- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 04:23
- Kirsten Frattini
UnitedHealthcare announces eight-man roster
Scott Zwizanski (UnitedHealthcare) suffered a severe hand laceration along with broken bones two weeks ago and will not participate in his targeted Amgen Tour of California scheduled to from May 15-22. The time trial specialist was on form to put forth a strong performance at the event’s stage six 24kms time trial held in Solvang.
“It really sucks not to be able to race at the Tour of California, it’s a real big bummer,” Zwizanski told Cyclingnews. “Crashes happen and this isn’t that bad, things can always be worse when you have a serious crash.
It is a bummer, but it’s also a long season and there will be other races to do and hopefully I will just make up for it.”
The team recently announced its roster to be lead by Rory Sutherland and will include Charly Wegelius, Robert Förster, Chris Jones, Christian Meier, Karl Menzies, Andrew Pinfold and Brad White.
Zwizanski crashed during his final preparations at the Vuelta Asturias Julio Alvarez Mendo held from April 28 to May 2 in Spain. He went down during the first stage on a descent and cut his hand between the third and fourth metacarpal along with two broken bones in the same hand.
“I overcooked a corner on a descent and crashed,” Zwizanski said. “I some how jacked my hand against a stone wall and originally thought it was just a separated little finger. But, when I got back it turns out I broke a bone in my hand, a piece of bone on my knuckle was broken off and I had to get two pins in it. I also had to have eight stitches between my two fingers where the webbing tore.”
Zwizanski was informed by his doctors of a six-week recovery period and he will potential miss the USA Cycling Pro Time Trial Championships held in May in Greenville, South Carolina.
“I will have to do all indoor and trainer training,” Zwizanski said. “As for the USPro time trial championships, I’m not ruling it out yet and I’m not ruling it in either, we will see. The focus is just to get the hand better as quick as possible and I will be able to do lots of trainer time. We will have to play it by ear when I get back as to what races I can do.”
Zwizanski opened the season with a third place in the time trial at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, his teams first podium appearance as a new Professional Continental UCI team. He went on to place a strong seventh in the time trial at the Giro del Trentino held in Italy last month.
He is a proven time trial contender amongst his American peers after placing third in the USA Cycling Pro Time Trial Championships in 2009. He also won the overall title at the Tour de Beauce.
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 05:44
- Barry Ryan
HTC-Highroad DS says Petacchi's sprint was "not really fair play"
HTC-Highroad directeur sportif Valerio Piva echoed Mark Cavendish's sentiments after stage two of the Giro d'Italia, namely that the Manxman would have been disqualified had he sprinted in the same manner as winner Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD).
"If you see the regulations, the riders need to stay in their line, but Petacchi doesn't stay in his line," Piva told reporters outside Parma's Centro Congressi.
"For the same things, Cavendish was sometimes in the past out [disqualified]. In the Tour, in Switzerland... If Cavendish did something like this... I don't want to make shit but I don't think that Petacchi had to do that if he wanted to beat Cavendish, it's not really fair play."
While Piva was critical of what he felt were Petacchi's attempts to shut the door in the sprint, he acknowledged that the Italian had been astute in opting to begin his effort ahead of Cavendish.
"I saw two years ago in Trieste that Petacchi knows that he needs to anticipate," he admitted. "That's what he needs to do, but maybe he closed a little bit."
Piva was also disappointed that his team had little help in setting the pace at head of peloton for much of the duration of the stage, but he conceded that with maglia rosa Marco Pinotti in their ranks, HTC-Highroad was obliged to take on the bulk of the workload.
"Okay, we have the jersey and we have that responsibility, but I asked for Lampre to help us and they said no," he said. "Garmin put one rider at the front from the feed zone. We rode a lot of kilometres in front but I'm not complaining because when you have the jersey you have the responsibility."
He explained that HTC-Highroad's efforts earlier in the stage meant that they were lacking a little in manpower in the frantic final moments.
"If you need to use riders before, then it's normal that you don't have the whole train in the finale," Piva said.
Although Cavendish inherits the pink jersey from his companion Pinotti, it was scant consolation for an HTC-Highroad outfit dedicated to piloting their sprinting to victory.
"The objective today was to win the sprint because Cavendish is not here for the GC," he said. "It's nice to have the pink jersey but he wants to win a stage in the Giro this year and today was a chance. I think we have two or three more."
With the first summit finish coming on Friday's stage at Montevergine, Cavendish's spell in the maglia rosa has a clear expiry date, but Piva feels that the nature of the course and of the racing means that they will have their work cut out to defend the lead beyond the next two stages.
