giovedì 3 settembre 2015

Tour of Alberta: Trek Factory Racing Rocks The TTT

Not a race I'm following but that's very nice. I know how hard TFR is working to build again a successful identity. It's a brave team taking a period of forced change as a an opportunity to develope young talents. And that's a challenge. You must be patient and support the transmission of skill, experience, attitude from a generation to the next one. They are doing great!

TFR DS Kim Andersen:
“It was a little unexpected because we saw that Orica-GreenEdge had the fastest split by 12 seconds and we didn’t think it would be so close at the end. I knew that we had a good chance to win so I really tried to motivate the guys before the start. I think it also helped that we were third team to start because we could warm-up on the course, we did a full lap full gas and didn’t even have to use rollers.”

Bauke Mollema:
"This was the first TTT win in my life. It was a big team effort and everyone gave everything he had. It was not planned to lose three guys, the plan was to have eight when we finished, but in the past we have always started too slow. We have a habit of starting the TTT too slow and are flying by the end. So today we decided to go out fast, which sometimes can be a risk, but we wanted to take that chance and see what would happen. We lost Kristof  first, which was not in the plan, and then Laurent and Rasty [Gregory Rast] later as expected.  Bauke, Jesse, Marco, and Hayden were super strong, and Rasty was really strong for the first part. But the two guys that did the most were Bauke and Jesse – Bauke was really, really strong and he deserves to wear the yellow jersey.
I have to say that doing this time trial on road bikes favored us with the new Madone because it is super fast. The weather was between 10-12 degrees [Celsius] which is not so bad, but the wind was very cold and it made for a tricky parcours. There was a bit of a headwind on the way out and a tailwind on the way back. Our maximum speed on the way back was 72km/h! We actually were slower by 12 seconds at the intermediate so we did really well in the second. It’s always nice to win as a team, and this gives us huge motivation for the rest of the week.”

mercoledì 2 settembre 2015

La Vuelta 11: Well... BOS!

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Erviti attacks
Green Andorra, soft forest on the slopes of hard mountains. The road is like a ribbon in soft gren hair.
Collada de Beixalis. Chris Froome crashes and Team Sky stops to bring him back.
Five riders attacks, seven riders are chasing. The peloton is in pieces. A front group forms including Oliveira, Atapuma, Montaguti, Moreno, Sicard, Fraile, Poljanski, Losada, Landa, Howson, Coppel, Lemoine, Erviti, Verona, Plaza and Ian Boswell. Fraile takes the intermediate sprint points.
Meanwhile Froome is back to the main peloton. Coll d'Ordino - 9.9 km 7%.  Bennet, Goncalves and Cherel join. Gap is 1'28''.  Ruben Plaza edges Omar Fraile at the KOM and they fly down the descent. 
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Froome dropped
Coll de la Rabassa - 13,8km/6,6% -  Erviti attacked from the break and is solo 40" ahead. The peloton is more than 4' behind, led by a determined Team Sky.  Lots of bad luck for the British team... Then Team Movistar comes.
70 km to go Landa, Oliveira and Bennett get off the front group and try to bridge to Erviti. He's already atop. Descent. Many riders put the jaket on: high mountain so cold. Some gray clouds in the sky, near the peaks. The chase is successful and 57 km to go Erviti is caught. 
Collada de la Gallina: 11,7/85, %. 50 km to go. That hurts and many riders are dropped. The break splitsBoswell, Coppel, Sicard, Atapuma and Poljanski have 28" on the chasers and 5'04" on the peloton.
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Poor Paulinho
Villages hanging on the rock like natural concrections. Team Sky keeps pulling the peloton, mostly by Christian Knees who finaly moves sending kisses to the camera. 44 km to go it starts raining. Landa goes solo. Behind Froome can't keep the wheels. Team Astana is setting a fast pace in front and Landa is back with the break.
Note that Tom Dumoulin is still up there. Froome instead is 2' behind at the medical car. In front Fraile conquers also this KOMValverde rocks this descent and manages to join the first chasing group, with Rodriguez and Moreno. Dumoulin is slightly distanced in a group at 3'53, Froome dropped at more than 6'.
Landa wins
Alto de la Comella, The group with Doumulin joins the group with Varverde. Incredible but true: a tv motorbike hit Tinkoff rider Paulinho!
Heading to the last climb of the day. Landa has got a gap. 8 km to go Aru attacks. Rodriguez and Moreno go on counter. 
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Fraile in Green
5 km to go Aru attacks again and this time nobody can stop him. He gets a gap, catches Oliveira., keeps going. Rodriguez remains on Moreno's wheel. Behind Dumoulin is reacting while Quintana and Valverde are both dropped. Chaves and Nieve hang on.
In front Ian Boswell is trying to stay on the wheel of Aru who just passed him: what a rider and what a ride! The Bos! Last km for Landa and a well deserved win, the Aru comes, solo, and solo an oustanding Boswell. 
Fabio Aru is the new race leader but Dumoulin didn't sink. Bravo!

