Wiggle-Honda’s D’Hoore opts for Gent-Wevelgem, Longo Borghini to Cittiglio World Cup
The classics contenders will reunite at the women’s UCI 1.2 Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields on March 29 in Belgium. Notably on the start line will be Wiggle-Honda’s Belgian champion Jolien D’Hoore, who recently won the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup, but will skip the second round in Cittiglio as it is held on the same day.
Gent-Wevelgem is a 115km race from Ypres to Wevelgem and includes five climbs. D’hoore has shown top form this early season with wins at the Omloop van Het Hageland in Belgium on March 8 and then again at the World Cup opener in the Netherlands on March 14.
“Gent-Wevelgem is a race close to my heart,” D’hoore said. “It’s a typical Belgian spring classic so it should suit my abilities. This year it’s ‘only’ a 1.2 but the organisation of Gent-Wevelgem has bigger plans for the future. They really support women’s cycling and want to help in the growth of it.”
Her Italian teammate Elisa Longo Borghini will lead Wiggle-Honda at the hilly Cittiglio World Cup, a race she won in 2013. “It’s almost on my home soil and it’s always really nice to race there because all my family and friends are there cheering for me,” she said. “Winning it in 2013 was a dream.”
Cittiglio World Cup’s defending champion Johansson out with broken collarbone
Following the opening World Cup at the Ronde van Drenthe, the series will resume with the second round at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio on March 29 in Italy. Defending champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) will not be participating because of a broken collarbone sustained in a crash at the Novilon Eurocup on March 15.
“Losing Emma to her broken collarbone is really unfortunate, but sometimes it offers good opportunities for other riders to really step up and fill that gap,” said Orica-AIS director Gene Bates.
Orica-AIS will rely on the powerful Valentina Scandolara, who won the Santos Women Tour, and Amanda Spratt instead. “The main riders will be Scandolara and Spratt for this weekend,” Bates said. “They have targeted this race all season so they will be looking to have a good race and they have both been preparing really well.”
The team recently signed Rachel Neylan for the remainder of the 2015 season. The Australian’s first race with the team will be at the upcoming World Cup. She secured the silver medal at the Australian road championships in Ballarat in January and then went on to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
“To sign with ORICA-AIS was the icing on the cake after a great start to the season.”
UCI World Cup standings after Ronda van Drenthe
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda||120||pts|
|2||Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur||100|
|3||Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||85|
|4||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||70|
|5||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle Honda||60|
|6||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio - SRAM||50|
|7||Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||40|
|8||Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - Ais||35|
|9||Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini||30|
|10||Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Velocio - SRAM||25|
Wild wins Novilon Eurocup
Hitec Products’ Kirsten Wild took her first win of the 2015 road racing season at the UCI 1.2 Novilon Eurocup held on March 15 in the Netherlands, her third road race so far this year. She had a late start to the road season after concentrating on her track cycling endeavours during the winter months. She participated in the three-event Ronde van Drenthe weekend, which also included the Drentse 8 on March 12 and the World Cup on March 14. During the finale at the Novilon Eurocup, Wild sprinted to the win ahead of Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-Honda) and Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans).
Cordon triumphs in Cholet Pays de Loire Dames
Wiggle-Honda’s Audrey Cordon also took her first win of the season at the UCI 1.2 Cholet Pays de Loire Dames on March 22 in France. Cordon won a three-woman sprint to the line ahead of Amelie Rivat (Poitui-Charentes.Futuroscope.86) and Miriam Bjornsrud (Hitec Products) placed third. “That was so good!” Cordon said in a team press release.
“I’ve done this race since 2006. I won it in 2012, and I was also on the podium. I really wanted to win because I wanted to thank my teammates for all their hard work today. Also, because I worked a lot for the team in the past weeks, and they wanted to thank me as well.
“Today they were protecting me, so I had to win. I didn’t have any choice!” she laughed. “This race is close to my home, and my family was there, and it’s not every race that your family can come. It’s in France too, so it’s good.”
Velocio-SRAM completes successful training camp in Italy
Velocio-SRAM united for an 11-day training camp in Peschiera Del Garda, Italy, for aerodynamic positioning and testing on their time trial bikes, and team time trial training in preparation for their world title defence at the 2015 World Championships held in September in Richmond, Virginia. The riders also spent time training together on the hilly terrain ahead of the team’s spring campaign.
“The riding was amazing. We had some flat and also some great hills to climb and to do good interval training,” said Karol-Ann Canuel.
World time trial champion Lisa Brennauer added, “Starting your training from Garda Bike Hotel in Peschiera Del Garda is nice. Whatever direction you go you’ll always find nice routes and good training conditions and you also have the chance to go along the lake taking the west or the east side. The area provides a lot of opportunities. From slightly hilly routes along the lake to challenging climbing in the mountains.”
The team’s time trial bikes were set up for testing on the Montichiari velodrome where newcomer Alena Amialisuik, Belarus road and time trial champion, said, “I learned a lot of new things about time trialling and it was really interesting and new for me.”
Tiffany Cromwell added, “We had the opportunity to get our time trial bikes set up and the benefit of immediate aerodynamic testing for these new positions. It was also a chance to meet with some of our team sponsors and although it was a busy period it was very productive for the team.”
Velocio-SRAM will next compete at the Trofeo Binda in Cittiglio on Sunday, where Trixi Worrack will lead their roster that also includes Cromwell, Amialiusik, Canuel, Brennauer and Tayler Wiles.
Batty and Nash win opening rounds of US Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT)
Canada’s Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing Team) and Czech Republic’s Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) won the opening rounds of the US Pro XCT held in California.
Batty won the Bonelli Park XC event held in San Dimas on March 14. She beat Luna Pro Team teammates Catharine Pendrel and Georgia Gould.
Nash took the win in round two at Fontana XC held on March 21 in Fontana. She soloed to the win just ahead of the two-up sprint between her teammate Gould in second and Batty in third place. “Maybe I was little stronger than I expected today, and I let gravity help me on the downhill’s as well!” Nash said on the Luna Pro Team website.
Gould added, “I am really excited because it was a good day for the team.”