"Tomorrow the finale is also a little bit tricky and don't forget that Livorno is also not easy," he said. "It's possible [to defend the lead], but I see a lot of teams that will be trying something in the finale. There are a lot of teams that don't really have sprinters so they will make some attack in the finale, and it's difficult to control. It's not easy, but we'll try."
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 08:06
- Alex Hinds
Spaniard positive in wake of disastrous Team Time Trial
Igor Anton says he is happy to take the Giro ‘day by day’, and will not be looking to challenge for the overall honours. The diminutive Spaniard spoke to Newspaper El Pais after the finish of the team time trial in Turin and was in surprisingly good spirits despite his Euskatel-Euskadi team finishing last; 1:13 behind race winners HTC-Highroad.
"Okay, I know that being in last is a bit ugly and that the director will have to swallow the exhaust pipe of 22 cars ahead of him," Anton said.
"- But overall, we were amongst five teams that finished within 11 seconds of each other, so the difference isn’t so bad."
Much of the Alba-born rider’s optimism comes from the fact that he says that he will not be pursuing the maglia rosa and is racing the Giro with ‘no pressure’.
"I mean, I’m not here to win the Giro so the result doesn’t mean as much to me personally."
The Spaniard is much happier to take a calmer approach to the Giro in 2011, focusing instead on the possibility of a stage win in one of the high mountain stages.
"I know I'm in good condition," says Anton. "Yes, I’ll be aiming to win the Vuelta this year but for the Giro I’m more than content to ride a simple race."
The Euskatel-Euskadi rider was at least ambitious enough to aim for one of the high mountain stages in the 2nd and 3rd week of the race.
"To win one of the big mountain stages would be a beautiful thing, and I think at least one of them should be within my reach. But we will see. I’ll be taking the race day-by-day and week-by-week."
A changed rider from the 22 year old that suffered through the 2005 edition of the race he knows that experience counts for a lot in a Grand Tour.
"In 2005, I knew I was suffering, but I was really able to push my limits, and learn a lot - about my body, and about racing. This year I’m going to be patient and wait for my opportunities. They will come, but first I must be patient and calm."
Six months ago at the 2010 Vuelta, Anton was adamant that the race would be taken ‘day by day’ and ended up showing that he was one of the strongest riders in the race. Asked if he would remain as modest and measured for the 2011 edition of the Vuelta, Anton was happy to be more forthright.
"In the Vuelta this year I will not be there to take it day by day. I know I have responsibility in the Vuelta, I will be there to lead."
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 10:12
- Cycling News
Frenchman wins Four Days of Dunkirk, still leads UCI Europe Tour
French champion Thomas Voeckler has added the eighth victory to his 2011 tally by winning the overall Four Days of Dunkirk, where he also took the decisive stage to Cassel on Saturday. The Europcar rider continues to lead the UCI Europe Tour rankings in what definitely is his strongest Spring season ever.
Voeckler played it smart at the start of the Four Days, targeting the overall classification without making it public. "When I came to the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, I tried to make believe that I wasn't looking for anything in particular here. I love to do that, play it smart, and it worked. The press almost forgot about me," a radiant Voeckler told L'Equipe on Sunday evening.
"Ever since I was a kid, I followed this race, it has meaning to me. When I found out that I wasn't going to do the Giro, I immediately thought about the Quatre Jours, also because the pink leader's jersey is fashionable at this time of year..."
The 31-year-old netted his eighth season victory, making 2011 already a huge success by the month of May. "It's true, it's more of a sprinter's score! Already with the Tour Méditerranéen, the Tour du Haut Var and two stages in Paris-Nice, the balance was magnificent. Now, I continue on the same vein, I really can't complain. I've known less lucky times to know that you have to savour them when they are. So what happens to me today is worth even more."
It seems that the Frenchman has reached a peak in his career since his second Tour de France stage win and his first ProTour victory at the GP Québec at the end of last year. The confidence he gained has paid off in further victories. "The way I look at it, I have nothing more to prove. I simply ride for pleasure. Maybe that's how victories come about more easily," he mused.
With that many successes already on his palmarès this season, the current leader of the UCI Europe Tour standings looks forward to yet more racing and the season highlight for any Frenchman, the Tour de France.
"I have to stay calm; I won't change a lot in my approach for the Tour," he said. "The only difference will be in my head. The fact of having already won so many races allows me to take on the Tour feeling more serene. But it's not because I've already got eight races that my season is finished, there are still many beautiful events to win!"