Mikel Landa:
"I took it [my freedom]. I decided to go for it. I needed a win so I took my day. I had this day marked down as possible, that’s why I was looking for the break. Three days ago, I lost all options overall, I needed this. The difference was today I enjoyed riding my bike. The last part of the climb was very hard, but I'm very happy," said Landa, who completed the stage 1:22 ahead of teammate Aru. "When it got to five kilometres to go, I thought I could make it. But the last three kilometres were the toughest of my career. Astana were driving hard, and I didn't want such a small advantage. I hope he can keep the lead all the way to the finish."

Ian Boswell:
"I'm happy with my day but getting back onto the bus it's mixed emotions with Froome and Nico (Roche) losing a bit of time. Our goal today was to see how it played out. On that first climb it was pretty full-on and a group went with quite a few riders we were trying to mark. I just happened to be up there and was able to follow it. From there the gap just went.
I guess my day was quite different to the rest of the boys as I had (Team Sky Sports Director) Gabba (Rasch) with me up there, talking me through it and remind me to eat and drink - all the basic things. I guess it's still a nice ride. I'm still learning a lot with every breakaway I get into. It's all experience. And really happy with it but at the same time I learned a lot today about ways I could improve in the future.
That's something I wasn't really sure about. I got to the bottom [of the final climb] and (Sports Director) Dario (Cioni) came up to me and said 'two minutes - race for the stage'. I didn't really expect us to actually stay away, probably until Aru came up to me and then I thought if I could stay with him for a bit I could hang on for a top three. It was a bit surprising in the end - you don't necessarily anticipate that early on. The breakaway won and that doesn't happen very often."

Fabio Aru:
“The team was incredible today. This morning we agreed that Landa would go for the stage and he managed to get into the right break and went on to win what was a really difficult stage. I’ve got to thank the whole team who worked for me. Vanotti, Rosa, Cataldo, Zeits and Luis Leon all did some incredible work for me. It was a real demonstration of strength and I’m really happy to be in the leader’s jersey. There’s still 10 stages to go and so we’ll take things day by day but we’ll try to defend it.”

Tom Dumoulin:
"I suffered. I spent too much energy on the downhill of the 4th climb because I was putting my rain jacket on. I lost some positions and I was behind a gap in front of me, and I couldn’t close it. That was really a mistake, I lost some energy there and that was not necessary. But I think I did well, I lost the jersey but I think that’s normal on a day like this. I didn’t really surprise myself like with that win [on stage 9]. I think in the Tour de Suisse for example I could also do something like this. But still I’m happy with my shape and my position in GC. That [the time trial on stage 17] is still my biggest chance of a second victory here. And also a possibility if I’m still in GC to take some time back on the important contenders. But first we’re getting some more mountain stage this week so I still have survive those then we’ll see after the rest day.

