Cycling News


Contador enjoys smooth return to racing at Route du Sud
June 20, 2015 (06:30) [ Indexed from ]
Alberto Contadors (Tinkoff-Saxo) bid to complete the Giro-Tour double remains on target after a smooth return to racing at the Route du Sud on Thursday. In his first race day since winning the Giro dItalia, Contador stayed out of trouble, crossing the line in 10th place as Steven Tronet of the Continental outfit Auber 93 surprised the favourites at the end of stage one. With his big goal of the Tour de France just over two weeks away, Contador was keen to play it safe and he was pleased with how things went. In the final 500 metres, that were uphill, I decided to move to the front. With so few days left until the start of the Tour de France, it is better to be in the front in order to minimize the risks of a crash, Contador explained in a team press release. After an aggressive final week at the Giro, Contador showed signs of weakness when he was dropped on the last mountain stage to Sestriere but he had already built up a comfortable lead by that point and went on to win the overall classification more than two minutes ahead of Fabio Aru (Astana). Earlier this week, Contador said that he was still feeling the effects of his Giro efforts.ADVERTISEMENT The lengthy, but flat, opening stage of the Route du Sud was the perfect way to ease himself back into racing. Being my first contact with a competition after the Giro, it was a long stage, 220km long. It proved very useful in order to ramp up after a break of nearly three weeks and all in all the sensation I had today was good, said Contador. "There was a breakaway at the start of the stage, while Europcar, together with us, controlled the group. We decided to have a rider collaborate in the front of the group so that we could have some control of the race. At the end, it turned out to be more difficult because of the undulating terrain but I felt in good shape. Rivals Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) opted for the more traditional warm-up of the Critrium du Dauphin, with Froome taking the overall victory ahead of Tejay van Garderen (BMC). However, Contador has decided to use four-day French stage race as his one and only tune-up event before he takes on the Tour de France next month. Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who hasn't raced since the Tour de Romandie in early May, is the only other major Tour contender to use the Route du Sud as his final preparation for July. There is a tougher test to come with stage three taking them over three first category climbs, including the 20km Port de Bals, en route to Bagnres-de-Luchon. You can read more at More...
Quintana: Up to 10 riders could win this years Tour de France
June 19, 2015 (06:15) [ Indexed from ]
After all the drama of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) fighting for victory in the Giro d'Italia and Chris Froome (Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) battling it out at the Critrium du Dauphin, the fourth of the top Grand Tour favourites, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), begins his final build-up for the Tour de France at the low-key Route du Sud stage race on Thursday. Quintanas last race was the Tour de Romandie in early May and he has spent most of the intervening period back home in Colombia, returning to Europe in time for his big objective of the season. After finishing second in his debut Tour de France in 2013 and then winning the Giro dItalia last year (he also led the Vuelta a Espaa before crashing out injured), Quintana is now looking to take his countrys first ever win in the Tour this summer. Quintanas lone build-up race for the Tour is the four-day Route du Sud, where the Colombian heads a Movistar squad lacking Spanish teammate Alejandro Valverde, who finished second here last year and who will be racing the Tour alongside the Colombian. This June, however, Valverde opted for the longer Critrium du Dauphin for his first race back after the Ardennes Classics.ADVERTISEMENT The Route du Sud is a race I like a lot, Quintana told a small group of reporters on Wednesday evening in the start town of Lourdes. However, without ruling it out completely, he played down his chances of a repeat of his win here in 2012. Im expecting to be able to get up to full race speed here, so without pushing myself too hard here, its ideal for me. I hope to have a good race here, and my victory here in 2012 was a good one. But my objectives were different back then, it was a different moment. Quintana, Contador and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) are the headline acts in the four-stage race. With no time trial, Saturdays tough trek through the Pyrenees is likely to decide the overall. Those climbs are going to be an important reference point for me, Quintana agreed. You can read more at More...