Voeckler now has a small pause on his calendar and will be back to racing at the Tour of Bavaria from May 25-29, preparing for the Critérium du Dauphiné in early June - that is if his Europcar team is invited. But with Voeckler being in the form of his life, chances are race organiser ASO will give the French team a race entry.
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 10:50
- Cycling News
World 'Cross champion third overall in Four Days of Dunkirk
Zdenek Stybar finished on the podium of his first road race for Quick Step. The reigning cyclo-cross world champion finished third overall in the Four Days of Dunkirk, an unexpected result for him.
"I'm really very happy that I managed to hold on to third place,” he said on his website “I never expected this in my first race.”
Stybar had moved into third place on Saturday's fourth stage, when he was part of a late break group. The Czech was able to counter the first attack out of the group by eventual winner Thomas Voeckler, but couldn't answer the Frenchman's attack with about 14km to go.
Stybar finished third on the stage, 1.43 minutes down, moving him into third overall. "I'm really very happy with this. It's a good feeling. With 2,600 meters of climbing, I expected to really suffer, but I got better with each lap.”
He was able to hold on to that top position in Sunday's closing stage, with a finish in the lead group. Earlier, his teammate Julien Vermote was in a long breakaway, which made things easier for him.
"The rest of the team was able to hold a steady position in the peloton thanks to Julien's presence in the break,” Stybar said. “All we had to do was defend my third place position. And the team did a great job. Now I understand why it's so important to have a strong team around you.”
His next race is coming up almost immediately, the Tour of Picardy, May 13-15.
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 13:02
- Cycling News
Vacansoleil management knew of scheduling conflict
Usually it is sprinters who start a Grand Tour knowing that they will not finish it due to the mountains, but Michal Golas of Vacansoleil-DCM has another reason to drop out of the race. He is due to be back in Poland to attend his own wedding on Saturday, May 28.
The wedding with girlfriend Agatha was planned long ago, and team management was aware of the conflict of dates before they named the 27-year-old to the Giro line-up, according to AD.nl. It is not yet know when he will leave the race.
One of his Vacansoleil teammates is facing a similar scheduling conflict. Thomas De Gendt's wedding is scheduled for Saturday, June 30, 2012 – the date of the Tour de France prologue in Liège, Belgium.
Both events are important to the Belgian rider, and he hopes that he will be able to fly with a helicopter from his wedding to the start of the prologue.
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 16:32
- Cycling News
Leopard-Trek rider crashed on Passo del Bocco
Leopard-Trek's Wouter Weylandt was fatally injured today in a crash on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. The 26-year-old went down on the Passo del Bocco and was unconscious at the scene.
Paramedics worked to revive the Belgian, doing CPR for an extended period of time before airlifting him to a nearby hospital. Doctors were unable to revive Weylandt.
"Today, our teammate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the third stage of the Giro d’Italia," said Leopard-Trek Manager Brian Nygaard. "The team is left in a state of shock and sadness and we send all our thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Wouter."
"This is a difficult day for cycling and for our team, and we should all seek support and strength in the people close to us."
The third stage continued on, with riders not informed of the grave nature of Weylandt's crash, but race organisers canceled the podium ceremonies for stage winner Angel Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli) and new leader David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo).
Weylandt began his professional career as a trainee with the Quick Step team in 2004, following a victory the U23 Tour of Flanders and podium placings at the U23 Paris-Roubaix and E3 Prijs Harelbeke.
While his first of six full seasons with Quick Step was delayed by a case of glandular fever, his promise in the Classics was demonstrated with a second place in the 2006 Nokere Koerse.
While he spent much of his time at Quick Step as one of Tom Boonen's main helpers, he earned his victory in the top ranks in the 2007 Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, where he also took second overall. He followed that with the Ronde van het Groene Hart and stages of the Tour of Belgium and Ster Elektrotoer.
After taking his first Classics podium with a third in Gent-Wevelgem, Weylandt won the 17th stage of the 2008 Vuelta a España in his first Grand Tour appearance. He last year won the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, where he bested the top sprinters in the peloton after a marathon stage to Middelburg.
Weylandt signed with the nascent Leopard Trek squad for the 2011 season.
Cyclingnews extends our deepest sympathies to Weylandt's family, friends and teammates.
More as information comes available
- Article published:
- May 9, 2011, 17:28
- Cycling News
Peloton reacts to news of Weylandt's death
Walter Planckaert, Topsport Vlaanderen: Wouter was the best friend of Fred Nolf, who died in his sleep during the Tour of Qatar in 2009. I had just now the father of Frederiek on the line. That man is really broken. These are two friends who really tragically died.
