Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10

Chris Froome solos to victory & moves ahead by nearly 3 minutes at Tour de France 2015 Stage 10

Cover: Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


 

Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10
Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Chris Froome (Team Sky) soloed to a commanding victory on La-Pierre-Saint-Martin, crossing the finish line 59 seconds ahead of teammate, Richie Porte and 1 minute 4 seconds in front of third place, Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

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Richie Porte, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

While Froome played down his lead in post-race interviews, stating it was still a very long race, his performance increased his lead in the overall to 2 minutes 52 seconds over second place, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) and by 3 minutes 9 seconds over Quintana.

Nairo Quintana, Movistar, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10
Nairo Quintana, Movistar, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Sky definitely put on quite the performance. I tried my best to stay with them. When it got too much for me, I tried to stay in my rhythm and focused on getting to the top. I don’t think today was my best day. But it wasn’t all bad. I am still keeping a good GC (general classification) position.

The first mountain day is always tricky. We have done almost two weeks without climbing any real mountains. So it can be quite a shock to the system, especially after a rest day. I feel like it should go better from here. I am definitely still happy about where we are sitting.”
Tejay Van Garderen, BMC Racing

Stage 10 – Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin – 167km

It was Bastille Day in France today, the French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. And a Frenchman in the break on Bastille Day is as common as fireworks on Independence Day in the US. So it would be today with Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) FRA initiating a solo break just a few kilometers into the stage. A few kilometers later Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis) BEL would launch a bid to bridge to the solo attacker. He would finally make contact with Fédrigo some 30km later and the two would ride out to a maximum gap of 14:16.

Coming out of the first rest day the first 100km or so of the stage to La Pierre-Saint-Martin was well suited to allow the riders to spin the legs back life. With just rolling terrain all of the way to the base of the final climb the riders could shake off the negative effects that so often occur during a rest day. The warm-up, however, would be short-lived as the hors categorie climb to the summit finish at La Pierre-Saint-Martin was looming on the horizon and there would be no hiding from it.

Movistar and Sky would take up the primary responsibilities of marshaling the two-man break. Kenneth Van Bilsen would collect the points over all three of the category 4 climbs that led the way to La Pierre.

The intermediate sprint was won by Pierrick Fédrigo without being contested by Van Bilsen an agreement likely formed giving Van Bilsen the mountain points on offer thus far. The peloton would follow through the sprint point some 8 minutes later with Andre Greipel taking the third place points followed by Mark Cavendish and John Degenkolb. Peter Sagan would finish seventh and with that Greipel would reclaim the Green Jersey.

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The teams of the GC contenders would arrive at the base of the climb licking their lips for the first real opportunity to do what they do best. Movistar would come to the front to set a yeoman’s pace not hiding their cards to be played for Nairo Quintana. Sky was well represented as was Tinkoff Saxo and Astana. Surprisingly Tejay Van Garderen was isolated almost immediately. This could spell trouble for him over the long haul. Andrew Talansky could also be seen popping off the back a victim of his own team’s fervor.

Robert Gesink would launch a long range sortie with about 12km remaining. That move would be reeled in a few kilometers up the climb just prior to a searing attack by Chris Froome with 6.3km to go. No one was able to follow. Froome would continue to open the gap with only Nairo Quintana able to mount a chase. His efforts would fail as well.

Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10
Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

At the line, Chris Froome would have the 2015 Tour de France by the throat. He would finish a minute ahead of teammate Richie Porte and just over a minute ahead of Nairo Quintana. Robert Gesink with an impressive ride up the final climb would grab fourth place vaulting himself up into 8th on the general classification. Alejandro Valverde would round out the top five.

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Robert Gesink, Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The big losers of the day would be Tejay Van Garderen giving up 2:40 to Froome, Alberto Contador giving up 3:01 and Vincenzo Nibali virtually imploding early on giving up over four and a half minutes to the stage winner. He now sits in tenth almost 7 minutes down.

For a man who said he would ride defensively today, it will be interesting to see how he approaches the next two stages. Short of misfortune has the Tour been decided on just the first climb of the race?

I just thought instead of riding a defensive race, ‘come on guys let’s push on here. Some guys are in trouble let’s take advantage of that.’ I asked the guys to push on a bit. The legs felt good so I think it worked out just to plan.

Now we’re just going to have to take it on a daily basis. I’m in such a great position now and with such team around me. Guys like Richie Porte coming second, G just a few places back in fifth – it just shows the caliber of riders I’ve got supporting me. Hopefully, now we can just ride a defensive race. Let’s see – there’s still a very long way to go to Paris but of course, I’m ecstatic about how it went today.

When I heard on the radio it was like music to the ears, especially this early in the race. There are some really big time gaps today which I’m quite surprised about, seeing as we only had the one climb on the final. The one thing that comes to mind for me is that maybe some of the guys didn’t look after themselves quite that well through the rest day yesterday, or maybe came out of the rest day feeling quite heavy. My guys were great. It was a dream day for us.”
Chris Froome, Team Sky


Stage 10
Date: 14 July, 2015
Start:  Tarbes
Finish: La Pierre-Saint-Martin
Distance: 167 km

Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 Top 10

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    Team Sky 4h 22′ 07″
  2. Richie Porte (AUS) #35
    Team Sky + :59
  3. Nairo Quintana (COL) #51
    Movistar + 1:04
  4. Robert Gesink (NED) #131
    Team LottoNL-Jumbo + 1:33
  5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) #59
    Movistar + 2:01
  6. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    Team Sky + 2:01
  7. Adam Yates (GBR) #108
    Orica GreenEDGE + 2:04
  8. Pierre Rolland (FRA) #121
    Team Europcar + 2:04
  9. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    Lotto Soudal + 2:22
  10. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC Racing + 2:30

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 10

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    Team Sky 35h 56′ 09″
  2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC Racing + 2:52
  3. Nairo Quintana (COL) #51
    Movistar + 3:09
  4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) #59
    Movistar + 4:01
  5. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    Team Sky + 4:03
  6. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    Tinkoff-Saxo + 4:04
  7. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    Lotto Soudal + 4:33
  8. Robert Gesink (NED) #131
    Team LottoNL-Jumbo + 4:35
  9. Warren Barguil (FRA) #82
    Team Giant-Alpecin + 6:12
  10. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) #1
    Astana Pro Team + 6:57

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 10

Yellow (Overall leader): Chris Froome, Team Sky
Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal
Polka-dot (KOM):Chris Froome, Team Sky
Worn by: Richie Porte, Team Sky
White (Best Young Rider): Nairo Quintana, Movistar

Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 profile

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 10 climbsTour-de-France-2015-Stage-climb-La-Pierre-Saint-Martin.png

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Tejay Van Garderen, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 5

Looking ahead to Week Two at the Tour de France

Cover: Tejay Van Garderen, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


Following a hectic first week of the Tour, there are few who can say things have gone to plan. The same holds true for the pre-race favorites. What was dubbed the fantastic four, Contador, Froome, Nibali and Quintana, is now down to three plus one as Tejay Van Garderen has added his name to the marquee with a solid week of racing and Vincenzo Nibali has all but excused himself.

BMC would see themselves pip Team Sky by one second for the Stage 9 Team Time Trial win with Quintana’s Movistar notching an impressive third just four seconds back of Sky. Contador and Tinkoff-Saxo would give away twenty-eight seconds to the winning time and all but eliminate any chance Peter Sagan would have to claim a yellow jersey. Nibali and Astana would round out the top five, 35 seconds back, leaving Nibs on the outside looking in at 2:22 on GC.

Vincenzo Nibali, Astana Pro Team, Tour de France 2015 teams presentation
Vincenzo Nibali, Astana Pro Team, Tour de France 2015 teams presentation Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

A well-deserved rest day awaited the riders following the TTT and the transfer to Pau. Looking ahead, the rest will be short as the Pyrenees are laying in wait. If week one was an endeavor of limiting losses, week two will serve up opportunities to consolidate or to make a move.

The big news coming out of the rest day is the unfortunate announcement by Ivan Basso that he has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will leave the Tour immediately. He had been suffering pain and an examination by team doctors led him to the hospital for more extensive testing that resulted in the diagnosis early Monday morning. There has been an outpouring of support and we wish him well in his upcoming treatment and recovery.

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Stage 10 on Tuesday will take the riders from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin, a short-ish 167km route across three relatively benign category 4 climbs and on to a summit finish on the hors catergorie La Pierre-Saint-Martin (1,610 m 15.3 kilometre-long climb at 7.4%). The cat 4 climbs are not likely to soften up the group enough to result in significant time gaps amongst the leaders, but given the time that both Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana have given up in week one, they will have no choice but to attack and make the most of their opportunities if they want to retain the label of contender. Whether or not the La Pierre offers those opportunities we’ll have to wait and see.