News shorts: Tinkoff-Saxo announce Route du Sud squad, Pozzato hoping to ride the Tour
June 18, 2015 (06:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tinkoff-Saxo have announced their line-up and outlined their plans for the Route du Sud, a crucial preparation race for Alberto Contador ahead of the Tour de France. The four-day race will be the first competitive outing for Contador, and a couple of his key domestiques, since winning the Giro dItalia. The Spaniard recently admitted to still feeling the fatigue of the Giro, and faces a challenge to sharpen his condition if he is to pull off his Giro-Tour double goal. It's the first race after the Giro for Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso and Michael Rogers and these three riders need to compete before the Tour," said Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Patxi Vila in a press release from the team. "The main objective for Tinkoff-Saxo is that they compete and enter into race-mode once again. After nearly three weeks of break they have to get into the mindset of a competition."ADVERTISEMENT The opening two stages of the French race are suited to sprinters but the third is the queen stage with three first-category climbs, including the Port de Bals. It is there that we should see a true indication of Contadors form. "He will, obviously, fight to be in the front and being a very competitive athlete, we don't rule out the possibility that he might try to go for a stage win," said Vila. "However, there will be other, fresher, riders from other teams that will give their best because the GC will most probably be decided there." Tinkoff-Saxo won the race overall last year through Nicolas Roche, who has since moved to Team Sky. You can read more at More...
Alberto Contador hoping to swap fatigue for fitness ahead of Tour de France
June 17, 2015 (03:15) [ Indexed from ]
Alberto Contador admits he has not yet overcome the exertions and fatigue of the Giro dItalia but is motivated by the challenge of returning to full fitness in time for the Tour de France. The Spaniard completed the first half of his audacious Giro-Tour double tilt in May and faces a race against time to recover and get himself in prime condition for July if he is to become the first rider to achieve the Grand Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998. After 15 days of active rest following the Giro d'Italia, Contador returns to racing on Thursday at the mountainous four-day Route du Sud in France, where he will also face Tour de France rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar). ADVERTISEMENT "For me it is an unknown. I can't know now in what form I will be," he said in an interview published on the Tinkoff-Saxo team website ahead of the race. "The most important thing is that I look forward to racing in the Route du Sud because it will give me speed in the legs and I will be in motion again. Surely, it will take some time to ramp up, but I have a good foundation and this will allow me to carry out a good training in racing mode." Contador won the Giro d'Italia thanks to his class and experience but he regularly found himself without teammates at crucial junctures, which, with Astana racing so aggressively, took its toll on the Spaniard. The first and only suggestions of real weakness came on the penultimate stage on the Colle delle Finestre, where Contador was dropped but limited his losses with a steady ride to Sestriere. "Physically and muscularly I still feel the wear from the Giro, especially that of the final week, which was very hard," said Contador. "As a result, I tried above all to rest as much as possible during this time. I focused on recovering and I have only done three days of specific training to activate my body." You can read more at More...
Nibali: Winning another Tour de France is not an obsession
June 10, 2015 (11:30) [ Indexed from ]
Any previous Tour de France winner will tell you that when it comes to defending your title one of the biggest battles is how you deal with pressure. The media commitments, the constant analysis and public doubts, eat away at your frayed reserves and all before a single pedal stroke in July. However, it's a battle that Vincenzo Nibali is currently winning. The Italian hasn't won a single race this season, faced doubts over his team's future, felt Fabio Aru snapping at his heels and had to deal with the constant attention of his home media, but at a small gathering of journalists outside of Lyon during the Critrium du Dauphin, Nibali appeared as relaxed as ever, telling those assembled that a second Tour win is not his only purpose. "Now I have more experience and I know a lot more than I did back then but winning the Tour de France is not an obsession for me because obsession makes you tired," he says.ADVERTISEMENT This July he will line-up as the Tour's defending champion, and with Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana as challengers he faces the greatest test of his career so far. Last season he saw off Froome and Contador before the race reached the mountains, but in truth he looked capable of Tour success after an opening week that saw him take the race by the scruff of the neck. "Every year is different and you can't compare," he says. "We came to the Dauphin to get results and we've started to do that with the team time trial but this is just one step towards the Tour de France in July." Nibali, it can be said, has forged his GC career as a rider who has made small incremental steps towards success. Whether it was his first early promise that was put on show at Liquigas or his breakthrough win at the Vuelta in 2010, he has matured at a natural pace. It's one of the reasons he heads towards this year's Tour with a level of assuredness many riders claim to have but whose behaviour and actions let them down. You can read more at More...
