Movistar dismiss rumour that Nairo Quintana could leave in 2018

Stories surfaced in the Colombian press on Wednesday linking the Colombian to Sky or Astana

Nairo Quintana won’t be set for a shock switch to Movistar rivals, Team Sky, says team boss Eusebio Unzue, after it was alleged that he was contemplating his future at the Spanish team.

>>> WorldTour transfer rumours: Aru deciding between Astana and UAE, Contador set to stay at Trek

As reported by Colombian news outlet, RCN Radio, Quintana is eyeing up a move to either Team Sky or Astana after a tough year that has seen him underperform in the Giro d’Italia and now the Tour de France.

“Nairo is with two folders on his desk, an Astana folder and another on Sky. He is studying those two themes that are heating up, because the environment in the Movistar is quite complex” the sports program reported.

The news of the rider’s departure from Movistar won’t come as a surprise after his family publicly came out against the idea to ride both the Giro and the Tour.

“Colombians are protesting because of what they (Movistar) are asking Nairo to do,” Luis Quintana, his father, told Colombian outlet Radio Caracol.

“He shouldn’t have ridden the Giro if they were taking him to the Tour.”

However, Movistar manager, Eusebio Unzue was quick to quash rumours. “It’s not true that Nairo is leaving the team. His contract ends in 2019. He’s a big champion but he’s also human,” he told reporters at the Tour de France.

The Colombian’s performance at this year’s Tour de France has been subject to criticism as he sits 6-16 down on the yellow jersey. Criticism that will sting after a losing out on the Giro d’Italia crown despite having led the race on the last day.

The Tour continues today as rider’s take on stage 17 from La Mure to Serre-Chevalier.


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Marcel Kittel and Steve Cummings caught in Tour de France crash on stage 17 (video)

Marcel Kittel caught up in crash as his green jersey gets tattered; British rider Steve Cummings ends up in a field at start of high mountain stage

Marcel Kittel‘s position in the green jersey of points classification leader suffered a setback at the start of stage 17 of the 2017 Tour de France after the German was involved in a crash.

Kittel was one of a number of riders felled in the incident at the back of the peloton after just 20km, which also took down British rider Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) and mountains classification leader Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb).

Kittel suffered scuff and cuts to his right shoulder in the fall, and was left to make his own way back up to the peloton after the incident. Immediately after the crash, his green jersey rival and the previous day’s stage winner Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) was part of a large 30+ rider escape group.

Television pictures showed that Cummings suffered a rip across the back of his shorts, revealed quite a bit of his lower physique. He later had the rip tidied up with some safety pins.

All riders remounted and got back into the race.

The incident served to shake up the peloton early in the high mountains stage which features four classified climbs, including the category one Col du Télégraphe and hors categorie Col du Galibier.

A battle between the general classification contenders is expected, as well as a fight for both green jersey points and mountains points.


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Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc – What you need to know about Pinarello’s disc brake upgrade

Here’s what you need to know about the Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc, the surprising update from the Italian company

In a surprising move, Italian brand Pinarello has announced that it’ll supply a new Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc bike.

The bike first appeared on the UCI approved bike list, before being confirmed by Pinarello itself in a press release.

The core design of the bike looks to remain the same, keeping that same Pinarello shape but the company has made some minor changes to adopt the new standards.

>>> 2018 Trek Émonda: Wide tyres, disc brakes and a featherweight on the scales

The seat tube of the Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc

Somethings of a surprising turn by the Italian company

Fausto Pinarello has previously announced that the company isn’t interested in disc brakes, believing that a high-end performance bike shouldn’t need them. Such an abrupt u-turn, then, is a little surprising, but it’s for good reasons.

Of course, the most notable being that the market “is becoming mature”, and the time is right for Pinarello to enter it.

Despite the increased aerodynamic drag, aesthetically, it’s very appealing for Pinarello, as discs allow the designers to clean up the front and rear ends, getting rid of the cables.


Watch: Pinarello Dogma F10 review


Elsewhere, the Onda fork has been adapted for the more powerful stoppers and the addition of a 12mm thru-axle, as well as some little “fork flaps” (Pinarello’s words, not ours) which should help increase airflow.

