Season over for Cannondale Italian after Colorado crash
Fabio Sabatini must have surgery to stabilise two thoracic vertebrae suffered in a crash in the third stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It is not yet known when the Cannondale rider will return to Italy or how long his recovery may take, but as the team said, “it is sure” that his season is over.
Sabatini crashed heavily in the third stage of the Colorado road race, and was immediately taken to hospital in Steamboat Springs, where X-rays showed the fractures as well as a “small cranial trauma”. MRIs confirmed the diagnosis.
Local physicians, in conjunction with team doctor Robert Corsetti and Sabatini, decided that the surgery was needed. The rider was moved to a hospital in Denver for expert treatment.
Gregory Brenes is making the most of his trainee opportunity for Champion System at the USA Pro Challenge with a stellar fifth place finish in Thursday's queen stage from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek. The 25-year-old Costa Rican, brought on to the China-based Pro Continental team on August 1st spending the first seven months of the season without a pro contract, moved into sixth place overall and is knocking on the door of a top-five general classification result.
Brenes delivered a 15th place general classification result for Champion System at the Tour of Utah, the Costa Rican's debut with the team, and provided confirmation today to team director Ed Beamon's assessment that "Colorado suits him a little bit better".
After negotiating the pivotal Bachelor Gulch climb in Thursday's stage endgame with the chase group pursuing Tejay van Garderen, Mathias Frank, Tom Danielson and Janier Acevedo, Brenes dropped his fellow chasers on the technical descent and kept the pressure on up the punchy climb to the finish in Beaver Creek to finish alone in fifth.
"We knew today was the queen stage and all the strong riders like [Tom] Danielson and Tejay [van Garderen], and [Janier] Acevedo too, were the favourites today, but I felt good," Brenes told Cyclingnews. "As I ride more stages I'm feeling better and better.
"I'm so happy with the stage today and I think for tomorrow [Friday - ed.], I like the time trial. I hope to stay high on general classification."
Brenes has won multiple stages against the clock in his home Vuelta a Costa Rica, as well as the overall GC title, and has also proven himself in climber-friendly stage races such as the Tour de l'Avenir, where he placed 12th overall in the 2010 edition, won by...
Among the riders IAM Cycling announced would join the squad in 2014, headlined by Sylvain Chavanel, was 26-year-old Swiss Mathias Frank, currently of BMC Racing. Frank is presently contesting Colorado's USA Pro Challenge and earned his third win of the season with a hard-earned stage victory on Tuesday into Breckenridge. After Thursday's queen stage he holds second overall, four seconds behind team captain and new race leader Tejay van Garderen.
While BMC Racing is firing on all cylinders in Colorado, and seemingly winning at will on many fronts since a disappointing Tour de France, Frank spoke to Cyclingnews prior to Thursday's stage about his decision to make the move to Swiss-based Pro Continental team IAM Cycling.
"For me, as a Swiss rider, the team has always been an interesting project - to see how well they're working with the riders," Frank told Cyclingnews. "Since it's a Swiss team there's always been contact. [IAM Cycling assistant directeur sportif] Marcello Albasini used to be my coach as an under 23 rider so the contacts were always there, interest on both sides was there.
"After five really good years with BMC, five years can be half of your career, it came to this moment where it felt like I want to try something else. IAM was really interested in me and I'm convinced it will be a really good team so I'm really looking forward to being part of this."
The Swiss team's marquee signing for 2014 was Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel, along with Frank, Roger Kluge, Jérôme Pineau and Vicente Reynes.
"It only shows how dedicated they are that they want to be a big team, to become one of the best teams in the world,"...
Bissell director Omer Kem told Cyclingnews that Baldwin was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries to his left hand but was released to his wife Kimberly, who is driving a VIP care at the race, later that night. Baldwin spent the night with his wife at her hotel.
Baldwin was competing in stage 4 from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek when his left hand slipped off the handlebars and into his front wheel. The veteran rider was able to extricate his hand from the wheel without going down, but the gruesome nature of the injuries immediately forced him off the road.
Kem said that when the Bissell team car got to Baldwin, the rider was standing next to the road with both hands held tightly against his torso.
