Tag Archives: contador

Bradley Wiggins turns back on second Tour de France title to support Chris Froome

Wiggins stuns fans by turning back on Tour de France defence to support Froome after nightmare route is unveiled

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UPDATED:

12:11 GMT, 24 October 2012

Reigning champion Bradley Wiggins has turned his back on a second Tour de France title after agreeing to support Chris Froome's bid for glory.

The move marks a role reversal for the Team Sky team-mates after Froome played a key part in Wiggins' historic victory in July.

Look says it all: Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome watch the 2013 route presentation

Look says it all: Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome watch the 2013 route presentation

Rivals: Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador and Bradley Wiggins

Rivals: Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador and Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins has set his sights on winning the Giro d’Italia next year as he attempts to secure all three Grand Tour titles.

Speaking at Wednesday's 2013 route announcement, Wiggins said: 'It's more than likely I'll be there in a helping capacity. For me it was about winning one Tour. I want to win the Giro.'

The 32-year-old became the first
Briton to win the Tour this summer when he beat Froome to the yellow jersey.

This year's race suited Wiggins'
time-trial prowess but next year's event, which starts for the first
time in Corsica, is apparently more mountainous which would not favour
the Briton but instead the likes of Alberto Contador.

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The 2013 Tour de France route

The 2013 Tour de France route

the 2013 cycling classic Tour de France route

The Tour – the first since lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles – will end on the Champs-Elysees at night, organisers confirmed.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme revealed a 3,360-kilometre, 21-stage route, which takes place entirely in France, beginning on Corsica on June 21 and finishing under floodlights on the most famous boulevard in Paris on July 21.

Organisers made a decision to shorten
the combined length of the race's two individual time trials in part as
a response to the domination in this year's tour by champion Wiggins.

The 65 kilometers (40 miles) of time
trials split evenly between the 11th and 17th stages is almost 40
kilometers (25 miles) less than in the 2012 Tour, which could play into
Olympic time trial champion Wiggins' decision to focus instead on the
Giro d'Italia.

The first individual time trail on July 10 finishes against the backdrop of the Mont Saint-Michel monestary.

Line up: (l to r) Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador

The contenders: (l to r) Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador

Main man: Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme

Main man: Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme

Organisers have given sprinters like Mark Cavendish a gift – the June 29 stage finish in Bastia is the first time since 1966 that a sprinter can hope to wear the yellow jersey after the first stage, Prudhomme said.

The traditional Bastille Day stage on July 14 is the race's longest at 242 kilometers (150 miles), ending with the 20.8-kilometer (13-mile) ascent of Mont Ventoux, one of cycling's most mythical climbs.

In another first for the race, which has only stopped for the two world wars since the first Tour in 1903, riders will begin the final stage on July 21 inside the grounds of the Versailles Palace. With the sprawling 17th-century chateau as a backdrop to the race start, 'It's going to be a knockout,' Prudhomme said.

The last stage will start later in the day than traditionally and timed for a finish at about 9 p.m., while there is still enough light to ensure riders' safety, Prudhomme said.

'We wanted the finish of the 100th Tour winner to be unique,' Prudhomme said.

In another change to tradition, the eight laps of the Champs Elysees will send riders all the way around the giant Arc de Triomphe arch at the top of the grand avenue, rather than just passing in front of it as in past years.

Armstrong finished on the top of the podium in a record seven Tours from 1999 to 2005 but was subject to a United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation and stripped of his titles and banned for life.

The UCI, cycling's world governing body, ratified the sanctions on Monday.

Tour de France 2013: Bradley Wiggins left with a mountain to climb

Wiggins left with a mountain to climb with Tour to unveil high-altitude route for centenary

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 23 October 2012

With the credibility of cycling now in tatters, this year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins could be forgiven if he decides not to defend the yellow jersey.

And when the mountainous route of next year’s race is unveiled in Paris, he may not want to anyway.

Wiggins won the 2012 race over a terrain that suited his time-trialling pre-eminence and limited his exposure to the high-altitude finishes that trouble him.

For next year’s 100th Tour, the organisers have devised a course which offers little respite from mountains.

Tall order: The 2013 Tour does not suit Bradley Wiggins

Tall order: The 2013 Tour does not suit Bradley Wiggins

The legendary peaks of Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez will feature in a handful of summit finishes which mark the 2013 Tour as a race for climbers like Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Wiggins’s Sky team-mate Chris Froome.

Alpe d’Huez will be climbed twice on the same stage while the final stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris will be held at night under floodlights.