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The Stage 11 trek will take the race from Pau / Cauterets – Vallée de Saint-Savin, 188km. The climbing gets a little more serious crossing a total of six categorized climbs including the cat 1 Col d’Aspin (1,490 m 12 kilometre-long climb at 6.5%) and the venerable hors categorie Col du Tourmalet (2,115 m17.1 kilometre-long climb at 7.3%) before finishing atop the category 3 Côte de Cauterets (6.4 kilometre-long climb at 5%). While the profile may look daunting, the terrain between climbs should offer ample opportunity for the main race to regroup in advance of the finish. Rest assured there will be a break trying to steal away the mountain points and a chance to don the coveted Polka-Dot Jersey.

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On Thursday The Tour offers up a classic day in the Pyrenees on the roads from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille. Now day three in the mountains we should start to see a refinement of the top twenty of this years Tour. The finish on the feared hors categorie Plateau de Beille (15.8 kilometre-long climb at 7.9%) is one for the pure climbers. It will offer a premium opportunity for the likes of Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana to take some time back. Conversely Chris Froome may well see an opportunity to seize total control of the race. And where will Tejay Van Garderen shake out in the end. This will be a pivotal day in his quest for a Tour podium. A jour sans or day without, on Stage 12 could ruin that plan.

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Stage 13 on Friday should bring with it some respite as the race rolls out of the high mountains of the Pyrenees. The transitionary stage over 198.5km from Muret to Rodez will offer a stage win opportunity for the sprinters who have the legs left to get themselves over the three categorized climbs mid stage. With the Alps on the horizon this is one of the few remaining chances left for glory for the fast men before the Champs-Élysées.

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The stage on Saturday looks eerily familiar to the early stages ending on the Mur de Huy and the Mur de Bretagne. The 178.5km route from Rodez to Mende finishes on the Côte de la Croix Neuve. The climb of 3 kilometres at over 10% serves up the perfect launch pad for riders like Rodriguez, Valverde, Van Avermaet, and even Nibali if his form has returned by this point in the race. The GC contenders, as evidenced in week one, will certainly be present and accounted for as well. A stage win is up for grabs but there should be little impact on the GC.

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Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar, Tour de France 2015 teams presentation
Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar, Tour de France 2015 teams presentation Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Rounding out week two, Sunday’s stage from Mende to Valence should be anything but a casual roll through the scenic Rhone Valley. This stage sets up well for a bunch sprint before arriving in Paris a week later. A few climbs are smattered about on a stage that starts 731m above sea level, reaches a high point of 1,223m with 113km to go then descends for the majority of the day. If a break can stay away across the top of the category 2 climb of Col de l’Escrinet (787 m 7.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.8%) the backside descent and largely flat 56km run in to the finish could potentially spoil the day for the sprinters. I would expect to see a rider like Thomas Voeckler showing his contorted face and tongue in a break.

A rest day, the Alps and of course Paris will be in sight for the riders that remain following what is sure to be a tough and exciting second week of racing.

BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT

BMC Racing wins Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT

Cover: BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


BMC Racing Team won the 28km stage 9 team time trial from Vannes to Plumelec by 1 second over Team Sky and 4 seconds faster than Movistar.

We definitely had to rail the corners and make sure we stayed together outside of them. On the climbs, we had the stronger guys pulling longer. And we had to finish with five guys. Rohan Dennis was really the key element to the team. He’s got a motor.”
Tejay Van Garderen, BMC Racing Team

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Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

There was an incredible crowd today. It was a brilliant atmosphere but it hurt to lose by under a second. It’s a shame on that last climb we were sort of spread out. But we’ve taken time on most of our big rivals.

That was a brutal team time trial. I can tell you that after five kilometres it was absolute agony. The Tour’s a long way from over. We’ve got another two weeks. The mountains are coming up now but I think we’ve shown we’re more than ready to have a good crack at it.”
Chris Froome, Team Sky

The result leaves the yellow jersey on Chris Froome’s shoulders as the race heads into the first rest day on Monday with Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) now sitting in 2nd place in the general classification and Greg Van Avermaet  (BMC Racing Team) in third. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) fell to 4th place after starting the day 2nd in the overall.

Tinkoff-Saxo, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT
Tinkoff-Saxo, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

For me, today’s result was not as important, as it was for Alberto but I had hoped that we would have done a bit better. We lost 28 seconds, which is significant but not very bad. We have to look forward, tomorrow is the rest day and then we will start to focus on what we can do in the next part of Tour de France. For me the tempo was okay, we started out at full speed and kept the intensity high to the finish. For sure, this result is not a step in the right direction for the team’s and Alberto’s chances but the Tour is still long and we are all here to fight for the yellow jersey.

I’m happy for the rest day, but the rest day always feels very short. So we will use the time to recover and to plan how we can regain time. Overall I’m happy with the first nine days, it has been a very interesting Tour de France so far. I would have been happy for a stage win, but there are more chances later on in the race.”
Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo

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Movistar Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 results

  1. BMC Racing Team 32:15
  2. Team Sky + :01
  3. Movistar + :04
  4. Tinkoff-Saxo + :28
  5. Astana Pro Team + :35
  6. IAM Cycling + :38
  7. Etixx – QuickStep + :45
  8. Lampre-Merica + :48
  9. LottoNL – Jumbo + 1:14
  10. AG2R La Mondiale + 1:24
  11. Trek Factory Racing + 1:25
  12. Cannondale – Garmin +1:29
  13. Bora – Argon 18 +1:31
  14. FDJ +1:33
  15. Lotto Soudal + 1:36
  16. Giant-Alpecin + 1:37
  17. Team Europcar + 1:42
  18. Bretagne-Séché Environnement + 1:46
  19. Team Katusha +1:53
  20. MTN Qhubeka + 1:56
  21. Cofidis Solutions Credits +2:32
  22. Orica GreenEDGE + 4:58
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FDJ, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 9

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 31h 34′ 12″
  2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 31h 34′ 24″ +:12
  3. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 31h 34′ 39″ + :27
  4. Peter  Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 34′ 50″ + :38
  5. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 35 ’15” + 1:03
  6. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 31h 35′ 30″+ 1:08
  7. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) #59
    MOVISTAR TEAM 31h 36′ 02″ + 1:50
  8. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 31h 36 ’04’ ‘ + 1:52
  9. Nairo Quintana (COL) #51
    MOVISTAR TEAM 31h 36 ’11” + 1:59
  10. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 31h 36 ’11’ ‘ + 1:59
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Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 TTT Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 9

Yellow (Overall leader): Chris Froome, Team Sky
Green (Points):Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo
Polka-dot (KOM): Daniel Teklehaimanot, MTN Qhubeka
White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo
– Worn by Nairo Quintana, Movistar

Team Giant-Alpecin, Tour de France 2015 Steg 9 TTT
Team Giant-Alpecin, Tour de France 2015 Steg 9 TTT Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Stage 9
Team Time Trial
Date: 12 July, 2015
Start:  Vannes
Finish: Plumelec
Distance: 28 km


Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 profile

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 climbs

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 9 last km

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Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Alexis Vuillermoz, AG2R La Mondiale, Tour dee France 2015 Stage 8

Alexis Vuillermoz solos to Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 victory

Cover: Alexis Vuillermoz, AG2R La Mondiale, Tour de France 2015 Stage 8
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Alexis Vuillermoz, AG2R La Mondiale, soloed to a stage 8 victory at Mûr-de-Bretagne. Dan Martin, Cannodale-Garmin, was second and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was third.

No change to the top of the overall classification with Chris Froome (Team Sky) remaining in the yellow jersey.

It is just incredible, I did not think it could be possible. I just wanted to do my best today. I thought there would be better riders than me today. I wanted to suprise everyone and finally it happened. It was all or nothing for me today.

The whole AG2R LA MONDIALE team made a big effort to get Jean-Christophe, Romain and I in a good position at the beginning of the climb. I thought of attacking in the harder part of the Mur, I knew the end would be flat. When Froome came back I followed him in order to rest. I attacked again but I did not think Il would be the winner.