Geraint Thomas:
“Froome obviously had a heavy crash, he said his foot was quite bad, but he said his legs were ok. On that special category climb he was starting to suffer when Astana really lit it up. He got dropped then, I was about to get dropped myself anyway so I sat up waited for him. He seemed to come round on the last climb but we just had to keep going. Froomey always keeps fighting. I think he was certainly suffering, certainly in pain. But that’s Froomey - he keeps fighting, he doesn’t want to give up. He’s still in the race, he can still go for stages, but obviously its disappointing to be out of the GC. I think Mikel [Nieve] is still there or thereabouts, but not a good day for Froomey." 

Chris Froome:
"Knocked sideways into a barrier stone wall today. Further scans in the morning but start unlikely as I can’t walk without crutches."

George Bennett   

"It was a very difficult stage. On the first climb I make a tactical error. I jumped too often, and thus missed the right escape. After the descent, I closed gap in the valley to the leading group. That cost a lot of energy. At the foot of the Gallina, I had a bad moment and I was dropped by the breakaway. I was caught by a large group of GC riders, but on the final climb I was completely empty. I am disappointed but also happy with the strength in my legs. I will keep my focus on the right breakaway in the coming days, and then we'll see where this ends.” 


1 Landa
2 Aru +1:22
3 Boswell +1:40
4 Moreno +1:57
5 Rodriguez +1:59
6 Majka +2:10
7 Nieve +2:10
8 Chaves +2:59
9 Dumoulin +2:59
1 Aru
2 Rodriguez +27
3 Dumoulin +30
4 Majka +1:28
5 Chaves +1:29
6 Valverde +1:52
7 Moreno +1:54
8 Nieve +1:58

La Vuleta: No Plot (yet)

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Today stage: bit hilly...
The sun is rising, splendid, and the day is starting. First week done and dusted in La Vuelta. Emotional racing so far – crashes, disqualifications, abandons and brilliant first career victories. Too  many transfers – the last one to Andorra: 500 km. A few riders traveled by helicopter, the most of them and all the staff by bus. Too many climbs? I don't think so. The most demanding mountain stage comes after the first rest day. La Vuelta is and must be a race for pure climbers, that's why I love it. No way to hide, no tactical racing here. A good team is basic but the overall contenders must clash at each top finish.
Cyclingnews has got a very complete recap. I'm not going to write something similar. I'm more about the general meaning of the race and I have to say I didn't get it yet. So far this Vuelta is like a story without a visible plot. Not the cavalcade of an unstoppable rider toward the final victory – often boring but within the blow of greatness – not a duel, not a merciless fight not even an exciting open contention featuring several serious contender. No. Vincenzo Nibali is out, as well as Dan Martin and Tejay van Garderen. Chris Froome is there, unpredictable but obviously tired
The first riders in the actual GC are Dumoulin, Rodriguez, Chaves, Aru, Valverde, Quintana, Froome and Majka. I definitely doubt that Dumoulin will be wearing that Red tomorrow. I also doubt that the young Chaves could get it back: a final top five would be already a great result for him. What about Purito Rodriguez? Looking at the stages finish orders he's one of the most regular, a strong climber and experienced rider. In my opinion Valverde is stronger and smarter than Quintana, in the mountains he looks fresher. Still they are both up there and that makes things hard for Team Movistar, again. You could think that two riders in the top ten is an advantage, and I agree...when it's clear who is the leader, and here it's not. Valverde – I'm sorry to say – is having one of the better seasons of his career while I don't see all that sparkling by Quintana. I could be absolutely wrong, the next days will tell us more. Compared to these, Rafal Majka is on a different level, in fact he usually plays a support role. But La Vuelta is a peculiar race, this Vuelta especially, and with a little good luck Majka could be the man. Yes, he's racing aggressively, he's in shape and  his team lost Sagan so he's the sole leader. He's my outsider: lets see. Fabio Aru is now the sole leader too given that Astana has lost Nibali and Landa isn't in shape. He showed something but it wasn't enough. Still it could do if he has got more. 
Spain is beautiful, of a violent beauty. Large, various and hard. Its people are passionate on the road and  each summit finish is a fiesta. In Spain cycling still is the popular show it used to be, a collective ritual bringing everybody at the window and out the door. It's a pleasure after so many races in the desert, metaphorically and litterally. It's a pleasure to watch, unless a motorbike rides on a rider or dangerous road fornitures make a finale too dangerous. 
I'm curious to see how the GC will look tonight!

