Devenyns comes close again to Vuelta a Espana stage win
For the second time at this year's Vuelta a Espana, Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) came agonisingly close to a stage victory. The Belgian jumped clear on the final climb of stage 12 after the initial day's break was reeled in by the peloton.
Devenyns never had much more than 30 seconds but it looked like he might just make it stick. However, there was too much interest in a sprint finish from the bunch behind and his move was, ultimately, doomed. While he was brought back with the line almost in sight, Devenyns takes some solace from being able to hold off the peloton for so long.
"Obviously, the only thing that matters is the victory, but being able to be at the front of the race at this sort of level gives me great satisfaction," said Devenyns. "In my heart, I know that on this stage, I was the strongest. So, even though I didn't manage the win, I am comforted by that thought."
Devenyns was also in contention on stage 9 to the Alto del Naranco, when he rode into the final kilometre with David de la Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep). However, when de la Cruz made his move for the stage win, Devenyns suffered a mechanical problem. He says that he's determined to take a stage win before the race is out and hasn't been disheartened by his two near-misses.
"Coming to the Vuelta, my personal goal was clear: to win a stage. Twice now I have been very close. Even today when I broke away, I believed in my chances. Unfortunately, I didn't quite manage to achieve it. But that doesn't mean that I won't try again."
Bardet returns to racing action at GP Fourmies
Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) will begin the final part of his season at this weekend's GP de Fourmies. Bardet has enjoyed almost a month-long break since finishing second in the Tour de France and competing at the Olympic Games at the start of last month.
Following the GP de Fourmies, where AG2R-La Mondiale is hoping to deliver Samuel Dumoulin to victory, Bardet will cross the Atlantic for the Canadian double-header on September 9 and 11. The two one-day races in Quebec and Montreal have been a permanent fixture on Bardet’s calendar since his debut season in 2012.
Bardet will have a short break before racing again in Europe at the Giro dell’Emilia on September 24, followed by Milano-Torino four days later. The Frenchman will then close his season at Il Lombardia on October 1, skipping, unsurprisingly considering the flat course, the World Championships in Qatar.
Van der Haar delays start to cyclo-cross season
Lars van der Haar will have to wait a little while longer to begin his cyclo-cross season after a hamstring injury has forced him to miss the opening two rounds of the World Cup. Van der Haar was due to ride Cross Vegas and Jingle Cross Iowa City on September 21 and 24 but announced on Twitter on Thursday that he would not travel to the US for the two events.
"After 4wks of struggles, I needed to make the hard decision that I won't make it to Vegas & Iowa, due to an inflammation in hamstring tendon," wrote the Dutchman.
It remains to be seen if Van der Haar can recover in time for the first round of the Superprestige in Gieten, Netherlands on October 2.
Australian Paralympian Gallagher tests positive for EPO
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has confirmed that para-cyclist Michael Gallagher has given a positive A sample for EPO. The result comes from an out of competition test done at a training camp in in Italy July.
The double Paralympic champion has been immediately suspended from racing and will not compete at the Rio Paralympics, which is due to begin on September 7. Gallagher has won gold medals in the individual pursuit at the past two Paralympic Games, in the LC1 category in Beijing in 2008 and the C5 category in London in 2012.
"The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has taken immediate action to remove Michael Gallagher from the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team in Rio," a statement from the Australian Paralympic Committee read. "This follows Gallagher's mandatory provisional suspension handed down by the APC and Cycling Australia today after ASADA confirmed Gallagher has returned a positive doping sample.
"Gallagher was tested out-of-competition at a training camp held in Italy in July. His 'A' sample tested positive for erythropoietin."