Cycling News


Tom Boonen: Peter Sagan needs to 'keep his mouth shut' over lack of cooperation from rivals
April 05, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Peter Sagan "has to keep his mouth shut" and stop complaining about the lack of cooperation he gets from the peloton, Tom Boonen has said. The World champion always tries to benefit from the work of other teams, but does not return that help, Boonen suggested. After missing out on success at the Tour of Flanders Sagan questioned the tactics of his rivals who struggled to take on Quick-Step Floors this spring."There is no cooperation to fight against the Quick-Step block. They work against me and do not want to cooperate, so Quick-Step can do what it wants," Sagan said. During the Belgian television show Extra Time Koers" Boonen suggested that was hypocritical. Since retiring from racing last spring, Boonen has been a expert commentator on Belgian television and tipped Niki Terpstra to win the Tour of Flanders.ADVERTISEMENT "A lack of cooperation? He is always on someone's wheel," Boonen said of Sagan, unafraid to criticise the world champion. Boonen added: "I don't think Sagan really should talk about a lack of cooperation. He is the one who always starts to drag. He looks to see what is going on, and then he comes forward once and starts waving his hand. If you do that you have to keep your mouth shut. Boonen, who won the Tour of Flanders three times and Paris-Roubaix four times, added: "He always tries to benefit from the work of other teams. There is nothing wrong with that, but then you do not have to say afterwards 'they do not work with me'." You can read more at More...
Quick-Step's E3 Harelbeke dominance sets the tone for cobbled Classics
March 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Much of the build-up centred on the chances of rainbow jersey Peter Sagan and golden Greg Van Avermaet, the outstanding performers on the cobbles these past two years, but blue was the colour in the aftermath of E3 Harelbeke, as Quick-Step Floors delivered a strikingly dominant showing in the dress rehearsal for next weekends Tour of Flanders. Niki Terpstra soloed to victory while Philippe Gilbert won the sprint for second place behind him, but the podium photographs and the results sheet told only a portion of the story. Quick-Steps blue jerseys massed on the front a little under halfway through the race and there they stayed in various configurations all the way to the finish in Harelbeke. Racing as racing should be, read the enthusiastic headline in Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, and the lead article was no less rapturous. If every team raced like Quick-Step did between Harelbeke and Harelbeke, cycling would be a top global sport, bigger than any ball game.ADVERTISEMENT Quick-Step certainly dominated ball possession, so to speak, at E3 Harelbeke. BMC, Bora-Hansgrohe et al could barely get a touch, as they were already forcing the pace after the descent of La Houpe when a large crash split the peloton and reduced the front group to 40 riders. Come the Taaienberg, favoured climb of the now-retired Tom Boonen, there were five Quick-Step riders lined up at the head of the group. Terpstra and Yves Lampaert pushed on over the top, with some 70km to go, and simply kept on going, while Gilbert, Florian Senechal and Zdenek Stybar policed affairs behind. Van Avermaet, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and a sub-par Sagan " a crash victim early in the race " were among those effectively marooned on Gilbert Island, as last years Tour of Flanders winner tempered his usual attacking instincts to spend an afternoon serving as a deluxe spoiler in the Flemish Ardennes. The beat goes on You can read more at More...
Boonen ruled out of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne by stomach problems
February 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen will not start Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne due to illness. His Quick-Step Floors team announced the news via Twitter shortly before the start of Sundays race. The Belgian is due to return to action at Tirreno-Adriatico, which gets underway on March 8. Unfortunately, @tomboonen1 won't start #KBK due to stomach problems. Have a fast recovery, Tom, and see you in #Tirreno! read the Quick-Step Floors teams tweet. Boonen abandoned Saturdays Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after crashing twice, with the second incident occurring just before the race ignited on the Taaienberg. Although Boonen remounted and gave chase, he abandoned shortly afterwards with an eye to Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, only for stomach problems to rule him out of the second instalment of Belgiums Opening Weekend.ADVERTISEMENT Boonen is in the final weeks in the professional peloton, and he will retire after Paris-Roubaix on April 9. His abandon on Saturday means that he will retire without inscribing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to his palmars, while his withdrawal from Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne means that he forgoes the chance of adding to his record tally of three victories. More to follow... You can read more at More...
