Brammeier returns home after Utah crash
MTN-Qhubeka’s Matt Brammeier has returned home to Great Britain following a harrowing crash at the Tour of Utah, where he smashed into the side of a team car while descending off the penultimate climb of stage 6.
Brammeier, 30, has been recovering at the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City from injuries that include fractures of the sacral and pelvic bones, as well as rib fractures on both sides, a bruised liver and fractured tooth.
Brammeier faces a recovery of at least six to eight weeks before he can start riding, and he’s not expected to return to competition this season, according to a statement released by his team.
“It’s looking like my season is well and truly over,” Brammeier is quoted in the team statement. “So I’m looking forward to return hungry in 2016.”
Team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam said Brammeier is recovering well so far.
“He will be getting about on crutches for the next few weeks to allow his pelvic fractures to heal,” van Zuydam said. “His chest injuries are not as severe as was first feared and his pain is already far better. We don’t expect him back on a bike for at least the next 6-8 weeks, but we are confident he will make a full recovery and a return to racing at the top level."
Brammeier said the past few days have been difficult, but he’s beginning to feel better already.
“I’m still in a fair bit of pain, but overall, considering what I just hobbled away from, I can’t grumble for one second,” he said. “I’m just happy to be in one piece and to be back home with my family and fiancée and looking forward to starting my recovery process already. I’ve had one of my most enjoyable years of my life this year with the team and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me so far."
Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka) hopes to return to winning form in 2016 following his crash in Utah. (Bettini)
Gaviria gets his first win for Etixx-QuickStep
Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria is adjusting to his new Etixx-QuickStep team colours quite well, taking his first win with the team today at the Czech Cycling Tour.
“For me, this is a great emotion,” he said. “It's the first time I raised my arms at the finish with this Etixx-Quick-Step jersey. It's a dream come true for me.”
Gaviria, 20, burst onto the radar earlier this year at the Tour de San Luis after topping Mark Cavendish in two sprint stages. Etixx-QuickStep has already signed Gaviria for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and he started his trainee period with the team at the Prudential Ride London and Surrey Classic on August 2, finishing eighth.
Gaviria was part of QuickStep’s team time trial win on Thursday during the opening stage in the Czech Republic, and he followed it today with a sprint from a reduced group formed by crosswinds with about 50km to go.
An initial 22-rider group was reduced to 15 and then to 12 leaders, with four QuickStep temmates – Gaviria, Zdenek Stybar, Pieter Serry, and Petr Vakoc – among them.
"I'm over the moon with this victory, as it was not an easy one for me with the crosswinds," Gaviria said. "The team was super strong. They stayed with me the whole time and made sure I was there in the front group.
“I'd like to dedicate this win to my girlfriend and my family, especially my father,” he said. “We dreamed of me coming to Europe and winning a race. I did it here in the Czech Republic. But for me, it's also a great satisfaction to pay off all the hard work we've been doing until now. It was all more than worth it."
Fernando Gaviria beats Mark Cavendish earlier this year at the Tour de San Luis. (Bettini)
Reichenbach signs two-year deal with FDJ
FDJ.fr announced today on its Twitter feed that the French WorldTour team has signed Sébastien Reichenbach to a two-year deal covering the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The 26-year-old Swiss rider has been with IAM Cycling for three years and followed its quick progression to the WorldTour. But team founder Michel Thétaz revealed late last month that the Swiss outfit could not reach an agreement for next year with Reichenbach.
“Our aim was to keep Sébastien Reichenbach within the team for 2016 and to give him more opportunities to confirm himself as a leader in stage races," Thétaz said at the time. "Unfortunately after discussions with him, we have not reached an agreement to continue the collaboration that we started from the inception of the IAM Cycling team in 2013. I would like to wish him the very best for his future career and his desire for a new challenge.”
Reichenbach was recently third in stage 5 at the Tour of Poland, and he finished third earlier this year during stage 8 of the Giro d'Italia, which he eventually abandoned. He was 13th at the Tour de Suisse in June, and he finished second to Danilo Wyse (BMC) in the Swiss road championship.
Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling) will ride for FDJ.fr next year. (Tim de Waele/TDWSport)
A fishy prize in Arctic Race of Norway
The parable says, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." But that assumes the man hasn't won 500kg of smoked salmon courtesy of the Arctic Race of Norway.
The race is giving away the sport's most extreme food prize in history to the Most Combative Rider on each stage - 500kg of Norway's best fresh-frozen salmon. Fully aware of the airline fees that might be associated with such an item, the race will ship the fish to any European address for free.
Marius Hafsas saved the sponsors some money - the Norwegian on Team Fixit.no took the prize on stage 1, but on stage 2 it was Bretagne-Séché-Environnement's Jean-Marc Bideau, who was thrilled to take home the biggest fish.
"I felt strong today but I couldn’t win the race," Bideau said. "With the fish I’ll give it to my family, my teammates and a lot of people will be happy with that. Salmon is my favourite fish."
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