Cycling News


Thomas not fazed by Tour of Flanders favourite tag
April 04, 2015 (04:00) [ Indexed from ]
Five years after they launched, Team Sky have finally come of age on the cobbles and are enjoying their best classics season to date. Ian Stannard kicked off their successful spring in early March, with a second consecutive victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, andGeraint Thomas ramped it up last week, triumphing at E3 Harelbeke and finishing on the podium in Wevelgem two days later. Thomas was Team Skys best finisher at the Tour of Flanders last season in eighth place " his best result at the Flemish monument. Following his blistering start on the cobbles, the Welshman has jumped up to second favourite for victory this weekend with the Belgian bookmakers behind Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo). Its the first time that Thomas and his team have enjoyed such a status at the race but he is taking it all in his stride. Saying you're one of the favourites and stuff, it is really nice. I'm kind of treating it like I did with any track race - we went into most of those races as favourites, Thomas said following his recon of the Tour of Flanders route. I'm just focusing on myself as an individual, and on the team and how we want to race. Obviously a Classic has a hundred more variables than a team pursuit on the track, but I can't control most of it. We just have to do what we can. This year marks the first time in more than a decade that neither Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) nor Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) will ride the race. Between them, they have dominated the cobbled Classics " winning six of the past 10 editions of Flanders. With them out of contention, Thomas admits that the whole dynamic of the race has changed. I think all the other riders feel like they can win it, he said. It will make it more of an open race. I think it will be more tactical; there will be guys flying off up the road all the time. There will be that whole thing 'who will ride?' I think it will be a big chess game on wheels whereas in the past it was maybe 'last time up the Kwaremont Fabian would go and it was a case of who could gowith him; who had the legs. While this weekend could be the making of Thomas and his position as a leader within the team " if he hasnt already done that this season " it will mark the beginning of the end for his teammate Bradley Wiggins. The pair have ridden together since the teams inception in 2010, with Thomas more often than not playing the supporting role. Wiggins is due to take joint leadership for his final race, Paris-Roubaix, but will play super domestique for Thomas this Sunday. The 34-year-old Wiggins, who won the final time trial at the Three Days of De Panne on Thursday, has just three more races of his WorldTour road career left. However, with big goals to think about, Thomas hasnt been dwelling on that and says he will attack the coming races in much the same way as he has in the past. It's been exactly the same. It hasn't felt any different. I actually forget. It's not like he's going to die, he'll still be around, Thomas laughed. Sentimental stuff doesn't really come into it. Maybe when you retire and you look back and you were part of Brad's last race or whatever, but at the moment I haven't really thought about it at all.A new era For Team Sky, as the older riders think about the next move in their careers, it seems that many of their younger stars " especially their Brit pack " have made a big step forwards. Thomas and Stannard are two that have enjoyed the limelight in recent months, while new signing Andy Fenn has flourished in his new surroundings. I think its been a long time coming I think were really coming of age as a team, said Luke Rowe, another of the teams success stories. Quickstep and these strong super teams who have conquered the classics for years, it all became realistic that we can beat them and I think confidence is massive going into these classics and I think were just riding a wave at the moment and weve got to keep it rolling for another couple of weeks in terms of the classics. Rowe joined Team Sky in 2012 and has been playing a similar role to Thomas during that time. Like his fellow Welshman, Rowe has taken another big step forward in his development and the team are looking to him more and more to produce the goods. He hopes that he can play a crucial role in the latter stages of the race but says that he isnt thinking of his own chances. Weve got different guys for certain parts of the race and my aim is to support the team but toward the back end of the race, so to get through that first fight and dont be one of the first guys to be used up and hopefully be there when there are 30-50 guys and it really comes to the crunch time, said Rowe. G is in incredible form and hes going to be the leader come this Sunday so Ill do everything I can, bury myself for him." There is a chance to go under the radar and do something but as long as G is in the race, Ive got no intention of flicking him like that. Thats more of a Belgian thing to do I think. Ill stay by his side and be loyal.ADVERTISEMENT Watch the Cyclingnews Tour of Flanders top ten riders to watch video to see the big favourites for this year's race. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, please click here. You can read more at More...
