Tag: ITV Sport

Tour de France : S17 : Marvellous Majka wins in the mountains

Poland’s Rafal Majka claimed his second victory of the 2014 Tour de France on stage 17 as Vincenzo Nibali further enhanced his hold on the race leader’s yellow jersey.

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The 124.5-kilometre route from Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet was a brute, with four categorised climbs including the finishing ascent where the stage result was decided.

Majka won Saturday’s 14th stage to Risoul and recorded Tinkoff-Saxo’s second successive Pyrenean stage win after Michael Rogers’ success on Tuesday as the team’s strong performance since losing leader Alberto Contador to injury continued.

Contador began the race as one of the overall favourites, but it appears no-one will challenge Nibali (Astana) for the maillot jaune now.

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Tour de France : S16 : Michael Rogers takes a bow

Michael Rogers claimed a first ever Tour de France stage victory as he out-foxed Thomas Voeckler and Europcar.

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The former Team Sky rider followed up his Giro successes on his return from suspension by taking stage 16, the 237.5 kilometre run from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Rogers, cleared of wrongdoing in April after a positive test for clenbuterol, and Voeckler, who had Europcar team-mate Cyril Gautier for company in the closing stages, were part of a 21-man break-away which took shape in three waves from 28km, and they were 12 minutes clear by the time they reached Port de Bales – 35km from the finishing line.

But the Australian made his move 4.5km from the line and it proved decisive to prevent Voeckler from extending his unbeaten run at Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali maintained his overall lead for Astana with his advantage over second-placed Alejandro Valverde remaining at 4’37”.

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Tour de France : S15 : Kristoff catches Bauer in thrilling chase

Alexander Kristoff took the win on stage 15 of the Tour de France as the sprinters caught breakaway pair Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer on the line.

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Bauer had disappeared into the lead from the very beginning of the 222 kilometre stage between Tallard and Nimes but lost out cruelly in the closing stages as the chasing pack eventually put in a huge push.

Stormy conditions and difficult crosswinds made life difficult for Bauer and Elmiger but they maintained their lead until Katusha’s Kristoff led the sprinting pack past – leaving Garmin-Sharp rider Bauer in tears at the finish.

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Tour de France : Cancellara withdraws from Tour

Fabian Cancellara announced his withdrawal from the Tour de France on the race’s first rest day on Tuesday.

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Unlike previous winners Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and 25-time stage winner Mark Cavendish – all of whom crashed out – Cancellara chose to abandon the race prior to the Alps and Pyrenees in order to prepare for September’s Road World Championships in Spain.

Cancellara said in a statement released by his Trek Factory Racing team: “I will travel home now and take a little break. The season has been long for me, starting back in Dubai (in February).

“I have done 59 days of competition this season so far and I have another big goal at the end of this season: the World Championships.

“It’s not a secret that I’d like to be in my best shape there, so it’s important that I take some rest.”

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Tour de France : S10 : Nibali Climbs Back into Yellow

Vincenzo Nibali reclaimed the yellow jersey with a tremendous victory at La Planche des Belles Filles.

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Contador crashed on the 161.5-kilometre 10th stage from Mulhouse and, after struggling on for 20km in an effort to play catch-up, gave up and withdrew to his Tinkoff-Saxo team car.

The Spaniard’s departure deprives the race of another previous winner after 2013 champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) withdrew with fractures to his left wrist and right hand on stage five last Wednesday.

Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), who inherited the 2010 title from Contador following an anti-doping infringement, quit the race with a knee injury last Tuesday, although the Luxembourg rider is a shadow of his former self.

None of the remaining riders have won the event, but Nibali took a significant step in his bid to succeed Froome in Paris on July 27.

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Tour de France : S10 : Alberto Contador Abandons 2014 Tour After Crash

Two-time champion Alberto Contador has joined defending champion Chris Froome in abandoning the 2014 Tour de France.

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Contador crashed on the 161.5-kilometre 10th stage from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles and, after struggling on in an effort to play catch-up, he gave up and withdrew to his Tinkoff-Saxo team car.

