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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 2, 2012

Date published:
April 02, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Langeveld crashes after hitting spectator in Tour of Flanders

    Langeveld comes to grief at the 2012 Tour of Oman
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 16:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Broken collarbone for GreenEdge rider

    The most dramatic crash of the Tour of Flanders saw Sebastian Langeveld hit an onlooker when both ventured onto the bike path next to the road. The GreenEdge rider, who was going at full speed at the time, suffered a horrible looking fall.

    On a slight descent, the Dutch rider jumped from the road on to the bike path. The onlooker, taken by surprise, didn't get out of the way sufficiently. He did not appear to have been injured.

    The same can't be said of Langeveld, though. He fell over his handlebars and hit the pavement hard. One of his wheels went flying.

    After the race GreenEdge confirmed that Langeveld has broken his collarbone and faces several weeks on the sidelines.

  • Video: George Hincapie sets Tour of Flanders record

    George Hincapie (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 17:33 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American makes history with 17th finish

    George Hincapie (Team BMC) set the record for the most Tour of Flanders finishes on Sunday. The American came home in 52nd place, 3:26 down on winner Tom Boonen but the 38-year-old played his part in helping secure a podium spot for teammate Alessandro Ballan.

    Hincapie’s finish ensures that he now holds the record of 17 complete rides in Flanders, on more than Briek Schotte, who raced in the 1940s and 50s.

    Cyclingnews caught up with Hincapie as soon as he crossed the line. The American told Cyclingnews, “I’m empty right now so it’s hard to celebrate but we worked hard as a team and Alessandro was third. We’re happy and I’m honoured to have broken the record. To me it’s an honour, and I would never have imagined doing 17 Tour of Flanders.”

  • Team Sky comes up empty handed at Tour of Flanders

    Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) was caught before the line in 2005 but hung on for second.
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 18:32 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Bad luck and tired legs means no top 10 finish

    Team Sky came away from the Tour of Flanders empty handed, despite strong performances from both Edvald Boasson Hagen and Juan Antonio Flecha. The Sky captains were in contention until a combination of bad luck and tired legs ended their chances of top 10 results, with Boasson Hagen taking 18th and Flecha finishing one place further back.

    At the finish in Oudenaarde, Sky's team director Servais Knaven praised the team's overall efforts. While Boasson Hagen came into the race with decent form, Flecha was somewhat of an unknown. An injury had kept him out of competition for over four weeks and despite his pedigree in the Classics, his form in a 260km race was a mystery.

    "We're happy with Flecha. He didn't ride for four weeks and when you come back to this level again, with the best riders, I think then you can be happy with his ride. Edvald did a good ride as well and he showed what he is capable of and he's looking good for next weekend at Paris-Roubaix," Knaven told Cyclingnews.

    On the first of three laps of the race's major climbs, Sky had strength in numbers. Flecha and Boasson Hagen were supported by Matthew Hayman, Bernhard Eisel, Ian Stannard and Christian Knees. However the team's race began to unravel on the second assent of the Paterberg. Garmin-Barracuda's Johan Vansummeren was edged into the barriers, causing a pile up in the middle of the road. Boasson Hagen was caught behind and his attempt to chase back with Oscar Gatto was futile. On the third set of climbs, the Norwegian was unable to respond to the trio of Alessandro Ballan, Tom Boonen and...

  • So near but so far for Pozzato at Tour of Flanders

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) finished second by the narrowest of margins
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 19:03 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian almost dropped Boonen on Paterberg

    It's hard to know what Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) will rue more when he thinks back over the Tour of Flanders: the inches that separated him from winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in the sprint at Oudenaarde or the metres that were ultimately the difference between dropping Boonen on the Paterberg and dragging him clear in the race's winning break.

    Just 300 metres in length, the final helling of the Ronde kicks up to a ferocious 20 percent gradient near its summit, and it was here that Pozzato's forcing looked to have put Boonen into significant difficulty. To the horror of the Flemish faithful gathered on the hillside, the Italian pair of Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) opened a small gap over a Boonen, who was clearly struggling to keep his gear turning over.

    The Belgian fought gamely to limit his losses, however, and stayed just about within reaching distance of Ballan's back wheel as the road levelled out again. Speaking to Cyclingnews afterwards, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia manager Luca Scinto lamented that the road hadn't gone upwards just that little bit further.

    "It's a pity that the Paterberg wasn't 20 metres longer," Scinto said, shaking his head. "I think Boonen was on the limit. With that extra 20 metres, Pippo would have been able to drop Boonen, and the race might have had a very different finale."

    Amid the tumult of the natural amphitheatre of the Paterberg, which the race crossed three times, Pozzato...

  • Video: RadioShack left broken after Cancellara's Flanders

    Fabian Cancellara was one of the favourites but could only finish 13th
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 19:39 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Dirk Demol on bad luck, the loss of Cancellara and Paris-Roubaix

    It was supposed to be the titanic battle between Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek), the two cobbled Classics riders of a generation. Both were in top form, both looking for their first Classics win of the season and both eager to land a crucial blow before next weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, but in the end, the Tour of Flanders was robbed of its expected showdown, with Fabian Cancellara crashing out with a broken collarbone.

