Archive for the ‘Bike’ Category

Gerro pulls out of Tour de France

Posted: July 23, 2014 by JonoShmono "SykOse. Live. Extreme." in Bike, Endurance cycling, News, Road cycling

Australian to take a break prior to next season goals

Although he had hoped to repeat his stage win of twelve months ago and was yet to do so, Simon Gerrans has taken the decision to withdraw from this year’s Tour de France. The Australian rider completed stage 16 in the Pyrenees but will not take the start of Wednesday’s 17th stage.

“Obviously it’s disappointing not to complete the Tour de France and make it to Paris,” Gerrans said in a team announcement.

He crashed on the opening day of the Tour and said that this is the reason why he will call it a day. “With the injuries I have from stage one I think the best decision is actually to stop now and completely recover.

“I know I haven’t been 100% right since my crash but I was hoping to improve throughout the race. That hasn’t really been the case so I have been putting on a brave face and doing what I can each day.”

Gerrans won the Australian national championship title at the start of the year and then took the Santos Tour Down Under. In April he landed one of the biggest wins of his career when he triumphed in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

He wants to perform strongly in other events, and told CyclingTips before the Tour started that he intended targeting the world road race championships in Ponferrada, Spain.

He confirmed today that he has unspecified ambitions for the next few months. “I have some big goals in the second half of the season and if I am going to perform to meet these objectives I really need to make sure my health is 100% right,” he stated.

Directeur sportif Matt White said that a break was important for Gerrans. “Obviously everyone is aware that Simon injured himself quite badly on stage one,” he stated.

“He has done very well to get this far in the Tour and give it his all on numerous days for the team to try and get some results, but he is clearly not at 100%.

“The only way he is going to regain his full fitness, his full health, is to go home and have a rest. He is not going to recover finishing off these last few days.”




Manon Carpenter is just one of the stars scheduled to start in Llangollen

Excitement is brewing ahead of the penultimate round of the British Cycling MTB Downhill series in Llangollen this weekend, with the top five elite men separated by just 17 points.

Over 300 riders are expected to participate at the super-steep and technical Llangollen track, with up to 60 riders in the elite men’s category, including ‘superstar’ riders such as current series leader Marc Beaumont, Josh Bryceland, fresh from his first UCI Downhill World Cup win in Leogang earlier this month, 2011 world champion Danny Hart, 2005 junior national champion Matt Simmonds and multiple national champion, world cup winner and 2010 world champion Gee Atherton. Steve Peat is also expected to be pushing for a podium position at this race, shortly after celebrating his 40th birthday.

The elite women’s category will be contested by current national and world cup series leader Manon Carpenter, Fionn Griffiths and Jess Greaves, with 2013 world cup winner Rachel Atherton, Katy Curd and Tahnee Seagrave doubtful for participation.

British Cycling’s MTB Downhill Series, presented by Shimano, pits riders against the clock as they descend some of the toughest track terrain in the country, with points awarded for placings at each stage, accumulating across five rounds of the series. Each rider, from junior through to elite level, must have qualified via regional races and numerous junior winners of the series have gone on to become world cup and world championship winners.

With up to 10 points available for seeding runs and up to 60 points available for final runs, the current standings, aside from the women’s leader, could all change this weekend ahead of the fifth and final round of the series in September.

Race director Simon Paton said, “This year’s series is already tight just three rounds in. The elite title chase has never been closer, even more so with a different winner in each round so far; Danny Hart, Gee Atherton and Marc Beaumont.

“I wouldn’t like to predict an outcome because this will be so close, with over 50 elite riders pre-entered, all ready and able to put in the run of their lives and hit that five-man podium come Sunday evening.”

Round four of the series will take place in Llangollen over the weekend of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June. Spectator entry is free, with car parking at £5.

The final round of the 2014 series will take place at the newly-established and challenging Bike Park Wales on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September.