Cycling-Spain's Contador wins second Giro d'Italia title (Reuters)
June 08, 2015 (00:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
May 31 (Reuters) - Spaniard Alberto Contador won his second Giro d'Italia title after the Tinkoff-Saxo rider retained the overall leader's pink jersey after the final stage, a 178-km ride from Turin to Milan on Sunday. Italy's Fabio Aru finished second and his Astana team mate Mikel Landa of Spain was third overall. Contador won his first Giro in 2008. (Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justin Palmer) More...
Contador clinches 2nd Giro title, Keisse wins final stage (The Associated Press)
June 06, 2015 (22:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Alberto Contador clinched his second Giro d'Italia title on Sunday, and immediately turned his attention to fulfilling his aim of becoming the first cyclist since 1998 to win the Italian classic and the Tour de France in the same year. ''I overcame so many difficulties, but at the end I got the maglia rosa (pink jersey),'' Contador said. Contador ended up winning by 1 minute, 53 seconds. More...
Cycling-Contador adds second Giro to grand tour collection (Reuters)
June 06, 2015 (22:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
* Contador seals seventh grand tour title * Spaniard now targets Tour/Giro double (Adds quotes) MILAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Alberto Contador enhanced his status as one of the greatest grand tour riders when the Spaniard clinched his second Giro d'Italia title on Sunday after finishing safely in the bunch in the final stage won by Belgian Iljo Keisse. The Tinkoff-Saxo leader, who won the three-week race for the first time in 2008, became the second rider after Frenchman Bernard Hinault to have won the three grand tours (Tour de France, Giro, Vuelta) at least twice. More...
Contador clinches 2nd Giro title, Keisse wins final stage
June 06, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
MILAN (AP) " One down, one to go.Alberto Contador clinched his second Giro d'Italia title on Sunday, and immediately turned his attention to fulfilling his aim of becoming the first cyclist since 1998 to win the Italian classic... More...
Contador suffers but remains on course for Giro win
June 06, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
SESTRIERE, Italy (AP) " Alberto Contador had his overall lead sliced in half on the penultimate day of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday, although the Spaniard remained on course for the title after the 20th stage.Contador was dropped... More...
Contador has 38 seconds sliced off Giro lead; Aru wins stage
June 06, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
CERVINIA, Italy (AP) " Alberto Contador had 38 seconds sliced off his overall lead in the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday, although the Spaniard remained well on course for the title.Italian rival Fabio Aru won the mountain... More...
Contador clinches 2nd Giro title, Keisse wins final stage (The Associated Press)
June 06, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Alberto Contador clinched his second Giro d'Italia title on Sunday, and immediately turned his attention to fulfilling his aim of becoming the first cyclist since 1998 to win the Italian classic and the Tour de France in the same year. ''I overcame so many difficulties, but at the end I got the maglia rosa (pink jersey),'' Contador said. Contador ended up winning by 1 minute, 53 seconds. More...
Cycling-Contador adds second Giro to grand tour collection (Reuters)
June 06, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
* Contador seals seventh grand tour title * Spaniard now targets Tour/Giro double (Adds quotes) MILAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Alberto Contador enhanced his status as one of the greatest grand tour riders when the Spaniard clinched his second Giro d'Italia title on Sunday after finishing safely in the bunch in the final stage won by Belgian Iljo Keisse. The Tinkoff-Saxo leader, who won the three-week race for the first time in 2008, became the second rider after Frenchman Bernard Hinault to have won the three grand tours (Tour de France, Giro, Vuelta) at least twice. More...
