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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 7, 2014

Date published:
April 07, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Bookwalter back from injury for Circuit de la Sarthe

    Brent Bookwalter (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 06, 2014, 19:00 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider recovered from right side crash in Qatar

    BMC's Brook Bookwalter is set to make his return to racing at the Circuit de la Sarth having recovered from an early season crash.

    The 30-year-old American crashed in the final kilometre of the opening stage of Tour du Haut Var,  falling hard on his right side. Brookwalter's knee, hip, hand and elbow all felt the impact of the crash but he is now ready to pin a number on again at the French race which takes place from April 8-11.

    "I hadn't planned to have such a gap in racing this spring, but the time off has only enhanced my motivation and appreciation for the bike," Bookwalter said. "I have had a couple good weeks of training since my knee began feeling better and am excited to go back to Sarthe for my second appearance there."

    Bookwalter will be joined by the Tour Méditerranéen winner Stephen Cummings, Ben Hermans, Martin Kohler, Daniel Oss and Peter Stetina.

    Sport Director for the race, Jackson Stewart, expects the race-mandated six-man rosters could play a role in the outcome of the four-day, five-stage race that includes a 6.8km individual time trial on Stage 3.

    "It should make for some exciting racing," Stewart said. "I think we are bringing a strong, experienced team that can expect results. Cummings, Hermans, Kohler, and Stetina have all showed they are having a strong season so far."

    BMC Racing Team  for Circuit de la Sarthe Roster: Brent Bookwalter, Stephen Cummings, Ben Hermans, Martin Kohler, Daniel Oss and Peter Stetina.

  • No repeat podium for Jürgen Roelandts at Flanders

    Stig Broeckx (Lotto Belisol) on the Oudenaarde
    Article published:
    April 06, 2014, 20:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Lotto Belisol suffer more bad luck

    For Lotto Belisol the worst crash of the day for the team at the Tour of Flanders was that of Jürgen Roelandts who incurred several bruises and abrasions which forced him to quit. There was a shinning light however in the performance of a débutante at De Ronde, Stig Broeckx, as he made his way into part of the long breakaway to ride out in front for around 170km.

    Having stood on the podium last year with Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan, Roelandts was looking to once again finish in the top three and was positioning himself in the front rows of the peloton, evident as the race hit the Oude Kwaremont. However, just over halfway into the race and it was day over for the Belgian.

    "Before the crash it all went perfectly. I felt very good. Suddenly a rider braked in front of me and a bike blocked my way, I was the only one who fell. It was immediately clear that the race was over. My expectations of a good result were gone," Roelandts said.

    An examination in hospital showed no fractures although Roelandts now has his fair share of bruises and abrasions over his entire body.

    Roelandts fell on a section of concrete between two patches of grass to injure both arms, elbows, pelvis and left knee.

    Roelandts received three stitches at the inside of the left elbow and three stitches left near his pelvis while his right forearm, thumb and hand are in plaster because of a severe bruise, among others, on his scaphoid.

    As a result, Roelandts is very unlikely to take his place on the start line at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday to the chagrin of team manager Marc Sargeant.


  • Phinney plays the team game in Tour of Flanders

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) was one of the last riders of the day's breakaway to be caught
    Article published:
    April 06, 2014, 21:25 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Team impressed with American's performance

    While his teammate Greg van Avermaet (BMC) took the spoils on the Tour of Flanders podium, Taylor Phinney was left knowing that he played a critical role in the Belgian’s success. Not a small thing when you consider that it was his first time at one of the year’s toughest races.

    On top of playing the team game very well, he proved that he is a real contender for this type of race in the future. As the race progressed, talk began that Phinney could even be a contender for the podium. He continued to stay out front as one by one the 11-man breakaway was whittled down. The 23-year-old looked strong on the Paterberg as he distanced his remaining two companions, and was finally caught just before the next climb.

    "I was feeling really good," Phinney said at the finish. "I knew that I was one of the strongest from the breakaway and I just wanted to try and last as long as I could and try to be helpful in the later part of the race when it really started to kick off."

    Phinney’s participation in the event looked like it might not happen, after he fell ill just before Milan-San Remo. As the flu-like symptoms continued, Phinney missed yet more racing but finally came back at Gent-Wevelgem - where he finished in the front group – before making his debut at the Tour of Flanders. Phinney’s strong performance in the race, despite his less than ideal preparation, gave the team yet more belief in what he is capable of.

