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World Tour standings after the Tour de France


1 – Alejandro Valverde – 482 points

2 – Chris Froome – 422 points

3 – Alberto Contador – 407 points

4 – Nairo Quintana – 365 points

5 – Richie Porte – 314 points

6 – Joaquim Rodriguez – 292 points

7 – Geraint Thomas – 283 points

8 – Rui Costa – 274 points

9 – Simon Spilak – 259 points

10 – John Degenkolb – 265 points


1 – Sky – 1219 points

2 – Movistar – 1092 points

3 – Katusha – 1038 points

4 – Etixx-Quick Step – 891 points

5 – Tinkoff-Saxo – 777 points

6 – Astana – 663 points

7 – BMC – 568 points

8 – Giant-Alpecin – 482 points

9 – AG2R – 479 points

10 – Orica-GreenEdge – 456 points


1 – Spain – 1410 points

2 – Great Britain – 903 points

3 – Colombia – 785 points

4 – France – 742 points

5 – Australia – 696 points

6 – Italy – 694 points

7 – Netherlands – 670 points

8 – Germany – 455 points

9 – Belgium – 410 points

10 – Czech Republic – 306 points

2015 Tour de France – Third week stats

– Chris Froome became the 20th rider to win the race at least twice

– He’s also the first cyclist since Eddy Merckx (1970) to win the GC and the mountains classification at the same edition

– Chris Froome now has 30 yellow jerseys, making him the rider with the most days in the lead

– The 30-year-old Brit became the second cyclist to win the Criterium du Dauphiné and Tour de France in the same year twice, following Bernard Hinault (1979, 1981)

– Chris Froome is the first rider to win the polka dot jersey having not actually worn it during the race

– Chris Froome is the sixth cyclist to win the overall and the mountains classification, following Sylvère Maes, Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Federico Bahamontes and Eddy Merckx

– The 72 seconds separating Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana is the tenth smallest gap between first and second

– Nairo Quintana is the first Colombian rider to finish in the top three of the Tour de France twice

– The South American has a total of 21 days in the white jersey; only Jan Ullrich (54), Phil Anderson (37) and Andy Schleck (30) are ahead of him

– Alejandro Valverde finished for the first time on the podium of the Tour de France

– 2015 is the first year ever when the top five in the Tour de France are all Grand Tour winners

– For the first time since 1989, two Dutch cyclists finished in the top 7 of the Tour de France

– Mathias Frank is the first Swiss cyclist in the past 16 years to notch a top 10 overall

– Only 16 riders finished within an hour of the Tour de France winner, fewest since 1997

– Peter Sagan became the first cyclist to finish second in five Tour de France stages in one year since Alex Zülle, in 1999

– Same Sagan came ten times in the top five. He is first rider to achieve this feat in a single Tour de France since Sean Kelly (1985)

– The Slovak equalled Charles Pélissier on sixth place for most second places in Tour de France stages (16)

– Peter Sagan jumped to second in an all-time standings of the most days spent in the green jersey, 71

– Sagan is only the third cyclist to win the green jersey at least four times

– Ruben Plaza brought Lampre-Merida its first stage win in the race since 2010

– In Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Romain Bardet became the first rider from Auvergne to win a stage in the past 54 years

– Simon Geschke became the second German to win a stage with a mountain top finish, following Jan Ullrich in 1997 (Ordino-Arcalis)

– After abandoning in stage 17, Michal Kwiatkowski became the 14th reigning world champion to retire from the Tour de France

– Of the riders who made their Tour de France debut, Warren Barguil got the best GC result: 14th

– For the first time since 2012, French riders have won at least three stages in one edition

– Thibaut Pinot became the fourth French rider to win on Alpe d’Huez, following Bernard Hinault (1986), Pierre Rolland (2011) and Christophe Riblon (2013)

– 12 teams have scored at least one stage victory: AG2R, Astana, BMC, Etixx-Quick Step, FDJ, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, Lampre-Merida, LottoNL-Jumbo, MTN-Qhubeka, Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo

– Lotto-Soudal was the team with the most stage wins: 4

– Seven out of the 19 stages in line were won from a breakaway

– Adam Hansen completed a record-equalling 12 straight Grand Tour

– Nine riders have retired during the third week, making it for a total of 38 abandons

– Thomas De Gendt is the cyclist with the most kilometers spent in a breakaway: 679