I have a lot of thoughts about my dad. He passed away three years ago, I hope he is proud of me and saw me today. I also want to thank Daniel Germond who allowed me to join the AG2R LA MONDIALE team, Jean Baptiste Quiclet and Yves Clolus who is my trainer since 2005. If I am here today It isbecause of them.”
Alexis Vuillermoz, AG2R La Mondiale

Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 Top 10

  1. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA) #19
    AG2R LA MONDIALE 04h 20’ 55”
  2. Daniel Martin (IRL) #167
    TEAM GARMIN-CANNONDALE 04h 21’ 00” + :05
  3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) #59
    MOVISTAR TEAM 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  4. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  5. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  7. Adam Yates (GBR) #108
    ORICA GREENEDGE 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  8. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  9. Bauke Mollema (NED) #141
    TREK FACTORY RACING 04h 21’ 05” + :10
  10. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 04h 21’ 05” + :10

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 8

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 31h 01’ 56”
  2. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 02’ 07′ + :11
  3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 31h 02’ 9” + :13
  4. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 31h 02’ 22” + :26
  5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 31h 02’ 24” +:28
  6. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 31h 02’ 30” + :34
  7. Alberto Contador (ESP)#41
    TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 02’ 32” + :36
  8. Warren Barguil (FRA) #82
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 31h 03’ 03” + 1:07
  9. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 31h 03’ 11” + 1:15
  10. Bauke Mollema (NED) #141
    TREK FACTORY RACING 31h 03’ 28” + 1:32

This was a tough finish, tougher than I had hoped. I could hang on at the front of the bunch and take a nice fifth place, but I didn’t have energy left to attack. The team made sure I started the climb in a good position. The kilometres before the Mûr de Bretagne shouldn’t be underestimated either. At a high pace the peloton headed towards the climb and the bunch got reduced considerably.

The first kilometre of the climb was the steepest. I wanted to stay at the front and take my chance in the last kilometre if I could. It was a strong acceleration of Alexis, something that I couldn’t do. The past days I was happy with the two team victories, now I’m less happy. I had marked this stage, but after the rest day on Monday there are other stages that suit me as well and then I’ll try to join a breakaway.”
Tony Gallopin, Lotto Soudal

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 8

Yellow (Overall leader): Chris Froome, Team Sky
Green (Points):Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo
Polka-dot (KOM): Daniel Teklehaimanot, MTN Qhubeka
White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo
– Worn by Warren Barguil, Team Giant-Alpecin

It is good to keep the jersey and to go into the team time trial with it still in our team. I can’t believe the support I am getting, it is just more and more everyday and I am very thankful. It still feels like I am in a dream.”
Daniel Teklehaimanot, MTN-Qhubeka


Stage 8
Date: 11 July, 2015
Start:  Rennes
Finish: Mûr-de-Bretagne
Distance: 179 km


Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 profile

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 8 last km

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Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 6

Tony Martin’s surgery completed successfully

Cover: Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step), who fractured his left collarbone in a stage 6 crash, underwent surgery early this morning in Hamburg and the team reports the surgery went well.

At the time of the crash, Martin was in the overall lead at the Tour de France and was forced to abandon the race.

I would like to thank all the people involved in my transportation to the hospital and the medical staff in Hamburg” Martin says. “They were all amazing and they allowed me to undergo surgery in such a short time after the crash. In these situations time is an important factor and we couldn’t have done better. I wish good luck to my team and to all the riders busy at the Tour.

I will follow the race on TV today from the hospital. It will be strange but that’s life and cycling. I have to try to see the glass half full and keep the good memories. I had a great first part of the Tour with a great team around me. I won a stage and wore the yellow jersey for the first time in my career. A dream came true during this Tour and now I’m already looking forward to coming back one day again and living the great emotions of this race.”
Tony Martin

Mark Cavendish, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 7

Cavendish picks up his first win at Tour de France 2015 Stage 7

Cover: Mark Cavendish, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 7
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) picked up his first win of the 2015 Tour de France in a bunch sprint finish in Fougères beating André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) at the line.

The last two sprints the team did well. I’ve just been too anxious and gone too early. The thing about Le Tour, in another race you maybe wait. In Le Tour you don’t want to wait. In another race you maybe got one or two guys coming around you. In Le Tour you have 10 guys coming around you, there are so many strong sprinters and teams here. If you hesitate, you lose the stage. I’ve just been a bit over anxious the last two times and today was about not being impatient.

I almost left it too long this time, I waited so long. I saw Kristoff had two leadout men left. I knew they’d keep the pace high. It was too long for anybody with one more leadout man from the finish. Normally Kristoff goes early anyway, so I anticipated that he’d go soon enough and I could come off his wheel. But he waited and waited. Greipel actually got the jump. I was perfect on Greipel, but Guarnieri came backwards after leading out and I had to avoid him. I almost panicked at how close we were to the line. If Andre had closed off the barrier I may not have won. Andre sprinted straight. He’s a gentleman.

I was able to come through and pass him on the right. I had the same power in my legs as I had the other days that ended in sprints. It’s just, if you wait and launch later, you’re going to go with more immediate power than you would with 250 or 300 meters to go like I did the other times. So, after being a little more patient, I’m super happy with my victory today, which is the 26th of my career. Every one of the 26 wins is special. At Le Tour de France even one victory makes a rider’s whole career. So, to get one every year except 2014 when I crashed out of Le Tour in the first stage is a big, big thing.

Obviously it’s been the longest run for me without a win at the Tour de France, I think two years. So to get back to winning ways is certainly nice. Today my family is here, my wife Peta and my daughter Delilah. So it was super special to do it in front of them. I’d like to thank my teammates for doing great work to support me for this win today.”
Mark Cavendish

Chris Froome (Team Sky), who had moved into the overall race lead with Tony Martin’s withdrawal from the race, chose not to ride in yellow for today’s stage out of respect for Martin. At the end of the stage, Froome donned the yellow on the podium and now sits 11 seconds in front of Sagan in the overall race and 13 seconds ahead of Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team).

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Chris Froome, Team Sky, Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Stage 7 – Livarot / Fougères – 190.5km

This Tour, wrought with disappointment and what would seem to be a black cloud hanging over those who succeed in accomplishing what every bike rider around the globe aspires to, the yellow jersey, would press on today without a rightful owner of the Maillot Jaune.

Like Fabian Cancellara on Stage 3, Tony Martin would suffer a crash and what would later be disclosed to be a grisly injury. The respect for the race and the power of the Yellow Jersey would propel him across the finish as it had done for Cancellara three days prior. Aided by his teammates, his stoicism did not reveal the extent of what he was suffering. In hind sight that stoicism may well have been mistaken for the look of a man suffering symptoms of shock.

Martin was whisked off to the hospital for evaluation after participating in the podiums, his heart and mind set on persevering through the injury. The post race reports, however, were gruesome telling of a collarbone that was shattered and sticking out of the skin. His desire to start Stage 7 a testament to the will and resolve of those who are lucky enough to earn the privilege to ride in this great race. Instead, he would be dispatched to Hamburg for immediate surgery, his Tour highlighted by the lowest lows and the highest highs now over.

Greg Henderson would join Martin as the other non-starter of page 7 reports saying he broke a rib in half in the infamous Stage 3 melee.

Chris Froome, the Tour’s second place rider behind Tony Martin stated he would refuse the Yellow Jersey without earning the right to wear it on the road. The peloton would ride without a leader today.

What seemed a comfortable lead for Andre Greipel in the points classification, became a nose to nose affair with Sagan finishing second yet again the day before. Just three points separated them at the start with John Degenkolb a mere 32 points in arrears in third.

The mountain points classification saw a new face at the start in Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) ERI enjoying his first day in what he considers the most coveted jersey of the race.

The best young rider jersey would, of course, remain in possession of one Mr. Peter Sagan.

The stage today would feature a KOM with the Côte de Canapville, a 1.9 kilometre-long climb at 4.7% ranked category 4, after just 12.5km on the road. The lone intermediate sprint would be in the town of Argentan 163km into the stage.

Once again a break would go out at the drop of the flag. A break of five would form. The five riders were Kristjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida) CRO, Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) ESP, Anthony Delaplace and Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) both French and of course Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN) ERI looking to defend his polka dot prize. He would succeed. The break would be allowed a maximum advantage of 3:50.

The intermediate sprint was won by Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) ESP with the top five being rounded out by his break mates. Giant-Alpecin would provide their man John Degenkolb a proper lead out bringing him in for the sixth place points ahead of Peter Sagan, Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish.

The break would march on as the peloton allowed them a manageable gap. With 19km to go and the gap down to 25 seconds, Anthony Delaplace would make a half-hearted attempt to press on solo and Teklehaimanot would call it a day and head back to the pack.

At 15km and the gap at 13 seconds, Luis Angel Maté and Brice Feillu would make a last-ditch effort to survive while Anthony Delaplace and Kristjian Durasek would resign to their place back in the main field. The two remaining riders would be swept up only a few km further up the road. Gruppo compacto, the stage was set for a sprint finish.

A perfect lead out by Lotto Soudal would find Andre Greipel set up nicely for the sprint. Mark Cavendish, however, would come with a big turn of speed to beat him by half a bike length. Greipel would eek out a second place by a tire width ahead of Peter Sagan. John Degenkolb and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) NOR would round out the top five.

