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Tour de France, Tour of Austria & Giro Rosa | The Cycling Race News Show

Tour de France, Tour of Austria & Giro Rosa | The Cycling Race News Show

Welcome to the GCN Racing News Show – this
week, we talk through the winners and losers from the first week of the Tour de France,
including some really cool power stats from TrainingPeaks. Plus, there’s a dominant performance as
the Giro Rosa hits the Zoncolan and a week of wins for Bahrain Merida at the Tour of
Austria. It’s been a dramatic first week of the Tour
de France, we’ve absolutely loved bringing you daily highlights on Facebook, and as we
hit the first rest day, we thought we’d go through some of the winners and losers
from the first 9 days. Before that though, we want your opinion on
the cobblestones – do they have a place in the Tour de France, yes or no? Take the poll at the top of the screen and
give your reasoning in the comments, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Entertainment at it’s best, or simply too
dangerous? Anyway, we’ll start with the sprinters – in
our Tour preview show Si and I talked about a possible changing of the guard in this regard,
and so far that looks to be the case. 2 wins a piece for 23-year-old Fernando Gaviria
and 25-year-old Dylan Groenewegen – they’ve clearly been the fastest in the race so far. Meanwhile, the trio of riders who have been
the dominant force in sprinting for the last 10 years, Cavendish Kittel and Greipel, have
arrived at the first rest day with virtually nothing. Greipel has fared best, with a 3rd place on
stage 4, and he would have been 2nd on stage 8 had he not been relegated. Kittel also managed a third place on stage
one but has been struggling since, whilst Cavendish has clearly been a long way from
his best. So can we write the old guard off? No, not yet, but what’s clear is that they’re
going to find it hard to dominate as they did in years gone by, and there are only limited
chances for them. And then there’s Sagan – what can you say
about this man that hasn’t been said already? 2 stage wins, his worst result was 8th to
Mur de Bretagne, but he did still manage to put time into some of the world’s top climbers. That means he has now raced 105 Tour de France
road stages and finished in the top 10 in 62 of them. Bonkers. One team and one rider have fallen into both
the winners and losers category are BMC Racing and Dan Martin. Starting with BMC, they have, in many ways,
had a stellar first week, perfect given that they still appear to be searching for a title
sponsor, but on the other hand, it’s been bittersweet. They won the stage 3 TTT, putting Greg Van
Avermaet into yellow, which he has held ever since. He also got 2nd on the Roubaix stage, but
that was where their GC ambitions came unstuck – Richie Porte hit the deck before he’d
even seen the cobbles, breaking his collarbone and abandoning the race – he must be wondering
if he’s ever going to fulfil his Grand Tour potential. Meanwhile, Tejay Van Garderen also crashed,
and although he didn’t break anything, he lost over 5 minutes, and all hope in the GC.
Dan Martin, had a brilliant stage win – he’d previously finished 2nd on the Mur de Bretagne
after leaving his move too late 3 years ago, and he wasn’t about to make that mistake
again – he attacked with over a kilometre to go and would never be caught, taking his
2nd career Tour stage win. But then it all went wrong on stage 8, where
he hit the deck hard and lost over a minute. On the positive side, he did look amazing
on the Roubaix stage and even took a bonus second en route. The ferocity of Martin’s attack on the Mur
de Bretagne was highlighted when we saw some of the numbers from that stage on TrainingPeaks. We don’t have Martin’s power for the climb,
but we do have the file of Pierre Rolland. The Frenchman finished 35th on the stage,
a full 31s down on Dan Martin, and yet produced 505w at 67kg, or over 7.5w/kg for the 4 minutes
that it took him to complete the climb, including a first minute of the climb where he produced
over 9w/kg to stay in the group. Dan Martin is clearly a man on form. Another big winner from week one was John
Degenkolb, on that Roubaix stage. It was a really emotional win for John – this
was his interview after the stage. And not surprising that it was emotional,
and he almost made me emotional too. John was one of the riders was involved in
that horrific accident on a Giant Alpecin training camp early in 2016, and many had
speculated that he’d never return to his best. But in winning over the cobbles, it was like
coming full circle after his win at Paris Roubaix three years ago, and in turn it meant
that he has now won stages in all three of the Grand Tours. Well done Mr Degenkolb, you deserved that. The other big winner from week one has been
Geraint Thomas. The man who normally attracts bad luck has
managed to completely avoid it over the 1st 9 days and now sits in 2nd place overall,
