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Archive for the month “iulie, 2015”

2015 Stagiaires


Romain Campistrous, François Bidard, Florent Pereira

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec

Massimiliano Barbero, Mattia Viel


Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny, Floris Gerts

Bora-Argon 18

Gregor Mühlberger, Lukas Pöstlberger


Franck Bonnamour, Valentin Madouas

Caja Rural

Carlos Jimenez, Kyle Murphy, Jaime Roson


Jasper Bovenhuis, Ryan Mullen


Rayane Bouhanni, Hugo Hofsteter, Xabier San Sebastian


Felix Baron


Brad Evans

Etixx-Quick Step

Rodrigo Contreras, Fernando Gaviria


Romain Guyot, Taruia Krainer, Simon Sellier


Fabien Doubey, Marc Fournier, Elie Gesbert


Max Walscheid


Niss Politt, Jhonatan Restrepo


Filippo Ganna, Luca Pacioni, Edward Ravasi


Koen Bouwman, Twan Castelijns, Steven Lammertink


Frederik Frison, Dries Van Gestel, Kenneth Van Rooy


Jayden Julius

Nippo-Vini Fantini

Emanuele Onesti

Novo Nordisk

Brian Kamstra


Jack Haig


Tao Geoghegan Hart, Alex Peters


Julen Amezqueta, Cristian Rodriguez


Michael Gogl, Felix Grossschartner, Antwan Tolhoek

Trek Factory Racing

Leonardo Basso, 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

Rider of the week

He was supposed to be at the wrong side of the split caused by the crosswinds during stage two of the Tour de France, but ended up gaining time on all his rivals. One day later, he should have had problems on the narrow roads towards the Mur de Huy, but finished second and opened an ever bigger gap on his rivals. On stage four, many were expecting him to crash on the northern cobbles or just be insecure and lose minutes, however, he cruised there and even attacked at some point, before eventually finishing in the same time with the other GC contenders.

For Chris Froome, week one of the Tour de France was an amazing one, much above his expectations, that saw him pull on the yellow jersey and gradually increasing his advantage over Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Tejay van Garderen, the other four riders who are credited as favorites at winning the 102nd edition of the race. Due to his excellent performance on the tricky stages that took place in the Netherlands, Belgium and Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the Brit is now more confident and more relaxed with the second week and the first summit finishes looming on the horizon.

By the looks of it, Chris Froome is more powerful than he was two years ago, when he won the Tour de France, and this is a serious concern for all of his opponents, who will have to tactically outmaneuver him on the descents or by forging an alliance in order to make the Sky cyclist lose time. If this won’t happen, the general feeling is that Froome will kill the fight for the yellow jersey as soon as Thursday, when the peloton will tackle Plateau de Beille, one of the most difficult climbs of this year’s edition.

Pascal Eenkhoorn: Dreaming of turning pro and winning “La Doyenne”

He’s just 18-year-old, but has already established himself as one of the most talented and versatile Junior riders in the peloton, as he can time trial, tame the cobbles, ride over the short hills and get solid results in stage races. In the past 12 months, Pascal Eenkhoorn took many impressive victories, including the Bernaudeau, an event in which the likes of Bryan Coquard, Florian Senechal or Romain Sicard have shined in the past.

Coming from the Netherlands and having a love for his métier equaled only by his ambition of succeeding, Pascal Eenkhoorn hopes to continue building an impressive palmares in the years to come on the U23 scene, in order to secure a World Tour contract at some point. More on this you can find out from the following interview he gave to Cafe Roubaix this week, while preparing for the big goals he has for the second half of the year.

– Pascal, how did you begin cycling?

When I was younger I did speed skating and ice skating, and with time I started to cycle as part of my training for skating. But I loved cycling more and that’s why I’m riding my bike right now.

– Did you have an idol back then?

My first idol was Alexandre Vinokourov, but I also like Frank Vandenbroucke, because I just love his racing philosophy and the way he always found a way to respond to the media.

– After scoring some very impressive results in cyclo-cross, you decided to switch to road cycling. How come?

I didn’t like cyclo-cross anymore and it was really hard to do road and cyclo-cross full time. On the other hand, thanks to it, I became better in handling my bike, and for that reason I see it as an advantage over other riders.

– Speaking of this, what would you say that are your strong points at the moment?

I’m strong on small hills, but I would love to improve myself in every single matter. Right now I’m just a junior and I don’t know what are my limits for the future.

– Of the victories you scored so far on the road, which meant the most for you and why?

Bernaudeau Juniors (ed. – which he won in March), because it was my strongest and longest race ever. I also had many second places during this season, but I don’t have any regrets, considering that in every race I got beaten by a better rider that moment. Just look at the ITT Nationals: I was really prepared, I rode a good race, but there was a faster cyclist and he won.