Chris Froome would claim the vacated Yellow Jersey. Greipel would retain the green yet again however his days may be numbered with a finish on a cat 3 climb slated for Stage 8 tomorrow. Peter Sagan stays in White and with his consistent finishes and subsequent time bonuses he now finds himself in second overall just 11 seconds behind Chris Froome. Can Sagan claim yellow tomorrow? Does Tinkoff want that responsibility at this stage?

Stage 8 on the eve of the team time trial takes the riders over 181.5km from Rennes / Mûr-de-Bretagne and a finish for the puncheurs.

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Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

There’s no hiding the fact that losing Tony was going to be a big loss to the team. But we said yesterday that we’d win for him today. To go out and win to get the yellow jersey like he did, it’s really sad. He’s an incredible part of this team, on and off the bike. It’s almost like we started the race with 12 guys and now we’ve got eight left. That’s what losing Tony is like.

I’m so glad his surgery has gone well. We would have loved for him to be here today, and to celebrate with us tonight. We’re going to definitely dedicate this win to him at the celebration and I can’t wait to speak to him later. I think the way we rallied together, and around Tony, shows the spirit of Etixx – Quick-Step. I’ve grown with this team. I’m really happy. You’ve seen the ambience we’ve got here at Etixx – Quick-Step. We’re like a family, we’re always there for each other, and we share the same goals.

Everyone knows I’m a fan of racing my bike. I love it. It’s everything to me. To be with a team of like-minded people, it’s really nice to come away and do it with people who share the same feeling. Now we look to the next days. We’ve got a really good momentum going with nine strong guys who proved this week that we can win in all kinds of situations. We’ll keep going for good results.”
Mark Cavendish


Stage 7
Date: 10 July, 2015
Start:  Livarot
Finish: Fougères
Distance: 190 km

Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 Top 10

  1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) #112
    Etixx-QuickStep 04h 27 ’25′”
  2. André Greipel (GER)#75
    LOTTO-SOUDAL same time
  3. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO same time
  4. John Degenkolb (GER) #81
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN same time
  5. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) #96
    TEAM KATUSHA same time
  6. Arnaud Demare (FRA) #24
    FDJ same time
  7. Tyler Farrar (USA) #213
    MTN-Qhubeka same time
  8. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg #215
    MTN-Qhubeka same time
  9. Davide Cimolai (ITA) #153
    LAMPRE – MERIDA same time
  10. Sam Bennett (IRL)  #193
    BORA-ARGON 18 same time

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 7

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 26h 40 ’51”
  2. Peter Sagan (SVK) 47
    TINKOFF-SAX 26h 41 ’02” + :11
  3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 26h 41 ’04″+ :13
  4. Tony Galllopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 26h 41 ’17” + :26
  5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 26h 41 ’19” + :28
  6. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 26h 41 ’25” + :34
  7. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    TINKOFF-SAX 26h 41 ’27” + :36
  8. Zdenek Stybar #116
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 26h 41 ’43” + :52
  9. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 26h 41 ’54” + 1:03
  10. Warren Barguil (FRA) #82
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 26h 41 ’58” + 1:07

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 5

Yellow (Overall leader): Chris Froome, Team Sky
Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal
Polka-dot (KOM): Daniel Teklehaimanot, MTN Qhubeka
White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo


Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 profile

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 7 last km

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Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Zdenek Styba, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 6

Zdenek Stybar wins Tour de France 2015 Stage 6; Martin in lead but injured

Cover: Zdenek Styba, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 6
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) soloed to victory at stage 6 in Le Havre after teammate and overall race leader, Tony Martin, went down in a crash in the final kilometer of the race.  Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was second and Bryan Coquard (Europcar) was third, both 2 seconds back.

Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 6
Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep, Tour de France 2015 Stage 6 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

An obviously injured Martin made a podium appearance to accept the jersey for the day but it is in question if he will be able to continue in the race. Team Sky’s Chris Froome currently sits in second place 12 seconds behind Martin and Tejay Van Garderen  (BMC Racing) is in third 25 seconds back.

Tony Martin update »

I am really happy to take the jersey. It is a big step for African cycling and I feel really proud at the moment because I have this jersey. I am excited to be able to show my team’s colours on the podium because we are trying to give 5000 bicycles to African students, being on the podium will help our project and I want to help make a difference for my African people. It was always our plan to get this polka dot jersey so I am happy we could do it. I am proud to be African and I am proud to be Eritrean. This is a day I will never forget.
– Daniel Teklehaimanot, MTN Qhubeka


Stage 6 – Abbeville / Le Havre – 191.5km

The riders would catch a break today as they made their way to the start of Stage 6 they were greeted by mild temperatures and a forecast devoid of precipitation. Sunshine and the coastal scenery, making up a full two-thirds of the stage today, provided not only a spectacular back drop for viewing but also a bit of calm for the riders after a nervous first quarter of the race.

Once again Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) GER, always the tireless workhorse would deservingly sport the Maillot Jaune as race leader. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) GER, now with a very firm grip on the points classification continues in the Green Jersey for the fourth day running. He holds a comfortable 32 point margin over Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) SVK in that competition and is looking to be very hard to beat. A single intermediate sprint and the points at the line were up for grabs today. Joachim Rodriguez (Katusha) ESP remained in the Polka-Dot Jersey coming off a day where no points were available. Today would play host to four category 4 climbs and a total of 3 points to be had. Peter Sagan would wear the White Jersey of the best young rider, a distinction he has held since Tom Dumoulin’s abandonment during Stage 3. Finally, BMC continued to own the dubious distinction of donning the coveted yellow helmets of the leaders of the team competition.

The day would play out with little or no drama, a welcome development for the riders. At one point the race was a full twenty minutes slower than the slowest schedule for the day.

An early break of three would form. It would be allowed some freedom to extend to ten minutes before the teams vying for a stage win would come to the fore and bring them back to a manageable gap.

The break was made up of Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar) FRA, his third break in five stages. Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis, Credit Solutions) BEL and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) ERI. Teklehaimanot intentions were clear as he contested and won the first two category 4 mountain points worth one point each placing him in a tie with current leader Joachim Rodriguez (Katusha) ESP. He would need to grab the points on the final cat 4 climb of the day to succeed in capturing the Polka Dot Jersey.

The intermediate sprint of the day would first be contested by the three man break. They would go through with what appeared to be an agreed order with Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar) FRA winning Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis, Credit Solutions) BEL in second and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) ERI in third. The usual suspects would follow with Degenkolb, Coquard, Greipel, Sagan and Cavendish arriving in that order.

The gap to the break came under a minute with 45km remaining and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) FRA would launch an attempt to bridge to the break as the peloton came through the feed. His attempt would prove futile and he would find himself back in the pack with 35km to go.

The break would arrive at the final climb of the day and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) ERI would realize his childhood dream and grab the one point and with it the Polka Dot Jersey.

The day would proceed status quo until 12km when Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis, Credit Solutions) BEL would ride away from his break mates. He would get a small gap but the peloton was chasing hard. His two companions from the break were absorbed at just under 10km.

A stage that I had previously noted as one for the sprinters was nothing of the sort. The long drag to the finish was more suited to a puncheur. At 3km to go Van Bilsen was caught and the race was on. Under the flamme rouge the Yellow Jersey of Tony Martin would hit the deck and he appeared to be nursing a shoulder injury. His teammate, Zdenek Stybar would take the stage win in front of the remainder of the pack who all seemed content to mark Peter Sagan while Stybar soloed to victory.

Tony Martin would be pushed across the line by his teammates and his Tour misfortune would return, his ability to continue tomorrow in question. Will the Tour lose its second leader to injury?

So much for an uneventful day without drama.


Stage 6
Date: 9 July, 2015
Start:  Abbeville
Finish: Le Havre
Distance: 191 km

Tour de France 2015 Stage 6 Top 10

  1. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 04h 53′ 46”
  2. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  3. Bryan Coquard (FRA) #122
    TEAM EUROPCAR 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  4. John Degenkolb (GER) 81
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  6.  Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) #211
    MTN-QHUBEKA 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  8. Davide Cimolai (ITA) #153
    LAMPRE – MERIDA 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  9. Julian Simon (FRA) #177
    COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 04h 53′ 48” + :02
  10. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (ESP) #57
    MOVISTAR TEAM 04h 53′ 48” + :02

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 6

  1. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 22h 13 ’14”
  2. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 22h 13 ’26’ + :12
  3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 22h 13 ’39” + :25
  4. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 22h 13 ’41” + :27
  5.  Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 22h 13 ’52” + :38
  6. Greg Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 22h 13 ’54” + :40
  7. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 22h 14 ’00” +:46
  8. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    TINKOFF-SAX 22h 14 ’02” + :048
  9. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEPx 22h 14 ’18” + 1:04
  10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 22h 14 ’29” + 1:15

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 5

Yellow (Overall leader): Tony Martin, Etixx – QuickStep
Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal
Polka-dot (KOM): Daniel Teklehaimanot, MTN Qhubeka
White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo


Tour de France 2015 Stage 6 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 6 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 6 profile

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 6 last km

 Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-6-last-km.png

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

André Greipel, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff, Tour de France 2015 Stage  5

Greipel wins again at Stage 5 in Amiens; Martin holds onto the yellow jersey

Cover: André Greipel, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff, Tour de France 2015 Stage 5
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


André Greipel, Lotto Soudal, picked up another win at stage 5 of the Tour de France edging out Peter Sagan, Tinkoff Saxo and Mark Cavendish, Etixx-QuickStep in the uphill, bunch sprint in Amiens.

Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep safely held onto the overall lead remaining 12 seconds in front Chris Froome (Team Sky) and 25 seconds ahead of Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing).

I couldn’t sleep so well last night. I fell asleep maybe at 2 o’clock in the morning and woke up early again, But it was OK for me. I woke up feeling well, thinking directly about the yellow jersey. It gave me a lot of power and morale today in the race. I hope I can find more sleep in the next nights, or else I won’t see Paris (laughs). As for the race, I tried to do my job for Cav in the finale. I wanted to lead him until the last kilometer and a half, and stay safe for yellow. I don’t know what happened with the sprint after that. I did my job for Cav as well as I could and didn’t take any risks. I think the team did well today going into the sprint.

We avoided crashes and were always in good position. The race was super stressful. A lot of nervousness, crashing, and fighting for position. I couldn’t really enjoy the day as I didn’t have time to think about being in yellow. In the end of this kind of stage we were lucky to stay upright. It wasn’t really a day for celebration. We will see about the next days. We have some very good riders that can be active in different kinds of stages. With our team you never know what we can do in the next days and weeks. I just want to keep yellow as long as possible, but I am also realistic that when the big mountains come I probably cannot stay with the best riders. Especially since I didn’t train for those kinds of stages.. My goal is to stay in yellow until the TTT, not the big mountains.”
Tony Martin, Etixx- QuickStep

Tour de France 2015 Stage 5 Top 10

  1. André Greipel (GER) #75
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 04h 39 ’00”
  2. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAX 04h 39 ’00” same time
  3. Mark Cavendish (GBR) #112
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 04h 39 ’00” same time
  4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) #96
    TEAM KATUSHA 04h 39 ’00” same time
  5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) #211
    MTN-Qhubeka 04h 39 ’00”  same time
  6. John Degenkolb (GER) #81
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 04h 39 ’00’ ‘ same time
  7. Arnaud Demare (FRA) #24
    FDJ 04h 39 ’00’ ‘ + 00 ’00” same time
  8. Bryan Coquard (FRA) #122
    TEAM EUROPCAR 04h 39 ’00” same time
  9. Davide Cimolai (ITA) #153
    LAMPRE – MERIDA 04h 39 ’00” same time
  10. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 04h 39 ’00” same time

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 5

  1. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 17h 19′ 26″
  2. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 17h 19′ 38″ + :12
  3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 17h 19 ’51” + :25
  4. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 17h 19 ’59” + :33
  5. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 17h 20 ’04” + :38
  6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 17h 20 ’06” + :40
  7. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 17h 20 ’12” + :46
  8. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    TINKOFF-SAXO 17h 20 ’14” + :48
  9. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 17h 20 ’41” + 1:15
  10. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 17h 20 ’42” + 1:16

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 4

Yellow (Overall leader): Tony Martin, Etixx – QuickStep
Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal
Polka-dot (KOM): Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha
White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo

Stage 5 – Arras Communauté Urbaine / Amiens Métropole – 189.5km


Stage 5

Date: 8 July, 2015
Start:  Arras Communauté Urbaine
Finish: Amiens
Distance: 189 km


Tour de France 2015 Stage 5 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 5 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 5 profile

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-5-profile.png

Tour de France 2015 Stage 5 last km

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-5-last-km.png

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 – Cobblestones sector 6

Tony Martin solos to Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 victory & into the yellow jersey

Cover: Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 – Section 7 cobbles
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


After seven sections of cobbles and 223.5 km, Tony Martin (Etixx – QuickStep) soloed to victory in Cambrai at stage 4 of the Tour de France, picking up both the win and the yellow jersey in the process. John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) was second and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was third, both 3 seconds back.

Chris Froome (Team Sky), who started the day in the yellow jersey, now sits 12 seconds behind Martin in the overall and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) is in third in the GC, 25 seconds behind Martin.

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 – Cobblestones sector 6
Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 – Cobblestones sector 6 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4: Seraing to Cambria

A Tour already filled with high drama from stages 2 and 3, the peloton finally reached France on the way to the finish of Stage 4. Coming off the thrilling splits in the foul weather in The Netherlands on stage 2, the stage 3 crash that would ultimately claim the yellow jersey and of course the classics like the finish on the famed Mur de Huy, one would think the riders would be looking for a little respite from the drama.

Contraire! Bring on the stage 4 cobbles. The stage from Seraing to Cambria has been dubbed by the Tour as a mini Roubaix. With seven sections of cobbles comprising 13.3km of racing. For some, mixed emotions were certainly the order of their morning preparations. The threat of rain adding to the anxiety.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) GBR would start the day in yellow with a slim one second lead over Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick Step) GER. Martin, coming off two days of one second near misses for claiming his first career yellow jersey, you can rest assured was hyper-motivated. Others within striking distance included Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) BEL and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) SVK to name a few. It was Froomey’s 15th Tour yellow jersey, a new record for British riders.

The break of the day would once again go straight away. Initiated by Lieuwe Westra (Astana) NED and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) BEL, Astana was keen to take the pressure off of Vincenzo Nibali and the rest of the team. Westra’s break would place the onus of managing the chase squarely on the shoulders of the teams of the other GC contenders and the sprinters vying for a stage win.

Westra and De Gendt would be joined by Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar) FRA, his second consecutive day in the break, and Frédéric Brun (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) FRA.

Thomas De Gendt would take the one mountain classification point available today leading the break over the cat 4 Côte de la Citadelle de Namur. The break had an 8:25 advantage.

The break would tumble on the run in to secteur 7 and they would hit this first taste of pave´with their advantage down to just over a minute. Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step)GBR took the responsibility of leading the peloton and Tony Martin across this 1.8km length of relatively placid cobblestones. Reports from the ground began to tell of raindrops starting to fall.

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4, sector 7
Tour de France 2015 Stage 4, sector 7 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The Tour, always a platform for new technology and competitive innovation, several riders stopped and changed bikes to one more suitable to cobbles. This along with a peloton wide natural break would see the gap to the break start to stretch again. The break would re-establish itself to a maximum gap of 3:23.

The intermediate sprint at Havay, 137km into the stage was won by Thomas De Gendt out of the break. The peloton would battle for the remaining points for places five through fifteen. Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) GBR would grab the fifth place points then came Bryan Coquard (Europcar) FRA, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) GER, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) SVK and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) GER. And just like that, the race crossed the border into France for good.

To no one’s surprise, the pace would lift as the peloton approached the final 40km and the six remaining sectors of pave´. Luca Paolini(Katyusha) ITA could be seen moving to the front, taking on the lead role for Alexander Kristoff as he has done so well all spring long. The rain began to fall and the wet roads immediately took their toll. Dan Martin and Alex Dowsett would go down in separate incidents.

Splits would start to form on sector six and the break would be caught with 40km to go as they hit sector 5. Astana came to the front to play their cards for Vincenzo Nibali. A select group of about 50 would form with all of the GC contenders present and animating the action. The race would ebb and flow back together.

A selection of 40 or so riders would finally form through sector 3 and sectuer 2. The main tour contenders all fighting for position but present and accounted for.

Pressure from Nibali would decant the group to 10 or 12 on the final section of cobbles. Alberto Contador(Tinkoff-Saxo) ESP would miss the split but Peter Sagan would pull the chase group back with 8km to go. A group of about 35 riders would come together to contest the finish. Degenkolb was looking to be in the best position with 6km to go.

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-4-sector-6
Tour de France 2015 Stage 4, sector 6 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tony Martin would take matters into his own hands and launch a solo attack with 3.5km to go. He would go on to solo to the finish for the stage win and finally his first yellow jersey. John Degenkolb(Giant-Alpecin) GER, Peter Sagan(Tinkoff-Saxo) SVK, Greg Van Avermaet(BMC) BEL and Edvald Boasson Hagen(MTN – Qhubeka) NOR would round out the top five.