the best of the GC prospects. It’s certainly going to be interesting to
see how this dual leadership dynamic plays out at Team Sky in the mountains – it’s
hard to see a 4 time Tour de France winner accepting anything other than outright leadership,
but it’s also hard to see Thomas sacrificing a decent buffer in the overall GC. Time will tell. Along with the winners and losers in the stage
win and GC hunt, we have Lawson Craddock – the American had the unfortunate honour of being
the very first rider to crash, on day one, breaking his scapula in the process. But, against all odds, he’s still in the
race, and not only that, he’s raised close to $100,000 for the Alkek velodrome in Texas
– it’s stories like that which make you love the Tour de France. And let’s not forget, he’s riding the
race, WITH A BROKEN SCAPULA – he’s hardly been able to get out of the saddle, but has
still had to produce some impressive powers just to get through. Imagine the pain of riding 22km’s of cobblestones
with that injury, AND averaging 249w for 3 hours 40 to boot. The hardest stage of the Tour de France so
far, though, purely in terms of power output, was the stage billed as the mini Ardennes
classic – stage 5 to Quimper. There, Lawson had a normalised power of 294w
for over 5 hours, with a TSS of almost 300. Before we finish with the Tour this week – have
you ever wondered what it’s like to wear the Polka Dot jersey? Well, here’s your answer, Kiwi Dion Smith
sent us this very cool diary. The race resumes tomorrow as we hit the mountains,
so make sure you head over to Facebook for our stage summaries there. We were also delighted to have highlights
of the Giro Rosa with Marty McDonald and our very own Emma Pooley, and what a race that
was. It was dominated by two teams, Sunweb and
Mitchelton Scott. In fact, every single rider on the Sunweb
lineup held a leaders jersey of some sorts on at least one day – that’s quite a record! Mitchelton Scott, though, were just on another
level. After back to back sprint wins for Jolien
d’Hoore, Amanda Spratt took a commanding victory on stage 6 to Gerola Alta, taking
the leader’s pink jersey in the process. However, from that point on, it became the
Annemiek Van Vleuten show. Her performance on the mountain time trial
was about as dominant as you will see, finishing almost two and a half minutes ahead of Ashleigh
Moolman Pasio in the space of 46 minutes. Interestingly she was one of the only riders
to opt for a time trial bike with climbing wheels, whilst most opted for a road bike
with deep section wheels. Marianne Vos took a popular win on stage 7,
and what I loved about that was just how exuberant she was in her celebration – this is a lady
who has won pretty much all there is to win in the sport of cycling, and yet that victory
clearly meant an enormous amount to her. And then the Van Vleuten show resumed as the
peloton tackled the Zoncolan, a horrific climb which I’m sure needs no introduction. Van Vleuten attacked Moolman Pasio with two
kilometres remaining to the summit, putting 40s into her by the top, and creating a virtually
unassailable lead in the GC, and netting herself 11th overall on the Zoncolan Strava segment. And then, she went and won the final stage
for good measure, just to cement her domination. A thoroughly deserved overall win for Van
Vleuten, who at 35, appears to be in the best form of her life. Talking of form, Emma showed us that she’s
not only good at winning bike races but also good at predictions, qualities never before
seen here on the GCN presenter line-up. We shall finish with a brief look at the Tour
of Austria, a tough 8-day race which doesn’t get the attention it deserves, coinciding
as it does with the Tour de France. It was a pretty amazing week for Bahrain Merida. Matej Mohoric outsprinted teammate Visconti
to win stage one, his first as Slovenian national champion, but Visconti himself went on to
win three stages in total. Their 5th stage win came courtesy of Antonia
Nibali. His situation almost mirrors that of the Tour
of Austria, in that his career is overshadowed by that of his brother Vincenzo, but stage
7 marked his first professional victory at the age of 25, and one that was clearly very
popular amongst his teammates. The team also finished 2nd overall with Herman
Pernsteiner, but they weren’t able to topple Ben Hermans. The Belgian had won atop the Kitzbuheler Horn
on stage 3, and his Israeli Cycling Academy team defended the jersey admirably from there
to the finish. That’s all for this week – next week we’ll
be back with week 2 of the Tour, the BeNe ladies Tour, plus La Course by Tour de France,
a race that you’ll be able to catch live on our Facebook page if you’re in North
or South America, commentary coming from Marty McDonald and Dame Sarah Storey. Don’t forget to head over to the GCN Shop
if you want to get into the July groove, there’s a link on the screen right now. And down here, you can check out the 5 climbs
we are most looking forward to watching at the Tour this year.

