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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Date published:
April 11, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Viviani back training in just over a week

    Elia Viviani (Liquigas - Cannondale) reminds us which stage he won.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 5:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Pelvic injury not as serious as first thought

    There is renewed hope for Elia Viviani (Liquigas – Cannondale) after he crashed out of the UCI Track World Championships last week during the omnium competition. The Italian's injuries have been the subject of further investigation and the damage is not as serious as first thought.

    "We have done a CT scan and a MRI of the pelvis, which has made it possible to establish the smallest fracture of the right ischiopubic ramus together with a small subcutaneous hematoma," explained team doctor, Dr. Roberto Corsetti. "This result reassures us and enables us to be optimistic about the recovery time which, compared to original estimates, will be reduced."

    Viviani, with continued rest, should be able to train in 10 days' time – good news as it was initially believed that his participation in the Giro d'Italia was under threat.

    The Italian crashed first during the omnium points race but recovered to take a nine-point win over Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spain). He then took part in the next event, the elimination, finishing ninth before withdrawing citing pain from his crash. Viviani was then diagnosed with a hairline fracture of the pelvis.


  • Police strike threatens Amstel Gold Race

    The Amstel Gold Race is known for its short, sharp hills as well as many, many pieces of road furniture and roundabouts.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 7:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Court action could force officers back on the job

    A union dispute is threatening Sunday's Amstel Gold Race with Dutch police currently planning strikes in the hope of securing more compensation for the country's police officers.

    Stop-work meetings are planned for a number of festivals and public events, including the Dutch classic, with the aim of bringing the officer's plight to the attention of the Justice Ministry.

    "The Amstel Gold Race is an action that we have in the planning," Jan Willem van der Pol of the NPB (Netherlands Police Union) told "We are in consultation with the organizers about what we can do. That they may have a beautiful Amstel Gold Race and we still have a very smart way to perform the action."

    Should a strike take place, local mayors may have to force police back on the job with court action if it's believed that the public and the peloton will be in danger.


  • Boonen to decide today if he will ride Amstel Gold Race

    Eventual race winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) on the Eikenberg
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 10:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider not yet recovered from successful Flemish classics campaign

    Tom Boonen will decide today whether he will ride the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider, who dominated the Flemish classics, said that he had not yet recovered from his efforts in winning Paris-Roubaix.

    “I'm still not recovered,” he told “I feel really bad, like I'm sick. My limbs, my stomach's all just a mess. My legs actually have the least pain.”

    He also hasn't been back on the bike since Sunday, not even on Tuesday, as planned, as “it was raining hard. Now the plan is that I wil ride the Gold Race.” It would be his debut in the race.

    Boonen is expected then to take a racing break before continuing with the Tour of California (May 13-20).  It is not clear if he will ride the Tour de France as preparation for the London Olympics.

  • Janorschke has elbow fractures from Paris-Roubaix crash

    Team NetApp's Grischa Janorschke in action
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 11:42 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Three major crashes and two operations within one month for NetApp rider

    Grischa Janorschke was involved in one of the most spectacular crashes in Paris-Roubaix, and is now paying the price for it, with fractures in his elbow. The NetApp rider has now had three bad crashes and two operations within the last four weeks. He is already out of hospital but doesn't know when he will ride again.

    Janorschke, 24, was in the escape group during Paris-Roubaix, heading into the cobblestones of the Forest of Arenberg. He promptly punctured and “at 50-.55 km/h on a slightly descending cobblestones” it was virtually impossible to avoid crashing.

    First reports from the scene showed no major problems, but on Sunday evening he was checked out at the Süd Klinikum Nürnberg in Germany.  “There an operation removed a ruptured bursa and unfortunately they also found a splintering in my elbow as well as a fracture in the head of the radius,” he told Cyclingnews, still “kaputt and groggy” in hospital.

    The German was glad to have made the large escape group, as the team had especially wanted to be in it. “In the beginning it was a really big fight, nearly every team wanted to be represented and especially for the teams without a top favourite, it is a chance to be in the front of the race and to show your presence," he said.

    His first major crash of the season was in the Ronde van Drenthe, where he broke his collarbone. Exactly four months before Roubaix, it was fixed with a plate and nine screws. A crash at the Scheldeprijs gave him stitches in the back of the head, but didn't throw him back. “I worked very hard to be at the start of Paris-Roubaix in halfway good form. It was my first WorldTour race and being at the start fulfilled a small personal dream,” he told...

  • Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies fires in Uruguay

    Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) pegged a third-place finish with 25.09 over the twelve mile out-and-back course at the Merco Cycling Classic.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 14:45 BST
    Pat Malach

    Challenging but successful week for US Continental team

    Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies' trip to South America last week for the UCI 2.2 Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay paid off with four stage wins and three days in yellow for sprinter Ken Hanson, while time trial specialist Tom Zirbel finished second overall.