While two individual time trials will entice Wiggins to compete, one of them will be over the hilly terrain of the Alpes-Maritimes, meaning that he may give serious thought to the advice of Shane Sutton, his mentor at Team Sky, to skip the Tour next year and concentrate instead on the Giro d’Italia in May and the Vuelta a Espana in September.

The unveiling of the route is supposed to be a celebration of the centenary Tour. Instead, Wiggins and race director Christian Prudhomme will be besieged by questions about Lance Armstrong, doping, cheating and cycling’s credibility.

Unwanted attention: Lance Armstrong's shadow looms large over the Tour

Unwanted attention: Lance Armstrong's shadow looms large over the Tour

The Tour is now a race without a recent past after Armstrong was stripped on Monday of his seven Tour triumphs beginning in 1999.

Add in the retrospective expunging of the names of Floyd Landis in 2006 and Contador in 2010 and the inevitable tarnishing of Contador’s wins in 2007 and 2009, and only Wiggins, Carlos Sastre in 2008 and Cadel Evans in 2011 can be considered clean winners in the past 14 Tours.

Even Armstrong is no longer publicly declaring himself a seven-time Tour champion after changing his Twitter profile to reflect being stripped of his Tour success by the International Cycling Union (UCI).

On Monday, Armstrong’s profile read: ‘Father of 5 amazing kids, 7-time Tour de France winner, full time cancer fighter, part time triathlete.’

/10/23/article-0-15A12BF0000005DC-272_468x312.jpg” width=”468″ height=”312″ alt=”Calls to resign: Pat McQuaid is under pressure” class=”blkBorder” />

Calls to resign: Pat McQuaid is under pressure

‘UCI clearly have to take the blinkers off, look at the past, examine people who are there, ask themselves the questions, “Are those same people still in the sport and can they proceed forward with those people remaining”’

Tyler Hamilton, a former US Postal team-mate of Armstrong retrospectively stripped of his 2004 Olympic time trial gold medal for doping, said: ‘Pat McQuaid’s comments expose the hypocrisy of his leadership. He has no place in cycling.’

Tony Martin retains World cycling time trial crown

Martin retains world time trial crown as Dowsett comes ninth

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 19 September 2012

Germany's Tony Martin successfully defended his men's time-trial title at the UCI Road World Championships in Holland on Wednesday with a narrow triumph over Taylor Phinney of the United States.

Martin, the Olympic silver medallist behind Bradley Wiggins, completed the 45.7-kilometre route in 58 minutes 38.76 seconds to claim Germany's second time-trial success in Limburg after Judith Arndt won the elite women's event on Tuesday.

Phinney finished just over five seconds behind in 58mins 44.13secs, with bronze going to Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus in 1:00:23.75.

Champions again: Germany's Tony Martin celebrates with his gold medal after winning the Elite Men's Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships

Champion again: Germany's Tony Martin celebrates with his gold medal after winning the Elite Men's Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships

Alex Dowsett, Great Britain's sole representative in the absence of Wiggins and Chris Froome, finished eighth in 1:01:04.82, with Spain's Alberto Contador ninth.

Contador, the Vuelta a Espana champion, was the penultimate rider to take to the course, two minutes ahead of Martin, but was overtaken by the German after around two thirds of the route.

Phinney was four seconds faster than Martin at the first time check, but the German moved 13 seconds ahead at the second.

Two in a row! Martin successfully defended his title, beating the American rider Taylor Phinney by five seconds

Two in a row! Martin successfully defended his title, beating the American rider Taylor Phinney by five seconds in Valkenburg, Holland

At the 38.4km time-check, Martin held an eight-second advantage over Phinney, meaning the finishing ascent of the Cauberg would determine who would emerge victorious.

Phinney had Sweden's Fredrik Kessiakoff, who started two minutes ahead of him, in his sights in the latter stages, giving him a target to chase.

The American was fourth in the road race and time-trial at the London Olympics but ensured he would take a medal by finishing provisionally first with just Martin and Contador, who was out of contention, behind him on the road.

Aerodynamism: Martin gets his head down in the saddle on the time trial course

Aerodynamism: Martin gets his head down in the saddle on the time trial course

The question was the colour of the medal but Martin powered over the Cauberg and secured victory to retain the rainbow jersey he won in Copenhagen 12 months ago.

Alberto Contador wins Vuelta a Espana title

Contador wins Vuelta title as Brit star Froome hangs on to fourth

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 9 September 2012

Alberto Contador has won the Vuelta a Espana title for the second time after he held off the challenge of Alejandro Valverde in the final stage between Cercedilla and Madrid.

The 29-year-old Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank rider maintained a one minute, 17 second advantage over his rival and fellow Spaniard in the 115-kilometre race.