I wasn’t really thinking about anyone following me when I attacked. Maybe everyone saw when I had a flat tyre in the last cobbled section. I had to change to Matteo’s bike. Maybe they thought I was more on the limit than what I actually was when I launched in that moment. It’s also possible no one expected such an early attack. I think inside 4 kilometers to go everyone was on their hands and knees. It was just the right moment for me to try my chance. I found some extra power. I got a good gap.

I knew this finale really well. I was here before for training for two days. I did 180 kilometers of the stage, I knew every little detail.  I knew if I could make it to the last kilometer, which was a little more technical with the cobbles and the hard left hand turn, I would have a chance. My goal was the last corner, and somehow I made it. I’m thrilled about my solo victory and my race leadership. It really surprised me that I could make it, because I was really tired after chasing back after the flat. The last three days I missed the yellow by just a few seconds. My goal was to get it on the first day and I was sad I missed it. I came closer, but I never had it. Yesterday was super hard. I knew the chance was there, but it was obviously not my kind of stage.

So, the pressure was getting bigger and bigger. Today I was really motivated. Today’s stage suited me much better so I can play with my power.  I am more of a classics style rider than a climber. For today’s stage I had all the support from the team and I really wanted to get the yellow for me and especially for the team. Crossing the line in first, knowing I won the stage but also that I got yellow, makes me super happy that I can give everything back to the team that they gave me in the last days. I am also proud to wear this yellow jersey for Germany. I was proud to wear my German TT Champion jersey in the opening time trial, and now I can show the German fans something else special with my GC lead.

This moment has been wonderful and I really hope this brings more people into being fans of cycling, including those of the German public. The goal is now to keep the yellow jersey as many days as we can going into the rest day. There are a few hard finals, but I believe I can stay in front with the support of my team. We also have the team time trial coming up. I think we have a fighting chance of holding on to this jersey until the first rest day. Of course, I think we also have chances to fight for good stage results in the next days. As you could see from my support today we have nine strong guys at this race. We will do our best to defend this jersey and go for more good results.”
Tony Martin, Etixx – QuickStep

The peloton will look forward to what should be a more relaxed few stages heading into the TTT this weekend.


Stage 4
Date: 7 July, 2015
Start:  Seraing
Finish: Cambrai
Distance: 223.5 km

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 – Cobblestones sector 6
Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 – Cobblestones sector 6 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 Top 10

  1. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 05h 28′ 58”
  2. John Degenkolb (GER) #81
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  3. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  4. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) #211
    MTN-QHUBEKA 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  6. Nacer Bounanni (FRA) #171
    COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  7. Jacopo Guarnier (ITA) #93
    TEAM KATUSHA 05h 29′ 01” +:03
  8. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  9. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 05h 29′ 01” + :03
  10. Bryan Coquaard (FRA) #122
    TEAM EUROPCAR 05h 29′ 01” + :03

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 4

  1. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 12h 40′ 26”
  2. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 12h 40′ 38” + :12
  3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 12h 40′ 51” + :25
  4. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 12h 41′ 04” + :38
  5. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAXO 12h 41′ 05” + :39
  6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 12h 41′ 06” + :40
  7. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 12h 41′ 12” + :46
  8. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    TINKOFF-SAXO 12h 41′ 14” + :48
  9. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 12h 41′ 41” + 1:15
  10. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 12h 41′ 42” + 1:16

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 4

Yellow (Overall leader): Tony Marin, Etixx – QuickStep
Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal
Polka-dot (KOM): Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha
White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo


Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 route map

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-4-route-map.png

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 profile

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-4-profile.png

Cobblestone sectors

Seven sectors of cobbles totaling 13.3 km await the riders in stage 4.

The first is sector 7, an 1800m stretch from Pont-à-Celles to Gouy-Lez-Piéton, reached 103.5 km into the race. Sectors 1-6 all fall in the last 46 km as follows:
Sector 6: Atres to Famars, 1200m
Sector 5: Quérénaing to Verchain – Maugré, 1600m
Sector 4: Verchain – Maugré to Saulzoir, 1200m
Sector 3: Saint-Python, 1500m
Sector 2: Fontaine-au-Tertre to Quiévy, 3700m
Sector 1: Avesnes-les-Aubert to Carnières, 2300m

Tour de France 2015 Stage 4 last km

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-4-last-km.png

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez (Team Katusha), Tour de France Stage 3

Purito Rodriguez takes stage 3 at the Mur de Huy; Froome takes over race lead

Cover: Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez (Team Katusha), Tour de France Stage 3
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez (Team Katusha) conquered the Mur de Huy for the stage 3 win at the Tour de France. Chris Froome (Team Sky) was second and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) was third.

I started the day with some fear after a bad night following my crash yesterday and some knee pain in the morning, but during the day I really felt good and then better and better. The team supported me also very well. It is a pity we had to lose Dmitriy Kozonchuk. I did not see the crash as I was in front of it, but I could hear it. The speed was really high headed in the direction Mur de Huy. I even had to ask Giampaolo Caruso to slow down a bit.

On the Mur everything went well. I attacked with 400 m to go. That is the perfect distance for me. I am explosive and this Mur suits me so well. The last time I wanted to wait a little longer and then I was closed in by others. I did not want to take that risk this time and I went full gas and it was perfect. I am so happy after the fabulous work of the team too.”
– Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha

Chris Froome (Team Sky) moved into the overall lead now sitting 1 second in front of Tony Martin (Etixx- QuickStep) and 13 seconds in front of BMC Racing’s Tejay Van Garderen.

Chris Froome, Tour de France Stage 3
Chris Froome, Tour de France Stage 3, Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

It’s an amazing feeling to be back in yellow. If you’d have told me this morning I’d be in the jersey, I wouldn’t have believed you, but it’s amazing. Especially on a day like this which had a punchy climb in the final. That isn’t normally my kind of thing – I’m better on longer climbs – so I was really surprised to see the gaps open up like they did. I knew there would be gaps – but I didn’t expect them to be as significant as they were and allow me to get into yellow.

I’ve got my team-mates to thank for the massive effort they put in. They turned themselves inside out to keep me near the front through the trickiest parts of the race. It was treacherous out there – we were up and down, left and right, and obviously there were the crashes as well. My team did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be happier with them.

It’s never too early to go into yellow, and I’d much rather be in this position than having to make up time on my rivals. We’re going to take it one day at a time now. Tomorrow we’ve got the cobbles so we’ll just have to manage that as well as we can. Something massive has happened every day so far and a lot of time gaps have opened up. I’m not banking on anything at this point and I just hope to get through these next few days with no major issues.”
Chris Froome, Team Sky


Tour de France 2015 Stage 3:  Anvers – Huy 159.5km

More favorable weather greeted the riders this morning in Anvers with mostly sunny skies and less humid conditions than those encountered in The Netherlands. New race leader Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) SUI arrived sporting the 29th yellow jersey of his illustrious career. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) GER wore green as the rightful leader of the points competition and Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin) NED continued in the white jersey of the best young rider.  The first mountain points were available today with four categorized climbs, 3 cat 4 climbs and of course the cat 3 climb at the finish on the famous Mur de Huy.

Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing, Tour de France 2015 Stage 3
Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing, Tour de France 2015 Stage 3 Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Team BMC Racing enjoyed the honor of wearing the yellow numbers of the Tour leaders of the team competition.

A break of four would form immediately and was well established just 10km in. It was made up of Serge Pauwels (MTN-Quhbeka) BEL, Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) CZE, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) SUI and Bryan Nauleau (Team Europcar) FRA. Two days and two breaks in the bag for Jan Barta. The break would gain a maximum gap of 3:40.

Jan Barta, Bora Argon 18, Tour de France 2015
Jan Barta, Bora Argon 18, Tour de France 2015 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo marshaled the front of the peloton for their respective GC men; Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. Trek also represented at the front keeping the yellow jersey safe and Movistar helped to keep the break in check with interest in setting up Alejandro Valverde for a possible stage win on the Mur de Huy. Despite the seemingly placid appearance in the pack, the nervous energy would result in a tight leash on the escapees.

As the break was about to be absorbed with 58km to go there were two crashes in rapid succession. The first included the yellow jersey of Fabian Cancellara and the white jersey of Tom Dumoulin. Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin) NED would abandon, as would Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) AUS and William Bonnet (FDJ) FRA, who appeared to be injured the worst.

In an unusual move, the race was neutralized briefly due to the carnage. The race would be released before being neutralized a second time and finally, they brought the race to a complete stop.  Cancellara obviously shaken seemed lost in indecision of whether or not to continue as the race was stopped awaiting his return. When the race started to roll again it remained neutralized through the top of the first categorized climb removing the points for that climb. Cancellara would continue to sit at the back of the pack and racing would resume with 50km left in the stage.