Video: Cancellara on his memories of the Tour of Flanders
April 03, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
With three wins to his name,Fabian Cancellara (Trek) is in illustrious company as the equal most successful rider at the Tour of Flanders. Cancellara has won the last two editions of De Ronde, solo in 2013 and out sprinting a four-man group last year, but a crash at E3 Harelbeke saw the Swiss break two vertebrae instantly ruling him out of the reminder of the classics. Cancellara first won Flanders in 2010 after seven previous attempts with the victory proving to be a breakthrough for a sustained period of dominance on the cobbles. The 34-year-old also won his first Paris-Roubaix in 2010 to do the double which he repeated in 2013. A feat that even the great Eddy Merckx never managed. Cyclingnews spoke with Cancellara at the Tour of Oman in February about the race, starting by asking him about the atmosphere on the morning of De Ronde.ADVERTISEMENT "It's actually really amazing. When you leave the hotel it's quiet and the closer you get to Bruges where the big parking spot is with all the buses and people, somehow it starts," Cancellara said."In the end, you come out of the bus, you get ready, and you go through the people to this big place with thousands of people where you go on stage to sign on. "It's like a big arena, like 'let the animals go riding and make this happen.' It's like the re-start of a really big battle day." Although Cancellara is Swiss, he has been wholeheartedly embraced by the Belgians and is considered ahonorary Flandrien. In turn, Cancellara has produced some of his best performances at the race since 2010 with three wins and third place, making it hard to pin point one particular favourite memory. You can read more at More...
Paolini expects strange Tour of Flanders with Boonen, Cancellara absent
April 02, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
There was little precious time for Luca Paolini (Katusha) to savour his victory in Sundays storm-lashed Gent-Wevelgem. Less than 48 hours after slipping away from Geraint Thomas, Niki Terpsta et al in the finale, the veteran Italian found himself pinning on a dossard on the North Sea coast, back in action at the Three Days of De Panne. Such is life during Belgian cyclings Holy Week: race, rinse, repeat. "I was quite tired afterwards and the first day of De Panne was a tough day too because of the wind," Paolini admitted to Cyclingnews when he lined up for the start of stage 2 in Zottegem on Wednesday morning. "Ill do todays stage as well but then I think Ill pull out and rest up for a few days ahead of Flanders." Paolini will certainly not be alone in bidding farewell to the Three Days of De Panne on Wednesday evening " the final days split stage traditionally provokes an exodus of riders " but his withdrawal is perhaps less surprising than most, as his has been a notably full schedule to date.ADVERTISEMENT Only one other rider " his close friend Filippo Pozzato " arrived at the spring classics with more days of racing in his legs since the start of the season. Paolini amassed base miles in January and February in Argentina and the Middle East, going so far as to train alone in the mornings before stages of the Tour de San Luis, and his own two days of De Panne is an exercise in maintaining race sharpness ahead of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. "I did all the endurance work I need between January and mid-February. Since then Ive done more specific work at home, and I came up here to Belgium feeling very good, and very pleased with how Ive worked up to this point," he said. Twelve months ago, Paolini and his Katusha stable-mate Alexander Kristoff arrived as outsiders for the Tour of Flanders, with the Italian noting beforehand that they would have to be inventive in order to gate-crash the podium. A year on, the lie of the land is rather different. You can read more at More...
Steegmans crashes out of Driedaagse De Panne
April 02, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Gert Steegmans spring Classics campaign is almost certainly over after a second nasty crash during the opening stage of Driedaagse De Panne. The Belgian from Trek Factory Racing was one of the many riders to crash during Gent-Wevelgem because of the strong winds. He ended up in a water-filled, with a team mechanic scrambling to save his bike. On Tuesday Steegmans crashed in the first 10km of the stage of Driedaagse De Panne, hitting his knee hard, apparently on some traffic furniture. He suffered serious bruising above his knee and will not be part of Trek Factory Racings team for Sundays Tour of Flanders. The team has already lost team leader Fabian Cancellara after he fractured two vertebra during E3 Harelbeke, leaving veteran Belgian Stijn Devolder as team leader for the Tour de Flanders. Fortunately for the team he seems to have found some form for the Classics and was part of the breakaway with stage winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) at Driedaagse De Panne. Devolder knows how to win the Tour of Flanders, having won the race in 2008 and 2009.ADVERTISEMENT It was a slippery slight turn and there was a traffic island. I slid out and hit the traffic island just above my knee and now I have a hematoma. It is terrible pain! Steegmans about of crash on the Trek Factory Racing website. I hope to be able to train by the weekend and then maybe come back for Scheldeprijs and Paris-Roubaix. Well have to see. However directeur sportif Dirk Demol was not so optimistic, suggesting that Steegmans spring campaign has come to and end because of his latest crash. You can read more at More...