    The six-rider Optum squad overcame illness and some missing bikes to be a major player in the 10-day race, which took place March 30 though April 8, eventually coming within 18 seconds of duplicating Scott Zwizanski's 2009 overall win. Reid Mumford, Tom Soloday and Chad Haga joined Hanson, Zwizanski and Zirbel in the race, which featured nine long, relatively flat road stages and one 36km time trial.

    "It's not like it's a Colombian or Costa Rican race, where it's just going straight uphill for 10 days," said team director Eric Wohlberg. "So it was good for our time trialists and sprinters to get a good race underneath their legs with some opportunities for great results."

    But competing so far from home presented challenges for the team. The first came when the local airlines lost track of the time trial bikes for Zwizanski and Zirbel, then an intestinal virus bit the team – and much of the peloton – late in the week.

    "It wasn't just us that got sick, but we got the short end of the bikes, for sure," Wohlberg said. "But the boys really sucked it up. We were also down to one spare set of wheels, so that was actually the biggest drama. But we quickly established a good rapport with our competitors down there. And we got a lot of great support."

    Hanson started things off for Optum during the sprint finish of the 180km opening stage from Montevideo to Trinidad, scoring the win and enough bonus time to don the race leader's jersey for the next day's road race....

  • Boonen to miss Amstel Gold Race

    Boonen kicked for home solo some 52km out at Paris-Roubaix and held on comfortably
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 15:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Man of the moment opts to rest after recent exertions

    Reports in the Belgian media have confirmed that Tom Boonen will not be competing in this weekend's Amstel Gold Race. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has swept all before him on the cobbles in recent weeks, scoring victories at E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    After his win at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, Boonen suggested that he might line up at Amstel Gold for what would have been his debut in the prestigious Ardennes Classic. But now it appears that the exertions of the last few weeks, which catapulted him into the history books, have taken their toll.

    It is thought that Boonen will now take a mid-season break before possibly returning to the road in the Amgen Tour of California on 13 May. 

  • Klemme making impression at Argos-Shimano

    Dominic Klemme in his new team kit
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 17:20 BST
    Cycling News

    German rider enjoying opening months with new team

    Despite missing the time cut in Paris-Roubaix Dominic Klemme (Argos-Shimano) had a race to remember, fitting into the early break, before a set of mechanical problems robbed him of a classified result.

    Klemme signed for Argos at the start of the year after the merger between RadioShack and Leopard Trek. His decision to head for Argos was due to the riders he already knew on the team and the chances he would be given in the biggest races. At Leopard he was grateful for his position but was understandably used as a domestique for Fabian Cancellara.

    "It's good, this team. I'm pretty happy. I know a lot of the guys from racing with them at the under 23 national team and it's a good team," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I came here because I wanted to have my own chances. If you're in a big team at races like today they look to you to do the work but with this team there is the chance to be good here is if I have some space. I was in the break but I didn't have the best preparation with sickness and a crash but I made the best out of it."

    Klemme was one of the strongest men in the 12 man group that broke clear 70 kilometres into Paris-Roubaix. A crash in the Arenberg occurred just ahead of him, and Klemme was lucky to escape the fall.

    "I hoped to go a bit further than I did but I was lucky I didn't crash in the Arenberg when two riders came down in front of me.

    "After the Arenberg then John Degenklob came but I had problems with my brake and I didn't recognise the problem at the time. I was dropped with a flat tyre but then I got to the velodrome just as doors were closing. I'm happy with the race I did."

  • Andy Schleck's form still in doubt after Brabantse Pijl

    Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 19:33 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Time running out ahead of Ardennes Classics

    Time is running out on Andy Schleck's preparations for the Ardennes Classics, and the former winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2009) is still struggling to overcome a lack of racing kilometers following a troubled start of his season.

    Coming into the Brabantse Pijl, Schleck featured as a headliner in the peloton as it readied for the start in Leuven, but he was never able to show himself in the race as he crashed and abandoned. The race was won in heroic fashion by Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (Europcar).

    Before the race, Schleck explained that he needed the Brabantse Pijl to know where he was form-wise compared to other Ardennes specialists like Philippe Gilbert. "It's an important test," Schleck said. "I'm here to get good kilometres done. It's a hard race. It's my first Classic. It's going to be a race in a strong peloton so I want to see where I stand today.

    "I think I have chances to be in the front. My condition improved a lot in the last weeks. In Paris-Nice I was sick and after that I was training a lot. I did the Circuit de la Sarthe and that was okay so I hope to be good. I'm not sure at all about it (his form) because I haven't raced so much.

    "I hope to be at my top in Liège," Schleck added before summing up some of the names he expected to be in the hunt at Liège. "For sure we see the Spanish guys like [Samuel] Sanchez, [Joaquim] Rodriguez and [Alejandro] Valverde too; they'll be strong. Never forget [Philippe] Gilbert. Gilbert is always good."

    Schleck's test ended after 126km when he crashed on a wet, slippery roundabout at 69km from the finish line in Overijse, Belgium along with several other riders. The crash didn't seem to have caused a lot of damage and Schleck continued...