The accident at the finish happened when Weylandt and Farrar appeared to touch shoulders with 200 metres to go. When the Belgian lost control, he brushed the unfortunate Farrar’s rear wheel, and both men tumbled to the ground.
Sutton had launched his sprint from distance and had been passed by Weylandt when he came down. The Australian was thus unable to avoid the incident as he rode into the fallen Belgian.
It was a frustrating conclusion for Farrar as he appeared well placed to at least challenge Cavendish when his race came to an abrupt halt inside the final 200 metres.
“All went perfectly, I was on Cavendish's wheel and was ready to start my sprint,” he said afterward. “Someone touched me from behind. My whole tubular went off and I tried to stay upright.”
After his podium finishes at Dwars Door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem, Farrar believed that he was on track to repeat his Scheldeprijs win of twelve months ago. “I had the legs to win,” he said.
The American did not believe that injuries would be enough to keep him out of Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, although he admitted that in the heat of the moment it was difficult to assess the extent of...
HTC-Highroad hitman talks age and the dangers of modern day sprinting
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) took his third Scheldeprijs title on Wednesday in a thrilling sprint over Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) and Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ).
The Manx Missile launched his sprint with around 250 meters to go, avoiding a pile up that involved sprint rivals Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) and Chris Sutton (Team Sky).
After he crossed the line he was quick to share his win with his teammates, and as they crossed the line one by one, each of them received a warm hug and thank you.
It was Cavendish’s first appearance in the race since 2008 and made up for his crash in Gent-Wevelgem last week when he had been in contention until a fall within the final 20 kilometres.
“I’d missed the race for the last two years and I was really upset to miss it. I won it the first two years I rode it and then didn’t ride it in 2009 and 2010 because I had a busy programme and it was upsetting. So I was really glad to be back and the team were really, really incredible,” he told the press at the finish.
“I said I wanted to win today and the team were incredible to back me up. They worked all day and rode a great tempo on the front and then Bernie Eisel kept me near the front on the last lap...
Canadian Svein Tuft took tenth place in the stage three time trial at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe today, a good result for his Spidertech-C10 team, but one which belies the extraordinary circumstances in which he had to complete the 6.8 kilometre stage.
A pre-race favourite, Tuft was on track to contend for the stage win, poised perhaps to deliver his team its first big success in its nascent Pro Continental season.
The 33-year-old Canadian time trial champion was taking the usual risks of a top time trialist on the short, technical course, testing the limits of traction in his tires while using his bike handling skills to keep himself upright when, near the mid-point of the race, disaster struck.
He hit a bump in the road and cracked off one of his carbon aero bar extensions, and unfortunately it was the one with the controller for his rear derailleur attached.
With the bar dangling from the electric wire used to shift his Shimano Di2, and more tight turns, speed bumps and descents in the coming three kilometres, Tuft continued to plow ahead, much to the amazement of his directeur sportif, Steve Bauer.
"I could not believe Svein kept it together," said Bauer. "He was entering technical turns with one arm, trying to get his shift right and the entire time trying to keep his top speed - which was impossible. ...
"Watching him powering at over 60 km per hour, imbalanced and running speed bumps with one arm was crazy," added Bauer.
Tuft managed to finish the stage just 13 seconds behind winner Daniele Bennati, although he admits that he will be hard-pressed to gain back enough time to contend for the overall stage race win.
Russian sprinter Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) captured second place in the 99th edition of the Scheldeprijs in Belgium behind winner Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad). After a tumultuous sprint finish that saw last year's winner Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) crash, the runner-up was thankful for the support of his teammates.
“I'm very happy,” Galimzyanov told Cyclingnews. “Not only for my second place but also because of how the team worked for me the whole day long. Even when I crashed twice they brought me back to the first rows of the peloton.”
Galimzyanov was brought back to the front in the final kilometres before narrowly avoiding the massive crash at the front of the peloton. While men like Wouter Weylandt (Leopard Trek) and Farrar went down in the finishing straight in Schoten near Antwerp, Galimzyanov avoided the carnage and grabbed second place.
“Our team set-up the sprint and then HTC-Highroad took over,” he said. “I wanted to get on Cavendish's wheel. I was on his right side and the next second they went down on his left side.
“I was very lucky to avoid the crash as it was very close to me. In Paris-Nice [stage 3] I was very lucky, too, when [Peter] Sagan crashed. Then it was very close to me as well.”
Katusha content with second place in the “world championships of sprinting”
Katusha directeur sportif Serge Parsani was pleased with Galimzyanov’s showing in Schoten and said that it offered further confirmation of the progress that the young Russian has made since the beginning of the season. Galimzyanov won stage two of the Three Days of De Panne last week, and measured up well against some of the...
