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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 4, 2011

Date published:
April 04, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Roulston hit by car while training in Spain

    Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad) in his new 2011 New Zealand champion's jersey
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 3:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Run of bad luck continues for New Zealander

    New Zealand road champion Hayden Roulston will find out overnight how bad his injuries are after being hit by a car while training in Spain over the weekend.

    The accident happened only metres from his home after he had just finished a training ride.

    "We just didn't see each other," Roulston said. "We were both going slow which was probably a good thing. I was seconds from home."

    Roulston has injured his lower right side of his back and his left shoulder, which took the brunt of his fall. He has not broken any bones but has difficulty bending over and moving his left arm higher than his shoulder.

    The double Olympic medallist will visit a doctor for further scans overnight and will then be in a better position to discuss his immediate racing plans with his HTC-Highroad team.

    Roulston has had a challenging spring campaign in Europe which has been affected by illness and now the crash.

    "It's been a disappointing and really frustrating three weeks," he said. "But I know things can only improve and I'll know more about the extent of the injuries after another visit to the doctor."

    Roulston was due to race in the Vuelta Ciclista this week as a build up to this weekend's prestigious Paris -Roubaix one day classic, a race he finished 10th in last year racing ill.

    "I had a good result in Paris Roubaix last year when I was really sick and know I could have gone much better than the 10th I got – it showed I could mix it with the best on those big one day classics and I was really looking forward to mixing it up again this year full fit."

    "Being sick recently means I have lost some condition which meant racing this week was...

  • Video: Jonathan Vaughters talks about Garmin-Cervelo's performance in the Tour of Flanders 2011

    Garmin-Cervelo manager Jonathan Vaughters knows his team needs a big win in this classics campaign.
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 4:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Too many cooks are not spoiling team's broth

    A candid Jonathan Vaughters was again left to wonder what could have been, after all three of Garmin Cervelo's key riders failed to fire. Tyler Farrar who was the team's best placed rider in the race (13th), was unable to reproduce his 4th in last year's race after becoming isolated in the third group on the road. Neither Thor Hushovd (53rd) nor Heinrich Haussler (61st) were able to give the support Farrar needed in the finale. A disappointed Vaughters said that while Farrar was in good form, Hushovd was not feeling good, which didn't leave the team with a lot of options.

    "When you have two riders and one says he doesn't have it, what can you do? All you can do is sit in and hope for the best."

    "No matter how good your team is; no matter how good your riders are, at the end of the day you have to be strong. So far none of our guys have been totally on top of their game."

    Vaughters also dismissed the idea that the problem was having too many lead riders.

    "If the problem was having four guys in the front group figuring out who was going to sprint then maybe. But we didn't have four guys in the front group did we? At the end of the day you've just got to have the legs and so far we haven't had them."

    Vaughters hoped for better fortune for Paris-Roubaix next week, where he feels the flatter parcours will aid the chances of Farrar and Hushovd.


  • Tour of Flanders: Kroon breaks collarbone

    Karsten Kroon (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 9:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutchman to miss remainder of Spring Classics

    After a good showing in the first half of yesterday's Tour of Flanders, BMC's Karsten Kroon crashed badly with 87 kilometres to go, breaking his left collarbone. The Dutchman fell over another rider who went down because of a roadsign.

    "There was a 'no parking' sign on the sidewalk that wasn't very high, so you couldn't see it," Kroon said on the team's website. "He ran straight into it and I crashed right into him."

    The 35-year-old also suffered injuries to his face and lip. But on top of the physical pain was the disappointment of not being able to continue his Spring Classics campaign. "It is so painful that I'm out of competition during my most important time in the season," Kroon commented. "This should have been my month, but now I can just forget about my early season."

    Last year, he was similarly unlucky when a crash in the Flèche Wallonne caused him to miss out on Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This season, the 2009 Amstel Gold Race runner-up intended to peak for the Ardennes Classics.

    Kroon broke the same shoulder ten years ago and already has a plate in it. The team's chief medical officer Dr. Max Testa said a decision on whether to operate is still to come.

  • Cancellara: Even Superman has a weak moment

    Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) was arguably the strongest rider in the race but finished third
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 9:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Cramps on the Muur held back last year's Tour of Flanders winner

    Last year, Fabian Cancellara accelerated on the Kapelmuur in Geraardsbergen to drop Tom Boonen and ride off to win the Tour of Flanders in a solo. But in 2011, the Swiss rider suffered cramps on the famous climb and couldn't get away. The overwhelming favourite ended up in third place, losing the sprint of the three-man group which had formed at the end.

    “On the Muur I was struggling with cramps. My world collapsed,” the Leopard Trek rider told “Even Superman can have a weak moment.”

    Cancellara was alone with QuickStep's Sylvain Chavanel on the Muur with about one minute over the chasing field. Instead of pulling away, however, the field starting getting closer.

    The Swiss powerhouse even admitted to making a rare mistake in the finale. “I saw Boonen coming and I started the sprint too early." 

    Being the overwhelming favourite had its disadvantages, as he was a marked man. “ "For 95 percent of the peloton I was the target. This makes it extremely difficult.

    “I think I can still be happy with third place,” said Cancellara, according to the team's home page. “I was second in Milan-San Remo. I won Harelbeke, and today I was third. It’s still something very positive.”

    Directeur sportif Torsten Schmidt agreed. “We have no reason to be disappointed,” he said. “Fabian is on the podium again in a WorldTour race. With everything he faced as the big, big favourite, he shouldered a lot of pressure, and to come out the way he did, I...