– Europcar and LottoNL-Jumbo are the only teams to complete the race with all nine riders

– Romain Bardet was voted the most combative cyclist of the race, becoming the 30th Frenchman to receive this prize

– Robert Gesink is the first rider since Sean Kelly (1983) to finish in the top 36 of every Tour de France stage

– Germany was the nations with the most stage wins at this edition: 6 – Sébastien Chavanel was the lanterne rouge of the race, after coming last in the general classsification

– Pinarello is now the most successful brand in Tour de France history, with 11 overall wins

– After Rohan Dennis and Tony Martin got to lead the race, there are now 280 cyclists who wore the yellow jersey since 1919

– Sky topped the money classification, with a total of 556 630 euro; Orica-GreenEdge was the last team in the standings, with just 10 940 euros

– In the individual money classification, Chris Froome leads, with a total of 503 530 euros

– The average speed of the race was of 39,567 km/h


Rider of the week

On July 26th, Chris Froome joined Gino Bartali, Ottavo Bottecchia, Alberto Contador, Fausto Coppi, Laurent Fignon, Nicolas Frantz, Firmin Lambot, André Leducq, Sylvère Maes, Antonin Magne, Lucien Petit-Breton, Bernard Thevenet as a two-time winner of the Tour de France, taking Great Britain’s tally of wins to three, just as many as the US has.

It wasn’t an easy task for Froome, who had to overcome the crosswinds, the cobbles, the unruly crowds and the doping insinuations, as well as as two spirited attacks of Nairo Quintana on La Toussuire and Alpe d’Huez, thanks to which the pint-sized Colombian managed to cut two thirds of the huge deficit he had in the overall classification before the Alps.

As he did in 2013, the 30-year-old Brit has build his triumph in the first half of the week, surprising everyone with his performance in the flat, tricky stages, before powering away from all his rivals on La Pierre-Saint-Martin, the first summit finish of this year. With that impressive display in the Pyrenees and the cushion he had over all his rivals, Froome had the luxury of staying in the defensive in the days to come, with an eye of Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, who were still posing a threat in the GC.

It wasn’t a one-man job, but a team one, as the Sky leader had an incredible squad as his disposal, with the likes of Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte, Wout Poels or Ian Stannard doing a tremendous work during the three weeks of the Tour de France, controlling the race and making sure of helping Chris Froome in the key moments of the race, as well as in the (rare) occasions in which he showed some weaknesses during the final stages, where the Kenya-born cyclist began to fade after three tough weeks.

Now, Chris Froome is a two-time Tour de France winner and is widely considered as one of the best riders in the race’s history. It remains to be seen how his legacy and victories will be regarded in the years to come.

2015/2016 Transfer rumours


Bryan Coquard


Giovanni Visconti


Mark Cavendish, Bryan Coquard, Peter Kennaugh, Richie Porte

Bora-Argon 18

Alex Kirsch, Chris Anker Sørensen


Sylvain Chavanel, Chris Anker Sørensen, Steven Tronet


Jose Serpa, Rigoberto Uran, Wouter Wippert


Cyril Gautier, Baptiste Planckaert


Rigoberto Uran

Etixx-Quick Step

Warren Barguil, Daniel Martin, Jurgen Van Den Broeck


Adrien Petit, Baptiste Planckaert

IAM Cycling

Bryan Coquard, Chris Anker Sørensen


Mikel Landa, Jonathan Restrepo


Eduardo Estrada, Stefano Pirazzi


Dylan Groenewegen, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Dylan van Baarle, Boy van Poppel, Danny van Poppel


Pawel Bernas, Jelle Wallays


Mikel Landa


Adil Barbari, Mark Cavendish, Primoz Roglic


Christopher Juul-Jensen, Richie Porte, Jurgen Van Den Broeck


Michal Golas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Beñat Intxausti, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Christopher Juul-Jensen, Mikel Landa, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Alex Peters


Julen Amezqueta, Cristian Rodriguez

Topsport Vlaanderen

Maxime Farazijn, Baptiste Planckaert

Trek Factory Racing

Mark Cavendish, Edward Theuns, Tejay van Garderen, Preben Van Hecke


Alessandro Ballan

Loïc Vliegen: “I’m happy to turn pro with BMC”

Born in Rocourt, a suburb of Liège, Loïc Vliegen didn’t need too much time to put his cards on the table, standing out from his early days as a Junior, before signing with BMC Development, a team that nurtured his talent and helped him develop his qualities, thanks to which many began talking about Loïc as the new gem of the Belgian cycling for the hilly one-day races.

