MTN-Qhubeka started their 2015 racing season Thursday at the Mallorca Challenge with a touch of bad luck as Andreas Stauff crashed out of the race in the closing kilometres and fractured his collarbone.
Crosswinds pushed the peloton into the gutters during the chaotic finale, and the high speed and limited road space made it a tough fight for position. The German rider hit the tarmac during the scrum, and team doctors later discovered that Stauff had fractured his collarbone. Stauff will fly back to Germany where he will undergo surgery, according to a statement released by the team.
"I can confirm that x-rays have revealed Andy to have sustained a fracture to his right clavicle in the crash today," said team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam. "He will be flying back to Cologne tomorrow morning, where he will undergo surgery to fix the fracture. He has no other serious injuries.”
South Australian team pursuit squad upset Budget Forklifts at Australian track nationals
Despite fielding three of the current team pursuit world champions, Budget Forklifts were unable to haul in the South Australian team, which also featured a world champion in the discipline in Alexander Edmondson, overnight at the Australian track national championships. The South Australian quartet, also featuring U23 national road race and time trial champion Miles Scotson and junior world champions Alex Porter and Callum Scotson, finished with a time of 3:59.331 minutes. More than three seconds faster than Budget Forklifts' time of 4:02.559 minutes.
"I think you always want to go sub four minutes, but we knuckled down and to be able to do that is really special," said Edmondson. "I just need to take my hat off to Tim Decker, who works bloody hard and the end result shows. Two of the boys have just come out of the junior ranks and I'm absolutely stoked for them, we’re really happy to take the win for SASI."
Budget Forklifts were on the back foot from the start though as Mitch Mulhern and Scott Sunderland clipped wheels out of the starting gate and then fell on the back straight of the velodrome.
"I spoke to the boys after the crash and I said 'just put it behind you, maybe use it as a bit of an adrenalin rush' [but] there was no doubt that we were rattled," said teammate Glen O'Shea.
Vichot's 2015 ambitions
Former French national champion Arthur Vichot has outlined his 2015 goals in an interview with L'Equipe, stating that Paris-Nice, the Ardennes and national champions are his main objectives of the season Vichot's 2014 season started with fifth at the GP la Marseillaise and fifth overall at the Etoile de Bessèges. The 26-year-old continued his good start to the season with victory on the final stage of Paris-Nice to finish third overall in the French tricoloure but had his season ended early when he crashed at the GP de Québec, fracturing his right collarbone in four places in September.
"The Ardennes (Amstel, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège)," Vichot said of his season goals. "Especially since last year I was not able to participate [due to recurrent right knee pain] while I was full of confidence after my Paris-Nice and growing possession of my faculties. I really want to shine this year. But there will also be the French championships and Paris-Nice."
With a change to the Paris-Nice parcours, Vichot explained that he isn't expecting another podium finish.
"Last year, the course suited me perfectly with arrivals for a puncheur," he said. "This time, there is a prologue, an exercise in which I do not excel, and there is a small summit finish. I'll aim for the top 10 more than the podium."