– You’re a rider who has a very clear picture of himself. Did you give a thought about when you’d like to turn pro?

Hopefully after three years in the U23 ranks I’ll make that step, but it depends on how much I can improve, of course. I know I have to be very strong to get a pro contract.

– What type of races do you want to focus on?

I want to target one-day races like Liège–Bastogne–Liège and short stage races. Actually, “La Doyenne” and the World Championships will be my biggest goals after becoming a pro.

– And how about these last months of the season?

After getting some rest, I’ll turn my attention towards Niedersachsen Rundfahrt and the Tour of Flanders, but my biggest goal will be the World Championships in Richmond, as I’ll try to end my season on a high note, as I began it.

Riders who retired from the Tour de France while wearing the yellow jersey

Year Rider Reason
1927 Francis Pélissier Sick during stage 6
1929 Victor Fontan Broke his bicycle in stage 10
1937 Sylvère Maes Quit after the public had threatened the team during stage 16
1950 Fiorenzo Magni Quit after the public had threatened two Italian teams during stage 11
1951 Wim van Est Fell on a descent during stage 13
1965 Bernard Van de Kerckhove Sick during stage 9
1971 Luis Ocaña Broken collarbone in stage 14
1978 Michel Pollentier Disqualified after caught cheating during an antidoping test after stage 16
1980 Bernard Hinault Injured knee after stage 12
1983 Pascal Simon Crack in his shoulder blade during stage 17
1991 Rolf Sørensen Broken collarbone in stage 5
1996 Stéphane Heulot Knee injury during stage 7
1998 Chris Boardman Head injuries during stage 1
2007 Michael Rasmussen Fired by team after stage 16 for lying about his whereabouts before the race
2015 Tony Martin Broken collarbone in stage 6

Tony Gallopin: “I’m ready to go on the attack”

In 2014, Tony Gallopin became the first Frenchman to wear the yellow jersey in the Grande Boucle since 2011, an impressive feat for the Lotto-Belisol cyclist, who also went on to take a beautiful solo win in Oyonnax. Since then, he established himself as one of the most consistent and versatile riders of the peloton, capable of scoring impressive victories and important placings, as underlined by his showing in Paris-Nice, Amstel Gold Race, the Critérium du Dauphiné or the National Championships.

Now, after gaining confidence from all these results, the 27-year-old is ready to make another strong stance on the Tour de France, where he’ll be one of Lotto-Soudal’s leaders. But more on this and his targets for the next three weeks, in the following interview he gave to Cafe Roubaix a couple of days ago, before the start of the race.

– Tony, are you satisfied with your season so far?

Yes, I can say it was ok and I’m pretty happy with the first part of the year, as I nabbed stage victories in Etoile des Bessèges and Paris-Nice, but also had some good results in the Classics. Now that I’ve seen I can finish in the top 10 in the Classics, I really want to focus on these races in the future and finally land a big result in Milan-Sanremo or Amstel Gold Race. The most important thing is that I’ve made some really good progress in the Classics.

– What are these improvements that you are talking about?

I feel that I’m doing much better in stage races like Paris-Nice, which was obvious this Spring. I must say that I was surprised with my GC result, but on the other hand, at the end I was a little bit disappointed with my overall placing. I also felt stronger in the Classics over long distances, as my 6th place in Amstel shows. All these things are giving me huge confidence for the future.

– This year you skipped the Tour of Flanders in favor of the Ardennes. Will you follow a similar path in the future?

Yes, my focus will be on the Ardennes Classics, but I’ll also be interested in Milan-Sanremo. Anyway, this doesn’t mean I can’t try new things at some point.

– Recently, you came second at the National Championships. What were your thoughts after the race?

It was a good result and although I missed on the win, I wasn’t disappointed, because I knew I wasn’t the fastest in the sprint and it wasn’t possible for me to attack earlier. I gave my best and overall I’m content with what I got. The race has helped me find out how my legs are ahead of the Tour de France and also become more confident.

– You’re riding the Tour de France for the fifth time in your career. What do you think of the course?

The race is nice and it reminds me of the one in 2014. The last week is really difficult, but until then I’m sure I will have some chances on the Mur de Huy and Mur de Bretagne.

– And what goals do you have for the race?

To be sincere, my best result will be to win a stage and for sure I will try to take one. I will also help André Greipel in the sprints; basically, my role in the team will be more or less similar with the one I had last year, except that now, as we don’t have a GC rider, I’ll get more freedom and more opportunities to go on the attack.