  • Missed chance for Quick Step in Tour of Flanders

    Tom Boonen followed by Geraint Thomas
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 12:00 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Belgian team now looks ahead to Paris-Roubaix

    After some impressive performances in Sunday's Tour of Flanders - which nevertheless left them without the great victory - Belgian team Quick Step is licking its wounds and looking forward to next weekend's Paris-Roubaix. With its two leaders finishing in the top five, Patrick Lefevere's squad has all the reasons to be proud even if the result shows that more could have been possible.

    "Sylvain Chavanel did a hell of a race. What a shame that he couldn't wrap it up in the end," directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters told Sporza .

    Second-placed Chavanel was perhaps the strongest rider in the 2011 Ronde, but finally missed out on the victory by getting fenced in during the three-man sprint. On the attack since the Oude Kwaremont early in the race, he was later joined by über-favourite Fabian Cancellara and was able to hold onto his wheel until the end, even outsprinting him for second.

    Having his Belgian team leader Tom Boonen in a chase group behind, Chavanel naturally did not take any turns and recovered a bit for the finale - in vain. "In the sprint [against Cancellara and the later winner Nick Nuyens - ed.], he had to play poker. Maybe he should have started his sprint from further back, but that's always easy to say afterwards," Peeters added.

    As for the Belgian team's supreme leader Boonen, he followed the chasers' moves and could have sprinted for victory if Cancellara hadn't made his final attack - but he admitted himself he did not have the legs to follow 'Spartacus' on Sunday.

    "I was just a bit too short to be in the mix in the sprint," said Boonen, who ended up...

  • 2014 World Championships to Ponferrada, Spain

    And then there was a final Spanish flag coming down to celebrate the Tour of Spain. The 2008 Vuelta is now officially over.
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 12:30 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI announces its recommendation for Spanish city

    The 2014 road world championships will be held in Ponferrada, Spain. The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today that the Spanish city would be the only one recommended to the Management Committee this fall.

    The UCI announced that “the file received from the city of Ponferrada, in Spain, has been judged the best with a view to awarding the organisation of the 2014 UCI Road World Championships,” it said on its website.

    Therefore, “the UCI has decided to propose only the candidature of Ponferrada to its Management Committee, at its meeting in Copenhagen (Denmark) in September, for the awarding of the 2014 edition of the World Championships.”

    The city in north-western Spain is also under consideration for the 2015 UCI para-cycling road world championships.

    Looking forward to the 2015 Worlds, Oman and Richmond, Va., USA, both made bids. “It should be recalled that the UCI Management Committee announced that only candidatures from outside Europe would be accepted for the 2015 edition of the Road World Championships in order to acknowledge the increasing interest of non-European countries in hosting this prestigious event," the UCI said.

    The Worlds will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2011, Valkenberg, Netherlands, in 2012, Florence, Italy, in 2013 and Ponferrada, Spain, in 2014.

  • Goss still tops UCI WorldTour rankings

    Matt Goss prevails in the 2011 Milan-San Remo.
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 14:50 BST
    Cycling News

    HTC-Highroad, Australia lead team and nation rankings

    There were no changes at the top of the International Cycling Union's WorldTour rankings, with Matthew Goss, his team and his nation continuing to lead all the rankings. Goss, HTC-Highroad and Australia all maintained their top positions, with the Tour of Flanders not affecting the top rankings.

    Goss continues to lead the individual rankings by one point over Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD).  Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), who finished third in Flanders, moved up from ninth to third, while Tom Boonen (Quick Step) jumped from twelfth to fourth thanks to his fourth place finish on Sunday.

    HTC-Highroad is still the top ranked team, with a clear lead over the new second-placed team, Rabobank. The Dutch team jumped from sixth place to second, knocking Lampre down to third. Quick Step made the biggest jump, from 14th to seventh.

    Australia is again number one in the national ranking ahead of Italy. Belgium moved up from fifth place to third knocking Germany down to fourth and Spain to fifth.

    The next WorldTour rankings, to be announced Monday, April 11, will include points from both the  Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage race and the one-day race Paris-Roubaix.

    UCI WorldTour rankings
    1 Matthew Harley...
  • Pozzato hopeful of improvement at Paris-Roubaix

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) again failed to deliver
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 16:29 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Italian suffered cramps in Flanders finale

    Rolling across the line over a minute down and well out of contention in 38th place was not how Filippo Pozzato wanted to finish his Tour of Flanders, but the Italian was determined to put a brave face on his showing after the event when he emerged from the Katusha bus to talk to reporters.

    With his rapport with Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil reportedly at a low, Pozzato had endured a less than ideal build-up to the race but he declared himself pleased with his team’s performance. By now showered and dressed in a Katusha team suit, Pozzato admitted that he had simply come up short in the finale.

    “Everything went well, we did what we wanted to do,” he said. “We had Gusev’s move beforehand and I was with the others. But then on the Grammont, I should have been with the riders ahead.”

    Pozzato’s afternoon had begun on a decidedly promising note. When first Tom Boonen and then Fabian Cancellara showed their hands on the Leberg with 42km remaining, Pozzato was present and correct. He bridged across to Boonen with ease, and even though Cancellara would rip clear by himself, Pozzato appeared to be among the strongest of the chasers and looked set to have an important say in the finale.

    He was subsequently part of the sizeable group that formed on the foot of the Muur as Fabian Cancellara’s long-race attack was snuffed out, but on the climb itself, Pozzato conceded ground and never recovered. “Up to that point I was feeling good but then I had cramps,” he revealed.

    Even though the pre-race favourite Cancellara failed to collect the win that many thought a formality...