Van der Poel to continue Spring Classics campaign despite nasty crash at Nokere Koerse

Van der Poel to continue Spring Classics campaign despite nasty crash at Nokere Koerse

Joe Robinson 21 Mar 2019 High-speed collision in bunch sprint on cobbles sees Dutchman taken to hospital Mathieu van der Poel says he will continue his Spring Classics campaign as planned despite a nasty crash in the finale of Nokere Koerse yesterday. The cyclocross World Champion had earmarked a selection of Belgian one-day Classics to ride this year, including Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, as he looks to he steps up his focus on road racing this season. Yesterday saw the start of this campaign at the Nokere Koerse. Van Der Poel was an active presesnce for most of the race and was contesting the final sprint when he was caught in a high-speed collision with Team Sunweb's Max Walscheid on the cobbled climb leading to the finish line. Big win for @TeamSunweb 's @ceesbol1995 at #NokereKoerse %uD83D%uDC4F Well wishes to those riders caught up in the crash at ...

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Valverde and Landa headline Movistar at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

World champion Alejandro Valverde headlines Movistar ’s team for Milan-San Remo , while Mikel Landa will make his comeback from injury at La Classicissima on Saturday. Landa sustained a broken collarbone in a crash during his first race of the season, the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx at the Challenge Mallorca in January. He has been side-lined ever since, but will ride Milan-San Remo before staying in Italy to tackle next week’s Settimana Coppi e Bartali. The Basque rider is also expected to line out at the Tour of the Basque Country next month. Landa has stated his intention to ride both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2019. Milan-San Remo was a relatively late addition to Valverde’s racing programme, and he will then line out at the Volta a Catalunya, which gets underway 48 hours later. The Spaniard last appeared at Milan-San Remo in 2016, when ...

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The Pro-Conti and SSR Corner

Don’t be calling my win at Trofeo Laigueglia merda piccola.

Where we discuss all things shit small Welcome to what I hope will be a bi-weekly column on the pro-conti ranks and upcoming shit small races. I had a lot of fun last season previewing the SSRs that don’t get a lot of coverage in the SSSRSSP (Shawn’s Shit Small Race Shit Small Preview) series and want to continue highlighting these races and what’s happening in the pro-conti (and continental) ranks without necessarily doing a big preview for each race. WITHER SSR RACING? I’ve now spent approximately 2,326 hours writing about vds, 47,248 hours conducting vds drafts, 2.2 x 10 22nd power years researching my vds team, and today, while watching Le Samyn, and then wondering why Florian Senechal only scored 100 points for his first professional victory, was the first time that I realized that Ursula lowered the categories downward for many of the SSR races. All of these ...

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Valverde skips Strade Bianche to prepare for Tour of Flanders

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

The Movistar team have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will not ride Strade Bianche or Tirreno-Adriatico, and will only return to racing at the Volta a Catalunya later this month. The world champion finished second overall at the recent UAE Tour and won the first mountain finish to Jebel Hafeet. However, he ended the race feeling unwell and, with the Tour of Flanders and the Giro d’Italia major goals in the coming months, he has opted to rest up and do a block of important training instead of racing. With Tuscan local Daniele Bennati also out due to a recent illness and Mikel Landa still recovering from a fractured collarbone, Movistar will field a young team for Strade Bianche. Richard Carapaz will make his European season debut after riding the Vuelta a San Juan and the Colombia 2.1 stage races in South America. Also in Movistar’s seven-rider roster are Nelson Oliveira, ...

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The weekly spin: A conversation with E3 organizers about that poster

Two women, nearly nude, covered in body paint and wrapped around one another to form the figure of a frog. The tagline: “Who shall crown himself prince in Harelbeke?” What is this, you ask? What does it mean? And what does it have to do with bike racing? It was the visual campaign for the … The post The weekly spin: A conversation with E3 organizers about that poster appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Deceuninck-QuickStep rest big names for Le Samyn

Remi Cavagna (Quick Step Floors) was the last to be caught

After winning both races during the so-called 'opening weekend' of the Classics season in Belgium, Deceuninck-QuickStep are resting their biggest names for Tuesday's Le Samy n race. Niki Terpstra won the cobbled semi-classic for Patrick Lefevere's team 12 months ago, with Philippe Gilbert finishing second, after they'd come away from the opening weekend empty-handed. However, with Zdenek Stybar winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and Bob Jungels claiming Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, Tuesday will be a chance for the younger riders to show what they can do. Florian Sénéchal, who was sixth at Kuurne on Sunday and third at Le Samyn three years ago, is set to lead the line. The 25-year-old, who is becoming an important part of QuickStep's Classics arsenal, is the only rider in the seven-man line-up to have ridden both races at the weekend. Belgian domestique Tim Declercq, who often puts in the hard yards in the ...