    Boonen still had plenty of work to do before scooping up his third Flanders title of his career but for RadioShack, Cancellara and his loyal fans, the cobbled Classics are now over. With a broken collarbone, Cancellara is out of Paris-Roubaix and will have to wait another 12 months before he can battle Boonen on their favourite terrain once more.

    At the finish of Flanders in Oudenaarde, RadioShack’s Dirk Demol, was visibly upset, a masked smile covering up the disappointment the team must be feeling with their talisman lying in a hospital bed with Johan Bruyneel looking on.

    Cancellara’s Belgian spring has been chipped away by a run of bad luck. At E3 Harelbeke he crashed twice, and suffered two punctures and despite such set backs he was one of the strongest – if not the strongest –in the race.

    In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews Demol talks about Cancellara and what he means to the RadioShack team, who...

  • Boonen equals Flanders record with third victory

    Tom Boonen was all smiles after winning his third Tour of Flanders
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 20:54 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Mechanical problem threatens Belgian on Paterberg

    An impressive rookie performance as a US Postal Service rider in the service of American rider George Hincapie in the 2002 edition of Paris-Roubaix sent signals that Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) had a bright future ahead of him at the pavé classics. Ever since joining Patrick Lefevre's Quick Step team in 2003, he has always played his role in in the cobbled races with their short, but tough climbs.

    In 2005, the year of Tornado Tom,  he lived up to high expectations when he bagged the double win at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix at the tender age of 24. One year later, Boonen won Flanders again and from that year on, a third win was talk of town in the weeks ahead of the race.

    On Sunday, Boonen did just that, winning his third Flanders against Italian riders Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas-Cannondale) and anther former winner Alessandro Ballan (BMC) and putting himself in the same category as four legendary riders Achiel Buysse, Fiorenzi Magni, Eric Leman and Johan Museeuw. It is not an easy record to match; even Eddy Merckx didn't succeed in equaling it. It was April Fool's Day, but Boonen's accomplishment was no joke.

    "It's amazing. It's only now that it's starting to get into my head that I've won the Tour of Flanders three times," said Boonen. "By the start of the season, I had said that if I could have a good winter with no injures, there would be a lot of races where I could get a record. I already have two records now, shared with the other guys. It's an important year. Winning this race three times puts the races I won before in the spotlight again. It shows that I've already had a nice career."

    Although Boonen's win Flanders was the 103rd victory of his career, crossing the line first in...

  • Sagan shows his mettle at Flanders

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) on his way to a fifth placed finish
    Article published:
    April 01, 2012, 22:04 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Slovak's display shows progress since 2011

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) rolled with the sling and arrows of Tour of Flanders fortune on Sunday to finish in a fine fifth place after a typically pugnacious display on the road to Oudenaarde.

    The Slovak was consistently among the strongest of the contenders on the hellingen that littered the second half of the course, but his challenge suffered a crucial setback when he was caught behind Johan Vansummeren's crash on the penultimate ascension of the Paterberg with 34km to go.

    With the Omega Pharma-QuickStep trio of Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Sylvain Chavanel putting the hammer down at that precise moment, Sagan had his work cut out to chase back on to the leading group. Although he succeeded in doing so, he paid a price for that effort the final time over the Oude Kwaremont, and was unable to respond when Alessandro Ballan (BMC), Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and eventual winner Boonen formed what turned out to be the decisive break.

    "The problem was that I got caught behind the crash on the Paterberg so I had to make a huge effort there to get back on. Then on the Kwaremont the third time, it wasn't that I didn't have any legs left, but I wasn't able to stay with Pozzato and Boonen at that point," Sagan told Cyclingnews at the Liquigas-Cannondale team bus after the finish.

    Just three kilometres separate the Kwaremont from the Paterberg, and the sizeable body of riders within touching distance of the trio of leaders were unable to organise themselves ahead of the race's final climb. As the Paterberg pitched up to 20 percent and the Boonen group , an impatient Sagan took matters into his own hands.

    "We were going along regularly and then on the Paterberg, I said to myself that...

  • Leipheimer injured in crash while training

    Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was attentive as usual
    Article published:
    April 02, 2012, 0:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American headed home instead of to Pais Vasco

    Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) was hit from behind by a car while alone on a training ride in Pais Vasco on Sunday. Leipheimer suffered soreness and swelling to his lower left leg. He was transported to the hospital where an x-ray was performed. No broken bones were found, and he is hoping that the injury is just a muscle contusion to his left calf.

    Due to the injury, Leipheimer will not start Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco on Monday. Other examinations will be done once he arrives in California tomorrow. He will return to training depending on how his clinical situation evolves.

    "I was kind of in shock, you know," Leipheimer said. "The bottom line is it was super scary, and I am lucky to be alive. I'd also like to add that the team has been really supportive. The doctor here took great care of me. Ro, who handles all our travel did a great job at making sure I get home really early, and I've received good messages from the team. I'm really thankful for that."