Westra out of Amstel Gold Race with flu - News Shorts

Canada pulls out of Pan Am Road Championships for security reasons

Westra out of Amstel Gold Race with flu

Lieuwe Westra has been ruled out of Amstel Gold Race due to flu. The 33-year-old Dutchman won the Three Days of De Panne in March but has been forced to miss the first of the Ardennes Classics. Westra has been replaced in the team by Italian, Diego Rosa, who recently won a stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, in Spain.

The Astana team includes home favourite Lars Boom, Dario Cataldo and Vuelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru.

Cyclingnews will have complete live coverage from Amstel Gold Race.

Lieuwe Westra (Astana) among the motorbikes

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Ahead of the Ardennes you can download the Cyclingnews podcast on itunes. The latest episode is jam-packed with interviews and features Fabian Cancellara, Sean Kelly and Mat Hayman.

As well as looking back at Hayman’s Paris-Roubaix win last weekend, the team also preview the Ardennes and discuss the chances of a number of favourites, including Dan Martin (Etixx QuickStep), Alejandro Valverde (Movsitar) and Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge).

Canada pulls out of Pan Am Road Championships for security reasons

Cycling Canada has pulled their team from the Pan American Road Championships, citing security reasons. The championships are to be held in San Cristobal, Venezuela, between May 18-22.

According to Cycling Canada, the removal of their team will have “little impact on Olympic qualification” however there could be implications on the quota of riders eligible to ride the world championships later this year. The decision to remover the team from the championships was taken with rider safety as the paramount concern.

In press release issued on Friday, High-Performance Director, Jacques Landry said, “On the women's side not participating will have an impact -- but not a huge one -- if we continue performing on the world stage as we are now with riders such as Leah Kirchmann and Karol-Ann Canuel. As of March 27th we are still ranked ninth among nations, which would grant us three spots in the Road Race at the Games, and we are more than 500 points from falling past the 14th nation; which would give us only two Road Race spots.”

“The impact on World Championship quotas is more significant and could affect the ability to obtain maximum quota spots,” explained Landry. “As an example, there is 250 points up for grabs to win the men’s Road Race. With the new UCI points system, there is even more importance placed in racing and performing at Pan American Championships, as compared to UCI 2.2 category races in North America.”

“However,” continued Landry, “the security of our athletes and staff is paramount and, based on the information and advice we have received, we are not comfortable with sending anyone to these championships. Given this security and safety issue in Venezuela, we will be contacting the UCI to voice our concern and frustration around this event.”

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