TechPowered By

More tech

Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, March 22, 2012

Date published:
March 22, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Sørensen set to defend king of the mountains jersey at Catalunya

    Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank) on his way to the stage win.
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 5:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank pleased with Dane's recovery from illness and injury

    Saxo Bank's Chris Anker Sørensen showed he has well and truly recovered from a frustrating start to the 2012 season, riding into the king of the mountains jersey on a shortened Stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya.

    Sørensen crashed in the team's pre-season training camp in Israel, and subsequent bout of flu kept the Dane off the bike for more than a month.

    Nearly 60 kilometres was cut from Wednesday's stage due to rain and snow, with the stage ending on the lower slopes of the penultimate climb, the HC-rated Port del Canto. The shortened stage eliminated the full ascent of the Port del Canto and the following mountain finish on the HC-rated Port-Ainé.

    Sørensen finished in the front group and took the first mountain points on offer for the day on the category one Alt de Coubet, enough to take the lead in the classification.

    "I'm happy to see Chris in the mountain jersey and we're going to defend it tomorrow where we're finishing the stage on a hilly circuit and I don't expect the sprinters to be first on the finish line," said Saxo Bank sports director, Dan Frost.

    "It's impressive that Chris can travel so fast again after yesterday's stage, especially on a wet and icy stage like today, especially when you consider how many other pure climbers get off the bike."

    Last month, Sørensen said he was hoping to peak for the Ardennes Classics.

    "Liege-Bastogne-Liege is a big ambition of mine this spring," he explained. "I hope to be able to better the sixth place from last year's edition of the race. I know it's going to be difficult in an extremely high quality field but when I've...

  • Video: Lefevere pleased with Dwars door Vlaanderen outcome

    General manager Patrick Lefevere at the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team press conference
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 9:44 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Manager praises Omega Pharma-QuickStep's 2012 start

    Less than three months into the season and Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s success shows no sign of abating after Niki Terpstra picked up the biggest win of his career at Dwars Door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. As the team’s general manager, Patrick Lefevere, stepped out from his team car at the finish, he could barely hide his pleasure. A total of 19 wins and counting make his team the most successful squad of 2012, and after two disappointing years and no Monument wins since 2009, Lefevere’s men look well-placed to carry their form into the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    With Boonen at home with his feet up, the responsibility for results in Waregem fell to Sylvain Chavanel and Terpstra. Both men made it into the main selection of the race after 100 kilometres of racing and were clearly in a league of their own. On the Oude Kwaremont, Chavanel stretched the escape move to almost breaking point before Terpstra launched his move. Jelle Wallays briefly held his wheel before relenting and finishing 12th.

    In this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, Patrick Lefevere talks about his team’s win in Dwars Door Vlaanderen, and also discusses Terpstra’s form and chances for the remainder of the Classics.

    Last season Terpstra was an important part of QuickStep’s Classics contingent before a crash in de Panne saw him ruled out for several weeks with a broken collar bone. With a superb win under his belt, Lefevere has yet another card to play this spring.

  • Basso's Giro d'Italia preparation suffers a blow

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas Cannondale)
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 10:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian abandons Volta a Catalunya

    Ivan Basso’s Giro d’Italia preparation suffered a further setback when he was forced to abandon the Volta a Catalunya on Wednesday. The Liquigas-Cannondale rider fell just 7km into the snow-shortened stage to Port del Canto, taking a heavy blow to the same right knee that he injured in a fall at Paris-Nice.

    “The roads were wet, we were going at about 40kph and there was a bend,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “A rider hit a car at the side of the road, bounced off it and made six or seven fall, myself included.”

    Although Basso did not suffer a particularly forceful blow, he fell awkwardly, and had the misfortune of taking a knock to the same knee that he injured in France. Julian Dean (GreenEdge) was a faller in the same crash and suffered a broken leg.

    “My foot stayed clipped in and my right knee hit off both my frame and the tarmac,” Basso said. “I don’t have a scratch on me, but I took a bang in the same place at Paris-Nice and it swelled up a lot. I looked to keep on going but there was no sense in that, and I stopped after 80km.”

    Remarkably, Basso has yet to finish a race in 2012. He has now abandoned the Trofeo Laigueglia, GP Lugano, Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya. With the Giro just six weeks away, the Italian faces a race against time if he is going to impact the race. He will continue his preparation with a lengthy training camp at Teide in Tenerife, and will return to racing at the Tour of Romandy (April 24) in a bid to get some racing in his legs before the Giro.

    “I have to wait for the result of the scans, there would be no point in making plans beforehand,” said Basso. “If it’s only a blow, then I’ll rest for the...

  • Longo in French plans for London 2012 Olympics

    Patrice Ciprelli and Jeannie Longo in Grenoble
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 11:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Doping controversy hasn't prevented pre-selection

    Legendary French rider Jeannie Longo has been included in the France pre-selection squad for the London 2012 Olympics, despite her advancing years and the doping controversies that have plagued her and her husband over the last few months.

    53-year-old Longo, winner of 13 world titles and 59 French national championships, was controversially cleared of doping violations in November 2011 despite missing three out-of-competition tests in an 18-month period. In February her husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli was arrested following a raid on their apartment and subsequently admitted to purchasing EPO for personal use.

    "I asked for the paperwork for Longo's accreditation for London. For me it was just a test: would she answer or not?" Isabelle Gautheron of the French Cycling Federation told L'Equipe.