Kristoff takes aim at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne after Omloop crash
February 26, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Alexander Kristoff was a forlorn sight at the bottom of a pile-up in the lead-in to the Taaienberg during Saturdays Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Despite the incident, his Katusha-Alpecin team is confident that he can still lead them at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, where he has finished second in each of the past two seasons. The Norwegian had to be picked off the ground by his directeur sportif Torsten Schmidt following the huge crash. Kristoff would get back on his bike but he abandoned around 10 kilometres later and headed straight for the team hotel. The decision was made with an eye to Sundays Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, as Kristoff was well and truly out of contention in Omloop by that point. Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) was caught up in the same crash and also abandoned soon afterwards. He quit the race because he was so far away there was no sense to continue, said Schmidt. We had to completely change his bike. He lost some skin but hes ok and he will start the race tomorrow. Kristoff suffered some minor abrasions to his neck and Schmidt expects him to be a bit sore at the start of the day, but he said Katusha-Alpecin will set out with optimism on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT For sure, he will have some pain in the muscles in the neck but the team has good people to look after him, Schmidt explained. We have some tough guys in the team. Already in the race we were talking about tomorrow and they will start with a good attitude and theyll be in the mood to win. In the sprint, it would be difficult to win with another guy. We have to see how it is its 200k and many things can happen before the finish line. Asked by a Norwegian journalist to estimate how long it had been since Kristoff had endured his last serious crash in a race, Schmidt mimed knocking on wood and estimated two years. The journalist responded that it had in fact been some 962 days since Kristoff had taken a similar tumble. You can read more at More...
Boonen abandons Eneco Tour after crash on stage 4
September 22, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) has been forced to abandon the Eneco Tour after crashing early during stage 4, from Aalter to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in Belgium. Boonen was examined in hospital in Deinze, where x-rays revealed no fractures, and the Belgian was cleared to return home. In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Boonen's Etixx-QuickStep team noted that he has been ordered to rest until the end of this week before resuming training. "Right after the incident, reminiscent of the one in the 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour, where Tom crashed and hit his head, suffering a left temporal bone fracture, the 35-year-old was attended by Etixx " Quick-Steps doctor, who decided that the best thing for Tom " who had a few abrasions on his body " was to abandon the race as precautionary measure and go by ambulance to the nearest hospital, so that his condition gets evaluated," the statement read.ADVERTISEMENT "Fortunately, the cervical X-ray he underwent at the St. Vincentius Hospital in Deinze didnt reveal any injury, so Tom " winner of three races this season " was cleared by the doctors to go home, where he is to rest until the end of the week, before returning to training." Although Boonen was reportedly able to remount after the crash, he soon wheeled to a halt again and abandoned the race. The 35-year-old was immediately taken to hospital for further examination after telling doctors that he had been left dazed by the crash. Tom Boonen was eating when his wheel hit a pothole and he crashed, Etixx-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere said, according to Le Soir. Since my rider felt dazed, it was immediately decided to bring him to hospital for further tests. I hope that his injuries wont be serious. You can read more at More...
Boonen and Kittel headline Etixx-QuickStep at Brussels Cycling Classic and GP de Fourmies - News Shorts
September 03, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Etixx-QuickStep have named its squads for the upcoming sprint friendly one-day HC races Brussels Cycling Classic and GP de Fourmies with Tom Boonen and Marcel Kittel headlining the selection. Saturday's Brussels Cycling Classic will be Kittel's second race after the Tour de France as he builds for October's sprint friendly world championships in Doha. The German has ridden on just one previous occasion, recording a DNF in 2015 but will be aiming for a better result in 2016. Boonen was third at last year's race having won the 2012 edition and placed second in 2006. The Belgian will likely be on lead out duty for Kittel but provides a second option should the German be having an off day.ADVERTISEMENT Joining the fast men for the198.1km race is Belgian trio Nikolas Maes,Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Stijn Vandenbergh and Italian duoDavide Martinelli andMatteo Trentin. Spaniard stagiaireIvan Garcia Cortina completed the team as he makes his first appearance in the blue and black. For Sunday'sGP de Fourmies / La Voix du Nord across the border in France, Boonen and Kittel will again be the trump cards for Etixx-QuickStep. Kittel's best result at the race is third from 2012 while Boonen was runner-up to Fabio Felline last year. FrenchmanJulian Alaphilippe comes into the squad, for his first outing since the Olympic Games, as doRodrigo Contreras, Laurens De Plus and Petr Vakoc.Trentin andVandenbergh round out the team for their second race of the weekend. You can read more at More...
