Vuillermoz out for at least a month after being injured in auto crash
Vuillermoz suffered a "benign fracture of the first lumbar vertebra," according to Dr. Eric Bouvat, head doctor for the team.
"Having this happen at the beginning of the season, it is important to remain optimistic," Vuillermoz said. "I was looking forward to racing again at Valenciana. But it is now more important to take good care of my back injury so that I don't risk ruining the rest of my season."
Mikaël Chérel will replace Vuillermoz on the team's roster for the upcoming Volta a Valencia.
Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) (Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Multi-year suspensions for Costa Ricans who tested positive in 2015 home tour
The UCI today announced multi-year suspensions for four Costa Rican riders who tested positive for the prohibited substance Ostarine during their home tour in December 2015.
Bryan Villabolos, 24, Paul Betancourt, 27, and Rodolfo Villabolos, 24, were each suspended for three years through February 15, 2019. A fourth rider, Josué Gonzalez, 28, was suspended for seven years through February 17, 2023.
Gonzalez is a two-time Costa Rican national champion in the individual tie trial, winning the titles in 2014 and 2015. The Vuelta Costa Rica was his final race in 2015, and he rode the 2016 Tour de San Luis with Coopenae-Extralum. The 2.1 race in Argentina was his last UCI race. Bryan Villabolos was the 2015 Costa Rican road race champion. He finished seventh overall at the 2015 Vuelta a Costa Rica before his results were negated.
Betancourt was the 2013 Costa Rican road champion. He won the final stage at the 2015 Vuelta a Costa Rica, the same day he provided the sample that tested positive. Betancourt also raced last in a UCI event at the 2016 Tour de San Luis with Coopenae-Extralum. Rodolfo Villabolos, who also tested positive for methylexaneamine, was the 2012 Costa Rican time trial champion and was runner-up in the 2015 road race. He finished the 2015 Vuelta a Cost Rica in sixth place. It was his last UCI event.
Wanty-Groupe Gobert targeting podium result at season-opening GP La Marseillaise
Wanty-Groupe Gobert will launch its seventh season at the UCI Pro Continental level on Sunday at the UCI 1.1 GP La Marseillaise, the first round of the Coupe de France-PMU. The race takes place around Marseille over 145.3 kilometers.
The Wanty-Groupe Gobert roster will include Frederik Backaert, Jérôme Baugnies, Thomas Degand, Guillaume Levarlet, Guillaume Martin, Yoann Offredo, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Pieter Vanspeybrouck.
"The Grand Prix la Marseillaise is the first race of our new season," said Sports Director Hilaire Van der Schueren. "For our riders this will be a first test. We have completed a successful training camp, but now we need to compare the form of our riders with the rest of the pack. Last year, our best rider was fourth, with three men in the top 10. This year we are aiming one step higher with a result on the podium. We have a strong and consistent team capable of achieving this goal. "