Wiebes wins Classique amid dramatic finishing straight crash and disqualification.
20year old Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) had launched a long sprint almost as soon as the peloton made the final turn in to the Mall, the sun dipping behind Buckingham Palace, after 68km of racing.
As the line loomed Wiebes could have looked left and right and seen nobody. She would not have seen but would surely have heard the scenes of carnage unfold behind her but her resolve was resolutely. Victory was surely hers until, with a couple of metres to go, WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling’s Kirsten Wild popped into sight on her left to take the win by a wheel rim. The agony of losing by such a tiny margin worse than the pain in her lungs, but wait…
Wild has put in an exhibition of the power sprinting that looked set to claim her third win on the Mall, pulling back Wiebes’ seemingly unassailable advantage, but it had come at great cost. In doing so she had deviated off her race line, clipping the front wheel of Alé Cipollini’s Chloe Hosking and putting a couple of dozen riders on the deck.
While Wild was initially declared the winner her own celebrations were non-existent and it soon dawned on riders and fans that something was amiss. A few minutes later it was confirmed that Wild had been relegated to 37th, the back of the group that had contested the sprint and a delighted Wiebes had been awarded the win and the 25,000 Euro first prize. Second spot went to Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance Cycling) one step higher than her third spot in 2018, with 2017 Champion Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) in third.
Post-race interview with Lorena Wiebes
The victory added a significant result to a nicely developing 2019 palmares, that included the GC at Tour of Chongming Island UCI Women’s WorldTour, and the National Championships Netherlands WE – Road Race where she beat Marianne Vos.
Classique August3rd and Classic August 4th, London
Kirsten Wild returns to defend Classique title against Marianne Vos and Coryn Riviera. Tour de France rivals Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani amongst the stars battling for honours at the Classic.
Classique 68km – 20 laps of a 3.4km Central London Circuit
Two-time champion Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling) heads a star-studded list of entries for the 2019 Prudential RideLondon Classique – the world’s richest one-day women’s bike race – on Saturday 3 August.
Wild will be up against previous champion Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) and Le Course Marianne Vos (CCC – Liv) who is fresh from winning La Course by Le Tour de France (1.WWT).
Classic 1.UWT 169km
Fresh from a hat-trick of stage wins at the Tour de France Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan is looking to extend his palmares with a win in London on Sunday at the Prudential Ride London Classic. His rivals include fellow stage winners Elia Viviani (Deceuninck- Quick Step), Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott).
The line up also includes four former winners of the race, Arnaud Demare (Groupama – FDJ) – who returns for the first time since winning the very first edition of the race in 2013 – Jempy Drucker (BORA-Hansgrohe), Adam Blythe (Lotto Soudal) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates).
Other fast men include Sam Bennett (BORA-Hansgrohe), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), and the reigning Paris-Roubaix champion Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
Team Ineos rider Michel Kwiatowski has announced he will skip the upcoming Tour of Poland.
The 29 year old, who finished 83rd at this year’s Tour de France stated in an Instagram post:
“I’m not a guy who likes to change his plans but unfortunately this is one of those moments. As much as I love Tour de Pologne and cherish memories from last year, I will not participate in this year’s edition. I know now, straight after finishing Tour de France, that recovery, is what my body was suggesting me probably since very long time. So far it wasn’t the season I was dreaming of and this is a good time for reflection and thinking about my preparation, combining heavy racing in 2018 and trying to step up from that in particular. Hopefully soon I will be able to find a joy from riding my bike and I’m sure that from there on I will win again some big races.
“Have a great Tour de Pologne everyone! It’s a very difficult decision to miss that amazing feeling of racing in front of Polish fans. I will be watching and hoping my teammates put on a great show. “
While his early season form seemed very solid with a 3rd spot at both the Milan San-Remo and the Paris-Nice in March Kwiatowski and even a second place on the Stage 2 Individual Time Trial at the Tour his form was notably below par as the race progressed. He was being conistently dopped on the climbs and slumped to 135th spot in the second ITT on Stage 13.
Fans will be hoping he will finds a return to form that will see him competing at the World Championships in Yorkshire taking place from 22 – 29 September.
Bernal seals the overall as Ewan reigns on the Champs Elyees
Egan Bernal became the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France. The 22 year old finished the 106th edition of the race 1’11” ahead of INEOS teammate, and defending champion, Geraint Thomas, with Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) third at 1’31”.
Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) who held the race lead for fourteen days, including 11 consecutively, finished fifth overall behind Emanuel Buchmann (BORA – hansgrohe).
Bernal at 22 years and 196 days became the youngest rider to win in the last 100 years and third youngest winner in the race history, after Henri Cornet (19 years and 352 days) in 1904 and François Faber (22 years 187 days) in 1909.
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes 59.5km (shortened due to landslides on Cormet de Roseland)
The Shark strikes again. Nibali takes the win on shortened final mountain stage
Bahrain Merida’s Vicenzo Nibali soloed to his first stage win since taking the overall back in 2014. Egan Bernal confirms his ascendancy to the Tour throne.