The Coalville postman has a tough task in Monmouthshire if he is to repeat his silver medal finish at the 2013 British National Road Championships time trials, with a quality field competing
Matthew Bottrill rides for Drag2Zero and won the National 50-mile time trial earlier this month
Matthew Bottrill rides for Drag2Zero and won the National 50-mile time trial earlier this month. Photograph: Ian Buchan/Corbis

As with all races against the clock, the favourites at the British National Road Championships time trials in Monmouthshire on Thursday will all leave the starting line towards the end of the event, to build drama and tension in a discipline that could otherwise lack dynamism as a spectacle.

In this year’s lineup, those final few names on the start list are particularly eye-catching. There is Geraint Thomas, twice an Olympic track gold medallist, with an ever-growing reputation on the road; Alex Dowsett, seeking to become national champion for the fourth year in succession and winner of the Giro d’Italia’s long time trial in 2013. Then, of course, there is Sir Bradley Wiggins – knight of the realm, Olympic gold medallist,Tour de France winner and national treasure.

And there, sandwiched between Thomas and Wiggins, setting off third from last, is Matthew Bottrill. He has earned his place. Bottrill is one of Britain’s finest time triallists. He is also a postman, who works a 40-hour week in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Last year, he finished only 21 seconds behind Dowsett to clinch the silver medal ahead of Team Sky’s Ben Swift. This year, the 36-year-old is aiming for the podium again.

There is no secret to his success. He is no reclusive, maverick inventor in the vein of Chris Boardman’s great rival, Graham Obree. He has a coach, uses a power meter and hones his aero position in a wind tunnel, as do elite-level professionals.

However, he does all of this without the well-drilled support network enjoyed by Team Sky’s riders, cramming in his intense training around his working week, and while raising three young children. He rides for a small team, Drag2Zero, who harbour no ambitions of Tour de France glory.

Britain’s time-trialling tradition goes back far further than the dramatic successes enjoyed by Boardman, David Millar and Wiggins. For generations of club cyclists railing against a nation that viewed their sport with intense suspicion, it was the only way to compete.

Racing on Britain’s open roads was banned by the sport’s first governing body, the National Cyclists’ Union, in 1890. A splinter group, the Road Time Trials Council, settled on time trials as a way around it – a lone rider attracts far less attention than a bunch and, if challenged, could simply claim not to be racing.

Unsurprisingly, these early races were covert affairs. Riders would convene in the early hours at a secret location, wearing dark, inconspicuous clothing and set up a rudimentary out and back route with a marshal marking the halfway point. Publicity for races was forbidden, as was prize money.

This climate of scepticism pervaded cycling until long after road racing was legalised in 1959 and continued to stunt the sport’s growth in Britain. Despite the successes of the Tour of Britain and city-centre criterium races such as the Tour Series, the staple for many a domestic rider remains the effort against the clock.

On today’s domestic scene, which still races under the banner of the RTTC and with races run over the traditional circuit lengths of 10, 25 and 50 miles, Bottrill is unrivalled.

Earlier this month, he won the national RTTC National 50-mile time trial by more than two minutes to continue an unbeaten season. In second place was Michael Hutchinson, a fellow veteran of the scene, and the last non-professional to take the national title, in 2008 – each edition since has been won by either Wiggins or Dowsett.

Bottrill is representative of the tradition of the domestic time trial scene, a time before Mark Cavendish was winning world championships on the road for Team GB and before Wiggins and Chris Froome dominated the Tour de France. He is proof that somebody who has not aggregated every last marginal gain can still ride a bike spectacularly fast.

Given the quality of this year’s field, it would be extraordinary if Bottrill repeats his podium finish of last year. However, there will be plenty of people willing him on.

Lieuwe Westra came from nowhere to win Stage 7 of the Criterium du Dauphine while Alberto Contador cracked Chris Froome to claim the race lead.

Westra (Astana) made amends for finishing second in yesterday’s sixth stage by reeling in Yuri Trofimov and Egor Silin right on the finish line to win Stage 7 and deny Katusha its third stage victory of the race.