Kruijswijk keen to take advantage of form at Giro dItalia
May 27, 2015 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
History will recall Alberto Contadors comeback on the Mortirolo and Mikel Landas solo victory in Aprica, but Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) had to content himself with consolation prizes at the end of stage 16 of the Giro dItalia. Kruijswijk was honoured twice on the podium, receiving the blue jersey of king of the mountains and the Montagna Pantani award for being the first man to the top of the Mortirolo, but the stage win his efforts perhaps deserved escaped him. The Dutchman forged clear with Contador and Landa seven kilometres from the top of the Mortirolo, and he performed most of the pace-making duties on the way up the climb. Contador provided more lasting help on the descent and the final haul to Aprica, while Landa, citing the forlorn chase of Astana teammate Fabio Aru " sat in the wheels, only to solo clear with a little over four kilometres remaining. I knew that it could happen, Kruijswijk told Cyclingnews after descending from the podium. I chose to go full to the finish with Alberto. Obviously Landa wasnt going to work with us because of Aru in the back. But even if he had worked with us, I knew it would be hard to beat him. I think in the end, maybe I could have chosen another tactic. But Im satisfied with what I got today. Indeed, in his own press conference, Contador said in normal circumstances, he would have granted stage victory to Kruijswijk, and it was clear that he made no attempt to follow when the Dutchman launched a tired attack shortly before Landas winning move. If Kruijswijk was upset to miss out on the stage, he hid his disappointment well, preferring instead to focus on his ascent up the overall rankings. After a solid time trial at Valdobbiadene, he was a strong 5th at Madonna di Campiglio on Sunday, and he now lies 8th on general classification, 11:40 down on Contador. I didnt expect that today, for sure, he said. But Id had some good performances before the rest day in the time trial and in the uphill finish on Sunday so I knew this climb would suit me well. Its a steep one. I did my best and said Id see where I could be. I took advantage of the good form that I have. Kruijswijk confirmed that he had seen Contador stopped on the roadside to change a wheel on the descent that followed the races first passage through the finish line at Aprica. With Astana and Katusha forcing the pace in front, the Spaniard was forced to engage in a desperate pursuit, eventually pegging back a 52-second deficit on the lower slopes of the Mortirolo. I saw Saxo Bank stopping with Alberto so I think he had a flat tyre. They were waiting for him and chasing, and then he made the jump on the Mortirolo itself, he said. In the beginning, Astana were pulling pretty hard because Alberto was behind. But it was more that they were pulling really hard on the flat part because then on the climb it was just everyone for himself. Kruijswijk finished 8th overall at the 2011 Giro and he is on course to repeat or indeed better that result here. With mountaintop finishes at Cervinia and Sestriere to come, he is just over two minutes off 6th place and three minutes off 5th. I dont know what my target is. I have to see day by day. There are still a few hard stages to come but I think Im with the best climbers now. So I will see, I will try to move up as far as I can, he said, adding that the king of the mountains title is also a goal. If you can climb with the best, this comes out of it, so Ill try to keep it.ADVERTISEMENT Click here to watch more Giro d'Italia race highlights. You can read more at More...