Scheldeprijs race to celebrate Boonen with hometown start in Mol
August 30, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen has revealed that next springs Scheldeprijs race will start in his hometown of Mol, northeast of Antwerp, with the sprinters' Classic his last race in Belgium before he ends his career at Paris-Roubaix a few days later. The race traditionally starts in the docklands of nearby Antwerp but will be moved to honour Boonen's career. "I was incredibly honoured when the organizers of the Scheldeprijs put their plan to me. I feel especially proud and grateful," Boonen said at a special announcement.ADVERTISEMENT "It'll be a unique day for my fans and promises to be extra busy with the start in Mol but I'm happy about it. Of course I'll quick go to bed afterwards because I remain ambitious for Paris-Roubaix." Race organiser Flanders Classics said the new route would complete a loop in the Flemish countryside before returning to Mol. The traditional race will be joined after 108km near Tielen and then go on to complete several circuits in Schoten that traditionally host the finish. Marcel Kittel beat Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel to win this year's Scheldeprijs. Boonen ended speculation about his retirement plans by signing a new contract with Etixx-Quickstep in July. He was out of contract at the end of 2016 and had attracted interest from the likes of Lotto Soudal before committing to a 15th season with the Etixx-QuickStep. Boonen joined the team back in 2003 and has enjoyed over 100 professional victories since with Patrick Lefevere's squad, with highlights including the 2005 World Championships, four Paris-Roubaix wins and three Tour of Flanders titles. You can read more at More...
Boonen says decision to retire will be his alone
February 27, 2016 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen has revealed that Etixx-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere had suggested he retire after this years Spring Classics during contract negotiations last summer. In an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws published on Friday, however, Boonen said that he would decide for himself when to bring the curtain down on his career. The budget was lower, [Mark] Cavendish left for that reason, Boonen said. And Patrick wanted me to stop after the Spring. That suited him. But not me. The decision to stop is one Ill take by myself. After penning a one-year contract extension with Etixx-QuickStep in late summer, Boonens 2016 campaign was cast into doubt when he suffered a head injury in a crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour in October.ADVERTISEMENT It was initially reported that Boonens temporal bone fracture might keep him off the bike for a period of six months, but despite being left with permanent damage to his hearing, the Belgian was able to resume training in November. I started training again the very day the doctors said that I could do it, not before. Im not crazy, or at least, not crazy enough to take risks, Boonen told Het Laatste Nieuws. I was advised to work on my strength and to be careful with explosive efforts. Boonen missed last years Spring Classics after he separated his shoulder in a crash at Paris-Nice. He lines up at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this weekend " the one major cobbled race that he has never won " after a novel early season campaign. You can read more at More...
Boonen, Gilbert, Van Avermaet certain for Belgian Worlds team
August 01, 2015 (03:30) [ Indexed from ]
Belgian national coach Carlo Bomans will not finalise his team for the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond until September 7, but he says that if they are on form, Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet are certain to be in the squad. Van Avermaet is Belgium's top-ranked rider in the WorldTour rankings in 17th, thanks to his Tour de France stage victory and podium finishes in Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Gilbert is only ranked 75th, behind SepVanmarcke, Jurgen Roelandts, Tiesj Benoot JensDebusschere, Jens Keukeliere and Stijn Vandenbergh.Boonen, who was injured during the Classics after crashing inParis-Nice, has since won a stage in the Tour of Belgium and the Rund umKln. The three Classics stars should find the Richmond course well suited to their abilities, with three short, sharp climbs on the 16.1km finishing circuit: the cobbled Libby Hill, the 12% gradient 23rd Street climb, and the 300m-long ascent of Governor Street which is inside the final kilometer.ADVERTISEMENT "Obviously, the selection will be a function of the course," Bosmans said, according to Sporza. "Boonen, Gilbert and Van Avermaet are certainties if they are healthy and willing to work towards the World Championship." The final team will be announced on September 7, which Bomans says is earlier than most years. "The majority of the squad will opt for the [two WorldTour races in] Qubec and Montral and they need to know if they have to travel or not." He expects to have plenty of riders to choose from in the final selection, and will likely disappoint many riders. You can read more at More...