Vincenzo Nibali: I can't find any words to complain my feeling about Wouter death.it's surreal. all my thought for his wife, family and friends. Ciao Wouter.
Ivan Basso: It's incredibile how much destiny could be tragic. My condolences and a hug to family and friends. Rest in peace, Wouter
Andrei Tchmil and Team Katusha: In the face of this terrible tragedy, that will leave its indelible scar on this Giro d´Italia story, we can only express our sympathy to his family of this guy, to the trainers and the riders of Leopard Trek, hit by this mourning. The Giro should be, as always, a big sporting celebration. But, from tomorrow on, riding a bike will be much more difficult for everybody.
Johan Museeuw: When I saw him fall, I knew immediately it was serious. The resemblance to Casartelli was striking. We're all grieving. Weylandt was a young rider who had all his life before him.
Brian Nygaard (Leopard Trek): All our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Wouter. The team in Italy will decide on our further race participation tonight.
Bjarne Riis (Saxo Bank): On a day like this, all thoughts about results are irrelevant. It's a devastating tragedy for Wouter's family, friends, teammates and team. Our condolences go to all who knew Wouter.
Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin Cervelo): Peace be with you, Wouter.
Theo Bos (Rabobank): Geen woorden voor, verschrikkelijk. (No words, terrible.):
TeamRadioShack: On a day like today we are all teammates. We send our best thoughts to Wouter Weylandt and his team, friends and family.
Koen De Kort (Skil-Shimano): Unbelievable horrible news. Thoughts go out to Wouter's family and wife.
C.J. Sutton (Sky): I'm speechless. My thoughts go out 2 wouter weylandt's family and friends. Such sad news. He was a good friend. RIP wouter. U will be missed
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Things like this shouldn't happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt.
Richie Porte: Today really puts everything in perspective, such a tragedy. RIP Wouter and thoughts with his family, friends and team mates.
Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step): What a terrible news! This can't be true!
Lars Boom (Rabobank): RIP Wouter Weylandt.
Robbie McEwen (RadioShack): Devastated. Wouter Weylandt
John LeLangue (BMC Racing Team): RIP Wouter @wouterweylandt; all my prayers are going for him and his family
Viatcheslav Ekimov (RadioShack): Its numbing! RIP Wouter Weylandt. All thoughts to his family his friends and his team mates.
Russell Downing (Team Sky): after seeing that i feel sick inside...Rip wouter .. u will be sadly missed . lost for words
Johan Bruyneel (RadioShack): Such a sad day for our sport. RIP Wouter Weylandt. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I'm shocked.
Greg Henderson (Team Sky): Such a sad sad day. RIP Woulter. Thoughts are with family. Speechless.
Allan Davis (Astana): Just got home from 6hrs 30min training to the deverstating news of my old teammate Wouter Weylantd, R.I.P mate.
Jesse Sergent (RadioShack): Such a sad day for cycling, really unbelievable! RIP Wouter Weylandt. Thoughts go out to all his family, friends and teammates.
Manuel Quinziato (BMC): Rest in peace Wouter! I can't believe it's really happened!
Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank): Speechless.
Geraint Thomas (Sky): Horrible news about Wouter!! Thoughts with his family, friends and team mates!! RIP mate
Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank): Just read the news. My thoughts go out to family and friends of Wouter Weylandt. Hoped I had seen the worst Giro crash ever in 2009!
Bradley Wiggins (Sky): Days like this put this great sport we love into perspective, Wouter rest in peace now mate, thoughts are now with the family and freinds!
Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad): Shocking to hear the news after the stage. Nobody wants this in cycling. Thoughts go out to his family and.friends. RIP Wouter Weylantd
Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale): Prayers going where they need to go. Go tell someone you love them and mean it.
Steven De Jongh (Former Quick Step): No words , just tears. My thoughts go out to his family
Ben Swift (Sky): RIP Wouter Weylandt. Very sad day things like these shouldn't happen. Very shocked.
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervélo): Rest in peace, Wouter. And to his family, friends and teammates, I am deeply sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Movistar Team: Our thoughts are with the family and teammates of Wouter Weylandt, who passed away during today's Giro stage. Rest in peace.
UCI: The UCI has learn the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt during the stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.
On behalf of the whole cycling family, the UCI President M. Pat McQuaid wish to extend his deepest sympathies to all members of Weylandt’s family, all his friends and teammates, but also to all his colleagues on the Giro, who will have to overcome their grief to continue in the race.
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