A short history of the Tour de France pavé stages (past 35 years)

Year Stage First Second Third Yellow jersey before the stage Yellow jersey after the stage
1980 Liège – Lille Bernard Hinault Hennie Kuiper Ludo Delcroix Rudy Pevenage Rudy Pevenage
1980 Lille – Compiègne Jean-Louis Gauthier Gery Verlinden Bernard Bourreau Rudy Pevenage Rudy Pevenage
1983 Valenciennes – Roubaix Rudy Matthijs Kim Andersen Pascal Poisson Jean-Louis Gauthier Kim Andersen
1985 Neufchâtel-en-Bray – Roubaix Henri Manders Sean Kelly Phil Anderson Kim Andersen Kim Andersen
2004 Waterloo – Wasquehal Jean-Patrick Nazon Erik Zabel Robbie McEwen Thor Hushovd Robbie McEwen
2010 Wanze – Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut Thor Hushovd Geraint Thomas Cadel Evans Sylvain Chavanel Fabian Cancellara
2014 Ypres – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut Lars Boom Jakob Fuglsang Vincenzo Nibali Vincenzo Nibali Vincenzo Nibali

Rider of the week

It has been a tough first half of the season for Fabian Cancellara, although the start was very good, with stage victories in the Tour of Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico. Unfortunately for the Swiss powerhouse, he crashed and injured in E3 Harelbeke, missing his biggest goals of the season, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Then, after coming back, things weren’t as smooth as he had hoped, the end of June finding him without a win in the three races he had been targeting: the two Tour de Suisse invididual time trials and the road race at the National Championships.

Things didn’t seem to become smooth not even once the Tour de France got underway, as he finished in third position the opening stage, a 13,8-km long individual time trial in Utrecht. But the Trek Factory Racing cyclist kept on believing that the tables will finally turn around and sensed that a first opportunity will be stage two of the race, during which heavy winds and rain were expected, as the peloton was heading towards the North Sea.

Staying all the time at the front during a stage in which the wind and rain wreaked havoc, he eventually became part of a main group that included GC contenders, sprinters and Classic specialists alike, the 34-year-old patiently waited for the last 200 meters, letting the sprinters to make their move, before responding. Then, thanks to a strong sprint (69,16 km/h) – reminiscent of the one in the 2011 World Championships, where he finished fourth – but also to a blunder made by Mark Cavendish, he came third and got himself some bonifications, which helped him climb to first in the standings.

On Monday, Fabian Cancellara will enjoy his 29th day in the yellow jersey, a record for a rider who hasn’t won the overall classification. He also ticks his sixth Tour de France in the lead, which puts him on par with André Darrigade and Eddy Merckx, with only Bernard Hinault in front of him (8 editions). Now, after adding Zeeland to the list of place where he took the most important jersey in cycling (Liège twice, London, Monaco and Rotterdam being the other), the Swiss can look with much more serenity to the second goal he has in the race: win a stage, his ninth in the Tour de France.

Ralph Denk: “We hope to bring home a stage win”

Ralph Denk

Jan Barta, Sam Bennett, Emanuel Buchmann, Zakkari Dempster, Bartosz Huzarski, Jose Mendes, Dominik Nerz, Andreas Schillinger and Paul Voss the nine cyclists selected by Bora-Argon to ride the 102nd Tour de France. The Pro Continental teams is returning to the biggest stage race in the world one year after making its debut and being among the protagonist in the general classification, where it scored a very impressive top 10.

This time, the German Pro Continental team comes with a line-up spearheaded by Sam Bennett – one of the most talented sprinters of the new generation and winner of three races this season – and Dominik Nerz, the 25-year-old who showed his GC potential by finishing twice in the top 20 at the Vuelta a España. The two of them are expected to take advantage of the many opportunity the Tour de France will provide in the next three weeks and bring Bora-Argon’s biggest victory of the year, as underlined by Ralph Denk, in the following interview he gave to Cafe Roubaix.

– Mister Denk, the team is coming back to the Tour de France after making its debut last season. How important is to have got a wild card for the second year in a row?

For us it is very important since we have a new sponsor. To present the biggest platform in cycling to a new sponsor is the best thing that can happen to a team and our project. We all know that the bar we set last year is very high. Already then we exceeded all expectations. But the riders are fit and motivated, so we hope that we are able to convince and surprise this year again.

– How was the process of selecting the riders who eventually made the cut?

Our management team tried to find a mix of cyclists to support Sam Bennett in the sprints, as well as Dominik Nerz, who is focussing on the GC. The clock was set to zero in January and every rider had enough races and chances to prove himself and qualify for the Tour squad.

– Is it safe to say that Sam Bennett is the leader of Bora-Argon for the Tour de France?