Fifth place brings little consolation for Australian sprinter
While Mark Cavendish sped to his third win in the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday afternoon, Australian veteran sprinter Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) was disappointed with his fifth place behind the Manxman.
It's a rarity when the Scheldeprijs doesn't finish in a bunch sprint and thus it's no surprise that McEwen has stood on the podium no fewer than five times in the past. In this edition the Australian came close again but a spectacular crash from Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) ruined McEwen's sprint on the Churchill-lane in Schoten near Antwerp, Belgium.
"The sprint was completely uncontrolled. Then HTC got to the front with Cavendish. There were guys going everywhere. I saw there was a gap because there was a fight to get the wheel. Galimzyanov had to close the gap to get it but he had it, and then sort of lost it. Everyone else was sort of scrambling.
"It's a dead flat race. Everyone brings their sprinters and today it was a very easy race. Nobody's tired by the time the final starts. Even the guys who can't sprint think: I feel good, I'll have a go," McEwen said.
McEwen was spotted in an ideal position before he had to make room for Cavendish lead-out man Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad), who was going backwards. "Just as I came in to get the wheel from Cavendish I was off balance. I locked up with Farrar a little bit and lost several places. There were still more than 200m to go," McEwen said.
When the actual sprint started Cavendish powered away on the left but right behind him Farrar collided with Weylandt, putting all the riders behind them into trouble. McEwen sat in about eighth place on the right hand side of the pack when the crash happened.
"I was coming back into the wheels to make a run when they started to fall. Cavendish was already gone. I went all the way up to the other barrier and stopped pedalling and basically did a right hand turn to avoid it. I had to swerve...
Here on cyclingnews we’re always looking for and working on ways to improve the website and on Thursday we’ll be rolling out a number of design touch-ups and improvements.
For starters we’ll be moving the site to a fixed width format. This will cover the entire website. Along with this we’ll also be tidying up our main navigation, improving the tech homepage and adding new features to our teams and riders sections. All of the changes are designed to make the pages easier to read and to improve navigation.
We’ll also be moving our editions to a new but still very much accessible home.
These changes will begin to roll out during the day (UK time) but it may take a day or so for every page to be completed, so we ask you to bear with us as we make changes, and fine tune the live results.
In the meantime, we’ve uploaded this forum thread for your feedback, which will become active as soon as we flick the switch and the upgrades begin.
Belgian rider Sjef De Wilde and his family have been relieved to find out that the injuries to his vertebrae are less dangerous than previously feared. The Veranda's Willems rider crashed hard in the final sprint of the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, taking down other riders with him, and was immediately transported to the Schoten hospital where two fractured vertebrae were diagnosed.
On Thursday morning, however, Belgian site Sporza said that a second scan had been performed and that De Wilde's first cervical vertebrae C1 was not fractured after all. The immediate danger of the rider being paralysed was therefore discarded.
The rider remains in intensive care as he also suffered a light brain haemorrhage, but he has been transferred to the hospital of Duffel, closer to his home.
"He will certainly need two months to rehabilitate and will have to wear a neck brace for a while," said Dieter Deprez of the Veranda's Willems team. "But the C1 is not broken and that is very important."
Quick Step rider ready to fight, defends Tour of Flanders tactics
Fortunately, in the world of professional cycling, disappointment rarely has time to linger on as the next race is already around the corner. One week after the Tour of Flanders, where Tom Boonen missed out on the victory, the Quick Step rider is fully focused on the 'Hell of the North', taking place next Sunday.
Shrugging off his questionable team tactics in the Ronde, which left him in fourth place and teammate Sylvain Chavanel in second, the three-time winner of Paris-Roubaix now looks forward to the French cobbles and another match with Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek).
"You know that I'm not afraid of Cancellara," Boonen told L'Equipe after Wednesday's Scheldeprijs. "I've always thought that Fabian was not a machine, he's a man like the rest of us who also has his weaknesses. On Sunday, I never thought for one second that the race was over when he attacked. I've known him for 15 years, so I also know his boundaries.
"We've seen it last Sunday, Fabian cannot do the same thing every year, whether that is at the Tour of Flanders or in Paris-Roubaix."
Indeed, although Cancellara powered clear on the Leberg, the other favourites took heart when the Swiss faded on the approach to the Muur van Geraardsbergen. With Chavanel in tow during his solo effort, Cancellara showed that he, too, was not unbeatable. Still, the deployment of two team leaders at Quick Step may have been fatal to the squad in the end.
But Boonen defended his team tactics against this week's criticism, even saying that the choice of attacking while Chavanel was one minute up the...