    "There was no penalty for her. The other problem is different: it is the problem of her husband. Her husband was indicted for the purchase of drugs, for personal use from what I read in the press. (Longo) needs to try to go the Olympics. She is a competitor and will fight."

  • Roelandts hoping to return in seven weeks

    Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) in Adelaide hospital follwing mass crash at the Tour Down Under stage one.
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 12:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lotto-Belisol rider still recovering from horror crash

    Two months on from his horrific crash in the opening stage of the Tour Down Under, Lotto-Belisol's Jurgen Roelandts is still several weeks away from a return to racing and is yet to receive the all clear from his doctors. The 26-year-old Belgian suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck and a clogged blood vessel in his brain following a spill with multiple riders in Adelaide.

    After intially targetting a return to competition at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this month, Roelandts was forced to rethink his plans when it became clear that his convalescence would take far longer than orginally expected. He is training up to two hours a day under supervision and is desperate to get back in the saddle.

    "My focus is now later in the year," he told Sporza. "In seven weeks I will have a new scan. Then I hope for green light from the doctors."

    The 2008 Belgian road race champion admits that he is frustrated by not being able to race in the spring classics, which he has performed will in during recent seasons. He finished sixth at Gent-Wevelgem in 2010 and last season was runner-up at E3 Harelbeke and finished in the top ten at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

    "It is sad that my role as a leader for my team cannot be fulfilled, but mentally I am ok," he said. "I do not need antidepressants and can count on the support of my parents, sister and friends.

    "I'm in training two hours a day, constantly supervised. I am still not great, but see light at the end of my ordeal. I also have daily contact with team manager Herman Frison. He pushes me to remain calm."

  • Fuglsang withdraws from Volta a Catalunya due to broken hand

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 16:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dane fractured scaphoid in stage 3 crash

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan) did not start today's fourth stage of the Volta a Catalunya due to a broken hand suffered during the previous day's stage. His team announced today that the 27-year-old Dane sustained a scaphoid fracture in his left hand from a crash early in stage three. While 34 riders ultimately abandoned yesterday on a frigid, rainy stage, Fuglsang persevered through to the finish which the race organisers shortened by 55km due to snow on the mountain top finish.

    Fuglsang was well-placed on general classification at the Volta a Catalunya, in eighth place overall and tied on time with 27 other riders who were all 1:32 behind leader Michael Albasini (GreenEdge).

    Fuglsang, who turned 27 years old today, will undergo an operation in Basel, Switzerland, on either Friday or Saturday and is expected to resume training on rollers on Monday. Fuglsang will return to racing wearing a cast, but his next competition has yet to be announced.

    The injury is a setback in the build-up to Fuglsang's role as RadioShack-Nissan's general classification hope for the Giro d'Italia, which starts May 5 in his native Denmark. Early this year Fuglsang told Cyclingnews that this season is "the most important year of my career", with the Giro slated as his primary target.

  • Gallery: Through The Lens at Dwars Door Vlaanderen

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 17:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Jered and Ashley Gruber's highlights from Belgium

    The dust may have settled on another edition of Dwars Door Vlaanderen but before consigning another Belgian semi-Classic to the history books we look back on another exciting race through the eyes of photographing duo, Jered and Ashley Gruber.

    The pair based themselves on numerous parts of the course, starting with the cobbled section of Holleweg. By then the day’s break had already formed and Omega-Pharma’s Sylvain Chavanel and eventual winner Niki Terpstra were clear.

    From there, the two photographers split up, covering different parts of the race.

    “Wednesday was the first time Ashley and I had ever actually split up to cover the race. I rode down to the lower part of the Eikenberg, while she stationed herself on the descent of the Eikenberg, Ladeuze. We shot our respective scenes, then met back up on the bike path heading to the Kwaremont,” said Jered.

    “The race happened on the Paterberg. Terpstra made his move out of the break midway up the climb, and it was there that the race was won. Of course, he still had a hard slog to the line, but that precious gap, forged in the gutter of the Paterberg, would be the foundation for his biggest career victory."

  • Gilbert chases form at E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 20:19 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian champion on Cancellara and Pozzato

    Philippe Gilbert will ride both E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem this week in an attempt to build his form ahead of the Tour of Flanders. After a subdued start to his BMC career, Gilbert’s build-up to the Belgian classics was complicated when illness forced him to abandon Tirreno-Adriatico and a crash ended his Milan-San Remo challenge prematurely.

    “It’s a change in my programme because although I’ve done all the races, I didn’t do the finale of the races,” Gilbert said in Kortrijk on Thursday. “I wasn’t able to ride the finales as I would have liked at Tirreno because of my illness and when you don’t ride the finishes, then it’s like you haven’t really done the race, so I need to ride a few tough finales to find great form.

    “The best training is to do the last 10km of a race full on. You can’t do that in training. Even if you ride almost 200km in the first part of a race, you still need to be there for the finale to really improve. Besides, the weather is really good, so it shouldn’t be too tiring to ride both races.”

    Gilbert insisted that he was fully recovered both from the illness and dental problems that so concerned the Belgian media in the run-up to Milan-San Remo, and from the crash at the top of the Cipressa that put paid to his hopes at La Classicissima.

    “I think I was ready to do the final in San Remo. I was really good, and I’m now getting into good condition,” said Gilbert, although he admitted that it was hard to gauge his form given that he was not able to test himself against...