The race took a few kilometers to regain full momentum and when it did it was Astana and Vincenzo Nibali looking to regroup from their losses the day before. They would split the field to a group of about 60 or so riders, all of the GC contenders present as they approached the intermediate sprint.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) GER, wearing the green jersey would win the intermediate sprint consolidating his lead in the points classification followed by John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) GER, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Credit Solutions) FRA and Bryan Couqard (Team Europcar) FRA and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) GBRand the race was all back together.

With 20km remaining, Fabian Cancellara popped off the back obviously suffering the effects of his earlier crash. His day was done as was his time in yellow.

In the final 10km the race was full gas as it approached the penultimate category 4 climb as well as the lead into the Mur de Huy. Tinkoff-Saxo would drive the pace and splinter the field. The contenders all present.

Fireworks would ensue as they hit the Mur and the flamme rouge led by Joaquin Rodriguez(Katyusha) ESP. Froome, Tony Gallopin and Purito would find a gap on the Mur. Rodriguez would fend off Froome on the steepest part of the climb with 450 meters to the finish. He would win the stage followed by Froome and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-LaMondiale) FRA. Contador would blow and give a few seconds to his rivals as would Vincenzo Nibali.

The yellow jersey would pass to Chris Froome with time bonuses. Tony Martin would miss yellow by one second for the second day in a row. Cancellara would finish over eleven minutes down.

Stage 4 on Tuesday takes the race across the cobbles of Northern France and the high drama of stages 2 and 3 is sure to continue. 


Stage 3
Date: 6 July, 2015
Start:  Anvers (Antwerp / Antwerpen)
Finish: Huy
Distance: 154 km

Tour de France 2015 Stage 3 Top 10

  1. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) #91
    TEAM KATUSHA 03h 26 ’54”
  2. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 03h 26 ’54” same time
  3. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA) #19
    AG2R La Mondiale 03h 26 ’58” + :04
  4. Daniel Martin (IRL) #167
    TEAM GARMIN-CANNONDALE 03h 26 ’59” + :05
  5. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 03h 27 ’02” + :08
  6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 03h 27 ’05” +:11
  7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) #1
    ASTANA PRO TEAM 03h 27 ’05” + :11
  8. Simon Yates (GBR) #109
    ORICA GREENEDGE 03h 27 ’05” + :11
  9. Nairo Quintana (COL) #51
    MOVISTAR TEAM 03h 27 ’05” +:11
  10. Bauke Mollema (NED) #141
    TREK FACTORY RACING 03h 27 ’05” + :11

Tour de France 2015 General Classification Top 10 after Stage 3

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 07h 11 ’37”
  2. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 07h 11 ’38” + :01
  3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 07h 11 ’50” + :13
  4. Tony Gallopin (FRA) #71
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 07h 12 ’03” + :26
  5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL)
    BMC RACING TEAM 07h 12 ’05” + :28
  6. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAX 07h 12 ’08” + :31
  7. Rigoberto Uran (COL) #118
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 07h 12 ’11” + :34
  8. Alberto Contador (ESP) #41
    TINKOFF-SAX 07h 12 ’13” + :36
  9. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 07h 12 ’40” +1:03
  10. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) #116
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 07h 12 ’41” + 1:04

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 3

Yellow (Overall leader): Chris Froome, Team Sky

Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal

Polka-dot (KOM): Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha

White (Best Young Rider): Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo


Tour de France 2015 Stage 3 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 3 route map

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-3-route.png

Tour de France 2015 Stage 3 profile

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-3-profile.png

Tour de France 2015 Stage 3 climbs

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-3-Mur-de-Huy-climb.png

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Zélande finish

Greipel wins stage 2 at Zélande; Cancellara moves into yellow jersey

Cover: Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Zélande finish
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Todd Hofert


André Greipel, Lotto Soudal, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2
André Greipel, Lotto Soudal, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the bunch sprint on bridge finish at Zélande at the Tour de France 2015 stage 2, beating Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) at the line.

This was the first stage I could win, it’s magnificent that I did. This is a fantastic reward for the team and me. In the Tour everyone starts from zero, it are the results here that count. This determines if your season is successful or not. A victory at the Tour is at least as double important as anywhere else.

In our echelon were six riders of Etixx – QuickStep and strong riders like Cancellara and Dumoulin. We tried to stay a bit under the radar, but did our bit when the echelons were formed. The first time eight of us were part of the first group. The second time the selection was bigger and we were with three in a group of twenty-five. I considered Cavendish and Sagan to be my main opponents for the sprint. I’m happy I could stay ahead of them.

We had a plan before the start and did a recon last Wednesday. We were focused today, but not stressed. I finished it off, but this victory one is of the entire team. I win a Tour stage for the fifth year in a row, but it’s the first time my wife is here so that makes it even more special. I’m wearing the green jersey for the first time in my career, that’s a nice extra. Tonight I will enjoy this victory and then we’ll see what happens the next days.”
– André Greipel, Lotto Soudal

Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2
Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) moved into the overall race lead and now sits 3 seconds ahead of Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) and 6 seconds in front of Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Alpecin).

I had cramps at the end, it was so fast and nervous, but finally some luck. I had so much problems out of the corners, out of the roundabouts, the problem was from yesterday, I paid a lot – I mean everyone probably did – from yesterday’s effort.

I am not sure what happened, if it was a crash or just a split because the guys from Lotto-Soudal went full gas. But we went through this small city and there were a lot of roundabouts and with the rain and wind…it was not easy and I was just there and suddenly the group split up. I hoped for sure at the end to get something out and now of course with the yellow I am really happy.”
Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing

Peter Sagan, André Greipel, Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2
Peter Sagan, André Greipel, Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Top 10

  1. André Greipel (GER) #75
    LOTTO-SOUDAL 03h 29 ’03”
  2. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAX 03h 29 ’03” same time
  3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) #143
    TREK FACTORY RACING 03h 29 ’03” same time
  4. Mark Cavendish (GBR) #112
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 03h 29 ’03” same time
  5. Daniel Oss (ITA) #64
    BMC RACING TEAM 03h 29 ’03” same time
  6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 03h 29 ’03” same time
  7. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 03h 29 ’03” same time
  8. Tom Dumoulin (NED) #85
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 03h 29 ’03” same time
  9. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    QUICK STEP-Etixx 03h 29 ’03” same time
  10. Warren Barguil (FRA) #82
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 03h 29 ’03″same time

Tour de France 2015 General classification after Stage 2

  1. Fabian Cancellara #143 (SUI )
    TREK FACTORY RACING 03h 44 ’01”
  2. Tony Martin #114 (GER)
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP03h 44 ’04” + :03
  3. Tom Dumoulin (NED) #85
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 03h 44 ’07″+ :06
  4. Peter Sagan (SVK) #47
    TINKOFF-SAX 03h 44 ’34” +:33
  5. Geraint Thomas (GBR) #39
    TEAM SKY 03h 44 ’36” + 35
  6. Daniel Oss (ITA) #64
    BMC RACING TEAM 03h 44 ’43” +:42
  7. Rigoberto Uran  (COL) #118
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 03h 44 ’43” +:42
  8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) #61
    BMC RACING TEAM 03h 44 ’45” +:44
  9. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) #68
    BMC RACING TEAM 03h 44 ’49” +:48
  10. Christopher Froome (GBR) #31
    TEAM SKY 03h 44 ’49” +:48

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 2

Yellow (Overall leader): Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing

Green (Points): André Greipel, Lotto Soudal

Polka-dot (KOM): Not awarded

White (Best Young Rider): Tom Dumoulin, Team Giant-Alpecin


Tour de France 2015 Stage 2: Utrecht to Zelande

Tour de France 2015 Stage 2
Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Utrecht and the cycling crazed fans of The Netherlands were once again out in full force showing off the start of Stage 2. Rohan Dennis (BMC) AUS, arrived on his new Yellow BMC resplendent in the first yellow jersey of the Tour leaving the remainder of his suitcase full of Stage 1 swag on loan to Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) GER, in the Green jersey and Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin) NED wearing the white jersey of the best young rider with the first Polka Dot jersey yet to be awarded. The Dutch team Lotto NL- Jumbo arriving as the best team having placed three riders in the top eleven spots of the Stage 1 Time Trial.

Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2
Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The Stage 2 break formed consisting of four riders including Dutchman Stef Clement (IAM Cycling) NED, Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) CZE, Perrig Quemeneur (Team EuRopcar) FRA and Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Seiche Environment) FRA. The four would achieve a maximum gap of 2:45 while Etixx-Quick Step maintained control at the front of the pack with hopes of delivering Mark Cavendish to his first stage win in the 2015 Tour.