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Flanders Friday: Frogs and Wolves Edition

A daring poster, and a baffling Omloop squad This week in the minutiae of the classics... I know everyone is saying it’s Omloop/KBK Weekend, and of course it is. Everybody likes to start geeking out on the Cobbles as of Saturday morning. But there’s geeking out on the cobbles, and then there’s looking past the Omloop because it’s Le Samyn Tuesday coming up! Le Samyn happens just south of Ronse in the quiet, lovely spaces of northern Wallonia , where the languages meet but really you’re still more or less in the Flemish Ardennes. It’s the third act of the early-season trilogy of cobbled races, separate from Nokere Koerse, Driedaagse De Panne and the Ham Sandwich. You can draw conclusions from Saturday’s results, but personally I’d give it til Tuesday before we can say that things are really shaping up. Le Samyn went to Niki Terpstra last year, so as ...

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Lutsenko eyes Tirreno-Adriatico, Ardennes Classics, Worlds

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in the Tour of Oman red leader's jersey

Another year, another Tour of Oman title for Alexey Lutsenko ( Astana ), though this time he was utterly dominant, winning three of the six stages along the way. Lutsenko didn't win much else in 2018 but there's a sense that the 26-year-old might be on the verge of building a big palmarès, with stage races and Classics both on his agenda. Every rider in Oman was happy to admit Lutsenko was head and shoulders above the rest, as he helped himself to victories on the two punchy stages and then on Green Mountain to seal the title. Cofidis directeur sportif Roberto Damiani likened him to 1986 world champion Moreno Argentin. "I'm not surprised," Lutsenko told Cyclingnews of his dominance. "I did a lot of work in Tenerife at altitude before this. Now I'm more skinny. I'm two kilograms lighter. "That gives me more motivation for the important races like ...

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Lutsenko to skip cobbled classics and focus on Ardennes

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) on the podium after his Oman stage win

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) will focus exclusively on the Ardennes Classics this spring, deciding to leave the cobblestones to one side. Victory on stage 2 of the Tour of Oman on Sunday proved that the Kazakh, who was the overall winner last year, is once again gearing up nicely for the spring. However, although he will line up in Belgium for the 'Opening Weekend' of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in a fortnight, he will not appear during the main cobbled Classics period, choosing instead to focus on the hillier Ardennes races later in April. Lutsenko, 26, had more of an emphasis on the Ardennes in the first years of his career, but then started getting into the cobbled races of northern Belgium, his potential laid bare by third place at the 2017 Dwars door Vlaanderen. However, after a 2018 spring that was beset by crashes, and a year in which ...

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Gent-Wevelgem wildcard invitation clears the way for Mathieu van der Poel

Peter Sagan wins Gent-Wevelgem 2018

The organisers of Gent-Wevelgem , Flanders Classics, invited seven wildcard teams to compete in the March 31 race alongside the 18 WorldTour teams, confirming the inclusion of the Corendon-Circus squad of new cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel . Last week, Flanders Classics named Corendon-Circus alongside Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Gobert, Wallonie Bruxelles, Direct Energie, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits and Roompot-Charles for Omloop het Nieuwsblad. The same teams earned wildcard spots for Gent-Wevelgem. Flanders Classics announced in December that Van der Poel would compete in Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders and the Brabantse Pijl, so the inclusion of the newly-upgraded Pro Continental team comes as no surprise. Expecations for Van der Poel are high after the stand-out performance of his rival Wout van Aert in the 2018 Tour of Flanders. After surpassing father Adrie van der Poel's cyclo-cross palmares as double world champion, Mathieu van der Poel was asked ...

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Boels Dolmans to ride inaugural Women's Tour of Scotland

A closer look at the Boels Dolmans 2019 jersey

The inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland has received a boost with the world number one-ranked team Boels Dolmans confirming that they will be among those on the start line this August. The remaining teams are yet to be announced. Unveiled last October, the Women’s Tour of Scotland is a three-day event that will take place between August 9 and 11, the same weekend as the European Championships. It is the fourth UCI women’s race that will take place in the UK after the Ovo Energy Women’s Tour, the Tour de Yorkshire and the RideLondon Classique. As well as their participation in the Women’s Tour of Scotland, Boels Dolmans also confirmed a packed 2019 calendar. Beginning next month at the Setmana Valenciana, the programme covers all but one of the Women’s WorldTour races and includes races such as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Le Samyn, Dwars door Vlaanderen and Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik. Unlike in the ...

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Wallays hospitalised with fractured jaw after San Juan crash

Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) launching his winning move from the breakaway

Jelle Wallays ( Lotto Soudal ) crashed out of the Vuelta a San Juan on stage 2 , suffering a facial trauma that forced him to spend the night in hospital. The Belgian rider, who won a stage of the Argentinean race last year, crashed during the finale of the second stage on Monday evening, colliding into the road with his face. According to a medical report issued by the Lotto Soudal team, he lost one tooth and broke another one, and also suffered a fracture in the upper jaw and a cut to his upper lip. Wallays was taken to a nearby hospital, where it was also established he had suffered concussion as a result of the impact. For that reason, he was forced to stay in hospital overnight for observation. All being well, he will leave hospital and return to the teams hotel in San Juan today, before ...