    "He’s a good Classics rider, but he’s a good everything rider," said BMC’s sporting manager Allan Peiper. "We’ve got confidence in him. He was seventh in Milan-San Remo (in 2013), so he can do the distance. It’s just getting the pieces in place at the right time. He’s...

  • Vansummeren traumatized by Tour of Flanders collision

    Johan Vansummeren flies the flag for Garmin-Sharp
    Article published:
    April 06, 2014, 21:56 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Female spectator in critical condition after being struck by Garmin rider

    The 98th edition of the Tour of Flanders was marred by countless crashes, but the most troubling off all was the collision between Garmin-Sharp rider Johan Vansummeren and female spectator, who was in critical condition following the incident.

    The crash happened at a roundabout after 60 kilometres of racing in Wielsbeke. The pace in the peloton was high, as they chased a group of 11 riders who had formed a breakaway. Where a traffic island split the road in two halves, video shows an older woman, a young boy and a man were standing on a raised island, and riders were passing the obstacle on both sides. Suddenly, Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) came crashing into the group, directly striking the older woman, knocking her into the ground.

    The race organisation did not want to communicate much about the situation, stating only, "She is still in the intensive care unit in hospital. The organization regrets the accident and sympathizes with the family," in a press release.

    At the time of publication it was known that she is 65-years-old. Her condition was reportedly critical but stable. During the race Sporza commentators said that she was undergoing brain surgery. It was not communicated where the woman was hospitalized, but the nearest hospital was in Waregem.

    Vansummeren, the surprise winner of cycling’s biggest one-day race Paris-Roubaix in 2011, was briefly hospitalized, but by the time the race was over the tall Belgian was already back at the team bus with a stitched eye. "I’m alright despite a few stitches and a black eye. That’s really not important now. I got a massive scare," Vansummeren said. The 33-year-old was clearly emotional about what happened and didn't want to go into details.

    "It’s a crash....

  • Cycling Australia under pressure from Australian Sports Commission

    Cycling Australia
    Article published:
    April 06, 2014, 22:30 BST
    Cycling News

    National body urged to make progress on corporate governance reform

    According to a review of taxpayer-funded sports released by the Australian Sports Commission last week, Cycling Australia (CA) has been urged to make "rapid progress" on corporate governance reforms and establish a "stable financial platform for growing the sport" this year.

    While several sports such as swimming, hockey, rowing and sailing were all found to have had made significant progress overhauling corporate governance practices cycling and athletics were marked as still facing challenges. 

    The AIS Sports Tally report stated that Cycling Australia: "has made limited progress towards implementing the ASC's mandatory governance principles." These include an increase in the number of female directors and stringent disclosure requirements regarding executive pay and related-party transactions.

    When Orica-GreenEdge owner Gerry Ryan was named CA president in November with a mandate to overhaul the organisation, Cycling Australia's management was overhauled in part, due to concerns of the financial situation of the national body. According to CA's last annual report, published in 2014, the organisation recorded a deficit of $572,686 in the 2013 financial year.

    The loss in the annual report – was the last under the leadership of former CA chairman Klaus Muller – has been attributed to the negative result to the drain on cash needed for the organisation's commercial joint venture with Grass Roots Australia and promoter Michael Edgley and "aged insurance claims drawn against deductible commitments that were not adequately provided for."

    CA's revenue fell from around $17 million in 2012 to $14.7 million which included a $200,000 fall in sponsorship. CA's net assets also dropped to 60,158 from $632,844 in 2012, while the cash in the bank fell almost $800,000 to about $1.13 million as reported in...

  • Sagan falls short in Tour of Flanders finale

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was left out of the fireworks on the Patersberg
    Article published:
    April 07, 2014, 0:00 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Slovak unable to follow Cancellara on Kwaremont

    Peter Sagan may have insisted beforehand that he was approaching the Tour of Flanders as though it were simply another race, but his disappointment afterwards was certainly that of a man keenly aware of its importance.

    As at Milan-San Remo two weeks ago, when he could only manage 10th in the final sprint, Sagan rode directly to his Cannondale bus on crossing the line in Oudenaarde and clambered aboard without speaking to the reporters waiting outside.

