uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

"Just one or two kilometers into the downhill I punctured. It was a motorbike that kicked up some stones in a corner, which I hit and blew out my tire. I almost crashed, but thankfully didn't," Zubeldia says

Photo: Sirotti








22.07.2014 @ 20:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Trek duo of Haimar Zubeldia and Frank Schleck saw their rise in the overall rankings of the Tour de France being significantly hampered by bad luck in today's stage in the Pyrenees. While Schleck suffered from stomach problems, Zubeldia felt excellent but saw his progress being slowed down by an untimely puncture.


At 237.5 kilometers it was the longest stage of the 2014 Tour de France. It was a day pegged for a breakaway to succeed, and a day heralded for the final GC battles to kick off in the third and hardest week of the 21-day race.


When all was said and done the top standings behind Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde went through the wringer. However, Trek Factory Racing was one of the fortunate teams having a good day, and were headed into the top 10 overall until a late puncture stopped Hamair Zubeldia on the final descent. Bad luck had struck again.


Zubeldia, despite the ill-timed flat tire, still moved up one spot into 11th GC.


“After the rest day I felt super good in the climb," Zubeldia said. "I went over the climb only 20 seconds, more or less, from the Nibali group. I started the downhill with [Leopold] Konig and [Laurens] Ten Dam.


"Just one or two kilometers into the downhill I punctured. It was a motorbike that kicked up some stones in a corner, which I hit and blew out my tire. I almost crashed, but thankfully didn't.


"I stopped immediately and changed the wheel, but the spare wheel I got from Mavic had a narrower rim and I had to adjust the brakes while riding so it took me time to get going full speed again. After this I had to do the last 15 kilometers alone.”


When a 21-man breakaway finally moved up the road the day unfolded into two distinct races: ahead, the escape group was fighting out the stage win, and behind the GC contenders were in a heated conflict for the overall.


The action climaxed on the final hors catégorie climb after more than 200 kilometers had been pedaled and four other categorized climbs traversed.  


The 21-man breakaway group whittled to a group of five men that arrived to the final kilometers together. From this group Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) put in the last attack and using his time trial strength he held off the other four and celebrated the win.


Eleven and a half minutes later the peloton containing the overall contenders arrived at the foot of the Port de Balès (11.7 kms at 7.7%) and the tight GC battle ignited. The peloton decimated on the harsh slope and many riders in the top positions fell behind, including Fränk Schleck who lost contact around halfway up. But he never threw in the towel and fought brilliantly to the finish. When he crossed the line he had maintained his 14th place in the overall.


“It was a very special day," Schleck said. "It was well over two hours of fighting before a breakaway went. Then finally we rode easy to the finish climb and then boom! they opened the gas.


"I was not feeling good; I had stomach problems and so I could not stay with the first guys. I hope that I will be all right for tomorrow. I lost some time but I am still in the fight, nothing really bad happened. Haimar was unlucky with a puncture. Just bad luck. But we showed we were there and it is not finished yet.”


Following a rest day and 15 days of punishing racing, stage 16 was a very long, hot day in the saddle and culminated on a very hard climb; many GC riders paid the price. While Nibali and Valverde solidified their one-two spots overall, behind them the standings altered dramatically. With two more successive days in the Pyrenees Mountains, and a long, hilly time trial on the penultimate stage, the general classification battle is far from settled.


“I think I lost more than one minute today with the flat tire," Zubeldia said. "As you can see Konig made it back to the Nibali group at the end. I spent a lot of energy, it’s frustrating, but there is nothing you can do - sometimes it’s like this. I hope tomorrow and the next day I will have the same legs as today.”



The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

43 years | today
50 years | today
33 years | today
31 years | today
26 years | today