Landa eclipses Aru on the Mortirolo
May 27, 2015 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
Mikel Landas decision to eschew the diplomatic answer made for a refreshing change of pace in the mixed zone in Aprica following his victory on stage 16 of the Giro dItalia, where the debate of the day concerned maglia rosa Alberto Contadors puncture on the descent ahead of the Mortirolo, and the rights and wrongs of Astana's and Katushas decision not to relax their pace on the front. We were all together as a team. We saw Contadors problem and we tried to keep things difficult, Landa said matter-of-factly when the question was put to him, seemingly unfazed by the consequences of such truth-telling. Perhaps polemica eventually dulls to mere elevator muzak. I believe that we caused him some pain to catch us. Katusha broke up the group and went full gas, and we collaborated with them. Initially at least, Landa was similarly forthcoming when asked if he was now Astanas sole leader, after a day that had seen him leapfrog Fabio Aru in the general classification. The Basque is now second overall, 4:02 down on Contador but 50 seconds ahead of his teammate. Yes, Landa said simply, before adding: But there are two easier days coming up so well try to recover a bit and make the race together. Their bid to make the race together on the lower slopes of the Mortirolo on Tuesday simply confirmed what the second week of the Giro had already suggested, that Landa is significantly stronger than his team leader. They began the climb with a 52-second advantage over the chasing Contador, and when Landa took over the pace-making, it was immediately apparent that Aru, his shoulders rocking, was struggling to keep time with the Basque. If anything, one felt that Landa was riding within himself, which surely helped Contador in his solo bid to make up the deficit. When Contador caught up seven kilometres from the summit and launched an attack of his own, Landa followed and Aru was finally left to his own devices. At the start with Aru, we tried to wear Contador down. I tried to set a regular tempo, Landa said. When Alberto caught up and then attacked, the team saw that I was strong so I was told to follow him and try to win the stage. They had Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) for company on the upper reaches of the Mortirolo, and the Dutchman performed the bulk of the pace-making, with Contador largely content to follow and Landa bound by team orders not to work at all. Contador contributed more on the descent, but said afterwards that he wanted to cede the stage win to Kruijswijjk in recognition of his efforts. Landa, however, jumped away from his two companions with a shade over four kilometres remaining, soloing home to win his second successive stage by 38 seconds. He dismissed the idea that he had reached a pact with Contador en route to his previous win at Madonna di Campiglio, and said that they had not spoken at all in the finale at Aprica. Alberto and I didnt talk, least of all today, Landa said. I saw he and Kruijswijk were talking and I could see that they had worked together and Alberto wanted him to win. But I attacked to see how their strength was and I saw I was the strongest.Leadership Just weeks on from securing a reprieve from the Licence Commission after the UCI had requested their exclusion from the WorldTour following a spate of doping cases, the Astana squad has performed at a strikingly high level at this Giro. From as early as stage 8 to Campitello Matese, Landa has appeared as their stand-out performer, though he batted away the notion that Astana ought to have brought him to the race as team leader. The former Euskaltel-Euskadi riders best finish at a Grand Tour was 28th at last years Vuelta a Espaa, though as an amateur he finished 5th in the hugely competitive Tour de lAvenir of 2010, which was won by Nairo Quintana ahead of Andrew Talansky. Maybe if Id come here as leader Id have done nothing, you never know, he said. This situation is new for me. Theres still a lot of the Giro to go and well see how it finishes. There are two easier days to come now and well see how Fabio recovers. It would be nice to have the two of us together to test Alberto. While Landa is beginning to overshadow the Italian favourite at the Giro, there is little prospect of the same thing happening at the Tour de France, as he will not be in the team that supports Vincenzo Nibalis bid for a repeat victory. I almost definitely wont do the Tour. It wasnt on my programme and I think its too much, Landa said. It remains to be seen whether Landa is still in the light blue of Astana in 2016. Its true that my contract is up and the end of this year. When the Giro is over, well see.ADVERTISEMENT Click here to watch more Giro d'Italia race highlights. You can read more at More...