Video: I have no pressure, says Sagan
April 02, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Peter Sagan's first spring campaign with Tinkoff-Saxo could have gotten off to a better start. The Slovakian's legs as good as abandoned him at E3 Harelbeke and he wasn't able to pick things up two days later at Gent-Wevelgem. There's still time for him to redeem himself, however: the Tour of Flanders this Sunday and Paris-Roubaix a week later are two more chances for Sagan take his first monument victory. With Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) out through injury, the opportunity for victory " should he find his legs " has never been more present. Since he burst onto the world stage in 2010, there has always be plenty of expectation on his young shoulders. However, when he sat down with Cyclingnews ahead of Milan-San Remo, he says that he doesnt feel the pressure. "Pressure, no because when things are going well it is good. We will have to start the classics to see how it is going, for sure I change all things; the bike, teammates, people around me, everything is different but I feel good," Sagan told Cyclingnews. "Why pressure, I think the riding on the bike is not pressure its because I want to ride. So how do I have pressure?"ADVERTISEMENT Watch the full interview below and click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel You can read more at More...
Devolder takes over for Trek in Cancellaras absence
April 01, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
In the grand tradition of the Flandrien, the quietly-spoken Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) seems to champion actions over words. This is, after all, the man whose lone contribution to Twitter since setting up an account last winter " surely under duress " has been to write: No time to tweet. Out riding my bike. It was hardly surprising, then, that as he reported for duty at the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne on Tuesday morning, Devolder was non-committal about how well he had recuperated from his heavy fall at Dwars door Vlaanderen last week, when he briefly lost consciousness before remounting and riding to the finish in Waregem. Although the 35-year-old lined out at E3 Harelbeke just 48 hours later, he understandably made little impression at the head of the race, and then sat out the windswept Gent-Wevelgem in preparation for De Panne. I dont know exactly how much Ive recovered, Devolder told Cyclingnews after signing on ahead of stage 1. On Friday I was really bad, but there was only one day to rest before it. But now Ive had three days between E3 and this to recover a little bit, so I hope to have the good feeling again a little bit. I wait and I hope for the best. A little over four hours later, Devolder provided a more emphatic answer as to the state of his recovery when he punched his way clear on the Berendries as part of the six-man break that ultimately decided the day. More importantly, perhaps, the cameo also offered him some reassurances ahead of Sundays Tour of Flanders. I was not sure how I would feel today. So for me, and for the team, we really needed this to have some confidence back after the black week we had last week, Devolder said afterwards. The finale of the stage included the climb of the Eikenmolen, decisive in each of Devolders back-to-back Flanders victories of 2008 and 2009, although with final overall victory in mind, he made no attempt to drop his companions there and had to settle for third place in the downhill sprint in Zottegem, behind Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal). The next two stages are dangerous for echelons and crashes so we will have to be with the team at the front and try to survive that, and then hopefully make a great TT on the final day, he said.Belgian takes the leading role for Tour of Flanders In an interview with Het Nieuwsblad earlier in the week, Devolder stated that he believed he could win a third Tour of Flanders, and his role in Trek Factory Racings strategy has shifted dramatically since Fabian Cancellara was ruled out due to the injuries sustained in his crash at E3 Harelbeke on Friday. Of course, we have to try to do something on Sunday on our own. Fabian was the main favourite and its always good to have a strong rider like this in your team, Devolder told Cyclingnews on Tuesday morning. Now hes not here but its no reason to panic. We still keep the focus for Sunday and well try to do something with the team we have here. Devolders twin Ronde victories came during his spell at QuickStep and owed much to the strength in depth of his team, and in particular, to having one Tom Boonen as a foil. The contrast between his unhappy two-year sojourn as a captain at Vacansoleil and his subsequent reanimation upon signing up as a deluxe domestique for Cancellara in 2013 suggests that he is better-suited to a supporting role. With Gert Steegmans also since ruled out through injury, however, the reins of outright leadership at Trek belong to Devolder on Sunday. It was a good role to be there in the final with Fabian and maybe to help him in the final if possible, Devolder admitted. But now hes not here so if something happens and I have good legs I have to do it myself. Thats how it is now. Devolders resurgent and surprisingly strong showing at the Tour of Flanders two years ago came on the back of a short midweek trip to Valencia ahead of the race, but since then he has returned to his traditional build-up of tackling the Three Days of De Panne, a race he won overall back in 2005. In 2013, the weather was extremely cold and the team wasnt doing De Panne, so back then it was better to go to the south to have some long training, Devolder explained. This year, its pretty windy but the temperatures are pretty good for the moment and I hope to have three good days again to have some self-confidence again for Sunday. The absence of Boonen and Cancellara ought to make for a particularly open Tour of Flanders. With Fabian not there, the race will be different, Devolder agreed. There are a lot of contenders: Stybar, Sagan, Geraint Thomas, Roelandts, Van Avermaet, Vanmarcke You can say ten names, easily. And though he darent say so himself, far less tweet it, perhaps even Devolder.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at More...
