News shorts: Gesink abandons Tour de Pologne with fatigue

Martinelli to Etixx, Arcas to Movistar, US woman to attempt UCI Hour Record

Gesink abandons Tour de Pologne with fatigue

Robert Gesink pulled out of the Tour de Pologne on Tuesday morning just a few hours ahead of the start of stage 3. The Dutchman rode to sixth place overall at the Tour de France in July and the exertion of that race, which finished just a week before the start in Poland, has taken its toll.

Gesink was a fairly late and surprising inclusion in LottoNL-Jumbo's plans for Poland and he will now rest up and prepare for the Grand Prix Cyclistes in Québec and Montréal, both of which he has won in the past.

"I'm exhausted after my hard-fought sixth place in the Tour de France," said the 29-year-old. "That's why I have to take some rest for a while, so I can prepare myself perfectly for the one-day races in Canada."

Speaking to Cyclingnews outside the team bus ahead of stage 3, directeur sportif Mathieu Heijboer added: "It's not a big deal, he just wasn't ready for this race. After the Tour de France he was too tired. The legs were not there."

The Dutch squad's focus will now turn to stage wins, with Tuesday's flat stage followed by a rolling one, two days in the mountains, and a final-day 25km time trial in Krakow. With Marcel Kittel looking like he has rediscovered something of his form of old, and with Alex Dowsett in attendance, the best bet may be from a break in the mountains.

"There is the time trial at the end, for [Rick] Flens and [Martijn Keizer], and we'll try to win a stage, hopefully from the breakaway. We will also sprint for Dennis [Van Winden]. So we have plenty of options left but GC will be difficult," said Heijboer. (PF)

Robert Gesink on the final climb.

Etixx - QuickStep signs Martinelli

The Etixx-Quickstep team announced the signing of Davide Martinelli, a three-time U23 Italian national time trial champion, for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The 22-year-old son of Astana directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli did a stint with Team Sky as a trainee in 2012, but returned to the amateur ranks, winning the points classification in last year's Tour de l'Avenir.

"For me this is a dream come true," Davide Martinelli said. "Over the winter I started talks with the team though the Team talent scout Joxean Matxin. Before the Roubaix in the end of May, I went to the Bakala Academy, the Belgian team's centre for high performance, for the evaluation test. After which, at the end of the Tour de France I was contacted and I signed my first professional contract."

Team's CEO Patrick Lefevere added, "We've been following Davide for quite some time through our talent scout perusing the youth ranks. He won us over with his athletic skill and his vision of cycling. We think he can become an important rider to our team structure, especially in the Northern races, and in this first phase as a support to the team leader. Davide is a big rouleur and a strong time trialist, yet he can also hold his own in tight bunch sprints, as his results show. We are confident that it won't take him long to become an athlete who can really stand out on the international cycling scene."

Davide Martinelli (Italy)

Movistar signs Arcas

The Movistar team signed 23-year-old Spaniard Jorge Arcas from the amateur Lizarte squad. The rider from Sabiñánigo, Huesca is the first new name on the Spanish team's roster for the coming two seasons.

Arcas has largely ridden as a domestique, but won his regional championship this season as well a stage of the Vuelta a Navarra, and a stage of the Vuelta a Palencia and the overall in the Two Days of Álava last year.

The Spaniard will join Dayer Quintana and Marc Soler, both past teammates in Lizarte, in the Movistar squad.

Van Houweling to attempt women's UCI Hour Record

American Molly Shaffer Van Houweling will become the second woman to attempt to break Leontien Zijlaard van Moorsel's UCI Hour Record since the UCI rule changes in 2014. Van Houweling will make her attempt on September 12, 2015 at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico

Van Houweling, a Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, technically broke Van Moorsel's 46.065km record, set in 2003, in July in Aguascalientes, riding 46.088 kilometers for the hour, but she had not been enrolled in the biological passport program long enough, so it did not count under UCI rules.

She will attempt to better her mark next month, when she will be eligible to be entered into the UCI history books.

"It is an honour and an immense challenge to take on the most epic record in all of cycling. I have had several opportunities to ride on the track in Aguascalientes, and I know that it is a fantastic facility. Mexico has a special place in the UCI Hour Record history, as the site of records by Eddy Merckx, Jeannie Longo, and Leontien van Moorsel. I hope my upcoming attempt will be part of that proud history," Van Houweling said.

 

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