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Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) won the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
Gallopin attacked on the descent of the final categorized climb of the day, and then was joined by three others from the peloton.
With 2.5km left to race, Gallopin attacked again and rode solo the rest of the way. He crossed the finish line just seconds ahead of the speeding peloton. It was the second win for Lotto, as Andre Greipel captured victory in stage 6.
“Incredible! Thanks to my family and to the confidence that my team is giving me,” Gallopin said. “Two stages? It’s just amazing. I knew that if it came down to the bunch sprint, I wouldn’t win, so I decided to take a long attack. I chose the right moment.”
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) remains in the race lead.
The stage began on an odd note, with two riders — Lars Boom (Belkin) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) — suffering from punctures in the neutral zone. The peloton was ordered to wait for them as their team mechanics put on new wheels.
When the stage officially got under way a short time later, a few small attacks were immediately launched. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was the most notable rider to make a move, and he rode solo at the front of the race for 4km until he was caught 17km into the race.
The peloton then rode together until the 28km mark, when Martin Elminger (IAM Cycling) launched ahead of the field. He was quickly joined by Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne). The trio built a lead of nearly 7 minutes before the peloton began to clamp down and chip away at their lead.
Elminger eventually found himself alone at the front, on the slopes of the first Cat. 3 climb with 47.5km left. About 10km later, he was joined by four others: Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Jesus Herrada (Movistar), and Cyril Gautier (Europcar).
But the fivesome’s effort also failed, as they were all reeled in late in the race.
The Tour resumes with Thursday’s stage 12, a 185.5km trek from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne with four categorized climbs.
BESANCON, France (VN) — The era when the Schleck brothers dominated the Tour de France is clearly over.
With the sun setting on the Schleck brothers, Trek Factory Racing is on the hunt for replacement GC contenders to carry the team into 2015 and beyond.
“It’s no secret that we are looking for GC riders,” Trek manager Luca Guercilena said before the start of Wednesday’s stage. “For sure we need to be stronger in the GC next year.”
Andy Schleck, 29, who’s struggled with form since a devastating crash in the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné, started the Tour with no GC ambitions, instead slotting into a helper’s role. He crashed out in stage 3 with a possible career-ending knee injury.
Frank Schleck, 34, who returned to competition this year following a one-year ban for a failed anti-doping test during the 2012 Tour, lost his podium chances in the first week of this Tour, starting Wednesday’s stage 11 in 25th overall, at 11:51 back.
With the Schlecks languishing, Trek is looking to sign new talent to develop for the future.
One rider linked to Trek is Dutch all-rounder Bauke Mollema, currently under contract with Belkin through the end of this season. Dutch media have reported that the Mollema deal is done, and another source confirmed to VeloNews that Mollema is set to join Trek next season.
With Belkin’s sponsorship future in doubt, other big names, such as Wilco Kelderman and Sep Vanmarcke, have been linked to moves to other teams.
Guercilena said he is obligated by UCI rules to not reveal new signings until August 1, but confirmed that the team is interested in Mollema.
“We are interested in him, just like other teams are,” he said. “He is the type of rider who would fit into our program, and I think he could improve with us, but we cannot say anything until August 1.”
Guercilena confirmed the team is looking at “many riders” and said, despite many of the top Tour contenders under contract, “there are a few interesting riders on the market.”
Those comments confirm that Trek is turning the page on the Schleck era.
Since the team’s founding in 2011 as Leopard-Trek, the Schleck brothers were the centerpiece of the team’s Tour ambitions. After becoming the first brothers in Tour history to share the podium, with Andy second to Cadel Evans and Frank third in 2011, both have gone off the rails.
Andy crashed in the 2012 Dauphiné, forcing him to miss that year’s Tour, only to return in 2013 to finish career-worst 20th at the Tour. Some have questioned Schleck’s work ethic, including former team boss Johan Bruyneel, who tried to rattle his cage during the 2012 season.
Frank, meanwhile, tested positive for the diuretic xipamide, and was kicked out of the race. After serving a reduced one-year ban, Leopard did not take him back in the 2013 season, and he returned to racing at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under.
Both are at the end of their contracts, and reportedly took major pay cuts in the 2014 season.
“It’s a question of results,” Guercilena said about the Schlecks. “Trek has invested a lot in this program, and it’s obvious the team needs to be present in the general classification in the major races.”
Guercilena confirmed that both riders are at the end of their contracts this season, but would not reveal if they are staying with the team next year.
“For Andy, first we have to take care of his health before making a real diagnosis for the future. Until that, we cannot say anything,” Guercilena said. “Frank is performing quite OK. He’s on his level, and he’s interesting for us.”
Those comments suggest that Frank could stay with the team but that Andy’s future is far from certain. The brothers, however, have said before that they would never race on separate teams. Of course, there is no guarantee that Andy will be able to return from his injury, opening the door for Frank to continue racing without his brother at his side.
The uncertainty of their futures reveals just how far the Schlecks have fallen from their pinnacle.
As Trek looks to the future, Guercilena also confirmed that the team is sticking with its international posture when it comes to signing riders. Matthew Busche is the only American rider on the U.S.-registered team.
“We want to be an international team, not just an American team,” he said.
