Vuillermoz abandons Paris-Nice after crash
The cancellation of stage 3 at Paris-Nice didn't come quick enough to help AG2R-La Mondiale's Alex Vuillermoz, who crashed out of the race before it started snowing and before organisers cancelled the stage. The 27-year-old Frenchman quit Paris-Nice after crashing in a descent 80km into the day.
Vuillermoz suffered multiple contusions, mainly on his right lower limb with superficial wounds on his hip, knee and ankles, according to a statement released by the team. He also suffered a cervical contusion that caused muscle contraction. The team's medical staff will decide within the next 48 hours whether he requires further examination and when he will return to competition.
Snow forced organisers to Cancel stage 3 at Paris-Nice (Tim DeWaele/TDWSports.com)
Rally Cycling will end second European trip at Coppi e Bartali
Rally Cycling will begin its second trip to Europe this season Thursday in Croatia at Istarsko Proljece - Istrian Spring Trophy, a four day UCI 2.2 stage race.
The US Continental team will follow it with three races through the end of the month, including GP Liberty Seguros March 12-23, Volta ao Alentejo March 16-20 and Settimana Internazionale Coppi E Bartali March 24-27.
In Croatia, Rob Britton and Evan Huffman, fresh off his overall victory at the Chico Stage Race, will lead the team. Tom Zirbel and sprinter Eric Young will join them, along with Jesse Anthony and newcomer Adam De Vos.
“I have some good momentum going at the moment, and I am excited to head back to Europe after a difficult race at La Méditerranéenne,” Huffman said in a statement released by the team. “It’s always great to race in Europe and I want to help the team get a stage win or a general classification podium.”
While those six riders compete in Croatia, eight of their teammates will contest GP Liberty Seguros in Portugal. The two-day UCI 2.2 race features a pair of tough, hilly courses. Those same eight riders will then take part in the five-day UCI 2.2 Volta ao Alentejo just three days later. Danny Pate will lead Rally Cycling’s general classification effort in both races.
Pate will then team up with Huffman and Britton to lead an eight-rider squad at Coppi e Bartali, which is named after Italian icons Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi. The UCI 2.2. event is considered by many to be one of the toughest four-day stage races in the world, making it ideal preparation for the Amgen Tour of California.
“Our March program has come together nicely,” said Rally Cycling Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “All of our athletes will have the opportunity to participate in some really tough European races to prepare for the US schedule in April and May.”
Rally Cycling roster for Istarsko Proljece - Istrian Spring Trophy: Jesse Anthony, Rob Britton, Adam De Vos, Evan Huffman, Eric Young, Tom Zirbel
GP Liberty Seguros: Brad Huff, Shane Kline, Pierrick Naud, Emerson Oronte, Danny Pate, Will Routley, Bjorn Selander, Tom Soladay
Volta ao Alentejo: Brad Huff, Shane Kline, Pierrick Naud, Emerson Oronte, Danny Pate, Will Routley, Bjorn Selander, Tom Soladay
Settimana Internazionale Coppi E Bartali: Jesse Anthony, Rob Britton, Adam De Vos, Evan Huffman, Pierrick Naud, Danny Pate, Eric Young, Tom Zirbel
Rally Cycling riders train in Southern California.
BMC set Tirreno-Adriatico record with team time trial win
BMC Racing not only took the victory and overall leader's jersey Wednesday in Tirreno-Adriatico's team time trial, the two-time and reigning world champions in the discipline also set the quickest-ever time at the Italian WorldTour race, covering the 22km route with an average speed of 56.947km/h. Team domestique Daniel Oss crossed the line first for the red-and-black US squad and will wear the blue leader's jersey in Thursday's 207km stage from Camaiore to Pomarance.
"This is amazing," Oss said. "We came here with the team time trial as our first goal. This has been our speciality for a few years now. We love it and it all went as we wished. Other stages suit us and we want more results. It'll be unusual for me to race with the leader's jersey. Moreover, this is the first real race of the year for Tejay van Garderen. Apart from winning today, we wanted to position him as high as possible on GC. He's here with high ambitions for the overall."
BMC riders on their way to the fastest-ever stage in Tirreno-Adriatico (Bettini)
Extra motivation for Tinkoff in Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial
The Tinkoff Team had special motivation during Wednesday's opening stage at Tirreno-Adriatico as the team time trial route passed directly in front of team Owner Oleg Tinkov's house.
In typical Tinkov fashion, the out-spoken team owner let his riders know on Twitter that he expected a top ride.
The team responded with a solid performance, crossing the line 11 seconds behind stage winner BMC for fourth. Etixx-QuickStep was second, followed by FDJ. Manuele Boaro crossed the line first for Tinkoff and is now the team's best-placed GC rider, followed with the same time by Maciej Bodnar, Oscar Gatto, Roman Kreuziger and Peter Sagan.
"It was a time trial where we wanted to give our best," Gatto said after the team came home. “We prepared thoroughly and took care of every detail. In addition, we rode past the home of our team owner, Oleg Tinkov, so it was important to perform well. There is still a long way in the Tirreno-Adriatico and we now focus on the stages ahead. We have two strong leaders, Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger and we will all work hard to support them."
Tinkoff in the team time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico. (TDWSport.com)