Boom back in action ahead of the Tour of Flanders
April 01, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Crashes have been the story of the cobbled classics campaign to date, and though Lars Boom (Astana) has been beset by two heavy falls of his own, the Dutchman could count his blessings that he was able to report for duty at the Three Days of De Panne on Tuesday and at least remains in the running for Sundays Tour of Flanders. Boom crashed in the finale of Dwars door Vlaanderen, just as he was in the process of bridging across to the winning break, and again early on at E3 Harelbeke, thus ruling him out of Gent-Wevelgem. Fabian Cancellara, of course, has been ruled out for the remainder of the spring following his crash at E3 Harelbeke, joining Tom Boonen on the sidelines for the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix, whereas Boom escaped with largely superficial injuries. Others, such as his fellow countryman Sebastian Langeveld, are doubtful for the weekend, and in that light, Boom was happy to place his own travails in context in De Panne on Tuesday morning. The crash was hard and my elbow and hip were a little bruised and its not perfect yet, Boom told Cyclingnews. Thats why I stopped on Friday because I crashed again on Haaghoek with Cancellara and [John] Degenkolb. For me, Im happy that I didnt break anything. The feeling is getting better the last few days and Im happy I could rest on Sunday with Wevelgem. Its good to be here now to race again and to train for next Sunday. Every pedal stroke seems to count in the 10-day lead-in to the Tour of Flanders, and Boom is only present at De Panne this week by way of compensation for his absence from Gent-Wevelgem and his truncated E3 Harelbeke. He was optimistic, however, that his brief lay-off over the weekend had not unduly affected his prospects. I hope not. My condition is still good and thats why Im riding here, Boom said. I hope to have two or three good days of racing here " normally three " and I want to show myself of course. As per tradition, the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne brought the peloton from the North Sea coast and into the Flemish Ardennes, tackling 13 bergs, including the Leberg, Berendries and Eikenmolen on the 201-kilometre run to Zottegem. Boom came through the day unscathed, finishing safely in the first peloton, 34 seconds down on stage winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). The opening kilometres of the stage were neutralised after concerns were raised about the high winds that had buffeted Flanders in the early morning, though mercifully they abated as the day progressed and there was no repeat of the extreme conditions that blighted Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Boom sat out the race, but he was concerned by the spectacle he had seen on television. I think I saw an interview on Sporza with the organiser of the race and he was smiling about the race and the situation and I think that was not good. It was not nice to see, Boom said. Its not a thing for me to say because I wasnt there and didnt race it, but if at some point its too dangerous, the riders who are there have to say it, and the organiser is also responsible for that.Astana licence in doubt As Boom prepares for the two biggest Sundays of his season, the future of his Astana squad " which he joined from Belkin in the off-season " is still in doubt, with the UCI Licence Commission currently deliberating on whether or not to withdraw its WorldTour registration due to concerns over the teams anti-doping record. On Monday, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the Licence Commission had already decreed that Astana would be stripped of its WorldTour status and relegated to Continental level, though the UCI subsequently denied that any decision has yet been made. Ruminations over Astanas status have been ongoing since November, following a spate of positive tests on the Kazakhstani outfits WorldTour and Continental team last Autumn, but Boom insisted that the affair has not been a distraction. For me personally, I dont think about it, he said. On Friday, some journalists asked me about it after the race in Harelbeke, and at first I asked them: What are you talking about? And they had to explain: Were asking you about the licence. Its true, I really dont think about it. Im just busy with the next few weeks and for me thats really important. I just want to show myself for Astana and for the team. Whatever the Licence Commission " and, perhaps, the Court of Arbitration for Sport " decide, the matter will not be resolved before the end of Booms classics campaign. Even before Boonen and Cancellaras injuries, there was an expectation that this spring could mark a generational change. In their absence, and despite his own crashes last week, Boom is aware of the opportunity that lies before him. I think for sure an outsiders going to win, he said. Its a pity that those guys arent there but thats also racing, of course.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at More...
Gallery: Inside the Trek Factory Racing service course
March 31, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
It was a case of business as usual at the Trek Factory Racing service course on Monday when Cyclingnews stopped by to take a tour of the team's new(ish) European base. Nestled between Gent and Deinze, the team's service course has been home to European activities for the WorldTour team since last September and now fully operational it provides round-the-year support to Fabian Cancellara and his teammates. And although Cancellara will be missing from the team's roster for the coming weeks as he recovers from two fractured vertebrae the team mechanics have been busily putting the finishing touches to the rest of the squads bikes for the remainder of the Classics.ADVERTISEMENT The service course itself is different to the open space planning weve seen in the past at Team Sky or BMC Racing, with neatly compartmentalised sections and rooms for various tasks. Past the offices of the service course manager and his team are the mechanics quarters with enough room to park the proverbial very real team bus, and an in-house wash station for them to clean and service in-coming equipment from races. In the centre sections the team split up section for clothing " each rider is given a shelf for personal team attire " while the food needed to keep 28 mouths fed for an entire season needs its own complete area. On the second deck of the main hall sit a number of hidden gems including bikes from last year and wheelsets and turbo trainers yet to dispatched. You can read more at More...