Boonen hoping to build Worlds form at Eneco Tour
July 31, 2015 (03:30) [ Indexed from ]
With the World Championships just under two months away, Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) is hoping that he can hit the ground running at the Eneco Tour in just under two weeks. Boonen, who has recently finished the Tour de Wallonie, confirmed yesterday that he would skip the Vuelta a Espaa in favour of the Belgian/Dutch race. "The Eneco Tour is the first race where I really want to be top, Boonen told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. The aim is to race there and build the form, and that intention remains for all further events, up to the World Championship in Richmond. Week by week I hope to be better than its peak at the World Championships on September 27th." Boonen has had a challenging season after dislocating his shoulder at Paris-Nice in March. The injury put him out of action for almost two months before making his return to racing at the Tour of Turkey. Since then, hes only been able to notch up two victories - one at the Belgium Tour and another and the Rund um Kln. He is also penned in to do the Vattenfall Cyclassics on August 23.ADVERTISEMENT Boonen is targeting a spot in Belgiums team for the World Championships in Richmond, which features a course that could potentially suit him. I have only seen the course on video and I have heard from some of my colleagues. Carlo (Bomans " Belgian coach) has told me that the course is not half as difficult at the European Games in Baku (where Boonen competed for Belgium and finished 6th in the road race "ed). I think that there are a lot of guys that will be able to enjoy themselves, said Boonen. The top 10 teams, as of August 15, will be allowed the full complement of nine riders. Belgium are currently ninth in the overall standings, with Greg van Avermaet (BMC) earning more than half of their 410-point total, and should be assured of a full squad. Van Avermaet was Belgiums best finisher at the last edition in Ponferrada, finishing fifth in the bunch sprint behind the Pole Michal Kwiatkowski. With Boonen and Philippe Gilbert, Belgium have two former world champions in their potential team. It will be a very full team again, a dream team, said Boonen. It has always been the case in recent years. First lets see how everyone is performing in the coming weeks. If we are all really in top form then the control of the race will automatically come to us. But it cannot hurt to have multiple leaders. You can read more at More...
Tom Boonen full of confidence after Rund um Kln victory
June 16, 2015 (03:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) is happy with his condition after a two-and-a-half-week period in which he has won his first two races of the season. The Belgian pulled out of the Giro dItalia in May after the 13th stage and headed over to the Tour of Belgium, where he won the second stage and the points jersey. He backed that up on Sunday with a victory at the testing one-day Rund um Kln in Germany, winning after being in the five-rider break that decided race. "I am of course happy about this victory," said Boonen in a statement from the Etixx-QuickStep team. "There isn't often a chance to ride in Germany, so it's great to win there when I have the opportunity.ADVERTISEMENT Boonen was the fastest out of a five-man group that remained from an original 23-rider breakaway that shapedthe 99th edition of the race.The group maintained a decent advantage by the time they hit the five short finishing laps in Cologne and Boonen had teammate Nikolas Maes with him, who helped him beat Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Argon18). It was a nice race, said the 34-year-old Belgian. The first part was really up-and-down, left-and-right. There were steep and narrow roads, so it was a quite demanding parcours. On the longest climb of the day Linus Gerdemann set a hard pace. The peloton exploded and we ended up with more than 20 guys ahead after this climb." Then we really went full gas and lost a few guys again. Then I eventually attacked, but I was followed by Gerdemann, Nikolas, and three other guys. We worked really well together, full speed, because the peloton was always chasing hard behind. When we entered into the local laps we had about a minute gap, so we played a little bit with the tactics. Nikolas and I tried to keep everybody together for the final sprint. Nikolas did a great job and I finished off the day's work by winning the race. You can read more at More...
Lefevere yet to decide contracts for Cavendish, Kwiatkowski and Uran
June 06, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from ]
In a transfer market dictated by agents as much as results and budgets, Patrick Lefevere finds himself at the centre of several of the key potential transfer sagas of the summer. Lefeveres position as transfer kingpin isnt just born from chance, however, and the Etixx-QuickStep manager is keeping is cards close to his chest as he negotiations with Mark Cavendish, Rigoberto Uran, Tom Boonen and Micha‚ Kwiatkowski about renewing their contracts. The world champion is rumoured to have already signed for Team Sky, although he has denied this to his teammates, while Lefevere has been linked with a number of riders, including Mikel Landa, Richie Porte and Ryder Hesjedal. Im more or less where I want to be in terms of my plans, Lefevere told Cyclingnews from his office in Belgium.ADVERTISEMENT However, I have the impression, and I dont think that Im alone, that agents are calling me a lot and that means the market isnt moving that quickly. I dont think many teams are signing riders at the moment. Normally were paying what the market asks so if you saw in the past when Sky came into cycling the prices went up, but now the market is standing still. There are a number of factors at play within the current market. Peter Sagans reported salary of 4 million Euro is seen as a benchmark by many of his rivals, and although the fee is huge, athletes and more importantly their agents, are using the example to drive up their prices. Another factor is that no new WorldTour team is " at this stage " coming onto the scene for 2016, and team are looking to reduce roster size for 2017 if the UCIs new regulations comes into place. On top of that BMC are reportedly only able to offer one-year deals, a sticking point when it comes to attracting riders to one of the best payers in the peloton. And finally, the big four of Froome, Nibali, Contador and Quintana are all under contract for next year, meaning that bargains are being sought with the likes of Porte, Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin and man of the moment Mikel Landa. You can read more at More...