Nibali had not visited the top step of a Tour de France podium since 2014 but in a show of renewed strength he struck out alone on the long climb to Val Thorens to win by 10″ over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with Mikel Landa third at 14″.
The Sicilian was part of a group that attacked early in a stage shortened to 59.5 kilometres after landslides forced the omission of the Cormet de Roseland from the day’s tests.
Just behind were Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, the latter graciously congratulating the Colombian as they reached the line, the job almost done head of the largely ceremonial Parisian stage 21.
Champion-in-waiting Egan Bernal described his feelings ahead of the official ceremony in Paris
“We’re now close to making it official. There’s one stage left, but normally if everything goes well, I can say that I’ve won my first Tour.
“The last climb has been very hard. Jumbo-Visma rode hard to make the podium. We were in a comfortable situation and I felt really well. I’m happy.
“It’s incredible to think that I have won my first Tour. I just want to get to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and after I’ll be calmer. Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour – I feel this is not only my triumph but the triumph of a whole country. We already had the Giro, La Vuelta, but the Tour was missing and it’s a great honour to think that I’m the one achieving this. My dad couldn’t talk at first but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream.
“We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. As a kid, you think “how cool it would be to be there one day”, but it looked so far away. Here we are and I’m very emotional.”
All Hail Egan Bernal. French hopes dashed as race lead changes hands as hailstorm descends on final climb.
Team Ineos’s Columbian climbing prodigy takes over the lead of Tour de France from Alaphillpe after a hailstorm of apocalyptic proportions cuts off the road to Tignes and forces the annulment of Stage 19. The drama capped a day that saw Thibaut Pinot forced to abandon with a muscle injury.
While the race was hotting up on the slopes of the Col d’Iseran a massive hailstorm 30km ahead had turned the landscape white and rendered the road to the finish at Tignes impassable. Reacting quickly officials led by Race Director Christian Prudhomme made the decision to stop the race for rider safety.
The situation was soon relayed via time managers and race officials to riders including Bernal and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who were descending towards Val d’Isere with a lead of over two minutes on the yellow jersey. Reactions ranged from anger to frustration, disbelief to resignation. Alaphillipe who was descending like a madman clawing back time looked a picture of despair.
While details needed to be ironed out it was quickly decided that General Classification standings would be based on the time gaps at the top of the Col D’Iseran, placing Bernal firmly in the lead. It was also decided that there would be no stage winner, leaving Simon Yates ruing the missed opportunity to fight for a hattrick of wins.
The new Maillot Jaune, Egan Bernal explained his feelings at moving into the race lead:
“To be honest, I didn’t know what was happening. I’ve been told in the radio that the race was finished and I said ‘no I want to keep going’. There were talking to me in English and I was not sure. Only after I stopped and my director told me that I was in yellow, I felt relieved.
“It’s incredible. I can’t believe it. I want to ride full gas tomorrow and then arrive to Paris and once I cross the line, I’ll start believing this is true. There’s one hard stage remaining. It’s a short one. I’ll give it all on the road. To become the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France would be amazing.”
Outgoing champion Geraint Thomas expressed some regrets at the turn of events:
“If was a funny one because if we’d known [about the cancellation] beforehand it would have been more of a race to the top of that last climb. But it’s one of those things. It’s out of everyone’s control.
“It’s all ifs and buts. The main thing is that we’ve got the jersey in the team now and we’re in a great position. We just have to go in there and finish the job off tomorrow now. “Going into the last stage Egan’s in yellow. The main thing is he finishes the job. For sure he’ll have a decent advantage over everyone else. I fully support him now. He’s been incredible from the start and he’s a phenomenal talent.”
Thibaut Pinot was France’s Plan B for ending its 34 year long wait for a Tour de France win if ‘Plan Alaphillipe’ faltered but fate had other plans. The Groupama-FDJ rider had sustained a serious muscular injury a couple of days before after striking his handlebar while avoiding a crash.
Despite his team doctor’s efforts and making it through Stage 18 it all proved too much and on the climb of the Montée d’Aussois about 40 kilometres into the race Pinot abandoned coming to a stop in tears supported by his teammate William Bonnet.
Quintana bags a win for starving Movistar. Alaphillipe keeps France’s hopes alive with demon descending skills. Bernal slips ahead of Thomas to make it a Fiesta for Columbia.
With a devastating attack on the slopes of the Galibier, Nairo Quintana singlehandedly salvaged what had been a disastrous tour for Movistar. The Columbian made easy work of the climb, attacking from a small group of breakaway riders 7.5 kilometres from the 2642m summit, before descending under gathering rain clouds to the finish in Valloire.
Such was the power and hunger of Quintana it would be another 1’35” before Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) arrived at the line followed by Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) at 2’28”, the pair leaving it far too late to catch up.
Back in the yellow jersey group Egan Bernal was putting his own Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas under pressure in an attempt to do the same to race leader Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck – Quick Step). It looked like it was going to work.
