Sunday 4 March 2012

Weekend News Roundup

British riders have a good weekend
23-year-old British star Lizzie Armitstead, one of several riders to have joined AA following the demise of the Garmin-Cervelo Women's Team, scored a major victory with first place at the Omloop het van Hageland today after breaking away from the peloton in the latter part of the race accompanied by Hitec Products-Mistral Home's Elisa Longo-Borghini and Rabobank's Pauline Ferrand-Prevot. In the final sprint, she demonstrated the sheer power that has seen her as respected in the women's peloton as Cavendish is in the men's, beating Ferrabd-Prevot by 2" and Longo-Borghini by 4". Lucy Martin, also riding with AA Drink, took ninth place, Emma Silversides of Sengers was the next best Brit in 47th.

Russell Downing of Endura Racing won the Grand Prix de la Ville de Lillers Souvenir Bruno Comini, Douglas Dewey was third at Lierde and Danny McLay of Lotto-Ridley Espoirs was 10th at Brussels-Zepperen. Meanwhile, at the Vuelta a Murcia Jonathan Tiernan-Locke finished in second place in the General Classification, an excellent result for the 27-year-old among a top ten that included names as illustrious as Samuel Sanchez, Robert Gesink and Johnny Hoogerland. Team mate Eric Rowsell - younger brother of Matrix-Prendas' legendary Joanna, who wowed the world at the the recent UCI Track Cup - was 29th.

Bradley Wiggins surprised many
at Paris-Nice
(image credit: Petit Brun CC BY-SA 2.0)
At the opening ITT stage of Paris-Nice, Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky stunned fans and opponents alike with an unexpected second place finish on a dangerously wet course, just 1" down on Vacansoleil-DCM's Gustav Erik Larsson. Omega Pharma-Quickstep's Tony Martin was most people's favourite but appeared distinctly off-colour and could only manage 28th, a disappointing result for a rider who can put the wind up Fabian Cancellara - winner of yesterday's Strade Bianche, which he dedicated to a recently-deceased uncle - in a time trial.  Looking positively muscular when compared to the cadavre that rolled up to the start line on the Passage du Gois last year, it's been noted that if Wiggo can keep this sort of form over the summer then 2012 - when the Tour is less mountainous and places more emphasis of time trials than it has done in many years - might just prove to be his year.

It wasn't all great from a British point of view, however: Emma Trott, riding with Dolmans-Boels this season, crashed and broke her collar bone. The 22-year-old announced her misfortune via Twitter...
Shit happens, 2nd race and I end in hospital with broken collarbone! Fantastic!
Best wishes for a very speedy recovery, Emma.

Other News

Welcome back, Emma Johansson!
(image credit: Eriohm CC BY 3.0)
Having already enjoyed a successful career in rugby (she played with the national women's team) and bobsleigh (she won an Olympic gold medal), Canada's Heather Moyse decided it was time to go looking for another sport - and chose track cycling. This weekend, she represented her nation at the PanAmerican Championships in Argentina, where she competed in the 500m TT and Sprint. (Vancouver Sun)

Emma Johansson made her return to racing at the Omloop het van Hageland, having recovered from twin broken collar bones sustained in a training ride accident back in January. She finished in 27th place - no surprise to the Swedish rider, who seems happy just to be back, but expect a rapid return to race-winning form.

Nick Nuyens looked like he was the latest to break bones at Paris-Nice, crashing hard in the opening time trial. An x-ray revealed that he hadn't broken anything, and despite pain - "I feel weak!" he complains - the 31-year-old Belgian hopes to start tomorrow's stage.

Fabian Cancellara wins the Strade-Bianche, Saturday the 3rd of March

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