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RISOUL, France (VN) — Antibiotics are not slowing down Tejay van Garderen’s push for the podium at the Tour de France.
BMC Racing officials confirmed to VeloNews that van Garderen, who bolstered his podium hopes by attacking late in Saturday’s summit finale to Risoul, has been taking antibiotics for five days to treat a minor chest infection.
“From the beginning of the Tour, some of the guys got sick from England, and it went around the team. Tejay was the last to get it,” BMC Racing doctor Max Testa told VeloNews. “He’s been on antibiotics for a few days, and will be a total of seven or eight days.”
Van Garderen was already sounding raspy in the voice when VeloNews spoke to him at the start of Thursday’s stage.
When he sat down to talk to journalists following the mountaintop finale, van Garderen said he was missing his top-end kick, citing four crashes he suffered in the opening half of the Tour coupled with what he called bronchitis.
“I’m generally not the most explosive rider, but I think after the rest day I came down with a bit of bronchitis, and then there were the crashes and that kind of just took away a bit of my top end,” van Garderen said after cooling down. “After the rest day and into the Pyrénées, I should bounce back a little bit.”
Testa said Monday’s rest day will give van Garderen an extra day to recover ahead of the Pyrénées.
“The rest day comes at a good time for us. If he passes tomorrow, and has a good rest day, he should be competitive for the Pyrénées,” Testa said. “I think the complaint from missing the kick is coming from the crashes. The breathing has always been under control. Sure, he is a little off his top end. … He is getting better every day. When a rider is sick, but they’re getting better fast, that means they’re in a good shape.”
BMC Racing general manager Jim Ochowicz said the team is confident van Garderen can push through Sunday’s transition stage to Nimes, and be ready to battle for the podium across three decisive stages in the Pyrénées next week at full health.
“He has a tickly throat. He’ll be okay. If he was sitting there coughing, we’d all be worried, but he’s healthy for the most part,” Ochowicz told VeloNews. “The podium is there. It’s tight, anything can happen. Tomorrow is hard. It doesn’t seem hard on paper, but if there are mistral winds, those are echelon winds. It won’t be easy.”
Van Garderen remains poised for the final podium. He surged Saturday in the wake of an attack from race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), drawing out the French duo of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale). Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) struggled, leaving the gap between second place and fifth-place van Garderen just 1:12.
“My trump card is going to be that time trial,” van Garderen said. “If I can stay close, I can take back some time.”
When pressed about how much time he could take back on the French riders, van Garderen was realistic.
“If I am within a minute of them, I think I have a chance,” he said. “I think the smartest thing I can do is stay within my limits. If I can get to that time trial pretty close on time, on paper at least, I should be able to move up a couple of spots.”
The post Tejay van Garderen beating back bronchitis, looking toward ITT appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- Had my road bike stolen out of my garage last night. Edwaardsville IL area. Please keep a heads up for anyone in the area. Bike is a Giant TCR Advanced with Zipp 404 tubulars and Sram Red components. It's race ready, as I discovered the theft on my way to hopefully go to a bike race. Alas that was not to be. Thanks for looking.
- ...A sand and gravel operator is on the verge of commencing operations near Eureka along the proposed Meramec Trail/Al Foster trail route bordering the Meramec River. The land is presently out of the way of traffic and unvisited by most everyone but the curious non-resident. The photos below give a glimpse of the gorgeous natural scenery that will soon be destroyed in favor of dusty water filled pits surrounded by noisy trucks and mining machinery.