martedì 1 settembre 2015

La Vuelta: UPDATE about Kris Boeckmans' conditions

Team Lotto Jumbo says  Boeckmans' conditions are "stable" but honestly it doesn't look good. My thoughts and prayers are for him.

"By reducing the sedative medication the doctors tried to take Kris Boeckmans out of the induced coma. The lung injuries (pneumothorax, laceration of the lung, bleeding of the lung and swollen pulmonary tissue) made it too difficult for Kris to sufficiently breathe independently, so he was placed in an induced coma again, this will certainly remain the case for the next seven days.
Nonetheless, the situation is stable. These injuries are the consequence of the impact on the chest. At the moment the swollen pulmonary tissue prevents an intake of oxygen via the alveoli. This swelling has to disappear slowly in a natural way. The bleeding in the lungs is kept under control by a drain which was already introduced in the thorax earlier.
The family of Kris wants to thank everybody for the many messages of support of the previous days."

lunedì 31 agosto 2015

La Vuelta 10: What's in a Name! Sbaragli Sbaraglia Tutti (Smites Them All)

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A nervous, fluid, thrilling start. An early little crash, all back on bike and the break can't go. Vasil Kiryienka attacks but he's quickly caught. 
Puerto del Oronet - 3th cat, 6 km, avg 4.4% - a large group eventually gets a a gap. They are: Cataldo, Montaguti, Henao, Verona, Zoidl, Machado, Navarro, Velits, Craddock, Plaza, Keizer, LL Sanchez, Warbasse, Erviti, Arroyo, Berhane, Van den Broeck, Hardy, Grmay, Amador, Bilbao, Vorganov, Quintero, Monfort,  Boswell, Puccio, King, Elissonde, Cummings, Meyer, Moinard, Bennett, Atapuma, Madrazo, Cherel, Villella, Torres Frohlinger Cousin McCarthy.
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Meanwhile Caleb Ewan abandons, "feeling fatigue" GE says. He's just 21 yo this guy. And he has won a stage.
The break has split in to 3 groups and several riders are dropped, including Meyer, Bennett, Zoidl, Moinard, Elissonde, Cousin, LL Sanchez, Boswell, Torres and Bilbao. It's a fluid situation and the peloton is close. All together 55 km to go.
Roche crashed. Boswell, Henao and Puccio - bday guy - are riding hard to get him back. 40 km to go Terpstra attacks and is solo in front, with 14" on a chasing group of five - Duque, McCarthy, Paulino, Keisse and Engoulvent - and 35" on the peloton. 
Embedded image permalinkBenicasim. All together again. There is no rest and nothing lasts today. It's the intermediate sprint but nobody notice: it's full gas all the way
24 km to go, Alto del Desierto de las Palmas - 2th cat, 7km, gem 5.6%). Roche is back in the peloton but Henao needs a bike change. 22 km to go De Marchi attacks, Siccard tries to bridge, Elissonde and Coppel follows. 
20 km to go, last climb, Elissonde joins and immediatelly attacks. Brambilla attacks from the peloton. Descent. Henao crashed, Kiryienka stops to hand him his bike. Definitely NOT Team Sky luky day! Flat. Brambilla is caught by a reduced peloton preparing the sprint. 5km to go, all together. The sprint is launched. It looks like Degenkolb...but no! Sbaragli smited them all. 'Sbaragliare' in Italian means 'to smite' indead. What's in a name! 

