Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo – Tinkoff) +8″

4.

Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +16″

5.

Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +21″

6.

Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / RadioShack) +26″

7.

Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +28″

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23888178

Tiernan-Locke to miss title defence

Team Sky’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will not be defending his 2012 Tour of Britain title when this year’s race gets under way in September.

The Plymouth-based rider said the event was not part of his schedule this year, but insisted he would like to race it again in the future.

Continue reading the main story

There’s only so many times you can turn up to races and you start to lose self-esteem when you’re not the rider that you should be

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke

Tiernan-Locke, 28, had hoped to compete at the Vuelta a Espana this year.

But mid-season fatigue on his first full season for Team Sky led to him being omitted from the line-up.

Team Sky admitted Tiernan-Locke had been “pencilled in” for the Vuelta – which would have been his Grand Tour debut – after he featured in the likes of Paris-Nice, Vuelta al Pais Vasco and the Tour de Suisse.

“All through the year I’d had this goal in mind of reaching mid-summer in great form and going for the Vuelta,” said Tiernan-Locke.

“But for whatever reason, mainly down to the training I undertook and not recovering enough after races, I arrived at mid-summer cooked. Three weeks racing the bike is not something to be taken lightly. At any level it’s difficult, but at World Tour level, especially so.

“You don’t want it to be a bitter memory of just surviving for three weeks. You need to be going well just to do your job and be useful to the team.

“Leading up to the race I’d come completely off the bike to get over the fatigue and reset myself. Going into a Grand Tour, you want to be approaching it with the confidence you’re in the form of your life, not ‘I think I can get around’ – especially for a team like Sky.”

Tiernan-Locke, who

returned to competitive action at the Vattenfall Cyclassics 

on Sunday, said he had learned lots of lessons from his experiences this season.

“It’s still bike racing at the end of the day, but my role has been different this year. You’ve got to be incredibly strong to be riding in a helper role, sometimes stronger than if you are a designated leader for a race at times,” he said.

“As a domestique you’re expending energy all day, whereas if you’re fortunate enough to be the leader of a race – obviously you’ve got to have the legs to finish it off, but you get an easier ride throughout the day and you’ve just got to use your abilities at the end.

“Mentally I’m pretty good at picking myself up morale-wise. I think you have to have that ability as a cyclist as you do get a lot of disappointment.

“You have to have a selective memory. But there’s only so many times you can turn up to races and you start to lose self-esteem when you’re not the rider that you should be.

“Having this break I’m starting to feel decent on the bike again. There may be a chance to ride a Grand Tour in the future but the season’s going on longer than I’ve ever done before with Beijing taking me into mid-October. That’s going to be a bit of a goal and I’ll see if I can get something there and have a strong back end of the year.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23849848

Veteran Horner sets Grand Tour record

Chris Horner became the oldest rider to win a stage and take the overall lead in a Grand Tour by winning the Vuelta a Espana’s stage three hilltop finish.

The American, who is 41 years and 307 days old, raced clear on the short, sharp climb of Mirador de Lobeira.

Horner takes over the race lead from Vincenzo Nibali, who finished three seconds adrift alongside the other main contenders for the overall victory.

“I am going to try for the overall victory,” said Horner after the stage.

The RadioShack Leopard rider, who is yet to sign for a team for the 2014 season, surpassed the feats of Pino Cerami and Andrea Noe – Belgian Cerami was 41 years and 95 days when he won a stage at the 1963 Tour de France, while Noe led the 2007 Giro d’Italia at the age of 38.

“I fully appreciate how important it is to win and lead a Grand Tour at my age, the older I get the more I value racing,” he continued.

“I understand that every day I race could be my last day on the bike, but I love racing so much I want to continue.”

Horner, who turned professional in 1995 but had never previously won a Grand Tour stage, attacked in the final kilometre of the 172.5km race from Vigo.

Race favourites Alejandro Valverde and fellow Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez finished second and third after leading a chasing group of a dozen riders, which included Nibali and Team Sky’s Rigoberto Uran, over the finish line.

Result of stage three

1.

Chris Horner (US / RadioShack) 4:30:18″

2.

Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +3″

3.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha)

4.

Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky)

5.

Daniel Martin (Ireland / Garmin)

Overall standings after three stages

1.

Chris Horner (US / RadioShack) 9:37:40″

2.

Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) +3″

3.

Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo – Tinkoff) +11″

4.

Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +13″

5.

Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / RadioShack) +23″

6.

Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +24″

7.

Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +25″

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23855702

Ireland’s Roche wins Vuelta stage

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche claimed his first Grand Tour victory by winning the second stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

Roche, son of the 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, broke away from 25 riders with a kilometre to go on the Vuelta’s first summit finish.

“This is really liberating for me,” he said. “I’ve only won eight races in my career but had so many second places.”

Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali,

whose Astana team won the opening time trial, took the overall lead.

Overnight leader Janez Brajkovic, of Slovenia, lost contact with the pack in the final part of the climb, handing the lead to the 2010 champion.

Spaniard Daniel Moren finished second, just ahead of Italian Domenico Pozzovivo.

Roche, 29, who left French team Ag2r-La Mondiale at the end of last season to join Team Saxo-Tinkoff, becomes the fifth Irishman to win a stage of the Vuelta.

“I did the Tour [de France] this summer working for (Spanish team-mate) Alberto (Contador), but I’ve always had the Vuelta as a target for the last five years and this year was no different.

“I might finish fourth, fifth or sixth overall in Madrid, but this is what counts for now.”

The three-week race, which covers 3358.9 miles and has 10 more mountain-top finishes, finishes in Madrid on Sunday, 15 September.

Result of stage two

1.

Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo – Tinkoff) 4 hours 37 minutes 9 seconds

2.

Daniel Moreno (Spain / Katusha) +2″

3.

Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +6″

4.

Leopold Koenig (Czech Republic / NetApp) +11″

5.

Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +12″

Overall standings after two stages

1.

Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) 5 hours 7 minutes 22 seconds

2.

Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo – Tinkoff) +8″

3.

Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +10″

4.

Chris Horner (U.S. / RadioShack)

5.

Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / RadioShack)

6.

Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +22″

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23836404

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