The existing landfill next to Castlewood and the ugly water filled gravel pits next to Lone Elk show that St Louis area officials have a history of allowing the plunder of the Meramec. Please take a few seconds to fill out this form to make Eureka city officials aware that one more person don't support Winter Brothers proposal to transform this landscape. Sometimes the number of responses is more important than the language used in each response: http://www.eureka.mo...-us/contact-us/
This site has background on the proposal:
- 1. Rafal MAJKA, Tinkoff-Saxo, in 5:08:27
- 2. Vincenzo NIBALI, Astana, at :24
- 3. Jean-Christophe PERAUD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :26
- 4. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ.fr, at :50
- 5. Romain BARDET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :50
- 6. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at :54
- 7. Frank SCHLECK, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:01
- 8. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at 1:07
- 9. Leopold KONIG, NetApp-Endura, at 1:20
- 10. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at 1:24
- 11. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at 1:24
- 12. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 1:24
- 13. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at 2:18
- 14. Michael ROGERS, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:34
- 15. John GADRET, Movistar, at 2:37
- 16. Bauke MOLLEMA, Belkin, at 2:40
- 17. Ben GASTAUER, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:44
- 18. Arnold JEANNESSON, FDJ.fr, at 3:09
- 19. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at 3:09
- 20. Nicolas EDET, Cofidis, at 3:20
- 21. Simon YATES, Orica-GreenEdge, at 3:25
- 22. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, Belkin, at 3:31
- 23. Brice FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 3:57
- 24. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, Lampre-Merida, at 4:46
- 25. Tony GALLOPIN, Lotto-Belisol, at 4:59
- 26. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 4:59
- 27. Richie PORTE, Sky, at 5:16
- 28. Marcel WYSS, IAM Cycling, at 6:17
- 29. Geraint THOMAS, Sky, at 6:37
- 30. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at 6:37
- 31. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at 6:52
- 32. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 6:55
- 33. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 7:08
- 34. Michele SCARPONI, Astana, at 7:08
- 35. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at 7:30
- 36. Benjamin KING, Garmin-Sharp, at 8:55
- 37. Cyril GAUTIER, Europcar, at 9:07
- 38. Giovanni VISCONTI, Movistar, at 10:13
- 39. Peter VELITS, BMC Racing, at 10:18
- 40. Mikael CHEREL, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 10:18
- 41. Peter STETINA, BMC Racing, at 10:18
- 42. Tom DUMOULIN, Giant-Shimano, at 10:18
- 43. Amaël MOINARD, BMC Racing, at 10:18
- 44. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 10:27
- 45. Jan BAKELANTS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 10:57
- 46. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 10:57
- 47. Jérôme PINEAU, IAM Cycling, at 10:57
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) won stage 14 of the Tour de France on Saturday, riding away from a crumbling break on the ascent to Risoul, as race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) padded his advantage with a second-place finish.
A big break formed up for the mountainous 177km race from Grenoble to Risoul, with two category-1 ascents and the beyond-category Co d’Izoard.
Sky’s Geraint Thomas was best-placed overall, sitting 18th at 14:05. Joining him were Majka; green jersey Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and polka-dot jersey Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha); Mikel Nieve (Sky); Steven Kruijswijk (Belkin); Cyril Gautier (Europcar); Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo); Amaël Moinard (BMC Racing); Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale); José Serpa (Lampre-Merida); Nicolas Edet and Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis); Jesus Herrada Lopez (Movistar); Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge); Christophe Riblon (Ag2r La Mondiale); and Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano).
The escapees took something like five minutes at one point before NetApp-Endura joined Astana in the pursuit, thinking of Leopold Konig, who finished third on Friday and was sitting 10th on the overall.
Sagan flatted and dropped out of the break before it reached the Col d’Izoard, content to have added to his advantage in the points competition. And with 55km to go the escapees had just under three minutes’ advantage.
The Izoard saw a whittling down of break and chase alike, with only 10 riders summiting ahead of the pursuit as Rodriguez continued to collect mountain points.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) briefly lost contact on the long descent between peaks, but his team dragged him back into contention. Ag2r La Mondiale took charge of the GC group on behalf of Romain Bardet, sitting third overall at the start of the day.
Ahead, De Marchi tried his luck as the bunch closed to within 40 seconds. Serpa rode up to him, but couldn’t stay there. Then Majka zipped past the both of them, and Rodriguez launched his own pursuit. De Marchi latched onto him, and the two soldiered along some 17 seconds behind the lone leader.
Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) had a half-hearted go with 4.5km to go, but got nowhere.