    16th place, 1:25 down on winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was not how Sagan had envisaged his day would end, and he was in no mood to articulate his dissatisfaction to the outside world. Instead, it was left to team manager Roberto Amadio to speak on his behalf, explaining that Sagan simply did not have the wherewithal to follow Cancellara when he began his forcing on the final time up the Oude Kwaremont.

    "It went well until 30 kilometres to go but he was probably lacking the legs a bit,” Amadio said. "He had to work a bit before because he was alone. But then Cancellara was alone too and he won. In the finale, he was lacking something."

    Twelve months ago, Sagan had bounded up the Kwaremont in pursuit of Cancellara and only lost the Swiss rider's wheel on the short, sharp haul up the last climb, the Paterberg. This time around, however, Sagan's pedal stroke was more leaden, and he instantly conceded ground once Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) hit...

  • Omega Pharma - Quick-Step fails on Oude Kwaremont

    Stijn Vandenbergh on the Taaienberg
    Article published:
    April 07, 2014, 2:00 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    In absence of leaders non-sprinter Vandenbergh riders finale

    The famous Omega Pharma - Quick-Step (OPQS) team is specialized in the Spring classics and on Sunday the Ronde van Vlaanderen was the first of two monuments in which the team wants to excel. At 34 kilometres from the finish, the team had no less the four riders in the lead group of fourteen riders, but in the end the team feel short.

    Super-domestique Stijn Vandenbergh ended up being the team's man in the four-man group that fought for the victory in the final kilometres. Vandenbergh tried to escape the sprint but failed. He finished fourth in the sprint that was won by pre-race favourite Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Team).

     "It was a sprint of dying swans," a down-hearted Patrick Lefevre said at the finish line. The Belgian manager of the OPQS-team said he was glad none of his riders were inflicted in the multiple crashes and that he had the strongest team. "We were the strongest team until the Oude Kwaremont. That doesn't buy us anything. Only winning matters. No mistakes were made but the others were better. We rode well all race long but couldn't make the difference."

    The team's stars fell short when Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) accelerated on the long cobbled Oude Kwaremont climb. "Tom struggled on the Oude Kwaremont. Sadly enough for us [Zdenek] Stybar or [Niki] Terpstra were not able to go along with Cancellara and that killed us," Lefevre said.

    As planned, someone like Stijn Vandenbergh was covering the early attacks in the finale which preluded the firing of the big guns. Vandenbergh struggled on most of the steep climbs like the Taaienberg and Paterberg but excelled on the longer Oude Kwaremont climb. He had...

  • Van Avermaet regrets Vandenbergh’s lack of collaboration at Tour of Flanders

    Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) in the finale of Tour of Flanders
    Article published:
    April 07, 2014, 4:45 BST
    Barry Ryan

    BMC rider beaten into second place by Cancellara

    Greg Van Avermaet had a plan in mind for the Tour of Flanders but acknowledged in the lead-up to the race that it was "easy to say and a lot harder to do." On the big day itself, there could be no faulting the BMC man for invention but he ultimately had to settle for second place behind Fabian Cancellara (Trek) in a gripping edition of De Ronde.

    BMC's tactics were hewn straight from Lotto-Belisol's 2013 playbook – send riders up the road in every break, and then let their leader off the leash early rather than try to slug it out with Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan on the final circuit over the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg.

    Taylor Phinney and Manuel Quinziato obligingly laid the groundwork, and then Van Avermaet himself took up the mantle by zipping clear ahead of the Taaienberg, with 37 kilometres and four climbs still to come, and with the gargantuan figure of Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Stijn Vandenbergh locked onto on his rear wheel.

    "I tried to go where I planned to go and it was a good move, I think, before the Taaienberg, and then I tried to make it to the end," Van Avermaet said by the podium area. "It was a little bit disappointing that Vandenbergh did not ride with me, I was always on my own."

    Van Avermaet's thoughts were echoed by BMC manager Allan Peiper, who was at a loss as to why Omega Pharma-QuickStep ordered Vandenbergh not to work. "If Vandenbergh had ridden, there's a good chance they'd have stayed out in front," he said. "Still, it was a gutsy move to take just before the Taaienberg, but you could see he had the legs."

    Once Van Avermaet went clear, his finish line effectively shifted forward by 13 kilometres. "The goal was to get over the Paterberg," Peiper said, mindful...