"Ben Hermans crashed after the finish line at La Flèche Wallonne and X-Rays taken this morning have revealed a fracture of the fifth and sixth interior ribs," said BMC Racing Team doctor Michel Cerfontaine. "Ben is unable to start at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and will require some easy days on the bike. We will continue to monitor his recovery and make the necessary adaptions to his racing program."
Hermans said it was too risky to compete with broken ribs, but he hopes to be back in action as soon as possible.
"Although it's disappointing to miss Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it is the best thing to do," he said. "The team will begin planning a new race schedule for me now based on my recovery, and I'll revise my goals for the season if necessary."
Hermans, who won the Tour of Oman earlier this year, finished 48th in Fleche Wallonne.
Costa to lead UAE Team Emirates in 'La Doyenne'
Costa got off to a strong start this season with the overall victory at the Abu Dhabi Tour, among other results, and he has been in the mix on the finishing straight in the last two editions of 'La Doyenne.'
“The three hills between 168km and 180km will encourage some riders to attack; it will be important to see which athletes go clear to evaluate how to react. Managing energy is crucial in this race, on the last hill, the Saint Nicholas, every single drop counts!” Costa said via a team release. “This is the race of dreams, every year I work hard to be ready for it. I’ve come third and fourth, this year I’d like to add it to my list of victories.”
The team will have punchy Italian Diego Ulissi – 10th at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday – and climbing specialist Louis Meintjes among their cards to play as well in the spring's final Monument. Despite their stage racing success thus far the season, UAE are still hunting their first top-five finish in a WorldTour one-day in 2017.
Tour of Utah announces first four teams
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Wednesday named four of the teams that will compete in the 2.HC race from July 31-August 6. BMC Racing will make it's ninth appearance in the race as the first WorldTour squad named, while fellow US teams UnitedHealthcare, Rally Cycling and Holowesko-Citadel also made the initial list.
BMC has found success in the past at the race, with Johan Tschopp taking the overall win in 2012 and Jeff Louder winning in 2008 before the race was a UCI event. Cadel Evans, Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet have won Utah stages for BMC, Brent Bookwalter won the points jersey in 2015, Dylan Teuns took the young rider jersey in 2014 and BMC took the team competition last year.
UnitedHealthcare, which won a stage last year with Kiel Reijnen, features multiple climbing talents that will be a good fit for the race, as well as 2016 stage winner Travis McCabe, who won a stage last year while riding for Holowesko-Citadel. Holowesko also won a 2016 stage with Robin Carpenter, while Rally has won two stages at the race with sprinter Eric Young.
Kristian House will retire after 2017 season
Former British road champion Kristian House (One Pro Cycling) will retire following the 2017 season, his team announced today. House, 37, has ridden with One Pro Cycling since 2016 after riding with the Rapha-Condor configurations since 2008. House, who has been racing for two decades, signed his first pro contract with Navigators Insurance in 2007.
House won his British title in 2009 with Rapha-Condor. His most recent wins came last year with stages at the New Zealand Cycle Classic and the Tour of Korea. He also finished third on Stage 3 of the 2016 Tour of Britain. Other major victories include stage wins in the Sun Tour in 2003, a stage of the Tour of Japan in 2010, a stage of the Vuelta Cyclist a Leon in 2011 and winning the UCI-ranked Beaumont Trophy in 2014.
Nicknamed 'The Dude' like the main character in the Big Lebowski, House has taken up a mentorship role for the younger riders at One Pro Cycling, which moved from Pro Continental to Continental this season.
One Pro Cycling CEO and former England Cricketer Matt Prior said it's always a difficult decision for any sportsman to call time on his career.
"But Kristian can look back with a great deal of pride on what he has achieved," Prior said. "Kristian has been the ultimate professional during his time with One Pro Cycling and has been a great leader and role model for our younger riders. The whole team at One Pro Cycling wish Kristian all the best for the future."
The next few months are set to be action-packed for One Pro Cycling's road captain as he lines up for the Rutland CiCLE Classic, the Tour de Yorkshire, several Rounds of the Tour Series and the Lincoln Grand Prix, according to his team.
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