And then Nibali gave it some stick, and only Peraud could follow. They quickly dispatched Rodriguez and De Marchi, and then set out after Majka.
Van Garderen was next to make a move, but with less success. And then another dig pushed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) out the back.
Going under the red kite it was clear that Majka would take the stage. Nibali was chasing a half-minute back with Peraud on his wheel, while Pinot and van Garderen led a second chase with Fränk Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) and Bardet.
Nibali and Peraud fought it out for second, with the race leader winning that battle. Shortly thereafter it was Pinot and Bardet crossing swords for fourth and fifth, while van Garderen followed them in for sixth.
Valverde lost ground on the day, crossing at 1:23 down on Majka and conceding nearly a minute to Nibali.
When the overall was tallied, Nibali led Valverde by 4:37, with Bardet third at 4:50. Pinot sits fourth at 5:06 with van Garderen fifth at 5:49.
Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from the Tour de France.
The post Rafal Majka wins stage 14 as Vincenzo Nibali pads lead in Tour appeared first on VeloNews.com.
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: break
The riders of the break roll down a scenic forest road west of Bend. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Carpenter
Robin Carpenter gets the break started with an attack. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Devil's Lake
Devil's Lake frames the break as they ride down the Cascade Lakes Highway. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Easter
Griffin Easter of Airgas, one of the development teams in the race, gets some advice from the team car on staying in the break. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Bissell
The Bissell team and Ryan Eastman took over chase duties on the front of the peloton with less than 10km to go in the race. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Jelly Belly
It was Jelly Belly's day on the front of the peloton, protecting race leader Serghei Tsvetkov. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: cat and mouse
With less than 5km to go, the leaders decided to play cat and mouse, allowing the chase to catch on, and setting up McCabe for the win. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: fluids
Travis McCabe takes on some fluids at the feed zone. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: McCabe wins
McCabe celebrates, taking the win with a strong sprint out of the small lead group. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: men's peloton
The men's peloton, almost 200 riders strong, starts the day in Bend. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: zoom
The peloton streaks past on the way to the far side of Mt. Bachelor and the eventual finish on the mountain. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: 3 sisters
The peaks of the 3 Sisters tower over the peloton. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: the gap
The time board shows the break their biggest gap, just over three minutes. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: chasing back
Race leader Serghei Tsvetkov had a bike change and was forced to chase the peloton very early in the race. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: after the break
Ruben Zepuntke chases the break at the 10km mark, with several riders along for the ride, eventually catching the leaders around the 4km mark. He would eventually finish third. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: taking pulls
Race winner Krista Doebel-Hickok earned her victory, taking turns on the front of the peloton, chasing down breaks, and finally attacking for the win. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: winner
Doebel-Hickok rolls across the line, unaware she has just won the stage. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: jerseys
Jersey holders Amber Neben and Julie Emmerman near the front of the leader's group on the final climb. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Stephens
Lauren Stephens played it cool on the final climb, knowing her teammates would chase breaks and control the race. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: celebration
Tibco riders celebrate at the finish on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, with their fourth stage victory and the yellow jersey intact. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Tibcon in charge
Tibco controls the front of the lead group on the final climb, with Krista Deobel-Hickok and Andrea Dvorak taking pulls for Lauren Stephens. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: Toth and Perry
Annie Toth and Ann Perry try another attack on the final stretch of the climb, but would be shut down by Tibco riders. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: heading home
The women's leaders close in on the finish on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, stage 3: women's podium
The women's podium of race winner Krista Boebel-Hickok, Lauren Stephens and Anne Perry. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com
GRENOBLE, France (VN) — Every morning on French radio, cycling experts break down the day’s action. For years — no, decades — the French media and fans had little to get excited about. Stage wins, a run in the yellow jersey, or a few heroic rides, but the podium in Paris remained like a mirage in the desert.
Over the past few days, there’s a new excitement crackling over the French airwaves unheard of since the glory days of Bernard Hinault and Laurent Fignon in the 1980s. The French are in with a legitimate shot at the final podium in Paris.
