Tuesday, 3 July 2012
Monday, 2 July 2012
The last Belgian stage of the 2012 tour, between Vise and Tournai, was always going to be a bunch sprint finish. It wasn't until 22 Kilometres into the days racing that the break was formed. The escape bid came from Roux (FDJ) who was then followed by Kern (EUC), who's child was born 2 hours prior to the team presentation in Liege, as well as the polka dot jersey Morkov, who further extended his points tally in the KOM classification by picking up the one and only point of the day.
In the intermediate sprint there was some big points for the sprinters to contend, with Matt Goss yet again taking the maximum for the riders in the peloton.
With around 30km left in the stage, the peloton had caught the bulk of the breakaway, only Anthony Roux staying out in front giving an impressive solo performance (Securing him the combative rider award for the day). With just 14km to go, the peloton reeled in the Frances Des Jeux rider winding up for a bunch sprint.
Each team had riders on the front, including BMC riding for Cadel Evans, trying to keep him out of harms way. Then Lotto Belisol came to the front of the peloton with Andre Greipel in tow. Once Greipel peeled off his leadout man, Greg Henderson, all was to play for. But with the world champion on his wheel it wasn't long before Cavendish had pulled past his former team mate to take the victory.
At the end of the day Cancellara finished safely in the bunch, keeping the yellow jersey. Also, Peter Sagan's 6th place gave him enough points to secure his first green jersey.
Saturday, 30 June 2012
Wiggins (Team Sky), looking to become the first Briton to win the Tour in three weeks' time, demonstrated his supreme form by pushing Cancellara close and taking an advantage of more than nine seconds over Evans, who finished 13th. The 32-year-old Londoner, born in Ghent, Belgium, was denied the chance to become the fifth Briton to don the Mailot Jaune. At the intermediate time check after 3.2km Wiggins, who was the 188th starter in a field of 198 riders, trailed by six seconds in 10th place.
Chavanel placed third, with Evans' team-mate TJ van Garderen fourth to take the best young rider's white jersey. Wiggins' team mate, Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished in 7:29 to place 11th, while Commonwealth Games time-trial champion David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), who had been a doubt for his 11th Tour due to illness earlier this week, clocked 7:31 to place 16th. Steve Cummings (BMC Racing) was a place behind in 17th. World time-trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) had to change bikes due to a mechanical problem and finished in 7:36 to place 45th.
Tomorrow's stage of 198.0km from Liège to Seraing is no leg breaker, but it still is bumpy enough to dampen the hopes of pure sprinters and may see Cavendish dropped before reaching Seraing. The course is less demanding than in 1995, when Bruyneel and Indurain blew the race apart on the road to Liège, but it comes very close to the Ardennes and, at 198 km, the stage distance is nothing to sneeze at. This stage is designed to preserve the peloton's energy while setting the tone for the rest of the race.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
For the first time since 1956 the UCI World Championships are being hosted by Denmark in the city of Copenhagen. Consisting of five time trial events and two road races, the World Championships are considered to be the most prestigious event in the UCI race calendar. With juniors competing with elite riders in the road races for the first time since 2004 the course route favours a bunch sprint finish for the coveted Rainbow Jersey.
The 266km course laps around the city with each lap ending in a slight uphill kick. The fairly flat course will favour a bunch sprint finish but the little kicks could lead to splintering of the pack so with everyone on guard it will take a brave effort to destabilise the pack as the toughest of the sprinters battle home to contest the victory.
Having scouted the course during the Tour of Denmark, Oscar Freire is the big Spanish hope for the men’s road race on Sunday , amongst a team of sprinters that has seen Olympic Champion Samuel Sanchez left at home. Meanwhile Britain’s Mark Cavendish is looking to become only the second British rider to wear the Rainbow Jersey. Fellow HTC-Columbia team mate and key lead out man for the Grand Tours Mark Renshaw has been left off the Australian start-list in a move that has perplexed many. Having notched up 18 wins this season Phillipe Gilbert will be a big name to watch along with Thor Hushovd who showed fine form in the Tour de France.
After some fine performances in Europe, Australia’s Shara Gillow, 23, will be on the look out to take the Rainbow Jersey in the women’s road race. Topping the medal table in the last two World Championships, the Australian contingent are confident of strong another strong performance this year. Meanwhile Britain’s Nicole Cooke, who is no stranger to the World Championship podium having taken gold in 2008, and Emma Pooley, who will be defending her Time Trial jersey, are joined by 22 year old Lizzie Armisted who has sucessfully transferred from the track to road racing.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
With two mountain stages before the time trial and a second week that includes some of the toughest climbs as Folgueriiras of Aigas is climbed ahead of the Puerto de Ancares (stage 13) the day before the riders return to the region of Asturias after a two year absence to climb the La Farrapona right before the Alto de Angliru (stage 15) there are sure to be fireworks in the race for the Red Jersey. But there is no certainty that a leader will emerge in this second week that will safely carry the Jersey into Madrid at the end of the third week. The winding route of stage 17 could lead to a dangerous breakaway into the complicated Sía and Alisa mountain passes and this could shake up the GC. If times are close then the Puerto de Urquiola could prove to be the deciding factor on the penultimate stage.