MENDE, France (Reuters) – British journeyman Stephen Cummings earned South African team MTN-Qhubeka a landmark victory on Mandela Day when he spoiled a French party to take a surprise win in the 14th stage of the Tour de France on Saturday.
Cummings beat Thibaut Pinot into second and Romain Bardet into third, powering past the two Frenchmen inside the final kilometers while both were marking each other thinking the race was between the two of them.
RODEZ, France (Reuters) – Greg van Avermaet, one of cycling’s nearly men, enjoyed a rare victory when he claimed the 13th stage of the Tour de France on Friday with a late burst of speed in an uphill finale.
The Belgian BMC Racing rider powered away from a small group on a steep final straight to outsprint Slovakian Peter Sagan, who is himself developing a reputation for failing at the finish.
PLATEAU DE BEILLE, France (Reuters) – Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez won the 12th stage of the Tour de France, a gruelling trek in the Pyrenees as Chris Froome retained the overall lead after holding off his rivals on the final climb on Thursday.
Rodriguez, who like many top names saw his hopes of winning the Tour evaporate after cracking in the first mountain stages, dropped his breakaway companions one by one and snatched a solo victory on the Plateau de Beille, a 15.8-km ascent at an average gradient of 7.9 percent.
LANNEMEZAN, France (Reuters) – Team Sky were facing increased scrutiny at the Tour de France on Thursday after it emerged that one of their staff members has previously worked with the disgraced American rider Lance Armstrong.
Team Sky have a zero tolerance anti-doping policy, meaning that all staff members must sign a statement saying they have never been involved in doping activities.
CAUTERETS, France (Reuters) – Tour de France leader Chris Froome has said he is willing to undergo physiological tests after this year’s race to put to rest any suspicion of doping.
The Briton astonished rivals and pundits on Tuesday’s 10th stage with a brutal attack in the final climb that left him nearly three minutes clear of his closest rival in the overall classification.
CAUTERETS, France (Reuters) – Lance Armstrong’s controversial presence on the route of the Tour de France as part of a charity ride is a non-event, yellow jersey holder Chris Froome said on Wednesday.
Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles after admitting to doping following years of denial and bullying of those who confronted him, is taking part in Geoff Thomas’s ‘One Day Ahead’ operation.
LA PIERRE ST MARTIN, France (Reuters) – One by one, with the exception of Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome’s rivals were dropped from a thinning group of challengers up the gruelling final climb of Tuesday’s 10th stage of the Tour de France.
The amazing pace set by Froome’s team mates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas was too hot to handle for seasoned grand tour riders like Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador, Tejay van Garderen and Alejandro Valverde.
LA PIERRE St MARTIN, France (Reuters) – Having left the opposition floundering after the first big climb of the Tour de France, Chris Froome now expects his rivals to get creative to prevent him from securing a second title.
The Briton crushed the other favourites to win the 10th stage and extend his lead over American Tejay van Garderen to two minutes 52 seconds with Colombian Nairo Quintana third, 3:09 off the pace.
LA PIERRE ST MARTIN, France (Reuters) – Overall leader Chris Froome put the hammer down on the Tour de France when the Briton humiliated his rivals in the first mountain test, winning the 10th stage in awe-inspiring fashion on Tuesday.
The 2013 champion produced a brutal acceleration with just over six kilometres left in the final ascent after his Team Sky lieutenants had prevented attacks by setting a devilish pace in the first part of 15.3-km climb.
LA PIERRE ST MARTIN, France (Reuters) – After launching the biological passport to fight against doping, cycling should create a power profile for every rider, French coach Frederic Grappe said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Reuters before the start of the 10th stage of the Tour de France, Grappe, the FDJ team performance director, explained that the riders’ power data should be stored, protected and analysed by experts in order to detect suspicious variations.