Tour de France 2018: Denmark's Magnus Cort Nielsen powers to first stage victory of his career

Posted by On 3:44 PM

Tour de France 2018: Denmark's Magnus Cort Nielsen powers to first stage victory of his career

Team Sky's key domestique Gianni Moscon has been evicted from the Tour de France after he was seen punching a fellow rider in the opening kilometre of Sunday's stage 15.

Replays appeared to show the Italian, who has played an important part in Team Sky's domination of this year's Tour, reaching behind him to hit the French rider Elie Gesbert after around 800m of the route from Millau to Carcassonne, and race commissaires later disqualified him for "serious aggression".

Moscon has a chequered history, having last year racially abused another rider and also suffered disqualification from the world championships for holding on to a team car and his future at Team Sky is now under serious threat.

Tour de France 2018: stage-by-stage guide

42 show all Tour de France 2018: stage-by-stage guide

1/42 Stage 1

Saturday 7 July: Noirmoutier-En-L’Ïle to Fontenay-Le-Comte (201km)

2/42 Stage 1 profile

A flat opening stage following the coastline which will expose the peloton to crosswinds from the Atlantic Ocean and is likely to end in a bunch sprint.

3/42 Stage 2

Sunday 8 July: Mouilleron-Saint Germain to La Roche-Sur-Yon (182.5km)

4/42 Stage 2 profile

A route through the Vendee countryside with another opportunity for the sprinters to clinch a stage victory.

5/42 Stage 3

Monday 9 July: Cholet (te am time trial, 35.5km)

6/42 Stage 3 profile

A team trial around Cholet which will give an early indication as to the quality and depth of the leading groups.

7/42 Stage 4

Tuesday 10 July: La Baule to Sarzeau (195 km)

8/42 Stage 4 profile

The visit to Brittany could be the moment for the dominant sprinter of the Tour to make his mark.

9/42 Stage 5

Wednesday 11 July: Lorient to Quimper (204.5 km )

10/42 Stage 5 profile

A tricky stage to Finistere full of narrow roads and short, sharp climbs.

11/42 Stage 6

Thursday 12 July: Brest â€" Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan (181 km)

12/42 Stage 6 profile

The Mur de Bretagne will be scaled twice in the final kilometres in the toughest test of the first week.

13/42 Stage 7

Friday 13 July: Fougères to Chartres (231 km)

14/42 Stage 7 profile

This is a long stage which invites a breakaway but is likely to won by a sprinter.

15/42 Stage 8

Saturday 14 July: Dreux to Amiens Métropole (181 km)

16/42 Stage 8 profile

The sprinters could be scuppered by the Normandy crosswinds â€" conditions will be crucial.

17/42 Stage 9

Sunday 15 July: Arras Citadelle to Roubaix (156.5 km)

18/42 Stage 9 profile

A testing route consisting of 22km of cobblestone split into 15 treacherous section which could claim a few casualties.

19/42 Stage 10

Tuesday 17 July: Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand (158.5 km)

20/42 Stage 10 profile

A rare trip off the asphalt and on to a gravel road is likely to puncture a few tyres.

21/42 Stage 11

Wednesday 18 July: Albertville to La Rosière (108.5 km)

22/42 Stage 11

A first serious taste of the mountains, albeit on a very short stage.

23/42 Stage 12

Thursday 19 July: Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arc to Alpe d’Huez (175.5 km)

24/42 Stage 12 profile

A summit finish on top of the Tour de France’s most iconic climb: Alpe d’Huez.

25/42 Stage 13

Friday 20 July: Bourg d’Oisans to Valence (169.5 km)

26/42 Stage 13 profile

A gentler day after three stages in the mountains and one for the sprinters to contest.

27/42 Stage 14

Saturday 21 July: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende (188 km)

28/42 Stage 14 profile

A stage with four categorised climbs including a sharp climb to Mende which will hurt tired legs.

29/42 Stage 15

Sunday 22 July: Millau to Carcassonne (181.5 km)

30/42 Stage 15 profile

Another undulating day ripe for a breakaway.

31/42 Stage 16

Tuesday 24 July: Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon (218 km)

32/42 Stage 16 profile

A long and draining stage with three ascents in the second half to bring out the best in the elite climbers.

33/42 Stage 17

Wednesday 25 July: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan (65 km)

34/42 Stage 17 profile

The s hortest regular stage for 30 years and yet a brutal one, finishing on the steep Col du Portet, which could prove decisive.

35/42 Stage 18

Thursday 26 July: Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau (171 km)

36/42 Stage 18 profile

Some respite for the climbers after three draining days, and another chance for the sprinters to shine.