The Spaniard’s departure deprives the race of another previous winner after 2013 champion Froome withdrew with fractures to his left wrist and right hand on stage five last Wednesday.

The action on the Bastille Day stage was expected to ignite on the concluding climb ahead of Tuesday’s rest day, but the Tour lost another leading protagonist after Mark Cavendish’s crash on day one and Froome’s exit.

Contador crashed on the approach to the third of six categorised climbs, the Col du Platzerwasel.

The Spaniard received strapping to his right knee and lost four minutes as a result of the delay, falling nine minutes behind the day’s breakaway, which held a five-minute lead on the peloton.

The Astana team of Vincenzo Nibali led the main bunch and did not increase the pace on the 7.1km, category one ascent as Contador’s team-mates dropped back to help him.

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Tour de France : S9 : Tony Martin Rides Away From Everyone

Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Tony Martin stormed to his maiden Tour de France flat stage win on Sunday as Frenchman Tony Gallopin took over possession of the yellow jersey.

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Martin powered away early on in stage nine and never showed signs of slowing down as the German continually pulled away from the peloton, finishing two minutes and 45 seconds clear of Fabian Cancellara in Mulhouse – meaning he will now wear the polka dot jersey heading into stage 10.

“It is always a big difference between the success in a race and in a time trial,” Martin told ITV4.

“You don’t know when you cross the line in a time trial if you have won, but here, with this, where I knew 5km out that even with a puncture or a crash I would still be all right.

“I didn’t want to be involved in the silly game if I was caught by the chasers so I still had some power left in my legs so I decided to go for it. It was an incredible feeling, one of my best days in cycling.”

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Tour de France : S8 : Kadri Breaks French Duck in Terrible Weather

There was a home winner on the eighth stage of the Tour de France while Vincenzo Nibali remains in the yellow jersey after a thrilling battle with Alberto Contador.

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Blel Kadri dragged himself over the line, rain soaked, after a 161km ride from Tomblaine to Gerardmer La Mauselaine, his victory itself a story as he went solo after being part of a breakaway that had featured gutsy Brit Simon Yates.

But as Frenchman Kadri crossed the line, Nibali had to dig as deep as he could to stay with Contador who, with a kilometre or so to go tried to drop the Astana rider. All he saw was a magnificent response from Nibali who went with him and lost just three seconds of his overall lead to the Spaniard, but increased it to a minute and 44 seconds over second-placed team-mate Jakob Fuglsang.

Contador is two minutes and 34 seconds down in sixth, while away from the scrap between he and Nibali, Team Sky’s new leader Richie Porte moved up to third overall, although he has lost four more seconds to Nibali, trailing by a minute and 58 seconds.

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Tour de France : S7 : Sagan Second Again as Trentin Takes the Win

Matteo Trentin edged out Peter Sagan in a photo-finish to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France in Nancy.

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The 234.5-kilometres route from Epernay was the second longest stage of this year’s race and lit up when the riders reached the day’s second and final categorised climb.

The summit of the Cote de Boufflers came with 5.5km to go, with Sagan (Cannondale) prominent over the top, but the leaders regrouped in the finale and Italian Trentin pipped Sagan by the narrowest of margins to claim Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s first win of the 101st Tour.

The Belgian squad had to regroup following leader Mark Cavendish’s exit on day one and Italian Trentin’s second Tour stage win will come as a welcome success.

Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) was third as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained the yellow jersey for another day by finishing 16th.

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Tour de France : S6 : Greipel finds enough power at the end

Germany’s Tour de France sprint supremacy continued in Champagne country on Thursday as Andre Greipel triumphed in Reims.

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The 194-kilometre sixth stage from Arras took place on wet roads, with crashes accounting for a number of riders.

The Giant-Shimano team of Marcel Kittel were conspicuous by their absence in the closing stages until it emerged the winner of stages one, three and four had a problem and would not contend the sprint.

It was Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), left out of position in the first three sprints of the Tour, who benefited, the German champion finishing arms aloft for the sixth Tour stage win of his career.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was second, with Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r La Mondiale) third, while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished safely in the pack to retain the race leader’s yellow jersey he claimed on stage two in Sheffield.

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