10 conclusions from E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem
March 31, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Geraint Thomas comes of age No rider has personified Team Skys Classics improvements more than Geraint Thomas this season. The Welshman is a rider that encapsulates everything the squads cobbles contingent embodies, with a balance of talent, poise, and development that have led to number of eye-catching performances. Thomas weight loss, coupled with his growing experience have been documented factors, but its the rider's new-found steely determination and confidence that really shines through and made the difference in Haralbeke. Twelve months ago one would have justifiably seen Thomas as looking strong in the event but missing the authority to take the race his riders before a customary crash, puncture or lack of concentration leading to poor positioning. That was Greg Van Avermaet and Fabian Cancellara this year, with Thomas first closing a dangerous gap on the Paterberg before forging clear with Sagan and Stybar on the Kwaremont.ADVERTISEMENT Just like his win in the Commonwealth Games twelve months ago " although this was against a grander backdrop and more accomplished opposition " Thomas took a chance and reaped the due rewards. You can be the strongest in the race " as weve seen with Vanmarcke and Sagan on countless occasions " but if you can not measure your efforts and timing, Watts and output tend to count for little when the glare of the press find you at the finish. Thomas is in the form of his life, everything thrown his face is met with the sweetspot of his bat and even the testing deliveries " such as his crash in Gent-Wevelgem - are just about seen off. He has two deliveries to still face in Flanders and Roubaix, and although theyll be the toughest yet hes shown whats needed to handle them. (DB) Etixxs remain the team to beat You can read more at More...
Cancellara and Boonen must focus on Richmond Worlds, says Museeuw
March 30, 2015 (03:45) [ Indexed from ]
Before the injured Fabian Cancellara departed Belgium on Saturday afternoon, his classics campaign over before it had truly begun, Johan Museeuw made a point of visiting the Weinebrugge Hotel to offer his sympathy. Cancellaras crash at E3 Harelbeke left him with two fractured vertebrae and denies him the chance to set an outright record of four Tour of Flanders victories next Sunday. His plight is not an altogether unfamiliar one for his fellow three-time winner Museeuw, who risked losing his career " and his leg " when he fractured his kneecap in a fall in the Arenberg forest at the 1998 Paris-Roubaix. Although Cancellara has already intimated that he is likely to bring the curtain down on his career at the end of 2016, when his current contract with Trek Factory Racing expires, Museeuw told the Swiss rider during their meeting that he could come back and compete at the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix for another three years. What age are you? 34? You can do it, he said.ADVERTISEMENT I know what it feels like, Museeuw told Cyclingnews a short time later. Hes not young anymore so he can put it in perspective and realise that there are more things in life than cycling, but its still such a big part of your life: you prepare, you do everything, you suffer a lot and then one week before the Tour of Flanders, its over. What can you do? You can say nothing about it, you can think just about next year: thats it. The classics are over. Its the same for Tom Boonen [who broke his collarbone at Paris-Nice " ed.] The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix come within one week, and you just hope you dont get sick or you dont have a crash. It can happen in your career and its a shame that its near the end, but the lucky thing is that they have both already won three Tours of Flanders. One consolation for Cancellara and Boonen, Museeuw pointed out, is that the World Championships road race in Richmond, with its cobbled section in Libby Hill Park, offers a chance to salvage something of substance from a truncated season. You can read more at More...