Kristian Sbaragli:
"It is a dream come true for me because it's been four times in this Vuelta that I've tried to do my sprint and today when I crossed the finish line, I still cannot believe it. It is a dream for me and a dream for MTN-Qhubeka.
Embedded image permalinkI was feeling really well on the climb and just didn’t want to miss out again. I came so close a few times already in this La Vuelta, so I decided to wait until 200 meters to go before leaving it all out there. It’s sensational, something I never tasted before. This win is good for our team, but especially for Qhubeka and our 5.000 bikes campaign."
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Team Sky DS Dario Cioni about Roche and Henao crashes:
"They both came down pretty hard but thankfully they are both OK. Nico showed great courage to get back in the peloton before the finish, and while that proved to be impossible for Sergio, he was able to finish the stage. They've both got a few cuts and bruises, and although they will be sore in the morning, we have a rest day now to get them treated and give them some time to recover. The team deserve praise for the way they handled the situation, and everyone played their part in getting Nico and Sergio to the line whilst keeping Froomey protected at the same time."
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Nicholas Roche:
"Thanks to t guys @TeamSky for helping me  after other crash.. Left a fare bit of skin on the way, but #keepfighting"

Chris Froome:

"So @geraintthomas86 would rather drive for 6hrs than take a heli flight to Andorra. We've discovered his weakness �� "
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Timo Roosen:
“It was quite tough today,” Roosen said. “At first, my legs didn’t feel really strong, but I recovered well along the way and I was able to follow the peloton over the two climbs. In the final kilometres, I spoke with George (Bennet, ed.) and we decided that I was going to sprint. He did a good lead-out, but when the pace dropped, I attacked. It was a rash decision and looking back, I don’t think it was the best choice, because I didn’t get away. I still finished 12th, but I could have done better.”

José Joaquín Rojas:
"I was close to the win, but I really sprinted more with my heart than with my legs. This was a stage I kept written down on my to-chase-list, because I had won the Spanish national championships here, but my collarbone hurt really, really much - there's still a lot of inflammation on it. I really wanted to do a good race here, and with painkillers and some guts, I tried to bring the team a stage win, but it vanished on the finish line. I really had legs to win in Murcia and here today, but this time, the collarbone pain was too much. The most important thing is that our team leaders got through the day well, and we've got two weeks ahead to keep chasing this victory and get them to overall success."

Alejandro Valverde:
"Looking at how it could have been, the stage turned out pretty well. I can't complain about how I felt on the bike, I can ride well; the worst time is when I have to raise my arm - it really hurts, there's a lot of things (like taking my musette or having drinks, food) that I have to do with the right hand... it hurts, but what worries me the most is that the body blocks itself to recover. I hope to take advantage of this rest day and do all I can on Wednesday."


1 Sbaragli
2 Degenkolb
3 Rojas
4 Van der Sande
5 Goncalves
6 Montaguti
7 Keukeleire
8 Impey
9 Serry
10 Conti
1 Dumoulin
2 Rodriguez +57
3 Chaves +59
4 Aru +1:13
5 Valverde +1:17
6 Quintana +1:17
7 Froome +1:18
8 Majka +1:57
Red: Dumoulin
Green: Chaves
Polka dot: Fraile

