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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 10, 2014

Date published:
March 10, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Broken right collarbone for Trek's Riccardo Zoidl

    Riccardo Zoidl's Austrian national jersey isn't that easy to spot
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 2:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Strade Bianche takes out Austrian national champion

    Trek Factory Racing's Riccardo Zoidl has broken his right collarbone after a high-speed downhill crash on the white roads of Tuscany during Strade Bianchi .The 25-year-old Austrian national champion who impressed at the Tour Méditerranéen only three weeks ago, lost control on a right-hand turn in the seventh sector during the race.

    "We were in a good position with the team, as we knew that would be a key moment in the race. It was a fast downhill and there was wind coming from the left. I was full in the wind and I didn't manoeuvre well enough, heading into the turn at the bottom," Zoidl said after being to pull out of the race.

    "To top that, I bumped my front wheel in a hole and that was it. I didn't feel pain straight away, but I knew my collarbone was broken when I touched it with my fingers."

    Zoidl will return home to Austria for t necessary medical checks and scans with an operation looking likely. With no decision made yet on his recovery, it is unclear when Zoidl will return to competition.

    Trek signed Zoidl following a breakout 2013 season riding for Gourmetfein-Simplon which saw the Austrian claim the UCI Europe Tour title off the back of overall classification victories at the Tour of Austria, Oberösterreichrundfahrt, Circuit des Ardennes and the Circuit des Ardennes as well as two one-day races and the national road championships.


  • First win of 2014 for Lizzie Armitstead at Omloop van het Hageland

    The podium of Emma Johansson, Lizzie Armitstead and Audrey Cordon
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 5:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    British national championships triumphed in sprint against Emma Johansson

    Having made her way into a 17 rider break that was whittled down to two riders late in the race, Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) held off Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), a former two-time winner of the race, in a sprint finish to claim the 2014 Omloop van het Hageland. Hitec Products' Audrey Cordon was too fast for Thalita de Jong (Rabobank Liv) and the remainders of the break as she claimed third place

    "We worked hard as a team to get this result today. In the past few weeks I managed to get some nice results, but I feel liberated now I managed to get the win. My big objective for this season was to win,My big objective for this season was to win more, that started off very well," Armistead said after the race.

    Armitstead and Johansson escaped on the final climb of the 126km race which takes in the best of Belgian roads that typify the Classics: short, sharp climbs, narrow roads, and cobbles. The win was Armitstead's first since she claimed the national British title last year but third place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad a week earlier was an ominous sign the silver medallist from the Women's London Olympic road race was in form.

    The break that Armitstead made it into had formed following a crash which occurred with a touch over 50km of racing and 17 riders quickly built a lead of one minute which remained steady until the finish.

    With two laps to go of the 13km circuit, Armitstead launched a short-lived attack over the climb and was followed by Johansson, Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products), Sofie De Vuyst (, and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv). When Armitstead tried again, only Johansson could follow while Longo Borghini also tried her luck at catching the front duo but faded in the final kilometer but...

  • Joanne Hogan claims first win for Bigla at Flèche Wanzoise

    2014 Flèche Wanzoise podium: Aude Biannic (Lointek), Joanne Hogan (Bigla) and Floortje Mackaij (Giant-Shimano)
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 6:00 GMT
    Zeb Woodpower

    Australian out sprinted Floortje Mackaij

    Australian Jo Hogan won her first race of 2014 at the Flèche Wanzoise in Belgium as she outsprinted Aude Biannic (Lointek) and Floortje Mackaij (Giant-Shimano) while the defending champion and Bigla teammate Vera Koedooder was fourth, Hogan's win was Bigla's first of the new year and a sign that the Swiss based team have made a wise investment in the 31-year-old.

    At around the halfway point the of the 82km race, a group of 15 riders formed a break which contained three Bigla riders, Hogan, Koedooder and Taryn Heather.

    The escapees worked well together to stay away from the chasing peloton. Vera Koedooder was the first to attack from the break in the closing kilometers but she was caught just a few kilometres later. Hogan and Biannic were the next to attack and the duo formed a new break which held off the chasers to successfully stay away.

    Hogan easily outsprinted Mackaij to claim to race while Koedooder was second in the sprint of the followers to finish just off the podium.

