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Looking back at the week: La Course by Le Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix 2014, ...

Added: sunday 09 February 2014 at 20:21:00
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    Looking back at the week: La Course by Le Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix 2014, ...There was quite some news in the cycling world this week, like for example the announcement of La Course by Le Tour de France, a new women's race, the first informations about Paris-Roubaix 2014, but also the first edition of the Dubai Tour and the start of the cycling season in France for example.

    In this article, we'll have a quick look at these different news items, in case you missed them or simply to allow you to comment them if you want to!

    La Course by Le Tour de France: a very partial ... Le Tour Entier?

    Last Saturday, ASO quite proudly announced a new women's race, La Course by Le Tour de France, of which the organisor already announces that the event is destined to become an iconic race in the women's calendar!

    Do you remember the petition which was created in July 2013 under the name Le Tour Entier (LTE)?
    Tour de FranceEmma Pooley (Lotto-Belisol), Marianne Vos (Rabobank), Kathryn Bertine (Colavita/FineCooking Pro Cycling / Half The Road) and Chrissie Wellington (Ironman champion / triathlete) asked ASO to create a women's race which would take (a part of) the same routes as the Tour de France right from 2014. Their manifesto then indicated that the final goal was the creation of a Tour de France with full parity but that for 2014, the women's Tour could potentially be between three to ten days long and could start in England at the occasion of the Grand Départ or follow the routes of the last stages, up to Paris.

    In the end, the discussions between ASO and LTE thus led to the creation of La Course by Le Tour de France, a one day race, on the final circuit of the last stage of the Tour de France 2014 in Paris, on 27 July .. and as we can read in ASO's press release, it'll benefit from a live broadcast on France Télévisions and Eurosport International.

    All details about the format of the race will be announced during a press conference this spring, but we do already know now that this'll thus be a very partial ... Tour Entier!

    Despite that, the female cyclists will benefit from the Tour de France's media exposure and its public and it's thus not really surprising that Le Tour Entier shows its happiness about this news. At school however, ASO would get its paper handed back with the mention: good start, but can do better!

    The first information about Paris-Roubaix 2014: the 9 common cobblestone sections with the Tour

    Paris-RoubaixAfter having announced the Paris-Nice 2014 race route on Tuesday, on Thursday it was up to Paris-Roubaix 2014 to have its first informations being announced by ASO. The race route will this year be 257 kilometers long and will contain no less than 28 cobblestones sections, one more than last year for a slightly shorter cobblestones distance: 51.1 km compared to 52.5 in 2013.

    As its organisor (ASO as well) announced, the sequence of the first difficulties has been revamped, in order to visit some cobbled sections that had been left "fallow" for several years. The bikes will still start to tremble at the cobblestones section from Troisvilles to Inchy and the 3 next sections will also be the same but in Saint-Python the riders will turn left instead of turning right, towards the sections of Haussy (800 m) and Saulzoir (1200 m), which will see the riders of Paris-Roubaix for the first time after 10 years of absence. A bit further, the riders will get back on the section of Famars (1200 m) which had disappeared (again) from the race route after 2012.

    The 9 cobblestones sections of the 5th stage of the Tour de France 2014 will all be on the programme of Paris-Roubaix 2014, as ASO indicates. Uhm, yes, that's true, but they'll be taken the other way around:

    >> Gruson - Carrefour de l'Arbre (1100 m)
    >> Ennevelin- Pont-Thibaut (1400 m)
    >> Mons-en-Pévèle (3000 m in Paris-Roubaix / 1000 m in the Tour de France)
    >> Bersée (2600 m in Paris-Roubaix / 1400 m in the Tour de France)
    >> Orchies - Beuvry (1400 m)
    >> Sars-et-Rosières - Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes (2400 m)
    >> Brillon - Warlaing (2400 m in Paris-Roubaix / 1400 m in the Tour de France)
    >> Wandignies-Hamage - Hornaing (3700 m)
    >> Hélesmes - Wallers (1600 m)

    The Dubai Tour, a new race full of sprints!

    Dubai TourThis week saw the official birth of the Dubai Tour, a new race, organised in a very rich country, by RCS Sport, the organisator of the Giro d'Italia (and several other races).

    This race, which -according to the renovation project of professional cycling- would already have gained the right to integrate the 2nd division of cycling races even before the first edition was organised, saw 4 stages finish in a sprint, all 4 won by Marcel Kittel (Team Giant-Shimano). The race itself was won by Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team), thanks to his very good performance in the initial time trial in which he preceded his team mate Stephen Cummings for 12 seconds. The final top 5 of this race was identical to the top 5 of the time trial:

    1/ Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) - 9h31'33"
    2/ Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team) - +0'15"
    3/ Lasse Norman Hansen (Garmin-Sharp) - +0'17"
    4/ Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - +0'23"
    5/ Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) - +0'30"

    The comeback of cycling races in France

    This week also saw the cycling season start again in France, with the Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise which was won by Kenneth van Bilsen, followed by the Etoile de Bessèges 2014. This first stage race of the French cycling season saw an identical race result as the Dubai Tour but the other way around: 4 stages in line won in a sprint and all ended up with a time trial. Around Bessèges we however saw 3 different stage winners of the stages in line: Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) for the first, Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) for the 2nd and Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) for the 3rd and 4th stage. The final victory was for Team Giant-Shimano here however, with a superb performance of Tobias Ludvigsson, followed not far behind (only 4 seconds slower) by Jérôme Coppel (Cofidis, solutions crédits).

    And the week to come?

    In terms of cycling races, we clearly see that the cycling season has definitely started again, with the Tour of Qatar which started today with a victory of Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) but also with the different Trofeos which all together form the Iberostar Challenge Ciclista Mallorca:
    >> Trofeo Palma which was won in a sprint by Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) today
    >> Trofeo Migjorn on Monday 10 February
    >> Trofeo Deià on Tuesday 11 February
    >> Trofeo Platja de Muro on Wednesday 12 February

    Tour MedWhile the whole week long, Brazil will be the place where the Tour do Brasil Volta Ciclística de São Paulo-Internacional 2014 takes place, the second stage race in France will be the Tour Med 2014 for which you'll soon find the race route on Google Maps/Google Earth here and which will take place from Thursday 13 February 2014 till Sunday 16 February 2014. Who will follow up Thomas Lövkvist (IAM Cycling)?

    And also ...

    It's also Valentine's Day this week (Friday) ... and for all love couples, the Lotto-Belisol team organises a quite original game:

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Tour de France 2014| Paris-Roubaix| Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise| Etoile de Bessèges| Women's cycling | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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