Behind, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Contador launched a solo attack with two kilometres to go and rode away from race leader Froome, despite the best efforts of his Sky team-mate Richie Porte to bridge the gap to their biggest rival.

Porte’s acceleration shed Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) from the contenders group, but the Australian could only battle on for so long on the cruel climb to Finhaut-Emosson, giving up his chase with a single kilometre to go and Contador 18 seconds in front.

Froome had nothing more to give as he crawled his way up the steep finish, trying only to limit the damage inflicted by Contador. The Brit eventually crossed the line 20 seconds behind him to cede the race lead.

Contador now holds an eight second lead over Froome with one stage remaining. Garmin-Sharp’s Andrew Talansky finished with Froome to move up to third overall, 39 seconds behind Froome.

“The truth is that I knew little about the final climb but I was told that the last five kilometers were very hard,” said Contador.

“I was well escorted by five of my team-mates. At two kilometres to go, I was close to my limit but I tried my luck with attacking. It’s an incredible surprise that I managed to take the yellow jersey. This is an incredible race. It has gone beyond my expectations so far but the Dauphine is not over yet.”

By 60km into the penultimate stage, 14 riders held a 5min 25sec advantage.

The group consisted of Westra (Astana), Katusha team-mates Egor Silin and Yuriy Trofimov, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Blel Kadri (AG2R), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol), Matthias Brandle (IAM), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Lars Boom (Belkin) and Daniel Schorn (NetApp Endura).

Their lead reached a maximum of 7min 45sec at 113km before Tinkoff-Saxo took control of the chase, bringing the leader’s advantage down to five minutes on the climb to Col de la Forclaz.

Stage 4 winner Trofimov attacked the breakaway, splintering the group as he rode away to be the lone leader with 20km to go.

As he crested the climb Trofimov had 23 seconds over Silin, with Sky leading the peloton six minutes behind and the rest of the early breakaway in the gap.

Silin reached Trofimov at the base of the climb with the pair combining their efforts on the final 10.2km climb.

Nibali made a solo attack but his move came to nought as Sky methodically utilised its team members on the front of the peloton on the climb to Finhaut-Emosson.

With 5km to go, the leading pair were over four minutes in front as they turned their attention to capturing Katusha’s third stage victory of the event.

Froome’s rivals bided their time behind him, waiting for his lieutenants to falter and leave him open to attack. Movistar’s Igor Anton was the first to put the Sky train to the test.

With 4km kilometres to go Anton was reeled back as BMC’s Tour de France hope Tejay van Garderen lost contact with the yellow jersey group.

As Sky’s Mikel Nieve pulled off from the front of the peloton, Contador readied himself for his searing attack.

Meanwhile, Westra’s sensational solo effort saw him sneak up on the Katusha pair to steal the stage victory.

“I was obviously in good shape in the past few days, going into all those breaks,” said Westra. “At the beginning of the stage, I was thinking of taking a rest day for once but I had good legs, so I went for a breakaway again.

“I didn’t feel good in all the climbs but in the last one, I went at my own pace and I passed the two Russians with 200 metres to go. It’s crazy.”

The race concludes on Sunday with a 130km stage from Megeve to Courchevel.

“Tomorrow it’s a complicated stage with an uphill finish,” said Contador. “Team Sky is very strong. Whatever happens, I’m happy with how my legs are getting better and better every day. This is a preparation race. The most important for me is to be at 100 per cent of my capacities on July 5.”

Highlights to come.

(Astana’s Lieuwe Westra staggered to the finish – Sirotti)

Stage 7: 161.5km, Ville-la-Grand–Finaut-Emosson
1 Lieuwe Westra (NED) Astana 4hr 32min 51sec
2 Yury Trofimov (RUS) Katusha 0:00:07
3 Egor Silin (RUS) Katusha 0:00:16
4 Alberto Contador (ESP) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:33
5 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:51
6 Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:53
7 Christopher Froome (GBR) Sky
8 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Astana 0:02:11
9 Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:16
10 Sébastien Reichenbach (SWI) IAM Cycling 0:02:19