37/42 Stage 19

Friday 27 July: Lourdes to Laruns (200.5 km)

38/42 Stage 19 profile

The famous Aspin-Tourmalet combination in the middle of this stage makes it perfect for a yellow jersey assault.

39/42 Stage 20

Saturday 28 July: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette (individual time trial, 31 km)

40/42 Stage 20 profile

A time trial with enough short climbs â€" including the final Col du Pinodieta â€" to upset the traditional time triallists.

41/42 Stage 21

Sunday 29 July: Houilles to Paris (116 km)

42/42 Stage 21 profil e

The procession into the Champs-Elysees for those that have made it, and one final opportunity for the power riders.

1/42 Stage 1

Saturday 7 July: Noirmoutier-En-L’Ïle to Fontenay-Le-Comte (201km)

2/42 Stage 1 profile

A flat opening stage following the coastline which will expose the peloton to crosswinds from the Atlantic Ocean and is likely to end in a bunch sprint.

3/42 Stage 2

Sunday 8 July: Mouilleron-Saint Germain to La Roche-Sur-Yon (182.5km)

4/42 Stage 2 profile

A route through the Vendee countryside with another opportunity for the sprinters to clinch a stage victory.

5/42 Stage 3

Monday 9 July: Cholet (team time trial, 35.5km)

6/42 Stage 3 profile

A team trial around Cholet which will give an early indication as to the quality and depth of the leading groups.

7/42 Stage 4

Tuesday 10 July: La Baule to Sarzeau (195 km)

8/42 Stage 4 profile

The visit to Brittany could be the moment for the dominant sprinter of the Tour to make his mark.

9/42 Stage 5

Wednesday 11 July: Lorient to Quimper (204.5 km)

10/42 Stage 5 profile

A tricky stage to Finistere full of narrow roads and short, sharp climbs.

11/42 Stage 6

Thursday 12 July: Brest â€" Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan (181 km)

12/42 Stage 6 profile

The Mur de Bretagne will be scaled twice in the final kilometres in the toughest test of the first week.

13/42 Stage 7

Friday 13 July: Fougères to Chartres (231 km)

14/42 Stage 7 profile

This is a long stage which invites a breakaway but is likely to won by a sprinter.

15/42 Stage 8

Saturday 14 July: Dreux to Amiens Métropole (181 km)

16/42 Stage 8 profile The sprinters could be scuppered by the Normandy crosswinds â€" conditions will be crucial.

17/42 Stage 9

Sunday 15 July: Arras Citadelle to Roubaix (156.5 km)

18/42 Stage 9 profile

A testing route consisting of 22km of cobblestone split into 15 treacherous section which could claim a few casualties.

19/42 Stage 10

Tuesday 17 July: Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand (158.5 km)

20/42 Stage 10 profile

A rare trip off the asphalt and on to a gravel road is likely to puncture a few tyres.

21/42 Stage 11

Wednesday 18 July: Albertville to La Rosière (108.5 km)

22/42 Stage 11

A first serious taste of the mountains, albeit on a very short stage.

23/42 Stage 12

Thursday 19 July: Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arc to Alpe d’Huez (175.5 km)

24/42 Stage 12 profile

A summit finish on top of the Tour de France’s most iconic climb: Alpe d’Huez.

25/42 Stage 13

Friday 20 July: Bourg d’Oisans to Valence (169.5 km)

26/42 Stage 13 profile

A gentler day after three stages in the mountains and one for the sprinters to contest.

27/42 Stage 14

Saturday 21 July: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende (188 km)

28/42 Stage 14 profile

A stage with four categoris ed climbs including a sharp climb to Mende which will hurt tired legs.

29/42 Stage 15

Sunday 22 July: Millau to Carcassonne (181.5 km)

30/42 Stage 15 profile

Another undulating day ripe for a breakaway.

31/42 Stage 16

Tuesday 24 July: Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon (218 km)

32/42 Stage 16 profile

A long and draining stage with three ascents in the second half to bring out the best in the el ite climbers.

33/42 Stage 17

Wednesday 25 July: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan (65 km)

34/42 Stage 17 profile

The shortest regular stage for 30 years and yet a brutal one, finishing on the steep Col du Portet, which could prove decisive.

35/42 Stage 18

Thursday 26 July: Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau (171 km)

36/42 Stage 18 profile

Some respite for the climbers after three draining days, and another chance for the sprinters to shine.