Cancellara vows to return to racing after fracturing vertebrae
March 29, 2015 (03:30) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) has vowed to comeback after crashing out of the Classics season in E3 Harelbeke. The seven-time Monument winner fell in the early stages of Fridays race and later abandoned. A trip to the local hospital later revealed that the rider had suffered two minor fractures in the transverse processes of his lower vertebrae and a recovery period of weeks rather than days would force him out of the Classics. Twenty-four hours later, Cancellara sat down with a small press corp to discuss his fall and his immediate plans. The 34-year-old was still in obvious pain and would not talk about possible comeback dates, instead choosing to draw on the glimmer of positives resulting from an ultimately and disappointing situation. It could be worse and I could be still in hospital or having an operation. Or worse case scenario it could have ended my career and I have to take the positives out of this. I have to see the positives, he said.ADVERTISEMENT Cancellara saw his 2012 Classics campaign go up in smoke after he crashed out of the Tour of Flanders with a broken collarbone. He crashed out of the London Olympic road race later that year but came back from both setbacks to have a stellar 2013 season, winning the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He went on to win the Tour of Flanders last year and came into this campaign as a front-runner for a title defence and Paris-Roubaix. In 2012 the world really came down around me. Yesterday wasnt easy but today is strange. Its a strange feeling because I go home now. Theres no fix and I just have to wait a few weeks to heal. Theres not much I can do. You can lose in one second everything youve prepared. When I look back Ive had back luck in E3 in the past but its always given me that bit of extra to Flanders but now theres no Flanders for me. I had big plans with the team but it is what it is, he added. At the start of the season, Cancellara had given his long and successful career a further two-year shelf life with firm plans to retire at the end of the 2016 season when his current deal with Trek expires. There is little chance of those blueprints being torn up and extended, meaning that Cancellara will aim to return next year and roll the dice one more time over the unforgiving cobbles of Flanders and Roubaix. For a rider who has dominated the scene for the best part of a decade it provides a long and almost uncomfortable wait before he can close out his Classics career. Its too early to talk about next year or next races. In situations like this you learn a lot, like I did in the Classics in 2012 and my crash in the Olympics that year. I came strong out of that but first you have to get over it. Winning Flanders would have meant a lot for me, the team, for history. Im getting older, that we know, but in the end, I know how to do deal with a few things. Maybe Ill recover in a better way than I did with my collarbone break in 2012. This is different but mentally maybe Im more ready. I won't give up because of a crash. We live with crashes and we cant avoid that. However, the fallout and long term repercussions from yesterdays race has started to truly settle, and while Geraint Thomas was a worthy winner of E3 Harelbeke there is little doubt that Flanders and Roubaix have lost some of their flare with both Cancellara and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) on the side lines. Stijn Devolder is the only Tour of Flanders winner left in the field, while Johan Vansummeren and Niki Terpstra are the only Paris-Roubaix victors remaining. In all likelihood, a new rider will raise his arms in victory in Oudenaarde at the end of the Tour of Flanders, and while a new chapter will be turned, the longstanding rivalry and subplots that Cancellara and Boonen have always provided will return next year. Next year is next year. I saw on this weekend that Devolder is the only rider who has won Flanders. It makes it a new race and for cycling its something different. First with Tom Boonen not there and now me. Its a new generation because a new winner will be found, Cancellara said. Of course Id be the happiest if Stijn wins but when we see how the race goes its going to be hard for him. On the other hand, Im curious to see a new winner. Before it was a race about Boonen and Cancellara, and then it was Cancellara versus the rest and now its the rest against the rest. Of course we have new talents but today I saw the newspapers with a little square of the winners photos and then three pages for me. When I see this I think what an impact. At Flanders and Roubaix new riders will make new impacts and in 12 months time the two riders who have carved up Flanders and Roubaix between them will return, providing one last battle and one final chance to remind todays new generation of what being a Classics icon is all about. You can read more at More...
E3 Harelbeke crashes take toll on peloton
March 29, 2015 (03:30) [ Indexed from ]
The narrow, cobbled roads of Belgium took their toll on the peloton on Friday during E3 Harelbeke, with multiple pile-ups sending riders to hospital and knockingFabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) out of the Classics with two fractured vertebrae. The list of injured was long, with several now unable to ride Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) crashed in the final 20 kilometres, but the BMC rider was able to remount after several minutes and finish the race. His team, however, stopped contributing to the chase when their leader went down, possibly affecting the final outcome of the race. Cannondale-Garmins Sebastian Langeveld crashed heavily in a major pile-up that took place about 40km into the race. The Cannondale-Garmin team leader for the race was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, according to his team.ADVERTISEMENT His known injuries include contusions and abrasions to his right elbow and shoulder and a severe contusion to his right knee, the team stated in an email to Cyclingnews. Sebastian will continue to be monitored by team medical staff tonight for additional injuries, and he will undergo further imaging tomorrow. Diretor Andreas Klier said the team went to plan B after losing the designated leader for the race, setting up Jack Bauer, Dylan Van Baarle and Kristjian Koren in the finale. Because of the excellent help from Lasse [Norman Hansen], Kristoffer [Skjerping], Alan [Marangoni] and Ted [King] they were able to save a lot of energy for the last part of the race, Klier said. In the final, a perfect lead out from Dylan helped Jack to sprint on to place eighth. You can read more at More...
Thomas wins E3 Harelbeke classic; Cancellara hurt in crash (The Associated Press)
March 28, 2015 (17:45) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
British rider Geraint Thomas won the E3 Harelbeke classic on Friday after launching a late attack, while three-time winner Fabian Cancellara sustained two minor fractures to his lower back after being caught in a crash. The 34-year-old Cancellara was among several riders downed in a mass crash on a cobblestone section about 40 kilometers (25 miles) into the race. Someone slammed the brakes and there was no way to go, just straight into it,'' said Cancellara, who will miss the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix classics. I fell so hard, and felt pain everywhere.'' Thomas, who rides for Sky, attacked Czech rider Zdenek Stybar and defending champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia with four kilometers (2.5 miles) to go and held on to win the World Tour race. More...