General Classification
1 Alberto Contador (ESP) Tinkoff-Saxo 27hr 46min 51sec
2 Christopher Froome (GBR) Sky 0:00:08
3 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:39
4 Wilco Kelderman (NED) Belkin 0:00:59
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) Lotto-Belisol 0:01:14
6 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Astana 0:01:16
7 Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R 0:02:11
8 Sébastien Reichenbach (SWI) IAM Cycling 0:02:14
9 Leopold Konig (CZE) NetApp-Endura 0:03:00
10 Lieuwe Westra (NED) Astana 0:04:04

Cycling Central will stream all stages of the 8-15 June Critérium du DauphinéLIVE.

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Leading results after the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, the 178.5km from Grenoble to Poisy on Friday.


1. Jan Bakelants (BEL/OPQ) 4hr 07min 20sec, 2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/AST) s.t., 3. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/OPQ) at 24secs, 4. Pim Ligthart (NED/LTB) s.t., 5. Jens Keukeleire (BEL/ORI) s.t., 6. Jens Voigt (GER/TRE) s.t., 7. Maciej Bodnar (POL/CAN) s.t., 8. Bram Tankink (NED/BKN) s.t., 9. Valerio Conti (ITA/LAM) s.t., 10. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) s.t.

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Beryl Burton 1962

Beryl Burton winning the 3,000m World Cycling title in Milan, August 1962. Photograph: Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images

The Tour de France is often described as a battle between the world’s best cyclists. Strictly speaking, though, it’s only a battle between half of them.

When the Grand Départ sets off from Leeds town hall next month, all 180 riders in the peloton will be men. Under rules set by the UCI, cycling‘s governing body, the race is deemed too hard for women. Women are only allowed to ride 80 miles a day in UCI events, way shorter than almost every stage in the three-week men’s tour.

And anyway, the men who control the sport still think not nearly enough people want to watch girls having a go.

It’s cheering, then, that a play premiering in Leeds as part of the Yorkshire festival later this month, timed to coincide with the Tour’s visit, celebrates the greatest British female cyclist of all time. Not Victoria Pendleton or Laura Trott. But Beryl Burton of Morley, who for two glorious years in the 1960s held the men’s world 12-hour time trial record.

In 1967 she pedalled 277.25 miles in 12 hours, famously overtaking Mike McNamara, her male rival, and giving him a liquorice allsort as she passed. It wasn’t until 1969 that a man went faster. No woman has ever bettered her time.

She was also five-times world champion over 3,000 metres, 13-time national champion and the British best all-rounder champion for an incredible 25 successive years. All this she managed to fit around her shifts at a rhubarb farm and bringing up her daughter, Denise, who went on to be a top cyclist too.

Beryl Burton with her daughter DeniseBeryl Burton with her daughter Denise. The pair raced together in the 1972 world championships. Photograph: John Pratt/Getty Images“If she was a man, everybody would know about her,” said actor Maxine Peake, who has written Beryl, a four-hander which will open at the West Yorkshire Playhouse at the end of this month. (An eight-wheeler, really, because all of the characters are on bikes.) The play began life on the radio with Peake in the main role. She had been given Burton’s biography as a gift from her art director boyfriend, Pawlo.

“He bought it because I’m always on about female stories and female ideas. We’ve got so many inspirational women in this country, past and present, who we don’t know about.

“Paw wrote: ‘get yourself a tight curly perm and there’s a film in this for you!’ But I thought, who’s going to pick up a film of a female cyclist? You’d just be banging on closed doors, that’s what I thought – even though I know I shouldn’t have this defeatist attitude. So I thought: I could write this for radio. The soundscape of cogs and wheels and wind would be quite interesting.” So successful was the radio version that Bolton-born Peake was persuaded to adapt it for stage, pleased to spread the word of Burton’s under-celebrated career.

Burton received limited fame in Britain, but was revered in continental Europe. According to the forward to her memoirs, a Frenchman once wrote: “If Beryl Burton had been French, Joan of Arc would have to take second place.”

