Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nibali Joins Elite Club with Tour de France Victory

By: Barry Ryan
Italian seals win in Paris

This time, there were no grand declarations. When Vincenzo Nibali took the microphone to greet the multitudes on the Champs-Élysées, the newly-crowned Tour de France champion's speech was a simple one. Words of thanks for his team and his family, and tears of joy as the magnitude of his achievement dawned on him.

"It's the most important moment, the most beautiful moment. Standing on this podium on the Champs-Élysées is something unique and standing on the highest step is even more beautiful than I could ever have imagined," Nibali said.

Rather than ad lib, the Sicilian opted to read his speech from a sheet of paper. One senses that it was simply to ensure that he didn't forget to thank any of those closest to him amid the emotion of the occasion.

Immediately on crossing the line, Nibali had been greeted by his wife Rachele and their infant daughter, Emma, as well as his parents Salvatore and Giovanna, while Astana general manager Alexandre Vinokourov surveyed the scene. Atop the podium, Nibali carefully thanked both his personal and professional support.

Unlike last winner's Chris Froome, Nibali stuck to his native tongue for the duration of his speech, although he switched to French for his sign off. "Merci à tous les français e merci a tout le monde," he said shyly, to applause from those lining the Champs-Élysées.

As he descended from the dais, a group of Italian supporters began to chant the bass line from the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army, an anthem appropriated by the national football team en route to victory at the 2006 World Cup and seemingly used to fete all Italian sporting success ever since.

While the tifosi sang his praises from behind the barriers, Italy's first Tour winner since Marco Pantani in 1998 spoke to television crews on the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées, still struggling to put words on his emotions. "I'm still in a bit of a daze," Nibali admitted to RAI television. "I'm not able to externalise it but on the inside, this has taken my breath away, it's fantastic.

"Finally I can say it: I've won the Tour de France. And finally I can start to recover my energies. It was a huge effort. I had the jersey from the second day and that's not easy."

In adding the Tour de France to his victories at the Giro d'Italia (2013) and Vuelta a España (2010), Nibali becomes only the sixth rider in history to win all three Grand Tours, following in the wheel tracks of Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador.

"Soon I'll be chasing big objectives again," Nibali said. "I've always like the big stage races, but there are classics and world championships too."

Nibali was asked by France Télévisions if his victory could be viewed as proof that it was possible to win clean. "I think so but not only because of my victory," he said. "In recent years there have been some nice, important and clean victories. Cycling has changed in recent years and we can be proud of it."

Earlier, the same interviewer had spoken with Vinokourov, who was expelled from the 2007 Tour after testing positive for blood doping but is now the general manager of the race winner's team. "It's one of the most beautiful days of my life," Vinokourov said. "It's a great victory."

Article Source: Cycling News 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tony Martin Wins Stage 20 Time Trial at the Tour de France

July 26, Stage 20: Bergerac - Périgueux (ITT) 54km

Nibali keeps yellow leader's jersey with one stage remaining

World champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) did what he does best by winning the stage 20 individual time trial at the Tour de France on Saturday. The penultimate race of this year’s Grand Tour was held along a 54km course from Bergerac to Périgueux, which Martin won in 1:06:21, beating Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) by 1:39 in second and Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) by 1:47 in third.

Yellow jersey Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished the time trial 1:58 behind Martin in fourth place. The result was more than enough to keep him safely in the overall lead as the race heads into Paris for the stage 21 finale along the Champs-Élysées on Sunday.

The time trial was a key stage in the race for the remaining two overall podium positions between Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) and Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who were separated by 13 seconds. Despite having a rear puncture on course, Péraud put forth a strong performance on the day, finishing 2:27 behind Martin, that pushed him up into second place overall, 7:52 behind Nibali. Pinot slipped into third place overall 8:24 back.

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished the time trial 4:28 down, enough to hold onto his fourth place in the overall 9:55 down from Nibali.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) started the time trial in fifth place overall and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was in sixth place, 2:07 behind the Frenchman. However, Bardet’s slower start and a puncture in the time trial, contrasted with van Garderen’s strong performance, was enough to boost the American up into fifth place overall.

"It feels good to move up one place," van Garderen said. "I feel like I worked hard for this fifth place. I know he [Bardet] had a problem on course and I feel bad for him about that."

Article Source: Cycling News 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tour de France: Rogers Wins in Luchon

July 22, Stage 16: Carcassonne - Bagnères-de-Luchon 237.5km

Van Garderen loses ground on Port de Balès

Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) took his first Tour de France stage win in Bagnères-de-Luchon on Tuesday, thriving out of a breakaway group that made it to the finish line. He made his winning move with 3km to go from a smaller front group and soloed in to the finish line. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), who had fought hard for the win, took second just ahead of Vasili Kiryienka (Team Sky).

It was the third Grand Tour stage victory for the Rogers, who returned from an overturned doping suspension to win two stages of the Giro d'Italia in May.

"It was amazing. Once I got to the bottom of the last climb the race began for me. I knew Voeckler would be hard to beat. I tried to drop him and I knew I would have to," Rogers said. He was seen wagging his finger at Voeckler on the final descent, and giving some harsh words to the Europcar rider. "I said, 'don't play with me because you're not going to beat me. I've been in this position too many times, not to win.'"