Vanmarcke approaches Tour of Flanders on tiptoes
March 28, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto NL-Jumbo) is one of the riders who has shown he is ready to take over the torch from injured Classics specialists Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep). Bad luck has held back the 26-year-old Belgian rider as of late, but on a given day he seems capable of blasting away the opposition. In the E3 Harelbeke on Friday afternoon he rode the final four climbs with a damaged shoe cleat, missing the decisive breakaway but finishing fifth. Briefly on tiptoe during a shoe switch, Vanmarcke fought back in style and salvaged a fifth place in the sprint. Last year Vanmarcke punctured twice and won the sprint behind the four leaders, also finishing fifth.ADVERTISEMENT Im not more frustrated than last year, vanmarcke said after E3 Harelbeke. Last year I punctured just ahead of the Paterberg and now I damage my shoe cleat on the Paterberg. For some reason it always goes wrong in Harelbeke. I got the most out of it after my bad luck. It just doesnt stop. After the race he sat in the Sporza studio for a post-race analysis. Eventually he talked shortly at the team bus, which was ready to go. When asked by the Focus-WTV journalist whether the third place in the sprint provided him with confidence, Vanmarcke reacted annoyed. Yes, but youre always talking about confidence, he said. Im confident but I keep having bad luck. Im confident. You can read more at More...
Trek forced to pick up the pieces after Cancellaras crash
March 28, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
When Fabian Cancellara sat down with the assembled press at the Tour of Qatar in February and announced that he would race for another two seasons before retiring from the sport few would have foreseen one of those cobbled classics campaigns being wiped out through injury. However on a relatively innocuous stretch of E3 Harelbeke the unthinkable happened. By the time the reigning Tour of Flanders winner picked himself off the floor the writing must have already been on the wall and according to his director, Dirk Demol, he could hardly stand, let alone pedal. Scans later showed two minor fractures in the transverse processes of his lower vertebrae and Trek Factory Racing later confirmed that their leader would be out of action for the remainder of the spring.ADVERTISEMENT Understandably Demol could not hide his disappointment and frustration at the finish line, having seen his teams talisman crash out of the cobbles for second time since 2012. I knew immediately that it was terrible," Demol said, still in a sense of shock. He couldnt stand let alone pedal but he tried to continue but when he was by the car he was screaming in pain and then you know theres something really wrong. You can read more at More...
Van Avermaet falls hard in E3 Harelbeke
March 28, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Several crashes marred the spring classic E3 Harelbeke on Friday afternoon. Early on in the race there was a pile-up that took out multiple riders, including Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing). At the end of the race Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) took a horrible tumble. Luckily Van Avermaet managed to get back on his legs, and his bike, completing the final kilometres to the finish in Harelbeke. The Belgian classics specialist will undergo a check-up but expects to start Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Nobody is free from falling, Van Avermaet said at the team bus after reaching the finish line in Harelbeke. Well see tomorrow how I feel. If nothing is broken. My ribs are hurt. My back and my hip hurt the most.ADVERTISEMENT It was a serious knock. I had to recover for a while. Im someone who usually tries to get back up as quickly as possible but this time I didnt feel like riding a bike straight away. Van Avermaet said he believed there was no severe damage and seemed to expect to be race ready on Sunday in Gent-Wevelgem. Well see with the team what we can do, he said. Well do a check-up with the eye on the upcoming days. Well see how it is tomorrow. I think Im still ok for the other races. You can read more at More...
Classics over for Cancellara after E3 Harelbeke crash
March 28, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellaras Classics campaign is all but over after the Trek Factory Racing rider crashed out of E3 Harelbeke on Friday. The team confirmed that the Swiss star suffered two minor fractures in the transverse processes of his lower vertebrae. Although he will not undergo surgery the team confirmed to Cyclingnews that the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix were very unlikely. Cancellara was involved in a fall early in the race together with Milan-San Remo winner John Degenkolb (Giant Alpecin) and Lars Boom (Astana). Despite briefly remounting and regaining contact with the peloton, Cancellara was forced to stop soon after and was taken to hospital immediate for scans when the extent of his injures were confirmed. As Cancellara abandoned the race, the teams director Dirk Demol confirmed that his rider would miss Sundays Gent-Wevelgem but with a fractured back the rider is most likely out for the foreseeable future with the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix also highly unlikely to form part of his campaign.ADVERTISEMENT Cancellara is the reigning Tour of Flanders champion and has given himself until the end of 2016 to win as many spring classics as possible before retirement from the sport. It all happened so fast. Someone slammed the brakes and there was no way to go, just straight into it,"Cancellara said. "I flew over a couple of riders and then landed in a pile of bikes. There were riders everywhere. I fell so hard, and felt pain everywhere. It was sort of reflex to get back on the bike but the pain was hard, in my lower back, left wrist, and my ribs on the back. I felt right away that it was a serious crash, but I wanted to try to keep going. I had to stop; the pain was too much. We went to the hospital for scans and this confirmed the pain. You can read more at More...
