Cam Meyer claims early Volta a Catalunya KOM lead - News Shorts

Boeckmans withdraws from Catalunya, Femke Van Den Driessche turns to running, Avanti to make European race debut in June

Cam Meyer's good start to his Dimension Data career has continued on stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya with the Australian enjoyed a day out in the breakaway and was rewarded with the king of the mountains jersey. The Callela to Callela 175km stage included five catergorised climbs with Meyer claiming points on the first three before the breakaway was reeled in by the peloton.

Sports director Alex Sans Vega explained the team started the day with the ambition of infiltrating the breakaway with Meyer the man to make the move.

"The first stage of Catalunya is quite tricky as it is a normal road stage, so there is no race leader to start with and no team to take control from the start. So in the past the break has made it on the first stage but today there was a sprinter like Bouhanni so Cofidis also helped to control the break from early on which resulted in a sprint of about 100 riders," Vega explained. "For our team we had hoped to have a rider in the break and Cameron was there. Once in the break it became obvious that we should try to win the sprint and KOM jersey.

Vega added he was happy with the showing by the 28-year-old that will see him wearing the jersey for stage 2, from Mataró to Olot.

"Cameron did really well to pick up enough points for the KOM jersey so he went onto the podium today and he will wear the red jersey tomorrow," Vega added. "We also had 4 riders in the first bunch at the finish line, Merhawi Kudus, Igor Anton, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Cameron were there and this was good because they give us some good options for the GC later in the race. So all in all it was a good day for us."

Meyer started his season with second place at the Australian national championships in January before going onto to finish 12th at the Tour Down Under.

Dimension Data enjoyed its first WorldTour win of the season last week at Tirreno-Adriatico via Steve Cummings with Meyer's jersey its first at the highest level of the sport in 2016.

Kris Boeckmans withdraws from Volta a Catalunya 

Having made his return to racing in Friday's Handzame Classic after his horror Vuelta a Espana crash that saw him placed in a medicaly induced coma, a stomach bug has seen Kris Boeckmans pull the pin on the Volta a Catalunya on stage 1 after just 22km.

"He had problems with his stomach and threw up," team manager Marc Wauters said according to Sporza. "Kris has been trying to start, but he was still sick."

The Lotto Soudal team enjoyed a less than ideal trip to Spain with traffic issues seeing the riders arrive at 1am on Sunday night after an earlier flight was cancelled.

A stomach bug also saw LottoNL-Jumbo's Wilco Kelderman withdraw from the race.

Femke Van Den Driessche turns to running

A week after announcing her retirement from cycling in the aftermath of a motor being found in her bike at the cyclo-cross World Championships earlier this year, Femke Van Den Driessche finished third in the 10km Zwinstedenloop running race. The 19-year-old explained to Het Nieuwsblad that she found a sense of serenity in the competition.

"It helped to clear my senses after the commotion of recent weeks surrounding the motor in my bike," said Van den Driessche. "My mother participated in numerous races. She had advised me to enlist."

Despite her podium position, Van Den Driessch was quick to assert that she won't be making a change to athletics, saying "it does not mean that I am going to start a running career."

Femke Van Den Driessche (Belgium) takes the women's U23 European championship (Bettini)

Avanti IsoWhey Sports to make European racing debut at Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc

Australian Continental team Avanti IsoWhey Sports will head to Europe for the first time having received an invitation to the 2.2 Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc in June. The team is shifting its focus from Asia to the United States and Europe this season with limited opportunities of race days locally due to a reduction in the National Road Series (NRS) events this season. Avanti haven't left Asia completely behind though having won the Tour de Taiwan overall with new signing Robbie Hucker earlier in the month

Other teams to line up at the race includes WorldTour team Lotto Soudal, Pro-Continental teams Direct Energie, Fortuneo Vital Concept and Lotto Soudal and American Continental squad Axeon-Hagens Bermans.

Avanti's American race schedule will see them line up at the Redlands Classic in Early-April with further race dates to be confirmed in coming weeks.

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