The group of overall favourites was still some eight minutes back when Rogers crossed the finish line. But Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) handily defended his overall lead, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) safely still in second. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) lost nearly two minutes and dropped from third, with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) moving up from fourth. American Tejay van Garderen (BMC), formerly fifth, was dropped on the final climb and came in almost four minutes behind, sliding to sixth overall, now 4:19 off the podium.

As for Rogers, it has been a startling reversal of fortune. The Australian, a three-time time trial world champion, has enjoyed more mass-start stage victories since returning from his temporary suspension that resulted from a positive for clenbuterol at last year's Japan Tour, than he has had in most of his career combined. What has changed?

"I think there was a fair bit of joy coming out there. I've tried many times and I think I've changed mentally. I am more hungry, opportunities are more clear to me and I'm not scared of the outcome any more. Previously, I was already scared to try something because I was scared of failure."

Photo: Tim de Waele

The peloton heads into the first stage in the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees were calling on stage 16 after a much-needed rest day. Two riders folded their sails and went home; Orica-GreenEdge sent home their youngster Simon Yates and world champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) went home sick.

It was a lively start to the race with the action starting almost immediately. Unfortunately, Reto Hollenstein of IAM Cycling crashed within the first kilometer, and although it took a short time, he finally made his way back to the field.

There were two category four climbs early on, mere bumps on the road compared to what was still ahead. Tinkoff-Saxo's stage 14 winner, Rafal Majka took the one point available on the first climb over the Côte de Fanjeaux and moved ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez in the mountain competition.

A series of attacks eventually led to an eight-man group with Lotto Belisol's Adam Hansen, however, it failed to gain any significant time on the peloton. A 12-man group formed shortly after that looked like it had the foundation to be successful, however, it too failed because Garmin-Sharp missed it and later reeled it back in.

The winning move of the day formed with 21 riders some 75km into the race. It included Rogers, Voeckler and Kiryienka along with Michal Kwiatkowski and Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Cyril Gautier and Kevin Reza (Europcar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Jon Izagirre (Movistar), Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida), Jens Keukeleire and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Matteo Montaguti and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Anthony Delaplace and Florian Vachon (Bretagne Séché Environment), Bernard Eisel (Team Sky) and Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling).

The group had an eight-minute lead as they headed up the third climb of the day, over the Col de Portet-d'Aspet, where Voeckler took the points at the top. The peloton, still moving at a comfortable pace, hit the top 10:15 minutes later.

The front group climbed the next ascent over the Col des Ares, and it was Voeckler, again, leading the group over the top, with peloton ambling over at 12:11 minutes down.

Port de Balès, the only Hors Category climb of the day, still lay ahead. It was an 11.7km long and up to 1,755 metres, with an average gradient was 7.7 per cent, but there were sections of over 10 per cent.

Kluge was the first to fall back from the lead group on the long climb, and much further back, the sprinters started forming the gruppetto behind the main field.

Roy pushed the tempo a number of times on the climb, helping to shed more and more riders. But much of the lead work was done by Reza, helping his captain Voeckler, as he had been doing for most of the stage. He eventually fell off pace with 29km to go.

Kwiatkowski had a lot to gain by being up front and he toyed with the idea of moving back up into the top 10, however, he wasn't strong enough to hang on to the fast pace up the climb.

The lead group had been reduced to a handful of riders with 26.5km to go, and it was Rogers and Voeckler who looked the strongest. The Frenchman attacked out of the group, with his trademark tongue hanging out, until there were only four men were left: Voeckler, Rogers, Serpa and Gautier.

Gautier attacked next, determined to grind down he and Voeckler's rivals, so that Team Europcar could take the stage win but is efforts proved to be futile and he too fell off pace.

The main field behind had also been reduced to the favourites, about 15 riders in total. Tejay van Garderen (BMC), who was hoping to have a smooth rider through the Pyrenees, was the first overall contender to be dropped, and he slid from fifth place to sixth GC.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) led the charge in the next big move, that caught Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) off guard. Nibali, Valverde and Peraud latched onto his wheel and the quartet formed the first chase group.

Up front, the trio of Rogers, Voeckler and Serpa headed through the masses of fans to the top of Port de Balès, which was still more than 21km away from the finish line in Bagnères-de-Luchon. Serpa jumped to take the points, and Kiryienka and Gautier crossed over some 20 seconds later.

Roy, who had previously dropped back from the lead group, join the Pinot's chase group, which gave FdJ.fr two riders in the chase. Meanwhile, Bardet and van Garderen's GC hopes stretched further away as they fell further behind.

The leaders on the road held eight and a half minutes heading toward the finish line when a heated discussion broke out between Rogers and Voeckler, with Rogers suggesting that the Frenchman need to contribute more to the workload in the breakaway. Soon enough, Kiryienka and Gautier caught the three leaders with about 9km to go.

Gautier was the first to attack while Rogers and Voeckler gave chase. The Australian made his attack and left both Frenchmen, and Serpa, behind him. He easily soloed in to the finish line, with the rest coming in nine seconds later.

