Tour de France shorts: Cancellara to return at Vuelta, Boom abandons with flu

Cancellara back for the Vuelta

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) will return to racing at the Vuelta a España according to an article in L’Équipe. Cancellara fractured two vertebrae during a crash on stage 3 of the Tour de France. The Swiss rider, who was wearing the yellow jersey at the time, managed to finish the stage.

Further investigation revealed an almost identical injury to the one that he sustained in a crash at E3 Harelbeke – although the vertebrae injured were different. Cancellara had only made his racing comeback at the Tour des Fjords at the end of May.

According to the article, Cancellara will also target the World Championship road race in Richmond and plans to skip the time trial as he did last year.

Boom out of the Tour de France

On Tuesday morning, the Astana team announced that Lars Boom would not start stage 10 from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin of the Tour de France after suffering with a fever and flu over the past two days. Boom has been one of the key riders for Vincenzo Nibali in the opening week, specifically in the cobbled stage four.

“Unfortunately no longer of start today. The night before the rest day fever and flu. #TDF2015” Boom tweeted.

Boom’s Tour de France got off to a tumultuous start, after registering low cortisol levels in the pre-race tests. As the team are a member of the MPCC, their rules dictated that Boom would have to pull out of the race. After establishing with the UCI that they would not be able to replace Boom at such a late stage, the team decided to keep him in the race. The team claimed that the values were down to his asthma inhaler and later reported that his cortisol levels had returned to normal, however they have been provisionally suspended by the MPCC.

Štybar extends contract with Etixx-Quickstep

Zdenêk Štybar has extended his contract at Etixx Quickstep for the next two seasons. The former world cyclo-cross champion won stage 6 of this year’s Tour de France after a late attack on the finishing climb. The team announced the news of Stybar’s renewal in Pau on the first rest day of the Tour.

"I'm really happy to announce this news," Štybar said. "I'm really happy that I can continue with this team for two more years. I would like to thank team owner Zdenek Bakala, who is Czech like I am, and Patrick Lefevere for the trust they showed in me. Their trust gives me a boost of self-confidence and the will to do work hard and do well.”

"I got one of my biggest opportunities in my cycling career with Etixx - Quick-Step. I was able to be successful in cyclo-cross, and then transition to road racing where I've participated in the biggest races in the world, including the cobbled races that I love. I've won a few races already on the road and would like to try and win more. I am excited to stay with this team, which has Belgian roots but an international influence."

Štybar signed for QuickStep at the start of the 2012 season after switching to the road. He has a stage win in the Vuelta a Espana to his name and earlier this spring won Strade Binache. This is the 29-year-old’s first Tour de France.

“We are really satisfied with this agreement,” Etixx - Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said.

“We believed and we invested in Zdenek when he passed from cyclocross to road racing. Zdenek is a committed guy that did a lot of progression in those years. Zdenek is a fighter and a guy who knows what he wants. He won already great races, such as a stage at La Vuelta, at Le Tour, Eneco Tour, and Strade Bianche. But we strongly believe that the best in his case has yet to come.

Debusschere extends with Lotto-Soudal

Jens Debusschere has signed a three-year contract extension with Lotto-Soudal in an agreement that will keep him at the Belgian team through to the end of 2018.

The 25-year-old has been with the team throughout his professional career, having joined as a stagiaire in 2011 when it was known as Omega Pharma-Lotto. He won a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico this year but the biggest achievement of his career to date was winning the Belgian national championships road race last year.

“He’ll keep combining the classics and sprinting, but he needs to use his fast legs even more,” said team manager Marc Sergenat. “Jens is a rider who fits in the team. But I want to see him make more progression, see him challenge himself, search his limits.

“In the current cycling world it’s not an option to make no evolution. He’s in the most beautiful years of his career, I’m happy he chose to ride for Lotto Soudal those years.”

Debusschere himself said: “I chose to stay because of the team’s faith in me and the faith I have in the team, and because of the opportunities I get. The past years I had a chance to grow in the shadow of riders like André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts. In another team you need to start a bit from scratch.

“The most important years of my career are coming up and I hope to add more victories in the next three years. Winning a classic is high on my list, but that won’t be easy.”

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