domenica 30 agosto 2015

La Vuelta 9: Tom Dumoulin Climbs Up La Vuelta

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Finish is waiting in Alto de Puig Llorença. A broken climb, hard, discontinous. The sea on the distance is confused to the sky, both pale blue.
Bouet is in the break with Serry, Thomas, Cattaneo, Maes, Fraile, Hurel, Jim, Brutt, Manzin, Danny Van Poppel, Bagot and Tjallingii . They have about 5'. Gougeard is chasing and manages to join. 
A crash brings down several riders, including Thomas Degand who's forced to quit. Fortunately on his foot.
Embedded image permalink43.9 km to go the gap is dropping: only 1’51” when the race start climbing Alto de Puig Llorença for the first time.
15 km to go Tjallingii attacks and is first at the intermediate sprint. He doesn't go on and now Thomas, Bouet and Brutt take a slight advantage. 5 km to go Bouet speeds up but Thomas and Brutt are ready on his wheel.
Embedded image permalinkDown toward the sea, toward the mountains again. The break is caught and they head all together to Alto de Puig Llorença for the second time: 4.1 km, 8.9% average, max 19%. It's a fireworks finale.
Embedded image permalinkAttacks shoot like bullets indead. And favourites drops one by one. Valverde, Chaves, Rodriguez and Quintana are in the lead. Quintana attacks. Aru and Majka are back to the front. 3 km to go Valverde attacks. 2 km to go about 15 riders are left in the Red Jersey group. Roche - who crash - and Henao are hanging onto the back while Froome is able to bridge over to the lead group.
Dumoulin attacks. He attacks again. He has a gap. Froome leads a furious chase up the steep hard climb, with Rodriguez and Majka They close on Dumoulin. Rodriguez attacks, Froome on his wheel. Froome goes solo
Embedded image permalinkBut from behind an incredible Tom Dumoulin comes back, passes Rodriguez, passes Froome in the true last meters and wins. Stage and jersey.

Tom Dumoulin:
“Unbelievable. I could have never imagined this. Yesterday, I had a really bad day. The team told me just to keep going and see how it goes, and today it ended pretty well…
I’m really happy with the first week and my form, as I didn’t know exactly what to expect at this Vuelta. I’m proud to be back in the leader’s jersey now, and I will see day by day how it goes from here. We are not on the big climbs yet, but my climbing is improving and I’m climbing well."

Embedded image permalinkRafal Majka:
"Today I didn’t feel so good and I tried to attack in the finale to gain some meters before the finish. But when the climb is this steep, every hundred meters feels very long but still it’s not bad at the end and I finished fifth and move into the top ten in the general classification. We wait for Andorra and the last week, we still have many mountains with longer climbs, which are more different. I’m satisfied with this first week and my teammates have worked for me perfectly.
But we have to wait, we also have the long time trial and we have some big favorites here but I’m still there and today I tried. I had an advantage with 700 meters to go but I didn’t believe that I would take the win. I told my teammates that I was suffering a bit today and they worked to position me at the front before the final climb. Everybody has bad days and I think I had mine today. It wasn’t the same legs as two-three days ago but we have many days to go".

Chris Froome:
"I'm gutted. I thought I had it for a second there. But Dumoulin has shown incredible form in this race and hats off to him. He's a young rider with a bright future ahead of him.
The guys did a fantastic job for me today keeping myself, Nicolas Roche, Mikel Nieve and Sergio Henao - the four climbers - at the front of the race, and bringing us into the climb in a perfect position. So we've got them to thank today for all the hard work they did.
Embedded image permalinkI gave it everything. I did try and ride more conservatively at the bottom to try and save something for an effort at the top if I had the legs. More than anything I'm just happy that I was up there and didn't lose too much time today."

Maarten Tjallingii:
“It was clear that I was going to have a hard time on the climb, so I decided to attack just before the intermediate sprint with 13 kilometres to go. I thought, that way I’ll at least win that sprint. With a small lead, you never know what can happen on a final climb like today’s. It also provides some extra morale. The climb turned out to be even steeper than indicated in the road book. That is often the case in Spain. All in all, it nevertheless was a nice day. Showing yourself in a grand tour always creates a kind of satisfaction. Hopefully, it’s three times lucky for me as well, just as for Bert-Jan Lindeman.”