Behind them, Nibali jumped on the descent but Valverde, Pinot, Gadret and Peraud were able to catch up. The group rolled in 8:30 minutes later. Bardet was able to limit his losses to two minutes, and van Garderen to about 3:30 minutes.

Article Source: Cycling News 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tour de France Tech: Pro Mechanics' Tools

By: Ben Delaney

Custom jigs for cleat placement and bike set-up, favourite tools and more

At the Tour de France, team mechanics' roles require a few skills: logistics, presentation and, yes, wrenching quickly and competently on scores of bikes.

As with tactics for a race, each team cooks up its own strategy for dealing with the seemingly endless array of moving parts. Most teams mix a blend of old school and new school techniques, from storing rider measurements and parts inventories on digital spreadsheets to applying tubular glue by hand.

Some of the most interesting tools are those custom-made for particular jobs, such as the jig Orica-GreenEdge uses for replicating cleat positioning on multiple pairs of shoes for a given rider. If you have ever been frustrated by getting a new pair of shoes and struggling to get the cleats just right, then you can sympathize with a pro rider not wanting to deal with this scenario mid-race.

Even relatively straightforward tasks like measuring saddle height have dedicated tools. While most amateur riders — and even some pros — will settle for a tape measure, pro mechanics need something more exacting, so metal rods that anchor at the bottom bracket and clamp down atop the saddle are used.

You might be content to measure saddle height with a tape measure. Tinkoff-Saxo's Rune Kristensen is not

BikeSettings.com makes a few frame jigs that are popular with pro mechanics for measuring X and Y axis points on a bike.

At BMC, mechanic Ian Sherburne uses digital angle gauges, among other tools, to dial in riders' exact preferences, and ensure that the spare second and third bikes match the primary bikes in every way.

BMC's Ian Sherburne doesn't 'eyeball' angles; he measures them

For the more straightforward tools, such as Allen keys, chain whips and the like, Tour de France mechanics fall mostly into one of two camps: use everything provided by a sponsor, or pack their own.

"For Tinkoff-Saxo, we choose not to have a tool sponsor so we can choose our own based on what we need and what we prefer," said mechanic Rune Kristensen. "Each mechanic has his own private tools."

For Kristensen, whose toolbox contains a mix of brands, his favorite tool is easy to name: the preset torque wrench.

Some mechanics always have a tidy organization for their toolboxes; others are a bit more jumbled. But one universal rule always applies: never touch the mechanic's tools.

Check out the huge gallery above for a detailed look at many of the tricks of the trade employed at the Tour de France.

What type of tool is this, you ask? Not yours, that's what

Article Source: Cycling News 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tour de France: Kristoff wins in Saint-Étienne

July 17, Stage 12: Bourg-en-Bresse - Saint-Étienne 185.5km

Sagan denied once again on stage 12

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the 12th stage in the Tour de France from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne. The Norwegian beat Peter Sagan (Cannondale), who was second for the fourth time in this Tour de France. Arnaud Démare (FDJ) came in third.

The breakaway of the day consisted of Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp) who initiated it after five kilometres. Gregory Rast (Trek Factory Racing), Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Seché), Simon Clarke (Orica-Greenedge) and David de la Cruz (Team Netapp-Endura) joined the Dutch champion.

De La Cruz crashed with 94 kilometres to go and abandoned the race with a broke collarbone.

Yesterday’s stage winner Tony Gallopin got dropped from the peloton in the last ten kilometres. He also drops out of the top ten of the overall classification.

Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali still leads the overall with a 2:23 margin on Team Sky’s Richie Porte.

Article Source: Cycling News

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jamis Renegade Teaser (2014)

"Roads? Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads."


Coming 2015

Video Produced by Jamis Bicycles

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tour de France: Kittel Makes it Three in Lille Métropole

July 08, Stage 4: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage - Lille Métropole 163.5km

Froome injured in mid-stage crash

Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) won a close fought sprint to take stage 4 of the Tour de France from Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille. The German managed to edge out Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) to seal his third stage win of the race, while race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) enjoyed another relatively quiet day in the saddle.

Defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) had no such luck, crashing near the start of the stage and sustaining a number of cuts and abrasions. He rode the rest of the stage with his left wrist in a harness and will undergo medical evaluations after the stage.

Kittel had no such problems, stepping onto the podium for third day from four. He’s only one stage away from equalling his haul of four stage wins from last year and with despite a difficult run-in into Lille he had raw speed was enough to take victory. Even when Kristoff was given a slight gap inside the closing two hundred meters Kittel refused to panic, coming off Mark Renshaw’s wheel before scooping up Kristoff and taking the line.

Article Source and For Full Results: Cycling News 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tour de France 2014: Top 10 GC Contenders to Watch

Tour de France 2014: Top 10 GC contenders to watch. Chris Froome returns this season to defend his title of 12 months ago, but it won't be easy. Alberto Contador is hot on his heels at the moment, and it's not just him who is trying to upset the apple cart. Here are a few riders we think will perform well at this year's Tour de France.