37/42 Stage 19

Friday 27 July: Lourdes to Laruns (200.5 km)

38/42 Stage 19 profile

The famous Aspin-Tourmalet combination in the middle of this stage makes it perfect for a yellow jersey assault.

39/42 Stage 20

Saturday 28 July: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette (individual time trial, 31 km)

40/42 Stage 20 profile

A time trial with enough short cl imbs â€" including the final Col du Pinodieta â€" to upset the traditional time triallists.

41/42 Stage 21

Sunday 29 July: Houilles to Paris (116 km)

42/42 Stage 21 profile

The procession into the Champs-Elysees for those that have made it, and one final opportunity for the power riders.

The talented Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen won the stage in a sprint in convincing style to claim the first Tour de France stage of his career, on an otherwise calm and controlled day for Geraint Thomas who maintained his hold on the yellow jersey and his 1 min 39 sec advantage over Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome.

The final 10km descended into a tactical tease between eight riders of which three teams had a pair of contestants â€" Bahrain-Merida, Trek-Segafredo and Astana. They came together to shut down the hangers on and sent one each up the road chasing victory, where Astana’s Nielsen led Jon Izagirre and Bauka Mollema into the finish, slowing the pace heading into the final 400m before showing his sprinting prowess to win by several lengths.

Gianni Moscon was disqualified after an altercation (AFP/Getty Images)

It was the second successive stage win for the Kazakh tea m and signalled what might be to come for the impressive Nielsen. “It’s amazing, it’s what I’ve been dreaming off since before I could ride a bike,” said the 25-year-old. “It’s my first year here at the Tour. I have to thank my team a lot for believing in me and Michael [Valgren] for helping in the finish. Many days ago the team said this was the stage for me and everything worked out perfectly.”

Mollema, who finished third, said of the finish: “It was a tactical finale. We worked well together, everybody was looking at each other and it was a bit of a game in the last 10km. It was good to attack, but you know that Nielsen is so fast and I think he deserved to win today.”

Team Sky controlled the peloton virtually from the start in Millau, rolling under its magnificent viaduct and south towards the Pyrenees where this race will ultimately be decided next week, and it quickly split into two separate battles: a breakaway chasing the stage victory and the overall leaders contesting the yellow jersey 15 minutes behind them.

The peloton rides under the Millau Viaduct (AFP/Getty Images)

A group of more than 40 stragglers which included talented French sprinter Arnaud Démare were quickly dropped during the stage’s lumpy start, while at the front a determined group of 29 riders made a breakaway stick, allowed to go because none carried much threat to yellow.

Not for the first time on this Tour, the French team Direct Energy threw a spanner in the works, this time in the shape of Lilian Calmejane who attacked on his own to break free and scale the middle of the day’s three categorised climbs, the Col de Sié, solo.

From there the race headed down to the town of Mazemet and the foot of the final climb, the steep and exposed category-one Pic de More making its Tour de France debut. Calmejane tagged out and his team-mate Fabien Grellier took over, grinding towards the summit with Trek-Segafredo’s Julian Bernard on his tail, with the breakaway strung ou t in several pockets of chasers behind them.

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas during stage 15 (AFP/Getty Images)

As the roads steepened, the two-time king of the mountains Rafal Majka pumped his way up the Pic de Nore, past Grellier, Bernard and over the top. Two gave chase in the howling wind: Bernard’s South African team-mate Mollema, so far having a surprisingly quiet Tour, and impressively the Dane better known for his sprinting, Nielsen.

Fifteen minutes back down the hill the yellow-jersey group were seemingly content to amble home with Team Sky on the nose and in control, but after suffering a puncture on Saturday, Ireland’s Dan Martin saw a window of opportunity. Tenth overall at the start of the day and six minutes back, Martin suddenly surged into the distance in an effort to earn back time and assuming that he posed so little threat to Team Sky they wouldn’t give chase.

Magnus Cort Nielsen celebrates his victory on the line (Getty)

He was wrong, with Team Sky initially opting to hold their position, filling the roads as they narrowed to block counter-attacks and quickly smothering an attempted jab from Romain Bardet, before eventually upping the pace and sucking Martin back in â€" a compliment if not a material gain in minutes and seconds for the Irishman.

Up ahead Majka was reeled in on the descent into Carcassonne as seven members of the original breakaway came back together and the road flattened out. As three emerged, Nielsen took control to claim his first Tour win in a signal of what his future might hold; for Thomas, Froome and Team Sky, it is all about the present and making the most of the final rest day before this race’s fascinating showdown in the Pyrenees, which they will tackle without one of their key supports.

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Source: Google News Denmark | Netizen 24 Denmark

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