BMC Racing is down five riders after 22-year-old Tom Bohli was forced to abandon the Tour of Qatar on stage 1 due to a crash. No fractures were found, but it is expected he will be out of competition for the next few weeks.
"The X-rays were completely negative and the medical report shows that he has abrasions on his left shoulder and right knee. Tom was very lucky as it was a bad crash," BMC Racing Team Doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria said.
"I really don't remember how the crash happened at all," Bohli said. "I don't feel too bad. My right knee hurts a bit as I have a small hole there from the crash, but otherwise it is general road rash and cuts. I'm more disappointed than anything to not be able to continue the race, as I was particularly looking forward to the time trial."
BMC Racing team doctor Max Testa has also provided an update on the current status of its four other riders currently sidelined to to injury and ill health. Marcus Burghardt is the only rider recovering from broken bones as Stefan Küng continues his recovery from Epstein-Barr Virus diagnosis, Dylan Teuns recovers from pneumonia and Loïc Vliegen was cleared to race post-surgery for a congenital heart defect in October.
"It feels good to be back training already. I'm feeling healthy and don't have any pain in my left elbow," said Burghardt, who was forced to abandon the Tour Down Under due to his injury. "I'm taking things a bit easier but am almost back to my normal program, so it will be good to race again soon."
There is no date set for Burghardt's return to racing although Testa anticipates the German will be "ready to race in the coming weeks".
Küng has been training with the team in Denia, Spain where Testa has observed the 22-year-old's progression and believes he will be ready to return to racing by the end of February.
"I'm feeling much better after having some weeks off the bike," Küng said. "I've been back training for about two weeks now and I'm taking things one day at a time and slowly building up my training intensity. I'm already seeing progress and am looking forward to getting back into racing soon."
While Vliegen made his return to racing at the Dubai Tour last week, finishing 38th overall, Teuns is unlikely to be pinning on a race number for "another 4-6 weeks" according to Testa, who added "His priority will be to work on his fitness once he is fully recovered."
Broken elbow for Mohoric
Lampre-Merida's Tour of Qatar started out with good news and bad - while Sacha Modolo claimed a strong second place behind stage winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), the team lost Matej Mohoric to a crash.
Mohoric was diagnosed with a fractured elbow, which will keep him out of competition for several weeks.
Modolo was pleased to fight his way into a 21-rider split that distanced the peloton in the crosswinds. "I'm satisfied with my condition which allowed me to be in the lead group when the bunch was split by the wind, but I have some regrets to not have been able to achieve the big target ," Modolo said. "My idea was to anticipate Cavendish, but Mark began the sprint earlier than me, so I could not overtake him.
"I don't want to think about regrets, I prefer to focus on tomorrow's stage and to send my support to Mohoric, who suffered an injury in a crash."
Dumoulin to make season debut at Tour of Oman
New Giant-Alpecin directeur sportif Luke Roberts will lead the team at the upcoming Tour of Oman, where Tom Dumoulin will make his season debut. The Dutch powerhouse will be joined by Søren Kragh Andersen, Ji Cheng, Tom Stamsnijder, Zico Waeytens, and Johannes Fröhlinger, who are currently racing at Tour of Qatar.
"This year the Tour of Oman has been made substantially more challenging with a difficult uphill finish at the Green Mountain climb, as well as a second uphill finish included on stage 2," Roberts said.
"There will be some stages well suited to Søren and Tom [Dumoulin], they have both looked quite sharp during our recent training camp and they are capable of performing well and challenging for stage results. We will take it day by day and we will not set out with a specific focus on the general classification."
Rally Cycling to Start Season at La Méditerranéenne
US Continental team Rally Cycling announced today it will start the season at La Méditerranéenne – formerly known as the Tour Mediterranéen.
New Rally recruits Danny Pate, Tom Britton and Evan Huffman will lead the team at the season opener, which takes place along the coast of the Mediterranean sea beginning February 11 in Banyoles, Spain. The race then crosses southern France for two stages before ending in the Italian city of Bordighera, on February 14. The four-day race features an opening stage team time trial followed by three road stages.
“It is an honor to receive an invitation to La Méditerranéenne,” said Rally Cycling Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “We are excited to have the opportunity to compete in such a prestigious event. We expect a tough race and steep competition, but our riders are very motivated and our first two training camps have prepared them well.”
Pate, Britton and Huffman will carry the team’s general classification hopes. The team will rely on former Team Sky rider Pate’s extensive European experience to guide Rally on the road while Huffman and Britton have shown themselves to be on excellent early season form.
Britton said starting in Europe is paramount to preparing for success later in the season at events like the Tour of California and the Tour of Utah.
“I'm very excited to be heading back for another chance to race against the European teams on their own turf,” he said. “The team is riding really well, and with the first-stage team time trial I don't think you could ask for a more favorable start.”
Rally Cycling for La Méditerranéenne: Tom Zirbel, Eric Young, Pierrick Naud, Danny Pate, Rob Britton, Adam De Vos, Emerson Oronte, Evan Huffman.
QBP announces paid internship for women
Bicycle product distributor QBP announced five paid internships for women for this summer. The Minneapolis-based company will offer 10-week long positions in Graphic Design, Engineering, Industrial Design, IT and Sales for female undergraduates, to begin mid-June.
"We're looking for students who have a strong passion for bikes, innovative business, and making an impact on their communities," said Alix Magner, QBP's national sales manager, according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. "The goal of this program is to encourage talented women to explore careers in the bike industry, while also increasing the presence of women in cycling as a whole."
Applications will be accepted through March 3, 2016 at QBP's website.