100 comments on “Tour de France, Tour of Austria & Giro Rosa | The Cycling Race News Show

  1. Dear GCN! Love the cobbles. Grand Tour should be all about showing who is the best all-round rider and I think that being able to survive cobbles is one of the qualities that define an all-round rider.

  2. The climbers have their mountains, the sprinters their flat stages! The best riders in all disciplines should win; more cobbles please!

  3. Cobbles _ YES. The Tours reputation as one of the most difficult races makes it the right place for cobbles. They're nasty.

  4. Porte didn't break anything in the end, did he? Where did you get the collar bone break thing from? Wonder if he regrets stopping.

  5. Cobblestones are interesting, completely different from 200km+ 'rest days' with a bunch sprint at the end (yawn). People crash, but this is probably due to inexperience. We need more cobblestones segments, not fewer. Maybe the anorexic GC specialists will be found wanting and replaced by more guys like Sagan. Maybe someone other than a climber will win the Tour.

  6. Cobbles are just exiting and crazy. However you have to feel for Richie Porte crashing out three years in a row.

  7. I fell asleep while watching stages 7 & 8… no chance of that happening in the Roubaix stage, bring on the cobbles!

  8. team sky should put support behind G. Thomas this year.. i mean i've seen thomas sacrifice some advantage for froome last year. That shouldn't happen unless thomas loses his advantage.. right?

  9. Cobbles present high risk of crashes. Teams need riders for three weeks, not one day. Winner should be based more on athletic ability, not as much on bad luck and injury. Let's not go the way of American football, boxing, etc where serious life-long injury are the norm.

  10. I have asked every road bike pro I know of what is the point of riding a light bike? Their answer is in their legs which clearly shows they really can only race on a super light bike period. I actually let a pro ride my 14 kg training road bike while I used his even though his bike was a $4000 piece of crap …. Well I was gone after 20 meters and there was no contest as to who won a simple 20km speed run. Remember this is Canada where 25 km hr head winds are normal riding days for road bikes so your legs get a massive workout . I can't say the Pro's name since he is supposed be a part of Canada's cycling team but his ass was handed to him by a 39 year old wearing a t-shirt and flopping shorts ME lol. A 14 kg bike weight will make any pro out there rethink the name "Pro". If UCI mandated a 14 kg weight I am sure that 80% of all current Pros would quit the next day.

  11. Re: Lawson Craddock — 22 kms of cobblestones with a broken shoulder. Yeah, cycling's the new golf… Sure.

  12. It adds massively to the entertainment value of the sport and it hasn’t disappointed causing more chaos and entertainment in one Roubaix stage than the past 3/4 years of the Roubaix classic. However I don’t believe it should be in every year of the tour. Maybe every 3/4 years with the likes of favourites crashing out such as Porte that take the entertainment value from the mountains to the cobbles

  13. A GC winner should be more than just a great climber: they should be an all-round cyclist capable of being able to deliver (or at least survive) the breadth of road disciplines including climbing, descending, TT and a variety of terrains including cobbles. Was good to see Quintana come through unscathed.

  14. Cobbles are dangerous, ban them! TTT’s screw over the GC guys with weaker teams, ban them. Too many ITT kilometres penalise the climbers, ban them. Sprinters days are boring then too dangerous in the last few kilometres, ban them. Decents? Dangerous, ban them. Steep climbs? Too hard for the sprinters, ban them.
    There you go, no more race, no more danger.
    The cobbles are part of the fabric of cycling and of France. They have to stay, but only every 4 years. Or maybe 3. Or 2. I love them.

  15. that's why Sagan is the Best. Always up there at the top even when the stage is not in his favor. Unlike them British dopers.

  16. I like the cobbles because they offer up an opportunity for the non GC riders to shine and their teams to show themselves.
    What were the camera bikes doing. Did they have a remit to make as much dust as possible! That amount of dust going in the riders lungs can't be healthy, let alone increase the risk of illness from what ever is ingested. No wonder so many riders have breathing problems.
    Apart from that were they interfering with the race providing slipstreams or getting in the way. Clearly the miraculous recovery of Landa and Barnet off camera was very suspicious. I suggest Tom Dom should get his 20 seconds back.
    On another issue, l am sad for Richie Porte. It would be a better race with him in it. However, is the fragility of the smaller lighter riders a result of low bone density of endurance athletes?

