Boonen on the (slow) road to recovery
Tom Boonen continues his recovery from a dislocated shoulder but Etixx-QuickStep have not put a timeframe on his possible racing return. The Belgian picked up the injury in a fall at Paris-Nice earlier in the month and will miss the spring classics as a result.
"Tom’s recovery is painful. I spoke with him just before Milan-San Remo and he still can’t sleep on that shoulder and his elbow still help,” team manager Patrick Lefevere told Cyclingnews.
“He can ride a bike but there’s a big difference between biking and training. When the pain goes he can start training but everything depends on the pain.”
MTN-Qhubeka 'misfire' in Dwars door Vlaanderen
Tyler Farrar called it a “misfiring” afternoon for the MTN-Qhubeka team at Dwars door Vlaanderen, and few would have disagreed with the American after the team's highest place finish came via Youcef Reguigui in 42nd place. Farrar finished 10 places further back but the South African Pro Continental team were unable to post another finisher.
“It split near Horebeke and it was only me and Youcef there,” Farrar told Cyclingnews after he wheeled to a stop outside the team bus. "Two riders in a group of around 50 or 60, it was a little hard. Then there was a crash at the foot of the Taaienberg and we chased but that’s how it goes.”
Matt Goss and Theo Bos were involved in a large crash that split the field, according to a team statement.
“Theo is a bit bruised but OK,” said team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam. “Matt crashed on his right shoulder and has been sent for x-rays as a precautionary measure. The crash site was pretty horrific and we hope all riders involved are OK. Thankfully we had Tyler and Youcef make it through the crash with the first group, while our other riders were caught behind the crash but not involved in it.”
MTN-Qhubeka have picked up five wins this season but only one of those came on European soil, with Stephen Cummings winning the Trofeo Andratx in Spain.
As yet the new signings, who include Farrar, Goss and Edvald Boasson Hagen, have struggled to find their feet and produce consistent results but Farrar believes that performances and results should improve over the coming races.
The team did manage to make the break courtesy of Jay Thomson, and in Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico the squad did have some encouraging results.
“Here we have a few guys who did Milan-San Remo and they have that in their legs. Then we have a few other guys who haven’t raced in Belgium,” Farrar added.
“We’ll have a bit of a deeper team for the next few races when Ciolek and Boasson Hagen come in but today was a bit of a misfire. At least I survived today. There were a lot of crashes but I live to fight another day.”
Kristoff and Paolini return to racing at E3 Harelbeke
Following a disappointing finish at Milan-San Remo, where 2014 winner Alexander Kristoff finished second to John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Team Katusha are ready for the Friday’s E3 Harelbeke in Belgium.
The team’s roster for E3 Harelbeke will feature San Remo protagonists Alexander Kristoff and Luca Paolini, who will return to racing after a short rest.
Sports directors will be Gennady Mikhaylov and Torsten Schmidt.