Boonen has no ambition to leave Etixx-QuickStep
May 22, 2015 (21:15) [ Indexed from ]
May is traditionally the month of the year when Belgian cycling briefly catches its breath after the spring classics before beginning the countdown to the Tour de France, and, as such, it was hardly a surprise that a man like Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) could go 13 seasons as a professional without once lining up at the Giro dItalia. When Boonen was ruled out of the classics after separating his shoulder in a crash at Paris-Nice in March, however, his 2015 plans were hastily rewritten. After a relatively gentle return to action at the Tour of Turkey, the belated Giro debut offered a more robust work-out. Almost two weeks in, the Belgian is pleased with his progress. If you look at two months ago, I broke my elbow and my shoulder was completely destroyed so Im already very happy that Im here and my shape is actually good too, Boonen told Cyclingnews. The race started in San Remo and if you know the region there a little bit coming down you know its going to be hard and theyve been racing very hard but personally Im happy that Im already standing where I am.ADVERTISEMENT Fridays flat run to Jesolo offers Boonen the opportunity to take his chances in a bunch sprint after two abortive efforts in the first week. Its not easy because its just me and Sabatini for the sprint, he said. The day that Greipel won, I had to sprint with a kilometre to go to get in position so my sprint was over before it started. Jesolo, of course, lies just 30 minutes drive from Venices Marco Polo airport, and with a mountainous final week to come, the inevitable bunch finish on Friday afternoon is likely to be followed by a dash to the departures lounge from at least some of the Giros fast men. Speaking earlier in the week, however, Boonen was not sure if he would be among their number. We wait and see, but until now Ive been improving every day so I dont think it will be a problem to finish the Giro, he said. But there are still two options we have to consider. Its also important for me that I finish well here because I have some big objectives in June. Thats the main thing for me right now " to be at my best there. You can read more at More...
Weekend wrap: All the news from Giro d'Italia, Tour of California
May 11, 2015 (10:00) [ Indexed from ]
Giro d'Italia The opening weekend of the Giro d'Italia started off as an all-Australian affair, with Orica-GreenEdge claiming the victory in the team time trial, repeating their success last year even without specialistSvein Tuft, who was injured in the Tour deRomandie. SimonGerrans donned the first maglia rosa, with Michael Matthews his understudy in the white jersey of best young rider. Matthews ascended to the race lead on stage 2, though missing out in the bunch sprint to Team Sky's Elia Viviani on a stage riddled with crashes.Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2RLa Mondiale)was the worst-off of the main contenders, finishing at 1:09.ADVERTISEMENT News: Brailsford outlines 'great opportunity for Porte in Giro d'Italia Giro d'Italia news shorts: Remembering Wouter Weylandt Porte upbeat despite losing time in Giro d'Italia TTT Gerrans seizes Giro dItalia lead after faultless display from Orica-GreenEdge Aru, Uran happy to take time on Porte in Giro dItalia team time trial Contador ahead of Giro d'Italia rivals in opening TTT skirmish Giro d'Italia: How long can Orica GreenEdge keep the maglia rosa? Tim Kerrison: Porte has the confidence Wiggins showed in 2012 Greipel puts brave face on Giro dItalia sprint defeat Crashes send peloton sprawling on Giro d'Italia stage 2 Deja vu for Matthews in Giro d'Italia maglia rosa Viviani savours his first Giro dItalia stage victory Alafaci blames fixed gear cyclist for Giro dItalia crash Porte to sleep in marginal gains motorhome during Giro dItalia Giro d'Italia: Pure sprinters could take a back seat in coming stages Videos: inCycle video: Cannondale-Garmin TTT preparation Video: Richie Porte's Team Sky Pinarello Bolide TT bike Giro d'Italia: Stage 1 race video highlights Matthews looks to upgrade white jersey to pink on stage 2 On-board footage fromOrica-GreenEdge's winning TTT ride Luka Mezgec targets Giro d'Italia sprints Heinrich Haussler on riding the Giro d'Italia for the first time Tom Boonen on his debut Giro d'Italia Giro d'Italia Stage 2 race video highlights Elia Viviani on stage 2 victory at the Giro d'Italia Michael Matthews in the Giro d'Italia maglia rosa Boswell looking for opportunities in California Talansky excited about 'home' race at Tour of California California GC Contenders aiming for Big Bear, Mt. Baldy UCI allows testing by USADA at Tour of California Cavendish: We have a team that can win stages in Tour of California Sagan: I want to speak with Tinkov eye to eye Allergies and virus knock Talansky out of California Renshaw recovers from crash to lead Cavendish to California win You can read more at More...