Tinkov: I dont think Astana and Katusha showed any class
May 27, 2015 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
Oleg Tinkov was happy to see Alberto Contador extending his overall lead in the Giro dItaliaafter following the stage in the Tinkoff-Saxo team car, yet he struggled to hide his anger against the Astana and Katusha teams, who attacked and forced Contador to chase after he stopped for a wheel change 20km before the start of the Mortirolo. The Spaniard went on to catch, pass and distance Fabio Aru and many of his other overall rivals but was forced to make a huge effort. There was much debate about fair play, respect, class and honesty after the stage at the team buses and in the hotels. Much of it was in Russian, with Tinkov calling Katusha directeur sportif Dimitri Konychev to question why they attacked en mass, as Contador slipped back to get a back wheel from teammate Ivan Basso. Konychev insisted to Cyclingnews that they did not know that Contador was behind when the team hit the front on the descent to Aprica to set up Yuri Trofimov for the Mortirolo.ADVERTISEMENT I told Oleg on the phone that race radio didnt announce that Contador had punctured. I just heard that one of the Astana riders had stopped " whether it was because of a fall or not, I dont know. But I didnt expect that Contador would lose Arus wheel [on the descent], the Russian said almost mischievously. We knew that there was a bad, bad descent after Aprica and we went to the front to set our own tempo and we managed to get up to the front group that changed the race a bit because Contador wasnt up there. In the end, we rode our race and Astana rode theirs. It went well for us. Trofimov rode well and moved up to fifth overall. The Astana team was more honest about attacking Contador, with Mikel Landa admitting that they tried to take advantage of his moment of misfortune. We went hard on the flat before the Mortirolo to make it hard for Contador, so that he might be a little more tired when he caught us, Landa said in his press conference. We saw that Contador had a problem, and we tried to take advantage of it. I believe that we caused him some pain to catch us. Katusha broke up the group and went full gas, and we collaborated with them. Tinkov has often for stopped coffee and a chat at the Katusha team bus at stage starts during the Giro dItalia but that relationship took a blow on the road to Aprica. The relationship with Astana has never been good and has become far worse as the Kazakhstani team has constantly attacked and jabbed at Contador during the Giro dItalia. I dont want to say too much but I think there was much more respect for the maglia rosa five or 10 years ago. Now when the leader punctures, they attack; when the leader crashes, they attack, Tinkov told Cyclingnews after praising his riders at the Tinkoff-Saxo team bus. Its up to the fans to say if there was fair play from the Astana and Katusha team. Maybe Im wrong but Ill be happy to hear what the Astana and Katusha fans have to say about it on Twitter. Alberto showed that hes the boss here Contador now leads Mikel Landa by 4:02, with his Astana teammate Fabio Aru slipping to third at 4:52. The Astana riders are hoping to accompany Contador on the final podium in Milan but Tinkov sees a different podium. For me this is the real podium after what happened today: Alberto is first on the top step and there is no one in second place and only one in third place, he said bluntly. Tinkov also mocked the attempts by Astana and Katusha to distance Contador before the Mortirolo. I dont understand what they were hoping to do by being 40 seconds ahead at the start of the Mortirolo. Alberto was by far the strongest guy here I dont think Astana and Katusha showed any class, he said. We were a little bit pissed off and angry with what happened, but then we just followed Alberto from the car as he picked up as many minutes as possible on the others. It was good to watch. Alberto showed hes a great champion and showed that hes the boss here. Click here to watch more Giro d'Italia race highlights. You can read more at More...
Contador fights back on Mortirolo to extend Giro dItalia lead
May 27, 2015 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
Cycling isnt mathematics, Alberto Contador said after crossing the line in Aprica, and he wasnt wrong, certainly not after a stage so enthralling that the extension of his overall lead at this Giro dItalia to more than four minutes felt like something of an afterthought. These are the kind of stages that people remember. Stalled by a puncture shortly after passing through the finish line at Aprica for the first time, Contador was forced into a frantic chase as Katusha and Astana pushed the pace up front, and he had to claw his way back up to the leaders alone on the mighty Mortirolo. Once that remontada was complete, Contador then dropped Fabio Aru (Astana) six kilometres shy of the summit, only to be in turn distanced by the Sardinians teammate Mikel Landa on the final climb the finish. It was a very complicated stage, Contador said with some understatement. I punctured on the descent but until then it had been a perfect day. [Ivan] Basso gave me his wheel but it took a while to change. The whole team put in a huge effort to help me, my pulse was hitting 180 on the flat. They were riding full-on up front, and I knew then it would be a hard day.ADVERTISEMENT This Giro had appeared to be petering out to a predictable conclusion after a weekend that saw Contador put daylight into Aru at the top of the overall standing but, like Alex Fergusons Manchester United teams, the Spaniard never seems content to do things the easy way. Curiously, Contadors mechanical problem on the descent from Aprica was not reported on race radio, and he chose to accept a wheel from Basso rather than change his bike altogether. By the time he re-entered the fray, Contador was over a minute down on a leading group that was being driven by the Katusha and Astana squads. While Katusha directeur sportif Dimitri Konyshev pleaded ignorance of Contadors plight, Landa later suggested that his team had looked to take advantage of the situation. When I saw Astana were on the front, I knew that Id start the Mortirolo with a deficit, Contador said. The deficit itself wasnt the problem so much as having to ride flat out for 10 kilometres before the climb. On the Mortirolo, I rode at my own rhythm. I treated it like a time trial. I never lost my composure. You can read more at More...