After a strong first half of the season in 2014 – during which he won a stage and the GC in the Triptyque Ardennaise – BMC offered him a role as a stagiaire and he didn’t disappoint, scoring top 10 placings in both Ride London Classic and the Arctic Race of Norway, both races being known not only for their tough course, but also for the weather which always makes an impact on the final classification.

Fast forward to 2015, and Loïc Vliegen’s palmares for this season already includes Flèche Ardennaise, stage wins at the Tour de Bretagne, Course de la Paix and the Tour des Pays de Savoie, as well as runner-up spots at the Tour de Bretagne and Course de la Paix, all these results (four victories, three podiums and seven top 10 placings) making him one of the most successful and consistent U23 cyclists of the year.

An impressive puncheur, Loïc Vliegen is also a very versatile rider, who seems to have an unlimited potential that allows him to make further developments in the years to come and turn into a protagonist also on the mountains. Until then, he’ll have a busy summer, as the 21-year-old recently became the third cyclist to be promoted from the US-registered team to BMC, after Silvan Dillier and Stefan Küng, and awaits his pro debut with a lot of confidence, especially after his string of successes in the U23 ranks.

– Loïc, how did you start cycling?

I come from a family of cyclists. My father and my grandfather were good amateurs and my granduncle was a pro in the ‘50s. So it was logical for me to become a cyclist.

– How were your first years, what do you remember from that period?

I began racing when I was 14-years-old and I scored four victories back then. I have nice memories of my first race, which took place in Achene (Namur), where I came fourth. It was really exciting and I was happy for coming so close of winning the race.

– As an U23 rider, you joined BMC Development. How was your spell with the team?

It was a good choice for me in 2013 to go to BMC Devo. You can’t wish for a better staff and equipment. I had the perfect environment to improve as an amateur and I learned a lot in races like the Tour du Normandie and Tour de Bretagne. Another important step for me was becoming a stagiaire last year, because by doing this I got to gain valuable experience in pro races.

– In the first half of 2015, you scored many important results, stage wins and GC placings alike. Which was the most important for you and why?

I’d have to say that the best victory of the year was Flèche Ardennaise, because it was really special for me. It was my home race, with the finish taking place just 500 meters from my house. A lot of supporters and people were waiting me to win this race, I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders and I showed that I can win this race as the favorite. This is important for me if one day I will encounter a similar pressure in a pro race. I have good memories of this event, because I’ve never seen so many people supporting me during a race. It was a really nice feeling to get the win.

– You’ve now turned pro with BMC. What does this transfer mean for you and your career?

I’m really happy to turn pro with the BMC Racing Team, because I’m in my third year in this structure and I’m content to see they have confidence in me for three years now.

– With what hopes are you embarking on this adventure?

I would like to learn a lot and to see how things are going at World Tour level. If I’ll ride with a leader in such a race, I’m sure I’ll gain experience, which will be very good for the years to come. Also, if the team will give me some freedom, I’ll try to get results in smaller races.

– And in which races will you go in the next weeks?

I’ll do the Grand Prix Pino Cerami, the Tour de Wallonie, Clasica San Sebastian and the Eneco Tour.

2015 Tour de France – Second week stats

– Chris Froome’s 2’52” lead at the start of stage 11 was the biggest a Tour contender has had after the first summit finish since Lance Armstrong led Jan Ullrich by 4’14”, in 2000

– Same Chris Froome was the ninth rider to win twice on 14 July, a record for the event

– On Pierre-Saint-Martin, Sky became the first team in the race’s history to record a 1-2 on a mountain finish twice

– For the first time in the Tour de France, three British riders finished in the top 10 of a stage (Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates)

– Rafal Majka became the first rider since Laurent Fignon (1984) to win three Tour de France mountain stages before turning 26

– The Pole is also the first cyclist to take a victory from a breakaway at this year’s edition

– Six riders have retired on stage 11; last time this has happened was in stage 15 of the 2012 edition

– Etixx-Quick Step’s Michal Kwiatkowski is the first cyclist to receive the most combative prize twice

