Basso set to return to the bike
Just over a month after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer Ivan Basso will be able to ride his bike once again. The Italian is due to hold a press conference on August 17 in Livigno, after which he’ll complete a short ride, according to the Aquagrande Livigno Sports Centre where the press conference is due to take place.
Basso was diagnosed with testicular cancer during the Tour de France and immediately withdrew to return home for treatment. The diagnosis came on the first rest day as Basso visited the doctor due to pain in his testicle following a crash in the opening stages of the race. It meant that it was caught early and the cancer was removed just two days after the diagnosis. While it doesn’t mean that he has been given the all-clear, that won’t come for some time, Basso is confident about what lies ahead for him.
“Now we have to wait. There are other exams to do but there is a lot of optimism, and I am the first. I am coming back home happy and relieved,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport last month.
Boonen and Terpstra head Etixx-QuickStep at Eneco Tour
Niki Terpstra and Tom Boonen will lead Etixx-QuickStep at the Eneco Tour next week. Tersptra will head the team’s GC ambitions while Boonen is targeting stage wins as he builds towards the World Championships next month. The pair are joined by a strong line-up that includes Julian Alaphilippe and Yves Lampaert.
"Eneco Tour is as usual a quite challenging race," said Etixx-QuickStep sport director Wilfried Peeters. "The first few days in Holland could be an immediate factor, it depends on the weather conditions. But of course, the time trial will better define the riders for the general classification. The real battle for the GC will be in the last few days in the Ardennes. The last days are always complicated and difficult, but we have a good team and for sure we will try to go for a stage victory. We will try to do well in the time trial, then see where we are in the GC, and make a strategy to try to get the best out of this race that in the past gave us good results and victories."
The Belgian-Dutch race begins in Bolsward, Netherlands on Monday 10.
Etixx-Quickstep for Eneco Tour: Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra, Yves Lampaert, Julian Alaphilippe, Stijn Vandenbergh, Fabio Sabatini, Nikolas Maes and Martin Velits.
McCarthy held up by train in Tour of Denmark TT
Earlier this season, we saw riders skipping under barriers at Paris-Roubaix to avoid getting caught up behind a passing train. Tinkoff-Saxo rider Jay McCarthy had no option but to wait when a train crossed his path during the stage 5 time trial.
“It's always fun getting stopped by a train in a Tt. Lucky I wasn't on anyway haha,” McCarthy tweeted after a fan posted a video of the incident.
Israel Cycling Academy excited by USA Pro Challenge start
The Cycling Academy Team from Israel is set to ride their biggest race yet when the USA Pro Challenge sets off from Steamboat Springs on Monday, August 17. The Continental outfit, which is supported by Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan, was named among the 16 teams to take part in the race – earning a spot ahead of local team Airgas-Safeway.
“We had a remarkable season so far and we are excited towards this unique opportunity” said team founder and owner Ron Baron. “It’s not every day that you hear of a pro sports team from Israel, let alone competing at this level, along some of the world’s most gifted talents.”
It is the Cycling Academy’s first season, after being launched at the end of 2014. The team have predominantly been competing in their Native Israel, with victories at the Tour of Arad and the Apple Race. They also have wins in Europe and competed at the Tour de San Luis but this will be the first time they race in the US.
“It’ll certainly be our toughest test to date but we’re going with the goal of leaving our mark at this race” said team manager rider Ran Margaliot. “Our hearts and souls will be put into this race and we hope to gain that extra boost from the excitement inspired by the large support of local fans.”