Pauwels out of Tour de France with fractured elbow

Dimension Data have confirmed that Serge Pauwels will not start stage 16 at the Tour de France on Tuesday after fracturing his his elbow in a crash Sunday during stage 15.

The Belgian infiltrated the day’s breakaway and was sprinting for ninth place on the day when a touch of wheels brought him down, according to a statement from his team.

“A touch of wheels in front of our climber left him with nowhere to go but crash into the Mitchelton-Scott rider in front of him,” the team said in their statement. “While Pauwels could still finish the stage, ufortunately the damage was severe as he suffered a broken elbow as a result of the crash and is now out of the Tour de France.”

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Team doctor Jarrad Van Zuydum said the injury will require surgery.

“He has come down quite hard on his right elbow and fractured the olecranon process of the right elbow,” Van Zydum said. “It’s actually an injury he has had on the left side before, and it is something that requires surgery to fix. We are already making arrangements for him to have surgery in Antwerp, and he will be back on the trainer pretty soon after that surgery, but obviously we are all very disappointed about the crash.”

Pauwels, 34, finished the stage in 22nd place and was 28th overall, more than half an hour behind current race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky). Pauwels was also third in the mountains classification, three points behind Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) and 26 points behind leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors).

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Geraint Thomas: I’d rather be winning and getting booed than getting dropped and cheered

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has suggested that winning the Tour de France is Team Sky’s top priority, and they’re not at the race to win a popularity contest. This came after another press conference in which the maillot jaune was asked a number of questions relating to Team Sky receiving boos from small pockets of fans along the route

At one point in his post-stage press conference, Thomas was asked if he felt he was paying for the errors and mistakes of others at Team Sky, both past, and present. The question came 24 hours after Bradley Wiggins appeared on television and threw fuel on the fire in relation to Team Sky, the Select Committee’s DCMS report that was published in March of this year, and the Jiffy-bag affair.

Thomas stated that he had not seen or read the comments from his former teammate and that although he and Team Sky were receiving boos from a minority of fans at this year’s Tour de France, it did not affect him.

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“I don’t know what he said actually,” the maillot jaune said during his press conference when asked about Wiggins’ remarks.

“It’s not a nice situation is it? For me, it’s the highlight of my career and a massive honor and privilege to be wearing the jersey. To have such an incredible race so far, yes there is a bit of negativity around which isn’t nice, but at the end of the day you need to stay strong in your head and crack on.”

Thomas then went on to add that winning was the main priority, echoing an old stance that the Tour de France was not a popularity contest.

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Dan Martin: It’s only a race, you might as well enjoy yourself

The Tarn was bathed in pleasant sunshine, the skies were laser blue, and the roadside was lined with spectators as the yellow jersey group climbed the Pic de Nore on Sunday afternoon. It was an idyllic, made-for-television Tour de France image, but, for Dan Martin, at least, one crucial ingredient was missing: a bike race.

With eventual stage winner Magnus Cort and the early break some 12 minutes up the road, and after two wearying weeks to this point, there seemed to be little appetite for insurrection in the main peloton, where the Sky team of yellow jersey Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome assumed its usual position on the front.

Almost 10 kilometres from the summit and some 50 kilometres from the stage finish in Carcassonne, Martin decided to see if he could shake the peloton from its torpor with an acceleration. Nobody even tried to come with him.

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“I was bored, to be honest,” Martin smiled on wheeling to a halt in Carcassonne. “Sky and Lotto-Jumbo were blocking the road. They just wanted to go really easy on the climb. I thought, why not try something?”

The UAE Team Emirates rider quickly opened a lead of a minute or so over a disinterested yellow jersey group on the Pic de Nore, and still had most of that advantage in hand when he crested the summit. On the long, long drop off the climb, however, the Sky-led peloton gradually made inroads into Martin’s buffer, seemingly more through circumstance than design. Martin was swept back up by the bunch with a little over 14 kilometres to go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“In the end, I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m 10th on GC. I might as well try something. Who knows, maybe they’ll let me go. I don’t think they tried hard to catch me, but they were behind the motorbike and they just kind of rolled back onto me,” said Martin, already a stage winner at Mûr-de-Bretagne.

Calculation

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Moscon knows he let the team down with Tour de France disqualification, says Brailsford

Team Sky have said that they will decide after the Tour de France whether or not to punish Gianni Moscon for punching Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic). Moscon was disqualified from the race after hitting the French rider in the opening 800 metres of Sunday’s stage 15 from Millau to Carcassonne. 

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said he supported the decision by the UCI commissaires and apologised to Gesbert and his team for the incident.

“We support and accept the decision by the race organisers to exclude Gianni Moscon from the Tour de France,” Brailsford said in a statement issued by Team Sky. “Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour and knows that he has let himself, the team and the race down.

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“We will address this incident with Gianni once the Tour is complete and decide then if any further action should be taken. I would like to offer my sincere apologies to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for this unacceptable incident.”

Moscon and Gesbert were riding towards the front of the peloton in the first kilometre of the stage when the incident occurred. In video footage, Moscon can be seen taking a swipe backwards towards Gesbert, and the Italian appears to make contact with the Frenchman’s helmet.

Following the finish, Fortuneo-Samsic filed a complaint with the commissaires, and Team Skys’ Brailsford and directeur sportif Nicolas Portal visited them to plead Moscon’s. According to Cyclingnews‘ information gathered from those involved in the disqualification, Team Sky initially denied that Moscon had touched another rider.

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Tour de France: Stage 15 highlights – Video

Magnus Cort made it two in a row for Astana Sunday at the Tour de France, winning a three-up sprint in Carcassonne ahead of Jon Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) after the trio jumped away from a large breakaway that took off earlier in the day. 

Another long day in the Massif Central meant another large breakaway got away after about an hour of racing. Big-name riders such as Peter Sagan, (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) were in the group, but with no threats to the general classification, the large move was given plenty of leash.

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After myriad attacking and shuffling up front, Cort emerged with Izagirre and Mollema to contest the finish. Back in the GC group, overall leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) finished safely alongside teammate and second overall Chris Froome to maintain the status quo at the top of the general classification.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com