Sunday, November 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

Cycling Tour de France

Australia's Michael Rogers crosses the finish line to win the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 237.5 kilometers (147.6 miles) with start in Carcassonne and finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon, France, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

By
From page B3 | July 23, 2014 |

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.

 

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

US / World

House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
A look at how FDA-approved robotic leg braces work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Marine with robotic leg braces gets Bronze Star

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Oregon festival’s giant nutcracker: 41 feet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

San Francisco window washer falls onto moving car

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Zookeepers had safety concerns before gorilla died

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California storms bring scattered rain, mudslides

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Judge declares wrongly convicted woman innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

$139M deal reached in school molestation case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Agency rejects solar project in Silurian Valley

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Senate leader lays off dozens of office employees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
UC expands legal services for immigrant students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man pleads not guilty to emailing nudies of ex

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Stymied? Republicans seek immigration response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

LA animal shelter slashes prices on 100 pets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Iran nuke talks stalled, despite Kerry efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Biden urges Russia to uphold east Ukraine truce

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: 3-year-old set fire that killed his family

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

93-year-old woman marks 75 years with same company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Agency: Schools helped Lanza’s mom ‘appease’ him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

With snow still piled high, Buffalo faces flooding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoons: Nov. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Batson column falls short of truth

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 46 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Nov. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My sister kicked Mom out of her house and won’t let her have the car

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

Blanket drive for homeless gets help from Colts player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

Bill Cosby show set for Vegas casino canceled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Matt Czuchry says ‘Good Wife’ arc is at right time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

‘Queen Latifah Show’ to end after its 2nd season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

.

Sports

Vacaville downs Del Oro to advance to section semis

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Sparano savors 1st win with Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Ibanez, Cash, Wakamatsu finalists to manage Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Federal judge denies sports betting in New Jersey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

JC women’s basketball: Solano advances to tourney title game

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Ciganda, Granada tied for lead at LPGA finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sharks trade Demers to Stars for Dillon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL will hear Adrian Peterson’s appeal Dec. 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Dorsey is out of Sunday’s game against Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
France levels tie against Switzerland in Davis Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Toyota recalls nearly 423K Lexuses for fuel leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford’s new F-150 to get 26 mpg, tops among pickups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment | Gallery

CEOs in 10 big mergers to get $430M: Equilar study

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
California unemployment unchanged at 7.3 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

White House: Immigration steps would boost wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 11/22/14

Ask a Designer: from clutter to decor

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Nov. 22, 2014

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: HSR3

US 30-year mortgage rates drop to 3.99 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3