As has become standard on disc brake bikes, the rear end is tied together by a 12x142mm thru-axle.

>>> Tour de France bikes: Chris Froome’s Pinarello Dogma F10 (video)

Everywhere else, the frame appears to be business as usual. It has the same concave down tube, as well as the asymmetric bottom bracket, and flat back seat stays of the original F10. The bottom bracket is also still threaded rather than press fit.

According to the company, the bike will be available from a 44cm through to a 62cm, and in five different colours: Mars Orange, Black on Black, Black Lava, Red Magma and Team Sky.


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‘My legs look tired’: Tour de France rider Pawel Poljanski posts photo of veined limbs

Photo of Bora-Hansgrohe rider Pawel Poljanski’s legs goes viral after he posts it to Instagram after riding Tour de France stage 16

Pawel Poljanski may spend his days working hard as a largely unseen domestique for his Bora-Hansgrohe team at the 2017 Tour de France, but he found fame on Tuesday after posting a photograph of his legs online.

The Polish pro snapped a photograph of his veined legs and posted it on Instagram, saying “After sixteen stages I think my legs look little tired“.

The photo was soon being shared all over social media, with a predictably wide variety of responses from disgust to admiration.

>>> Tour de France 2017: Latest news, reports and race info

“One paper cut and you’re dead,” joked one user.

“Can’t make out if it’s legs or a roadmap?” said another.

“Wow that’s dedication. Looks painful. Keep going, I have been watching every night. Awesome work guys,” was one more supportive remark.

Others were more concerned with his tan lines: “What’s worse, those legs or your farmer tan?”

Poljanski is not alone among professional cyclists in having prominent veins in their legs, a by-product of a vascular system that has to deal with the effort of racing for four to six hours, or more, a day.

Canadian pro rider Antoine Duchesne posted a similar photo of his legs prior to the 2017 Tour, although he was ultimately not selected to ride in the race by his French Direct Energie team.

And in 2014, Polish rider Bartosz Huzarksi caused a similar stir on social media by posting a photo of his veined legs after after stage 18 of that year’s Tour.

Poljanski and his legs now face a tough challenge at the 2017 Tour, with two gruelling mountain stages in the Alps.

The 27-year-old currently lies in 75th place overall, just under two hours adrift of Froome. That makes him the second-placed in his team on general classification after German Emanuel Buchmann in 16th.

The Bora-Hansgrohe team had largely built itself around the points classification aims of world champion Peter Sagan, but had to refocus after Sagan was disqualified on stage four as a result of an incident with Mark Cavendish in the bunch sprint.

The 2017 Tour de France concludes in Paris on Sunday, July 23.


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Chris Froome: These next two days are the biggest of the Tour de France

The defending champion says much of the race will be decided on the slopes of the Col du Galibier and the summit finish to the Col d’Izoard

Chris Froome says the 2017 Tour de France classification men are facing the biggest days so far, Wednesday and Thursday, over the Col du Galibier and the Col d’Izoard summit finishes.

Stage 17 tomorrow climbs to 2,642 metres over the Galibier and descends 28 kilometres down to Serre Chevalier. The 18th stage, for the first time in Tour history, finishes on top of the Col d’Izoard at 2,360 metres.

>>> Alberto Contador uncertain about Tour de France return in 2018

Making the days more intense, only 29 seconds separate the top four. Team Sky’s Froome leads Fabio Aru (Astana) by 18 seconds, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) by 23 and Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac) by 29.

“I believe these next two days are the biggest consecutive days in this Tour de France,” the three-time Tour victor told press after a wind-swept day to Romans-sur-Isère on Tuesday.

The Tour favourites are still locked together by the tightest of margins (Sunada)

“It’s hard to say how selective they are going to be or if it will be the case the four of us within a half minute chasing each others’ shadows, or if it its going to get blown open.”