"It kind of looked like he had the wind knocked out of him because his hands were stuck up against his stomach and his bike was laid down on the side of the road," Kem said. "So I got to him and the mechanic goes to the bike and the bike is covered in blood. I looked at [Baldwin] and he is just shaking, and he's trying to get his glove off his hand. But he couldn't get his glove off because his finger was at a 90-degree angle and the other one had all the skin torn off. So I got him to lay down, and at that point I got on the radio and said, 'We need medical, we need medical,' two or three times."
Fortunately, the Champion System car was not far behind and had the team doctor aboard. Race medical was also quickly on the scene, followed by an ambulance that transported...
Movie big-wigs in Colorado as Armstrong projects gain momentum
The USA Pro Challenge in Colorado has gone a little Hollywood this week with several players from competing US Postal movies at the race to research their projects.
Jay Roach, a producer, director and writer with more than 40 films to his credit, told Cyclingnews on Thursday that he's at the race to learn more about the racing and the bike culture.
"I know a little bit about it," he said while watching the exciting finish of the fourth stage from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek. "I've certainly been a fan for years, but I'm here to get a little bit more of a behind-the-scenes view of it."
Roach includes among his credits the Austin Powers movies that featured Mike Myers; the Meet The Parents and Meet The Fockers movies that starred Ben Stiller, Robert Deniro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand; Borat; Dinner for Schmucks; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; 50 First Dates; and Mystery, Alaska.
The story Roach is working on will be told from multiple perspectives, he said, with am emphasis on Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton.
"We don't have the screenplay yet, we're just developing it," Roach said. "But it's been publicized already that it's based partly on Tyler Hamilton's story, so that's what it's all about."
Although the project has not yet been "green lit," Roach said, the project is in the development stage and rights to some of the materials have been purchased. However, the director could not put a time frame on when the project would be completed.
"It's hard to tell," he said of when movie-goers could look for the film in theaters. "We have to have a really great script first and a great cast. That's all accelerated now because there are multiple projects. But that's kind of fun. I'd say it's a race within a race."
Roach has been in Colorado since the beginning of the race and said he ran into an actor who...
Lauren Kitchen is the latest signing announcement for the Hitec Products – UCK team with the Australian set to leave Wiggle Honda.
The two-time Australian under 23 criterium champion has spent this season with Rochelle Gilmore's outfit off the back of a stint with the Rabobank Women's team. In May the 22-year-old claimed two wins in her Dutch base, the Ladies Komtoer Moergestel and Ronde van Oudenbosch.
"I'm really looking forward to 2014 and I hope to further my development with Hitec next season," said Kitchen on her website. "Hitec have been around for 5 or 6 seasons now so they are very established and I am really looking forward to continuing to learn from the top riders in the team as well as looking to further myself and look for my own opportunities," having assisted Giorgia Bronzini to her 15 wins for the season.
"It is also hard of course, I have had a great year with Wiggle Honda and it was really cool to be part of Rochelle's new project this season but at the same time I have to consider my future development, I will miss the girls from Wiggle," the Port Macquarie-native added.
Unzue: Very uncertain Vuelta 2011 winner will continue with team in 2014
Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzue has said that "it is very unlikely" that 2011 Vuelta a España winner Juan Jose Cobo will continue in the team in 2014.
Cobo was a last minute signing in 2011 for Movistar after his team, Geox-TMC, lost their sponsor despite his winning the Vuelta. He remained with Movistar for two years, but has failed to produce any more victories or strong rides, under-performing at a level similar to 2010, when he raced with the same squad for one season. He completed the Giro in 116th spot, but was not selected either for the Tour in 2013, where he had taken 30th in 2012, or for the Vuelta.
"Results make a rider more or less dispensable, and he's not been at the level he had in 2011, neither in 2010 nor in this last two year period," Unzue said on Friday. "Logically, therefore, his continuing in the team is very uncertain. That's all there is to it."
As for new riders in the team, with Euskaltel Euskadi disappearing, Movistar remain as the one WorldTour squad in Spain, and they have been signing or renewing riders at a hefty rate of knots this autumn even though the official confirmation from Movistar that the Spanish telecommunications company will continue their sponsorship is yet to arrive. "They will decide the time and place for that," Unzue said, who said there was space for perhaps a further five or six additional signings in the squad for 2014.