Video: Tom Boonen racing his first Giro d'Italia
May 11, 2015 (10:00) [ Indexed from ]
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)is in his 15th year as a professional but has only just made his debut in the Giro d'Italia this week. The Belgian has started 13 Grand Tours, but usually skipped the Giro because of his focus on the Classics. However, this year a crash in Paris-Nice left him with a shoulder injury that required surgery, and he was forced to miss his beloved Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Boonen sees the first week of the Giro as an opportunity for puncheurs, but he is committed to working for leader Rigoberto Uran. He feels good after racing the Tour of Turkey, but his personal aims are down the road in June.ADVERTISEMENT Subscribe to the Cyclingnews Youtube channel! You can read more at More...
Urn set to lead Etixx-QuickStep to success at the Giro d'Italia
May 06, 2015 (01:45) [ Indexed from ]
Twice second overall at the Giro d'Italia in 2013 and 2014, Etixx-QuickStep's Rigoberto Urn will attempt to win the pink jersey upon the conclusion of this year's event on May 31 in Milan. The Colombian rider will have the support of strong nine-man team that includes Tom Boonen in his debut at the Italian Grand Tour. Urn temporarily wore the leader's jersey last year after winning the stage 12 time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo, however, Movistar's Nairo Quintana ended up winning the overall title. Urn heads into the year's race as the Colombian national time trial champion and he will hope to, again, do well in stage 14's 59.4km time trial from Treviso to Valdobbiadene on May 23. It is a stage that he is familiar with having previewed the course with his teammateGianluca Brambilla at the beginning of March. Boonen will race in support of Urn in his first attempt at the Giro d'Italia. He injured his shoulder in a crash at Paris-Nice but returned to racing at the Tour of Turkey last week.ADVERTISEMENT The Etixx-QuickStep roster for the 2015 Giro d'Italia: Rigoberto Urn, Tom Boonen,Maxime Bouet, Pieter Serry, Gianni Meersman, Fabio Sabatini, David De La Cruz, Iljo Keisse, and Petr Vakoc. Watch Etixx-QuickStep's 2015 Giro d'Italia team selection video, courtesy of the team. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel please click here. You can read more at More...
Boonen prepares for Giro d'Italia debut at the Tour of Turkey
May 02, 2015 (08:00) [ Indexed from ]
The 2015 season has been a bumpy ride so far for Etixx-QuickStep's Tom Boonen, and thats having traversed fewer cobbles than in any other season in his career. The Belgian raced Omloop-Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne but on the first stage of Paris-Nice in March he dislocated his AC-joint in his left shoulder, ruling him out of the Classics season proper. There would be no opportunity to add to his four Paris-Roubaix titles, his three at the Tour of Flanders, or even his five at E3-Harelbeke. Boonen has only just returned to racing at the Tour of Turkey and when asked ahead of the sixth stage on Friday how much he has missed the cobbles, he said emphatically: A lot! I was watching the races on the TV and especially the first races it was very painful. If you work hard for those races and you miss them just by one week before with a crash, its very painful."ADVERTISEMENT This years events seem to have sharpened the 34-year-olds perspective and he has come to terms with the fact he doesnt have a wealth of Classics campaigns ahead of him. Having already enjoyed such glittering success, his ambitions now are not so lofty " absence makes the heart grow fonder and simply getting back there before the end of his career would suffice. I would like to have one more shot at the Classics with no bad luck, he said.I have already achieved everything. If you look back at the last three seasons Ive almost had everything you can dream of. Its not been easy [missing this year] but Ive been able to cope with it and get back to a decent level. You can read more at More...
