Petilli undergoes successful surgery - News shorts

UAE Team Emirates said Wednesday that Simone Petilli underwent successful surgery to repair the fractured collarbone he suffered in a crash at Il Lombardia.

Petilli was left with fractures to his neck and D1 vertebra, a broken shoulder blade and collarbone, concussion, and a litany of scratches and bruising after crashing on the same corner as Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) and Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina).

"At the medical institute Nuova Poliambulanza in Brescia, Dr. Flavio Terragnoli successfully performed an osteosynthesis surgery on the multiple fragments fracture of the right collarbone," UAE Team Emirates wrote in an email to Cyclingnews. "The team’s medical staff will evaluate the recovery time.”

Of the three other riders, Martinez escaped with very few injuries and competed in the Tour of Turkey. De Plus was initially cleared of serious injury, but he was eventually diagnosed with a fractured kneecap when he went to hospital at home in Belgium. He is expected to be off the bike for a month as he recovers. Bakelants remains in hospital after the crash. He was transferred from Como to a hospital in Leuven on last week and underwent surgery on Friday to stabilise the fractured vertebrae he suffered.

Kelderman seeking GC result in Guangxi

Team Sunweb will head into the final WorldTour race of the year with Wilco Kelderman seeking a GC result this week at the Tour of Guangxi, while Michael Matthews and Max Walscheid will hunt stage wins in the sprint finishes.

Kelderman, Matthews and Walscheid will be joined in the six-day race that starts Thursday by Lennard Hofstede, Mike Teunissen, Albert Timmer and Max Walscheid.

"We have two goals for the race; first to look for sprint possibilities with Max and Michael, and second, to explore our GC chances with Wilco," said Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen. "The first three stages will likely see a sprint finish, where we will go full gas to take a stage result for Max.

"The uphill finish on stage 4 will certainly see some time gaps, so this is an important day for our GC ambitions," van Dongen said. "The final two stages will likely see a reduced group go to the line, so it's important that the team stay sharp to bring Wilco into a good position ahead of the finale. We bring a strong team to help chase our goals in China and after a brilliant 2017 WorldTour season we hope to end our year on a high."

Rally Cycling signs brother and sister duo

Rally Cycling has added another pair of riders to the 2018 rosters, with brother and sister Nigel Ellsay and Gillian Ellsay joining the men's and women's teams, respectively.

The Canadian siblings will be racing for the first time on the same team. Nigel Ellsay, 23, comes to Rally from four years with Canadian Continental team Silber Pro Cycling, while Gillian Ellsay, 20, raced her first year professionally this season with Colavita-Bianchi.

“Riding on the same team as my brother is going to be a blast," Gillian Ellsay said. "He’s been one of my biggest supporters since I started racing. He passed on a lot of valuable advice and shared his experiences with me, and it’s helped me avoid some common mistakes."

Gillian Ellsay raced previously with Rally as a guest rider at the NorthStar Grand Prix, making the transition to her new team a natural progression.

“We know what Gillian is capable of, and we are very excited to add her to our growing roster,” said Women’s Performance Director Zach Bell. “We have a lot of Canadians on the team that are tough, smart, great athletes, and we think Gillian will fit right in.”

Nigel Ellsay has developed into a top general classification rider on the North American circuit, relying on his time trial skills and all-around talent to score multiple top 10 finishes. At the 2017 Canadian championships, he finished just five seconds behind WorldTour rider and 10-time national time trial champion Svein Tuft (Orica-Scott)

“TT Nationals was really cool, but I’m most proud of my 13th on GC at the Tour of Utah,” Nigel Ellsay said. “It wasn’t a win, a podium or even a top 10. However, it was a big personal victory. I’ve never climbed at that level before. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work over the winter, then staying focused throughout the season. Looking back, there are ways I could have been better. But I’m most proud of my Utah ride because of the big changes and sacrifices I made to get to there.”

The Ellsay siblings join Robin Carpenter and Evan Huffman as the only riders announce so far for the 2018 teams.

Gibbons leads Dimension Data charge in Guangxi

South African sprinter Ryan Gibbons will lead Dimension Data into the inaugural Tour of Guangxi when the race starts on Thursday. The 23-year-old found success earlier this year in Asia with a stage win and overall victory at the Tour de Langkawi in March. He followed that with six top 10 finishes at the Giro d'Italia before abandoning on stage 16.

"I am really looking forward to racing the Tour of Guangxi," Gibbons said in the team's roster announcement. "It will be my first time racing in China, and I have some fond memories of racing in Asia, so I hope to repeat some of those past performances."

Gibbons will be joined in China by Lachlan Morton, Nic Dougall, Jay Thomson, Bernie Eisel, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Mekseb Debesay.

"The team we have for Guangxi is strong and motivated, despite it being so late in the season," Gibbons said. "I am confident that we will be able to pull something off at the race."

The last WorldTour event of the year starts with three relatively flat stages for the sprinters, while the final three stages take place on undulating terrain with short, punchy climbs. Stage 4 will likely play a big role in the general classification. Dimension Data are relying on Morton and Mekseb, who also won a stage in Langkawi, for the stage 4 result, while Gibbons could also play a hand in the overall if his sprint is on form.

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