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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. - Booker T. Washington

Racing today:

Lots of racing today with the start of four stage races. I'll do my best to get all the results up as early as possible. The Australian Herald Sun Tour will be first, of course, followed by the Dubai Tour.

Giant-Alpecin race preview

The team sent me this update:

DUBAI TOUR (2.HC): The third edition of the Dubai Tour begins Wednesday. The four stages all start in the city of Dubai and range in length from 132km to 188km. Team Giant-Alpecin will be heading to Dubai with a mixed team with a lot of experience as well as young talents, including Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), who will participate in his first race for the team.

Koen de Kort

Koen de Kort is headed to Dubai

Morten Bennekou (DEN), who is making his debut as a coach for Team Giant-Alpecin, said: “We had to change our plans and lineup because of the training accident. We don’t have a clear favorite for the sprints, but with Koen, Bert and Roy we will have strong and fast guys to aim for good stage results. We will need to race attentively and take advantage of any chances we get.”

RACE: Dubai Tour (2.HC)

DATE: 03-06/02/2016

COACH: Morten Bennekou (DEN) 

LINE-UP: Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), Caleb Fairly (USA), Carter Jones (USA), Koen de Kort (NED), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR)

TOUR OF QATAR (2.HC): Following the ladies edition of the Tour of Qatar, which starts today and runs through Friday, the men’s edition will take place from Monday through Friday. This year’s race consists of five stages: four flat stages and one 11.4km individual time trial on the Lusail Circuit, on day three.

“Our aim is to go for stage results,” said coach Marc Reef (NED). “Except for Cheng, the Tour of Qatar will be the first race of the year for the guys, and they are eager to kick off the season. For Søren it will be his first race for the team. There is always a potential role for the wind in Qatar, because of the open sections of the route, so we will take the race day by day and see what it brings us.”

RACE: Tour of Qatar (2.HC)

DATE: 08-12/02/2016

COACH: Marc Reef (NED) 

LINE-UP : Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Cheng Ji (CHN), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL)

Jack Bauer returns to racing at Valenciana

Cannondale sent this to me:

Jack Bauer returns to racing at Valencia after broken femur in 2105 Tour de France crash

It’s felt like nearly a full season since Jack Bauer has pinned on a number. One crash, two crashes, three, four then five. The Tour de France took its toll on 30-year-old Kiwi, as he crashed in every stage of the race in 2015 up until stage five, in which he actually fell twice, eventually breaking the head of his femur, near the hip.

Jack bauer

Jack Bauer after stage 15 in the 2014 Tour de France

Bauer had surgery in late July and hasn’t raced since. This week, he’ll be back on the road with a number on his back at the five-day Tour of Valencia, which starts Wednesday. “My whole year got shook-up last year,” Bauer said. “The season went out the window. There was no typical end of the season, no typical month off the bike. I had surgery in late July, and since then I’ve been steadily progressing with my rehab.”

There is a sharp difference between racing and training, such as hundreds of wheels and shoulders in the same pieces of thin space. “Training alone is one thing, and I’m quite happy doing that. Being back in the bunch and racing and riding on a wheel. That might take a day or two to get used to. But I feel well prepared. It’s been eight months or so since the Tour. I’ve had a big window of time to prepare myself and get ready for a comeback,” Bauer said.

After Valencia, Bauer will go straight to Tenerife for two weeks of altitude training camp with selected members of the Cannondale Pro Cycling team. He’s not nervous for the dip back into the peloton, but Bauer is aware of the importance of getting back on the sharp end.

“I think it’s important that the team sees me racing again. That’s quite a big question mark over my head… they need to see what kind of shape I’ve gotten myself back into before we can start laying out a season as such. I need to show myself this week in Valencia that I’m back to 100 percent,” he said.

And while Bauer never thought about pulling the pin after the rough season, he does have a keen awareness of how quickly things can change. “I had a new realization of how fragile the human body can be. Because it was not a horrific crash by any imagination… It was just sliding around on the road. But I have a new appreciation for how easily we can be injured,” he said.

“It’s been a long, long road looking back,” he said. “To be on my back for a couple months, then the bed. Just watching the body kind of disintegrate, you know? From being in the top shape for the Tour de France to where you’ve got a broken bone… you obviously put a little bit of weight back on. It was a new experience for me, a little bit difficult at times. It’s something I’ve taken a lot out of. It’s something I’ll learn a lot from, I think.”

Jonathan Vaughters, Cannondale Pro Cycling CEO: "Jack has proven to be an admirably strong and resilient person in overcoming this very serious injury. We will be happy to see him back on the road."

Charly Wegelius, Cannondale Pro Cycling sport director: “It is great to see Jack’s name back on a start sheet.  It has been a long road back from his injury, but Jack has faced the task in an exemplary way.  Step by step we hope to see Jack continue to build up to his previous level, and why not beyond.”

CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING ROSTER FOR VALENCIA

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