The post Schleck era winding down as Trek hunts for new GC riders appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- Is anyone doing this ride? It is mid September, runs 7 days, put on by their state parks dept.
I am interested in carpooling. Please contact if you are going
- For Sale:
Cannondale Flash 29er 1 MTB
Bike is stock as listed in the link with the exception of swapping the tires for a Maxxis Ignitor in the front and a Maxxis Crossmark in the back.
Price: $900 without pedals
I have some older Crank Brothers Candy pedals which I will throw in for another $40.
- Randy Inglis, who passed away on July 15, served for over five years as USA Cyclingand#39;s Northeast Regional Coordinator.
Both Ontario racers hope to defend titles in their home province
Contact points are key to happiness on the bike. We don’t need to beat that horse, which is clearly already dead, but the point remains: happy hands, bum, and feet make for happy riding. After eight months in Shimano’s flagship mountain bike shoe, the XC90, my feet are still happy.
The price is high, with a suggested retail of $370, but the shoes are top-shelf Shimano, on par with its famous XTR line, and that kind of performance will cost you.
If I’m going into the backcountry or the mountain park with a big group of guys, I grab something with a Vibram sole, such as the Giro Terraduro. If I’m riding by myself, or doing a training ride with minimal stops, I grab the XC90s. They’re a cross country shoe, more at home clipped in than trudging back up to try the tough line again.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the XC90 doesn’t appear to be named using Shimano’s usual random number and letter generator (Care for a pair of WH-9000-C24-CLs, anyone?). XC90 is a much cleaner name and easy to remember. The next thing that you’ll notice is the middle velcro strap. It’s backwards. But more on that later.
Heat-molded for a better fit
Out of the box, the XC90s are relatively light, 380g per shoe, and are heat-moldable at your nearest Shimano shoe dealer. Do not try to heat mold them in your oven.
The heat molding process does take some time, as the insoles must be molded separate from the shoe, so it’s a four-step process, assuming you get everything dialed on the first try. It may take multiple attempts to make them just right. It’s okay to remold them, and though we don’t recommend doing it once a week, you could remold them once a season to adjust to any minute changes to your feet. Thank you to Peloton Cycles North, in Fort Collins, Colorado, for helping us mold up these samples.
If your retailer does not have a Shimano shoe-molding oven, the shoes can be worn without molding, and this set was worn for weeks without any issue. Once molded, however, I was happy I took the time. The shoes went from simply comfortable to tailored, like a good suit.
Built for pedaling
Shimano’s Dynalast sole is stiff. Maybe too stiff for some, but as a flagship cross-country shoe they are just right. For those looking for a sole with a bit more give, check out something like Pearl Izumi’s X-Factor shoes. Similarly, if you’re the kind of rider who spends a bit of time walking in your mountain bike shoes, look elsewhere.
However, the XC90 soles have surprisingly grippy polyurethane lugs, given that they are just bits of plastic rather than soft rubber. They held up decently over the past eight months, and do well at concealing and protecting the carbon sole. Where the carbon sole is exposed, at the toe, and at the cleat mount, the carbon, while beat up, isn’t cracked or delaminating.
The buckle system is the same as that used on Shimano’s road shoes, though the Velcro system is new. The buckle should be built a bit stronger, as it loosened a click or two during long rides.
The Velcro straps are secure. The reversed middle strap took a little getting used to, but it’s clever. It feels as though the shoe is being pulled together from each side, similar to a lace-up shoe.
Shimano’s last has a toe box that’s a bit on the roomier side, and overall, the XC90 fits well on an average-shaped foot. I sized down as a result, picking a 42 when I normally ride a 42.5 in Sidi, Giro, and Specialized shoes.
The heel cup is secure, but not particularly well cushioned. Its material is similar to mohair, like that used on backcountry ski climbing skins. The heel cup material allows your foot to slide in, but bites on to your sock a bit when you pull up against it. Once again, a clever little detail. Still, I wish there was a bit more padding back there.
I expect that the XC90s will be my go-to this fall during cyclocross, which is where these shoes first made waves, as riders like Niels Albert, Marianne Vos, and Lars van der Haar wore a vibrant blue version of the XC90. Unfortunately, that blue is only available in Europe, so all of us on this side of the Atlantic will have to slum it in the mostly black version. I may spring for a second pair of XC90’s ahead of ’cross season in a 42.5, so that I can wear a thicker sock during the winter. Hopefully Shimano releases the all-blue version in the US before then.
The XC90′s suggested retail is $370, which puts them in the same price range as the Sidi Spider SRS, but a savvy buyer can find the XC90s, which are now nearly a year old, on sale for far less. Be sure to keep in mind that if you decide to get the shoes heat-molded, and you didn’t purchase them from your local Shimano Dynalast shoe retailer, you may incur extra charges for the molding service.
MSRP: $370 — but can be found for far less
Pros: Incredibly efficient pedaling platform and comfort
Cons: Buckle could be burlier, and the shoe needs more padding in the heel cup
- Just bought a Trek Madone and am looking to upgrade the crankset from Rival to Force. Also looking to pick up an ANT+ sensor and/or computer. Let me know what you have. Pictures are preferred.