Lars van der Haar ended his race early at the Superprestige Ruddervoorde on Sunday, fearing an injury in his upper leg with a MRI scan revealing the Giant-Alpecin rider will now "out of competition for unknown amount of time", according to his post on Twitter.
The Dutchman has already had an injury interrupted 2016-17 'cross season, with a hamstring injury seeing him miss the opening CrossVegas and Jingle Cross World Cup rounds in September. Van der Haar was aiming to continue his comeback in November and had started to string together a consistent run of results until the latest injury.
Speaking with NOS, van der Haar provided a more concrete diagnosis, explaining that he faces "eight to twelve weeks of no competition".
The injury also means that van der Haar has raced his last race in Giant-Alpecin colours as he moves to Sven Nys' Telenet-Fidea team from January 1.
"I worked so hard to get back to a level. Now I can still hope for January and February, but that's it. It's not nice for a team if they get a rider who is not fit," he added.
The next round of the 'cross world cup takes place in Bieles, Luxembourg over the weekend of January 28-29.
Volpi joins Bahrain-Merida management team
Alberto Volpi has joined the new Bahrain-Merida team as a directeur sportif for the 2017 season. The Italian previously worked with team leader Vincenzo Nibali at Fassa Bortolo and Liquigas, and has spent the past two seasons at the Skydive Dubai outfit.
"I'm really proud and happy to be part of this new project," Volpi said. "This is going to be a pleasure to be able to come back working with colleagues, athletes and staff member I already had the opportunity to work with."
The Bahrain-Merida management team is led by Brent Copeland, and also includes Philippe Mauduit, Paolo Slongo and Tristan Hoffman. "He has the knowledge of mixing different mentalities and cultures which is of great importance in today's cycling world," Copeland said of Volpi. "Our team has 12 different nationalities and this is the reason for having such an important sports director in the team."
The nascent squad gathered in Croatia for its first team meeting at the end of last month. Nibali will make his debut for the team at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Provincia de San Juan in Argentina in January.
LottoNL-Jumbo sign Amund Grøndahl Jansen
LottoNL-Jumbo have announced the signing of Norwegian rider Amund Grøndahl Jansen, who impressed in finishing fifth at the under-23 World Championships in Doha while helping his fellow countryman Kristoffer Halvorsen to the rainbow jersey.
Jansen is the current Norwegian under-23 champion and joins LottoNL-Jumbo after two years at Continental outfit Team Joker. The 22-year-old won the ZLM Roompot Tour in the Netherlands in 2016, as well as the Tour de Gironde and a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir.
"I'm definitely not a climber, I'm a sprinter and a classics rider. I hope to develop myself in the spring classics with the help of the experienced men in the team," said Jansen, who will base himself in Girona but has begun learning Dutch to help his adaptation to life on his new team.
"From the first moment I had contact with the team, I knew I'd be able to settle in well. As in Scandinavia, the team is very familiar. The Dutch culture is much closer to ours than the French, Spanish or Italian culture."
LottoNL-Jumbo technical director Nico Verhoeven said that the team had been tracking Jansen's progress over the past couple of seasons. The youngster will be deployed in the team’s sprint train and as part of its Classics unit.
"Amund has a good sprint in his legs and can definitely handle the spring classics. We want to continue to work on these aspects with him," Verhoeven said. "Also, he will be a good addition in the sprint train and in the classics team to support our leaders."
Canadian men's team pursuit team secure first-ever World Cup medal
Team Canada took its first-ever World Cup medal in the men's team pursuit at the opening UCI Track World Cup in Glasgow, Scotland, with a bronze-medal performance.
In the qualifying round, team included Aidan Caves, Adam Jamieson, Jay Lamoureux and Ed Veal. They qualified third and went up against number two qualifier France the next day where the finished second, but with the third fastest time they were positioned in the bronze-medal race against Switzerland. For the final, Canada swapped out Ed Veal for Bayley Simpson.
Canada took the lead after the first half lap of the 4,000 metre final, and pulled away to win bronze by over three seconds. Olympic champions and world record holder Great Britain won the gold medal race against France.
"To go from our best World Cup result being ninth in New Zealand last year, to coming here, the first World Cup of this season, and be five seconds faster than any race last year ... it's incredible," said Jamieson. "We lost a couple of our strongest guys [Sean MacKinnon, who signed for professional road team and Remi Pelletier-Roy, who returned to school] and, to be honest I was a little worried, and I think everybody else was too, that we wouldn't be as strong. But we have proved now that we are a solid, solid team, and we are going places."