Q & A: Orica-GreenEdge fast man Caleb Ewan
April 24, 2015 (06:30) [ Indexed from ]
As a first year professional, Caleb Ewan has plenty of eyes marking his progress that amounts to five wins this season from 19 days of racing for 2,641.9km. The 20-year-old Orica-GreenEdge rider has already won on three different continents with victory intwo stages of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia, two stages at the Tour de Langkawi and the Spanish one-day raceVuelta a la Rioja. But his year has also been a learning curve, as he told Cyclingnews before leaving his base in Monaco for the Tour of Turkey that starts on Sunday and where, for the first time, he will race the Etixx-QuickStep pair of Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen in the bunch gallops - not to mention a bevy of other sprint stars.Rupert Guinness: Well done on your year so far. Orica-GreenEdge have put you on a realistic program for your first full year with them ...Caleb Ewan: It's been pretty good. The team to start with said they had expected about five wins from me to start with, so to have that already takes a little bit of pressure off me; but obviously going into these races there will still be pressure. It's just nice to have those wins in the bag already. It is also good for the confidence. The team has put me on a good program and they are pretty open if I want to change anything. I'm looking forward to the next few races. But I am going to try and get through the season well. With the program they have structured ... it will be challenging, but its definitely within reach.ADVERTISEMENT RG: Each win you've had this season will have been important in its own way, but was your win in the Vuelta a la Rioja the biggest so far?CE: Yeah Well, I think the [two Tour de] Langkawi [stage] wins were probably bigger, but it was good to get to Europe and get a win, especially after [the Volta a ] Catalunya went so badly. It [Vuelta a la Rioja] was a relatively small race But we went in with a really strong team It was probably the easiest race I have won so far this year just because of how well the team rode and how strong they were.RG: It must have been nice to see a team work so well for you, and someone like Simon Gerrans who was his first race back from a fractured elbow?CE: It is a little bit surreal to be on the back of a train and see a guy like 'Gerro' and [Daryl] Impey working to help you win. It was a pretty cool feeling and awesome to be able to pull it off. They were so strong and made my job so much easier.RG: Orica-GreenEdge appears to be developing into a team that suits a variety of races and riders CE: Yeah, they are having a really good classics campaign at the moment [Ed - Michael Matthews third at Milan-San Remo and Amstel Gold Race, and Michael Albasini third in Fleche Wallonne]. Gerro has been unlucky with his two falls [before Tour Down Under and in Strade Bianche], but he is coming up pretty well for Liege-Bastogne-Liege. It was good to see 'Bling' [Matthews] getting third in Milan-San Remo and at Amstel Gold Race.RG: Did you watch Matthews at the Amstel Gold Race?CE: Yeah For him to be able to stay on Philippe Gilbert's wheel going up [the Cauberg] was really impressive. If he didn't do it Gilbert (BMC) probably would have gone away and won. It probably kind of cost him the race " on paper he was probably the fastest in that group " but he has to take the risk and follow Gilbert up the climb. If he raced it again he probably wouldn't have done anything different.RG: You can climb and sprint like Matthews. Did you learn from the Amstel and how he raced that might help you? You could be in that situation...CE: Yeah ... if I was 'Bling' I would have done the same thing because if he didn't follow Gilbert everybody behind probably would have stalled and Gilbert would probably have won solo again. He probably ran out of legs a little in the sprint. I am sure in the next few years " or next year - his time will come. If he can follow Gilbert up that climb now he is only going to get stronger from here. Obviously it is a race that suits him and hopefully it is a race that will suit me too. It's really nice around that area and I think those shorter steeper climbs suit me better " probably not now, but in a few years when I get a bit stronger and I think races like that could suit me.RG: The Volta a Catalunya was your first World Tour race since the Tour Down Under in Australia last year, but it your first in Europe nonetheless. You did not finish. I understand you found the peloton's speed when climbing challenging?CE: Yeah .. Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo basically had their Tour de France teams there. When they are doing 80 per cent up the climbs, it's like going up 100 per cent for me. When you have stronger teams there for 'GC' it is always going to be hard for me. Also I had just come from Langkawi where it had been on some days 40C and humid and I had only been back in Europe for six or seven days and it was 5-10 degrees and raining. You need a bit of time to acclimatise and get over jet lag and I had just set up my new apartment here [in Monaco]. If I could do it again I would probably do Catalunya or Langkawi. If I did Catalunya I would have come over a bit earlier.RG: You spoke of settling in to Monaco. Who are some cycling neighbours?CE: I train with 'Gerro' and fair bit, and [Mark] Renshaw (Etixx-QuickStep). Campbell Flakemore (BMC) has just moved out of Monaco to France and I train with him a lot as well. I recently went for a training ride with Richie Porte (Sky) and Chris Froome (Sky) " that was obviously pretty cool. There are really good guys on the ground here. I have been training with Michael Matthews as well ... all really professional guys with the same ambitions as me. It is a good environment to train in.RG: You are all different types of riders on different training and racing programs. When you ride with Porte and Froome, how do you stay true to what you must do and not try and follow what they are planning on doing?CE: Usually if they invite me for a ride and they have five hours on their program, I might start with them and do an hour or two with them and turn around and come home. It worked out well the other because I had five and a half