Well, actually we are going with two leaders into the race. Meaning, Sam Bennett takes the lead position in the sprint stages, while Dominik Nerz will be our leader regarding GC. I hope Sam will get his chances in the sprint stages to fight for a podium position.

– And how about the other cyclists?

Mainly, we hope that we arrive to Paris with as many riders as possible. If we are lucky enough to also bring home a stage win, our target would be reached. Basically, we would have all expectations fulfilled.

– What does it mean to have the national champion of Germany in the race? How did you receive the news of Emanuel Buchmann winning the race?

I received the news live through radiotour, as I was in the race car myself. It is a great story for German cycling and of course for our team. To go to the Tour de France with the German Champion in your team is really great. People are much more aware of us and truth is this scenario simply fits to a German team.

Alain Gallopin talks of Trek’s goals for the Tour de France

Trek Factory Racing is one of the teams to watch at this year’s Tour de France, as the squad led by Alain Gallopin and Kim Andersen is coming with a strong line-up, thanks to which it can fight on both fronts, stage wins and general classification. The US-based team has two captains for the biggest race in the world, Fabian Cancellara – who holds the record for the most days in the yellow jersey without winning the race (28) – and Bauke Mollema, who hopes to leave his mark on the overall standings in an event he previously finished twice in the top ten.

Joining them will be Julian Arredondo (best climber of the 2014 Giro d’Italia), two-time Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder, Laurent Didier, Markel Irizar, Bob Jungels, Gregory Rast and Haimar Zubeldia (8th at the previous edition), making up for a strong squad, which can show itself on almost any terrain.

Just days before the start of the 102nd running – which will take place in the Dutch city of Utrecht – I’ve contacted Mister Alain Gallopin, one of Trek’s sports directors for the Tour de France, and he agreed to talk for Cafe Roubaix about the team’s goals and expectations for this event, where the team comes with high expectations.

– Mister Gallopin, how would you rate Trek’s season so far?

The start was really good, but then, after the crash of Fabian Cancellara in E3 Harelbeke and the crash of Bauke Mollema in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, things didn’t go as we have planned in the cobbled Classics and the Ardennes Classics, respectively. Nevertheless, the spirit is good in the team and we await the start of the Tour de France with a big level of confidence.

– For this reason is the race a chance to turn the tables around?

Exactly. Our first focus is to place Bauke Mollema into the top five and then, with Fabian Cancellara, to win a stage in the first part of the race and take the yellow jersey.

– How do you see the team’s line-up for the Tour de France?

We have found a perfect mix between the climbers and the Classics riders. Looking at the parcours of the race in the first half, it was important to have some strong Classics guys to protect our GC leader and also to help Fabian Cancellara get a victory. I don’t know if Fabian will have a free role on the fourth stage or will stay with Bauke, this is yet to be decided by Kim Andersen and I, but what I can say is that it would be very important for us if he could win the cobbled stage and take the yellow jersey.

– You said that the team’s goal is to have Bauke Mollema in the top five in Paris. What are his chances of doing so?

He didn’t have a good Criterium du Dauphiné, but if you remember, last year he was very strong in the Tour de Suisse, but afterwards was tired in the last week of the Tour de France. Also, in Dauphiné he had that back problem and our plan was to have him hit top form for July, and not for the Dauphiné.

– Making his debut in the Tour de France will be Julian Arredondo. Can he go at some point for the polka dot jersey?

It remains to be seen, as we provides us with many options, but the main goal will be to try and win a stage at the Tour, especially in the second half of the race, as there are a lot of opportunities for a breakaway to succeed. He is in good shape and I’m sure will spot him on the climbs.

– Also Bob Jungels will race the Tour de France for the first time. What can we expect from him?

He can have the same focus as Fabian, and that is to try and take the jersey at some point thanks to a break. Bob is a complete rider, good on the cobbles and also on the climbs, and I’m sure he’ll help the team. Last year he didn’t finish the Vuelta, but I’m confident we’ll see him at the front as he will gain a lot of experience here.

– You’ve been to many editions of the Tour de France as a sports director. What do you think of this year’s course?

My opinion is that it’s a very interesting, it’s certainly one for the climbers, but they have to avoid all the problems that can arise in the first ten days. A complete cyclist will win, not a climber, I’m sure of that. The winner will have to show himself not only on the climbs, but also on the cobbles and in the windy stages.

– And would you say that the first half of the race is more important than the second one?

Anything is important in the Tour de France, because every little detail counts and you can lose the race anywhere. It’s a very complicated affair. But, besides these Classic-type stages, I’d say that also the summit finish of Pierre-Saint-Martin will be very interesting, as it will be provide the first real fight between the overall classification riders.

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