Leading the way: Contador (centre) has won the Vuelta a Espana title

Leading the way: Contador (centre) has won the Vuelta a Espana title

The Tour was Contador's first since he was banned after testing positive for clenbuterol in the 2010 Tour de France.

The final leg was won by John Degenkolb – his fifth triumph in this year's competition – in two hours, 44 minutes and 57 seconds, with the German rider finishing strongly to outsprint the rest of the field.

Contador finished 54th in the 21st stage and although Valverde came sixth he will have to settle for second.

Joaquin Rodriguez finished third overall, 21 seconds behind Valverde while Britain's Chris Froome was fourth, almost nine minutes back.

Alberto Contador closes on Vuelta title as Chris Froome holds on to fourth

Contador closes on Vuelta title as Froome holds on to fourth

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UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 8 September 2012

Alberto Contador avoided any costly setbacks on the penultimate stage to all but assure himself of the Vuelta a Espana title, with Saturday's victory going to Denis Menchov.

Contador started the 20th stage with a one minute and 35 seconds lead at the top of the classification, and although his nearest challenger Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) cut the gap by 19 seconds, the Team Saxo Bank rider still boasts a significant advantage heading into the last day, which should see him claim victory.

Helping hand: Spain's Alberto Contador is pushed by supporters on the finish line of the 20th stage

Helping hand: Spain's Alberto Contador is pushed by supporters on the finish line of the 20th stage

The 29-year-old Contador is riding in his first grand tour since returning from a drug ban.

Menchov (Katusha) took the honours in the testing 170.7-kilometre ride from La Faisanera to the mountain-top finish at Bola del Mundo after charging away in the final climb to win in a time of four hours 48 minutes and 48 seconds.

The Russian, who won the Vuelta in 2005 and 2007, finished 17 seconds clear of Australian Richie Porte (Team Sky), with third place going to Belgian Kevin De Weert of Omega Pharma-Quickstep, who was 42 seconds back.

Away from the battle for the stage win, the fight for the overall crown saw Valverde and third-placed Joaquin Rodriguez both close the gap on Contador, but not significantly enough to challenge their fellow Spaniard for top spot.

Rodriguez launched an attack in the final four kilometres to finish ninth today, three minutes and 31 seconds behind Menchov, while Valverde was 10th a further 25 seconds back.

Valverde dropped Contador in the closing stages as he raced after Rodriguez in a bid to avoid losing second place in the overall classification, which he managed to do.

Heading into tomorrow's 115km final stage from Cercedilla to Madrid, Contador is one minute 16 seconds clear of Valverde as he prepares to claim his second Vuelta title, with Rodriguez one minute 37 seconds adrift.

Briton Chris Froome of Team Sky is fourth, more than 10 minutes behind Contador.

Alberto Contador retains red jersey in Vuelta a Espana

Contador keeps Vuelta red jersey as Froome remains in fourth after 18th stage

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 6 September 2012

Alberto Contador retained the red jersey in the Vuelta a Espana after Radioshack's Daniele Bennati won stage 18 to Valladolid on Thursday.

Contador, riding for Team Saxo Bank in his first grand tour since returning from a drug ban, remains a minute and 52 seconds clear of fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) after the pair were awarded the same time in the peloton.

Leading the way: Contador retained the red jersey

Leading the way: Contador retained the red jersey

But at the front of the pack, it was Italian Bennati who won the sprint for the line ahead of Team Sky's Ben Swift.

A third Spaniard, early race leader Joaquin Rodriguez, lies third in the overall standings and also sports the green jersey as points leader.

Swift's team-mate Chris Froome is fourth, almost 10 minutes off Contador's lead.

Vuelta a Espana 2012: Alberto Contador takes lead

Rodriguez loses Vuelta lead to Contador as Froome clings on to fourth place after 17th stage

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 5 September 2012

Alberto Contador of Team Saxo Bank assumed the overall lead of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday as Joaquin Rodriguez endured a dreadful 17th stage.

Rodriguez (Katusha) went into the final five legs of the 21-stage race with a healthy 28-second lead after outpacing his fellow Spaniard in Monday's gruelling mountain climb.

But his prospects of winning a first-ever major race are now in jeopardy as he struggled to attack the Collado La Hoz, a second category climb towards the finish line at Fuente De.

Seeing red: Alberto Contador retook the lead in the Vuelta on Wednesday

Seeing red: Alberto Contador retook the lead in the Vuelta on Wednesday

Gruelling: Contador was in tremendous shape on the 17th stage of the race

Gruelling: Contador was in tremendous shape on the 17th stage of the race

Pushed into third place by Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, who with Contador outsprinted chase leader Sergio Henoa (Team Sky) to the line, Rodriguez now sits two minutes and 28 seconds off the lead with four stages remaining.