Aru: I could have lost 20 minutes
May 27, 2015 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
Fabio Aru lost more than two minutes to Alberto Contador(Tinkoff-Saxo) and lost his second place overall to Astana teammate Mikel Landa after suffering on the steep slopes of the Mortirolo and the climb to the finish in Aprica. Yet the young Italian was relieved to have limited his losses after the finale of the race became a battle for survival. I suffered for 40km and I could have lost 20 minutes, Aru admitted after the stage, speaking briefly to Italian television before heading to his nearby hotel to recover from his huge effort. It honestly wasnt one of the best days of my career. I suffered a lot and I rode more with my head than my legs. I fought all the way to the line so that I didnt lose everything. Aru has struggled since stage 11 to Imola but had managed to limit his losses and insisted he had only suffered in the last five kilometres of the stage to Vicenza after failing to eat enough. However, Contador exposed his real level of form in the 59.4km time trial to Valdobbiadene and Aru opted to tame his aggressive riding. He managed to hang on to Contador on the first mountain stage to Madonna di Campiglio but was found out on the double-digit gradient of the Mortirolo after Contador angrily chased through the peloton after Astana went on the attack when he stopped to change a wheel. Contador did not hesitate to drop Aru and then worked hard to distance him on the long ride to Aprica. Aru bravely refused to give up, even when other riders caught and passed him, but lost 2:13 to Contador at the finish in Aprica. Landa gained even more by winning the stage and so jumped past his team leader to inherit second place, 4:02 behind Contador. Aru is now third at 4:52, with Andrey Amador (Movistar) not too far behind, at 56 seconds, and so perhaps a threat to his place on the final podium in Milan. Aru has always been Astanas designated team leader for the Giro dItalia but conceded his leadership to Landa. Mikel was feeling good and so it was right he got to play his cards. He won the stage and if someone is feeling better than you, team leader orders go by the way. Thats only fair, Aru said. Now I just want to think about recovering for the next few days, Im really tired, I did a huge effort. It was a kind of effort that you can only make on a bike.ADVERTISEMENT Click here to watch more Giro d'Italia race highlights. You can read more at More...
Cycling-Contador survives Astana onslaught to extend Giro lead (Reuters)
May 26, 2015 (19:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
(Adds quotes) May 26 (Reuters) - Alberto Contador survived an onslaught from rival team Astana to move closer to a second Giro d'Italia title as he finished Tuesday's queen stage in Aprica in third place. Spain's Contador started the day with a 2:35 lead and now has an advantage of four minutes two seconds over compatriot Mikel Landa (Astana), who won the 16th stage 38 seconds ahead of Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk. Contador also ended the punishing 177-km mountain stage 38 seconds behind. More...
Alberto Contador shows off climbing skills on Mortirolo
May 26, 2015 (18:15) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
APRICA, Italy (AP) " Alberto Contador put on a demonstration of his climbing skills on the steep Mortirolo pass and extended his lead in the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday.Spanish rider Mikel Landa posted his second... More...

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