– After winning on Plateau de Beille, Joaquim Rodriguez became the active Spanish rider with the most Grand Tour victories, 13

– 14 cyclists have abandoned during the second week, one more than in the previous week

– Thanks to Stephen Cummings, MTN-Qhubeka scored its maiden Grand Tour victory

– The South-African squad is also the first Pro Continental team to take a stage at this year’s edition

– At 34 years and 121 days, Stephen Cummings became the third-oldest Tour de France stage winner for Great Britain

– Great Britain climbed to 7th place in an all-time victory ranking, with 59 stage wins

– André Greipel nabbed his third stage victory at this year’s edition and equalled his feat from 2012 edition

– He also became the active German cyclist with the most Tour de France stage victories

– Tinkoff-Saxo leads in the money classification, while Orica-Green-Edge lies at the bottom of the ranking

Rider of the week

With 1500 meters left of stage 14 of the Tour de France, it looked like the win will be a 100% French affair between AG2R’s Romain Bardet and FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot, third in last year’s edition. They were the strongest on the Côte de la Croix Neuve, the climb leading towards the Mende Aerodrome and after their attacks ended up with a stalemate, the victory should have been decided in a two-way sprint, 20 years after their countryman Laurent Jalabert made this finish famous in the race, with a win which came following a very long break.

It wasn’t another dream scenario for the French last Saturday, but a nightmare one, as 34-year-old Brit Stephen Cummings timed his effort to perfection and catched Bardet and Pinot just before the top of the climb and created a gap of just a couple of meters, that allowed him to soar to his second career Grand Tour victory, after the one in the 2012 edition of the Vuelta a España (stage 12, Santiago de Compostela-Ferrol), when he was part of another successful breakaway.

Although Côte de la Croix Neuve wasn’t a territory to his liking, Cummings clenched his teeth once he was distanced and then pulled hard to get in touch with his opponents, showing a huge fighting power which basically can be considered a trademark of his personality during a career in which he was forced to get over a series of injuries that took him off the track on too many occasions.

Stage 14 of the Grande Boucle wasn’t just Cummings first Tour de France win, but also MTN-Qhubeka’s maiden Grand Tour victory, one which fittingly came on Mandela Day, the special anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday. A great moment for the South-African team, which will go down in history and will serve as a foundation for the Qhubeka charity, that aims to improve the life of African children and get more and more of them on the bikes, the prime target being not to find the continent’s first Tour de France winner, but to change destinies.

Tao Geoghegan Hart, guest of the week at Cafe Roubaix

Tao Geoghegan Hart

20-year-old Tao Geoghegan Hart is riding his second season with Axeon Cycling, the team managed by former pro Axel Merckx, which throughout the years has put many riders on the World Tour map. Since joining the US-based squad, the Hackney-born rider – touted by many to be a future Grand Tour winner – got to take part in big events, like the Tour of California, the Tour of Utah and the Tour of Britain, as well as in some of the most prestigious U23 races out there: Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de l’Avenir.

Each time, the British cyclist – who remained down to earth, despite his impressive showing – has made the most out of it, gaining experience, strengthening his confidence and scoring some nice results, which more than sure brought him on the radar of the important Pro teams. Recently, I caught up with Tao Geoghegan Hart and got to ask him a couple of questions about his 2015 campaign and the targets he has for the second half of the year.

– Tao, you’re halfway into your second season with Axeon Cycling. How was this experience?

It has been a good year so far. We have some new riders from last year, but developed a really good group straight away, which I think showed as we had results right from the first race of the season. The biggest difference has been the return of our brilliant Head Soigneur Reed McCalvin. He works tirelessly for his riders and I really enjoy being able to work with him.

– How did Axel Merckx and the Axeon project help you develop since joining them?

The team exposes its riders to a very high calibre of racing, for instance this year with California, Utah and the US Pro Challenge, we will have 24 days of 2.HC racing. This is combined with 2.2 and U23 races in Europe to give us a great variation of races in which to develop. From the climbing races to something like the U23 Paris-Roubaix, we have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of race days.

– What are the differences you’ve noticed between the European peloton and the US one?

The obvious difference is the size of the roads and how this affects the peloton. The racing in the States can be more relaxed, but not always, with some Criteriums and also tighter circuits in the American NRC races.