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Offseason Capsule: Jumbo-Visma

It doesn’t take any Dutch courage to predict a big year Let’s take Andrew’s earlier premise about building a PdC cycling team but instead of having a bespoke team, let’s say you have the choice of buying any team roster in the World Tour with the parameters being you want a versatile, young, international, and winning team. And let’s add one more parameter-- you want a cohesive team, i.e. ruling out UAE. For my money, there is only one team that hits all of those marks. Sky is too focused on grand tours and don’t have a winning sprinter or deep classics squad. Mitchelton-Scott is the Five Below version of Sky. Movistar is the dime store version of Sky. UAE is the dumpster fire version of Sky. AG2R are strong in the mountains and in classics, but lacking a sprinter. Quick-Step have the sprinting and classics on lockdown, but only ...

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Sunderland tapped to lead Flanders Classics

Sunderland tapped to lead Flanders Classics

Australian ex-pro set to streamline Flanders Classics programme and promote it to more international audience. Read the full article at Sunderland tapped to lead Flanders Classics on VeloNews.com .

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Giro di Sicilia to launch this year

The Giro route snaked through Sicily on stage 5.

Pro racing will return to Sicily this year, with the new Giro di Sicilia launching earlier than expected and taking an early April slot in the UCI calendar. A new four-day race in Sicily had been widely reported in local media outlets since the turn of the year , but, given the time constraints, it was widely expected to be a project for the 2020 season. On Friday, however, the Italian Professional Cycling League (LCP) confirmed that the UCI had approved the plans and that the race will indeed take place this year. Run by Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport as a 2.1 event - the third tier in the UCI's categorisation - it will take place over four days and four stages from April 3-6. "Good news for the Italian cycling calendar and the whole movement. The UCI has approved the registration of the Giro di Sicilia, starting this ...

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The weekly spin: The intersection of American football and international cyclocross

In two weeks, international cyclocross and American football will hold the biggest events of their respective seasons on the same day. I’ll be watching both. Because I often find the lead up to the marquee event more interesting than the main event itself — thus explaining my unique affection for E3 Harelbeke and Dwars door Vlaanderen … The post The weekly spin: The intersection of American football and international cyclocross appeared first on CyclingTips .

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The weekly spin: 15 reasons to be excited about the 2019 racing season

Mountain bikers on the road. The debut of a future star. Alternative events. Intra-squad rivalry. The return of a world champion. What follows is a 2019 season preview of sorts, exploring 15 different subjects, stories, and subplots of the upcoming mens’s and women’s racing calendars. The list could have been twice as long. I thought … The post The weekly spin: 15 reasons to be excited about the 2019 racing season appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Moscon to make Giro debut in May

Moscon to make Giro debut in May

The 24-year-old Italian will ride a slate of classics and short stage races ahead of the Giro d'Italia. Read the full article at Moscon to make Giro debut in May on VeloNews.com .

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Offseason Capsule: Lotto Soudal

Can the only Lotto left in town start cashing in some of their tickets? Lotto Soudal are the hipster cyclist’s favorite cycling team-- overwhelmingly Belgian, but not the most successful Belgian team, chock full of young talent, but not the most precocious of the neo pros, and boasting some of the most exciting, but not always successful, riders in the pro-ranks, while still trying to maintain the cycling team as a family but not a business feel (but perhaps not successfully), boasting (but perhaps not for long) Tom Boonen as an “advisor,” and repping the original Lotto before Rabobank thought it was cool. As of late, success has been secondary to style for Lotto, but perhaps that’s about to change. What we said last year Andrew was prescient in his prediction for Lotto’s 2018 season: [W]ith Gallopin leaving and Greipel aging, the odds of maintaining 8th place and matching the ...

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Offseason Capsule: Quick Step

We didn’t see any Quick Step Flaws In 2018, Patrick Lefevre’s boys put together a season for the ages. What does 2019 have in store? Well, they can’t possibly match last year (can they?) but nothing says Christmas on Podium Café like looking back over the most dominant cobbles season we’ve seen in the modern era. What we said last year I’m reasonably pleased with this. I was optimistic about the team surviving the loss of Boonen and continuing to lead the peloton in wins and topping the VDS rankings. I talked up the sprint unit and was optimistic of increased success in the Ardennes, and I also enthused about the chances of many strong cobbles riders between them grabbing a cobbled monument. I was comparatively down on their GC chances and I didn’t see Enric Mas coming. I also missed the sheer onslaught of wins, but I used the ...

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