No fractures for Bouhanni
Nacer Bouhanni was a faller during the Three Days of Grenoble track event on Thursday evening but the Frenchman has reported no broken bones from the incident following examination in hospital.
“It happened during the Madison. I clipped a rival who was in front of me and I fell. I took a right blow to my ribs and collarbone,” Bouhanni told L’Équipe. “I have no fractures and there’s nothing wrong with my clavicle. I just have burns all down my left side, from my shoulder to my foot, and I have a big bruise on my side.”
Bouhanni’s injuries mean that he will be forced to rein in his usual off-season cross training regimen in the coming weeks but he expects to return to training on the road at the end of November as planned. In 2015, Bouhanni makes the switch from FDJ.fr to Cofidis.
“Now it’s going to be total rest. I’m not going to be able to do some gym work and boxing as I had planned but that’s no drama – it’s a superficial injury all the same,” he said. “I’ll stay at home and I’ll start training again on the road after the Dijon cyclo-cross [November 23], like I do every year.”
Sergeant wants better Grand Tour performances
Lotto-Belisol manager Marc Sergeant is hopeful that his charges can make a bigger impact on the general classification of the Grand Tours in 2015 after a low-key year in that department. The Belgian squad fell some way short of the heights scaled by Jurgen Van Den Broeck in 2010 and 2012, when he recorded fourth-place finishes at the Tour de France.
“We’re hoping to do a bit better in the GC of Grand Tours,” Sergeant said, according to La Dernière Heure. “We hoped for a top 15 from Maxime Monfort at the Vuelta, where he finished 16th, and a top 10 at the Giro, where he was 13th. Jurgen Van Den Broeck had difficulties, especially at the Tour de France. It’s still eight months away but we have to reflect on his participation at the next Grande Boucle.”
While Sergeant declared himself pleased with the stage victories clocked up by André Greipel, Tony Gallopin and Adam Hansen at the Tour and the Vuelta, and the progress of Tim Wellens, he acknowledged that the squad had fallen short in the Spring Classics, albeit with some mitigation due to crashes involving Greipel at Gent-Wevelgem and Jurgen Roelandts at the Tour of Flanders.
“A lot of teams would have loved to have had such results. I’m happy with the number of wins but I’d gladly swap a few for a big win next year,” Sergeant admitted. “We have to do a bit better in the early season classics where we had our share of bad luck this year. But we had a good season all things considered.”
Betancur keen to ride 2015 Tour de France
The route of the 2015 Tour de France seems well-suited to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) but his fellow Colombian Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) is also hopeful that he can make an impact in what would be his debut in the race.
The 2015 Tour features just a single individual time trial, the 14km-long opening day test in Utrecht, as well as an additional 28km team time trial on stage 9. The opening week includes puncheurs’ finales at the Mur de Huy and Mur de Bretagne before a series of tough summit finishes in the Pyrenees and Alps.
Betancur, who finished fifth in last year’s Giro d’Italia and claimed victory in Paris-Nice this season, declared himself pleased with the parcours.
“It will be the first and last Tour in history with 30 kilometres of time trialling. We have to enjoy it to the fullest and take this opportunity,” Betancur said, according to Biciclismo. “The team and I have talked about doing a very good Tour de France with the help of God and about starting the season well with the Classics.”
Betancur missed this year’s Tour after failing to return to Europe from Colombia on time to participate in the Tour de Suisse beforehand. In his absence, Ag2r-La Mondiale enjoyed its best-ever Tour, with Jean-Christophe Péraud finishing second and Romain Bardet taking sixth, while Vincent Lavenu’s men also finished as best team.
As Lavenu confirmed to Cyclingnews earlier this week, Betancur will remain with the French squad in 2015, despite reports in the summer that his contract had been rescinded by mutual agreement.
“At the end, we talked pretty well. They wanted to have me on the team,” he said. “I feel good after the problems I had, it’s good to think about 2015.”
Betancur is currently in Medellin and will return to Europe for an Ag2r training camp in December. His first race of the 2015 season will be the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January.