Monthly Archives: August 2014

Horner to miss Vuelta defence

Defending champion Chris Horner will miss the Vuelta a Espana because of an abnormally low cortisol level.

Horner was given therapeutic exemption by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, to use oral cortisone to treat bronchitis, but the American was withdrawn by his Lampre-Merida team.

Hs cortisol level is not illegal, but it is below that specified by the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC).

“It has been necessary for a change of programme,” the team said.

In its statement, Lampre-Merida added: “Even though Horner would be allowed to start the race as far as the UCI is concerned, the team are obliged to respect the rules and regulations of the MPCC organisation in a completely voluntary decision.”

The American made history last year when he

won the Vuelta at age 41,

becoming the oldest ever winner of a Grand Tour.

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Froome stays in touch at Vuelta

Chris Froome remains in the hunt for victory at the Vuelta a Espana after maintaining his 20-second gap to leader Alejandro Valverde after stage eight.

All of the leading riders on the 207km ride from Baeza to Albacete completed the stage in the same time as the winner, Nacer Bouhanni of France.

As a result there was no change in the general classification, with Valverde 15 seconds clear of Nairo Quintana.

Alberto Contador is third, 18 seconds down, with Froome two seconds back.

Briton Froome

crashed on Friday’s seventh stage

– requiring a bike change and medical treatment – but the Team Sky rider enjoyed a clear ride on Saturday as the longest stage of the race passed off amid blustery winds but little in the way of drama.

“I’m just glad to get through that one and into the mountains tomorrow,” Froome said. “We’ve still got a lot of racing to come and a lot of climbing to do. It’s going to be a full-on race.” rider Bouhanni,

also victorious on stage two,

stoked a little controversy when he appeared to cut across Australia’s Michael Matthews on the run to the line, but was nevertheless a deserving winner after four hours and 29 minutes of racing.

“The last 50 kilometres were very, very long – it was a very fast pace,” said Bouhanni.

The race returns to the mountains on Sunday for the 185km ninth stage from Carboneras de Guadazon to Aramon Valdelinares.

Stage eight results:

1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/ 4:29:00″

2. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) same time

3. Peter Sagan (Svk/Cannondale)

4. John Degenkolb (Ger/Giant)

5. Greg Henderson (Nzl/Lotto)

6. Robert Wagner (Ger/Belkin)

7. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita/Team MTN)

8. Roberto Ferrari (Ita/Lampre)

9. Tom Boonen (Bel/Omega Pharma-Quick-Step)

10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel/Trek)

Overall classification after stage eight:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 31:21:20″

2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +15″

3. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) +18″

4. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +20″

5. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +41″

6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +45″

7. Robert Gesink (NED/Belkin) +55″

8. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +58″

9. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) +1:02″

10. Wilco Kelderman (NED/Belkin) +1:06″

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GB’s Yates eyes Vuelta stage victory

Britain’s Adam Yates will be chasing a stage victory in his first Grand Tour – the Vuelta a Espana – which starts on Saturday in Jerez de la Frontera.

Fellow Briton Chris Froome, the

2013 Tour de France winner,

is among the favourites to win the race, along with

Giro d’Italia winner Nairo Quintana.

Yates, 22, who rides for Australian team Orica GreenEdge, told BBC Sport: “Stage six’s mountain finish suits me.

“That’s my target but there’s no pressure or expectation from the team.”

Climbing specialist Yates is one of five British riders in the 21-stage race, which starts with a 12.6km team time trial in southern Spain.

The Vuelta features five flat stages, 13 hill and mountain stages and two time trials, the second of which is on the final stage – a 9.7km individual time trial in Santiago de Compostela.

Froome leads a nine-man Team Sky squad that includes British road race champion Peter Kennaugh and Welshman Luke Rowe, while 37-year-old Garmin-Sharp rider David Millar is riding in his 24th and final Grand Tour.

Bury-born Yates, whose twin brother Simon also rides for Orica, is looking to build on an impressive set of results in his debut year as a professional. He became the first British rider to win the week-long

Tour of Turkey

in May, was fifth in the Tour of California and sixth in the Criterium du Dauphine, which is a Tour de France warm-up race.

“I never expected to be competing at this level so soon,” he continued. “I won the stage race in Turkey and was

close to a victory

at the Dauphine so I’m pretty happy with how things are going.”

Yates was riding well in the hilly one-day San Sebastian race in early August and was in a five-man break which featured 2009 Vuelta winner Alejandro Valverde and fellow Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez. However, he crashed on a descent near the finish and suffered concussion that kept him out of the RideLondon Surrey Classic.

“I was more gutted to crash in San Sebastian than miss London,” he said. “I had a good chance of finishing at least second in that race. But that was a couple of weeks ago and I’m over the concussion and ready to race.