Aru, Bardet and Urán will want to blow it up or risk losing the Tour on the final testing day on Saturday, the 22.5-kilometre trial in Marseille. That stage suits Froome over the others.

“None of the four of us knows how it’ll go,” Aru said on the rest day. “We are all more or less on the same level in the time trials, so you will be treated to a big show on these mountain days ahead, stages 17 and 18. There will be many attacks.”

In Froome’s favour, his Basque team-mate Mikel Landa sits fifth overall at 1-17 minutes.

“Landa and I are both feeling well,” Froome said. “My goal this season was to be that way in the third week, and I’m looking forward to these next days now in the Alps.

“I think tomorrow is going to be a race for us to control. Our guys are feeling good, we had a great recovery, we didn’t have to do much riding today expect for the final. We are just looking to the next days, especially in the Alps.”

He worries about the 30-year-old Colombian and former Sky rider, Urán. He finished twice already in the Giro d’Italia.


Watch: A guide to the Col d’Izoard


“We are all within 30 seconds, if we all went into the time trial as we are now, Rigoberto Urán would be the most dangerous given he’s the best time triallist in that group, but given that, we have to see how he gets through the next stages.”

Froome survived a hectic stage 16 where winds blew strongly through the Rhône Valley.

Sunweb exploded the race early for a sprint win by Michael Matthews and Sky, with 16 kilometres remaining, initiated a split that caught Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) off guard.

“It was quite a challenging stage, with the selection coming not long after that climb, meant that the GC guys were far up in the front and ready for that split,” Froome added.

“A few guys got caught out, Dan Martin especially because his team-mates were back with Marcel Kittel.”


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Alberto Contador uncertain about Tour de France return in 2018

The two-time winner of the Tour de France has suffered through the 2017 edition with a stage win his best hope of success in the final week

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) could close a long and successful career in the Tour de France in the final stage in Paris on Sunday, says sports director Steven De Jongh.

Contador hoped to ride for the overall in the 2017 Tour de France having won the race twice in his career, but crashes have held back the 34-year-old from Madrid.

>>> Rigoberto Uran: Chris Froome is right to see me as a threat for Tour de France victory

“Maybe he just rides the Giro d’Italia next year, but much depends on the outcome of this Tour,” De Jongh told Dutch media NOS. “I knew that he very much wants to win a stage to say goodbye to France.”

Contador won the 2007 and 2009 Tours and had the 2010 title stripped due to an anti-doping violation.

Cycling Weekly learned that Segafredo, the Italian coffee co-sponsor, asked Contador to race the Giro d’Italia when he extended his contract for 2018. Neither the contract extension nor race plan has been announced yet.

“Next year, thinking about the Tour de France, we will have to think about what the important objectives are,” Contador told Cycling Weekly.

“It’s too early to speak about next year now. I think we need to wait a little bit. In this moment, it is important we concentrate on the next week to come.”



Contador wants to win one of the next two stages in the Alps, Wednesday’s stage over the Col du Galibier and the following day’s difficult summit finish to the Col d’Izoard.

“The Tour didn’t start very well for me this year with many crashes I lost opportunities for the GC. Now the only thing we can do is fight to the final for stage or something special in the Tour de France,” he added.

“It’s important for me of course. It’s not easy because I do not have many opportunities. For the other part, I think that if I can do a good stage, maybe if I even don’t take the victory, that can still be important and memorable.”

The American WorldTour team is said to be leading the Tour next year with Bauke Mollema. The Dutchman rode high in the overall classification in 2016 and won a stage on Sunday.

“Clearly what I’ve always said with a star like Contador, the athlete needs to decide,” the team’s general manager Luca Guercilena said of Contador’s future.

“A sports director always tries to anticipate the plans coming up so it’s normal, but Steven knows that it’s always the cyclist who will make the plans for the year.

“We have not yet spoken with Alberto because we just want to concentrate on these final stages.”


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Nearly four hours behind Chris Froome: Dan McLay’s daily battle to make the time cut

Dan McLay is ill and has finished last in the two most recent Tour de France stages.