    "We had the number in the break, so we tried to play all of our cards coming into the final lap. After Vera's attack, I could see a few girls on the back foot, so I jumped and one other rider, Aude Biannic from Lointek joined me," Hogan told Cyclingnews.

    "Coming into the final kilometers she led out and I was able to learn from my past mistakes, to take the two up sprint. It was a great start for the team and for my European season."

    The win was celebrated by Bigla's team manager and sports director for the day as both praised Hogan for starting the season with a bang.

    "It was our second race this season and we already took the victory. That's absolutely fantastic," Bigla team manager Emil Zimmermann said.

    "All of our riders rode very well and deserved the victory. Only Nicole Hanselmann...

  • Colbrelli in tears after missing out at Roma Maxima

    Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF).
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 9:26 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian sprinter still chasing first professional win

    Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) was in tears after the finish of Roma Maxima after again failing to win his first ever professional race by one second, a few bike lengths and a moment of hesitation.

    The Italian sprinter has shown some excellent for this season and but could only shout out in anger after crossing the finish line behind winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Davide Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who won the bunch sprint, one second behind the Spaniard.

    "It's always nice to get on the podium but I've never won as a professional, but I hope it happens soon. I can't believe I went so close today," he told journalists at the finish after the podium ceremony.

    "The team did an incredible job and I really wanted to pay them back with a big win but I made a mistake in the sprint. I hesitated a second before launching my sprint and then I was caught between [Philippe] Gilbert and the barriers. I'm not cold-blooded like some of the other sprinters."

    With no race radio allowed in Roma Maxima because it is not a WorldTour category race, Colbrelli did not know that Valverde and Pozzovivo had managed to hold off the peloton all the way to Rome. In the closing kilometres, he thought he was about to sprint for victory.

    In a hectic and thrilling finale, the sprinters and their teams caught Pozzovivo but Valverde cleverly started his sprint early and crossed the line first.

    "To be honest I didn’t know that Valverde and Pozzovivo were away, I only saw then in the finish straight," he said.

    "I'd seen that the Yellow Fluo rider (Rabottini) was off the front in the final kilometres but then when we caught him, I thought we were sprinting for the win."

    Colbrelli has been riding well since the start of...

  • Bouhanni defies crash to win Paris-Nice opener

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) in yellow
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 10:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman hopes for another sprint on Monday

    A crash after 70 kilometres of racing couldn’t hold Nacer Bouhanni ( back on the road to Mantes-la-Jolie on Sunday, as the Frenchman picked himself up to claim victory on the opening road stage of Paris-Nice for the second successive season.

    Bouhanni was one of many fallers on a crash-strewn stage, but although he cut his knee in the incident, he was quickly remounted and fought his way back on to the peloton.

    “I had to go back to the doctor’s car a lot. I suffered by I tried to stay positive,” Bouhanni told L’Équipe. “In the last 20 kilometres, it’s like the pain went away. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline, the excitement… I forgot the pain and I didn’t think of anything other than my sprint.”

    In the finishing straight, Bouhanni saw off the challenge of John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) to take hold of the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice for the second year in a row.

    “We touched shoulders with 350-400 metres to go,” he said of his duel with Degenkolb. “I was on the left and I was afraid of the barriers. But it worked itself out fairly. At the end, he congratulated me. It’s normal between sprinters.”

    It was Bouhanni’s second win of the season after he had claimed a stage at the Étoile des Bessèges last month, although he had endured a string of near misses at the Tour of Oman and Le Samyn in the intervening period.

    “It’s the beginning of March and I already have two wins. Plenty of sprinters would settle for that,” Bouhanni said. “My objective was...

  • Paris-Nice crash leaves Bardet, Schlecks and Gerrans stranded

    Romain Bardet (Ag2r) pre-race
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 12:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Nervous start to action on stage 1

    The switch from Paris-Nice's usual prologue time trial to a road stage resulted in a very nervy start to "the race to the sun." The most obvious result of this was a big crash 20 kilometres from the finish of stage 1 that left many of the stage and race favourites stranded, including Ag2r-La Mondiale team leader Romain Bardet, the Fränk and Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) and Australian champion Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge).

    Bardet came into Paris-Nice as one of the pre-race favourites, but he trailed in as part of a group that finished more than a minute down on stage winner Nacer Bouhanni. "We weren't particularly far back, but the crash occurred about 35 places down the peloton. I ended up in the ditch under a pile of bikes. It was all just down to bad luck," Bardet told reporters as he sat on the steps on his team bus at the finish.