– You raced many big races, so I’d like to know what caught your attention while riding against the pros?

It is a very different style of race. I think switching between the U23 races and big Pro races is something that keeps us on our toes and shows us how different races can be, not necessarily in the terrain, but in the way that they are ridden and controlled.

– What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?

I don’t think there is one thing to pinpoint. It’s all a lesson and I think the most important thing is to constantly try to absorb both experiences and information. There is always something to learn, so it is an ongoing process.

– In terms of results, which would you say that was your highlight?

I was pleased with my top 20 in the individual time trial of the Tour of California. My TT isn’t something I have had a huge opportunity to develop and I feel I have a lot of room for improvement with my position and training on the TT bike. However, my TT’s in races are improving almost every time I race, so that is reassuring for me.

– In what races will you go in the following weeks?

The first week of July I took a mid-season break. I will have a training block through the remainder of July and then race the Tour of Utah in August.

– And what goals do you have?

To keep improving. I would like to continue to target the GC in big stage races and improve upon my results so far in 2015.

2015 Stagiaires


Romain Campistrous, François Bidard, Florent Pereira

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec

Mattia Viel


Tom Bohli, Floris Gerts

Bora-Argon 18

Gregor Mühlberger, Lukas Pöstlberger


Franck Bonnamour, Valentin Madouas, Caio Godoy-Ormense


Jasper Bovenhuis


Rayane Bouhanni, Hugo Hofsteter, Xabier San Sebastian

Etixx-Quick Step

Fernando Gaviria


Romain Guyot, Taruia Krainer, Simon Sellier


Fabien Doubey, Marc Fournier, Elie Gesbert


Max Walscheid


Jonathan Restrepo


Twan Castelijns, Steven Lammertink


Frederik Frison, Dries Van Gestel, Kenneth Van Rooy


Jack Haig

Trek Factory Racing

Julien Bernard

Wanty-Groupe Gobert

Romain Barroso, Kevin Callebaut, Robin Stenuit


* World Tour and Pro Continental teams

2015 Tour de France – First week stats

– Rohan Dennis became the 7th Australian – after Phil Anderson, Stuart O’Grady, Bradley McGee, Robbie McEwen, Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans – to wear the yellow jersey

– Same Dennis is the youngest rider (25 years and 37 days) to wear the yellow jersey since Andy Schleck (25 years and 33 days), in 2010

– By winning stage 1 of the race, the BMC cyclist set the record for the fastest ever individual time trial in the Tour de France: 55,45 km/h

– Michal Kwiatkowski is the first world champion since Greg LeMond, in 1990, to get the most combative rider prize after a stage

– Fabian Cancellara now has 29 days in the yellow jersey, a record for a cyclist who didn’t win the race

– Rohan Dennis, Fabian Cancellara, Chris Froome and Tony Martin have led the race in the first four days; last Tour de France with four different yellow jersey holder on the first four days was the 1992 one (Miguel Indurain, Alex Zülle, Richard Virenque, Pascal Lino)

– Joaquim Rodriguez’s win on the Mur de Huy was the 9th for a Catalan in the Tour de France

– Tony Martin became the 15th rider to retire from the race while wearing the yellow jersey

– Daniel Teklehaimanot is the first African to lead the mountains classification

– Chris Froome has 18 days in yellow, a record for a British cyclist

– Alexis Vuillermoz took the host nation’s first stage victory at this edition; since 2000, there was at least one French winner in every edition

– The only two riders who finished in the top 30 on every stage are Robert Gesink and Peter Sagan

– Rohan Dennis and Alexis Vuillermoz claimed their maiden Grand Tour victory

– Mark Cavendish took his 26th stage and surpassed André Leducq on an all-time list, only Eddy Merckx (34) and Bernard Hinault (28) having won more

– Thanks to Tony Martin, Zdenek Stybar and Mark Cavendish, Etixx-Quick Step became the first team to have three different winners in the first seven individual stages of a single edition since TI-Raleigh-Campagnolo, in 1982 (Jan Raas, Gerrie Knetemann and Ludo Peeters)

– For the second time in a row, the team time trial in the Tour de France was won for just one second

– Five of the last seven team time trials in the race have now been won by USA-registered teams

– 13 cyclists have abandoned during the first nine stages

– Etixx-Quick Step is the team which earned the most money in the first week: 44 350 euros

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