British rider Dan McLay has admitted that he didn’t think he would beat the time cut on stage 15 of the Tour de France – and he doesn’t know how he’ll fare in the Alps this week.

The Fortuneo-Oscaro sprinter finished over 38 minutes behind race winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) in Le Puy-en-Velay, and on stage 16 was dead last yet again.

He is the current lanterne rouge, three hours and 50 minutes behind race leader Chris Froome, with fellow Brit Luke Rowe (Team Sky) the next worst placed rider, 18 minutes ahead of him.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly before stage 16, McLay said that he is dealing with illness: “I’m struggling a little bit. I feel like I am getting a little bit sick right now but I will try and make it through. I just a feel a bit knackered, to be honest.”

>>> Five talking points from stage 16 of the Tour de France

With the Alps coming up in the next two stages, McLay appreciates that he could be fighting off the chasing broom wagon yet again, a situation he has found himself in in each of the last two days of racing.

“I struggle anywhere when it goes up hill and I think not feeling 100 percent, it makes it a little harder.

“Days in the mountains are harder for me. It’s a bit stressed at the end of a sprint day, but at least you’re racing for something. These days are long days in your head.

“I can’t tell you how I’ll ride [in the Alps]. I don’t know the answers.”


Watch: Tour de France stage 16 highlights


After stage 15, the Leicestershire-raised 25-year-old, who finished third on a stage of the 2016 Tour, got straight on the team bus without talking to journalists such was his tiredness.

Reflecting on his solo ride through the Massif Central, he said: “It was a long day mentally and I was on my own since the first climb of the day.

“I just kept riding and to be honest I thought I wouldn’t make it [the time cut] but thankfully I did.”

At the start of stage 16, McLay was presented with a red lantern by a Belgian journalist, a gift which the Brit didn’t appreciate. But he said: “I’d rather be last than not here.”

For now, McLay remains in the Tour.


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Lanterne rouge incumbent Dan McLay ill and unsure if he’ll make it through the Alps

Dan McLay is ill and has finished last in the two most recent Tour de France stages.

British rider Dan McLay has admitted that he didn’t think he would beat the time cut on stage 15 of the Tour de France – and he doesn’t know how he’ll fare in the Alps this week.

The Fortuneo-Oscaro sprinter finished over 38 minutes behind race winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) in Le Puy-en-Velay, and on stage 16 was dead last yet again.

He is the current lanterne rouge, with fellow Brit Luke Rowe (Team Sky) 18 minutes ahead of him.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly before stage 16, McLay said that he is dealing with illness: “I’m struggling a little bit. I feel like I am getting a little bit sick right now but I will try and make it through. I just a feel a bit knackered, to be honest.”

With the Alps coming up in the next two stages, McLay appreciates that he could be fighting off the chasing broom wagon yet again, a situation he has found himself in in each of the last two days of racing.

“I struggle anywhere when it goes up hill and I think not feeling 100 percent, it makes it a little harder.

“Days in the mountains are harder for me. It’s a bit stressed at the end of a sprint day, but at least you’re racing for something. These days are long days in your head.

“I can’t tell you how I’ll ride [in the Alps]. I don’t know the answers.”

After stage 15, the Leicestershire-raised 25-year-old, who finished third on a stage of the 2016 Tour, refused to comment to the media such was his tiredness.

Reflecting on his solo ride through the Massif Central, he said: “It was a long day mentally and I was on my own since the first climb of the day.

“I just kept riding and to be honest I thought I wouldn’t make it [the time cut] but thankfully I did.”

At the start of stage 16, McLay was presented with a red lantern by a Belgian journalist, to which he wasn’t so impressed with. But he said: “I’d rather be last and not here.” For now, McLay remains in the Tour.


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George Bennett on abandoning Tour de France: “You can’t describe it, it sucks

LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett says that he will look at to race the Vuelta a España after man flu caused him to abandon the Tour de France

LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett is “devastated” that he has been forced to abandon the Tour de France with a “serious case of man flu”.

The New Zealand-born rider was sitting in 12th position at the beginning of stage 16, over six minutes minutes off leader Chris Froome (Team Sky).

