Sunday, June 25, 2017

TDF News

2015 Tour de France Stage 21 Preview:

The 2015 Tour de France comes to a close with a 109.5kms route from Sevres-Grand Paris Seine Ouest to the Champs-Elysees in Paris. 

On the outskirts of the country capital, there is a cat 4 left to contest:

  • Km 10.5 - Côte de l'Observatoire 2.2 kilometre-long climb at 4.1% - category 4

 And, the intermediate sprint occurs in Paris at 55kms.  Traditionally, this is a parade, celebration route until entering the Champs-Elysees when the peloton takes 10 laps up and down one of the most famous streets in the world. 

Along the way, you can expect pictures of all the jersey riders riding arm in arm, the yellow jersey rider drinking champagne with his DS, the team of the leader riding off the front with him in the center, and lots of beautiful historic scenery.

When the race turns onto the finishing circuit, a rider who has announced his retirement from the sport usually leads onto the start of the finishing circuits.  Then, the u-turn loops start where a group of riders will attack on the concrete setts which make the road surface incredibly bumpy (and yields to a number of mechanicals).  These attacks will get caught, and a sprint finish will occur as it has the past decade.  A bunch sprint has finished this stage 34/40 times! Mark Cavendish has won in Paris 4 times—more than anyone else, and I’m sure that after what he would consider a disappointing Tour, he’s hyper motivated to make it 5.  But, Greipel’s had great speed and Sagan great heart this Tour, so they could spoil it for the “Manx Missile. “

Contador after final Giro-Tour battle: “I’m glad that I tried

Alberto Contador will enter Champs-Élyseés as 5th in the GC after the final fight up Alpe d’Huez. On the verge of concluding his daunting Giro-Tour attempt, the Tinkoff-Saxo team leader tells that he would have regretted not having tried. Team sports director Steven de Jongh applauds the team performance noting that the squad has delivered dedicated backing since the start in Utrecht. With a 104-point lead, Sagan heads to Paris with the green jersey secured.


Standing across the finish line after the final GC showdown of the Tour de France 2015, Alberto Contador underlines that it was the right decision to try out for the double, while he admits that he will recalibrate his approach in the 2016 season.


Read more: Contador after final Giro-Tour battle: “I’m glad that I tried

BMC's Tour de France, Stage 20: Sánchez Stays 12th Overall

BMC Racing Team's Samuel Sánchez held onto his 12th place overall Saturday at the Tour de France by finishing 26th on the final mountain stage.

Sánchez reached the summit of Alpe d'Huez 5:01 after solo stage winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and 3:23 after Chris Froome (Team Sky), who remains the overall leader with one day of the race to go.

Quintana, Valverde, Movistar Team secure TDF podiums

The Movistar Team rounded off a magnificent 2015 Tour de France in the only way all its members can do it: with courage, composure and offering their individual and collective best. Nairo Quintana finished just 18" away from conquering the most famous climb in modern cycling, Alpe d'Huez (Hors Categorie), as 2nd over the line behind Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), after a 110km journey with the previous, grueling climb of Croix de Fer (also HC), which the riders directed by Eusebio Unzué tackled on the attack, ready to win and lose everything.

A move from Alejandro Valverde, who started the day as third on the overall standings, just over 60 kilometers from the finish line, was later seconded by Quintana, both trying to blow up Chris Froome's Sky train. The Briton had to respond by himself, together with Vincenzo Nibali (AST), to get through the emergency and let the group recompose. Winner Anacona, already active into the early attacks, went after that on the move again, pursuing a four-man attempt up the road and ammassing a two-minute advantage that would take him into perfect position before the 14km Alpe d'Huez climb. There, the Blues were the most courageous again.


Read more: Quintana, Valverde, Movistar Team secure TDF podiums

2015 Tour de France Stage 20 Preview:

Stage 20 is another short but intense mountain stage, running 110.5kms from Modane Valfrejus to Alpe d’Huez.  While it would be difficult for anyone to catch Froome’s lead at this point, the battle for the podium seems to continue after Nibali’s daring escapade yesterday—unless he burnt too much energe.  Quintana, meanwhile, seemed to have lots in reserve, so maybe he will launch an attack and add his name to the list of those who have summited Alpe d’Huez first.



The intermediate sprint occurs as 94.5kms in Bourg-D’Oisans, and there are two climbs:

  • Km 56.0 - Col de la Croix de Fer (2 067 m)29 kilometre-long climb at 5.2% - category H
  • Km 110.5 - ALPE D'HUEZ13.8 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% - category H

Originally, the route was supposed to climb the Galibier, but a road closure and the risk of landslide pushed the race organizers to reroute to cover the Col de la Croix de Fer instead.  But, it is Alpe d’Huez that remains the race favorite for fans and legend for riders.  While it’s not the hardest of the climbs, its 21 hairpin bends are famous.  And one statistic of Alpe d’Huez speaks loud and clear: 22/28 times, the man in yellow after the climb wins the Tour.  So, after today, we should know all of the jerseys, and GC should be pretty well nailed down baring any unforeseen circumstances.  But, Stage 20 is still a day to play for anyone dare seeking glory.  

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