  17. Cobbles are critical as it is not just an equalizer but also it has historic significance. If they are eliminated the head line years later will be “he won but he won without having to do cobbles”

  18. Great content as always, but when using this set you could easily route that TV cable out of the frame – or you won't get a super nice!

  19. For those who say the cobbles are a disadvantage for climbers: Did any of you see where Nairo Quintana finished yesterday? Chapeau to Nairo and his team.

  20. Yes – the cobbles were awesome part of the TdF. One of the few stages where you're glued to the screen for hours. Think of all the time and KMs on most stages, particularly flat stage, where all the team directors, computers, power meters, etc pretty much dictate a highly predictable race scenario — is fun to watch the sprinters or climbers – but the reality is that in 95% of most stages – nothing unpredictable happens. But Stage 9 – wow, how fun was that to watch and see all the different dramas going on. that was awesome racing – and in many cases you could throw the radios, computers, and such out the window… racers having to figure out what to do and when…. good stuff.

    Also – i don't buy into the concept that the GC race is won/lost here due to luck. First, that's true on ALL stages of major races. crashes, mechanicals, etc. But secondly – there's a huge amount of strategy that's involved as well — what bike to ride, what tires/wheels to use, how to ride in loose conditions, what lines to choose, and how to keep teammates who have similar bike setups near you so you don't have to wait for team cars. (it's rare to see multiple punctures at the same time on same team)… all of that goes into decreasing your chances for bad luck and covering your chances should it be encountered. [3 punctures for Bardet? I'd want to talk to the mechanics/sponsors about equipment choices – that might go beyond luck there]

    awesome day – i hope there's as much fireworks in the mountains.

  21. Yes. A day on the cobbles is a nice way to mix things up. It would be great if they could also deliberately arrange for some windy days. A big wind makes for great racing.

  22. Cobbles are great in spring, truly a liability though in a GT. How to seriously injure non specialist's all in the name of entertainment…?

  23. cobbles are often fatal for gc contenders, which might ruin their chances of showing their true potential. Not that it not happens in the other stages, but we as viewers always want to see all of them fighting for gold in the mountains, not crashing like crazy on some rusty cobbles. Its totally horrendous

  24. TDF- Best cycling in the world should be those who an handle themselves in different domains. Cobbles are dangerous but so is descending. No More descending in the race!!

  25. Hey GCN. When the peloton is riding so fast and close together. How do you see potholes or other things in front? Seems crazy.thanks for the tour coverage. You should comment on THEMOVE, !

  26. No mention of Aaron Gate of Aqua Blue Sport winning KOM at the Tour of Austria, as well as eight six-kilo sausages and the ugliest jersey ever?

  27. I think someone like Kristoff has a better chance than for example Kittel and Cavendish, because he's more of a endurance sprinter, that tends to do well in sprints after long races, or deep into stage races when everyone is fatigued.

  28. I just made a video on the cobbles yesterday!I stated their some decent arguments mainly based upon "another type of cycling/in France vs big GC effect/big lineup effect".If you wouldn't mind it would be nice of you guys to check it out!

  29. Lawson CRADDOCK has gained a lot of following and respect over the first week of the Tour.Sadly,I am uncertain of whether he will make it through the Alps.

  30. Yesterday's stage was mega exciting. It looked like pure hell for the riders (especially the GC boys) but it made for great viewing. Not for every year but definitely worth keeping in the arsenal of tour stages.

  31. OK So Richie Port crashed out before the cobbles started but I’m surprised we didn’t see more riders out with injuries. Keep the cobbles on the classics.

  32. Yes, yes and yes again cobbles do have a place in the tour. With a first week of sprint stages which was really just a bike ride with a town side sprint it wasn't the most exciting week of cycling to watch until come the cobbles of roubaix when anything could happen around any corner and really quite admirable how the gc contenders got the job done.

  33. YES they do. The only rider to crash out of the stage was Riche Porte and he crashed on a straight road. LOL

  34. Cobbles definitely belong in Le Tour as they are an important part of cycling history, let alone French cycling history itself. Stage 9 was a huge exclamation for bike handling! Now of course, it's horrible to witness severe injuries (i.e Richie Porte) but it's so wonderful to see someone rise to the challenge. Congrats John Degenkolb and TFS!!!