Mostly, Burton accepted her fate as a largely unsung heroine, says Peake, who interviewed Burton’s widower, Charlie, and their daughter, Denise, for the play. “She was only a little bit fed up when she wasn’t getting much recognition, like when she was up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year and she came second to Henry Cooper, and she only got about two seconds of screen time. She said they probably only had about two seconds of her on film anyway.”

Peake, who has received acclaim for her roles in the BBC’s Silk and The Village, does not share the UCI’s view that women should feel grateful this year to be allowed to race just one stage of the Tour – a circuit around Paris after the men have finished. It’s a concession made only after the organisers came under pressure from women including Britain’s Chrissie Wellington, multiple winner of the World Iron Man triathlon event.

“It’s shocking, isn’t it, in this day and age,” said Peake, herself a keen cyclist. “I don’t see how it’s allowed to happen, that they can get away with it … We need to start making a big old racket.”

Charlie was Burton’s greatest supporter, a one-man mechanic, driver, childminder and husband rolled into one. He was ahead of his time, thinks Peake: “Initially I thought this was going to be a story about a housewife and a mother in the 1950s, finding it so hard to get out on that bike, her husband won’t be supporting her and she’s doing it against all odds.

“Then you meet Charlie and you realise it’s not a story about a woman escaping from the shackles of domestic life. He helped her every step of the way. He says: ‘she was a better cyclist than me’. It’s an amazing story, really, even today, that a man would say: ‘you go on, love.’ For Burton, cycling took precedence over everything else, even Denise, says Peake, citing the time mother and daughter were in a race and Burton refused to shake Denise’s hand after she won by a whisker. “Afterwards she said something like, ‘people say it’s because I was jealous, but I wasn’t. I don’t know what came over me, but I just felt Denise hadn’t done her whack.’ There’s an etiquette in cycling that you hold the group, taking it in turn to set the pace. Beryl had set the pace all the way and then right at the end, Denise zipped past her. Afterwards, Beryl wouldn’t let her in the car and made her cycle home!””

Burton died on the eve of her 59th birthday, out on her bike, posting invitations for her party. Peake wells up telling the story: “It was her heart. It just packed up. Apparently it could have happened any time. Someone just found her there in the road with her bike. But at least she died on her bike. It’s like Tommy Cooper dying on stage.”

Peake wanted to write a play which focused purely on a woman’s achievements. When you reach a certain age as a woman on TV, you get typecast, says the now 39-year-old. “I’ve been lucky, but then again I’ve been like: ‘I’m not doing that. I’m not doing that.’ Mistresses and prostitutes and wives, gah. I remember when we were doing Silk, [fellow cast member] Rupert Penry-Jones showed me a tweet which said: ‘Work hard, young actresses, and one day you can play the wife or mistress of a very interesting character!’ … I’m sick of playing parts where a man threatens to hits me and I have to cower. That’s really difficult, a real challenge for me.”

In September Peake will play Hamlet in a gender-bending production at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. She’s reluctant to reveal too much but says: “We’re of the mindset that gender is not important. It’s Hamlet, but a Hamlet confused about their gender. Whether we’ll play that overtly, or whether I will keep it as a secret, I don’t know yet. Sometimes it’s good as an actor to have a secret that nobody else knows. I think I’ll be a man, but somebody who has equal quantity of male and female.”

Describing Beryl as a “gentle” play, Peake says her aim was simple: “What I wanted with Beryl, all I wanted really, was a celebration of this amazing woman and her amazing achievements.”

Beryl, by Maxine Peake, is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, from 30 June until 19 July


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Below the majestic backdrop, dotted with green tea estates, rolling hills, over 100 craters

Not many Ugandans can think of cycling as an adventure. We see it as a way of life of Uganda’s poor rural folks. But that is if you haven’t cycled around the Rwenzori.

Sauntering through the wilderness -with a bike below you and the world all around – the scenic views give you second thoughts about a bicycle. It gives you chance to explore at your own speed, far from the dusty and heavy traffic main roads.