As feared, the weather would play a role in the stage. The winds and rain rolled in off the North Sea and the skies hung low with reports of 15°C temps and 44+kph crosswinds at the finish. The riders stayed dry until they reached the town of Gouda with about 115km remaining in the stage. As the weather changed so did the colors at the front of the Peloton. Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana all came forward to shepherd their respective GC contenders safely through the countryside. The threat of the Waaiers, or Echelons forming splits in the pack, were their primary concerns.

Tinkoff-Saxo saw an opportunity in the crosswinds and formed a short lived split with 65km remaining. Riders were shelled out the back and Sky came forward to assist in establishing it. All of the contenders were attentive and made the front group. The furious pace and strong crosswinds would see the break disappear. The gap fell from two plus minutes to just 20 seconds over the course of a few kilometers. As the Peloton regrouped the break of four held on.

The first sprint was contested in Rotterdam with points available for the first 15 places. Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) CZE would solo away from his break companions to take the 20 bonus points. Stef Clement (IAM Cycling) NED, Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Seiche Environment) FRA and Perrig Quemeneur (Team EuRopcar) FRA from the break would follow. John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) GER, would lead the peloton across for fifth place points followed by Alexander Kristoff (Katyusha) NOR, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) GBR, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Credit Solutions) FRA and Bryan Couqard (Team EuRopcar) FRA rounding out the top ten respectively.

The peloton would absorb the break with 62km remaining in the stage. Lotto NL-Jumbo would suffer misfortune on a couple of occasions with Wilco Kellerman hitting the deck twice, the second crash taking teammates and countrymen Laurens Ten Dam and Jos Van Emden with him.

With 45km remaining the peloton split in the winds again with the likes of the yellow jersey of Rohan Dennis (BMC) AUS, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) ITA, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) COL, and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) GER missing the move to find themselves chasing in horrendous conditions. The front group of 25 included Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) ESP, Chris Froome (Sky) GBR, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) USA, Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) GBR, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) SVK and a host of Tinkoff, Sky and BMC riders. The gap between the lead group and the chasers stretched out over a minute.


We were going through a lot of roundabouts and I was sort of toward the back, thinking it was safe because it wasn’t too hard. Then Pinot led the gap go. He swung out and basically looked at me, saying I had to close it. I looked around and saw Nibali was there as well. So I made the call not to chase because if Nibali losses time, it is better.

It was a bit hard to swallow, but I came to terms with it. I could have closed the gap and taken Nibali with me – which more than likely would have meant I would have kept the jersey. But by sitting up, Nibali lost time, which makes it better for Tejay, who is our goal for the Tour.”
Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team


Bad luck would hit Vincenzo Nibali straight between the eyes with a puncture that would isolate him from the chase group. He would find his way back through the team cars with less than 20km remaining in the stage. The gap to the lead group came down to 50 seconds as the weather began to improve.

The lead group led by Etixx-Quick Step pushed the gap out to 1:17 as the traffic furniture and roundabouts making up the lead in to the finish began to play a factor. A crash in the chase would slow their progress and ultimately seal their fate.

Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Zelande finish
Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 Zélande finish
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Etixx-Quick Step appeared to be in the drivers seat however, a very poor lead out found Cavendish on the front way too early at 250 meters. He would provide Andre Griepel (Lotto-Soudal) GER a perfect lead out and The Gorilla would claim the stage followed by Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) SVK, Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) SWI, Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) GBR and Daniel Oss (BMC) ITA rounding out the top five.

Fabian Cancellara would claim the yellow jersey with a four second time bonus for third place providing him the seconds required to leap Tony Martin in the GC. The big losers of the day would be Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Robert Gesink (Lotto NL-Jumbo) NED coming in 1:27 down on their main rivals who managed to make the earlier split. Quintana may be capable of weathering such a loss but the other two may not be able to recover for contention.

Stage 3 and the Mur de Huy on deck for tomorrow.


Stage 2
Date: 5 July, 2015
Start:  Utrecht  
Finish: Zélande
Distance: 166 km


Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 profile

Tour-de-France-2015-Stage-2-profile.png

 

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.

Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 1

Rohan Dennis wins Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 ITT

Cover: Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team, Tour de France 2015 Stage 1
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Averaging 55.45 kilometers an hour over the 13.8-km course, Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) won the stage 1 individual time trial in Utrecht, finishing 5 seconds ahead of Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and 6 seconds faster than Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing).

It was nerve-wracking watching the screen. I didn’t expect to go that fast time-wise. When I got to back to the bus, I was told that it was the quickest time trial by my friend back in Adelaide. So that was a nice little bonus, you could say.

We went with the tactic of going off early – there’s no stress, you don’t have to sit around all day – just set a benchmark and make everyone else chase me. It worked out perfectly. Tour de France … yellow jersey … it’s a dream. I have always wished to be in this position and now I am.”
Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team

Tony Martin, Etixx-Quick Step Tour de France 2015 Stage 1
Tony Martin, Etixx-Quick Step Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

I knew starting the Tour de France with this time trial was a great chance for myself and the team to possibly wear the yellow jersey in Utrecht. I did the best preparation possible to be at this race at 100 percent. I had great support from the team and the staff around me, so I could really focus on the race. But today I was struggling a little bit with the heat. It was not easy to warm up on the rollers and then riding 15 minutes in the heat. Even in the second half I was already tired. I’m used to warming up after 5 to 7 kilometers, and then my race starts.

But today I couldn’t really change rhythm. I was doing my best to go until the finish. I am sure in different weather circumstances I could do better. Still, considering everything, to still finish 2nd I am happy about it. I always want to win, but today I found a great Rohan Dennis who deserved the victory. There is still a big opportunity for yellow in the next days. Everyone knows this first week will be crazy and we have for sure one of the strongest and best teams for the parcours of the next days. So, yes, I am disappointed, but the Tour de France has only just begun. I have a great team around me that will further boost my morale, for sure.”
Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep

Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing, Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 ITT
Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing, Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 ITT Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

It was quite a heat and my mouth was so dry at halfway already. It was hard to get a deep breath at times, I couldn’t swallow. But for one, it shows I am in progression from where I was two weeks ago. Of course, I came here to get yellow, and so in that way it’s kind of a disappointment. But, on the other hand, I did a good performance. I am not sure where I could give more; maybe if the wind was less before, I don’t know, you can make a lot of speculation. In the end, it is how it is.

Of course I don’t look yet to tomorrow, first I need to get over the day, the disappointment. I expected something higher, something bigger. But that’s sport. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, I have already proved many, many years of big things. People expect me to perform on days like today where I am a specialist. But for having a perfect day you need more, and I was not having a perfect day, and for me the heat cut my performance. This is not an excuse, but the reality.”
Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing

Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 ITT Top 10

  1. Rohan Dennis (AUS) #63
    BMC RACING TEAM 14 ’56”
  2. Tony Martin (GER) #114
    ETIXX-QUICK STEP 15 ’01” + :05
  3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) #143
    TREK FACTORY RACING 15 ’02” + :06
  4. Tom Dumoulin (NED) #85
    TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 15 ’04” + :08
  5. Jos Van Emden (NED )#138
    LOTTO TEAM NL – JUMBO 15 ’11” +:15
  6. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP) #53
    MOVISTAR TEAM 15 ’19” + :23
  7. Matthias Brändle (AUT ) #182
    IAM CYCLING 15 ’19’ ‘ + :23
  8. Adriano Malori (ITA) #58
    MOVISTAR TEAM 15 ’25″+ :29
  9. Wilco Kelderman (NED) #132
    LOTTO TEAM NL – JUMBO 15 ’26” +:30
  10. Stephen Cummings (GBR) #212
    MTN-Qhubeka 15 ’28” + :32
Tom Dumoulin, Team Giant-Alpecin, Tour de France 2015 Stage 1
Tom Dumoulin, Team Giant-Alpecin, Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

I rode a strong time trial, which I enjoyed but unfortunately it was not enough for the win. 

I didn’t hear anything from my coach because I was riding through a wall of sound from the spectators, which was really cool.

Of course it’s very special to ride on home grounds. Right now I’m a little bit disappointed so I’m not the most enjoyable person to be around.”
Tom Dumoulin, Team Giant-Alpecin

Tour de France 2015 Jerseys after Stage 1

Yellow (Overall leader):Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team

Green (Points): Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team
Worn by Tony Martin, Etixx-QuickStep

Polka-dot (KOM): Not awarded

White (Best Young Rider): Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team
Worn by Tom Dumoulin, Team Giant-Alpecin


Stage 1 Individual Time Trial
Date: 4 July, 2015
Start:  Utrecht  
Finish: Utrecht
Distance: 14 km


Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 route

Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 route map

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Tour de France 2015 Stage 1 profile

Tour-de-France-2015-stage-1-profile.png

Maps courtesy of Le Tour de France / © A.S.O.