Contador established his daunting one minute and 52 second lead over Valverde before getting out of his saddle to pass Henoa and solo over the line to claim the red jersey.

Following a rest day, today's 187km route began in Santander with Gabriel Rasch of FDJ-BigMat mounting an early attack.

Rodriguez was soon caught out as the peloton split at the halfway stage, just about managing to regain his place in the leading pack with Contador steadily extending his lead on the Collado La Hoz.

But Rodriguez floundered without the help of his team-mates and was totally left behind as Contador turned the Vuelta standings upside down with a searing sprint to the finish line.

Team Sky's Chris Froome remains five minutes off the pace but held on to fourth place in the overall classification on Wednesday.

Oh dear: Joaquin Rodriguez had a miserable stage and lost his lead

Oh dear: Joaquin Rodriguez had a miserable stage and lost his lead

Oh dear: Joaquin Rodriguez had a miserable stage

Joaquim Rodriguez leads Vuelta a Espana after Stage 16

Rodriguez edges closer to Vuelta title as Froome slips further back

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UPDATED:

18:32 GMT, 3 September 2012

Joaquim Rodriguez took an important step towards his first Vuelta a Espana title after claiming more ground over closest challenger Alberto Contador's in Monday's demanding 16th stage.

Contador attempted a number of breakaways over the arduous 20-kilometre final climb but it was his fellow Spaniard who snuck away at the end to extend his overall lead by six seconds.

Rodriguez now lead by 28secs from Contador with five stages remaining before next Sunday's finish into Madrid.

Leading the way: Rodriguez held off the challenge of Contador

Leading the way: Rodriguez held off the challenge of Contador

Leading the way: Rodriguez held off the challenge of Contador

Dario Cataldo won Monday's 185km stage from Gijon to Cuitu Negro, which contained four special category climbs, after he and Thomas de Gendt embarked on an early successful breakaway.

The pair opened up a 15-minute gap with 88km left and were allowed to battle it out as the race for the red jersey went on behind them.

Cataldo, 27, proved too strong for De Gendt, holding off a late charge over the sapping final climb to claim the most memorable success of his career.

Rodriguez was two mins 39 secs further back, while Team Sky's Chris Froome lost further ground to be fourth overall and almost five minutes off the pace.

Chris Froome slips back in Vuelta a Espana as Joaquin Rodriguez strengthens lead

Froome slips back in Spain as Rodriguez strengthens lead with stage win

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UPDATED:

17:34 GMT, 30 August 2012

Joaquin Rodriguez landed a psychological blow on his closest rivals Alberto Contador and Britain's Chris Froome as he won the 12th stage of the Vuelta a Espana to extend his lead on Thursday.

Rodriguez, who began the day a single second ahead of Contador, was left in a head-to-head with his fellow Spaniard after they broke away from the peloton in the closing stages of the 12th stage.

Leading the way: Rodriguez extended the gap back to Contador

Leading the way: Rodriguez extended the gap back to Contador

It was the red jersey holder who pulled away, however, to secure a potentially decisive success and increase his lead to 13 seconds – albeit with with nine stages still remaining.

Team Sky’s Froome saw his bid suffer a setback as he crossed in fifth which, while good enough to keep him in third overall, saw him slip 51secs off the pace.

The riders will enjoy a sedate day in the saddle on Friday with the relatively flat 173km trip from Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol before three crucial mountain stages.

Froome to manouevre: The Brit is back in third place

Froome to manouevre: The Brit is back in third place

Chris Froome 15 seconds off Vuelta leader Joaquim Rodriguez

Froome pushed back into third in Vuelta standings but gap to leader Rodriguez down to 15 seconds

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 29 August 2012

Chris Froome finished third as Joaquim Rodriguez saw his lead of the Vuelta a Espana cut to a single second after the 11th stage time-trial in west Galicia.

Albert Contador produced the second best time of the day, behind surprise winner Fredrik Kessiakoff, to elevate him up to second and just behind the red jersey.

On the charge: Froome (left) leads Contador and the breakaway group

On the charge: Froome (left) leads Contador and the breakaway group

Team Sky's Froome remains in contention 16 seconds off the pace after an impressive performance on the hilly 39.4km course from Cambados to Pontevedrato.

Rodriguez had feared the chasing pack would close on him but he produced a gutsy performance to cross in the seventh best time and cling onto his lead.

Kessiakoff claimed the stage win after posting a time of 52mins 36secs with Contador 17s adrift.