2015 Vuelta Mexico cancelled
Organisers of the 2015 Vuelta Mexico, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday, announced late Friday night that the UCI 2.2 race has been cancelled this year.
"I regret to inform you that despite invested much time and effort, 'Vuelta Mexico 2015,' to be held on 3 to 8 March 2015, has been canceled," organisers said in a statement sent to teams that had planned to attend.
"The present financial situation of the country is very serious and administrative problems we face are not proportional to the effort and energy that the Mexican Cycling Federation AC and CONADE have invested so that it could carry out in a timely manner. We know that this cancellation of the event will affect the National Cycling. The lack of financial support from the private sector and budget cuts are the only reason we have to cancel the 2015 Vuelta Mexico."
US Continental teams SmartStop and Airgas-Safeway planned to compete in the race this year. Optum Pro Cycling's Eric Young won the final stage of last year's race, which was also attended by SmartStop, Jamis-Hagens Berman, Novo Nordisk and 5-hour Energy. Juan Pablo Villegas, who currently rides for SmartStop, won three stages and the overall last year while riding with 4-72 Colombia.
"It's a shame," said SmartStop director Michael Creed. "We had a really strong team and I looked forward to seeing the hard work of the offseason to be shown off. I'm working hard now to find a replacement."
MTN-Qhubeka have bad luck in Het Nieuwsblad
Despite placing a rider in the early eight-man breakaway, MTN-Qhubeka came away from Het Nieuwsblad empty handed after team sprinters Tyler Farrar and Theo Bos each flatted at crucial points in the race.
MTN's Matt Brammeier helped drive the breakaway's advantage upwards of five minutes before Team Sky came the fore and picked up the chase about 80km into the 202km race.
While the main field slowly whittled down to just 40 riders with 60km to go, MTN-Qhubeka lost Jay Thomson to a crash. Farrar, Bos and Edvald Boasson Hagen were still part of the select main group while Brammeier forced a split of three riders up the road.
"We had a good group out front today with the right combination of teams, riders and a couple of strong guys," Brammeier said. "As soon we got in it I knew it was a good group and we could go quite far. As every climb went by I just tried to push on and make it to the next climb and make it as deep into the race as I could. I made it up to the Haaghoek and then I tried to do as much as I could for the guys but I got flat tyre there at the end which was a bit of bad luck. Maybe I could have done a few more pulls then but I would've exploded in the end anyway, so I am happy with my performance."
Brammeier and his final two escapee partners surrendered at the 50km to go banner as Etixx-QuickStep and LottoNL-Jumbo took up the chase. Just as the race began to pick up in earnest, Farrar and Bos both punctured, while Boasson Hagen was still at the front of the race following the moves before he also suffered a puncture.
"It was an OK day, I was feeling better than Oman at least and I was always at the front of the race," Boasson Hagen said. "It was good to be back racing in Belgium. Unfortunately, I got a flat at a bad moment but luckily I got back. There were few chances for me after that."
Boasson Hagen was the Top MTN-Qhubeka finisher in 27th.