  35. If the goal of the Tour de France s to find the best rider. then all aspects of road racing needs to be competed. So yes, include the cobbles

  36. Cobbles at the TDF !?, see no issue with that, HOWEVER, that is what the PR is all about, forever COBBLES :-). Cobbles at the Tour is good but in my humble opinion not worth all the super mishaps that come with such a big race, a shorter section of the pave would probably be more conducive vice the long drawn out abusive segment.

  37. Yes they do belong. When I ride to work or shopping I have ride on broken up roads, roads under construction, a short gravel path, debris on the shoulder, ect ect ect. Things that are familiar to all cyclists.

  38. Cobbles are absolutely necessary! Cycling is dangerous in general already. The guys complaining about cobbles are just upset that they don't have that in their skillset. I feel like if you want to ride stage races in France, you should be ready for cobbles.

  39. We are watching the Tour de France, which is what? A race around France. Are there cobblestone roads in France? Clearly there are. This means that it makes as much sense to ride on the cobbles as it makes to ride in the mountains, also in France All of these roads are there. Why not race on them?

  40. It's called Le Tour De France, not Le Tour des Meilleures Routes de Montagne Pavées de France. The stages should capture ALL of the various types of roads found in France, not just the best ones.

  41. Today is the begining off le tour de l'Abitibi, 50 edition off the world biggest stages race for junior rider.

  42. Yes cobbles have a place. Some poeple 😱 only watch the TdF and so there eyes should be opened to cobbled legendary races.
    Personally now with one less rider in each team there is room for At least two more teams….more teams with nothing to lose would fire up those loooooong stages.

  43. Cobbles deffenetly belong to the Tour, so many people want to see riders ride on them or they simply want the "action".
    Many people can't imagine the Tour de France without them. Just to see these different Road Types is just more interesting, than seeing the Riders just on Flats. You can compare Cobbles with Mountains. Some people have problems riding (on) them and some are better riding (on) them.

  44. Do you guys think that Roman Bardet needs to step outside his comfort zone of a smaller french team and sign with a more powerful international team to win a grand tour?

  45. I love the cobbles as a fan, but the fact that we know a main GC contender will inevitably crash out or lose their chance to win on the cobbles stage bugs me.

  46. @gcn, have you heard of Remco Van Evenepoel? Look at the results at the European championship… I think he deserves rider of the week!

  47. Cobbles absolutely do belong in "La Grande Boucle"! They are a part of the french terrain, and part of the cycling heritage. I do think that mastering the cobblestones (to some extend, at least) is what separates the "greats" from the legends! 🙂

  48. As much as I love the cobbles I think they don’t have a place in the Tour De France. Riders and teams who are aiming to wear a winners jersey shouldn’t have to take such a large and unnecessary risk in a 3 week race just to draw attention or “make it exciting”. It’s like throwing a 20/20 day in the middle of a 5 day test match. Leave the cobbles classics and Grands Tour separate.

  49. the tdf cyclists are being tested in all aspects of the sport. they should be tested on endurance, speed and control. riding over cobbles certainly tests their bike handling skills

  50. @gcn , can you please explain in a reply why the yellow jersey in stage 9 at the front of the race let up, and played the stupid rolling chase sprint game at the end rather then just taking the wind and TTing to the finish, coming third in the sprint but with an additional 20+ seconds on GC.

  51. The only* UCI 1.2 Mens's and Women's ITT in the US took place on Friday (7/13). Hosted near Boise,Idaho by 3xOlympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong.
    *excluding those in stage races because ATOC and Tour of Utah have ITTs as well.

  52. Cobbles do have a place but I think one stage is enough.
    Perhaps have the stage in the second week when riders are a bit more tired and a less nervy peloton.

  53. I don't know. I think cobbles CAN lead to interesting racing, but I don't think that was the case this year.

    All the GC favorites seemed equally at ease, and the only real drama there was due to crashes and punctures. Literally no gaps between the favorites were created at any time without it being due to either a crash or a mechanical. So if that is interesting racing, I guess it qualifies..? I'm more with Tom Dumoulin – I would have liked to see a harder race with bigger time differences.

  54. These cobbled roads are in France! The race is called Tour de France! Of course they belong! Should we exclude Alp d’huez because it’s too steep? No! We shouldn’t exclude cobbles because the roads are rough! It’s all part of pro racing!

  55. Props to Dan for making that change in tone regarding rider age and it's impact on ability. Seems like his positions are more in line with reality.

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