Matteo Trentin solos to the win in Gap. Luke Rowe and Tony Martin kicked off Tour after altercation
European Champion Matteo Trentin added a fourth win to the Mitchelton-SCOTT tally at the 2019 Tour de France, joining Simon Yates (with two) and Daryl Impey after he soloed away from a large breakaway to take victory 37 ” ahead of Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick Step) with Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) third at the head of a small group of five at 41″.
With a massive day of climbing looming on Stage 18 the stage was billed as the last chance for some to go for glory so it was no surprise when a large group of over 30 riders went on the attack just a few kilometres into the stage.
At the finish Matteo Trentin described his win:
“It was really an emotional finish because I’ve actually only won two races in my career alone, and doing it here in the Tour de France, with this finish line, with this group in front. It was amazing.”
“Chris was a really big help. We spoke to
each other and decided he would cover the early attacks and he did cover a lot.
Then when that strong move went, I was able to follow and it was the perfect
scenario.”“I tried [to attack] a few times, because there
was no collaboration and I knew that if I got maybe a 10-second gap and they
start to watch each other, with the legs I have I can finish it off. I was a
bit scared with the headwind and the guys behind taking a turn each they could
have taken some time, but it wasn’t the case. When I was on top of the climb
the only intention was to go full gas, taking as little risk as possible.”
Luke Rowe and Tony Martin disqualified following altercation
An altercation between Ineos’ Luke Rowe and Team Jumbo-Visma Tony Martin saw both riders later disqualified and each fined 1000 Euros. While aspects of the incident were captured on camera the complete picture as well as the cause the incident remain somewhat of a mystery.
Alongside the conference the riders issued the following statement.:
“We believe this is a very harsh decision by the race commissaries and against the spirit of what has been such a fantastic race to date. It was the sort of incident that merits a fine and a warning but certainly not expulsion from the race – a ‘yellow card’ but not a ‘red’. Luke and Tony recognised it for what it was – a minor spat on the road at the end of a sweltering day in the saddle. It didn’t affect any other rider and it didn’t disadvantage any other team. They rode to the end of the stage together where they both shook hands. There was no ill will and they clearly still have a lot of respect for one another. We believe it is unjust that their Tour could come to an end over something like this at this point in the race. ”
The ejections are a blow for their teams respective GC contenders Geraint Thomas and Steven Kruijswijk. Riders, teams and media were quick to express dismay at the harshness and consequences of the decision.
Nîmes, Tuesday, July 23rd 2019 –Caleb Ewan took his second win of the 2019 Tour de France overcoming blistering heat on the road to Nîmes. He became the second U26 rider to win a stage in each of the Grand tours, emulating Mark Cavendish.
The Australian, who outsprinted a grand triplet of sprinters, Elia Viviani (QST), Dylan Groenewegen and Peter Sagan, credited his win to the motivation of having his wife and baby daughter at the finish.
Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey after a day embedded in the peloton, but the General Classification had a rejig with the abandonment of Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) – see medical report below.
Speaking shortly after the stage Caleb Ewan said:
“Blah Blah Blah”
“The fact that my wife and daughter are at the race for the first time, makes it really special. It is incredibly beautiful to celebrate this victory together with them. It was difficult to keep the confidence after some second and third places. I finally got it right in stage eleven. Now, the next sprint chance immediately delivers a second victory, that is just amazing! If I am the best sprinter in this Tour? I think there are some really good sprinters here. Maybe, I proved to be the most consistent one, but in any case, today I showed to be the best.”
“I came here with the first objective to help
my brother, the second to try to get a stage win. Now I have two so I’m very
proud. This one was really hard, the first wasn’t easy, but this one, with the
parcours was extremely difficult.
“I’m very tired now but there are three very
hard stages in the final week so we will try again.”
Jakob Fuglsang abandons following crash
Astana pro Team issued the following medical update on Jakob Fuglsang, who was lying in 9th overall on GC when he suffered a bad crash with less than 30km to go:
Due to a crash in stage 16 of the Tour de France, Jakob Fuglsang had to abandon the race and was brought to the organizations medical truck. The results of the examinations: Heavy contusions and abrasions of his hand, arms, and knees. Radiography showed no fractures. There will follow more examinations in the next days to decide the expected time of recovery.
“I’m really disappointed about leaving the Tour de France this way, but there was too much pain to continue. Somebody crashed in front of me and there was no way to avoid it, so I crashed over my handlebar. My hand directly swallowed up and I could barely stand on my feet, I directly knew my Tour would finish here. I was very motivated for the final week and I was ready to battle for a higher position in the GC. That this has to be the way of missing out on this battle, is just very disappointing. Now all the focus will be on recovering, both physically as mentally, because the Tour was a big goal after my wins in Liége and the Dauphiné.” – Jakob Fuglsang
Stage 16 Results
Stage 17 Preview:
Stage 17 sees the peloton tackle 200km through the mountains form Pont du Gard to Gap. It’s a route that may suit an adventurous breakaway. The last stretch crosses the 981m 3rd Category Col de la Sentinelle before a fast descent to the finish. Both Alaphillipe and Thibaut Pinot will fancy their chances of gaining a few seconds.