He started to get ill on Sunday’s stage to Le Puy-en-Velay, and his condition worsened during yesterday’s rest day, when he was unable to eat solid food. He started today’s stage but unpinned his numbers early on.

“I’m devastated to leave,” the 27-year-old said. “I dedicated everything to this race. I spent however many months of my life sitting at the top of the mountain and I’m going home.

>>> Dan Martin’s hopes of winning Tour de France ‘probably over’ after losing time in crosswinds

“It wasn’t a nice moment [when he quit]. Sitting on the side of the road, you don’t roll into Paris with the planes flying over your head, you get in a team car and get on a plane home to Girona.

“One of the worst things you can do as a bike racer is to leave a bike race, and the Tour de France… you can’t describe it, it sucks.

Stage 16 of the Tour de France highlights

“That’s part of the job and I knew that when I came here. You have crazy highs and crazy lows. You just have to keep your feet on the ground and put it into perspective. I’ve still had an amazing few weeks here.”

Bennett hoped that he would be able to ride to the finish of stage 16 in Romans-sur-Isère without losing any time to his general classification rivals, but he quickly realised that wouldn’t be possible.

>>> Michael Matthews unhappy after being ‘grabbed’ by John Degenkolb in post-race spat (video)

“At kilometre 0.1, when it was straight out of the blocks, I already knew I was in trouble,” he said. “I hoped for a miracle that it would be a day I could get through and survive for the mountains.

“We said I should ride as long as I could, but in the end you start doing serious damage and it’s really dangerous to race when you have a fever.

“On Sunday I noticed I had a fever on the stage. I really struggled and had to drag myself over the hills.

“On the rest day I woke up thinking I was OK, but in the afternoon, I couldn’t even eat dinner so they made me a milkshake.

>>> Dave Brailsford: Team Sky have an advantage in the Alps, but Tour could come down to the Champs-Élysées

“I’m sorry to everyone who has backed me, but that’s bike racing. There’s plenty more of them and you have got to remind yourself it’s just a bike race.”

Bennett now hopes to ride San Sebastian at the of the month, before possibly targeting another top-10 in the Vuelta a España, where his best result was tenth on GC in 2016.

“I hope I can be back for San Sebastian,” he confirmed. “The Vuelta is definitely on the radar now, so I’ll see if I can recover from this one first. But I still have a serious case of man flu.”


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Michael Matthews unhappy after being ‘grabbed’ by John Degenkolb in post-race spat (video)

Degenkolb apparently upset with Matthews’ sprint on stage 16 of the Tour de France

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) has registered his discontent after a spat with Tour de France stage 16 runner up John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) after the finish in Romans-sur-Isère.

A video shortly after the finish line, where the Australian won ahead of Degenkolb by a wheel’s length, shows the incident, which will not be digested well at a Tour de France that has already saw Peter Sagan disqualified for irregular sprinting.

The footage shows Degenkolb ride up from behind on the right and appear to strike Matthews on the back of the head and left ear.

“I was waiting for the result and he grabbed me on the way past,” Matthews said. “The officials saw it. We’ll see what the officials will do about it. I don’t think it’s very sportsmanlike.”

In the jury post-stage press release, Degenkolb failed to appear with other violations, including four riders fined 100 Swiss Francs for sticky bottles.

The UCI jury, ever-vigilant after the stage four Sagan incident, could still decide on the newly emerged footage. In 2010, when Carlos Barredo attacked Rui Costa after the finish, the jury fined them 400 Swiss Francs each, with Barredo also receiving a two month ban at the start of the 2011 season.

>>> Five talking points from stage 16 of the Tour de France

Trek-Segafredo lodged a complained against Matthews’s sprint, saying that the Australian nudged the German sprinter in the final metres of Tuesday’s stage, a charge that Matthews rejected.

“From my perspective, I don’t think I did anything wrong. I didn’t change my line, I sprinted in a straight line,” Matthews responded.

“I’m not sure what was wrong with Degenkolb, but that’s up to him.”


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