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  1. Ketone supplements used at Jumbo-Visma

    Jumbo-Visma are the latest team linked to the use of the dietary supplement ketones that are thought to improve recovery for endurance athletes. Team manager Richard Plugge confirmed that his riders use the supplement in a report published in De Telegraafon Monday.

    "Ketones are a dietary supplement. You can use them just like vitamins. The substance is not on the prohibited list, and it's also known that other teams use ketones," Plugge told the Dutch news outlet.

    The Dutch team have had 38 victories this year, with their most recent string of success at the Tour de France, where Mike Teunissen won stage 1. They then won the stage 2 team time trial, sprinter Dylan Groenewegen won stage 7, and Wout van Aert won stage 10 on Monday.


    Ketones are produced by the liver once there are no carbohydrates to burn, and fat stores begin to burn. Synthetic ketone supplements, used in conjunction with a low-carb diet, are thought to provide an added energy source that helps preserve glycogen storage, reduce lactic acid and aid in recovery.

    A recent study out of the University of Leuven in Belgium links ketone supplements to a 15 per cent increase in performance for endurance athletes. According to De Telegraaf, Professor Peter Hespel had 16 subjects ride a mini Tour de France while ingesting ketones, and later said that the substance had an "unprecedented effect on recovery", but the "performance capacity also increases considerably".

    The use of ketones among the professional peloton has been linked to several WorldTour teams in recent years, dating back to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It has also been suggested that ketone supplements have been used at the Team Sky and QuickStep teams in previous years.

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  2. Tour de France: Porte and Ciccone lose time in crosswinds

    Richie Porte and Trek-Segafredo suffered through a tough day in the crosswinds Monday during stage 10 at the Tour de France, just missing out on the lead group when the race blew into echelons with 30km to go and losing time to many of the top general classification favourites.

    Porte finished the stage in a group that came in 1:40 down on winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who won a reduced sprint from a  group that included Team Ineos' Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, Jumbo-Visma's Steven Kruijswijk, Deceuninck-QuickStep's Enric Mas, AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet, Movistar's Nairo Quintana, Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates and Arkea-Samsic's Warren Barguil.

    Former yellow jersey Giulio Ciccone lost even more time, finishing 2:09 behind Van Aert and slipping from second overall to 10th, ceding his white jersey of the best young rider to Bernal.


     "We knew it was coming, but when they put it in the gutter there on the left-hand side, I was the last guy to not get across," Porte said in an interview published on the team's website. "It was just a power thing, and I just wasn’t up for it today. It’s disappointing, but the race still goes on. There were quite a lot of GC guys in my boat as well, so I guess now we all have to do something, but there’s still a lot of hard racing to come."

    Porte's teammate Bauke Mollema led the Australian's group across the line. Other favourites finishing with Porte were Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Movistar's Mikel Landa crashed near the finish and lost more time, finishing with Ciccone's group at 2:09.

    Ciccone said he and his teammates were prepared for the crosswinds earlier in the race, but they thought the danger had passed when the winds eventually ripped the race apart.

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  3. Tour de France: Team Ineos flying high ahead of first rest day

    If the first nine days of the 2019 Tour de France were going to plan for Team Ineos – and they were, barring Geraint Thomas' crash on stage 8 – then the events of a crosswind-hit stage 10 to Albi saw them head into the first rest day flying high.

    As other general classification contenders, notably Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), floundered when the peloton split 30 kilometres from the line, it was the British squad who predictably turned the situation to their advantage.

    "It feels like we've just scored a goal," said a buoyant Dave Brailsford after the stage. "[The time gap] is significant. It's quite rare to get that block of time on a whole bunch of GC guys, unless it's a hilltop finish or team time trial. I can't remember getting that kind of time before, so that's cool."


    Both reigning champion Thomas and Team Ineos co-leader Egan Bernal were positioned towards the front of the peloton when it split with 30 kilometres to go under pressure from the team and Deceuninck-QuickStep.

    The peloton quickly split into three distinct groups, with Pinot, Porte, Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First), Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) all on the wrong side of the situation. Each man would lose 1:40 on the day, with Landa crashing and ending up 2:09 down.

    Bernal took an added bonus – the white jersey – as previous holder Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) finished with Landa. Brailsford praised the young Colombian, who now lies one spot behind Thomas in third overall, as well as his team, half-filled with classics specialists.

    Favourable terrain and forward planning

    Team Ineos on top

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  4. Watch Wout van Aert win his first individual Tour de France stage - Video

    On paper at least, stage 10 at the 2019 Tour de France was supposed to be a day for the sprinters and a relatively easy 'transition' for the rest of the peloton as the race heads to the first rest day and then the Pyrenees, but heavy crosswinds over the final 40km blew the general classification race apart as echelons formed on the roads to Albi.

    Nobody won the Tour de France overall on stage 10, but there were riders among the second and third groups on the road who lost significant time to their rivals. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) all ceded more than a minute as Team Ineos and Deceuninck-QuickStep teamed up to drive the pace high and force the peloton into scramble mode.


    A bad day for some Tour veterans eventually gave way to a Tour debutante as Wout van Aert picked up the Jumbo-Visma reins in the sprint finale when Dylan Groenewegen missed the splits. The 24-year-old three-time cyclo-cross world champion added his first individual Tour de France stage win after his earlier TTT victory by holding off a shocked Elia Viviani (Deceuniunck-QuickStep) at the line.

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  5. Alaphilippe: My GC plans haven't changed since the Tour de France started

    There was never any danger that Julian Alaphilippe would miss the split. On all terrains and in all situations, the Frenchman has been a hyperactive presence on this Tour de France. Whenever the television cameras show the front of the race, he is invariably somewhere in the shot.

    So it was on the windswept road to Albi on stage 10, where the peloton fragmented into echelons with a shade over 30 kilometres to go thanks to the forcing of Alaphilippe's Deceuninck-QuickStep team. Inevitably, the maillot jaune himself provided some of the most vigorous swings of the wrecking ball, helping to cleave a group of 30 or so riders clear of a suddenly balkanised bunch.

    Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Jakob Fulgsang (Astana), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and second-placed Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) were among those left languishing behind. There would be no way back, as Deceuninck-QuickStep found a ready ally of circumstance in Ineos, who had both Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal safely aboard.


    By day's end, Alaphilippe's lead atop the general classification had stretched out to 1:12, with Thomas now in second place overall and Bernal a further 4 seconds back in third. Afterwards, he explained that his increased lead was an almost inadvertent by-product of trying to tee up Elia Viviani for stage victory, though the Italian had to settle for second behind Wout van Aert in the reduced bunch sprint.

    "It wasn't planned, we were just expecting the race to be nervous and tricky," Alaphilippe said. "We planned to protect my yellow jersey and then stay focused on the sprint for Elia. We knew exactly at which kilometre we had to pay attention to possible crosswinds. All the teams had the same information, so there was a lot of pressure and stress in the peloton. It broke up and after the split, we did the maximum."

    Alaphilippe expressed regret that his fellow countryman Pinot was among those to concede significant ground in the race for final overall victory. The Groupama-FDJ man lost 1:40 and drops to 11th overall, 2:33 down on Alaphilippe. They had been allies of circumstance on the road to Saint-Étienne two days ago, but coalitions at the Tour are, by their nature, always ephemeral.

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