    "We were on the right and the crash happened on the right. I could see all of the other riders going by on the left. When I got back on my bike, the peloton had gone. It's really disappointing, a minute really is a big handicap," said Bardet, who added that he doesn't see the race as completely lost but now needs to turn opportunist in to reassert his GC ambitions, but acknowledged team-mate Carlos Betancur will have the lead role after finishing in the front group.

    Trek’s Fränk and Andy Schleck were also among those caught out, although the former did manage to get back up to the front group, momentarily at least. "On a circuit like this, with these small roads, it can become dangerous… then this can happen," said Trek DS Kim Andersen.

    "The team was in a quite good place towards the front, but the crash happened where we were. Bob [Jungels] and Fränk [Schleck]...

  • Stronger Jelly Belly team aiming high in 2014

    The 2014 Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis team
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 13:47 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Lloyd, Rathe and Rodriguez open new options for American team

    Jelly Belly-Maxxis team manager Danny Van Haute has the type of problem this year that all managers hope for; his 2014 roster is so flush with talent that he might have trouble deciding which card to play on any given day.

    In the past, the team went with the one card that most of the Continental squads have to play when competing against the WorldTour and Pro Continental teams that show up for North America's high-profile UCI stage races: infiltrate the breakaways tp get the TV time that the sponsors crave.

    But with a roster that now includes three former WorldTour riders - Matthew Lloyd, Jacob Rathe and reigning US road champion Freddie Rodriguez - along with a core group of over-achievers from last year, Van Haute and team director Matty Rice will have some tough decisions to make.

    "I think we have the guns to do more now," Van Haute told Cyclingnews recently from the team's training camp north of San Diego. "So we have to think strategy now. So if this scenario happens what do we do here. Let's do this, let's do that. So I think our team meetings will be a little longer this year."

    Lloyd, who won the mountains classification and a stage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia, is an obvious GC threat for the team, and he'll have help from fellow climbers Kirk Carlsen and Luis Lemus. Meanwhile, Rodriguez will benefit from the lead-out experience of Rathe, who over the past two years was often near the front of the Garmin-Sharp train and was the last man in line to drop Tyler Farrar off for his stage win at the 2013 Amgen Tour of California.

    Add into the mix 2013 Cascade Cycling Classic overall winner Serghei Tvetcov, Nature Valley Grand Prix stage winner Sean Mazich, two-time Mexican road champion Lemus, Ian Burnett and Nic Hamilton, and the team is raising expectations for the upcoming season.

    "Our goals are set high," Van Haute said. "In the...

  • Beltran signs for Tinkoff-Saxo

    Edward Beltran has signed for Tinkoff-Saxo.
    Article published:
    March 10, 2014, 16:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Colombian neo-pro agrees two-year deal

    Tinkoff-Saxo has announced the signing of Edward Beltran on a two-year contract. The Colombian began the 2014 season in Italy with Tinkoff-Saxo's affiliate amateur team, Nankang–Fondriest, but has been promoted to the WorldTour squad with immediate effect.

    "I am very excited about Edward joining the team. We have tested him and looked at his files, and he’s very capable on the long climbs," said Tinkoff-Saxo manager Bjarne Riis.

    The 24-year-old Beltran is a native of Tunja, where Miguel Indurain won the time trial at the world championships in 1995. Beltran has spent the past four seasons racing for the EPM-UNE squad in Colombia.

    "The competition in Colombia is fierce, and Edward is among the best of them, so naturally we expect him to do great as he further develops by competing in the WorldTour," Riis said.

    Beltran put pen to paper with Riis' team in Tuscany at the weekend and is expected to make his debut for Tinkoff-Saxo at the Critérium International later this month. "It's always a good feeling to sign with a young rider. I could really see the joy in his eyes. He was very proud," Riis said.

    Beltran has described signing for Tinkoff-Saxo as "the culmination of a lifelong dream" and said that he is ready to play a supporting role for his new leaders in the high mountains.

    "I am a pure climber, so for me helping the team in the mountainous races is my main goal," he said. "I love cycling because it's just like the life I've lived. I got to be tough and give it my best even though I’ll encounter many challenges."