Elisa Longo Borghini's (Wiggle-High5) spring campaign started so well with victory at Strade Bianche, but it ended with her confined to her bed. Longo Borghini had been forced to skip Fleche Wallonne due to illness but chose to push herself to do the inaugural women's Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
She managed a top 10 finish, a feat that she has managed all but one time in the Women's WorldTour this season. The efforts took their toll and she ended up spending three days in bed. With that, the Italian has called an end to the first part of her season, opting to take a short break to recoup before she begins phase two.
"Sometimes you should just listen to your body and rest," she wrote in her latest blog on the Wiggle-High5 website. "The Ardennes permanently closed the first half of the season, I can consider it good overall although the last three races have a little disappointed.
Amstel, Arrow and Liege were three events that I really wanted and I've worked for a while. Unfortunately before the "Amstel Gold race I got sick and I had to jump the arrow. Thinking that he had recovered for Liege, I went to Belgium unambitious but with the desire to honour the race."
The illness also forced her to miss the Tour de Yorkshire last weekend. Nevertheless, the Italian is keeping her head up and looking to the next part of her season, which will begin at Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik on May 28 after some high altitude training.
Storey takes on campaigning role with British Cycling
Multiple Paralympic champion Sarah Storey has taken on a campaigner's role with British Cycling, the governing body has announced. Storey, who has 14 Paralympic titles to her name, will join former rider, and policy advisor, Chris Boardman in campaigning for better cycling infrastructure and road safety.
"I've spent the last decade of my life as an elite cyclist, representing my country at events around the world but, fundamentally, I just enjoy riding my bike, whether that is training hard for a major event or just heading out into the country lanes," Storey said in a statement issued by British Cycling.
"I know that this is a passion I share with millions of other people across this country, and ensuring that people who wish to cycle have adequate convenient, safe opportunities to do so is a vision that I share with British Cycling.
"In order to encourage more people to get on their bikes, it is crucial that politicians and decision makers take on board safety concerns, and ensure that our roads are appealing, safe shared spaces which can be used conveniently by all road users, and I am looking forward to working alongside Chris Boardman and British Cycling to make this a reality."
Roy to lead Orica-Scott at Chongming
Sarah Roy will return to racing action for the first time since Amstel Gold to lead Orica-Scott at the Chongming Island WorldTour race. It will be Roy's first appearance at the three-day event, the first stage race of this year’s WorldTour.
Roy will be backed by experienced rider Rachel Neylan, who is making her season debut after a lengthy stint on the sidelines due to injury. Under 23 Australian road and time trial champion Alexandra Manly, Jessica Allen and Georgia Williams complete the six-rider line-up.
"Chongming is a sprinters paradise," said sport director Martin Barras. "For the last 10 years and 35 or so races that that the Island has hosted, all but one finished in a bunch sprint. It is a very good race to bleed your new sprinters and hone the sprint train of the squad."
"We have had a lot of success here, winning in 2012 and 2013 and Australians have won four out of the last nine editions. Fittingly we are bringing a very sprint orientated team with Sarah Roy our designated sprinter.
"Sarah will have her work cut out in a very competitive field as every decent bunch sprinter in the Women's WorldTour licks their lips at the thought of racing on the alluvial island guarding the mouth of the Yangtze River.
Astana Women's Team with two at the PanAm Champs
Sierra took the silver medal in the road race last season, beaten by her Cuban teammate Iraida Garcia to the title. She turned professional with Astana this season and has enjoyed a great start to her career with a victory at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and second place at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda behind Coryn Rivera. The "PanAmerican Championship is one of her seasonal goals and she can try to attack or wait for the sprint," notes the Astana team.
The 23-year-old Rodriguez, who recently finished runner-up in the Mexican national championships, will be making her fifth appearance at the competition. Last season, she finished 13th in the road race.
The PanAmerican Road Cycling Championships will take place in the Dominican Republic between May 4 and 8. The women’s time trial will take place on Friday May 5, while the road race will be the following morning.