Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

By
From page B3 | July 23, 2014 |

By Jamey Keaten

BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal of doping suspicions won Stage 16 in a downhill breakaway.

Riding in his 10th Tour, three-time world champion Michael Rogers of Australia won his first Tour stage behind savvy racing, well-paced riding and the absence of his Tinkoff-Saxo Bank leader Alberto Contador. The Spaniard crashed out in Stage 10, inadvertently freeing up Rogers to go after the stage win.

Race leader Vincenzo Nibali was still descending from the day’s biggest climb, the Porte de Bales, as Rogers crossed and finished 8-1/2 minutes later. But the Italian looks even more likely to win the three-week race on Sunday after keeping pace with possible contenders for the yellow jersey, and gaining time on two others.

One of the laggards was Tejay van Garderen. Unable to keep pace on the Port de Bales, the 25-year-old American was more than 3-1/2 minutes after Nibali. Van Garderen only slipped a spot in the standings, to sixth, but the gap to the rider ahead of him grew. The other laggard was France’s Romain Bardet, who finished nearly two minutes back of Nibali.

Thibaut Pinot, however, kept pace with Nibali and replaced Bardet as France’s top podium hopeful: He rose to third.

For the second straight year, the race’s entree to the Pyrenees has dented Van Garderen’s podium ambitions.

“It’s definitely disappointing,” the American said outside his BMC team bus. “I had high hopes for a podium and now it looks like it’s taken a big hit … I just didn’t have the legs, I felt a bit empty.”

“I’m just hoping I can bounce back and have a better day tomorrow.”

A year ago, the Montana native lost more than 10 minutes to the main contenders, including Chris Froome who went on to win that Tour, as they rode up to the Ax 3 Domaines ski station on Stage 8. The year before, in his Tour debut, he lost seconds in the title quest during two Pyrenean stages, but still finished fifth overall and took home the white jersey given to the race’s best young rider.

For Rogers, the 237.5-kilometer (147-mile) leg from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon — the longest stage this year — was one of vindication and overdue Tour glory. He took a bow as he crossed the line.

“Every cyclist’s dream is to win a stage at the Tour de France,” said Rogers, who also won two stages on Italy’s Giro this year. “I can’t describe the joy I felt in the last 500 meters … I hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years to experience it again.”

Rogers came close not to riding in the Giro or the Tour at all.

In a ruling in April, the International Cycling Union accepted that meat Rogers ate in China last year probably caused his positive doping test at the Japan Cup shortly afterward. He convinced the UCI that he had not intended to cheat, and said the episode was “a very difficult time” for his family.

Rogers was suspended after that positive test. Underscoring the pressure, Cycling Australia said at the time that it would seek a maximum two-year ban if he had been found guilty of doping.

He knew the effects of clenbuterol, which helps to build muscle and burn fat, on riders’ careers. Contador lost his 2010 Tour title and served a two-year ban after testing positive for it in the final week of that race. The Spaniard also argued that ingested it through food, but lost his case.

After the UCI ruling in his own case, Rogers said Tuesday he returned with “a different outlook on life … Sometimes you need a lesson in life to see the silver lining in the cloud.”

Rogers might not have had a chance to win a Tour stage if Contador were still racing this year, because his job would have been more of a support rider. Once the Spaniard crashed out, the team’s Plan B was to aim for stage victories.

“I can be grateful, but I’m also very heartbroken that Alberto’s not here,” Rogers said.

As the day began, a breakaway group of 21 riders came together over the first two hours and stuck together for much of the day, chiseling out a lead of more than 12 minutes. Their unity disintegrated on the 12-kilometer Port de Bales, which is considered so hard that it’s beyond classification in cycling’s ranking system.

In its steepest patch, the gradient reached 11 percent. Rogers was in a bunch of five riders that came together in the final descent, and he stepped on the accelerator with less than 5 kilometers (3.2 miles) left.

After Tuesday, Nibali leads second-place Alejandro Valverde of Spain by 4 minutes, 37 seconds, and Pinot is 5:06 back. French veteran Jean-Christophe Peraud is fourth, at 6:08, and Bardet is 6:40 behind. Van Garderen is 9:25 adrift.

It was just an appetizer for the Pyrenees, with uphill finishes to follow on Wednesday and Thursday. Aside from the time trial to come, Stage 17 starting in Saint-Gaudens will be the shortest stage of this year’s race, at 124.5 kilometers (77 miles). It features three hard Category 1 climbs, and an ascent to the Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet ski station.

The final big test will come in the 54-kilometer (33.6-mile) time trial on Saturday, which is expected to determine the final result for a largely ceremonial ride for the yellow jersey a day later on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

 
Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

 
Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

 
We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

 
From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

 
Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8