No Phinney for BMC at Dubai Tour
BMC Racing head to the second edition of the Dubai Tour without defending champion Taylor Phinney who continues to recover from a broken leg sustained at the USA nationals. Klaas Lodewyck and Rick Zabel are the only riders making a return to the race while Stefan Küng makes his BMC debut.
Also making the trip is former world champion Philippe Gilbert who makes his first appearance of 2015 at the race. Two members of the team time trial world championships squad, Daniel Oss and Manuel Quinziato have also been selected.
BMC team for Dubai Tour: Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Philippe Gilbert, Stefan Küng, Klaas Lodewyck, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Rick Zabel.
Lotto-Soudal's first win of 2015
Pim Ligthart notched the first win of the 2015 season for Lotto-Soudal at the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise ahead of last year's winner Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis). It was the first race for Frederik Willems as a sport director since retiring at the end of last year, and his first win from the car.
The win is Ligthart's first since stage 5 of the Ster ZLM Toer in 2013 and first in the Lotto colours.
"The season couldn't have started better. I trained hard this winter and it’s fantastic I immediately benefit from it," Ligthart said. "In the beginning of the race I didn't feel very well, maybe because it were the first race kilometres of the season. The legs got better further down in the race. The team really took control. I hope to continue this way, the condition is good. This was the first victory of the season, my first win for this team. I hope that this gives a boost to the team, starting in the Etoile de Bessèges next week."
MTN-Qhubeka's Australian campaign starts badly
African Pro Continental team MTN-Qhubeka enjoyed their first win of the season at the Trofeo Andratx – Mirador d’Es Colomer through Steve Cummings but their début Australian race of 2015 on Sunday was a very different affair. With Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar, the team possessed two riders capable of challenging for the inaugural win at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race but wasn't to be.
Farrar was the only rider to finish the race with the weather conditions catching out his teammates, causing them to crash.
"The race didn't turn out to go as we had planned it. We were involved in several crashes and therefore couldn't put on our stamp on the race in the final," sports director Michel Cornelisse said. "No one got injured and the moral is still high, so we are looking forward to perform well at the upcoming Herald Sun Tour."
The team will be looking to make amends at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour which starts on Wednesday with a prologue along Melbourne's Southbank and concludes Sunday on Arthurs Seat.
Broken hand for Didier
Laurent Didier's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was looking like being a good day at the office. The Trek Factory Racing rider made his way into the five-man break which was enjoying a four and a half minute advantage over the peloton early in the race. At the first king of the mountains point in the day, Didier dropped back to the team car for a feed only to have his day end in disaster.
Didier's back wheel dissapeared underneath him and he fell heavily on his left side, forcing him to abandon. The result of the crash was a broken metacarpal bone in his left hand which will require surgery upon his return to Europe.
Movistar and Lampre in Dubai
Movistar and Lampre-Merida have named their teams for the second edition of the Dubai Tour, which begins this Wednesday. After a successful campaign in Mallorca, Alejandro Valverde will lead Movistar while Filippo Pozzato takes the reins at Lampre-Merida.
Movistar Team for Dubai: Alejandro Valverde, Juanjo Lobato, Eros Capecchi, Giovanni Visconti, Peblo Lastras, Jesús Herrada and Jonathan Castroviejo.
Lampre-Merida for Dubai: Filippo Pozatto, Davide Cimolai, Jan Polanc, Luka Pibernik, Refael Valls, Xu Gang, Ilia Kashevoy and Chun Kai Feng.