1 Dumoulin 
2 Froome +2 
3 Rodriguez +5 
4 Aru +16 
5 Majka +18 
6 Quintana +20 
7 Valverde +20 
8 Roche +31 
9 Pozzovivo +33
1 Dumoulin 
2 Rodriguez +57 
3 Chaves +59 
4 Roche +1:07 
5 Valverde +1:09
6 Aru +1:13 
7 Quintana +1:17
8 Froome +1:18

La Vuelta 8: UPDATE Stuyven and Sagan Abandon Due to Crash - Reactions

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The winner of stage 8th, Jasper Stuyven sprinted with a broken left scaphoid. Peter Sagan instead couldn't sprint at all, taken down by a Shimano neutral service motorbike, now the news that he's also out.

Jasper Stuyven:
“Like I said after the finish, I felt my wrist and it was getting more and more painful, so I asked to go to the hospital to make the check. I was already scared that it could be the scaphoid because I know from friends who are cyclists what the pain feels like and where it’s located. And, unfortunately, the X-rays confirmed that it is broken and that my Vuelta finishes today.
At first I was of course really disappointed, but then I realized that I really have to enjoy this moment, because now is the time to enjoy my first professional win. For what’s next, I will see when I get home and have the surgery.”

TFR Team doctor Nino Daniele:
“The fracture is not dislocated, so in fact it won’t be difficult to resolve it, but it goes without saying that Jasper cannot ride his bike for now. First of all, it would be very painful, but then it’s also possible that the broken bones move and we absolutely want to avoid that. If anything goes well, as I hope, in a couple of weeks, he should be back on the bike and probably sooner on the rollers with his cast."

Peter Sagan:  
“Unfortunately, it isn't the first time such an incident happens. Even if motorbikes are forced to go through a group of riders, they should do it very carefully and not recklessly. In my opinion, motorbike drivers don't take the safety of the riders in consideration seriously. Fortunately, my injuries aren't very serious but can you imagine what would have happened if he had ran over me? 
If I had crashed alone or with another rider, I would have considered that to be part of the sport. However, being hit by a motorbike of the race organization shouldn't be acceptable. The safety of the riders should be an absolute priority and all vehicle drivers involved in a race must be more attentive. I really hope this incident is the start of a series of necessary changes in the way races are organized. 
There was a breakaway in front and, together with a rider from Lotto-Soudal, I was attacking to bridge the gap. Then the group reached us from behind and I was sitting in second place, while another Lotto-Soudal rider came to the front to pull. So, I attacked again to reach him, as he was about ten meters ahead. When I reached him, I signaled to him to go ahead as I was staying on his wheel. I moved to the left and at that moment a motorbike hit me. There was nothing I could do.
I didn't even hear the motorbike coming. I find it unacceptable that a motorbike tries to weave its way into the group at such high speed. They accelerate and try to sneak in when they see an empty space. However, they don’t take into consideration that a rider might fall in front of them or change direction. They go extremely fast and the difference of speed compared to the riders is enormous. Last but not least, I go back to the team hotel and I read I was fined 300 francs for insults and threats as well as behavior that damages the image of cycling. I will, obviously, pay it but I consider it unjust."

"Sagan was hit by a reckless auxiliary motorbike in the final kilometers of stage 8 and suffered wounds and burns of first and second degree on the left side of his body, from the hip to the lower leg. In addition, he has a contusion on his left forearm with an intra-muscular hematoma. The team doctor, together with the sport directors at the Vuelta, decided that Sagan cannot safely continue the race with the injuries he suffered. As a result, he will fly back home as soon as possible.
The entire Tinkoff-Saxo team is disappointed and upset that Sagan's participation in the race comes to such an abrupt end. The Vuelta a España is one of the season's most important races and both Sagan and the team had high expectations. At the moment of the incident, Sagan was wearing the green jersey, he had won one stage, was set to target stage 8, while being in serious contention for later stage wins. 
Despite this important loss, Tinkoff-Saxo will keep its remaining goals intact and the entire squad will support team leader Rafal Majka in his fight for wins in the mountain stages as well as a top position in the general classification".