hours, and so did they and I do a fair bit of climbing in the ride and they did a pretty hilly loop. It was probably their last ride before they went off [Froome to the Ardennes and Porte to the Giro del Trentino]. Usually, there is always someone who has a 'reco' ride the day you do a 'reco' ride, or a long ride when you do. You don't always train with the same people, but there's usually someone who has the same kind of program you do.RG: You're now off to the Tour of Turkey where you will sprint against the likes of Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen Your first time against Cavendish?CE: It will be actually. I am looking forward to it. It will be great to go to a race and really see how I compare to those kinds of guys. I raced with (Marcel) Kittel and (Andre) Greipel last year at the Tour Down Under but it was different. Riding for UniSA, I didn't really have as strong a team as they do, so it was a little hard to compete. For Turkey we have a really strong team. That will help and it will be really great to be able to sprint against those more experienced sprinters and see how you compare.RG: You won't be expecting any favours from those sprinters though ... they will have seen or heard enough about you not to underestimate your threat CE: I don't think you get any favours from those guys. Turkey is not the biggest race for them obviously, but when they go there they are really expected to win. Sometimes that is more pressure. A small race or big race, they go there and put a fair bit of pressure on themselves and I think they don't give anyone any favours.Some of the teams are preparing their trains for the Giro or Tour of California. It is important for them to nail it before they get to any of the bigger races.RG:Do you have any set objective for Turkey, other than to try and win a stage?CE: We haven't been told what our objectives are yet. I would like to get a stage win and even just be up there for the sprints and have a good crack. I haven't raced [Cavendish and Boonen] before and don't know how close I can get to them, but I'm hoping to be pretty competitive.RG: After Turkey you are also doing the Tour of Norway where you will again race one of the in-form sprinters, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) CE: Yeah ... he's been going bloody well. It would be obviously a massive challenge, but that would be great to race against these guys for experience. It is probably better to race Cavendish here and Kristoff there and hopefully Greipel and Kittel at different parts of the year. Maybe if I raced all of them at the same time it would be a bit much. It would be good to race them all during the year at some stage and see how they sprint. I am sure I can learn a lot from it. Rupert Guinness is a sports writer for The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media) You can read more at More...
inCycle video: Tom Boonen rider profile
April 17, 2015 (05:00) [ Indexed from ]
At 34, Belgian Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) has already had a career that will likely put him among the greatest Classics riders of all time. Since taking his first WorldTour win at Gent Wevelgem in 2004, Boonen has piled up four wins at Paris-Roubais, three at Tour of Flanders, two more at Gent-Wevelgem and five atE3 Prijs Vlaanderen to go along with six stages at the Tour de France and the World Championships in 2005. In total, he has won nearly 100 races as a pro. Boonen is missing the Classics this year after dislocating his shoulder during a crash at Paris-Nice, and in this video he talks about the inevitable ups and downs of cycling over a 14-year career. Boonen also talks about competing on the cobbles, reminisces about some of the biggest wins of his career and addresses the mysterious origins of his "Tornado Tom" nickname.ADVERTISEMENT Click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews vide channel. You can read more at More...
Cavendish confirmed for Tour of California, Boonen to make Giro d'Italia debut
April 15, 2015 (04:45) [ Indexed from ]
Etixx-QuickStep sprinter MarkCavendish will use the Tour of California as part of his build-up to the Tour de France, his team announce today. The Manxman will mark his return from a short break from competition at the Presidential Tour of Turkey, together with Tom Boonen, who is making a comeback from a fractured elbow and shoulder injury sustained in Paris-Nice. Boonen will then go on to participate in the Giro d'Italia for the first time in his career, rather than race in California. Cavendish used the same schedule last year, and came into the Tour de France on good form, but was unable to live up to the expectations of his home crowd after he crashed in the finish of the opening stage in Yorkshire. "Last year it was a successful period with victories at Tour of Turkey, Tour of California, and Tour de Suisse,"Cavendish said. "I also went into Le Tour with a really good feeling. But unfortunately I crashed in the first stage, so everything was over in a second. Of course it's a pity."ADVERTISEMENT In 2013, Cavendish won the points classification in the Giro d'Italia before going on to win two stages in the Tour de France, though he missed out on the green jersey there. Last year he won four stages in Tour ofTurkey and two inCalifornia. So far this year, he has the overall victory at the Dubai Tour and a Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne win to his name. "I don't like to miss the Giro, which is a key race that helped me build up my career. I have great memories of that race and I hope to come back to the Giro in the future and do well again. But as of this year I want to focus on the optimal preparation for the Tour de France, and going into the races to return to the high level of performance I had at the beginning of the year." Although Boonen is in his 14th season in the WorldTour, he has never before raced the Giro d'Italia, and will tune up for that effort with a first-time appearance at the Tour of Turkey. It's a refreshing change after a promising start to the season, including a third place inOmloop Het Nieuwsblad, before a Paris-Nice crash knocked him out of the Classics. You can read more at More...

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