Start line notes from E3 Harelbeke
March 28, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Stybar points to Etixxs strength in numbers Strade Bianche winner Zden›k tybar (Etixx-QuickStep) returns to racing at E3 Harelbeke after crashing in Milan-San Remo last weekend. The Czech national road champion will ride alongside team leader Niki Terptra but the former cyclo-cross rider believes the team has strength in depth with potential winners throughout the squad. I hope the form is good after Milan-San Remo. I had two crashes and I felt a little bit stiff afterwards but now Im back to normal, he told Cyclingnews after signing on at the start.ADVERTISEMENT As a team were really strong and we have a few options. Ill try and do my best but as a team we come into the races trying to win. I think me and Niki will bounce off each other as leaders but we have a strong team so it doesnt matter who it is that goes for victory. Cancellara looks to lay down a marker Three-time winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) may have finished inside the top ten at Milan-San Remo but last years Tour of Flanders winner will give a truer reflection of his form in E3 Harelbeke, where he has laid down markers of intent in the past. You can read more at More...
Cancellara out of E3 Harelbeke after crash
March 28, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Three-time winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was forced to abandon E3 Harelbeke after crashing in the first half of the race. Last years Tour of Flanders winner came down in a fall involving Lars Boom and John Degenkolb. He was in a lot of pain following the crash but remounted and reconnected with the peloton. He could be seen shaking his hand, as if he'd hurt his wrist but the team haven't confirmed if it was injured. They did post a Tweet confirming that the Swiss rider had abandoned. Unfortunately Fabian Cancellara has abandoned the race after his crash. We will keep you informed on his situation as soon as possible.ADVERTISEMENT Team director Dirk Demol said that Cancellara would likely miss Gent-Wevelgem and could be out of the Tour of Flanders, too, in an interview with Sporza. There was a massive crash on the Haaghoek. He severely hurt his lower back, his left wrist and hand,"Demol said. "Did he say his spring classics were over? No, Cancellara was able to get in the car. We can forget about Sunday [Gent-Wevelgem]. Im also worried about the next races. Hes a fighter. If he can then he will race. Sporzas reporter Renaat Schotte was on the motorbike and described the crash. It happened on the cobbles of the Haaghoek. Theres a descending part and then an uphill part. They were at the bottom when a bottle and a Lotto-Soudal rider caused the crash. The bottle mustve popped out and caused a crash in which about 40 to 50 riders were affected. You can read more at More...
Thomas wins E3 Harelbeke classic; Cancellara hurt in crash
March 27, 2015 (18:30) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
HARELBEKE, Belgium (AP) " British rider Geraint Thomas won the E3 Harelbeke classic on Friday after launching a late attack, and three-time winner Fabian Cancellara sustained two minor fractures to his lower back after being caught... More...

« Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next »

From 41 until 60 / 601

Most visited today
 - Anthony Ravard ready to support Feillu in Worlds bunch sprint
 - Philippe Gilbert crash: Tour de France competitor survives horror smash over wall on stage 16
 - Quizword crossword - Saturday 6th August
 - Cycling-Road-Team World Ranking standings (Reuters)
 - Tour de France at a glance (The Associated Press)
 - Cycling-Road-World Ranking standings (Reuters)
 - Giro d'Italia Results
 - Spanish Vuelta Results
 - Cycling-Froome sends Tour warning with Dauphine win (Reuters)
 - Cycling-Road-Tour de Suisse classification after stage 4 (Reuters)

Most visited last week
 - Geraint Thomas on meeting Lionel Messi and how the Yellow Jersey has changed his life
 - Vigilant cyclist averts danger after vandals place rock barrier on popular Auckland cycleway
 - Fenn criticises Aqua Blue Sport bosses after more salary woes
 - Four arrests in Armed Forces corruption probe
 - Anthony Ravard ready to support Feillu in Worlds bunch sprint
 - Emma Pooley interview part 1: A PhD all winter isnt going to make me ride well in the spring
 - Palm Pre October launch still on track
 - Kris Humphries gives awkward first TV interview since Kim Kardashian split - video
 - Chris Froome kicked off Tour de France 2018 over doping saga - but Team Sky will appeal
 - Tour de France at a Glance (The Associated Press)

Funny games