At the start of Saturday’s stage, three French riders were within the top six. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) started sixth at 6:06 behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was fourth at 4:40, and white jersey Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) climbed onto the virtual podium with third at 4:24 back.
With a string of climbing stages still looming between here and Paris, there is real hope that one of them could secure a podium place, in what would be the first for a French rider since confessed doper Richard Virenque was second in 1997.
“Nibali is very strong, but maybe the podium is accessible,” Pinot told French TV before the start of Saturday’s stage. “If I can keep having good legs in the mountains, perhaps the podium is within reach. That is what we are aiming for.”
Pinot, 24, and Bardet, 23, are part of a new generation of French riders invigorating the sport in the Tour’s host nation. A French rider has not won the Tour since Hinault won the last of his five in 1985, a legacy that has haunted the national peloton every since.
Today’s generation seems unburdened by the past, and is poised to make legitimate progress in the quest for the podium.
“Right now, I am focusing more on winning the white jersey,” Bardet said. “I am only 23, and it’s clear that Nibali is the strongest, with three stage wins, so I am going to stay calm, take it stage by stage, but fight all the way to the end.”
With pre-race favorites Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Chris Froome (Sky) both crashing out during the first week, there is a growing sense of an historic opportunity.
The French sports daily ran a full-page banner headline ahead of the Alps: “This year or never.”
That the French are even speaking about the podium reveals many things about how far cycling has come.
Throughout the Lance Armstrong era, French riders bitterly complained of a “peloton at two speeds.” In the wake of the Festina Affaire that rocked the 1998 Tour, French teams were pressured by police and government to step back from the rampant doping of the peloton, though the Cofidis scandal involving David Millar and other Cofidis riders in 2004 proved that not all French riders were racing on bread and water.
Riders such as Sandy Casar and David Moncoutie both raced clean during the EPO era, at least according to many within the peloton, but could never reach their full potential against the gassed bunch.
With the introduction of the biological passport in 2008, some observers say it’s no coincidence that French riders are once again becoming competitive as the peloton pedals into a cleaner, more transparent reality.
Veteran L’Equipe journalist Philippe Brunel, who has covered the Tour since the days of Eddy Merckx, said the new French generation has nothing to fear and everything to gain.
“We are seeing the first post-Festina generation come to age during this Tour. French cycling was traumatized in the wake of the scandal,” Brunel said. “It was like a nightmare for French cycling.”
Brunel also pointed out that the French no longer dominate the peloton as it did during the days of the Hinault and Fignon. Since then, the peloton has been overrun by Americans, Australians, British, and other European nations.
“Before, the sport was dominated by riders from four nations — Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain,” he said. “Now the peloton is completely international. It’s taken a while for the French to adjust and find their place.”
The fact that the French are bubbling to the top of the peloton hasn’t been lost on Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, who said in an interview with L’Equipe he would like to sign a French rider and try to help him win the yellow jersey.
As much as the French are hoping for a podium ride this year, it might not happen.
Peraud, 37, is the best against the clock of the three, but he doesn’t seem to have the spark in his legs as his younger compatriots. Pinot and Bardet are both climbers who will likely bleed time in the penultimate-stage time trial in Bergerac, something Bardet admitted after climbing into the virtual third podium spot Friday.
“(Tejay) van Garderen is very good against the clock,” Bardet said. “If we hope to have real podium chances, we’ll have to carry a good gap into the final time trial. Anyway, it’s too far to think that far ahead. Every day is hard in the Tour, and we’ve seen that anything can happen.”
Pinot and Bardet are both still a work in progress. Pinot has been working to overcome his fear of descending, driving race cars over the winter and undergoing counseling, while Bardet is only making his second Tour start, already looking on track to top his 15th place debut last year.
They might not reach the podium this year, but the fact that they’re even close is giving the French something to cheer about.
“Patience,” Brunel cautioned when asked about they pressure they are already facing. “In the future, they will be even better as they gain experience, and improve in time trialing. This is only the beginning.”