Boeckmans out of coma, talks with family
The team reported that Boeckmans was able to talk with his family and his doctors after regaining consciousness, although he remains in the intensive care unit where he has been since the crash on August 29.
The Belgian was apparently taking a drink from his bidon during the stage when he hit a hole in the road and crashed hard. The 28-year-old was taken to a hospital in Murcia with severe facial trauma and fractures, a concussion, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Tests administered in the hospital revealed Boeckmans did not suffer any severe brain injuries, but the coma was induced to let his body heal.
“One of these days, Kris will be repatriated with a medical flight, accompanied by a doctor and the required equipment,” the team said in the announcement.
“Afterwards he will be brought to a Belgian hospital for further recovery. The rib fractures will have to heal in a natural way. Also the lung injuries will need their time to evolve. The facial fractures will be treated surgically after a thorough analysis in Belgium.”
Etixx-QuickStep bring heavy hitters to Canadian WorldTour races
World Champion Michael Kwiatkowski and Tour de France stage winner Tony Martin will head the eight-rider roster that also includes Tom Boonen, Rigoberto Uran, Julian Alaphilippe, Yves Lampaert, Stijn Vandenbergh and Julien Vermote.
Both races feature difficult urban circuits with uphill finishes. The opening race on Friday in Québec covers 16 laps for a total of 201.6km, while Sunday’s race in Montréal has 17 laps for a 205.7km total.
Kwiatkoswki said each day is a race where he would like to do well as he prapres to defend his title at the UCI Road World Championships later this month.
“I've been unable to finish in Quebec and then in Montreal in past participations,” he said. “But I'm super motivated. I trained hard to be in good shape for September. Everything is going in the right direction. I will see how the legs react. These classics suit me and racing in Canada is really a pleasure."
Martin, who has returned from his race-ending crash at the Tour de France while he was wearing yellow, said the team is not just in Canada to prepare for Worlds because they have a good chance of taking the wins.
“We're here for good results,” he said. “For me, it'll be a nice test to see how my sensations are. I'm going to try to get a good result. But I'll also support the one-day riders in my team, who should be more at ease than me on these kinds of parcours. I'm looking forward to racing.
"We have a very strong team, with three of four riders who can win these races,” he said.
Etixx-Quickstep for Grands Prix Cycliste de Québec and Montréal: Julian Alaphilippe, Tom Boonen, Michal Kwiatkowski, Yves Lampaert, Tony Martin, Rigoberto Uran Uran, Stijn Vandenbergh, Julien Vermote
Kreuziger, Breschel will lead Tinkoff-Saxo in Quebec and Montreal
Matti Breschel and Roman Kreuziger will lead Tinkoff-Saxo this weekend at the two WorldTour races in Canada on Friday and Sunday.
The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec takes place Friday, followed by the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on Sunday.
Breschel will lead the effort during the faster GP Québec, while Kreuziger, who recently won a stage of the USA Pro Challenge, will be the team’s protected rider for the hillier race in Montréal.
Tinkoff-Saxo’s full roster for both races Friday and Sunday will also feature Michael Rogers, Manuele Boaro, Chris Juul-Jensen, Michael Valgren, Matteo Tosatto and Bruno Pires.
“We have one of the strongest teams here, looking at the overall lineup, but you have to have that guy that can make the difference,” said team director Sean Yates. “Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Kwiatkowski are here and have that ability, so we have to go out there and get in the mix.”
Yates said Breschel and Kreuziger are the team’s picks to go for the wins in the two disparate races.
“Matti has showed that he has good legs,” Yates said. “It didn’t pan out in GP Plouay, but his form is good and he also has the Worlds ahead of him, where he has a great tendency to get top results.
“Roman wants to go for it at Montréal, and the parcours with 3,893 altitude meters suits him better, while Matti’s speed will come in handy in Québec.”
Tinkoff-Saxo for Grands Prix Cycliste de Québec and Montréal: Roman Kreuiziger, Matti Breschel, Michael Rogers, Manuele Boaro, Chris Juul-Jensen, Michael Valgren, Matteo Tosatto, Bruno Pires.
Alzate and Schneider lead NCC with one weekend remaining
With one weekend remaining in USA Cycling’s National Criterium Calendar, UnitedHealthcare’s Carlos Alzate holds the men’s individual standings lead, while ISCorp Cycling-SmartChoice MRI’s Samantha Schneider tops the women’s series. The two individual leaders’ teams also lead their respective team standings.
Alazate seized the men’s lead after winning two of the four TSG Realty Gateway Cup criteriums September 4-7 in St. Louis, earning second in the omnium. He currently leads teammate Hilton Clarke by 97 points, Ryan Aitecheson (Astellas) by 112 and Daniel Holloway (Altovelo-SeaSucker) by 316.
Schneider leads Erica Allar in the women’s standings by 220 and Tin Pic (Pepper Palace) by 411. Skylar Schneider (ISCorp Cycling-SmartChoice) is fourth, 553 points back, with UnitedHealthcare's Hannah Barnes rounding out the top five, 653 in arrears.
After a week off, the NCC will enter its final weekend next week with the September 19 TD Bank Mayor’s Cup in Boston and the September 20 Connecticut Cycling Festival in Hartford.
1. Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare) – 822
2. Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) – 725
3. Ryan Aitcheson (Astellas Cycling Team) – 710
4. Daniel Holloway (Altovelo-SeaSucker) – 506
5. Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare) – 454
1. Samantha Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) – 1133
2. Erica Allar – 913
3. Tina Pic (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b the Happy Tooth) – 722
4. Skylar Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) – 580
5. Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare)– 480
1. UnitedHealthcare – 2720
2. Astellas Cycling Team – 1434
3. Hincapie Racing Team – 683
4. Champion System-Stan’s NoTubes– 483
5. KHS-Maxxis-JL Velo – 412
1. ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI – 2319
2. UnitedHealthcare – 1524
3. Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b the Happy Tooth – 1117
4. Team TIBCO-SVB – 976
5. Colavita-Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking – 943