“The initial plan is for me to race the first two weeks of the Vuelta to the second rest day and then see how fresh or tired I am feeling. I am a first-year pro riding in my first Grand Tour and I’m hopeful I will make it to the end but the team will make the call.

“I’m looking forward to the mountain stages but it’s the flat stages that worry me most. Flat stages in the south of Spain are notoriously windy and I’m not the biggest rider so I’ll be looking to stay safe and just get through them.”

Adam Yates

Yates said his victory at the Tour of Turkey was unexpected

Orica have fared well in team time trials in the other Grand Tours, winning the Giro d’Italia’s earlier this year and the Tour de France in 2013, but Yates says they are unlikely to make it a hat-trick in Jerez because the make-up of the team is more geared to winning stages and supporting their Colombian team leader Esteban Chaves.

Colombia’s Quintana and Spaniard Valverde who both ride for Movistar, Froome and Rodriguez, who has won eight Vuelta stages and the mountains classification in 2005, are the favourites to contest the overall victory.

Froome, who

crashed out of this year’s Tour de France,

finished second at the Vuelta

in 2011

and was fourth in 2012.


two-time Vuelta winner

Alberto Contador, who was also

forced to abandon the Tour

after an accident, has

defied expectations

and is fit to race.

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Froome closes on Vuelta lead

Chris Froome moved to within 20 seconds of the lead as he recovered from an early crash during stage seven at the Vuelta a Espana.

Briton Froome crashed just before the first categorised climb in the 169km stage, but recovered despite requiring a bike change and medical treatment.

Alessandro de Marchi took the stage victory leading a four-man breakaway

Red jersey holder Alejandro Valverde’s lead over team-mate Nairo Quintana was cut to 15 seconds.

Froome’s fall left the Team Sky rider requiring bandaging to his right arm, but former

Tour de France winner

told Team Sky’s website he was fine. “I’m feeling okay, but you definitely get the feeling that when bad luck comes it comes more than once.

“But all things considered I’m feeling all right and I think I got off relatively unscathed.”

Saturday’s stage will be 208km taking the riders from Bazea to Albacete.

Stage seven results:

1. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita/Cannondale) 4:01:52″

2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Garmin) +1:34″

3. Hubert Dupont (Fra/AG2R) +1:35″

4. Johann Tschopp (CH/IAM Cycling)

5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/BMC Racing) +2:17″

6. Daniel Martin (Ire/Garmin)

7. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +2:18″

8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) +2:20″

9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar)

10. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo)

Overall classification after stage seven:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 26:52:20″

2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +15″

3. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo) +18″

4. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +20″

5. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +41″

6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +45″

7. Robert Gesink (NED/Belkin) +55″

8. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +58″

9. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) +1:02″

10. Wilco Kelderman (NED/Belkin) +1:06″

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Valverde beats Froome on stage six

Team Sky’s Chris Froome moved up to fourth in the overall standings after a close finish on the sixth stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

Briton Froome was pipped to the line by Spain’s Alejandro Valverde, who takes the overall lead.

The Movistar rider was impressive throughout the 167km stage, with another Spaniard, Alberto Contador, finishing third.


Tour de France winner Froome

is 22 seconds behind the leader Valverde.

For the second day running, Dutch rider Pim Ligthart made an early breakaway, this time alongside Spain’s Luis Mas Bonet, and at one stage the pair led by over 14 minutes.

Alejandro Valverde

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde will wear the leader’s red jersey heading into stage seven

But Ligthart’s brave attempt to take the stage came to an end just 3km from the finish line when he was swallowed up by the peloton.

Valverde came to the fore in a gruelling uphill finish to cross the line first and snatch the race leader’s red jersey.

Colombia’s Nairo Alexander Quintana is 15 seconds behind in the overall standings. Contador is a further three seconds back in third, with Froome – aiming to become the first British rider to win two of the three Grand Tour races – lurking just behind.

Friday’s seventh stage is a 169km race from Alhendin to Alcaudete, which may favour a rider who gets in the break.

Stage six results:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 4:35:27

2. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) ST

3. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tankoff-Saxo)

4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +8

5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +12

6. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +18

7. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +25

8. Daniel Navarro (Spa/Cofidis)

9. Mikel Nieve (Spa/Team Sky) +32

10. Robert Gesink (NED/Belkin) +33

Overall classifications after stage six:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 22:48:08

2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +15

3. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) +18

4. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +22

5. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +41

6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +45

7. Robert Gesink (NED/Belkin) +55

8. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +58

9. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) +1:02

10. Wilco Kelderman (NED/Belkin) +1:06

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