As instructed by our guide, David Joel Mwesige of Kabarole Tours, we woke up early -as the morning birds were chirping and the sun struggling to rise above a calm forested hill, surrounded by an extensive green tea estate. It is in this tranquility at the Jacaranda hilltop guesthouse that we had spent a night, before starting off our cycling expedition.

Situated on a hill six km off the Kampala-Fort Portal highway, inside Mpanga tea estate, which is 20km before Fort Portal town, this guesthouse is barely seven months old. It overlooks the tea estate on one side and is fenced off by the thick rainforest of Kibale national park on the other. The main structure is a house that was formerly the residence of the principal of a training institution for tea farmers.

It is reported to have been constructed in the 70’s and officially commissioned by former president Iddi Amin. This is before his bad rule had devastating effects on the economy: tea plantations were abandoned -with tea plants growing into big trees -some still standing on the boundary with the forest.

Since the revival of tea-growing in 1995, the house had been lying idle as the Ugandan principals prefer to live in urban centres. This prompted the tea estate, now owned by a group of farmers, to offer the house to a private developer. Richard Tooro, one of Uganda’s most knowledgeable tour guides quoted widely by travel guide books like Bradt, promptly turned it into a guesthouse.

Although it definitely needs some renovations, it can do for anyone keen on spending a night on a farm and get adventurous in the morning. Before setting off at 9am, our guide gave us a few lessons on how to brake and change the bicycle gears. It looked simple in the guesthouse lawn, but no sooner had we set off than one of us rolled. He had pressured both brakes and yet it was a steep slope.

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Russia’s Yury Trofimov made a solo break to win the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday as Britain’s Chris Froome held the leader’s yellow jersey.

The Katusha team rider launched his attack 18km from the line on the Col de Manse, pulling ahead of a breakaway group formed on the 21km mark.

Swede Gustav Larsson crossed in second ahead of Dutch rider Pim Ligthart after the 167.5km run from Montelimar and Gap.

For 30-year-old Trofimov it was a second stage win in the Dauphine six years after that on Morzine.

Thursday’s fifth stage covers 189.5km from Sisteron to La Mure, and includes six climbs, the final one near Laffrey, 20km from the line.


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TEVA bike?

Posted: June 12, 2014 by kirisyko in Bike

M.Shoe-Pinner-Black TEVA Pinner

As a public service announcement I would like to bring to the attention of all male’s that we have a couple of very cool bike shoes (non-spd) that should seriously be considered – the TEVA Links and Pinner.

M.Shoe-Links-Lunar-Rock TEVA Links

Since I don’t have a pair (yet, they are on order) I did some looking around on the web for reviews. rates them as 4.5 stars out of 5. This is what they say,

“The first thing you’ll notice after slipping into the black Pinners is just how comfortable these kicks are. They have a slipper-like feel, thanks in part to Teva’s Mush Infused Insole sock liner and ShockPad EVA sole.

Off the bike they kept our feet happy – we wore them at last year’s Interbike trade show, which had us on our feet and walking for the better part of 14 hours a day, and they seemed to…

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Results after stage three of the Criterium du Dauphine, over 194km from Ambert to Le Teil on Tuesday:


1. Nikias Arndt (GER/GIA) 5hr 30min 03sec, 2. Kris Boeckmans (BEL/LTB) same time, 3. Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA/GIA) s.t., 4. Yannick Martinez (FRA/EUC) s.t., 5. Davide Cimolai (ITA/LAM) s.t., 6. Jens Keukeleire (BEL/ORI) s.t., 7. Alexei Tsatevich (RUS/KAT) s.t., 8. Arnaud Démare (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 9. Gianni Meersman (BEL/OPQ) s.t., 10. Marco Marcato (ITA/CAN) s.t.


1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 10hr 07min 47sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) at 12sec, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 21sec, 4. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 33, 5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 35, 6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 50, 7. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1min 22sec, 8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 1:22, 9. Adam Yates (ENG/ORI) 1:31, 10. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 1:35